The Taxonomy of Climate Opinion

Guest essay by Barry Brill

I’ve had it with tax-funded over-educated fools like Lewanadowsky presuming to categorize me on the basis of his own delusions. And I don’t appreciate Cook & co locating people in a 3% minority on the basis of infantile spin-driven surveys.

The debate over climate change is not, and never has been, divided into two monochromatic tribes who have been brainwashed into unanimity . There are as many different opinions are there are participants in the discussion. (“quot homines tot sententiae” as Christopher Monckton might say).

For those who insist upon a tidy taxonomy, I offer the following first draft:

brill_taxonomy_table

[Note: this table was updated at request of the author on 10/9/13 to correct decimal point placements in the first three rows]

Whilst there are quite large numbers of people who are unconvinced that human activities can have any material effect on global average temperatures, the “Principia Scientific International” consortium, aka “Slayers of the Sky Dragon” strongly reject the enhanced greenhouse effect theory (AGW) which underpins mainstream climate science.

I’ve appropriated the term “Skeptics” to cover the broad tent of opinion which accepts that there has been some global warming since the LIA, to which human activities would have made some (probably trivial) contribution, through increased GHG emissions.

There is a collective view that average temperatures would increase by about 1°C if atmospheric CO2 concentration were to double from 280ppm (pre-1950), but a wide disparity of views regarding the sign and amplitude of net feedbacks. Most believe warming will be beneficial in the foreseeable future and none believes it poses a significant threat.

Lukewarmers are a subset of skeptics, who believe net feedbacks from warming to be slightly positive.

The ‘Breakthrough’ label is borrowed from the “Breakthrough Institute” but covers all who favour (limited) Government action other than emission-mitigation. This grouping broadly accepts IPCC temperature projections but believes the impacts have been exaggerated. They consider that an element of future threat arises and would combat this by promoting Government-sponsored breakthroughs in energy technology.

The IPCC, which presents “official” or “governmental” views, covers the broad tent which believes AGW is dangerous and should be combated by expensive emission-reduction programs. Its main controversial drivers are a belief in large net feedbacks (high ECS) and the use of unlikely scenarios to supply worst-case impacts.

Alarmists believe that irreversible and abrupt climate change is much more likely than indicated by Table 12.4 of AR5WG1, re-interpret the SREX report, and blame AGW for numerous other current or potential ills. They see climate change as a great moral challenge and believe decarbonization of the global economy is inevitable. This group (along with activists) controls a host of spin levers and secures a hugely disproportionate share of mainstream media attention.

Activists are usually members of groups which make a living from public donations and whose success depends upon maximising public fears. A sizeable proportion are malthusians or doomsayers who are philosophically opposed to economic growth/capitalism. Other members are lobbyists for commercial interests such as suppliers of renewables, carbon traders, consultants, gas producers, re-insurers, foresters and (until recently) bankers. They ignore all scenarios except the most extreme and are now adherents of the new RCP8.5.

The futility of consensus-seekers such as Cook and Oreskes is clear from the fact that the majority of almost all groups accept some 20th century warming (although now aware of “the pause”) as well as AGW theory. The dividing lines lie elsewhere.

The most visible division between climate opinion groups is the value they ascribe to equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS). This, along with the associated transient climate response (TCR), is the key determinant of future temperatures and the extent of future threats, if any.

For 20 years or more, there has been a clear gap between the ‘most likely’ positions held by mainstream (3°C) and skeptic (1°C) groups. But the WG1 report of AR5 largely bridges that gap, and there is widespread expectation that the gap will close further when post-cut-off papers are brought into account.

AR5 recognises that those who calculate ECS at 1.5°C and/or TCR at 1°C are now mainstream scientists. An IPCC scientist modeling RPC2.6 and applying the lower end of the IPCC’s TCR will project warming of 1°C to be reached by about 2083 – of which about 0.8°C has already occurred. That result would not differ from the expectations of Skeptics. With warming much lower than last century, this science, now mainstream, clearly doesn’t justify anxiety or precipitate action.

We are now all part of the orthodoxy, separated only by a tendency to prefer higher or lower segments within the IPCC’s accommodating ranges.

At the Stockholm 4-day meeting of politicians/bureacrats, the AR5 scientists were directed that no ‘likely’ value for ECS/TCR was to be disclosed to the public. But everybody already knows the answer and the Stockholm ‘finger in the dyke’ manoevre will buy very little extra time.

The cut-off date for the 2013 WG1 was in February. A few weeks later[1], The Economist reported two peer-reviewed Norwegian papers, one finding a most likely ECS of 1.9°C and the other a 90% likelihood of a 1.2-3.5°C range. It declared there was “much less controversy about the TCR. Most estimates put it at 1.5°C with a range of 1–2°C”.

In August, the Otto et al paper (whose author list includes several IPCC notables) found that TCR was 1.3°C and ECS was most likely 2°C but the 90% range should should extend down to 1°C. Pat Michaels has listed[2] a raft of other authoritative papers which agree.

It is only a matter of time (and not much time) before the ECS is repositioned to 1-3°C and the TCR to1-2°C. At that point, many more people who are near the upper end of the ‘Sceptics’ grouping with join with those multitudes who are at the lower end of the ‘Mainstream’ grouping to form a new “Orthodox” group.

This merging could be an uncomfortable time for both parties. Kuhn argues in “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” that rival paradigms are incommensurable—that is, it is not possible to understand one paradigm through the conceptual framework and terminology of another rival paradigm. Will that remain the case when views of TCR are only a fraction of a degree apart?

If further science grants are extended to Lewandowsky and his voyeuristic ilk, they should analyse the new minority groups – the alarmists and activists – not those who are now barely distinguishable from the mainstream.


[1] http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21574461-climate-may-be-heating-up-less-response-greenhouse-gas-emissions

[2] http://www.cato.org/blog/still-another-low-climate-sensitivity-estimate-0

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124 thoughts on “The Taxonomy of Climate Opinion

  1. The “Us v Them” mentality (“we are scientist, they are holocaust deniers”) is a worry. At least here you can say, look, it isn’t just Good v. Bad, it is a whole range of views and a range of reasons and data for those views.
    Unfortunately, people’s mindsets don’t usually change overnight, even if everyone is looking at the same page of objective information. We mentally construct views, and we don’t know how we do it. So we end up seeing what we “see”.
    But the only antidote may just be to continue to point out why it ain’t so simple.
    Unfortunately the culture of Post-Modernism in academia and so on, teaches everyone how to deconstruct other’s arguments. Activists can always say, oh you are in the pay of Big Oil, you have been influenced by disinformation promoted by Big Oil, etc. etc.
    But as a developmental psychology professor wrote, that’s not real Post-Modern thought. Real Post-Modern thought is when people spend most of their time deconstructing THEIR OWN thinking.
    Or maybe in more common parlance, just making the effort to try to be intellectually honest.

  2. Most interesting. All the differing categories–we humans are an interesting species!
    (I can never understand why everyone just doesn’t agree with me….)

  3. Mr. Brill,
    I agree with your harsh characterization of Lewandovsky, Cook et al. These are hundred proof mountebanks. I think, however, that there are more categories than those included in your list.
    For example, I cannot answer firmly “Yes” or “No” to the question about the existence of anthropogenic global warming. The only honest answer, in my opinion, is “We don’t know.”
    There is no doubt that human activity somehow, and to some extent, influences the environment. How, and to what extent? Nobody knows. It is quite possible that a sum of human influences results in global cooling, not warming. It is possible also, that a sum of interacting and counteracting human influences is practically zero.

  4. Interesting and very good attempt to categorize climate opinion, of which I have never seen before. This will of course be fiercely rejected by the alarmists and co. since this may encourage common sense discussion and would break the myth of the magically quoted 97%. Would think that media mainsteam and politicians would pick up on something like this as it is visually effective. Heaven forbid we could even have a proper poll by asking the general public as to which category they would position themselves. Now that would be fascinating.

  5. ECP I understand, but, RCP? Please define.
    And… ‘Sceptics’ grouping with join with ‘ should ebe ‘Sceptics’ grouping will join with ‘

  6. I like this essay. It’s a good distillation of the situation which should be shown to any sheeple who believe the 97% claims.
    Are the ECS figures for the first 3 categories correct ? They look an order of magnitude too low.
    What is RCP ?
    I’m not sure that “pause” is the correct word for all of the skeptical groups. Pause implies resumption. Do all groups accept that the Modern Warm Period has definitely not yet reached its maximum ? Those groups which have a lower bound for ECS which is at or below zero might prefer “plateau” or “halt” or some synonym.

  7. Think you should remove remedy from the table. As it should be irreverent to the science you believe. Also it’d very likely each group have many different remedies based on their ideology.
    Also the IPCC doesn’t think warming has paused.

  8. Thanks for this post. It could be an interesting and productive way of categorising opinion.
    But I’m puzzled by some aspects. Could you explain your RCP column?
    If RCP means Representative Concentration Pathway, as used in AR5 and defined here (http://www.c2sm.ethz.ch/news/scen_workshop/presentations/c2sm_ws10_plattner.pdf) then, if I’ve understood it correctly, RCP 2.6 is the extreme mitigation pathway, with CO2 emissions peaking and then declining before 2100. RCP 8.5 is closer to what we are following under ‘business as usual’ – continuously and rapidly increasing emissions.
    Why do you put your sceptical categories into RCP2.6? I assume that the more sceptical don’t think that CO2 concentrations are particularly relevant and/or don’t think that emissions should or will be reduced. Or did you put them there because they think radiative forcing due to CO2 is low?

