The EPA is challenged in the Supreme Court over greenhouse gas regulations

It has not been a good week for the EPA. After wide media coverage yesterday put sunlight on the massive fraud of one of their top climate officials, now today, there is a challenge filed in SCOTUS.

I have been given the amici curiae brief. The cover reads:

amicus_epa

And the question posed is:

amicus_epa2

Since the document is password protected, I’m unable to do anything beyond post screencaps and the document itself. The brief was created by several well known climate sceptics, plus a former chairman of the EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory board.

The arguments are:

amicus_epa4 amicus_epa3

 

Read the entire submission (PDF) here: Amicus_curiae-EF_SC_Merit_12-1146etseq.tsacScientistsFinal_Final

 

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Bloke down the pub

They won’t be allowed to win that.

GoneWithTheWind

I wish them luck but I have no faith in the Supreme court as it is now staffed.

PRD

The Affordable Health Care Act decision has already shown that the SCOTUS can be:
a) bullied
b) bribed
c) threatened
d) blackmailed
e) all of the above

d)

LT

That is good news, the EPA is a burden to society they need tighter regulations placed on them than even a BP refinery.

AleaJactaEst

pi**ing in the wind, snowball in Hell’s, US winning the World Cup, not a prayer, the Arctic will be ice free in our lifetime. You get the message about how much chance this has of succeeding.

NeedleFactory

SCOTUS accepts for hearing only about 5% of the requests for Writ of Certiorari.
Don’t get your hopes up.

Monroe

When the SCOTUS is PC we are all in DS.

AnonyMoose

“I’m unable to do anything beyond post screencaps and the document itself.”
That depends on your PDF viewer. I’m able to copy text from it when using a different PDF viewer.

But the problem is far broader: the entirety of the regulatory regime for stationary source prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permits is literally nonsensical as applied to these gases, and CO2 in particular.

Box of Rocks

We need to show how massive the intellectual fraud that teh EPA has committed.
The real trial of Al Gores’s crimes against humannity is the one trial that will never happen though.

John S.

Didn’t the Supreme Court already rule back in 2007 that Carbon Dioxide was a pollutant that could be regulated by the EPA?

wow, what a horribly written document.
clue never say your opponents argument makes no sense. Chances are you are misunderstanding or misrepresenting and failing to take your opponents argument seriously is a tactic that fails more often than it succeeds.

JA

The SCOTUS will decide this on LEGAL grounds, not on its scientific grounds. Congress, in its stupidity and negligence, gave the EPA the legal authority to determine what is environmentally sound or not , and what is considered “scientific” proof.
If the EPA determines for political or ideological reasons that certain regulations must be enacted, even if based on FRAUDALENT “science,” the EPA can always present a scientific rationale to prove their point. In this case, the criminal fraud of AGW will be trotted out as justification.
After all, climate science is much like economic “science;” controlled experiments are impossible and the data can be explained to conform to your political ideology and an explanation after-the-facts is ALWAYS found.
The SCOTUS must answer the central question, ” does the EPA have the LEGAL authority to impose their decision?” The science is really not going to be central to the decision.

David L. Hagen

See ScotusBlog.com for further documents on the Utility Air Regulatory Group v Environmental Protection Agency
SC Docket No. 12-1146, Op Below: D. C. Cir.; Argument: Feb 24, 2014, Questions Presented

LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: Whether EPA permissibly determined
that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered
permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit
greenhouse gases.

Steven Mosher said:
December 17, 2013 at 10:19 am
clue never say your opponents argument makes no sense. Chances are you are misunderstanding or misrepresenting and failing to take your opponents argument seriously is a tactic that fails more often than it succeeds.
——————–
And he should know 😉

David L. Hagen

For the previous Supreme Court ruling see Massachussets v EPA; 549 U.S. 497

pokerguy

“snowballs chance etc.”
Negative defeatists many of you. There are people out there fighting your battles. What are you guys doing, except whining?

thisisnotgoodtogo

“wow, what a horribly written document.
The fake scientist offers a post of his own to use as an example.

thisisnotgoodtogo

How is it that oxygen has not been ruled to be a pollutant?
Look at what damage it can do.

Richard D

Negative defeatists many of you. There are people out there fighting your battles. What are you guys doing, except whining?
+++++++++++++++++++
Well said.

