An Invitation To Debate "Climate Change"

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach (see Update at the end)

I had tweeted the following:

tweet paris climate deal

Various people either liked or retweeted this, including my mad mate and human lightning rod, James Delingpole. This post started because someone named Robin Whitlock tweeted the following:

Delingpole is a knuckledragger, pure and simple. It’s a wonder his brain hasn’t shrivelled by now, or perhaps it has…

To which I replied:

Ah, schoolboy insults. They make you look so sophisticated and wise.

Sadly, Mr. Whitlock declined the opportunity to actually say what was wrong with James Delingpole’s ideas, and instead said;

Okay, Mr Eschenbach, let’s see how much you actually know about it. Debate CC with me if you dare

Now, I’m always happy to debate climate change, but not in 140-character chunks. So I said:

I’m happy to debate, although I don’t see how I can do so on Twitter. My blog is available. What do you wish to debate?

Of course, nothing is that simple. Before debating the ideas, the charming man has to start with the seemingly obligatory ad hominem arguments about my education, my ancestry, and my general unfitness for human consumption, viz:

Ha, okay, just seen this. That tells me everything for a start: You’re a ‘professional’ climate change denier

A “professional climate change denier”? If so, where’s my dang paycheck? I am an amateur scientist, and proud of it. I’m one of the few amateur scientists to have anything peer-reviewed published in Nature Magazine. It was only a “Brief Communications Arising”, but it was solidly peer-reviewed. In addition, at present, I have more than sixty citations to my publications in the scientific journals … not bad for a self-taught man with absolutely no scientific education.

He followed this with:

Construction Manager and former Accounts Manager. That is, not a climate scientist.

This scientifically challenged person thinks that reading a very slanted bio written by my enemies tells him “everything” about the scientific validity of my claims … yeah, that’s the ticket. No need to debate the issues, just accuse your opponent of being unqualified … amazingly, this good fellow actually seems to think this makes the slightest difference as to whether my scientific claims are true.

He then goes on to a series of tweets, which I’ve condensed into one for easy reading:

So, let’s go on to some of the statements mentioned here. First, the “eight tenths of a degree” statement. That’s being way too optimistic. Even 2 deg C is probably too optimistic. Most climate science says we’re heading in the direction of 4 or even 6 degrees C. Furthermore, at 2 degrees C, melting permafrost releases methane into the atmosphere, which is even more dangerous than CO2.

I also see that you draw on climategate again, when the scientists involved were cleared of any wrongdoing by several investigations. You say that greenland has only lost a small fraction of it’s total ice mass but the evidence indicates that Greenland’s ice loss is accelerating and will contribute to sea level rise in the order of metres over the next few centuries.

OK … let’s take that one at a time. First, I have no idea which “eight tenths of a degree” he’s talking about. Apparently, he’s talking about some claimed warming by 2100, but from memory, I’ve never claimed that it would be 0.8°C. I’m not sure what I’m missing here …

He then says regarding Climategate that “the scientists involved were cleared of any wrongdoing by several investigations.” Because I was actually discussed in the Climategate emails, which revealed that the people at UEA lied to my face, I can assure you that the whitewashes that were done were pathetic imitations of a real investigation. In fact, the Brits said that the only reason that criminal charges weren’t laid because of their lies was that the statute of limitations had expired. And Acton’s “investigation” of the actions of Briffa and Jones never interviewed either one of them … investigations? Don’t make me laugh. See Steve McIntyre’s excellent blog for dozens of well-informed and researched articles on the subject. I fear Mr. Whitlock is far out of his depth on this one, as both Steve and I were involved in the actual event.

He next claims, without attribution or citation, that “most climate science” (whatever that might be) says we’ll warm by “4 or even 6 degrees C“. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find folks other than wild alarmists who make that claim, so I’d be interested in his sources.

Finally, he says that if the arctic warms by 2°C it will somehow release huge amounts of methane … again, this is not scientifically supported. Instead, it is based on … wait for it … climate models:

The new study found the rate of old carbon released during the past 60 years to be relatively small. Model projections conducted by other studies expect much higher carbon release rates—from 100 to 900 times greater—for its release during the upcoming 90 years. This suggests that current rates are still well below what may lay ahead in the future of a warmer Arctic.

SOURCE

This is typical of all of the claimed dangers of CO2. We have computer models, we have lots of alarmist claims, we have failed sequential doom-casting, in the above quote we have “this suggests” and the other usual weasel words, “might happen” and “could lead to” and the like … but what we don’t have is any evidence that anything out of the ordinary is happening. Yes, people say that we’ll get a ten foot sea level rise by 2100 … but there is no sign of acceleration in the rate of rise despite the warming of the last three centuries.. Similarly, people say we’ll get mega-methane from arctic warming, but actual studies show no such increase happening despite the warming of the last three centuries. The bizarre truth is that we are studying a claimed phenomenon (increased warming due to humans) when we have no actual evidence that anything out of the ordinary is occurring. No unusual warming. No increase in extreme events. No increase in rainfall. No change in sea level rise. No increase in methane. If Mr. Whitlock has any such evidence, I hope he produces it.

Finally, in general the claimed sensitivity of the earth to CO2 has been falling. It used to be 3°C per doubling, then 2°C per doubling, and now it’s about 1°C per doubling. Given the claimed future increases in CO2 (which may never come to pass), this pretty much rules out his four to six degree C warming scenario.

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

But enough of what passes for a debate on Mr. Whitlock’s planet. Here’s the part that drives me nuts in discussions like this:

Nobody knows why the globe was generally warmer in Roman times

Nobody knows why the globe generally cooled after Roman times

Nobody knows why the globe generally warmed up again in Medieval times

Nobody knows why the globe greatly cooled after Medieval times, leading to the “Little Ice Age” in the 1600s/1700s.

Nobody knows why the Little Ice Age didn’t descend into a real Ice Age.

Nobody knows why the earth started generally warming at about 0.5°C per century since the Little Ice Age.

Nobody knows why this warming continued through the 20th century.

Nobody knows whether the ~ 0.5°C warming of the 21st century is 100% natural and just a continuance of the warming of previous two centuries, or whether some or all of of the warming is due to humans.

Nobody knows why there has been a two-decade “hiatus” in the ongoing three centuries of warming.

Given our total inability to understand or explain the climate of the past, the idea that a Tinkertoy computer model of the climate can tell us what will happen in the next hundred years is … well … let me describe that claim as “extraordinarily optimistic” rather than say “stunningly foolish” …

I’ve invited Mr. Whitlock to continue the discussion here, to avoid the 140-character limit. Let’s see if he is man enough to step up to the plate.

If he does, please keep the ad hominems not just down but out. This place is, or should be, about debating the science and not debating the man or woman behind the science.

Best regards to all, including Mr. Whitlock,

w.

PS—When you comment please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS THAT YOU ARE DISCUSSING, so we can all be clear on both your subject and who you are addressing.

[UPDATE]

I assume I’m supposed to be frightened … but in fact I’m mystified. I ask why, despite his bluster, he hasn’t shown up to debate. He replies that he won’t tell me how he is “deploying his forces”.

Say what?

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ReallySkeptical

“This is typical of all of the claimed dangers of CO2. We have computer models, we have lots of alarmist claims, we have failed sequential doom-casting, in the above quote we have “this suggests” and the other usual weasel words, “might happen” and “could lead to” and the like … but what we don’t have is any evidence that anything out of the ordinary is happening.”
Three years in a row record temps. Hmmm.

Oh, please. We know that temperatures have been generally rising for three centuries. So … where will we find the highest temperatures? Oh, the most recent years? Gosh, that’s shocking news … not.
If you think that is significant, think about it a bit more deeply.
w.

tony mcleod

Don’t – no below average temp months for 30 years – give you slight pause?comment image

Willis, you should not bother to reply to people who have no qualifications and no understanding of heat and mass transfer, or thermodynamics.

AndyE

Why on earth do you bother wasting your time even arguing with Mr Whitlock?? He is not even a bona fide believer in “climate change”.(Yes, there exist a very few of them).

A C Osborn

Don’t – massive tampering of the data by NASA & NAOO – give you slight pause?

@ Tony,
Wow, the cooling of the 1930’s temperature record has hit new lows.

Steve Case

Sort of like climbing a mountain, at any point along the path, will be the highest on the journey.

Alan McIntire

In reply to Tony McLeod
NOcomment image

Oh rot. The link between rising temperatures and human-produced atmospheric CO2 is proven and extensive. That’s why guys like you have to lie about it.

robinwhitlock1966 April 29, 2017 at 9:00 am

Oh rot. The link between rising temperatures and human-produced atmospheric CO2 is proven and extensive. That’s why guys like you have to lie about it.

Robin, a quick note. Passionate statements like yours carry zero weight here UNLESS YOU CITE THEM AND SUPPORT THEM. I say there is no evidence that increasing CO2 warms the planet. Yes, there are theories, and yes, there are climate models.
But EVIDENCE is what science is built on.
So … if you wish to claim that rising CO2 causes the planet to warm, where is the evidence to back that claim up?
Please note that EVIDENCE doesn’t include learned pronouncements and claims from people with lots of PhDs. Those are OPINIONS.
So, please point us to the evidence.
w.

Bryan A

Alan,
I do believe you have uncovered the cause of the apparent hiatus in the data. They “paused” the adjustments to the source data in 1993

Chimp

There has been no statistically significant warming in the 21st century. The so-called “surface” data are totally bogus, anti-scientific fantasy perpetrated by lying, tough-feeding bureaucrats in order to try to make their GIGO models look less epically failed and to keep the CACA gravy train rolling.
http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_March_2017_v6.jpg
The peaks in 1997-98 and 2015-16 are from super El Ninos, totally natural events. The recent one was fractionally warmer, but there is no reason to suppose that humans are responsible for the insignificant difference.

Chimp

robinwhitlock1966 April 29, 2017 at 9:00 am
Please state how you imagine such a link has been “proven”. There’s a Nobel Prize in it for you, since IPCC has failed to do so.
Thanks.

Very dubious chart from tony mcleod.
NOAA cherry pick their start date at 1978. What happens when we select 1935 as our start date? The chart shows the peak of 2015/16 El Nino but this anomaly has since gone, so averages come back to only ~ 0.75C above your cherry picked base anomaly. The same as before it. Why are you withholding the recent data? Why does it not show the 1998 El Nino in a more pronounced way? That’s just for starters using common sense arguments.

Chimp

Will the average anomaly for 2011 to 2040 be higher or lower than that for 1981 to 2010? If higher, by how much?
If climate sensitivity really be 3.0 degrees C per doubling, should CO2 actually exceed 560 ppm by AD 2100 and if there has been one degree of warming already since c. AD 1850, then the 30-year interval of 2011-40 would need to be about 0.72 degree C warmer than the previous thirty years (disregarding the logarithmic effect). That is, if CO2 indeed be the predominant driver of “climate change”. IMO there should be scarce difference between transient and equilibrium CS.
Earth is highly unlikely to warm that much by 2040. It might well cool.
But by then the charlatan shamans of CACA will have retired on fat pensions, having cost the world trillions in treasure and millions of lives.

David A

Tony, does not a tropospheric record of warming over the past 35 years that is less then 1/3 of the projected computer model mean for the troposphere, ( note, not just the missing hotspot) cause you to question the deeply adjusted surface record.
At any rate, whatever the cause of the surface warming, ( real warming, UHI, one way adjustments, etc…) Per CAGW theory, the surface warming CANNOT be from CO2, as that surface warming must occur as a result of prior tropospheric warming.

Chimp

David,
Just one of the many ways in which the CACA hypothesis can be easily falsified.
According to it, the troposphere ought to warm first, more and faster than the surface. Based upon the fake “surface record”, the opposite of all those things has happened.

Stephen Greene

Tony, do you have any non-manipulated data to show. 40% filled in data does not a credible argument make!

An Inquirer

Tony McLeod, Do you understand the graph that you have posted? Every skeptic I know understands the derviation of that graph, and because of that understanding, they are not worried.

artslap9

Willis, let’s please not forget NOAA’s “adjustment” to the current temperature via Karl, et al, that “busted” the apparent pause in warming.

Willis … In case you have not been made aware of this already, Robin Whitlock has decided to ‘debate’ you on his own blog.
http://energyandenvironmentblog.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-battle-of-blogs-whitlock-goes-to-war.html?showComment=1493536729688#c4738949479030123217
Since it appears his blog is not widely read, there’s not much of a debate occurring. I think he’s afraid of appearing on WUWT … claims there are too many ‘unqualified’ commenters.

Chimp

Geezer,
Yet, strangely, he imagines himself qualified to comment upon science.

schitzree

I tried to read his blog. Got about halfway through and just gave up. His idea of a ‘debate’ appears to be to copy/paste every ad homine he can find written about someone.
Like most Leftists he automatically believes anything written by his thought leaders, no matter how little evidence is provided. And no amount of conflicting data will ever change his mind.
I recently had a long debate over at Climate etc. With Jim D that was similer. He was convinced that Milo Yiannopoulos had made a racist attack on twitter because that’s what the Left Wing media said had happened. When I provided the evidence proving that it wasn’t true then he tried to move the goalpost twice, then basically declared that he KNEW Milo must be racist, because his thought leaders said so.
The problem is that, for decades the Left has been programing our children like Pavlov’s dog. They have been trained to Hate whenever the media declares someone is the enemy (racist, homophobic, capitalist, whatever). They have been trained to believe whatever the left tells them. They have been trained to rise up in righteous fury when ever they are told that someone stands in the Lefts way. And they have been especially trained to NEVER question what the Left has told them.
Frankly, trying to debate people like this is usually a lost cause. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. Every time we show that what they believe is nothing but lies is one more chance for the truth to finally brake through, if not for the one you’re debating, then one of the silent watchers following the debate.
That’s how the truth finally got through to ME. I can’t point to one time where the light suddenly dawned, but some time in my early twenties I finally realized that just because the Left said so, that didn’t make it true. I’d seen too many things they said be proven not to be the way they said it was. I learned to verify what I was told.
I learned to be SKEPTICAL. ○¿●

MarkW

Beyond that, the so called records are by amounts that are one to two orders of magnitude below the precision levels of the thermometers being used to measure temperate.
And that’s without dealing the the fact that we need 2 to 3 orders of magnitude more thermometers before we could begin to claim that the earth is being adequately monitored.

talldave2

tony mcleod April 28, 2017 at 11:06 pm
One of my favorite climate shuffles is the ability to deprecate the idea that the trend will continue to be .2 degrees per decade while simultaneously pointing at the .2 degrees per decade trend and saying “Look! Look at that trend!”

Eugene WR Gallun

Rally Skeptical —
You don’t think very clearly.
Are you aware that since coming out of the Little Ice Age on average every third year has produced a record temperature? Apparently not. So looking at all the data extending back to the end of the Little Ice Age, tell me, what great significance has your harrowing statement — “Three years in a row record temps. Hmmm”??????
Please tell me for I can see none.
Eugene WR Gallun

SAMURAI

Eugene-san:
Since the end of the Little Ice Age (1280~1850), we’ve ENJOYED 0.83C (HADCRUT4) of warming recovery (0.05C/decade trend), of which, manmade CO2 contributed around 0.3C of the total….
Since CO2 is a logarithmic function (each incremental increase has less and less of a forcing effect), we’ll likely enjoy another 0.3C of beneficial CO2 warming recovery by 2100, LESS the likely cooling effects of collapsing solar cycles.
Depending on what, if any, solar cooling actually occurs, there is a real possibility global temps may well be cooler than they are now by 2100. We just don’t know for sure, and that’s the point Willis is trying to make– WE DO NOT KNOW with any real certainty what th cumulative effect manmade CO2 has on global temps.
It’s becoming increasing certain that CAGW’s “best guess” ECS projections of 3.0C~4.5C is now very highly unlikely, as such a high ECS would require the global warming trend to suddenly increase to 0.32~0.48C/decade (starting from tomorrow) and lasting unabated for 87 straight years…. Meh, not so much…
Every day, week, month and year the global warming trend falls below 0.32~0.48C/decade, requires ever increasing future warming trends to confirm the CAGW hypothesis…Again… very highly unlikely.

Samurai writes: “of which, manmade CO2 contributed around 0.3C of the total….”
I’d rather not be a complete dickhead about this, but where exactly do you come up with this nonsense? Is it another of those “factoids” we’re just eventually expected to accept as truth if it’s repeated often enough or is there some observational basis for the claim?

SAMURAI

Bartley-san:
The 0.3C of CO2 warming we’ve enjoyed is based on CO2 logarithmic forcing equation:
5.35*ln(400ppm/280ppm)*(.31 Stefan-Boltzmann constant)*(.5 negative cloud feedback)=.3C…
CAGW advocates assume CO2 forcing has been around 0.4C to date (50% of 0.83C total warming since 1850)..
Using the same CO2 forcing equation, and assuming CO2 levels reach 560ppm by 2100, yields a paltry 0.3C of additional warming recovery between now and 2100:
5.35*ln(560ppm/400ppm)*(.31 Stefan-Boltzmann constant)*(.5 negative cloud feedback)=.3C…
CO2 forcing is a logarithmic function, which is why CAGW’s projections are so absurd, because each incremental CO2 increase equates to less and less forcing….
The irony (although Willis, whom I respect greatly, doesn’t agree) is that collapsing solar cycles will likely lead to substantial cooling over the next 70~100 years, so any added CO2 warming would help ameliorate some of the detrimental future cooling…
Cheers.

Eugene WR Gallun

SAMURAI —
My post originally was the second reply to Really Skeptical — appearing just under Willis’s reply. People replying to Willis moved my post down a bit.
Willis and I said, essentially. the same thing — pointing out that since temperature have been rising since the Little Ice Age temperature records would inherently be set every few years for the time span running from the Little Ice Age to the present.
This subject was discussed a couple years ago on WUWT (in off topic posts) and about every three years was what seemed likely. The discussion may have been about data from a shorter time period but If I remember correctly, (which I doubt) I, myself, initially said every six years, posted, then my mind clicked in and I realized I was double what seemed most likely. I said to hell with correcting my post and someone else got it right. So I used the “every three years” here.
i think you are overestimating the contribution of CO2 to warming since the Ice age. I don’t feel that CO2 has ever been much of a factor in the earth’s warming.
It is late and my mind is drifting. i am going to bed.
Haha, I am suddenly reminded of a very old cartoon I once saw. A man is hunched over this keyboard and his wife tells him to come to bed. And he replies — I can’t! Someone has just said something untrue on the internet!
Eugene WR Gallun
. . .

“Bartleby April 28, 2017 at 11:43 pm

Samurai writes: “of which, manmade CO2 contributed around 0.3C of the total….”

I’d rather not be a complete dickhead about this, but where exactly do you come up with this nonsense? Is it another of those “factoids” we’re just eventually expected to accept as truth if it’s repeated often enough or is there some observational basis for the claim?

You certainly do not need our assistance. You have repeatedly demonstrated your ability to achieve that unique individual lack of brilliance repeatedly.
It is amusing to read your “factoid” claim; since you operate on that “accept as truth if it’s repeated often enough” principle in complete defiance of evidence and research.

is based on CO2 logarithmic forcing equation:
================
that is based on the notion of “all things remaining equal”. however, this is highly unlikely, and ignores the role of the gravity in determining and maintaining the tropospheric lapse rate.
the more CO2 tries to increase the surface temperatures, the more the vertical circulation will increase to try and prevent this, due to warm air rising, which will bring cool air to the surface.
the energy balance models completely ignore this because they only consider the change in total energy. this is a nonsense because the total energy of the system is unchanged by vertical circulation. the total of potential and kinetic energy remains constant, so very little energy is actually required to maintain the circulation.
however, the change in temperature is enormous, as only kinetic energy affects temperature.

Alan McIntire

In reply to Bartley and Samurai, another equivalent way to compute those figures is to use Trenberth’s radiation figures:
http://www.climate.be/textbook/chapter2_node8.xml
Earth’s surface receives 493 watts, 97 watts of that is dissipated in latent heat of convection and evaporation. Using Samurai’s, and IPCC’s formula that additional wattage will be
5.37 ln 2 for a doubling of CO2 for an additional 3.72 watts,
assuming that same fraction will continue to be dissipated in the latent heat of convection and evaporation,
that current average temperature is about 288 K
And applying the Stephan-Boltzmann formula,
the temperature increase for a doubling of CO2 will be
288*[ (493+3.72)/(493)]^0.25 = 288.54.
since ln (396/280) is half of ln(560/280), we’re already over halfway there, for a warming due to CO2 of about 0.27 C.

