The Great Climate Change Debate: William Happer v. David Karoly, Part A

By Andy May

February 15, 2016 was the beginning of an in-depth debate on man-made climate change between two well-known experts in the field, Dr. William Happer and Dr. David Karoly, hosted by TheBestSchools.org. Both have been heavily involved in atmospheric research since the 1980s, but they have landed on opposite sides of the debate.

Dr. Happer is a physicist who has specialized in the interactions of radiation with matter, a key issue in greenhouse warming and optics. Happer, Princeton physics professor emeritus, invented the sodium laser guide star used by astronomers and the military to reduce atmospheric distortion of light and was a co-author of an early book on global warming, The Long-Term Impacts of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels (MacDonald 1981). Dr. Karoly, University of Melbourne (Australia) professor, is a climate scientist who has been heavily involved in several IPCC reports and first described the famous “atmospheric fingerprint” (cooling in the stratosphere and warming in the troposphere) that shows rising greenhouse gas concentrations have an impact on recent surface warming. Although the fingerprint does not allow the magnitude of human climate impacts to be computed, it does allow us to infer that human CO2 emissions have some finite impact on climate.

We are very fortunate to have this detailed record of a debate between two such prominent atmospheric physicists. Brief biographies of each and the man-made climate change positions they argue can be read in full here:

https://thebestschools.org/special/karoly-happer-dialogue-global-warming/

Unfortunately, Dr. Karoly backed out in the middle of the debate, so the responses to Dr. Happer’s statement and interview were written by Glenn Tamblyn, a blogger for the website skepticalscience.com.

The debate is fascinating, but the material provided by TheBestSchools is very long, often repetitive, and poorly organized. Here we summarize the debate by asking six key questions. The questions are:

  1. Is recent global warming unusual?
  2. How do we know the excess CO2, and other greenhouse gases, are from human activities?
  3. How do we know that the increase in CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have caused most of the recent global warming?
  4. Climate models have been used to compute the amount of warming caused by human activities, how accurate are they?
  5. How do we know global warming and more CO2 will have substantial adverse impacts on humans and the planet?
  6. Should anything be done to combat global warming?

There will be four posts in the series, in Part A we present the discussion of questions 1 and 2. The views of both scientists are given for all the questions. Many readers will find little new in this post but may enjoy reading the arguments from two such prominent scientists. Both are very familiar with the data but draw quite different conclusions from it, we try and show why. Debates on climate change between prominent scientists are rare, as discussed by Anthony Watts here. So, enjoy this one. Following are the overarching theses argued:

Dr. Karoly: “Science has established that it is virtually certain that increases of atmospheric CO2 due to burning of fossil fuels will cause climate change that will have substantial adverse impacts on humanity and on natural systems. Therefore, immediate, stringent measures to suppress the burning of fossil fuels are both justified and necessary.”

Dr. Happer: “There is no scientific basis for the claim that increases of atmospheric CO2 due to burning of fossil fuels will cause climate change that will have substantial adverse impacts on humanity and on natural systems. If fossil fuels are burnt responsibly to limit real pollutants like fly ash, oxides of nitrogen or sulfur, heavy metals, etc., the CO2 released will be a benefit to the world. Any resulting climate change will be moderate, and there will be very major benefits to agriculture and other plant life.”

Karoly and Happer agree that climate changes, that the world has become warmer over the past 120 years, and that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will cause some warming. They also fully agree that the CO2 concentration in our atmosphere is increasing about 2 ppm/year, which is about half of human emissions. The other half is absorbed by the ocean and biosphere. These facts are not in dispute. They differ on the projected impacts of the warming and additional CO2. Happer thinks the impacts will be net beneficial and Karoly thinks they will be detrimental to humans and nature. We will unpack this disagreement into the six key questions listed above, then provide the arguments from each scientist. The first three parts have no “discussion and comments” section, my views on the debate will be in a final post, Part D. This is all about Happer and Karoly, with a little supporting material added from IPCC AR5 (IPCC 2013), other references needed for clarity, and Glenn Tamblyn’s replies to Happer.

1. Is recent global warming unusual?

Karoly compares the relatively accurate, high-resolution modern global average temperature rise of 0.9°C over the past 100 years, to the sparse, very low resolution and poorly-dated temperature proxy records of the past 1,000 years and asserts that no 100-year temperature rise in the past millennium is as large as we have recently seen. To quote him:

“There are a number of estimates of the hemispheric average temperature using different methods and different proxy data, not just the one shown [below, Figure 1] by Michael Mann and his collaborators. They all show that the period around 1000 AD was relatively warm and that the period around 1600 to 1800 was relatively cool, just as the Hockey Stick does. However, they all show that the increase in Northern Hemisphere average temperature over the twentieth century was larger than in any other century over the last millennium and that the last 30 years was likely warmer than any other 30-year period over the last 1000 years averaged over the whole Northern Hemisphere.” From the Karoly Interview.

The “Hockey Stick” graph he refers to is from (Mann, Bradley and Hughes 1998). This paper is often abbreviated as MBH98. The hockey stick shown in Figure 1 is the same data, but from the third IPCC report, called “TAR.”

Figure 1. Source IPCC TAR Technical summary 2001, page 29.

 

Happer says the following about the Hockey Stick:

“The hockey-stick temperature record was conspicuously absent from the latest IPCC report, which speaks volumes. My guess is that the hockey stick started out as an honest but mistaken paper, but one welcomed by the global-warming establishment. They had been embarrassed for years by the Medieval Warm Period, when Vikings farmed Greenland, and when emissions from fossil fuels were negligible. A.W. Montford’s book, The Hockey Stick Illusion (Anglosphere Books, 2015), is a pretty good summary of what happened.” The Happer Interview.

Another rebuttal to the Hockey Stick can be found in (McIntyre and McKitrick 2005) and as discussed by (McKitrick 2018) the National Academy of Sciences validated their criticisms. The events unfolded as follows, according to McKitrick:

“After publishing their 2003 E&E article and reviewing Mann’s unpublished responses to it, McIntyre and McKitrick [M&M] submitted an extended critique of the errors and misrepresentations in MBH98 to Nature magazine, which had published the first of the hockey stick papers. Nature solicited a response from Mann et al., and after examining it they ordered Mann et al. to publish a detailed correction and restatement of their methodology, which appeared in June 2006. M&M also extended their critique of Mann’s statistical methodology and submitted it to GRL, which had published the 2nd hockey stick paper, and after peer review GRL published their study. Mann et al. never submitted a response. A panel led by Professor Wegman later conducted an independent review of the mathematical and statistical issues and upheld the M&M critique. A panel of the National Academy of Sciences also conducted an examination of the whole issue of paleoclimate reconstructions and upheld all the technical criticisms M&M made of Mann’s work, going so far as to publish their own replication (North et al., 2006, pp. 90-91) of the spurious hockey stick effect M&M identified.” (McKitrick 2018)

A precise global temperature record, that can accurately show a one-degree change in 100 years, of the past millennium will probably never be created, the temperature proxies available are simply not that accurate. While the MBH98 “Hockey Stick” is not used by the IPCC anymore, there are a variety of other reconstructions they do use to show the range of possible temperatures over the past millennium, some are shown in Figure 2, from the most recent IPCC report, called “AR5” (IPCC 2013).

Figure 2. Various temperature reconstructions for the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and the globe. Source IPCC AR5, page 409 (IPCC 2013).

 

Rather than just showing the MBH98 graph (Figure 1), Figure 2 shows 15 temperature reconstructions of the Northern Hemisphere to illustrate the variability. Several of the reconstructions show one degree or larger changes in less than 100 years, further the range of temperature estimates in many 100-year periods is larger than one degree. One extreme example is from 1400 to 1500 AD. The graph also shows three modern high-resolution instrumental global temperature anomalies from the 19th century to 2000. The display portrays the uncertainty in the proxy reconstructions and clearly demonstrates that one cannot definitively say the recent 0.9 degree rise in global average temperature is unusual. It may be unusual, but the data are not accurate enough to establish the fact. The various reconstructions clearly show the Medieval Warm Period (roughly 900 to 1150 AD), which is a matter of historical record. As discussed in the IPCC caption, the red lines are land-only reconstructions, orange are land only extra-tropical, the light blue are land and sea extra-tropical reconstructions, dark blue are land and sea all latitudes.

Karoly disagrees with researchers that think the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) (~900-1200 AD) was warmer than today. However, the spread of values and the amplitude of the proxy temperature swings in Figure 2 shows we don’t know this. While historical records suggest Europe, Greenland and many other areas were warmer then, we do not have enough data to show the whole world was warmer. Estimates of temperature anomalies in the MWP, in Figure 2, range from -0.2° to +0.8°C. The records are ambiguous, Karoly could be correct, but the global average temperature during the MWP is unknown. Tamblyn also suggests that the speed of recent warming is unprecedented, but since the variability of the temperature changes in Figure 2 is larger than the recent warming and it is invalid to compare proxy temperatures to instrumental temperatures in any case, the assertion remains unproven. Further, the rate of warming from 1910-1945, before man-made CO2 was a factor, is nearly the same as the rate of warming from 1975 to 2005, which is a problem for Tamblyn.

2. How do we know the excess CO2, and other greenhouse gases, are from human activities?

Karoly explains that the recent increase in atmospheric CO2 is associated with a decline in the ratio of the carbon isotopes 13C to 12C, which is expected if some of the CO2 is from burning fossil fuels since plants prefer 12C. Fossil fuels have less of the long-lived 13C isotope of carbon, since they are mostly made from decaying plant material. In addition, there is a slight decrease of atmospheric oxygen as one would expect from burning fossil fuels.

“The increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past 40 years agrees very well with the increase expected from emissions associated with burning fossil fuels, land clearing, and industrial activity, less the additional uptake of carbon dioxide into the oceans and the land ecosystems due to the higher concentrations.”

Karoly also points out that during the last 800,000 years of the Pleistocene Ice Age, Antarctic ice cores suggest that CO2 levels have never been above 300 ppm. Thus, the current level of 400 ppm is very unlikely to have a natural cause, such as volcanic eruptions or CO2 out-gassing from the warmer oceans.

Happer agrees that the observed increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is due to human activity: burning fossil fuels and other industrial activity.

What is coming next?

Part B of this series will discuss the scientist’s views on questions three and four. These are:

  • How do we know that the increase in CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have caused most of the recent global warming?
  • Climate models have been used to compute the amount of warming caused by human activities, how accurate are they?

In many ways these are at the heart of the debate. Stay tuned.

Works Cited

IPCC. 2013. In Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, by T. Stocker, D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf.

MacDonald, Gordon. 1981. Long-term Impacts of increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels. Ballinger. https://www.amazon.com/dp/088410902X/?tag=tbs242-20.

Mann, Michael E., Raymond S. Bradley, and Malcolm K. Hughes. 1998. “Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries.” Nature 392: 779-787. https://www.nature.com/articles/33859.

McIntyre, Stephen, and Ross McKitrick. 2005. “Hockey sticks, principal components, and spurious significance.” GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS 32. http://www.climateaudit.info/pdf/mcintyre.mckitrick.2005.grl.pdf.

McKitrick, Ross. 2018. “Statement of Ross McKitrick.” https://www.rossmckitrick.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/nyc_lawsuit0.pdf.

