The Civil Heretic

by Judith Curry

In the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the EPA (discussed previously here) included this footnote:

“For views opposing EPA’s, see, e.g., Dawidoff, The Civil Heretic, N. Y. Times Magazine 32 (March 29, 2009). The Court, we caution, endorses no particular view of the complicated issues related to carbon dioxide emissions and climate change.”

A comment by a blog post at globalwarming.org on this reference to the New York Times Magazine article on Dyson:

Now bear in mind that the N.Y.Times article appeared before the Alan Carlin-EPA whistleblower scandal, before ClimateGate, and before the subsequent series of embarrassments regarding the IPCC report (which itself was repeatedly cited by the 5-4 majority in Massachusetts v. EPA).  One can speculate on why, of all the articles available to it, the Court chose to single out this one.  But regardless—I’m glad that all those angered by the Times story two years ago now have reason to get angry all over again.

I hadn’t previously read The Civil Heretic article.  The title caught my interest, so I took a look.  The entire article is well worth reading (even worth reading again, if you read it previously).  Some excerpts:

Lately, however, since coming “out of the closet as far as global warming is concerned,” as Dyson sometimes puts it, there has been noise all around him. Chat rooms, Web threads, editors’ letter boxes and Dyson’s own e-mail queue resonate with a thermal current of invective in which Dyson has discovered himself variously described as “a pompous twit,” “a blowhard,” “a cesspool of misinformation,” “an old coot riding into the sunset” and, perhaps inevitably, “a mad scientist.” Dyson had proposed that whatever inflammations the climate was experiencing might be a good thing because carbon dioxide helps plants of all kinds grow. . .  Dyson’s son, George, a technology historian, says his father’s views have cooled friendships, while many others have concluded that time has cost Dyson something else. There is the suspicion that, at age 85, a great scientist of the 20th century is no longer just far out, he is far gone — out of his beautiful mind.

Among Dyson’s gifts is interpretive clarity, a penetrating ability to grasp the method and significance of what many kinds of scientists do. His thoughts about how science works appear in a series of lucid, elegant books for nonspecialists that have made him a trusted arbiter of ideas ranging far beyond physics. Dyson has written more than a dozen books, including “Origins of Life” (1999), which synthesizes recent discoveries by biologists and geologists into an evaluation of the double-origin hypothesis, the possibility that life began twice; “Disturbing the Universe” (1979) tries among other things to reconcile science and humanity. “Weapons and Hope” (1984) is his meditation on the meaning and danger of nuclear weapons that won a National Book Critics Circle Award. Dyson’s books display such masterly control of complex matters that smart young people read him and want to be scientists; older citizens finish his books and feel smart.

And according to the physicist and former Caltech president Marvin Goldberger, Dyson is himself the living embodiment of that kind of ingenuity. “You point Freeman at a problem and he’ll solve it,” Goldberger says. “He’s extraordinarily powerful.” Dyson seems to see the world as an interdisciplinary set of problems out there for him to evaluate. Climate change is the big scientific issue of our time, so naturally he finds it irresistible. But to Dyson this is really only one more charged conundrum attracting his interest just as nuclear weapons and rural poverty have. That is to say, he is a great problem-solver who is not convinced that climate change is a great problem.

Dyson may be an Obama-loving, Bush-loathing liberal who has spent his life opposing American wars and fighting for the protection of natural resources, but he brooks no ideology and has a withering aversion to scientific consensus. The Nobel physics laureate Steven Weinberg admires Dyson’s physics — he says he thinks the Nobel committee fleeced him by not awarding his work on quantum electrodynamics with the prize — but Weinberg parts ways with his sensibility: “I have the sense that when consensus is forming like ice hardening on a lake, Dyson will do his best to chip at the ice.”

Dyson says he doesn’t want his legacy to be defined by climate change, but his dissension from the orthodoxy of global warming is significant because of his stature and his devotion to the integrity of science. . .  In the words of Avishai Margalit, a philosopher at the Institute for Advanced Study, “He’s a consistent reminder of another possibility.” When Dyson joins the public conversation about climate change by expressing concern about the “enormous gaps in our knowledge, the sparseness of our observations and the superficiality of our theories,” these reservations come from a place of experience. Whatever else he is, Dyson is the good scientist; he asks the hard questions. He could also be a lonely prophet. Or, as he acknowledges, he could be dead wrong.

Climate change is an issue for which Dyson is asking for more evidence, and leading climate scientists are replying by saying if we wait for sufficient proof to satisfy you, it may be too late. . . Beyond the specific points of factual dispute, Dyson has said that it all boils down to “a deeper disagreement about values” between those who think “nature knows best” and that “any gross human disruption of the natural environment is evil,” and “humanists,” like himself, who contend that protecting the existing biosphere is not as important as fighting more repugnant evils like war, poverty and unemployment.

When I asked Sacks what he thought about all this, he said that “a favorite word of Freeman’s about doing science and being creative is the word ‘subversive.’ He feels it’s rather important not only to be not orthodox, but to be subversive, and he’s done that all his life.”

Dyson says it’s only principle that leads him to question global warming: “According to the global-warming people, I say what I say because I’m paid by the oil industry. Of course I’m not, but that’s part of their rhetoric. If you doubt it, you’re a bad person, a tool of the oil or coal industry.” Global warming, he added, “has become a party line.”

What may trouble Dyson most about climate change are the experts. Experts are, he thinks, too often crippled by the conventional wisdom they create, leading to the belief that “they know it all.” The men he most admires tend to be what he calls “amateurs,” inventive spirits of uncredentialed brilliance like Bernhard Schmidt, an eccentric one-armed alcoholic telescope-lens designer; Milton Humason, a janitor at Mount Wilson Observatory in California whose native scientific aptitude was such that he was promoted to staff astronomer; and especially Darwin, who, Dyson says, “was really an amateur and beat the professionals at their own game.”

Climate-change specialists often speak of global warming as a matter of moral conscience. Dyson says he thinks they sound presumptuous. 

Reached by telephone, Hansen sounds annoyed as he says, “There are bigger fish to fry than Freeman Dyson,” who “doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” In an e-mail message, he adds that his own concern about global warming is not based only on models, and that while he respects the “open-mindedness” of Dyson, “if he is going to wander into something with major consequences for humanity and other life on the planet, then he should first do his homework — which he obviously has not done on global warming.”

These days, most of what consumes Dyson is his writing. In a recent article, he addressed the issue of reductionist thinking obliquely, as a question of perspective. Birds, he wrote, “fly high in the air and survey broad vistas.” Frogs like him “live in the mud below and see only the flowers that grow nearby.” Whether the topic is government work, string theory or climate change, Dyson seems opposed to science making enormous gestures. 

Dyson’s reaction to the article

A subsequent interview by Yale360 remarks on the New York Magazine piece.  Some quotes from Dyson:

It was reasonably accurate on details, because they did send a fact-checker. So I was able to correct the worst mistakes. But what I could not correct was the general emphasis of the thing. He had his agenda. Obviously he wanted to write a piece about global warming and I was just the instrument for that, and I am not so much interested in global warming. He portrayed me as sort of obsessed with the subject, which I am definitely not. To me it is a very small part of my life. I don’t claim to be an expert. I never did. I simply find that a lot of these claims that experts are making are absurd. Not that I know better, but I know a few things. My objections to the global warming propaganda are not so much over the technical facts, about which I do not know much, but it’s rather against the way those people behave and the kind of intolerance to criticism that a lot of them have. I think that’s what upsets me.

I think the difference between me and most of the experts is that I think I have a much wider view of the whole subject. I was involved in climate studies seriously about 30 years ago. That’s how I got interested. There was an outfit called the Institute for Energy Analysis at Oak Ridge. I visited Oak Ridge many times, and worked with those people, and I thought they were excellent. And the beauty of it was that it was multi-disciplinary. There were experts not just on hydrodynamics of the atmosphere, which of course is important, but also experts on vegetation, on soil, on trees, and so it was sort of half biological and half physics. And I felt that was a very good balance.

And there you got a very strong feeling for how uncertain the whole business is, that the five reservoirs of carbon all are in close contact — the atmosphere, the upper level of the ocean, the land vegetation, the topsoil, and the fossil fuels. They are all about equal in size. They all interact with each other strongly. So you can’t understand any of them unless you understand all of them. Essentially that was the conclusion. It’s a problem of very complicated ecology, and to isolate the atmosphere and the ocean just as a hydrodynamics problem makes no sense.

Well, both. I mean it’s a fact that they don’t know how to model it. And the question is, how does it happen that they end up believing their models? But I have seen that happen in many fields. You sit in front of a computer screen for 10 years and you start to think of your model as being real. It is also true that the whole livelihood of all these people depends on people being scared. Really, just psychologically, it would be very difficult for them to come out and say, “Don’t worry, there isn’t a problem.” It’s sort of natural, since their whole life depends on it being a problem. I don’t say that they’re dishonest. But I think it’s just a normal human reaction. It’s true of the military also. They always magnify the threat. Not because they are dishonest; they really believe that there is a threat and it is their job to take care of it. I think it’s the same as the climate community, that they do in a way have a tremendous vested interest in the problem being taken more seriously than it is.

JC comments:  Well it doesn’t sound to me like Freeman Dyson is “out of his beautiful mind.”  If the climate establishment cannot convince people like Freeman Dyson of their arguments and assessment, well they shouldn’t be surprised if there is skepticism and backlash about their assessments.

The Civil Heretic raises in my mind the issue of “which experts” should be listened to.   The PNAS article “Expert credibility in climate change” explicitly sought to dismiss the expertise of anyone that had not published at least 20 peer reviewed journal articles of relevance to climate change.  Which was the rationale for dismissing Dyson from the list of credible skeptics on the subject of climate change.

So here is a fundamental question:  Who should evaluate and assess climate science?  Dyson makes a cogent point: Experts are too often crippled by the conventional wisdom they create, leading to the belief that “they know it all.”  A scientist that passes the PNAS climate scientist litmus test of publishing 20 or more papers relevant to climate science may be merely dotting i’s and crossing t’s of an established narrative: a frog, rather than a bird.

Dyson was a member of the JASONs, he made this comment in the heretic article: Often on his mind were proposals submitted by the government to Jason. “Mainly we kill stupid projects,” he says.  The concept of the JASONs is an interesting one.  From the Wikipedia article on the JASONs:

JASON is an independent group of scientists which advises the United States government on matters of science and technology. JASON members all have security clearances, and they include physicists, biologists, chemists, oceanographers, mathematicians, and computer scientists. They are selected for their scientific brilliance, and, over the years, have included eleven Nobel Prize laureates and several dozen members of the United States National Academy of Sciences.

Hence the JASONs provide independent assessments of an area of science, particularly large projects, i.e. the assessment is made by a diverse group of brilliant scientists with no personal interest in the outcome of the assessment.

Something like the JASONs would be very valuable for assessing climate science.   I think Dyson makes a strong case for independent assessment of “big science.”  What goes on in the technical climate blogosphere is also working towards this.

In summary, I find it pretty difficult to dismiss what Dyson has said in this article, and it is not to the credit of people like Jim Hansen that have tried to marginalize him.

And finally, I just spotted this quote on Dyson’s Wikipedia profile page:

Even in the noisiest system, errors can be reliably corrected and accurate information transmitted, provided that the transmission is sufficiently redundant. That is, in a nutshell, how Wikipedia works. … Science is the sum total of a great multitude of mysteries. It is an unending argument between a great multitude of voices. It resembles Wikipedia much more than it resembles the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

459 responses to “The Civil Heretic

  1. “Experts are too often crippled by the conventional wisdom they create, leading to the belief that “they know it all.” “
    Does this mean we should disregard what Dyson Freeman has to say on, say, quantum field theory?

    • It means we shouldn’t ask Dyson to assess what Dyson has to say on quantum field theory.

      • As we prepare to celebrate the 235th anniversary of the birth of our nation, I fear not climate change but those who would use lock-step consensus government “science” of CO2-induced global warming to destroy the very foundation of our great nation.

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel

      • From the Declaration of Independence, adopted in Congress 235 years ago, on July 4th, 1776:

        “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

        “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,”

        “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

        http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

        The next 235 years will be better yet, if we can convince politicians and world leaders that they are far less powerful than the forces of Nature !

        With best wishes,
        Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Apollo Investigator

      • “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

        Except the slaves. But they are free to pursue happiness picking cotton.

      • Nil, hit, head, Judith.

        Though I believe it wouldn’t bear any fruit as the OP’s intention was not to seek truth or knowledge. It was to find some tenuos excuse for the misdoings of the usual culprits.

      • Why not? Is he incapable of giving an honest assessment?

      • Conflict of Interest was on another thread only a few days ago, surely you aren’t going to rehash that so soon.

      • I suspect conflict of interest is over-rated, but perhaps the Next time my doctor gives me a diagnosis, I should ask my barber for an unbiased assessment.

      • Latimer Alder

        No, but the next time your barber tells you what a great haircut he has done for you, you might ask an uninterested party if they agree.

      • Especially if he calls you a denier if you want to look in the mirror.

      • No need to ask anyone. My wife McIntyres my haircuts. And she dosen’t stop there.

      • Latimer Alder

        And if your doctor happens to be called, say, Dr Mikeymann and he diagnoses you with the newly discovered but extremely serious ‘Mikeymann’ disease, observed only in his patients and nowhere else, then you would be well advised to ask for a second, extremely independent, opinion.

      • You are a salesperson’s dream

      • Latimer Alder

        Credulous, ignorant and in awe of anyone who claims to be an expert.

        I am an expert and I have this snake-oil. It will cure all your ills. Send money to PO Box 1, UK, and I promise to send a large bottle back by return.

      • Bad Andrew

        Invoking the Dreaded Doctor Analogy = “I concede”

        Andrew

      • No, but if your novel statistical methods lead you to believe the Antarctic is warming by 0.1 C per decade and you are the only one finding that result, you may want to consult a statistician.

        Or if your prize winning model predicts one thing and the real world data tends to disagree, you may want to consult a group of non-aligned scientists.

        Climate science in breeding limits climate science.

      • Billy Ruff'n

        It was my barber that found the melanoma on my scalp. My dermatologist concurred and it was removed. Truth can be found by anyone willing to seek it.

      • K Scott Denison

        No, but asking a doctor you don’t know might be a good idea. It is called a second opinion. And by the way, you might want to be sure the second opinion is in a different geography than your current one. The single biggest determinant in the US of the quality of care you will receive is where you live. Two of the best areas to seek care are Rochester, MN and Salt Lake City, UT.

      • Latimer Alder

        Hmmm

        Which do you choose?? A bunch of IBMers who produced the award winning and ground breaking AS/400, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?

    • “disregard”? no, but you can question it, and even doubt it if you don’t think its correct.

    • More importantly, Freeman Dyson should not have the right to conspire with like-minded supporters of his theory to have critics papers kept out of journals. And he shouldn’t go on TV or write articles complaining that his critics get 0.1% of the media time and his theory only gets 99.9% and he should complain about his critics getting funding from big xxxx when his theory gets 100x times the funding his critics get.

  2. maksimovich

    In an interesting chapter entitled Engineers Dreams from his book” Infinite in all directions”, Freeman Dyson explains the reasons for the failings of Von Neumann and his team for the prediction and control of Hurricanes.

    Von Neumann’s dream
    “As soon as we have good enough computers we will be able to divide the phenomena of meteorology cleanly into two categories, the stable and the unstable”, The unstable phenomena are those that are which are upset by small disturbances, and the stable phenomena are those that are resilient to small disturbances. All disturbances that are stable we will predict, all processes that are unstable we will control”

    Freeman Dyson page 183.

    What went wrong? Why was Von Neumann’s dream such a total failure. The dream was based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of fluid motions. It is not true that we can divide cleanly fluid motions into those that are predictable and those that are controllable. Nature as usual is more imaginative then we are. There is a large class of classical dynamic systems, including non-linear electrical circuits as well as fluids, which easily fall into a mode of behavior that is described by the word “chaotic” A chaotic motion is generally neither predictable nor controllable. It is unpredictable because a small disturbance will produce exponentially growing perturbation of the motion .It is uncontrollable because small disturbances lead only to other chaotic motions, and not to any stable and predictive alternative.

  3. I found this email exchange a pretty good way to get a feel for Dyson’s views on climate change.

    I love his point that because at various points in the past the “consensus” view on issues was wrong – therefore we should disregard the the predominance of expert opinions and wager on what “heretics” have to say.

    It takes a brilliant mind to come up with logic like that.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/letters-to-a-heretic-an-email-conversation-with-climate-change-sceptic-professor-freeman-dyson-2224912.html

    • and as an example from your link Dyson says “In astronomy this happens all the time, and it is great fun to see new observations that prove the old dogmas wrong.”

    • Thanks for sharing that. For a journalist, Steve Connor was able to run rings around Freeman Dyson getting too deep in technical details for Dyson to keep up. Dyson punted on why he thought heat-trapping gases would not cause warming. I was impressed by Connor more than anything else from this exchange.

      • Amd yet those “heat trapping gasses” have caused no warming for 10 years.

        Dyson was right.

      • He is not right to make an assertion, and then not be able to explain it. It was a complete cop-out when pressed.

      • maksimovich

        Actually he did explain it robustly

        My impression is that the experts are deluded because they have been studying the details of climate models for 30 years and they come to believe the models are real. After 30 years they lose the ability to think outside the models.

        Maybe a second opinion from Vladimir Arnold.

        ….At this point a special technique has been developed in mathematics. This technique, when applied to the real world, is sometimes useful, but can sometimes also lead to self-deception. This technique is called modelling. When constructing a model, the following idealisation is made: certain facts which are only known with a certain degree of probability or with a certain degree of accuracy, are considered to be “absolutely” correct and are accepted as “axioms”. The sense of this “absoluteness” lies precisely in the fact that we allow ourselves to use these “facts” according to the rules of formal logic, in the process declaring as “theorems” all that we can derive from them.

        It is obvious that in any real-life activity it is impossible to wholly rely on such deductions. The reason is at least that the parameters of the studied phenomena are never known absolutely exactly and a small change in parameters (for example, the initial conditions of a process) can totally change the result. Say, for this reason a reliable long-term weather forecast is impossible and will remain impossible, no matter how much we develop computers and devices which record initial conditions.

      • That is not a suitable reply for a scientific debate. He didn’t say why Arrhenius or Callendar’s ideas would be wrong, though I fault Connor for bringing up models first, rather than these basic arguments. That gave Dyson his opening to attack models rather than the ideas. (A science debate is a lot like tennis, picking your shots). Later it becomes clear Dyson’s perspective starts from the idea that the supposed measures do more harm than good, which is completely backwards.

      • maksimovich

        Arrhenius also said life arose from outerspace.His scaling rules for the island problem for species evolution is also an open problem.Ishe correct all of the time or only some of the time

      • His idea on the water vapor feedback to CO2 warming was later refined into the basis of AGW, and he did that without models. We did not get Dyson’s opinion on that, not even whether he is from the Clouds, Oceans, GCRs or Sun clans of skeptics. It was very disappointing, but perhaps he doesn’t believe those either, so it could be just lack of commitment to an idea.

      • I don’t believe he said Arrhenius’ ideas were wrong, he said the models didn’t take into account the entirety of Earth’s subsystems. From the email interview: “The real world is full of things like clouds and vegetation and soil and dust which the models describe very poorly. ”
        From The Heretic article: “Climate models, he says, take into account atmospheric motion and water levels but have no feeling for the chemistry and biology of sky, soil and trees. “The biologists have essentially been pushed aside,” he continues. ”
        From the email interview: “Fourth, the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is strongly coupled with other carbon reservoirs in the biosphere, vegetation and top-soil, which are as large or larger. It is misleading to consider only the atmosphere and ocean, as the climate models do, and ignore the other reservoirs. ”

        I would say Dyson’s reasons are as good a warming predictions from a highly simplified model based on Arrhenius’ ideas.

      • That’s nothing more than an excuse for having opinions, which he cannot support by any evidence. When pressed on the lack of evidence he just assumes that those, who claim to have evidence can be dismissed.

        I have sympathy with many issues that came out in the original article, but Dyson seems to be willing to avoid going to the essential, but difficult part:

        It’s true that the evidence is not perfect, but its equally true that there is a lot of evidence of some value. Now the difficult question that he avoids:

        “What is the balance of this incomplete evidence, and how should we react to that balance?”

        Why doesn’t Dyson really want to say anything on that, but is still willing to say something vague?

      • Pekka, consider what Dyson would have said had the temperature graphs followed Hansen’s Scenario B. He’s not so much being vague as expecting his correspondent to reach his own conclusion.

        It was all a bit ironic, because since he could see that the correspondent lacked the prime qualification of scientists and journalists alike, that is, skepticism, that he wouldn’t get the point.

        And I see certain tribal representatives here don’t get it either.
        =================

      • tempterrain

        No warming for 10 years? On a decadal basis, warming has been consistent for the last 4 decades at least.

        A decade, on a geological timescale isn’t much, and is probably the minimum time period on which we can place any reliance.

        The 00’s were warmer than the 90’s by approximately 0.17degC. Its too early to say how the 10’s will compare and at present there is no evidence to suggest any pause in AGW.

      • http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2001/plot/uah/from:2001/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2001/plot/gistemp/from:2001

        Whats really interesting is what has been cooling and what little has been warming (using RSS)

        -0.40 °C / century: globally
        -1.16 °C / century: tropics
        +0.22 °C / century: North extratropics
        -0.19 °C / century: South extratropics
        +3.83 °C / century: Arctic
        -1.27 °C / century: Antarctica
        -4.84 °C / century: contin. USA
        -0.23 °C / century: North Hemisphere
        -0.58 °C / century: South Hemisphere

        http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/06/rss-amsu-all-cooling-and-warming-trends.html

      • What’s really interesting is how anyone gets ” -0.40 °C / century: globally” from the RSS historical trend. Indeed, it’s more than interesting. It’s FANTASTIC !

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/last:360/trend

      • Bruce, why didn’t you tell me we are playing “truncate the trend.” You cut off all but the last 10 years of the RSS temperature anomalies. I have beat your result by 50% by cutting off all but the last 5 years. Notice how my shorter, but better, trend shows a rise in global temperature.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2006/trend/plot/rss/from:2006

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Bruce, look! Terrifying global warming since 2008!

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2008/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2008

        The point being that neither your trend nor mine is in any way statistically significant. There just isn’t enough data in such a short time period to ascertain what the trend might be.

      • Bruce,

        I win again in our “truncate the trend” game. You are now 2 games down. Notice how my shorter trend shows a rise in global temperature

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2008/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2008

      • Clash of past cooling curves,
        Duels of light sabres.
        Where is the force
        To show me ahead?
        ==========

      • Bruce wrote on July 4, 2011 at 12:16 am |
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2010/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2010

        I win.
        _________
        No, you don’t. I out-truncated you again. You are now 3 behind.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2011/trend/plot/rss/from:2011

      • Nope. I win. 10 years of cooling. 1 year temperature drops that wipe out supposed AGW … and another La Nina is coming and the sun is unnaturally quiet.

        Cool!

        (Actually, Cold!)

      • Bruce, the game is “truncate the trend.” You started by truncating the historical temperature trend, removing all but the last 10 years. I countered by truncating it even more, eventually removing all but the last few months. You seem to lack the skill to truncate farther than the last 10 years.

        I’m not sure, however, you understand what games are about. If we were playing basketball, do you think you would get points for missing the basket?

      • ” If we were playing basketball, do you think you would get points for missing the basket?”

        What you are saying is the AGW side should get points for scoring ZERO baskets for the last 10 years because it scored some nice shots int he previous 10.

        I say Zero is Zero. No pity points for AGW.

      • “at present there is no evidence to suggest any pause in AGW.”

        There is evidence that the estimates of .2C warming per decade might be high. Now, this evidence, the last 10 years of data, is rather slight. That evidence does not suggest that C02 doesn’t warm the planet. It does warm the planet. The estimate of .2C per decade, presently, looks to be a bit on the high side. If you look at the lower sensitivity models, the models that predict less warming, you see a different picture. You see models that comport with the observation.
        When observations dont match predictions you have some choices:

        1. The theory needs to be modified.
        2. the prediction needs to be modified ( fix the models)
        3. the observations are wrong
        4. Shit happens, it’ll warm up soon

        You dont get to ignore the mismatch. but you do have those choices.
        Which do you pick and why.

      • 0.2 C per decade corresponds to 3 C per doubling. It is still within the IPCC range of 2-4.5 C per doubling to have anything down to about 0.13 C per decade at this point in the CO2 growth. Note that the scenarios don’t have linear temperature rise. It increases in rate.

      • You forgot one, steven:

        5. Say whoa! Look at that short term variance!!!1!!!11!!!!11!!! Despite that such a variance does not disprove a long term trend – let’s claim that the whole theory is a farce. GLOBAL COOLING!!!!1!!1!!!!11 And while we’re at it, let’s shout about conspiracies, and :”frauds” to show how it’s all a “hoax” for the purpose of implementing a root and branch transformation into a one-world government.

        But thank god no one would pick that 5th option.

        Oh.

        Wait.

      • Joshua –
        And while we’re at it, let’s shout about conspiracies, and :”frauds” to show how it’s all a “hoax” for the purpose of implementing a root and branch transformation into a one-world government.

        At the signing of the Kyoto protocol it was Jacques Chirac who proclaimed the document as the first step toward world governance. Why do you think I should disbelieve his words? Why should I disbelieve the words of other heads of state who have said similar things? Should I dismiss this? –

        http://www.world-governance.org/spip.php?page=accueil&lang=en

        And why do you think anyone should entertain the concept of the UN being the ruling body of a world governance?

      • Thanks Jim – for showing that there really is a 5th option.

      • And Jim – why start with Chirac? Why not include Truman, Churchill, Woodrow Wilson, and indeed, Ulyses S. Grant into your cabal?

      • Joshua –
        And Jim – why start with Chirac? Why not include Truman, Churchill, Woodrow Wilson, and indeed, Ulyses S. Grant into your cabal?

        What are you afraid of – that world governance will happen – or that it won’t?

        And what’s your answer – other than misdirection, strawmen and ad hom?

      • Steven Mosher

        your choice is?

        You can of course perform meaningful tests of long term trends in the short term. For example, if you thought the long term trend was 2C per century, and your first decade came in at -10 C, you’d be justified in rejecting the null. Short term varience really determines the width of your confidenence intervals and so when you get to 10 years or so you DO have wide intervals BUT if the observations fall outside those intervals, then you have the choices I laid out.

        What you fail to understand is the the current observations do fall outside the short term variance, so your point doesnt really hold. Its BECAUSE they fall outside, that you are faced with a choice.

        So, if you have a bunch of models that have a sensitivity above 3 and other below 3, and the ones below 3 WORK BETTER than the ones above 3, what RATIONAL reason do you have for continuing to believe in those above 3.

        there may be reasons. you havent given them. your belief in them is unwarranted. my belief in models that have a sensitivity of less than 3 ( likeModelE) IS warranted. That is, I can give you reasons that you can independently check.

      • Theoretical point well-taken.

        However, from what I gather, someone like Latif would disagree with your evaluation considering the specifics of the short-term variance vs. long-term trend.

        And option #5 refers, specifically to how some “skeptical un-convinced/deniers” chose to spin the short-term vs. long-term data – at least in Latif’s viewpoint.

        So, as far as I’m concerned, #5 stands as both a theoretical option, and, in fact, one that has been taken by many.

      • Steven Mosher

        Not really, 5 is not an explanation. 5 is an OBSERVATION.

        When we calculate the model mean for the trend estimation that mean comes with a variance. When we calculate the trend for the last 10 years that metric ALSO come with a variance.
        The fact is the short term trend falls OUTSIDE the confidence interval for the trend estimation. (depending on your assumptions about autocorrellation) That is a simple calculation that anyone with a stats back ground can do

        here is an example:

        http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/may-t-anomalies-cooler-than-april/

        That is just math. The calculations can be performed by anybody competent in statistics. What that math shows is that the short term trend falls in a region which would allow us to reject the hypothesis that warming will be .2C per decade.

