Garth Paltridge held hostage (?) by the uncertainty monster

by Andy Lacis

JC note:  this essay responds to Garth Paltridge’s recent post Science held hostage in climate debate.

What’s up with Garth?

Why the surprisingly out of touch lack of understanding of what it is that makes the global climate change?

(1)  A Very Impressive Radiative Transfer Background

Garth Paltridge and Martin Platt are authors of a rather well-written and well-received book from Developments in Atmospheric Science “Radiative Processes in Meteorology and Climatology” that describes in very readable detail the then existing state-of-the-art in atmospheric radiative transfer modeling in the 1970s. The authors recognize the need for having explicit spectral treatment of both solar radiation and thermal radiation for cloud, aerosol, and gaseous absorbers in the atmosphere. They even take note of the importance of relative humidity effects on hygroscopic aerosols, and of the aerosol radiative impact at thermal wavelengths, long before these radiative effects were included in climate model radiation calculations. All in all, the book is quite relevant for current climate radiation modeling applications – it is only moderately outdated, given the availability of the more rigorous line-by-line and correlated k-distribution calculations that have replaced the less accurate emissivity and Rodgers & Walshaw-type parameterizations.

Given these unquestionably impressive theoretical credentials that demonstrate a very clear understanding of the basic physics of the radiative processes for both solar and thermal radiation in the terrestrial atmosphere, how is it then that these authors have failed to grasp the climatological significance and impact of the steadily increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases, which unchecked, will cause the global surface temperature to increase, and thus seriously disrupt the established climate?

My guess is that they never tried. It is very clear that their principal research interests were in making and interpreting meteorological observations (local by nature), and not in studying the significance of these measurements in their global (climate) context. Also, it appears that the authors may have been lacking a dependable atmospheric modeling capability. This becomes apparent in reading their book – hardly any of the illustrations are of their own making. Most of them are simply taken directly from the published literature to illustrate the physical points that they make in the book. As one example, I find it remarkable that nearly all of the figures from our 1974 Lacis and Hansen paper on solar radiation in the Earth’s atmosphere appear as figures in the Platridge & Platt book to illustrate how best to calculate the radiative heating effects of solar radiation.

While Paltridge and Platt do not explicitly mention the term “greenhouse effect” in their book, or the fact that it is the greenhouse effect that keeps the global surface temperature some 33 K warmer than it would otherwise be, they do take note of Kirchhoff’s law in their introductory chapter and that gaseous absorbers in the atmosphere absorb and emit thermal radiation both upward and downward at their absorbing wavelengths. Nevertheless, they oversimplify the thermal radiation problem much too much by assuming that the net thermal flux at the surface is the window radiation, and that the amount absorbed by the atmosphere is also the same amount radiated downward by the atmosphere. Had they had a capable radiative model of the atmosphere to work with, they would no doubt have come to a better understanding of atmospheric radiation and its role in the greenhouse effect and global climate.

Meanwhile, at about this same point in time, Jim Hansen and a handful of his colleagues at GISS (possessing no greater knowledge of atmospheric radiation than Paltridge and Platt) were developing radiative models of the atmosphere (and a climate GCM) with which to calculate, evaluate, and analyze the radiative impact on the global climate of changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases and other atmospheric constituents. As was amply demonstrated by Hansen et al. (and other climate modelers before), a detailed physical model of the climate system (thermodynamics, hydrodynamics, radiation, etc.) is an absolute necessity to even begin to understand the basic working of the terrestrial climate system, let alone acquire the capability to predict how the climate will change in response to various forcings.

Perhaps Garth thought the climate system too complex to model (by himself), convinced himself that all the climate process uncertainties made climate modeling intractable, and then went astray with his tangential “entropy production” approach as supposedly providing the basis for understanding the nature of global climate change. It should be clear by now that the basic physics of the climate system physical processes can, and are being modeled successfully, that strict conservation of energy, angular momentum, etc. can be maintained, and that very realistic climate simulations can be generated with the current climate GCMs, including determination of the climate system response to large volcanic eruptions and to the continued increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases.

(2)  The Perplexing Political Outlook

Then, on the other hand, there is the perplexing material that was posted here earlier by Garth Paltridge. To me, that material appeared totally at odds with the thinking that was evident in Garth’s 1976 book on Radiative Processes in Meteorology and Climatology. Garth should go back and re-read his own book to see if he still remembers the concepts of atmospheric radiation as he once understood them back in the 1970s.

Perhaps there has been a change in his political outlook that explains his thinking. Wanting to believe that the Climategate emails were leaked, instead of having been hacked, then deliberately taken out of context, misrepresented, and misinterpreted, is quite telling. So also is Garth’s select list of the  “There are those who . . .” categories.

These political sentiments are then punctuated by the utter nonsense about climate science being some sort of post-normal or post-modern version of what might otherwise be considered “normal” science. This kind of talk is nothing less than some overly-exhausted psycho-babble borrowed from the social sciences where the parties involved have no real clue as what they are really talking about. Physics provides the basic foundation for conducting climate science, and climate science profusely draws and uses information and data from all of the other scientific disciplines.

Simply put, science is about learning how the natural world works. First you use all data available to formulate an understanding of how the world appears to be working, and then you use all data available to verify if your understanding actually works as a full explanation. Then you continue repeating this cycle until it converges.

But Garth has somehow failed to include the end points of his select list spectrum. He left out the one obvious extreme end point – There are those who feel compelled to deliberately distort, misrepresent, and lie about climate science in order to confuse and bamboozle the public on behalf of fossil fuel interests (notably at the Heartland, Cato, and George C Marshall Institutes).

Also, he left out the other end of the spectrum – there are those who conduct research to study the basic physics of global climate science (notably at government supported labs such as NCAR, GFDL, NASA-GISS, and similar institutions in Europe and Asia), bringing together the research results and inputs from many different disciplines (e.g., geology, chemistry, biology, astronomy, archeology, nuclear physics, spectroscopy, engineering, etc.).

It is undoubtedly true that climate science has transformed itself from being a research backwater of a few decades ago into one of the “big” sciences of today. Gone are the days when a lone university professor with paper and pencil, and a slide rule, can sit down and generate some significant advancement in climate science.

As Garth notes, it is therefore not surprising then, that  “it is indeed vastly more difficult to publish results in climate research journals if they run against the tide of politically correct opinion” (in reality) a fully demonstrated understanding of current climate science. “Which is why most of the sceptic literature on the subject has been forced onto the web, and particularly onto web-logs devoted to the sceptic view of things.”

Why would anyone want stuff that is patently erroneous, irrelevant, or otherwise deficient to be published in the long-established climate science literature? Clearly, there has to be some sense of quality control to define what we reliably understand in science, and what we don’t. Why not just trash out the junky stuff in the web-blogs where that is already happening? Should anything of value be uncovered, it will surely survive the thrashing, and then it will make it into the peer-reviewed climate science literature and become recognized as a recognized part of current climate knowledge.

(3)  “Big” Science vs. “Little” Science

To be sure, the lone professor with the slide rule, whether or not he happens to be a skeptic, or a non-skeptic, is left at a big disadvantage in competing with climate scientists who work at the established climate centers where there are big computers, working climate models, and terabytes of observational data to bring to bear on the pressing questions of global climate change.

That is one of the characteristics of “big” science. Nowadays, it requires team effort to perform cutting edge research in climate science. The lone professor with his slide rule is left to scrounge around the edges of where the principal research action is. He is left to performing statistical analyses on bits of climate data. The results of his analyses will at best achieve limited science information value, and are thus predestined to be of limited interest and have minimum impact as cutting edge material in climate science.

(4)  Spectacularly Inaccurate Climate Data ? How So ? ?

Rather surprisingly, Garth complains about the miserable quality of available climate data. “Climate research has to rely on spectacularly inaccurate data from information on Earth’s past climate. Even though there are vast amounts of atmospheric and oceanographic data to play with, together with lots of proxy information from tree rings and ice cores and corals and so on, abstracting a coherent story from it all is something of a statistical nightmare. It gives a whole new meaning to the old saying “lies, damn lies and statistics”.

On the contrary, there is an abundance of excellent climate data. The available ice core data provide a very precise and detailed record of changes in principal atmospheric radiative forcing gases CO2 and CH4, including a detailed record of changes in oxygen isotope ratios from which to deduce changes in global temperature. Likewise, there is available a precise and essentially complete HITRAN data set of line parameters for all atmospheric gases that matter, permitting accurate calculation of the radiative forcings and feedback responses necessary to construct realistic models to study changes in terrestrial climate over all geological time scales.

To be sure, it is not like we have all the climate data that we need or would want. In fact, no amount of climate data will ever be sufficient. All of the climate variables need to be measured more frequently and more accurately than what is presently available. One very specific example is the pressing need to obtain more definitive polarimetric measurements of aerosol radiative properties, a pressing need that is still going unfulfilled.

All in all, observational data and theoretical models are inseparable. Observational data have information content only materializes when there are appropriate theoretical models available that can properly interpret and analyze the measurements. This basic synergism of analyzing ever improving observational data with ever improving theoretical models is what drives climate science to an improved understanding of how the climate system works and how and why global climate is undergoing change.

As a more specific point to Garth: simply by running statistical correlations between the different proxy variables that may have incorporated various aspects of global climate change is not the optimum way to gain understanding of global climate change. The climate system is too complex and too variable to be understood in terms of statistical correlations alone. Detailed physical models of the climate system, and how the climate system changes, are needed to characterize the information content and climate context of the tabulated data that are used climate proxy variables.

(5)  That Dreadful Climate Uncertainty Monster

Perhaps the overarching issue that appears to be holding Garth hostage in the climate science debate is that dreadful climate uncertainty monster.

It could be said that a little bit of uncertainty might actually be good in life – it tends to keep people more alert, instills greater interest, and improves their level of attention toward their environment over what they might otherwise have been willing or able to muster.

More importantly, uncertainty does not in any way prevent us from understanding how the climate system works. From this, it follows that uncertainty should not be used as the excuse for political inaction to condone doing nothing to control the ongoing global warming problem that is caused by the burning of fossil fuel by humans.

However, the justification for initiating and taking political action (that may have significant economic consequences) to curtail global warming (note also that not taking political action may have equally significant economic consequences), requires a clear understanding of the nature of the uncertainties (and certainties) that exist in the climate system. And there may be additional uncertainties (as well as surprises) that develop as part of the economic consequences.

There are many different types of uncertainty that are encountered in the modeling of the climate system, and it is important to understand and characterize and quantify them all. One pervasive type of climate uncertainty is what has frequently been referred to as the unforced or “natural variability” of climate. This characteristic type of uncertainty is encountered when running a interactive atmosphere-ocean climate model for thousands of years with no change in the external forcing (other than standard diurnal and seasonal change in solar radiation) exhibits variability (by several tenths of a degree) in the global annual-mean surface temperature, essentially over all time scales.

Why does the unforced global annual-mean surface temperature vary? Basically, the climate system does not respond in small enough energy increments as it is approaching energy balance equilibrium. When clouds form, or precipitation takes place, these local attempts toward achieving energy balance, overshoot the global equilibrium point, leading to new corrective attempts toward energy balance.

Also, there is interplay between the different heat reservoirs with differing heat capacities (or timescales), which spreads the local ‘overshoot’ variability regionally and over longer time scales. This produces a chaotic variability that appears random, but is actually bounded. Running the climate model again, but starting with slightly different initial conditions, will produce a different temporal record, but one which will exhibit the statistical behavior.

Both climate GCMs and the real world exhibit comparable variability. The external forcing is fully controllable in climate models, but its unforced variability is a characteristic of the model physics. In the real world, there are solar cycle variations, episodic volcanic eruptions, greenhouse gas increases, etc., that constitute the external forcings. The climate system responds to these external forcings, and in addition, includes its unforced natural variability in the form of quasi-periodic resonances ranging from months to decades (e.g., JMO, QBO, El Nino, La Nina, PDO), all of which  show up in the global surface temperature record.

All of this greatly complicates the analysis for those who seek to find “empirical verification of global climate change” in terms of simple statistical correlations, or linear regressions, between measured changes in greenhouse gas amounts and the observed variations in global surface temperature over some limit time interval. In reality, the global climate is far too complex, the available measurements are much too limited and incomplete, and the time scale that is accessible is way too short for this approach to yield anything other than at best a very limited semi-qualitative understanding of what is actually happening with global climate.

This is where it is important to understand that the natural variability of the climate system represents temperature fluctuations about a zero reference point. Moreover, these random-looking fluctuations most definitely are not random variations (as in random walk), such that given enough time, they could move the global temperature arbitrarily far from its equilibrium reference point. Climate GCMs (and the real world) must conserve energy, so arbitrarily large departures for the equilibrium reference point simply can not happen in the absence of external forcing being applied. Thus, given enough time, the unforced climate will approach its equilibrium point, and averaging over a time scale that is longer than the time scales of the fluctuations will serve to define the point of equilibrium.

(6)  The Climate Stuff that is NOT at all that Uncertain

This brings us to the topic of global climate change aspects that are of the more certain and deterministic kind – the stuff that depends on very basic physics that have been well understood for many decades, if not centuries. More specifically, in the climate context, this refers to the radiative forcings that drive global climate change, and include in particular, the anthropogenic greenhouse gases are being accurately measured and monitored, and their radiative parameters that are likewise accurately known and understood.

As in all measurements that have ever been made, there are always going to be some uncertainties. And this applies to the greenhouse gas atmospheric concentrations and their spectral absorption line parameters. But these are very minimal uncertainties that are inconsequential in determination of the contribution that these gases make to the strength of the terrestrial greenhouse effect.

As has been explained in the past, it is the non-condensing greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, O3, CFCs, of which CO2 is the principal contributor) that control the strength of the terrestrial greenhouse effect, with water vapor and clouds (being temperature dependent feedback effects) providing radiative magnification.

In short, we need to start getting used to understanding the fact that atmospheric CO2 is the principal control knob (the solar luminosity remaining fixed) that governs the global surface temperature of the Earth. The present atmospheric concentration of CO2 stands at about 400 ppmv. With zero atmospheric CO2, the climate of Earth will plunge to a snowball Earth state (global annual-mean surface temperature of – 30 °C) and kill off most everything that is alive. (Something similar to this happened about 650 million years ago).

With the atmospheric CO2 concentration increasing to about 4% (40,000 ppmv), the global annual-mean surface temperature will rise to about 60 °C, a temperature extreme that will very likely kill off most everything that is alive. (This has not happened in the geological past. But it could happen in the future if all the CO2 that is locked up in the carbon reservoirs was released into the atmosphere).

(7)  Summarizing the Points to an Impending Need to Act

To summarize, (1) there is no credible uncertainty as to identifying atmospheric CO2 as the principal control knob that governs the strengths of the terrestrial greenhouse effect; (2) there is no credible uncertainty as to identifying atmospheric water vapor and clouds as the temperature dependent feedback effects whose distribution in the atmosphere is governed by the Clausius-Clapeyron relation; (3) there is no credible uncertainty as to identifying the ongoing anthropogenic increase of atmospheric CO2 as the principal cause for the ongoing global warming.

It is very important to differentiate between those aspects of global climate change that are well understood in terms of basic physics   (for example, the increased global warming due to the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases), and those aspects that are known to be chaotic in nature (the unforced natural variability). The former is predictable, the latter is not.

Supported by this basic understanding of our climate situation, policy makers have now both the compelling need and the full justification to act responsibly and start taking positive steps to begin curtailing the continuing growth in atmospheric greenhouse gases. Sensible action would be to promote energy conservation, impose a true-cost responsibility fee on carbon, encourage alternate forms of energy generation, and continue educating the public as to why all this is necessary in order to best protect our current way of life.

These conclusions are all based on well-tested principles of physics and on direct observational data, and not on arbitrary assumptions or guesswork. As the global temperature continues to warm, more and more thermal and latent energy continues to accumulate within the atmosphere, thus providing more fuel and impetus for stronger and more extreme weather events. This is what can be expected from further global warming. And that clearly seems to be what has been happening as the global temperature continues to increase.

To be sure, there are some important uncertainties regarding global climate change that need to be recognized and addressed. For example, our current best estimates for the equilibrium sensitivity to doubled CO2 are about 3 °C, based on climate GCM modeling results, paleoclimate data, and other available measurements. But, because of the uncertainties in aerosol contribution to the direct and indirect forcings, it is not possible to attribute precisely what fraction of the observed climate change is due only to CO2, based on observational data alone. Because of uncertainties regarding the rate of heat energy mixing into the deep ocean, the time scale of the climate response will also be impacted. In view of this, the current climate sensitivity to doubled CO2 could well be within the range of 2 – 4 °C.

There are also real and significant uncertainties affecting the regional changes of climate that arise from semi-chaotic behavior in horizontal transports of energy, but these have minimal impact on the global energy balance since the horizontal transports, integrated over the globe, must average out to zero. There are further real and significant uncertainties in knowing how rapidly the polar ice will disintegrate in response to the increased warming. All of these uncertainties are real and significant, and they are active topics of current climate research to be ultimately resolved and understood.

However, none of these uncertainties materially alter the fact that the global temperature continues to rise unabated (with some unforced natural variability superimposed), as the direct result of continued increases in anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Policy makers should take heed to act responsibly and start taking positive steps to curtail the growth in atmospheric greenhouse gases. To not act is to continue playing Russian roulette until climate disaster  eventually hits home.

JC note:  Andy Lacis emailed this post to me.  Andy’s bio information is [here].   Andy’s previous guest post:  Atmospheric CO2:  the greenhouse thermostat

795 responses to “Garth Paltridge held hostage (?) by the uncertainty monster

  1. “With the atmospheric CO2 concentration increasing to about 4% (40,000 ppmv), the global annual-mean surface temperature will rise to about 60 °C, a temperature extreme that will very likely kill off most everything that is alive. (This has not happened in the geological past. But it could happen in the future if all the CO2 that is locked up in the carbon reservoirs was released into the atmosphere).”

    Really? You think concentrations will increase 100-fold? At the current rate of increase of 2 ppm per year that will require 20,000 years.

    • Dave Springer

      Don B | July 2, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Reply

      “With the atmospheric CO2 concentration increasing to about 4% (40,000 ppmv), the global annual-mean surface temperature will rise to about 60 °C,”

      That is physically impossible. There is not enough energy available at this distance from the sun.

      • Lacis, like Hansen, has apparently decided that only using the most prejudicial fact-free claims will do to defend their incredibly ill-informed confusion between science fiction /religious story lines and reality.
        To put any claims about a 40,0000 ppmv CO2 future in a paper and then to demand that the paper be taken seriously questions the good will of the person making the demand.

      • Dave Springer

        Where the f did Lacis get a physics degree? It is not possible to warm something with an external energy source beyond the temperature of a perfect black body at equilibrium. The sun does not provide enough energy to raise the temperature of the entire earth to 60C.

        I challenge any of these fools who think otherwise to try to fashion a device which can boil water with unconcentrated sunlight at standard pressure at high noon on the equator. This would require violating Kirchoff’s Law of Radiation which states than an obect at equilibrium cannot emit more energy than it absorbs across all wavelengths. This is a consequence of conservation. An object at 100C emits 1099W/m2 of radiation. The equator, after atmospheric scattering and reflection, receives about 1000W/m2 at high noon which is not quite enough to bring a black plate absorber to 100C.

      • The University of Iowa.

      • http://www.giss.nasa.gov/staff/alacis.html
        B.A., Physics, 1963, University of Iowa
        M.S., Astronomy, 1964, University of Iowa
        Ph.D., Physics, 1970, University of Iowa

        http://www.giss.nasa.gov/staff/jhansen.html
        B.A., Physics and Mathematics, 1963, University of Iowa
        M.S., Astronomy, 1965, University of Iowa
        Ph.D., Physics, 1967, University of Iowa

        Iowa 1963. I didn’t know Hansen had a twin.

      • Venus gets only twice earth’s energy from the sun but its surface temperature reaches over 400 C. It is all about atmospheric composition and heat-trapping.

      • Very true, CO2 has a rather small radiant spectrum and Venus has plenty of geothermal energy. CO2 by itself does provide enough cooling. Luckily, Earth has Water vapor with a much broader spectrum and two phase transitions within the temperature and pressure limits of Earth’s atmosphere.

        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/more%20climate%20junk/subarcticsummer40000PPM.png There’s 40,000 PPM CO2, how much more does Venus have again?

      • Radiating at 400 C is 5 times the solar energy source. Is Venus really that much internally heated, or have you made an error?

      • JimD, dig out a thermo book. 184K is the sink temperature 700C the source temperature, what is the insulation value? Here’s a neat trivia question, if CO2s radiant temperature on Venus is 184K what would it be on Earth with slightly different gravity? Check out some satellite photos of OLR and note the coldest spots.

      • CD, so you agree with me that the surface radiant temperature can exceed the solar input. Tell this to David Springer not me, or do you also agree with his complaint which contradicts what you just said?

      • JimD, I don’t think anyone can tell David Springer much of anything :) However, my understanding of thermodynamics does not tend to jive with theories based on physical paradoxes. The Water Cycle on Earth is poorly modeled by “current” radiant physics or there would not be so many “surprises”.

      • bob droege

        How many theories are there for the high surface temperature of Venus other than the CO2 greenhouse effect?

        Which one is the best?

      • “How many theories are there for the high surface temperature of Venus other than the CO2 greenhouse effect?

        Which one is the best?”

        Well, from spacecraft orbiting Venus, it has been concluded that Venus “appears” to have a geologically young surface.
        One theory is surface within last 1/2 billion years was completely covered with lava. This thought to due to Venus not having plate tectonic, and volcanic heat building up and becoming so hot that surface become magma, and cooling down since that time.

      • Bob said, “How many theories are there for the high surface temperature of Venus other than the CO2 greenhouse effect?” One prominent one.

        “Which one is the best?” Not that one :)

        Bob, Venus has geothermal activity and maybe 50Wm-2 solar penetration to the surface. The planet does not have real volcanoes, it has oozing geothermal sores. At around 700 degrees surface temperature and 100 time Earth’s atmospheric pressure, they can only ooze. With conduction enhanced by the high atmospheric pressure and radiant cooling limited by it radiant spectrum of its atmosphere, it is hot on the surface. The atmosphere could be any weak spectrum gas with a high enough molecular weight to not be ejected into space. There is nothing particularly special about CO2 other than plants need it.

        On Earth we have water vapor which has a broad radiant spectrum and a high specific heat capacity. It’s almost like we live on another world :)

      • tempterrain

        This graph shows how Venus is quite a lot hotter than might be expected on the basis of its distance from the sun.

      • Dave Springer

        Venus’ atmosphere insulates the surface so well that internal heat of the planet is felt at the surface. The giveaway is that there’s no difference in surface temperature between equator and pole and day and night sides of the planet – it’s all a constant temperature. This becomes even more significant when one considers the fact that the Venusian day is 240 earth days long. You can’t get that constant temperature all over all the time from solar heating you get it from geothermal heating.

      • You guys need to take another crack at it, and this time if anyone can explain the excess dueterium, they win the prize.

        The insulation of the atmosphere and geothermal heating fails to explain the dueterium but greenhaouse theory does.

        keep trying, one day you will pass, but not today.

      • Bob, I really haven’t delved into the deuterium issue. The solar winds do have about 7PPM deuterium. Solar winds, dense atmosphere, Hmmm?

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v338/n6216/abs/338567a0.html

        “Using the high-resolution mode of the Inter-national Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE), we measured hydrogen Lyman-α-emission but found only an upper limit on deuterium Lyman-α-emission, from which we inferred a D/H ratio of less than 2–5 x 10−3. This is smaller by a factor of 3–8 than the D/H ratio derived from measurements by the Pioneer Venus Large Probe, and may indicate either a stratification of D/H ratio with altitude or a smaller overall ratio than previously thought.”

        Is that smaller by a factor of 3-8 an issue? What about stratification? That is an old paper though. Isn’t the ionosphere near the top though? Let’s Earth has a temperature inversion so temperature increases above the tropopause. Venus doesn’t have a tropopause so temperature keeps decreasing with altitude. Low temperature, dense atmosphere, solar winds, I don’t know beats the heck out of me Bob. Anywho, how big was Venus’ oceans to begin with?

      • “The insulation of the atmosphere and geothermal heating fails to explain the dueterium but greenhaouse theory does.”

        Well, other than saying there is lot of CO2 and it’s very hot. How does greenhouse theory explain Venus current temperature.. Mainly interested in why is Venus at elevation [40 km or so] of same pressure as earth [1 atm] is Venus NOT particularly warm?

      • Venus’s surface and atmosphere is not heated internally or by some invisible, mystic source of energy. It is a consequence of the dense CO2 atmosphere, along with trace amounts of water vapor, SO2, and sulfuric acid clouds.

        For a solar-heated object, temperature only falls off as the square root of the distance from the sun (radiant flux goes down as the square of distance, but temperature scales as the fourth root of the flux).

        Thus, the closer orbital distance of Venus is not a huge factor in determining its higher temperature. For an Earth-like present albedo, the temperature on Venus would be determined by ~ 1365*(1-0.3)/(0.72^2) = 4 sigma T^4, where 0.3 is the albedo, 1365 W/m2 is the solar constant Earth-sun distance, and 0.72 is the distance of Venus to the Sun in astronomical units. This corresponds to T = 300 K. In reality, the albedo of Venus is closer to 75% due to a globally encircling cloud cover and efficient Rayleigh scattering from its dense atmosphere, so T is closer to 230 K.

        This would be Venus’ temperature in the absence of a greenhouse effect (of course it’s not a internally-consistent solution, because you can’t keep the albedo this high with no greenhouse effect, but it’s very illustrative…even a perfectly black planet at Venus’ distance would not be as hot as Venus really is, nor is the day side of Mercury that hot, which is closer to the sun).

      • Dave Springer

        capt. dallas 0.8 +/-0.2 per doubling maybe :) | July 2, 2012 at 7:22 pm |

        “JimD, I don’t think anyone can tell David Springer much of anything”

        You can tell me that which is true. But in that case I probably already knew what you were trying to tell me. The rub happens when you try to tell me that which is not true or when you offer speculation as fact. In that case we go south from Dallas and arrive at Houston where we have a problem.

      • Jim D

        Correction (addition):

        Venus gets only twice earth’s energy from the sun but its surface temperature reaches over 400 C. It is all about atmospheric composition atmospheric mass and heat-trapping

        Venus has an atmosphere with about 93 times the mass of the Earth’s total atmosphere.

        Vive la difference!

        Max

      • Or to put it another way Max, Venus has about 250,000 times the density (g/cc) of CO2 as Earth. That’s like log2(250000) = about 18 doublings.

        However, since the surface temperature of Venus is so much higher than Earth, the reradiating spectrum is very different. It’s a different analysis for a long list of reasons, not the least of which is the complete lack of condensing convection on Venus.

      • Where did you get your degree that led you err this badly?

        You are the one who doesn’t know physics.

      • Dave Springer

        Kirchoff’s Law of Radiation – At equilibrium absorptivity and emissivity must be equal at all wavelengths and angles.

        You imagine a way around that? That’s an extraorindary claim. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. Feel free to provide some. Handwaving doesn’t count.

      • Dave

        I challenge you to prove that your conclusion follows from Kirchhoff’s law.

        How could I know where your error is when all you tell is a wrong conclusion.

      • Another point Dave. How do you explain the fact that a flat plate collector may reach a temperature of 180C in practical situations and certainly more when that’s the goal.

      • To make it clear, where your error is: A black body is cooled trough radiation at all wavelengths. That’s far from optimal for reaching a high temperature. Higher temperatures are reached when those wavelengths are absorbed strongly where most of solar radiative energy is, while the escape of radiation is prevented as well as possible at wavelengths where thermal radiation is strongest (LWIR). Selective coatings do that in one way and GHE does it in another way.

        If you really don’t know that it’s better that you don’t say anything about GHE or physics more generally.

      • Dave, you are chasing the wrong rabbit. You have to be very careful with equilibrium, it has a lot of conditions :)

      • David, you seem to not understand physics very well.

        Have you studied the subject in a formal setting?

      • The hell you can’t. Ever fried ants with a magnifying glass?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        P.E., one would expect you to not offer an example he specifically highlighted as being faulty:

        I challenge any of these fools who think otherwise to try to fashion a device which can boil water with unconcentrated sunlight

        Beyond that, your example is kind of silly. Are you suggesting CO2 levels will wind up creating a giant magnifying glass that will sit between the sun and Earth?

      • What he’s saying is true of the radiating surface (the sphere of effective radiation) of a planet. The interior of the atmosphere (aka the surface) can be a lot warmer, and is. And under the surface, it’s even hotter. Didn’t you listen to Al Gore say that the middle of the earth is millions of degrees?

      • P.E. re temperature at the centre of the earth. According to Fowler (The Solid Earth, 2005, p.372) this is estimated at 6000 +/- 500 degrees Kelvin. This is below the melting temperature of iron at the pressures involved.

      • A real flat plate solar collector may reach a temperature of 180C. That requires selective coating and insulation. The basic idea is, however, the same as in atmospheric greenhouse effect: selectivity based on wavelength in transmission, emission and absorption. I’m sure one could reach even significantly higher temperatures in ideal conditions when the collector is built having maximization of the temperature in mind. Adding multiple glazing of optimal properties might bring the temperature much higher.

        No concentration is needed to reach these temperatures. It’s very difficult to tell how high temperatures might be reached as the only simple and fundamental limit is the effective temperature of the solar emission.

      • Dave Springer

        P.E. | July 2, 2012 at 8:11 pm |

        “What he’s saying is true of the radiating surface (the sphere of effective radiation) of a planet. The interior of the atmosphere (aka the surface) can be a lot warmer, and is. And under the surface, it’s even hotter. Didn’t you listen to Al Gore say that the middle of the earth is millions of degrees?”

        The temperature of earth below the surface, the geothermal gradient, is leftover heat of formation plus ongoing radioactive decay.

        No inner layer may be hotter than any outer layer. If you consider a smaller inner layer then the excluded outer layer becomes a source and the inner layer must still be in equilibrium with it. Taking this to a series of infinitely thin layers each layer is in what’s called local thermodynamic equilibrium with the adjacent layers. This holds true except where the density of the atmosphere is so low that distance between molecules is great enough so that collisions no longer occur. We don’t need to consider that because it’s far beyond the troposphere.

      • Dave Springer

        Pekka, say we have a square meter of solar collector. It is receiving 1000W of energy across all frequencies. At equilibrium how much energy will it radiate across all frequencies?

      • Dave,

        Because it’s in equilibrium and assumed well insulated it will ultimately radiate as much as it receives, In equilibrium the collector will get very hot, around 200 C if it’s a high quality solar flat plate collector without any cooling. Then it radiates much more than it receives at thermal IR, but it radiates practically nothing at wavelengths of solar radiation.

        The total is equal by construction, at every wavelength the absorption and emission are very different (except the single one where the values cross).

      • Probably a piece of silicon or germanium AR coated in the visible would do the job. If they are selling these thing it is probably silicon

      • Nullius in Verba

        “I challenge any of these fools who think otherwise to try to fashion a device which can boil water with unconcentrated sunlight at standard pressure at high noon on the equator.”

        You can do it, close enough, with a solar pond.

        Liquid water acts as a greenhouse fluid – it is fairly transparent to sunlight, but very opaque to thermal IR, blocking it all within less than a millimetre. It would show a super-powerful greenhouse effect if it wsn’t completely short-circuited by convection and to a lesser degree conduction.

        But you can suppress convection by building in a strong density gradient. The bottom of the pond is filled with very salty water, then a less salty layer added on top, and fresh water laid on top of that. Because the salt water at the bottom is much denser than the fresher water above, even when it gets warm it doesn’t rise.

        The bottom of a solar pond in a sunny equatorial country can reach 90 C within about 2 metres of the surface. It’s an actual, practical, lab-scale example of a greenhouse effect. But it only works if you suppress convection.

        The same applies in the air, and if air wasn’t compressible, convection would wipe out any greenhouse warming in the atmosphere too. But because air is compressible, and gases get hot when compressed and cool when allowed to expand, rising air cools, and limits convection. So long as the gradient is less than the amount by which air cools when it expands, cold air can rest stably on top of warmer air, and a residue of greenhouse warming can remain. However, the amount of warming in a convective atmosphere is controlled by the limit on convection, not by the amount of radiation passing back and forth.

        In a convective fluid, the temperature at the bottom is the temperature at the layer from which it radiates out, plus the lapse rate times the height of the radiating layer. For a pond, the lapse rate and emitting altitude are both near zero, so there’s no greenhouse warming even though there’s lot’s of downwelling backradiation from the sunlight-transparent-IR-opaque material. For Earth the lapse rate is 6.5 C/km and the radiation is emitted to space on average from about 5 km up. On Mars the atmosphere is thin, so it emits from the bottom km and the greenhouse warming is only a few degrees. On Venus, there is a dense layer of cloud 50-80 km up, the lapse rate is about 8 C/km, so the greenhouse warming works out at about 400-640 C.

        The greenhouse effect does require that the atmosphere be opaque to IR in some way, so that the average altitude of emission to space will be non-zero. More greenhouse gases means a higher altitude. But radiation only matters there at the top – further down, convection controls the temperature gradient.

        To be sure I’m simplifying a lot – for example, the average emission altitude is not a simple calculation. But Andy Lacis doesn’t even mention the lapse rate, needed to understand even the most basic version of the physics – apparently following the usual line of a pure radiative greenhouse. As the physics of a shallow pure water pond shows, it doesn’t work like that.

      • Nullius, very lovely explanation. I do disagree with the Venus inclusion because the geothermal energy can be confused with radiant energy of the stratified pond.

      • “The bottom of a solar pond in a sunny equatorial country can reach 90 C within about 2 metres of the surface. It’s an actual, practical, lab-scale example of a greenhouse effect. But it only works if you suppress convection.”

        Of course, if you prevent convection one can get higher temperature.

        Getting to 90 C is interesting though.

      • Nullius in Verba

        Capt Dallas,

        Thanks!

        Whether it’s geothermal or solar or neither providing the input, it makes no difference to the temperature, because it’s fundamentally controlled by the emission to space and the lapse rate. So far as I know, the geothermal component is minor (estimates seem to be around 8-25 W/m^2) but nothing much depends on the point, so I won’t argue.

      • Nullius in Verba

        Ooops! 3 orders of magnitude error! I should have said 8-25 mW/m^2.

      • “This means that the temperature at the bottom of the pond will rise to over 90 °C while the temperature at the top of the pond is usually around 30 °C. A natural example of these effects in a saline water body is Solar Lake in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt.” Wiki

        It should noted these are used in Atacama Desert. One thing about this desert is it at high elevation. Therefore it should receive more watts per square meter from sunlight. And of course there is low humidity in the air.
        Therefore it seems to me Atacama Desert should one best places to get the highest temperature of water in the world.
        And basically it seems to me you getting an effect which could low losses from convection and conduction similar to if insulated using a vacuum.
        Would like to know the exact temperature rather than “over 90 C”.

      • Nullius, How the energy gets there is one of the more confusing issues in this whole mess. People attempting to “prove” the green house effect with heat lamps and such to simulate solar. That derails the conversation to the second law group and the radiant only crowd. It is a perfectly marvelous system of energy storage, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics with a variety of conditional feed backs. Since we live on Earth, the marvels of the thermodynamic properties of water not CO2, should be highlighted, IMHO :)

      • I am not finding anything which gives over 90 C.
        They using solar ponds in Israel giving 70 to 80 C.

      • Nulluis, ref: oops 3 orders of magnitude. Imagine that, in equilibrium, the geothermal energy is in the milliwatt M-2 range. Humm? One of my pet peaves is people forgeting that potential is still energy. With the surface temperature of 700K degrees that would be 13,613Wm-2 balance by the same energy just a touch less, just a few measly milliwatts. There is joke down here, “What’s time to a hog?” If that geothermal is positive, it has more potential energy than the atmosphere. Now you have to admit that 13,613.0.25 Wm-2 is still a crap load of energy.

        Now did 67Wm-2 of solar balance that 13,613.025Wm-2?

      • Dave Springer

        re; solar pond
        An excellent example of the limits of solar collectors. These reach close to the theoretical limit of unconcentrated solar collectors. The water is completely transparent to shortwave energy from the sun and completely opaque to longwave energy from the hot brine at the bottom. The maximum obtainable temperature in the brine is 90C which is just short of that which we would observe in a perfect absorber at equilibrium and is exactly what I’d predict as the limit using first principles. Pekka “The Weasel” Pirella on the other hand predicts any temperature up to the temperature of the sun’s photosphere. I wish he’d get around to doing it so we could abandon fossil fuels and produce quality heat to drive steam turbines from unconcentrated solar collectors anywhere on the planet where we can trap solar photons with selective coatings. I’m not sure why he stops at that temperature because once you’ve convinced yourself that you can capture photons without ever giving them up again then there is no such thing as a maximum temperature.

        I believe Pekka and others here would benefit by a review of “ultraviolet catastrophe”. It appears they’ve forgotten about it.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultraviolet_catastrophe

      • Dave Springer

        Nullius in Verba | July 3, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Reply

        Springer: “I challenge any of these fools who think otherwise to try to fashion a device which can boil water with unconcentrated sunlight at standard pressure at high noon on the equator.”

        >>You can do it, close enough, with a solar pond.

        The following is a sort of “Welcome to MY World”. My world is where the rubber meets the road. Where theoretical physics becomes practical application.

        Near the equator you can get exactly as close to boiling as I would predict. The solar constant at high noon is about 1000W/m2. Plugging 90C into our handy dandy S-B calculator

        http://www.spectralcalc.com/blackbody_calculator/blackbody.php

        we get a radiant emittance of 986W/m2. Wow. Don’t you just love it when numbers work out like that? Solar ponds are marvels of efficiency and pretty cheap to make. Unfortunately the next law we have to deal with derives from the second law of thermodynamics and is called Carnot Efficiency. Aside from heating a building, for which we have very little demand near the equator, there’s not a lot we can do with a 60C (a 90C pond temperature minus 30C ambient) temperature differential in terms of converting it to work such as spinning the shaft of a generator. Carnot Efficiency for 60C is down in the dirt. It’s given as 1 – Tc/Th where temperature is in Kelvin. 1 – 303/363 = 16% maximum efficiency.

        About the best we can do in construction of practical heat engines is about 25% in parasitic losses. So in order to have any really useful temperature gradient we have to have a Carnot Efficiency north of 25%.

        This is why Pekka “The Weasel” Pirella’s assertion that flat plate solar collectors with selective coatings can generate temperatures in excess of 180C. That gives us heat with good enough cost/quality to do something useful with it. 1 – 303/453 = 33% efficiency. That’s getting close to where we can extract some useful work with just incremental improvement using modern modern materials in the construction of our heat engine. Pekka “The Weasel” Pirella also states that the 180C is not really a limit. The temperature of the photosphere is the only real limit he knows of so I guess it’s just a matter of using coatings and plumbing and working fluids in flat plate collectors that can operate at oh say 500C which gives us a Carnot Efficiency of 1 – 303/773 = 60%. Now we’re cooking with gas! We (we = us people who work in the real world not the world of toy computer models with impossible physical assumptions) .

        I truly wish Pekka “The Weasel” Pirella was correct in his claims because that would mean abundant clean cheap energy for everyone is just a selective coating away from reality. But the reality is he’s a physicist who doesn’t understand even the first and limiting principles of physics.

      • Dave,

        I know what the UV catastrophe is. I know also, how quantum mechanics was of great help in resolving the problem. I know furthermore how this is related to the need of renormalization in quantum electrodynamics.

        You are (purposefully?) misrepresenting what I said about the power of the second law. I have stated very clearly that such temperatures cannot be reached in practice. It remains, however, true that no similarly simple principle tells, what is the maximum that can be reached by effects based on spectral selectivity, which include atmospheric GHE as well as selective coatings. It’s certainly more than 200C, but how much more, I don’t know.

        Your simple conclusions apply only to black and grey bodies that have an emissivity independent of wavelength for all relevant radiation from far thermal IR to UV.

    • The -32C offset was selected for an approximate Radiant layer temperature. Global Averages seem to have issues with regional facts.

    • “With the atmospheric CO2 concentration increasing to about 4% (40,000 ppmv), the global annual-mean surface temperature will rise to about 60 °C, a temperature extreme that will very likely kill off most everything that is alive. (This has not happened in the geological past. But it could happen in the future if all the CO2 that is locked up in the carbon reservoirs was released into the atmosphere).”

      “Really? You think concentrations will increase 100-fold? At the current rate of increase of 2 ppm per year that will require 20,000 years.”

      But 20,000 years is a blink of a eye in geological time.
      We have to plan for it.

      Seriously, it would interesting to have idea, of max possible global temperature, but let’s keep it to levels which are breathable.
      Say 30,000 ppm of CO2, and say 10,000 ppm methane.

      It seems to me that the warming from such extreme levels would still be rather modest.

      Now, if then increase the atm by 2 to 10 times, would this increase global temperatures?
      It seems to me if double the atmosphere you would significantly lower the amount sunlight reaching the surface. As a guess, instead of 1000 watts per square at noon at summer, on a clear day, you get around 800 watts per square meter. And when sun lower in the sky, due latitude or time of time, if received say 600 watts per square with 1 atm, with 2 atm you receive around 200 watts. Which would basically mean during clear sky, during the summer time in arctic circle the sun would be very dim.
      And with 10 atm, it may always be dark, with sun resembling moonlight.
      And with 10 atm sun in tropics might on clear sky at noon be somewhere less than 200 watts per square meter.
      Which means unlike current earth, the atmosphere wouldn’t warmed from the surface heating up.

      • You are giving a rather high estimate for the change in optical transmission for the atmosphere change from one to two or ten atmospheres while you ignore the pressure broadening effect of the higher pressure.
        Even if the light doesn’t reach the surface, it does warm the atmosphere when it is absorbed.

      • Well Bob, I tend to have my issues with the over simplification of Ein=Eout, but 65Wm-2 Eout doesn’t provide enough wiggle room even for me :)

        As far as pressure broadening, which you reckon has the biggest impact, molten lava or less than 65Wm-2?

      • Dave Springer

        The Venusian day is 244 days while the Venusian year is 224 days. It takes about 10 earth years for the terminator to traverse the planet. This should result in a very high surface temperature on the day and very low temperature on the night side. Yet there is very little difference. That’s because sunlight isn’t much of a factor in surface temperature. The surface temperature is driven by geothermal energy and therefore is dependent on geothermal gradient which is the same everywhere on the planet. If you feel there’s an alternative explanation for why the night and day sides of the planet, as well as the equator and poles, are all virtually the same temperature feel free to offer it up. The greenhouse explanation is clearly inadequate as this would cause uneven heating of the surface between night/day sides and equator/poles.

      • The winds on Venus do a good job equalizing the temperatures between the dark and lit sides as well as north to south.

        It’s a windy place.

        The 90 atmosphere pressure on Venus causes a strong pressure broadening of the CO2 IR absorption bands. Cause much more heating than the molten lava.

      • So gravity done it Bob? Pressure broadening implies gravity is a factor. I think there are some guys with a Universal theory right up your alley.

      • Dave Springer

        bob droege | July 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm |

        “The winds on Venus do a good job equalizing the temperatures between the dark and lit sides as well as north to south. It’s a windy place.”

        Nice try but that’s above the troposphere where temperatures are nowhere near surface temperature. The winds in the troposphere are very slow. Like proverbial molasses in January. Well maybe not that slow but pretty slow.

        http://www.universetoday.com/36816/winds-on-venus/

        The very top of the cloud layers on Venus, wind speeds reach 355 km/hour (or 100 meters/second). This is the same the jet stream here on Earth. As you descend through the cloud layers, though, the wind speeds pick up. In the middle layer, the winds can reach speeds of more than 700 km/hour. That’s faster than the fastest tornado speed ever recorded on Earth.

        But then as you descend further down through the clouds, the thickening atmosphere slows the winds down, so that they act more like currents in the ocean than winds in the atmosphere. Down at the surface, the winds only move at a few km/hour. That’s not much, but the thick atmosphere can still kick up dust and push around small rocks.

        You don’t put much thought into what you write, Bob. A high wind in a 90 bar atmosphere would move boulders around like snowflakes and scour the surface into a featureless smoothness rivaling a billiard ball. I happened to know the surface had interesting features so the winds couldn’t possibly be very high. Sure enough when I googled surface winds on Venus it turns out they’re a few kilometers per hour. About walking speed. Oops. You should probably hurry back to your Slayer buddies and give them the skinny on Venusian surface winds. Of course the more facts they have the less entertaining they are. But as long as I have Pekka “The Selective Coating Weasel” Pirelli to torment I can do without the Slayer crowd. Pekka’s like my own little Slayer buddy only with slightly different but no less fundamental errors in his thinking.

      • Dave Springer,
        If the heat of Venus is geothermal, then the heat at the surface would drive convection and therefore winds at the surface, but no winds at the surface imply that the heat source is not at the surface.

        nice try

        but no

      • Dave Springer,

        What happened to the water on Venus?

        http://www.universetoday.com/23651/venus-possibly-had-continents-oceans/

      • “You are giving a rather high estimate for the change in optical transmission for the atmosphere change from one to two or ten atmospheres while you ignore the pressure broadening effect of the higher pressure.”

        It seems to me that at 2 atm at noon equator clear sky getting as much as say, 900 watts per square meter would seem excessively optimistic.
        And one can check this number of about 800 watt per square meter , if you assuming the sun angle is low enough that passes thru about 2 atm worth of earth’s atmosphere. This requires the sun angle being more than 45 degree from zenith. Or around 9 am or after 3 pm.
        As for other estimates, in polar region, it would depend where in polar region the time of day and therefore how high the sun was above horizon. And one have determine the amount dust in atmosphere. Would 2 atm or more [in general] have less dust than 1 atm, and if so how would quantify it? I was generally assuming about same quantity of dust [ppm or ppb] as Earth.

        Now I agree that with more atmospheric pressure one would get warmer temperature and I will further and say surface ground temperature should nearer the temperature air temperature, than compared on earth’s 1 atm. And addition the higher pressure would of course increase the boiling point of water, and I assume lower it’s evaporation rate. And therefore if the ocean were to get 1000 watts per square [as it does on earth] than the ocean temperature should warmer than on earth.
        If Ocean surface temperature was warmer on 2 atm or 10 atm , then it seems obvious that global temperature would be warmer. But it seems the reduction energy getting to the surface could or should prevent the ocean temperature to get as warm as on earth.
        But that is a guess, as don’t know evaporation rates of water at higher pressure.
        If anyone can tell me what temperature of ocean water would be at tropics, it do the most towards getting a close idea of how warm or cool a 2 atm or 10 atm world be.
        But in terms of averaging the temperature, a 2 atm or 10 atm earth would be more averaged, so nights would get less cool, and poles may not get as cold as they do on earth.

    • Huh. Must be a cultural thing.

      I see parameterization going on: on one extreme, zero CO2, on the other 4% CO2. Less than zero is clearly impossible. As much as 4% is equally unlikely as 0%. The current level is one percent of the maximum extreme, but it’s also infinitely more than zero, too.

      For me to complain that Andy Lacis is proposing we talk much about 4%, I’d have to be equally prepared to expect zero percent.

      Which would make me a special breed of loon.

      So the control knob has a zero and a 40.000? Big deal.

      At 400, it’s 74% above the mean level (230 ppmv) of the past 800,000 years, and 43% above the usual maximum of the 180-280 ppmv range of the past 800,000 years (and probably 15-20 million years). That’s what is at issue. Please do try to remember what’s actually being discussed, folks.

      We all know the basics of this stuff. The logarithmic relationship of doubling CO2 and temperature in the simple model, etc., etc. We don’t need to belabor what is meant by the extreme ends of the scale.

      Speaking of extreme ends: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/07/02/510147/we-are-all-climate-test-dummies-now-providing-data-on-how-humans-respond-to-extreme-weather/

      As supported by:

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/03/us-usa-wildfires-colorado-idUSBRE85S11220120703

      And:

      http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-rodricks-0703-20120702,0,4351736.column

      And even..

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48039856/ns/weather/

      • “So the control knob has a zero and a 40.000?”

        Let’s just assume these go to 11. :)

      • Bart R,
        Your contortions in defense of Lacis would be impressive, if this were a contortion contest.

      • Which would make me a special breed of loon.

        “Special breed?”

        Hey, Bart, we all think you’re just a normal guy who got caught up in this CAGW hysteria and now believes that every warm spell, cold spell, drought, flood, high wind, mild winter, summer storm, winter storm, heavy snow, sleet, hail , etc. was caused by a few added ppm of atmospheric CO2, which was emitted by humans.

        It can happen to anyone, Bart.

      • manacker | July 3, 2012 at 4:34 pm |

        Huh. Where’d I say anything at all like any of that?