  9. I don’t see a pause, since it will require looking back from a time in the future to tell. I suspect it’s more likely the crest of a wave, since in my opinion what we’re seeing is cyclical. Clearly human activities are affecting the measurement of temperatures, which means historical records are meaningless. Anecdotal evidence shows it’s been both warmer and cooler in the past.
    Honestly I started out believing and only became skeptical about warming claims when it became obvious that what we were being told would happen just plain didn’t. I also don’t think “Remedy” is even required, since nothing out of the ordinary is happening.
    However, the chart does look pretty close to how I see things.
    Alarmists and Activists are dangerous no matter what the cause and need to be reigned in somehow.

  10. Interesting.
    I think there needs to be a bit more overlap in the solutions. I’m a luke warmer but I believe that technology has an important role to play in mitigating any influences by man on climate. Not paricularly CO2, but new methods of energy production, efficient energy use, efficient agriculture, energy delivery to the third world, avoidance of pollution, letting forest be forests rather than potential biofuel plantations…………..
    I suppose that makes me a tree hugger.

  11. Nice go at it. Only thing I’d suggest is adding the grouping ‘Engineers.’ Where the rest of the columns can be merged for a single entry “Put up or shut up.”

  12. There is a classification, or perhaps a modifier of classification, missing which is type of belief. as the CAGW hypothesis is not really believed by many of its proponents but it is a useful fallacy.
    I would propose that within the ‘believers’ there are the following groups:
    ‘True Believers’ who are totally convinced by CAGW that in a few years time boiling seas will rise forcing the ‘last few breeding pairs’ of humans into the now tropical polar regions. This group are used as the ‘useful idiots’ of the groups below. They really do believe and will be in tears over the desperate position that they believe the world is in. These are the ones who feel for the polar bears _and_ the ‘baby seals’ and see no illogicality in that position.
    ‘Political Believers’ who are not necessarily believers in AGW but are making full use of it to gain political advantage and political power. This probably includes most members of the IPCC management, the UN and many first world politicians and bureaucrats. They use all the same ‘words’ as the ‘True Believers’ but with more cleverly nuanced rhetoric. They will work with one Common Purpose Community Organizing for a Sustainable future following the Agenda 21 world view. Many of the Fabian ‘progressive’ and World Governance groups fit into this group.
    ‘Financial Believers’ who do not necessarily believe either way but who have seen a good money (subsidy) making opportunity and do not want to let anyone upset their boondoggles until they have locked in their profits, Many major financial institutions, politicians, out to grass politicians, green energy companies etc are in this group. They use all the same ‘words’ as the ‘True Believers’ but with more emphasis on their particular profit making / subsidy taking palliative technologies.
    ‘Malthusian Believers’ who find the CAGW meme fits their world view that mankind is a disease that has infected the Earth and that the numbers of humans should be reduced back to ‘Garden of Eden’ levels. This fits the sinners requiring redemption philosophy of many religions; it also fits the ‘Green’ view that everything in nature was ideal until humans started destroying Gaia. These people may even believe that climate did not change until mankind came along and that the hockey stick is real. Anything that results in the destruction of technology and the forcing of the evil first world to live more like the bucolic 3rd world will get their support.
    Not sure that you can fit these classifications into a simple table – but I think most would agree they exist.

  13. Jquip says:
    October 8, 2013 at 4:24 am
    Nice go at it. Only thing I’d suggest is adding the grouping ‘Engineers.’ Where the rest of the columns can be merged for a single entry “Put up or shut up.”

    My brother’s the engineer in the family and he’s a Full Monty Woo supporter. Climate Alarmist, Anti Monsanto, Pro Green Peas, you name it. That apart, he’s a total genius at what he does and an extremely likeable guy.

  14. There doesn’t seem to be any designation for the group (to which I believe that Willis and I belong) which holds that the radiative response to CO2 at the molecular level is as stated by standard physics, but that this causes no impact to the atmosphere because:
    a) A good proportion of CO2 generated at ground level is immediately absorbed by nearby plant life
    b) The major thermostatic systems in the atmosphere completely overwhelm any minor extra heat source, to the extent that it may not be measurable at all.

  15. In my opinion you cannot purely categorise people in terms of their estimation of numbers like TCR or ECS. There are significant qualitative as well as quantitative differences.
    One such difference involves the role ascribed to natural variation. Skeptics see climate as a chaotic system having considerable natural variability; some of it potentially dangerous especially on the cold side potentially tipping into ice age. The IPCC orthodoxy attributes a much lesser role to natural variability and tends to view the climate as a system which responds predictably to forcings. This difference cannot be described in terms of values for ECS or TCR.
    Some participants are using thought processes which cannot be charactierised by numbers at all. At the extreme activist end of the spectrum there are people who operate on a much simpler logic of natural = pristine = good and who see any influence of man as unnatural and therefore harmful. These people are not thinking quantitatively; they are thinking emotionally. This group includes the “all chemicals are bad” people; the ones who quite happily will sign a petition to ban the dangerous chemical dihydrogen monoxide.

  16. dcfl51: You are quite right. The ECS decimal point is misplaced in first 3 categories. Sorry.
    RCP = representative concentration pathways. These replace the SRES scenarios devised in 1999 for TAR and AR4. The RCP’s are snapshots of alternative futures in year 2100 and reflect possible global radiative forcing values, ie +2.6, +4.5, +6 and +8.5 W/m2 respectively.
    RCP8.5 is a collection of unlikely outcomes, including population >15 billion, no technology changes, methane released from clathrates, etc which would conspire to produce exceptional warming. No matter how low the probability of this extreme pathway it will inevitably be ascribed more airtime that the other three combined.

  17. Please Mr. Brill can you advise me into which category I belong? I believe in AGW but have yet to be convinced by CAGW.
    I have seen the major changes to local climate which can result from deforestation, overgrazing large-scale dams and changing major water courses.
    But I am also aware that energy created from non-CO2-emitting sources does increase local temperatures. There would still be urban heat islands in a city where all vehicles were electrical, all fossil fuel was banned and all sources of electricity were wind, tidal or solar. Have a look at a map of the globe at night and see all the lights – each one emits some heat no matter its energy source.
    Whether or not the myriads of heat islands affect the climate significantly I do not know but if a cow farting in a field can have that effect so can a single light bulb. And let us not forget that some scientists believe that agriculture forms a significant part of man’s contribution to rising CO2 levels.http://www.worldwatch.org/agriculture-and-livestock-remain-major-sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions-1

  18. Thank you Ruth Dixon for pointing us to the explanation of RCP.
    My view is that CO2 emissions will peak and then fall, not because of government mandated restrictions, but because mankind will find better ways of generating electricity. We already see scope for this through Thorium reactors and there is the tantalising possibility that the problems of fusion power might be solved. The danger to mankind is through politicians destroying the current capability to produce affordable baseload power from fossil fuels before other practical technologies are developed.*
    There will continue to be a need for fossil fuels as their portability and energy density make them ideal for transport.
    * Note : Wind farms and solar cell arrays are not practical technologies for baseload. In fact, for reasons discussed here and elsewhere many times, they are worse than useless.

  19. James says:
    October 8, 2013 at 4:11 am
    Also the IPCC doesn’t think warming has paused.

    The author implied that the IPCC doesn’t believe there’s been a pause by providing a question mark after the word Pause in the IPCC’s box, effectively implying “What pause?”

  20. Ruth Dixon
    I’m obviously displaying my own preference. I don’t think Government mitigation schemes will be necessary to see emissions growth ease off over the coming century. The shale gas revolution will massively dampen emissions over the next 30 years, by which time we’ll probably be well into Thorium or 4G uranium plants. China has undertaken to reduce energy intensity by 45%, for purely economic reasons and other developing countries will do likewise. Population is sure to be declining in the second half and technology will change as much (or more) over the next 70 years as it has done since WW2.
    As to RCP8.5, it could scarcely be more different from business as usual: population more than 50% above best estimates, methane pouring out of the seas (said to be “very unlikely” in Table 12.4), no technology improvements over 80 years, resurgence of coal-fired plants, economic growth on a scale never before seen, etc

  21. Excellent essay.
    Starts off like Emile Zola. (“j’accuse!”)
    Ends like Ulysses Grant. (“Let us have peace.”

  22. An interesting categorization, thank you Mr. Brill.
    “In Earth’s natural system, temperature primarily drives atmospheric CO2, not the reverse.”
    What category will this fit in, I wonder?
    Sensible, informed people already understand this is the case. The evidence is everywhere. See the beautiful 15fps AIRS data animation of global CO2 at
    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/carbonDioxideSequence2002_2008_at15fps.mp4
    Human activities (fossil fuels or other) may be driving the increase in atmospheric CO2, but this is essentially irrelevant to climate since ECS is very small, if it exists at all.
    Increased atmospheric CO2 just makes little plants happy (and big ones too).
    Natural climate variability dwarfs all human impacts on global temperatures (except for course the significant warming bias in ST measurements). 🙂
    I suggest this will all become the conventional wisdom in about a decade.
    I also expect we will see a cooler, possibly a colder climate by then. Bundle up!
    Regards, Allan
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/01/dr-kiehls-paradox/#comment-1434087
    Willis said at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/01/dr-kiehls-paradox/#more-94963
    “I think the whole concept of “climate sensitivity” is meaningless in the context of a naturally thermoregulated system such as the climate.
    Hi Willis,
    I agree that ”climate sensitivity” is meaningless, but perhaps for different reasons.
    The only signal apparent in the modern data record is that dCO2/dt changes very soon AFTER temperature and CO2 LAGS temperature by ~9 months.
    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/carbon_dioxide_in_not_the_primary_cause_of_global_warming_the_future_can_no/
    Atmospheric CO2 also LAGS temperature in the ice core record by ~800 years on a longer time scale.
    So atmospheric CO2 LAGS temperature at all measured time scales.*
    So “climate sensitivity”, as used in the climate models cited by the IPCC, assumes that atmospheric CO2 primarily drives temperature, and thus assumes that the future is causing the past. I suggest that this assumption is highly improbable.
    Regards, Allan
    ______
    Post Script:
    * This does not preclude the possibility that humankind is causing much of the observed increase in atmospheric CO2, not does it preclude the possibility that CO2 is a greenhouse gas that causes some global warming. It does suggest that neither of these phenomenon are catastrophic or even problematic for humanity or the environment..
    As regards humanity and the environment, the evidence suggests that both increased atmospheric CO2 and slightly warmer temperatures are beneficial.
    Finally, the evidence suggests that natural climate variability is far more significant and dwarfs any manmade global warming, real or imaginary. This has been my reasoned conclusion for the ~three decades that I have studied this subject, and it continues to enable a more rational understanding of Earth’s climate than has been exhibited by the global warming alarmists and the IPCC.

