Why Climate Change Doesn't Scare Me

Guest essay by Walter Starck

Be scared, the experts tell us, be very scared. Well there is certainly cause for concern, but not about those “rising” temperatures, which refuse to confirm researchers’ computer models. A far bigger worry is the corruption that has turned ‘science’ into a synonym for shameless, cynical careerism

Despite the increasingly shrill insistence by climate alarmists that we face an imminent  catastrophe, reason and evidence continue to indicate otherwise. Both the theoretical understanding of anthropogenic global warming (a.k.a. climate change) and the empirical evidence remain highly uncertain, tainted by dubious claims and manipulations.

While the basic physics of infrared heat absorption by CO2 is well established, both theoretical understanding and real world evidence strongly indicate the effect of increased CO2 in the complex dynamics of the global climate system has been greatly exaggerated. The amount of back-radiated infrared energy from the planet’s surface is limited and is not increased by more CO2 in the air above. Although a small amount of COin the air results in significant warming, this effect is quickly saturated. At pre-industrial levels of CO2 the portion of the IR spectrum in the absorption bands of CO2 was already 99.9% absorbed within a few tens of metres of the surface. Although doubling CO2 must halve the distance over which such absorption occurs, any increased heating near the surface is continuously distributed into a much larger volume of the atmosphere by wind, convection and turbulence. How close to the surface initial warming occurs has minimal effect on the total amount of heat energy being absorbed or on the temperature of the much larger volume of atmosphere into which it is being mixed.

However, concentrating the initial heating nearer to the surface must also strengthen both convection and evaporation which, in turn, increases transport of heat away from the surface to higher in the troposphere, where the increased evaporation then results in increased condensation.  In this process the latent heat of evaporation absorbed from the surface is released high in the atmosphere, where the thinner gases permit it to radiate into space.  At the same time more cloud cover and precipitation also results, acting as a further negative feedback to cool the surface.

A shadehouse is not a greenhouse

To call the warming induced by CO2 a greenhouse effect is highly misleading.  A greenhouse affects its warming by enclosing the air inside with walls and a roof.  Without a roof only very limited warming is possible before convection wafts away heated air like a hot air balloon.  A greenhouse with no roof or walls, where the warm air is free to blow away with the wind or drift into the sky is something only an academic could imagine. (Note to climate experts: a greenhouse without a roof does not work.)

A better analogy for the effect of increased atmospheric CO2 might be that presented by an absorption refrigerator – an old-fashioned gas or kerosene fridge. In such systems a heat source is used to drive an evaporative cooling cycle, much as the warm surface temperature of the planet drives convection, augmented by the evaporation/condensation cycle, to cool the lower troposphere and transport heat to greater altitudes where reduced gas density permits it to radiate away.

The so called greenhouse effect is limited. No heat is being “trapped” by a greenhouse with no walls or roof. The real world effect of more CO2 is much more like that of a shade house equipped with evaporative cooling.

Dubious evidence of anthropogenic warming

The prime physical evidence for AGW is the global temperature record.  Declaring an emergency because some researchers claim to have detected an average warming of three-quarters of a degree over the past century (amidst a highly variable and extremely noisy record spanning over 100 degrees) borders on hysteria. For a start, the amount of warming being claimed is less than the margin of uncertainty.   A similar amount of warming commonly takes place many mornings while we eat breakfast. It also occurs with a decrease in elevation of about a hundred metres, or with a decrease in latitude of about 2° (ca. 200 km). Orders of magnitude warming occur seasonally, even daily in many places. Not only is the purported amount not alarming, we have no idea how much of it is due to CO2 and how much may be attributable to measurement error, the urban heat island effect, ‘adjustments’ to the record, natural cycles or other natural causes of variability. Even more absurd is that the only global effect of increased CO2 about which we are reasonably certain is that there has been a significant and very beneficial greening of arid regions, plus an enhancement of food production.

The mild warming trend from 1978 to 1998 which prompted the global warming hysteria followed a period of cooling which excited similar alarm about a coming ice age. This warming ceased almost two decades ago and mild cooling now appears to be taking place. In recent years the rate of sea-level rise has also declined. Hurricanes and tornadoes are at record lows. Polar sea ice is increasing. Blizzards, droughts and floods are below past extremes.  Attributing every vagary of weather to anthropogenic climate change is not reasonable, not science and definitely not honest.

Conflicting evidence ignored

Other “evidence” claimed for climate change is equally dubious. Two recent studies, for example, have received wide news coverage. The first maintains that trade winds are driving surface heat into the ocean depths, where it cannot be measured, and this explains the lack of recent warming. The second study claims to explain the “collapse” of the West Antarctic ice sheet.  Both these studies fail the fundamental scientific requirement in their refusal to address conflicting evidence.

If the missing surface heat was indeed being driven into the deep sea this would have to appear as distinct deep water warming in the record from the global network of ocean monitoring buoys. It does not. It would also have to appear as an increased rate of sea level rise, due to the thermal expansion of the oceans which would necessarily accompany any such warming. To the contrary, the rate of sea level rise has declined in recent years.

The so called “collapse” of the West Antarctic ice sheet is likewise claimed to be caused by melting due to warming seas; however, the thirty-five year record from satellite monitoring of sea ice around Antarctica presents a clear trend of increasing ice cover with the recent extent at record highs. A better explanation for any increased glacial flow might be that the increasing snowfall, also recorded, is increasing the flow of ice as the Antarctic ice cap is already at the level to induce plastic flow. The more snow and ice that falls on the ice cap, the higher will be the pressure driving glacial flow. When glaciers retreat, climate alarmists say it is due to global warming. When they advance, alarmists re-badge it as “acceleration”, and that too is claimed to be evidence of warming.

In view of the uncertain and conflicting evidence, the claim that there is a 97% scientific consensus regarding climate change says more about the corruption of science than it does about any change in the climate.

Models are not evidence

Projections from computer models of the global climate have been presented as firm “evidence” for future warming, but models are not evidence. There are about a hundred different climate models. None has been verified, no two agree and none reproduce the actual temperature record. Moreover, the range of uncertainty in the estimates used for various inputs permit “adjustments” which can result in widely varied results. For some important inputs there is even uncertainty about whether their net effect is positive or negative. In the end the models represent nothing more than an elaborate personal guess by the modellers.  Although models may provide insights into the possible dynamics of the climate system they have no credibility for use in predicting future warming. Ironically however, they do support the claimed 97% consensus in one respect.  About 97% of the models yield exaggerated warming well above the actual temperature record and the few exceptions closer to the record are obscure models which receive no credence from climate change researchers.

Real problems ignored

Meanwhile, back in the real world, major problems with chronic deficits, ballooning debt, unaffordable health care and education, debasement of basic rights, malignant over regulation, uncontrolled immigration, an ageing population, economic stagnation and growing unemployment are all being left to fester while governments tilt at climate windmills in a desperate search for popular approval. These are all hugely more certain, pressing and addressable problems than is some highly uncertain degree of possible climate change a century or more from now.

Fantasy vs. Reality

Fossil fuel reserves are limited. Most of the low cost high quality deposits are already depleted and the rate of new discoveries is decreasing. Maintaining production increasingly depends upon non-conventional sources and advanced technologies with low production rates and high costs resulting in increasing prices for end users. At the same time technological advances are making alternatives more effective and affordable.

At present we could not feed, clothe and shelter the existing population without fossil fuels, nor could we maintain the economic health necessary to develop effective alternatives.  Trying to force wide scale adoption of premature technologies is a recipe for disaster as has been every other attempt at central planning of economies.

Both theory and practice indicate that complex interactive systems (e.g. climate, ecosystems, and economies) incorporating numerous non-linear relationships cannot be managed from top down but can effectively self-organise if permitted to do so. Despite the sometimes messy self-adjustments, free markets have repeatedly proved to be the best way we have found to do this in the economic sphere. Failing to recognise this and mindlessly repeating to attempt a centrally planned approach proposed by self-anointed “experts’ is beyond simply foolish. It requires wilful ignorance compounded by unbounded self-regard.

Trying to implement the climate alarmist’s half-baked theoretical solutions to imaginary problems can at best only result in economic stagnation and delay. More likely the harm would be even greater as the recognition of failure and the necessity to change course then determining what to do next would all be impeded by political resistance, uncertainty and compromises while the damage continues to intensify.

Although the danger from climate change itself appears to have been greatly exaggerated the economic impact of ill-conceived measures to control it are already real, substantial and on-going. These include significant increases in the cost of energy and food, job losses, large scale environmental degradation from wind farms and bio-fuel production as well as the diversion of hundreds of billions of dollars from other far more real and urgent needs.

Biggest threat is corruption, not carbon

Perhaps the greatest harm of all has been the damage to the integrity and credibility of science itself.  This affects not just science but also our ability to effectively govern ourselves in the increasingly complex technological world we are creating. Gross scientific malpractice has become endemic in climate science. Misleading or even false claims, cherry-picking of data, hiding or ignoring conflicting evidence, unexplained manipulations of data, refusal to permit independent examination of methods and evidence, abuse of peer review to supress adverse findings and vicious personal denigration of dissent have all become widespread practice in climate research. Worse yet, when such conduct has been exposed, the response of alarmists has not been to condemn it, but to first try to deny it, then to attempt to justify it and finally to pretend to dismiss it as trivial and of no consequence. In the most prominent examples a post script has been to announce some prestigious sounding award to the miscreants thus appearing to erase the taint of any impropriety.

