McKibben and Romm schlepping for Tabloid Climatology interviews

People send me stuff. This time it is a press release from the laughably named “Institute for Public Accuracy”. Even in the midst of hurricanes, these people don’t give up trying to tie weather to climate. It’s shameless desperation.

Here’s my response to this Tabloid Climatology™ they are pushing. In addition, go look at the history of the Great Atlantic Storm of 1962 and explain how CO2 at much lower levels than today fit into that. Also, explain why this:

One of the strongly held assumptions of climate change is that the variability of precipitation will grow with an increase in temperature. Storms will become heavier but less frequent. Flash floods and droughts will increase.

Has been falsified today by the American Geophysical Union saying:

However, drawing on seven databases representing global monthly mean precipitation values, Sun et al. find that from 1940 to 2009 global overland precipitation variability actually decreased.

I pity any news organizations dumb enough to buy into this activist schlock they are pushing. I urge readers to counter them with facts anywhere they see them popup in the media.

==============================================================

From: Institute for Public Accuracy

Date: Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Subject: Interviews Available — Hurricane Sandy and Climate on Steroids

To: Institute for Public Accuracy

Institute for Public Accuracy

980 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045

(202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * ipa@accuracy.org

___________________________________________________

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and Climate on Steroids

Interviews Available

BILL MCKIBBEN via Phil Aroneanu, (551) 486-5833, phil@350.org, http://350.org

The group 350.org organized activists in unfurling a giant “End Climate Silence” banner in Times Square on Sunday. McKibben, the founder of 350.org said today: “Meteorologists have called this ‘the biggest storm ever to hit the U.S. mainland,’ which is a reminder of how odd our weather has been in this hottest year in American history … scientists are connecting the dots between increasingly extreme weather and global warming. Yet for most of this year’s presidential election, the words ‘climate change’ have gone unmentioned.”

JOE ROMM, (202) 483-1024, jromm@americanprogress.org, http://ClimateProgress.org

Romm is a senior fellow at Center for American Progress, edits Climate Progress and holds a Ph.D. in physics from MIT. He said today: “Like a baseball player on steroids, our climate system is breaking records at an unnatural pace. And like a baseball player on steroids, it’s the wrong question to ask whether a given home run is ’caused’ by steroids.” See the video: “Steroids, Baseball and Climate Change.” http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/02/08/421711/video-steroids-baseball-climate-change

“We also know that as we warm the oceans, we end up with more water vapor in the atmosphere — 4 percent more than was in the atmosphere just a few decades ago. That is why another basic prediction of climate science has been more intense deluges and floods.

“A new study finds, ‘we detect a statistically significant trend in the frequency of large [storm] surge events (roughly corresponding to tropical storm size) since 1923. In particular, we estimate that Katrina-magnitude events have been twice as frequent in warm years compared with cold years.’

“Global warming and the loss of Arctic sea ice has been linked to the kind of blocking pattern that is driving this storm.” See “NOAA Bombshell: Warming-Driven Arctic Ice Loss Is Boosting Chance of Extreme U.S. Weather.” http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/10/11/989231/noaa-bombshell-warming-driven-arctic-ice-loss-is-boosting-chance-of-extreme-us-weather/

Romm recently wrote the piece “CNN Bans Term ‘Frankenstorm’, But It’s A Good Metaphor For Warming-Driven Monster: ‘Largest Hurricane In Atlantic History.” http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/10/28/1101241/cnn-bans-term-frankenstorm-but-its-a-good-metaphor-for-warming-driven-monster-largest-hurricane-in-atlantic-history/

JOSEPH NEVINS, (914) 631-0403, jonevins@vassar.edu

Nevins teaches geography at Vassar College. He recently wrote the piece “Ecological Crisis and the Need to Challenge the 20 Percent,” which states: “Although you would not know it from what passes for debate during the ongoing presidential campaign here in the United States, the biosphere is under siege. A historically high rate of ice melt in the Arctic, devastating floods from the Philippines to Nigeria, a record-setting decline in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and extreme levels of drought in much of the United States are just some of the recent manifestations.” http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/10/2012101085331931338.html