  23. If you really want an accurate understanding of the range of opinions on climate change in a given country, you just take the population and divide by 1. This will then give the full range of opinion. Then again if you want to stick your head in the sand you divide by 2, believers and non believers and claim 99.999% accuracy.

  24. @CodeTech
    …Honestly I started out believing and only became skeptical about warming claims when it became obvious that what we were being told would happen just plain didn’t…
    I think that an item on ‘How people came to believe or not’ would be a very useful one, now that large numbers of people are likely to be changing their minds…
    In my case, I first came across this issue through the Numberwatch and John Daly blogs. The stories there typically depicted disagreements with various authorities, and I will always take those with a pinch of salt, since blogs are a good way of putting just one side of a story out. I was, however, rather sceptical of the alarmist warnings I started to see, since there have been many such mistaken ones in the past – Acid Rain and the like – and it seemed fairly likely that the climate, having been stable for long periods of history, must have some inherent stability features. So I suppose that my views were neutral at that time, but I was interested in the issue.
    All that changed in the early 2000s, when Steve McIntyre put up his Climate Audit blog, and I was able to check his claims of (effectively) scientific malpractice against published information in Nature. It seemed very clear that a major mathematical error had been asserted, and that, rather than investigating and correcting if proven, the preferred response from the climate scientists was to run a smear campaign against McIntyre. And that this was being actively supported by the premier scientific publication in the world!
    At that point I hardly needed to understand PCA. Something very strange was going on in the scientific establishment. And I watched, open-mouthed, as the whole circus developed from there…

  25. I think any anthropogenic warming isn’t global and the warming effect of CO2 is negligible to the point that its signal is swamped by noise, so where does that put me?

  26. Is there a typo in the table? There seems to be a hole in the spectrum. Shouldn’t the ECS for ‘lukewarmers’ range from 0.1 to 1.2 (not 0.1 to 0.2).
    Otherwise anyone, like me, who thinks ECS is in the range 0.2 to 1 is unrepresented.

  27. To name the IPCC as “mainstream” is a mistake. This is the “political agenda group” — as we have just so vividly seen in the writing of the last IPCC summary. The summary is everything — the body of the report means nothing — to the leftest politicians. The IPCC was set up to support an already active political agenda — not give an unbiased opinion. If it deviate from that support the leftest politicians “correct it”.
    Now isn’t that really the truth? So get rid of the term “mainstream”. It seems to almost “deliberately” mislead about what the IPCC is really all about. “Political agenda group” or “leftest agenda group” are vividly descriptive of the IPCC’s extant purpose.
    Eugene WR Gallun

  28. I would say the skeptic and luke warmer ECS is way too low…and why are they virtually the same?
    I agree with whoever said that those two categories look about an order of magnitude too low. I don’t know any lukewarmers who think ECS is near 0C and most skeptics don’t either.

  29. CodeTech says:
    October 8, 2013 at 4:15 am

    I don’t see a pause, since it will require looking back from a time in the future to tell. I suspect it’s more likely the crest of a wave, since in my opinion what we’re seeing is cyclical.

    There’s evidence that Global Warming is cyclic and regional.
    http://www.science20.com/virtual_worlds/blog/global_warming_really_regional_warming-121820
    This to me puts ECS near zero, though if asked a few weeks ago I’d have put it at ~1.0C

  30. You have my appreciation for this excellent condemnation of the idiocy of over-simplistic categorization created by charlatans such as Lewandowsky and Cook and subsequently employed by scoundrels for political purposes.

  31. At first glance I thought that the ‘Dangerous’ column indicated whether that group should be considered dangerous.
    Made total sense 🙂

  32. My own opinion is that climate science isn’t even a science.
    * You can’t measure the earth’s temperature to within a few tenths of a degree.
    * There are little to no physical experiments done in climate science.
    * Far too much weight is put on computer models.
    * Climate science doesn’t even rest on a foundation of valid physical science. For example, the claim that Venus has such a high temperature due to CO2, when in fact it’s due to atmospheric pressure.
    I prefer to call climate science exactly what it is: political driven mumbo jumbo.

  33. Barry Brill, in the next draft of your “tidy taxonomy” you might consider a grouping for the “deniers” …. and an additional category denoting the IGW (Interglacial Global Warming).
    I am a firm believer in/of the IGW, ….. but a vocal denier of the AGW.

  34. Guest essay by Barry Brill
    I’ve had it with tax-funded over-educated fools like Lewanadowsky presuming to categorize me on the basis of his own delusions. And I don’t appreciate Cook & co locating people in a 3% minority on the basis of infantile spin-driven surveys. …

    Tell us how how you really feel, Barry! (/only mild sarc)
    PS +1 and ditto
    .

  35. Aren’t there some who believe that while atmospheric CO2 may effect the atmospheric temperature, we are close to a “saturation point” of atmospheric CO2 and further doublings will not have any noticeable/measurable warming effect?
    I also agree with some others who point out that the word “pause” implies continuation. Better to call it what it is – a halt in warming. It can only be characterized as a “pause” if warming resumes.

  36. PSI? Principa?
    You failed to realise this was a “false flag” operation?!!
    The stupid. It burns.
    I guess that means you have no clue as to who the sleepers are…

  37. Brill is just another consensus-seeker without a clue:
    Climate Sensitivity vs. Reality
    There are no competent climate scientists (just a lot of scientists, and their “defenders”, expostulating on local and transient, not global, atmospheric conditions and a thermodynamically irrelevant radiative transfer theory). There is no valid climate science. It is a failed science, as is the cherished idea of self-correction of science. The system is thoroughly broken, courtesy of incompetent scientists and the political Insane Left.

  38. It might be interesting to add a “vote for it” or “survey” exercise to see where the readership lines up.

  39. Scientifically speaking, AGW is still just conjecture. The “human fingerprint” to warming, though probably there somewhere, is just too small. Consequently, those who loudly proclaim that AGW most certainly does exist, yet can not show it, are simply talking through their hats.

  40. Here’s where I stand: If I turn on a 100W lamp in my house, it will measurably increase the air temperature. But that lamp is not why my house gets hot in mid-July.
    Carbon dioxide is that 100W lamp.

  41. Where does “Human activity may not even be responsible for most of the increase in CO2 levels” fit in?

  42. The only person in the first group for whom i have read some posts is Prof Claes Johnson (http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com.au/) but I thought in recent times he has withdrawn from the group. As an engineer, who has had considerable experience with heat transfer particularly radiation from flames in furnaces, I think Claes has a good insight in this engineering science (heat transfer) and also in the engineering discipline of fluid dynamics such as air flow around aerofoils and sails. Claes is also very well read in also aspects of science including quantum mechanics. He has been misclassified and maligned by people who have little understanding of mathematics and (engineering) science. (ie people who may read textbooks without an ability to distinguish junk from good insight due to having no experimental experience)
    As someone commented there needs to be a class for experienced registered (ie ethical) professional engineers such s those retired from NASA who have put in a complaint about present NASA management. These engineers understand that there there is no scientific basis for concern from changes to the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. They also understand that efficient energy conversion is required to improve the health and well being of all humanity. Further, they understand the most effective and least costly way to convert energy to be useful.
    It is sad to see the huge amount of wasted money in all countries to research on so-called social science (which includes environmental science and climate science as well as psychology and the rubbish produced by the likes of Lewandoski? (who cares if i have spelt his name correctly)

  43. Several people have commented on the numbers in the table:
    1. dcfl51 says: October 8, 2013 at 4:08 am
    “Are the ECS figures for the first 3 categories correct ? They look an order of magnitude too low.”
    2. Australis says: October 8, 2013 at 4:37 am
    “dcfl51: You are quite right. The ECS decimal point is misplaced in first 3 categories. Sorry.”
    3. Carnwennan says: October 8, 2013 at 5:24 am
    “Is there a typo in the table? There seems to be a hole in the spectrum. Shouldn’t the ECS for ‘lukewarmers’ range from 0.1 to 1.2 (not 0.1 to 0.2).
    Otherwise anyone, like me, who thinks ECS is in the range 0.2 to 1 is unrepresented.”
    4. Thrasher says: October 8, 2013 at 5:38 am
    “I would say the skeptic and luke warmer ECS is way too low…and why are they virtually the same? I agree with whoever said that those two categories look about an order of magnitude too low. I don’t know any lukewarmers who think ECS is near 0C and most skeptics don’t either.”
    Could the author please be asked to correct the numbers in the ECS column of his table? As it stands it is just causing confusion and wastes people’s time.

  44. “I’ve had it with tax-funded over-educated fools like Lewanadowsky presuming to categorize me on the basis of his own delusions. And I don’t appreciate Cook & co locating people in a 3% minority on the basis of infantile spin-driven surveys.”
    Damn right.

  45. Konrad says:
    PSI? Principa? You failed to realise this was a “false flag” operation?!!
    The stupid. It burns. I guess that means you have no clue as to who the sleepers are…
    Konrad, you fail to realise how people really can be that stupid. No one needs to plant any more. They grow on their own and they are capable of breeding.