John S. at 10:15 am
Didn’t the Supreme Court already rule back in 2007 that Carbon Dioxide was a pollutant that could be regulated by the EPA?
Not exactly. SCOTUS ruled that the EPA could use the Clean Air Act (CAA) to regulate CO2 if the EPA Administrator found that CO2 could be classified as a pollutant under the CAA. That is one reason for Obama’s “Carbon Pollution” terminology invention this year. CO2 must be a “pollutant” for the CAA to apply.

On December 7, 2009, the Administrator signed two distinct findings regarding greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act:
•Endangerment Finding: The Administrator finds that the current and projected concentrations of the six key well-mixed greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) — in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.
•Cause or Contribute Finding: The Administrator finds that the combined emissions of these well-mixed greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle engines contribute to the greenhouse gas pollution which threatens public health and welfare.
These findings do not themselves impose any requirements on industry or other entities. However, this action was a prerequisite for implementing greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles. In collaboration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, EPA finalized emission standards for light-duty vehicles (2012-2016 model years) in May of 2010 and heavy-duty vehicles (2014-2018 model years) in August of 2011.

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment/
Signed by the Administrator Dec. 7, 2009 ( a date that will live in Infamy)
Final rule published in the Federal Register, Dec. 15, 2009
Rule Effective Jan. 14, 2010.
I think the one of the most vulnerable aspects of the EPA rule is that the Clean Air Act specifies that emissions above 100 and 250 Tons per year for pollutants be regulated. This level, specified by Congress in the law, is an absurdly low figure in regards to CO2. So the EPA is “tailoring” the rule, i.e. rewriting the CAA requirements, to allow them to regulate the big stuff, and gradually tighten the noose.
Thanks to Justice Roberts, what words are used and not used in laws, is increasingly becoming irrelevant these days.

Existing Clean Air Act statutory thresholds for criteria pollutants are 100 and 250 tons per year (TPY). If GHG emissions were subject to those thresholds, then, according to EPA estimates, 82,000 PSD permits would be required each year and 6 million facilities would require Title V operating permits. Many commercial establishments, apartment buildings, hospitals and schools could find themselves subject to EPA regulation under current thresholds. Thus, on the basis of administrative necessity, EPA is “tailoring” its requirements to reach the largest GHG emitters first.
Under Step 1 of the “tailoring” rule (January 2-June 30, 2011), sources already subject to PSD requirements would be required to implement GHG BACT requirements if a modification results in an emissions increase of 75,000 tpy or more of GHGs. Under Step 2 (July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2013), PSD permitting requirements will cover new construction projects that emit GHG emissions of at least 100,000 tpy even if they do not exceed the permitting thresholds for any other pollutant. Modifications of existing facilities that increase GHG emissions by at least 75,000 tpy will be subject to permitting requirements even if they do not significantly increase emissions of any other pollutant…….
…..
The tailoring rule also commits EPA to conduct another rulemaking that will determine whether certain smaller sources can be permanently excluded from permitting. EPA will not require permits for smaller sources until at least April 30, 2016.
Current Status
On June 26th, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously upheld EPA’s authority to set emissions limits for GHGs. The Court affirmed EPA’s Endangerment Finding, Mobile Source rules and upheld the Tailoring Rule on the grounds that plaintiffs lacked standing. While this litigation was pending, EPA initiated a number of steps necessary to regulate GHGs.
(Source: http://businessroundtable.org/studies-and-reports/regulation-of-greenhouse-gas-emissions-under-the-clean-air-act/)

DGP

Steven Mosher is clearly not familiar with the “absurd results” justification that the EPA used to “tailor” the CAA to GHG.

Given the Obamacare decision by this court, I could see them rule that Congress has given the EPA the right to make regulations regardless of any science involved.

Pause?

@JA at 10:21 am
Congress, in its stupidity and negligence, gave the EPA the legal authority to determine what is environmentally sound or not , and what is considered “scientific” proof.
Right you are. Correcting that mistake is worth a government shutdown at the next debt limit. Part of the Dept Limit extension should have a law requiring all EPA rules to be passed by both houses of Congress. The EPA can write all the rules they want, but none should any effect of law until the People’s elected representatives, their lawmakers, approve. Without this rebalance of power between the Executive and Legislative branches, we no longer have a Republic in the USA.