        That is indisputable. So, the question is which choice do you take. pointing at the short term variance is not a choice. That observation is taken into account when one does the calculations, its a premise.
        1Given that the short term variance is X
        2. Given that the mean trend in observations is Y
        3. Given that the models predicted .2C

        WHAT, do you decide when the observed trend falls outside the 90% or 95% interval?

        1. The theory is wrong ( I dont think so)
        2. Some of the models are wrong ( I’d look here)
        3. The observations are wrong ( worth a look)
        4. Its a fluke, a 5% event happens 5% of the time. shit happens.

        #5 is not an option, it is an observation. The short term variance is calculated, it is applied, and the test says we are rational in rejecting the hypothesis. If, however, we select a different hypothesis, say a warming of .1C, then we dont reject. This is not hard math

      • What I find interesting is that if you download Lubos Motl’s pdf of RSS MSU trends, the continental USA has been cooling every month from July 1993 to Nov 2007 where the numbers get kind of wacky with the extreme rises and drops of the last few years.

        https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=9cd81cfa06ff7718&sc=documents&id=9CD81CFA06FF7718%211090#

      • Dear Bruce, the numbers in this whole table are not month-on-month warming trends, so it is incorrect to say that America “has been cooling every month”.

        The numbers written next to month/year MM/YY are the trends over the interval from MM/YY through May 2011.

        So the right interpretation is that if you choose any interval that begins in any month between July 1993 and November 2007, and if the final month of the interval is May 2011, the continental U.S. trend was negative – cooling.

        So the fact that the U.S. has been cooling in recent 18 years is totally robust in the sense that it doesn’t depend on the initial month.

        There is nothing “wacky” about the numbers if you know what they mean. The trends written next to the recent months are trends evaluated over shorter time intervals, and those of course have a higher noise, so the calculated trends are large trends of a random sign.

        Nothing has been changing about the climate. The numbers written next to the recent months are not higher because they’re about the recent era and climate has gone crazy but because they refer to shorter time intervals. The same effect would appear with any shorter intervals in the past, too.

        The longer intervals one consider, the smaller temperature trend he will get.

        You have clearly misunderstood 100 percent of the table.

      • I used the term “wacky” as a shorthand for the extreme changes in temperature over the last few years where it has gone up over .7C and down .6C in very short periods of time. And I did understand that short term trends in such a short time would result in very large numbers like 147 or -309.

      • Tempterrain

        A decade, on a geological timescale isn’t much, and is probably the minimum time period on which we can place any reliance.

        Neither is a 30-year period (such as IPCC’s much-touted late 20th century warming period) “much”, at least “on a geological timescale”.

        One should look at the entire 150-year HadCRUT record.

        There one sees that the record has an average rate of warming of 0.04C per decade, although there have been distinct 30-year cycles of warming with 30-year cycles of slight cooling in between.

        Statistical analyses have shown that the 150-year temperature record is a “random walk”.

        There is no statistically significant correlation between the temperature record and the record of atmospheric CO2 concentration, which has gone up at pretty much a constant exponential rate since 1958.

        Where there is no robust correlation, the case for causation is weak.

        We need far more data in order to draw any robust conclusions, tempterrain, and (as short as it has been) the current statistical trend of lack of warming is not helping the case for AGW being a major driver of our climate.

        Max

        .

      • Joe Lalonde

        Max,

        There are a great many things science cannot explain.
        The simple solution is then ignore anything that may gain knowledge to a solution.
        One area is the salt coming to the ocean surface.
        Evaporation? No, that would mean massive evaporation and a massive drop in ocean levels.
        This planet rely’s on circular motion. Very much like a centrifuge. But, we also have pressure that exerts on the planets surface and on the atmosphere. Cold air in much denser than warm air. Warm air over period of time expands and exerts on the atmosphere, stretching it. When colder conditions come in, there is less pressure and this has allowed the salt’s density to come to the surface.

        But hey, I’m just a couch chair scientist with no degrees and hence, no claim to a brain.

      • John Carpenter

        I don’t think Dyson would dispute the physics behind GHG theory, do you? He has never spoken about GW as a hoax or a big lie, has he? Would you consider him a ‘denialist’? Rather he speaks of GW as not such a big problem. It appears his bigger problem is with the attitude many climate scientists seem to have wrt to being questioned… that they don’t apparently like it. I would guess he finds that to be un-scientific (that’s my opinion). He also appears to think they have too much confidence in the models of their own creation. He sounds like a lot of ‘skeptics’ that post here, doesn’t he. So does this make him ‘disqualified’ to discuss climate science? I am guessing he is marginalized by the climate establishment because they fear his obvious scientific prowess… one that is well respected and one that is not buying the hype.

      • His answer to the earlier questions indicated he does believe in the greenhouse effect, but he baulks when linking possible observed temperature rises, which he is not sure of, to the increase in CO2 which he acknowledges is happening. At that point it was clear Connor was prepared for getting to the nitty-gritty science but Dyson wasn’t, because no further insight was offered even on alternative hypotheses.

      • John Carpenter

        He has admitted to not knowing the details well…

        “I don’t claim to be an expert. I never did. I simply find that a lot of these claims that experts are making are absurd. Not that I know better, but I know a few things. My objections to the global warming propaganda are not so much over the technical facts, about which I do not know much, but it’s rather against the way those people behave and the kind of intolerance to criticism that a lot of them have. I think that’s what upsets me.”

        I think that sums it up. Conner should not have expected getting to nitty-gritty science with Dyson and this quote covers why. Your not grasping what is irking Dyson about climate science… it’s not so much the science (well maybe the modeling overconfidence) but the posture the scientists seem to take and the level of (over)confidence he sees.

      • His idea that scientists are intolerant to criticism seems not to be founded on fact. Most scientists want to explain why they think the way they do, and are cautious not to make statements they can’t defend from more basic science ideas or data. I would like to know what example he is thinking of when he makes that statement.

      • John Carpenter

        Maybe it has to do with being called “a pompous twit,” “a blowhard,” “a cesspool of misinformation,” “an old coot riding into the sunset” and, perhaps inevitably, “a mad scientist.” by questioning the severity of GW?

      • I doubt a scientist would have responded that way to a well put scientific question. If they came from serious scientists, which I wonder, they would be responses to something he said of a similar nature. It comes down to who started it.

      • John Carpenter and Jim D

        Neither Freeman Dyson nor UK scientist, Nobel Prize winner for Medicine and president of the Royal Society, Sir Paul Nurse, is an expert on climate science.

        But this has not stopped Nurse from making “politically correct” (but scientifically questionable) public proclamations about this topic.

        Unlike Nurse, Dyson has not made the mistake of stumbling over the nitty-gritty, but has rather simply raised a few objections, for example:

        My objections to the global warming propaganda are not so much over the technical facts, about which I do not know much, but it’s rather against the way those people behave and the kind of intolerance to criticism that a lot of them have. I think that’s what upsets me.

        Of course, Dyson is much less of a political animal than Nurse – even though both are distinguished scientists in their fields.

        Max

      • manacker, that statement is in itself political, not scientific, due to his use of the word propaganda and saying it is not about technical data. We have to be able to distinguish political from scientific statements.

      • Jim D, his claims do not refer to “most scientists” in general, but climate scientists, in particular the small crop of climate scientists that form the closely knit network of authors, co-authors, lead-authors and pal-reviewers of climatic studies related one way or another to the IPCC process. Those scientists might be right, for all I know, but it is their reluctance to accept debate, criticism, openness of data, and the like, including interference with journals’ peer review processes, evaluating their own work, trying to suppress contrary publications (or to exclude them from consideration in IPCC reports), which is rattling and suspicious. If every scientific conclusion must be subject to severe scrutiny, the above characteristics of this group suggest the scrutiny must be more severe than usual.

        On the other hand, no less than F. Dyson finds some of the claims “absurd”. He is not a member of the American Enterprise Institute, but a respected scientist without a conservative agenda, and as he modestly says, he “knows a few things”. I do not “believe” what he says (Nullius in Verba, no one taken on his word), but at least one must give him serious consideration.

      • My reply above applies. He should not be basing his scientific opinions on perceived personalities of a minority either, if that is what he means. I think the Connor interview showed he is an agnostic, because he hasn’t taken sides on any alternative hypothesis either. This would be a reasonable view for a scientist without all the information in depth that he needs to take sides.

      • “Rather he speaks of GW as not such a big problem.”

        Certainly it’s not such a big problem for him. He’s almost 90.

      • David L. Hagen

        Jim D
        I find Dyson sticks true to science and the good of mankind:

        The whole point of science is to encourage disagreement and keep an open mind. . . .You give them the party line and discourage them from disagreeing.

        With all due respect, I say good-bye and express the hope that you will one day join the sceptics. Scepticism is as important for a good journalist as it is for a good scientist.

      • I am sure Connor is capable of asking the AGWers good questions too, based on this piece.

      • But will those questions ever be asked ?

      • Highly doubtful!

      • ,blockquote>Steve Connor was able to run rings around Freeman Dyson getting too deep in technical details for Dyson to keep up

        Dyson, although admitting that he doesn’t know “much” on the subject, still knows a lot more than a pompous, upstart journalist. For him to discuss the technical details with Connor would be like trying to discuss quantum mechanics with a three-year-old.

      • On the contrary, I found Connor to totally ignore what Dyson said and simply belabor the orthodox story about CO2 models. Here are some key points Dyson made:

        – It’s far from sure that warming is a bad thing on net.
        – Climate models highly uncertain and have failed to be predictive.
        – The proposed remedies to CO2 emissions are very expensive.

        I challenge anyone to find where Connor acknowledges these parts of the discussion. When Dyson sweeps aside Connor’s initial argument and starts talking sense, Connor reverts to basically jeering at him.

        That exchange reminds me of why I like this blog so much. Unlike a professional journalist, Curry understands the subject and can really talk about it, not just regurgitate things she’s heard about it from elsewhere.

    • Why do Conner and so many others assume there is A skeptic platform? There are many versions of “skeptics” in the debate, but in general reasonable skepticism boils down to uncertainty and over confidence.

      For warming to be unprecedented you have to have confidence in the precedence. There is not much signal in temperature proxies so it is logical to question them. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that is responsible for ,a fraction of the whole greenhouse effect with a fairly large range of estimates. Where CO2 has the strongest impact also happens to be where its impact on surface temperatures is not well understood. If it was well understood, the limited Antarctic warming (cooling?) would not be such a surprise. If you allow for uncertainty in the GTA, warming for the last 100 years that may not be natural is no more than 0.5 C and predominately in the northern hemisphere. I would think “Global Warming” would be less regional.

    • maksimovich

      On the independent front page the weather forecast the projected 24 hr forecast is hi 24c lo 14c the present temperature is 12c suspicions confirmed.

  4. Mike Mangan

    OT, but Andy Revkin has blown out an artery…

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/01/time-for-a-checkup/

    Stop by and wish him well.

  5. “leading climate scientists are replying by saying if we wait for sufficient proof to satisfy you, it may be too late”

    Science “proof” simply isn’t there, but the political need is great. AGW alarmism should be buried. Those with science backgrounds who stand by and say nothing should share in the discrediting, they are perhaps worse than the emotinally driven advocates who have a marginal tie to science itself.

    • AGW is an explanation of observations. Science offers evidence to support explanations, but I doubt science proves explanations, if by “proof” you something that can’t change, such as 2 + 2 = 4.

      Perhaps you mean “science evidence simply isn’t there. If so, I would disagree.

      • At the end of the day there should be a numerical quantity to a concensus, the idiotic “likely” and “very likely” were politcal words to be spun by a political fabrication; the IPCC.

        My “stupid” list of questions confirms it again, warming is a religion that is easily offended. You can’t admit or even estimate the amount of natural co2 tonnage but you have human input compounded to “40% of total” by the worst sort of junk science. You can’t define the sink, the impact of clouds but you’re sure man is responsible for a near majority of co2 based on a government funded hack at Real Climate.

        If you make a quantitative claim you should cough up the numbers that are in fact widely agreed on but are well known to hurt the political drive of the warmist argument. Humans produce very little warming effect by a large margin the concept of compounded co2 is very flawed.

  6. Although the way in which the climate science (consensus) community has ignored and in many ways sought to disparage a man as brilliant as Freeman Dyson is disturbing, far more disturbing is the disgraceful attitude that they have taken towards their own. The treatment of the late Reid Bryson being just one example of how climate science has not only lost site of scientific principles it has shown itself to be without principles at all.

    • The same Reid Bryson who argued “You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide”?

      what do you expect

  7. tempterrain

    Dyson Freeman says “My objections to the global warming propaganda are not so much over the technical facts, about which I do not know much, but it’s rather against the way those people behave and the kind of intolerance to criticism that a lot of them have. I think that’s what upsets me.”

    So, if he doesn’t know much , how can he know it’s wrong? And, furthermore it’s a logical fallacy to suggest that “intolerance of criticism”, even supposing that to be true, has any bearing on the veracity of the case for AGW one way or the other. Richard Dawkins can be extremely vicious in the way he uses his intellect to humiliate many of his Creationist critics in a way I don’t personally approve of.
    It doesn’t mean they are right about the Earth being 6000 years old though.

    • A small minority of “creationist” believe that the Earth is only 6000 years old, but if makes you feel superior believing that the majority of mankind who are “creationist” believe that, go for it.

      If you are secure in your convictions though I suggest you take that attitude into Iran or Saudi Arabia and argue against the “creationist” there, I am sure they would enjoy debating you.

      • I feel superior believing that all creationists believe in nonsense. The young earth ones just believe in slightly more nonsense.

      • But that doesn’t actually make you superior in any way.

      • “If you are secure in your convictions though I suggest you take that attitude into Iran or Saudi Arabia and argue against the “creationist” there”

        Tell you what I’ll do instead. If I am ever near creationists with guns I will pretend I am a creationist, but all the time I will really be utterly convinced creationism is a load of pants. Clever trick huh?

      • That might be smart, but it’s also deceptive and dishonest.

        More to the point, though, I seriously doubt that you could carry it off.

      • @Jerry; What are the probabilities of Creationism occuring on a blog much like Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies. First person to bring Creationism looses.

    • David L. Hagen

      Dawkins can’t rebut the hard facts of accumulating mutations. See Mendel’s Accountant which incorporates all major population/mutation models and gives users full access to test parameters. Consequently Dawkins is reduced to attacking by illogical uncivil rhetoric.

      • See tempterrain your mistake was to assume climate skeptics weren’t also creationists.

      • David L. Hagen

        lolwot
        And your mistake is to mis-interpret statements to assume that they are.

    • tt –
      Not sure what your hangup with Creationists is, but from my POV, it decreases your credibility immensely.

      Jerry advises –

      If you are secure in your convictions though I suggest you take that attitude into Iran or Saudi Arabia and argue against the “creationist” there, I am sure they would enjoy debating you

      But personally, I’d advise against that course of action. It’s hard to argue against a man with a firm belief, a very large, very sharp knife and an AK47 and a willingness to use it. :-)

      You DO realize, I hope, that your views wrt creationism are a local phenomenon? Meaning a strictly European/Western attitude? Buddhist, Moslem, Sikh, Hindu, Voodun, the various Amerind beliefs, etc – are all creationist. And your arguments against creationism are guaranteed to make them disbelieve your arguments about AGW. Or don’t you care?

      • I think tempterrain’s point is that no some of us don’t care. If the criticisms are nonsense, whether it’s denial of evolution or denial of the greenhouse effect, then intolerance of them is fine. To argue with idiots is to waste ones time.

      • Even when that idiot is able and willing to cut your throat over your intolerance?

        Or more to the point in this context, to refuse to believe your AGW arguments or to cooperate in your CO2 mitigation schemes?

        BTW – I’ve seen few skeptics who deny the greenhouse effect. Or did you not realize that?

      • tempterrain

        Are we talking about death threats here? If so, there is just no alternative to total intolerance.

      • No – we’re talking about the previous suggestion that you should hypothetically talk to creationists in, say, Afghanistan.

        Personally, I’ve had the death threats from your side of the fence. But I have no reason to talk a lot about that.

      • tempterrain

        Jim Owen,

        I think we are getting slightly off topic here. My point was that intolerance of criticism, on climate change, or anything else, doesn’t affect the quality of the case as Freeman Dyson seems to imply.

        Maybe I should have avoided Dawkins, and given a different example. Such as that the conventional medicine establishment is very intolerant of criticism on vaccinating children. It still doesn’t mean that children are better off un-vaccinated though.

      • Oh god now you’ve riled up all the anti-vaccination ones too.

        I for one want to know why everyone dismisses the 9/11 truthers. The government pretty much just ignores their criticisms of events that day. I wonder what Dyson thinks about such intolerance of criticism.

      • I for one want to know why everyone dismisses the 9/11 truthers.

        Because their case is such obvious stupidity. And that’s from an engineering POV.

        I wonder what Dyson thinks about such intolerance of criticism.

        Why? You don’t accept his opinion here, why would you accept his opinion about that?

      • “Because their case is such obvious stupidity. And that’s from an engineering POV.”

        Intolerance of criticism shuts off debate – which is, in itself, anti-scientific. More than that, it raises suspicions of wrong-doing and gives the appearance of fraud even if that is not the case. You and your compatriots truly need some training in practical human psychology.

        “I wonder what Dyson thinks about such intolerance of criticism.”

        I’d be interested to see whether he’s a hypocrite.

      • I’d be interested to hear what your take on the climategate emails is. I’d be interested to see whether you’re a hypocrite.

      • tt –
        My point was that intolerance of criticism, on climate change, or anything else, doesn’t affect the quality of the case as Freeman Dyson seems to imply.

        But it does. Intolerance of criticism shuts off debate – which is, in itself, anti-scientific. More than that, it raises suspicions of wrong-doing and gives the appearance of fraud even if that is not the case. You and your compatriots, like lolwot for example, truly need some training in practical human psychology.

        Maybe I should have avoided Dawkins

        Yup – and creationism as well.

      • I prefer to make it clear that some arguments are just too stupid to waste my time on. Not only do I therefore not waste my time, but I also don’t lend false credibility to stupid arguments by “debating” them.

      • Then what are you doing here? :-)

      • Yet you heap scorn on Freeman Dyson for effectively saying the same thing – albeit from the other side of the fence.

      • tempterrain

        Look, however nice we might be to you guys, whatever arguments may be presented, there is no possibility whatsoever that you’d ever go along with any CO2 mitigation schemes and no chance at all of any acceptance of arguments on CO2 being a problem. Its difficult to be polite when people are ranting about Al Gore, the global warming hoax, and the plot by the UN to install a world government.

        Tolerance of that? I don’t think so.

      • tempterrain

        Lolwot,
        Yes, I sometimes tell myself the same thing. That battling it out on these blogs is a waste of time. But, on the other hand, some comments from people like Dyson Freeman, who in many ways I would still respect even though still saying he’s still wrong, shouldn’t be left unanswered and allowed to stand by default.
        There are many lurkers who may wish to see a counter-argument so I don’t entirely agree that you are wasting your time.

      • Freeman Dyson is well known as a christian too.

        I’m sure you will demonize him for that too.

      • tt-
        however nice we might be to you guys

        Nice? Let’s see here – deniers, flat earthers, creationists, anti-vaccinationists, birthers, pro-smoking, a waste of time, stupid – on and on the list goes — you have lots of names for skeptics and use them freely and often.

        there is no possibility whatsoever that you’d ever go along with any CO2 mitigation schemes

        Neither you nor anyone else has shown a reasonable case for mitigation. Your entire argument is based on scaremongering by using science that is too fragile, uncertain and unproved to stand without the lies and deception of things like the Hockey Stick and that revealed by Climategate.

        and no chance at all of any acceptance of arguments on CO2 being a problem.

        Sorry, but that phrase is just dumber than a bgx of rocks. Few, if any, skeptics say that CO2 is NOT a GHG – but there’s also an apparent disconnect between the way it works in a large chaotic system (the atmosphere) and the way it works in the lab. IOW – the science is still young and needs to grow up. As do you.

        Its difficult to be polite when people are ranting about Al Gore,

        Really? Well, he does make himself a target. and IIRC, there are peole on your side of the dance floor who have also taken to ranting about him. With good reason..

        the global warming hoax,

        Yup – as it’s been presented by the media, the enviro organizations – and even some scientists – it IS a hoax. It’s been called that by a number of scientists and it was Aaron Widavsky who proclaimed it “The mother of all environmental scares.” And so it is proving to be.

        and the plot by the UN to install a world government.

        At the signing of the Kyoto protocol it was Jacques Chirac who proclaimed the document as the first step toward world governance. Why do you think I should disbelieve his words? Why should I disbelieve the words of other heads of state who have said similar things? Should I dismiss this? –

        http://www.world-governance.org/spip.php?page=accueil&lang=en

        And why do you think anyone should entertain the concept of the UN being the ruling body of a world governance?

        Your belief that the skeptics are that stupid tell me, at least, what you are. Projection is an interesting phenomenon – and is generally really obvious to anyone with two brain cells that actually connect. Let me know if you ever grow that second brain cell.

      • David L. Hagen

        tt
        You are being (barely) tolerated – but NOT agreed with
        – for exhibiting scientifically unprofessional discourse
        – for rhetorical excess without evidence
        – for ad hominem attacks with no justification etc etc.
        Are you even capable of raising your communication to a civil level let alone scientific level?

    • re: tempterrain 7/2/11 10:35 pm
      “So, if he doesn’t know much , how can he know it’s wrong?”
      The simplest explanation is that a brilliant scientist with a keen intellect and a lot of experience can often take a brief look at a problem and come up with half a dozen theories in a few minutes and rank them for you as to liklihood and explain his reasons.
      It drives some folks crazy.

      Take the temperature record. Near earth temps vary about 10degC every day. The seasons vary by about 35 deg C over the year, broadly speaking. Statistically speaking the temp. record is a random walk with a very short term autocorrelation- tomorrows temps are likely to be close to today’s, but whether higher or lower is pretty much random. Over the last 150 years, starting shortly after the lowest tempertures on record, at the end of the little Ice Age, the global temp. has risen about 0.7 deg C. Although a linear trend is meaningless for random walk data, that is only ~.005 degC per year. That is 0.001% of the yearly fluctuation. That is a very small signal to tease out of a sparse, poorly measured, noisy dataset. Calling that kind of calculation absurd seems pretty reasonable and accurate.

      Or take Dyson’s observation that the climate system has something like 10 major subsystems(sun, earth, atmosphere, 5 major oceans, multiple sinks for CO2) all connected by largely unknown mechanisms and operating in a chaotic manner. Trying to model that numerically is absurd, especially since we have barely touched the science as to how the various parts of the climate system interact.

      Since he worked on climate science back in the 50’s and 60’s and came to the conclusion that the problem was too large and complicated to solve, he has a basis for calling current climate science wrong.

      “the atmosphere, the upper level of the ocean, the land vegetation, the topsoil, and the fossil fuels. They are all about equal in size. They all interact with each other strongly. So you can’t understand any of them unless you understand all of them. Essentially that was the conclusion. It’s a problem of very complicated ecology, and to isolate the atmosphere and the ocean just as a hydrodynamics problem makes no sense.”(Dyson)

  8. I get death threats quite consistently on Physorg.com. Fanatics really hate posts with references.

  9. I am not a contrarian by habit, but I have often been in the position of a heretic. Not intentionally, indeed. I frequently just get curious about how and why some scientific ideas are supposed to be true (or likely to be true), start looking into the matter, and perhaps end up with a heterodox conclusion about the issue. Some other times, I stumble on some empirical anomaly that I suspect may be significant, and found that a case may be made about it actually being significant. Thus I have discovered that heresy is good. Only through heretics does science progress, just as languages grow through people who create and use words and grammatical forms that are not yet included in the accepted dictionaries.

    I have often found instances in which an apparent consensus that I am challenging is not the effect of a malign conspiracy, but just the result of intellectual inertia, lack of curiosity, blind trust on the credentials of others, and (in some cases) a desire of being politically correct and intellectually à la page, as well as a desire to advance one’s career, resulting in a reluctance to pose uncomfortable questions or to venture into possibly dangerous waters, where one may be found oneself challenging the views of one’s betters.

    I do not think there are many cases where resistance to opposite views is a matter of dishonesty, or a result of blind commitment to (and advocacy for) certain political goals, even in matters of high ideological charge and with people strongly committed to some relevant ideological or political positions. What is more often the case is that people do not want to be politically incorrect, and thus do not easily challenge conventional wisdom.

    One of the surprises in the field of climate change, towards which I was driven in recent years by research on other matters (which may be affected by climate change) is the extraordinary number and pervasiveness of cases in which scientists are so committed to a cause (mitigation of climate change by reducing GHG emissions) that they fight strenuously to defend their theories and conclusions, to ignore contrary views, to refuse others the right to look at their data, and to keep criticism at bay at all costs, lest their pet political causes are endangered.

    I have not found this kind of behaviour in other fields of inquiry, either natural or social sciences, even where internecine academic wars are ongoing between rival schools of thought. For instance, nothing of the sort occurred during the bitter fights over systematic zoology, with phenetics confronting cladistics and related debates, studied by David Hull in his delightful and detailed 1988 book Science as Process.

    The “climate wars”of recent years (still ongoing) will be surely worth a long chapter in the analysis and history of science at the turn of the 21st Century, with important lessons about how science should be organized and conducted, especially in matters of great social significance.

  10. David L. Hagen

    Dyson Freeman is brilliant with key insights:

    the whole livelihood of all these people depends on people being scared. . . . it would be very difficult for them to come out and say, “Don’t worry, there isn’t a problem.”

    We need those who will “kick the tires” to test the validity of the proclamations of those who are on the “climate science” gravy train.

    “David Evans is an Australian scientist:

    who was on the carbon gravy train, understands the evidence, was once an alarmist, but am now a skeptic.. . .

    He now writes: Climate models go cold

    The whole idea that carbon dioxide is the main cause of the recent global warming is based on a guess that was proved false by empirical evidence during the 1990s. But the gravy train was too big, with too many jobs, industries, trading profits, political careers, and the possibility of world government and total control riding on the outcome. So rather than admit they were wrong, the governments, and their tame climate scientists, now outrageously maintain the fiction that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant. . . .
    There are now several independent pieces of evidence showing that the earth responds to the warming due to extra carbon dioxide by dampening the warming. Every long-lived natural system behaves this way, counteracting any disturbance. Otherwise the system would be unstable. The climate system is no exception, and now we can prove it.

    But the alarmists say the exact opposite, that the climate system amplifies any warming due to extra carbon dioxide, and is potentially unstable. It is no surprise that their predictions of planetary temperature made in 1988 to the U.S. Congress, and again in 1990, 1995, and 2001, have all proved much higher than reality.

    To restore integrity to climate science, we need funding to thoroughly quantify all natural as well as anthropological causes. The alternate paradigms need to be thoroughly explored to provide the logical foil to evaluate alarmist models.
    e.g. climate is a stable system and thus negative feedbacks must dominate.
    Solar/cosmic rays impact clouds which cause temperature and CO2 feedbacks etc.

    We need more like Dyson Freemans with clear insight, and like David Evans to challenge the gravy train.

    • tempterrain

      The problem with “the gravy train” argument is that, in the main, climate scientists aren’t asking for more funds for their climate research work so they can give the world a more definitive answer to the AGW question in a few years time.

      They are, instead, asking that climate mitigation action be started as soon as possible. The additional funds required won’t be spent on them. The requirements will be quite different, and if scientists like James Hansen have their way, will mean, for example, a much greater investment in nuclear power.

      • Of course they are asking for more money also. A continual process of grant submission underlies an academic research career in the sciences. You don’t hear about these grant submissions, just the press releases.

      • climate scientists aren’t asking for more funds for their climate research work so they can give the world a more definitive answer to the AGW question in a few years time.

