Congressional Climate Briefing to Push “End of Climate Change Skepticism”

by Judith Curry

Press release from the Democrats of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee:

Three prominent scientists will present the best case yet for the end of climate skepticism in Washington and the world over the fact that the world is warming at a congressional briefing held by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.)

The briefing will feature the first appearance on Capitol Hill by Dr. Richard Muller since the release of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project results. Dr. Muller was previously skeptical about many aspects of climate science, but the massive two-year study he led has validated the fact that the world is warming. His work also debunked many talking points repeated by climate science deniers that have been repeated by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Dr. Ben Santer of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will discuss new research on recent warming. Dr. William Chameides, dean of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and vice-chair of the National Academies’ Committee on America’s Climate Choices, will discuss the findings of the National Academies’ America’s Climate Choices reports.

WHAT: Congressional climate science briefing: “Undeniable Data: The Latest Research on Global Temperature and Climate Science”

WHO: Reps. Ed Markey, Henry Waxman, others

Dr. Richard Muller, Director of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project

Dr. Ben Santer, research scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Dr. William Chameides, Dean of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and ViceChair of the National Academies’ Committee on America’s Climate Choices

WHERE: 1324 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

WHEN: Monday, November 14, 2011, 2 PM

There will be a live webcast.

The latest from Berkeley Earth

From the BEST FAQ page:

Is it time now to end global warming skepticism?

Our study addressed only one area of the concerns: was the temperature rise on land improperly affected by the four key biases (station quality, homogenization, urban heat island, and station selection)? The answer turned out to be no – but they were questions worthy of investigation. Berkeley Earth has not addressed issues of the tree ring and proxy data, climate model accuracy, or human attribution. 

Do Judith Curry and Richard Muller disagree?

Below is a joint statement by Judith Curry and Richard Muller: 

In recent days, statements we’ve made to the media and on blogs have been characterized as contradictory. They are not. 

We have both said that the global temperature record of the last 13 years shows evidence suggesting that the warming has slowed. Our new analysis of the land-based data neither confirms nor denies this contention. If you look at our new land temperature estimates, you can see a flattening of the rise, or a continuation of the rise, depending on the statistical approach you take. 

Continued global warming “skepticism” is a proper and a necessary part of the scientific process. The Wall St. Journal Op-Ed by one of us (Muller) seemed to take the opposite view with its title and subtitle: “The Case Against Global-Warming Skepticism — There were good reasons for doubt, until now.” But those words were not written by Muller. The title and the subtitle of the submitted Op-Ed were “Cooling the Warming Debate – Are you a global warming skeptic? If not, perhaps you should be. Let me explain why.” The title and subtitle were changed by the editors without consulting or seeking permission from the author. Readers are encouraged to ignore the title and read the content of the Op-Ed. 

We do not agree with each other on every feature of climate change. We have had vigorous discussions, for example, on the proper way to analyze hurricane records. Such disagreements are an essential part of the scientific process. 

JC comments:  The “end of skepticism about climate change” meme seems to have caught on with the warm PR groups.  I suspect that pushing this will be as successful as Gore’s 24 hours in terms of changing anyone’s mind.

It will be interesting to see if Richard Muller repeats the following statements on this topic that he has made on the BEST website:

Continued global warming “skepticism” is a proper and a necessary part of the scientific process.

Are you a global warming skeptic? If not, perhaps you should be. Let me explain why.

Berkeley Earth has not addressed issues of the tree ring and proxy data, climate model accuracy, or human attribution.

444 responses to “Congressional Climate Briefing to Push “End of Climate Change Skepticism”

  1. To this non-scientist (thank God for liberal arts degrees!), the “end of skepticism” means the “end of the scientific method.” It then gives a carte blanche to every liberal cause as it moves through Congress.

    Happily (or sadly), the US Government is fully in downsize mode, and I doubt we’ll see another “Stimulus” that will contain much in the way of AGW-excused projects.

    • Yes, the “end of skepticism” means the “end of the scientific method.”

      It is no coincidence that Professor Richard Muller tried to tie Professor Judith Curry to his support for the scam exposed by the Climategate e-mails in 2009.

      http://joannenova.com.au/global-warming/climategate-30-year-timeline/

      The plan may not work as intended, but it will establish the fact that AGW is more about politics than science.

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo

    • This non-scientist agrees with your point about the “end of the scientific method” completely. How any real scientist believes that you can believe in the scientific method and disagree with scientific skepticism is beyond me.

    • To this scientist/engineer, the “end of skepticism” also means the “end of the scientific method.” The committee asks: Send the Committee your questions for the witnesses
      The following is my question/statement to the Committee:

      Re: “End of Climate Change Skepticism”
      How can you preserve the scientific method when you destroy skepticism?

      Your advocacy directly undermines the scientific method which requires continual skepticism, testing, and refining of observations, hypotheses, and theories.

      Your statement is a repugnant rhetorical equivocation between the attribution “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming” and “the global temperature increased during the second half of the 20th century.”

    • “end of skepticism” means the “end of the scientific method.”

      Would you still be be saying that if the consensus position on GH gases was that they were benign and it was just one or two maverick scientists who were skeptical!

      The objection is not to genuine skepticism, where its well founded. Rather, it is to the use of the term to cover a political objection. and therefore a non-scientific rejection of, scientific findings on AGW

      • At best that is an asinine conclusion, devoid of any value, except auto-titilation

      • “Would you still be be saying that if the consensus position on GH gases was that they were benign and it was just one or two maverick scientists who were skeptical!”

        Yes. That was easy.

      • Michael Alexander,

        It might surprise you to know that the consensus position used to be that CO2 and other GH gas emissions were benign. The old consensus started to break down in the 70’s and 80’s and the new scientific consensus, today, is pretty solid that they present a serious threat to the climate.

        So, although you may have given the easy answer, it is an incorrect answer. When the old consensus held sway there was no questioning of the scientific method, no unfavourable comparison with the Establishment at the time of Gallileo, no suggestion that the very few sceptics who had raised the alarm were present day Gallileos, and no suggestion that “Pal review” prevented them from expressing their views in the scientific literature!

      • temp

        You have made an incorrect statement. There is NO consensus that additional CO2 is a serious threat to the climate. There is probably one that it warms the planet somewhat, but not that it is a serious threat

      • Rob Starkey,

        Perhaps you’d like to have a word with the UK’s royal society then. They still have this on their website “Preventing Dangerous Climate Change”.
        http://royalsociety.org/uploadedFiles/Royal_Society_Content/policy/publications/2009/4294969306.pdf

        The US National Academy of Sciences are probably in need of your words of wisdom too.
        http://dels-old.nas.edu/climatechange/

      • Temp

        If you were to state that 2+2=5 often enough does that make it true?

        Given that there are many who disagree that additional CO2 will threaten the environment, by definition there is not a consensus. It is simply that you have wrongly used the word consensus

      • Rob Starkey,

        Firstly, a consensus isn’t the same thing as unanimity.

        Secondly, a consensus isn’t decided on a show of hands or even a secret ballot. In fact, you and I don’t get a vote in the matter at all! The scientific world isn’t an egalitarian democracy. You might wish it were, but …..

        Sorry to have to give you the bad news on that point.

      • Temp, with all due respect, your reply to my answer makes no sense. If the circumstances were reversed, and CO2 and other atmospheric gasses were still considered benign, and if a handful of scientists had a theory that the gasses were not benign, I would have no problem with them pursuing research to try and prove they were indeed on to something.

        “It might surprise you to know that the consensus position used to be that CO2 and other GH gas emissions were benign. The old consensus started to break down in the 70′s and 80′s and the new scientific consensus, today, is pretty solid that they present a serious threat to the climate.

        Uhm… I was alive when the “consensus” gradually changed. I have also in my lifetime seen consensus shift one way, then either back toward the earlier hypothesis, or in yet a different direction. The one that comes to me at the moment is the notion of catastrophic “nuclear winter”. This was a pet idea of the late great Carl Sagan. It gained a lot of support by the early 80’s. Yet today most of the scientific community has ultimately rejected the worst case scenario that Carl Sagan championed. Unlike climate science, there was no barrier or ridicule heaped on other scientists who though Sagan was wrong, and were encouraged to do the research to prove their case. They were not labeled “Nuclear Winter Denialists”.

      • Sonicfrog, Are you the same person as Michael Alexander then?

        Science doesn’t always come up with findings which cause right wing types to think that every university and government department to be staffed by green environmentalists/communists intent on destroying the American way of life etc.

        Still there is often controversy. Yet, if a radio astronomer claims the discovery of a new planet they don’t get lectured on the scientific method. If 98 astronomers think there is a planet and there are two who are sceptical, and say there isn’t, the majority don’t get told to do ‘experiments’ on this planet! Or they don’t get told that their claim for a new planet can’t possibly be true because they have done the right experiments (whatever they might be) on the planet. The two sceptics aren’t likened to Galileo! Considered heros in the face of an hostile establishment.

        Would this be because the existence, or otherwise, of this planet doesn’t affect the price of petrol, and so the knuckle-draggers who inhabit this blog don’t give a stuff either way?

      • Yes. All theories are subject to testing.

        Einstein’s theory of relativity is still being tested. See
        Apollo Lunar Laser Ranging where they are seeking sub mm resolution over 384000 km.

        How much more “climate science” where even the “pause” in temperature over the last decade is so highly disputed.

      • Temp… You’re changing the parameters of the question. Your original question didn’t factor in politics, just as my answer didn’t.

        “Yet, if a radio astronomer claims the discovery of a new planet they don’t get lectured on the scientific method. If 98 astronomers think there is a planet and there are two who are sceptical, and say there isn’t, the majority don’t get told to do ‘experiments’ on this planet! Or they don’t get told that their claim for a new planet can’t possibly be true because they have done the right experiments (whatever they might be) on the planet…”.

        They also shouldn’t be able to pressure the two scientists into exile and silence. And the 98 scientists should not be able to exaggerate and say this planet is definitely causing an increase in weather events here on Earth when there is no scientifically discernible measure to show there is a real increase in events (tornadoes, hurricanes, etc) or any real science to back those claims.

        PS. Yes, I am one and the same.

      • So temp,

        Are you saying that all of those who have stated opinions of doubt, disbelief, and skepticism are either not real scientists or are only acting on politically based motives?

    • To this non-scientist (thank God for liberal arts degrees!), the “end of skepticism” means the “end of the scientific method.”

      The statement is obviously about a political position, not a general practise. There’s no need to confuse the issue by misquoting a popular (and unfortunate) bit of jingoism.

  2. Isn’t this all a little premature.. ie papers not peer reviewed yet, etc.. criticism by Judy of 2 papers not ready?, and methodology questioned in some areas by a number of people, especially UHI

    But peer review is key here.

    I read the WSJ op-ed and Prof Muller has said some contradictory things since.

    • Robert of Ottawa

      Well, no, peer review is nothing to do with it; it is a propaganda exercise. No one will follow up whether the BEST papers were actally published, let alone modified. The BEST timetable, including this convenient trip to Congress, prior to publication, is in preparation for the political junket in Durban. IT IS NOT COINCIDENTAL.

  3. Politics now decides what people should or shouldn’t believe!

    It’s asininess is so obvious that it will be ridiculed even on those places where these things have been jokingly suggested.

    • Certainly ultra right politics seems to dictate towards a general disbelief when science reports on problems of an environmental nature.

      On the other hand, I don’t believe the rest of us would actually believe there was any sort AGW problem unless the scientific community had said such a problem existed. In fact that was the case before about 1990. It never even occurred to us.

      • Unlike the ultra left, which has a surprisingly neutral stance on environmental policies.

        As for the scientific community – how about showing us the number of it’s members that are on record as stating AGW is a problem? Can you even tell us the number of people in this “community”?

        Let’s make it easier – how many scientists are there in the world whose discipline touches on “climate science” in some fashion?

        And what about the “engineering community”? Most people I know with engineering / techincal backgrounds range from somewhat to seriously skeptical of AGW being any sort of threat.

  4. Which statistical techniques show any significance for this and at what level? “If you look at our new land temperature estimates, you can see a flattening of the rise, or a continuation of the rise, depending on the statistical approach you take”.

    • Louise

      While I won’t comment on the statistical techniques, I can draw a pretty picture and tell a story:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/mean:13/mean:11/from:1996/plot/best/from:1996/trend/plot/best-upper/from:1996/trend/plot/best-lower/from:1996/trend/plot/best-upper/from:2001/trend/plot/best-lower/from:2001/trend/plot/best/from:2001/trend

      Up to 1996, the multidecadal trend lines since at least 1970 generally correspond to or are higher than the cumulative-to-present rising trend.

      (Indeed, on BEST — ie for land only — this rate topped substantially above the IPCC 2C/century rate prediction even before the prediction was made; as land is under 1/3rd of the total surface area of the globe, weighting the rise proportionally with SST’s gives us a trend rate that has not yet based on multidecadal comparisons hit the IPCC prediction.)

      After the start of 2001, the subdecadal trend looks flat (ie within error might be zero), as about 17% of all subdecadal trends in the past century are.

      If one accepts very short trendlines as valid indicators, then one may be persuaded of a pause on BEST, or a delay on global graphs.

      Santer et. al have argued trend lines below 17 years duration are unreliable due signal:noise ratios. By this standard, even 1996 is too recent a date to start, and the entire graph I present is invalid.

      I’m ok with that. It’s just a picture, and a story, after all.

      • Hi Bart R – Yes you have made my point much clearer than I (I use too many rhetorical questions).

        There is no scientific or statistical validity in saying anything about the ‘trend’ in the data over the last 10 years.

        Yet people continue to do so, including our hostess “We have both said that the global temperature record of the last 13 years shows evidence suggesting that the warming has slowed”

        That word ‘evidence’ is misplaced without the appropriate statistical analyses.

      • Lousie

        Can you point to why you think a warmer world is worse for humanity overall? I can not seem to get those who believe that to point to any evidence that does not rely upon a GCM.

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_Vulnerable_Forum#Climate_Vulnerability_Monitor

        [I shall overlook the mis-spelling of my name as I'm sure it was accidental]

      • Rob Starkey

        So.. your null hypothesis is that all warmer worlds are better worlds for every human?

        As, being that one human whose benefits are lost without compensation from the other 7 billion would seem a counter-argument for me to your unproven assumption.

        How many humans, neither compensated nor consenting, would you say ought tolerate your unilateral war on their rights, before what you’re advocating seems wrong to you?

      • “In Australia and the USA, heat waves kill more people than any other weather-related disaster (1, 3). Moreover, it is estimated that for every death specifically attributed to high temperatures, there are ten more due to the heat aggravating a pre-existing illness.”

        http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap03/heatwave.html

      • Louise

        I apologize for misspelling your name- it was unintentional.

        I appreciate the link you posted. I reviewed the link and the links referenced within it and I found a number of very interesting points. The source of the summarized concerns is:

        “The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) which was founded at the initiative of the Maldives when eleven vulnerable countries from across the world –the report is meant to serve as a new tool to assess global vulnerability to various effects of climate change within different nations.”

        I noticed that the report summarized their concerns of a broad range of fears but it referenced absolutely ZERO information to show what evidence there is to believe these fears will happen or when. A review of the stated fears:

        “Alarmed at the pace of change to our Earth caused by human-induced climate change, including:

        1. accelerating melting and loss of ice from Antarctica, Greenland, the Himalayas, Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya,

        2. acidification of the world’s oceans due to rising CO2 concentrations,

        3. increasingly intense tropical cyclones,

        4. more damaging and intense drought and floods, including Glacial Lakes Outburst Floods, in many regions

        5. higher levels of sea-level rise than estimated just a few years ago, risks changing the face of the planet and threatening coastal cities, low lying areas, mountainous regions and vulnerable countries the world over;

        Louise- What is the evidence that the five points referenced by the CVF will happen and be harmful to humanity overall? Do you notice that the CVF does not mention ANY benefits of a warmer world? Doesn’t that seem a bit biased?

        I also noticed a very important goal of the CVF which seems to support the idea that much of the goal of the climate change issue is a redistribution of wealth. The goal stated is:

        “Call upon developed countries to provide public money amounting to at least 1.5% of their gross domestic product, in addition to innovative sources of finance, annually by 2015 to assist developing countries make their transition to a climate resilient low-carbon economy.”

        So in summary, I would still appreciate some evidence of the net harms of a warmer world that merit the fears.

      • Louise,

        Fine. Now all you have to do is point out where your link shows that heat waves, and/or deaths from heat waves, have actually and statistically significantly increased along with global average temperatures. Your link does not say that, although it appears to if you don’t read it carefully.

      • Bart

        No I am not saying a warmer world will be better for EVERY human. LOL- silly statement actually.

        I am saying there is ZERO reliable information to conclude that a warmer world is actually worse for humanity overall over the long term to a sufficient degree to justify the actions suggested to drastically reduce CO2 emissions.

      • Louise | November 13, 2011 at 1:19 pm |

        “In Australia and the USA, heat waves kill more people than any other weather-related disaster (1, 3).

        As usual cherry picking.
        Did you note that the main cause of the deaths is lack of Air Conditioning?
        Try spending the money on that instead of Climate Control that won’t work.

      • Rob Starkey

        No I am not saying a warmer world will be better for EVERY human. LOL- silly statement actually.

        So what then is your basis for demanding evidence that warming is worse for any cherry-picked group of people, up to and including “humanity overall”?

        It’s not democratic, as that would require consent by some mechanism — which you do not have whatsoever.

        It’s not republican, as that would require just compensation to the harmed minorities for the unconsented alienation of their basic rights.

        It’s not capitalist, as it that would further require fixing a price paid by those who benefit to those who share a right to the scarce carbon cycle resource.

        Which tyranny do you subscribe to that allows you such impertinent disregard for your fellow man’s most fundamental claims and protections?

      • A a congressional hearing Judy said there would be winners, and, well, you know, let’s se, what were they called? Oh yeah, more winners!

      • Bart

        You wrote:

        “So what then is your basis for demanding evidence that warming is worse for any cherry-picked group of people, up to and including “humanity overall”?”

        Generally, I like to try to do what makes sense. Taking some drastic action should have a reasonable justification beyond faith.

        My perception is that I live in a world governed by approximately 200 different nation states. The impact on individual countries as the climate changes will not be uniform for all nations. In some countries the change will be very positive while in others negative.

        If for example, a warmer world was clearly better for 6.5 B people and only marginally worse for .5 B people, and if those .5 B could successfully adapt to the warmer world at a low cost, do expensive mitigation steps make sense? Of course not. It all comes down to making informed decisions.

        In regards to AGW imo, it seems optimal that the citizens of each of these 200 nations should understand what the impact will be to their nation prior to deciding whether to try to prevent the impact. With CO2 it is very different than if nations were releasing a poison into the air that was known to be harmful to all. Regarding CO2 that is simply not the case.

        You have to believe that CO2 is raising the temperature, and that this temperature rate is harmful to humanity in order to support trying to restrict emissions. I do not see the evidence that this is true.

      • Rob Starkey

        You must acknowledge the irony of following the baseless, information free assumptions in

        “..warmer world was clearly better for 6.5 B people and only marginally worse for .5 B people, and if those .5 B could successfully adapt to the warmer world at a low cost, do expensive mitigation steps ..

        With

        “It all comes down to making informed decisions.”

        ;)

        And you must note, this is your reply to my question of what sort of tyranny you subscribe to.. and the only person making decisions in your example is you, Rob Starkey, King of the World.

        “You have to believe that CO2 is raising the temperature, and that this temperature rate is harmful to humanity in order to support trying to restrict emissions.”

        Why?

        I assert you only need know CO2 levels are rising and the carbon cycle is not reducing CO2 levels to their historical levels, thus the carbon cycle is a scarce resource and _must_ have a price put on its use.

        That’s basic, fundamental capitalism, as applies to everything from use of land for farming to use of bandwidth for cell phones.

        Why is King Starkey opposed to capitalism, and keeping each of us from our due revenues from the carbon cycle?

      • Bart
        I described how individual nations could decide what they would do regarding CO2 emissions based upon having reliable information about the potential impact of a warmer world on that nation and the world as a whole. I recognize that different nations are governed differently and the decision process would vary accordingly.
        “You assert you only need know CO2 levels are rising and the carbon cycle is not reducing CO2 levels to their historical levels, thus the carbon cycle is a scarce resource and _must_ have a price put on its use.”
        Imo you are trying to push CO2 reduction actions with no reliable evidence that they are needed or that the suggested action will actually improve the situation.

      • Rob Starkey

        Am I also ‘pushing’ farm reduction by suggesting land owners be paid a fair price for their property?

        Do I ‘push’ reduction of communication or of technology when I advocate cell phone bandwidths be priced by a fair Market process?

        No.

        Free carbon cycle access is subsidy to carbon emission. It gives away a scarce resource to those who burn fossil fuels. Thus waste of scarce resources is doubly rewarded for free riders (free emission, plus discount on the emission encourages use of the fuel in excess of what it otherwise would be) by this failure of Market governance.

        Capitalism provides a democracy of the marketplace, addressing the protections a republic ought sustain and the vox populi a democracy cherishes.

        Put a price on use of the carbon cycle. Pay the revenues to every citizen per capita. No cap nor trade nor tax is implied nor necessary for this simple anodyne of the reckless fossil flagrancy that has so marked our age.

        And if it reduces CO2 levels in the atmosphere, or slows that steady upward march, perhaps it will give scientists enough time and incentive to catch up in their researches with where we need them to be so we can make informed decisions.

        Until then, we know the fossil industry is robbing us blind; that is information enough.

      • Louise,

        How is linking to an organization whose stated purpose is to demand money from industrialized nations for purported threats which as of yet have not materialized supposed to convince anyone who questions the “disaster movie” meme of CAGW?

        Rather, when asked to provide evidence, how about introducing us to some of the 50 million climate refugees that supposedly should exist? At a minimum, point out where they are so we can go talk to them.

      • Bart R,

        Here is why some of us would like to see some “evidence” that a warmer world is bad – we are being asked to pay for actions and policies whose justification is based precisely on the premise that such a world is in fact worse for us.

        How about sending me a check for $1,000? I’m going to use it to fund a plan to reduce CO2 production. Upon receipt of said check I will institute my plan. What? You want some proof that said plan will in fact be effective in reducing CO2?

      • Bart R again,

        Which is it? Carbon is scarce or we are threatened by too much of it? It is my understanding that policies aimed at reducing our “carbon footprint” are based almost entirely on the premise that CO2 is causing an increase in global temperature which will result in catastrophic events.

        With regard to carbon in the form of fossil fuels, that already operates under market conditions. Exactly what is the reason to add a(n additional) tax or cost to it? To reduce scarcity? According to market theory, as it begins to become scarce, the cost will rise to reflect that and/or markets will adjust by finding alternate sources of energy.

      • Robert of Ottawa

        SO … what IS a valid period to determine a trend? Why is 40 years a valid period, but 70 years not while 150 years is but 1,000 years isn’t? Why not 20,000 years? This would certainly show warming from the last ice-age, but 10,000 years would reveal cooling?

        Truth is, these cherry-picking cherry-pickers are picking poltiical cherries. They still haven’t demonstrated that current changes in “planetary temperature” are anything other than natural fluctuations.

      • Robert of Ottawa

        SO … what IS a valid period to determine a trend?

        Since we only have enough resolution on our temperature record to produce a semi-reliable global picture for less than two centuries, of the figures you’ve tossed around without context, the ones under 200 years should be in a different conversation than the ones above 200 years.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:13/mean:11/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1970/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1940/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1860/trend

        And where do you get that 70 years is not a valid period?

        Less than 17 years is less than 95% CI on the current period based on signal:noise. It’s a fit argument, but 30 years is better.

        The 1,000-year to 20,000-year reconstructions are almost all based in Greenland ice cores, which one would expect (like the rest of the Arctic ice) would reflect extreme peaks in temperature compared to the rest of the globe. Let’s look at last month. “These effects are more strongly apparent in the surface air temperatures: average October temperatures in the region were 5 to 8 degrees Celsius (9.0 to 14.4 degrees Fahrenheit) above average. “ (http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/)

        So if you’re looking at 1,000 to 4,000 year natural fluctuations of planetary temperature from, for instance http://www.leif.org/EOS/2011GL049444.pdf you might consider that the MWP and like peaks are possibly only half as significant as the current global high temperature.

        “Truth is,..” a favorite phrase in Ottawa. The advice I got when I first worked there was to ignore everything said after that phrase. Invaluable advice.

        Careful and legitimate research has shown serious reason to consider the current multidecadal temperature rise to be unnatural.

        Now, if you want a general rule for what makes a period valid for discussion of trends, that’s a complicated and thorny issue with considerations ranging from fractal geometry to Bayes’ Theorem to aesthetics, and beyond. Last I paid serious attention to the field of graphical analyses, no one had a great general answer for the question.

      • The big question is whether human emissions of CO2 are causing the climate to warm. So there isn’t any point looking for that on the basis of what happened 1000 years ago or 20000 years ago. Everyone accepts that as natural.

        Yes the last 40, 70 and 150 year old records are all very relevant. Just draw a graph. Apply some sensible averaging – 5 or 10 years and you can easily see what’s happening.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Instrumental_Temperature_Record.svg

      • “Truth is, these cherry-picking cherry-pickers are picking poltiical cherries. They still haven’t demonstrated that current changes in “planetary temperature” are anything other than natural fluctuations.”

        Well there not much money in natural fluctuation- Mother Earth is quite stingy with the grants.
        The target instead clueless idiots who have too much money to spend- whether it’s private or public money
        So mentioning things like, during the previous interglacial, sea levels were about 10 feet higher, northern area which now have tundra were forests, Greenland was very green [though still vast amounts of glacier mass towards the interior], the humans would have been classified as endangered species, and arctic sea ice largely ice free during the summer- could frighten the would be grant givers.

      • There is nothing too magical about the last 30 or 100 years either if you want to be that pedantic about it.

        The surface temperature is indeed subject to a lot of weather noise but this flat period confounded all the predictions/projections and was totally unexpected by the warm camp, regardless of the post hoc excuses they now come up with. Nevertheless the real discrepancies exist in the missing ocean heat content increase and the missing stratospheric cooling since 1995. These supposed “fingerprints” of AGW just aren’t there. The surface temp is merely a 3rd, slightly looser, confirmation that the hypothesis is largely disproven. Alas no one will embrace this obvious conclusion while so much funding and so many reputations are at stake. .

        Skeptics like me have full confidence that this 13 year period will extend beyond 17 years (and that Santer will extend his statistical period accordingly) while the warm camp seem to be forever looking for an unphysical massive release of hidden heat from the deep ocean in order to reaffirm their belief in manmade catastrophe. Of course by that time the catastrophe du siecle may well have moved to some other innocent human byproduct that will waste everyones time and money once again.

      • JamesG

        “..this flat period..”

        What flat period?

        Haven’t you been paying attention?

        There’ve been as long or longer ‘flat periods’ throughout the very dramatic late 20th century rise.