Samuri-san,
What exactly about Euler’s (Ln) constant applies to CO2? It is an x and y equal exponential proportionality, widely misappropriated for use as “natural”. There is nothing natural about it, except that it appeals to human senses like “squares”.
While Pi, is a universal property of circles (probably another human construct), 2.71 is not a niversal property of anything.

Eugene WR Gallun

I have thought of a good way to example my increasing disbelief about the importance of CO2 in causing rising temperatures.
Climate is like a team sport. The team is composed of players who all have skills that relate to the game. Each player can be examined and his skills stated. BUT THE GAME IS ONLY PLAYED BY THOSE PLAYERS ACTUALLY OUT ON THE FIELD! You can talk all you want about the supposed ability of CO2 to affect global warming but CO2 is really only a bench warmer that never gets into the game. Its contribution to the game AS IT IS BEING PLAYED is zero.
Though inherently overstated and imperfect my above comparison of climate to sports has, I think, some validity. It, at least, clearly states (or overstates) a position.
Eugene WR Gallun

gary turner

If you’re on a plateau, any little knoll is a high point.

jclarke341

Considering that we have been generally warming for nearly 300 years, it is logical to make the assumption that 200 or more those years set a ‘record high’ global average temperature, if we start the records 300 years ago. Of course, we don’t have records that go back 300 years. In fact, what we have today is probably not sufficient to get an accurate ‘global’ temperature. The closest thing we have is the satellite data, which is not as bullish on warming as the highly manipulated surface data. “Three years in a row record temps.” has probably happened dozens of times in the last 300 years, mostly before the increase in CO2 began. It says absolutely nothing about the human influence on climate.

jclarke341 writes: “Considering that we have been generally warming for nearly 300 years…”
Well J, considering that by all accounts we’ve been generally cooling for 6000 years, I think you’re out of line.

Dan

What has climatologists concerned is the big spike upwards in global temps after the industrial revolution. Also, climate temps can be checked going back 800,000 years with the use of glacial ice core drilling. That’s what has scientists concerned. There’s never been a spike in temps like the one we are having now.

We are yet to be back to the Roman warm period,we are not even warm enough yet to be at the medieval warm period and loons are screaming disaster.I do hope I have gathered enough fire wood this year.

deebodk

Dan says: “There’s never been a spike in temps like the one we are having now.”
Absolute bollocks. Also regarding the ‘correlation’ between the Industrial Revolution and temperature rise, have alarmists ever stopped to think that maybe the IR happened because of the rise in temperature out of the Little Ice Age? At all times in the past cold periods have been associated with stagnation or decline of civilization and nature while warmer periods have been associated with growth and prosperity.

There’s never been a spike in temps like the one we are having now
================
nope. we have had much more massive spikes in much shorter time periods. for example, the Younger Dryas.
Originally this was missed by the early ice cores, that were low resolution. This led to the notion that natural climate changes gradually, over periods of centuries.
However, more recent high resolution ice cores have shown a much more dramatic tale of natural climate change. That huge swings in temperature occur naturally over periods a short as decades.
As such, the current warming is not at all surprising given the high resolution ice cores. In contrast, a climate event such as the Younger Dryas could kill millions if not billions of people.

Chimp

Dan April 28, 2017 at 11:52 pm
Wrong. Not even close.
Not only in paleo proxies, but even in the thermometer record there have been lots of spikes as big or bigger than whatever has happened in recent decades.
Look at the CET for the early 18th century, for instance. The warming cycle then was greater and lasted longer than the late 20th century warming, coming as it did after the depths of the LIA during the Maunder Minimum.
The early 20th century warming cycle is indistinguishable from the late 20th century warming, despite all the “adjustments” to older “data”.
There is no human fingerprint detectable in unmanipulated data, or even a significant one in the rigged “record”.

ReallySkeptical you failed to refute the quote you attached. In stead of stating which of the failed multiple predictions based on climate models actually came true (none) you refer to record temperatures occurring at the end of an agreed period of warming that essentially encompasses our entire instrument record. Skeptics are not claiming there hasn’t been warming so your point is irrelevant. It is the likely cause of warming and the extent to which it might continue going forward that is the subject of debate. You can’t win the debate by changing the proposition.

Andrew writes: “You can’t win the debate by changing the proposition.”
You’re right about that, but it won’t stop any of them from trying. It’s been standard operating procedure since this entire sensless game started 60 years ago.
Sorry if I’ve lost patience, it’s been going on far too long for me.

Dave_G

The intention is never to win the debate by changing the proposition – the intention is to set the tone of the debate in the hope that those with only a passing interest (the majority of the population) won’t read past HIS assertions to discover the obvious falsehoods he’s made.
Stating your case at the ‘top’ of the post then refusing to defend that position proves this adequately.

SocietalNorm

Record compared to what?

The earth has been much, much warmer than this in the past.

Norm writes: “The earth has been much, much warmer than this in the past.”
Indeed– these days we call it the Holocene Optimum. 12,000 years ago it started getting warmer and the ice age ended. Sea levels rose dramatically. It got a lot warmer for awhile and most of the ice melted. Now it’s getting colder and has been for 6000 years.
The best records we have of this can be found here:
“A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years”, Shaun A. Marcott, Jeremy D. Shakun, Peter U. Clark, Alan C. Mix, Science, March 2013.
It’s based on proxy evidence, but it’s the best we have. All of this fooforaw about warming is pure foolishness.

Mickey Reno

Three records nearly indistinguishable from zero, based on many editorial selections of the record keepers. Why must old temperature records be modified? Why can’t the past temperatures just stay the same?
Why do the long ice core records show CO2 lagging temps, then when temps turn down, CO2 is still rising and not until temps have actually fallen does CO2 PEAK! If CO2 was the driver of these major shifts in glacial to inter-glacial and back, the temperatures could NOT fall as CO2 was rising and reaching a peak. Please read the laughable RealClimate statement about this. It’s far below pseudo-science, it’s down right magical in it’s thinking.
Statistics and models may be necessary for trying to eventually understand something as complex as the Earth’s climate. But they make it very difficult to say much with any certainty right now. We know they don’t work for even 30 years, so saying they will start to be accurate in 100 years is more wishful, magical thinking.

Micky Reno writes: “saying they will start to be accurate in 100 years…”
is saying we’ll all be long dead before anyone catches on.

Mickey Reno

It’s so difficult to pin down all the flaws in the CAGW position. A few years back, Judy Curry ran a very eye-opening thread about what would be your top 5 scientific objections or questions to the consensus. I don’t think I can cut myself off at just 5, but here are a few more of my issues.
Of course the biggest issue is distinguishing what change is “natural” vs. what is anthropogenic. The “proofs” for these distinctions don’t exist. Observations are too noisy to evaluate easily, and yet, magically, a self-interested group offers its expert opinion in favor of their own monetary and status improvement. These experts are part of a partisan political elite class, including politicians, government scientists and ivory tower academics who get their funding from governments, sometimes indirectly via the UN, or in some cases, tendentious politically motivated NGOs. What will CAGW scientists do to show these influences to be minimized or negated?
When talking about GCMs, what scientific process or inquiry led to model output becoming “evidence?” NONE! It is NOT evidence. It is a man-made guess about what the future will be. Nothing any suite of models or Monte Carlo spread says about the Earth is true, none is objective reality, none is empirical evidence. And without GCM runs, there is no impending calamity. Will CAGW alarmists agree to try to falsify climate models, or not? And if not, then get them out of the science business?
When did “peer-review” become the end-all of scientific advancement? It is NOT. It is only the beginning of a long process of replication and either confirmation, partial acceptance (like Newtonian physics) or outright rejection by future scientists. Will CAGW climate alarmists acknowledge their own peer-review, pal-review and rush to cite misdeeds? Will they agree to stop these particularly egregious forms of sophistry and self-serving propaganda?
When did any group of science in history, advance the idea that correlation DOES imply causation when you cannot think of another explanation, as is the case with CAGW alarm? The idea “CO2 must be the climate driver because it’s the only explanation we can think of” is insulting to the entire history of science. Will CAGW alarmists agree to allow the “unknown unknowns” to regain the respect and circumspection that category of possible physical phenomena deserves? Of course, you will all have to become a bit more like Judy Curry, an idea that I suspect terrifies you all.
What steps has CAGW “science” taken to prove the alarmists are not fooling themselves in the best Feynman-esque tradition? The IPCC process seems 180 degrees wrong for this. Indeed, how have any of the modern published history of CAGW science systematically tried to avoid tendentious experiments? It seems to me that MOST of the alarmist science I read is tendentious, and I see NO effort within any of the statistical analyses or meta-data aggregations to build-in formal processes to avoid working backwards from an obviously desired conclusion? In fact, how can you even begin an experiment before you have acknowledged the obvious desire for the specific conclusion you so clearly want? This desire has been stated explicitly a few times, e.g. when Phil Jones stated that he preferred human catastrophe over hockey-team science being falsified. But the PR optics of this admission is so bad, that hockey team players know they cannot admit if this is their desire, and so usually avoid addressing this tacit belief. How will you address this, CAGW believers? How will you endeavor to become more Feynman-esque?
When will the grand pronouncements of harm to society be evaluated against actual social outcomes? Crops are being harvested in record amounts. But CO2 still must be bad. Warmer is better, but it must be worse. The goal posts move, crops aren’t what some unknown expert expected them to be, or Miami King Tides are now a cause for alarm, as if they weren’t happening for all of Miami’s history? And this revelation of someone’s expectation being proved wrong is somehow science? Hurricanes and tornadoes are not trending up, and may be trending down, the IPCC even says so, but can this ever be an important part of the narrative? If you watch the recent performance of Dr. Mann and the Democrats in Congress the other day, 1/2 the political people seem to be denying reality, the half that calls the other half “deniers.” Can you look into your own souls after some journalist writes that the Syrian civil war is due to CAGW, and look at such situations with a sense of reality over magic?
When will you stop brainwashing school children in green politics, under the guise of science, before these very young children have had any formal science education at all? Just now, on NPR, I heard that some small boy, terrified by CAGW alarm, organized 20 of his classmates to join the climate march. Do you think this is an appropriate social outcome, for primary school children to be terrified to the point where they become politically active? Do you think a parent that allows his child to be exposed to this level of Armageddon thinking is being a responsible parent? Is there no one on your side of the political debate that considers this a form of child abuse?
This has gone on long enough. I won’t even get started on the folly of renewable energy as a valid replacement of fossil fuels in electrical generation, or the understated damage to society your most fervent Luddites like Bill McKibben would gladly foist on the human race in a human experiment potentially more deadly then the Holodomor.
You have so many issues to explain, and they will not be explained away by the same old propaganda and BS. I want to know when will you start, or failing that, to start looking for a new job?

Mickey Reno April 29, 2017 at 11:31 am
Excellent statement. It deserves a post of its own. Thank you.
/L. E. Joiner https://WalkingCreekWorld.wordpress.com

Expressed in anomalies calculated to three decimal places, which is completely unsupportable by the measurements. When the temperature is taken in tenths of a degree, it’s statistically incorrect to state a mean with more than one decimal point. We’ve just had a very long conversation about this here.

“Expressed in anomalies calculated to three decimal places…”
It’s a fallacy they don’t expect you to catch. The “law of large numbers” tells us we can increase precision and accuracy through repeated measure, but the measures have to all be of the same thing for it to work.
No “average” of global temperature is a repeated measure of the same thing, and that’s where they hide the pea under the shell. The law of large numbers doesn’t apply. They’re taking thousands of measures of thousands of different things, not the same thing over an over.
And they’re expecting folks who only did HS level maths to buy it. Most do.

Crispin in Waterloo

Bartleby
You are correct about the large number of readings of different things, precision and alla that. In additional they are making those thousand of readings with different instruments. This point is often overlooked as are the implications.
The claim for the temps being the highest three years in a row are delivered in thousandths of degrees. The temperature are not measured to thousandths of a degree.
The Law of Large Numbers
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_large_numbers
does not apply in the simple sense of replicating an experiment. If an experiment is replicated using the same equipment, protocol and conditions, then the Law applies. Taking measurements using different instruments one at each location at a number of different times (when the temperature at each location is different each time) does not qualify as ‘replication of the experiment’. That qualifies as thousands of different experiments each conducted once.
If the temperature were to be measured thousands of times in a row rapidly at one location using the same instrument, then the Law applies. That is the measurement of one thing many times using the same instruments.
Measuring thousands of things using thousands of instruments once each does not permit us to identify with greater precision the central point of the uncertainty range.
When it is claimed that the temp last year was 0.001 degrees C warmer than last year, they are really saying the temperature is nn˚ C , +-0.1˚ . Even if the number of readings are a large number of locations has an average 0.001˚ higher, the uncertainty rules out making any claim for it actually being higher.

Don K

RS: “Three years in a row record temps. Hmmm.”
As Willis points out, very few folks actually don’t think temperatures are increasing. What is at issue is how fast and whether that’s bad. I’d argue, probably not very fast, and probably somewhat more good than bad. I could change my opinion on that if we had GCMs that weren’t so obviously broken and they predicted temperature and precipitation well enough to see even hazily what the future looks like. In their absence, I find it hard to find much gloom in the thought of the planet’s two largest countries by area — Canada and Russia — becoming more habitable, more populous, and richer..
Aside from that, The geometry of the Earth’s continents and their effect on oceanic and atmospheric flows makes “planetary temperature” (PT) a somewhat dubious metric. PT is very sensitive to the El Nino phenomenon and, worse, not all El Ninos are equal. 2015-2016 featured a very strong El Nino.and thus “record” temperatures. The problem with that is that from your point of view is that — as with the very strong 1998 El Nino — it might be a while before we see another record notwithstanding that the planet probably continues to slowly warm.

Hugs

Tasteless.

Jaakko Kateenkorva

Hello. Al Gore types will have a gaping hole in their Champagne, Bourgogne and even in Bordeaux collections due to this a rare and exiting eventTM at the end of April. And that’s the best you can come up with? Try again cherie, but take note in my country of origin even corn cannot survive the cold, hottest evah or not.

Mark - Helsinki

ReallySkeptical things correlation is causation, please remove the skeptical part of your name, it’s dishonest.

Hivemind

The fact that NOAA, the Australian BOM, UK MET office and others have all been faking temperature records should say something about the quality of the evidence for the global warming fraud.

higley7

No “hmmm” here. As CO2 emissions by humans go up logarithmically, atmospheric CO2 rises linearly and recently even at a lower rate. Therefore, if we are having no effect on atmospheric CO2 and CO2 controls the climate, then we are having no effect on climate and it remains that CO2 is plant food and is greening the planet.

TA

“Three years in a row record temps. Hmmm.”
How can we have three years in a row of record temps [2014,2015, and 2016] when 1998 was hotter than all but 2016, and 2016 was only hotter than 1998 by one-tenth of a degree? Answer: It didn’t happen.
Btw, 1934 was about 0.5C hotter than 1998, according to Hansen.
Here’s the most accurate Earth temperature chart, UAH/RSS according to NASA. Do 2014 and 2015 look hotter than 1998 to you on this most accurate chart of them all?
http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_March_2017_v6.jpg

Steve

What wè do know is the science of the greenhouse effect that has been science for more than 100 years is the reason the planet is warming. All those who claim otherwise can claim their nòbel prize for physics. Oh wait …… it cant be done. I await the tin foil hat brigade with there conspiracies as I know there won’t be any science behind the replies.

Justanelectrician

Steve
You’re right – the greenhouse effect has been known for over 100 years. And if Arrhenius had done his experiments in a greenhouse with gable vents and ceiling fans, they would have been relevant to this discussion. Unfortunately, he didn’t, and measurements in a closed system don’t tell us much about the real world.
Also, if you’re so sure the recent warming is due to co2, how do you explain the many (possibly millions) of cycles the climate experienced before the industrial revolution. The IPCC hasn’t reached its apparent goal of adjusting the past to a static state yet, so you still have to account for past variability.
Your argument is so simplistic that I’m probably the only one that will bother replying. Post something intelligent next time and I’m sure you’ll be overwhelmed by the science included in the responses. Can you direct me to an alarmist site where actual science is discussed as much as it is here. On this site, even people on the same side of the argument critique each other’s posts (ruthlessly at times). Where else does that happen.

The so-called “greenhouse effect” is the reason that the planet is warm, not warming. (Without this effect, the Earth would be very, very cold). For the planet to be warming, something must be changing, either the energy input from the sun or the overall emissivity of the planet. That CO2 is the sole or even primary cause of any observable change is, of course, the question and has not been adequately demonstrated.

I still have yet to understand how 2016 was only slightly hotter than 1998 but yet 2014 and 2015 keep getting trotted out as record breaking as well. Stop watching CNN and start thinking for yourself.

RD

Data refutes alarmists’ assertions

Curious George

Mr. Whitlock, did you oppose the statement “Our children will not know what a snow was”? If so, please document it.

Tom Halla

Mr Whitlock, if he deigns to respond, should answer whether James Hansen’s congressional testimony was correct. He should also deal with Michael Mann’s recreation of temperature history, and why he thinks that is defensible.

tomwys1

This was not an “invitation to debate.” Rather it was an opportunity to listen to a parrot.
Of course, most of us know what kind of brains parrots have!

Again, let me request that we concern ourselves with his ideas rather than claims about his intelligence.
Thanks,
w.

I agree. This is an excellent test to see if there can be a true scientific debate or just a reinforcement of of belief systems, but it should not be about personal attacks. No profit there.

Leo Smith

i see no ideas that are his own. its just the usual ecoagitprop verbiage

Leo Smith April 29, 2017 at 2:11 pm

i see no ideas that are his own. its just the usual ecoagitprop verbiage

Doesn’t matter. We don’t ask that someone’s ideas be 100% unique and original. If someone comes in and quotes from someone’s solid scientific study, should we reject it because the words are not their own?
w.

schitzree

Ya, but even the ad hominems weren’t his own.
I mean, that’s just lazy. ^¿^

Leo Smith

Norwegian blue

Chimp

Please, sir, do not disparage parrots.
They are actually intelligent creatures capable of reason, not just mimics, like mynahs.

TA

Yeah, birds are smart.

Chimp

TA,
Some of them are. They vary, as do mammals and mollusks.

toorightmate

Alex taught Irene quite a bit.
Did you know that after just 2 weeks in captivity dolphins can teach humans to throw them fish.

TA

And humans. 🙂

ossqss

Anthony, it might be a good time to get WUWT TV out of the mothballs?
Just sayin, we could probably get Vegas odds on this debate.
WWF could now be WCF ;-}
Willis Willis Willis!!!!

Richmond

There are 10 types of people, those who understand science and those who do not.
Willis understands science, and Whitlock does not.

Jer0me

There are 10 types of people. Those who understand binary, and those who don’t.

Paul Courtney

There are 10 types of people. Ones, and zeros. Having marshaled his forces, Mr. Whitlock produces … ReallySkeptical and tony mcleod. Two more zeros.

Chimp

Funny, but here we are presented with just two types of people, ie a binary situation.
One is those who understand statistical representations of reality, and those who don’t.
That would be Steve, in the first case, and Willis, in the second. I’m going with Steve.

Kurt

That only makes sense with :”understands binary” – nor “understands science.”

Ron Williams

The problem with the debate from the alarmist perspective, is that they only have a binary view on AGW/CC in that CO2 is the only source of their magical pronouncements of what future temperatures will be in 2030, or 2100. With blinders on for only seeing CO2 as the new driver of climate, it is hard to have a debate with them because that is the scope of what is important to them. There is no prescient precedent in history of humans producing excess CO2 to compare to, and correlation is not causation. They have violated the first law of science in skepticism being the main check and balance on science by those with an ‘Agenda’.
Future generations will look back at this debate over the last 20-30 years and wonder how did mainstream science co-opt/hijack science to the exclusion of CO2 only being relevant to anything. And then they will thank us for a slightly warmer and much greener planet, perhaps ensuring that we averted some future catastrophic cooling from a volcanic event that would have severely curtailed agricultural production globally.

richardscourtney

There are three types of people; those who can count and those who cannot count.