        Really?! So I suppose that when he was articulating his “vision” for AR5:

        “the IPCC reports are powerful motivators for research. New research on many of the understanding gaps identified in the AR4 is underway and advancing, with both the scientific community and the world’s governments strongly supportive of a successful next IPCC assessment, the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). ”

        Pachauri was anticipating that such research would be conducted solely out of the goodness of the researchers’ hearts i.e. , no funding required.

      • She really busted your chops on that one TT ! Talk about taking your teeth home in a sack! LOL

    • I agree, Freeman Dyson is a brilliant scientist.

      He is like my research advisor, Paul Kuroda, and Fred Hoyle – always questioning.

      As recently as the last presidential election, I was politically in the same corner as Dyson, “an Obama-loving, Bush-loathing liberal” who opposed American wars and fought for the protection of natural resources.

      We parted ways when the AGW scandal exposed a “behind-the-scenes” association of world leaders and politicians (of both political persuasions) with leaders of the scientific community, working to use science for government propaganda.

      Despite President Eisenhower warning in 1961, public policy is now “captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

      http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ike.htm

      “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.”

      “Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite”.

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel

    • David Evan’s doesn’t understand the subject. From his own words he’s confused feedbacks with instability.

      If anything David Evan’s is an example of why Dyson is wrong: It’s fine for experts to show intolerance of David Evan’s poor criticisms.

      • Stirling English

        Why should I believe a man who can’t use an apostrophe correctly?

        Evans, not Evan’s

      • Why? For one, apostrophe usage is totally freakin’ irrelevant.

      • Latimer Alder

        If the contributor gets the name of the guy he’s complaining about wrong three times in thirty-nine words, it says little about his commitment to accuracy and clear communication. Nor his abilities in those important directions.

        Maybe he’s a climatologist! Ideally qualified…..gets it wrong repeatedly…..

      • David L. Hagen

        lolwot
        re “e.g. climate is a stable system and thus negative feedbacks must dominate.”
        You apparently cannot distinguish between a quotation and a statement, nor did you check by reading Evan’s article which mentions neither feedback nor stable.
        Since you are so upset over feedbacks and instability, please clarify how “negative” feedback is not “stable”
        (contrast “positive” feedback of continually amplifying forcing eg by CO2 warming the ocean and reducing clouds which raises CO2, raises insolation and further reduces clouds).

      • You must of missed where he said:
        “There are now several independent pieces of evidence showing that the earth responds to the warming due to extra carbon dioxide by dampening the warming. Every long-lived natural system behaves this way, counteracting any disturbance. Otherwise the system would be unstable.”

        It’s nonsense. Utter nonsense. Amplification doesn’t mean a system is unstable.

      • lolwot –

        It’s nonsense. Utter nonsense. Amplification doesn’t mean a system is unstable.

        If the feedback is positive (as has been assumed by IPCC), that statement is ignorance. And nonsense.

      • A positive feedback does not make the system unstable unless it’s too strong. Nobody is proposing that the climate feedbacks would be so strong except possibly in case of a “tipping point”, which refers specifically to such a possibility.

      • Pekka –
        True – I was supposed to have said “large positive feedback”.

      • I would call the high end model projections a form of instability due to runaway positive feedbacks. I consider them to be unrealistic and strong evidence that the models are wrong.

      • which models, specifically? the feedbacks are not runaway in any model I have looked at.

      • Jim – I don’t participate in the non-technical threads as much as the technical ones, but I happened to come across this exchange related to comments by David Evans. He strikes me as either ignorant or deliberately untruthful regarding feedback. If you asked IPCC WG1 members about feedback on CO2-mediated warming, the large majority would tell you that the evidence indicates an amplification due to positive feedback – particularly via water vapor and the ice/albedo effect, and probably via cloud feedback as well (although that is more controversial). In other words, the climate will warm more in response to CO2 than from the direct CO2 effect alone, and the amplification may be substantial. What would be unanimous, however, would be their statement that net climate feedback is negative, due to a number of influences but mainly to the Planck Response – the tendency of a warmer object to shed more heat, and a much warmer object to shed much more heat. Simply put, the response to CO2 will be amplified (probably true) but will not be unstable under anything resembling current or near future climate conditions (certainly true). For Evans to imply otherwise is disingenuous at best and dishonest as a serious possibility.

        It’s a problem when these relatively simple and well known principles are distorted by public figures who should know better and then discussed in a non-technical thread. Feedbacks and the related concept of climate sensitivity can’t be adequately addressed in a Supreme Court/Freeman Dyson thread, but have already been discussed thoroughly in past technical threads and will be again in the future.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Fred,

        I was just about to post making the same point. I would suggest people who want to understand this read this article by Ray Pierrehmbert:

        http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/papers/PhysTodayRT2011.pdf

      • It’s a good article. I think it was referenced by Judith Curry as the subject of an earlier post.

      • David L. Hagen

        For a quantitative Line By Line (LBL) radiative modeling including Planck weighting, see results by Ferenc Miskokczi http://miskolczi.webs.com/EGU2011_FM_MZ.pdf

        Greenhouse effect and the 21% increase in CO2 in the last 61 years are uncorrelated. Atmospheric H2O does but CO2 does not correlate with the IR optical depth.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        David,

        You mean the paper debunked here:

        http://scienceofdoom.com/2011/05/28/the-mystery-of-tau-%E2%80%93-miskolczi-part-six-minor-ghgs/

        And five other parts at the same site.

      • The concentric radiating shells model is totally unnecessary for describing the temperature profile of the atmosphere.
        The kinetic theory of gases in a gravitational field and thermodynamics gives the adiabatic lapse rate with no reference to radiation whatsoever.
        Postmas article is a good starting point.
        http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/pdf/Understanding_the_Atmosphere_Effect.pdf

      • To anticipate possible responses – I haven’t polled IPCC members, but I’m pretty sure how most would answer about amplification and even surer how they would answer about the ultimate ability of the Planck Response to maintain climate stability despite amplification. (Sometimes the Planck Response is not designated a feedback, but that semantic point doesn’t change what it does).

      • For the feedback including Plank response, i.e. for the feedback from forcing to forcing any positive value would lead to instability.

      • David L. Hagen

        I heartily endorse the Planck Response (radiation) as increasing radiation loss “faster” (T^4) than the logarithmic temperature rise from CO2, thus ensuring climate stability, even assuming related water vapor amplification.

        Besides we have evidence of tropical conditions at the poles, and ice near the equator, and have recovered from both.

        Furthermore, I hear that Al Gore is buying ocean side property. The Gores

        “used about 191,000 kilowatt hours in 2006, according to bills reviewed by The Associated Press spanning the period from Feb. 3, 2006, to Jan. 5. That is far more than the typical Nashville household, which uses about 15,600 kilowatt-hours per year.”

        So why the panic? Don’t actions speak louder than words?

        Now if we could quantitatively figure out if solar warming causes CO2 increase, or if CO2 increase causes warming, (or how much we actually have of each), we might be on easy street. Especially if we could figure out clouds!

        Speaking of “consensus”, Prof Robert (Bob) Carter’s
        Climate: the Counter Consensus
        was available in New Zealand in May, Australia in June, and in North America in July 2011.

        “An important book which convincingly refutes Al Gore’s declaration that ‘the time for debate is over’” – President Vaclav Klaus (Czech Republic)

        Let the debate begin!

      • Besides we have evidence of tropical conditions at the poles, and ice near the equator, and have recovered from both.

        The earth has also recovered from giant asteroid impacts that liberated millions of megatons of energy and triggered the equivalent of a nuclear winter.

        The earth has recovered from a massive release of toxic gas from the oceans that exterminated most animal species.

        What life on earth in general can survive (sometimes taking millions of years to recover) and what our civilization can survive or would want to inflict on itself have little to do with one another.

      • David L. Hagen

        Robert
        “what our civilization can survive or would want to inflict on itself have little to do with one another.”

        Speaking of “inflict”on us, the EPA seeks to impose a cost of $1,900 trillion per 1 deg C control of global temperature.
        That is a bit rich compared to the benefits of $75 billion for all major humanitarian projects. See Copenhagen Consensus 2008.

        Could you please explain the logic and ethics behind taking the pittance from the poor to bury it in the biggest black hole every conceived by bureaucracy?
        How are you going to explain that to the Supreme Judge?

      • Fred,
        I think that your comment that the sign of the net climate feedback is agreed as negative may be misleading, because the concept “net climate feedback” is not intuitively clear and well defined.

        The feedback that is unanimously stated as negative is the feedback for the process from forcing to forcing. In other words the forcing that remains after the atmosphere has warmed is smaller than the forcing that initiated the warming.

        The feedback of the process from forcing to forcing is, however, only one way of defining “climate feedback”. The more commonly thought definition is for the process from forcing to surface temperature, where the no-feedback warming is that imaginary warming, which corresponds to the initial forcing in absence of any other changes in the atmosphere than the increase of CO2 and an essentially uniform warming. The feedback based on this definition is the one that might be negative, but is expected to be clearly positive by the main stream scientists.

      • ” In other words the forcing that remains after the atmosphere has warmed is smaller than the forcing that initiated the warming”

        Pekka – I don’t think an extended discussion of semantics is necessary in this non-technical thread, but your definition of forcing differs from the conventional one, which considers a forcing to be an imposed perturbation of the radiative balance rather than a change in the balance in response to the subsequent temperature change, which would be a feedback. In that sense, a climate response will reduce the radiative imbalance, but not the forcing, which remains constant unless the perturbation itself changes (e.g., a further increase in CO2 or solar irradiance). Under certain circumstances, the distinction blurs, but I think it is fairly clear in reference to anthropogenic CO2 emissions and the short term climate responses they invoke.

        I mentioned that the Planck Response is not always referred to as a feedback, but it often is (e.g., see for example Table 1 of Soden and Held 2006. Including it as a feedback seems simpler to me than putting it into a separate category, particularly when climate stability is an issue, but that is a matter of semantics. I think we agree on what actually happens, which is the more important part.

      • I may have been inaccurate in terminology. I should have used imbalance in place of forcing.

        In any case the discussion gets misleading when the outcome is the imbalance after warming as that has only two alternatives for the equilibrium: Either the imbalance disappears totally, i.e. the feedback is exactly -1, or the system is unstable. That is not a good basis for discussing feedbacks and that’s not either the way feedbacks are usually thought of.

        The only real well defined process is the one from forcing to temperature change (and even that requires that some unrealistic assumptions about the temporal development of the forcing are true). The forcing can be combined with changes in various components of the imbalance in an useful way. This leads to commonly used formulas, but all these extra components are theoretical concepts that are not directly observable.

        The process that really can be called feedback determines the climate sensitivity. It follows the steps

        forcing (and related imbalance) -> temperature change -> modification of the imbalance -> new value of temperature change -> etc. forever.

        This is the feedback loop written as infinite sequence in absence of graphical tools to draw the loop.

        In this definition the limit of stability is +1 for the feedback as is customary in other applications of the concept.

      • I seriously doubt that Evans is either dishonest or ignorant. He is merely suggesting that a damping mechanism is the most likely explanation for the fact that CO2 has risen while temperature has not, or not in a way that is consistent with GHG warming. For example, according to UAH the only warming is a step up during the 1998-2001 ENSO cycle.

        And of course amplification is falsified in the process, according to this hypothesis. It makes sense to me, as a hypothesis that is. Trying to refute this hypothesis by merely invoking AGW is fallacious at best.

      • David L. Hagen

        Fred Moolten
        Re: “Evans . . strikes me as either ignorant or deliberately untruthful regarding feedback.” That is a very serious charge for which you gave no evidence.

        When you neither have nor cite evidence of being “deliberately untruthful” please desist from such ad hominem attacks of saying he is “deliberately untruthful”. Your statement directly undermines the scientific method and harms the foundations of civil society.

        Please rise to professional civil scientific discourse.

      • David – I should simply have said that Evans makes statements that are well known to be false. If he didn’t know them to be false, I think he should have known it. What is unfortunate is that his false claims are part of an attack on aspects of climate science that are outside the realm of controversy and by implication, an attack on the integrity and honesty of scientists responsible for our current understanding. He is quoted as saying, “But the gravy train was too big, with too many jobs, industries, trading profits, political careers, and the possibility of world government and total control riding on the outcome. So rather than admit they were wrong, the governments, and their tame climate scientists, now outrageously maintain the fiction that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant. . . .”

        I allowed for the possibility that his scientific errors are due to ignorance on his part rather than dishonesty, and maybe I should have left it at that. However, considering his assault on the character of others, it’s fair to point out that if his statements are attributable to dishonesty, they are quite reprehensible.

      • David L. Hagen

        Fred
        Acknowledged. Please read Evans’ original article. I find his popular summary of climate science to be accurate:

        . . .Every bit of carbon dioxide that we emit warms the planet. . .The climate models amplify the carbon dioxide warming by a factor of three — so two-thirds of their projected warming is due to extra moist air (and other factors); only one-third is due to extra carbon dioxide.
        That’s the core of the issue. . . .
        During the warming of the late 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, the weather balloons found no hot spot . . .
        But official climate science ignored the crucial weather balloon evidence, . . . clung to their carbon dioxide theory — that just happens to keep them in well-paying jobs with lavish research grants, and gives great political power to their government masters. . . .
        since 2001 the global temperature has levelled off.. . .
        the Pacific Decadal Oscillation causes alternating global warming and cooling for 25 to 30 years at a go in each direction.

        In some places Evans could be interpreted as overstating his case between passive BAU vs active breach of the scientific method. However, he raises the critical “gravy train” problem, having ridden it himself.
        Pielke Sr. highlights climate science’s corrosive grant feedback bias in: Candid Discussion Of The Grant Review Process By Gavin Schmidt At Real Climate

      • Fred,
        I responded to this post in the main body of the text. See Paul_K | July 4, 2011 at 7:20 am and immediately preceding post.
        Paul

      • David L. Hagen

        Bryan
        Postmas is necessary but insufficient. Including radiation is essential. For a quantitative thermodynamical calculation of the atmospheric lapse rate, see:
        Prediction of the Standard Atmosphere Profiles of Temperature, Pressure, and Density with Height for the Lower Atmosphere by Solution of the (S−S) Integral Equations of Transfer and Evaluation of the Potential for Profile Perturbation by Combustion Emissions Robert H. Essenhigh
        Energy Fuels, 2006, 20 (3), 1057-1067 • DOI: 10.1021/ef050276y

        The analytical procedure adopts the standard assumptions commonly used for numerical solutions of steady state, one dimensionality, constant flux directional parameter (í), and a gray-body equivalent average for the effective radiation absorption coefficient, k, for the mixed thermal radiation-active gases at an effective (jointmixture) concentration, p. . . . Allowing also for the maximum absorption percentages, R°, of these two bands for
        the two gases, respectively, 39% for water and 8.5% for CO2,. . .

      • David L. Hagen

        Thanks for the reply.
        Your source is behind a pay wall.

        The dry adiabatic lapse rate of – g/Cp is derived without reference to radiation.
        Postma and several other sources have this simple derivation.
        It forms the skeleton as it were of the temperature profile of the troposphere.

        It is modified by humidity largely to get the current lapse rate.
        http://rst.gsfc.nasa.gov/Sect14/Sect14_1b.html.
        But even in this educational exposition, radiation is not mentioned.
        The stress is on the effect latent heat has to restrain convection.
        I have no doubt that the radiative effects of CO2 and H2O will have SOME effect.
        The surprising thing is, how small this effect is, almost like a final fine tune of the system.

        In the paper below G&T go well beyond the simple derivation of the dry adiabatic lapse rate, but even here radiation is not mentioned.
        http://arxiv.org/abs/1003.1508v2

      • Everybody agrees that the derivation of adiabatic lapse rate does not involve radiation.

        Radiation is, however, involved indirectly, because maintaining adiabatic lapse rate requires heating from the bottom and cooling from the top. This indirect involvement is seldom stated explicitly, but the need for that can be deduced from the energy flows. A calculation of the altitude of tropopause is an example of calculation, where the radiation cannot be avoided.

      • David L. Hagen

        Bryan
        Note the impact of radiation:

        a linear decline of the fourth power of the temperature, T4, with pressure, P, and, at a first approximation, a linear decline of T with altitude, h, up to the tropopause at about 10 km (the lower atmosphere).

        Furthermore, Essenhigh finds different profiles with altitude for density versus pressure.
        Suggest contacting Essenhigh at OSU for a copy.

      • David and Pekka

        My original post here was a comment on an article by Pierrehumbert who explains the Earths atmospheres temperature profile by means of concentric radiating shells.
        I fully accept the role of radiation as the means of cooling the Earth by emission of long wavelength radiation.
        This is done at an average effective radiating altitude of 5Km
        However this in no way resembles the Pierrehumbert model.

      • David L. Hagen

        Bryan
        Postmas’s argument is necessary but insufficient. Including radiation is essential. For a quantitative thermodynamical calculation of the atmospheric lapse rate, see Essenhigh:
        Prediction of the Standard Atmosphere Profiles of Temperature, Pressure, and Density with Height for the Lower Atmosphere by Solution of the (S−S) Integral Equations of Transfer and Evaluation of the Potential for Profile Perturbation by Combustion Emissions Robert H. Essenhigh
        Energy Fuels, 2006, 20 (3), 1057-1067 • DOI: 10.1021/ef050276y

        The analytical procedure adopts the standard assumptions commonly used for numerical solutions of steady state, one dimensionality, constant flux directional parameter (í), and a gray-body equivalent average for the effective radiation absorption coefficient, k, for the mixed thermal radiation-active gases at an effective (jointmixture) concentration, p. . . . Allowing also for the maximum absorption percentages, R°, of these two bands for
        the two gases, respectively, 39% for water and 8.5% for CO2,. . .

      • Such highly technical material from the same guy that thinks a few mm of ocean height will substantially increase the destruction caused when a hurricane comes ashore. Not that several feet of tide height and the time that the storm hits might matter at all. Even Pekka was dumbfounded. I guess we all make simple mistakes, don’t we?

        And us “deniers are supposed to be the dumb ones. Makes you want to scream.

    • David evans
      “The official thermometers are often located in the warm exhaust of air conditioning outlets, over hot tarmac at airports where they get blasts of hot air from jet engines, at waste-water plants where they get warmth from decomposing sewage, or in hot cities choked with cars and buildings. Global warming is measured in 10ths of a degree, so any extra heating nudge is important. In the United States, nearly 90% of official thermometers surveyed by volunteers violate official siting requirements that they not be too close to an artificial heating source.”

      Apparently didn’t read the papers looking to find any contamination in Tmean from siting bias. There is no bias to Tmean. Surely you read Anthony’s paper.

      • steven mosher

        One does not have to read papers about Tmean contamination to know that locating a thermometer next to an AC exhaust will cause a warming bias.

        Max

        .

      • Max, it will cause a warming bias in the temperature but need not cause a warming bias in the anomalies for that thermometer. That is, if the AC runs relatively uniformly from year to year. That is the point of using anomalies. The thermometer does not have to be accurate, only the changes have to be accurate. So what matters is if the AC, or other heat sources, are added during the period of record. Their mere presence need cause no bias in the anomalies.

      • Not quite. For example, and as I pointed out on another thread, AC use tends to increase in warmer weather, which will tend to act as a ‘positive feedback’ to the average temperature recorded

      • Bad Andrew

        And an AC that is left on most of the time during the summer is going to make some heat regardless of the changes in the actual temp of the area, up or down. Masking the changes, so to speak.

        Andrew

      • Most modern AC units have thermostatic control

      • Bad Andrew

        Yeah, but my AC responds based on the temp I set it to, which could change from time to time.

        Andrew

      • Also, how can we be sure that all additions of heat sources and other site changes are adequately recorded and compensated for?

      • Actually, its more complicated than you think.
        1. the AC unit has to be close enough for the exhaust air to actually warm the air near the sensor.
        2. The sensor records MAX and Min. Max using occurs during the heat of the day. Min occurs typically very early in the morning.
        3. In many situations, AC does not turn on until AFTER TMAX has already been reached.
        4. the exhaust air must raise the temperature ABOVE Tmax.
        5. It has to be hot enough for the AC to be engaged.

        What this leads to is a series of conditions that are very hard to meet. On the surface it looks like AC would be a problem, but all the conditions have to be right for the effect to actually contaminate the record.

        In any case, the theory , that the contamination would be large and widespread was TESTED. That test shows that the effect is either too small or too infrequent to MATTER.

        In was a good project. I supported it from the beginning. ( even with an FOIA). But the data is in. Those of us who thought the effect would be small to tiny ( < .1C) are SUPPORTED by the results. Those who thought the effect would be huge, are stuck with data that disconfirms their belief.

        The religious often keep their beliefs in the face of contrary evidence.

      • Bad Andrew

        “AC does not turn on until AFTER TMAX has already been reached.”
        This doesn’t make sense. AC could be running alot before the max ever gets reached.

        Links to the test?

        Andrew

      • That’s not what he said. He said in “many situations.”

        “In many situations, AC does not turn on until AFTER TMAX has already been reached.”

        I think that’s my situation. I have a well insulated house.

      • yes, he doesnt read too carefully. The point is that far too many skeptics looked at a picture of an AC unit and Assumed that
        1. It was actually hooked up and being used
        2. it was being used at the right time to infect the record
        3. it was close enough to the thermometer to infect it ( forgetting
        how quickly heat diffuses )
        4. That the number of days this happened was large enough to have an
        effect on a monthly record

        I find it funny that people who claim to be skeptics are not skeptical about their own beliefs. Funny when I first saw the AC units I thought the same thing. Then I forced myself to think through the actual physics.
        1. it has to be On! when is it on? is it always on? sometimes on?
        on at the right time? when is the time it will infect the record?
        can we be SURE just by looking at the picture that it is on at the right
        time?
        2. what’s the temperature of the air that gets exhausted??
        whats the temperature inside the building where the exhaust comes
        from? what the temp outside the building. How often is the exhaust
        at a higher temp than the outside?
        3. How close is the unit? is the wind blowing? which way? how quickly
        does the heat exhausted dissapate? where does it go? up?

        All good questions. And those questions should make us SKEPTICAL of the THESIS that AC units MUST OF NECESSITY infect the record.

        Funny that he doesnt know about shifting peak loads by changing construction

        http://www.schundler.com/shifting.htm

      • Out of the billions spent promoting AGW, has their been any experiments done on MMTS or other weather stations near and A/C unit and building compared to ones properly sited?

      • The testing of the theory was done in Anthony Watts paper.
        Well sited stations were compared to poorly sited.
        No difference in Tmean was found. Theory tested, data did not confirm.

        With regards to when Ac units ‘come on’.

        Have a look at peak load charts for power plants. “typically” 2-3 hours
        after the peak outside temperature, depending upon construction.

        the point is this. To infect the record they have to come on At the right time and put out the right amount of heat. It’s possible they may, in certain cases, but its not certain. So you’re skepticism should be directed at the theory which says they MUST infect the record.

      • Was the testing done on the same site with calibrated MMTS sensors?

        Because even the MMTS is out by a huge amount depending on weather it is breezy or not.

        “All non-aspirated systems (MMTS, Gill,
        CRS, and NON-ES) show that air temperature
        biases exponentially increase with the decrease of
        ambient wind speed and give rise to parabolical
        cross sections in the direction of solar radiation. The
        air temperature biases under the snow covered
        ground are almost double compared to the grass
        cover during summer time because of the higher
        solar reflectivity (0.85 to 0.95). It is apparent that the
        combination of high solar radiation, low wind speed,
        and high solar reflectivity is a worst case, whereas
        the combination of low solar radiation, high ambient
        wind speed, and low surface solar reflectivity is the
        best case.”

        http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/40073.pdf

        Maybe the sites with a breeze blowing at the MMTS from an a/c unit is the least biased?

      • How about this ACTUAL test? .25C

        “At Asheville, the ASOS station is located at the Asheville Regional
        Airport, about 1.5-mile from the CRN station located at the North Carolina State Horticultural Crops Reservation Center.”

        “At the Asheville site, the effect of siting difference
        between the ASOS and CRN led to a ΔTlocal effect of
        about 0.25o C, much larger than the ΔTshield effect (about
        -0.1o C). This local warming effect, caused by the heat
        from the airport runway and parking lots next to the
        ASOS site, was found to be strongly modulated by
        wind direction, solar radiation, and cloud type and
        height. Siting effect can vary with different locations
        and regions as well. This term, undoubtedly, needs to
        be taken into account in the bias analysis if two
        instruments of interest are separated by a significant
        distance.”

        http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/71791.pdf

      • That’s a good paper which I pointed out back in 2007 when discussing this issue on RC and WUWT.

        If you read the words carefully and look at the data you will see the issue.

        1. This is a single site.
        2. A study of airports in Japan ( forthcoming) shows a NEGATIVE Bias.
        3. the effect is MODULATED by local conditions.

        What does number 3 mean? It means that SOMEDAYS you see this effect and SOMEDAYS you dont. If you saw it 100% of the time, then the infection would be .25C. But you dont see it every day. you see it based on conditions.. the actual weather, clouds, wind rain etc.

        At a windspeed in excess of 7m/sec all these mirco effects ( and UHI) become vanishingly small because of turbluent mixing.

        So again. These effects are REAL. we see them in INDIVIDUAL cases. The effects are MODULATED by the various mitigating factors. the OVERALL effect, the effect when summed over ALL CONDITIONS and long periods of time is vanishingly SMALL. real, but small.
        IF it was larger, if it happened every day at every airport, Then you could see it easily by comparing All airports to non airports. BUT, when you do that comparison, you see no significant difference. Why? because the effect is small, the effect is infrequent, and SOMETIMES the effect goes in the other direction ( changes in the heat capacity of runway material, clearing of obstructions which increase the fetch and change the boundary layer)

      • 7 m/s is 15 mph.

        Average Asheville wind speed: 5.5 to 9.2

        http://www.erpelding.com/E&A-Weather-Asheville.pdf

        I would suggest the micro effects would occur a lot of the time.

      • From the papers I read MMTS sensors are hopelessly biased unless the wind is blowing a lot.

        If the biases average out then there is something wrong with the data being supplied. Every MMTS site is biased. That cannot result in good data.

      • the AC unit has to be close enough for the exhaust air to actually warm the air near the sensor.

        Probably not as rare an occurrence as you’re implying, especially as it only has to warm the air by a fraction of a degree

        In many situations, AC does not turn on until AFTER TMAX has already been reached.

        How can you be so sure of that?

        the exhaust air must raise the temperature ABOVE Tmax.

        Have you ever felt how hot an AC exhaust can get – particularly on a hot day?

        It has to be hot enough for the AC to be engaged.

        What makes you think that isn’t commonplace, especially in summer?

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting the effect is large, but you seem to be discounting it altogether.

      • Mosher, are there any actual experiments comparing one MMTS with an A/C unit and one without?

        With all the billions available, surely its been done a few times?

      • “This study has established that there are significant differences in temperature trends between weather stations sited at urban, agricultural, and low impact locations. In addition, it has been shown that urban stations exhibit significantly higher trends, which are created by numerous urban factors that are not related to global CO2 levels. Evidence has also been provided that agricultural locations experience a warming trend related to increases in humidity. Given that both urban and agricultural environments likely have warming trend factors that are unrelated to CO2 based warming, it makes sense that to get a more accurate determination of CO2 based global warming, station observations from low impact locations need to be given much greater weight. Currently that is not the case since the vast majority of weather observations originate at airports, which by design are near urban areas.”

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/04/an-investigation-of-ushcn-station-siting-issues-using-a-cleaned-dataset/

      • Unfortunately the author of that study has not published his code or his data. he took lessons from Mann and Jones.

        There is a UHI effect. It’s not very big. It it was big, it would be detectable by merely comparing UHA and the land records. The delta trend between those two records gives you an upper boundary on UHI. Its small.
        Interesting, but small.

      • Did you buy the 60$ package and download the data?

      • Or:

        “However, the source data used in this paper can be made available on request, as WeatherSource has tentatively offered access to it provided that the end user is doing research, does not use it for commercial gain, and does not republish it in its original form. Use the WUWT contact page if you would like to request a copy of the WeatherSource cleaned data after first agreeing to the caveats listed. “

      • Mercury freezes at -38.83 °C. Mercury thermometers were more common in the past & so they couldn’t measure colder in the arctic and Northern areas.