        Personally, I’d guess somewhere in the range of 3% to 17% of what you describe could be attributed by partition of likelihood contributed to AGW, in some model of Risk assessment, by actuarial methods.

        Though I doubt any actuary would share their secrets of analysis of climate with the vast unwashed.

        Being reassured that I’m not a special loon by denizens is.. please excuse the frankness.. completely meaningless.

      • Bart R

        Personally, I’d guess somewhere in the range of 3% to 17% of what you describe [various extreme weather events] could be attributed by partition of likelihood contributed to AGW, in some model of Risk assessment, by actuarial methods.

        So even you “personally guess” that 83% to 97%, i.e. 90% +/- 7%, cannot be attributed to AGW, even in any “model of Risk assessment, by actuarial methods”?

        Pretty much kills the notion, IMO.

        Max

      • tempterrain

        What is your definition or understanding of the C in “CAGW” ?

      • tempterrain

        You ask:

        What is your definition or understanding of the C in “CAGW” ?

        I get a deja vu feeling that this has been asked and answered before, but in case you missed it:

        “C” stands for “catastrophic”

        It does not mean such ludicrous extremes as conjured up by Andy Lacis (60 deg C average global temperature resulting from 4% CO2 in the atmosphere), but does include the catastrophic sea level projections and other dire predictions of James E. Hansen.

        Hansen has put it this way to U.S. Congress
        http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2007/Testimony_20070426.pdf

        Crystallizing scientific data and analysis reveal that the Earth is close to dangerous climate change, to tipping points of the system with the potential for irreversible deleterious
        effects.

        and

        There is increasing realization that sea level rise this century may be measured in meters if we follow business-as-usual fossil fuel emissions.

        and

        cause an intensification of subtropical conditions that would greatly exacerbate water shortages in the American West and many other parts of the world, and likely render the semiarid states from west and central Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas increasingly drought prone and unsuitable for agriculture. To cause the extermination of a large fraction of plant and animal species

        Is that “catastrophic” enough for you?

        Max

    • “With the atmospheric CO2 concentration increasing to about 4% (40,000 ppmv), the global annual-mean surface temperature will rise to about 60 °C, a temperature extreme that will very likely kill off most everything that is alive. (This has not happened in the geological past. But it could happen in the future if all the CO2 that is locked up in the carbon reservoirs was released into the atmosphere).”

      Huh? Total hogwash! It is inconceivable to me that a scientist would say something so absurd.

      To date we have consumed approximately 15% of ALL the fossil fuel resources that WERE EVER on our planet, leaving about 85% to go.

      [Note: This is based on very optimistic estimates of possible inferred fossil fuel resources made by the Wold Energy Council in a 2010 report. Other estimates are much lower]

      Atmospheric CO2 increased from 280 to 392 ppmv to date.

      So the remaining 85% of all fossil fuels will cause an increase of:

      (392 – 280) * 0.85 / 0.15 = 635 ppmv

      Resulting in a maximum possible ever concentration of:

      392 + 635 = 1,027 ppmv

      That’s it, Andy. There “ain’t no’ mo’.”

      Max

      • Max, you need to cut Andy a little slack, optics was never his strong suit. He use magnification, something that is fixed, instead of amplification, something that is variable. If CO2 was a magnifier, then you could get 60C and scare the little children. Amplifiers can have gains less than one, that’s almost like a negative feed back, doncha know.

      • Spartacusisfree

        The claim of high heating from 4% CO2 is bunkum because it assumes that the IPCC model predictions have credibility. They don’t because of three major errors. Firstly, if you look in standard metallurgical handbooks at Hottell Charts, replicated in the 1970s by Leckner, above 200 ppmV in a long physical optical path, emissivity/absorptivity plateaus.That means there can be no CO2-AGW. The IR phenomenon is self-absorption. The IPCC has failed to acknowledge these data.

        Furthermore, buried in the APS official analysis of the GHE, is a truly magnificent error in the IPCC’s Energy Budget: http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200807/hafemeister.cfm

        In Eq 17, the author shows to balance energy inputs and outputs you need a lower atmosphere emissivity of 0.76. That corresponds to exaggerated warming of 333.[1-0.76] = 80 W/m^2 for a surface temperature of 14 deg C. For 16 deg. C it’s 94.5 W/m^2.. They can’t even get the numbers to match so exaggerate near surface IR warming by 350%………

        Finally, the belief that ‘back radiation’ from the lower atmosphere can add to the real IR from the earth’s surface to make the S-B black body radiation you can only get from an isolated body in a vacuum, is to ignore a century of experimental data, available in heat transfer handbooks such as McAdams. I have measured coupled convection and radiation. many times. For emissivity ~0.9, radiation only exceeds natural convection from a horizontal plate at ~100 deg. C.

        As for Venus, the high heating is lapse rate. The high albedo and low TOA IR result from the low emissivity of CO2 [the 200 ppmV limit] plus the sulphuric acid aerosols. These act like the raindrops buoyed upwards in thunder clouds by convection, giving the same high albedo. but you have to fix Sagan’s aerosol optical physics first, A second optical process dependent on large droplets accounts to high albedo, not the fake ‘surface reflection claim publicised by NASA in 2004 and believed widely in climate science.

        These scare stories seem to me a last desperate toss of the coin by people who have created what some call pseudo-science but which is so flawed, it doesn’t even deserve that appellation.

      • Spartacusisfree

        PS Lacis’ claim of 33 k GHG warming is to ignore that ~24 K of it is from lapse rate. This alone is an error in calibration of the model outputs by ~3.7.

      • Actually, the 33C assumes an albedo of 0.3 with no proper definition of the “surface”. That allows a margin of error greater than +/-2C right there. The “average” assumes that the radiant effect is uniform over the entire surface which it is not. The Antarctic is often outside of the radiant envelope and should not be “averaged” in the radiant effect.

        The worst though is the “average” sensitivity. Energy is fungible, the work done is not. The energy spectrum has to be divided into bands that impact different components differently. The short wave that penetrates the ocean surface is no where near properly considered nor is the SW interaction with water vapor in the atmosphere.

      • Spartacusisfree

        My analysis is to subtract -18°C from +15 °C to give the 33 K temperature drop from surface to TOA emitter, then to look at how much is from lapse rate.

        The 9 K GHG part is reasonable because you can’t get direct thermalisation of absorbed IR so it’s indirect at cloud droplets mainly.

        This accounts for the difference of emission spectrum from clouds and clear atmosphere: at clouds the band radiation is thermalised to grey body so part comes through the atmospheric window.

        But the astonishing fact is the APS claims that it believes in the IPCC modelling yet acknowledges that the models have an extra 80 W/m^2 imaginary warming! You couldn’t make up such science fiction.

      • GHE forcing in non-linear, life’s a bitch.

        For the 33C, you would have to consider the surface as the moist air atmospheric boundary layer. then the effective surface energy is 83Wm-2 less, the enthalpy of the moist air, which has nothing to do with the GHE. Radiant ORL impact begins above the moist air boundary :)

        With Ein approximate 240Wm-2 and the surface 390-83=307 307-240=67Wm-2 is one end of the tyndall gas effect. During Glacial periods enthalpy is less, 316-240=76Wm-2, Why 316 and 307? Funny thing, fresh water and salt water have different freezing points, ain’t that a pip :)

      • Two word salad chefs in a fierce competition. In one corner, spartacusisfree, aka mydogsgotnonose, doing a remarkable Sarah Palin smush imitation, contradictions and all. In the other corner, cap’n Dallas doing his best shot at Professor Irwin Corey, stringing together arbitrary pseudoscientific words fast and furious.

        Who will we crown the Iron Word Salad Chef?

      • Spartacusisfree

        And then comes WHT who appears unable to derive contradictory arguments from first principles so has to resort to other tactics.

        The APS confirms my analysis that the IPCC Energy Budget includes a perpetual motion machine to provide the imaginary positive feedback . Add in the limit on CO2-AGW from IR self absorption, and the Fat Lady is accepting her bouquet as the audience starts to leave.

      • Web, you will find that noseless dog or free sparticus and I part company on most things. The latent cooling flux of 83Wm-2 though is real and there is a reason it seems so stable. That reason is that oceans have thermal limits. You can get a higher temperature in a solar salt pond, you can get a higher temperature in dead sea or the Great Salt lake, but in the oceans that deep water sink temperature of approximately 4C and the specific volume of the atmosphere limits the temperature. That 4C temperature is limited by the heat sink at the poles which is the temperature of fusion of salt ice. The density and the thermal mass of the atmosphere are not significantly changed by a small amount of CO2.

        An object cannot contain more energy that the thermal properties of its components allow or it goes BOOM! You can use MAXENT if you have the correct starting point, Construction Theory if you have the correct starting point, Greenhouse theory if you have the correct starting point, but none work unless you know the correct starting point. The thermal properties of water provide the correct starting point.

      • Spartacusisfree

        Your apparent assumption of 390 W.m^2, presumably the black body S-B IR emission from the Earth’s surface, is I believe wrong .

        This is because that can only apply in a vacuum. The 63 W/m^2 in the Trenberth 2009 cartoon is probably nearer the truth, i.e. about 40% of the SW in, but it still looks a bit high.

        All process engineers who have actually measured coupled convection and radiation will agree with me.The level of radiative energy transport in the atmosphere has been wildly exaggerated.

        This is why very dodgy cloud data are needed to offset the imaginary heating. I have seen twice real low level optical depths used. That corresponds to 10% higher albedo than reality for the average cloud but for thin bimodal clouds it’s much, much more.

        This science is broken.

      • Spartacusisfree

        Here’s my take. The GHE, all ~9 K of it, is expressed as a rise in surface temperature. This is because lapse rate causes convection to even the gradients out and the heating is mostly at clouds. These rise more quickly when warmed and precipitation is accelerated.

        Climate science’s fixation with volumetric warming is based on zero knowledge of real IR physics and statistical thermodynamics.

        Once you completely get rid of the Victorian science you can go forward!

        You do get funny effects at times, temperature inversions, the mirage, but frankly speaking Houghton has really messed up the science. The only reason the models can be forced to give apparently high climate sensitivity is a confidence trick.

      • Spart, the models will somewhat agree with climate while the oceans regain energy lost during the equatorial volcanic events. Natural recovery from is virtually indistinguishable from radiant forcing since the model are based on depressed conditions. The models are extremely sensitive to initial conditions because they overestimate the forcing. That is why they have to tweak aerosols, are surprised by the lack of tropical warming and the inconsistent Antarctic responses.

        If they properly considered the geometry and used isothermal boundaries they would realize that the low end 1.0 is the approximate answer.

        CO2 does have a non-linear impact that is stronger doing cool times and weaker during warm times, it is a thermostat of sorts. It really is one kick butt design for a planet :)

      • PS Lacis’ claim of 33 k GHG warming is to ignore that ~24 K of it is from lapse rate. This alone is an error in calibration of the model outputs by ~3.7.

        Nothing due to lapse rate has been ignored by Lacis. Lapse rate is an integral part of the theory. There would not be such a lapse rate without GHE. The lapse rate is just an upper limit. Something must force the atmosphere to this upper limit and GHE is that “something”.

      • Spart, I don’t assume squat. There has been way too much ‘ssumin’ going on. My inside out multi-layered thermodynamic approach doesn’t consider albedo, incoming solar, atmospheric conditions, atmospheric concentrations, all it assumes is that the earth has copious amounts of water in liquid form. It is a water model, wholda thunk to start at the beginning?

    • Really? You think concentrations will increase 100-fold? At the current rate of increase of 2 ppm per year that will require 20,000 years.

      At the current rate of increase of 0.5% per year, it will actually require 923 years. But even that is an underestimate, since the current rate of increase is also increasing, even on a percentage basis.

      • The compounded annual rate of increase has remained between 0.41% and 0.5% per year and seems to have stabilized most recently at around 0.5% per year.

        1959-2012 0.41% CAGR
        1991-2012 0.48% CAGR
        2001-2012 0.50% CAGR
        2005-2012 0.47% CAGR

        And, besides there is only enough carbon in all the optimistically inferred fossil fuel resources of our planet (WEC 2010) to reach around 1030 ppmv CO2 when these have been completely exhausted.

        So we will NEVER reach the 4% level.

        Max

  2. When I read as follows: Policy makers should take heed to act responsibly and start taking positive steps to curtail the growth in atmospheric greenhouse gases. To not act is to continue playing Russian roulette until climate disaster eventually hits home, what is really being is said is so much different–e.g.,

    Translated–>Government knows best and even when it does not we can never let the individual decide his or own fate again. America has been a horrible failure and we all must follow the example of France–except for the nuclear part.

    • Yes, if one accepts everything that Lacis says prior to that policy paragraph, it does not of itself provide any basis for a policy response. The question still needs to be asked: if 2-4C warming occurs over 100 years or so, what are the costs and benefits? Can we undertake actions which would significantly reduce projected temperature rises? What are the costs and benefits of any actions taken to ameliorate temperature rise? Andy obviously assumes that the costs of inaction will be high, the costs of action will be justified, but there is nothing in his analysis which throws any light on this. We are moving without acknowledgement from his area of expertise – climate science – to mine – economic analysis and government policy. Andy is moving from science to advocacy, a very big step which must be justified.

  3. Dave Springer

    As I wrote in response to the first Paltridge article, anyone who thinks Willis Eschenback knows his ass from his elbow is not playing with a full deck. It’s hardly surprising that others are now questioning Paltridge’s intellect too.

    • When you can snatch the toilet paper from Eschenbach’s hand you may be ready, grasshopper. Your catastrophist conclusions about the furture “is woefully short of either theoretical or observational support. In part, of course, this is because the AGW hypothesis provides almost nothing in the way of a statement or a prediction which can be falsified. This difficulty in falsification of the hypothesis, while perhaps attractive to the proponents of the hypothesis, inevitably implies a corresponding difficulty in verification or support of the hypothesis, ” as Dr. Eshenbach would observe. And of course, Eschenbach would have to remind you that to continue on this way, you must continue to ignore all of the “arguably cogent and certainly feasible scientific objections [that] have been raised against … [AGW theory] from the nature and sign of the forcings considered and unconsidered, to the existence of natural thermostatic mechanisms.”

      • Dave Springer

        Eschenbac is not a doctor. He’s a carpenter with no degree. I’m not even sure he graduated high school.

      • Dave Springer

        p.s. I’m pretty effing far from a catastrophist. Are you smoking crack or what?

      • I go with smokin’ what. Crack is not that disorienting.

      • “First, you have to show that some aspect of the climate is historically anomalous or unusual. As far as I know, no one has done that… So the game is in serious danger before it is even begun. If you can’t show me where the climate has gone off its natural rails, if you can’t point to where the climate is acting unusually or anomalously, then what good are your explanations as to why it supposedly went off the rails at some mystery location you can’t identify?” ~Eschenbach

      • Dave Springer

        JCH | July 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm |

        “I go with smokin’ what. Crack is not that disorienting.”

        That’s true in moderation but stay awake for two or three days on it and see how disoriented you get. It’s not the drug, per se, but the lack of sleep for an extended period of time that does it.

      • In late 2006, Willis had initiated the first use of FOI legislation to overcome a non-transparency that the wider scientific community should itself have objected to. After much obfuscation by CRU, Willis managed to extract a list of stations, but not the station data as used by CRU. The progress was reported from time to time at CA… ~Steve McIntyre

      • The ad hominem fallacy. Have you ever noticed that every argument by a catastrophist or against the realists / sceptics is one of the classic logical fallacies? They have been known for over 2000 years, through two periods of time warmer than today, yet still people think they are clever and that today’s climates are anomalous.

      • And, wouldn’t ‘ya think he’d at least be capable of spelling Eshenbach’s name correctly, since he seems to think he knows so much about him or that he is published–e.g.,

        Eschenbach W. The thunderstorm thermostat hypothesis: How clouds and thunderstorms control the Earth’s temperature. E&E, 21:4, 2010 —e.g., …The clouds close the throttle slightly, reducing the energy entering the system. They start cooling things down. This is the negative feedback part of the cloud climate control.

        “The tropical sun is strong, however. Despite the negative feedback from the cumulus clouds, the day continues to heat up. The more the sun hits the ocean, the more warm, moist air is formed, and the more cumulus clouds form. This, of course, reflects more sun, which is to say the throttle closes a bit more. But despite that the day continues to warm.

        The full development of the cumulus clouds sets the stage for the second part of temperature regulation. This is not simple negative feedback. It is the climate governing system. As the temperature continues to rise, as the evaporation climbs, some of the fluffy cumulus clouds suddenly transform themselves. They rapidly extend skywards, thrusting up to form pillars of cloud thousands of meters high in a short time. These cumulus clouds are transformed into cumulonimbus (thunderstorm) clouds. The columnar body of the thunderstorm acts as a huge vertical heat pipe. The thunderstorm sucks up warm, moist air at the surface and shoots it skyward. At altitude the water condenses, transforming the latent heat into sensible heat. The air is rewarmed by this release of sensible heat, and continues to rise.

        At the top, the air is released from the cloud up high, way above most of the CO2. In that rarified atmosphere, the air is much freer to radiate to space. By moving inside the thunderstorm heat pipe, the air bypasses most of the greenhouse gases and comes out near the top of the troposphere. During the transport aloft, there is no radiative or turbulent interaction between the rising air and the lower and middle troposphere. Inside the thunderstorm, the rising air is tunneled through most of the troposphere to emerge at the top.

        In addition to reflecting sunlight from their top surface as cumulus clouds do, and transporting heat past the greenhouse gases to the upper troposphere where it radiates easily to space, thunderstorms cool the surface in a variety of other ways, particularly (but not exclusively) over the ocean.

      • Dave Springer

        Regardless of Willis Eschenbach’s lack of formal climatology credentials, there is no doubt that he understands the subject quite well, based on the articles and posts he has written.

        He may not be “lovable”, but he is certainly “knowledgeable”

        Max

      • Eschenbac is not a doctor. He’s a carpenter with no degree. I’m not even sure he graduated high school.

        Yet, unlike climate science PHds, he doesn’t root his position in a corrupt science process. I can only assume that the various Climategate ‘tricks’ are what one learns at climate grad schools.

    • As one who has found Eschenbach’s (perhaps you might want to at least spell the name correctly if you’re going to denigrate someone) essays to be well thought out and in apparent agreement with real world data, I might wonder where you think he goes wrong, as I do not recall having seen your critiques. Willis does, after all, provide his data sources and the source for any computer programs he uses. It should be trivial for you to respond in kind.

      Is Willis correct? I don’t have the statistical chops to determine one way or the other. It is my conviction, based on a fairly long life of hearing all sorts of dire climate (remember the coming ice age?) predictions, that he does make cogent, contrarian arguments. That does not imply that I am mentally deficient as you so baldly stated without any personal evidence. Unless you are ready to take on his assertions, you are out of line stating he doesn’t know his ass from his elbow. One might even infer from your inane blathering that you, yourself, may be a few dimes short of a dollar.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Gary Turner:

        Is Willis correct? I don’t have the statistical chops to determine one way or the other.

        I can’t say I’ve ever had a disagreement with him that required “statistical chops.” Every time I’ve disagreed with Eschenbach, he’s been wrong on simple matters of logic, if not basic reading comprehension.

        But to be fair, those were in exchanges on blogs. The quality of such may not indicate the quality of any blog posts he may make.

      • “Every time I’ve disagreed with Eschenbach, he’s been wrong on simple matters of logic, if not basic reading comprehension.”

        Yet you cannot give a simple example. Just an unwarranted assertion.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Doubting Rich, you’re being silly. The fact I didn’t give an example of something in no way implies I cannot give one. I’m free to give my impression of an individual without citing past exchanges.

        Jumping to conclusions which allow you to dismiss an opinion you dislike is generally a sign of close-mindedness.

      • Brandon,

        I never jumped to any conclusion, except that you were making an assumption with no reasoned argument which is true; nor did I say you could not give your own impression.

        However your own impression is meaningless, just trite whining unless you back it up. It is curious that you still make no reasoned argument, and give no examples, even when it is pointed out to you. That really does suggest you cannot.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Doubting Rich, you’re making things up. You claim you “never jumped to any conclusion, except that [I was] making an assumption with no reasoned argument which is true.” That isn’t what you said, at all. What you actually said was “you cannot give a simple example.” If your criticism was that I didn’t do something, you’d have said “did not.” Instead, you said “cannot,” indicating your criticism was that I could not do it.

        Moreover, you claim “[i]t is curious that [I] still… give no examples” more than twelve hours after I did exactly that. Personally, I think “it is curious” you would so flagrantly make things up like you are doing in this comment of yours.

      • BS,
        My bet is you have no idea of what you claim.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        hunter, that’s a bet I’d happily take. Unfortunately, there’s no way we could actually get a bet like that in place, so I won’t be taking any of your money.

      • Brandon sz:

        Every time I’ve disagreed with Eschenbach, he’s been wrong on simple matters of logic, if not basic reading comprehension.

        Perhaps you could provide a link to one or more such disagreements so that I might see the substance of both of yours and Willis’s positions.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Sure. I’d prefer to post a link to one of our earliest ones so there wouldn’t be any history clouding things, but I’m not sure how long it would take me to find them. Since comments on this site aren’t indexed, it can be hard to find comments if you don’t remember what thread they’re on.

        Anyway, I’ll look and see what I can find. If nothing else, I’ll just post a link to the most recent disagreement. Look for a follow-up comment in the next hour or so.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Meh. I couldn’t remember what threads Escenbach and I have had exchanges on, so I couldn’t pull up any of our older exchanges. The only one which was readily available was on this page, and it’s one which comes with some history. Because of that history, I treated Escehnbach differently than I would have otherwise, and the lack of context changes how it may be perceived. Even worse, a number of comments were deleted, so you can’t see everything which was said.

        That said, you can see a clear example of what I describe in this fork. A number of comments from it were deleted, but there’s still plenty left. For example, you can see Eschenbach claim I am a troll by my own definition even though I never offered a definition. You can also see him claiming me saying “maybe it makes me a troll” means I am identifying myself as a troll. And other things.

        I do apologize for not being able to provide a better example. I’m just not sure how I’d find the earlier exchanges where I was less… curt, without looking through dozens, if not hundreds, of blog posts. I assure you the tone of my earlier responses to him had a much different tone.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Brandon,
        You say here in a post below “…treated Escehnbach differently than I would have otherwise, and the lack of context changes how it may be perceived.”.

        But earlier you said to me “I think I’ll have to just leave you to your universe. In my universe, simple sentences mean what they mean.”
        So I replied :
        Brandon, neither words nor sentences can be counted on to “mean what they mean”, and mean the same thing, when in different contexts.

        So which view of yours is the one you prefer to keep for now ?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        thisisnotgoodtogo:

        So which view of yours is the one you prefer to keep for now ?

        Seeing as the two views are not contradictory, I prefer to keep both!

    • You clearly have no argument to make; if you did you would not make random assertions without any reasoned case. Do you really think your ignorant sneers about add to the discussion?

      • Willis and Dave personally dislike each other. It’s a long story…

      • meaning it not been adding to the discussion for a long time.

      • … meaning Springer may be the ass who is smoking something.

      • Dave Springer

        I mentioned it only as a bit of evidence that Paltridge’s judgement is questionable that he would include Eschenbach in a list of three influential people alongside Judith Curry and Steve McIntyre. Curry has testified before congress fercrisakes and McIntyre single handedly demolished the #1 icon of AGW the infamous Hockey Stick. The latter two clearly belong in a who’s who list of climate change names but Eschenbach is a nasty-rude blogger with delusions of grandeur whose day job is carpentry. Someone mentioned Eschenbach is published. Yeah, in a journal with an impact factor of 3 (Energy and Environment) which essentially means it’s almost totally ignored and even so Eschenbach managed to drag it down as his paper only received one citation whereas the average for the journal is 3. This to me is evidence that Paltridge is prone to serious errors in judgement.

      • “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely
        rearranging their prejudices.” – William James

  4. Tony Wight

    “with water vapor and clouds (being temperature dependent feedback effects) providing radiative magnification.”

    Magnification… No room for a consideration of negative feedbacks from water vapour? How strange…

    • Water Vapor and clouds are generally found in the moist air portion of the atmosphere. The CO2 “thermostat” begins to operate where it doesn’t have to compete with water vapor, but has sufficient water vapor to amplify. Doesn’t do much amplifying in the tropics or in the subarctic. Where is it that the models are consistently wrong again?

  5. “That is one of the characteristics of “big” science. Nowadays, it requires team effort to perform cutting edge research in climate science. The lone professor with his slide rule is left to scrounge around the edges of where the principal research action is. ”

    An appeal to group think, nice touch. That lone professor likely has a laptop that has 100 Times the computing power of the original group think model computers that have not improved uncertainty since their original FORTRAN programming in the late 1980s.

    • Clearly not a renaissance man. Had he studied even the basics of group psychology then he would have heard of risky shift, whereby the group makes a worse decision than an individual member would. The climate “scientists” * have made some pretty poor decisions as a group.

      *If you don’t archive your data and method then your work is not repeatable and verifiable; if your work is not repeatable or verifiable then it is not science; if your work is not science then you are not a scientist. Therefore I make no apologies for the quotation marks.

    • Dave Springer

      capt. dallas 0.8 +/-0.2 per doubling maybe :) | July 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Reply

      “An appeal to group think, nice touch. That lone professor likely has a laptop that has 100 Times the computing power of the original group think model computers that have not improved uncertainty since their original FORTRAN programming in the late 1980s.”

      Ouch. I was programming in Fortran in the early 1980’s. My phone today has a dual-core 1ghz processor and 16 gigs of memory That’s a thousand times what the goofy HP-2000 minicomputer at my university had back then and my laptop which I use every day has several times the computational power as my phone and it’s an under-$500 laptop. That’s what happens when Murphy’s Law goes on for 30 years. I was a laptop R&D engineer at Dell until 2000 when I decided I had the money for a long vacation and was bored out of my skull after 20 years of it so I got out of the business for over 10 years. Murphy’s Law continued and now even I’m amazed by what kind of computing power is in a 3-ounce battery powered device that costs less than a night’s stay at a four star hotel.

  6. “the authors may have been lacking a dependable atmospheric modeling capability”
    No doubt, but surely they are not alone in that. We have super duper big big computers isn’t really a compelling argument.

    • Not sure that Dr Lacis is aware that the models he claims are so much better were recently proved to be worse (and quite a lot worse) than a random walk at predicting temperature. Pots and kettles.

  7. Humility vs. Arrogance in an immature science. Is the uncertaintly monster the sum of the possiblilities conceived between the two?

  8. As has been explained in the past, it is the non-condensing greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, O3, CFCs, of which CO2 is the principal contributor) that control the strength of the terrestrial greenhouse effect, with water vapor and clouds (being temperature dependent feedback effects) providing radiative magnification.

    In short, we need to start getting used to understanding the fact that atmospheric CO2 is the principal control knob (the solar luminosity remaining fixed) that governs the global surface temperature of the Earth.

    And with that, he leaps the Grand Canyon of our understanding of climate sensitivity. And like Evel Knievel, it doesn’t end well.

    • Technically, Snake River Canyon. And however it ended, he too got paid ; ).

    • The control knob metaphor is Andy’s claim to fame. That the carbon cycle controls the hydo cycle is the essence of CAGW. It is also simple minded.

      • tempterrain

        What is your definition, or understanding, of the C in “CAGW” ?

      • Temp,

        You’ve not asked me about the big “C” in CAGW, but since this is a free-for-all blog, I’ll weigh in a bit.

        You advocate (and very possibly benefit from) the past, present, and future obscene expenditures of billions and billions of dollars on the “AGW” business. And, temp, if there’s no precautionary-principle-provoking, scare-mongering “C” attached to “AGW” then how can you possibly justify that carbon-reduction, taxpayer rip-off gravy-train so many people you know are aboard?

        So, temp, since you’re the one sticking-up for those trying to pick everybody else’s taxpayer pocket–what is your definition or understanding of the “C” in CAGW? You tell us.

        Maybe this will get you started, temp. Remember that sci-fi, cult-film, B-movie knock-off scare-scenario which invited us all to be afraid–very afraid–that cranky Alien greenshirts might decide to eradicate humanity if it didn’t get a better handle on the CO2 control knob? That was a good one, temp. I mean, like, that one was good for 20-30 billion, gravy-train dollars, at least. So, temp, you got any more good ones like that?

  9. congrats to Lacis for having published his “junky stuff” on this blog.

    Judith : not sure if you “got it” but your friend has just rubbished your work here. please wake up. as for Lacis’ “arguments”, they’re immaterial given the fact he feels compelled to dress them up in a total disparagement of fellow human beings.

    • True enough, Lacis shredded the uncertainty monster. What Eli found especially interesting was the point that variability is bounded by conservation of energy and cannot wander the way a true random walk does.

      • Very true, the system is bounded by conservation of energy. GHGs cannot create energy only aid in retaining energy. The system is also limited by the energy it can contain. The weak link in the containment picture is the density of the atmosphere which is a factor in the specific heat and the specific volume. That limit is the uncertainty monster which the good doctor did not address :)

        Shredded is a bit optimistic Eli.

      • you missed the part about “arbitrarily large departures for the equilibrium reference point simply can not happen in the absence of external forcing being applied. “

  10. Wow. Was this post riddled with dishonesty or ignorance? I can’t tell, but I am just an interested observer with a degree in Earth Sciences, yet this makes me cringe with the number of mistakes or misrepresentations it contains. It makes me itch to answer with a comment twice as long as the original post, but I will satisfy myself with one random example.

    “The available ice core data provide a very precise and detailed record of changes in principal atmospheric radiative forcing gases CO2 and CH4, including a detailed record of changes in oxygen isotope ratios from which to deduce changes in global temperature.”

    The record is neither precise nor detailed. This is because the ice does not form quickly with bubbles intact. It falls as snow, and until it is packed by the pressure of more snowfall over time. That time is neither consistent between locations nor well-understood. The mixing of gas within the compacted, pre-ice snow is likewise uncertain. So while any gross changes of gas mix over a long time is recorded in the ice cores rapid changes (like those we see today) cannot be resolved, and if the change was a variation about a consistent mean with a period of a few centuries it would not even register. Mixing would remove all trace of variation.

    • “It makes me itch to answer with a comment twice as long as the original post, but I will satisfy myself with one random example.

      “The available ice core data provide a very precise and detailed record of changes in principal atmospheric radiative forcing gases CO2 and CH4, including a detailed record of changes in oxygen isotope ratios from which to deduce changes in global temperature.”

      The record is neither precise nor detailed. This is because the ice does not form quickly with bubbles intact. It falls as snow, and until it is packed by the pressure of more snowfall over time. That time is neither consistent between locations nor well-understood. The mixing of gas within the compacted, pre-ice snow is likewise uncertain. So while any gross changes of gas mix over a long time is recorded in the ice cores rapid changes (like those we see today) cannot be resolved, and if the change was a variation about a consistent mean with a period of a few centuries it would not even register. Mixing would remove all trace of variation.”

      I am pretty certain Lacis would agree.

      And the ice cores have not been studied enough.
      Ice cores are valuable record.
      But not definitive in terms
      telling us about past climate.
      Even if the they accurately depicted the arctic region they would be of limited value as far as global climate.

      • “I am pretty certain Lacis would agree.”

        Then he is dishonest to say “The available ice core data provide a very precise and detailed record…”

      • Dave Springer

        Sealing occurs at around 75m on average and in high snow accumulation areas that never go above freezing that’s a sealing time of about 40 years at best and that’s not utter confidence that all the chemistry and migration stops there. It is however enough to know that CO2 increase lags temperature increase by several hundred years in the past so there’s really not much if anything about modern CO2 sensitivity revealed in any case. We can get a good handle on minimum and maximum temperatures and CO2 concentrations during the ice age but not much more than that. Ice age is atypical condition for the earth anyway so we’re looking for anomalies within an anomaly. There two great attractors for the climate system, frozen and ice free. For the past several million years it’s been the former but for a hundred million years before that it was the latter. The warm attractor is the one where the earth is verdant and is the more stable attractor. It’s a cold pale reflection of the good times during ice ages. People who fear global warming are selfish humans who care about humans to the exclusion of the rest of the living world. They show you a metric ton of polar bears per thousand acres in the arctic and that’s the only living things and I show you a temperate forest forest with a metric ton of living things every thousand square feet. Do the math…

      • Sorry, that was the line two years ago. You might want to read Shakun et al. Also summaries here and there.

        However, as Georg Hoffman put it, the end result is the same which of the two, temperature or CO2 leads or lags, the two form a coupled, amplified system (the warmer –> the more CO2 –> the warmer and so on). The difference is that at the end of a glacial epoch the warming leads, today the greenhouse gas concentrations are leading. It’s a cycle.

  11. Good essay by Lacis. For me the interesting part is his take on Paltridge, given that he has a well known text book on radiative transfer. It seems Paltridge knows the principles, but never applied them in a multi-layer model, which helps me to understand his limitations in thinking about this problem more.

    • In what way was it a good essay? I can recognise errors in almost every point it made, some of them are almost laughable, without having to bother looking anything up. It makes me despair for the state of science that NASA employs someone who could write this piece.

      • So do we believe one of the founders of radiative transfer modeling or a random person on a blog? Hmmm.

      • Don’t believe either. Believe reality. Anything else is a fallacy, either ad hominem or an appeal to authority. Given that modelling has consistently failed to predict reality

        If you don’t know enough to judge what is in this essay then look around, learn from yourself from a broad range of sources. The flaws and scandals of climate studies are easy enough to discover. Learn some science and some philosophy of science so you can judge the sources. I think you will realise that much written by Dr Lacis is either mistaken, in serious dispute or dishonest.

      • Jim D,
        since the models are worthless and the founder does not understand how the null hypotheiss works, plus he accomodates lying if it in his favor, is his opinion any better than that of a random stranger’s?

      • Dave Springer

        Yeah, it’s not like Lacis and Hansen are doing the physics behind manned spacecraft or modeling the deterioration of nuclear warheads. The problem with these clowns is they’re not accountable to anyone or anything except their own nepotistic bureaucracy. If they’re wrong about anything there’s no personal consequences at all. So they just publish all these just-so stories that make their work seem important enough to keep the government cheese rolling. You can’t really blame them and they might even really believe they’re working toward a greater good where the end justifiies the means but fewer and fewer people are buying into the charade. You rarely hear of senior scientist who moves from sceptic to alarmist but there are plenty that go the other way and especially after the old guys become crufty emeriti who no longer worry about where their next grant is coming from.

    • Jim D,
      I also found it interesting to see someone lecturing about who is deficient in their abilities while at the same time seriously pushing the idea that Earth will have 4% CO2 atmospheric content.

      • Several people failed the reading comprehension test on that. He gave the ‘if’ required, or do you doubt there is that much carbon locked up in the system? It is a way of showing how much there is. Could we extract it all and burn it? No.

      • Jim D,
        And if a thousand comets rained down on Earth, we would also die. And there are more than a thousand large comets out in the Kuiper belt and Oort cloud. If an Astronomer asserted that was a real risk, he or she would be thought of as foolish.
        And here is what Lacis stated:
        “With the atmospheric CO2 concentration increasing to about 4% (40,000 ppmv), the global annual-mean surface temperature will rise to about 60 °C, a temperature extreme that will very likely kill off most everything that is alive. (This has not happened in the geological past. But it could happen in the future if all the CO2 that is locked up in the carbon reservoirs was released into the atmosphere).”
        In the context of his making claims about how antro-CO2 is causing problems, this is clearly deceptive on his part, and as silly as some half-baked astronomer hyping an apocalypse by way of comets.

      • IF you have plans to release all the CO2 locked up in carbon reservoirs, this only says ‘don’t do it’ unless you want it to warm that much. It is a hypothetical, not a prediction.

      • Jim D,
        Ask Lacis why he chose to come up with a ridiculous example of the dangers of CO2 deceptively implied (according to you) to mislead people into thinking that 4% CcO2 is possible.
        He raised the issue of 40,000 ppmv, not me. I point out, correctly, that is a cheesy science fiction plot tool.
        Yet you seem to blame me and the others who point out just how stupid it was to use it.

        do you have any critical thinking skills left?

      • Eli, 35C wet bulb is a lot!!!

        Wouldn’t the oceans have to get a bunch hotter for that?

      • Yep, but place like the Indus valley are getting very close. You don’t need that everywhere all the time, but for a few days in a densely populated region and it is all shewrote.

      • eli said “places like the Indus valley are getting close” If global wet bulb temperature were available and more accurate, it would be a lot easier to tell what is really happening. Wet bulb has a larger margin of error in the measurement and also more confounding micro location factors, so it is not all that great. One of the major issues is crops. There have been several false records because of types of crops near stations and some real changes in the local environment due to crop selection. Places by the Persian gulf have real record wet bulbs because of the shallow depth of the water allowing very high surface temperatures. But if you plant certain crops in typically dry environments with irrigation, you are going to get weird weather.

      • Jim D, I comprehended what was written, but I couldn’t see it’s relevance. So X (total destruction) could happen if all locked up CO2 was released. So what? What policy relevance is there? Lacis says “It could happen.” How? Presumably not by humans using fossil fuels but by some unimaginable event outside of our control. Irrelevant

      • Dave Springer

        There’s far more than 4% of the weight of the atmosphere locked up in the carbon of crustal calcium carbonate alone. The earth’s crust is 4% CaCO3 by weight and carbon is 12% the weight of CaCO3. Back of the napkin calculation is there’s about 14 pounds of pure carbon per square inch of crust so there’s enough to make about 56 pounds per square inch of CO2 since carbon is only about a 4th the weight of CO2. This is rough estimate but I bet it’s far more accurate than the global warming projection Hansen made in 1988 if CO2 emission grew in a business as normal case as it did. LOL

    • Jim D | July 2, 2012 at 7:04 pm |

      I must admit (and admit a bias) that I prefer my response to Paltridge’s essay over Andy Lacis’.

      Sure, this response by Lacis is authoritative, from someone who has done all the math, provides correct information and accurate summary and overview of the state of the science as it stands now, rather than as it stood when last Paltridge dirtied his hands with actual work, but mine doesn’t waste nearly so much time dignifying Dr. Paltridge’s complaints by taking them seriously when on their face they are simply not worthy.

      True, I learn something almost every time I read Andy Lacis, so I’m grateful for that, but it doesn’t make up for the sense of futility. Lacis goes to such lengths to pretend Paltridge was even in the right ballpark, that I’m a bit more embarrassed for Paltridge at the extend of Lacis’ pity.

      At least I didn’t pity Paltridge.

      • For me it answered how someone who wrote a text book could be so out of date. I think Lacis’s tone was just right. My response on Paltridge’s thread was that, yes, science is being bound and gagged, actually by the skeptics, but hasn’t been taken hostage by them yet.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Bart, could you please what is wrong with my take on this:

        “The climate system responds to these external forcings, and in addition, includes its unforced natural variability in the form of quasi-periodic resonances ranging from months to decades (e.g., JMO, QBO, El Nino, La Nina, PDO), all of which show up in the global surface temperature record.”

        Bart, To me it seems to say the climate system,( not the models) responds to those forcings such as volcanic action. However, then the wording changes from “responding” to the forcings, to “including” other, unnameable, forcings.

        As others are discussing what is meant by the natural and unatural forcings, I am confused by the change of wording, going from “responding” to forcings, to “including” them. ( as in modeling, perhaps ?)

        Any help understanding what was said would be appreciated.

        Thank you

        tingtg

      • thisisnotgoodtogo | July 3, 2012 at 2:42 am |

        Uh.. Maybe ask Andrew Lacis to clarify?

        In a wasp’s nest, absent external forcings, such as sticks prodding the nest, or extreme heat or cold, or appearance of a predator or threat, the natural cycle and evolution of life will still, unforced, lead eventually to the nest swarming. That’s unforced natural variability.

        The stick, the extreme heat or cold (from the point of view of the nest), the predator or threat, those are (to the nest), external forcings, as human industrial emissions, or volcanic activity, or extreme solar or orbital changes would be external forcings to the Earth climate system, from a strictly mathematical point of view, in a Chaos Theory sense.

        You don’t need a volcano to make an ocean current shift. It doesn’t take solar flares to cause the jet stream to meander. While these external events may be ‘natural’, they’re still external forcings, though similar outcomes could happen without them via natural cycles intrinsic to the system.

        Is that what you wonder about?

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Thank you Bart.

        It helps. To use your analogy of the nest:
        First, I assume the natural variability is in the time it takes for the swarming to happen.
        Then, could we say the external forcings could cause partial or a full swarming earlier than would have occurred without ?
        Dr Lacis, however would seem to have the analogy go differently.

        It would be that the nest responds to the stick and “includes” it’s own unforced variability as to the timing of stick-caused global swarming.

        Is Michael Mann involved ?. .

      • thisisnotgoodtogo | July 3, 2012 at 4:13 am |

        This view that sometimes a wasp nest is more liable to swarm from a smaller external forcing, and sometimes less liable, is also something we see in Chaos Theory.

        Sometimes the Tipping Point shifts due natural variability, so the quality or amplitude or frequency or direction of the external forcing that at other times would have little observed impact suddenly becomes quite pronounced.

        Take the CO2 level in the atmosphere as an example.

        For 800.000 years (at least) it has varied up and down (approximately 8 times in this span) from 180 ppmv to 280 ppmv. Human industrial activity came along during one of the 280 ppmv peaks, and in just a quarter millennium caused a CO2 rise higher than the total range of this 100 ppmv natural variability on top of the peak.

        Had human industry happened along as an external forcing during one of the low points in CO2 level, we might not have such strong indication that we’re the cause of the rise were the rise just like the past eight natural changes. But this unnatural rise due external forcing by human agency, it shows up like a sore thumb.

        Of course, from a business point of view, having the human-caused external forcing coincide with and cancel out the natural CO2 level drop would have been much more desireable than what actually happened. We’d be at a steady 280 ppmv — the level business has known for about ten thousand years — CO2, and the conditions of climate and biology that result from that level would continue, lending more predictability to climate and biology as conditions would be familiar.

        Now, we’re in unfamiliar territory. We can’t know what weather might be based on ancient patterns (not that we made such great records of ancient patterns to be able to use for prediction, all-in-all); moreover, external forcings have the known effect on Chaotic systems of moving the system to new, more complex, states through complex series of extreme changes. That’s what all the fuss is about, mathematically.

        The human-induced CO2 rise, the external forcing, must mathematically lead to complex extremes in the climate and biological system, for the duration of the external forcing and until the system resolves its new state.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Thank you for the kindly help in getting a grip on the subject, Bart.

        Would it not vis a vis our conversation, lead certainly only to larger variability, as change in atmospheric composition was being added to natural variability of the climate system ?,

        Thanks !

      • Bart,
        I’ll try to state my question more cleanly.

        The change in the amount of external forcing due to change in atmospheric composition change results in a change in variability of the climate system Correct ?
        The variability in the nest example is wrt variance in time till the inevitable swarming.
        Therefore the change in variability of the climate system should be a change in time till natural climate system tipping point, correct ?

      • thisisnotgoodtogo | July 3, 2012 at 11:26 am |

        Your questions are timely, and pertinent to today’s topic on “What global warming looks like(?)”

        “The change in the amount of external forcing due to change in atmospheric composition change results in a change in variability of the climate system Correct ?
        The variability in the nest example is wrt variance in time till the inevitable swarming.
        Therefore the change in variability of the climate system should be a change in time till natural climate system tipping point, correct ?”

        I’m just a guy who studied a bit of Math once upon a time. So much of what you ask is really outside of my ability to authoritatively call ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’ in any meaningful way.. and in any case, my personal philosophy of skepticism would pretty much ask you to verify the logic of my comments independently for yourself, especially if I did ever claim such authority. ;)

        However, no. It looks like what you’re saying is not exactly correct.

        The change in atmospheric composition itself is the external forcing. Or an external forcing, at any rate. Or a group of external forcings. It depends on many things, such as perspective, method, approach and outcomes.

        The swarming may or may not be inevitable in the nest. Some wasp nests never swarm, ever, I imagine. I couldn’t say; it’s a mathematical example, however, and the mathematics allows for both swarming eventually and eventually never swarming.

        The swarming itself is not necessarily the result of a tipping point, which is a specific technical mathematical phenomenon with specific characteristics of systems associated with it. Swarming might just be the outcome of a gradual trend without tipping point, such that at no particular instant in time could one say that before that instant there was not a swarm and after that instant (or because of it) there was, in a strictly mathematical sense.

        No particular sting by any particular wasp could be attributed, mathematically, to the Chaos properties of the system. It might have happened with or without the external forcing of the stick or heat or cold or predator or threat. The moment of swarming, too, also unpredictable and impossible to directly tie to Chaos properties. There’s probabilistic methods that might apply, but those require understanding of wasps, and generally need a great many nests to be examined closely. We have only one planet with a climate particularly relevant to the subject at hand, and we’ve kept really poor records of it in terms of most probability determinations, where such are even possible. We’d need grids of about 10 km (or smaller), observed globally for likely a half dozen distinct types of measure to great accuracy, continuously, and for many decades, to even know if we could obtain probabilistic results worth talking about, I believe, based on some readings in Chaos Theory.

        Now, the _Risk_ of swarming, that is something that can be mathematically described with some data and parameterization. As could, given enough other information, the cost of swarming, and so forth. If the subject matter were well enough known, a great deal about the Risk and cost would be obtainable.

        Hope that helps.

      • Thank you once again, Bart.

        The reason I ask you “if correct”, is for the purpose of gaining an affinity for your perspectives, to see if my working over of your analogy is resulting in a fit you’d say is acceptable. For example, when you discussed climate tipping point, I then look to where the nest analogy could demonstrate a tipping point.
        I look to the basic definitions as they are being used and as they might be used.
        I focus on what appears troublesome, and the word that appears most troublesome in this is “variability”.

        I’m looking at how what is sometimes used as a statistical term, could be used in a different way, so that one might say variability does this or that.

        Thanks again,
        tingtg

      • Bart, you said
        “The change in atmospheric composition itself is the external forcing.”

        I have trouble understanding the above, given that change in composition is not given in nits of measurement that forcings are.

      • Dave Springer

        Sad clowns leading sadder clowns. Tis’ all it is. Paltridge isn’t held accountable any more than Lacis or Hansen. Somewhere south of worthless insofar as they can influence policy decisions. There’s only so many times you can turn off the air conditioners in August in the room where you’re testifying before congress about how much global warming there is. Gore’s had a particularly bad time of it in recent years as every big climate shindig he’s atteneded gets buried in record snow and cold. Copenhagen was delightful. Air Force One with Obama returning from it almost couldn’t land due to D.C. being buried in snow. It’s actually kind of funny. In the run science will better for having exposed how a small number of insiders can subvert it into a far reaching system of dogmatic belief0
        .

    • Jim D

      Naw. This was not a “good essay by Lacis”.

      In fact, as many have pointed out here quite specifically, it was a lousy essay – beside being much too long.

      Max

  12. Dr. Lacis,
    I have read your entire article and, I didn’t think it was possible but, you have done it! You have reached the pinnacle, gone beyond even Gavin. You have reached the heights of ultimate arrogance…not a shread of humility. Well, of course within uncertainty limits.

  13. OK, I can’t resist debunking another, just because it is key to the whole issue. Without positive feedback anthropogenic global warming cannot be harmful.

    “…with water vapor and clouds (being temperature dependent feedback effects) providing radiative magnification.”

    There is no evidence whatever for this. It was simply made up as a term in the original models to specifically to explain all the warming from the 1970s to the 1990s by human influence (ignoring the cooling up to that point, of course).

    This assumption has of course been disproved. If water vapour causes positive temperature feedback then the earliest, greatest warming would be in the upper troposphere, from about the 300 hPa level up, at low latitudes. All the models predict this; all observations show that it has not happened. There has been no such warming, and this fact has been known for about 15 years. So one of the few things we know for certain about climate is that water vapour does not cause positive feedback, at least in the way assumed in the models.

    There is growing evidence that feedback in temperature is not positive. The evidence for negative feedback is weak, but neutral/balanced feedback or negative feedback are looking far more likely than positive feedback.

    I hate to say it in a civilised discussion, but the statement about feedback was simply untrue. Either Dr Lacis is dishonest or he is less well-informed than an interested observer with a science degree. In either case he should not be taken seriously.

  14. Brandon Shollenberger

    This post is a disappointing mix of smears, misleading statements and empty hand-waving. It says nothing meaningful, yet it creates a massively false impression in the unaware.

    The only good thing one could say about this post is Andrew Lacis has made his rhetorical tricks masquerade as an argument quite well, and thus he will likely mislead and/or confuse many people.

  15. “Also, it appears that the authors may have been lacking a dependable atmospheric modeling capability.”