The climate change bandwagon has afforded a tantalising shortcut to generous funding and expert status for any third rate academic willing to abandon the scientific ethos and many have done so. For the unwilling, any public dissent means a level of professional ostracism and personal denigration few are willing to bear.

Research is not a license for fraud

The evidence of widespread corruption in climate and other environmental science is clear and abundant. The harm done has been great and is increasing. Relevant laws against fraud, professional misconduct, misleading parliament and other offences are being blatantly violated. The research institutions involved have also routinely made false claims in press releases widely reported in the mainstream media. It is past time to begin to demand professional honesty and apply the relevant laws to academic researchers that are applied to all other activities. Terminating both current and future government funding of those found guilty of serious violations of scientific standards could be a simple effective cure to treat the malaise now infecting environmental science.  To continue to ignore it can only assure more disastrously poor decisions in the future.

The idea that we must take drastic steps now for the benefit of our great grandchildren is also emotive nonsense.  History clearly shows that the problems faced by future generations and the means to solve them are almost certain to be very different from anything we can predict. If we leave them a healthy economy and uncorrupted science, they will be equipped far better than we to decide if climate change is indeed becoming a problem and what to do about it. If we cripple our economy and debase our best tool for understanding the world we live in we will be doing our descendants no favour and they will not be thankful for our foolishness.

Originally published at Quadrant Online 6 June 2014, republished here with permission.


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June 7, 2014 3:18 am

Reality is a great leveler. Certainly corruption is the key to getting to the truth. Remove the corruption and the truth will emerge.

June 7, 2014 3:45 am

I plan to send this link to my local paper.
especially seeing as the conmen who were turfed OUT of ther govvy paid sinecures and are now sucking gullible aussies in for donations to keep dribbling sh*t placed an item in last weeks local paper.

David Walton
June 7, 2014 3:49 am

Thank you Walter Starck and Anthony Watts.

June 7, 2014 3:51 am

Dodgy science done by dodgy scientists using dodgy data and dodgy statistical methods.
That just about covers it.

June 7, 2014 3:59 am

Great article! The reputation of Science has been trashed by those who have have an ideological viewpoint and are prepared to manipulate basic scientific principles to promote their ideology. I view,with a growing suspicion, those scientists who herald from the life sciences as their world seems to be almost completely corrupted. The integrity of Mathematicians ( modellers excluded), Physicists and those from the Physical Sciences appear, relatively speaking, to be far more intact. I counsel hundreds of senior school students each year and it is very clear that the cleverest students are drawn to the most latter mentioned disciplines. Their driver is inquiry and discovery and is without an agenda. Those students who pursue the life sciences, generally have a reason for doing so; saving the planet, because I love animals etc. I would argue that their scope of inquiry is already blinkered, even before they commence their degrees.

June 7, 2014 4:00 am

Excellent essay as usual from Mr Starck.

David Walton
June 7, 2014 4:00 am

Related — ” … immediately the usual drama queens emailed that I was a know-nothing denialist.”

Jim Cripwell
June 7, 2014 4:08 am

Unfortunately, no one who matters is paying any attention. This is merely preaching to the choir. Nothing is going to change until someone who matters has the gonads to stand up in public, and make this sort of statement. And no-one of the requisite stature in the scientific community is willing to do this at the present time.

C.M. Carmichael
June 7, 2014 4:37 am

If it were possible to ” remove the corruption” from climate “science” what would be left of the U.N.? Oh thats right they could return to full time Israel bashing, and atrocity overlook duties.

June 7, 2014 5:11 am

I look forward to a comprehensive response from those who offer an alternative viewpoint. (Government paid/subsidised mercenaries need not apply.)

June 7, 2014 5:14 am

The way you remove the corruption from climate science is to remove the money…full stop.
The honest 3% will continue to study climate and we will all gain from it and the rest will move on to other, less damaging for society, sciences.

June 7, 2014 5:29 am

What a fantastic article, it is very rare that I read something as lengthy as this and agree with every word. I especially liked the bit about our great-grandchildren and leaving them a legacy of either dodgy science or a good economic foundation.
I would also like to ask when has science ever been about consensus. Science is absolute, just because 97% or even 100% of scientists agree on something does not make it so. After all 100% of astrologers believe in their “science”!

June 7, 2014 5:38 am

Why Climate Change Doesn’t Scare Me:
Because I’ve survived brutal Winters with no heat & scorching Summers with no AC, & I can run uphill faster than 3mm/yr. Also, the people claiming that I ought to panic are lazy, fat, & soft, & I honestly hope that they do “become victims of global warming”.

June 7, 2014 5:39 am

This is a very good essay. I would offer one edit on the title: “Why Climate Change Should Not Scare Us”

June 7, 2014 5:44 am

Global warming is only a problem when the poor countries become three times as rich as the usa in 2100 So the usa cannot solve the problem as 90% of the predicted warming will be caused by the now poor countries. Global warming is a future problem of the now poor countries.
Presently and for th nxt sixty years there are only benefits projected.
Therefore it’s not urgent and it’s not our problem, if there ever will be one. We musn’t have the hubris to want to rule over our graves. The future belongs to our grandchildren not to us.

June 7, 2014 5:51 am

Want to find the villeins? Follow the money….

Leonard Weinstein
June 7, 2014 5:56 am

The mechanism of atmospheric greenhouse effect is not as indicated by this blog. It is due to the effect of the increased IR absorption in the UPPER atmosphere, raising the average altitude of outgoing radiation to space, combined with the lapse rate of the atmosphere. The increase in CO2 would change this altitude (and thus result in heating of the surface) if no other effect were present. However, there are other effects such as feed backs from cloud variation (changing the albedo) and other effects (that result in large natural variation) that dominate the total result. The lack of increase in global surface temperature over the last 17 years, and the historical variation clearly support that natural variation totally dominates the small CO2 effect.

June 7, 2014 5:58 am

Well done Walter

Alan Robertson
June 7, 2014 6:02 am

Jim Cripwell says:
June 7, 2014 at 4:08 am
“Unfortunately, no one who matters is paying any attention. This is merely preaching to the choir. Nothing is going to change until someone who matters has the gonads to stand up in public, and make this sort of statement. And no-one of the requisite stature in the scientific community is willing to do this at the present time.”
Plenty of scientists of “requisite stature” have been raising their voices for a long time. What difference has it made? Now, one can read the commentary on just about any climate story published anywhere online and clearly see that “the people” overwhelmingly ridicule the claims of doom and gloom. What difference has it made?

Alan Robertson
June 7, 2014 6:05 am

Leonard Weinstein says:
June 7, 2014 at 5:56 am
“The mechanism of atmospheric greenhouse effect is not as indicated by this blog. ”
Where have you been?

June 7, 2014 6:19 am

Unfortunately, no one who matters is paying any attention

Well, I hope not. Don’t people realise that the argument put forward here is weak and, in some places, wrong?
What, for example, is ‘back-radiated infrared energy from the planet’s surface’. If it is coming from the surface then it is not back-radiated in the usual sense.
“the portion of the IR spectrum in the absorption bands of CO2 was already 99.9% absorbed within a few tens of metres”. What is the source of this incorrect information? Does anyone know?
Although the effect of CO2 is one of diminishing returns it is never ‘saturated’. Adding more will always have some effect. At current concentrations this will marginal but it is wrong to suggest that there will be no effect at all. As Leonard Weinstein said, more CO2 will always raise the effective radiating height and thus produce some warming at the surface.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
June 7, 2014 6:41 am

Who needs facts when sensationalism and misappropriated sentiment can serve your twisted ends?

World War II Skeletons Washed From Graves by Rising Seas
By Alex Morales 2014-06-06T23:01:00Z
Skeletons of World War II soldiers are being washed from their graves by the rising Pacific Ocean as global warming leads to inundation of islands that saw some of the fiercest fighting of the conflict.
On the day Europe commemorated the 70th anniversary of the storming of Normandy beaches in the D-Day landings, a minister from the Marshall Islands, a remote archipelago between Hawaii and the Philippines, told how the remains of 26, probably Japanese soldiers, had been recovered so far on the isle of Santo.
“There are coffins and dead people being washed away from graves; it’s that serious,” Tony de Brum, minister of foreign affairs for the Marshall Islands, said yesterday. Tides “have caused not just inundation and flooding of communities where people live but have also done severe damage in undermining regular land so that even the dead are affected.”

The tropical western Pacific is a region the UN said this week is experiencing almost four times the global average rate of sea level increase, with waters creeping up by 12 millimeters (half an inch) a year between 1993 and 2009. The global average pace is 3.2 millimeters a year.

The UN projects the global average sea level may increase 26 centimeters to 98 centimeters (10 inches to 39 inches) by the end of the century.

Rising seas have eaten away about 300 meters from the tip of the capital island of Majuro in the past 20 years, according to de Brum. (…)

Practicing their queer necromancy on the black altars of the Green Death Cult, summoning their stitched-together climate models into a perverse mockery of real life to demonstrate their worthiness to their dark masters, hoping to be showered with the vast power and wealth that ultimately is the tiniest crumbs the Lords in Shadow have brushed off their table… These vile defilers of true pure science are now decorating their bloodied vestments with the bones of the honored war dead.
And their words of invocation are at variance with reality:

So for example, the measured change in the sea level at the Majuro B (SEAFRAME) tide gauge was +5.6 mm/year 1993-2010. But after subtracting the tidal effects, it drops to 4.3 mm/year. And after removing land subsidence effects, the actual trend was estimated by the SEAFRAME folks at 3.8 mm/year.

