Chemistry’s climate of skepticism

by Judith Curry

While climate change is occurring, the drivers of change are less clear.’

We have recently considered some reasons for skepticism from engineers, a physicist, and a weather forecaster.

Chemistry World, a publication of the  (UK) Royal Society of Chemists, has an interesting article entitled Chemistry’s Climate of Scepticism.  Excerpts:

It’s those pesky climate sceptics again, right? Well yes – but these ones read Chemistry & Industry, and are therefore likely to be chemists of some description. When the magazine ran a survey in 2007 on its readers’ attitudes to climate change, it felt compelled to admit that ‘there are still some readers who remain deeply sceptical of the role of carbon dioxide in global warming, or of the need to take action’. 
 
The respondents who felt that ‘the industry should be doing more to help tackle climate change’ were in a clear majority of 72% – but that left 28% who didn’t. This is even more than the one in five members of the general population who, as the IPCC releases its fifth report on climate change, now seem to doubt that global warming is real.
 
If, as I suspect, a chemical training seems to confer no real insulation against the misapprehensions evident in the public, why should that be? One possible reason is that anyone who has spent a lifetime in the chemical industry (especially petrochemicals), assailed by the antipathy of some eco-campaigners to anything ‘chemical’, will be likely to develop an instinctive distrust of scare stories about environmental issues. That would be understandable, even if it were motivated more by heart than mind.
 
But I wonder if there’s another factor too. (Given that I’ve already dug a hole with some readers, I might as well jump in.) If I were asked to make gross generalisations about the character of different fields of science, I would suggest that physicists are idealistic, biologists are conservative, and chemists are best described by that useful rustic Americanism, ‘ornery’. This is part of what makes chemistry fun, but it is not without its complications.
 
In any event, it could be important for chemists to consider whether (and if so, why) there is an unusually high proportion of climate-change doubters in their ranks. Chemistry has a huge part to play in finding solutions to the daunting problems that the IPCC report documents. A vocal contingent of contrarians won’t alter that.
From the Comments:
Ralph Morris 

Chemists (and physicists, cosmologists & mathematicians et al) are SCIENTISTS in the traditional, and true, sense of the word. They doubt everything until there is irrefutable evidence to prove the case. Then they set up a Null Hypothesis experiment to prove the evidence wrong. When they can’t do that, they accept the inevitable. That’s what differentiates scientists.
Eco-campaigners are not scientists. They have a history of making crude, gross assertions to promote their political careers (or pseudo-religious beliefs). They are known for ignoring or dismissing any evidence which counters their claims. In the case of the IPCC contributors, any researcher who had the temerity to question the base premiss was excluded from the survey(s). So 61,000 researchers were whittled down to 75 – of whom 97% supported the claim that climate change was due to Man (as other respondents have pointed out).

Peter Stilbs, FRSC, Stockholm

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“the 3% of the world’s climate scientists apparently still undecided ” – this is just an urban media legend. The story is discussed here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S…

and the “97% consensus” stems from this study: Doran and Kendall Zimmerman, 2009: A poll performed by Peter Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman at Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago received replies from 3,146 of the 10,257 polled Earth scientists. Results were analyzed globally and by specialization. 76 out of 79 climatologists who ”listed climate science as their area of expertise and who also have published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change” believe that mean global temperatures have risen compared to pre-1800s levels, and 75 out of 77 believe that human activity is a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures. Among all respondents, 90% agreed that temperatures have risen compared to pre-1800 levels, and 82% agreed that humans significantly influence the global temperature. Economic geologists and meteorologists were among the biggest doubters, with only 47 percent and 64 percent, respectively, believing in significant human involvement.

Pretty ridiculous, is it not ? I am a “climate sceptic” myself, and would still have “agreed”.

It appears to me that Philip Ball and many others do not really understand what is the real issue – in short it is around claims of all kinds of catastrophic effects of carbon dioxide.

Badger badger 

And of course many chemists work for the oil supermajors – BP, ExxonMobil and the rest. Those that don’t are likely to have friends or former colleagues that do.

A very good friend of mine – someone I studied chemistry with at university – now works for ‘big oil’. I find it very hard to reconcile my knowledge of climate change with his choice of employer. What will he tell his grandchildren about his working life? I wonder. I don’t doubt that our friendship would benefit considerably from a little more ‘fuzziness’ in my thinking in this area.

JC comments:   Their survey in 2007 occurred at arguably the peak of the consensus.  It would be very interesting to see what kind of response the same survey would receive in 2013.
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I haven’t interacted that much with chemists on this issue, although a few years ago I did participate in the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Chemical Society.  The ACS Division of Small Chemical Businesses ran two sequential sessions with invited talks, one called Global Climate Change: What Citizens of the World Need to Know, and the second entitled A Critical Look at Global Warming: An Examination of Driving Factors in the Wickedly Complex System Called Climate.    The invitees for the second session were William Stewart, Nir Shaviv, Ross McKitrick, Richard Lindzen, myself, and Bob Carter.  Climate Etc. hosted two threads about this session, including a guest post by Pete Bonk, who organized the ‘critical’ session:
For reference, the ACS Policy Statement on Global Climate Change can be found [here].
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My take away message was that despite their official stance, the ACS was open to the idea of multiple perspectives and the inclusion of an explicitly skeptical session.  I cannot imagine the American Geophysical Union approving (or anyone even proposing) such a session.  I can imagine such a session at the American Meteorological Society (maybe I should propose one).  The American Physical Society is quite open to skeptical perspectives (note:  I have an invited talk at the Annual Meeting of the APS next March), and seems to consider them as part of a continuum of the science under consideration.
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S0,  ‘Are chemists more prone to climate scepticism than other scientists?

330 responses to “Chemistry’s climate of skepticism

  1. David Springer

    “biologists are conservative,”

    Must have a different meaning in the UK. In the US their politics are more liberal than either chemists or physicists. Conservatism amongst natural scientists pretty much goes in the order of how the universe is explained i.e. from least to most conservative: biology is explained by chemistry and chemistry is explained by physics.

    • David Springer | November 4, 2013 at 7:57 am;

      I think “biology”, “biologist” and “being a biologist” all carry different nuances, in UK and Europe, versus the American sphere.

      I started noticing differences in the literature, around 1980, which in books etc ran back many years before that. In U Bio, Bot and Zoo, I made a habit of identifying European workers and reading their stuff.

      Bring up nifty items from their Lit, I could entice the Prof into an ‘intriguing’ diversion, and win the gratitude of my fellow students.

      Of course, as we move forward into current times, changes have taken place across the pond. Some scientists there now reflect American nuances; others (a lot of them) have taken up heavily counter-American politics, on the matter of Energy, Environment, etc.

      But still, European scientists are trained in distinctively different ways.

      My German Prof was bombed & burned out of Dresden as a young teenager, and enjoyed comparing their academic culture with ours. Furthermore, his classes attracted lots of European exchange students. Finally, he taught Greek & Latin (foundation items in their older prep-tradition), and the Greek attracted many Bible students, whom the old-line Euro intellect enjoyed sparring with.

      Ted

    • The problem with biologists is that they aren’t trained in the physics you need to show why the IPCC ”consensus’ is based on juvenile mistakers.

      Thus we have the Royal Society, President cell biologist Paul Nurse, all in favour yet he is not competent to agree the science.

      It goes right back to Tyndall’s experiments of the 1850s. There is absorption of external, higher temperature IR energy by ghgs but few of these ‘scientists’ have asked the obvious (to a Professional) question, which is ‘where is there proof of gas phase thermalisation?’.

      There is none and anyone with a good understanding of statistical thermodynamics back to J Willard Gibbs knows that it cannot happen at Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium so there is pseud-diffusin before heterogeneous thermalisation.

      You can also prove this from looking at the vibrationally activated density of states in the gas phase, fixed for a given temperature by the Law of Equipartition of Energy and the Physics of the CO2 laser prove it.

      To summarise: Climate Alchemy is a cuckoo in the nest of real science and it hs grown far too big; time for a fall.

      • David Springer

        Surely you’ve seen IR spectrographs taken looking down from 20km in basic atmospheric physics texts, right? Surely it can’t have escaped your notice that there’s a big frickin’ hole carved out of the spectrum around 10 micrometers and that the remaining spectrum is elevated to make up for the deficiency?

        That’s your proof of thermalization – energy missing from a narrow range of the IR blackbody spectrum and the missing energy spread across the rest of it at a different characteristic blackbody temperature. Denying a fact doesn’t make it go away.

      • David Springer

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/10/visualizing-the-greenhouse-effect-emission-spectra/

        You can see IR spectroscopy above. Note my name is mentioned in the article for pointing it out to Ira Glickstein to correct some mistakes he’d made in a prior article on the GHG effect.

        The argument isn’t over thermalization of the environment due to greenhouse gas absorption of longwave infrared. We’ve known that happens since John Tyndal measured it in the 1850’s. The debate is over what else happens at the same time in response to downwelling IR from GHG absorption and reemission. In dry air where rocks are being irradiated the response is predictable. Where the surface being irradiated is water the story is different because unlike rocks water evaporates setting up vertical atmospheric convection of latent heat which unsurprisingly forms clouds which both shade the water surface depriving it of shortwave energy which is the only source of warming for it and it also raises the radiative surface from sea level to several thousand feet altitude where there is less radiative restriction upward to space and more radiative restriction back down to the surface. This is where the alarmists have screwed the pooch.

      • Sorry David, you and the texts are making elementary mistakes. The first is to assume OLR is black body IR emission from the Earth’s surface minus that absorbed in the atmosphere. This idea, from Arrhenius, is juvenile and he was told this at the time by Niels Bohr. The only IR emitted from the surface is <40% black body in a few non self-absorbed H2O bands and the 'atmospheric window', elementary radiative physics.

        You easily prove this with a bit of MODTRAN work (MODTRAN is the only bit of Climate Alchemy i trust, and that is up to a key limit I'll mention later).

        OLR comprises three separate emission types. (1) H2O bands from ~-1.5 deg C, ~2.6 km in temperate latitudes, and is the position in the atmosphere where the [H2O] partial pressure and temperature combine to make the proportion of those quanta going to Space vey high. Hence this is the spectral brightness temperature. (2) The -50 deg. C spectral brightness temperature CO2 15 micron emission (the two bands near 10 microns are minor) is because of the high self absorption and is set by the near constant temperature above the tropopause. (3) The atmospheric window surface emission averaging +15 deg.C spectral brightness temperature. There is no -18 deg C. emission zone: this is a weighted average with no physical meaning.

        The problem with MODTRAN is that it predicts a 'forcing' of ~ 3 W/m^2 for doubled [CO2] but this does not take into account the effect of clouds. The real story is that CO2 climate sensitivity is <0.1K.

        Frankly, the level of science in Climate Alchemy is high school, presumably so it could be accepted by the population. There is virtually nothing that is correct physics. Bear in mind I have borrowed IR self-absorption physics from analytical spectroscopy and OLR irreversible thermodynamics, present in the literature but ignored even though it establishes the overall boundary conditions fro thermodynamic stability.

        Look at this Brookhaven paper: Wu, W., and Y. Liu (2010), Radiation entropy flux and entropy production of the Earth system, Rev. Geophys., 48, RG2003, doi:10.1029/2008RG000275.

        They're on the right track to quantify Gaia but have made the usual physicists' mistake of assuming grey body atmosphere. They are applying engineering thermodynamics. The real science is emerging at last.