TYSON SLOCUM, (202) 454-5191, tslocum@citizen.org, http://www.citizen.org

Director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program, Slocum recently told IPA: “For the first time in 24 years, neither the presidential nor vice-presidential candidates were asked a question about climate disruption during the debates. And the candidates have failed to highlight the issue as well — unless you count Governor Romney’s use of climate change as a punchline to a joke in his convention speech. Some argue that the issue isn’t high on voters’ minds, but polls demonstrate otherwise. Rather, the hundreds of millions of dollars that the fossil fuel industry and their allies are spending saturating the airwaves with anti-regulation messages is likely the culprit. Obama’s ‘all of the above’ strategy locks in fossil fuels as the status quo, forcing us farther behind on the sustainable era of renewable energy. There is no such thing as benign fossil fuel production and consumption, and the future of fossil fuels will only become more expensive.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

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ericgrimsrud

Anthony,
When you say “I pity any news organizations dumb enough to buy into this activist schlock”, it would appear that you believe that your highly read blog, WUWT, is a cut above those news organizations with respect to scientific rigor. Yet, most real professional climate scientists – that is, those scientists who do research on the subject every day and report the results of their studies in the best peer-reviewed journals of our country – believe that the frequency and severity of extreme weather events will increase throughout the world as the average temperature of the Earth increases due to man-caused global warming.
While any single weather event cannot necessarily be blamed on AGW, it is nevertheless a distinct possibility that any one might be. It is appropropriate therefore for news organizations and especially the metrologists or “weathermen” on those news programs begin to recognize and discuss this possibility. To date, in my opinion, they have been negligent in that regard.

Joe

I have to say, I find this downright offensive. Sandy isn’t going to affect us over here in the UK, but I have friends in Vermont who are expecting the worst and doing what they can to prepare.
Given that this storm is going to cause a lot of worry at best and real problems, if the worst happens, for a great many people, to pre-emtively tie it to a political point smacks of the worst possible bad taste. The fact that the connection they’re making is a spurious one only makes it even more reprehensible!

pat

Weather is not climate except when the Warmists say it is.

This article from the National Post seemed to start off well, until I read this:
“Lohan, good intentioned though she may be, doesn’t seem to grasp that, as it is an unstoppable force of nature caused by low pressure fronts, high pressure fronts and probably climate change.”
It is in the arts section which May help explain the nonsense of adding a climate change reference.
http://arts.nationalpost.com/2012/10/29/louis-c-k-shows-full-understanding-of-hurricane-sandy-lindsay-lohan-kim-kardashian-not-so-much/
While I’m at it, I might as well inform WUWT readers that a regular columnist of the National Post, Jonathan Kay, called us “cranks” in a somewhat recent column. I shall not read anything he writes ever again.

Gary

“Institute for Public Accuracy” Ah, yes. Newspeak is newsspeak. Alarm sells… at least for a while.

Physics Major

@ericgrimsrud
Did you happen to read the post below this one about a new paper on precipitation variability? Here is a quick link :Sun et al
It would appear that your hypothesis is completely falsified.

3x2

I pity any news organizations dumb enough to buy into this activist schlock they are pushing.
The problem is that the current stamp of ‘journalists’ just lap this kind of ready made junk up. Research – Nein, Danke! Much easier to cut and paste a ready meal from the Internet supermarket.
“Institute for Public Accuracy” – they owe me a new keyboard, minus the Coffee.

RHS

ericgrimsrud – Calling a weather forecaster negligent without a statistical basis is rather myopic.

Scottie

ericgrimsrud says:

…Yet, most real professional climate scientists…believe that the frequency and severity of extreme weather events will increase throughout the world as the average temperature of the Earth increases due to man-caused global warming…

Nonsense. “Most real professional climate scientists” are almost certainly aware that weather is driven not by temperature, but by temperature gradient.
With polar temperatures supposedly increasing at a higher rate than in temperate/tropical zones, the temperature gradient in a hotter world will be lower, so extreme weather events will be fewer – and less extreme.

richard

I guess the US must have more co2,
here in the Uk 1987 was the last great storm and before that 1703.