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177 thoughts on “The Great Climate Change Debate: William Happer v. David Karoly, Part A

  1. Judith Curry posted: The lure of incredible certitude citing – Charles Manski

    “If you want people to believe what you *do* know, you need to be up front about what you *don’t* know.”

    Article: The lure of incredible certitude

    Abstract. Forthright characterization of scientific uncertainty is important in principle and serves important practical purposes. Nevertheless, economists and other researchers commonly report findings with incredible certitude, reporting point predictions and estimates. To motivate expression of incredible certitude, economists often suggest that researchers respond to incentives that make the practice tempting. This temptation is the “lure” of incredible certitude. I flesh out and appraise some of the rationales that observers may have in mind when they state that incredible certitude responds to incentives. I conclude that scientific expression of incredible certitude at most has appeal in certain limited contexts. It should not be a general practice.

    • “If you want people to believe what you *do* know, you need to be up front about what you *don’t* know.”

      That is how one develops and maintains integrity. People never hold it against you, never consider you less intelligent or learned if you explain clearly what you don’t know. Then they can believe what you do.

  2. I thought the debate was over. I was sure I heard lots of people on the left making that claim almost 10 years ago…

  3. At the end of the day i say this; don’t worry about GW because there is nothing we can do about it anyway, and it is beneficial if anything.

  4. “The material provided by TheBestSchools is very long, often repetitive, and poorly organized.” That’s what passes for the best schools.

  5. Karoly, when later asked why he ran away in the middle of the debate could only sqwawk a feeble “buk-buk-buk-bukaaa”!

    • Perhaps Karoly bailed because he actually listened to Happer and realized that Happer was correct and Karoly was just plain wrong – which he was.

      Yes, increasing CO2 may cause some warming, but that warming will be mild and net-beneficial to humanity and the environment. There is ample evidence that this is correct, and NO credible evidence to contradict this conclusion.

      It is amazing that anyone would still drag out Michael Mann’s disgraced hokey stick (MBH98 etc.), clearly the most pathetic scientific hoax since Piltdown Man – which is why we nicknamed Mikey “Piltdown Mann” many years ago. 🙂

        • Shall we pull out all the critiques of the so-called “independent” reconstructions from Cimate Audit? It won’t be pretty.

          • Whether or not it’s a blog is irrelevant. Are the criticisms correct or not? McIntyre provides all his data and code, so feel free to invalidate his results.

          • The DonK is complaining on a blog about someone citing a blog. Are we supposed to take his comment seriously? I’d say NOT.

          • Even funnier that you quote Wiki, but anyway. The problem with these “Independent” reconstructions is that they are nothing of the sort. Can you really, with a straight face claim that “Jones and Mann” is independent of “Mann and Jones”?

            Go and read who all the authors are of these papers and you’ll see that many are the same people swapping their names around.

            Once you understand that it’s the same people recycling the same data the “agreement” between papers is quite obvious and not a particularly powerful argument. The Wegman report actually looked into this matter and graphed the proxies used in various papers. Read the report and see.

          • Thank you Jeff.

            I have excerpted the Wegman report below – that should be sufficient.

            Donald L K ‘s above attempt to rehabilitate Piltdown Mann’s disgraced hockey stick is an extremely bold lie, especially when published on this site.

        • Donald L. Klipstein wrote this false statement:
          “A lot of subsequent reconstructions have confirmed the findings of MBH98.”

          Thank you for your nonsense Donald – we knew when “Piltdown” Mann and friends published the Hokey Stick that it was false nonsense – subsequent conduct by the Hokey Team and related events suggest that it was deliberate fraud.

          I published this article in 2005:

          DRIVE-BY SHOOTINGS IN KYOTOVILLE
          The global warming debate heats up
          Energy & Environment 2005
          by Allan M.R. MacRae

          [Excerpt]

          But such bullying is not unique, as other researchers who challenged the scientific basis of Kyoto have learned.

          Of particular sensitivity to the pro-Kyoto gang is the “hockey stick” temperature curve of 1000 to 2000 AD, as proposed by Michael Mann of University of Virginia and co-authors in Nature.

          Mann’s hockey stick indicates that temperatures fell only slightly from 1000 to 1900 AD, after which temperatures increased sharply as a result of humanmade increases in atmospheric CO2. Mann concluded: “Our results suggest that the latter 20th century is anomalous in the context of at least the past millennium. The 1990s was the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, at moderately high levels of confidence.”

          Mann’s conclusion is the cornerstone of the scientific case supporting Kyoto. However, Mann is incorrect.

          MANN ELIMINATED FROM THE CLIMATE RECORD BOTH THE MEDIEVAL WARM PERIOD, A PERIOD FROM ABOUT 900 TO 1500 AD WHEN GLOBAL TEMPERATURES WERE GENERALLY WARMER THAN TODAY, AND ALSO THE LITTLE ICE AGE FROM ABOUT 1500 TO 1800 AD, WHEN TEMPERATURES WERE COLDER. MANN’S CONCLUSION CONTRADICTED HUNDREDS OF PREVIOUS STUDIES ON THIS SUBJECT, BUT WAS ADOPTED WITHOUT QUESTION BY KYOTO ADVOCATES.

          In the April 2003 issue of Energy and Environment, Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and co-authors wrote a review of over 250 research papers that concluded that the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age were true climatic anomalies with world-wide imprints – contradicting Mann’s hockey stick and undermining the basis of Kyoto. Soon et al were then attacked in EOS, the journal of the American Geophysical Union.

          In the July 2003 issue of GSA Today, University of Ottawa geology professor Jan Veizer and Israeli astrophysicist Nir Shaviv concluded that temperatures over the past 500 million years correlate with changes in cosmic ray intensity as Earth moves in and out of the spiral arms of the Milky Way. The geologic record showed no correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and temperatures, even though prehistoric CO2 levels were often many times today’s levels. Veizer and Shaviv also received “special attention” from EOS.

          In both cases, the attacks were unprofessional – first, these critiques should have been launched in the journals that published the original papers, not in EOS. Also, the victims of these attacks were not given advanced notice, nor were they were given the opportunity to respond in the same issue. In both cases the victims had to wait months for their rebuttals to be published, while the specious attacks were circulated by the pro-Kyoto camp.

          *************

          • Your “article” is not science, it is an opinion piece.
            ..
            You have not addressed Wahl & Ammann 2006.
            ..
            You have not addressed Pollack and Smerdon 2004.
            ..
            You have not addressed Anders Moberg 2005.

            and on and on and on.

            You see Allan, there are many studies subsequent to MBH98 that have confirmed its findings.
            ..
            How about you post a scientific study (not a blog post) that has a valid reconstruction from data that REFUTES Mann?

          • “Wasn’t the Marcott 2013 paper the one where Marcott said the last 100 years were not statistically robust?”

            Marcott also has very low temporal resolution, which means centennial changes aren’t seen. Worthless.

          • “You see Allan, there are many studies subsequent to MBH98 that have confirmed its findings.”

            Hmm. The NAS said M&M’s critiques were correct, meaning MBH has no statistical value. So all the studies that “confirm” it came up with the same wrong answer. Wonderful.

          • Finding that MBH98 can only get a hockey stick by grossly overweighting one tree ring series (bristlecone pines) in one small area of the southwest US DOES invalidate it.

          • Donald. If MBH 98 contradicts the written records, then it is invalidated. Real records, historical records trump a proxy reconstruction. Real records show that certain places were much warmer than today, MBH98 says they weren’t. MBH98 loses.

            It really is that simple.

            It wasn’t called the “Little Ice Age” because historians thought it was a cool sounding name, but because it was cold, very cold. The like of which has not been see in 200 years. During the retreat from Moscow, starving French troops could cut strips of flesh from the walking horses to eat. The horses didn’t notice and the blood froze instantly healing the cuts.

            Recent drilling in the Alps discovered mixed mud, horse and elephant dung in a pass, a passage that Hannibal used. The area is under 30 feet of ice and snow today. Guess what? It was warmer then.

            People can argue about the statistics all they want, I really don’t care. Historical records and archaeological evidence says that MBH is wrong.

          • Repeating from above for Donald L K:

            MANN ELIMINATED FROM THE CLIMATE RECORD BOTH THE MEDIEVAL WARM PERIOD, A PERIOD FROM ABOUT 900 TO 1500 AD WHEN GLOBAL TEMPERATURES WERE GENERALLY WARMER THAN TODAY, AND ALSO THE LITTLE ICE AGE FROM ABOUT 1500 TO 1800 AD, WHEN TEMPERATURES WERE COLDER. MANN’S CONCLUSION CONTRADICTED HUNDREDS OF PREVIOUS STUDIES ON THIS SUBJECT, BUT WAS ADOPTED WITHOUT QUESTION BY KYOTO ADVOCATES.

            When Mann et al eliminated the MWP and the LIA from the historic record, their paper MBH98 was obviously in error. It was a remarkably bold falsehood, and was for a while adopted by the IPCC’s warmist propagandists as their centrepiece – but even they avoid it now.

            The Wegman report and others utterly savaged MBH98 – and you Sir show remarkable brass by trying to raise it from the dead. If you ever pull that off, it will be one of the greatest deceptions of all time.

            I salute your boldness, Sir, but not your intellect or your integrity.

          • Donald L K
            Below is the evidence of how totally false your above allegations are.

            Who are you writing your lies for Sir? Certainly not the experts who post on this site and who have studied this subject for decades – your target audience must be the Ryan’s and the Griff’s, scientific illiterates who have guzzled the warmist Kool-Aid and keep regurgitating it, as you do. Shame on you Sir!

            The Wegman Report fully supported McIntyre’s work and declared that the much-touted (by-the-IPCC) Mann hockey stick was broken.

            EXCERPTS FROM WEGMAN REPORT

            The debate over Dr. Mann’s principal components methodology has been going on for nearly three years. When we got involved, there was no evidence that a single issue was resolved or even nearing resolution. Dr. Mann’s RealClimate.org website said that all of the Mr. McIntyre and Dr. McKitrick claims had been ‘discredited’. UCAR had issued a news release saying that all their claims were ‘unfounded’. Mr. McIntyre replied on the ClimateAudit.org website. The climate science community seemed unable to either refute McIntyre’s claims or accept them. The situation was ripe for a third-party review of the types that we and Dr. North’s NRC panel have done.

            WHILE THE WORK OF MICHAEL MANN AND COLLEAGUES PRESENTS WHAT APPEARS TO BE COMPELLING EVIDENCE OF GLOBAL TEMPERATURE CHANGE, THE CRITICISMS OF MCINTYRE AND MCKITRICK, AS WELL AS THOSE OF OTHER AUTHORS MENTIONED ARE INDEED VALID.

            “Where we have commonality, I believe our report and the [NAS] panel essentially agree. We believe that our discussion together with the discussion from the NRC report should take the ‘centering’ issue off the table. [Mann’s] decentred methodology is simply incorrect mathematics …. I am baffled by the claim that the incorrect method doesn’t matter because the answer is correct anyway.

            Method Wrong + Answer Correct = Bad Science.

            The papers of Mann et al. in themselves are written in a confusing manner, making it difficult for the reader to discern the actual methodology and what uncertainty is actually associated with these reconstructions.
            It is not clear that Dr. Mann and his associates even realized that their methodology was faulty at the time of writing the [Mann] paper.