Haha!

Steve Case

First chuckle of the day (-:

RD

Made me smile.

achuara

Great answer Willis. I am taking a sit in front of my monitor, with a big bag full of popcorn. I guess I’ll finish it long before Mr. Whitlock answers your invitation.

angech

1. Temp goes up with CO2 increase if nothing else changes and CO2 has increased.
2. Arctic ice extent has shrunk in recent years. [DMI needs a rework again by the Danes as it is starting to go positive again].
3. Some glaciers are melting. more than are growing?
4.The temperature may be warmer now than 47 years ago.
Have I missed anything?
Your take Willis.

Thanks, angech. You say:
angech April 28, 2017 at 8:30 pm

1. Temp goes up with CO2 increase if nothing else changes and CO2 has increased.

You know this how?

2. Arctic ice extent has shrunk in recent years. [DMI needs a rework again by the Danes as it is starting to go positive again].

True. Before that, arctic ice extent increased. In fact, at any instant, it will be doing either one or the other … and?

3. Some glaciers are melting. more than are growing?

Don’t know which is more, glaciers are poorly counted and hard to study. When the earth cooled in the Little Ice Age, glaciers grew. There was a village in Switzerland who asked the Pope to pray for them that they not be over-run by their local glacier … and it stopped.
Assuredly, the people found this to be powerful scientific evidence …
Curiously, that glacier has receded during the last three centuries of warming. Because it was a huge tourist draw, the villagers have now asked the Pope to pray for its return …

4.The temperature may be warmer now than 47 years ago.

It seems to be, although we’re talking tenths of a degree of data coming from a very noisy and poorly sited and maintained set of stations.

Have I missed anything?
Your take Willis.

Good enough for now,
w.

angech

Just tryin to get debate ideas clear if anyone wishes to add to them or discuss them.
1. You know this how? Well if it is not the case then everyone on both sides will have to pack up and go home. I sort of assumed that CO2 has gone up from Mauna Loa data and that it being a GHG and all that in theory the earth temp should go up.If, as I specified, nothing else changes with it.
This is the nub of the debate, is CO2 a switch, and how sensitive is temperature to it and what feedbacks are acting that affect the change clouds and sinks etc.
2. … and? for the purposes of the debate shrinking ice is an indicator of increasing temperature, just like expanding arctic ice would be [was] an argument to the contrary.
3. glaciers if Antarctic ice mass has been increasing [GRACE] and most glaciers by volume are in Antarctica then Glaciers might be said to be increasing overall in the world. Any view from others ?
4. It seems to be – as you say “We know that temperatures have been generally rising [slowly] for three centuries”.
There must be other fingerprints etc to discuss than just 4, surely.

Roger Knights

Re receding glaciers: Isn’t some of the blame for that due to soot deposits. (I remember reading that the receding started in the 19th century in the Alps and that soot was implicated.) Also, the multi-decadal global decline in cloudiness would presumably have an effect.

Mark - Helsinki

Ice melts due to the temperature of local environment. Not because global average temperature is rising.
New Zealand glaciers are advancing, and advancing glacier in the arctic, USGS say tides and currently poorly understood (to me on twitter when I asked)
Ice melting in a specific location has to do with the location and it’s temperature and nothing else.
During winter of 2016\17 apparently there was a tiny patch of climate change warming part of the arctic and the rest was,, just weather, because it was freezing 😀
CO2 apparently is very selective for a well mixed gas

A C Osborn

Mark – Helsinki April 29, 2017 at 1:16 am
It is not only temperature that controls Glaciers, it is also how much moisture there is in the air to cause precipitation to replace any ice loss.

“angech April 28, 2017 at 9:27 pm
Just tryin to get debate ideas clear if anyone wishes to add to them or discuss them.
1. You know this how? Well if it is not the case then everyone on both sides will have to pack up and go home. I sort of assumed

Assumptions are of zero value and fail to provide actual value.
Reading alleged CAGW research is a struggle from one assumption to probable to likely to nowhere false reasoning.
There are recent warming periods, late 1800s, 1930s; whose warming rates match or exceed the recent rise of temperatures.
What exactly, makes our current warming period different?
Any ‘evidence’ off CO2 causing any portion of warming is absent.
A laboratory “theory” of CO2 GHG actions is without real world influences and interactions.
CO2 is a minimalist GHG; i.e. CO2’s effects are limited in IR frequency for both absorption and emission. Meanwhile, H2O is very GHG active over a broad range of IR frequencies and even Earth’s driest climates have more atmospheric H2O than CO2.
CO2 is alleged to have risen from 280ppm to a recent high of 410ppm.
Physical relative terms places 280ppm as 2.8 molecules of CO2 for every then thousand molecules of atmosphere.
410ppm represents 4.1 molecules of CO2 per ten thousand atmospheric molecules.
The CO2 increase over the last one hundred years is 1.3 molecules of CO2 per ten thousand molecules of atmosphere
Tell us how fractions of one molecule CO2 increases temperatures, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, locally, regionally, etc. etc.
Especially in a world where atmospheric water vapor experiences large scale changes hourly and daily?
The moment one reads weasel words in alleged research, it is immediately and apparently not research. False pretenses and specious fictional claims are as far from science as one can get.
After thirty years of false CAGW prophecies and failed alarmist disasters, It is time to wake up.

Crispin in Waterloo

Roger Knights
“Re receding glaciers: Isn’t some of the blame for that due to soot deposits.”
There is going to be a conference at the end of May in Warsaw on the topic of Black Carbon (BC) and its influence and effects, in part organised by the ICCI. http://iccinet.org/the-cryosphere. Dr Tami Bond, previously mentioned on this site as a BC expert, will be a keynote speaker.
It will discuss the impact space heating stoves still commonly used in Eastern Europe, both biomass and coal burning, and what can be done to reduce emissions of BC and fuel consumption in general.
One of the phenomena that mitigate against this type of BC warming is that once soot is deposited, it is soon covered by a thin layer of frost that hides it. Once exposed in spring, BC promotes cooling of the surface it is on at night, lowering the temperature and the effectiveness of daytime warming.
Which way does it tilt the wheel? Don’t know. It is not simple. Will listen and try to find out.

gbaikie

-Just tryin to get debate ideas clear if anyone wishes to add to them or discuss them.
1. You know this how? Well if it is not the case then everyone on both sides will have to pack up and go home. –
We assume that if Earth warmed, then a result would be an increase of CO2. Rather than knowing that adding CO2 to atmosphere would cause Earth to warm.
Or the ice core records indicate that CO2 increase in atmospheric concentration- this follows after long periods of warming.
This can be explained, due to a warming ocean can release CO2- and the Earth oceans have large amount of CO2 which could me release were the oceans to warm up [as compared to amount of CO2 in the atmosphere].
It should be noted that we don’t know how much the oceans have warmed. We know the oceans are cold- somewhere around 3 C. In contrast the surface oceans of the tropics are quite warm, but the average temperature of the ocean is about 3 C. Or the warmer top 100 meter of tropical ocean is dwarfed by colder ocean which averages- “Its average depth is about 3,688 meters (12,100 ft), and its maximum depth is 10,994 meters (6.831 mi) at the Mariana Trench”- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean
-2. … and? for the purposes of the debate shrinking ice is an indicator of increasing temperature, just like expanding arctic ice would be [was] an argument to the contrary.-
Well, the antarctic ice is increasing and it’s a larger and could said to be more significant polar sea ice. But a more significant factor is we have not measured arctic sea ice for much time.

This is the nub of the debate, is CO2 a switch, and how sensitive is temperature to it and what feedbacks are acting that affect

This *is* “nub of the debate” and all of the instrumental measurements demonstrate that the sensitivity is vey low. TCR = 0.5-1.5 C. ECS 1.0-2.50.

It is generally agreed among both skeptics and adherents to global warming theory that atmospheric temperatures will rise to some extent due to a rise in atmospheric CO2. The degree of rise is central to the debate, however ice core evidence also shows the reverse to be true (CO2 rise due to a rise in temperature) and that may be an even stronger effect due to release of CO2 from warming oceans. Yes arctic sea ice declined, and then increased, the antarctic sea ice did the reverse during the same period. Yes glaciers have in many cases been shrinking but that has been well recorded as starting long before human industrial activity had any potential role and it continues apace, while other glaciers are increasing. The regionality of this suggests that precipitation and snow accumulation may be much more important than global temperatures. Yes, temperatures increased over the past 50 years, but they declined before that and then before that they increase a similar amount and at a similar pace to the last half century, but before human CO2 emissions are thought sufficient to have had any significant impact.
We can agree on all these points, but it still does not address the alarming claims and predictions about human-caused global warming /climate change which are the real area of debate.

the real area of debate.
================
actually, whether the climate is warming or cooling is really quite irrelevant. it is similar to arguing if capitalism or socialism are better economic models.
the reality is that all economies on earth are ultimately market based. you can try and ignore this by imposing rules that try and enforce socialism or capitalism, but in the end all these rules will be defeated by the market.
contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t capitalism that defeated the USSR. It was the market. It wasn’t capitalism that forced the communist party of China to switch to a market economy. It was the market itself.
and the same is true for “global warming” or “climate change”. politicians, scientists, economists a plenty can argue both sides of the coin until the cows come how. in the end the market will prevail.
All the arguments of global warming and climate change will eventually end up in the dustbin of history, much like the arguments over capitalism and socialism in the previous century.

@ ferdberple , I made a similar argument in my “groundworks” column , http://cosy.com/Liberty/LogicOfLiberty.htm , in my Logic of Liberty series in the Manhattan Libertarian Serf City corner tabloid in the mid 2000s . This line was pulled out as “catch line” in the print edition :

Thus Sony and Nissan and Mitsubishi in free market Japan did as much to take down the Soviet Union as anything the west did.

Benjamin Dickson

Angech, let me be a bit clearer
1: True, if you live in a gas chamber. We don’t. While this generally holds true, quantification is effectively impossible due to the fact that “nothing else changes” is impossible.
2: Overall, this is true,
3: Again, I’ll accept the vague statement as generally true.
4: True. While the data is noisy, this statement is pretty much unchallenged.
However, you definitely missed a lot. You’ve stopped at step 1, proving that we are warming. Almost everyone agrees on that. However, before we can decide on actions, we need to prove:
2: How much warming we will expect (this is where the quantification becomes very important)
3: That this will be a bad thing. Overall, warmth (especially concentrated at the poles in the winter) has always proved a benefit, and CO2 itself is significantly beneficial in helping plant growth. Other items, such as rising sea levels, are quite slow and proper city/country planning can account for it. Specifically, the Maldives are in danger or being subsumed due to mismanagement of the coral reefs that form the island chain. If properly managed, the islands themselves grow with the sea (again, they are made out of coral).
4: That we can meaningfully cut CO2. Estimates range in the trillions and even these measures are questionably effective
5: That cutting CO2 is not more harmful than allowing the CO2 to be released. After all, the best case scenario is that it will cost trillions, and if the damages are minor, then we will be better served in doing practically anything else.
You are asking the wrong question, and thus you think you have the answer when you don’t.

Clyde Spencer

BD,
Related to your perceptive remarks is, I have never seen an alarmist make a case that the optimum level of CO2 is that which was the level prior to the industrial revolution. (What are the odds that over a 4.5 billion year history, the CO2 levels just happened to be at the optimum 100 years ago?) By implication, they complain that temperatures are going up and therefore a lower concentration must be desirable. However, I have not seen a rigorous cost-benefit analysis.

John in Oz

2. Arctic ice extent has shrunk in recent years. [DMI needs a rework again by the Danes as it is starting to go positive again].

Antarctica ice levels conveniently not mentioned – again

Bindidon

http://fs5.directupload.net/images/170428/w58n5t7c.png
http://fs5.directupload.net/images/170430/6ejndhm9.jpg
The lower chart ends by dec 2016, I was too lazy to download from colorado.edu since then.
Don’t panic! It’s certainly of temporary nature.

Chimp

Bindion,
A super El Nino has just ended. It’s not surprising that sea ice is lower than average. But for most of the time since 1979, Antarctic ice has grown, while Arctic has shrunk. Thus, CO2 in the air can’t be the cause.
Have you noticed that Arctic sea ice is melting unusually slowly this spring, thanks largely to colder than normal ocean temperature? Extent is already higher than 2016 at this point and will soon exceed 2015 and 2014 if the present melt rate continues, as it has done since around April 7. Before that, it was even slower in March and April. Indeed, it grew from about March 28.
According to NSIDC, anyway (whom I don’t trust anymore than any government organ):
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

AndyG55

2017, a 1 year dip in an otherwise increasing trend
Above 2008, and quickly catching back up to the mob.

Bindidon

Chimp on April 29, 2017 at 5:45 pm
Have you noticed that Arctic sea ice is melting unusually slowly this spring, thanks largely to colder than normal ocean temperature?
Such strange remarks are nothing new for me here, look e.g. at:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/09/27/inconvenient-record-arctic-sea-ice-growth-in-september/
and we know what happened later (the same is valid, if I well remember, for another WUWT head post last year concerning a short extent increase in the Antarctic).
Thus maybe you should be a little more patient and wait for a couple of weeks:
http://fs5.directupload.net/images/170430/74qgbf2n.png
And anyway: I never have seen Chip & alii commenting about Arctic or a fortiori Antarctic ice extent decrease. Interesting!
Moreover, you always invoke this El Niño braveheart as the origin of all warming, though we lay(wo)men here all do not have even a percent of a clue of what El Niño really represents wrt that warming.
A super El Nino has just ended.
Aha! Did you ever compare it with its predecessors in the satellite era?
http://fs5.directupload.net/images/170502/i9csreut.png
Another, more complex comparison:
http://fs5.directupload.net/images/170502/3kauwtzr.png
It seems to me that like Werner Brozek, you think that the higher the UAH anomalies, the stronger the El Niño.
Wrong assumption! Please compare e.g. MEI and UAH6.0 to be convinced…

M Courtney

angech, Point 1 is irrelevant:

1. Temp goes up with CO2 increase if nothing else changes and CO2 has increased.

It may well be true in a laboratory but has no meaning in the real world.
Why would “nothing else change”?
Maybe humidity will rise. Maybe more clouds will form cooling the planet (exact opposite effect).
Or maybe warming will cause amplification of the warming from rising water vapour effects as predicted (except the Tropical Hotspot that was on the cover of AR3 turned out to not exist).
Maybe increased CO2 will increase vegetation that will increase pollen and particulates and increase patchiness of clouds causing greater temperature variations and more frequent but gentler rains. Local effects then overwhelm Global Warming.
Maybe…
The fear of CO2 is actually a fear of Temperature changes from CO2 – but if something else changes instead then all the predictions are off.

angech

An Invitation To Debate “Climate Change”
M Courtney ” It may well be true in a laboratory but has no meaning in the real world.”
CO2 has gone up from Mauna Loa data and it being a GHG and all that in theory the earth temp should go up.If, as I specified, nothing else changes with it. if it is not the case then everyone on both sides will have to pack up and go home.
You seem to have a view outside the theory that both sides tend to work with, maybe Willis as well.
“You know this how? ”
There are CO2 measurements. They have apparently gone up. People report these things, they are documented.
There is a GHG theory, apparently the world would be a lot colder without GHG, I presume you agree with this statement having said “It may well be true in a laboratory “.
Then you make a jump of faith/logic, “It has no meaning in the real world.”
Laboratories exist in the real world as well so true in a lab, true in the real world, not no meaning as truth is a meaning.
You could mean it has little practical value in the real world, the real world being more than just a laboratory and CO2 having a lot of confounding effects that do not occur in a laboratory. Hence there are cloud formation , albedo effects which are poorly understood and not modeled at all, only parametized.
These could give negative or positive feedbacks which need debate.
The CO2 increase could be secondary to rising ocean temperatures.
I feel your objection is more deeply rooted though, you really either believe CO2 has not gone up or that it has but can have absolutely no effect.
In this case there can be no debate as one of the vital planks has been removed.
Is that stating the position correctly?
If not we are probably in agreement.
“-Why would “nothing else change”?” I am on your side there, Of course other things change. I was stating the theory that GHG climate change starts from to clarify the debate.

M Courtney

That CO2 has risen was not disputed by me.
That CO2 is a GHG was not disputed by me.
That we live on a dry planet with no atmosphere but CO2 was disputed by me.
No laboratory experiment replicates the effects of Oceans or Forests or Clouds. If they did then they wouldn’t need be modelled by computers. Yet the computer models do not replicate reality (the Tropical Hotspot does not exist for instance).
For these models to have any meaning in the real world they would need to be able to make accurate predictions. They don’t.
For these models to have any meaning in the real world they would need to correctly understand the feedbacks. But you, yourself, agree that they don’t when you say “Of course other things change.”
Beer Lambert’s Law states that the effect of a doubling of CO2 diminishes exponentially. It is only the hypothesised – fantasised – feedback from water vapour that makes AGW significant. In the real world we have no evidence for that.
Point 1 is irrelevant as “Temp goes up with CO2 increase if nothing else changes and CO2 has increased” means nothing.
Point 1 would have meaning if it said “(a) Temp goes up significantly with CO2 increase when (b) we know what else changes and (c) CO2 has increased”.
But that statement would be:
(a) False, so far.
(b) Definitely False.
(c) True and probably manmade too.
Surely that’s not enough to base policy upon.

M Courtney

angech, I recognise that you are debating, not defending the AGW orthodoxy but it is important to remember that the orthodoxy includes the amplification effect of water vapour on CO2’s warming.
If it doesn’t then there wouldn’t be any scary effects to worry about.

richard verney

CO2 has gone up from Mauna Loa data and it being a GHG and all that in theory the earth temp should go up.If, as I specified, nothing else changes with it.

There are many issues in debate.
Since Mauna Loa data has come on stream, it is clear that CO2 levels have increased, but it is not so clear that temperatures have risen, still less that if they have risen then this has been caused by the rise in CO2.
One of the issues in debate is whether CO2 is a GHG. It is a radiative gas, the laboratory properties of which are well known. However, whether it is a GHG can only be answered by observational empirical evidence which presently is lacking. One reason why the evidence may be lacking is that all other matters do not remain constant when CO2 levels increase, and this change may mask the effect of CO2.
One thing is fairly clear, until such time as we can fully explain and fully understand natural variation, it is highly unlikely that we will know what effect results from increasing CO2 (other than it greens the planet).
We know that there is no statistical difference in the rate of warming between 1860 to 1880, 1910 to 1940 and 1975 to 1998, and yet the level of CO2 only significantly changed in the latter period. See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm
We know that according to the satellite data, there has been no statistically significant warming since before 1998 even though about 30% of all manmade C02 emissions have taken place during that period.
There are multiple lines of evidence that suggest that temperatures today in the Northern Hemisphere are no warmer than they were back in 1940 notwithstanding that more than 95% of all manmade CO2 emissions have taken place since then. Hansen in his 1981 paper thought that temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere were about 0.3degC cooler in 1980 than they were in 1940. Likewise Jones and Wigley similarly considered this to be the case, and NASA/NAS considered 1980 to be up to about 0.5degC cooler than 1940.
Since 1980, it has warmed by about 0.3 to 0.4degC so this suggests that Northern Hemisphere temperatures are very similar to those seen in 1940. The US, Iceland, Greenland raw data suggests if anything that it is still not as warm as it was in the 1940s, and Russia has complained that much of its high latitude data has been left out of the global data sets and this high latitude data shows no warming since 1940.
The Southern hemisphere, particularly pre ARGO, is too sparsely sampled to draw any conclusion on Southern Hemisphere temperatures (Hansen in his 1981 paper notes this, and Phil Jones in the Climategate emails also makes the point). Since we have insufficient data coverage of the Southern Hemisphere and Equatorial regions, we do not know what the global position is, but as mentioned, there are many lines of evidence that suggest that the Northern Hemisphere is no warmer than it was in around the late 1340s/early 1940s notwithstanding the substantial increase ion CO2.
I would suggest that the claim that CO2 is a GHG is one that is not supported by hard empirical observational data and is merely speculation. I accept that there are scientific reasons for that speculation, but until there is hard empirical observational data substantiating the claim that CO2 is a GHG, it is speculation and no more..