David Ball

ericgrimsrud says:
October 29, 2012 at 9:14 am
“To date, in my opinion, they have been negligent in that regard.”
It is clear that you have not incorporated into your ideology anything that anyone has presented to you in Anthony’s forum. What does this say about you as a student of the sciences?
To date, in my opinion, you have been negligent in that regard.

Climate Weenie

Frankenstorm – old school:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7b21g-5YBLs&w=420&h=315%5D

aquix

ericgrimsrud says: Yet, most real professional climate scientists think..
..that [they are] nobel laureates too. 🙂

Denis Rushworth

When I read comments from anybody claiming that some climate parameter important to the AGW controversy is up or down, I go to Humlum’s site to see if he has some data on the subject. He usually does. McKibben said water vapor in the atmosphere is up. The data in Humlum’s site says it is down since 1983, the earliest year in his charts.
Does McKibben have some older data saying that before 1983 water vapor was was lower? If so, I would like to understand why water vapor would climb up to 1983 and fall thereafter and how such a trend is consistent with ever increasing CO2.
Plain language please. I am just a layman on this issue.

ericgrimsrud

To Physics Major and RHS,
With due respect to your comments, let me inject a bit of common sense.
How is power transported throughout the atmosphere? It is via its only component, H20, that can undergo phase changes, from its solid to liquid to vapor forms – thereby either releasing energy in locations where condensation of the vapor to either the liquid or solid forms can occur. No other component of the atmosphere is condensible and, therefore, can transfer energy in that manner.
Note that if the Earth’s temperature was so cold that very little water vapor was present in the atmosphere, then there would be relatively little energy released by water condensation and there would be fewer severe storms.
As the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere increased it will hold more water and there will be more condensation of that vapor when that air mass comes in contact with colder air. These events will then release more energy and the intensity of storms will increase. Also the amount of precipitation throughout the Earth simply has to increase as the Earth’s temperature is increased – what goes in must come out.
So consider what you have said above and think again. It seems to me that one cannot get around the basic and comment sense points I have made above. Can you?

David Ball

” I am concerned when I see people substituting fear for reason”.
Klaatu in “The Day the Earth Stood Still”

Keith AB

Don’t feed the trolls. Romm et al will die back on the vine if you ignore them.

ericgrimsrud

To David Ball,
Concerning your comment at 11:12 am above, I have no interest in developing a mindless pissing match with you over a trivial issue. I will admit here that my comment came from my own observation that the TV Weathermen I see on my local (Montana) and national (US) news programs very seldomly mention the possibility of a “climate change” cause while reporting stories of draught or floods.
If you don’t mind, I’ll leave it at that and not return any insults. ERic

Rob Bradley

Romm not that long ago tried to recast himself as moderate: “This notion that the environmental movement — or any other major play in the media landscape — is pushing non-stop apocalyptic messages like a broken record is one I debunked ….” – Joe Romm, April 29, 2012
More here: http://www.masterresource.org/2012/05/alarmism-romm-both-ways/

Metaphor Science

baseball players blood test data not being released..next step is metaphor in the scientific method..

D Böehm

ericgrimsrud says:
“How is power transported throughout the atmosphere? It is via its only component, H20…”
Forgetting convection, are we? How about conduction? Radiation? Energy [power] is transferred by all of those.

ericgrimsrud

Scottie,
I believe that you might be misunderstanding some recent insights concerning the effect of decreasing the “temperature gradient” between the Arctic regions and those of lower longitude in the NH.
This is occurring as you say because the T of the Arctic is rising about twice as fast as that of the lower latitudes. But, as I understond this recent literature, the main effect of that gradient decrease is to weaken and broaden the Jet Stream which runs around the NH and tends to break up existing weather patterns. This, in turn, is expected to cause existing weather conditions everywhere in the NH to persist longer than before. I do not understand, however, as you seem to, that this effect will decrease the severity of storms.
One of us is clearly misunderstanding this bit of recent research. Please correct me if I have it wrong.