        The move towards more alcohol thermometers means colder temp measurements are being recorded.

      • I meant that as a possible example of how there could be measurement errors.

      • Which would bias the record in which direction?
        of the 18Miilion station months in GHCN do you have any idea what tiny tiny tiny fraction are temperatures below -30C.

        .1 percent would be 18K records.

        Would you guess that the number of records was ABOVE 18K or below
        18K?

        if .1% of the records where off by 5C what would that do to the total?

      • It would be unimportant globally but it could be important locally.

        It also seems to me that the extremes and the variance are more important than the total or arithmetic mean.

  11. Jerry says: ‘A small minority of “creationist” believe that the Earth is only 6000 years old, but if makes you feel superior believing that the majority of mankind who are “creationist” believe that, go for it.’

    Jerry, I do not feel that “the great majority of humankind” are creationists in the usual meaning of the word regarding elaborate objections to evolutionary biology. A large majority of humankind have some religious beliefs, often not very clearly formed, nor are many of them well informed about possible clashes of aspects of those beliefs with modern science. Believing in a “creator” is not the same as being a “creationist”.

    Now, if somebody tries to pass the idea of a supernatural creator-designer as a scientific alternative to evolution, then we have a case of pseudo science (trying to pass as science some belief system that is not). If you simply recite your Credo (I believe in one God, creator of heaven and earth) and find spiritual solace in that recitation, you are not trespassing into science and nobody will bother you. You may even be able to find some “theory” whereby a creator may exist and nonetheless species to evolve according to evolutionary biology (the late Pope John Pail II elicited such a theory some years ago). I would only beseech any person with such beliefs not to abuse their children by keeping them from learning good science in the name of those supernatural beliefs.

    • A lot of the evolution skepticism that gets reported from polls is not about geological creationism, or even about species evolution. It is only about the origin of humans, specifically the human mind, language and all that. I know non-religious Ph.D.’s who doubt that natural selection can explain the rapid rise of humans. Climate alarmists like to muddy this issue just to make skeptics look foolish.

      • Your comment appears to imply that you have some doubts about the evolution.

        Did I read your comment correctly? If not, then why did you write it?

      • I have some doubts about evolution being the be all and end all of everything that exists today. You find the same hubris, the same appeal to authority, the same derision of those who ridicule disagreement in that area of science that you find in the climate debate.

        Species evolve, and evolution explains a great deal of what we see. But does that translate into an explanation for EVERYTHING we see? The absolute certainty that so many have that random mutation, coupled with natural selection, explains every trait of every species just doesn’t do it for me. It could be true, but I am not going to accept it just because there is a “consensus.”

        I don’t know what the alternative is (or alternatives are), any more than I have a better number for the what the global average temperature was in 1298. But I don’t find the science any more settled (in the broadest sense as I define it above), than I do for CAGW. Many of the particulars have been shown to be true, but the overall claims of knowledge, and the absolute certainty of all that has been extrapolated and inferred, does not convince me. Hubris is not limited to the climate debate.

        I see lots of arguments, and lots of certainty, coming from those who have no expertise in the field, relying on appeals to authority. The “consensus” on this simplistic view of evolution has been even broader, and more calcified, than the climate consensus has ever been.

        If random mutation/natural selection possibly the full explanation for all the diversity and complexity we see? Perhaps. Has anyone, anywhere, verified and validated that particular theory? Nope. But merely asking the question as Pekka Pirila does is expected to shut down discussion. Oh no, if I say I do not know with certainty that the orthodoxy is correct in all its particulars, they might call me a young earth creationist. The horror.

        I have no interest in engaging in a debate on the particulars of evolution. I find the subject interesting, but it has nothing to do with climate, and doesn’t really tell you much about whether there was a creator or not. But science by ridicule is not science.

        Could all matter be composed of vibrating multi-dimensional strings? Could there be an infinite number of universes existing in alternate dimensions (whatever they are)? Could the all the biological diversity and complexity of everything we see be explained by random mutation and natural selection? The answer to all of these is yes. Are any of these as certain as those proclaiming them as revealed truth maintain? No.

        Not to rain on your parade or anything, but anyone who thinks that any ultimate description of our physical universe “proves” there was no “creation,” is not familiar with the concept of “god.”

      • Yes – it is an “appeal to authority” to point out the vast, vast, vast imbalance in scientifically expert opinion on evolution (not to mention the vast, vast, vast imbalance in the evidence).

        But it isn’t an “appeal to authority” for David to say that he knows some Ph. D.’s that doubt whether the theory of evolution can explain the rapid rise of humans.

        These posts do, indeed, speak volumes.

      • Joshua –
        Even Gould, before his death, understood that the theory of evolution is not as solid as you would have us believe. He tried to modify it to plug the cracks, but that modification is still in question. Nor does it answer ALL the questions.

        If Gould could see the problems, why do you think others can’t?

        Your certainty, on this, as on other subjects, labels you as either anti-scientific or scientifically ignorant. And I’m not sure there’s a difference. Have to think about that.

      • Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world’s data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don’t go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein’s theory of gravitation replaced Newton’s in this century, but apples didn’t suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin’s proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.

        – Stephen J. Gould, ” Evolution as Fact and Theory”; Discover, May 1981

        Am I certain that there is no god, and that god didn’t create humans in their present form some 6,000 years ago? No.

        But I am certain as to where the vast, vast, vast preponderance of expertise on the subject lies, and I am certain about where the vast, vast, vast preponderance of the evidence lies.

        I don’t consider either of those certainties to be an “appeal to authority,” – but a reasoned assessment of the facts.

      • Reading the full article rather than picking out quotes would save you lots of time.

        “Evolutionists have been clear about this distinction between fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by which evolution (fact) occurred. Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory—natural selection—to explain the mechanism of evolution.

        Thus Darwin acknowledged the provisional nature of natural selection while affirming the fact of evolution. The fruitful theoretical debate that Darwin initiated has never ceased. From the 1940s through the 1960s, Darwin’s own theory of natural selection did achieve a temporary hegemony that it never enjoyed in his lifetime. But renewed debate characterizes our decade, and, while no biologist questions the importance of natural selection, many doubt its ubiquity.”

      • I did read the whole article, Gary. It is quite interesting.

        Not the least of the interesting parts is the conclusion:

        Finally, there is an epistemological argument against evolution as fact. Some readers of these newsgroups point out that nothing in science can ever be “proven” and this includes evolution. According to this argument, the probability that evolution is the correct explanation of life as we know it may approach 99.9999…9% but it will never be 100%. Thus evolution cannot be a fact. This kind of argument might be appropriate in a philosophy class (it is essentially correct) but it won’t do in the real world. A “fact,” as Stephen J. Gould pointed out (see above), means something that is so highly probable that it would be silly not to accept it. This point has also been made by others who contest the nit-picking epistemologists.

        The honest scientist, like the philosopher, will tell you that nothing whatever can be or has been proved with fully 100% certainty, not even that you or I exist, nor anyone except himself, since he might be dreaming the whole thing. Thus there is no sharp line between speculation, hypothesis, theory, principle, and fact, but only a difference along a sliding scale, in the degree of probability of the idea. When we say a thing is a fact, then, we only mean that its probability is an extremely high one: so high that we are not bothered by doubt about it and are ready to act accordingly. Now in this use of the term fact, the only proper one, evolution is a fact. For the evidence in favor of it is as voluminous, diverse, and convincing as in the case of any other well established fact of science concerning the existence of things that cannot be directly seen, such as atoms, neutrons, or solar gravitation ….
        So enormous, ramifying, and consistent has the evidence for evolution become that if anyone could now disprove it, I should have my conception of the orderliness of the universe so shaken as to lead me to doubt even my own existence. If you like, then, I will grant you that in an absolute sense evolution is not a fact, or rather, that it is no more a fact than that you are hearing or reading these words.

        – H. J. Muller, “One Hundred Years Without Darwin Are Enough” School Science and Mathematics 59, 304-305. (1959) reprinted in Evolution versus Creationism op cit.

        In any meaningful sense evolution is a fact, but there are various theories concerning the mechanism of evolution.

        Mind you, I don’t think that theories of AGW have reached the bar that Gould describes. Then again, neither does the IPCC with it’s statements of 90% probability. In fact, it seems quite likely to me that the 90% probability is high – but as with evolution, some “facts” remain.

        There is an overall imbalance in the expert opinion (although it has sometimes been over-stated). People hypocritically try to dismiss the implications of that imbalance by suggesting that it doesn’t matter, by misleadingly try to diminish the level of imbalance that does exist, and by “appealing to authority” by listing the minority of experts who hold outlying opinions.

      • Joshua,

        What Gould is saying is that the fact THAT species evolve is not disputed. HOW species evolve very much is.

        When you and others use the term “evolution,” you are referring to both the changing of species, and the mechanism. I know that is what you mean because I wrote above:

        “Species evolve, and evolution explains a great deal of what we see. But does that translate into an explanation for EVERYTHING we see?”

        and your disagreement followed.

        I am not arguing that I am right because Gould says much the same thing (and much more eloquently). That would be an appeal to…well, you know. But you are wrong in suggesting that what Gould has written agrees with your view.

      • Joshua –
        But I am certain as to where the vast, vast, vast preponderance of expertise on the subject lies, and I am certain about where the vast, vast, vast preponderance of the evidence lies.

        I’m not arguing against evolution as a process – but I AM saying that your certainty is – to repeat – either anti-scientific or scientifically ignorant. For example –

        Modern evolutionary synthesis is a school of evolutionary theory which incorporates the concepts of natural selection, mutations, and studies in population genetics.[61]

        In 2005, Massimo Pigliucci, in a book review for the prestigious science journal Nature, wrote: “The clamour to revise neo-darwinism is becoming so loud that hopefully most practising evolutionary biologists will begin to pay attention. It has been said that science often makes progress not because people change their minds, but because the old ones die off and the new generation is more open to novel ideas.”[62] In July of 2008, Elizabeth Pennisi wrote in the prestigous science journal Science: “Seventy years ago, evolutionary biologists hammered out the modern synthesis to bring Darwin’s ideas in line with current insights into how organisms change through time. Some say it’s time for Modern Synthesis 2.0.”

        If evolution were as solid and complete as you apparently believe, then it would NOT be science at all, but rather religion. As it has become for many.

      • It’s always amazing when people dream up straw men and then keep expending energy trying to knock them down.

        If evolution were as solid and complete as you apparently believe, then it would NOT be science at all, but rather religion.

        Evolution is a fact in the sense that Gould (you’re the one who “appealed to authority” by bringing him into the conversation in the first place) described. There is no doubt as to where the preponderance of evidence and expertise lies w.r.t. to whether evolution is a fact. The mechanism of evolution is less certain.

        If you want to ignore that preponderance of evidence and expertise as you evaluate the probabilities – be my guest. If you think that the preponderance of evidence and expertise is irrelevant, go right ahead. I’m not inclined to do so, but hey – I just roll that way.

        But when you morph arguments about whether or not there is even a preponderance of evidence and expertise on the fact of evolution (using Gould’s criteria for establishing fact), and conflate them with arguments about the preponderance of evidence and expertise regarding the mechanism of evolution, and then out of your confusion say that I’m arguing something that I’ve never argued – you only expose holes in your own thinking, Jim.

      • Joshua –
        I said –
        I’m not arguing against evolution as a process – but I AM saying that your certainty is – to repeat – either anti-scientific or scientifically ignorant.

        You said –
        There is no doubt as to where the preponderance of evidence and expertise lies w.r.t. to whether evolution is a fact.

        And at one time That same preponderance of evidence and expertise existed wrt an Earthcentric universe and phologiston and a lot of other things that are no longer considered anything but curiousities.

        For the moment, the consensus is that evolutions is a viable theory. Be happy with that. The future is unknowable and there may still be surprises.

        And then you said –

        The mechanism of evolution is less certain.

        Which is what I said and which you try to turn into a strawman that doesn’t exist. There’s still that increasingly likely hypothesis wrt lack of reading comprehension.

      • I suspect part of the source of the semantic debate is the differing definitions of evolution. When speaking solely about “evolution” in the sense of the changing of species, there is not much debate. It is when evolution is used as a counterpoint to “creationism,” where the term implicitly suggests natural selection as the sole cause of that change, that the debate arises. Otherwise, how would evolution (species changing over time) be in disagreement with the concept of creation by a creator?

        When evolution is used in this context, it is usually meant as, and interpreted by others responding to these arguments as, Darwinism.

        The American heritage Dictionary

        Darwinism
        n.
        A theory of biological evolution developed by Charles Darwin and others, stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual’s ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. Also called Darwinian theory.

        So, to extend and revise my own remarks anyway, I have no doubt that species change, and evolve. I do have serious doubts about natural selection explaining the complexity and diversity we see in so many species today. And I don’t think evolution in either usage tells us a damn thing about theology.

      • It is an appeal to authority if you claim that “vast, vast, vast imbalance in scientifically expert opinion on evolution (not to mention the vast, vast, vast imbalance in the evidence).” I guess six “vasts” means there is a consensus. Would only five “vasts” mean we would still be allowed to think for ourselves?

        It is not an appeal to authority to say that there is no unanimity. Nor does David Wojick make that argument. (Your response to him though is of course a classic appeal to authority.)

        Is the argument that “some Ph. D.’s [] doubt whether the theory of evolution can explain the rapid rise of humans” convincing that the theory is wrong? Nope. But that does not make it an appeal to authority.

        There has been a vast, vast, vast imbalance in scientific expert opinion on the big bang theory for most of my lifetime. But that does not make it an accurate description of the history of the universe, nor is it ridiculous to consider what other explanations there might be (not even including “creation”).

      • Right – When David said that some Ph. D’s doubt that evolution explains the rise of humans, it wasn’t an appeal to authority.

        He meant to say that many plumbers doubt that evolution explains the rise of humans – but he made a typo (well, either that or it was a product of his browser’s spell-checker).

      • By what convoluted logic do you figure that to be an appeal to authority?

      • I’ve admitted I was wrong, Peter. He actually meant to write that many non-religious plumbers doubt that evolution can explain the rise of humans.

      • If David had said that, because some Ph.D’s doubt evolution, you believe that evolution is false, that would be an appeal to authority, like the contrary argument you made. But that is not what he wrote.

        It is maintaining that the authority of others decides the argument conclusively that constitutes an appeal to authority.

        If you wrote that there is a vast, vast, vast consensus on a given topic, and that is one of the reasons why YOU believe in the consensus, that would not be an appeal to authority. An appeal to authority is to say that OTHERS should believe it for that reason.

        There is persuasive evidence, and “proof.” I find the opinions of experts in any field persuasive. You find them to be proof. That is the difference.

      • Left “should” out of the first sentence: “you SHOULD believe that evolution…”

      • Gary – those leftists you hear in your head are not me speaking.

        I have never, in my life, ever, even remotely, said, or implied, or hinted at, or even considered the possibility that “the authority of others decides the argument completely.”

      • “But I am certain as to where the vast, vast, vast preponderance of expertise on the subject lies, and I am certain about where the vast, vast, vast preponderance of the evidence lies.”

        Yes, your belief that the issue has not been decided “completely,” and your celebration of skepticism and welcoming of divergent views is noted.

      • Nope – not been decided completely.

        I am an agnostic, Gary – because I don’t believe that I am capable of understanding such complex issues well-enough to be completely sure.

        That doesn’t prevent me from evaluating where the preponderance of evidence lies, or where the preponderance of expert opinion lies. And it doesn’t prevent me from evaluating – with respect for contingencies such as the influence on us all from tribalism – how the preponderance of evidence and expertise affect probabilities.

        Once again, Gary – those leftist voices in your head are not me speaking.

      • I have some doubts about evolution being the be all and end all of everything that exists today.

        No scientist would ever propose that we have found “all and end all of everything that exists today.” Only those who want to attack science claim that scientists would think so.

      • “Your comment appears to imply that you have some doubts about the evolution.”

        Your comment implies that you have doubts about those who might have any doubts about evolution.

        Why would “doubts about the evolution” be so questionable, if evolution doesn’t explain everything we see today? If there may be other explanations for some of the diversity and complexity we see, then doubts about evolution as an explanation for that diversity and complexity would seem to be quite reasonable.

        What did you actually mean by your question then?

        (And by “evolution,” I am referring to both the changing/evolving of species, and natural selection as the sole driver of those changes.)

        Skeptics don’t attack science. We attack the hubris of scientists. And those who appeal to their authority. Those who can’t tell the difference are the ones who are attacking science.

      • Pekka, I wrote it for the stated reason, namely that AGW alarmists use the statistics on skepticism on human evolution to slander AGW skeptics. This fallacy is everywhere to be found.

        I would love to discuss the evolution of thought and language if you can suggest a venue, as I have done a lot of work on it. I have no problem per se with monkeys becoming men, but then I think trees are sentient too.

      • AGW alarmists use the statistics on skepticism on human evolution to slander AGW skeptics.

        And why is it slanderous to compare skeptics to skeptics? Darwin skeptics, HIV skeptics, Holocaust skeptics, vaccine skeptics, smoking-and-lung-cancer skeptics — what makes you think your particular flavor of “skepticism” is distinct from all the other anti-science movements?

      • Skepticism is pro-science. Faith, having no doubts, and just following the crowd is anti-science.

      • True skepticism is pro-science. Unfortunately, there is nothing to stop true believers in denialism from an Orwellian misappropriation of the term.

      • Sometimes you remind me of the searchlights poking skyward from county fairs or used car lots. The projection is awesome.
        ===================

      • Robert, comparing skeptics on one subject to skeptics on another is a fallacy precisely because skepticism per se is a logical form, like the syllogism only much more complex. I call this form an “issue tree template,” because there are certain branching lines of thought that will be followed no matter what the subject matter may be. What matters are the facts in each specific case, not the skepticism.

        The frontiers of every science are rife with speculation and skepticism. This is how science proceeds. For example there is right now a big fight going on in cosmology as to whether or not dark matter has been observed in certain experiments. There are believers and skeptics, and the skeptics make the same sorts of arguments that climate skeptics make. There are thousands of similar debates, large and small, going on throughout science today. Each has the same logical form. We have known for over 2000 years that the forms of logic are independent of the facts of the case. That is why logic is a separate science.

        My work happens to be in the logic of complex issues. http://www.stemed.info/reports/Wojick_Issue_Analysis_txt.pdf
        I have not looked at some of the other issues you are attempting to equate to the climate change issue, on no real basis. But after 19 years of study I can say that the climate change issue is genuine. The 82,500+ posts and comments on this blog are quite sufficient to prove that.

      • Robert, comparing skeptics on one subject to skeptics on another is a fallacy precisely because skepticism per se is a logical form, like the syllogism only much more complex.

        That is a meaningless assertion. If “skeptics” share the use of a particular set of cognitive tools, that strengthens the case for considering them as a group, rather than weakening it. To understand the — let’s be polite — unique mindset that allows one “skeptic” to reject photographic evidence of death camps, and another to reject Mann’s hockey stick, we should obviously try to examine as many different cases of the mindset as possible.

        For example there is right now a big fight going on in cosmology as to whether or not dark matter has been observed in certain experiments. There are believers and skeptics, and the skeptics make the same sorts of arguments that climate skeptics make.

        My comparisons are less flattering to climate “skeptics,” but better grounded in the facts. Climate “skepticism” bears little relationship to arguments between scientists who agree on a particular theory regarding the outcome of a particular experiment. A valid comparison should share the key elements of climate “skepticism”: disregard of the evidence, rejection of the vast majority of scientists except for a few tokens, rage and hatred directed at scientist communicating their findings to the public; a dogmatic ideology that easily shifts rationale (it’s not warming — no, it’s natural warming — no, it’s manmade but there’s nothing we can do about it) but never shifts its ultimate political goals.

        These attribute are not observed among dark matter “skeptics,” but are shared by climate “skeptics,” Holocaust skeptics, evolution skeptics, vaccine skeptics, HIV skeptics, and so on and on.

      • Skeptics did and do not reject Mann’s hockey stick a priori, but because on examination it heavily weights a handfull of bristlecone trees in the US Southwest to give a flat featureless global temperature trend before a rapid uptick in recent decades, and because he insisted on using Tiljander sediments corrupted by road construction, and because he hid adverse statistics, and so on. It is quite a stretch to equate this with Holocaust skeptics or birthers. It reveals that you have not done your homework. People have a rational basis for questioning the proxy studies (and yes, I have published on it).

      • Robert –
        key elements of climate “skepticism”: disregard of the evidence, rejection of the vast majority of scientists except for a few tokens, rage and hatred directed at scientist communicating their findings to the public; a dogmatic ideology that easily shifts rationale (it’s not warming — no, it’s natural warming — no, it’s manmade but there’s nothing we can do about it) but never shifts its ultimate political goals.

        Your “key elements” are false – a figment of your imagination.

        Just to oick one –
        a dogmatic ideology that easily shifts rationale (it’s not warming — no, it’s natural warming — no, it’s manmade but there’s nothing we can do about it) but never shifts its ultimate political goals.

        Your logic is illogical because “dogma” does not “shift ” as you claim. “Dogma” is a set of beliefs that are “set in stone” and do not change even in the face of new evidence. What you apparently believe is “dogma”.

        We can deconstruct the rest of your list if you like. Let me know.

      • I know non-religious Ph.D.’s who doubt that natural selection can explain the rapid rise of humans.

        kim – did you read this?

        Yet another “appeal to authority?”

        This is, truly, beautiful.

        Some unspecified amount of non-religious Ph.D’s that David knows “doubt” that natural selection can explain the rapid rise of humans. Leet’s call them “heretics.”

        Since we know that all “consensus” science is eventually proven wrong, and since there are some Ph. D.s who doubt natural selection – there is no justifiable reason to point out the vast, vast, vast, vast disparity in the collective opinion of those with scientific expertise on the topic of evolution. To do so, would be an “appeal to authority.”

        We should completely dismiss any discussion of the vast inequity in the balance of scientific expertise.

        Oh, and while we’re at it – we should ignore David’s lack of specificity as to how many people he’s referring to, failure to explain the fields of expertise of those Ph. D.’s, David’s own clear political ideology, and David’s “anti-consensus” advocacy on the issue of global warming.

        I think that a poem is in order, kim.

      • Rein yourself in Joshua. My point is merely that the human evolution skepticism is not particularly religious. I am making a scientific point about the demographics of belief (which happens to be my present scientific field).

        I have no dog in this fight, except maybe fighting you. (Said for Kim)

      • And said well. Joshua, what you missed yesterday was my point that argument to authority is fallacious when it is wrong. The authorities in climate science are wrong because peer review was perverted, for a host of reasons.

        Now get busy with that old-fashioned leftist scorn for authority and go after these charlatans. As it is, you sound too much like the new-fashioned leftists.
        =================

      • I gave up reading Joshua a few days ago. Too tedious and tendentious. How do you know he’s not a new-fashioned leftist? Is his commentary distinguishable?

      • He doesn’t know diddley re: resistance to authority. He’s newly fashioned and still needs tempering.
        ====================

      • Einstein had a sign in his office that said “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

      • I just have to add some 2 cents at the end of this amusing exchange regarding evolution/creationism. It ties in beautifully to the climate debate.

        I am currently reading an excellent book called “The Goldilocks Effect” by Paul Davies, which is an examination of why it is that the cosmological constants are so uncannily and precisely suited to allowing life and therefore observers to occur. It inevitably gets into the designer/creator philosophical consequences of how the universe is structured – including the consequences of a multiverse. According to the multi-verse theory there are 10^500 possible universes (by comparison there are 10^80 atoms in the universe), of which fairly substantial number could contain life. As a consequence of intelligent life, a large number will contain simulations of the universe. Yep – computer models…..you have to laugh….

        As a consequence of that, and by law of probabilities it is actually much more likely that we exist in a simulated universe, rather than a ‘real’ universe, inside a computer so powerful we simply can’t tell the difference. Think of Plato’s ‘Cave of Shadows’.

        But it doesn’t stop there, any computer powerful enough to simulate an entire universe is powerful enough to create a simulation of a computer powerful enough to create a simulation of another entire universe – known as a ‘Turing Machine’, in which it is possible we may reside. There is even (very faint) evidence that this is the case.

        So the upshot is, we may indeed have a creator(s) – a super intelligent being(s) in a lab coat, but he (or they) may turn out to be fake – a computer simulation.

        Here is the kicker: if we are living in a simulated universe, our physical laws are therefore simulated, and there is no reason to suppose that the ‘real’ universe has the same laws that allow for a multiverse and therefore simulations sophisticated enough to create an entire universe. In which case we shouldn’t exist.

        :-)

        I should add, that the debate regarding a single unifying theory that explains the precision of the cosmological constants and the multi-verse theory is pretty heated. Scientists who do not accept the multi-verse theory are scathing about it – judging those that do to have ‘given up’. I am struck by the thought that a debate of such esoteric ideas could have aroused such passions. The difference here is that it then doesn’t lead to policy that affects all our lives so dramatically.

  12. ferd berple

    Dyson’s argument seems fairly straight forward. Use the scientific method to test AGW. If it holds, it holds. If not, it fails.

    The mainstream argument, that we don’t have time to test AGW using the scientific method, and thus must rely on post normal science, reminds me of an old saying. They wanted it bad, so that is what we delivered.

    The scientific method is the product of hundreds of years of testing and proof. We know it works and delivers reliable results. Post normal science is an unproven methodology. It has not stood the test of time. In many respects it resembles the practices prior to the scientific method, that led to science being held subordinate to belief, including the belief in witchcraft as the cause of natural disasters.

    The same “expert belief” that determined witchcraft was the cause of past natural disasters has now identified other human industrialization as the cause of current natural disasters. This is something to be feared greatly as history shows that human sacrifice of some sort is the inevitable conclusion to.

    No matter how many experts believe something to be true, this will not make it true if it is not true. Yet, post normal science will consider that it is true, because most scientists believe it is true. This leads to irrational decisions, as you act believing something to be true when in fact it is false.

    This makes the insane, the sacrifice of humans to prevent climate change, appear to be the only same choice. This is not a lot different than what happened in Germany in the 1930’s. An entire country acting a fashion that we cannot understand today. It has happened many times before in many different places.

    The scientific method was invented to overcome this problem.

    • ferd berple

      ps: Germany came to mind because of the AGW rhetoric. The use of terms such as denier, the call for tattooing, the call for gassing. These are all images drawn from the Nazi era. Images that many people have trouble imagining ever happened, and thus cannot understand how easily these sorts of manias take hold. AGW has in many respects taken on the appearance of a global mania with Al Gore as the new father image.

    • tempterrain

      Fred,
      So you’d like scientists to test out what would happen to the Earth, if CO2 concentrations were allowed to double, by , er, allowing CO2 concentrations to double?

      Don’t you see a possible snag in that line of argument?

      • The public sees a bigger snag in the argument of

        a.) Scientists who took public research funds and reported that CO2-induced global warming is a scientific fact, . . . but the data are private property – not available for examination, and

        b.) Federal agencies like EPA that declared CO2 is a dangerous pollutant while the battle for the experimental data continued.

        Do you not see a snag in those arguments?

      • “Tempterrain | July 3, 2011 at 12:12 am

        Fred,
        So you’d like scientists to test out what would happen to the Earth, if CO2 concentrations were allowed to double, by , er, allowing CO2 concentrations to double?

        Don’t you see a possible snag in that line of argument?”

        I cannot see a snag in this line of argument. Politically, it is quite impossible to prevent the countries of the world from burning every last barrel of oil, every last ton of coal, etc. etc. We are going to do the experiment of seeing what happens when we double the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. As Girma keeps on pointing out, results to date show that CAGW is almost certainly wrong.

        IMHO, the sensible course of action is to carefully monitor what is happening to global temperatures, since CAGW specifically claims that these are going to rise at a rate that is dangerous. If they continue to go on rising at a rate that is far lower than the proponents of CAGW claim their hypothesis (hoax) demands, then we dont need to worry.