            We found MBH98 and MBH99 to be somewhat obscure and incomplete and the criticisms of MM03/05a/05b to be valid and compelling.

            OVERALL, OUR COMMITTEE BELIEVES THAT MANN’S ASSESSMENTS THAT THE DECADE OF THE 1990S WAS THE HOTTEST DECADE OF THE MILLENNIUM AND THAT 1998 WAS THE HOTTEST YEAR OF THE MILLENNIUM CANNOT BE SUPPORTED BY HIS ANALYSIS.

            [The] fact that their paper fit some policy agendas has greatly enhanced their paper’s visibility… The ‘hockey stick’ reconstruction of temperature graphic dramatically illustrated the global warming issue and was adopted by the IPCC and many governments as the poster graphic. The graphics’ prominence together with the fact that it is based on incorrect use of [principal components analysis] puts Dr. Mann and his co-authors in a difficult face-saving position.

            We have been to Michael Mann’s University of Virginia website and downloaded the materials there. Unfortunately, we did not find adequate material to reproduce the MBH98 materials. We have been able to reproduce the results of McIntyre and McKitrick.

            GENERALLY SPEAKING, THE PALEOCLIMATOLOGY COMMUNITY HAS NOT RECOGNIZED THE VALIDITY OF THE [MCINTYRE AND MCKITRICK] PAPERS AND HAS TENDED DISMISS THEIR RESULTS AS BEING DEVELOPED BY BIASED AMATEURS. THE PALEOCLIMATOLOGY COMMUNITY SEEMS TO BE TIGHTLY COUPLED AS INDICATED BY OUR SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS, HAS RALLIED AROUND THE [MANN] POSITION, AND HAS ISSUED AN EXTENSIVE SERIES OF ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENTS MOST OF WHICH APPEAR TO SUPPORT THE CONCLUSIONS OF MBH98/99… OUR FINDINGS FROM THIS ANALYSIS SUGGEST THAT AUTHORS IN THE AREA OF PALEOCLIMATE STUDIES ARE CLOSELY CONNECTED AND THUS ‘INDEPENDENT STUDIES’ MAY NOT BE AS INDEPENDENT AS THEY MIGHT APPEAR ON THE SURFACE.

            IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THE ISOLATION OF THE PALEOCLIMATE COMMUNITY; EVEN THOUGH THEY RELY HEAVILY ON STATISTICAL METHODS THEY DO NOT SEEM TO BE INTERACTING WITH THE STATISTICAL COMMUNITY. ADDITIONALLY, WE JUDGE THAT THE SHARING OF RESEARCH MATERIALS, DATA AND RESULTS WAS HAPHAZARDLY AND GRUDGINGLY DONE. IN THIS CASE WE JUDGE THAT THERE WAS TOO MUCH RELIANCE ON PEER REVIEW, WHICH WAS NOT NECESSARILY INDEPENDENT.

            BASED ON THE LITERATURE WE HAVE REVIEWED, THERE IS NO OVERARCHING CONSENSUS ON [MANN’S WORK]. AS ANALYZED IN OUR SOCIAL NETWORK, THERE IS A TIGHTLY KNIT GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS WHO PASSIONATELY BELIEVE IN THEIR THESIS. HOWEVER, OUR PERCEPTION IS THAT THIS GROUP HAS A SELF-REINFORCING FEEDBACK MECHANISM AND, MOREOVER, THE WORK HAS BEEN SUFFICIENTLY POLITICIZED THAT THEY CAN HARDLY REASSESS THEIR PUBLIC POSITIONS WITHOUT LOSING CREDIBILITY.

            IT IS CLEAR THAT MANY OF THE PROXIES ARE RE-USED IN MOST OF THE PAPERS. IT IS NOT SURPRISING THAT THE PAPERS WOULD OBTAIN SIMILAR RESULTS AND SO CANNOT REALLY CLAIM TO BE INDEPENDENT VERIFICATIONS.

            ESPECIALLY WHEN MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF PUBLIC MONIES AND HUMAN LIVES ARE AT STAKE, ACADEMIC WORK SHOULD HAVE A MORE INTENSE LEVEL OF SCRUTINY AND REVIEW. IT IS ESPECIALLY THE CASE THAT AUTHORS OF POLICY-RELATED DOCUMENTS LIKE THE IPCC REPORT, CLIMATE CHANGE 2001: THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS, SHOULD NOT BE THE SAME PEOPLE AS THOSE THAT CONSTRUCTED THE ACADEMIC PAPERS.

          • As we all know, nobody would ever make charges unless they were true.
            That’s why we no longer bother with trials for criminals.

            The difference between opinion and scholarship is apparently, whether it supports what you want to believe.

          • Keith S

            Edward Wegman is an eminent scholar and statistician.

            Your continued slanders of Dr. Wegman and his committee are ignorant and offensive.

            I have CAPITALIZED certain words below because you are possibly otherwise incapable of understanding them – perhaps you too have problems reading lower case letters, cursive etc., apparently a common trait among the many illiterate and innumerate minions of the warmist camps.

            “Edward Wegman is an American statistician and a professor of statistics at George Mason University. He holds a Ph.D. in mathematical statistics and is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, a Senior Member of the IEEE, AND PAST CHAIR OF THE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL COMMITTEE ON APPLIED AND THEORETICAL STATISTICS.”

          • The Wegman Report is “opinion,” not science. You know full well opinions can never be “refuted.” Kinda like blog posts.

            Thanks Keith so much for pointing this out. You’ve demonstrated that the media circus commonly known as “climate science” is not science. The Wegman Report is kinda like the so-called “97% Consensus” of opinion that alarmists love to insist can never be “refuted” because, after all, “it’s the consensus”.

            The version of orthodox climate science presented to the public by politicians, journalists and actors who play scientists on TV consists chiefly of a bunch of opinions validated as being “true” by the same people doing the presenting on the grounds that “most scientists” share this opinion.

          • Keith,

            The Nature article doesn’t say one word about the content of the Wegman report, only that parts were copied, which is “not done”, only if you don’t like the message.
            The point is that many of the authors (and the reviewers) of the reconstructions are each others co-authors and a small group, using the same proxies and (wrong) methods over and over. That doesn’t tell us anything about the real global temperature in the MWP or earlier periods.

            As we can’t be sure what the average global temperature was during the MWP, it is a little premature to declare that the current warming is “unprecedented” or even caused by human emissions…

          • when addressing people that behave like petulant teenagers sometimes shouting a bit may get their attention.

          • Yes, it is important to notice that “Warmer climates are a good thing.” A BIT CHILLY is a bad thing for most human activities.

        • If you do the same thing as they did then you get the same answer. Its not exactly informative but might con those who see these reconstructions as being measurements.
          The Wikipedia entry on the North report was interesting. It paints that the North report found that there was no doubt that warming occurred over the past 400 years so “contrarian” complaints about the hockey stick are unjustified (which is that the MWP ending about 700 years ago was erased).
          Even those involved have since made large changes to their reconstructions.
          https://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/yamal_chronology_compare-to-b13.png

          • I suppose in a spiritual sense it is some consolation that Keith Briffa seemed to have rediscovered his professional compass and ethics to some degree before he passed.

          • “I suppose in a spiritual sense it is some consolation that Keith Briffa seemed to have rediscovered his professional compass and ethics to some degree before he passed.”

            Perhaps a tiny bit. Too bad he didn’t have the balls to denounce the alarm publicly. False Alarm that he helped produce.

        • Yep by using spurious methods to exclude series with high mediaeval values.
          The Pages2K community, the 2017 version has far less series with high mediaeval values. The end result is more and more papers with flat blades and a modern record spliced on. Bad data spliced on to relatively good post 1960 temperature data, no certain claimed can be made from such, and no policy should be decided on such spurious malfeasance

          Then there was Gergis et al, which used an arbitrary screening method on the Law Dome proxy series, but not the other series, an exclusion which gave a hockeystick result that had no “diluted message”.

          The primary justification for excluding proxies with high mediaeval values is that they don’t have a good match to the modern thermometer record, but that is not and never should be a justification. If a series has a match to the modern record, that does NOT mean it is accurate for the last 1000 to 10000 years. That is patently obvious, and that was why Mann and co deleted Briffa’s post 1960 data, because it went down (concealing the uncertainty of the proxy series, no excluding it because “it did not match the modern record, like pages, he kept what he liked and deleted the rest, which is what I call scientific fraud), and one wonders what Mann’s proxies did after 1970 too, but we wont know. Remember this is a man who used a series upside down intentionally in my opinion, as it is almost impossible to do that by accident.

          So, exclude all the series that have high mediaeval values and splice it to the modern thermometer record and you get hockeysticks.

          The meat of it is the data that is not in these studies, therefor, you and your wiki link have been smashed here mate

          • That’s doubly true when one can show that the modern record is hopelessly polluted my micro and macro conditions in the regions surrounding the sensor. Not to mention a mediocre attempt to maintain equipment and calibration logs.

  6. Except for the Germans, who remain guilt-stricken over Hitler and WWII, humans never voluntarily choose less prosperity. Electric bills would become far more burdensome if fossil fuels were to be abandoned, so this will quite simply never happen.

    • That’s fake psychology. Trump voluntarily dumped Paris, foisted upon the USA by Obama. The same Green nut wagon is still rollin’ along on 3 wheels in the EU. Dr. Schellnhuber, CBE, awarded personally by the Queen in 2004 at the Berlin Embassy, wrote the German Great Transformation, and the Pope’s paean to Gaia, Laudato Si. To say this is some Freudian nonsense just fake analysis. Macron’s Hulot resigned, so maybe just 2 wheels.

  7. “Fossil fuels have less of the long-lived 13C isotope of carbon, since they are mostly made from decaying plant material.”

    On the other hand, the OCO-2 satellite shows that there is considerable outgassing of CO2 in the oceans, particularly along the coasts and in the tropics. Upwelling brings to the surface waters that aren’t just reflective of the polar atmospheres a millennium ago. As the downwelling polar waters move towards the Equator, they are subject to a rain of organic detrital material, sometimes referred to as ‘marine snow’ by oceanographers. Much of this material is derived from dead photosynthetic organisms that selectively incorporate 12C rather than 13C. Thus, the material raining down on the abyssal plains is isotopically similar to that which made fossil fuels! Most of this material is oxidized and converted to CO2 during its downward fall, where it is dissolved in the cold, deep water. When it comes back to the surface as upwelling water, and the excess CO2 outgasses, I would expect it to have an isotopic signature enriched with 12C and probably not much different from the CO2 resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels.

    I don’t think this isotopic-preference claim has been examined in the detail required to support an exclusive anthropogenic source. Yet another example of unexamined assumptions.

    • Interesting thoughts. But, the amount of CO2 created by burning fossil fuels worldwide is known and the increase in atmospheric CO2 and the decrease in O2 are in the ballpark of what is expected from this, after subtracting increased biosphere uptake. Although the biosphere and ocean uptake of excess CO2 is increasing rapidly and who knows where we will wind up.

      • Andy, how does one get an accurate estimate of biosphere uptake? That sounds even less accurate than measuring the Earth’s average temperature. It would most certainly be hard to compare present biosphere uptake with any possible estimate of historical biosphere uptake.

        Those questions asked, I am sorry I cannot imagine that the amount of fossil fuel burned is known within plus or minus 25% if that. For example, we don’t even know how much coal was being transferred from NOKO to China. We know that China’s data, at least that given to the rest of the world, are whatever they believe works for China on a given day.

