An open letter to politifact.com

Guest essay by Andy May

polifacrThis is an open letter to Lauren Carroll regarding her Politifact.com article on December 17, 2014.

I have sent a very similar letter to her asking for her comments, but no reply yet. I’m always annoyed at the media “bait and switch” tactic of picking the most outlandish statements of the “other side” and shooting them down thoughtlessly as if the statement represented the whole of the argument. This is just one case, but it is on a web site that portrays itself as a media and political watchdog that reaches for understanding over ideological rhetoric. It is also a web site that should not take sides, but usually does. I thought it might be useful to discuss the points from a scientific perspective. I doubt I will change Ms. Carroll’s somewhat biased perspective on climate change, but others may find this discussion useful.

Dear Ms. Carroll

I’d like to discuss the points you make in your article and point out some problems from a scientist’s perspective.  I’m a petrophysicist (a type of Earth Scientist) with 40 years of experience and I’ve followed the issue of Global Warming or Climate Change with much interest for about 15 years.  The issue is much more complex than the media generally portray it.  I do not want to get into the debate over the claim that “Climate Change is a hoax.”  This is a discussion of the meat of the subject, not straw men.  I believe your web site generally tries to get beyond silly claims or statements and seeks to illuminate and inform.  This email is an attempt to help in this regard.

Actually, I’m more annoyed at the claim, referred to in Ms. Carroll’s article, that Marco Rubio’s statement that human activity is not “causing these dramatic changes to our climate” is false.  Rubio’s full statement (http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/may/13/marco-rubio/marco-rubio-says-humans-are-not-causing-climate-ch/ ) is carefully worded and very reasonable. In my opinion, Rubio is correct. The Kliegman article does not address what Rubio actually said, but changes his statement to “Rubio said human activity isn’t causing changes to the environment…” A statement that is false, but not what he said. This is another straw man logical fallacy, just like Carroll’s.

You have stated that there is a consensus of scientific organizations that agree on three issues.  The three are: 1) Manmade greenhouse gases warm (or affect) the atmosphere, 2) the IPCC reports are a good summary of climate science and 3) the increase in greenhouse gases is likely more than half of the cause of warming over the last 50 years. The notorious and widely discredited Cook, et. al. 2013 paper is also cited in the accompanying article by Kliegman on Rubio’s statement. Even the authors of the papers “classified” by Cook, et. al. say they were wrong (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/21/cooks-97-consensus-study-falsely-classifies-scientists-papers-according-to-the-scientists-that-published-them/ and http://judithcurry.com/2013/07/26/the-97-consensus/ )

As a skeptic of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, I agree with all three statements.  My agreement on the third point should be qualified a bit.  “Over the last 50 years” is an important condition.  The Earth appears to be adapting to the additional CO2, future additional CO2 may not contribute half of any warming.  This is because each additional bit of CO2 adds less and less of an effect since CO2 only traps a small range of infra-red frequencies and perhaps there are some natural adaptations that we do not understand very well yet (http://eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/139rmg~1.pdf ).  Any qualified Earth scientist would agree with the first two statements, they are obvious.  Most of us agree with the last one as stated.  The IPCC reports are a good summary of the state of climate science, but the executive summaries often misstate the actual report and there are errors, of course (http://judithcurry.com/2011/07/09/ipccs-new-protocol-for-addressing-possible-errors/ )

Our problem is not with the points above.  Our issue is with the assumption that increasing CO2 and warming is a problem that we urgently need to deal with.  We also object to the federal money (over $100B according to http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2011/08/23/the-alarming-cost-of-climate-change-hysteria/ ) being spent on researching or mitigating climate change.

Case in point.  It is widely known that there has been no warming since 1998 ( google “No Warming since 1998” or go to Matt Ridley’s excellent article in the WSJ, Sept 4, 2014).  So, for 16 of the 50 years in question there has been no warming.  Doesn’t this suggest that natural forces are stopping the warming caused by manmade CO2?  After all CO2 has continued to rise over the last 16 years at a steady pace, correct?  If natural forces can stop the CO2 caused warming doesn’t that imply they are as strong a forcing as the CO2?

Increasing CO2 to 1100 ppm (our atmosphere now has 400 ppm) causes plants to grow more than 50% faster and use less water per pound of growth ( http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/00-077.htm ). This is huge for our food supply, especially in most of the third world where food is hard to come by (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7306/full/466531a.html ).  Higher temperatures help plant growth also.  The Earth has been very cool for the last three million years; generally the Earth has been much warmer in the past and with more CO2 than today (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleoclimatology ).

As for other scientists who are skeptical of an impending climate catastrophe caused by manmade greenhouse gases, I refer you to the following partial list.  “Consensus” is meaningless in science, it is a political term.  This is an interesting area of research, but it has been screwed up and obscured by the politicians and the media.

These eminently qualified climate skeptics doubt an impending climate catastrophe and believe we should do nothing drastic now.

Professor Richard Lindzen

Professor S. Fred Singer

Professor Judith Curry

Professor Bjorn Lomborg

Professor Roger Pielke

Professor Roger Pielke Jr.

Matt Ridley

Professor Richard Tol (The Cook, et. al. survey included 10 of his 122 eligible papers. 5/10 were rated incorrectly. 4/5 were rated as endorse rather than neutral.)

And many, many more ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming and http://www.petitionproject.org/ ).  Obviously, as we saw with Galileo, it only takes one good scientist to shoot down conventional wisdom.

I hope this clarifies the skeptic case somewhat.  You are not the only media person to miss the point of the argument.

The “hoax,” if you want to use that term, is the speculative jump from simply “global warming” to an “impending climate catastrophe.”  It is true that the globe is warming; it has been doing that for the last 18,000 years.  It is not established that warming is a bad thing or will lead to catastrophe, that conclusion is pure speculation.  Generally, the warmer periods in the past have been good for mankind and the cooler periods problematic (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/17/climate-and-human-civilization-over-the-last-18000-years/ ).

The alarmists argue that global warming is real and they can back that up. True enough, I have no argument with that.  Then they deftly switch, without any supporting data to “global warming is bad.”  They are very skilled at this.

Andy May

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336 thoughts on “An open letter to politifact.com

  1. Since I live in the Tampa Bay area, I’m often subject to the “fact finding of the PolitiFact columns The “PolitiFact” folks rarely seem to get the Fact part straight but they always support a Political opinion that is well left of center. Indeed, when it comes to Political Facts, they do to these “facts” somewhat the same thing that SkS does regarding “climate facts”.

  2. And…
    “The alarmists argue that global warming is real and they can back that up. True enough, I have no argument with that. Then they deftly switch, without any supporting data to “global warming is bad.”
    Also, they deftly switch, without any supporting data to “humans are the primary cause of the warming which is bad” and further to “human CO2 emissions are the primary cause of the warming being caused by humans which is bad”.
    Andy, while your letter probably won’t be read by the PolitiFacts group, I’ll give you a Gold Star for trying.

    • “Human CO2 emissions are the primary cause of the warming being caused by humans which is bad” and we must spend hundreds of billions trillions of other people’s currency units to fix it.

      • PiperPaul, did you cross out “other people’s” by mistake? I’ve never known the “we” you talk about to ever volunteer to spend their own money, have you?

    • Environmentalists for the most part, accept as gospel that any change to the earth that is caused by man, is de facto bad. Therefore, to them, they don’t need to prove that global warming is bad, the mere fact that it is at least partly caused by man is the only proof they need.

      • Starting from that psychology goes a long way to explain the misguided, anti-human, perspective of the modern green movement and the AGW scare.

    • The worse part is when they segue to their answer.
      Inefficient solar panels and bird slicers – ruined landscapes – huge subsidies.
      Plus, give government more tax money or give their cronies trillions of dollars.
      With no evidence of how these mechanism are supposed to reduce the devastating effects of catastrophic global warming.
      How does me giving Wall St. millionaires money stop floods in Pakistan and droughts in the US?
      How much do I have to pay for gasoline before it never floods in Pakistan again?
      At what level of CO2 will the US aquifers be replenished?
      I’d really like to help save the world.
      What can I do?

      • It tends to be a part of the liberal mind set to establish a utopian environment – hence, we have to keep track of workplace accidents using lawsuits to encourage management to cut the number of such accidents down to zero – young teens can not operate any powered tools more dangerous than a vacuum cleaner – etc, etc. Without an appropriate mathematical appreciation for magnitude, they think they can extend their regulated utopic ideology to the entire globe!

    • That isn’t a switch (replacing one thing with another) but an unwarranted assumption. The original claim (“global warming is real”) remains in place.

  3. On top of cholestorol causes heart attacks so gobble your statins folks, comes more evidence of scientific alarmism and jumping to conclusions on rather flimsy evidence-
    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/lifestyle/health/cancer-often-caused-by-bad-luck-not-genes-say-johns-hopkins-researchers/story-fni0diad-1227172343837?sv=a498c09233aaee801c85c802030dd4d7
    There’s no doubt publicly funded science produces some very tenuous findings and it’s eagerly jumped upon by like public servants in policymaking in order to grow their empires. There’s been an obvious symbiotic relationship between the two for a long time now and mainstream journalism swallows it repeatedly, hook line and sinker.

  4. Reblogged this on Sierra Foothill Commentary and commented:
    I am re-bloging this as it could just as easily be an open letter to our local lefty global warmers who have no understanding of the skeptical scientist views on global warming or climate change. Please read with an open mind.

  5. Andy – I wish you luck in your endeavour with the media. Like you I am an earth scientist and have been engaged in policy work for over forty years. Often I have worked with the media – having advised over time, several TV companies, including the BBC, written articles in the press (Times, Independent and had my work featured in the Guardian and Independent), written also for New Scientist and Nature. My media relations were excellent on issues of ocean pollution, atmospheric dispersal, nuclear accidents and risks and various biodiversity and sustainability issues….all until I became a sceptic on climate change! I little realised what I was letting myself in for when I agreed to have a report I had produced for environmentalists published in a popular book format. My past record would normally guarantee reviews – but none of the above would even consider reviewing it (it was reviewed in The Holocene, but that did not cut any ice). It was endorsed by a drafting author of the Kyoto Protocol – on the grounds that the questions I raised needed answering. No ice cut there either.
    But the usual hacks for the left-liberal-green press thought it valid to attack what they presumed was the message of the book – without reading it (‘not able to judge the science’ – said George Monbiot – so lets look at ‘who’ this guy is…..). When not able to fault my ‘green’ credentials, I was roundly attacked for ‘beliefs’ in homeopathy, astrology and the supernatural (I have no ‘beliefs’ but did recount experiences in an autobiography – which were shamelessly quoted out of all context).
    There is a HUGE amount of collusion within the media….but that is a simplistic statement, because as I have come to realise, the ‘media’ now includes the environmental organisations who were my former allies – the NGOs have become adept at playing the media, even becoming the media…and they receive substantial funds (hundreds of millions of dollars) of foundation money to get their message across. Furthermore, once progressive newspapers such as the Guardian (I was a devoted reader as a student) have allied with the cause – as also has the BBC. They then become committed not to rational argument or open debate, but to the message. Critics are labelled or branded as heretics unworthy of engagement. They strategise as to how to suppress dissent or discredit opponents. For example, Greenpeace and the Guardian work closely together, and the former is embedded within the UN – but it is the Greenpeace media specialists who operate at these levels, and they cannot judge the science, hence need and take a party-line.
    I don’t know what the answer is – especially now that the sceptic arguments have been taken up by the political right (e.g. in UK, the Daily Telegraph), because then the liberal-left dig even deeper into their own hole. But maybe taking the constant trouble to write as you have done will wear them down! Good luck.

    • Regarding this turn in Peter Taylor’s standing in the science world, I would like to see an entire post telling this story fully.

      • They did this to my father, Dr. Aden Meinel when he tried to publish his last paper, ‘The Sun Is A Variable Star’ where he predicted, 6 years ago, that the next solar cycle would be like the Maunder Minimum or weaker.
        He was censored! No one would publish it. He couldn’t believe this was happening to him. He destroyed his paper and died soon afterwards.
        When you suddenly go from being ‘top scientist’ to ‘who’s that?’ it fills people with despair and this angers me greatly. This is not how a scientific debate is conducted. This is like when Galileo was censored.
        True story: on the anniversary of Galileo’s death a dozen years ago, my father was invited to Italy to talk about the famous astronomer and lived in Galileo’s apartments during the visit.

      • I reviewed Peter Taylors excellent book ‘Chill’. From personal knowledge I know there to be sceptics in Both the Met Office and The Environment Agency and also various international Management Consultants, but they don’t dare ‘out’ themselves as they know which way the wind is blowing.
        Many sceptics aren’t revealed until they retire from their full time job.
        tonyb

    • Very well said Peter. Your book ‘Chill’ was one of the best I have read on the subject, it’s a real shame that the questions it posed were not more thoughtfully addressed and discussed. I suspect time will vindicate your position. I sincerely hope so.

    • I read your book “Chill” Peter and agree totally with your point of view stated above. I have long suspected this collaboration between the MSM and the Greens is an entirely political agenda, and well left of centre. There is plenty of support for our view that minor global warming is benign and that increasing CO2 is beneficial – see the 15% increase in global vegetation cover over the last 20 yrs. On the right of politics here in UK there is a dawning realisation that the de-carbonisation of the Western industrial economies is suicidal – the politicians’ problem is they don’t know how to get off the back of the tiger they have let loose – without a colossal loss of face and professional credibility that is. Hats off to Tony Abbot and his colleagues in Oz for having the guts to do this – and note the sky does not appear to have fallen in, in Oz.
      I write to my MP regularly and berate him to press for a repeal of the UK Climate Change Act (CCA) which has committed UK to economic suicide – eg the phasing out of all gas fired heating and cooking by 2030 in favour of “renewables”, just when we have discovered a huge bounty of cheap onshore shale gas. Which companies are going to invest in developing this resource if there is no on-shore use for the gas in 15 yrs time??
      We all need to lobby our MP’s and it is easy – just google “my MP” (without quotes) and you will be invited to enter you postcode which will automatically bring up your sitting MP’s page – and a tab where you can email your MP. Do it now – quote the fact that there has been no global warming for 18 years and that the models on which the AGW scare is based are totally discredited. Mention this website.
      Note for the Global Warming Policy Foundation – why don’t you get up an on-line petition to compel the UK Gov’t to debate the repeal of the CCA??
      BJ in UK

  6. Nice soft muddy response.
    I suspect they’ll read just far enough to get the fact that you agree, almost. That’s close enough for the irrational worshippers of CAGW.
    Instead of leading with soft rationale or general agreement, identify their arguments by main components. Pick their weakest statement/argument and hammer it hard.
    Yes, it is desirable to nail all of the points they gloss over; but the more complex you make the rebuttal, especially when including weak or limp wrist agreements, the harder it is to press important points.

    • Attenborough is a “useful idiot” from the BBC, and a human-hater. His core belief is that humans are heading for a well-deserved extinction. He never used to believe in AGW and only joined them after he realized that they were human-haters too.

    • Can anybody in NZ explain why the NZ Herald so repeatedly produces nonsense about climate change without investigating the possibility that it is all a scam? We always say “follow the money”, so what could that trail lead to? Is it something to do with investments held by the owners of the Herald? My several letters to the editor on this subject are never printed, so presumably the editor is in the same position – or following orders!

      • Very few journalists have any formal university scientific or engineering training. Their ability to critically examine and test assertions in science, and engineering disciplines, at even a top level assessment of statistical or mathematical assertions on climate science and examination of inconsistencies, is nil.
        Most journalism schools are run a left of center-oriented faculty. Confirmation bias and In-Group Bias dominate the media, especially print media. The Left learned long ago that they must control and own the media.
        That is why today’s Internet is so disruptive to the Leftists and their lies. It is also why print media outlets are dying.

    • From the link above: “Sir David’s comments come two days after a separate warning – on the dangers posed by the booming human population.” Whenever I see a quote about the dangers of overpopulation I am pleasantly reminded of the man who save a billion human lives, Norman Borlaug. The predictions of better men than Attenborough have long since crashed against the rocks, some of those men, even to this day advise our President.

  7. “Manmade greenhouse gases warm (or affect) the atmosphere”. Really? In theory they might, albeit a little. But so far there is no conclusive evidence that it has, which leaves it in scientific limbo, as still conjecture. As far as “affecting the atmosphere”, what effects, other than the obvious one of increased levels of those gasses?

  8. They won’t understand it. Virtually all warmies that I read in the meeja or know personally argue the case for “warming is occurring and d@n!@r$ are delusional.”
    No warmies I’ve even encountered (outside specialist sites) are equipped to argue 3 things:
    1) since all agree that CO2 is a weak GHG, which is the “correct” ECS
    2) prove scientific consensus on this ECS
    3) prove the effectiveness of $trillions spent on abatement activity (hint: point to major ETS / treaty milestones on a chart of global abatement) – the economics, not the “science.”

    • Andrew, why don’t you type some more letters instead of using CODE?
      What is meant by: GHC, ECS, and ETS. Spell it out.
      Dan Kurt

      • Well, GHG is obvious: Green House Gas
        But the other ones (ECS and ETS) aren’t so obvious and really should have been spelled out for those less familiar with the acronyms.
        ECS: Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity
        ETS: ?????

  9. When my liberal friends start going on about “deniers” who go against the scientific consensus, I just ask them “Oh, you mean like Galileo and Darwin?”

  10. Why do you bother with this woman and her tedious ramblings?
    If you did not stick posts like this here, nobody would know or care about her or PolitiFact.com
    She is just another climate hysteric with the same old tired, stale, worn-out and discredited doom-laden polemic, using the same old words, phrases and straw-man arguments that we have all heard over and over until we are all sick of reading them.
    EXAMPLE:
    “Research also shows that climate change denial is concentrated among those who have less expertise in the subject or no scientific training at all.
    “Additionally, much of climate change deniers’ back-up evidence is cherry-picked or too simplistic to be meaningful.”

    Notice her scientific qualifications? Like most climate hysterics, she feels it is OK for her to comment on climate science without having any scientific qualifications whatsoever, while at the same time decrying so-called “deniers” for having no scientific qualifications. Why would anyone bother arguing with this genius?

    • But the problem is that the MSM listen to her and her ilk and publish what they say, rather than doing the research themselves and then publishing what they have found.

      • Do you not get the feeling that if these writers actually did the research and wrote up their results, their article would be spiked and would never be published? Do they “go along” with the AGW delusion not because they really believe in it but to pay the bills? That’s their level of credibility.

      • Sasha, you are right – it will take an independant minded owner to appoint an honest editor.
        Don’t hold your breath.

    • There are quite a few in the media who consider Politifact to be the gold standard when it comes to judging truth and falsehood. They actually consider it to be unbiased.

  11. Andy,

    I’m always annoyed at the media “bait and switch” tactic of picking the most outlandish statements of the “other side” and shooting them down thoughtlessly as if the statement represented the whole of the argument.

    Yes, that does get tiresome.

    This is just one case, but it is on a web site that portrays itself as a media and political watchdog that reaches for understanding over ideological rhetoric.

    Always fun to give someone a dose of their own medicine though, innit.

    It is also a web site that should not take sides, but usually does.

    That would be the presumption for most any form of skeptical objectivity, yes.

    I thought it might be useful to discuss the points from a scientific perspective.

    Typically the correct play when talking about physical phenomena.

    I doubt I will change Ms. Carroll’s somewhat biased perspective on climate change, but others may find this discussion useful.

    I constantly marvel that bias is nearly always everyone else’s problem but the person talking about it. But enough of my rhetorical jabs, let’s get to the science.

    Case in point. It is widely known that there has been no warming since 1998 ( google “No Warming since 1998” or go to Matt Ridley’s excellent article in the WSJ, Sept 4, 2014). So, for 16 of the 50 years in question there has been no warming. Doesn’t this suggest that natural forces are stopping the warming caused by manmade CO2?

    Yes, absolutely.

    After all CO2 has continued to rise over the last 16 years at a steady pace, correct?

    No dispute here, those are the facts as I understand them, except that I’d note CO2 accumulation rate is not steady but increasing.

    If natural forces can stop the CO2 caused warming doesn’t that imply they are as strong a forcing as the CO2?

    Stronger actually. This is a problem for AGW theory, how?

    • Brandon Gates

      Stronger actually. This is a problem for AGW theory, how?

      IMO it just proves the natural variability, what ever it is, is larger at decadal scale and is able to at least completely hide the AGW effect in that timescale.
      James Annan, I heard, was expecting and betting that new hottest years ‘ever’ would come like every secondish year now. He lost the bet, though I don’t like to think this as gambling.

      • Hugh, perhaps I preach to the choir with you but the obvious variability is the one with the greatest total heat capacity in the system: the oceans at over 90%. And yes decadal scale in bold italics all caps, multi-colored, blinking, 48 point-sized super-duper headline style text.
        Once, just once, I would like to see someone like Mr. May here point to the exact text of an IPCC document wherin it reads, “Every year and/or decade is guaranteed to be hotter than the previous one in lockstep with rising CO2 emissions.”
        Especially when also simultaneously complaining to a journalist about strawman arguments. Unbelievable.

      • Brandon Gates;
        Once, just once, I would like to see someone like Mr. May here point to the exact text of an IPCC document wherin it reads, “Every year and/or decade is guaranteed to be hotter than the previous one
        You must be new to the debate. Many moons ago, skeptics were arguing that the warming was well within the bounds of natural variability. Warmists scoffed at this notion, insisting that natural variability was too small to swamp the warming signal from CO2.
        Then, when the models started to diverge from reality, Phil Junes of HadCRUT said that if there was no warming for ten years, it meant the models were in trouble. Later, NASA published a paper saying it was more like 15 years. Then Santer published yet another paper saying 17 years.
        Now they’ve quit publishing any criteria at all for validating the models, and instead are insisting that natural variability is swamping the CO2 signal. So they’ve gone from arguing that CO2 dominates natural variability to arguing that natural variability dominates CO2, and have brushed aside their own assertions that decade over decade warming was the only possible outcome of CO2 emissions.

      • Davidhoffer
        Brandon is not new to the debate. He just forgets. He forgot that the whole of AGW argument is based on models and the forecast products of these which all show an ever increasing temp.

      • Brandon,
        Do you not find it a little curious that these natural forcings that seem to have held CO2 in check for more than 15 years have done so by keeping the statistical variation effectively zero for over 15 years despite what is effectively a monotonic rise of CO2 based forcings? Don’t you find that continued coincidence of matching increasing natural cooling forcing and increasing warming GHG forcings a little bit unlikely?
        An Occam’s razor approach would assert that CO2 has no effect on global temperatures. Assuming that complex natural forces acting together can precisely match in the opposing sense the warming forcing of CO2 is a little too complex of an argument for Occam.

      • Brandon Gates;
        Once, just once, I would like to see someone like Mr. May here point to the exact text of an IPCC document wherin it reads, “Every year and/or decade is guaranteed to be hotter than the previous one in lockstep with rising CO2 emissions.”
        Here ya go. Even the “constant composition” trajectory, which we are nowhere near, published in 2007 by IPCC AR4 shows decade over decade warming:
        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-10-4.html

      • davidmhoffer,

        You must be new to the debate. Many moons ago, skeptics were arguing that the warming was well within the bounds of natural variability.

        Naw, I’ve been around the block a few times.

        Warmists scoffed at this notion, insisting that natural variability was too small to swamp the warming signal from CO2.

        Is this popular press/political/activist speech we’re talking here, or primary literature?

        Then, when the models started to diverge from reality, Phil Junes of HadCRUT said that if there was no warming for ten years, it meant the models were in trouble. Later, NASA published a paper saying it was more like 15 years. Then Santer published yet another paper saying 17 years.

        What you didn’t see was me ranting at my computer screen, “you dummies might regret saying that!!!” Especially at Santer because it was such obvious goal post creep and I was staring right at that big fat hiatus from 1940-80.

        Now they’ve quit publishing any criteria at all for validating the models …

        yeahno … http://cmip-pcmdi.llnl.gov/cmip5/experiment_design.html
        Link hop from there.

        … and instead are insisting that natural variability is swamping the CO2 signal.

        Goodness dearie me no, that’s been talked about since Arrhenius. Exactly since his seminal paper on the topic. Like, in the paper itself by him and the commentary of several reviewers.

      • Brandon Gates, the Precautionary Principle was defined at Rio. It stated,

        In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.

        Policy has been adopted on the scientific certainty required by the Precautionary Principle.
        But Sceptics said that natural variation could (and probably did) swamp man’s impact – alarmists called “Precautionary Principle” and ducked the debate.
        So natural variation was ignored and Arrhenius invoked as the magic charm to claim plausibility.
        But it wasn’t science. Science had been abandoned in favour of fear. Yet natural variation was still a reality.