  46. Michael Moon says:What people believe is not interesting. What can be proven or disproven, that is interesting.
    What people believe determines whether we get carbon taxed out of existence. It matters.

  47. I like it. Would be interesting and usefull if one could get a grant to survey the scientific community as well as the public (separate breakouts of the data) to determine the percentages of people who fall into each category. This should not be left to the warmists to do or we’ll get the typical “97%” type results from their biased study.

  48. As I’m sure others have mentioned, there doesn’t seem to be a category for what Willis calls ‘climate heretics’. Since we believe that the system is inherently stable even in the face of fairly large inputs, thanks to internal stabilising mechanisms, can I propose ‘Weeble-ists’? As everyone knows, they Weeble and they wobble, but they don’t fall down – just like the climate may be perturbed by human activities, but will rapidly return to equilibrium.

  49. cementafriend says:
    October 8, 2013 at 6:38 am
    “It is sad to see the huge amount of wasted money in all countries to research on so-called social science (which includes environmental science and climate science as well as psychology and the rubbish produced by the likes of Lewandoski? (who cares if i have spelt his name correctly)”
    Currency units issued by the government to pay for social engineering ideas that are useful to the government. Governments surely wouldn’t call it a waste. They need to find ways to control their populace.
    Psycho-logy; the logic of controlling the human psyche. Not a wordplay – Eddie Bernays was the nephew of Siegmund Freud and advisor to Woodrow Wilson. His marketing idea was to present Wilson as the bringer of democracy to Europe; which worked splendidly. Germany got the blame, the Versailles treaty was made, and everyone was happy.
    For a while.

  50. There are certainly more categories than Lew and Cook would recognise but as others have pointed out there are a great deal more variations.
    Climate agnostics – those who don’t know how much effect CO2 has but isn’t prepared to sign a blank cheque just in case.
    Climate cynics – those think it doesn’t matter what effect CO2 has, government, NGOs and shady businesses will fail to organise a coherent plan and huge amounts of money, energy and good intentions will go down the drain but CO2 will continue to rise unabated.
    Sceptic stupid – doesn’t really understand the issues and frankly doesn’t care. Don’t ask them to pay for anything, even the necessary stuff because it’s all a ecofreak con.
    Warmist stupid – doesn’t know any more than the sceptic stupid people but believes in the most lurid versions of the science. Very eager for everyone, especially Big Oil/Business, to pay for any and all CO2 reduction policies… everyone except themselves because they’re doing their bit by spreading the news.

  51. Katherine says:
    October 8, 2013 at 5:15 am
    I think any anthropogenic warming isn’t global and the warming effect of CO2 is negligible to the point that its signal is swamped by noise, so where does that put me?
    Same here. Evidence suggests the whole thing is overblown beyond reason. Tell a big enough lie etc….

  52. I believe you meant to say …CO2 concentration were to double from 280ppm (pre-1850), not “(pre-1950)”.

  53. Where do I belong in the taxonomy? Grouping: unknown. Warmth: pause. AGW: swindle. ECS: will be finally estimated as around zero. RCP: no idea. Remedy: prosecution of the main suspects. Dangerous: yes.

  54. Further to Richard Wakefield’s request for a WUWT reader poll, it would be more valuable if each question was asked independently (e.g. AGW, ECS, RCP, etc.) and the responses could be clustered into categories.

  55. Objection: By chart, Principia (PSI) is only group that does not believe in Anthropological Global Warming (Mann/Gore’s Human Induced Global Warming). A person can reasonably believe Man did not cause Global Warming as claimed by Global Warming Scammers and Alarmists without being a Sky Dragon groupie / “false flag”.
    The chart needs a separate group for those of us who have rejected the AGW B.S. coming from Mann, Gore, Jones, Hansen, and IPCC. Virtually every claim made by these people has been shown to be Unscientific. A few in IPCC have acknowledged AGW scam was political in nature with purpose of redistribution of power and money.

  56. Why do people like Lewandowsky focus on Skeptics as the anomaly? Science is by its nature skeptical. In fact, it took the reformation to remove the Catholic church’s single “consensus” view of the world to give enough sunlight and warmth for science to grow.
    Lewandowsky ought to focus on why it is with very little observational evidence, no real way to validate the theories (no control group, etc.), so many scientists are willing to abandon the skeptical approach (prove it to me) to jump on the AGW bandwagon.

  57. Lukewarmers was a group started on Climate audit and later on Lucias.
    Our position on ECS: ECS is very unlikely less than 1.2.
    And is is more likely than not that the ECS is less than 3C.
    Put another way the median estimate is 3C.

  58. A suggestion to the management/moderator, add RCP to the Glossary. I confess I didn’t know the the meaning. ECS and TCR would be good to have in the Glossary as well, although they were defined here.
    [Better to post this in Tips & Notes. ~ mod.]

  59. I agree with Carnwennan, Bill_W, Coldish and others that the ECS range from 0.2 to 1.0 is not properly represented in the table and that should be changed. I would expand the Lukewarmer’s range.

  60. ECS is an abstraction from the models, not measurable. What the modelers put in, and get out of, their models, is entirely up to them.

  61. Replace “Skeptics” with “Naturals” and “Skeptic” is generic to the foundation of science and is commonly used to include lukewarmers etc.

  62. Steven Mosher says:
    October 8, 2013 at 8:02 am
    There is zero actual physical evidence that ECS, if such a thing exist, is higher than 1.5 K, & all the evidence in the world against 2 or 3 K, let alone the pie in the sky 4.5 K & above predicted by the mendacious, rent-seeking, ideology-driven liars who commit the crime against humanity of IPCC.
    The earth being homeostatic, the default assumption should be no net positive or negative feedback, but rather roughly countervailing feedbacks, or net negative, to offset over time any warming. No scientific evidence supports the GIGO assumptions made for the GCMs, which have in any case been shown false.
    If you know of evidence supporting 2, 3 or 4.5 K, please trot it out. IPCC hasn’t.

  63. Naming groups is not as relevant as knowing what proportions of scientists and the public are in each group but it would also be useful to know what overall proportion of each group (scientists and the public) believe that human activities have any significant impact upon climate. I’d be happy to design the study if someone will find me a grant or just do the number crunching and we could farm out the actual sampling and questionaire execution, if we had the money. I’ll work for free. I have designed and executed many such quantitative surveys in the corporate world, telephone, mail, and structured panels. Not so much focus groups as they are not projectable to major populations though useful in questionaire design. Such a study could be repeated to determine the direction in which opinions are headed.
    Anyone know a research house that might be willing to donate some resources to find out what’s going on in the minds of people regarding climate change ( I use this term in the sense that we all know that climate has always and will continue to change.).
    Jim G BS, MBA

  64. milodonharlani says: October 8, 2013 at 8:30 am
    Good post milon.
    An ECS greater than ~1 requires positive feedbacks, and there is NO credible evidence that such positive feedbacks exist,
    I await Mr. Mosher’s evidence.
    I suggest that belief in a high ECS is a religious, rather than a scientific conviction.
    While I normally avoid questioning the religious beliefs of others, the CAGW religion (Church Agnostic of Global Warming) has their eyes to the heavens, but their hands in our wallets.
    In the past I have termed CAGW a “Cargo Cult” religion, but one has to give them due credit.
    Scamming more than a trillion dollars out of peoples’ wallets is a very effective Cargo Cult.

  65. I think you might be missing a column for people’s views on climate models, ranging between fabulous and fubar.

  66. RC Saumarez says: @ October 8, 2013 at 4:19 am
    ….new methods of energy production, efficient energy use, efficient agriculture, energy delivery to the third world, avoidance of pollution, letting forest be forests rather than potential biofuel plantations…………..
    I suppose that makes me a tree hugger.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I prefer the term Conservationist to distinguish myself from the professional activists.
    Most who post on this site are Conservationists who genuinely care about our planet and about the people who live on it. To me that is the distinguishing characteristic of commenters ar WUWT even when we don’t necessarily agree on other things.
    This is the point that completely escapes people like Lewanadowsky and Cook.

  67. Mostly nonsense. ECS is non-linear for temperature, altitude and surface conditions, and therefore can’t be averaged into one number.
    Net CO2 increase is mostly natural, about 80 ppm out of the 100 ppm increase.
    Of the current 395 ppm, only about 20 ppm is due to human activity. Trivial.
    Anthropogenic CO2 is only 3 percent of the natural global carbon cycle.
    Any amount of added CO2 will be entirely beneficial. Attempts to mitigate the increase are insane.

  68. Jquip says:
    October 8, 2013 at 4:24 am
    Nice go at it. Only thing I’d suggest is adding the grouping ‘Engineers.’ Where the rest of the columns can be merged for a single entry “Put up or shut up.”
    Jquip,
    Count me IN!
    MtK

  69. A category is wanted for the Heretics, those who reject the AGW thesis.
    (ie, the unbelievers, not necessarily of the Principia camp)
    Lukewarmers are a new breed of fence sitter, a partially pregnant model fence sitter.
    HarryDHuffman deserves his own category.

  70. Dave says:
    October 8, 2013 at 7:01 am
    As I’m sure others have mentioned, there doesn’t seem to be a category for what Willis calls ‘climate heretics’. Since we believe that the system is inherently stable….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Actually I like Dr. Brown’s chaotic theory with two Strange Attractors giving the earth a cold phase and a warm phase. It also seems to explain the Dansgaard-Oeschger oscillations and the more muted Bond events, not to mention the remarkably stable Holocene.