        • Edwin, the amount of fossil fuels burned is tracked fairly closely because the producers and sellers of fossil fuels report their production and sales to their governments and various organizations like the EIA and IEA compile the info and publish it. See here for the data. https://ourworldindata.org/fossil-fuels

          Steve is correct, once compiled, the fossil fuels burned add up to 4PPM per year. But, the CO2 is only going up by about 2 PPM per year, the rest is increased uptake by the biosphere and the oceans.

          Lots of papers on the greening of the Earth. As the Earth greens it takes up more CO2. See here: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/carbon-dioxide-fertilization-greening-earth
          CO2 increases are responsible for an estimated 70% of the greening we are witnessing.

          • It seems unlikely the reports by producers and sellers would take into account the burning of thousands of uncontrolled coal fires all over the world, which must produce a fairly significant amount of CO2.

          • Andy,

            As I pointed out in my first guest editorial in WUWT, there are numerous underground coal fires burning throughout the world. One estimate I read for a single fire in China was that the single fire contributed more CO2 than all the automobiles in the US. In any event, those poorly characterized sources aren’t included in the production figures of anthropogenic CO2.

            Coal mining waste, even though it doesn’t actually burst into flames, is continuously oxidizing, contributing CO2 to the atmosphere.

            Similarly, there are huge quantities of methane that are flared off (burned) at oil wells throughout the world, all contributing CO2, that aren’t a part of the production record of fossil fuels.

            The production figures only provide a lower bound on CO2 from fossil fuels. Again, one of the deficiencies of the accepted Carbon Cycle.

          • Clyde Spencer,

            The net CO2 amount absorbed by the biosphere is known with reasonable accuracy thanks to the oxygen balance and the necessary increased accuracy of the oxygen measurements (better than 1 in 1 million).
            That shows that the biosphere as a whole: plants, insects, animals, forest fires (and coal seems fires) is a net, increasing sink for CO2 over periods longer than 3 years:
            http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf
            On short term, the biosphere may be a temporary source of CO2 during El Niño events.

            As the biosphere is a net sink for CO2, that increases the 13C/12C ratio of the atmosphere. So do the oceans: the average deep ocean δ13C is 0 to +1 per mil, of the ocean surface +1 to +5 per mil, fossil fuels -26 per mil, the atmosphere: pre-industrial -6.4 per mil, since 1850 rapidly sinking to below -8 per mil nowadays, in about exact ratio to fossil fuel burning.

            There is a high chance that human use of fossil fuels is more underestimated than overestimated (China…), that only makes that nature is a larger sink than calculated from the inventories, in any case not an extra source…

      • In fact, the amount of CO2 created by burning fossil fuels worldwide in known to a much higher level of fidelity than the natural global sources and sinks of CO2. It’s nice that we know how much fossil fuel we burn because it is measured economically, but the comparison to the natural budget is difficult because of the unknowns in that arena. You find that about the smallest component of the overall CO2 budget is the best known by an order of magnitude or more, and we find a situation akin to adding 4 to 400.

        • It seems unlikely the reports by producers and sellers would take into account the burning of thousands of uncontrolled coal fires all over the world, which must produce a fairly significant amount of CO2.

          • Gil,

            Those fires do that already for thousands of years, without much influence on CO2 levels or δ13C (a measure of the 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere).

            Over the past 10,000 years of the Holocene, CO2 levels were about 280 +/- 10 ppmv, δ13C levels were -6.4 +/- 0.2 per mil. Since humans started burning fossil fuels in large quantitities since qbout 1850, CO2 levels increased 110 ppmv and δ13C levels dropped to below -8 per mil:
            http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/sponges.jpg

      • Andy:
        Estimates are guesses!
        They are absolutely terrible for replacing data!

        Finance, manufacturing, refineries, assembly plants, etc. consider estimates to be useful for limited preparations.

        Which is why the quote “No plan survives contact” is a clear warning against believing “estimates”. They are only to provide a working start, not decide global effects!

        Alleged global CO₂ estimates are based upon estimates, based upon assumptions, based on limited knowledge, etc. etc.
        The fuel itself is estimated.
        The consumption rate is estimated.
        Consumers are estimated.
        The CO₂ emission rate is estimated.

        Only a few countries, mostly western civilization, provide somewhat accurate base estimates.
        The majority of global countries are incapable of determining reasonable starting estimates.
        Quite a few countries are untrustworthy or even duplicitous. It is not their desire to share accurate internal information.

        Earth’s carbon and carbon dioxide active regions range from tens of miles deep, throughout the oceans and into the troposphere.
        Man’s participation in this active region is analogous to spores on a peach.
        i.e. inconsequential.
        Claims otherwise are claims based on ‘Argumentum ad Ignorantiam”, the argument from ignorance and represent the hubris of man.

        As a Manager of Budget, I prepared financial and work plans for the following year. I also had to explain, in detail, why reality divulged from planning; ever accounting period and every quarter during the following year.
        But, that was not a witch hunt!
        Instead it was to help managers and supervisors to understand why, where they made bad decisions and where they made great decisions.

        This was when I knew exactly:
        How many buildings,
        How many employees,
        How many miles,
        How many days,
        Hours of work, per employee, per vehicle, per building, etc. etc. etc.

        What was unknown was the volume of work, the weather, traffic conditions, the health of each employee, explicit difficulty of that work, exact work hour rate for every minute…
        Our plans could be off as much as 25%! Or they could hit within 1%
        And we knew exact numbers going into estimating.

        This wasn’t piddling work. Our division had 4 large plants, 400 plus offices with an annual $750 million revenue/expense budget.

        Yet, desk jockeys believe they can estimate human caused CO₂ by using gross assumptions with almost zero verification.
        A claim that ranks with how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

        Meanwhile, the OCO-2 satellite barely registers man’s activities?

        • I thoroughly agree with your analysis of the uncertainties of macro estimates applied to real-world micro realities.
          I had a similar business experience as commercial director of an electrical contracting company whose senior estimator proposed that we enter a tender for a large shopping mall job on the basis of cost + 5%.
          I said no way did we know our costs accurately to within 5% on a job that size, over such a protracted construction time – we need to go in at estimated cost + 20% minimum.
          The board of directors over-ruled me and went with the costs + 5% pricing.
          We lost so much on that job it eventually sent the company broke.
          Acting on numbers pulled out of derrieres has tragic consequences for lots of people.

        • ATheoK,

          The fossil fuels inventories are somewhat better than guesses for the simple reason that there are (heavy) taxes on fossil fuel sales. Each type of fuel further has its typical CO2 release when burned.

          There may be some underestimaton from under-the-counter sales to avoid taxes, but that only increases the real emissions and thus underestimates the net sinks in nature…

      • So, stated did Andy May – September 1, 2018 9:39 am

        But, the amount of CO2 created by burning fossil fuels worldwide is known and the increase in atmospheric CO2 and the decrease in O2 are in the ballpark of what is expected from this, after subtracting increased biosphere uptake.

        OH, MY, MY, ……the mimicry of “junk science” agitprop is not something I approve of, to wit:

        I compiled the following statistics via reliable sources, to wit:

        Increases in World Population & Atmospheric CO2 by Decade

        year — world popul. – % incr. — Dec CO2 ppm – % incr. — avg increase/year
        1940 – 2,300,000,000 est. ___ ____ 300 ppm est.
        1950 – 2,556,000,053 – 11.1% ____ 310 ppm – 3.3% —— 1.0 ppm/year
        [March 03, 1958 …… Mauna Loa — 315.71 ppm]
        1960 – 3,039,451,023 – 18.9% ____ 316 ppm – 1.9% —— 0.6 ppm/year
        1970 – 3,706,618,163 – 21.9% ____ 325 ppm – 2.8% —— 0.9 ppm/year
        1980 – 4,453,831,714 – 20.1% ____ 338 ppm – 4.0% —– 1.3 ppm/year
        1990 – 5,278,639,789 – 18.5% ____ 354 ppm – 4.7% —– 1.6 ppm/year
        2000 – 6,082,966,429 – 15.2% ____ 369 ppm – 4.2% —– 1.5 ppm/year
        2010 – 6,809,972,000 – 11.9% ____ 389 ppm – 5.4% —– 2.0 ppm/year
        2017 – 7,550,262,101 – 9.80 % ____ 407 ppm – 4.4% —– 1.8 ppm/year

        Source of CO2 ppm: ftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/products/trends/co2/co2_mm_mlo.txt

        Based on the above statistics, to wit:

        Fact #1 – in the past 77 years – world population has increased 228% (5.3 billion people) – atmospheric CO2 has increased 35.7% (107 ppm)

        Fact #2 – human generated CO2 releases have been exponentially increasing every year for the past 60 years (as defined by the population increase).

        Fact #3 – the burning of fossil fuels by humans has been exponentially increasing every year for the past 60 years. (as defined by the population increase).

        Fact #4 – a biyearly or seasonal cycling of an average 6 ppm of atmospheric CO2 has been steadily and consistently occurring each and every year for the past 60 years (as defined by the Mauna Loa Record and Keeling Curve Graph).

        Fact #5 – atmospheric CO2 has been steadily and consistently increasing at an average yearly rate of 1 to 2 ppm per year for each and every year for the past 60 years (as defined by the Mauna Loa Record and Keeling Curve Graph).

        Conclusions:

        Given the above statistics, it appears to me to be quite obvious that for the past 77 years (or the 60 years of the Mauna Loa Record) there is absolutely no direct association or correlation between:

        #1 – increases in atmospheric CO2 ppm and world population increases:

        #2 – the biyearly or seasonal cycling of an average 6 ppm of atmospheric CO2 and world population increases;

        #3 – the biyearly or seasonal cycling of an average 6 ppm of atmospheric CO2 and the exponential yearly increase in fossil fuel burning;

        #4 – the average yearly increase in atmospheric CO2 of 1 to 2 ppm and the exponential increase in fossil fuel burning;

        #5 – there is absolutely, positively no, per se, “human (anthropogenic) signature” to be found anywhere within the 60 years old Mauna Loa Atmospheric CO2 Record.

        And, NO “human signature” …… = …… NO “anthropogenic” atmospheric CO2 increase.

        Cheers

          • Stay away from science Ryan. Citing flat earth only makes you look like a fool without an argument

          • Clyde Spencer – September 1, 2018 8:31 pm

            Sam,
            I have to disagree with your point #5, based on my Figure 3 at

            [graph- Atmospheric CO2 Concentration vs. World Population]

            It may be a spurious correlation, but it exists, nevertheless.

            Clyde S, …… you got that right. Your cited graph is in fact a spurious correlation, to wit:

            spurious
            not being what it purports to be; false or fake.
            •(of a line of reasoning) apparently but not actually valid.

            Clyde S, …… your cited graph is little more than a silly attempt by a miseducated person …. or a devious attempt by learned pro-CAGW person …… to convince the clueless and gullible that the “junk science” claims concerning atmospheric CO2 are based in factual science of the natural world.

            The graph is FUBAR because it portrays a correlation between world population “quantity” and atmospheric CO2 ppm “quantity” which is irrelevant, immaterial and asinine simply because that is akin to comparing “apples to rutabagas”.

