What exactly are we debating?

by Judith Curry

The climate debate is becoming more complex and sophisticated, and the issues and the ‘sides’ in the debate seem less black and white than they used to.

The op-ed written by Rep. Lamar Smith, and the vociferous response from the ‘greens,’ made me think that a lot of the debate and overheated rhetoric is less driven by substantive differences than by knee-jerk responses to the most extreme talking points on both sides.

GWPF Background Paper 

Benny Peiser has written a Background Paper that outlines the key areas of agreement and disagreement between the GWPF and the ‘consensus':

A. Matters where we agree with the dominant scientific establishment and can quantify the outcome

1. The greenhouse effect is real and CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

2. CO2 has increased in the atmosphere from approximately 0.029% to 0.039% over the past 50 years.

3. CO2’s greenhouse warming potential follows a logarithmic curve with diminishing returns to higher concentrations.

4. Absent feedbacks, and other things being equal, a doubling of carbon dioxide from pre-industrial levels would warm the atmosphere by approximately 1.1C.

5. Since 1980 global temperatures have increased at an average rate of about 0.1C per decade. This is significantly slower than forecast by the vast majority of GCMs.

B.  Matters where we agree with the scientific consensus but cannot quantify the outcome.

1. Positive feedbacks from water vapour and soot, negative feedback from clouds and aerosols, and other factors, mean that actual climate sensitivity is a matter of vigorous scientific debate.

2. Natural variability caused by ocean oscillations, amplified solar variations and other factors also act to increase or decrease temperature change. Thus overall temperature prediction is doubly uncertain.

3. Arctic summer sea ice has decreased, but Antarctic sea ice has increased; this is more consistent with regional albedo changes due to soot than with global temperature changes due to greenhouse warming.

4. There is no consensus that recent climate change has affected the variability of weather or the frequency of extreme weather events.

5. Economists generally agree that net economic damage will occur above 2C of warming, net economic benefit below that level, but this cannot be certain.

C.  Matters on which we think the evidence does not support the scientific consensus

1.  There has been no net increase in global temperatures for about 16 years, a period about the same length as the warming period that preceded it.

2.  Paleo-climate proxies agree that worldwide temperatures were higher and changed faster during other periods of climate change about 1,000, 2,000, 4,000, 8,000 and 12,000 years ago.

3.  Predictions of increasing humidity and temperature in the tropical troposphere, a key prediction of rapid greenhouse warming, have been falsified by experimental data casting doubt on whether the warming of 1980-2000 was man-made.

4. Ice core data clearly show carbon dioxide responding to temperature change, rather than preceding them during glaciation and deglaciation episodes.

5. Satellite evidence confirms that vegetation has increased in density, in natural as well as agricultural ecosystems, probably as a result partly of carbon dioxide increases.

D.  Why alarm is not secure

1.  All sides of scientific debates have vested interests and display confirmation bias. Science keeps itself honest not by expecting unrealistic self-criticism by scientists but by encouraging challenge, and diverse interpretations of data, rather than trying to enforce a single “consensus”.

2.  Forecasting of all kinds is extremely unreliable and predictions of ecological disaster have an especially poor track record.

3.  Policies to decarbonize the economy using today’s technology are likely to be harmful to human welfare and natural ecology.

4. Integrity, openness and objectivity need to be introduced to the conduct of the scientific debate to restore the damage done by the Climategate, Hockey Stick, Gleick, Gergis, Lewandowsky and Marcott episodes.

5.  Exaggerated alarmism is not harmless and is not scientific.

E.  GWPF’s policy position

1.  Policy needs to take account of uncertainty.

2.  Policy needs to be subjected to thorough cost-benefit analysis.

3.  An enforceable global agreement on emissions reduction is unrealistic.

4.  Adaptation may be a cheaper and less harmful policy than mitigation.

5.  Public funding should support open debate, not one-sided advocacy.

Meeting (?) between GWPF and RS

- text provided by Michael Cunningham, aka ‘Faustino’

In a speech earlier this year at Melbourne University, Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, was severely critical of the former UK Chancellor Lord Lawson, chairman of the GWPF, on his stance on global warming.  Lawson sent a strong response to Nurse on 25/2/2013.

Given the major difference in views of the two bodies and the importance of the issues, Lawson on 19/3/2013 proposed meetings to further understanding of global warming.  Both parties have nominated delegates to undertake discussions.  The GWPF has drafted an excellent two-page summary of the state of play and matters which need further research or resolution.

Nurse to Lawson 30/4/2013

Thank you for your letter of 19 March.

Responding to that letter I append the names of five internationally distinguished climate scientists who are all UK based and Fellows of the Royal Society.  I have copied them into this letter so they are aware that you may be contacting them.

  • Sir Brian Hoskins, Director, Grantham Institute for Climate Change
  • Professor John Mitchell, Principal Research fellow Met Office
  • Professor Tim Palmer, Royal Society Research fellow, University of Oxford.  Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics
  • Professor John Shepherd, Professorial Research Fellow in Earth System Science, University of Southampton, School of Ocean and earth Sciences
  • Professor Eric Wolff, Science Leader, Chemistry and Past Climate, British Antarctic Survey

[Nurse then discusses some points from Lawson’s letter which are not germane to the forthcoming meeting.  He concludes by saying that:]

… policy discussions need to be carried out in an open and transparent manner, which includes identifying where your financial support comes from.  It was you who mentioned the fossil fuel industry and the fact that some people suggest it is funding you.  You might have added that others speculate that you may be funded by wealthy individuals who have particular political views.  The only way to deal with rumours like these is to be open and transparent about the funding of GWPF.

Lawson to Nurse 20/5/13

Thank you for your letter of 30 April in reply to mine of 19 March, and for the names of five fellows of the Royal Society for us to contact.  Our Director, Dr Benny Peiser, will be getting in touch with them with a view to setting up a meeting with a team from the Global warming Policy Foundation.

In addition to Dr Peiser, our team would comprise:

  • Professor Vincent Courtillot (Professor of Geophysics, Paris Diderot University)
  • Professor Mike Kelly FRS (Prince Philip Professor of Technology, University of Cambridge)
  • Nic Lewis (independent climate science researcher)
  • Professor Richard Lindzen (Professor of Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Viscount Ridley (the science writer Matt Ridley)
  • Professor Richard Tol (IPCC Lead Author and professor of Economics, University of Sussex)

We propose the following twofold agenda:

  1. The science of global warming, with special reference to (a) the climate sensitivity of carbon and (b) the extent of natural variability;
  2. The conduct and professional standards of those involved in the relevant scientific inquiry and official advisory process.

In view of the public interest in this important topic, I believe that it would be right to invite members of the press to attend the meeting as observers.

Finally, two brief comments on the rest of your letter.

Second, while it is admittedly a matter of opinion, many would consider the GWPF’s reliance on voluntary contributions from ‘wealthy individuals” motivated solely by altruism as morally superior to running a political campaign on the back of the hard-pressed taxpayer, as the Royal Society under your leadership is now doing.

JC comment:  now this is a debate I would like to see, I hope that it actually happens.  And I hope this is about science and policy, and not about funding sources for the RS and GWPF.

Panel Discussion in West Virginia

From E&E Greenwire (behind paywall):

Congressional Democrats have pressed their Republican colleagues for three years to hold a hearing on climate change, and yesterday one did — in the heart of West Virginia’s coal country.

Despite having introduced a bill last week that would bar U.S. EPA from promulgating rules that would require the use of carbon capture and storage technology until a panel of officials from outside the agency deemed it to be economically and technologically feasible, Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) hosted yesterday’s climate change forum in a technology park in Fairmont, W.Va.

McKinley’s office said “is fascinated by this issue” and read several books on climate change in preparation for the event, including Sen. James Inhofe’s (R-Okla.) “The Greatest Hoax,” which denies that man-made warming exists.

“The congressman’s take-away is that the science is still unclear,” said his office. “There needs to be open debate about this in Washington, and both sides need to be represented and simply talk.”

Participants estimated the crowd at 70 people or fewer and said it appeared to be equally divided between skeptics and climate science believers. The discussion lasted more than three hours.

Representatives of think tanks who were part of the event said they found McKinley’s approach to the issue encouraging.

“He made a few comments that did lift my spirits, and I thought, maybe he is really serious about trying to think about ways to deal with climate change,” said Joe Casola, senior scientist for the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

He said McKinley, who is an engineer by training, asked several times what it might take for the United States to bring its emissions under control, something Casola called “a constructive beginning.”

But Casola said that if McKinley’s purpose in holding the hearing was to get a genuine read on the effect fossil fuel use is having on climate, he should have stocked his panel with mainstream scientists rather than skeptics whom he said frequently steered the discussion toward other topics, like preindustrial climate fluctuations.

Annie Petsonk of the Environmental Defense Fund, who also took part in the discussion, said she, too, was impressed with what she saw as McKinley’s genuine interest in climate change science and in how it might affect the Mountain State’s economy.

Climate skeptics, too, praised the event, saying it allowed them to make their case that human emissions are not having a significant effect on warming and that efforts to rein them in are unnecessary.

Panelists included:

  • Annie Petsonk, International Counsel of Environmental Defense Fund.
  • Marc Morano, Executive Director and Chief Correspondent for ClimateDepot.com; former senior advisor, speech-writer and climate researcher for Senator James Inhofe.
  • Jim Hurrell, Director, NCAR Earth System Laboratory.
  • Myron Ebell, Director of Energy and Environment, Competitive Enterprise Institute.
  • David Kreutzer, Ph.D., Research Fellow in Energy Economics and Climate Change, The Heritage Foundation.
  • Thomas Sheahan, Ph.D., MIT educated physicist and author.
  • Dennis Avery, Director, Center for Global Food Issues at the Hudson Institute and author of “Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years”.
  • Sarah Forbes, Senior Associate, World Resources Institute.
  • A. Scott Denning, Professor, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University.
  • Dr. John Christy, Distinguished Professors of atmospheric science, and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Climate Depot has several posts/links on this panel discussion:

JC comments: I find several things to be noteworthy here:

The issues being articulated by the GWPF and Republican congressmen are sophisticated ones, and I suspect that defenders of the consensus will find it difficult to address some of these issues.   What do you think of Benny Peiser’s list of issues?

For a long time, those that supported the AGW consensus would not debate skeptics or otherwise engage with them, because they felt that such engagement would legitimize the skeptics. It seems that a growing number of scientists and advocates that support the consensus are now engaging with skeptics in the scientific and public debate; this is a good thing (I hope that the RS/GWPF meeting actually takes place).

Rep. Lamar Smith and Rep. David McKinley are making efforts to engage in the public debate on climate change in a productive way, which should be encouraged by Democrats and other supporters of climate/energy policy.

519 responses to “What exactly are we debating?

  1. First, thank you very much indeed for introducing this topic. It goes to the very core of the important issues. I hope that we can debate the diferent issues in detail, though I fear any dicussions on Climate Etc, will rapidly descend to the usual namecalling that has become very common in recent months.

    I would like to highlight one issue for the moment. In the GWPF statement on things that are agreed I find.

    4. Absent feedbacks, and other things being equal, a doubling of carbon dioxide from pre-industrial levels would warm the atmosphere by approximately 1.1C.

    I disagree with this statement completely, for all the reasons I have stated in the past, ad nauseum. The number 1.1 C has not, and cannot be measured (my definition of what measured mean), and is a completley hypothetical and meaningless number.

    I hope we will see a discussion of whether the IPCC should persist, in the AR5, with the sort of high probability of occurrence statements in the SPMs that appeared in the AR4.

    • Arno Arrak

      I quote:

      “Absent feedbacks, and other things being equal, a doubling of carbon dioxide from pre-industrial levels would warm the atmosphere by approximately 1.1C. I disagree with this statement completely, for all the reasons I have stated in the past, ad nauseam.”

      That number is quite believable when carbon dioxide is the only absorbing species and various parameters like albedo etc. are given reasonable values. Apparently you have your own definition of what measurement means so I cannot argue with that. What I find interesting is that model-makers are coming out with lesser sensitivity estimates, even below 2, and thereby approaching that unmeasurable, hypothetical value of 1.1. If these projections stay below two for a reasonable stretch of time that should be a clue to us for dismantling those decarbonization laws whose stated purpose is to keep sensitivity below 2. The fact that these are only model projections should not disturb them because they bought into it based on model projections. If your question is whether IPCC should persist at all, I vote for no. They have done enough harm and we don’t need any more of their climate fantasies to screw up the world.

  2. Enh. A foundation built on sand, if letting Peiser frame the terms of what is agreed on is meant to be a starting point.

    Still, it is wise to review the topic of how GWPF’s views differ from reality from time to time.

    A. Matters where we agree with the dominant scientific establishment and can quantify the outcome

    What is meant by ‘the dominant scientific establishment’ here? The IPCC? If so, why not say so? If not, why not say what is really meant? Does the GWPF not care to list the principle bodies comprising this ‘dominant scientific establishment’? Does the GWPF mean it disagrees with all science as practiced from the time of Newton’s Principia on down? This is a weasel-worded premise for Peiser’s dissembling Gish Galloped argument disguised as fact.

    1. The greenhouse effect is real and CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

    That’s great and all, but what GHE is the GWPF defining as ‘real’?

    If quantifying, qualify at least so far as to refer to a clear definition of terms we know the GWPF in the past has treated ambiguously, and the ‘dominant scientific establishment’ has evolved and changed over time. No?

    Also, why not put ‘CO2 is a greenhouse gas’ into quantified context: I’m sure the GWPF and ‘dominant science’ agree that N2 and O2 make up some 99% of the atmosphere but play next to no role in the GHE, making the fraction of CO2 in the atmosphere relative only to aerosols and the other atmospheric GHG’s for the purposes of discussing AGW. Wouldn’t it further be great to point out the relative lifespans in the atmosphere of the various GHGs, and the mechanisms by which they are removed or reduced?

    The GWPF makes great show in the past of contesting how significant CO2 is among other GHGs, to the point of trivialization. If the GWPF claim is ‘CO2 is a trivial GHG’, then that cannot be called a point of agreement with a dominant scientific anything.

    2. CO2 has increased in the atmosphere from approximately 0.029% to 0.039% over the past 50 years.

    The first quantification. Yay. Context would be nice, like “.. a 70% increase above the mean CO2 level of the past 800,000 years, and a 43% rise above the maximum level of the past 800,000 years, a level not seen in the atmosphere for about 3 million years at which time the Arctic was on the order of 20C degrees warmer, and on a trajectory that is increasing.”

    3. CO2’s greenhouse warming potential follows a logarithmic curve with diminishing returns to higher concentrations.

    ..if all other things are held equal, absent feedbacks, as he goes on to point out.

    Be nice if, as Peiser says “quantifying”, the actual numbers for rate of diminishing returns were provided in a single formulation, no?

    I mean, if you’re going to claim agreement with a dominant scientific anything, why not speak like a scientific something rather than spreading parts of ideas all over the page and mingling them with shadings and unfounded implication?

    4. Absent feedbacks, and other things being equal, a doubling of carbon dioxide from pre-industrial levels would warm the atmosphere by approximately 1.1C.

    Interesting way to split #3 & #4. Properly, #4 is a sub-point of #3, providing part of the quantum #3 discusses; also.. I admit to some confusion on Peiser’s numbers. 0.029% 50 years ago, and 0.028% some 260 pre-industrial years ago are barely different at all. Why shift the timespan around so?

    5. Since 1980 global temperatures have increased at an average rate of about 0.1C per decade. This is significantly slower than forecast by the vast majority of GCMs.

    GCMs don’t forecast. They aren’t competent to forecast. They aren’t used in the principle IPCC reports to forecast. They are used primarily to show the difference between a world with CO2E increase and a world without it. They do show nothing in the current understanding of GCMs can explain the behavior of GMT absent a GHE.

    Which isn’t all that big a deal, one way or the other, relatively.

    At least half of the effect of AGW must be non-thermal, by the thermomechanical principle.

    If the climate systems are globally insensitive to the energy rise, that other half would be seen as mechanical forces in the atmosphere and ocean: increase in wind and current and pressure, evapotransport and humidity changes, dew point shifts and height of solar tide. As climate systems change when temperature, pressure, shape and speed change, part of what is unaccounted for by GMT change must be restructuring of the state of climate to a level of greater Chaos.

    We have to agree that’s so, don’t we?

    • Bart – you are just adding noise here. 70% sounds like a big deal which is why you choose it over 0.039% which shows the true level of CO2. You have no clue what CO2 levels were in the past – all attempts to establish that are in dispute. Looks like GWPF have hit a nerve here.

      • jim2 | June 2, 2013 at 11:17 am |

        Precision and accuracy in science is not established dominantly as just noise. Also, what GWPF claims is 0.039% is more accurately 0.0400%, or to a scientist 400 ppmv.

        The GWPF have certainly hit a nerve. It jangles the nerve of anyone who appreciates numbers or language to see them so abused.

        And CO2 levels in the past 800,000 years are in serious dispute among the dominant scientific establishment? Because we’re in the section where the GWPF says it’s in full agreement, and the figures from ice cores are only marginally disputed by a few rare outliers from the large body of peer-reviewed figures.

        So, you’re simply saying things that aren’t true.

      • You will say anything to make your case, Bart.
        “Plant stomata suggest that the pre-industrial CO2 levels were commonly in the 360 to 390ppmv range.”

        “ce cores and GEOCARB provide continuous long-term records; while plant stomata records are discontinuous and limited to fossil stomata that can be accurately aged and calibrated to extant plant taxa. GEOCARB yields a very low frequency record, ice cores have better resolution and stomata can yield very high frequency data. Modern CO2 levels are unspectacular according to GEOCARB, unprecedented according to the ice cores and not anomalous according to plant stomata. So which method provides the most accurate reconstruction of past atmospheric CO2?

        The problems with the ice core data are 1) the air-age vs. ice-age delta and 2) the effects of burial depth on gas concentrations.”

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/26/co2-ice-cores-vs-plant-stomata/

      • jim2 | June 2, 2013 at 12:28 pm |

        Try to keep up.

        The topic is ‘GWPF agrees with dominant scientific establishment’. In what bizarre world is WUWT the dominant scientific establishment?

        Plant stomata will and must of course be measured from plants. Plants tend to grow not in the Antarctic, or other places ideal for measuring CO2 level due absence of a lot of CO2-level-modifying plants. Were the plants in the understory of a dense forest, or in a low-lying swamp? Then they aren’t reflecting baseline CO2 concentration, they’re sensitive to ambient local CO2. Which varies widely. You’re resorting to a worse proxy to challenge an array of better proxies.

      • So, Bart, you are saying WUWT did the study? Really?

      • jim2 | June 2, 2013 at 1:21 pm |

        No. I’m saying establishments like WUWT are the only ones that gullibly let such studies dominate them.

      • Bart R is correct. I don’t believe the accuracy of the ice core CO2 records are under any serious dispute in the scientific community and these CO2 records show that the the recent CO2 rise is unprecedented in 800,000 years.

        The likes of GWPF, WUWT and skeptics in general play a game of contradictions On one hand they’ll pretend to be responsible and agreeable, accepting the science. But at other times they will communicate the stupidest forms of doubt about those very things.

        The ice cores happen to be a good example. When it comes to context of the recent rise in CO2, skeptics are keen to overplay the uncertainty of the ice core records. We are told there are all sorts of problems.

        But when it comes to a certain 700 year lag between temperature and CO2 in the ice cores there is not a peep of uncertainty. In fact skeptics will often be seen pointing out the 700 year lag, without any mention of any uncertainties.

        Which is it? Are the CO2 ice core records accurate or not? For science the answer is yes they are. For climate skeptics the answer is more like “it depends on what we want to argue today”

      • Stomata are just one of the lines of evidence for 1000 ppm 50 million years ago, so while they believe stomata here to a level of certainty, they haven’t realized where else that information has been used.

      • The 700 year lag is under dispute also.

      • jim2 | June 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm |

        Good catch.

        You are absolutely right about the dispute in the length of the lag, or whether there is any at all.

        This is an excellent example for several reasons:

        a.) Studies showing improved resolution using new techniques to improve observations provided evidence of less (or no) measurable lag. In science, this is one of those times when Principia describes a condition for changing what is accepted hypothesis. The data demands a new explanation that allows for a no-lag or low-lag or even CO2-rise-first model, and deprecates near millennial lag of the relation of CO2 and GMT. This tells us not to measure CS at 700 year spans, but at spans shorter than the granularity of the new studies, a resolution of some 140 years.

        b.) It contrasts with stomata and other studies calling into question CO2 levels from ice cores, in that it relies on better data and better analyses to call into question worse data and more limited analyses, not the other way around. In science, only one parsimonious, simple, universal explanation is the accurate or very nearly true one; alternatives not supported by superior data and analyses on these principles are fingoism, and can be dismissed.

        Thanks jim2.

      • Lady in Red

        Are the ice cores, themselves, archived? I thought Mosely-Thompson and her husband had not archived anything, …almost 30 years? Are these cores available as “data?”

        Are other cores archived? Has NSF begun requiring the archiving of data, per policy, again? Or, not? …Lady in Red

      • Lady in Red | June 4, 2013 at 12:01 am |

        Last I heard, there’s still ice in the Antarctic.

        Go get your own cores and reproduce the experiment from the world’s biggest ice data archive.

        We’ll wait for you to get back.

    • Steven Mosher

      Bart

      “Enh. A foundation built on sand, if letting Peiser frame the terms of what is agreed on is meant to be a starting point.”

      debating the debate.

      “What is meant by ‘the dominant scientific establishment’ here? The IPCC? If so, why not say so? If not, why not say what is really meant? Does the GWPF not care to list the principle bodies comprising this ‘dominant scientific establishment’? Does the GWPF mean it disagrees with all science as practiced from the time of Newton’s Principia on down? This is a weasel-worded premise for Peiser’s dissembling Gish Galloped argument disguised as fact.”

      Assumes bad faith.

      ” Context would be nice, like “.. a 70% increase above the mean CO2 level of the past 800,000 years, and a 43% rise above the maximum level of the past 800,000 years, a level not seen in the atmosphere for about 3 million years at which time the Arctic was on the order of 20C degrees warmer, and on a trajectory that is increasing.”

      Context adds nothing, and the context you supply is based on uncertain paleo
      data.

      “I mean, if you’re going to claim agreement with a dominant scientific anything, why not speak like a scientific something rather than spreading parts of ideas all over the page and mingling them with shadings and unfounded implication?”

      making the good the enemy of the perfect.

      “GCMs don’t forecast.”

      Quibbling.

      • Steven Mosher | June 2, 2013 at 1:41 pm |

        I believe ‘assumes bad faith’ uncharitable.

        Now, if you’d asked for evidence of bad faith, I could point to David Rose articles and the things said by people he’s misquoted, for a start. The secrecy of GWPF funding.. and pretty much everything the GWPF have ever put out.

        Uncertainty of paleo data is an example of context. I’d say you added something by bringing this context forward. Gander sauce. Goose sauce. The context I added derails the direction of Peiser’s spin, making it harder for readers to make mistaken inference from what is said. You don’t want people making mistaken inferences, do you?

        And if there were good, I wouldn’t be regarding it with enmity. Do you really think the premise and analyses good, by any stretch, however charitable? Also, when has science ever been ‘the perfect’? Maybe you’re thinking of religion?

        Saying GCMs forecast is quibbling. Pointing out using GCMs for forecasts is not what any dominant scientific establishment agrees on is clarification. Restating the principle benefit of GCMs, as agreed on by the dominant scientific anything, that’s just deliverying on the premise.

        By the way, in case it isn’t clear as crystal, I don’t believe there is a monolithic dominant scientific establishment. Certainly not enough of one to warrant its use in the GWPF context.

        The IPCC is a policy or political establishment, and a not terribly dominant one outside a few narrow contexts. This little body may be dominated by scientific expertise, but it neither answers to nor can it demand answers of any particular arm of science.

        In Science, there is no “The Man”. Resisting “The Man” doesn’t happen in Science, as Science is its own resistance to “The Man”, where “The Man” is made of up establishment politicians, lords, businessmen, bankers, lawmakers, press opinion makers, spinmeisters and Black Hats.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Now, if you’d asked for evidence of bad faith, I could point to David Rose articles and the things said by people he’s misquoted, for a start. The secrecy of GWPF funding.. and pretty much everything the GWPF have ever put out.”

        What David Rose says is hardly evidence of bad faith about Pieser. So, you just proved your bad faith by galloping away to a different subject. Same with their funding. That was not the issue I was talking about.

        “Uncertainty of paleo data is an example of context. I’d say you added something by bringing this context forward. Gander sauce. Goose sauce. The context I added derails the direction of Peiser’s spin, making it harder for readers to make mistaken inference from what is said. You don’t want people making mistaken inferences, do you?”

        Huh. They are trying to lay out in the simplest terms what the areas of agreement are and you fault them for not including evidence that is uncertain.
        Showing bad faith while you impugn others is not a good start. Also, Arguing with rhetorical questions that beg the question is not a good way to show that you can actually be trusted.

        “And if there were good, I wouldn’t be regarding it with enmity. Do you really think the premise and analyses good, by any stretch, however charitable?”

        Yes.

        “Also, when has science ever been ‘the perfect’? Maybe you’re thinking of religion?”

        Huh. Who said science was perfect? Your approach has been to criticize their approach because it is not up to your notions of a perfectly framed debate. Not sure where you get the idea of religion from. I’ll assume you read something different than I wrote.

        “. Pointing out using GCMs for forecasts is not what any dominant scientific establishment agrees on is clarification. Restating the principle benefit of GCMs, as agreed on by the dominant scientific anything, that’s just deliverying on the premise.”

        Huh? again. you are quibbling. This time you are quibbling about quibbling.
        Stop that. It doesnt work.

        “By the way, in case it isn’t clear as crystal, I don’t believe there is a monolithic dominant scientific establishment. Certainly not enough of one to warrant its use in the GWPF context.”

        its pretty clear they are looking to describe the “consensus” And you are correct. It doesnt exist.

        “The IPCC is a policy or political establishment, and a not terribly dominant one outside a few narrow contexts. This little body may be dominated by scientific expertise, but it neither answers to nor can it demand answers of any particular arm of science.”

        That’s how I’m aware they were not refering to it and your attempt to derail debate by quibbling about inconsequential things is an example of the bad faith you accuse others of having. Next you’ll bitch about the venue.

        “In Science, there is no “The Man”. Resisting “The Man” doesn’t happen in Science, as Science is its own resistance to “The Man”, where “The Man” is made of up establishment politicians, lords, businessmen, bankers, lawmakers, press opinion makers, spinmeisters and Black Hats.”

        You should work in a lab. You’d meet the Man.

      • ‘Black Hats’? What do the Frummies have to do with this?

      • Steven Mosher | June 2, 2013 at 7:39 pm |

        Is it the GWPF, or Peiser? https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/composition-division .. or mine is.

        If I’m saying David Rose has exhibited bad faith while representing the GWPF position, and the GWPF policy of others than Peiser on secret funding supports a case for bad faith, then of course neither of these is a position of Peiser. But wasn’t Peiser talking about and behalf of the whole GWPF on these matters, as was Rose, as were those setting the policy of secrecy?

        This is neither here nor there, of course, in addressing an ‘assumes bad faith’ weakness in an otherwise powerful case; I admit to a gloss, given the patent bad faith of the Peiser argument and the GWPF track record, and I admit to not needing to have gone there either way.

        The plain fact is we’re both skeptics, and we both function on principles that demand deeper scrutiny of claims. This isn’t assuming bad faith. This is more like glasnost. I am performing the service for the GWPF that not so long ago you yourself said Marcott et al ought thank their critics for. Sauce goose. Sauce gander.

        So yes, I’d like more context for clarity. Footnotes do no harm, if they want to make their presentation more accessible for those not crazed by details, while removing ambiguity. You aren’t a little interested by the high level of ambiguity, considering the history of the parties, if the whole point is to show where there is agreement? And agreement on the level of uncertainty, without exaggeration, would be rather key: if the GWPF position has huge uncertainty built in, and the dominant scientific view — whatever that is — has low uncertainty, how doesn’t that matter enough for a footnote?

        And I have zero interest in showing good faith, or in being trusted. I invite skepticism of my arguments. I want skepticism of my arguments. I admire those who question the logic and research the fact and come to their own conclusion without reliance on the authority of strangers on a blog. Even if they suck at it, the few who do it with commitment to improving the discourse are rare gems.

        In such spirit, I invite you to expand on how you find the GWPF premise and analyses good, beyond, ‘Yes.’

        My approach has not been about my standards. My approach has been about I can’t know unambiguously what they’re saying from what they’ve written, or where one can know what they’re saying, they’re plain wrong on facts or reasoning. That’s hardly a personal standard. That’s more a universal standard.

        So, no, the “good (enough) is the enemy of the perfect” fallacy does not apply. This is a case of the unclear obscures what is being said, the untrue needs identification as untrue, and the unwarranted false implication is the enemy of the naive reader.

        Trivializing these principal objectives of any good faith participant in discourse as quibble is not supported. It’s true I do quibble, or more to the point I use quibbling to make points about things that aren’t quibbles. But it’s not true that I have no point rising in merit above quibble.

        Also, it may be a quibble, but “The Man” in a lab is generally “The Martinet”. I’m okay with that.

      • Harold | June 2, 2013 at 8:06 pm |

        Different hat. See the footnote I supplied to prevent such ambiguous misreading.

    • maksimovich

      A foundation built on sand,

      But climatology is a book of sand as the equations are infinite.
      http://www4.wittenberg.edu/academics/mathcomp/shelburne/Infinity/notes/BookOfSand.html

    • Bart R

      GWPF states the “GHE is real and CO2 is a GH gas”. Do you have an objection, Bart? I thought you also believed the GHE was real and that CO2 was a GHG.

      Peiser’s “dominant scientific establishment” obviously means the so-called “consensus” group represented by IPCC to anyone except a nutter. But you wrote:

      This is a weasel-worded premise for Peiser’s dissembling Gish Galloped argument disguised as fact.

      Huh? Whazzat, Bart?

      The rest of his points seem quite logical to me.

      I would generally agree with Jim Cripwell that point 4 (no-feedback 2xCO2 temperature impact in our climate system) is not an empirically measured parameter, but rather a theoretically estimated value based on measurements of CO2 LW absorption characteristics in the lab. I know of no way that this parameter can be validated empirically. As a result I would have worded #4 slightly differently.

      GCMs don’t forecast” You are splitting hairs here, Bart. CGMs have been used in the literature cited by IPCC to “project” (or predict) future GH warming. In AR4, for example, IPCC stated (bold face by me):

      For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios.

      If you like the word “project” better than “forecast”, so be it. It is a matter of choice. Means exactly the same thing in this context.

      The logarithmic CO2 temperature relation (over the ranges we are likely to ever see) is a well know and accepted part of the greenhouse theory, which means that every added ppmv will have a lower impact than a previously added ppmv. Peiser simply points this out, maybe because IPCC apparently does not like to do so.

      Your comment:

      if you’re going to claim agreement with a dominant scientific anything, why not speak like a scientific something rather than spreading parts of ideas all over the page and mingling them with shadings and unfounded implication?

      Is confusing and beside the point. If you see “shadings and unfounded implications” hidden in Peiser’s straightforward statements, you might have a perception problem.

      Peiser’s quantification of CO2 increase over the past 50 years makes sense since we have been measuring it for a bit more than 50 years; anything prior to 1959 is an estimated value based on ice core data.

      Bart R, your critique as stated appears to be more emotional than rational.

      Max

      .

      • manacker | June 2, 2013 at 8:50 pm |

        So you’re speaking for Peiser, now?

        I agree gold is a real medium of exchange and (some) fillings are made with gold. Doesn’t mean I agree to accept or give teeth in payment.