Theo Goodwin

Stephen Rasey says:
December 17, 2013 at 10:57 am
I think Stephen got everything right. In brief, the question is whether the EPA has the authority to do all this “tailoring” and “fixing” to their rules. In my fallible judgement, the EPA’s tailoring and fixing amount to rewriting existing rules that are specified in statutes. In other words, the EPA is legislating. The long term solution is to pass legislation that restricts the EPA’s power. In the short run, maybe SCOTUS will hear this case. Given the administration’s recent rewriting of much of the healthcare act, maybe five justices will decide that it is time to send a message about the integrity of statutes and separation of powers.

The GCM/observation comparison graph is pretty creative, I’ll give them that.
I’m not entirely sure how the discussion of the tropical hotspot is supposed to counter the EPA’s argument that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and increasing concentrations warm the earth The tropical hot spot is not a signature of anthropogenic forcing per se; any external forcing should result in similar patterns. The fact that they are not observed (provided observations are correct) is in indictment of the models more than the basic physics.

Alan Robertson

Box of Rocks says:
December 17, 2013 at 10:06 am
We need to show how massive the intellectual fraud that teh EPA has committed.
The real trial of Al Gores’s crimes against humannity is the one trial that will never happen though.
_____________________
Yes, but win tonight’s drawing for the immense MegaMillions lottery jackpot and you too can be as rich as All Gore, (but not as rich as the corporate donor to POTUS which earns billions and billions tax free from sales of its wind generators or the rich Obama donor who makes billions from the transport of Canadian tar- sands crude instead of safe, logical pipeline transport, or …)

William Astley

It sounds as if the EPA is not interested scientific arguments that get in the way of their agenda. The following is a link to a review paper by EPA own scientist concerning what portion of the warming in the last 70 years was caused by the increase in atmospheric CO2 vs natural causes.
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/endangermentcommentsv7b1.pdf
“Technical Support Document for Endangerment Analysis for Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act”
I have become increasingly concerned that EPA has itself paid too little attention to the science of global warming. EPA and others have tended to accept the findings reached by outside groups, particularly the IPCC and the CCSP, as being correct without a careful and critical examination of their conclusions and documentation. If they should be found to be incorrect at a later date, however, and EPA is found not to have made a really careful independent review of them before reaching its decisions on endangerment, it appears likely that it is EPA rather than these other groups that may be blamed for any errors. Restricting the source of inputs into the process to these these two sources may make EPA’s current task easier but it may come with enormous costs later if they should result in policies that may not be scientifically supportable. The failings are listed below in decreasing order of importance in my view: (See attached for details.)
1. Lack of observed upper tropospheric heating in the tropics (see Section 2.9 for a detailed discussion).
2. Lack of observed constant humidity levels, a very important assumption of all the IPCC models, as CO2levels have risen (see Section 1.7).
3. The most reliable sets of global temperature data we have, using satellite microwave sounding units, show no appreciable temperature increases during the critical period 1978-1997, just when the surface station data show a pronounced rise (see Section 2.4). Satellite data after 1998 is also inconsistent with the GHG/CO2/AGW hypothesis 2009 v
4. The models used by the IPCC do not take into account or show the most important ocean oscillations which clearly do affect global temperatures, namely, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, and the ENSO (Section 2.4). Leaving out any major potential causes for global warming from the analysis results in the likely misattribution of the effects of these oscillations to the GHGs/CO2 and hence is likely to overstate their importance as a cause for climate change.
5. The models and the IPCC ignored the possibility of indirect solar variability (Section 2.5), which if important would again be likely to have the effect of overstating the importance of GHGs/CO2.
6. The models and the IPCC ignored the possibility that there may be other significant natural effects on global temperatures that we do not yet understand (Section 2.4). This possibility invalidates their statements that one must assume anthropogenic sources in order to duplicate the temperature record. The 1998 spike in global temperatures is very difficult to explain in any other way (see Section 2.4).
7. Surface global temperature data may have been hopelessly corrupted by the urban heat island effect and other problems which may explain some portion of the warming that would otherwise be attributed to GHGs/CO2. In fact, the Draft TSD refers almost exclusively in Section 5 to surface rather than satellite data.
I might add the warming in the last 70 years does not match the signature of AGW warming. As CO2 is more or less evenly distributed in the atmosphere and the amount of warming is directly proportional to the amount of long wave radiation that is emitted at the latitude in question before the increase in CO2 the most amount of warming should have occurred in the tropics. That is not what is observed.
http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/figure-72.png http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.0581.pdf
“These effects do not have the signature associated with CO2 climate forcing. (William: This observation indicates something is fundamental incorrect with the IPCC models, likely negative feedback in the tropics due to increased or decreased planetary cloud cover to resist forcing). However, the data show a small underlying positive trend that is consistent with CO2 climate forcing with no-feedback. (William: This indicates a significant portion of the 20th century warming has due to something rather than CO2 forcing.)”… ….“These conclusions are contrary to the IPCC [2007] statement: “[M]ost of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/16/about-that-missing-hot-spot/