      • davidmhoffer,
        Caption of the image says: Lines show the multi-model means, shading denotes the ±1 standard deviation range of individual model annual means. Discontinuities between different periods have no physical meaning and are caused by the fact that the number of models that have run a given scenario is different for each period and scenario, as indicated by the coloured numbers given for each period and scenario at the bottom of the panel. For the same reason, uncertainty across scenarios should not be interpreted from this figure (see Section 10.5.4.6 for uncertainty estimates).
        … hmmm hmmm following the link to the referenced section …
        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-5-4-6.html
        The AOGCMs cannot sample the full range of possible warming, in particular because they do not include uncertainties in the carbon cycle. In addition to the range derived directly from the AR4 multi-model ensemble, Figure 10.29 depicts additional uncertainty estimates obtained from published probabilistic methods using different types of models and observational constraints: the MAGICC SCM and the BERN2.5CC coupled climate-carbon cycle EMIC tuned to different climate sensitivities and carbon cycle settings, and the C4MIP coupled climate-carbon cycle models. Based on these results, the future increase in global mean temperature is likely to fall within –40 to +60% of the multi-model AOGCM mean warming simulated for each scenario.
        … backing up to the section header …
        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-5-4.html
        10.5.4 Sampling Uncertainty and Estimating Probabilities
        Uncertainty in the response of an AOGCM arises from the effects of internal variability, which can be sampled in isolation by creating ensembles of simulations of a single model using alternative initial conditions, and from modelling uncertainties, which arise from errors introduced by the discretization of the equations of motion on a finite resolution grid, and the parametrization of sub-grid scale processes (radiative transfer, cloud formation, convection, etc). Modelling uncertainties are manifested in alternative structural choices (for example, choices of resolution and the basic physical assumptions on which parametrizations are based), and in the values of poorly constrained parameters within parametrization schemes. Ensemble approaches are used to quantify the effects of uncertainties arising from variations in model structure and parameter settings. These are assessed in Sections 10.5.4.1 to 10.5.4.3, followed by a discussion of observational constraints in Section 10.5.4.4 and methods used to obtain probabilistic predictions in Sections 10.5.4.5 to 10.5.4.7.

        What happens when we isolate, sample, filter and take means? Smoothing I think. Probably why the charts look the way they do. They go through great pains to describe how IF this certain set of emissions happen in exactly this way, we think temperatures 50-100 years from now will fall inside this envelope. IF this other set of assumptions happens instead, because we make x,y,z hard choices now, this is the range we think we’ll be in.
        That’s basically it. The wrong way to read those charts is to say, hmm, “laser-straight 0.2 K/decade for 10 decades until we fry” because that’s not at all what’s in the text behind the scary — but pretty — graphs. The laser-straight part I mean …

      • MCourtney,

        Policy has been adopted on the scientific certainty required by the Precautionary Principle.

        Lol, read it again: lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation …

        But Sceptics said that natural variation could (and probably did) swamp man’s impact – alarmists called “Precautionary Principle” and ducked the debate.

        What am I, chopped liver?

        So natural variation was ignored and Arrhenius invoked as the magic charm to claim plausibility.

        Noooo … from the horse’s mouth: http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5-SPM_Approved27Sep2013.pdf
        It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.
        “Ignoring” natural variability would be, It is 100% absolutely certain that ALL of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations, and we therefore are going to fry, no ifs ands or buts. Now please fork over your pocket lint. No, and the money too. Thanks for your support. ~Management

      • Ian W,

        Do you not find it a little curious that these natural forcings that seem to have held CO2 in check for more than 15 years have done so by keeping the statistical variation effectively zero for over 15 years despite what is effectively a monotonic rise of CO2 based forcings?

        More like interesting, with no small amount of politicial inconvenience. The planet is not a Team Player you see.

        Don’t you find that continued coincidence of matching increasing natural cooling forcing and increasing warming GHG forcings a little bit unlikely?

        Not at all. There are two good precedents in the instrumental record:
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:12/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1880/to:1910/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1945/to:1975/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1997.5/trend
        Note the slope of each hiatus increases as CO2 rises. Negative from 1880-1910 and 1945-1975, then ever so slightly positive from 1997.5 to present. [1]

        An Occam’s razor approach would assert that CO2 has no effect on global temperatures.

        Actually, that’s a null hypothesis approach, and you have stated it rather perfectly: we’re NOT causing the warming is the default assumption being tested.

        Assuming that complex natural forces acting together can precisely match in the opposing sense the warming forcing of CO2 is a little too complex of an argument for Occam.

        It’s not precise, nor is it the same each go-round. It does appear that there’s a 60-year cycle which is somewhat regular in period and amplitude, and as CO2 rises the shape of the up and down slopes change around the gradually increasing long-term new equilibrium.
        Occam said nothing about things being complex and/or seeming improbable not possibly being true. And he never said that the simplest explanation for observed phenomena is always correct. Einstein may or may not have said something like the following:
        It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience.
        Or as is often paraphrased: Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler.
        The fact is, temps have been nearly dead-level for the better part of two decades. In a dynamic system such as the planet, by your own reasoning you should find that a little more than a little bit of a spooky coincidence. I’m really not sure why in your eyes I’m the only one who has need of a shave here.
        ————————————
        [1] I tried to find a dead-level flat line, I really did. If RSS went back to 1880 I might have managed it.

      • Anyone else find it humorous that folks like Brandon are now asserting that “uncertainty” is now a factor that supports their position? This has long been a skeptical position (my main one) and alarmists are now claiming we can’t be “certain” that alarming warming won’t happen. LOL.
        Now, add that to the obvious cherry picking in his reference to the Hadcrut4 data. That was classic. In his mind this supports his view because the pauses are trending higher. Of course, this is simply wishful thinking on his part. The first two pauses were perfectly aligned with the negative PDO while the last one is not (it is about 50-50). In addition, the first pause also ends with a couple of weak solar cycles.
        What the data show is exactly what one would expect from a perfectly natural warming trend that goes all the way back to the Maunder Minimum. It is also perfectly consistent with the warming that preceded the RWP and the MWP.
        However, Brandon WANTS to “believe”. He has “faith” in his climate priests. This “faith” requires him to cherry pick the data to support him. It is the only way he can function. Also notice how he completely ignores the fact that much of the warming is due to adjustments and the trend in those adjustments aligns with the last negative PDO making it appear weaker as well.
        The psychology of the alarmist mind at work.

      • Richard M,

        Anyone else find it humorous that folks like Brandon are now asserting that “uncertainty” is now a factor that supports their position?

        I don’t. But then I know my own position a lot better than you do. I know how, why and perhaps most importantly when it evolved, and “now” — as in “just now” in the ad hoc sense is not a factor. But hey, this is your fantasy, I shouldn’t intrude too much.

        This has long been a skeptical position (my main one) and alarmists are now claiming we can’t be “certain” that alarming warming won’t happen. LOL.

        Yeah, and some return lulz for the climate contrarian who thinks he’s got some sort of monopoly on prescient skepticism.

        Now, add that to the obvious cherry picking in his reference to the Hadcrut4 data.

        That elicited an audible chuckle. Would you prefer GISTemp? http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/mean:12/plot/gistemp/from:1880/to:1910/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1945/to:1975/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1997.5/trend
        Here’s HADCRUT4 again: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:12/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1880/to:1910/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1945/to:1975/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1997.5/trend
        Oh dear, it looks like I “cherry picked” the time series which provides the weaker support for the story I wanted to tell.

        That was classic. In his mind this supports his view because the pauses are trending higher. Of course, this is simply wishful thinking on his part. The first two pauses were perfectly aligned with the negative PDO while the last one is not (it is about 50-50). In addition, the first pause also ends with a couple of weak solar cycles.

        Somewhere in this may be a good rebuttal. How about supporting it with hard data instead of hand waving?

        What the data show is exactly what one would expect from a perfectly natural warming trend that goes all the way back to What the data show is exactly what one would expect from a perfectly natural warming trend that goes all the way back to the Maunder Minimum. It is also perfectly consistent with the warming that preceded the RWP and the MWP.

        It’s no secret that solar activity estimates show a rise from 1650-1700 to present:
        http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/itsi_wls_ann.png
        The math there is a 1.7 W/m^2 rise in solar constant from the Maunder Minimum to the turn of the millenium. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to demonstrate how that rise of insolation explains all of the observed temperature rise, and how the following curve cannot possibly have contributed anything to it:
        http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/ico2_monthly.png
        This exercise will require doing some math and showing your work. I find Excel’s linest linear regression function adequate for this purpose, though it is a bit cumbersome to use. Or you could spare yourself the hassle by simply pointing to the peer-reviewed primary literature which demonstrates your “perfect consistency”. Something like “R^2 = 1.000, p = 0.000” would be especially impressive, albeit perhaps a little too good to be true. Eh?

        Also notice how he completely ignores the fact that much of the warming is due to adjustments and the trend in those adjustments aligns with the last negative PDO making it appear weaker as well.

        It’s at this point a rational person who was actually thinking while writing would realize (s)he therefore has no better idea what temps have done than I do.

        The psychology of the alarmist mind at work.

        [hack, hack, cough, cough, gassssp …]

      • Gates seems to have a problem with this:
        “Every year and/or decade is guaranteed to be hotter than the previous one in lockstep with rising CO2 emissions.”
        But that is exactly what the alarmist crowd believes. Many of them are now arguing that the data is wrong, and that this year is ‘the hottest year EVAH!!‘.
        Really, they have given up any pretence of being objective. They have apparently decided that if lying is necessary for the Cause, then that’s what they must do.
        So rather than saying that the IPCC has not explicitly stated the position above as their belief, it would be far better to correct fellow cult members; the ones who have taken the position that global warming is still chugging along, the same as it always has.
        Because the truth is, it isn’t. Global warming stopped — many years ago.

      • dbstealey,

        Gates seems to have a problem with this: “Every year and/or decade is guaranteed to be hotter than the previous one in lockstep with rising CO2 emissions.”

        No “seem” about it. I’ve got big problems with it, not least of which is illiterati who can’t read an IPCC AR properly.

        But that is exactly what the alarmist crowd believes. Many of them are now arguing that the data is wrong, and that this year is ‘the hottest year EVAH!!‘.

        Who and where? Links please.

      • Gates says:
        Who and where? Links please.
        Are you kidding? You can start by reading WUWT. Some folks refuse to accept that global warming stopped, many years ago. Some folks continue to argue that this is the hottest year ever.
        Why don’t you inform them that they’re wrong? Unless, of course, you agree with them…

      • dbstealey,

        Are you kidding? You can start by reading WUWT.

        No, I’m not kidding. The only place I’ve seen the “hottest year evah” claim is right here on WUWT, and you’re the main one saying it. Elsewhere I read, “might be the hottest year ever” which I don’t much care for because:
        1) I don’t like counting chickens before they hatch and
        2) focusing on one data point, especially in the context of a record-breaker, sends the wrong message.

        Some folks refuse to accept that global warming stopped, many years ago.

        Some people don’t know the difference between surface temperatures and net energy retention in the entire system, and can’t be bothered to figure out that retaining energy is the very thing predicted by AGW.

        Some folks continue to argue that this is the hottest year ever.

        Links please.

        Why don’t you inform them that they’re wrong?

        Because the numbers aren’t in for Pete’s sake, and I don’t know of anyone who has prematurely said, “This is the hottest year”. Why do you think I’m asking you who is saying so?

        • Just for fun, did a google search (was 2014 the hottest year ever) and this wiki came up:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_hiatus
          Within the wiki, I found this tidbit which I’d not previously seen:” In a presentation to the American Physical Society, William (Bill) Collins of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and lead author of the modeling Chapter 9 of the IPCC AR5 said “Now, I am hedging a bet because, to be honest with you, if the hiatus is still going on as of the sixth IPCC report, that report is going to have a large burden on its shoulders walking in the door, because recent literature has shown that the chances of having a hiatus of 20 years are vanishingly small.”

    • “This is a problem for AGW theory, how?”
      It is a problem because it means that it is impossible to attribute any of the observed warming to humans – if the current plateau is natural, then the previous warming could have been natural, too. It means that the climate establishment has no means by which to gauge the impact of human activities on the climate, and their prognostications are no more than subjective guesswork.

      • Bart,
        I think we have the famous non sequitur here. The fact that decadal variation can hide agw in decadal scope does not prove that it does not exist. I’m not quite understanding how many seem to think so.
        It might prove agw is smaller than some expected it to be, or that natural variability is larger – again in decadal scope – than some thought.
        I really liked to see a wuwt widget showing how much colder (according to some cagw theory) the globe were without human CO2, because it also shows nicely how much natural variation we have.

      • Hugh,
        I’m not sure I understand your concern. It is not incumbent upon skeptics to prove that AGW does not exist, but on advocates to prove that it does. Moreover, if we do not know that AGW is occurring or how, then how can we hope to take any measures which would mitigate it? How do we even know that we can do anything about it? How do we trade off the effectiveness of any responses we choose to make? How do we know when we have done enough? What is the criterion for success?
        There are more than enough concrete problems in the world to deal with. We do not need to conjure up any additional ones based on fear, or take measures against any imagined ones based on the precautionary principle – that would lead to an unending supply of hobgoblins to pursue – and, we can ill afford to waste precious resources striking haphazardly and ineffectually at phantoms. Children shiver at monsters under the bed, and demand that mommy and daddy make them go away. Adults realize that we cannot spend our lives cowering under the sheets.

      • Bart,

        [replying to Hugh] I’m not sure I understand your concern.

        You don’t. He’s telling you that you’ve built a fallacious argument. I agree with him. You’ve got:
        1) a naked assertion: it is impossible to attribute any of the observed warming to humans
        2) a conditional: if the current plateau is natural
        3) and finally an argument from ignorance masquerading as outright speculation: then the previous warming could have been natural, too
        It almost wants to be a fallacy of four terms. Then you really fly off the rails with It means that the climate establishment has no means by which to gauge the impact of human activities on the climate, and their prognostications are no more than subjective guesswork.
        Does it not occur to you that by your very own arguments you could be in exactly the same boat up the proverbial swollen creek on a moonless night without a paddle or a flashlight? If we don’t know nuffin’, how is it that you do?

        It is not incumbent upon skeptics to prove that AGW does not exist, but on advocates to prove that it does.

        This isn’t a burden of proof scenario, it’s that your argument against the evidence presented is fallacious. You do need to defend that, not us.
        Regardless, I cannot give you proof (as I define it); such a thing doesn’t happen in empirical science. But our side of the debate has accumulated plenty of evidence from which we infer that we’re having a noticeable effect on climate. Here’s a great place to start reading: http://www.ipcc.ch/
        Your willingness to accept what’s therein, or not, is your choice. It is not our failure to provide an argument backed with evidence. Which is fine, I believe in choice. Just don’t think for a moment that we’ve fobbed off our duty to hold up our end of the debate on anyone.

      • Correctomundo, Bart.
        Although AGW is not ruled out, it is such a minuscule forcing that it can be completely disregarded for all practical purposes. The alarmist crowd has completely failed to provide any credible arguments; without verifiable measurements, everything they assert is only a conjecture; an opinion. It is nothing more.
        As Willis points out, at current levels CO2 is only a tiny, 3rd-order forcing. That small forcing is swamped by 2nd-order forcings — which are in turn swamped by First-order forcings.
        Even adding another 20% – 30% more [harmless, beneficial] CO2 to the atmosphere will not have any measurable effect on global temperature. This graph shows exactly why that is:
        http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/clip_image0062.jpg
        Next: so far, no one has ever provided an empirical, testable measurement of AGW. There simply are no measurements of AGW. No one can say that AGW is 50%, or 20%, or even one percent of total global warming, because no one has any verifiable measurements of AGW.
        The reason is clear: If it exists [I think it does], it is simply too small to measure. Thus, all the wild-eyed Chicken Little squawking over “carbon” is nothing but a tempest in a teapot. It is a gnat on an elephant’s butt — and just as insignificant.
        If the alarmist crowd exchanged all the energy they waste on their pointless arguments, they could build a new row of pyramids — plus a new Taj Mahal. But now that they’ve staked out their silly and indefensible position, they feel they must see it through to tthe bitter end, no matter how many problems it causes the rest of society.

      • B Gates:
        Bart is 100% correct.
        It is up to the AGW proponents to prove the AGW hypothesis, and not the other way around.
        So let’s see you prove it.

      • Brandon Gates @ January 2, 2015 at 4:05 pm
        This is a rather incoherent post.
        Look, it is very simple: The climate science community was caught flat-footed by the plateau. If the natural dynamics are so unpredictable and powerful, then they do not know enough to say whether the previous warming was natural or not.
        They. Do. Not. Know.
        They are flailing blindly. At that point, following their advice becomes the proverbial case of the blind leading the blind. It is difficult to envisage anything good coming from that.

      • Bart,

        The climate science community was caught flat-footed by the plateau.

        It was not predicted. Nothing on my radar indicates that such future events will be reliably predicted either.

        If the natural dynamics are so unpredictable and powerful, then they do not know enough to say whether the previous warming was natural or not.

        No, “they” do not say that, the IPCC says extremely high confidence that we have contributed to about 50% of the warming since pre-industrial times.

        They. Do. Not. Know.

        Then. You. Don’t. Know. Either.

        They are flailing blindly. At that point, following their advice becomes the proverbial case of the blind leading the blind. It is difficult to envisage anything good coming from that.

        Your logic is failing badly. We already know what the planet was like in the recent past at slightly lower temps and far less CO2. Rational people know the difference between past certainty and forward-looking uncertainty.

      • Bart – I cannot agree with your comment here – it is nearly entirely incumbent on sceptics to disprove the CAGW argument. The sadness is that the advocates of CAGW do not all do the same. Science requires scepticism not continual unchallenged hypothesis and conjecture.
        I do not necessarily agree with Brandon (and hugh for that matter) and have said so at times, he is however truly sceptical in his approach (in the true scientific meaning not the political one), in that he does not accept consensus as truth or fact. For that reason I greatly respect his position and enjoy the debate he brings. In this case I cant fault is argument as for the most part it will only be proven by future statistics not by models as will anybody elses. Only thing is by then the argument will have moved, as it is now, in the direction of the most recently updated data sets.
        I am more a lurker than a contributor but I find the responses of sceptical people far more interesting than fanatics who tend to live in a massive echo chamber (see Tim Balls cartoon strip – how true).

      • Brandon Gates @ January 2, 2015 at 7:23 pm
        “No, “they” do not say that, the IPCC says extremely high confidence that we have contributed to about 50% of the warming since pre-industrial times.”
        I say, with extremely high confidence, that I can move objects with my mind. Do you believe me? Don’t be such a chump. Open your eyes and think with your own mind.
        “We already know what the planet was like in the recent past at slightly lower temps and far less CO2.”
        And, we know it had higher temps with low CO2, and lower temps with higher CO2. Get a grip.
        mwh @ January 3, 2015 at 4:53 am
        “…it is nearly entirely incumbent on sceptics to disprove the CAGW argument…”
        When you buy a car, is it incumbent on you to accept whatever the salesman tells you about it unless you can disprove it? I pity you and Brandon. It appears you will go through life as easy marks.
        No, young ones. Extraordinary measures and marked increases in poverty and suffereing are required to shut down Western industry to deal with this. Extraordinary evidence is required to verify that if it is to be considered worthwhile.
        So far, there is not even ordinary evidence. There is no evidence at all, only fear. Take the sheets down and relax. There are no monsters under the bed.

      • mwh,

        … it is nearly entirely incumbent on sceptics to disprove the CAGW argument.

        I kinda sorta agree with that. As with anything, it’s a choice whether to support or oppose a given proposition. If one chooses to oppose by saying, “no, that isn’t correct” then one assumes the burden to falsify the proposition. At that point, one should recognize their decision, own their choice, and accept the burden they’ve placed upon themselves.
        The political reality is that climate contrarians must oppose policy they don’t wish to see enacted. Saying, “You haven’t ‘proved’ we need to do this” and leaving it at that isn’t a very good argument in my book.

        The sadness is that the advocates of CAGW do not all do the same.

        Every IPCC AR is an expression of the consensus owning their own burden of proof. Every paper published supporting or extending the consensus view is the same. Rarely do I read a paper from a consensus research team which does not also challenge previously held assumptions or findings. I’m also quite sure we both can find examples of schlock, confirmation bias, flat-out motivated reasoning and overwrought emotionalism. However, I get a little tetchy when those examples are held up as representative of the entirety of the AGW consensus body of thought. You’re not exactly doing that here, but as it is morning and I’m cranky before I fully wake up, my “grrr” circuits are buzzing. I apologize in advance if I’ve read too much into your statement.

        Science requires scepticism not continual unchallenged hypothesis and conjecture.

        Hear hear.

        I do not necessarily agree Brandon (and hugh for that matter) and have said so at times, he is however truly sceptical in his approach (in the true scientific meaning not the political one), in that he does not accept consensus as truth or fact. For that reason I greatly respect his position and enjoy the debate he brings.

        Thanks for that. I like disagreeing with agreeable people. I wish to clarify something: I do accept much of the consensus as factual because there is such widespread agreement. [1] That really is compelling to me in and of itself because my default view of all science is that most researchers eventually converge on reality. Climate being an interest of mine — I think it’s a fascinating field in its own right — I know a lot more of the “faith-shattering” uncertainties than I do in other fields like, say, high energy particle physics.
        My trust and confidence does only go so far. I’m most certain about the fundamental nature of the GH effect and our contributions to it because I have also taken the time to learn as much about those things as I can from first principles. How much effect exactly, what future effects good and/or bad they will have — those questions I unflinchingly say are uncertain and cannot, should not, be taken as Gospel Truth.

        In this case I cant fault his argument as for the most part it will only be proven by future statistics not by models as will anybody elses.

        Exactly. Of course, the future observations will still have their uncertainties, and your grandkids will still be squabbling with my grand-nephews over them. 🙂
        Kidding around aside, my main point is that I’d prefer not to “win” this argument by future events conforming to even the mildest of the dire predictions. [2] That does not mean I advocate wrecking the present economy. Nobody worth talking to or reading on my side of the fence wants that either.
        —————————
        [1] I’m human, heuristics work even when they’re wrong. I can’t be analytical about everything all the time, but I have thought about this particular rule of thumb quite a bit, and not just in the context of climate.
        [2] Either way, it will likely be a posthumous victory for me personally, so frankly, I’d very much like the satisfaction of winning now ….

        • Brandon,
          Hope you don’t mind my stepping in, but I have a question re this: “That does not mean I advocate wrecking the present economy. Nobody worth talking to or reading on my side of the fence wants that either.”
          Can you share your thinking on what needs to be addressed, how, and associated costs. That may be a long answer as I’ll assume there will be co2 mitigation, but wondering about your other thoughts. It seems that even in your mind the science is unsettled, so can you share your risk management?

      • Danny Thomas,
        I have a short list of stuff which I think should be considered more aggressively by my side:
        1) End subsidized ethanol production from food crops.
        2) Build more nukes yesterday.
        3) Lay off the fracking already, natural gas for coal is a good trade, and the market made that decision for us.
        My thinking is that those three things make environmental sense, and either potentially gain political capital but at the very least don’t cost quite as much of it. Take that gain in goodwill, reach across the aisle and use it for a revenue neutral carbon tax, proceeds of which get spread around for a variety of things which both sides can be happy about. That’s probably going to involve greasing the palms of the fossil fuel industry with something significant. This I do not mind, I like electricity and liquid fuels. One way or another that entire infrastructure and its management will be in the game 50-100 years from now, a protracted political battle against that lobby isn’t exactly what I’d call progress or a good use of campaign finance dollars. Some nice juicy carrots on the public dime might go a long way in the short term and cost less in the long run. It may be a matter of simply switching around some of the subsidies they’re already getting and laying in some sweetener.
        Next, we need to be leaders in emerging green technologies. If we build it, they will buy. This is a business opportunity for us, and it hacks me off that it isn’t seen that way in some quarters. I would gladly support substantial incentives and subsidies for non-food crop biofuels (switchgrass, blue-green algae, etc.), solar and geothermal in addition to the aforementioned fission plant initiative. Not only can we use those things ourselves to reduce dependence on foreign oil, they are saleable technologies to the rest of the world who do really want to buy them. We’ve already lost worldwide market share on windmills — of which I’m not a huge … fan … but I like money. Why let even more of it wander offshore???

        It seems that even in your mind the science is unsettled, so can you share your risk management?

        Yes, in my mind the forward-looking science is quite unsettled. Since we know what the past and present look like with far more certainty, my risk management perspective is simple and not at all novel: let’s keep the planet the way it is as much as possible.
        From that perspective, for me of the supreme ironies of this debate is that it tuns otherwise reckless liberals into cautious conservatives and vice versa.

        • Thank you.
          There seemingly are fairly innocuous and economical things we can do as a sort of “insurance” against the risk possibilities that don’t seem to be market catastrophic so I appreciate your sharing.
          What about land use, urban planning, farming methods? These areas seem to lend themselves towards less controversial policy and planning. One issue that’s bothered me for decades is that we build our cities in the U.S. almost requiring cars to get around. For traffic/transportation issues alone, this is not a climate specific and could have multiple cross benefits. I don’t hear much about that kind of thinking.

      • Bart,

        I say, with extremely high confidence, that I can move objects with my mind. Do you believe me? Don’t be such a chump. Open your eyes and think with your own mind.

        Your telepathy is as lousy as your telekenisis.

        And, we know it had higher temps with low CO2, and lower temps with higher CO2. Get a grip.

        How many of those periods involved 7.125 billion hungry mouths to feed. Perhaps I need to disabuse this forum of the notion that I give two craps and a whiz about the planet itself because it:
        1) has seen plenty worse
        2) doesn’t care either way what happens to it.
        Polar bears are not cute and snuggly, and would sooner rip out my liver and eat it than thank me for saving its hide. Are we clear on my priorities now?

      • mwh says:
        it is nearly entirely incumbent on sceptics to disprove the CAGW argument.
        No, it isn’t!
        That’s one of the central problems in this debate: per the Scientific Method, skeptics have nothing to prove.
        It is not “incumbent” upon skeptics to disprove anything! Assertions have been made by the alarmist crowd. They are obviously nonsense, as shown by the real world, therefore they can be disregarded as such. It has been shown conclusively that changes in temperature are the cause of changes in CO2 — exactly the opposite cause-and-effect that the alarmist crowd hangs its hat on.
        Their premise is backward. They got it wrong. But rather than admit it, they dig in their heels and argue incessantly, disregarding the fact that if they used the correct premise, their argument would be nonsense.
        Always keep one thing in mind: the onus is not on scientific skeptics. The alarmist crowd made the failed conjecture that a rise in CO2 will cause runaway global warming. Reality shows them to be flat wrong. In any normal discourse, that would be the end of it. But not in this discussion, where alarmists have wired around their On/Off switch. Many of them appear to be truly insane.
        Finally, Brandon Gates, you left off #4: When the planet proves you are wrong, try to figure out why. Don’t keep arguing incessantly. It will drive you nuts, if it hasn’t already.