  71. The table of this post illustrates the problems with single metrics and to a certain extent with labels.
    “Skeptics” describes a much broader group than simply people who think there might be a small, positive amount of warming. Most skeptics I know are skeptical either of the concept of catastrophic AGW (which is different than small ECS) or are skeptical of the efficacy of proposed remediations. You could say 2.5°C/doubling and no net harm from warming and be a “skeptic” in my book.
    Eventually, the actual numerical value of ECS is much less important than the net impacts of this warming, whatever it is. And truthfully, 99% of the people with an opinion on the value of ECS aren’t basing that value on anything approaching rigorous empirical science, so really their stated value of ECS can probably be better viewed as a proxy for their belief system, rather than a meaningful estimate of ECS.
    Also, I’d put “lukewarmers” in the range 1-2 °C/doubling. Many of these people have developed objective estimates of ECS. E.g., SteveF, Nic Lewis, Paul_K and others. Most favored number of these objective studies seems to be around 1.6°C/doubling.
    In my opinion, the median of 3 that Steve Mosher lists for “lukewarmers” is really “orthodoxy”. Recent studies are pushing this down to 2.5°C/doubling, and the recent slowdown in warming is making 3°C/doubling less tenable.

  72. wws says: @ October 8, 2013 at 7:15 am
    You also left off “The Ice Age is Coming!!!” group.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That is a given with the current configuration of the continents. The only question is WHEN? Is the Holocene a half a precession cycle interglacial or a double precession cycle interglacial? WUWT link
    The other question is what exactly kicks the earth from one ‘Strange Attractor’ to the other. Determining that make a lot more sense as a waster of research dollars than demonizing CO2 does.

  73. bw:

    Mostly nonsense. ECS is non-linear for temperature, altitude and surface conditions, and therefore can’t be averaged into one number.

    Excuse the drive-by (I have to get back to work), but ECS relates to the increase in global mean temperature from a sustained doubling of CO2. Since global mean temperature is a defined quantity, as is mean atmospheric CO2 concentration, then yes, yes you can describe the outcome from this particular scenario with a single number.
    I’d recommend reading the precise definitions from the WG1 AR4 report, which I presume your google skills will allow you to uncover on your own.
    Also we know that the majority of the CO2 is from anthropogenic sources due the differences between isotopic ratios of CO2 coming from fossil fuels and CO2 that is trapped in the surface layers of the Earth. This is a pretty decent review.

  74. Carrick says:
    October 8, 2013 at 10:40 am
    The majority of atmospheric CO2 is not from human sources. The alleged “pre-industrial” level was around 285 ppm. Since then it has supposedly risen to about 400 ppm. Of this ~115 ppm increase, some is man-made. How much cannot be determined precisely. But let’s be generous to the CACA faithful & say that 100 or those 115 ppm are anthropogenic. That means that roughly 25% of CO2 in the air, not over 50%, would be “unnatural” (although people are part of nature).
    With recovery from the LIA, CO2 would have risen regardless of human activities.

  75. Carrick says: @ October 8, 2013 at 10:40 am
    ….Also we know that the majority of the CO2 is from anthropogenic sources due the differences between isotopic ratios of CO2 coming from fossil fuels and CO2 that is trapped in the surface layers of the Earth.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    E. M. Smith debunked that bit of crap about the isotope ratio: The Trouble With C12 C13 Ratios

    Late Pleistocene to Holocene composite speleothem 18O and 13C chronologies from South Island, New Zealand
    Delta 13C values were high until 17.79 ka after which there was an abrupt decrease to 17.19 ka followed by a steady decline to a minimum at 10.97 ka. Then followed a general increase, suggesting a drying trend, to 3.23 ka followed by a further general decline. The abrupt decrease in δ-values after 17.79 ka probably corresponds to an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, biological activity and wetness at the end of the Last Glaciation…

    No mention of humans in those changes of isotope ratio.
    As far as the statement “CO2 that is trapped in the surface layers of the Earth.’ goes, plants are so CO2 starved they gobble-up any CO2 that comes near as fast as they can. Carbon starvation in glacial trees recovered from the La Brea tar pits, southern California
    The key piece of evidence that we’re living on a planet with CO2 levels currently at the very bottom of the normal range is that a whole new group of plants evolved several million years ago specifically to cope with it. They developed a new method of photosynthesis called C4 which permits greater water efficiency and the ability to photosynthesise at greatly reduced CO2 levels.
    FIELD WHEAT

    Carbon dioxide measurements above a wheat crop, 1. Observations of vertical gradients and concentrations
    The CO2 concentration at 2 m above the crop was found to be fairly constant during the daylight hours on single days or from day-to-day throughout the growing season ranging from about 310 to 320 p.p.m. Nocturnal values were more variable and were between 10 and 200 p.p.m. higher than the daytime values.

    CO2 DEPLETION Green House

    Plant photosynthetic activity can reduce the Co2 within the plant canopy to between 200 and 250 ppm… I observed a 50 ppm drop in within a tomato plant canopy just a few minutes after direct sunlight at dawn entered a green house (Harper et al 1979) … photosynthesis can be halted when CO2 concentration aproaches 200 ppm… (Morgan 2003) Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and does not easily mix into the greenhouse atmosphere by diffusion… LINK

    Hydroponic Shop

    …Plants use all of the CO2 around their leaves within a few minutes leaving the air around them CO2 deficient, so air circulation is important. As CO2 is a critical component of growth, plants in environments with inadequate CO2 levels of below 200 ppm will generally cease to grow or produce… http://www.thehydroponicsshop.com.au/article_info.php?articles_id=27

  76. And then there’s me. I believe the warmest year and decade of the 20th century were 1934 and the 1930’s. I learned in high school physics that if you have two clocks which disagree, you find a third clock to resolve the discrepancy. The two clocks which agree most closely should be trusted. Atomic clocks agree with each other to tiny fractions of a second per year, and are therefore the standard.
    While the HADCrut data showed fearsome warming in the late 20th century, there was a puzzle: satellite data showed essentially no warming at all. Here the “third clock” would be the radiosonde (weather balloon) and RSS data, which agreed with the satellite data–essentially no warming at all for late 20th century. The scientific conclusion would be that warming has not even been occurring.
    And this was very much underscored by a graph WUWT published a couple years ago showing the number of weather stations versus claimed temperatures. There were a few step-changes in the number of weather stations, removing the “unreliable” ones. With each decrease in number of weather stations, average temperatures rose. They finished this in the 90’s–and that would cause a pause. So global warming is anthropogenic all right. This is explained either by tax-funded people wanting more money from a tapped-out public, and thinking they could get it with a carbon tax–or merely by the human tendency to believe data that is in harmony with what you already believe.
    So you will be surprised to learn that I now believe in dangerous climate change caused by man. I do believe we will avert disaster. The real cause is agriculture–and fossil fuel release of carbon dioxide is a healing mechanism to reduce the effects. I am probably the only person on this website with a degree in agriculture (including an advanced degree in animal physiology), and I read farming books for pleasure. Recently I was reading one advocating more natural farming and gardening methods to sequester that bad horrible plant nutrient, CO2, into the soil. And I had a sudden wrenching, realization–20th century farming methods are known to all of us to “reduce the topsoil.” This means that we have been UN-sequestering soil carbon dioxide around the world on farms everywhere.
    Dr Keeling’s lab in Mauna Loa produces the most certain element in this entire debate–the rising graph of carbon dioxide. Such a graph could be explained by instrumental drift or other systematic error, but Dr. Keeling takes great care to prevent such things and nobody believes that explanation. Fossil fuels are an obvious explanation, and certainly must have something to do with it. But these can account for only a fraction of the increase in carbon dioxide. There is a theory that the seas are releasing CO2 in response to rising temperatures. Temperatures globally cannot account for it–although maybe rising Arctic temperatures could. But the fact is, more than half of the landmass of Earth has been subjected to practices that “reduce topsoil,” which means carbon has been removed from that soil. This has not stopped due to global economic woes, and is therefore a better fit with Keeling’s Mauna Loa graph than fossil fuel use or temperature.
    An indication of how drastic the results of current farming practices can be, read the 7th Catastrophe in “The Really Inconvenient Truths,” by Iain Murray (which aren’t really caused by liberals). This describes Russia’s Sea of Azov, the third-largest freshwater body in the world. Once. It has been heavily drained by irrigation for cotton farming and less than half of it is left. Summertime temperatures thirty years ago were moderated by trees and might be in the 90’s Fahrenheit. Today, there are no trees for shade, and temperatures reach the 140’s. Around the world, irrigation practices like this are mining above ground or below-ground aquifers and the water is not being replenished. Obviously, this is unsustainable. The most serious risk is war caused by hunger-crazed mobs. That could prove truly catastrophic.
    Fortunately, solutions to these things have already been found. The marvelous website http://www.originalsonicbloom.com describes how farmers can use an organic foliar feeding technology to get the bumper crop of their lives in drought conditions, and with sharply increased nutrient content. Joel Salatin’s parents bought a worn-out Virgina farm in the 1960’s and their practices have increased the productivity of their land manifold. Those practices are based on observations of nature. Salatin has written some books for the general public, but the best intro is probably Michael Pollan’s bestseller, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.” Permaculture techniques grew trees in Jordan with no irrigation (impossible according to locals) and have produced year-around streams where before there were only flash floods.
    The world is capable of feeding at least twice its present population sustainably (forever). It requires not trashing our economy, but learning what really works long-term in farming.

  77. Eustace Cranch says:
    October 8, 2013 at 6:37 am
    Here’s where I stand: If I turn on a 100W lamp in my house, it will measurably increase the air temperature. But that lamp is not why my house gets hot in mid-July.
    Carbon dioxide is that 100W lamp.

    Fascinating! Ever heard about “summer”? You are the first person I have come across who actually takes as factual the IPCC diagram showing the atmosphere warms the earth more than the Sun.