      • PS the <0.4 operational emissivity is in the absence of convection and evapotranspiration. In reality taking that into account, we get an operational emissivity of 0.16 = 63 W/m^2/396 W/m^2.

        [You can prove this with the wind break on the beach. At constant SW energy thermalised, reducing convection increases temperature, raising real IR emission so convection + IR = SW in. If Arrhenius was right, the windbreak would have no effect on sand temperature.

        The work done to establish the real heat transfer has been superb. Trenberth ruined it by insisting on adding imaginary 'back radiation'.

      • You ask ‘where is there proof of gas phase thermalisation?’, as I have been. So why do physicists here like Pekka still argue that the experiments have been done and that science is settled?

        On a more basic science level – we’re back at “will the feather of the hammer land first on the ground when dropped?”.

        Can chemical composition change blackbody temperature?

        What sort of experiment would it take to properly settle the science?

      • blouis79: the problem is that Climate Alchemists fail to understand statistical thermodynamics. Thus you do get conversion of the energy in a vibrationally-activated molecule to and from kinetic energy but there can be no increase of the fraction of activated molecules in a given volume at a give temperature.

        Hence the excess quanta are ejected from that volume to thermalise** at heterogeneities where the energy can be converted to kinetic energy because in condensed matter the activated molecular state energies can have many more degrees of fineness; a broader spread. This process is repeated absorption and local re-emission throughout the atmosphere, a process ultimately controlled by the need to minimise radiation entropy production rate in the OLR.

        Thermalisation with Tyndall was at the brass tube inside surface. Thermalisation in the PET bottle is in the plastic walls, same for the glass bottle. I am not the first to point this out but now the atmosphere has stopped warming, because the real AGW, Asian pollution reducing cloud albedo, has saturated, we have to stop these charlatans killing 100s of millions of people to enrich carbon traders etc. using juvenile physics.

        Look carefully at Pierrehumbert’s publications; plausible but he apparently carefully leaves wriggle room whilst pleasing his masters. I have no master.

      • PS black body temperature for a condensed material is independent of composition. With ghg-containing gases the issue is complicated by self-absorption and CO2 and H2O differ widely in their response.

        Furthermore,. the self-absorbed ghg band will have a different amplitude in the volume compared with at an optical heterogeneity, proven experimentally. The reason is that near a surface, there is no self-absorption so the amplitude rises. MODTRAN automatically does this calculation because it defines the integrated Radiation field at the observation plane.

        The Climate Alchenists’ eyes glaze over by now.

      • What’s prettying interesting is you can get a good reading of DWIR with a handheld IR thermometer pointed up. You need one that goes to -70, my clear sky 55F day was a little colder than -40.

        I am working on setting up a data logging thermometer so I can see how that changes as the weather at the surface changes.

        But if Co2 does anything, it’s changing this temp.
        At 15u, it takes 30 times as long radiating the same number of joules as the energy you get a .5u. So one hour of .5u Sunshine would take 30 hours to radiate out at 15u, and yet temps will drop 10 degrees after sunset in 3-5 hours. Co2 doesn’t not control surface cooling after dark. And if it doesn’t it is not “the single control knob”.

      • Sorry Mi Cro: fail.

        An optical pyrometer measures the temperature of the emitter, really the fractional proportion of activated surface states calibrated against a black body.

        In the case of IR, these can transfer the energy to the EM domain or adsorbed molecules; the pyrometer measures the thermodynamic temperature.

        Convert this via S-B to the nominal ‘power’ and it is the Radiation Field, THE POTENTIAL ENERGY FLUX TO A SINK AT THE ZERO POINT ENERGY OF EMPTY SPACE.

        To claim this is real is ludicrous – the real energy flux is the vector sum of all the interacting Radiation Fields.

      • Thanks for your comments AlecM. You are one of only a few commenters at CE who knows what they are talking about. It is obvious to me that you have a more independent view of the science and are not, as too many climate scientists, afraid to express a different viewpoint. I am not a scientist (economics and finance is my game) but I’m damn sure that much of climate science remains unsettled.

      • David Springer

        AlecM you are a crank in denial of 150 years of physics experiments.

        Write this pap under your real name, bozo.

      • David Springer

        AlecM | November 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm |

        “Thermalisation with Tyndall was at the brass tube inside surface.”

        Very little. The brass tube was highly polished so as to reflect “calorific rays” or in modern parlance mid-infrared radiation. The energy missing at the “calorimeter” or in modern parlance the thermopile went out the rear rock salt window of the test chamber.

        In the same manner the missing energy in the IR spectrum looking down from 20km in CO2 absorption bands is absorbed by the earth’s surface, thermalized, and seen as an increase in continuous blackbody spectrum emitted by the surface. Thus the CO2 absorption bands at 10 & 15 micrometers are transformed into continuous blackbody spectrum from the surface.

        In general the sun warms the surface and the surface warms the air. CO2 and other greenhouse gases are transparent to shortwave from the sun but opaque to longwave emitted by the surface. In the absence of surface water this causes a Planck response in surface temperature to restore equilibrium between energy in an energy out.

        Anyone disputing the above is in la-la land and should be ignored. The problem isn’t in how the greenhouse effect works on a dry surface it’s what happens on a wet surface where the downwelling infrared is completely absorbed in a liquid skin layer just a few microns deep which raise the evaporation rate without raising temperature. Enthalpy of the atmosphere below the cloud deck thus rises instead of temperature. Lapse rate is lessened and clouds form at a higher altitude where their upper surfaces then have a less restricted radiative path to space and equilibrium is restored at the surface not by Planck response but by increase in latent heat transfer from surface level to cloud level.

        Given the earth’s surface is quite dry in some places and some times of year there is a significant amount of Planck response at the surface but not nearly as much as if the surface were entirely dry rocks. Critically the Planck response is greatest in the winter in higher latitudes where evaporation is greatly retarded due to the surface being frozen. Thus we find warming in response to GHGs greatest inland at high latitudes in the winter. Ocean heat content increase is simply due to warmer runoff from the continents where the Planck response is operative.

        All observations make perfect sense when you get the physics right and the surface heat budget is dominated by the physical characteristics of water not that of CO2. Where the water is frozen or otherwise restricted in availability for evaporation then CO2 becomes a significant factor.

      • “Anyone disputing the above is in la-la land and should be ignored. The problem isn’t in how the greenhouse effect works on a dry surface it’s what happens on a wet surface where the downwelling infrared is completely absorbed in a liquid skin layer just a few microns deep which raise the evaporation rate without raising temperature. Enthalpy of the atmosphere below the cloud deck thus rises instead of temperature.”

        So, you would then expect rel humidity to go up as Co2 increased right?
        At least when using the reported surface station measurement of dewpoint, converted to Rel Humidity, it is fairly flat at 70% from 1973 to about 2001, and then drops to about 69.5% in 2012.

      • And this all leads to an ECS of 3C for a doubling of CO2 according to current observational evidence.

      • “And this all leads to an ECS of 3C for a doubling of CO2 according to current observational evidence.”
        Until you realize that you only get that when you use GMT, but it is impossible when you look at continental temperatures, and realize they did not go up in sync.

      • Webster, “And this all leads to an ECS of 3C for a doubling of CO2 according to current observational evidence.”

        After assuming the Earth is an ideal, perfectly symmetrical object with every surface magically becoming “normal” in 1900 despite thousands of volcanoes mainly impacting the northern hemisphere where Bakkan oil wells will never be profitable.

      • David Springer,

        Notwithstanding that anything opaque to electromagnetic radiation, unless a perfect reflector, absorbs energy with the concomitant result, it would seem that once the external heat source (the Sun) is absent, the magical energy multiplying effects of CO2 cease to operate.

        Of course CO2 absorbs EMR. As does all other matter in the universe. All matter, having been heated, emits EMR. If it is hotter than its surroundings, it cools.

        During the day, the surface warms. In the night that follows the day, the surface cools. All, I repeat all, EMR, emitted from the Earth’s surface eventually is lost to space in the absence of the Sun.

        It will be observed that the surface continues to cool (with the usual caveats) until warmed again by the Sun. Regardless of the insulating properties of the atmosphere, the surface cools. A perfect insulator (and the atmosphere is certainly not one at any frequency) can only prevent an object from cooling in the theoretical best case. No perfect insulator exists.

        Global warming due to the “greenhouse effect”? A figment of a delusional mind.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Sorry David, the IR absorptivity of the CuO at even a polished brass surface is near 1 so it thermalises the energy.

        Nasif Nahle’s mylar balloon experiment showed no thermalisation when the PET bottle experiment does. The difference is that the mylar (oriented PET) is 1/12 the thickness so the pseudo-scattered IR went through it virtually unabsorbed.

        If you think I am not telling the truth, remember that 20 years ago Will Happer resigned from the US DoE rather than lie about the IR physics.

        The IPCC version is totally wrong because it contradicts standard physics prove experimentally in the CO2 laser.

      • PS I see you raise the canard about the extra downwards irradiance from ghgs causing warming. the reason is that it reduces net IR emission from the surface. In the absence of any extra radiative heat transfer from low level to Space this would raise lower atmosphere temperature.

        However, the lower atmosphere radiates most of this extra energy to Space bypassing the ‘CO2-bite’. Hence the real climate sensitivity for CO2 is the impedance of that process, equivalent to <0.1 K.

        Sorry but the IPCC 'consensus' makes a set of very restrictive assumptions. The experimental evidence points to CO2-AGW to be much less than predicted. The only reason I do not say it's zero is out of sympathy for the 'believers'..

      • AlecM writes:

        the real energy flux is the vector sum of all the interacting Radiation Fields.

        That’s true in a very formal sense, but that’s highly misleading in reality, because that ignores Quantum Mechanics. According to QM or Quantum Electrodynamics, which applies most directly to absorption and emission of IR radiation, the interaction between photons is minimal and energy fluxes can be calculated by counting non-interacting photons. Each photon has its own electromagnetic field, which is effectively independent of the fields of every other photon.

        Summing vector sums of fields is not practical, because the independence of the photons introduces essentially random QM phases to each photon field. A sum of incoherent fields gives the same result as the sum of related intensities, only in a more complex manner.

      • PS I see you raise the canard about the extra downwards irradiance from ghgs causing warming. the reason is that it reduces net IR emission from the surface. In the absence of any extra radiative heat transfer from low level to Space this would raise lower atmosphere temperature.

        However, the lower atmosphere radiates most of this extra energy to Space bypassing the ‘CO2-bite’. Hence the real climate sensitivity for CO2 is the impedance of that process, equivalent to <0.1 K.

        That quote indicates total lack of understanding of the energy flows within the atmosphere. Each layer is covered by an upper layer and understanding the outcome requires that all layers are considered quantitatively calculating both downwards and upwards fluxes, and that also convection is taken into account, at least trough a given lapse rate if not in more detail. The result is the standard result of radiative transfer calculations, not that invented by AlecM.

      • Pikka: you are getting close to the mark in terms of a particular view of the physics which believes photons are real entities. However, Planck was never happy with the photon and i can bypass your argument very simply.

        The conservation of energy requires that the rate of heat generation in matter is the negative of the rate of change of radiant flux energy.

        qdot = – Div Fv where qdot is the rate of monochromatic heat generation per unit volume and Fv is the radiation flux density per unit volume.

