Just the facts, please

by Judith Curry

“Get your facts first; then you can distort them as you please” – Mark Twain

The Twain quote is the lead for a post by Bill Hooke entitled Just the facts, ma’am.  Bill’s post refers to a post at Greenwire entitled Scientists struggle with limits – and risks – of advocacy.  Excerpts from the Greenwire article, which is motivated by a survey taken by Stanford’s Jon Krosnick:

For 15 years, Krosnick has charted the rising public belief in global warming. Yet, as the field’s implications became clearer, action has remained elusive. Science seemed to hit the limits of its influence. It is a result that has prompted some researchers to cross their world’s no man’s land — from advice to activism.
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As Krosnick has watched climate scientists call for government action, he began pondering a recent small dip in the public’s belief. And he wondered: Could researchers’ move into the political world be undermining their scientific message?.
“What if a message involves two different topics, one trustworthy and one not trustworthy?” said Krosnick, a communication and psychology professor at Stanford University. “Can the general public detect crossing that line?”
His results, not yet published, would seem to say they can.
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Using a national survey, Krosnick has found that, among low-income and low-education respondents, climate scientists suffered damage to their trustworthiness and credibility when they veered from describing science into calling viewers to ask the government to halt global warming. And not only did trust in the messenger fall — even the viewers’ belief in the reality of human-caused warming dropped steeply..It is a warning that, even as the frustration of inaction mounts and the politicization of climate science deepens, researchers must be careful in getting off the political sidelines.

“The advice that comes out of this work is that all of us, when we claim to have expertise and offer opinions on matters [in the world], need to be guarded about how far we’re willing to go,” Krosnick said. Speculation, he added, “could compromise everything.”

It’s been a difficult lesson for researchers.

“Many of us have been saddened that the world has done so little about it,” said Richard Somerville, a meteorologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and former author of the United Nations’ authoritative report on climate change.

“A lot of physical climate scientists, myself included, have in the past not been knowledgeable about what the social sciences have been saying,” he added. “People who know a lot about the science of communication … [are] on board now. But we just don’t see that reflected in the policy process.”

This failed influence has spurred scientists like Somerville to partner closely with social scientists, seeking to understand why their message has failed.

JC comment:  in case you are wondering why I spend so much time at Climate Etc. on the social science and communications aspects of of climate change, here are your reasons.  Interesting that Somerville is doing this also, but if you read the article, Somerville is taking a different approach here than I am.

“Scientists are filled with conjectures that are plausible about how people make sense about information,” Kahan said, “only some fraction of which [are] correct.”

The deficit model has remained an enduring frame for scientists, many of whom are just becoming aware of social science work on the problem. Kahan compares it to the stages of grief. The first stage was that the truth just needs to be broadcast to change minds. The second, and one still influential in the scientific world, is that if the message is just simplified, the right images used, than the deficit will be filled.

“That too, I think, is a stage of misperception about how this works,” Kahan said.

So why do climate scientists, more than most fields, cross the line into advocacy?

Most of all, it’s because their scientific work tells them the problem is so pressing, and time dependent, given the centuries-long life span of CO2 emissions, Somerville said.

It is not that scientists are unaware that they are moving into policy prescription, either. Most would intuitively know the line between their work and its political implications.

“I think many are aware when they’re crossing that line,” said Roger Pielke Jr., an environmental studies professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, “but they’re not aware of the consequences [of] doing so.”

What has shifted has been its politicization: As more Republicans have begun to disbelieve global warming, Democrats have rallied to reinforce the science. And none of it is about the actual science, of course. It’s a fact Scripps’ Somerville now understands. It’s a code, speaking for fear of the policies that could happen if the science is accepted.

For all the focus on how scientists talk to the public — whether Hansen has helped or hurt his cause — Yale’s Kahan ultimately thinks the discussion will mean very little. Ask most of the public who Hansen is, and they’ll mention something about the Muppets. It can be hard to accept, for scientists and journalists, but their efforts at communication are often of little consequence, Kahan said.

JC comment: gotta chuckle over the Muppets

“In order to preserve a credible voice in public dialogue,” Krosnick said, “it might be that scientists such as myself need to restrain ourselves as speaking as public citizens.”

JC comment:  Yup

Somerville is continuing his efforts to improve communication from scientists. Another Bali declaration is unlikely, though. What he’d really like to do is get trusted messengers from different moral realms beyond science — leaders like the Dalai Lama — to speak repeatedly on climate change.

It’s all Somerville can do. It would be too painful to accept the other option, that climate change is like racism, war or poverty — problems the world has never abolished.

“[It] may well be that it is a problem that is too difficult for humanity to solve,” he said.

JC comment: news flash – climate change is a super wicked problem.

A few excerpts from Bill Hooke’s post:

Climate scientists reading this might react in a range of ways. At one extreme, they/we might be depressed and weary. We can allow ourselves to think that we’ve got to change the world’s behavior in order to save it, and the job seems insurmountable. But there’s another option. There’s an invitation here to relax. We can realize that we don’t have to shoulder the burden of choosing options for society. Instead, we can just present facts, and let the power of those facts do their magic.

And facts do have extraordinary power. Consider this example, familiar to our community.

Tornado warnings.

When the National Weather Service puts out a tornado warning, it stops there. Unlike EPA, it has no regulatory power. The next sentence on the advisory isn’t “and residents in the tornado’s path will be fined $500 for every fifteen minutes they remain outside their basements or their tornado shelters.” Quite the opposite. When we hear the warning, you and I can seek shelter in a safe room or underground…but we’re equally free to run out the front door with the videocam.

Just the facts? Feels liberating.

JC comment:  Bill Hooke nails it.

 

632 responses to “Just the facts, please

  1. “Most of all, it’s because their scientific work tells them the problem is so pressing, and time dependent, given the centuries-long life span of CO2 emissions, Somerville said.”

    Maybe if their job is playing with computer models.

    So just the facts.
    CO2 is very dynamic in our atmosphere. Century-long life span is nonsense.
    CO2 doesn’t transform, like Methane which break down in the atmosphere, but it is food of life and it’s combines with water and is a weak acid.

    If you accept the notion that doubling of CO2 from say 400 ppm [.04%] to 800 ppm [.08%] will increase global average temperature by 1-2 C, a 1 to 2 increase in global temperature will have any significant effect. First daily temperatures swing tens of degrees as does seasonal changes. Urbanization has and could have higher increases in average temperatures. So say roman living in the country and moves to capital city of Rome, the effect of buildings and paved roads increases the average to higher amount than 1-2 C. And there is much variation in average temperature if move within mile of where you currently living- it could 1-2 C warmer or cool on average. And finally, you can’t even know what the temperature is within 1-2 C, without using a thermometer. You can’t feel the difference, our mental state could have greater effect upon whether it seems warmer or cooler.
    So no one accepts that doubling of CO2 will increase average global temperature by more than 1-2 C unless the warming caused by the CO2
    is amplified- there some feedback mechanism, and an increase in water vapor would be example of such feedback mechanism. And we have had an increase in CO2 over last 50 years and no such feedback mechanism has been observed. In other words we observed about half a doubling of CO2 or amount increase which should given .5 to 1 C increase and just warming from the CO2 increase [and not including any amplification or feedback] is at best, difficult to discern in the temperature record.

    Or if you think doubling would cause 5 C increase, that means 2.5 C increase in temperature should have already occurred, and we dealing with about .4 C increase in temperature in the time period this “should have” occurred or is about to occur real soon.
    This should be enough to disprove the idea that there are these feedbacks, instead some are still waiting or think disappeared into the ocean, or some such nonsense.

    • gb;
      It’s frustrating reading your posts. The thinking seems good quite often, but your command of English grammar is so weak that many sentences are reduced to nonsense, or brain-twisting confusion.

      Spend some time studying formal English grammar. It will make life much easier for your readers, and give your writing much more impact.

      • Dave Springer

        A sharp mind is able to read and understand rather garbled text. A dull mind, not so much. I have no problem with gbaikie’s comments. Perhaps you could point out exactly which bits you had trouble with?

      • I do wish there was edit function.
        I would use it a lot.
        I think it good to have edit and also think maybe something that kept all copies [and so left a paper trail, with such paper trail only avail to admin].

        If I think it very important I will make another post, but I usually just grimace at my mistakes.
        Also don’t like formatting I get- it breaks sentences in odd spots for reasons I know not.

      • Word, Georgia, cut and paste, review before posting.

      • Type your comments in word where you have all the edditing features then paste to the comments section,

        Jim

      • Dave Springer

        Typos happen. Most people read through them without bother or misunderstanding. So there’s always the option of not obsessing over them. It’s not like blog comments are heading for typeset fercrisakes.

      • It’s all the same circus, just different clowns. Really comical reading these garden-variety skeptics.

      • BH, go fuzzy-eyed with your cortex when you read it. It helps. Maybe it’s the worm in my ear.
        ===========

    • Dave Springer

      In defense of the alarmists the 1-2C warming isn’t uniform. Most of goes to warming up place where it is rather cold and little of it goes to places that are already warm. CO2 works best in the absence of water vapor and there tends to be less water vapor the colder the air is so you get the lion’s share of the CO2 greenhouse effect in higher latitudes, in the winter, over land. Fortunately that’s just what plants, people, and other animals desire in those regions. Ask anyone who lives in a region where the winters are harsh if they’d prefer longer colder winters or shorter milder winters. The vast majority prefer the latter.

      • Most of the CO2 seems to pop up where the warming is occurring also, is the a white fungus among us?

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120628181721.htm

        Not that it is THE explanation, but it is interesting.

      • Dave Springer

        That’s really interesting. Thanks!

      • Thank you for that reference. The timing and provenance of lignin-degrading peroxidases has been of intense interest to me for years. The actual report at Science is behind a paywall, but I found a copy (probably temporary) at http://www.cib.csic.es/repositorio_bd/publicacion/3218/urls_enlace/2012-Floudas-Science-336-1715.pdf.

        The potential impacts of this low-probability mutation are sufficient to undercut the entire fantasy of a geological carbon cycle determined by erosion vs. volcanic emission, as so often referenced by e.g. Chris Colose.

      • There is a new study that attempts to determine past climate based on changes in cell wall wax. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/07/my-oh-miocene/

        If the white wood fungus is adapting or mutating, that would make for interesting cocktail banter.

      • If the white wood fungus is adapting or mutating, that would make for interesting cocktail banter.

        I’m reluctant to go into too much detail before fully reading the paper, however judging by the abstract it’s very likely there was an initial mutation creating the first effective lignin-degrading peroxidase sometime late in the carboniferous, followed by substantial adaptive radiation during the final days of that period. The initial mutation was (IMO) a very low-probability mutation, since a variety of green algae and plants incorporating lignin had been creating thick deposits since the Cambrian (or late pre-Cambrian). Especially during the Carboniferous, these deposits would have been especially useful to any fungus or other saprophytic eukaryote possessing any lignin-degrading enzymes. The apparent rise of a fungal clade using such enzymes and its possible role in ending the carboniferous strongly suggests that such enzymes hadn’t existed previously. Obviously the whole issue is at the level of speculation at this point, although confirmation may come fairly soon.

        FYI since lignin is a random polymer (unlike cellulose) it cannot be broken down by the more typical enzymatic action, for reasons of kinetics. Peroxidase enzymes actually apply a direct oxidation step in breaking down complex molecules, which allows them to be much more effective. However, it seems likely that mutations leading to new enzymes capable of breaking down new classes of polymer are very rare, and it may well be that there were no effective enzymes capable of breaking down lignin between the late pre-Cambrian and the end of the Carboniferous. (Most of the pre-existing peroxidases may well have been adapted to breaking down polymers made from aminated sugars such as chitin.)

      • “In defense of the alarmists the 1-2C warming isn’t uniform. Most of goes to warming up place where it is rather cold and little of it goes to places that are already warm.”

        I would also assume this, but I don’t see the data showing this. And such data could give much more information, than compared to mushing all into “average global temperature”. Or regional temperature.
        Why not plot all deserts, it seems it would have more chance of “finger prints”.

    • Bill Norton

      A very good post. Don’t let the nit pickers get to you.

    • gbaikie | June 15, 2012 at 6:35 am

      http://judithcurry.com/2012/06/12/state-shift-in-earths-biosphere-2/#comment-209308

      “I am a skeptic, I think it’s better if there is global warming- 1 C in a century should be good news. Don’t think it likely we will get such good news. And .5 C cooling would be something to be concerned about- not the end of the world, but it is something to be concerned about. A drop of .5 C in couple years, isn’t a problem, but .5 C or more cooling trend over a century is an actual problem.”

      gbaikie today:
      “If you accept the notion that doubling of CO2 from say 400 ppm [.04%] to 800 ppm [.08%] will increase global average temperature by 1-2 C, a 1 to 2 increase in global temperature will have any significant effect. First daily temperatures swing tens of degrees as does seasonal changes. Urbanization has and could have higher increases in average temperatures. So say roman living in the country and moves to capital city of Rome, the effect of buildings and paved roads increases the average to higher amount than 1-2 C. And there is much variation in average temperature if move within mile of where you currently living- it could 1-2 C warmer or cool on average. And finally, you can’t even know what the temperature is within 1-2 C, without using a thermometer. You can’t feel the difference, our mental state could have greater effect upon whether it seems warmer or cooler.”

      Which gbaikie to believe? The one that claims a 0.5C change in global temperature change is not only noticeable but could be a problem. Or the one who claims 1-2C change in global temperature change would be insignificant and unnoticeable?

      • “Which gbaikie to believe? The one that claims a 0.5C change in global temperature change is not only noticeable but could be a problem. Or the one who claims 1-2C change in global temperature change would be insignificant and unnoticeable?”

        A decrease by .5 C is worse than a slow rise 1 or 2 C by end of century.

        It’s possible we could have decrease by as much as .5 C in the near term but then it turns around giving century long term rise by 1 C for the century.
        And that would much better than staying at -.5 C for long period.

      • “A decrease by .5 C is worse than a slow rise 1 or 2 C by end of century.”

        According to you 0.5C is unnoticeable, irrelevant. So what do you mean “worse”? Worse than what? If it’s unnoticeable, dwarfed by moving a few miles, dwarfed by daily swings in temperature, then how can 0.5C change be bad at all?

  2. A good follow up study would be to research how the message changes when a scientist crosses from fact reporting to advocacy.

    Research: To study (something) thoroughly so as to present in a detailed, accurate manner.
    Advocacy: The act of pleading or arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea, or policy.

    I really don’t see how those are compatible, advocacy can only be interested in supporting facts. The public can detect when scientists (or anyone) shifts into advocacy long before they detect it themselves. The human BS detector is extremely fine tuned, even among “low-income and low-education” people. As if they have sub-human brains or something – man, these guys can never resist a swipe at those who dare to disagree.

    • Joe's World

      robin,

      All the scientists care about is their eroding trust.
      Does not matter is the science is terrible or not…just the trust.
      The scientists have failed studying a simple globe for a mathematical equation based on a bad practice of averaging on an orb that is in no way average. In doing so many areas were and are neglected to be studied and recorded.

    • “A good follow up study would be to research how the message changes when a scientist crosses from fact reporting to advocacy.”

      You could use the natural experiment of Climate, Etc. How long did it take for Dr. Curry to lose her credibility as a scientist when she started her advocacy here?

      • Quite the opposite Robert. She may have lost some credibility with the zombified consensus team, but Climate etc. has revealed the outstanding scientist she is.

      • Rob Starkey

        Judith may have lost credibility with a few of the folks (nut jobs) on the fringes of both sides of the issue, but I’d suspect she has gain far more respect from the overall audience.

      • Robert, remind me what I am advocating for, other than integrity in science?

      • Advocacy is advocacy.

        Naughty, naughty.

      • I also advocate washing your hands before eating. Shame on me

      • Indeed!

        The advocacy thing is nonsense.

        Too much like the outdated stereotype of scientists in white lab coats with no opinions, just the cold hard facts.

      • People with dirty hands maintain a stronger immune system.

      • Dr Curry,

        I’ll remind you of the adage about lying down with pigs. Responding to these two is about as close to that as you can get.

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD

        Advocating for integrity in science?

        Who doesn’t?

        It’s all so much complain-y, concern-y, finger-pointing.

        It’s getting so that it’s hard to see the quantifiable relevant facts for the all the qualitative smug opinions.

      • Judith –

        The problem is that others (who you criticize) also say that they’re advocating for integrity in science.

        Should I just take your word for it? I don’t think so.

        As i see it, the problem isn’t advocacy in and of itself, the problem is when someone’s advocacy isn’t comprehensive, leaves out some of the relevant analysis. It’s difficult to take anyone’s descriptions of their own advocacy seriously when they (at least sometimes) present analysis that sometimes fails to account for obvious counterarguments, sometimes presents conclusions that aren’t grounded in solid data, etc.

      • It’s also confusing when “concern” about advocacy in science seems to be highly selective.

      • Joshua, you say ” It’s difficult to take anyone’s descriptions of their own advocacy seriously when they (at least sometimes) present analysis that sometimes fails to account for obvious counterarguments, sometimes presents conclusions that aren’t grounded in solid data, etc. As I seem to recall, Joshua, you are not a scientist but you seem confident that Judith’s understanding of climate science is grounded in solid data. Do you realize how silly you sound?

      • Hi bob –

        Three things:

        (1) You might want to be careful: Many “denizens,” and Judith herself, tend to get upset about “appeals to authority.”

        (2) I don’t question Judith’s grounding in climate science. I cannot judge the science. I have, however at times, seen her use facile logic and formulate conclusions without sufficient data during discussions of non-scientific issues. When I see smart and knowledgeable people making such errors, I have to wonder whether or not that habit creeps into their analysis of science. It suggests that such a person is not fully open to exploring the potential biases in their own analytical process. As such, when that person states that they are only advocating for nothing other than “integrity in science,” I remain dubious.

        (3) I never claimed not to be silly.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Joshua –

        The problem is that others (who [JC criticizes]) also say that they’re advocating for integrity in science.

        You mean Peter Gleick? As per Wikipedia,

        On February 16, 2012 Gleick resigned from the American Geophysical Union Task Force on Scientific Ethics … he acknowledged he had obtained and distributed documents from the Heartland Institute under a false name …>

        Perhaps you have misidentified the problem.

      • I would say Dr. Curry increased her credibility because of NOT following the advocacy path of James Hansen, Gavin Schmidt et al. If anything, Dr. Curry proves the point and the remedy.

    • Perhaps the switch from Science to Advocacy would not be such a bad thing if it were not for the policies the are advocating.

      Most people has a good B.S. detector even if they are not scientists. When they see a scientist come out in favor of policies that have been favored by various unsavory groups over the past 100 years and note the disastrous results of those policies when previously implemented, alarm bells start ringing.

      • No. I would have the same reaction to a “scientist” practicing CRU- or RC-type tactics no matter what policies they advocated or how much their end goals aligned with my personal political or philosophic views. If you’re going to be a scientist, BE A SCIENTIST.

    • Robin,

      I actually think the survey choice of low-income, low-education people was a good one. If you think about it, these aren’t the people who are going to disagree because the policies hurt their lifestyle (on average).

    • Robin –

      What you are describing is human nature, to one degree or another.

      What do you suppose is the general public confidence in the work of “climate skeptics?” Do you suppose it is higher or lower than “consensus” climate scientists?

      There are advocates on both sides of this issue. The notion that the advocacy on only one side is, ironically, a product of advocacy. Maybe folks on both sides could do more to recognize the fundamental characteristics in how humans reason, step down off their high horses, and go about controlling for the biasing influences of their own advocacy?

      • Where did anyone suggest there was only advocacy on one side of the issue? The article was about ‘consensus’ scientists moving to advocacy and having their credibility hurt for it.

        Climate science (both sides, no question) has turned into mostly advocacy. The difference is, it is mostly Side A making claims, and mostly Side B countering them. It may not seem fair, but the burdens are always on the ones making the claims. When very specific problems with one’s work are pointed out, responding with advocacy will destroy credibility (I understand this works both ways, and it has, but again, mostly it is one side making the claims).

        Then there are people like Dr. Curry here, pointing out problems with conduct and procedure in Science where she sees them. You would think this would be advocacy, but there are actually counter arguments put forward (and answered) on why work does not have to be shown, data shared, or critics answered. I guess that makes it more of a debate.

        Certainly you are right though, that we’d all do well to look inward more. My gut feeling is it is impossible NOT to be biased about something you feel strongly about. What climate science needs maybe is new people – people who just don’t give a damn about the weather.

      • robin –

        Sorry if I misinterpreted your point earlier.

        I don’t see the same clear distinctions as you w/r/t who is making claims and I usually find arguments about who has the burden of proof to be basically self-serving.

        As you indicate – the way that both sides use short-term weather phenomena to support their perspective reveals much about the quality of their advocacy.

        My gut feeling is it is impossible NOT to be biased about something you feel strongly about.

        It would be nice to see more people on both sides acknowledge this simple and abundantly obvious fact. IMO, if someone doesn’t acknowledge this reality, they don’t earn the label of skeptic, and will remain a “skeptic” in my view.

      • Steven Mosher

        Well, it not obvious at all. Perhaps that is your bias about bias.
        2+2 = 4. I feel strongly about this.
        The point is rather simple. Science doesnt really give us a good view of what goes on in men’s hearts. We might infer bias from what we observe about them, but that observation, if we are biased, might itself be biased.
        Trying to level the field by arguing that we are all biased really doesnt work, as that might be biased. What science provides us is a mechanism for eliminating as many sources of bias as we can. It startwith something very simple. I give you my data. I show you what I did. if you come up with the same answer, that suggests my personal bias ( if it exists ) doesnt contribute to the answer. It’s not that we are all biased. We might be. It’s a possibility. That’s not solved by embracing bias. Its solved by taking steps to show that you get the same answer by systematically removing as many potential biases as you can. 2+2=4. I feel strongly about that Joshua. What can you conclude from my statement of interest? Well, first you have to believe it, and even if it is true it has no bearing on the usefulness or truth of what I say. Bias, can be used to explain why somebody got the wrong answer or persists in the wrong answer after it has been pointed out to them, but a blanket claim that everyone is biased is A) unprovable. B) self refuting. C) beside the point

      • And as anyone who knows anything about truth can tell you it has also ruined the journalism.
        ==========

      • Steven Mosher +1, as usual. All of science boils down to (imo) a methodology for removing bias. It has allowed us to get past some really strong and otherwise useful constructs in our brain that can bend reality to our more practical needs.

        Advocacy only becomes a problem when it causes you to stray from the methodology Stephen talks about, in order to support your cause. That said, you aren’t much of an advocate if you refuse to frame things in your favor. I would say there is plenty of evidence this crossing over has happened quite regularly in Climate Science.

        I would also say from observation, that those who follow the above, even in Climate Science today, gain a much higher level of trust — but their conclusions tend to be much less alarming. That goes both ways, eg the opening of thermometer analysis has really muted a lot of the hand wringing on the skeptic side. I guess that is the dilemma for the advocate.

        Imo though, it is somewhat impossible to do both effectively, given that people don’t generally advocate for the obvious. Real life advocacy requires the existence of reasonable people who disagree. In science, disagree means that experiments have flaws exposed or can’t be reproduced – advocating can only get in the way there.

      • Josh,

        This line gave me a bit of a chuckle:

        “Maybe folks on both sides could do more to recognize the fundamental characteristics in how humans reason, step down off their high horses,

        seeing as you often sound as if you are speaking to us from atop your horse.

  3. The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

    Thanks for this post. A very thoughtful reminder of the human dynamics involved in a super wicked problem. One could almost see Hansen as a tragic figure– doing more harm than good in trying to bring attention to a problem he obviously is passionate about. On trying to make the future better for his grandchildren, his approach actually delays the action he desires.

    • It were ever thus. What is of critical importance to one person, such as Hansen, is of no interest to others. And unsolicited advice is rarely welcome, it is usually counter-productive. The Buddha had a critical message, how to come out of suffering. But he told his monks: “Teach the Dhamma only to those who ask,” and “Teach the Dhamma only to those who are in a fit state to hear it.”

      It is clear, from Climate Etc and many other sources, that many – including many who are initially accepting of the science – are sceptical of the CAGW message, and a lot of this relates to the conduct of the impassioned scientists themselves, cf Climategate. Whatever the facts of the science, appropriate policies do not fall out of it but must be developed in a broader context of several billion peoples’ needs and wants. I have yet to see a convincing argument for “catastrophic” outcomes from warming or for net benefits from significant action to reduce emissions.

      People aren’t altogether stupid, they know when someone tries to sell them a “bill of goods.” And, other than for the Gillard ALP and Australian Greens who are heading for a “catastrophic” electoral defeat, politicians know that with several years of economic travail emissions reduction is not currently a major priority, it is not top of the electors’ lists.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Faustino said:

        “What is of critical importance to one person, such as Hansen, is of no interest to others.”
        _____
        That is certainly not proven by logic or by history. There are many issues and problems which are shared by families, groups, nations, and potentially an entire ecosystem of a planet. That fact that other’s may not respond to Hansen’s message and approach does not have any relationship to whether or not his message is valid or not, and thus whether or not the message is of critical importance them. Many people can’t even “hear” what their own bodies are telling them when they abuse it through smoking, eating poorly or lack of exercise, or certainly if they do hear it, they choose to ignore it (Freud’s Death Wish), or perhaps deny it. Hansen’s messaging may not just be the wrong approach, but directed toward an impossible audience, as it is a collective Kübler-Ross kind of denial, with denial as the first step that some are stuck on:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kübler-Ross_model

        Either way, the essential point is that Hansen’s approach is probably not constructive, with the issue of the validity of what he is saying as secondary. If he’s wrong, he’ll just be seen in the light of history as a nut, but if he’s right, there will be little solace in saying “he told us so.”

    • Steven Mosher

      Ya, I’ve said this over on keith Kloors and gotten booed out of the room.

      Opemheimer at AGU 2010 broached this subject, but then really screwed it up. Essentially, he was suggesting various ways scientists could handle the public relations issue. ( in the context of CP snow as I recall. arrg memory )

      One option he suggested was that scientists should just stick to the facts.
      His reason for rejecting that was that someone somewhere who had nothing to do with climategate got dragged into the fight.

      • “One option he suggested was that scientists should just stick to the facts.”

        I would think a scientist should stick to finding facts.
        A science teacher should stick with the facts,
        and give gold stars to a student who can disprove a fact.

        I think a scientist that explains or provides a story about
        how a scientist works, is good to hear.

        I think the basic fallacy is the idea that we riding to doom
        in regard to climate. I think it’s fantasy.
        If it were true, there should not problem with “getting out
        the message”.
        One strong proof that it is fantasy, is having nuclear off the table.
        Any scientist who think we are doomed, should put a lot effort
        in learning all about nuclear energy. That is what you would
        do, if you were serious.

        But I think the real issue, is these scientist don’t have the answers,
        they don’t have the facts. It’s the unknown that they fear.
        Maybe, it’s our doom.
        So some scientist thought the world going to ignite, if a nuclear
        bomb was exploded. A real fear and a fear based on unknowns.
        A scientist saying disaster could occur because of unknowns
        are not serious. There so many unknowns any of them end everything.
        It is the nature of the universe.
        The only comfort that we aren’t going to blink out in next second, is
        history- we lasted 4.5 billion years, so chances are low.
        So, if you climatic scientist and you are worried, study the history of this
        planet.
        Next, is look at terraforming planets. Now, me I think we could terraform Venus. Yes, it’s expensive, it may not be economical- in the near term, but 1000 years it could happen- it’s possible, only question is it economical. Or you want to control earth temperature- it can be done.

        So if climate scientist think it’s vaguely possible for something to happen in next 50 years in terms of climate, let’s hear it. But 100 years?
        You are aren’t serious. 200 years, 1000 years. Wow- crazy.

    • andrew adams

      R. Gates,

      Sorry, I disagree. I think Hansen has done a massive amount to publicise the potential dangers of AGW and IMHO this has vastly outweighed any harm. Don’t confuse the reactions of people who argue on blogs and are already hostile to Hansen’s message with the wider public.

      • + 1.

        It’s been a La Nina holiday. It won’t last forever. Then everything he says just melts away. Ditto for Judy.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Andrew,

        Don’t be sorry to disagree. I personally applaud Hansen for standing up for what he believes in. But his actions clearly do not convince anyone regarding the science, and probably tend to greater polarization and increased resistance. This is the psychological aspect related to when scientists become activists there seems to be tendency to trust them less, not more.

        Ultimately, the greatest convincing will be done by the actual change of climate experienced by large groups of people around the world through localized weather disruptions or other weather related disruptions to their life, such as through increases in food costs, etc. Enough “once in a century” storms, droughts, etc, hitting far more frequently than once in a century will do far more convincing than a hundred Hansens protesting in front of the White House.

      • Hansen’s advocacy had led directly to a loss of public confidence in the science produced by GISS.

      • So, why aren’t politicians voting and talking about it.
        It’s not as though we never faced huge problems and didn’t do anything about it.
        Explain, Obama.

      • When people first realized that it’s possible that anthropogenic emissions may lead to serious consequences it was well justified to bring the issue to public. At that stage the message must be clear but scientist must formulate the clear message keeping honest on the level of understanding.

        At later stage the situation is different. It is not possible to be an advocate without a loss of credibility as scientist. Using the role as scientist to add weight to an advocacy message leads to a loss of credibility of other scientists as well. It’s not a issue of what’s morally right and what’s not, it’s an issue of unwanted consequences of the behaviour.

        A further problem is that non-scientist advocates who refer to scientific material including the IPCC report making excessive claims lead also to loss of credibility of science.

        Using any resource tends to reduce what is left. That’s true also for the credibility expert knowledge, be it scientific or something else, when it’s used in a way not fully clear and acceptable to the audience.

        It takes time to get a message based on facts true. Trying to speed that process up is very easily counter-productive. It’s not possible to get people to change their minds rapidly. The facts must be brought up and repeated for long to get people to understand them. They cannot be forced upon people.

        In all the above I have assumed that all the “knowledge” is right from the beginning. When the knowledge is developing all the time even more care is needed to reach the best effect.

      • I think Hansen’s appearance on Letterman was one of the most effective presentations I’ve seen from his side of the fence.

      • R. Gates

        The “coal death trains” gaffe did not help Hansen’s credibility.

        His 1988 warming forecast that turned out to be totally exaggerated beyond all recognition also did not.

        His “civil disobedience” gambit (that got snowed out) made him look rather foolish.

        The “grandchildren” invocation sounded very “unscientific” – and too phony to be real.

        His co-authored paper on shutting down all coal-fired plants did not even include a cost/benefit analysis!

        The 2007 “tipping point” testimony before U.S. Congress was based on his opinion based on computer simulations, not on scientific evidence, yet it was presented as “crystallizing science”.

        And, for those who have dug a bit deeper into the subject matter, his co-authored “hidden in the pipeline” paper was also full of circular logic and holes.

        And the list goes on…

        Max

      • Andrew,

        Perhaps if Dr Hansen had the courage of his convictions, I might be impressed. If he truly believes those who doubt we are on a runaway train to disaster, as he apparently does, are committing crimes against humanity, then he should resign his position and commit himself to delivering the message.

        I have a hard time giving crediability to anyone who advocates for something yet still keeps his day job.

    • Let’s remember that this is a hypothesis, not a fact.

      Scientists have often “crossed over into advocacy.” Has the result of that been uniformly bad? For example:

      * Nuclear scientists warning of the dangers of nuclear war.
      * Physician-scientists warning of the dangers of smoking.
      * Biologists and ecologists warning of habitat destruction and species extinction.

      It may or may not be true that taking a public position on policy is not helpful in terms of winning the political battle in question. Yet naked hatred of “skeptics,” their threats the rape children and murder scientists, suggests to me that silencing scientists is a prime goal for those who want to prevent action. They, at least, think that scientists are making a positive different in the public debate.

      • “Scientists have often “crossed over into advocacy.” Has the result of that been uniformly bad? For example:

        * Nuclear scientists warning of the dangers of nuclear war.
        * Physician-scientists warning of the dangers of smoking.
        * Biologists and ecologists warning of habitat destruction and species extinction.”
        Yeah.

        But scientists did sign petition to notify US president that the Nazis
        could make a nuclear weapon, that it was a real possibility that a nuclear bomb could be made and have large effect.

      • Dave Springer

        Robert | July 13, 2012 at 6:18 am | Reply

        “Let’s remember that this is a hypothesis, not a fact.”

        Yes. And let’s remember there’s a distinction between science and imagination.

        “Scientists have often “crossed over into advocacy.” Has the result of that been uniformly bad? For example:”

        “* Nuclear scientists warning of the dangers of nuclear war.
        * Physician-scientists warning of the dangers of smoking.
        * Biologists and ecologists warning of habitat destruction and species extinction.”

        Precisely. You imagine what it would have been like had these warnings not occured. If it were a matter of science you’d do the experiment over and the second time through you’d omit the warnings. You can’t actually do that so the points you try to make are based on emotion not reason.

        The fact of the matter is that despite warnings about tobacco and cigarette smoking drastically reduced cancer is the #1 cause of death in the U.S. but now it’s less lung cancer and more other forms. Perhaps the truth is that some people are prone to cancer and others are not if if you’re prone you’re going to have it in some organ no matter what.

        Same goes for habitat destruction. Nature destroys habitats all the time. Perhaps it is this which causes evolution to progress and without it life would become stagnant, weak, and the first small change in the environment would wipe it out. It was once thought that forest fires were bad but now we know that forest fire suppression is bad. It allows fuel to build up to the point where major, lasting destruction occurs in infrequent but more intense infernos. It’s also now known that periodic lesser fires that change soil pH and allow more sunlight to reach the ground allows an alternate set of organisms to get their turn at bat in the forest cycle. Suppressing those fires denies those other organisms their turn in the natural cycle and actually works to lessen biological diversity. Again though, we can’t go back and run the experiment over again to see what would happen without these warnings. You imagine it might be worse while I know it might be either worse or better and we can never know which because we are both speculating.

        Nuclear scientists warning of the dangers of nuclear war. Did anyone think nuclear weapons were not dangerous? Perhaps it there had been a nuclear war the earth’s human population would be vastly reduced and there’d be a one world government with peace and prosperity for all. Perhaps those warnings served to keep tensions high but not so high that some radical changes were made in world governance so instead of having a peaceful, prosperous global village emerge from the ashes of a limited nuclear war we have continued strife and struggle and one small regional war after another. We’ll never know.

        It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that you can’t go back and change history to see how things might be different. It perhaps takes a rocket scientist to think he’s smart enough that his imagination is no less credible than reality. And I think that’s the root of the problem in climate science – it’s a narrative that is presented with the certainty of fact because the narrators are self-annointed as being so smart their imaginations are as good as reality.

        Meanwhile, even the dullest of the rest of us know a fact from a speculation. Every hilly-billy mom in the world knows the difference between her husband saying “I’m going to catch a fish today” and “I caught a fish today”. In the former case she figures out what to feed her children if the fish doesn’t materialize and in the latter case she doesn’t. So the general public, knowing the difference between fact and narrative, has largely adopted a “wait and see” attitude towards global warming and have refused to abandon all their good planning on the strength of a narrative which is more and more desperately presented as fact. The worst part is, for the scientific narrative that is global warming, it hasn’t come anywhere near living up to the hype. It’s been 25 years since projections were made in AR1 of what would happen to global temperature if CO2 emissions weren’t curtailed. They were curtailed and the global average temperature is tracking the predicted path of the most aggressive curtailment. In science this would be the end of the hypothesis. Science left the building a long time ago. This is now dogma and dogma isn’t abandoned due to contrary facts. The facts are simply dismissed as somehow being wrong. Ergo we get things like missing heat, warming in the pipeline, Chinese coal plant aerosols masking the CO2 warming, and a whole host of other straws being clutched at to explain the failure of the prediction while preserving the underlying hypothesis. That’s just not science and now more and more scientists are realizing just how far from science the AGW movement has strayed and hence want to distance themselves from it before they are disgraced by association.

      • Dave Springer,

        +1

      • The quantified the missing heat. They found some of it in the ocean. The rest was reflected back into space.

        As for aerosols, when engineers suggest engineered aerosols will cool the earth, and that mankind may one day fill the sky with them to reduce temperature, you could hear a pin drop in the room. There is no sneering and jeering crowd yelping “aerosols don’t work; it’s just more grasping at straws. Electrical engineers believe in engineering.

      • Of the missing heat: ‘the rest was reflected back into space’. Why, that wise one, Kevin Trenberth guessed much the same thing in an NPR interview in 2008. Well, there it is, then.
        =================

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Dave Springer, that is a good post.