• The early (1973-1993) and late (1993-2013) trends in Majuro were about the same.

• In short, there is no evidence for or against an acceleration in sea level rise in the three Marshall Islands records.

For real information on those impermanent transient structures known as Pacific atolls, I recommend this classic Eschenbach piece, Floating Islands.

June 7, 2014 7:09 am

As someone has already pointed out, you are preaching to the choir. I visit WUWT daily, it is a refuge from the constant bombardment of doom and gloom I find at places like Huffington post. The only reason I visit Huff, is because I feel it is a mistake to sequester myself in one blog sphere. I need to hear opinions contrary to my own. If my beliefs are not challenged, how can I be certain I’m not just following the herd? Unfortunately, Huff is low on facts, and high on regurgitated talking points I’ve seen debunked here long ago.
Which brings me to my question. I have seen the rare conservative column and blog posted to Huffington, usually garnishing a lot of derisive comments.
Directing the Climate true believes to an article at WUWT brings an almost instant comment that WUWT is an oil-proganda machine and only a fool would follow the link, or if they did, take the information seriously.
So I have to ask, have any of the many wonderful posters investigated what is involved in posting one of these essays at Huffington. I know you won’t get any respect there, but maybe you will open the eyes of one or two people, which is likely a lot more than you will do posting only here where everyone is already in your camp.

Jim Cripwell
June 7, 2014 7:09 am

Alan Robertson, you write “Plenty of scientists of “requisite stature” have been raising their voices for a long time.”
Maybe so, maybe not. But it is a fact that just about ALL the learned scientific societies, led by the RS and APS completely support the dogma of CAGW. Plus just about all of academia. When Judith Curry dared to query CAGW in a minor way, in her words, she was forced to “fall on her dagger”. She claims that her career has been directly and adversely affected by her stance on CAGW. I see no signs whatsoever that scientists with the requisite public stature have presented skeptical views in public. Lord Reese, the current Astronomer Royal, and former President of the RS actually got up in public and told scientific lies about CAGW. Lennart Bengsston was effectively silenced. And so on and so forth.

June 7, 2014 7:09 am

“A greenhouse affects its warming by enclosing the air inside with walls….” I think your intended meaning is a greenhouse accomplishes, or brings to fruition, its warming for which the word effects, not affects, is proper.

June 7, 2014 7:16 am

The evidence of widespread corruption in climate and other environmental science is clear and abundant. The harm done has been great and is increasing. Relevant laws against fraud, professional misconduct, misleading parliament and other offences are being blatantly violated.

I’d say the best evidence for this is the refusal of major climate figures to engage in public debate with prominent skeptics.

M Seward
June 7, 2014 7:19 am

My only criticism of the article by Dr Starck is that under heading “Fantasy vs Reality” he concludes the third paragraph “It requires wilful ignorance compounded by unbounded self-regard.” This is verbose and i.m.o. should just read “It requires unfettered arrogance”. 🙂
Personally I think the ‘missing heat’ is more likely hiding in the trees and shrubs of the recent greening of the planet due to the increased CO2 concentration. Put a bunch of extra feed in front of any animal and they will gobble it up. Look at the way “climate scientists” gobble up funding. Why should plants be expected to forego enjoying what to them seems just natures bounty? At megajoules of chemical energy per kilogram of biomass ( e.g. red oak about 14.9 MJ/kG) it seems a good place to hide it and the storage mechanism does not have to be imagined out of the frustrations of some AGW believer. And, as Dr Starck touches on, then there is all that transpiration of H2O from extra plant biomass shunting LHV to the upper atmosphere at 2.23 kJ/kG.

June 7, 2014 7:22 am

Just as I detest commentary about global warming or global change on an economics blog, I equally detest economic commentary on a scientific one.

June 7, 2014 7:26 am

Well written. I must say, given my personality you nailed what bothers me the most about all this: “Declaring an emergency because some researchers claim to have detected an average warming of three-quarters of a degree over the past century (amidst a highly variable and extremely noisy record spanning over 100 degrees) borders on hysteria”.
I cannot, personally, stand senseless or mindless exacerbated reactions towards a problem. If, stress if, AGW was indeed an issue, the hysterical reaction we have due to laziness that results in a lack of education (c’mon, anyone can google and get a basic education in most issues!) really bugs me. Instead of looking for sensible solutions (adaptation) the reaction is mindless thus useless. It reminds me when my girls were little and saw a really minuscule spider in the yard. They would go running and screaming as if Hades was chasing them… tripping and actually hurting themselves.
I have mentored several valuable people on how to overcome it on stressing project situations but when I was young and stupid it came to physicality more often than not (no I am not proud).
So the question is still posed: Where the heck is COMMON sense? Even if the ‘science’ was correct, where are the ingenuity and common sense?
Thanks for the article

June 7, 2014 7:34 am

Thank you for the note. Although I am disgusted by the corruption in the political/climate science world, it concerns me when this line (saturated CO2 absorption) is repeated. The physics of the effect of the absorption and retransmission of infrared by the “well-mixed, non-condensing” gases is sound and established from first principles. Concentrations of these gases increase the elevation of the TOA extinction surface for the IR spectra for these gases. This increase in altitude decreases the temperature (and the IR intensity) of these gases. This physical mechanism is source of the 4 W/m2 effect of doubling CO2. To dispute this to the warmists affirms the anti-science mantra of the CAGW crowd.
The non-uniform, condensing gas (H2O) has the largest green house effect by far. The alarmists are sold on the idea that CO2 effects cause a run-away feedback of the water vapor. Cloud cover, increased evaporation and precipitation and other negative feedbacks are dismissed. The global satellite data continues to demonstrate that the CAGW by the feedback models is wrong. Presenting and stressing this data (surface data can and is contaminated/tampered; historical data has become political) is the method to restore the science in climate study.

June 7, 2014 7:48 am
June 7, 2014 8:00 am

kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
June 7, 2014 at 6:41 am
This isle of Santo is quite mysterious. Neither Yahoo! or Google Earth can find it!

Alan Robertson
June 7, 2014 8:28 am

Jim Cripwell says:
June 7, 2014 at 7:09 am
Your points about the fury directed at any and all scientists raising their voices against the maelstrom and the concerted efforts to silence any critics of the meme are quite true. So is your point about scientific societies and the corruption found there .Thanks for pointing out the bravery of Judith Curry and the attempts to silence her and bring her in line.
Let’s not forget Lindzen, Singer, Soon, Baliunas, Pielke, Sr., Idso, Hou, von Storch, McIntyre, McKitrick, Loehle, Morner, Zhang, Goklani, Kobashi. Jankovic, Latif, de Freitas, Kotlyakov, Dyson… the list is quite long.
if the criteria is “sufficient standing”, then how is that defined and “what difference, at this point, does it make”?
My point is, despite the best efforts of the vast array of forces in support of CAGW, the word is getting out there and the populace is catching on. Will that fact make any difference? It hasn’t so far.

Alan Robertson
June 7, 2014 8:40 am

Oh, and let’s not forget the efforts of Anthony Watts, Willis Eschenbach, Joe Bastardi, Bob Tisdale… again, the list is quite long. Arguing that they might not be scientists or have sufficient standing is to miss the point entirely.

June 7, 2014 8:43 am

Good to hear another voice speaking out.
Isn’t one weak(er) point the CO2 saturation argument? I thought that had been discussed here on WUWT a while back as a not particularly strong skeptic argument.

June 7, 2014 8:45 am

[snip – as you know, you are a persona non-grata here, as well as many other places, for your snotty, condecending style of thread disruption. While in fairness, I allowed you to comment on the recent thread that discussed your many biases and edits related to Wikipedia, I had no intention of allowing that to become an open offer to rise from your previous ban here, and disrupt threads that are not about you or your undue influence in Wikipedia. Now run along and write something nasty on your blog about this, as has been your typical modus operandi, and please refrain from commenting on any threads that are not about you. -Anthony]

June 7, 2014 8:58 am

Brilliant argument.

more soylent green!
June 7, 2014 9:01 am

Jim Cripwell says:
June 7, 2014 at 4:08 am
Unfortunately, no one who matters is paying any attention. This is merely preaching to the choir. Nothing is going to change until someone who matters has the gonads to stand up in public, and make this sort of statement. And no-one of the requisite stature in the scientific community is willing to do this at the present time.

Public opinion polls of Americans consistently rate global warming/climate change/climate disruption at the bottom of the list of concerns. The public ain’t buying it, for various reasons.

Cold in Wisconsin
June 7, 2014 9:14 am

This is just such a well written article. I especially appreciate the thoughts on leaving our children a legacy of uncorrupted science. Many comments are appraising the various branches of science, but I for one will say that I have seen corruption (or incompetence) in so many areas that it is hard to maintain confidence in the practice (not the principles) of most scienctific endeavors these days. I strongly predict that at least 50% of the “facts” that I have learned in the last 30 years will be overturned in the next 50. That could be deemed as progress if it were not for the absolute confidence that we place in science.