A C Osborn

According to the Mauna Loa data world CO2 has gone up, basically at the same rate as for the past 30-40 years, which was attributed to Man, however the production of man made CO2 has been on a plateau for the last 3 or so years.
So how come the CO2 is still rising at the same rate?

@angech
“There must be other fingerprints etc to discuss than just 4, surely.”
There are indeed more fingerprints to be discussed. One very important one.
Whilst the theoretical, and to date (after more than 40 years) catastrophic consequences of AGW/climate change have notably failed to materialise, the observed benefits are clear and unambiguous.
NASA studied their satellite data and found the earth has greened by 14% in the last 30 years, 70% thanks to increased atmospheric CO2 alone, a net 9% benefit to mankind. I’m sure you know of the study.
So the single observable phenomenon affecting mankind at the hand of increased CO2 is beneficial.
sea level rise continues at somewhere between 0mm per year and 3mm per year, depending upon where the measurements are taken, but 3mm is not abnormal as far as I can glean.
Hurricanes, the great green hope of convincing people the planet is going to hell in a hand basket, are notably quiet. Indeed there appears to be far fewer of them than over the past 100 years plus, and certainly well before satellites detected all of them, including those that would have previously gone unreported because they were confined to the oceans.
So what are the observable downsides to increased atmospheric CO2?

angech

Thanks Hotscotch, the earth has greened by 14% in the last 30 years, might as you say be one of the few observable fingerprints.
Hurricanes, the great green hope of convincing people the planet is going to hell in a hand basket, are notably quiet.
Hurricane frequency is something I prefer not to mention. I may be wrong but less activity is possibly a sign of a warming world so Skeptics and AGW probably have their shoes on the wrong feet.
“”So the single observable phenomenon ” is one fingerprint. Are there no warmists around to point out more? Or are there no more?

Curious George

angech, why would you prefer not to mention a hurricane frequency? The debate is not really about temperature, but about negative consequences should the temperature rise as alarmists predict. One of them was “more hurricanes”.
Our warming(?) world is becoming a better place on many counts.

angech

M Courtney
That CO2 has risen was not disputed by me.That CO2 is a GHG was not disputed by me.
That we live on a dry planet with no atmosphere but CO2 was disputed by me.
the orthodoxy includes the amplification effect of water vapour on CO2’s warming.
OK I agree with you.
I said 1. Temp goes up with CO2 increase if nothing else changes*
the feedbacks negative and positive of other components of the atmosphere are very complex and do change the issue.
Atheok agrees with you in stating
“Any ‘evidence’ off CO2 causing any portion of warming is absent.”
And Willis Eschenbach 1. Temp goes up with CO2 increase if nothing else changes and CO2 has increased.
You know this how?
Yet you did say “Beer Lambert’s Law states that the effect of a doubling of CO2 diminishes exponentially”
implying that CO2 rise must have some tiny perceptible effect even if practically insignificant.
i agree with andrewpattullo April 28, 2017
It is generally agreed among both skeptics and adherents to global warming theory that atmospheric temperatures will rise to some extent due to a rise in atmospheric CO2.
Some [minuscule, possibly] being the operative word.
It would be easier to try to have a debate if we all agreed to some shade of grey being possible.
Straight out denial of the possibility of an effect, because of other circumstances is not helpful.
Willis, If I gave you two otherwise identical worlds apart from the CO2 level being different would you consider that the higher level might be slightly hotter even with all the feedbacks operating.
Note this is a silly question as there can only be one identical world and a change in CO2 levels would mean circumstances were different anyway.

Given Mr. Whitlock’s ad hominem attacks on me for not being a scientist, I was quite surprised to find this:

Dang … just … dang …
w.

angech

That’s a good find, Willis. Unfortunately it means if he is sensible and wants to keep his job he would have the sense not to raise his profile too far here. On the other hand with attitude means he might be foolish enough to do so.
I hope you have some thread moderation in place to remove intemperate comments which will surely occur.

And yet, in spite of a lack of relevant credentials I am sure we would all welcome sensible scientific arguments in support of Mr. Whitlock’s arguments, though some of us would prefer to read them before the century-out predictions of climate models can be tested against real world conditions.

ossqss
ossqss

Look at the applicable dates. Hunger games?

Stephen Greene

this guy is just a troll. Roast the F out of him!

Kurt

“Given Mr. Whitlock’s ad hominem attacks on me for not being a scientist, I was quite surprised to find this . . . ”
It shouldn’t surprise anyone at all. If a person is scientifically illiterate, the only basis for their opinion on scientific controversies is to bow to the pronouncements of whoever they consider to be experts, and they lack any ability to wade into the weeds on the merits. It’s the scientifically literate ones who can judge for themselves whether what the ostensible experts are asserting makes sense, and the scientifically literate can respond on the merits.
Every aspect of your recitation of the back-and-forth you had with this guy indicates that he has no grasp of science. First, he is swayed merely by what he thinks are your credentials. Second, every response he made to you simply parroted conclusory dogma, without any facts or reasoning to support it. The problem is that, lacking the ability to discern what does or does not make sense scientifically, he’ll never understand the arguments you, or I, or anyone else here chooses to make, and will always just default to his appeal to authority fallacy.

Owen in GA

Kurt,
It is unfortunately true amongst scientist as well. They are all too busy working in their microscopic specialties to take a deep look at the work in another field. As a result, they tend to be very trusting of the scientific literature. When one side of the debate achieves capture of the literature, they haven’t the time or inclination to go hunting for the other side. It is only when someone claims something in climate that goes against one of the concepts in their own studies that they finally object and take a peek. If their faculty has been taken over by people whose political identity is challenged by any question of CAGW, they may not raise their objections or publish their rebuttal for fear of retribution. The Church of CAGW True Belief rules with a steel glove against any who dare question the veracity of their faith.
One of the inevitable effects of the way we educate graduate students is that the farther along they get in their studies, their knowledge gets narrower and narrower until they know almost everything about one very specifically narrow topic and very little about anything else when we award them their PhDs. Some then come up for air and look around once they are applying for employment. Others become professors and never leave their tiny bubble ever again. (There are exceptions to every rule – some even post here occasionally, obviously fully tenured or retired!)

JWurts

Willis
From his Linkedin page…..
“I graduated from Bath Spa University in 2008 with a BA(Hons) in Psychology and English Literature.”
Nuff said

CheshireRed

I wonder what his psychology tutor would make of the likely strength of a position that a person refuses to debate? Hmmm. On that point, Occam’s Razor falls squarely on the side of sceptics.
** His principle can be interpreted as stating ‘Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.’ **
Sceptics say natural variation. Alarmists say man made, human CO2, high climate sensitivity, positive feedbacks / amplifications and finally H2O water vapour. That’s five assumptions versus just the one. Checkmate.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor

Nigel S

Generally, my specialist interests include: …
Oil depletion (“peak oil”)
Heritage railway preservation [so not all bad then!]
History (particularly if its ancient history), mythology, folklore, spirituality and religion,
Getting the picture I think!

Mick

Were you one of those peak oil guys from 10 years ago saying that we would not see oil under 100 a barrel in our lifetimes?

Clyde Spencer

JW,
That sounds like Steve Mosher’s background. 🙂

Chimp

Nigel S April 29, 2017 at 2:57 am
Elsewhere he says he’s interested in WWII and Vietnam. Ancient history?
At Oxford, “modern” history begins in AD 476, with the fall of Rome to Germanic general Odoacer. Thus it includes the Dark and Middle Ages.

Old Woman of the North

He should have at least done statistics in his psychology degree but maybe Bath Spa U does not worry about stats. Many places leave stats until post-grad.

MangoChutney

Ha, okay, just seen this. That tells me everything for a start: You’re a ‘professional’ climate change denier

A journalist with particular interest in climate change hasn’t heard of Willis until he looks him up on Desmog

AP

So he is in the pay of Big Green (or the Green Industrial Complex). He must be biased by all that money from his work as a propagandist for Big Green. His opinion is therefore worthless.
This is an example of the arguments warmists apply to rational skeptics.

old construction worker

“So he is in the pay of Big Green…”. Bingo, we have a winner

tony mcleod

Believing big green is bigger than big black is not rational.

Chimp

Tony,
Wrong, when you consider that the government and academic bureaucrats are in the pay of Big Green. Big Black wouldn’t pay them because they’re worthless in a performance based economy.
Although Mann and his unindicted coconspirators have managed to siphon off a lot of payola from Big Oil.

tony mcleod on April 29, 2017 at 8:30 pm
Believing big green is bigger than big black is not rational

comment image
“Big green” won’t even be bigger than “big black” (coal) in 2040. Wind & solar (other renewables) might account for 5-10% of primary energy sources in 2040… And this EIA forecast was from last year, before Trump killed the Clean Power Plan and began reversing Obama’s regulatory malfeasance.
Globally, it’s even worse for “big green”…comment imagecomment image

Mark - Helsinki

Another clima loon posing as a journalist.

Stephen Richards

it seems to be always journalists that join the fray with little knowledge, little understanding and massive arrogance. Think jon snow UK, Appel US

Clyde Spencer

SR,
My definition of a journalist is “A professional, know-nothing wordsmith.”

Berényi Péter

Construction Manager and former Accounts Manager. That is, not a climate scientist.

A freelance journalist, yeah. That profession surely belongs to cutting edge climate science, I have no doubt whatsoever.
Pot calling the kettle black.
Why would you like to bring such a pathetic dude into debate?

Willis, he accused you of being a “paid climate denia|ist.”
It seems fair to me to ask if he is a “paid climate alarmist”.

Education:
BA(hons), Psychology and English
2005-2008
Bath Spa University

Snarling Dolphin

What in the heck’s a “transport field”?

toorightmate

It is a field which trucks and cars enter when they run off the road.

I am pretty sure that I have interacted with him in the past, see
https://disqus.com/by/robinwhitlock/
for the same name and a similar (younger?) picture.
In one exchange someone said his post was twaddle and that there is no evidence whatsoever that building expensive windmills reduces carbon emissions at all. His reply was:
“Yes there is. Typical denier. Be off with you and your utter tripe. Go and read some proper climate science.”
When asked “to write down the basic equation of AGW” his response was
“I read peer-reviewed reports, the bits of those reports that explain the report and not the bits with the equations. The reason for that is simple – I am a journalist not a scientist” and
” It’s a question of listening, and trusting, the right people, rather than those who aren’t. Climate scientists are trustworthy because they do climate science.” and
“I am saying therefore that with regard to climate science, we should take our cue from climate scientists and everyone else should follow on from there.”
I said
“So according to you, a physicist with decades of experience cannot be trusted to make a sensible comment on the climate but a wet behind the ears PhD who happens to have ‘climate science’ in his thesis title can be?”
In his reply he wittered on about academic specialisation and then said
” Physics isn’t enough, so although a meteorologist may fully grasp climate science, to cite just one example, a straightforward physicist may not be able to”
I said
So thermodynamics, statistical mechanics & kinetics are not key topics for a ‘climate scientist’? What about the absorption mechanisms & frequencies of atoms & molecules? Radio-isotope dating of samples? Spectroscopic analysis? Those are all physics.
And if someone has to be a ‘climate scientist’ to comment on the matter then you will of course ignore everything that is said by:
– Michael Mann; bachelors in physics & maths, MS & MPhil in physics
– Phil Jones; bachelors in environmental sciences, M.Sc. in engineering hydrology, Ph.D. in hydrology
– James Hansen; bachelors in physics and maths, M. S. in astronomy in 1965, Ph.D. in Physics
– Gavin Schmidt; bachelors in maths, PhD in applied mathematics
Science is not neatly pigeon-holed and only someone anointed with the special mark can talk about a subject. That is the way that some religions work. In science you put your work out there and anyone can try and find a flaw with it.
A peer-reviewed paper about a physical process that cannot be understood & commented on by an experienced physicist should not be published because it is not well written.
“so although a meteorologist may fully grasp climate science”
Now you are parading your ignorance. A bachelors in meteorology will not prepare you any better for research in that area than one in physics. Look at the Royal Meteorological Society page on PhDs,
https://www.rmets.org/our-activities/careers/phd-opportunities
– Cambridge, Depts of Chemistry, Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and Geography
– Imperial, Department of Physics, Space and Atmospheric Physics Group
– Oxford, Department of Physics, Sub-Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics
And answer came there none.
[The mods have always what stainless steel alloy DiRat was made of … .mod]

jsuther2013

He looks a bit like Spock, but without the brain power.

Nope. Jaws in the James Bond movie, only with mouth closed. Willis needs to get Oddjob’s razor rimmed bowler and practice throwing it. Or perhaps not. But, note Willis wishes to debate the merits, not the man. So posed some additional current events climate debate questions below, as Steve McIntyre rightly questioned Willis’ paleoclimate starters.

DaveS

Professional? Thus far he comes across as a complete amateur.

Brandon C

I find this a lot. They argue that lack of a PHD makes you unable to enter the debate. They however make grand statements about what the “science” says (rarely an actual quote from a paper or scientist), but if you correct any of their comments…again, your not a PHD so you can’t comment.
This is the new attack plan. They can say anything as long as they add “consensus” or “climate scientist” in their comment, they refuse to actual respond to any actual comment changing the argument back to “not a PHD”. If you quote a credentialed PHD and/or paper, they fall back on “oil funded” or the old “doesn’t know what they are talking about”. Point out they don’t have the credentials to criticize the paper or scientist, they resort to name calling and fall back on consensus.
I find that if you can keep them going for a while they expose their extreme views and biases quick enough for any casual viewer to see. But it is a lot like a grade 2 argument where the other child covers their ears and goes “lalalalalala”. Best antidote to their comments is to keep posting intelligent points between their pointless name calling. It will never penetrate their religious façade, but the other reading may just learn something about the uncertainties that are being hidden and the attitude of the defenders.

poitsplace

Yeah, I get that a lot too. Had a guy say something about sea level rise, showed him the actual data. There is literally no acceleration in any tide gage record or the satellite record unless you add it. It all came down to him having faith that “climate scientists” even though oceanographers would be the ones to do that…along with help from geologists, who would know more about the rising/falling of the land (which is the reason all the tide gages show different rates..and that their averaged rate is not the same as the satellite record).
The worst part is that in liberal forums, if THEY can go on about “consensus” then turn around and say “consensus is probably wrong and it’s much, much worse” and quote a climate projection that is clearly not well supported by the most alarmist of the “Official” projections. Then you can swoop in with actual data from official sources showing beyond all doubt that the projections are wrong…and get censored/banned or have them demand that you show “peer reviewed science” showing that the other person is wrong.

Gee Willis that makes Mr Whitlock almost as qualified as Bill McKibben,

Lance Wallace

Slightly o/t, but a very good chance to debate is happening now, with Bret Stephens’ first column for the NY Times. It draws a delightful parallel between the certainty of the climate change believers and that of the HIllary Clinton believers. Very good stuff. 700 comments, mostly from the Blue Bubble readership of the Times. I threw in my 2 cents and WUWT readers might want to welcome Bret to the conversation.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/28/opinion/climate-of-complete-certainty.html?ref=opinion

Steve Case

“How about a reasonable conversation on what to do about our warming planet?”
Celebrate

toorightmate

This is wise strategy by NYT to increase their circulation.

Thanks for the heads-up. Submitted the post below. I’m a new commentator there so it may take a while to get through. I noticed a couple of other posts with embedded links, so hopefully this won’t disqualify me.
“The certainty of imminent (decades) catastrophe from AGW is a socially enforced consensus, which hence has nothing to do with science. This same certainty is pushed by presidents, prime minsters and governments world-wide and is the primary narrative that drives policy. Whether ACO2 is good, bad, or indifferent regarding the real physical climate, in the social domain this cultural narrative of certainty hugely dominates. The problem with this is that no cultural narrative in history has ever been true. It’s a fairy story, like religions. Cultural narratives have been net very +ve for humanity on evolutionary timescales, which is why we’re sensitized to them. Yet they can go very wrong too. The promotion of critical urgency short-circuits due consideration, so leading to massive misfires like European diesel policy or bio-fuel debacles. More generally, it seems likely that connecting world economies to a fairy tale is a high risk option (despite indeed we’ve done this with different fairy tales in the past). Few scientists speak to the wide disparity between an immature science and a narrative of certainty; those that do are typically demonized. This is part of social bias and enforcement, mechanisms that sustain strong cultures throughout history.
Regarding ‘100% right’, this may cause rejection due to long-evolved mechanisms. Yet the rejection may be either apt or inapt. See the section ‘The entanglement of science’ in the link below.
https://judithcurry.com/2017/02/20/innate-skepticism/

Ron Williams

• “Nobody knows why the Little Ice Age didn’t descend into a real Ice Age.”
Because we are only 2/3 the way through the Milankovitch cycles that governs ice age dynamics through orbital solar forcing? We have been in an ice age for 1.5 million years, interspaced with very short interglacials and we will undoubtedly enter another ice age maximum at some point in the future. Was the LIA a false start to a full blown ice age, as we see in the repeating patterns of ice ages?
Plus.. I thought this has been acknowledged by both sides that lack of sunspot activity for decades had some overwhelming level of causation with the LIA and an increasing active solar activity after the LIA increased the temperatures through various mechanisms that is starting to be fairly well understood? The solar cycles do tend to pair well with the temperature record over a long term trend.
IMO, the little bit of warming that AGW does do (2-3 watts m2 if that) will in no way be able to override not only sunspot activity as we may see over the next 20-30 years, but absolutely can’t compete the orbital forcing variation up to 70-80 watts/m2 at the latitudes where ice ages begin.
Hopefully we can all agree that we are heading towards another ice age forcing?

Ron – The rising water vapor trend is countering the decline into another glaciation. Also, according to Vostok data, the rate of decline trend from the peak has been decreasing for the last 3 interglacials.

LewSkannen

Unfortunately you have brought science to a climate alarmism debate.
That is as much use as the proverbial knife to a gunfight.
What you need to do is bring emotion, ignorance and venom.
People like Lobin Rockwit are unaffected by having their arguments shot down.

Crispin in Waterloo

Looks as if Whitlock plans on bringing a pen to a gunfight.

Robin Willows

Looks like a rug on his head.

noaaprogrammer

You mean a toupee.

Robin Willows April 28, 2017 at 8:57 pm

Looks like a rug on his head.

Well, after my requesting twice that people talk about the ideas and avoid ad hominems, you’ve revealed yourself to be immune to a polite request. So let me say, STFU ABOUT HIS APPEARANCE!! That is meaningless ad hominem nonsense of the type that he is pushing, and you’ve just put yourself firmly in his camp.
My respect for you just went through the floor.
Sadly,
w.

Play nice.

toorightmate

I agree with Willis.
The “playing the man, not the ball” comments detract from an argument’s credibility.

Jon Jewett April 29, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Play nice.

I did. Twice. At that point it reminded me of the story of the mule that wouldn’t move. The mule’s owner said to the driver “Just tell him “Giddyup” and he’ll move”. The driver tries it, but the mule stays motionless.
So the owner picks up a big stick, whacks the mule on the lazarette with it, and says “Giddyup”, and the mule moves.
The driver says “Hey, you said I just had to tell him “Giddyup” and he’d move!”
The owner says, “That’s true … but sometimes you have to get his attention first.”
=====
In the current instance, I could see that I was having trouble getting Robin’s attention …
w.