        There is nothing unusual or unexpected about the so-called sub-decadal ‘flat period'; indeed, 19 times in 20 there might be flat periods of at least 30 years on similar graphs without the least hint of invalidating AGW statistically.

        What’s more, you could have several such (as long as 30-year) flat periods and AGW could, statistically, still be a valid hypothesis until you exceed whatever Bayesian metric you choose based on priors that likely cannot be calculated.

        There is no answer in pure statistics that could point to what answer you seek.

        The ghosts of flatness are simply insignificant, as would ghosts of rise on so short a timespan, when taken in isolation.

        Sure, if you compiled enough short timespans to perform statistical analyses on them, you could come up with some statistically valid conclusions, but again, those tend to point to a strongly and increasingly rising trend of trends with extremely good correlation to rising CO2.

        “Skeptics like me have full confidence that..”

        That’s a kind of contradiction in terms.

        Full confidence isn’t a skeptical tendency.

        It’s what identifies true believers, salesmen and gambling addicts.

        Santer doesn’t get to extend or contract ‘his’ statistical period.

        It’s a property of the data.

        You can perform the signal:noise mathematics yourself.

        If you do so for BEST, you may find the first half century requires longer than 17-years, and the last half century less than 17 years, while the middle century.. I leave that as an exercise for you.

        I get your cynicism about the motives of people who aren’t you. I have a far higher level of cynicism about people who aren’t me.. and even moreso about people who are me.

        Still, I don’t let it lead me to twisty little illogical rationalizations.

        Why do you?

      • Louise

        I almost forgot the neither confirms nor denies part on the graph.

        If you compare the area of the delta formed by the shorter trend prediction (from-2001) that overlaps the delta of the longer trend with the area that does not overlap the from-1996 trend, you generate a ratio that tells you the probability the later (less reliable) trend line is different from the earlier (more reliable) trend line.

        By eye, that’s about 8:1 against the later trend being different from the earlier trend.

        In other words, there may be a pause, though the odds are slim, and a 95% confidence cannot be established that there is no flattening on the past 9.5 years.

        Take even a half year more for the shorter trend (ie from 2000.5) and compare it to the 30 year trend (the most reliable multidecadal trend), and the CI increases substantially, showing how sensitive short trendlines are to endpoints, indicating we are operating too close to the endpoint or are using too short trends.

    • Louise,

      You’re a straight-shooters so if you have any thoughts on the following, I’d be very interested in your comment. And I’d also be very interested in the thoughts anyone else might have , as well.

      BBC Today conducted an interview with Dr. Muller on 21 October 2011. The title the BBC gave to the interview was: “Very Accurate Confirmation of Global Warming.” Despite the BBC’s title for the interview, Dr. Muller stated (begins about 3:00 in the interview), “Now the evidence which shows it [global warming] has been stopped is a combination of land and ocean data.”

      There have been other commenters who have noted this interview and the above comment on other recent posts, but hardly any discussion ensued (that I’m aware of—there’s been quite a number quote and I may have missed something). But if I understand Dr. Muller’s position, global warming–as opposed to land warming (the subject of the BEST study)–is not confirmed to be rising (again, the BBC’s very misleading title for the above interview notwithstanding). So unless Dr. Muller has since changed his views, it appears to me, then, that any testimony he might give congress would not confirm global warming–rather the contrary (or at least cast doubt on GW, not to mention AGW or even CAGW).

      Like I’ve said, there have been a lot of comments on this blog discussing Dr. Muller’s views and I may have missed something–but if you or others on this blog might sort out the above matter, I would greatly appreciate you generous time and trouble. In particular, do the combined land and sea estimates of global warming of the last decade or so reasonably suggest that global warming has stopped? And is that Dr Muller’s current best estimate of the state of GW?

      • mike – Dr Muller is wrong to use the word ‘evidence’ if he is talking about a ten or even thirteen year trend, regardless of whether that is supposedly a warming or cooling trend.

        I cannot understand why scientists such as Drs Murry and Curry do this.

        Compare this to Dr Jones

        “BBC: Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

        Phil Jones: Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.”

      • Louise,

        I can see my last post and yours, above, got caught in a time trap–thanks so much for your kind response.

      • Louise,

        I can see that in the time it took me to write the above comment, a discussion ensued that makes your view clear–that statistical validity is your issue. On the other hand, I still don’t understand how anyone expects Dr. Muller to be a friendly witness for the orthodoxy before congress, given the BBC interview, I noted. Anyone?

      • They are not going to ask him about what he told the BBC. This is a political set up Mike. What he will say has been pre-arranged. Don’t expect any hostile questioning. It’s a set-up, and meaningless. The Demos are in the shrinking minority.

      • “A word is exactly what I mean it to be when I say it.”
        Humpty Dumpty in TTLG.

        Seems that’s how Richard Muller operates.

  5. ie he really need to clarify this:

    “Without good answers to all these complaints, global-warming skepticism seems sensible. But now let me explain why you should not be a skeptic, at least not any longer.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204422404576594872796327348.html
    As one BEST paper stated that the human contribution to Global warming may be overestinated, and that the BEST papers did not look at attribution..

    He really needs to clarify things..

    Ie this article was interpeted and headlined as you can be sceptical no more, about anything….. Show me the climate change sceptic that says the earth hasn’t warmed in the last 150, 200, 250 yrs at all?

    This is a major point, ie need to prove that the earths warming has an AGW contribution, vs natural causes.. And then, what %contribution, etc,etc

    • It’s pretty clear to me that he is saying you should no longer be skeptical that the globe is warming. The phrase he uses is “global-warming” skepticism”, and the points he makes following are about the temperature record – the very question, in fact, BEST was exploring, and in which capacity he wrote the op-ed. You could only stuff this up if you closed one eye, squinted with the other and stood on one leg in bad lighting.

      ‘Climate change skepticism’, ‘climate skeptic’, global warming skeptic': parsed properly these phrases are meaningless. Muller is not above using the term in its popular, jargonistic flavour. It’s a pity, it opens the door to mis and re-interpretation, but if everyone paid attention to the context of the usage, instead of seizing on the ambiguity to bridle their hobby-horses, then we wouldn’t have to have to groan through this tiresome meta.

  6. Dr Muller seems to suffer lately what classical Romans called “anima divisa”, a divided soul. His research tells him something, and he wants to stay faithful to his scientific calling, but on the other hand there is the pull of policy, including congressional meetings, PR, and headline generating memes. The two often clash, and require awkward explanations of what he really “meant”. Divided souls, like divided houses, are not easy to hold.

    • Hector,you capture my sentiments well. Dr Muller has lost his sense of scientific integrity, if he ever had it in the first place. I have never been so disappointed in a communications process as that surrounding BEST. No per review yet Dr Muller runs again into the halls of congress to influence public policy. There is a certain sickness to to it all.

      • He got exactly what he wanted. Up to this point he had been unknown. Now he is front page news.

      • Hank,
        I am glad you liked my comment. However, I did not imply that ” Dr Muller has lost his sense of scientific integrity, if he ever had it in the first place” as you seem to think. With the metaphor of the divided soul I wished to convey the feeling that he probably is striving to strike a balance between his obligations as a scientist to respect the scientific protocol, and what he sees as his policy/political commitments. This is the predicament of many people with an “anima divisa”. In my opinion (for the little it may be worth) this is a pity, for in the end it may damage the science.

  7. So does this mean they have new climate models that actually can prove to have significant predictability? One would expect models that didn’t diverge from observation would make it a much easier sell.

    Or are they going to through Hansen under the bus and use the more realistic Manabe approximation?

  8. The ‘convinced’ are frantic now that the broader interested culture has become clearly un-convinced. Therefore, we see the political end-run at the US congress on Nov 14 . . . . .

    Argument from weakness is a bluff. The convinced need to take poker lessons about how to bluff more professionally.

    John

  9. Oreskes said it all in the beginning of one of her books. She quoted Arnold Schwarzenneger who said “The debate is over”. And after all, he is the terminator.

  10. “WHAT: Congressional climate science briefing: “Undeniable Data: The Latest Research on Global Temperature and Climate Science””

    I suspect the people who are organizing this meeting have a differentg idea of what “data” is, compared with what I was taught, over 60 years ago, at Cavendish Labs. Cambridge. I know of no “undeniable data”, which supports the idea of CAGW.

  11. Three prominent scientists will present the best case yet for the end of climate skepticism in Washington and the world over the fact that the world is warming

    WRONG QUESTION!

    The correct question is whether the global warming rate has increased with the increase in human emission of carbon dioxide.

    The answer is no.

    There is no change in global warming pattern since record begun 160 years ago as shown in the following two graphs.

    http://bit.ly/sxEJpK

    http://bit.ly/szoJf8

    The globe has warmed does not imply that the warming is man made. There is no evidence for change in the global mean temperature pattern. According to the data, this SINGLE pattern has a long-term global warming rate of 0.06 deg C per decade with oscillation of 0.5 deg C every 30 years as shown by the above two graphs.

    In addition, in private, climate scientists are scratching their heads regarding AGW:


    We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty

    • The correlation between CO2 and warmer temperatures is, one admits, nowhere near as high as the correlation between Girma and bogus graphs, however it is still extraordinarily significant.

      While correlation is not causation, nor is it disproof of causation.

      For Girma’s bogus 60-year cycles, we know what probably produced the apparition: first, Girma invalidly combined and manipulated two graphs to strengthen the appearance of a pattern where none exists (a deception that can only be called utterly dishonest), then he ignored the evidence that the 60-year AMO and the 46-year PDO interfered to produce a 70-year net global warming trend that mimics a 60-year cycle on a rising line, with the last 20 years of the trompe l’oeil coming from the contribution of AGW.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/jisao-pdo/from:1917/to:1940/trend/normalise/plot/jisao-pdo/from:1940/to:1963/trend/normalise/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1940/to:1970/trend/plot/jisao-pdo/from:1963/to:1986/trend/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/trend/normalise/plot/jisao-pdo/from:1986/trend/normalise/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1970/to:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1940/to:1970/trend/plot/esrl-amo/from:1975/to:2005/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1910/to:1940/trend/plot/esrl-amo/from:1945/to:1975/trend/plot/esrl-amo/from:1915/to:1945/trend

      For the rest, Girma relies on cherry-picked sub-decadal images; if you took the last hundred different months as start and end dates producing trend lines of the same length, you’d see Girma’s trend is quite commonplace — up to 1/6th of all really short trendlines — even while the multidecadal trend is substantially rising.

      When will Girma’s pathological need to present clearly invalid and contrived graphs end?

      • Any trend that changes when you change the end points is not a trend. It is meaningless.

      • According to Bart R, water flows up the hill.

        No one can respond to such claims.

        So I don’t.

      • Girma

        That’d be called a rising tide.

        Water itself flows downhill, water level continues to increase.

        Happens every day.

        Check it out sometime.

        Now respond to the claims about your failures of integrity.

      • Bart R

        Please read the following paper:

        http://bit.ly/nfQr92

      • The quasi-periodic nature of the model’s AMO
        suggests that in the absence of external forcings at least,
        there is some predictability of the THC, AMO and global
        and Northern Hemisphere mean temperatures for several
        decades into the future. We utilise this to forecast decreasing
        THC strength in the next few decades. This natural
        reduction would accelerate anticipated anthropogenic THC
        weakening [global cooling], and the associated AMO change would partially
        offset expected Northern Hemisphere warming. This effect
        needs to be taken into account in producing more realistic
        predictions of future climate change.

        See also Figure 4 in the above paper.

      • Girma

        Your resolve to respond only by childishly linking back to your brilliantly-worded nonreply seems to have faded in.. no time at all.

        And for what?

        To repeat the same too-short trendline meaninglessly.

        This statistical stuttering, this evidentiary ventriloquism, this reflexive posting of just wrong methodology, why do you persist?

        There are perfectly valid methods of producing arguments. Other have done so. Why cannot you?

        Of course, they’d have to be slightly different arguments, but they’re not so different as to be fatal to your case.

        You could argue, for example, that even though the odds of no significant recent multidecadal temperature rise are on the order of 1000:3 against, horses have won with worse odds.

        You could say that if regions like Greenland could rise to as high or higher levels on the paleoclimate record during the putative MWP, then it’s possible some unidentified global phenomena could combine to both raise the global temperature (which is a meaningful figure on the multidecadal scale and no lower as the distance flown by a jet is generally meaningful on the scale of miles and not inches) and also to suppress the GHE in such a way as to render AGW inoperative. After all, MWP-like events happen hemispherically perhaps once every millennium or two for a few decades. Perhaps there could be an entirely natural MWP-like event going on now (at odds of 100:1 or so) coinciding with complete suppression of sensitivity of the atmosphere to absorbtivity of OLR by GHGs.

        Do those things if you must, or things like them..

        But please, please cease this abuse of graphical methods.

        You’re just doing it wrong.

      • Girma

        Nice of you to provide a reference that actually acknowledges the source of your claims, for a change.

        If you could, as a start, go back and provide similar references for your other uncredited citations over the years, it might have some small impact on the widespread perception of your failures of integrity.

        We note the paper is much more moderate, realistic, and balanced in its claims than your own repeated assertions to such a degree as to essentially bear no resemblance to the significance you purport.

        This has been pointed out to you before. Indeed, I’m quite certain if you researched both the authors’ work since and citations of this work in reviewed research, you will see it categorically refutes your claims.

        There are persistent signals related to ocean activity.

        These signals do not adequately explain late 20th century warming, either alone on in combination with UHI, solar activity, aerosol changes, and albedo changes.

        Perhaps if
        A) positive feedbacks from water vapor GHE were entirely and only caused by these GHG-exclusive effects, and
        B) the CO2 rise attributed entirely to the temperature rise that then resulted, and
        C) you then acknowledged attribution of the further warming to the CO2 feedback cycle,
        then you _might_ obtain some wonky rationale for a CO2-less start to the rise — which nonetheless would still, no matter how much illegitimate accounting you use, have large anthropogenic components, and which would still have CO2 as a culprit in the rise, and which would still argue for cutting back and mitigating CO2 emissions as at least a symptomatic treatment of the unnatural rising trend.

        So, can we get back to why you persist in recycling textbook examples of invalid graphical techniques years after they were first refuted by many different critics?

        Why you never acknowledge these refutations?

        Why you add new variations on methods you must have been taught were incorrect, had explained to you why they were incorrect, and ought know are not just incorrect, but patently dishonest?

        The question is no longer the argument you make, Girma.

        The question is why you unashamedly persist in such deceptive practices?

      • The question is why you unashamedly persist in such deceptive practices?

        I will attempt to respond to your accusation once and for all.

        1) What I am saying is what climate scientist say in private:

        Yeah, it wasn’t so much 1998 and all that that I was concerned about, used to dealing with that, but the possibility that we might be going through a longer – 10 year – period [IT IS 13 YEARS NOW!] of relatively stable temperatures beyond what you might expect from La Nina etc. Speculation, but if I see this as a possibility then others might also.

        2) The above statement is supported by the observed data as shown in the following graph:

        http://bit.ly/rYp5OM

        3) You say the above statement and observation are not reality.

        4) They are my reality and the following interpretation of the data is my reality:

        http://bit.ly/ocY95R

        5) There is only one truth in one universe.

        6) You and I live in different universes.

        7) Communication is not possible between individuals living in different universes.

        8) For all your future accusations, I will respond by providing the link to this post.

      • Girma

        That’s an attempt?

        Frankly, if I’d hired an engineer to produce a report and he came to me with such nonsense, I’d report him for malpractice.

        You take a three-year-old out-of-context quote, ignore the developments of the intervening time, and build your entire universe on such a shakey foundation?

        And how do you know my future accusations won’t be so moving as to cause you to link to some other irrelevant and pointless thing you’ve said?

      • You take a three-year-old out-of-context quote, ignore the developments of the intervening time

        http://bit.ly/e4Nk93

      • Bart R

        Look at Girma’s graphs a bit more closely.

        They are based on the observed temperature record.

        If you’d like, I can cite the references to these.

        Max

      • manacker

        Cite away if it pleases you.

        However, I’ve looked at Girma’s graphs. Repeatedly. He’s posted them so often it’d be impossible not to be exposed to them dozens of times in any month of reading Climate Etc. threads except by conscious avoidance.

        I’ve seen a number of movies and read a number of novels “based on actual events.”

        At no time did I regard what I was watching as actual documentary footage, under such a heading.

        For example, I’m pretty sure Leo DiCaprio never actually shouted “I’m King of the World!” from the forecastle of the RMS Titanic on her maiden voyage, as I can tell fiction from reality.

        Girma’s taken some observations and applied known invalid methods to produce graphical images that are on their face deceptive.

        He’s had this fault explained to him over and over again on blogs — including this one — by numerous critics.

        He continues to use these bogus techniques to flat out lie about what the evidence indicates.

        How is this tolerable to you?

      • manacker

        Oh. Heh. Should’ve read up a bit more.

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/11/10/disinformation-vs-fraud-in-the-climate-debate/#comment-137983

        Answers the question of how you find it tolerable of Girma to dissemble so boldly.

      • Girma extrapolates from short term data, as many others both sides of the AGW fence persist in doing.

        The only data that I have seen which puts everything in context are that used by Tony Brown (see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/01/a-short-anthology-of-changing-climate/)
        and even this data is only a tiny subset of what has happened over millions of years.

      • Peter Davies

        As I never go to WUWT, I’m a bit hamstrung.

        Could you confirm Tony Brown’s treatment of resolution and confidence level on pre-global and pre-instrumental records?

      • Bart, I have made a MS Word copy of this post (about 12 pages long) and would be pleased to provide it to you as an email enclosure. If you are interested my email address is peterdavies@oceanbroadband.net and yes, it seems that Perth Western Australia is also the home town of Girma.

      • Bart, this is a link to Tony Brown’s discussion on the European climate change experience over a very long period:

        http://climatereason.com/LittleIceAgeThermometers/Europe.html.

        The website as a whole seems to be genuinely non-partisan in its approach.

        I hope that your computer is capable of traveling there ;)

      • Bart R | November 14, 2011 at 1:23 am |
        “As I never go to WUWT, I’m a bit hamstrung.”

        Geemmmense..from your posts -I thought for a minute that you were fearless.

        I’ll hold your hand :)

      • Peter Davies

        Thanks for this informative and interesting link to Tony Brown’s page at http://climatereason.com/LittleIceAgeThermometers/Europe.html.

        Some of the links I have not seen before, and most had not looked at in a long time and lost track of.

        And kim2000, it’s not hand-holding WUWT needs, it’s a trash compactor to filter and condense out the propaganda.

        Even in its rough early days, 5%-10% of WUWT was quite worthwhile, and 15%-20% inoffensive. But you can’t eat nothing but candy corn every day without getting sick of it, either.

    • Girma

      You’ve hit the nail on the head.

      Scientists will tell US Congress it has warmed on average over the past 160+ years?

      Duh!

      Everyone knows that.

      Not too many people know that this happened in 3 multi-decadal cycles of warming lasting around 30 years each (your graphs), two of which occurred before there was much human CO2.

      Not too many people know that the warming has stopped for the past decade, even though CO2 concentrations have reached record levels.

      Hardly anyone knows that the physically observed CO2/temperature correlation is statistically very weak, if not non-existent.

      Will the scientists tell US Congress these bits of information?

      Hmmm…

      If so, will Waxman et al. listen or comprehend?

      Oops!

      This is all a political side show. The title tells it all: “end of climate change skepticism”.

      Ouch!

      (Sounds more like the last gasps of breath of climate change alarmism to me.)

      Max

      • Max

        Realistically, how many “climate scientists” are willing to publicly, and clearly go on the record and state that the “reported consensus” is possibly and probably incorrect.

      • But why would they wish to lie in this way?

      • Louise

        But why would they wish to lie in this way?

        Correct. Makes much more sense – career wise – for them to “lie the other way” – right?

        Max

  12. “Three prominent scientists will present the best case yet for the end of climate skepticism in Washington and the world over the fact that the world is warming at a congressional briefing held by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.)”

    Why would anyone want to end “climate skepticism?” Exactly what do they want to end? Surely not the scepticism that is an essential part of scientific method? The next paragraph of the press release suggest that they want to put an end to the use of “talking points repeated by climate science deniers that have been repeated by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.” No doubt the committee will explain which talking points come from “deniers” and which from legitimate critics of climate science.

    “The briefing will feature the first appearance on Capitol Hill by Dr. Richard Muller since the release of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project results. Dr. Muller was previously skeptical about many aspects of climate science, but the massive two-year study he led has validated the fact that the world is warming. His work also debunked many talking points repeated by climate science deniers that have been repeated by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.”

    This paragraph reeks of Post Modern Science and Post Modernism generally. The main reek comes from the obvious fact that the paragraph is designed to create a “narrative,” the Post Modern substitute for scientific method and any kind of analysis. The downside to using “narratives” is that any fool can see that each is designed for the purpose of steam rolling one or more legitimate parties to a debate. From what we have seen of Muller, he is much more into “narrative” than scientific method.

    “Dr. Ben Santer of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will discuss new research on recent warming. Dr. William Chameides, dean of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and vice-chair of the National Academies’ Committee on America’s Climate Choices, will discuss the findings of the National Academies’ America’s Climate Choices reports.”

    To nail the coffin shut, testimony will be taken from three scientists who are actively engaged under the flag of the NAS in a project whose principals concluded long ago that making individual citizens pay taxes on their own energy use and the energy use of corporations is the only solution.

    The next step for Markey and Waxman is to proposes stiff taxes on the use of the internet, Twitter, and similar technologies. Additional taxes will apply when the technologies are used in pursuit of sex. Sin taxes are all the rage these days.

    • They will simply make “skeptical” speech “hate” speech, pass a few laws and vawalla, no more problem. Reminds me of something very nasty that happened quite awhile ago.

  13. It’s incredible when you see so much noise about … nothing. But then, that’s the spirit of AGW.

  14. “but the massive two-year study he led has validated the fact that the world is warming”. A massive validation that the little ice age is over. Thanks for this insight. Give them more money for follow-up studies.

    • Indeed, and the Sunrises in the morning…

      Actually the BEST evaluation of UHI should be quit interesting, when it gets through peer review. Ie the most controversial bit…

      Whether of course, to what degree UHI, may have contributed to or not (or contaminated) the land datasets.

      Some mix up, UHI criticisms, to thinking that sceptics are saying the Earth hasn’t warmed since 1850, or 1650 even…

      The big issue remains, what is the ‘value’ of ‘climate sensitivity’….

  15. Norm Kalmanovitch

    “We have both said that the global temperature record of the last 13 years shows evidence suggesting that the warming has slowed. ”

    If global warming has slowed in the past 13 years as global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels have increased from 24,530.5 million metric tonnes in 1998 to 33,158.4 in 2010; does it not suggest that those skeptical of the contention that increases in CO2 emissions can and will cause catastrophic global warming are more correcty than those who continue to support this clearly flawed AGW theory?

    • What it shows is that the predictions of AGW are not reliable at forecasting future climate. Thus it would not be wise to invest heavily in any future based upon those forecasts.

      The problem is that the law of unintended consequences. The more we organize to try and control the future, the more entropy works to defeat us.

      For example, the country that is producing the most CO2 is also producing the most solar panels and wind mills. The countries that are reducing CO2 the most are installing solar panels and windmills using money borrowed from China. The interest on this borrowed money is being paid by increased borrowing.

      Which is these countries has a sustainable economy? hint: how long will China keep lending money? What happens when China stops lending? How will the interest payments be made? Will the US and EU default?

      • fred

        The US economy is at risk because society has desired to have an increased percentage of its economy going to taking care of people via unfunded pensions, medical care, social security etc.

        I am not judgung here whether that is good or not, I am stating that the activity has not been funded by appropriate tax revenues.

      • The US economy is at risk because you have slowed the growth rate but have not slowed the spending rate.

        One way to solve the problem is to cut spending, but that involves breaking a number of social contracts with people that in good faith contributed to the government during their working years.

        The other way to to grow the economy. Revenues are down big time because a large section of the economy is under-employed. Investments are down because people are not spending. They are not sure if they will have a job tomorrow.

        Why? Because costs of doing business in the US are higher than China. Get your costs in line and bring back the notion that profit is healthy and business will flock to the US.

      • Ferd,

        Actually it does not require, nor is it being proposed, the breaking of social contracts with people that in good faith contributed. every plan to reduce SS starts with adjusting the rules for those just now in the early stages of contributing. And lets say they raise the age from 65 to 67 or 70? I’m much closer to the retirement age than I am to the just now contributing stage and I do not see such an action as breaking faith or a contract. But then I’m one of those perverted, disfunctional types who doesn’t believe it is the government’s job to take care of me.

  16. Judy:
    DId you receive any type of invitation to join or prior notification of this discussion?

    • On the BEST group emails, i did see some mention in the BEST meeting minutes that Muller would be in DC next week “Trip to Capitol (Rich and Liz to go next week)”. I found out about the actual congressional briefing from Barry Woods. I’m not sure who actually proposed/organized the briefing. There is no particular reason I should have been consulted or informed re Muller’s participation.

      • The title and content of the press release is a concern, also seems to be framed very politically..

        Ie this bit seems to be Democrat vs Rebublican

        ” His work also debunked many talking points repeated by climate science deniers that have been repeated by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.”

        I hope he gets across that BEST did no work on attribution..

        Has not survived pert review yet….

        Also, that one observation, was that human contribution may have been overestimated…

        May be Congress is full of people that have been saying the earth hasn’t warmed in the last 150+ yrs…. Should put a stop to that ;-)

        But ‘end of scepticism’

        I think not, especially if like me you are of the lukewarm, low, climate sensitivity, and very sceptical of ‘climate policies’.

        When the whole world now knows China and India are going for growth, predominantly on the back of coal… Ie there will never, be an actually reduction of gross global emissions year on year, as no political will or ability to do anything about it now….

      • Barry Woods

        So.. should it be relabelled, “To Push End of Climate Change Republicanism”, or “To Push Start of Climate Change Democracy”?

        Either would be as clumsy, given how long it’s been since either party reflected the philosophy on which they were founded, you think?

      • Why shoul it have any such ‘label’ – science NOT politics pls

        my issue is with ‘climate science denier’s – if you want to pretend that there is not a political divide between republicans and democrats, on this, as well.. well so be it..
        As someone form the UK.. USA politics means less than nothing to me.

      • Barry Woods – perhaps Judith should put a disclaimer at the top of certain threads reminding us that ‘this a parochial thread – don’t expect it to make any sense if you live in one of the 200 countries that is not called America’
        Sometimes, because we all sort of use English, I forget that we speak different languages…. :)

      • Judith, here is a chance for Dr Muller to regain a sense of scientific integrity. At the hearing he should start his presentation by challenging the “End of Climate Change Skepticism” title. That would be followed by a short tutorial on the role that skepticism plays in the scientific process. Is he open to such a suggestion?

      • Your invitation must have gone lost in the mail. Post office is having problems with losing mail and money.