      • I think you were a bit cranky Brandon, but then I dont word everything perfectly either. In this thread or at least our interchange you and I are not that far apart at all, I certainly dont disagree with points 1,2 &3. Nothing wrong with your political wish list either – just wish it was that simple (John Lennons ‘Imagine’ keeps playing in my head as I write this!).
        Sooner rather than later we will have to break from fossil fuels anyhow and both wind power and solar panels are particularly inefficient ways to fill the energy gap. Where steady reliable energy is needed they are nigh on useless without a secondary back up. I find it somewhat doubtful as well that biofuels are an effective replacement either as the collection and processing is energy and resource heavy and biofuel harvesting will always affect the food chain one way or another.
        There should also be a redirection of money away from conjecture, fear mongering and hand wringing, to preparation for climate change, better distribution of efficient energy and protection of our environment for the future. Carbon tax already exists – big time. Naming it as such will just be a goodwill manipulation by politicians. Redirection of taxes away from feel good projects would be a good start, and a political shift that sees through Chinas duplicity wouldnt go amiss either
        DBS – its only my opinion but I reckon that without a functioning peer review process that is trusted, blogsites such as this one are very well placed to question what is being presented as settled science. CAGW supporters are obviously (by their actions) not going to be critically reviewing their hypotheses. In fact the time they do spend is spent proving themselves right. If you dont believe in something but keep quiet, you cant complain when it becomes uncontested and treated as fact or at least theory. You yourself spend a lot of time criticising and disproving CAGW, would there be much point to this site if that didnt happen here.

      • Brandon Gates @ January 3, 2015 at 4:42 pm
        “How many of those periods involved 7.125 billion hungry mouths to feed.”
        Classic red herring, the argumentum ad metum. For a guy who gives lip service to logical rigor, you sure do employ the fallacies liberally. Projection, much?

      • Bart,

        Classic red herring, the argumentum ad metum.

        I don’t subsribe to the notion that the planet is a resource infinite cornucopia. True, to date Malthusian catastrophe has not happened despite many past predictions to the contrary other than his own. I don’t discount human ingenuity especially when it comes to basic survival, but my optimism is bounded by recognition that exponential growth curves eventually stop being exponential for good reason.
        One thing which comforts me is that population growth is “spontaneously” subsiding in some parts of the world; the typical relationship is that fertility rate is inversely correlated with wealth. One hopes, for their own sake, that third world nations go that route rather than population stabilization via starvation. Time will tell.

        For a guy who gives lip service to logical rigor, you sure do employ the fallacies liberally. Projection, much?

        The funny thing about projection is unawareness of doing it. So I’m the last guy you want to be asking that question. You may as well ask a retarded kid why he’s stupid.

      • B. Gates refers to the IPCC’s ‘extremely high confidence’…
        Yeah, yeah.
        And says:
        The funny thing about projection is unawareness of doing it.
        Brandon, your posts are filled with projection. I know you’re not aware of it. But it is there.
        Then BG says:
        You may as well ask a retarded kid why he’s stupid.
        Just FYI, my wife works with ‘retarded’ kids and adults. They are well aware that there’s something very wrong with them. They know it. But the interesting thing is, they don’t complain. None of them complain. But their aides and teachers do enough complaining for everyone, and then some. Brings to mind the alarmist crowd.
        Finally, the Malthus example is very similar to the climate scare. They both predicted widespread catastrophe. But it didn’t happen. None of it ever happened; quite the reverse, in fact: more people are well fed now than ever before — and the climate is as beniign as it has ever been throughout recorded human history.
        You might want to consider those things for a change.

      • mwh,

        I think you were a bit cranky Brandon, but then I dont word everything perfectly either.

        You’re being generous. At times I have been near furious on this thread. There are better ways for me to express it, such as simply saying, “I’m hacked off by this comment and here’s why”.

        In this thread or at least our interchange you and I are not that far apart at all, I certainly dont disagree with points 1,2 &3. Nothing wrong with your political wish list either – just wish it was that simple (John Lennons ‘Imagine’ keeps playing in my head as I write this!).

        I wish it were that simple too, quite clearly it isn’t. But all good things start with statements of desired outcomes and suggestions. I dislike the cliche “vision statement” because so often those things are nothing more than PR. I’m utterly sincere about my proposals, also aware that they come across as naive and overly-simplistic. I’m open to reasonable challenge and debate, which I again appreciate you giving me.

        Sooner rather than later we will have to break from fossil fuels anyhow and both wind power and solar panels are particularly inefficient ways to fill the energy gap. Where steady reliable energy is needed they are nigh on useless without a secondary back up.

        There are plenty of non-AGW reasons to break from fossil fuels sooner than later. We use petrochemicals for other things than energy. Coal emits more than just CO2, NIH and WHO estimates say that between 30 and 60 thousand premature deaths per year are caused by coal fired industry and grid power, in the US alone. That is approximately equal to double the mortality rate of automobile accidents. The less reliance on the Middle East we have, the better. You get the point.
        These issues have gotten plowed under by the left in my opinion, and worse, the historically staunch opposition to fission is irrational fearmongering at its very worst, if not outright hypocrisy even worse than worst. To be very blunt, this pi**es me off on principle, and as a liberal on social issues and most economic ones I don’t much care for the guilt by association either. I hate the feeling of being boxed in by nitwits who are ostensibly on my side of the argument.
        My view is that nukes are the only viable near- and mid-term replacement for baseload electrical power for industrialized nations. It’s not going to work in Africa, they’re not competent to handle the technological and proliferation issues. I’d like to trust Iran with nuclear power, but I don’t. I especially don’t trust Israel to not bomb them back to the stone age if Iran develops a truly peaceful nuclear power infrastructure.
        None of that is any excuse for the US, EU, Australia and New Zealand to not adopt fission power in a significant, publicly financed and/or loan-guaranteed way. The (increasingly historic) French model of nationalized nuclear (nationalized utilities in general) won’t work here, but their technological model has been admirable and quite financially successful, numerous wrinkles, hiccups and complexities notwithstanding. We can and should learn from both their successes and mistakes, one success being that they have been privatizing their power industry and it is still world-class in terms of reliability, cost-effectiveness and air-quality.
        Geothermal in the US seems to make a ton of sense. Industry estimates, for what those are worth, say approx. 20% of present US electricity demand could be met in the five western States with the greatest abundance of hotspots. That’s a technology I could really get behind with “drill baby drill” chants. Where it has been employed in significant fashion, namely The Geysers in California, their percentage uptime and operating costs are the envy of the electrical power industry. It’s chancy drilling the well, but once it’s up they seem to go like gangbusters, 24/7/365.
        Won’t happen with wind and solar. Doesn’t mean I don’t think those things aren’t worth doing, but as you say they don’t solve the baseload issue.

        I find it somewhat doubtful as well that biofuels are an effective replacement either as the collection and processing is energy and resource heavy and biofuel harvesting will always affect the food chain one way or another.

        Long-term, and by that I mean centuries to millennia, we’re screwed if we don’t figure out how to harness the Sun for energy, or find another planet to exploit for stored solar energy. In these terms, the former option is far more likely than the latter. As it stands now, photosynthesis is known to be the most efficient way to convert solar into stored chemical energy, bar none, period. Silicon is coming along, but it’s a distant second to what chlorophyll can do. If we can harness it the way plants do, it will solve a lot of problems. I think our chances are better of doing that than getting fusion to work.
        I like cyanobacteria for liquid fuel. The products can be run through existing oil refinery infrastructure (with some retrofitting, obviously) to produce the same or similar grade of liquid fuel products used in both air and surface transport. Batteries really aren’t going to do it, sad to say, because the Tesla Model S is an awfully sexy piece of engineering and I very much want one.

        There should also be a redirection of money away from conjecture, fear mongering and hand wringing, to preparation for climate change, better distribution of efficient energy and protection of our environment for the future.

        I agree with that in general. I do of course balk at the implication that AGW concerns are 100% baseless conjecture. Please don’t ask me for the actual percentage, for me to give you one really would be idle speculation on my part ….

        Carbon tax already exists – big time. Naming it as such will just be a goodwill manipulation by politicians. Redirection of taxes away from feel good projects would be a good start, and a political shift that sees through Chinas duplicity wouldnt go amiss either.

        Well that’s a provocative mix of pessimism and cynicism. Again I see you in principle, we probably differ on the details. I’m not looking to put lipstick on the pig, I want to get rid of the pig. Ironically that will require some visits to pork-barrel because that’s just how things are done.
        Our China policies generate a rant four times longer than what I’ve already written. Perhaps in a future installment.

      • Danny Thomas,

        There seemingly are fairly innocuous and economical things we can do as a sort of “insurance” against the risk possibilities that don’t seem to be market catastrophic so I appreciate your sharing.

        You’re welcome. Everything I speak of involves some risk. Not everything will work, Solyndra is the canonical example, amirite? I’m right.

        What about land use, urban planning, farming methods? These areas seem to lend themselves towards less controversial policy and planning.

        Depends on the proposals. Those things are already highly controversial, re: food crops for energy as the poster-child example of Not Good policy. From outside looking in, it seems to work for Brazilian sugar cane, but even there at what cost for the land clearing, herbicides and pesticides? OTOH, I missed this when it first posted in 2012: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/14/us-brazil-us-ethanol-idUSBRE88D19520120914
        Reducing tariffs on the stuff seems a good idea at first glance, I’m not real big on economic protectionism to shelter already established industries, and big US Agra is far from a nascent concern.

        One issue that’s bothered me for decades is that we build our cities in the U.S. almost requiring cars to get around. For traffic/transportation issues alone, this is not a climate specific and could have multiple cross benefits. I don’t hear much about that kind of thinking.

        Ahem. Well yes, our public transportation flat out sucks. I’ve spent some time in New York and Chicago and their rail systems compare well to London and Paris with which I also have some experience, albeit not nearly as much. San Francisco and Amsterdam have good surface trolley systems and bike culture is prominent both places and is well-supported. Long-distance rail in the States truly stinks compared to Europe. Geography and population density cannot be ignored in the comparison, but that’s just for starters.
        So, we have a lot more space than people and we aren’t really used to crowding. Something I have seen in my visits to Jakarta are mixed use high-rise buildings. One place I stayed, the Menteng Prada building, is a 20ish story structure with apartments priced for both long-term lease and short-term hotel-like stays. Integrated parking garage for foreigners crazy enough to drive their own car. Lobby and basement levels contain a miniature mall and a rather comprehensively stocked supermarket. Dunkin’ Donuts has a counter right there at the ground-level entrance catering to both the morning coffee rush crowd and the late night munchies. Just across the street from a rail station for anyone crazy (or poor) enough to take the train instead of a taxi. It’s fantastic since getting around Jakarta can otherwise be a real pain … if you think US urban planning is bad, you’ve seen nuthin’.
        We love our cars. It’s as true of me as anyone, I like the freedom of going where I want to, when I want to. We’re Americans, we should be able to figure out a way to keep that feature without quadrupling costs and which doesn’t depend on fossil fuels. That’s what I want us to accomplish, and that’s way it’s been for me since I was in high school and first learned to drive.
        That said, we really could do some work on our zoning practices in urban and semi-urban areas. I think we do commute an awful lot more than is good for us, many of those bad things not all related to the environment.

      • dbstealey,
        Let’s not hide this graphic beind a link:
        http://www.energyadvocate.com/gc1.jpg
        Spencer should know how to do a proper baseline for comparing obs to CMIP5. He didn’t do it here, choosing instead to zero his five-year running means at 1979. The appropriate comparison is to match how the IPCC CMIP5 ensemble results using a 20-year reference period from 1986-2005, 2005 being significant since that’s the last year of the hindcast portion of the model runs. Done properly, the result looks like this:
        https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1C2T0pQeiaScmgxQW5nRHFJN2s
        Spencer’s graph overstates the divergence by 100%. I’m perfectly happy to talk about the fact that the CMIP5 ensemble is running a quarter degree hotter than observations. I don’t like it that they’re off as much as they are. But I have zero respect for people like Spencer who fudge the magnitude of the difference when they should darn well know better not to.

        Just FYI, my wife works with ‘retarded’ kids and adults. They are well aware that there’s something very wrong with them. They know it. But the interesting thing is, they don’t complain. None of them complain.

        You are of course clinically correct, mental retardation does not necessarily equate to wholesale lack of self-awareness. People on the personality disorder spectrum range in intelligence. I personally associate narcissistic disorders with well above average intelligence. Perhaps my perceptions are skewed by having worked around a lot of medical doctors and PhDs doing clinical research in my college years.

        Finally, the Malthus example is very similar to the climate scare. They both predicted widespread catastrophe. But it didn’t happen. None of it ever happened; quite the reverse, in fact: more people are well fed now than ever before — and the climate is as beniign as it has ever been throughout recorded human history.

        As with all fallacious reasoning, you could very well be correct on this one. I prefer a more rational approach to risk management however, part of which is accepting a healthy dose of future uncertainty as a given and making a conscious, deliberate decision to err on the side of caution. Honest, reasonable and intelligent adults call this concept “prudent responsibility”.

        You might want to consider those things for a change.

        You might not want to take up mind-reading. You stink at it.

      • Gates says:
        As with all fallacious reasoning, you could very well be correct on this one.
        Sometimes I just can’t understand where your head is at. Really, does anyone understand that one?

      • dbstealey, while I’m backing you in this debate I think that this statement is logical.

        As with all fallacious reasoning, you could very well be correct on this one.

        Fallacious reasoning cannot be proven to be right as it is unjustified.
        Therefore, fallacious reasoning cannot be proven to be right by proving the opposite is false as it is unjustified.
        Therefore, fallacious reasoning cannot be proven to be wrong by proving the opposite is true as it is unjustified.
        And therefore it is unjustified to say for certain that anything can be ruled in or out by using fallacious reasoning. Fallacious reasoning tells us nothing.
        So defend your reasoning as not being fallacious.
        You’re on good grounds with that line of defence.

      • “You may as well ask a retarded kid why he’s stupid.”
        Well, at least you have a sense of humor, and a healthy capacity for self-deprecation. I will leave it at that and bid you adieu on this thread.

      • Bart, I did have a certain amount of fun in the exchange. [doffs cap]
        MCourtney, to be fair I should have identified the fallacy but was, and am, feeling lazy.

    • Brandon, I specifically agreed with AGW theory in the sense that man is causing some warming and probably more than 50% of the warming over the last 50 years. I am just not convinced this is a problem that needs to be addressed at the scale that the Alarmists are proposing. And, most certainly, the alarmists have not proven that we are headed toward a man-made global warming catastrophe. As you admitted, natural forces, over the long haul are probably much stronger than anything man is producing. But, the media and public conflate AGW and CAGW, which is very annoying and very ignorant.

      • Andy,

        I specifically agreed with AGW theory in the sense that man is causing some warming and probably more than 50% of the warming over the last 50 years.

        I did read that, you don’t sound terribly convinced. Why else bring up The Pause?

        I am just not convinced this is a problem that needs to be addressed at the scale that the Alarmists are proposing.

        Well that’s fair enough. But that can be discussed without waffling on the scientific basis of what’s already been observed to happen. And if policy is your main concern I think it most appropriate to address specific policy concerns as the bulk of the argument. May I emphasize being specific, as in “this proposal to spend bazillions of megabux on ‘I-heart-the-planet’ buttons is a frivolous and unproductive use of public funds because it doesn’t offer any real mitigation solutions based on a,b and c economic studies … etc …”

        And, most certainly, the alarmists have not proven that we are headed toward a man-made global warming catastrophe.

        For someone who is so anti-bias you sure like using pejorative labels. But tell me, how are we warmistas supposed to “prove” a series of future events which is unprecedented in modern human experience? Or try the argument in reverse: climate contrarians haven’t “proved” that man-made CO2 calamity won’t happen.
        Uncertain is the future, no? Yet you claim to agree that “probably more than 50% of the warming over the last 50 years” is anthropogenic. With so many uncertain futures at stake, I’d think most rational people would err on the side of certainty. Your arguments aren’t consistent with each other. That isn’t very credible, and hence not very compelling.

        As you admitted, natural forces, over the long haul are probably much stronger than anything man is producing. But, the media and public conflate AGW and CAGW, which is very annoying and very ignorant.

        It’s a lot more annoying to realize I don’t know what exactly will happen because most experts on the consensus side of the fence tell me that they’re not sure about a great number of things. On that basis, we’re all equally ignorant. Recognition of that might just change your perspectives if you really sit there a while and think on it.

      • andymay2014 says:
        …I specifically agreed with AGW theory in the sense that man is causing some warming and probably more than 50% of the warming over the last 50 years.
        Andy, I specifically disagree, based on common sense. You’re asking us to believe that changing human emissions must exactly balance AGW, in order to keep global T flat? That’s a whole lot more than I’m willing to accept.
        That takes us to the heart of the problem: there are no empirical, testable, verifiable measurements quantifying the fraction of total global warming that is caused by human emissions.
        Without any measurements, anyone can ‘say anything’. You can say that 50% of total global warming is caused by human activity, and claim that it precisely balances global temperatures. But without any supporting measurements, that is only a conjecture; an opinion, nothing more. To someone who had never heard of, or been exposed to any of the global warming scares, that conjecture would sound outlandish.
        Next, it is NOT “AGW theory”, as you say. Because a theory must be capable of making repeated, accurate predictions. The Theory of Relativity can make very accurate predictions. But the AGW conjecture has never been able to make accurate predictions, ever. Certainly no AGW believer predicted 18+ years of temperature stasis.
        There is nothing being observed that rules out natural variability as being a full and complete explanation for our present climate. There is certainly no reason to figure in an extraneous trace gas, [cf Occam’s Razor].
        We have been living in a truly “Goldilocks” climate for the past century or more. Don’t let the alarmist cult colonize your mind with their incessant drumbeating. There is nothing either unusual or unprecedented happening. Nothing at all. Yet, otherwise reasonable and rational folks begin nodding their heads after hearing the Narrative enough times. But it doesn’t pass the smell test.
        You have to resist that. AGW is their conjecture [although I too believe that a *minuscule* amount of global warming is caused by our emissions, but it is just too small to measure]. My personal beliefs aside: MAKE THEM PROVE IT!
        Make the alarmist crowd quantify AGW! Insist on it: we need a number; a measurement that is acceptable by most everyone. If they can’t measure AGW, then it is simply too small to worry about. Isn’t it? It is a non-event, which cannot even be measured over the background noise. We should waste our resources on that baseless conjecture??
        Make them prove it! Because right now, they’ve got nothin’.

    • Brandon Gates, If you deftly switch from “This is a problem for AGW theory, how?” to a “Global warming is bad” argument you’ll nicely prove May’s point.

      • sinewave,
        Kind of a classic double bind isn’t it. We know this thing is happening which I think might be bad, how much I can’t tell you, but if I even give you an estimate I’ve lost the argument. I’m not sure Mr. May sees the actual switchery here however: we agree it’s happening but I don’t like the proposed solutions — look, squirrel! — temperatures have been flat for 20 years, QED.

      • Gates says:
        …that can be discussed without waffling on the scientific basis of what’s already been observed to happen.
        I already posted a chart above, showing exactly why we observe what we do.
        You are in the same position as a guy laying in bed in his dark room. The guy is convinced there is a black cat hiding under his bed. It is very real to him. He can almost hear it breathing.
        But when he turns on the light and looks — there is no cat.
        And there never was. It’s just like your belief in runaway global warming.
        Same-same.
        Finally, some people bring up ‘the pause’ because the alarmist clique is fixated on it. They cannot abide the fact that their entire Belief system is so wrong — the belief that a rise in CO2 will cause a rise in global T — that they are filled with consternation. How could the planet double-cross them like that??
        But the planet is always right. It is people who are often wrong, and in this case the alarmist contingent has been flat wrong about everything.
        If instead you begin by accepting reality and working from there, rather than by assuming that you’re right — and then trying to fit facts to conform to your Belief — you will be much happier and more contented.
        But that’s entirely up to you. Your other choice is to argue here incessantly. But that’s just argument by assertion. Not convincing at all.

      • dbstealey,

        I already posted a chart above, showing exactly why we observe what we do.

        http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/clip_image0062.jpg?w=700
        Ok, what does this chart tell you?

        You are in the same position as a guy laying in bed in his dark room …

        Wait a tick, didn’t you just write above, … so far, no one has ever provided an empirical, testable measurement of AGW. There simply are no measurements of AGW. No one can say that AGW is 50%, or 20%, or even one percent of total global warming, because no one has any verifiable measurements of AGW.
        And sunofagun if that text wasn’t just below your chart which says in bold text along the top:
        Atmospheric Temperature Increase per 20 ppm Carbon Dioxide Increment
        Which is it DB, can we measure the thing or not?

        But when he turns on the light and looks — there is no cat.

        The rest of your post didn’t address a single of my points, but I like that partiuclar line for some reason. Well, actually, none of your post addressed a single one of my points. This is getting to be par for your course Stealey. I suggest you and the groundskeepers put in a few water hazards and a couple of bunkers over night. Something. Sheesh.

      • Wrong again Gates.
        We have data which show the globe is not warming except via increased insolation. AGW is yesterdays puddle.

      • Gates, you’re just confused.
        I said there is no testable measurement of AGW. You keep trying to argue around that fact. But you never post any measurements showing the percentage of global warming specifically attributable to human emissions.
        You don’t, because you can’t. There are no such measurements. Whether someone “feels” that AGW may comprise 50%, or 5%, or 95% of global warming is just their baseless opinion. Because there are no empirical measurements of AGW.
        Everything else is just deflection and misinformation. Fact is, you got nothin’.

      • Gates, you’re just confused.

        Do you have a PayPal account? I’m beginning to feel guilty for all this free therapy you’re giving me.

        I said there is no testable measurement of AGW.

        Reading plain English has historically not been an issue for me.

        But you never post any measurements showing the percentage of global warming specifically attributable to human emissions.

        Why would I go and do a damfool thing like that when:
        1) you’ve already assumed the burden of proof with your claim than no such thing exists and
        2) by (1) you’ve quite obviously already made up your mind on the matter?
        Keep in mind this is between you and me I’m talking about here. People I take more seriously than you get different treatment. As in, I cite references to show how testable measurements have been taken. Do some math to show how those things are applied to make estimates and predictions. Whereas most of what I get from you is ….

        Everything else is just deflection and misinformation. Fact is, you got nothin’.

        …. the self-awareness of a rock.

      • Gates says:
        Ok, what does this chart tell you?
        Can’t you see it, Brandon? OK, then, let me help:
        CO2 has a diminishing effect; the more-coats-of-paint analogy. You can see that the more CO2 molecules that are added to current concentrations, the smaller the effect. Currently, that effect is *minuscule*. It is far too small to measure.
        We are now at the point where adding 20% – 30% more CO2 would not cause any measurable warming at all. On net balance, that would be a good thing, too.
        CO2 builds plants. When you grow a daisy in a pot, the soil is not consumed. No, every bit of the growth comes from the air. No one has ever demonstrated a credible downside to adding more harmless, beneficial CO2 to the air. There are only the usual baseless scare stories.
        Next, Gates says:
        Keep in mind this is between you and me I’m talking about here. People I take more seriously than you get different treatment.
        Oh, you take me seriously all right. Very seriously. You bird dog my posts, nitpicking is a way of life with you, and it’s pretty obvious that you’re fixated.
        But at your age I’ll cut you some slack. Maturity will come, I’m sure.

      • PS….not many plants can obtain the nitrogen from the air……..I think they “consume” it from the soil

      • dbstealey,

        Can’t you see it, Brandon?

        When I post a chart, I provide a narrative. When someone doesn’t extend me the same courtesy I ask it. That enhances information exchange and reduces misunderstanding.

        CO2 has a diminishing effect; the more-coats-of-paint analogy.

        I got that much, it’s inherent in the canonical simplified expression:
        ΔF = 5.35 * ln(C/C0)

        You can see that the more CO2 molecules that are added to current concentrations, the smaller the effect.

        You mean the marginal increase in effect.

        Currently, that effect is *minuscule*.

        Hence we again arrive at the original question I posed: how in the heck do you know how much effect there is to begin with? That plot doesn’t show change in forcing, it shows change in temperature. Forcing is the relatively easy one to figure out. Equilibrium temperature change for a given change in forcing is what the primary debate is about. This plot doesn’t even do us the courtesy of telling us what that number is, nor anything about how the estimate was derived. [1]

        It is far too small to measure.

        Apparently not, you’ve provided a plot purporting to show exactly how much effect there is. And I do mean exactly: no error bars. What would Willis Eschenbach say about that? Further, by what presently uncited authority do you tell me that something is too small to measure?
        In fact, where the heck does this graph come from? It looks like one of those zero-provenance homebaked charts you characterize me of making even though I cite my data sources and openly discuss my calculation methods … but hey all’s fair in love and war, eh?
        Finally, most amusing of all, you’ve confused marginal increase in forcing with total forcing. So if anything, the deltas become more difficult to measure, but at ever higher levels of CO2 for darn sure the total effect will tend to become more measurable.
        ———————
        [1] For the curious, the calc I’d do is to use 280 ppmv CO2 as the pre-industrial reference, so today ΔF = 5.35 * ln(400/280) = 1.9 W/m^2. Multiply by 0.8 as a common rough estimate of climate senstivity, gives a ΔTeq of 1.5 K. Observed change is only 0.8 K since 1850 according to HADCRUT4GL, so I’m off by 0.7 K. Noting that TOA energy balance is ~0.5 W/m^2 down, that buys me another 0.4 K potentially “in the pipeline” leaving me 0.3 K I can’t explain from these simple calcs alone … which is why it’s a good idea to read actual literature. I’d start with the papers which went into drawing this pretty picture:
        http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/NetF.gif
        Remove the NetF.gif for the parent page.