Steve McIntyre

Willis, in my opinion, the GISP2 ice core (especially the Alley temperature) reconstruction have been over-influential in the long view because it disguises long term Holocene temperature decline resulting from standard Milankowitch. You say:
Nobody knows why the globe was generally warmer in Roman times
– for the same reason that it was even warmer in the Holocene optimum. Much higher summer insolation at northern latitudes where there’s a lot of land. Higher by 40-60 wm-2 in Holocene optimum.
• Nobody knows why the globe generally cooled after Roman times
– disagree. part of long term cooling through the Holocene
• Nobody knows why the globe generally warmed up again in Medieval times
– you’re assuming that there was a cool period between Roman and medieval periods. Not so sure about this.
• Nobody knows why the globe greatly cooled after Medieval times, leading to the “Little Ice Age” in the 1600s/1700s.
– continued Milankowitch. high-lat NH insolation returned to levels similar to great Ice Age. Incipient neo-glaciation in Baffin Island, one of last places of Laurentide glacier.
• Nobody knows why the Little Ice Age didn’t descend into a real Ice Age.
– one explanation is that we released enough CO2 in the early industrial age and that it was a near miss e.g. Ganopolsku
• Nobody knows why the earth started generally warming at about 0.5°C per century since the Little Ice Age.
– it looks to me from paleo data that 19th century was colder than 17th century and that warming began only in late 19th and 20th century. Conventional explanation for warming. Much paleo evidence that 19th century was coldest since LGM.
• Nobody knows why this warming continued through the 20th century.
– conventional explanation for slight warming
• Nobody knows whether the ~ 0.5°C warming of the 21st century is 100% natural and just a continuance of the warming of previous two centuries, or whether some or all of of the warming is due to humans.
– not convinced that two centuries of warming. More like 150 years.
• Nobody knows why there has been a two-decade “hiatus” in the ongoing three centuries of warming.
– it seems to me that rate of warming is about 50% of model average, as opposed to having stopped.
The main thing to me is this: if doubling CO2 was going to cause anything existentially bad, there’s been enough CO2 increase that we should already be feeling serious adverse effects. But on the contrary, our species is flourishing as never before. Indeed, as noted above, I think that there’s a plausible case that CO2 emissions may have averted increased glaciation in the 20th and 21st century.
On sea level rise, I think that disintegration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has been going on for 15000 years and is probably unavoidable under Holocene conditions (due to erosion of its oceanic baseline by ocean currents, not air temperatures.) Thus another 5 m sea level rise over 5000 years is probably baked in and preventable only by returning to NH glaciation. Modern King Canutes, like their predecssor, will be unable to command it to stop.

ossqss

Simply to supplement the trends referenced. From NOAA themselves.comment image

D B H

Yep – that graphic seems proof enough to all that would look at it.
Yet, why are so many still not able to grasp that simple truth.
By the way…do you have a link so I can get a better look at the graphic?
Cheers.

ossqss

Seems the page is less than it was before. Go figure. Censorship?
https://www.glerl.noaa.gov/education/ourlakes/background.html

D B H

Thanks for that link.

Another supplement… looks like 15,000 to 20,000 years is supported by the geology of Florida; but it’s also evident that significant sea level variability has occurred over much longer term periods.comment image?h=428&w=1024

Steve, thanks for that. However, blaming both the Roman/Medieval warming and the LIA on Milankovich seems like handwaving. Have you written any posts that show that in more detail?
And then to explain three centuries of warming with “– conventional explanation for slight warming” … um, what is the “conventional explanation”?
Next, please note that I said “Nobody knows”, and not “Nobody has theories” … yours are certainly not the only theories for the RWP, the MWP, the LIA, and the succeeding warming. No one theory has gained enough adherents to claim that we know what’s going on.
I do agree, however, that the warming has generally been beneficial for humans.
Finally, I’m surprised that you would make a prediction spanning not five decades, not five centuries, but five millennia … on my planet such claims, being unfalsifiable, are very unscientific.
Thanks as always for all of your good work.
w.

Chimp

It is far from handwaving. Only a solar influence d@nialist could fail to see the obvious and blatant reality of the record in both paleoproxies and thermometer record.

TimTheToolMan

Willis writes

blaming both the Roman/Medieval warming and the LIA on Milankovich seems like handwaving.

Here’s a nice tool to see the net effect of insolation at 65N due to the Milankovitch cycles
http://biocycle.atmos.colostate.edu/shiny/Milankovitch/
Frankly I find any arguments that Milankovitch cycles drive climate to be hand waving. But then again, its the best we’ve got.

angech

“on my planet such claims, being unfalsifiable, are very unscientific.”
We only have the one world and no chance of falsifying what it will be observed to do.
I think some claims and ideas can be very scientific without us having the ability to test them out yet.
Your argument applies to much of climate science in general but it does not mean we cannot take the data and make scientific extrapolations.
I guess the non scientific extrapolations of some some climate scientists is the cause of the angst.

Chimp

TimTheToolMan April 28, 2017 at 9:44 pm
It is not insolation at 65 N which drives glaciation. It’s insolation at higher latitudes, under the influence of the tilt cycle, ie another Milankovitch cycle, which has controlled NH ice sheet advance and “shrinkage”, with all due respect to the writers of “Seinfeld”.

ossqss

I have a question that I have not seen asked. Is there a finite amount of carbon on our wonderful planet?

Over the last 2000 years, the change in June insolation at 60°N looks like this:

Data Source
Note that over the last 1,000 years it has changed by less than one W/m2. Steve McIntyre above claims that this change explains both the Medieval warming and the Little Ice Age. Chimp says I’m a denialist for doubting that it does explain both.
Me, I don’t see it at all. What am I missing?
w.

Chimp

Willis,
Had you actually read my reply, you wouldn’t even have asked that question.
My whole point is that it isn’t insolation at 65 N that controls the glacial/interglacial cycle, which you could easily have learned had you bothered to read with comprehension what I wrote.

TimTheToolMan

Chimp writes

My whole point is that it isn’t insolation at 65 N that controls the glacial/interglacial cycle, which you could easily have learned had you bothered to read with comprehension what I wrote.

So I assume you have a paper that supports the “Greater than 65N and not insolation but angle of incidence” theory you seem to be putting out there?

Chimp

Tim,
I guess you’re not a regular here. Do you accept only pal-reviewed papers from the Carbonari, or are you open to real science by actual scientists contributing to improving our understanding of nature? Such as the work of Javier:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/09/29/earths-obliquity-and-temperature-over-the-last-20000-years/
His case for axial tilt controlling the cycles of glacial advance and retreat, IMO, is beyond persuasive.

TimTheToolMan

Chimp writes

His case for axial tilt controlling the cycles of glacial advance and retreat, IMO, is beyond persuasive.

Yeah, I often use cartoons as the basis for my science. Which part of that is supposed to be convincing that the axial tilt is responsible? Javier’s work from that reference concentrates on the Bray cycle.
https://judithcurry.com/2016/09/20/impact-of-the-2400-yr-solar-cycle-on-climate-and-human-societies/

Menicholas

“I have a question that I have not seen asked. Is there a finite amount of carbon on our wonderful planet?”
Well, considering that the only alternatives to something being in finite supply are for it to be in infinite supply or for there to be zero of it, the answer is very obvious.
In fact, everything on our finite planet is in finite supply, with the possible exception of scientific illiteracy.

Kurt

Willis:
“Note that over the last 1,000 years it has changed by less than one W/m2.”
I think you’re reading the graph backwards. In the first 1000 of the last 2000 years it changed a little less than 1W/m2. In the last 1000 years it changed by over 2W/m2.

Chimp April 28, 2017 at 10:09 pm

Willis,
Had you actually read my reply, you wouldn’t even have asked that question.
My whole point is that it isn’t insolation at 65 N that controls the glacial/interglacial cycle, which you could easily have learned had you bothered to read with comprehension what I wrote.

I read it. Your claim was that it was insolation at “higher latitudes” that caused the MWP and the LIA. The problem is that the insolation at higher latitudes varies in lockstep with the insolation at 65 N. For the last twenty thousand years, the correlation of the two is 0.998 … like I said, they are intrinsically linked. So you can use the data I gave above for 65°N, just multiply all the numbers by 1.1 and you have the data for 90N.

Now, please explain to me how that caused both the MWP and the LIA as Steve McIntyre claims …
w.

Kurt

Never mind – I looked at it and thought it was a years-before-present chart.

Geoff Sherrington

Willis,
There are some observations that throw shadows over this discussion with Steve Mc.
1. There are limits to what can be discussed, other than speculatively, because of our present inability to separate natural change from anthropogenic.
2. Specifically for global average temperatures, nobody has yet been able to make that attribution. Please correct me if I have made missed an advance.
3. Assertions made by many authors along the lines of “Global temperature rise for the last 150 years is recovery from the Little Ice Age” would be stronger if supported by a quantitative mechanism. Where does such added heat come from or lack of prior cooling?
4. Mechanisms for global temperature forcing by ice and albedo change appear to be rather weaker in Wm-2 than measured effects of plausible cloud cover change. Lacking measurements of the latter over long terms one is left with an impression of weak mechanisms getting more inspection than at least one other stronger mechanism, cloud coverage. Reminds me of the frog in boiling water.
5. An unresolved issue. Is GCM modelling as a whole in questionable territory, or are there parts of it now good enough to accept? Are any such parts relevant to the discussion at hand?
Cheers to all. Geoff

Bill Illis

Regarding Willis June 60N solar insolation, here is one for 65N which provides a little more context backwards and forwards.
Right now, we are are more-or-less right at the low point of 65N solar insolation. It declines by a tiny 0.5 W/m2 over the next 1500 years and then it goes back up again. The tiny 0.5 W/m2 decline over the next 1500 years is nowhere close to that required to slip us back into an ice age. The math on when snow and ice stops melting in the high arctic in the summer says that it needs to decline by at least 15.0 W/m2 lower than this bottom dip point to put us closer to ice age resumption conditions.comment image
After it goes back up again, the next big dip is 52,000 years from now. But even that is probably not low enough to start an ice age cycle. It is 128,000 years from now before the Ellesmere Island glaciers come back and the ice age restarts. In fact, by that time, ALL of the ice on Greenland will be gone. It is too far south to have glaciers that last through an interglacial of 140,000 years long. Sea level will rise more than 10 metres in those 128,000 years remaining It will be by far the longest interglacial in the last 2.7 million years since the ice ages started.

Chimp

Willis Eschenbach April 29, 2017 at 12:09 am and Tim,
Bill Illis has often posted here that what counts is sunshine at around 75 degrees N. The insolation might be the same, but the angle of incidence is different.

Chimp

Bill,
IMO high latitude insolation isn’t the only factor. So is axial tilt, which affects the angle of incidence of the incoming radiation. However if eccentricity be more important than obliquity, we’re also in for a very long interglacial.
And yes, even temperatures lower than now would lead to melting the entire Southern Dome of the GIS and probably the Northern as well. Call it catastrophic natural global warming, ie CNGW.
However, people would have millennia in which to adapt to slowly rising sea level.

TimTheToolMan

Cmimp writes

Bill Illis has often posted here that what counts is sunshine at around 75 degrees N. The insolation might be the same, but the angle of incidence is different.

Arguments using angle of incidence over straight out W/m^2 must rely even more heavily on albedo effects from reflection. And if you’re trying to make that hand waving argument you cant do it with a heavily smoothed graph of the impact from the Milankovitch cycles as Willis and Bill appear to have done because…well snow and ice melts. And shorter amounts of time, matter.
If you compare the 65N insolation values from the link I posted above which shows the actual effect to the smoothed graph Willis shows, they’re nothing alike and Willis’ argument makes sense only with his smoothed representation. When you look at the detailed graph, Willis’ argument makes a lot less sense but then again its still not easy to see how 65N insolation works as a driver of climate either.

Chimp

Tim,
I’m largely in agreement with you, but at the latitude at which glaciation starts, as per Bill, rather than at 60 degrees N or even 65, albedo and angle of incidence do make a measurable and, IMO, significant difference. Which is why I’m in accord with Javier re. axial tilt as the most important of Milankovitch cycles.

Chimp

PS: Which is why I think that science blogs such as this actually are contributing to the advancement of science, possibly more than the suborned, wholly captive journal of the AAAS.
Unfortunately our gracious and esteemed host does himself a disservice and equally jeopardizes the standing of CACA skeptics by permitting creationists to spew their raving lunacies here, while banning astrology and the actually fairly scientific “Slayers”.
But it’s his blog, and I thank him for maintaining it. He and it have done much good

Chimp

Less I be misunderstood, my point is that astrology has more going for it than creationism, and astrology has very little going for it.

TimTheToolMan

I wrote

If you compare the 65N insolation values from the link I posted above which shows the actual effect to the smoothed graph Willis shows, they’re nothing alike and Willis’ argument makes sense only with his smoothed representation.

But had misread the scaling so in fact both Willis’ and Bills’ graphs are not heavily smoothed and so from a Milankovitch cycle point of view, their argument makes sense, but reality still has years and seasons and freezing and melting so its still not a clearcut argument (IMO)
At any rate GCMs cant resolve this because they start out with the wrong surface temperatures (cold biased usually) and that’s fatal for this kind of argument.

Bill Illis

75N-80N is where all the action is.
This is the latitude that the snow and ice first stops melting out in the summer in the ice ages.
The summer sun is always strong enough to melt out the winter snow at 65N, even in the deepest downturns of the Milankovitch. The only time it reaches that level, when the snow stops melting in the summer is when a 1 km high glacier is bearing down on 65N having built-up and moved down from 75N. This is when global albedo is rising enough so that cooler temperatures help an ice age to continue building.
A good example is Eureka Canada at 80N. Here the snow melts out in early June and doesn’t come back until the beginning of September. 3 months snow-free. The sea ice at 75N melts out in early August and doesn’t come back until late October. There needs to be huge change to get to ice-sheets building up again even at this very high cold latitude. Now there are higher elevation mountain chains near-by that still have glaciers on them and mountain-chains play an important role in glaciation as well, like on Ellesmere Island, Norway and the Torgat Mountains in northern Quebec which continue into Baffin Island.
Eureka also has a world-class weather research station. This is what their Solar Tower records. The snow is melting out once solar insolation gets to 450 W/m2. That is your Magic Number for ice building up or not. The Magic Number for sorting out what these solar insolation graphs mean. Albedo feedback and mountain chains are the remaining part of the picture.comment image

Bill Illis

75N-80N is where all the action is.
This is the latitude that the snow and ice first stops melting out in the summer in the ice ages.
The summer sun is always strong enough to melt out the winter snow at 65N, even in the deepest downturns of the Milankovitch. The only time it reaches that level, when the snow stops melting in the summer is when a 1 km high glacier is bearing down on 65N having built-up and moved down from 75N.

Name	      Map_ID	Area	AreaMkm	Latitude
Ellesmere	30     196236	0.196	79.82
Axel Heiberg	32	43178	0.043	79.43
Bylot	        42	11067	0.011	78.62
King William	23	13111	0.013	76.75
Bathurst	13	16042	0.016	75.77
Prince Patrick	 9	15848	0.016	75.77
Melville	14	42149	0.042	75.50
Banks	        16	70028	0.070	73.00
Prince of Wales	19	33339	0.033	72.60
Somerset	21	24786	0.025	72.25
Devon	        41	55247	0.055	71.25
Victoria	22     217291	0.217	71.00
Baffin Island	43     507451	0.507	69.00
Ellef Ringnes	33	11295	0.011	68.97
Southampton	53	41214	0.041	64.50
		      1298282   1.298

I do not often disagree with you, but I’m skeptical about this. There just isn’t very much land area up north of 75 latitude outside of the north half of Greenland. And that land area is already 95% covered with high-albedo permanent land ice and glaciers. The Canadian islands are listed by latitude of the center of each islandfrom north to south, and with each area by square kilometers and Mkm^2. Few are very large, although many would be “connected” across the shallow straits between the islands once large glacieration begins. Even the total (at 1.3 Mkm^2) is small compared to the 14 Mkm^2 of the nominal Arctic Ocean between the pole and 72 north latitude.
Further, there just isn’t very much solar energy that far north to reflect, even in today’s conditions of 14 Mkm^2 of Arctic sea ice.
Now, Antarctic sea ice is a different case: It receives (reflects) nearly 1.7 times the energy that the Arctic sea ice receives over the course of a year, and there is no limit to Antarctic sea ice growth.

TimTheToolMan

Bill writes

The only time it reaches that level, when the snow stops melting in the summer is when a 1 km high glacier is bearing down on 65N having built-up and moved down from 75N. This is when global albedo is rising enough so that cooler temperatures help an ice age to continue building.

All fairly standard Milankovitch cycle theory…
Its just that when I compare insolation due to the Milankovitch cycles with the actual ice ages, I find myself scratching my head because they simply dont line up with any kind of consistency. There is cooling where there should be warming and warming where its not at all obvious that should be happening. These are big time scales too so passing it off as lag isn’t terribly convincing either.
I’m inclined to think the Milankovitch cycles play a role but like so many things “earth’s climate”, there’s something else that’s important going on and we’ve not got a complete picture yet.

TimTheToolMan

So much for including the picture.
Maybe this’ll work…
http://www.periodni.com/gallery/milankovitch_cycle.png

Bill Illis

RACookPE1978 April 30, 2017 at 8:06 am
The area you quoted are not islands when an ice age has just started. They are 1 km high glaciers that even extend out over the ocean. The whole peninsula become one big land mass made up of 1 km high ice. In the deepest part of the ice ages, they become 2.5 km high glaciers.
Most of the islands are created by ice age conditions depressing the continental shelf in certain flow channels over the last 2.7 million years of ice ages – like the U-shaped valleys left on land by glaciers. Have a look on Google Earth and you can see the gouges left by glacial. Hudson Bay is like this as well. It would be above sea level if the ice stayed away for 100,000 years or so.
So the glaciers building up and permanent sea ice down to only 70N (versus no change in any other latitude) changes Earth’s Albedo from 29.8% to 30.0% or just a small change really. [I built an Albedo calculation model to understand this myself]. But this is just enough to continue the glacial advance.

Chimp

TimTheToolMan April 30, 2017 at 6:56 am
I agree with Javier that the axial tilt, ie “obliquity”, cycle rules. During ice ages (glaciations) of the past million years or so the 41,000 year periodicity that was controlling before the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (to an apparent 100,000 year glacial period) is still in effect. But it’s colder now, and some would be interglacials are stillborn, giving rise to the apparent 100 millennium cycle. In fact, that’s an average of 82 K and 123 K because some glaciations last two tilt cycles and others three.
I also agree with Bill, who has studied this topic six ways to Sunday, that very high latitude insolation is also important in initiating glaciations. I don’t know that summer snow will always melt at 65 N, even in when tilt allows more permissive angles of incidence, but seems reasonable to me.

Chimp

Steve,
Brilliant, as always. I stand amazed at your physical and mental stamina and vigor.
While I agree with your unanswerable critique of Willis’ assertions, still IMO the depths of the LIA during the Maunder Minimum were significantly colder than the coolest intervals of the 19th century. By, like, a lot.
But I’d be happy for you to present me evidence to the contrary.

angech

Thank you Mr McIntyre. In awe.
If we are to have a true Invitation To Debate “Climate Change” you would be one of the first people I would like to see on board.
It would be good to see some of the blue team here as well without their bags of tricks engaging in open discussion and without jeering .
Hopefully you will all have a forum in the next year but one has to start somewhere.
“– one explanation is that we released enough CO2 in the early industrial age and that it was a near miss e.g. Ganopolsku”
Not happy, implies either extreme good luck or a sensitivity to CO2 changes that I just would not want to contemplate.
For the first I would rule that out as said on the extreme improbability of such fortuitousness.
For the second nothing in the data shows such extreme climate sensitivity.
This is the big statement.
“The main thing to me is this: if doubling CO2 was going to cause anything existentially bad, there’s been enough CO2 increase that we should already be feeling serious adverse effects.”
Exactly. There seems to be a blind spot as to how quickly temperatures should match CO2 levels. If we go by the science the earths atmosphere should heat up to the temperature dictated by science for that CO2 level that day. In other words we should already be 2 degrees hotter now for those scientists postulating a 6 degree sensitivity.
And it is not.

David Ramsay Steele

Nobody knows why the globe generally cooled after Roman times
– disagree. part of long term cooling through the Holocene
• Nobody knows why the globe generally warmed up again in Medieval times
– you’re assuming that there was a cool period between Roman and medieval periods. Not so sure about this.
First you say the post-Roman cooling was part of long term cooling (I agree), then you say you’re not so sure there was post-Roman cooling. Contradiction? The cooling was the Dark Ages, better known as the Cold Ages.

Mark - Helsinki

Steve it is worth pointing out that the 1880 to 2017 temp record is mostly made from thin air, and nothing can be claimed off the back of it

@Steve McIntyre
I hate to be pedantic, but my understanding is that King Canute commanded the tide not to come in, to demonstrate to his court that not even a man as powerful as him could hold it back. The opposite of common belief.

davideisenstadt

You are correct.
The belief you cite isnt all that common, among people who actually know who Canute was.

beng135

I’ll agree w/ Steve McIntyre’s general observation that even if CO2 is slowly warming temps, the amount is small and gradual enough that the results are mostly beneficial, so far. IMO, results are very beneficial — the increases in plant production & drought-resistance are hard to overestimate. Boreal forests are advancing slowly into tundras, savannas are advancing slowly in sub-deserts. Less sea-ice increases phytoplankton production in those waters. The list goes on. The disadvantages are almost all “could be”, “maybe”, “might”, “projected”, etc,etc.