            Clyde S, …… to be of any scientific value, the above cited graph should have “plotted” the average yearly increases in “anthropogenic CO2 emission” relative to the average yearly increases in “atmospheric CO2 ppm

            And ps, Clyde S, … iffen you were to “plot” the average yearly increase in the temperature of the ocean waters for the past 60 years, relative to the average yearly increase in atmospheric CO2 ppm for the past 60 years,…….. I am absolutely, positively sure that your graph would show a “direct correlation” between the two.

            Cheers

          • Sam,

            You said, “…your cited graph is little more than a silly attempt by a miseducated person … or a devious attempt by learned pro-CAGW person to convince the clueless and gullible that the ‘junk science’ claims concerning atmospheric CO2 are based in factual science of the natural world.”

            You are only digging your hole deeper. I’m not “miseducated.” And, being a regular reader, you should know that I’m not “pro-CAGW.”

            While I’m open to alternative depictions for the relationship between CO2 and population, I was presenting something that directly addressed YOUR point #5.

            However, I’d like to point out that population is a result of longevity of individuals being added at a rate that exceeds the rate of removal, and CO2 concentration is a result of the longevity of molecules being added at a rate that exceeds the rate of removal.

          • Clyde, if you created the above cited graph …… then sorry bout that. You apparently believe that your graph has “scientific merit”, …… but it doesn’t. Therefore it is obvious to me that you have been miseducated, …… to wit: “Miseducate = educate, teach, or inform wrongly

            Here, read this, apparently you ignored it in my above post.

            Clyde S, …… to be of any scientific value, the above cited graph should have “plotted” the average yearly increases in “anthropogenic CO2 emission” relative to the average yearly increases in “atmospheric CO2 ppm

            Clyde, if we assume each person emits one (1) pound of CO2 each year, therefore, in 1960 anthropogenic CO2 emissions totaled 3,039,451,023 pounds …… and atmospheric CO2 was 316 ppm.

            And in 2017, 57 years later, CO2 emissions totaled 7,550,262,101 pounds …… and atmospheric CO2 was 407 ppm.

            And the yearly increase of CO2 in 1960 was an average 1-2 ppm for 3.0 billion tons of emissions.

            Whereas, the yearly increase of CO2 in 2017 was still an average 1-2 ppm for 7.6 billion tons of emissions.

            So Clyde, please explain how it was possible to emit an additional 4.6 billion tons of CO2 in 2017 without it affecting the “average yearly increase”.

            Anyway, Clyde S, my stated point #5 was as follows:

            #5 – there is absolutely, positively no, per se, “human (anthropogenic) signature” to be found anywhere within the 60 years old Mauna Loa Atmospheric CO2 Record.

            And iffen you don’t understand what I meant by “human signature”, then figure it out via the following, to wit:

            The term “signature” is also used to mean the characteristics that give an object, or a piece of information, its identity. By analogy, the word “signature” may be used to refer to the characteristic expression of a process or thing. For example, the climate phenomenon known as ENSO or El Niño has characteristic modes in different ocean basins which are often referred to as the “signature” of Icie collier.” Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signature

            So Clyde, you take a close “look see” at the Keeling Curve Graph and/or the Mauna Loa Record …… and then “point” out to me wherein you think is a plainly visible “signature” of human emissions.
            Link to Mauna Loa Record: ftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/products/trends/co2/co2_mm_mlo.txt

            Or Clyde, maybe you can explain the CO2 that is plotted on this graph, to wit:
            http://i1019.photobucket.com/albums/af315/SamC_40/1979-2013UAHsatelliteglobalaveragetemperatures.png

          • Samuel,

            No problem at all to show the influence of human emissions:
            http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em2B.jpg
            The average human emissions were 1 ppmv/year, the increase in the atmosphere 0.5 ppmv/year in 1960. Both quadrupled in the past 60 years, thus average the sinks also increased a fourfold, as the extra CO2 in the atmosphere also increased a fourfold.

            Taking into account the extra CO2 pressure (pCO2) in the atmosphere and a decay rate of about 51 years, one can calculate the theoretical increase in the atmosphere (= emissions – sinks). That is in the middle of the natural variability and all increase is caused by human emissions…

          • Ferdinand Engelbeen – September 3, 2018 1:57 am

            The average human emissions were 1 ppmv/year, ……. the increase in the atmosphere 0.5 ppmv/year in 1960.

            Shur nuff, Ferdinand, …. shur nuff, …….. and you “reverse calculated” those two (2) ppmv/year quantities like 50 years “after-the-fact” via highly questionable records and lots of guesses and assumptions.

            And lucky, lucky for you that your “fuzzy math” calculated 1960 “ppmy” quantities were pretty much exactly one fourth (1/4) as much as your present day (2017) “fuzzy math” calculated “ppmy” quantities. Shur was pretty nice, Ferdinand, …… the way your “calculated results” worked out in your favor. Miracles of miracles, ….. HUH?

            Ferdinand Engelbeen – September 3, 2018 1:57 am

            That is in the middle of the natural variability and all increase is caused by human emissions

            OH, … my, my, ….Ferdinand, …. please tell me what it is about the termites of the world that you refuse to give them any credit for their yearly emitting tenfold (10x) more CO2 than humans do?

          • Samuel:

            Miracles of miracles

            Just plot the trendlines and you will see that the increase in the atmosphere 60 years ago and today is about half human emissions and in both cases a tripling to quadrupling of quantities.
            The large variability in sinks may hide that in years with large temperature excursions, but that zeroes out in 1-3 years.

            what it is about the termites of the world… … emitting tenfold (10x) more CO2 than humans do?

            Termites like molds, bacteries, other insects and animals of any kind are part of the biological cycle and can’t eat more wood (thus produce CO2) than was first grown by absorbing larger quantities of CO2 than can ever be released by termites… The biosphere balance is more sink than source, whatever the termites do.
            In contrast, the human balance is only source, hardly any sink…

          • @ Ferdinand Engelbeen – September 3, 2018 11:08 am

            Ferdie, previously you claimed an atmospheric CO2 decay rate of about 51 years, to wit:

            Taking into account the extra CO2 pressure (pCO2) in the atmosphere and a decay rate of about 51 years,

            https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/09/01/the-great-climate-change-debate-william-happer-v-david-karoly-part-a/#comment-2446934

            Frdie, now you are claiming an atmospheric CO2 decay rate of 1-3 years, to wit:

            The large variability in (CO2) sinks may hide that in years with large temperature excursions, but that zeroes out in 1-3 years.

            https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/09/01/the-great-climate-change-debate-william-happer-v-david-karoly-part-a/#comment-2447186

            Ferdinand, you just “choose n’ cite” your conjured up “fanciful facts” in you posted commentary where they serve your best interest.

            Ferdie, if as you claim, ….. that the “atmospheric CO2 decay rate is about 51 years”, ….. then what you are actually claiming is that 89% to 98% of all human emitted CO2 from 1958 to present is still resident in the atmosphere.

            Your idiotic “junk science” tripe and piffle is really getting on my nerves.

          • Way off-base, Sam.

            SURPRISE, SURPRISE, ….. JA, ….. but I don’t cater to the “liberal” base of climate delusionists.

        • Samuel,

          Of course, there is no correlation between CO2 emissions and increase in the atmosphere, as there is no correlation between a straight line (CO2 emissions) and a lot of noise (caused by temperature variability). That noise is only +/- 1.5 ppmv around a trend of +90 ppmv. Thus says nothing about the cause of the trend.

          Have a look at the total amount of CO2 emitted by humans and the increase in the atmosphere:
          http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_emiss_increase.jpg
          Or against each other:
          http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2_1900_cur.jpg
          NO “human signature”, come on Samuel…

          • Have a look at the total amount of CO2 emitted by humans and the increase in the atmosphere:

            Ferdie, both of your cited graphs are “chock full” of data “points” which there is no way in hell you can substantiate as being actual or factual.

            It is not just me, …. but the stomata CO2 proxies are literal proof that your pre-1958 “guesstimated” atmospheric CO2 ppm quantities are FUBAR, to say the least.

          • Samuel,

            human emissions might have been underestimated, thus only more CO2 released than plotted.
            CO2 levels up to 1958 are from the high resolution (less than a decade) Law Dome ice cores with a repeatability of 1.2 ppmv (1 sigma) and a 20 year overlap (1960-1980) with direct measurements at the South Pole.

            Stomata data are too unreliable to base any CO2 level of the past on that proxy. Stomata data are calibrated against CO2 data from… ice cores and direct measurements over the past century. Ice cores CO2 is the gold standard, stomata data only a derivative…

            Here the calibration curve for stomata data from two types of oak:
            http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/stomata.jpg
            If you find a stomata index of 7%, the corresponding CO2 level may have been between 315 and 360 ppmv…

          • September 3, 2018 11:42 am

            CO2 levels up to 1958 are from the high resolution (less than a decade) Law Dome ice cores with a repeatability of 1.2 ppmv (1 sigma) and a 20 year overlap (1960-1980) with direct measurements at the South Pole.

            There ya go again, Ferdie, …… with your posting of “convenient facts” best suited for “proving” (CYA’ing) your current claim.

            Your above “claim” is that atmospheric CO2 is ingassed (absorbed) into the “wintertime” snowpack in Antarctica and thus sequestered in the glacial ice and is currently being measured to determine past atmospheric CO2 ppm quantities.

            Whereas tomorrow you will AGAIN be “claiming” that the biologically generated CO2 is being outgassed (emitted) through the “wintertime” snowpack in the Arctic, as well as in other parts of the “wintertime” Northern Hemisphere which results in the biyearly (wintertime/seasonal) increase in atmospheric CO2 ppm.

            You truly believe that your use of selective “facts” ……. permits you to “have your cake and eat it too”.

      • Andy,

        Those correlations could be coincidence. Any oxidation, whether inorganic or organic, will use up oxygen. It doesn’t require combustion.

        The CO2 increase isn’t a good match for that produced by fossil fuel combustion. It is a fraction, and it is speculation that unspecified ‘sinks’ are preventing all the anthropogenic CO2 from showing up in the atmosphere. The quantification of the Carbon Cycle is another unexamined assumption.

        • Clyde,

          There CO2 increase is the difference between fossil fuel emissions and the net sink rate in nature, whatever the distribution between oceans and biosphere.

          The net sink rate is highly linear: proportional to the extra CO2 in the atmosphere (whatever the source) above the long term equilibrium between ocean surface (and biosphere) for the current average sea surface temperature (about 290 ppmv) with an e-fold decay rate of about 51 years.
          That is too long to absorb all human emissions in the same year as emitted, thus the remainder accumulates in the atmosphere.

          • Ferdinand Engelbeen –

            That is too long to absorb all human emissions in the same year as emitted, thus the remainder accumulates in the atmosphere.

            Ferdinand, ……. how’s come that “human emitted remainder” in CO2 emissions ALWAYS seems to accumulate at the start of “springtime”, in mid-May, in the Northern Hemisphere?.

            How’s come that human emissions “remainder” can’t be detected in July, …. or September, ….. or even December?

            Iffen the absorption of CO2 by the biosphere can’t keep up with the emissions of CO2 by the humans, ….. then that accumulated difference should be measurable from June thru December and on thru mid-May of the next calendar year.

            And the ML Record doesn’t show any of the aforesaid atmospheric CO2 “continuous accumulations”.

            Why not, Ferdie, why not?