      • mr gates says:
        You mean the marginal increase in effect.
        As I’ve pointed out before: King of the Nitpickers. Yes, ‘marginal’, if that makes you happy. The change always happens at the margin.
        Next:
        how in the heck do you know how much effect there is to begin with?
        Radiative physics. You know, the original model.
        Next:
        where the heck does this graph come from?
        Must you be held by the hand? It’s radiative physics, and you can find similar charts to that one just by searching. You weren’t kidding when you said you’re a layman at this.
        Just like Socrates, who can’t see the forest for the trees, as usual.

      • dbstealey,

        As I’ve pointed out before: King of the Nitpickers. Yes, ‘marginal’, if that makes you happy. The change always happens at the margin.

        Actually I need to pick my own nits here, “marginal” is the wrong term to use. We’re talking about “incremental” change. I just wanted to be clear on that.

        Radiative physics. You know, the original model.

        Well that’s nicely circular. Why do you trust the “original model”?

        Must you be held by the hand?

        No, more like I enjoy busting your chops.

        It’s radiative physics, and you can find similar charts to that one just by searching.

        lol. Some days I simply cannot tell whether you don’t actually read my posts, or simply have no shame when it comes misrepresenting their content.
        Anyway, I don’t suppose it has occurred to you that I ask you questions as a test of what you understand and what you don’t. Or in this case, what you understand and accept.
        On that note where did whoever make the first chart you posted come up with 0.5 for lamda? Here it is again, just so nobody gets confused about which one we’re talking about:
        http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/clip_image0062.jpg?w=700

        You weren’t kidding when you said you’re a layman at this.

        I’m an old pro at tit-for-tat. Remember all those charts I posted, with citations to the raw data and wherein I detailed my calculations, which you dismissed as “homemade” and of dubious “provenance”?

        Just like Socrates, who can’t see the forest for the trees, as usual.

        Says the guy tangled up in a thorny bramble who doesn’t appear to realize he’s even blundered into one.

      • Gates,
        Since you are truly an expert at tit-for-tat and nitpicking, this could go on all day. So I will put a stop to it. You can have the last word in this thread, and that does not worry me in the least. You haven’t scored any points so far, just juvenile pot shots. So try your best; you get the last word.
        But first: let me rein you back in a bit, before you swoon over your crazy belief that you’ve started ‘busting my chops’. As if. Because you haven’t even begun. You’re just a noob, nipping at my ankles.
        I’ll rein you in here by pointing out that no matter how many times I ask, you have never been able to produce any measurements of AGW [homemade fabrications don’t count]. The cAGW conjecture is the central debate issue, with skeptics saying “show us”, but alarmists are unable to produce.
        Also, I understand you’re touchy about being reminded that you’re a noob at this. But you chose to advertise that fact, so suck it up. You have a lot to learn before you’re up to speed — and all you will get from the alarmist blogs you run back to for talking points is misinformation.
        You need to learn the difference between a conjecture, which is just an opinion, and a theory or hypothesis [same-same, really], which must be capable of making accurate predictions. The AGW conjecture cannot. You’re still at the beginner stage of trying to argue for man-made global warming — but you still don’t have any evidence that quantifies AGW. You have a long way to go.
        Next, you always forget: skeptics have nothing to prove. The catastrophic AGW conjecture belongs to you. You own it. The belief in cAGW forms the basis of everything you Believe. Because if you thought like most skeptics, you would understand that any global warming from human emissions is much too small to even measure — and who in their right mind would continue to argue your side of the debate, if that’s what they thought?
        No, you BELIEVE. Without a single measurement showing how big or small AGW is — or even whether it exists at all — you BELIEVE. But skeptics are from Missouri: we say, ‘show us’. Because the onus is on you. ALL of it.
        Finally, are you Socks’ big brother? What, he can’t defend himself? Well, OK then. If you feel you must pick up his standard and protect him, Lord knows, he needs it more than you.

      • dbstealey,
        Since you are truly an expert at tit-for-tat and nitpicking, this could go on all day. So I will put a stop to it. You can have the last word in this thread, and that does not worry me in the least. You haven’t scored any points so far, just juvenile pot shots. So try your best; you get the last word.
        Word.
        But first: let me rein you back in a bit, before you swoon over your crazy belief that you’ve started ‘busting my chops’. As if. Because you haven’t even begun. You’re just a noob, nipping at my ankles.
        Oh, so you weren’t quite done yet.
        I’ll rein you in here by pointing out that no matter how many times I ask, you have never been able to produce any measurements of AGW [homemade fabrications don’t count].
        Not to be nit-picky or anything, but a full list of of those kind of restrictions would be nice. This would help avoid the ad hoc nature of the post hoc objections.
        The cAGW conjecture is the central debate issue, with skeptics saying “show us”, but alarmists are unable to produce.
        Say, I have an idea. Maybe you guys could huddle up and produce the list of acceptable evidence you’d like our team to compile so that we might be better able to serve you. It would require some planning and organization — dare I say even consensus building — to all get on the same page, but think of all the angst and frustration it might save to actually clearly communicate what you want in good faith, and get a return answer back.
        Also, I understand you’re touchy about being reminded that you’re a noob at this. But you chose to advertise that fact, so suck it up.
        I wasn’t aware that I’d lodged any complaints.
        You have a lot to learn before you’re up to speed — and all you will get from the alarmist blogs you run back to for talking points is misinformation.
        Fortunately I hit the irony meter off switch before she went, I just can’t give you #5. That would be the second one today, and I’ve already awarded you two this young year alone.
        You need to learn the difference between a conjecture, which is just an opinion, and a theory or hypothesis [same-same, really], which must be capable of making accurate predictions.
        Oh hell with it, #5 with a bullet. That was my most expensive German model, too. Since all I got was coal for Christmas, next batch will be coming bulk from China.
        The AGW conjecture cannot. You’re still at the beginner stage of trying to argue for man-made global warming — but you still don’t have any evidence that quantifies AGW. You have a long way to go.
        Tsk. You’re the one with evidence quantifying AGW, here’s the (homemade) chart YOU posted that you suddenly don’t want to talk about any more:
        http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/clip_image0062.jpg?w=700
        Now tell me, Mr. “It can’t be measured”, how did whoever did this (if you even know) come up with 0.5 for lambda, hmm?

        Next, you always forget: skeptics have nothing to prove.

        And even less to offer. Despite being the most honest kind of scientists, these so-called “skeptics” you keep talking about have yet to produce a model which produces more skillful predictions of magical natural variability than the crappy IPCC self-serving shysters have been able to foist upon the hapless ignorant world.
        Talk about your basic cop-out ladies and gents: “‘skeptics’ have nothing to prove” is a real doosy.

        The catastrophic AGW conjecture belongs to you. You own it. The belief in cAGW forms the basis of everything you Believe. Because if you thought like most skeptics, you would understand that any global warming from human emissions is much too small to even measure — and who in their right mind would continue to argue your side of the debate, if that’s what they thought?

        You’re asking a putatively crazy person whether he’s sane. Ponder that for a while and get back to me if your head doesn’t explode first. If you need a break from that taxing exercise, review the above chart again, and tell me:
        If the thing is too small to measure, why in the heck you would believe anything that stinking chart has to say to you?
        GASP No wait, don’t tell me … that’s not some sort of evil non-scientific model “prediction” based on curve-fits to agenda-manufactured observational data …. is it???
        HERESY!!!!

        No, you BELIEVE. Without a single measurement showing how big or small AGW is — or even whether it exists at all — you BELIEVE.

        You’re the one tossing charts around showing exactly how much effect CO2 has. No error bars in sight. So is it measurable or not, DB? Do you stand by this chart or not?

        But skeptics are from Missouri: we say, ‘show us’. Because the onus is on you. ALL of it.

        Ok then, it’s agreed: you’ll never show me another chart based on theory written by the AGW alarmist cult who have not a shred of evidence to support the calculations that went into it. I’m gussing Missourians always keep their word about such things as well. Am I right? I’m right.

        Finally, are you Socks’ big brother? What, he can’t defend himself? Well, OK then. If you feel you must pick up his standard and protect him, Lord knows, he needs it more than you.

        You’re right, you don’t sound worried in the least. Not one bit. Still and all, a nice rant.

      • Thanks, Simon. Having a bit of humor is the only way I know how to keep it light with dbstealey. I’m glad someone other than me appreciates it.

      • Actually I think DB is really playing for the other team and his strategy is to make comments so “stubborn” and “head in the sand” that he wants to make genuine skeptics look bad. If this is the case then I think it could well be working.

    • As with anything, it’s a choice whether to support or oppose a given proposition. If one chooses to oppose by saying, “no, that isn’t correct” then one assumes the burden to falsify the proposition.

      I take it then that you admit you admit AGW is a proposition and not accepted scientific certainty of any sort.
      You are kind of right, there is a responsibility to “falsify the proposition” but are wrong if you believe the burden is disproving AGW. The defense does not have to prove innocence only that the prosecution has not proven guilt. You may get this, but it is a subtlety lost on many climate science supporters which makes for exceedingly bad scientific discourse and exceedingly bad science.
      The overwhelming burden is on the the one making the proposition. In climate, skeptics only have to show that supporters of AGW have not made their case, which is easy to do and yet here we are. I guess climatologists are good dancers so world governments and the media still treat it as a certainty. Certain of who knows what, with alarmist press releases filled with hyperbole and idiot rhetoric, propositions that are as solid as smoke on a windy day, research papers that start with a assumptions, and qualifications like “confidence levels”.
      Your replies would make a White House Press Secretary proud, so am not sure how you stand on selling increased confidence levels while increasing forecast fuzziness and language. It is cute, like a car salesman is cute when he claims he is selling you the best car on the lot. Meanwhile the IPPC can claim 100% confidence by forecasting we may or may not get more rain.

      • Alx,

        I take it then that you admit you admit AGW is a proposition and not accepted scientific certainty of any sort.

        Nope. I do recognize that not everyone thinks of AGW as accepted science however. Hence I do hold up my end of the debate to the extent time, energy, interest and knowlege are available.

        You are kind of right, there is a responsibility to “falsify the proposition” but are wrong if you believe the burden is disproving AGW. The defense does not have to prove innocence only that the prosecution has not proven guilt. You may get this, but it is a subtlety lost on many climate science supporters which makes for exceedingly bad scientific discourse and exceedingly bad science.

        The planet doesn’t care about burden of proof, it will do whatever it’s going to do regardless of what we think. What you’re talking about is law, which doesn’t apply to a policy debate. The way to figure out what the planet is going to do is to ask it what it has done, the venue for that conversation is the lab, not a court. What we do about the answers from the lab will mostly decided in the voting booth. At least I hope so.

        The overwhelming burden is on the the one making the proposition.

        And the IPCC does so on a regular basis. They have a website chock-full of stuff supporting their conclusions. Its contributors even more so. Every day. You are awash in papers with arguments backed by evidence, all just waiting to be read by any all.

        In climate, skeptics only have to show that supporters of AGW have not made their case, which is easy to do and yet here we are.

        That’s certainly been the majority strategy I have observed. I see that as a debate tactic and a political strategy, not science. I’d love to see more actual research from contrarians, and I am not alone in that wish. One reason for the mockery you guys get is the perception that you don’t have much to offer. And yes, that sword does cut both ways …

        I guess climatologists are good dancers so world governments and the media still treat it as a certainty.

        Or they could be as right as Copernicus and Galileo. I won’t tell you that with the same confidence because I’m all too aware of climatologists’ own uncertainties about things, but more importantly I know far less than one trained domain expert knows much less the whole body of them. More than I’d like to, some days I do just have to say, “You know what, here. Read it. Make your own decision.”
        This has turned into one of those days.

        Certain of who knows what, with alarmist press releases filled with hyperbole and idiot rhetoric, propositions that are as solid as smoke on a windy day, research papers that start with a assumptions, and qualifications like “confidence levels”.

        It’s the press’ job to sell papers. Always has been. Deal with it. If you want the straight dope, go to the source, not a talking head on tee vee. Whatever you do, don’t whine at me for what media moguls do to make their billions because in this context I don’t much like it either.

        Your replies would make a White House Press Secretary proud, so am not sure how you stand on selling increased confidence levels while increasing forecast fuzziness and language.

        I rue the day that pundits popularized the notion that a scientist saying, “we think y +/- z might happen if x” constitutes waffling or weasel-wording. The short answer is that I love science having grown up around it and apparently remember a lot more of my basic science education than most people who don’t work in a scientific field. I had many excellent teachers who drilled it into me that whole letter grades, plural, will be dropped if the discussion section doesn’t include a very thorough documentation of everything I might have missed, could have done wrong, and especially what other things might explain why my results don’t match the expected values and how far off any of my predictions might be. Completely different from what my English teachers wrote on my opinion pieces when the conclusion of my essay for their class was, “both sides make some good points, I need to know x,y and z before making any further conclusions.”

  12. Andy May,
    Reasonably presented and argued. Well done. The only concern I have for you is that it has been brought to my attention that citation of a wiki of any kind is inappropriate methodology and is to be avoided at any and all cost so I feel certain that this will be strongly brought to your attention.

      • Keitho,
        Absolutely correct, and intended as such. Pointing out double standards is common practice and necessary, don’t you agree? It’s bad behavior on my part, and equally bad behavior on the part of others who point out such things w/o bothering to check the facts contained within. As a further point, the wiki offered in the letter is another which I find to be a reasonable reference should one wish to seek further information w/r/t those on the skeptical side.
        The intent of the post was to go fishing to see if wiki’s are only okay if they support a skeptical position. Surely DB & Phil will jump in here and chastise Andy May thoroughly for the use. (crickets). More likely, they will jump on me for bringing it up here (inappropriately).

    • And here we have yet another example of the strawman argument. In this case, it’s modifiying what others have said in order to make it easier to refute.
      The statement has always been that wikipedia is unreliable for any topic that is controversial. For basic facts, they are quite reliable.

      • It’s immature and childish of me to reenergize this discussion and I freely admit it, but these were the educational words that were provided to me: ” So ALL data sourced from there must be viewed with a jaundiced eye. If you find the same information, at an untainted site, that merely shows that Connolley is not omnipotent. But Wiki cannot be used as a primary source. Period.”
        Wiki cannot be used as a primary source. Period.
        .http://sanityfirst.wordpress.com/ Words of Phil Jourdan, Dec. 28, 2014, 12:15 pm.
        I recognize it’s not “a good look” just making a point. As that point was so strongly address AT me including questioning my veracity and integrity please forgive that I find it worth addressing. Keitho, Mark W, et al I apologize for my poor behavior. I am highly confident that the same will not be forthcoming from those that initiated the discussion. I’m not sure why I come here expecting some sort of fairness, but I will continue to look for it.

      • DT,
        You’re only blushing from embarassment.
        Unless, of course, you’re a real war hero and successful businessman.
        But from what you’re posted, you are an employee at a trailer park.

        • LOL! Indeed I am. Hit the road at the ripe old age of 48 and visiting this wonderful country and having two successful companies! Now, I’m an employee at a trailer (RV) park as it’s what I chose. How ’bout you db?
          That’s so embarrassing. But just to be clear. I am no war hero. That was my father.
          You always attack the person Db. Have a hard time with the facts of the arguments? (with apologies to M. Courtney, but once again I didn’t start this up)

          • I just love these impotent boasts from clowns who try to impress others that they were not always janitors. And of course with all that money, what do they do? They blog.
            See, DB is actually the mentor of George Soros – He made his billion and retired. Alas his protege’ went bad. Me? I taught Bill Gates every thing he knows. But I was a family man so let him run the company.
            It is all true! Why? Because I said so on a blog.

      • D. Thomas,
        I am impressed! Before, you told us you are the employee of a trailer park. No mention at all of ‘two successful businesses’.
        That’s what I would have done! I would have told people that I work at a trailer park, and keep it hidden that I ran two successful businesses. Yessir, that’s what anyone would have done.
        OK, does anyone believe that?
        D. also says:
        You always attack the person Db. Have a hard time with the facts of the arguments?
        I have insurmountable arguments, which have never been refuted. I also attack weakness, like any predator does. The fact is, you never respond to my substantive points, such as the fact that there are no measurements of AGW; meaning that any discussion of AGW is merely a conjecture about something that may well exist. Or not, as the case may be.
        Post a verifiable measurement quantifying AGW. This is about the tenth time I’ve asked. But if you can’t, then you are supporting an alarming scenario based on …a conjecture.
        I can make a conjecture that the cow jumped over the moon. You may or may not be able to falsify it. But it is ridiculous, just like the belief that human emissions are causing runaway global warming and climate catastrophe.
        That just isn’t happening. In fact, the planetary climate is as benign as it has ever been for any extended period. We really couldn’t ask for a better climate. Maybe about a degree or two warmer, but that’s about it.
        So in the midst of the best climate of the Holocene [or very close], the alarmist crowd is still trying to tell folks that the end is nigh.
        They are nuts. And anyone who agrees with them is nuts, too. Just like everything else they try to demonize, the rise in CO2 is not the bad thing it is portrayed as being — it really has no downside. It’s all good. But some folks aren’t happy without doom, defeat and despair. They are called climate alarmists. They look at our wonderful planet, and it’s benign climate, and they see only bad things.
        The problem is within their own poisoned imaginations. Skeptics know better.

        • Db,
          Please post a pic of your pretty blond sister, your brunette sister, and the redheaded one. I’ve asked ya 10 times to do this and yet you have not yet.
          Ya know, it’s a bit tough to produce stuff that’s imaginary. You want me to post something I never stated I had and insist I do so, so I insist you do the same……………. I’ve now responded to your substantive points in writing. Would you care to respond to that response w/o a personal unhelpful attack? We can play this game forever (and bore the heck outta those not in this tap dance) or we can move on.
          Predator? Db, that is the last description I would have used for your tactics. Us trailer park guys have a different description.
          I’ve told ya I’m here as I’m skeptical of what I read on the alarmist side. I’ve never been an alarmist. I am a bit concerned as there is so much I (we?) don’t understand but at this point I suffer no fear. Should we learn more, I reserve the right to add fear as much as I chose and I’m open to that course. Are you?

  13. From the stand-point of a non-scientist, this letter was clear and easy to understand (one of the few for someone like myself) – thank you.

  14. We are repeatedly seeing scientific issues being twisted into emotion invoking symbols used to influence mass perception. The facts and discussions wait in the wings while alarmist rhetoric dances center-stage.

  15. One thought about the formatting of the clear and articulate letter. Links inside sentences is just confusing even if they prove the point being presented. And in my experience more of such links makes me click on less of them because it all becomes tedious beyond the curiousity of whats behind the links. It becomes work.
    An better approach would be to keep the links in the footnotes. That way you can’t be accused of not bringing proof while being free to word you letter better and not chase down url’s
    Just a thought

    • Try reading the article through without linking then going back and checking out the detail provided by the links. think of them as being in the footnotes.

    • Are you referring to the ocean heat content? I’m kind of not concerned on temperature change which you can’t see in your heating bill.
      Frankly the + 2.x°C in 166 years here has… well it has catastrophically decreased summer time frostbites and lengthened the growing season. I’m devastated on that and afraid that if the 1998-2014 development continues for another 400 years, we might need to stop wearing woollies at midsummer grill parties. /sarc
      The best here is when you try to ask the cagwists on the predictions, they will say future warming will be up to +10°C/century. But it could be negative for the next 30 years. I love that, almost infallible prediction.

      • Well, what I get is claims that warming continues, just all of it went to the seas. Oh yeah, and then there are people who do a great deal of work to not to admit any pause. But, Google varies based on your own location and cookies.

    • Google is “Warmist” and will not support even lukewarmists. Google News always has CAGW articles.
      [from what I have seen].

      • Google Search ‘sadly’ tries to guess what you are looking for and thus is slightly unstable when groups of people want to find completely different things. I’m no expert but it appears to pretty quickly be affected by your own search history.
        Depends of course the search words, I guess search terms like ‘sex’ can’t be easily moved around.

    • I see plenty of google hits saying no warming, including Matt Ridley’s WSJ column cited in the above. Of those that claim warming, they are generally of the variety that claims it hasn’t cooled, therefore it has warmed, which is of course nonsense.

    • OK, I did the search. First three hits:
      1. http://www.nationalreview.com/planet-gore/348796/bbc-notices-no-warming-1998-greg-pollowitz
      titled “BBC says no warming since 1998”, says “Since 1998, there has been an unexplained “standstill” in the heating of the Earth’s atmosphere”.
      2. https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071217123039AAhwa0k
      titled “No Warming Since 1998 – What Does NASA Say About This?” it addresses only the USA. ie, it’s OT.
      3. http://news.discovery.com/earth/global-warming/nasa-global-warming-goes-on-140121.htm
      titled “NASA: Global warming goes on” it says “the ten warmest years on record have all occurred since the millenium (with the exception of 1998)” which is rather different to saying it’s warming. It then shows a graph in which there is clearly no warming after 1998.
      I see no need to go further – the graph says it all. I use Duckduckgo.

      • Mike Jonas,
        That chart is a classic example of a zero baseline chart. It appears to show rapidly rising temperatures, but if a trend line chart replaces it, we see that global T has been rising at about the samer rate since the LIA; before human emissions mattered.
        There’s a reason they use zero baseline charts: it makes grants easier to snag. But they fool the eye, and as a result they are deceptive.

    • If I Google ‘John Cook 97% consensus of scientists support AGW theory’, it’s quite clear that 41/13944 = .97. The Big Lie, as Dr. Tim Ball has stated here.

  16. Major problem with this letter: the IPCC has just announced triumphantly that this year was the Hottest Year EVER. So saying temperatures have been flat is useless. The blatant propaganda has steamrollered facts flat as a pancake.
    Now we have to explain how deceptive this claim is and start from scratch. Meanwhile, even as the drought in California drowns, as it snows just outside LA, as cold sweeps across the Northern Hemisphere, these delusional liars will be screaming about how hot it is which eventually will turn nearly everyone off because we are cold, cold, cold.

  17. From despising the local downtown airport to wishing to keep Major League Baseball as a chattel, the TBT reliably pursues a course unleavened by fact. Being supported largely by endowment allows them to be relatively unresponsive to facts as observed by the majority of their readers. “the narrative” so obvious to observers of the national left leaning press, is alive and well in local media here in Tampa. Few industries are as sensitive to climate as our Citrus and Strawberry growers ….. and few media outlets as oblivious as the TBT.

  18. I agree with new normal on the style bit.
    I believe that you have to expose the motive and solution for the crime of humanity’s cause of “global warming” and increasing CO2 = abundant, cheap base-load energy fuels are bad for the planet (hogwash) so we absolutely must poison China with toxic radioactive wastes from rare earth mining and processing toward intermittent and unreliable breaking winds . . . or else the poor polar bears etc. etc.
    These people don’t care about science, except to hijack it before martini time.

  19. Between termites, farting cows (to replacing the millions of buffalo), volcanoes, and tectonic plate CO2 generation and breathing humans, and balanced off by increased plant growth, it is hard to see how human industry and machines have any global effect on the climate. Local UHI – yes; but globally probably very small.

  20. Your post is intelligent, but when dealing with a leftist, facts, data and logic do not matter.
    .
    They live in a different reality: To a leftist, reality is whatever they wish it to be.
    .
    Now please remember that Earth is always warming or cooling, and measurements since the 1800’s suggest warming is the trend (it may have ended 12 to 18 years ago, but we don’t know that now.)
    .
    What the leftists have done is to take a mild, harmless existing trend, and then project an acceleration of that trend in the future, that will have dire consequences.
    .
    They have done that dozens of times before, for DDT. acid rain, hole in the ozone layer, etc.
    .
    If the climate doesn’t warm for another decade, or gets colder, it won’t matter to leftists — they will either claim global cooling is their new boogeyman, or they have fellow leftist “scientists” pick another boogeyman they think will work better at scaring people.
    .
    You can’t debate leftists — they will character attack you if you try.
    .
    Facts about the current and past mean little to them — the crises they always see coming are always off in the future.
    .
    The goal of a leftist “crisis” is to stop economic growth, stop population growth, and promote big (bigger) government socialism.
    .
    The coming ‘climate change crisis’ has nothing to do with the climate or the environment — it is a political tool, technically known as a boogeyman, or a MacGuffin, to promote an extreme leftist political agenda.
    .
    The correct way to debate a leftist is to swat them with a rolled up newspaper — not one you would want to read later, like a Wall Street Journal, but one you would be using to line a bird cage, such as the New York Times.

      • The spaces mean I have bad vision and a small laptop … it’s much easier for me to type and proofread what I wrote with a space between every sentence.
        .
        I know it wastes bandwidth … but its also easier to read for everyone else too. And you don’t have to read anything between the lines because there’s nothing there.

        • Actually, from a bandwidth perspective, those lines are only 1 extra character (LF-CR versus 32), so it is not a waste. And adding spaces between lines is much better than all caps. It is still easy to read and with no offense.
          So please continue.

    • Follow the money. There are billions of dollars being allocated to alternative energy projects that eventually fail. This money magically disappears. It is the going to be the biggest rip off in history. It will dwarf the bank bailouts. The leftists and the media are merely “useful idiots”.