Jim Cripwell
June 7, 2014 9:24 am

Alan Robertson, you write “if the criteria is “sufficient standing”, then how is that defined and “what difference, at this point, does it make”?”
To me, just about the only people who would make a difference now are the current Presidents of the Royal Society and the American Physical Society. Or others who hold similar positions. This is where the canker in science today lies. If these gentlemen (and they are both males) would put science above politics, then things would change.

June 7, 2014 9:25 am

climatereflections says: “Isn’t one weak(er) point the CO2 saturation argument”?
With respect, it’s a very strong point – that (ignoring feedbacks, which are probably negative overall) surface temperatures increase logarithmically with atmospheric CO2, so every unit increase in temperature requires a doubling in CO2, then another doubling and another – and so on ad infinitum.
This is the major guarantee that there is no “tipping point” in the system – the logarithmic relationship turns even exponential CO2 increases into smooth straight line increases in temperatures. And at 400 ppm there are about 11 doublings left before the atmosphere saturates at 100% CO2 – I think the fossil fuels will have long gone by then and we will be entirely on nuclear, at last …

Curious George
June 7, 2014 9:27 am

Not a single equation. This article could be reprinted in the Scientific American.

Jim Cripwell
June 7, 2014 9:27 am

more soylent green! you write “The public ain’t buying it, for various reasons.”
Agreed. My current hope is that by making his recent statement, POTUS has made CAGW an election issue. If he has, and you are right, then November 2014 could be very interesting.

June 7, 2014 9:40 am

This is just a means to and end they don’t care about the environment just gulling the masses.

Steve C
June 7, 2014 10:22 am

@Scottie – Not a bad summary, except you missed the “pseudo” of the front of “science”. “Dodgy” seems a bit forgiving, too – I’d say … well, Beckett wrote a play about his Last Tape … 😉

Neil Jordan
June 7, 2014 10:33 am

Thank you for another enlightening article. Another candle in the darkness. Coincidentally, I was researching the impact of falling sea level on increasing the frequency of dredging and came across a 1986 technical article at:
The take-away quote is on Page 64:
“Carbon Dioxide”
“Ten to twenty years ago there was a voluble school of thought which maintained that the constantly increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would cause the temperature of the earth to increase with resultant melting of the solar ice caps and general disaster (the green house effect). This was based on various complex calculations and was claimed to be confirmed by the fact that a world-wide warming trend of about 0.60C took place between 1880 and 1940. However, an equally voluble group of experts contended that the increased emission of particulates would have the reverse effect and indeed because of the high reflectivity of the particulate material, the earth far from going into a green house effect was in-fact about to move into a new ice age. These scientists pointed to the fact that between 1940 and 1975 there had been a global cooling trend of 0.30C. As very little is known about long term temperature changes on the planet, and as both groups have subsequently lapsed into silence, it is considered that this matter can be safely passed over for the foreseeable future, or until some better or more soundly based evidence is available.”

Bruce Cobb
June 7, 2014 10:42 am

davidgmills says:
June 7, 2014 at 7:22 am
Just as I detest commentary about global warming or global change on an economics blog, I equally detest economic commentary on a scientific one.
Start your own blog then. I’m sure people will flock to it.

June 7, 2014 10:55 am

CAGW is a tautological equivocation.
CAGW causes ALL weather conditions.
I learned here that it causes “WarmColdDroughtFlood”.
Now, I learn that CAGW is also responsible for glacial “AdvanceRetreat”
That magical trace gas sure does a lot.

Gary Pearse
June 7, 2014 10:58 am

Start by defunding the UN and reposition it back to its original purpose – a place to meet to prevent war. It would have to be done unilaterally and before it’s too late. It has been the wisdom of US gov throughout most of its history (alarmingly less so these days, unfortunately) that big government saps the vitality of the economic engine. Why, then, have they for so long permitted the expansion and incursion of big UN government into the lives of its citizens and, moreover paid for a disproportionate share of it?
How can the economic miracle of prosperity created by the United States be improved by diluting its policies with the input of anti-American despots, soc_ial_ists, permanent welfare states and a mocking, declining and jealous EU? The US has been a beacon of hope for generations of second and third world people oppressed and impoverished under these regimes. What possible US interests could it serve to sit down with such to discuss and negotiate away the sacred cornerstones of individual freedom to do, that is the envy of the world?
We know the elitist masters’ intentions. Are we going wait until the Security Council can veto a law made in Boise, or Washington, or the General Assembly can ratify a law on energy make-up of Texas or West Virginia, or the Court in the Hague can strike down the First Amendment of the US Constitution? The country’s academic, educational, scientific, economic, cultural, political and social institutions have been widely subverted by these alien ideologies. Citizens educated under their curricula are becoming inured to the idea of foregoing personal freedom for the ‘collective’ good. Geewilikers, do something!

Chad Wozniak
June 7, 2014 11:09 am

One of the best brief summaries of the issues I have ever read.
I am going to refer people in Congress with who I regularly correspond to this piece. I believe that the lie of AGW can indeed be a campaign issue in the coming elections, along with all the other lies told by Obama and his satraps. I’ve already suggested to them that stopping the climate change fraud should be one of the platform principles of the Republican Party. It appears that more members of Congress are coming on board with the skeptics – Marco Rubio, for one.
The comments on Yahoo to climate change stories are 90 percent or better on the skeptic side, and the few fanatics that still respond are getting a lot of ridicule from the skeptics. This leads me to believe that it will be an effective stand for the Republicans to take.

June 7, 2014 11:20 am

“Attributing every vagary of weather to anthropogenic climate change is not reasonable, not science and definitely not honest.”
That is an example of a paradigm shift, handed down from above. It is interdisciplinary, it is predetermined, and it is highly centralized, lock-step global science at work.
“NSF SEES SRN: Sustainable Climate Risk Management Strategies
Human beings live in a new age, many scientists believe, one called the Anthropocene, in which human effects on Earth’s systems are powerful regulators of how those systems function. Or how they are beginning to break down.”
Notice how history is slowly being revised to reflect an anthropogenic disruption of all systems, and the primacy of co2 in past ages. It is all totally justified under Kuhn’s philosophy of scientific revolutions.

Andy May
June 7, 2014 11:49 am

Brilliant! Thank you.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
June 7, 2014 11:54 am

From Neil Jordan on June 7, 2014 at 10:33 am:

(…) Coincidentally, I was researching the impact of falling sea level on increasing the frequency of dredging and came across a 1986 technical article…

“This was based on various complex calculations and was claimed to be confirmed by the fact that a world-wide warming trend of about 0.60C took place between 1880 and 1940.”
“These scientists pointed to the fact that between 1940 and 1975 there had been a global cooling trend of 0.30C.”

Ha, that shows you what they knew.
[WoodForTrees link]
GISTEMP clearly currently shows between from 1880 up to 1940 was a mere 0.14°C rise, 0.24°C/century, not even a fourth of what those “scientists” claimed. And nothing at all like the recent devastating rises we thoughtless humans have unleased by our ruinous carbon emissions.
And the “fact” of the global cooling from 1940 up to 1975, was only -0.015°C, -0.043°C/century. That’s nothing. It clearly never happened.
That’s the problem with so-called “scientists”. If you want your work to be reliable and relevant in later years, don’t just use the absolute immutable facts of the present time. Anticipate what absolute immutable facts they will be transformed into in the future!

Gunga Din
June 7, 2014 12:09 pm

I think that even the most die-hard CAGWers will admit that the climate has changed and continued to change long before Man could have had anything to do with it.
So if we took the “A” out of “CAGW” (leave the “C” if you you wish), wouldn’t the climate change anyway? What do GAGWers propose we do about that?

June 7, 2014 12:47 pm

I am terrified of climate change. We could, by some predictions, have a long period of global cooling with resultant crop failures and massive famine.

June 7, 2014 12:56 pm

Is there any hope for the idea of a lawsuit against, for instance, the Environmental Protection Agency? Is there a U.S. Federal court jurisdiction which would entertain an injunction against the enforcement of the new EPA coal rules? Is there any place where the “rules” of scientific inquiry have been codified and violations of those rules could be punished? I’m talking about the concepts of skepticism and experimental proof being integral and essential factors of science, and where consensus has no role.
Is there any chance that the U.S. Supreme Court would ultimately reject their fevered judgement that CO2 is a pollutant?
Favorable changes in the U.S. presidency and Congress would help to set back the AGW idiocy, but for how long? Inevitably, it seems that law is the best available vehicle to restore some measure of sanity.

June 7, 2014 1:06 pm

Fossil fuel reserves are limited. Most of the low cost high quality deposits are already depleted and the rate of new discoveries is decreasing.

Pfft! I am 73 years old, and have been hearing that tired old line most of my life. It simply is not true. Yes someday we may deplete the limited supply, but not in this century.

June 7, 2014 1:17 pm

Directing the Climate true believes to an article at WUWT brings an almost instant comment that WUWT is an oil-proganda machine . . . .

This claim is based on this statement in sourcewatch at http://sourcewatch.org/index.php/Heartland_Institute :

“Willard Anthony Watts (Anthony Watts) is a blogger, weathercaster and non-scientist, paid AGW denier who runs the website wattsupwiththat.com. … Watts is on the payroll of the Heartland Institute, which itself is funded by polluting industries.”