Gary Pearse

“…we estimate that Katrina-magnitude events have been twice as frequent in warm years compared with cold years.’”
We knows that in the cooler years we had more violent hurricanes – 1962 was mentioned. I’ve warned that sceptics should be proactive on this. We should be forecasting more hurricane activity, droughts, wild fires, tornadoes, etc as we slip into a cooler period (or if we do go cooler, for those who think talking about coming cooler periods is a bit too aggressive a stance). Otherwise (as is happening now) we leave the warmists to take the initiative and our tardy efforts lose their weight. Look at the record of extreme weather in mid 50s – 60s. Anyone tuned into this idea should do a post on the history and timing of extreme weather events before the wrong story is out there first.

ericgrimsrud

Yes, Of course, energy is also transported by radiation (emitted by everything) and convection (powered by thermal gradients primarily in the troposphere). My comments concerned the only component in the atmosphere that carries “latent heat” via its phase changes – that is, water. Without water vapor so that radiation and convection, only, were transfering energy, I would think that the Earth’s weather would be quite boring.
As for conduction (the motion of charged particles through an electric field) I don’t think that one has much at all to due with E transfer throughout the atmosphere.

ericgrimsrud

To Dennis Rushworth,
It will be interesting to see if you get any response to your request for data concerning the total content of water vapor throughout the entire atmosphere. Imagine how very difficult such measurements would be – the concentration of water vapor varies so greatly in both the horizonal and vertical directions throughout the planet and water vapor is also rapidly transported in moving air masses – while more is continuously added (evaporation) and elimnated (condensation) everywhere. Thus, as important as the point is – how much water vapor is in that air relative to some previous date – I’ll be surprised (pleasantly) if good answers can be offered by anyone.

davidmhoffer

ericgrimsrud;
How is power transported throughout the atmosphere? It is via its only component, H20, that can undergo phase changes, from its solid to liquid to vapor forms –
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
REPLY
Oh, my, god. You have a PhD in Chemistry you say? You’ve completely neglected conduction, convection, and wind currents!
So consider what you have said above and think again. It seems to me that one cannot get around the basic and comment sense points I have made above. Can you?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Eric,
Time to study some physics instead of chemistry. Weather is driven by (amongst other things) pressure differentials which in turn are caused by temperature differentials driven by the regular cooling and heating cycle of the planet as it alternates between facing the sun and facing outer space. The flaw in your argument is the assumption that because a warmer world had more energy in it, then when this energy is alternately concentrated and then dispersed by natural processes, the outcome must be higher energy processes expressed as more severe weather events. This is incorrect.
Consider two car batteries, fully charged. If one hooks them up in parallel, despite both batteries being at their maximum in terms of energy storage…. nothing happens. With no voltage differential between them, no current will flow. Hook them up in series however, and they’ll weld your jumper cables solid in a matter of seconds. (IF YOU’RE GOING TO TRY THIS, WEAR EYE PROTECTION!)
Given that we expect warming to be more pronounced at high latititudes, elevations, winter seasons and night time lows, the corresponding temperature differentials which in turn drive pressure differentials which in turn drive wind and water currents, will be lower. So, even with more energy in the system, just as with the car batteries in parallel, potential energy differentials are lower, not higher, no matter that the system is “fully charged” or not.
You may want to look into the data regarding Total Cyclone Energy which has been measured with some accuracy and which has been declining since measurements began in 1979. Putting aside the merits of your argument versus mine, the fact is that the data doesn’t support the theory you espouse.

davidmhoffer

ericgrimsrud;
As for conduction (the motion of charged particles through an electric field) I don’t think that one has much at all to due with E transfer throughout the atmosphere.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
That is not the meaning of conduction in this context. Wow, you’re physics knowledge isn’t weak, itz pathetic!