  21. Media whores and the parasitic class working hand-in-hand to further the conditioning tactics that mad science first gave birth to 70+ years ago, and yet i wake up every morning to that beautiful sun expecting something different…… why? i ask myself. What were we talking about again?

  22. I’ve moved on from engaging in quarrels about climate change/global warming and global cooling; only because i know that de-facto governments, insurance companies and the military have openly admitted to efforts made in weather modification. So how can we sit and have a chat about whether either or is happening when we have this wildcard.. Do any of you really know the outcome of sulphur loading or spraying silver iodide and various salts into the atmosphere.?
    Don’t you see, your tastes have been formed!

    • Kenin. get real!
      Do you know how enormous our Earth is. Mankind cannot control the weather. Cloud seeding or adding ocean Iron can’t reach the scale necessary to actually have a lasting effect if any at all.

      • Your right. That’s why I said “weather modification” I did not say control the earths atmosphere on a grand scale. You clearly don’t know enough about geo-engineering in this respect. If it wasn’t having any effect, then why are they doing it in the first place.

  23. I do remember googling the term “no warming since 1998”, and getting a good list of links proving it several years ago – but at risk of looking like a conspiracy theorist, somebody has been very busy lately – and there are a lot of new results now that come up in the search from sources like “skepticalscience”, NASA, and other interested parties. It’s funny, the links from 2012 or so back are fine – but seemingly most newer articles are arguments saying “don’t believe the ‘deniers'”. Apparently, when you tell people to google something, and results of the google search reflect content on the Internet, some people who read that content will simply go and write an article with your google search in the title, and thereby invalidate your advice to go google it.
    Likewise, I wouldn’t quote wiki, because literally *anybody* can go and edit the article you link to. Both “google” and “wiki” are very poor tactical choices when it comes to trying to prove something. A good, solid argument, with good proof can literally “melt before your eyes”.

  24. The “hoax,” if you want to use that term, is the speculative jump from simply “global warming” to an “impending climate catastrophe.”

    Exactly. And anyone who has used the precautionary principle has endorsed that leap.
    But there is no evidence for that outrageous step.
    This needs to be hammered home every time some politician or journalist tries to promote policy positions based on countering “global warming”.

    • Actually, I’ve always thought that the warmist jump from “global warming” to “climate catastrophe” should be compared to saying that because most scientists agree that there may be life on other planets, this somehow conclusively proves that cousin Cletus was abducted by space aliens last Thursday.

  25. the dot in the politifact.com seems to have been replaced by a tick. I imagine that this is something to do with having the correct answer. And then it is in a goldish colour I suppose that is like the very best answer.

  26. “It is also a web site that should not take sides, but usually does.”
    That is one thing I have noticed about leftists in general. They go on and on about how they are being neutral and even handed, but they almost never are.

  27. something I havent personally heard often as of late, is that it wasnt as much the fact it would warm but rather the rate of warming. now the meme is mainly “change”. It is amazing that PR campaigns now dictate for most how data is to be interpreted. This is done so well that differing opinions often that better fit the data are seen as a conspiracy of some type. It truly is amazing to watch, I fear for science and real proven enviro issues, several of which are rather dangerous but nearly ignored in favor of supporting the delusional memes present within Cagw. .

  28. “It is widely known that there has been no warming since 1998”
    Widely but wrongly. Trends from stated date to Oct 2014, in °C/century:

             HadCRUT GISSlo NOAAlo UAH5.6 RSS.MSU
    Dec 1998   0.881  1.003  0.772  1.427   0.249
    Jan 1998   0.595  0.742  0.526  0.684  -0.429
    

    You can see how the “since 1998” depends on the blip in 1998. But even then, only RSS fails to show a strong positive trend since 1998. Since Dec, UAH shows the strongest trend of all.

    • Funny, if my memory serves me, back around the 2001 the CAGW hysterics were only too happy to exploit the so-called “blip” as an integral part of the temperature record and indication of impending doom.
      Quite frankly quibbling about the slowdown, plateau, hiatus, stasis whatever, sounds pretty undignified coming from taxpayer-funded scientists who are supposed to be seeking as close to the truth as possible based on the evidence rather than just maintaining a stance based on a failing (CAGW) hypothesis.

    • Nick, surface temperature data really only reflects continental weather. You need global satellite measurements to get a perspective on global climate.

      • But UAH, which is the closest we have to a global satellite measurement, shows a positive trend.

  29. Andy, you lost the conversation in the first two lines. You described yourself as a “petrophysicist”… done, right there. Describing yourself as a “petro-” anything to a warmist, ends your argument with them. the rest of what you say is “blah, blah, and blah”. You then went on to defend a Republican. Strike two. Doesn’t matter if there is a strike three – you lose arguments with leftists on the first strike. If you are trying to argue with facts, remember – facts don’t matter. It’s not about the facts – never was.

    • Paul, sighhh… You may be right. Somebody else compared me to Don Quixote, he is probably right also. Reason, logic and data mean nothing to someone who only listens to their own tribe and will not do their own research or make their own decisions. Often they only parrot what their leader (whoever that may be) says.

  30. Obviously, as we saw with Galileo, it only takes one good scientist to shoot down conventional wisdom.

    For years we have been told about what kind of diet is good for us and which ones were bad. There is/was a consensus on the issue and it kind of made sense. So you can imagine my shock at finding saturated fat deniers on the rampage.
    Note: the first study was funded by British Heart Foundation – an organisation dedicated to the reduction of saturated fats in the UK diet.

    Annals of Internal Medicine – 18 March, 2014
    Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury et al
    Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
    Conclusion: Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.
    Primary Funding Source: British Heart Foundation, Medical Research Council, Cambridge National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre, and Gates Cambridge.
    http://tinyurl.com/q3hqfvc

    Are they onto something?

    BBC – 14 October 2014
    Should people be eating more fat?
    …..Scientists from Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard, amongst others, examined the links between eating saturated fat and heart disease. Despite looking at the results of nearly 80 studies involving more than a half million people they were unable to find convincing evidence that eating saturated fats leads to greater risk of heart disease.
    In fact, when they looked at blood results, they found that higher levels of some saturated fats, in particular a type of saturated fat you get in milk and dairy products called margaric acid, were associated with a lower risk of heart disease……
    A recent study, this time published in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, “High dairy fat intake related to less central obesity“, certainly questioned the link.
    In this study, researchers followed 1,589 Swedish men for 12 years. They found that those following a low-fat diet (no butter, low-fat milk and no cream) were more likely to develop fat around the gut (central obesity) than those eating butter, high-fat milk and whipping cream.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29616418

  31. Good luck Don Quixote. Poltifact is the clown car outfit that called the 2012 lie of the year, Mitt Romney’s ad that said Jeep was going to build in China. They are.
    They are a hack outfit. And have nothing to do with “facts”.

  32. For what it’s worth, I contacted Politifact about some of what it wrote about global warming a couple weeks ago. I haven’t received a response. I don’t expect I will. I haven’t copied the “letter” I sent them, but you can read what I discussed in it here:
    http://www.hi-izuru.org/wp_blog/2014/12/do-fact-checkers-know-what-facts-are/
    Put simply, it appears the people at Politifact are so biased on the issue of global warming they will latch onto anything as an excuse to write about it in a way which paints people they dislike as buffoons. I described one of the examples I find most troubling as:

    That’s why this Politifact piece highlights one of their articles saying:

    For example, Rubio said Earth’s surface temperatures “have stabilized,” a claim we rated Mostly False. He has a point that there has been a pause in temperature growth over the past 15 years. But scientists say it’s far too early to say temperature has stabilized, and most believe growth will pick back up again.

    If you check the link, you’ll find a 1,500+ word article explaining it is “Mostly False” to say temperatures have “stabilized” but completely okay to say warming has “paused.”

    And it’s true. They published a 1,500+ word article because someone used the word “stabilized” instead of “paused.”

    • Brandon, Poltifact does not know a Global warming from a hole in the ground. SO they are not biased for or against it – unless the left tells them they are. As has been demonstrated too many times, they only know what their handlers feed them, and their handlers are the morons on the left.

      • philjourdan, I non’t care to defend Politifact nor have I been. I know idiots (and geniuses, sometimes simultaneously) of all political alignments, and I think arguing politics by calling the other side a bunch of nitwits and leaving it at that is moronic.
        None of which has anything to do with what I wrote to Andy. My problem with his arguments would be the same no matter what context in which he’d first written them.

      • philjourdan,
        In long threads like this one I find responses to my comments by text searching for my first name. I was tired, missed that you were replying to Shollenberger not Gates. I should have caught it because I knew your response didn’t mesh with my own comments, so there was a fair amount of my own prejudice about climate contrarians’ propensity (as I perceive it) to toss out red herrings and/or be generally confused. So, fatigue and unwarranted bias I think best explain my careless error.

  33. It is widely known that there has been no warming since 1998 ( google “No Warming since 1998” or go to Matt Ridley’s excellent article in the WSJ, Sept 4, 2014). So, for 16 of the 50 years in question there has been no warming. Doesn’t this suggest that natural forces are stopping the warming caused by manmade CO2? After all CO2 has continued to rise over the last 16 years at a steady pace, correct? If natural forces can stop the CO2 caused warming doesn’t that imply they are as strong a forcing as the CO2?
    ————
    It suggests that natural forces are stopping warming caused by manmade CO2 if one believes that said warming was caused by manmade CO2. Has that been proved?

  34. Andy, Thank you for writing this, I’ve often wanted to but am not skilled enough to do so.
    I will however point to this letter as to why I won’t help them with their Kickstarter” effort.
    Once again Thanks!

  35. Green Journalism is the new Yellow Journalism. Facts are only facts if they support your agenda.

  36. From the piece at PF-
    How do we know climate change isn’t a mass conspiracy to pull the wool over the world’s eyes, as Whitney and others claim?
    Such a scenario seems near impossible, considering the overwhelming consensus among respected climate scientists that anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming is indisputable.

    Since the original 97% was a survey of ’79 Recently Published Climate Scientist’, of which 75 of 77 answered yes to both questions, what is the new XX / YY when adding ‘Respected’ to the mix.
    Research also shows that climate change denial is concentrated among those who have less expertise in the subject or no scientific training at all.
    Additionally, much of climate change deniers’ back-up evidence is cherry-picked or too simplistic to be meaningful.

    So is Black pot / kettle racist or not?

  37. Nice letter Andy, mostly futile but these things need to be shown to have been said.
    Later this Propagandist will claim to have been misinformed and deny that any “credible person” showed any doubt of the CAGW meme.
    However human nature will dictate here.
    There is gonna be a swing of the pendulum, CAGW, The Eco-nasties and those who have been using them are all yesterdays fad.
    As the economy tanks due to the exuberance of mass idiocy, people in general will get a little darker, meaner and vindictive.
    CAGW is now clearly identified as a planned method of robbing the many while enriching a few.
    We of the West are in debt up to our great grandchildren’s eyeballs, there is no long term investment made with that money, that will reward the next generations left to pay the tab.
    Instead a total waste, welfare statism, government grandees, mitigation schemes that mitigate nothing but enrich the well connected.
    All enabled by a world wide bureaucracy centred at the UN. Truly useful idiots, however as the public mood swings, I expect more and more of these fools and bandits to attempt to save their precious skins.
    By the usual methods, blame others, accuse everyone of their own sins..and so on.
    Buy popcorn and archive their past and present proclamations.
    I fully expect to see national government agencies grant “immunity” to their colleges currently at the UN.
    While simultaneously attempting to purge the record, control the internet.
    Shame that is only going to inflame the crisis but I guess thats been the problem from the start of this Policy Based Evidence Manufacturing.PBEM .. hmm need a better acronym.
    Good Enough for Government.

  38. From the point of view of political persuasion (propaganda) the phrase “Global Warming Hoax” has the potential of turning the debate upside down. Hoax exposes the Believer to the possibility of looking foolish. So once any substantial defection from Belief starts, there is the possibility of a runaway effect as no one wants to look foolish — i.e. to be hoaxed. Thus the Belief can collapse almost over night if people become concerned that it is or might be a hoax.

  39. You are taking the bait and replying the irritation of a small extremist faction in an insignificant small city. You have just given them a massive boost in readership.
    Why bother? In Australia, such extremism usually results over time in falling readership and increasing irrelevance, as they preach to the converted, not the general public.

  40. I’ve never before heard of Lauren Carroll or Politifact. I’ll forget this reference to them, soon enough.
    Life’s too short to pay attention to those who have no interest in truth.

  41. Brandon Gates January 2, 2015 at 2:52 pm
    Based on these results, the future increase in global mean temperature is likely to fall within –40 to +60% of the multi-model AOGCM mean warming simulated for each scenario.
    SNAP! goes the trap.
    Precisely Brandon. We were told that the science was settled, the debate was over, the situation dire, the need to act urgent. That’s what we were told Brandon. Over an over. We were ridiculed just for asking questions. But when WE put aside the press releases and the public pronouncements and looked at the IPCC reports themselves, what did we find? Uncertainty at every turn. Weasel words tortured into suggesting a level of certainty and accuracy that a careful reading of the documents showed just didn’t exist.
    So where were you then Brandon? You said you’ve been around this debate for a while upthread, did you speak up back then? When the pronouncements were coming fast and furious that the science was settled, the debate over, did you raise your voice and say “…uhm no, that’s not what the document says”?
    I find it somewhat disingenuous for your side of the debate to have shoved the certainty of doom in our faces, and when events didn’t play out as you claimed (with the highest of confidence I might add) you now wish to assert that your side never made those claims in the first place?
    LOL.
    Phil Jones – 10 years disqualifies the models
    NASA – 15 years
    Ben Santer – 17 years
    Brandon Gates – uhm, well, uhm, the IPCC never actually said….
    BULLSH*T. If they never intended it that way, then they made a p*ss poor job of saying so these last few decades. Weasel words from beginning to end, and in the end, a meaningless document now being used by warmists to claim they never said what they clearly did say to governments world wide.

    • “The data doesn’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations on the data. We’re basing them on the climate models.”
      Prof. Chris Folland, Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research

      • Yup, pretty stupid thing to say. Also pretty old, and one Dr. Folland likely wishes he could have back.

    • davidmhoffer,

      SNAP! goes the trap.

      [looks around bewildered, sees no trap, shrugs and moves on]

      We were told that the science was settled, the debate was over, the situation dire, the need to act urgent.

      Let’s you and me get something straight between us right now. I don’t carry anyone’s water for them, I speak for me and me alone. If you’d like to ask me what my views on policy are, go right on ahead. But you need to ask, not assume. Are we clear?

      We were ridiculed just for asking questions.

      Well I’ve met a variety of climate contrarians online and let me tell you, you’re not a monolithic group any more than we on the consensus side of the science. I think some contrarian questions are wonderfully conceived and properly skeptical and add much value to the debate. Others, and I’ll just say most, are not. Many are flat out silly and deserve ridicule and even ire. In my opinion, mind. The sky dragons are my pet favorites. No CO2 accumulation from humans, which is topical today, is just about one of the silliest, whacky, loopy arguments out there — confirmation bias and total logic failure written all over it.
      Get bent about being made fun of if you’d like but this is a highly charged issue because of the stakes, harsh things have and will continue to be said. I don’t complain about that and therefore I don’t suffer complaints about it gladly either.

      Uncertainty at every turn.

      You think? What fantasy planet is it you live on that’s so easy to figure out?

      Weasel words tortured into suggesting a level of certainty and accuracy that a careful reading of the documents showed just didn’t exist.

      How about a little less arm waving and little more citation. I like vague sweeping generalizations even less than I do mewling about being made fun of.

      When the pronouncements were coming fast and furious that the science was settled, the debate over, did you raise your voice and say “…uhm no, that’s not what the document says”?

      Somewhere … William Briggs blog probably … I pretty roundly condemned Obama for the “science is settled bit”. Over the years I’ve corrected others on my side when I perceived them to be in error. I’ve done it here a time or two …. Socrates said something a few weeks ago that didn’t look right and I nudged him about it. A number of times here I’ve said I don’t like politics of fear no matter who uses them.
      I’ve delivered bigger “same-team” a** chewings on other issues which I feel more emotion about than this one. I’ve been killfiled by more than one person for doing it.

      I find it somewhat disingenuous for your side of the debate to have shoved the certainty of doom in our faces, and when events didn’t play out as you claimed (with the highest of confidence I might add) you now wish to assert that your side never made those claims in the first place?

      Where did I disavow something someone said?

      Ben Santer – 17 years
      Brandon Gates – uhm, well, uhm, the IPCC never actually said….

      I’ll be darned if that’s my actual response. Ranting doesn’t make for good reading comprehension.

      • Brandon says:
        …looks around bewildered…
        ‘Bewildered’ is correct.
        Hoffer makes some irrefutable points. And I would also like to ask:
        What is a ‘climate contrarian’??
        Skeptics know the climate always changes — naturally. What is ‘contrarian’ about that? Or have you run out of facts, and now must resort to ad-homs?

      • I’ll be darned if that’s my actual response. Ranting doesn’t make for good reading comprehension.
        I’m sorry that you were unable to comprehend my point.

      • davidmhoffer January 2, 2015 at 7:48 pm
        I’ll be darned if that’s my actual response. Ranting doesn’t make for good reading comprehension.
        I’m sorry that you were unable to comprehend my point.
        The fault is most certainly mine

      • Thus sprach dbstealey:

        Hoffer makes some irrefutable points.

        Ok. Care to enlighten me on which ones, or is this just another armwaving session.

        What is a ‘climate contrarian’??

        Someone who doesn’t hold the consensus view on AGW.

        Skeptics know the climate always changes — naturally. What is ‘contrarian’ about that?

        Not recognizing the part humans play as established by the majority of scientists working in the field.

        Or have you run out of facts, and now must resort to ad-homs?

        Really. No, really, I mean …. seriously?

      • davidmhoffer,
        Um, ok. I’ve lost track, did we or did we not establish that the IPCC has not been promising laser-straight non-deviating temperature trends from now until meltdown in lockstep with rising CO2 levels?

      • Brandon Gates January 2, 2015 at 9:22 pm
        Um, ok. I’ve lost track, did we or did we not establish that the IPCC has not been promising laser-straight non-deviating temperature trends
        What we’ve established is that the perception and the reality of the published science are two different things. Once again, thanks for pointing that out. As before, if you don’t understand the point, the fault is mine.

      • Brandon, is there a caveat in here about natural variability possibly overcoming CO2 forcing for a decade or more? Did I miss that part? The wording in the SPM is identical. Doesn’t really reflect what the sections you quoted say, does it? Now do you understand my point?
        Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report
        ContentsSYR33.2
        3.2 Projections of future changes in climate
        For the next two decades a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emissions scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all GHGs and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected. Afterwards, temperature projections increasingly depend on specific emissions scenarios (Figure 3.2). {WGI 10.3, 10.7; WGIII 3.2}
        Since the IPCC’s first report in 1990, assessed projections have suggested global averaged temperature increases between about 0.15 and 0.3°C per decade from 1990 to 2005. This can now be compared with observed values of about 0.2°C per decade, strengthening confidence in near-term projections. {WGI 1.2, 3.2}

      • davidmhoffer,

        What we’ve established is that the perception and the reality of the published science are two different things.

        Ah. No, I got that point alrighty. I just treat them as separate issues and get a tad cranky when they’re mashed together. I don’t think it makes much sense to discuss policy without first having some mutual consensus on the factual basis.

        … is there a caveat in here about natural variability possibly overcoming CO2 forcing for a decade or more? Did I miss that part? The wording in the SPM is identical. Doesn’t really reflect what the sections you quoted say, does it? Now do you understand my point?

        What jumps out at me is that they’ve revised estimates and strengthened confidence in those estimates perhaps because the constraints on natural variability weren’t considered as good. The thing about GHG and aerosol concentrations may be about the “warming in the pipeline” concept. I think I’m starting to understand what you’re getting at but I’m also getting fuzzy because of the late hour. I’ll read the whole section tomorrow in context and get back to you.

      • Brandon Gates;
        What jumps out at me is that they’ve revised estimates and strengthened confidence in those estimates perhaps because the constraints on natural variability weren’t considered as good.
        What should jump out at you is that their public facing pronouncements and SPM contain certainties that are not born out by close examination of the balance of their own publications. Further, in AR4, the estimate was a sensitivity of between 2.0 and 4.5 degrees per doubling of CO2, with a consensus median estimate of 3.0 degrees. In AR5, they were unable to arrive at a consensus median estimate at all, increased the range of the estimate to be between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees (with only the lower bound changing), and announced that their confidence in the science was even higher than ever.
        Really? The range got bigger, unable to reach agreement on a median estimate, but their confidence went up?
        We’ve gone full cycle. First natural variation was too small to explain anything, and now it is large enough to explain everything.

      • “Brandon Gates
        January 2, 2015 at 7:03 pm
        davidmhoffer,
        “SNAP! goes the trap.
        [looks around bewildered, sees no trap, shrugs and moves on]”

        You are bewildered because you’ve been trapped and part of the trap is blinders.
        LOL


      • davidmhoffer
        January 2, 2015 at 11:07 pm
        Really? The range got bigger, unable to reach agreement on a median estimate, but their confidence went up?

        Nothing confusing there David: their confidence in their uncertainty has been strengthened by their inability to make a determination.
        Perfectly clear.
        At least, that might be what they probably could mean.
        /grin

      • davidmhoffer,

        In AR5, they were unable to arrive at a consensus median estimate at all, increased the range of the estimate to be between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees (with only the lower bound changing), and announced that their confidence in the science was even higher than ever.

        Confidence went up in conclusions drawn from observation. “The science is settled” quote, as unfortunate and wrong that meme is, refers to what has happened in the past.
        You should be happy that with the switch from CMIP3 to CMIP5 from AR4 to AR5 that they reported the lower bound change from 2 to 1.5 for climate senstivity. In the scientific world, that’s called integrity. In the political hack world, that’s called flip-flopping. Know the difference.

        The range got bigger, unable to reach agreement on a median estimate, but their confidence went up?

        I like the subtle shift from comparing FAR to AR4, to comparing AR4 to AR5. Did you think I wouldn’t notice? Perhaps you may wish to limit my comments to the context in which they were given?

      • Brandon Gates January 3, 2015 at 8:04 am
        Confidence went up in conclusions drawn from observation.
        Confidence went up in model predictions by increasing the range in which they could be right, and avoiding a consensus estimate because it would have exposed that bounded by observational evidence, sensitivity is much lower than previously claimed. The 4.5 upper bound is not supportable, but they left it in anyway and just didn’t comment on how unlikely it is, else the report would have been left with nothing frightening in it.
        “The science is settled” quote, as unfortunate and wrong that meme is, refers to what has happened in the past.
        It refers to what is happening now. The 97% consensus meme is just another manifestation of it, and you yourself in a reply up thread attempted to use another version of it in defining “climate contrarians”.
        You should be happy that with the switch from CMIP3 to CMIP5 from AR4 to AR5 that they reported the lower bound change from 2 to 1.5 for climate senstivity. In the scientific world, that’s called integrity. In the political hack world, that’s called flip-flopping. Know the difference.
        In a scientific world with integrity the 4.5 upper bound would have been adjusted downward on the exact same evidence that was used to adjust the lower bound, and the median estimate would also have been adjusted downward. Instead they went the political route, some weasel wording to continue to provide the perception of danger while giving themselves a huge out so that years later no one can say for certain that they lied or not.
        I like the subtle shift from comparing FAR to AR4, to comparing AR4 to AR5. Did you think I wouldn’t notice? Perhaps you may wish to limit my comments to the context in which they were given?
        I made no such switch, I referred to AR4 and AR5 only. The switch is in your head.
        But congrats on completely avoiding the original point. You demanded to know where the IPCC said we should expect decade over decade warming with no pause, and I showed you that they did. I showed also that they said one thing in one place and another in another place. The best you could do was mumble something about having to read it again, and maybe aerosols or something….

      • Thank you Brandon for showing that the science espoused by the IPCC has uncertainties in it so large that one could drive a Mack truck through them (your words).

        You’re welcome.

        Would you kindly draw this to the attention of the writers of the SPM and Synthesis reports which contain no such caveats and ask the IPCC to amend their public facing pronouncements accordingly?

        The SPM writers obviously already know how wide the uncertainties are. For AR4 they were kind enough to provide a key for the language used to discuss them elswhere in the other documents: http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR4/website/spm.pdf Endbox 2. Communication of Uncertainty in the Working Group II Fourth Assessment Page 15 of the .pdf.
        The whole idea of a “summary” being that it doesn’t include every single niggling detail that the main reports do. The “bbbbbut it doesn’t say that HERE” argument really does get a little old, you know.

    • davidmhoffer,

      It refers to what is happening now.

      Great, another word-twister. Yes, the 97% meme is happening now, as is the science is settled meme. I object to the latter on principle because I hold that no non-trivial science is ever settled. My comment is that what’s “settled” is what has happened in the past, namely that CO2 has risen, followed by temperatures as predicted all the way back 1896. Since I don’t like being put on the hook for others’ unfortunate phrasings, how I state it is that I am reasonably confident that the effect is real according to established theory.
      I see nothing irrational about relying on scientific theory to form opinions and beliefs about what goes on in the world. Do you?

      In a scientific world with integrity the 4.5 upper bound would have been adjusted downward on the exact same evidence that was used to adjust the lower bound, and the median estimate would also have been adjusted downward.

      The “evidence” used to arrive at those bounds was from the simulation models. From CMIP3 to CMIP5, the lower bound which emerged from the models used changed. They reported that change. Honest scientists do that when the results of the experiment cough up a new answer. Political hacks stick by their story. You evidently do not understand the difference.

      You demanded to know where the IPCC said we should expect decade over decade warming with no pause, and I showed you that they did.