        Saying some vague undefined term is real is needlessly ambiguous. It’s handwaving of the worst sort. It doesn’t promote agreement, or clarify the subject. Would you accept such handwaving equally, were there an equally vague statement from the IPCC of the likes of, “we agree the GWPF has made real statements, and Peiser has made one of them,” as meaning anything nontrivial, specific or useful?

        But don’t let me stop you now. By all means, prithee, further disambiguate this ‘so-called consensus group’ . Does it include the Royal Society? Any other distinguished national or international bodies? All other distinguished national or international science bodies? Authors of tens of thousands of peer-reviewed papers? 97% of scientists practicing climatology? 97% of qualified physical scientists working today? I’d like to know, since the topic is quantified agreement, what the quantum is. Don’t you?

        And I am not splitting hairs about forecast vs. project. I can’t think of a single room with more than five physicists, computer simulation specialists or mathematicians in it that I’ve been in in the past quarter century where the majority would agree that GCMs forecast climate. Based on such data, I project it will be many decades before I find myself in such a room. But I don’t forecast such an eventuality.

        And while Peiser points out a logarithmic relationship, he also points out a much higher order one, where 210 years resulted in something his figures purport to be on the order of 10 ppmv, and the next 50 years accomplished over ten times that growth. In the few weeks since Peiser wrote his piece, the level’s gone up from 390 ppmv to 400 ppmv, apparently.. so that logarithm isn’t really much salvation as someone reading Peiser might infer, if their logic were sloppy enough to agree with Peiser’s.

    • You repeat the physically naive view that N2 and O2 “play next to no role in the GHE.” In fact, GHGs transfer their absorbed thermal energy via molecular collisions to the nominally “inert” atmospheric constituents, which DO radiate in the far infrared and microwave ranges, like all matter above zero Kelvin. Without the bulk mass of N2 and O2 acting as a heat reservoir, supplied by conduction and convection as well as by radiation Earth would be much colder.

      • John S. | June 3, 2013 at 8:06 pm |

        Indeed, were I to have said “no role in GMT”, you’d be partly right.

        But I say GHE, not GMT, and “next to no”, not merely “no”.

        So you infer wrongly on semantics alone.

        I mean, other than your Physics being pure science fiction.

        That problem with your remarks, I’m not touching.

      • Actually N2 does play an important role in GHE. Without N2 we would not have much pressure broadening of the spectral lines of CO2 and H2O and without spectral broadening the atmosphere were much more transparent for IR than it really is.

      • Pekka Pirilä | June 4, 2013 at 10:51 am |

        This is one role, yes.

        But important?

        In the absense of N2, all other things being held equal, would we not have dramatically less atmospheric pressure and density, different from the case in a closed chamber, with the lower density partly replacing the contribution of N2?

        In either case, there’d still be a GHE, though with somewhat different outcomes.

      • Bart,

        Counter factual comparisons have educational value, but they don’t change the reality.

        This point just came to mind when I read your statement, but who cares about the strength of GHE on a hypothetical planet similar to Earth but without nitrogen and oxygen.

      • Pekka Pirilä | June 4, 2013 at 11:03 am |

        Only people who are dealing with the claim that N2 and O2 are GHE’s. ;)

        But only while dealing with such claims.

        I admit, there are better ways of dealing with such claims.

      • For curiosity I decided to check, hoe much the line shape affects the results. Removing totally pressure broadening would require that Doppler broadening is taken into account. That would have been a little more cumbersome. Therefore I simply divided the linewidth by 10 and calculated radiative transfer trough AFGL mid-latitude summer atmosphere. For CO2 I used the present concentration of 400 ppm.

        In this calculation the emission from surface is 424 W/m^2, OLR with normal broadening is 275 W/m^2 and OLR with the narrower peaks 326 W/m^2. (Lowering the linewidth to 1% of the original raises the OLR flux to 372 W/m^2.)

        This simple exercise tells that pressure broadening is very important for the outcome.

      • Bart R;

        “Wrong” semantics, my foot! What I pointed out goes directly to the crux of the GHE: the sources of backradiation. That all matter above zero Kelvin radiates and that excited states get grounded often by molecular collisions is common knowlege among those who have studied physics seriously. Manifestly you rely upon AGW-promoting Wiki-expertise instead.
        Pekka: Think equipartition, not just line-broadening

      • Pekka Pirilä | June 4, 2013 at 11:32 am |

        I agree with your argument, in principle, pending experimental evidence, but I must point out, as mischief:

        An increase of CO2 concentration from 280 ppmv to 560 ppmv will have a much greater effect than a change of N2 concentration from 800,000 ppmv to 800,280 ppmv or 799,720 ppmv.

        John S. | June 4, 2013 at 8:01 pm |

        Wordslaw stew impresses no one. Claims of authority impress no skeptics. Show me your math. Show me experimental evidence. Serious physics? Show some. Preferrably that doesn’t involve the USS Enterprise or Battlestar Galactica.

      • Your characterization of my reference to common knowledge of fundamentals as an “appeal to authority” is a real howler.

        I comment quite rarely and sparely, on the principle that a word to the wise is sufficient. It seems not to have occurred to you that I have no interest in preparing an elaborate presentation to “impress” someone who has no real grasp of physics and resists guiding pointers from all quarters. Do your own scientific homework; without it, your prolix rhetoric (which is spouted daily on various blogs) is empty.

      • John S. | June 5, 2013 at 9:05 pm |

        Your characterization of my reference to common knowledge of fundamentals as an “appeal to authority” is a real howler.

        I won’t use ‘semantic’, as it seems to cause problems.

        The ‘appeal to authority’ was not from this thread. It was from a recent (rare?) comment of yours putting forth your qualifications to comment as an expert in matters of Physics.

        And much of what you have said in this thread is not strictly in error. Of course N2 and O2 have an impact on GMT, and as such and by mechanisms that can be described in general in terms you use, in the same sense as they can be described as Pekka sets them out, are relevant to the GHE.

        However, there would still be some GHE were N2 and O2 to be replaced with Argon and H2, or Neon and Radon, or were they simply to not be there. It’s difficult to imagine a counterfactual construction where either a 99% non-GHG atmosphere, or one composed without, N2 and O2 would not have a GHE from its CO2 and other GHGs, all other things being held equal.

        Saying N2 or O2, as a poster elsetopic asserted, are GHG’s, was the error I was addressing in my original point. I ought have made that more clear. Heck, there are GHGs with Nitrogen and Oxygen in them, the NOx’s.

        However, saying N2 or O2 are significant to the GHE is almost as bad as saying they are GHGs: there’s no way humans are going to emit enough pure N2 or O2 to double the concentration of either in the atmosphere, or even achieve the 43% increase humans have achieved in just a quarter millennium. And there is substantially higher impact of changing the concentration of actual GHG’s (ie gases that absorb more in IR bandwidths) than in changing the concentration of particular non-GHGs like N2 and O2.

        So do as Pekka has done, and set out the basis for your claim N2 or O2 especially play more role in the GHE than any other non-GHG would, or better as Pekka has not yet done that relative to GHG’s the same change in concentration of non-GHGs vs. GHGs makes more than a tiny fraction of the difference in outcomes resulting from the GHE.

      • John S. | June 5, 2013 at 9:05 pm |

        On one point, I am curious.

        ..your prolix rhetoric (which is spouted daily on various blogs)..

        Do you mean prolix rhetoric is spouted daily on various blogs (which is pretty much verging on tautology), or do you mean I comment daily on various blogs (which would only be true if the value of various were a single blog, or if people repeated what I write here — sometimes more than daily, often less)?

        It’s hard sometimes to know what you mean, given your reachy and dystempered use of language.

        Might one suggest less use of hyperbole, until you learn how to do it without catapulting into pure lie?

  3. Thinking people no longer take honesty and integrity of the media for granted. Teaching children how not what to think has never been more important but the promise of universal education has been a miserable failure. When sampled, “from the extreme ends of the spectrum of opinions,” competing claims “often get disproportionate time as either/or options,” according Stephen Schneider and Michael Mastrandrea (authors of the essay, The Politics of Climate Science). “What needs to be conveyed to the public is the relative credibility of each claim. The political balance model often results in well-established conclusions given equal weight in a story with speculative ones, resulting in public confusion regarding both scientific knowledge and appropriate societal responses,” and this is something the authors believe that, “everyone interested in climate change and public policy needs to understand.”

  4. Reblogged this on evilincandescentbulb and commented:
    What good are two sides to an argument when the government has already taken sides and just can keep changing the rules to stay in the game. Take for example an exchange of opinions between two scientists in October 2009, as follows:

    Kevin Trenberth: “The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to show that specific global and regional changes resulting from global warming are already upon us. The future projections are for much more warming, but with rates of change perhaps a hundred times as fast as those experienced in nature over the past 10,000 years.”

    William Gray: “It is by no means clear that the global warming we have experienced over the last 30 and last 100 years is due primarily to human-induced CO2 rises. The globe experienced many natural temperature changes before the Industrial Revolution. How do we know the recent warming is not due to one or a combination of many natural changes that were experienced in the past? There is no way Dr. Trenberth or anybody else can, with any degree of confidence, say that future global warming may be a hundred times faster than anything we have seen in the past. This is pure conjecture.”

  5. The GHE forcing can be countered or diminished or canceled by negative feedbacks. For example: increased cloud cover can increase the albedo, and cnacel out the GHE forcing.
    We can’t quatify, at this moment, the cloud effect.
    So, it cannot be claimed, with a high degree of confidence, that the GHE forcing MUST cause warming.
    I think this is a point on which agreement might be reached. (That was a joke).

    • Jacob | June 2, 2013 at 11:38 am |

      Warming? Nope. GHE does not necessarily cause homogenous warming, after all net effects are considered.

      However, it must cause Chaos.

      • Bart R | June 2, 2013 at 11:48 am |

        Though I have to admit, as of BEST, and HadCRU4, and ARGO, it’s overwhelmingly improbable AGW due GHE hasn’t caused the great bulk of the large warming spike on top of the high mid-century warm plateau.

      • “it’s overwhelmingly improbable”
        That’s an article of faith.
        As is the claim that any perturbation will necessarily cause chaos.

    • Jacob | June 2, 2013 at 2:50 pm |

      Article of faith? No. It’s an article of mathematics.

      It’s how the statistics come out when one does the arithmetic on the observations.

      As all components of the mathematics are fully reasoned from first principles, and those components can be used to validate and verify the observations themselves statistically, no element of reliance on faith at all remains.

      Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with how math works?

      • Bart seems unfamiliar with when math doesn’t work. Is the GWPF math?
        =========

      • “it’s overwhelmingly improbable”
        There’s nothing probable or improbable about it. It either is, or it isn’t – IOW it’s probability is either 0% or 100%.
        What you’re doing is stating how unlikely you perceive it to be that the model is wrong.

      • Rob Starkey

        Bart R
        I believe, or at least hope you know that the relative impact of different forcings vary over time as conditions change. For someone to state that a particular forcing has a specific value at some specific time does seem to be more of rough estimates or faith more than fully quantifiable science.

    • kim | June 3, 2013 at 4:39 am |

      Math generally doesn’t work for irrational cases. Science doesn’t deal in irrational cases. If the GWPF is saying it’s in agreement with science, but only on irrational cases or in irrational ways, then it’s not in agreement with science.

      You may be thinking of hairdressing.

      • No wonder it is often difficult to debunk skeptical models. The irrationality does not square with the intuition that we have gained over the years. As a teacher it is much easier to grade good work than bad work.

    • Rob Starkey | June 3, 2013 at 5:05 pm |

      Which would be why I was so particular about identifying the time span (ergo the conditions) of interest.

      Although, we don’t know that what you assert is true: it makes sense, but it’s hardly knowable yet based on data how sensitive to conditions, and which conditions, CS is. It might not be very sensitive. It might be extremely sensitive. We are uncertain of that, beyond data sufficient to believe 1.2-3.0, with possible mode up to 4.5.

    • phatboy | June 3, 2013 at 5:01 pm |

      Statistics does indeed have a subfield dealing with belief, or ‘prior belief’. This involves Bayes’ Theorem.

      And such reasoning does indeed apply to some parts of some questions about the probabilities dealing with TGW and climate change.

      But there is no need for Bayesian reasoning in proofs of basic Chaos Theory (though Bayes can be useful), and in Chaos Theory new external forcings increase the complexity and alter the state of complex systems towards Chaos. So Jacob’s second objection of article of faith is simply false. Nor does it have to do with perception. This is a thing that can be shown to a mathematical certainty, no less certain than 1+1=2. So unless you have a problem with all models where there are whole numbers and addition because they’re ‘articles of faith’, your simply blowing smoke. Now there _are_ areas where the question of degree of Risk imputed from Chaos Theory of outcomes of new perturbations might result from prior belief and/or the accuracy of observations, but I wasn’t warranting the degree of Risk, merely the existence of a foundation for it.

      And the statistics required to confirm the chaos, and the warming, where they have dependency on Bayes Theorem at all, can be shown to be insensitive to degree of prior belief where it matters to the conclusion of warming or change in all the ways that matter to my point. So I don’t need to meet Jacob’s additional conditions for my claim to be valid and for the level of its probability to be from first principles reasoning to be known to be high.

  6. B. Matters where we agree with the scientific consensus but cannot quantify the outcome.

    Cannot, or will not?

    Perhaps substitute, “do not agree with the quantified outcomes arrived at by scientific methods.”

    1. Positive feedbacks from water vapour and soot, negative feedback from clouds and aerosols, and other factors, mean that actual climate sensitivity is a matter of vigorous scientific debate.

    When did the dominant scientific consensus not quantify the parameters of this vigorous debate? Isn’t the main body of the debate in the realm of 1.2-3.0, with substantial upward range generally indicating even 4.5 may be likely?

    Again, why not specify the ‘dominant scientific’ formulation that the GWPF agree to, or point to a clear definition of a very unclear concept?

    Also, does Peiser mean, “Feedbacks from all factors, such as positive water vapor and darkening and negative cloud and aerosol albedo,” in which case I’m not sure we can call soot a feedback or must accept it as a separate-but-related forcing, or does he hold that there are only two positive feedbacks, water vapor and soot, and all other feedbacks are negative? It’s an ambiguous wording that may lead to failed inference in the unwary or wayward reader.

    2. Natural variability caused by ocean oscillations, amplified solar variations and other factors also act to increase or decrease temperature change. Thus overall temperature prediction is doubly uncertain.

    Why ‘amplified’? Is there general agreement some nameless effect is amplifying the sun’s variations? Why not merely ‘solar variations’? Also ’caused by’ is dubious, in a strict scientific sense: ‘correlated to’ is more acceptable, I’d think. But again, these are quantifiable, and there are ‘dominant scientific’ estimates extant for a long list of such effects. The GWPF gives the impression that just because some don’t like the quantified numbers, the numbers don’t exist.

    Small children play that game about the vegetables on their plates.

    3. Arctic summer sea ice has decreased, but Antarctic sea ice has increased; this is more consistent with regional albedo changes due to soot than with global temperature changes due to greenhouse warming.

    Huh. Again, this is an item where quantities are readily available. Either the GWPF accepts and agrees about the quantities, or it does not.

    This item certainly does not belong under a heading disputing quantum. It appears entirely to belong to an area where the facts are plain, deserving of context – timescale, relative size of Arctic losses to Antarctic gains, relative uncertainty of Arctic and Antarctic figures, etc.. and the logical conclusions are being disputed by GWPF illogic.

    4. There is no consensus that recent climate change has affected the variability of weather or the frequency of extreme weather events.

    What?

    No.

    That claim is a complete misrepresentation. There is broad consensus and significant quantifiable measurement showing exactly the opposite of what the GWPF claims is so. Perhaps Peiser simply misunderstands, “no single weather event can be ascribed to the change in frequency due AGW,” to mean what he wrote.. though that is a pecularly reachy stretch of charity. Maybe he means that there is poor documentation of observations to describe some past rates of extreme weather, and so there is no consensus that some of the rates have changed by a particular amount?

    5. Economists generally agree that net economic damage will occur above 2C of warming, net economic benefit below that level, but this cannot be certain.

    Uh.. What?!

    Any statement including the words “Economists generally agree,” is false in any context, almost as a rule. Also, economists are in no way part of any dominant scientific anything. Few economists regard themselves as conventional scientists, and almost no scientists regard them as such.

    The terms ‘damage’ and ‘benefit’ are ill-defined, but could be well-defined, and so far as the foundations for claims of damage and benefit exist in Economics at all, they exist in mathematical models that are by definition fully quantified.. though I certainly doubt the models are very good. I just don’t doubt the models are very good because they’re technically not very good.. and the most credible of the models most certainly do not claim net benefit below 2C.

    Maybe the GWPF wants to go back and think about what it’s done, and then apologize.

    • [...], economists are in no way part of any dominant scientific anything. Few economists regard themselves as conventional scientists, and almost no scientists regard them as such.

      If economics isn’t a science, how can you make reference to the “Law of Supply and Demand“?

      • AK | June 2, 2013 at 12:32 pm |

        Your pointless quibble about my nearly pointless quibble is very pointless. If the GWPF regards Economics in the same sense as the rest of the world regards Physics, my point stands.

        It takes very little to demonstrate exceptions to the Law of Supply and Demand. It invites numerous codiciles and clauses and admits of alternate explanations promiscuously. It contrives to act as a rule by oversimplification of cases that work only in the abstract. It thus lacks universality, parsimony, simplicity and accuracy.

        So we cannot call Economics a science, by Newton’s Principia.

        Which doesn’t make it useless. We can’t call Accounting or tattoo removal sciences, either. One of which may come in handy getting that “I Heart WUWT” tattoo removed from people’s buttocks.

    • Bart R

      Gotta admit: you are consistent.

      Consistently wrong, in this case.

      Simply saying that Pieser’s points are wrong because you happen to disagree with them does not make them so, Bart.

      Bring some evidence – not empty words.

      Max

      • manacker | June 3, 2013 at 1:43 am |

        Peiser’s points are wrong, where they’re wrong, because they’re wrong. My saying the Emperor has no clothes does not make his clothes, but merely his vanity, disappear.

        And what evidence do you feel is lacking on my part, that is provided on Peisers? https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/burden-of-proof

        Peiser and the GWPF haven’t met their burden of proof.

      • Bart R

        You assert that Peiser’s points are “wrong”.

        When asked to provide evidence to support your claim, you simply repeat that Peiser’s points are “wrong” (but cite no evidence).

        From this I conclude that you have no evidence to support your assertion and that it is simply hot air.

        Thanks for the confirmation.

        Max

      • manacker | June 4, 2013 at 3:06 am |

        You really don’t grasp the concept of a burden of proof fallacy?

        That the proponent must furnish the evidence that they are right, not that the audience must furnish the evidence for them?

        And you do this in the face of the fact that my comments are well-supplied with references to evidence. It’s right there. You simply deny it’s plainly there.

        Is “1.2-3.0, with substantial upward range generally indicating even 4.5 may be likely” _not_ the CS range of the majority of peer-reviewed literature? How is this not evidence that Peiser is wrong to say there is no quantum? How is the existence of something Peiser claims doesn’t exist not sufficient refutation? What level of evidence does Peiser meet in making this claim that I do not exceed in demonstrating him wrong?

        And how much evidence of ambiguous wording do you need when Peiser’s ambiguous wording is right there, being ambiguous in front of you?

        How much more evidence do we need of past GWPF bad faith than our host reporting that her first two contacts with David Rose led to bad faith reporting by him of what she said? Perhaps you need more evidence that David Rose is on the leash of the GWPF? Other than, I mean, that he speaks for them in public debate, and the coincidence of every article he writes on the topic with GWPF position?

        Indeed, what level of evidence do you meet in claiming ‘no evidence’, that I do not exceed with evidence? Or are you asking for evidence of the evidence of the evidence?

        So, really,” empty words” .. to which comment does it apply, yours, or mine?

      • This is my interpretation of ECS. Start with a sharp 1.2C +/- 0.1C level for CO2 doubling. Then add in a mild feedback H2O increase of 1C with +/- 0.2C. Then add in the other GHG’s with 0.4C +/- 0.2C, and then albedo with 0.3C +/- 0.2C and unknown positive feedbacks from permafrost and clathrates of 0.3C +/- 0.3C. That gives 3C +/- 1C. for ECS.

        One can see how the ECS can easily go higher. The denominator in the positive feedback expression skews high, and thus the uncertainties have more room on the higher temperature side.

      • Bart R

        More empty words (as expected, based on your track record).

        Max

      • Webby

        Let’s go through that again – this time using the IPCC AR4 approach rather than your “ad hoc” method.

        1.0C = No feedback 2xCO2 impact (Myhre et al.)

        In AR4 WG1, Chapter 8 (p.630) IPCC states that the multi-model mean forcing and standard deviation for each feedback in W/m^2 °C is:
        Water vapor +1.80 ±0.18
        Lapse rate -0.84 ±0.26
        Albedo +0.26 ± 0.08
        Clouds +0.69 ± 0.38

        On p.631 IPCC states:

        “The water vapor feedback is, however, closely related to the lapse rate feedback, and the two combined result in a feedback parameter of approximately 1 W/m^2, corresponding to an amplification of the basic temperature response by approximately 50%.”

        This would translate into a temperature response of 1.5*1.0°C = 1.5°C, excluding the feedbacks from clouds or surface albedo.

        Including all feedbacks except clouds, IPCC estimates (p.633)

        ”…it can be estimated that in the presence of water vapour, lapse rate and surface albedo feedbacks, but in the absence of cloud feedbacks, current GCMs would predict a climate sensitivity (±1 standard deviation) of roughly 1.9°C ± 0.15°C (ignoring spread from radiative forcing differences). The mean and standard deviation of climate sensitivity estimates derived from current GCMs are larger (3.2°C ± 0.7°C) essentially because the GCMs all predict a positive cloud feedback but strongly disagree on its magnitude”

        So, out of the mean estimate of 3.2°C, roughly 1.3°C are based on the predicted strongly positive net feedback from clouds.

        IPCC does concede that ”cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty” [AR4 WG1 SPM, p.12]

        Two studies since then have cleared up some of this “uncertainty”:

        Spencer & Braswell (2007) showed a strongly negative overall cloud feedback with warming over the tropics, based on CERES satellite observations.

        Wyant et al. (2006) used a model study using superparameterization to better simulate the behavior of clouds; this study also showed a strongly negative net overall cloud feedback at all latitudes (about the same order of magnitude as the positive feedback predicted by the IPCC models).

        Correcting the IPCC AR4 estimate for this later data on the cloud feedback would put 2xCO2 ECS at around 1.0°C to 1.5°C.

        On top of this, Webby, there have been several new studies (some at least partially based on actual observations, rather than simply model predictions), all of which suggest a much lower 2xCO2 ECS than was predicted by the models cited by IPCC in AR4. The average of these is around 1.6 °C, or around half the mean value predicted in AR4.

        So I think you need to rework your calculation, Webby.

        Max

      • [Re-posted with corrected formatting - please delete earlier comment]

        Webby

        Let’s go through that again – this time using the IPCC AR4 approach rather than your “ad hoc” method.

        1.0C = No feedback 2xCO2 impact (Myhre et al.)

        In AR4 WG1, Chapter 8 (p.630) IPCC states that the multi-model mean forcing and standard deviation for each feedback in W/m^2 °C is:
        Water vapor +1.80 ±0.18
        Lapse rate -0.84 ±0.26
        Albedo +0.26 ± 0.08
        Clouds +0.69 ± 0.38

        On p.631 IPCC states:

        “The water vapor feedback is, however, closely related to the lapse rate feedback, and the two combined result in a feedback parameter of approximately 1 W/m^2, corresponding to an amplification of the basic temperature response by approximately 50%.”

        This would translate into a temperature response of 1.5*1.0°C = 1.5°C, excluding the feedbacks from clouds or surface albedo.

        Including all feedbacks except clouds, IPCC estimates (p.633)

        ”…it can be estimated that in the presence of water vapour, lapse rate and surface albedo feedbacks, but in the absence of cloud feedbacks, current GCMs would predict a climate sensitivity (±1 standard deviation) of roughly 1.9°C ± 0.15°C (ignoring spread from radiative forcing differences). The mean and standard deviation of climate sensitivity estimates derived from current GCMs are larger (3.2°C ± 0.7°C) essentially because the GCMs all predict a positive cloud feedback but strongly disagree on its magnitude”

        So, out of the mean estimate of 3.2°C, roughly 1.3°C are based on the predicted strongly positive net feedback from clouds.

        IPCC does concede that ”cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty” [AR4 WG1 SPM, p.12]

        Two studies since then have cleared up some of this “uncertainty”:

        Spencer & Braswell (2007) showed a strongly negative overall cloud feedback with warming over the tropics, based on CERES satellite observations.

        Wyant et al. (2006) used a model study using superparameterization to better simulate the behavior of clouds; this study also showed a strongly negative net overall cloud feedback at all latitudes (about the same order of magnitude as the positive feedback predicted by the IPCC models).

        Correcting the IPCC AR4 estimate for this later data on the cloud feedback would put 2xCO2 ECS at around 1.0°C to 1.5°C.

        On top of this, Webby, there have been several new studies (some at least partially based on actual observations, rather than simply model predictions), all of which suggest a much lower 2xCO2 ECS than was predicted by the models cited by IPCC in AR4. The average of these is around 1.6 °C, or around half the mean value predicted in AR4.

        So I think you need to rework your calculation, Webby.

        Max

    • Ask pielke jnr about disaster losses – as he has repeatedly made clear, once you adjust for population at risk and assets at risk, the is no trend. Since he is published on the literature on this very topic ( unlike the vast majority of those who hold t the counter opinion – including, apparently, you), perhaps you could supply a reference?

      • kneel | June 3, 2013 at 3:56 am |

        I’m not sure if you’re mistaking the topic or not.

        The economists who model cost benefit analyses are the likes of Nordhaus, and based entirely on Nordhaus’ work, Tol.. who Nordhaus repudiates.

        Nordhaus clearly demonstrates net harm is current, not at some far off date.

        And I am not citing source on relative disaster loss trend because a)there is no valid source on disaster loss, due the poor quality of the data; and, b) disaster loss trend is an inappropriate measure of change in rate of extreme events. Later today or tomorrow, I’ll furnish links to a few (a very few, as WordPress traps large numbers of links, where large is above two) sources, to meet this burden of proof.. if you’d be so kind as to link specifically to the pielke jr. papers you mean, that’d be a kindness. I’ll be able to show you more clearly what is wrong with the analysis, once I know you’ve actually read it.

        To step out of the frame of when net harm starts, or whether damages now are trending higher than damages in the past for some highly uncertain and poor data, what gives anyone the right to freely damage me and mine through negligence?

        We don’t question how much the drink affects the outcome of drunk driving. The deep pockets principle of tort tells us the administratively easiest wrongdoer to extract damage payment from is the right one to pursue. Well, as climate has changed principally due the fossil fuel industries, and those industries’ pockets are deep and easy to find, the right party for anyone harmed by tornado or hurricane, flood or drought, is a fossil fuel free rider.

      • Bart R

        Net harm starts now?

        When?

        January of this year?

        Ten years ago, when temperature was slightly higher than today?

        1998 (or 2005, depending on which source of data is used), when the highest temperature was reached?

        Gimme a break, Bart. You cannot show that any harm has occurred to date.

        It’s all hot air from you, as usual.

        Max

      • manacker | June 5, 2013 at 3:02 am |

        Hey, don’t gripe to me about Nordhaus’ figures. Go to Nordhaus for that.

        I’m one of the ones who think any cost-benefit analysis as ambitious as what Lomborg and Tol do using Nordhaus’ tools is dubious and unfounded.

        If you can find a fault in Nordhaus’ arguments, let us know.

  7. Stephen Wilde

    Bart R sounds desperate.

  8. The “funding issue” is likely to be the escape valve for the Royal Society to avoid a debate it has never been willing to have before, while preserving the appearance of willingness to do so.

    Those who are not conservatives, the majority of commenters here, do not understand the issue from the other per4spective. The issue of disclosing who is funding groups like the GWPF is not about transparency. It is about power.

    Once the donors are identified, groups like the GWPF can be strangled of funding by targeting those donors. By means of pillorying the donors in the press. Organizing consumer boycotts. Or the most effective tool progressives have when in power, siccing the IRS and other governmental regulatory agencies on them.

    You progressives, independents and moderates who only get the filtered news that the “media” thinks you should know about, probably have heard very little about the scope of the IRS’s attacks on conservative political organizations prior to the last election in the US. What I will guarantee you have not heard is how effective it was. Tea party groups were by no means the only ones targeted, but many of them were effectively silenced by the IRS’s tactics. Did you notice how the groups that were so effective in 2010 seemed to disappear from the air waves in 2012?

    The whole point of demanding donor lists is to enable these kinds of attacks on those donors, to starve conservative (in this case skeptical) groups of funding.

    Billionaires like the Koch brothers can weather the storm. But those who dare to speak out in favor of any conservative issue run the risk of being vilified, boycotted, and targeted by the vast power of government.

    My bet is the Royal Society has no intention of debating, but does not want to appear afraid to do so. They know the GWPF has always refused to reveal their donors, so they have added a poison pill to the preliminary debate discussions.

    The excerpts of the letter in the post above do not say this is a precondition, but my bet is it will become one, if it is not already.

    • And if that doesn’t work, they can Gleick them.

    • Gary, the issue you raise as the whether the RS will agree to attend the meeting is, of course, the key issue at this time. At present, Prof Mitchell owes Benny Peiser an answer to Benny’s letter of May 20th. I am not sure of the protocol, but my guess is that we ought to expect a response within a month, say by June 20th. This is less than 3 weeks away. When we see that response, I suggest, many of the questions you have raised will have answers.

      • “…but my guess is that we ought to expect a response within a month, say by June 20th”

        Why do “we” expect that ?

        GaryM has it right – this is about *power*. The RS will not willingly give up 0.1mm of it

    • Agreed.

      Nurse seems more concerned with the source of funding “which includes identifying where your financial support comes from.”

      The source of funding is hardly germane to the science. And so it would indeed seem that the Royal Society’s interests lie more in being seen to be politically correct and not in the science, thus helping ensure the UK government’s continued funding largesse towards them.

      A few years ago no one at the RS earned over £100,000, now half a dozen people do, with the top earner getting a handout of some £300,000, amazing what you can do with a government grant isn’t it.

    • Peter Lang

      GaryM

      Excellent comment.

    • Gary M

      The “funding” question should have absolutely nothing to do with a debate regarding the science behind the CAGW premise as outlined by IPCC in AR4 and supported by the “consensus” (on one hand) and the skeptical position of the GWPF on the other.

      It is totally irrelevant to this debate, because it is an “ad hominem” issue, rather than an “ad argumentum” issue..

      Max

      • Max,

        I agree. It shouldn’t. But “should” doesn’t have much influence on the consensus advocates.

      • Denier/skeptics have mixed feelings about transparency. They are the kind who want to look around in nudist colony without removing their clothing. That’s perverted if you ask me.

    • Give the RS and its leadership credit for being fast to act on the melting Arctic issue. Of course, that was back in 1817…

      Sir Joseph Banks, action man on climate change!

    • Gary, Lawson’s proposed agenda was:

      “1. The science of global warming, with special reference to (a) the climate sensitivity of carbon and (b) the extent of natural variability;
      2. The conduct and professional standards of those involved in the relevant scientific inquiry and official advisory process.”

      That appears to rule out the GWPF’s sources of funding. Of course, that agenda might not be accepted.

      Lawson also said: “In view of the public interest in this important topic, I believe that it would be right to invite members of the press to attend the meeting as observers.”

      While Nurse nominated several scientists, presumably after discussion with them, none had responded to Peiser as of two days ago. I’m not reading anything into that – most or all of the parties involved will be busy people with existing schedules and commitments, so hopefully the meeting will go ahead at some stage.