  17. The “end of skepticism about climate change” meme seems to have caught on with the warm PR groups. I suspect that pushing this will be as successful as Gore’s 24 hours in terms of changing anyone’s mind.

    It’s easy to mistake the climate of the blogosphere for something resembling public opinion: it’s not. Surveys of public opinion demonstrate that the average voter is very different from the average blog commenter: far less engaged, far less committed to a particular side, totally obvious to concepts intimately familiar to the vast majority of your readers, from the pseudo-scandal “Climategate” (80% of the public has never heard of it) to James Hansen and Michael Mann (how many voters do you think could name them as, say, the climate scientist who testified before Congress in 1988 and the author of the original hockey stick graph?)

    So in assessing whether a particular PR move is going to shift people’s thinking in a significant way, you need to consider its impact on the largely disinterested middle, not the tiny minority of passionate pseudoskeptics — whose opinions are not going to change regardless of how they are approached, and whose numbers are too small matter greatly come election time.

    I think Gore’s analogy to racism is apt; racism became marginalized in our society, and racists lost political influence accordingly. This happened not because vicious racists were persuaded of the error of their ways, but because the broader moderate currents of public opinion found them embarrassing and reprehensible. You seem to evaluate all actions from the “warm” side of the political debate as if it they were attempts to persuade the right-wing fanatics that form the core of the antiscience movement. That would be a poor strategy, as they have proven themselves dishonest and irrational. The political goal should be to marginalize right-wing climate denial the way we marginalized right-wing racism. The annihilation of multiple “skeptic” myths by the Koch-funded BEST studies can be a useful fact to advance that program.

    • “The political goal should be to marginalize right-wing climate denial the way we marginalized right-wing racism. The annihilation of multiple “skeptic” myths by the Koch-funded BEST studies can be a useful fact to advance that program.”

      You are a fascist.

      • I come here because I find the level of debate so stimulating…

      • And even though the post I responded to has vanished, it’s still true (that “I come here because I find the level of debate so stimulating…” requoted in case that too gets lost :-) )

      • Louise,

        Ditto

        {thanks Judith . . . . : ) }

        John

      • That’s an entertaining fantasy.

        It is also what scholars call “revisionist history.” Your imaginary past helps protect your dogmatism in the present.

      • Revise this:

        The Republican party was formed for the express purpose of fighting the extension of slavery into new territories through the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
        (http://en.wikipedia.orgwikiHistory_of_the_United_States_Republican_Party)

        Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, led the country in fighting the Civil War that ultimately freed the slaves. The Democrats were initially able to respond by passing Jim Crow laws, because the GOP had virtually no constituency in the South after the Civil War.

        The first Civil Rights Acts were proposed by Republican president Dwight Eisenhower, legislation that was opposed and weakened by Democrats.
        (http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/1957_civil_rights_act.htm)

        Democrats filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Acts, trying to prevent enactment of the same protections for African Americans that they had previously prevented Eisenhower from enacting.
        (http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAcivil64.htm)

        GOP Senators and Congressmen not only broke the Democrat filibuster, they in fact voted in higher percentages for the Civil Rights Acts than did the Democrats. “When broken down by party, 61 percent of Democratic lawmakers voted for the bill (152 yeas and 96 nays), and a full 80 percent of the Republican caucus supported it (138 yeas and 34 nays).“
        (http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/may/25/michael-steele/steele-says-gop-fought-hard-civil-rights-bills-196/)

        The KKK was organized by Democrat Party operatives to fight reconstruction in the South.
        (http://www.nationalblackrepublicans.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=pages.DYKKKKTerroristArmoftheDemocratParty&page_id=93&tp_preview=true)

        The most famous fighters against desegregation, Orville Faubus, Bull Connor, George Wallace, Lester Maddox, Richard B. Russell, were all life long, leading Democrats.
        (http://www.qando.net/?p=9005)

        There was no mass exodus of racist Democrats from the Democrat Party after the Civil Rights Acts were passed in the 60s, because all those Democrat leaders remained in the party, and three was no reason for racists to leave one party, in favor of the GOP that had voted a higher percentage in favor of the passage of those acts.

        The infamous “Southern Strategy,” whereby Republicans purportedly adopted the practice of appealing to the racism of southern whites, was a figment of the imagination of RINO campaign advisers of Richard Nixon, like Kevin Phillips, who were trying to portray themselves as the power behind the throne, ala Karl Rove.
        (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy)

        In fact, in 1968, Nixon lost Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia to George Wallace, with Hubert Humphrey winning Texas. Not much of a strategy.
        (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1968)

        In 1972, Nixon won every state except Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. He won the south for the same reason he won everywhere else, George McGovern was a terrible candidate.
        (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1972)

        There are racists in any group of large people, human nature being fallible as it is. But the Democrat Party has a long history of institutionalized support of racism, while the Republican Party was founded on, and has continued to fight for, the freedom and equality of all people.

      • GaryM,

        My experience of anti-racism campaigns in my youth, largely the anti-apartheid struggle, was that it was largely a movement of the political left. There were always plenty of Red banners (not in the US sense) in both the UK and Australia when we fought to shut down Rugby and Cricket matches. Mrs Thatcher, in the UK, was of the opinion that “politics” should be kept out of sport. Which never made much sense as the the SA touring teams were racially segregated.

        I know what you say about the US Democrats is historically true. It is really quite hard for an outsider to understand why it was ever this way around. But it looks like in recent years there has been a political realignment in the US which does appear to make more sense.

      • tt

        This is all very off-topic and Judith may decide to scrap it all. but to understand US politics of the past and present, you have to understand a bit about US history.

        The Republicans were the party of the North before, during and after the US Civil War (or the “War between the States” as it was taught in history classes in the post-war South).

        After the war, which killed more Americans on both sides than any other war, including WWII, the defeated former Confederate states were blessed by what was called “Reconstruction”, an “An Act to provide for the more efficient Government of the Rebel States”.
        https://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ref/abouttx/secession/reconstruction.html

        Abraham Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson, (a Democrat from Tennessee) vetoed the measure, but was overridden by a predominantly Republican Congress, who wanted to push through the Fourteenth Amendment (end of slavery) and punish the Old South.

        Reconstruction was, in effect, a military occupation, with generals in charge of the acting district governments. Landowners were stripped of their land, anyone who had fought in the war was denied voting rights or right to run for office. Former slaves were enfranchised and put into political office. Opportunists from the North (called “Carpetbaggers”) swarmed to the South like locusts and corruption was rampant.

        During this period the post-war southern Democratic Party had its roots. It remained the dominant party of the old South through the 1960s. During FDR’s time, essentially all southern states voted Democratic. Democrats referred to the “solid South”. Just as it had resisted emancipation of the slaves before the war, it was at first a major resistance to the Civil Rights movement, but then gradually crumbled into the “Dixiecrats” and finally died as a major political force.

        LBJ was a product of this party, as was House Speaker, Sam Rayburn (both from Texas).

        But to speak of the Democrats as the party, which represented the African Americans in their struggle for equality in the USA is a bit of a stretch.

        Max

      • Max,

        Earlier when you were trying to explain an alternate method of estimating climate sensitivity, I mentioned that while correct, it didn’t consider enough of the other factors to be of much use. That is the typical problem with these discussions, lots of evidence with no mechanisms. So I search for mechanisms.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2011/11/thermodynamic-layer-convergence-and.html

        A little fluid dynamic phenomena for your perusal.

      • dallas

        thanks for interesting links.

        Max

        PS The “quickie” calculation I made on CO2 vs. atmospheric temperature was made by simply using the IPCC arguments on CO2 “climate sensitivity”, as observed from the real data. I’d go along with Pielke and many others that the real measure of any warming (or cooling) – whatever its root cause – is the ocean, rather than the atmosphere, due to its much higher heat content. ARGO measurements are starting to yield some real data (not all of which is to the liking of AGW “consensus believers”.). Let’s hope we eventually get enough (non-manipulated or adjusted) real data to have a better understanding of what is really happening and why.

      • Max,

        It is funny that they doubt the ARGO because it doesn’t match the models. They seem to question everything but the models :)

      • John Q. Lurker

        tempterrain,
        I know what you say about the US Democrats is historically true. It is really quite hard for an outsider to understand why it was ever this way around. But it looks like in recent years there has been a political realignment in the US which does appear to make more sense.

        It was “this way around” because the progressives saw separation of the races, and theoretically temporary lower status for the Negro, as a step toward human betterment, and Southern progressives were operating in the South (of course), where Negroes were a very substantial fraction of the population. Republican progressives existed, but they were not as interested in controlling society – they tended to focus on things like eliminating corruption in government.

      • Tempterrain,

        You know it’s historically true, but cannot understand why. And you think you see that “there has been a political realignment in the U.S. that does appear to make more sense.”

        But, there has been no political realignment with respect to racism in the US. Progressive policies are still just as racist as ever.

        Through slavery, progressives could own their inferiors. When conservatives fought a war to take that away from them, progressive Democrats enacted poll taxes, literacy tests, and formed the KKK to keep Blacks from voting. When conservatives passed their own civil rights legislation, and defeated progressive Democrat attempts to filibuster the 1964 acts, the progressives again switched tactics.

        Progressives decided that if they couldn’t own Blacks, or keep them from voting, they would do the next best thing. Guarantee they voted Democrat in perpetuity. And who votes for progressives? Those who need government most.

        What followed was the Great Society, which provided transfer (welfare) payments to inner city families, on the condition that the father could not be living with the family in order to collect. Progressives began running the public schools, not as teaching institutions, but as employment program to ensure more Democrat voters and campaign workers. A propaganda campaign to obliterate their racist history was begun (and continues today) to blame conservatives and the republican Party for slavery, racism and the poor economic condition of the Black community.

        After decades, Blacks are poorer than ever, less well educated than ever, and guess what, every election they vote between 95 and 98% in favor of the progressive Democrat candidates. They use government transfer payments like an addictive drug. They used to be the drug pusher, owning slaves and giving them just enough to live in order to keep them working. Now they are government paid dispensers of financial methodone. They don’t even require the Blacks to work in their fields any more. They just have to vote Democrat every four years, to keep the meager government largesse flowing.

        If you want to be honest intellectually, who benefits from Black poverty and illiteracy? Conservatives who build and own companies who want educated and prosperous customers and employees? Or progressives, who require dependence on government to maintain power?

        Your participation in demonstrations regarding sports are all very well and good. But the real fight over racism is the fight to free Blacks from their continued exploitation by progressives who first owned them, and now keep them poor and illiterate to control their votes.

      • To be clear, there are racists in all political parties, in every large group of people in fact. But progressives with their elitism have historically institutionalized racism in their policies, and continue to do so.

        Here is an interesting article on the intellectual history of race in progressive thinking.

        http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/283075/progressivism-race-and-training-wheels-freedom-tiffany-jones-miller

      • Robert, During the Civil Rights Struggle 80-odd percent of Republicans voted for the measures. Only 60-odd percent of the Democrats did.

        Bull Connors et al were all democrats. You could ask Grand Keagle Senator Byrd (D WV) except he croaked.

      • In the years after the legislation passed, the solid South, the vast majority of the Democrats who opposed the legislation, began switching to the Republican party – just as Nixon said they would.

      • That is actually a perfect analogy to CAGW. Increased CO2 has/is causing warming, it took 30 years and if I were to cite any other causes for the south switching to Republicans I would probably be called a denier (or worse). The switch was a long time in coming and in reality very few Senators and Representatives that were Democrat and voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 switched to the Republican Party.

      • CO2 is not the cause of global warming! It is only the by-product of the burning of fossil fuels which we burn for their heat content. It can easily be shown that the heat that is produced by our energy consumption, is more than enough to raise the temperature by 0.04*F annually. Since 80% 0f our energy is supplied by fossil fuels it may be understandable that the Kyoto protocol missed the obvious cause. Trying to change the focus from CO2 to heat is proving difficult. I get many rebuttals concerning my position regarding CO2 but not a single comment regarding my position that heat is the cause.

    • Robert,
      You had better hope you are wrong regarding public opinion.

    • Robert

      The political goal should be to marginalize right-wing climate denial

      There is NO difference between we deniers and the climate scientists, as they say in private what we say in public:


      Yeah, it wasn’t so much 1998 and all that that I was concerned about, used to dealing with that, but the possibility that we might be going through a longer – 10 year – period [IT IS 13 YEARS NOW!] of relatively stable temperatures beyond what you might expect from La Nina etc. Speculation, but if I see this as a possibility then others might also.

      So they are deniers in private, just like us.

    • The word you were reaching for “Oblivious”; “totally obvious to concepts intimately familiar to the vast majority of your readers”.

      In your case Robert you might consider tatoo on the forehead of the word, both for yourself and a warning to anyone who approaches you.

    • Robert,

      I’d say you’d need to look at motivations on the race question. Looking at it from the position of the large corporations, big capital, it was something they could clearly do without. It was an embarrassment, and more importantly, an impediment to their profitability in a multicutural and multiracial world. From the position of the liberal/socialist left it was a moral, or ideological, question. The marginalisation of racism therefore was achieved by an alliance of both sides of politics who wanted the same thing for different reasons.

      Its not quite like that on the climate question. The large corporations are nervous about the effect of carbon taxes, and C&T, even if they aren’t directly engaged in the fossil fuel business themselves. There are obvious exceptions: the nuclear power industry, and those engaged in solar and other renewable energy sources. The liberal/socialist left have their own reservations on what is essentially a regressive non-direct tax, although by and large they have no ideological reasons for rejecting the scientific argument on AGW.

      Yes, there are prospects for the same kind of broad alliance across the political spectrum, and it is certainly needed. But there are formidable difficulties too.

      • tempterrain – isn’t the politics / corporate view of the climate question pretty straightfoward: The liberal/socialist left want money to be sucked from fossil fuel companies and find its way to left supporters and prospective supporters, ie, the bottom line is they’re buying votes with someone else’s money. Big business wants the money to be sucked from fossil fuel companies, because (a) they can make a fortune managing advising and/or ticket-clipping [Enron was a big supporter], and (b) they are safe for a while because someone else is paying.

      • Mike Jonas,

        No. The liberal/socialist left never, on their own, came up with any sort of arguments, at least as far as I am aware, for any sort of carbon tax or any sort of environmental cap and trade scheme.

        If you look at back prior to pre – AGW days they were, as I remember, arguing that the rich should pay higher income taxes, companies should pay higher corporation tax, and for such things as higher sales tax on expensive cars, jewellery etc. There was even some talk in Australia and Europe about wealth taxes at one time.

        Anyone else remember it any differently?

  18. This is going to work about as well as when they try to “end” racism and poverty.

    • Before Social Security and Medicare, about a third of the elderly lived in poverty.

      Before 1960, blacks were denied the right to vote across the South, were denied access to employment and housing, and were murdered in the thousands by lynch mobs.

      We haven’t “ended” poverty or racism, but we’ve knocked them back a good ways. If this effort works “as well” it would be working very well indeed.

      • “Poverty” is whatever the government defines it to be. Racism is on the rise. Ever seen any of those OWS posters about the Jewish bankers?

      • And analogously, “climate change” is whatever the activists define it to be.

      • That’s really evident, isn’t it?

        Sorry about poking the troll, Dr. C. Devil made me do it.

      • Before SS and Medicare about 1% were dependent upon Gov’t, now over 60% are. Dependency is a form of bondage. Some will offer that poverty in Bondage is better than Independent poverty, I disagree.

        Legislated Skepticism will simply ensure the next step from Scientific Consensus to Scientific Authority or Centrally Planned Science. History has taught us that Centrally Planned Authority has ALWAYS led to Centrally Planned Atrocity.

        We will soon find out how the Republicans can make full use of that Authority, sure to be a doozy. My bet is that it will be just as atrocious as the Democrat’s attempted Monopoly on thought. Of course the Dem’s will have another chance to wield that Authority poorly as well.

        We can sit courtside and watch our Nation and Planet sink into oblivion as the D’s and R’s battle for who can Pave the best Highway to Hades with their “Good Intentions” and Authority to pave it.

        Hooray for Thought Control and Dependence, the Devolution of Humanity at it’s best.

        Sad really.

      • Before SS and Medicare about 1% were dependent upon Gov’t, now over 60% are. Dependency is a form of bondage. Some will offer that poverty in Bondage is better than Independent poverty, I disagree.

        Ending global warming “skepticism,” of course does not mean there will not be pseudoskeptics any more, but rather that the wider public will recognize “global warming skepticism” as just another kooky fringe-rightist belief like the nonsense above.

      • And maybe all the believers will convince everyone to joint them on the spaceship to join their alien friends. Probably almost as much evidence

      • Robert of Ottawa

        And now 100% of the population will live in poverty – once the state credit card runs out.

        I don’t even accept your statistic. Before SS, medicare and other social programs from the state, extended famillies took care of baby sitting and elder sitting.

  19. Can you imagine how a paper proving the opposite or an alternative theory to AGW would be treated? In fact, we know, because those sorts of papers can’t even get accepted for the peer review process, let alone leapfrog over the results.

    • BEST was supposed to produce those papers. We know how that worked out.

      Reality, not peer review, is what is keeping papers “proving the opposite or an alternative theory to AGW” from being published. You can’t prove a lie.

    • and when they are ‘published’ in the blogosphere, they are proven to be without merit.

      • And since BEST was “published” before peer review, I presume Robert and Louise are suitably skeptical about the results?

      • What makes denier papers garbage is the garbage science, not when or how they publish.

        BEST confirmed the land temperature records are accurate — as has been proven in many peer-reviewed studies. If it publishes, those records are confirmed. If they do not, those records still stand unchallenged. So whether or not it makes it through peer review, it has failed the hopes of deniers that it would lend credence to their conspiracy theories.

      • But it is possible the current result could change during the peer review process. I don’t think it will change enough to matter, but the results are now preliminary.

      • Sure. The results could change. The chances of that are small enough, however, that promoting the preliminary results discrediting pseudoskeptic myths seems to me to be a low-risk high-yield strategy.

        This is all in the vein of public relations. In scientific terms, of course, BEST is just another set of confirmations of things that have been confirmed over and over.

      • “BEST confirmed the land temperature records are accurate”
        Nobody can ever do that!!

      • Please drop ‘denier’. It contributes nothing and becomes a distraction.. am I a denier if I think climate sensitivity may well turn out to be low!

        Or that windturbines are not the answer to energy/climate policies, wheter you think, aGW, AGW or CAGW.

      • Please drop ‘denier’. It contributes nothing and becomes a distraction.

        Whom does it distract? It’s a very clear and descriptive term. It describes both the pseudoskeptical position and the psychological state necessary to maintain it in the face of the data.

        . am I a denier if I think climate sensitivity may well turn out to be low!

        Believing climate sensitivity is low is not enough; if you check the IPCC reports you will find they included some very low sensitivity estimates in their ensemble.

        Or that windturbines are not the answer to energy/climate policies,

        Thinking wind turbines are not “the answer” does not make you a denier. Believing that there must be one single answer, and anything that is not the one single answer is a useless waste of time, would be, however, suggestive.

      • Robert

        This Peer Reviewed paper says the greenhouse gas theory is pure fiction.

        Falsification Of the atmospheric CO2 greenhouse effects within the frame Of Physics” by Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner; International Journal of Modern Physics B, Vol. 23, No. 3 (2009)
        http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf

      • BEST confirmed the land temperature records are accurate?

        To use your own words “not with the Garbage” that their “data” file represents.
        Have you even bothered to look at it?
        I have and as they admit it “has some errors”, it has thousands of errors and you want to use that as justification for “confrimation”?

      • Robert
        If you use denier please specify what is been denied.

      • Byran,

        Not all articles in the IJMP are peer reviewed. I found this helpful explanation for the nonsense you cited:

        This is not merely a refutation of conventional global warming ideas, oh no! It is a sweeping dismissal of the physics of energy balance in any atmosphere of any planet; an error ridden account of how the atmospheric greenhouse effect is a violation of thermodynamics. Thanks to the topicality of the subject matter, this got a fair bit of press from those who disbelieve the conventional story of modern climate change; but has been mostly ignored by working scientists. It continues to be mentioned (perhaps unfairly) in internet discussions as a convenient example for holding up climate skeptics to ridicule.

        There is a discussion of this paper in the physicsforum thread Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics; again I link to msg #7 where I first joined in to give my own account of the paper.

        This journal also has a very low impact factor of 0.558 (2008). In this case, it also seems likely that the paper was not actually peer reviewed at all. The journal description states “review articles are by invitation only and all research papers undergo stringent refereeing”. This paper was listed as a “review article”, and hence was most likely published by invitation of an editor, without the kind of review that would immediately pick up the fundamental errors that fill the paper. I do not know who invited the paper or how carefully it was checked by the editor, if at all.

        (http://www.physicsforums.com/blog.php?b=1493)

        It would certainly constitute a terrible failure of peer review if this garbage went through it (although no system is perfect.) To clarify, do you think this article was peer reviewed? And what is the evidence for that?

      • Robert
        Thanks for your link.
        Sylas seems to be over the Moon when he was part of the “comment” reply to the paper.
        I would take the personal invitation of the Journal Editor to indicate a higher standard even than peer review.
        The invitation indicates that the authors would add credibility to the journal.
        The last post on the thread seems to indicate that the critics of the paper made mistakes which they now acknowledge.
        (http://www.physicsforums.com/blog.php?b=1493)

      • Robert, I am “sylas”; that is my blog; currently inactive. The person writing that last comment (suibhne) is clueless on the subject. His capacity to follow anything in thermodynamics — including minor corrections if any to terminology, is negligible. He popped up after 18 months with yet another nonsense comment. I hadn’t even seen that latest one, but since I am inactive at present I’m going to ignore it until I can give proper attention to the board on which it is located.

        Your point on “invitations” would make more sense of the invited authors had any existing professional background in the topic on which they are writing. The paper in question is perhaps the worst I have ever seen get into a real (albeit minor) physics journal. This is skydragon slaying stuff; scientific significance negligible. Our “comment” is similarly of no actual scientific significance, something I have said from the start on this topic; it is purely a matter of addressing undergraduate level fundamental errors in thermodynamics which somehow got into IJMP(B). Over the moon? Hardly. It was fun, and that’s about all.

      • I would take the personal invitation of the Journal Editor to indicate a higher standard even than peer review.

        What you said above was:

        This Peer Reviewed paper

        It would appear you were mistaken. The paper was not peer reviewed. As to an invitation of the editor being a “higher standard” — I don’t think so, and Exhibit A for my skepticism would be that awful mess.

      • Oops. Sorry Bryan and Robert. My comment above was actually a response to Bryan.

      • When you make obvious leftist rants, you lose all credibility when trying to discuss climate science. Your views are meaningless for those trying to understand the facts

      • Chris Ho-Stuart says of suibhne

        ….His capacity to follow anything in thermodynamics — including minor corrections if any to terminology, is negligible. ………

        From the series of remarks I gather that suibhne has a degree in physics.
        You on the other hand have a degree in computer science.

        Suibhne knows (correctly) that heat only flows spontaneously from higher to lower temperature.
        You on the other hand apparently think heat can flow spontaneously from a lower to a higher temperature.
        Why didn’t you get someone competent in thermodynamics to check your silly comment paper?.
        It looks as if suibhne was trying to do just that before publication.
        (http://www.physicsforums.com/blog.php?b=1493)

      • Robert says…..

        ……” The paper was not peer reviewed”……

        Of course Robert has no proof of this!

        Indeed even the comment that G&T made in reply was peer reviewed.
        See page 1357

        “Reply to ‘Comment on ‘Falsification Of the atmospheric CO2 greenhouse effects within the frame Of Physics’ by Joshua B. Halpern, Chistopher M. Colose, Chris Ho-Stuart, Joel D. Shore, Arthur P. Smith, Jorg Zimmermann” by Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner, International Journal of Modern Physics B, Vol. 24, No. 10 (2010) pages 1333–1359.
        http://www.skyfall.fr/wp-content/gerlich-reply-to-halpern.pdf

      • Bryan, if you want to read the thread of discussion you linked, it explains about heat flows. This isn’t the place to explain it all again; we are way off topic. But briefly, backradiation from atmosphere to surface is less than radiation from surface to atmosphere. Backradiation exists, it is radiation from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface, it’s been directly measured now for over forty years, and there’s no violation of any thermodynamics because the heat flow, obtained by summing all the energy flows, remains upwards.

        Our rebuttal paper, and explanations like the above paragraph, are physically trivial. The objections to backradiation, or to the basic physics of the greenhouse effect, are nonsense. Yes, our comment paper and reply got a more conventional peer review, almost certainly more than the original “review” paper. After accepting our comment, the journal editors also committed to publishing a rebuttal by the original authors, but it was as silly as the original paper. Such is life. We have a pretty good idea who was involved in the reviews; but it is now all old news, and the G&T paper has had no impact in the world of atmospheric physics.

        A number of my co-authors did have degrees in physics, and specific expertise in thermodynamics. No great expertise was actually needed. A competent undergraduate comprehension is more than enough.

      • Chris Ho-Stuart says..

        …..”A number of my co-authors did have degrees in physics, and specific expertise in thermodynamics. No great expertise was actually needed. A competent undergraduate comprehension is more than enough.”…

        I would agree with that.
        Backradiation (as you call it) does exist.
        However it is not heat.
        Heat has the capacity to be turned into work in the given situation.
        In a purely radiative exchange heat would be the net value of the radiative flows.
        I guess that your physics co-authors had not brushed up recently on their undergraduate thermodynamics.
        Its the only charitable excuse I can think of.

      • “But briefly, backradiation from atmosphere to surface is less than radiation from surface to atmosphere.”
        Ok
        “Backradiation exists, it is radiation from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface, it’s been directly measured now for over forty years, and there’s no violation of any thermodynamics because the heat flow, obtained by summing all the energy flows, remains upwards.”
        Ok
        Galactic background radiation was detected from earth.
        But it’s not warming earth.
        It’s 2.725 K. If instead it was 5 K or 1 K it wouldn’t cause the earth to get warmer or cooler.
        It will prevent any object in space from passively cooling below 2.725 K. It could do work or heat could flow from it if a object if object were cooler than 2.725 K.
        If the surface is cooler than the sky then the sky can warm the surface- it do work, there would a heat flow from sky to the ground. It would warm this cooler ground.
        If the sky were 1000 C and the ground was 1000 C, the sky would not warm the ground- the sky heat could not do any work if there no cooler temperature than 1000 C

      • gbaikie, you are mixing up doing work with have a higher equilibrium temperature. The energy from the background radiation is about 3 microWatts per square meter. You can’t do work with that energy, unless you build a machine cooled below 2.7K.

        It does, however, mean that the Earth and the Earth’s surface are at a very very slightly higher equilibrium temperature than they would be without that background radiation.

        It’s bad terminology to call the background radiation “heat”. It’s fine to call it a energy flux that contributes (negatively) to the heat flow from Earth out into space.