          • Samuel:

            how’s come that “human emitted remainder” in CO2 emissions ALWAYS seems to accumulate at the start of “springtime”, in mid-May, in the Northern Hemisphere?.

            Because what accumulates is not alone the CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning, but the sum of biosphere release of decaying vegetation minus the first photosynthesis of NH spring and the release of CO2 from the oceans with increasing seasonal temperature, plus a part of human emissions.

            Have a look at the increase in remaining CO2 over two separated periods in time:
            http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/seasonal_CO2_MLO_trend.jpg

            The second period shows an increase which gets larger all over the year and ends with more than a doubling of the residual CO2 increase, still only half human emissions in both periods…

          • but the sum of biosphere release (CO2) of decaying vegetation minus the first photosynthesis of NH spring

            Ferdinand, you are a prime example of an ole adage of ….. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.

            I’ve told you before that microbial decomposition of dead biomass is severely restricted during the Northern Hemisphere’s “fall & winter” seasons (September thru March).

            And I’ve also told you that the photosynthesis activity of the NH spring ….. DOES NOT and CAN NOT begin until mature leaf foliage has developed on the “green growing” biomass …… which doesn’t occur until mid to late April at the earliest in the mid and northern latitudes.

      • Andy,

        You said, “…the decrease in O2 are in the ballpark of what is expected…” This is not really supported by

        https://www.livescience.com/56219-earth-atmospheric-oxygen-levels-declining.html

        In fact, the article says,”There was no consensus on whether the oxygen cycle before humankind began burning fossil fuels was in or out of balance and, if so, whether it was increasing or decreasing,” In other words, like so many aspects of climatology, the past is known so poorly that any claims based on past behavior have little credibility.

        • Clyde,

          That -interesting- research was about very long term O2 changes (0.7%) over 800,000 years, not the current very fast O2 changes over the past decades: 0.02% per decade, or 0.7% in 350 years..

      • DMA,

        That is one of the several errors Dr. Salby made in his speeches… But he never published his stories here or elsewhere, where we could have a real debate about his theories…

        In short: indeed there is a short term (1-3 years) influence of temperature on the CO2 rate of change, mainly by influencing the uptake/release of CO2 in tropical vegetation. Nobody disputes that. See Pieter Tans (NOAA) about that item from sheet 11 on in his speech for 50 years Mauna Loa:
        https://esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/co2conference/pdfs/tans.pdf

        Where Dr. Salby is wrong is by concluding that the CO2 increase thus is not (necessary) from human emissions. What he didn’t take into account is that vegetation is a small, but increasing sink for CO2 (except for El Niño periods), preferential for 12CO2, thus leaving relative more 13CO2 in the atmosphere and thus not the cause of the fast 13C/12C decline in the atmosphere…

        The massive source of low-13C is the atmosphere is our combustion of fossil fuels, nothing else…

  8. The problem in this matter is that almost all the data is rubbish, and not fit for scientific study. This precludes a serious scientific debate.

    Take for example the MWP. The claim that the MWP is simply a Northern Hemisphere event is not based upon evidence from the Southern Hemisphere that it did not happen in the Southern Hemisphere. Instead, it is based upon the fact that there is little evidence from the Southern Hemisphere (since it is mainly oceans and was sparsely inhabited with people who kept written records). Absence of evidence is not proof that something did not happen.

    Further, even if the the MWP is simply a Northern Hemisphere event, we know of no reason to explain this. If CO2 is the control knob, and if CO2 did not significantly rise during the MWP, what caused the Northern Hemisphere warming? Again, AGW proponents never explain this. I have never seen an explanation for the temperature profile of the Holocene and what caused the Holocene Optimum.

    Yet further one cannot begin to compare proxies with low resolution, against thermometers with high resolution. Of course, with low resolution one cannot extract rates of warming. Everything is muted and smoothed.

    It would take pages to explain the problems with the land thermometer reconstructions and the land/ocean thermometer reconstructions, but it is noteworthy that the US has shown that the 1930s were the warmest period. Of course, the US represents only a relatively small area of the globe, but materially, it is a large land mass, with many and varied geographical features and climate zones, and there is no obvious geographical and/or topographical features that would render it an outlier for the mid latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere (say 25 to 50 deg North). Given that the US has the best spatial coverage and historic data, giving it the best and most complete thermometer record, any AGW proponent should be obliged to identify the matters which renders the US as an outlier for Northern Hemisphere mid latitude response.

    The fact is that, pre the satellite era, there is no global data worth a pinch of salt. From a historic perspective one should only look at the Northern Hemisphere, and I am far from convinced that there has been any warming since the 1930s/early 1940s. If that is the case, given that nearly 99% of all manmade CO2 emissions have taken place since then, it would suggest that Climate Sensitivity to CO2 is low, if there be any sensitivity at all.

    PS. I am well aware that there is a plethora of evidence and papers that suggest that the MWP was global and not restricted to the Northern Hemisphere.

    • Good points. Probably the MWP was global, but this is based largely on historical records and glacial termination studies. The various proxies we use, ice cores, tree rings, lake sediments, shell chemistry, etc. Do not show it clearly, which is confusing. I suspect that the problem lies with the proxies, they are very low resolution and low accuracy and we are looking for a 300 year anomaly that may only be one or two degrees. It could easily be smoothed or averaged out of existence in the proxy data. In many ways Karoly and Tamblyn are applying a micrometer to a brick.

      • The evidence is quite good that the MWP was global, only more prominent in the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. The question if the MWP was warmer than the present cannot be solved with the information available. I suspect it wasn’t, based on Moberg et al., 2005 reconstruction of NH temperature for the past 2000 years.

        Thank you for the debate transcription. It is interesting.

        Even if Karoly is right and modern global warming is the most prominent since Roman times, that doesn’t make it unusual except to our eyes. Millennial-scale warming and cooling periods of several centuries are common during the Holocene. That it hasn’t happened in quite a few centuries doesn’t mean that it is our fault.

        • Not enough info to decide whether MWP was warmer than today? Well, Greenland is not yet warm enough to allow the farming that was carried on by the Vikings 1000 years ago. Ancient whale skeletons are found in Arctic near-shore waters that have only recently been ice free in the summer, not frozen over all year.

          • That Greenland was warmer during the MWP than now does not mean that the world was warmer than now during the MWP. A thousand years ago insolation was higher at Northern high latitudes due to Milankovitch orbital changes.

            The ancient whale skeletons are from the Holocene Climatic Optimum, a period that was clearly warmer than the present.

            I have looked at the issue with neutrality and I can honestly say that I have not found convincing evidence either way. I do not know if the MWP was warmer than today. It was probably similar to sometime in the 20th century.

            Experts that have looked at the issue have reached the same conclusion. That is why the most usual claim is that we are at the warmest in the past 1000 years. That is probably true.

          • That Greenland was warmer during the MWP than now does not mean that the world was warmer than now during the MWP. A thousand years ago insolation was higher at Northern high latitudes due to Milankovitch orbital changes.

            Not true.
            1. There are now several hundreds of papers (more than 500 worldwide) detailing findings WORLDWIDE that the MWP (and Roman Optimum before that, and Minoan Optimum before that, and Egyptian Optimum before that!) were both worldwide, were warmer that today’s Modern Warming Period, and were all four themselves characterized by shorter regular far-smaller ups-and-downs. NONE of the previous Warming Optimum Periods were steady, smooth, plateaus, but were long 200-300 year periods of generally higher temperatures than today’s Modern Warming Optimum. See the entire reference list at http://www.co2science.org

            You selectively picked Greenland’s ice core measurements to allow yourselves to pretend the MWP was a “northern European” thing, that the evidence comes from a single source, and that the “evidence” cannot be used definitively to claim the MWP was warmer than today’s MWO because today’s warmer temperatures have not reached their maximum. Your selection of that single piece of evidence won’t work here.

            2. Please show your calculations showing the Milankowitz TOA radiation levels were higher only 1000 years ago. (Oh, the MWP was not centered at year 1000, nor really even 1018 AD. It was rather broader than that, later than that. )

          • Keith Sketchly

            If the MWP was warmer than today, and lasted for a longer period of time, then the tree stumps being uncovered at the terminus of the glaciers in Glacier National Park would carbon date to Medieval times. They don’t.

            Keith Sketchley, quoting from your NPS Bulletin 1902 link above:

            The younger group of moraines was formed by
            advances that culminated in the mid-19th century as
            indicated by tree-ring studies at several localities in the park.
            During that time, Glacier National Park contained more than
            150 glaciers. The climatic cooling of the mid-19th century that
            produced these moraines, although mild compared to fullglacial
            conditions, was the most severe climatic deterioration
            in the Glacier National Park region since the end of the
            Wisconsin glaciation.
            Since the mid-19th century, glaciers in Glacier National
            Park have shrunk dramatically. From the mid-19th century
            until about 1920 retreat rates were slow. From 1920 to the
            mid-1940’s the Glacier National Park region experienced a
            period of above average summer temperatures and below
            average annual precipitation that caused the glaciers to
            retreat drastically; many disappeared altogether. After the
            mid-1940’s, the overall retreat rates slowed. Between 1966
            and 1979, several of the larger glaciers in the Mount Jackson
            area advanced slightly.

            No, your claim is NOT supported by your own reference: The most recent morraines (rocks deposited by the terminal edge of a retreating glacier) were deposited as recently as the late 1800 (1850-1890 warm period). NOT the far more ancient trees exposed above the Mazama and earlier Mt St Helens ash deposits. Trees re-forest above an exposed the newly-exposed ground very, very quickly when a glacier retreats: See the large “forests” of regrowth at the base of the Middenhall Glacier in suburban Juneau that have grown back since its mid-century retreat. (Well, the Middenhall Lodge as well.) So, those exposed trees may have come from not just one retreat from many dozen glacier retreats. The moraines deposited by one glacier are wiped out by a later expansion; the advances made by one (or many) expansions are ALL wiped out by one single later expansion that grinds all the previous moraines into dust and re-re-deposited rock falls.

          • You missed the whole point there Mr. RACook. ALL of the carbon dating is either recent (mid 18th century) or 10,000+ years BP.
            ..
            My point is that NOTHING dates to Medieval times. If it was warmer, and warmer for a longer period of time, you’d be finding organic matter in the moraines that dates to 950-1250 AD as re-vegiation would have occurred.

          • Keith, glaciers cover tree stumps when they advance, not when the retreat.
            Glaciers are retreating from their highs of the Little Ice Age, therefore it is logical that the trees being uncovered were covered during that advance.

            No contradiction, just a basic misunderstanding on your part.

          • Keith, glaciers cover tree stumps when they advance, not when the retreat.
            Glaciers are retreating from their highs of the Little Ice Age, therefore it is logical that the trees being uncovered were covered during that advance.

            More important, since the glaciers in each local area have advanced and retreated about every 1000 years since the last major Ice Age (12000-odd years ago), there have many dozen different glacier advances and retreats – every one of which covers and uncovers trees and bogs and rosks many dozen different times. Or perhaps only a few times. Or perhaps only a dozen times, but the ninth retreat and tenth advance were more severe than the 6th, 7th, and 8th, so those glaciers wipes out the early evidence of trees left behind under one particular glacier. Or perhaps not. Or perhaps that one glacier was the only one surveyed in that particular rock hollow that left behind trees killed by nbr 6 advance.