      Peiser’s background paper indicates the GPWF’s position and issues of concern to them, but the above proposed agenda seems to have a more limited focus.

  9. Should a consensus of opinion among scientists on the advisability of abandoning the scientific method altogether in other areas outside the science of climate change be considered? How about in medicine or in aeronautics or economics?

    • Wagathon, you write “How about in medicine or in aeronautics or economics?”

      I dont know about economics, but here in Canada we have the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Association of Professional Engineers. These organizations have a quasi-legal status under Statutes from the Canadian Parliament. Neither of these bodies will allow ANY change from what is not happening.

  10. What to think about the list of Peiser.

    The group A is more or less right, but one might perhaps argue on the most impartial way of expressing the points of agreement.

    On B2 the most important consequence of the variability is not what it tells about future but what it tells about the difficulty of determining empirically the changes caused by added CO2.

    On B3 I doubt severely where scientists studying the sea ice would accept that as a valid description.

    There are two issues in B4. One is reliable detection of changes that may already have occurred, the other is what we should expect in the future. These two points should be discussed separately even if the conclusions are similar based on the present knowledge. My view is that it has not been possible to detect any changes reliably, but that the inability to detect changes tells very little on what may already have happened for the variability and for the frequencies of various types of extreme events.

    I cannot find any valid justification for the statement B5. Nobody can tell, what’s the optimal temperature, where net benefits turn to net damage. The specific value of 2C is nothing more than a political compromise.

    Picking the lack of warming over the last 16 years as contrary to the consensus is questionable. The lack of significant cooling over this period is a partial confirmation of the consensus. Thus the point C1 is formulated with bias.

    The point C2 is much worse in that respect. I cannot really see any point in that.

    The point C3 is wrong. The behavior of tropical troposphere is not a significant fingerprint for global warming. Failing to describe correctly changes that occur in tropical troposphere is, however, a failure of the models.

    C4 is totally wrong.

    Is there any controversy on C5, or is there any disagreement with “scientific consensus” on that point?

    The section D is politics and irrelevant from the point of view scientific discussion.

    On section E my main concern is that all sides might agree on many of the points but interpret them so differently that no common ground is left.

    On E2 I must add that a thorough cost-benefit analysis cannot be done. Thus the requirement must be formulated to reflect the realities.

    • Peter Lang

      Pekka Pirila,

      I think what Benny Peiser has proposed to Royal Society is an excellent basis for the debate. the funding sources are irrelevant and simply a diversion.

      I agree with Harold’s first paragraph in his comment @ June 2, 2013 at 12:20 pm.

      We are debating the debate. The egos and vain opinions of marxists, teabaggers, deniers, catastrophists, fluke warmers, sky dragoons, psychobabblers, etc. are reinforced by the various support groups that feed the confirmation bias of each side.

      I suggest you might want to reflect on the relevance of Harlod’s comment to your comment.

    • Pekka, as noted in my reply to Gary M above, Lawson’s proposed agenda is more limited than the background (or position) paper, so some of the non-scientific points you mention would not be discussed if that agenda prevails.

    • Physics must have changed recently and given up on the whole proof by experimental prediction. In my day when the physicist’s found that reality and theory didn’t match, they would accept that the model was wrong. No Pekka informs us that they assume reality is on the blink again.
      I would have a lot easier time with chemotherapeutic design if I just ignored the results I didn’t like or called them noise and cherry-picked to wells where the cancer cells died.
      This is how civilization ends.

  11. We are debating the debate. The egos and vain opinions of marxists, teabaggers, deniers, catastrophists, fluke warmers, sky dragoons, psychobabblers, etc. are reinforced by the various support groups that feed the confirmation bias of each side.

    Obviously, the first policy steps for AGW are

    1) infrastructure hardening

    2) comprehensive black particulate control. The Chinese appear to be taking this seriously as it’s hard to lord over peons when they can’t breath.

    3) energy efficiency. the high-level engineering millennials I know are all over this.

    4) plant sequestration of carbon ala dyson

    The rest of the list is up to the invisible hand of the market.

  12. For the proposed meeting, the RS puts up five British climate scientists, but GWPF puts up a mish-mash of economists, journalists, engineers and statisticians plus Lindzen from worldwide. Couldn’t they muster a scientific British-based set? This says something about the consensus numbers, doesn’t it? This debate won’t end up being about the science, if it happens at all.

    • JimD

      You exaggerate somewhat, but on the whole it is a bit like Manchester United playing Torquay United. The teams are several leagues apart no matter that ‘team sceptic’ has a couple of good players.

      Still, I had always got the impression that the purpose of the meeting as far as the Royal Society was concerned was to teach their version of climate science, not to listen to any dissenting arguments

      tonyb

      • tonyb,

        If the GWPF was going to debate radiative physics, I would agree.

        But the areas of disagreement in section D of the letter are primarily political/policy oriented. And the issues in section C are about the data reported by the consensus scientists themselves, not about the underlying science.

        So this is more like the players on Manchester United debating the players on Torquay United about the instant replays of a game played by Manchester. The lower level players certainly understand the game enough to debate whether a player was onside or a goal was scored or not.

        This would likely be an unfair debate in the other direction. The GWPF contingent know and understand their opponents’ positions. They are accustomed to engaging in critical thinking, and in responding to critiques of their own positions. The RS luminaries? Not so much.

      • But just as in math, one is free to make whatever axioms one chooses. So, I define global mean temperature to be the average lower troposphere temperature as measured by microwave sounding units. There is nothing logically nor scientifically invalid about that definition.

      • And the MSU definition has the advantage that it is close to the temperature where we live – on the surface – and we know the correlation between lower trop and surface temps is tight. I can see why some want to shift the argument from temp to heat, since temps are no longer going their way.

      • jim2, UAH would be OK if Spencer didn’t keep secret how he calculated it. It does some kind of adjustment to infer surface temperature from radiative signals, but we don’t know exactly what he is measuring, unlike thermometers.

      • The AMSU calcs are documented in journals.

      • GaryM

        Perhaps a better and fairer analogy would be that the Torquay United players are all good at various branches of sport but not necessarily at football. Therefore their ability to debate the MANU team on their performance might be limited to those few who had studied the game

        Mind you, I am still dubious that the debate will even take place let alone that it will be on the basis that team sceptic have set out in advance.

        tonyb

    • Isn’t Matt Ridley a politician and before that a banker?

      “This debate won’t end up being about the science, if it happens at all.”

      As Mosh has also said, science is not resolved via debate.

      What is up for debate is how different sects view the science. Trenberth has an interesting recent post where he said:

      “The answer depends a lot on what one means by “global warming”. For some it is equated to the “global mean temperature”. That keeps going up but also has ups and downs from year to year. More on that shortly.

      Why should it go up? Well, because the planet is warming as a result of human activities. With increasing carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, there is an imbalance in energy flows in and out of the top of the atmosphere: the greenhouse gases increasingly trap more radiation and hence create warming. “Warming” really means heating, and this can exhibit itself in many ways.”

      http://climatecrocks.com/2013/06/01/the-weekend-wonk-trenberth-on-ocean-heat-and-surface-temps/

      The measure of heating is an extensive variable while temperature is an intensive variable. There is no “debate” about that. So given the fact that we are getting better at measuring the extensive heat content, ala the Ocean Heat Content and ice volume, the science will start following that lead. The debate going on here is about pushing the understanding in a direction that best follows the current state-of-the-art evidence.

      I find it perplexing to watch as Trenberth gets unfairly bashed for simply trying to explain the science in terms that ordinary folks (such as politicians, economists, bankers, journalists, statisticians, etc) may understand it better.

      • Yes, the difference between heating and warming is that the first is a forcing and the second is the effect. Global heating is a better description of a forcing change.

      • I find it perplexing to watch as Trenberth gets unfairly bashed for simply trying to explain the science in terms that ordinary folks (such as politicians, economists, bankers, journalists,

        That’s because he lied:

        the planet is warming as a result of human activities. With increasing carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, there is an imbalance in energy flows in and out of the top of the atmosphere: the greenhouse gases increasingly trap more radiation and hence create warming.

        There may be an imbalance in energy flows in and out of the top of the atmosphere“, then again there may not. It depends entirely on how the increasing greenhouse effect is amplified/reduced by its effect on cloudy air. Until somebody has proved the models don’t contain self-serving circularity in the parametrizations, we have no way to be certain.

      • ” It depends entirely on how the increasing greenhouse effect is amplified/reduced by its effect on cloudy air. “

        The formation of stratospheric and lower-altitude clouds should not change much with the GHE. All that will happen is the average altitude of formation will increase as it follows the average lapse rate. The same polytropic atmosphere will exist, with the same P vs T relationships. So the first order effect will continue to be the concentration of water vapor as a GHG positive feedback.

        OTOH, the formation of cirrus clouds has a differential effect since the heat of formation of ice particles (cirrus) is different than the heat of formation of water droplets (strat and cumu). This will give a differential height at which these higher altitude categories of clouds will form. Is this a negative feedback or a positive feedback?

        That is why mainstream climate scientists concentrate on the cirrus clouds and why all that work at CERN on cosmic-ray influence on cirrus cloud formation is being done.

      • David Springer

        WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | June 2, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Reply

        “As Mosh has also said, science is not resolved via debate.”

        VERY good!

        Now in as many words or less tell me how models are validated.

      • Springyboy, You can’t even define what validate means.

        Modern science has trended to an approach that removes the ambiguity and qualitative measures. So instead we talk about information theory concepts that compare two or more stochastic models. In that case, we can use metrics such as Bayesian Information Criteria and Aikake Information Criteria to evaluate stochastic models more objectively.

        I could calculate the BIC or AIC of my model for OHC and compare it to some other model and see which provides a better metric:
        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/03/ocean-heat-content-model.html

        I hope that helps.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: As Mosh has also said, science is not resolved via debate.

        Given the intense debates of long duration in such field as the atomic model of elements, thermodynamics, general relativity and quantum mechanics, I would be interested in knowing the basis for that claim. I suspect you are using a specialized definition of “debate.”

        I find it perplexing to watch as Trenberth gets unfairly bashed for simply trying to explain the science

        Could you cite some examples of this unfair bashing? The biggest problem he has is that some of his private reservations became public, showing that he was lying.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: In that case, we can use metrics such as Bayesian Information Criteria and Aikake Information Criteria to evaluate stochastic models more objectively.

        You can rank order the models by those metrics, but something else is required to determine whether any, some, all or none are accurate enough for a given purpose.

        Personally i prefer mean squared prediction error, for true predictions, but median absolute prediction error is also nice. BIC and AIC make restrictive distributional assumptions.

      • “The biggest problem he has is that some of his private reservations became public, showing that he was lying”

        Okay so you have just libeled him.

      • The formation of stratospheric and lower-altitude clouds should not change much with the GHE. All that will happen is the average altitude of formation will increase as it follows the average lapse rate.

        You see, this sort of thing is exactly why the models can’t be trusted. It’s a prior assumption that went into building the models, which may only be “proving” the assumptions that went into them. The most you, or any scientist, can honestly say is you don’t know of any mechanism that might change the “formation of stratospheric and lower-altitude clouds“. But you clearly haven’t looked very hard. In fact, it looks to me as though you’re deliberately looking away.

      • I notice AK also libeled Trenberth. It’s a pity Trenberth doesn’t sue these online trolls.

      • @lolwot…

        I notice AK also libeled Trenberth. It’s a pity Trenberth doesn’t sue these online trolls.

        He’d be an idiot to sue me for libel, since I didn’t. As for slander, he’s a public figure.

      • So you admit you slandered him but figure you can get away with it because he’s a public figure? so are you admitting YOU were lying?

      • So you admit you slandered him but figure you can get away with it because he’s a public figure? so are you admitting YOU were lying?

        No, I didn’t lie. Lying would be libel. It is possible to slander somebody with a true statement, but not a public figure.

      • Yet you claim Trenberth lied. A claim that you didn’t back up with any evidence whatsoever.

        I am just concerned that you might be lying on climate etc to smear scientists, that is all. If you are not lying, and can backup your allegations with proof that would allay my suspicions about you.

      • Yet you claim Trenberth lied. A claim that you didn’t back up with any evidence whatsoever.

        I backed it up. You didn’t notice because, I suspect, you’re colorblind to the sort of distinction I made.

        I am just concerned that you might be lying on climate etc to smear scientists, that is all. If you are not lying, and can backup your allegations with proof that would allay my suspicions about you.

        There’s a distinction there between smearing and discrediting as an authority. When he speaks as a scientific “authority” in a political venue, his “authority” becomes a valid target of attack. He misused his scientific credentials by making a technically untrue categorical statement that, while it might have passed muster among scientists, was highly deceptive to the non-scientific public. He told an untruth, that he knew was an untruth, for purposes of deception.

        There. You have a brief of my case. I’ll dot the t’s and cross the i’s in court.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        You can’t slander someone with a true statement. Truth is an absolute defense against charges of slander or libel.

      • Truth is an absolute defense against charges of slander or libel.

        IANOL, however my understanding is that technically “true” statements made in a way that a reasonable person might infer something damaging and false can sometimes be considered slander when used against a private individual. If you can show “intent to smear”. Notice how lackwit made sure to use that word. I don’t know if he was just fooling around, or actually looking for a court case.

      • AK, what you are saying is that he lied because he said adding greenhouse gases causes warming, which is just the sign of the effect, not the sensitivity. If you think the sign is open to debate, you need to see who agrees with you before saying someone is lying to state that. To everyone else it is obvious and you be-fool yourself by saying he lied.

      • Sorry AK but this statement is true:

        “the planet is warming as a result of human activities. With increasing carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, there is an imbalance in energy flows in and out of the top of the atmosphere: the greenhouse gases increasingly trap more radiation and hence create warming.”

        Therefore Trenberth cannot be said to have lied when he said it.

        In no way shape or form can that be called untruthful, deceptive, let alone lying.

      • In fact the GWPF Background Paper in the above article backs even admits (indirectly) what Trenberth said. How can the items listed in section A be true and what Trenberth says not be true?

        Why is ocean heat content rising? Why is sea level rise? magic?

      • @Jim D…

        AK, what you are saying is that he lied because he said adding greenhouse gases causes warming, which is just the sign of the effect, not the sensitivity.

        You’re putting words in my mouth. Should I consider that lying about me, trying to smear me?

        He said “there is an imbalance in energy flows“, when the closest thing to the truth that science could say is “there may be an imbalance in the energy flows. IOW he left out the uncertainty. What is the chance that the cloud feedback is actually sufficient to counteract the GH and postitive feedback of water vapor? How is the “consensus” opinion (to the extent that there is one) influenced by circularity in the models? Stipulating that most scientists in the field would suppose that the overall effect is positive, how much of that is due to confirmation bias?

        Of course, the statement that “adding greenhouse gases causes warming” also isn’t necessarily true, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt here and assume he doesn’t understand the fundamental fallacies in the overall concept of causation.

      • How can the items listed in section A be true and what Trenberth says not be true?

        Trenberth was talking about the overall effect. That includes point B:

        1. Positive feedbacks from water vapour and soot, negative feedback from clouds and aerosols, and other factors, mean that actual climate sensitivity is a matter of vigorous scientific debate.

      • AK, you wouldn’t get the warming without the imbalance first, so you are disputing the sign. I just wanted to confirm that is what you disputed.

      • @Jim D…

        AK, you wouldn’t get the warming without the imbalance first, so you are disputing the sign. I just wanted to confirm that is what you disputed.

        What warming? The warming you think there is?

      • @Jim D,
        @lolwot…

        There’s a difference between discussion within the paradigm, and attacks on/defense of the paradigm. The basic paradigm has been under considerable attack for a while now, including charges that it was artificially constructed by the IPCC partly by means of unscientific behavior. It has also been under attack by people who think there are other, better, explanations for the actual observations.

        All paradigms contain massive circularity, which is fine as long as they aren’t under challenge. But when the paradigm is challenged, arguments in its defense have to avoid calling on that circularity, or they’re guilty of “begging the question”.

      • David Springer

        WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | June 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm |

        “Springyboy, You can’t even define what validate means.”

        Hardly, Dr. Pukite. I was principal software engineer on a few multi-billion dollar projects at Dell. For many of the issues uncovered by validation I was where the buck stopped. I suppose you’ll just have to trust that companies like Microsoft, Intel, and Dell are very much involved with validation if you have no experience at it yourself.

        Validation of a model consists of a suite of test cases put to both the model of the widget and the widget itself. When the model and the widget both have the same response to the test suite the model is validated.

        In our case the model came first (product specification) and we modifiied the widget (hardware/firmware/software) until it matched the model. In climate science the widget comes first and the model is modified until it matches the widget.

        It’s not really rocket science and validation is at least as old as animals have had brains that model the real world. The fittest models survive. Write that down.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        AK, if a statement is true, but misleading, it can be slanderous. But that’s because the impression one creates matters more than what you actually say. When we talk about the truth of a statement, we’re referring to the impression one gives more than the exact words one spoke/wrote.

        The distinction only matters if one uses tricky wording or the like. You didn’t so I didn’t think about it.

      • AK,

        Your claims are totally false. There’s no real controversy on the sign of the effect of CO2. There’s no serious question on the paradigm on that point. None of the well known skeptical scientists is likely to disagree on the conclusion that the sign is certain beyond reasonable doubt. Stating such a conclusion cannot be a lie.

        You failed on this point.

      • @…

        Sorry AK but this statement is true:

        “the planet is warming as a result of human activities. With increasing carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, there is an imbalance in energy flows in and out of the top of the atmosphere: the greenhouse gases increasingly trap more radiation and hence create warming.”

        That statement is not necessarily true. We don’t know. The fact that you call it true demonstrates your own ignorance regarding the scientific approach to truth.

        Therefore Trenberth cannot be said to have lied when he said it.

        Given that he said it in a context where the lack of expressed uncertainty, along with his scientific credentials, carried the guarantee of scientific accuracy, thus providing the message that it was certainly true, he most certainly can.

        In no way shape or form can that be called untruthful, deceptive, let alone lying.

        Of course it can. And his motivations can be demonstrated (to my satisfaction) by the difference between what he said in the Climategate emails, and what he said publicly.

        If a scientist says “energy can neither be created nor destroyed”, that’s “truth” in a scientific sense. Very different from this.

        Are you actually trying to make the claim that the two statements are of similar scientific authority?

      • AK, adding greenhouse gases causes warming. This is a true statement (CO2, H2O, 33 K and all that).

      • @Pekka Pirilä…

        There’s no real controversy on the sign of the effect of CO2. There’s no serious question on the paradigm on that point. None of the well known skeptical scientists is likely to disagree on the conclusion that the sign is certain beyond reasonable doubt. Stating such a conclusion cannot be a lie.

        Which effect are you talking about? With or without “feedbacks”. I’m not questioning the effect without “feedbacks”. Nowhere in any of my statements did I specify “without feedbacks”. I spoke of the radiative balance at the TOA , which includes feedback from clouds, at least. More clouds equals more outgoing radiation, regardless of the “imbalance” created by more GHG’s.

        Anybody who questions the existence of the “missing heat”, during the last decade or so (when “average surface temps” appear to have remained level), is questioning the any imbalance in the time-averaged TOA radiation. And the error in measuring TOA radiation is far too high to say whether there is or is not any imbalance.

      • AK, I think I see where you are confused. A negative feedback is still warming but less than the no-feedback value of 1 degree. All Trenberth said was warming.

      • @Jim D…

        AK, adding greenhouse gases causes warming. This is a true statement (CO2, H2O, 33 K and all that).

        Adding greenhouse gases causes greater retention of heat, all other things being equal. Which they aren’t. Whether they cause warming of the climate is another question entirely. Answering one is only the beginning of answering the other.

      • AK,

        With feedbacks, of course.

        Everybody agrees that feedbacks cannot reverse the sign of an effect like warming – except you.

        Furthermore claiming that Trenberth was lying requires a lot more than an extremely remote possibility that he erred.

        You failed again.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Pekka Pirilä, you just claimed AK was making “totally false” claims while arguing against things he never said. Please take a lesson from this: Jumping to conclusions about what people say is bad. Taking the time to read and understand what people say is important.

        I say this as a person you’ve done the exact same thing to, multiple times. Including times where you insulted me based on this behavior.

      • The BIC and AIC metrics are effective in that they penalize a stochastic model for having too many adjustable parameters. My ideal approach is to make the model as simple as possible but no simpler. These kinds of metrics reward the simple parsimonious models which fit the behavior well, see for example the ocean heat content model — http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/03/ocean-heat-content-model.html

      • Brandon,

        AK wrote:

        That’s because he lied:

        the planet is warming as a result of human activities. With increasing carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, there is an imbalance in energy flows in and out of the top of the atmosphere: the greenhouse gases increasingly trap more radiation and hence create warming.

        I’m not referring to anything he didn’t say.

      • @Jim D…

        All Trenberth said was warming.

        Oh No he didn’t! He also said “[...] there is an imbalance in energy flows in and out of the top of the atmosphere [...]“. Speaking in terms of the previous decade, there doesn’t appear to have been, on (time and space) average. Perhaps there was, the “missing heat” which he now claims to have found, but perhaps there wasn’t. But he presents it as a fact, in a venue where the reaction is very different for a proven fact (such as that energy cannot be created or destroyed) than what is basically an hypothesis: that because there’s more CO2 in the atmosphere, there “must” be a radiative imbalance at TOA which he can’t find. I’ve read the papers discussing the measurements. They don’t prove anything, they start by assuming the imbalance exists. If they started by assuming that no change to “global average temperature” implied no TOA imbalance, they would be just as able to “prove” that. It’s all in paradigm circularity.

      • pekka said, “Everybody agrees that feedbacks cannot reverse the sign of an effect like warming – except you.”

        They can, but that gets into the whole goofy definition and boundaries discussion again. An ice age could easily be due to negative albedo feedback, snow, responding to warming in the oceans, solar.

        Also since the “surface” is not properly defined, clouds can over power CO2 forcing resulting in cooling. In the dry portion of the atmosphere, there is no “feedback” that can change the sign of CO2 forcing, but the “surface”:can cool with the sum of all forcing, solar, aerosols etc. etc. In fact, there is growing evidence that H2O + O3 + ? results in a negative feedback that may over power CO2 possibly even reduce CO2.

      • @Pekka Pirilä…

        Everybody agrees that feedbacks cannot reverse the sign of an effect like warming – except you.

        Not everybody. Anyway, the possibility that they could seems to be exactly why Trenberth was agonizing over the “missing heat“.

        Furthermore claiming that Trenberth was lying requires a lot more than an extremely remote possibility that he erred.

        If he wasn’t so sure that the possibility existed, why did he agonize over the “missing heat“? No, as a scientist he carried his assumptions about scientific uncertainty into a venue where his hearers didn’t understand. He knew there was a lot more uncertainty than the he admitted to, the Climategate emails demonstrate that.

        I don’t have to say he was lying, and in fact my statement had more to do with why so many people were/are bashing him. People don ‘t have to be scientists to know when a fast one’s being pulled.

      • He must have been sure about the warming and warming is equivalent to imbalance at TOA. I’m sure he had not the smallest doubt up that point, neither have other scientists when the influence of CO2 is discussed, and I include the skeptical scientists.

        The may be other statements by Trenberth that can be criticized, but even then calling a statement a lie requires a lot of evidence.

      • @Pekka Pirilä…

        Everybody agrees that feedbacks cannot reverse the sign of an effect like warming – except you.

        Which doesn’t mean I’m wrong, even if I were the only one saying it. Of course, if I were the only one saying it, and if there hadn’t been a decade and a half of no (time and globally averaged) temperature rise (except for Trenberth’s “missing heat” that may or may not exist), I wouldn’t have called him a liar. I would have called him mistaken.

        But the evidence is (as Trenberth himself admits) that best estimates of “average” temperature show little or no signs of warming during the last decade and a half. There are certainly mechanisms by which feedbacks from cloudy air could be stronger than the base effect of CO2. Given his expertise in the subject, I’m justified in assuming that he knew about such mechanisms. Certainly he had no reason to suppose it was impossible, even if he didn’t know about any specific mechanism. But he made a categorical statement.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Pekka Pirilä, you claim AK disputes the sign of sensitivity to CO2 when he calls this a lie:

        the planet is warming as a result of human activities. With increasing carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, there is an imbalance in energy flows in and out of the top of the atmosphere: the greenhouse gases increasingly trap more radiation and hence create warming.

        That quote requires all non-GHG forcings remaining constant, something we know to be untrue. It is perfectly possible for forcings from GHGs to rise while other forcings drop, creating a situation in which there is no “imbalance in energy flows in and out of the top of the atmosphere” despite “increasing carbon dioxide.” That, or other changes (such as albedo changes) could happen independently of CO2 levels rising or as a an effect of CO2 rising. Either would dispute that quote, and only one would involve feedbacks.

        Put simply, one can dispute that quote without disputing the sign of the sensitivity to CO2 and other GHGs. Calling that quote a lie does not prove one is advancing the position you attribute to AK.

      • AK,

        He was not lying, if he had good reasons to believe that what he said was true. Most certainly he had such good reasons as practically all scientists had and continue to have the same view, again that includes also the skeptical scientists.

      • Using a comparative or comparable expression like “warming” leaves usually freedom of interpretation. “All other factors remaining unchanged” is very often implied but not stated explicitly.

        A major fraction of all disagreements on this site as elsewhere is due differing interpretations on the implied assumptions.

        Stating that someone is lying puts the burden of proof on the person who makes that claim. Stating that someone is erring is a different matter, where the burden of proof may be shared in a different way.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        By the way:

        Everybody agrees that feedbacks cannot reverse the sign of an effect like warming – except you.

        This is a lame argument of semantics. Feedbacks can never reverse the sign of an effect because that’s how the words are defined. That says absolutely nothing about the physical reality of a situation. All it says is, “You can’t use that word that way!”

        A system has a flame. The flame heats the system until it consumes all the oxygen. The flame goes out. The system cools to a temperature below its starting point. That is not a “negative feedback,” but it is a case where a forcing in one direction caused the overall change to be in the opposite direction.

        Arguing the semantics of what is and is not a “feedback” does nothing to change the fact physical forcings can cause systems to respond in the opposite direction of those forcings.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Pekka Pirilä

        Using a comparative or comparable expression like “warming” leaves usually freedom of interpretation.

        Indeed. And that freedom of interpretation means people disagreeing with it may be disagreeing with any number of interpretations. You cannot take the fact they may be disagreeing with one interpretation as a sign they are disagreeing with a different interpretation.

        Stating that someone is lying puts the burden of proof on the person who makes that claim.

        Sure. And I don’t think AK is right to say Trenberth lied. But him being wrong in that statement doesn’t mean you’re right in yours. You can both be wrong.

      • @Pekka Pirilä…

        The may be other statements by Trenberth that can be criticized, but even then calling a statement a lie requires a lot of evidence.

        Certainly if I were speaking of a statement in a scientific venue. But he’s in a political venue, as his behavior demonstrated in the Climategate emails demonstrates. Now, let’s take a look at his own blog post, and remember this is political manipulation, using his scientific credentials, not a scientific paper:

        Global warming is manifested in a number of ways, and there is a continuing radiative imbalance at the top of atmosphere.

        The evidence is circular, as I’ve pointed out in previous comments here, with links. There’s no evidence of this “radiative imbalance at the top of atmosphere“. It’s an assumption, made from the need to find the expected heating.

        Normal weather also interferes by generating clouds that reflect the sunshine, and there are fluctuations in the global energy imbalance from month to month. But these average out over a year or so.

        So, over the last 15 years, the average TOA energy has been in balance, since there’s been no net average heating, except for the possible, unprovenmissing heat” under 700m.

        While this certainly couldn’t be called lying in a scientific paper, his statements in a political venue without uncertainty qualifications are highly deceptive:

        My colleagues and I have just published a new analysis showing that in the past decade about 30% of the heat has been dumped at levels below 700m, where most previous analyses stop.

        Let me quote from the abstract of that “analysis”:

        Here we present the time evolution of the global ocean heat content for 1958 through 2009 from a new observation-based reanalysis of the ocean.

        And let me now quote our hostess:

        To what extend should we have confidence in the reanalysis results? Based upon verification statistics, there is clearly some advantages to the reanalysis relative to the raw observations. However the big issue is whether we can infer reliable global trends from the reanalysis, owing to changes in the observing system (not just for the ocean, but for the surface fluxes derived from atmospheric reanalyses), and uncertainties in the overall methodology. The surprising finding is the apparent sequestration of heat in the global ocean starting circa 2000, which has been accompanied by a flattening of the trend of upper ocean temperatures since 2003. Is this real, or an artifact of the reanalysis process? We don’t know, there is a debate underway in the oceanographic and climate communities on this topic.

        There you go, folks. Trenberth recently stated as fact something that remains open to debate “ in the oceanographic and climate communities on this topic.

      • AK, this thread is still going on? Adding GHGs causes warming. For warming to happen there has to be an imbalance. Trenberth’s missing heat is a limitation of the measurement, not the theory. I don’t expect you to be able to make that distinction. No one disputes the theory, and the measurement limitation does not allow for a cooling as a possibility because the earth has already warmed. His missing heat was the difference between warming as much as he expected and as much as it did, but that gap is being resolved by better measurements.

      • Brandon, “A system has a flame. The flame heats the system until it consumes all the oxygen. The flame goes out. The system cools to a temperature below its starting point. That is not a “negative feedback,” but it is a case where a forcing in one direction caused the overall change to be in the opposite direction.”

        Actually it is more interesting than that. That flame could be producing cooling in an absorption refrigeration system, Warming doesn’t have the same meaning in that case. That is the “surface” definition problem.

        So a doubling of CO2 will cause ~ 1.1 C of warming at “some” surface, water vapor could positively feed back at that “surface” producing greater warming, but that doesn’t mean it will happen at “the” surface.

        Brian Rose and a few of the new climate science “young guns” are using the more appropriate water vapor Greenhouse Effect and the WMGHG effect to define portions of the “atmospheric effect”.

      • Feedbacks can never reverse the sign of an effect because that’s how the words are defined.

        First I heard of it. A simple feedback can’t, but something like the greenhouse effect has a lot of aspects, and a feedback via one aspect can be amplified by its own positive feedbacks to the point that it reverses the sign of the original effect.

        If people analyzing very complex systems are making that assumption they’re making a mistake. Specifically WRT the greenhouse effect, there is no reason to limit the negative feedbacks from clouds to less than the total positive effect on general SST/air temp with water vapor. There is at least one mechanism by which the greenhouse effect can increase cloud cover while decreasing total absorbed radiation, thus allowing cloud feedback to reverse the overall sign.

        Still, I’m not assuming Trenberth knew about that mechanism, just that he knew there was a great deal of uncertainty involved in his claim that warming had taken place, and he didn’t admit it.

        I’ve got stuff to do, I’ll come back later and see if the lynch mob is still in full cry.

      • AK | June 2, 2013 at 7:17 pm |

        Feedbacks can never reverse the sign of an effect because that’s how the words are defined.

        First I heard of it. A simple feedback can’t, but something like the greenhouse effect has a lot of aspects, and a feedback via one aspect can be amplified by its own positive feedbacks to the point that it reverses the sign of the original effect.”

        This is the fun part of playing with control theory. A feedback can’t change the sign of “a” forcing, i.e. make a flame give off cold instead of heat. A feedback can reverse the sign of a precess driven by that forcing. You can put your car in reverse if you see detour sign, that doesn’t change the direction you car engine is turning.

        CO2 can cause upper level warming which increases upper level; convection lowering the average cloud base causing “surface” cooling. Warmer water temperatures can trigger more evaporation producing more clouds that reduce surface warming. To make sense of what is a feedback and what is a forcing, the entire process has to be defined.