RHS

ericgrimsrud – my point to you is, Anthony is a weather man/forecaster. And like most weather forecasters, he finds no link to a trace gas and weather. Understanding the difference between possibility and probability is what separates wishful thinking and understanding.
I understand that CO2 has increased but I like many feel it is insignificant because there is no mechanism or model which has identified how less than 400 (methane and CO2 combined) parts per million has an exaggerated affect on the remaining 999,600 parts per million. Even with the increase of man made activity, the ratio of CO2 to everything else isn’t really changed much.
Even the father of the Greenhouse effect (Svante Arrhenius) retracted/changed his mind after talking/discussion/arguing with Knut Ångström. Ångström was able to show the means of transferring (your) referred to energy is not significant because the IR spectrum of water vapor covers/overlaps CO2. Since water vapor is roughly 40,000 parts per million, CO2 will never overwhelm water vapor for heat transfer.

Heretic

@ericgrimsrud
Yet, most real professional climate scientists … believe
Belief is a characteristic of religions (cults?), not of science.
You condemn “Climate Science”© in a word.

Louis Hooffstetter

ericgrimsrud says:
“most real professional climate scientists… believe that the frequency and severity of extreme weather events will increase… as the average temperature of the Earth increases due to man-caused global warming.” and “It is appropriate therefore for news organizations and especially the meteorologists or “weathermen” on those news programs begin to recognize and discuss this possibility. To date, in my opinion, they have been negligent in that regard.”

Yes, simple logic (and numerous climate model runs) suggest the frequency and severity of extreme weather events should increase as the average temperature of the Earth increases (regardless of the cause). They also suggest that rising CO2 concentrations over the past 25 years should be warming the earth to a much greater degree than is actually occurring. Unfortunately, the heart of the problem with climatology is that pesky, unforgiving empirical data. The majority of research by “scientists who do research on the subject every day and report the results of their studies in the best peer-reviewed journals of our country” is based on computer models, questionable data adjustments, and irreproducible statistics rather than empirical data. Empirical data shows extreme weather events have not increased the way simple logic suggests and the Earth’s temperature has not increased the way the models projected (abundant references are available here at WUWT).
And your opinion “that weathermen have been negligent to recognize and discuss ‘this possibility’” is shared by Dr. Heidi Cullen, who does recognize and discuss this possibility at length at “Climate Central” and formerly on The Weather Channel’s “Forecast Earth” (cancelled). She was fired for publically calling for dissenting meteorologists to lose their professional registration for ‘negligence in that regard’ (aka heresy).

ericgrimsrud

To Davidmhoffer,
Yes, in this application a definition of conduction would certainly include the transfer of heat via physical contact with a body of different temperture. ( I did initially miss that one – being a chemist for whom this term usually refers to the transport of charged particles in an electric field rather than heat through a temperature gradient. So yes, conduction might have some importance in the atmosphere and particularly in the stratosphere where convection is so slow. Even there, however, I would suspect that heat transfer via conduction would be very small relative to that caused by radiation. In the troposphere, I would think that conduction is definitely negligible relative to the combined effects of radiation and convection.
Note also that your additions of other forces, such a pressure and temperature differentials are reduncant – these are covered under the general term, convection (the motion of the medium such as will occur in response to pressure or temperature differentials).
I hope that you also don’t mind if I do not include any insults here. While I have noted before, as well as now, that you do your very best to be a real horse’s behind on WUWT, for all I know, you might really be a nice person.

ericgrimsrud

TO RHS,
A question for you. What is the most abundant, well-mixed, permanent GHG in the atmosphere? That is, the one that has the greatest concentration, does not condense out in places with low T, and lasts for a very long time on a time scale of relevance to human civilizations.
Yes, all good scientist remain sceptical of all conclusions – as Svante Arrhenius was of all of his numerous accomplishments (for which he won the Noble Prize). Concerning the overlap of CO2 and water’s absorptions of IR, that question got resolved only much later when high resolution IR spectrometer were invented. Also other reasons for CO2’s nonimportance were envisioned in the first half of the 20th century and were similarly found to be wrong in the later half. In short, read the entire history concerning the Earth’s GH EFfect and the role that CO2 plays in it.