    Quite unlike you then Andy. What you think of Trenberth’s non-orbiting, non-rotating Earth with averaged solar input and differently averaged temperature? Why can you calculate Temperature as daily (Tmax+Tmin)/2 but not radiative influx as (Influx(max) + Influx(min))/2

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2008BAMS2634.1
    See figure 1.

  16. “Why does the unforced global annual-mean surface temperature vary?”

    Unless one looks at the correlation of log[Dust] in the ice core and temperature (via Deuterium). This shows a quite beautiful correlation; far better than [CO2]. moreover, changes in [Dust] precede changes in temperature.

    “Basically, the climate system does not respond in small enough energy increments as it is approaching energy balance equilibrium”

    The climate system is an open system and is a steady state system, it is not, has never been an equilibrium.
    The idea that one can use the equilibrium approximation to estimate the effects of very minor changes fluxes of a complex, dynamic, steady state system is laughable.
    To pretend that one can do this on a planet whose surface/aquasphere/atmosphere is biotic is the product of a small mind.
    You accuse Garth Paltridge of living in the past; you have not even bothered to understand non-equilibrium thermodynamics, control theory or basic biology.

  17. I am pretty sure that the reliable models for TOA radiant flux show that recent greenhouse gas forcing is not distinguishable against natural flucuations. I could be wrong. But as interesting as all this is – science says nothing about how to respond to an anthropogenic 3% of backgrond emissions and growing. Climate policy is a bit like God that way – in that science has nothing to say about God either.

    Luckily – we know how to increase food production, food security and farm profits as well as to sequester all our emissions for a net benefit – which means that this is already happening in a big way and is unstoppable. How good is that? :cool:

    http://theconversation.edu.au/from-dust-bowls-to-food-bowls-australias-conservation-farming-revolution-6020

    Next time the failure of the green movement. Hell I was a charter member and a professional environmental scientist – the failure is spectacular and on-going. For the sake of the world we must stop these people.

    • Dave Springer

      Diogenes | July 2, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Reply

      “Luckily – we know how to increase food production, food security and farm profits as well as to sequester all our emissions for a net benefit – which means that this is already happening in a big way and is unstoppable. How good is that? ”

      Poe’s Law. I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not. Food production increase is necessarily an increase in the carbon cycle. Sequestering CO2 is slowing the carbon cycle. You don’t see the conflict there? Seriously?

  18. Andy Lacis

    The effect of CO2 cannot be seen in the observed data => http://bit.ly/Aei4Nd

    The data shows a 60 years cyclic climate with a slight warming of about 0.06 deg C per decade.

    Where is the signal from the increase in CO2?

    The above data shows a uniform warming since the end of the little ice age.
    Andy, we believe the data, not peoples’ words. Where does the data show an accelerated warming?

    There is an annual cycle; there is a 60 years cycle; there is an 800 year cycle (Medieval warming about 1200; the little ice age about 1600; and the current warming of the 2000)

  19. Brandon Shollenberger

    I wonder how many people are disturbed by this part of Andrew Lacis’s post:

    One pervasive type of climate uncertainty is what has frequently been referred to as the unforced or “natural variability” of climate.

    I can’t be the only person who thinks there are types of forced natural variability. I mean, it’s obvious there are.

    • Brandon, that is classic modeler double speak, if they don’t understand it, it is unforced and will average out over time. Which is probably true, but how long is, “over time”?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I think “double speak” is an apt description of it. The Earth has had millions of years of changing climate. Humans have only been influencing the process for a fraction of the time.

        What kind of warped definition of “natural” would justify Lacis’s usage?

      • LOL with the way they define forcing and feed backs based on model perimeters, anything they didn’t think of has to be natural :)

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I wish it were that simple. They do model things like solar variability, which is a source of forced natural variability. In fact, I believe they even model forcings from orbital changes.

        The only way to justify conflating “natural” and “unforced” variability is to claim things like volcanoes and solar/orbital changes are non-natural. I don’t think there’s any climate scientist who is silly enough to make that argument.

      • Yeah, they do model quite a bit. The natural variability part though is assumed to average out to zero in less than 60 years I believe. That is where the issue with Spencer cropped up. Spenser used cloud “forcing” which is incorrect due to model boundaries which requires clouds to be a “feed back”, The shift of clouds from lower solar radiant latitudes to higher or the increase in total cloud cover, technically cannot be a “forcing” so it has to be a feed back or an unforced variation. The use of “unforced” variation is the new “act of God” for the Atheist scientist doncha know :)

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I never understood the claim that natural variability will “average out.” If we’re to believe there are feedbacks caused by temperature changes, it is perfectly plausible unforced variability could lead to permanent changes. It may be that such will never happen on a noticeable scale in the Earth’s climate (though that is almost certainly not true on a regional level), but it is not something which can just be ignored.

        And that’s just for unforced natural variability.

      • Dave Springer

        Humans aren’t natural but I guess blue-green algae are natural. There wouldn’t be any animal life on the planet at had the algae not oxygenated the ocean and atmosphere. But that somehow doesn’t count. Humans are the only living things on the planet that aren’t natural. Who’s the religionist again? I don’t really believe humans are a separate special category of living things. That’s the kind of hubris which inspires religions and special creation myths. Geocentrism bit the dust but it looks like anthrocentrism has plenty of believers left.

    • if you take the solar and volcano effects away as well as changes in atmospheric composition you are left with the unforced natural variability, I believe, unless I missed something. This would mostly be ocean circulation changes, and he hinted at regional climate interplays, which is interesting.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Jim D, here’s something to think about. This planet has had multiple ice ages. If “natural variability” is small like Lacis says, and if “natural variability” is purely unforced as he says, how could we possibly have had those ice ages?

        The answer is there are obviously types of forced natural variability. In fact, there are almost certainly types of natural feedbacks. Claiming natural variability is unforced is nothing more than a way of over-simplifying things in a way that makes it seem like we have a better understanding of the Earth’s climate than we actually do.

      • “Jim D, here’s something to think about. This planet has had multiple ice ages. If “natural variability” is small like Lacis says, and if “natural variability” is purely unforced as he says, how could we possibly have had those ice ages?”

        We got ice ages about 20 million year ago.
        What changed was the location and kinds of land masses.
        So, Antarctic moves closer to south pole, mountains are build from India running into Asia, and some other stuff.
        Combine this precession and other changes in earth orbit [which didn’t change as condition before 20 million years ago- same type orbit for 100+ million years].
        And that is one big part of the story.

      • I would count the ice ages as forced because the solar orbital effects change and trigger these transitions. The fact that they don’t trigger without these show that these subtle orbital changes are bigger than natural variability.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        To be clear gbaikie and Jim D, I’m not disagreeing with anything you’ve said. However, nothing you’ve said justifies what Andrew Lacis said. You haven’t done anything to show there is no such thing as forced natural variability, and Jim D, you’ve even indicated there is such a thing.

        In other words, there seems to be no way to justify Andrew Lacis conflating “natural” and “unforced.”

      • It’s humor.
        The whole thing is satire.
        It’s funny. It’s a spoof on Hansen and company.

      • It looks like what Lacis means by ‘natural variability’ is the unforced type, which is the intrinsic variability of the land/ocean/atmosphere/ice system. This can only be measured in an idealized model with forcing changes turned off. But, yes, there is a grey area where albedo may change, which is a forcing change. Anyway all this amounts to a few tenths of a degree as he puts it, and seems to be about right for PDO/AMO etc.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Jim D:

        It looks like what Lacis means by ‘natural variability’ is the unforced type…

        In other words, what Andrew Lacis means by “natural variability” isn’t actually natural variability, but something different. And when he talks about the uncertainty caused by “natural variability,” he isn’t actually talking about the uncertainty caused by natural variability, but something different. And when a person reads his post, they have no way of knowing what he actually means by “natural variability” because he uses a term with one meaning as though it means something else. And he doesn’t actually discuss natural variability, leaving a huge gap in his commentary which is hidden by him using “natural variability” to mean something other than what it actually means. In other words, Lacis’s commentary on natural variability is confusing and misleading because he plays games with definitions.

        Moreover, I presume this was done on purpose as he has previously said things like:

        After all, deception, ethics, and morality are all relative, depending on one’s culture, circumstances, and purpose at hand.

      • No, it is quite simply that ‘natural variability’ is what is left when you take away the forcing changes. I don’t think it is confusing, or maybe you think nothing is left when you take these away(?).

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Jim D, neither of your sentences make sense to me. First, you say:

        No, it is quite simply that ‘natural variability’ is what is left when you take away the forcing changes.

        With this sentence, you promote the definition Andrew Lacis used. You claim all forcings must necessarily be non-natural, a silly claim as that means things like orbital changes would be considered non-natural. You then go on to say:

        I don’t think it is confusing, or maybe you think nothing is left when you take these away(?).

        Of course I don’t think that. I’ve made it clear there is unforced natural variability. However, the fact there is unforced natural variability in no way suggests there is no forced natural variability.

        It’s a simple matter. Is a change in solar forcing natural? If so, it’s a source of forced, natural variability. If it isn’t, as Lacis and you say, what is it? And what definition of “natural” do you use that doesn’t include things like volcanoes?

      • It is very clear he refers to unforced natural variability in his article. This implies that there may also be a naturally forced variability, as of course there is. There is also anthropogenically forced variability. I think that covers everything.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Jim D, it would be helpful if you didn’t say it is “very clear” Andrew Lacis said something he didn’t say. You claim “it is very clear he refers to unforced natural variability.” This is the exact opposite of the truth. What he actually said was:

        One pervasive type of climate uncertainty is what has frequently been referred to as the unforced or “natural variability” of climate.

        He said unforced or natural variability. He did not attach “unforced” as a modifier. He said it was another word for “natural.” While you can say it is “very clear” he said something else, you’ll be wrong. In fact, it will be “very clear” you are wrong.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        As an aside Jim D, it’s good to hear we are in agreement about what types of variability there are. You’ve described exactly what I’ve said. It isn’t what Andrew Lacis said, as you claim, but still, it’s progress.

      • So I interpret that as unforced variability, also called natural variability, but I am sure you don’t.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Jim D, just before, you claimed Andrew Lacis referred to “unforced natural variability.” You now say he referred to “unforced variability, also called natural variability.” These two positions are contradictory. Flowing from this, you go on to make the ridiculous claim:

        but I am sure you don’t.

        What you just described is exactly what I’ve said, multiple times. I have no idea how you could be sure I don’t do something I’ve repeatedly said I do. Moreover, what you say is also exactly the opposite of what you said just 30 minutes earlier.

        You say it’s “very clear” Andrew Lacis said something you immediately go on to say he didn’t say. You’re “sure” I don’t do something I obviously do. I don’t know how you could be so certain of things which are so false. Can you explain any of this?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I think I need to apologize to Jim D. It turns out Andrew Lacis did in fact refer to “unforced natural variability.” For example, he said:

        The climate system responds to these external forcings, and in addition, includes its unforced natural variability…

        Of course, this line doesn’t make sense. Just three paragraphs prior, Andrew Lacis said the a particular type of variability “has frequently been referred to as the unforced or ‘natural variability’ of climate.” That comment indicates “unforced” and “natural” are interchangeable.

        Given that, the quote above would be saying the climate system “includes its unforced unforced variability” or it “includes its natural natural variability.” Neither makes sense. This confusion makes it difficult to interpret comments like:

        This is where it is important to understand that the natural variability of the climate system represents temperature fluctuations about a zero reference point.

        What does he mean when he says “natural variability” here? Are we to assume it is only unforced variability, or should the fact he left off “unforced” be taken to indicate forced natural variability (which it isn’t even clear accepts exists) isn’t covered by the remark? What exactly is the definition of “natural” here?

        In any event, I apologize Jim D. I still don’t think your defense of Lacis’s comments makes sense, but the contradiction I thought you created is actually just one you’re repeating. You were right about it being “very clear” he said that. It just wasn’t “very clear” what that meant since it contradicted another thing he said.

      • Brandon, at 7/2 11.50 you quoted Lacis as saying: “After all, deception, ethics, and morality are all relative, depending on one’s culture, circumstances, and purpose at hand.” Like you, I totally disagree with that, and agree with Frank Knight:

        the “basic principle of science – truth or objectivity – is essentially a moral principle, in opposition to any form of self-interest. The pre-suppositions of objectivity are integrity, competence and humility.” (“Freedom and Reform, NY, Harper & Bros, 1947.)

        Something to place on every climate scientists’ desk.

      • Brandon, thanks for the apology. His use of natural variability may not be the same as yours, but, as I mentioned, from its context and other qualifying words it was clear to me what he meant. I don’t like word parsing arguments. He obviously knows that volcanic and solar forcing are important, but was not including them in his definition. You could consider the whole of paleoclimate as natural variability, asteroids and all, but this is not such a useful definition when talking about current climate on scales of centuries or less.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Jim D, I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong. However, despite you saying it “was clear to me what he meant,” you haven’t explained away the contradiction I highlighted. My mistake was attributing the contradiction to you rather than him, not in thinking that there was a contradiction. If you think his meaning is clear, you must have an explanation for the contradiction.

        Andrew Lacis said “unforced” and “natural” are synonymous. He also referred to “unforced natural variability,” contradicting that. And, as you pointed out, implies there is forced natural variability. There is no reconciling his statements.

        It may just be that Lacis messed up. Perhaps he was just wrong to say unforced and natural are interchangeable. If so, so be it. Mistakes happen. But as long as his contradictory statements stand as they are, how can we know what he means by “natural”? How can we understand what he means when he says:

        This is where it is important to understand that the natural variability of the climate system represents temperature fluctuations about a zero reference point.

        When he says “natural variability” in this sentence, as opposed to the “unforced natural variability” he says just a few paragraphs prior, is he meaning to draw a distinction? Or is this just another slip-up?

        As you pointed out, Lacis implies there is (or at least, may be) forced natural variability. At the same time, he implies there is no forced natural variability. Given that contradiction, how can anyone be sure what he means when he says something about “natural variability”?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I should make something clear. To me, it would seem weird to say things like orbital changes and volcanic eruptions are not sources of “natural variability.” When someone says “natural,” I think most people will assume natural parts of the world are included. However, if Andrew Lacis and others use “natural variability” in a way which doesn’t cover those, I can accept it. I’ll think it’s weird, but lots of words and phrases get used in ways that seem weird.

        My problem is if someone like Lacis wants to use a phrase in a way many people wouldn’t use, he should be clear about how he is using it. He shouldn’t use it in a way where people can’t easily tell what he means, and he certainly shouldn’t use it in multiple, contradictory ways.

        So as before, my question is this. What definition of “natural” is being used in this blog post?

      • To force my way into this, I remember when RC decided to name their open threads Unforced Variations a reader objected that any variation is forced, and the moderator said the title, which he said is the same as internal variability, was a play on words for the weather.

        Is a natural external forcing natural to an internal system?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        One pervasive type of climate uncertainty is what has frequently been referred to as the unforced or “natural variability” of climate.

        The “type of climate uncertainty” that Lacis was referring to was described in more detail as:

        This characteristic type of uncertainty is encountered when running a interactive atmosphere-ocean climate model for thousands of years with no change in the external forcing (other than standard diurnal and seasonal change in solar radiation)

        Saying that something is “frequently referred to as” some other terms does not mean that you think all these other terms are synonymous. It just means that when someone uses these other terms they *may* be referring to the type of variability Lacis is referring to (and if you are talking to a climate model scientist they probably will be using the term in a similar way).

        So by using the above characterisation Lacis does not rule out forced natural variability (solar and volcanic) indeed he specifically makes it clear he was ignoring solar forced variability by stating that he was talking about variability *despite* modelling only “standard” changes in solar radiation.

        I suppose the question you may be implicitly asking is: does the range of the “unforced variation” in an unperturbed climate model running for thousands of years bear any resemblance to earth’s climate should earth go through a period where solar and volcanic forcings remain constant for thousands of years? I suspect Lacis’s answer to this would be yes (maybe with qualifiers about long term processes that GCMs may not model such as rock weathering and moving of the continents).

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Steve Milesworthy:

        Saying that something is “frequently referred to as” some other terms does not mean that you think all these other terms are synonymous.

        I cannot stress how strongly I disagree with this (even though it is technically true). If Andrew Lacis didn’t mean to imply “unforced” and “natural” are synonymous, what possible reason would there have been for him to make that comment? He never said a word to suggest those people are wrong to refer to it as that, so the only sensible interpretation is he accepts the usage.

        If Lacis said that sentence with the intention you suggest here, he’d be intentionally deceiving the readers as they’d have no reason to expect that usage. It’d be like me making a post discussing something, then randomly saying, “Some people say the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist,” and never commenting on that issue again. Anyone reading my comment would assume I said that because I supported it. Nobody would assume I said people do something just because I felt like sharing a random factoid.

        I’d much rather believe Lacis made a mistake than believe he intentionally made a misleading statement. If you’d like to believe otherwise, you’re free to, but I think you’ll have a hard time convincing anyone of it.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        I said: Saying that something is “frequently referred to as” some other terms does not mean that you think all these other terms are synonymous.

        Brandon said: I cannot stress how strongly I disagree with this (even though it is technically true).

        When writing, one often uses multiple ways of describing something in order to quickly capture the understanding of a wide spectrum of your readers. In this case, Lacis has provided a pretty detailed description of *exactly* what he is referring to (variability as shown in models with no forcings changed) and summarised it as something some people refer to as “natural forcings”. He even put it in quotes which is a common way of saying “This is what people say but it may not be technically correct or agreed by all”.

        My problem is if someone like Lacis wants to use a phrase in a way many people wouldn’t use, he should be clear about how he is using it.

        He was clear because he gave a pretty full definition of almost exactly what he was referring to (with his model example). I’m sure he would accept that Milankovitch changes and volcanoes are “natural” causes of variability of climate. If so, this is an issue about him failing to communicate to you, so is a minor issue that you probably need to sort out between you and him.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Steve Milesworthy, you made a very specific claim. I offered a rebuttal to the claim. You quoted me stating my disagreement but cut out the entirety of my rebuttal. You then proceeded to not respond to anything I said in that omitted text.

        If you want to have a discussion, I’d love to, but it will require you respond to what I say. If you simply ignore what I say, we’re not going to make any progress. We especially won’t make progress if you ignore any explanation of my position I may give while simultaneously saying my position is wrong.

        If you’d like to have us just wave our hands at each other while paying no attention to what is actually said, I’m afraid you’ll find I have no interest in learning to fly.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Brandon,

        I don’t intentionally ignore what people say if I find it inconvenient. If I have not responded to a point you think important then I perhaps missed it or thought it had already been addressed – keeping track of two long threads on a laptop is hard work. If you meant this:

        I think I have already implicitly addressed your points though. It wasn’t in Lacis’s brief to discuss whether “natural” variability was an accurate term for “unforced” variability. The point was to explain what he was talking about which he did very well by describing it in three separate ways such that *almost* all ambiguity was avoided (as long as you read the whole paragraph). I and others have pointed to the full context, so that has preempted your point.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        In the above I meant to quote this – I think that you are saying that Lacis should have qualified the use of “natural”, and I am saying he did, but not in the way you wanted him to (by directly saying it was potentially a misleading term).

        If Lacis said that sentence with the intention you suggest here, he’d be intentionally deceiving the readers as they’d have no reason to expect that usage

      • Jim D,
        And if you take a fish out of water it will die.
        The entire construct of the AGW promoters is silly and pointless.
        The signal has never been detected because it is so trivial as to get lost in the noise.
        So, instead of dealing with that problem Lacis beclowns himself with his inverted thesis and ad homs on those who dare stand up to him.

  20. Beth Cooper

    Probably a naive question from a mere escapee from the humanities, but doesn’t radiative magnification of ‘energy in’ contradict the second law of thermodynamics? Energy out might be hindered, slowed down by greenhouse gasses, but that’s not a process of magnification is it? I would have thought that it’s like insulation in a thermal flask, slows down heat transfer but eventually the coffee cools. Seems to me like magical magnification, but is it?

    • Magnification is not a great word choice. Some impacts can be amplified, a better word, but the amplification is limited by the available energy and the capacity of the system to store energy. Figuring out the “gain” of the amplifier is the trick.

    • No Beth, it does not count as magic, nor is it against the laws of thermodynamics. Light is just a form on energy in the form of photons. If you absorb a photon you absorb energy and this absorption of energy increases you thermal energy, hence you temperature.
      Everything with temperature also radiates photons, non-stop. When something is at a steady state temperature the heat input is the same as the heat input.
      Now the ‘Green House Gas’ effect is really photon recycling, getting two bites of the same heat cherry.
      Heat a rotating sphere with visible light and allow it to come to stead state; it will come to a temperature whereby the amount of heat it radiates is the same as the amount of heat it radiates.
      Now if you place a shell of gas or some other material around it you can change the temperature. Use something that is invisible to white light, but absorbs IR radiation you will heat up the sphere. The IR being radiated from the sphere will heat up the shell and about half of the heat from the shell will be back radiated to the sphere. This will cause the sphere, and of course the shell, to heat up. The sphere and shell will heat up until the whole system comes to a new steady state where influx again equals efflux.

      One must remember that this photonic recycling has a definite ‘fingerprint’.
      The heating of the sphere is caused by an increase in back radiated heat, in the form of IR photons, from the material of the shell.
      The shell should be warm. Now if one states that an atmospheric band of CO2/Water is causing an increase in 4 W/m2 of back radiation, then this layer should show about an increased level of radiation of 8 W/m2 (up/down).
      Basically, since the measurement of atmospheric temperature using balloons in the 50’s we should see a huge, relative, increase in atmospheric temperature.
      No such heating has been observed.

    • I’ll give you a short answer. It doesn’t magnify energy any more than a blanket does.

    • tempterrain

      Beth,

      I take your point regarding the use of the word magnification but Andy is using it synonymously with positive feedback in the phrase.

      “…..with water vapor and clouds (being temperature dependent feedback effects) providing radiative magnification”

      The idea is that increasing the atmospheric CO2 level will cause the atmosphere to warm. Warmer air will then hold greater amounts of water vapour than cooler air. Water vapour is also a GH gas so that causes even more warming. Or magnification as Andy described it.

      The amount of feedback, particularly when the effect of clouds are included, is the subject of much discussion, but, whatever it is, none of the laws of thermodynamics are being contravened.

      • tempterrain

        “… clouds (being temperature dependent feedback effects) providing radiative magnification”

        Huh?

        CLOUDS “providing magnification” (i.e. “positive feedback)?

        I thought the CERES satellite observations by Braswell + Spencer showed that the net overall feedback from clouds with warming is strongly negative instead of strongly positive, as assumed by the climate models used by IPCC.

        Andy Lacis needs to get up-to-date on the empirical data that are out there rather than simply spouting off the results of model simulations.

        Max.

    • Dave Springer

      Actually it violates the first law. No object at equilibrium can emit more energy than it absorbs. Emission and absorption are equal across all wavelengths at equilibrium as a consequence of conservation. This is Kirchoff’s Law. Violating the second law would be for a colder atmospheric layer to warm a warmer layer. Given the troposphere cools with altitude when it is stable it would not be possible for a cooler layer above to make any net transfer of energy to a warmer layer below. This would violate the 2nd law.

      • tempterrain

        “No object at equilibrium can emit more energy than it absorbs.” Is anyone saying feedbacks or the Greenhouse effect causes this to happen? Its like putting on an overcoat. You’ll emit the same amount of bodily heat energy at equilibrium but stlll be warmer underneath,

        Your point about the troposphere is also not correct. The temperature of the said overcoat is also lower than the human body. Does that mean putting it on, and feeling warmer, violates the second law too?

      • Emission and absorption are equal across all wavelengths at equilibrium as a consequence of conservation. This is Kirchoff’s Law.

        That’s not the Kirchoff’s law and that’s not true in general. Kirchoff’s law tells that emissivity and absorptivity are equal not that emission and absorption are equal. Emission is

        emissivity x black body emission at the same temperature (Planck’s law)

        Absorption is

        absorptivity x incoming radiation intensity

        Kirchoff’s law in its modern formulation tells that the coefficients are equal for every wavelength separately, not that the energies are equal.

        Only under special conditions will the energies also be equal, i.e. incoming radiation intensity is equal to black body emission intensity only under special conditions. (An isothermal cavity is an example of such special conditions. It is considered in some formulations of Kirchoff’s law.)

        Dave, this is evidently the point, where all those errors of yours originate, which I have attacked telling that your knowledge of physics is severely lacking.

  21. On the day in which CERN reports they are up to 4.3 sigma certainty on the discovery of the Higgs boson (5 sigma required for absolute confirmation), could Dr. Lacis estimate the percentage of a sigma of certainty that climate change models have given him on his theories?

    • cui bono, François Englert, Carl Hagen, Peter Higgs and Gerald Guralnik did all their modeling using pencils, paper and slide rules. Testing the postulated particle has cost tens of billions and the full working lives of tens of thousands of scientists.
      Their model was specifically predictive, and relatively easily falsifiable. How unlike climate science, which has cost 70 billion dollars in the past four years, in the US alone, and produced nothing that is falsifiable; except past records.


  22. for those who seek to find “empirical verification of global climate change” in terms of simple statistical correlations, or linear regressions, between measured changes in greenhouse gas amounts and the observed variations in global surface temperature over some limit time interval. In reality, the global climate is far too complex, the available measurements are much too limited and incomplete, and the time scale that is accessible is way too short for this approach to yield anything other than at best a very limited semi-qualitative understanding of what is actually happening with global climate.


    That the requirement of the scientific method. Climate is too complex is not an answer. Unless you satisfy the scientific method, you are not dealing with science. There is no need to hurry to solve a problem that may not exist. Will we see further drop in temperature like in the 1940 to 1970s in the next two decades? If we see that, it will demonstrate the climate is cyclic and AGW is a wrong alarm.


  23. Quoting Andrew Lacis

    After all, deception, ethics, and morality are all relative, depending on one’s culture, circumstances, and purpose at hand.

    And apparently, if this post is any evidence you can add science to the above list.

  24. Beth – it’s sort of like a coffee thermos with a perpetual heat source inside. The temperature will rise until the convected and radiated heat out equals the heat being put into the system. The better the insulation, the higher the temperature needs to rise to dissipate the heat. An interesting question is whether all this activity affects the quality of the insulation, That’s what a lot of the AGW debate is about.

  25. Andy, The greatest uncertainty in Climate Science is the “model assumption” that there is a positive non-regulated amplifier in the system driving the atmosphere to dangerous levels. This uncertainty can be reduced only with unbiased observational data and honest feedback analysis. I don’t think this exists. If I am wrong, please cite.

  26. Greg House

    by Andy Lacis: “… or the fact that it is the greenhouse effect that keeps the global surface temperature some 33 K warmer than it would otherwise be, ”
    ====================================================
    No, Andy, this is not possible.

    First, this notion has been experimentally debunked ling ago: http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/wood_rw.1909.html.

    Second, Andy, just use your common sense and think about possible absurd implications (reductio ad absurdum). According to your theory, the -18 degrees Celsius cold Earth surface produces so much IR radiation, that the “greenhouse gases” are able to warm the surface by 33 degrees Celsius just by sending back a small part of that IR. Now, you possibly know, that an IR camera can see very well through the air, so the most IR radiation passes safely the “greenhouse gases” trap. Now, you can see the potential of maybe hundreds degrees warming from that second part of IR!

    So, if you experience a total electricity and heating blackout in winter, just take things out of your freezer and they will make you warm! But be careful: too much stuff from the freezer at once may apparently lead to burn, do not exaggerate.

    Any problem with that? Well, this is your theory, not mine.

    • The greenhouse effect is mostly from water vapor. I have listened to multiple speakers on different sides and I have read from the different sides. CO2 causes a small fraction of the greenhouse effect. Scientists on both sides agree that the actual greenhouse effect of CO2 is small.

      • Small CO2 effect? So small as to be completely unmeasurable in any real physics experiment to date. There is no such thing as a “greenhouse” effect in the atmosphere. There is an atmosphere with significant water vapor content which holds significant latent heat.

      • Now blouis79, give credit where it is due, CO2 does have a radiant impact and plays an important role in our atmosphere. Even though its radiant spectrum is nearly saturated near the surface by the over whelming radiant and less frequently mentioned other thermal characteristics of Water Vapor, CO2 doe have a radiant impact often called a Green House Effect. CO2 contributes nearly 30% of the GHE which is approximately 33% of the overall atmospheric effect. 83 to 118 Wm-2 of the approximately 155Wm-2 total atmospheric effect is due to the thermal properties of water. Without water, Earth would be kinda like Mars. You can see how well Mars does with just the CO2 thing going on.

      • The “greenhouse” effect has ben conjured up in the minds of those who needed it and never properly scientifically challenged. That a gas can absorb/emit IR is useful for remote sensing but has nothing to do with thermodynamics and there is no experimental evidence of heat trapping, since emission occurs as fast as absorption (nanoseconds) and IR travels vast distances at the speed of light.

        So called radiative transfer data has been collected in IR reflective chambers which prevent IR escaping.

      • blouise, I think it is pretty neat actually. The radiative insulation provides about a third of the heat retention and its value decreases with warming an increases with cooling. It is a back-up thermostat. Water, ice and water vapor of course provide the thermal mass, but CO2 has a variable impact releasing heat either to the tropopause and space or inside the mid troposphere where it helps reduce heat loss. It is almost an idiot proof system :)

      • @capt.dalls, sounds neat but is pure science fiction until someone can show me a real experiment not carried out in an IR reflective chamber like all the radiative “transfer data” that proves CO2 by absorbing/emitting IR can actually warm up at all.

      • Dave Springer

        One might then expect wet climates to have a higher mean annual temperature than dryer climates. This is not the case. The highest mean annual temperatures are attained in equatorial deserts not equatorial oceans. This can easily be seen in global heat budget diagrams. Even ones which have the Trenberth cartoon at the top like this one:

        http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/chapter05_06.htm

        Pay close attention to figure 8B, mean annual thermal radiation across the globe. The hot spots are all deserts. The ocean is the latent heat king which can be seen in figure 9. It radiates little and instead gives up energy mostly as insensible heat of vaporization. Nothing makes much sense about surface temperature without first having a proper understanding of geographic distribution surface energy fluxes of all three flavors sensible, latent, and radiative. In the big picture the sun heats the ocean radiatively and the ocean heats the atmosphere via latent means.

        http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/Images/Fig5-8B.htm

      • Seriously, for the same lattitude, the main difference in mean temperature can only be attributed to albedo and measurement problems. There are fundamentally serious problems with the so-called climate physics. Global temperature measurements are nonsense because surface temperatures over land are measured in air and surface temperatures over water are measured under water. These are non-comparable. By all means, I’d be happy to look at underground vs underwater temperatures or air temperatures at the same height above sea level, but we don’t seem to have those. Pitiful really.

        Nothing that heats and cools when alternately exposed to sunlight and space should have a mean temperature any different to any other thing exposed to the same amount of light and same ratio of warming/cooling time, regardless of its composition.

    • Second, Andy, just use your common sense and think about possible absurd implications (reductio ad absurdum). According to your theory, the -18 degrees Celsius cold Earth surface produces so much IR radiation, that the “greenhouse gases” are able to warm the surface by 33 degrees Celsius just by sending back a small part of that IR.

      Well said. And lets put this into perspective. MINUS 18 DegC is about the temperature of an Ice cream freezer. We are led to believe that IR energy from this frozen surface bounces off of greenhouse gasses back onto itself to warm itself by 33DegC.

      I’ve asked this before. Why do we let old folks who can’t afford to heat their homes die of cold, when all we need to do is shovel some snow onto their living room floors and watch that back radiation increase the temperature to a nice balmy 15DegC or even more due to the higher levels of CO2 in a living room.
      Laughable if the subject matter wasn’t so serious.

    • This is a subset of skepticism that still doesn’t believe the clear atmosphere can emit 300 W/m2. Measurements should have killed this brand, but they somehow persist. It is at least a dwindling minority, but other skeptics should take them to task (as I note Captain Dallas bravely did above).

  27. Funny.

  28. Beth Cooper

    Thank you, AvatarCPV

  29. Rud Istvan

    Eloquent nonsense. Retribution for Paltridge daring to publish the UTrH facts from NCEP/NCAR? Hanson’s data interpretations are so far out of wack with probable reality that they have become laughable. That will be more than adequately exposed in a forthcoming goof later this year.
    Sermons from true believers speak not to the underlying science.

  30. Actual data does not support this huge influence of CO2. CO2 is a trace gas and has a trace influence. Whatever regulates the temperature of Earth is quick and powerful. CO2 is a wimpy trace. The king has no clothes on. The sky is not falling. The oceans have stopped rising. the Earth has stopped warming. The warm oceans and open Arctic is rebuilding the ice volume. The Leap seconds have reduced over the past forty years and that shows that the oceans have dropped.

  31. Beth Cooper

    Thx, capt’n dallas and Doc Martyn for yr explanations, ‘amplification’ not magnification’ and ‘photonic recycling,’ I’ll keep reading )

    • Take a look at

      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2008BAMS2634.1
      In Table 1 he quotes Albedo (%) as XX.X, so he has annual Albedo as +/- 0.05%.

      You ever been to Michigan? In the winter months Michigan is white. In the early spring it is brown as the farmers till the earth. In early summer it is green In fall it is Green/Yellow as the crops become ready to harvest. After the harvest it is yellow, then comes the first frost/snow.

      Now, low light flux occurs when the snow reflects almost all the white light.
      The amount of light absorbed, hence the heat is different as the seasons change, along with the biotica.

      The modellers average the seasonal changes in Albedo and average light flux. They do this because they never venture far from their keyboards.

  32. Proper angular momentum would require a round earth, not the flat earth projection used in climate models. Furthermore, the actual collisions between energy particles and C02 have never been included in the models. All of these factors would raise inconvenient non linear results, and would be ill suited to a results oriented science campaign.

  33. I disagree that horizontal energy transport must equal out to zero. This assumes that the there would be no overall change in albedo.

  34. Brandon Shollenberger

    This isn’t just a driveby. It’s a carefully constructed display of rhetoric designed to smear, confuse and mislead. The verbiage was necessary to create the smokescreen.

    • Brandon

      Your analysis is correct.

      Lacis’ post is “a carefully constructed display of rhetoric designed to smear, confuse and mislead”.

      It’s also very transparent.

      Max

    • Of course the rhetoric had to be constructed with care in order to correct, clarify, and edify the perception of climate science as clearly and accurately as possible. However, in my response to all the posted commentaries, I need to apply triage. I do have a day job you know, so I don’t have all the time or energy to respond to every comment, however worthy they may be.

      Also, I don’t have that measure of patience, politeness, or diplomatic skills that Fred Moolten used to display here. I happen to be from New York, and to believe in a more direct approach of telling it as it is, and in giving as you get. That is why the folks at the Heartland, Cato, and George C Marshall Institutes get the appraisal that they have so diligently earned.

      To those whose comments have been well on target (e.g., Chris Colose, WHT, Pekka), I don’t see there to be that much need for additional comment. To those commentators who have raised questions of clarity, I will try to respond and provide some further explanation.

      Also, in response to the vast majority of the comments posted here, proclaiming basically that these commentators don’t really believe in global warming or climate change, I don’t really see much point to respond specifically. I have no problem if people want to believe that global warming is all a hoax, or worse.

      Being libertarian by nature, it is my view that people have the Constitutional right to believe whatever it is that they choose to believe. And, whatever it is that people choose to believe, does not need to be based on fact or reality – hoaxed-up climate, flatland Earth, no Lunar landings – all are equally acceptable.

      For several decades now, it has been my job to do climate research. From time to time, we publish papers, or post commentaries that describe our research results, and thus keep the public informed as to what is happening with global warming and global climate change.

      I want to emphasize that I am not in the education business, so I don’t see it as my direct and immediate responsibility to educate people who don’t understand climate. Frankly, I tend to be skeptical that those commentators proclaiming their disbelief in global warming actually have any real interest in climate.

      If however they do, I encourage them to be like Fred Moolten, and go learn about climate on their own. There is more than plenty good climate literature to make use of.

      • Dr. Lacis

        You write:

        I want to emphasize that I am not in the education business, so I don’t see it as my direct and immediate responsibility to educate people who don’t understand climate

        Then why put together a rambling hatchet job on Garth Paltridge full of personal opinions and misinformation on climate, rather than just keeping your thoughts to yourself?

        Max

      • A Lacis

        It is a simple question I am asking you.

        The question is why has the climate pattern not changed since record begun in 1850 from a cyclic variation with a slight warming of 0.06 deg C per decade as shown => http://bit.ly/Aei4Nd

        The uniform warming of 0.06 deg C per decade EXISTED in late 19th century. Where is the change in the pattern from this uniform warming with a cyclic pattern?

        Where is it please?

        Is this a hard question?

      • A Lacis

        I have a question to you.

        The question is why has the climate pattern not changed since record begun in 1850 from a cyclic variation with a slight warming of 0.06 deg C per decade as shown => http://bit.ly/Aei4Nd

        The uniform warming of 0.06 deg C per decade EXISTED in late 19th century. Where is the change in the pattern from this uniform warming with a cyclic pattern?

        Where is it please?

        Is this a hard question?

      • A common question has been concerning your statement:
        “With the atmospheric CO2 concentration increasing to about 4% (40,000 ppmv), the global annual-mean surface temperature will rise to about 60 °C, a temperature extreme that will very likely kill off most everything that is alive. ”

        Could explain how arrive at such conclusion.
        What would the rise in temperature if CO2 was half of 4%?
        So doubling of 20,000 ppm gives what increase?
        And 10,000 ppm of CO2 would be?

        You do realize that Mars with it thin CO2 which 1/100th of earth pressure, has far more CO2 than earth does.
        How much warming occurs on Mars due to it’s extraordinary levels [compared earth] of CO2?

      • gbaikie

        Dr. Lacis is good with fear mongering balderdash but not all that good with basic math.

        Using IPCC’s model-derived climate sensitivity mean estimate of 3.2C, Lacis’ ludicrous rise of atmospheric CO2 to 4% would result in roughly 21C hypothetical temperature increase, bringing it to around 36C (not 60C).

        Max.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        I wouldn’t imagine for a start that the 2-4.5C sensitivity figure per doubling of CO2 remains the same for all doublings up to 40000ppm, or for seconds, that there would be any consensus between models as to what the resulting figure is (I imagine that for most models, temperatures would go rapidly outside the scope of what the model is capable of).

        The context of the Lacis statement is that it is a simple statement of the inevitable (that *all* CO2 will eventually be released including CO2 generated from carbon locked up in rocks?). That said, I expect most people don’t think that such a thing will happen till the Sun gets warm enough – in about a billion years’ time.

        Mars is a different matter as despite the high levels of CO2, the atmosphere is very thin, and being mostly CO2 has therefore relatively higher emissivity than Earth’s atmosphere. But the answer is, again, in Lacis’s post. Apply the radiation model such as the one developed by Paltridge to Mars and see what you get. I believe the answer is about 10C which is as nothing to the daily diurnal cycle of many tens of C.

      • “Mars is a different matter as despite the high levels of CO2, the atmosphere is very thin, and being mostly CO2 has therefore relatively higher emissivity than Earth’s atmosphere. But the answer is, again, in Lacis’s post. Apply the radiation model such as the one developed by Paltridge to Mars and see what you get.”

        If doubled atmosphere by adding N2, what would effect be on temperature?
        So, that means making it so have about 50% CO2 and 50% Nitrogen.And twice current pressure.
        Would it makes no difference. Cool. Or warm average temperature?

      • Warmer because of the increase in thermal mass with lower radiant emission rate, but not likely to be easily measured. The surface pressure of Mars is about 1/1000th that of Earth. Increasing it to 2/1000th would hardly move the needle.

      • “Warmer because of the increase in thermal mass with lower radiant emission rate, but not likely to be easily measured. The surface pressure of Mars is about 1/1000th that of Earth. Increasing it to 2/1000th would hardly move the needle.”

        Mars has about 7 mb And earth is 1013 mb.
        So 7 times higher to move needle.
        I have seen various given numbers of greenhouse affect on Mars: 5, 7.5, 10, and 15 C. The wide variety numbers is interesting.
        I have also seen variety numbers given for warming effect of earth.
        I think the highest I have seen for CO2 is the post by Andy Lacis “With zero atmospheric CO2, the climate of Earth will plunge to a snowball Earth state (global annual-mean surface temperature of – 30 °C)”. I have also seen 2 C, and 3-4 C.
        The lack of known quantity of warming from CO2 provides support for idea that CO2 may not cause any warming. The unscientific nature of the true believers see no peril to inability of establishing an exact number.

        Anyhow since I brought it up, Andy quote above he says -30 C to current of 14 to 15 C would plunge earth into snowball Earth.
        But would even such steep lowering in average temperature cause snowball earth?

        Starting with the obvious, earth currently has a near zero amount of CO2. Earth atmosphere in term of the CO2 “contaminant” is %99.96 pure.
        And for any natural state to get %99.99999999 of something which pretty common in the universe seems difficult.
        So when talking about a near zero quantity and in that context talk about zero, it shows gross misunderstanding..
        The Moon has no atmosphere, but it does have some amount CO2 bouncing around surface, maybe 10 or 100 lbs of the stuff in the Moon’s near perfect vacuum.

        Now one way Earth could get significant closer to zero CO2 is for the polar ice cap to get much colder than they are right now. If a lot colder, CO2 would freeze at the Poles [as it does on Mars].
        “The freezing point of CO2 at one atmosphere is -78.5ºC…..
        This is exactly the same principle we discussed for water. There is very little CO2 in the atmosphere. Concentration is less than 0.0004, so not many molecules are available to be frozen. In order to get below the frost point (where CO2 ice starts to accumulate) temperatures would have to be much colder.”

        So -100 C might freeze some out, but might need -150 C to get even closer to zero.

        It seems to me near impossible for earth for ocean to freeze in tropics. Though with immense amount of volcanic dust obscuring sunlight for years it’s conceivable.

        Taking it stepwise fashion, suppose there was sea ice from 40th parallel and polewards. So Northern California has sea ice. And suppose there such cold conditions for centuries or more. This means half the surface of planet is ice. And half the world has average temperature 0 C or colder. And say the tropics may have average temperature of 10 C. And of course section between tropic of Cancer and Capricorn would naturally have cooler average temperature than 10 C.
        So tropics 10 C and the line of Cancer or Capricorn being 5 C, and 30th parallel being 0 C and line 40th being -10 C, and each 10 degree poleward minus roughly another 10 C. This roughly follow current lowering of average temperature in our current global temperature. It should note that ocean temperatures not follow such a steep decrease nor land area warmed by the ocean [ie, Europe].
        But land area follow this, and since half ocean is going to be frozen, it perhaps should follow land cooling rates. And this assuming sea level temperature- elevation also adds cooling.

        So areas currently warmed by ocean such as southern part of Greenland, currently are around 0 C, and at 60 latitude, would be 30 degrees cooler, -30 C instead 0 C average temperature. And with higher elevation Greenland would be same average temperature as Antarctic, and of course Antarctic would 20 to 30 degrees colder than it is right now. And though CO2 may freeze out in cold winter of Antarctic it’s average temperature would not cool enough hold much frozen CO2.

        In such roughly described world, one has near the number of the subtracting -30 C from the 14 to 15 C average global temperature Or world around -15 C. If the tropics average temperature was instead 10 C, was 0 C, one could still have ice free tropics. Even centuries at 0 C average could have ice free tropics.
        The tropics is 40% of surface area of the world- half of world including tropics could be -4 C and other half being -30 to 40 C. Or -17 to -27 C.

        In such cooler condition one still has ice free tropics and possible cold enough to freeze and reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

        Add to this world vast amounts of volcanic activity, and one might get to point freezing tropics ocean

      • gbaikie, I am beginning to believe the snowball Earth and Faint Young Sun Paradox are the heart of the issue. You can use a water based model and get all but 35Wm-2 of the atmospheric effect. Blowing off the DWLR nonsense, that would make the GHE about 23% of the impact on surface temperatures. Water transfers plenty of energy to the atmosphere via conduction and latent, 83Wm-2 for latent and approximately 27Wm-2 total for conduction/convection without even considering radiant. The thermal mass of the atmosphere is definitely the most significant factor. CO2 doesn’t change the thermal mass, just the rate of convection and altitude of the CO2 radiant layer.

        On the freezing point of CO2, the concentration is too low to easily “snow” out, but the low temperatures appear to impact the radiant properties. CO2 appears to be limited to the 65Wm-2 range on Venus and 67Wm-2 range on Earth. Seems like there would be more published on the low temperature and pressure properties of CO2. The little I have seen shows the specific heat dropping off fairly rapidly. If it can’t contain energy, it can’t absorb and emit as readily.

        There is MODTRAN for 40,000PPM since Andy brought that up

        And that is for 375PPM. The subarctic and -32C should approximate the tropopause. That is not a lot of change for a huge change in CO2.

      • “gbaikie, I am beginning to believe the snowball Earth and Faint Young Sun Paradox are the heart of the issue.”

        I don’t believe in snowball Earth- if snowball earth means all earth [except volcanic hotspots] is covered with ice. And that such completely ice covered world lasted more than a century [if there was such condition it was due to vast amounts of dust in atmosphere- and such amounts of dust has a short life time.
        As for Faint Young Sun Paradox. First it must said that we seriously lack information regarding this time in geological history. But the Paradox, as any paradox is useful.
        If you accept the theory of Moon forming from large impactor, than it such event plays a major role in explaining earth climate at this early part of Earth’s history. Our moon could have formed very near earth, we know the Moon is getting further from Earth at present time [adding somewhere around 3 cm to it’s distance each year]
        Our Moon is small, but if it’s close earth it would be very impressive.
        An example is it’s daily trip across our skies could affect “daylight”.
        Earthshine is small affect, what if Moon was much closer.
        Tide are modest on earth, but what about when the Moon was much closer, etc, etc.

      • The orbit of the moon aside, my issue was that 70% solar output would not be enough to maintain liquid water. Right now approximately 30% is reflected mainly because of liquid and gaseous water. Under a fainter sun there would be fewer clouds reflecting less solar. The actual solar available at the surface would not be much different. Since the equatorial oceans absorb the most energy, the Faint Sun Paradox is more an astrophysical conundrum than a real thermodynamic problem. This is pretty much like GHE theory, an astrophysicist’s musing with little thermodynamic basis. The oceans maintain the habitable environment, global average only matters if you intend to settle Antarctica or don’t want to migrate away from ice sheets that are mainly on land.

      • “The orbit of the moon aside, my issue was that 70% solar output would not be enough to maintain liquid water.”

        Well I think if Mars had an ocean of water, there would liquid water.

        So, 70% at earth orbit distance is 952 watts per square meter above earth atmosphere. If we had same atmosphere [not likely-but let’s not complicate
        it] then at noon on clear sky with sun directly overhead we would get around 700 watts per square meter.
        You can get 700 watts per square meter on Earth, on a clear sky at noon, if you at a high enough latitude [notice I didn’t say sun directly overhead]
        So UK during winter at noon in clear skies, would not get as much as 700 watts per square meter. New York might around this much.
        And Mars as average of about 600 watts per square meter.

      • With Earth’s atmosphere I get a cutoff at just under 700Wm-2 at the equator. It is kinda interesting, either you have liquid oceans nearly the same as today or no oceans. So Mars is SOL unless it has plenty of geothermal which it is lacking :)

        For the 952 and 700 you are still using current albedo and water vapor absorption in the atmosphere. With 952 it would be closer to .9*952=856 on a clear noon sky at the equator and that still doesn’t include the higher half of the orbital insolation. The oceans would absorb more energy because they would have lower total heat content. They start absorbing less as the average temperature approaches 21C where the specific volume of the atmosphere allows more evaporation. It is a natural thermostat.

      • “So Mars is SOL unless it has plenty of geothermal which it is lacking :)”

        Ok, I grant that it’s a hard argument that Mars would have liquid ocean if there was enough water at Mars surface.
        So of course the challenge is interesting.
        I gave this ref before:
        “The Sun’s intensity on a horizontal patch of the Earth’s surface of 590W/m2 occurs when the Sun is a mere 36 degrees above the horizon.

        For example, the maximum intensity of the Sun, to local noon on Mars, with the Sun directly overhead, is approximately the same intensity as the Sun on Earth at noon February 15 in St. Hubert, Quebec (home of the Canadian Space Agency).”
        http://www.tomatosphere.org/teacher-resources/teachers-guide/grades-8-10/mars-agriculture.cfm
        And:
        Devon Island has surface characteristics that strongly resemble the surface of Mars.
        At slightly more than 75°N, Devon Island has solar irradiance similar to the solar irradiation on the Martian Equator.”