  78. michael hart says:
    October 8, 2013 at 8:20 am
    ECS is an abstraction from the models, not measurable. What the modelers put in, and get out of, their models, is entirely up to them.
    #####################
    No, ECS is determined primarly by observational and paleo studies. read AR5.
    Model answers fall within the range established by observations.
    you can also calculate a first order estimate from ordinary physics

  79. Lady Life Grows says: @ October 8, 2013 at 11:16 am ….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I had really wanted Michael Pollan as sec. of Ag. I may not agree with him on everything but at least I know he is not a parasitic bureaucrat and has a good understanding of farming.

  80. Steven Mosher says:
    October 8, 2013 at 11:49 am
    If ECS be determined primarily by observational & paleo studies, please state what it was during the Cretaceous Period. Thanks.
    The range is widening & lowering, so clearly prior ECS estimates were worse than worthless, & still are, except when made by real scientists, not corrupt, ideologically-motivated, pal-reviewing, grey literature spewing IPCC rent-seekers. Genuine scientists using actual observational data find the range from 1-2 K, most likely at the lower end of that range, not 1.5 to 4.5 K, down from 3 to 7 K or higher previously peddled by CACA touts.

  81. Steven Mosher says:
    “Model answers fall within the range established by observations.”
    What happens when the global temperature record falls below all the modeled ranges?
    At what point do you admit that the models are wrong?
    I’m not being snarky. But really, when all the models are wrong, isn’t it time to re-assess?

  82. All religions require a ‘evil opposite ‘ to function and grow , the desperate need of alarmists to label sceptics as not just wrong but somehow bad or mad . Merely reflects this need , for there is no scientific approach that has such a requirement.

  83. Steven Mosher says:
    October 8, 2013 at 11:49 am
    In case you’re not familiar with the Cretaceous problem for even the latest GCMs:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031018211005359
    Hilariously & predictably, the paper’s authors don’t entertain the possibility that the models are simply worthless, but instead conclude that their “cold bias” must mean that, you guessed it, “It could be worse than we expected” in future!
    In 2008, a study made a good case for lack of cloudiness to explain Cretaceous heat. Despite CACA spewers’ aversion to clouds, which the models can’t handle & don’t want to consider, for fear of invoking the dreaded Svensmark hypothesis, some of the Team latched onto this unpalatable option as less distasteful than admitting ECS is meaninglessly vague.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18403703

  84. @ Barry Brill
    I appreciate your first draft attempt at a taxonomical system for classification of the various opinions within the climate debate.
    I find it a little odd that I most comfortably fit with the orthodox.
    It would seem as though “remedy” is a function of “ECS” in the system as is. I think there should be more categories that reflect it isn’t necessarily ones estimation of ECS that determines ones willingness to commit to particular remedies. I would favor adaption including geo-engineering, technological advancement, and infrastructure changes over mitigation even if I were convinced ECS is 10 degrees Celsius. There just isn’t any reason NYC (for example) NEEDS to be where it is and how it is for centuries and this goes for anything else you can imagine including polar bears and my beach house. Over the course of Earths 4.5 billion year history the one thing that has always lurked around every corner was change. Adapt or die. Endeavor to persevere.

  85. Love this approach and considered creating a Perceptual Map of the same list using two dimensions: (1) ECS and (2) Percentage of Past Warmth Human Caused (starting at 0). You could probably locate each of your groups along those dimensions, and include a 3rd dimension if you wish using Bubble size. That may be even more powerful than the table view – allowing people to take it and ask others “Where are you on this chart?” as a starting point for discussions.

  86. Barry,you are indeed brill(iant) .that would make a fantastic post over at SKS. pity they wouldnt allow it. i have to agree with magicjava with respect to climate “science”. i cannot for the life of me see where the actual application of the scientific method occurs. creative modelers would be a better term.

  87. Gail Combs says:October 8, 2013 at 11:12 am
    …Plants use all of the CO2 around their leaves within a few minutes leaving the air around them CO2 deficient, so air circulation is important. As CO2 is a critical component of growth, plants in environments with inadequate CO2 levels of below 200 ppm will generally cease to grow or produce… http://www.thehydroponicsshop.com.au/article_info.php?articles_id=27
    Thank you Gail. Interesting.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/11/murry-salby-responds-to-critics/#comment-1395118
    (PLANT) FOOD FOR THOUGHT
    CO2 is such a scarce and excellent plant food that it is gobbled up very close to the source during the growing season.
    In urban environments like Salt Lake City where CO2 is emitted, it is gobbled up so quickly by plants that there is NO DISCERNIBLE HUMAN SIGNATURE IN THE DAILY CO2 RECORD.
    For proof, see http://co2.utah.edu/index.php?site=2&id=0&img=31
    Recognizing the CO2 is NOT that well-mixed in the atmosphere..
    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/carbonDioxideSequence2002_2008_at15fps.mp4
    … this may be where the “Mass Balance Argument” (fossil fuel combustion is the certain cause of atmospheric CO2 increases (NOT)) falls apart.
    Let’s suppose that humanmade CO2 from fossil fuel combustion is quickly gobbled up by plants close to its (usually urban) source. The rest of the world and its carbon cycle just carries on, unaware in every way that humankind is burning fossil fuels. It also may be that humanity IS causing the observed increase in atmospheric CO2, but that increase may be due to other causes such as deforestation, agriculture, etc.
    Fossil fuel is just a convenient bogeyman – everyone hates the oil companies when they gas up their car – it’s just that the alternatives are worse.
    Regards, Allan

  88. I understand why there’s some confusion about the RCP value of 2.6 in the first five categories. The 2.6 refers to the expected forcing amount measured in W/m^2.
    One can get to a 2.6 forcing many ways, but two important ones are, a relatively high ECS values, coupled with significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This is what is generally assumed by the IPCC, which will lead to confusion when viewing the table.
    However, another way to get to 2.6 is to assume that greenhouse gas emissions are not severely curtailed, but that the ECS value is much closer to 1.0. This second scenario is what I believe Brill intends; he doesn’t mean to imply that the first five groups are expecting or proposing drastic emission reduction.

  89. Steven Mosher says:
    “Model answers fall within the range established by observations.”
    Steve, did you really say that?
    I suggest, with due respect, that the climate models cited by the IPCC are crap (pls see Engineering Handbook for technical definition of “crap”).
    Regards, Allan
    Here is the evidence:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/28/models-fail-land-versus-sea-surface-warming-rates/#comment-1432696
    Reposted below regarding evidence of aerosol fudging of climate models, from DV Hoyt, for Pamela:
    Best personal regards, Allan
    Please also see
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/27/reactions-to-ipcc-ar5-summary-for-policy-makers/#comment-1431798
    and
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/19/uh-oh-its-models-all-the-way-down/#comment-1421394
    [excerpt]
    …– the (climate) models have probably “put the cart before the horse” – we know that the only clear signal in the data is that CO2 LAGS temperature (in time) at all measured time scales, from a lag of about 9 months in the modern database to about 800 years in the ice core records – so the concept of “climate sensitivity to CO2” (ECS) may be incorrect, and the reality may be “CO2 sensitivity to temperature”
    I think you would agree that the use of “CO2 sensitivity to temperature” instead of “climate sensitivity to CO2” (ECS) would require a major re-write of the models.
    If you wanted to stick with the ECS concept, then you would have to (as a minimum) delete the phony aerosol data, drop ECS to ~~1/10 of its current values, add some natural variation to account for the global cooling circa 1940-1975, and run the models. The results would probably project modest global warming that is no threat to humanity or the environment, and we know that just would not do. Based on past performance, the IPCC’s role is to cause fear due to alleged catastrophic global warming, even if this threat is entirely false, which is increasingly probable.
    Meanwhile, back at the aerosols:
    You may ask why the IPCC does NOT use the aerosol historic data in their models, but rather uses assumed values (different for each model and much different from the historic data) to fudge their models (Oops! I guess I gave away the answer – I should not have used the word “fudge”, I should have said “hindcast”).
    .
    [excerpt from]
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/15/one-step-forward-two-steps-back/#comment-1417805
    Parties interested in the fabrication of aerosol data to force-hindcast climate models (in order for the models to force-fit the cooling from ~1940 to ~1975, in order to compensate for the models’ highly excessive estimates of ECS (sensitivity)) may find this 2006 conversation with D.V. Hoyt of interest:
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=755
    Douglas Hoyt, responding to Allan MacRae:
    “July 22nd, 2006 at 5:37 am
    Measurements of aerosols did not begin in the 1970s. There were measurements before then, but not so well organized. However, there were a number of pyrheliometric measurements made and it is possible to extract aerosol information from them by the method described in:
    Hoyt, D. V., 1979. The apparent atmospheric transmission using the pyrheliometric ratioing techniques. Appl. Optics, 18, 2530-2531.
    The pyrheliometric ratioing technique is very insensitive to any changes in calibration of the instruments and very sensitive to aerosol changes.
    Here are three papers using the technique:
    Hoyt, D. V. and C. Frohlich, 1983. Atmospheric transmission at Davos, Switzerland, 1909-1979. Climatic Change, 5, 61-72.
    Hoyt, D. V., C. P. Turner, and R. D. Evans, 1980. Trends in atmospheric transmission at three locations in the United States from 1940 to 1977. Mon. Wea. Rev., 108, 1430-1439.
    Hoyt, D. V., 1979. Pyrheliometric and circumsolar sky radiation measurements by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory from 1923 to 1954. Tellus, 31, 217-229.
    In none of these studies were any long-term trends found in aerosols, although volcanic events show up quite clearly. There are other studies from Belgium, Ireland, and Hawaii that reach the same conclusions. It is significant that Davos shows no trend whereas the IPCC models show it in the area where the greatest changes in aerosols were occurring.
    There are earlier aerosol studies by Hand and in other in Monthly Weather Review going back to the 1880s and these studies also show no trends.
    So when MacRae (#321) says: “I suspect that both the climate computer models and the input assumptions are not only inadequate, but in some cases key data is completely fabricated – for example, the alleged aerosol data that forces models to show cooling from ~1940 to ~1975. Isn’t it true that there was little or no quality aerosol data collected during 1940-1975, and the modelers simply invented data to force their models to history-match; then they claimed that their models actually reproduced past climate change quite well; and then they claimed they could therefore understand climate systems well enough to confidently predict future catastrophic warming?”, he close to the truth.”
    _____________________________________________________________________
    Douglas Hoyt:
    July 22nd, 2006 at 10:37 am
    MacRae:
    Re #328 “Are you the same D.V. Hoyt who wrote the three referenced papers?”
    Hoyt: Yes
    .
    MacRae: “Can you please briefly describe the pyrheliometric technique, and how the historic data samples are obtained?”
    Hoyt:
    “The technique uses pyrheliometers to look at the sun on clear days. Measurements are made at air mass 5, 4, 3, and 2. The ratios 4/5, 3/4, and 2/3 are found and averaged. The number gives a relative measure of atmospheric transmission and is insensitive to water vapor amount, ozone, solar extraterrestrial irradiance changes, etc. It is also insensitive to any changes in the calibration of the instruments. The ratioing minimizes the spurious responses leaving only the responses to aerosols.
    I have data for about 30 locations worldwide going back to the turn of the century.
    Preliminary analysis shows no trend anywhere, except maybe Japan.
    There is no funding to do complete checks.”