Scottie

ericgrimsrud @ 12:04 pm
There is nothing special about “existing weather conditions”. I simply noted that weather, and in particular wind, is driven ONLY by temperature gradient. The steeper the gradient, the stronger the wind, and in a hotter planet wind speeds will be lower.
I do not understand how a calmer planet can be subject to more severe weather.
Basic meteorology.

davidmhoffer

ericgrimsrud;
I hope that you also don’t mind if I do not include any insults here. While I have noted before, as well as now, that you do your very best to be a real horse’s behind on WUWT
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
First a statement that you’re not including insults followed by…. an insult. Typical Grimsrud.
I would like to refer you to the comment by rgbatduke on this thread http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/29/global-precipitation-variability-from-1940-to-2009-contradicts-models/ at 1:08 PM. I know you discount everything I say because I don’t have a degree, so please, take a look at what a PhD in physics is saying on the same topic.
BTW, your contention that pressure and temperature are redundant because they are covered by convection is dead wrong. Look up the coriolis effect (and that’s just for starters).

Joe

Eric, please stop while you’re behind with the physics.
Claiming that “a definition of conduction could include…” is so transparent as to be invisible. Even a chemist would (should) know from basic High School science that the three classic transport mechanisms for heat are conduction, convection and radiation. Certainly, my 12 year old son knows it and he’s more interested in football (soccer) than science!
How did you obtain your chemistry qualifications without doing any of this basic science at school? How on earth did you get a place on any science course at University? Or did you simply “forget” this very basic bit of physics over the years?
As for conduction having some importance “particularly in the stratosphere”. Again basic science says that it will be far LESS important there because of the greatly reduced pressure. Look at it this way (as my 12 year old has just commented) – “there’s less molecules to bump into up there so conduction won’t work well”.
Please stop digging.

Joe

PS, Eric, I think you mean the “coriolis effect” – was English also not on your school’s syllabus for chemists? 😉

richardscourtney

Joe:
At October 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm you say to Eric Grimsrud

PS, Eric, I think you mean the “coriolis effect” – was English also not on your school’s syllabus for chemists? 😉

It seems you are not aware that Grimsrud claims to be a retired academic who taught chemistry to students.
Assuming his claim is true (yes, I know that is doubtful) then God alone knows what his students ‘learned’. the poor souls.
Richard

To LouisHooffstetter,
I too do not pay so much attention to models as I do the basics, because, I suppose, I understand the latter far more than the former.
And I understand that the most difficult parameter to use to “prove” that AGW is occurring is the final result – the temperature change. That is because only relatively small changes in T will occur – even though those small changes in T will be exceedingly important. Also other things mask the T increase due to AGW. This include natural variations, man’s other effects on T – such as the cooling effect of sulfate based particulates and the very large thermal inertia of the Earth due mainly to its oceans.
Eventually, however, the forces of AGW will overcome those masks and we won’t be able to go back. That thermal inertia factor is our friend now but will be our enemy later. And the heating effect of the EXTRA CO2 will be with us for many centuries ( it takes a very long time to put that biological carbon back into geological forms).
And finally, I suspect that TV Weathermen might pay a lot more attention to the obvious observables (T changes, to date, must indeed seem tiny in comparison to the daily changes they focus on) than they do to the thoughts of those academic “eggheads” and “alarmists”.
PS: It is interesting to note that that our community of atmospheric scientists already saved mankind’s butt once before when they sounded the alarm concerning the effect of CFC’s on stratospheric ozone. “Eggheads” and alarmists, what do they know ?” is the cry we also heard then from Dupont and Corp America. between 1974 and 1985. That CFC alarm was also just a big Hoax, right? And now we know that that community of scientists not only saved the ozone layer, but also, if the production of CFC’s had continued to increase as it was prior to 1975, the CFC’s would now be our most powerful GHG’s !!!!
What hope is there for a country that distrusts their very best professionals in any field?

Joe, I am pleased to learn how smart your 12-year old is in view of the expected outcomes when determined by generics.