        “CO2 will cause 1.1 C of warming, all else remaining equal,” is like more than just useless.

      • Peter Lang

        WHT,

        Isn’t Matt Ridley a politician and before that a banker?

        Isn’t James Hansen a scientist and before that a scientist?

        In other word’s he knows nothing about what is relevant for policy development, implementation and success.

      • CaptDallas,

        Look carefully the formulation of my statement. It’s formulated that way by purpose.

      • Pekka, I noticed, it was almost like you were channeling Webster :) This is really the heart of the debate though, the definitions are based on the poorest possible choice of a frame of reference, the most chaotic layer of a chaotic system. CO2 will cause some warming at some altitude, above the atmospheric boundary layer and below the tropopause near an isotherm of approximately -30C. How much that will impact the actually surface temperature, we have zero friggin’ clue. It should produce an ~ 0.8 C increase in the average ocean temperature which will increase the average sky temperature (DWLR ~334 Wm-2 which approximately 4C or the average ocean temperature) and that should take around 300 years at the current estimated rate of ocean heat uptake.

        That is the state of climate science. Not ready for prime time.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        captdallas 0.8 or less:

        Actually it is more interesting than that. That flame could be producing cooling in an absorption refrigeration system, Warming doesn’t have the same meaning in that case. That is the “surface” definition problem.

        I know. And to give a more meaningful example, I should have said there was a system with a single flame and a limited supply of fresh oxygen sufficient just for that single flame. Adding a second flame could lead to the overall oxygen supply dropping enough that both flames go out, leading to cooling.

        But I wasn’t trying to get too detailed. I was just wanting to point out that comment about negative feedbacks is semantics, nothing more.

        AK:

        First I heard of it.

        What I said is true, by definition. That’s just how the phrase is defined. If a negative feedback is strong enough to reverse the direction of a forcing, it’s no longer a “feedback.” It gets some new name instead. But that’s all that is. A new name. It has no effect on physical realities. It just affects what words we use.

        As I said, Pekka Pirilä’s comment is just a lame argument of semantics. It’s right, but it’s also pretty meaningless. The most he can say is, “You used a word the wrong way!”

        (That is, assuming he made a true claim. If he isn’t just arguing semantics, then he’s just wrong.)

      • “The evidence is circular, as I’ve pointed out in previous comments here, with links. There’s no evidence of this “radiative imbalance at the top of atmosphere“. It’s an assumption, made from the need to find the expected heating.”

        It’s from the theory. The same theory that people are calculating ECS results off. Are they liars too?

        Looks like to make Trenberth a liar we’ve had to devalue the word to meaninglessness.

        What it really boils down to is that you don’t understand the subject.

        It’s like a skydragon calling Trenberth a liar because he put no uncertainty qualifications around the existence of the greenhouse effect.

      • @Jim D…

        Adding GHGs causes warming. For warming to happen there has to be an imbalance.

        You’re begging the question in circles. Or else playing semantic bait&switch. Or perhaps both.

        @lolwot…

        It’s from the theory. The same theory that people are calculating ECS results off. Are they liars too?

        They’re not calculating ECS off the theory, they’re calculating it off the output of a bunch of models that they claim model their theory, except for all the parametrizations they’ve had to make in order to get grid cells hundreds of kilometers across to act something a little like what real stretches of the Earth do. And yes, if they present their ECS as fact, rather than the current best estimate from models known to be deficient, they’re liars. And the fact that you ask this question just demonstrates how ignorant you are of the actual science.

        Looks like to make Trenberth a liar we’ve had to devalue the word to meaninglessness.

        Well, outside your ability to understand meaning.

        What it really boils down to is that you don’t understand the subject.

        You’re entitled to your opinion.

        It’s like a skydragon calling Trenberth a liar because he put no uncertainty qualifications around the existence of the greenhouse effect.

        No it’s not, and the fact that you think it is just demonstrates your ignorance.

      • @Brandon Shollenberger…

        What I said is true, by definition. That’s just how the phrase is defined. If a negative feedback is strong enough to reverse the direction of a forcing, it’s no longer a “feedback.” It gets some new name instead.

        Here’s what I actually said:

        I spoke of the radiative balance at the TOA , which includes feedback from clouds, at least. More clouds equals more outgoing radiation, regardless of the “imbalance” created by more GHG’s.

        At no point did I limit my statement to whatever definition of “feedback” Pekka Pirilä uses. Or you. The effect I’m talking about has been demonstrated, AFAIK, although also AFAIK not published in a peer-reviewed venue. It involves the difference between where at the ocean’s surface long-wave from the greenhouse effect is absorbed vs. short-wave from the sun. The watt or two (per square meter) of excess downwelling IR from the greenhouse effect can be amplified by orders of magnitude under (some) conditions where it increases evaporation without increasing the temperature except by a slight amount in the top few hundred microns.

        Note that I’m talking about specific locations here, not averages. Note that with amplification, this effect could provide a great deal more (w/m^2 of) short-wave reflection to space than the original few watts from the greenhouse effect. At the specific locations where it occurs. Which could be many, or perhaps not. Has anyone studied it? The fact that so many people familiar with the modeling keep claiming that “cloud feedback” couldn’t be larger than the original heat effect from greenhouse gas suggests not.

        My point is that there is at least one mechanism that could allow the entire network of “feedbacks” to produce an overall net average cooling in response to the “warming” effect from increased heat retention due to increased GHGs. Or zero. Or varying between net cooling and warming depending on conditions (ENSO anyone?).

      • AK, no, it is very linear. Adding CO2 leads to an imbalance in the global radiative budget, just from radiative physics, that then leads to warming in the troposphere. This part is accepted by even Lindzen, Watts and Spencer and their fan, Monckton.

      • ” It involves the difference between where at the ocean’s surface long-wave from the greenhouse effect is absorbed vs. short-wave from the sun. The watt or two (per square meter) of excess downwelling IR from the greenhouse effect can be amplified by orders of magnitude under (some) conditions where it increases evaporation without increasing the temperature except by a slight amount in the top few hundred microns.

        Note that I’m talking about specific locations here, not averages. Note that with amplification, this effect could provide a great deal more (w/m^2 of) short-wave reflection to space than the original few watts from the greenhouse effect. At the specific locations where it occurs. Which could be many, or perhaps not. “

        First time I ever heard of that amplification mechanism. Without any further elaboration, it sounds like it violates a thermo law.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        AK, I understand. I wasn’t trying to comment on your point. I was just trying to explain why Pekka Pirilä’s response was meaningless. He was using a non-sequitur I see regularly. Despite it being nothing but a semantic trick, people say it like it’s an insightful rebuttal. And they almost always do it while acting superior. It’s irritating.

        Here’s an example of why it grates on me. A guy I knew had some medical issues, and there was a worry over-production of insulin would damage his pancreas and reduce his ability to produce insulin in the future. When talking about this, I made a comment about it being a negative feedback.

        Pekka Pirilä’s comment would be like someone saying the pancreas couldn’t possibly suffer in the long term because negative feedbacks can’t reverse the direction of a forcing.

      • Speculating a bit, but Trenberth has private doubts he’s unwilling to make public, a la Stephen Schneider. Feel sorry for him.
        ==============

      • Webster said, again, “First time I ever heard of that amplification mechanism. Without any further elaboration, it sounds like it violates a thermo law.”

        Memory is the second thing to go, I forgot what the first was. I believe specific heat capacity is the mechanism.

      • @WHUT…

        How to follow a link on a Web page.

        1. Move your mouse around until the little arrow is over the link. (It will usually turn into a little hand, depending on how your system is configured.)

        2. Right-click the mouse. (That is, press the button on the right side of your mouse, unless you have it configured for reversed buttons, in which case press the button on the left side of your mouse.)

        3. Select your preferred option. (Open link in new tab, which will open a new tab in the same window and open your link, or open in new window, which will open a new window for your link.)

        4. If you selected open in new tab, click on the tab just opened.

        5. Read the linked web page. Using this procedure, you may return to the previous page, or flip back and forth, without having to wait for pages to reload.

      • @Brandon Shollenberger…

        I understand that. The problem is that when we use the term “feedback” in terms of climate, we’re using it metaphorically. In a network of, e.g. transistors, there are real feedbacks, where the voltage (or whatever) at one place in the system drives an amplification that feeds back around and influences it.

        But “climate” is simply a metaphorical “network” of mythical averages. The only real feedbacks occur at specific locations (dtds). The evolution of a characteristic such as pressure, temperature, etc. at one location is influenced by all the relevant characteristics at every other nearby location. Which in turn influences those other characteristics, producing a network of feedbacks on a scale of millimeters. Or less.

        The “feedbacks” at a scale of cells in a GCM, much less the globe or climatic regions, are entirely mythical. They are “abstractions”, that is useful fictions. AFAIK there’s no good reason to assume they’re limited in the same way real feedbacks are, and anybody who builds such assumptions into their models is making a mistake. IMO.

      • I try to explain to moshe that it is metaphors all the way down, but he thinks that’s just bot talk.
        ==========

      • AK explained :

        “How to follow a link on a Web page.

        1. Move your mouse around until the little arrow is over the link. ”

        Nice condescension. I was just inferring that I have never heard it explained the way that you explained it in the bit I quoted. As a bit of reverse condescension, do you have any advanced credentials in physics or science, or are you just faking it?

      • [...] do you have any advanced credentials in physics or science, or are you just faking it?

        Neither. I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I’m a total amateur, except in IT.

      • Cappy said:

        “o a doubling of CO2 will cause ~ 1.1 C of warming at “some” surface, water vapor could positively feed back at that “surface” producing greater warming, but that doesn’t mean it will happen at “the” surface. “

        There goes Cappy’s impression of Bennett Brauer again with the random air quotes.

        I got to tell you Cappy, compensating for a lack of physics modeling ability with this condescending tone does not help at all.

      • Webster, I am sorry, did that come across as condescending?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        AK, yup. This is what happens when the same word is used in different disciplines. I think we should just accept “negative feedback” can be used in more than one way. A negative feedback in circuit design doesn’t need to correspond to a negative feedback in a climate system. I just can’t seem to convince some people of that, and thus, semantics come up.

        For what it’s worth though, I don’t think this issue of semantics affects how climate models are programmed. Even if they don’t call something a negative feedback, they can program it. They’ll just describe it with different words.

        Which isn’t to say they get the “negative feedbacks” right. Just that if they don’t, it’s not because of semantics. After all, semantics do not make for a physical argument!

      • Steven Mosher

        kim

        ‘kim | June 3, 2013 at 8:17 am |
        I try to explain to moshe that it is metaphors all the way down, but he thinks that’s just bot talk.”

        of course its metaphors all the way down. and catechresis at the bottom.

        somewhere long ago I have an essay written on this.

    • Jim D,

      “This debate won’t end up being about the science, if it happens at all.”

      CAGW isn’t an issue of science. It is an issue of policy. Also known as politics. The only reason anyone other than a few hundred/thousand academics give a damn about such a debate is the enormous political and economic ramifications of the massive governmental intervention you consensus acolytes are all demanding.

      Taxes are not science. Decarbonization is not science. (And some want to surrender on the debate over semantics.) Stop demanding the policies, and watch the debate about the science retreat into obscurity. As long as the debate is about policy, don’t be surprised if conservative and skeptics keep insisting on debating about…policy.

      • If the science is settled and it is now about policy, the RS chose the wrong panel, I would agree.

      • Jim D,

        I have seen too many surprises in my life to believe that to think science is ever settled. Quantum mechanics for one was quite a surprise to me (to then extent I understood it.)

        That being said, I accept the first 4 of the 5 points in section A of the GWPF letter, and I think most skeptics accept all 5. (My quibble about the fifth is more about man’s vanity in his propensity for believing he knows more than he does, and the limitations on the measurements of “global temperature” made clear by those who measure and report them.)

        But the important part of the debate is all about policy. Certainty, accuracy, and precision are all scientific issues that come into the policy debate, but these do not require degrees in radiative physics to understand, being aspects of both instrumentation and human nature. But as far as I can tell, most of the fundamental science is not in issue. Not for most anyway.

      • This comes back to the question which is the title of this post. Are we debating science or policy? Policy options are conditional on what the science is telling us. If the science says 2100 will be 3 C warmer than 2000 with a probability range around that, conditional on CO2 concentrations at that time, policy takes that into account. Are we at the point where enough policymakers believe the science yet? Apparently not, according to GWPF, but other policymakers would say, yes, act on what the IPCC tells us. GWPF are here trying to undo the IPCC consensus view, but not with actual scientists, which is a problem that they haven’t noticed yet by the makeup of this panel.

      • Peter Lang

        Gary M

        CAGW isn’t an issue of science. It is an issue of policy. Also known as politics. The only reason anyone other than a few hundred/thousand academics give a damn about such a debate is the enormous political and economic ramifications of the massive governmental intervention you consensus acolytes are all demanding.

        Taxes are not science. Decarbonization is not science. (And some want to surrender on the debate over semantics.) Stop demanding the policies, and watch the debate about the science retreat into obscurity. As long as the debate is about policy, don’t be surprised if conservative and skeptics keep insisting on debating about…policy.

        +100

    • Steven Mosher

      “jim2, UAH would be OK if Spencer didn’t keep secret how he calculated it. It does some kind of adjustment to infer surface temperature from radiative signals, but we don’t know exactly what he is measuring, unlike thermometers.”

      Ah,

      1. Thermometers dont measure temperature. In a LIG thermometer the liquid ( alcohol or mercury) expands. We have theory that says this expansion is due
      to an increase in temperature. Some thermometers work by measuring speed.

      “On the molecular level, temperature is the result of the motion of the particles that constitute the material. Moving particles carry kinetic energy. Temperature increases as this motion and the kinetic energy increase. The motion may be the translational motion of particles, or the energy of the particle due to molecular vibration or the excitation of an electron energy level. Although very specialized laboratory equipment is required to directly detect the translational thermal motions, thermal collisions by atoms or molecules with small particles suspended in a fluid produces Brownian motion that can be seen with an ordinary microscope. The thermal motions of atoms are very fast and temperatures close to absolute zero are required to directly observe them. For instance, when scientists at the NIST achieved a record-setting low temperature of 700 nK (1 nK = 10−9 K) in 1994, they used laser equipment to create an optical lattice to adiabatically cool caesium atoms. They then turned off the entrapment lasers and directly measured atom velocities of 7mm per second in order to calculate their temperature.”

      2. UAH also uses physical theory to calculate a temperature by measuring something else (brightness at the sensor ) . The physical theory is RTE. This is the physics that Jim Cripwell and the dragons deny.

      IN a nutshell, The satilitelite measures of temperature like all other measures of temperature operate my measuring one thing ( length of liquid in glass, atom velocity, brightness at the sensor ) and then APPLYING A THEORY or a rule, or a set of mathematical operations, to derive the desired quantity.

      • David Springer

        @Mosher

        Well actually the UAH troposphere temperatures aren’t taken by measuring the brightness of a sensor. That’s the AIRS sensor which is new on the Aqua satellite. The sensors in question are the MSU in older satellites and the AMSU in Aqua. Both MSU and AMSU utilize microwave receivers and measure signal strength on an antenna.

        I’ve corrected you before on this point and you still repeat the same mistake. Microwave sensing is quite different from infrared sensing.

      • What’s wrong in calling a stronger micro wave signal brighter?

      • Steven Mosher

        Pekka Pirilä | June 2, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
        What’s wrong in calling a stronger micro wave signal brighter?
        ##############

        Nothing. David is pretending to know something about data and systems he has never worked with before. Typical computer salesman

      • Steven Mosher

        “Well actually the UAH troposphere temperatures aren’t taken by measuring the brightness of a sensor. ”

        David its not “brightness OF a sensor” jeez. write than down.

      • John Carpenter

        Measuring brightness of light is the basis of all absorption spectroscopy, regardless if its microwave, IR, visible, UV, or X-ray. Different modes of absorption, same instrumetational concept.

      • Steven Mosher

        John Carpenter | June 2, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
        Measuring brightness of light is the basis of all absorption spectroscopy, regardless if its microwave, IR, visible, UV, or X-ray. Different modes of absorption, same instrumetational concept.

        ######################
        don’t try to explain that to David. He wrote a computer game.

        I’ll try once more to point him to the ATBD

        http://eospso.gsfc.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atbd/atbd-airs-L1B_microwave.pdf

        “The measurement concept employed by AIRS/AMSU-A/HSB follows the concept
        originally proposed by Kaplan7 in 1959, verified experimentally ten years later using
        measurements from the Satellite Infrared Radiation Spectrometer (SIRS), and the
        relaxation inversion algorithm published by Chahine8. This approach is still used
        operationally by the HIRS/MSU system. Temperature and moisture profiles are measured
        by observing the upwelling radiance in the carbon dioxide bands at 4.2 mm and 15 mm
        and the water band at 6.3 mm for HIRS/AIRS, and in the 50-60 GHz oxygen band for
        MSU/AMSU-A9 and the 183-GHz water line for HSB (no MSU equivalent). However,
        compared to the HIRS spectral resolution of about 50, AIRS will have a spectral
        resolution of 1200.”

      • David Springer

        What’s wrong with calling signal strength on an antenna “brightness”?

        Here’s what’s wrong, dipschits.

        http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4LENN_enUS461US461&q=microwave+signal+strength+units

        Anyone that’s ever actually had any radio theory and worked with antennas in the field uses dBm that’s what. How many of you clowns for instance have a taken a product through FCC certification for class A or class B? Did you ever hear a signal strength referred to in brightness? Poseurs making stuff up as you go along. Incredible.

      • @David Soringer

        “Poseurs making stuff up as you go along. Incredible.”

        Certainly not bright.
        ———————————
        po·seur (p-zr, pzr)
        n.
        One who affects a particular attribute, attitude, or identity to impress or influence others.

        Neat, an insult with a French root–but it is so not Anglo-Saxon. Oh well, we likes very much.

      • @David Springer

        Sorry about that ‘Soringer’ thing. With the French atmosphere I must of got you confused with Pierre Salinger.

      • David Springer

        Glad you liked poseur. I wasn’t really aware of its etymology but to the best of my recollection I began using it in southern California in the late 1970’s. Given its popularity according to wikipedia among punk rockers, metal heads, skaters, and surfers it’s hard to tell in which context I first heard it but probably one of the musical contexts.

    • Peter Lang

      Jim D,

      Climate policy debate, which is what it IS about, is not about the science. It is about the economics, the politics and the engineering. You don’t seem to have grasped that yet.

      • There was nothing about policy in the proposed agenda, and nor should there be. That is a separate question that can only be addressed after the science is debated to some level of agreement. This is an attempt at that first step, but obviously it won’t get anywhere near agreement.

      • Jim D, rather than agreement, peace and harmony, we might hope that there some agreement on where work needs to be focussed, on which differences are scientifically legitimate, on which uncertainties most need to be addressed. From a policy perspective, the meeting will be successful if it provides policymakers with a better picture of what is known, what can reasonably be expected, which issues need most urgently to be addressed in order that policy choices might be better informed. As Pekka says, economic evaluations are not part of the science, but they are informed by it. [I've had a phone call and six interruptions by my wife in this short post, so will stop here! Hard to maintain coherence.]

      • Peter Lang

        [I've had a phone call and six interruptions by my wife in this short post, so will stop here! Hard to maintain coherence.]

        Perhaps she needs a trip home to the broke home country :)

      • Peter, my wife’s great-great-grandmother (or possibly another “great” needed) arrived in Australia in 1847, and was a heroine of the Eureka stockade. Also goes back to the mid-19thC on her father’s side. So Australia is definitely home for her.

      • Peter Lang

        Ah, I remember, she’s the Aussie and your the pomme.

      • Faustino, what would it take to convince the GWPF of what is known? I suspect this will end as it started with the GWPF accusing the scientists of too much confidence. How do we break out of that circle?

  13. “5. Since 1980 global temperatures have increased at an average rate of about 0.1C per decade. This is significantly slower than forecast by the vast majority of GCMs.”

    Change “global temperatures” to “the repeatedly adjusted average of anomalies of certain areas of land air and sea surface temperatures, interpolated for vast unmeasured areas, and omitting virtually the entire deep sea” and I’m with ya.

    Except for the 0.1 per decade precision. There you lose me again.

    • Peter Lang

      GaryM,

      having been watching and really enjoying your brilliantly incisive comments for quite a while now something suddenly occurred to me as I read this latest comment. What we need in Australia is a Royal Commission into AGW and what if anything we should do to mitigate it. A retired judge is normally appointed to head a Royal Commission. I’d recommend the next government ( due in about 100 days) establish a Royal Commission and I recommend you to head it :)

      • Peter Lang,

        Thanks. But I’ll settle for coherent and reasonably insightful. :-)

        But if I could get for someone to pay my way to visit the awesome land down under…

      • +1000
        A cow cirl from Oz

      • Peter, a RC or something similar has been proposed by me and more eminent others for at least five years, and has gained no traction. I have written to some Coalition MPs recently trying to put over the uncertain basis for their intended emissions-reduction schemes, let’s hope some doubt arises.

      • Peter Lang

        Faustino,

        Great. I also have been following the push for an RC into AGW and want Australia should do about it since before Rudd was elected. What suddenly occurred to me was to propose GaryM be appointed to head it up :)

    • Gary, mosomoso might be able to knock up a bamboo raft, Chief will point you to the relevant currents.

      • Wait till Gary hears what they pay Royal Commissioners. He won’t be paddling then.

      • Nice thought. Kon Tiki was one of my favorite books as a boy. Of course, with my mad sailing skills, I’d be as likely to wind up in Beijing as Sydney. Or more likely wandering the Pacific looking for an atoll.

  14. Benny – your claim at point A4 needs a traceable reference.

    • “Even if CO2 concentration doubles or triples, the effect on temperature would be minimal. The relationship between temperature and CO2 is like painting a window black to block sunlight. The first coat blocks most of the light. Second and third coats reduce very little more. Current CO2 levels are like the first coat of black paint.”

      (Dr. Timothy Ball, Climatologist, June 6, 2007, Canada Free Press)

      • Is that Benny’s reference? I don’t see any numbers there.

        Why not let Benny tell us his reference? The whole purpose of his document is to clarify what is common ground and what is at issue. For something be common ground it needs a traceable reference. Without a reference it is easy for mistaken assumptions to be made.

        Here is Benny’s A4 claim:

        “4. Absent feedbacks, and other things being equal, a doubling of carbon dioxide from pre-industrial levels would warm the atmosphere by approximately 1.1C.”

        Benny – please can you supply your reference?

      • Keep in mind that all the plants on the Earth evolved at a time when the atmospheric CO2 content was more like 1,000 PPM.

      • See talks or papers by Lindzen. Even he always concedes this point of the 1 degree.

      • No this is interesting. The GWPF want to accept 1C per doubling of CO2 because they want to appear reasonable.

        I say don’t let them get away with that.

      • Perhaps the “skeptics” need to debate some of these points among themselves and come to a consensus before they come to the scientists with them.

      • Anyone that is not ideologicaly motivated would freely admit that Global warming has stopped. What does it mean when the obvious is simply ignored? “At what point does misrepresentation of facts become lies … [and] what if there are a series of misstatements from an individual or group? What happens when many statements are proved incorrect, but they continue to repeat them or fail to acknowledge they were false?
        (Dr. Tim Ball)

      • “Perhaps the “skeptics” need to debate some of these points among themselves and come to a consensus before they come to the scientists with them.”

        Indeed. We even have Wagathon providing all these great quotes from Tim Ball, etc showing how deeply climate skeptics disagree with the very points Peiser of the GWPF claims there is no disagreement about.

        Does the GWPF really represent skeptics? Sure doesn’t look like it. Peiser would have to wipe the whole of section A of his points to do that.

      • There are some factions among the “skeptics”. The Cato Institute (Michaels, Knappenberger, etc.) even now allow for a 2 C sensitivity, which we don’t see here in Peiser’s points, so they will have to argue that side of things out too.

      • There have been many ups and downs with increasing warming since the LIA and a cooling trend over the last 10,000 years. And, no one knows when the next ice age will be. Everyone should know, however, that the next ice age may be overdue and that we all should enjoy global warming while it lasts.

      • Peter Lang

        lolwot,

        No this is interesting. The GWPF want to accept 1C per doubling of CO2 because they want to appear reasonable.

        In other words, you don’t want to resolve anything, do you? You are noit interested in rational debate, right? All you are interested in is promoting your ideological agenda. I’ve known this all along. But it is so kind of you to put your real agenda on display in such an transparent way.

      • “In other words, you don’t want to resolve anything, do you? You are noit interested in rational debate, right?”

        This isn’t a rational debate. Take two observations from the debate:

        1) Climate skeptics have much lower tolerance for problems with a scientific subject before they throw the towel in and declare it in doubt and uncertain. Climate scientists tend to be far more accepting value from data that nevertheless has problems.

        2) Climate skeptics endlessly report many problems with the instrumental temperature record: UHI, airports, adjustments, sparse coverage, data being lost, air conditioners, and so on.

        From these two observations what is the expected position of climate skeptics towards 20th century global warming if they are engaging in a rational debate? It’s surely that they would strongly denounce claims that the world had warmed since 1900. They would denounce such claims as passionately as they denounce other claims of certainty. They would say the data to base such a conclusion on has far too many problems. There is too much uncertainty.

        But what we see instead is that skeptics accept the 20th century warming. They more than accept it. When communicating with the public they are keen to stress they accept the warming.

        There are two ways to fix this inconsistency. Either climate skeptics drop their ridiculously low tolerance for problems with subjects and as a result are forced to start accepting some of the evidence the scientists do. Or they start denying the 20th century warming which exposes to everyone how ridiculously low their tolerance of problems really is. Either is fine with me.

    • The 2007 IPCC Report claimed with over 90% certainty that human produced CO2 is almost the sole cause of global warming. But the evidence shows this can’t be true; temperature changes before CO2 in every record of any duration for any time period; CO2 variability does not correlate with temperature at any point in the last 600 million years; atmospheric CO2 levels are currently at the lowest level in that period; in the 20th century most warming occurred before 1940 when human production of CO2 was very small; human production of CO2 increased the most after 1940 but global temperatures declined to 1985; from 2000 global temperatures declined while CO2 levels increased; and any reduction in CO2 threatens plant life, oxygen production and therefore all life on the planet.

      (Carbon is not causing global warming or climate change All life on planet depends on CO By Dr. Tim Ball Monday, May 11, 2009 )

    • Curious, you write “Benny – your claim at point A4 needs a traceable reference.”

      I have raised the same point. But there may be much more to this. I suspect this might be described as a “tactique”. I have read and heard Richerd Lindzen argue decisively the “even if I accept the 1.1 C for a doubling of CO2, there is still no problem”. So I suspect this might be an attempt by the GWPF to avoid a discussion of this particular issue, since they feel their case is so strong that it does not need to be discussed.

      • It illustrates why the scientific arguments that CO2 is not the problem are not making much headway – they’re very complicated. Basically, Miskolczi is saying that the Greenhouse Effect is present but essentially constant over time, therefore temperature variations are due to some other cause. He is extending the idea of saturation, already known about CO2, to all greenhouse gases. I refer to this as the black paint condition. If you want to block light coming through a window a single coat of black paint will stop almost all of it. Second and third coats reduce the light but by decreasing fractions. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is like the first coat of paint – doubling and tripling the amount reduces heat going to space by decreasing fractions. The IPCC got around this problem by incorrectly claiming a positive feedback. This says increased CO2 raises global temperature that increases evaporation of water vapor to the atmosphere. This supposedly enhances the warming due to increased CO2, but the idea is now discredited. Miskkolczi’s argument means any variations in global temperature are almost all due to changes in solar and geothermal energy. Inclusion of geothermal is unusual. This energy from within the earth, especially into the oceans is essentially and as I have long argued, incorrectly ignored.

        (Carbon is not causing global warming or climate change All life on planet depends on CO By Dr. Tim Ball, May 11, 2009)

      • Jim Cripwell – I’m just asking for Benny’s reference. He has made the claim in black and white as part of setting out what is known. I think it needs a reference – he got it from somewhere.

      • “Recall that most of the 1.1 degree – about 0.7 degrees – has already occurred since the beginning of the industrial era. This fact itself is an indication that the climate sensitivity is unlikely to be much greater than 1 Celsius degree: the effect of most of the doubling has already been made and it led to 0.7 K of warming…

        “By the end of the (CO2) doubling i.e. 560 ppm (parts per million) expected slightly before 2100 — assuming a business-as-usual continued growth of CO2 that has been linear for some time — Schwartz and others would expect 0.4 C of extra warming only – a typical fluctuation that occurs within four months and certainly nothing that the politicians should pay attention to…

        “… all the people who end up with 2 or even 3 Celsius degrees for the climate sensitivity are just playing the children’s game to scare each other, as Richard Lindzen says, by making artificial biased assumptions about positive feedbacks. There is no reasonable, balanced, and self-consistent work that would lead to such a relatively high sensitivity.”

        (Dr. Lubos Motl)

      • Wagathon – I’m guessing you are trying to be helpful, but I’m well aware that there are plenty of views on this point.

        Judith has titled her post “What exactly are we debating?”. In it she has highlighted Benny Pieser’s document setting out the terms for a debate with the RS. In that document Benny makes his claim ‘A4′ but without citing a reference. It is Benny’s reference I am specifically asking for – not myriad takes on the same point.

        I do realise an answer is dependent on Benny reading here, but I think I have seen past comments by him at this site.

    • Rud Istvan

      Curious, if you will go to the topical archives on this blog you will find posted the complete derivation by integration of the appropriate physics equation which is fundamental settled science for well over a century. The only debate is how emissive (that is black versus grey) this physics should be.
      If you doubt this, then you must be a sky dragon, in which case further comment or discussion is a waste of time.

      • Rud Istvan – you miss the point.

        Is that where Benny got it from? Do you have the link? Is it written up in a form that can be archived and put on the record as an agreed item?

    • curious, Dr Peiser has produced a two-pager indicating the GPWF’s stance, not a full-scale report arguing for or justifying it. Obviously, if a meeting proceeds, it will involve any claims being fully backed up; perhaps papers will be prepared for prior consideration. That is when full documentation will be required.

      • Agree, Faustino.

        That will be the time to cite references, etc.

        Max

      • Well – he already made the claim as “agreed”, so he should have the reference to hand now. It’d be a shame if when he gets to the stage of preparing the papers you are anticipating the reference he produces is not acceptable to the other side.

  15. There was a time when we would brand as intellectual dishonesty the spreading of unfounded fears about runaway global warming in the nation’s classrooms and yet teachers and bureaucrats in the government-education complex have been doing that for years. When after a while it was obvious to the teachers of global warming that they were wrong they simply changed their stories. Today, proponents of AGW theory simply point to natural disasters as evidence of man-caused climate weirding. That is what now passes for science in today’s classrooms.

  16. No one knows what the future holds. Think about it: “The making a fact the subject of thought raises it. All that mass of mental and moral phenomena, which we do not make objects of voluntary thought, come within the power of fortune; they constitute the circumstance of daily life; they are subject to change, to fear, and hope. Every man beholds his human condition with a degree of melancholy. As a ship aground is battered by the waves, so man, imprisoned in mortal life, lies open to the mercy of coming events. But a truth, separated by the intellect, is no longer a subject of destiny. We behold it as a god upraised above care and fear. And so any fact in our life, or any record of our fancies or reflections, disentangled from the web of our unconsciousness, becomes an object impersonal and immortal. It is the past restored, but embalmed. A better art than that of Egypt has taken fear and corruption out of it. It is eviscerated of care. It is offered for science. What is addressed to us for contemplation does not threaten us, but makes us intellectual beings.” (Emerson)

  17. 5. Since 1980 global temperatures have increased at an average rate of about 0.1C per decade.