        Further, if we really are heading for a new Maunder type solar magnetic minimum, maybe we need whatever limited warming that doubling CO2 gives us, just to prevent too much misery that a cold world produces.

      • ferd berple

        Due diligence is the term that comes to mind. The purpose of the panic is to get people to agree without allowing time for due diligence.

        We don’t have time for a house inspection. If we don’t buy now someone else will buy.

        We don’t have time to validate AGW. If we don’t shut down the economy we are all going to die.

        We have hundreds of years of history showing what happens when we allow panic to overcome our better judgement. We end up with a cure that is worse than the disease.

      • Stirling English

        In 100 years, the GAT has supposedly risen by less than one degree C. No bad things have happened as a consequence,There is no need to panic.

      • David L. Hagen

        tempterrain
        Greenhouse operators increase CO2 to > 1000 ppm all the time because of highly beneficial profitable results. ASHRAE/OSHA approve 1000 ppm CO2 and we can tolerate up to 5000 ppm etc.
        The most productive eras in earth’s history were with very high CO2.
        Globally, we need to increase agriculture to grow more food to feed the increasing population.
        The CSIRO’s applying their GWM to precipitation turned out to give the OPPOSITE trends when tuned and hindcast against the actual data. See David Stockwell Tests of Regional Climate Model Validity in the Drought Exceptional Circumstances Report
        Such backwards projections does not give me the great confidence in GWMs needed to trust politicians with $ trillions to “control climate”!

        You have not given any reason not to proceed with the major economic development that the US and the OECD accomplished being applied by the rest of the world to break out of poverty.
        It appears you only want to worship status quo and forbid others from developing their economies.
        We need cheap fossil fuels to build renewable energy systems to take over fossil depletion.

        Try applying some practical engineering sense instead of nonsense.

        Normal CO2 Levels
        The effects of increased CO2 levels on adults at good health can be summarized:

        normal outdoor level: 350 – 450 ppm
        acceptable levels: < 600 ppm
        complaints of stiffness and odors: 600 – 1000 ppm
        ASHRAE and OSHA standards: 1000 ppm
        general drowsiness: 1000 – 2500 ppm
        adverse health effects expected: 2500 – 5000 ppm
        maximum allowed concentration within a 8 hour working period: 5000 ppm

        The levels above are quite normal and maximum levels may occasionally happen from time to time.
        Extreme and Dangerous CO2 Levels

        slightly intoxicating, breathing and pulse rate increase, nausea: 30,000 ppm
        above plus headaches and sight impairment: 50,000 ppm
        unconscious, further exposure death: 100.000 ppm

      • Greenhouse operators increase CO2 to > 1000 ppm all the time because of highly beneficial profitable results.

        The conditions in a greenhouse are very different from the conditions outside. Inside a greenhouse, the temperature, water, and fertilizers are all under our complete control and can be varied at need. None of this is true for the Earth as a whole.

        As a counterpoint to the idea that allowing the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere to double, the example of pumping CO2 into a greenhouse is a non sequitur.

        ASHRAE/OSHA approve 1000 ppm CO2 and we can tolerate up to 5000 ppm etc.

        What nonsense. Your own source says: “complaints of stiffness and odors: 600 – 1000 ppm . . .
        general drowsiness: 1000 – 2500 ppm
        adverse health effects expected: 2500 – 5000 ppm”

        We cannot “tolerate” CO2 levels up to 5000ppm for any length of time — not without “adverse health effects.” The idea that we can “tolerate” anything that does not kill us instantly is ridiculous.

        Throughout you ignore the major concerns about elevating CO2 concentrations, notably making the world warmer than it has been in millions of years.

        The most productive eras in earth’s history were with very high CO2.

        This meaningless assertion falls under the category of “not even wrong.” The human species did not exist the last time CO2 levels were as high as they are today — that was millions of years ago. In what sense was that time more “productive”? And how on earth do you know? And what would such an assertion mean applied to a world without humans or agriculture in which many variables, not just CO2, were dramatically different than today? As I said, not even wrong.

        Try applying some practical engineering sense

        Practical sense is what is conspicuously absent from your screed.

        I think you can do better.

      • Robert –
        You took only one part of the data (cherry picking, are we?) –

        slightly intoxicating, breathing and pulse rate increase, nausea: 30,000 ppm
        above plus headaches and sight impairment: 50,000 ppm
        unconscious, further exposure death: 100.000 ppm

        You also ignore (or are ignorant of) working conditions in places like mines where normal working conditions can be up to 3500 ppm.

        Yes – we certainly can “tolerate” those levels.

        You’ve also forgotten that if ALL known FF deposits/reserves were to be burned the atmospheric level would be no higher than 1000 ppm.

      • …not to mention that levels of >1000ppm are not uncommon in the home.

      • David L. Hagen

        Robert
        “In what sense was that time more “productive”? And how on earth do you know? ”
        Very simple: Most of the fuss you make is over coal use. Yet you are using electricity, most of which is probably generated by coal fired power plants.

        Although coal formation began in the Devonian, the great coal beds found in Australia, the eastern United States and England were formed during the Carboniferous periods and those of the western U.S. were formed during the Jurassic to the mid-Tertiary.

        Average global temperatures in the Early Carboniferous Period were hot- approximately 20° C (68° F). However, cooling during the Middle Carboniferous reduced average global temperatures to about 12° C (54° F). As shown on the chart below, this is comparable to the average global temperature on Earth today!

        Similarly, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Early Carboniferous Period were approximately 1500 ppm (parts per million), but by the Middle Carboniferous had declined to about 350 ppm — comparable to average CO2 concentrations today!

        Its engineers who provide the coal electricity and internet on which you depend. As I said, please apply some common sense and do a bit of simple research.

    • While still looking for any proof of laboratory proven CO2 warming, I figure 17km thickness of 0.04% CO2 at mean atmospheric pressure = about 3.4m thickness of 100% CO2 at sea level or 1.1m thickness of 100% CO2 at 3 atmosphere’s pressure (2 atmospheres on a manometer). So maybe Tyndall does have the answer in his 1m long apparatus testing gases under pressure. Still trying to find the data in Tyndalls papers……

      • Haven’t been able to find answers from Tyndall, since the experimental results are only quoted “uncalibrated”. I can glean that CO2 appears to not transmit about half the IR that ethylene does. Since Tyndall didn’t measure scattering or temperature, we only know from his experiments that some gases fail to transmit heat.

        So surely someone somewhere has had a go at repeating Tyndall’s experiments using a modern physics laboratory??

  13. I read the Times article quite a while back – found it really interesting.

    I’d read it again as you suggest, Judith – but since hanging out at this blog I’ve learned all these “facts” about the AGW cabal that is conspiring in a root and branch transformation of society into a one-world government. The NY Times is one major shoot of that organism being built, baby – it’s the leading player in that “mass media” effort to skew the facts that the public sees, so that unsuspecting schmoes can be victimized by the “frauds” perusing their socialist agenda. Why I read the other day how Jeff Id was censored from a NY Times blog because the monitoring staff recognized his name on his comment and were so afraid that his “subtle” points about the climate change cabal would bring the whole house of cards.

    For that reason, I’ve sworn off the NY Times. Now it’s Climate etc., WUWT, The World Net Daily for me all the way, baby.

    No more frauds being perpetrated on this fella. The scales have fallen from my eyes.

  14. I must frame this one:

    And the question is, how does it happen that they end up believing their models? But I have seen that happen in many fields. You sit in front of a computer screen for 10 years and you start to think of your model as being real. It is also true that the whole livelihood of all these people depends on people being scared. Really, just psychologically, it would be very difficult for them to come out and say, “Don’t worry, there isn’t a problem.” It’s sort of natural, since their whole life depends on it being a problem. I don’t say that they’re dishonest. But I think it’s just a normal human reaction. It’s true of the military also. They always magnify the threat. Not because they are dishonest; they really believe that there is a threat and it is their job to take care of it. I think it’s the same as the climate community, that they do in a way have a tremendous vested interest in the problem being taken more seriously than it is.

    Freeman Dyson, you are uncritical with your “Not because they are dishonest”

    This “accelerated warming” of the IPCC is dishonest.
    http://bit.ly/b9eKXz

  15. The climate community says we don’t have time to waste to act.

    IPCC predicted 0.2 deg C warming per decade for business as usual, and 0.1 deg C warming with CO2 restrictions.

    The current global warming rate is less than both as shown below:

    http://bit.ly/dSA3Ly

    As a result, nature has given us additional decade to check whether the global mean temperature stays flat.

  16. It means we shouldn’t ask Dyson to assess what Dyson has to say on quantum field theory.

    Beautiful.

    It, shouldn’t be difficult to understand. If you want to know what climate change science says about some technical detail of their science, you ask the experts. If you want to know whether climate change science is mature enough to take seriously their predictions and assessments, you ask scientists like Dyson, and you exclude very carefully any climate change science expert in your panel.

    • If you want to know whether climate science is mature enough to take seriously, ask an 88-year old scientists who admits he doesn’t know the details about climate science.

      Somethings not right about that.

      Freeman Dyson, who doesn’t trust predictions, makes predictions.

      Somethings not right about that.

      • maksimovich

        Actually Dyson knows a great deal on the physics of climate science,and it is more probable that it is english reserve that saved the reporter (and the practioners) from significant humilitation eg Dyson 1977

        There exists a huge literature attempting to assess or to prognosticate the effects of the increasing atmospheric CO2 on the climate of the earth. Such attempts are useful and necessary,but they run into formidable technical difficulties. Even the mean global temperature rise caused by a given quantity of CO2 is subject to great uncertainty: and the effects of CO2 on local and time-variable phenomena (which may be crucially important to agriculture and other human activities) are more uncertain still

        Three decades later Ghil et al 2008 reviews the problem .

        As the relatively new science of climate dynamics evolved through the 1980s and 1990s, it became quite clear from observational data, both instrumental and paleoclimatic, as well as model studies| that Earth’s climate never was and is unlikely to ever be in equilibrium. The three successive IPCC reports (1991 [2], 1996, and 2001 [3]) concentrated therefore, in addition to estimates of equilibrium sensitivity, on estimates of climate change over the 21st century, based on several scenarios of CO2 increase over this time interval, and using up to 18 general circulation models (GCMs) in the fourth IPCC Assessment Report (AR4) [4].

        The GCM results of temperature increase over the coming 100 years have stubbornly resisted any narrowing of the range of estimates, with results for Ts in 2100 as low as 1:4 K or as high as 5:8 K, according to the Third Assessment Report. The hope in the research leading up to the AR4 was that a set of suitably defined better GCMs” would exhibit a narrower range of year-2100 estimates, but this does not seem to have been the case.

        The difficulty in narrowing the range of estimates for either equilibrium sensitivity of climate or for end-of-the-century temperatures is clearly connected to the complexity of the climate system, the multiplicity and nonlinearity of the processes and feedbacks it contains, and the obstacles to a faithful representation of these processes and feedbacks in GCMs. The practice of the science and engineering of GCMs over several decades has amply demonstrated that any addition or change in the model’s parametrizations” i.e., of the representation of subgrid-scale processes in terms of the model’s explicit, large-scale variables may result in noticeable changes in the model solutions’ behavior

        After a third of a century it seems that climate science has indeed reached Equilibrium where nothing particularly interesting happens.

      • Curious Canuck

        ” ask an 88-year old scientists who admits he doesn’t know the details about climate science.”

        This is a recurring strategy pointed out by Lawrence Solomon iirc. Those that don’t chant the IPCC mantra who are older and either established enough not to depend on peer back washing and/or beyond the need for security in grant streams are always mocked for their age. It’s a despicable little play.

        We see all over lately how this strategy is used in regards to Dyson. Implications as mild as this comment that he’s too old to understand the complexity of climate science and academic field development. When in fact he as knowledge and experience. On the other extreme, reflecting the insinuations of comments like this one, are those that attack older scientists not in the approved circle as being mentally decrepit due to their age and misbehaving in their senility.

        Something not right about the oft demonstrated strategy of IPCC trumpeters to push the mental capacity (in this case due to age) of those who question the finer points of the debate.

        Some would consider this to be among the lowest blows that the catastrophists have been throwing. It is also that would be interesting to see some discussion on in the future, so as to drag it out in public square and call it what it is.

  17. It won’t be “too late” for Freeman. He was born in 1923. I hope he becomes a centenarian, but I doubt he will.

  18. Joe Lalonde

    Judith,

    Scientists avoid the “hard questions” for their simple theories.
    Much of science is missed and the conclusions are tainted by not having an open mind to areas never before looked into.

    Keep teaching students the traditional garbage science keeps the practice of bad science alive.

    What is the use of trying to show new areas when scientists minds are settled that the current system is correct in their minds?
    Areas of compression and expansion, motion, stored energy, planetary shapes, magnetic interaction are NOT included.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Joe, you are 100% correct.
      We need to fire anyone with a science degree and close all the science journals that has supported this garbage science.

      Going one on one is totally unfair to a scientist that just focuses on a single area in a multi-complex system. Single formula on a round planet with different distance areas to the sun…hmmm.

      • Joe Lalonde

        Joe,

        Are you having a melt down?
        This system is designed to con people who have no clue what science is and strictly rely on the experts for advice.

      • Joe Lalonde

        Joe,

        What about E=MC2?
        Bull crap!

      • Joe.

        I am interested in your science. Google hasn’t helped me to find it so that I can assess it. Can you help? Thanks.

      • Joe Lalonde

        mondo,

        Science and scientists have lost the ability to follow facts, evidence and reasoning for the ability to stay in contained areas of study to the exclusion of all other areas. This planet and solar system generated an extremely complex and interactive multitude of systems. These are all based on motion as the driver to interaction, chemical changes and pressure changes.
        If scientists cannot replicate or miss any portion of these systems, how can they understand the theories that have been generated for generations based on guesses.
        Current science has missed many areas such as compression of gases into a different state, motion, circular motion, centrifugal force, magnetic field interaction, density changes of heated gases, time line changes back billions of years of current mathematics to a different planetary state, plus many others.

        The science I follow is strictly evidence and fact based. No room for error or anyone to dispute. But current scientists want science to follow a formula of rules man developed that science should follow for publishing or teaching. Science itself does not fall under mans rules.

        Our basic mathematical understanding of a circle in in a non motion state. Mathematics adds motion strictly to the circumference. What about all the rest inside the circle?

        Now, would you like to look into the area of research I have been following?

  19. I’m somewhat simpathetic to Dyson being a futurist-type myself (in the Kerzweillian sense, not the faciast Italian group from earlier in the 20th century). Like Kerzweil, Dyson isn’t sure what the effects will be from climate change, but has faith in humans to deal with it. Dyson mentions carbon eating super-trees, Kurzweil really likes the prospects of solar energy, even as early as within the next few decades. Kerzweil uses his law of accelerating returns, which he used to make several correct predictions, not a bad record, but most could have been predicted by an extention of Moore’s Law, too. He was just the one to work it out. I have no idea what Dyson uses to make his tree projections, but they are not well enough described to be taken all that seriously. But what pervades all futurists predictions are models that are untested beyond Moore’s Law and technology doesn’t always work out as planned. There are fears amoungst the futurists that dealing with climate change will impede the technological advancement of humans and hurt the development of poorer countries, a common fear amoungst people here, I am sure. And a serious one that I don’t take lightly. Dyson, admittedly unfamiliar with the details, uses this to take several shot at climate science itself. I’m not sure what he has to offer that is at all new, besides that fact that he is really smart and has credibility as a scientist. So I have trouble understanding this line:

    In summary, I find it pretty difficult to dismiss what Dyson has said in this article, and it is not to the credit of people like Jim Hansen that have tried to marginalize him.

    If this is the final argument I am unsure where the premises are in your post to support it. His complaints center around modelling, which he says he doesn’t know. It also ignores everything else. His complaints will need to be more detailed and helpful before taken seriously by those within the field.

    • tempterrain

      ” Like Kerzweil, Dyson isn’t sure what the effects will be from climate change, but has faith in humans to deal with it. Dyson mentions carbon eating super-trees……..”

      So Dyson and Kerzweil aren’t sure , are they?

      So their line of argument is : So what if the permafrost, or permamelt, melts and emits Gigatonnes of methane and CO2? So what if the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets melt? So what if we have several metres of sea level rise?
      We have “faith” that someone, somewhere, will come up with a solution! But if not, hey, we’ll not be around so it will be someone else’s problem then.

      • And by then the children will be grown up enough to look under the bed instead of just imagining monsters there.
        ==============

      • Wonderful logic, kim:

        Child: Daddy, there’s a strange man coming into the house with a gun!

        Father: Don’t worry son, some day you’ll be old-enough to own a gun yourself. So when you reach that age, get a bigger gun than the one the intruder has – and then you you’ll be able to solve the problem for yourself.

        BTW – Don’t know if you saw it, but I left you a poem on the previous thread.

      • More like:

        Daddy: Don’t worry, that’s your Uncle, back from the war.
        =============

  20. OMYGOD!

    An brilliant scientist who DOESN’T believe that AGW is the greatest disaster mankind or our planet ever faced?

    Not in the pay of Exxon-Mobil?

    Not a crackpot?

    Aha! He’s in his 80s, so just doesn’t care about certain doomsday (because he’ll already be gone).

    Duh!

  21. Note, Judy, who wrote that footnote. A liberal icon at the height of Justice speaking to a liberal icon at the height of Science. As in aunts, this is deep speaking to deep.
    ==================

  22. So long ago but have the numbers changed at all?:

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html

    Human input .28% of total gh impact. Really, I’d the agw supports to list their percentages and explain why water vapor is removed as a ghg (other that crass agenda politics) and what they dispute on this summary page.

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_070111/content/01125107.guest.html

    It isn’t science but what the agw agenda is down to on risk assessment politics.

  23. tempterrain

    cwon 4,

    You ask “Have the numbers changed at all?” Well it depends on whether they have been corrected or not. As they stand in the “geocraft” link they are, not to put too fine a point on any criticism – a load of crap. 95% of the GH effect doesn’t come from water vapour. It is just a made up figure. Why 95% ayway? Why give the “warmists as much as 5%”? Why not choose 99% or even 100%?

    There you go – 100% ! All the GH effect is due to water vapour. There is absolutely no concession to Al Gore in that statement at all!

  24. David Wojick

    Dyson’s Jason experience is important here. Much of what Jason does is assessing proposals for new programs. These proposals are advocacy documents, not unlike the IPCC and USGCRP reports, which are really the technical part of proposals for government action programs. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JASON_(advisory_group) and http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dod/jason/.

    Scientific research proposals, unlike research reports, tend to be hyperbolic. This hyperbolic rhetoric is what Dyson is objecting to in the climate debate.

  25. Human CO2 emission until 2000 is about 975 G-ton.

    http://bit.ly/lEPc3P

    Has some converted this into CO2 concentration in the atmosphere?

    If so, pleas let me know the method or references.

    Thanks

    • The conversion factor is 7.8 Gt per ppm CO2, so that would be 125 ppm if it all went into the atmosphere.

    • ferd berple

      The problem with numbers like this is that they are not in context. Humans exhale billions of tons of CO2 each year. More than all the cars in the USA produce.

      • On average a human takes in as much carbon (via food) as they lose, so the carbon balance is zero, unless they are losing weight or the food is not renewable.

      • Roy Weiler

        So you are saying people who lose weight are causing Global Warming!! LOL
        Americans can save the planet! Build more fast food restaurants!!

  26. Alexander Harvey

    I think that many might benefit from what Freeman Dyson has to say but I doubt that they would find that he is in any way on their side. I find that he is best appreciated in the round which means knowing something of history and his efforts towards making the world a better place. He likes the very big picture and deep timescales. He thinks in very large numbers.

    Judith, I suspect that he is still a JASONite as is Munk, as was MacDonald. All people with little doubt about the basic science behind the warming effect of GHGs. They are all worth learning something about but that is not entirely straightforward as some or much of their work and lives has been bound up in warfare. They are full of secrets.

    I am not sure it is wise to assess the thoughts of such men without considering how they consider the nature of existential threat.

    Here I think we fall into the realm of very large numbers in which sensiible units would be billions of blighted lives.

    A more interesting interview with Dyson could have focussed on his efforts in the realm of nuclear conflict which is surely where he has consistently struggled for progress towards reducing human blight, he is much much more than a heretic no matter how civil.

    I feel confident that he must consider the world is causing much suffering with the potential to inflict much more. I feel that he really does not consider global warming to rank that highly in the scheme of things. He thinks other things are more deserving of attention. But he does believe that they really do deserve attention and that other forms of blight need addressing, and addressing in a scale that is proportionate to the massiveness of the blight and in a timely fashion. I believe he feels that we should be putting ourselves out to make a better world, that we do need to do things and that GW is not the priority. This is quite different to beleiving that we don’t need to actively engage with blight and existential threat. I am sure that if he were to prescribe reading matter that would lend another insight into his world view he would include a recommendation that people read Stapledon, a writer who deals with the long game as measured in billions of years, for I know he is a fan not least for the fact that it was Stapledon not he that dreamed up the Dyson sphere. Without acknowledging the frame of reference the he and Stapledon share, much of what Dyson has to say is rendered parochial.

    Dyson and a couple of other JASONites, whose names escape me for the now, have arguably done much more to reduce human suffering than all but a few other scientists, perhaps more than they will ever be credited for.

    I think he has been about doing things and going the extra distance to make the world a less bad place. Currently he favours watching intently for the sign that something needs to be done urgently about climate change. If you back that point of view perhaps it might be a good time to consider doing other things, addressing other issues, things that do need intervention that won’t just get better all by themselves.

    I would encourage people to get to grips with Dyson, I doubt that many would find his thinking comfortable, he is not on my side, he is on his side and I hope he stays that way.

    Alex

  27. If the climate establishment cannot convince people like Freeman Dyson of their arguments and assessment . . .

    In point of fact, the “climate establishment” has convinced many, many people like Freeman Dyson of their arguments and assessment. They just haven’t convinced Freeman Dyson. (Is 100% agreement on anything in science a realistic goal?)

    To illustrate this point, consider the Nobel Prize. A Nobel Prize in the sciences is a mark of exceptional achievement, so much so that the “Civil Heretic” journalist thought that the mere fact that some random scientist thought Dyson deserved one spoke to his exceptional genius and accomplishment. Even though, getting down to the harsh truth of the matter, he never won the Nobel, he was never ever nominated for a Nobel. Contrawise, dozens of Nobel laureates including winners in Physics and Chemistry have echoed the warnings of the “climate establishment”:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/may/29/prince-charles-nobel-laureates

    Selected Prominent Signatories to the World Scientists’ Call for Action at the Kyoto Climate Summit
    NOBEL LAUREATES
    * Philip W. Anderson, USA. Physics 1977
    * Kenneth J. Arrow, USA. Economics 1972
    * Julius Axelrod, USA. Physiology/Medicine 1970
    * David Baltimore, USA. Physiology/Medicine 1975
    * Georg J. Bednorz, Switzerland. Physics 1987
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    http://dieoff.org/page123.htm

    This is a weakness, I think, in Curry’s thesis that climate science has failed because some people reject it, many of whom are quite obviously irrational and for whom denial is interwoven with a larger tapestry of delusional right-wing theology.

    Whenever someone who is not a complete loon appears skeptical of the consensus, there is great excitement among “skeptics,” and their authority in matters of climate is invariably deliriously praised. (If he/she is skeptical, there must be something to it!) This is true of Dyson as well as of Dr. Curry herself.

    What such praises ignore is that if you admit the idea that brilliant scientists with a distinguished record of achievement probably should be heeded in matters of science, you are left with the reality that there are a hundred such voices echoing the concerns of the “climate establishment” for every one that is saying such concerns are overblown. Obviously if you breeze past dozens and dozens of geniuses who are convinced you will eventually find one that is not convinced. The fault is in the cherry-picking, not in the science.

    • Wow. A petition. To commit economic suicide.

      Not very bright of them … and not science.

  28. ferd berple

    In any case, economics will decide the question. China, India and others have made it plain they are not about to give up cheap energy.

    If it costs more for energy in the US than China it is a not difficult to see the end results. Companies will move from the US to China. China already has a labor cost advantage, and with an energy cost advantage the US will not be able to compete. We are seeing this already.

    As factories move from the USA to China, unemployment will increase in the USA. This will shrink the tax roles and increase the government deficit as the government pumps money into the economy to try and stimulate demand.

    However, this will not work because the underlying problem is not a lack of demand, it is a structural problem caused by energy costs and global competition. This can be seen in the number of empty containers flowing by ship from the USA to China, returning full.

    Ultimately the economy of the USA will be buried in debt. Having shut down domestic energy production to solve problems 100 years in the future, the problems of today will overwhelm the remaining resources.

    Throughout history the mighty empires always crumble from the inside economically. Only then do they fall militarily.

    There are two possible solutions to this problem:

    1) Isolation – the US erects trade barriers to protect high cost energy production. Many countries suspect this is the true aim of the USA policies on CO2. To gain a global trade advantage by forcing other countries off coal.

    2) Productivity – this can be done either by lowering costs or by devaluing the currency. The risk in devaluing the currency is that is sparks a worldwide rush to devalue, leading to global economic collapse. The alternative is that the USA change its domestic policies from demand stimulation to infrastructure improvement to reduce costs.

    The current USA domestic policies of demand stimulation – quantitative easing of the money supply – all that is doing is pumping up factories in China to fill the demand. It creates domestic jobs in Walmart to sell the Chinese products, but few other jobs in the USA. In effect, the USA is borrowing money from China to buy goods from China, all of which must be paid for long before AGW is a threat.

    • China, India and others have made it plain they are not about to give up cheap energy.

      China and India have done no more or less than the US has done. If we can change our minds and get serious, so can they.

      Isolation – the US erects trade barriers to protect high cost energy production. Many countries suspect this is the true aim of the USA policies on CO2. To gain a global trade advantage by forcing other countries off coal.

      The US lags behind most other developed countries in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and in discouraging pollution generally . . . I doubt many countries are worrying about a Machiavellian scheme by the US to erect trade barriers via forcing other countries off coal, because the US is doing basically nothing at this point to force others off coal or give it up ourselves.

      • China has been a huge polluter – heavy metals, and the whole nine yards – and this knowing full well the problems they cause by looking at the experience of the developed world. I’m not sure where you get the idea they will stop burning oil and coal, they won’t and neither will India. Not all countries have the same death wish promulgated by the so-called leaders in the US.

      • China has been a huge polluter – heavy metals, and the whole nine yards

        So have we. So what? That doesn’t prove the assertion “China, India and others have made it plain they are not about to give up cheap energy.”

        “I’m not sure where you get the idea they will stop burning oil and coal,”

        You’re confused. Fred asserted with certainty that China and India would not cut greenhouse gas emissions. I pointed out that he hasn’t supported that claim with evidence, and that they may decide to get serious, just as we may. You repeat fred’s fact-free assertion, and ask me to prove the contrary. Doesn’t work like that. See burden of proof, the.

      • That was too easy, Robert. :

        China’s Dependence on Coal

        Coal provides China with 69 percent of its primary energy and 80 percent of it electricity. It is relatively plentiful and cheap but very dirty. The government wants to replace coal with oil, natural gas and hydroelectric power primarily to clean up its air. Even so demand for coal keeps increasing as the economy grows and 60 new coal-fired power stations go on line every year. China could become a net coal importer between 2010 and 2015. China relies on coal to achieve its goal of energy independence. Thanks to coal China is 90 percent self-sufficient in energy—20 percent more than most of the developed countries in OECD.