      • Yes, and if it weren’t for changing ecological niches, we’d still be attempting to march out of the ocean.
        ============

      • Just as a counterpoint that also goes to the thrust of this article, Carl Sagan’s credibility WAS damaged when his advocacy got shriller and he pushed his Nuclear Winter scenario.

      • Robert,

        I’m not sure your examples hold much water. I know the first one doesn’t.

        Can you name one such scientist whose “advocacy” had any impact on either nuclear weapons research or policy? Can you name one who w continued as a productive scientist in the field after coming out with their advocacy? What about some of these “nuclear scientists” you refer to who also advocated against the use of commercial nuclear power? They can certainly claim success in causing enough doubt and scaring people enough to have created a very difficult climate for nuclear power in this country, but they certainly can’t claim the facts backed them up.

  4. Speaking generally, part of the problem is that scientists prefer to identify with one tribe or the other rather than limit themselves to only facts. They thereby sacrifice a bit of integrity to the quest for social identification and accolades.

    I heard Jonathan Foley interviewed on NPR today (Talk of the Nation) and he almost broke the paradigm as he corrected the interviewer to the effect that the Keystone Pipeline would not ratchet global average temperatures upward to any appreciable degree. However, he had to soft pedal this observation immediately with the idea that it would after all be part of the AGW issue. He could have actually added words to the effect that: “The idea that the Keystone pipeline would increase global warming to any appreciable or likely detectable degree is wrong.” Somehow, that sort of direct speech is not countenanced when challenging orthodoxy.

    • Joe's World

      jbmckim,

      There is a great deal incorrect with scientists pushing their opinions based solely on bad models that they created.
      A generalized opinion with very little scientific fact based on temperature data alone that is either lost when questioned or not made available when asked.
      Many people have computers of their own and can see for themselves 150 years of temperature data out of 4.5 billion years is absolute crap!
      Their are massive areas never included or strictly ignored just for the opinion that the planet is warming which it has been IF you base facts on what our planet was actually like 4.5 billion years ago.

  5. I can’t tell that any of these scientists live in my universe.
    Here is my simple message:

    “It’s the lies, stupid”.

  6. I think the whole article reeks of untruth, with truth drizzled on top.
    The scientist/activist/liar combo was busy from the very beginning.

  7. JC,

    This post seems to be about how to do better advocacy.

    Or in simpler terms how to spin the message better.

    Or how to sell ‘The Cause” better.

    Somerville is continuing his efforts to improve communication from scientists.

    I interpret that to spin the message more like the advocacy PR sites RealClimate and Skeptical Science do.

    What he’d really like to do is get trusted messengers from different moral realms beyond science — leaders like the Dalai Lama — to speak repeatedly on climate change.

    What, more people like Maurice Strong (the person at the pinnacle of the whole Agenda21 and World Government movement), Ban Ki-moon (UN Secratary general), Rajendra Pachauri, Tim Flannery (Australian Climate Commissioner and past Australian of the Year)?

    JC said:

    Just the facts? Feels liberating.

    JC comment: Bill Hooke nails it.

    Yes. True. But they need regulate to get rid of the spin and bias on the MSM and on web sites like RealClimate and Skeptical Science, and many other similarly alarmist and sites preaching the Green religion.

    • Joe's World

      Peter,

      It is about using others who have no clue about the science nor should they be interested in it. They have faith that the scientist is correct and not the actual science being correct.

  8. What if we could remove CO2 directly from the atmosphere – what would be the ideal concentration? :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

  9. Jim Cripwell on the FACTS
    When we can actually measure something, and put a +/- on the number, we have facts with which we can test hypotheses. With no measured facts we cannot test the hypothesis of CAGW.

    Prediction has been made by the IPCC:

    Since IPCC’s first report in 1990, assessed projections have suggested global average temperature increases between about 0.15°C and 0.3°C per decade for 1990 to 2005. This can now be compared with observed values of about 0.2°C per decade, strengthening confidence in near-term projections.

    Observation: http://bit.ly/S90kaV

    The observation show:

    1990 to 2005 => 0.24 deg C/ decade warming (the above IPCC statement is correct)
    1997 to 2012 => 0.01 deg C/ decade warming (this is outside the 0.15 to 0.3 deg C per decade range of the IPCC)

    However, IPCC’s projection is wrong.

    AGW is dismissed as it is not supported by the observation.

    • Wouldn’t it be nice if, when handling facts, we treated them factually, instead of fabricating as much about them as we could?

      Let’s look at first sources, and compare them to Mr. Orssengo’s handling of the facts: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-projections-of.html

      What does Mr. Orssengo say the IPCC says?

      Mr. Orssengo claims the IPCC’s prediction is 0.2°C per decade.

      We look at the full text, we examine the context, and we see that this is not at all the case. The IPCC claim is “There is now higher confidence in projected patterns of warming and other regional-scale features, including changes in wind patterns, precipitation and some aspects of extremes and of ice. {8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 9.4, 9.5, 10.3, 11.1} “

      That is, because warming was in the range predicted by the models for the period 1990 to 2005, the confidence for projected patterns was already increased. Not a ‘prediction’, but a thing that had by 2007 already come to pass.

      Now, we know the IPCC was unduly exuberant in its claim. Santer et al showed that the confidence associated with a sub-17 year period of GMT is less than 95%; the question of whether ‘so-far-so-good’ reasoning actually increases confidence or not is also suspect, as is the question of what behaving like a model compared to an ensemble of models actually looks like.

      When we correct the IPCC error of relying on the 1990-2005 period, and on the HadCRUT3 dataset that has since been shown to be less precise than GIS (by the B.E.S.T. group), we can compare Mr. Orssengo’s claims to facts: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1990/mean:11/mean:13/plot/gistemp/from:1990/to:2006/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1995.5/trend

      Least squares trend line; slope = 0.0123452 per year

      Which, while it’s below the 1.5C/decade level (and substantially below the IPCC projected high range for 1995-2012 from their A1B thru A1F1), is well above the ‘constant CO2′ level, and is about in line with the low end of the low CO2 increase projections.

      A Bayesian will expect that when an event is supposed to happen 19 times in 20, then seeing it not happen one time in 20 is within expectations. We shouldn’t be surprised by one, two, or even three periods that fall outside the projections of accurate models, and can take such outliers as meaningless in and of themselves; just as meaningless as would be the claim that we can increase our confidence in models because they were right for 15 years.

      And what are the facts that might explain such differences? Natural variability appears to have played a large role, which could never be fully accounted for by any model in any one decade; human activity producing increased aerosols, also unpredictable by climate models; poor accounting for ocean circulations; poor granularity of grid size. The models perform better than simple trendology; they outperform the opinions expressed by meteorologists; they don’t deliver perfect predictions, and using them to make predictions is just plain silly.

      We can be confident in the models because the physics is correct. We can be uncertain of the models because they model chaotic systems.

      • johnfpittman

        It also means the claim of maximum natural variance by 2030, as listed in Section 10 of AR4 was also wrong. Naturally variability is higher. However, keep in mind that the range and the average was presented as a best fit from the difference, as in most of the warming etc. So there is a third error, such that the 1 in 20 you use has to change as well.

      • johnfpittman | July 13, 2012 at 5:54 pm |

        Please restate this in English, or in Math. You’re a bit too cunning for me to follow.

        Or, at least a specific cite. Do you mean Internal variability in the model response is reduced by averaging over 20-year time periods. This span is shorter than the traditional 30-year climatological period, in recognition of the transient nature of the simulations, and of the larger size of the ensemble. This analysis focuses on three periods over the coming century: an early-century period 2011 to 2030, a mid-century period 2046 to 2065 and the late-century period 2080 to 2099, all relative to the 1980 to 1999 means. The multi-model ensemble mean warmings for the three future periods in the different experiments are given in Table 10.5, among other results. The close agreement of warming for the early century, with a range of only 0.05°C among the SRES cases, shows that no matter which of these non-mitigation scenarios is followed, the warming is similar on the time scale of the next decade or two. Note that the precision given here is only relevant for comparison between these means. As evident in Figure 10.4 and discussed in Section 10.5, uncertainties in the projections are larger. It is also worth noting that half of the early-century climate change arises from warming that is already committed to under constant composition (0.37°C for the early century). By mid-century, the choice of scenario becomes more important for the magnitude of warming, with a range of 0.46°C, and with about one-third of that warming due to climate change that is already committed to. By the late century, there are clear consequences for which scenario is followed, with a range of 1.3°C in these results, with as little as 18% of that warming coming from climate change that is already committed to. ? (bolding mine)
        (www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-3-1.html)

        Or what?

        Because on its face, AR4 seems to be spelling out that 20 years is the timespan they’re using for their comparisons (that’d be my error for using only 17 years), that the comparisons are meant for like-to-like analysis of model runs, not for predictions, and that predictions are impossible due uncertainties of real conditions.

    • Dave Springer

      http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_annex.pdf

      Above is the AR1 report (1990) with the global temperature prediction graphs under various GHG emission scenarios.

      The actual emission scenario over the 22 years since the report is the worst case “BaU” (business as usual) case. The predicted temperature rise from 1990 – 2012 was 0.6C under the BAU scenario. The actual temperature rise according to our best and most accurate global temperature measurement instruments:

      http://woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/last:264/plot/uah/last:264/trend

      was 0.3C. This is less than the best case emission scenario which was a 50% reduction from 1990 emission levels.

      A failed prediction cannot be overlooked. So now we have Hansen blaming Chinese coal plant aerosol emissions for masking the warming effect of CO2 emissions, Trenberth searching for missing heat in the deep ocean, and neither of them considering the most simple and elegant explanation – they were simply wrong about how much CO2 contributes to so-called greenhouse warming.

      I know the true believers in catastrophic global warming won’t let facts get in the way of their beliefs but I beseech those of you who might still have enough integrity, objectivity, and self-esteem to examine the facts I’ve presented here and consider the possiblity that the hypothetical warming potential of CO2 was overestimated by a great deal.

      Personally I believe the error was in two critical areas both of them having to do with water. The first is that downwelling longwave infrared radiation from greenhouse gases doesn’t insulate very well when evaporation is free to increase and carry the additional energy away from the surface in latent heat of vaporization without actually warming the surface. Thus not much CO2 greenhouse effect over the oceans or in very wet climates. The second mistake is that clouds have a small negative feedback not a small positive feedback. Cooling from clouds that shade the surface exceeds the warming from clouds insulating the surface. Thus we find the highest mean annual temperatures occur over equatorial deserts not equatorial oceans or equatorial rain forests.

      Mark my words.

      • Dave

        Thanks.

        I agree with you.

        We must continue to expose the corruption of science.

      • The wonderful thing about clouds is, that despite inherent complexity beyond the reach yet of digital computing, your simple point about the direct heating and cooling effect of clouds on the surface is within the experience of nearly all 7,000,000,000 of us.

        They’ve got clouds and water vapor feedback wrong, and that fact has been known too long for the pretense to continue.
        =====================

      • Dave Springer | July 13, 2012 at 9:02 am |

        What is this substitute-something-else thing with you? IPCC makes a series of claims about surface GMT in their fourth report, and you substitute in a comparison of one of three tropospheric claims with the IPCC’s first report instead.

        There are two other satellite (ie ‘best and most accurate’) records available beside UAH, aren’t there? Are all three in agreement? No? No. So what is the basis for calling UAH ‘best and most accurate’ then? Is it a tribal claim because of who runs UAH, and their much talked about bias?

        The IPCC refined many of its statements between its first and fourth reports, addressing the issues of differences from report to report in its various analyses, and was no longer talking about FAR in 2007, no?

        And again, the topic Mr. Orssengo brings us is trend. Comparing like to like, the trend of 0.15C-0.3C/decade is what he’s brought to our attention. What is the trend for the UAH record supplied (for 22 years)?

        Least squares trend line; slope = 0.0172788 per year

        That’d be 0.17C/decade; well above 0.15C/decade.

        Comparing like to like, the 17 years from 1990 on UAH show:
        Least squares trend line; slope = 0.0238574 per year

        and the last 17 years on UAH:
        Least squares trend line; slope = 0.01204 per year

        These aren’t disjoint samples, so the math gets hairy when discussing whether or not they represent discrete observations from a Bayesian rationale, but it can be done. 0.24C/decade to 0.12C/decade is much more like the IPCC moderately rising scenarios than like BAU.

        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1990/mean:11/mean:13/plot/uah/from:1990/to:2006/trend/plot/uah/last:204/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1990/mean:11/mean:13/plot/gistemp/from:1990/to:2006/trend/plot/gistemp/last:204/trend

        In other words, UAH is in good agreement with GIS, other than being overall cooler by a fairly uniform amount (which being a troposphere not surface measure, seems unremarkable), and both are in good agreement with the IPCC claims made in 2007 on trend.

        And let’s look at the ‘failed prediction cannot be overlooked’ claim. When does a prediction fail? When one observation is an outlier? When two? When three? No. Outliers happen, which is why statistics are given in terms of confidence and of uncertainty, such as 95% (confidence) 19 times in 20 (uncertainty).

        What can’t be ignored is Dave Springer’s straw man making stuff up ignoring more recent information and information that detracts from his point style of ‘science’. That approach calls on reasonable people dealing with his claims to be more, rather than less, skeptical. Of course, we observe Mr. Orssengo becoming less skeptical with every flatterer of his inadequate trendology.

      • Dave Springer

        Oh. Nice “own goal”, Bart.

        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/last:264/plot/rss/last:264/trend

        There is one satellite network and two organizations that crunch the sensor data into temperatures. I use the organization (UAH) that designed the instruments rather than RSS. But to humor you I posted the RSS dataset since 1990 for you above.

        It shows even less warming than UAH. Thanks for the wonderful example of why it pays to check your facts before stating them. I’m still going to use UAH dataset even though it shows more warming.

        Thanks for playing.

      • Dave Springer

        Even better – UAH and RSS global lower troposphere 1990 to present on the same graph.

        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/last:264/plot/rss/last:264/trend/plot/uah/last:264/plot/uah/last:264/trend

        Clearly shows UAH with more warming. Spencer and Christy must be warmists fudging the data to show more warming. Who knew?

        ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)

      • I love it when BartR gets into the Hairy Math. It is so invigorating!

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/07/analyse-this.html

      • Dave Springer | July 14, 2012 at 8:10 am |

        So, you’re expecting me to check all combinations of every dataset in invalid ways to second guess which invalid comparison you’re going to spring (no pun intended) on us next and manufacture a victory out of?

        Sounds like a fun game, but I’ll decline to play.

        RSS and UAH are still in unexplained disagreement that tends to increase one’s skepticism of them both mutually, that has been commented on in peer-reviewed publications that have been rejected out-of-hand by UAH, that reflect that the problems with 1970’s technology in orbit can’t be overcome by handwaving, and you still haven’t answered the question what makes UAH ‘the best’?

        Or, y’know, why try to shoehorn shakey tropospheric observations into surface projections, why compare to FAR when AR4 has substantially expanded on and explained things in a different direction than you must take them in your idiosyncratic interpretation of FAR, why add all these wrinkles and complications to try to build a case out of flim-flam.

        This bait-and-switch philosophy of yours could make a swindler rich in business, if he skips town with the loot early enough, but it’s not very good science.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Dave Springer, another good post.

        IPCC has couched its modeling in a language to make it seem as though they are not making predictions; but they write their recommendations as though their forecasts are actual predictions. When the model forecasts are shown to have been inaccurate, occasional IPCC defenders assert that the forecasts were not “predictions”, as though that renders the inaccuracy irrelevant; then the inaccurate model forecasts are asserted to be a sound basis for policy, as though they had been both “predictions” and “accurate”.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        David Springer,

        If we ignored the changes going on in the Arctic (sea ice decline, permafrost thaw, ocean temperatures, and tropospheric temperatures) and also ignored the changes going on in global ocean heat content, I could almost agree with you. But we can’t ignore these changes as they are the most significant signs of the accumulation of energy in Earth’s non-tectonic energy system. Failure of complex models of dynamical nonlinear systems is not failure of theory. Prior to 2007, the models failed to predict how rapid the sea ice would decline. Did these mean the models were wrong about the underlying fact of Arctic warming, or were they wrong about how this warming would actually transpire in the real, non-model dynamic arctic climate?

        At least 23 x 10^22 Joules of energy have accumulated in the global ocean over the past 40+ years down to 2000 meters. Even accounting for very large uncertainty in these numbers early on in that period, there is a much higher certainty that somewhere around 10 x 10^22 Joules has accumulated in the global ocean down to 2000 meters over the past decade. Where did this additional energy into the Earth’s energy system come from? Certainly not from the sun, as it has been quite quiet over this period. AGW provides a very reasonable explanation based on pretty basic physics. The Earth is retaining more energy than it is releasing back to space because of accumulating greenhouse gases, and the largest heat sink on the planet– the global ocean, is the obvious place for this to go. In combining the additional energy in the oceans with a fairly dramatically declining Arctic sea ice level on a seasonal basis (see the latest graph of the death spiral here):

        You get a pretty good sense that energy is accumulating in the Earth’s non-tectonic energy system. If not due to greenhouse gas accumulation being at the highest levels in at least 800,000 years, then please tell me a more plausible cause of this accumulation of energy?

      • At least 23 x 10^22 Joules of energy have accumulated in the global ocean over the past 40+ years down to 2000 meters.

        That’s enough to warm it by approx. 0.082 deg C, which is around 0.02 deg/decade.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Peter317,

        Considering the mass, volume, and heat capacity of all the oceans down to 2000 meters, you realize that’s a pretty large quantity of energy right? You’re not attempting to diminish the that fact are you?

      • No, but it seems you seek to exaggerate it.
        I’ve quantified the effect, no more, no less – you can check yourself if you like.

      • Dave Springer

        The accumulation of heat in the ocean varies over time but it’s generally on the order of 0.5W/m2 to 1.5W/m2 as close as we can measure at this point in time and presumably this shows up at TOA as a imbalance where you’ve got a watt more coming in than goes out.

        An extra half watt is enough to warm the global ocean 0.2C in 100 years.

        I seriously question the accuracy of the measurement of ocean heat content. ARGO buoys, while a definite improvement over anything else we had, still lack total coverage across the globe as they tend to cluster in gyres and obviously don’t work at all under the frozen north. They also do not dive below 2000 meters and the average depth of the global ocean is 4000 meters so they actually measure less than half the ocean. Plus we have only a few years of data from them which is not sufficiently long enough to establish climate trends which, according to the last memo from the climate boffins, was at least 17 years.

        I do however understand that you need to somehow disown 33 years of global surface temperature observations from MSU’s aboard satellites designed for the task of accurately measuring globla surface temperatures which now show how badly wrong the “consensus” warming projections made in 1990 turned out to be.

        Good luck with that. If nothing else it’s entertaining watching you CAGW faithful squirm under the weight of the best observations money can buy.

      • Dave Springer

        A wonderful alternative explanation is changes in solar magnetic field which throttle cosmic ray flux at TOA which in turn changes the kind and number of condensation nuclei which in turn changes the kind and number of clouds in the sky. The little ice age and medieval warm period line up with higher and lower solar magnetic field intensity and recent CLOUD experiment has shown high energy particles in a lab impacting rarefied atmosphere causing the generation of more small particles deeper in the atmosphere which may be reasonably assumed (although this has not yet been demonstrated) to agglomerate into particles large enough to serve as condensation nuclei.

        The latter half of the twentieth century has been characterized as what’s now called “The Modern Maximum” due to having the highest average number of sunspots on record. The Maunder and Dalton minimums are associated with last cold periods at least in Europe. The Modern Maximum appears to have ended several years ago and the sun is entering one of the quiet periods similar to Dalton and perhaps even Maunder Minimums.

        Given that Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm period were not caused by human activity one needs to ponder what exactly caused those and why that same cause is somehow NOT the same cause as late twentieth century warming.

        Anthropogenic warming via CO2 is in essence an argument from ignorance. Worse, it’s an argument from willful ignorance.

        You have simply cherry picked one of many correlations, Gates. You’ve glommed onto it because it’s copacetic with ideological beliefs you hold. I eschew ideology for cold hard fact and the fact is that correlation does not equal causation. So no correlation gets favored treatment with me.

  10. Chad Wozniak

    AGW is advocacy politics with a tyrannical agenda, as demonstrated by the AGW fascists’ efforts to keep contrary opinions – and just the facts, please – from being published and reaching the general public. If you’re a “scientist” stumping for AGW, you’re not a scientist, you’re a fascist politician, plain and simple.

    Real science doesn’t have to, and must not, impose the sort of dictatorshi9p being effected by the AGW crowd. They are no different from their spiritual parents in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia (remember Rosenberg and Lysenko, anyone?). They are openly conspiring to violate the civil rights of honest, genuine scientists and they deserve to be prosecuted for that. And they are thieves stealing our tax monies, through the “research” grants they get and use to advance their political agendas.

    I thought it was illegal to use goiernment research money to promote a particular political agenda. Does the law against this mean anything? But as long as the criminal-reactionary-leftist news media and the ignorance-mongering academic establishment continues itheir practice of spreading disinformation, so like that of a totalitarian state, I presume not much.

    • Joe's World

      I call it “Educating the Public to become Idiots”.
      Consensus scientists are very fearful that the public may research for themselves and lose the rest of our trust in their opinion.
      You do have the right to research on your own but the consensus scientists have blocked the right to publish your findings…

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        “I call it “Educating the Public to become Idiots”.”
        ____
        Isn’t that the mission statement of Faux News?

      • See Robin’s blog, The Invisible Serf’s Collar.
        =============

  11. An aspect that should be investigated is why climate scientists are so easy and prone to become advocates. Schneider advocated from the get-go (when it was global cooling). It could even be argued climate advocacy started around the time of Keeling.

    • Furthermore, what makes them think to be politically savvy? I have dozen of Schmidt quotes that could be used to undermine AGW. Hansen is a political mupper (ahr ahr) and Mann enough of a strange character to be usable to show how nasty AGW advocates are.

      Why are the uber-alarmists devoid of a Pielke Jr or a Lomborg, somebody able to cross all divides? Even you Judith, are constantly walking on the edge and providing ambiguous messages, with your veiled support for Lacis of all people.

  12. “leaders like the Dalai Lama” … The Buddha said “I teach only one thing: the truth of suffering, and the path out of suffering.” In 45 years of teaching the Dhamma, he never veered from this, he never responded to anything outside this brief. I hope that the Dalai Lama has the sense to do the same. There are far more important things than climate change, and many of those not responding to the CAGW message know this.

    • “In 45 years of teaching the Dhamma, he never veered from this, he never responded to anything outside this brief. I hope that the Dalai Lama has the sense to do the same.”

      Hmm.
      “Being on the roof of the world, the Tibetans are the first people to feel the impacts on what we have done to the planet. The melting glaciers are filling the lakes and causing wetter climate that makes it impossible for the people and vegetation to survive. Scientists say it’s highly likely that the glaciers in the Himalayas will disappear by 2035. And it could be even sooner if the earth continues to heat up at the current rate. We ask everyone to take this matter seriously and think about what we can do everyday to save the Tibetans and every living being on the planet.”

      http://www.dailydalailama.com/globalwarmingnews.aspx

      Not as bright as one might think.

      • I can see him taking people at their word, but not quite sure how he swallowed the “wetter climate that makes it impossible for the people and vegetation to survive”.

        Tibet is a giant desert, nomadic survival depends on occasional rainfall. Of all places in the world that would benefit from a bit of heat and moisture, Tibet would have to be right towards the top.

        Maybe he’s just worried the Chinese will get too comfortable if the climate gets even slightly hospitable.

      • would his handlers allow him to find out about the stink from the previous load he’d been fed ?

      • I nearly got to Tibet. In 1972 I rode a motorbike to the Nepal-Tibet border, almost crossed a bridge which – unknown to me – was the border, Nepali troops who ran to stop me said I would have gone straight to gaol. In 1975 I tried to get in via a smugglers’ trail, but was blocked by landslides and didn’t have equipment or food to go by the alternative route, at 17,000 feet. Just sayin’.

      • Cool – I was lucky enough to spend about six months there in 1986. I did get detained a few times, but nothing like what would have happened to you during the sadness of the Cultural Revolution I’m sure.

        I felt the whole time I was there that this was maybe our last glimpse at the once dominant nomadic way of life – it’s like an entirely different version of human possibility we’ve almost forgotten. Most amazing place ever.

        (though Nepal on a bike sounds pretty great too!)

      • he’s probably a very nice person
        his worst sin was reincarnating
        thinking he could do some good
        after reaching buddhahood

      • “he’s probably a very nice person
        his worst sin was reincarnating
        thinking he could do some good
        after reaching buddhahood”

        hmm.

        http://books.google.com/books?id=696DhpUBaG8C&pg=PA26&lpg=PA26&dq=Alan+watts+build+raft+river&source=bl&ots=jbJV5Ysr-K&sig=LV1yfcd0yUPmYrtcfGVjkFL4LOE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Acf_T9uZOYiprQHs7I2qBw&sqi=2&ved=0CEwQ6AEwAA

        “Once you cross the river, don’t try to carry the raft with you on your back.”

        His problem is he doing religion.
        If chooses to do religion, why is he “at war” with China.
        If he follows tradition, why does he think there is a country called Tibet?
        Many problems has he, if he is a buddha :)

      • Being the Dalai Lama does not mean that he is enlightened.

      • OK, F, but ‘The Universe in a Single Atom’ is an enlightening book.
        ==============

  13. Why are climate scientists more prone to advocacy (aka dishonesty) than other scientists ?

    – Just follow the underlying money and ideology,
    for there is in climate science a much bigger potential potential payback for its benefactor, the state (‘state’ in the broad sense).

    Alarmist climate science offers a simple and apparently ironclad excuse for the state to significantly increase its power and revenues. As a result, government funding agencies – staffed by people with strong statist beliefs – will naturally tend to preferentially select and fund the science and scientists that most support alarmism, and the scientists with a more totalitarian political disposition (i.e. those who share their own preference for a high level of political control over society).

    It’s about vested interest, and the state boosting itself by employing and funding those with the strongest statist outlook. That, and the fact that the state is vastly bigger and more powerful than any other part of society, and effectively monopolizes climate science.

    • Yes, the bigger the field the bigger the groupthink-problem. If in a subject you have a large number of people because it has economic applications, that immediately aggravates the problem. This means firstly that a lot of mediocrity is brought into the field and overpowers the field by sheer numbers; and it also means that much more commitment to a particular viewpoint has been made by many people.

  14. Beth Cooper

    Judith, as yer know, i have the franchise here fer ‘Today’s Thought of the Day’ and I’m giving you an award for best thought with:
    ‘Get yer facts first, then yer can distort them as yer please.’ ( Mark Twain.)

    I’ll get Tony B to send yer a ‘Golden Slug’ award.

  15. There is also the fear of the policy not being accepted. Without climate policy there is less climate employment, both right now and in the future. There are very few applications of this field that don’t require some kind of legal mandate or threat of one.

    • Latimer Alder

      It is a very big mistake for the warmists to vilify sceptics as ‘Big Oil Well Funded Motivated Shills’..or whatever this week’s nonsense phrase is.

      For it takes only a moment’s thought to conclude that the have a far more direct and immediate interest in perpetuating alarmism – career, salary, status – than do any supposed ‘political ideologues’.

  16. Advice to scientists: if you want to be taken seriously stop advocating unrealistic solutions, things that don’t work on engineering level. Stop advocating ridiculously expensive and inefficient wind mills and solar panels. Stop causing society to spend tons of money for no discernible benefit. Stop fighting every power plant, and condemning society to power outages.
    Your policy advice might be taken seriously if it is sound and feasible.

  17. …we can just present facts, and let the power of those facts do their magic.

    AGW does not have any facts

    IPCC projections => http://bit.ly/zA0a2j (0.2 deg C per decade warming)

    Observed global warming pause =>http://bit.ly/wvqJti

    Warming was occurring in the 19th century

    Sea level was rising in the 19th century

    It is just recovery from the Little Ice age => http://bit.ly/Aei4Nd

    • Dave Springer

      Girma,

      IPCC projections under the BaU (business as usual) scenario in 1990 were 0.3C per decade not 0.2C.

      The original graphs are here (straight from the IPCC website) to verify this:

      http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_annex.pdf

      The actual CO2 emissions followed the BaU projection while the actual warming was less than half that rate and was a tad less their best case scenario where CO2 emissions were cut to half the 1990 level.

      If the goal was really to contain warming to 2C by mid-century then we are easily on track to do even better than that and it was done solely through, as far as I can tell, the successful demonization of incandescent light bulbs.

      ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)

  18. Willis Eschenbach

    Once again, I must protest the ludicrous idea that this is a communications problem. The reason that climate scientists aren’t trusted is not, as Bill Hooke claims, that they are speaking up in public in support of their views.

    The reason climate scientists are widely distrusted is because their leaders have lied to us over and over. In addition, it was shown through their own words that they have destroyed evidence, altered results, suborned the IPCC processes, threatened journal editors, packed peer review panels, obstructed the publication of opposing views, and published results that they knew to be false.

    To cap all of that off, when it was revealed, only the most cursory whitewash investigations were performed. The important questions were not only not answered … they were never even asked.

    And to add insult to injury, there has been only the most scattered and feeble of protests from the good, decent, honest climate scientists … which does nothing to engender trust, but instead actively increases mistrust.

    At the end of all of that, Judith, for you and Bill Hooke to still be claiming that it is a communications problem is a sick joke. None of the above problems will be solved by improved communication practices. Nor will they be solved by climate scientists sitting on their hands.

    Back when Climategate first broke, there was a window of opportunity, and I was actually optimistic that climate scientists could clean the Augean Stables of the accumulated years of horseshit … shows how naive I was. Instead, it was all swept under the rug, with everyone insisting that the Emperor was not only fully clad but was guiltless of even the slightest impropriety.

    I estimate that it will take a generation to repair the breach, perhaps more. Climate scientists, through both their actions and their inactions, have done huge damage to the field. Unfortunately, they have also greatly damaged the reputation of science itself.

    And for Bill Hooke to be claiming that this was all because scientists were actively pushing their views?

    That is palpable, pathetic nonsense. Climate scientists lost the public’s trust because their leaders were caught lying, cheating, and stealing, and the rest of the field, to their eternal shame, said nothing.

    Claiming that that is a communications problem? Get real. It is a lying, cheating, and stealing problem, and all of Bill’s fancy way with words can’t change that one iota.

    w.

    • Willis

      Strong but accurate.

      Thank you

    • Joachim Seifert

      willis, all nicely summarized….strong tobacco, but the
      one and only real brand….
      What can be added?…..
      1. They colluded to IGNORE
      facts/opinions/skeptics demonstrating substantial critic…
      Therefore, they do NOT answer…. [“science settled”-
      discusssion superfluous attitude] known skeptics….
      2. They keep continuing the Warmist way, in spite of that
      they were informed, and knowing that they walk the wrong
      road…. they have the chance to repent but stay entrenched
      to the end. …this type of people which the former German
      President von Hindenburg always wanted to have: “If my soldiers
      run out of ammunition, I expect them to through stones and
      clay onto the enemy….” quote from his memories….
      …………….””Communication problem?””……….
      JS

    • Steven Mosher

      Whatever loss of trust there was predated climategate. For people who knew what was going on, cimategate revealed nothing new. What broken trust there was just got amped up with self righteousness. ahem.

      personal anecdote. Since 2009 I’ve met hundreds of people the fall into two camps. 99% have never heard of climategate ( which comports with book sales ) and the 1% who have ask me the same question: is it getting warmer. which means they dont understand that climategate was not about the temperature record.

      However, if you have any empirical data that shows climategate led to a drop in trust, well link away to the data. Everything short of that is bloviating

      • We don’t need no stinkin’ empirical data; ClimateGate metastasized the distrust. Don’t you see the lumps popping up all over like raisins in a muffin?
        ===========

      • There was never any trust to be lost, as most people just don’t care, because they don’t even think about it. Most people are just trying to earn a living, get some food on the table and get ahead. In the developed world the most obvious effect of climate change for the majority of people and to the extent that they make a connection, is higher prices for electricity and petrol etc. They “notice” no change in the weather, noting that most people don’t even think about the distinction with climate and therefore just generally feel poorer. Like many things in life protecting the environment is a good idea until someone has to pay for it. Now that people are seeing the direct cost to them, it does not rank up with buying food and schooling children etc, it probably even ranks behind a new TV.

        The biggest challenge these scientists have it realising their own sense of importance is misplaced, even if they think they are saving the world.

      • John Carpenter

        yup

      • I guess for me, maybe unlike most people, I’m really not that interested in the public opinion of it – I’m just here for my own opinion. I was certainly seeing some strange things before climategate (read SteveM a lot, but also all the counter arguments). Once it hit though, I spent a week or two going through it, learning back stories, etc. It was confirmation over and over, way beyond what I suspected, and trust was gone. I don’t know a way back either, these people are still prominent, and their work still taken seriously – that is just baffling.

        Really really though, I was (and probably still am) obsessed by this, because I find it so hard to believe that something on this scale can be built on such nothingness – in science of all places. And with the internet and a computer in every house! I guess it is just something that really changed my world view about.. about what? Like our species almost – how we perceive, how we operate. I feel almost like an anthropologist now, even with myself. So weird.

        There could be definitive proof tomorrow that Greenland would all melt in 10 years, and I really wouldn’t care. It would probably be interesting even, I’m sure we’d amaze ourselves. But I doubt there will ever be an event that returns me to my previous mental model of people. I guess it’s a bit like in science, where nature doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the model you nurtured for so long : ).

      • I am not that amazed at how the Climate Science was corrupted. When I was studying at the university, they created a small department for environment science. The only students who were interested in that department were green kids who already had a mission to save the earth. All of them have big problems passing the math courses. The best students were routinely studying economics, nuclear physics, electric physics, chemistry and computer science. Besides green kids, nobody had environment science as their first pick after high school.

        I don’t think that science was corrupted. I just think that a universities created fashionable environment science departments, that just became pseudoscience departments. And the departments gave a possibility for people to get fancy degrees and doctorates, when their science skills were far under par.

      • Dave Springer

        Steven Mosher | July 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Reply

        “Whatever loss of trust there was predated climategate. For people who knew what was going on, cimategate revealed nothing new. What broken trust there was just got amped up with self righteousness. ahem.”

        Say what?

        There are remarkably large jumps in public perception of climate change immediately following Climategate.

        http://www.pollingreport.com/enviro2.htm

        Before that you kind of had to a significant amount of digging to generate a healthy distrust of climate change boffinry. Afterwards all you had to do was watch a viral youtube video such as M4GW “Hide the Decline”

      • Steven,

        Here is your first piece of datum. Put me in the yes column. Where I doubted some of the message before CG, I didn’t necessarily have a loss of trust in the scientists. For me CG told me it wasn’t simply politicians using science for their own purposes.

    • Sadly, I agree with Willis. And as Steven M. points out, my opinion was formed well before ClimateGate. The vast majority of climate researchers are competent and honest. However, their inability to criticize those who are not and their inability to disassociate themselves from the Greens whose agenda is non-scientific destroys their message. [Similar problems exist in the skeptic/denier camp – however most members of that camp do not proclaim that the science is settled.]

      If a group of concerned scientists with minimal affiliation to radical causes were to get together and create a scientific assessment that was edited by scientists and not politicians then we might start moving back toward what I would consider an honest discourse. That group would need to include McIntyre, Curry, Pielke (pick one) and other less visible voices of moderation in the discourse. Getting Lindzen on board would be nice.

      • I think one of the defining moments for my distrust was when the Hadley Center 5 year moving average of global temperatures disappeared from their Web site shortly after it rolled over and headed down.

    • I agree with Willis that at the heart it isn’t a “communications” problem, though I would point out that it is still possible for Bill Hooke to be correct. I suspect much of what Willis identifies as the problem is/was the result of trying to control the message they wanted to communicate.

  19. Successive surveys by the Brooking Institution have found that people’s views on climate change are based more on experience than science. In the fall 2011 survey the three most important factors influencing opinion were: declining glaciers and polar ice (56%), declining polar bears (46%) and extreme weather events (43%). Computer models (18%) and IPCC reports (13%) were least important. In the Spring 2012 survey those who believed temperatures were increasing put warmer temperatures observed (21%), weather changes observed (20%) and glaciers melting (15%) above scientific research (11%). Among those who did not believe temperatures were rising views were influenced by similar considerations with “evidence disproves” at 10% being similar to the 11% for science.

    The Fall 2011 survey also found that those with a college degree were less likely to believe there was solid evidence for climate change than those without a degree (60% v 66%). A Yale study in 2011 found something similar.