It in turn is based on a statement in desmogblog that quotes the discredited “Heartland Strategy document as its source (in footnote 21): Richard Littlemore, “Heartland Insider Exposes Institute’s Budget and Strategy” Heartland Institute, Feb. 14, 2012.
That document states:

An anonymous donor called “Heartland Insider” released documents in February 2012 of the Heartland Institute’s budget, fundraising plan, and Climate Strategy for 2012.
The 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy states that the Institute got $200,000 in 2011 from the Charles G. Koch Foundation, and nearly a million from an anonymous donor. Goals of the organization included
working with David E. Wojick on “providing [K-12 school] curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science”;
. . .
funding climate change deniers Craig Idso ($11,600 per month), Fred Singer ($5,000 a month), James Taylor who has written a lot about Climategate through his Forbes blog, and Anthony Watts ($90,000 for 2012) to challenge “warmist science essays that counter our own,” including funding “external networks (such as WUWT [Watts Up With That?] and other groups capable of rapidly mobilizing responses to new scientific findings, news stories, or unfavorable blog posts).”[21]

This false claim is very damaging to the contrarian cause. Anthony should therefore have a lawyer send a cease and desist letter to sourcewatch and desmogblog to get a retraction.
If that pair tries to hide behind the Strategy document, that would provide an opportunity to haul Gleick into court to testify about the implausible details of how he supposedly came by it. It would also provide an opening for testimony by Mosher on the numerous points of stylistic similarity between that document and Gleick’s writing style. Since Gleick wasn’t being sued himself, but was merely a witness, he wouldn’t be able to demand discovery of the names of Heartland donors, which is what inhibited Heartland from suing him.
Making Gleick squirm as he implausibly denied being the author of that phony document would incriminate the alarmist community, which has failed to expel him from his posts and has even given him new honors. It would also discredit the warmists who claim that, since Heartland hasn’t sued Gleick, their denial that the document is authentic can’t be taken seriously.
There’s a lot of bang for the buck here. (Too bad we have so few bucks!)

george e. smith
June 7, 2014 1:27 pm

Well I always applaud the efforts of anybody trying to bring some sense of reality and understanding to persons with a more lay understanding of the science issues.
So I have to join Leonard Weinstein, and MikeB, in cautioning that the author is making quite a few common mistakes; which detract from what has been a sizable effort on his part.
The first red flag that waved at me was this one: “”While the basic physics of infrared heat absorption by CO2 is well established, both theoretical understanding and real world evidence strongly indicate the effect of increased CO2 in the complex dynamics of the global climate system has been greatly exaggerated. …””
“infrared heat” is an oxymoron. “Infrared” refers to electromagnetic radiation energy, in a portion of the EM spectrum, between the visible radiation (about 400nm – 700/800 nm wavelength), and the “microwave” radiation spectrum from about 100 microns wavelength to maybe 10 cm or 100 cm wavelength. It consists entirely of interwoven electric and magnetic fields, and involves no physical (atomic or molecular) materials of any kind.
“heat” or “heat energy”, on the other hand, consists entirely of the purely mechanical kinetic energy of large assemblages of real atoms or molecules. Real physical materials are necessary for “heat energy”; they are NOT necessary for EM radiation energy, in general and “infra-red” in particular.
Infrared IS NOT “heat.”
It’s an important distinction for atmospheric warming. In fact author, Walter Stark specifically mentions. that a direct consequence of increased CO2, and thus GHG absorption, of LWIR EM energy in a now thinner layer near the ground, is in fact an increase in local atmospheric warming, which must have a direct effect on the PURELY THERMAL processes of conduction and convection, that themselves alter the energy transfer in the atmosphere.
Actually, I notice, that very few writers here at WUWT ever mention those direct thermal process effects that are altered by increased GHG absorption of LWIR EM radiant energy. Walter has just pointed out that effect.
Like Leonard and Mike, I too would caution against playing any “saturation ” card. The energy of absorbed LWIR surface emitted (not back radiated) photons, is quickly released, in some combination of a shifted photon emission, or a sharing of mechanical collision energy, or both resulting in a Temperature increase of the local atmosphere. The squelched CO2 molecule, then goes right back grabbing a new IR photon, as do those in adjoining layers of air.
So the absorption process is never saturated.
Well I’m not going to do a blow by blow analysis of Walter’s complete essay. There’s much good in it, but quite a few misunderstood things, that the thermo-vultures are just waiting to pounce on.
We have a lot of egg on our face issues; whether it is CO2 snow in Antarctica, or transport of “heat energy” by EM radiation. If “heat is transported by “EM radiation”, then we have to agree it is also transported by grocery shopping carts, into which we have loaded some Presto Logs, or a sack of barbecue charcoal.
So we don’t need to look silly by continuing to tell everyone that GREENHOUSES do NOT operate according to what we UNIVERSALLY call the GREENHOUSE EFFECT, that acts in the atmosphere, because of chemical molecules that have easily excitable electric dipole “antennas” capable of receiving and sending IR “signals.”
It is no more fruitful than chastising the “dummy” who decreed that electrons have a negative charge, rather than a positive charge, so the defined direction of “current flow” is in exactly the opposite direction from the direction of electron mass flow; or, why is there more matter in the universe than anti-matter ?
Well what idiot, would define the common surviving species, as “anti-matter.” , instead of simply matter ??
Walter may want to revise some of his essay. I’m sure Phil, would also have some issues with its present form.

June 7, 2014 1:36 pm

Canman says:
June 7, 2014 at 7:16 am

The evidence of widespread corruption in climate and other environmental science is clear and abundant. The harm done has been great and is increasing. Relevant laws against fraud, professional misconduct, misleading parliament and other offences are being blatantly violated.

I’d say the best evidence for this is the refusal of major climate figures to engage in public debate with prominent skeptics.

They’re even reluctant to participate in scientific debates on the Climate Dialogue site, according to overseer Crok.

george e. smith
June 7, 2014 1:43 pm

As for climate change; I can’t honestly say I have ever seen it happen.
Now I can jump in my car, and drive about five miles, and be in a place where the annual rainfall is typically twice what I get on my front lawn; but surely that is just weather. And, since just last year, a tree in the middle of my front lawn, shattered and fell down in chunks, so the city sent a crew to cut it down, so now my lawn gets continuous sunshine from dawn to dusk, instead of continuous spring-fall shade. It’s wonderful; I now have a beautiful green healthy lawn, and it now only needs about 1/5th of the water supply it used to need. Izzat climate change or is that MMGWCACW. ? I really dunno.
I’ve seen the weather change; I know what that is. Can’t say I’ve ever seen the climate. 30 years is a long time to wait to see what is outside your front door.

June 7, 2014 1:57 pm

Common sense insists that if you increase the fraction of an absorbent gas, absorption will take place closer to the emitting surface. Thus increasing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere will result in EMR (amount fixed by the absolute temperature of the surface) absorption occurring at lower altitude.

June 7, 2014 2:24 pm

All teens leaving high school this have never experienced global warming. In the UK they ALL know what snow is.

June 7, 2014 2:25 pm

george e. smith says:
June 7, 2014 at 1:27 pm
Infrared IS NOT “heat.”

That’s kind of like saying that a cheque is not money. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_radiation

June 7, 2014 3:08 pm

“The prime physical evidence for AGW is the global temperature record. Declaring an emergency because some researchers claim to have detected an average warming of three-quarters of a degree over the past century (amidst a highly variable and extremely noisy record spanning over 100 degrees) borders on hysteria. For a start, the amount of warming being claimed is less than the margin of uncertainty.”
Man-Made Global Warming indeed. There’s just not much to it. There never was. For over 17 years no GATA increase. At all. Hmm. So not much increase in GATA, followed by no increase in GATA. Data based facts. Simple as that. Where is the crisis? Where ever was the crisis? Serious questions.
How the case that Man-Made CO2 from burning fossil fuels has spun into some kind of crisis just boggles my mind. It really has to be listed among the greatest and most successful public-relations/marketing/propaganda campaigns of all time. Getting massive numbers of voters in democratic countries to believe that, in some cases majorities to believe that mild, warm weather, and a measurable amount, a considerable amount as a matter of fact of greening of the earth from CO2 enhancing the atmosphere is bad in itself; is breathtaking in its mendacity and evil intent. And it is testimony to human gullibility.
As far as I can see, the only people remotely capable of being scared by Man-Made Global Warming have simply never faced anything in their lives truly frightening or challenging.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
June 7, 2014 3:20 pm

From commieBob on June 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm:

That’s kind of like saying that a cheque is not money.

A check is not money. No business has to take them. Checks have expiration dates, they are temporary. Money does not expire.
A check is a method of transferring money. It’s a formal I.O.U. that’s ultimately redeemed for money by the issuing bank, paid out of your account.
So a check is infrared radiation, a promise there shall be money (heat) when it gets absorbed.

June 7, 2014 4:38 pm

A great essay by Walter Starck. This especially –
“However, concentrating the initial heating nearer to the surface must also strengthen both convection and evaporation which, in turn, increases transport of heat away from the surface to higher in the troposphere, where the increased evaporation then results in increased condensation.”
This highlights one of the big “mistakes” in the foundation dogma of the church of radiative climastrology. Radiative gases, by allowing radiative cooling and subsidence of air masses from altitude, play a critical role in tropospheric convective circulation.
If you model increasing radiative gas concentration without modelling the resulting increase in the speed of convective circulation, then you will falsely model increased near surface warming.
Quite simply radiative subsidence is a critical component of tropospheric convective circulation. This circulation, combined with evaporation, is the primary energy transport away from the surface. The speed of this circulation cannot be modelled as a constant. But that is just what climastrologists are trying to get away with.