    Fail. The quality and and extent of the global temperature data is so poor that we do NOT know the number 0.1C to be true.

  18. David Springer

    What we are actually debating is how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

  19. Bart R. and Pekka. You have raised many legitimate questions as to scientific validity of the GWPF presentation. Prof Nurse has named five Fellows of the Royal Society to discuss CAGW with the GWPF. I would suggest that no-one becomes an FRS because he/she is a lightweight when it comes to scientific knowledge. The RS team is extemely competent, and surely knows as much on the subject as you do.

    So, surely, if the GWPF paper is so bad scientificly, the RS team ought to be able to demolish the GWPF position handily; with both arms tied behind their back. So I would expect you to believe that the meeting between the RS and GWPF WILL take place. Am I correct?

    • Jim Cripwell | June 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm |

      Scientifc competence has little correlation with ability to fool an audience.

      A lifetime of fooling audiences has a greater correlation with obfuscating, undermining and scamming.

      So I’d expect the GWPF to come out handily ahead of where the merits of its case warrants.

      For instance, it’s starting ahead of its merits by having such a meeting.

      • Yes, I am sure the GWPF people can do graphs with circles and arrows and notations that make it look like they know what they are talking about, and can fool the public, but that the scientists will see through. This is the problem with these debates. Fact-checking can’t be done on the spot.

  20. The GWPF have recently denied there has been any statistically significant global warming over the 20th century.
    http://www.thegwpf.org/met-office-admits-claims-significant-temperature-rise-untenable/

    This is a clear denial of global warming itself. It flies in the face of their attempts to appear reasonable.

    • Yes, Keenan is the “statistician” who thinks that the uncertainty of an average of 1000 thermometers equals the uncertainty of one thermometer. They should take away his statistician license.

  21. The Left wants to set set the world’s climate policy based on the most absurd claim of all. Only in the history of Michael Mann can Leftists control the weather 50 to 100 years from now by taking control of the free enterprise economy today.

    “The accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998. Oddly, this eight-year-long temperature stasis has occurred despite an increase over the same period of 15 parts per million (or 4 per cent) in atmospheric CO2. Second, lower atmosphere satellite-based temperature measurements, if corrected for non-greenhouse influences such as El Nino events and large volcanic eruptions, show little if any global warming since 1979, a period over which atmospheric CO2 has increased by 55 ppm (17 %) …

    “In one of the more expensive ironies of history, the expenditure of more than $US50 billion … on research into global warming since 1990 has failed to demonstrate any human-caused climate trend, let alone a dangerous one.”

    (Professor Bob Carter — an environmental scientist at James Cook University who studies ancient climate change)

  22. Rud Istvan

    Yes the debate would bee good IF it takes place. The apparent RS condition makes that uncertain.
    Dr. Curry, turning your testimoney into talking points provides fewer, broader, less contestible and therefore more usual ways to engage. For example, radiation theory derives an estimate closer to 1C than 1.1C for a ‘black earth’ and IPCC ‘grey earth’ models which are arguably more realistic give 1.2C. Lindzen’s last paper and testimony to Parliament used 1.2C. The exact number doesn’t matter, only that there is general agreement all around. So absent feedbacks 2xCO2 is nothing to be concerned about.
    That focuses on the issues of feedbacks ( and then sensitivities) where IMO Peiser could do a better job of staking out turf. For example AR5 has a long section on cloud feedback uncertainty, then pulls positive 0.46 out of thin air as the ‘consensus’ most likely value. That impossible to defend, and easy to show wrong (without asserting what the actual value might be). Second example, AR5 still has faith in constant UTrH, when almost all the studies since AR4 show it declined with the rise in temperature. Means positive water vapor feedback is too high. Also easy to show all GCMs have a moist bias in back casts. Another evidence of overstated feedback.
    The debates need to be framed in terms that are simple, general, and fundamental, as you have done in your testimony.

  23. The climate science peer review is substandard.

  24. The IPCC review of climate science is severely biased

  25. That best available knowledge is not adequate knowledge. That proponents of anthropogenic climate change (who are tippy-toeing toward disruptive events rather than warming, since they rightly feel they can’t run out of those) may be operating from best available knowledge…but that knowledge is laughably inadequate. Example: Humans all live on an insulating crust around a hot ball about which only a little is known. Our best available knowledge about that colossal hot mass so close to us is not adequate knowledge. Most of us know more than Al Gore about what’s underneath us – but that’s not saying much.

  26. Stephen Wilde

    The greenhouse effect is down to atmospheric mass and the variations in atmospheric composition (including radiative ability) only affect circulation.

    The proportion of the total effect on circulation contributed by our CO2 emissions is as near zero as makes no difference.

    The effects on circulation of solar and oceanic variation dwarf everything else and we count for nought in global terms.

    Deal with it.

    I suppose I’ll be dead before you all catch on.

  27. lemiere jacques

    the 1.1° should be stated more precisely.

  28. I think the RS request for information about who is backing the GWPF is very reasonable. People are urging them to debate “sceptics”. The question is, who represents sceptics? If the GWPF represents some small group, the debate gets them nowhere. Who is the GWPF?

    This echoes on this thread re question A4. Should it be debated or not? Will people accept a result if it isn’t? These are practical issues for the RS.

    • Steven Mosher

      “People are urging them to debate “sceptics”. The question is, who represents sceptics?”

      I would imagine the people they put forward– lindzen and Lewis represent that skeptics. The question of who backs the GWPF is interesting but of no scientific interest. Who does professor X sleep with? No wait, I want to know
      professor Y’s sexual orientation. Debates are good theatre, but I suppose if we really want to spice things we should do true confessions.

      • Steven,
        “I would imagine…”
        Ah yes, but do you represent skeptics? Should we take a vote here? :)

        “interesting but of no scientific interest”
        Well, their second topic:
        “The conduct and professional standards of those involved in the relevant scientific inquiry and official advisory process.”
        isn’t exactly science either. Who put that up and why? Comes back to – who is the GWPF?

      • Heh, who is GWPF? An awesome debate team, apparently. Who is Nick Stokes? An awesome debate soloist, it seems.
        ============

      • Well … ‘Who is Kim — Kim — Kim?’

        A soloist, like we all are (except for sockpuppets). Anonymous, to boot.

        But to stage a debate, you need to know who with.

      • Steven Mosher

        Steven,
        “I would imagine…”
        Ah yes, but do you represent skeptics? Should we take a vote here? :)
        ############
        do I represent the skeptics? Of course I do. Except when I dont. You should be able to figure out when I do and when I dont. Should we take a vote?
        Of course we should. Whether the vote is binding will be determined after we count the votes. Maybe we can get John Cook to count the votes and Brandon to audit him. Look if you have silly questions I have silly answers all day long.

        ““interesting but of no scientific interest”
        Well, their second topic:
        “The conduct and professional standards of those involved in the relevant scientific inquiry and official advisory process.”
        isn’t exactly science either. Who put that up and why? ”

        Well since it’s a GWPF document I would imagine that it was GWPF who put it up there. or maybe not. I think you should prove that RS did not suggest this. Yes, it matters who suggested we discuss standards. One cannot address standards without knowing which of the folks at the RS suggested that GWPF insert this.

        “comes back to – who is the GWPF?”

        Huh? how does a request to look at professional standards come back to “who is the GWPF?” I mean seriously, I can’t even imagine to begin that logic chain. How exactly does that come back to who GWPF is?

        Nick Stokes: I think we should look at the funding of GWPF.
        Moshpit: well, that question really comes back to who is on first.

        Jeez if you’re gunna be silly at least be funny

      • Who is who, I gotta know right know.
        =========

      • how does a request to look at professional standards come back to “who is the GWPF?”
        I think it’s the first question any member of the RS would ask. Debate that? Why me? Why you? Who are you? Who are we to pass judgment?

        But it probably wouldn’t get that far. They should and would just say no.

        You could try asking Nic Lewis if that’s the debate he wants to be in.

      • Steven Mosher

        how does a request to look at professional standards come back to “who is the GWPF?”
        I think it’s the first question any member of the RS would ask. ……

        Here let me help.
        ###############################################
        Nicks versiions of RS Questions

        Debate that? Yes, next question

        Why me? Because you are here and you might say something interesting.

        Who are you? I’m dick. Nice to meet you.

        Who are we to pass judgment?. We are humans. Humans pass judgement all the time. and further, we are not passing judgement. we are debating the standards. If you want to concede to our position go ahead.

        Debate that? Stupid question.
        Why Me? Stupid question
        Who are You Stupid question
        Who are we to pass Judgement. stupid question

        Jeez Nick, And I thought there were no stupid questions. All your questions have answers that are self evident. Stop asking stupid questions.

      • “Who are you? I’m dick. Nice to meet you.”
        So the RS debated dick and won. Does that settle anything?

        “If you want to concede to our position go ahead.”
        Whose position? Who is the GWPF? Why should I care what position they have?

      • Steven Mosher

        Some quick notes on how one could actually handle the issue of standards in science n a debate.

        1. The most important scientific standard we can talk about tonight is the standard of proof.
        We do not answer questions in science by having debates. This entire
        enterprise of debating should show you that the people asking for a debate
        are uninformed about how science works.

        2. Science is not changed by emails. deleting or saving emails doesn’t
        change a single thing in science. People who think science questions
        are answered by looking at FOIA violations are not informed about
        how science works.

        3. Questions about funding are important. Every scientist speaking for the
        RS discloses where they get their funding from. We challenge the GWPF
        to live up to that standard tonight by disclosing their funding.

        Or you can refuse to debate and lose the opportunity to frame the issues properly.

      • Steven Mosher

        Nick

        “Who are you? I’m dick. Nice to meet you.”
        So the RS debated dick and won. Does that settle anything?
        ################
        yes it settles many things. Think now Nick. It could settle that dick
        is a bad debator. It could settle that the RS is not afraid to debate.
        If you are going to ask stupid questions make sure they are specific
        stupid questions. By now you should understand that you cannot argue
        by question. Some people can. You cannot. so stop it.

        “If you want to concede to our position go ahead.”
        Whose position?
        The people debating, of course.

        Who is the GWPF?

        They are the global warming policy foundation. It’s an acronym. Each letter stands for a word.

        Why should I care what position they have?

        you should not care what position they have. Who suggested you should care? You might care about the position that other people have or not. But the issue is not whether you care or not. You can choose to ignore whatever you like. There could be consequences or not. In the end what you care about is not the issue. no one cares what you care.

        It’s really dumb to try to argue by question. I would beat that out of most first year students in week one. There is still hope for you.

      • Steven,
        I haven’t been debating by question. I’ve been posing the questions I think a potential RS participant should ask. And I don’t think you’ve made a persuasive case for joining in this debate.

        But I don’t think it will get that far. The second topic would kill it. Not science but GWPF talking points.

      • No one cares when you declare that “no one cares what you care”

        I should add that no one cares that I just asserted

        ‘ No one cares when you declare that “no one cares what you care”‘

      • The GWPF are reptilian representatives of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Now can we talk about the issues?
        =============

      • Steven Mosher

        Nick

        ‘Steven,
        I haven’t been debating by question. I’ve been posing the questions I think a potential RS participant should ask. And I don’t think you’ve made a persuasive case for joining in this debate.”

        Huh

        here is what u wrote Nick

        ‘I think the RS request for information about who is backing the GWPF is very reasonable. People are urging them to debate “sceptics”. The question is, who represents sceptics? If the GWPF represents some small group, the debate gets them nowhere. Who is the GWPF?

        This echoes on this thread re question A4. Should it be debated or not? Will people accept a result if it isn’t? These are practical issues for the RS.

        ################################

        Note. Nowhere did you state that you were posing the questions that debaters should ask. You were defending the request for information PRIOR TO THE DEBATE. You were not saying ” the question I would ask in the debate would be X” you were saying that PRIOR to the debate you want to know if the GWPF represents a small group because if they do the debate will get nowhere, which presupposes that if they represented a big group the debate would mean anything different. Further, suggesting that the RS should ask your stupid questions doesnt make them any smarter.

        Finally, you haven’t even shown the slightest ability to construct a coherent argument for your own position. That’s evidence you cannot evaluate a good argument. Consequently, your opinion on an argument I havent even given is less than interesting. its stupid. Your next task, now that you’ve followed my orders and stopped arguing by asking questions, is to find the place where I make the case for joining the debate. It’s not what you think it is.

      • Steven Mosher | June 3, 2013 at 11:33 am |
        “Note. Nowhere did you state that you were posing the questions that debaters should ask.”

        I think it was obvious, I said, for example:

        “I think it’s the first question any member of the RS would ask. Debate that? Why me? Why you? Who are you? Who are we to pass judgment?”

        I’m saying that RS member participation is voluntary. They will, or should want to know who the GWPF is before joining in. The debate topic would be an issue. I don’t think they will, or should, turn up. The counter to that claim is a case that they will, or should. What you’ve said (debate is just theatre etc) would not be persuasive to them.

        Incidentally, I notice on looking at the correspondence, is that at this stage it’s a suggestion of a meeting, not a debate. Same issues, though.

      • Next on Climate Etc., Steven Mosher and Nick Stokes will debate the shape of the table to be used at the debate. Film at 11

    • Peter Lang

      Nick Stokes,

      It’s pretty poor that the people who want us to spend trillions of dollars on useless mitigation policies dig up reasons, such as the one you mentioned, to avoid debating the issues that are the basis for the ridiculous policies the alarmists have been advocating for the past 20 years – and still are.

      • “It’s pretty poor that the people who want us to spend trillions of dollars on useless mitigation policies dig up reasons”
        What ridiculous policies do you think the Royal Society is advocating?

        I think they just want to know who they would be debating with. And if something did get settled, who would acknowledge it.

      • maksimovich

        What ridiculous policies do you think the Royal Society is advocating?

        Eugenics

      • Eugenics? Evidence?

      • maksimovich

        GE and GM are the new descriptors

      • Nick Stokes,

        It is difficult to see a way forward if Royal Society and the advocates of the orthodox position want to talk only to those who already believe what they believe. We’ve spent some $100 billion on government funded, policy driven, climate science and climate policy. I don’t trust the motives, the group think and the herd mentality that has cause us to spend this money (most of it wasted, IMO). I don’t trust the motives of those who now control the Royal Society.

        Whether you accept my reasons or not is irrelevant because many people think as I am expressing and it is a growing proportion of the population. So, unless organisations that are arguing the case for policies that involve spending trillions of dollars on irrational policies – like carbon pricing and renewable energy – can get their message across to people like me, I will remain opposed and continue to try to persuade others to oppose the policies that would, IMO, waste the money.

        To get the message across involves not just continued propaganda, spin, bullying, and denigration. It involves debates such as GWPF has suggested.

        I don’t care who funds GWPF. I am really pleased that someone is funding it to present the skeptics case – something the IPCC and the orthodoxy have not done and should have done.

    • Steven Mosher

      “But to stage a debate, you need to know who with.”

      err. no you don’t. we could stage a debate and select somebody at random.
      you may want to know who the debate is with, but you dont need to know.

      It’s pretty simple. A debate is scientifically uninteresting. It doesnt matter who is invited and who is not. It doesnt matter where the debate is, or what the rules are. It doesnt matter who wins the debate or how it is judged.

      We both know this. If we staged a debate and GWPF “won” the debate that would prove one thing: Science isnt decided by debate.

      • Steven, my hope if the meeting takes place would be that it would not be a debate, but a genuine attempt by all parties to further understanding of climate science and the import of what it tells us, and to assess where more work is most needed. But I’m an idealist.

      • Heh, F, the reality is that your method is the only way that has ever worked.
        ======

    • No one represents skeptics. Skeptics are not acolytes of some central authority. (Even the few progressives among us do not bow to any central skeptic authority. And don’t get me started on the libertarians….) We leave that to you consensus sheep.

      Besides, a debate between the RS and GWPF would not settle anything. It might be interesting, at best, but probably not even that. And i am still betting the RS will find a way out.

    • Regardless of who funds the GWPF, whether to debate them depends on their influence. I don’t know where they stand in Britain, but in the US their equivalent may be the Cato Institute, whose studies are often quoted by Republicans against any climate policy. If the GWPF is quoted by parliamentarians or government officials, they need to be paid attention to. If they are generally ignored by policymakers, then ignore them too as irrelevant.

      • JimD

        I suppose the fact that GWPF have managed to secure a meeting with the Royal Society (albeit because the RS hope to lecture them) means they have some influence. Nigel Lawson is a former Chancellor in a Conservative government and retains contacts I would assume in the current Conservative government.

        I get their regular email a day before it appears here and I find it reasonably interesting although no more than that. They don’t speak for me but then neither does Monckton so I’m not sure ANYONE speaks for me! That we are a diverse group is at the same time the greatest strength and the greatest weakness of sceptics

        tonyb

      • The debate with advocacy groups like this should focus on what they think is a basis for their advocation, whether it is uncertainty, certainty in low sensitivity, effects and likelihood of different emission scenarios, and since their focus appears to be Britain, it should talk about prospects for British climate in addition to global issues.

  29. Dr Curry,

    Thank you for the post: towards rationale dialogue.

    I would be interested in your insight into how various members of the global warming advocacy group can have a discussion, and not just yell at others, when the framework leading up to such a Royal Society and Global Warming Policy Foundation meeting may include people who have already staked out their turf:

    Kevin Trenberth: “The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to show that specific global and regional changes resulting from global warming are already upon us.”

    Maybe the “heavy hitters” should not be invited; rather, mid-levels whose task it is to discuss and finding more areas of agreement should meet first before a joint proclamation is announced.

    It seems that the West Virginia forum was just such a venue; i.e., a series of “Town Hall meetings” would be fruitful.

    For me A.3 seems to be the most relevant topic for discussion:

    A.3. CO2’s greenhouse warming potential follows a logarithmic curve with diminishing returns to higher concentrations.

    which gets to my “trace gas” perspective.

  30. Arno Arrak

    Looks like the RS/GWPF debate will involve some heavyweights if it materializes. I personally am rooting for GWPF but I am not totally happy with some of their talking points above. I think they give too much away before the debate has even started. In either case, it should be an interesting event. I hope they will make a video.

  31. A. Matters where we agree with the dominant scientific establishment and can quantify the outcome
    1. The greenhouse effect is real and CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

    The “AGW defined Greenhouse Effect” is an illusion.

    Nitrogen and oxygen are also greenhouse gases.

    I object to the AGW definition of “greenhouse gas” – because it is a con

    The Greenhouse Effect is an Illusion created by fraudulent science, deliberately assigning other meanings to terms in real physics.

    The whole of the heavy voluminous real gas atmosphere around the real Earth is the greenhouse, as in a real world greenhouse that both warms and cools to obtain optimum conditions for plants. The comparison is with planets without an atmosphere – the Moon.

    Temperature of the Earth without any atmosphere at all: -18°C
    Temperature of the Moon which has no atmosphere: -23°C

    Note, note well, that minus 18°C is without any atmosphere at all, not without only those gases designated “greenhouse gases” by AGWScienceFiction.

    In other words the minus 18°C in traditional science is the temp without the bulk nitrogen and oxygen.

    That is AGW science fraud.

    They have changed the base to hide the fact that it is the practically 100% nitrogen and oxygen real gas atmosphere which is the thermal greenhouse gas blanket around the Earth, not the insignificant trace gas carbon dioxide which has no heat capacity and makes a blanket of practically 100% hole in the atmosphere.

    Temperature with the bulk atmosphere of nitrogen and oxygen and trace in place but without water: 67°C

    There is no “greenhouse gas warming of 33°C from -18°C to 15°C” – it is an illusion.

    Whichever “AGW greenhouse gases you take out, the Earth does not become -18°C without them, but without the whole of the nitrogen and oxygen bulk of the real heavyweight gas thermal blanket.

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

    Bart R:
    1. The greenhouse effect is real and CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

    That’s great and all, but what GHE is the GWPF defining as ‘real’?

    &

    Jim D:

    AK, adding greenhouse gases causes warming. This is a true statement (CO2, H2O, 33 K and all that).

    Is water a greenhouse gas? If so, as you can see by the figures from traditional science, the temp would be 67°C without water, not -18°C.

    Think DESERTS.

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/index.html
    “What are the main greenhouse gases?
    Learn about the four most important greenhouse gases-carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases-and options for reducing emissions.”

    Where are the figures and empirical work showing that without these trace gases designated “the main greenhouse gases” the Earth would be -18°C.?

    http://www.columbia.edu/~vjd1/greenhouse.htm
    “While the dominant gases of the atmosphere (nitrogen and oxygen) are transparent to infrared, the so-called greenhouse gasses, primarily water vapor (H2O), CO2, and methane (CH4), absorb some of the infrared radiation. They collect this heat energy and hold it in the atmosphere, delaying its passage back out of the atmosphere.”

    Why doesn’t the EPA say water is one of the main greenhouse gases?

    Where is the empirical science showing that without these the Earth would be -18&deg C and that these raise the temperature 33°C to 15°C?

    http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/2013/04/global-warming-and-the-greenhouse-effect-2/
    “However, several gases in Earth’s atmosphere — such as carbon dioxide, methane and water vapor —work like a blanket to retain much of this heat. That helps to warm our atmosphere. The gases do this by absorbing the heat and radiating it back to Earth’s surface. Such gases are nicknamed “greenhouse gases” because of their heat-trapping effect. Without this so-called greenhouse effect, Earth would be too cold to support most forms of life.”

    Water is not a blanket around the Earth, it is the main cooling mechanism of the real world greenhouse atmosphere. Water cools the Earth by 52°C. It does this in the WATER CYCLE.

    The WATER CYCLE is missing from the AGWScienceFiction’s Greenhouse Effect.

    http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/greenhouse-gas.html
    “Our atmosphere is a layer surrounding the earth held in place by gravity and primarily made up of Nitrogen (78%), Oxygen (21%), with water vapor and various gases making up the remainder.

    It is on the ‘remainder’ that we will focus as it is the concentrations of these trace gases that cause the greenhouse gas problem. The trace gases are made up of Argon, Carbon Dioxide, Neon, Helium, Methane, Hydrogen, Nitrous Oxide and Ozone. (Follow the link to read more about the Ozone Hole) Human activities result in emissions of four principal greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and the halo carbons (a group of gases containing fluorine,chlorine and bromine). All these gases have what is known as – Global Warming Potential , or GWP with some much higher than others.”

    So what is the AGW definition of “greenhouse gas”?

    How does absence of these trace gases plunge the Earth into minus 18°C?

    How??

    http://environment.about.com/od/globalwarming/a/greenhouse.htm
    “The heat caused by infrared radiation is absorbed by “greenhouse gases” such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, ozone and methane, which slows its escape from the atmosphere.

    Although greenhouse gases make up only about 1 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere, they regulate our climate by trapping heat and holding it in a kind of warm-air blanket that surrounds the planet.

    This phenomenon is what scientists call the “greenhouse effect.” Without it, scientists estimate that the average temperature on Earth would be colder by approximately 30 degrees Celsius (54 degrees Fahrenheit), far too cold to sustain our current ecosystem.”

    So, it is obvious that there is no agreement on what is the AGW “greenhouse gas” because it doesn’t matter in a con, the more confusion created the better the con, because there is no empirical science showing that without any of them temperature would drop to -18°C and no empirical science showing that these “AGW greenhouse gases” are capable of raising the global temps 33°C from a well below freezing 18°C.

    Repetition of the CON MEME is all we get.

    1. “The greenhouse effect is real and CO2 is a greenhouse gas.”

    The AGWScienceFiction’s Greenhouse Effect is an Illusion.

    Its Comic Cartoon Energy Budget doesn’t even have the Water Cycle, doesn’t have rain in its Carbon Cycle, doesn’t have any direct Heat from the Sun, thermal infrared, aka longwave infrared…

    The whole things is a con and a joke, whoever created this fantasy fisics must be laughing his socks off.

    The AGWScienceFiction’s Greenhouse Effect is a Con.

    • Myrrh | June 2, 2013 at 7:25 pm |

      I can afford the time in one lifetime to correct the galloping mistakes of either Peiser or Myrrh made available through Climate Etc for comment.

      This doesn’t happen to be your lifetime.

      Better luck next one.

      • You don’t have any answers to my questions.

        It’s very simple, the AGW narrative of The Greenhouse Effect is based completely and utterly on fake fisics. FAKE FISICS. It is something a novelist would come up with in writing a fantasy sci-fi world, similar to ours but completely different.

        Because you don’t know, or will not grasp, what traditional physics already knows well about the properties and processes of the gases in our atmosphere under gravity, you can ‘t, or won’t, see how utterly absurd the physics. It’s a joke. You can’t or won’t appreciate the joke, because you can’t even hear it – perhaps because you don’t have any sound in your empty space atmosphere..

        Real physics basics have been changed.

        That is a science fact.

        You have no properties to your gases, you have no processes because you have no properties.

        Your gases are without volume, there is nothing for real world gravity to act on so your massless pretend gases called ideal in real science zoom around empty space and cannot therefore be kept in by gravity – so you bypass that and put in an imaginary container. Where is this imaginary container stopping your massless weightless volumeless without attraction ideal gases from zooming into outer space?

        Come on, where is this container?

        Why hasn’t it ever been mentioned in real world physics?

        What is it made of?

        How does it prevent your imaginary ideal gases from zooming to the ends of the universe?

        Your imaginary container must be so powerful to prevent the great heat from our millions of degree hot Sun from entering at TOA – show its existence in the real world.

        You can’t. You can’t because it doesn’t exist.

        Your “physics” basics are a mangled but clever tweaking of real physics basics, giving the property of one thing to another, simply by the bog standard con tricks of lying such as that -18°C represents absence of your “greenhouse gases”, and so on and so on.

        Because you don’t have, or know and pretend otherwise, real world physics on the properties and processes of the natural world around us, you can’t or won’t answer my direct science questions. Instead ad homs and strawman responses is all I ever get from any of you.

        If you know real physics basics you will see just how funny your world where you have taken out the atmosphere completely!

        Where you go straight from the surface of the Earth into empty space.

        You, generic, are a joke as scientists. And someone has educated you to be that.

        If that doesn’t bother you then you’re not human..

        You say that we don’t get any heat, longwave infrared, from our millions of degree hot Sun!

        You don’t understand that is what you are saying because you repeat ad nauseum fake fisics memes produced to distract you from seeing this is what you’re really saying.

        You say the great heat from our millions of degrees hot Sun is stopped by some invisible unknown to real science barrier like the glass of a greenhouse!

        Or you say that our millions degree hot Sun doesn’t even produce heat!

        Gosh, let me know when you can see how ridiculous that is, then I’ll explain why you don’t have any sound either…

        No one likes to find himself victim of a con, but we’re all victims of it. We’ve all been made fools of here. Up to you whether you meet that face on or hide from it.

        At the moment we have applied scientists who know we get the great heat from the Sun direct, longwave infrared, and have designed windows and window film to block as much of that from entering a room while maximising entry for visible light – why have they done this?

        Why are people buying these, expensive, solutions to save on even more expensive air conditioning costs to keep the room cool if there is no direct heat from the Sun entering at TOA?

        According to AGWScienceFiction fisics which says that visible light heats matter these windows are maximising the heating of the room!

        Soon, it appears inevitable, there will none left in the general population who could design such glass and film, there will just be left oiks who produce them who haven’t the faintest idea how they work. To them it will appear to be magic..

        Your fake fisics has taken out the real heat from the Sun.

        The Sun’s great millions of degrees thermal energy on the move transferred by radiation.

        Trenberth’s missing heat is the missing from his comic cartoon energy budget the real heat from the Sun.

    • Myrrh | June 3, 2013 at 4:24 am |

      Your comments do not rise to a level of validity to require response. I comment as a courtesy. What you write is immensely and intricately off kilter.

  32. I find much to agree with in the GWPF paper. However the fitting of global temperature to a logarithmic scale has no special significance and in fact may strengthen the view that global temperature rise is a continuous process which it demonstrably is not. In previous contributions in these columns I have tried to explain that the on/off nature of climate change is a consequence of quantum theory.

    The premature nelting of Artic sea ice is a cosequence of most of the planet’s heat being produced in th Northern hemisphere which has more people and more land than the Southern hemisphere’s oceans. This imbalance results in a plume of warm air particularly over the N. Atlantic.

    • Arno Arrak

      Alexander Biggs | June 2, 2013 at 7:29 pm

      I think that GWPF talking points above are too conservative and give too much of the game away. I also think that your remark about quantum theory is a truism that has no functional aspect in climate theory. But your loose talk about melting Arctic sea ice and polarity is hand waving and not science. First, take a note of the fact that the Arctic is the only part of the world that is still warming. Why is that? It is pretty obvious that Arctic is in some way different, so learning about that difference should be your first priority before making a blind guess. A major difference, it turns out, is the fact that this warming is a fairly recent thing, started suddenly at the turn of the twentieth century. A-ha, a warmist would say, that timing proves it must be man-made. And if so, his simple mind will immediately jump to carbon dioxide as the cause of warming. Kaufman, who discovered this late start of warming, put it this way: “…warming in the Arctic was enhanced relative to global average, likely reflecting a combination of natural variability and positive feedbacks that amplified the radiative forcing.” I love this gobbledygook because it tells me that he has no idea of what he is talking about. He is not doing any science but shooting off his mouth with preconceived misinformation that has been drummed into his head. But you can do serious science with his observation. The hypothesis you must test is whether this warming can be greenhouse warming. So how do you go about this? If you think about it, you will realize that in order to start a new greenhouse warming you must put carbon dioxide in the air at the same time that the warming starts. I will let you figure out why. Fortunately, we have excellent records of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration over time and these records tell us that there was no increase of carbon dioxide at the time this warming started. This eliminates carbon dioxide as a possible cause of warming. By a matter of eliminating other possible causes we then come to the conclusion that only ocean currents are left as possible sources of such massive warming. It is likely that a rearrangement of North Atlantic current system took place at the turn of the century and that is what started to carry warm water into the Arctic. And this has been going on, with an interruption in midcentury, ever since. So now you know why the Arctic is the only place in the world that is still warming. If you want to educate yourself some more, get my paper that you can download from this web site and study it carefully. There is more than just Arctic in it.

      • Arrno: I am not suggesting that Arctic warming is a consequence of increased CO2 in the N. hemisphere, although it maybe a factor. I think that is to be expected, particularly in the N. Atlantic because of the large number of ‘heat islands’ on both sides of that ocean.

  33. The only way to increase the accuracy of AGW models is to factor alien abductions in Boston and continue to ignore morality and human costs. Using the UN-approved silly science of the Left, government scientists like Kevin Trenberth essentially have proven that global warming and human CO2 (the pseudo-science of Mann generated hockey stick curves to the digital music of white noise) are significantly related whereas real scientists continue to demonstrate CO2 does not cause global warming on any time scale.

    • Or reduction in the amount of methane passed by people with their heads up their … :-)

      • And there are dairies, self-sustaining re: energy, and not from gut methane but from cow crap. And there are whole villages in India cooking with buffalo dung patties.
        ===============

  34. Remember – it isn’t global heating that we are debating. It is global warming. If the ocean absorbs heat, but doesn’t get very hot, there isn’t a problem. And you also have to slice off the heat entering the ocean due to mankind.

    • You have to realize that a fear of climate change is the belief that human CO2 generates extra heat that nature can only be dissipate by creating a tornado that slices through an Oklahoma town or a hurricane that floods New Orleans, or the NE coastline from NJ to Maine, and no snow ever again or too much snow, whichever is seen to happen where Democrat voters live.

    • Jim2
      I think a bigger point is that periodic or irregular behavior in A-O heat transfer might (subjunctive) explain irregularities in global average near-surface temperature vs. time plots — like a 15-year pause, for example.