      • “gbaikie, you are mixing up doing work with have a higher equilibrium temperature. The energy from the background radiation is about 3 microWatts per square meter. You can’t do work with that energy, unless you build a machine cooled below 2.7K.”

        Of course you can make matter cooler than 2.7 K. Economically in terms creating energy? Very unlikely.

        “The energy from the background radiation is about 3 microWatts per square meter”
        Hm. I assume that is per square meter on earth?
        So 3 x 10^−6 W with 5.1×10^8 km2 or 5.1×10^14 square meter or 1.5 x10^9 W.
        So a few bonfires worth energy for entire planet. It’s amazing it was
        detected.

        “It does, however, mean that the Earth and the Earth’s surface are at a very very slightly higher equilibrium temperature than they would be without that background radiation.”

        That is your contention.
        Earth being heated by 2.4 watts per square meter and as likely being heated by 3 x 10^−6 watts per square meter.

        Moon light of course also would cause as you say “higher equilibrium temperature”. All the energy from the Moon could be a factor of more ten the 2.4 watts per square. And energy from earth to Moon it could say 4 times higher than that.
        It seems we would notice this.

      • gbaikie, you say:

        Of course you can make matter cooler than 2.7 K.

        Indeed. But that is not the point. The point is that there is a difference between being able to do work with the energy flow, and having that very cold energy flow contribute to a slightly higher equilibrium temperature of a warmer body.

        Hm. I assume that is per square meter on earth?

        It is the flux of energy for any collector of the background radiation. It’s a feature of the radiation itself, not of the Earth.

        “It does, however, mean that the Earth and the Earth’s surface are at a very very slightly higher equilibrium temperature than they would be without that background radiation.”

        That is your contention.
        Earth being heated by 2.4 watts per square meter and as likely being heated by 3 x 10^−6 watts per square meter.

        It is my further contention that this is utterly trivial basic physics. There’s a kind of presumption in an open thread like this that we are debating these things as equals. In a sense; yes. That doesn’t mean everyone is equally well informed. But yes, it’s my “contention”.

        Saying that the Earth is “heated” by such cold radiation runs into the same old problem that the Earth is actually much hotter, so there is one heck of a larger flux of energy (about 242 W/m^2) from the Earth out into space; and we get almost all of that energy from the Sun. There’s a fraction of a percent also from tidal energy, from geothermal energy and from waste industrial heat.

        The cosmic background radiation, however, is a real detectable energy flux, which really does add to the energy load that the Earth has to shed back out to space again. Hence it really does mean that Earth has a tiny tiny increment in temperature to shed that additional energy (of the order of 0.0000024 degrees) — or alternatively, if the cosmic radiation switched off, then Earth would cool by about that amount. It’s not detectable.

        But it is physically incorrect to say that the higher temperature of the Earth means that cold radiation cannot contribute to a temperature increase.

      • (Sorry about the above mess. I wish there was a comment preview. Any moderator passing by, please feel free to delete the above mess with my thanks. Otherwise, sorry for clogging the thread!)

        gbaikie, you say:

        Of course you can make matter cooler than 2.7 K.

        Indeed. But that is not the point. The point is that there is a difference between being able to do work with the energy flow, and having that very cold energy flow contribute to a slightly higher equilibrium temperature of a warmer body.

        Hm. I assume that is per square meter on earth?

        It is the flux of energy for any collector of the background radiation. It’s a feature of the radiation itself, not of the Earth.

        “It does, however, mean that the Earth and the Earth’s surface are at a very very slightly higher equilibrium temperature than they would be without that background radiation.”

        That is your contention.

        Earth being heated by 2.4 watts per square meter and as likely being heated by 3 x 10^−6 watts per square meter.

        It is my further contention that this is utterly trivial basic physics. There’s a kind of presumption in an open thread like this that we are debating these things as equals. In a sense; yes. That doesn’t mean everyone is equally well informed. But yes, it’s my “contention”.

        Saying that the Earth is “heated” by such cold radiation runs into the same old problem that the Earth is actually much hotter, so there is one heck of a larger flux of energy (about 242 W/m^2) from the Earth out into space; and we get almost all of that energy from the Sun. There’s a fraction of a percent also from tidal energy, from geothermal energy and from waste industrial heat.

        The cosmic background radiation is a real detectable energy flux, which really does add to the energy load that the Earth has to shed back out to space again. Hence it really does mean that Earth has a tiny tiny increment in temperature to shed that additional energy (of the order of 0.0000024 degrees) — or alternatively, if the cosmic radiation switched off, then Earth would cool by about that amount. It’s physically real, but well below what is measurable even if we could somehow remove the CMB.

        It is physically incorrect to say that because the Earth has a higher temperature, then the cold radiation cannot contribute to the Earth’s temperature.

      • Hm. I assume that is per square meter on earth?

        “It is the flux of energy for any collector of the background radiation. It’s a feature of the radiation itself, not of the Earth.”

        That doesn’t make much sense- as recall the discovering collector dish was fairly large [larger than sq meter] but I believe there was some space assets used and who knows the number ground assets used throughout the years.
        Not answer but interesting:
        “Most of the radiation energy in the universe is in the cosmic microwave background, making up a fraction of roughly 6×10−5 of the total density of the universe. ”
        Here it is:
        microwatt (10−6 watt):
        “3 µW – astro: cosmic microwave background radiation per square meter”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orders_of_magnitude_%28power%29

        “But it is physically incorrect to say that the higher temperature of the Earth means that cold radiation cannot contribute to a temperature increase.”

        Well, I would say if the cosmic background was higher than 2.725 K- say it was 10 K, it would require more energy to cool objects if radiating into the universe. That would be disputable to me.
        Or it would take a lot energy to have a refrigerator for cool drinks on Venus.
        Or more directly to the subject a 100 C object will radiate more energy to the 2.725 K universe as compared to a 280 K sky. Or that a sidewalk won’t cool below the temperature of the sky.

      • gbaikie, since you have found a reference for the flux of the cosmic radiation as being 3 micro Watts per square meter, which is exactly what I calculated for myself directly, I’ll leave you to sort that out for yourself whether this makes sense. The number is the flux of energy available to a collector of any size at all, whether it be the Earth, or a satellite, or a collecting dish, or anything else. It is simply a property of the radiation itself.

        You say:

        Well, I would say if the cosmic background was higher than 2.725 K- say it was 10 K, it would require more energy to cool objects if radiating into the universe. That would be disputable to me.

        I can’t make sense of that. Require more energy to cool objects?

        The issue we were speaking of was the equilibrium temperature of the Earth.

        I suggest you try to calculate answers to a simple example. Suppose that you have an experiment involving a large sealed evacuated room, in which we suspend two spheres each 1 meter in diameter, and with centers 10 meters apart from each other, using highly insulated wire so that you don’t need to worry about conduction. Suppose also that the room and the spheres are “black” (absorb all incoming radiation, and radiate with unit emissivity), and that we can fix the temperature of spheres and wall and measure the energy being pumped in or out to refrigerate or heat them.

        Case 1. Hold one sphere at 100 K, and the walls at 10K. Let the other sphere come to equlibrium What temperature does it reach?

        Case 2. Hold one sphere at 100 K, and the walls at 20K. Now what temperature does the other sphere reach?

        Does the walls being at a higher temperature result in a higher equilibrium temperature for the measured sphere?

        You should find it does… even though the measured sphere is hotter than the walls.

      • Bryan,

        It may look like a proper paper but it hasn’t been accepted into any journal of any worth. Peer reviewed? I guess you could argue there is a community of dragon-slayers who form a peer group. They could review each other’s nonsense. Is that what you mean?

      • tempterrain says

        ……..”Peer reviewed? I guess you could argue there is a community of dragon-slayers who form a peer group.”…….

        To make any sense of your drivel I have to assume you mean that the
        International Journal of Modern Physics B, Vol. 24, is part of the dragon slayers group?
        Do you have any evidence to support this?

        Or are you just a compulsive drivel writer with nothing better to do than clog up threads?

      • Bryan, IJMP(B) has two classes of paper. One is a research paper, which goes through peer review. The other is a review paper, which is published at the invitation of an editor. IJMP(B) is a very small low impact journal; which does legitimately good work mainly in condensed physics.

        How or why one of editors managed to invite a paper that was so completely over the top nonsensical is a good question… but it happened. All it takes is one dragon slayer in the drivers seat at the wrong time, especially when the topic is so out of the normal scope of the journal. It should have been picked up. It wasn’t.

        This kind of thing does happen from time to time; the blog thread of mine you cited previously wasn’t actually about this one paper… it was a much wider look at a number of cases in a range of fields where the review process didn’t work as it should to screen out complete bunk. Peer review and scientific publishing isn’t perfect. There are false positives and false negatives; good papers that can’t get a fair shake and atrocious papers that slip past the gate.

        That’s ok; because the real review that matters (IMO) is what occurs after publication. Peer review is meant to filter out nonsense (and usually it does), but not to filter out every incorrect idea. It basically works (or should work) to limit publication to papers worthy of wider consideration (whether it be support or refutation) by the wider scientific community. This is one of the cases where it failed.

      • Chris Ho-Stuart says
        …..” All it takes is one dragon slayer in the drivers seat at the wrong time,”…
        tempterrain says
        ……..”Peer reviewed? I guess you could argue there is a community of dragon-slayers who form a peer group”

        The publication referred to is the International Journal of Modern Physics B.

        Do you either of you have any evidence to support this?
        I think not because the IJMP in existence for years before the sky dragons were heard of .

        Even the article from Vol. 23, No. 3 (2009) pages 275-364.?
        Pre dates the skydragons by two years.
        This kind of slur is all too common coming from those who want to push a CAGW agenda.

      • Chris Ho-Stuart adopts a world weary composure as he sorts out the ‘good’ physics journals from the ‘not so good’.
        However it seems likely that Chris is a very poor judge of such matters.
        He has never taken any courses in thermodynamics as his degree is in computer science
        Chris with five other thermodynamically confused co-writers produced a worthless ‘comment paper’ which they try their best to forget.
        Here are some highlights from their paper.

        1.The on document accusing G&T of saying that a colder object could not radiate to a warmer object when they said no such thing.
        Several diagrams and formulas showing a two way interaction seem to have escaped their attention.

        2. You have HEAT apparently moving spontaneously from a colder to a higher temperature object.
        Your confusion between radiation and heat inadvertently confirming the G&T statement that some greenhouse theories advocate propositions that are impossible according to the second law.
        Although this arises from a mistake on your part perhaps G&T thought that you really meant it
        Although some of other versions actually mean just that Page 1316

        3.Develop a layer system to ‘explain’ the troposphere temperature profile.
        Your system has a 80K differential between the effective emission height (255K) and the Earth Surface
        However the troposphere temperature profile is fully explained by the kinetic theory gases in a gravitational field producing in an adiabatic atmosphere with temperature change on expansion and compression .
        Your layer system is a bit like someone attempting to prove that ‘go faster stripes on a car’ actually make it go faster.
        The papers by Postma go into the correct explanation in some detail.
        1317 to 1321

        4. Someone who has never been anywhere near a thermodynamics course feels he can judge that G&T publish it in a rather irrelevant journal.
        Perhaps you think the “cut and paste” Mann hockey stick paper is the level of sophistication and integrity that set the standard.
        I’m glad that this physics journal does not have such a worthless standard.

        http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/upload/2010/05/halpern_etal_2010.pdf

      • “Sky dragon slaying” is a term recently introduced for people trying to falsify basic physics of the atmospheric greenhouse effect. The phenomenon has been around longer than the label. Personally, I think that criticisms of the physics of the atmospheric greenhouse effect play well to a naive audience, but have no scientific significance at all.

        It bothers me very little that you don’t like our comment. I can see places it could have been written more clearly or phrased better, but it is simply false that we are “trying to forget it”, and I am quite positive that it does not have basic errors in thermodynamics. Criticisms I could be inclined to take seriously are that it misses the real argument of G&T, or that it is phrased badly in places; though at this stage I think it is not important, since the whole underlying issue is a case of dragon slaying, which is not a worthy topic for a science journal.

        But hey… for the sake of a bit of clarity in setting out our positions, let me assume for the sake of argument that our comment is worthless, and ask where we (you and I) stand on the matter of the atmospheric greenhouse effect more generally. Is that okay?

        The original G&T paper claims to “falsify the greenhouse effect”. What do you think of the level of thermodynamic comprehension in the original G&T paper? That is, are you thinking that the original paper was reasonable physics, or that both our comment and original paper were physically worthless?

        Just curious to know how you see it, if you could please indulge me. Thanks.

        Is it a case that you think we somehow missed the valid refutations of the original paper, or do you think we are unfairly dismissive of a sensible criticism of the physics of the atmospheric greenhouse effect?

    • IBD, Yes I can imagine.

      You are right in thinking that the authors would find it more difficult to publish a consensus challenging paper than one which went along with it. That happens in all science not just climate science.

      Most often, the consensus holds and proves resilient to any challenge. But just occasionally it doesn’t. It’s every scientist’s dream to bust the consensus. That’s often when the Nobel prizes get handed out.

      On the other hand if a scientist challenges the consensus and fails, then that’s not such a good move. It’s career suicide actually, so some caution is certainly required.

  20. Is Muller going to tell Congress “the press release for this Briefing is bull”?

  21. They aren’t called the Dumbocrats for nothing.

    The desperation the DNC will face as 2012 voting gets ever closer will result in a continuous series of appeals to their Base to try and hold them steady and motivate them to actually get out and vote.

    They’ll hold on to past messages and campaign promises, especially now that Obama, in a desperate attempt to preserve the One and Only Job he cares about – his, has sacrificed $$Billions in investment and tens of thousands of high paying Unionized Steelworker’s jobs by delaying the XL Pipeline decision until early 2013.

    Lots more greenie propaganda promises to come . . . all those taxpayer subsidized green business lobbyists will want something for all the money they will dump into Obama’s reelection campaign.

    A very fun year coming up.

  22. Disinformation, deceit, or a simple trick?

    From Matt Taibbi’s expose of Goldman Sachs, in Rolling Stone:
    …instead of credit derivatives or oil futures or mortgage-backed CDOs, the new game in town, the next bubble, is in carbon credits — a booming trillion dollar market that barely even exists yet, but will if the Democratic Party that it gave $4,452,585 to in the last election manages to push into existence a groundbreaking new commodities bubble, disguised as an “environmental plan,” called cap-and-trade.
    The new carbon credit market is a virtual repeat of the commodities-market casino that’s been kind to Goldman, except it has one delicious new wrinkle: If the plan goes forward as expected, the rise in prices will be government-mandated. Goldman won’t even have to rig the game. It will be rigged in advance.”

    • a booming trillion dollar market that barely even exists yet . . .

      Read that clause back to yourself, slowly, and see if you can spot the problem with it.

    • Matt Taibbi rocks. His writing style is absolutely delicious. Say what you will about Rolling STone, he’s a great asset. Who can ever forget this line re Goldman?

      “The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

  23. I see this as a chance for Professor Muller to set the record straight regarding his recent ambiguous statements. I’m betting he’ll take it, and in a way that will not be pleasing to this congressional committee.

    Looking forward to the webcast.

  24. Everyone should be highly skeptical that AGW is actually harmful to humanity overall. (please someone provide specific evidence that is not based on a GCM)

    Americans should be especially skeptical that any warming will be harmful to the USA and that the proposed actions recommended by those who believe in cAGW are actually what the US should be doing in an environment with very limited resources.

    • I am just trying to understand the reasoning behind your perspective. What I get in response is name calling or long completely disjointed and illogical responses.

    • The Democrat party sided with the UN-IPCC and dead and dying old Europe long ago.

    • Everyone should be highly skeptical that AGW is actually harmful to humanity overall.

      How are you coming with meeting your burden and proving it is safe to create conditions warmer than any seen on earth since humans came down from the trees?

      Your continued efforts to shift your burden elsewhere would seem to suggest your efforts are not going well.

      • Robert

        Robert

        You wish to tell individuals that they must alter their chosen behavior not I. Humans historically have not had any restrictions placed upon them for emitting CO2 by other humans. It is only a very recent proposition that this restriction should be implemented. In normal behavior it is the party wanting to implement a change in behavior to justify said change.

        You are purposing to implement some strange “Robert World” logic that wishes to view the situation differently

      • You wish to tell individuals that they must alter their chosen behavior not I.

        Not at all. They are simply not entitled to change the composition of the atmosphere I breath, or the climate, without evidence that that is safe.

        Where is your evidence that the radical change you propose is safe?

        Humans historically have not had any restrictions placed upon them for emitting CO2 by other humans.

        Humans historically have held other human being in slavery, have burned people alive for the crime of witchcraft, and have caused the deaths of millions by failure to wash their hands when nursing the sick. How is what has happened “historically” any justification for the radical experiment you are proposing?

        Are you not even going to attempt to answer the simple question of why you believe this radical experiment is safe?

      • John Carpenter

        Robert, it’s not a question of whether the ‘experiment’ is safe. The question is really ‘what other experiment can be conducted?’ to avoid the path we are on? Further, if such an alternative ‘experiment’ can be conducted, who is going to plan it, how is going to implemented and then who will supervise it?

      • John,

        The answer to “what other experiment could be conducted” is very simple; we could chose to cause as little warming as possible, remaining as close as possible to the very stable climate of the last 8,000 years.

        We already know humans can thrive in that climate, because we have. Hence the least “experimental” option is not to change the climate radically. Unfortunately, a large amount of warming is now inevitable. Nevertheless, we can slow that warming and reduce the eventual magnitude of the change.

        Given that we are starting from a climate we know humans can thrive in, and changing the climate in a way that pushes us away from the state we know to be safe, changing the climate more slowly, to a lesser degree, is the other option.

        Of course, if Rob can prove the radical experiment he proposes is safe, we need not trouble ourselves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

      • John Carpenter

        Robert, the problem, you know, is agreement that CO2 mitigation will lead to ‘as little warming as possible’. So that is why my second question is probably the more important one for you to consider.

      • Robert –

        You may have recently come down from the trees, but most of us have had our feet firmly on the ground for millenia.

      • I think you’re confusing having your feet on the ground with having your head in the sand. ;)

      • Whereas you, of course, have your ear to the ground, your nose to the grindstone, your shoulder to the wheel and your back to the wall. :)

      • Robert

        How are you coming with meeting your burden and proving it is safe to create conditions warmer than any seen on earth since humans came down from the trees?

        You may have missed the work of Dr. Gernot Patzelt, an Austrian glaciologist and climate researcher.

        His studies show that for around two-thirds of the past 10,000 years temperatures have been warmer than today.

        His evidence comes from carbon-dated pieces of tree stumps found under receding alpine glaciers.

        An independent study by Dr. Christian Schlüchter of the University of Bern comes to the same conclusion.

        You need to get up-to-date, Robert.

        Max

        PS Have links, if interested

      • An independent study by Dr. Christian Schlüchter of the University of Bern comes to the same conclusion.

        You need to get up-to-date, Robert.

        Max

        PS Have links, if interested

        Max Cherry Picker, He believes in scientific investigations if they back his view but science in general can’t be trusted. That is what makes these commenters so amusing to read. In their opinion, all scientists are liars except for the ones that aren’t, and the latter just happen to be on a certain side of the argument.

        The educated congressmen have understood this for years. That is why senators like Inhofe are considered laughing stocks.

      • WHT

        Thanks for your latest ramble.

        Just posted cited links to Robert.

        Enjoy.

        Max

      • Max,

        Why don’t you provide those links. I looked at a couple of their papers, and it seems you’ve misunderstood them.

        Remember, cherry-picking papers you half-understand in order to rationalize ignoring the real science is not “keeping up to date” — it’s more like “keeping up appearances.”

      • Robert,

        Neither Rob (nor I) are asking anyone to make changes in their lifestyles or to contribute in one form or another a portion of their wealth to ensure any positive impact from a warmer world. Therefore we don’t bear any burden of proof. The burden is on those people who state that we are at risk and therefore must take action to reduce that risk.

        If you don’t believe that then I’m sure you will be ok with your insurance company raising your rates based on the postion that you need motorcycle insurance, boat insurance, flood insurance, meteor insurance, lightning insurance, insurance against breast and uterine cancer, etc, etc, even though you don’t own a boat, motorcycle, or breasts, nor live in a flood zone or expect to be hit by ligtning or a meteor and tell you that you have to prove that you are at not at risk for any or all of these. Tell me, where in this instance do you believe the burden of proof should lie?

    • Everyone should be highly skeptical that AGW is actually harmful to humanity overall. (please someone provide specific evidence that is not based on a GCM)

      You seem to be asserting GCMs are not trustworthy (if you are right, you have created another problem for your own argument, since you still need to prove that the radical climate shift you propose is safe). Please prove this assertion.

      • No Robert

        I am not asking or telling people to alter their behavior- so I need only demonstrate that the basis upon which most of their fears are based are without merit. The inability of the current GCM to be able to accurately predit futue rainfall or temperature at different locations is not disputed. It is simply not publicized by many “climate scientists”.

        I’d like to see judith make this point clearly and strongly

    • Rob,

      I’ve been asking this question as well and so far the only responses I’ve gotten are Louise’s link to CVU (at least she tried) and one to a Science Fiction book about the impact of the 50 ft rise in sea levels (can’t remember now who provided that one).

      I’ve pretty much given up expecting any sort of answer to the question.

  25. Just as Congress has failed to Legislate Morality and Generosity, they will too fail at Legislating Skepticism which is the key to the Scientific Method.

    If you cannot, through repeatable tests, convince your most ardent rational skeptic, then expect to be called a liar.

  26. The cause of global waring is the heat produced by our energy use. All energy degrades to heat. We are adding 50x10xE16 BTUs each year to an environment whose atmosphere has a mass of 5.3x10E18 kilograms. It is a simple calculation to determine that this is enough energy to potentially raise the temperature 0.04*F yearly. This has been moderated by thermal lag, photosynthesis, and glacial melting. this is the heat we should focus on, not the heat supposedly captured by CO2. Carbon dioxide
    is a by-product of the combustion of fossil fuels but it is not the cause of our contribution to global warming. In the previous 400,000 years there have been five temperature/CO2 cycles. In each case temperature and CO2 rose together, but temperature fell much faster, by decades and centuries. This suggests that CO2 did not cause the temperature to rise, but perhaps the rise in temperature caused the CO2 to rise (by lowering the solubility of CO2 in the oceans?). This was “all natural” (no humans intervening). The present potential rate of rise in temperature is 250 times that of the “natural” era and projected to go higher as energy consumption increases. Let’s stop sequestering CO2 except through photosynthesis. Stop talking about more advanced nuclear plants. We must find consensus with the rest of the international community to establish a protocol which discourages heat production, rewards the planting and nurture of trees, and encourages the implementation of temperature neutral processes such as solar,wind, hydroelectric, and the various biomass methods to create energy sources through photosynthesis. It will take time and money so let’s not waste either.

    • Philip

      What makes you BELIEVE a warmer world is bad?

      • Rob, I am not making the case for stopping global warming, though I truly believe it should be, I am trying to point out what is causing global warming. It is the heat we generate from our energy use, not the heat that is supposedly caused by the “greenhouse” blanket. Would you care to comment on which you think it is?

    • Is there a full moon out or something?

    • John Carpenter

      Wow… just wow

    • ‘The present potential rate of rise in temperature is 250 times that of the “natural” era and projected to go higher as energy consumption increases’

      OK. So what? You obviously feel that this number is significant in some way. Please explain why?

      An observation : 200 years ago, the fastest that any human had ever travelled was about 25 mph on a galloping horse. Most never got above walking pace – say 4 mph. Today anybody who flies in a jet – an everyday occurrence for many – will be travelling at say 500 mph. That is 125 times faster than almost anybody who lived in all of human history until 1830. And yet we survive without any apparent harm. 125 times faster! That’s a big scary number isn’t it?

      Well not really – we know that people do it all the time and are blase about it. It is simply not good enough to produce some number like ‘250 times’ and say ‘that is a big number – we must all be scared witless of it’. You actually have to produce some reasons why. Have you got any? Backed up by observations?

      • Some alarmists want to scare us even with the small numbers (Rahmsdorf anyone?). The ‘unprecedented’ (nearly – and it’s bound to ‘get worse’) one inch per decade rise in sea levels needs to be put in context. The average sea level rise for the last 15,000 years?

        3 inches per decade! Shock horror!

      • Latimer, the change in temperature from 2000 back to 140,000 years from the present was 12*C in 138,000 years. that is 0.000156*F per year, (all from “natural” causes). The energy we consume produces enough heat to raise the temperature 0.04*F per year. I say this to rebut the contention that CO2 is the cause of global warming and to point out a much simpler and more direct explanation for the “acknowledged” rising temperatures. I am trying to discourage sequestration of CO2 by means other than photosynthesis and the promotion of advanced nuclear plants as they are wasteful of time and money and counterproductive. Nuclear plants actually contribute twice as much total heat as their electrical output, but this is bot stopping Bill Gates and prominent physicists from promoting this as a solution since nuclear plants don’ emit CO2. I didn’t mean to ramble and I hope I answered your question.

    • Dear Mr. Haddad,
      I have been working on the very subject for 11 years now. Waste heat contribution to global warming is 12% to 20%, no more. Global warming and climate change are caused by carbon dioxide change with time, and can be calculated virtually accurately. For more details, please see book PDF on http://www.global-heat.net. There is absolutely not a single paper that is correct enough to link the present warming trend to natural variations. If you have one, please give me a chance to review it and respond. As you will find based on math and observations, global warming is caused by humans, no other. It will however cease naturally without human intervention. Definitely, waste heat is something that has to be addressed. As for carbon dioxide emissions, the option of doing nothing should be on the table.

      • Nabil, I agree with you that the present warming trend is caused by humans. It is the amount of heat being released by the energy we consume, not the by-product CO2 that produces the warming. Naturally there is a correlation between rising CO2 and temperatures since 80% of the energy we use comes from fossil fuel. We are adding 50x10E16 BTUs annually, enough to potentially raise the atmospheric temperature by 0.04*F per year. Actual rise is about half due to factors such as cooling by photosynthesis, and glacial melting. The necessary reduction of fossil fuels will reduce both heat and CO2. We should not forget that nuclear power is not an answer since these plants emit twice as much total heat as their electrical output, even though they emit no CO2. Any correlation of CO2 and temperature must be done with heat effect removed other wise it has no value as a predictor of temperature as a function of CO2 alone.

    • Phillip Hadad,
      You sound as in touch as an IPCC lead author.
      Keep up the good work.

    • You say:

      We are adding 50x10xE16 BTUs each year to an environment whose atmosphere has a mass of 5.3x10E18 kilograms. It is a simple calculation to determine that this is enough energy to potentially raise the temperature 0.04*F yearly.

      Even without checking the numbers, the problem with this simple calculation is that it ignores the fact that when you heat something up, it radiates more, until it comes to a new higher temperature at which the additional energy in is matched by the additional energy radiated away.

      You are effectively treating the atmosphere as a well insulated body, which is absorbing much more heat energy than it is able to shed.