          • Yes MarkW, they cover them when they advance. If the MWP was warmer than today, the tree stumps that get covered by advancing ice would carbon date to 850-1250 AD. They don’t date anywhere near that point in time.

          • Thirteen radiocarbon ages were obtained from
            organic material collected from bogs and exposures in
            the Glacier National Park region. Radiocarbon dating of
            the lowermost organic material at these sites has yielded
            minimum ages for deglaciation and the beginning of
            organic sedimentation. Radiocarbon dating of wood
            fragments from some of these sites has yielded minimum
            ages for the establishment of shrubs and trees following
            deglaciation.
            Cores were taken from trees within the forest
            trimlines fronting the Agassiz and Jackson Glaciers and
            also from trees immediately beyond the fresh, bouldery
            moraines of several other glaciers in the park. These
            cores were analyzed to date the glacial advance of the
            mid-19th century.

          • Yup, and the dates do not show a de-glaciation event from the Medieval period. Anybody that claims the MWP was warmer than today has to show that in areas that are de-glaciating now, de-glaciated circa 950-1250 AD ALSO.

          • “There are now several hundreds of papers (more than 500 worldwide) detailing findings WORLDWIDE that the MWP … were warmer that today’s Modern Warming Period”

            There are lots of local proxies contradicting each other. Some saying it was warmer and some that it wasn’t. And a lot of proxies have problems to represent the most recent decades.

            Show me a single peer-reviewed scientific article where it is SAID that the MWP was globally warmer than now based on evidence.

            Moberg et al. 2005 used a bunch of proxies from the NH and concluded that MWP was not warmer even there.

            https://i2.wp.com/climexp.knmi.nl/data/imoberg2005.png

            His reconstruction ends in 1970 because of the mentioned problems with proxy tops. It is missing the second leg of warming of the 20th century.

          • Javier

            “There are now several hundreds of papers (more than 500 worldwide) detailing findings WORLDWIDE that the MWP … were warmer that today’s Modern Warming Period”

            There are lots of local proxies contradicting each other. Some saying it was warmer and some that it wasn’t. And a lot of proxies have problems to represent the most recent decades.

            Show me a single peer-reviewed scientific article where it is SAID that the MWP was globally warmer than now based on evidence.

            Nonsense. As mentioned, there are hundreds of papers showing the MWP was a worldwide, multi-century event.

            http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

          • “Nonsense. As mentioned, there are hundreds of papers showing the MWP was a worldwide, multi-century event.”

            We are not discussing that. I also agree that the MWP was global and multi-century.

            What we are discussing is whether there is good evidence demonstrating that it was warmer than the present. Pointing to a list of articles does nothing to prove your point. I have many of those same articles in my hard-drive and I have examined a good deal of them. That is why I say I have not found firm evidence that can support that the MWP was warmer than the present. My experience is that people that sustain that opinion is mostly because it fits what they want to believe and have selected some partial piece of evidence to support it, like for example an ice core record.

          • If Greenland was the only place we knew of that was warmer, you would have a point. However we have papers studying sites all over the world that show the world was warmer during this period.

          • “we have papers studying sites all over the world that show the world was warmer during this period.”

            And we have papers all over the world that show that it wasn’t. And you are ignoring those. That is called selection bias. The only way to get over selection bias is to look for evidence that contradicts your hypothesis, and if you find it then your hypothesis is weak. Most people aren’t trained to do that. Even a lot of scientists fail to do so despite being an important part of the scientific method.

            With the type of evidence we have we cannot say which period was warmer.

          • Javier,

            If you go by the reconstructed CET, the Modern WP has yet to equal, let alone surpass, the Medieval.

            There has not yet been a 50 year interval in the Modern WP as hot as at least three such periods during the Medieval. The interval 1951-2000 might have come close to one of them. The period 2001-2050 naturally will depend upon whether the past warming cycle ends, followed by a cooling phase counter to the secular trend since c. AD 1850.

      • I don’t think the MWP was any less global than the current warm period. Every distribution map I’ve seen shows today’s so called global warming crisis is in reality completely driven by arctic warming. The SH and Antarctic are flat or cooling.

      • Karoly also points out that during the last 800,000 years of the Pleistocene Ice Age, Antarctic ice cores suggest that CO2 levels have never been above 300 ppm.

        It seems to me that this statement is proof that CO2 doesn’t have much to do with temperature. During those 800,000 years of the Pleistocene, which, if I remember my historical geology correctly, was characterized by several glacial advances and retreats, that continued into (through??) the Holocene. If “global” temperatures varied as much as necessary to advance and then melt massive ice sheets, while the CO2 levels remained relatively flat (280-300), how can CO2 be that magical climate control knob???

        • The assumption that Antarctis ice cores suggest that CO2 levels have never been above 300 ppm, seems to be based on junk science.

          At a depth of 100 metres there will be CO2 clathrates in the ice, which will decompose when the core is extacted. There is also the matter of isotopes migrating in the ice.

          See Jaworowski et al 1992, and the latest paper from Hermann Harde.

          • Geir Aaslid,

            Please, let Dr. Jaworowski rest in peace, together with his ideas about CO2 in ice cores.
            Metal ions (including radio-isotopes) in ice cores was his field of interest, but his ideas about CO2 in ice from 1992 were already completely refuted in 1996 by the work of Etheridge e.a. on three Law Dome ice cores. See further:
            http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/jaworowski.html

            Further; clathrates are no problem nowadays by the newest sublimation techniques: everything is sublimated and cryogenically separated and measured over a mass spectrometer. No CO2 or isoptope that can hide anywhere…

            About Harde, see my comments at the discussion of a few days ago…

    • Agreed. The collective “global” surface temperature record is useless. There are scattered weather stations with some adherence to almost adequate methodology and maintenance. Some of those are in rural locations. Inspecting those selected rural stations invariably reveals that temperatures are NOT increasing.
      For example, the Antarctic science stations Amundsen-Scott, Vostok, Halley and Davis show zero warming since 1957.
      Some attempts to sift out the stations with better quality show much less warming than the stations with poor citing. Examine some individual stations reveals that a significant number, about one third, actually show some cooling over the last century. It would be interesting to see what kind of tap dancing is employed to explain why some good quality temp records are immune to “global warming”
      Also, as to temps separated by latitude, only the polar North shows significant warming.
      Why is the only region with warming the same region with the least number of temperature stations.
      Why do related measures of temperature, such as NOAA Heat Wave Index 1895-2015, show that the 1930s were significantly warmer than present.
      https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-high-and-low-temperatures

    • How anyone would place any constructive faith in the recent thermometer record with its known biases from UHI etc, that may well be an order of magnitude grater than the trend they are sniffing for, is utterly beyond me.

      Karoly ‘running away’ from the debate is the most compelling evidence, just like he ‘ran away’ from the absurd Gergis paper. In terms of ‘credit as a witness’ his is down the sewer with Hockeyschtick Mann for mine, i.e. he has none. Pixie Dust science is his field. Its very big at the bottom of the garden I hear.

    • Let us not forget that over half of the 1880 to 2018 record is made up from thin air

      How GISS can provide 1880 global anomaly or 1900 or 1910 or 1920 is beyond any reasonable argument. We have no idea what the 1900 anomaly was for global, with no data for most of the Northern Hemisphere and no data for almost ALL of the southern Hemisphere.

      Made up data, that is then adjusted. It is not science

  9. Kind of hate the way the questions were set up in the first place… they are all written from a sort of
    “How do we know the defendant has not yet stopped beating his wife” point of view. If you are going to debate fairly, start with a neutral framing of the question.

    • Neutral framing? You mean like this?

      “How do we know the defendant has not yet stopped physically assaulting their spouse?”

  10. “Karoly points out that over the last 800,000 years antarctica ice cores show that CO2 levels were constantly around 300 ppm. Thus indicating that human influence is apparent”.
    For my part I suspect this statement; due to the simple fact that CO2 has a far greater solubility in water than both oxygen and nitrogen. This must have had a considerable effect on the resulting constituents of gases in the ice bubbles dormant for thousands of years under considerable variations in the pressures etc. involved.

    There is no way I can substantiate this view; as it involves very complex calculations on molecule movements in such environments. This is a job for scientists.
    My enquiries on this indicated that much thought has been involved in this issue; but I gained the impression that no definitive answers had evolved. So it remains a large question mark in my book and I would be happier if significant changes in CO2 consentrations had been observed over the period, which I intuitively believe must have happened.

  11. How do we know that the higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are not due to ocean warming which will alter the exchange ratio between the ocean and the atmosphere.

    • Because of Henry’s Law.

      Whilst we do not know oceanic temperatures for the 19th or early 20th century, recent oceanic temperature rise is modest. and the CO2 out gassing that this minimal increase in temperature would cause is probably around 10 ppm.

      PS. I have not, late on a Saturday night, looked up the data and done the maths, but it that sort of ball park figure.

      • Won’t ocean absorption of CO2 also decrease as waters warm?
        My understanding is that the higher level of C14 present in the atmosphere is how it is determined that human emissions are “solely” responsible for the rising CO2 levels. But if the ocean is absorbing less CO2, then would that not account for at least some of the higher ratio of C14 in the atmosphere?

        • Sam Grove,

          The solubility of CO2 in seawater changes with about 16 ppmv/degr.C (or K). That can’t be responsible for most of the CO2 increase.
          It is about the 13C/12C ratio (14 C is a radioactive isotope from the atomic bomb tests). There are only two main sources of low 13C: fossil organics and recent organics. All other inorganic CO2 (oceans, carbonate rocks, volcanoes,…) is richer in 13C. As the biosphere is a net absorber for CO2, it is not the cause of the declining 13C/12C ratio.

  12. So they had a contest and paid $5000 to Tamblyn to continue the debate. How crazy is that?????

    I see Tamblyn is his usual wordy self. I really wish they had gotten someone who was better at debating. Burying your opponent in a deluge of words just does not appeal to me. However, I do credit Tamblyn with cutting his own carbon footprint. He comes close to actually living out what he believes.

    • I agree. His replies tarnished what had begun as a very good debate. He turned over the apple cart and went way outside the parameters established by Karoly and Happer, and into irrelevant nonsense. Happer and Karoly were really getting at the guts of the important questions, and Tamblyn made a mess of it. Dr. Happer has the patience of a saint.

    • “However, I do credit Tamblyn with cutting his own carbon footprint. He comes close to actually living out what he believes.”

      I don’t, he’s a plant hater.

  13. “The “Hockey Stick” graph he refers to is from (Mann, Bradley and Hughes 1998). This paper is often abbreviated as MBH98.”

    1) Use of debunked research based upon hidden data is chicanery
    2) Use of heavily adjusted, extremely badly located instrumental data borders on chicanery.
    3) Use of substituted data smeared up to 1,200km from other instrumental data is likewise chicanery.
    4) Claims that Antarctica is rapidly warming based upon smeared instrument data from cherry picked instruments up to 1,200km away makes for bogus global warming anomalies and circular reasoning.

    “While historical records suggest Europe, Greenland and many other areas were warmer then, we do not have enough data to show the whole world was warmer.”

    Crops grown, treelines, max glacier advance, max glacier retreat are natural responses to warmer and colder periods.
    That warmth dependent crops were grown in locations currently untenable to those same crops are excellent proofs for warm and cold periods.