        Integrate this at an optical heterogeneity over all wavelengths and you get the same as the difference between two S-B equations set by opposing collimated beams. What you describe is the variation about the mean because the waves are incoherent and for opposing bb amplitude waves, swing from -4, const. amplitude^2 to + 4.const.amplitude^2.

      • PS your idea about layers is based on the assumption that the atmosphere is a grey body emitter. It is semi-transparent. This, along with the black body emission claim from the surface is a bad mistake by Houghton and Sagan.

        It is also being made today by physicists for no other good reason than computational ease! I’m an engineer so look at reality and for the moment my perhaps eccentric view appears to hold much more water than the IPCC charade!

      • Development of science did not stop with Planck. He was not happy with photons, because his photons were just a postulate introduced to solve one problem (the ultraviolet catastrophe). Quantum Mechanics and QED resolved the problems Planck had.

        It’s really funny, how skeptics prefer old and obsolete science over newer and better theories, better, because they agree more closely with reality explaining really much more than the old theories ever could.

      • Pekka (got it right): my argument is based on conservation of energy based on Maxwell’s Equations. Quantum mechanics can’t beat that for macroscopic assemblies of interacting particles and waves.

      • AlecM,

        Nothing in discussing layers is related to assuming that the atmosphere is grey. It’s not and the calculation are often done using full line-by-line spectral data from Hitran-database as well as empirically verified models for line shapes.

      • AlecM, “This, along with the black body emission claim from the surface is a bad mistake by Houghton and Sagan.”

        Houghton and Sagan just overly simplified a perfectly good puzzle. An ideal black body would absorb/emit 100% of incident energy and an ideal gray body would absorb/emit 50% of the incident energy, half up half down. Between the “ideals” there are layers of varying efficiency that create “shells” or envelopes of black/gray characteristics.

        The envelopes or “shells” if perfectly concentric would produce the Houghton/Sagan reality, but the lack of perfect symmetry produces much more interesting interactions where the properties of each “shell” impacts efficiency.

        Pekka of course thinks I am nuts, but it it just a basic extension of the original black body cavity model that started the whole ball rolling.

      • QED includes both QM and Maxwell’s equations, but the results differ from those of non-QM version of the theory. The non-QM version fails as it cannot get rid of the ultraviolet catastrophe, while the QED is in extremely precise agreement with measurements.

      • Pekka; I know what you are on about but the atmospheric window is called a window because it passes ~90% of the IR unaltered. And there is a bit of physics not incorporated ion the Hitran database. it is what is drying the atmosphere as CO2 levels increase and operates via clouds, also optical heterogeneities.

        That is an empirical result so a real observation.

      • AlecM,

        To do the full radiative transfer calculation the state of the atmosphere must be known, i.e. it’s constituents, temperature profile, and clouds must be known. There’s always some uncertainty in that knowledge, but calculations can be made with on overall uncertainty of about 10%. The best known example of such a calculation is that of Myhre.

      • You also have to do it with the real net surface IR emission, 23 W/m^2, perhaps less.

        As an aside, the so-called ‘back radiation’ from clouds is the reduction of the atmospheric window IR from the surface to Space by ~85%.

        This causes the rise in surface temperature.

      • Net upwards IR flux near surface is higher than 23 W/m^2 which is a plausible estimate for the radiation from the surface that gets to the space without being absorbed at any level in the atmosphere or in clouds. According to the 2012 estimate of Stevens and Schwartz the average net IR flux near surface is 50-60 W/m^2.

        Estimating the changes in the OLR is, however, easier than estimating the net flux near the surface or directly from surface to space. The total net flux of all forms of energy must be nearly equal at every level of the atmosphere, when long enough periods are being compared, because the heat capacity of the atmosphere is relatively small. The division of this total to its components is not easy, as Stevens and Schwartz explain.

      • David Springer

        Mi Cro | November 5, 2013 at 5:25 pm |

        “So, you would then expect rel humidity to go up as Co2 increased right?”

        Not at the surface. Lapse rate is reduced. Clouds form at a higher altitude. More total water in the surface-to-cloud column because the column is longer. Enthalpy is increased because of more vapor in the column.

        Look for confirmation measurement of average height of clouds and larger than modeled lapse-rate feedback.

      • David Springer

        Mike Flynn | November 5, 2013 at 8:33 am |

        “Notwithstanding that anything opaque to electromagnetic radiation, unless a perfect reflector, absorbs energy with the concomitant result, it would seem that once the external heat source (the Sun) is absent, the magical energy multiplying effects of CO2 cease to operate.”

        No that’s wrong. CO2 slows down the rate of cooling it doesn’t increase the rate of heating. If the sun heats two rocks equally during the day and I throw a blanket over one of the rocks after the sun goes down the rock with the blanket over it will be warmer in the morning.

        It’s not complicated.

      • David Springer

        AlecM | November 5, 2013 at 8:41 am |

        “Sorry David, the IR absorptivity of the CuO at even a polished brass surface is near 1 so it thermalises the energy.”

        That’s wrong. You’re just making crap up. Go away dipschit.

        http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/emissivity-coefficients-d_447.html

      • David Springer

        With an as yet undetermined appendage AlecM writes:

        “Nasif Nahle’s mylar balloon experiment showed no thermalisation when the PET bottle experiment does.”

        Here we go. The names of the loons associated with Principia Scientific and the rest of the Sky Dragon Slayers begin to be dropped.

        LOL

        Go away.

    • Referring to this, …
      “If I were asked to make gross generalisations about the character of different fields of science, I would suggest that physicists are idealistic, biologists are conservative, and chemists are best described by that useful rustic Americanism, ‘ornery’.” … David Springer wrote, “In the US their [biologists’] politics are more liberal than either chemists or physicists.”

      I believe in this context “conservative” refers to someone not willing to accept much change rather than one who’s politics are right of center. Of course, these are not mutually exclusive.

      • David Springer

        Interesting. Physics hasn’t changed much in the past half century. Chemistry has changed little. Applications of physics and chemistry have advanced but not the underlying rules of behavior. Biology is a vast undiscovered country in comparison with new rules being discovered on a daily basis. By any definition it is not a conservative science.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Dave Springer asserts:
        (1) Physics hasn’t changed much in the past half century [and]
        (2) Chemistry has changed little [and]
        (3) Biology is a vast undiscovered country.

        Your statement (3) is surely correct Dave Springer. As for (1-2), it is true that undergraduate physics/chemistry textbooks have changed little in the past half-century.

        However the graduate physics/chemistry textbooks have changed beyond all recognition; principally because the mathematics of physics/chemistry has advanced to levels beyond undergraduate curriculum.

        It is paradoxical that because undergraduate biology texts never *did* have much math in them, they were able to adapt to the realities of 21st century Big Math more rapidly than the physics/chemistry texts.

        Next-generation physics/chemistry/math textbooks *are* being written … albeit slowly … because it’s not so easy to communicate 21st century mathematical toolsets without scaring/demoralizing physics/chemistry undergraduates. Nakahara’s Geometry, Topology and Physics (2003) and Landsberg’s Tensors: Geometry and Applications (2012) are two well-respected efforts.

        A striking landmark in computational biological science was that Craig Venter’s final assembly of the human genome sequence used the largest computer cluster in the world to compute the assembly.

        At one bound, biology leaped to the forefront of computational scientific disciplines. Physics and chemistry are still catching up, and climate-science too is becoming inexorably more mathematical/computational.

        Thank you for your interesting math-related observations, Dave Springer!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • David Springer

        I said physics applications have changed. Undergraduate texts haven’t changed because the laws of physics have not changed just our sophistication in applying them. My points stand.

  2. “The respondents who felt that ‘the industry should be doing more to help tackle climate change’ were in a clear majority of 72% – but that left 28% who didn’t. ”

    If that were an election result, it would be an almost unheard of landslide. But for a scientific issue that is supposedly settled enough to merit calling doubters “deniers,” as if we were talking about gravity, that 28 percent….edging up to one third…is a big number.

    • Also note, that “doing more to help tackle climate change,” is a pretty low bar. As in, “Sure. sure. they could be doing more. Why not? What’s to lose?”

      “More” is simply more, it ain’t necessarily a lot, especially as costs climb.

      • “Even the relationship between smoking and lung cancer is better tested than global warming”

        Yes Dave, that’s the point..

    • David Springer

      If you read any scientist saying something is as well tested as gravity you may reliably conclude it isn’t very well tested. No one makes that comparison with anything that actually is as well tested as gravity. Three percent of scientists aren’t skeptical of gravity. Three percent of the public at large over the age of 8 years aren’t skeptical of gravity. A lot of stuff is as well tested as gravity but global warming is certainly not among that stuff.

      • Ok, not the best comparison. Too extreme. Just winging it. Let’s say, “as if we were talking about the relationship between cigarettes and lung cancer.”

      • David Springer

        Even the relationship between smoking and lung cancer is better tested than global warming. You’re comparing experimental science to climate science and experimental science will win every time for the mere fact that it can be tested. Climate science is a soft science with practitioners, sycophants, and those using it to promote self-interests trying to dress it up as a hard science. It isn’t. We can’t isolate variables and experiment with many different earths to answer ‘what if’ questions. Thus the whole enchilada called climate science is composed of just-so stories which is the hallmark of soft sciences.

    • David Springer

      You referred to discussions of global warming “like it was gravity” in level of confidence. I’m saying direct comparisons have been made. No like about it. This is basically what separates soft sciences from hard sciences. Evolution and climate science are soft sciences but are paraded about like hard sciences. They are paraded as such not because of the science itself but the implications in other spheres of influence. They are both elements in the ongoing culture wars and you can realiably (not faultlessly, exceptions exist) predict which way someone’s opinion on the science will fall by the social spheres they inhabit. Not as predictable as gravity of course – social science is also a soft science. ;-)

      Welcome to culture wars where science, like Elvis, has left the building.

  3. I cannot see which, if any, is the interest of this article. Fortunately, the comments that follow (at least the few first comments that I have read) are of a much better level. One should stop putting labels on people, warmists, sceptics, alarmists, deniers, chemists, biologists, physicists, mathematicians, democrats, republicans, etc… One should also stop judging on an issue by the outcome of a pole. Ask climate scientists the following question: “Do you think that the urgency of taking actions to reduce our CO2 emissions is such that we must immediately take measures such as investing billions of dollars in electric cars and heavily subsidize windmill farms? or do you rather think that, taking advantage of the current pause, we should take the time to better think how to reach a coherent global policy at planetary scale, taking in due account, on the long term, our energy needs and available natural resources?” I bet that you will get a vast majority of sceptics. Ask instead: “Do you think that the present pause in global temperature indicates that we are aiming at a cooling era and that CO2 is anyhow good for life on earth, and that therefore we should not worry about our increasing emissions of CO2 in the atmosphere?” You will get a vast majority of warmists.

    • ” One should stop putting labels on people, warmists, sceptics, alarmists, deniers, chemists, biologists, physicists, mathematicians, democrats, republicans, etc… One should also stop judging on an issue by the outcome of a pole.”

      Then one should not listen to alarmists :)

    • Agreed that very uninteresting and un-illuminating questions are being asked in most of these surveys. Bray and von Storch seem to be asking the most meaningful questions.