Chimp

Thanks for all that you do. Hope you are well.
IMO there is good evidence for cool periods in between the warm intervals. The Dark Ages Cool Period (~1.5 Ka) shows up in every paleoproxy with which I’m familiar, not just in GIS ice cores. So do the Cool Periods sometimes called the Greek Dark Ages (~2.5 Ka) after the Minoan Warm Period and Biblical (~3.5 Ka) after the Egyptian WP. There is also the Bronze Age Cool Period (~4.5 Ka) between the end of the Holocene Climate Optimum and the Egyptian WP.
Based upon the axial tilt cycle, we’re not due for another glacial phase yet. IMO we came out of the LIA naturally. Same as we did out of the Dark Ages Cool Period, which might have been of similar intensity.

gbaikie

“The main thing to me is this: if doubling CO2 was going to cause anything existentially bad, there’s been enough CO2 increase that we should already be feeling serious adverse effects. But on the contrary, our species is flourishing as never before. Indeed, as noted above, I think that there’s a plausible case that CO2 emissions may have averted increased glaciation in the 20th and 21st century.”
Yeah, it doesn’t seem that CO2 will cause anything bad to happen, and I would add it doesn’t seem to me as if CO2 has caused anything bad on Venus or anywhere else.
I see no evidence that Venus was once like Earth nor favor the idea that Earth was “lucky” that it didn’t become like Venus at some point or the past- or that it ever could resemble Venus in the future.
But I don’t think, ‘there’s a plausible case that CO2 emissions may have averted increased glaciation in the 20th and 21st century.”. Nor do I think it’s likely that any or all human activity had any effect upon it.
Or I would not favor the idea of deliberately increases the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere so as to prevent any future chance of having increased glaciation of Earth.
And I think it’s correct to regard Earth as being currently in an Ice age. And I would no problem with the general idea of doing something so as to cause us to leave this global ice age which has been happening for millions of years
I think it’s rather silly to regard Earth as being currently too hot.
The average temperature of Earth has nothing to do with heatwaves or daytime air temperature being over 100 F.
I think high daytime temperatures [and heatwaves] are conditions which are affected by human activity- this effect is known as the Urban Heat Island Effect {UHI effect].
What creates Earth’s average temperature is the night and day average temperature of the tropics. The average temperature of Earth’s tropics have remained roughly the same for billions of years. And the changes of Earth average temperature have occurred from changes of average air temperatures in the Temperate and Arctic climate zones.
The Tropics is about 40% of the surface area of Earth. Leaving 60% of earth’s surface being in North and South Temperate and arctic zones- so with Northern Temperate being 25% with Arctic being 5%.
Most of heating done by sunlight occurs in the Tropics. And most of sunlight energy which is absorbed occurs in the Tropical oceans- they [the tropical surface waters] are warm and rest of planet is much cooler. And it’s the large area of the tropical ocean which increases the average global temperature. And the warmed tropical water warm the rest of the world- the temperate and arctic zones. .
Roughly the way to increase or decrease global average temperature will be related to altering global heat transport mechanisms and these things aren’t alter by butterflies flapping their wings or insignificant human UHI effects.
Anyhow, I think there ways humans could warm the planet, but I think increasing CO2 in regard increasing “Earth Greenhouse Effect’ would not work as efficient way of doing this- or I think the greening effect from enriched CO2 could be more significant in terms of affecting ‘global warming”. But would probably also be a minor effect.. Or I think greening the Sahara desert could more significant or better bet [in terms of small scale changes which are possible by humans- which doesn’t include doing things from the capability of being able to competently use the space environment [Ie, such as controlling how much sunlight reaches Earth].
“On sea level rise, I think that disintegration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has been going on for 15000 years and is probably unavoidable under Holocene conditions (due to erosion of its oceanic baseline by ocean currents, not air temperatures.) Thus another 5 m sea level rise over 5000 years is probably baked in and preventable only by returning to NH glaciation. Modern King Canutes, like their predecssor, will be unable to command it to stop.”
I think simply based upon previous interglacial periods, one could expect sea levels to rise by another 5 meter over periods of thousands of years [last interglacial period, Eemian was about 5 meters higher- and average ocean temperature was few degrees warmer then our present average temperature of our oceans.

talldave2

Excellent comments, Steve, thanks for sharing.
BTW did you see Javier’s post at Climate Etc? I thought it was an interesting piece in the same vein. I was surprised how strong the correlations were.

joelobryan

Strawmen burn brightest in the Liberal mindset. That’s why the Left loves building them to burn them down and claim a victory.
The Left’s Climate religion dogma rests entirely on the GCM ensemble as their prophecy of doom. A prophecy that becomes the Left affirmation of faith, that unless mankind repents from its fossil fuel ways and submits to global socialism (run by the Left elites of course.) we will incur some level of temperature rise that destroys a highly adaptable biosphere.
So forget about NASA and NOAA surface temp fudgery of cooling the past, getting rid of “blips,” and other surface data chicanery. The real fight is over how wrong the models are, and how, for so many reasons, they cannot “work.” Just the fact that there are so many, and they average them, to get “model consensus” tells any one with an ounce of critical thought they must be BS. For if they were valid, only 2 or 3 would be needed to cross check each other. Then there’s the human tunung element that makes them even more junk science.
Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) has convincingly argued on line why the Climate establishment’s use of so many climate models identifies Climate Change “science” to him as the same elements used in financial securities fraud and hucksterism. Basically, make a huge number of scatterred predictions, and post hoc some will be close to right in the future. Then use those “forecasts” to show how good you were, ignoring all the much larger number of failures. Works everytime on the gullible and weak minded (can you say, “Millenials with Common Core educations and participation trophies?”).

Ross King

“Given Mr. Whitlock’s ad hominem attacks on me for not being a scientist, I was quite surprised to find this …..[see above]”
Nopta bene that the pot is trying to call the kettle black. Where is the scientific training for this kneee-jerk shill for the Alarmist cause? Nowhere to be seen! Nothing remotely compared with the carefully considered gravitas that Willis brings to the Debate, earning him the accolade of scientifically trained colleagues, NONE OF WHICH THIS HOT-AIR BELCHING, IGNORANT BERK WHITLOCK IS ABLE TO ADDUCE TO ADVANCE SCIENTIFIC UNDERSTANDING ON THE MATTERS IN HAND.

TimTheToolMan

Whitlock writes

Construction Manager and former Accounts Manager. That is, not a climate scientist.

Neither is being a journalist. Taking the time to investigate and understand climate science, and by that I mean years of research, not an afternoon or even a month, trumps “being a scientist” and having an opinion. Its pretty obvious when you deal with people on forums whether they have a logical mind or not.

I was studying the ACS Climate Change tool kit sections on the single and multilayer theories (what I refer to as the thermal ping-pong ball) of upwelling/downwelling/”back” radiation and after seeing a similar discussion on an MIT online course (specifically says no transmission) have some observations.
These layered models make no reference to conduction, convection or latent heat processes which leads me to conclude that these models include no molecules, aka a “non-participating media,” aka vacuum. This is a primary conditional for proper application of the S-B BB ideal, i.e. ε = 1.0, equation.
When energy strikes an object or surface there are three possible results: reflection or ρ, absorption or α, transmission or τ and ρ + α + τ = 1.0.
The layered models use only α which according to Kirchhoff is equal to ε. What Kirchhoff really means is that max emissivity can equal but not exceed the energy absorbed. Nothing says emissivity can’t be less than the energy absorbed. If α leaves as conduction/convection/latent (macro effect, non-thermodynamic equilibrium) than ε will be much less than 1.0.
These grey bodied layered models then exist in a vacuum and are 100% non-reflective, i.e. opaque, surfaces, i.e. just like the atmosphere. NOT!
So the real atmosphere has real molecules meaning a “participatory” media and is 99.96% transparent i.e. non-opaque.
Because of the heat flow participating molecules only 63 W/m^2 of the 160 W/m^2 that made it to the surface leaves the surface as LWIR.
63 W/m^2 and 15 C / 288 K surface gives a net effective ε of about 0.16 when the participating media is considered. (BTW “surface” is NOT the ground, but 1.5 m ABOVE the ground per WMO & IPCC AR5 glossary.)
So the K-T diagram is thermodynamic rubbish, earth as a ball in a bucket of hot mush is physical rubbish, the Δ 33 C w/ atmosphere is obvious rubbish, the layered models are unrelated to reality rubbish.
The atmosphere is not in thermodynamic equilibrium, is a closed system and as a consequence neither Stephan Boltzmann nor Kirchhoff nor thermodynamics can be a abused the ways the GHE theory applies them.
What support does the GHE theory have left besides rabid minions?
I see no reason why GHE theory gets a free pass on the scientific method.
https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/climatescience/atmosphericwarming.html
http://web.mit.edu/16.unified/www/FALL/thermodynamics/notes/node136.html
http://www.mhtl.uwaterloo.ca/courses/ece309_mechatronics/lectures/pdffiles/summary_ch12.pdf (example 12.4)
http://writerbeat.com/articles/14306-Greenhouse—We-don-t-need-no-stinkin-greenhouse-Warning-science-ahead-
http://writerbeat.com/articles/15582-To-be-33C-or-not-to-be-33C
The condition of thermodynamic equilibrium is necessary in the statement, because the equality of emissivity and absorptivity often does not hold when the material of the body is not in thermodynamic equilibrium.
In non-equilibrium systems, by contrast, there are net flows of matter or energy. If such changes can be triggered to occur in a system in which they are not already occurring, it is said to be in a metastable equilibrium.

Nick, before you continue down that path, let me strongly recommend that you read and understand two posts, The Steel Greenhouse and People Living In Glass Planets. The poorly-named “greenhouse effect” does not get a “free pass” as you claim, it is solid science.
Best regards,
w.

Mark - Helsinki

33c from atmosphere, ghgs, the atmosphere also cools the planet by a lot, 30c? Hydro ect.
So without hydro how warm would earth be from the GHG effect?

Willis,
You may be amused to hear that, at the time that controversy raged, I finally decided that the two sides of the debate were not reconcilable, such was the anger and disdain expressed, mainly within the skeptical spectrum. Increasingly I felt it was in danger of calling into question the skeptical climate challenge generally.
Finally, in exasperation at the lack of reconciliation, I suggested in email correspondence with several of the key protagonists that the only way to resolve it was to build an experiment to replicate the steel greenhouse proposition in the laboratory. To my surprise, both sides of the argument scathingly rubbished my suggestion as being a pointless waste of time!
Nevertheless I went ahead and, at some cost to myself and over several months, built a properly engineered simulacrum of your steel greenhouse ‘thought experiment’. With the help of a wonderfully helpful high vacuum-pump supplier in Bristol, UK, who helped me to use their sophisticated equipment free of charge, I proved definitively that introducing an intermediate shell between a constantly heated inner shell and an enclosing outer shell that acted as a constant temperature heat sink very definitely caused an increase in the inner shell’s surface temperature, absolutely in line with standard physics/mathematics.
So did this persuade me that global warming of the climate was a serious problem and that the alarmists were correct after all? Of course not – any more than it would have persuaded you.
But, for me, it did effectively dispose of the influence of a small group of extreme skeptics who were in danger of seriously damaging the real ongoing debate with the warmists. I note with some relief that the ‘slayers’ have almost vanished away in recent years.
Cheers, DC

I’ve read them both. They’re more multi-layer nonsense.
In his 2011 paper Pierrehumbert compared the atmosphere to the insulated walls of a house and a blanket. EXACTLY and he should have stayed with that theme.
Pushing current through an electrical resistance requires a voltage difference.
Pushing water through the physical resistance of a heat exchanger requires a pressure difference.
Pushing energy through a thermal resistance (heat is energy in motion) requires a temperature difference.
Q=U*A*dT is a more than adequate explanation for the warm surface of the earth without resorting to any LWIR handwavium anti-thermo hocus-pocus.
U is NOT simply air, but a complex combination and interaction between conduction, convection, latent and radiation heat processes and Hadley cells, Rossby waves, clouds, precipitation, etc. Conductivity is the inverse of resistance. All of the processes that resist the flow of heat from the ground to 32 km where molecules become scarce are responsible for the warm surface temperature.
Arrhenius’ contemporaries Angstrom, De Marci, and R. W. Wood all felt the GHE was flawed, Angstrom so much so that he considered it a waste of his time.

“Nicholas Schroeder April 28, 2017 at 9:30 pm
I was studying…”

Very well stated Nicholas!
A “giveaway” is that the formulaic calculations always end up with the maximum warming possible given an atmospheric CO2 content.
In essence the calculations are one way expressions without other interactions or interferences or any hint of difficulty for CO2 to achieve maximum energy transfer in spite of atmospheric condition.
My physics teacher always told us it was a fudge to calculate the ‘ideal’ solution and then substitute that number for actual measurement. So it goes for using an ideal CO2 GHG absorption/emission/vibratory impact energy transfer as a critical atmospheric solution.
Earth’s refusal to lockstep match CO2 to temperature is just one giveaway that the base CO2 GHG formula lacks real world veracity.

it is solid science
===========
actually, real greenhouses warm by limiting vertical circulation, not through radiation at all. and the US government tells us that GHG warms the planet by SAME MECHANISM that warms real greenhouses. so, based on what the US government tells us, we should be able to account for the 33C of GHG warming via vertical circulation. And it turns out, we can:
the GHG effect can also be explained as the conversion between KE and PE due to vertical circulation of the troposphere leading to the lapse rate. otherwise the atmosphere would be isothermal. Only KE affects temperature, so when air rises we reduce KE and increase PE, which reduces temperature without changing total energy. this is the problem with energy balance models that only consider temperature (KE), they ignore PE.
the lapse rate warms the surface and cools the upper atmosphere. how much? the center of mass of the circulation is approximately 5km. the lapse rate is approximately 6.5C/km. therefore surface warming is:
5km x 6.5C/km = 32.5C
that doesn’t leave very much wiggle room for the 33C observed warming to be due to radiative GHG effect.

So I went back for a closer look. Nothing new. These two attempts at science have the same problems as the ACS layers.
No consideration of conduction, convection, latent heat processes. It’s entirely radiation. See UofWaterloo’s example 12.4. Convection and latent heat are the most powerful methods of moving energy in/around/and through the atmosphere. R. W. Wood realized that in 1909.
The thought experiment shells are 100% opaque, zero transmission, zero reflection. There is no way 0.04% of the atmosphere can render the entire atmosphere opaque. That’s not even remotely similar to the actual atmosphere which is 99.96% NOT opaque.
So what would the earth be like without an atmosphere?
The average solar constant is 1,368 W/m^2 with an S-B BB temperature of 390 K or 17 C higher than the boiling point of water under sea level atmospheric pressure, which would no longer exist. The oceans would boil away removing the tons of pressure that keep the molten core in place. The molten core would rupture flooding the surface with dark magma changing both emissivity and albedo. With no atmosphere a steady rain of meteorites would pulverize the surface to dust same as the moon. The earth would be much like the moon with a similar albedo (0.12) and large swings in surface temperature from lit to dark sides. No clouds, no vegetation, no snow, no ice a completely different albedo, certainly not the current 30%. No molecules means no convection, conduction, latent energy and surface absorption/radiation would be anybody’s guess. Whatever the conditions of the earth would be without an atmosphere, it would most certainly NOT be 240 W/m^2 and 255K.
The “back” radiation effectively doubles the energy in the system from an equation, a very clear violation of energy conservation. A shell that radiates in both directions is impossible, violating conservation. If it even existed it would absorb on one side and radiate on the other. Hallucination.
The K-T 333 W/m^2 perpetual loop on the K-T diagram doesn’t make any net difference at ToA and is thermodynamic nonsense. See my WB posting.
The 240 W/m^2 is the radiative balance at the ToA which NOAA says is 100 km NOT the surface and which I consider 32 km since that’s where molecules basically disappear.
Summary of these two papers in a word or two: amateur hogwash. Maybe instead of thinking you should look out the window. Or get a real job where applying real science pays your salary – or not.

Your thought experiment steel shell has two sides with identical conditions on both sides, but the atmosphere does not. The earth side of the atmosphere is solar heated, the space ToA side is “cold.” Energy flows, i.e. heat from surface to ToA through the atmosphere on one side which resists the flow and warms the earth per UAdT.
It’s 160 W/m^2 at the surface not 235 W/m^2. And 342 W/m^2 times a moon like albedo of, say, 0.15 means 290.7 W/m^2 or an S-B BB temperature of 267.6 K or -5.4 C.
“… no atmosphere…” & “… past the clouds…” What clouds? No atmosphere means no clouds. No atmosphere means no molecules. No molecules and the concepts of energy, heat, hot and cold sort of lose any meaning.
“A single layer model is not physically possible.” Well the earth as a ball in bucket of warm mush, aka the K-T graphic, is just as physically not possible.
Trenberth et al 2011jcli24 Figure 10
This popular balance graphic and assorted variations are based on a power flux, W/m^2. A W is not energy, but energy over time, i.e. 3.4 Btu/eng h or 3.6 kJ/SI h. The 342 W/m^2 ISR is determined by spreading the average discular 1,368 W/m^2 solar irradiance/constant over the spherical ToA surface area. (1,368/4 =342) There is no consideration of the elliptical orbit (perihelion = 1,415 W/m^2 to aphelion = 1,323 W/m^2) or day or night or seasons or tropospheric thickness or energy diffusion due to oblique incidence, etc.
This popular balance models the earth as a ball suspended in a hot fluid with heat/energy/power entering evenly over the entire ToA spherical surface. This is not even close to how the real earth energy balance works. Everybody uses it. Everybody should know better.
An example of a real heat balance based on Btu/h is as follows. Basically (Incoming Solar Radiation spread over the earth’s cross sectional area, Btu/h) = (U*A*dT et. al. leaving the lit side perpendicular to the spherical surface ToA, Btu/h) + (U*A*dT et. al. leaving the dark side perpendicular to spherical surface area ToA, Btu/h) The atmosphere is just a simple HVAC/heat flow/balance/insulation problem.
Here’s a better model.
Picture a cast iron pizza stone in a 425 F oven (love at 425 degrees). Remove from oven and hang from pot rack over kitchen island. Pizza stone radiates in all directions transferring heat to the surroundings until the stone cools off and the kitchen heats up to equilibrium.
Now slap a 2” thick slab of pink foam insulation (atmosphere) on one side. This greatly reduces the flow of heat from this side to the surroundings, let’s say by 90%. Does the radiation from the uninsulated side increase to 190%? No. What happens is, since the bulk temp & W/m^2 does not change and half the area has been removed, the time it takes to reach equilibrium now almost doubles.
Now let’s say the surrounding kitchen is really hot, 500F. Heat flows from the kitchen, through the pink foam (atmosphere) to the pizza stone that then radiates it to the kitchen.
The surface of the earth is heated by the sun. That heat rises up through the progressively colder layers of the pink insulating atmosphere by conduction, convection, latent and radiative heat processes (composite conductivity) until it reaches 32 km or 100 km where, with no mo’ molecules, radiation becomes the only form of heat removal, i.e. 240 W/m^2 out into space.
342 ISR minus 100 albedo = 240 ASR = 240 OLR. All balanced.