      Here’s is a simple calculation that illustrates the point.

      1 BTU is 1055 Joules. So 5e17 BTU per year is 5e20 / 3.1e7 Joules per second, which is Earth’s surface area (relevant, since the capacity of the atmosphere to shed excess heat is proportional it’s boundary) is 5.8e14 m^2.

      So this extra energy corresponds to 0.03 W/m^2.

      The atmosphere would have to heat up enough to shed that much additional heat, and after that it comes to a new equilibrium with the additional energy flux.

      Earth’s climate sensitivity is of the order of 0.8 degrees per W/m^2. This allows for feedback in the climate system. Some people, however, do argue for a much lower climate sensitivity. In the absence of any feedback effects, the “Planck response” is 0.3 degrees per W/m^3,

      Thus this additional energy gives an additional 0.01 degrees C (sensitivity with no feedbacks) or 0.026 C (conventionally estimated sensitivity). This is not a per year increase. It’s the increase from effect of sustained 5e17 BTU/year.

      • Chris, the point I am trying to make is that there is a simpler answer to global warming than attempts to blame a certain level of CO2 as providing sufficient “greenhouse” blanketing that prevents heat from leaving the atmosphere. Which heat, solar or that from human activity?. I believe that is the whole point. If the atmosphere does not shed all the radiation, every year a new equilibrium is reached.

      • I know the point you are trying to make. I am showing that your point is incorrect.

  27. Skepticism is science and science is scepticism.

    In other news:
    US climate study group gets big oil funds
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/11/12/pew-centre-is-big-oil-funded.html

    • Well I’m sceptical of any claims that allowing CO2 levels to rise out of all control is either a safe or sensible thing to do !

      Is that what you were meaning?

      • Yes! Finally you understand tt! Never stop being skeptical. That’s a good start.

      • I’m always sceptical. But there’s got to be limits; otherwise I’d end up rejecting everything regardless of whether or not it was likely to be true.

      • But there’s got to be limits; otherwise I’d end up rejecting everything regardless of whether or not it was likely to be true.

        What a pity. Up to now, I would have said that if you existed you would have had the makings of a good solipsist.

  28. It is a real shame that Congressional hearings such as this one are a sham. It would be so helpful to have an attorney with the analytical skills of a Steve McIntryre provide meaningful cross-examination of these three witnesses. Of course, if such cross were a possibility, they likely would never agree to testify.

    If Dr. is genuinely interested in making his views clear, it would not be difficult for him to do it. And even if his communication skills are simply poor, if he is genuinely interested in setting the record straight, a decent lawyer on cross-exam would be able to help clean up ambiguities in short order.

    Instead, we all realize that this silly dog and pony show will produce nothing but political spin where genuine science gets folded, spindled and mutilated out of any possible recognition.

    • oops. should have read: If Dr. MULLER is genuinely ….

    • There will be no cross examination at these “hearings.” Note that the press release calls them “Congressional Briefings.” The Democrats are in the minority and cannot call hearings. Nor can they control them once they are called.

      What they are going to have is a Democrat press conference, given the gloss of authority by referring to it as a Congressional Briefing.” THat way they can exclude dissenting(conservative) congressman, and their witnesses.

      I can’t wait for Dr. Muller’s explanation of why such a skeptical scientist as himself is taking part in blatant progressive propaganda exercise.

      • I can’t wait for Dr. Muller’s explanation of why such a skeptical scientist as himself is taking part in blatant progressive propaganda exercise.

        Well, unless he’s been misquoted, according to a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, it’s because:

        [...] the confusion he generates is largely a reflection of the fact that he is a nonpolitical scientist.

        “Whenever I make a presentation anywhere, I can almost sense in the audience that people are trying to figure out which side is Muller really on,” he said. “And I think I leave most of them pretty much confused, because in fact we really are just practicing scientists and we’re doing it with great care, and I think it’s evident in our papers and in everything we write.”

        Must be the same “principle” that underlies his whine about the WSJ article not conflicting in any whatsoever with the agenda of the briefing in which he’s participating.

        And a similar “principle” that makes his Dec. 2004 admonishment:

        In most fields of science, researchers who express the most self-doubt and who understate their conclusions are the ones that are most respected. Scientists regard with disdain those who play their conclusions to the press.

        easily reconcilable with his behaviours since Oct. 20.

        Although it could be that Muller was invited simply because the one visible point of no departure seems to be his Dec. 2003:

        My own reading of the literature and study of paleoclimate suggests strongly that carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate [emphasis added -hro]

        which is remarkably consistent with his far more recent:

        We’re not sure how much [of the small but real 1.6 degrees rise in temperature] is due to humans but the global warming models predict that it would be about that much. There are some questions about those models, some valid skepticism. But it’s enough that we know we are playing in the ballpark where things could go catastrophic. [emphasis added -hro]

        For all “non-political” scientific intents and purposes, of course. Yeah, right!

    • Congressional briefings are staged to persuade, not educate. What could this one portend besides a revival of the Waxman/Markey cap-and-trade bill?

  29. P.E. writes concerning Muller clarifying his positions: ‘I dunno about that. He’s done a spectacular job of keeping the water muddy so far.”

    i agree that he has P.E., but my sense of the man has changed for the better since this all began a few weeks ago. He’s gone on record a number of times now disavowing key points of that WSJ piece, and if he flip flops again he’ll do much damage to himself. It’s a matter of self-preservation. I’ll be very surprised if he doesn’t go to some pains to identify some areas where the skeptics have valid points…

  30. Muller, not the headline writer or the editorial page editor, wrote the following in his WSJ op-ed:

    “Without good answers to all these complaints, global-warming skepticism seems sensible. But now let me explain why you should not be a skeptic, at least not any longer.”
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204422404576594872796327348.html#articleTabs%3Darticle

    The clear intent of the op-ed was to argue that while global warming skepticism may perhaps have been logical before, it isn’t any longer.

    Is there any other way to read this? I’ll answer for any who can’t understand simple English – no. The headline writer simply accurately paraphrased what Muller himself wrote.

    If he wants to retract what he wrote, fine. But blaming someone else for accurately paraphrasing his own writing is…well…dishonest. And the statement above in which he joined with Dr. Curry does not in any way contradict his fervid pro-CAGW position.

    “Continued global warming “skepticism” is a proper and a necessary part of the scientific process.”

    It depends on what the meaning of the word “skeptic” is. I suspect that Dr. Muller, like all CAGW proponents, would say that they are the true “skeptics” and that those who dissent from the consensus are deniers.

    If you want to know what Muller really thinks about the debate, ask him if there is sufficient grounds for skepticism of global warming to reject carbon taxes, cap and trade and decarbonization.

    And if he actually believes that skepticism of global warming is actually still justified, why precisely is he testifying as one of only three witnesses called by Democrats to support their claim that “three prominent scientists will present the best case yet for the end of climate skepticism….”

    Someone is still being played. And I don’t think it’s Dr. Muller.

  31. Hi Judy

    Regarding the BEST claim

    “Our study addressed only one area of the concerns: was the temperature rise on land improperly affected by the four key biases (station quality, homogenization, urban heat island, and station selection)? The answer turned out to be no ….”

    in our paper,

    Fall, S., A. Watts, J. Nielsen-Gammon, E. Jones, D. Niyogi, J. Christy, and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2011: Analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/r-367.pdf

    We reported that

    “Temperature trend estimates vary according to site classification, with poor siting leading to an overestimate of minimum temperature trends and an underestimate of maximum temperature trends, resulting in particular
    in a substantial difference in estimates of the diurnal temperature range trends. The opposite‐signed differences of maximum and minimum temperature trends are similar in magnitude, so that the overall mean temperature trends are nearly identical across site classifications.”
    If Muller does not report on these caveats in his findings, he is not objectively reporting on this issue. Siting does matter.

    He also should communicate the degree of geographic independence of his analyses from that already completed by NCDC, GISS and CRU.

    Best Regards

    Roger

    • “If Muller does not report on these caveats in his findings, he is not objectively reporting on this issue. Siting does matter.”

      you proved siting doesnt matter to Tave. That has been the focus of the debate. Your diurnal trend finding is most likely the result of failing to account for changes due to MMTS as Menne pointed out @ AMS

      • Steven,
        I concur with your perception of the problem-

        “C02 warms the planet, the question is how much?”

        I would like know-

        1) how much of the warming can be attributed to fossil fuel usage vs. natural variation?

        2) The focus of our political institutions has been on supporting measures to mitigate CO2 generation. Given that this hasn’t been effective up to this point what is the appropriate amount of funding (in the USA) that should be spent on adaption vs. mitigation policies. Options are noted below-

        A 90/10 mitigation focus

        B) 70/30 mitigation focus

        C) 50/50 focus

        D) 30/70 mitigation focus vs. adaption focus

        E) 10/90 mitigation focus vs. adaption focus

        3) How would the Chinese, Indian, Russian and Brazilian leaders answer question two.

        4) Does our response to 2 depend on how 3 is answered?

  32. Perhaps the statisticians can answer this. If you have 10 numbers with a random component that has a standard deviation of about 0.1 degrees, how certain can you be of a least-squares fit gradient with these numbers? I ask because this (warming has stopped) seems to be a statement made with some degree of certainty, but as has been noted by others, we don’t see the uncertainty, which I am sure is significant with short time series. I would use the 2000-2009 average and subtract the 1990-1999 average (20 years of data) to show that the decadal trend is about 0.15 degrees per decade, and would not trust other measures of decadal trend.

    • Nullius in Verba

      “If you have 10 numbers with a random component that has a standard deviation of about 0.1 degrees, how certain can you be of a least-squares fit gradient with these numbers?”

      That depends. If you’re talking about unweighted Ordinary Least Squares, assuming identical, independent Gaussian errors added to a straight line trend, then the standard deviation of the gradient estimate is the standard deviation of the errors divided by the standard deviation of the set of x values. (“Errors” in this case meaning weather noise.)

      But virtually all of those assumptions are violated in this case. The errors are not Gaussian, they’re not all measured with the same accuracy, they’re correlated to one another, and there’s no reason to suppose the underlying behaviour is a straight line, or that the errors are simply added on to it. So the uncertainty has to expand, but it’s hard to guess by how much. My view is that the whole question of “trends” is a meaningless question, anyway. Don’t trust any of ‘em.

      Looked at a different way, the numbers are what they are, the trend fitted to them by any given algorithm is what it is, and there is therefore no uncertainty in it. If you’re asking what actually happened, rather than the distribution of what might have happened, then the question is answerable with certainty.

      • Thanks for the answer. Let’s assume that the correlation time for annual temperatures is much less than 10 years, and that the variation about the trend is Gaussian (which I think is not a bad approximation), and that we are assuming the underlying trend in this period is linear. I am not sure I understand what you mean by the standard deviation of the errors. Do you mean the error in the annual means, which are much smaller than their standard deviation?
        Since I don’t know the statistical equation, I would use a Monte Carlo method, computing least-squares gradients for random sets of 10 digits with a Gaussian distribution and constant mean, and finding the distribution of those gradients.

  33. Some tidbits for my skeptical friends.

    In climategate people like Steve Mcintyre and I tried very hard to keep the focus on the real issue. FOIA and Tree Rings.

    But skeptics for some crazy reason thought the mails shed light on the surface temps. They didnt. This mistake ( riding the hobby horse of the surface record ) ALLOWED the inquiries to avoid the real issue and focus on the surface record. And guess what they found? No problems. Thats because they looked at the wrong problem.

    In the same way you have allowed your skepticism to be identified with the surface record. That necessarily entails that when people find no problems with the surface record they will conclude that your skepticism is defeated.

    If your skepticism is rooted in the following you’d do much better and Muller would not matter one whit

    C02 warms the planet, the question is how much

    • As they would have known had they invited someone like Steve M to testify at those inquiries.
      And as Steve was such a central figure in Climategate, one just has to wonder why.

    • C02 warms the planet, the question is how much

      I think there are two questions.

      1. How much more?

      The idea that the effect of a doubling of CO2 is independent of current temperature has little basis in any understanding of how heat is absorbed, transferred, and emitted. In my readings to date, it seems to depend on thermodynamic equilibrium analysis of a very simple model of absorption and emission.

      2. How rapidly? All human energy technologies will change throughout the 21st century, and a conversion away from persistently more costly fossil fuels may be nearly complete before there is much temperature increase.

      There may be a third if the discussion gets around to investment $$$. Would it make sense to invest first in technologies that are valuable whether the earth warms or not? My favorites are flood control and irrigation, reforestation and afforestation, ocean water desalination..

      • The point remains. Skeptics have for the most part focused on non issues or issues that are really not central to the debate: the land record and the hockey stick. to be sure they raised good arguments against both these, especially the latter. But Climate science doesnt rest on the land record or the HS. They are far removed from the central issue: What is the response to added GHGs? The HS doesnt help you with that and neither does the land record. So, tactically the skeptics focused on arguments that were not central to the belief system. If the HS disappeared tommorrow we would still have the question “How much”. If all the past data was lost we would still have physics which tells us that adding GHGs leads to a warmer planet.

        The real debate is over how much. energy focused away from that debate is a diversion.

      • I disagree that the ‘real debate’ is about how much. From the average sceptics point of view that is a quarter or a fifth of what the debate is about. There are just as big (to sceptics) questions over what the consequences would be – disputing for instance that ‘2 degrees presages disaster’.
        Also disputing whether there is going to be any practical result of spending trillions on decarbonisation. I have a whole heap of scepticism also over whether meaningful quantities of carbon (hundreds of billions of barrels of oil equiv’) are ever going to be left in the ground when in a world market and with more than a billion people without electricity, there are people willing to dig it up and people willing to buy it.

        I don’t see people in 60, 80, 100 years looking at the ground saying ‘funny isn’t it, there’s vast quantities of energy sitting there that we can have for half the cost of what we’re using now, and we persuaded EVERYBODY not to touch it’. Seriously, it’s a pipe dream

        If I was alarmed about climate change I’d find that really depressing, but as you can guess, I’m not. I’m aware you probably think I should be but I’m not – that’s not my vision of the future.

      • There’s a chain that has a lot more links than most people admit. It goes something like:

        CO2 from combustion ==> rising GMT ==> a plethora of consequences, all bad, ==> must do something ==> must do what the consensus says.

        Everybody gets hung up on the first one. The second one is probably the weakest link as far as science goes, but the last one is the weakest from a technology/economics standpoint.

        If you really map out all the possible answers and scenarios, it’ll cover a field. And most of it will still be highly uncertain.

      • Nullius in Verba

        That depends whether you are engaged in the debate out amongst the general public and media, for which the surface temperature record and the Hockeystick are still powerfully persuasive, or whether you are debating the climate scientists themselves on a technical level, where their role is a lesser one, although still not insignificant. The biggest issue about them is what they say about quality control – falsus in uno; falsus in omnibus – and the appropriateness of the way the scientific community has reacted (not) to the more problematic revelations. They’re also relevant for calibrating and validating the models, understanding natural variability, and so on.

        If the HS was really such a non-issue, then (apart from a few diehards like Mann) they’d cut it loose tomorrow and deprive us of one of the biggest and dirtiest sticks with which we can beat them. But they can’t, because of the politics.

        I agree that we shouldn’t stake too much on issues like the last ten years trend, UHI, or Svensmark’s cloud theory – it’s far too early to tell yet on those, we need to be more sceptical – but treated carefully, they’re still important.

      • Add credibility to the quality control issues. Once upon a time they could skate over the extremely poor to non-existent quality control by trading on

        ‘Trust me, I’m a climate scientist’.

        But this only works until the public stops believing that a climate scientist is a person worthy of trust. And the hockey stick and Climategate showed that this myth was indeed a myth.

        Had the great and the good of climatology publicly censured Messrs Mann, Jones, Briffa et al then they might have been able to rely on the ‘just a few rotten apples’ defence. But they chose to implictly endorse their antics by not doing so.And in some cases robustly defended them. They condemned all climatologists to be viewed with a great deal of suspicion about their methods, their motivations and their integrity.

        It was in their own hands to clean things up and they chose not to. Having made their bed, they must now lie uncomfortably in it and watch their influence, status and money inexorably slip away as climate change falls off the radar of the political classes. There are no votes in what may or may not happen 100 or 200 years from now. What happens today and tomorrow is the urgent problem.

      • If the HS was really such a non-issue, then (apart from a few diehards like Mann) they’d cut it loose tomorrow and deprive us of one of the biggest and dirtiest sticks with which we can beat them.

        You seem confused about who is going home with the bloody lip and broken teeth.

        The amount of effort deniers have expending attacking the hockey stick — which has defeated every lame pseudoskeptic slander, passed every test, and repeatedly been independently validated — has achieved nothing but the illustrate the impotence of the deniers and the the delusional nature of their war with the facts.

      • Nullius in Verba

        Passed every test? You mean tests like “passing” with a cross-validation r^2 score of,,, wait for it… 0.00003?! Good one!

        This is why I love the Hockeystick. No matter how often it gets debated, people are still willing to offer such spectacularly rhetorically-suicidal lines in its defence. They can’t give it up. It’s like an addiction, or something.

      • This is why I love the Hockeystick. No matter how often it gets debated, people are still willing to offer such spectacularly rhetorically-suicidal lines in its defence.

        Substitute “attack” for “defense” and you have something like the reality. Deniers inability to acknowledge their humiliating defeat at the hands of Mann’s hockey stick keep dredging up their failure . . .

        That’s the trouble with denial. You just don’t learn.

      • steven,
        I agree, in so far as the ‘how much’ is related to how much danger, how much adverse impact, etc.

      • Steven Mosher

        If all the past data was lost we would still have physics which tells us that adding GHGs leads to a warmer planet.

        The real debate is over how much. energy focused away from that debate is a diversion.

        Exactly.

        That’s why all the fear mongering conjuring up two meter inundations of NYC, killer heat waves or other climate disasters are beside the point – but that does not stop the “consensus” crowd from using these arguments to sell their message of alarming AGW in order to justify remedial actions (i.e. direct or indirect carbon taxes).

        I believe that our host’s approach is to get the discussion back to the basics:

        We know the physics tell us that added CO2 should cause warming. We do NOT know how much (great “uncertainty”) of the past warming has been caused by natural factors and how much by human GHG emissions.

        As a result, we have no notion of whether or not human-induced GH warming will represent a major inconvenience to mankind or not – but we do have indications that even in its worst incarnation, it will not represent an existential threat by the end of this century.

        Until we have figured this out, it is premature to talk about remedial actions whose unintended consequences we also cannot predict.

        Would you agree?

        Max.

    • steven mosher | November 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      C02 warms the planet, the question is how much

      steven mosher,

      An interesting isolated effect hypothesis. Does it indeed pass even rudimentary Popperian methods of scientific establishment?

      Given the amount of funding and gatekeeping that went into the alarming/concernist AGW by CO2 from fossil fuel for 25+ years then I would like to see the equivalent funding per year for the next 10 years toward fully skeptical and alternate climate dynamic research before there can even begin to be a balanced argument. Then 10 years of debate . . . . then a public decision on whether there is anything to be concerned about.

      Fair is fair.

      John

    • I agree with this perspective. The problem for skeptics is not unlike the problem for the team. Their more extreme falsehoods can discredit the whole enterprise. This can happen to skeptics too.

    • Steve I have been following this issue for some time, and while there has been genuine concerns with the surface temperature record and the suspicion of the temperature increase being exaggerated by an UHI warming bias, it has never been part of a central thrust of skepticism of CAGW so far as I could tell. The difficulties with record was never a smoking gun, and it certainly didn’t trigger my doubts over the orthodox position.

      You are such an active, visible and seasoned commentator, it strikes me as odd that you would buy in to what is a ‘straw man’ argument that skepticism is all about doubting the surface temperature records. Who are you really talking to here? Maybe 20-30% (probably more) comments are from the overly and overtly politicised on the issue – from both sides. Nothing you say is going to convince them – I honestly don’t think it is worth bothering.

      So are you saying that it is that minority of skeptics that have hijacked the debate? Or was it a central concern at the time of Climategate do you think?
      Personally, I think it is because the scientific skepticism is mischaracterised (and maybe deliberately so) that allowed the inquiries to focus on the wrong thing. I think you have pitched your criticism/concern to the wrong audience.

  34. I notice that the Republicans have not invited the token skeptic to this panel as they have often in the past (Michaels, Lindzen, Spencer have made many such appearances). Have they given up on this point? From comments here we also see a shift from “It will not continue to warm” to “Is warming so bad?” which is also an implicit concession, and seems to be the next battleground of the skeptics.

    • Seems like the issue has always been the degree of warming and is it bad….and for whom

    • Briefings tend to be partisan, whereas actual hearings have some bipartisan contribution.

      • Partisan ! possibly ;-) (sarc off) Isn’t it a concern that Michael Mann knew about this press release before you did?

        and hash tagging it #deniers as well. Will some scientist friend of his, ask him to stop, offensive, rude, unprofessional and ultimately counter productive to ‘climate change scientists’ and even MichaelMAnn.

      • There are skeptics who are uncertain as to how much and why the earth is warming.

        There are people who deny that the earth is warming or that man can have any impact on the climate.

      • There are skeptics who are uncertain as to how much and why the earth is warming, whether there is valid evidence that the warming is harmful overall over the long term, and whether the proposed mitigation steps are the best use of limited resources to adapt to any change.

        Just to try to be more accurate

      • Rob Starky – quite, I was aiming for succinctness and apologise if I was too brief.

        However, what would you call “people who deny that the earth is warming or that man can have any impact on the climate”? They are not skeptical, they are absolutely convinced of their views.

      • could you actually name any majorly sceptical blogger that agrees with that.. I’ve never come across anybody that thought that in the UK.

      • Barry – does it need to be the owner of the blog to be true?

        Do you deny that there are very many posters who visit this blog or even prominent US would-be politicians who claim that the earth is not warming and that man cannot influence the climate?

        What sort of collective name would you use for these folks to distinguish them from skeptics? (I personally think ‘idiots’ is rather insulting).

      • Louise

        I would call “people who deny that the earth is warming or that man can have any impact on the climate”?

        I just call them mistaken or wrong.

        I see no advantage in a further generalization of the reason for their views.

      • “deniers” is politically motivated language not those of a professional scientists..

        Why not just say totally wrong,

        Or at the very least, specifically define what a ‘denier’ is.. I’ve been called a climate denier.. merely for expressing policy concerns (ie wind farms are useless) MarkLynas gotcalled a chernobyl death denier, for rthinking nuclear essential and the greens wrong on nuclear..Denier is used to deligitamise the person attacked.

      • Louise –

        Every time you use the argument that ‘a person who calls themselves a skeptic believes something stupid, therefore all skeptics are stupid’ you show yourself to be someone who has no interest in discussion and clearly has a closed mind. Usually this happens when we are scared our world view might be shattered. We have to pretend that people who disagree with us have the most ludicrous beliefs simply so we don’t have to face them. It makes me wonder why you come here.

        Do you know the alarmist Barton Paul Levenson? Here is what he said a couple of days ago at Tamino’s echo chamber –

        “Some deniers are motivated by…….
        Evil.
        I believe the GOP in our time is doing the devil’s work”

        Now, would you like me to continually suggest that alarmism is in fact synonymous with religious fundamentalism? Because this ‘one skeptic-all skeptic’ rhetorical game is the only one you seem to play. And people tend to play it when they’re too afraid to have their fragile beliefs exposed to scrutiny.

      • Louise,

        I wouldn’t put too much stock in what any politician says, particularly in an election year.

        As to your question – I would call them possibly uninformed, maybe wrong, or most likely, uninterested.

        What would you call someone who is convinced that man’s impact on the climate has catastrophic consequences and only catastrophic consequences?

      • It would be nice if the Republicans at least had a lot of really good questions for the presenters. Occasionally they spend all their time talking. Presumably a lot of those scientists whom Sen. Imhof likes to list can email their questions for the House Republicans to ask.

      • Thanks for the clarification. It is a distinction few would be aware of.

  35. This meme pushed by democrats to ‘end skepticism’ regarding science, combined with Chris Mooney’s neo-eugenics against Republicans, indicates to me we are rapidly approaching new and dangerous territory for public discourse in the US.

  36. I give a 100% guarantee that this event will not lead to the ‘End of Scepticism’

    For even if they were able to prove conclusively that the Earth is warming …and that’s a stretch anyway, they still need to show that CO2 is the majority cause, that the effect of any warming will be, on balance, bad, that the problem is an urgent one and that they have sensible, costed and effective plans to fix it. f they can do that , and show that – of all the things we could spend today’s money on, climate change is the best recipient of our resources, then I migh stop being a sceptic.

    But until then, I remain firmly sceptical. And if they so much as show one picture of a freaking polar bear I swear that I hall become even more arch-sceptical than I am already.

    PS whatever happened to ocean neutralisation as the ‘panic du jour’. A couple of months ago we were all going to die in a vat of pH2 acid or some such nonsense. Maybe that’s all gone away…..we can breathe again.

    • “For even if they were able to prove conclusively that the Earth is warming …and that’s a stretch anyway”

      Is this another one of those ‘skeptics accept the earth is warming’ moments?

      • Do you think you might have inappropriately grouped all those skeptical of the IPCC’s conclusions?

      • No, just showing that this blog has at least one that doesn’t fit the statement ‘skeptics accept the earth is warming’ which is an opinion that both our hostess and Anthony Watts has stated.

      • Louise

        That is a very misleading statement on your part. I could accurately state that there is no evidence that the earth is warming over a short period without the long term trend being impacted. Isn’t that what both Curry and Watts have stated?

      • Rob – No

        Both Anthony Watts and Dr Curry have said that skeptics all along accepted the BEST result of long term warming (regardless of any short term supoosed effect). It seems that Latimer Adler does not.

      • My error

      • “What I agree with:

        1.The Earth is warmer than it was 100-150 years ago. But that was never in contention – it is a straw man argument. The magnitude and causes are what skeptics question.”

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/21/best-what-i-agree-with-and-what-i-disagree-with-plus-a-call-for-additional-transparency-to-preven-pal-review/

        It seems that Latimer is questioning the statement that the earth is warmer in his comment that I quoted above, not the magnitude and causes. Yes he’s only one skeptic but he does show that Anthony Watts is incorrect in his view that skeptics don’t question whether the earth is warming.

      • Louise

        You can read what I wrote above as well as anybody else.

        And if you bother to go over to the denizens thread, you can read what I wrote there exactly a year and a day ago. I’d write the same again today.

      • Louise

        And having read your trivial remarks once again I’d point out that ‘being warmer’ is a different quality from ‘warming’. Indeed all four possibilities Warming (Y/N) and Being Warmer (Y/N) are possible.

        You can deduce nothing about whether I agree or disagree with Messrs Watts and Curry from what I wrote. Your career as the new Miss Marple will, I fear, be a short and inglorious one.

      • Oops. Forgot the “Simon Says”.