    In short, science has little impact on the public’s view on climate change but among those best able to understand it it tends to increase scepticism.

    • Dave Springer

      Mine’s based mostly on the experience of watching the results obtained by a true global temperature measuring system of microwave sounding units aboard a constellation of weather satellites that have been in continuous operation since 1979.

      This is the best and most reliable, by far, means we have of estimating global average temperature trend. The jury is in. IPCC projected 0.3C/decade warming in 1990 if we didn’t drastically curtail CO2 emission. 22 years later with no curtailment the satellite record shows less than 0.15C warming per decade. That little warming was only projected if annual CO2 emissions were more than halved from 1990 level.

      The proverbial jury is in and the warmists were wrong. CO2 emission has a beneficial effect in that it fertilizes the atmosphere for the primary producers in the food chain, reduces the amount of fresh water they need per unit of production, and makes for milder winters in higher latitudes that benefit from milder winters and longer crop cycles.

      The lukewarmists were partially correct but the castastrophists were more than wrong because what they thought would cause great harm has actually done a great good. I was exactly right, as usual, as this modest warming and significant greening is exactly what I predicted beginning in 2005 when it became apparent to me that rapid warming had ceased with the expiration of the warm side of the Atlantic Multi Decadal Oscillation.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      “Successive surveys by the Brooking Institution have found that people’s views on climate change are based more on experience than science. ”

      _____
      Precisely. And climate is experienced by people as their localized weather. There is a visceral response when you experience something that is out of the ordinary and extreme. If enough people experience enough abnormal weather frequently enough, then that will do a thousand times more convincing than scientists could ever do. Climate change will be both obvious and experienced in the lives of people all over the world and that will be all the proof they need. Action will be demanded at that point by the majority– party lines will be crossed. The major problem of course becomes one of momentum in the climate. Some would argue, and I tend to agree, that once this kind of climate change is being experienced on a regular basis, then we’ve passed some significant bifurcation point in the climate, and it is indeed worse than we thought (but not worse than Trenberth, Hansen, Mann, et. al. thought).

      • Latimer Alder

        H’mmm

        its a very difficult sell to persuade people who are abnormally freezing their nuts off that the underlying cause is ‘global warming driven by CO2′ and ‘the answer’ is to cool things down even more.

        A nice lady from the Met Office tried that last year and was laughed out of town.

        People aren’t that stupid, however much you might like to think they are.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        In January of 2012 and also January of 2009 a bitterly cold wave swept over Europe, causing deaths and misery. Just a few days prior to both these events, a vertically directed Rossby wave (wave 1) at the tropopause split the the Arctic polar vortex and caused a sudden stratospheric warming event (SSW). This SSW events are the direct cause and precursors to the bitterly cold waves that hit Europe. How odd, don’t you think, that sudden warming of the stratosphere over the Arctic, with that warm air punching up from the troposphere into the stratosphere could cause cooling back down in the troposphere at mid-latitudes? Actually not so odd, as these kinds of SSW events have been shown to increase in frequency in global climate models and have in fact been increasing in frequency when accounting for the effects of increasing greenhouse gases in the troposphere.

      • Yeah.

        With or without the “effects of increasing greenhouse gases in the troposphere”, the extreme cold waves of 2009 and 2012 were a bit of a nuisance here in Switzerland, as well..

        Not that we haven’t had this sort of thing in the past, before there were any “effects of increasing greenhouse gases in the troposphere”, mind you.

        As the headline states, “just the facts, ma’am…”

        Max

      • R Gates

        I’m reading Hubert Lambs 2 volume book ‘Climate present, past and future’ at this very moment. Its full of Rossby waves and the sort of things you talk about. Theyve been going on for years. Whats odd about them?
        tonyb

      • Latimer Alder

        I invite you to join me in the saloon bar of the Dog and Duck and try to convince the widely-experienced and extremely savvy regular early evening drinkers therein that carbon dioxide has produced global warming which has in turn led to a ‘bitterly cold wave’.

        Your first task will be to explain how warming leads to cooling. Then you will need to persuade them that unvalidated models produce anything useful at all. After that it’ll be open season.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Tony,

        Excellent book to be reading as a general historical reference, but do keep in mind when HH Lamb wrote it. They really had no idea about the dynamics of sudden stratospheric warming events back then. How amazing he probably would have found the relationship between these vertically directed Rossby waves and the splitting of the Arctic vortex, especially when you can actually relate that to the sudden and intense outbreak of cold in Europe.

        Like so many “extreme” weather events that are being related to AGW, it is the not the existence of new events that is the telling sign, for certainly all of these types of events have occurred before in the Holocene, but rather it is the intensity and frequency of the extreme event that matters. In particular, the SSW events and splitting of the Arctic vortex, as I discussed on another thread is increasing in frequency, and from a Rossby wave dynamic, the vertical motion of wave 1 at the tropopause, forced by upward and northward motions of warm air from the troposphere into the stratosphere seems to be key here. Just prior to the SSW of January 2009, there was a “pineapple express” over the Pacific, associated of course with the MJO, and in addition to bringing lots of rain to the West coast of the U.S. it brought lots of subtropical heat northward and upward, and may have been involved in the SSW event as it may have been a trigger to the vertical motion in the Rossby wave How amazing to think that the MJO Pineapple Express/SSW/Spiltting of the Arctic Vortex/Massive Cold Outbreak in Europe in January 2009 could all be related…

      • RG,

        Let’s not lose track of the fact that for the vast majority of us, what is perceived as unusual or extreme is bounded by our short term memories.

        Most people do not head for the record books when a heat or cold wave moves through. They simply remember back the last year or two and if it “seems” hotter or colder, they chaulk it up as unusual.

    • but among those best able to understand it it tends to increase scepticism.

      If you’re referring to the Kahan study, what they found is that the relationship that you speak of is much weaker than the correlation between underlying ideology and the use of additional information to confirm one’s biases. What I always find interesting is when people selectively leave out the stronger correlation they found to point to the weaker correlation.

      • Not just the Kahan study but also the Brookings study. I used phrase ;tends to’ to indicate that the relationship was not a strong one.

  20. Latimer Alder

    Its simple.

    Once they stop behaving like scientists and start behaving like politicians, the general public move from generally trusting them to generally mistrusting them.

    And Climategate showed that they crossed the line a very long time ago.

    • andrew adams

      You have evidence that the public generally mistrusts climate scientists?

      • Latimer Alder

        @andrew adams

        ‘You have evidence that the public generally mistrusts climate scientists?’

        There wouldn’t be much need for this discussion otherwise.

      • andrew adams

        Latimer,

        I disagree – my long experience of arguing on the internet tells me that there are often very passionate and forthright discussions on issues which are of little interest to the wider public.

      • Latimer Alder

        @andrew adams

        I think that you make my point for me, The general public- at least in my acquaintance – treats the latest climatological outpourings with a very healthy dose of cynicism.

        The Met Office with their string of daft pronouncements like last year’s cold winter being a definite consequence of global warming and the barbecue summer that never was have made themselves a laughing stock once more. We just do not take what they say seriously, so do not bother to investigate the details. When your target audience laughs at you rather than listens in awed reverence you have got a serious problem.

        Another immature pointy head with a beard and glasses popping up on the telly to screech at us that we’re all doomed because we need to drive to work – or whatever today’s doomsday message might be – isn’t going to change that anytime soon.

        The nearest I know of a popular movement who believed all the hype was the Transition Towns…and even they are now reduced to sewing classes and soft fruit cultivation -.worthy and delightful pastimes no doubt – a sort of green WI, but not real earth shattering stuff.

      • andrew adams

        Latimer,

        Again you are conflating your own views with those of the wider public. I don’t pretend that my views are representative either, I don’t think most of the public feel as strongly on the issue as I do, but the impression I get is that there is a general acceptance amongst the public that, at least in the UK, there is a problem and that action needs to be taken and, going back to my original point, I don’t see any evidence of widespread mistrust of scientists.
        To pick up on your point about the Met Office, I’m not aware that they said that recent cold winters were a “definite” consequence of global warming, but that it was a possibility. You say this makes them a laughing stock, but there is an increasing amount of research which suggests that this could well be the case due to changes in ocean circulation caused by arctic ice melt, including a paper co-authored by our hostess. So who are the fools, those who take this research seriously or those who dismiss it out of hand?

      • andrew adams

        Sorry, my first paragraph is muddled. It should read “the impression I get is that there is a general acceptance amongst the public, at least in the UK, that there is a problem”.
        Also, I note that you qualified your first sentence by saying “at least in my acquaintance”.

      • Andrew– Yes many people feel compelled to “take action”, but the problem is imo; that many of the actions are mostly show and will have very little to no impact on the feared problem

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        I agree 100%. See my reply to A Lacis in regard to this here:

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/12/just-the-facts-please/#comment-218504

        We who frequent these blogs are Climate Freaks. But the general bloke down at Starbucks may not currently care that much about climate change yet, and generally won’t until it manifests itself repeatedly in their everyday life. As “once in a century” events begin to happen every few years, the outcry from the public to do something about it will be deafening. If and when this happens, the attacks on people like Hansen and Mann will quietly just evaporate, much like the moisture from a dry Indiana field.

      • Latimer Alder

        @R Gates

        ‘As “once in a century” events begin to happen every few years, the outcry from the public to do something about it will be deafening’

        The problem with this rather forlorn hope is that – even if such things were to happen – you still need two prereqs.

        1. You will need to persuade the public that ‘once in a century’ events are overall ‘bad’ things rather than overall ‘good’ things.

        and

        2. That the costs and difficulties of ‘taking action’ are dwarfed by the benefits of so doing.

        Neither of these are anywhere near proven cases. And the more that the more strident warmists shriek about it, the more the public wonder if either of them are true.

        So I fear you will be waiting a very very long time.

      • andrew adams

        Latimer,

        We have seen a great many reports of extreme weather events in the last couple of years. How many of them could plausibly be said to be “good” things for the people involved?
        And people are likely to be much easier persuaded of the benefits of taking action (and the costs of not doing so) when they can see the effects of such events on people’s lives on their TV screens.
        Or indeed when they are experiencing it, as many people here in the UK and in the US have been recently. (By the way, I not making any particular claim here about the cause of such events).

      • Andrew,

        RE us seeing far more reports of extreme weather –

        have you considered that

        a) reporting the weather has always been a staple of the news

        and

        b) unlike when I was growing up, we now have a bazillion news channels and other outlets all needing to be fed 24/7.

        As an example recall back just to last year and Hurricane Irene. How much coverage did that “extreme” event get? Then ask yourself how often the media has reported on the extremely low number of tropical storm / hurricanes to have made landfall in the US since Katrina, another “extreme” event we still have to hear about today.

      • andrew adams

        You have evidence that the public generally mistrusts climate scientists?

        Yes. A survey in the USA showed that close to 70% of the respondents were of the opinion that climate scientists fudged the data.

        http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/environment_energy/69_say_it_s_likely_scientists_have_falsified_global_warming_research

        Max

      • andrew adams

        Max,

        Fair enough, but then the US is a bit of an outlier where public views on climate change is concerned, although an important one. In the UK, where Latimer and I live, I think the public attitude is different.

      • Could be due to all of the intelligent Englishmen having the smarts to relocate to the US (Canada or Australia).

      • Andrew,

        While the majority of people I know don’t give climate change much thought, when it is brought up I’ve observed far more doubt than belief.

        Doubt appears to be strongest among those having at least a 4 year degree in a science or engineering field.

  21. andrew adams

    When the National Weather Service puts out a tornado warning, it stops there. Unlike EPA, it has no regulatory power. The next sentence on the advisory isn’t “and residents in the tornado’s path will be fined $500 for every fifteen minutes they remain outside their basements or their tornado shelters.” Quite the opposite. When we hear the warning, you and I can seek shelter in a safe room or underground…but we’re equally free to run out the front door with the videocam.

    That’s just plain dumb. The EPA doesn’t have any power to regulate how we react to global warming, it only has power to regulate certain actions which contribute to it. Tornadoes do not occur as a result of human activity so the analogy fails.

    • Did you seriously read that post that way? I took the point to be that the national weather service could tell us bad weather was on the way but couldn’t insist on our taking particular actions.

      In other words scientists can tell us the world is going to warm catastrophically but can’t tell us the solutions. It’s up to society to weigh the risks and if it feels actions should be taken to call in the engineer, social and technical, to come up with a mitigation action plan acceptable to society.

      In other words scientists should stick to their expertise, just like the weathermen stick to theirs. Don’t see where the EPA came into it at all

      • andrew adams

        geronimo,

        It was the OP, not me, who brought the EPA into it. On the wider point, I think that scientists can certainly inform policy decisions – the most obvious example being to tell us that in order to avoid AGW from ocurring we need policies which will reduce GHG emissions, which in terms of “advocacy” is as far as a lot of scientists publically go. I agree that the specific policies we need to adopt in order to achieve this are out of their area of expertise – there is no particular reason why James Hansen’s views on carbon taxes or nuclear power should be more valid than yours or mine, although I have no objection to his airing them.

      • Andrew, slightly disagree, they have to tell us that in their opinion if we continue to burn fossil fuels A, B or C scenarios will unfold. They then need to explain how they got to this conclusion and tell us the uncertainties. Then they can bugger off and let the people decide for themselves if action is required and what action should be taken. They are, of course, entitled as private citizens to suggest solutions but it is clear that they bring no more expertise to the solutions than a check out person at a supermarket, it’s not their expertise.

        We are wasting $billions world wide chasing unworkable solutions in wind, solar and CCS, the darlings of he engineering-skill-bereft environmental NGOs who used these scientists as the so called experts to push daft solutions. We have two solutions readily to hand, nuclear and shale oil, both are opposed by the environmentalists. I can understand the fears about nuclear, but not shale oil and I’m left to draw the conclusion that the environmentalists don’t want a solution, this chaos suits them just fine. It will lead to the lights going out in the west, which by some strange historical twist had become simultaneously the major benefactor and the major target for destruction of the environmental movement. Just shows how daft they are I suppose.

      • Climate scientists should stick to what little bit they know to date about our planet’s climate and what makes it behave as it does.

        They should also admit what they do NOT know (a very much greater body of knowledge, when it comes to our climate).

        They should NOT be involved in making any suggestions regarding human CO2 emissions (a topic in which they have NO expertise).

        Remember, “just the facts, ma’am…” is the motto here.

        Max

      • andrew adams

        Geronimo,

        Sorry for the late reply. Your first paragraph is not too much different to what I said. I do think it’s perfectly reasonable that if their A, B, and C scenarios (or some of them) indicate that the lives of millions of people would be adversely affected they are entitled to make a judgement that this is a bad thing – I think that the shared values that we have should make this a fairly uncontroversial statement. They should also be free to say that if we want to avoid this threat we need to reduce emissions – that is certainly within their scientific competence. Of course we are free to take their advice or not.
        I said myself previously that they are not any more qualified than the rest of us to pronounce on particular policy solutions, but then how many of them actually do that? With the obvious exception of Hansen I’m not aware of the views of any prominent climate scientists of policy questions. What does Trenberth think of nuclear power? I haven’t a clue. What are Gavin Schmidt’s views on carbon taxes? No idea.
        You may think the views of environmentalists on policy solutions are wrong, but then most scientists aren’t environmentalists, nor I think are most of us who advocate action on AGW. I would guess many of us have sympathies in that direction but very few are actually active participants in the green movement.

    • Andrew,

      A couple points I’d like to nit pick on.

      The EPA doesn’t have the power to regulate how we react – only true in the broadest sense of they don’t have the power to regulate every possible means of how we react. They are regulating highly significant sectors that impact most Americans directly, where most of us consider most importantly, our wallet.

      Tornadoes do not occur as a rsult of human activity – you think that and I think that (until evidence shows otherwise), but the message we are getting is that climate change causes these “extreme” weather events.

  22. There is a lot of introspection about communications going on in the climate science community at the moments. For my part I’m failing to understand what I don’t understand about their message, it’s coming over loud and clear.
    “Stop CO2 emissions, and quickly.”
    Am I wrong?
    The problem is, to me at least, fourfold:
    1. They clearly don’t give a damn what damage is done to our western industrial society, or the poorer peoples of the world by the instant implementation of such policies. Shame on them.
    2. Even in the complete absence of dissenting voices they can’t reach agreement. Copenhagen, Cancun, Rio anyone? No deniers there, yet no agreement. Yet they make believe it’s evil, well organised, well funded deniers spreading misinformation that’s stopping progress. They’ve had three successive jamborees with like minded people and failed to reach and agreement because of the deniers? Fanasy land.
    3. There theories are being used by environmental NGOs to foist lifestyle choices on people that they would never be able to do through the ballot box. So, wittingly or not, the outpouring of these activists scientists are threatening the most precious gift we’ve got, democracy. Shame on them.
    4. None of the predictions have come true and they’re left with telling the public that the current heatwave in parts of the US isn’t AGW caused but it’s going to be like that in the future if we persist in burning CO2. The public look at them and say, “Yeah right.”
    5. None of them, I repeat none of them, give a damn about their own carbon footprints. Maybe that’s what’s distorting their message to the public don’t you think?

    • Correct. Very few seem to be interested in the damage the policies they advocate will do. This is demonstrated on Judith Curry’s web sit too, where only a tiny proportion of commenters have shown any interest in the cost of their proposed mitigation policies compared with the [possible/projected] damages avoided.

  23. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    It is instructive to tie this Climate Etc. essay to historical patterns of usage of the words “denialist” and “denialism”.

    In this regard Google’s Ngram viewer is our friend. It shows us that until the year 1995 (roughly), usage of these terms was nearly non-existant.

    What happened in the mid 1990s to raise consciousness of denial? That’s easy: books like Peter Duesberg and John Yiamouyiannis’ AIDS: the Good News Is That HIV Doesn’t Cause It. The Bad News Is That Recreational Drugs and Medical Treatments Like AZT Do.

    The case history of Duesberg and Yiamouyiannis’ (and others) denialist views regarding HIV holds many lessons for climate science. In the early years of the epidemic, then-skepticism about HIV as the viral cause of immune deficiency was rational. As the science implicating HIV became stronger-and-stronger, most scientists relaxed their skepticism. But a few (like Duesberg and Yiamouyiannis) never did.

    For mixed reasons, in which ideology and personality played a substantial role, their rational skepticism hardened into irational denialism.

    Is rational climate change skepticism dissipating for most scientists, but ossifying into irrational denialism for a few? Yes, absolutely.

    Is “denialism” the correct word to describe irrational skepticism? Yes, absolutely.

    Do the sobering reality of a HIV epidemic, and the sobering reality of climate, both challenge our political, moral, and economic institutions? Yes, absolutely.

    Do scientists and physicians nonetheless have a duty to speak loudly and unequivacably, in stating that the HIV virus *is* pathogenic, and anthropogenic CO2 emissions *do* cause global warming? Yes, absolutely.

    And despite the strength of the science, has it happened that climate-change denialists (like HIV denialists and tobacco-harm denialists before them) abuse and deny and smear and deny and threaten and deny and obfuscate and deny and litigate and deny? Yes, absolutely.

    • Duesberg and other dissidents (there are many) have a duty to speak their mind. Dogma is destructive for everybody at the end. Skepticism is healthy.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Yes, Edim. It’s not complicated, eh?

        • Edim’s (and mine too) appreciation of skepticism is healthy.
        • Duesberg’s AIDS thesis is just plain wrong (scientifically).

      • dogma is not scientific, skepticism is scientific. even if wrong.

    • Fan

      “Denial” and “denialist” are silly words to use in context with our planet’s climate.

      The comparison of rational skeptics of the CAGW premise with those suggesting that HIV and AIDS are unrelated, with those stating that smoking does not harm your health or with “flat-Earthers” is also silly.

      If it makes you feel better to do so, too bad for you, because it does make you look silly.

      Max

  24. Just the facts please . . . and, for more emphasis to re-quote Bill Hooke, . . . Just the facts, ma’am.

    My sentiments exactly.
    That has been my approach to discussing the climate change question all along.

    One small problem though. If, nevertheless, for whatever reason, the individual in question does not have a fully clear understand of what a ‘fact’ is, how then would he ever be able to distinguish between ‘facts’ and ‘non-facts’ ?

    I have been trying to make the point here that climate change is a physics problem – a problem that can be understood in its basics. I argued that, (1) there is no real uncertainty identifying atmospheric CO2 as the principal control knob that governs the strength of the greenhouse effect; that (2) there is no real uncertainty identifying atmospheric water vapor and clouds as the temperature dependent feedback effects governed by the Clausius-Clapeyron relation; and that (3) there is no real uncertainty identifying atmospheric CO2 as the principal cause for the ongoing global warming.

    Climate scientists who understand the relevant physics, will tend to agree with my assessment. Individuals who don’t have a very clear understanding of the relevant physics will not be able to tell what in the above paragraph would be considered as established ‘fact’, and what, if anything, should be characterized as ‘uncertain’.

    I am under no illusion that a great many people here would not be persuaded by the above points that I have cited. If people don’t happen to have a clear understanding of how the atmospheric greenhouse effect works, I don’t see that they are likely to ever understand the nature of the global warming problem.

    Why is it that this climate problem has everybody so up in arms? Why is it that climate scientists are “disturbing the peace” by getting themselves involved in the business of advocating policy to counteract global warming? Shouldn’t they be minding their own business by sticking to their science of climate modeling (which then nobody would care about)?

    The problem is that climate scientists take their social responsibility seriously. Based on their climate research results, they see the global climate heading over the cliff, and they have a social responsibility to warn the public what is happening with our climate. Not to do so, would be totally irresponsible. Astronomers, if they should spot a space rock on collision course with Earth, would be certain to report the news.

    The climate science message that the global warming trend needs to be reversed if we are to retain our current climate has not gone unnoticed by the fossil fuel industries. If atmospheric CO2 were to be curtailed to counteract global warming, they see their profitable fossil fuel business as being negatively impacted. And, like the tobacco industry before them, the fossil fuel interests are resorting to dirty pool tactics to confuse, misinform, and bamboozle the public into thinking that there really is no global warming problem.

    Not only actively advocating for a sensible climate management policy, climate scientists have also been drawn into the political debate, not so much by their own choice, but having the need to respond to the many irresponsible political attacks, such as those by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX), and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), who has proclaimed that climate science is the greatest hoax ever. These are some examples of the clueless idiots who have no understanding of their own as to what global warming is all about, but who will blindly advocate the bidding of whoever has bought and paid for their soul.

    And, there you have it – climate science has surely become a sort of free-for-all where everybody has decided to step in to have their say.

    Sure enough. It’s just the facts, ma’am. And if it comes to pass that you can now tell fact from non-fact, differentiate between the ‘real climate science’ and the ‘leftist commie conspiracy’, and opt for understanding the greenhouse effect instead of worrying about the Casimir effect, you will then have a good clear understanding of what global warming is about, what climate policy recommendations will make the most sense, and how rapidly and by whom they will need to be implemented.

    • “(1) there is no real uncertainty identifying atmospheric CO2 as the principal control knob that governs the strength of the greenhouse effect”

      If global CO2 were rise by 10%, what would be the result?
      If CO2 were to lower by 40 ppm from current level [assume such drop occurs within 1 year time ] what would be the result?

      “(3) there is no real uncertainty identifying atmospheric CO2 as the principal cause for the ongoing global warming.”

      Global glaciers starting receding around 1850. What caused this?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Excellent post by A Lacis.

      Further case histories along these lines can be found in Ted Goertzel’s recent review Conspiracy theories in science.

      Does climate-change science challenge our economic, political, and moral beliefs? Yes, absolutely.

      Should we none-the-less persist in strengthening climate-change science? Yes, absolutely.

      Will responses sometimes include hardening of denialism and deepening of conspiracy theories? Yes, absolutely!   :)   :)   :)

    • A. Lacis

      Just the facts, ma’am…”

      You seem to believe that the general public is not educated enough to understand “the facts”.

      You are dead wrong.

      Trying to fog up the issue by blaming “clueless idiots” who invoke a “leftist commie conspiracy” is missing the point, Andy.

      The general public is much more intelligent than you give it credit, and it can tell when it is being “bamboozled”.

      So my advice to you: stick to your science and stop trying to bamboozle the public with future disaster scenarios; it’s not working.

      Max

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD


        The general public is much more intelligent than you give it credit, and it can tell when it is being “bamboozled”.

        Say – Did anyone ever find those weapons of mass distraction in Iraq?

      • Did anyone ever find those weapons of mass distraction in Iraq?

        Nope. And the general public found out it had been bamboozled.

        Just like this time around (deja vu all over again…)

        Max

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD

        Yup – and all those clever but bamboozled folks found out about two years into Shrub’s second term – in time for the realiztion to make no difference whatsoever.

        If people are only that clever about climate change, we (or more correctly, our offspring) are in for a world of hurt.

      • Saddam had the will and the way to WMD, and now he doesn’t. Now who has the will and way to WMD, and who is there to do anything about it?
        ===============

      • The true climate “skeptic” would choose to adapt to WMD after calculating that the financial cost of a mitigating war was far greater than the cost in death and destruction to property from a few WMD strikes over a century.

        After-all think of how the money could be better spent on solving world poverty…

      • If only they had listened to the skeptics regarding WMDs? The rewriting of history is rather boring for those of us who remember it. Clinton actually did send all those cruise missles into Iraq because he was informed they were working on WMDs. Kerry was on the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee and he thought they had WMDs. Hillary was married to the president who had left office not so long ago and she thought they had WMDs. Perhaps she may have asked the former president what he thought? I remember very few people saying they didn’t and a lot of people convinced they did. So the skeptics were right? Or did he ship the chemical weapons to Syria? I don’t know. What I do know is this is about the worst anti-skeptic analogy anyone could possibly concoct.

    • A Lacis

      The warming is just recovery from the Little Ice age => http://bit.ly/Aei4Nd

    • “When the National Weather Service puts out a tornado warning, it stops there. Unlike EPA, it has no regulatory power. The next sentence on the advisory isn’t “and residents in the tornado’s path will be fined $500 for every fifteen minutes they remain outside their basements or their tornado shelters.” Quite the opposite. ….
      Just the facts? Feels liberating.

      JC comment: Bill Hooke nails it.”

      This is exactly the wrong analogy.

      It’s more like telling a young person engrossed in updating their FB status and addicted to their smart phone, that they need to get out and get regular exercise, because if they don’t they will face a greater risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

      Presented with these powerful facts, 99.9% of younger persons will continue to sit and twitter……

      Bill Hooke fails it.

      Grossly flawed analogy, grossly flawed conclusion.

      • In Michael’s world it seems that it is better to have someone publish skewed data that promotes their opinion vs the actual facts that are known?

      • No,

        It’s just a very simplistic and very wrong take on the issue.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      A Lacis said:

      “Why is it that this climate problem has everybody so up in arms? Why is it that climate scientists are “disturbing the peace” by getting themselves involved in the business of advocating policy to counteract global warming? Shouldn’t they be minding their own business by sticking to their science of climate modeling (which then nobody would care about)?

      The problem is that climate scientists take their social responsibility seriously.”

      _____
      First, “everybody” is not up in arms about the climate “problem”. We on this blog, and other climate blogs are a bit of an aberration. We are either scientists with a professional interest and knowledge of the subject, advanced non-professionals who’ve studied the subject for many years, or lastly, some have political or ideological interests. Regardless of why we are here, we hardly represent the average person on the street of any city in the world. We are, for lack of a better phrase, Climate Freaks. And most of us, including myself are proudly so.

      Secondly, my observation is that those (actually a very small group of people from overall population) who are “up in arms” about the climate problem have multiple reasons for being so. Some have ideological reasons or political reasons (i.e. they are Libertarian and think that this is yet one more way the government wants to increase control and tax us all etc.) Some may have actually researched the data themselves and are actually convinced that there’s not enough proof that anything catastrophic is going to happen from whatever “minor” effect that the 40% increase in CO2 will have on the climate. Whatever their reasons for being “up in arms”, because of the times we live in with mass communication and the internet, those who complain the loudest, or have the widest blog following etc., regardless of their overall numbers, get magnified in their effect by mass communication.

      If you walk into the average Starbucks filled with 100 customers, maybe you and one or two other people in there really pays any attention the topic of climate change. It’s just not that important to most of them in their everyday life…yet. Now, if summers like this one become more frequent, or other “inconvenient truths” related to weather and climate change begin to impose themselves into the lives of the everyday person at Starbucks, you can rest assured that 100 out of 100 will begin to pay attention.

      But for right now, we Climate Freaks think the average person pays much attention to the issue of climate change…and the truth is, they really don’t…yet.

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD


        Some may have actually researched the data themselves and are actually convinced that there’s not enough proof that anything catastrophic is going to happen from whatever “minor” effect that the 40% increase in CO2 will have on the climate.

        Some may have actually researched the data themselves.

        Some are convinced that there is not enough “proof” that a 40% increase in CO2 will have “minor” climate effects.

        These two sets of people are almost completely disjoint.

        Scientists versus bloggers. Can you tell the difference?

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        I try to take the high road and not assume that just because I’ve researched the data myself for many decades and am a “warmist” that others might not honestly have come to a different conclusion. The assumption here is that two honest skeptics can see the same data and reach opposite conclusions. The underlying experience we bring to the table can make us honestly interpret data much differently. I thus make a big distinction between deniers and honest skeptics, just as I make a big distinction between honest skeptics and those who won’t allow for even the possibility that they could be wrong about some aspects of AGW.

        As far as scientists versus bloggers, these are not logically separate groups. One can be both, as Judith aptly displays.

        Blogging is a social media tool. Scientists, like most all humans, are social animals. Judith often pisses off both sides of the issue, so I figure she’s doing something right.

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD


        The assumption here is that two honest skeptics can see the same data and reach opposite conclusions.

        Exactly.
        We can always politely and skeptically agree to disagree.

        The Earth is flat – and the Earth is round.
        The Earth orbits the Sun – and the Sun orbits the Earth.

        This is usually called the “meh, whatever” school of scientific epistemology.

      • David Wojick

        Gates: How exactly do you make this (1) “big distinction between deniers and honest skeptics”? And then also, how do you make the (2) “big distinction between honest skeptics and those who won’t allow for even the possibility that they could be wrong about some aspects of AGW”? Are these two different big distinctions?

        You apparently have your own psycho epistemology going. As an epistemologist I would love to hear about it. What tests do you use to make these big distinctions? Can I take one? Have you published them?

      • “The assumption here is that two honest skeptics can see the same data and reach opposite conclusions.”

        It’s not as though non skeptics don’t do the same thing. Having 6 projection of future warming isn’t agreement.
        But anyhow can we test the idea? I would say two honest skeptics would different ideas about what is important about the same data, rather than reach opposite conclusions.

      • R. Gates

        Nice that you like to “take the high road”.

        So do I.

        As a matter of fact, I’ve observed that most of the denizens here do (a few trolls excepted).

        Yet their viewpoints on CAGW vary greatly.

        Judith does an excellent job of bringing good posts, which help all her denizens see a broader picture (provided they are open to new ideas).

        The important thing is that there is no single CORRECT answer to what has made our planet’s climate behave as it has, much less to what it is going to do over the next 20, 50 or 100 years. Anyone who thinks he can predict our climate in year 2100 is truly living in “fantasy-land”.

        Max

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        David W.,

        True believers and true-nonbelievers (i.e. those 100% certain AGW is happening and those 100% certain it is not) are simply polar opposites, but of the same psychological type and neither are honest skeptics. If someone states they are 100% certain of something, then by definition, they are no longer skeptical about it, and are no longer looking for data that might refute that belief, but are now living on the faith in their conviction of certainty.

        Skeptics, such as myself, look at the data, may or may not believe there is enough evidence to take a position, but any time a position is ever taken then it is only always accepted as provisionally true, never absolutely 100% certain. Finally, the mark of an honest skeptic is to focus on looking at any data that might refute anything they accept as provisionally true. The struggle against falling into the confirmation bias trap must be ongoing. In looking for data that refutes your hypothesis, you’ll have the greatest chance at being forced to abandon or modify that hypothesis, and that is how science progresses.

        _______

        manacker,

        Climate is the sum of all forcings affecting a planet. Tell me what the sum of all forcings will be affecting the planet 100 years from now, and I’ll tell you what the climate will likely be like. It is not a random walk. If you told me that we were going to have one volcano a year go off for the next 100 years the size of the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora…well, I’d tell you that it was going to be pretty darn cold 100 years from now as the sum of all forcings would lead to a very cold climate far in excess of anything humans would be doing. Indeed, after a decade of a Mount Tambora going off every year, civilization would be dramatically scaled down, CO2 would be declining, the oceans would be cooling, and we’d probably be heading for another Ice House earth.

    • Steven Mosher

      Nicely put Andy, except
      “(3) there is no real uncertainty identifying atmospheric CO2 as the principal cause for the ongoing global warming.”

      I think Ar4 says something different, but perhaps your definition of real uncertainty and their definition are in conflict.

      one thing is more certain than all of climate science. If you accept a limit of 450ppm, and if you accept that you must do your fair share to stay below 450, the math is simple: you’ve got less than 6 years of emitting carbon the way you currently are before you eat up your share of the remaining 60ppm we can put into the atmosphere. I take it you are prepared to go to zero emissions. You personally. Realistically, if you want to tell people what they should do, you ought to be doing it yourself first.

      If you are personally not prepared to go to zero, then people are not going to take you seriously. You might not like that, but their are many inconvient truths

      • You have so many good comments it is sometimes hard to pick the best. In this case, not so much. You have just summarized a big part of the debate using a level of math most grade school children could handle and driven the point home with the most simple of truths.

        If the people telling us we need to change our lifestyle drastically are not williing to lead by example, why should we pay attention to them.

    • David Wojick

      Andy, your post exemplifies why your cause is going nowhere. You think the democratic decision making system is staffed by idiots, just because they are not scientists. But you know nothing about making laws or running a country. Senators are very bright people, the top of their field. They know how to get expert advice when confronted by technical issues. In fact I helped train Inhofe’s staff on climate change, many years ago. They do not believe you because I do not believe you. Get it? It is not that you are smart and they are stupid. There are experts on both sides. Your stupidity is not seeing this obvious fact. You do not speak for science, you just have an opinion, like the rest of us. This is what democracy is all about.

      • David,
        You are correct in surmising that I know nothing about making laws or running a country. Never tried it. However, in observing the less than stellar performance of this past Congressional session, I am severely tempted to imagine that the bigger half of Congress may well be staffed by idiots.

        If in fact it was you who helped to train Senator Inhofe’s staff on climate change, then that might explain why the good Senator is so utterly confused about climate and global warming.

        I have not seen you exhibit any basic understanding of climate or climate change. What exactly was it that you were trying to teach Senator Inhofe about climate?

        Remember, it’s physics that makes climate change happen. You are not going to get far with statistics as your only guide to information.

      • Steven Mosher

        Well that explains why inhofe says some of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard about climate science. And ya, I’m a conservative.

      • Mosh

        Personally I’m shocked by the poor quality of most of the US politicians. Not that I’m claiming that our Mp’s have got a grain of sense between them, but it is disappointing that the leader of the Free world elects the people they do-current President included.
        tonyb

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Tony,

        I don’t know how it is on that side of the pond but over here it’s not the best and brightest that get elected but those ego can raise the most money and are therefore most willing to do the bidding of their corporate masters. Now that our Supreme court has ruled that corporations are people (my friends) the corporations can legally do what they’ve done behind the scenes for years. Our Plutocracy is complete.

      • R Gates

        Over here the money is important but your political affiliation probably much more so. We tend to fall into three political groupings, of which two have been predominant for a century with the third currently and unusually being in coaltion with one of the first.

        Depending on the political tide at the time a govt wll therfore be elected from that first group. Money is important to facilitate the infrastructure of the parties but generally I wouldn’t say that the corporations play a key role-indeed their influence would probably be seen as negative. Unions have playes a bigger role in the past but not presently

        This political affiliation however means that often the politicians have no real world experience and when you mix lack of this experience with political dogma AND that they aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer we can see the results.
        Tonyb

      • “Unions have playes a bigger role in the past but not presently”

        You mean since Wisconsin?

        “Labor unions led the failed effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and their defeat in Tuesday’s election was a significant setback to organized labor’s political clout in both symbolic and tangible ways.
        Unions in Wisconsin and across the country devoted vast resources in an attempt to remove Mr. Walker from office, saying the Republican governor’s moves to roll back collective bargaining rights for public employees were an assault on middle-class values and were being bankrolled by a handful of wealthy business owners and corporations.”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/07/us/politics/scott-walkers-win-in-wisconsin-casts-doubts-on-union-power.html

        Unions are why public schools are … hopeless? A crime scene.
        Not good anyhow.
        New Orleans is Hurricane + less union influnce:

        “At McDonogh 35 in New Orleans, for instance, just 18 percent of students scored excellent or good in algebra, compared with 77 percent at Warren Easton. No students at John McDonogh High School hit that mark in algebra, compared with 75 percent of students who did at Dr. Martin Luther King Charter School.