kim

Heh, Zeke, it seems the question is not to the basic physics, but to the EPA’s faith in the models.
=============

cave horse

http://grist.org/climate-energy/reddits-science-forum-banned-climate-deniers-why-dont-all-newspapers-do-the-same/
“Like our commenters, professional climate change deniers have an outsized influence in the media and the public. And like our commenters, their rejection of climate science is not based on an accurate understanding of the science but on political preferences and personality. As moderators responsible for what millions of people see, we felt that to allow a handful of commenters to so purposefully mislead our audience was simply immoral.”

gofigure560

Here’s a simple summary that even lawyers should be able to understand. Hopefully SCOTUS is reading something similar:
The physicist Richard Feynman said that it doesn’t matter how smart or powerful you are, if your hypothesis is contradicted by the empirical data, you need a new hypothesis. The anthropogenic global warming hypothesis claims that the increasing level of carbon dioxide (co2) due to human activities (largely related to burning fossil fuels) causes global warming. The “evidence” backing that claim is dubious, at best.
“The seas are rising!”. The seas have been rising (except for a possible few hundred years of reversal during the Little Ice Age) for the past 18,000 years, ever since the last (real) ice age began melting. Sea level is now up 400+ feet. The current ANNUAL sea level rise is 1 to 2 mm per YEAR! ( 1 mm = .0393701 inches.) This is miniscule and likely overwhelmed by measurement error. Some perspective may help. There have been 13 ice ages in the past 1.3 million years. The average duration of each ice age during that period was 90,000 years. Each ice age has been followed by a warming (interglacial) period, (such as the one we now enjoy) average duration 10,000 years. When there is no further increase in sea level you can bet that the next ice age (or at least a Little Ice Age) is beginning.
The statistics clearly show that extreme weather events (typhoons, hurricanes, tornados, floods, droughts) have been even less frequent and less severe than usual over the past couple of decades. Even many scientists who back the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis are embarrassed by uninformed folks blaming such events on global warming.
The latest UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) admits (at least in one version of its report) that current temperatures are the highest in the past 800 years. This is, finally, a reversal by the UN, now admitting that the Medieval Warming Period (MWP) was a global event and experienced higher temperatures than now. Human activity was not responsible for that warming period (and co2 level was apparently not rising.) Earlier warming periods during this interglacial had even higher temperatures. Many “scientists” originally claimed that our current warming could not be explained, so must have been caused by human activity. (That is pure speculation, not evidence, certainly no different than what a cave-man might have concluded. Before casting aside the default assumption, which is natural climate variation, there must be evidence.) Finally, there has been no additional increase in temperature over the past 17 years, even as the co2 level has continued to increase. In fact, of the five global temperature datasets, (3 terrestrial, 2 satellite), all show a current 5 year cooling trend , and 4 of the 5 show a current 10 year cooling trend!
The beginning of our current warming (such as it is) is generally associated with the beginning of our industrial revolution. But there is no justification for that cherry-picked start-date. Our current warming actually began, by definition, at the bottom (the low temperature) of the Little Ice Age, which happened in the mid 1600s. That’s two centuries of warming BEFORE both the industrial revolution and co2 began increasing.
The only known correlation between global temperature variation and co2 variation is over geologic periods and is clear. It shows temperature variation being mimicked, hundreds of years later, by co2 changes. (That’s just the carbon cycle at work. Oceans outgas when warmer, and absorb gas during cooling periods.) During the most recent cooling period (1940s to 1970s) co2 continued to rise. More recently, as temperature remained flat, and now has begun dropping, co2 continues to rise. Moreover, co2 has been 10 to 20 times higher than now in the more distant past, been much higher during two ice ages and going into once ice age. There does not appear to be any nearby “trigger”. Also, the physics is clear: co2 at 20ppmv (parts per million by volume) will have already consumed 50% of the relatively narrow sun energy bandwidths available to it for absorption. Co2 is now at 400ppmv, so its absorption capability is severely diminished (basically gone.)
All the computer models which project global warming assume that the real greenhouse gas culprit is water vapor, which supposedly provides a positive feedback, bringing on a temperature increase 2 to 3 times greater than that brought on by increasing co2. This feedback assumption is speculative at best. NOBODY yet understands climate feedbacks. In fact, cloud cover, one aspect of water vapor, likely provides a negative (offsetting) feedback. This unjustifiable assumption in the models appears to be consistent with their output, since all have grossly overestimated the actual temperature increase. (In any case, computer model output is NOT evidence of anything apart from the understanding and possible biases of the authors!)
Co2 volume in the atmosphere is 4/100 of one percent. This is also referred to as 400 parts per million by volume (ppmv), or .0004. The total contribution, so far, of co2 increase brought on by human activity now represents less than 5% of the co2 in the atmosphere. Thus human activity is, so far, responsible for at most 5% of the 4/100 of one percent. (.05 X .0004 = .00002, a very small proportion.) The US is responsible for perhaps 30 percent of that, and our contribution has been dropping recently due to economic conditions and our recent move from coal to natural gas. Obama is promising to reduce that 30% by 17% over the next several years. But the cost to our economy (which also affects other countries) is clearly gigantic, and, even if successful, would have an impact on temperature so miniscule that the theoretical improvement would not be discernable. Hundreds of billions (if not trillions) in cost and NO IMPROVEMENT !
I have yet to hear even one coherent attempt at rebuttal. So far the only “rebuttals” rely on “appeals to authority” (hardly relevant when it is “authority” which is in question). Another response depends on “consensus” (scientific conclusions are not decided by votes, but this claim is ridiculous because it’s based on, at most, two completely bogus surveys). Then there is the inane effort by some, to completely ignore the science and instead attempt to psychoanalyze skeptics. Michael Mann (infamous “hockey stick graph” author) responds to scientific criticisms, by ignoring the facts presented and instead asking whether the reader prefers to have their gall bladder taken out by a dentist.
It does seem clear that human activity is contributing to the increase in carbon dioxide. However, some perspective, again, is needed. By 2099 the co2 level is projected to reach 600 ppmv (this assumes a continuation of the annual increase of 2ppmv per year). A crowded gym with poor venting would likely be at 1000 ppmv. Submarine crews work, for months, in atmospheres of 3000 to 5000+ ppmv. Plants LOVE the increased co2 level and, in that environment, require less water. Scientists have acknowledged that earlier lifeforms not unlike our own survived in co2 levels which were many times higher than now.
We have time, and technology may come up with sensible solutions long before the co2 level is a problem. In this case invoking the “precautionary principle” will likely solve nothing and bring on much larger problems. Don’t let the politicians introduce this hobgoblin!