  37. In some way I think my comment my be OT here, indeed perhaps my whole perspective and world view is OT. I say this because I am not American and do not have much interest in (or knowledge of) American politics.

    However, I would point out that this idea that ‘skepticism’ in the debate about climate is the name for a belief that the earth has not warmed in the last 50 years is one so ludicrous that it could exist, as you say ‘only in America’. It also betrays how polarisation can twist a subject beyond the possibility of any sensible discussion.

    I would add though, in mitigation, that the responsibility for this does not only lie with the partisan warmists who are seeking to use any available rhetorical device to marginalise [or demonise where possible] all opposition. There probably have been some people who have denied that the earth has warmed at all – as ever ‘only in America’.

    I would say personally, that my ‘scepticism’ does not even overlap with those people who deny that the world has warmed. If it were not so perjorative a term, I think sceptics themselves could usefully use the term ‘denialists’ – as a rhetorical response – as a way to marginalise the lunatic fringe and to restore some respectability to ‘scepticism’. As many people have pointed out above, it has been used for many years as an effective synonym for the scientific method. Perhaps because some peoples’ beliefs about the future of the climate are more akin to religious certainties, this usage has been lost.

    Lastly Dr Curry, I would reiterate my observations about trends and our expression of them in natural languages. I think the following graph –

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1950/to/plot/best/from:1950/to:1998/trend/plot/best/from:1950/trend

    – can be expressed in English in only one way – that the rate of warming since 1998 has ACCELERATED. I believe this perspective – and the natural language expression of it – has greater relevance than paradoxically opposite trend generated by looking back to 1998 from today. In essence, the ‘pause’ is an illusion.

    N.B This of course has nothing (at all) to do with climate change scepticism.

    • You posted previously (if I recall correctly) that you disagree with my conclusion that in reality we need good information regarding potential climate impacts to individual nations for decisions to be made rationally on this issue.

      Can you expand on why you disagree?

      Imo is seems like the citizens of each individual nation would want/need to know the net impact of a potentially warmer world to their country before deciding to take potentially costly actions.

      • Rob –

        I don’t recall making that argument….
        And I might be wrong that you were responding to my comment above….

        It seems to me that the knowledge of regional scale impacts is not practically in the pipeline. The way I understand it, all nations are being asked to do something because of the potential impacts to all nations. The IPCC recommendations are to the world as a whole. Hence the difficulty of getting any agreement.

        In that light, to me it would be odd for citizens of one particular country to ask ‘but hey – would it be so bad for us? Can’t we just do what the hell we like and let 3 billion starve to death? I mean – they’re no damn concern of ours?’

        I’m playing devils advocate here – but that is actually the kind of thing alarmists say. So no, I don’t think the moral of this is that citizens of each individual need to know the impact of a warming world to their own country. They are morally being asked if they would like to stop their involuntary genocide by causing catastrophic famines to foreign countries. They are not being asked if they’d like to do something to help themselves!

        Perhaps again this is a European attitude – we all have dozens of neighbours so we have had to learn to relate empathetically to each other. Sometimes…

        P.S. It worries me how easy it is to adopt an alarmist rhetoric. It is quite chilling.

  38. It will be interesting to see if Richard Muller repeats the following statements on this topic that he has made on the BEST website:

    It will be interesting. But does this not interfere with the revisions of the papers in light of problems adduced so far? It doesn’t seem to me like a good use of his time.

    I wish he’d exercise his right to remain silent, but I guess if the Congress calls, one has to come. Be prepared for countless misquotes.

    • Also be prepared for some baffling word-for-word quotes. Possibly even some that directly contradict something he said not five minutes silence. I like the idea of him learning to exercise his right to silence :)

      Whatever talent he has been given for physics seems to have been at the expense of common sense.

    • I don’t know if that was sarcasm or not, but the right to remain silent only applies in a criminal trial. As Eric Holder knows all too well.

  39. Robert

    The political goal should be to marginalize right-wing climate denial

    There is NO difference between we deniers and the climate scientists, as they say in private what we say in public:


    Yeah, it wasn’t so much 1998 and all that that I was concerned about, used to dealing with that, but the possibility that we might be going through a longer – 10 year – period [IT IS 13 YEARS NOW!] of relatively stable temperatures beyond what you might expect from La Nina etc. Speculation, but if I see this as a possibility then others might also.

    So they are deniers in private, just like us.

    • Be careful Girma, you might just shatter Robert’s whole cosy greenshirt world view.

      • Too bad about the Godwin’s Law fail.

        Five comment penalty. Try and use the time to come up with a real argument. :)

      • Robert,
        You bringing up Godwin’s law is a real joke.
        Thanks for brightening an otherwise dreary day.

      • Hunter,

        I’m coming to the conclusion Robert is a joke. At least that is the classification I’d place someone claiming that command and control economies are superior to market based ones, states that no one has the “right” to add stuff to the air he breaths as justification for tax policies and believes that the burden of proof regarding policy which has potentially dramatic impacts on peoples lives is upon those people and not upon the ones pushing the policies.

  40. This is a political show that will be well controlled to “prove” that Waxman and Markey have been rightly pushing legislation that will save the earth. I doubt either will be able to gain enough votes to save their jobs when voters learn how their legislation will effect their livelyhood. The republicans are expected to respond with their own show. This is not science.

    • Actually, quite the opposite. They feel safe spending their time on this precisely because both of their seats are completely “safe”. Those two aren’t going anywhere, no matter anything.

  41. Judith – Please can you clarify something:

    You and Richard Muller are reported as having said “The Wall St. Journal Op-Ed by one of us (Muller) seemed to take the opposite view with its title and subtitle: “The Case Against Global-Warming Skepticism — There were good reasons for doubt, until now.” But those words were not written by Muller. The title and the subtitle of the submitted Op-Ed were “Cooling the Warming Debate – Are you a global warming skeptic? If not, perhaps you should be. Let me explain why.” The title and subtitle were changed by the editors without consulting or seeking permission from the author.

    Can you confirm the title and subtitle of the claimed submission? In other words, did you actually witness the original, or did you just accept RM’s word for it?

    Sorry to be sceptical, but then scepticism is a proper and a necessary part of the scientific process.

  42. Dr Curry, you say –

    “If you look at our new land temperature estimates, you can see a flattening of the rise, or a continuation of the rise, depending on the statistical approach you take”

    Do you honestly think that is a fair assessment of what the data shows?

    Surely you should add –

    “…..or an ACCELERATION of the rise…….”

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1950/to/plot/best/from:1950/to:1998/trend/plot/best/from:1950/trend

  43. Just read the Congressional Press release:

    (Quote) “Congressional Climate Briefing to Push “End of Climate Change Skepticism”

    The briefing will feature the first appearance on Capitol Hill by Dr. Richard Muller since the release of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project results. Dr. Muller was previously skeptical about many aspects of climate science, but the massive two-year study he led has validated the fact that the world is warming. His work also debunked many talking points repeated by climate science deniers that have been repeated by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
    (EndQuote)

    Is that a fair representation of Muller’s position?

    If not, will Muller make any attempt to correct it, “for the record”?

  44. Dr Curry,
    I’m quite puzzled about your role with Best and Muller.
    It’s somewhat like the problems between Obama and the leader of China. They disagree about everything, trade, the currency, sanctions on Iran, the “operation” in Libya, North Korea, China’s south sea claims, etc. Yet they meet and smile before the press and declare they are the best of friends and everything’s fine.

    Diplomacy has it’s ways, but I would expect in science more straight talk, and less ambivalent jargon and obfuscation. I’m more comfortable when scientists call each other idiot, and declare the rival papers to be totally worthless. It’s more natural, more genuine.
    I can’t figure what your opinion is about the BEST papers, of which you are co-author.
    My opinion is that they are sloppy and disappointing. They are more of a public relations exercise than science.

  45. Anteros – when considering whether the two trends you have plotted constitute good evidence that warming has accelerated, you really need to consider confidence intervals about your measurement of trend.

    In this instance, you should bear in mind that the data you are trending is highly autocorrelated – this will widen the confidence bands about each trend i.e. there will be greater uncertainty about the slope of the trend.

    Although the trend lines appear to be different, if they are not significantly different one from the other (in a statistical sense) then no conclusion can be drawn from your analysis.

    • Matthu @ 5.48pm (I fear the nesting has collapsed..) –

      An absolutely fair point, except Judith is making claims about a ‘flattening’ of the rise. And she says merely that you can ‘see’ it.

      My contention is that you can also ‘see’ an acceleration. And all you have done is change your perspective to a more appropriate one (in my mind). At the very least it should be mentioned.

      I basically have never before found a reason to criticise our host, but here I sense the omission may have been because it would have created a stark contradiction with a recently published statement. I may be wrong about that..

      BTW if you want an even more stark contrast between two perspectives – one with a ‘declining trend’ and one with an ‘accelerating trend’ check out this graph –

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1979/plot/rss/from:1979/to:1997.5/trend/plot/rss/from:1997.5/trend/plot/rss/from:1979/trend

      To me it creates something profoundly counter-intuitive. How would you describe, in everyday English, what appears to be happening since 1998 in this graph? What do you ‘see’?

      Do you get my point?

      Dr Curry omitted a very important alternative perspective.

      • Actually, having thought about it, I would go further. I think the statement ‘you can see a flattening of the rise’ is not true. For it to be true ‘the rise’ is represented by its trend. statistical significance doesn’t come into it – flattening and accelerating are equal players in the game, and one precludes the other.
        If the trend is accelerating, there CANNOT be a flattening – as I say it is an illusion, (created by a disconinuity)

      • Anteros, the context for my comments is only the last 10-13 years.

      • JCH

        Your BEST (land only) data does not prove much.

        First of all, the “last 10 years” did not start in 2000 (as you have plotted), but in 2001.

        Second, it’s better to use land + sea data (ex. HadCRUT3, as used by IPCC).

        You will see a slight cooling trend over the “last 10 years” and a pretty flat trend over the “last 13 years”.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/to:2011/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/to:2011/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/to:2011/trend

        Max

      • With respect Dr Curry, that is entirely my point. It is over the last 13 years that it is possible to ‘see’ an acceleration of warming. Which precludes the most meaningful usage of ‘a flattening’ –

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1950/to/plot/best/from:1950/to:1998/trend/plot/best/from:1950/trend

        Surely it is not possible for both statements to be true?

      • Anteros, I don’t know if this is your point, but I’m hoping you’re aware that there’s no significance in that observation. The start date (1950) is classic cherry picking. The “acceleration” is that 1950-1998 has a smaller trend than 1950-2011; but even allowing that the significance of the trend is going to make the claim spurious, that’s not an acceleration over the last 10-13 years.

        Looking back at the record, strong CO2 driven heating starts to stand out from roughly around 1970 to 1980 or so. There’s no acceleration in the last 10-13 years; the difference in trend gradient is rather because the last 10-13 years fits into the new stronger rise that starts somewhere about 1970 to 1980; not because there was an another second acceleration.

        Reassure me — that was your point, was it not?

      • Chris Ho-Stuart – it’s not an acceleration. Fine. Then what is it?

        The red trend does not include Judy’s pause, at least not much of it. The next two trends include all of it. Despite this, it, a 20-year trend, 10 to 13 years of which is “the pause” – gets stronger.

      • As I said earlier; the accelerations are earlier in the record. The data you are presenting does nothing to support the notion of acceleration in the last 10 to 13 years.

        The changes in trend line can all be seen in the accelerations from earlier in the time series; and there is indeed a reasonable basis for an acceleration around the 1970 to 1980 period as greenhouse warming becomes dominant.

        Your latest graph has nothing in the numbers corresponding to the last 10 to 13 years. It would be better also to get significant limits on the trend, which WoodForTrees does not give directly — you’d have to get the data and calculate that yourself. But be that as it may, your latest comparison is of three trend lines.
        * 1971-2001
        * 1981-2011
        * 1991-2011
        That doesn’t do a thing for showing acceleration over the last 10-13 years.

        I was asking if you were serious in this claim, or if you were deliberately showing how you can give misleading statistics.

      • Dr Curry, the instrument record over the last 30 years shows a strong heating trend and lots of shorter term variation.

        There is a basis, in the record, to say that the last 10-13 years has not seen as much net heating, but there’s no credible basis for saying that the longer term trend is slowing or speeding or flattening or anything else. That is because the “slowing” is on the short scale matching the shorter term variations we’ve seen all along the instrument record.

        In the same way, the instrument record provides no good basis to say that the 30 year trend is not part of some much longer scale cycle.

        Physically, we’d like to know more about how the short term changes arise. (This is the guts of “Trenberth’s travesty”, we’d like to get the monitoring data to let us discover where heat is going as temperatures rise and fall on the short scale.) Conversely, the notion that recent heating is part of a long scale cycle has no credible physical basis, and has real problems looking at estimates of temperatures prior to the instrument record; it’s not really credible as a hypothesis IMO.

        I would still like you to try a serious answer to the question which has been posed to you from quite a number of folks. What is the scientific basis for your claim? Not spelling out what you meant, but explaining how you go about supporting it.

        If you actually answer in those terms, with actual calculations, it would help clarify somewhat what you mean. Some (most?) of your comments have suggested you think this says something useful on a longer scale; and that’s a problem.

      • I said nothing about the longer term trend in my comments.

      • Dr Curry –
        I hope this isn’t merely becoming pedantic, but my original contention to you was that some of the problem in this area are a result of the difficulty of rendering the implications of trends into natural languages.

        For example you say –

        “I said nothing about the longer term trends in my comments”

        Well, with respect, you did. By that I mean when you say ‘a flattening of the rise’ the rise means something reasonably specific and that thing is the implecitly understood longer term trend. ‘The rise’ surely cannot mean anything else. Now if you say that the longer term trend (‘the rise’) has flattened, this is another way of saying that the longer term trend has neither continued uninterrupted, nor accelerated. And as I have shown, the extra 13 years of data have done one, clear, specific thing to the longer term trend – they have accelerated it. The rate of warming is greater at the end of the 13 years than at the beginning.

        Chris Ho-Stuart –

        The decision to select 1950 as a start date is not cherry-picking. It is arbitrary but largely irrelevant. I originally chose 1950 in these discussions (some days ago) just because it represented ‘late C20 warming’.

        My point about the counter-intuitive nature of the addition of short periods as well as the irrelevance of the starting date can be see from these two graphs – one starting in 1950, and one in 1900. The start date is a red herring..

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1950/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1950/to:1997.5/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1997.5/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1950/trend

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1900/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1900/to:1997.5/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1997.5/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1900/trend

        I am not sure I fully understand your main point above. Firstly the statistical significance is worth mentioning but is not important for two reasons – a) Dr Curry didn’t mention it, she only said you can ‘see’ a flattening. So I only need to show that (at the least) you can ‘see’ an acceleration. b) secondly, the root interest I have in this, which is that an actual decline in temperatures can accompany an ACCELERATION in rate of warming can occur when there is a statistical significance to both observations.

        Secondly, Using the BEST data in which it is allegedly possible to ‘see’ a flattening of the [longer term] rise, how can you say that the addition of 13 years of extra data has not caused an acceleration of warming – how else has the acceleration occurred? It certainly occurs whatever the starting date of the trend take you pick. I’m not saying I haven’t misunderstood something – merely asking..

      • Anteros – you say that the acceleration “certainly occurs whatever the starting date of the trend take you pick“.

        Well, I downloaded some Hadcrut3 land and sea temperature data recently
        http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/ihadcrut3_tr.dat
        Unfortunately it’s for the tropics not global, but I’m sure the BEST global data would yield similar results – you’re welcome to try it.

        The linear trend for the last 161.8 years (from 1850/1 to 2011/8, ie, over all of the available data) is +0.0415 deg C per decade. The trend over the last 13 years (from 1998.9, one of the periods discussed here) is +0.1119 deg C per decade.

        How are we going so far? OK? Given that the latter starting point was still within the big 1998 El Nino influence, I would have thought we were going very well indeed.

        The trend over the last 10 years (from 2001/9) is -0.0917 deg C per decade. Oops! Not so good. That “-” in there is a minus sign, just in case you were wondering.

        What it tells you is that (a) the assertion that the upward trend is accelerating regardless of starting date is NOT true, (b) linear trends are devastatingly susceptible to start and end dates, and (c) Earth’s temperatures have a significant cyclical component so a linear trend over anything other than a complete set of cycles is devastatingly useless.

        You want an acceleration? I can give you a really big one. If you divide the last 10 years into 2 equal parts of 5 years each, the trend over the first 5 years is -0.0456 deg C per decade, and over the second 5 years is +0.0745 deg C per decade. Wow! But is it meaningful? Of course not.

        BTW, it may seem curious that the trend over the last 10 years is lower than the trend over either of its two halves. That just shows how unreliable linear trends are. How can it happen? Here is the graph, see for yourself:
        http://members.westnet.com.au/jonas1/SomeTemperatureTrends.jpg

      • Chris Ho-Stuart –

        My point about trends running counter each other and also something about the non-importance of the start date can be shown with the satellite data, viz –

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1979/plot/rss/from:1979/to:1997.5/trend/plot/rss/from:1997.5/trend/plot/rss/from:1979/trend

        In 1998 the green line represents the linear trend of ALL the data. although it is only 20-odd years, if that was all we had, we would say ‘to the best of our knowledge, the rate of global warming is represented by the green line’ Today we would say the linear trend of ALL the data is now represented by the purple line. The rate has increased, has it not? It has accelerated with the additional data? And starts from the same point….. the beginning of the data…

        I have been banging on about this for a while just because it is surely counter intuitive for this to occur while the temperature is actually DECLINING (blue line). It is not illogical, but contrary to our intuitions. And FWIW, both the acceleration and the decline may be statistically significant.

      • Mike Jonas – I think you misunderstood what I said.
        When I (and I assume Dr Curry) talk about a change in the trend (the ‘rise’ in Dr Curry’s description) we refer to the longer term trend. Whatever the rate of rise, it (as in the longer term rise) changes with the addition of new data.

        Dr Curry mentions a ‘Pause’ at certain points. My whole point is that whatever is going on with the short, latest trend (including the examples you gave) what has happened to the longer term trend (N.B. ‘the rise’) is relevant if you want to say it has ‘flattened’.

        You mentioning a particular trend for the last 13 years misses the point entirely. What has happened to the rise? My answer is that it has accelerated. The rate of warming – whatever it was, from whenever it was measured – has increased. hence the inappropriateness of calling it ‘a flattening’. The last 13 years may have been a flat as a pancake – I mention that too. But what has happened to the trend that existed 13 years ago?

        You have taken my point about start points beyond its usefulness, which was my fault. I didn’t pick 1950 for any other reason than it seemed appropriate for the late C20 warming. If you are going to use a linear trend at all, what start date BEST represents the period of time before 1998? That’s what I meant -choose 1930, 1940, 1959, 1960 – they all give a reasonable idea of the trend existing up to 1998, and also show that adding 13 years to it ACCELERATES that trend, even though the 13 year trend may be ‘flat’ or ‘paused’ or even [hadcrut/rss] declining.

      • Anteros, the latest graph you show still doesn’t show acceleration in the last 10-13 years.

        Here you are now looking at much too short a time span to say anything much useful at all about whether the longer term trend is accelerating or decelerating. You are now looking at dips and swings, and the most recent decade is during something of a dip. If anything, the last 10-13 years would be deceleration; though even that is not a good way to put it. The short term variations, now and over the last 30 to 40 years, are sufficiently large that the you can’t sensibly take short term data and use it to identify a change in the pace of trend. Short term we had the peak in 1998, a fall for the next couple of years, back up to a new high point in 2005, then a fall to 2008 which was cool for the 20th c, then back up to an equal high in 2010, rather less expected in 2011.

        In so far as there is any acceleration, it is invariably prior to the last 10-13 years, and ALL your graphs, so far, are consistent with this. They do not, any of them, show acceleration in the last 10-13 years. The last 10-13 years has been below the normal trend; though statistically not by anything particularly unusual in the space of the last 40 years.

        One thing that would be worth trying is a butterworth filter, or something like it, to filter out low frequency components, and then measure the slope of the result. Problem is, of course, that the tail of the filter is not well defined.

      • Chris Ho -Stuart –

        I hope we are not talking past each other. I will endeavour to avoid that. I do suspect that we mean something slightly different to each other when we say ‘ an acceleration of warming.

        And to avoid doubt, I’m making no claims about significance, because neither did Dr Curry. She just said you could ‘see’ a flattening.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1979/plot/rss/from:1979/trend/plot/rss/from:1979/to:1997.5/trend

        I’ve shown the above graph because it shows my point most clearly – and can perhaps determine if we are misunderstanding each other.

        My natural language rendering of this graph, and its data, is that the trend of warming in 2011 is greater than that in 1998. That is, to describe the rate of warming in 1998 you would look at the blue line, and in 2011 you would look at the green line. On both dates you would use all the data available. Therefore I would say the rate of warming has increased – it has accelerated. Would you say something different? would you describe what has happened since 1998 in any other way? Has the rate of warming done something other than increase?

        I think everything else I have contended depends on the above understanding, so I’ll wait to see how that looks to you..

      • Anteros, there seems to be a problem with your use of WoodforTrees. My understanding is that 1997.5, for the purposes of specifying an endpoint of a graph in WfT, means the fifth month of 1997. It has nothing to do with 1998 whatsoever.

        Perhaps you might like to retry your graphs with an actual 1998 endpoint and see what result you get.

      • Alex Hayworth –
        I have to say that’s remarkably nit-picky, especially as you didn’t bother to try the graphs yourself. FWIW it makes no material difference. Neither would any day, week, or month, in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000……..

        I apologise for using an irrelevently different graph from my files.
        Here is the one with 1998. It looks exactly the same :)

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1979/plot/rss/from:1979/trend/plot/rss/from:1979/to:1998/trend

        Hope that helps.

      • Alex Heyworth –

        P.S. just so you don’t get confused in future, the .5 in Wft doesn’t mean the fifth month at all. It means the year is divided exactly in half. It does not become a dozenal system after the decimal point :)

      • Anteros, I think we do have a genuine technical disagreement.

        The global warming trend is something that shows up on time scales of around 20 years or more. Along with that, there is considerable short term variation up and down. The time series alone is not enough to rule out longer term cycles, but no credible physical basis for such things is known. There is, however, a good physical basis for short term variations up and down; though as yet we don’t have a good capacity to model or predict those.

        Now… to say the longer term trend is accelerating at any given region of the time series is to have some kind of evidence of what the trend is doing before and after that region. But to know trend at some point, on any scale, you need data both before and after that point, on about the scale you need. Hence we cannot know from the time series whether the longer scale trend is accelerating or decelerating until we get at least another 10 years of data. We can look back in time and identify roughly where the longer term trend has accelerated or decelerated in the past, but you cannot do it now.

        Even if the last ten years showed a sharp increase, you still cannot tell if that is longer trend changes, or one of the spikes in short term variation.

        You can say whether data is consistent with continuation of the trend in the present. And it is. It is consistent with acceleration, and with deceleration, of the long term trend. But neither one is shown or seen in the data (unless you are seeing what isn’t there.)

        You can say that the last 10 to 13 years has a bit of a dip below the long term trend; but you can’t say whether that is a slow down of the trend, or a normal dip in the short term variations like many others in the past 40 years and more. Physically we can quite reasonably expect that the last 10 to 13 years is not any kind of significant fall in long term trend; the putative “pause” identified with limited significance can reasonably be expected to be revealed as another bit of short term variation once we look back on it from 2020.

        If our physical expectations are confounded, that is a falsification of the basis for those expectations, and good reason to rethink the physics involved, or expect some new factor has shown up which we did not expect. I’m not expecting that, but I will have no recognizing it if the series does end up surprising me.

        If you were actually able to identify accelerations or decelerations of the long term trend over the recent short term, you would have a low-pass filter zero phase shift filter with a short look ahead significantly less than half the period of the cutoff frequency. It’s not going to happen.

        The problem with saying that recent times have show either acceleration or deceleration of long term global warming trends is the same. The truncated time series doesn’t have the information to let you say that.

        Cheers — Chris

      • Oops. Omitted a word in the above. Last paragraph should say: I will have no problem recognizing it if the series does end up surprising me

      • Chris Ho-stuart –

        I pretty much agree with everything you say. I certainly would not have got dragged into giving the impression I saw or claimed meaning or significance in ANY short term trends except for two reasons. Firstly Judith saying you could ‘see’ a pause – presumably everything you have said to me you would say to her. And I would agree – and would say WHATEVER validity there is for saying there is a pause (almost none) is the same for saying there has been an acceleration. And secondly I have been fascinated by counter-trends [and thereby am only concerned about something academic - the Simpson paradox - and forget for a while the importance of the subject - especially to a lot of other people. The actual magnitude of trends and their statistical significance and 'what we can know' are not important to the paradox itself]

        Perhaps the only area where we perhaps see things differently (I’m not 100% sure) is the area of how to describe the last 13 years or so – however trivial the evidence for those descriptions.
        For example you say –

        “You can say that the last 10 to 13 years has a bit of a dip below the long term trend”

        Well, if that is your answer to my question of how you would characterise the data in this graph –

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1979/plot/rss/from:1979/trend/plot/rss/from:1979/to:1997.5/trend

        – I think we do disagree. While taking on board everything you say about how little information we have for the longer term trend, I would say something profoundly different which is this –

        ” You can say that the last 10 to 13 years has a bit of a jump ABOVE the long term trend” And would of course add your caveats. Would you not describe the change in the graph I provide as an increase? How is there a ‘dip’ in the rate of warming if it has increased?

      • Chris – I wasn’t saying anything at all about the next 10 years, and I can’t see that Anteros has either.

      • Anteros, you ask:

        Well, if that is your answer to my question of how you would characterise the data in this graph -

        The same as every other graph you have presented. There’s nothing there whatsoever to justify saying that the acceleration or increase in trend should be attributed to the last 10 to 13 years.

        It isn’t just significance of the trend lines; it is the claim that the difference in trends should be attributed to acceleration in the last 10 to 13 years. That’s simply not true. The behaviour in that graph (one trend from 1979 to 1997, and slightly greater trend from 1979 to 2011) is just as likely to arise from acceleration before 1997.

        Look, think about this. Plot a nice simple curve, y = x^2/2 – x^3/3

        That has increasing values up to x = 1. It also has positive acceleration from x = 0 to x = 0.5, and negative acceleration from x = 0.5 to x = 1.

        Now. Plot a trend line for points from x = 0 to 0.5. You should get a trend line with gradient 0.175 or thereabouts.

        Plot a trend line for points from x = 0 to 1. You should get a trend line with gradient 0.2 or thereabouts.

        OK? I didn’t have to cherry pick this example; it’s perfectly normal. You’ve added on a section in which the trend is decreasing, and yet the trend of the two sections together is MORE than the trend of the initial accelerating portion by itself.