        I will assume this is more or less correct.
        Arctic circle starts at 66° 33′ 44″. Devon Island is within Arctic circle. So is most of arctic polar ice. Or much of the arctic polar ice gets same solar flux as does Mars at equator at noon.
        It close to being accurate, that if think the polar ice can not melt from sunlight, then water on Mars can not be a liquid.

        The main difference is different atmospheres of Earth and Mars and in summer arctic gets constant sunlight.

        So first, Mars has a polar region. Mars has axis inclination of 23° 59′
        and earth’s is 23° 27′. So Mars has similar arctic regions as earth- though smaller area, as Mars is smaller planet.
        So on Mars it’s summer time it either of it’s pole also has constant sunlight.
        So we have an apple to apple comparison.
        Mars has similar day and night duration, but if talking about polar region what important in terms of duration is the yearly duration.
        So comparison Earth to Mars:
        Revolution period 365.26 d 687 d (=668 sols)
        Rotation period 0.9973 d (24h) 1.026 d (=24h40 = 1 sol)
        http://cmex.ihmc.us/sitecat/sitecat2/mars.htm
        Nearly same day, but almost twice the duration of year. So somewhat near twice as long summer in arctic circle on Mars.

        So on earth at north pole, spring equinox, sun is at horizon, and midsummer rises 23.27 degrees above horizon. And never gets higher and declines to fall equinox. So north pole never gets as much solar energy as Mars does. You need to have sun reach 36 degrees above the horizon.
        At arctic circle: 66° 33′ 44″ one gets daylight before the spring equinox, they are short days of daylight, but once get to close to the spring equinox days get longer and sun rises higher in the sky, and one get constant daylight once you reach the spring equinox, the sun may dip down or below horizon during “night” and rise highest at noon, but there
        always day.
        And as you get closer to mid summer, sun gets higher above horizon, so sun is always above horizon.
        Pole 90 degree minus 66° 33′ 44 is 23° 66′. So 23° 66′ plus 23° 27 which is 46° + 66′ + 27. Or 47 03′ degrees above horizon is highest sun gets at noon on midsummer.
        So having the sun say 40 degree above horizon in some regions of arctic circle for parts of days and part summer season is possible on Earth and on Mars.

        One thing I don’t have precise answer for is how less sunlight do you get on Mars when sun is only 40 degrees above the horizon. But if around 40 degrees on Earth is similar to doubling the earth Atmosphere- the sun must go thru twice as much atmosphere. But going to twice the atmosphere of Mars very thin atmosphere is going to have much affect, though going thru twice as much dust could completely different issue.
        Dust is a factor on Earth, but much bigger factor on Mars.
        But Mars dust is similar to Earth clouds, though dust when most severe probably does block as much as clouds normally do on Earth. But one have year moderately high levels of dust and have to constantly raining place like Seattle or UK to get comparable long duration darkness.

        But if Mars had a global ocean it would not have these global dust storms. So such condition it’s somewhat reasonable to ignore Mars and it’s dust.
        So without dust Mars polar region and Earth polar region are quite similar.
        And if Mars polar regions are similar to Earth polar region, going towards the equator would also be similar. Or Earth tropics gets far more solar energy than Mars “tropic” during noon periods, but Mars early morning and late afternoons get more solar energy than earth tropics does.

      • With water in vast quantities near the equator you can nearly ignore the poles. The only average the oceans care about is accumulated energy. You could start with a thin band of open water at the equator. Since water has both solar penetration to some depth and surface absorption, if it gains more than 334Wm-2, the enthalpy of fusion and the magic 4C maximum density for fresh water then the nightly thin surface freezing if it happens, would insulate the heat gain. Even with salt water the density reduction for freezing creates a down welling, reducing heat loss. If the open water gains more than it loses, even just milliwatts, the oceans continue to accumulate energy. With less water vapor in the atmosphere to radiate heat, the atmosphere is a better insulator. You are going to continue to gain heat until the area of the oceans expand enough and water vapor in the atmosphere radiates enough, so that the total heat loss equals the total heat gain over an annual cycle.

        When Earth has its southern pole facing the sun at perigee, it has more open ocean surface to gain energy, that is nearly 40Wm-2 more than average. That would be required for an interglacial maximum. When the northern hemisphere faces the sun at perigee, the land mass orientation reduced potential heat absorption by more than 40Wm-2. That is a decent signal that ice sheets will advance.

        So it is kinda a trick question. Global average insolation or temperature are meaningless, it is average daily solar at the extended equatorial open ocean region that drives the heat engine :)

        That Mpemba effect is pretty cool.

      • It seems like fairly good explanation of Milankovitch cycles.

        It should noted this is not included in greenhouse added +33 C to a “blackbody” as earth. And it’s at least +10 C to global temperature or
        losing -10 C depending how look at it:)

      • Funny ain’t it :0 RP sr mentions start with the OHC, J. Curry recommends an Aqua model, R. Lindzen mentions equatorial clouds, R. Spencer notes odd cloud “forcing” and A. Lacis shows up with the same old song and dance :)

        SST appears to be a pretty good proxy for OHC

      • The confidence in that 33C is pretty amazing. When you assume 30% albedo and most of that is clouds, the “surface” is the clouds. It is obvious to me that since that is the “surface”, you should adjust for the latent cooling that created the clouds that are that surface. Then the true surface is 83Wm-2 less than the cloud “surface”. Lacis says that but not clearly, so you have to dig through the crap to start understanding where the heck they are coming from. So depending on the true surface temperature it would effectively be around 10C less than 33C. Then they include that 83Wm-2 in the DWLR calculation which has nothing to do with the “GHE” so they can get a nice big number like 333Wm-2 to enHansen job security.

        It is a classic example of how not to simplify a problem :)

      • “For the 952 and 700 you are still using current albedo and water vapor absorption in the atmosphere. With 952 it would be closer to .9*952=856”

        I picked 700 because I was fairly certain it wouldn’t less than 700 if atmosphere was same. Don’t know if 856 is better number. But happy to accept 856 to 700 watts per square meter.for noon and sun near zenith on a clear day.

        “The oceans would absorb more energy because they would have lower total heat content.”
        And probably less clouds and probably much cooler land.

        “They start absorbing less as the average temperature approaches 21C where the specific volume of the atmosphere allows more evaporation. It is a natural thermostat.”

        Tropical ocean surface temperature at around 21 C, seems about right.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        gbailkie, Andy Lacis has given a clear explanation for coming to his figure in his paper. The 33C-cooler figure has a clear basis in that it is a basic application of Stefan-Boltzmann. The fact that the two figures differ then does not indicate a dispute about the basic physics. In reality they represent results from an application of a thought experiment. Sure Earth will never reach zero CO2, but what-if thought experiments are often interesting and sometimes useful (in this case, for example, in application to exoplanets and their possibility of having liquid water temperatures.)

        Figures of 2 or 3C are given, I would guess, by Skydragon types so don’t really count as a fundamental dispute.

        The range of figures for Mars would likely represent the fact that some may, similarly, be a basic zero-feedback figure and some may take more account for the physical reality of Mars – for example the greater influence of dust in determining the Martian temperature.

      • “gbailkie, Andy Lacis has given a clear explanation for coming to his figure in his paper. The 33C-cooler figure has a clear basis in that it is a basic application of Stefan-Boltzmann. ”

        Yes I understand it. Consider earth as like a blackbody. Add in Bond albedo- the whiteness of clouds. So if blackbody with clouds, one should have about 33 C cooler “average temperature”.
        I understand it. But one should seriously doubt such an approximation. I see it as one way to get within a ballpark number, but to base everything on it is sheer madness. Or another way to say it, is that it is model or hypothesis or starting point.

        “Sure Earth will never reach zero CO2, but what-if thought experiments are often interesting and sometimes useful (in this case, for example, in application to exoplanets and their possibility of having liquid water temperatures.)”

        My point is that our current levels are near zero in terms of CO2. And if ever found another world with such a low levels of CO2, it’s points to cold poles freezing CO2 out OR indicates strong clue that this planet has life.

        “Figures of 2 or 3C are given, I would guess, by Skydragon types so don’t really count as a fundamental dispute.”

        Nope, from people who believe green house effect is causing 33 of warming. Skydragons think there is no warming from CO2.
        It’s logical to think the current level of CO2 warms by 2 or 3 C. If one assume that CO2 doubled adds about 1 C and which amplified by increase water vapor which adds, 1, 2, 3, or 5 C. Which follows the general model accepted by those who believe in Greenhouse Theory.

        “The range of figures for Mars would likely represent the fact that some may, similarly, be a basic zero-feedback figure and some may take more account for the physical reality of Mars – for example the greater influence of dust in determining the Martian temperature.”

        Well Mars does appear dusty. Global dust storms periodically occur. It’s sort of like forest fire on earth- can seriously block sunlight, and dust falls on the ground. And of course thereafter this fallen dust blows around. Mars rover had their solar panels cleaned, after being build up dust. There were cleaned by dust devils. Of course on earth major forest fires or Chinese extreme air pollution, are much more regional, as compared Mars global affect of dust storms.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        gbailkie,

        Effect of temperature of Mars by adding N2 so as to double pressure would, ***at a guess***, to be to lower the diurnal range because the atmosphere of Mars will have a higher heat capacity meaning that for the same amount of emission or absorption it warms slower during the day but cools slower at night. The average temperature may be similar.

        Adding more might change the weather/climate as well though because it will reduce temperature gradients.

      • [note the reply button doesn’t seem to work- this is a reply to Steve Milesworthy’s post]:
        “gbaikie,

        Effect of temperature of Mars by adding N2 so as to double pressure would, ***at a guess***, to be to lower the diurnal range because the atmosphere of Mars will have a higher heat capacity meaning that for the same amount of emission or absorption it warms slower during the day but cools slower at night. The average temperature may be similar.”

        Ok, so you saying N2 would add to “greenhouse effect”. Because increase night time temperature is main reason anyone builds greenhouses.
        And/or the only reason the Moon has no greenhouse effect has nothing to do with day time temperature and everything to do with very cold night time temperature- the surface temperature of the Moon on the day side, is much warmer than the surface temperature of Earth on it’s day side.

      • We have done a line-by-line greenhouse model calculation for Mars and found the Martian greenhouse effect to be about 5 degrees C. Even though Mars has a lot more CO2 in the atmosphere than Earth, the Martian greenhouse effect is far less efficient because of the low (9mb) pressure, which makes the CO2 spectral absorption look like a sparse picket fence.

        Doubling the atmospheric pressure by adding N2 will significantly increase the CO2 absorption efficiency. The effective absorption line width is linearly proportional to the pressure, although the broadening efficiency for a foreign gas is less efficient than self-broadening by CO2.

        With doubled atmospheric pressure by adding N2, I would expect the Martian greenhouse effect to increase by at least several degrees.

      • Doubling pressure plus increasing R and Cp, about should produce about 4.18C if the initial is 5C. Rough estimate thanks to Poisson.

      • Dave Springer

        A model is a hypothesis. I’m so sorry you can’t or won’t actually test it so it might graduate to theory or be falsified. Tough luck, bro. You should have tried engineering or at least some kind of experimental science if you wanted to be taken seriously.

      • Dave Springer

        The above was to Lacis and the description of the hypothetical prediction of Martian atmosphere with more N2 in it. It seems the conversation threads are not working correctly anymore.

      • “We have done a line-by-line greenhouse model calculation for Mars and found the Martian greenhouse effect to be about 5 degrees C. Even though Mars has a lot more CO2 in the atmosphere than Earth, the Martian greenhouse effect is far less efficient because of the low (9mb) pressure, which makes the CO2 spectral absorption look like a sparse picket fence.”

        Not sure I understand why lower pressure and/or gravity affects spectral absorption.
        My guess the low gravity makes an more even density or pressure per height in elevation. So that spreads it out or more highly spaced, but there also far more CO2 on Mars, so per cubic meter there is far more CO2 molecules as compared to Earth. So in first meter above surface, there should be more molecules of CO2 on Mars than on Earth, and this should also apply all the way up to say 20 Km. It’s true that on earth more atmosphere [and therefore more CO2] is at lower elevation,
        Hmmm.
        Olympus Mons summit is 22 km.
        It has 0.03 kilopascals (0.0044 psi)
        Mars average 0.6 kilopascals (0.087 psi)
        1/20th of Mars average at Olympus Mons summit
        Mars: Scale height: 11.1 km
        Earth: Scale height: 8.5 km
        Mars has 28 times more CO2 as Earth does per 1 square column from surface to vacuum of space and less gravity would difference in spacing
        but does like it’s much- instead 28 times perhaps it’s 20 times at lower elevation and as went higher have more than 28 times what earth has at
        same altitude,.
        Another thing:
        Hellas Planitia bottom 1.16 kilopascals (0.168 psi)
        In this large crater one has also twice the pressure
        And maybe have around 40 times the amount CO2 as earth
        Could such a large, though regional area get more greenhouse affect?

      • There have been semi serious suggestions to add perfluorocarbons instead of N2.

      • On Mars, the average greenhouse effect is about half that. OTOH, the atmospheric density on Mars varies significantly between summer and winter.

      • “Measurements made in 1976 by the Viking landers established the exact composition of the atmosphere on Mars as 95.3% carbon dioxide, 2.7% nitrogen, and 1.6% argon, with smaller amounts of oxygen (0.15%) and water vapor (0.03%). The average surface pressure is only about 7 millibars (less than 1% of the Earth’s), though it varies greatly with altitude from about 9 millibars in the deepest basins to about 1 millibar at the top of Olympus Mons, the highest point on Mars. This is still thick enough to support strong winds and enable occasional planet-wide dust storms to obscure the surface for months at a time. On the other hand, the martian atmosphere results in only a weak greenhouse effect that raises the surface temperature by about 5°C over what it would be without any atmosphere at all. ”
        http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/M/Marsatmos.html

        Mars has about 1/3rd of gravity of Earth.
        “The gravity on Mars is much lower than it is here on Earth, 62% lower to be more precise. That means that Martian gravity is 38% of Earth’s.”
        http://www.universetoday.com/14859/gravity-on-mars/
        If Mars had same gravity as Earth it’s atmosphere would nearly have 3 times it’s current pressure.
        Total mass of Mars atmosphere: ~2.5 x 10^16 kg
        http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
        Mars radius: 3396.2 km. So surface area is 144.9 million sq km.
        Or 1.45 x 10^14 square meter. Or 172 kg of CO2 per square meter of surface area.
        Mars 145 million square and has earth surface area [510 million square km] has about 25 trillion tonnes of CO2.
        Earth has 2.996×10^15 kg.
        http://micpohling.wordpress.com/2007/03/30/math-how-much-co2-by-weight-in-the-atmosphere/
        “3.09×10^15kg of CO2 are currently in the atmosphere (using 383ppmV.) ”
        http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070908101242AALwgLr
        {current levels adding 8 tonnes per ppm: about 3.1 x10^15kg

        So Mars has about 8 times more CO2 in it’s atmosphere than compared to Earth. But since Mars is smaller has around 28 times more in a column of it’s atmosphere. Or like 11200 ppm of CO2 on earth.

        And since less solar energy is blocked by far less atmosphere than Earth has, Mars surface gets around the same amount solar energy as does earth- on average.

        “The maximum solar irradiance on Mars is about 590 W/m2 compared to about 1000 W/m2 at the Earth’s surface.

        The Sun’s intensity on a horizontal patch of the Earth’s surface of 590W/m2 occurs when the Sun is a mere 36 degrees above the horizon.”
        http://www.tomatosphere.org/teacher-resources/teachers-guide/grades-8-10/mars-agriculture.cfm

        So on earth with clear sky and the sun above 36 degree above the horizon, you get more more solar radiation than on Mars at noon.
        But it doesn’t mention is mars loses less of it’s solar energy when it’s low to the mars horizon. One say Mars can have dust problem, and Earth has a cloud problem. And dust in Mars atmosphere is relativity minor as compared to Earth’s cloud problem.
        Example London winter, clear skies you get same about of solar energy at noon as Mars.
        With solar panel pointing at sun, will get more solar power on Mars than earth. But in terms weather and “non moving surface” probably less on average amount energy hitting surface. And obviously earth can have significantly higher peak solar energy. Mars orbit is also fairly highly:
        Perihelion (10^6 km) 206.62 Aphelion (10^6 km) 249.23
        So Mars definitely gets less solar flux as compared to Earth distance from sun, but if one focused sunlight hitting surface there is not much difference

      • Diogenes

        how can I keep forgetting?

        Try Donepezil or other acetylcholine stimulants (be sure to talk to your doctor first).

      • My drug of choice is coffee. Is that the cause of manic overuse of emoticons? You should advise Fan of BS to go cold turkey. Perhaps we should have an intervention.

        :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        “Diogenes”, letting go of polemic denialism ain’t easy.

        Coffee alone is not enough … you’ll need twelve-step help from a higher power.

        Please let me suggest either your local Quaker or Unitarian congregations (seriously), or alternatively any of the conservation organizations that partner in Season’s End: Global Warming’s Threat to Hunting and Fishing.

        Summary: Two effective self-cures for polemical denialism are to (1) get out in Nature and (2) look to a higher power.

        Why not try them, “Diogenes”?   :)   :)   :)

      • I think the science of climate is a lot more complex than that – most people don’t care or don’t know. I link to a lot of different peer reviewed sources – and think of what I say is fairly obvious. I am an environmental scientist – one of my favourite things is snorkelling over a coral reef in the area of world I live in. That’s why I focussed on responses to anthropogenic emissions of carbon – just in case. I am sure it could be a problem in a nonlinear rather than linear way. You need to have an understanding of no nonlinear dynamics to understand. I am sure you’re hunters and fishers are well meaning – but they just want a solution.

        But responses need to be balanced by the needs and aspirations of humanity. The only thing I deny is the effectiveness of taxes, caps and subsidies. We are looking for pragmatic and multi-objective solutions. Some of these emerge from the Millennium Development Goals, the Copenhagen Consensus and the Breakthrough Institute. As Lomberg says – we have the power to do amazing good. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: Don’t you want to do good?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Polemical denialists commonly appose:

          • low confidence in science, with

          • high confidence in market rationality and efficiency.

        This apposition is nutty, of course!   :)   :)   :)

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        The link is to Garrett Hardin’s Extensions of “The Tragedy of the Commons” (Science, 1998), which surveys some of the limits to faith in the rationality and efficiency of markets.

        Needless to say, some polemicists deny even the logical possibility that markets can be irrational and/or inefficient and/or short-sighted and/or immoral.

        Libertarians in particular are prey to this endemic syndrome!   :)   :)   :)

      • My search for an honest man continues – you aren’t that.

        I was taught tragedy of the commons in environmental science school. That was a long time ago. You need to update to Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom and polycentric governance. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Chief, with regard to the 24 varieties of libertarianism as exemplified in Ostrom-style economic theory:

           \begin{array}{|c|c|c|c|}\hline\multicolumn{4}{|c|}{\text{24 Varieties}}\\\multicolumn{4}{|c|}{\text{of Libertarian}}\\\hline\otimes&&&\otimes\\\hline&&&\\\hline&&&\\\hline&\otimes&&\\\hline&&&\\\hline&\otimes&\otimes&\\\hline\end{array}

        … your economic proposal was naive, arrogant, apostolic, messianic, and infeasible.

        Thank you for this teaching case!   :)   :)   :)

      • You’re in depth analysis of Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom is noted. You seem not interested in poeple cooperating to solve problems. We should just do what you say I suppose? You haven’t said what that is – just disparage without putting any proposal out there.

        What does science and markets offer for solar power? Grid parity in most places by 2020. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

        Why aren’t you happy about this? Do you have some other anti market suspension of democracy agenda? You got something to hide Fan of BS? It sure seems like it.

      • https://judithcurry.com/2012/07/02/garth-paltridge-held-hostage-by-the-uncertainty-monster/#comment-215424

        The nesting gets iffy when numbers of unacceptable comments are deleted.

        I will link you to this as well – technology and markets are the solutions and not the problems.

        https://judithcurry.com/2012/07/03/what-global-warming-looks-like/#comment-215408

      • And, fan, your evaluation of the Chief’s comment was a typical hit-piece example of the sort of hack, agit-prop hive-think peddled at the cyclic rate by lefty stooges, like you, everywhere.

        That is, your snark-booger comment was the sort of trite, passive-agressive, sly, little-sneak, girlie-man/mannish-girlie, cutsey-wutsey “needle” favored by empowered man-haters and momma’s-boy weirdos still seething with anger at the memory of those “popular” high-school “studs” who could throw a ball like a boy and who got all the dates with the cheerleaders and all the “glory” in high school–a glory “unjustly” denied our dear, momma’s-little-precious, cutie-pie, smiley-face, odious, spoiled-brat, future greenshirts–I mean, like, just ask mom about the injustice of it all!

        And yes, fan, I’m talkin’ about the sort of parasitic, smarty-pants, socially incompetent dork–recalled by their former high-school classmates as “that doofus, geek, creep-out goof-ball”–who gravitates toward taxpayer rip-off, tenured, academic positions in pseudo-scientific fields, thoroughly infested with lefties, in order to gain a privileged access to an impressionable, adolescent, captive audience.

        And you know the lefty drill when it comes to adolescents in the class-room setting, right, fan? That is, employ the coercive powers of the professor’s lectern to brow-beat and intellectually bully the smart kids with a tendency to think for themselves while petting and stroking the needy, weakling nerds in the class so long as they parrot the lefty party line–a “grooming” approach to vulnerable kids that is the hive’s sure-fire recruitment strategy, right, fan?

        Nasty business you’re in, fan. And no amount of grinning discs hides that fact. And, oh by the way, fan, you’re not dealing with a bunch of kids on this blog. So expect a robust push-back to your eco-flake, little-operator, noxious crapola.

      • I’ve reached my own tipping point. I need a break. I’m so sick of lolwot and the skeptical warmist (not), and the “fan” not to mention the crooks and charlatans like Mann and “I told you so” TRenberth and Andy (“you’re all a bunch of morons” Lacis, and Hansen, and on and on and on ad nauseum..

        But most of all I’m sick of the refusal of most of those who know better to stand up and be counted. Why won’t the scientists who are no doubt just as disgusted as we are make their positions known? Why aren’t they writing letters? Why aren’t they submitting op-eds? Of course, I understand the pressures out there. But the stakes are high. We need a few more old fashioned JFK “profiles in courage.”

        Properly understood, the climate wars are no longer metaphoric, but an increasingly bitter struggle between the corrupt forces of darkness and oppression, and the rest of us.

        I’ve always been a pretty apolitical guy, at least down deep. But for the first time in my life I find myself truly angry, my world view increasing Manichean. I don’t like myself like this. I;m 61. Time to be mellowing out, not joining the revolution.

        That’s why I need a break. For my own mental health. Will be back in a month or two. Want all you skeptics to know that I’m proud to be among ye.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Pokerguy, scientists *are* posting.

        What distresses you, is what they’re saying.

        Mother Nature too, is speaking up … louder-and-louder.

        She is saying that AGW *is* real … *is* serious … *is* accelerating.

        And so, you are going to have to get used to it.

        Because as Richard Feynman said “Nature cannot be fooled.”

        History shows plainly that Feynman was denounced and enemy-listed for saying it, of course  ;)   ;)   ;)

      • pokerguy,
        What keeps fan of more bs posting so frenetically is that real scientists are coming out against AGW hype and he must desperately do anything- apparently including lying and fibbing endlessly- to avoid that pesky problem.
        Enjoy fan for the entertainment value of having a true troll blithering away. We have not seen this possibly Joshua. Although A. Lacis, in the essay that this thread grows from, is working hard to create a new kind of troll. But fan is classic. Even classics of stupidity are worth watching, at least for spectacle value.
        When I read fan, I am reminded of Gabby Johnson, in “Blazing Saddles”

      • Hunter,
        I know you’re right. I admire your ability and many others as well, to hang in there and patiently duke it out with these guys day after day. I find the disingenuousness infuriating. I see Bart R in the newer thread is now arguing that warmth is more dangerous than cold. Which defies reason, not to mention common sense. Utter madness.

      • pokerguy,
        The true believers are pursuing these dishonest and deceptive tactics for whatever internal motives they may hae. When you consider what Lacis actually says in his essay, he is really not analyzing Paltridge at all. he is, however, revealing a great deal about himself. And it is not a pretty sight. The madness of Australia imposing a tax whose stated goal is to manage the climate, yet will not accomplish that goal under any scenario, will hurt Australians, and cost much more than claimed is a lesson for us all. here we have the EPA whose ‘carbon finding’ was produced at the cost of violating the EPA’s own guidelines, will hurt producers, fail to clean the environment, not change the climate, and cost the tax payers a great deal- not to mention make blackouts like the one in the Mid-Atlantic region more likely, is another example of this dysfunctino in action.
        Eugenics had similar successes in the period its pernicious influence was greatest: horrid laws that hurt vulnerable people. Laws veneered in science that were actually either bigotry with the force of law, or rent seeking. And ultimately of course forced sterilization and worse, were all embraced by the self-declared elites of the day. the good news is we muddled through (in some ways at huge cost). Evlutionary and biological science have liberated themselves from eugenics and that freedom has allowed some spectacular advances.
        Climate science will likely be eventually liberated from AGW as well.What will the cost of the social mania? It is already quite high, but we will overcome the apocalyptic claptrap as represented by the believer trolls here, and Lacis and Hansen, etc. etc. etc.

      • Link to a scientific study that demonstrates the human lifespan in the United States will increase in a warmer climate.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        pokerguy,

        You do need a break, but you’ll be back in sooner than a month or two.

      • R Gates

        Sorry, my reply to your question yesterdayand reposted just now ended up miles away

        https://judithcurry.com/2012/07/03/what-global-warming-looks-like/#comment-215445

        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Mike posts [long abusive rant redacted]

        Mike, you’ve still got plenty to learn about “the secret lives of scientists”!   :)   :)   :)

      • fan,

        Yr. “secret lives of scientists”

        Hey, fan! Snappy back-chat! Let’s see now, fan, to the extent the point, you seem to be trying to make, is that lefty, weenie, wanker, eco-dork pseudo-scientists aren’t a bunch of lefty, weenie, wanker, eco-dorks, I note that you wisely, if duplicitously, offer up as a counter-example a real scientist, Neils Bohr, who was also a physicist–and physicists continue to distinguish themselves as ethical opponents of the CAGW scam–and not some greenshirt, carbon-piggie hypocrite, hive-puke, tenured enviro-hack. And, then, there is the unfortunate detail that the hero of your super-sized, zinger comeback is a little out-of-date, having departed this vale of tears in 1951! Good show, teach!

        You know, fan, I can well imagine that in the neo-Stalinist setting of your PC-iron-fist-to-the-max classroom, your little, cultivated coterie of admiring, snot-nose, brainwashed, teacher’s-pet, Gaia-geek, suck-up adolescents squeal with delight and approval at your booger-brain retorts, of the above sort. While, at the same time, we can be sure that the intellectually-bullied smart kids in your class–those who think for themselves and can hardly wait for that happy day when they can put daylight between you and them–roll their eyeballs in disgust and suffer through the whole, creep-out spectacle in grim silence.

        But like I said before, fan, this blog’s readership is not a captive audience of needy, vulnerable, easily manipulated kids. Your tough luck, fan.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Mike, you are entirely welcome to all the followers that your unique brand of “brownshirt demialism” can attract.

        Please … take every last one of them.   :)   :)   :)

      • fan,

        Yr: “your [moi] brand of brownshirt denialism…”

        No brownshirts in my circle of acquaintances, fan–only proud, strong, self-reliant men and women who cherish freedom. In other words, fan, the “crowd” I run with is everything your greenshirt, hive-dependent, moon-faced, grinning-idiot crowd is not. And I don’t have to “recruit” anyone, fan–wholesome, competent, industrious, productive men and women are natural, self-made lovers of liberty, ethics, and the truth.

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        And Fanny wins the Godwin award. Enjoy, Fan. You earned it.

      • Hmmm – I am an engineer and environmental scientist and markets are only as rational as the rule of law provides for. I don’t look at your links – might I be an exception?

        You might need a course in FA Hayek. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

        More than markets is something written about by Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom – polycentric governance. People power to cooperatively solve common problems. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool

      • Fan,
        Having grown up in rural and small town coastal areas, I can bet you are the one who is highl urbanized and ignorant of the outdoors.
        As for the orgs you claim agree with you, my bet is that they are succumbing to the same social disorder that has enabled AGW.

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        So belief in a higher power is necessary to understand AGW? Maybe that’s why I don’t get it.

      • You don’t have to believe in a higher power to do good – but it perhaps helps. Religious people are scientifically proven to be nicer. About 65,000 people in the last Australian identified theselves as Jedi.

      • ah…Australian census… :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

        General Mike – I stand ready to follow you into the jaws of hell on my trusty blue steed – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=blue_horse.jpg – Shibboleth out of AGW.

        Best regards
        Captain Kangaroo

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Hmmm … so “A Lacis” is a rude self-excusing libertarian:

        “Of course the rhetoric had to be constructed with care in order to correct, clarify, and edify the perception of climate science as clearly and accurately as possible”

        That would be row one, column four of The Twenty-Four Types of Libertarian.

        An all-too-common species!   ;)   ;)   ;)   ;)

      • If your goal was to edify and clarify climate science, you have utterly failed. If your goal was to become a self-parody of an extremist who is rapidly leaving the world of science in favor of extremist hype, you are succeeding very well.

      • It must be frustrating as you begin to realize that history will put you in the same category as Lysenko. You are so far off in even framing what skeptics are properly pointing out that either by bad faith or lack of comprehension you still do not get it.

      • Congratulations on not admitting anything.

        “From all the foregoing, as I see it, Peter Gleick was simply being inept in his deception (i.e., he got caught doing it).”…A.Lacis.

      • BatedBreath

        A Lacis
        Your dogged ignoring of Climategate simply sends the message that you are at one with the wholesale corruption of science for political ends, that Climategate irrefutably reveals. It’s just that you don’t want it correctly identified as cargo cult, you want the cargo cult to have the influence of a grown-up science.

      • A couple words that somehow got left out in the posted version of my earlier comment do make a big difference in the intended meaning. In the above, I appear to be saying that “I don’t see it as my direct and immediate responsibility to educate people who don’t understand climate.”

        What I had intended to say was that “I don’t see it as my direct and immediate responsibility to educate people who don’t want to understand climate.” . . . which is just a restatement of what I, and others, have made that: It is not possible to teach anything to those who do not want to learn (since in their minds, they already have all the answers that they will ever want to know). And, unfortunately, I think there are more than a few with that kind of mindset.

        But, on the other hand, for those who don’t understand what is happening in the climate system, but do want to learn, we will of course do our best to provide accurate answers to their questions.

  35. @ Jim D

    ‘If you take the solar and volcano effects away as well as changes in atmospheric composition you are left with the unforced natural variability, I believe, unless I missed something.’

    Of course SW at toa does vary with all sorts of things. Sea surface temperature, the locations of the polar fronts, drought and dust, land clearing, snow and ice… Indeed the pesky ERBS and ISCCP-FD data shows cooling in the IR and warming in the SW. So there you are – as the AR4 says it may just be low frequency natural variation in cloud cover.

    Lucky that the future of the planet doesn’t depend on the answer to this difficult scientific question of whether or not cloud cover changes.

    ‘In a study this week, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) estimate we could quickly reduce ‘near-term’ global warming by 0.5 degrees Celsius by tackling black carbon emissions. Reduction measures would have an even greater benefit in the Arctic where it could reduce warming by 0.7 degrees.’
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-4-1.html

    The figures are probably a bit rubbery but the principle is sound.

    Reducing particulate emission has as well important health benefits. Many of the ways of reducing black carbon emerge from economic growth. So the best and fastest way of doing this is to foster economic growth. :cool:

    • Install particle filters on all particle filters diesel vehicles
    • Ban vehicles that emit high levels of black carbon
    • Replace Coal with coal briquettes in cooking and heating
    • Replace wood-burning boilers with clean-burning ones in industrialised countries
    • Introduce clean burning biomass stoves in developing countries
    • Replace traditional brick kilns with low-emission kilns
    • Replace traditional coke ovens with modern recovery ovens in developing countries
    • Ban the burning of agricultural waste

    No conservation farmer should burn agricultural waste. Such a loss. But perhaps we might consider information exchange and people powered agricultural networks rather than legislation. Here is the sadly late Elinor Ostrom on the subject in her Nobel Prize acceptance speech – http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/2009/ostrom-lecture.html. A great loss to the world indeed.

    An honest person would agree that we can solve many problems with a bit of human ingenuity and a modicum of capital. :cool: :cool:
    :cool:

  36. This is a well argued reply to Garth Partridge. But, wow, doesn’t the author’s ideological bias show through in his comments. How can scientists be considered objective when they make comments like this that are so clearly driven by their own ideological biases? Examples revealing the bias and lack of objectivity follow:

    This sentence (quoted below) by the author, Andy Lacis, is a give away as to who is being influenced by their political and/or ideological beliefs (I’d suggest it is the Lacis):

    Perhaps there has been a change in his political outlook that explains his thinking. Wanting to believe that the Climategate emails were leaked, instead of having been hacked,

    Has it been proved that the Climategate emails were hacked rather than leaked?

    If not, this statement demonstrates that Lacis’s judgement is influenced by his ideological beliefs. Therefore, his views cannot be considered to be objective.

    And this:

    There are those who feel compelled to deliberately distort, misrepresent, and lie about climate science in order to confuse and bamboozle the public on behalf of fossil fuel interests (notably at the Heartland, Cato, and George C Marshall Institutes).

    Why does Lacis make these statements without making equivalent criticisms of Hansen, Mann, Jones and many of the IPCC coordinating and lead authors? These highly paid government scientists on the public teat are just as conflicted by the money and career prospects as those Lacis directs his comments at. The climate scientist activists, like Hansen, Mann, Jones, etc., have been exaggerating, lying, and misleading the public for decades. Hansen, for example, was trying to scare people that the oceans would evaporate if evil humans don’t mend their ways. And Lacis has the hide to accuse the sceptics of climate catastrophist of distortion, misrepresentation and lying. What hypocrisy.

    Clearly, there has to be some sense of quality control to define what we reliably understand in science, and what we don’t.

    True. But quality control is exactly what is missing. A comment by “Nullius in Verba” (posted below in full) explains what is needed and shows just how far climate science has to go to implement the level of quality control that is needed to justify the massive costs being proposed by alarmist, as for example, near the end of Lacis’s post:

    There are plenty of conservatives quite prepared to take climate change seriously. They would require:

    1. Before any redress can be made, the damages would have to be both proven and quantified, with the quality of evidence normally expected of the judicial system in cases where such sums of money are concerned. That would mean fixing the science.

    2. Finances for adaptation should be raised using instruments dependent on climate outcomes – e.g. bonds that pay out with a high interest rate on a certain date unless sea level rise exceeds 1 metre.

    3. That once the case is properly made we go nuclear first, and switch to solar or other technologies only when they are economically viable without subsidy. Regulatory and planning obstacles should be cleared away.

    4. That the burden should fall on all parties and nations in proportion to their emissions. The climate doesn’t care where the CO2 comes from. Differential responsibilities distorts markets and leads to emission exporting and other cheats. And there are to be no carbon offsets – they’re too easily subject to fraud, and they’re essentially paying poor people to take the consequences of your policies.

    5. That advocates for reduction lead by example – without purchasing offsets, and especially without purchasing offsets with taxpayers money. That means all future climate conferences and talks are to be conducted online, for example, and governments and environmental organisations conduct their business without using fossil fuel energy. Show us how it is possible, within your existing budget.

    I could go on, but you get the idea. First fix the science and prove what you claim, then take only the most efficient, effective measures, pay only for real results, and no offloading the consequences of your policies onto other people.

    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2012/06/05/conservatives-who-think-seriously-about-the-planet/#comment-111418

    Now consider Lacisis’s prescription for the planet (and by so doing reveals again his Left ideological bias):

    Supported by this basic understanding of our climate situation, policy makers have now both the compelling need and the full justification to act responsibly and start taking positive steps to begin curtailing the continuing growth in atmospheric greenhouse gases. Sensible action would be to promote energy conservation, impose a true-cost responsibility fee on carbon, encourage alternate forms of energy generation, and continue educating the public as to why all this is necessary in order to best protect our current way of life.

    Absolutely not. This is wrong. This is an example of a scientist going beyond his area of expertise and trying to advocate policies that he believes are correct. This is advocacy for his ideological beliefs.

    First, Lacis has not shown that warming is dangerous or catastrophic. Even if it should happen in pulses. His jump to want to impose his ideological beliefs is an example of what undermines so much of what the alarmist climate scientist preach.

    Second, his solutions are ideological. They are his belief as to the best solutions. But what would he know about this? It is not his area of expertise.

  37. Why would anyone want stuff that is patently erroneous, irrelevant, or otherwise deficient to be published in the long-established climate science literature?

    I am sure you don’t believe that yourself.

    Here is evidence of gate keeping in the climategate emails
    “This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…What do others think?”
    “I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”“It results from this journal having a number of editors. The responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ. He has let a few papers through by Michaels and Gray in the past. I’ve had words with Hans von Storch about this, but got nowhere. Another thing to discuss in Nice !”

    • You are right, Girma. Gatekeepers in journals and government research agencies played a major role in promoting false models of energy (E) stored as mass (m) in the cores of atoms and stars after the Second World War ended [1-3].

      The United Nations was established on 24 Oct 1945 out of fear of the “nuclear fires” that consumed Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 Aug 1945 and 9 Aug 1945 , respectively,

      Then anonymous peer-reviews [4] were used to direct research funds to studies that would confirm government-approved models of Reality, rather than to make unbiased observations of Reality.

      For more details: http://omanuel.wordpress.com/

      References:

      1. Hideki Yukawa, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (1946); Introduction to the Theory of Elementary Particles (1948)
      http://www.nndb.com/people/759/000099462

      2. Fred Hoyle, “The chemical composition of the stars,” Monthly Notices Royal Astronomical Society 106, 255-59 (1946)

      3. Fred Hoyle, “The synthesis of the elements from hydrogen,” Monthly Notices Royal Astronomical Society 106, 343-83 (1946)

      4. J. Marvin Herndon, “Science suppression” (1 Aug 2011)
      http://nuclearplanet.com/Science_Suppression.html

    • He has let a few papers through by Michaels and Gray in the past.

  38. This is embarrassing.

  39. The lone professor with his slide rule is left to scrounge around the edges of where the principal research action is. He is left to performing statistical analyses on bits of climate data. The results of his analyses will at best achieve limited science information value, and are thus predestined to be of limited interest and have minimum impact as cutting edge material in climate science.

    If that is not a good example of post-modern science, what is?

  40. “and continue educating the public as to why all this is necessary in order to best protect our current way of life”

    ~You must change your way of life to protect our way of life.~

    In reality, the global climate is far too complex, the available measurements are much too limited and incomplete, and the time scale that is accessible is way too short for this approach to yield anything other than at best a very limited semi-qualitative understanding of what is actually happening with global climate.

    ~No uncertainty to see here; move along. Trust us, our models are perfect; this is a political problem not a scientific one.~

    “uncertainty does not in any way prevent us from understanding how the climate system works”

    ~We know how it works.~

    Does Garth get a turn now? I’d love to see JC’s reaction too.

  41. One very specific example is the pressing need to obtain more definitive polarimetric measurements of aerosol radiative properties, a pressing need that is still going unfulfilled.

    Why does the author rate this as the highest priority but makes no mention of the damage function (damage costs per degree of warming). This item has the highest uncertainty for policy, yet it has had little attention. Why? Is it bias? If we get more information might it become apparant that warming is not such a big issue after all?

    • “One very specific example is the pressing need to obtain more definitive polarimetric measurements of aerosol radiative properties, a pressing need that is still going unfulfilled.

      Why does the author rate this as the highest priority but makes no mention of the damage function (damage costs per degree of warming). This item has the highest uncertainty for policy, yet it has had little attention. Why? Is it bias? If we get more information might it become apparant that warming is not such a big issue after all?”

      That could a dangerous aspect for climate gravy train.

  42. This is a well argued reply to Garth Partridge. But, wow, doesn’t the author’s ideological bias show through in his comments. How can scientists be considered objective when they make comments like this that are so clearly driven by their own ideological biases? Examples revealing the bias and lack of objectivity follow:

    This sentence (quoted below) by the author, Andy Lacis, is a give away as to who is being influenced by their political and/or ideological beliefs (I’d suggest it is the Lacis):

    Perhaps there has been a change in his political outlook that explains his thinking. Wanting to believe that the Climategate emails were leaked, instead of having been hacked,

    Has it been proved that the Climategate emails were hacked rather than leaked?

    If not, this statement demonstrates that Lacis’s judgement is influenced by his ideological beliefs. Therefore, his views cannot be considered to be objective.

    And this:

    There are those who feel compelled to deliberately distort, misrepresent, and lie about climate science in order to confuse and bamboozle the public on behalf of fossil fuel interests (notably at the Heartland, Cato, and George C Marshall Institutes).

    Why does Lacis make these statements without making equivalent criticisms of Hansen, Mann, Jones and many of the IPCC coordinating and lead authors? These highly paid government scientists on the public teat are just as conflicted by the money and career prospects as those Lacis directs his comments at. The climate scientist activists, like Hansen, Mann, Jones, etc., have been exaggerating, lying, and misleading the public for decades. Hansen, for example, was trying to scare people that the oceans would evaporate if evil humans don’t mend their ways. And Lacis has the hide to accuse the sceptics of climate catastrophist of distortion, misrepresentation and lying. What hypocrisy.

    • As a scientist, Lacis was trying to rationalize the skeptic thought process, but I don’t think there is any rationalizing that works.

  43. Is this a spoof? It reads like a manufactured stereotypical alarmist characterization. All platitudes, no cows.

    Did Peter Gleick write this?

    • It seemed to me an obvious spoof.
      But I then looked at Lacis earlier post, and it’s the same sort of comedy.
      So I am now guessing he is serious.
      But regardless of the intent, it was enjoyable comedy.

      He seems the type of guy who would be urging the building sea walls, due to a possibility that in few years New York will swamped with rising sea levels.
      And 60C increase in global temperature?
      He has completely bought Hansen’s fever.
      He is worst [and better] than Hansen, or Gore, or Ted Turner.

      But I hope Judith can get more of these true believers.
      And definitely would like to have more posts by Lacis.
      Next post should be about the soonest possible reasonable timeline of our irredeemable doom.
      Because this IS important stuff, that we *really* need to know.
      I think it’s responsibly of all scientist who think we are in peril, to warn us in as plainly and no nonsense terms. Otherwise, aren’t they actually cowardly murderers?

  44. It is sad to see how far this blog has descended, being now no different than WUWT, where a handful of anti-climate groupies get to “rah rah” with each other and attack and semblance of science (showing zero understanding of physics themselves).

    This is a consequence of Judith’s “free for all policy” which has resulted in people like Fred Moolten, Andy Lacis (before this post), and other people who have actually read a textbook in the field losing interest with (and being replaced by) the onslaught of half-minded conspiracy theorist nitwits. The detachment from reality has rarely been so evident on the internet, and the reception to the post by a prominent and well-respected scientist is insulting, to say the least.

    • Yes, a perfectly normal scientific view of AGW and the skeptics behave like they have never read anything like this here before. They seem to be rather taken by surprise that Judith would post such a thing without comment, and are clearly insulated from the real arguments on this blog and anything else they read.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Chris Colose, would you care to address my specific criticism of Andrew Lacis, which you can find here? I ask because I figure it could be helpful if you’d contribute to the discussion rather than post simply to insult people.

      I mean, you are lamenting “how far this blog has descended,” so I assume you’d be willing to do more than come here and throw mud.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Agree. It does make it difficult to weed through all the nonsense to actually find a few tidbits worth considering. Its like spending the evening at a bar where 95% of the people are drunk and blathering but you’d like to find someone from the 5% who is actually sober and knows something worth listening to.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I’d be careful about agreeing with Chris Colose. In my experience, he has put effort into avoiding meaningful discussions. My favorite example is he edited one of my comments on his blog in a way which caused me to be misrepresented in a way which allowed him to dismiss me out-of-hand.

        Personally, I think it is cheeky for someone who shuts down and avoids reasonable discussions to complain about a lack of reasonable discussions.

      • Your view of a “criticism” or “intelligent discussion” is a bit different than that of anyone serious I know…maybe a little self-reflection would be good. As a disclaimer, my blog is not a free-for-all, where people can just parrot nonsensical talking points over and over and pretend they are trying to “contribute.” I do not moderate intelligent, relevant, and meaningiful comments because I disagree with them. Arguing the semantics of “unforced variability” is just one example, when Andy was quite clear that e.g., solar cycle variations or volcanic eruptions are important…those are quite clearly evidence of external forcings, but the variability is a product of the internal atmosphere-ocean dynamics. Really not complicated, and not that difficult to interpret wrong, unless you are trying to.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Chris Colose, I have no interest in discussing our respective views on our respective behaviors. I assume you wouldn’t accept what I have to say about you, and I know I don’t accept what you have to say about me. I made my comment about your moderation as a warning to a third party as he may be more inclined to consider what I have to say. And, if he (or someone else) its interested in what I said, I’ll be happy to provide the links/copy of the original post to show why I believe what I believe about you.

        In any event, you’ve provided a response to my criticism as I requested. Your response is to dismiss what I said as “[A]rguing the semantics” of an expression. This indicates you think it is acceptable to say things like volcanic eruptions and orbital changes are sources of non-natural variability. I can’t imagine the justification for response, but at least you offered it!

      • Chris, here’s a comment I posted above in support of Wagathon. I hope you would agree that it is “intelligent discussion,” and that Andy is at fault here.

        “Yes, if one accepts everything that Lacis says prior to that policy paragraph, it does not of itself provide any basis for a policy response. The question still needs to be asked: if 2-4C warming occurs over 100 years or so, what are the costs and benefits? Can we undertake actions which would significantly reduce projected temperature rises? What are the costs and benefits of any actions taken to ameliorate temperature rise? Andy obviously assumes that the costs of inaction will be high, the costs of action will be justified, but there is nothing in his analysis which throws any light on this. We are moving without acknowledgement from his area of expertise – climate science – to mine – economic analysis and government policy. Andy is moving from science to advocacy, a very big step which must be justified.”

      • Faustino-

        Andy does not need to justify acting as an advocate…it’s his personal right to do so, and in this case he is actually in a position to be informed about what he is advocating for. This is unlike most people who advocate for any position nowadays, whether it be stem cell research, etc and it would be nice to see more scientists engaged with the public on these matters. I don’t view what Andy is doing as much different than a physicist who studies gravity warning of the dangers of jumping off a cliff.

        I do agree that there are steps to be taken toward responsible advocacy. I don’t agree with every little detail of Andys post, but most of it is right on target and consistent with the peer-reviewed literature. People have zoomed in on the 40,000 ppm remark, when it was clearly (to me at least) highlighting two extreme, hypothetical scenarios, illustrating CO2’s role as a control knob in planetary climate. It may not have been a strategic illustration though, since it allowed the mob to find a talking point amongst the rest of an extremely articulate, accurate, and well thought out essay.

        One of the disadvantages of democracy is that you have Brandons, hunters, Girmas, Olivers, manackers, Jim Cripwells, and others who haven’t the slightest clue what they are talking about and are not smart enough to realize they have no clue what they are talking about. These people often have the same vote as someone like Andy Lacis who has been researching the topic at a top-tier institution for decades, and is well published and respected. Meanwhile, other people will argue for days about matters such as whether Venus is kept hot due to its 90+ bar CO2 greenhouse effect (it is), trying to rationalize why it isn’t, when this could all be resolved by just reading a textbook.

      • Chris –

        …are not smart enough to realize they have no clue what they are talking about.

        FWIW, I don’t think it’s a matter of intelligence. And I highly doubt that you have solid evidence to base such a conclusion. (And even if it were, what purpose do you think is served by posting a comment here that it is? I doubt you will convince anyone of that assertions.)

        Why not leave that type of argumentation for others?

        In my view, the fact that their arguments are so often infused with similar facile logic undermines the legitimacy of their analysis. As an observer, I try to hold all parties to the same standard. As someone who doesn’t understand the science, I need to assess the logic of those who are arguing the science. When I see such comments in your posts, it undermines the confidence I have in your scientific arguments.

        Like I said, FWIW.

      • Faustino, I take issue with your interpretation of Lacis’s advocacy. In fact he left it very open as to what should be done with this phrase.
        “However, the justification for initiating and taking political action (that may have significant economic consequences) to curtail global warming (note also that not taking political action may have equally significant economic consequences), requires a clear understanding of the nature of the uncertainties (and certainties) that exist in the climate system. And there may be additional uncertainties (as well as surprises) that develop as part of the economic consequences.”

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Chris Colose continues his insults:

        One of the disadvantages of democracy is that you have Brandons… who haven’t the slightest clue what they are talking about and are not smart enough to realize they have no clue what they are talking about.