Chimp

Earth itself also produces some 44 terawatts, but of course little of that heat makes its way to the surface.
http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2011/07/17/kamland-geoneutrinos/

I would ask Mr. Whitlock to connect the dots between a planet without an atmosphere which obeys the SB Law exactly and a planet with an atmosphere like Earth, which according to the IPCC has a surface sensitivity about 4 times that of a black body receiving the same amount of energy, yet emits only about 60% more energy.
I would ask him to explain how each of the 239 W/m^2 of post albedo solar input power results in only 1.6 W/m^2 of net surface emissions, while the next W/m^2 is claimed to increase surface emissions by more than 4 W/m^2.
I would ask him to plot the sensitivity as a function of surface emissions and integrate this to arrive at the current average surface emissions and temperature while still ending at the stated sensitivity.
I would ask him what effect the ‘back radiation’ that offsets latent heat, thermals and other non radiative transports of energy between the surface and atmosphere has on the radiative balance and sensitivity, other than the net effect they have on the average surface temperature and its consequential emissions.
I would ask him to explain how forcing and temperature are linearly related as required by the Bode feedback model used by Hansen/Schlesinger as well as identify the infinite source of Joules powering the gain that Bode assumes must exist.
I would ask him to explain how the conflict of interest at the IPCC helps advance science. This conflict arises because they require significant warming from CO2 emissions to justify their existence, yet have become the arbiter of what is and what is not climate science by what they publish in their reports,
I have a long list of other questions, but a proper answer to any of the above ones will make the answers to all of the other questions either obvious or moot.

old construction worker

“I would ask Mr. Whitlock to connect the dots between a planet without an atmosphere which obeys the SB Law exactly and a planet with an atmosphere like Earth,…” You don’t need a planet. Look to the moon for your answer. We need GHS to cool us down during the day and keep us warm when the sun goes down. Without water, water vapor and convection our planet would lifeless.

old construction worker,
Yes, the Moon is a black body and it’s average sensitivity per the slope of SB is about 0.3C per W/m^2. The dots they need to connect is between the 0.3C per W/m^2 of the Moon and the claimed 0.8C per W/m^2 sensitivity of the Earth, especially considering the average temperatures of both are not very different and that most of the effect of an atmosphere is not to increase the sensitivity, but to smooth out min/max temperature variability.
The point is that the SB law works exactly for the Moon and the only free variable is the emissivity which can only be decreased to make it appear as an equivalent gray body emitter rather than a black body emitter (the T^4 dependence and SB constant are immutable). In order to get a sensitivity of 0.8C per W/m^2, the emissivity relative to the surface would need to be less than 0.2, while measurements show it to be about 0.62.
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/05/physical-constraints-on-the-climate-sensitivity/

coolclimateinfo

What started out as an enjoyable rant turned into nine unnecessary & untrue proclamations.
You don’t speak for everybody when you say “• Nobody knows why ” (x 9)
If you really think ‘nobody knows why’ then you’ve really missed a lot.
A large number of papers were published in the past two years demonstrating the overwhelming solar and ocean influence on climate change. There’s no need for ignoring that fact and pretending there aren’t already quite a few people who understand the real major driver behind climate change.
If at this late stage of the game you’re still not clear on what’s happened, or what is happening now, then you’ve self-selected yourself out of contention as unqualified to debate for the case as to “why” the climate changes.
The inherent weakness of your ‘nobody knows why’ position is that it’s an open invitation for warmists’ to cast doubt on the skeptical case. We should be debating from a position of strength with the positive knowledge of what caused the nine things listed.
Otherwise tear ’em up Willis!

Willis, I sat in the Physics classes at UC Davis during the mid 1980’s and was astounded by all the mistakes humans made trying to figure out the world around them. My take away from this experience is still the wonder and excitement of what we don’t understand.
The administration was kind enough to graduate me: I suspect that was the path of least resistance and I’m grateful.

Bill J

I would add a few more:
• Nobody knows how much the planet will warm (or cool!) by the end of the century.
• Nobody knows what impacts another 1 to 2c of warming will have.
No changes are all good or all bad yet scientists seem to only be looking for potentially bad impacts of a warming world. It’s rare to find an article that mentions possible benefits. I highly doubt that we got so fortunate that current global temp happens to be ideal and anything warmer only has negative impacts.

Jer0me

I highly doubt that we got so fortunate that current global temp happens to be ideal and anything warmer only has negative impacts.

Hear, hear.
We know that cold periods have had extremely negative consequences for us. We know that warm periods have had significant positive consequences for us. Why fear the warm when we have seen it to be good?

Jeff Norman

Hey Willis,
In lieu of Cock Robin showing up to debate you, I will offer up some proxy debating points on his behalf.
You say:
“• Nobody knows why the globe was generally warmer in Roman times”
This was not a global warming event as clearly illustrated in this xkcd cartoon [insert link] loosely based on another cartoon published by Marcot et al, and if it was it never showed up in the millennially averaged proxy reconstructions.
“• Nobody knows why the globe generally cooled after Roman times”
How could it have cooled if it never warmed in the first place (see above)?
“• Nobody knows why the globe generally warmed up again in Medieval times”
Everyone knows the so called Medieval Warm Period was a regional warming event limited to western Europe and the north Atlantic Ocean. Proxy records from other places in the world like the Yukon, Alaska, Chile, South Africa, the Red Sea, China, New Zealand and the Antarctic clearly show that these places were geographically located in the north Atlantic 1,000 years ago.
“• Nobody knows why the globe greatly cooled after Medieval times, leading to the “Little Ice Age” in the 1600s/1700s.”
How could it have cooled if it never warmed in the first place (see above)? And volcanoes.
“• Nobody knows why the Little Ice Age didn’t descend into a real Ice Age.”
This is because of all the greenhouse gases emitted during the 17th century. Every molecule matters. Oh and volcanoes.
“• Nobody knows why the earth started generally warming at about 0.5°C per century since the Little Ice Age.”
Everyone knows that this is entirely due to greenhouse gas emissions, all of it. Every second, of every minute, of every degree.
“• Nobody knows whether the ~ 0.5°C warming of the 21st century is 100% natural and just a continuance of the warming of previous two centuries, or whether some or all of of the warming is due to humans.”
97% of all scientists who have ever existed anywhere in all dimensions agree that it was all due to humans. If humans had not been there no one would have measured any temperature changes.
“• Nobody knows why there has been a two-decade “hiatus” in the ongoing three centuries of warming.”
This is a total fabrication. There is no and never was a so called “hiatus” the warmest global temperatures ever recorded by science have all been in the last 150 years or so. How can you deny this fact? Anyway there is no missing heat, it is all in the oceans. Heat energy trapped by greenhouses gases in the troposphere was… and then it showed up in the abyssal ocean. This has been reported by scientists who know this stuff which I read about at several web sites you might be interested to read if you weren’t such a denier.
Who killed Cock Robin?
I, said the Willis,
with my facts and knowledge,
I killed Cock Robin.
Who saw him die?
We, said the skeptics,
with our very own eyes,
We saw him die.
Who buried his body?
Nobody, said the world,
They’re all zombies,
Who cannot stay dead.

Ron Williams

You’re funny Jeff… You are supposed to use the /sarc tag when making comedic relief here.

RockyRoad

Oh, I think we get it.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

Nicely done.

ossqss

Regardless of man’s percieved impact on climate from our waste products, we have no clue as to what our planet holds for the future. The lack of funding on the study of natural variability will become evident before the rest. Mark that down and check with me in 20 or 30 years.
Just sayin, who is studying that potentially wicked problem now days?
C’mon man!
Crickets………..

Grey Lensman

Nobody knows what a graphical illustration of “Acceleration” looks like. If they did all the “accelerating” nonsense would stop instantly.

Nobody knows.
That’s why it’s called science.

Chimp

Steven,
But we do know from observations of the climate system that adding a fourth molecule of CO2 per 10,000 molecules of dry air has no measurable impact upon GASTA.
Hence, CACA is caca and you’re out of a job. And should be ashamred ot the millions of deaths and trillion in lost treasure the losses of which to which you’ve contributed.

You know no such thing.
And when you volunteer. ..it’s hard to be out of a job.
Silly goose.

“And when you volunteer. ..it’s hard to be out of a job”
Volunteers are notoriously unreliable.
Just ask Nick Stokes.
Andrew

Chimp

Steven,
A volunteer job is still a job.
You do it because you get something out of it, or you wouldn’t volunteer. It doesn’t have to be pay.

Steven Mosher April 28, 2017 at 10:18 pm

Nobody knows.
That’s why it’s called science.

Nope. Not even wrong. It’s not called science because “nobody knows”.
Science is a PROCESS for using the things we do know in order to find out the things we don’t know.
But you know that, so I must assume you’re just trying to cause trouble. Either that or the meaning of your comment is totally opaque.
w.

Mosh is famous fro being opaque, being clear isn’t his thing.

Tom Trevor April 29, 2017 at 8:00 pm

Mosh is famous fro being opaque, being clear isn’t his thing.

The problem is that he’s damn smart, and when he gives up on the drive-by posting style he has interesting ideas. Grrr …
w.

Roger Knights

Fox would get a lot of eyeballs if it lined up a debating team of skeptics and challenged warmist advocates to debate them for a dozen 90-minute segments. (This is something PBS should have done a decade or two ago.)
Until now, warmists, being ahead, followed the advice of their PR counselors not to give skeptics a chance to close the public perception and governmental policy gap by engaging in debates. Maybe now, with Trump in office, they’ll feel that the gap has closed already, and they need to take a chance.

Roger Knights

PS: If such a debate is televised, I suggest that it not be live, but rather assembled from segments of each side’s presentation with multi-hour-long gaps between them, to give the responding side time to get its act together.
Each segment should be on a different sub-topic of the debate.
Every couple of years maybe another debate-series could be held, with a large turnover in debaters and sub-topics.

That’s because science is not a verbal war.
If you want to challenge science you actually have to do better science.
Current science explains the warming since 1850 remarkably well.
The temperature of the surface is a function of radiative forcings: GHGs ( co2, methane, etc) aerosols, and solar forcing. The residual, the difference between observations and the radiative forcing..that’s your internal or unforced variability. .it looks like amo.
There is no need to explain anything before this time. It would be nice buts it’s unnecessary. The only way to dislodge this theory is with a better theory. Science trumps science. Debate is not a form of falsification or a form of improving science.
Debate is theatre and rhetoric. Entertainment.

richardscourtney

Steven Mosher:
You assert

Current science explains the warming since 1850 remarkably well.
The temperature of the surface is a function of radiative forcings: GHGs ( co2, methane, etc) aerosols, and solar forcing. The residual, the difference between observations and the radiative forcing..that’s your internal or unforced variability. .it looks like amo.

I never cease to be amazed that you have the gall to spout complete bollocks such as that I have quoted here.
If “current science” did explain “the warming since 1850 remarkably well” then the committed warming would not have disappeared.
In reality, the climate models are curve fitted to the historic annual global surface temperature anomalies (GASTAs) by “parametrisation” of “radiative forcings: GHGs ( co2, methane, etc) aerosols, and solar forcing”. Such curve fitting provides no explanation of the warming since 1850.
I choose to make the unlikely assumption that you don’t know the truth of these matters, so I will reveal to you how wrong you are by explaining the missing committed warming.
The explanation for the committed warming is in IPCC AR4 (2007) Chapter 10.7 which can be read at
http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-7.html
It says there

The multi-model average warming for all radiative forcing agents held constant at year 2000 (reported earlier for several of the models by Meehl et al., 2005c), is about 0.6°C for the period 2090 to 2099 relative to the 1980 to 1999 reference period. This is roughly the magnitude of warming simulated in the 20th century. Applying the same uncertainty assessment as for the SRES scenarios in Fig. 10.29 (–40 to +60%), the likely uncertainty range is 0.3°C to 0.9°C. Hansen et al. (2005a) calculate the current energy imbalance of the Earth to be 0.85 W m–2, implying that the unrealised global warming is about 0.6°C without any further increase in radiative forcing. The committed warming trend values show a rate of warming averaged over the first two decades of the 21st century of about 0.1°C per decade, due mainly to the slow response of the oceans. About twice as much warming (0.2°C per decade) would be expected if emissions are within the range of the SRES scenarios.

In other words, it was expected that global temperature would rise at an average rate of “0.2°C per decade” over the first two decades of this century with half of this rise being due to atmospheric GHG emissions which were already in the system.
This assertion of “committed warming” should have had large uncertainty because the Report was published in 2007 and there was then no indication of any global temperature rise over the previous 7 years. There has still not been any significant rise and we are now way past the half-way mark of the “first two decades of the 21st century”.
So, if this “committed warming” is to occur such as to provide a rise of 0.2°C per decade by 2020 then global temperature would need to rise over the next 3 years by about 0.4°C. And this assumes the “average” rise over the two decades is the difference between the temperatures at 2000 and 2020. If the average rise of each of the two decades is assumed to be the “average” (i.e. linear trend) over those two decades then global temperature now needs to rise before 2020 by more than it rose over the entire twentieth century. It only rose ~0.8°C over the entire twentieth century.
Simply, the “committed warming” has disappeared (perhaps it has eloped with Trenberth’s ‘missing heat’?).
This disappearance of the “committed warming” is – of itself – sufficient to falsify the AGW hypothesis as emulated by climate models. Hence, it demonstrates that you are asserting rubbish when you claim, “Current science explains the warming since 1850 remarkably well”.
Indeed, if we reach 2020 without any detection of the “committed warming” then it will be 100% certain that “current science” is so wrong that all its projections of global warming are complete bunkum.
Richard

Clyde Spencer

Mosher,
You said, “There is no need to explain anything before this time. It would be nice buts it’s unnecessary.”
If you can’t explain past warming (or cooling) then you aren’t in a position to invalidate the hypothesis that all, or most, recent warming is spurious correlation with anthropogenic activities. As I demonstrated in a previous post, (using BEST temperatures) the correlation of temperature with population is higher than it is with CO2. But, that doesn’t prove causation.

richardscourtney

Mods,
This is a repost of an item that vanished. Please post the original if it is found in the ‘bin’ otherwise please post this. With thanks in anticipation
Richard
Steven Mosher:
You assert

Current science explains the warming since 1850 remarkably well.
The temperature of the surface is a function of radiative forcings: GHGs ( co2, methane, etc) aerosols, and solar forcing. The residual, the difference between observations and the radiative forcing..that’s your internal or unforced variability. .it looks like amo.

I never cease to be amazed that you have the gall to spout complete bollocks such as that I have quoted here.
If “current science” did explain “the warming since 1850 remarkably well” then the committed warming would not have disappeared.
In reality, the climate models are curve fitted to the historic annual global surface temperature anomalies (GASTAs) by “parametrisation” of “radiative forcings: GHGs ( co2, methane, etc) aerosols, and solar forcing”. Such curve fitting provides no explanation of the warming since 1850.
I choose to make the unlikely assumption that you don’t know the truth of these matters, so I will reveal to you how wrong you are by explaining the missing committed warming.
The committed warming is explained in IPCC AR4 (2007) Chapter 10.7 which can be read at
http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-7.html
It says there

The multi-model average warming for all radiative forcing agents held constant at year 2000 (reported earlier for several of the models by Meehl et al., 2005c), is about 0.6°C for the period 2090 to 2099 relative to the 1980 to 1999 reference period. This is roughly the magnitude of warming simulated in the 20th century. Applying the same uncertainty assessment as for the SRES scenarios in Fig. 10.29 (–40 to +60%), the likely uncertainty range is 0.3°C to 0.9°C. Hansen et al. (2005a) calculate the current energy imbalance of the Earth to be 0.85 W m–2, implying that the unrealised global warming is about 0.6°C without any further increase in radiative forcing. The committed warming trend values show a rate of warming averaged over the first two decades of the 21st century of about 0.1°C per decade, due mainly to the slow response of the oceans. About twice as much warming (0.2°C per decade) would be expected if emissions are within the range of the SRES scenarios.

In other words, it was expected that global temperature would rise at an average rate of “0.2°C per decade” over the first two decades of this century with half of this rise being due to atmospheric GHG emissions which were already in the system.
This assertion of “committed warming” should have had large uncertainty because the Report was published in 2007 and there was then no indication of any global temperature rise over the previous 7 years. There has still not been any significant rise and we are now way past the half-way mark of the “first two decades of the 21st century”.
So, if this “committed warming” is to occur such as to provide a rise of 0.2°C per decade by 2020 then global temperature would need to rise over the next 3 years by about 0.4°C. And this assumes the “average” rise over the two decades is the difference between the temperatures at 2000 and 2020. If the average rise of each of the two decades is assumed to be the “average” (i.e. linear trend) over those two decades then global temperature now needs to rise before 2020 by more than it rose over the entire twentieth century. It only rose ~0.8°C over the entire twentieth century.
Simply, the “committed warming” has disappeared (perhaps it has eloped with Trenberth’s ‘missing heat’?).
This disappearance of the “committed warming” is – of itself – sufficient to falsify the AGW hypothesis as emulated by climate models. Hence, it demonstrates that you are asserting rubbish when you claim, “Current science explains the warming since 1850 remarkably well”.
Indeed, if we reach 2020 without any detection of the “committed warming” then it will be 100% certain that “current science” is so wrong that all its projections of global warming are complete bunkum.
Richard

TimTheToolMan

Mosher writes

That’s because science is not a verbal war.
If you want to challenge science you actually have to do better science.

A hypothesis can be undone by inclusion of a fact that wasn’t initially considered. A hypothesis can be undone by pointing out a logical flaw. There are many ways science can be done without providing a new hypothesis. Don’t underestimate the value of disproving a theory over creating a new theory. Without the former, nobody would do the latter.

Reg Nelson

No warming in eighteen years, That’s my theory/rebuttal to your nonsense.
No need to provide an alternative theory to explain anything — that’s the Scientific Method, which you are clearly incapable of understanding.
Your theory has been falsified.
You fail.
Live with that, learn, and grow as a person.

richardscourtney

Mods:
26 hours have passed since I twice tried to post a reply to Mosher’s post. Both attempts vanished.
I would be very grateful if you were to check the ‘bin’ for them. If you find them then please post the first one, or if you don’t find them please tell me so I can again try to post my reply to Mosher.
Richard
[Nothing pending, nothing in queue. Request you repost. .mod]

richardscourtney

Mods:
Many thanks for all your trouble. It has now appeared: how and why I know not.
Richard

Writes Clyde Spencer April 29, 2017 at 12:13 pm:

. . . As I demonstrated in a previous post, (using BEST temperatures) the correlation of temperature with population is higher than it is with CO2. But, that doesn’t prove causation.

An friend of mine, named Byron, used to argue that warmer climates were in fact caused by more people. The evidence is quite plain: look at the populous nations of the warm Equator; look at Antarctica, very cold, no people at all. Rooms full of people are usually warmer than rooms without people: empirical evidence, no less!
We should keep this hypothesis under our hats. No need to suggest to the ecochondriacs that reducing the population is the way to cool the Earth. . . Or have they already thought of it?
/Mr Lynn

Michael darby

Willis Eschenbach, you and James Delingpole each have earned a reputation for rationality and wisdom. A plague on your ill-informed and ignorant detractors. In Australia we have the shocking situation where the largest bank Westpac is now officially on the side of the enemies of civillsation. Westpac has announced that it now has a low-carbon lending policy, and has cancelled plans to contribute to funding Adani’s Carmichael Mine. Westpac has lined up with GetUp!, Greenpeace, 350.org, WWF Australia, AVAAZ, the Australian Greens and their ilk. This interlinked cabal of anti-energy, anti-humanity organisation pushes the racist line that 300 million people who do not own a light bulb should be denied access to the electrical energy they crave because they are only Indians. Proof of the malign nature of these self-styled anti-coal groups lies in their enthusiastic promotion of Earth Day in Myanmar, where severely inadequate electrical power is generated 74% by hydro and 20% by gas, with the remainder diesel. These people are not anti-coal; they hate all energy.
If Carmichael does not go ahead, the likely alternative is that India’s ample coal reserves will be used. One of the problems is the cruel social disruption involved in shifting very large numbers of families for new mines or the extension of exiting mines.

Thanks for your kind words, Michael. I read today about Westpac’s lunacy. However, what will likely happen is that IF Adani can thread its way through Oz’s insane bureaucratic regulatory maze, some other bank will step up. That’s what happened when the World Bank decided not to fund Indian coal plants. It was a perfect opportunity for Chinese banks to step in …
w.

Michael darby

Thank you Willis, let us hope the Chinese do step up

old construction worker

“Westpac has lined up with GetUp!, Greenpeace,…” So, If a green energy business fails and defaults on the loan who pick up the tab? The bank and share holders or your tax dollars?

Willis, the reason so many alarmists have to use what I call “summarising” statements (“denier”, “most climate science”, “not a climate scientist”, “evidence indicates”, …) is that they have an awful suspicion that if they allowed a calm, detailed discussion to occur, they would be shown up very badly.
You are quite correct to insist on specifics. They will always, always cave rather than get involved in that.