      • I do understand your point. In fact, clearly you can see the effect of the 1998 El Nino on the global temperature. In fact, much of the warming in the ’90’s might have been mostly due to ocean effects.

      • It seems to me that the overall, longer-range, surface air temp plot will always be a complex interplay of AO-OA heat transfers. That’s why I’m finding the politization of that plot so frustrating.

      • Politicization by both sides.

      • tcf – Politics are unavoidable due to the effects of potential mitigation. Politics and government will have to be involved. That doesn’t mean you can’t just study the science on your own, but politics does come into play.

      • I understand what you are saying.

      • Your curiosity is validated by your disgust at the politics.
        ==========

    • tcf – I wasn’t implying sea surface temps don’t matter to the global average trop temp, they do, but if the heat makes it to the deep ocean, it isn’t going to cause much surface heating, IMO.

      • Jim,
        I understand your point about the lack of short term effects on air temp by deep sea temp (although deep sea heating could have some serious implications on timescales that we probably shouldn’t waste our time thinking about). I hope you also understand the point I’m trying to make.

      • I didn’t mean “thinking about” I meant to say “worrying about”.

      • Bingo, tcf; deep, ‘missing heat’, should it be able to accept this difficult mission, will re-emerge at the end of the Holocene.

        A life preserver. Gawd, I hope it floats.
        =================

      • What created the warming in the deep ocean is the real problem, and not so much the additional warmth in the deep ocean itself. Once upwelling is less vigorous, the additional CO2 in the atmosphere, those molecules that supposedly have done nothing over the last 16 years, is going warm the surface an additional amount.

        Though, the water involved in upwelling will eventually (decades) be much warmer than in the past, which will weaken La Nina cooling.

      • JCH:

        Though, the water involved in upwelling will eventually (decades) be much warmer than in the past, which will weaken La Nina cooling.

        No it won’t. The temperature of the upwelling water is determined by the physical properties of water. The upwelling itself is driven by thermohaline circulation.

      • The upwelling is driven by winds. If the deep oceans are warming, the water upwelled will be warmer.

      • What created the warming in the deep ocean is the real problem, and not so much the additional warmth in the deep ocean itself.

        According to this: Ocean Circulation: Thermohaline Circulation:

        The most vigorous thermohaline circulation in
        the ocean today is in the Atlantic Ocean where the overturning is often likened to a giant conveyor belt. The upper part of the conveyor carries warm, upper ocean water through the tropics and subtropics toward the north while the deep part carries cold dense polar water southward through the Atlantic, around the tip of Africa, and into the ocean beyond. The Atlantic conveyor converts roughly 15×106 m3 s-1 of upper ocean water into deep water.

        There is a second, southern, source of deep water:

        The other major site of deep-water formation is the coast of Antarctica. The surface waters around Antarctica, like those over most of the Arctic Ocean, are ice covered during winter and are too fresh to sink. Deep water below 500 m around Antarctica, on the other hand, is relatively warm (1.5°C) and fairly salty (34.70-34.75 psu). This water mass, known as Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW), penetrates onto the relatively deep continental shelves around Antarctica where it is cooled to the freezing point. Brine rejection from the formation of new sea ice maintains fairly high salinities on the shelf despite the freshening effects of precipitation and the input of glacial melt water. Supercooled shelf water is observed to flow out from under floating ice shelves where contact with glacier ice cools shelf water to temperatures below the freezing point. Very cold salty shelf water (-1°C, 34.6-34.7 psu) is observed descending the continental slope to the bottom in theWeddell Sea. Bottom water is also observed to form off the Adelie coast south of Australia (~140°E).

        The volume of new deep water formed on the Antarctic shelves is not very large in relation to the volume of deep water formed in the North Atlantic, perhaps 3-4 Sv in total. However, the deep water formed around Antarctica is denser and is able to sink below NADW in the south.

        My first guess would be that the average temperature of water being subducted is slightly higher.

      • JCH, “What created the warming in the deep ocean is the real problem, and not so much the additional warmth in the deep ocean itself.”

        After you allow for uncertainty that is nearly as large as the seasonal changes, the warming since roughly 2003 is due to changes in mixing efficiency at the polar regions. The GFDL has several ocean models that are improving, though the asymmetry is still a bit of a bear to deal with. Toggweiler and Bjornsson are a couple of good names to Google along with a new guy Brian Rose.

        If you are really curious, you can plot the 0-2000 meter OHC by Hemispheres and see that the SH deeper ocean uptake is greater than the NH deeper ocean uptake. In fact, the NH is nearly flat since 2003. The SH has the lion’s share of the uptake though many like to toss out the “all basins” strawperson for some reason.

        Changes in mixing efficiency are related to atmospheric/ocean pseudo-oscillations on various time scales effecting the mechanically “pumped” (surface winds, Coriolis and tides) ocean circulations on about 15 different levels about half of which have no data to speak of, that is the “real problem”.

        Since ENSO has a large impact on the natural pseudo-oscillations and the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool makes a pretty good proxy for ENSO

        https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-yCVnY6nXIiQ/UZmVEhGt-oI/AAAAAAAAIJs/EozQSkgn614/s817/IPWP%2520spliced%2520with%2520cru4%2520shifted%2520anomaly%2520from%25200ad.png

        There is a pretty good chance that a large portion of that “most” of deep ocean warming is not driven by CO2 forcing.

        I am sure you can ignore the Oppo data, the GFDL models, the lack of agreement between couple ocean atmosphere models and other indications that “sensitivity” is overestimated by a factor of 2 or more if you like, but some prick like me will just keep tossing out data that implies 3+ C is growing highly unlikely as a CO2 related “sensitivity” possibility.

      • Water is at its densest at a few degrees above freezing, the exact temperature being determined by its salinity.
        Any warmer or cooler and it rises.
        For that reason, the depths below the thermocline are maintained at a constant temperature – the tiny amount of mixing taking place only being significant over millennial timescales.

      • Phatboy, “For that reason, the depths below the thermocline are maintained at a constant temperature – the tiny amount of mixing taking place only being significant over millennial timescales.”

        There is more than “a” or “the” thermocline to consider. The tropical thermocline is at roughly 20 C and the rest of the density layers have more gradual temperature changes. The number of layers produces significant mixing on time scales of 30 to 1700 years roughly.

        Neilsen has a paleo study that picked out, “Spectral analysis reveals centennial-scale cyclic climate changes with periods of 1220, 1070, 400, and 150 yr.”

      • capt, I said belowthe thermocline.

      • …at whatever depth that happens to be

      • Phatboy “I said below the thermocline” then “..at whatever depth that may be.”

        Doesn’t matter. The total heat or “average” ocean temperature seems to be what matters along with the distribution of that energy. The estimated DWLR happens to equal the “average” ocean energy. The average ocean energy happens to equal the ideal black body temperature for Earth. There is an attractor or attractors of sorts that will bring the “average” temperature over a long enough time frame to approximately 4 C degrees.

        In shorter time frames what should matter is mixing above or below “average” and there are a number of density layers that can influence temperatures over the shorter time frames. You really can’t say much about “sensitivity” without knowing where the system is with respect to the numerous seesaws or pseudo-oscillations. Since 4 C appears to be a fully “charged” state, the OHC tends to indicate a curve towards neutral, along with the surface temperature “pause”, the stratosphere temperature “pause” and paleo indications of a near peak a little more detail about ocean oscillations is never a bad thing. So “a” or “the” thermocline are about useless as far as “climate change” goes.

        Since the various density layers tend to regulate soluble gases as well as temperature, some pretty tricked out ocean models are required to figure out what is really happening.

        http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2007GB002958

        ” We show that changes in physical forcing such as winds, vertical mixing, and lateral mixing can shift the balance of deepwater formation between the North Atlantic (where preformed nutrients are low) and the Southern Ocean (where they are high). Such changes in physical forcing can thus drive large changes in atmospheric CO2, even with minimal changes in surface nutrient concentration. If Southern Ocean deepwater formation strengthens, the preformed nutrient inventory and thus atmospheric CO2 increase. An important consequence of these new insights is that the relationship between surface nutrient concentrations, biological export production, and atmospheric CO2 is more complex than previously predicted. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we show that OCSsoft can increase and atmospheric CO2 decrease, while surface nutrients show minimal change and export production decreases.”

        A lot of “conventional wisdom” like simplified thermocline and greenhouse effect analogies are likely to get roughed up a bit.

      • @captdallas 0.8 or less…

        A lot of “conventional wisdom” like simplified thermocline and greenhouse effect analogies are likely to get roughed up a bit.

        Your link is behind a paywall, but I downloaded a copy here. Reading it, I notice three effects that may be very important (given the massively non-linear nature of the whole system) but were not mentioned (AFAIK):

        Geothermal effects at mid-ocean ridges: this has the ability to add heat to the oceans as well as sending nutrient-rich bottom water up into the biotic zone. I wonder how much we even know about the variation over time of this heat transfer: whether it shows substantial variation on an annual, decadal, or century-scale, how heat is partitioned between the deep ocean vs the biotic zone, and how much it varies on small time-scales. I wonder how much of what we do know is actually programmed into the models used for this type of analysis.

        Upwards phosphate transfer: there are (or were a few centuries ago) whales and other large animals that did substantial feeding at depths, while perhaps releasing part of the phosphate picked up in feeding into the otherwise steriile biotic zone. I wonder whether the magnitude of this transfer is sufficient to impact these calculations, and if so what that impact is.

        Glacial dust: During glacial periods a great deal of very fine dust is produced by moving glaciers, much of which finds its way into the atmosphere. IIRC much of northern China is covered with deep loess blown from glacial areas to the west. Some part of this probably made its way to otherwise sterile parts of the ocean, providing substantial increases in biological sequestration of CO2 during the glacial eras. This might actually explain the supposed lag between temperatures and pCO2 reduction: glaciers have to build up enough depth before they can start grinding rock to flour.

      • AK, “Geothermal effects at mid-ocean ridges: this has the ability to add heat to the oceans as well as sending nutrient-rich bottom water up into the biotic zone.”

        Geothermal in general are pretty mystifying. While a mid-ocean event would add heat, it is more likely to create a cold upwelling with a CO2/methane spike. http://earth.usc.edu/~stott/researchb.html

        Stott has some research going on, but so far I haven’t seen anything major published. It doesn’t take much to shift the nutrient balance and then there is a lot more than just CO2 going on. I don’t think we have even scratched the surface yet.

      • @captdallas 0.8 or less…

        Geothermal in general are pretty mystifying. While a mid-ocean event would add heat, it is more likely to create a cold upwelling with a CO2/methane spike. http://earth.usc.edu/~stott/researchb.html

        Was this a test to see if I’d follow your link? I can’t see any relevance between it and your paragraph.

      • AK, his website is the test. The carbon cycle research is down the page. He has a link to a pdf that sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t.

        His hypothesis is a hydrate cap temperature and pressure that shifts with deep ocean warming/cooling, that is his explanation for CO2 lagging southern ocean temperature change. That cap could also shift with local geothermal activity releasing CO2 in his case or methane caltrates in others. It seems there are quite a few super saturated gases and liquids contained by moderate depth ocean temperatures and pressures that can cause fairly large fluctuations if disturbed. Since many of these layers are super saturated, they can also impact the rates of uptake without directly impacting atmospheric concentrations.

        That is where things start getting complicated. Small changes in the rate and angle of downwelling water can have large impacts on the “stable” density layers. Changes in the mixing efficiency from above, winds, tides etc or below, geothermal, volcanoes, earthquakes etc. can cause larger than expected climate impacts.

        Then again, he could be wrong.

      • @captdallas 0.8 or less…

        He has a link to a pdf that sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t.

        It didn’t work, but this one should: large radiocarbon activity (Δ14C) anomaly during
        the last deglaciation at intermediate (500–700 m) water depths.

        It is an interesting theory, but not the same as I was discussing. Upwards heat transfer at the spreading zones produces superheated water (“black smokers”) which mixes with the surrounding water producing a larger column of rising bottom water. This water is rich in phosphates and other trace nutrients which feed more biological activity at the surface, drawing down CO2 and depositing it at greater depths.

        Variations in this process could potentially have a strong impact on upper ocean and atmospheric CO2 etc.

      • Also, it’s likely as CO2 level rises in the atmosphere that presently unknown CO2 sequestering mechanisms will be recruited.
        ===========

      • AK “Upwards heat transfer at the spreading zones produces superheated water (“black smokers”) which mixes with the surrounding water producing a larger column of rising bottom water.”

        Right, most of what I have read indicates that the total energy is not enough to have much impact other than locally. However, if they can disturb a normally stable density layer, then you would get the total impact you are looking for. The “black smokers” could provide the initial buoyancy which would actually result in a cold nutrient rich upwelling. Same thing should a deep current shift course a little to induce some of the additional heat and nutrients.

        Everything seems to require some help somewhere making the situation much more interesting.

  35. Since the science was only a vehicle for certain folks in the IPCC to support a world carbon tax scheme, why the hell should I be concerned about the science? What I don’t need is the folks in the IPCC emails advising my legislators on how to put even more money in a totally broken system. Don’t be telling me my science is bad when “good” science was never ever required. You had your chance to be trusted, you blew it, and now you are doubling down? Call when you know exactly what caused the several temperature cycles during the Holocene. Skeptics, the only folks required to bring the science.

    • Exactly, a common sense observation is that the global warming extremists do everything possible to marginalize legitimate debate and discredit real science, and lie about a consensus, and making up graphs to scare children using phony data and various parameters and mathematical methods that they try to hide from disclosure or simply lose along he way.

      • Ultimately, a fine lesson for the children about fear and guilt. They’ll learn.
        =========

      • Embracing guilt is
        a serpent’s kiss
        that leads ter
        the abyss or
        at least the slough
        of despondency …
        Whereas a lover’s
        kiss can lead
        ter its reverse.
        B-t-s

  36. k scott denison

    Several times individuals bring up validation of climate models. Typically then, someone mentions that the person who brought it up can’t even define validate. So here is the definition of validation according to the ISO process:

    Validation is a process. It uses objective evidence to confirm that
    the requirements which define an intended use or application have
    been met. Whenever all requirements have been met, a validated
    status is achieved. The process of validation can be carried out
    under realistic use conditions or within a simulated use
    environment.

    As I read this, then, validation of a climate model would require objective evidence that it forecasts future climate.

    • Scott,
      The ISO validation criteria, practically speaking, sound to me like engineering criteria for deployment of a new technology. Scientific validation is somewhat different in that you can’t set a list of criteria and then check them off. It takes time and accumulation of data and interpretation from an increasingly large number of investigators coming at the problem from different directions and the observation that the theory continues to fit in with the body of extant science.

      For climate models, this means 1) seeing if history can be reproduced, and 2) waiting to see how well they actually do. I think an important part of this is to realize that climate models are not weather models.
      I know I have stumbled into the middle of an emotional political discourse and I understand your frustration with outrageous CAGW, but I like to discuss the science.

    • Steven Mosher

      “As I read this, then, validation of a climate model would require objective evidence that it forecasts future climate.”

      Wrong.

      “It uses objective evidence to confirm that
      the requirements which define an intended use or application have
      been met. ”

      You start by stating the requirements. If you require that a model predict the temperature within 5 degrees, then a model that does this is valid, per the requirements.

      • Curve fits of data does non validate theory. A model can guess exactly right and not be based on valid theory. They have a lot of models and most of them are not even close.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Curve fits of data does non validate theory. A model can guess exactly right and not be based on valid theory. They have a lot of models and most of them are not even close.”

        1. models are not a curve fit
        2. many of the models are close.

        Problem. you cannot determine “close” . “close” is subjective and depends upon the use of the model.

      • It’s intersecting curves all the way down, and the hard shells are metaphors.
        ============

      • k scott denison

        Mosher, yes, you are correct. So what are the requirements for the GCMs? Where can one find these? Were they set prior to building the models?

      • Kim says @ 1.16pm
        ‘Its intersecting curves all the way down, and the hard shells are
        metaphors.’

        And they ‘re modelled in cloud towers that stand on shifting
        sands.

  37. Steven,
    Success in accurate projection of future climate features would be one type of evidence to contribute to accumulating evidence working toward some level of validation. That takes a ling time and so isn’t practical for modifications based on results. More practical is to preject those features of the climate for which it was intended over some past period for which there is appropriate data using date (or boundary conditions) for some period prior to that.

    I think what I was driving at is that for any theory there is no single set of criteria which if met mean it is 100% correct. There are degrees of validation which increase over the span of time (new experimentation) for successful theories.

    By the way, I read a lot of your postings in the Congressman Smith thread. IMHO they are very astute.

    • Talking about validation in the context of global warming simply avoids talking talks about what must be answered prior to the validation step. “And the question we should be asking our politicians are, what climate are you actually aiming to produce and when we get there won`t it change anyway?” (Philip Stott)

      • Wag,
        Certainly one must define the parameters that need to be reproduced by the model being used.

        I’m just trying to come to grips with the science before I try to decide what we need to be advising our politicians. I agree with you that Al Gore is an outrageous alarmist. I still am not sure exactly how right or wrong a lot of what he has said will turn out to be, It sure doesn’t look like Florida will be under 15 ft of water any time soon. I don’t know what is going to happen with permafrost or benthic methane clathrates though, for example.

      • Validation of GCMs is pretty straightforward. If, for example, you built the GCM using 100 years of data, before using to predict the next 30 years, first see if it is capable of ‘predicting’ the climate of years 31-60 based on the first 30 years of data, &etc. If the GCM fails backcasting how can it be expected to succeed at forecasting?

      • Steven Mosher

        “Wagathon | June 2, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
        Validation of GCMs is pretty straightforward. If, for example, you built the GCM using 100 years of data, before using to predict the next 30 years, first see if it is capable of ‘predicting’ the climate of years 31-60 based on the first 30 years of data, &etc. If the GCM fails backcasting how can it be expected to succeed at forecasting?”

        Epic fail. You first have to define what it means to succeed in hindcasting.

        Next, one can fail in hindcasting and succeed in forecasting.

      • …if you are willing to wait 30 years to find out.

      • SM – If climate is spatio-chaotic, I assume you wouldn’t be saying the climate models should reproduce the exact . If one created a totally realistic model, it seems it would match certain patterns, such as min/max annual temperature, and generally reproduce the decomposed frequencies of the temperature, but not necessarily reproduce several decades of actual temperature data. Is that (somewhat) your take on it? Or do you believe a realistic climate model would reproduce the instrumental land records, for example. No one has ever clarified, AFAIK, what to expect of a realistic climate model, and I’m wondering if anyone even knows.

      • Global warming alarmism is the Leftists academics’ version of medieval madness.

      • jim2, the GCMs have to reproduce the current climate in terms of diurnal and seasonal ranges in various regions, reasonable precipitation amounts and seasonality, features like cyclones, fronts, monsoons. This would be a minimum test to pass before they go on to climate projections with the forcing changes specified. Some are coupled to ocean models and further features of ocean circulation would be tested. Getting even the current climate right is a high bar to pass, not trivial.

      • “Advocates rely on not-validated computer models.

        “No model’s predictions should be trusted unless the model has demonstrated forecasting skill. But climate models have not existed for 20, 50 or 100 years, so they cannot have demonstrated forecasting skill.

        “Simply, the climate models’ predictions of the future have the same demonstrated reliability as the casting of chicken bones to predict the future.”

        ~Richard Courtney

      • At this stage, the way to improve the models’ ability to forecast(project, predict ad nausee) might be to abandon hindcasting and start over.
        ===========

    • Steven Mosher

      Steven,
      Success in accurate projection of future climate features would be one type of evidence to contribute to accumulating evidence working toward some level of validation.
      ####################
      Formally when we speak of validation it is validation against a set of requirements set out before you build your model. “accurate projection” is far too vague. I’ll give you an example. The other day. one of our members passed around some charts comparing our temperature to a bunch of models. Looked pretty damn good to me. Other’s thought they sucked. Of course since nobody specified ahead of time what counts as “accurate”, since nobody defined the purpose and use and the required accuracy there was no way of settling the debate. For every 10 things I could point out they got “right” there were 5 things they got “wrong”. Climate models have not been built with decision support in mind. That’s more of a flaw in process than in product. No point in blaming folks for this situation. It’s more constructive just to fix the problem.

  38. More good is done in the world feeding one stray cat than wasting one tax dollar more on climatology.

    • Wag,
      I’m sorry, but I can’t agree with that. Correct me if I’m wrong (there’s a concept :-), but isn’t the price tag on the Large Hadron Collider approaching? Now, I think things like cosmology, string theory, the Higgs bozon can be fascinating philosophical issues, but $20 billion?
      On the other hand, eventually being able to understand how the earth works in great detail could be of immense practical value. How to allocate water use on the Colorado river; how to regulate water use out of the Ogallala (high planes) aquifer, what minimum forest do we need to sustain us? I can’t think of many better places to put research money. I suspect you would agree that the race to the moon had economic fallout that was unimaginable.

      • Approaching $20 billion

      • Climatology has been compared to the ancient science of astrology. There is no bigger waste of money and we see that. It doesn’t get better than we’ve seen. Any scientist with a reputation to protect made a beeline for the UN exits long before the foi2009.pdf disclosures.

      • I’m not surprised Waggy likes stray cats. I picture him living in a trailer with about 50 of ‘em.

      • Cats conjure tornadoes, you know.
        ========

  39. Steven,
    I would assume that “accurate projection” would include specific criteria.

    I get your point about a lack of decision support. I don’t know enough about the models to envisage what form that would take.

    • Steven Mosher

      It would start with the “users” or policy makers or deciders telling people what kind of information they need to make their decisions.
      do you need to know sea level increases to 10cm of accuracy? 30cm? 1 meter? If you dont know that before you start, you never know when you are finished.

      Of course, now some people will say they need to know the answer to a mm whereas others will say they only need to know that sea level will increase.

      • You have started me thinking in a new direction.

      • It would start with the “users” or policy makers or deciders telling people what kind of information they need to make their decisions.
        do you need to know sea level increases to 10cm of accuracy? 30cm? 1 meter? If you dont know that before you start, you never know when you are finished.

        Those are questions the scientists may be interested in. I suggest the policy advisers want much higher level information. I suggest you need to start top down/ That is, what information is needed for policy decisions? I suggest, at the highest level the inputs would be something like these:

        1. Inputs needed for analysing the benefits and costs of policy options (including the do nothing option as a baseline (example are those for Nordhaus RICE and DICE; see Table 7-1 and 7-2, pp127,130: http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf)

        2. inputs need for robust analysis

        3. inputs to estimate the probability the probability the chosen policy will deliver the expected benefits.

        Two of the most important and poorly understood inputs are the damage function and the rate of decarbonisation of the global economy that will occur without mitigation policies and with the chosen mitigation policy.

      • Steven Mosher

        Thats what I’m suggesting Peter.

        You cannot validate a model without user requirements. Policy makers need to define the information they need and the level of accuracy they require.

        otherwise scientists are put in an untenable situation of having to simulate reality exactly. in short, we are requiring perfection from them that we know is impossible.

      • Steven Mosher

        Peter

        “Two of the most important and poorly understood inputs are the damage function”

        That presupposes an analytical approach based on cost benefit.

      • “It would start with the “users” or policy makers or deciders telling people what kind of information they need to make their decisions.
        do you need to know sea level increases to 10cm of accuracy? 30cm? 1 meter? If you dont know that before you start, you never know when you are finished.”

        This doesn’t make sense any. It assumes the scientists can adjust the level of their accuracy based on the requirements of the policy makers. Accuracy is not a matter of choice. It is a product of the state of your knowledge, the quality of the medium (eg tree rings) you are measuring, the capability of your instruments, the intensity of your attention to detail.

        Policy makers telling climate scientists in particular, “we need you to predict within sea level rise within these ranges” would just be ludicrous. You think the credibility of the science community is bad now? Let Obama, Reid, Pelosi and Pachauri tell the modellers to come up with sea level rises of a particular accuracy and wait for the howls of laughter.

        Climate scientists are already perceived as tailoring their “science” to policy too much. You want to be a scientist? Do science. When you are done in the lab, you want to be and advocate? Advocate. But keep the advocacy out of the lab.

      • Peter Lang

        Steven Mosher,

        That presupposes an analytical approach based on cost benefit.

        And or ‘Robust Analysis’. Both require the damages/impacts to be quantified in a way that can be applied uniformly across all policy options (I think).

        Do you have an alternative analytical approach in mind?

      • Peter Lang

        Steven Mosher,

        The guys doing economic analysis are not interested in the amount of sea level rise or which species might die out. They want to know the damages per degree of warming. Look at the inputs to Nordhaus RICE and DICE (Table 7-1 and 7-2, http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf). There is no mention of sea level rise there. That is worked out at a lower level of analysis (by scientists). Unfortunately they’ve done very little relevant work on this. I suggest it is not because they don’t know what the requirements are. It’s because they are not much interested in what is relevant for policy analysis. They’d prefer to research what they are interested in.

        They must or should know what is required because we’ve been doing these sorts of cost benefit analyses since before the Pyramids were built. Even IPCC did it is WG3. Nordhaus and Tol (and others) have been doing it for AGW decades.

      • You can tell if a guy is really interested in your sea level rise or just teasing. If he’s studying the period from the late 1700s to the 1860s, that’s a sign of commitment. But most boys are just trying to get published, egged on by their peers.

      • Peter Lang

        Scientists need provide just three inputs (I think): PDFs for;
        • climate sensitivity,
        • carbon cycle and
        • damage function.
        The remainder of the required information comes from economists projections (I think) http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Accom_Notes_100507.pdf

        There is also what is possibly the most important input of all – the probability that chosen policy will deliver the expected benefits. Nordhaus, Tol, Stern and Garnaut have not considered that input at all. If they had, I expect they would not have advocated policies like carbon pricing and renewable energy schemes.

        The best place to go to get the input for ‘<i< the probability that chosen policy will deliver the expected benefits’ is to ask the world guru on that subject … Peter Lang.

        I’ll share a secret with others here. If the policy is economically rational, ‘No Regrets’ and most people will be better off at all times, it will succeed. If not, it wont. Therefore, carbon pricing, global agreements to targets and timetables with penalties for breaching commitments, will not succeed.

        There. Now you know.

      • Steven Mosher

        Do you have an alternative analytical approach in mind?

        See Held’s work.

      • Steven Mosher et alteri

        It would start with the “users” or policy makers or deciders telling people what kind of information they need to make their decisions.

        Good comment. This is step in the right direction, i.e., a step back from the technical trees in the forest, but there is more–for example identifying the decision and decision makers, defining the decision(s) and decision criteria. Things are very different from place to place and different depending on whether decision making (and actions) are being considered at a state/provincial level, a national level, or an international level.

        Decision analysts* should have long ago been integrated into the process. [Better yet there should have been a viable process.] This is just not because of the knowledge of the different quantitative tools but because of their knowledge of the ‘soft science’ side of human decision making. Scientists–just like everyone else–are blind to their on biases. One such bias is jumping to models (conceptual and quantitative) too soon; a hazard there is is that this may result in the model shaping the decision rather than the decision shaping the model(ing) needed to resolve things. In some way that is exactly what happens on some threads in this and other blogs–arguing over details that may or may not be relevant, arguing over the relevance–even when the decision(s), the criteria, the decision-maker have not been identified.

        Another hazard to not following structured processes in the decision process is that we may fall into the trap of doing what we know how to do–run models, collect all kinds of data, etc., instead of identifying and doing what we need to do. A team of experts-technical, political, social–are quite susceptible to this.

        While single attribute decision analysis is too simple for in depth analyses of such a complex set of decisions, some benefit might come out gaming some decisions using something like the SRI approach. Also applications of Analytical Hierarchy Process and other multi-attribute approach might be helpful. There are a number of approaches that could be used as aids to gaining insights, structuring the decision, etc.. In the of of climate change/global warming/the-hot-air-debate I am partial to the idea of an ensemble of decision models, but that is just an inclination.

        Given the vitriol in and the protracted nature of the global climate change ‘debate’, and, quite frankly looking at the role of ‘open-science’ or ‘populist-science’ to date I fear do harbor some fear that successful arrival a solution is beyond the pale, but we are obliged to try our best.

        * I do not mean cost-benefit wonks. I mean people whose focus is the very multi-disciplinary art of making decisions taking into account uncertainty. People who facility the decision process.

      • Why not determine amount of slr for the past 100 years and use that as the metric for accuracy?

    • tcflood.

      ”I get your point about a lack of decision support.

      You might want to put this question to mwrgrant next time him posting. He is an expert on decisions analysis.

      • Peter,
        Thanks.
        I read the paper on CO2 + electrolytic methane most of the way through but I want to read it again and think about it and maybe do some back of the envelope thermo calculations before I discuss it with you. I haven’t forgotten it.

      • hydrolytic hydrogen

      • Sorry, electrolytic hydrogen — I think I’ll go to bed.

      • The CO2 bubble turns into a crystalline carriage at midnight.
        ===============

  40. From the WV debate:

    He said McKinley, who is an engineer by training, asked several times what it might take for the United States to bring its emissions under control, something Casola called “a constructive beginning.”

    Really? Doesn’t everyone agree that US CO2 have fallen since 2005?…and that the ROW is accelerating its emissions? Casola thinks that the US is out of control?

  41. 1] no, CO2 is not a GLOBAL warming gas!

    2] no, the planet is not warmer now, than was in the 80’s, or 70’s!

    nobody knows what was overall GLOBAL temp last year TO SAVE HIS LIFE!!! Unless one knows what was last year’s temp, cannot compare it against any other year. Sandpit job is one thing; BUT reality is facing you!

    • “2] no, the planet is not warmer now, than was in the 80′s, or 70′s!

      nobody knows what was overall GLOBAL temp last year TO SAVE HIS LIFE!!! Unless one knows what was last year’s temp, cannot compare it against any other year. Sandpit job is one thing; BUT reality is facing you!” — std

      The internal contradictions of denialism.

  42. Had forecasters extrapolated the mid-century warming into the future, they would have predicted far more warming than actually occurred. Likewise, the subsequent cooling trend, if used as the basis for a long-range forecast could have erroneously supported the idea of a rapidly approaching ice age.

    Professor Mojib Latif, a climate-change researcher at Kiel University in Germany,

    http://oceanrep.geomar.de/9199/1/JGE.pdf

    • This indicates the 30-years warming rate from 1974 to 2004 of 0.2 deg C per decade is a TRANSIENT CLIMATE SIGNAL.

  43. statement that: ”CO2 has increased in the atmosphere from approximately 0.029% to 0.039% over the past 50 years”

    releasing certain amount of EXTRA CO2 in the atmosphere; doesn’t mean that the quantity increased by that much. The more is released -> the more rain washes CO2 onto the land and into the sea / rain is made to wash things. More algae / coral grow in the water -> get covered by sediments with carbon in it – new algae grow on the top of it.

    CO2 is not evenly distribution – cities have more of it than in open areas b] daytime CO2 is lifted in the upper atmosphere = is minuscule close to the ground – after 9PM, CO2 loses the benefit of the sunlight and falls to the ground. Which means: after 9-10PM is high concentration close to the ground. which means: result in monitoring at different time in 24h, gives different concentration. Which means: ”if it was released that much extra, doesn’t mean that is in the atmosphere – therefore, the data is not real; but based on presumptions.

  44. Judith Curry says “What do you think of Benny Peiser’s list of issues?”

    Well, I just finished trying to verify how he came up with the first item on his list, and I failed.

    Benny Peiser said “1.  There has been no net increase in global temperatures for about 16 years, a period about the same length as the warming period that preceded it.”
    Three of the four most recognized global temperature metrics, including Hadcrut 4 used by Sen. Lamar Smith in his Washington Post op-ed, do not support Benny Pieser’s statement but do show warming in the 16 year period 1997-2012 was slower than warming in the previous 16 year period (see link to Figure #1). Using the latest monthly data (April 2013) as the end point instead of December 2012 gives results closer to his claim but again three of the four metrics do not support it (see link to Figure #2).