All this talk about climate weirdness came about when countries around the world began experiencing severe winters and heavy widespread snowfalls, some of the first excuses when AGW flopped, was when the media latched on to the term “snowmageddon”, they’d say “weather isn’t climate” global warming causes more precipitation due to melting ice caps (or some nonsense like that), and now it’s claimed that all meteorological events are the result of a changing climate caused by human C02 emissions, but “you just have to connect the dots” i.e. use your imagination to fill in the blanks, and that’s just super! they’re not even trying to put across a scientific argument anymore.

Joe

Richard,
I was aware he claims some form of chemistry qualification but not the details. I must say that I find a claim to be “retired” makes his apparent lack of any breadth of education outside his chosen field even more surprising.
I’m still a fair way from retiring (short of a lottery win) but, even as I went through school, those slightly older were bemoaning the fact that we were being allowed to specialise “too much and too early”. One would expect someone older (past retirement) to have had what was known as a “good general education” strictly enforced before being allowed anywhere near a specialised degree or teaching course!

RHS

ericgrimsrud – Not sure your point but (per Wikipedia) dry air contains roughly (by volume) 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.039% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases. Broken down by PPM, we get 780,900 for Nitrogen, 209,500 for O2, 9,300 for Argon and 390 for CO2. None of those precipitate out at temperatures or pressures normally experienced by humans.
If “all good scientist remain sceptical of all conclusions”, then why do the mainstream/public climate scientists refuse to be skeptical of their conclusions? Several refuse to show their work, all refuse to debate in public, most claim there is a consensus and engage in other behaviors which they show they have no skepticism of their “conclusions”? Does this mean they aren’t good scientists?

ericgrimsrud

RHS,
The greenhouse gases are the ones with 3 or more atoms. Thus within your list, carbon dioxide is the most abundant GHG. N2, O2, and Ar contribution nothing to the GH effect – they do not absorb or emit IR radiation.
All scientists are skeptics and assign “probabilities” of occurance to their predictions of some occurance. Many then some to “believe” in a given probable outcome but never claim to “know” what the outcome will be. The same is true, as you know, for medical surgeons. They do the best they can with what they know. When you are sick you seek their advice, but they do not “promise” you anything. Why would it be any different when the Earth is sick and you are interested in how to cure it ? You have the same choice.

ericgrimsrud

More to RHS,
Concerning your comment about scientists not being willing to debate in public, a few thoughts”
The working scientist has a “day job” on which he is focussing. Their work is likely to include some aspect of climate change, but not the total picture.
Climate science includes many scientific discipliness and in order to “argue” about things in public one must spend a lot of time studying as much of the total issue as one can. Few have the time required to do that.
Working scientists are concerned about be labelled “biased” on this topic. That label might interfere with the maintenance of their “day job”. I dont’ think it should, but it does. Take the example of Jame Hansen. He is one of the leading day job climate scientists in the world and he is also very much involved with public activism. Because of the latter, some cry out that he should be fired from his day job. Other prominent scientist who sick mainly to their day jobs have even been harrassed by US Congressmen and their “investigative committes’ just because of the science they have produced. The message to them – do not try to affect public opinion.
I am different from those day job scientists in that I am now retired and have no conceivable conflicts of interest or other demands on my time and energy. I spend my time studying anything I wish and can speak and write as I consider proper with no conceivable tie to any organization. I understaind why there are so few working scientists that spend their time and energy the way I do and wish that there were more retired scientists that were willing to jump into the fray.
The two driving forces behind my activities are: I have come to believe that strong action against AGW is the right thing to do and I now have 5 grandchildren all under the age of 5.

richardscourtney

ericgrimsrud:
At October 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm you assert:

When you are sick you seek their advice, but they do not “promise” you anything. Why would it be any different when the Earth is sick and you are interested in how to cure it ? You have the same choice.

OK. If “the Earth is sick” then we need to investigate the malady.
So, where do you suggest I insert the rectal thermometer?
Richard
PS I know where I think it should be shoved.

davidmhoffer

There was actually an error in one of the responses to ericgrimsrud that would, when corrected, be supportive of the AGW hypothesis. I’ve been waiting for him to jump all over it…. but nothing. He responded in detail to that commenter, so hard to believe he simply missed it.
Or else he doesn’t understand the physics involved….
2nd chance to find it Eric. Show us how smart you are.