        He says I don’t have “the slightest clue what [I am] talking about,” and I’m too stupid to realize that is true. Ask yourself this. Has Colose ever rebutted a single point I’ve made? No. Has he ever shown any flaw in any argument I’ve ever made? No. Has he shown any lack of knowledge on my part? No. Despite having done nothing to justify it, Colose insults me.

        And he has the audacity to complain about how far this blog has sunk.

      • Chris,
        You say “Arguing the semantics of “unforced variability” is just one example, when Andy was quite clear that e.g., solar cycle variations or volcanic eruptions are important…those are quite clearly evidence of external forcings, but the variability is a product of the internal atmosphere-ocean dynamics..”

        Words are important, everything might hang on a word. That’s why I would like you to understand this post by Dr. Lacis a bit better by maintaining the wording he uses to say something.
        . .
        So my issue is with your words “evidence of external forcings”, whereas Dr Lacis indicates they are forcings.

        Are they forcings or are they evidence of forcings ?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Brandon, I answered your challenge to Chris in a follow-up to your post above before reading what Chris or anyone else had to say. I think you have misunderstood Lacis. Lacis’s point was that even if the earth were in a completely stable environment, the climate would still vary (due, for example, to ocean currents/oscillations call them what you will).

        Even if climate modellers refer to these things as unforced or natural variations it does not mean that they think that anything else is “unnatural” – it’s just shorthand jargon which can always be misleading to “normal” people. In Lacis’s post it should perhaps not have been misleading because he was careful to explain and then further qualify what he meant.

      • Brandon- I am no longer in the business of “rebutting” standard playbook talking points that you can encounter anywhere on the internet…global warming stopped in 1998, CO2 lags temperature, it’s the sun, IPCC is alarmist, CO2 is a trace gas, etc and all sort of variations of these. They are not, and never will be, serious or interesting objections to the science. They will never contribute to the advancement of science. I am under no obligation to entertain them.

        It was once entertaining for me to instruct on why these arguments are not valid, particularly in hopes that someone on the internet might actually be curious enough to learn and not just out to score points. Unfortunately, this is not reality and I now have substantial time obligations with research and graduate work. One can spend hours running around in circles with people who parrot these lines, and like a bad gambler who continues to rationalize why he just needs to roll the dice one more time, at some point enough is enough, and you need to be rather selective in deciding what is worth responding to. I am sorry if you feel your posts are being ignored. I now skim only quickly through a number of people who have a track record of serial misunderstandings, distortions, or conspiracy theorists. I just don’t have the time.

        In addition to the talking points, there is substantial interest here in elementary concepts which are simply not interesting, like what Andy meant by “unforced” (which anyone mildly literature in the climate literature will understand, and which is abundantly clear from his context). Other people are running around in circles with each other trying to explain why Venus is so hot, when even simple google searches would probably lead them in a better direction than their gut feeling.

        If you really feel that something much more fundamental and scientifically interesting (and has some promise in advancing the science), I am all ears. I’m not going to get into semantics wars or repetition.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Chris Colose, you should try not misrepresenting the people you respond to. It’s tacky. In response to me pointing out you insulted me and claimed I don’t know what I’m talking about without rebutting anything I’ve ever said, you say:

        Brandon- I am no longer in the business of “rebutting” standard playbook talking points that you can encounter anywhere on the internet

        The obvious implication is that I’m someone who has said those “standard playbook talking points.” That’s completely untrue. I’ve never said anything like what you list. This means you’ve not only insulted me without basis, you’ve falsely portrayed me as holding positions I don’t support (and actually criticize).

        By all appearances, you don’t have the slightest idea what I know or believe, but you are perfectly willing to repeatedly insult me simply because I don’t agree with you. That’s pathetic.

      • Peter Lang

        Chris Colose,

        Is global warming catastrophic? Is it dangerous?

        Where is the evidence that it is catastrophic or dangerous?

        This suggests it is neither: http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf

        What this, and more recent work, suggests is that the damage costs would be trivial to moderate. However, it is also clear that the estimates of damage costs are few. I suspect the few studies that have been done so far are selective and, therefore, likely to be biased towards high costs.

        So, to repeat my question, where is the evidence that warming is dangerous or catastrophic?

      • Brandon,
        You’re a pretty regular commenter here. I’ve not seen much from you to change my mind. You have spent most of this entire thread arguing semantics which would be rectified from a reading of the literature; you’ve been arguing with others about your opinions on Willis’ writing, and still others on whether climategate emails were hacked or leaked.

        I’m sorry, but none of this is scientifically interesting or meaningful, and I’ve seen nothing from previous threads that is much different from this pattern.

        I’m going to leave it at that…as I said, if you have an interesting scientific point, I will respond to it if I catch it. You have ti give some effort if you expect others to respond meaningfully.

      • maksimovich

        Chris
        Held invoked the Captain Oakes solution on a number of papers recently eg This is not an easy topic, and one that I have a lot to learn about. But I wouldn’t advise you to cancel your summer vacation plans just yet. (Jin1994.Madja2009,Chekroun 2010) maybe you would like to summarize the problems that each pose with your exceptional complete knowledge and understanding of climate physics.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Chris Colose, you insulted me. You don’t deny this. Your insult was baseless. Again, you don’t deny this. When confronted with the baselessness of your insult, you misrepresented me. Again, you don’t deny this.

        I don’t care if you find my conversations interesting. I could be the most pedantic and boring person in the world. It wouldn’t justify a word you’ve said about me. All it is is a red herring you’re using to avoid addressing the fact you’ve misrepresented and insulted me for no good reason.

        Your behavior, both in this thread and in general, has been more pathetic than I care to discuss. Your comments are a waste of time and space, and insofar as you represent a “side,” you do nothing but demean the very things you claim to support.

        When you stop being rude and dishonest, perhaps you’ll have a leg to stand on when you complain about what other people discuss. Until then, you’re just posting hypocritical drivel.

      • Peter,

        None of those terms have a scientific, objective definition, so it’s pretty tough to respond in a scientific, objective manner.

        Personally, I tend to think we should care if all of a sudden brought the climate back to something like the Pliocene. You might disagree, but the past record indicates substantial capacity for our climate to change. The last time CO2 levels were in the 400-500 ppm range, sea levels were +20 m higher and with a different ENSO structure which today impacts millions; all this with minimal differences in sunlight, continents, and other boundary conditions.

        I’m not entirely sure you have read Nordhaus’ work. In fact, his work shows the economic benefit of reducing GHG emissions now rather than waiting for a half-century. Of course, there is no consensus economics on how to deal with a number of problems that people are interested in…like the possibility that climate sensitivity is 5-6 C per doubling, which is not likely but cannot be ruled out with current data, the possibility of sudden bifurcation in the system, or more practically the fact that CO2 continues to impact climate for thousands of years, or the economic value of ecosystems, Arctic sea ice, etc. How to best quantify the shift of 2-sigma extreme weather events happening 30% more often, and how that impacts people? Simple cost-benefit analyses miss a lot of big questions.

      • Brandon, as long as you post things like “This isn’t just a driveby. It’s a carefully constructed display of rhetoric designed to smear, confuse and mislead. The verbiage was necessary to create the smokescreen” while showing no display of scientific competence, you are setting yourself to get made fun of.

        If you don’t like it, sorry. I’m also not in the business of winning your approval.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Chris Colose, I don’t care what you think of me. I don’t care if you make fun of me. But the simple reality is you’ve flagrantly made things up about me. You’ve leveled insults against me with no basis for them. And you haven’t even tried to deny or defend this. That shows you know you know exactly what you’re doing, and you’re doing it anyway.

        Put plainly, you’re lying. You’re lying about me because you don’t like my opinions. That’s all there is to it.

      • Peter Lang

        Chris Colose,

        Thank you for your reply. You said:

        Personally, I tend to think we should care if all of a sudden brought the climate back to something like the Pliocene.

        OK. That’s your opinion. But why do you think that?

        Let’s consider realistic rates of change and let’s limit ourselves to 2050 and 2100 time frames. It’s ridiculous to even talk about 2100 let alone beyond that in my opinion.

        Let’s also be very cognisant of the rate at which we can adapt to challenges. That is something that is almost always ignored in the IPCC and climate science literature.

        So what could really happen by 2050 and by 2100? What are the net costs and benefits?

        It’s not helpful to talk about 20 m sea level rises and 60C temperatures. Doing so completely ignores the rates of change that are feasible.

        It also ignores the rates of technological change. We could roll out emissions-free nuclear power plants to replace coal burning in a decade or two if we really wanted to (consider the rate that USA and Russia produced tanks in WWII). If we become convinced we need to cut emissions. We’ll do so. But I doubt it will be done with an economy damaging, wealth destroying, CO2 tax.

        I’m not entirely sure you have read Nordhaus’ work. In fact, his work shows the economic benefit of reducing GHG emissions now rather than waiting for a half-century.

        There is a difference between reading his work and accepting all his conclusions. I find his work (what I have read) to be very helpful, but I don’t accept some of the conclusions he draws – as shown in this and the following comment on Skeptical Science (which by the way has never been refuted or shown to be wrong): http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=1325#80580

        His work shows that the economic benefit of acting now rather than waiting for half a century is jut $3.5 trillion (in 2012 US $). That is trivial in the context of 50 years of world GDP, plus growth of GDP. In fact it is about 0.1% of fifty years of world GDP discounted at the RICE default average discount rate for US for 2005 to 2055 of 4.34%. However, it is important to recognise that these benefits are only realised if AGW is as bad as projected and if all the (totally unrealistic) assumptions happen:

        The assumptions that underpin the Nordhaus analysis are (in my words):

        • Negligible leakage (of emissions between countries)

        • All emission sources are included (all countries and all emissions in each country)

        • Negligible compliance cost

        • Negligible fraud

        • An optimal carbon price

        • The whole world implements the optimal carbon price in unison

        • The whole world acts in unison to increase the optimal carbon price periodically

        • The whole world continues to maintain the carbon price at the optimal level for all of this century (and thereafter)

        If these assumptions are not met, the net benefits estimated by Nordhaus cannot be achieved. As Nordhaus says, p198 http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf :

        Moreover, the results here incorporate an estimate of the importance of participation for economic efficiency. Complete participation is important because the cost function for abatement appears to be highly convex. We preliminarily estimate that a participation rate of 50 percent instead of 100 percent will impose a cost penalty on abatement of 250 percent.

        In other words, if only 50% of emissions are captured in the carbon pricing scheme, the cost penalty for the participants is 250%. The 50% participation could be achieved by, for example, 100% of countries participating in the scheme but only 50% of the emissions in total from within the countries are caught, or 50% of countries participate and 100% of the emissions within those countries are caught in the scheme (i.e. taxed or traded).

        Given the above, we can see that the assumptions are theoretical and totally impracticable. To recognize this, try to imagine how we could capture 100% of emissions from 100% of emitters in Australia (every cow, sheep, goat) in the CO2 pricing scheme, let alone expecting the same to be done across the whole world; e.g. China, India, Eretria, Ethiopia, Mogadishu and Somalia.

        Chris, could I urge you to read “What the Carbon Tax and ETS will really Costhttp://jennifermarohasy.com/2012/06/what-the-carbon-tax-and-ets-will-really-cost-peter-lang/

        This uses Nordhaus and the Australian Treasury estimates of benefits and costs and shows the costs will be ten times the benefits – if and, only if, all the assumptions listed above are achieved. If the assumptions are not achieved (and they won’t be), the benefits will be nil.

        You say:

        Of course, there is no consensus economics on how to deal with a number of problems that people are interested in…like the possibility that climate sensitivity is 5-6 C per doubling, which is not likely but cannot be ruled out with current data, the possibility of sudden bifurcation in the system, or more practically the fact that CO2 continues to impact climate for thousands of years, or the economic value of ecosystems, Arctic sea ice, etc. How to best quantify the shift of 2-sigma extreme weather events happening 30% more often, and how that impacts people? Simple cost-benefit analyses miss a lot of big questions.

        Nordhaus (2012) “Economic policy in the face of severe tail events” addresses this very issue and concludes “Not So Dismal Conclusions”. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9779.2011.01544.x/full He says:

        However, we conclude that no loaded gun of strong tail dominance has been uncovered to date.

        I interpret this to mean, very clearly, that when we turn all the scary adjectives into economics, the problem is nowhere near as bad as the scientist have been saying. It seems very clear to me that we should be implementing adaption and “No Regrets” mitigation policies only at this stage.

        I could get onto the specific component of damages caused by rising sea levels, but I’ll have to keep that for a separate comment.

      • @Jim D 3/7 (5.06ish I think)

        Jim, I was referring to Lacis’s last para: “However, none of these uncertainties materially alter the fact that the global temperature continues to rise unabated (with some unforced natural variability superimposed), as the direct result of continued increases in anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Policy makers should take heed to act responsibly and start taking positive steps to curtail the growth in atmospheric greenhouse gases. To not act is to continue playing Russian roulette until climate disaster eventually hits home.” As I said, accepting Andy’s description of the science is not enough grounds for reduction of emissions without considering the potential impacts, the related costs and benefits, and the costs and benefits of giving other issues higher priority. I don’t think he proves “Climate disaster,” indeed, I have seen no such proof.

    • Chris

      You have lost the AGW debate because the data does not show any change in the climate pattern since record begun in 1850.

      http://bit.ly/Aei4Nd

      AGW is a wrong alarm.

      It is the beginning of the end for AGW.

    • Chris Colose

      There is not talking about the physics when the globe is not warming at 0.2 deg C per decade as predicted in the fourth assessment report of the IPCC.
      If you have not seen the observed data, here it is =>http://bit.ly/fuo1YL

      Chris, people believe the data not just claims by anyone.

      The data says the trend has not changed for 14 long years.

      No teenager has seen global warming in his life.

      When are you guys to stop peddling this AGW alarm?

    • tempterrain

      Chris,

      Good points especially about Fred Moolten.

      Fred was incredibly polite and never lost his temper nor was nasty (unlike me!) to anyone. But, if Fred has had enough , it isn’t surprising considering how this blog has indeed been taken over by “conspiracy theory nitwits”

      I hope Judith will take your comments on board and think about if she really wants CE to become a WUWT #2.

      Having said that, it’s good that we do have an opinion from someone like Andy who obviously does know what he is talking about.

      • tempterrain

        So you do believe in censorship (she really wants CE to become a WUWT #2.)

        Don’t people have the right to express their truth as they see it?

        A Scientific theory must be subjected to intense criticism and revisions before it becomes an accepted fact.

        The previous consensus method of silencing opposing views is pseudo-science.

      • tempterrain

        Agree that Fred Moolten was always polite, and usually very eloquent as well (although basically wrong many times, in my opinion).

        But do not agree with your comment about “conspiracy theory nitwits” having taken over this thread.

        Nor do I agree with you that Andy Lacis ” obviously does know what he is talking about” – at least not in this very polemic and scientifically absurd post (as has been pointed out by many here, who are not “conspiracy theory nitwits”, by any stretch of the imagination).

        Max

      • temp, “conspiracy theories” are neat for movie plots, but in science one incorrect assumption can move through all science like crap through a goose and appear to be a conspiracy to the scientists that avoided that incorrect assumption. Kimoto is a scientist that tried to show that GHE theory has incorrect assumption at it base that is distorting the final product. Kimoto was right, just didn’t nail the problem because of another mistake.

        The “group think” consensus crowd all share the one assumption that appears to be incorrect and the skeptics share a more standard assumption based on thermo and fluid dynamics. It is all kinda funny really, I am sure we will all laugh over a beer and a few billion dollars pissed away once it is all said an done :)

      • tempterrain

        Girma,

        This posting by Andy Lacis is very welcome of course but, overall, this is an exception to the rule. It isn’t just about censorship, snipping particular comments etc, its about setting the tone of the blog too and maintaining some level of scientific standard.

        Yes, leave up the most stupid and paranoid comments, and leave up obvious scientific gross errors, etc but Judith, by not commenting on these points, undermines both her own scientific and political credibility.

      • tempterrain

        I agree fully with your comment (and with a large number of the bloggers here) that the post by Andy Lacis lacks the scientific standard of other contributions, such as the earlier post by Garth Paltridge.

        I’d have to agree with Brandon Shollenberger:

        This isn’t just a driveby. It’s a carefully constructed display of rhetoric designed to smear, confuse and mislead. The verbiage was necessary to create the smokescreen.

        But I give Judith credit for having posted this as part of the overall debate, despite its scientific shortcomings.

        Max

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Problem is that the characterisation by Brandon of Lacis’s post is similar to what I might have written about Paltridge’s post (I probably would not have said “smear” though).

        But for there to be a discussion, there is no point in saying this without actually pointing to quotes from the article that you think are smears etc. Without examples there can be no discussion and the scroll-wheel gets used.

      • andrew adams

        There was far more scientific content in Lacis’s post than in Paltridge’s.

      • tempterrain

        “….. the post by Andy Lacis lacks lacks the scientific standard of other contributions, such as the earlier post by Garth Paltridge.”

        You need to read my comment again if you think I’m say that.

        Are we talking about the recent post by GP? Its difficult commenting on the scientific standard of that, when there wasn’t any discernible scientific, as opposed to political, content in the article.

        Maybe you mean a different one?

    • Chis Colose

      You write:

      “It is sad to see how far this blog has descended, being now no different than WUWT, where a handful of anti-climate groupies get to “rah rah” with each other and attack and semblance of science (showing zero understanding of physics themselves).”

      Your analysis is flawed. Many rational skeptics of CAGW have taken issue with Andy Lacis’ post critiquing the earlier post of Garth Paltridge. The critique has addressed the one-sidedness, the polemic as well as specific scientific errors in Lacis’ post

      This has nothing to do with “a handful of anti-climate groupies get to “rah rah” with each other and attack any semblance of science (showing zero understanding of physics themselves”, as you put it.

      I’d suggest you READ the posts, which you are criticizing, rather than just making blanket statements that are silly.

      Max

  45. Under the heading:

    (6) The Climate Stuff that is NOT at all that Uncertain

    Lacis says:

    With the atmospheric CO2 concentration increasing to about 4% (40,000 ppmv), the global annual-mean surface temperature will rise to about 60 °C, a temperature extreme that will very likely kill off most everything that is alive. (This has not happened in the geological past. But it could happen in the future if all the CO2 that is locked up in the carbon reservoirs was released into the atmosphere).

    This is an example of alarmism approaching that of James Hansen (who predicted the oceans would evaporate altogether).

    It’s worse than even Al Gore woud claim. It’s worse than even Skeptical Science or RealClimate would advocate (I think!)

    This is the height of scaremongering.

    • Peter,

      I’ve been pretty vocal against some of the GISS thinking about how the runaway greenhouse works, especially the book/online commentary by Jim Hansen. It’s not alarmist as much as it is his misunderstanding of the runaway process. That is a conversation I can take up with him or Andy Lacis in a different venue. The criticisms are a bit esoteric though..if we burned all the coal or hit 40,000 ppm CO2, it’s still not a “runaway greenhouse,” but the temperatures are still in excess of ecosystem tolerance…except perhaps for extremophiles.

      I believe Andy may have been highlighting some recent/ongoing research by some people that are investigating the high-CO2 limit. It is natural for people to talk about their current interests, though he does not say that this is an inevitable or even likely fate. This should have been made clearer for the reader assumed to have no knowledge, but it was not alarmist, and most people here should have a sense of the numbers being talked about for modern global warming (especially given the confidence in which everyone feels the whole community is always wrong about everything).

      • Peter Lang

        Chis Colose,

        Thank you for that information. I take your points (most of them) but disagree on two.

        First, I’d suggest he is most definitely being alarmist throughout the article. The fact he makes such a statement about 4% CO2 concentration and 60C global average temperature, at all, let alone including the necessary caveats, is clear evidence he is an alarmist at heart.

        He calls Paltridge ideological and politically motivated but does not recognise that he himself is too (or at least he doesn’t acknowledge it). It is apparent throughout his article.

        The fact he brings up such an extreme number is unhelpful in my opinion. No such thing would ever happen. We’ll change from fossil fuels as soon as the Left stop blocking nuclear, allows us to remove the impediments and allows the costs to reduce to where they would be if not for 50 years of anti-nuke activism. The whole world will convert throughout this century. Here’s why: http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2012/06/05/conservatives-who-think-seriously-about-the-planet/#comment-111744

        Second,

        most people here should have a sense of the numbers being talked about for modern global warming

        I am not sure what point you are making here. Are you suggesting that these are the sorts of figures people should be thinking about for setting policy?

        My interest is in policy. I cannot see that discussing what conditions might be like in 100 years is rational, let alone what they’ll be like in 20,000 years if we continue to burn fossil fuels until they are all used and we don’t change what we do or how we do it in all that time.

        I point out that policies have a very short life. Kyoto Protocol proved to be ineffective, and a very high cost way to reduce emission (Many of us knew that before it was negotiated). It was a really bad policy. It has reached the end of its life. CO2 tax will also be a really bad policy (as an aside, see my estimate of the costs and benefits of the Australian CO2 tax here: http://jennifermarohasy.com/2012/06/what-the-carbon-tax-and-ets-will-really-cost-peter-lang/ ). Therefore, there is no point thinking we can implement policies that will last over the long term – unless they are economically rational. They need to be ‘no regrets’ policies to survive.

        Talking about 4% CO2 concentrations is scaremongering, pure and simple, IMO.

      • Peter Lang

        Corrections: should read

        1. Chris Colose (sorry for the spelling mistake)

        and

        2. “let alone without including the necessary caveats …”

      • Chris,
        So you will enable Lacis and the other AGW fear mongers to make blatantly crazy claims about cooking most life on Earth, and you will discuss with them in private how to fix it?
        I would love to watch how Lacis and Hansen take the solemn counsel of a grad student on how they need to stop using such histrionics. I bet the conversation will not last long, nor will it go the way you wish. You defend Lacis from his plain words by dissembling into conjecture about his motives. Lacis is perfectly able to communicate clearly, and has done so in this essay: He is deceptive, fact-free depending on ad hom, and promotion of fear.
        You defend him.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        hunter, this whole thread is “dissembling into conjecture about [Lacis’s] motives”. Why be prissy and objectionable when Chris has a go at balancing things?

        And as for criticising alarmism? – damned if you do and damned if you don’t it seems.

  46. “With the atmospheric CO2 concentration increasing to about 4% (40,000 ppmv),”

    The current debate is about the effect on global temperature of a doubling of CO2 concentration by the end of the century. Does anyone, except Andy, believe that a one hundred times concentration is possible in this period?

    • tempterrain

      Alexander,

      Of course no-one is suggesting that 40,000 ppmv of CO2 is likely any time soon, or even ever.

      However, it’s always a good idea, scientifically, to look at the extremes. We can look at what might happen if CO2 concentrations were reduced to zero. That isn’t likely to happen either, but the answer is worth knowing.

      So, a more intelligent question might be to ask, when you plot out these points on a graph, together with what we know about the climate at 280ppmv, just what level of warming can be predicted for a likely doubling of CO2?

    • This is what is astounding – that there is a single person on the face of the earth who actually believes he meant human beings could loft all the CO2 locked in the earth’s carbon reservoirs. That, man, is far out.

      • I would assume that many people don’t get that far, to discern that much about the subject.
        What does stick is the scare. The “headline” of the news, so to speak.

        Nice scare job.

  47. It could be said that a little bit of uncertainty might actually be good in life – it tends to keep people more alert, instills greater interest, and improves their level of attention toward their environment over what they might otherwise have been willing or able to muster.

    Quite true. But IPCC did not sell us uncertainty, but settled science. And did not suggest people to be more alert, but to panic.

    And then you tell us someone like Paltridge, with “unquestionably impressive theoretical credentials”, does not understand the basics of climate perhaps because his political outlook has changed. Are you serious?

    detailed physical model of the climate system is an absolute necessity to even begin to understand the basic working of the terrestrial climate system, let alone acquire the capability to predict how the climate will change in response to various forcings.

    You mean any toy model, or a working model which has demonstrated enough prediction skills? Because your argument has reduced our ability to “begin to understand the basic working” on the existence of such a model. So you need to convince society (and other scientists capable to judge models) you have a model with prediction skills before you try to tell us you have a basic understanding. It’s your own argument. Unless you too are trying to say we have no time to check the model, and need to act (or panic) without understanding the basic working of things.

  48. Brandon Shollenberger

    As pointed out by Peter Lang upthread, Andrew Lacis made a remarkable and “quite telling” comment in his post:

    Perhaps there has been a change in his political outlook that explains his thinking. Wanting to believe that the Climategate emails were leaked, instead of having been hacked… is quite telling.

    Nobody has ever proven the e-mails were hacked. In fact, nobody has shown any evidence they were. Andrew Lacis ignores this fact. He would have us believe we should be suspicious of the mindset of anyone who thinks the Climategate e-mails were leaked, though he doesn’t give a single reason as to why.

    Put simply, he is smearing anyone who holds a perfectly rational view. It is nothing more than a petty, rhetorical trick which serves to insult and mislead.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      It’s perfectly as rational to suspect either one as being true.
      Therefor, I agree, it’s a very faulty bit of logic by Lacis, and more than telling about himself and what he is willing to do.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        BTW, why was it that Gavin did not call the police when RealClimate was “hacked” exposing “stolen” stuff ?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I suspect they either felt nothing would come from it (a dumb reason), or it would limit their ability to make claims about the hacker.* For example, if the police got involved and found the “hacker” had just found an administrator password in one of the unreleased e-mails, it would weaken the case for claiming the e-mails were “hacked” rather than leaked.

        *I suppose it’s also possible he did call the police, and neither he, nor anyone else at RealClimate ever mentioned it. It’d be silly, but I can’t rule it out.

      • He said did not call, and this after a hack showing supposedly criminal activity.
        What kind of situation makes a person not call policeif their establishment is broken into and evidence of a theft from an associate is exposed ? Instead he calls his associate.

        That sounds like someone who knows stuff needs to be hidden if possible.
        Therefore Dr. Lacis makes a foolish claim indeed when denigrating those who entertain the notion of an insider involvement.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        He said he didn’t call? I must have missed that. Do you happen to remember where he said it? I mean, I’ve never thought he called the police, but I didn’t realize he admitted to not doing so.

        Anyway, sometimes people don’t call the police when a crime has happened. It’s especially true with being hacked, where little will be done if you can’t show a significant amount of damage. It is strange and somewhat suspicious for the people at RC to not have called the police, but it’s not necessarily unreasonable. I’d like to hear their explanation before concluding anything nefarious was afoot.

      • I can’t remember now where he gave the account of the discovery and what he did. It was in the last 6 months that I confirmed it > i had asked at Climate Audit and Steve McIntyre replied suggesting I ask Gavin, but it I found it turned up Gavin had answered it already

        This is where Dr. Lacis needs to K.N.O.W. that a clean look is on the Team players if he wants to brand people here for choosing the alternate scenario if his choice of scenarios is so immensely and obviously more likely than the other.

        Dr. Lacis is oh so likely to relate this event to us properly.

    • Brandon,
      This essay is more of a confession by Lacis than a critique of Paltridge.

    • David Young

      I agree with Brandon and Muller that its likely that the emails were leaked by someone with access to the server who was upset with the team over their dishonest, data hiding, and unscientific machinations. History tells us that inside information is almost always leaked and not hacked or stolen. Just think of political journalism. Theft is very very rare. In any large organization, there are usually honest people who don’t like dishonest tactics and are willing to expose them.

      This controversy is so typical and shows why its hard to take climate science seriously. It has become a political question with spin on both sides. I would expect better from Andy.

      As to the question of radiative forcing, the critical question is not about the existence of the greenhouse effect or feedbacks, but how large the effect is. Whether its 1 or 5 degrees is critical.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        David Young:

        I agree with Brandon and Muller that its likely that the emails were leaked by someone with access to the server who was upset with the team over their dishonest, data hiding, and unscientific machinations.

        Before you agree with me about something, you should first make sure I agree with it. I’ve never said what you’re agreeing to. I do agree it is much more likely the e-mails were “leaked” than “hacked” (technically a hacker would be leaking them when he distributes them), but I wouldn’t care to guess at the motivation for it. For all I know, the motivation could have been spite and resentment rather than honesty and integrity.

      • David,
        I have no way of knowing what went on there at CRU, nor have I had any interaction with anybody at CRU. But why assume it to be an inside leak job when all those impacted describe it as a hack job?

        If the CRU e-mail hack were indeed an insider leak job, then why hasn’t the “hero” e-mail leaker surfaced in person, or anonymously gone to Wikileaks to claim credit? And why then would he have also at the same time been hacking into RealClimate to post his e-mails there? None of that makes any logical sense. A great deal about the whole episode is discussed here.

        On the other hand, we do have plenty of evidence about a whole news organization run by Rupert Murdoch & Co where hacking appears to have been their accepted way of doing business. That investigation is still ongoing in Britain, and who knows where it will eventually lead. Given their demonstrated success at routinely hacking phone messages, how much more difficult can it be to hack e-mails? Foxnews has been a clear beneficiary of all this climategate stuff, having manufactured a whole climate conspiracy out of virtually nothing of substance.

      • @Lacis
        But why assume it to be an inside leak job when all those impacted describe it as a hack job?

        Because
        (a) From Climategate we know for a fact they are crooked
        (b) This serves the interests of the frauds who were impacted, since they want everyone to believe that noone close to them is critical of how they behave.

        If the CRU e-mail hack were indeed an insider leak job, then why hasn’t the “hero” e-mail leaker surfaced in person …

        Mmm… I wonder…perhaps she’d rather not get the sack ?

        … or anonymously gone to Wikileaks to claim credit?

        (a) What if anything does that mean?
        (b) Why would this apply to a leaker but not a hacker ?

        And why then would he have also at the same time been hacking into RealClimate to post his e-mails there?

        There is a strong suggestion RealClimate did that themselves as a cover.

        None of what you are saying makes any sense. Is this the sort of motivated logic your climate “science” is based on too ?

        this climategate stuff … manufactured a whole climate conspiracy out of virtually nothing of substance.

        Nothing of substance except systemic, unequivoval corruption of the science process to support precommited politically-correct conclusions. Which is hardly a “conspiracy” – simply government-funding employed to boost the interests of government, ie exactly what you’d expect. It would require a conspiracy for this to NOT happen.

      • Peter Lang

        A Lacis,

        I am surprised to see you involved in this sort of guessing game and innuendo (leaker versus hacker of climategate emails). The fact you do participate in this sort of guessing and argument without evidence discredits you and by association, discredits the CAGW alarmists.

        I’ve been developing the impression over a long period that the CAGW alarmists share similar progressive/socialist, Left of centre biases. It seems a lot of what is driving CAGW alarmism is ideological belief. The Left has commonly used fear as a means to achieve their ends. CAGW seems to be another example. Whether the emails were hacked or leaked is irrelevant to their content. It is only relevant to those trying to defend CAGW. But the fact that the Left want to defend the content by arguing they were hacked and stolen is telling.

        Fancy attributing hacking of the CRU emails to the Murdock organisation. How ridiculous. That really smacks of a Left ideologue’s argument. This assertion is another example of how the CAGW alarmists are participating in group think and herd-mentality.

        This makes me wonder just how objective are the government scientists we are paying to do climate science research. What can we believe?

        I am wondering why you get into arguments about hacker versus leaker but ignore my questions about:

        1. Just how bad would warming be if it did occur as the modellers project it will?
        2. What would be the consequences?
        3. What would be the benefits versus the damages of warming?
        4. What would be the net damage costs?

        I’ve been following this and understand there is little information on the damage function. It seems to me that the damages are being overstated. So what is the objective, best answer to these questions? Because if the consequences would be negligible, we’d be netter off to adapt than to waste our wealth on policies that have low probability of achieving anything significant.

      • “A Lacis,

        I am surprised to see you involved in this sort of guessing game and innuendo (leaker versus hacker of climategate emails).”

        It may be that he he isn’t as free as many people might assume he is.
        It seems reasonable that being is his position, he would be only allowed to express certain ideas.
        There is many examples of intimidation and rewards for people who do or do not toe to a political ideology. He could fortunate in that he thrives in groupthink environment and/or he is to some degree restrained in what he might or might not think.

      • andrew adams

        I am surprised to see you involved in this sort of guessing game and innuendo (leaker versus hacker of climategate emails). The fact you do participate in this sort of guessing and argument without evidence discredits you and by association, discredits the CAGW alarmists.

        Why is any different to those “skeptics” who participate in guessing and argument without evidence about how the emails became public? Whatever our suspicions may be, none of us know for sure?

        But the fact that the Left want to defend the content by arguing they were hacked and stolen is telling.

        Even if they were leaked it wouldn’t mean they weren’t stolen. Personally I think the content of the emails and how they were obtained are separate issues, just like Peter Gleick’s actions and what the documents revealed about Heartland. But in the latter case the “skeptics” seemed to think how Gleick obtained the documents was of central importance.

      • > I am surprised to see you involved in this sort of guessing game and innuendo (leaker versus hacker of climategate emails). The fact you do participate in this sort of guessing and argument without evidence discredits you and by association, discredits the CAGW alarmists.

        Takehome exam:

        1. Formulate the principle implicitely set forth in the first sentence.

        2. Apply it to the second sentence.

        3. Find in Andy Lacis’ comment two pieces of evidence, contradicting the “argument without evidence” jab.

        4. Take into consideration the “CAGW alarmists” expression to wonder about Peter Lang’s ideological bias, as he himself did earlier.

        5. Ponder upon the conditions to “discredit the CAGW alarmists”, and justify why the label is a slur used to discredit those who do not share Peter Lang’s ideological bias.

        Good luck!

      • Steve Milesworthy

        And why then would he have also at the same time been hacking into RealClimate to post his e-mails there?

        That seems to be the key point that is ignored by people who want it to have been a leak. Was there some speculation that the realclimate password was in the emails? Even if it were, most leakers leak because they perceive they are thereby protecting their organisation rather than damaging it. A leak of the full contents to a newspaper who would then do an analysis is what I would expect from a genuine whistle-blower rather than trumpet it with an audacious hack and with cryptic announcements.

        It is the selective nature of the release and the way it was released that is the dubious aspect, and these aspects are incontrovertable.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      Sorry to be rude, but this is a failure of logic. Garth Paltridge claimed the emails were leaked. Lacis criticised Paltridge for assuming they were leaked. Lacis doesn’t say they *were* hacked (though I expect he believes a hack is more likely).

      Lacis focuses more on the relevant aspect of the hack/leak – that in the process the emails were selectively released to cause maximum damage (as we now know for sure following the climategate2 flop).

      So criticise Garth for the assumption, not Lacis. The incorrect targetting of the criticism is what is telling here.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Steve Milesworthy, you claim “Lacis doesn’t say they *were* hacked.” That’s silly. He claims it “is quite telling” that Garth Paltridge believes the e-mails were leaked “instead of having been hacked.” The only way that could be “quite telling” is if it was an unreasonable position.

        Moreover, he didn’t contrast Paltridge’s belief that the e-mails were leaked with them being hacked, but rather, with them “having been hacked, then deliberately taken out of context, misrepresented, and misinterpreted.” The construction of his sentence makes it obvious he is saying the e-mails were hacked. The fact you can technically say, “He never *actually* said those words” doesn’t change what he said.

        Incidentally, you’re making things up when you say Lacis focused on the idea that “the emails were selectively released to cause maximum damage.” This is fitting, as you’re making up the fact “we now know [this for sure.”

      • Steve Milesworthy

        The fact you can technically say, “He never *actually* said those words” doesn’t change what he said.

        That’s twice you’ve said I’ve been “technically” correct yet you have continued to dispute what I have said because of the context. Yet when Lacis “technically” equates “unforced” with “natural” you refuse to accept that the context shows that he “technically” didn’t mean exactly what he said. You need to add balance to your ability to syntactically parse sentences.

        It is not news that many people believe that the act was likely to be a hack. It is obvious though that if you call it a hack you get criticised for lack of balance whereas if you call it a leak, like Paltridge did, you don’t get any criticism.

        Paltridge completely ignored the fact that the *very clear* evidence that the emails were *selectively* released means that interpretation one would form from them will be unbalanced – people who fail to understand that context affects meaning cannot truly be sceptic (you can’t seem to decide whether context affects meaning or not).

        We know the emails were selectively released “for sure”* because there was a second release of emails from the same batch along with a release of what was claimed to be an encrypted version of the full batch.

        (Is that a 5 sigma level of for sureness I wonder?)

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Steve Milesworthy, you’ve reached the point of being misrepresentative. You say:

        Yet when Lacis “technically” equates “unforced” with “natural” you refuse to accept that the context shows that he “technically” didn’t mean exactly what he said. You need to add balance to your ability to syntactically parse sentences.

        This is a false analogy. I pointed out Andrew Lacis clearly implied certain things, even though he technically did not say them. You say this is the same as another case and thus suggest hypocrisy. But what did Lacis “technically” say in the other case? Nothing. He explicitly said something. Explicitly saying something is nowhere near the same as heavily implying something, but not technically saying it. There is no reason for you to act like the two are the same.

        Moreover, I’ve made it clear the issue could have been as simple as Lacis misspeaking. It wouldn’t be a big deal if so. Mistakes happen. I won’t say one can just ignore contradictory comments in a post by hand-wavingly referring to “technically,” but so what? Saying two things are the same, then acting as though they’re different, is wrong, and there’s no technicality that will change that. Also, when you say:

        We know the emails were selectively released “for sure”* because there was a second release of emails from the same batch along with a release of what was claimed to be an encrypted version of the full batch.

        You’re again misrepresenting what was said, only this time, you’re misrepresenting yourself. You say we know the “emails were selectively released.” I didn’t dispute that. What I disputed was: “[T]he emails were selectively released to cause maximum damage.”

        In any event, I’m tired of dealing with you constantly throwing out red herrings and falsely pretending to respond to points while really just diverting the discussion. As such, I’m done responding to you. If/when you act in a way that makes a reasonable discussion possible, I’ll be happy to resume our discussion.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Brandon, you appear to have a problem with seeing motives where there are none. My only motive is to have a civil discussion. I’m not interested in red herrings.

        I do not see that Lacis “clearly implied” what you think he did, and I don’t see that he had a motive for implying what you think he implied. Sometimes the technical truth is the truth.

      • Yes – hacker from the outside, or leaker from the inside, the emails were clearly released selectively – to expose the extent of fraud in the upper echelons of climate science.

        That emails not involving science fraud were not released is of no relevance. It is also significant that no “context” emails have been found that in any way mitigate the deliberate hiding of data and other sabotaging of the science process.

        All that matters is that someone somewhere brought this vital information to the world.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Erica, a good example where the context was excluded from the email release but provided after by various people would be the episode where the peer review process was allegedly inadequate at the journal “Climate Research” resulting in the publication of the allegedly flawed Soon and Baliunas review article (is that enough allegedly’s?).

        Cheekily, the selective email release led to suggestions that the sabotage was being done by those looking to resolve the problems in the review process at Climate Research. Hans von Storch said “the review process of CR failed to confront the authors with
        necessary and legitimate methodological questions which should have been addressed in the finally printed paper”.

        Whether avoiding FoI was “vital information” perhaps depends on whether you believe, for example, the work of Muller has undermined the criticisms of the CRU temperature record. I think the criticisms were valid but over-stated and no doubt most here disagree. Nevertheless, evading the fact that the email release was selective was, indeed, “telling” as Lacis stated.

      • Noone has ever evaded that the email release was selective. That is purely a creation of fraud apologists like Lacis.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        So the release of the second batch of (somewhat duller) emails covering exactly the same time period as the first batch didn’t kind of give you a clue…?

      • What are you talking about Steve? Yes, the second batch was selective too, also focused on fraud. Contrary to Lacis’s fiction, noone pretends otherwise. I

      • Steve Milesworthy

        I misunderstood you because your sentence was incorrectly formed. I replaced your word “evaded” with “proven” whereas apparently you meant “evaded the fact that” or some such, so I got the opposite meaning to the one you intended.

        I’ve given you an example where the opposite and wrong conclusion was taken from the selective emails, and yet you don’t seem to understand the importance of context.

        If you are someone who believes the end justifies the means and any wrongdoing or, in your words “fraud”, on the “sceptic” side should be ignored because it is for the greater good, then say so. That doesn’t change the fact, though, that by ignoring the fact that the emails were out of context is still “telling”.

      • Yes the emails were selective. That though does not mean they were out of context – as evidenced by the signal failure nearly three years later, to produce any mitigating context re: hiding data etc.
        The only “telling” point here is the willful deception by Lacis, which you here defend.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Except I have given you evidence relating to one aspect of your criticism which you have fervently ignored.

        There is no “evidence” about hiding data. They did not release station data, and they gave poor excuses for not releasing station data. But there is a difference between breaking the law and being unscientific, believe it or not! Yes they might have something to hide, but they didn’t have something to hide with regard to the surface temperature data (as Muller’s work has further confirmed) so my conclusion that they were naive rather than evil is well-supported. If they were evil Muller would have found deviations between his work and the CRU work.

        …willful deception by Lacis, which you here defend.

        If you are prepared to say that using your full/real name then I might respond (in my non-real name mind you).

      • There is no “evidence” about hiding data. They did not release station data,

        Make up your mind will you ?

        And whether or not their data was later confirmed by Muller is entirely irrelevant to the fact that they were deliberately hiding it from those they thought might question their conclusions.

        Lacis’s willful deception is the obfuscating of this, which you seem happy to endorse.

      • @Milesworthy
        “my conclusion that they were naive rather than evil ”

        Yes, eg as with : I’ll redefine the peer-review process if necessary …

      • Steve Milesworthy,
        The “trick to hide the decline”.

        was a technique to hide a decline that the data actually showed.

        and Jones’ comment is evidence of that hiding of data was intended.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        There is no “evidence” about hiding data.

        Erica asked for “evidence” rebutting some of the allegations implied by the emails. I was saying there wasn’t much such evidence – ie. I agree there was inappropriate withholding of data. The impact on the perception of the science is poor and counterproductive. The impact on the specific science itself was minimal (because withholding of the data only held back those who were unprepared to risk doing their own analysis from whatever raw data they could themselves find) which is why I don’t think it supports the level of the “fraud” accusations made.

      • There is no “evidence” about hiding data … I agree there was inappropriate withholding of data.

        So even though there is “no evidence”, you agree data was hidden?? Why? Again, make up your mind Steve.

        And I think we all know that what you really mean, is that that the data hiding “only” held back people not pre-committed to the alarmist consensus, who don’t enjoy the luxury of frolicking in our taxes.

        As was made perfectly clear in Climategate, the whole idea was to put obstacles in the way of anyone who dares to disagree, so that tax money is only ever used to foment alarm and their own grants.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Let me start again. You said:

        as evidenced by the signal failure nearly three years later, to produce any mitigating context re: hiding data etc.

        I said evidence was given rebutting the allegation of irregularties at Climate Research journal, but that no (or inadequate) evidence was given rebutting the allegations of “hiding data”, which is where the confusion arose when I said:

        Except I have given you evidence relating to one aspect of your criticism which you have fervently ignored.

        There is no “evidence” about hiding data.

        I am in part agreeing with you that the “data hiding” took place but not agreeing with you on the level of importance of any such data hiding.

      • Right – data hiding took place, but it doesn’t matter because it was only hidden from people without a pre-committed to the alarmist consensus.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        I didn’t say it doesn’t matter, did I? This is good evidence that you read too much into things when it suits you.

      • David L. Hagen

        Erica
        Re: “but it doesn’t matter”
        It does matter because selectively hiding data destroys the foundations of science which requires objective independent evaluation and validation of all models.

        If the ALL the data is not available for others to check models, those models are NOT scientific – but political.
        See Green & Armstrong: Global Warming: Forecasts By Scientists Versus Scientific Forecasts
        Your advocating such practice makes you an accomplice in such destruction of the foundations of science.

      • Steve Milesworthy said
        “ie. I agree there was inappropriate withholding of data. The impact on the perception of the science is poor and counterproductive. The impact on the specific science itself was minimal ”

        So it was a just a little bit of inconsequential hostage holding. I see.

      • Oh COME ON Steve. You clearly said the data hiding didn’t really matter, because it “only” effected those who didn’t have the time and resources to source it elsewhere – which in practice means people not on taxpayer money.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        David Hagan,

        Your advocating such practice makes you an accomplice in such destruction of the foundations of science.

        Where did I advocate this practice? I didn’t. Thanks for derailing the discussion.

        It does matter because selectively hiding data destroys the foundations of science which requires objective independent evaluation and validation of all models.

        Not necessarily. You could do the analysis without the allegedly “selectively” hidden data, show the result is completely different and thereby undermine the opposing claim.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Erica,

        because it “only” effected those who didn’t have the time and resources to source it elsewhere

        I didn’t say that. I said it affected those who were “unprepared to risk doing their own analysis from whatever raw data they could themselves find”. Those who were perfectly able to download and construct a record using the vast amounts of freely available data but who were unprepared to do so because they knew they would not find anything that radically disagreed with the CRU version that included a little bit more hidden data.

        This would thereby undermine their allegations of inappropriate massaging which was effectively being upheld by selective publication of only those individual records in which adjustment moved the temperature up while ignoring the equal number of records where adjustment moved the temperature down.

        Anyway we’re getting off the point which is that: Lacis was criticised for assuming a hack and highlighting the lack of context for the emails, whereas Paltridge was not criticised for assuming a leak and for accepting without comment that the clearly out-of-context emails could be fully relied upon.

      • You could do the analysis without the … hidden data

        Yeah, what’s all the fuss about data anyway …? We already know the desired answers.

      • Yes Steve, we know your actual words. Stripped of heavy spin, what they amount to is that while those living off the taxpayer were using our taxes to create data, they felt at liberty to deny the fruits of these tax-funded labors to those who had funded them. So anyone else wanting to examine the data would have to start from scratch, the idea being to throw a spanner into the works of any potential critics who didn’t have the luxury of leeching off the taxpayer.

      • Steve McIntyre always said there is probably not that much importance to the Jones’ basic secretarial work and that what he had been doing would not produce a big scandal for that reason alone ( the difference it makes ). He said people would probably be surprised at how little “value added” Jones offers.
        So these people you paint as making the allegations…could you name them ?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Yes Steve, we know your actual words. Stripped of heavy spin, what they amount to is that while those living off the taxpayer were using our taxes to create data, they felt at liberty to deny the fruits of these tax-funded labors to those who had funded them.

        No you are not “stripping” my words of spin because I’m in agreement that it would be better to be transparent.

        You are ignoring the fact that it was in the interests of certain people to *not* do an analysis they were perfectly capable of doing so. Everyone and his dog seems to have done his or her own construction round at Lucia’s place.

        thisisnotgood:

        Steve McIntyre always said there is probably not that much importance to the Jones’ basic secretarial work and that what he had been doing would not produce a big scandal for that reason alone

        Did he really? Obviously I missed it between all those posts cherry picking suspicious adjustments. Am genuinely interested if you could link to a post where he does say this though.

      • Steve Milesworthy.
        Yes, he did really. Here’s the first one that popped up on my search

        Posted Jul 31, 2009 at 7:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Severian (#3),

        “As I’ve repeatedly said (and I wish that readers would stop making such suggestions on my behalf), I have no reason to believe that there is any smoking gun in the withheld data. I’ve repeatedly said that the obstruction is entirely for CRU’s own commercial purposes – it would show how little work they actually do in the preparation of their climate index.”

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Steve Milesworthy would have us believe he is a mind-reader. One of the best examples is:

        Those who were perfectly able to download and construct a record using the vast amounts of freely available data but who were unprepared to do so because they knew they would not find anything that radically disagreed with the CRU version that included a little bit more hidden data.

        Clearly, the reason people didn’t do their own analysis of the modern temperature record is they were deceitful wretches who discussed problems in the record solely to impugn the credibility of good, honest people. It’s not that they felt they had better things to do. It’s not that they felt people receiving money from the government to do a job ought to do that job. It’s not that they felt secrecy is bad when one is doing public work to support something that could potentially affect mllions of people.

        Steve Milesworthy knows there is only one reason. How does he know it? Psychic powers.

      • “Clearly, the reason people didn’t do their own analysis of the modern temperature record is they were deceitful wretches who discussed problems in the record solely to impugn the credibility of good, honest people.”

        +1

        you got it. That’s exactly how those folk think. Their motive is to smear, they wouldn’t dream of doing a BEST analysis themselves to clear the matter up.

        Their initial support for BEST was simply because it could be used as a smear (looks the records are “under investigation” which justifies all our past denial). But as soon as it came close to getting results they got cold feet and when the results didn’t pan out they launched attacks on BEST.

        They are not remotely interested in taking the raw temperature data and finding out what it shows.