      Quote the exact text. Not the pretty pictures with smoothed ensemble model means. The exact text which says, “every year and/or decade is guaranteed to be hotter than the last”.
      Why you’d think anyone would be dumb enough to publish such a statement when observations well prior to The Pause indicated otherwise is truly mind-boggling.

      • Where exactly does that quoted text say, “temperatures are guaranteed to rise every year and every decade in lockstep with rising levels of CO2?”

      • Brandon,
        You’re brighter than that. You know very well that I quoted exactly what you asked for and noted that there were no caveats on the predicted decade over decade warming. Not in the smoothed graphic, not in the synthesis report, not in the Summary for Policy Makers, not in the expressed opinion of Phil Jones, nor NASA, nor Ben Santer. You know very well that I pointed out to you that the IPCC documentation speaks out of both sides of its mouth. You even helped me prove it, and still you twist and turn at every step. There’s no point having a discussion with someone more interested in the minutia of language then in the facts on the ground.

    • You know very well that I quoted exactly what you asked for and noted that there were no caveats on the predicted decade over decade warming.

      Some concentrated caveats: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-5-4.html 10.5.4 Sampling Uncertainty and Estimating Probabilities This is the second time I have cited that section in this thread.

      Not in the smoothed graphic …

      The smoothed graphic includes the 1-sigma standard deviation ranges of the model ensembles used for all one, two, three, four, FOUR different future projection scenarios. By 2027, the range of the A2, A1B and B1 scenarios is on the order of a half degree K. But of course, the last sentence of the caption reads: … uncertainty across scenarios should not be interpreted from this figure (see Section 10.5.4.6 for uncertainty estimates).
      There’s no point having a discussion with someone more interested in the minutia of language then in the facts on the ground.
      Minutia of language. Really. Ok, here’s the pretty picture again:
      http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/fig/figure-10-4-l.png
      Here’s what section 10.5.4 says about this figure:
      The AOGCMs cannot sample the full range of possible warming, in particular because they do not include uncertainties in the carbon cycle. In addition to the range derived directly from the AR4 multi-model ensemble, Figure 10.29 depicts additional uncertainty estimates obtained from published probabilistic methods using different types of models and observational constraints: the MAGICC SCM and the BERN2.5CC coupled climate-carbon cycle EMIC tuned to different climate sensitivities and carbon cycle settings, and the C4MIP coupled climate-carbon cycle models. Based on these results, the future increase in global mean temperature is likely to fall within –40 to +60% of the multi-model AOGCM mean warming simulated for each scenario.
      No caveats, huh. You can’t be serious:
      http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/fig/figure-10-29-l.png
      I could drive a Mack truck through those uncertainty ranges for cryin’ out loud.

      • Thank you Brandon for showing that the science espoused by the IPCC has uncertainties in it so large that one could drive a Mack truck through them (your words). Would you kindly draw this to the attention of the writers of the SPM and Synthesis reports which contain no such caveats and ask the IPCC to amend their public facing pronouncements accordingly?
        When done with that task, could you bring it to the attention of Phil Jones, NASA, and Ben Santer that their statements on model validation are similarly falsified by the range of errors you have just pointed to in the IPCC documentation?
        Don’t tell us Brandon, tell them….

  42. You should not have included Roger Pielke and Roger Pielke Jr. as neither are skeptics nor is Dr. Tol. I still do not know why people include Judith Curry as she is not a skeptic either.
    There are highly qualified skeptics you did not include such as Dr. Patrick Michaels, Dr. John Christy and Dr. Roy Spencer.

  43. “the media “bait and switch” tactic of picking the most outlandish statements of the “other side” and shooting them down thoughtlessly as if the statement represented the whole of the argument.”
    How is this tactic “bait and switch”? It is a version of “straw man fallacy”.

  44. Nick Stokes wrote “You can see how the ‘since 1998’ depends on the blip in 1998.”
    Christopher Hanley [January 2, 2015 at 1:54 pm] retorts: “Funny, if my memory serves me, back around the 2001 the CAGW hysterics were only too happy to exploit the so-called ‘blip’ as an integral part of the temperature record and indication of impending doom.”
    More than that, Chris – it ‘blip’ was cited as positive evidence of CAGW for many years thereafter.
    I think Nick Stoke’s is a denier of the facts of scientific reality and debate – and ought to be ignored (and hopefull, definded by his New Government Masters, accordingly).
    As an advanced degree holder from the University of London in a cognate environmental science discipline – the old cabal of Warmista’s must be rooted out and displaced by contrarians funded to dispute State Science hooey, just as the late great Michael Crichton advocated.
    Only then can science actually return to sanity and once again being to progress.
    In short, Nikj is an agent of the problem – and not part of the solution.

  45. Nick Stokes wrote “You can see how the ‘since 1998’ depends on the blip in 1998.”
    Christopher Hanley [January 2, 2015 at 1:54 pm] retorts: “Funny, if my memory serves me, back around the 2001 the CAGW hysterics were only too happy to exploit the so-called ‘blip’ as an integral part of the temperature record and indication of impending doom.”
    More than that, Chris – the ‘blip’ was cited as positive evidence of CAGW for many years thereafter.
    I think Nick Stoke’s is a denier of the facts of scientific reality and debate – and ought to be ignored (and hopefull, definded by his New Government Masters, accordingly).
    As an advanced degree holder from the University of London in a cognate environmental science discipline – the old cabal of Warmista’s must be rooted out and displaced by contrarians funded to dispute State Science hooey, just as the late great Michael Crichton advocated.
    Only then can science actually return to sanity and once again being to progress.
    In short, Nick is an agent of the problem – and not part of the solution.

  46. Hi, Andy!
    We worked together on a big CO2 project in Houston and Indonesia back in 1981. I remember a day at the office in Jakarta when we almost put a big dent in the problem of global hunger. I guess I lost track of your whearabouts since then. I agree 100% with your succinct presentation of a complex topic beset with intentional disinformation. Take care of yourself. Hope to buy you a beer sometime.
    Regards,
    John Clayton

  47. “Any qualified Earth scientist would agree with the first two statements, they are obvious.” — Andy May
    With all due respect, they are not obvious. The first is a theoretical possibility, not demonstrated to have actually occurred. If I urinate in the ocean I’m raising the sea level — obvious, perhaps, but not true. Quantity counts. And how can it possibly be “obvious” that a doorstop-sized report is reliable? We all know enough about the process to have reasonable doubts; same is true of the published papers on which the reports are based. Dr. Curry has written, IIRC, that she, too, assumed the assessment report reflected the state of the art — until she read the chapter on her own area, which apparently had some dubious content; that lead her to wonder about the other chapters.
    It has long bothered me that some skeptics, including authentic heroes — such as our host, Steve McIntyre, and Andrew Montford — concede so much. Why?

  48. JohnWho
    January 2, 2015 at 6:17 am
    Andy, while your letter probably won’t be read by the PolitiFacts group, I’ll give you a Gold Star for trying.

    And why should we care? There exists the distinct possibility that this website is more widely viewed and more heavily visited than PolitiFacts. Without a doubt it is read by a much larger population of actual climate scientists, and much more regularly.

    • Thanks, I agree. The readership of this blog are very well informed. I think Politifact gets more traffic, but most of their traffic are non-scientific political junkies.

  49. Brandon,
    First a comment on your posts. Why do you hold the views you do when you can check it mathematically for yourself. Let me lead you in.
    Calc 1. Confirm warming climate sensiyivity in the 3.x degree per doubling range.
    Temp rise since 1850 is about 0.8C (0.7 – 0.8 we’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and use the high end)
    CO2 rise since 1850 is 400 – 280 = 120 ppm
    Years since 1850 is 165
    We know temp is a natural log function of CO2
    T = C × LN(A/B) where c is a scale factor constant and A is CO2 (2015) and B is CO2 (1850)
    We can substitute to get
    0.8 = C x ln(400/280) to find C
    C= 0.8/ln(400/280) = 2.24
    Knowing C we can calculate climate sensitivity based on observations( change for a doubling of CO2 )
    ? = 2.24 × ln 2
    =1.55 degrees per doubling.
    BUT
    This assumes that ALL the temperature rise from 1850 was due to CO2, even though we know the bit from 1850 to 1950 wasn’t, and the IPCC said that about 50% of 1950 to now is human caused. We could estimate maybe a quarter of that 0.8 degree warming was CO2 related, but lets just use the IPCC number of 50%, which is still overestimating things because we know human CO2 wasn’t acting before 1950. 1.55 x .5 = 0.78
    So climate reaction to human CO2 is at best 0.78 degrees C per doubling, doesn’t seem catastrophic to me ( well until maybe 10000 ppm)
    Calc 2.
    Lets look at energy conservation.
    Scientists say all cause atmospheric temperature rise due to the atmosphere is 33 degrees from blackbody theoretical (look that up if you like), some is due to gravity, solar wind, electrical forces, friction, other GHGs like ozone etc. Some is due to CO2… For arguments sake lets assume it is ALL due to CO2 and its water feedback, lets assume the CO2 is the only control knob, how much warming then would 100 % CO2 cause.
    Atmosphere is about 85% opaque at 400 PPM CO2 in CO2 stopband.
    Only 15 % of incident energy transits the atmosphere.
    33 deg /85 % = 0.38 deg per percent energy stopped by atmospheric CO only 15 percent left to go so maximum energy stopped by CO2 and all its feedbacks would cause 15 x 0.38 = 5.8 degrees more warming for a dense 100 % CO2 atmosphere. Contrast this reality to the IPCC estimate 13 doublings x 3.3 degrees per doubling = 42.9 degrees to 13 x 6 = 78 degrees high estimate, with no liquid water left on earth ( since temp at the equator in summer would exceed 100C). This has never happened since the earth cooled even when the atmosphere was nearly 100 % CO2.
    5.8 degrees for 100% CO2 / 13 doublings to get to 100 % gives 0.46 degrees per doubling but scientists suggest only a 1/3 of the 33 deg atmospheric insulation effect is due to GHGs giving a real climate sensitivity estimate of 0.15 degrees per doubling and a maximum warming of just 1.9 degrees even if the atmosphere were all CO2. I am decidedly UNworried about a warming that could reach just 1.9 degrees even if all the nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere were replaced by CO2
    You should really do the math, it is very enlightening.

    • Facts?
      Math?
      The Alarmists want no part of that.
      Geez, what will we have next?
      Will someone apply the Logical Fallacies to the Alarmist’s statements and show that they mostly fail?
      Oh, wait…
      never mind.

    • Bobl,

      Why do you hold the views you do when you can check it mathematically for yourself.

      Why do you presume I don’t check the math?

      C= 0.8/ln(400/280) = 2.24

      Yup. I usually get something in that neighborhood. This one shows 2.75-2.8 depending on whether the regression is against monthly or a trailing 12mo MA: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1C2T0pQeiaSTFNEekNLWkxkMFk
      I think that one doesn’t take the log of the doubling. IIRC when I did, the answer I got was 2.41.

      Knowing C we can calculate climate sensitivity based on observations( change for a doubling of CO2 )
      ? = 2.24 × ln 2
      =1.55 degrees per doubling.

      Spot on. Here’s how I go at it: ΔF = α * ln(C/C0), α = 5.35 W/m^2
      Substituting values: ΔF = 5.35 * ln(400/280) = 1.9 W/m^2
      Equilibrium climate sensitivity is expressed as: ΔT = λ * ΔF, λ = 0.8 K/W*m-1 (0.8 is not a typo, it’s a coincidence)
      Substituting values: ΔT = 0.8 * 1.9 = 1.52 K, which exceeds observed ΔT by nearly a factor of 2. So lambda is wrong, or we’re missing something. Most likely both.

      BUT
      This assumes that ALL the temperature rise from 1850 was due to CO2, even though we know the bit from 1850 to 1950 wasn’t, and the IPCC said that about 50% of 1950 to now is human caused.

      It’s worse than that. Not only have we left out solar increase, other GHGs, aerosol effects and feedbacks we haven’t even begun to account for the rate of heat uptake. It’s not instantaneous because the planet is massive, and water in particular takes far longer to respond than the rest of the system. Really all we have at the moment is an estimate of transient climate sensitivity, not equilibrium sensitivity, and not even a very good one at that.

      We could estimate maybe a quarter of that 0.8 degree warming was CO2 related, but lets just use the IPCC number of 50%, which is still overestimating things because we know human CO2 wasn’t acting before
      1950. 1.55 x .5 = 0.78

      At this point we should be agnostic to what humans did or didn’t do. Whatever CO2 was there prior to us was doing what it was doing, and setting an arbitrary cutoff at 1950 means we’ve now thrown away 100-200 years of data depending on how far back we have data. I typically use either HADCRUT4GL (1850-now) or GISTemp LOTI GL (1880-now), and GISS ModelE forcing assumptions from here: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/ There’s a nice time series plot on that page:
      http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/RadF.gif
      Links to the tablular data behind that plot (annual resolution) are present, plus a slew of primary literature talking about the modeling and assumptions that Hansen, Lacis, Ruedy and Sato used to come up with their estimates. As the data only go back to 1880, we lose 30 years of the HADCRUT4 record, but even so we keep 70 years of data we’d otherwise ignore by choosing 1950 as the beginning of our analysis.

      So climate reaction to human CO2 is at best 0.78 degrees C per doubling, doesn’t seem catastrophic to me ( well until maybe 10000 ppm)

      Well that number is about half of the lowest published estimate for starters, and having done a lot of regressions and correlations on the data I linked to above (plus much much more from elsewhere) I can tell you that it doesn’t support such a small number. Irrespective of that, I know of no way to quantitatively map any sensitivity number to catastrophe potential just by noting its qualitative smallness or largeness. Those estimates are a completely different ball of wax, there’s a lot more to it, and they’re far far more uncertain than anything we’re presently disucssing.
      In short, I find your abundance of confidence disturbing. I simply do not share it.
      Calc 2 will need to wait for a future post, I need a break and this is more than plenty to chew on. I do appreciate it when someone comes to me with specifics and calculations, thank you. Cheers for now.

      • There you go again Gates, frightening yourself with such drivel as ” heat uptake”. Some people like to wring their hands. I guess that you are one.

      • mpainter,
        I’m so sorry, in the future I’ll amend my terminology to, “rate of energy retention and/or loss” just so as not to offend your delicate sensibilities.

      • You miss the point of these calculations.
        What I have done is simply formulate an expression that would test the reasonableness of the estimate based on known data points, for example delta T and delta CO2 between 1850 and now, or by using the 33 degree all cause increase over blackbody and energy saturation in the CO2 band. In both cases I use a pessimistic bound and pessimistic formulation. This ensures that I overestimate rather than underestimate the bound. This approach clearly debunks the idea of Flannery et al here in OZ that we could see 6 degrees C warming THIS CENTURY…. Bull, that would require that the next 120 PPM has 4 times the effect of the last 120 PPM and defies the logarithmic relationship between CO2 and temperature. Yes, in theory temperature rise could be maybe 1.5 for a doubling, but these high estimates are not supported by the data. Feedback over the last 150 years has clearly been negative, <0.78 per doubling due CO2, the other 0.78 from other factors thus CO2s effect is shown to have been less than its direct effect, and there is absolutely no reason to assume that will change.
        Note that in calc 2 , temperature doesn't actually increase linearly with energy absorbed (by CO2 or anything else) its much worse than linear, but a linearly therefore should give an overestimate of the bound. So my 5.8 degree estimate for 100% CO2 bound is on the high side, but it still allows me to check the reasonableness of the IPCC estimates on human caused global warming. And gives me confidence in the planets defensive position. Note also in calc 2, there is some nonsense about the wings of the stop band thickening, about, but my position is that this will only be significant where CO2 adds to planetary atmospheric density (the contraint that earths atmosphere remains at 1 ATM has to be removed) Since CO2 replaces O2, the CO2 is not adding to the atmospheric density at all, burning fossil fuels replaces one O2 molecule by a CO2 molecule.
        There are a few other boundary tests I do, for example, if one applies the known negative feedbacks to Temp rise, then calculates the positive feedback to overcome the negative fedbacks and deliver the IPCC figure of 3.3 x direct effect, one arrives at a calculation that shows the positive feedbacks in the climate have to have a loop gain of 0.95! Totally unreasonable, given how stable earths climate is.
        Finally, one must also show that sensitivity, is not a function of temperature, given the main feedback (water) temperature rise is also logarithmically related to water concentration, it can be shown rather easilly that sensitivity diminishes with temperature, that is the atmosphere saturates. The atmosphere is Not an amplifier, add too much heat and over water the dew point will decrease untill it meets the prevailing temperature at height and rain will result. This situation is akin to a saturated amplifier, the energy available in this instance is insufficient to sustain the temperature rise. In electronics, the output of the amplifier rises untill it reaches the limits of the power supply. In a saturated state the gain (sensitivity ) is zero.

      • Bobl,

        In both cases I use a pessimistic bound and pessimistic formulation. This ensures that I overestimate rather than underestimate the bound.

        I noted and appreciated that the first time I read it. That appreciation is why my comments to you lack my normal snark … this is the kind of discussion I would much rather be having as the norm, not the exception, here.

        This approach clearly debunks the idea of Flannery et al here in OZ that we could see 6 degrees C warming THIS CENTURY…. Bull, that would require that the next 120 PPM has 4 times the effect of the last 120 PPM and defies the logarithmic relationship between CO2 and temperature.

        I’m not familiar with Flannery et al. or their predictions. I agree, 6 degrees this century sounds like bull. At this point in the discussion I’m at the global level and consider regional discussions premature until we’ve worked through a few other things first.

        Yes, in theory temperature rise could be maybe 1.5 for a doubling, but these high estimates are not supported by the data.

        I pointed out in my last post that you’ve made no accounting for thermal inertia, especially that of the oceans. Even before you get to that, if you have not already, you need to go to the GISS model forcings page because it accounts for a number of offsetting forcings in the negative direction which are also quite significant. I’m loath to continue on to Calc 2 until you address these points I have already raised. Because see, I do get the point of Calc 1, I just happen to know that you’ve not covered a number of factors known in literature for quite some time to be relevant to the estimate you’re attempting. Again, it’s great that you’re doing so. It’s not great that you’re ignoring advice to check up on things which you’ve missed.

      • Thermal inertia was acting over the last 150 years, as it is now and will in the future. By using the data rather than a model I have accomodated that factor (as well as all the feedbacks).
        In fact if we allow for thermal inertia the present hiatus in temperature becomes a clear cooling bias in spite of CO2 that is being moderated to a hiatus by thermal inertia, that is, the thermal inertia, would increase, the “other” component (because of the recent warning before 2000), and serve to reduce the CO2 component. One must also speculate on the sign of the inertia the thermal capacity of the planet will act in a direction according to thermodynamics, energy can only enter or leave the atmosphere if the temperature of the heat store is above or below the atmospheric temperature. Since at best thermal capacity of the oceans are limited to thousandths of a degree that’s the limit on that heat stores effect on the climate. Thermal storage can serve to moderate change it cannot enhance it except by random confluence of the delay and forcing. Put another way thermal inertia will cool when its warming and will only warm while it’s cooling. It might oscillate for a while, but long term itll do that. Which is great when you want to keep your house (or planet) at a constant temperature.
        While I could attempt to remove the thermal inertia to arrive at a closer estimate to pure CO2 effect, it’s pointless if what’s important is temperature rise with the thermal inertia present. What’s more the true effect of thermal mass is not used properly by the cAGW proponents. The constant protestations of x of the last y years are the hotest evah. Of course they are, if the thermal store has a given temperature then the following year is going to vary from that base, the climate doesn’t magically reset to some mythical average of 1950 to 1990 every year on december 31. It’s a random walk, there is no right temperature of the planet. I despair that the climate is dishonestly represented as deviation from some mythical meaningless average, when what matters is deltas from cycle to cycle, dishonest as far as I’m concerned.
        Take also that because CO2 is being added to the atmosphere in an increasing manner (by china and india) and the biosphere has a delayed negative response to added CO2, CO2 must also be significantly above the equilibrium level. That results in an overshoot of temperature, and therefore the planets transient temperature must be above the long term equilibrium level. Frankly you could stop any CO2 warming by simply maintaining Nett CO2 emission and after a few short years ( based on the fact that the biosphere absorbs 50% of increased CO2 per annum) and CO2 induced warming would fall and stop, (with CO2 equilibriating 3 or 4 PPM below curent levels) Greening of Australia (Where I live) has already reduced our nett CO2 to less than zero (that is, our local biota is now absorbing all our emissions and then some compared with 1990), and I’m waiting for my cheque from China and India for helping out with their emissions.
        Of course all this assumes the AGW hypothesis is right, there are significant reasons to suggest that enhancing radiative gas partial pressures should have a cooling effect on an open system like the atmosphere ( more molecules radiating to space should in theory reduce the temperature of the energy store over time, assuming that radiation is the limiting factor). Using energy conservation if Total energy is constant, and I increase space radiation (as confirmed by satellite) then the retained energy must be lower.

      • Bobl,

        Thermal inertia was acting over the last 150 years, as it is now and will in the future.

        True, but the rate of change in forcings (plural) has not been constant. If you’ve accounted for that already I’ve missed it.

        By using the data rather than a model I have accomodated that factor (as well as all the feedbacks).

        There are scads of peer-reviewed literature based on data, not just “Teh Models”. Good grief.

        In fact if we allow for thermal inertia the present hiatus in temperature becomes a clear cooling bias in spite of CO2 that is being moderated to a hiatus by thermal inertia, that is, the thermal inertia, would increase, the “other” component (because of the recent warning before 2000), and serve to reduce the CO2 component.

        Go back to the data, calculate the change in forcing from 1998 to present. Then do a 30 year running mean on the temperature time series and calculate the difference between that curve and the annual means. Take the standard deviation of those differences. See how that number compares to the change in forcing due to CO2 alone since 1998. I’d use 0.8 for climate sensitivity in that forcing to temperature conversion, but pick whatever you think is reasonable.

        One must also speculate on the sign of the inertia the thermal capacity of the planet will act in a direction according to thermodynamics, energy can only enter or leave the atmosphere if the temperature of the heat store is above or below the atmospheric temperature.

        Holy cow, unless I’m missing something key in your argument, wrong. Firstly, temperature can and will leave the planet so long as it’s above the CBR temperature of 2.76 K. Secondly, even in cases where surface temperature is less than the atmosphere directly above it, which is not the average “normal” case globally, any matter which can emit LWR can and does so all the time at normal terrestrial temperatures. If those photons don’t get captured by a GHG or a cloud, they are gone from our concerns here. True, net heat will still go from warm to cool, but AGW is ultimately is an exercise in net flux at TOA, something that is not strictly limited by the surface layer boundary but what’s going on throughout the entire thickness of the atmosphere. On that note, oceans absorb sunlight directly and at depth, meaning they can still warm below the surface even when the atmosphere at the surface is cooler than the water at the surface.

        Since at best thermal capacity of the oceans are limited to thousandths of a degree that’s the limit on that heat stores effect on the climate.

        That’s definitely wrong. The thermal capacity of the oceans are limited by their ability to remain liquid (or solid as the case may be) at whatever sea-level pressure happens to be at any given time, which at present means any thing less than 102°C at the surface. I don’t think we’re in any danger of that extreme a scenario, but it is the upper limit of the oceans remaining oceans.
        In short, they have a tremendous capacity to absorb energy, far more than we really want to test empirically because there is a relationship between ocean and atmospheric temps and it’s a multiplier not a divisor.

        Thermal storage can serve to moderate change it cannot enhance it except by random confluence of the delay and forcing. Put another way thermal inertia will cool when its warming and will only warm while it’s cooling. It might oscillate for a while, but long term itll do that.

        I agree with that, and the temperature record is consistent with just that sort of mechanism. Both over the instrumental record and from paleo studies. Bintanja (2008) I think figured out that from peak to trough of the last four glacial cycles, “deep ocean” temperature varied about 1/6th that of that with surface temps at the poles. Shakun (2012) tells us that global temps vary on the order of half that of polar temps, so a rough guesstimate is that every degree of ocean temperature change (at some depth) corresponds to a 3 degree change in global atmospheric temperatures. There is a lag in there, on the order of a thousand years IIRC. How that works wrt present observations of OHC rise might be interesting to discuss.

        While I could attempt to remove the thermal inertia to arrive at a closer estimate to pure CO2 effect, it’s pointless if what’s important is temperature rise with the thermal inertia present. What’s more the true effect of thermal mass is not used properly by the cAGW proponents.

        I’m going to need a citation or two at this point because you’ve gotten so much wrong above I’d like to know what it is you’ve read so that I might figure out if and how you’ve garbled it.