    I suggest Mr. Peiser consider replacing his statement with one more precise, such as the following:

    The globe has warmed considerably less in the last 16 years (1997-2012) than in the previous 16 years (1981-1996).

    Mr. Peiser also might find useful an explanation of why the last 16 years are more important than a longer or shorter period. I have no suggestions.

    Figure #1 Four global temperature metrics, 1981-1996 and 1997-2012 trends

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1981/to:2013/plot/uah/from:1981/to:1997/trend/plot/uah/from:1997%20/to:2013/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1981/to:2013/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1981/to:1997/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1997/to:2013/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1981/to:2013/plot/gistemp/from:1981/to:1997/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1997/to:2013/trend/plot/rss/from:1981/to:2013/plot/rss/from:1981/to:1997/trend/plot/rss/from:1997/to:2013/trend

    Figure #2 Four global temperature metrics, May 1981- April 1997 and May 1997 – April 2013 trends

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1981.33/to:2013.33/plot/uah/from:1981.33/to:1997.33/trend/plot/uah/from:1997.33%20/to:2013.33/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1981.33/to:2013.33/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1981.33/to:1997.33/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1997.33/to:2013.33/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1981.33/to:2013.33/plot/gistemp/from:1981.33/to:1997.33/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1997.33/to:2013.33/trend/plot/rss/from:1981.33/to:2013.33/plot/rss/from:1981.33/to:1997.33/trend/plot/rss/from:1997.33/to:2013.33/trend

    For information on how to use the woodfortrees interactive graph/analyses tool see
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/help

    • Max_OK, you wrote:

      The globe has warmed considerably less in the last 16 years (1997-2012) than in the previous 16 years (1981-1996).

      What is “considerably less” supposed to mean? I would like to see some specific empirical-statistical evidence, if such a claim is made. Just comparing the numbers of two trend estimates is not sufficient by itself to draw any valid conclusion whether there was anything “considerable” about a difference. Information about the variability, e.g., by providing the 2-sigma interval is needed to establish what the degree of statistical significance of the difference is between the trends from the two time periods.

      Here is a little tool where you actually can get some numbers:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php

      So, when you use this to compare the trends between the time periods for each of the five data sets, the result is that all the trends in a time period lie well within the 2-sigma intervals of the temperature trend in the other time period for each data set, partially even within the 1-sigma interval.

      Therefore, my conclusion is that current claims about the alleged “pause” in global warming for the last 15, 16, 17 years, or what arbitrary time period is currently chosen by the ones who claim it, like they have been made by Judith Curry and others, are not really based on rigorous scientific analysis. They are based on shaky empirical-statistical evidence, and, thus, speculative.

  45. Max_OK

    It’s much easier than that.

    Rather than coming up with your convoluted story about rapid warming and imperceptible warming, why not simply state that the

    in contrast to a previous period of warming from the mid 1970s to around 2000, the globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly has shown slight cooling over the past 12 years

    Like that one better, Okie?

    Max_CH

  46. Judith

    Why do you say the greenhouse effect is real? If it were real on Earth then it should operate on any planet with a significant atmosphere. Back radiation can indeed slow radiative surface cooling. So too can oxygen and nitrogen slow non-radiative cooling by conduction at the surface-atmosphere boundary. But something else has to raise a planet’s surface temperature before we worry about how slowly its cooling. That “something else” sets the maximum temperature. If it were direct incident Solar radiation, then it certainly is not raising the Venus surface to 730K with only about 10W/m^2 reaching the surface. And it would only get to about 255K (not 288K) on Earth, now wouldn’t it?

    Consider Uranus, then. It receives about 3W/m^2 of Solar radiation which is nearly all absorbed and re-emitted in the uppermost layers of its atmosphere. There the temperature is about 53K whilst the radiating temperature is similar at about 59K. (See Wiki)

    About 350Km further down is the base of the theoretical troposphere where, according to the Wikipedia article “Uranus” sub-heading “Troposphere” the temperature is about 320K. But of course there is no significant Solar radiation reaching down there, and no surface anyway, and so it is not a greenhouse effect which is supplying the necessary energy to keep it that hot. Nor is there any evidence of significant net outward energy flow from the centre. So it’s not a hot planet cooling off, and it’s not generating energy in its centre or core.

    I have explained the heat transfer by the spontaneous process described in statements of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. What’s your explanation?

    • David Springer

      It’s a hot planet cooling off. Your statment “no evidence of internal heat leaking out” is subject to the maxim that lack of evidence is not proof of lack. As a general rule the more massive the planet the longer it retains internal heat of formation. Also as a general rule the more massive the planet the greater the ratio of radionucleotides to surface area so the more massive the planet the more heat from radioactive decay builds up.

      Give it up Cotton. You’re a crank and like all cranks you’re obviously wrong and everyone except you and fellow cult members can see it.

      • Sorry David, I am not convinced.

        The planet Uranus is well enough understood for scientists to be pretty certain that it is not generating new energy in its core, and nor is there any net outward flux which would, indicate any cooling.

        The total inward flux is about only about 3W/m^2 anyway, which could not possibly have any impact in slowing a hot core at about 5,000K with any direct radiative forcing. In fact, virtually all that minuscule flux is simply re-emitted to space from the uppermost layers of the atmosphere.

        The thermal gradient in the theoretical troposphere (350Km in height) is within 5% of the usual -g/Cp value which I assume you have read about in my paper “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures.” Clearly the temperature of the Uranus atmosphere is being maintained in some way, so how does sufficient energy get down there to make it 320K at that base, and thousands of degrees further down?

        And, by the way, neither is the Earth or Venus still hot because they are still cooling. There simply is no evidence to support your conjecture, The Venus surface is actually warmed by about 5 degrees each 4-month day, and it then cools at night. But direct Solar radiation (10W/m^2 at the surface) would need to be 16,100W/m^2 to do that. Instead it is heated by “heat creep” as explained in my paper. Prove me wrong – anyone!

  47. Can’t say that I find much to recommend the GWPF as a useful participant in any kind of debate.
    You only have to look at their website today to see the kind of disinformation that they like to spread.

    “Arctic Sea Ice Continues To Expand, Silently”

    So the headline proclaims.

    But of course it doesn’t.

    They link to a graph from Danish Meteorological Institute’s Centre for Ocean and Ice. But not at the DMI site itself, it’s a pdf hosted at a third site. Why? All becomes clear when you actually visit DMI’s Centre for Ocean and Ice. The graph has been updated and now includes a 1979-2000 mean plot, which shows clearly that the current ice extent remains below the mean, and not that much more than last years at the same time.

    But, hey, the headline communicated the essence of what the GWPF wants – reality be damned.

    GWPF – political ideology /economic dogma, spin and PR, dressed up with a façade for concern for science.

    Maybe we shouldn’t be too hard on those taken in by this stuff – after all they spend a lot of time and energy to achieve exactly this end.

  48. Pekka Pirilä

    You commented on Peiser’s points (comment #328718, June 2, 2013 at 12:15 pm)

    Let me close the loop by commenting on your comments.

    A. Matters where we agree with the dominant scientific establishment and can quantify the outcome
    1. The greenhouse effect is real and CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
    2. CO2 has increased in the atmosphere from approximately 0.029% to 0.039% over the past 50 years.
    3. CO2’s greenhouse warming potential follows a logarithmic curve with diminishing returns to higher concentrations.
    4. Absent feedbacks, and other things being equal, a doubling of carbon dioxide from pre-industrial levels would warm the atmosphere by approximately 1.1C.
    5. Since 1980 global temperatures have increased at an average rate of about 0.1C per decade. This is significantly slower than forecast by the vast majority of GCMs.

    Your comment: “The group A is more or less right, but one might perhaps argue on the most impartial way of expressing the points of agreement.”

    No comment from me.

    B. Matters where we agree with the scientific consensus but cannot quantify the outcome.
    1. Positive feedbacks from water vapour and soot, negative feedback from clouds and aerosols, and other factors, mean that actual climate sensitivity is a matter of vigorous scientific debate.
    2. Natural variability caused by ocean oscillations, amplified solar variations and other factors also act to increase or decrease temperature change. Thus overall temperature prediction is doubly uncertain.

    Your comment: “On B2 the most important consequence of the variability is not what it tells about future but what it tells about the difficulty of determining empirically the changes caused by added CO2.”

    Agree. Peiser’s point is correct, as is your observation. Uncertainty regarding natural factors make it difficult both to determine empirically the past changes caused by added CO2 as well as to project future warming.

    3. Arctic summer sea ice has decreased, but Antarctic sea ice has increased; this is more consistent with regional albedo changes due to soot than with global temperature changes due to greenhouse warming.

    YC: “On B3 I doubt severely where scientists studying the sea ice would accept that as a valid description.”

    Scientists studying Arctic summer sea ice fluctuations can identify changes in local ocean currents, wind patterns, etc. affecting Arctic sea ice, but are not in a position to identify global causes for the changes they are observing. Peiser has suggested a regional rather than a global cause for this regional phenomenon; the point is obviously open to debate.

    4. There is no consensus that recent climate change has affected the variability of weather or the frequency of extreme weather events.

    YC: “There are two issues in B4. One is reliable detection of changes that may already have occurred, the other is what we should expect in the future. These two points should be discussed separately even if the conclusions are similar based on the present knowledge. My view is that it has not been possible to detect any changes reliably, but that the inability to detect changes tells very little on what may already have happened for the variability and for the frequencies of various types of extreme events.”

    Agree. You have simply confirmed Peiser’s statement.

    5. Economists generally agree that net economic damage will occur above 2C of warming, net economic benefit below that level, but this cannot be certain.

    YC: “I cannot find any valid justification for the statement B5. Nobody can tell, what’s the optimal temperature, where net benefits turn to net damage. The specific value of 2C is nothing more than a political compromise.”

    This is most likely based on the study by Nordhaus or the statement made recently by Bjørn Lomborg:

    “Economic models show that the overall impact of a moderate warming (1-2C) will be beneficial [so] global warming is a net benefit now and will likely stay so till about 2070.”

    C. Matters on which we think the evidence does not support the scientific consensus
    1. There has been no net increase in global temperatures for about 16 years, a period about the same length as the warming period that preceded it.

    YC: “Picking the lack of warming over the last 16 years as contrary to the consensus is questionable. The lack of significant cooling over this period is a partial confirmation of the consensus. Thus the point C1 is formulated with bias.”

    Lack of cooling is certainly not a confirmation of the consensus, but I’d agree that the 16-year period (originally picked by the UK Met Office, I believe), is questionable. Starting in 2001 it is clear that there has been no warming, but slight cooling instead, however this period is shorter than the preceding period of warming.

    2. Paleo-climate proxies agree that worldwide temperatures were higher and changed faster during other periods of climate change about 1,000, 2,000, 4,000, 8,000 and 12,000 years ago.

    YC: “The point C2 is much worse in that respect. I cannot really see any point in that.”

    The point may seem obscure to the debate on the recent or projected future warming, but Peiser is simply stating the GWPF position that the current warming is not unusual or unprecedented in either absolute warmth or in rate of warming (a claim that is made by IPCC).

    3. Predictions of increasing humidity and temperature in the tropical troposphere, a key prediction of rapid greenhouse warming, have been falsified by experimental data casting doubt on whether the warming of 1980-2000 was man-made.

    YC: “The point C3 is wrong. The behavior of tropical troposphere is not a significant fingerprint for global warming. Failing to describe correctly changes that occur in tropical troposphere is, however, a failure of the models.”

    The models cited by IPCC predicted the tropical “hot spot” as an effect of greenhouse warming (as opposed to warming from other sources); this “hot spot” did not occur in real life. As you write, it was a failure of the models. I do not think that Peiser disagrees.

    4. Ice core data clearly show carbon dioxide responding to temperature change, rather than preceding them during glaciation and deglaciation episodes.

    YC: “C4 is totally wrong.”

    Pekka, I’m afraid you are wrong on this one. The ice core record going back 450,000 years shows that CO2 has lagged temperature by a few centuries. There are even periods of above-normal CO2 levels where temperature begins to decrease and others with lower than normal CO2 concentrations where temperature began to increase.

    5. Satellite evidence confirms that vegetation has increased in density, in natural as well as agricultural ecosystems, probably as a result partly of carbon dioxide increases.

    YC: “Is there any controversy on C5, or is there any disagreement with “scientific consensus” on that point?”

    You ask a question, which is difficult to answer. Peiser is simply citing the results of a recently published study, which shows that vegetation has increased in density, particularly in semi-arid regions. It is general knowledge that plants respond positively to increased CO2 levels. Yields of major crops have increased by 2.4 times since 1970, with CO2 increasing by 20%. I have seen no studies suggesting that plant growth has decreased. So I’d agree that there is no disagreement with scientific consensus on this point.

    D. Why alarm is not secure
    1. All sides of scientific debates have vested interests and display confirmation bias. Science keeps itself honest not by expecting unrealistic self-criticism by scientists but by encouraging challenge, and diverse interpretations of data, rather than trying to enforce a single “consensus”.
    2. Forecasting of all kinds is extremely unreliable and predictions of ecological disaster have an especially poor track record.
    3. Policies to decarbonize the economy using today’s technology are likely to be harmful to human welfare and natural ecology.
    4. Integrity, openness and objectivity need to be introduced to the conduct of the scientific debate to restore the damage done by the Climategate, Hockey Stick, Gleick, Gergis, Lewandowsky and Marcott episodes.
    5. Exaggerated alarmism is not harmless and is not scientific.

    YC: “The section D is politics and irrelevant from the point of view scientific discussion.”

    Agree with you that this is not part of the scientific discussion, but could well be part of a general debate on the issue.

    E. GWPF’s policy position
    1. Policy needs to take account of uncertainty.
    2. Policy needs to be subjected to thorough cost-benefit analysis.
    3. An enforceable global agreement on emissions reduction is unrealistic.
    4. Adaptation may be a cheaper and less harmful policy than mitigation.
    5. Public funding should support open debate, not one-sided advocacy.

    YC: “On section E my main concern is that all sides might agree on many of the points but interpret them so differently that no common ground is left.
    On E2 I must add that a thorough cost-benefit analysis cannot be done. Thus the requirement must be formulated to reflect the realities”

    Agree with you that interpretation is important. This is also a debate on policy, rather than science, although I would agree that Peiser’s points make sense as written. Every policy initiative that is being proposed should, of course, be subjected to some sort of a cost-benefit analysis, particularly if it would involve larger sums of taxpayer funding.

    So there are a few points where your comments do not agree with those of this rational skeptic, but we also have points of agreement.

    Max

    • Peter Lang

      Manacker,

      Excellent c losing of the loop. Thank you for presenting it so well.

      This is most likely based on the study by Nordhaus or the statement made recently by Bjørn Lomborg:

      Did you mean Richard Tol rather than Nordhaus?

      On E2 I must add that a thorough cost-benefit analysis cannot be done. Thus the requirement must be formulated to reflect the realities”

      I suggest Peiser should change “thorough” to “objective and impartial”.

      • Peter Lang

        You are correct. It was the Tol analysis (referred to in the Lomborg quotation), not the one by Nordhaus.

        And, yes, “objective and impartial cost benefit analysis” should be required before taxpayer money is spent on “climate policy actions”.

        If Pekka is right that the benefit (or cost) cannot be quantified, then the action should simply not be undertaken.

        Max

    • Max, a good response to Pekka’s helpful analysis.

      I agree with Pekka that “The specific value of 2C is nothing more than a political compromise” – the origin of that figure has been documented before as a convenient figure for use in public presentations. As for economists agreeing that >2 is damaging, 2C rise has been demonstrated, certainly not sufficiently to support high-cost emissions reduction programs. Too many unknowns, too many unknown unknowns.

      (A keyboard-loving cat interfering with this post.)

      • The cat must have hit delete, I wrote that most economists would not feel that they had sufficient basis to determine that >2C would be net damaging, and that in my view the risk of damage >2C has not been sufficiently demonstrated to support … etc

    • Max,

      What you write is mostly close enough to my views.

      I comment only on the ice core issue. I don’t make any claims on the order of the signals in the ice core, what I wanted to say is that whatever it really is, it does not tell much new about the causal relationship.

      CO2 influences temperature and temperature influences CO2. Both effects are true. There should not be any controversy on that between “consensus” and GWPF. This observation is, however, not in agreement with the point C4, which is just wrong, and Peiser should agree on that on second thought.

      • Pekka

        Agree that the ice core data do not tell us anything very definitive about causal relationship between CO2 and temperature. I believe Peiser mentions this primarily because the data were misused (by Al Gore in his AIP movie, which got a lot of attention) to demonstrate a causal relationship with CO2 as the driver; Peiser’s statement should have simply told us that the ice core data do not demonstrate this causal relationship and left it there. He could have done this as follows:

        Ice core data clearly show carbon dioxide responding to lagging temperature changes, rather than preceding them during glaciation and deglaciation episodes.

        Max

      • Peter Lang

        Pekka Pirila,

        I am very interested in this issue. I have seen many claims, such as on Skeptical Science, defending the claims that the correlation between CO2 concentration and temperature support the assertion “CO2 is the control knob”. However as Manacker say it is clear that Temperature started to rise centuries before the CO2 concentration began to rise. And the rapidly accelerating temperature rise preceded the accelerating CO2 concentration rise. After the interglacials, the opposite was the case.

        Further more, and equally importantly, While the Temperature was increasing CO2 concentration was lower than when temperature was decreasing. This was repeated in every glacial-interglacial cycle. It is pretty persuasive that CO2 was responding to, not causing, the increasing temperature. (And yes, I do know that correlation does not prove causation, birds cheeping in the morning don’t cause the Sun to rise, etc.).

        However, I would like to hear why you are so strongly convinced that the apparent response of CO2 to temperature during the glacial-interglacial oscillations, in itself, isn’t pretty damning evidence for the “CO2 is the control knob” argument.

    • Another specific point of disagreement is the “hot spot”.

      It’s certainly true that in IPCC AR4 Figure 9.1 it’s most visible in the picture that presents GHG warming, but a couple of the others have the same effect. It’s less visible in them, because they are weaker overall rather than because the hot spot would be specific for GHG warming.

      More importantly the real comparison concerns warming from natural variability rather than any of the other forcings included in Fig. 9.1. It has been widely discussed that there’s nothing GHG specific in the hot spot. In the models the hot spot is a consequence of warmer tropical surface, whatever the reason for that.

      As I have written somewhere before the likely deviation of the models from the actual observations seems to indicate that the models cannot describe correctly enough the horizontal mixing in the atmosphere. It’s not possible to build the models from first principles to describe well large scale turbulence. Thus the deviation would not be of fundamental importance, but would tell something more on the weaknesses of the models.

      • ” Thus the deviation would not be of fundamental importance, but would tell something more on the weaknesses of the models.”

        Funny. Some of us think that the weakness of the models are..of fundamental importance. Demonstrating. as they do, that the modellers don’t understand the climate enough to model it.

      • The modelers cannot produce faultless models, but from that we cannot conclude that they cannot produce useful models.

        Judging the real value of the models is much more difficult than finding some specific errors in them – or form the other side much more difficult than noting that the models got something right.

  49. Peter Lang

    Manacker,

    This is most likely based on the study by Nordhaus or the statement made recently by Bjørn Lomborg:

    Did you mean Richard Tol rather than Nordhaus?

    • [Somehow this ended up in the wrong place, so am reposting]

      Peter Lang

      You are correct. It was the Tol analysis (referred to in the Lomborg quotation), not the one by Nordhaus.

      And, yes, “objective and impartial cost benefit analysis” should be required before taxpayer money is spent on “climate policy actions”.

      If Pekka is right that the benefit (or cost) cannot be quantified, then the action should simply not be undertaken.

      Max

      • Heh, Stern. I’m a little amused with the admission of inability to do cost/benefit. So what was all the fright about? Wasn’t that from a cost/benefit analysis.

        Now that benefits of warming are coming to be seen as net outweighing costs, everybody wants to get dumb.
        =========

      • Would Pekka admit that warmer is better than colder? That warmer sustains more life and more diversity of life? In a coon’s age. Hey, they have opposable digits.
        =============

      • This is key to Pekka’s fright. He accepts cost/benefit analyses when they are horrifying, and won’t contemplate a different reality.
        ============

      • This is just retarded. Our corn field fed the world starting in 1836. It was colder then. Seed technology was primitive: they grew their own seed. They fought weeds by pulling them. They were helpless, other than the cold, against insects. They exported surplus food. They exported a lot of surplus food. They rhode out there on horses to an empty land and they ended up living in mansions full of house servants. They led a fantastically rich life without burning a speck of fossil fuel (not saying we should go back, but people trash the quality of 19th Century life are ignorant).

        On to their immense ag surplus, that’s one of the reasons why New Orleans was built: to ship that colder climate’s ag surplus to a hungry world. That meant there had to a large number of laborers living behind levees in New Orleans. Which meant the economy had to repair a lot of concentrated damage from storms, and so on.

        Now we have these suburban libertarian geniuses who think they would not have done it that way. Lol.

        Kim is like those poor folks who like their heating pads. They slip into the feel good of warmth. Mmm. They like the warmth so much they turn their heating pad to high. Then they fall asleep and they cook themselves. And then they find out well done meat is not easily reversed to the good old days when it was their muscle. Then evil big government regulation strangles the heating pad manufacturers by making them put timers on the pads.

      • I think JCH is catching on to the plot. Read on, MacDuff.
        ========

      • kim said on June 3, 2013 at 5:30 am|
        Would Pekka admit that warmer is better than colder? That warmer sustains more life and more diversity of life? In a coon’s age. Hey, they have opposable digits.
        ===========

        I don’f kmow about Pekka, but Satan thinks warmer is better than colder.

        I’m afraid poor kim is possessed by Satan and has become his mouthpiece.

        If kim could only come to his senses and realize greenhouses are air-conditioned because too much warmer is not life sustaining.

        Too much warmer is worser, not better.

      • Max_OK

        You claim:

        Too much warmer is worser, not better.

        If you’ll pardon the expression, this is all a matter of degree.

        History shows us that past periods of colder weather have generally been harder on humanity due to crop failures, famines, etc. than past periods of warmer weather.

        So far we have seen around 0.7C warming since the modern record started in 1850 and we are doing “jes’ fine” (in fact we are arguably doing much better than we were with the climate back in 1850). During that period CO2 rose from an estimated 280 ppmv to a measured 394 ppmv today.

        Several recent independent studies (at least partly based on actual observations) are showing that the temperature response from doubling CO2 is most likely around half the value previously predicted by models, or around 1.6C.

        Even these studies estimate a very low natural forcing; some studies suggest that this has been a significant cause of past warming. So the 1.6C figure may well be on the high side (as Richard Lindzen, for example, also believes).

        These studies tell us that if CO2 levels were to double from today’s 394 ppmv to 788 ppmv, we could see around 1.6C warming as a result.

        It is highly unlikely that we would reach this CO2 level by the end of this century (a more likely upper limit if no Kyoto-type abatement actions are taken is around 640 ppmv, which would only lead to a theoretical warming of 1.1C).

        Either way, this is obviously not “too much warmer”.

        Finally, GH warming from human CO2 is constrained by the availability of fossil fuels remaining on our planet.

        A WEC 2010 study estimated that we still had enough fossil fuels to last us around 300 years at current usage levels. At projected future levels, these would last us 150-200 years, before they are all consumed (if ever).

        If the WEC estimate is correct, we have used up around 15% of all the fossil fuels that were ever on our planet by 2008, leaving 85% still in place (most estimates are less optimistic on remaining fossil fuels on our planet).

        The first 15% got us from a pre-industrial 280 ppmv to 385 ppmv in 2008, so the remaining 85% could get us to around

        385 + 0.85*(385 – 280) / 0.15 = 980 ppmv (when they are all gone, some day in the far distant future, if ever).

        At the latest estimate of 2xCO2 temperature response, this would get us just above 2.0C, when all fossil fuels have been completely used up.

        Studies have suggested that up to 2C warming the net impact is most likely beneficial, rather than harmful, so there is no reason to worry about ”too much warmer is worser, not better”.

        So don’t worry, Okie. It’s gonna be all right. You don’t have to be scared. Enjoy life and rejoice!

        Max_CH

      • manacker, based on the last 30 years, the land is warming at 4 C per doubling (even today during “the pause”), so I wouldn’t feel so comfortable about that 1.1 degrees you assert when applied to where people actually live. You may look at this 4 C number as a distinct possibility for the path towards the next doubling rather than rule it out entirely.

      • Jim D

        All of a sudden the “globally and annually average land and sea temperature anomaly” used in all past IPCC reports as the indicator of AGW is no longer valid and being replaced by a “land only” indicator.

        Methinks I hear the sound of goalposts being moved.

        (Or perhaps tables being turned?)

        Fuggidaboudit, Jim.

        Max

      • It is only to point out that the warming is still large and occurring in places that are relevant to planning. I would think it is a mistake to overlook this in favor of the global average.

      • Max,

        First they came for the deep sea temps. And I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a denier.

        Then they came for the upper troposphere temps. And I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a denier.

        Then they came for the eastern Antarctic temps And I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a denier.

        Then they came for the sea surface temps. And I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a denier.

        Then they raised my taxes, took away my coal and oil, and crashed the global economy. And there was no one to speak for me because they were all befuddled by decades of CAGW propaganda.

        (With apologies to Pastor Martin Niemoller.)

      • Wearing that tricorn hat a bit too tight there, GaryM?

  50. tempterrain

    Nic Lewis (independent climate science researcher) ???

    If Mr Lewis can make it into the team without any formal qualifications, why not Wagathon? Its just a travesty that he hasn’t been selected IMO.

    I suppose we can assume that they aren’t the same person, can’t we?

    • Heh, that may be something you want to argue about.

      I see Nic Lewis’s name in the middle of a bunch of climate researchers who’ve suddenly found merit closer to 2 degrees C than to 3(or 11) degrees C. What a shocking co-incidence.
      ================

      • What, you mean still within the IPCC range of 2-4.5?????

        Shocking, just shocking.

      • This is exactly what we are talking about, an honest, and mindful, cost/benefit analysis. Pekka knows this but bows out to seek refuge in his ‘settled science’.
        ===========

      • My last comment was not meant to follow you, Michael, but to appear at the bottom. For you, climate sensitivity appears to be approaching a limit from a higher figure.
        ==============

      • Wonder if Judith is re-thinking 0-10 yet??

      • C’mon, Michael, get the narrative to push the number below zero and you can demonize CO2 again.
        ================

      • As corollary, this was the need for a narrative to push sensitivity as high as human imagination could take it. One degree C in the lab isn’t enough to panic the herd, so we get flights of fancy and bellows of agonized fright.

        In any more realistic case, any warming man can do pales in comparison to the 8-10 degree C drop into glaciation. In the unrealistic cases, with high sensitivity, then man has already kept us from an Ice Age, big or little you decide by your pick of the sensitivity that frightens you.
        ==================

      • You don’t get it yet, Michael, but it appears we have lucked into the sweet spot. This is the end of the Holocene; we should have no regrets about releasing sequestered CO2. I often regret it doesn’t seem to have much warming effect, but I take solace in the greening.
        =============

      • Could be 10!!!!!

      • Kim

        I know you’ve seen this graph before

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/08/the-curious-case-of-rising-co2-and-falling-temperatures/

        End of the Holocene? I certainly hope not. If the peak we reached around 2000 was really as good as it has ever got in Britain we might as well all book our tickets to Australia.

        Hopefully the decade long decline is but a blip and we will resume our path back towards the levels of the early 1500’s, parts of the 1300’s, the 9th to 12th centuries, the Roman optimum and other warmer than now i.e 2000 to 2013) times
        tonyb

      • Yep, Tony, I’d prefer it to warm, also.

        Unfortunately, the higher the sensitivity, the colder we would now be without man’s input. So please, you better hope that sensitivity is low, because otherwise we aren’t dodging the iceberg, we are already grinding along it, only making forward progress by the crescendoing CO2 emissions.

        Sorry bout dat.
        =========

      • Further, little reason to truly be sorry, because I believe as you do in the dominance of natural cycles. What I’m sorry about is the disastrous madness of the herd that fear of warming has become.

        As do you, I certainly hope the end of the Holocene is not now, but rather further nigh, and the further the better. However, if the tales of high climate sensitivity are true, then it is apparent that Man has already kept the globe’s temperature from dropping below the heretofore seen lows of the Holocene.

        I have little knowledge, and much faith, but it is fact that low sensitivity and natural dominance frame the best near, medium, and long term future for mankind.
        ==============

      • Oh kim, away with your religious like belief in global cooling.

        Embrace the uncertainty – Hansen could be right!!

      • Steven Mosher

        “What, you mean still within the IPCC range of 2-4.5?????

        Shocking, just shocking.”

        #############

        yes, you’d be surprised the number of idiots who have suggested that people who think that ECS is somewhere between 1 and 3C are denialist.

        Who knew that arguing that ECS was less than 3 was at the same time inside and outside the consensus

      • Moshinger’s cat.

      • Michael

        Just barely.

        (And moving south.)

        Max

    • tempterrain

      Are you the same person as Michael Mann?

      (I know better, so this was a rhetorical question, as I am sure your question was, as well.)

      Max

  51. David Springer

    re; feedbacks and reversing the sign

    A feedback certainly can turn warming into cooling. Take clouds for example:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_feedback

    Many is the hot summer afternoon in Texas I’ve experienced where energy from the sun builds up afternoon thunderstorms which leave the surface cooler than when it started.

    You people are ridiculous sometimes which is another example of a feeback where too much formal education leaves a person stupider than when they started. Happens all the time when dogma enters the classroom and cousin, when it comes to climate science, the dogma is a boomin’.

    • Springer, “A feedback certainly can turn warming into cooling. Take clouds for example:”

      Of course the net impact can change, but you have to remember you are dealing with the slow scientists that thought control theory sounded neat. They defined their vision of the world, set boundaries and within that imaginary world, CO2 will cause a 1 to some higher number increase in temperature. There is no impact due to asymmetry in their world and all you need is averages because clouds are painted on the surface instead of moving around.

      I know it can be frustrating, but they can be fun to watch at this stage of their scientific lives.

    • Yep, David – you see the impact of that “negative feedback” every day in the tropics.

      It is so obvious it hurts.

      Yet the guys jockeying those million dollar climate models apparently couldn’t see it, and programmed in a strongly positive net cloud feedback with warming instead (strong enough to increase the 2xCO2 ECS from 1.9 to 3.2C, according to AR4)..

      Since then, Spencer & Braswell 2007 have shot that down based on CERES satellite observations over the tropics, and so has a revised study by Lindzen & Choi 2011, also using satellite observations.

      A model study by Wyant et al. 2006, using superparameterization to better simulate the behavior of clouds, also arrives at a net negative cloud feedback at all latitudes (in the same order of magnitude as the positive feedback estimated by the IPCC models).

      Correcting the IPCC AR4 mean estimate of 3.2C for the real cloud feedback as opposed to the ASS-U-MEd strongly positive feedback, would put 2xCO2 ECS around 1.0C to 1.5C.

      Max

  52. Climate Change Roundtable
    30 May 2013
    John R. Christy
    The University of Alabama in Huntsville
    Alabama State Climatologist

    http://www.globalwarming.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ChristyJR_130530_McKinley-PDF-of-PPT.pdf

  53. For amusement purposes only, an old documentary explaining how increasing co2 is causing an ice age.

  54. “Will the Arctic ice expand or contract in future? I’ll keep you posted periodically should it continue to expand relative to recent years. If it contracts, I won’t need to let you know – you’ll hear about it in the nightly news and all the morning papers.”

    http://www.thegwpf.org/arctic-sea-ice-continues-expand-silently/

    • Yes, the Arctic ice looks good for this time of the year, but that can change fast. Nevertheless, I expect it to increase when the cooling intesifies (after ~2015).