cave horse:
May I translate? Thank you:
“We CENSOR comments that do not follow the alarmist narrative.”
That’s about it, isn’t it? And in fewer words.

co2 will now be forever labeled as a tax.
but it is encouraging to see people trying. really encouraging.

@Zeke Hausfather at 11:20 am
With difference to Justice Roberts, words mean things.
to counter the EPA’s argument that CO2 is a greenhouse gas>;
No, EPA’s argument is that CO2 is a greenhouse gas pollutant.
and increasing concentrations warm the earth.
It is an endangerment finding, so they must show not only that warming the earth causes more [harm] than good, but that the net harm raises to the level of endangerment to the overall [environment]. Geologic history is a pretty fair counter argument.
The fact that they are not observed (provided observations are correct) is in indictment of the models more than the basic physics.
According to the “basic physics” the long term climate sensitivity has what natural value?
What part of the “basic physics” classifies CO2 as a pollutant?
What part of the “basic physics” classifies CO2 as a danger to the environment?
The EPA cannot make the finding on the basic physics. They must make use of the models. If you think the models are under indictment, then so is the finding.

MarkB

Steven Mosher says:
December 17, 2013 at 10:19 am
wow, what a horribly written document.
clue never say your opponents argument makes no sense. Chances are you are misunderstanding or misrepresenting and failing to take your opponents argument seriously is a tactic that fails more often than it succeeds.

I’m not a lawyer, but it perhaps it makes more sense if one keeps in mind that it’s a legal brief rather than a scientific document.