June 7, 2014 4:47 pm

Leonard Weinstein says:
June 7, 2014 at 5:56 am
“… raising the average altitude of outgoing radiation to space…”
This is the old ERL argument. However there is no average radiating level or effective radiating altitude in our atmosphere. The pattern of IR emission from the atmosphere is constantly changing in 3 dimensions. The strongest emission is from clouds as can be seen from the most basic IR scans. There is no such thing as ERL, it is a mathematical fiction used to support the incorrect application of static state radiative physics to a dynamic fluid atmosphere.
Have a think about what the ERL argument actually boils down to. You have in effect just argued that –
“adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will reduce the atmospheres radiative cooling ability.”
This is not logical.

Scott Scarborough
June 7, 2014 6:39 pm

It is the earth’s cooling ability. The idea is that without the additional CO2, some of these rays in the band that CO2 absorbs are transmitted directly to space. But as Mr Starck argues this does not happen. The mean free path of a ray in this CO2 absorption spectrum was about 15 meters in pre-industrial times, and is now about 10 meters. I like to look at it this way. The reason additional CO2 does not have much of an effect is that the thickness of the earth’s atmosphere is much much bigger than either 10 or 15 meters. In either case very little of that energy makes it away from the earth’s surface as radiation.

Half Tide Rock
June 7, 2014 6:50 pm

” Most of the low cost high quality deposits are already depleted and the rate of new discoveries is decreasing.”
Anthony, I am not sure that we should offer the CAGW crowd the hope of a quickly depleting fossil fuel supply. In my opinion we are still living the narrative from M.King Hubbard’s predictions in the 1970’s. We shifted from tapping structural traps to stratigraphic traps. Structural traps are relatively limited in capacity by the boundaries of the feature, stratigraphic traps can be immense but they are hard to find.
In my opinion the price of oil is a reflection not on the scarcity but the extremely poor energy policies which are designed to inflate the commodity cost and thus encourage alternative energy sources by causing high costs. I call the phenomena the “piss poor public policy commodity price penalty.”
For the last two years I have noticed that the USGS has been releasing world oil and gas reserve estimates. The reserves are actually very impressive. And in many cases growing. Venezuela increased its reserves by 25% in one year. Brazil is increasing its reserves as well. Even Isreal has 100 years of gas reserves off shore. Crete as well. And Putin knows about the deposits off of Crimera. And the “good news” goes on and on.
The interesting thing to me is to look at the US east coast reserves. Basically ZERO from Canada to Florida. There is a series of Mesozoic deposits along that entire region. Every petroleum geologist know this series of deposits reflect a major opportunity. These are the same deposits that Canada is tapping for gas and oil. In fact there is a US/Canadian Moratorium on drilling on the Georges Banks. On the Canadian side of the banks there was a strong show but all bets are now off. I saw an estimate of 37 trillion cubic feet of gas off of New England to put this number in perspective the number given for the Beuford Sea was 27 trillion cubic feet. IS IT APPROPRIATE TO BLACK OUT THIS INFORMATION? Don’t know, someone thinks so,
Just thinkin’ That your opinion might change if you ( we) had access to the information.

June 7, 2014 7:26 pm

Possibly the best single article I’ve ever read on global warming. I do agree that the most shocking development of all has been the debasement of science itself. We really are screwed if we let that continue.

June 7, 2014 7:33 pm

Good article, it is amazing that some pseudo climate scientists don’t have a clue about what really drives our climate and weather patterns. And get paid for it to publish politically biased papers. As I have mentioned many times before, that the chances of a mini ice age or glacial period, is more likely that frizzling the globe, that will ultimately have a more disasterous effect on agriculture and human kind, yet they won’t admit it. I wonder why?

Chris Magnuson
June 7, 2014 7:34 pm

I saw someone the other day say “I’m going to go ahead, and go out on a limb and predict the weather is going to be cooler slightly in the next hundred years with the regularly expected offset to move back into warming exactly on time with the 30/60 year [can’t remember exactly I’m paraphrasing] cycle,”
and I thought “E x a c t l y” lol.
There never was any unusual warming and there’s not going to be any unusual warming and there never was possible any unusual warming.
People were hustled into a ‘decide who you’re with’ scene when Gore lost the election and the science consisted of the likes of Mann with his falsehood machine known as the Hockey Stick Generator, there was James Hansen’s stories about perhaps CO2 was going to create massive water evaporation and boil oceans –
Incidentally that is why that Right Climate Stuff group astronauts and engineers who retired from n.a.s.a. said they are so ashamed of warmist f r a u d, James Hansen claiming he represents them and the way they try to do scientific research: as necessary to achieve the mission of their org.
There’s not going to be any unusual pattern noted and there’s not going to be an unusual gain or loss to climatic temperatures globally; and when the back does fall off, it will, most assuredly, be falling off into the inevitable wintry future which has always been the future of life on earth, any time.

June 7, 2014 7:36 pm

Gud thing medical researchers are not going along the same path, or we would be in the dark ages of medical science and miracle cures.

June 7, 2014 7:48 pm

I have always had trouble understanding why “Greens” want me to be afraid of more plant food in the atmosphere.” The more of it there is, the greener things get.

June 7, 2014 7:48 pm

BTW, George E. Smith’s 300 word diatribe against the phrase “infrared heat absorption by CO2” is entirely out of order.
Heat can be transferred in 3 ways: by conduction, by convection, and by radiation. It is entirely clear from the context of the article that the authors simply meant to indicate that the CO2 was being heated by radiation, specifically infrared radiation, and not by one of the other two methods.

Jim Glendenning
June 7, 2014 9:54 pm

This is a great article. Well reasoned and easy to understand.
I’ve been around 81 years. I have seen anecdotal evidence of some warming. Smaller glaciers in the Rockies and Alps. I earned my living as a pilot, so I dealt with weather every day. When I wasn’t working my hobby was climbing mountains. Again, I had to deal with the weather. One degree of warming in 100 years is so slight an amount of warming as to be barely noticeable.
I certainly don’t see much difference between now and the 1930s. Some years are warmer, some colder. I live in Puget Sound and have not noticed much in the way of sea level; increase. The fact that we have 16 foot tides twice a day is much more noticeable than a centimeter of mean sea level rise.
The fact that the CAGW crowd rejects adaptation as a possible solution should warming actually become a real issue, indicates to me that their agenda is political control. We are hearing a lot in these parts about planning for “sustainability.” When I go to the meetings, I hear basically the outlines of Agenda 21, the UN plan to control energy and other resources on a world wide basis. It appears to these old eyes to be a Communist scheme wrapped up in Green hysteria.
Keep up the good work here at WUWT.

June 7, 2014 9:54 pm

[snip – Slayers stuff – off topic – mod]

george e. smith
June 7, 2014 10:34 pm

“””””…..TYoke says:
June 7, 2014 at 7:48 pm
BTW, George E. Smith’s 300 word diatribe against the phrase “infrared heat absorption by CO2″ is entirely out of order. …..”””””
And just who are YOU to be defining the rules ?
As I’ve said many times before, I make it a point to never get between someone, and a cliff they are determined to leap off.
Electro-magnetic Radiation, is NOT heat, no matter what wavelength that radiation may be. EM radiant energy can be turned into heat, by simply wasting that energy, or it can be turned into electricity, by means of the Photo-Voltaic effect. For that matter it can be converted into grass, or wood, rather than heat.
And MOST of the warming of the earth by solar EM radiant energy being converted into waste heat energy, is VISIBLE radiation; NOT IR.
So is “diatribe” a word you revert to, when talking about something you don’t know anything about ?

June 7, 2014 11:17 pm

[snip – Slayers stuff – off topic – mod]

george e. smith
June 7, 2014 11:21 pm

“””””…..commieBob says:
June 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm
george e. smith says:
June 7, 2014 at 1:27 pm
Infrared IS NOT “heat.”
That’s kind of like saying that a cheque is not money. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_radiation…..”””””
Well commieBob, when Wikipedia is your source for “scientific information”, that you yourself obviously do not know, make sure you read and understand, the meaning of what it is you are citing.
Your wiki cited reference is a fairly good exposition of “Thermal Radiation.”
They even call it “Thermal Radiation” and use that in the title of their piece.
Perhaps you should read it yourself.
It describes the process of EMISSION of EM radiant energy (NOT “heat energy”) from any physical body of material that is at a Temperature above zero kelvins. The spectrum of such radiation (theoretically) encompasses ALL radiation frequencies (or wavelengths) from zero to infinity, excluding the two end points. That spectrum of emitted radiations contains 98% of its total emitted energy in a 16:1 total range of frequencies, or wavelengths, and that theoretical spectrum depends on no physical properties of any material EXCEPT the Temperature of the material (in kelvins). That’s exactly why it is called “Thermal radiation.”. It is dependent only on Temperature.
By comparison, atomic or molecular EM radiation spectra, emitted by real physical materials, are first order quite independent of Temperature, as to their frequencies or wavelengths, and know absolutely nothing about “heat energy”. There are second order line broadening effects due to the Doppler effect on the frequency or wavelength emitted by a moving source.
So your wiki reference, that you so proudly cited, doesn’t have anything to do with heat energy, other than the simple fact that Temperature is a macro property of large assemblages of particles in mutual collisions with each other.
Atomic and molecular line spectra are properties of individual atoms or molecules; not large assemblies of such, and their frequencies or wavelengths are TOTALLY dependent, on the EXACT species of atom or molecule emitting (or absorbing that radiant energy). Thermal spectra are material independent. Yes the emissivity, or spectral emissivities can be material dependent. The total spectral limit envelope is not.
Thermal radiation is NOT “heat” either. The 2.7 kelvin big bang remnant radiation is thermal radiation that is in the microwave frequency range, with a peak spectral wavelength of about 1 mm. It is NOT in the infra-red spectral region.
Good luck on detecting any 15 micron CO2 absorption from the big bang microwave background radiation.

george e. smith
June 7, 2014 11:30 pm

“””””…..kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
June 7, 2014 at 3:20 pm
From commieBob on June 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm:
That’s kind of like saying that a cheque is not money…….”””””
As KD points out, a check is NOT money. A check can in fact be converted to “heat energy” by lighting a match to it, so in that sense the check is like coal or prestologs, as a means of transporting “heat energy” in your wallet, for ready conversion, any time you want to warm up.
And when you convert your check to “heat energy”, it does not even result in any money loss to your bank account, no matter how large a n amount you write that check for.
Of course you wood eventually run out of checks, and need to buy more, in the event you really wanted to convert them to money, instead of “heat energy”.
Checks are not “heat” either; nor money.