        They are only interested in comparing past GISTEMP graphs to recent ones, alledging fraud and data manipulation, etc.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I think lolwot just took the lead in the running for Dumbest Comment of the Day. It’s amusing when someone who likes to make comments like, “Their motive is to smear,” paints people with a broad-brush in order to smear everyone he disagrees with.

        People like Steve McIntyre and Steven Mosher would both be covered by his comments. The former had repeatedly said he didn’t expect any major differences, and the latter is a staunch proponent of the modern temperature record.

        Such deceitful wretches!

      • i am talking about the WUWT/Jo Nova crowed.

        Not Steve McIntyre and Steven Mosher

      • Lolwot shows what he is made of by smearing with broad brush whilst complaining of smearing tactics.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        lolwot:

        i am talking about the WUWT/Jo Nova crowed.

        Not Steve McIntyre and Steven Mosher

        So when everyone else is referring to one group of people, you jump in, quote them, agree with them, but are referring to a different group than them…? I don’t think you’re doing yourself many favors with this defense.

        I mean, you just responded to an accusation of saying something stupid by telling us you didn’t mean to say that stupid thing, but rather, meant to say a different stupid thing.

      • Steve M
        I am ignoring nothing. It is you who is doing the ignoring – that scientists were hiding data purely in order to slow down potential critics who lacked the access to tax funding the government scientists do, and who might scrutinize it or analyze the scientists’ data in ways that might not support CAGW.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Clearly, the reason people didn’t do their own analysis of the modern temperature record is they were deceitful wretches who discussed problems in the record solely to impugn the credibility of good, honest people.

        Brandon, if the data-withholding was a sufficiently large problem to prevent other people from generating competing records, then doing an analysis with the available data and showing a radically different answer would have made the point much better, and forced the hand of CRU.

        It was certainly suspicious for Anthony Watts to withhold data while publishing documents that impugned the US data record. Don’t you think? Or since his motive for withholding the data was to stop the destruction of the world economy does that mean different standards should apply?

        Steve McIntyre might have “repeatedly said” certain things. Did he say them more often than he published images of suspicious looking temperature records? (I have repeatedly said that I don’t see why data was withheld, but noone here believes I really mean it – which I do).

      • Steve Milesworthy

        People like…Steven Mosher would both be covered by his comments.

        Brandon, I don’t remotely see how Steven Mosher would be covered by lolwot’s comment – he seems happy to publicly change his mind depending on the evidence.

      • Brandon,
        When dealing with true believers who will contort words and rely on their self-imposed and carefully guarded ignorance to avoid dealing with things like climategate or Hansen’s failed predictions or Lacis’ faux science, it is often best to just let the believer ramble on. They are the ones whose actions and words are doing the most to undermine the AGW consensus these days. People who are far removed from science still know lies, deception and desperate back filling when they see it. Steve is just another example of many where true believers dig their own holes. Let him dig.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Sorry, I had to read your post three times before I got to the bit where I realised you were referring to me. The first two times I dozed off.

      • Peter Lang

        You say:

        the emails were selectively released to cause maximum damage.

        That seems to be very hypocritical to me. After all, the CAGW alarmists have been releasing their material selectively to do maximum damage for the past 20 years, including releasing papers just in time for inclusion in AR4 but too late for critiques to be considered.

        Others might argue the emails were released to minimise the damage an agreement at Copenhagen would do to us. I think we were very lucky and should be thankful.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        It’s not hypocritical for me to say that because I’m not involved in any selection of release of information relating to CAGW or AGW. So please be careful when making such allegations.

        If you mean that I should be equally critical of “CAGW alarmists” then maybe some of the well-funded sceptics should get there backsides in gear and publish. Elsewhere we have some chap moaning that he can’t exactly repeat some study from 2006 whereas he could have quite easily done and published a similar analysis with CMIP5 data and prove (or otherwise) his point.

      • tempterrain

        “CAGW alarmists” ?? What is your definition, or understanding, of the C in CAGW?

      • Peter Lang

        CAGW means “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”. As if you didn’t know already :) So why do you ask?

        If you are asking me what does it mean, then that question is for you to answer since it is the AGW alarmists who are telling us that AGW will be catastrophic, dangerous, etc, etc. James Hansen said the oceans would evaporate. Lacis mentions 60C global average temperature if we burn all the fossil carbon (which is clearly scaremongering no matter how people like to twist it).

        So, what exactly do you mean by AGW is a real or serious threat – catastrophic, dangerous – or what ever terms you use. I’m seeking quantitative answers with net damage costs.

      • Peter Lang

        Tempterrain,

        I’d like to ask you a question. It relates to what I think you are getting at with your question to me about what does the “C” mean in CAGW.

        Why do you support Australia implementing a CO2 price before the major emitting countries have agreed a mechanism to cut GHG emissions given that:

        • The CO2 price in Australia will make not an iota of difference to the climate, sea levels or when and what emissions reductions mechanisms other countries implement

        • The Australian CO2 tax will cost at least 10 times as much as the benefits (probably much more)

        • The Australian CO2 tax will cost about $50,000 per family of four in total to 2050.

        http://jennifermarohasy.com/2012/06/what-the-carbon-tax-and-ets-will-really-cost-peter-lang/

      • tempterrain

        If You are talking about +60deg C average temperatures then that looks like the Venus effect. It’s possible but the consensus of scientific opinion is that its unlikely.

        So we are agreed then are we? There probably won’t be any CAGW in the sense that life on the planet will be extinguished. And that’s OK then? Anything less is perfectly acceptable?

      • Peter Lang

        Tempterrain,

        You are being sneaky and manipulative, aren’t you? Can we agree on that? Because I certainly did not agree with you on anything and you know it full well.

        You did not answer the question I put to you: what do YOU mean by catastrophic? It is you and your ilk that is trying to convince me that AGW is catastrophic or dangerous and we must implement a CO2 tax to fix it. So, what do YOU mean by catastrophic? What is YOUR justification for the CO2 tax?

      • Peter Lang

        tempterrain has raised the “C” in “CAGW” issue, but he will not answer your question regarding what “C” means in practical terms.

        Instead, he will parrot absurd figures, such as Lacis’ “60 degC” at 4% CO2 (both of which are insane: 4% CO2 would [maybe] get us to 36 degC [if IPCC senstitivity estimates are not too bloated] and there isn’t enough carbon in all the fossil fuels out there.to reach much more than 0.1%, let alone 4%).

        The reason temperrain will refrain from being specific is that this would make his response falsifiable.

        Unless “C” is clearly defined, “CAGW” is not verifiable OR falsifiable.

        IOW it is not a valid scientific hypothesis, but just a bunch of “hot air”.

        But, then again, that’s tempterrain’s specialty.

        Max.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Basically a lot of people like to argue CAGW because they aren’t prepared to argue AGW, and CAGW is so much easier because it can be taken to unrealistic extremes.

        And some “pro-AGW” people when arguing AGW will evoke CAGW, which gives those that like to avoid AGW and talk CAGW an out – which they usually grasp with both hands by focussing all following discussion on CAGW.

      • Basically, the ‘C’ in CAGW is the whole basis on which political interference is justified.

      • tempterrain

        Ok we know that the C means catastrophic. The Venus effect, we all agree would extinguish life on the planet and be catastrophic. But what about a rise in sea levels of several metres over a time scale of several centuries?

        Does that count as catastrophic? Maybe the Swiss would welcome an even greater rise in sea level? That would give them a coastline and a chance to become a naval power :-)

        I doubt that everyone would be able to agree on the use of the term CAGW so it really doesn’t make any sense to use it, unless of course you have some ulterior political motive for doing so.

      • “You did not answer the question I put to you: what do YOU mean by catastrophic?”

        Peter, you introduced the term “catastrophic,” and now you are hiding from your obligation to define.

        The real definition is simple enough: AGW denialism has failed. AGW is a proven fact. So deniers have created an imaginary theory, purely of their own creation, “CAGW,” in order to have a straw man.

        Every time you invoke your pretend theory of “CAGW,” what you are saying is “AGW is a proven fact; I need to invent something else in order to have some slim chance of winning an argument.”

      • Robert
        CAGW is far from proven, and even AGW still just a guess. Even a blinkered,corrupt and one-sided political advocacy group like the IPCC still only says it’s “likely”.

      • tempterrain

        Robert, I think you’ll find you are mistaken in writing “Peter, you introduced the term ‘catastrophic'” (as in CAGW)

        A simple search of previous postings and comments will find numerous uses of CAGW. You’ll find the only instances of my use of the term are when asking about its meaning.

        In fact I don’t think it can have a precise meaning, and so should be avoided. It could be anything from the Venus effect to very serious and adverse climate effects which will last for thousands of years.

      • Well, Peter, Schroedinger might call that Cat Atrophic Climate Change.
        ===================

      • tempterrain

        Robert,

        Please disregard my last comment. I’d not read your comment properly. Time I had an early night!

      • Peter Lang

        Robert,

        I wonder what planet you’ve been on if you haven’t seen the term ‘Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming’ (CAGW) or many other variants of it such as Dangerous AGW. These terms have been widely used for many years.

        As for who defines what they mean, well clearly it is the alarmists. It is they who use the terms and do the scaremongering to support it. The Australian Greens would almost never say “Climate Change” without saying “Dangerous Climate Change” a now back-pedalled version of CAGW.

        Regarding the end of CAGW as a mainstream news item, in case you haven’t been aware of what has happened since the height of the scaremongering at Copenhagen (remember the scary film at the opening session where 75% of the delegates gave it a standing ovation), here is one example that explains what is happening:

        Back in 2009, the failed Copenhagen “climate summit” was with retrospect a founding event for the climate change industry: in many ways it never recovered from this massive hit from what are called “climate sceptics”. Since that time, the small but powerful group of OECD country political leaders, corporate elites, and mainstream press and media barons who promoted the image of climate catastrophe with the straightest of faces, seemingly believing every word of the doom-eager rantings of James Lovelock, James Hansen, Al Gore and others, have backed off and edged away from their failing and shrinking monster.

        Read the remainder of the article here: http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article35357.html

      • As everyone except Tempterrain seems to know, a catastrophe in this context (CAGW) is something with a big and bad impact on human life, and is the entire basis of any global political action; without the prospect of a climate catastrophe, no carbon taxes and suchlike could be urged.

        The problem is, most catastrophists like Tempterrain are uncomfortable with an honest description of their position, preferring to disguise it by using blander terms like AGW.

      • Lacis offers a fallacy, by giving only a binary choice for beliefs, and then muses that Garth must have *wanted* to believe one of the choices ( the false one ) rather than the other ( painted as the true one).

        He tangled this fallacious offering with other commentary.

        His offering that Garth “wanted” to believe “A”, shows Lacis is indicating that choice “A” was false, and then in giving the alternative to the untrue, he gives the other choice possible to Garth,,,, “B”, the “true one”,

  49. “The climate system is too complex and too variable to be understood in terms of statistical correlations alone”

    True. But if CO2 is asserted to be the main cause of climate change, it is a necessary condition that there be good correlation between global temperature and CO2 concentration. But the correlation is not good: witness the fall in temperature between 1940 and 1970 and the result of the BEST experiment which has shown no rise in temperature in the last decade.

  50. With the atmospheric CO2 concentration increasing to about 4% (40,000 ppmv), the global annual-mean surface temperature will rise to about 60 °C, a temperature extreme that will very likely kill off most everything that is alive.

    “I have just one wish for you–the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described, and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your integrity. May you have that freedom.”

    The Great Feynman

  51. A very readable article, though I disagree with its content.

  52. Very informative and comprehensive post by Lacis.
    I appreciated this part :

    “Moreover, these random-looking fluctuations most definitely are not random variations (as in random walk), such that given enough time, they could move the global temperature arbitrarily far from its equilibrium reference point. “

    That is so true when one sees the recent ice core data from Siberia. Departing from a random walk, one can easily see the mean reversion that is typical of an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process. Nothing seemed to push the temperature extremes beyond a fixed envelope, as the natural forcing functions were just not strong enough. They were strong enough to illustrate that the climate has sensitivity, which is the double edged sword now that we are starting to increase the forcing beyond that observed during the almost million year timeframe of the ice core data.

    Grade: A

  53. A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts

    A lone professor – well with a couple of colleagues – used a ‘toy’ network model to illustrate a revolutionary principle in climate science. Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Network approaches are proving useful in analysing dynamically complex systems. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

    It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

    The principle is established in the paleodata – but the discovery of climate shifts as a result of dynamical complexity in the modern error is novel and – I believe – deserving of a Nobel Prize. It is, however, lucky that we do not have to wait for the climate paradigm to shift – that could take a while – before saving the world from anthropogenic carbon emissions of 3% of the background flux and rising.

    Here is one approach that might work. Many technologies – from cheap solar to Gen IV nuclear engines are under development – it remains only to encourage development. Yet these are underfunded while trillions are wasted. How hard would it be to fund a billion dollar energy prize? :cool: :cool: :cool:

    ‘I think that the “Focus Fusion” approach of Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Inc. should be funded as the science behind it is very interesting. Even if this approach does not succeed in producing fusion energy, the research will produce valuable technology in the near term.’ – Bruno Coppi, Professor of Physics and Senior Fusion Researcher, MIT

    ‘The experimental program that LPP plans to carry out has great potential to show how the plasma focus can be used to generate fusion energy and to demonstrate the feasibility of hydrogen-boron fusion. In addition, the experiments will investigate the magnetic effect, which will be very exciting. Achieving giga-gauss magnetic fields with the plasma focus, getting gyro-radii of the order of the electron Compton wavelength, will certainly be new physics and will open up large new possibilities for energy production.’ – Dr. Julio Herrera, Professor of Physics, National Autonomous University of Mexico

    • Damn – trying to lift the tone of the place – Chris – and keep getting my links wrong http://www.lawrencevilleplasmaphysics.com/

      Oh well it is worth seeing twice.

      A lift in tone is much needed – the place is full of warministas with smarmy gotchas and devious socialist intent. An honest man would see that the world needs economic growth more than anything else.

      :cool: :cool: :cool:

  54. Dr. Curry,
    Quite an essay, to the say the least. He sure doesn’t seem to think there is any ‘uncertainty’ about the issue as you do. Just two comments (but by no means the only comments I could make, as others have covered a lot . . . ):

    Andy says . . . “There are those who feel compelled to deliberately distort, misrepresent, and lie about climate science in order to confuse and bamboozle the public on behalf of fossil fuel interests (notably at the Heartland, Cato, and George C Marshall Institutes) . . . .”

    Sorry, as soon as I see a statement like this, all credibility with the writer is LOST with me anymore. It is absurd for ANYONE on EITHER side of the debate to keep making these ad hom attacks. And as far as those trying to distort or misrepresent, what about Mann and the ‘hockey stick’? Or the ‘climategate’ emails and what was done to try to suppress any ‘dissent’ over the issue? Pot, meet kettle . . .

    Andy says . . . ” it is the non-condensing greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, O3, CFCs, of which CO2 is the principal contributor) that control the strength of the terrestrial greenhouse effect, with water vapor and clouds (being temperature dependent feedback effects) providing radiative magnification”.

    From this chart: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/Atmospheric_Transmission.png , it seems clear to me that water vapor is the major contributor to the ‘greenhouse effect’. What does it matter that it ‘condenses’ out of the atmosphere, it is ALWAYS being replaced. And in the tropics, where the sun intensity is the greatest overall, water vapor concentrations are much higher than CO2 , providing a much greater greenhouse effect.

    Would sure love to hear from Dr. Spencer and his thoughts on this essay. I suspect Garth Paltridge might have a reply . . .

  55. “Moreover, these random-looking fluctuations most definitely are not random variations (as in random walk), such that given enough time, they could move the global temperature arbitrarily far from its equilibrium reference point. “

    Nothing is random in climate but there are shifts both topological and metrical in the phase space that climate occupies. Small changes accumulate until the balance is upset and the system adjusts as tremendous energies cascade through powerful systems. The new state space may be radically different – within whatever limits to the topology of the phase space there are – and tremendous change can happen in as little as a decade.

    Lucky we don’t need to predict abrupt climate change to redeem the world from the anthropogenic 3% of background carbon flux and rising. If nothing cheaper comes along – 4th Gen nuclear is a good news story. It is all really just fuels technology. :cool: :cool: :cool:

  56. Mike Jonas

    Andy Lacis just doesn’t get it. His arguments are all based on climate models, not on science, And then he has the hide to portray the uselessness of the models as just “uncertainty”, as in: “uncertainty does not in any way prevent us from understanding how the climate system works. From this, it follows that uncertainty should not be used as the excuse for political inaction”.

    When I said that Andy Lacis “just doesn’t get it”. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt. To say that he does would be a much more serious allegation.

  57. As Bill Nye put it
    —————————————-
    but the two sides aren’t equal here. You have tens of thousands of scientists who are very concerned and you have a few people who are in business of equating or drawing attention to the idea that uncertainty is the same as doubt. When you have a plus or minus percentage, that’s not the same thing as not believing the whole thing at all.”
    ——————————————

    • Eli

      I seem to remember you provided me once with a rather good graphic showing the Co2 cycle.

      My first thought is that the author has made a simple mstake and did not mean 40000ppmv.

      As far as I know there is not remotely that much co2 available to be burnt. Have you got the figures that will demonstrate how much co2 could possibly be released into the atmosphere, from what sources, and how long it would take at present rates to reach it?

      Has anyone actually asked the author if he made a simple mistake with his calculations
      tonybl

      • tony b

        There are data out there estimating the amount of total fossil fuel resources that could still be available on our planet.

        The most optimistic of these was recently released by the World Energy Council (2010).

        This estimate tells us that to date humans have consumed roughly 15% of all the fossil fuel reserves that were ever on our planet, leaving around 85% to go.

        Based on this estimate, the atmospheric CO2 concentration would increase by around 630 ppmv if ALL the remaining fossil fuels were used up, bringing the maximum ever possible CO2 concentration to a bit over 1,000 ppmv (see my earlier post here).

        Andy Lacis either made a very silly 40-fold “mistake with his calculations” (or – more likely – simply pulled a scary number out of thin air- pardon the pun).

        Cheers.

        Max

      • Max

        Precisely my point. I am still hoping that somene like Eli will tell me how we can possibly get to 40000pmv or perhaps someone can ask Andy if he made a simple mistake in his calculations which need correcting.
        tonyb

      • Max

        I have just directly enailed Dr Lacis asking where the 40000pmv figure came from. I cannot see how it is possible.
        tonyb

      • One boundary is zero CO2 in the atmosphere – snowball earth. He’s saying the other is 4%. Imo, you have to be point-blank irrational to think he meant mankind is going to succeed in lofting the total amount of CO2 possible. Carbon reservoirs = ?

      • JCH

        This is the phrasing

        “With the atmospheric CO2 concentration increasing to about 4% (40,000 ppmv), the global annual-mean surface temperature will rise to about 60 °C, a temperature extreme that will very likely kill off most everything that is alive. (This has not happened in the geological past. But it could happen in the future if all the CO2 that is locked up in the carbon reservoirs was released into the atmosphere).”

        The context is that he is talking about the effects of mans emissions and the consequences of letting it rise.

        Where is the 40000pmv supposed to come from and what was the point of mentioning it?

        If Dr Lacis meant to make reference to Mans input only, surely it would have been best of he had qualified the 40000pmv figure by saying something aklong the lines that Mans input would be at most around 1000pmv of this figure.
        tonyb

      • Alarmist math: CO2 = CO2e; i.e. release the methane clathrates, and then count each CH4 molecule as 25 CO2 molecules.

        Pretty cool, huh?

      • P.E.

        Nice idea but Dr Lacis specfically says;

        ‘With the atmospheric CO2 concentration increasing to about 4% (40,000 ppmv), the global annual-mean surface temperature will rise to about 60 °C,’

        He makes no mention of methane only Co2. If he has done what you suggest that would be very cynical of him. I would like to believe he merely added up wrong.
        tonyb.

      • Tonyb – you have to read both paragraphs. All he is doing is telling you the increments on the “control” dial. We’re at 400 ppm. The lowest increment is zero – snowball earth – 650 million years ago. Humanity would have a hard time being there. The highest increment is 4%. Humanity would have hard time being there.

        Apparently scientists think it is theoretically possible to reach that level – 4%. Mankind can’t get there. We’re dead long long before that could theoretically happen.

        Carbon reservoirs = fossil fuel, the oceans, land, etc. There’s a lot of carbon.

      • JCH

        I am just making the comment that the way the essay is constructed-and I looked at the two paragraphs some four times- it is reasonable to say from the way it has been written that the 400pmv and the 40000pmv are consequences of mans behaviour. It woud have been best to have qualified the 40000pmv as being ‘everything fossil’ which was not going to be reacheed due to mans efforts and not in any sort of human timeframe.

        I do not want to get into conspiracy territory here-I will leave that to others.

        It seems to me that reading the article objectively there is an inference here of our culpability that is perhaps unfortnate and it could have been more clearly expressed.
        tonyb

      • tony b , P.E. and JCH

        The major problem with the (unfounded) supposition that Lacis was referring to “CO2 plus CO2 equivalent forcing by CH4 resulting from methane clathrate releases” when he threw out his absurd 4% CO2 figure is this:

        CH4 has a very short residence time in our atmosphere, quickly converting to CO2 (molecule for molecule).

        As demonstrated earlier based on WEC estimates from 2010, all the optimistically inferred fossil fuels possibly remaining on this planet contain enough carbon to produce a maximum of around 10,000 Gt CO2 when they are completely consumed, which is enough (at the present 50% “remaining” in the atmosphere) to get us just above 1,000 ppmv CO2 level (NOT 40,000 ppmv!)

        To get to 40,000 ppmv, we would need to add roughly 300,000 Gt CO2 to the atmosphere.

        In order to reach this level, this is equivalent to around 110,000 Gt of methane from clathrates, assuming ALL the CO2 resulting from CH4 oxidation remained in the atmosphere.

        No one has any earthly idea how much methane clathrate there is on this planet; nor is it known how much would be released as a result of GH warming.

        Estimates (expressed as CH4) vary greatly – from 40 to 20,000 Gt. But there are NO estimates as high as 110,000 Gt!
        http://ethomas.web.wesleyan.edu/ees123/clathrate199.htm

        So, even stretching Lacis’ assumption to include methane clathrates, it is totally absurd and does not pass the sanity test.

        Max

      • Max

        I am glad that Dr Lacis turned up, but he did nothing to clarify this 40,000pmv figure. It was either a mistake or placed in the position it was in his essay in order to form a striking counterpoint to the 400ppm figure.

        We see this too often in climate science. First Dr Mann with hs scary hockey stick. Dr Hansen with his wild predictions of multi metre sea level rise. Al Gore synthesising the whole with his science fantasy epic ‘An inconvenient truth.’

        Do these people genuinely have these apocalyptic visions of the future or are they exaggerating the science in order to grab attention?

        Whatever the answer is I think Judith Curry needs to be invent a new category for her series of essays. So let me suggest to her the ‘fear ‘monster’ highlighting the predictions of those individuals and organisations determined to frighten the life out of ordinary people and their political representatives with their visions of a catastrophic version of AGW. .
        How about it Judith? An article on the ‘Fear’ monster?

        Tonyb

      • Tonyb said, “Do these people genuinely have these apocalyptic visions of the future or are they exaggerating the science in order to grab attention?”

        They genuinely have the apocalyptic visions. If you look through a telescope everything is upside down and backwards. You have to be capable of thinking upside down and backwards. They got too good at it :)

      • Most of the carbon is tied up in carbonates, not in fossil fuels. See, for example “Where has all the CO2 gone…”.

        Whether it could come out again is another story, but yes CO2 concentrations were that high and higher in the early history of the earth. OTOH, by the time it got that high again everything alive outside a few bacteria would be dead (bunnies can argue about whether multicellular things would survive in the ocean.

      • JCH

        After seeing your chart I reread the article yet again. It was clearly not intended as a scientific paper was it?. It appears to be more written in sorrow at Garths apparent change of heart on the science, which Dr Lacis appears to suspect to be politically motivated.

        Juxtaposing the 400ppmv and 40000ppmv scenario in this sort of article, without explaining that the latters release is impossible to achieve, seems a less than ideal way of expressing a point. Was it just merely intended to describe the ‘increments on a control dial as you say?’ In which case he failed, as can be seen by the comments, or was the juxtapositioning intentional as a scary figure intended to reinforce the serious conseqiences of our current actions.

        If you say something like this about the 40000 figure, immediately after the 400ppmv figure, it is going to create a perception isn’t it?:

        “.But it could happen in the future if all the CO2 that is locked up in the carbon reservoirs was released into the atmosphere” Surely, at the least this statement should have been immediately qualified concerning its impossibility and that mans input into this scenario was marginal..

        As an author myself, if I had intended to exaggerate and create a scary scenario I would have written that section of the paper as it has been. If I wanted to explain the control knob analogy I would have qualified the 40000 figure.

        However as Dr Lacis hasn’t explained the point he wanted to make- despite directly asking him- it seems to me that he put over the scenario he intended. However I am not a conspiracy theorist, so I would be delighted if he would like to agree that his phrasing was somewhat clumsy rather than intentional.

        tonyb

    • Eli,
      Since the vast majority of skeptics are skeptical about the climate apocalypse pushed by you, Lacis, Hansen, etc, etc., and not the basics of CO2, I guess I can agree with Bill Nye.
      Bill Nye, by the way, not a practicing scientist. He has a bachelors degree in engineering. His other degrees are all honorary. He is obviously bright, but he is no more well educated than many skeptics who post here and much less well educated than many skeptics of AGW.
      You only use him because he agrees with you. You, like Lacis in his essay, have no actual facts to offer, but merely hope to browbeat skeptics by way of arguments from authority.

      • Not that bright. He only worked for a few years as a ME. Then he joined a comedy troupe in Seattle. They (Almost Live) were hilarious, btw. He was by no means the most talented member of AL, but he had the nerd look. He’s basically been an entertainer all his career.

      • FWIW, Nye is “Tyrone” in this skit. As you can see, “Lars” (John Keister) is the one with the talent.

  58. Peter Lang

    Lacis said:

    Clearly, there has to be some sense of quality control to define what we reliably understand in science, and what we don’t.

    True. But quality control is exactly what is missing. A comment by “Nullius in Verba” http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2012/06/05/conservatives-who-think-seriously-about-the-planet/#comment-111418 explains what is needed and shows just how far climate science has to go to implement the level of quality control that is needed to justify the massive costs being proposed, as for example, near the end of Lacis’s post:

  59. A dangerous game with the use of words you are applying within this anti-dichotomy. It certainly is a driveby in this scenario though. I also know without a beyond all relevant logic that you should give Andy the benefit of the doubt.

  60. Beth Cooper

    Re Andy Lacis’ comment on the climategate emails:

    In opposition to claims of stolen emails, as we know, is the argument that they were in a zip file assembled at Cru to comply with a FOI request and may have been leaked by a staff member (believing that the FOIA request was being improperly blocked and should be met,) rather than a sophisticated compilation job by a hacker.

    A second point is that if your work is publically funded are emails sent on the job your own private property?

    A third point is that however the emails were released, reprehensibly or otherwise, does not affect the content of the emails, which is what it is.

  61. Yesterday evening, I was finishing the last chapters of E.L.James Fifty Shades Freed; for the third time. Earlier in the afternoon, I was putting some of the last stitches onto a counted cross stitch pattern I made of a picture of a nude bust of Nell Gwynn by Simon Verelst; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2050520/Nell-Gwyn-portrait-Topless-painting-Charles-IIs-mistress-display.html. Then before I went to bed, I put on my computer and read some fiction from Andy Lacis; I suspect though, that Andy thought he was writing science.

    Ususally on Climate Etc. when the thread starts with the assumption that CAGW is real, I just dont bother to read very much. For some reason, in this case I made an exception. I think I saw something about Control (Bed) Knobs and Broomsticks; but I might be mistaken. However, I failed to find any mention of any empirical evidence. Having just gone through a long and gruelling discussion with Pekka on the complete absence of hard measured data that connects the rise of CO2 concentrations and surface temperatures, this was the usual disappointment. I get rather tired of pointing out that there is no CO2 signal in any temperature/time graph using data from the 20th and 21st centuries.

    Today I am going to donate my copies of the Fifty Shades trilogy to the Ottawa Public Library. I understand the Library purchased over a dozen copies of the trilogy, but if you put your name in to borrow a book today, you can expect to wait some 5 years before you actually get to read a copy. Maybe my small contribution will help reduce the wait time, but I undertstand that at the moment this is incresasing rather than decreasing. However, I suspect evey citizen of Ottawa will be sated with Fifty Shades, and the shelves of the Library filled with unwanted copies of the books, before the scientific community drives a stake through the heart of CAGW.

    I get rather tired of reading of people like Andy who seem to live in an ivory tower, filled with high speed computers making endless runs of non-validated models. I suppose Andy’s ficion was amusing in an ironic sort of way. But I find E.L.James and Nell Gwynn much more entertaining.

  62. But “the two sides aren’t equal here. You have tens of thousands of scientists who are very concerned and you have a few people who are in business of equating or drawing attention to the idea that uncertainty is the same as doubt. When you have a plus or minus percentage, that’s not the same thing as not believing the whole thing at all.”

    I am a relatively sophisticated consumer of science. An engineer, a hydrologist with a detailed knowledge of rainfall and an environmental scientist with a background in biogeochemical cycling. I believe not a word of it. I don’t believe that most warming was the result of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. I don’t believe the Vostok record. I don’t believe that the world is warming for a decade or three more. I don’t believe it is necessarily warming after that. I don’t believe that calcium carbonate compensation is a process of more than years rather than millennia. I don’t believe they understand how it works. I think it works in some dynamically complex way. I have an idea that uncertainty is the same as doubt – and it all comes out of unpredictability. I have an idea that models are dynamically complex and that sensitive dependence and structural instability make a mockery of ideas of convergence. I believe it is all there in the maths and science for anyone who has a clue. I believe that most scientists have an inkling of complexity in both senses of the word and that the claims otherwise are a lie and a sham undertaken for political purposes. I may be wrong.

    The political purpose seems to involve a desire for fundamental changes to economies and societies that are fundamentally inimical to individual freedom and the western enlightenment heritage. Luckily being prudent doesn’t involve anything of the sort. Human ingenuity and free markets are entirely sufficient.

    • Oh…forgot… :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

    • Peter Lang

      The political purpose seems to involve a desire for fundamental changes to economies and societies that are fundamentally inimical to individual freedom and the western enlightenment heritage. Luckily being prudent doesn’t involve anything of the sort. Human ingenuity and free markets are entirely sufficient.

      Very well said.

  63. What’s up with Andy Lacis?

    Let’s look at Andy Lacis’ review (or rebuttal) of the Garth Partridge post.

    I’ve made some suggested changes to the first portion of this review, in order to make it sound a bit less polemic and more scientific.

    “… how is it then that these authors have failed to grasp the climatological significance and impact of the steadily increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases, which unchecked, will cause the global surface temperature to increase, and thus seriously disrupt impact the established climate?”

    [“Seriously disrupt” is conjectural. ”Impact” is less so.]

    “My guess is that they never tried.”

    [A “guess” is pure conjecture, in any case, so why even include this judgmental sentence?]

    “It is very clear appears to me that their principal research interests were in making and interpreting meteorological observations (local by nature), and not in studying the significance of these measurements in their global (climate) context.”

    “Also, it appears that the authors may have been lacking a dependable atmospheric modeling capability. This becomes apparent in reading their book – hardly any of the illustrations are of their own making. Most of them are simply taken directly from the published literature to illustrate the physical points that they make in the book. As one example, I find it remarkable that nearly all of the figures from our 1974 Lacis and Hansen paper on solar radiation in the Earth’s atmosphere appear as figures in the Platridge [sp.]& Platt book to illustrate how best to calculate the radiative heating effects of solar radiation.”

    [Purely conjectural, and what does the Paltridge & Platt book have to do with the recent Patridge post?.]

    Then further down:

    “Then, on the other hand, there is the perplexing material that was posted here earlier by Garth Paltridge. To me, that material appeared totally at odds with the thinking that was evident in Garth’s 1976 book on Radiative Processes in Meteorology and Climatology. Garth should go back and re-read his own book to see if he still remembers the concepts of atmospheric radiation as he once understood them back in the 1970s.”

    [Comparing today’s Paltridge post with a book from 1976 is downright silly, and snide remarks do not add to the message.]

    ”Perhaps there has been a change in his political outlook that explains his thinking. Wanting to believe that the Climategate emails were leaked, instead of having been hacked, then deliberately taken out of context, misrepresented, and misinterpreted, is quite telling. So also is Garth’s select list of the “There are those who . . .” categories.”

    ”These political sentiments are then punctuated by the utter nonsense about climate science being some sort of post-normal or post-modern version of what might otherwise be considered “normal” science. This kind of talk is nothing less than some overly-exhausted psycho-babble borrowed from the social sciences where the parties involved have no real clue as what they are really talking about. Physics provides the basic foundation for conducting climate science, and climate science profusely draws and uses information and data from all of the other scientific disciplines.”

    [Ouch! Don’t mix “politics” with “science”. Stick with the subject.]

    All in all, there’s much too much polemic in this review. Rather than sticking to the science, Lacis gets too defensive of the “consensus” position and throws in irrelevant opinions plus “political” discussions.

    The rest of his long rebuttal is hardly worth spending too much time reading, in view of the first several paragraphs.

    Sorry, NO SALE.

    Max

  64. There are those who feel compelled to deliberately distort, misrepresent, and lie about climate science in order to confuse and bamboozle the public on behalf of fossil fuel interests

    Yeah…like the IPCC emissions projections. Anyone who follows global coal prices would realize that coal is no longer the cheapest way to make electricity almost everywhere in the world….yet the economic geniuses at the IPCC continue to show ‘steadily increasing’ coal consumption for an eternity making investmetns in ‘coal mining’ seem particularly attractive.

    If I actually look at what is happening to the price of ‘coal stocks’ the only people who seem to believe the IPCC emissions projections are ‘climate activists’ and the CEO’s of coal companies.

    A match made in Hell for sure…the CEO’s of coal companies pointing to IPCC emissions projections in order to bolster the price of their stocks while at the same time laying off thousands of workers due to lack of demand for coal.

    If steam coal can’t be extracted from the ground and delivered to market for less then $80/ton then it has no future. It’s called ‘economics’. The only thing to like about coal is the price…and if the price isn’t very good then ‘Business As Usual’ in the real is to switch to something else because we all like to ‘Save Our Wallets’.

    Only in a ‘centrally planned economy’ is ‘business as usual’ continuing to do the same thing over and over again despite changes in market conditions. In the US ‘free market’ economy we have cut emissions in the last 3 years more then any other nation on earth and ‘Saved Peoples Wallets’ at the same time.

  65. When one considers Andy Lacis misuse of the negative hypothesis in the context of this fact-free and fantasy filled essay, perhaps the best way to interpret this essay is as a sort of confession by way of projection.
    At the least it reveals an analytical ability on the part of Lacis that is much less world class.

  66. A valuable insight into the mind of the consensus scientist where wild, pessimistic conjecture becomes fact!

    The missing heat problem, the lack of stratospheric cooling since 1995 and the current “pause” in the warming invalidate the shaky hypothesis that CO2 is a driver of global temperature.

    We have here a mindset that yields not to data but relies instead on unvalidated models that have only some of the correct physics but a lot more that is missing or fudged.

    To modelers like me who understand the huge difficulties involved in even far more mundane simulations of nature than in the futile effort of simulating the world climate, the degree of hubris displayed in this essay is astonishing.

  67. Hey guys!

    Let’s don’t get carried away comparing Venus with Earth and trying to conjure up a Venus-type “greenhouse” here.

    The atmosphere of Venus has 93 times the mass of Earth’s atmosphere.

    Even if you want to tie it’s temperature to a “CO2 greenhouse effect”, you must consider that its atmosphere is composed of 96% CO2.

    In an earlier post I showed that the maximum CO2 concentration that could ever occur on Earth if all optimistically estimated remaining fossil fuel reserves were completely burned would be around 1,000 ppmv

    In other words, Venus’ atmosphere contains:

    (93 * 0.96) / (1 * 0.001) = 89,000 times as much CO2 as our atmosphere will ever contain

    So stop the silly comparisons. They don’t wash.

    Max

    • manacker,
      If one looks at basically every claim of the climatocrats pushing the AGW catastrophe, their arguments depend on deception and misleading and manipulation:everything but an honest discussion.

    • Max,

      I agree that discussing the concentration of 4% serves no real point. I haven’t checked the numbers but that’s probably based on all carbon on Earth. Does it make sense to discuss such numbers? Not as a real threat, but when the argument goes to counter-factual why not mention this number rather than some other equally irrelevant number.

      Vaughan Pratt argued some time ago that a large part of all carbon could be released in some of the counter-factual scenarios. That may be true, but that’s irrelevant, because nothing like those scenarios could develop before all life has long been gone from the Earth as will happen when sun has grown enough to make the Earth really hot.

      • heh – 4% of what mass? the current mass or the mass at 60C including all the water, carbon and whatever else is in it?

      • Just a guess – the 4% includes all the carbon that’s bound up as carbonates. Don’t let the fact that the carbonates can’t spontaneously decompose stop a good hyperventilation.

      • pekka

        I know that you agree that Lacis’ “discussing the concentration of 4% [CO2 concentration in Earth’s atmosphere] serves no real point”, but you ask

        “…when the argument goes to counter-factual why not mention this number rather than some other equally irrelevant number?”

        Because it a) is totally absurd scientifically and b) is pure fear mongering.

        Max

      • Max,

        Whom is it suppose to scare? I don’t buy that explanation.

      • Pekka –

        As the result of that post at Climate Etc., there is widespread panic in the streets here in the U.S.. I assume that you’ve missed it because the news hasn’t hit Finland yet.

      • One day Fox news said the earth will end up cooked inside the sun. It scared the ever livin’ crap out of me. Then they said I didn’t need to worry because the oceans would boil off way before that and I would die. This was oddly comforting. When the control knob turns toward zero, when will all the broccoli die?

      • <blockquote?When the control knob turns toward zero, when will all the broccoli die?

        I don’t know, but broccoli futures jumped 200% after the SCOTUS ruling.

        If only I had listened to Scalia, I’d be rich!

      • I love it. To paraphrase; as long as we’re telling tall ones, we might as well tell really tall ones.

  68. Typical. You don’t’ agree with AGW you are stupid, incompetent and have a political agenda. About the only thing he didn’t do was throw around accusations of being an Oil Company Shill.

    Crap like this is why I call myself a skeptic. People who write garbage like this do so because they are threatened by others. It is a cornered animal response.

    Now, excuse me, my Hummer needs to be washed and gassed up.

  69. Beth Cooper

    Manacker 3 July 7.37am:
    Reading yer post, Max, yer edits of Andy Lacis review of GP, make me visualise a cartoon of a Michelangelo-wanna-be chipping away at his heroic-scale, marble masterpiece … chip … chip, no … take a bit off his elbow … chip … chip, hmm, anatomically, this bits not right … chip!
    Until in the end the large block’s reduced to midget size.*

    *The sculptor would have wild black hay-stack hair, an apocalytic expression and be wearing an artist’s smock.

  70. As has been explained in the past, it is the non-condensing greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, O3, CFCs, of which CO2 is the principal contributor) that control the strength of the terrestrial greenhouse effect, with water vapor and clouds (being temperature dependent feedback effects) providing radiative magnification.
    ===========
    This is nonsense that shows the low quality of science practiced at NASA. H2O is the major GHG on the planet. Feedback is assumed to be positive with temperature (not CO2), but this is only an assumption. It has not been demonstrated based on observational evidence.

    If warming is caused by GHG, then the atmosphere must warm first (due to CO2 blocking outgoing radiation). It is this atmospheric warming that then warms the surface. However, when weather balloons and satellite observations are compared with NASA GISS own records, it is clear that the surface is warming faster than the atmosphere..

    NASA’s own GISS records show conclusively that whatever is causing the warming it cannot be GHG under the current theories. Otherwise we would see the atmosphere warming faster than the surface. This simple observation falsifies GHG as the cause of the warming.

    NASA scientists should be aware of this. However, in the highly politicized atmosphere that characterizes US science, it has become unacceptable for any government funded scientist to point out the obvious, that the emperor has no clothes.

  71. “Also, it appears that the authors may have been lacking a dependable atmospheric modeling capability.”
    =============
    Even Gain at RC now recognizes that no one has “dependable atmospheric modelling capability”

    Gavin has called regional modelling at time scales of 21 years or less “strongly stochastic” which means non deterministic.

    Like the weather, you cannot determine the future state, only the probabilities. 1/3 chance of hotter, 1/3 chance of cooler, 1/3 chance remains the same.

    This is recognized by the recent notion that climate forecasting on timescales of 30 years is not climate. It is macro-weather, with a different deviation than long term climate.

    This explains the IPCC assumption that recent warming is abnormal. It only appears abnormal under the assumption that climate has a constant deviation at different timescales.

    However, the paleo records show this to be a false assumption. Climate shows increasing deviation as timescales increase beyond 30 years. Thus, “normal” statistical methods will introduce bias (misleading answers) in the results.

  72. There are those who feel compelled to deliberately distort, misrepresent, and lie about climate science in order to confuse and bamboozle the public on behalf of fossil fuel interests
    ================
    Exactly correct. This is at the heart of carbon taxes. To artificially raise the price of coal so as to drive up the price of oil, leading to windfall profits for oil companies.

    Without a carbon tax, coal remains the fuel of choice in the developing world because it requires minimal technology. That is the main reason the industrialized countries used coal first to create their wealth.

    Dig a road and in much of the world you will find coal. All you need is shovels and pick axes.

  73. “It is really quite amazing by what margins competent but conservative scientists and engineers can miss the mark, when they start with the preconceived idea that what they are investigating is impossible. When this happens, the most well-informed men become blinded by their prejudices and are unable to see what lies directly ahead of them [e.g., the cause of global warming:it’s the sun, stuid].” – Arthur C. Clarke

  74. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    The resolution of this particular Climate Etc. debate is gonna be simple, and evidence-based, and Mother Nature will have the last word.

    (1) If Mother Nature confirms the predictions of James Hansen and colleagues in Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications that “the ascendency of ice melt leads us to anticipate acceleration of the rate of sea level rise this decade”, then Andy Lacis looks smart, Garth Paltridge looks dumb, and rational skeptics become rational no-longer-skeptics.

    (2) If Mother Nature does *NOT* confirm the predictions of James Hansen and colleagues, then Andy Lacis looks dumb, Garth Paltridge looks smart, and rational skeptics become more numerous and more skeptical.

    All this is as it sould be, because as Richard Feynman said (and quite rightly) “Nature cannot be fooled.”

    It’s clear moreover, that so far in 2012, Mother Nature’s is tending strongly toward resolution (1). Perhaps rational skeptics are destined to become less numerous more-or-less in parallel with the polar bear population?   :)   :)   :)

    • My money is on two. Hansen’s theory was incomplete. Time for science to start moving forward again :)

    • Huh?

      We’re gonna decide who’s more correct about CAGW based on a Hansen paper from 2011?

      Duh!

      Fuggedaboudit, “Fan”

      Max

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Sorry manacker, Ma Nature stands against you.

        And the smart money is on Nature winning, eh?   :)

      • Fan

        And nature stands against you

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

        This explains why I havent been able to grow any outdoor tomatoes the last five years. Here in the UK temperatures are currently at the same anomaly as in the 1730’s.

        Ps Do you want to buy some slugs? They seem to be massing over by the nibbled peas and looking at me in a very threatening way. Post and packing is free,
        tonyb

      • What a load of horseshit. Sea levels were higher in the period he is discussing once the ice had melted, not instantly, and 2100, in terms of ice melt sufficient to raise sea level by tens of metres, is instantly.

        Hansen’s is perfectly clear. He thinks nonlinear melting could lead to as much as 5 meters by 2095. To claim he thinks enough ice could melt in less than 100 years to raise sea level by 16 metres is preposterous.

        His writings on nonlinear melting prove beyond any doubt you are wrong.

        And if Simon Holgate agrees with the “16 metres by 2100” crap you are claiming, he needs his head examined.

      • Hey, “Fan”.

        I agree that “Ma Nature” will always win over GIGO model simulations.

        Why else would we have had no warming (actually very slight cooling) of the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature” (HadCRUT3) over the past 15 years when the models told us it should be warming by 0.2 degC per decade?

        Max

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Manacker, yer question is super-easy.

        Ma Nature has four energy accounts:

        • land
        • air
        • ice
        • ocean

        Nature’s keeps busy sloshing energy from one account to another … but when yah track all four … it turns out (soberingly) that accelerating sea-level rise can’t be stopped

        What is your next question, manacker?

      • Max. You’ve heard the story about mud wrestling with a pig, haven’t you? Fanny is a one-note Johnny. And he enjoys his own monotony. Sometimes it’s best to just keep walking.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Keep walking? PE, that’s a mighty fine idea.

        Because America’s conservation organizations are in 100% agreement that climate-change is real, serious, and accelerating:

        • Ducks Unlimited
        • Trout Unlimited
        • BASS/ESPN Outdoors
        • Izaak Walton League of America
        • Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
        • Coastal Conservation Association
        • American Sportfishing Association
        • Pheasants Forever
        • Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
        • Wildlife Management Institute
        • Delta Waterfowl
        • Boone and Crockett Club

        And the reason is simple: outdoors folks see the effects of AGW with their own eyes.

        And so, P.E., it’s good that your now taking an interest in Nature!   :)   :)   :)

        Because for very many citizens, the Great Outdoors is where rational climate-change skepticism evolves and grows into a rational appreciation of what climate-change really means.

        Maybe this will happen to you too, P.E.?

        But on the other hand … skeptics who walk around with their eyes chronically closed don’t see much! :)   :)   :)

      • Rob Starkey

        Your comment that “America’s conservation organizations are in 100% agreement that climate-change is real, serious, and accelerating”– is factually incorrect, but otherwise irrelevant. You must know that it would not be difficult to point out a single organization that does not agree that it is serious and accelerating.

        Do you have any other irrelevant or incorrect comments to post?

      • Look, anecdotal evidence from one area over a short period of time is meaningless in any case, but even if the world is warming where is the expertise among sport fisherman in connecting that warming with greenhouse gases? Given that comparison of models with actual measurements of temperatures (rather than asking some oddball with an obsession for sitting on riverbanks) show conclusively that greenhouse gases are not to blame for any temperature rise, I will go with empirical evidence rather than rumour among pheasant phans.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        It’s time for the skeptics here on Climate Etc. to step outdoors and open their eyes!   :)   :)   :)

        Seriously, one wonders if you skeptics ever go outside … with your eyes open?

        `Cuz for folks who do, Nature has a loud-and-clear message.

      • Hey, “Fan”, didn’t realize that you were a self-proclaimed “Nature Boy”.

        When was the last time you hugged a polar bear?

        Max

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        As a general rule, them apex predators ain’t too keen on “hugs”  :)   :)   :)

    • I am also a fan of more discourse. However blind assertions do not constitute discourse

      “It’s clear moreover, that so far in 2012, Mother Nature’s is tending strongly toward resolution (1).”

      Is a blind assertion, with no reasoning. Since sea levels have not accelerated in their rise over the last 150 years, and since ice has certainly been melting year-by-year for over 100 years, it appears that ma nature is in fact tending strongly towards (2). What is your reason for thinking that (1) is being favoured?

      Of course you are also wrong about the polar bear populations, which are increasing, so maybe there is some underlying logic in what you say.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        No Ice — No Cubs: Climate Changes Shake the Arctic

        Every outdoors-person sees what’s happening: AGW is real, serious, and accelerating. That’s why membership in conservation organizations like Season’s End is growing by leaps-and-bounds.

        Eyes-closed demagogic denialists are the exception, not the rule, eh “Doubting?”

      • Rob Starkey

        LOL–what is the message again?

      • Something about the Chicago Cubs, near as I can tell.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        “Doubting” asks: “What is your reason for thinking that (1) [Hansen being right] is being favoured?”

        “Doubting”:, that’s easy! The 2012 satellite data have already affirmed Hansen’s 2011 prediction of accelerating sea-level rise.

        It was mighty bold of Hansen and his colleagues to make that prediction in 2011.

        And so, if it comes to pass, that sea-level rise acceleration continues through the decade … as Hansen and his colleagues have predicted, and as the GRACE gravimetric data on Greenland ice-loss indicate is already underway … well then a whole lot of rational skeptics will become rational no-longer-skeptics.

        Isn’t that right, “Doubting”?   :)   :)   :)

      • Fan

        Oh come on. Even with the extra bits that Colorado recently added in for melting, the level is still only fractionally above that of 2010.

        Hansen said sea levels could be up to 16 metres higher by 2100. That trend line needs to go almost vertical from today and stay there for the next 88 years for that to be correct.