      While in ‘normal’ science, you would expect a range of perspectives on a topic where there is acknowledged uncertainty and ignorance, in climate science with its manufactured consensus, clearly draws the line between two camps. A totally crazy situation (well an unscientific one anyways). I always find it to be encouraging when there are signs of scientists thinking for themselves about this issue, rather than reflexively signing on to agree with a manufactured consensus (a manufactured consensus is one that arises from an explicit consensus building activity; in fact, any topic where one is discussing the existence or not of a consensus pretty much tells you that it is a manufactured consensus.)

      • Judith Curry

        I always find it to be encouraging when there are signs of scientists thinking for themselves about this issue, rather than reflexively signing on to agree with a manufactured consensus (a manufactured consensus is one that arises from an explicit consensus building activity; in fact, any topic where one is discussing the existence or not of a consensus pretty much tells you that it is a manufactured consensus.)

        I wrote that down.

        Max

      • Spot on. Bazinga! Etc.

        In the near future, introductory texts in logic will add the Fallacy of Manufactured Consensus.

      • I wrote that down as well. Thanks Judith.

    • And the questions should be followed by the always useful, “Show your work.”

    • The results of the journal’s survey are remarkably similar to von Storch’s survey of climate scientists two years later.

  4. Their survey in 2007 occurred at arguably the peak of the consensus. It would be very interesting to see what kind of response the same survey would receive in 2007.

    Given the methodology performed by Doran and Zimmerman, somehow I doubt the numbers would change. They were searching for validation of a predetermined conclusion and reduced a sample size of over 10,000 to less than 80 to achieve it. I am sure they could do the same today.

  5. Just a quick note here. Maybe it is just where chemists live in science. Knowingly or unknowingly chemists are comfortable working with models. A typical chemist’s education and the work of many after schooling entail the extensive use of models. The nature of the models employed range from qualitative, e.g., garden-variety electron pushing/bond flopping descriptions of organic reactions, to quantitative, e.g., computationally intensive many-body calculations of chemical structure and properties–and much in between such as semi-classical techniques in scattering. And the practitioners are generally well versed in the ranges of applicability and the limitations of models they use.

    One can speculate of the ‘why’ of this circumstance but one possible reason comes to my mind. The chemists’ models are applied in a realm of moderate complexity but still within the context of more rigorous physical theory. In some sense the clash between reality reality and tractability is the ‘next level’ above physics–and experience in chemistry has tended to inevitably lead to concessions to approximation. After all, chemists are not pursuing the ‘theory of everything’ and hence, they can live comfortably and profitably with known ‘less than perfect’ models–approximated within the context more rigorous physical theory.

    Such is the experience of a chemist. While it is an oversimplification, one might just say chemists occupy a middle ground between theory and application. This ground requires/allows a certain open view in playing theory reality and practicality against one another. We are fuzzy by training and experience. Yea!!! Chemists!!! :O) .

    • this +many

    • John Carpenter

      mwgrant, There is a lot of truth to what you say. In many aspects, chemistry is just applied physics of how elements and molecules interact and behave. Physics offers the models chemists use to describe observed behavior. It is a discipline where one can model and perform controlled experiments to see if observed results match theory. Not unique to science, but a good example of a branch of science where the two work well together.

      This model/experiment dynamic does influence my regard to climate model usage. I support and believe GCM’s offer important insights into how our climate behaves and am intrigued with them and how they work. OTOH, I also think their outputs need to be conservatively used in making any overall conclusions used to form policy. They are an integral part of the information we learn about our climate systems, but they are not crystal balls. We should not ignore what they produce and the trends they exhibit, but they are also not without significant flaws.

      Since climate science is not a ‘laboratory’ science per se, it is more difficult to accept the model/experiment dynamic that chemistry enjoys and employs so usefully. No laboratory experiments can be performed to simulate climate, therefore it is not possible to verify model output as easily as done in chemistry. It does not mean it is impossible, but one must use proxy data to do so. The earth is the laboratory and the ‘experiments’ have already been run. It is much more fuzzy and certainly not well controlled. It is not useless either and proxy data can be used to help verify model output.

      Another important distinction, where many chemist investigators perform both laboratory and model experiments together to elucidate knowledge, I am not aware of many individual climate modelers who are also paleo climatologists using these tools together under one roof so to speak. The two appear to be separate and distinct areas of climate science. Though I am sure there is collaboration between the two, it is not as simple as chemistry. This separation between the two, in my estimation, may hinder the rate of learning and understanding.

      • Very well said. As our esteemed host reminds us on occasion, paleoclimatology is not settled science. There is a great need in climate science for researchers who will undertake the tedious work needed to bring the proxy evidence up to scientific standards.

      • @John Carpenter,

        AFAIK, GCMs have not been validated with proxy data. They do not reproduce multi-decadal oscillations. They do not reproduce paleo climate data. They do not publish individual parameter projections (eg CO2 level, sea ice, sea level, aerosols, cloud cover etc) which go towards the eventual “global temperature anomaly” output. They do not publish random event projections – eg volcanic eruptions.

        They do include random number generators. I figure this helps to fake the appearance of climate, while adding nothing to accuracy.

      • John Carpenter

        ” GCMs have not been validated with proxy data.”

        Yes they have, climate sensitivity is one parameter proxy data can be used to validate that metric. Maybe it’s not ideal, but it has been done.

    • “The chemists’ models are applied in a realm of moderate complexity but still within the context of more rigorous physical theory.”

      I like your post but the sentence quoted above requires boosted emphasis. The models used by chemists can take for granted large portions of settled theory and, for that reason, are used in a Highly Ramified Context. By contrast, the models used by climate scientists can take for granted almost nothing. Climate scientists will tell you that they can take for granted Arrhenius’ work but even that is too much. Arrhenius’ work is limited to laboratory confirmation and has not been confirmed in the atmosphere. The “forcings and feedbacks” calculation must be resolved before the models handle the atmosphere.

      To get the emphasis right, what we must say is that the models used by climate science are used in a context that is all but Unramified. It is a frontier. And that must be the starting point for judging climate models and for comparing them to models used in ramified contexts.

    • David Springer

      Chemists work with models to help narrow down the experiments that need to be conducted before a new product or process is viable. This is SOP for everyone not just chemists. The problem for climate science is they can’t conduct experiments. They have only one sample (the earth) and they can’t change it to control for variables of interest. Thus climate science, like evolution, is composed of just-so stories promulgated by bandwagon (consensus) science who aren’t so much interested in the truth as they are in the implications for society with regard to widespread belief or disbelief of their narratives.

      Academia is well known to be highly biased in employment of political liberals as faculty members. Idealists in other words. Pragmatists leave the classroom to get things done. Blackballing of professors who don’t toe the liberal political line is both heinous and frequent. Academia needs a huge housecleaning to get rid of the liberal intellectual inbreeding that has been growing like a cancer for the past 50 years or so.

      • David Springer – They’ve done housecleaning. That’s why they are up to the butts in serfs known as adjuncts!

      • the butts -> their butts

      • Jim Cripwell | November 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
        Theo, you write ” Active experimentation requires some intervention in the environment.”

        “I prefer controlled and uncontrolled experiments. But if you want to call it “active”, so be it. You need to intervene in the atmosphere and keep everything else constant except, for example, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere., That is impossible and that is the whole point.”

        I guess that experiment is the only one you can imagine? (By the way, that experiment would not measure water vapor or cloud behavior and so would fall short.)

    • I appreciate the refining of thoughts provided by John Carpenter and Theo Goodwin. They raise good points, in particular in the area of observation/feedback. The point I was trying to make here was that maybe chemists use so many ‘models’ so often that they expect any model to break at some point–and their lives are not shattered when that happens. Implicit was the question: ‘So wouldn’t/couldn’t a GCM model break? After all, models break. Hence, we should GCM’s with this expectation and couch the results of our work accordingly’. Models breaking and the ability to discern/observe their breaking are key to answering that question. Well, I missed…thanks John and Theo.

      While pointing out that the chemists may be more comfortable with both the use and limitations of models than are climate scientists (by virtue of their domain), the role of observation and feedback was not made clear enough. Chemists have confidence because their models are testable and have been testable–there is feedback. There are many types of measurements in chemistry and there are innumerable different chemical compounds to measure. So far something analogous to that does not appear to have been possible in global warming/climate science, but maybe somebody clever will come along.

      The lack of testing raises an interesting question: ‘What do you when you can not verify both your structural conceptual and quantitative models? (Direct observation of the future is out.)’ This question–in some form–would seem to be at the crux of the scientific application of GCMs. Going beyond science to the decision level–how do you use (if at all) the results of models in decision-making? It may be that a wide lack of appreciation for and an attack on these two quasi-question are instrumental is stalling the AGW debate.

      Finally it is interesting to note that there is one environmental science that shares the difficulties of climate prediction. This is contaminant geohydrology (CG). It has a strongly stochastic nature (space and time), involves multiple phases and media, is modelled in the realm of PDEs, and requires predictions tens to thousands of years into the future –states that can only be modelled. As I have suggested before perhaps a few folks looking at the wins and losses here (CG)–scientific, remediation, decision, political, risk, etc.–might help devise a pliable framework for navigating AGW problems. Certainly the non-ending parsing of social media does not move things ahead.

      • “So far something analogous to that does not appear to have been possible in global warming/climate science, but maybe somebody clever will come along.”

        Of course it is possible. Long, long ago climate scientists should have designed techniques that would give them better measurements of water vapor and cloud cover. It is entirely doable. But to do that one has to get up from one’s supercomputer for a short time. Climate scientists seem constitutionally incapable of doing that. Also, climate scientists seem to be reluctant to learn more about empirical phenomena including water vapor and cloud behavior. I wonder if that is because their entire enterprise employs a top-down approach based on the physics of radiation alone.

        As regards someone else above who repeats the old “there is only one Earth so we cannot do experiments fallacy,” let me remind you that there is only one universe but Kirkby and Svalgaard are perfectly capable of experimenting on COSMIC rays. How is that possible? Don’t they need another universe?

      • Theo, you write “As regards someone else above who repeats the old “there is only one Earth so we cannot do experiments fallacy,” ”

        You are leaving out one vital word. We cannot do CONTROLLED experiments on the earth’s atmosphere. Kirkby uses the high energy particles available at CERN to simulate the cosmic rays that exist in the universe in order to be able to do controlled experiments. Of course we can do experiments on the earth’s atmosphere. But we do not have the control that is required for laboratory style work.

      • Your posts strike me as very helpful and very interesting. I just wanted to make the point that models in chemistry benefit from sophisticated theories that are tested and true, unlike models in climate science.

        You mention “contaminant geohydrology (CG).” My guess is that models in this discipline also benefit from sophisticated chemistry and, for that reason, are created in a highly ramified context, unlike the models in climate science. As regards predictions, I do not see that predictions tens of years into the future are a problem. Even climate scientists say that predictions 17 years into the future are acceptable, or they used to say that, seventeen years ago. Critics of climate science would certainly be happy with predictions 17 years from 1996.

      • Jim Cripwell | November 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm

        There are two kinds of experimentation, passive and active. Passive experimentation requires observation and record keeping only. Active experimentation requires some intervention in the environment. I do not see how intervention in Earth’s atmosphere is a problem. I understand the “whole Earth” fallacy to be based on the idea that the designed experiment must have global effects. Why would an experiment be designed to have global effects?

      • Theo, you write ” Active experimentation requires some intervention in the environment.”

        I prefer controlled and uncontrolled experiments. But if you want to call it “active”, so be it. You need to intervene in the atmosphere and keep everything else constant except, for example, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere., That is impossible and that is the whole point.