June 7, 2014 11:49 pm

Anthony: PS to my long comment upthread about suing Desmogblog and Sourcewatch, at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/07/why-climate-change-doesnt-scare-me/#comment-1656581
I believe that the statement below by Desmogblog demonstrates knowing disregard of the facts (because you do have some qualifications and certificates thereof, which are listed somewhere on your site) and also “actual malice.” So, despite you’re being a public figure, they have gone over the line. Desmogblog’s smear must have given rise to 100,000 repetitions of its claim, which googling could locate and document to a court. I think a jury would find Desmobgblog liable for at least $100,000–and maybe a lot more.
Here’s their statement: “He does not have a university qualification and has no climate credentials other than being a radio weather announcer.”

June 8, 2014 12:05 am

[snip – Slayers stuff – off topic – mod]
If you’re taking flak… 😉

Chris Wright
June 8, 2014 3:09 am

An excellent piece.
When climate change first appeared on my radar about five years ago I was stunned to see how science had been corrupted, and how the very institutions that were supposed to be protecting the integrity of science were themselves corrupted. But I was fairly confident that the integrity of science would be restored in my lifetime. Now I’m not so sure.
People in the UK are all too familiar with the criminal Jimmy Savile, who abused children and young women. It took decades for his crimes to be recognised, and very recently the BBC tried to hide what had happened, because they were planning a Jimmy Savile tribute program.
During the previous decades there were some whistle blowers about Savile, but they were of course ignored. Bearing in mind the vast vested interests in the global warming scare, it may also take decades before the truth is finally recognised. As I’m getting on in years I may not live to see that.
Some may argue that Jimmy Savile’s crimes were of a different order compared to the climate mafia. I agree. These people are far worse.
Jimmy Savile abused children. These people are abusing the human race.

Stephan Linn
June 8, 2014 5:10 am

I appreciate the post, and would welcome your views on reef bleaching and ocean acidification.

Leonard Weinstein
June 8, 2014 6:40 am

Konrad says:
June 7, 2014 at 4:47 pm
Konrad, you can make up any hypothesis you wish, but you can’t make up data. The average solar energy to Earth is 340 W/m2. About 100 W/m2 is directly reflected (resulting in the albedo). Some of the remainder is absorbed in the clouds and atmosphere, but most reaches the ground and is absorbed. The ground and atmosphere radiate IR mostly in the 4 to 20 micron range. Most of this is absorbed by the atmospheric water vapor, CO2, and aerosols, and clouds, but approximately 40 W/m2 is radiated directly from ground level to space. Radiation from clouds to space of this IR is only about 30 W/m2 (direct measurements from NASA satellites). This is far from the majority of the source of outgoing radiation. Radiation from the atmosphere NOT INCLUDING CLOUDS is about 170 W/m2. This occurs over the entire depth of the atmosphere, but most is from higher altitudes, and an average depth of outgoing radiation is easily calculated. This average depth has little direct meaning, but is an indicator of the net atmospheric greenhouse effect.

Greg Locke
June 8, 2014 6:59 am

Interesting comment by Half Tide Rock about US east coast offshore oil and gas deposits. I worked on a semi submersible rig which drilled several exploration wells for ConocoPhillips in the Georges Banks in the early eighties. We crew changed out of Hyannis, Mass. While I was just a roustabout then, and so not actually reviewing logs, scuttlebutt on the rig was that the discoveries were more than commercial–they were impressive. Then the moratorium was imposed and we moved back to the GOM. Someone will get that Oil and Gas someday, even though today it is left out of recoverable reserve estimates.

rod leman
June 8, 2014 7:01 am

The article’s proposition that the GHG effect cannot be that important is just flat incorrect science.
The satellites alone show that the earth is retaining more heat and that increased GHG’s explain it, quite well.

June 8, 2014 8:50 am

kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
June 7, 2014 at 3:20 pm
george e. smith says:
June 7, 2014 at 11:21 pm

A cheque results in the transfer of money out of an account.
Radiation results in the transfer of heat energy out of a system.
I’m not sure why you guys have your shirts in a knot.

June 8, 2014 9:12 am

Mr Leman is incorrect in logic. The mere fact that there is a greenhouse effect tells us nothing about whether our enhancement of it is or may become severe enough to be dangerous. The warming of the 20th century was largely a continuing recovery from the Little Ice Age. There has been no statistically-significant warming for close to two decades, notwithstanding increases in the concentration of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. It is, therefore, possible – and necessary, on the evidence – that our enhancement of the greenhouse effect is not important.

June 8, 2014 9:50 am

Monckton of Brenchley says:
June 8, 2014 at 9:12 am
It is, therefore, possible – and necessary, on the evidence – that our enhancement of the greenhouse effect is not important.
Exactly. Natural processes dwarf any effect humans might have.

June 8, 2014 10:49 am

Global warming doesn’t scare me because WARMER IS BETTER.
Planet Earth (globally) is today a mere 4 deg C warmer than the coldest point in the last 240,000,000 years (which occurred a mere 20,000 years ago at the Last Glacial Maximum. For 99% of the last nearly a quarter of a billion years, the Earth has been far warmer than it is today.
Warmer means longer growing seasons, more rainfall, more agricultural productivity, more biological productivity, more biological diversity, more wealth, more happiness, less starvation, deprivation, and suffering for all life forms.
Most of humanity lives in the tropics and semi tropics, despite the fact that only a small fraction of the land is in those zones. Humans are historically a tropical animal.
All our major food staples are tropical in origin: corn, wheat, rice, potatoes, manioc, squash, grapes, citrus, you name it. They all grow better where it is warm.
In fact, the most productive ag lands in the US are the warmest (check out the ag production of the Imperial Valley, a sub-sea-level valley south of the Mojave Desert.)
There are no (none, zip, zero) drawbacks to a warmer globe. There are only benefits.
The author may or may not be correct in his physics assumptions, but if he is right, and the Earth is not getting warmer, then that is a huge tragedy for all life.
WARMER IS BETTER. That’s intuitively obvious and self-evident, and to think otherwise is sadly twisted. Propaganda is toxic. It rots your brain. Throw off your mental shackles and think clearly, for your own good and for the good of all.

george e. smith
June 8, 2014 11:23 am

“””””……commieBob says:
June 8, 2014 at 8:50 am
kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
June 7, 2014 at 3:20 pm
george e. smith says:
June 7, 2014 at 11:21 pm
A cheque results in the transfer of money out of an account……”””””
No it doesn’t. I can write out a check for $1T, and make it out to Barack Obama; personally.
But not a penny will come out of my account, if instead, I decide to use it to generate heat energy to warm my coffee cup; by setting fire to that check, instead of mailing it to him.
If one plays music; say the violin or perhaps a clarinet. And you play the wrong note, for the wrong amount of time, and in the wrong place, at the wrong loudness, you DO NOT get music. You get horrible garbage.
PLaying music is like writing software code. If you enter the wrong instruction at the wrong place , and refer to the wrong address in the memory; you do not get accurate modeling of some describable system; you get garbage equally as horrible as your music.
So why would you also expect to not get absolute drivel; total garbage, when you write a “science paper”, and use the wrong words and the wrong physical units, and manipulate them, in an incorrect fashion.
If your intent was to inform; especially to inform someone, not particularly schooled in your subject; all you succeeded in doing, was leaving them still in a state of ignorance, about something they might be perfectly capable and able to understand, if properly presented.
You are not a teacher; you are an incompetent bum, if you can’t be bothered to use correct, and universally recognized and understood terminology.
That is true, whether the subject is atmospheric physics, or whether it is gastroenterology.
So if texting is the limit of your communication skills; do not hamper others who might be eager to learn something.

June 8, 2014 11:42 am

george e. smith says:
June 8, 2014 at 11:23 am

I very carefully refrained from insulting you. You’re reading the wrong thing into that. If you wish to continue in your current manner, that’s your own choice.