        Even if drastic measures are taken China will still have to rely on coal for 65 percent of its energy needs for the foreseeable future. A Chinese coal engineer told the New York Times, “We are a developing country and we started without a very good foundation. We have so few choices and no funding, so our industries are going to rely heavily on coal for a long time to come.” By some estimates China will have to triple its use of coal if it wants to achieve a standard of living near that of the United States. Some predict that by 2030 China’s demand for coal will exceed that of the rest of the world combined. Even though China far and away produces more coal than any other country demand is so strong it has limited exports.

        http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=322&catid=13&subcatid=85

      • “China’s Dependence on Coal”

        We use a lot of coal too. That they use a lot of goal shows something about where they are starting from, but says nothing, one way or the other, about where they will chose to go in the future.

        Still waiting for an argument to back up the original assertion. It probably seemed “too easy” because it was too easy; you didn’t actually answer the question.

      • And why do you assume that the coal-fired plants they are building at the rate of one or more a week will be closed down anytime in the next 50 years? The fact that they are building them tells you their intentions. Unless you’re too stupid to understand simple logic.

      • You are just shooting random flack. I won’t hold my breath waiting for the Chinese government to starve 1.3 billion people to avoid a little CO2. Even they aren’t that stupid. They eventually would be shot in the head by said people and those same would burn more coal. What is it about starving and freezing to death that you don’t understand?

      • ferd berple

        “Fred asserted with certainty that China and India would not cut greenhouse gas emissions”

        Untrue, what I said is they have made it clear that they will not give up cheap energy. Their policy priority is to end poverty through industrialization. If someone comes along with solar cells that produce electricity cheaper than coal fired plants, I would expect China to adopt them in preference to coal.

        The Chinese will cut the rate of growth of GHG emissions if someone pays them to do so. All that is required is for someone to pay them more than they could make by way of the increased emissions. Similar to paying farmers not to grow crops.

      • Untrue, what I said is they have made it clear that they will not give up cheap energy.

        You introduced it in the context of countries taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I met you halfway in making sense of your assertion. The observation that countries like their energy cheap and would prefer it not get more dear is completely trivial. Everyone likes cheap energy.

        I’m looking for the evidence that China and India are somehow more committed to cheap energy than the US.

        The Chinese will cut the rate of growth of GHG emissions if someone pays them to do so.

        There you go again, relying on what I can only assume are your telepathic powers to assert that you know the future decisions of one of the largest and most rapidly changing nations in the world. How about some evidence for your assertions?

      • Robert
        That has been discussed a number of times on this blog. I would suggest that you prove your case since you are arguing by assertion.

        However, I will give you clue – a recent National Geographic article on China has some information. And then there’s this –

      • Sorry, Jim, you’ve lied and ad hommed your way through too many discussions to be worth my time.

        Just assume that if I did engage you, you’d emerge with a raw behind as per usual. ;)

      • I didn’t ask for answers from you – I don’t care because you couldn’t come up with a straight answer to save your life. If you ever write anything that isn’t a lie, I’ll be shocked, shocked, I tell you!

        And I see you haven’t seen your psychiatrist about that spanking fixation. Remember the only way you’ll ever accomplish that dream – and the results (which, BTW, I’ve already arranged for). :-)

    • David L. Hagen

      Deng Xiaoping pronounced:

      “It does not matter what color a cat is as long as it hunts mice” and “To get rich is glorious!”

      He unleashed the greatest explosion of productivity and economic growth in history.
      I expect China will continue this pragmatic policy of economic growth. It will politely agree to improve equipment efficiency where it is economically prudent to do so!
      See:
      China thermal coal use up 10% YoY in 2010: BP

      (BP) Updated: 2011-06-13 10:02
      China, the world’s largest producer and consumer of thermal coal, saw its consumption grow 10% year-on-year to 1.73 billion tonnes last year, according to the BP 2011 Statistical Review of World Energy.

      China produced some 1.8 billion tonnes of thermal coal in 2010, up 9% on the year, and accounts for 48.2% of global output.

      This will probably continue for the foreseeable future until the geological constraints of peak coal shut that back.

      This is similar to the USA’s rate of 9%/year growth in oil consumption from 1880 to 1940. See Tad Patzek 2008 Fig 11.

      • This will probably continue for the foreseeable future until the geological constraints of peak coal shut that back.

        That’s certainly one possibility. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Chinese environmental degradation, if unchecked, may severely compromise growth in the long term: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2007/08/26/world/asia/choking_on_growth.html.

        Even if we accept (for the sake of argument) the idea that China’s leaders want growth, growth and only growth (although like most real people, they are probably a little more complex than that) they may come to realize that mitigating global warming is necessary to maintain their growth in the future. It would require a degree of long-term thinking on their part, which is hard for politicians of any nationality, but I don’t see that them getting their act together is any more improbable than the US or Europe doing the same.

  29. In summary, I find it pretty difficult to dismiss what Dyson has said in this article, and it is not to the credit of people like Jim Hansen that have tried to marginalize him.

    While my coffee is brewing and my other comment is stuck in the spam filter, another minor point: I don’t see any way in which Hansen has “tried to marginalize” Dyson. Has he gotten him fired from a job? Pressured campus groups to de-invite him to speaking engagements? Invited people to picket his house and heckle his lectures?

    As far as we’re told, Hansen has done none of those things. He said he didn’t think Dyson was important in the discussion. I don’t think the observation that someone is marginal really counts as an effort to marginalize that person, unless it occurs as part of some concerted PR campaign. But if a reporter calls you up and asks you what you think of X, and you say, well, I don’t think X is very important, I don’t think that rises to the level of trying to marginalize that person.

    Hansen also said he thinks Dyson should do his homework, which, given that Dyson’s main complaints are about climate models, and he admits he hasn’t studied and doesn’t fully understand climate models, seems like a fairly calm and reasonable observation. He’s not saying Dyson shouldn’t talk about climate, only that he should be well versed in the science he is criticizing. An unpopular suggestion in this crowd, no doubt, but hardly an effort to marginalize.

    Hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday morning.

  30. Theo Goodwin

    Professor Curry writes:

    “So here is a fundamental question: Who should evaluate and assess climate science?”

    Science is the critical discipline par excellence, so everyone who is a scientist and serious in their endeavor of criticism should evaluate and assess climate science. But Professor Curry’s question goes deeper. She recommends that a body like the JASONs should be convened to evaluate and assess climate science. Her suggestion strikes me as reasonable. But I do not believe that it would have the intended effect and that is because climate scientists are unusually resistant to assessments and evaluations of climate science, not only from non-climate scientists, but from climate scientists who fall outside the “consensus.” So, the real question is why is it that climate scientists are so resistant to criticism of the “consensus” in climate science and why do they invest so much energy in attacking criticisms of it?

    The first part of the answer is simple and plain. The “consensus” of climate scientists are committed to a particular set of policy proposals. In defense of those policies, climate scientists refuse to engage critics of the science for fear that such criticism might weaken support of the policies among the public. However, the reasons for support of scientific hypotheses and support of policy positions are independent of one another both logically and methodologically. Climate scientists should take upon themselves responsibility for separating the scientific issues from the policy issues and for engaging with critics of the science. If they would take this simple step then they would find that acrimony would disappear from the debate on climate science.

    Another part of the answer is plain but not simple. The “consensus” of climate scientists rests most of its claims in support of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) on simulations that are products of computer models. They treat the simulations as evidence; that is, they treat the results of computer models as if they were observations made by scientists who are informed with a good scientific understanding of the phenomena observed. Some members of the “consensus” treat simulations as predictive. Yet computer models do not contain physical hypotheses nor are they logically equivalent to physical hypotheses. The results of model runs should not be entered as evidence in the scientific debate over climate science.

    If results of computer models are not entered as evidence for CAGW then what remains includes the physical hypotheses created by Arrhenius in the 19th century. If the question of “forcings” is set aside, these physical hypotheses can be used to predict warming but not dangerous warming. If the question of “forcings,” such as changes in cloud behavior under conditions of increasing CO2, is taken up then the need is for additional physical hypotheses that are reasonably well confirmed and that would extend Arrhenius’ work. None exist at this time.

    Finally, what remains are a collection of endeavors that are similar to Mann’s work on the Hockey Stick. Regardless of what one might think about the quality of Mann’s work, everyone should recognize that its products do not include physical theories or hypotheses. The Hockey Stick graph is the result of taking two sets of numbers and arguing that there is a correlation between them. In the case of the Hockey Stick, the two sets were historical data for tree rings and historical data for surface temperature. If the Hockey Stick graph were beyond criticism, the fact would remain that all it shows is a correlation and that it has neither explanatory nor predictive value.

    The scientific debate on climate science should return to the science and forgo policy proposals. The “consensus” of climate scientists should lead this redirection of the debate. To accomplish this goal, the “consensus” of climate scientists must engage with their critics in the spirit of criticism. Science is the critical discipline par excellence and the most important part of criticism is self-criticism.

    • Theo Goodwin writes “The scientific debate on climate science should return to the science and forgo policy proposals. The “consensus” of climate scientists should lead this redirection of the debate. To accomplish this goal, the “consensus” of climate scientists must engage with their critics in the spirit of criticism. Science is the critical discipline par excellence and the most important part of criticism is self-criticism.”

      Than you Theo, for an excellent post, with which I, and I suspect many others, will agree with wholeheartedly. However, there is a problem with implementing your excellent suggestion, which I have copied. That is the attitude of the learned societies of the world. And at the top of the list, I would suggest are the Royal Society, the American Physical Society, and the World Meteorological Organization.

      As long as these learned bodies insist that the “science is settled”, and no discussion is required, your exellent sugestion will fall on deaf ears. Why these learned bodies are so stupid, I have no idea. They refuse to poll their members on this issue, and doggedly stick to a position, which as you so rightly point out, is unscientific.

      We can only hope that things will change in the near future. But I am not holding my breath.

  31. So, the real question is why is it that climate scientists are so resistant to criticism of the “consensus” in climate science and why do they invest so much energy in attacking criticisms of it?

    To see the answer to your question, broaden its scope.

    Why are historians so resistant to criticisms of their accounts of an alleged “Holocaust” of Europe’s Jews?

    Why are physicians so resistant to criticism of their theory that vaccines are a safe and effective method of disease prevention? Why are they even more resistant, even hostile to criticisms of their theory that HIV causes AIDS?

    I would propose that resistance is likely when the criticisms are a) Contradicted by massive amounts of physical evidence, b) Overtly driven by ideology, and c) Potentially harmful to the public if given credence.

    One could suggest other factors which provoke resistance, such as basic mistakes in science, obnoxious and abusive rhetoric, hypocrisy and cherry-picking, plagiarism and falsification of data, but I think a), b), and c) are the main factors in provoking resistance to “skeptics.”

    • The ad hom approach that the left takes on many subjects if to avoid science while claiming ownership of it and declaring the consensus the only science.

      A few simple “fact” questions Robert, you can give ranges if you like;

      A. What percentage of the GHEffect does water vapor contribute?

      B. What percentage of warming do humans play?

      C. What percentage GHE comes from nature?

      D. Is water vapour a gas?

      Talk numbers and y or n. Lets skip the ad hom rebuttals and smoke and mirror.

      • A few simple “fact” questions Robert, you can give ranges if you like;

        I’d be happy to do on online science course for you, just as soon as I get your check for this semester’s tuition. Until then, I suggest you educate yourself, and remember: your ignorance is not evidence of anything but your ignorance.

      • As usual the facts and numbers are ignored. Just on to name calling and mumblings about “science is settled”.

        I’d like to see JC put up her estimates about what she accepts on this very basic science questions.

      • Robert,

        Except that you art majors from the American community colleges don’t make very good science teachers.

      • “Lets skip the ad hom rebuttals and smoke and mirror.”

        It was too much to ask.

    • Robert –
      Why are historians so resistant to criticisms of their accounts of an alleged “Holocaust” of Europe’s Jews?

      Because they’re claiming the non-existence of events for which there are still eye-witnesses, photos, movies, books and journal accounts. I know of no reputable historian who would call it an “alleged” Holocaust.

      Why are physicians so resistant to criticism of their theory that vaccines are a safe and effective method of disease prevention? Why are they even more resistant, even hostile to criticisms of their theory that HIV causes AIDS?

      Are they? You need to provide evidence of that allegation.

      One could suggest other factors which provoke resistance, such as basic mistakes in science, obnoxious and abusive rhetoric, hypocrisy and cherry-picking, plagiarism and falsification of data

      That’s a good summary – but then you screwed up the thought.

    • Physicians were also hostile to the idea that not washing their hands was causing childbirth fever (and deaths, thousands of deaths) and currently resist the idea that their neckties carry germs. Geologists were resistant to plate tectonics. Einstein was resistant to quantum mechanics. People, even scientists, get stuck on what they know. The fact that sometimes scientists/doctors whoever are right to resist silly ideas does not mean that those who resist an opposing idea are right–it just means they are human.

    • K Scott Denison

      Robert, you raise the straw man of medicine frequently. I wonder, if you have heard of the new, scientifically-driven movement towards evidence-based medicine? It is an effort driven by physicians who have realized that the days of every “physician as god” have not led to uniformly high quality care. So these physicians are turning to data, rather than just their own experiences, to drive their clinical decisions. Which is why if you want high quality care, better outcomes, and lower cost medicine you would be well to move to Salt Lake City or Rochester, MN.

  32. Theo Goodwin

    Robert,

    You are Begging the Question, arguing in a circle. You compare “consensus” climate scientists to Holocaust Scholars. There is ample evidence for the claims of the latter but not for the claims of the former.

    If you think that there are physical hypotheses which go beyond Arrhenius’ work and enable prediction of dangerous global warming, would you please produce them and the physical evidence that makes them reasonably well confirmed. Surely, by now, you know that no such physical hypotheses exist. Don’t you think it is important that no one can produce those hypotheses?

    • You are Begging the Question, arguing in a circle.

      Not at all. I’m introducing other examples of resistance to “skeptics.” More than one example of a phenomenon increases the probability that we will see the underlying principles at work in that phenomenon. In the case of resistance to “skeptics,” you have completely ignored a very reasonable hypothesis for why your theories encounter resistance: your theories are poorly supported by evidence, heavily dependent on cherry-picking and loose associations, promoted by sloppy amateurs with hysterical and abusive rhetoric. Resistance is the obvious result. Why will you not consider the most parsimonious explanation — that your beliefs meet resistance from scientists because they are grossly defective in scientific terms?

      Surely, by now, you know that no such physical hypotheses exist.

      This is an example of a true circular argument. I must know your delusions are valid because — well, I just know, surely.

      I see no reason to consider my initial hypothesis falsified: the criticisms are a) Contradicted by massive amounts of physical evidence, b) Overtly driven by ideology, and c) Potentially harmful to the public if given credence.

      Fix a) and b), and c) will then take care of itself, and your credibility problems will vanish.

      • Theo Goodwin

        Robert,

        You do not have a clue about what you are asserting. I will no longer respond to your posts.

  33. Theo Goodwin

    To Jim Cripwell,

    They are acting as elites who know what is best for the rest of us, especially the taxpayer. They have many motivations to avoid discussing the science. Some are true believers in doom. Some are communists. Some want to keep the money flowing. Some really believe in supercomputers and climate models and want to protect that research. None are acting as scientists.

    • Theo Goodwin

      Another point. Lord Nurse, new head of the Royal Society, is an really interesting example of what is going on. He was given the job recently and he has been aggressive in defense of the Royal Society as regards climate science. Yet he is totally out of his depth on climate science and scientific methodology. His recent statements, often reproduced on the web, show that he thinks he can discuss scientific methodology without making reference to physical hypotheses. In his case, it seems rather clear that he was made head of the society because he is telegenic and well spoken then told “Defend us at all costs.”

  34. ferd berple

    Sustainable Energy production fact and fiction.

    http://www.ieso.ca/imoweb/siteShared/monthly_prices.asp?sid=md

    Looking at the included link, one can quickly see that the wholesale price of electricity in Ontario Canada is well under 10 cents per kwh. Closer to 3.5 cents per kwh.

    Yet, Ontario has a FIT program that guarantees wind energy producers 13.5 cents per kwh, and solar power producers 44.3 – 71.3 cents per kwh.

    http://fit.powerauthority.on.ca/fit-price-schedule

    Energy production that costs many times the market value is not sustainable production. Imagine what would happen to the economy of any state that tried to scale up such a policy, such as Spain.

  35. The Left has engaged in the politics of destruction from the beginning and continuously thereafter to keep the global warming hoax alive. In the end Gore and Bush are representative of what was involved in the biggest hoax in our lifetimes. After losing the presidency, Al Gore had no qualms engaging is politics that if successful would destroy America — and, the Left loved Gore for that. After winning the election, President Bush stood against Kyota like the lone Chinaman in Tiananmen Square and was guilty of supporting America with his whole heart — and, the Left hated Bush for that.

  36. “Chinaman”

    Seriously Wagathon, I just love your posts.

    (Cue stream of posts crying about “political correctness,” from people who also cry about the term “denier.”)

    • Argument by assertion doesn’t impress, Josh.

      And unspecified sarcasm is just seen as anger.

  37. Heh, that which cannot be named.
    ============

  38. So here is a fundamental question: Who should evaluate and assess climate science?

    Judith presents this question in her post.

    That raises several other questions in my mind.

    1) What does assessing climate science mean and what is the purpose of such assessment?

    This question does not have unique answers, but must be started by studying the second question. Only, when the purpose and goal of the assessment is specified, can we decide, what the content of the assessment would be.

    Science assessments are used as a tool in planning science policy and in making funding decisions. These purposes lead to their own type of assessment, where scientific excellence has often greater weight than any short term use the research might have.

    When we are talking about assessment of the climate science, most people have other purposes in mind. They are likely to be interested in the value of the results in deciding on climate policies. That requires a different type of assessment, but noting that the assessment would be used in policy decision making is not yet a sufficient specification of the assessment. What kind of questions the decision makers are interested in varies greatly. Some of them may accept the precautionary principle as essential and require assessment of the worst plausible outcomes, while others may not accept this approach and require more information on outcomes that are most likely to materialize.

    The needs of the users of the assessment depends also on the scope of the needs. Do the needs concern only the actual climate science that is included in the scope of the IPCC WG1 or do they extend to the areas of WG2, WG3 and beyond?

    2) Who can make the assessment?

    We know that many, perhaps most, of the results of the present climate science are based on combining a variety of arguments. They are not logical conclusions from irrefutable specific experiments or analyses. Most of the skeptics writing on this site justify their views precisely on this state of science, while many main stream climate scientists and also some writers here say that the combined evidence is strong in spite of the fact that no single result is that strong. Where are those objective wise men, who can present a strong judgment on such issues?

    The problems may get even more difficult, when the scope of the assessment is widened beyond the climate change proper. The requirements for the group that’s supposed to make the assessment may become totally unrealistic.

    One valid answer is that those, who are going to use the information are also responsible for the assessment of the data that they use. They may accept only an assessment made by their trusted advisors. These advisors may use help of some further experts, but again based on pre-existing trust. What value has any assessment, if the user of its conclusions doesn’t have trust in its authors.

    • Jack Hughes

      Hi Pekka,

      I often see this line of reasoning:

      climate science are based on combining a variety of arguments. They are not logical conclusions from irrefutable specific experiments or analyses. … many main stream climate scientists and also some writers here say that the combined evidence is strong in spite of the fact that no single result is that strong.

      Now I replace the word “climate” with the word “UFO” and read it again:

      UFO science are based on combining a variety of arguments. They are not logical conclusions from irrefutable specific experiments or analyses. … many main stream UFO scientists and also some writers here say that the combined evidence is strong in spite of the fact that no single result is that strong.

      Can you see the point ? Lots of weak evidence does not create strong evidence.

      • In almost any field you can change a word in a sentence and reproduce nonsense. That observation is worthless.

      • Jack Hughes

        Hi Pekka,
        My fault. Let me try and explain the point again.

        Lots of weak evidence does not add up to strong evidence.

        There is lots of weak evidence for UFOs. It’s building up and up. Every year there are thousands of sightings.

        None of this adds up to strong evidence.

      • Lots of weak evidence does not add up to strong evidence.

        No general statements can be made on this. It all depends on, how weak the weak evidence is and, how much such evidence exists. Of course all the contrary evidence must also be taken into account. A sufficient amount of weak evidence with much less contrary evidence is, however, strong evidence.

        If the situation would not be within the range covered by the above, it would be much easier to reach an (almost) unanimous agreement on the climate change, but unfortunately the reality is not that simple.

      • Pekka Pirilä says

        …”A sufficient amount of weak evidence with much less contrary evidence is, however, strong evidence.”……

        A lot of weight is placed on the word “sufficient” here.
        Sufficient to who?
        Your statement is in fact a circular argument with a very subjective resolution.

      • Sufficient to the one, who has the right and duty to decide.

        That is a fact of life that all decisions are based on subjective judgments by those who have the power to decide, whatever the way they have got that power. They can also choose, whom they use as advisors, and these advisors in turn, what are their methods in producing their advice.

    • There’s another facet to that question. I can list a couple of examples of Nobel laureates who most people would agree are crackpots when they dabble outside of their narrow fields: Linus Pauling (vitamin C theories) and Richard Shockley (racial theories). So why is Dyson different, or is he?

      My answer is that he’s different, and he’s different because Pauling and Shockley were advocating strong claims, where Dyson isn’t (with the exception of his strong claim that more CO2 is better for agriculture).

  39. David L. Hagen

    Well put Pekka
    Who can evaluate?
    1) We the People can readily apply the “smell test” and “the laugh test”. By both, the IPCC is found wanting.
    2) Person’s capable of applying the scientific method.

    For example, by other scientists. See Climate Change Reconsidered by the NIPCC

    One ongoing evaluation is on the “skill” of IPCC’s Global warming models to forecast future temperatures. Lucia Liljegren at The Blackboard is statistically testing this “skill” and finds it increasing wanting. See her category “data comparisons”. e.g. May T Anomalies: Cooler than April. 29 June, 2011 (12:10) e.g. 25 month smoothed observations HadCrut shows 0.02 C/decade NOAA/NCDC 0.06 C/decade and GISTtemp 0.12 C/decade, compared to IPCC’s multi model mean of 0.205 C/decade.

    Summary
    Using 2000 as the start date for analysis, and assuming red noise (i.e. “Phil Jones-like” noise) assumption to model residuals from a linear the multi-model mean trend under A1B forcing is inconsistent with observed trends based on NOAA and HadCrut, but remains ‘not-inconsistent’ with GISTemp. The 137 month (i.e. Jan 2000-May 2011) multi-model mean anomaly is inconsistent with all three observational data set if residuals are models using “red noise”; it is inconsistent with NOAA/NCDC and HadCRut but remains not-inconsistent with GISTemp if we use using maximal-uncertainty ARIMA to estimate the uncertainty intervals.

    Similarly Roy Spencer’s preliminary evaluation of diffusive ocean warming shows much lower sensitivity than the IPCC’s models.
    See: More Evidence that Global Warming is a False Alarm: A Model Simulation of the last 40 Years of Deep Ocean Warming June 25th, 2011 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

    Kesten C. Green and J. Scott Armstrong evaluated the IPCC’s methodology in:
    GLOBAL WARMING: FORECASTS BY SCIENTISTS VERSUS SCIENTIFIC FORECASTS

    They find that the IPCC’s:

    Report included predictions of dramatic increases in average world temperatures over the next 92 years and serious harm resulting from the predicted temperature increases. Using forecasting principles as our guide we asked: Are these forecasts a good basis for developing public policy? Our answer is “no”.
    To provide forecasts of climate change that are useful for policy-making, one would need to forecast (1) global temperature, (2) the effects of any temperature changes, and (3) the effects of feasible alternative policies. Proper forecasts of all three are necessary for rational policy making. We found enough information to make judgments on 89 out of a total of 140 forecasting principles. The forecasting procedures that were described violated 72 principles. Many of the violations were, by themselves, critical. The forecasts in the Report were not the outcome of scientific procedures. In effect, they were the opinions of scientists transformed by mathematics and obscured by complex writing.,

    As observed by Dyson Freeman, there is thus growing evidence that both the IPCC’s, and consequently the EPA’s reviews of the science, their models and their methodology do NOT pass the scientific method.

    • We may find any number of “evaluations” like those you list, but what’s their value? Who takes them seriously? Those who like the conclusions may refer to them, but nobody really cares.

      • David L. Hagen

        Pekka
        We the People are beginning to evaluate the data and find it wanting:
        In U.S., Concerns About Global Warming Stable at Lower Levels

        While Americans’ self-professed understanding of global warming has increased over time — from 69% saying they understand the issue “very well” or “fairly well” in 2001, to 74% in 2006 and 80% in the current poll — their concern about global warming across several measures is generally in the lower range of what Gallup has found historically.

        Those that “worry a great deal or fair amount about the problem” dropped from 66% to 51% over the last 3 years!

      • Pekka,

        I certainly take Lucia’s evaluation seriously. I believe she still has a paper winding its way through the peer review machine. I take her evaluation seriously because the math is correct. that other people choose to ignore it matters little to me. Its the same with Mann’s decentered PCA. The “industry” ignored it for a long time. The industry ignored Piltdown man for 40 years. The beauty of a open science is that I can get the data, get the code and check for myself. When people tell me the models that predict .2C warming should be trusted, I can check. Opps, they are running a little hot. Then if I check presentations at various conferences I find other problems with the models. This doesnt make AGW false or a fraud, but it appears, at the present, that models centered on 3C per doubling are running hot.

        No amount of arm waving or head in the sandism changes that math.
        Nothing you say changes that math. We have access to the numbers. we can do the math and we tend to ignore people who say 2+2 =5, whether they are skeptics or CAGW types. Whether they are Phd’s or nobel prize winners.

      • I made comment blunt expecting that readers understand it’s basic message.

        What I wanted to say is that individuals or small groups can certainly present also good critique on specific parts of science, but producing a comprehensive assessment of the results of the climate science is another matter.

        When the most important results are obtained as a synthesis of many weaker results, the comprehensive assessment must be evaluate convincingly the whole: most of the specific studies and the way their results are combined to form the overall view. IPCC reports and several other papers like that of Knutti and Hegerl have been written in that spirit, but as we know, all are not convinced. The IPCC reports show at least the volume of the research that is used in its attempt to tell, what has been learned. Anybody wishing to argue seriously for some other conclusions must be essentially as comprehensive.

        Criticizing the IPCC reports may show weaknesses in its assessment, but does not provide a comparable alternative. Presenting a comparable alternative requires that its presented openly in full and subjected to similar critique as IPCC reports have been subjected to after their publication (and also during the process of producing them). This is something that even the best individual critiques cannot approach.

      • Jack Hughes

        Hi Pekka, lets go back to the UFO analogy.

        Imagine a “comprehensive assessment” of the UFO phenomenon, that “synthesises the weaker results” to “form an overall view”. Do I have to counter this with a “comparable alternative” or can I just laugh at these whack-jobs?

      • When the most important results are obtained as a synthesis of many weaker results….

        , we call this a house of cards, built on sand, or circular logic. :)

        I know you didn’t mean to toss that verbal strawman to the wolves like that, but you can’t lob it across the plate and not expect someone to hit it out of the park.

        But getting serious, you are describing a belief system, not science, where weak observations and speculations reinforce each other and the believers tune out contrary evidence, both unconsciously and consciously.

        I hate to mention the E word, but this is NOT like evolution, where many strong lines of evidence converge on an overall picture, with perhaps a few questions and gaps arising. The evidence of AGW proponents is threadbare and fragile, requiring closing one-eye, squinting, and hopping on one foot to see the picture emerge from the fog.

        AGW proponents are constantly attempting to tease signals out of noise with novel statistical methods and more. Many examples are known to the serious skeptics here and discounted by the serious AGW proponents, but the fact remains, if you have to use such novel methods to even decide if sea level rise is accelerating, or if there are changes in storm patterns, if there are climate refugees or not, or if Antarctica is warming or cooling, is any of that evidence particularly strong (robust?), or perhaps are you cherry-picking unconsciously the results that confirm your worldview? You may find it hard to believe that an organization the size of the IPCC and its supporters can be so misguided, but worldviews are strong things, and people with a stake in a belief do not let go easily.

        Our host has done some of this teasing of signals out of noise herself in some of her own research. I think she may now be realizing this.