Hey Robin Whitlock,
Since you are an expert on climate science, please answer one simple, basic question:
What is the actual evidence that man’s CO2 is causing serious global warming?

Simon

Talking about debating. This article is well worth a read. It seems not all skeptics stay that way….
https://theintercept.com/2017/04/28/how-a-professional-climate-change-denier-discovered-the-lies-and-decided-to-fight-for-science/

John Loop

I read this. Interesting. It really seems like his arguments are emotional, at least here. OK, I can understand why you might want to do SOMETHING about climate change, or to at least “hedge” -as he says. But so does everybody on this blog. Anthony often makes the point that he is probably ten times more “green” than anybody else. We can all hedge, but not because we believe all this nonsense, but because we want to be economical, good shepherds of the earth, non polluting, etc! Bankrupting the world for a tenth of a degree is not hedging.

Simon

Chimp
OK I see your problem. And it is not easily sorted. Please detail for me why they are such a pack of lies and if you can, point to a reputable study that agrees with you. I’ll be waiting when you find one.

Chimp

What exactly did Hansen get right?
If we’re on the Venus Express, as he says, leading to boiling oceans, then why has so much more CO2 (~55 ppm) in the air since 1988 had such little effect?
http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/guest/evans-david/hansen-1988-a-b-c-scenarios-600.gif
The recent super El Nino would have spiked above Scenario C last year, but it assumed CO2 cuts. Instead CO2 has risen steadily since 1988.

Simon

Mmm this is more up to date….
http://www.realclimate.org/images//hansen88.jpg

Chimp

Simon,
It also uses GISTEMP, which is a work of anti-science fantasy. It doesn’t even rate as fiction. It’s a pack of lies.
Yet, even so, you’re not showing the post-El Nino reversion to the mean and it still couldn’t breach Scenario B, which the label on your graph mischaracterizes.
Should you be interested in the differences between Scenarios A and B, Steve puzzled them out back in 2008:
https://climateaudit.org/2008/01/18/hansen-scenarios-a-and-b-revised/

Chimp

I should also have added that until recently, when Schmidt took over, GISTEMP was created by Hansen himself, who had every reason to try to make the “data” resemble his scenarios.
The series has most recently been perverted by Karl’s totally unjustified “pause buster” corruption of SST “data”.

Chimp

Thanks to Bill Illis, from here on April 4:comment image

Simon

Chimp
So why aren’t you using NOAA or any of the other surface based data? I wonder?

Chimp

Simon,
Because they are antiscientific packs of lies.

Simon

Chimp
OK I see your problem. And it is not easily sorted. Please detail for me why they are such a pack of lies and if you can, point to a reputable study that agrees with you. I’ll be waiting when you find one.

Tom Halla

I do so love people pretending to ignorance /sarc . Is that a tip in Troll 101?

Chimp

Simon,
Elsewhere in these comments, I’ve done so. Every reputable study has found the same.
Only the self-serving Team covering its own ar$e has found otherwise.
All the so-called “surface data sets” are pure fantasy.

Simon

Chimp
Since there are sooo many…..Just give me your best one?

Simon

Chimp
Your silence is telling. Come on, just one investigation into current climate data that says it is unscientific?

Chimp

Simon,
No silence. I just didn’t see your usual standard issue CACA request.
1) No such paper could get published. But the facts speak for themselves.
2) It’s not needed. The Climategate emails tell all.
That there is a conspiracy is not in doubt. You can speculate about the conspirators’ motives, but that it exists and is extensive is obvious to anyone who bothers to look.
Have you bothered to look at Mikes’ Nature trick, for instance?

“Talking about debating. This article is well worth a read. It seems not all skeptics stay that way….”
OK, read that article. He says he was a “professional skeptic” (riiiiiight…) whose mind was changed and he became a believer. Well, here’s a skeptic (a real one). I am always willing to be convinced, so I was all agog – what incredible evidence had he encountered that I had missed, despite begging all and sundry since 2008 to post some positive evidence that might change my mind. And what do I get: “Well, I changed my mind about this, Hanson was right about something unspecified, and my beliefs were left in tatters about that.” But, yet again, NO ACTUAL EVIDENCE! It’s a propaganda piece pure and simple. If that guy cannot write a follow-up that includes the actual evidence that performed this miraculous conversion, I call him out, I don’t believe he was ever a skeptic, let alone a “professional” one.

Chimp

I suspected as much.
Thanks.

According to Wiki:

Robert Bradley of the Institute for Energy Research, a former colleague of Taylor’s during his time as a climate skeptic, has countered that Taylor’s shift coincides with his appeal for donors in the climate activist community to “financially father” his new institute following the break from Cato.

According to Wiki:

Robert Bradley of the Institute for Energy Research, a former colleague of Taylor’s during his time as a climate skeptic, has countered that Taylor’s shift coincides with his appeal for donors in the climate activist community to “financially father” his new institute following the break from Cato.

That’s one guy. I’ve read about many, including scientists, who have moved from the warmist camp to the skeptic camp. Several scientists who switched said that, basically, they simply believed the ‘consensus’ until they did some research and discovered it was nonsense. They also said they believed it because it had never occurred to them before that scientists could be so dishonest or so incompetent.
It would seem that this Taylor that you are bragging about used climate activist money to finance his new think tank after breaking with the Cato Institute. Doesn’t that make his opinion highly suspect? Certainly as suspect as any skeptic who is being vilified as being paid by big, dirty oil … whether they are or not? This appears to be a clear cut case of an opinion on the climate debate being influenced by money … is it not?

commieBob

The alarmists really hate debate. They also seem to viscerally hate skeptics. Maybe it’s because they lose when they are confronted with the facts or when they have their made-up facts challenged.
My favorite debate was on the CBC show, The Current. Lawrence Solomon demolished two alarmists and really got up the nose of the host, Anna Maria Tremonti. By the end, she was spitting mad. link
There haven’t been many debates but I wonder if there’s a list and a score card.
Willis has citations. There are lots, maybe the majority, of PhDs who don’t. Just saying.

Don K

Willis — adding to your list of “Nobody knows”es:
.- Mumbling about Milankovic notwithstanding, nobody really knows with any certainty why the Earth is subject to periodic glaciations
– Nobody knows why the glaciations are interrupted by warmer interglacial periods.
– Nobody knows whether 30 and 60 year cycles of temperature and precipitation (AMO and PDO) are real. Neither are the causes understood.
– Nobody knows all that much about ENSO although we’re quite certain that it’s a real phenomenon

Roger Knights

“Tomorrow Never Knows”

Willis mentioned methane. Alarmists routinely claim that ‘methane is 30 times more powerful GHG than carbon dioxide‘. I don’t see how or why. Methane is a symmetric, so a non-polar molecule. It shows a few vibration modes which give rise to infra red absorption (here), but it is not a 30 times more powerful GHG than CO₂. Methane’s vibration modes are already covered by water since water is H₂O, but methane H₄C. They both have hydrogen sigma bonds. Water is more polar (because oxygen is more electronegative, methane more symmetric, and oxygen has two lone electron pairs opposite to the hydrogen sigma bonds). More polar molecules are more powerful GHGs than less polar molecules. Unsurprising that water is the most powerful GHG (as the chart above shows). Adding a lot of methane to the atmosphere (say 1ppm) will be like adding 1ppm water vapour (almost unnoticeable). Because the atmosphere already has lots of water (averaging 10,000 ppm or more)! So the methane GHG effect will be overwhelmed by the existing water GHG effect which is already absorbing where methane can absorb.comment image
Compare the two camel humps [called Spectral Intensity] above. The LHS (red) is solar output (warming). The RHS is earth infrared output (ultimately to space, so cooling). Notice how methane’s only peak of interest is the right-most one [ ~ 7.7 µm]. Its other 2 peaks happen where earth does not output IR!. Yet this 7.7 µm is already covered by H₂O.
Conclusion: Methane is not a dangerous GHG. Runaway warming due to methane release is nothing to be worried about. The GHG of note is obviously water: H₂O, which we can do nothing against because like CO₂, water is the stuff of life itself.

Don K

Mark. I’m not sure that I disagree with you, but I did notice that the vertical scale for your absorbance chart(s) doesn’t seem to be labeled. I couldn’t really figure out what the dimensions might be or whether it was the same for all the gases. So I decided, what the heck, I’ll go look for some data. I found some here: https://srdata.nist.gov/gateway/gateway?keyword=absorption+spectrum.
The spectra for CO2, CH3 and H2O are at http://webbook.nist.gov/cgi/cbook.cgi?ID=C124389&Units=SI&Type=IR-SPEC&Index=1#IR-SPEC , http://webbook.nist.gov/cgi/cbook.cgi?ID=C74828&Units=SI&Type=IR-SPEC&Index=1#IR-SPEC , and http://webbook.nist.gov/cgi/cbook.cgi?ID=C7732185&Units=SI&Type=IR-SPEC&Index=1#IR-SPEC
They are difficult to compare precisely. And there are some differences in the baselines. For example — different molecular weights and CO2 was run at 200 mmHg pressure while CH3 was run at 150 mmHg. But I’ll be damned iif I can see how a 20 or 30 times difference in absorbance could by hypothecated based on that data.

It’s one of Will Happer’s presentation slides from this document. The document seems to be a summary of his talk ‘Why has global warming paused‘.
Alarmists tend to not bother giving evidence for their ideas. Alarmists don’t explain how the climate is supposed to work. Because they don’t ‘debate the science‘. Without debate they are preaching to the converted who don’t need to see any science. So I have no corresponding (alarmists or believer) chart showing the most important GHG absorption spectra below the curves for black body radiation and solar absorption. I could do my own but it’s tedious to get that data for H2O, CO2, O3, CH4, and N2O. All to the same scale.

Don K

Mark. You might want to look at the pages I linked to above. They seem to contain real IR spectrograph curves for water, CO2, and methane. My problem is that even though on paper I have the training to interpret them, that training was more than 50 years ago. And I’ve only ever seen one real IR spectrograph output in my life– 57 years ago. My feeling is that properly interpreting them requires some hands on experience that I don’t have.
That said, I don’t see anything that looks remotely like a 30x or 20x or even 10x difference between CO2 and CH4 IR absorbance. The only thing I can see that might remotely explain the numbers we’re quoted is that CH4 with its four single bonds presumably has many more bending modes (8 more?) than CO2 with its two double bonds.
I think I could use some help here from someone who understands this stuff a lot better than I do.

Wonderful comment, mark4asp. I too have been wondering where this magic multiplier comes from. Check out this page: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/understanding-global-warming-potentials
And this passage:

Methane (CH4) is estimated to have a GWP of 28–36 over 100 years (Learn why EPA’s U.S. Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks uses a different value.). CH4 emitted today lasts about a decade on average, which is much less time than CO2. But CH4 also absorbs much more energy than CO2. The net effect of the shorter lifetime and higher energy absorption is reflected in the GWP. The CH4 GWP also accounts for some indirect effects, such as the fact that CH4 is a precursor to ozone, and ozone is itself a GHG.

Note the “accounts for some indirect effects…” bit. I.e., the figure is not methane’s direct on outgoing radiation, it is a modelled value based on all sorts of putative outcomes from chemical conversions to other stuff (methane being quite reactive). Also note the “over X years” stuff. These figures are also put through a mill that includes all sorts of overall lifetime projections.
None of this is, of course, ever mentioned when horror figures like 30x or 72x are trotted out.

TFN Johnson

Climate Change Rule One. Never pick an argument with Willis…..

Scott

When asking the true believers for evidence it’s always the skilless models, the faux consensus or the manipulated data used for never ending, nor appearing claims of doom.
That about sums them up.

Scott

Rule 2:
If you do – come prepared or fold your tent before it gets blown away.

Climate change debate is 97% political. Anthropogenic global warming arguments may perhaps be debated in scientific terms, but so far efforts seem futile.

Willis, what most annoys these paid up “academics” who I find are almost always responsible for the worst hate on social media, is that you are as good or better than them, but you don’t bow down to the academic consensus as they know they must and that you’re free to research outside the academic box.
But from their perspective you are in what other industries would be called a “black leg” or a “union breaker” or in religious context a breakaway sect.
And the more you look and sound like an academic the more they attack, and indeed, if like Salby, Cristy, Spencer, Curry you are an academic, they attack relentlessly.
It’s all in my “book”: “The Academic Ape: Instinctive aggression and boundary enforcing behaviour in academia” (available free if – unlike the alarmists – you know how to use a search engine – and note it is written in a way that means no academic could cite it).

Hugs

Trouble is, Salby’s claims n origins of CO2 are not backed by Curry. The attack is understandable.

The Badger

Openness to debating is good. Unfortunately you don’t get very far if you pick the wrong venue. Try debating some subtle point about Jesus on an Islamic blog. OK, some of you not convinced of that and are going to tell me about the time they invited the Vicar and the Imam round for tea and biscuits (may or may not include Jaffa Cakes). What about an experiment then….?
I challenge WUWT to set up a thread to debate the following:
“The theory of a gravity induced temperature gradient in a planetary atmosphere as postulated by Loschmidt in the 1870’s, expanded & explained by Doug Cotton in his book :’) , and verified experimentally by R.Graeff (2007) is the true explanation for how the earths atmosphere works and explains the surface temperature without the need for any Greenhouse Gas Effect”
How about it, Anthony ? (Yes, you are allowed to leave the exiting banned cnuts out of it !)

Thanks, Badger, but we’ve been there and done that. I have given a conclusive proof that a gravity induced temperature gradient is cannot warm a planet. And Dr, Robert Brown gave a different proof that a gravity induced temperature gradient is impossible.
Sorry, amigo, but you have been proven wrong already. It’s not that we think you are wrong. We have two different proofs that you are wrong.
w.

schitzree

The second proof dosn’t seem to link to anything.

AndyG55

And yet we have gravity and with it, a temperature gradient, just like every other planet with an atmosphere.

schitzree, thanks for the note. Fixed.
w.

AndyG55 May 1, 2017 at 2:43 pm

And yet we have gravity and with it, a temperature gradient, just like every other planet with an atmosphere.

Yes, we do … but that has nothing to do with either proof, or with the claim that there is a gravity-induced temperature gradient. Read the two proofs again.
w.

Thomas Homer

“claimed dangers of CO2” … a local editorial board referred to CO2 as a ‘dangerous pollutant’
If Carbon Dioxide were a pollutant then we could say things like:
– pollution is the base of the food chain
– pollution is necessary for life

Good point Thomas – hopefully brings sunshine also to Robin Whitlock.

RockyRoad

Yes, I’ve read where we humans exhale CO2 at 40,000 ppm, increasing the amount by 100 times that which we inhale (for a total of 2.3 lbs/day). Thank goodness plants are responding according to Le Chatelier’s principle.

Harry Passfield

“No-one knows’: What is the ideal climate for this planet, NOR, how to achieve it.

Scott

When asking the true believers for evidence it’s always the skilless models, the faux consensus or the manipulated data used for never ending, nor appearing claims of doom.
That about sums them up.

Nigel S

I know WE said no ad hom. but ‘BA(Hons) in Psychology and English Literature’ from UK’s 90th best university (founded in 2005) isn’t much of a qualification for a debate in this field. Somewhat ironic given all the attacks elsewhere on Lord Monckton who has an MA from UK’s best university (founded in 1209).

Hugs

Don’t say Whitlock is a ‘BA(Hons) in Psychology and English Literature’ ten years ago!?

I would like to point out that Mr Whitlock has yet to join this debate, which I think says it all.
I would like to add my thoughts to this debate (as a layman, but with an interest in science):
1) Since 1979, temperatures have been measured by satellites, which have shown no temperature increase for 20 years apart from during the last El Nino which was predicted years before it occurred.
2) Prior to 1979 temperatures were measured on the ground in all sorts of inappropriate places with equally inappropriate historical “adjustments”.
3) The Earth is a closed system (apart from cosmic dust, meteors and meteorites). CO2 is an inert gas, in nature it is broken down by plants into Carbon and Oxygen and by animals into CaCO3 to form bones (with other elements) and shells. Since the source of CO2 can only be atmospheric, in a closed system, the CO2 that formed fossil fuels and the huge quantities of Limestone and Marble then the concentration of CO2 must have been a great deal higher in the past, but we are here to discuss it (I understand that it was 7000ppm 300 million years ago).
4) The “cure” for this “problem” seems to me to be worse than the problem itself. Wind turbines depleting rare earth metals, with a life-expectancy of about half of what it is claimed. Roads that have to be specially built and strengthened, whose sole purpose is the construction and maintenance of these things and then 800 tons of concrete for there foundations. Each one cannot possibly negate the CO2 produced in their construction. Likewise felling trees to dry, pulverise, reconstitute into pellets and ship across the Atlantic to produce 2/3 of the heat energy by weight that coal would produce.
The only conclusion that can be drawn (if my thought processes are correct) is that either the proponents of AGW are incredibly stupid, or there is some sort of hidden agenda, I think the latter is more likely than the former.

Bindidon

andrewmharding on April 29, 2017 at 3:42 am
1. I would like to point out that Mr Whitlock has yet to join this debate, which I think says it all.
Yes it does!
If I was a warmist, I would ask him to retire off any forum discussing about climate: a worse public relation for the warmist cause I can’t imagine.
2. Since 1979, temperatures have been measured by satellites, which have shown no temperature increase for 20 years apart from during the last El Nino which was predicted years before it occurred.
In 2014, Santer et al. have extracted volcano influence and ENSO signals out of the RSS3.3 TLT series; the residual temperature trend for 1979-2013 was about 0.09 °C / decade (compared with about 0.12 for the original record at that time).
I wouldnt’t call that “no temperature increase”. Moreover you seem, like do so many people, to solely consider ENSO’s warming part. Imagine I would ask you for eliminating all La Niñas out of UAH6.0!
3. Prior to 1979 temperatures were measured on the ground in all sorts of inappropriate places with equally inappropriate historical “adjustments”.
Well such a sentence calls for some proving material, doesn’t it? And I do not mean unverifiable blah blah originating from the blogosphere. I mean a thorough analysis with valuable results.
4. Since the source of CO2 can only be atmospheric, …, but we are here to discuss it (I understand that it was 7000ppm 300 million years ago).
You are certainly correct. And anyway, this CO2 debate becomes a bit too boring for me. But nevertheless: may I ask you why you write that?
– How many humans did live at that time?
– Is it not more interesting to care about the situation in 100 years, when the Humanity will consist of about 10 billions of people, with a fragile technological infrastructure?
5. Wind turbines depleting rare earth metals, with a life-expectancy of about half of what it is claimed. Roads that have to be specially built and strengthened, whose sole purpose is the construction and maintenance of these things and then 800 tons of concrete for there foundations.
Depleting rare earth metals? Do you mean neodyme, dysprosium and the like? Wow! Do you know how much of these guys is used everywhere you need strong magnetism, beginning with your own computer’s hard disk, every loudspeaker, every smartphone, etc etc etc?
Rare metal depletion is a real problem! But it is caused by billions of PCs and cell phones dropped to waste, and not by windmills where 100% recuperation is requested upon dismantling, e.g. in Germany. And anyway: neodyme is inbetween so incredibly expensive that nobody on Earth would be foolish enough to view it as waste.
6. Roads that have to be specially built and strengthened, whose sole purpose is the construction and maintenance of these things and then 800 tons of concrete for there foundations.
Did you ever consider
– the number of roads built by the shale gas industry to access the boreholes?
– how long is the lifetime of a shale gas borehole?
7.Each one cannot possibly negate the CO2 produced in their construction.
The best will be an english source I guess.
Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Utility-Scale Wind Power
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00464.x/full
Well, wind power for electricity production certainly is not the best idea Humanity has ever had.
But please compare the life cycle energy balances of nuclear plants and windmill farms when taking the complete treatment of nuclear waste into account, including full dismantling (no: I didn’t write ‚decomissioning‘, that’s nonsense here).

UPDATE:

I guess I’m supposed to be terrified …
w.

TimTheToolMan

I expect he’s communicating with the SkS kids.
They’re probably getting dressed for battle.

Nigel S

Costumes by Hugo Boss?

jmichna

Cos-Playtime?

4 Eyes

All you want is a discussion. All he wants is a battle. That tells us all a lot about the guy. Fight first, talk later. He deserves no respect.

“the pen is mightier than the sword”, which means that words and ideas are themselves weapons. My writing is how I fight, because I am good at it.