  90. Hi, I’m Rich, I’m a lukewarmer, and my model says the ECS is 1.74K. So please make sure that your range at least includes that. I don’t think you can call it lukewarming if your estimate of ECS is above 2.5K, and even that’s pushing it a bit. 2.0K limit? Just my opinion of course.
    Rich.

  91. Funny – seems to me ECS is zero. Or 100. Or whatever, but whatever it is does not matter. By my observation CO2 is not the climate driver, it’s not even A climate driver. Whatever may or may not change with CO2 levels is quickly and efficiently compensated for and overwhelmed by water vapor, which is THE climate driver.
    I also predict that in years to come, as this “CO2 drives climate” myth is dismantled, people will wonder what it was that caused them to believe this. There is no correlation. CO2 levels continue rising as temperatures don’t. At some point the lack of correlation HAS to overwhelm confirmation bias and blind stubbornness. Even the most smug of the smarter-than-you crowd will see that CO2 DOES NOT DRIVE CLIMATE, in spite of what 56 million professional climate scientists plus wikipedia have determined unequivocally.

  92. Looks like the ‘lukewarmer’ ECS should perhaps be “0.1-1.0” to allow for the missing range between 0.2 and 1.0

  93. It would be interesting to expand the -columns- in this table.
    1) “What confidence does this group have that the Little Ice Age was real, global, and plausibly responsible for some significant slice of the observed warming somehow as ‘rebound’?”
    2) “What confidence does this group have that the surface temperature measurements are actually within their error estimates of the “True” Global Mean Surface Temperature?” (Which needs an engineering description something like ‘All cubic meters of 99+% gases that are within two meters of the solid surface, high-T + low-T averaged daily’)
    3) “What confidence does this group have in a global, significant MWP?”
    4) How about Mann’s Method?

  94. Barry, that’s an interesting first cut on a taxonomy. However, you left out “heretics”. I reject entirely the fundamental climate paradigm, that global temperature changes are a linear function of global forcing changes. That makes me a heretic.
    Instead, I say that emergent thermoregulatory climate phenomena such as thunderstorms, El Ninos, and others act in concert to keep the global surface temperature within narrow bounds ( ± 0.3°C over the 20th century).
    Equal representation for heretics! Our slogan is, One Heretic, One Vote!
    You need to carve out a new block, right at the top, for heretics who reject the church doctrine and have a viable, observationally supported alternate explanation for how the climate works.
    All the best,
    w.

  95. Willis Eschenbach says:
    October 8, 2013 at 6:01 pm
    I concur with Willis that there should be a category for those who reject, for whatever reason, the validity of the concept of ECS.
    That is IMO actually a more defensible position than the Slayers’.
    Among the Heretics might also be included those who reject the common Skeptical view that climate, like financial markets, have secular & cyclical trends & counter-trends, but is essentially chaotic, at least upon certain time frames.

  96. I don’t think these categories or the corresponding numbers work. “Skeptics” is a broad term, not a narrow one. It basically means anyone who thinks the ECS is below 2.0 at this point. So there’s some overlap with the mainstream.
    Likewise, Lukewarmers means anyone in the 0.5-2.0 range. Maybe you could reduce that slightly to 0.5-1.5, which is Richard Lindzen’s position, for example.
    Deniers would be those who say there’s simply no net climate effect at all from CO2.
    No one uses the name “Principia” in climate discussion, so that category means nothing.
    There’s no need for the category “Orthodoxy”, since any form of skepticism at this point is unorthodox. At this point it could only refer to the mainstream IPCC views.
    Also, the alarmist and activist categories overlap. Alarmists mean anything over 2.5, and activists can also stretch down that low, but with an emphasis that even that much warmer will prove disastrous (which should remind us that it’s not all about ECS, but also about the expected effects from any given amount of warming).

  97. Greg says:
    October 8, 2013 at 6:59 am
    Michael Moon says:What people believe is not interesting. What can be proven or disproven, that is interesting.
    What people believe determines whether we get carbon taxed out of existence. It matters.

    It may matter what people believe, but Michael Moon is right that it’s not (scientifically) interesting.
    It’s really silly to try to pigeonhole opinions on empirical questions according to ‘beliefs’. This is perhaps the most pointless post I’ve ever seen on WUWT. The issues are what we do and do not know about the Earth and its climate(s), not what we ‘believe’ might or might not be the case. Taxonomy is for plants and animals, not for scientific ideas.
    /Mr Lynn

  98. I agree that people like Lewanadowsky need to be slapped around for their public views.
    The table is perhaps trying to compartmentalise too many ideas all at once.
    Why for example is warming either happening, or paused? Can it not be cyclic, random, dependent on wind cycles, other.
    AGW yes/no. I believe we have an effect on our localised area, not that the atmosphere is not itself affected in any way. The temperature stations measure temperature at a height of 1.5m. The atmosphere is 40km height?
    The remedy column looks to be representative, no comments.
    On a hot day, we get storms in the evening. Convection is a cooling agent; CO2 cannot compete with a cooling rain.

  99. If two categories are insufficient, eight (or nine Willis) is still insufficient. Fifty shades of climate may start to reach an appropriate taxonomy.
    The chart is hugely biased with a category called ‘Remedy’ when some, for many different reasons, say bring warming on! Response may have been a better word.
    I for one think that dry bulb air temperature is the wrong yardstick (pun intended) for measuring heat. And heat content in the atmosphere is minuscule when compared to heat in the ocean. Come back when we have a half a dozen decades of reliable world wide ocean temperatures and we can talk.