        In all cases, you are making a judgement on implications for acceleration being in the most recent 10 to 13 years based on some kind of intuition, I guess; but mathematically this is unsupportable. None of your graphs actually give any evidence whatsoever for the last 10 to 13 years being an accelerating trend. It’s not because of significance. It’s because you have no basis for identifying the accelerations with the latter part of the time series.

      • Chris Ho-Stuart –

        Thanks for your calm engagement on this issue. I take on board what you have been saying.

        I think I have only a semantic issue outstanding. And yes it does come down partially to what we mean when we say ‘acceleration’ [or perhaps better - 'increase' in rate] I very much accept what you are saying about WHEN the change in rate occurred. I.e. an obvious change in rate might have begun, say, in 1978 and that rate may have continued in a straight line through the end of the old trend and into the new – in the process ‘increasing’ the long term trend.

        So I accept fully that the meaningful change in rate quite clearly began in 1978 [say]- not in the extra 13 years. And of course in reality, that ‘real’ change in rate is what we are interested in….

        However what I still have, is something perhaps pedantic about an ‘increase’ of a trend. And I accept that if not pedantic, it is slightly esoteric. Have a look at this –

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1997.5/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1900/to:1997.5/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1997.5/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1900/trend

        My notion here is that whatever the shape of the data I have removed, the change in direction of the longer term trends (the ‘increase’) can only occur if the average location of the new data points are ‘above’ the original trend line. You can fill in the missing data in an infinite number of ways and the new data still has to have its least squares ‘weight’ above the original trend line. Granted, this may be a continuation of a REAL trend already in existence for 30, 40 years – whatever. Still, the longer term rate is ’caused’ by the new data being above the longer term trend line.

        Admittedly that misses the real world fact of ‘when’ something important happened, but there is still a sense in which the new data is responsible for the increase in rate of warming – even if it is only a continuation of a hidden trend.

        With that in mind perhaps I can persuade you to have a glance at what I see as interestingly counter-intuitive. I’ll use the Hadcrut data and graph – just because it illustrates my observation –

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1950/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1950/to:1997.5/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1997.5/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1950/trend

        If someone said that there was a decline in temperature during the last
        14 years, well, they’d obviously have an agenda, but after much protesting we might have to agree that in a meaningless, trivial sense it is ‘true’. However, this wouldn’t prepare most of us for another true statement [in the sense I mentioned above - the new data points have to be 'above' the old trend line] which is that the longer trend has INCREASED – at the same time as there has been a DECLINE in temperature. To me, very reminiscent of the Simpson paradox – only in this case with one variable.

        The reason it surprises most of us is because we think of temperature changes as more auto-correlated than they evidently can be; the apparent discontinuity in 1998 is contrary to our intuitions.

        Perhaps I should also observe that in a real pragmatic sense, the ‘increase’ in trend really has something to do with the data of the last 14 years [according to this data] – there is an ‘observable’ shift (Tsonis-Swanson?) in 1998 which ‘lifts’ the longer term trend as well as allowing the simultaneous existence of a ‘decline’. The change in rate of the 70’s/80’s is not so evident.

        Now, the reason I mention this [apart from finding it fascinating] is that there will be people with agendas stronger than mine who will say in the new year “there has been global cooling [according to TWO data sets] for 15 years – a decade and a half!!” I just think it would be worth countering that with “but the longer term trend of warming has INCREASED due to those 15 years!”

        Two other considerations – one more La Nina and the odds suggest 17 years of ‘cooling’ [on two datasets..] which A) is going to be a headache for Ben Santer, and B) takes us up to AR5. I think if ENSO doesn’t come to the rescue, there will be many a million words exchanged over this – whether it deserves it or not!

        Perhaps before I wind up this long comment, I should add the observation that with a slightly larger discontinuity, both the recent decline and the longer term increase could BOTH be statistically significant. It doesn’t affect the paradox at all. It’s just not very likely in the real world….

        P.S I have the refreshing feeling that I’ve learned something in the last few days.

      • Chris –

        I’ve remembered that my original interest in this is connected with how we conceptualise things with our everyday language.

        Take the RSS data –

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1979/plot/rss/from:1979/to:1997.5/trend/plot/rss/from:1997.5/trend/plot/rss/from:1979/trend

        Without showing someone the graph, you could say to Joe Bloggs [I'm British BTW...] – “did you know that there has been a measurable decline in temperature over the last 14 years?” Whatever the response, you could then add “The rate of global warming was 0.1 degrees per decade 14 years ago – guess what it is now, after 14 years of decline?” Only somebody very mathematically minded, or interested in paradoxes is going to remain unsurprised when you say “it is now 0.15 degrees per decade – it’s gone up!!”

        Do you see what I mean about it being counter-intuitive? And how I started seeing the new data as ‘increasing’ the trend? [which in this case, I think it actually has - significantly or not]

        My over-riding observation is that for those of us that are seduced by the ‘it has been cooling for x number of years’ meme, it is not only the relevance of noise,internal variability and shortness of trend that we need to be told about. A decline can co-exist with an increase.

        Cheers, Ben

      • Anteros, I am indeed in an engaging mood, and I agree we’ve both made progress. I’m going to comment again here after I have done a few more tests of my own on the data. Thanks muchly!

      • Chris –
        While you’re thinking, I’ve got a real(ish) world clearer example of what I mean.
        Someone is measuring the rate at which a paddling pool warms during a summer day. He leaves half an hour before the end of the experiment with instructions for the measurements to continue. When he returns his assitants give him two conflicting reports. One says “after you left the water in the pool cooled comtinuously every minute for the remaining half hour oof the experiment” The other says “after you left the rate of warming continued AND INDEED INCREASED”

        This would be truly paradoxical except someone added a few gallons of boiling water (the discontinuity cf the shift around 1998) after the experimenter left so both reports can be true.

        I guess you’ll have some issues with the ‘increase’ – is it stretching everyday concepts to keep measuring the trend from the beginning of the experiment (which could cause the trend to accelerate throughout the remaining half hour?

        I think that’s my best analogy of the ‘decline’ and the ‘increase’ since 1998…

  46. I believe the Congressional Briefing is focused upon the meeting in Durban South Africa.

    I believe the current Republican circular firing squad precludes teasing out another Congressional Briefing on environmental issues and climate change.

    I believe that Dr. Muller is capable of throwing our hostess under the bus: speaking privately and reassuringly with her and then “explain” some scientific differences with Dr. Curry in the glare of the limelights. All of this news will be edited and come out: “I’m right and you are wrong.” The world is getting warmer rapidly all consistent with the rising CO2 level man is causing. Tuesday morning we shall all find out. Boy I hope I am wrong, really wrong.

  47. Naw, JCH, it took decades for the “solid south” (i.e. Demo solid) to become majority red states. The south was such a one party system the Repubs were almost skeletal in organisation. And in that small group there were many standout pro-civil rights people. It’s more complex than this but trying to be brief: Mostly the mildly aged and older Dems died as Dems racism intact, a few shifted and the Repubs got a bigger share of the young adults (remember u couldn’t vote til u were 21. Big Republican gains came in the 90’s.

  48. Please consider:

    From the perspective of influencing US public opinion and the Congressional hearings/statements:

    Imo it is CRITICAL that informed scientists make public their doubts about the science being settled and the impact of the science on Americans. (prior to the 2012 elections)

    Politically it is CRITICAL for informed scientists to publicly declare:
    1. Yes, additional CO2 does theoretically raise global temperatures, BUT THAT IS NOT the critical issue(s)
    2. The real critical issue(s) are how much is the earth actually warming, how much is due to humans, and is that really bad for people in the US.

    The answer to these questions is yes, more CO2 does raise temperatures, yes we are pretty close to a consensus on how much the world is warming, no we don’t really know for sure how much is due to human emissions, and no we don’t have enough information to know as of yet if a warmer world is better or worse for humanity overall or for Americans specifically.

    That is a clear and accurate message that Americans would understand if communicated by those in positions of reported knowledge. It is a message that would try to counter the message targeted to communicate “the science is settled therefore if you do not support taking this mitigation step you are an unscientific idiot.”

    Alternate conclusions and the rationale are appreciated

  49. Its a PR exercise so needs reports can be used in the way BEST really intended , for political not scientific goals . As before its worth noting that whatever happens to these papers in peer review and afterward they will never get this much public attention again .

  50. I am very concerned about this event. It is just a briefing and not a hearing where both sides would be heard. Waxman and Markey are notable shrill and arrogant partisans. I hope Muller knows what he is doing. He could easily become a tool of some very dishonest politicians who know nothing about science but are adept at twisting science to suit their prejudices. The problem is the way the event is framed. Rich Muller, are you sure you want to be associated with this crowd?

  51. One thing I can agree with…the result of the Markey/Waxman briefing will be about as effective as Gore’s “24 hours”…perhaps even less…meaning of course that there will be a lot of noise for the period of the briefing, and then you will hear crickets once more. The issue of climate change and/or global warming is now barely even able to register on any level with the common person on the street now in the U.S. This is not to indicate that it is or is not important, nor that it is or isn’t impacting their lives, as the common person on the street usually doesn’t care about anything beyond their own front door until it’s too late. Apathy…It’s the American Way…

    • R. Gates,

      Actually, the ‘sleeping giant*’ of the American public has been awoken by alarming/concernist AGW by CO2 from fossil fuels. Said Giant peeked at the alarminsm then yawned and decided it was not real science and went back to its American Way. And such a lovely Way it is too!

      * Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto to Ogata Taketora on January 9, 1942, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

      Now that we had our bedtime story, let’s all go to sleep . . . after cocktails of course. Cheer!

      John

  52. Judith,

    Is not an Election on the horizon?

  53. It’s hard to imagine even MI voting to continue the economic suicide of the anti-energy party.

  54. End of Climate Change scepticism? No doubt this is on the pro-AGW wish list but wishful thinking cannot possibly pass for scientific method.

    If the pro-AGW side of the debate wants to end Climate Change scepticism then they must put up a much more compelling case than has been presented to date.

  55. Since I am not a US resident I can see the up-coming US election in a more focused view than most folks that are bombarded daily by pre-election hype by the US media.

    Waxman was a co-sponsor of “cap ‘n tax”, which passed in the House but got shot down in the Senate.

    So now he is hoping to give it new steam by inviting a group of friendly scientists to back him up.

    Problem is, if he is tying his re-election (and that of many other Democratic congressmen/women) to “cap ‘n tax” he is shooting himself in the foot. Very few people in the USA support a (direct or indirect) carbon tax. Who does, if they are asked?

    It is hard for me to believe that any career politician would be so obtuse, so I ask myself: “Does he have a hidden trick up his sleeve?”

    Max.

    • Max

      Few “voters” in the US understand how to communicate quickly and correctly why the “consensus” (I hate that term) position is flawed . Many feel no “scientific support” for an skeptical message

      • Rob

        You may be correct in stating that few US voters can “communicate quickly and correctly why the ‘consensus’ …position is flawed”

        Many might simply state “uncertainty”, referring to both the magnitude and (of more importance to the average voter) the impact of the GH effect.

        This recent BBC article points to this “uncertainty”.
        Mixed messages on climate ‘vulnerability’

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15698183

        But when you get down to specifics, the academic consensus is far less certain.
        There is “low confidence” that tropical cyclones have become more frequent, “limited-to-medium evidence available” to assess whether climatic factors have changed the frequency of floods, and “low confidence” on a global scale even on whether the frequency has risen or fallen.
        In terms of attribution of trends to rising greenhouse gas concentrations, the uncertainties continue.
        While it is “likely” that anthropogenic influences are behind the changes in cold days and warm days, there is only “medium confidence” that they are behind changes in extreme rainfall events, and “low confidence” in attributing any changes in tropical cyclone activity to greenhouse gas emissions or anything else humanity has done.

        Max

  56. Continued global warming “skepticism” is a proper and a necessary part of the scientific process. The Wall St. Journal Op-Ed by one of us (Muller) seemed to take the opposite view with its title and subtitle: “The Case Against Global-Warming Skepticism — There were good reasons for doubt, until now.” But those words were not written by Muller.

    Yes those words were written by Muller!

    Muller wrote in the text of his Op Ed for the WSJ:

    Without good answers to all these complaints, global-warming skepticism seems sensible. But now let me explain why you should not be a skeptic, at least not any longer. That was the thesis of his piece, and he developed it well.

    Stop blaming the WSJ for correctly interpreting the message that Muller was trying to send, the message that he has done jack squat to counter, despite his feeble protestations and feigned surprise at how the piece was titled.

    Shame on you for letting these cynical spins go unchallenged, Judy.

  57. A lot of skeptics are saying so what if the temperature is rising, because we haven’t seen much effect yet. The context, of course, which I hope is at least mentioned at the briefing, is that in the 21st century at least 5 times as much CO2 will be added in the business-as-usual scenario as was added before 2000, leading to at least 3 times the temperature rise that occurred before 2000.

    • John Carpenter

      A lot of ‘skeptics’ may be saying ‘so what’ about rising temperatures not because we haven’t seen an effect, but more with your later statement that BAU scenario will lead to ‘at least’ 3x further temp rise. This is an area of climate science where skeptics should debate… the ‘how much’ question, much more than whether the temperature has gone up. I don’t think it is a certainty temps will increase 3x by the end of the 21st century under BAU.

    • Between 2000 and the present the AR4 models predicted .3 ° C warming, actual warming zero.

      Even 3 times zero is zero. Unless the alarmists have rescinded the laws of mathematics.

      http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/strandwg/CCSM3_AR4_Experiments.html

      • I am saying, take the warming up to 2000, which most people agree is about 0.7, and multiply it by 3. I realize positive solar and negative aerosol influences went into this warming, but it is likely underestimated. Our impact in the climate is currently only about 20% of it will be by 2100, and that is just considering CO2 budgets that most agree with.

      • Your thesis rests on the notion that the entirety of ‘the warming up to 2000′ is a result of CO2. A bald assertion that we aren’t buying, and cetainly never will on the basis of what ‘most believe’.

        If you want to enforce belief based on what ‘most believe’, try church.

    • Jim D

      in the 21st century at least 5 times as much CO2 will be added in the business-as-usual scenario as was added before 2000, leading to at least 3 times the temperature rise that occurred before 2000.

      Let’s check that out.

      If we can accept the Vostok ice core data for “pre-industrial” CO2 level at 280 ppmv, humans have added 390 – 280 = 110 ppmv so far.

      If this continues to increase at the same exponential rate of 0.45% per year, we will have reached 1.5 times today’s level or 585 ppmv by 2100 (IPCC “scenario and storyline” B1).

      This is NOT an addition of” at least 5 times as much CO2…as was added before 2000”, but 195 / 110 = 1.8 times as much.

      In fact, the carbon contained in all the “inferred possible fossil fuel resources” on our planet (WEC 2010 report) would result in an added 675 ppmv after they have all been 100% consumed (some day in the far distant future), and this would be a level that is 1065 / 390 = 2.7 times today’s CO2 level.

      Now to the postulated temperature rise.

      From 1850 to today we saw a rise of 0.7°C.

      CO2 level in 1850 was ~290 ppmv.

      IPCC tells us that a) all natural forcing was around 7% of the total and b) all anthropogenic forcing factors other than CO2 (aerosols, other GHGs, etc.) cancelled one another out.

      From these data and the logarithmic relation we can calculate the warming expected from a rise to 1) 585 ppmv by 2100 and 2) 1065 ppmv maximum ever possible GH warming of 1) 0.9°C and 2) 2.2°C, respectively.

      The expected warming by 2100 is around 1.3 times the past warming and even the “maximum ever possible GH warming” barely reaches your postulation of ”at least 3 times the temperature rise that occurred before 2000”.

      You need to get some reality into your figures and cut out some of the hype.

      Max

      • Max,

        I agree with your figures on the build up of CO2. (That’s not the sentence sentence I write very often!). Except that you’ve treated 2010 as 2000 but we won’t mention that! But 585ppmv under a BAU sounds about right.

        560 + ppmv of CO2 is far too high though. Dangerously so. And shouldn’t be allowed to happen unless a thorough scientific risk assessment can show any benefits outweigh the costs.

        Furthermore, the figures you’ve claimed for the potential warming (0.9°C and 2.2°C) are just made up. Wishful thinking at best. Even Judith wouldn’t agree. There’s no justification at all for them.

      • tempterrain

        the figures you’ve claimed for the potential warming (0.9°C and 2.2°C) are just made up. Wishful thinking at best.

        No. Actually you are wrong on that.

        The figures are not “made up”; they are based on
        – the actual warming experienced since 1850 (0.7C)
        – the observed increase in CO2 (290 to 390 ppmv)
        – IPCC estimates that 7% of this was due to natural forcing and that all anthropogencic forcing other than CO2 (aerosols, other GHGs, etc.) cancelled one another out

        From these data points, and the logarithmic relation, one can easily calculate the temperature response expected from future CO2 increase.

        for 585 ppmv we have:

        dT(390-585 ppmv) = dT(290-390 ppmv) * ln (585 / 390) / ln (390 / 290)
        = 0.93 * 0.7 * 0.405 / 0.296 = 0.9°C

        and for 1065 ppmv:

        dT(390-1065 ppmv) = dT(290-390 ppmv) * ln (1065 / 390) / ln (390 / 290)

        = 0.93 * 0.7 * 1.005 / 0.296 = 2.2°C

        Go ahead. Figure it out for yourself. It’s easy.

        Max

      • Max,

        Showing a few lines of arithmetic doesn’t make these figures any less made up than they were before!

      • tempterrain

        Sorry, old chap.

        You’ve got to do better tan that.

        Until you can specifically come up with a better set of figures, which are based on actual empirical observations (rather than model scenarios and hype), you have nothing really to say.

        Max

      • Temp, Max’s calculation is very reasonable and agrees with various observational based estimate. It works because it uses a verifiable relationship between CO2 and surface temperature. It does not however, considered anything other than surface temperature and CO2 which is why most of the estimates are uncertain. None, consider the more complex longer term relationships. Same issue with time series analysis, not enough data for a long enough time period to have a high level of confidence.

        Since I am not smart enough to create novel statistical methods to compensate, I prefer boring old thermodynamics which results in approximately 0.8 and 2.1. With the possibility of values below 0.8 since in thermo you don’t assume your statistical model that excludes historic data is more correct than physics.

      • “Business-as-usual” is simply a label. What it actually means is whatever they say it means.

  58. Corporate Message

    Muller said he wouldn’t have submitted the article is he knew they were going to change it to the bad headline.

    Now he’s going into this one with eyes open – and bad headline already in place !
    Why is he not protesting now ?
    It will be a replay…kill the skeptics.

    With Muller, his appeal to emotion is that he is so damn pathetic..but fool me once…fool me twice…he’s working on three times now ! WT heck !

  59. What I can never understand is why poiticians think there are any votes in this. It is proven time and time again that the public are green up until the point they have to pay for it; then they turn brown in a flash.

    If the politicians are trying to pretend they care about the environment there are so many other immediate issues they could deal with to prove that. If they are pretending to be planet savers then they have failed miserably because most folk see it as just an excuse for raising taxes*.

    *I exclude the German public, who indeed do seem to want to be green and seem to be prepared to pay the cost……except that their anti nuclear stance is increasing fossil fuel emissions. Oh dear!

  60. As seen from a foreign country (France), I’m terribly sorry to say that this Congressional Climate Briefing to Push “End of Climate Change Skepticism” actually gives a rather pitiful and disappointed idea of US Democracy.

    I do not say that US Congress should not address climate issue. But he shall carefully examine both sides of the debate before making any decision (please keep in mind that decisions made by the US Congress may actually impact the entire World).

    Furthermore, the real issue is not warming by itself (because Earth has obviously warmed over past century) but rather :
    – How much is it warming? (reliability of surface stations’ measurements?)
    – How is it warming? (steadily or with alternation of cooling / warming periods?)
    – What is the cause? (manmade or natural?)
    – Is it dangerous?

    • If you understood in any detail who Markey and Waxman are, you wouldn’t be wondering any of these things. And as a practical procedural matter, this (as Dr. Curry pointed out) is all show with no legal teeth.

  61. [From the FAQ:]

    The title and the subtitle of the submitted Op-Ed were “Cooling the Warming Debate – Are you a global warming skeptic? If not, perhaps you should be. Let me explain why.” The title and subtitle were changed by the editors without consulting or seeking permission from the author. Readers are encouraged to ignore the title and read the content of the Op-Ed. [emphasis added - hro]

    As others have noted in this thread (and as I had noted a few weeks ago [pls. see end of this comment]) the “content of the Op-Ed” to which we are supposed to pay attention includes:

    Without good answers to all these complaints, global-warming skepticism seems sensible. But now let me explain why you should not be a skeptic, at least not any longer. [emphasis added -hro]

    It is also worth noting that the very first paragraph of that which we are supposed to read (while ignoring the headline) is:

    Are you a global warming skeptic? There are plenty of good reasons why you might be

    To my mind, there’s a big difference in the connotation inherent in “perhaps you should be” and “why you might be”. But what do I know, I’m not a physicist – or a “climate scientist”! But I digress …

    At the very least, “let me explain why you should not be a skeptic … any longer” strongly suggests that the WSJ was well within (their right and) reason wrt the subtitle they had chosen (with or without Muller’s “knowledge and consent”)

    Incidentally, it might be worth reviewing the WSJ’s Op Ed “Guidelines“. Nowhere is it written that acceptance of an article implies complete verbatim acceptance of any submission by an author. Which is not surprising to anyone who’s ever had an Op Ed piece accepted for publication (although I suppose this could be one of those “only in Canada” realities).

    But, IMHO, there’s another problem with the apparent “revisionism” in this (undated, far too belated) part of the BEST FAQ:

    If Muller’s “original title and subtitle” really was “Cooling the Warming Debate – Are you a global warming skeptic? If not, perhaps you should be. Let me explain why” … apart from being a rather long, unwieldy and unrealistic “sub-title”, I for one would really like to know why he chose to claim – as he did circa Nov. 1. – that:

    “My title was, ‘Let’s cool the warming debate.’ They changed it to ‘An end of skepticism.’

    Which, as the reporter correctly observed, was not the title chosen by the WSJ! Btw, whatever was there in the BEST “results” which would justify Muller’s claim to the same New Mexico CapitolReport reporter that:

    We’re not sure how much [of the small but real 1.6 degrees rise in temperature] is due to humans but the global warming models predict that it would be about that much. There are some questions about those models, some valid skepticism. But it’s enough that we know we are playing in the ballpark where things could go catastrophic. [emphasis added -hro]

    Pardon my skepticism, but … Again I ask (as I did circa October 31) Will the real Richard Muller please stand up (preferably before his next publicity-seeking command performance on Capitol Hill).

    • Forgot to add ….

      From what I’ve seen of skeptic arguments, Muller’s “we know … things could go catastrophic” doesn’t strke me as a being a particularly realistic (or informed) contribution towards “cooling the debate”.

      Although one supposes that the powers that be at both the IPCC and the UNFCCC wil welcome such a comment as a worthy contribution to their ongoing attempts to smother the debate.

  62. As usual, there is an obvious and probably deliberate confusion being sown by the alarmists. This time it concerns the term “climate skepticism”. What does that mean, exactly? Is a climate skeptic someone who doesn’t accept that there is such a thing as climate? Is it someone who denies that the world has been warming over the last 150-200 years? Is it someone who accepts that it has been warming, but thinks it is largely attributable to natural causes? Is it someone who accepts that there is a sizeable anthropogenic component, especially in recent warming, but considers that the total amount of warming is unlikely to pose significant harm? Or is it someone who accepts that future warming may cause significant harm, but also significant benefits? Or finally, is it someone who thinks future warming may cause significant harm, is unlikely to provide significant benefits, but thinks the cost of doing something to prevent it is likely to outweigh the benefits of preventing it?

    Until the scientists doing this presentation separate and clearly address each of these individual positions, they will continue to fail to convince their opponents.

    • John Carpenter

      They should just avoid using a term with so many possible definitions in such a general and misleading manner.

  63. It appears the consensus is that BEST temperature data since 1998 was flat. Which proves the IPCC AGW models were all wrong. Given this the Congressional Climate Briefing should be pushing “An end to AGW Theory” and immediately pass legislation ending all the government waste and fraud associated with AGW theory. This would help to decrease the deficit, create 100s of thousands of jobs and reduce our dependence on Middle Eastern Oil. For 99% of the folks this would be great news. Sad to say our elected politicians will most likely ignore the aforementioned facts disproving AGW theory and instead back the 1% green crony capitalists, ivy league climate scientists, watermelon environmentalists and government bureaucrats who are living high on the hog off the tax payer dollars.

  64. Posted this at Keith’s in the JC dust up but it is OT so re-posting

    the IPCC statement of “Uncertainty in the sign of projected changes” is a keeper :-)

    .
    Richard Black-BBC on new draft IPCC report
    .
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15698183
    .
    “..And for the future, the draft gives even less succour to those seeking here a new mandate for urgent action on greenhouse gas emissions, declaring: “Uncertainty in the sign of projected changes in climate extremes over the coming two to three decades is relatively large because climate change signals are expected to be relatively small compared to natural climate variability”…”
    .
    “..There is “low confidence” that tropical cyclones have become more frequent, “limited-to-medium evidence available” to assess whether climatic factors have changed the frequency of floods, and “low confidence” on a global scale even on whether the frequency has risen or fallen…”
    .
    and it continues

    • IPCC in Currysense Shock!
      “Uncertainty in the sign of projected changes in climate extremes over the coming two to three decades is relatively large because climate change signals are expected to be relatively small compared to natural climate variability”

      Blimey! What will Markey & Waxman make of such heresy, especially from such an august source? Perhaps they’d consider reading

      Richard Betts
      I prefer to distinguish between “climate scientists” (who are mainly atmospheric physicists) and “climate change scientists” who seem to be just about anyone in science or social science that has decided to see what climate change means for their own particular field of expertise.

      http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/11/9/dangerous-climate-change.html

  65. Judith,

    You now say “In recent days, statements we’ve [JC and Richard Muller] and made to the media and on blogs have been characterized as contradictory. They are not. ”

    I wonder whatever caused anyone to think that you’d possible had some sort of spat?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2055191/Scientists-said-climate-change-sceptics-proved-wrong-accused-hiding-truth-colleague.html

    Yes its odd, isn’t it? How many climate science papers are published annually with multiple authors? What are the chances that it happens to have happened to you for no reason at all. How unlucky can you get? :-)

    • Corporate Message

      Have to agree with tempterrain for once.
      J.Curry is putting out some very confused and misleading blurbs.

  66. We can probably guess pretty close what Ben Santer and William Chameides are going to tell Waxman et al.

    But what will Muller tell them?

    Will he be honest and open as our host was when she testified before a congressional committee last fall?

    The chairman then, Rep. Baird, tried to get her to support his urgent call for drastic action, but she calmly told the group that:
    – the AGW effect is known but its magnitude and impact are not
    – even in its most alarming incarnation, the threat from AGW does not appear to be an existential one
    – we should clear up the many uncertainties and come up with robust policy responses rather than responding urgently with policies whose unintended consequences we do not know.