    That alarmist alleged researchers, refuse to accept that crops requiring warmth grew over vast locales further north than is now possible is amusing when these same researchers willingly cite dubious proxies based upon hidden data.

    “They also fully agree that the CO2 concentration in our atmosphere is increasing about 2 ppm/year, which is about half of human emissions.”

    Got definitive proof for that claim? Absolutely definitive, not specious estimates based on personal opinions?

    “Karoly compares the relatively accurate, high-resolution modern global average temperature rise of 0.9°C over the past 100 years, to the sparse, very low resolution and poorly-dated temperature proxy records of the past 1,000 years and asserts that no 100-year temperature rise in the past millennium is as large as we have recently seen.”

    1) Utterly absurd!
    * a) “Global” is not global, at all!
    * b) “relatively accurate, high-resolution modern global average temperature”
    * * i) Relative is a weasel word to hide major metrology networks ignoring and hiding accumulating temperature errors.
    * * According to this belief, the most modern, highest accuracy laboratory thermistor instrument offsets badly located thermometers with +/- 2.0°C accuracy ranges allowing “modern global average temperature” capable of identifying 0.9°C anomalies, globally.
    Piffle!

    2) Researchers have identified similar warming episodes with near identical slopes of increase in both the 19th and 20th centuries.

    “This is all about Happer and Karoly,”

    “Unfortunately, Dr. Karoly backed out in the middle of the debate, so the responses to Dr. Happer’s statement and interview were written by Glenn Tamblyn, a blogger for the website skepticalscience.com.”

    Lost my interest right there. I’m sorry I read through this post.

    • Your points are well taken and I agree with most of them. Sorry you did not like the post. Objectivity is impossible of course, but for Parts A,B and C I’m trying to keep my opinions out of sight and report what Happer and Karoly are saying in the documents I’m summarizing. My opinions are being saved for Part D.

      Regarding CO2 rising at 2 ppm/year (IPCC estimate for 2002-2011), I think that is a pretty solid, but rounded number. The full Mauna Loa record (1959-2015) gives a slope of 1.5 ppm/year and shows slight acceleration. The estimates of fossil fuel produced CO2 are rough, but generally believed to be about twice the increase seen in the atmosphere. Thus the biosphere is picking up more, the oceans the rest. In IPCC AR5, Physical Science Basis, page 467, the actual numbers they estimated and the error bars are listed. Out of a total emissions of 555 PgC, 240 have remained in the atmosphere. The oceans took up 155 and biomass took up 160. These are not exact, but reasonable estimates in my opinion.

  14. “A precise global temperature record, that can accurately show a one-degree change in 100 years, of the past millennium will probably never be created, the temperature proxies available are simply not that accurate.”

    That statement completely invalidates the notion that what we’re experiencing today is unprecedented. We just don’t know.

  15. These people could not see a climate turn coming if it hit them in the face.

    The reason why they can’t see it is because they do not know what causes the climate to change.

    If they did then they would be calling for a change.

    If I am correct (weakening magnetic fields solar/geo) then this year 2018 will continue to be the transitional year and cooling will continue overall thereafter.

    The test is on.

  16. “Happer agrees that the observed increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is due to human activity: ”
    CO2 might have gone up due to emissions but the “observed” increase is no such thing.

  17. Haven’t heard from him in ages in Australia, he would have been all over the MSM spouting the wild fires across the world as proof of man-made climate change. Karoly is a nasty little, small minded man. He shouts down anyone with an opposing voice. He continually ignores relevant science and information. The fact he stormed out simply proves he is very wrong.

  18. Climate change is not global warming or global warming is not climate change. If a relatioship between global warming and antropogenic greenhouse gases after 1951, as suggested by IPCC, present the relationship quantitatively to prove this theory. Otherwise all such discussions only serve timepass wasting time and energy.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • I keep saying it, over and over, there is no such scientific theory as “climate change”. Why? No predictive model that incorporates all of the relevant areas of research. If you have no predictive model, you have no theory.

  19. Karoly bailed out, and I am not surprised.

    he was involved in the very dishonest Gergis 2016 mess. There were a lot of lies coming from that team around that paper, that was exposed by FOI’d emails and the timeline McIntyre put together.

    Gergis then did an interview with the Conversation where she told patent falsehoods.

    I cited the lies in the comments section and provided the citations, and got a massage in my gmail a few days later telling me my comment was deleted.

    There is a special kind of zealotry and certainly a pathological bent in Australia in the alarmist climasphere that is matched nowhere else on earth. Many scientists there lie their behinds off and don’t even blink. The levels of dishonesty in the alarmist scientific community there are unmatched, they tell blatant lies. Gavin Schmidt would do well there

    • As an Australian I have to sadly agree with that remark in the first sentence of the last para
      Indicative of the dishonesty of the MSM here is the opportunistic argument they run that the severe droughts experienced in central NSW and Qld are caused by climate change caused by us Aussies burning coal .
      As Australia only contributes 1.2% of world CO2 emissions of which coal burning would contribute no more than 30% of the 1.2 % its hard to see what effect we have on world or local temperatures -even if one accepts there is such a connection.
      However at the same time the drought is occurring, our Alps to the south east have recorded record snow falls this southern winter plus the dams are full in the central part of the southern state of Victoria where winter rains have resulted in nearly a year’s fall in just 8 months to date while there is a bumper wheat crop in the state of Western Australia
      Maybe these anomalies are due to holes in the CO2 layer which prevent those parts of the nation under the holes from heating ?

  20. When we do not even know why living plants prefer different isotope ratio’s of C, N, K, H. S, Mg.
    And what of the anomalous abundance of 16O17O18O Ozone?
    Is molecular chirality linked to isotope preferences in living processes?
    After all our atmosphere is part of the biosphere.

  21. I said last year this would be happening this year(lower overall temperatures) in response to weakening magnetic fields solar/geo . If I am correct in that the magnetic fields have much to do with the climate then it will follow that past tools used to forecast the climate will fail (if the magnetic fields are extreme enough either direction, in this case weakening ) unless they incorporated magnetic field strengths which we know they did not.

    That is the essence of my argument and why I am so against the models and trying to make this point, in my article which will be coming out soon. This is also why I am confident that the so called AGW is over.

    It comes down in large part to galactic cosmic rays and just how much influence do they have in global cloud cover and explosive volcanic activity.

    The evidence is there when one looks at the global electrical circuit and forbush events .

    If you get the cloud coverage wrong and do not incorporate major future volcanic activity in any fashion the climate forecast will not be correct.

    This is why I say how could any one think models in this environment will perform well, unless of course one thinks the magnetic /climate connection is hogwash.

    My two cents , but it is early and I know better then to celebrate more time is needed but I like the trend..

    Seismic Monitor shows 30 day past earthquakes mag. 4.0 or higher up from an average of 680 to now 940!

  22. Here is a list of simple and easy to understand arguments upon which every climate change debate should focus. We need to KISS if we want to win this debate. Too often we get mired down in the Weeds. Climate debates should focus on the obvious flaws that anyone could understand. If we debate the minutia of the science, they win. They want to confuse the audience with endless meaningless details. Focus on the facts that carry the most bang for the buck.

    Comprehensive Climate Change Beatdown; Debating Points and Graphics to Defeat the Warmists
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2018/08/11/comprehensive-climate-change-debating-points-and-graphics-bring-it-social-media-giants-this-is-your-opportunity-to-do-society-some-real-good/

  23. “Atmospheric Fingerprint”(cooling in the stratosphere and warming in the troposphere) From link: Another two observations show that CO2 is trapping more heat: Satellites measure less heat escaping to space at the precise wavelengths which CO2 absorbs; From what point in time compared what point in time? Since CO2 ppm is evenly distributed is the cooling in the stratosphere evenly distributed? Surface measurements find this heat is returning to Earth to warm the surface. We know that, so what. From what I understand (IPCC report) the troposphere must be warming faster than surface temperature, am I wrong? An increased greenhouse effect would make nights warm faster than days, and this is what has been observed. Since when the sun goes down the SWR stops are nights, world wide, “make night warm faster than days” every 24 hour period world wide? “nights warm faster than days”: This seems to me to be an odd statement. I know, due to weather patterns, the day time temperature may be cooler than night time temperature for a short period of time but “warming faster” all night long?

  24. “Karoly disagrees with researchers that think the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) (~900-1200 AD) was warmer than today.”

    My opinion, speaking as a retired engineer, is that the most reliable proxy for temperature is the Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL). In a isostatically and tectonically stable region the primary factor affecting GMSL; has to be the global average ambient temperature. How does Karoly explain, in the absence of global temperature variations and the MWP, the global sea level variations throughout the Holocene in a region like South Africa.

    Pasted below is an extract from the South African Journal Of Science!

    “The southern African coastline has been tectonically stable throughout the late Quaternary, which means that sea-level change in this region would have been marginally affected by postglacial eustatic rise during the end of the Pleistocene and the early parts of the Holocene. Holocene RSL records for the eastern and western coastlines are incomplete in extent and coarse in resolution. South African sea-level research has therefore relied largely on global records as a benchmark. During the last 7000 years, southern African sea levels have fluctuated by no more than ±3 m. Sea-level curves based on observational data for southern Africa indicate that Holocene occurred at 6000 and again at 4000 cal years BP, followed by a lowstand from 3000 to 2000 cal years BP. The mid-Holocene highstands culminated in a sea-level maximum of approximately 3 m above mean sea level (MSL) from 7300 to 6500 cal years BP and of 2 m above MSL at around 4000 cal years BP. Thereafter, RSL dropped to slightly below the present level between 3500 and 2800 cal years BP.13 Sea-level fluctuations during the late Holocene in southern Africa were relatively small (1–2 m); however, these fluctuations had a major impact on past coastal environments. Evidence from the west coast suggests that there was a highstand of 0.5 m above MSL from 1500 to 1300 cal years BP, or possibly earlier (1800 cal years BP13), followed by a lowstand (-0.5 m above MSL) from 700 to 400 cal years BP. A lowstand along the southern coast, dated to 700 cal years BP, is evident from in-situ tree stumps exposed at low tide. The majority of proxy sea-level data from South Africa derive from sites on the western and southwestern coastlines (e.g. Langebaan, Knysna, Verlorenvlei and Bogenfel Pan).”

    South African Journal of Science http://www.sajs.co.za Volume 110 | Number 1/2 January/February 2014

    • KAT, agree that GMSL is a very good proxy as it essentially covers most of the planet. Though there is some mass-inertia in the land ice slowing down responses (and Antarctica is meteorologically isolated to a large extent). Still, it’s prb’ly one of the best proxies available.

  25. Refreshing to read the views of two intelligent people. If they differ so much from one another, it is apparent that more work needs to be done.

  26. “2. How do we know the excess CO2, and other greenhouse gases, are from human activities?”

    — I’ve always thought that this question is largely irrelevant. It matters not a whit if CO2, or warming, is from human activities or if it’s natural. If warming is dangerous and we can do something about it, where expected benefits exceed the expected costs, then we should address it whether the warming is natural or not. Conversely, even if mankind is the proximate cause, if we cannot prevent such warning, then that should have an impact on how we decide to respond. Futile gestures that have no benefits are meaningless and wasteful. And if the warming is not dangerous, or if it is beneficial, then we should do nothing to prevent it from happening.

    In no part of the decision tree is it important whether mankind is the proximate cause of the warming or not.

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