      • I don’t see that anything I have said is wrong…
        1. Thermodynamics says that nett heat transfer will be from the hotter to colder, that is – if the atmosphere is hotter than the water then the atmosphere will lose heat to the ocean and vice versa. I did not even mention direct radiation to space which is one of the big losses, if the ocean is 0.001 degrees warmer on average then at best that warmer ocean will impart 0.001 degrees to the atmosphere. Don’t conflate what I said with something else, I am merely saying that once the heat is dissipated in the ocean to become a 0.001 deg temp rise (per doubling) it can’t magically jump out and become 6 degrees in 2100, once that energy is sunk, it effectively gone. You need to think a bit more about what you are doing and the mechanisms at play. If AGW goes into the ocean then is all over for the C bit of CAGW, what remains is an interesting anecdote of science, for which my national taxpayers should not be forking over $5100 per tonne of CO2 our carbon tax cost us!
        2. The ocean might very well warm directly from sunlight but we are not discussing sunlight, we are discussing a mere 3 watts or so of backscatter from CO2, we’ll presume the sun does what the sun has always done. ( part of the 0.4 deg since 1850 that was not CO2). In particular here we are considering how that energy stored in the thermal mass of the ocean might reemerge 100-100 years later. In the studies you cite the ocean rate of increase may have been 1/6 th of the atmosphere, but clearly it was not the ocean heating the atmosphere that did that, the mechanism matters. If the ocean rose 1/6th of the atmosphere then clearly the atmosphere heated the ocean, (in theory that 1/6 th might be returned as the atmosphere cooled, but in fact that transient heat will actually mostly end up dissipated into the bulk of the ocean and so maybe 100th to 1000th of the temperature rise might be returned.) Thermal mass is absolutely not going to add much to future temperature regardless. If the minor forcing of CO2 adds a fraction its not going to change the response of the earth that much, especially given that climate sensitivity can be shown to be non constant and decrease in value with temperature. Future earth response to CO2 will remain approximately the same as the past response to CO2 thus it is reasonable to use the past data to project the future, certainly the models are doing a lot worse than that. I think it is justifiable to say that estimates of 2 or more degrees per doubling are very unlikely, and assuming the ipcc 50 % estimate is round about right then 0.5 to 1 degree per doubling of CO2 plus or minus natural variability is what we could expect
        3. You misinterpret what I meant when I said thermal capacity is limited to some thousandths of a degree, I did not mean that the oceans can only store that much. You are absolutely correct in what you say, but if you take that 3W per square meter CO2 backscatter and absorb it all in the volume of the oceans and ice caps then the average temperature rise of the oceans and icecaps for a doubling of CO2 is a few thousandths of a degree. Put another way, AGW can affect ocean temperature by a miniscule amount, remembering that water and ice conduct heat, and will melt or evaporate absorbing huge amounts of energy in the process
        4. I agree that AGW is an exercise in Nett flux at TOA, and one would suggest that with more CO2 molecules to radiate, it would be expected that the radiative flux to space would increase with CO2 partial pressure, and the satellites show that’s exactly what happens while the models show decreased flux to space. Evidence the models are missing something I would say. If the flux to space increases with CO2 partial pressure, then all things being equal the earth system must cool.
        5. You should work though the second calc, its more enlightening in getting a handle on how much of an overestimate IPCC warming estimates are. In effect the IPCC are claiming that future temp rise (from blackbody base) will be 10 to 20 times what all cause temperature rise has been so far.
        Did I miss anything?
        Sorry for any misspelling, I am using my tablet with the virtual keyboard that’s virtually unusable

      • Bobl,

        I don’t see that anything I have said is wrong…

        I definitely misread some things in your previous post. I still have issues with other stuff.

        1. Thermodynamics says that net heat transfer will be from the hotter to colder, that is – if the atmosphere is hotter than the water then the atmosphere will lose heat to the ocean and vice versa.

        I mostly agree but with a caveat to come soon …

        I did not even mention direct radiation to space which is one of the big losses, if the ocean is 0.001 degrees warmer on average then at best that warmer ocean will impart 0.001 degrees to the atmosphere.

        Again I agree, but there’s a wrinkle here which needs to be discussed …

        Don’t conflate what I said with something else, I am merely saying that once the heat is dissipated in the ocean to become a 0.001 deg temp rise (per doubling) it can’t magically jump out and become 6 degrees in 2100, once that energy is sunk, it effectively gone.

        I think no conflation on my part, I simply disagree. Energy is only gone from the system when it leaves TOA. Just because we average out temperature for the top two kilometer layer of ocean doesn’t mean that retained energy is distributed evenly throughout. First thing to look at is vertical distribution. Here are some observational data from NODC/NCDC (1955-present):
        2000m 100m SST
        ------- ------- -------
        0.0134 0.0712 0.0947 K/decade
        1.0000 5.3163 7.0719 Trend relative to 2000m

        You need to think a bit more about what you are doing and the mechanisms at play.

        Ohhh, you hardly need to ask me to think more about it. It just happens.

        If AGW goes into the ocean then is all over for the C bit of CAGW, what remains is an interesting anecdote of science, for which my national taxpayers should not be forking over $5100 per tonne of CO2 our carbon tax cost us!

        You meant $51.00 per tonne I hope …. I do see your note about the virtual keyboard on your pad.

        2. The ocean might very well warm directly from sunlight but we are not discussing sunlight, we are discussing a mere 3 watts or so of backscatter from CO2, we’ll presume the sun does what the sun has always done.

        Mmhmm, sure. Just wanted to make sure it was clear that seawater largely does not warm via sensible heat transfers with the atmosphere.

        In particular here we are considering how that energy stored in the thermal mass of the ocean might reemerge 100-100 years later.

        I think that’s supposed to be 10-100 years. 40 years is a good number to think about.

        In the studies you cite the ocean rate of increase may have been 1/6 th of the atmosphere, but clearly it was not the ocean heating the atmosphere that did that, the mechanism matters.

        Indeed. The Sun is the only true heat source which matters. Most things in this conversation come down to things which affect net rates of energy transfer.

        If the ocean rose 1/6th of the atmosphere then clearly the atmosphere heated the ocean, (in theory that 1/6 th might be returned as the atmosphere cooled, but in fact that transient heat will actually mostly end up dissipated into the bulk of the ocean and so maybe 100th to 1000th of the temperature rise might be returned.)

        The atmosphere, so long as GHGs and clouds are present, are always limiting loss. I’m guessing the 1/6th is mainly a feature of seawater’s 4x greater heat capacity than that of air.

        Thermal mass is absolutely not going to add much to future temperature regardless.

        I think what you’re tripped up on here is taking the vertical averaged ocean temperature trends from 2000m and wondering how a 0.0134 K/decade trend can possibly be a factor when the IPCC is talking about a full degree or two by 2100 coming out of the oceans to bite us. 0.0134 K/decade * 8.5 decades = 0.1139 K. I’m hearing you say that’s peanuts.
        Well yes, it is. Soooo … 0.0134 K/decade is the wrong rate because that covers 1900m of ocean well away from the surface where things matter most to us. Same calc for all three layers:
        2000m 100m SST
        ------- ------- -------
        0.1139 0.6053 0.8052 K temperature change 2015-2100
        1.0000 5.3163 7.0719 Change relative to 2000m

        If the minor forcing of CO2 adds a fraction its not going to change the response of the earth that much, especially given that climate sensitivity can be shown to be non constant and decrease in value with temperature.

        At this point I’m not even thinking about causes, just going through what the data are telling me and extending out linear trendines as a smell test.

        Future earth response to CO2 will remain approximately the same as the past response to CO2 thus it is reasonable to use the past data to project the future ….

        Weeeelllll, all my calcs above used NODC/NCDC data from KNMI at these links:
        http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/itemp100_globala.txt
        http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/itemp2000_globala.txt
        http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/incdc_gl_oceana.txt

        … certainly the models are doing a lot worse than that.

        They’re not terribly good at predicting ENSO, AMO, PDO, etc., that’s for sure. On that note, from the data I just posted one can build their own internal variability index by subtracting the monthly 100m figures from the SST monthly values. Here’s what I got:
        -0.2575 min
        0.2210 max
        0.4785 range
        0.1519 standard deviation

        That range of 0.4785 K is the whopping huge number I originally set out to calculate when I started looking at this data. Divide by 0.8 and we get 0.5981 W/m^2. Multiply by 0.71 and the answer is 0.4247 W/m^2 averaged over the entire surface. That’s a lot of flux. Internal variabilities are no foolin’.

        3. You misinterpret what I meant when I said thermal capacity is limited to some thousandths of a degree, I did not mean that the oceans can only store that much.

        My apologies. Your comment on that read a little Sky Dragonish to me, so my prejudices were working against me.

        4. I agree that AGW is an exercise in Net flux at TOA, and one would suggest that with more CO2 molecules to radiate, it would be expected that the radiative flux to space would increase with CO2 partial pressure, and the satellites show that’s exactly what happens while the models show decreased flux to space.

        Flux is a function of temperature and emissivity. So yes, satellites are seeing increased outgoing LW because on balance the planet is warming.

        Evidence the models are missing something I would say. If the flux to space increases with CO2 partial pressure, then all things being equal the earth system must cool.

        Except the models don’t show decreased flux to space, if they did, they would be cooling at the surface. They’re not as good as we’d like at some things, but they’re not THAT wrong. The models do happen to be cooling in the stratosphere because yes, CO2 being radiatively active in the IR range, increased concentrations of it in the high atmosphere would be expected to have a cooling effect.
        Satellites have picked up that latter effect as well, confirming predictions made by models prior to those observations.
        Another neat thing the sats have confirmed is that the optical thickness of the atmosphere has increased in the CO2 and water vapor absorption spectral lines.

        5. You should work though the second calc, its more enlightening in getting a handle on how much of an overestimate IPCC warming estimates are. In effect the IPCC are claiming that future temp rise (from blackbody base) will be 10 to 20 times what all cause temperature rise has been so far.

        I’m pecking away at Calc 2 but there’s still an awful lot we’ve not resolved on Calc 1.

        Did I miss anything?

        I think you cleared up my misunderstandings of your previous post and also handled all my questions and rebuttals so far as I can see … but I obviously have a few more yet.

  50. “Andy May
    “The three are: 1) Manmade greenhouse gases warm (or affect) the atmosphere, 2) the IPCC reports are a good summary of climate science and 3) the increase in greenhouse gases is likely more than half of the cause of warming over the last 50 years.” “Any qualified Earth scientist would agree with the first two statements, they are obvious.”
    But since manmade greenhouse gases form a very small proportion of the total what evidence is there (outside the laboratory experiments) that it actually does affect global (as opposed to local) climate? Is it a given in order to become a qualified earth scientist? Or is there any real proof?

    • Solomon Green: See this summary of the 2007 IPCC report (page 4) for a brief explanation of the evidence. They do not prove that man-made greenhouse gases caused more than half of the warming since 1950, but they do make a pretty good case. However as Prof. Judith Curry has astutely noted, “All other things being equal – yes — more carbon dioxide means warmer, but all other things are never equal..” Adding CO2 to the atmosphere changes more than temperature, for example plants grow faster and with less water. Natural forces over 50 years are an eye blink in geological time, in the next 50 years natural forces may swamp man-made forces. Most feedbacks in nature are negative, adding CO2 will kick in negating feedbacks with time. I believe the IPCC analysis since 1950, but I also believe it is irrelevant. The link: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/syr/ar4_syr_spm.pdf

      • Andy,
        Many thanks for taking the trouble to reply. And thanks, also, for the link. I did not find anything on page 4 which convinced me. It appears that because “During the past fifty years, the sum of solar and volcanic forcings would likely have produced cooling”, that “The observed patterns of warming and their changes can only be simulated by models that include anthropogenic forcings”.
        While indicative, this is not proof. There are two assumptions at least. The first is that “the sum of solar and volcanic forcings would likely have produced cooling” during the period but there is no proof that they did. How, for instance, did these forcings and resulting temperatures compare with the previous fifty years? And the fifty years before those? We do not really know because we have been told that earlier temperature records cannot be relied upon without adjustment, much of which adjustment, when examined, turns out to be subjective rather than objective.
        The second assumption is that, accepting the first assumption to be fact, only models which incorporate AGW can fit the observed patterns of warming. This presupposes that there can be no other natural forcings or absorbtions, or AGW other than CAGW, which might account for the warming pattern. (I might have missed the papers showing the models which had tried and failed to incorporate alternatives to CAGW).
        There is also the problem that it is always possible to produce a model which back tests against a data set with a fair degree of accuracy but falls apart when forecasting.
        In the early 2000s many banks were using financial models which back-tested with a very high degree of accurately for at least five years and some for much longer. Those, and I know of a number, who pointed out the potential for error in these models were ridiculed but in 2007/8 came the inevitable crash, which none of the banks’ models had forecast.
        I am still an agnostic but I would never presume to pit my beliefs against yours. Thanks again for sharing your letter which stimulated my interest.

  51. Andy,
    While your letter is admirable, it is wrong to say that 50% of warming from 1850 to 2015 was human caused, see the analysis above. At worst we could conclude a sensitivity of 0.78 (more likely half of that when accounting for 1850 to 1950 ), at best 0.15 based on energy conservation which is somewhere between 10% and 50% of OBSERVED warming. In my book this is far less than 50% of IPCC modelled warming. It’s somewhere between 1/20th and a quarter of the IPCC central estimate.
    There is no evidence that human caused global warming is anything like the IPCC estimates, as you can see energy conservation would not permit it to be more.
    The problem with most of this carp is that most of the pronouncememts violate energy conservation, for example 300 cubic km of melting west antarctic ice which calculation shows needs about 15W per square metre of energy to achieive when human caused backradiation is about 0.6W and all CO2 warming is supposedly about 3W per square metre. The math shows conclusively that this so-called effect of global warming isn’t causal. That amount of melting could NOT be caused by all the back radiation from CO2, let alone the measly 0.6W of it that mankind contributes.
    I suggest you need to rethink your agreement with the 3 statements and look a bit deeper at their validity.
    Let me add perspective, the radiative imbalance that is supposed to cause all this tragedy is just 0.6W per square meter, that’s the energy of a christmas light, per square meter of surface, heating a column of air free to radiate, conduct and convect between the ground and the tropopause maybe 15000 cubic metres of air. A single christmas light! It is utterly insignificant, lost in the noise of the forces that tear at this planet. For example, what exactly is the magnitude of the frictional heating that the tidal gravitational forces, and motion forces of the moon, sun, and the earths rotation on the atmosphere? Where is that in the climate models?
    Think deeper, do some boundary checks on plausibility and you will see that it’s more than just that warming is not harmful, the IPCC is also wrong on magnitude by an order of magnitude, warming from mankind is far less than they estimate, the boundary checks show that sensitivities of around 3 are utterly implausible.

    • Bobl and Solomon Green: You both make very good points and you may very well be correct. I will not defend the IPCC conclusions about warming since 1950, I don’t think they have proven their point. I’ve wrestled with this question for years, how much is nature? How much is man? The truth is, until we can actually model natural effects on temperature we will not know. And the truth is we can’t, we can only speculate.

      • Get up to speed in the science, Andy May, because we _DO_ know that the warming is natural.
        We know that clouds have decreased significantly since the mid-eighties, thus increasing insolation, well accounting for the warming trend circa 1977-97, and warmer SST, also.
        There are a number of studies on this and one was posted here a few months ago, by John McLean.

      • Andy,
        If you look at the evidence (see my calc 1) using the 50% CO2 and 50% natural (other than CO2) if CO2 sensitivity is 0.78 then the Nett feedback to CO2 warming must be negative. Given there are substantial cooling losses (eg lapse cooling, direct radiation to space etc) this seems likely, since to overcome the negative feedbacks and give a Nett warming per the IPCC of 3 requires a magnification of about 15 implying a loop gain of 0.95 which is implausible.
        I’d say the direct evidence at this point supports the hypothesis that feedback is negative.

  52. We were able to analyze the temperature estimates of CMIP5 models and compare them with HADCRUT4 (1850 to 2014), as well as UAH (1979 to 2014).
    The models estimate global mean temperatures (GMT) backwards from 2005 to 1861 and forwards from 2006 to 2101.
    The details are here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/12/22/cmip5-model-temperature-results-in-excel/
    Bottom Line:
    In the real world, temperatures go up and down. This is also true of HADCRUT4.
    In the world of climate models, temperatures only go up. Some variation in rates of warming, but always warming, nonetheless.
    The best of the 42 models according to the tests I applied was Series 31. Here it is compared to HADCRUT4, showing decadal rates in degrees C periods defined by generally accepted changepoints.
    Periods HADCRUT4 SERIES 31 31 MINUS HADCRUT4
    1850-1878 0.035 0.036 0.001
    1878-1915 -0.052 -0.011 0.041
    1915-1944 0.143 0.099 -0.044
    1944-1976 -0.040 0.056 0.096
    1976-1998 0.194 0.098 -0.096
    1998-2013 0.053 0.125 0.072
    1850-2014 0.049 0.052 0.003
    In contrast with Series 31, the other 41 models typically match the historical warming rate of 0.05C by accelerating warming from 1976 onward and projecting it into the future. For example, while UAH shows warming of 0.14/decade from 1979-2014, CMIP5 models estimates avaerage 0.215/decade, ranging from 0.088 to 0.324/decade.
    For the next future climate period, 2006-2035, CMIP5 models project an average warming of 0.2C/decade, ranging from 0.97 to 0.375/decade.
    The longer the plateau continues, the more overheated are these projections by the models.

  53. A good letter. Sounds like where people disagree is on what we don’t know about the future. The two sides see dire consequences if the other is wrong. You are claiming evidence everything is going to be just fine. I hope you’re right. I hope even if you’re wrong, technology can always fix any unforeseen consequences for everyone including people who can’t afford technological fixes. You’re already saying spending money on global warming would be a financial disaster. Might it be anything like buying a home security system and hiring armed guards? It might seem silly in Canada–a financial disaster. Some houses do because they see a possible future threat. They think it’s worth spending all the money not because they know something will happen, but because they don’t know for sure either way. The possibility of something happening to their house would be worse than paying for the extra security. It seems some people are more afraid of other people hurting them while other people are more afraid of the consequences of messing with nature without fully understanding it. That’s probably why zombie movies have been so popular. I’ll take the side that the possibility that human contributions of greenhouse gases could possibly be a greater threat to civilization than terrorIsm. Has there been enough time on a geologic scale since 1998 to say what the radiative forcing has been in the last 15 years? Who on your list are climatologists? Does it matter? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence which Galileo, Einstein, Capernicus, Neils Bohr, Bruno, et al had. Are these professors at the same level in history?

  54. @ Brandon Gates Jan 2 7:03 pm;
    “We on the consensus side of the science”?
    Excellent you make your position clear, could you please spell out what exactly this consensus is and list that science you use to support your position.
    You spend an awful lot of time arguing very minor details here, perhaps it would further the conversation if you defined your terms.
    So, if you are sincere, please spell the science out for the rest of us, I am quite confident that Anthony Watts would be delighted to post a coherent summation of this consensus and the evidence that confirms it in your mind.
    Because I for one have seen no scientific consensus, I have yet to see a clear presentation of this science, supposedly supporting a political consensus, I hear so much about.
    I am sceptical of the product of the UN IPCC for just this reason, do not tell me; “The science says”.
    Show me that science.

    • john robertson,
      If the IPCC’s explanation hasn’t made the consensus position clear enough to you, me, one guy with only a lay understanding of it, will likely not make a dent. I’m afraid you’ll just have to take my minor details as they come. You might also wish to consider that what you are asking of me implies that Anthony, or anyone, who posts here must always summarize the entire contrarian position every time they invoke the term “climate skeptic” as a self-identifier. Surely you realize the impossibility of that requirement especially given that a defining characteristic of skepticism is variety, often to the point of inconsistency. I doubt you’d disagree that even the consensus camp is not so different in that last respect.

      • Thanks Brandon, so your understanding of the science supposedly supporting an undefined consensus position, amounts to,” I defer to the IPCC?”
        Thank you for your response but an argument from authority is not science. I was much more interested in what science you use to support your apparent certainty.
        This has been the communication breakdown from the beginning of this meme, “Cause we say”, is not evidence of scientific evidence.
        Trust is earned not imposed, hence the old saying”Extraordinary claims, require extraordinary evidence”.
        I too am a layman in the field of Climatology but I am no stranger to bureaucracy, politicians and activists.
        The IPCC is strong in these components, sadly weak in science based evidence and use of the scientific method.

      • john robertson,

        Thanks Brandon, so your understanding of the science supposedly supporting an undefined consensus position, amounts to,” I defer to the IPCC?”

        Nope, requests for me to regurgitate the consensus position get referred to the IPCC because they’re the most authoritative body defining the consensus. I pay them to do it, I may as well let them speak on my behalf for such general enquiries.

        Thank you for your response but an argument from authority is not science.

        Clearly not.

        I was much more interested in what science you use to support your apparent certainty.

        Which is fine. Follow along, I go through it practically every day, most posts have some snippet, others much greater detail. In the end though, most of what I do talk about ultimately comes up against something which was published in a peer-reviewed journal and/or used in an IPCC AR. If referring to those things is a fallacious appeal to authority I’m in a pretty tough bind, wouldn’t you say?

        Trust is earned not imposed, hence the old saying”Extraordinary claims, require extraordinary evidence”.

        Yup.

        I too am a layman in the field of Climatology but I am no stranger to bureaucracy, politicians and activists.

        Ditto.

        The IPCC is strong in these components, sadly weak in science based evidence and use of the scientific method.

        That would be an extraordinary claim. Rather broad and sweeping I might add. You’ve got some work cut out for you to support it, just as I have to support my own views and beliefs about reality. You won’t even begin to do justice to it in one, 10, 100, 1,000 blog comments.

      • @BG – the IPCC does not represents a “Consensus” view. As it will not consider any view outside of its paid mandate. For you to suggest otherwise only accentuates your ignorance. You can believe anything you want. But your ignorance does not make it a fact.

      • philjourdan,
        I imagine, as part of their paid mandate, NASA would tell me to get stuffed if I demanded they spend my money looking into whether or not the Moon is made of green cheese. If anyone in their PR department had a sense of humor, the response would include something along the lines of, “silly man, everyone knows the Moon is made of bleu cheese, I mean really, just look at it.”
        If any old crap were accepted in major scientific conferences, no good science would ever get done. You may wish to take your own advice on wilful ignorance.

        • Whoosh go the goal posts again. We were talking about the IPCC and what it was or was not. I may have left grammar school a lot of years ago, but I can still tell the difference between an N and an i. and the rest of the letters are also different.
          SO I guess you really have no clue what you are talking about. Or the attention span of a gold fish.

      • philjourdan,

        I may have left grammar school a lot of years ago, but I can still tell the difference between an N and an i. and the rest of the letters are also different.

        Perhaps you missed the lesson on argument by analogy. But just so there’s no misunderstanding, keeping crap science out of the IPCC is part of its paid mandate. There is nothing inherently untoward keeping the crank factor to a minimum in legitimate scientific research.

        • I can tell the difference between a false argument by analogy and a straw man. Perhaps you have not gotten to that lesson in your class yet.
          Besides, arguing by analogy is only necessary if you are not discussing facts, which I am and apparently you are not.

      • B. Gates says:
        keeping crap science out of the IPCC is part of its paid mandate.
        The first thing I thought of was the WWF contributing ≈40% of what the IPCC used as literature.
        They stopped doing it when they were caught, of course. Now they’re more careful.

      • philjourdan,

        I can tell the difference between a false argument by analogy and a straw man.

        What’s the false analogy and why? Same question for the straw man.

        Besides, arguing by analogy is only necessary if you are not discussing facts, which I am and apparently you are not.

        You’re alleging that the IPCC is keeping good science out in favor of motivated research according to their “paid mandate”. Thus far I’ve not seen any substantiation of this claim. To establish that you’re discussing facts, you need documentation of the facts. The burden of proof for fraud is rather high. It won’t be enough to point to research rejected by the IPCC, you need to demonstrate that a) the rejected science was valid, b) the IPCC understood that it was valid science and c) intentionally rejected it for not conforming to some preconceived narrative with demonstrated intent to deceive.
        Anything less is hand waving.

        • Yes BG, you are doing a lot of hand waving. Dodging the facts, and trying your damnedest to obfuscate the simple point I made. I alleged nothing. I did state a fact. But of course you, being totally unfamiliar with facts, cannot recognize that. You keep constructing your pathetic strawmen in hopes of being able to win a single argument! Alas, it is a fruitless quest for you.
          From the IPCC Charter (if you can read the big words):

          “… to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy.”.

          For your limited cognitive ability, I only highlighted a few words. However, you can get someone else to read the entire passage for you.
          Now, are you through playing with your dolls? Or are you going to move the goal posts again with another straw man?

      • dbstealey,

        The first thing I thought of was the WWF contributing ≈40% of what the IPCC used as literature.

        How was this 40% figure calculated?

        They stopped doing it when they were caught, of course.

        Which is obviously a foreign concept for you, of course.

      • philjourdan,

        [snippum verbosum]
        From the IPCC Charter (if you can read the big words):
        “… to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy.”.

        Finally a citation to something. Now, how, where, when and by whom was that policy violated? Specific. Citations. That’s how facts get separated out from opinions in a debate. Do you get it yet, or shall I just go back to not taking you seriously?

      • philjourdan,

        By the mythical science of simple math. The references were counted. {SHOCK} I know, a foreign concept to you.

        Surprisingly I can count to 20, but that’s because I have all my fingers and toes, and know where to find them when they need counting.
        Since the latest IPCC AR was numero cinco, one hand is all I need for the initial exercise, but which of those ARs does this nebulous 40% refer to? Was it across the entire suite of reports or just one or several of them? Since someone went to the trouble to count up these references, I don’t know, maybe there’s a comprehensive list somewhere? You know, things like details to support a claim so that I can’t easily dismiss this as yet another vaporous pillar of climate contrarian mythology?
        Or is the problem here that you know what the number is because it’s, well, freakshly nice and round and easy to remember, and you haven’t the first clue where it actually comes from?

        • Again, quit lying BG. Everyone knows you cannot count – or search (see the search feature on this page?).
          You must be thinking how easily you get others to do your dirty work. I suggest you learn to search. Then maybe you can learn to count. The figure is not a secret and was accurately documented by Donna LaFramboise and reported on here.
          See if you can actually search for something simple at first. What fun you will have learning a new skill!