        Those gaps underscore in particular why the Recovery District is still trying to lure additional charter operators to take over its remaining traditional schools. Charters, run independently by nonprofit groups that receive public funding, have typically put up better test scores in New Orleans. ”

        http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2012/07/test_scores_rise_for_louisiana.html

        And the charter schools cost less.

      • Gbaikie

        We were talking of the British Unions who have been much tamed since Mrs Thatcher.I have no knowledge of the US situation or how much role the unions have in the political process there

        tonyb

      • Inhofe seems better informed than other politicians.

        Perhaps Mosher or someone could provide example of any Representative or Senator better informed.
        I don’t even know any which have said more than sound bite on the topic.

    • Andy

      You say this is a physics matter. If it were solely that we wouldn’t have so much effort being put into trying to persuade us that the current era Is warmer than any previous era. The physics stands or falls on it creating unprecedented warming but history doesn’t cooperate so we must assume that the physics is not as clear cut as is often stated
      Tonyb

      • David Wojick

        Indeed, observation corrects theory. That is the scientific method.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Corrects, confirms, or refutes.

      • R Gates

        Indeed, surely that is the scientific method. That we have to rely on models so much and need to minimise the past suggests to me the physics is on uncertain ground.
        tonyb

      • I absolutely do not agree the physics stands or falls on proving unprecedented warming. If the warming to 2010 is less than unprecedented, that would be mildly interesting. The physics would still be standing.

      • Steven Mosher

        No the physics does not stand or fall on unprecedented warming tony. It simply doesnt. It is quite possible for GHGs to increase and for sun blocking aerosols to increase. That would not make the physics of GHGs wrong. The planet might cool if the negative forcing from aerosols outweighed the positive forcing from GHGs. unprecedented warming or cooling tells you nothing, next to nothing, about the physical theory. You have to combine information about the temperature WITH information about the forcings. Guess what? If GHGs increase and temperature decreases, that tells you one thing. It tells you that thre were more negative forcings than your thought. It doesnt tell you that GHGs wont warm the planet ( all other things being equal). The focus on unprecedeneted temps was a bad argument when Gore pedalled it. it still is.

      • Mosh

        Your last sentence nailed my meaning.

        It is that I respect people who argue on the physics that claim that (say) since 1976 we have had an increasing impact on the climate. It greatly confuses the issue to then claim ‘see its warmer today than it ever has been so that proves its our co2′

        Its counter productive and the historical claim is demonstrably untrue and undermines the entire argument
        .
        tonyb

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        The preoccupation with the lower thermal inertia and storage system of the troposphere over the oceans is also a mistake. Even during the last decade when tropospheric temps have been flat, the oceans have continued storing energy. The troposphere is much more susceptible to short term fluctuations brought about by aerosol changes, solar influences, etc., but he oceans higher thermal inertia helps it to resist these short term fluctuations, especially when you measure down to 2000 meters.

      • R Gates

        Here you are speculating, based on very dubious short term figures and much theorising.
        tonyb

      • Well, it wasn’t warmer than the Cretaceous, but there was more CO2 back then, so…

    • John Carpenter

      Andy, the vast majority of people do not know the physics involved. The physics clearly says there will be warming due to increased GHG. Steve Mosher makes some good points about how that is true, but negative forcing governed by physics are also in play to a degree we don’t really know. That is beside my point. You are correct there are business reasons why the fossil fuel industry challenges the science of global warming, no brainer. I really don’t see this as the driver to why there is no change. The simple reason and much more likely is economic. If there were economically viable energy alternatives to fossil fuels, we would have no global warming issue. We would move to the alternatives and reduce CO2 emissions as a side effect. Because there really are no viable, economically competitive alternatives to fossil fuels for the base load of energy needed to sustain modern society, we have no place to go. I say we have no place to go because if the alternative is to shut down current cheap power generation to save the planet, modern society will not be sustained and the vast majority of people who rely on our modern society to get by don’t like what their imaginations conjure of what that might be like.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      A Lacis: I argued that, (1) there is no real uncertainty identifying atmospheric CO2 as the principal control knob that governs the strength of the greenhouse effect; that (2) there is no real uncertainty identifying atmospheric water vapor and clouds as the temperature dependent feedback effects governed by the Clausius-Clapeyron relation; and that (3) there is no real uncertainty identifying atmospheric CO2 as the principal cause for the ongoing global warming.

      Pick a 100 mile by 100 mile “square” on the Earth’s surface, such as a “square” a ways southwest of Midway Island or a “square” of the Amazon Rain Forest. Eventually we shall want a lot of “squares”, but for now 1 will do. Describe the energy flows through the surface of this “square”, and through the atmospheric column above it, all the way up to TOA. Describe how these flows change throughout the night and day and across seasons. Describe the roles of CO2, water vapor, clouds, rain, ice, wind and thermals in transporting energy. After showing us that your mathematical expressions corresponding to the narratives accurately match the measures of the processes, then tell us what the effects of the CO2 increase will be.

      Since you have not told us exactly what fundamental principles you are basing your conclusion on, I shall conjecture (because you cited the Clausius-Clapayron relationship, which is an equilibrium result) that you are mainly dealing with thermodynamic equilibria from a simplified model of the atmosphere, such as presented in “Principles of Planetary Climate” by Raymond T. Pierrehumbert. Since nonlinear dissipative systems with at least 3 dimensions almost never achieve equilbria even with constant input (I cite “Modern Thermodynamics” by Dilip Kondepudi and Ilya Prigogine, especially chapters 15 – 19), please tell us exactly how you know that your basic principles of physics provide an accurate description of anything that happens in the Earth climate system.

      The plain fact is that the science of heat transport in the atmosphere is full of holes.

      Individuals who don’t have a very clear understanding of the relevant physics will not be able to tell what in the above paragraph would be considered as established ‘fact’, and what, if anything, should be characterized as ‘uncertain’.

      The claim that only ignoramuses are AGW skeptics has got to die on its own or be killed. I think that claim is gradually being killed by technical experts of other fields (e.g. statistics, as with McIntyre and McKittrick, McShane and Wyner) who are taking increased interest in the science.

      • The virus has gotten out of the CO2 flask in the lab and into the GCMs, but it’ll never survive in the wild.
        ========================

    • It must be very comforting to have it all figured out. You have my congratulations.

      You’ll just have to be patient with the rest of us idiots who have a few more questions that seemed to be posed by the real world data.

    • Lacis — It must be very comforting to have it all figured out. You have my congratulations.

      You’ll just have to be patient with the rest of us idiots who have a few more questions that seemed to be posed by the real world data.

      • We are cooling, folks; for how long even kim doesn’t know. And Lo, CO2 is rising, greening the earth and sustaining more life. I tell ya, it’s a Gaian Miracle.
        =========

    • Dr Lacis,

      You had me up until – “The problem is that climate scientists take their social responsibility seriously.”

      And you lost the chance to get me back with – “has not gone unnoticed by the fossil fuel industries”

      I have no trouble accepting the physics or the fact it is warming. Where I have a problem is being told that we are headed for the cliff you reference, with no good evidence to support that part of the claim. And without that evidence how am I supposed to distinguish the “social responsibility” of certain climate scientists from that of any advocate of “green” or “environmentalist” (which I know have a very poor track record with regard to science) or lord forbide, from a Malthusian such as Paul Erlich?

      Is it really that difficult to understand that while I would have no problem taking a physics course from you, you will have to forgive me for not taking you at your word on the running over a cliff part of the issue.

  25. “the fossil fuel interests are resorting to dirty pool tactics to confuse, misinform, and bamboozle the public into thinking that there really is no global warming problem.” I don’t see that in Australia, and I would doubt that any sceptics on this site have been influenced by those forces. I often can’t critically assess the science arguments, but, as I’ve said before, whatever the science, I don’t think that the case for drastic emissions reductions being optimal for the well-being of the world’s population has been made. Where’s the catastrophe, what’s the cost of averting it, how do the benefits compare with alternative uses of resources? I think many people have doubts on such questions, and it’s not down to propaganda from fossil fuel interests.

    • Joe's World

      Faustino,

      There is far more going on than just fossil fuels being blamed but current scientists ignore anything outside their own realm.
      Temperature data does NOT look at what is generating any changes. No other area is looked at except the CO2 scare and blame game. Projected opinions on temperature data does not cover the many, many areas that effect temperature.

      • Understood, JW, I’d like Andy Lacis to understand that if everything he says is true, it is still not sufficient basis for acceptance of anti-emissions policies.

      • Faustino,

        Your right. If the science was accurate and had a leg to stand on that could not be disputed would be a different story.
        But to ignore everything not temperature related is suicidal.
        I could get the same results with my stove top and a thermometer with experimentation to show temperature fluctuations with different parameters.

  26. Excellent analysis. Following a period of general acceptance of IPCC as a “gold standard” scientific group on our planet’s climate with much ballyhoo from a very supportive mainstream media, the trend is now away from “believing” in its CAGW message, and psychologists are trying to piece together why this is the case.

    “What if a message involves two different topics, one trustworthy and one not trustworthy?” said Krosnick, a communication and psychology professor at Stanford University. “Can the general public detect crossing that line?”
    His results, not yet published, would seem to say they can.

    “In order to preserve a credible voice in public dialogue,” Krosnick said, “it might be that scientists such as myself need to restrain ourselves as speaking as public citizens.”

    As soon as people get the impression that they are being “sold” something, they get suspicious. And when they detect that “facts” are being distorted to “make the sale”, the trust is lost and they stop believing the sales pitch. It’s that simple. IPCC (plus advocates such as James E. Hansen) have fallen into this trap.

    Trying to salvage the situation by putting the blame on “big oil”, “big coal”, “ultraconservative think tanks”, etc. has only made the public mistrust worse.

    It all goes back to “honest Abe’s” statement on fooling all the people all the time.

    Max

  27. “Using a national survey, Krosnick has found that, among low-income and low-education respondents, climate scientists suffered damage to their trustworthiness and credibility when they veered from describing science into calling viewers to ask the government to halt global warming.”

    I love these sentences from the well educated brainiacs. Clearly laden with subjective opinion breezily stated as if they are common sense weighty findings. A clear indicator of a manipulative source of information for me.

    Yeah I love all these authoratiative studies now realising that scientists acting like screaming ninnies may just be a bit disconcerting to the mouth breathers – it is kind of getting there ;)

    Though I think some Nobel prize winners may think so too ;)

    As usual the bleedin’ obvious has to dressed up as if there has been some insight added. So while sceptics have been tactlessly and bluntly saying for years that the scientists don’t know their “ass from their elbow” when it comes to persuading the public on policy, the scientists – slowly realising this – have to dress it up to make themselves feel good as – “Our gluteous maximus may have significant differences from our synovial hinge joint” ;)

  28. Beth Cooper

    A Lacis..er…’just the facts, ma’am.’
    Hmm… but sometimes the facts get mislaid, devoured by the pesky dog, disappear into cyber space, yer know. So set out yer data, show us yer workings, sack the gatekeepers. Andy, we here down below the shamen up on Mt Olympus are’nt as stupid as they think, they need ter get around more .. interact. Like Socrates.

  29. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Breaking News: The flotilla heads for the North West Passage

    Oh those nutty small-boaters … they actually believe that global warming has accelerated sufficiently, that the NorthWest Passage can now be sailed small sailboats!   :)   :)   :)

    Who knows? Maybe Judith’s quote of Bill Hooke is correct? Who argued we should just “relax”?

    Let’s start getting ready for the coming regatta: Fort Meyers – Miami – Fort Lauderdale!   :)   :)   :)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Oops … Forgot the link!  :)   :)   :)

      Stories like this act to dissolve climate-change denialism by the most effective method … common-sense facts plus good humor!   :)   :)   :)

      • Stories like this reinforce my skepticism. I see one has to be indoctrinated to believe in AGW.

      • 4 boats:
        “The flotilla of yachts which will attempt this year’s North West Passage is heralded to be in for some clement weather as the forecast is for early melting. But there are no guarantees and it’s still one of yachting’s prime adventures. ”

        It’s a sure thing, they are just saying that to add excitement

  30. Ref Hansen and the ‘muppets’

    If you ask anybody who MichAel Mann is, you probably more likely to get the answer – oh the guy that directed ‘Miami Vice’ – or more amusingly the film ‘Heat’ ;-)

    • Joe's World

      Aren’t you the guy from the “Brady Bunch”?
      :-)

    • And ‘The Insider’, a film pitting a scientist against the tobacco industry. Will we see a Michael Mann film about Michael Mann?

  31. ‘Among low income and low education respondents’. Did anyone else notice that little number?
    ============

    • Ah, tlitb1 did @ 5:47AM. In my limited, anecdotal, experience, distrust of the climate science advocates rises with education and wealth.

      So now we’re not deniers, we’re just poor and ignorant. Big improvement.
      ===============

      • Robin @ 12:55AM got it, too. It’s always an error to post in outrage before reading the comment string.
        =============

  32. The major fact that the temperature/time graphs of data from the 20th and 21st centuries show, is that adding CO2 to the atmopshere has no appreciable effect on global temperatures; the total climate sensitivity of CO2 is indistinguishable from zero. The logical conclusion is that the IPCC estimates of climate sensitivity must be radically wrong somewhere. One of these days I will find out just where the error is.

    • Heh, it’s nothing a little money and education can’t help you with.
      ==============

    • Jim,

      Simply studying the planet and NOT temperature data would give them the answers. But to ignore everything except temperature data has put them into a whole new world of idiocy.

    • Steven Mosher

      Actually if you do the regression you come up with around 3C for the climate sensitivity.

      The error is yours. Those are the hardest ones to find

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      “The major fact that the temperature/time graphs of data from the 20th and 21st centuries show, is that adding CO2 to the atmopshere has no appreciable effect on global temperatures”

      —-
      Note to readers: temperture/time graphs show nothing of the sort as such graphs can tell us nothing about he causes of the variations. To do that takes detailed analysis to look at all forcings affecting the climate over any given period.

  33. “public belief in global warming”

    I wonder how that happened. Coudn’t have been some kind of marketing campaign. Must have been spontaneous metaphysical awareness caused by Klimate Scyence Magik.

    Andrew

  34. “Bill Hooke nails it?” That’s quite generous, Judith…but for a Friday morning, after this past week? I’ll gladly take it, however unmerited. Thanks for your kindness…and thanks for generating the comment stream and the engagement that’s followed here. A valuable and enlightening discussion.

    • The tornado was a terrible analogy. Wrong on every important facet of the question.

    • I think the tornado analogy is fine or perhaps hurricanes might be better as they have more advanced warning and decision points about evacuations. It points out the role of the weather forecaster and where it stops, similarly for the climate scientist projections. Anything beyond projections of temperature and rainfall for regions is outside the scope of the scientist’s job description. To continue the analogy, we are arguably in the transition from a Watch to a Warning, as monitoring the situation turns into action becoming necessary, especially if any of these ongoing droughts become continuous.

      • The problem is the immediate and devastating impact of a tornado.
        It’s a highly motivating problem – one’s coming, you need to act right now or you might find yourself very dead.

        It’s a world away from the reality of communicating climate change, which is more like yelling ‘diabetes!” in a chocolate shop.

        Context is all important too. Yelling ‘tornado’ in Kansas will elicit a very different response than in Ireland, where people might just loo at you as if you are a bit mad.

        It would be hard to come up with worse analogy.

      • Point taken (I like the diabetes analogy), but it was to show the difference between their duty to give the policymakers advice and what the policymakers have to decide rather than the scientists. For their part the policymakers have to trust the forecast, and likewise the scientists have to be cautious about issuing warnings and not false alarms.

      • There’s good research out there that shows ‘policymakers’, do tend to follow the evidence, with one major caveat – by ‘policymakers’, I’m not referring to politicians, who are another kettle of fish entirely.

      • One can only hope, but it is the politicians who provide the money to make the policies happen.

      • Perhaps yelling “Tornado” in Frisco might entice some cheers:

        http://texastornado.pointstreaksites.com/view/texastornado

  35. A. Lacis @ 4:40 AM: ‘if we are to retain our current climate’. Hmmm, sounds like a climate change denier to me. Is the problem his poor education or his poverty?
    ===============

    • He’s a climate scientist so that rules out poverty.

      • Yeah, it’s the warped education. There is no way on God’s Green Earth to ‘retain our current climate’ so what’s he talking about? This is, I believe, a key to his mistaken mindset.

        The IPCC has systematically ignored natural change, from its charter on, and this is the mess we are left with. Sadly educated Andy Lacis is a posterboy.
        ================

      • “There is no way on God’s Green Earth to ‘retain our current climate’ so what’s he talking about? This is, I believe, a key to his mistaken mindset.”

        He obviously means our current climate within the window of natural variation, eg the range of the last few hundred years as opposed to a ~2C warmer world which would be quite different and outside that range.

        Well at least I thought it was obvious. But maybe I am just super smart.

      • wot,

        I don’t doubt you are smart and while I’d need further evidence about the super part, I’m willing to believe it isn’t outside the realm of possibility. But neither condition prevents you from being a few steps short of delusional, which is where I sometimmes think you are at when you you act so certain about us facing a looming disaster.

        Maybe abetter way to put it is that you seem headed down the road towards delusion. A few steps probably overstates the case.

      • I’ve been saying this for along time, warmists are climate change (and global warming) deniers – in order to believe in AGW, you have to deny global climate change to some extent.

  36. One persons fact is another persons opinion.

    Which is another way of saying not everybody agrees on what the facts are.

  37. The fact that they will not face is that the facts do not support their cause.

    Using the term global warming to mean CAGW is a cute trick in itself.

  38. David L. Hagen

    Re: Krosnick “climate scientists suffered damage to their trustworthiness and credibility when they veered from describing science into calling viewers to ask the government to halt global warming.”
    It appears Krosnick is unaware of the equivocation implicit in “halt global warming”.
    This presumes “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming” where the majority of the “warming” is due to anthropogenic CO2. However the foundational issue is whether we can quantify, and validate or reject the differences between little (<5%), minor (5% to 50%) and major (50% to 90%) anthropogenic contribution to "global warming". I see a 60 year Pacific Decadal Oscillation (ignored by the IPCC), multicentennial warming since the Little Ice Age (or millenial oscillation), and long term cooling from the Holocene Climatic Optimum. The uncertainties (especially with clouds) are so large that it does not appear we can distinguish between these. If anything, minor anthropogenic warming appears more likely than major anthropogenic warming in terms of model validation.
    So back to the basics in what is the actual evidence and how well are ALL the models validated/rejected against ALL the evidence.

    • Yeah, and warming is better than cooling, which is what we are doing.
      ================

    • tempterrain

      “Climate scientists suffered damage to their trustworthiness and credibility when they veered……”

      There are many scientists who don’t speak out at all on policy matters. Of course if they felt that the situation was anywhere as serious as many claim, they wouldn’t do that would they? They’d have to speak out then. And , as you say, the ones who have veered away from pure science have lost all “trustworthiness and credibility”.

      It’s good, isn’t it? You’ve got those bastards, whichever way they turn, whatever they decide to do :-)

  39. Beth Cooper

    fan, yr *discourse* nom de plume is plain inappropriate.

    *Discourse* denotes an elevation of discussion which i think you wished to imply we might expect in yr postings. But yr fail to live up to it, fan, particularly with yr offensive ‘denier’ label. Despite requests to desist, yr continue ter denigrate those who don’t share yr views on climate change with this term, and probably use it more than anyone else on the site. Like it’s irresistible, like yr in love with it, say, I hope yr not sufferin’ from ‘Sicko Brain Syndrome,’ fan, if so, I can sympathise… I meself suffer from ‘Cracked Brain Syndrome’ so i know how yr feel :-( :-( :-(

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Beth Cooper, please let me express my appreciation and sincere respect for your many gracious posts.

      None-the-less, please let me point you toward well-respected scientific analyses like Chigwedere and Essex AIDS denialism and public health practice. (2010).

      At what point does AIDS skepticism become AIDS denialism? Tobacco smoke skepticism become tobacco smoke denialism? Climate-change skepticism become climate-change denialism?

      These questions are themselves (obviously) legitimate topics for scientific analysis and debate. Because by analyzing denialism, we learn to recognize it and avoid falling victim to it.

      Which is good, eh?   :)   :)   :)

  40. tempterrain

    “There are no facts, only interpretations.”
    Friedrich Nietzsche

    • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD

      All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.
      – Friedrich Nietzsche

      Nietzsche was a post-modernist before there was post-modernism.

    • Wanna bet on that???
      Some areas have absolutely no facts just suppositions or opinions as to their interpretations mostly based on where the government money is coming from.

  41. Beth Cooper

    You and Friedrich Nietzsche need to learn to face the facts, tempterrain. Is it a fact that you regularly comment on Climate Etc, or have I got you confused with someone else?

    • tempterrain

      Beth, Friedrich Nietzche isn’t capable of learning anything now. He’s been dead for over a hundred years.

      Having tossed in his famous quote which seems relevant. I’m not sure I fully agree with him, but I see what he’s was getting at. He was saying that it is our needs and drives, rather than mere facts, that interpret the world. Each of us has a perspective that we would like all others to accept.

      There should be something in that for both sides.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      A little too late for poor old Nietzsche to be learning to face any facts…unless he can rise from the grave like some zombie Superman.

  42. The scientists have given up on trying to advance the science and only concentrate on convincing us that what they already know is settled. They have ceased being scientists and have developed a settled Climate Religion.

  43. Beth Cooper

    Tempterrain, here’s an ascebic comment by the long deceased Nietzche.
    I once had to give a paper on his “Use and Abuse of History’ as a history student. It’s a witty reflection on claims of realism in painting that also relates to his views on historical practice:

    ‘All Nature faithfully – But by what feint
    Can Nature be subdued to art’s constraint?
    Her smallest fragment is still infinite!
    And so he paints but what he likes in it.’
    What does he like? He likes what he can paint”

  44. The fact is that the real “facts” are complex, involve a lot of uncertainty and won’t incite immediate global action, so the “facts” are changed or simplified. This is what has resulted in the loss of credibility. It’s hard to get it back once lost. It’s not that climate science is too complicated for average people to understand (“it’s going to get really hot ” is not hard to understand), it’s that most people understand the uncertainties at this point (“it might get hot in some places but not others”, “it may not get that hot at all”) don’t justify some type of radical course of action.

    • CPV,

      There are a fantastic amount of certainty and facts. Just our scientists choose to ignore them for the paycheck of keeping uncertainty alive in an area that has absolutely no meaning to the parameters that create temperature.

  45. Besides, all the policies that the alarmist scientists push have been implemented. Cap-and-trade in Europe and many states in the US, coal caps, renewable energy “targets”, ethanol mandates, etc. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent on these schemes. So what are they complaining about? The “global warming” meme is widespread and accepted by almost all. Why do they feel they are not understood? Why do they feel they have a communication problem? It is not true, their message has been heard and implemented way over what is justified by facts. The scare tactics have succeeded, full success.
    It is us, the deniers, who have failed to get over the truth – that their scare is overblown. It is the deniers who have failed to prevent this terrible waste of resources.

    • jacobress,

      Never could figure out why heat generation is totally ignored in the “global warming scheme” considering we are changing one heat generating source for another. “It’s gotta be the CO2″, right?

  46. How strange, climate scientists complaining that they are suffering from reduced credibility.

    Perhaps this quote from the late Stephen Schneider might have something to do with it.

    “To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have.

    Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest.”

  47. cat, i remember reading that from Stephen Schneider and thinking what an inditement on his intellectual honesty, a travesty, yer might say.

  48. Jebediah H – luv yer name, and clearly yer emminently qualified with yer PhD to speak authoritatively here, lol. Could yer say that Neitzsche was possibly the grandfather of post modernism?

    • Steven Mosher

      from Neitzsche thru to Derrida, yes one strand of post modernism is continental, the other strand is strictly American.. hmm start with Pierce and Dewey..

      Here, a great book when it came out and moshpit first read it. for those of us who lived in both the continental world and analytical tradition it was a masterpiece.

      http://books.google.com/books/about/Philosophy_and_the_Mirror_of_Nature.html?id=cxYFw3NkPMoC

      Philosophy and the Mirror of Naturehit the philosophical world like a bombshell. Richard Rorty, a Princeton professor who had contributed to the analytic tradition in philosophy, was now attempting to shrug off all the central problems with which it had long been preoccupied. After publication, the Press was barely able to keep up with demand, and the book has since gone on to become one of its all-time best-sellers in philosophy. Rorty argued that, beginning in the seventeenth century, philosophers developed an unhealthy obsession with the notion of representation. They compared the mind to a mirror that reflects reality. In their view, knowledge is concerned with the accuracy of these reflections, and the strategy employed to obtain this knowledge–that of inspecting, repairing, and polishing the mirror–belongs to philosophy. Rorty’s book was a powerful critique of this imagery and the tradition of thought that it spawned. He argued that the questions about truth posed by Descartes, Kant, Hegel, and modern epistemologists and philosophers of language simply couldn’t be answered and were, in any case, irrelevant to serious social and cultural inquiry. This stance provoked a barrage of criticism, but whatever the strengths of Rorty’s specific claims, the book had a therapeutic effect on philosophy. It reenergized pragmatism as an intellectual force, steered philosophy back to its roots in the humanities, and helped to make alternatives to analytic philosophy a serious choice for young graduate students. Twenty-five years later, the book remains a must-read for anyone seriously concerned about the nature of philosophical inquiry and what philosophers can and cannot do to help us understand and improve the world.

  49. I think the piece misses an important second step:

    1. Cross the line into advocacy.
    2. Adopt the mindset of a fanatic/lobbiest.

    These two steps are distinct. That’s why people can point to examples where scientists did cross the line but with positive effect, such as smoking and cancer.

    Those who follow CAGW closely can point to climategate emails that show scientists taking that second step to fanatic/lobbiest/tribe/us-v-them mentality. Or they might point to Gleick, who didn’t hesitate to break the law in pursuit of a connection he was SURE was there, but wasn’t. (It also helped that the organization against which he committed the crime was a direct competitor with his.) Or they might point to things like the issues in Mann ’08 that are under discussion on this site, but are swept under the rug by the Establishment. This quite naturally causes doubt of most everything the Establishment says, as it has in a variety of other fields and situations.

    But the general public probably doesn’t pay attention to those kinds of issues. They do hear that such issues exist, but most importantly they can sense smearing. Most anyone who has been through High School knows that a scientist who says “All scientist’s agree, and the science is settled” and then refers to those who disagree as “(holocaust) deniers” is much like the variety of bullies and “pretty people” that made High School difficult for most of the rest of us.

    It’s the attitude and the actions that spring from someone who has an axe to grind that cause many people’s “spidey sense” to tingle, not mere advocacy.

    • AKA, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. These advocates are certainly in a Hell of their own making; Satan himself couldn’t torment Karoly like Karoly torments himself.

      Ahem, the road to Heaven is also paved with good intentions. Keep an eye on the road, climate scientist advocates, and for Heaven’s sake, watch your speed.
      ====================

  50. Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD

    Beth:
    Not sure about that – I usually encounter post-modernism as the bastard child of Jacques Derrida and Thomas Kuhn – but that only takes the linguistic hanky-panky back one generation…

    • Steven Mosher

      I dunno. In our conversations Derrida always mentioned Nietzsche and Heidegger. hehe.

  51. go fer the bold theory and be damned.It might make yr famous, and yer don’t need evidence, jest some convoluted high sounding language that’s difficult to decipher, think Sokal.

    • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD

      Beth:

      Why bother with fashionable nonsense in the humanities? Small change.

      The real money is in climate science denialism. You think “Lordy” Chris Monckton, peer-of-the-realm, member of the mother of all parliaments, birther, and curer of HIV, MS, and the common cold, speaks at rhetorical slugfests and parachutes into genuine conferences for free?

      Or you could go for the post-modern gold and pull a Deepak Chopra.

  52. Those of us who tried to attend university in the later 1960’s will realize what Hooke is talking about: CliSci advocates really believe they need to ‘save the world, save mankind from itself’. The key is that they (the once-scientists–>now-advocates) really really believe. This belief leads them to interpret all ‘data’ in a way that confirms their beliefs. The more ‘confirming data’ they find, the more sure they become and the more strident their advocacy.

    In the 1960’s we did exactly the same thing on political issues – and made the same sort of mess of it.

    The strident advocates will, in future, be remembered as an example of how smart people can lead themselves astray.

    • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD

      Kip

      Have you ever condsidered the possiblity that the scientists’ beliefs might correspond to the actual situation?

      I realize that scientists are prone to drug use and that ‘Dr Evil’ is a scientist, but maybe, just maybe, mankind can sometimes be stupid?

      You do not make “data” go away just by putting scare quotes around it.
      Sorry about that.

      • “Have you ever condsidered the possiblity that the scientists’ beliefs might correspond to the actual situation?”

        Yes. Then when they were unable to present any evidence other than drawings, I then rejected the possibility.

        Andrew

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD

        Good for you, Andrew!

        Were the drawings you saw in crayon, by any chance?

      • Jeb,

        No, they were meaningless computer-generated squiggly lines.

        Andrew

      • Joe's World

        Good One!!!

        :-)

      • Dear Dr. ….obtuse,

        I matters not, particularly, how close or far from the truth they are. The result will be the same — they will lose the battle for the public ear and mind. This will happen for the very reasons Hooke points out.

        The more they believe, the more likely they are to fool themselves with confirmation bias, the more likely they are to interpret data to support their noble cause, the more likely they are to semi-unconsciously (or not) select data sets that support their views and reject data sets that don’t. The more they do these things, the clearer it will be to ‘outsiders’ (and the general public) that they have, as a result, vastly exaggerated the case for their position. None of this is controversial in any way and has been known in all scientific fields for a very long time.

        Having arrived at exaggerated positions — whether merely ‘sexed-up’ or now-categorically-false — the policies they advocate will themselves either be solutions to the clearly exaggerated problems rather than reality or will be solutions to problems that don’t actually exist at all (at least not in the way they are presented).

        There is nothing here that takes a position on the veracity or falsity of any particular CliSci claim — the issue is what happens to public perceptions when scientists become true-believer-advocates.

        This bit “The strident advocates will, in future, be remembered as an example of how smart people can lead themselves astray.” is, of course, my personal opinion about the future of today’s Catastrophic CliSci Advocates.

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD

        Is there a term for “confirmation bias” when it is applied to the subject of confirmation bias itself?
        Confirmation bias bias?
        Confirmation meta-bias?

      • “Progressivism”

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD

        I remember a time when being ‘progressive’ and ‘liberal’ were seen as virtues – even in the USA.

        Oh, how the zeitgeist has changed.

        Now we depend on the libertarian billionaires who shipped all our jobs to China to plan for our happy collective future.

      • The bias itself has no bias –> it is an equal opportunity bias–a universal bias–we can all enjoy its virtues. The Wiki has a bit on it –> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

      • blueice2hotsea

        Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD

        Now we depend on the libertarian billionaires who shipped all our jobs to China to plan for our happy collective future.

        Libertarians don’t control control U.S. foreign policy, (it’s Democrats and Republicans).

        Back on May 26, 1994, Pres. Clinton reversed a campaign pledge when he renewed China’s Most Favored Nation status. One explanation was that exports to China sustained 150,000 American jobs.

        So, it wasn’t libertarians and it was supposed to protect American jobs (in addition to helping end human right abuse in China).

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        “…but maybe, just maybe, mankind can sometimes be stupid?”

        ____
        Maybe? You are being too kind.

  53. Consider yer options, Jebediah, and hope yer draw the crowds )

  54. Wow. Climate scientists sound just like Obama talking on Charlie Rose. The reason all these people disagree with him is that he hasn’t done a good job telling the people his story. It has nothing to do with reality, it’s all just a perception problem because the people are ignorant and stupid and he hasn’t spent any time doing PR to get them to understand.

    • Joe's World

      stan,

      I would have thought he would have fired his paid spin doctor that failed to “persuade” the masses.

  55. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    I think that this report by Hooke citing Krosnick is important. I was struck by the following: among low-income and low-education respondents, climate scientists suffered damage to their trustworthiness and credibility when they veered from describing science into calling viewers to ask the government to halt global warming. And not only did trust in the messenger fall — even the viewers’ belief in the reality of human-caused warming dropped steeply.

    Why the class difference?

    I have lately added one of the standard texts to my reading: An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology, fourth edition, by James R. Holton. Although it presents much evidence in the form of informative graphical displays, and presents mathematical derivations of models from physical principles (followed by simulations showing that the solutions of the equations are qualitatively similar to the data displays), it never presents direct comparisons of model results to data, to compute lack of fit statistics such as MSE and R^2. (Another text, Principles of Planetary Climate, by Raymond T. Pierrehumbert has very few actual data displays.) Looking at the graphs of data and model results, it would seem that computed correlations between data and model would usually be less than 0.9, implying that at most 81% of the variation in the data would be “explained” by the model; the remaining 19% would be random measurement variation and the random variation caused by “unknown unknowns” — an inaccuracy rendering the models useless for prediction. I do not know how typical this is of the education of climate/weather professionals, but I got to wondering if none of them are ever taught that the physical/mathematical models can be mostly correct and illuminating, while simultaneously being too inaccurate for prediction, and too incomplete to constitute “adequate” models.

    Lots of low-income and low-education professionals such as auto mechanics, hospital custodial staff, plumbers, electricians and swimming-pool maintenance crews are accustomed in daily life to modifying their general principles to the specific cases in order to make things work properly, and they are accustomed to knowing that particular problems may be harder or easier to correct than they appear at first. Lots of highly educated people have never had the experience of making anything work at all. It should go without saying that there is much variability within and between those classes, but most of “what goes without saying” needs to be said and repeated so it is not underappreciated. But still, I wonder if there is something in the nature of “hands-on” work as opposed to intellectual work that makes the lower-income and lower-educated respondents quicker to lose confidence in highly confident scientists who become advocates of extreme public policies, proposing untested solutions.

    • Two marvelous points, Matt. The first is a devastating critique of the present art of climate modeling. The second a real clue to the question, if true, of increased doubt the poorer and more ignorant you are. And then I think also of the BRICs, nations of poor and ignorant, whose rich and educated rulers aren’t buying the need to demonize plant food.
      =========================

    • Very interesting reading,Matt.
      I think you can develop the low income doubter notions, by adding other low level groups such as mere hobbyist, business owners, and so on, Members will have all kinds of specialization, ranging say from ID experience, geographical and niche knowledge, import export knowledge, close hand observations over years and hearing thousands of commentaries, and so on and so on.

      Here is where low level people with affinities which are highly specialized can say for sure that they have many areas of knowledge the scientists generally do not have.

      @5:30

    • MattStat — you don’t happen to be a statistician, do you? If so, I have a couple of questions….

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        :-)

        I may not have short answers.

      • MattStat –>

        These two statements :

        “- La Niña-related heat waves, like that experienced in Texas in 2011, are now 20 times more likely to occur during La Niña years today than La Niña years fifty years ago.

        – The UK experienced a very warm November 2011 and a very cold December 2010. In analyzing these two very different events, UK scientists uncovered interesting changes in the odds. Cold Decembers are now half as likely to occur now versus fifty years ago, whereas warm Novembers are now 62 times more likely.”

        taken, apparently, from this report http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams-sotc/2011-peterson-et-al.pdf

        The statements give ‘predictive odds’. Apparently derived from historical data (?). Is this at all really statistically possible?

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Kip Hansen, I downloaded the paper, for which I thank you. I’ll have some answers after a few hours.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        oops, I wrote too soon. My download attempts have not been successful. I’ll try again later.

        As written, those statements are dubious. Consider this one:“- La Niña-related heat waves, like that experienced in Texas in 2011, are now 20 times more likely to occur during La Niña years today than La Niña years fifty years ago.

        If in the 20 years 1961-1980 there was one such La Niña-related heat wave, and in the 20 years 1991-2010 there were 20 (or some numbers approximating those), then the statement might be supportable. That is not what happened, as far as I know. Besides that is the issue of the time frame chosen: had they taken the records back to the 1920s, they might have found that the modeled incidence of such heat-waves was about the same now as in the 1930s. Without the paper I can’t say anything with confidence.