        We are still some 20/30cm below the levels in Roman times and presumably in MWP.
        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Literature citation please, ClimateReason!   :)   :)   :)

        OK, I’ll help yah … here’s one.

        Well-worth reading, for those folks who prefer to walk around with their eyes open.   :)   :)   :)

      • Do you have a source for the 16 meter claim?

        This is his simplified graph. It’s 5 meters.

        As you can see, the graph implies the vast majority of the rise happens after 2020, though he expects an acceleration in this decade.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        There’s not much difference between skeptics who chose *NOT’* to read, versus skeptics who just plain can’t read. ClimateReason, your post’s excellent grammar and flimsy factual basis suggests the former.

      • fan

        I’ve cited Hansens comment about 16 metres a number of times for you here,.Is that what you are disputing?
        Or is it the Roman period higher sea levels you need me to cite again?

        I will be happy to oblige with either if you would stop being mysterious and be more specific
        tonyb

      • What is mysterious about:

        Do you have a source for the 16 meter claim?

      • JCH

        Read fans own citation link. Your graph is in there as is Hansens claim of tens of metres of sea level rise. I have additional papers in which he said this, including a paper he delivered to the Royal Society. I have cited them numerous times here.
        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        ClimateReason, what you call “citing” is what other folks call “selective out-of-context quotation.”

        A better goal, for everyone, is to encourage folks to read the original articles and think for themselves.

        That way, folks can easily recognize polemical denialist cherry-picking whenever they encounter it.

        Which is a good skill to have, eh?   :)   :)   :)

      • Fan

        I referred you to your own Hansen link. Now you are introducing a different paper. Read your own citation about Hansen before muddying the water further. The quote is neither selective or out of context.

        Hansen believes we are approaching temperatures that will mean tens of metres of sea level rise, and will reach those temperatures well before the end of the century. He says it several times. He may be very long winded so you may have lost the will to read further, but he does say it.

        Once you have read your own original link I can bore you further if you wish with Hansens even more long winded Royal Society paper in which he says the same thing.
        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Anyone can verify that the following is a verbatim in-context quote of the 2011 Hansen-Sato prediction::

        Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change

        Burning all or most fossil fuels guarantees tens of meters of sea level rise, as we have shown that the eventual sea level response is about 20 meters of sea level for each degree Celsius of global warming.

        We suggest that ice sheet disintegration will be a nonlinear process, spurred by an increasing forcing and by amplifying feedbacks, which is better characterized by a doubling time for the rate of mass disintegration, rather than a linear rate of mass change.

        If the doubling time is as short as a decade, multi-meter sea level rise could occur this century. Observations of mass loss from Greenland and Antarctica are too brief for significant conclusions, but they are not inconsistent with a doubling time of a decade or less. The picture will become clearer as the measurement record lengthens.

        There are physical constraints and negative feedbacks that may limit nonlinear ice sheet mass loss. An ice sheet sitting primarily on land above sea level, such as most of Greenland, may be limited by the speed at which it can deliver ice to the ocean via outlet glaciers. But much of the West Antarctic ice sheet, resting on bedrock below sea level, is not so constrained.

        We recognize the negative feedback that comes into play as iceberg discharge reaches a rate that cools the regional ocean surface. But that negative feedback would be cold comfort. High latitude cooling and low latitude warming would drive more powerful mid-latitude cyclonic storms, including more frequent cases of hurricane force winds. Such storms, in combination with rising sea level, would be disastrous for many of the world’s great cities and they would be devastating for the world’s economic well-being and cultural heritage.

        Note that Hansen and Sato’s well-reasoned conclusions include what climatereason’s cherry-picked summary of them does not: conditionals and caveats.

      • The tens of meters of sea level rise he discusses is not by 2100. It’s over a significantly longer timeframe – 100s of years.

        He thinks it is possible there could be up to 5 meters of SLR by 2095. He has written that several times.

      • Fan

        Here is the Royal Society paper which you can read in conjunction with your own

        http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2007/2007_Hansen_etal_2.pdf

        Out of context? Conditionals and caveats?

        If anyone else can bring themselves to read Hansens long winded reasoning they will see he expects the globe to warm and that sea level will respond accordinglyby tens of metres.

        Whether or not Fan wants to believe it, that is what Hansen says when all the padding is stripped away.
        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        LOL … thanks ClimateReason!   :)

        What Hansen and his colleagues say in that article is this:

        “An ice sheet response time of centuries seems probable, and we cannot rule out large changes on decadal time-scales once wide-scale surface melt is underway. With GHGs continuing to increase, the planetary energy imbalance provides ample energy to melt ice corresponding to several metres of sea level per century.”

        This conclusion is entirely consistent with Hansen’s earlier writings and with subsequent research too!

        Good on `yah, ClimateReason!   :)   ;)   :)

      • Fan

        This conclusion [that sea level could rise by several meters over this century due to human GHG emissions] is entirely consistent with Hansen’s earlier writings and with subsequent research too!

        Yeah. But not with the empirical evidence.

        Max

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Manacker, both you and ClimateReason need to assimilate Figure 3 of Relative outcomes of climate change mitigation related to global temperature versus sea-level rise (2012). Good luck!   :)   :)   :)

      • Fan

        Do read your own references and those from other people. I quote below the specifics of the giant sea level rise Hansen expects. It strikes me that the claims of Hansen on sea levels would make an interesting article. He is a multi layered writer who is difficult to interpret. One needs to peel back the layers to see what he is getting at. You seem to be a great fan of Hansen, why don’t you write something and the rest of us can dissect it? Not intended as snark-it would be an interesting item. Here are the specifics starting, with a quote from a friendly journalist;

        ——— ——–
        “It depends on how fast ice sheets melt, but anything from 16 to 80 feet seems to be the scenario according to Hansen, with a fairly loose time scale which he put at decades. “

        http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0703/0703220.pdf

        He cites ’Global mean temperature three million years ago was only 2-3°C warmer than today (Crowley 1996; Dowsett et al 1996), while sea level was 25 ± 10 m higher (Wardlaw and Quinn 1991; Barrett et al 1992; Dowsett et al 1994).’

        Hansen believes that if its business as usual it will be 5.5 degrees warmer (presumably Fahrenheit) which is the figure needed, according to his citation, to create sea levels 25 m higher. In fact only 1 degree more is needed if the logic in the article holds. (see ref below for citation of this 5.5 degree figure.)

        Hansen clearly said a 5 metre rise by 2090- that is decades not centuries. It is quoted in the Hansen and Sato 2011 paper I linked to earlier but has gone well beyond this claim;

        Hansen said this in 2007 at a conference as reported by a friendly journalist; ;

        http://www.independent.com/news/2007/feb/08/the-scariest-man-on-the-planet/

        “Since then, Hansen’s prognostications have grown considerably more dire. “In the past five years, it’s become clear to me that the problem is a lot more urgent than we thought,” he (Hansen) said Monday night. Unless major steps are taken to curb the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases within the next 10 years, he is “99 percent certain” that the world as we know it will be forever changed. “If we go down the business-as-usual path, it will be 5.5 degrees warmer by the end of this century, warmer than it’s been in 3 million years,” he warned. “If you go back to that time, the sea levels were 80 feet higher.” Should that happen, he predicted, hundreds of millions of people would be homeless, the world’s weather patterns would be violently scrambled, and about half the planet’s species would become extinct.”

        The Commentator said

        “And once again, Hansen has moved far out ahead of the curve. Fuelling his alarm are two factors. It used to be that paleo-climatologists thought the hottest the world had ever been was 2-3 degrees Celsius warmer than current temperatures. Hansen says new research shows that the hottest temperature was actually 1 degree Celsius warmer than now, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit. And when the world was a single Celsius degree hotter, he said, the geologic records indicate the seas were 85 feet higher than they are today. The record indicates we’re now within just one degree of the warmest period on the planet. In other words, whatever wiggle room we thought we had has just dramatically tightened.”

        We have got ‘business as usual’ so that is presumably why we have two predictions for 5 metres and 80 feet.

        Here is Hansen again writing in the Royal society journal of 2007 which was reported on here by Dave Lindorff

        “Hansen, saying that recent evidence of melting at the poles shows ice melts much differently, and faster, than once assumed, warns that a few degrees’ rise in temperatures in northern regions could produce much worse results. While he says we could see a resulting rise in sea levels over this century of several meters (bad enough), he also warns that with only the widely predicted 5-6 degree Fahrenheit rise in this century that the IPCC has predicted, the earth could see these two huge ice sheets collapse almost entirely over the next century, with a resulting sea rise of some 80 feet or more. “

        http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_dave_lin_070705_flash_21_us_media_igno.htm

        Here is the actual article;

        http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2007/2007_Hansen_etal_2.pdf

        “The imminent peril is initiation of dynamical and thermodynamical processes on the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets that produce a situation out of humanity’s control, such that devastating sea-level rise will inevitably occur. Climate forcing of this century under BAU would dwarf natural forcings of the past million years, indeed it would probably exceed climate forcing of the middle Pliocene, when the planet was not more than 2–3 degrees C warmer and sea level 25m 10 m higher (Dowsett et al. 1994). The climate sensitivities we have inferred from palaeoclimate data ensure that a BAU GHG emission scenario would produce global warming of several degrees Celsius this century, with amplification at high latitudes.’

        Read the Hansen papers-read his references within them. Now write your article :)
        tonyb

      • Fan

        This from Chris Colose backs up what I say above

        https://judithcurry.com/2012/07/02/garth-paltridge-held-hostage-by-the-uncertainty-monster/#comment-215140

        Hansen believes we are in-or approaching-this range of co2 and temperature
        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        ClimateReason, in your (above) long post:

        • The direct quotes of Hansen …
             do not support your claims.

        • The quotes that support your claims …
             are not direct quotes of Hansen.

        The plain fact is, anyone who carefully reads (for themselves) Hansen’s own writings on sea-level, finds that these writings are detailed, reasoned, thoroughly referenced, and well-supported by theory and the paleo-climate data record.

        Why not give Hansen credit for this?

        Whenever climate-change polemicists quote cherry-picked fragments of Hansen’s work out-of-context and out-of-order — whether from ignorance, laziness, carelessness, or malice — the net effect is to make their own polemical reasoning look weak (not Hansen’s).

        So be fair to Hansen’s views: quote them in extenso.

      • Fan

        If you actually read the comments you will see they are from Hansen. I have quoted you the articles so you can see the journalists comments in context. The journalists are extremely friendly to Hansen. If you think they have misquoted him and damaged his credibilty take it up with them.

        I have nothing against Hansen and have defended him in the past. However his work on sea levels is highly alarmist and he clearly believes we are rapidly heading for armageddon as temperatures and sea levels reach the levels of the past.

        Look forward to your article in due course.
        Tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        ClimateReason claims: Hansen said sea levels could be up to 16 metres higher by 2100.

        A review of the literature finds no verbatim quote that supports this oft-repeated claim.

        A more nearly fair recent summary is:

        “An ice sheet response time of centuries seems probable, and we cannot rule out large changes on decadal time-scales once wide-scale surface melt is underway. With GHGs continuing to increase, the planetary energy imbalance provides ample energy to melt ice corresponding to several metres of sea level per century.”

        For a full-and-fair recent summary, Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change is a good source.

        ClimateReason, isn’t that better than cherry-picked out-of-context polemical paraphrasing?   :)   :)   :)

      • Fan

        I have put into the public domain here a variety of articles and papers verbatim.

        Hansen believes that temperatures in the past were only slightly higher than today at 400ppm. He also states that we will get there very shortly-by 2100- with catastrophic consequences on sea levels, which he quotes variously in his multi layered manner.

        Various friendly to him journalists have also said this, and have taken some of his figures and scenarios and repeated them.

        If you feel the journos and his own scientific papers have misrepresented him you really must take it up with those concerned.

        In the meantime, perhaps you would profit by rereading the papers cited, including your own, and strip away the layers to find his message.
        tonyb .

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        ClimateReason, your practice of “peeling back layers” from Hansen’s analysis, then paraphrasing the cherry-picked remnants, is just plain wrong … because Hansen’s views just plain are not as simple as your faux-summaries of them.

        Bottom Line: James Hansen’s writings do not support ClimateReason’s too-simple construction of them.

      • Fan

        Bottom line, I have made up nothing, as those wanting to invest the time in reading Hansens over written papers can see for themselves-should they have the stamina.
        tonyb

      • I see peeling an onion has become the molestation of the English language.

      • JCH

        I thought it was us that were supposed to ‘deny’ the evidence?

        Here is Hansen being directly quoted by a friendly journalist in a short article

        http://www.independent.com/news/2007/feb/08/the-scariest-man-on-the-planet/

        In it he warns explictly of the likelihood of a multi meter rise by the end of this century in a business as usual scenario, as we will enter the realm of past ages as regards co2 levels and temperatures.

        In the two papers cited he also says this but in a much more layered manner. His message is that we should expect sea level rises far higher than 5 metres.
        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        ClimateReason, your inability to cite Hansen is lame.

        As for citing journalists, it has David Halberstam who said “Investigative journalism is the art of seduction followed by betrayal.” Which is why, at the end of the day, there is no such thing as a “friendly journalist.”

        That’s why citing journalists as the sole support of a scientific thesis is *doubly* lame!   :)   :)   :)

      • Fan

        Talk about having to lead a horse to water…Direct quote from the link, cited three times

        Since then, Hansen’s prognostications have grown considerably more dire. “In the past five years, it’s become clear to me that the problem is a lot more urgent than we thought,” he said Monday night. Unless major steps are taken to curb the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases within the next 10 years, he is “99 percent certain” that the world as we know it will be forever changed. “If we go down the business-as-usual path, it will be 5.5 degrees warmer by the end of this century, warmer than it’s been in 3 million years,” he warned. “If you go back to that time, the sea levels were 80 feet higher.” Should that happen, he predicted, hundreds of millions of people would be homeless, the world’s weather patterns would be violently scrambled, and about half the planet’s species would become extinct.

        This very much ties in with his more scientfic rationale in the two papers that were cited, including the one to the Royal Society on linear and non linear reactions,and the comment by Chris Colose. Perhaps you need a sharper knife in order to peel back Hansens multiple layers?
        tonyb

      • cr,
        It is always interesting to watch the true believers contort themselves and the plain words of their prophets. Thanks for getting fan of more deception to give us such a fine example.

      • The contortionist is cr. He has pulled “16 metres by 2100”, a physical impossibility on the planet as we know it, out of a nearby shady spot.

        cr, take your WAC (wild-a’d-claim) to Simon Holgate. I double dare you. See if he buys your flippin’ craziness. I want to see him put “James Hansen predicts 16 metres by 2100” in writing. Lol.

      • JCH

        I correspond with Simon Holgate and indeed cited him in my last sea level article.He is eminently sensible (although a warmist)

        It is not me saying levels will rise by 16 metres. I do not believe it for a second and nor, I would dare say, would Simon.

        It is Hansen who believes the sea levels will rise dramatically I am merely the messenger. Take it up with Hansen.It is a crazy prediction. But he said these words at a conference and they chime with his papers.Why have a go at me? Are we supposed to keep quiet because warmists are uncomfortable with this level of craziness? If so condemn it instead of dancing around.
        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        ClimateReason claims: “Hansen said sea levels could be up to 16 metres higher by 2100.”

        Bottom Line  ClimateReason cannot produce a quote that supports his claim.

        Climate Etc. readers are invited to read Hansen’s real opinion in the Hansen-Sato article “Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change” (arXiv:1105.0968v3, a Google search finds it).

        Does the Hansen and Sato analysis predict an eventual sea-level rise of many meters? With the number of meters varying with circumstances? And with the rate-of-rise also varying with circumstances? Of course Hansen and Sato’s analysis does predict this. As does every other responsible scientific analysis ever conducted.   :)   :)   :)

        ClimateReason, although much of what you post is sensible, what you’ve been posting about Hansen’s predictions is factually wrong and is unsupported by Hansen’s writings. Your supposed quotes are in fact not quotes, and your continued insistence upon their accuracy is lame.

        ClimateReason, isn’t it time to stop being lame?

      • Fan

        Wow! simply Wow! You must win the prize for bare faced cheek. I quoted Hansen at his conference and Hansen in his papers. Are you saying he has now recanted his madness? He has quoted up to 80 feet. He has quoted five metres. Lets give him the benefit of the doubt somewhere around the middle. Huff and puff all you want Fan but whilst you may wish that your prophet was more circumspect he has this alarmist tendancy, as does Mann and it appears Andy Lacis. Perhps they want to become the subject of the ‘fear’ monster-a new collection for Judith.
        tonyb

  75. Berényi Péter

    “It should be clear by now that the basic physics of the climate system physical processes can, and are being modeled successfully”

    If so, Dr. Lacis, would you be so kind as to tell us how fractal dimension of atmospheric humidity distribution depends on IR optical depth provided by non-condensing GHGs?

    A simple approximate formula would suffice, with proper justification, of course.

    • John Warner

      Given the ad hominem nature of the above article, maybe it would be simpler just to ask Dr Lacis what weed he has been smoking?

  76. ‘The resolution of this particular Climate Etc. debate is gonna be simple, and evidence-based, and Mother Nature will have the last word.’

    Decadal scale climate variability drives drives – inter alia – global phytoplankton abundance. – http://www.sciencemag.org/content/326/5957/1253.abstract – In the Pacific deep ocean upwelling in these oceanic regimes give us – amongst other things – sardine and anchovy regimes in Monterey Bay. – http://www.mbari.org/news/news_releases/2003/nr01-chavez.html

    The anchovy regime sees cooler oceans and atmosphere and increased low level stratocumulous marine cloud for a decade or three more. Ain’t nature wonderful? :cool: :cool: :cool:

    Nature can also supply some of the world’s energy needs through radiactive decay in the lithosphere. People are part of nature too. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

  77. As a layman I often can’t fathom the science, so I must judge the quality of the debaters. Here’s what I see on the part of the alarmists…a consistent refusal to argue specifics. Chris Colose comes along and says some very disparaging things about those he disagrees with…insulting their intelligence, their lack of education, their character…but does he engage on the actual specifics of the skeptic’s arguments? No. What am I, a non-scientists, to make of that?

    And where is Andy Lacis? Is he defending his post? Is he engaging with those who’ve said he’s wrong, and given the reasons why? No. Not at all. It’s like he took a huge dump in the middle of someone’s living room, then ran away hoping no one’s going to notice the stench.

    • Oh please. Don’t play the innocent “I’m a really curious person looking for a real education. And Chris is a meanie and Andy ran away…nah nah poo poo. What am I supposed to make of that?”

      If you REALLY wanted to educate yourself, you’d spend the money on a couple of upper-level undergrad/grad level textbooks on the subject, maybe enroll in a course. You’d read some key scientific papers on a number of issues, maybe go to a conference, and read some reports from IPCC, NAS, etc. It *would* take effort, it would take time, and it would be harder than reading a blog post. But it would be much more rewarding. And if you spent any real amount of time educating yourself, you’d realize that I’m not calling people stupid because they are raising real issues and I disagree with them…they are doing something of the equivalent of saying the moon is made of blue cheese and demanding that science pay attention to them, meanwhile pretending to be the curious and interested bystander looking for a real discussion. It’s the same tactic creationists use and it IS stupid.

      • CC,
        Not to put too fine a point on it, but you are a liar.
        You are the one indulging in creationist style arguments.
        You are the one supporting and enabling thieves frauds and hysterics.

      • In past posts Lacis has usually come back and engaged. Nothing here so far, so there is no hurry.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Oh please. Don’t play the innocent “I’m a really curious person looking for a real education. And Chris is a meanie and Andy ran away…nah nah poo poo. What am I supposed to make of that?”

        Chris Colose apparently hates the idea of people doing perfectly reasonable things. Instead, he thinks it’s appropriate to be rude to anyone who doesn’t want to put the effort into finding out he’s right to insult people. Because apparently the only way anyone could disagree with him is to be uninformed…

        In other words, if you don’t agree with him, you deserve nothing but mockery.

      • I don’t think that pointing out discrepancies between model projections and reality is in the same ballpark as saying the moon is made of green cheese, blue cheese or Gorgonzola.

        There are quite a few discussions on other blogs trying to figure out how exactly the “group think” scientific approach snowballed into this comedy of errors. All it takes is one common flawed assumption in group think and everything goes to hell in a hand basket rather quickly. The current line of reasoning is that the models are spatially flawed. That “Global Averaging” is not appropriate for sensitivity averaging. That little non-linearity issue doncha know. Especially when the bulk of the older instrumental data is biased towards the northern hemisphere.

        Funny how averaging a T^4 impact on a T function may not be all that accurate if the initial conditions are not what they were expected to be.

      • Dave Springer

        The comedy of errors for me has its basis in how a surface illuminated by no more than 340W/m2 (solar constant projected onto a sphere) can continually emit 396W/m2 (16C average surface temperature of the earth).

        AGW “science” appears to be the biggest perpetual motion gulling of all time. I think even the people who made it up have told themselves this story so many times they’ve actually come to believe it themselves. Since it can’t be tested in a controlled experiment it’s just a mental construct that will live as long as the flawed principles underlying it remain widely believed.

      • Dave Springer

        If you really wanted to educate yourself you’d design some controlled experiments which prove (or fail to prove) the effects you claim are at work in the real world. Good luck with that. I won’t hold my breath. No one has had the ambition to test any of this fanciful garbage in a laboratory since Woods trivially disproved it in 1902. How much longer should I expect to wait for the Woods experiment to be replicated and proven wrong? Seems like for less cost than an Argo buoy a grad student could carry it out. But that would be like killing the goose that’s laying your golden eggs, huh? Chump.

    • pokerguy
      as you might have noticed above I sent Dr Lacis a polite email asking him to clarify his comment on the 40000pmv aspect.
      tonyb

      • Dave Springer

        I sent a polite letter to Mitt Romney saying he can have my vote if he promises to fire Lisa Jackson at the EPA, rescind the determination that CO2 is a pollutant regulatible by the EPA, and dismantle the climate research activities being done by NASA that isn’t directly related to aeronautics and space flight.

        Send your letter to someone who cares about your opinion.

      • Dave

        Well DR Lacis did turn up so I may have had an effect

        tonyb

  78. Greg House

    blouis79 | July 3, 2012 at 5:33 pm |

    The “greenhouse” effect has ben conjured up in the minds of those who needed it and never properly scientifically challenged.
    ===========================================
    Yes, it was successfully challenged and debunked long ago: http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/wood_rw.1909.html

  79. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    ClimateReason, the goal is to encourage folks to read the original articles and think for themselves.

    That way, folks can easily recognize polemical denialist cherry-picking whenever they encounter it.

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

    • fan

      What are you referring to this time? Perhaps your post has found the wrong nest here.

      If it is about sea level I replied to your other post by reciting your own link where Hansen confirms tens of metres of sea level rise for every 1 degree of warming and he forecasts several degrees. Did you read your own link? He also mentions this in a paper he delivered to the Royal Society
      tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        You are entirely correct, ClimateReason … my comment was intended to go here.

        However, this is a good chance for me to acknowledge, that although you and I don’t always read the science the same way, your posts consistently have shown a level of good manners and maturity that is sadly lacking in Andy Lacis’ essay.

        For which, this appreciation and thanks is extended.

        Thank you, ClimateReason!   :)   :)   :)

      • Fan

        It is a great shame that people can’t stay polite and debate the topics thoroughly by exchanging information and views, instead of hurling abuse at each other. Accusations of Hoax from ‘our’ side don’t help, as don’t accusations that all of us on this side are politically motivated or in the pay of Big oil.
        tonyb

  80. Chris Colose

    you have Brandons, hunters, Girmas, Olivers, manackers, Jim Cripwells, and others who haven’t the slightest clue what they are talking about

    It is a simple question that you have failed to answer.

    The question being why has the climate pattern not changed since record begun in 1850 from a cyclic variation with a slight warming of 0.06 deg C per decade as shown => http://bit.ly/Aei4Nd

    That is what you AGW advocates have failed miserably to answer and AGW is dying a slow death, as it deserves.

  81. Let’s see now . . . We seem to have gone past the 350 comments mark. What (if anything) have we learned so far ?

    We can clearly see that this is a free-for-all open ended blog-talk ranging from comments of the lowest common denominator to the more sublime. The quality of the discussion can only as good as what the participants can muster. The patient, polite, knowledgeable, and informative comments from Fred Moolten are clearly being missed. As a medical doctor, Fred also showed that one did not need to be a professional climatologist to understand the basic concepts of climate and climate change.

    From the first 100 or so comments, it is apparent that the dominant theme of the comments is the remarkable lack of understanding displayed by most of the commentators (including their remarkable lack of understanding that there was a lack of understanding) of how the climate system works, or even the basic concepts of physics that are needed to understand climate and the world we line in.

    From these comments, I am not convinced that the commentators even have a sufficiently clear understanding of the basic concept that energy must be conserved. They appear to have no clear idea of what a climate model really is, how it works, or what it does. Nor do they understand radiative transfer or the greenhouse effect. Without a clear understanding of the greenhouse effect, there is no real hope of ever understanding the nature of the global warming problem.

    Also, from reading some these comments, it is obvious that there was a language communications problem. The term “unforced natural variability” is a technical term that has a specific meaning to those study climate science. In a climate model that is simulating real-world climate, there is “forcing” going on all the time, at every grid-box, vertical layer, and moment in time. Basically, nothing moves unless it is being forced. The Earth is rotating; solar illumination is changing constantly. Water evaporates, clouds form, precipitation happens. So what does “unforced” mean?

    “Unforced” in the climate modeling context means that there are no “external” radiative forcing changes (e.g., changes in greenhouse gases, or changes in solar luminosity) being applied over and above all the activity that is ongoing in simulating the normal day-to-day local weather variations. A good example of natural variability is the annual temperature plot by the NY Times where the local day-to-day temperatures are plotted as a function of time of year. There is the heavy (centered) line defining the daily climate-mean temperature with the daily record high and record low temperatures defining the envelope. The day-to-day temperatures vary stochastically within this envelope (unless a new high or low record temperature is set), never repeating their previous pattern of variability.

    A climate model would be expected to reproduce a similar-looking day-to-day temperature plot that varies within the climatological envelope with the warmer temperatures during the summer and colder temperatures during the winter. The day-to-day temperature variations constitute the stochastic “natural variability”, that is unpredictable, but that statistically, the temperature can be predicted to be within the climatological envelope, changing from summer to winter in response to the change in the seasonal solar forcing.

    This is a fairly good example illustrating how climatic temperature change can be considered as being composed of a stochastic “natural variability” component (day-to-day temperature) with very large predictive uncertainty, and the far more deterministic component (season-mean temperature in response to the seasonal change in solar radiation).

    A similar perspective applies to the global temperature, and to the inter-annual changes in global temperature that result from changes in ocean circulation (e.g., El Nino, La Nina, PDO). These temperature changes don’t have an external forcing driving them, so these temperature changes are part of the “unforced natural variability”, and hence not very predictable, except in a statistical sense. Meanwhile, global temperature change in response to the radiative forcing exerted by greenhouse gas increases is similar in nature to the seasonally driven temperature change, and thus very predictable.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Andrew Lacis, I’m afraid the source of my confusion still remains. You’ve used “unforced natural variability” and “natural variability” multiple times in this comment. The implication is the two are not the same, and thus there are some types of “forced natural variability.” On the other hand, you were quite explicit about “unforced” and “natural” being interchangeable. I don’t know how to reconcile this.

      When you say “unforced natural variability,” are you intentionally distinguishing it from simple “natural variability” as your wording suggests? If so, what is “forced natural variability”? If not, and the two phrases are synonymous, why do you keep switching between the two?

    • Peter Lang

      A Lacis,

      This is not the follow up response I was expecting from you. Yor commebt attacks the commenters but avoids answering the questions of substance. Instead, it retreats to safe ground with a simplistic explanation of climate models. That certainly does not address my questions. Here is one of them:

      Clearly, there has to be some sense of quality control to define what we reliably understand in science, and what we don’t.

      We need more that just “ some sense of quality control to define what we reliably understand in science”. We need the level of quality control and document appropriate to justify economically damaging polices and expenditures of trillions of dollars. Quality control is exactly what is missing in climate science. A comment by “Nullius in Verba” http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2012/06/05/conservatives-who-think-seriously-about-the-planet/#comment-111418 explains what is needed. It shows how far climate science has to go to implement the level of quality control that is needed to justify the massive costs being proposed by alarmist. Nullius in Verba’s comment says:

      There are plenty of conservatives quite prepared to take climate change seriously. They would require:

      1. Before any redress can be made, the damages would have to be both proven and quantified, with the quality of evidence normally expected of the judicial system in cases where such sums of money are concerned. That would mean fixing the science.

      2. Finances for adaptation should be raised using instruments dependent on climate outcomes – e.g. bonds that pay out with a high interest rate on a certain date unless sea level rise exceeds 1 metre.

      3. That once the case is properly made we go nuclear first, and switch to solar or other technologies only when they are economically viable without subsidy. Regulatory and planning obstacles should be cleared away.

      4. That the burden should fall on all parties and nations in proportion to their emissions. The climate doesn’t care where the CO2 comes from. Differential responsibilities distorts markets and leads to emission exporting and other cheats. And there are to be no carbon offsets – they’re too easily subject to fraud, and they’re essentially paying poor people to take the consequences of your policies.

      5. That advocates for reduction lead by example – without purchasing offsets, and especially without purchasing offsets with taxpayers money. That means all future climate conferences and talks are to be conducted online, for example, and governments and environmental organisations conduct their business without using fossil fuel energy. Show us how it is possible, within your existing budget.

      I could go on, but you get the idea. First fix the science and prove what you claim, then take only the most efficient, effective measures, pay only for real results, and no offloading the consequences of your policies onto other people.

    • Peter Lang

      This is another of my questions. Your answer does not touch on this.

      One very specific example is the pressing need to obtain more definitive polarimetric measurements of aerosol radiative properties, a pressing need that is still going unfulfilled.

      Why does Lacis rate this as the highest priority but makes no mention of the damage function (damage costs per degree of warming)? This item has the highest uncertainty for policy, yet it has had little attention.

    • Peter Lang

      I also hope you might respond to this comment:

      Lacis’s policy prescription:

      Supported by this basic understanding of our climate situation, policy makers have now both the compelling need and the full justification to act responsibly and start taking positive steps to begin curtailing the continuing growth in atmospheric greenhouse gases. Sensible action would be to promote energy conservation, impose a true-cost responsibility fee on carbon, encourage alternate forms of energy generation, and continue educating the public as to why all this is necessary in order to best protect our current way of life.

      Absolutely not. This is wrong. This is an example of a scientist going beyond his area of expertise and trying to advocate policies that he believes are correct. This is advocacy for his beliefs.

      First, Lacis has not shown that warming is dangerous or catastrophic. Even if it should happen in pulses. But he leaps right over this issue and advocates his preferred solution.

      Second, his solutions are based on his belief as to the best solutions. Is Lacis qualified to provide energy policy advice? Does he have credibility in cost benefit modelling and energy policy options analysis? Is this his area of expertise? If not, why hasn’t he made clear that this is simply his personal belief?

    • Dave Springer

      A Lacis

      I find this is a good place for those who don’t understand conservation to get their bearings:

      http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/phyopt/albedo.html

      The term albedo (Latin for white) is commonly used to applied to the overall average reflection coefficient of an object. For example, the albedo of the Earth is 0.39 (Kaufmann) and this affects the equilibrium temperature of the Earth. The greenhouse effect, by trapping infrared radiation, can lower the albedo of the earth and cause global warming.

      Once we understand the greenhouse effect works by raising the absorptivity of the earth’s surface then we can move along to our next understanding that albedo cannot be less than zero.

      Do you follow along so far? If not we really don’t have any common ground to base further discussion of the physics of the greenhouse effect.

      • Dave Springer

        Another thing that needs to be carefully understood to avoid confusion is that an isothermal column of gas bound by gravity exhibits a lapse rate that is equal and opposite to the gravitational potential energy. At the surface all energy is kinetic and the gas is ideal and a thermometer can make a true measure of it. However as we ascend the kinetic energy of the gas is traded off for gravitational potential energy so that although we are still isothermal we cannot obtain a true measure of thermal energy from a thermometer as we must add in the gravitational potential energy in order for it to be comparable to gas at the surface. A thermometer will therefore show us a lapse rate in an isothermal atmosphere. Definitions of thermal energy do not appear to be consistent in physics texts but I definitely prefer the definition of thermal energy that includes both kinetic and gravitational potential. This may be overly complicated for the 5th grade version of the ideal gas law but without a clear understanding of the role of gravitational potential energy then the behavior of otherwises ideal gases in gravitational confinement leads to absurd thinking such as the thinking that greenhouse gases can somehow cause the earth’s surface to have a negative albedo and violate conservation as a result. One must count every joule in the system, the books must balance to satisfy conservation, and there’s a lot of joules in gravitational potential energy.

      • Dave,

        Here again you show that you don’t understand physics. The whole message is simply false from the first sentence to the last. Temperatures are measured in the same way at all altitudes, it’s not necessary to consider gravity. The average speed of molecules depends in the same way on temperature at all altitudes.

        I know that these points are confusing to many. Thermodynamics text books don’t spend much space on this. The reason must be that there’s finally not much to tell, but it might be worthwhile to spend more space on explaining why this is the case.

        I have discussed this issue a few times on this site, but I don’t have direct links to these comments.

      • “Pekka Pirilä
        Temperatures are measured in the same way at all altitudes, it’s not necessary to consider gravity”
        Temperature is indeed a measure of kinetic energy of a system and you do not need to consider gravity. Is this the case for heat?
        We use thermal/gravity well for fractionation of hydrocarbons by molecular weight routinely. The composition of the atmosphere with altitude is also fractionated with respect to the density of its components; the higher you go the higher the fraction of lower density gasses. Molecules at the top of the atmosphere do have a higher potential energy than those at the bottom, and the water molecules at the top of the ocean have a higher potential energy than those at the top.

      • DocMartyn,

        All that’s true. The relative concentrations of various gases changes, however, much less with altitude than it would based on the simplest arguments, because convection mixes effectively all of troposphere. Only on stratosphere and above will the relative concentration start to depend noticeably on the mass of the molecule.

        Nothing in the above changes the facts I presented above.

      • Doc, “Molecules at the top of the atmosphere do have a higher potential energy than those at the bottom, and the water molecules at the top of the ocean have a higher potential energy than those at the top.”

        That is a little bit confusing. You can use Poisson’s equation to determine the potential temperature of the atmosphere, but there is no useful formula to compare with the potential temperature of the ocean, though I agree that both should be considered to determine equilibrium. Warming would have to change both and the ratio should be maintained, which ever has the more prominent physical limit to change would limit the system response. The specific heat capacity of air and the specific volume (inverse of density) would be one atmospheric limit. The rate of heat transfer from high energy accumulation to lower energy sink, the other for the atmosphere. Basically, too much energy would blow the atmosphere out regardless of the rate of change and the rate of change would determine the where and how much.

        Since the oceans can only take up energy so quickly, that would enhance the atmosphere control of heat retention. That is pretty much what Vaughan Pratt was on about, the gain in atmospheric energy is too slow for efficient ocean uptake.

      • Pekka said, “because convection mixes effectively all of troposphere. ” But the rate of convection is limited. Since we don’t have an isothermal atmosphere, the density and altitude matter as far as the lower troposphere mixing. The troposphere hot spot from a conductive/convective perspective. The question is surface temperature. You can get 1.6C increase near the tropopause all day long, getting it back to the surface is is not all that easy :)

      • Capt. Dallas,

        That comment was about mixing of molecular species and for that there’s plenty of time as the separation of molecular species through diffusion is extremely slow.

        Details of the relationship between the surface and the tropopause are certainly complex when dynamics of the condensation of moisture and all other details are taken into account. Adiabatic lapse rate with immediate condensation of moisture at saturation gives allows for determining roughly the temperature profile, but only roughly.

        Referring to your previous comment. It might be better to avoid the word “equilibrium” as that makes many think about full thermodynamic equilibrium while the best we have on Earth is a partial equilibrium of some variables in a stationary system.

      • Pekka, Yeah, I generally use “conditional” equilibrium, what the system would like to achieve, not what it can maintain :) But Doc was talking about heat and the oceans which doesn’t in my mind jive with molecular distribution.

        I approach a problem like this by looking at the “conditional” equilibrium and looking for the weak links. Then you can balance out from that point. The atmosphere is definitely the weak link since it cannot retain more heat with out adding more thermal mass, water vapor, in the peak energy of summer daylight. CO2 can add to the nocturnal temperature by reducing the rate of cooling, but with the additional heat loss due to condensation, its impact would be reduced. So it looks to me like CO2 has a fairly limited “sweet spot” which the tropical and Antarctic temperatures seem to verify.

      • What do you mean by “the additional heat loss due to condensation”. What additional heat is lost and where does it go?

      • Pekka,
        The threading appears to be wonky so here is a redneck conceptional drawing of the atmospheric layers :)

        The envelopes expand and contract, except for CO2 which has an average radiant dependent on concentration. The moist air envelope can vary much more because of the properties of water. The dry air radiant varies with the total energy, water providing the majority, the tropopause inversely mirrors the surface energy, primarily drive by water. Where the CO2 layer crosses the moist air layer is the maximum impact.

        So you should expect a non-linear impact from CO2. Different properties, different impacts.

        You can look at the thermodynamics for any solar pond to determine the energy of the moist air volume. Hint: Salt water at 21.1C has what specific enthaply?

  82. And your sci-fi plot of a cooked Earth has done before- you are not even original.

  83. Beth Cooper

    I am outside everyday, Fan 3/07 3.52pm, and my eyes are open, and I hear stuff as well. , birds calling, river purling. Yesterday, our Yarra River was closer to bursting its banks, beautiful as … riffled with swirls and gyres and silver threads … pretending to be one of the great rivers.. bird life loves it, over a hundred ducks, cormorants, all happy since la nina and climate dog SAM came to Melbourne town.

    As I write, looking out my window, uh oh, heaped, no, towering cumulus clouds, grey, black, silver edged… albido, Fan, another rain squall at least, hafta take my umbrella today!

  84. John Warner

    Judith,

    I thought this was supposed to be a balanced web site where ad hominem attacks were to be eschewed.

    Many months ago I briefly met Garth Paltridge. He is a quietly spoken, sincere and very decent man. I understand he was the victim of death threats after publishing a very good short book on climate science but chose not to make them public in contradistinction to the huge publicity campaign launched over false death threat claims by warmists at the Australian National University which were subsequently debunked.

    Allowing an article on to this site which starts in a patronising tone making him sound mentally deranged and continues in the same tone seems hurtful and unnecessary – just because he disagrees:

    “What’s up with Garth?

    “Why the surprisingly out of touch lack of understanding of what it is that makes the global climate change?”

    and goes on:

    “Perhaps Garth thought the climate system too complex to model (by himself), convinced himself that all the climate process uncertainties made climate modeling intractable, and then went astray …”

    Whatever happened to just saying you disagree with his approach or his views???

    Come on Judith, time to tell the author to debate the issues and not the man or remove his article.

    • John,

      You must be misinterpreting and mischaracterizing what I wrote about Garth. Though I have not met Garth Paltridge personally, it would have been my expectation that he is, as you say, a quietly spoken, sincere, and very decent man. That he has been victimized by death threats is a clear indication that global climate change is no longer the isolated simply academic topic of scientific discussion and argument among atmospheric scientists, but has instead become a magnet for contentious wrangling, joined in by a vast multitude of “interested” parties with wildly differing agendas, some of which are beyond all reason and rationality.

      My description of the radiation book authored by Garth and Martin Platt was a straightforward and honest appraisal, based on the dozen or so books that I have made us of in climate modeling applications. As I stated before, the book Radiative Processes in Meteorology and Climatology by Paltridge and Platt was the state-of-the-art in 1976, and still is an excellent guide for pointing out what all needs to be taken into account in designing a state-of-the-art radiation model for a current climate GCM.

      Among the climate skeptics and contrarians, there are more than a few with excellent credentials in scientific research, including several Nobel laureates (as well as some 50 former astronauts), who have proclaimed in no uncertain terms that the current climate science assessment of global warming is patently erroneous. It is easy enough to dismiss these arguments out of hand as being empty nonsense because none of these individuals has ever demonstrated any tangible evidence of understanding the basic fundamentals of atmospheric radiation that would provide some basis in fact, physics, or mathematics to support their stated opinions.

      So, perhaps then you can appreciate my being perplexed in regard to Garth’s skepticism on matters about global warming. Understanding of the basic fundamentals of atmospheric radiation is clearly not the problem. But then, why be expressing all the doubt about whether the increase in global temperature attributable to increasing CO2 would be big enough to be noticed among all the other natural variations of climate? Was this based on technical reasoning, or based on some other model derived conclusion? Or was it simply unforced opinion?

      I have no way to know. That is why I speculating. It seemed reasonable for me to think that even though he understood all the theory, Garth was not into writing FORTRAN code to construct radiation models. Otherwise he might have included his own examples of atmospheric heating and cooling rates for illustration in his book.

      I have described climate modeling (which requires a whole research team) and radiation modeling as being complex and complicated, not to be facetious, but to make the point that the complexity is not so much conceptual, but numerical. Radiation interacts over the entire atmosphere and ground surface, differently with height and viewing geometry for each wavelength of the spectrum. As a result, a good mathematical model and a good computer is required to arrive at the solution.

      Basically what that means is that theoretical understanding of the radiative processes is necessary, but not sufficient. An accurate radiation model is needed to show the net result of what is happening at each wavelength. There have been numerous occasions where radiation model results at first appeared surprising, and required a closer look to see what was actually happening.

      In one modeling experiment, where the amount of tropospheric aerosol was increased, I expected the surface temperature to decrease, and the stratospheric temperature to also decrease slightly, partly because the entire atmospheric temperature would decrease, and also because the (small) longwave aerosol opacity would reduce the upwelling thermal radiation that provides heat to the stratosphere. The surface temperature and atmospheric temperature decreased as expected, but the upper stratosphere showed a temperature increase. It took some close inspection of the modeling results to finally understand that it was the increase in reflected solar radiation by the aerosol that was being absorbed by ozone to heat the upper stratosphere over and above the cooling produced by the aerosol.

      Also, it is known that the greenhouse effect due to increased CO2 produces surface warming while also cooling the stratosphere. The specific reason for the stratospheric cooling is not immediately obvious. A greenhouse model using spectrally gray absorption cannot produce stratospheric cooling and tropospheric warming at the same time. An adequate spectral window is require for thermal radiation to allow the cooling of the stratosphere while the troposphere and ground warm in response to increasing greenhouse gases. That is why explicit spectral modeling of thermal radiation is required in climate models to get accurate results for atmospheric heating and cooling.

      The one point that I was quoting from the Paltridge and Platt book was about their oversimplifying the thermal radiation problem much too much by assuming that the net thermal flux at the surface is the window radiation, and that the amount absorbed by the atmosphere is also the same amount radiated downward by the atmosphere. While this may be an adequate approximation for characterizing the thermal flux at the ground surface, it is not an adequate description over the entire atmosphere, amounting to throwing the baby out with the bath water, as doing so precludes an accurate characterization of the atmospheric greenhouse effect.

      If it is that you found my essay to be hurtful or disrespectful toward Garth, then I of course extend my apology, for there most certainly was no such intent. In regard to the characteristic tone of discussion on this blog, I have been labeled everything from “leftist commie fascist” to “dishonest nazi fake and fraud”, and even worse. I assume it all to have been an exercise of their first amendment fun and games for the locol denizens, expressing and wallowing in their self-defining brand of humor mongering, and not explicitly intended to be an expression of ill will toward me, or my mother.

      As part of our responsibility to make public the results of our research on climate change, we publish papers in the scientific literature and also post the results in public forum. These results describe our current best understanding of what is happening with global climate (that atmospheric CO2 is increasing as the result of human burning of fossil fuel, that atmospheric CO2 is the principal controlling factor of the terrestrial greenhouse effect, that water vapor and clouds, governed by the Clausius-Clapeyron relation, provide strong feedback magnification of the greenhouse effect, and that the climate equilibrium sensitivity to doubled CO2 is about 3 °C).

      Once our climate results are set out in the public forum, they then become a target for others to refute or verify. That is the way science works. Science is very competitive and a rather ruthless enterprise. There are a dozen or more major climate centers out there that are also studying the global climate change problem. If any of them were to find fault with our published results, you can be sure that they will not hesitate to let us know.

      And that is where Garth, if he feels that our analyses and results are in error, should not hesitate to tell us where he thinks we might have gone wrong. And for those who may think that the absence of any criticism from other climate centers (who might be finding similar results) is a clear indication that there is a global conspiracy ongoing in climate science, I am not sure what would work best to alleviate such failures of common sense.

      • Andy, you write “In one modeling experiment,”

        So far as I am concerned, this says it all. Anyone who can write that one can do an “experiment” using a model, clearly does not understand basic physics. This is the main problem with Andy’s whole essay; it seems to assume that the output of non-validated models is the equivalent of empirical, hard, measured, indenpendently replicted data. I have news for Andy. The output of non-validated models – and none of his models have ever been validated – is not the same as measured data and never will be

      • It would be better to actually increase tropospheric aerosols?

      • Jim

        Why this comment?

        Andy Lacis was telling of certain calculations that were done to tell what the model predicts for a specific case. There was absolutely no implication that this would somehow be “the same as measured data”.

      • Relying on the either/or defense that either the consensus is correct or else it is a worldwide conspiracy is a manifestation of how ill-informed and manipulative your posture truly is.

      • 50 former astronauts.

        Andy just can’t get things right; he’s a sloppy fellow.

      • there are 556 astronauts in the world according to wiki:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_astronauts_by_name
        A fair number Russians. There are Chinese, Japanese, Canadian, etc.
        Not sure if including the pilot of SpaceShipOne, if so the list is going to grow much bigger in few years.

      • Living or dead. And not sure how many are active rather than former astronauts.

      • I just noticed Lacis’s response to John Warner. Excellent reply, and some gems of information for those of us interested in the scientific details too.

      • John Warner

        Andy,

        Thank you for your comprehensive response.

        I was not planning to respond further (the point appeared well made and appeared well taken) until I saw the assessment (“Excellent reply”) you received below for what appears to have been seen as a good defence of the climate science cabal. Since that individual seems to see this as some sort of game, it seems incumbent on me to respond further:

        I found the research results you had intriguing and they reminded me of the thrill of solving problems and making discoveries. But I was disappointed when I realised that they were merely at the hypothesis stage, having been worked up in a computerised mathematical model. As someone whose initial background was in experimental physics I was very disappointed to see no indication that the hypotheses produced from the modelling results had ever been tested. I always found it most rewarding when an experiment to test a theory came back with positive results. It is hard to imagine the extent of the excitement at CERN at getting so close to establishing the existence of the Higgs Boson. But that is something that most climate scientists do not do isn’t it?

        This made me recall that several decades they go a funding decision was made to channel climate science funding towards computer modelling at the cost of studying climate science in the real world. As a result we now have a community of computer modellers with very limited ability to test their models in the real world. It is like having the JJ Thompson plum pudding model of the atom surviving for many years longer than it should and no Ernest Rutherford to test it and redirect theoretical research into areas more closely reflecting reality.

        As for Garth Paltridge: he has explained his views in over 130 pages in, “The Climate Caper” which would never have been published within the censored environment of climate science peer reviewed publications. In addition I strongly suspect he could not afford to publish it before retiring for fear of retribution in respect of his career and position within the CSIRO.

        We in Australia, live in a prosperous developed country in which much of its economy needs its natural advantage of plentiful cheap energy to compete with the lower wages and greater economies of scale as well as shorter transport distances of other countries. Arguably we have the most incompetent federal government in living memory and perhaps since federation. They have just introduced the world’s strongest and from their point of view of most lucrative “Carbon Tax”. This is based on the scaremongering from outrageous extrapolations from climate models that have not been successfully validated in the real world. The public is waking up to the futility of this exercise and the uncertainty of the “science” and it is well within the realms of possibility that after the next election the number of seats they hold in our House of Representatives will be in single figures. In the meantime their pernicious tax will victimise those least able to afford to pay it.

        Most science ‘scares’ quietly die away but the damage this one is doing may not be “brushed under the carpet” so easily. Any backlash will set back climate science even more than the imbalance in funding. On top of that the United Nations appears to be moving on to a new scare, “mass species extinctions” and it and its NGO fellow travellers will start urging funding move to the biological sciences. And Climate Science is an area where wonderful advances should be being made!

  85. Beth Cooper

    Further to out and about in nature, Fan, today the River Yarra burst its banks! We are the water planet.
    Noah’s flood is with us yet,
    Its opal waters inundate the land …

  86. Beth Cooper

    Oh I forgot :-) :-)

  87. Andrew Lacis

    I am waiting your answer for my simple question.