  100. “I’ve appropriated the term “Skeptics” to cover the broad tent of opinion which accepts that there has been some global warming since the LIA, to which human activities would have made some (probably trivial) contribution, through increased GHG emissions.”
    and this group:
    …[L]ukewarmers are a subset of skeptics, who believe net feedbacks from warming to be slightly positive.”
    Are the same people. If you believe carbon dioxide can heat the atmosphere however trivially you are in fact a luke warmer,and there are of course, in fact, degrees of that set.
    SKEPTICS are those who are SKEPTICAL: i.e do not accept,
    the story that
    (1) the atmosphere heats the earth,
    (2)a specific component – atmospheric infrared resonant gas(es) is responsible for the handling of nearly ALL the heat.
    All the rest of you are warmers: from Luke Warm to Hair On Fire Zealots.
    You either believe the earth’s atmosphere heats the earth or you don’t.
    If you do, you’re a warmer.
    95% of you are afraid of an experiment I showed my wife just now as I explained your article and comments to her.
    She’s an engineering scientist in bridge and roadway design, managing the software suites the engineers who design bridges and roadways through various terrains from cliffside oceanic to swamp. She’s scientific method savvy and I use her as my stand-up comedy audience as I make fun of, ridicule, and mock warmers who can’t fathom which way a thermometer goes, even when THEY DO THE EXPERIMENTS.
    The level of scientific grasp among warmers really is past abysmal and here’s how bad it is:
    I was speaking to my wife about this subject of various divisions.
    I pointed out to her that 95% of you people here,
    believe the atmosphere,
    is responsibe for warming the earth.
    So she was in the bathroom sitting on the toilet, trying to tweeze a little hair that had turned back and grown in, along a crease in her knee. I was in the next room sitting in front of the computer and I saw a sorta ovid shaped, an egg-shapped jar, of hand creme she buys to put on our dog’s paws so the dogs don’t scratch stuff they do launches onto and off around the house.
    There was a milk crate, you know, a plasti milk crate, just like all of em, sitting in the corner of the bathroom where she sometimes sits or I do, when bathing these dogs.
    I picked up the hand creme and walked to the tub. I sat the hand creme in the floor of the tub, and I told my wife, “THAT’S the EARTH.”
    I turned on the shower, with the water, warm, and we have a kinda cool one where there’s a big round face on the shower head the size of a sunflower: like 6 inches across, and I turned this
    warm water, representing sunlight slamming into the earth,
    and I said THAT’S the SUN.
    I told her “there’s a gas atmosphere around the planet which blocks, prevents from getting to earth, about 40% of all the sunlight otherwise to impinge against the planet’s surface.
    I picked up the milk crate which of course has it’s squares and various triangular bracings to make it sustain holding cartons of liquid, yet remain lightweight: like the earth’s atmosphere, the crate, makes a screen: that BLOCKS some 20 or 30% of the WATER, from hitting the cold-creme plastic egg-shaped container.
    I said to my wife, “95% of the people at the world’s most popular science site,
    CAN’T FIGURE OUT THE CRATE STOPPING SOME of that HOT WATER from HITTING
    that HAND CREME JAR,
    COOLS
    that
    JAR.”
    She’s in engineering software management and only deals with real scientists, who do real work, where real science makes things stand up, or real people, die in accidents,
    so she understands what a scientific illiterate sounds like, and will fall for.
    She said to me “They don’t understand that?
    “Who are these people? ”
    =====
    Who these people are folks, are you guys.
    =====
    If a man cant take a hand creme jar,
    spray it with hot water,
    then put a milk crate over it and ask you the queston
    “Is the milk crate causing the temperature of the jar, to RISE, or FALL?”
    and get the right answer: the crate blocks about 20 or 30% of the water so the heat energy impacting the jar is LESS, therefore the milk crate COOLED the jar,
    then that’s the I.D.E.N.T.I.C.A.L.. position persons wishing to conduct scientifically accurate conversation with warmer religionists faces.
    You can’t even call warming warming, and cooling cooling.
    Your field of pseudo-bigfoot science calls adding screen blocking thermal input, HEATING it.
    Not COOLING it.
    So where is your credibility vis-a-vis the real sciences of the world were we don’t tolerate that kind of drivel passed off as reality based thinking?
    Sadly it puts climate scientists into the absolute bottom of the bin. They’re the LAST people you expect to answer ANY question correctly.
    Here’s another one from the real skeptics to the warmers – you here who – by virtue of stating outright you think the atmosphere heats the planet, are definitionally at LEAST a lukewarmer –
    If you have a mass and you are irradiating that mass with a light, the mass, will have a temperature it eventually reaches.
    If you then, place a second, smaller mass, in direct physical contact with that mass – say it’s a black marble – and you attach ANOTHER MASS, that the LIGHT can’t HEAT, but that can remove, through direct physical contact, – lets say you put that black marble into a pool of water that is contained below and on the sides in glass, the top’s open, and at first you heat the marble, and arrive at a temperature for it – this is the earth, without any atmosphere –
    you read a certain temperature for the marble.
    Now: you lower the marble, AND the light, THREE INCHES, until the MARBLE, is IMMERSED in the DISTILLED water WHICH THE LIGHT CAN NOT HEAT to anywhere NEAR the level it can the marble –
    In REAL SCIENCE the question ‘WHAT HAPPENS TO THE TEMPERATURE of the MARBLE when the ADDITIONAL MASS of the COOL FLUID BATH surrounds it?”
    the answer is “THE MARBLE is COOLED by the FLUID BATH it is IMMERSED in.”
    ====
    Here, where magical thermodynamics rules the local world, that marble is WARMED by the FRIGID FLUID BATH the marble’s immersed in.
    ——
    Do those of you who come here for science really believe that when you place a screen between a heat source and a marble, blocking 40% of the energy that would otherwise warm the marble, the screen WARMS the marble?
    If you do,
    you understand, that nobody’s ever going to take you serious anywhere but the Magic Gais-o-sphere, right?
    You’re not going to try to take this kind of perversity and sell it on the free marketplace of ideas because you’re going to be mocked and ridiculed so tersely you’ll wonder if maybe the Hari Krishnas at the airport would be a more popular science group for you to join.
    Don’t just say ‘Yes, I believe,”
    just because there seem to be 14 million dimwits on the internet who’ll say it first.

  101. Yes, S.R.V. the atmosphere reflects some incoming energy that would otherwise enter the system, but that doesn’t negate the atmosphere slowing the cooling of the surface. To continue your analogy to simulate the Earth a little better you’d have to alternate between water being on and water being off since the Earth rotates, the sunlit side is being warmed while the dark side is cooling. When the water is off the cold cream should sit in the crate (turn the crate over and put the cold cream inside), thus when the water is on the crate blocks some water, but when the water is off it serves to retain some water.
    The Earth would be like the Moon without the atmosphere, really hot during the day and really cold during the night.
    The atmosphere both cools the Earth and keeps it warm.

  102. Multidimesional scaling questions to a broad sample defining the aforementioned taxonomy of belief systems would work well and possibly define further categories of what is out there.

  103. CodeTech says:
    October 8, 2013 at 4:15 am

    nothing out of the ordinary is happening.
    However, the chart does look pretty close to how I see things.
    Alarmists and Activists are dangerous no matter what the cause and need to be reigned in somehow.

    Agree, pretty much entirely.
    But… it’s “reined in”. Horses, not kings. 😉

  104. SRV
    Having had a quick look at Wikipedia (liberal pinko institution that it is 😉 i think you might need to revise your hand creme bottle/milk crate model with a piece of Goretex
    Light, is not like water. Water molecules are all the same size. Light waves are not. Or, if you prefer “electromagnetic radiation” – of which visible light is just a sub set – is not all the same “size”. It has different wave lengths. Or “sizes” if we want to take a particle model approach to this (like you seem to want to)
    So (from Wikipedia) the light (or electromagnetic radiation/EM) coming in is short wave or “small”. Some of this is reflected back (“bounces off”). But that that gets through, is absorbed by (“hits”) the earth that hence becomes a bit hotter (“agitated”). Now in a more agitated state the earth emits long wave radiation (i.e. not visible, not “light” but still EM radiation ) that by your model is now LARGER balls than first arrived. Some of these balls (n.b. there are lots of sized balls coming off the earth, its called a spectrum!) hit the atmospheric “net” that is made up of greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, H20 etc)
    Now unlike the smaller balls that came down from the shower head/sun that mostly got through the gaps, a lot of these bigger balls get snarled up in the greenhouse gases (this gets a bit fiddly as it is the bonds within these molecules that get pinged by the big balls, not some sort of “net” between them). Now, having been joslted by the big balls, the green house gases are more agitated and ping off balls in all directions themselves. A lot of these goes up and away (think steam rising in your shower and out of the window) but a little less than half “drips back down” onto earth making it a bit wetter/hotter again.Hence – tara – the Greenhouse Effect.
    So much like Goretex, that only lets moisture travel one way through its layers, similarly the greenhouse gases are more permeable to incoming short/small wave radiation and hold up large/long wave radiation. (I believe that Goretex does this by having tiny holes that allow tiny gaseous water moelcules (steam) through but are too small to allow big clumpy water droplets through. But that is Pinkopedia again).
    What matters, of course, (think the difference between single, double and pinko-scandinavian-grade triple glaze, in our windows) is how thick the layers are. The suggestion is that adding to the thickness of the CO2 layer (e.g. 400 vs 280ppm of CO2) makes the earth warmer as it keeps in more of the long wave radiation/big balls bouncing back up/sweat in your waterproofs.
    So your model with water is fine if you put a layer of Goretex in there, to summarise.
    Hope that help you and your wife.

  105. My own opinion is that climate science isn’t even a science.
    * You can’t measure the earth’s temperature to within a few tenths of a degree.
    * There are little to no physical experiments done in climate science.
    * Far too much weight is put on computer models.
    * Climate science doesn’t even rest on a foundation of valid physical science. For example, the claim that Venus has such a high temperature due to CO2, when in fact it’s due to atmospheric pressure.
    I prefer to call climate science exactly what it is: political driven mumbo jumbo.
    ~magicjava

    This is where I sit, science is a process by which you examine the world around you, ask questions, propose explanations, and then test those explanations while also seeing if any predictions made are accurate.
    Correlation=Causation fallacies and using what the general public may as well consider magical black-box modeling to levy pressure on politicians and push absurd malthusian nonsense is not science, it’s like the worst parts of zealotry and election season mudslinging mixed up into a big ball of smart sounding stupid, which then stomps off and gets angry at the air while blaming everyone else for what it supposedly did, but didn’t actually do!

  106. I tried to express the logic of that taxonomic table in much simpler terms.
    Suppose you asked a hypothetical representative of each the eight groups these four questions:
    – Has there been warming in the last two decades?
    – Can man-made CO2 cause some warming?
    – Have you a fairly confident assessment of roughly how much man-made warming will be caused?
    – Given your assessment of roughly how much man-made warming will be caused, how do you assess the consequences?
    Then most of the answers could be ‘yes’ or ‘no’, or for the fourth something brief like ‘unclear but unlikely to be seriously bad’. Those questions and answers could be put into a table that would expose the distinctions between the eight groups. It seemed to work, but I can’t show my table on this comments system.
    Something as straightforward as that might make an impression on journalists, politicians and other non-scientists who are under the impression that a 97% consensus exists.

  107. The tiny proportion of CO2 in our atmosphere creates more of a smearing effect than a heating or blocking or trapping effect. It’s clear the rate of energy transfer in from the hot ball in the sky is fast and the rate of energy transfer out from cool water is slow. That’s great for our comfort, but has nothing to do with 400PPM of CO2.

  108. “Im sorry to go off topic here but this is so hilarious I was wondering if anyone else had heard it- apparently global warming will be responsible for a future jellyfish invasion??”
    Can a dual-qualified biologist and climatologist (for example, Tim Flannery if you’re reading this) explain to me why:
    – plants and animals that are either aesthetically pleasing or commercially important (coral, polar bears, seals, wheat etc) are SOOOOOOOO fragile that even given decades to accommodate / start growing 200km closer to the poles they will suffer mass extinctions, BUT
    – every animal we hate (jelly fish, mosquitoes, cockroaches, drop bears etc) will absolutely prosper in a warmer / more acid / dryer / more cyclone-prone environment??
    Thanks in advance.

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