      • Kip and matt

        You are aware we discussed these papers in depth on the last thread here? You are also aware that one of the editors-Peterson-is the same guy who tried to deny that the global cooling scare of The 1970’s happened. He wrote a paper on it with William connelly which is much cited in warmists circles.
        Tonyb

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        ClimateReason: You are aware we discussed these papers in depth on the last thread here?

        Thank you. I had not noticed that. From the previous thread I was able to download the paper successfully. So thanks twice.

      • MattStat — I look forward to hearing from you. If you’d prefer to take this offline, you can email me at my first name at the domain i4.net

        Yes, your quick look at La Niñas mirrors my first impressions.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        In brief: both of those statements result from studying the distributions of the outputs of many GCM simulations. At present, GCM simulations and the statistics from many runs have not been shown to be accurate enough that precise claims should be believed. In both cases, the data collected over those decades are insufficient to support precise claims.

        Some, maybe most, of the papers in the collection cite the Nim et al Nature 2011 paper that reported on analysis of rainfall extremes in a large region of the US. That paper documented a 7% increase in maximum rainfall over the 50 year record; they had to standardize because a 7% increase at Galveston does not equal a 7% increase at El Paso, in absolute rainfall difference. That paper was the best work that has been done, imho. I mention it because the authoors used a lot of data to substantiate a fairly solid claim for a fairly modest change over the 5 decades. Contrast that with the rather extreme claims made in the two quoted passages, each based on GCMs instead of data. It would be a miracle if the claims of “20 times”, “half”, and “62 times” proved to be reasonably accurate.

      • MattStat —

        I’m sorry — I have struggled with statistics for years, and sometimes feel I have a pretty good grasp of them. But….I am still puzzled by basic statistical prediction here. With the most extreme case it is easiest to to explain why I think something is wonky here … it’s not just the specific numbers. For “warm Novembers” to be 62 times more likely….if they had a five percent chance of occurring (one year in 20) and are now 62 times more likely, they would have a 310 percent chance of occurring? Or if they had a 1 in 100 chance (once in a hundred years, which we see is too small, they happen oftener than that) they would now occur 62 years out of a hundred? This “62 times more likely” just doesn’t seem actually possible in the real world — as it basically says that this rare occurrence would now occur (nearly) every year (in practice) and we know it doesn’t — really, we know it can’t.

        Am I way off base here? Have I slipped a cog?

      • That kind of ratios are indicative of the use of models or parametrizations. In that way it’s possible to evaluate a probability that’s much smaller than 1% and that allows for a 62 times higher probability.

        It’s clear that such ratios should not be taken at face value but rather as indicative of a change from extremely rare (or unlikely) to something which may occur every few years. Doing the analysis just a little differently might change 62:1 to 25:1 or 150:1. As it’s likely that such an analysis leads to too thin tails the alternative of 25:1 might be more relevant.

      • Pekka — thank you for that. So, from what yo say, this is simply some kind of statistical buffoonery….something along the lines that if it was a previously a once in five hundred years occurrence, but has happened now twice in the last 50 years, it is 200 hundred times more likely? as predictive odds?

      • Kip,

        I would certainly take that kind of numbers only as illustrative of the changes not as anything that’s even supposed to be quantitatively correct. For me that’s fine as I believe that I can put it intuitively in the right context.

        I don’t think that the authors have had any aim to mislead, but perhaps they should tell more explicitly, how the values should be taken: As numbers produced by a model that is in reasonable agreement with the data but which cannot really tell this kind of details with any accuracy as it’s validity in far tails is totally speculative.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Pekka Pirila:That kind of ratios are indicative of the use of models or parametrizations. In that way it’s possible to evaluate a probability that’s much smaller than 1% and that allows for a 62 times higher probability.

        Just so: say an increase from 0.005 to 0.3. But estimates usually come with confidence intervals, and the confidence intervals with 95% confidence could be something like (0, 0.3) and (0.1, 0.5) for the previous probabilities, compatible with a slight increase.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Kip Hansen: So, from what yo say, this is simply some kind of statistical buffoonery

        In writing, that’s going too far. It’s very common for people to overlook the imprecision of parameter estimates. We would only say in watercooler conversation that it is foolishness or buffoonery. Formally we would say something like: But what are the confidence intervals?

      • MattStat — thank you for the lesson in ‘how to talk like a statistician’ — both dialects — formal and watercooler.

        I’m afraid I’m a watercooler sorta guy.

        It is simply improper for them to say ’62 times more likely’ when the actuality is ‘vanishing rare in the past and a teeny bit less vanishing rare now, maybe’.

        One sees this in the reporting of nonsensical epidemiological studies — “10% more likely” when they are speaking of relative risk calculated to be 1.1 for a very rare condition (because they found one extra case in the exposed group — error bars wider than a barn door) when your actual risk is something along the lines of ‘one in a gazillion.’

      • TonyB — Yes, I knew the papers/issue had been discussed but could not see anything in comments about this thing about predictive odds of extreme events that I am asking about. Thanks though for chipping in.

    • Matt: “I wonder if there is something in the nature of “hands-on” work as opposed to intellectual work that makes the lower-income and lower-educated respondents quicker to lose confidence in highly confident scientists who become advocates of extreme public policies, proposing untested solutions.”

      In every field of human endeavour, the theoretical needs to go hand-in-hand with the practical. A learned professor once told me that I would make an excellent academic. I didn’t agree with him, as an economist, I always saw economics as a tool to change the world, I had a policy orientation, and would not have thrived in a more abstract environment. (He moved to a policy function and was hopeless at it.) I often worked with (and directed) economic modellers, and was often able to point out flaws in the models which were obvious to me but not to them (I had a feel for numbers and relationships which they seemed to lack, from my real-world work); and was able to interpret the model findings so as to be policy relevant. It may be that many core climate scientists are too enmeshed in abstract models and could benefit from the context of, for example, Tony B’s real-world historical evidence.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        I was wondering if this explains, at least in part, why the many meteorologists are so much more skeptical of global warming claims than the climate scientists. Meteorologists have the experience of being right (or accurate enough) and wrong (or undeniably inaccurate) many times in public. They also can not escape public acknowledgement of their inaccuracies by saying (these are paraphrases): “Well, nobody else made a better prediction”, or “Now I think I know why I was wrong 20 years ago.”

    • Matt,

      I’m reminded about the time Raymond T. Pierrehumbert did a post at Real Climate about how much he agreed with and admired Bill McKibben, right around the Keystome Pipeline decision. I commented, asking if he wasn’t concerned about coming out in such obvious support of a guy who is a well known advocate and agitator. I noted that tying oneself to someone like McKibben was placing one’s own credibility at risk as McKibben was anything but crediable, with a well known track record for following agendas he believed in without concern for the facts. I then pointed out some of the facts mentioned in his post that weren’t. Unsurprisingly Prof. Pierrehumbert said he had no concern and proceeded to demonstrate he knew little or nothing about energy, high speed rail, electric vehicles and a couple of other topics he raised. When I tried to explain where he was off target, I was moderated out.

  56. “Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD ”
    Why is that you guys are so often at great pains to announce your credentials, as if this somehow lends your opinions greater weight.

    T’aint so, Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD. By your posts we shall judge ye. So far, not looking so good.

    • Hey pokerguy, old Jeb’ is just another cute web handle disguising someone’s real identity….sorta like ‘pokerguy’?

      signed — Not-A-Fan-of-Fasle-Identities

    • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD

      What’s in a name?
      That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.

      Should I actually care whether or not you are a ‘guy’ who plays ‘poker’?

      Judge away. I’m not all that worried about your opinion of my posts.

  57. Regina v. Ojibway
    (1965) 8 Crim.L.Q. 137-139 (Canada)

    ________________________________________

    Blue, J.: This is an appeal by the Crown by way of a stated case from a decision of the magistrate acquitting the accused of a charge under the Small Birds Act, R.S.O., 1960, c.724, s.2. The facts are not in dispute, Fred Ojibway, an Indian, was riding his pony through Queen’s Park on January 2, 1965. Being impoverished, and having been forced to pledge his saddle, he substituted a downy pillow in lieu of the said saddle. On this particular day the accused’s misfortune was further heightened by the circumstance of his pony breaking its right foreleg. In accord with the Indian custom, the accused then shot the pony to relieve it of its awkwardness.

    The accused was then charged with having breached the Small Birds Act, s.2 of which states:

    “2. Anyone maiming, injuring or killing small birds is guilty of an offence and subject to a fine not in excess of two hundred dollars.”

    The learned magistrate acquitted the accused holding, in fact, that he had killed his horse and not a small bird. With respect, I cannot agree.

    In light of the definition section my course is quite clear. Section 1 defines “bird” as “a two legged animal covered with feathers.” There can be no doubt that this case is covered by this section.

    Counsel for the accused made several ingenious arguments to which, in fairness, I must address myself. He submitted that the evidence of the expert clearly concluded that the animal in question was a pony and not a bird, but that is not the issue. We are not interested in whether the animal in question is a bird or not in fact, but whether it is one in law. Statutory interpretation has forced many a horse to eat birdseed for the rest of its life.

    Counsel also contended that the neighing noise emitted by the animal could not possibly be produced by a bird. With respect, the sounds emitted by an animal are irrelevant to its nature, for a bird is no less a bird because it is silent.

    Counsel for the accused also argued that since there was evidence to show the accused had ridden the animal, this pointed to the fact that it could not be a bird but was actually a pony. Obviously this avoids the issue. The issue is not whether the animal was ridden or not, but whether it was shot or not, for to ride a pony or a bird is of no offence at all. I believe counsel now sees his mistake.

    Counsel contends that the iron shoes found on the animal decisively disqualify it from being a bird. I must inform counsel, however, that how an animal dresses is of no concern to this court.

    Counsel relied on the decision in Re Chicadee, where he contends that in similar circumstances, the accused was acquitted. However this is a horse of a different colour. A close reading of that case indicates that the animal in question there was not a small bird, but in fact, a midget of a much larger species. Therefore, that case is inapplicable to our facts.

    Counsel finally submits that the word “small” in the title Small Birds Act refers not to “Birds” but to “Act”, making it the Small Act relating to Birds. With respect, counsel did not do his homework very well, for the Large Birds Act, R.S.O. 1960, c.725, is just as small. If pressed, I need only refer to the Small Loans Act R.S.O. 1960, c.727 which is twice as large as the Large Birds Act.

    It remains then to state my reason for judgment which, simply, is as follows: Different things may take on the same meaning for different purposes. For the purpose of the Small Birds Act, all two legged, feather covered animals are birds. This, of course, does not imply that only two-legged animals qualify, for the legislative intent is to make two legs merely the minimum requirement. The statute therefore contemplated multi-legged animals as well. Counsel submits that having regard to the purpose of the statute only small animals “naturally covered” with feathers could have been contemplated. However, had this been the intention of the legislature, I am certain that the phrase “naturally covered” would have been expressly inserted just as “Long” was inserted into the Longshoreman’s Act.

    Therefore, a horse with feathers on its back must be deemed for the purposes of this Act to be a bird, and, a fortiori, a pony with feathers on its back is a small bird.

    Counsel posed the following rhetorical question: If the pillow had been removed prior to the shooting, would the animal still be a bird? To this let me answer rhetorically: Is a bird any less of a bird without its feathers?

    Appeal allowed.

    ~Anonymous (i.e., just a yoke folks)

    • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD

      Plato once defined man as a “featherless biped”.

      When the philosopher Diogenes heard about Plato’s definition, he presented his rival with a plucked chicken. “Here,” he then declared, “is Plato’s man!”

    • I knew I had read Justice Roberts’ interpretation of Obamacare somewhere before.

  58. Just the facts
    1. Increasing CO2 disturbs the energy balance
    2. The earth has to warm to restore it
    3. As the earth warms, water vapor increases
    4. Water vapor is also a greenhouse gas
    5. The earth warms more in response to the increased water vapor

    The skeptics have pinned their hopes on an increase in cloud cover albedo that has not materialized, while the observed drop in summer sea ice extent exacerbates the effect.

    • Rob Starkey

      And those who fear a warmer world
      1. Have no reliable data to demonstrate that a warmer world is worse for humanity overall over the long term

      2. Have no reasonable worldwide plan that can be agrred to that would not have CO2 levels continuing to rise for many years

      • Why do you think there should be a worldwide plan? Each country will face its own problems, and have to prepare to adapt.

      • rob starkey

        There needs to be a worldwide plan if you want to stop CO 2 growth.

      • I don’t think anyone expects that to happen. It is about adaptation at this point, being a realist.

    • Jim D, You have missed out 2.5

      2.5 No-one has the slightest idea how much the world warms as a result of the increasing level of CO2. Such little empirical data as we have, suggests the effect of adding CO2 to the atmopshere has a negligible effect on temperatures.

      After that, 3, 4, and 5 are irrelevant.

      • Steven Mosher

        Actually we do have a idea. Doubling C02 will produce an additional 3.7Watts. That is predicted and measured. Roy Spencer uses that math every day to create a temperature record. An additional 3.7 Watts will produce , to a first order, a 1.2C response.

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD


        Doubling C02 will produce an additional 3.7Watts. That is predicted and measured.

        Not by anyone that ‘skeptics’ can trust.

        Until this science is delvered to us by Milton Friedman riding on a horse named Free Hand or Ayn Rand, we will continuw to uphold all that is right and good by doubting and pouting.

      • What a hackneyed view you have.
        =============

      • Steven Mosher

        I guess department of defense science doesnt carry any weight with them

      • Latimer Alder

        Colour me unterrified by a 1.2C rise in temperature. You many examine my underwear closely and it will be free of dampness or staining.

        Unless somebody can come up with some better frighteners than you’ve all had 30 years to dream up and failed, I rally am not going to lose sleep if the average temperature goes up from 288.3K to 289.5K.

        I almost wish that I could join in the shrieking and wailing and doom prophesying. But I can’t

        Can somebody explain – in detail – why I should?

        BTW- that something is ‘unprecedented’ is not of itself a sufficient reason to be scared. You need to show ‘and dangerous’ as well.

      • CO2 is 1 degree (facts 1 and 2), but when you add in water vapor, it increases in a significant way as explained countless times by the scientists (facts 3, 4 and 5).

      • “CO2 is 1 degree (facts 1 and 2), but when you add in water vapor, it increases in a significant way as explained countless times by the scientists (facts 3, 4 and 5).”

        It increases the average temperature. Deserts are hot in day and cool at night.

      • Either the water vapor increases or more places become deserts.

      • Steven Mosher you write “Actually we do have a idea. Doubling C02 will produce an additional 3.7Watts. That is predicted and measured.”

        Unless you and I use the word “measured” differently, the 3.7 Wm-2 has NEVER been measured. It is impossible to measure. Can you provide the reference where you cliam the 3.7 number has been measured.

      • Steven Mosher

        Simple. go visit any number of the radiative transfer code validation sites.
        Stop being ignorant and go read what we did years ago. You think climate science invented this stuff. wrong buddy. department of defense.

      • Steven, you also write “An additional 3.7 Watts will produce , to a first order, a 1.2C response.”

        This number has never been measured either. So we have nom idea what it is.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Steven Mosher: Doubling C02 will produce an additional 3.7Watts. That is predicted and measured. Roy Spencer uses that math every day to create a temperature record. An additional 3.7 Watts will produce , to a first order, a 1.2C response.

        Those are model based results, from an asymptotic analysis of pure radiative transfer models. What the effects of increased CO2 or increased downwelling wattage will be on the dynamics of energy transport through out the system are not known.

        Actually we do have a idea.

        We have many ideas, not one of which has been stringently tested against adequate data over an adequate time span.

      • It is very easy to verify radiative transfer models against spectroscopic measurements, so these are the best validated models out there.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Jim D: It is very easy to verify radiative transfer models against spectroscopic measurements, so these are the best validated models out there.

        And yet they do not account for all of the energy transfer from lower troposphere to upper troposphere (thermals, thunderclouds, etc); nor do they explain whether higher temperatures will produce more cloud cover.

      • You don’t need to know all that to come up with 3.7 W/m2 forcing. Forcing by definition is without feedbacks including cloud changes. It is completely a column radiation computation doubling CO2 while keeping clouds, water vapor, temperature and all other things constant.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Jim D: You don’t need to know all that to come up with 3.7 W/m2 forcing.

        You do need to know all that in order to know what will happen after an increase in CO2 concentration. The derivation you refer to assumes that nothing happens, or, as you put it: “all other things being equal.”

      • That’s by definition not by assumption.

        Forcing is defined as the change in radiative balance when the only thing that changes in troposphere is the CO2 concentration.

      • A definition of a phenomenon which may not exist in Nature.
        =============

      • The good thing about forcing is it is so simple to define and can be compared with other forcings on climate. This forcing is equivalent to that of a 1% increase in solar intensity or a reduction in albedo from its current 30% to 29%. It is up to 20 times the solar change in a typical sunspot cycle, or more than five times the solar increase since the Maunder Minimum according to some estimates.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Pekka Pirila: That’s by definition not by assumption.

        I agree. You can define something without the assumption that it exists, as with definitions of unicorns, N-waves, “climate equilibrium”, “cold fusion”.

        The “assumption” that I was referring to indirectly was the assumption that anything in the climate system is described by the derived “forcing”. The phrase “other things being equal” clearly signals that the definition is about something other than the Earth climate system, if it is about anything at all.

      • I’m sure nobody has ever claimed are thought that everything can be described by the forcing.

        Calculating the forcing is just the first step in the process of estimating how CO2 affects climate. Some detailed calculations may include this step as part of a more comprehensive calculation, but for many approaches and for semiquantitative understanding this is an obviously useful first step.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Pekka Pirila: I’m sure nobody has ever claimed are thought that everything can be described by the forcing.

        It has been used to calculate the “equilibrium” and “transient” climate responses to a doubling of the CO2 concentration. That is not “every” thing, but AGW proponents claim that is the most important thing.

        Calculating the forcing is just the first step in the process of estimating how CO2 affects climate. Some detailed calculations may include this step as part of a more comprehensive calculation, but for many approaches and for semiquantitative understanding this is an obviously useful first step.

        No disagreement here. My claim is that it is inadequate to support policy recommendations because it has not been shown to be sufficiently accurate over any appropriate time span. Indeed, the accumulations of inaccuracies (aka “approximations”, “first steps”) makes it extremely unlikely that the projections are anywhere close to the eventualities.

      • It has been used to calculate the “equilibrium” and “transient” climate responses to a doubling of the CO2 concentration. That is not “every” thing, but AGW proponents claim that is the most important thing.

        Not quite so. It’s correct to say that it has been used in those calculations but not at all as the only input. Practically all uncertainties come from the other inputs.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Pekka Pirila: It’s correct to say that it has been used in those calculations but not at all as the only input.

        Fair enough. It has been used in calculations, but not for everything.

        The value of 3.7 is uncertain, as it is based on a physically unrealizable simplification of the climate system.

      • The value 3.7 W/m^2 is stated to be the forcing by doubling of CO2. That connection does not involve any major uncertainties. The calculation is not accurate to one percent, but rather to 10 percent, because the empirically determined properties of the atmosphere are not accurate enough for a precise calculation. It is based on real atmosphere, not on any non-realizable climate system. All the assumptions and simplifications enter when it’s used not in its calculation.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Pekka Pirila: That connection does not involve any major uncertainties.

        Are you asserting that “other things being equal” was not used in the derivation?

        I would assert that “which other things are not equal?” and “how close to equal are other things?” are major uncertainties.

        Maybe such uncertainties are things that you consider under “when it is used”?

      • A quantity must be calculated to correspond to its definition. As the forcing is defined based on unchanged troposphere allowing troposphere to change would be an explicit error. It must be calculated for the present troposphere that is not allowed to change.

        The question, how the atmosphere will change is, of course, important for the estimates of warming, but the number 3.7 is calculated without those changes. The no-feedback warming of surface (1.2C) is calculated allowing certain changes and involves some assumptions and consideration of a non-realistic atmosphere, but the forcing is a result of straightforward calculation that does not involve any uncertain assumptions of importance.

        Is this really so difficult to understand?

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Pekka Pirila: It must be calculated for the present troposphere that is not allowed to change.

        I think I understand that.

      • Jim Cripwell, you are conflating yourself as no-one. You personally may not know, but the facts are clear.

      • Clear as clouds.
        ===========

      • So show me the anthropogenic effect. Phil Jones heself told me that the rate of temperature rise has been the same three separate times in the last century and a half, and CO2 only rose in the last of these, in the last quarter of the last century.

        Sure there is likely an AGW effect. It seems to be pusillanimous, and beneficial; kindly, you might say.
        =====================

      • Dang, my 7:09 was supposed to address Jim D @ 7:02. Not perverted nesting, perverse viewing.
        =============

      • kim, because we don’t have the measurements to show that the others were at least partly (maybe half) solar variations does not mean we have to dismiss the current one as CO2. Especially since we can be quite sure solar variations did not contribute this time because of what solar measurements tell us, and this change is on top of what we saw before.

      • Jim D

        because we don’t have the measurements to show that the others were at least partly (maybe half) solar variations does not mean we have to dismiss the current one as CO2.

        No. We should not “dismiss” CO2, nor should we “blame” it on CO2.

        The statistically indistinguishable earlier warming cycles were NOT caused by CO2. Why should we assume that the latter one was?

        Jim D, we have an IPCC logic that goes as follows:

        a) Our models cannot explain the early 20th century warming
        b) We know that the statistically indistinguishable late 20th century warming was caused by CO2.
        c) How do we know this?
        d) Because our models cannot explain it any other way.

        This logic simply does not wash, Jim.

        Max

      • Max,

        The logic is rather:

        We have known for more than 100 years that CO2 causes warming,

        We know from measurements that CO2 is increasing and we know that the only credible explanation for that is the use of fossil fuels + some other human influences.

        The basic theoretical understanding tells that the warming is likely to be significant but not any exact value for that.

        The best estimates based on empirical data and theoretical understanding tell certain limits for the likely strength of this warming.

      • Pretty cool(deliberate) that the temp upswings were all in the warm phase of the PDO. So show me the CO2 effect.
        ==================

      • Pekka

        Your explanation makes sense, EXCEPT for the
        a) unexplained early warming periods (very little CO2 increase)
        b) the current cooling period (very rapid CO2 increase)

        How do you explain these?

        Max

      • The logic as I list it is true historically – and logically.

        The temperature history of 1900-1950 is part of the data that is used to make the estimates of the climate sensitivity.

        The latest 10-15 years will be part of the estimates to be updated. My expectation is that they will lower a little the most likely value and affect more strongly the upper tail of the range of likely values. The lower limit of the range is not likely to change. All the estimates of this paragraph are just my “gut feeling”.

      • There is a coincidence of rising CO2 and the concatenation of warming phases of the oceanic oscillations in the last quarter of the last century. That this correlation is considered causal, from Anthro CO2 to the temperature rise of that period, may be the grandest yet example of the Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc logical fallacy.

        Well, it may be some other fallacy if the concatenation is the cause. Lord, help me.
        ==================

      • The argument is not based mainly on correlation. This has been discussed last couple of days so much in an ancient thread on Prof. Salby’s presentation and supposed future paper that will probably not ever appear that starting it again does not make sense.

      • P, you’ve got to make better sense of the three nearly identical rates of temperature rise. It is perfectly possible that Nature did all three. Even if Nature didn’t contribute all in the last quart. of the last cent., the last decade, nay fourteen years, wreak havoc on the strength of the CO2 effect.
        =================================

      • The point is not what is possible, but what is the best estimate for climate sensitivity and what are it’s limits.

        We know that the effect does exist. That’s not questionable, the strength is.

        Then there are further questions on how we should react on what we have learned about climate sensitivity, but let’s leave that to another discussion.

      • It’s hard to disagree with you, Pekka. We really have little idea what part is anthropogenic and what part is natural. Fortunately, warming is better than cooling.
        ========

      • Jim D, you wrtie “but the facts are clear.”

        Not to any proper scientist. The facts are only clear when they are based on hard, measured, independently replicated data. Show me the hard measured data, and I will agree that the facts are clear. But until I see the measured data, there are no facts.

      • It is physics. We don’t have direct measurements of the interior of the sun, but physics tells us what is going on. There is enough indirect evidence to verify that there is nothing unexpected going on with this warming.

      • JIm D writes “It is physics. We don’t have direct measurements of the interior of the sun, but physics tells us what is going on.”

        Grabage. This week there was a new paper claiming that what we thought was going on in the interior of the sun, was not in fact happening. Yes there are all sorts of hypoheses as to how the sun works, but until we get the measured data, we dont actually know.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/09/weak-solar-convection-approximately-100-times-slower-than-scientists-had-previously-projected/#more-67063

        I would love you to tell me the last time in the histpory of physics was it delaed that “The facts are clear”, and there s no measured data to support the statemet. Ithas never happened before in the whole history of physics. NEVER.

      • It is a common meme that because every detail of an area of science is not known, you also throw out the basic stuff that is known. E.g., regarding the sun, it is fusion, which is well understood, but you might now doubt that because the details of convection are not known. That is the analogy to the climate problem and the facts as laid out in this thread by Lacis.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Jim D. : It is a common meme that because every detail of an area of science is not known, you also throw out the basic stuff that is known.

        I have never read or written that in climate science critiques, so if you have references, especially for the word “common”, I would appreciate you linking to them. What I have read and written is that sufficient ignorance in climate science exists that we should not confidently either (a) make long-term climate predictions or (b) assert that we know what the effects of a doubling of CO2 will be.

      • Gad, I hope it will be enough to stave off the cold.
        ==================

      • Matt, the skeptics here commonly suggest that because there is a 0.2 degree 60-year oscillation that is not fully explained, CO2 can’t be having an important effect that will rise to several degrees in a century. This is how I read their logic. Similarly for unknown cloud effects, ocean effects, cosmic rays, planets, solar variations, that might also be a couple of tenths of a degree. Just because these wiggles are unknown in detail, they say that CO2 can’t be the cause of the current and future warming, and seem fairly certain of that part having thrown the hypothesis out due to their own other uncertainties.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Jim D: Matt, the skeptics here commonly suggest that because there is a 0.2 degree 60-year oscillation that is not fully explained, CO2 can’t be having an important effect that will rise to several degrees in a century.

        I think that is “rare” rather than “common”. Those who claim that CO2 “can’t” have a large (or any) effect in a century cite more science than that: vukcevic, for example, cites several other well-studied oscillatory processes. Some others cite known solar processes (or data records) whose effects on the Earth’s climate are partially supported/non-supported by research. Those like me who regularly refer to the inaccuracies and incompleteness of the knowledge base are more likely to claim that the knowledge, taken altogether, are insufficient to support any particular expensive changes in public policy (because they might be a totally ineffective “waste” of money.)

      • Pretty cool(deliberate) the upswings were all in the warming phase of the PDO. So show me the CO2 effect.
        ============

      • Reply to Jim D @ 7:24 above.
        ==================

    • catweazle666

      “Just the facts”, eh?

      Facts are that despite the ongoing increase in CO2 the Earth is cooling according to RSS satellite, Hadcrut Sea Surface and Hadcrut3 datasets the Earth has not cooled since ~1997, and has been cooling since 2001.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1997/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1997/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1997/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1997/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1997/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1997/trend

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2001/plot/rss/from:2001/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:2001/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/from:2001/trend/normalise/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2001/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2001/trend

      As for water vapour, NASA satellite data indicates that stratospheric water vapour concentration has decreased by ~10% since 2000.

      http://mls.jpl.nasa.gov/library/Solomon,%20S_3734D5B7d01.pdf

      • catweazle666

        “the Earth has not cooled since ~1997″ should of course read “”the Earth has not warmed since ~1997″.

        Sorry about that.

      • I disagree with your analysis. To determine if a period of warming has continued we need to extrapolate the trend from that period and trace it forwards.

        You talk about 1997 and RSS so lets do this for the warming trend in RSS up to 1997. Here’s that trend:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/plot/rss/to:1997/trend

        And here I have roughly extrapolated that warming to present:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/plot/rss/to:1997/trend/plot/rss/from:1997/trend/detrend:-0.11/offset:-0.22

        Quite clearly temperature since 1997 has risen faster than the trend up to that point. Thus it cannot be claimed that warming stopped in 1997. For warming to have stopped in 1997 the data would have had to follow this path:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/plot/rss/to:1997/trend/plot/rss/from:1997/trend/detrend:-0.01/offset:-0.22

        The reason I disagree with your analysis is that it does this:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/plot/rss/to:1997/trend/plot/rss/from:1997/trend

        Notice how the start of the blue trend line is +0.2C higher than the end of the green trend line. No wonder your analysis finds no warming since 1997 when it’s biased by +0.2C

      • Iolwot

        I have suggested several times that it would be useful to have a thread entirely devoted to the statements, and supporting graphs, of anyone who wants to demonstrate whether it has been warming, cooling, been static, People could choose whatever period they want, provided its more than five years and of course the longer the better.The same ground rules should apply to everyone

        The temperature is doing one of these three things so it should be easy for people to put their case convincingly. How about it Judith?

        tonyb

      • I see you’re still running the lolwot school of how to fit linear trend lines to nonlinear data

      • Funny how you didn’t have a problem with catweazle666 doing it….perhaps you could explain why

      • I didn’t read his offering, otherwise I might have replied to it, but I did read yours – hence the reply.
        Besides, you should have known better – it’s been pointed out to you more than once

      • You are wrong about linear trends, and I don’t believe you didn’t read his comment

      • You can believe what you like. Just don’t try to tell me you have the slightest clue about linear regressions.

      • What I did is valid. I used linear regression to debunk catweazle666’s claim that warming stopped since 1997.

        His claim was based on linear regression. I use it to show he was wrong.

      • Those who try to fight garbage with garbage usually can’t tell the difference between garbage and garbage

      • peter317 “Those who try to fight garbage with garbage usually can’t tell the difference between garbage and garbage”

        lolwot and the rest’s cherry flinging is amusing. The best suite of data starts around 2002 with ARGO, AQUA, and the rest which were funded to figure out discrepancies between theory and the data. If you point out what the new telemetry indicates, you are cherry picking. Tsonis propsed a climate “shift” in 1998, if you use data around and from that time, you are cherry picking. The rate of stratospheric cooling changed rater abruptly in 1995, if you use that time period you are cherry picking. Anything that appears interesting in the data that doesn’t fit the “consensus” is cherry picking, but we are called the “deniers”.

        These guys really don’t realized how screwed their logic is and they want to be in charge :)

      • Global warming is approximated by a linear relationship between time and temperature anomaly. Therefore it is valid to test this by applying linear regression to the data.

      • That’s not testing anything. It’s like measuring a piece of string with a piece of string.

      • If your hypothesis makes a prediction about the linear trend then of course calculating the linear trend is a test.

      • And if the data isn’t linear then it only serves to make you over-sure of your (wrong) results

      • The world has warmed in the last 30 years. Someone uses linear regression to claim that warming stopped in 1997. I show that’s not true according to linear regression.

      • I’m not saying the world has not warmed in the last 30 years, and I’m not saying that the warming hasn’t stopped.
        But you can’t use linear regression to show (or refute) either case – unless you know the underlying trend is in fact linear.

      • And if you already know that the trend is linear then you don’t need to use linear regression to show it.
        But you don’t know it, so you can’t use linear regression to prove (or disprove) it. You’re just fooling yourself.

      • lolwot, instead of cherry picking cherry picked trends just look at all the trends. It is the change in the rate of change that tells the tale.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/07/analyse-this.html

        In general, it looks like a shift to less volatility. What does that mean? Is CO2 stabilizing the climate or is the climate reaching a plateau? Does theory correctly predict either of those?

      • I didn’t cherrypick anything.

        I used RSS because that’s what catweazle666 used.

        I started at the beginning of the satellite record. I didn’t choose when the satellite record began.

        I ended by trend at 1997. That’s the end point catweazle666 choose. I did not chose it.

        If anyone is cherrypicking it’s you. Like Peter317 you choose to attack my use of linear trends and ignore catweazle666’s use of linear trends.

        Perhaps because catweazle666 isn’t a warmist? Is that how it works?

      • lolwot, I don’t have any problem with RSS other than the data isn’t broken down into enough regions to analyze. The cherry picking is the time periods to show trends. You can use the linear estimates of all the possible trends in a data set to avoid picking cherries. I don’t care if it is a warmist, coolist, beggar man or thief, linear trends in a non-linear system are misleading especially when you have no clue what the time constants or limits are in the system.

        Earth’s climate is bi-stable. CO2 could change that, but it is pretty unlikely. By looking at the changes in all the trends in the available data, you at least have a shot at figuring out some limit or time constant that may lead to the next clue.

        That data appears to indicate an approach to a set point. The linear regression comparison appears to indicate a tendency towards less volatility. You comment pattern indicates a tendency of denial :)

      • “linear trends in a non-linear system are misleading”

        And yet you stick polynomial trends in a non-polynomial system…

        If you can’t justify catweazle666’s claim that warming stopped in 1997 in RSS then just say so.

        I showed that the linear trend in warming up to 1997 in RSS has continued. It hasn’t stopped.

      • lolwot

        Thanks for posting the graphs, which show that it hasn’t warmed over the past 15 years.

        This is amazing, since CO2 emissions continued unabated and atmospheric CO2 levels reached record heights.

        What’s going on here, lolwot?

        Why is CO2 no longer driving our climate?

        What is causing this unexplained travesty?

        Max

      • The skeptics like showing the warmest decade in recorded history out of context with previous decades.
        For water vapor, the surface is where it mostly is. You need to look there for increases.

      • Thank you.

        The AGW camp does not want the facts. Now they are saying global mean temperature does not tell about global warming:)

    • “Just the facts
      1. Increasing CO2 disturbs the energy balance
      2. The earth has to warm to restore it
      3. As the earth warms, water vapor increases
      4. Water vapor is also a greenhouse gas
      5. The earth warms more in response to the increased water vapor”

      A fundamental problem to this, is the Earth receives most the energy from the Sun in the tropic. An increase in CO2 can not have much affect upon the greenhouse effect at the tropic, because tropics already has a huge amount of water vapor.
      Or if you want to know what runaway effect looks like, look at the tropics, and zone which has a vast majority of the earth’s water vapor.

      If you wanted a way to increase global temperatures, what you need is something that significantly reduces cloud formation in the tropics. You can ignore the rest of the planet.
      Or “paint” the clouds in the tropics with “black paint” and global temperature would rise by say 10 C.

      In tropics one has about 3 % water vapor and .04 % CO2, so tropics has already had it’s runaway effect and isn’t going runaway much more.
      One can not in the current world have the rest of planet like the tropics,
      but if you could, what would bad about tropical weather in New York?

      “The skeptics have pinned their hopes on an increase in cloud cover albedo that has not materialized, while the observed drop in summer sea ice extent exacerbates the effect.”

      All Skeptics need to do is look global temperatures for last 10 years.
      It may or may not get a bit cooler, but don’t wish it would get cooler.

      • CO2 reduces outgoing IR. The earth has to warm somewhere to counteract this. At the moment the Arctic and land areas are warming fastest, 0.3 degrees per decade for the last 30 years in land areas. I am not sure there is any cause for comfort that the tropics are not warming so quickly, unless you live there.

      • How does CO2 does that? The surface is free to cool by non-radiative fluxes and the more radiatively active atmosphere should radiate more energy to space. Overall, and on the face of it, I see a cooling effect. If CO2 reduces outgoing IR, doesn’t it mean reduced (emission) temperature?

      • Yes, it reduces the emission temperature because the mean radiating level goes higher when the gas emits more effectively. Looking down at earth in the IR you see a higher colder layer on average as the atmosphere is more opaque in the CO2 wavelengths.

      • Since natural cooling is far more likely than natural warming, the only way to pull off the CO2 demonization, and the guilting of human progress, will be to conceive of CO2 as a cooling agent. I’ve been waiting for that step.

        After all, in the paleo record, temperature always falls some time after CO2 rises. Send me the money, I’ll propose a grant.
        =============

      • Additional CO2 moves the average altitude of emission up. That does, indeed, reduce initially the temperature of the source of emission by making the temperature difference between the emitting layers and the surface larger.

        The immediate effect is the reduction of the temperature of emission source but that creates an energy imbalance (radiative forcing) that starts to warm the atmosphere and the surface. The warming continues as long as the energy imbalance has not been removed by the warming. Assuming that the increase in the CO2-concentration stops the ultimate result is a warmer surface and the same effective radiative temperature as before the whole process started.

      • Don’t give them ideas kim. I didn’t say it’s significant.

      • Pekka, so you mean in a steady state, and at constant incoming solar energy, the Earth can only radiate 100% of the incoming solar energy (of course in a different spectrum)?

      • Edim,
        That was the correct interpretation of part of my message.