      • The proof is in the climate pudding. So far no pudding, no proof, no prize. Certainly the potential for fame and glory is a lure to bright minds. Wishing ain’t having…but it doesn’t preclude having either. BTW I do share your sense that the ‘one earth’ syndrome is more of a crutch than real limitation. (There is something of a black swan flavor here.)

        As for

        “…let me remind you that there is only one universe but Kirkby and Svalgaard are perfectly capable of experimenting on COSMIC rays. How is that possible? Don’t they need another universe?”

        To me analogy is a weak form of argument or justification for a line of reasoning. Eventually one needs more substance. So I tend to not worry too much with such comments. That said… How is that possible? Well, I just guess that they (Kirkby and Svalgaard) knew what question to ask. I’ll wade in no deeper than that.

      • Hmmm, I loitered about in my writing…response immediately above is to Theo Goodwin @4:43.

      • mwgrang, you write “The proof is in the climate pudding.”

        Sorry to pick a nit, but I bridle every time I see this sort of thing. The original quote is “The proof of the pudding, is in the eating” For some reason this got changed to “The proof is in the pudding”, which means absolutely nothing.

      • Briddle as much as makes you happy JIm Cripwell. But nothing will happen in these quarters and for that “the proof will be in the pudding”. We eats any nits what we finds there.

        Frankly would’ve preferred to both with such crap as the fluid nature of blog comments is enough to keep up with. Thanks for your interest in the topic.

      • [not] to bother … such waste of time…and a friggin’ strain with bad vision…

      • Hmmm, I missed Theo Goodwin’s 4:38pm post…OK…

        “I just wanted to make the point that models in chemistry benefit from sophisticated theories that are tested and true, unlike models in climate science.”

        Certainly understood. Just be aware that you and I are diverging in terminology. Here and earlier I have blurred the lines between model and theory. To me delineation between the two in quantum chemistry is fuzzy, but I will not go into that here. Isuspect what I would call an implementation is what you (and most at this site) call models.

        As for the contaminant geohydrology models–frankly it is messy. That’s why I mentioned them. While touted and used on occasion the racing stripe models can be limited in utility. Think, “Data! Data! Data!”. In a nutshell the state-of-the-art models are rooted in stochastic time-dependent PDEs having both media with stochastic properties and stochastic bound conditions. And the time-frames of interest run from 10’s of years to 1000’s of years–think nuclear high-level waste facilities (10,000 years US) as an example, or old dumps in very heterogeneous glacial geologies—rainfall, ET, surface water interactions as BCs. These system have very large time-dependent data requirements. Given the physical and fiscal constraints on site characterization it gets a little tough to implement meaningful site specific models in the present and tougher when you have to possibly project into the future. The land of crystal balls.Model verification and validation compound that. So what is to be learned–unlikely not mathematical or implementation tricks, but instead how at times highly impractical approaches have been managed/ignored/substituted in an adversarial context. I’m a little dated, but I still suspect it still isn’t pretty. Things have to go on in some sense regardless of the reality.

      • David Springer

        Theo Goodwin | November 4, 2013 at 4:17 pm |

        “As regards someone else above who repeats the old “there is only one Earth so we cannot do experiments fallacy,” let me remind you that there is only one universe but Kirkby and Svalgaard are perfectly capable of experimenting on COSMIC rays. How is that possible? Don’t they need another universe?”

        Does the Latin in vivo and in vitro ring any bells with you?

        CLOUD (for instance) is under glass. The findings may or may not work the same way in the natural world. Simply put, for simple minds, we can work with CO2 under glass to determine its physical characteristics such as absorption and emission of infrared but we can’t control how much of it is in the earth’s atmosphere nor hold everything else equal while we raise and lower the amount to see how the system reacts. It’s an extremely complex system and we can’t manipulate it in controlled experiments hence our ability to figure out how it reacts to changes in one component is limited and any hypothetical response is effectively a just-so story because the prediction cannot be tested. Soft sciences are rife with just-so stories.

  6. I Cherry Picked this from the Wikipedia Link

    geologists and meteorologists were among the biggest doubters, with only 47 percent and 64 percent, respectively, believing in significant human involvement.

    So meteorologists don’t fit the 97%. There are more meteorologists than there are climate scientists. How can the final answer be 97%,
    I guess it is the same way you build hockey sticks.

  7. I think that all scientists live between theory and experiemnts and/or observations, science is made of an incessant dialogue, back and forth, between the two. It is true for natural sciences and life sciences, biology, chemistry and physics. No scientist can think that he has found a perfect description of “reality”, he/she must be always prepared to give it up tomorrow if someone comes up with a better description. This is why there is no absolute truth in science. Mathematicians, however, are different; their truths are immortal… Isn’t it? This is why I don’t like statements such as those made by Ph Ball which categorize chemists, physicists and biologists, each with a well defined psychology; I think it is plain nonsense.

    • Well I do think it is telling re how scientists in the various fields view AGW detection and attribution, a topic presumably well outside their individual expertise’s. Do they join the AGW consensus? Say they simply don’t know? or actively question the science behind the consensus? If you look at the statements from the professional societies, the answer is clearly to join the AGW consensus.

      • I did not know (or remember) of statements from professional societies (you mean physical society, chemical society, etc…). Sorry to be ignorant. I know of a statement from the French Academy, following a debate in which I took part, scientists from all branches were implied. I did not note a difference of behaviour between chemists and physicists, for example. But, again, I am sorry not to know enough, I apologize.

      • Here are some example statements:

        Here is the statement from the American Physical Society
        http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/07_1.cfm

        From the American Geophysical Union
        https://judithcurry.com/2013/08/05/agu-statement-on-climate-change/

        From the American Chemical Society
        http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/policy/publicpolicies/promote/globalclimatechange.html

        From the American Association for the Advancement of Science
        http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2007/0218am_statement.shtml

      • Judith

        As strange as this may sound to a scientist, I’m afraid that these statements by the (political leadership of the) professional societies are automatically biased toward the “politically correct” consensus view, as promoted by IPCC.

        To express skepticism with regard to the need for immediate action to stop(potentially) “catastrophic” AGW is already treading on thin political ice, with the risk of being branded a climate delayer or blocker.

        To “question the science”, i.e. whether human GHG emissions (principally CO2) are causing significant climate change, is viewed as being in denial or heretical.

        I’m sure you recall the Scientific American reference to “heretic”.

        This appears to me to be a well-orchestrated political movement, which has nothing to do with science anymore.

        And the leaders of the professional societies are going with the politically correct flow.

        Max

      • “If you look at the statements from the professional societies, the answer is clearly to join the AGW consensus.”

        These are interesting questions but in this reply there is some mixing the ‘theys’ and when are the ‘whens’. The scientists? The societies? In the realm of opinion the individual members that comprise a society are neither the society nor its administrative body. So to me the answer is not so clear or determinative, although the statements are still informative.

      • Elliott M. Althouse

        Judith, As Dr. Muller recently said, Dr. Mann’s work is a “crock of ####”. I have to question the reliability of everyone who looked at a graph made of a splice from two distinct data sources and wasn’t either horrified or doubled over in laughter. As a medical professional, I am a scientist in a little different category than chemist, physicist, biologist. Yet I know that splicing data sources in a graph is “verboten”. I know that the “science” so far that is presented as proof that we need to upend our lives and spend trillions would not approve one single drug with the FDA. Ultimately, it is necessary to be skeptical of any position supported by people who have lied about it.

  8. Their survey in 2007 occurred at arguably the peak of the consensus. It would be very interesting to see what kind of response the same survey would receive in 2007.

    Should that second “2007” be “2013”?

  9. Judith, you write ” The American Physical Society is quite open to skeptical perspectives”

    I hope you are right, but their official statement on CAGW does not reflect this.

    • Their current statement expires shortly, a committee has been formed to consider the next statement. Will be interesting to see what they come up with.

      • David Springer

        What would be interesting is something modeled after SCOTUS where there’s both a minority and majority opinion with number of supporters for each.

        What are the odds of that? I’d make them extremely small. Unless it’s a matter of law (or by-law in this case) majorities seldom if ever give minority opinions any exposure.

      • Judith, you write “a committee has been formed ”

        Do you have a reference as to who is on this committee.?

      • It has been formed under the policy group of the APS, that is all I know at this point.

      • Obviously, if the APS stacks the committee with out and out warmists, the resulting report will be a foregone conclusion; as happened with the AGU. So it is vital to know who is on this committee before we put the champagne on ice.

      • “Their official statement expires shortly…

        Why am I skeptical that they’ll change their official position in any significant way, which would in effect be an admission that their first statement was wrong.

        Maybe a little tweak here and there is the best we can hope for…

  10. David L. Hagen

    Chemical Engineers debate Global Warming
    An excellent anthropogenic global warming (aka “climate change” by equivocation) debate is between two chemical engineers:
    Exchange of Letters between Dr Pierre Latour and Jeff Temple in the “Letters to the Editor” section of the Hydrocarbon Processing Journal
    I find few understand the devestating impact of Latour’s analyses on the impossibility of “controlling climate”.
    (Each talks past the other over some issues.)
    See links to Pierre Latour climate change e.g. Sowell’s Chemical engineer takes on global warming;
    Chemical Engineer Slams Global Warming from CO2

    • latour;

      “10. Human directed combustion of hydrocarbons to CO 2 has had no measurable effect on atmospheric CO 2 increases since 1900.”

      he should probably shut up.

      • LOL–while his statement is misleading at best– how would you suggest proving he is wrong in there being “no measurable effect”? What measurement device would you use to determine the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere?

      • Specifically the percentage of human released CO2 in the atmosphere?

      • David L. Hagen

        Steven Mosher
        See Murry Salby’s 2013 presentations quantifying the magnitudes of natural CO2 fluxes, and the order of magnitude error in previous CO2 estimates of ice cores.

        To dispute that, you first have to define the “null hypothesis”, statistically incorporating the full range of natural variations.

        Secondly, you have to quantitatively distinguish anthropogenic impacts from natural drivers, and then statistically quantify the differences and show that they are “significant”. Then validate those models.

        I have not seen this done to date to prove CO2 increases since 1900 are anthropogenic.
        The proponents of anthropogenic warming bear that burden of proof.

      • David L. Hagen

        PS This basic scientific validation methodology needs to be applied both to addressing LaTour’s and Salby’s presentations.
        I also recommend that you examine each of Latour’s comments on controllability. Any one of those being valid invalidates the overall ability to “control” climate.

        I presume you could generate sufficient clouds by geoengineering to send us all into the next ice age regardless of the catestrophic majority anthropogenic CO2 warming hypothesis. However that is not the “control” he is referrint to.

      • @DavidLHagan

        Rather than generating clouds, we should just be lashing out with white paint to reflect the sunlight.

        Q. How much white paint could be have used for all the billions spend on GCMs?

      • David L. Hagen

        World Is Spending $1 Billion Per Day To Tackle Global Warming

        The world invested almost a billion dollars a day in limiting global warming last year, but the total figure – $359 billion – was slightly down on last year, and barely half the $700 billion per year that the World Economic Forum has said is needed to tackle climate change.

        There are 3 billion living in poverty at less than $2.5/day.
        The amount spent on “climate change” would have covered painting all their mud shacks.

  11. I said before, several threads ago:

    When you’re a hammer, all your problems look like nails.