Boba Fat
June 8, 2014 1:43 pm

To be honest, the fear mongering of the alarmists is what primarily has put me in the skeptic camp. I can’t really make a solid evaluation of all science myself (who can?), and I can’t really identify who’s telling the truth. I like most of us act on gut feeling when faced with such a dilemma. The lack of faith in humanity and the disregard of the industrialized society’s many advantages by the alarmists puts me off also.
I would like to see the effects of proposed emission-cuts, translated into implications of our daily lives. Many people seem to believe that it is next to trivial and it doesn’t matter if climate science alarmist are right or not, there are only upsides with the proposed policies. I think this is extremely naive to say the least. Normally there is a lot of pessimism when GDP is growing slowly or not at all. Economic stagnation or recess is causing tangible problems in societies even today, imagine what cutting down on energy consumption to the proposed levels would do.
On the other hand, the choice between a collapse of society now, driven by policies based on collective global panic or a collapse of society in X years from now, due to catastrophic warming should always be an easy choice to me. I don’t actually think the latter would happen and I don’t think our current governments stupid as they may be, will let the former come true either.
A strong comeback for nuclear power is the only logical outcome if the AGW-scare continues and politicians dare to try and mitigate it.

June 8, 2014 2:28 pm

Boba Fat
I am in the same boat as you–skeptical of CAGW, especially of C, not truly capable of making an informed judgment. I do know that roughly 80% of the world’s energy comes from fossil fuels, so they ain’t going away soon and driving a Prius or refusing plastic grocery bags may make someone feel good, but it’s a drop in the bucket. Stopping CO2 emissions any time soon means quite literally the collapse of civilization. Carbon taxes seem like a political idea AND a politician’s dream. Just having Al Gore as an alarmist makes me suspicious. Remember that creepy moment when he kissed Tipper on stage? Not valid science, but…what a creep.
I favor–over the LONG run–switching from fossil fuels to nukes and research to make solar/wind/maybe fusion more viable. Benefits, AGW aside–include cleaner air and the ability to let the Middle East stew in its own hatred.
We disagree on only one point–I am convinced that Gov’t is indeed stupid and selfish.

June 8, 2014 4:10 pm

Bill says:
June 8, 2014 at 2:28 pm
Benefits, AGW aside–include cleaner air
Cleaner than what?

June 8, 2014 5:09 pm

Leonard Weinstein says:
June 8, 2014 at 6:40 am
I am not challenging radiative physics, just the mis-application of a radiative two shell model to a moving gas atmosphere where non-radiative transports dominate.
“Konrad, you can make up any hypothesis you wish, but you can’t make up data.”
I would respond that I am not making up data. Anyone with a reasonable IR thermometer can check my claim that the pattern of IR emission from the atmosphere is constantly changing both horizontally and vertically, with clouds being the strongest source of emission.
If you scan clear sky on a day with low humidity you will get a reading of around -40C (167 w/m2) at vertical and at lower angles this should increase to around -20C (232 w/m2) as apparent IR opacity to the instrument increases. However low cloud can read over 10C (364 w/m2) or even higher if you manage to scan during the formation/condensation stage.
By using averages such as ERL, you miss the role of radiative gases in atmospheric circulation. Air masses, particularly rising moist air masses, are not radiating at the same temperature as the atmospheric altitude they are rising through. Especially not during the heat pulse during condensation.
As Dr. Spencer pointed out in 2009, radiative subsidence plays a critical role in tropospheric convective circulation. Radiative gases do warm the atmosphere at low altitude and provide double that in cooling at higher altitude. If you model tropospheric convective circulation as constant for increasing radiative gas concentration then you will model near surface warming. Sir George Simpson warned Callendar not to do this back in 1938.
There is a radiative GHE on our planet (most notable at night over land), just not a NET radiative GHE. The basic reason is that the net effect of the atmosphere over the oceans is cooling of the oceans. And the atmosphere in turn has only one effective cooling mechanism – radiative gases.
As to ERL, the subject of my initial comment, this argument does boil down to the claim that adding radiative gases to the atmosphere reduces the atmospheres radiative cooing ability. But without radiative gases the atmosphere would have no radiative cooling ability. If the atmosphere could not radiatively cool, how could the atmosphere cool the oceans?

June 8, 2014 5:51 pm

Nukes are cleaner than coal/oil/etc. Alternative answer: cleaner than the air in China.
This seems uncontroversial to me; have I violated some taboo?

Leonard Weinstein
June 8, 2014 6:41 pm

Konrad, you have read more into my clear comment results than were there. I don’t care if the 3-D volume varies, I am talking only about averages. It matters not how the energy is transported to the upper atmosphere as long as some is radiated to space from the upper portions of the atmosphere. As long as there is enough mixing of the atmosphere to maintain the correct average (wet) adiabatic lapse rate, only the average altitude of radiation to space determines the average atmospheric greenhouse effect. While that average is from a very diffuse physical entity, but reasonably well defined effective net entity, it is clear that adding CO2 or other absorbing gases would increase that average altitude of outgoing radiating from and through the atmosphere if all other effect stayed the same. Going on about increased cooling due to radiating gases or use or not of multilayer models totally misses the basic physics and leads you astray.

June 8, 2014 8:48 pm

Leonard Weinstein says:
June 8, 2014 at 6:41 pm
I understand that you are talking of averages, but that is exactly what I am objecting to in the ERL argument. There are two main ways of showing radiative gases causing warming in climate models –
1. Calculate an average ERL for the atmosphere to be radiating ~240 w/m2 and then back calculate surface temp using averaged lapse rate.
2. Hold speed of tropospheric convective circulation constant for increasing radiative gas concentrations to show near surface warming.
Both approaches are invalid for a dynamic atmosphere. In the first case, radiation leaving the atmosphere from rising moist air masses is being emitted at higher temperature than the atmospheric level the airmass is rising through. In the second case the speed of tropospheric convective circulation (the primary energy transport away from the surface) depends on radiative subsidence. Its speed must be modelled to increase for increasing radiative gas concentration.
Ultimately the whole AGW issue can be dismissed by answering one very simple question –
“Given 1 bar surface pressure, is the net effect of the atmosphere over the oceans cooling or warming of the oceans?”

Santa Baby
June 9, 2014 1:07 am

The giant gorilla in the room is that it’s all about a political Agenda.
They started with international political solutions they, leftist, wanted. Restrict or end international kapitalism and impose international centrally planned global government.(centrally planned nations have not worked since WW2 compared with more open free kapitalistic nations).
The current means to get this political Agenda are WWF, Greenpeace, UNEP, UNFCCC, IPCC etc…politization of climate science.

Village Idiot
June 9, 2014 4:44 am

“..increasingly shrill insistence by climate alarmists that we face an imminent catastrophe…”
Ok, now we’ve got the Straw Man set up, let’s start the hatchet job on ICAGW

Tab Numlock
June 9, 2014 5:58 am

Why don’t we not want nicer weather and more abundant crops again?

June 9, 2014 7:04 am

Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
An excellent read.

george e. smith
June 9, 2014 9:16 am

“””””…..commieBob says:
June 8, 2014 at 11:42 am
george e. smith says:
June 8, 2014 at 11:23 am
I very carefully refrained from insulting you. You’re reading the wrong thing into that. If you wish to continue in your current manner, that’s your own choice……”””””
Coffee break time !!
Would you reread that post of mine, that leads to this comment of yours; but read it as a “generic” statement, NOT as being specifically aimed at you personally. I cited your post to begin with for sure, but just for reference. And NO thought of insultation, ever crossed my mind; never does from any of your postings.
My “stream of chastisement”, was quite generic. If we want to aid the lay readers, in understanding, what are actually quite easily understood concepts; even complex ones, it is very important to be quite pedantic, in our use of technical terminology.
Most of these terms also have quite mundane colloquial speech meanings (man in the street), and those often are quite at variance, with the strict scientific use of the same words.
For example, I cringe every time I read the word “brightness”, or this or that light source is “very bright”.
Well we all use dim and bright as common descriptive words. But when we get into the field of physics; particularly optics, or photometry, or radiometry, “brightness” takes on a kind of bastard status if we use it instead of “radiance” or “luminance”, some even use “sterance”, but that doesn’t seem to have caught on, thankfully. And we are talking about the specific quantity of radiant or luminous “power” per unit solid angle, per unit area. Watts per steradian per square meter, or lumens per steradian per square meter.
Those are properties of SOURCES and/or IMAGES, in fact they are conserved throughout the entire propagation process, as “etendue” or “throughput”, if we don’t like the French.
But “irradiance” or “illuminance”, is a quite different measure in just Watts per square meter or lumens per square meter.
We will still describe such a surface as “bright” or “brightly illuminated” in a colloquial sense, but we are now scrambling the strict scientific description, and eventually will confuse people.
But in any event, if you felt my “diatribe” was aimed specifically at you; it wasn’t, and I apologize if you felt that way, as it wasn’t intended that way.
PS The problem with “radiation” and “heat”, is that radiation can arrive at, or leave this planet; but “heat” cannot. So in thinking about the planet’s cooling process, we have to wonder; how do the purely thermal (heat) energy processes in the atmosphere, eventually convert the energy to radiation, which can escape to space.
The second law, tells us we can’t convert 100% of “heat” energy to “radiant” energy, but we can do the reverse.

Ursa Felidae
June 9, 2014 11:14 am

This comment may be a bit late….
Is it possible to get a re-write of the troublesome bits, with the author’s approval, so that this piece can be sent out to those people who either believe CAGW or don’t have the time to investigate it fully themselves.
Thanks in advance to anyone helping in this respect.
And thanks very much to Walter Starck for a fantastic article!!!!

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