      • philjourdan,

        Now where does your hysteria have ANYTHING to do with what I said? http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/01/02/an-open-letter-to-politifact-com/#comment-1827929

        In my reply immediately following:
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/01/02/an-open-letter-to-politifact-com/#comment-1827990
        If any old crap were accepted in major scientific conferences, no good science would ever get done.
        I think you confuse “hysteria” with “hysterical” as in: it’s freaking hilarious that you’ve not yet provided any evidence to substantiate your claim:
        [The IPCC] will not consider any view outside of its paid mandate.

        Want to try AGAIN? Or are you integrity impaired?

        Try what again? I’m just waiting around for you to hit me with incontrovertible evidence the IPCC is playing favorites. The rest of this is idle banter for my own amusement.
        You do understand what burden of proof means in a debate, don’t you? You do understand that you’ve made allegations of improper behavior against the IPCC which warrant some sort of substantive documentation, yes?
        Where is it already?

      • philjourdan,

        Again, quit lying BG. Everyone knows you cannot count – or search (see the search feature on this page?).

        Ahh, ye olde “everyone knows” gambit. About my “inability” to count, of all things.
        Hey, did you know that the word “gullible” isn’t in the dictionary?

        You must be thinking how easily you get others to do your dirty work.

        I like your wry sense of humor.

        I suggest you learn to search.

        You know what, I learned how to do that JUST TODAY:

        Willis Eschenbach
        January 5, 2015 at 9:48 pm

        Brandon Gates January 5, 2015 at 6:41 pm
        We do know that there have been pH excursions which stress reef systems (coral bleaching) so there is some fair amount of concrete observed risk already in evidence. Those things have already occurred at the “minimal” (and controversially uncertain) pH changes already observed.

        Thanks, Brandon. Do you have a citation for the claim that changes in pH have bleached coral reefs? I haven’t seen any, but the world of published papers is a big place …
        Thanks,
        w.
        Brandon Gates
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        January 6, 2015 at 4:43 pm
        […]

        Comment awaiting moderation because of the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 — FIVE (5!!!) references I gave Willis in response to his request. The FIRST response to his request. Go see for yourself when it posts: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/01/02/a-neutral-view-of-oceanic-ph/#comment-1830306
        “Learn how to search … do your dirty work … ” You’re killing me here.
        People who have cards to play … they play them. Those who have more money than sense … bluff. Everybody else … folds. I tip my cap to you, it must be nice being rich.

        • Whoops! There go those goal posts for BG again. The subject was SEARCHING, not the number of links that get you into moderation. Apparently you STILL have not learned how. Quel Surprise.
          Are you ADHD? Just curious as you do have a problem with staying on subject (we already know about your other ADMITTED handicaps – shame you cannot delete your previous confessions).

  55. Dear Andy May, you are far, far more likely to get a reply if your “open letter” is short, succinct, and sticks to the point. You committed the double sins of (a) wandering off topic and as a consequence (b) not arguing your key point. In future set yourself a limit of 250 words. Anything you can’t say in five short paragraphs isn’t worth saying.

    • Mike
      I totally disagree. The letter is quite succinct and to the point. I think it is gracious and generous.

  56. The problem with most media outlets is that as Lindzen alluded to in an online discussion that educated persons feel obliged to support, or at least be seen to support science. It is the emperor’s new clothes. People’s vanity can make them do all sorts of things. It really is a useless and destructive emotion.

  57. Global Warming — IPCC is a political body, prepares reports on global warming and its’ impacts on nature to serve political interests by distributing billions of US$ to serve its goal wherein top educational universities – NGOs – government agencies share.
    Global temperature rise has three major components, namely, natural cyclic variation component, local and regional ecological changes component & anthropogenic greenhouse gas changes component known as global warming. Natural cyclic variation component present a 60-year cycle varying between -0.3 to +0.3 oC. Global warming component is about 50% of global temperature rise since 1950. Ecological changes play vital role at local and regional level but goes in to averaging of global temperature. They include heat-island-effect and cold-island-effect. The heat-island-effect is over emphasized in the global temperature averaging as in urban areas the met stations are densely located; and rural areas the met stations are sparsely located. Thus, the global average temperature is over estimated. This is the case with surface measurements. However, this is eliminated with satellite data. From this, it is clear that global warming component contribution to global temperature rise is less than 0.1 oC since 1950 to date. This may at the most reach 0.2 oC by the end of the century. Thus, its impact at global scale is insignificant. However, at local and regional scales, heat-island-effect and cold-island effect plays vital role.
    The other major component that effect life-forms at local and regional level is the pollution and not the anthropogenic greenhouse gases. If we look at electricity production under different sources in India, USA & Germany, they all are on par in respect of pollution:
    % share of source-wise electricity/energy production
    Source India/USA/Germany@
    RES ——— 11%/03.8%/22.4%
    Nuclear —— 2%/21.5%/15.9%
    Hydro ——- 21%/06.0%/03.4%
    Diesel/gas — 11%/19.8%/14.7%
    Coal ——— 55%/48.9%/43.6%*
    * coal + lignite in the case of Germany; @ it is for 2014 for Germany and India & USA it is for 2011
    Extremes in weather over different parts of the globe are part of the natural rhythms in meteorological parameters. They are quite different over different parts of the globe. For agriculture and water resources they play important role and thus needs characterization of such rhythmic variations and thus homogenization of regions based on such studies critical. IPCC should look in this direction to help the developing nations. At Paris meet this must be emphasized and not the issue of carbon dioxide.
    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • Thanks Dr. Reddy. I also worry about the increase in real pollution, in Germany, due to their obsession with CO2. I also worry about the fate of people in India, China and Africa who currently have no power and may never have power if fossil fuel use is curtailed or made more expensive, or both. The IPCC is horribly one sided in their research, the most expensive advocacy research project I’ve ever seen.

  58. Mr Brandon Gates, care to tell me where the hot spot is? This was stated to be THE undeniable proof of global warming. Seeing you agree with global warming, and want to put taxes on me, how about telling me where it is.

    • xyzlatin,
      Talk about throwing random issues against the wall to see what sticks. The party line about the “hot spot” is that it’s much ado about nothing. And that’s about all I know about it: nothing. The reason I agree with AGW theory is on the strength of the multiple predictions it has been successfully making since 1896. You can read a whole list of them here: http://bartonpaullevenson.com/ModelsReliable.html
      Now clearly, climatologists are wrong, flat out dead wrong, all the time. That happens in science. If it didn’t it would mean that humans are always right about everything all the time, and we wouldn’t need a rigorous framework to propose hypotheses and test them to rigorous statistical and peer-reviewed scrutiny to weed out what we want to be true from what is true. I can’t help but sound a bit condescending here, but from the “gotcha” nature of your rhetorical question I’m not getting the feeling you grok this feature of how empirical research actually works. One alternative is that you do get it, but ask the rhetorical question anyway.
      A third alternative is that I’m just cranky right now and my prejudices are biting me again. The nature of your response, if any, may be illuminating.

      • Brandon Gates January 4, 2015 at 10:56 am
        xyzlatin,
        Talk about throwing random issues against the wall to see what sticks. The party line about the “hot spot” is that it’s much ado about nothing. And that’s about all I know about it: nothing.

        Then you should put some time and effort into it. The tropospheric hot spot was central to the CAGW position in the early years if the debate. When it didn’t appear, alarmist scientists treated it the same way they now treat the “pause”. By claiming that they never claimed what they previously shouted from the roof tops.

      • davidmhoffer,

        Then you should put some time and effort into it.

        Working against me are alleged disinformation campaigns on both sides. It takes time to sort through the chaff and find the wheat. Sometimes I punt — I cannot possibly know everything about everything no matter how much I’d like to.

        The tropospheric hot spot was central to the CAGW position in the early years if the debate.

        Starting in what year, and in which references?

      • Gates:
        “How empirical research actually works”
        I see very little that is empirical in the faltering hypothesis of AGW, unless you are referring to the temperature record of the past 18 years.

      • Bogus list, Gates.
        Most of those questions could be asked and answered the same way today. Those are about as vague “predictions” as anyone could imagine.
        Popper had something to say about the rigor of testability. He would surely LOL at such minor trends being called “predictions”. And well known events like “Polar Amplification” cannot be called a “prediction”. It was already a known fact. It is like predicting that summer follows spring.
        But the biggest event of the past century is still going on: the complete 18+ year stasis in global T.
        That truly major event was completely missed by climate models. And those linked examples of ‘successful predictions’ are just self-serving pablum.
        Here’s a prediction or two you can make:
        Tell us the next major move — up or down — and give us the approximate time of year, including the year it will happen. How fast will the global warming or cooling happen? Degrees per year or decade, with error bands. Answer questions like those, and I will be the first to admit that your models can accurately predict.
        But as of now, they can’t predict anything useful.

      • dbstealey,

        Those are about as vague “predictions” as anyone could imagine.

        That is about as vague a rebuttal as anyone could imagine. You’re shooting par tonight again I see.

        And well known events like “Polar Amplification” cannot be called a “prediction”. It was already a known fact.

        The circularity here is making at least one of us dizzy.

        But the biggest event of the past century is still going on: the complete 18+ year stasis in global T.

        And just like that, right back to the sloganeering.

        Tell us the next major move — up or down — and give us the approximate time of year, including the year it will happen. How fast will the global warming or cooling happen? Degrees per year or decade, with error bands. Answer questions like those, and I will be the first to admit that your models can accurately predict.

        I don’t presume to be able to beat the IPCC estimates. I have my guesses, and 20 more years of pause would not surprise me.

        But as of now, they can’t predict anything useful.

        I’m still waiting for your team to predict anything better than the IPCC does. Usefulness is a matter of opinion, forecast skill is not. Since you and your pals are the superior skeptics and more honest, brightest scientists, y’all should be able to to whip up a world-class AOGCM with one eye closed while hopping on one foot. Pony it up already, we’re waiting.

      • mpainter,

        I see very little that is empirical in the faltering hypothesis of AGW, unless you are referring to the temperature record of the past 18 years.

        I’ve noticed that you and I see things somewhat differently.

      • Brandon Gates;
        Starting in what year, and in which references?
        Good lord, you want to know when it started? It was considered de facto science when I started paying attention to this debate 20 years ago, I don’t know when it started. There were some papers published as late as 2008 by Santer and Mears. There was a decent write up on the whole thing here with enough references that a bright guy like you ought to be able to figure it out for himself:
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/16/about-that-missing-hot-spot/

      • You can read a whole list of them here: http://bartonpaullevenson.com/ModelsReliable.html
        That’s a great list. But I think you misunderstand the nature of the debate. Does CO2 increase temps? Sure it does. Will it warm nights more than days? Yes of course. Will it warm winters more than summers? Yes of course. Will it be more apparent at high latitudes (ie arctic) well yes of course. These are consequences of the physics involved. So I agree that CO2 will do all of these things, at least from the perspective of first order forcing, so for the most part I agree with your list.
        None of which makes the outcome catastrophic. In fact, if you consider that the theory leads to most of the warming occurring in the coldest times (night/winter/arctic) then you also have to accept that most of the warming happens where it does the least damage.
        Ultimately the debate is not IF these things happen as a consequence of driect warming, but what the magnitude and sign of the direct and feedback effects are, and what is the net feedback of all of them taken together and is that catastrophic.
        The evidence increasingly says not. If the climate were that sensitive, we’d be arguing about much different things than if we can even tease the warming signal from the data in the first place.

      • OH, and Brandon, most of those predictions had nothing to do with the models. they are predictions based on the physics. The models simply incorporate that physics into the models so saying that the models the phyics is based on validates the models is rather circular. The purpose of the models was to quantify second and third order effects, and it is these that they have failed at.

      • davidmhoffer,

        Good lord, you want to know when it started?

        Well yes, “early years of the debate” isn’t very specific. Timing of claims matters to me. You don’t think that who said what when isn’t important?

        It was considered de facto science when I started paying attention to this debate 20 years ago, I don’t know when it started.

        !!!!
        Ok, I’m getting up to speed. So, “tropospheric hot spot” is, to me, not a terribly good descriptive label for the issue, which is yet another modelled and observed trends not agreeing issue, in this case tropical tropospheric trends during the satellite era. I’m not new to this debate by any means, but I don’t know all the shorthand, and …

        There were some papers published as late as 2008 by Santer and Mears.

        … I wasn’t active in the debate at all between 2005 and 2008 because I was busting my hump at work and didn’t have time for it. I didn’t reenter the fray until 2009 when Climategate broke, and then I was mostly occupied with reevaluating everything I thought I knew while reading a lot of illegally obtained and leaked private correspondences.
        Go a little easy on me here, save your worst derision for when I really am acting like a ass … it’ll have more effect that way.
        Thanks for the requested references, good Lord, did it really put you out all that much to nudge me in the proper direction?

      • davidmhoffer,

        That’s a great list. But I think you misunderstand the nature of the debate.

        We’ll see.

        Does CO2 increase temps? Sure it does. Will it warm nights more than days? Yes of course. Will it warm winters more than summers? Yes of course. Will it be more apparent at high latitudes (ie arctic) well yes of course. These are consequences of the physics involved. So I agree that CO2 will do all of these things, at least from the perspective of first order forcing, so for the most part I agree with your list.

        Well right there we disagree on the nature of the debate. Most climate contrarians I’ve engaged wouldn’t meet me in agreement on those concepts if their life depended on it. Perhaps unfairly, I assume most people on WUWT are going to challenge each and every single one of them. This will sound uncharitable, but I’m never sure which flavor of mythology I’m going to be dealing with.

        None of which makes the outcome catastrophic.

        How in the heck do you know? Recall, one thing we both agree on is that the uncertainties in GAT projections alone are big enough to pilot a bus through, and those estimates are based on physics. Rope biology and economics into it and multiply the error bars by … oh, pluck a number out of thin air … 5. At least, yes?

        In fact, if you consider that the theory leads to most of the warming occurring in the coldest times (night/winter/arctic) then you also have to accept that most of the warming happens where it does the least damage.

        No, I don’t have to accept that in the slightest. I don’t suffer a fixation on max temps for one thing, and I look at this problem as a departure from “norms”, which includes stuff like mins, means, ranges, frequency and duration. Plus, it goes well beyond just temperature because things like precipitation patterns are important for, oh, growing food. Farmland is where it is because of soil conditions and water supply. A lot of infrastructure supports that. Changes to that water supply might very well involve costly changes to infrastructure. Yes MIGHT. That’s the point, I, you, we don’t know for sure. But we do know what works now and economics being what they are, we have optimized for those known things.
        It’s a super simple concept.

        Ultimately the debate is not IF these things happen as a consequence of driect warming, but what the magnitude and sign of the direct and feedback effects are, and what is the net feedback of all of them taken together and is that catastrophic.

        The only way we’ll ever find out for sure if they’ll be catasrophic is for the goldurned catastrophe to happen. Argh! What is so difficult about wrapping one’s mind around this one … simple … thing? The goal is to NOT find out, but to avoid it at all reasonable cost.
        We wouldn’t need the godforsaken GCMs to be so reliable if we could figure out a way to reduce emissions and maintain present standards of living becuase for Pete’s sake, we already know what the planet is like when CO2 is in the 280-400 ppmv range.

        The evidence increasingly says not.

        18 years of hiatus is ~1/2 of a twice-before occurring pattern. 1890-1920, 1940-1980. If Le Pause is not the evidence you’re talking about now would be your chance to tell me what you’re seeing.

        If the climate were that sensitive, we’d be arguing about much different things than if we can even tease the warming signal from the data in the first place.

        What does “that sensitive” mean? Compared to what? You’re making qualitiative statements in a quantitative argument and it’s driving me batty. My turn to tell you that you’re smarter than this. Come on already, think.

        The models simply incorporate that physics into the models so saying that the models the phyics is based on validates the models is rather circular.

        True, that is a circular argument, one which I did not make, nor would I.

    • Danny Thomas,
      Yeah I read the NYT article when I was googling Stealey’s claim. Everything else my short search turned up is “2014 might be the hottest ever”, with datestamps going back to October, maybe a little further. I’m not a huge fan of those kind of articles because they undermine the more important concept of weather not being climate.

  59. Gates says:
    Ok, I’m getting up to speed.
    If/when you get there, you will see that there is nothing to the global warming scare.
    And:
    That is about as vague a rebuttal as anyone could imagine. You’re shooting par tonight again I see.
    That’s what they say when they have nothing substantive for a response. That lame response means no more than, “I got nothin’!”
    And:
    I’m still waiting for your team to predict anything better than the IPCC does.
    Easy-peasy. We do it all the time: the climate is a function of natural variability. There is no need to invoke a magic gas, or to promote a scare. And the IPCC cannot even beat it’s own so-called ‘predictions’.
    Finally, Prof. Ross McKittrick showed that the models predicting the widely touted “hot spot” in the troposphere were just another failed prediction.
    The ‘hot spot’ was a *very* big deal at the time. But since it completely fizzled, the alarmist gang doesn’t mention it, and skeptics are having too much fun playing Whack-A-Mole to remind people. There are too many other moles to whack.

      • dbstealey,

        How can you argue with the logic?

        Easy. I learned how to touch-type in 10th grade. On an Apple //e. Great machine that.

        By putting on your alarmist thinking cap?

        Gregor Mendel
        Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
        Georges Lemaître
        Nicolaus Copernicus
        Galileo Galilei
        For no reason other than it amuses me: William of Ockham. I selected the others for good reason.
        By the way, have you ever been to a Catholic hospital? Many are world-class you know …

    • dbstealey,

      That’s what they say when they have nothing substantive for a response. That lame response means no more than, “I got nothin’!”

      I can only work with what I’m given.

      Easy-peasy. We do it all the time: the climate is a function of natural variability.

      Where are your models which predict natrual variability before it magically happens? Do you not understand the meaning of the word prediction? It means saying in advance what will happen, NOT explaining what happened after the fact. Before vs. after. There’s a difference.
      Cough up your superior models from your smarter, more honest, more skeptical contrarian scientists already.

      Finally, Prof. Ross McKittrick showed that the models predicting the widely touted “hot spot” in the troposphere were just another failed prediction.

      Same question to you I had for davidmhoffer: where and when was the “hot spot” predicted? Peer-reviewed literature cites please, and they must pre-date any rebuttal by McKittrick or other contrarian authority.

  60. Gates asks:
    …where and when was the “hot spot” predicted?
    You know, there’s a search box here. That will get you started, and then you can do wider and wider searches — and maybe learn about the tropo hotspot! And why the fact that it is another failed prediction matters.
    Here, this will help get you started:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/04/a-simple-analogy-on-climate-modeling-looking-for-the-red-spot
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/11/spotting-the-agw-fingerprint
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/21/stalking-the-rogue-hotspot
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/04/what-stratospheric-hotspot
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/16/about-that-missing-hot-spot
    When you’re finished reading those you will know a lot more than you do now.
    Also: Prof McKittrick is an internationally recognized, published authority. To try and denigrate him by labeling him a “contrarian” shows that, as usual… you got nothin’.
    You will never learn from people you hate or denigrate. It’s human nature. That explains many of your comments and questions.
    BTW, you have never answered my repeatedly asked question: what is a climate “contrarian”?

    • dbstealey,

      You know, there’s a search box here.

      You know, since this is your argument of a blown prediction I figure someone would know when the prediction was first made. Earliest reference seems to be Santer (2003). Does anyone here have a line on an eariler paper?

      Prof McKittrick is an internationally recognized, published authority.

      According to you, proper “skeptics” don’t appeal to authority.

      BTW, you have never answered my repeatedly asked question: what is a climate “contrarian”?

      But I have. You know, there’s a search box here ….

      • Gates says:
        According to you, proper “skeptics” don’t appeal to authority.
        I do when you denigrate the person because you don’t see it his way.
        I note that Prof. McKittrick was researching the predicted hot spot before you were even aware of such a thing. That was my point.
        Finally, if you told me your definition of a climate “contrarian”, I must have forgot. Sorry about that, chief.
        Please post a link to your definition. KThx

      • dbstealey,

        I do when you denigrate the person because you don’t see it his way.

        Bawwww, really? When I want to besmirch, malign, ridicule, mock or scorn someone, I’ll use a equally fancy college word to do it, like kook, wingnut, crank, dingbat, fruitcake, etc. “Contrarian” is a perfectly neutral, non-loaded — nay, even potentially complimentary — term which means:
        noun: a person who opposes or rejects popular opinion, especially in stock exchange dealing.
        adjective: opposing or rejecting popular opinion; going against current practice.

        In other words, a non-herd follower. An independent thinker. The word did become part of my vocabulary in the context of stock market trading. A successful contrarian investor is one to be admired.

        I note that Prof. McKittrick was researching the predicted hot spot before you were even aware of such a thing. That was my point.

        Ok fine. I’ve already told everyone in the world I’m not familiar with the “hot spot” story, I’m trying to learn more about it yet you’re still trying to make the point I’m ignorant of it. Strange strategy.

        Finally, if you told me your definition of a climate “contrarian”, I must have forgot. Sorry about that, chief.

        Someone who doesn’t adopt the consensus position. In this usage with reference to McKittrick, he does not hold the IPCC seal-of-approval (patent pending) view on (C)AGW/CC, hence the shorthand “climate contrarian”. Hardly a disputable fact, and no rancor meant by calling him that. Yeesh.

      • Sorry, Brandon, but the tropospheric hot spot never really appeared as predicted. Your linked papers were never subsequently corroborated. They were probably not corroborated because the ‘data’ was fabricated. We saw that admitted to in the Climategate email dump.
        In fact, it was deconstructed by real world observations.
        Haven’t you ever read the Climategate emails?? The authors of your linked papers explicitly gamed the system. They were dishonest, and everything they did was entirely self-serving. If you haven’t read at least the widely publicized selected emails, and Harry the programmer’s comments, then that would explain why you would post papers authored by those same reprobates.

      • dbstealey,

        Sorry, Brandon, but the tropospheric hot spot never really appeared as predicted.

        Sorry DB, but my question was “where’s the fire?” It was a question.

        Your linked papers were never subsequently corroborated.

        Well since you don’t understand how to be specific when asked a question I’ll help. Here’s what the JGR paper says in the Abstract: Our work illustrates that changes in tropopause height may be a useful “fingerprint” of human effects on climate and are deserving of further attention.
        The Science paper Abstract makes stronger statements, so I’ll quote it in full: Observations indicate that the height of the tropopause—the boundary between the stratosphere and troposphere—has increased by several hundred meters since 1979. Comparable increases are evident in climate model experiments. The latter show that human-induced changes in ozone and well-mixed greenhouse gases account for ~80% of the simulated rise in tropopause height over 1979–1999. Their primary contributions are through cooling of the stratosphere (caused by ozone) and warming of the troposphere (caused by well-mixed greenhouse gases). A model-predicted fingerprint of tropopause height changes is statistically detectable in two different observational (“reanalysis”) data sets. This positive detection result allows us to attribute overall tropopause height changes to a combination of anthropogenic and natural external forcings, with the anthropogenic component predominating.
        So right off the bat Santer is finding a “statistically detectable” signal in observations, albeit both being the product of reanaysis which I know is a dirty word in these parts. So far though, from my perspective the “skeptical” argument that The Hotspot was The Smoking Gun Fingerprint of AGW is looking over-hyped.
        As I asked last post, “where’s the fire?” I even went and dug up the references for you. So let’s see it prettyplease.

        They were probably not corroborated because the ‘data’ was fabricated.

        Oh, before I forget, there is a difference between “not corroborated” and “refuted”.

        We saw that admitted to in the Climategate email dump.

        Aha, when one claim begins to look week, invoke Climategate. Works every time, sort of the ultimate “Look! Squirrel!” in the climate contrarian quiver.

        In fact, it was deconstructed by real world observations.

        One of these days you will hopefully tire of me asking you for specifics and citations and just provide them up front. I get it that Tropospheric Hot Tamale is Canon in your circles, but I don’t subscribe to the newsletter.

        Haven’t you ever read the Climategate emails??

        The illegally obtained private communications of climate researchers at E. Anglia University publicly leaked in 2009? Yes, quite a few of them, with much interest and fascination.

        The authors of your linked papers explicitly gamed the system.

        Again, since your Concordance of Climate Criminology isn’t on my book of the month club list, it would really help if you provided a link to the relevant ones so I can read and decide for myself …

        They were dishonest, and everything they did was entirely self-serving.

        That’s a fairly non-trivial claim. Have fun documenting that one in detail for me — there are a crap-ton of emails.

        If you haven’t read at least the widely publicized selected emails, and Harry the programmer’s comments, then that would explain why you would post papers authored by those same reprobates.

        Wow, now “reprobate” IS a three-dollar word with an unambiguously negative connotation. Figgers “denigration” would be one of your favorite words, dunnit. Might also explain the thin-skinned reaction you have to “contrarian”.
        What really kills me here is that I’m trying to trace down the source of the putative myth that the troposopheric hotspot was a lynchpin of AGW theory which abjectly failed to deliver, but somehow citing one of the references Roy Spencer provided in this WUWT post …
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/11/spotting-the-agw-fingerprint/
        … which you yourself gave me to review somehow makes me guilty by association.
        It’s almost as if my taking a hard look at what the literature actually says is beginning to bother you for some reason.

  61. “picking the most outlandish statements of the “other side””
    Rubio’s job is to frame policy for the U.S. If his statements are outlandish, they are also the statements that are forming the U.S. policy. It is precisely outlandish statements from policy framers that need to be taken to task.

  62. “The Earth has been very cool for the last three million years; generally the Earth has been much warmer in the past and with more CO2 than today ”
    How many of those 3 million years were humans farming? Was the temperature much warmer in the past while humans were farming?

  63. “no warming since 1998”
    You cherry pick your data and you have the gall to call yourself a scientist? Not only do you cherry pick one of the biggest spikes over the last 20 years, you also cherry pick a sub-optimal temperature data set that ignores high latitude areas of the earth.

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