    The climate alarmists are overrepresented by physicists and underrepresented by chemists, in particular physical chemists. While physicists focus on IR QM, physical chemists are equally comfortable talking about IR QM, thermodynamics, and transport. I think it’s the transport part that’s the least well understood, and the part that physicists are most likely to brush aside.

    We’ve all heard it here many times about how the science is solid, yadda yadda. If you’re only looking at IR QM and part of the thermo, it’s easy to delude yourself into believing that.

    When you look at the underlying phenomena of climate, it’e the p-chemists who are best versed. More physical chemists and fewer physicists would bring us better understanding.

  12. I think that chemists and physicists are more skeptical in general and particularly w.r.t. climate science alarmism. I base this on my own experiences and the several times I have asked a (small) room full of chemists where they stand. And the response when I have asked a few of my physicist colleagues down the hall. Of course this means little as it is not a scientific survey and has a small number of respondents.

    I do know that I have NEVER voted in an ACS election (only 15% do vote) and have never been asked my opinion in a poll by the ACS. So I do not believe that the statement and website by the ACS on climate change is representative of what chemists believe on this matter. That said, I am perfectly comfortable doing only things that would make sense otherwise (as Jim Hansen had said in the past) and seeing what the next ten years bring. Certainly common sense tells us that a 15 year pause should give us at least another 10 years of study of the actual climate (sun, ocean pH, temp’s, sea level, polar ice, etc.) The original criticisms by skeptics were that past times were warmer and that there are ~30 year cycles and there is more and more evidence that this is true. I think the science is in the process of self-correction so we should be cautious and see where this leads.

  13. Hopefully, chemists in general won’t reflexively eschew the scientific method when results conflict with expectations.

  14. Why a Carbon Tax will not work — and what will. A way to get out of this Conservative Vs. Liberal mess: http://greenenergy.blogspot.com/2013/11/using-international-trade-to-lower.html

  15. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry quotes Peter Stilbs Economic geologists and meteorologists were among the biggest doubters

    Judith Curry reflects It would be very interesting to see what kind of response the [ACS] survey would receive in 2013.

    Quibbles by Stilbs & Curry, links by FOMD.

    Prediction  The strong climate-change consensus of the world’s professional mathematical, scientific, and engineering societies will change when the seas stop rising and the ice-caps stop melting (and not before).

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse | November 4, 2013 at 10:50 am;

      The strong climate-change consensus of the world’s professional mathematical, scientific, and engineering societies will change when the seas stop rising and the ice-caps stop melting (and not before).

      Your goals would have been better-served, by taking the time to find less-ambiguous test-criteria.

      Whatever the cause of observed warming, it is expected to promote ice-melting, putting more water in the oceans. Additionally, whatever the source of heat, warming ocean water will expand, and the oceans will rise, even without adding new water.

      As for icecaps … all the news this year has been contrary to the now-infamous and always imprudent claim that Arctic shipping and navigation etc will be routine by ‘pick-your-date’. Nobody got through the Northwest Passage this year … and Antarctica continues its strong ice-growth.

      Ted

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Ted Clayton claims [wrongly] Nobody got through the Northwest Passage this year

        Wrong claim by Ted Clayton, factual links by FOMD.

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan

        Not for the first time it appears that you have confused the NorthWest passage and the Northern sea route. They are entirely different routes.

        The Northern sea route was much used in the last war to deliver supplies to Russia by, amongst other people, my next door neighbour. They didn’t have as sophisticated ice breakers or navigation aids back then either.

        Glad to have been of service in being able to provide you with correct information once again.

        tonyb

      • Thanks for the interesting Arctic shipping links, FOMD!

        The first link is about the very large freighter, Nordic Orion. It is retrofitted with extra hull-plating and other icebreaker features, and evidently plowed its way through the frozen Northwest Passage.

        There were, actually, additional vessels in the Northwest Passage this year, mainly Canadian icebreakers and northern supply vessels led by them. Canada also broke ice to rescue about 2 dozen vessels that had ‘staged’ along the Passage, hoping to make ‘publicity-runs’, but got ‘locked-in’. I had not heard about the Nordic Orion.

        The second link does not mention the Northwest Passage, and might (therefore) be about some other route in the Arctic Ocean. There is usually/often ‘some’ open water in ‘some’ parts of the Arctic in late summer, and from time-to-time, various vessels do sneak through. It’s not a life-and-death gamble, these days, because we have satellite imagery to guide us, “real-time”. Such exploits are mainly about being in the right place at the right time, and seeing from the images that one has the opportunity to slip through. The key thing here, is that such routes can’t be planned for ahead of time, or relied upon.

        Lastly … there is always the nuclear icebreaker option. We can indeed plough ice and lead merchant convoys, on a reasonably planned basis. There are limits, due mainly to wind pushing the icecap, but it could still be economically useful. Whether Arctic ice is increasing or decreasing.

        The Nordic Orion sounds like a heads-up, in that indicates that shippers are seriously looking at ‘forcing’ their way through northern routes, come clear water or ice. Large vessels are relatively favorable for this use. A moderately armored vessel, such as the Nordic Orion, could also make better speed behind a real icebreaker, in heavy ice, and could act as an icebreaker itself for lighter vessels, in thinner ice.

        We have explored icebreaker convoying for decades, but nobody has ever been able to make it ‘pencil out’. Additionally, there have been some large political factors on this chessboard.

        … Still & all, as I understand, the Northwest Passage never opened up, this year. And ice-extent on the Arctic Ocean increased this year. Next season will be very important, for this debate.

        Ted

      • Fan

        I was responding to your second link referenced ‘factual.’ Why did you post two articles on entirely different routes as both being related to the North West passage?
        tonyb

      • Ted

        Oh the irony! The Nordic Orion was carrying COAL!

        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        TonyB asks “Why did you post two articles on entirely different routes?”

        Thank you for your question TonyB!

        Answer  Canada’s Northwest Passage and Russia’s Northern Sea Route *BOTH* are benefitting greatly from declining Arctic sea-ice … in consequence of the anthropic climate-change that was foreseen by James Hansen and colleagues thirty-two years ago.

        James Hansen’s prediction has proved to be quite a notable triumph for climate-change science, isn’t it? That’s why your question was excellent TonyB!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • ClimateReason noticed;

        Oh the irony! The Nordic Orion was carrying COAL!

        Oops! One wonders if FOMD might be an undercover skeptic, with arguments like these. ;)
        =====

        The coal-cargo brings up an additional important factor in Arctic shipping. There are cargoes that are very time and scheduling dependent, and there are others that are not.

        Stuff & things that are normally ‘stockpiled’; that are supplied from multiple sources – it is practical to use slower routes, and problematic routes (not only ice, but political and other factors).

        The kinds of things that tend to be candidates for whenever-it-gets-here, no-big-deal shipping, tend strongly to be things like coal … that are contrary to the messages prefered by those who champion melting, warming, or an Evil Anthropocene outright.
        ===

        The Days of Sail stretched out a couple-few extra decades, on the back of the old-time fertilizer-trade. This was a massive, heavy cargo … and delivery speed and scheduling were not critical or pressing. Raw fertilizer cargoes (speaking minerals like phosphates, and materials like guano), had a 2 or 3 year lead on their actual use, since they had to be processed, then transported again, and staged/stockpiled again, waiting for the right time for agriculture.

        Thus, very large, massive sailing vessels kept the fertilizer business for themselves for about another generation … in a gambit that has now been reprised by the Nordic Orion’s owners.

        Even with continued warming & melting (now quite in question) the Northwest Passage and other Arctic/Northern Routes, will always have a higher chance of delays & irregularities. These will always be “Deadliest Catch” waters.

        Ted

    • fan

      melting ice caps is not a good metric for energy balance. Too many other confounding variables. When the sea level stops rising, ( which will include melting grounded ice) then the warming is over.

      • However, you might have a good policy question when the amount of sea level rise imputed to AnthroCO2 is the only thing maintaining the rise.
        ========================

    • What if sea ice is part of the earth’s negative feedback temperature control mechanism?

      Rising sea levels and floating ice moves the high albedo ice to lower lattitudes where more sunlight can be reflected than if the ice is just at the poles.

  16. Judith I think there have been a number of surveys showing that geologists in general are more skeptical than most other scientists of the CAGW meme.
    One of the reasons is that many industry geologists spend a good deal of their time correlating time series of various types to locate events in time and space. They are very empirical and data oriented – down to earth so to speak. It concentrates the mind when you know that your company will spend many millions of dollars to test your interpretations of the data and you will still be around and accountable when the results come in in fairly short order.
    For such an empirically based forecast of the coming cooling see
    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com.
    Judith- as a fellow geologist I would welcome your comments on the method and forecast on my blog.

  17. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry posts Here are some example statements

    Yes. And there is also a unified statement of 2010:

    Statement of Consensus

    Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.

    These conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence, and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science.

    If we are to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change, emissions of greenhouse gases must be dramatically reduced.

    We in the scientific community offer our assistance to inform your deliberations as you seek to address the impacts of climate change.

    — Signatory Organizations —

    •  American Association for the Advancement of Science
    •  American Chemical Society
    •  American Geophysical Union
    •  American Institute of Biological Sciences
    •  American Meteorological Society
    •  American Society of Agronomy
    •  American Society of Plant Biologists
    •  American Statistical Association
    •  Association of Ecosystem Research Centers
    •  Botanical Society of America
    •  Crop Science Society of America
    •  Ecological Society of America
    •  Natural Science Collections Alliance
    •  Organization of Biological Field Stations
    •  Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
    •  Society of Systematic Biologists
    •  Soil Science Society of America
    •  University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

    This letter includes further links to consensus statements by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, and the American Statistical Association.

    Conclusion  So long as the seas keep rising and the ice-caps keep melting, the consensus that climate-change is real, serious, and human-caused is unlikely to alter.

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • How many times do I have to tell you? The seas stopped rising 5 years ago. The same impeccable source who also said you can keep your insurance and your doctor told me that.

      He wouldn’t lie, would he?

    • Any beautiful theory can be shot down with one very ugly fact. Just sayin’

  18. Yes the seas will keep rising with no discernible increase in the rate. But if you want to keep on worrying about 10 inches per century, be my guest. Check back in 5 years to see if the rate has increased. With the pause it will be interesting to see what the steric contribution is in that time.

  19. Sadly for the climate kooks, the ice caps aren’t ‘melting’, and seas are not rising dangerously. Yet they persist in their obsessive kookiness. It would be pathetic and funny, if their fellow kooks were not sucking about $1 billion per day out of the public’s pockets.

  20. The Cause of High Blood Pressure Revealed By Computer Modelling

    Computer simulations show that high blood pressure can be entirely explained by arterial stiffening as we age, say researchers
    http://www.technologyreview.com/view/514611/the-cause-of-high-blood-pressure-revealed-by-computer-modelling/

    As a reformed biologist, I predict that few cardiovascular physiologists or clinical cardiologists will be convinced by the above computer model. The theory has been around for decades and while the model supports the theory it doesn’t prove it.

  21. The idea that chemists are generally more skeptical of the IPCC “consensus” view on AGW than other scientific professions is interesting.

    A few years ago, Eli Rabett posted a list compiled by US Senator Inhofe of individuals skeptical of the CAGW premise (as outlined by IPCC in AR4), adding a reference to those individuals whom he considered “qualified” to have a meaningful opinion on the subject.

    Taking Rabett’s “qualified” list and adding many others whom he missed, who have gone on record as not supporting all or some aspect of CAGW, the list now has the names of 334 “qualified individuals”.