ShrNfr

This amicus is support of a previous writ of certiorari to the SCOTUS that was previously submitted. The case is known as: Chamber of Commerce v. EPA. The writ itself is based on the expansion of the regulation of CO2 emissions from vehicles to stationary sources. I do not expect the SCOTUS to rule on AGW or the lack thereof. The point of law behind this is simple. If the plain language of the enabling legislation states that the EPA can regulate horses, can they then regulate frogs? On its face, the answer should be no, but there have been many strange decisions over time.
I regard this amicus as less than fundamental to the case. Nice to have perhaps, but not central.

Stephen Richards

Judges appointed by Barry, controlled by Barry no contest. EPA 1 common sense 0

DirkH

Stephen Rasey says:
December 17, 2013 at 11:56 am
“The EPA cannot make the finding on the basic physics. They must make use of the models. If you think the models are under indictment, then so is the finding.”
Well said. I’m so sick and tired of the “basic physics” argument by Mosher, Hausfather, Gavin Schmidt and David Appell. They all gloss over the obvious failure of the all the kings best men to put a basic model of the basic physics to work that predicts the basic climate of the basic planet.

talldave2

It shouldn’t matter. Congress clearly never intended this EPA action, hence it is unlawful.

MattS

The brief reads as a brief on the merits. Has SCOTUS already accepted the case for review or is the amicus supporting the request for certiorari?
If the case has already been accepted for review, the petitioner’s odds of winning go up significantly.

darrylb

Any person, group or organization, left to its own will do what is necessary to survive and increase its power and influence. Having three branches of government to put checks and balances on each other was an amazing experiment.
Oversight authority has been granted but often falls short if there is not adequate balance.
Consider the IPCC:
If the question set before the IPCC was to determine all factors which may influence any changes in climate instead of ‘Do certain human activities, in particular the emission of so call greenhouse gases show an effect on climate’ the obvious bias it has taken simply to exist would not have been so pronounced.
Currently, the executive branch of the US has greatly exceeded its Constitutional powers.
It is attempting to bypass congress in several ways; one being with its collusion with the EPA.
I am sure that anyone reading this is aware of several US governmental agencies trying illegally to extend the agencies powers.
At any rate, I am very glad to see this action regardless of the magnitude of the outcome. – and I expect it may not be too much. But everything is something.
I expect many of us here do whatever is necessary to make local media of aware of what is happening (even if they do not appreciate it)

William Astley

In reply to:
Zeke Hausfather says:
December 17, 2013 at 11:20 am
The GCM/observation comparison graph is pretty creative, I’ll give them that.
I’m not entirely sure how the discussion of the tropical hotspot is supposed to counter the EPA’s argument that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and increasing concentrations warm the earth The tropical hot spot is not a signature of anthropogenic forcing per se; any external forcing should result in similar patterns. The fact that they are not observed (provided observations are correct) is in indictment of the models more than the basic physics.
William:
Due to the overlap of the absorption spectrum of water and CO2 most of the predicted warming due to the increase in CO2 is a high altitudes (two or three times surface warming) in the atmosphere where there is less and less water (20 to 40 times less water depending on altitude). As there is no tropical tropospheric warming at high altitudes in the troposphere that indicates there are one or more fundamental errors in the general circulation models. The GCMs surprise, surprise, surprise predict two to three times too much warming.
Any warming due to CO2 is not dangerous warming due to CO2. The IPCC’s own analysis indicates the warming less than 2C is most beneficial. Now as the actual warming is restricted to high latitude regions the warming is unequivocally beneficial as the growing season in high latitude regions is limited by minimum summer temperature and number of frost free days.
http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/barrett_ee05.pdf
Greenhouse molecules, their spectra and function in the atmosphere by Jack Barrett
The absorption values for the pre-industrial atmosphere add up to 86.9%, significantly lower than the combined value of 72.9%. This occurs because there is considerable overlap between the spectral bands of water vapour and those of the other GHGs. If the concentration of CO2 were to be doubled in the absence of the other GHGs the increase in absorption would be 1.5%. In the presence of the other GHGs the same doubling of concentration achieves an increase in absorption of only 0.5%, only one third of its effect if it were the only GHG present. Whether this overlap effect is properly built into models of the atmosphere gives rise to some scepticism…. …..On a radiative-alone basis, the 47.7 K of warming may be divided up into contributions from water and carbon dioxide from the figures given in Table 2 and amount to 37.4 K from water and 9.3 K from carbon dioxide. The water contribution should then be reduced by the cooling effect from evaporation to 24.0 K. The above calculations apply only to the first 100 m of the atmosphere and water is less and less effective in comparison to carbon dioxide as altitude increases. This is because the contribution to the atmospheric content of water reduces very rapidly with altitude, the ever-lower temperatures determining that the water vapour content decreases, that of carbon dioxide only decreasing with the decreasing pressure. At sea level the mean molecular ratio of water vapour to CO2 is around 23, but at an altitude of 10 km the value is as low as 0.2. It would be expected that more CO2 would have a greater effect on atmospheric warming at higher altitudes, but this seems not to be occurring in spite of the predictions of most GCMs.
http://icecap.us/images/uploads/DOUGLASPAPER.pdf
A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions
We examine tropospheric temperature trends of 67 runs from 22 ‘Climate of the 20th Century’ model simulations and try to reconcile them with the best available updated observations (in the tropics during the satellite era). Model results and observed temperature trends are in disagreement in most of the tropical troposphere, being separated by more than twice the uncertainty of the model mean. In layers near 5 km, the modelled trend is 100 to 300% higher than observed, and, above 8 km, modelled and observed trends have opposite signs. These conclusions contrast strongly with those of recent publications based on essentially the same data.