    This was definitely NOT what Baird wanted to hear, but that’s what he got.

    Let’s see how it works out with Muller.

    Will he grandstand and “play to the crowd”?

    Or will he repeat those things he has already stated elsewhere (even if some of this does not “please the crowd”?

    We’ll just have to wait and see.

    This will be more a test of Muller rather than a bashing of skeptical thinking on climate change.

    Max

    • Muller is a CAGW true believer, who has taken on the aspect of an open minded skeptic. My bet is that he dodges any questions on policy, to avoid having his affectation of objectivity compromised.

      If he agrees that decarbonization is the proper response, he will lose his veneer of objectivity. If he denies that such radical economic policies are necessary, he will risk being labeled a denier.

      He will try to have it both ways, as already has in his WSJ op-ed, and subsequent comments. “But now let me explain why you should not be a skeptic, at least not any longer.” vs. “Continued global warming ‘skepticism’ is a proper and a necessary part of the scientific process.”

      Cognitive dissonance at its very best.

  67. JC comments: The “end of skepticism about climate change” meme seems to have caught on with the warm PR groups. I suspect that pushing this will be as successful as Gore’s 24 hours in terms of changing anyone’s mind.

    I wonder if Professor Curry understands that for the purposes of those who would manipulate the electorate, it is not necessary to change anyone’s mind, and that it is sufficient merely to engender enough confusion to undermine the ability of doubters to refuse to get with the program.

  68. I would suggest to Judy and Richard to give equal time to Inhofe/Murkowski on the political side and McIntyre and Ball on the science side but I seriously doubt these four very fine people would allow themselves to be used for such a blatant propaganda stunt.

  69. Unfortunately I don’t have the software for the live feed, nor can I figure out quickly how to get it. I look forward to the comments from people that are listening.

  70. Carbon dioxide/ temperature correlations are based on current figures which totally ignore the effect of heat generation on global warming, or are based on data from the 400,000 year period prior to this. These data are from “natural” events, (without human influence) and show a much higher ratio of temperature rise per ppm CO2 (0.2*F) than our present measured rate of actual rise ( about 0.02*F) i.e. one tenth. These data also show that CO2 fell at a much slower rate than temperature. Carbon dioxide did not contribute to temperature rise. How can any of these correlations be relied on to predict a CO2/ temperature relation independent of heat generated. There is no doubt our present rate of temperature rise is hundreds of times faster than occurred in the natural cycles, and must be based on heat from energy usage.

    • Phil, I explained the error in your attribution of warming to the heat we generate from energy use back in the thread, in this comment: http://judithcurry.com/2011/11/13/congressional-climate-briefing-to-push-end-of-climate-change-skepticism/#comment-137902

      Adding the additional 5e17 BTU per year from energy use can raise temperatures of the order of 0.026 C; no more. After the Earth raises in temperature by that much, it sheds about an additional 5e17 BTU per year into space, and so that is all the heating of the planet you get.

      The only source of energy that matters for temperature of the Earth is the Sun. We absorb about 3.7e21 BTU per year from the Sun. All detectible impact on the global temperature works by altering how effectively the Earth absorbs or emits that energy. Changes to albedo alters how much is reflected. Changes to greenhouse gases alters how effectively the emits the energy it absorbs.

      Adding other sources of energy makes no measurable difference globally.

      • Chris, I believe that what I stated was that the potential heat rise is 0.04*F , and that the actual rise is about half due to photosynthesis, glacial melting and any other thing you wish to add. Your figure of 0.026*C is not in disagreement with what I stated.

      • You said “0.04*F per year.” I said 0.026 C total. Not per year; total. It’s the UNITS that is the crucial difference.

        Further discussion belongs in the response to your previous comment.

      • Chris, if we keep adding the same amount of heat per year, we will continue to raise the temperature by that amount per year. Perhaps I’m missing your point

      • If radiation prevents any further rise in temperature why are we concerned at all?

      • Phil, your comment “if we keep adding the same amount of heat per year, we will continue to raise the temperature by that amount per year” is wrong. It is wrong because as the temperature rises, it radiates more energy. This is what you omitted in your calculation.

        Once the temperature has risen about 0.026 C, the Earth will be radiating about an additional 5e17 BTU per year, which is equal to the energy flux you are adding. At that point it is now in equilibrium with the additional energy from waste heat, and no further temperature rise occurs.

        Adding a greenhouse gas is not at all the same as adding energy to the system.

        Every year, we add a certain amount of energy to the system. But energy is continually radiated away, so the added energy does NOT have a cumulative effect.

        Every year we also add a certain amount of greenhouse gases to the system. This makes the Earth less efficient at shedding the energy from the Sun, and thus gives an increase in the equilibrium temperature. That temperature rise persists until the gases are flushed out of the atmosphere again, UNLIKE the temperature rise from an additional of energy. The temperature increases as long as the concentration of greenhouse gases increase.

      • Chris, your argument is a bit convoluted.To follow your own line of reasoning greenhouse gases can not heat the earth past the 0.026*C because the heat will radiate away. We know that doesn’t happen or all of us discussing global warming would have no warming to discuss. What is the difference if the heat comes from the nebulous “blanket” effect of CO2 or the more directly calculable effect of heat added annually from energy consumption. I don’t know what your initial contentions are. Do you believe in global warming, and, if so, how much is attributed to human action? I got into this discussion pretty late in the game and have missed your earlier comments.

      • Hi Chris –
        if you’re in an engaging mood, I’d welcome your thoughts on my reply to your comments about ‘acceleration’, somewhere upthread. You’ll find there has been progress :)

      • Phil, my position is that any change in temperature for a system in some kind of dynamic thermodynamic equilibrium is always achieved in increasing the RATE at which energy is supplied.

        Additional energy gives a transient change, after which the system goes back to the same equilibrium temperature as before.

        Additional energy per unit time gives a persistent increment in temperature to a new higher dynamic equilibrium, where the energy radiated away per unit time again balances with the energy supplied per unit time.

        A change in albedo, or a change in the optical depth of the atmosphere for certain frequencies, alters how much of the supplied (solar) energy is absorbed or (respectively) how effectively the Earth radiates it away again. Hence a change in albedo or atmospheric greenhouse actual alters the equilibrium temperature.

        I call this “my position”. Actually, I believe this is the position of any elementary class in thermodynamics.

        You say:

        To follow your own line of reasoning greenhouse gases can not heat the earth past the 0.026*C because the heat will radiate away

        No, that is failing to follow my reasoning. My reasoning (repeated in pretty much any introductory text on atmospheric thermodynamics) is that greenhouse gases alter the capacity of the Earth to radiate absorbed energy; and so every increment in the atmospheric greenhouse leads to an increase in the equilibrium temperature.

        An increase in greenhouse gases is comparable to an increase in the RATE at which energy is emitted; not an increase in the amount of energy.

        Briefly; I consider it well established now beyond reasonable doubt that the primary driver of the measured warming of the Earth in recent decades is the enhanced greenhouse effect. Major areas where science is not settled are the temperature response to this change (sensitivity) and also how other aspects of climate will alter around the globe. (Which regions heat up the most, and effects on other aspects of climate like precipitation.)

      • Chris, I will have to think about what you are saying, so I don’t want to make a comment that misses the point. Since we are all interested in what actions should or should not be taken let’s see where we agree or disagree. I believe we are causing global warming. I believe we must reduce fossil fuel consumption by at least 80%. I believe we should plant more trees to increase cooling by photosynthesis. I believe any other form of CO2 sequestration is counterproductive. I believe natural gas should be used to reduce our dependency on imported fuel, (but will have no beneficial effect on the global warming problem). I believe nuclear power is not an answer. There are probably other ramifications but these are what come to mind right now.. I would appreciate your comments on which points you agree or disagree and any other points you have.

      • Chris

        Changes to albedo alters how much is reflected. Changes to greenhouse gases alters how effectively the emits the energy it absorbs.

        So we have

        – changes in solar activity (maybe small, but we do not really know their full impact or all the mechanisms by which they work)
        – changes in albedo (primarily from clouds, where we do not really know what causes them to change in which way)
        – changes in GHGs (where we have a fair idea, at least about human CO2 emissions and an estimated no-feedback climate sensitivity, but do not know much about how and why the principal GHG, water vapor, really acts and changes)

        So it looks like we know a tiny bit about one small piece of the puzzle.

        The rest is UNCERTAINTY (writ BIG).

        So we had better learn A LOT MORE (also writ BIG) before we start making any long-range projections.

        Max

      • One problem with getting anywhere explaining some of the really basic stuff — as I am doing here — is that the explanations keep getting distracted with sweeping claims trying to disparage all the use of climate science.

        How about letting us simply deal with the issue of whether human produced waste heat has much influence? That ISN’T a matter of uncertainty in the slightest. It’s a matter of getting a bit of basic physics right. Many of the individual alleged problems with climate science that people bring up have this character. I’d like to make progress by fixing up straightforward mistakes on the stuff we DO know for a fact.

        But heck, since you are turning my comments into this entirely different direction, here’s what I think…. Long range projections do have considerable uncertainty; but that is never a reason to avoid using them. All planning for the future routinely deals with uncertainty, The idea that you just stop with the work on constraining likely outcomes is silly. In the clase of climate, uncertainties are described explicitly and give ranges of outcomes, which is actually very useful. All plans always try to consider possible consequences into the future. Disparaging the use of projections that involve significant uncertainty is irresponsible.

      • “Disparaging the use of projections that involve significant uncertainty is irresponsible.”

        Quite – I can’t be certain that I’ll live long enough to get any benefit from my pension but I’m still paying into the plan.

  71. Rep Ed Markey just finished his introductory statement. It was just what he has been saying for years. Same message except to highlight Muller findings (as yet reviewed or formally published).

    Rep Henry Waxman is attacking Republicans right now. Act now he says. He claims Muller confirms everything that Waxman has been saying.

    John

    • keep the comments coming, thx

    • Muller just finished.

      I sensed he was trying to be balanced. He came across as reasonable in his demeanor. He made disclaimer he only looked at land and that his results do not bear on attribution for warming.

      For the 4 biases that he studied (Urban, station condition, station selection, adjustments) he said there was no bias effect found by BEST. I think that will be the focus of many comments about his statement.

      Santer is now talking . . . . sounds aggressive and forceful. Does come across as balanced as Muller. Lots of pushing for man’s fingerprint as the attribution factor. Just going into computer modeling. He is acting like a salesman.

      John

      • Correction on Santer. Sorry.

        Santer is now talking . . . . sounds aggressive and forceful. Does not come across as balanced as Muller. Lots of pushing for man’s fingerprint as the attribution factor. Just going into computer modeling. He is acting like a salesman.

        John

  72. Three prominent scientists will present the best case yet for the end of climate skepticism in Washington and the world over the fact that the world is warming

    Is “the world warming”:

    From 1850 to today? Yes
    From 1976 to today? Yes
    From 2001 to today? No

    Max

    PS Don’t need three prominent scientists to figure that one out.

    • Nice bit of arithmetric upthread Max. Your input is valued. The long term warming/cooling trend certainly changes depending where one starts.

      Even if all readily available fossil fuel sources are consumed at current consumption rates over the next 200 years or so, I believe the overall effect on global climate would only be to extend the present warm period further than otherwise would be the case.

      In other words, the greater the warming, the stronger will be the negative feedback on the system so as to maintain temperature bands along their historically narrow pathway.

      Previous records show much more extremes in temperature going back millions of years and the negative feedbacks have obviously kept things in track up to now and should continue to do so in future. One would need to be extremely pessimistic in outlook to believe otherwise.

  73. Ben Santer is presenting model outputs as though it were evidence!! Again!! He has also ignored how little we actually understand about natural variations, so concluding the hypothesis of CO2 is dominant. GIGO!

  74. That the goal of the eco-left is an Owwellian state is no news although I find the commentary of the host minimalist and unserious.

    I think Climate Audit is more timely, Penn State cover-ups and crony culture;

    http://climateaudit.org/2011/11/10/penn-state-president-fired/

    Time for the unredacted climate data and emails to be made public. Dr. Curry should take a stand on that issue.

  75. Chameides talking. He is discussing the soft side of climate science in the risk and impact. Marketing . . . . . for action.

    He is using IPCC vocabulary and findings which I do not see anything novel.

    John

  76. CO2 in the atmosphere for a thousand years!! Even the IPCC only said 100++ Sounds like the Third Reich – a thousand year dynasty. Most reports say CO2 only dwells for 5-15 years.

    • Yes, that jumped out at me too. I thought that any experimentation carried out to date coalesced at 5-12 years.

    • Nullius in Verba

      5-12 years is the residence time. It’s not the time an excess would last.

      Imagine that the whole office jointly buys milk for their coffee at a rate of 10 pints/week, and uses it at a rate of 10 pints per week. The amount of milk in the fridge stays roughly constant – let’s say they always have about 5 pints on hand at any given time. A new guy joins so they up the order to 11 pints/week, but the new guy only uses half a pint. The milk level starts increasing at half a pint per week. Eventually they realise the milk is getting to dangerous levels, with 10 pints sat in the fridge, so they cancel the extra pint. How long will it take for the milk level to return to normal?

      Well, when they add the 10th pint, it sits at the back of a queue of 10 which takes just under a week to drink, so the average time any given pint remains in the fridge is about 7 days. That’s the residence time.

      It therefore takes half a week to drink half the milk, which is how much you’ve got to get rid of.

      So does that mean it will take half a week to halve the amount of stockpiled milk? Buying 10 and drinking 10.5 each week?

      • John Q. Lurker

        Nullius in Verba:
        Yes, except that, with CO2, the sequestering of excess is said to become progressively slower as some “natural” atmospheric concentration is approached.

      • Nullius in Verba

        Yes, with CO2 you get additional complications with chemical buffering and the Revelle factor, which is where the really long time estimates come from. But that’s complicated, (arguably) controversial, and I don’t have any nice simple analogies to explain it.

        I’d consider it an achievement to get people to understand that residence time is not the same as the time taken to change the overall level. We can move on to the complications when we’ve agreed the basics. (If we ever do.)

        It’s good to understand, because some people seem to think that the actual 40% extra CO2 sat in the air is itself from fossil fuels, and that adding CO2 is forever. In fact, virtually all the CO2 in the air we breathe is from the sea or the biosphere. It’s part of the whole business of selling AGW science as being really simple, “high-school physics” as they call it, so you’d have to be a dunce to dispute it. It’s not simple, and there are plenty of things to dispute if you know about them. Not even professional chemists find it easy to explain the Revelle factor in moderately intuitive terms, and the modelling of the rest of the carbon cycle is sketchy. Have you ever thought about how you could physically measure the CO2 emitted from all the world’s oceans? At the same time, pointing to residence time being only 5 years does not debunk AGW, and it’s best not to use that as an argument.

  77. In Q & A Muller disagreed with Santer about attribution!!!

    : )

    John

    • Chameides,

      On attribution he gave soft support of Santer’s strong human attribution

      John

    • Muller and Santer are disagreeing on the models significance/certainty. Muller showing more balance on models and critical view than Santer’s strong support/defence of models.

      Muller is pointing out attribution is uncertain . . . countering Santer’s certainty.

      John

    • Chameides,

      Softly supported Santer’s certainty of models and human attribution.

      John

    • MULLER IS INDEED A SKEPTIC based on his countering of Santer.

      : )

      John

      • My evaluation of Muller went up based on this balanced critical dialog versus Santer’s forceful certainty. He gave respect to skeptics and promoted their participation in the science dialog.

        My evaluation of Santer has not changed . . . he does not come across as balanced or open or reflecting general uncertainty in attribution/model usefulness/urgency.

        I am done now.

        John

      • Judith,

        It was just a run-and-gun . . . . : )

        Personal Note: Muller did use the ‘D’ word once in describing his dichotomous view of the ‘two’ fundamental types of skeptics . . . .

        John

      • Corporate Message

        RIchard Muller might have said:

        “Am I a global warming skeptic? There are plenty of good reasons why I might be.

        { blah blah blah }

        Without good answers to all these complaints, global-warming skepticism seems sensible. But now let me explain why I should not be a skeptic, at least not any longer.”

        J. Curry, is this stuff made up by the WSJ editors ?

        If it’s not substantially like your position, how are the two positions on what the manuscript shows, reconciled as being not substantially in disagreement ?

  78. Aren’t the ocean oscillations the effect of another driver, not the drivers themselves? Confusing cause and effect again??

  79. Sounds very much like Dr Muller implies the data should be corrected to the models when he says “difficulties” need resolving, as if models are the less fallible than the (adjusted) data.

  80. The Chronicle on Higher Education has a good article on Muller entitled “Berkeley physicist’s climate findings score political if not scientific points”
    http://chronicle.com/article/Berkeley-Physicists-Climate/129748/?key=Sm4hI15jYHdMM30zZz1AbG4HPyQ9ZE91ZSRCOX0sblxXFQ%3D%3D

    This article reflects the Richard Muller that I hope (and think) I am working with. Based upon comments I’ve seen, his congressional briefing is consistent with this judgment.

    • Doesn’t it bother you that, in order to toe that line, you have to make yourself appear irretrievably stupid?

      Have you no concern for the future of women in scientific careers, as you put on this academic equivalent of the “But I love him” display?

      Is whatever you’re getting for this really worth it?

      • I would have skipped the gender terms but JC’s massive blind spots go unnoticed here all the time. It isn’t “stupid” by the way, it’s politically tactical which in my opinion is much worse.

      • JJ,

        The only irretrievably stupid thing written here is your comment above.

        It was entirely reasonable to have skeptical eye towards Richard Muller’s integrity after the WSJ article and political spin machine was sent into overdrive. His integrity has shone through this temporary period of doubt and now there’s a certain amount of reconciliation based upon his public comments which are fairly consistent with what he’s stated he meant vs how they were spun in the press.

        If anything this whole affair has reinforced my deep disappointment with MSM ‘science’ ‘journalism’.

      • His integrity has shone through this temporary period of doubt

        BS!

        His duplicity has only become more cynically blatant. FFS, look at what he (and Judy) attempt to fly above:

        The title and the subtitle of the submitted Op-Ed were “Cooling the Warming Debate – Are you a global warming skeptic? If not, perhaps you should be. Let me explain why.”

        Really? That is the title and subtitle that Muller submitted, for an Op Ed that had this explicitly stated thesis:

        But now let me explain why you should not be a skeptic, at least not any longer.

        He is a liar, and so is Judy for suborning his “blame the WSJ” spin.

  81. Santer could have made a lot more money as a televangelist, and it would have cost him no more integrity.
    As to the Congressmen… the less said the better.
    Muller is trying to be ‘balanced’ but runs the risk of getting hit by traffic from both directions.

  82. Of the 5 protagonists, Waxman was easily the worst. Talk about preconceived prejudice!! Weasley in the extreme!

  83. Thank You, DavidM. It is amazing how people ,like Robert et al, are unawares of recent history. They absorb the soundbites of self appointed gurus pontificating on matters scientific and political and accept those utterances as truth. If they can’t get recent history right, why should I listen to their climate worries?

  84. GaryM,

    My experience of anti-racism campaigns in my youth, largely the anti-apartheid struggle, was that it was largely a movement of the political left. There were always plenty of Red banners (not in the US sense) in both the UK and Australia when we fought to shut down Rugby and Cricket matches. Mrs Thatcher in the UK was of the opinion that “politics” should be kept out of sport. Which never made much sense as the the SA touring teams were racially segregated.

    I know what you say about the US Democrats is historically true. It really quite hard for an outsider to understand why it was ever this way around. But it looks like in recent years there has been a political realignment in the US which does appear to make more sense.

  85. So climate science must stop until Richard and his team get there to confirm everything?

    Given they confirmed a key part of the case for global warming and smashed a key plank of denialism, that would suggest by extension the rest is pretty solid as well.

    Richard has clearly been given a warning: Despise and revile Michael Mann or you are no longer One of Us.

  86. GaryM

    Yet if Abraham Lincoln was alive today, he would be a Democrat.

    Race has been a long standing theme in American history. Both parties have plenty to be ashamed of, and plenty to be proud of, so your attempt to pin all the wrongs on one party is small minded and petty.

    If Eisenhower Republicans were so enthusiastic for Civil Rights, how come they never even got to even putting a bill before the House? And why did the black Civil Rights leaders turn to the Democrats, if it was such a racist party?

    You could trace the rise of the Civil rights movement to Harry Truman’s desegration of the Federal service, and his defiance of Strom Thurmond and the Dixiecrats in 1948. BTW, what party did Thurmond join eventually? And did he or did he not make a bargain with Nixon to slow down school desegration in return for his 1968 support?

    Your simplistic and partisian reading does great damage to historical truth, and to racial harmony. History is not on anyone’s side.

    • Toby,

      Read the link on the Eisenhower attempt to pass civil rights legislation. It was not only brought up in the House, it was passed. But the Democrats tried to defeat it and watered it down substantially before they would allow a vote.

      Black civil rights leaders like Jesse Jackson turned to the Democrat Party because they were progressives first, and Blacks second. Plus the Dems held the presidency under Kennedy and Johnson.

      Strom Thurmond did not become a Republican because he thought Nixon would slow desegregation. He became a Republican because he thought that was the best way to win re-election. It was while a Democrat that he filibustered the 1957 Civil Rights Act. He joined the Republicans in 1964, the same year that Republicans voted in a greater percentage for the 1964 Acts.

      There is real history, and there is what you were taught by your progressive teachers and their revisionist history books.

  87. Corporate Message

    Muller seems an ultimately untrustworthy double-talker willing to grace anyone’s stage if it gets him to the top of the heap.

  88. It’s pretty amazing to read John Whitman’s interpretations of what was said in the hearing versus what was actually said.

    Muller allowed that it is possible 100%-plus of the warming since 1960 (I presume he meant 1960) has been caused by humans, just that right now we do not know.

  89. Chris Ho-Stuart says…….

    …..”But hey… for the sake of a bit of clarity in setting out our positions, let me assume for the sake of argument that our comment is worthless, and ask where we (you and I) stand on the matter of the atmospheric greenhouse effect more generally. Is that okay?

    The original G&T paper claims to “falsify the greenhouse effect”. What do you think of the level of thermodynamic comprehension in the original G&T paper? That is, are you thinking that the original paper was reasonable physics, or that both our comment and original paper were physically worthless?”…..
    Ive moved from the over congested area above.
    Hope you don’t mind.

    Direct answers to your questions are;

    1. What do you think of the level of thermodynamic comprehension in the original G&T paper?
    ……….very sound
    2. are you thinking that the original(G&T) paper was reasonable physics…
    …….yes
    3. our comment(paper) physically worthless?”…..
    …..yes

    I’m sorry if you feel offended by my rather blunt reply but that’s the unvarnished reality of it.
    The original G&T paper analysed the greenhouse effect from the framework of physics.

    Several versions of the greenhouse theory were examined and they found no evidence to support the conjecture.
    The Halpern et al comment paper had several fatal errors and cannot be seriously considered to have weakened the G&T paper.

    Other more effective critics would point out that there is nothing actually incorrect about the physics of the G&T paper.
    They would go on to say however that the G&T paper did not include the only greenhouse theory that holds up to a thermodynamical analysis.

    That is solar surface heating,adiabatic lapse rate and TOA cooling version.
    This is the version that Ive heard Leonard Weinstein, Nullius in Verba and Fred Staples advocate.
    I must say however that this version is so far removed from the original that I hesitate to call it a greenhouse effect.

    Further the G&T paper did not set out to explain how the climate behaves.
    But since their paper was a falsification, it is consistent with their objective.
    The recent papers by Joseph Posta give a more realistic model of the atmosphere without the greenhouse effect.
    I think that the G&T paper coupled with the Joseph Posta papers give a very effective critique of the current IPCC greenhouse theory.

    • Not offended at all, really. I don’t offend easily. I very much appreciate straight answers. I am agreeably surprised; full credit to you for that. Thank you.

      I’m content to leave matters as they stand. I consider a debate to be a success when each side has expressed their view with clarity.

      My answers would be
      (1) The comprehension of thermodynamics of the atmosphere shown in the G&T paper is negligible. One might quibble over whether they fail to understand thermodynamics, or whether they apply it incompetently; but in any case, it’s nonsense.
      (2) The original G&T paper was perhaps the most hopelessly muddled paper I have even seen in a legitimate journal. The blog you linked to shows a few others that are also nonsensical, but G&T has to be one of the worst.
      (3) I’m very happy for our published comment to stand on its own merits. The flaws are cosmetic; our application of thermodynamics is correct.

      I don’t think we can resolve this here; so I’m happy to leave it at that and agree to disagree.

      I personally think a good albeit indirect indicator for anyone looking on is whether or not any conventional recognized university anywhere in the world, in any undergraduate physics class, describes the alleged problems with the atmospheric greenhouse effect as actually correct physics. Give it say, three years? Surely it would be important enough for that, if correct….

      Thanks, over and out — Chris (sylas)

  90. Chris Ho-Stuart says……

    ….”I personally think a good albeit indirect indicator for anyone looking on is whether or not any conventional recognized university anywhere in the world, in any undergraduate physics class, describes the alleged problems with the atmospheric greenhouse effect as actually correct physics. Give it say, three years? Surely it would be important enough for that, if correct”….

    I would agree on that point.

    Strange to say until recently the supposedly very important “Greenhouse Theory” was never mentioned in a university physics course.

    I wonder why?

    Over the years I have collected a number of physics text books.
    My school text book
    Advanced Level Physics Nelkon and Parker 1970 edition mentions the Greenhouse but explains the effect as caused by convection they also cite R W Wood
    Intermediate Physics C J Smith 1957 pretty much the same.
    University Physics by Harris Benson 1995 Edition – no mention

    University Physics Young and Freedman 9th Edition 1995- no mention .
    Yet here’s the weird and worrying thing
    Joel Shore tells me that the most recent edition now contains the ‘greenhouse effect’ but agrees that it is full of mistakes .
    It seems that for commercial reasons a clumsy attempt to make it relevant to climate science market has made the usually reliable book one that I couldn’t recommend.

    The Feynman lectures – No mention.
    Finally one you perhaps remember, on Science of Doom you were part of a discussion with Fred Staples.
    Also posting briefly was Robert Bauman.
    Perhaps you did not realise he is the author of several standard physics text books particularly in the area of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics.
    He mentioned the greenhouse effect and said R W Wood had disproved it back around early 1900s.

  91. Quote of the week – “an anticlimactic climate hearing”, November 16, 2011
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/16/quote-of-the-week-an-anticlimactic-climate-hearing/

  92. Bill Chameides has an interesting post on the briefing at his blog Green Grok
    http://www.nicholas.duke.edu/thegreengrok/climatebriefing-112011

    “I’m skeptical that the briefing lived up to its name — “An End of Climate Change Skepticism” — but I’d have to say in the end the event was rather anticlimactic.”

    • I never heard him speak before. He sort of reminded me of our Fred Moolten. In other words, calm and freakin’ sneaky eloquent.