    Of these, the largest single category, 88, are atmospheric scientists / meteorologists
    48 are physicists
    28 are geologists
    15 are chemists
    And the remaining 155 are environmental scientists, mathematicians, medical doctors, biologists or other scientists.

    So just based on this list of skeptical scientists, it looks like chemists are a small minority.

    But the question arises: if this list represents the “3% minority”, where are the 10,800 “qualified individuals” (the “97%”) who completely support the IPCC CAGW premise?

    Max

    • As a ChE, I’m sure you realize that the specialty in chemistry makes a big difference. I wouldn’t expect an organic chemist to have a lot of insight into climate. I would expect a physical chemist to. I’d be curious how many of them are physical chemists.

      • I’m waiting for organic chemists to make a breakthrough on the biome’s feedback to climate.
        ==============

      • Harold

        Your comment makes sense regarding organic versus physical chemists and “insight into climate”, but kim points out that there’s more to the CAGW premise (as outlined by IPCC in AR4 and now repeated in AR5) than just straight climatology.

        Haven’t checked how many of the 15 chemists on the list were physical chemists, but 88 of those on the list were atmospheric scientists and meteorologists, and I’d expect this group to have “a lot of insight into climate”, wouldn’t you?

        Max

    • David L. Hagen

      Harold
      See the Global Warming Petition Project

      “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the forseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects on the natural plant and animal environments of the earth.”

      The current list of petition signers includes 9,029 PhD; 7,157 MS; 2,586 MD and DVM; and 12,715 BS or equivalent academic degrees. ”
      Of those:
      1. Chemistry (3,129)
      2. Chemical Engineering (1,693)
      You are likely to find at least one or 2 PChems in there.

    • Manacker,

      O/T, but could you please do me a favour. Previously you listed the climate sensitivity estimates published by around a dozen researchers over the past few years. These were based mainly on empirical data as opposed to modelling outputs. I had a copy of that list but have lost it. Would you mind posting it again, please. I am most after the central estimate, and range for those papers and the authors. If you have the links to the papers that would be great too.

  22. As long as one is so curious as to what various technical disciplines think about climate science, one should also be curious as to why a nation, Australia, produces so many climate contrarians.

    The statistics of their proportional contributions to the discussion indicates a real cultural bias. Something is going on here that we don’t fully understand.

    The claim was that chemists were “ornery”. Put that tag on Australian skeptics. This is not a statistical anomaly.

    • Webby, a top-of-the-head comment: European settlement of the Australian continent began only 225 years ago, and numbers were small for a long time – I think 6-7 million at the end of WW II, after which the immigration rate increased. The settlers were faced with environments generally far different from what they had previously experienced, and a far more extreme and variable climate. There was no established infrastructure or manufacturing industries. People had to rely on their gumption, initiative and self-reliance, and learn to understand the weather and other environmental variables themselves, rather than depend on external sources. It was often a matter of life and death, certainly a matter of livelihood or poverty and deprivation. The mindset that developed still has a great influence even though the vast majority now live in conurbations, granted that the five major conurbations are far removed from each other. Although (from my Pommy perspective) Australians in general are too dependent on government, they still tend to have a healthy disrespect for authority, and an egalitarian streak which makes them less likely to accept pearls of wisdom from their alleged superiors without applying their own common-sense filters to it.

      The devastation of the recent NSW bushfires, and earlier ones, was in part because the views of those with real knowledge of the land on, for example, the necessity for fuel-reduction burning, was ignored in favour of the urban green elites who have opposed such sensible management practices and had more political influence. There is a backlash against those greens, they have been proven wrong on so many issues on which they campaigned, people will discount the validity of the causes they expound.

      • Like you say, if “a healthy disrespect to authority” is their cultural motivation, we should safely dismiss opinions from Australians when it comes to the future of the climate.

      • Faustino, “There is a backlash against those greens, they have been proven wrong on so many issues on which they campaigned, people will discount the validity of the causes they expound.”

        Not really enough bashlash in the US yet. Because of surburban sprawl and the interstate system in the SouthEast control burns have been almost completely stopped. I was looking into a small diameter round wood and biomass project that would offset costs of firebreak clearing. That is almost impossible because the ecowahckos think that it would be damaging to the forests to remove the natural fuel for the fires that happen every decade or so.

        When I was in Oregon, the wealthy ecowackos were actually running ads in the classifieds for “Rent a Huggers” to picket forestry project out there.

        Let’s hope they all get devoted to saving malnourished obese kids or some other band wagon here pretty soon.

      • Web, I think “a healthy disrespect for authority” is an essential element of a functional society. Certainly more so than following like sheep, or believing that anything said must be true just because of the position the speaker holds. It ain’t necessarily so, we each need to apply our analytical minds to it, as well as our common-sense filters. The wisdom of the many.

        Captain D, in my view not enough backlash here either, although both the green-influenced ALP and the Greens got hammered at the recent election.

      • Mocking authority is more like it. Anytime a scientist reports any research, the Aussie mockers are out in force.

        And you can not say that it is just a “healthy disrespect” because I know that the mocking involves creating these highly unphysical counter-theories that are full of holes and take only a few moments to debunk.

      • WebHub Telescope,

        You said : –

        “Mocking authority is more like it. Anytime a scientist reports any research, the Aussie mockers are out in force.

        And you can not say that it is just a “healthy disrespect” because I know that the mocking involves creating these highly unphysical counter-theories that are full of holes and take only a few moments to debunk.”

        If you cannot provide facts to support your first contention, you are merely making derogatory racist or culturally based judgements based on your own delusional fantasies. I remind you that you said “anytime” rather than “sometimes” or “occasionally”.

        I occasionally mock the deluded Warmists. They deserve it.
        Please provide the highly unphysical counter theory that is full of holes and only takes a few moments to debunk. Unfair of me, I know. I don’t need to provide a counter theory to something that doesn’t exist.

        In case you may have overlooked it, the Earth doesn’t appear to be getting warmer. On the other hand, CO2 levels appear to be rising.

        Whatever nonsensical theory you are promoting, purporting to show that increased CO2 levels create a rise in global temperature, seems to fall at the first hurdle. It’s not happening, in spite of whether you think it should.

        I don’t need a theory to say the Earth is cooling, any more than I need a theory to explain why my cup of coffee follows the same course. It’s fact.
        Would you care to debunk that? I thought not.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Webby, no counter, or even under-the-counter, theories from me. But I’ve only been here 34 years, haven’t yet shucked off my European heritage.

      • Mike Flynn, the Australian, says:

        “I occasionally mock the deluded Warmists. They deserve it.”

        I rest my case. An Australian admits to behavior that is endemic amongst his fellow countrymen.

      • Sorry Web – you have a long way to go. You stated “Anytime” – so you have to show anytime. One time is not anytime.

      • WebHubTelescope,

        Is your debunker suffering from a temporary stoppage? For something that you claimed would only take a few moments, it seems as though you are having a few problems.

        Would you like some help? You don’t seem to be achieving much on your own.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • WebHubTelescope,

        You said : –

        “Mocking authority is more like it. Anytime a scientist reports any research, the Aussie mockers are out in force.

        And you can not say that it is just a “healthy disrespect” because I know that the mocking involves creating these highly unphysical counter-theories that are full of holes and take only a few moments to debunk.”

        Before commenting, what is your link to a self written “script kiddie” program (only joking, I think), supposed to debunk? You haven’t specified a single instance of any ” . . . highly unphysical counter-theories that are full of holes . . .”

        As I haven’t proposed any theories (as far as I am aware), I wonder if you may have inadvertently confused me with someone else.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Web

        How do you graph volcanos on your Csalt graph? I get an ‘internal server error’ when I press the volcano tab.

        tonyb

      • FLYNN said:

        “Before commenting, what is your link to a self written “script kiddie” program (only joking, I think), supposed to debunk? You haven’t specified a single instance of any ” . . . highly unphysical counter-theories that are full of holes . . .””

        This substantiates the link between warming with fluctuations and log sensitivity to CO2 levels with a correlation coefficient at the 0.975 level.

        There are a few ways to debunk, one is to demonstrate how well the current theory works. Come up with something that does better and maybe I will listen.

  23. The American Chemical Society reviews all Public Policy Statements on a three year cycle.
    At the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in San Diego in March 2012 a 30 minute discussion period on climate change was on the agenda at the ACS Council Meeting. The ACS President that year, Professor Bassam Shakhashiri from UW-Madison, made Global Warming/Climate Change one of his main areas of focus, and the ACS was rolling out the beta version of the ACS Climate Science Toolkit:

    http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/climatescience/about.html

    At the Council meeting there was shock on the face of Professor Shakhashiri as speaker after speaker raised serious concerns about Global Warming/Climate Change in general and the ACS Policy Statement.

    Probably like most professional societies, the Policy Statements issued by the ACS are not agreed to by a majority of the members, or even the ~ 500 member ACS Council that represents the local Sections (where members live) as well as the Technical Divisions (i.e. Organic, Physical, Fluorine, Nuclear, etc.), which by numbers alone would be somewhat representative of the 160,000+ members of the ACS. As a member of the ACS Council, I know that ACS Public Policy Statements can be pushed thru to the ASC Board of Directors with by fewer than 50 members, usually activists with a mission and agenda.

    For those that didn’t follow the links that Professor Curry included, our session at the Denver ACS meeting in 2011- while Hurricane Irene was over the east coast- was in a live webinar format: all of my speakers presented from their homes or offices in the USA, Canada, Israel and Australia to both a live audience in Denver as well as to online attendees, saving thousands of dollars in travel costs. I am still trying to figure out what to do with all those carbon credits we earned from a footprint lighter than the first step of a baby. My local bar still expects real dollars…

    • David L. Hagen

      Thanks Pete for the clarity on 3000 fold difference (50:160,000) between activists and members.
      Any link to those 30 min presentations?

      • David- Alas, my downloaded recordings were corrupted and lost. A rookie mistake on my part I think, tho trying to keep a download active for 2 hours while wandering around the Denver Convention Center didn’t help either. The good news is I believe most of the speakers linked their prepared presentations to this site shortly after the meeting was over.

        As an ACS council member I will be working to change the ACS procedures and by-laws so that Public Policy Statements come to the ACS Council for a yes or no vote. Anything that claims to represent the studied opinion of the ACS membership as a whole deserves at least that higher level of vetting and approval.

        The ACS Public Policy Statement of Fracking under consideration should make for interesting reading.

  24. Prof. Curry,

    I’ll speak just for myself. I am chemist, of the synthetic (not physical) variety.

    My skepticism stems in part from having been very wrong, on more than one occasion, about what was going on in a chemical reaction. That is, in a reaction run in a sealed vessel, using a few simple ingredients over which I have near-perfect control. I have the luxury of following the outcome using an array of spectroscopic techniques. These give me a wealth of different pieces of information, often with very high signal-to-noise ratios.

    My task is incredibly simple compared to that of climate scientists, trying to understand what’s going on in the whole world. Yet I get it wrong sometimes. (I realize I’m setting up anyone irritated by this post to just call me incompetent – but a lot of great chemists could say the same.)

    So when I hear a climate scientist claim that nothing else can explain some observation, my rejoinder is, Nothing else you’ve thought of yet.

    • +1000

    • when you get it wrong do folks accuse you of fraud?
      do they ask about your politics?
      do they distrust the very science of chemistry?
      do they use the fact that you got it wrong to attack others?