      • “Additional CO2 moves the average altitude of emission up. That does, indeed, reduce initially the temperature of the source of emission by making the temperature difference between the emitting layers and the surface larger.”

        I presume this increased temperature difference will happen only so long as the average altitude of emission for CO2 remains primarily below the tropopause.

      • willb, yes, some definitions of forcing use the tropopause as the level rather than infinity. This defines the forcing on the troposphere more in isolation, which is more directly relevant to how the surface and convection need to respond.

      • Jim D, has the altitude of emission for CO2 been measured? How close does it get to the tropopause?

      • willb, different wavelengths have different altitudes. The center of the CO2 15 micron band, seen from space, is emitted from the stratosphere, but the broadening wings are from the troposphere.

      • Steven Mosher

        Edim,

        It is simple. the earth cools to space by one process: radiation. If there were no atmosphere the earth would radiate from the surface ( roughly ).
        Since the earth has an atmosphere it radiates back to space from a level known as the “ERL” effective radiating level. This is the altitude in space where the concentration of GHGs is low enough that radiation can escape. In other words, GHGs are relatively opaque to IR as you go higher in the atmosphere the opacity diminishes until you reach a level at which energy radiates back to space. That altitude has a temperature.

        When you add GHGs you increase the opacity of the atmosphere and the ERL moves to a higher altitude. Because we have a lapse rate, that higher altitude is colder. So the earth is still radiating to space, BUT from a higher colder place. Colder objects lose energy via radiation at a slower rate that hotter objects, so by raising the ERL you are slowing the rate at which the earth cools. The surface in response also loses energy less quickly. That is called “warming”

        Here is a nice explaination

        http://www.aos.wisc.edu/~aos121br/radn/radn/sld012.htm

      • Steven Mosher, thanks for the explanation, I’m still far from convinced, but I’ll look into it in detail, when I have time.

      • Using concepts like the Effective Radiating Level may be helpful or confusing. The same is true for the it’s defined on the liked page:

        The lowest level in the atmosphere from which IR radiation is able, on average, to escape upwards to outer space without being reabsorbed.

        I’m sure some the concept is helpful for some, but it’s also confusing because all altitudes from the surface to TOA contribute to the radiation that escapes both before and after the increase on CO2 concentration. The words effective and on average are supposed to help in understanding, but what does on average mean in this connection and, how is effective defined.

        The basic idea is correct. Less radiation can escape from the surface or from low altitude atmosphere and more from the escaping radiation is emitted from altitudes near the tropopause. Thus the average altitude of the point of emission of escaping IR quanta is certainly rising, but only a very small part of that radiation originates near to the Effective Radiating Level.

      • EDIM, http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/blog/archives/1447

        “Noted a large area of extremely cold cloud tops on a thunderstorm complex over northern Australia 17-23z 11/22. So cold it went off our IR color table scale we use here at WSI for MTSAT!”

        There is an “Effective Radiant Layer” ERL and there are effective ways to radiate beyond that layer. Deep Convection is pretty effective. That is not your average milquetoast negative feed back. A two dimensional, up/down radiant model just doesn’t seem to do justice to the awesome ways energy can find a path.

      • Jim D, if you’re correct that the center of the CO2 15 micron band is emitted from the stratosphere, then why do you maintain that the emission temperature for CO2 is reduced as its radiating level goes higher? Isn’t the lapse rate in the stratosphere reversed from that of the troposphere? Doesn’t temperature increase with altitude in the stratosphere?

      • The stratospheric lines of the strongest CO2 bands are so narrow that they has rather little influence on the total. Furthermore it’s influence on the overall balance does not change much.

        The line width is narrow because there are much fewer collisions between molecules in the thin stratospheric air.

      • willb, yes, as Pekka mentions it is an integrated effect with a negative contribution from the band center, but overall positive. Radiative transfer models do this integration for you. The water vapor feedback is mostly tropospheric.

      • Jim D (and Pekka), there is an interesting (at least to me) picture on the Science of Doom website, in the post “CO2 – An Insignificant Trace Gas? Part One”. The picture is from from Goody & Yung (1989):
        “Fig 6.1. Observed and theoretical spectra for clear skies over the Gulf of Mexico, April 23, 1969.”
        The picture shows the trough caused by the CO2 absorption band in the outgoing longwave radiation spectrum. At the center of the trough there is a slight blip upwards. I presume this is a result of the CO2 band center being well within the stratosphere, so that the band center is radiating at a higher temperature due to the reversal of the lapse rate. I think it would be very interesting to see what this spectrum looked like today, 53 years later. With the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere since 1969, would you not expect the trough to be deeper and wider and the blip at the center to be bigger and wider as well?

      • willb, yes, I have seen similar spectra. If you want to play around with a radiative transfer graphic tool, try the MODTRAN U. Chicago interactive web program. It shows how what you describe changes as you add or subtract CO2.

      • Dave Springer

        captdallas2 0.8 +0.2 or -0.4 | July 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm |

        “There is an “Effective Radiant Layer” ERL and there are effective ways to radiate beyond that layer. Deep Convection is pretty effective. That is not your average milquetoast negative feed back. A two dimensional, up/down radiant model just doesn’t seem to do justice to the awesome ways energy can find a path.”

        Bingo! Give the man a cigar.

        In a non-convecting atmosphere the lapse rate is fixed. In a convecting atmosphere it is not. Our atmosphere convects. Big time. A response to an increase in GHG will include at least some of lowering the lapse rate between surface and clouds and increasing it between clouds and space. The more water that’s available for evaporation at the surface the more the lapse rate changes and the less the surface temperature changes. This is why we see more so-called global warming over land and in the higher latitudes. As we move from ocean to land at the same latitude there is less water available for evaporation and as we move from lower to higher latitudes there is less water available for evaporation because the air is colder and for some months the surface is frozen and we get virtually no evaporation at all from a frozen surface.

        It all makes sense once you gain a proper understanding of the physics of water on a water world.

      • In a non-convecting atmosphere the lapse rate is fixed. In a convecting atmosphere it is not.

        In a non-convecting atmosphere the lapse rate is not at all fixed. In a convecting atmosphere it is determined by the local properties of the atmosphere having one fixed value as long as condensation does not occur and lower values when condensation is occurring.

        Our atmosphere convects. Big time. A response to an increase in GHG will include at least some of lowering the lapse rate between surface and clouds and increasing it between clouds and space.

        There’s some change up to the altitude where condensation ceases to be significant. Higher up in the troposphere the lapse rate does not change.

        The more water that’s available for evaporation at the surface the more the lapse rate changes and the less the surface temperature changes.

        You are right to the point that the lapse rate feedback related to additional moisture in atmosphere is a negative feedback for the global energy balance. It’s negative, because it leads to a warmer upper troposphere. Thus the upper troposphere will radiate more IR reducing the GHE. Thus the explanation is not the one that you give below (it might be seen even as opposite to what you write), but the negativity of the feedback is correct.

        More moisture in the atmosphere will not change only the lapse rate, but it affects also the absorption and emission of IR. This is a positive feedback. it’s common to combine lapse rate feedback and water vapor feedback in analysis of feedbacks as the uncertainties in their estimates cancel in part.

        This is why we see more so-called global warming over land and in the higher latitudes. As we move from ocean to land at the same latitude there is less water available for evaporation and as we move from lower to higher latitudes there is less water available for evaporation because the air is colder and for some months the surface is frozen and we get virtually no evaporation at all from a frozen surface.

        It all makes sense once you gain a proper understanding of the physics of water on a water world.

        Understanding physics is, indeed, useful and erroneous views lead to totally wrong conclusions.

      • Dave Springer

        Pekka you should write less and read more:

        Below is an article by a climatologist discounting the so-called Dragon Slayer mythology about compressional heating.

        http://www.marshall.org/article.php?id=1071

        “Compressional heating” cannot explain the relative warmth of the Earth’s surface because, if the atmosphere could not cool from IR radiation, it would warm to the same temperature as the surface. This is an isothermal atmosphere, which is convectively stable, and so all convection would stop. Without convection, there is no “adiabatic lapse rate” which describes how a parcel of air warms as it descends from a high altitude to a lower altitude.

        Mibold.

        The characteristics of a non-convecting atmsphere are pretty critical to a basic understanding of our convecting atmosphere. The non-convecting atmosphere is a model atmosphere that must be understood.

        I happen to disagree on a minor point with Spencer here in that we have to be very careful about what “isothermal” means in a gravitationally bound column of gas. Thermal energy in this context is the sum of kinetic and gravitational potential energy so if we are using a thermometer to check the temperature of an isothermal atmosphere we will observe a decrease as we ascend because at the surface there is no gravitational energy to account for and our thermometer, which only measures kinetic energy, will give us a true reading. As we ascend we would have to scale our thermometer reading by the amount of gravitational potential energy for that altitude. This little factoid about thermal energy vs. pure kinetic energy is the source of much confusion. But there’s no confusion, except perhaps in your addled mind, about the lapse rate being fixed in a non-convecting atmosphere. But I guess someone who believes the greenhouse effect on earth can theoretically make the surface temperature 5000K doesn’t have much going on upstairs to begin with so I shouldn’t be surprised.

      • Dave Springer

        @Pekka who writes:

        “More moisture in the atmosphere will not change only the lapse rate, but it affects also the absorption and emission of IR. This is a positive feedback. it’s common to combine lapse rate feedback and water vapor feedback in analysis of feedbacks as the uncertainties in their estimates cancel in part.”

        Without convection the moisture content of the atmosphere is fixed. The only way to change the amount of moisture is through convection. Duh. Mebbe you should stop to think all the way through the verbal diarhhea gushing forth from your brain before you commit it to paper.

      • Dave Springer

        It appears a number of people here on the warmist side fail to realize that as temperature increases the absorption coefficient of a material changes little but the emission coefficient changes a lot in comparison. As the atmosphere warms it absorbs energy at the same rate but the emission rate rises. This caps the maximum temperature which can be acheived by greenhouse heating.

        Again, Spencer discusses this here:

        http://www.marshall.org/article.php?id=1071

        and uses an illustration from Manabe and Strickler (1964), Fig. 4 which illustrates the radiative equilibrium lapse rate, the dry adiabatic rate, and the critical rate at which the atmosphere becomes unstable.

        FIRST, contrary to the assertions of some, the rate of IR absorption and emission of atmospheric layers are, in general, NOT the same. While the rate of IR absorption does not change much with the temperature of the absorber, the rate of IR emission increases rapidly with temperature.

        Ask Pekka for references before you believe the sometimes absurd things he says. I have no problem with providing references to my assertions and strive to do exactly that as much as time permits. Citations are expected in science.

      • Dave Springer

        (double posted to fix the bad blockquote)

        It appears a number of people here on the warmist side fail to realize that as temperature increases the absorption coefficient of a material changes little but the emission coefficient changes a lot in comparison. As the atmosphere warms it absorbs energy at the same rate but the emission rate rises. This caps the maximum temperature which can be acheived by greenhouse heating.

        Again, Spencer discusses this here:

        http://www.marshall.org/article.php?id=1071

        and uses an illustration from Manabe and Strickler (1964), Fig. 4 which illustrates the radiative equilibrium lapse rate, the dry adiabatic rate, and the critical rate at which the atmosphere becomes unstable.

        FIRST, contrary to the assertions of some, the rate of IR absorption and emission of atmospheric layers are, in general, NOT the same. While the rate of IR absorption does not change much with the temperature of the absorber, the rate of IR emission increases rapidly with temperature.

        Ask Pekka for references before you believe the sometimes absurd things he says. I have no problem with providing references to my assertions and strive to do exactly that as much as time permits. Citations are expected in science.

      • Dave,

        You seem to have also articles that confirm what I have been saying all the time. What’s missing is that you would understand something of all this.

        You are countering me with quotes that could have been copied from some of my own writings. Is that the best that you can do?

      • I think Dave springer was confusing ‘rate’ with ‘coefficient’ when talking about absorption and emission. This may have given people the wrong impression. The coefficients are indeed the same, but the rates are not because the absorption rate depends on the incoming IR at that wavelength, while emission rate depends only on the temperature and amount of the gas itself.

      • Dave,

        You gave a reference to the article More Musings from the Greenhouse by Dr. Roy Spencer. It’s actually good and clear and 100% in agreement with what I have written. Try to learn from it.

      • Dave Springer

        Pekka,

        Feel free to actually provide a link a quote and a description of what you “agree” with. You said a non-convecting atmosphere did not have a fixed lapse rate. I said it did have a fixed lapse rate and quoted a climatologist saying exactly that. Now you claim to agree with my quote. Is this some Finnish (fiendish?) way of conceding a point without coming right out and saying you were wrong?

        Please clarify. How can you continue to claim a non-convecting atmosphere does not have a fixed lapse rate and simultaneously agree with my quoted reference that it is indeed fixed.

      • Dave,

        As I said that article by Spencer is good. I agree on all of that – and everything that I have written on issues contained in that article in this thread and in many earlier threads is in full agreement with that.

        If you feel find something where what I have written is in contradiction with that article feel free to tell. Perhaps I can explain the issues better.

        I have not written in these comments anything that would be contrary to the views of most climate scientists, and those agreeing on that include almost certainly all well known skeptical climate scientists. There are, of course, innumerable other skeptics who disagree with skeptical climate scientists (and with me).

      • JimD, “I think Dave springer was confusing ‘rate’ with ‘coefficient’ when talking about absorption and emission. This may have given people the wrong impression.” No, Dave may be an arrogant butt hole that don’t know squat about the stratosphere, but the absorptivity and emissivity of a substance varies with the properties of the substance, not just the S-B ideal black body estimation. It is close in most cases, but water is not one of those cases :)

      • Dave Springer

        Jim D | July 15, 2012 at 11:13 am |

        “I think Dave springer was confusing ‘rate’ with ‘coefficient’ when talking about absorption and emission. This may have given people the wrong impression. The coefficients are indeed the same, but the rates are not because the absorption rate depends on the incoming IR at that wavelength, while emission rate depends only on the temperature and amount of the gas itself.”

        Perhaps. It comes from chemistry. Reaction rate and reaction coefficient are synonymous. I believe your objection is pedantic in nature

        http://www.shodor.org/unchem/advanced/kin/index.html

        eg: k is the rate constant or rate coefficient

        My apology if it actually confused someone who wasn’t already confused. I doubt anyone else was bothered.

      • Dave Springer

        capt. dallas

        Arrogant butt hole… yes, it’s a carefully cultivated image designed to produce heated responses. I believe the true thoughts of people are more likely to be vocalized in a heated response. Mea culpa.

        But don’t know squat about the stratosphere? Exactly what do you think I don’t know about it? I know it’s ocassionally penetrated by convective cells otherwise no weather takes place in it. I know the lapse rate reverses and radiation becomes dominant because it’s too thin for collisions to thermalize the radiation. It’s preceded by the troposphere and succeeded by the mesosphere. The lower boundary is about 20 kilometers (give or take). The jet streams, which are important to regional weather patterns, blow beneath the stratosphere in the highest part of the troposphere.

        Perhaps there was something specific you though I didn’t know about it. Please clarify.

      • Dave, ” The lower boundary is about 20 kilometers (give or take).” There is a lot of give an take since it is a dynamic layer, just like the tropopause. As far as thermo goes, the stratosphere is the point were the temperature inversion from the tropopause begins. It is not a neat, tidy, layer. So when I mention deep convection blowing through, that could be 20K in the tropics or 4K in the Arctic winter. That is why ice balance near the poles has such a large impact on climate among other things.

      • capt. dallas, you are saying water doesn’t obey Kirchhoff’s Law stating that absorptivity equals emissivity which holds for other substances.

      • JimD, “capt. dallas, you are saying water doesn’t obey Kirchhoff’s Law stating that absorptivity equals emissivity which holds for other substances.”

        No, I am saying that the time to establish the thermodynamic equilibrium required in Krichoff’s law varies with the thermodynamic properties of the substance. If water turns to ice, it could be a while before that ice melts.

      • Capt.Dallas,

        I interpret your comment to mean that Kirchhoff’s law is not valid, when you calculate emission using a wrong temperature, not that of the surface, but some other. That’s certainly true, but is that interesting?

      • Pekka, It is interesting if you want to get the right answer :) 10 percent of the solar absorbed by the oceans is at some depth. the emissivity at the surface is based on energy absorb at another time and likely another place. and the conditions of the atmosphere that are based on conditions and energy from another time and another place. If you assumption of equilibrium accounts for all the lags and covers the right area, then Kirchoff’s works just fine. But you need a way to verify if that is a good assumption.

        That is why I use a moist air envelope and a radiant envelope. Comparing the two, you can get an indication of if the assumption is valid. But you have mass transferred from the moist air envelope to the radiant envelope and mass/energy stored in ice, transferred outside both envelopes. Both thermal mass and energy have to be considered.

        You would say that that is small enough to be negligible, but with a bi-stable system you can’t just make that assumption, you need to verify that assumption because as the system approaches either of the bi-stable points the impact of one forcing would decrease while another increases. That is basically a hyperbolic non-linear dynamic feature.

        If the system were linear, then no problem, assume away :)

      • For the short-wave water is transparent and cannot be described correctly as a surface, for LWIR it’s so opaque that it can well be considered a surface. It’s questionable, whether a temperature can even be defined for a significantly thinner layer than that where all LW absorption and emission occurs.

      • capt. dallas, Kirchhoff’s Law does not apply to solar absorption versus IR emission. It applies to absorption and emission at each individual wavelength. There is no expectation that solar absorption is balanced by IR emission for the ocean surface, even in the long term. There are other ways of losing and gaining energy.

      • Pekka, yeah, so if you assume a Krichoff layer at some other point you find there is an imbalance and that imbalance has to be due to CO2, unicorn farts or some combination of the two. If you compare two or more layers you can isolate whether it is the unicorn farts or CO2.

        Then you look at the ocean surface and as the deeper oceans regain energy lost during some whale fart episode, you see that is was more unicorn and less CO2 at the original Kirchoff’s layer. Every assumption made in a complex dynamic system has to be verified or we will be over run with unicorns.

      • Again undefined concepts that cannot provide a basis for real understanding. For that you must define precisely what you are discussing, precisely enough to allow putting them on formulas of physics.

      • Pekka, I am painfully aware that my non standard approach is not going to be accepted in “proper” scientific communities until I reinvent the wheel and get rid of misconceptions of what thermodynamics can and cannot do. In thermo I can select a frame of reference, determine the energy in, the energy out, the work done and the entropy. I can elect to move to another frame of reference, repeat and compare. Once the solutions agrees in all frames of reference I have a good shot at having a correct answer.

        JimD, “For a body of any arbitrary material, emitting and absorbing thermal electromagnetic radiation in thermodynamic equilibrium, the ratio of its emissive power to its dimensionless coefficient of absorption is equal to a universal function only of radiative wavelength and temperature, the perfect black-body emissive power.”

        Solar was an example JimD, that solar will at some point in time contribute to the temperature and therefore the radiative wavelength of the surface. At that surface, the entropy and the enthalpy of the water determine a large portion of the energy released from that surface. So if you are going to use Kirchoff’s law you should simplify life by pick a surface closer to a “perfect Black Body”. Water is not a perfect black body because it can go through phase changes. So the best “surface” to pick is the Tropopause, little if any water right. The energy leaving the tropopause though still has about 70% provided by a surface of water. The “dimensionless coefficient of absorption” will vary.

      • Capt.Dallas,

        If I understand correctly, a major part of the difficulty to proceed in this discussion is a lack of common language (I don’t refer to English vs. Finnish). You think on the issues in many ways unconventionally and you use some words differently from me or Jim D. If you would be far enough to write formulas that you believe to represent your ideas precisely and not only illustratively, then we could probably understand you and either agree or disagree.

        The surface of water is definitely very difficult to handle mathematically as so many processes are important and influenced strongly by such difficult features as surface roughness, low altitude winds, mixing on the side of ocean, etc. Both latent heat transfer and IR are important and they are not the only important components.

        You are not the only one to conclude that top of troposphere or tropopause allows for more approachable ways to proceed, but it’s not easy either. Tropoause is at the edge of troposphere, but it’s not always at the same altitude, both its altitude and the properties of the atmosphere vary. Many considerations require that the altitude is kept constant, for those tropopause is perhaps not applicable, but one should choose some fixed surface close to the tropopause.

        Unfortunately it’s quite possible that only semiquantitative understanding can be reached without the help of a GCM-type model of the atmosphere as all quantitative results depend significantly on too many details that cannot be summarized well enough be any simple variables.

      • Pekka, “Unfortunately it’s quite possible that only semiquantitative understanding can be reached without the help of a GCM-type model of the atmosphere as all quantitative results depend significantly on too many details that cannot be summarized well enough be any simple variables.”

        Very true, The moist air and radiant layer envelopes are just another way to model without having to reuse the same assumptions required in a tropopause based model. It is simpler in some respects and more complicated in others, but it does allow for quick double checking. The construction or maximum entropy models also allow for a different approach to avoid common assumptions. I really think it should take at least two modeling approaches.

      • “CO2 reduces outgoing IR. The earth has to warm somewhere to counteract this. ”
        It doesn’t actually, it may, but it is not required.
        And get to question how much.

        “At the moment the Arctic and land areas are warming fastest, 0.3 degrees per decade for the last 30 years in land areas.”

        Arctic have warmed and cooled in last century. Any region has some kind warming or cooling trend over some period of time.

        “I am not sure there is any cause for comfort that the tropics are not warming so quickly, unless you live there.”

        You seem to be missing my point, the tropics can’t significantly warm, as it is already warmed.

      • Reducing output for the same solar input means energy converges, meaning warming, either at the surface or in the ocean, but it has to warm somewhere. I thought paleo studies showed a warmer tropical ocean in the past, so I don’t see why it can’t happen again.

      • “Reducing output for the same solar input means energy converges, meaning warming, either at the surface or in the ocean, but it has to warm somewhere. I thought paleo studies showed a warmer tropical ocean in the past, so I don’t see why it can’t happen again.”

        Total ocean, now at 3 C, should rise in temperature, at around 1 C per thousand years, assuming it as warm or warmer then current, though probably still rise in temperature, if cooler than present.
        ‘Though cold arctic water inhibits this warming. Paleo studies were at time when there was no polar ice caps. And probably the polar region lacked polar sea ice most of the time.

      • Falks its all about the recovery from the little ice age. There is NO sign of acceleration in the temperature record => http://bit.ly/Aei4Nd

      • Dave Springer

        gbaikie | July 13, 2012 at 9:48 pm |

        “Total ocean, now at 3 C”

        Not sure it makes any difference to your point but just to be clear total ocean is 4C not 3C. The bulk of the ocean (90%) lies below the thermocline at 3C but a thin (10% by volume) warm surface layer called the mixed layer floats on top of it with an average temperature of about 14-16C depending on who you ask. When this is combined with the frigid deep the result is very close to 4C. I’ve seen 3.9C in detailed calculation but I ballparked it on a napkin at 4C and continue to use the 4C number for brevity’s sake.

  59. Omnologos wrote with his usual astuteness:

    “Why are the uber-alarmists devoid of a Pielke Jr or a Lomborg, somebody able to cross all divides? Even you Judith, are constantly walking on the edge and providing ambiguous messages, with your veiled support for Lacis of all people.”

    Thank you for this, Omno. Why indeed? I suppose because they’re so deeply invested, and hence so deeply afraid it’s all going to come crashing down on them (They’re not dummies after all.. They know what the PDO is up to and what that implies…not to mention the quiet sun…just as well as the skeptics. They know they can’t debate because they’ll get their lunch handed to them, and they know the heat’s still missing despite Trenberth’s transparent attempt at an explanation. So the only thing left is anger, and arrogance, and desperate cries of “denialist.”

    As to Judith, It’s inconceivable to me that she doesn’t fully appreciate what a hopeless moron Lacis is.

    • “So the only thing left is anger, and arrogance”

      “It’s inconceivable to me that she doesn’t fully appreciate what a hopeless moron Lacis is”

      priceless

  60. Yah, priceless indeed. Let me ask you this, l.w, (yet another incredibly annoying warmist monicker.) Why won’t your boys debate? Why do they refuse time and time again? And why does Lacis put up a post which is really nothing more than a propaganda filled screed, then refuse to defend it. “I’m not hear to educate anyone” he says by way of defending himself. Then why post in the first place?

    • You mean like the debate Peter Hadfield was trying to have with Monckton until Monckton pulled out?

      • Dave Springer

        No, like this:

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenmeyer/2012/04/19/a-vivid-reminder-of-how-the-climate-debate-is-broken/

        The warmists stopped public debate with skeptic in 2008 because by then it was becoming apparent that the alarming (had it continued unabated) warming between 1990 and 2000 had ceased and predictions made by Hansen in 1988 and included in IPCC AR1 in 1990 for various GHG emission scenarios had failed. They’ve failed spectacularly now. All anyone has to do is say the IPCC prediction in 1990 was 0.3C/decade if CO2 emissions were not drastically curtailed. There was no curtailment at all and now in 2012, over two decades later, the rate of warming is below 0.15C/decade. This is below the best case IPCC AR1 projection where GHG emission was reduced to half the 1990 level.

        The global warming movement is surviving on nothing but political inertia at this point. The science was settled by actual observation and the warmist science was just plain wrong.

      • Dave Springer

        Easy way to win a debate with a warmist:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/every/mean:12/plot/rss/every/trend/plot/uah/every/mean:12/plot/uah/every/trend

        Both UAH and RSS agree that in the past 33 years of true global 24/7 surface temperature measurement from satellite based microwave sounding units there has been a grand total of 0.36C of warming.

        0.36/33 = 0.011C warming per year or 0.011C per decade since 1979.

        That’s 1.1C per century and that’s only if we can keep on increasing anthropogenic CO2 emission at a rate sufficient to offset the decline in GHG warming capacity at higher concentrations.

        Game over. Thanks for playing.

      • Dave Springer

        Opps… that’s 0.11C per decade not 0.011C.

  61. JUst to add, if I were a warmist, that refusal to debate would really bother me. In fact, it’s one of the things that persuaded me some years back when I was still a true believer, that all was not well in climate land.

  62. @lolwot: Thanks for the woodfortress graphs. On the other hand, I don’t think your argument makes sense.

    When I consider your last graph, there’s no contradiction there. It appears that there is a turning point in the 1998-2000 timeframe and by fitting two lines to a curve independently, using OLS, it’s not unexpected that the two lines will not meet at their endpoints. There’s no physical reason that I can think of why they would.

    You can move the endpoints around and it becomes fairly obvious that there is a two-year-ish turning point, and it’s also surprising to me that the two lines are as insensitive to the 1998 spike as they are. (I.e. include or don’t include 1998 in either or both lines and see how things change.)

  63. Kim writes: “Since natural cooling is far more likely than natural warming, the only way to pull off the CO2 demonization, and the guilting of human progress, will be to conceive of CO2 as a cooling agent. I’ve been waiting for that step.”

    They’re already approaching that with their ,”warming is the cause of the recent snowy winters in the NH.” IN fairness, I can conceive how that might be possible in theory. What bothers me is the absurdly obvious and convenient ad hoc nature of the explanation. One has to be blind not to notice that they’re constantly playing catch up in the face of stubbornly uncooperative date. Give Trenberth time. He’ll find that missing heat yet.

    • Joe's World

      pokerguy,

      On some levels kim is right.
      Waters natural state in space is ice.
      So, it is naturally drawn to the colder end of the spectrum and reacts when being warmed and levels of pressure and velocity differences.
      It has mass yet defies gravity!

      • Dave Springer

        Joe’s World | July 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Reply

        “On some levels kim is right. Waters natural state in space is ice.”

        Given enough time any ice will sublimate. Lower temperatures slow down sublimation so by the time you get to say the orbit of Saturn ice might persist for billions of years. Closer to the sun there’s none left. Somewhere between the orbit of Jupiter and Mars the natural state of water in space appears to go from ice to vapor.

  64. Just the facts:
    1. There is no physical evidence that IR absorbing/emitting gases trap heat energy.

    2. The earth has a hot molten core. An earth which could be isolated energetically from the universe has a temperature closer to the temperature of the core because the surface loses radiant energy to space.

    3. The surface loses net radiant energy to space because of the action of IR absorbing/emitting gases.

  65. Paul Vaughan

    “[It] may well be that it is a problem that is too difficult for humanity to solve,” he said.

    JC comment: news flash – climate change is a super wicked problem.”

    Such comments are irresponsible, particularly when coming from authority.

    A fine example of where authority figures engaged in the climate discussion don’t want to end up:

    Leif Svalgaard’s ongoing tyrannical & totally ridiculous sun-has-no-significant-effect-on-climate crusade at WUWT has led me to the following view on authoritative direction of climate belief:

    1 + 1 = 1984
    Law of Authoritative Ignorance &/or Deception

    In contrast, nature secures immediate trust:
    1. http://i45.tinypic.com/bfxn4.png
    2. http://i48.tinypic.com/349fbs2.png
    3. http://i49.tinypic.com/2jg5tvr.png (via Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum & Central Limit Theorem — robustly impervious to all sensible attack)

    It’s authoritative darkness vs. nature’s light.

    Game, set, & match.
    Nature wins.

    Authority would be well-advised to reconsider the benefits of appearing harmonized with nature (rather than in denial of it, as presently appears the case).

    • Yeah, many fewer virgin sacrifices necessary.
      =====

      • Paul Vaughan

        kim,

        Did you notice that some of the high-frequency ozone envelopes roughly follow the secular & solar components? This means a next-level analysis will repartition some of the variance.

        Those with encyclopedic photographic memory will have quickly realized that the secular component is coherent with the integral of atmospheric angular momentum.

        A similar technique can be used to repartition some ENSO variability in LOD to solar (via LCAM & CLT).

        The latter’s a trickier context for most climate enthusiasts; hopefully the much simpler ozone example will provide a conceptual stepping stone for quantitatively-intermediate-level climate explorers who can’t directly make the leap to variable-extent complex-wavelets & solar-terrestrial-climate-weave isolation.

        Even novices making the effort will find they can crudely approximate the results I’ve shared for total ozone (without employing wavelets & complex numbers).

        For those up for the total ozone challenge, the data are here: http://climexp.knmi.nl/select.cgi?id=someone@somewhere&field=o3col .

        Best Regards.

    • Joe's World

      :-)

      • Paul Vaughan

        Newly-uploaded (today)…

        Climatology Animation:

        Column-integrated Ozone

        Compare the steepest (midlatitude) gradients with (westerly) jet summaries…

        200hPa Wind:

        200hPa GPH & Wind — Polar View:

        [ Credit: Climatology animations have been assembled using JRA-25 Atlas [ http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/gmd/jra/atlas/eng/atlas-tope.htm ] images. JRA-25 long-term reanalysis is a collaboration of Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) & Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI). ]

        Also see:

        Zonal Wind Vertical Profile (incl. SAO & QBO):

        Total ozone has ENSO-decoding utility.

  66. lurker passing through, laughing

    Now that we have a fair number of Andy Lacis posts, let’s see if we can sum them up:
    Massive broad claims of complete knowledge that enables him to dismiss any disagreement- check
    Confusion of basics of physics with his interpretation of how those physics work in a complex system- check
    Desperate and angry demands people only look at what he considers important- check
    Asserting climate science is settled to the point that only his extreme policy demands are reasonable- check
    No experience in industry or leadership roles- check
    Projection and attribution of motives- check
    Ignoring failures in those with whom he agrees- check
    Apocalyptic prophecies based on his personal discoveries- check
    Have we missed much?

    • I think that pretty well covers it.I especially like your “Massive broad claims of complete knowledge that enables him to dismiss any disagreement- check”

      It can’t be a coincidence that so many of these people are jerks. Is there one guy in the whole bunch you wouldn’t mind having a few beers with?

      • Joe's World

        Not so far.
        As soon as they open their mouth to say something stupid, I’d feel this compelling urge to punch him right in the mouth for degrading my intelligence. “Only scientists are allowed to have a brain” all other people do not count no matter how much evidence of facts they produce……*(whack-a-moley time!)*

      • blueice2hotsea

        pokerguy

        How about Pekka? I’d buy him a beer. Some of his comments are pure sparkling clarity. He also seems to be quite brave and straightforward.

      • OK blue. I stand corrected. Pekka gets a beer. I’m sure he’s thrilled :-)

      • Dave Springer

        The last thing Pekkahed needs is more alcohol.

        http://en.ce.cn/World/Europe/200905/19/t20090519_19114267.shtml

        Finnish alcohol consumption tops among Nordic countries
        Last Updated(Beijing Time):2009-05-19 10:43

        The Finns drink more alcohol per capita than any of the other nationalities in the Nordic region and has for the first time overtaken Denmark as the Nordic country with the highest per capita alcohol consumption, according to a survey by Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare Monday.

        This explains a lot, actually.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Dave Springer

        Your stalking of Pekka is becoming disturbing.

        Anyway, if you really believe in stereotypes, then stop trying to push around a Finlander. You are likely making a bad mistake.

      • Yikes, they fight bears, ya know.
        ================

      • Dave,

        Gustolphus Agustus (sp?) utilized Finnish cavalry as his shock troops.

        As I recall, their battle cry was Hakka Pelle, which I believe loosely translates to hack them down.

        In otherwords, it isn’t wise to f… with a Finn.

      • Just ask Stalin. Reading about the Winter War almost – almost – makes one feel for Ivan.

      • The above comment of Dave really tells how seriously his comments should be taken in general.

        He knows as little about physics as he knows about my alcohol consumption.

      • I’d probably have a beer with just about any of them – but then that could be attributable to my liking beer.

        The better question is would I be willing to do it a second time. Can’t say without the observational data from the first event.

    • I would add – Believing that the non-validated models he uses reproduce in complete detail what happens in the real world.

      • Steven Mosher

        Interesting Andy has said no such thing. STOP LYING, you are no better than Gleick.

        What Lacis really says as opposed to your Gleickisms

        http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/atmospheric-co2-thermostat-continued-dialog-by-andy-lacis/

        “Aerosols are the really big uncertainty in global climate forcing with black carbon type aerosols causing 0.8 W/m2 warming, non-absorbing aerosols –1.1 W/m2 cooling, and indirect aerosol effect producing about –1.0 W/m2 cooling. Smaller radiative forcings are attributed to land use change (–0.15 W/m2) and to solar irradiance (0.30 W/m2).

        Aerosol and land use forcings are particularly troublesome because the observational constraints are so poor for these forcings. This is largely because current satellite measurements are only capable of making spectral intensity-only measurements, which makes it is impossible to attribute intensity contributions as coming unambiguously from the land surface, aerosols, or from undetected cloud contamination. Hopefully, polarimetric measurements on the upcoming NASA Glory mission will greatly improve on the aerosol forcing uncertainty.”

        “The GISS ModelE is specifically designed to be a ‘physical’ model, so that Roy Spencer’s water vapor and cloud feedback ‘assumptions’ never actually need to be made. There is of course no guarantee that the model physics actually operate without flaw or bias. In particular, given the nature of atmospheric turbulence, a ‘first principles’ formulation for water vapor and cloud processes is not possible. Because of his, there are a number of adjustable coefficients that have to be ‘tuned’ to ensure that the formulation of evaporation, transport, and condensation of water vapor into clouds, and its dependence on wind speed, temperature, relative humidity, etc., will be in close agreement with current climate distributions. ”

        “The real uncertainties in climate modeling lie in the area of understanding the natural (unforced) climate fluctuations that occur on inter-annual and decadal time scales, and on regional spatial scales. This variability occurs because the local climate system responses to energy imbalances strongly overshoot the imbalance, achieving energy balance only in a global and time averaged sense. Fortunately, this natural (unforced) climate variability produces fluctuations about the equilibrium climate state, and therefore does not contribute to the long term climate trend.”

        “The complexity of the physical processes that constitute the terrestrial climate system is undeniable. Clearly, full understanding of climate is not likely to be achieved in the foreseeable future since everything from microscopic to cosmic makes some contribution to climate, even if that contribution is miniscule. On the other hand, an adequate understanding of how the climate system works and operates is within reach.”

        “Things that we know less well

        We know that aerosols are significant contributors to global climate change, but aerosol radiative properties, cloud-aerosol indirect effect, and the trend in aerosol changes are poorly constrained by intensity-only measurements that have great difficulty separating aerosol radiative properties from sub-pixel cloud contamination and from changes in spectral surface reflectivity.

        The long term trend in solar irradiance change must be inferred indirectly based on sunspot cycle changes and proxy information.