        There are a couple of real world global observations that clearly are consistent with AGW, but are not enough to conclusively state that it is happening, just a couple, not thousands, not hundreds, not dozens. All the rest are weak signals from noise, or models running hot.

        It is not incumbent on skeptics to create an alternate belief system to replace this house of cards. All that is required to is to keep knocking the cards down until the house collapses, or to continue to keep tossing in metaphors, to kill it with a thousand cuts. Should the science stand up to real scrutiny, not pal review, then it will stand on its own, but this is becoming more and more unlikely as more information appears.

      • My above comment is not dependent on the judgment on, what IPCC has got right and what wrong. It’s only about the requirements that anybody has to satisfy to make his or his organizations views any more trustworthy.

        Right or wrong, there is a huge amount of work behind the IPCC reports, when all the research is included that is considered in the reports. It’s not one single logical chain of arguments that would be broken, when one link is shown suspect, but it’s a cloud of knowledge where numerous separate and parallel chains of reasoning are included. Arguing against that sets high demands for those, who claim to have a better answer, and wish that others would accept that claim.

      • A “cloud of knowledge”, a Brain Cloud? Joe Banks, is that you?

        Or http://vimeo.com/5074625

        But seriously, I couldn’t think of a better analogy for the concept of GCM model ensembles. No matter what your observation, it falls somewhere in the cloud of ensemble runs. At this point, there is no conceivable Weather occurrence that AGW has not been predicted to cause in the published literature. Enough papers have been published by AGW proponents that for every Weather or Climate observation, one can point to a paper and say. “See we predicted that”. If perhaps, other published papers, say predicting declining snowfall, get ignored when it’s snowing, deferring to the currently topical literature of the day, well, that other paper’s time will come. There has to be a couple of winter drought years sometime soon.

        This is the knowledge cloud you are describing. Every prediction has been made in the literature.

        http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

        No matter what happens, it is “consistent with” the published literature on the perils of AGW. For every observation, one can pick a justification out of the “cloud of knowlege” why AGW is worse than we thought Again, you describe a belief system.

        Well, instead of collapsing or dying, perhaps the cloud of knowledge will simply evaporate under regular scrutiny, or just ridicule.

      • David L. Hagen

        Pekka Pirilä
        Re “a huge amount of work behind the IPCC reports”
        I agree. For a preliminary alternative evaluation, see
        Climate Change Reconsidered, the 880 p NIPCC report.
        A 500 p update is in the works. See the ongoing summaries of relevant articles.

      • Do you expect that the NIPCC report will be found trustworthy by anybody not already convinced?

      • David L. Hagen

        Pekka
        The NIPCC reviews the literature. Eventually conscientious researchers will dig into the original papers. You can always plant seeds and hope the ground is ready and watered to bear a crop. Sooner or later the rapidly growing volume of satellite data etc will catch up with the modellers and they will have to conform their models to reality. Conscience and integrity will eventually challenge funding.

      • steven mosher

        Thanks for your comment.

        However, you are less critical not to call it a fraud, as it was done by people who know the maths and are able to correctly interpret the data.

        Steven, you don’t agree, but the following “accelerated warming” interpretation is a fraud.

        http://bit.ly/b9eKXz

        Thanks

      • David L. Hagen

        steven mosher
        Thanks for reaffirming the scientific method. That will eventually win out.

        “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”

        Albert Einstein (paraphrased). Alice Calaprice (ed. 2005) The New Quotable Einstein Princeton University Press and Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ISBN 0-691-12074-9 p. 291.

      • “No amount of arm waving or head in the sandism changes that math.
        Nothing you say changes that math. We have access to the numbers. we can do the math and we tend to ignore people who say 2+2 =5, whether they are skeptics or CAGW types. Whether they are Phd’s or nobel prize winners.”

        Well said. The CAGW types that say things like, “scientists don’t argue with flat earthers, so why should climate scientists argue with climate deniers”, are forgetting one very basic thing. If climate science is so sound, then why are they caught cheating so much? Why the need to hide the decline?

        Yes, we can do the math. I think CAGWers are only playing to those that can’t or won’t take time. They know we know. They are just trying to sway enough people to pull this thing off!

    • Criticizing the IPCC and then citing the NIPCC report should be the definition of hypocrisy.

      • Could you please explain why you say this?

      • I suppose you also think that criticizing the prosecution for offering bad arguments, while citing the defense for offering good ones, is also hypocritical trial practice in the jury room. You have missed the point of the debate. In many cases the NIPCC is correcting IPCC errors and omissions. That is their mission.

  40. David L. Hagen

    Errata: Kesten C. Green and J. Scott Armstrong, GLOBAL WARMING: FORECASTS BY SCIENTISTS VERSUS SCIENTIFIC FORECASTS, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT VOLUME 18 No. 7+8 2007
    http://www.forecastingprinciples.com/files/WarmAudit31.pdf

  41. A. What percentage of the GHEffect does water vapor contribute?

    B. What percentage of warming do humans play?

    C. What percentage GHE comes from nature?

    D. Is water vapour a gas?

    Talk numbers and y or n. Lets skip the ad hom rebuttals and smoke and mirror.

    ////////

    Clearly someone can’t leave the microphone and address the questions. Are there any others? One more, why would the EPA try to declare water vapour a “pollutant”???

    http://www.ecoenquirer.com/EPA-water-vapor.htm

    • D: yes by definition.

      To be a bit more wordy about it. We can measure the vibrational-rotational and rotational spectra of isolated water molecules (aka water vapor). Analysis shows that this spectrum is produced by water vapor, e.g. single molecules. We can also measure the spectrum of water molecules in nitrogen and oxygen and measure broadening of the lines by collisions. (google HITRAN for more details). We see the same spectra in the atmosphere establishing the answer to D. We can also measure the spectrum of clusters of water vapor molecules, 2, 3, 4, etc. and relate the measurements to the properties of the clusters (google Richard Saykally water clusters for examples), and we can also look at water droplets of various sizes.

  42. “My objections to the global warming propaganda are not so much over the technical facts, about which I do not know much, but it’s rather against the way those people behave and the kind of intolerance to criticism that a lot of them have. I think that’s what upsets me”
    Snap!

  43. JC says:

    So here is a fundamental question: Who should evaluate and assess climate science?

    Me. You. All your readers. Voters. Interested citizens. Taxpayers. My grandchildren!

    I no longer trust the institutions nor the mendacious experts that are ever in the news to do the right thing. I doubt I ever will again.

  44. A. What percentage of the GHEffect does water vapor contribute?

    B. What percentage of warming do humans play?

    C. What percentage GHE comes from nature?

    D. Why would the epa want to declare water vapour a “pollutant”?;

    http://www.ecoenquirer.com/EPA-water-vapor.htm

    E. What is it about agw advocates that makes the vains in their neck explode when asked simple questions about the settled science such as above, refuse to reply and begin name calling or always change the subject to more abstract talking points?

    F. Is water vapour a gas? Why is excluded in many warmist charts and arguments as a ghg?

    Talk numbers and y or n. Lets skip the ad hom rebuttals and smoke and mirror.

    ////////

    Clearly some can’t leave the microphone and address the questions. Are there any others who might try?

  45. Rattus Norvegicus

    cwon14,

    Why do you keep reposting this, your list of stupid questions? Most of these you can answer for yourself.

    However, fools jump in:

    A) Chris Colose did a decent write up at his blog. Depending on what you are looking at, the answer is “around 60%”.

    B + C) These questions are ill posed and are basically inverses of each other. Answer one and you’ve answered the other. What exactly do you mean? If you mean “what proportion of the enhanced GHE is being caused by humans”, the IPCC says “most” which I take to be more than 50%. Gavin Schmidt did some back of the envelope calculations and came up with 80% to 120%, mostly because of aerosol uncertainties.

    If you mean the current percentage of the total greenhouse effect, that is somewhat smaller since the base greenhouse effect (at 280ppm) is about 33C. Honestly, this isn’t even algebra. Figure it out yourself, the warming due to enhanced greenhouse is about 1C.

    D) Sorry, this site looks like bogus stuff. Search for Ray Donaldson epa just turns up sites in the echo chamber, nothing at the epa. This smells bogus.

    There is a reason nobody answered your questions. This is because they are generally pretty lazy. If you cared about the answers they are easy to find, google works quite well for this sort of stuff.

    • Well Rattus, now we have yur “stupid” reply on the board. One that many disagree with and the IPCC refuses to assign numbers to since the flimsy “consensus” would fall further apart over.

      If doesn’t come with warmist obfuscation very simple questions that clearly show the minimal human scale of gh impacts almost always and quickly end with calling someone “stupid”. The source “bogus”.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Dude, that “source” looks like an April Fool’s joke from several years ago! Director of Pollutant Decrees? Rainbow Treetower? Give me a break. If you believe that source, you are a sucker and I now know that you can be ignored.

      • Roy Weiler

        The website is pretty funny, have you checked out the polar bears dying of heat exhaustion? LOL

  46. Comparing the global warming rate of ONLY one warming phase with a longer period that consists a combination of this warming and previous cooling phase and claiming “accelerated warming” is a scientific fraud by the IPCC.

    http://bit.ly/b9eKXz

    There is no evidence of ACCELERATED WARMING in the data as shown in the following graph.

    http://bit.ly/lUQBhX

    According to the data, as there is no accelerated warming due to human emission of CO2, AGW is a fraud.

  47. Answer to A: 95% is an internet myth

    The short answer is that the question has a problem, because there are overlaps, double coverage as it were in many regions of the spectrum. The question was answered many years ago by Ramanathan and Coakley (1978) who asked instead, how much of the greenhouse effect would be left if one, or some combination of the greenhouse gases were removed. Gavin Schmidt has updated this.

    If you pull out water vapor, about 64% is left. If you pull out water vapor and clouds about 34% is left. If you pull out CO2 about 91% is left, but if you pull out everything EXCEPT CO2 about 25% is left, which points out the issue with overlaps.

    Of course, if you pull out CO2, or the other greenhouse gases, the cooling that results will feedback and diminish the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere by condensation. This is all bloggishly discussed at Real Climate

    • “The short answer is that the question has a problem, because there are overlaps, double coverage as it were in many regions of the spectrum.”

      Another non-reply because it doesn’t suit the conclusion that the evidence doesn’t support. It’s bloggish white washing on a epic scale over at Real Climate and here again. Settled science that can’t be reduced to a simple numerical conclusion.

      You expect to regulate carbon with failed logic like this?

    • Eli Rabett writes “If you pull out water vapor, about 64% is left. If you pull out water vapor and clouds about 34% is left. If you pull out CO2 about 91% is left, but if you pull out everything EXCEPT CO2 about 25% is left, which points out the issue with overlaps.”

      Let me guess. None of the above numbers has actually been measured. If so, this puts them in the same cagtegory as no-feedback climate sensitivity. That is, purely hypothetical, meaningless guesses.

      • Ah the old “no-one has ever seen a dinosaur” argument. Dinosaurs simply being based on a load of hypothetical, meaningless guesses about a bunch of old bones.

      • Where are the bones, lolwot?

      • lolwot. No not dinosaurs; string theory. Not long ago, string theory was all the rage with theoretical physicists. Then they realized it would NEVER be possible to do any measurments that could confirm or deny anything to do with string theory. So they have completely abandoned it. In physics, if you can NEVER measure it, it is not worthwhile studying. Hence my claim that Eli Rabbet’s numbers are meaningless. If it is theoretically possible to measure something, but for technical reasons in is impractical, that can be an entirely different issue.

  48. ferd berple

    Rattus Norvegicus | July 3, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Reply cwon14,
    Why do you keep reposting this, your list of stupid questions? Most of these you can answer for yourself.

    questions are rarely stupic but often tedious. my question would be:

    1. was the data and methodology posted along with the conclusion sufficient to recreate the result?
    2. has the result been independently verified by a scientists that was honestly trying to disprove the result but failed?

    Unless there is a yes to both questions the result cannot be relied upon scientifically. Any conclusions drawn from the result are suspect.

    3. What conclusions in climate science have been drawn for question 1 or 2 above, where either answer was no?

    • Dear Fred,

      The answer to your #1

      “1. was the data and methodology posted along with the conclusion sufficient to recreate the result?”

      is obviously yes.

      Ramanathan and Coakley (1978) were was redone by Gavin Schmidt .

      Your #2
      2. has the result been independently verified by a scientists that was honestly trying to disprove the result but failed?

      is, of course, the Curry International when have you stopped falsifying your data question. Smug little bunny, ain’t you Fred

  49. blouis79Louis79

    Please when can we stop using the “greenhouse effect” misnomer??

    Please can the pro-greenhouse scientists actually agree on a proper physical theory they agree out of A. Backradiation; B. Radiative insulation; C. IR absorption.

    Please can experiments be done to demonstrate in the laboratory the existence of the proposed effect.

    The world really needs to harness the CO2 blanket in winter for it’s extreme environmental energy efficiency.

    • If you don’t get it that’s your problem. Im sick of having to explain the greenhouse effect to people who quite obviously are willfully not getting it.

      Seriously it’s like trying to explain radiodating to creationists.

      • Where is the accelerated warming due to human emission of CO2?

        http://bit.ly/lUQBhX

        AGW => Pure pseudo scientific fiction.

      • ah the old trick of changing the subject

      • Yeah, so you were saying about the creationism? Lol, you think that is the same subject? What’s next? a rant about some other crazy American fetish.

      • dont get me started on the tea party

      • lolwot, Now you know how we creationists feel, when we have to listen to people like yourself; go on and on about their understanding of the Bible. When you still have scales on your own eyes… Go figure.

      • Greenhouse effect is reducing airflow, isolating the warm air inside the structure (greenhouse) so that heat is not lost by convection.

        That’s the only greenhouse effect.

  50. Act 9:18
    And 2532 immediately 2112 there fell 634 from 575 his 846 eyes 3788 as 5616 it had been scales 3013: and he received sight 308 forthwith 3916, and 5037 arose 450, and 2532 was baptized 907.

    Words and numbers from Strong’s Concordance.

  51. Fred,
    “He strikes me as either ignorant or deliberately untruthful regarding feedback.”
    I can see nothing in the comments reported above made by David Evans which would justify this statement of yours. However, I can see some glaring inconsistencies in your own analysis of feedback and stability. Does that entitle me to suggest that you are being deliberately untruthful?
    Since from your previous postings, I believe you to be basically a sincere and honest individual, I am going to credit you with just being ignorant on this particular issue.
    Your argument is based on a linear feedback model. This is the ONLY model which allows unconditional stability for positive feedback, or temperature-dependent amplification of a positive forcing. If you are prepared to accept linear feedback as a correct assumption, then it is easily shown that the equilibrium climate sensitivity is around 1.3 from the modern instrument data, or less than 1.9 from paleoclimate data over a wide range of different timeframes. In this case, you and I probably don’t have any argument.
    However, since you seem to largely support the IPCC stance on climate change, I presume that you do NOT accept that the system is linear in temperature response. The non-linear equation relating forcing and feedback can be written as:-
    dH/dt = F(t) – Σ λi [ΔT to the power i]
    where H is energy gain/loss
    t is time
    λi are the feedback coefficients, and
    ΔT is the temperature perturbation from the cumulative forcing F(t) .
    At equilibribrium, dH/dt must go to 0 (from above). So the climate sensitivity for a fixed forcing F is the temperature response at equilibrium, ΔTe, which solves (is a root of) the following equation:-
    0 = F – Σ λi [ΔTe to the power i]
    So now let us consider stability conditions with respect to this equation. There are two obvious necessary conditions. Firstly, that dH/dt is negative for all values of ΔT (below the equilibrium point). Secondly, that a root of the equation must exist for a given value of F for the system to actually reach equilibrium.
    If all of the λ’s are positive, then the system is unconditionally stable, but then the overall response shows a zero or negative feedback relative to the Planck or S-B response, since λ1 is dominated by the S-B term. If any of the λ’s are negative after the first term, then at least one turning point is introduced into the polynomial. This implies that there exists some value, Flim, say, for which the system is unstable for all values of F>Flim. The level of Flim, or tipping point, will vary with the choice of λ’s.
    In summary then a positive feedback implies that the system is conditionally stable (only) for values of F less than some “tipping point” value of forcing. This appears to me to be consistent with what David Evans actually wrote.
    What you actually wrote, however, required a qualification saying “for a linear feedback model, which I don’t actually believe in…”
    I think great care should be exercised before accusing someone of untruthfulness. Ignorance or zealous confirmation bias is always a more likely explanation.
    Paul

  52. Correction. In my above post, I wrote:
    “There are two obvious necessary conditions. Firstly, that dH/dt is negative for all values of ΔT (below the equilibrium point)…”
    This should of course have been:
    “There are two obvious necessary conditions. Firstly, that the first derivative of dH/dt is negative for all values of ΔT (below the equilibrium point)…”

    Sorry.

    • Some of your analysis is consistent with what I, the IPCC, and the majority of climate scientists conclude, and some is incorrect. You can visit the climate sensitivity and feedback threads in this blog to see this addressed in more detail, and add comments or questions of your own if you wish – there, not here, so that a need for extensive repetition can be avoided. However, my earlier point was that the false statements by David Evans reflect either ignorance or dishonesty, and that is unrelated to your analysis, but confirmed, I believe by what was written upthread., including excerpt from his statements.

      • Fred,
        I am always willing to learn. If you could perhaps just point out those elements of my analysis which are incorrect, it would be very helpful to me.
        Or give me a reference to any posting in the climate sensitivity and feedback threads which contradicts the simple analysis I have presented, and, if it has any merit, I will be glad to address the question there.
        Paul

      • Paul – There isn’t space here to address all your points in detail, but I’ll mention what I see as significant errors by way of example. Your comments are in italics. My responses are based on what I interpret you to be saying. In some cases, I wasn’t sure, but I think you were fairly clear most of the time.

        Your argument is based on a linear feedback model.

        No, it is almost universally agreed that feedbacks are non-linear.

        This is the ONLY model which allows unconditional stability for positive feedback, or temperature-dependent amplification of a positive forcing.

        No, non-linearity is a very broad concept, and includes feedback relationships and inconstancy of individual parameters that can still allow positive feedback and temperature-dependent amplification of relevant forcings (e.g., increases in CO2) to remain stable. For example, a hypothetical relationship that causes all feedbacks except the Planck Response to diminish as forcing increases would be stable and could mediate amplification to a limited extent. Stability or conditional instability depend on the specific feedback parameters and the nature of their interaction. An example is ice/albedo feedback, which will tend toward zero in a climate that melts all ice, but exert an amplifying effect at lower temperatures.

        If you are prepared to accept linear feedback as a correct assumption, then it is easily shown that the equilibrium climate sensitivity is around 1.3 from the modern instrument data

        No, even with linear feedback (which is not assumed), most feedback estimates lead to a higher climate sensitivity. The Planck-only (“no-feedback”) sensitivity is 1.2 C/CO2 doubling. Adding water vapor almost doubles this. Subtracting lapse rate partially offsets the water vapor effect, but adding ice/albedo and cloud feedback (positive in almost all GCMs) brings the figure close to 2.0 and higher for some estimates.

        If all of the λ’s are positive, then the system is unconditionally stable, but then the overall response shows a zero or negative feedback relative to the Planck or S-B response, since λ1 is dominated by the S-B term. If any of the λ’s are negative after the first term, then at least one turning point is introduced into the polynomial. This implies that there exists some value, Flim, say, for which the system is unstable for all values of F>Flim. The level of Flim, or tipping point, will vary with the choice of λ’s.

        No, the existence of some coefficients that are “negative” (in your definition) after the SB term do not necessarily imply that there is a value of forcing that renders the system unstable. The latter possibility depends on specific features of radiative transfer that vary depending on the greenhouse absorbers in the atmosphere as well as other factors. For planet Earth, continuum absorption by water vapor is one of the factors that will theoretically lead to an unstable “runaway” climate if the Kombayashi-Ingersoll limit is reached, but this would require very large increases in solar irradiance Earth is unlikely to see for millions of years. Even enormous increases in CO2 forcing would be unlikely to produce this instability.

        In summary then a positive feedback implies that the system is conditionally stable (only) for values of F less than some “tipping point” value of forcing. This appears to me to be consistent with what David Evans actually wrote.

        No, the values of feedback parameters are not directly related to tipping points, although the latter are of some concern. They are, however, directly relevant to “runaway” climates, which with few exceptions are estimated to be extremely unlikely for any climate in the near future (James Hansen was one of the few in the past but has probably moved closer to the mainstream recently). David Evans incorrectly implied that the current perception by most geophysicists that our climate is characterized by positive feedback amplification of CO2-mediated warming is contradicted by the principle that climate, like other long-term natural phenomena, tends to experience dampening effects that return it to an equilibrium state (albeit at a new temperature). I think that’s simply a false characterization of both reality and mainstream views. With the parameters currently applied, the system is far from instability leading to a runaway climate but is nevertheless estimated as experiencing positive feedback amplification of forcing by GHGs, solar irradiance, aerosols, or other climate drivers.

        This has led to the current estimates that place climate sensitivity in the 2 to 4.5 C range. However, the topic of climate sensitivity is so enormous that it would be a mistake to dispute or defend those values in the middle of a thread devoted to another topic. Attempts to do that typically lead to cherry-picked examples and thus a distorted picture. That should be done in either a new thread, or an old one devoted to the topic

      • Fred,
        You state that there isn’t space to address all of my points in detail, but then go off into a number of tangential areas. Let’s see if we can eliminate the chaff, and see if there’s any wheat left in your comments. Let’s also keep focus on the reason for this exchange, which was that you accused Evans of being “ignorant or dishonest” when he stated that positive feedback made the system “potentially unstable”, and you then then re-emphasised his intellectual dishonesty in your responses.

        Can we firstly agree that the Kombayashi-Ingersoll limit is not relevant to this dialogue? The system must display instability long before emissions limits are reached.

        We also agree that, mathematically, one can include positive feedbacks in a linear feedback model without a problem. It is isomorphic with a factor (<1.0) applied to the feedback parameter, lamda1. This linear system will remain stable as long as lamda1 is greater than zero. As I pointed out, however, you cannot fit observational data with a linear model and a high positive feedback. I quoted 1.3 deg K for a doubling of CO2. In practice the range is probably 1.2 to 1.6 from fits to temperature data, OHC data or derivation of lamda1 from flux and forcing data. There is a good mathematical reason for this, and I am not suggesting that this proves that the ECS is equal to 1.3, merely that it is inconsistent to base stability criteria on a linear model and then reject the linear model for calculation of feedbacks and climate sensitivity.
        However, since we are apparently both agreed that the feedback system is in reality non-linear, the above is mostly irrelevant also.
        So what are we left with from your comments?
        You don’t reject the mathematics of what I suggest, mmm, well maybe you do. Before you drifted off into the irrelevant Kombayashi-Ingersoll limit you stated:- “No, the existence of some coefficients that are “negative” (in your definition) after the SB term do not necessarily imply that there is a value of forcing that renders the system unstable.” Well, yes they do, Fred. Try it for yourself. Pick any negative value of coefficient for any order, which is sufficient to introduce an overall positive feedback against Planck response, and show me that that value does not define a system which is unstable for a forcing exceeding a certain critical amount. In other words, if you accept the formulation, then it is a truism that a significant positive feedback leads to “potential instability”.
        But separately you introduce a different argument, which is that:-
        “No, non-linearity is a very broad concept, and includes feedback relationships and inconstancy of individual parameters that can still allow positive feedback and temperature-dependent amplification of relevant forcings (e.g., increases in CO2) to remain stable. For example, a hypothetical relationship that causes all feedbacks except the Planck Response to diminish as forcing increases would be stable and could mediate amplification to a limited extent.”
        I can only interpret this to mean that you do not accept the formulation I proposed, which assertion is perfectly acceptable to me. Quite frankly, I do not believe this formulation either, but it is entirely consistent with the IPCC base assumptions. So if you wish to suggest that spatial-temporal chaos results in a distinct non temperature-dependent climate-shift resulting in chaotic changes in the constants (lamdas) describing feedbacks, I say Hooray. If you wish to suggest that the parameters are multi-valued functions of temperature, I also say Hooray. Now show me how either hypothesis fits with IPCC assumptions, and secondly show me how, under either hypothesis, positive feedback does not result in an increase in potential instability. Mmmm.
        So basically, I am saying that I match the ignorance of David Evans, because using the limited analytic skills available to me, it seems that a large positive feedback introduces “potential instability” into the climate system. In fact, it seems inevitable based on the physics.
        I may be wrong, but I know that I am not dishonest. You should withdraw your comments about Evans.

      • Paul – Thanks for your comment. I think we should leave poor David Evans alone. My comments on him stand, but I don’t know how many readers of this exchange (if any persist) really care. If you do want to discuss my comments about him, state them accurately, which means not focusing exclusively on dishonesty as the only explanation for his statements.

        I have a sense that your latest comment is one I differ with less than your earlier one, either because you’ve shifted your position slightly, or clarified it – or both. Rather than try to specifically address every point I’m not sure I interpreted as you intended, I’ll describe my own perspective, and you can agree, disagree, or elaborate.

        Can a system with positive feedback amplification of a forcing lead to instability? I think the answer is “of course”, but is that the question? If the question, instead, is whether such a system must inevitably become unstable at some level of forcing if it is at all non-linear, regardless of which coefficients actually apply to the feedbacks in the real world, or the nature of their interaction, I would say that it’s just as obvious that the answer is no. It is possible for positive feedbacks to interact in ways that maintain stability or even increase it – it depends on how the feedbacks behave. The real world nature of the feedbacks determines the answer to this question. I already cited an example involving ice/albedo feedback, which can be diminished by other positive feedbacks that increase warming to the point where all the ice melts, and the feedback disappears.

        I’m still not sure what you meant in reference to the Planck (S-B) Response, and therefore somewhat uncertain about your reference to a negative sign for coefficients. Again, it’s obvious that any positive feedback that could outweigh the Planck Response at a sufficiently strong forcing will introduce instability into the system, but how many real world feedbacks can actually do that? Remember that feedbacks are responses primarily to temperature rather than to a specific forcing, and the observed and modeled feedbacks appear incapable of overwhelming S-B for current or foreseeable temperature increases. There is nothing about the principal positive feedbacks that even suggests this. Water vapor has radiative properties that fall short of threatening an instability (it tends to follow a logarithmic relationship with temperature similar to CO2)* , ice/albedo feedbacks are rather minor and diminish with too much warming (see above), and there is no evidence that cloud feedbacks, to the extent they are positive, could add instability inasmuch as they might well turn negative if warming raises atmospheric humidity. Increasing humidity will also magnify the negative lapse-rate feedback that is closely linked to water vapor. However, if you simply want to generalize to state that amplifying feedbacks might potentially, depending on their nature, introduce instabilities, then there is no argument. My only point would be that mainstream climate science is not claiming that runaway climates are at all likely even though positive feedback amplification is considered very likely.

        You suggest that my position might be tenable to the extent it differs from IPCC conclusions. I’m not convinced, but if you want to very specifically describe IPCC-derived conclusions from models that make instability inevitable, you should provide the details in the models that support that view. Given that the general nature of mainstream conclusions is that whatever outcomes we have to be concerned about, a runaway climate is not one of them, I think you have a considerable burden of proof, but I would still be interested.

        *Isaac Held, in evaluating a feedback factor for water vapor that amplifies warming by a factor of 1/1-f, has cited values for f of about 0.4 or so, but has also indicated that at very high temperatures, this figure is likely to rise. No realistic warming, however, would bring it at all close to 1.0, nor, as far as I know, even close enough to threaten instability in conjunction with other feedbacks.

      • Fred,
        Thanks for the response. I will prepare a post on stability.
        The main topic of this thread is IMO about a series of unreasonable, unwarranted and occasionally vicious attacks on Dyson, because he made observations which were not in tune with those of his attackers. This tendency in climate science to attack the man rather than the ball abases the science and is one reason why climate science has such a poor image IMHO. I believe that you are doing the same thing with Evans, and have asked you several times to withdraw your statement.