    Just saying, “you don’t know what you are talking about” is not enough.
    I will state my question again.

    Here are the global mean surface temperature data from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

    http://bit.ly/Aei4Nd

    These data show a cyclic pattern with slight uniform warming of 0.06 deg C per decade since record begun in 1850.

    The uniform warming of 0.06 deg C per decade EXISTED before mid-20th century.

    Where is the change in the climate pattern from this cyclic pattern with slight uniform warming of 0.06 deg C per decade?

    Where is it Andrew?

    I am waiting for your answer instead of calling me names. This is a genuine question.

  88. ‘Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable.’ (McWilliams 2007 -http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full)

    I quote this paper of McWilliams. It contains all the essential concepts on model, behaviour and evaluation. Rich with difficult concepts – difficult but well worth a read.

    ‘In his biography of the great twentieth-century theoretical physicist Richard Feynman, Gleick (1993) writes: ‘He (Feynman) believed in the primacy of doubt, not as a blemish on our ability to know, but as the essence of knowing’. Feynman’s philosophy applies as much to weather and climate forecasting as to fundamental physics, as made explicit by Tennekes et al. (1987) when they wrote: ‘no forecast is complete without a forecast of forecast skill’.

    The estimation of uncertainty in weather and climate prediction is encapsulated in the word predictability’. If something is said to be predictable, then presumably it can be predicted! However, initial conditions are never perfect and neither are the models used to make these predictions. Hence, the predictability of the forecast is a measure of how these inevitable imperfections leave their imprint on the forecast. By virtue of the non-linearity of the climate, this imprint varies from day to day, just
    as the weather itself varies; predictability is as much a climatic variable as rainfall, temperature or wind…

    Predictions of weather and climate are necessarily uncertain; our observations of weather and climate are uncertain and incomplete, the models into which we assimilate this data and predict the future are uncertain, and external effects such as volcanoes and anthropogenic greenhouse emissions are also uncertain. Fundamentally, therefore, we should think of weather and climate prediction in terms of equations whose basic prognostic variables are probability densities ρ(X, t), where X denotes some climatic variable and t denotes time. In this way, ρ(X, t)dV represents the probability that, at time t, the true value of X lies in some small volume dV of state space. (Palmer and Hagedorn eds 2006 – http://www.cambridge.org/gb/knowledge/isbn/item1172615/?site_locale=en_GB)

    I just don’t think Andy got the memo.

    Furthermore, the similarity in pattern and magnitude between adjusted ISCCP low-level cloud cover and the COADS marine stratiform cloud cover is especially impressive considering that they do not occur over the same climate shifts (adjusted ISCCP captures only the late-1990s shift, whereas COADS marine stratiform captures only the 1976 shift). The larger size of both COADS and adjusted ISCCP low-level cloud signals relative to the total cloud signals in the NE Pacific indicates that upper-level clouds increase when low-level clouds decrease. Enhanced upper-level cloud cover is consistent with the weakening of subsidence over the NE Pacific (fig. S2).

    We emphasize that the NE Pacific cloud changes described above are tied to cloud changes that span the Pacific basin.’ ‘http://www.sciencemag.org/content/325/5939/460.abstract’

    I understand the concept of unforced internal variation – it is simply that the concept is fundamentally flawed. There are changes in cloud cover that occur with sea surface temperature variability in ENSO and the PDO especially but also SLP variability in the polar fronts. It is a cloud radiative forcing with significant implications for decadal climate variability at least.

    I have given up expecting that these quite straight forward ideas can get through to certain types. The inability to process anomalous information is a core problem of what I term the cult of AGW space cadets. It is an expression of groupthink.

    ‘Some symptoms of groupthink are:
    • Having an illusion of invulnerability
    • Rationalizing poor decisions
    • Believing in the group’s morality
    • Sharing stereotypes which guide the decision
    • Exercising direct pressure on others
    • Not expressing your true feelings
    • Maintaining an illusion of unanimity
    • Using mindguards to protect the group from negative information’

    Much as I been a hydrologist and environmental scientist for decades and love science and maths – this is just pointless. What I am suggesting is that we move beyond the science – which you fundamentally have got wrong anyway – to responses that actually make sense for the needs and aspirations of people. This is one that is unstoppable because it increases food production and profits with the potential to sequester immense amounts of carbon.


    • Diogenes,
      The list of memos Andy, a self-confessed rude, obviously arrogant and sadly deceptive person did not get is probably very long.

  89. Beth Cooper

    Human problem solving will prevail in farming as in technical invention
    I read somewhere that it takes a thousand years to grow an inch of soil.
    Not so, I found this out myself, planting trees at the near by railway station on bull-dozed land – bedrock clay. Pierced the clay a bit to let the water in, coverered with straw, grass clippings and other mulch and …voila!
    Garden of Eden. :-)

  90. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Diogenes asks: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: – how can I keep forgetting?

    Thank you for asking, Diogenes.

    The usual methods of polemic denialism will suffice. As summarized by Roberts-Miller’s Characteristics of Demagoguery these include:

       • polarization,
       • ingroup thinking,
       • scapegoating,
       • motivism,
       • double standards,
       • personalizing,
       • denial of responsibility,
       • faux sincerity,
       • conspiracy theories,
       • warlike methaphors,
       • pandering,
       • bad science, and
       • anti-intellectualism.

    There are others, but these methods are a good foundation for posters of your persuasion. Indeed your previous posts have shown considerable talent in them.   :)   :)   :)

    What is your next question, “Diogenes”?

    • Fan

      You are fond of quoting work by Trish – see some of us do read your links :)

      Are you in fact Trish?

      Tony

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        ClimateReason, you had better just mark us me down as “Illuminati”!   :)   :)   :)

        Doh! Your question reminded me of two more characteristic traits of demagoguery, of which Richard Nixon in particular was exceedingly fond:

           • enemy lists, and
           • secret plans.

        Of the latter trait, Robert McNamara has recently written:

        “Richard Nixon was elected in 1968 on the assumption that he had a plan to end the Vietnam War. He didn’t have any such plan, and my job as his first secretary of defense was to remedy that — quickly.:

        Now history is repeating itself, eh?

        Four thorny issues of our time are:

        • climate change,
        • health-care reform,
        • a grinding war in Afghanistan, and
        • outsourcing jobs to a globalized economy.

        We can be sure that in the coming election, polemical denialists — equally on the ideological right and on the ideological left — will show great fondness for enemy lists, secret plans, and all of Roberts-Miller’s traits of demagoguery.

        These same demagogues will be short on rational analysis, clear vision, and real leadership.

        Therefore, ClimateReason, it’s desirable that American citizens be aware of these traits, eh?   :)   :)   :)

        This (for me) is what American-style democracy is all about.

      • Fan

        I dont have ‘enemies’ merely scientific curiosity and I belong neither to the idealogical left or the idealogical right. Neither do I have secret plans although if Big Oil or Big Wind would like to lavishly fund my research I’m perfectly happy to keep it a secret :)

        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Uh oh!   … ClimateReason has a sense of humor!   … quick, put him on *everyone’s* enemy lists!   … `cuz folks who appreciate “funny” can’t be trusted to defend serious climate-change ideology!   :)   :)   :)

      • Fan

        Well you have a sense of humour too, so that rules both of us out of any further debate.
        tonyb

    • ‘Space cadet n. A person who leads people to believe they are from a different planet or dreaming of ancestry in other areas of the universe. The person does not respond when directly spoken to, performs odd food rituals and displays complete disregard for commonsense. A space cadet is not necessarily referring to a person of low intelligence or a heavy drug user, but rather a person who typically focuses on all aspects of life except the one currently at hand.’

      :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

      I like to think of it as framing a positive narrative.

      :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

      You should try it sometime. But then you would have to have something politically palatable to say and not just sham, lies and slimy attempts at gotchas. Why don’t you give us a potted version of your vision of the future? Free markets, democracy and the rule of law I am sure feature prominently.

      :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

      Don’t you like the carbon farmers of America? Are you against American farmers. Do you want African small holders to go hungry? Too simple a fix? Rather have an excuse for economic ‘degrowth’, centralised control and the suspension of democracy? I can’t help you really – I want people to be free and economically secure. I think you must be a very bad person.

      :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        “Diogenes” concludes: [long rant redacted] I think you must be a very bad person.

        “Diogenes”, appearing on the enemy list of polemicists like you has for centuries been a badge of honor for freethinking American citizens.

        Thank you for this honor, “Diogenes”!   :)   :)   :)

      • Yours links are of course wasted on me – I can barely be bothered with the post itself. So you are a hero in your own story? Well colour me impresssed.

        I am more interested in how the peoples of the world will eat and grow into a secure future this century. Ways forward into freedom – many of which I have
        canvassed in recent days.

        An honest man would see the worth of these systems and technologies.

    • fan,
      Your list is an admission against your interests.

  91. Dr. Lacis has hopefully learned a lesson here.

    This is an active “climate debate” blog site, with many denizens, each of whom may have come to a different conclusion on the validity of the IPCC GAGW premise apparently supported by Dr. Lacis.

    Many of the denizens appear to be scientists and engineers, who have a basic understanding and interest in the ongoing debate surrounding the science supporting the CAGW premise

    Our host, Dr. Judith Curry has certainly come to her own conclusions, but she allows her denizens a free discourse and exchange of viewpoints on the site, as long as basic rules concerning language and polite behavior are followed.

    When someone posts an obvious hatchet job on another lead poster (as Dr. Lacis has done here, attacking Dr. Paltridge and his earlier post here) he can expect active and lively comment from the denizens.

    Welcome to the “gauntlet” at Climate Etc., Dr. Lacis.

    Max

  92. Beth Cooper

    Hello again, Fan@ 5.23am;
    Characteristics of Demagoguery… a Demagoguery Catalogue, I like it !!
    Apocalyptic pronouncement
    Belligerent collectivism
    Character assassination
    Denigration of hoi polloi
    Elevated language ( over the heads of you lot)
    Fanatical adherence to dogma
    Gatekeeping …

    And that’s only up to “G” :-) x3

    • Beth

      Plus 2. It will be plus 10 if you can extend the list

      tonyb

      • tony b

        Probably can’t do as good a job as Beth, but let’s move on down the alphabet:

        Hysterical pronouncements
        Illusional rationalization
        Judgmentalism
        Knee-jerk fatalism
        Lost data
        Manipulated results
        Non-existent evidence
        Overaggressiveness
        Pal review
        Quick and dirty model guesstimates
        Righteous dogmatism
        Scaremongering
        Tenuous argumentation
        Unjustified postulations
        Vindictiveness (vis-à-vis critics)
        Woolly logic
        X-clusion of dissenting opinion
        Yack-yack
        Zealotry

      • And smilies. Lots and lots of smilies :) :) :) :) :) :)

  93. Beth Cooper

    Fan @ 8.03am:
    Not low confidence in science ie theories with tests able to be replicated by others, Fan, only low confidence in pseudo science. Confidence in the market is confidence in individuals in an open society to have a go and fail if they miscalculate. Governments are not better at making guesses about the future and backing winners than the open market but will try to prop up poor policy with dollars and deceit.

    Gotta go and watch le Tour de France, there’s open competition for you, Fan. Cadell Evans ftrom Oz, what tenacity and courage, versus Bradley Wiggins UK, another hero in a field of risk takers. And the scenery is magnificent …

  94. Dave Springer

    So Hansen is predicting multi-meter sea level rise by the end of this century?

    Isn’t that just precious? I predict by the end of this century Hansen will be dead and his predictions will have been long dismissed as the ramblings of a mind that lost the capacity to distinguish between reasonable conclusions and dogmatic assertions. Religionist, heal thyself.

    • Up to 5 meters by 2095, and he has never predicted a single bit more by 2095.

      And it is beyond absurd to think he has predicted an additional 11 metres between 2095 and 2100.

      • JCH

        Are you saying the interview at his conference misquoted him and so do his papers? 5 Metres is silly enough mind you. Do you agree with him on that?
        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        ClimateReason claims: “Hansen said sea levels could be up to 16 metres higher by 2100.”

        We’re saying that you haven’t produced any quote that supports your claim.

        On the other hand, it’s mighty good that your posts encourage folks to read Hansen’s original literature … as contrasted with cherry-picked out-of-sequence out-of-context paraphrases of it.

        The former are highly instructive and the latter are just lame, eh?

        For which, thank you, ClimateReason!   :)   :)   :)

      • Fan

        You ask ‘Where did I get my 16 metre claim from?’ as if I plucked it from thin air, whilst you steadfastly tried to divert attention away from the ‘up to 80 feet higher’ sea level claim that was more important.

        Hansen said this in 2011;

        “ Civilization developed during the Holocene, the interglacial period of the past 10,000 years during which global temperature and sea level have been unusually stable. Figure 1 shows two
        prior interglacial periods that were warmer than the Holocene: the Eemian (about 130,000 years ago) and the Holsteinian (about 400,000 years ago). In both periods sea level reached heights at least 4-6 meters (13-20 feet) greater than today. In the early Pliocene global temperature was no more than 1-2°C warmer than today, yet sea level was 15-25 meters (50-80 feet) higher.”

        http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_15/PaleoImplications.pdf

        I had seen the lower figure of 50 feet mentioned elsewhere (probably on an American web site) and translated it to up 16 metres in my head (actually 15.38m) In this version he actually translates it into metres.

        The references to the Pliocene temperatures and the consequences on sea level rise have been cited elsewhere by me in great detail in Hansens interviews and papers ; For example

        ‘(Hansen said) If we go down the business-as-usual path, it will be 5.5 degrees warmer by the end of this century, warmer than it’s been in 3 million years,” he warned. “If you go back to that time, the sea levels were 80 feet higher.” Should that happen, he predicted, hundreds of millions of people would be homeless, the world’s weather patterns would be violently scrambled, and about half the planet’s species would become extinct.”

        And

        “Hansen, saying that recent evidence of melting at the poles shows ice melts much differently, and faster, than once assumed, warns that a few degrees’ rise in temperatures in northern regions could produce much worse results. While he says we could see a resulting rise in sea levels over this century of several meters (bad enough), he also warns that with only the widely predicted 5-6 degree Fahrenheit rise in this century that the IPCC has predicted, the earth could see these two huge ice sheets collapse almost entirely over the next century, with a resulting sea rise of some 80 feet or more. That would be enough to wipe out most of the world’s coastal cities and populations, and to cause massive climate change. (The US, for example, could kiss New Orleans, much of the Gulf Coast, the Florida peninsula, and most of the East Coast goodbye.)”

        Now Fan. I appreciate Hansen is a passionate man and that you admire him greatly, but he is a serial alarmist and if he doesn’t want people to repeat his wilder claims he shouldn’t write or speak in the unconstrained manner he has developed over the years. By the way, no doubt you wish to offer me an apology for doubting my word over the 16 metres? A series of your embarrassed emoticons will do and in future can we agree 15-25 metres?
        your British Chum
        Tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        ClimateReason claims: “Hansen said sea levels could be up to 16 metres higher by 2100.”

        Bottom Line  ClimateReason, you’re continuing to quote journalists, not Hansen’s own words.

        James Hansen’s closely-reasoned, fully-referenced, multi-authored analyses are well-worth studying, obviously.   :)   :)   :)

        Stories by sensation-seeking cherry-picking journalists, not so much, eh?

      • Fan

        You are incorrigible
        So you are saying both journos incorrectly reported him?
        Also that his own papers misquoted him as well?
        Tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        As a wise and fair compromise, ClimateReason, how`z about this:

        ClimateReason correctly asserts: James Hansen and his colleagues said: “Paleoclimate data commonly exhibit sea level change of more than one meter per century in response to climate forcing much smaller than the forcing that will occur this century with continuing fossil fuel use.”

        ClimateReason, that quote would be verifiably 100% accurate … and it would be entirely consistent too with your own sea-level research.

        Wouldn’t that be better, ClimateReason?   :)   :)   :)

  95. Andy Lacis writes: ” I want to emphasize that I am not in the education business, so I don’t see it as my direct and immediate responsibility to educate people who don’t understand climate”

    Manacker has it right. Then what is the purpose of your post? Just to get a rise out of the natives? Easy to write long contentious posts, not so easy to hang around and deal with the many arguments that follow. Your attitude in a nutshell is this: if you disagree with me then you’re ignorant, or stupid, or both. And I won’t waste my time talking to you. Could you be any more transparent? I don’t think so.

    I ask again, why did you post if you have no interest in “educating people?”

  96. David Wojick

    Andy’s article boils down to the classic case for CAGW: the science is good, the data is good, the models are good, so action is required. The rest is mostly smoke. Oh and Paltridge’s skepticism is due to a sad case of right wing ideology. Poor Andy cannot use the senility argument (old white guys) because he too is old.

    But sometimes we learn things here. I find it both amusing and important to learn that Andy and Hansen were undergrad major mates, and still together. With a half century of practice, no wonder they sound exactly alike!

  97. I’ve reached my own tipping point. I need a break. I’m so sick of lolwot and the skeptical warmist (not), and the “fan” not to mention the crooks and charlatans like Mann and “I told you so” TRenberth and Andy (“you’re all a bunch of morons” Lacis, and Hansen, and on and on and on ad nauseum..

    But most of all I’m sick of the refusal of most of those who know better to stand up and be counted. Why won’t the scientists who are no doubt just as disgusted as we are make their positions known? Why aren’t they writing letters? Why aren’t they submitting op-eds? Of course, I understand the pressures out there. But the stakes are high. We need a few more old fashioned JFK “profiles in courage.”

    Properly understood, the climate wars are no longer metaphoric, but an increasingly bitter struggle between the corrupt forces of darkness and oppression, and the rest of us.

    I’ve always been a pretty apolitical guy, at least down deep. But for the first time in my life I find myself truly angry, my world view increasing Manichean. I don’t like myself like this. I;m 61. Time to be mellowing out, not joining the revolution.

    That’s why I need a break. For my own mental health. Will be back in a month or two. Want all you skeptics to know that I’m proud to be among ye.

  98. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Sorry Mike, the “\bigstar” box was left off the celebrated cartoon 24 varieties of libertarianism. Here’s the corrected version:

       \begin{array}{|c|c|c|c|}\hline\multicolumn{4}{|c|}{\text{\footnotesize 24 Varieties}}\\\multicolumn{3}{|c}{\text{\footnotesize of Libertarian\hspace{-1em}}}&\bigstar\!\\\hline\otimes&&&\otimes\\\hline&&&\\\hline&&&\\\hline&\otimes&&\\\hline&&&\\\hline&\otimes&\otimes&\\\hline\end{array}

    The voicebox of the “\bigstar” reads:

    “No fair oversimplifying our oversimplified philosophy!”

      :)   :)   :)

    Seriously, Chief Hydrologist, I definitely enjoy your posts (along with many Climate Etc. folks) … they are well-reasoned and respectfully phrased.

    But with regard to Elinor Ostrom, I am unaware that she has ever, in her writings, concretely addressed the application of her principles to global-scale commons like the earth’s atmosphere.

    Hmmm … if all of us who share the world’s atmosphere form a global-scale Ostrom-community, that properly should regulate our shared resources … well … ain’t that atmospheric regulation precisely what James Hansen and his colleagues have been proposing all along?

    Chief, it’s mighty heartening to appreciate that you and Elinor Ostrom and James Hanson are all three on the same scientific and economic page!   :)   :)   :)

    • Ostrom studied such things as management of aquifers. Very similar principles apply to managing rangelends and the best approach is with conservation farming . This approach proceeds with information networks to advise and inform. It is quite consciously a way of reducing carbon in the atmosphere to pre-industrial levels within a decade or 2. That’s why they call themseles Carbon Farmers of America. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

      This doesn’t need regulaltion to proceed – about 15% of Australian farmers are conservation farmers and increasing rapidly. Ostrom principles go beyond both governments and markets directly to people making decisions.

      These approaches differ vastly from the failed policies of taxes, caps and subsidies. It is simply old and tired thinking to keep battling for nonsense. And I rather thnk Mike is right about you.

  99. Mikel Mariñelarena

    Dr Lacis explains that one of the things that is not uncertain is the fact that atmospheric CO2 is the principal control knob (the solar luminosity remaining fixed) that governs the global surface temperature of the Earth.

    I have two problems with this statement. The first one is that one needs to go no further than Wikipedia to verify that, while Dr Lacis makes such categorical statements, the cause and mechanisms of the largest global temperature variations that humans have experienced (the Quaternary glaciations) are still debated and largely unknown: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles Plausible mechanisms in the peer-reviewed literature, such as Roe 06 or Wunsch 04 imply very little, if any contribution from CO2.

    The other problem is that I assume that the kind of certainty Dr Lacis assigns to that fact is (I hope) no bigger than any other well-established, commomly accepted scientific proposition. Say the HIV-AIDS relationship, the impossibility of superluminal motion or the existence of subatomic particles. However, most people reading this post could easily name over a dozen climate scientists who publish in the peer-reviewed literature and do not agree with that fact. To that list one could add hundreds of physicists (including Nobel prize winners) and other accomplishhed scientists (including a former President of the US Academy of Sciences). I am totally unable to imagine such a degree of controversy regarding any of these other examples of mainstream science.

    • There was a large reduction in GHGs during the glaciation periods which was a feedback to the albedo change from the Milankovitch cycles. Without the GHG reduction the ice ages would not have been as cold. On a longer time scale you could also say the GHGs caused the Quaternary ice age period to begin, because the global atmosphere cooled slowly after the Cretaceous period as CO2 levels were reduced by natural sequestration.

    • Mikel,

      It is easy to find fake online “controversy” on a great many topics. It is also easy to find a mix of credentials, emeritus professors, or skeptics in whatever field is being considered that give some apparent credibility to the cause. See http://www.virusmyth.com/aids/controversy.htm as an example of one with “lists of experts” (not dissimilar to what is done with OISM-style petitions) in the case of the HIV-AIDS controversy. Similar articles are easy to find regarding the lack of health problems caused by smoking, that evolution is not real, etc. There are many variations of this, which sometime extend to “Nobel prize physicists,” and other impressive-sounding titles. It is a rhetorical tool to generate doubt in whatever field is being attacked. In no cases am I aware of have such lists ever put a dent in the scientific understanding of a topic.

      One can of course usually find outlying scientists on the very far fringe of the mainstream climate science community too, as is commonly done with people like Lindzen or Spencer nowadays, because there’s only a handful of real, published, credentialized climate experts that skeptics can turn to anymore.

      The reason why Andy’s point is not considered to be very controversial stems from multiple lines of evidence, the most fundamental of which is the basic radiative physics that guarantees increasing CO2 will reduce the rate at which Earth loses its outgoing radiation to space (for fixed T), meaning that the only way the Earth can reach a new equilibrium is to increase its temperature or for another forcing of opposite sign and equal magnitude to perfectly offset the CO2 increase.

      Paleoclimate eivdence is also a very powerful tool. Perhaps the most eloquent description of CO2’s role from a geology perspective is Richard Alley’s AGU talk a couple years back. Whenever one is talking about “big” climate changes in the past, be it the Eocene or Cretaceous hothouses, the evolution over the entire Cenozoic, the Pliocene, the escape of a snowball Earth, solving the faint young sun paradox, or even comparing the climates of Earth with that of the terrestrial planets, CO2 puts its head somewhere in the picture as a first-order factor. This is true for glacial-interglacial cycles as well, which are paced by orbital parameters, but which themselves are very small in the global mean, leaving CO2 (and also albedo) as the predominant radiative forcing and serving as a mechanism to equalize the climate change over the globe. No counter-theory has stood up to scrutiny. Other abrupt changes embedded within the glacial record, such as the Younger Dryas, may have more to do with ocean circulation changes, but even within these events there are GHG variations that must be considered in any credible model.

      CO2 is, of course, not the only factor. You also need to consider the slow brightening of our sun over geologic time, changes in continental positions, etc. But you can’t get anywhere in understanding past climate without thinking about CO2. There are of course a lot of smaller details people want to understand better, but the people who think the book needs to be completely re-written are facing much more of an uphill battle and standing contrary to decades of research.

      • Chris, I love the way you warmers just keep saying the same thing over and over. It does not work.

      • Chris, in science nothing is sacred, not HIV/AIDS, not SR, not GHG-GW etc. To disagree is to be against science. Science will prevail. Dogma will fall.

      • Mikel Mariñelarena

        Chris,

        Thanks for your reply. But my point is precisely that the controversy that one sees regarding the role of CO2 as “governor of the global surface temperature of the Earth” is totally different to the examples you cite. Of course, I am assuming that Christy, Theon, Tennekes, Pielke Sr, Allegre, Chylek, Scafetta, Shaviv, etc are competent enough scientists to be taken into account, that Ivar Giaever is a real Nobel Laureate in physics, that Freeman Dyson is an accomplished scientist and that Frederick Seitz was indeed the president of the National Academy of Sciences. If you don’t agree with these characterizations or can provide an example of a mainstream scientific proposition with such a degree of opposition please let me know.

        As for your and Jim D’s explanation of the ice ages, I am very aware of your hypothesis and I enjoyed Richard Alley’s AGU presentation, that was linked from the Wunderground site that I frequently visit. Very eloquent indeed. But, once again, what’s the point in arguing that this hypothesis is not accepted by all experts (as even Wikipedia acknowleges)? Why should I dismiss Roe’s or Wunsch’s explanations? Note that I’m not saying that Dr Lacis is wrong. I’m just saying that I can’t bring myself to accept the degree of certainty he tries to transmit.

      • Mikel,

        I think we have a fundamentally different idea of what constitutes scientific acceptance of an idea (or lack of acceptance). Finding a dozen people who disagree with it for reasons which haven’t stood any scrutiny, especially when most of them aren’t even experts in that area, doesn’t really do it for me…

        But in any event I’m really not sure how much you think Roe or Wunsch’s work deviates from the mainstream description of glacial-interglacial cycles, or indeed, what you think the mainstream view is. They are “controversial” only in the esoteric details and interpretation, but as far as I can tell have been valuable contributions to the science.

        You shouldn’t dismiss them, but you should put them side-by-side with hundreds of other papers on the topic. They aren’t very important on their own, and they don’t (as any individual scientific paper doesn’t) address a lot of questions or bring the full picture together. Science is a puzzle building process, and when you build that puzzle over the years, glacial-interglacial cycles have a lot to do with the orbit and a lot to do with GHGs. I’ve highlighted some of the arguments here
        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/04/unlocking-the-secrets-to-ending-an-ice-age/

      • Mikel Mariñelarena

        It’s a bit frustrating to have to disagree with someone on such trivial issues. I obviously haven’t just found “a dozen people” who disagree with Lacis’ statement and there is a legitimate debate in the literature about the causes of the glacial cycles. Roe’s hypothesis (and he’s by no means alone) does not require any CO2 involment. Nor does Wunsch’s, as far as I can understand it. I’m not even sure that one can really speak of a “mainstream description of glacial-interglacial cycles”.

        But well, I guess it all boils down to the difference between trying to maintain an open, skeptic attitude and trying to defend a firmly held belief against any perceived attack.

      • Mikel, I haven’t yet seen an alternative theory for the Cretaceous to Quaternary cooling, other than it is explained well by the CO2 reduction that was understood in terms of natural processes on the geological timescale (e.g. rock weathering and other carbon sequestration).

      • JimD “Mikel, I haven’t yet seen an alternative theory for the Cretaceous to Quaternary cooling, other than it is explained well by the CO2 reduction that was understood in terms of natural processes on the geological timescale (e.g. rock weathering and other carbon sequestration).”
        That is a joke right? At best CO2 explains a fraction and the lead/lag relationships certainly places caveats on the CO2 role as cause or effect during the transitions.

        http://rabett.blogspot.com/2012/07/eli-is-posting-translation-of-article.html

        There are a lot of factors that have to compliment one another to produce warming or cooling without a major event to initiate the change. It is called non-linear dynamics. CO2 as considered in GHE theory does not consider the various other factors including water vapor which is by far the stronger controlling fluid. Start with the oceans and work out not at some variable atmospheric layer and guestimate in. FRAME OF REFERENCE! A very important consideration in thermodynamics.

      • CD, so why was the Cretaceous, and Mesozoic era in general, so warm, exactly, if it wasn’t atmospheric composition? Skeptics have to answer with an alternative. The sun was cooler, so that one is taken out.

      • JimD, there is an interesting thing about a cooler sun. The atmospheric absorption would be less in a cooler world because there would be less water vapor and fewer clouds as a result. The ratio of atmospheric absorption to surface absorption is a control variable. One of the reasons the models have so much difficulty with clouds. The location of sink energy, the ice sheets vary which is the largest impact on “global” temperature average. The equatorial oceans have their own regulator, the abundance of liquid water.

        To understand the differences in the glacial and interglacial periods you have to understand the changing locations of the sinks, ice sheets. There was probably less than a degree change in temperature of the oceans between glacial and interglacial, what changes is the surface area of open water. Less open water allows more heat retention, more releases more heat. Remember, in a non-linear system average means squat.

      • CD, the Cretaceous is easier to understand because there was no ice to complicate things, which Is why we should understand its warm temperature to proceed with any theory. I also dispute that the ice age oceans were only a degree cooler when the global surface temperature was probably 5-10 degrees cooler.

      • JimD, there is a difference between global surface temperature average and average open ocean temperature that I specifically mentioned.

        For global average temperature it is all about location, location, location. If there is no properly located sink, the the temperatures would be difference. You have to remember that Earth’s orientation with the sun and the relative location of land masses in that orientation are critical considerations for determining heat capacity.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/07/first-day-of-global-warming.html

        That is the start of a more comprehensive explanation why the Faint Sun Paradox is BS. The Green House Theory is incomplete.

      • A cooler sun shifts the temperature curve to the red where the water vapor and CO2 overtone and combination bands are. Without doing a line by line comparison you can’t wave the majic wand and say that the percentage absorbed from the impinging solar will be less.

        Also, although the causes of the climb out from glacial epochs involves many steps, it is not necessarily non-linear and neither are any of the individual steps non-linear or do they need to be.

  100. A fan of *MORE* discord

    I think the thread’s buggered. Time for a new one.

  101. Beth Cooper

    I’m responding to yr challenge, Tony b ) Catelogue of Demagoguery Part 11( from H to Z)

    Hallucination
    Intolerance of others’ views
    Juxtaposing ‘Consenus’ and ‘Science,’
    “Knowing’ the science is settled.
    Losing records, losing data, losing heat.
    Manipulation (tree ring) samples
    Not archiving data and methodology
    Obfuscation – choose yr own example
    Predicting the catastrophe
    Questioning critics’ integrity – oil shills, deniers
    Refusing FOI requests
    Spinning the message
    Taking jaunts to exotic, far away conferences
    Understating uncertainty
    Verging on paranoia
    Wasting tax payers’ hard earned cash
    Xcessive confidence about positive feedback in the climate system
    Youthful – well juvenile – emotional maturity
    ZEAL!

  102. Dave Springer

    From Michael Mann himself: Maximum greenhouse temperature of the earth = 30C if the atmosphere absorbs 100% of LWIR. No amount of greenhouse gases can increase absorption beyond 100%. At that point conduction takes over until the atmosphere gets thin enough to radiate.

    Lacis (and a lot of the so-called physicists posting here) need to pull their heads out of their asses. I still say Mann’s number is impossibly high by a factor of two but it’s sure as hell at least in a ballpark that isn’t named batshit crazy.

    Who’d of guessed I be quoting Mann as an authority. I’ll continue the search for other sources naming figures below the temperature of the sun’s photosphere. LOL

    https://www.e-education.psu.edu/meteo469/node/198

    Let us use the standard values of A = 0.3 and S = 1370 W / m2.

    If we take ε = 0 (which is equivalent to there being no greenhouse effect), we get our original blackbody result TS = 255 K = -18 °C. Too cold!

    If we take ε = 1 (which is equivalent to a perfectly IR absorbing atmosphere), we get the result TS = 303 K = 30 °C. Too warm!

    However, if we take ε = 0.77 (i.e., the atmosphere absorbs 77% of the IR radiation incident upon it), we get a result, TS = 288 K = 15 °C. Just right!

    • Sorry, but you’re not even in the right ballpark.

      The link referred to is only using a one-layer model, which maximizes warming at the emission temperature times 2^0.25; for two layers, it would be 3^0.25, and for n layers it would be the emission temperature times (n+1)^0.25. Thus, there is absolutely no limit to the amount of warming you could get from the greenhouse effect, except when the planets temperature approaches that of the sun itself.

      In any case, the layer model presented in that link is far too simplistic. The real efficiency of the greenhouse effect arises from the absorber and temperature profile, and becomes stronger as you put your absorbing layer at colder temperatures aloft.

      • “Thus, there is absolutely no limit to the amount of warming you could get from the greenhouse effect, except when the planets temperature approaches that of the sun itself.”

        You seem to be suggesting that temperature reaching say 200 C or higher are possible at Earth distance using some kind of greenhouse.
        Or you saying that a “greenhouse effect” for some reason can not produced by any means available to human beings?

        It seems to me humans can make greenhouse effects without even trying to make a greenhouse effect. A car with windows rolled up on sunny day for example. Solar ponds are another example. Yes there there were designed to evaporate water, but not designed to generate very hot water [70 to 80 C] with sunlight.
        It seem so what reasonable that if 200 C temperatures can could be created it’s not so much some genius would done already, but rather someone would have stumbled upon it by now. But you even limiting to 200 C, you saying thousands of degrees are possible. And why do have such faith.
        Is it solely because you and others don’t understand why Venus is as hot as it is? Or what is the reason for this faith?

      • Dave Springer

        gbaikie

        Yes, you are correct and Colose is wrong. The challenge in solar thermal energy production is in producing what’s called quality heat. By ‘quality’ we mean a temperature differential great enough so Carnot Efficiency is larger than the parasitic losses in a practical heat engine. At that point we can generate useful work from the delta T. About the best we can do today in regard to parasitic losses sparing no expense is about 25% and 40% is a more realistic number. Modern combined cycle steam turbines used to generate electricity operate at about 60% efficiency. Modern diesel engines approach 50%.

        Carnot Efficiency is 1-Tcold/Thot with temperature in Kelvin. Let’s say we’re generating steam for a combined cycle power plant from solar thermal. We usually use a cold temperature of 20C to approximate the atmosphere at the turbine exhaust. So we’re looking for an inlet temperature greater than 1 – 293/Th = .4 which is 488K or 215C. That’s just enough to overcome parasitic losses and doesn’t leave us any shaft power. So we need more than that. The more the better. But lets say we’re happy with 10% of our solar energy being converted to shaft horsepower. We need about 600K for that or 325C.

        Here’s the rub. If Colose and the other clowns who believe selective coatings can generate temperatures with a theoretical maximum of 5000K (the temperature of the photosphere) we’d be doing it. In fact to get quality heat from solar thermal thermal we must concentrate the sunlight using either steerable lenses or mirrors which raises capital and operating costs for energy collection above what the market will bear and, adding insult to injury, location is everything. We need these concentrators in lower latitude deserts which means building out transmission lines from point of collection to point of consumption.

        If effect what Colose and some others are proposing is that selective coatings act like Maxwell’s Demon – a gating mechanism that lets energy in but doesn’t let it out and takes no energy to operate the gate. This would in fact represent a mechanism for a Perpetuum Mobile of the Second Kind. Whether or not a PM2K is physically possible or not is a controversy that goes back hundreds of years. Maxwell’s Demon may be physically possible but so far no one has figured out how to construct one and Colose et al’s naive misunderstanding of selective coatings does not constitute a working demon however I’m perfectly content to be convinced by experimental demonstration. Handwaving and pencil pushing doesn’t cut it. That’s just the first step in the scientific method.

      • gbaikie,

        Chris Colose wrote “.. there is absolutely no limit ..”. That may be a bit too strong, but “.. there is no absolute well defined limit ..” is correct. There are practical limits but where they are depends on what is required of the settings.

        Reaching about 200C is not a problem as it may on the contrary be a problem that flat plate solar collectors reach inadvertently that temperature and get damaged by that.

      • Dave Springer

        You are dense beyond words.


      • Dave Springer | July 5, 2012 at 7:44 am | Reply

        You are dense beyond words.”

        Since he wasn’t being specific and remember that this is Springer saying this, “you” could refer to the rest of the world. It’s always possible that he is indeed a genius, and everyone is totally off base.

        That is the danger of scientific consensus, as well as the uncertainty monster in action. :)

      • WHT

        That is the danger of scientific consensus, as well as the uncertainty monster in action

        To start off, WHT, “scientific consensus” in a science, which is still in its infancy, such as climate science today, is an oxymoron by definition.

        “Science” does not reject views or findings, which do not agree with the “consensus” (as the political IPCC process does).

        The “uncertainty monster in action” has been well described by our host here as it applies to climate science. It is an inherent part of the scientific process to recognize the “uncertainty monster” as well as to strive to resolve as much of the “uncertainty” as possible while acknowledging that there is much more we do not know than what we think we do know.

        This takes a certain amount of humility, as well as honesty.

        Both are lacking in the IPCC “consensus process”.

        Max

      • Whatever. Springer rules and is the Gordon Ramsay of the word salad chefs roaming this Climate Hell’s Kitchen.

  103. Beth Cooper

    Pokerguy, I sympathise with yr feeling about the contoversy, don’t stay away too long . Refresh yr spirit with some great literature, Thos Hardy, the Greeks … a recent book I’ve read twice, didn’t want to see the film, is Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘The Remains of the Day.’ Such a witty quest amd there’s a little treatise on banter.. Ishiguro’s prose is the best.

  104. Beth Cooper

    Diogines, no douby others beside myself have appreciated the ways towards a productive future canvassed by you in this thread. I especially am interested in the farming revolution, will speak to my cousins in Western Australia.Thx.

  105. Beth Cooper

    Hans Rosling’s new insight into poverty “How to get serious you make a powerpoint )

  106. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    mike boasts  No brownshirts in my circle of acquaintances, fan–only proud, strong, self-reliant men and women who cherish freedom.

    In other words, fan, the “crowd” I run with is everything your greenshirt, hive-dependent, moon-faced, grinning-idiot crowd is not.

    Historians, scientists, military folks, and writers alike all recognize the toxic flames that Mike’s posts are seeking to fuel.

    • A fan of *MORE* discord

      Stop being ludicrous.

    • fan,

      Yr: “historians, scientists, writers, military folks, and the like…”

      And the money-shot of your above, dork-on-fire-playing-the-vicitm comment, fan, was a link to some doofus, alternate history, “It could happen here!”, “I feel threatened!”, Hitler-scare, sci-fi novel of the sort can’t-get-a-date, spoiled-rotten nerd kids with over-protective moms freak-out on while nursing a Saturday-night-at-home, bad break-out of the zits.

      Also, fan, I think we can further safely conclude that the “literature”, one finds in your link, also belongs to the literary genre of choice of lefty-flake youth-masters angling to corrupt and brainwash vulnerable adolescents entrusted to their care (I can just see you, fan,–all solemn and uptight serious-like–reverentially offering up your precious, this-is-what-we’re-up-against!, please-keep-this-just-between-the-two-of-us-O.-K.?, secrets-of-the-inner-circle, idiot novel for the delectation of some needy, awestruck, dumb kid who has fallen for your greenshirt come-on).

      And, oh by the way, fan, dear Mr. Godwin just read your comment, shouted out something about “The big one!”, and keeled over dead. Maybe you know what that’s all about.

      fan, you really do have a sicko streak to your clownish zaniness. I mean, like, you really believe that anyone who doesn’t buy into your CAGW scam and its gulags-galore, hive-heaven end-game is a Nazi!, don’t you? You know, fan, when Dr. Lacis disparaged the conspiracy-theorists that plague the “climate-so-called-science” debate, I think he had you and your fellow hive-creeps in mind. And ol’ Andy has a point there, I must say.

  107. Lacis is patently obviously hostage to a primarily political outlook of his own.

    Desperately wanting to believe that the Climategate emails were hacked rather than leaked, he tries on the tired old line that they were taken out of context, misrepresented, and misinterpreted. And like all the others who make this vaccuous claim, he skips addressing that after three years, not a single shred of evidence to support this has emerged. He simply will not see nothing wrong then with hiding data, sabotaging peer-review etc etc. A paid-up member of the politically-funded ‘Consensus’ is Lacis.

    • Not even wrong. Empty blather on your part tho.

    • Eli
      Since you too offer zero evidence that puts the Climategaters’ data hiding and various other ‘tricks’ in a favorable light, and fail indicate where this has been shown before, you are just as big a fraud as Lacis. And hence only blather here is yours.

  108. Beth Cooper

    That’s about it, Erica, ref Catalogue above – “I” “Q” and “Z”

  109. Inter alia, Lacis seems to subscribe to the ‘downwelling’ IR idea that even Realclimate has abandoned. An alarmist’s alarmist.

  110. Beth Cooper

    manaker 04/07 10.02
    Jest read yr demagogue catalogue, ‘H’ to ”z’ Max.
    Both your list and mine begin and end alike!
    ‘h,’ ‘hysteria/hallucination,’ and ‘z’, ‘zealotry/zeal.’
    Consensus eh! :-) x5

  111. What I struggle to understand, is the utter refusal by the climate establishment to expel or punish the ‘climategaters’. If they would only do this, the idea of AGW thinking being founded on fraud would be be a thing of the past.

  112. Beth Cooper

    Say Fan, how do you have privileged insight into what is of concern to
    Pokerguy?
    ‘And should I then presume?
    And how shall I begin?’

    ( You are so authoritative, Fan, that you will doubtless know the sources of this quote.) :-) X 1,000.000,000

  113. Here is a SLIDE RULE challenge for all the wanna be climate scientists :)

    Since it is so complicated, you should really break up into groups, no lone scientist could possibly get the right answer without mega computers, advance FORTRAN programming skills and two fingered typing prowess.

    http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/07/our-solar-pond.html

  114. Beth Cooper

    Tony, 05/07 9 31am”
    ‘Do these people genuinly have these apocalyptic visions of the future or are they exaggerating the science in order to grab attention?’

    See Max and my Demagogue Catalogues, refs ‘h’ – hysteria / hallucination and ”z’ zealotry / zeal.’ I’m inclined to go with ‘z’ – noble cause corruption.

    PS what’s our award fer DC effort, Tony ? Don’t say ‘snails.’

    • Beth

      I woudn’t insult you by offering Snails. Its slugs today.

      Your combined efforts were so good that we need to talk about awards in their thousands.
      tonyb

  115. capt. dallas 0.8 +/-0.2 per doubling maybe :) | July 5, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    Pekka,
    The threading appears to be wonky so here is a redneck conceptional drawing of the atmospheric layers

    The envelopes expand and contract, except for CO2 which has an average radiant dependent on concentration. The moist air envelope can vary much more because of the properties of water. The dry air radiant varies with the total energy, water providing the majority, the tropopause inversely mirrors the surface energy, primarily drive by water. Where the CO2 layer crosses the moist air layer is the maximum impact.

    I try to continue at the end.

    I still cannot fit your ideas to the knowledge that I have about atmospheric physics. My understanding is not formed of separate envelopes but of an atmosphere where all effects are operating in parallel throughout the troposphere. In a stationary atmosphere the net energy flux is the same at all altitudes. Downward SW increases with altitude. That must be taken into account and leads to the effect that the upward net flux of other types must also increase a little with altitude.

    At low altitudes convection and latent heat make up a major part of the net flux and the net IR flux is correspondingly smaller. With increasing altitude the net IR flux grows as there is less downwards IR from layers above. Convection of sensible and latent heat compensates automatically the imbalance left by radiative heat transfer. The ratio of sensible and latent heat depends on the moisture level and temperature. Finally at some altitude net IR is as large as the total net flux (excluding SW). At that altitude and above no convection is needed. That’s the altitude of tropopause.

    Can you explain, how your concepts fit into this description?

    • That, ” My understanding is not formed of separate envelopes but of an atmosphere where all effects are operating in parallel throughout the troposphere. ” If you consider the troposphere not as fixed plane but as separate thermal envelopes, you have it. For example, select an tropopause temperature of -32C or -55C, and draw an isothermal layer. Then draw a moist air isothermal layer at 0C. All effects are in parallel, but there is are curved surfaces not flat planes. So the lapse rate would not only change vertically but horizontally as well. You have an expanding envelope not shifting planes.

      Look at the ocean in the same way. You have stratified layers with a common sink at the freezing point of water. The energy flow in those stratified layers would also be parallel. In conditional equilibrium all layers would have the same impedance. Of course the system has lots of chaotic noise, but the ideal conditional equilibrium is useful as a reference.

      • I remain skeptical on your theory. The only way to convince me would be presenting a full mathematical formulation of the theory that is consistent with what we know about the atmosphere. That would certainly also be consistent with the way of thinking that I described as that is based on well known physics. Having different ways of looking at the same physics is not unusual and each of the ways may have its advantages explaining some phenomena in a simpler way than other approaches.

        So far I’m, however, not convinced that you have an example of such an useful formulation.

      • Pekka, the problem is that problem does not require a full mathematical formulation, just the basic thermodynamic formulations that have been with us for centuries :)

        Look at the solar pond again as a basic thermo problem. By changing the salinity of layers you can suppress convection enough to store more energy. Same in the atmosphere, there is some stratification because of the thermodynamics, water vapor can retain more energy but has to condense at a certain temperature, you have some thermal stratification due to the relative thermal capacities and the properties of water. So the “full mathematical formulation” has been done with a variety of systems, treat each layer by its own unique thermodynamic properties, you have the formulation.

        Now what I am looking at is a little more interesting. The 4C layer disappears in salt water, but we have a 4C layer? The S-B equivalent energy of 4C is 334.5Wm-2 versus the heat of fusion of water of 334Joules per gram. This appears to control the ocean average temperature at the low end while the specific volume and temperature controls the high end, we have ~83Wm-2 average latent cooling. These limits allow the ocean surface emissivity to vary in a rather small range.

        Now if I can start there an determine the effective emissivity of each atmospheric layer, that might be a unique mathematical formulation worth talking about :) The other is just basic thermo Pekka.

      • But there is no stratification in the troposphere, if there were it would not be troposphere.

        Stratosphere is evidently called stratosphere as there is a lot of stratification there.

  116. Beth Cooper

    I knew there was something wierd about *magnification*…it’s *amplification,* yer meant, Andy, a m p l i f i c a t i o n.

  117. Arfur Bryant

    I have a direct question for Dr Curry:

    Of the two opinions – Garth Paltridge or Andy Lacis – which one would you consider to be most similar to your own?

  118. Peter Lang

    Chris Colose,

    I replied to you last night (my time) but the thread is so long now you may not have seen it. It is here:
    https://judithcurry.com/2012/07/02/garth-paltridge-held-hostage-by-the-uncertainty-monster/#comment-215576

  119. Peter Lang

    Chris Colose,

    I posted a reply to you last night. It is way up the thread so you may not have seen it. I tried to post a link at the end of the thread to point you to it, but it has been posted out of order (well above the bottom of the thread. So I’ll repost it below.

    Chris Colose,

    Thank you for your reply. You said:

    Personally, I tend to think we should care if all of a sudden brought the climate back to something like the Pliocene.

    OK. That’s your opinion. But why do you think that?

    Let’s consider realistic rates of change and let’s limit ourselves to 2050 and 2100 time frames. It’s ridiculous to even talk about 2100 let alone beyond that in my opinion.

    Let’s also be very cognisant of the rate at which we can adapt to challenges. That is something that is almost always ignored in the IPCC and climate science literature.

    So what could really happen by 2050 and by 2100? What are the net costs and benefits?

    It’s not helpful to talk about 20 m sea level rises and 60C temperatures. Doing so completely ignores the rates of change that are feasible.

    It also ignores the rates of technological change. We could roll out emissions-free nuclear power plants to replace coal burning in a decade or two if we really wanted to (consider the rate that USA and Russia produced tanks in WWII). If we become convinced we need to cut emissions. We’ll do so. But I doubt it will be done with an economy damaging, wealth destroying, CO2 tax.

    I’m not entirely sure you have read Nordhaus’ work. In fact, his work shows the economic benefit of reducing GHG emissions now rather than waiting for a half-century.

    There is a difference between reading his work and accepting all his conclusions. I find his work (what I have read) to be very helpful, but I don’t accept some of the conclusions he draws – as shown in this and the following comment on Skeptical Science (which by the way has never been refuted or shown to be wrong): http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=1325#80580

    His work shows that the economic benefit of acting now rather than waiting for half a century is jut $3.5 trillion (in 2012 US $). That is trivial in the context of 50 years of world GDP, plus growth of GDP. In fact it is about 0.1% of fifty years of world GDP discounted at the RICE default average discount rate for US for 2005 to 2055 of 4.34%. However, it is important to recognise that these benefits are only real