    • Rob Starkey

      Does this lead Judith to think that this will be likely to result in a colder than average winter in the US

  55. David Wojick

    GWPF has picked a moderate skeptical position focused on uncertainty not physics. The issues are far too complex to resolve in a panel discussion so all that will be shown is that there is a scientific debate, which is GWPF’s basic claim.

    • David, I hope you are wrong. I hope the GWPF can show that the RS has no scientific basis for their stand on CAGW, and the RS will be forced to modify it. I can live in hope, even if I die in despair. I am relying on Nullius in Verba.

      • Steven Mosher

        huh. debate doesnt change the laws of physics

      • Steven, you talk about the laws of physics. The statement by the RS on CAGW has nothing to do with the laws of [hysics. It is merely the opinion of a group of prominent scientists, with no empirical data to support it, so far as I can see. It therefore violates everything the RS was set up to defend, when it was granted a Royal Charter in the 17th century. Hence my illusion to the motto of the RS, Nullius in Verba. I hope, after the discussion with the GWPF, assuming that it takes place, the Fellows who are at the meeting, will realise just how much damage they are doing to the reputaion of the RS, by mainting their current position with respect to CAGW

      • David Springer

        Steven Mosher | June 3, 2013 at 11:18 am |

        “huh. debate doesnt change the laws of physics”

        Correct. Experiment usually does that. And it doesn’t change the laws of physics it reveals them.

        The laws of physics are what they are. The laws of physics aren’t necessarily what we think they are. The laws don’t change but our understanding of them may.

        Write that down.

      • The laws of physics aren’t necessarily what we think they are

        They generally are, or at least close enough.
        The errors we sometimes see come about as a result of our models behaving differently to the physical world – as a result of mis-applying or overlooking one or more physical laws, misunderstanding how the physical world works, or more commonly from human errors such as mistaking a dependent variable for an independent one.

      • David, you write “Experiment usually does that.”

        David, you need to understand what Steven thinks. Steven states that there is no categorical difference between estimates and measurements. So, according to Steven, so far as I understand, the hypothetical estimates of climate sensitivity (guesses IMHO) have the same status for CAGW as actual measurements,. So, according to his ideas, the RS has established with the equivalent of empirtical data that CAGW is beyond discussion.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘David, you need to understand what Steven thinks. Steven states that there is no categorical difference between estimates and measurements. So, according to Steven, so far as I understand, the hypothetical estimates of climate sensitivity (guesses IMHO) have the same status for CAGW as actual measurements,. So, according to his ideas, the RS has established with the equivalent of empirtical data that CAGW is beyond discussion.”

        No they do not have the same status as i have said countless times.
        what matters is the uncertainty in the metric. plainly and simply: the figures we have for climate sensitivity are derived from uncertain measurements. They are consequently very uncertain.

        Second; CAGW is not even a defined scientific position but is a mixture of science and policy that you ascribed to un named people.

        Third: You can discuss anything you like. you can debate anything you like. Nothing the RS or you can say will change that ESC is likely to range between 1C and 6C.

      • Steven Mosher

        David

        What makes you think the laws dont change? The constancy of laws is an assumption.

        write that down.

      • “What makes you think the laws dont change? The constancy of laws is an assumption.”

        The existence of laws is a presumption.

      • Steven, you write “the figures we have for climate sensitivity are derived from uncertain measurements.”

        Once again we disagree. IMHO, there are no measurements in the estimation of climate sensitivity.

      • Sreven, you write “.the figures we have for climate sensitivity are derived from uncertain measurements. They are consequently very uncertain.”
        and
        “Nothing the RS or you can say will change that ESC is likely to range between 1C and 6C.”

        So, estimates of CS are very uncertain, but they are likely between 1C and 6 C. Somehow, I dont think this makes sense. So far as I am concerned, it is complete and utter nonsense.

      • Steven Mosher

        I’ll skip your other points (assume Jim Cripwell will respond), but your second point:

        Second; CAGW is not even a defined scientific position but is a mixture of science and policy that you ascribed to un named people.

        is dead wrong.

        CAGW is very clearly outlined by IPCC in its AR4 report. This clearly outlined premise is what most rational skeptics are questioning. I’ll repeat it again here

        “CAGW” is the IPCC premise that:

        1. human GHGs have been the cause of most of the observed warming since ~1950 [AR4 WGI SPM, p.10]

        2. this reflects a model-predicted 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 3.2°C±0.7°C [AR4 WGI Ch.8, p.633]

        3. this represents a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment from anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the range of 1.8°C to 6.4°C by the end of this century with increase in global sea level of up to 0.59 meters [AR4 WGI SPM, p.13]

        4.resulting in increased severity and/or intensity of heat waves, heavy precipitation events, droughts, tropical cyclones and extreme high sea levels [AR4 WGI SPM, p.8],

        5. with resulting flooding of several coastal cities and regions, crop failures and famines, loss of drinking water for millions from disappearing glaciers, intensification and expansion of wildfires, severe loss of Amazon forests, decline of corals, extinction of fish species, increase in malnutrition, increase in vector borne and diarrheal diseases, etc. [AR4 WGII]

        6. unless world-wide actions are undertaken to dramatically curtail human GHG emissions (principally CO2) [AR4 WGIII]

        That’s “CAGW” as outlined by IPCC in a nutshell.

        And that is the premise, which is being debated (to return to the theme of this post).

        Max

  56. The IPCC’s claims that increases in atmospheric CO2 is responsible for over 90 percent of global warming. But, we now know that about 40 percent of global warming is due to the impact of cosmic rays, not CO2. GCMs do not take account of the fact that the climate changes due to changes in the Earth’s albedo due to the resultant change in low cloud cover. Accordingly, what the IPCC once considered to be the impact of human activity on climate change must now be significantly reduced. Of everyone who knows that, there are still so very many in government-funded academia who won’t admit it; and, that’s a bigger problem because goes way beyond just pushing global warming on a hazy, lazy Western society.

    “We conclude that the contribution to climate change due to the change in galactic cosmic ray intensity is quite significant and needs to be factored into the prediction of global warming and its effect on sea level raise and weather prediction,” Rao, UR. Contribution of changing galactic cosmic ray flux to global warming, Current Science, 100:2 (25-Jan-2011)

  57. Rogelio Escobar

    All of above hand waving cause All evidence to date shows Co2 rise FOLLOWS temperature rise heat up bottle of coca cola and you will see kindy stuff.

  58. Rogelio Escobar

    It may interest this crowd to know that to date NH ice extent seems to have decided to tell the AGW team to go to XXXXX.
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php
    WE all know that if NH ice stays within “normal” this year AGW could be blown apart much sooner than expected…Beware of phone calls to DMI, CT etc by the team for urgent AGW re-adjustments!!! LOL

  59. Gotta quit, got the whole comment bar. I try to quit and then they drag me back in not trying hard enough to quit.
    =========

  60. Has anyone seen kim?

  61. ‘4. Ice core data clearly show carbon dioxide responding to temperature change, rather than preceding them during glaciation and deglaciation episodes’ if she is using this rookie mistake, then anything else she claims has to be doubtful as well!

    The reason for the co2 800 year lag.

    • The biggest positive feedback in the ice age recovery was the albedo, which they don’t mention here. CO2 is only a weak feedback to its own warming effect, and didn’t drive the ice age recovery as much as albedo changes. However, it certainly responded to it by rising 50% which would have added up to a couple of degrees to the warming, but the total warming was 6-10 C. We are lucky that the ice albedo feedback is much slower and weaker now with less glaciated area left to melt.

  62. http://www.np.edu.sg/library/spotlight/interestingfacts/PublishingImages/Global%20Warming.gif

    Singapore – gone but not forgotten

    Back to reality:

    http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Social/IPCC-Santer.htm

    —–
    http://larouchepac.com/node/12823

    “IPCC’s Santer Admits Fraud
    December 18, 2009 • 10:16AM
    Ben Santer, a climate researcher and lead IPCC author of Chapter 8 of the 1995 IPCC Working Group I Report, admitted last night on Jesse Ventura’s Conspiracy Theory national TV show, that he had deleted sections of the IPCC chapter which stated that humans were not responsible for climate change. Accusing Santer of altering opinions in the IPCC report that disagreed with the man-made thesis behind climate change, Lord Monckton told the program, “In comes Santer and re-writes it for them, after the scientists have sent in their finalized draft, and that finalized draft said at five different places, there is no discernable human effect on global temperature — I’ve seen a copy of this — Santer went through, crossed out all of those, and substituted a new conclusion, and this has been the official conclusion ever since.”

    “In response to Monckton, Santer admitted: “Lord Monckton points to deletions from the chapter, and there were deletions from the chapter; to be consistent with the other chapters we dropped the summary at the end.”
    “… Santer was involved in the Climategate email scandal, communicating with other IPCC-affiliated scientists who conspired to “hide the decline” in global warming”

    —–
    http://naturalscience.com/ns/letters/ns_let07.html

    “In the first paragraph of his article Global Warming: Its Happening, Trenberth (1) appears to state that global warming is occurring as a result of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration resulting from such human activities as fossil fuel combustion and deforestation. However, on close examination it will be seen that he has carefully avoided making this specific claim. Moreover the impression given is misleading, for as he later acknowledges:

    “It is one thing to identify changes in climate that deviate from past patterns. But it is much more difficult to demonstrate that such changes are the result of human activity… As a result [of the smallness of human-induced effects and natural climate variability], any anthropogenic signal in the climate record is hard to detect. (Comment in square brackets added by author.)

    “Nevertheless, Trenberth accepts the conclusion of the 1995 Scientific Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC95) (2); namely, that: “The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate,” and by implication, the conclusion that anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are a significant contributor to global warming. However, this was not the view of all scientists who contributed to the draft material used in preparing IPCC95, and it is not the view held today by all scientists in the field. For example, in May 1997, Klaus Hasselmann (3) of the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology, wrote in Science magazine:

    “.”..the inherent statistical uncertainties in the detection of anthropogenic climate change can be expected to subside only gradually in the next few years while the predicted signal is still slowly emerging from the natural climate variability noise” [i.e., the predicted signal has not yet emerged].

    “And in the same month, Richard A. Kerr (4), in a commentary for Science, reported that: etc.”

    ===========

    What debate is worth having?

  63. R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

    Oh where to begin, well point by point on item C:

    C. Matters on which we think the evidence does not support the scientific consensus

    1. There has been no net increase in global temperatures for about 16 years, a period about the same length as the warming period that preceded it.

    Answer: Net increase in global temperatures OF THE TROPOSPHERE is a false-flag argument. Net increase in Earth’s energy system is what should always be considered. Even at that, the past 10 years have been the warmest on instrument record.

    2. Paleo-climate proxies agree that worldwide temperatures were higher and changed faster during other periods of climate change about 1,000, 2,000, 4,000, 8,000 and 12,000 years ago.

    Answer: It is not past warmings that matter as much as each will have its own unique causes. The issue is, how much of the recent warming is anthropogenic and what sensitivity can we expect from a doubling of CO2.

    3. Predictions of increasing humidity and temperature in the tropical troposphere, a key prediction of rapid greenhouse warming, have been falsified by experimental data casting doubt on whether the warming of 1980-2000 was man-made.

    Answer: Nope, they call into the question the model that predicted this.

    4. Ice core data clearly show carbon dioxide responding to temperature change, rather than preceding them during glaciation and deglaciation episodes.

    Answer: Positive feedback processes always occur after the initial forcing.

    5. Satellite evidence confirms that vegetation has increased in density, in natural as well as agricultural ecosystems, probably as a result partly of carbon dioxide increases.

    Answer: This is an area of disagreement? The latest data would seem to confirm this.

    • R Gates

      1) Warmest ten years in the instrumental record? NO!

      The temperature in some areas (climate zones?) have increased, some are static and some are falling

      CET- which is most directly relevant in persuading the British government to halt their insane energy policy before we all go bankrupt-is one of those that are falling-demonstrating the constant fluctuations in our climate.

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/08/the-curious-case-of-rising-co2-and-falling-temperatures/

      I still look forward to hearing how the warming in the oceans managed to leap frog the top 700 metres and make their home in the abyss, which as Trenberth remarks hasn’t been properly analysed. (he missed out the word ‘conveniently’)

      2) If past warmings don’t matter (because they are ‘unique’) why is so much time and effort put in to trying to demonstrate that we are at our warmest ever?

      3) Agree with you that models need to be taken with a pinch of salt.
      tonyb

    • R. Gates

      Let me comment to your comments.

      You comment to Peiser’s point C1 (the currently observed pause in warming):

      the past 10 years have been the warmest on instrument record.

      This has nothing to do with whether it is currently warming, cooling or remaining static.

      If it warmed more in the previous twenty years than it has cooled in the most recent ten years, than the most recent ten years will be the warmest, despite a current cooling trend..

      Plain old arithmetic.

      To Peiser’s point C2 on past periods of similar warming you comment:

      It is not past warmings that matter as much as each will have its own unique causes. The issue is, how much of the recent warming is anthropogenic and what sensitivity can we expect from a doubling of CO2.

      Your point may be valid, but Peiser was simply pointing out that the IPCC AR4 claim of unusual 20th century warming was false. That was this issue here (not what these periods mean in comparison with today’s warming).

      You apparently agree with Peiser’s point C3, namely that the models cited by IPCC predicted a “hot spot” unique to GH warming which did not occur in real life.

      Peiser’s point C4 simply points out that over the long-term ice core record, CO2 lagged temperature rather than the other way around. There is no question that this statement is true. You respond with a rather nebulous suggestion of feedbacks:

      Positive feedback processes always occur after the initial forcing.

      There is no evidence that there were any such “positive feedbacks” following forcing by CO2. In fact, a closer look at the record shows that there were several periods when CO2 was higher than normal and temperature began to fall and periods where CO2 was lower than normal and temperature began to rise.

      It appears that you agree with Peiser’s point C5, namely that higher CO2 concentrations have resulted in increased plant growth globally (as has been shown by recent satellite studies).

      Max

      • “Peiser’s point C4 simply points out that over the long-term ice core record, CO2 lagged temperature rather than the other way around. There is no question that this statement is true.”

        No question? Why not? How can we be sure the ice cores are accurate enough to determine a lag? Can’t we question that?

        Peiser’s point C3 is just wrong.

      • lolwot

        To the ice core record (which was used by Al Gore in AIT to demonstrate CO2 warming causation but actually shows CO2 lagging temperature).

        That’s what the ice core data show (as Peiser correctly states). Take ‘em or leave ‘em. Gates tries to interject a “positive feedback” posit, but the data seem to falsify this suggestion.

        No, lolwot, Peiser’s point C3 is NOT wrong (and your simply declaring it is wrong means nothing). IPCC models predicted a “hot spot” from GH warming, which did bot occur in real life. End of discussion.

        Max

      • Peiser’s point C3 is flat out wrong.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc. | June 3, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Oh where to begin, ..
      Answer: It is not past warmings that matter as much as each will have its own unique causes. The issue is, how much of the recent warming is anthropogenic and what sensitivity can we expect from a doubling of CO2.

      Zilch and zilch.

      Begin here:

      A trace real gas with no heat capacity cannot physically drive global temperatures, it is absurd.

      Absurd.

      Even if it wasn’t heavier than air and so unable to accumulate in the atmosphere, and didn’t comes down to Earth every time it rained..

  64. The small matter of historical climate? A little thing like the abyss? We can check all that out later. Models to do…papers to publish…gotta rush…sorry.

  65. What are we debating:
    There are 3 main levels of the controversy
    1. What do we expect will happen if we keep on using fossil fuels as we now do?
    2. How can we be certain of our answer to #1?
    3. Who can I trust on both these questions?

  66. Lauri Heimonen

    OUT OF THE ‘MUDDLE’

    Judith curry:

    ”What exactly are we debating?”

    As I understand, our main objective is to solve, if anthropogenic CO2 emissions control the global temperature or not. The debate here does not seem to manage to do that. At the same time when anthropogenic share on global warming is being discussed the most important alternative seems to be forgotten: there is no evidence in reality, according to which man-made CO2 emissions could control the global temperature.

    David Wojick; http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/31/rep-lamar-smith-on-climate-change/#comment-328390 :

    ”Indeed Arno, I have made the same point here many times. There appears to be no GHG warming for the last 34 years, strongly suggesting that CS is zero.”

    Arno Arrak:

    ”Absolutely true. I said that in my book too but seeing the main temperature databases almost simultaneously turn around did my heart some good. CS is clearly zero but you can’t get the meaning of it through the thick skulls of warmists. It has probably been zero all along and was kept alive only by misattributing natural warming to the greenhouse effect.”

    The positions of Wojick and Arrak agree even with what Jim Cripwell says: ‘the total climate sensitivity is indistinguishable from zero’.

    I myself have stated that the anthropogenic CO2 control, at the most, only about 4 % of the CO2 content in atmosphere, and according to observations in reality an increase of CO2 content in atmosphere follows warming and not vice versa; look e.g. at comments http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/04/carbon-cycle-questions/#comment-198992 ; and http://judithcurry.com/2013/01/16/hansen-on-the-standstill/#comment-287036 .

  67. Rob Starkey

    What exactly are we debating? Apparently there is no debate. In order for their to be a debate someone 1st has to offer a specific idea that they advocate being implemented. These ideas are “debated” among those entitled to vote or decide the issue. Without specifics the status quo continues.

    What specifically do people who are worried about the issue wish a particular nation to do?

    What would be the specific measurable benefits to those that enact the measure, or what specific lessening of harms would result?

    As an example if someone wishes to implement a fossil fuel tax- how much extra tax do you want added to a gallon of gas? How much do you believe that tax will lower CO2 emissions in the country you want it implemented and what impact would that have on CO2 concentrations overall? What would be different as a result?

    • But…but…but…we don’t have to tell you what we actually want to do. It’s for the children!

      Just let us have the power and shut up.

      Trust us. As aka Gates says, absolute power, in the right hands (ours) is a good thing.

  68. Judy,

    The ‘climate science’ debate boils down to one group of people trying to impose their collective will over everyone else, and really has very little to do with climate or science at all. The ambiguity you are witnessing is a symptom of this. The sense of moral, intellectual and scientific superiority that drives this group can be illustrated by the figure in this linked article by Charles Murray at the American Enterprise Institute, which shows a radical deviation between the self-identified “Intellectual Upper Class” and everyone else since 1968:

    http://www.aei-ideas.org/2009/08/the-white-house-and-the-pauline-kael-syndrome/

    The topic is rather different than what we are used to talking about here, but the basic dynamics of the opposing cultures is the same. One group has deviated so far from all other groups that it feels it has the moral right to impose its will upon everyone else, and now seems willing to manufacture one crisis after another to get its way. Is this a ‘conspiracy’ in the normal sense of the word or a “conspiracy of the like-minded”? hard to say.

    Something is happening with the climate, it may involve CO2 to some degree, but it seems very unlikely at this point that the fear and hype that have been foisted upon us to this point will be fulfilled by mother nature.

    Humanity does need to reform its resource extraction and consumption styles, but that will best work itself our in the domain of societal evolution, free will and free markets of ideas and goods as a whole rather than imposed from above by an elite in academia, the media, and government.

    This is, unfortunately, about as close to the nub of the problem as you can get, in my opinion.

    W^3

    • W^3 said:

      “Humanity does need to reform its resource extraction and consumption styles”

      So W^3 is another one of those progressive types that wants to meddle with industry and people’s lifestyles instead of letting the free-market work its wonders.

      But earlier he said

      “The ‘climate science’ debate boils down to one group of people trying to impose their collective will over everyone else”

      Oh, I see, if it is free-thinking individuals that W^3 disapproves of, then it is bad.

      I get it now — guys like W^3 are hypocrites.

      • WebHubTelescope,

        Ummm… I think you have gotten me almost totally backwards.

        If you think I am somehow in opposition to “free-thinking individuals” then you really have read me incorrectly. I’m all about the free-thinking, right acting, reality apprehending individual. I’m only in opposition to stupid ideas [not even stupid people]. What I said was:

        Humanity does need to reform its resource extraction and consumption styles, but that will best work itself out in the domain of societal evolution, free will, and the free markets of ideas and goods as a whole rather than imposed from above by an elite in academia, the media, and government.

        I see that I made one or two small typos [fixed]. I will rephrase in a way that I hope is a little clearer to you.

        Humanity’s style of resource extraction, allocation and consumption is imperfect, wasteful and often in humane. Evolution is the pattern of organization underlying all existence. At the level of the domain of human society, the work of evolution is best left to human free will, free markets, and right acting human conscience. And, I mean free markets of all kinds – not just post-modern global consumer capitalist markets – because free markets produce more good choices than top down decision making imposed from above by an elite in academia, the media and government. This is especially true when decision making, is returned to the lowest practical level, the level of the individual being best when ever practical.

        There is an article by Frank Van Dun [in English] for .pdf download: “Hobbesian Democracy”, that gives a good algebraic description of the relationship of decision makers to those affected by decisions that supports my basic position:

        http://rothbard.be/artikels/350-bibliografie-van-dun

        It’s pretty great Van Dun’s logic is so sharp he is able to formalizes his logic into a function that calculates a kind of ‘Democracy coefficient’, I programmed it into my HP27S – pretty fun.

        There are of course the proper roles for academia, the media, and government, but as I point out I believe it is a disaster when one group – even when it has in essence good and high values – ‘others’ itself so completely from the rest of society that it feels it has the moral right to impose its will upon everyone else. The tyranny of the high minded is the result. That was what I was criticizing when I wrote:

        The ‘climate science’ debate boils down to one group of people trying to impose their collective will over everyone else.

        Another concept to check out is ‘Social Threefolding':

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_threefolding

        Yes, yes, I know it’s Rudolf Steiner, but if you’re an American and bite your tongue you’ll appreciate the concept of checks and balances that the scheme is based upon, and the best part is that it’s really not an ‘ism’, it’s just the formalization of how healthy societies actually work.

        Have I made myself sufficiently clear to you now?

        Wygart the Witty Wight

  69. RobertInAz

    I think the GWPF will be ably represented by Dr. Lindzen. IMHO, he is the only “hard” scientist they need because his central point is (paraphrased by me): “People, get a grip, we are talking about tiny numbers here.” His point was that in the context of every temperature change that means anything to man (day-night, winter-summer, low altitude-high altitude, holocene optimum maximum-little ice age minimum) the changes seen in the late 20th century are tiny.

    I believe his dogged insistence that we look at the big picture will reveal him to be the giant amongst those who engaged in the debate. Further, I believe his opinion is shared by the vast majority of physical scientists who choose not to engage in the debate in order to avoid harassment.

    The treatment of work by Soon and Baliunas by the CAGW attack squad is indicative of what happened to scientists who express dissenting interpretations of the data. It bordered on the vicious. I see this as a wake up call to the entire scientific community to keep their heads down until the insanity passes. It illustrated that dissenting work will be subjected to microscopic review and vicious comment whilst conforming work will get a pass from the “scientific” community.

  70. RobertInAz

    How about the debate question:
    Should all carbon emissions be taxed at its net present social cost of $80/ton?

    You can simplify the debate by taking out “its net present social cost of ” but the debate would get less interesting as the whole social cost thing does not get debated.

    I am personally in favor of how oil taxes and no coal taxes,

  71. So, Robert – show your work on how you determine this alleged $80/ton. I say it’s BS.

    • RobertInAz

      ” I say it’s BS.”
      I agree and posted to that effect on the thread it was mentioned.. :-)

    • Peter Lang

      Yea. I’ll like to see that too. From memory. Tol reckons its about $5/tonne.

  72. sabretruthtiger

    There will be no net economic negative impact form a rise in temperatures. this is obviously rubbish. It will be a net positive.

    Agriculture and plant life flourishes in warm temperatures, a massive economic gain right there.
    People’s health suffers far less in warmth than in cold, a massive medical cost saving right there.
    Tourism will benefit as beaches and other sights will be more appealing.
    People will use less power and thus have more money to spend.

    Really though, one has to be an outright idiot or a religious shill zealot to still believe in the man made global warming kooky religion when all the evidence is against it.
    I challenge an eco-zealot to come up with ONE piece of evidence of significant man made global warming.

  73. Lady in Red

    The RS and GWPF debate should be televised, like World Cup Soccer. What a contest. (I cringe at the blood of the poor RS folk. …yuck. …sigh.)

    I will force myself to enjoy it.
    …Lady in Red

  74. I don’t see that the GWPF can demand discussion on ” conduct and professional standards” without opening themselves up to the same scrutiny. I don’t get the argument that private, “altruistic” funding has a right to secrecy compared to public funding. Presumably the GWPF is demanding this discussion for the good of us all, that means it’s up to me to decide whether the source of funding to the GWPF is of importance.

  75. Lets see mans contribution is 2% of C02. Is it that 2% that is causing all the flap. Does it mean the natural 98% has no effect?

    What happened when C02 was 10 times higher. How did the earth enter its prolonged ice age.

    What is the correct level of C02? I thought 200 PPM gave us 95% of C02’s warming effect.

    I have been told the science is settled, therefore no debate required.
    Now debate is allowed meaning warmers starting to back pedal.

    Kinda chilly in Europe.

  76. GWPF asserts:

    5. Since 1980 global temperatures have increased at an average rate of about 0.1C per decade. This is significantly slower than forecast by the vast majority of GCMs.

    Really? Where did GWPF pull this number from?

    Some fact checking.

    Global temperature trends since 1980 in Kelvin per decade with 2-sigma intervals (http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php):

    GISTEMP: 0.157 +/-0.049
    NOAA: 0.152+/- 0.044
    HADCRUT4: 0.158+/-0.049
    RSS: 0.131+/-0.075
    UAH: 0.141+/-0.076

  77. If it was easy to decarbonise then there would be not much skepticism. The requirement for taxes makes us look closer at the ragbag of guesses and lies that constitute the AGW argument. I don’t understand how alarmists can combine such boundless pessimism for the global climate with equally boundless optimism over decarbonisation. They never question the former because they believe that the latter is only prevented by “political will”. Only when the nation is bankrupt and blackouts are common will they actually begin to question things it seems.

    • Rob Starkey

      People put their faith is some of the strangest, difficult to rationally defend concepts

  78. Orson Olson

    The debate over GWPF disclosing sources of funding is clearly a political dodge in three important respects. First, none of these scientists have changed their opinions because of GWPF – they were CAGW skeptics before it, not because of it. Second, as “drsanity” has shown, the Left is in the grip of psychotic dysfunctions defenses like diversion – which this question clearly is.

    Third, as Todd Zywicki’s paper on “Bootleggers and Babtists” (GMU law and economics professor) has shown that environmental sponsorships like from governmental authorities are no less influential than private funders: the Left is obsessed with an anti-capitalist agenda, not sustaining the Truth Seeking functions of science.

    Fourth, this is the prime example of the Genetic Fallacy – that the SOURCES of claim that are false in other respects contaminate the current claim. Thus, Newton’s theories of gravity are suspect because he also believed in alchemy; or that the fact that President Wilson was a racist invalidates Progressivism; or that since Hitler was a Nazi invalidates anti-smoking policies which he originated.

    Ergo, Steve Mosher’s support of the insupportable (that GWPFs funding ought to matter to the RS and anyone else) is either politically partisan or else delusionally defensive (ie, imagining differences that don’t matter) – but then I have a buddy who relocated to the SF Bay area, too, and he’s also delusional. Plus ca change.

  79. Judith Curry writes:

    GWPF Background Paper

    Benny Peiser has written a Background Paper that outlines the key areas of agreement and disagreement between the GWPF and the ‘consensus’:

    A. Matters where we agree with the dominant scientific establishment and can quantify the outcome

    Any layman with respect to a scientific field is free to agree or disagree with anything what the scientific experts in the field say. Freedom of opinion. And if the layman likes to write “Background papers” about something, well, it’s his/her hobby. I just wonder why you consider Peiser’s layman opinion as relevant for any discussion about the scientific issues in the field. What is the criterion applied here?

    I don’t see the GWPF and Peiser on equal footing with the ones who actually work and publish in climate science. Why should a climate scientist accept some “Background paper” as basis for a discussion about scientific issues, which was written by someone who doesn’t have the credentials and qualifications, who hasn’t contributed anything to the scientific field? Peiser doesn’t even get basic empirical facts right, as one can see with the false claim about the average rate of the temperature increase since 1980.

    • Curious George

      Some 80 years ago, Hitler had 100 or so German scientists denounce Einstein’s equations as racially-impure and plainly wrong. Einstein’s reply: To prove me wrong, you don’t need 100 scientists. You only need one fact.

      Jan – are you saying that a messenger of the fact is important?

      • The identity of the messenger is only important when the message is contra CAGW. Situational logic.

      • No, the messenger is not important, if the messenger presents facts. Now, the question is how is it established in science that something was a fact. It requires scientific research, applying the scientific method, hypothesis testing, collecting empirial evidence, and let the results of the research be put under scrutiny by the scientific peers by publishing it in the specialist journals of the field using rigorous, logical reasoning.

        Peiser/GWPF has done nothing of this. He doesn’t present facts. He hasn’t contributed anything to finding out what the scientific facts are in climate science. He merely presents layman opinion. So what would qualify him to see him on equal footing with the ones who actually work and publish in the field, in a discussion about the scientific issues?

  80. What are we debating?

    “According to the Brookings Institution, the green energy sector is projected to receive $150 billion of taxpayer money through 2014. Despite annual deficits in excess of $1 trillion, the administration’s budget proposes to make many of these subsidies permanent, believing they are necessary to keep renewables competitive in the energy market and to spur job creation. Opponents contend these subsidies distort energy markets and merely shift the costs for renewables on to taxpayers. The High Noon Debate on Energy will examine the success of energy-related subsidies and the impact of government policy on long term job creation, energy security, and freely-functioning energy markets.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/350262/high-noon-energy-debate-friday-7th-june-charles-c-w-cooke

  81. There are two limitations upon the temperature of a target to which spontaneous radiation can raise that temperature ..

    (a) The temperature of the source of the spontaneous radiation.
    (b) The radiative flux which the target receives from the source.

    The solar radiation received by the Venus surface is only about 10W/m^2 because only about 2.5% of the original TOA insolation gets through the atmosphere. The Venus surface is thus not heated significantly by direct radiated energy from the Sun, and nor is it by radiation from the atmosphere. With only about 2,600W/m^2 of incident radiation at TOA even before reflection, how could the required 16,100W/m^2 of radiative flux at the base of the atmosphere come only from that far smaller incident flux? Energy would be created in the atmosphere.

    Instead, what must happen on Venus, Uranus and other planets, is that some of the thermal energy absorbed in the atmosphere from incident solar radiation is spread out by diffusion and convection over a sloping temperature plane which evolves spontaneously in accord with the process described in the Second Law. This allows heat to “creep” up that thermal plane, because all it is doing Is restoring thermodynamic equilibrium which had been disturbed. The gravitationally-induced thermal gradient in effect traps energy that has been absorbed from the Sun over the life of the planet, and it maintains the temperature of the base of the atmosphere, which temperature then prevents the surface cooling too much at night, and, in the case of Earth, allows the Sun to warm it by day when the radiative flux is of course more than the mean 24 hour value.

  82. It never ceases to amaze me how the funding and supposed vested interest of tiny groups like the GWPF is thought to be an issue, but the vastly bigger and very obvious vested interest of government is not.

    -> Government stands to benefit handsomely from climate alarmism
    -> The state funds alarmist climate alarmism
    -> State funding of climate science is many orders of magnitude everyone else put together

    See the connection?

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