        I will say no more on the subject, except that the next time I disagree with something you have written, I will give myself the liberty of calling you either ignorant or dishonest.
        Paul

      • “I will prepare a post on stability.”

        I’ll look forward to it.

        the next time I disagree with something you have written, I will give myself the liberty of calling you either ignorant or dishonest”

        I’ve been called worse, Paul. I’m judged by what I say, not what others say about me.

      • Brian G Valentine

        Sorry to say, but the tone of these messages leaves me with the feeling that this whole darned topic doesn’t bring out the absolute best in people.

        It’s been this way for some while now. I blame Al Gore for turning science into a World Wrestling Federation circus.

        [I feel compelled to blame someone; for something I feel bad about; it might as well be him]

      • Fred,
        Actually, I realise now that my response to your last posting was too mild by far. I assumed that you were doing some handwaving diversion, becasue you realised that you could not address the substance of my comments, and I was not planning on piling on. It was only on re-reading your comment that I realised that you have repeated your accusation of dishonesty against David Evans.
        David L. Hagen | July 2, 2011 at 11:45 pm included the first excerpt from Evan’s article which evoked your comment. You stated:-“He strikes me as either ignorant or deliberately untruthful regarding feedback.” You then went on to discuss his comments on feedback. Now you write that his comments “reflect either ignorance or dishonesty, and that is unrelated to your analysis [i.e. my analysis of feedback], but confirmed … by what was written upthread.”
        Steven Mosher pointed out an erroneous assertion made by Evans, which has nothing to do with feedback.
        So which is it, Fred? You are still suggesting that he has been dishonest, but you now imply that it was not related to his comments on feedback. Have the courage to be specific, if you are going to accuse someone of lying..

      • Paul – The statements I’ve made earlier – that Evans was either ignorant or dishonest – remain supported by what has been quoted, and include his misstatements about feedback. Your analysis of feedback is a separate issue, although it too suffers from significant errors. Readers can review what has been said if they are interested, but it’s probably not worth spending more time discussing Evans’ character or intelligence.

      • As a reader, I see that this revolves around Evans’ characterization of the “alarmist” view of the feedback being “potentially unstable”. This is what I think Fred and the others, justifiably object to.

      • Jim D,
        Please read my analysis again. It is mathematically correct and is founded on the same assumptions used by the IPCC. It shows that for a non-linear system, positive feedback is potentially unstable. If you don’t follow the maths, I will be happy to try again. How can you justifiably object to this?
        Paul

      • I believe that the IPCC never said that global warming was potentially unstable, or maybe I missed it and would appreciate a reference. You and he may be referring to an analysis that IPCC likely never referred to, so it would be wrong to assign this statement to their view.

      • I agree, Jim, that the IPCC never covered the critical issue of stability, either in climate or in models, apart from some references to tipping points in WG1 Chapter 8 and 9, as I recall. I don’t think that Evans is ascribing the “potentially unstable” comment to the IPCC. I am certainly not.

      • Paul,
        Your mathematical analysis is wrong.

        You cannot conclude mathematically that the stability constraints cannot be satisfied if one or even several of the coefficients λi are negative, because the combination of other coefficients of both smaller and higher i can maintain the stable status. Neither can you make mathematically any such conclusions on the inconsistency between nonlinearity and stable positive feedback that you have done.

        Your mathematics is simply wrong and without real basis. You have used the Taylor expansion to provide results that the Taylor expansion cannot provide.

      • Pekka Pirilä,
        If you will forgive my making the observation, it is clear from your comments upthread that you do not understand the difference between a forcing and the net flux imbalance, so I am somewhat reluctant to accept your arbitrary comments on the high-order energy balance equation.

        With respect to the maths, I must admit that I laughed out loud at your last comment. It reminded me a lot of Conan Doyle (via Sherlock Holmes) saying that Professor Moriarty had written a brilliant treatise on the binomial theorem.

        If you don’t understand the maths, it would be more polite and more intelligent to just ask, instead of stating that the analysis is wrong, and then making silly comments. The energy flux perturbation equation for a fixed forcing, F, must pass through the point dH/dt = F, when deltaT = 0. Eventually, it must reach the point dH/dt = 0 when delatT = deltaT @ equilibrium or else you have an unconditionally unstable system. If there are any turning points at all in the equation, then the first turning point must be a minimum, and this has to occur after equilibrium or you breach 2nd law. Now consider what happens when you increase the value of F, the fixed forcing. Work out the rest for yourself.
        Paul

      • David L. Hagen

        Paul_K
        Any good review papers you can recommend on the subject with good graphics to help more readers understand the issues?

      • Paul,

        Did you really read, what I wrote?

        I made a specific comment on mathematics, and the comment is valid. It wasn’t about the behavior of the derivative, but about the Taylor expansion and about the claims you made in earlier comment on that. To be precise this sentence is false:

        If any of the λ’s are negative after the first term, then at least one turning point is introduced into the polynomial.

        Based on your later discussion with Fred you are still misled by this wrong argument. On that point I may have misinterpreted you, as the discussion is on specific enough to allow for totally certain interpretation, but that’s my interpretation anyway.

      • Fred,
        I merely ask again:
        Which misstatements about feedback by Evans?
        Which significant errors in my analysis?
        Paul

      • David L. Hagen

        Fred
        Rather than quibble over stable/unstable feedback, a bigger issue is Evans highlighting a major discrepancy between models and evidence.

        The climate models all predict that as the planet warms, a hot spot of moist air will develop over the tropics about 10 kilometres up, as the layer of moist air expands upwards into the cool dry air above. During the warming of the late 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, the weather balloons found no hot spot. None at all. Not even a small one. This evidence proves that the climate models are fundamentally flawed, that they greatly overestimate the temperature increases due to carbon dioxide.

        Do you agree:
        1) That the models predict this “hot spot”?
        2) That the available weather balloon evidence shows there is no hot spot?
        3) Therefore the models are fundamentally flawed?
        If not, why not?
        If so, how do you plead?

      • David – An entire thread was devoted to this, including the errors implicit in Evans’ claims.

    • David L. Hagen

      Thanks Paul_K for the detailed clarification on feedback and stability.
      Are there any references you can suggest that provide good reviews or exposition of this relative to climate?
      I recommend especially Fig. 6 and Fig. 7 in:
      Non-equilibrium thermodynamics and maximum entropy production in the Earth system, Axel Kleidon, Naturwissenschaften, Volume 96, Number 6, 653-677, DOI: 10.1007/s00114-009-0509-x
      http://www.springerlink.com/content/f3561w2k801u6215/fulltext.pdf
      Erratum to: Non-equilibrium thermodynamics and maximum entropy production in the earth system: Applications and implications
      Naturwissenschaften Vol. 97, No. 12, 1123, DOI: 10.1007/s00114-010-0731-6

      Fig. 7 “(a) Maximization of entropy production for steady-state conditions implies a negative feedback to perturbations.”
      “(b) When external conditions change in such a way that the trade-off between flux and force shifts (grey lines: old state, black lines: new state), a perturbation of the flux would be enhanced until the flux reaches the new optimum value at which entropy production is at a maximum. This could be interpreted as a positive feedback to change.”

      This raises the debate whether “climate change” has negative feedback, or if such “climate change” is a change in the climatic system entailing interim positive feedback until it reaches the new stable configuration with negative feedback. e.g. is moving along a “saddle” or a “ridge” stable, pseudo positive, or positive feedback?

      • David,
        Thanks for the Kleidon reference, which I had not seen before. On first reading, the paper cloaks a fairly radical hypothesis in familiar language. While a lot of us are very familiar with the concept of entropy reaching a maximum in a closed thermodynamic system, the author seems to be proposing maximum entropy production (MEP) as a self-organising force in an open, dynamic system. I don’t immediately dismiss the idea, but I think that I will have to do a lot more reading to be convinced that this is a valid hypothesis. On the other hand, I have no difficulty in accepting the likelihood of a “shift” in climate-state. The simple non-linear equation I cited above shows properties of temporal chaos, sufficient unto the day.
        Paul

      • David L. Hagen

        Paul_K
        There is a growing literature on maximizing entropy production (MEP), including applying it to climate. Miskolczi applies it in developing his climate theory.
        In a parallel stream Bejan effectively advocates the same principle under his nomenclature of “constructal theory.” e.g. Climate change, in the framework of the constructal law Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., 2, 241–270, 2011
        doi:10.5194/esdd-2-241-2011
        (However Bejan overstates his case when claiming it as the driving cause of macroevolution.)
        Happy hunting.

      • David,
        You asked if I was aware of any good reviews of stability in climate system. There are precious few good ones, and no simple ones. In light of my rather unsatisfying exchange with Fred above, I think I will prepare a guest post on the subject over the next few weeks to explain some simple concepts and the problems arising therefrom. If you have not seen it, it is worth revisiting this thread and the papers referenced by Tom Milanovic:-
        https://judithcurry.com/2011/02/10/spatio-temporal-chaos/
        Paul

      • David L. Hagen

        Thanks Paul
        Look forward to your post. Milanovic’s review of spatio-temporal chaos is definitely thought provoking in terms of what is/is not predictable!

  53. Global temperatures fluctuate on all time scales and it can be observed that these variations cause CO2 to vary itself. On decadal scales for example, dCO2/dt follows temperature with ~6 months lag. It seems “settled” that global temperature (SST) has big influence on atmospheric CO2 concentrations. IMO, this means that CO2 can not have warming effect on the temperatures without very strong negative feedbacks (or some limiting factors).

    When the “CO2 forcing” is at the maximum (after some period of warming), climate shifts from warming to cooling!

    When the “CO2 forcing” is at the minimum (after some period of cooling), climate shifts from cooling to warming!

    If I had to decide between warming and cooling effect of CO2 on the global temperatures, I would bet on cooling.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Edim,

      You missed land heights in the atmosphere and latitudes on a rotating planet that the circumference of the equator is greater than the rest of the planet.

    • This is more an issue the CO2 decreases in the northern hemisphere because of plant growth in the summer. The annual variation is a result not a cause.

      • Yes, annual variation is a result, but I am not convinced that the cause is plant growth in the NH summer. I think the cause is annual temperature cycle, at least partly. The globe is 7/10 oceans.

        Decadal and multidecadal CO2 variations are also results of temperature variations, IMO. This can be observed – CO2 rate of change closely (with some lag) follows the temperature.

        Again, I think this means that CO2 itself CANNOT have any significant warming effect without VERY strong negative feedbacks or some limiting factors.

        I will repeat:

        When temperatures shift from warming to cooling (on decadal/multidecadal and probably annual time scales too), it is ALWAYS at the maximum “CO2 forcing” for that period period of warming. Despite this strong (maximum) CO2 concentration, the temperature not only decelerates or stops increasing, but it shifts from warming to cooling. This never fails and holds during cooling/warming shifts too (minimum CO2, but shift from cooling to warming).

        We are lucky to have a test in the making. We are at the maximum CO2 concentration for this period of warming, and the climate seems to be shifting from warming to cooling. If the cooling continues and intensifies, the CO2 will shift too.

  54. A trend is a trend,
    But the question is, will it bend?
    Will it alter its course
    Through some unforeseen force
    And come to a premature end?”

    Alec Cairncross, 1969

    To those who predict continued global warming, look at what happened in the 1940s. The trend did bend.

    http://bit.ly/lUQBhX

    Let us first see whether the bend that started about 2000 continues for the next two decade before artificially increasing energy price and cost of living when the world still has billions living under poverty.

  55. Everyone can evaluate quality control and process. We ask juries to do it all the time. While there may not be many people who can understand the science, we can all understand whether instruments are sited properly and calibrated regularly. We can all understand transparency, audit and replication and why they are critical to quality science. We can all understand when experts in software, statistics, and computer modeling criticize scientists for poor quality work that the scientists have become dangerously isolated.

    Consensus climate science suffers from very serious shortcomings in terms of quality control. The evidence of the shortcomings keeps piling up. The average citizen may not be able to assess the science, but they understand the problems that result when quality standards are abandoned. If climate scientists want to be taken seriously, they would do well to start cleaning up all the messes they’ve made. The place is beginning to stink.

    • “While there may not be many people who can understand the science, we can all understand whether instruments are sited properly and calibrated regularly.”

      You can’t understand whether instruments are sited properly without understanding the science. That’s where so many people are going wrong.

      Case in point – the folk who argue Mauna Loa Observatory isn’t sited properly because it’s on the side of a volcano.

      “If climate scientists want to be taken seriously, they would do well to start cleaning up all the messes they’ve made.”

      Or the people who don’t take them seriously could just grow up. Scientists aren’t going to move the Mauna Loa observatory just because that will look good to a bunch of people who don’t understand things (and perhaps don’t want to)

      • Close to 90% of the temperature monitoring stations in the US fail basic scientific standards for siting. I would suggest you take your own advice before your credibility is tattered irreparably.

      • “Close to 90% of the temperature monitoring stations in the US fail basic scientific standards for siting.”

        This is a case of understanding the rules and demanding the rules are followed without understanding the science. Because those standards are not necessary in order to produce a global temperature record.

        Scientists understand the science. That’s why there are only about three teams in the world producing a global temperature record and not dozens. It’s because scientists recognize duplication of the work is unnecessary. Science is efficient. Diminishing returns are common and scientists don’t go for perfection because that’s unnecessarily costly. To it’s maximum extent in this case it would require time traveling back to the 70s to fix station problems.

        It’s like that myth of NASA spending millions of dollars producing a pen that worked in space, whereas the Russians just used a pencil. In that case the “standard” and “proper rules” as might be that you must use a pen. Unnecessary however, demonstratively so.

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        ‘This is a case of understanding the rules and demanding the rules are followed without understanding the science. Because those standards are not necessary in order to produce a global temperature record’

        Kinda begs the question – why have the standards in the first place? Some people sat down a while back and worked out some things that you should do to get reliable temperature records that are comparable between stations.

        How do you argue that such standards are not necessary You want unreliable temperature records to base your theories on?

      • Where on this thread has anyone mentioned Mauna Loa, besides you?
        Or did you think you’d just throw that in in some weak attempt to discredit sceptics?

      • Were it to degas, that Golden Ocean, where to measure its concentrated plume?
        ===========

      • It’s called falsifying an argument. It’s not my fault the argument sucked and I could point out one very obvious falsification of it that no-one could deny. That’s why you’ve attacked the example rather than the way it was used.

      • I think that was your credibility that just flushed. Bye.

      • “You can’t understand whether instruments are sited properly without understanding the science. That’s where so many people are going wrong.”

        And where so many believers are going wrong:

        Many people understand the science. For example very good engineers (and there are many on this planet), especially of the mechanical variety, they all understand thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer and other relevant fields/branches very well.

  56. …it is evident that the scientific systems needs considerable modification if we can have faith in some of the conclusions about the big environmental issues of our time such as Greenhouse, the supposed demise of the Great Barrier Reef and such like. I have no faith that both sides of the arguments on these issues are being funded. This comes partly out of personal experience. It is not enough to rely upon peer review and hope for impartiality of scientists. We need to spend money to try to prove that the case against CO2 is flawed. That may seem strange but, if this debate was a court case against the criminal CO2, the conviction by the court (mostly the IPCC etc) would be thrown out on appeal because no resources have been expended mounting a defence of CO2. Can you imagine a court case without a counsel for the defence – a person whose sole aim is to destroy the prosecution case. We need an organisation to do this for CO2. If after spending considerable resources on such a defence it still looks like CO2 is guilty, then I at least would be satisfied about the conventional wisdom on this issue. Presently I have as much faith in science as I did in the Police system in Queensland in the 1980’s before sweeping reforms cleaned it up.

    You may feel that the present systems in science make it reliable, but the fact that scientist like me, with a better than average record, in addition to a growing number of the educated and uneducated public have lost faith in science and scientists means that something has to be done to regain confidence. And bashing people like Stewart Franks will do nothing to that end even though he can be pretty brutal at times.

    http://bit.ly/l1uWN3

    Prof. Peter Ridd
    HOD Physics
    James Cook University
    Townsville

    • As does stupidity

      • I never thought of it that way, but I guess a stupid person who is losing his mind could be getting less stupid.
        Loss of stupidity through loss of mind.

    • Try reading your own sources properly.
      One-third of the elderly experiencing diminished mental ability is not the same as the elderly losing one-third of their mental ability, as you seem to be implying.
      And how much time do you spend searching for the flimsiest of evidence to back up your ad-homs?

  57. In looking at your chart, some people might wonder why you left out data for years before 1910 and ignored the 30 years of data for 1940-1970.

  58. Norm Kalmanovitch

    CO2 is increasing at 2ppmv/year
    All five global temperature datasets including HadleyCRUT3 show global cooling since 2002
    The 14.77micron band of the Earth’s radiation is so close to saturation that significant warming from increased CO2 is a physical impossibility
    31 years of OLR measurement show no detectable enhanced greenhouse effect from the 57.1% increase in CO2 emissions since 1979
    Solar cycle 24 is mimicking the start of the dalton minimum that brought an extension to the Little Ice Age around 1810 so we are likely in for a few more decades of global cooling.
    Somehow in spite of all this there is concern over CO2 emissions causing catastrophic global warming.
    Exactly who is the Heritic?

    • 2002, the new 1998.

      Stay tuned for 2007, the new 2002

      Everything else you say is also scientifically false too, except maybe the Solar cycle 24 part, although I do wonder given the rest of your claims are all wrong.

  59. Hmm, subversive. I like that. What a fine scientist Mr. Dyson is!


  60. …if this debate was a court case against the criminal CO2, the conviction by the court (mostly the IPCC etc) would be thrown out on appeal because no resources have been expended mounting a defence of CO2. Can you imagine a court case without a counsel for the defence – a person whose sole aim is to destroy the prosecution case. We need an organisation to do this for CO2.

    http://bit.ly/kOuEbp

    • Along similar lines, I think a team of climate scientists should be paid full time to answer all the arguments skeptics make on blogs.

  61. “Which makes Dyson something far more formidable than just the latest peevish right-wing climate-change denier. Dyson is a scientist whose intelligence is revered by other scientists —William Press

    Dyson is an optimist: He is more amused than alarmed Where is the closest to reality the Left gets is hearing a few musings from the Dyson household pet parrot.

  62. Brian G Valentine

    Thank you, Dr Curry, for posting this.

    I would like to add, that the US Supreme Court essentially threw back the issue of “carbon dioxide” regulation to the EPA, whose policy has been to “regulate” based on “science,” which involves scientific measurement.

    To my knowledge the only “science” cited in support of EPA’s rather unilateral decision to “regulate” anything as a “greenhouse” substance is the IPCC, and and there are no measurements of any kind that support regulation (not composition, not influence, nothing).

    Unless i am mistaken, this is the first US federal regulation to be instituted based on nothing but authority – unfortunately, a continually discredited authority at that.

  63. Why can’t the world do a greenhouse experiment??? Is there any chance of getting agreement on a valid design???

    So far, I figure 17km to top of troposphere of 0.04% CO2 at mean atmospheric pressure = 3.4m of 100% CO2 at sea level.

    If we fill a 3.4m high greenhouse with 100%CO2 instead of air, how much will the temperature rise?
    If the “greenhouse” is a smaller volume – say a tube of diameter 100-300mm, would that change anything?
    I we have openings at the top of the tube to permit the warming CO2 to convect away (+/- fans/thermometers to control the top of tube temperature to ambient) and replace that with CO2 at ambient temperature from the bottom of the tube, how much will the temperature in the greenhouse rise?

    Anyone game to design a testable greenhouse experiment with and without convection with hypotheses on its behavior?

    • Brian G Valentine

      If you can devise a way to stratify the top layers, and if the experiment yields a cooling below initial values in the stratified portion and the bottom layer warms, I’ll patent it as a method of powering a perpetual motion machine (continually extracting heat for a heat engine and rejecting a portion of the heat not converted to work to a cooler reservoir)

    • We already know what happens if you take the lid off of a greenhouse. And, with the lid on, it gets hot inside even with no CO2 inside. Growers introduce CO2 into a greenhouse because it is a fertilizer–e.g., 50% faster plant growth at in concentrations of 1,000+ ppm.

    • I accept that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, without studying the underlying science, mainly because there seems to largely be agreement among many on both sides of the debate. (Notice I wrote accept, not know.) But I have always wondered why a simple experiment hasn’t been done to show the green house effect of CO2 (or whether one had been conducted and I just didn’t know about it).

      Why not an experiment with not one cylinder, but two. Both sealed, so no convection to worry about. One filled with pure CO2 , the other with normal atmosphere. Both at the same pressure (increased pressure if that would increase the greenhouse effect). Both located adjacent to each other, so they are subject to the identical solar radiation, cloud cover, surface air temperature outside the cylinders. Identical volumes. Identical internal thermometers.

      If all other factors other than the greenhouse effect were controlled for, wouldn’t such an experiment (or a better designed one) show the greenhouse properties of CO2? How large would the experiment sample have to be for the green house effect to be measurable? Perhaps the science is too self evident to the scientists to bother with demonstrating the basic premise of this debate. But if it hasn’t been done, I would sure like to know why. If it can’t be done, then perhaps the science, regardless of how many agree to it, may not be as…well…certain…as advertised?

    • BLouis79

      There have been experiments to test the Greenhouse Theory.
      The first was by R W Wood back around 1900, testing a glasshouse(greenhouse).

      R W Wood was probably the best experimental physicist that America ever produced.

      Wood nailed two points in this experiment.
      1. Greenhouses(glasshouses) work by stopping convection.
      2. The radiative effects of CO2 are very weak at atmospheric temperatures.

      G&T did an experiment to confirm the conclusions of Wood.

      [1] “Falsification Of the atmospheric CO2 greenhouse effects within the frame Of Physics” by Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner; International Journal of Modern Physics B, Vol. 23, No. 3 (2009) pages 275-364.
      http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf

      This also is an interesting paper especially as it comes from a source with no “spin” on the AGW debate.

      The way I read the paper is it gives massive support for the conclusions of the famous Woods experiment.

      Basically the project was to find if it made any sense to add Infra Red absorbers to polyethylene plastic for use in agricultural plastic greenhouses.

      Polyethylene is IR transparent like the Rocksalt used in Woods Experiment.

      The addition of IR absorbers to the plastic made it equivalent to “glass”

      The results of the study show that( Page2 )

      …”IR blocking films may occasionally raise night temperatures” (by less than 1.5C) “the trend does not seem to be consistent over time”

      CO2 and H2O are infra red active gases.
      They are not heat sources in themselves.
      The radiation they emit is best considered as the radiative component of insulation.
      Like all insulation it restricts the flow of heat.
      This means that its use can either keep something from cooling down OR heating up.

      http://www.hort.cornell.edu/hightunnel/about/research/general/penn_state_plastic_study.pdf

      • (Well, yes I read G&T many moons ago and am happy to accept that there is no greenhouse and according to Postma, there is no need for one to explain earth surface temperatures.)

        And most scientifically-minded people know that insulation won’t change equilibrium temperature.

        But that still has not convinced the masses, who are wedded to Tyndall’s failure of IR transmission by gases in tubes experiments as proof that there is an atmospheric greenhouse.

        I personally find it stunningly irresponsible that of all the billions spent on climate change research by observation and modeling, that the basic underlying science is still not in yet and nobody much cares to do the scientific thing and find out in the time honored way – propose a hypothesis and test it.

      • BLouis79
        Yes I agree, but to give the greenhouse theory advocates a chance, I have now rephrased the question.

        What according to the KT(97) energy budget diagram is the heating effect of greenhouse gases on one cubic metre of air on an KT average day.

        So far I have had no replies to a straightforward rational question.
        I think that G&T plus Postma leaves little room for any significant (33K) greenhouse effect.

  64. Well according to the prevailing “greenhouse” theory, whatever that is exactly (Backradiation; Insulation; Absorption), an atmosphere’s worth of CO2 without water vapor should be worth something between 0 and +30 degK/C after incoming solar radiation is absorbed and reradiated from the ground as IR and unable to escape via convection despite the fact that CO2 in the atmosphere has no lid. So the experiment can have a lidless and lidded version.

    • So if the experimental apparatus comprises a pair of pipes –
      100mm PVC plumbing pipe 3.4m long, sealed on one end with a cap painted matt black, sealed on the other end with clear polyethylene IR transparent plastic.
      1. contains atmospheric air
      2. contains 100% CO2 (filled from cylinder or perhaps evaporated dry ice by some method) – this now has a whole atmosphere’s worth of CO2 molecules

      Both tubes point directly at the sun so that the bases are in the sun

      What temperature do people think we will get in the CO2 filled tube at base or top or anywhere in the middle?

  65. A second set of experiments should be undertaken to demonstrate that the radiative thermal equilibrium temperature of a solid body in radiative thermal equilibrium with another body can be modified by varying the composition of gases surrounding the body(ies).

    • I agree, there are so many experiments that should/could be undertaken. What a pity! Warmists are obviously not interested in science. Otherwise they would have applied the scientific method.

      Because of the dogma we have to wait for more cooling and whistle-blowing to stop the madness and waste of time/resources.

    • You were on the right track when you said above, ” propose a hypothesis and test it.” And, that has been done.

      AGW True Believers simply assume global warming is manmade. There are no peer-reviewed studies that rule out `natural, internal climate cycles’–i.e.,`natural, internal variability’–as the real cause of 20th century warming.

      And, that is the `null hypothesis’ of global warming. The `null hypothesis,’ according to Dr. Spencer, has never been rejected, i.e., “THAT NATURAL CLIMATE VARIABILITY CAN EXPLAIN EVERYTHING WE SEE IN THE CLIMATE SYSTEM.” ~Dr. Roy Spencer, 2-Feb-2011 [Emphasis added]

      “Natural climate variability is the null hypothesis. No one has ever ruled it out. They have only come up with a potential alternative explanation, which is fine. But it is being advertised as some sort of `proof’, which it is not.” (Ibid.)

      It is insanity to believe otherwise. Just during the lifetimes of most of us here, how can anyone simply rule out the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) as a primary driver in the climate system since 1979?

      Whether it is global warming or global cooling circulation changes are always happening. “All I am saying is it can also occur on multi-decadal time scales. How do YOU explain the Medieval Warm Period? Too many SUVs? Or the Little Ice Age? Too few SUVs? Or just deny they ever happened?” (Ibid.)

    • There is nothing controversial here.
      A gas will act like an insulator.
      The value of the insulation will vary, depending on the type of gas and its density.
      The only question is the extent of the reduction of heat loss.
      If the radiative body continues to emit at the same power its temperature will rise.
      What effect will increasing the amount of the trace gas CO2 do to the insulating properties of air?
      It could either decrease or increase marginally
      However its probably negligable.

  66. Pekka Pirilä | July 7, 2011 at 5:53 am |
    Pekka Pirila,
    I owe you a public apology, especially given the sharp tone of my response to you. I did not write what I thought I wrote, and your response to what I originally wrote was correct.
    What I wrote initially was:-
    “If any of the λ’s are negative after the first term, then at least one turning point is introduced into the polynomial.”
    I should have written, more accurately:- “If any of the λ’s are negative after the first term, sufficiently large to introduce a positive feedback, then at least one turning point or point of inflection is introduced into the polynomial.”
    I still however contiinue to fail to understand you point about Taylor series.
    Paul

    • Paul,
      Apology accepted.

      That was a explicit error. Beyond that it’s always more difficult to know, what the other side has in mind, but my interpretation was that you were basing substantive parts of your further arguments on logic dependent on this erroneous sentence.

      By the reference to the Taylor expansion I was essentially trying to say that knowing something on one or a couple of coefficients doesn’t tell much about the behavior of the full function as the combination of further terms with suitable coefficients may still produce a full function that behaves very differently from, what one would think based on a few terms only. The only thing that each coefficient tells uniquely is the value of one derivative at origin, and the value of one higher derivative at origin is seldom very informative about the function.

      It must also be remembered that the range of validity of the Taylor expansion is often very limited (or totally absent) even for functions that behave smoothly on the positive real axis.