        While changes in cloud distribution between two equilibrium climate states can be interpreted as ‘cloud feedback’, cloud response to changing meteorological conditions can impact multiple cloud characteristics (cloud cover, cloud height, cloud life time, water/ice phase, optical depth, particle size, diurnal phase), all of which have radiative consequences, some affecting the SW more, others the LW, but which are not readily confirmable with available observational data.

        While climate models do exhibit natural variability on inter-annual and decadal time scales that is qualitatively comparable to the real world, climate models have limited skill in modeling the regional and inter-annual climate fluctuations that take place in the climate system even in the absence of external forcing.

        The bulk of the problems related to the realistic modeling of regional climate patterns and unforced variability are undoubtedly attributable to the still primitive state of ocean circulation and heat transport, which is decades behind the advances made in atmospheric modeling.

        The state of modeling of ice sheet dynamics, in particular the rate at which ice sheets will disintegrate in the face of continued global warming, is in an even more primitive state than that of the ocean climate response modeling.

        There is anticipation, perhaps even support from observational evidence but with considerable uncertainty, that the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events may be increasing as the strength of the hydrological cycle intensifies in step with global warming.

        Beside the geological evidence that the Earth could not support polar ice caps when atmospheric CO2 was greater than about 450 ppm (and sea level was more than 200 ft higher than present), there is little clear indication of a ‘tipping point’ beyond which recovery from polar ice cap meltdown might become problematic.

      • I can say that I find little to disagree with here. That part I don’t get is how one reaches the conclusion we are headed towards a cliff, as Andy stated above.

      • “Roy’s last point about forcing the model with water vapor brings up an interesting point. If water vapor is a feedback, can it also be a forcing? The answer is “Yes, absolutely!” any externally imposed water vapor change beyond the ‘feedback equilibrium’ distribution of water vapor will constitute a radiative forcing. To illustrate this point, we performed two GCM runs – one with instantaneously doubled water vapor, the other with instantaneously zeroed water vapor (actually reduced by a factor of 1000 to avoid a divide check in a diagnostic routine that expects finite column water vapor). Initial model temperatures (and model physics) are the same as in the control run. The instantaneous net TOA forcing for doubled water vapor is 12 W/m2 warming, and –60 W/m2 cooling for zeroed water vapor”

        What does he mean reduce the factor by 1000. But also how can you double water vapor.
        You can’t double tropics water vapor. And tropics water vapor dominates the amount water vapor on the planet.
        The air simply can not hold twice as much water vapor. To hold that much more water vapor you have to have warmer air

        Next get to 1000th of water vapor. In such situation one would have zero clouds- just at starting point. The we have .003 percentage water vapor in the tropic or less. Because I don’t how reduce rest of planet by a 1000.
        Have scientist ever measured such levels of driest [and done with any accuracy]
        This is a 10th of CO2.
        So there problem making it so dry, drier the Mars dry. And then you have warm ocean that must evaporate, explosively evaporate, boil might better word. But if made up world doesn’t do this, what the clouds?
        I suppose one replace clouds with pixie dust so you have some amount sunlight being reflected [else the planet warms, and with non evaporating ocean it warms up a lot.
        So, the ocean doesn’t warm up because it’s not evaporating, and got pixie dust clouds, and the planet get 60 W/m2 cooling.
        So since 3.7W/m2 is suppose to be a lot, I guessing this means like 8 to 10 C decrease in global temperature?

        Well, don’t think the tropics would cool much, say 2 or 3 C [cooler nite, as day isn’t going to be effected much] which means we get a lot cooling in other regions- I don’t see it.

    • and in response, the skeptics just plead ignorance of all, even trivially true, science – check

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        Jim D,
        Obviously, critical reading and thinking skills are not areas of strength for you.

  67. “Such comments are irresponsible, particularly when coming from authority.
    A fine example of where authority figures engaged in the climate discussion don’t want to end up:”

    Where? In admitting they don’t know everything? And why do you need “authority figures” anyway? All in all, it’s a pretty strange post.

  68. The facts seem to have changed in recent times. First it was global warming that was the ogre, now it appears that the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is the real threat. This prompts the reply ‘Make up your mind’ particularly when we are hit with a blizzard. We all fear the weather to a greater or lesser degree, partly because we know we have no control of it. But some scientists are telling us that we are already controlling it and we can do so in the future. Seems unlikely. We live our lives in a jungle of advertising, so we learn to close our ears to the eternal spin. The facts on climate just become a part of the eternal spin. That is a fact that is more predictable than climate.

    • No we are definitely not controlling it. That would suggest we are “in control”. We are affecting it, not controlling it.

    • Relevant extract from an article in today’s Weekend Australian (14 hours ahead in Brisbane):

      Greens now constantly promote the wild idea that mankind’s irresponsible behaviour is causing “extreme weather”, and that only by being more meek, by radically overhauling our lifestyles, can we hope to tame this weather of mass destruction.
      But haven’t we heard this kind of thing before? Yes. From the biblical era to the Middle Ages, the idea that the immorality of man was responsible for enraging nature or God and causing storms and floods was widespread. …
      a columnist for The Guardian says recent floods are a kind of punishment for our polluting behaviour. “The turbulent weather we’ve seen is a warning of what lies ahead for us,” she said, unless we can be “cajoled, led, provoked and taxed into changing (our) ways”.
      Here, Gaia replaces God as the sender of floods to reprimand man and “change our attitudes”.
      People used to pin the blame for freaky weather on allegedly warped men and women. Most often women, actually. Many of the witch-hunts in 15th and 16th century Europe were aimed at strange women who were accused of having caused “extreme weather” through their immoral thoughts and behaviour.
      As the German historian Wolfgang Behringer argued in his 2004 book Witches and Witch-Hunts: A Global History, “large-scale persecutions of witches” most often followed “extreme climatic events”. Johann Weyer, the 16th-century physicist who opposed witch-hunting, described how one woman was forced to confess to causing climate change.
      A “poor old woman was driven by torture to confess as she was about to be offered to Vulcan’s flames that she had caused the incredible severity of the previous winter of 1565, and the extreme cold, and the lasting ice”.
      That poor old dear was a very early victim of mankind’s fear of extreme weather, of our instinct to find someone to blame for floods, heat, snow, locusts.
      The rise of green hysteria speaks to the return of a very irrational way of thinking. Greens are echoing the priestly classes of the past, who likewise imbued weather with moral sentience, depicting it as both a creation of mankind’s wickedness and the punisher of us for our sins.
      No amount of scientific garb can disguise how much of a throwback to barmier times today’s obsession with “extreme weather” really is.

      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/the-weather-of-mass-destruction-crowd-leaves-thought-back-in-the-dark-ages/story-e6frgd0x-1226425735648

      (Some of The Australian is behind a paywall. For 28 days free access: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/freetrial )

      • Faustino,

        So you’re in Brissy, eh? I understand many of you got washed away recently. I understand the Australian Greens leader attributes the floods to the coal miners. The coal miners caused the rain event that caused the floods. (By the way, there were bigger floods in the catchment in the 1800s – go figure!)

  69. Even if the public believed Global Warming was real, it’s still Made in China and the public is buying that too.

  70. even if the AGW-believing schoolmarms of public education had the power to stop global warming by de-industrializing America, what is their sacrifice… teaching in the dark while secretly watching 50s sitcoms behind cellar doors?

  71. Given the stonker economics of the Left and the example of Western Europe over the last 50 years does anyone not see the runaway explosive growth of an underground economy in the US–just like in dead and dying Europe? For example, does anyone seriously believe people are going to pay the extra 20% sales tax in Spain for toilet paper? You take the tax fix out of the global warming debate and the debate is over, overnight.

  72. Have just read Garth Paltridge’s “The Climate Caper”. It very succinctly describes the origins and maintenance of the global warming religion, including how the models are wrong and why nobody can argue with the modellers; how the economics is wrong and why nobody can argue with the environmentalists; how the science is unscientific and why nobody can change it.

    He says (p13) “In all probability, nothing much will change until the scientific community either provides categorical predictions as to who will be winners and who will be losers , or comes around to the extreme ‘load-of-nonsense’ theory.

    i think there is sufficient lack of proper evidence to support the ‘load-of-nonsense’ theory. All it needs is a few simple physics experiments in a real lab to determine the truth, vis:
    1. IR absorbing/emitting gases don’t trap heat (except in an IR reflective radiative transfer measuring apparatus)
    2. IR absorbing/emitting gases won’t transfer net heat energy from cooler to warmer
    3. A warm body surrounded by IR absorbing/emitting gases and cooler bodies will cool if conduction and convection are excluded.
    4. Radiative thermal equilibrium temperature of black bodies is independent of molecular composition.
    5. Equilibrium temperature of a body exposed to alternate cycles of heating and cooling is independent of molecular composition.

    All these facts could be easily proven by a theoretical physicist, but climate scientists wouldn’t be convinced without real experiments.

    • Steven Mosher

      except that’s not how it works. GHGs dont warm the planet. the slow the rate of cooling. You know this from your everyday experience of cloudy versus clear nights. There’s no “trapping” of heat, there is simply a decrease in the rate of cooling. we call that “warming” or “trapping heat” to communicate the idea, but technically, it’s just slowing the rate of cooling. A space blanket doesnt keep you warm by “trapping heat”. a hat doesnt keep you warm by trapping heat. They keep you warmer than you would have been without them by slowing the rate of energy loss via radiation.
      The walls of a thermos dont keep coffee warm by trapping heat. they slow the rate of loss of energy via radiation. pretty simple.

      • @SteveMosher, that’s fairytale physics. We are talking about cyclic heating and cooling. Real “Insulation” works both ways and does not have any impact on equilibrium temperature if there is cyclic heating and cooling. That is taken care of by point 5 actually.

        In the real world, land heats faster and cools faster than water but there is no good reason for the mean equilibrium temperature to be any different excepting convective mixing effects in water.

        The cloudy vs clear could be anything – humidity at surface, latent heat of water in clouds, etc but once again makes no difference to mean temp in cyclic heating and cooling (point 5).

        So if you want to defend a load of nonsense theory, show me some experimental results that back up a proper hypothesis.

      • Dave Springer

        Yes real insulation works both ways. GHGs are more analogous to a window that you open during the day to let in warm air and close at night to retain it. An even more accurate analogy is they simply make the planet darker in colors that are outside those your eyeballs can see. If you could see in infrared then looking down at the earth you’d notice that it gets a bit darker as GHGs rise. Darker objects get warmer in the sun than lighter objects.

        http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/phyopt/albedo.html

        It’s stated in the first paragraph at the link above that GHGs lower effective albedo and thus cause warming. This isn’t rocket science per se but it does come from astrophysics and optics. The thing of it is is that can’t get an albedo lower than zero so there’s a limit to greenhouse warming and we’re near the limit now. That’s why when the planet enters an interglacial period the temparature shoots up like a rocket then hits a proverbial glass ceiling above which it does not rise.

      • Dave Springer

        Large temperature swings will lower the mean temperature for a given amount of energy. That’s because energy loss is faster the greater the delta is between the source and the sink. So you’ll get the highest mean temperature in something that is cyclically warmed and cooled by having a buffer that keeps the temperature close to constant across the cycle. The ocean does this very, very well with almost no diurnal temperature fluctuation and damn little annual fluctuation. Land not so much. The moon is quite a bit colder than it would be if were spinning really fast or had some other mechanism of storing energy received during the day for release at night.

  73. Dave Springer

    “I’m a Denier” by M4GW 2011

    This is hilarious. I’m glad to see Minnesotan’s For Global Warming are still doing their thing!

  74. Dave Springer

    “Drill Baby Drill” by M4GW 2011

    I missed another one these guys did last year. This one is sung to the tune of Johnny B. Goode. Gotta love it.

  75. Dave Springer

    curryja | July 13, 2012 at 10:45 am |

    “I also advocate washing your hands before eating. Shame on me.”

    Shame on you indeed. Since the discovery and common use of antibiotics there are a whole host of chronic and acute diseases along with auto-immune disorders now suspected of being caused by periodic mass slaughter of symbiotic bacteria, the so-called microbiome, and failure to replace them in a timely manner by getting your hands dirty and putting your fingers in your mouth. Our antiseptic culture goes too far. Your immune system is like your musculature in that it needs exercise to prevent atrophy.

    I read this in a recent article in SciAm.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=ultimate-social-network-bacteria-protects-health

    It’s a hot topic. If you’ve got a strong stomach (pun intended) try this article along the same lines next:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=swapping-germs

    • While it is only ancedotal, I’v noticed that people who are overly worried about germs and bacteria, to the point of always using antibacterials and never eating leftovers seem to have more frequent gastro-intestinal issues than someone like me, who has a 5 minute rule (verse 5 seconds) for something dropped on the floor and who has no problem scraping mold off the top of a container of leftovers and eating what is left.

      • Ted Carmichael

        Clearly, Judy has been co-opted by Big Soap and cannot be trusted on this issue.

  76. Dave Springer

    Steven Mosher | July 14, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply

    “except that’s not how it works. GHGs dont warm the planet. the slow the rate of cooling

    Really. So the common claim that greenhouse gases raise the temperature of the earth’s from 255K to 288K is bogus and they should really be saying greenhouse gases prevent the temperature from falling to 255K.

    That’s a classic case of what’s called “splitting hairs” but if you reallyt want to take issue with it take issue with the global warming dogma which states it the wrong way.

    • Dave Springer

      Ya might also want to have a word with Pekka Pirila and some of the others you’ve dumbly supported when they’ve claimed that the theorectical limit to how hot greenhouse gases can make the planet is the temperature of the sun itself. Now I’m on record as vociferously objecting to the notion that greenhouse gases can warm the earth to 5000 Kelvin but you didn’t back me up on that and rather said I didn’t know what I was talking about.

      So what is it, Mosher, can greenhouse gases warm the earth to a theoretical maximum of 5000K or are they insulators-only or what?

      Here’s a clue. They aren’t really insulators. They act to reduce effective albedo. Bone up on albedo a little bit. Let me help:

      http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/phyopt/albedo.html

      A lot of the mistakes propagated around here wouldn’t fly for a New York minute in an astronomy class. I suggest you enroll in one at your local college. I did and got a perfect grade. Course that was 35 years ago but still I’ve probably forgotten more on the subject than you or Pekkahed ever knew.

      • Dave,

        I have refuted your interpretation on may statement at least five times in direct short answers to those claims.

        Please, stop lying on what others are saying.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Dave Springer

        Sorry for the overlong comment. Some explanations might help.

        I am one of “the others” who have used the Sun’s temperature as an upper boundary condition for Earth’s ST AND I have analogized GHGs as insulation. Depending on the context, it’s not necessarily stupid. Really.

        On one of the older threads (back-radiation, Sky Dragon I forget), some were suspicious of AGW based on an analogy of the upper troposhere as a -60 C heat lamp. The argument was that GHGs would not raise surface temperature beyond -60 C based on the fact that adding heat sources to increase the energy intensity on an object would nevertheless not increase the temperature of the object to greater than that of the hottest source.

        I wanted to address two confusions: active vs. passive sources and upper boundary temperature. I chose a conceptual model of an insulated water pipe (Sun-Earth-GHGs = hot water-pipe-insulation). Hunter seemed to hate the back-radiation story so I pitched the insulated pipe story to him. Voila, no problems.

        So that’s one context. I may well be stupid, but I claim it’s for reasons other than this.

        Anyway, if I am a fool, let Socrates speak. Thanks.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Oh, I forgot to mention: no matter how much insulation is added to the pipe, it will not get hotter than the hot water running through it. Likewise, no matter the increase in GHGs, the Earth will not get hotter than the Sun.

        The idea was it would be easier to get real by working down from the upper boundary than to do it by working up from the -60C.

        Thanks.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      The sun is the primary source for warming the Earth. Greenhouse gases do not warm the Earth as an energy source, but slow down the rate at which LW (originating with the sun) radiate back to space. Greenhouse gases thus alter the thermal gradient, which is essentially the same thing that you wearing a jacket on a cold winter day does, though the mechaism is different. If you increase the density of those greenhouse gases, or the thickness of the jacket, the thermal gradient is reduced further and the earth or your body will become warmer because heat is leaving more slowly. In both cases, the initial source of energy is the sun. This is all 5th grade physics.

      • Is there a parallel system in the atmosphere that also takes heat from the earth away to be radiated consisting of conduction, convection, and the latent heat of water?

      • Steven Mosher

        Here is the problem. Conduction only moves the heat from the surface to just above the surface. Convection moves the heat from free convective layer (FCL) to the equillibrium level. (EL) It does not move energy to space. That happens only through radiation. When you add GHGs you increase the opacity of the atmosphere. That RAISES the ERL ( effective radiating level). when the ERL is raised the earth radiates to space from a colder point. So you can move as much heat as you want via convection to the convection EL and that wont change the ERL where the earth finally radiates to space. Its the rate at the top that determines the rate of cooling at the surface

      • If the ERL was based solely on one radiant gas, CO2 that would be perfect. Water vapor is also a radiant gas with a very non uniform radiant layer and a much broader radiant spectrum. It is the interaction of the two primary radiant gases that is the key.

      • That’s correct. But keep in mind that even though the layer above the tropopause accounts for the majority of the dimensional thickness of the atmosphere, it’s only about 20% of the mass, including the CO2. IOW, only on the order of 20% of the CO2 in the atmosphere fully participates in the greenhouse effect. It’s probably actually less, due to its molecular weight, but it can’t be any more. The CO2 in the troposphere contributes some greenhouse effect, but it’s not the simple dry/still gas model that you can apply above.

  77. “just the facts, please” is very much in line with the linear mode of science communication (which you often criticize), but social science research has shown that just providing people with facts does not have much effect on their thinking about those facts. Kahan, who is featured heavily in this post, would surely agree (judged from his published research).

    It may not be a popular message for physical scientists, but just the facts won’t do.

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/just-the-facts-madam-just-the-facts-wont-do/

    Of course, over-egging the pudding isn’t the answer either. Communicating facts that clash with belief systems may itself be quite a wicked problem.

  78. As I’m not a scientist, but speak only as a public citizen, let me state the following fact:

    The winter snow cover has dropped worldwide so substantially as to leave no doubt that AGW is happening, is having profound effects, and is heading for greater positive feedbacks that will have unpredictable and rapid consequences on us all.

    The same is seen in permafrost, in sea ice extent, in glacier extent, in ocean warming, in sea level rise (which imperils what had before been land ice and snowpack), in disruption of biological systems on a planetary scale. Now, I’m not sounding an alarm. Act, or don’t, I just don’t care.

    But my sense of economic fairness is offended that someone is causing all this change without the permission of the rest of us, and they just aren’t paying us any compensation.

    I want my money, and I think the rest of us should get their money too. Because that’s how it works when you trespass without permission and vandalize someone’s stuff and get caught red-handed: you have to pay to make it right.

    All this coddling the criminals crap that some soft-hearted voices promote is simply irresponsible, a form of anarchy. Even libertarians want people to pay for it when they overstep their own space and trespass on others and are stupid enough to get caught.

    • lurker passing through, laughing

      So now to doubt the consensus is to coddle criminals, and fluctuations in the climate are trespassing?
      This underlying irrationality from consensus backers is a great reason to keep on laughing at the consensus.

      • Bart is correct. I am posting from Switzerland where we have to pay a disposal fee when we purchase an appliance. This acts to dissuade people from tossing their used appliances off the side of the road. No one has ever considered a disposal fee on used CO2, which is the simple basic fact that Bart has pointed out. It’s really not that difficult a concept to comprehend.

      • The fact that the concept is easy to comprehend has no bearing on it being a good idea for CO2. That’s just nuts.

      • jim2 | July 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm |

        The fact that the concept is easy to comprehend has no bearing on it being a good idea for CO2.

        Actually, ‘easy to grasp’ is one of the prime qualities of a good public measure.

        Fair, minimal, simple, easy to understand, equitable, true, administratively straightforward, excludable, applied to a rivalrous, limited resource.. These are the things that _do_ matter.

        Leaving unprivatized a Commons that is visibly being extinguished, that would be nuts.

      • lurker passing through, laughing | July 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm |

        It doesn’t take believing in any consensus to be ripped off without consent.

        I know it. You know it. Someone’s making out like a bandit at the expense of those who emit less CO2E by emitting more for money.

        I want my money, regardless of any consensus.

        This is simple Economics. It’s the Economy.

        It’s not nonconsensus that’s the issue. It’s non-consent.

      • Bart R, I thought you said you weren’t a scientist, so how could you possibly know?

      • Tom | July 16, 2012 at 11:32 am |

        Is that more like asking, if I said, “I weren’t a believer, how could I sin?” or, “If I weren’t a sinner, how could I believe?”

        Because your question, as is typical of your questions, makes no rational sense either.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Bart R

        Someone’s making out like a bandit at the expense of those who emit less CO2 by emitting more for money.

        You must mean the farmers, right? OTOH, the increased agricultural productivity due to CO2 means a lot of light emitters are unfairly eating without compensating the heavy emitters.

        I say, no more food to YOU until you pay up. :)

      • blueice2hotsea | July 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm |

        *sigh* More of this Idsos’ nonsense that CO2 benefits agriculture because of some sleight-of-hand with highly fertilized (often dwarf) plants in hothouses.

        In temperate zones, increase in ambient CO2 level makes little to no increase in yields in even the crops that are susceptible to benefit from the mass gain and water uptake reduction seen in hothouse plants. Many plants are actually harmed by the hormonal changes CO2 incites to divert nutrients from fruiting bodies to nonproductive fiber. All soils under increased CO2 are shown to deplete severely in Nitrogen by the third year of increased CO2 concentration, by far a more limiting condition.

        The free riders are the fossil industry.. though yeah, ‘farmers’, if by ‘farmers’ you mean ADM, were the recipients of substantial corn ethanol subsidies for a lot of years, and I think Americans ought get that cash back directly from ADM.

        But if you really want the Capitalist solution to your cases, show the scarcity associated with the Carbon Cycle is exhibited by your.. uh.. ‘carbon starvation’ of the atmosphere, show it is rivalrous (like the Carbon Cycle is), show it is excludable (like the Carbon Cycle is), and can be administered in the way for example British Columbia’s successful fee and dividend, revenue neutral ‘Carbon Tax’ is, and get it implemented.

        That way, people who want the benefit will pay for it.

        If you can make your economic argument make sense. Which, you can’t.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Bart R

        I worked in a ag research lab while obtaining a degree in electrical engineering. It’s something in which I have long held an amateur(ish) interest.

        Why do you believe that nitrogen depletion in the soil will actually be a problem for farmers, as opposed to CAGW researchers? It’s not as if there is a shortage of nitrogen.

  79. “Just the facts” can be quite telling:

    > This is the core commitment of conservatism. In the name of general principles such as tradition, order, authority and moderation, they seek to preserve particular relations of power. They defend privilege from those who threaten it. As Corey Robin puts it, conservatism is “a meditation on – and theoretical rendition of – the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back”. [Alinea, then:] As such, conservatism is, very precisely, a reactionary ideology. It’s also – contrary to what conservatives usually claim – an activist ideology. It is, as Robin puts it, an “idea-driven praxis” much more than it is simply a disposition or outlook.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/15/what-does-conservatism-stand-for

    • > This is the core commitment of conservatism. In the name of general principles such as tradition, order, authority and moderation, they seek to preserve particular relations of power. They defend privilege from those who threaten it. As Corey Robin puts it, conservatism is “a meditation on – and theoretical rendition of – the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back”. [Alinea, then:] As such, conservatism is, very precisely, a reactionary ideology.”

      True enough, but “privilege” and “power” has various emotional connotations.

      Would one consider the US bill of rights, as connected to “privilege” and “power”?
      Does the silent majority have “privilege” and “power”. One could argue all day about that.
      Does change your meaning if one says:
      “They defend their rights from those who threaten it.” Or does mean the same thing as: “They defend their rights from those who threaten it.”
      An America conservative consider there such thing as natural rights, and rejects the notion that these are privileges.
      As for power, government is “of the people, by the people, and for the people”.
      So preserving power, can be maintaining, “of the people, by the people, and for the people”. To centralize power is a violation of this- it’s reducing their power.

      • gbaikie,

        Thank you for your comment.

        I believe that the shift from “privilege” to “right” is what renders right-wing populist gambit possible. Perhaps we also need the Gambler’s fallacy to maintain that asymnetric games will in the end favor the loser. Perhaps we also need other conditions: we should not speculate, as speculation can be dangerous.

        But what I believe is more than plausible is that the “just the fact please” belongs to the reactionary claptraps, and as such fit very well in the conservative playbook.

  80. “They defend their rights from those who threaten it.” Or does mean the same thing as: “They defend their rights from those who threaten it.”
    Oops:
    “They defend their rights from those who threaten it.” Or does mean the same thing as: “They defend their privilege from those who threaten it.”

  81. Line by line.
    Wiki re: Global warming:
    “Global warming is the rise in the average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans since the late 19th century, and its projected continuation.”

    Which missing a point that at temperatures of 19th century may have not cooler than normal. So Global warming *probably* is *mostly* a returning to previously warmer conditions.
    Next line:
    “Since the early 20th century, Earth’s mean surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F), with about two-thirds of the increase occurring since 1980.”
    Which what said above. Next:
    “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and scientists are more than 90% certain that it is primarily caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities such as deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels.”
    Which is utter bunk. next:
    “These findings are recognized by the national science academies of all major industrialized nations.”
    Sad news for these institutions. Next:
    “Climate model projections are summarized in the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They indicate that during the 21st century the global surface temperature is likely to rise a further 1.1 to 2.9 °C (2 to 5.2 °F) for their lowest emissions scenario and 2.4 to 6.4 °C (4.3 to 11.5 °F) for their highest.”
    It looks like human emission will exceed highest in terms of short term, and the failure to doing anything to lessen it has fault of IPCC and other governmental actions. And any prediction further than 50 years is nonsense. Had governments recognized that nuclear energy is the only short term solution [having effect within say 20 years] they could promoted this as the best type of solution. They could very well have influnced China to focus more on nuclear energy rather coal use, and at current time, China could producing about the same as US emissions instead of twice as much and continuing to rise steeply. China could followed similar course as India is at moment pursuing.
    So in the time frame that really matters [next 20 years] emission will continue rise, though the one time highest CO2 emitter [US] is lowering is slightly lowering it’s emissions [not due to government policy- but rather due to technology].
    Skip ahead to theory of GW:

    “The greenhouse effect is the process by which absorption and emission of infrared radiation by gases in the atmosphere warm a planet’s lower atmosphere and surface. It was proposed by Joseph Fourier in 1824 and was first investigated quantitatively by Svante Arrhenius in 1896″
    Mostly related to explaining ice ages, and has be proven wrong.

    Here is the idiocy:
    “Naturally occurring amounts of greenhouse gases have a mean warming effect of about 33 °C (59 °F). The major greenhouse gases are water vapor, which causes about 36–70% of the greenhouse effect; carbon dioxide (CO2), which causes 9–26%; methane (CH4), which causes 4–9%; and ozone (O3), which causes 3–7%. Clouds also affect the radiation balance through cloud forcings similar to greenhouse gases.”
    So 33 C is added because radiant properties of gases. This is wrong.
    It’s wrong if simply you read what is said: water vapor, which causes about 36–70%. Such a range is hopelessly useless. It is admission that there is no reasonable consensus. To focus on “CO2, which causes 9–26%” when all you got is 36–70% related water vapor is utter madness. So it’s vastly more idiotic than astronomy with it’s crystal sphere:
    “In these celestial models the stars and planets are carried around by being embedded in rotating spheres made of an aetherial transparent fifth element (quintessence), like jewels set in orbs. Since the fixed stars did not change their positions relative to each other, it was argued that they must be on the surface of a single starry sphere”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_spheres

    Because these guys had some accuracy. It was useful.

    Some they have all these wild guesses regarding greenhouse gases, but they have certainly on 33 C being added and this is added only from greenhouse gases. That is what they have no doubt about. And that is obviously wrong. Its as wrong as evolution is right. If you look at temperature reconstructed from millions of years ago, it doesn’t work.
    And we are certain that where land form exist and their characteristics have a large effect upon global temperature.
    The absolute knowable truth that greenhouse gases increases earth by 33 C, is as far fetched as “rotating spheres made of an aetherial transparent fifth element (quintessence), like jewels set in orbs.”
    It is based idea not existing thing called a black body, not that only that Earth is similar to it. And leaps beyond this to assume the only thing which could affect this temperature is greenhouse gases.

    Now, if we had such a wondrous thing as a planet which behaved exactly like a black body, then such a world would not be affected by greenhouse gases, or anything reduce the average surface temperature of such a black body. Basically because a black body is works like a greenhouse- it would store heat- perfectly. Yes radiates heat perfectly, but that rather insignificant compare planet size body absorbing perfectly the sun’s energy. Now the black body would be colder what humans like, but if one had a depression in it with water in it, and make it simple have at equator, it would be liquid water- assuming it didn’t evaporate because a vacuum of space. If you then cover black body with entire ocean of water, then sort of made the black body irrelevant- it would no where near as hot as Earth molten core, but we generally ignore this heat on earth because it’s insulated with rock loses [or adds to surface] very little energy. So this black body would not add any heat but wouldn’t add much either.
    Now what if you chunks of black body on a earth surface. Take 1 km cube of black body material and bury it so only the side is at the surface.
    Well, that makes a very hot object- 1 cubic km of black body would hold a lot energy and it has really only one side to radiate the heat- rock insulate the other 3 sides. So it’s average temperature would around 100 C. Day and nite around 100 C [though one need to know the heat capacity of this unknown material- if was similar water, it would be closer to 120 C average temperature. That’s in vacuum. With earth’s atmosphere [with all it’s “greenhouse effects”], much cooler.

    • “Which missing a point that at temperatures of 19th century may have not cooler than normal.”
      Should be “Which is missing the point that temperatures of 19th century may have been cooler than normal.”

      And this bit:
      ““Since the early 20th century, Earth’s mean surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F), with about two-thirds of the increase occurring since 1980.”
      Which what said above. Next:”
      correction, wiki is wrong since 1980 temperature have risen at most .4 C
      and if go to 19th [instead some point you choose in early 20th] about occurred two-thirds of warming was before 1980.

      I made mistake I guess it was I thinking last sentence of 19th century and imagine wiki was actually correct.
      Satellite began in 1979:

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

      And shows less than .4 C, and not 5.3 C

  82. “has really only one side to radiate the heat- rock insulate the other 3 sides. ”
    5 sides.

  83. Instead of black body; the model should be constructed from
    a world completely covered with oceans. This would similar
    to our world which 70% covered with ocean.

    Our ocean surface temperature at tropics averages around 28 C.
    Or it’s about 14 C warmer than average global temperature.
    And tropics region is 40% of surface area of the planet.
    So Tropics has a very high [highest] average temperature of
    rest of the planet, and the 14 C higher than average temperature
    is bringing up the average temperature global temperature. Or 12 geniuses
    in class, which bring up averaged IQ of the class.

    The tropics is the region of the earth surface that has the sun directly overhead at some point in the year [summer, fall, winter, or spring].
    The Tropic of Cancer has sun directly overhead at its zenith on the June
    solstice [Midsummer] and it’s at 23° 26′ latitude.
    So at the line of Tropic of Cancer when it’s the Fall equinox, 22 September
    instead sun being directly over head it’s 23° 26′ degree away from zenith.
    And at winter solstice [December 21 to 22] the sun would be the furthest
    and be at 46° 52′ degrees away from zenith.
    And if you are 43 degrees further north [23° 26′ + 43 = 66 26]. Or near arctic circle, sun doesn’t rise above the horizon.
    So generally in Northern Hemisphere summertime is like every day in the Tropics.
    This swing of the sun from the line of Tropic of Cancer to Capricorn, should cause more warming in terms of average temperature of water planet than compared a sun stays directly over head at the equator. Or it we had a 5 or 10% tilt in the axis instead of 23 degrees, the average global temperature would slightly cooler. And if axis was 30 degrees, it should a bit warmer than our 23 degrees. This would the case if planet was covered in a ocean, maybe not the case with earth and it’s land area.
    So this difference would be somewhere around 1 C difference in global average temperature.

    Anyhow we got a planet covered with ocean and it’s at 23 degree tilt of it’s axis. Our world has tropic water at around 28 C, what would this world’s temperature of ocean be in the tropics and this world at same sun distance as Earth. It would depend upon the atmosphere. Because earth ocean temperature depends upon the evaporation rate of water. And evaporate rate is related to what kind of atmosphere there is. Or to illustrate this, if water didn’t evaporate [and low convection losses] it’s temperature would peak around 70-80 C instead of around 28-30 C. So huge difference.
    What should be somewhat apparent is it’s difficult to heat water if the water can evaporate. Or if doubled the sun’s intensity, it still wouldn’t get much much hotter [though would evaporate a lot more]. Or if decrease the sun’s intensity by…. Well sun at TOA is 1360, if instead was 1000 watts per square meter, it wouldn’t cool tropic ocean by very much [and significantly reduce evaporation- and less clouds].
    This should suggest that any heating one might assume which would associated with the greenhouse effect should have little effect upon the surface temperature of the ocean in the tropics.
    So our water world could have little or no greenhouse gases, save of course water vapor, and we assume there oxygen in atmosphere and therefore an ozone layer.

    • Dave Springer

      It’s not at all difficult to heat water with shortwave. It penetrates far past the surface at the speed of light and is absorbed by impurities on the way down to about 100 meters in open ocean before the last bit is absorbed. It’s impossible to do anything but evaporate it with longwave because it’s quite opaque to longwave. The first few microns takes up all the energy, surface molecules peel off in a constant parade off as vapor and convect upward with more energy than they absorbed from the downwelling IR causing what’s known as the cool skin layer which is about 2mm deep and 1.5C colder than the water underneath. This cool skin layer is so tenacious if it’s broken by a breaking wave it reforms in about 10 seconds.

      It’s also not really plausible to have surface air at a much different temperature than surface water. Not for long. Less than 5% of ocean heat loss occurs by conduction i.e. the air being directly heated by contact with the water. This low figure is because there’s hardly any temperature difference at all. No delta T no conduction. It also means there’s not much net heat loss by radiation because the air is irradiating the water with nearly the same energy as the water is irradiating the air and the two terms cancel out.

      The ocean heats the atmosphere primarily through condensation. Water evaporates off the surface and the vapor is at the same temperture as both water and air but the water carries a buttload of latent energy away with it. This lighter than air vapor rises and undergoes adiabatic cooling until it drops below the dewpoint and condenses into a cloud. The latent energy is released upon condensation but it’s released typically a thousand or so meters above our heads. What this activity does is lowers the temperature difference between clouds and ocean surface and raises the difference between clouds and space. Add more GHGs and all it does is raise the evaporation rate giving you warmer clouds and more rain without changing the ocean temperature much at all.

      This is Physical Oceanography 101:

      http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/chapter05_10.htm

      5.10 Important Concepts

      1. Sunlight is absorbed primarily in the tropical ocean. The amount of sun-light changes with season, latitude, time of day, and cloud cover.

      1. Most of the heat absorbed by the oceans in the tropics is released as water vapor which heats the atmosphere when water is condenses as rain. Most of the rain falls in the tropical convergence zones, lesser amounts fall in mid-latitudes near the polar front.

      Confusing things about energy flux distributions become clear and logical once the water cycle is grokked. Greenhouse heating occurs mostly where there’s no water available for evaporation. Over land more than over water. In higher latitudes more than lower latitudes. These are what is observed and it can’t be any other way once you understand what’s going on.

      So is there global warming for greenhouse gases? You bet. And because we live on land and many of us live in higher latitudes we directly experience it where the effect is most profound. This evidently led people to believe that the regional distribution was a global distribution and it’s no such thing at all. It also likely led to predictions that global average temperature would rise 0.3C per decade when it fact the rate is probably going to come at about 0.1C per decade across the entire globe after we record an entire 60-year AMDO cycle with our satellites. We only have 33 years of observation now and it happened to coincide with the warming phase of AMDO which also led climate boffins astray. Greenhouse warming just ain’t happening much where its wet all the time and 71% of the earth’s surface is as wet as wet gets.

      • Here we go again. The same nonsensical claim that evaporation is increased more than warming by IR. It’s is, indeed, increased, but less than the warming is increased.

        Although the absorption occurs in a few microns that’s still hundreds or thousands molecules below the surface. Thus it’s unavoidable that the energy goes first to warming and everything else is just what warming causes. One thing that warming does not cause is cooling.

      • “Here we go again. The same nonsensical claim that evaporation is increased more than warming by IR. It’s is, indeed, increased, but less than the warming is increased.

        Although the absorption occurs in a few microns that’s still hundreds or thousands molecules below the surface. Thus it’s unavoidable that the energy goes first to warming and everything else is just what warming causes. One thing that warming does not cause is cooling.”