Joe

That’s really not a good analogy, Eric.
If I go to a doctor, in most cases they will be able to tell me exactly what’s making me sick, and why. They may not be prepared to “promise” a cure, but there’s a very good chance indeed that they’ll be able to identify what’s causing the sickness with absolute certainty.
The analogy to climate science breaks down on two fundamental levels:
First, we really have no idea whether or not the earth is “sick” Because of the timescales involved, saying that it is would be like a doctor listening to your heart for the second or so between two beats and then declaring you dead because your heart’s stopped!
Second, even if the Earth is “sick”, they can’t make any promises about the cause [i]or[/i] the cure. A bit like the days when GPs used to hand out penicillin for every snuffle and sneeze. More often than not, the cause of the illness was wrong for the prescribed cure and all that happened was they produced lots of antibiotic resistant bugs.

ericgrimsrud – You put forward a logical explanation of why rising global temperatures should lead to increased storm activity, and say “It seems to me that one cannot get around the basic and comment sense points I have made above. Can you?“.
There is always a risk in following clear and persuasive logic, without first checking it against the facts.
Klotzbach and Gray are hurricane ‘experts’ who publish papers in the scientific journals and regularly publish hurricane forecasts. Sorry, I don’t have the online link to an original, but I kept a copy of one of their charts here
http://members.westnet.com.au/jonas1/Hurricanes.jpg
which indicates that increased North Atlantic hurricane activity is associated with global cooling, not global warming.
Their chart appears to be supported by the NOAA National Hurricane Center data
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastdec.shtml
which shows the greatest major storm activity occurred from 1940 to 1970 (approx), with declining activity since.
Obviously, this data is for part of the globe only, and your comment related to global activity. There is support for your hypothesis in the global storm index:
http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/global_running_ace.jpg
This shows increasing global storm activity from c.1970 to c. 1998 – a period when global temperatures were increasing – and reducing storm activity after that. It has been noted by many commentators that global temperatures stopped rising around 1998.
So while I agree that your logic is very clear and convincing, I would suggest that it could be a good idea to pull back from the idea that it is necessarily correct, and to investigate a little more just how it is that the North Atlantic, which has had temperatures in ‘sync’ with global temperatures, can have a storm pattern that is so out of sync. I suspect that everyone still has a lot to learn about storms.
And, of course, you should also pull back from any notion you might have that global temperatures are going to go on increasing, given the unexpected global temperature underperformance of the last ~15 years.
In another comment, you refer to the Antarctic ozone hole. You used slightly oblique language, and I couldn’t work out whether you were serious or tongue in cheek. Certainly there is no data to show that the ozone hole is anything other than a natural phenomenon with its own ‘cycles’. The recent sudden ozone hole in the Arctic would also seem to indicate that the effect is natural and not driven by man-made CFCs.
So, I would re-phrase your question about trusting experts, as follows:
What hope is there for a country that trusts their professionals in any field, without checking?“.

Joe

ericgrimsrud says:
October 29, 2012 at 3:18 pm
[…] Working scientists are concerned about be labelled “biased” on this topic. That label might interfere with the maintenance of their “day job”. I dont’ think it should, but it does. […]
That’s it, you’ve just blown any credibility you might possibly have had as a self-proclaimed scientist / chemist. Do you really believe it’s ok for any scientist, in any discipline, to openly exhibit bias in their work? Science has to be objective to be of any value whatsoever, bias (by definition) is not.

ericgrimsrud

Joe, I beg to differ. I thing the analogy to the surgeon is a very good one which becomes clearer in the following example. Lets say you are profoundly obese and have a heart problem. The Doc tells you what he thinks is the most likely cause of your heart problem. He tells you you are much too obese at 400 pounds and in order to improve the health of your heart, you must lose about 200 pounds as well as endure some surgury. You don’t like that “solution” so you look for a “second opinion” that will not require the diet bit. In this case, as with that of our sick planet, we know how we got into our present conditions, but we don’t know how to get out other than biting the bullet as recomended by the heart surgeon.