This is one of at least eight briefs filed in this case. This amicus brief is only advisory to the Court. The Court will consider the question or questions raised in the petitioners’ briefs.
More later, hopefully tonight 12-17-13.

Resourceguy

Surely there must have been a few other instances in history in which practical evidence ran counter to jurists leanings to such an extent as to relent to the truth eventually—such as failed global warming science by decree. What was the lag time on slavery for example?

Nullius in Verba

“The tropical hot spot is not a signature of anthropogenic forcing per se; any external forcing should result in similar patterns.”
The tropical hotspot is a signature of water vapour feedback causing a change in the moist adiabatic lapse rate. A moister atmosphere has a shallower lapse rate (lower gradient wrt altitude) as well as being shifted higher. The lapse rate and AGW partially cancel near the surface, but reinforce one another above the average altitude of emission to space.
Its absence suggest that the water vapour level is not increasing as expected, reducing the magnification of the basic 1 C/2xCO2 sensitivity from CO2 alone. It’s quite true that it poses no problem for the basic AGW mechanism, but it is potentially highly significant for the issue of the feedbacks, which turn it into a scare.
But since we already have other indications that sensitivity is lower than the models project, this is perhaps not such a surprise.

Some of you have gotten pretty clever trying to inject real science in the discussion of greenhouse gases. As a former Secretary of state said “What difference does it make?

Arno Arrak

Worth a try but I don’t expect much from the guys who who gave us the pseudo-scientific Endangerment decision..

timetochooseagain

Zeke-I have not yet taken the time to read this particular brief, however, you misrepresent the EPA’s argument. It appears you are attempting to set up a sort of reverse strawman:
Where an ordinary strawman misrepresents an opponent’s argument in an effort to make any easier target for undermining, you have attempted to take the argument on your own side and misrepresent in as a more *defensible* argument, but one which is *not sufficient* for the EPA’s action.You represent the EPA’s argument as “that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and increasing concentrations warm the earth.” But this is not the EPA’s argument, or rather, it is not the whole of it. Because, by itself, this argument is *insufficient* to justify regulation. To justify regulation it is necessary to show *endangerment to health and welfare of the people of the United States.* The EPA made a number of completely erroneous arguments that there was endangerment to the health and welfare of the people of the United States, both *presently* and in the *future*. The *future* endangerment is contingent in significant part on the magnitude of future warming and therefore requires accurate modeling to assess. The *current* endangerment, does not actually exist, and required the EPA to either misrepresent known science, or rely on government reports *that misrepresent known science.*
Resourceguy: Dred Scot v. Sanford was in 1857, if that is the court case you are thinking of. The court never overturned that decision, but in 1865, Slavery was abolished by the 13th Amendment.
The dates for Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education were 1896 and 1954, respectively, which gives a good sense for how long it can take the Supreme Court to overturn a ruling.

@Bloke down the Pub – You have been studying the SCOTUS too long. I fear you have arrived at a correct conclusion.

Truthseeker