        My general conclusions to date is that any kind of greenhouse effect does not increase maximum ground/surface/skin temperature.
        Meaning does not increase max temperature top layer of sand or top layer of water.
        Though not talking averaged high temperatures, but rather highest it gets. And on Ocean evaporation controls the higher surface temperature.
        So in a world covered with ocean and in tropics, any greenhouse affect is minor factor- if anything.

        As far as “One thing that warming does not cause is cooling.”
        Maybe not. But I think cooling could cause warming.

      • Evaporation cannot affect the temperature much because the moisture content of the atmosphere increases very slowly over time (and with increasing temperature) and the total amount of energy stored in the additional water vapor is after all rather small in comparison with the oceans and also in comparison with the annual energy flows. All water that evaporates much condensate in the atmosphere releasing the energy it took in evaporation, and rain back to the oceans and on the continents.

        Based on the above evaporation provides essentially just one form of heat transfer. If there is more latent heat transfer related to evaporation there will be less convective heat transfer because convection is that form of heat transfer that fills the gap between what is needed to maintain the atmospheric stability and what radiative and latent heat transfer can offer. The compensation is not fully accurate, but that’s the general situation.

        More moisture in the atmosphere and more warming will affect the weather patterns and related more detailed features of climate. Understanding all that as well as understanding the heat, CO2 and salinity flows of the oceans make the knowledge of the Earth system as lacking as it’s presently, but lacking knowledge is in this case much more than no knowledge.

      • “Evaporation cannot affect the temperature much because the moisture content of the atmosphere increases very slowly over time (and with increasing temperature) and the total amount of energy stored in the additional water vapor is after all rather small in comparison with the oceans and also in comparison with the annual energy flows.”

        Rain is end result of evaporation. So heavy rainfall is about 1/3 inch
        or 1 cm per hour. Or one square meter at 1 cm depth. Or 10,000 cubic cm per square meter. A cubic cm of water is a gram.
        “Latent heat of evaporation – 2,270 kJ/kg” Or
        2270 joules/watt seconds per gram
        So 10,000 times 2270 is 22.7 million joules or watts seconds
        Or terms of an hour: 6305 watt hours. Or about as much energy
        of sunlight hits a square meter [reaches not adsorbs] in a day.
        And ocean absorb about 50% or more of energy of sunlight.
        So if can rain for a few hours in can evaporate a fair amount.
        And in tropics it rain most of the nights, but generally less than hour.

      • To Pekka’s “so what”, I will add a “whatever”.

        Gbaikie tossing numbers about is par for the course. And pointless to boot.

      • Pekka, I think, provides one of the best explanations of skin layer physics.

        While LW penetration is exceedingly shallow, the percentage of OHC attributable to the physics of LW is surprisingly high.

      • So what?

        “Because Earth’s average annual rainfall is about 100 cm (39 inches), the average time that the water spends in the atmosphere, between its evaporation from the surface and its return as precipitation, is about 1 / 40 of a year, or about nine days.”

        http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2008/VernonWu.shtml

        So. 100 times 22.7 million joules is 2270 million watts per sq meter
        510 million sq km is 5.1 x 10^14 sq meters. Which is
        2.27 x 10^9 times 5.1 x 10^14 = 1.15 x 10^24 watts

        The total amount sunlight in a year that reaches the top of atmosphere or intersect the disk of earth is 1360 watts times the disk area in square meter times the number second in a year. The result which gives the upper limit of sunlight which could have some effect upon earth. And will give within one order of magnitude the amount sunlight the reaches the surface.

        Radius of earth: 6 378.1 kilometers.
        Squared and pied: 127.8 million square km
        Which is 1.28 x 10^14 sq meters
        Or 1.74 x 10^17 watts per second.
        which 5.4 x 10^24 watts in year

        Total sunlight per year at TOA: 5.4 x 10^24 watts in year
        Total energy used to make rain in a year: 1.15 x 10^24 watts

        1/5th or more of all sunlight evaporates water.

      • “Pekka, I think, provides one of the best explanations of skin layer physics.

        While LW penetration is exceedingly shallow, the percentage of OHC attributable to the physics of LW is surprisingly high.”

        It may be. But how much is surprisingly high.

        I made no comment regarding how much evaporation greenhouse effect may or may not cause. I was only interested in how much an ocean could get in terms of max temperature. And concluded that even enormous amounts of radiant energy are unable to rise the temperature of water
        by “very much”.
        Or for my purposes of loose approximation similarly the black body model *should be* taken as loose approximation [and it’s not].
        As said above, the 33 C isn’t + or – any amount, whereas all greenhouses gases have loose ranges [and thereby make these approximations worse than useless.]

      • gbaikie,

        I have also written that SST rises relatively slowly, that has also been observed empirically and that’s part of the main stream understanding.

        The point that I made above is that a lot of energy loss in evaporation is not a continuous large heat loss from the Earth system, because the net change is the net transfer from sensible heat to latent heat. When the moisture has reached the new higher value there is no more net transfer. Some more is lost at the surface and the same amount is released in condensation. You tell about this, when you tell that the time to return the water back is 9 days. That was exactly my point. You got it that far.

        Understanding that the role of evaporation/condensation/rain is to transfer heat from the sea to the layers where condensation occurs is the next step. When that’s understood we may ask is that heat transfer additional or does it replace something else. My next point was that it’s mostly not additional but the total heat transfer obtained summing latent heat transfer, sensible heat transfer by convection and radiative heat transfer does not change nearly as much. Therefore the sea surface does not lose so much more energy. When it is warmer it loses a little more energy but the overall energy loss is not controlled by the evaporation.

        Why is the situation as I describe: It’s so because the surface cannot maintain a larger energy loss rate than the atmosphere above can get rid off (plus the direct IR radiation to space). When we consider wide enough areas the lateral energy transfer (like that from tropics to middle latitudes) is not very large in comparison with the vertical energy loss to the space by radiation. That amount must be in stationary state on global scale the same as the absorbed solar radiation. Sea areas are so large that their average must follow closely the global average in that.

        The properties of the atmosphere determine what the surface temperature must be for balance at the TOA. Increased CO2 and increased H2O in the atmosphere move the origin of the escaping radiation to higher altitude (on the average). That increases the temperature difference between the surface temperature and the effective radiative temperature, which is unchanged for a stationary state unless the intensity of solar radiation changes significantly (the 11 year cycle is not really that significant).

        There’s really a difference between ocean areas and land areas, but that’s not due to the heat loss in evaporation in the way several people have proposed. That’s due to the huge thermal capacity of the oceans that affects also the surface and also due to the differences in the moisture content of the atmosphere, which affects the outcome both by adding to the change in radiative heat transfer, by changing the lapse rate and thorough the multiple effects related to clouds and weather patterns.

      • Dave Springer

        The point about evaporation is entirely lost.

        It’s all about insensibly transporting a vast amount of energy from the surface of the earth to a thousand or more meters above the surface of the earth. Once removed to that distance it has a far easier radiative path to space than it did from the surface and it has a much harder time radiating back to the surface because the same GHGs that resist radiation leaving the surface now resist radiation returning to the surface from the cloud.

        Like I said, I’m not the one struggling to find missing heat nor am I the one struggling to explain why the satellite record over its entire 33 year history is only showing half (and falling) the warming predicted by the warmists. The climate system is responding exactly as I expect it to respond based upon my own physical model of what’s the most significant factors and why.

        Evaporation and convection are the dominant factors to understand in the atmospheric layer where we live, work, and breathe. We live on a water world. Weather and temperature at and near the surface where we grow crops and build our homes are driven by evaporation, convection, and condensation. Write that down.

        I can spoonfeed this stuff to people like Pekka and Lacis or they can choose to ignore it. Makes no difference to me because I’m still the one whose explanations match the observations. I’ll offer it up to anyone who wants to listen given the internet never forgets posterity will ultimately determine who was right and who wasn’t.

        Pffffffffffffffffffffffft. I fart in your general direction.

      • Dave,

        The point was not lost. I wrote about that in an earlier message. it’s a part of standard knowledge.

      • Dave Springer

        As a PhD physicist shouldn’t you be able to refer me to an experiment showing that downwelling longwave radiation can insulate a body of water against heat loss where evaporation is free to rise in response to the radiation?

        Evidently not. Warmists don’t do any experimental science that might reveal the flaws in their hypotheses. It’s all about smoke and mirrors and misunderstood physics that exist only in imaginations and computer models.

        In the meantime the earth’s average temperature is doing exactly what I expect it to do. Realty is a real bitch, ain’t it, Pekka? At least for you it is. For me it’s sweet vindication.

        :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

      • Sometimes the number of smiles is inversely proportional to the need to answer – or even to read a message.

      • I had in mind that I might price one of your recent comments as factually correct but it seems that you want to make sure that I don’t do that.

      • Dave Springer

        gbaike

        Longwave radiation can raise the temperature of water once it is no longer free to evaporate. Water is a very good absorber of LWIR. You are technically correct about shortwave visible from the sun. Pure H2O is quite transparent to most of the energy coming from a 5000K black body. It almost pains me to say black body around here but the sun is actually a case where the approximation to a black body is justified. Sunlight is absorbed by the impurities in the ocean not the water. The impurities then thermalize the water through conduction. If the water is exceptionally clear the penetration can go to hundreds of meters. The open ocean is very clear and would be almost black viewed straight down from space if the atmosphere wasn’t adding some blue to it. We’d be stewing in our own juices if it wasn’t for clouds. Global ocean cover is 71% and so is global cloud cover of one type or another that is highly reflective. The result is the ocean’s very very low albedo is offset by the number and type of clouds above it reflecting huge amounts of energy straight back into space. Clouds raise the earth’s albedo by about 30%. No one really knows how constant that is or what all changes it. A single percentage point change in planetary albedo is 1% of 1366W/m2 or 13.66W/m2.

        Think about that. The modeled imbalance at TOA is on the order of 0.5-1.5W/m2. The whole global warming brouhaha is about a couple of Watts at most of net anthropogenic forcing. Yet if the least understood part of the ocean/atmosphere system, clouds, varied albedo by 1% over the tropics (where most of the energy from the sun is absorbed) it would cause 1 or maybe 2 orders of magnitude more impact than anthropogenic forcing.

        Measured albedo drifts around very little but it’s not a dial that doesn’t move. The fact that it doesn’t move much is because there’s an equilibrium point that’s a strong attractor. Clouds open up, the ocean gets warmed, water evaporates, clouds block sunlight, ocean cools evaporation slows and clouds reduce then ocean warms, and so on an so forth about some equilibrium point.

        We’re at a shaky point with two great attractors vying for supremacy. Those two great attractors are frozen and melted, ice caps and continental glaciers or no icecaps at all. The danger in my mind is doing something that ends the Holocene Interglacial prematurely. Imagine if burning fossil fuel might result in a 3C DECREASE in temperature in the next 100 years. THAT would be something to lose sleep about.

  84. So we planet covered in ocean, and an atmosphere lacking in some greenhouse gas. And the tropic oceans surface temperature being around 28 C.
    So we start with a cold atmosphere. And generally ignore the regions above tropics. If the air is colder in tropics, then it can’t absorb water vapor very well. So we have weird situation of cooler air causing oceans to get warmer- because cooler air inhibits evaporation. So starting with cool air could strange stuff happening, you could get massive bursts warming and cooling. Or a runaway affect- cool air causes ocean to get couple degrees warmer, than “than normal” the atmosphere warms up, and being warmed can absorb more water vapor, which cools ocean back down to normal.
    Or cooler atmosphere should be thoroughly mixed and warmed by the tropics, and once warm warms, tropics less dramatic in this rapid warming process.

    Now go upwards from tropics which is about 40% of earth between latitudes 23° 26 north and south. If go up 40th latitude, on earth the surface ocean temperate averages around 15 C.
    So Earth area is about 510 million square km, and 40% is 204 million square km. Going 40th add about another 78 million square kilometer
    or total 280 million square km. Or about 55% of surface area.
    And 40 latitude is 15 C, than average temperature all the area is about
    25 C. And rest land area has average 0 C, then we have average global temperature of 13.75 C

    • “Going 40th add about another 78 million square kilometer
      or total 280 million square km.”
      Forgot other hemisphere, so it’s about 360 million sq km for both hemisphere.
      So rather 55% it’s about 70% with total average temp of 23.8 C.
      So 16.6 Average global temperature, rather 13.75 C.
      So from ocean covered world to adding land area it should lower
      the average global temperature.
      The Sahara desert [near tropical region] has average temperature of about
      27 to 28 C:

      http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=3015

      Australia is much cooler:
      “The average temperature in Australia is 12.9 °C (55 °F). ”

      http://www.australia.climatemps.com/

      But northern Territory which is tropics much warmer:
      “Darwin has an average temperature of 32 degrees celsius all year, with varying humidity. ”

      http://en.travelnt.com/about-nt/key-facts/climate.aspx

      “Area-averaged, the mean minimum temperature for the Northern Territory during the 2011-2012 wet season was 21.4 °C, 0.6 °C below the norm making it the equal 7th coolest wet season nights. Similarly, the mean maximum temperature for the Territory was 34.4 °C, 0.6 degrees below the norm and the 12th coolest on record. Combining both minimum and maximum temperatures, the average temperature was 27.9 °C, ”
      So Australia tropics is about 28 C.
      Comparing Ocean at 20 latitude, which 25 C.

      http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/sea-surface-temperature-trends-as-a-function-of-latitude-bands-by-roger-a-pielke-sr-and-bob-tisdale/

      So land in tropics are warmer, especially when considers there is some elevation which should cool a bit.
      We haven’t looked any greenhouse affect up to this point, probably it’s warmer because of this. Day time obviously can get warmer on land, but greenhouse affect [mainly more constant temperature from ocean] prevents
      it from getting cooler than it otherwise would].
      Sudan: “In the central and southern regions, average temperatures are 27° to 29° C (80° to 85° F )”

      http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Africa/Sudan-CLIMATE.html

      Sudan elevation is also around 500 meter.
      Looking higher latitude, Kansas: “The average mean temperature is 55°F (13°C)” A roughly around 1000 meter or less in elevation. And around 40 latitude.
      Whereas ocean is about 15 C at 40 latitude.

      So it seems land temperature if including any kind of greenhouse effect is slightly warmer than ocean, if allowing cooling from elevation between 40 degrees latitude, north and south. Or in 70% of surface area of Earth.
      And up to 40 degree latitude these regions get fairly high angle of sun in the sky.
      According to chart at:

      http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/sea-surface-temperature-trends-as-a-function-of-latitude-bands-by-roger-a-pielke-sr-and-bob-tisdale/

      Ocean at 50 degrees latitude is about 8 C north and 6 C South
      “The average temperature in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada is 2.5 °C (37 °F). ”

      http://www.winnipeg.climatemps.com/

      And low elevation: 240 m (787 ft).
      So of course in higher elevation land can quite bit cooler, but generally in most land area of earth land is as warm or warmer on average of ocean and it’s only at higher latitude [small area: 30%] where land has cooler average temperatures.
      And just noticed that southern oceans higher latitudes is cooler than northern. I had assume that since get more sunlight [closer to sun when earth southern hemisphere is tilt towards it] it would be warmer, rather than cooler.
      hmm

  85. Dave Springer

    My Simple Secret

    The following is what I used to predict back in 2005 that global warming wasn’t going to pan out to anything to be alarmed about.

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from/mean:12/offset:0.13/plot/rss/every/trend/offset:0.13/plot/uah/every/mean:12/offset:0.23/plot/uah/every/trend/offset:0.23/plot/esrl-amo/every

    The is the entire 33 year history of MSU satellite global temperature data overlayed on 150 years of data representing the Atlantic Multi Decadel Oscillation.

    It’s pretty easy to see that the satellite record happened to be coincident with the 30 year warming side of a 60 year cycle. It was a little iffy since there’s only 2.5 AMDO cycles in the record which is a very small number to reliably establish there’s a repeating cycle and the length of the cycle.

    But I rolled the dice in 2005 figuring I had better than even odds that the satellites would confirm that we’d reached the rounded top of a warming cycle and warming would halt over the next several years then begin to decline.

    Sure enough the warming stopped like a pendulum that had reached the its apex and should now decline for a couple of decades and by about the year 2040 we’ll have a complete AMDO cycle recorded in satellite data. I expect the 0.14C/decade warming observed in first 30 year period will now decay to some smaller value and the remainder, if any, will be the real anthropogenic global warming.

    Taking any kind of action designed to stall or limit warming that isn’t happening is worse than useless. We DO NOT need global cooling. If anything we need global stasis or even better — more warming. As a general rule warming is good for living things and ice/snow are bad for living things. Warmer=Greener. I’m a greenie. Ice huggers are insane and should be separated from the herd and sequestered somewhere where they cannot harm themselves or others.

  86. Societies have evolved two sensible ways of getting at “the truth”: 1) An adversarial system, where both sides have equal opportunity to present their best case and decisions are made by a group chosen for its impartiality or popularity with voters. Unfortunately, elected representatives often don’t have the time and inclination to understand scientific issues in depth. 2) A diverse group of experts who haven’t taken a public position on an issue study the problem and make recommendations.

    Climate scientists want the IPCC to be both prosecutor and jury of CO2 (and the species that emits it). Perhaps the public in developed nations have begun to recognize that the self-selected elite that control the scientific content of the Summaries for Policymakers resembles the self-selected elite that govern China.

    If you are a climate scientist who feels compelled to publicly advocate for various political policies, don’t destroy the impartiality (credibility?) of scientific reports on climate change by serving on committees that write such reports and by insisting that they reflect an artificial scientific consensus. If you are a climate scientist who hasn’t publicly advocated for political policies or is known for your independent views, please volunteer to serve. If your organization is producing a report, don’t expect me to take your report seriously if you haven’t made an honest effort to get at “the truth”.

  87. Pekka, If you happen to stop by, http://arxiv.org/abs/1101.0438

    I don’t feel like spending the money to read that paper, but the terminology may be better for describing my approach.

    When I select an envelope or layer from one thermodynamic frame of reference in a non-linear thermodynamic system, I am selecting a common source and common sink that would impact more than one layer. If the system is reasonably stable, meaning that it continues to exist, the energy flow from source to sink can be modeled as some combination of parallel or series-parallel thermal circuits.

    Note: In a non linear thermodynamic system there is no true equilibrium or steady state, but ranges of potential equilibria and quasi-steady states dependent on each other, “conditional equilibrium” for a given steady state.

    http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/06/follow-energy.html

    That is just a simple block diagram of potential paths of energy from source, in this case the tropical warm pool and sink, the freezing points of water, salt and fresh. Since the freezing points are the most stable sink temperature, they are the most logical choice for a common sink. Since the freezing points can vary with salinity, the actual energy of fusion, is the most stable reference sink. The lowest common sink temperature provides one quasi-steady state condition, the temperature of melting/freezing fresh water, another quasi-steady state condition.

    Expanding those temperatures into the atmosphere provides a reference sink that would be in parallel with the energy flow through the ocean from the source to sink. Obviously, with a change in energy, these two parallel thermal circuits would have different responses. The atmosphere would have a change which would include lapse rate variation, the oceans would have expansion and contraction of surface area, and since the system is not closed, water could move into or out of these “envelopes”.

    http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/07/plumbers-nightmare.html

    That shows the paths with a reference energy balance between paths. Obviously, in a non-linear thermodynamic system, those values would change. The object is to use the reference values to determine the limits of change possible for each thermal circuit. If the ocean surface warmed, then the 4C layer would have to warm or larger volume of -1.9 to 0C sink would have to become available. For the atmosphere, C-C relationship lapse rate change unless the internal transfer from tropics to pole increases. Each path has its own physics and physical limits.

    The model provides a multi-layer and multi-path reference, nothing more. It is just a different way of looking at the problem.

    For the atmosphere, it the tropical warm pool temperature increases and the internal path from the tropics to the pole does not increase proportionally, there is more deep convection, that would the weakest link in the thermal balance. In order for there to be a uniform increase in lapse rate, the physical limits to heat transfer via the other parallel paths would have to change. You have stratospheric blow through with deep convection until the system approached a new “conditional equilibrium” steady state.

    Since you probably have access to more non-linear thermodynamic literature that I do, perhaps you might review, quasi-independent subsystems, which are likely most applicable to my modeling method.

    If you do, you might want to look at the -1.9C to 0C quasi-stable sink and the 4C boundary which happens to have an S-B equivalent energy of 334.5Wm-2.

    • Crackpot land festooned with word salad.
      How quaint.

    • Capt.Dallas,

      Non-equilibrium thermodynamics is a very difficult field of study. Your first link seems to allow for free downloading of the paper. Looking at that paper tells, how far it is from being applied to a real world large complex system. The paper discusses general theory and some very simple cases as examples.

      Because studying non-equilibrium is so difficult equilibria are studied whenever possible, either full thermodynamic equilibria or stationary partial equlibria. In the latter case one must be really careful to include the dynamics present in the stationary dynamic system correctly.

      Ideas like maximum entropy production are often employed, but their theoretical basis is lacking and it’s very easy to apply them erroneously even in cases where one particular way of applying them produces good results (i.e. results that agree with observations). Without a full theory only the outcome tells whether the choices done work. In such cases extrapolating a little may be rather safe but moving to a totally new problem is not. Furthermore it’s not safe to derive new types of results even when the approach has worked for some other quantities on the same system.

      • Pekka, Yes, non-linear dynamics are complicated but the only danger I am in is that of having Webster think I am an idiot :) The approach though is the same as I have used on real world non-linear systems where I was looking for maximum heat transfer efficiency in variable volume systems. The scale and time frames are a touch larger though. In both using as many parallel circuits as possible to verify each step is required.

        I have no expectations of the method working perfectly, only that it should show where more attention should be focused. So far that is ice mass balance and so far that looks like perfectly good area to consider. So the next step is to look at why? It is kinda of like destructive modeling, you look for the blow ups or potential blow ups, find what will or may prevent that, then move to the next blow up. There are normally reasons why a complex system doesn’t blow up. It is not much different than A Lacis using unrealistic values in his model to find limits. This just uses ideal balances to find drifts toward runaway imbalances.

        The model is an approach to finding problems, then you work on the solutions :)

  88. The last time the solar forcing increased sharply (added to the early CO2 effect) was 1910-1940, where we might say the total was equivalent to just the CO2 forcing increase recently. What is interesting is that the loss of Arctic sea ice, severe winters in Europe, and the ‘dust bowl’ droughts in the US, occurred at that time. Does that sound familiar? I think when the forcing changes sharply, these are the consequences. Drying and droughts are likely symptoms of rapid land warming with a delayed ocean response (as we also see now).

    • JimD, I agree completely, the time constants are the tricky parts. What is the best reference for determining those time constants another. I am having serious issues using global surface temperature as a reference which is why I went to the ocean and moist air approach. It generally fits better to the non alpine paleo temperatures, but the paleo precipitation is a pretty good fit.

      • OK, there must be something wrong with what I said if you think we agree :-) For time constants, the land is almost instantaneous in response. The best I can do for the ocean is 1 year for each 40 m depth (based on the radiative cooling response time), so it is difficult to use because you have to know how deep to take the response.

      • How deep to take the response and the ice storage issue. The distribution of ice mass has a profound impact on all the internal weather oscillations which are a large part of the equilibrium time constants. The rate of sea ice formation and melt looks to be fairly constant, but when it shifts to accumulation at one pole it tends to move the tropical belt. Uniform sea ice formation plus the NH land needs a little extra, tends to tighten the tropical belt. All that damn weather noise is messin’ up my climate! :)

      • i might use 10 years for the ocean. Ice, I have no clue. There are major albedo feedbacks so it will hit a tipping point at some time.

      • Actually, because of the sea ice cycle impact on the thermohaline, I can get around 60 years on that portion of the ocean cycle. 3 to 7 years looks like the mixing level time constants, the oceans can lose energy faster than they can gain energy which is a partial explanation for the large than expect solar impact for prolonged minima and the inconsistent impact of volcanoes.

        The ice issue really strengthens the black carbon and land use impacts and also makes them non linear with varying time constants. One of the turning points :) doesn’t that sound better than tipping, appears to be ocean liquid surface area. Sea level change has varying impacts because of the slope of the shallow waters. I thought that was pretty interesting.

      • Increasing sea level reduces albedo, which is a positive feedback, because of that effect on its area. Not sure if it is important though.

      • Increasing sea level does reduce albedo but the increased surface area also increases OLR. Since the time constants in the oceans are different, the net impact is cooling depending on the latitude of the surface area change. Albedo is fine but you have to consider thermal capacity or you get funky numbers.

      • capt. dallas, OLR would only increase if the ocean was warmer than the land or less cloudy. I am not sure either of these assumptions are true.

      • JimD, The negative feed back of the ocean area change is more about location. When the Arctic sea ice melts is exposes water that is warmer than 0C in an area where average solar and air temperature are lower. There is greater OLR in a location less capable of retaining that energy. That is why I mentioned the location of the open water. Sea ice actually insulates so when it opens you get a regional imbalance.

        In the tropics more ocean area would normally be flooding of shallower areas. That new open water would get warmer, like the Persian Gulf, Arabian sea etc. much like the solar ponds. Then if the diffusion from that shallow water back to the oceans was not fast enough, there would be more than normal energy released to the atmosphere, but in a region that could retain more energy. The OLR distribution makes a huge difference.

      • capt. dallas, in the Arctic summer, sea-ice has a surface temperature not far from freezing under almost continuous daylight, and the albedo effect far outweighs any OLR effect from a temperature change.

  89. The hottest inhabited place on earth:
    “Dallol, Ethiopia, whose annual mean temperature was recorded from 1960 to 1966 as 34.4 °C (93.9 °F).[16] The average daily maximum temperature during the same period was 41.1 °C (106.0 °F)”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremes_on_Earth

    Reported highest temperature:
    “The world’s highest recorded air temperature, to date, is 136°F (58°C) recorded at El Azizia, Libya, on 13 September 1922. Note that this is in recorded history. Higher temperatures have occurred, of course, at different times during the 4.55 billion years of Earth’s history.”

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_hottest_air_temperature_ever_recorded_on_earth

    Now the warmest global average temperature in last 100 million years was
    the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum:
    “The most extreme change in Earth surface conditions during the Cenozoic Era began just after the temporal boundary between the Paleocene and Eocene epochs around 55.0 million years ago. ”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleocene%E2%80%93Eocene_Thermal_Maximum

    Here better graph of it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleoclimatology

    It indicates temperature climbed to about 6 C warmer then today’s temperature, and then period about 20 million years cool down so that it’s first time the Antarctic formed it’s ice cap, then heat a bit melting them.

    Some other stuff about PETM:
    “During the PETM, around 5 billion tons of CO2 was released into the atmosphere per year. The Earth warmed around 6°C (11°F) over 20,000 years, although some estimates are that the warming was more like 9°C (16°F). Using the low end of that estimated range, the globe warmed around 0.025°C every 100 years. Today, the globe is warming at least ten times as fast, anywhere from 1 to 4°C every 100 years. In 2010, our fossil fuel burning released 35 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. ”

    http://www.wunderground.com/climate/PETM.asp

    [Rather interesting view: 5 billion CO2 per year but over long time would cause such a temperature rise. Hard to make these guys happy :).]

    Trying find ref on CO levels:
    “Using the high end estimate of 10,000 Gt of carbon and keeping half of the emissions in methane we get an new total of 40,000 Gt CO2″

    http://www.theresilientearth.com/?q=content/could-human-co2-emissions-cause-another-petm

    So that says highest was 10,000 Gt, which believe is about 1250 ppm of CO2
    Ah, “As a result of the carbon input, we calculate an increase in
    atmospheric CO2 from a baseline of 1,000 ppmv to 1,700 ppmv
    during the PETM main phase”

    http://re.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/files/Carbon%20dioxide%20forcing%20alone%20insufficient%20to%20explain.pdf

    Anyhow lot’s arguing about what caused PETM, but reason brought up topic was to ask simple. What has been hotter temperature in some region [rather than global average] in last few hundred million years?
    I suppose that whether PETM was warmed by mostly CO2 or Methane might make some difference. But maybe not.
    Does simply having an average global temperature have anything to do whether some area on earth is hotter than the current recorded highest
    temperature for a day: “136°F (58°C) recorded at El Azizia, Libya, on 13 September 1922″
    Or have any affect upon having hottest region one could live in: “Dallol, Ethiopia, whose annual mean temperature was recorded from 1960 to 1966 as 34.4 °C (93.9 °F)”

    So when would you think there was ever hotter daytime high which warmer than 136°F (58°C) and/or had higher average annual temperature of 34.4 °C (93.9 °F?

  90. One example is the dried, Mediterranean Sea:
    “The researchers were reluctantly, but excitedly, driven to the conclusion that the Mediterranean Sea had dried up and refilled a dozen times in a million years. Since the Mediterranean basin is as much as 16,000 feet deep, the dry sea floor must have been an incredible hot desert for long periods of time. ”

    http://www.ldolphin.org/meddead.html

    So during ice age or not, could the present sea which was a big hole, have the hotter temperatures which occurred on Earth? Or at least the hottest in last 6 million years?

  91. “I have also written that SST rises relatively slowly, that has also been observed empirically and that’s part of the main stream understanding.”

    SST according wiki “is between 1 millimetre (0.04 in) and 20 metres (70 ft) below the sea surface.”
    Are referring to 1 millimeter rising in temperature slowly? If so, it does not seems it takes long to warm up. And can warm up considerable even over cold water. I would guess hours.
    Though wind and waves would seem to interfere with it’s warming.
    Though if talking down to 20 meters, then maybe tens to hundreds of years. And depends how warm it is already and how much mixing of water.

    “The point that I made above is that a lot of energy loss in evaporation is not a continuous large heat loss from the Earth system, because the net change is the net transfer from sensible heat to latent heat. When the moisture has reached the new higher value there is no more net transfer. Some more is lost at the surface and the same amount is released in condensation. You tell about this, when you tell that the time to return the water back is 9 days. That was exactly my point. You got it that far.”

    Yeah, don’t know how much to earth system. I would assume it’s largely about water droplets forming with cloud formation.
    And seems very thin layer at top of ocean should start cooling before late afternoon, as would surface air to some extent, then continue cooling during the night.
    “When the moisture has reached the new higher value there is no more net transfer.”
    It seems if you prevented water from evaporating it would reach higher temperature than skin tropical ocean water

    “Understanding that the role of evaporation/condensation/rain is to transfer heat from the sea to the layers where condensation occurs is the next step. When that’s understood we may ask is that heat transfer additional or does it replace something else. My next point was that it’s mostly not additional but the total heat transfer obtained summing latent heat transfer, sensible heat transfer by convection and radiative heat transfer does not change nearly as much. Therefore the sea surface does not lose so much more energy. When it is warmer it loses a little more energy but the overall energy loss is not controlled by the evaporation.”

    The temperature of the water itself should also inhibit it from reaching a higher temperature.

    “Why is the situation as I describe: It’s so because the surface cannot maintain a larger energy loss rate than the atmosphere above can get rid off (plus the direct IR radiation to space). When we consider wide enough areas the lateral energy transfer (like that from tropics to middle latitudes) is not very large in comparison with the vertical energy loss to the space by radiation. That amount must be in stationary state on global scale the same as the absorbed solar radiation. Sea areas are so large that their average must follow closely the global average in that.”

    You night and day cycle, air cools at night, the cooler air can’t hold the vapor, form water drops [causes it’s supersaturated], then night ends and as day warms air, it can hold more water vapor.

    “The properties of the atmosphere determine what the surface temperature must be for balance at the TOA. Increased CO2 and increased H2O in the atmosphere move the origin of the escaping radiation to higher altitude (on the average). That increases the temperature difference between the surface temperature and the effective radiative temperature, which is unchanged for a stationary state unless the intensity of solar radiation changes significantly (the 11 year cycle is not really that significant).

    “There’s really a difference between ocean areas and land areas, but that’s not due to the heat loss in evaporation in the way several people have proposed. That’s due to the huge thermal capacity of the oceans that affects also the surface and also due to the differences in the moisture content of the atmosphere, which affects the outcome both by adding to the change in radiative heat transfer, by changing the lapse rate and thorough the multiple effects related to clouds and weather patterns.”

    Yes. Ocean have more high capacity and can absorb more energy then land. Land on the other hand can have much higher surface air temperature- one can see air temperature of 50 C on land, and will not see it that high on oceans. And land generally cools faster.
    Or being near the beach gives cooler days and warmer nights.

    • gbaikie,

      As has been discussed on several occasions the skin is cooler than the water below it. That’s the case because sea is warmed by incoming solar that penetrates strongly meters and in favorable conditions tens of meters into the sea. The skin is the principal way for that heat to escape. Only a small fraction stays to heat the ocean while by far most of the heat received from the solar SW escapes through the surface. As the immediate skin stays always cooler than layers just below it cannot heat more rapidly than the rest of the surface ocean. That’s the reason for the slow warming of the skin.

      There’s certainly faster short term variability depending the weather and time of day, but even during that variability the immediate skin is always a little cooler than layers just below. At what depth the temperature maximum is depends on the detailed conditions. It may just centimeters below the skin or deeper depending the quality of the water, mixing and other conditions.

      • “As has been discussed on several occasions the skin is cooler than the water below it. That’s the case because sea is warmed by incoming solar that penetrates strongly meters and in favorable conditions tens of meters into the sea. The skin is the principal way for that heat to escape. Only a small fraction stays to heat the ocean while by far most of the heat received from the solar SW escapes through the surface. As the immediate skin stays always cooler than layers just below it cannot heat more rapidly than the rest of the surface ocean. That’s the reason for the slow warming of the skin.”

        But very top of skin is probably at or below surface air temperature, and therefore little or no conduction or convection, so that leaves only evaporation [and radiant loss and radiant loss is probably quite low].
        At night time one should different situation- cooler air doesn’t allow much evaporation, surface probably gaining some latent heat, more convection and conduction.

      • There’s a complex layer of air very close to the skin. Also the topmost molecules of water have a special environment that differs from the interior just a few molecules further down. These thin layers on both sides of the separation are so special that defining the temperature may be a little difficult. energy is transferred in this layer between water and sea by all available physical processes: conduction, evaporation and radiation although radiation is a little different as it connects directly the topmost micrometers of water to the lowest meters of the atmosphere at wavelengths of strongest absorptivity/emissivity of water vapor and CO2.

        Very close to the surface the relative humidity of the air is essentially 100% and the temperatures of the topmost skin and the lowest air are very close to each other. On both sides rather large temperature gradients are common. Thus the temperature may be more significantly different a few meters higher in air or one meter deep in the water.

        All forms of energy transfer are weak if the temperatures on both sides of the surface are essentially equal, that includes also evaporation. When the temperature difference grows all grow rapidly. Evaporation may be typically the strongest mechanism, but that depends on the moisture of the air of the lowest atmosphere. Whether it is or is not is not so important, because the other mechanisms are also strong enough to keep the temperature difference small.

        When wind brings dry air to the surface evaporation gets stronger and under such circumstances it may by much stronger than other mechanisms cooling the skin to a significantly lower temperature than air at some distance (like a few meters) from the surface. At distances of fractions of mm the temperature of air is, however, closer to that of the water even in that case.

  92. There is a discussion about costs of adaptation or mitigation and evaluating how to balance those, but either way, there is a cost and funding is required. How about raising this funding in proportion to the fossil CO2 released via a premium to burn it? That would give a revenue in direct proportion to the eventual problem. Solved. Some might refer to this as a carbon tax.

    • The world suffers from pervasive bureaucracy and corruption, why add more of the same? I don’t understand it.

      • The alternative to saving money in advance is the raise-capital-by-issuing-bonds/deficit-spending/pay-interest-later idea, that I guess the anti-tax people propose. Or maybe there are some free-market ideas that will save the government from having to spend anything on climate change adaptation, and everything will just work itself out with no victims (not).

  93. “Scientists are filled with conjectures that are plausible about how people make sense about information,” Kahan said, “only some fraction of which [are] correct.”

    I will generalize this to: “Scientists are filled with conjectures that are plausible; only some fraction of which are correct.”

  94. It’s all Somerville can do. It would be too painful to accept the other option, that climate change is like racism, war or poverty — problems the world has never abolished.

    “[It] may well be that it is a problem that is too difficult for humanity to solve,” he said.

    The question is whether the CAGW problem (if it is a problem) is going to end the world as we know it before those and other social problems end the world as we know it. There is more than one potential apocalypse. If we can just deal with one, this would not be the one we should attack first.

    Civilizations come and go. Big deal, deal with it. Be happy. Carpe Diem.