      • Does he use his result to attempt to establish a new world order, global tax, and fossil fuel morality?

        Does he claim a “consensus” to quash opposition to his opinions?

        Does he attack others with opposing views and secret requested evidence?

        Does he claim that all opposed to his “science” must be moronic “conservatives?

      • Well, moshe, it’s all a matter of the impact, the consequences.

        JPS, climate science has blinded itself to the exploration of unknown unknowns. We should feel sorry for the practitioners; mostly they didn’t bring it upon themselves, the sensory deprivation has been imposed.
        ================

      • I dunno, maybe it’s sensory overload, the volume of the roar of the CO2 control knob is deafening.
        ================

      • Nice straw man there, Mosh. Kill it! Burn it, I say!

      • “when you get it wrong do folks accuse you of fraud?”
        No, because what I do is (for the moment) fairly obscure. If my work were in the limelight, and my successes or mistakes were to affect public policy, I can imagine they would. Not saying I’d deserve it, just that I can well imagine it.

        Now if I had agitated for my conclusions to affect public policy, I might still not deserve that response, but I would certainly have taken an active role in setting myself up for it.

        “do they ask about your politics?”
        No. I am an academic (>80% Democrat) hailing from a very blue state (>70% Democrat), of a very blue ethnic origin (>80% Democrat), so people pretty much assume I’m a liberal.

        “do they distrust the very science of chemistry?”
        Because of my results? No. (As I wrote: obscure.) But good lord, does the general public mistrust chemistry, if not the science, then the results. Half the people I meet tell me they hated chemistry. I hear commercials on the radio for foods or cleaning processes that are healthy because there are no chemicals in them. My favorite? “It’s all natural, so it’s totally safe.” (See also botulinum toxin.)

        Our host has discussed motivated reasoning. If you want to see some (some more), try getting into the comments on a news story about a car that uses water as its fuel, and trying to explain that it’s really running off the battery in a Rube Goldberg sort of way. I’ve honestly never felt more sympathy for climate scientists being criticized from people who don’t actually understand their science.

        “do they use the fact that you got it wrong to attack others?”
        No, but here are a couple of details that are perhaps relevant.
        – I’ve never published a wrong result, just been wrong on a group-internal basis. This is not a boast; I consider it a matter of luck, and have come close on multiple occasions.
        – Had I done so, as have chemists I respect hugely, I would simply have to set the record straight in the literature and in talks as best I could.
        – Would it be right to use my mistake to attack others? When you put it that way, of course not. Would it be fair to bring it up as a cautionary tale the next time someone was sure they had a game-changer? Depends on how you do it, but conceivably, yes. Just as I might tell myself, “Remember when __ thought they had a cyclopentadienyl cation, and it turned out they just had another allyl? So let’s be surer of this than we are.”

      • Let me add to what JPS said. Skepticism (unfortunately) isn’t taught. It’s learned at the school of hard knocks. This applies to scientists, engineers, and even auto mechanics.

        Elmo’s a fresh graduate from the Acme voc/tech school of auto mechanics, and at his first day on the job. There’s a car towed to shop. It won’t start. Elmo connects the analyzer, which says the O2 sensor is throwing a code. Elmo wants to replace the O2 sensor.

        Elmo’s boss, Elmer says no. Elmer has something that Elmo doesn’t have. It’s called experience. Elmer knows that with this make and model, a dead car with an O2 sensor code usually means a bad crank sensor. So Elmer tells Elmo to check the crank sensor. Sure enough, it’s bad. The O2 sensor is fine.

        This kind of thing happens all of the time. Unless you’ve seen it before a couple of times, you go with the obvious, which turns out to be wrong. Experience teaches you to restrain your urge to jump to the obvious conclusion.

        Another example. Every dietitian knows that a fat calorie is a carb calorie is a protein calorie, right? They used to believe that, anyway.

      • “when you get it wrong do folks accuse you of fraud?”

        Mosher, this is such a bad analogy on so many levels I suspect you’re just being a wise guy. Sometimes hard to tell….

      • Steven Mosher

        In most scientific and engineering jobs, when you get it wrong, you admit your error, correct it and move on.

        If you consistently get it wrong, you get some serious career counseling.

        When you consistently get it wrong and then try to cover up your errors or rationalize them away, you eventually get caught and fired.

        If you do this fraudulently to cheat your employer, you face prosecution.

        It’s a tough world out there, Mosh.

        Max

      • “when you get it wrong do folks accuse you of fraud?
        do they ask about your politics?
        do they distrust the very science of chemistry?
        do they use the fact that you got it wrong to attack others?”

        Good questions about what Mann and Jones did for Climate Science.
        By the way, I think Pons and Fleischmann took a big hit.

      • Bob | November 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm opined;

        By the way, I think Pons and Fleischmann took a big hit.

        One day, ‘magic’ energy generation roughly along their lines may well revolutionize … Everything. “Too cheap to meter”, on massive steroids.

        Ted [US Navy nuclear power plant operator … a view commonly encountered, in ‘the culture’.]

      • Steven,
        When climate scientists get it wrong, they hide the data, sue, blame the Koch Brothers, fudge the numbers, have pal reviewed crap papers written in their support and get big grants.
        Posing climate hustlers as victims is funny, actually.

      • We’re trying to get a little sympathy for them, Hunter, before Nature slips in the knife.
        =========

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        Mosh,
        When chemist ‘get it wrong’ (and of course we sometimes do) there are not billions of dollars in public expenditures and vast economic consequenses involved. There is lots of evidence that leading (and many non-leading) climate scientists are personally dedicated to ‘green’ policies with potentially huge social and political impact. Surely you can appreciate that climate scientists are people, and so subject to having their ‘rational’ analysis biased by their moral and political thinking, just like other people. It is perfectly fair to question the validity and objectivity of technical work when the worker has strong feelings about the policies that are ‘demanded’ by that work. Never simply trust someone with a conflict of interests (see Stephen Schneider’s famous “honesty versus effectiveness” quotation).

      • SteveF, If chemists were involved with global projects that impact global policy leading to austerity programs, Mosher would be right up their butts along with everyone else. Mosher seems to believe that Climate Scientists are special as I do, I believe most took the short bus :)

      • Steve Fitzpatrick,

        There is lots of evidence that leading (and many non-leading) climate scientists are personally dedicated to ‘green’ policies with potentially huge social and political impact.

        Really? Can you provide some links to this evidence? I mean obviously Hansen has been very vocal in advocating certain policies but even then it’s pretty obvious from reading his work that he sees such policies as a necesssary response to what the science is telling him, not the other way round. Where are all the others?

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        Andrew Adams,

        Since climate science is fairly well dripping with political advocacy, I am not certain you are serious, but if, so:

        Many climate science papers end by stating the ‘need to deeply cut CO2 emissions’. Based on my experience in reading scientific papers over many years, I find this is a very odd subject to include in a paper, since in virtually all cases it has nothing at all to do with the technical content of the paper. I will assume you have not read many climate science papers, so you are unaware of this. Or perhaps you have read some papers, but you are not a scientist and so think advocacy for public policy is a normal part of scientific papers (hint: it’s not).

        You could also read some of the UEA email messages and note that the participants are highly motivated to not allow publication of papers which contradict the ‘consensus’ views, because that would give ‘ammunition to the deniers’. It only matters if bad papers are published if those papers ‘interfere’ with desired policy outcomes. In chemistry, as in most scientific fields, bad papers receive critical comments, or if really bad, are usually just ignored. Not so in climate science; maintaining a clear message to promote desired public policy outcomes is a top priority.

        You might also note that Schneider’s infamous ‘truth versus effectiveness’ comment about the need to downplay uncertainty (which is enormous) and tell the public scary stories about the future was made at a meeting of climate scientists, and there is no indication he was challenged after making such appalling statement (nor shouted down, which I think would have been the appropriate response by those present). Effective scientists do good science, and state uncertainty clearly and honestly. Effective advocates for public policy exaggerate certainty and tell scary stories to change public opinion. You can’t be both.

        Finally, AR5 has continued the ‘scary story’ tradition of the field, steadfastly refusing to state that there is a clear divergence between models and reality, which means model projections of extreme future warming are becoming less credible. Policy advocates to the end.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick,

        No, I don’t read a lot of scientific papers, but of the ones I have read I don’t particularly remember any which specifically call for cuts in emissions. Still, I’m well aware that many climate scientists have come to the conclusion that there is a strong possibility of negative consequences, perhaps very serious ones, arising from AGW and it’s perfectly reasonable that they should feel a responsibility to communicate this to the wider public and to point out that in order to mitigate that threat it is necessary to drastically reduce GHG emissions. That’s not “political advocacy”, it’s just informing people of the implications of their research – it’s just like saying that if people want to minimise the risk of contracting HIV they should practice safe sex or avoid sharing needles. And it is not evidence that scientists are “personally dedicated to ‘green’ policies with potentially huge social and political impact” – saying it’s desirable to reduce emissions doesn’t in itself imply support for specific policies in order to do so. Nor is it proof that their views on the need for some kind of action to prevent or mitigate AGW is influencing their judgement on the science itself, rather than the other way round.
        And given the importance of the issue and the difficulties involved in communicating complex scientific issues to the public it’s natural that they should discuss, as Schneider did, how this can be done in an effective yet honest way. It doesn’t reflect well on the “skeptics” that they insist on viewing his words in the least charitable way possible. And I don’t blame scientists for objecting to hyped-up bad papers which muddy the public’s understanding of the issue.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        Andrew Adams,

        We should probably just agree to disagree on this. (Just I am fairly certain that we should agree to disagree on most pubic policy issues.)

        My perspective is that of a scientist, and IMSO, advocacy in scientific papers (which is obvious in climate science) and active repression of discordant views (also obvious) are entirely inappropriate, and worse, damage both the technical credibility of the field and the legitimacy of calls for reductions in fossil fuel use based on climate science. The likelihood of reasoned public policies ever being adopted falls when climate scientists don’t play it straight with the public. AR5 WGI was terribly disappointing to me, specifically because those involved continued to downplay the uncertainty and continue to insist catastrophe is just a credible as it was 15 years ago. It’s clearly not. Will they ever play it straight with the public? I am beginning to think they either unwilling or unable to. Energy policy decisions made by voters should be (indeed, must be) informed by climate science, but must not be ‘directed’ toward specific policies by exaggerations and advocacy; I suspect many climate scientists don’t really understand that their advocacy only reduces the credibility of their work.

      • > Just I am fairly certain that we should agree to disagree on most pubic policy issues.

        An hairy disagreement.

      • If you like your bald-faced lies, you can keep them. Period.
        =================

      • @Bob
        @Ted Clayton

        APS decided F&P was a pathological science after 20 days.
        did that ring you something ?

        all arguments against cold fusion today,looks very much like argument against climate debate
        http://lenrnews.eu/evidences-that-lenr-is-real-beyond-any-reasonable-doubt

        like for climate they control Nature, Science, Sciam and block any dissenting ideas…
        anyway some publish in peer reviewed magazine, like Toyota reciplaction of Mitsubishi just published in Japanese Journal of applied Physics, but deniers attack the journals… because they publish on cold fusion which is an evidence they are bad journals…

        What climategate denounced happened for cold fusion before. See ENEA Report41 Deninno story, and the answer of science “no room to revolution science”. Even after a successfull peer-review Oriani papers was dumped by science.

        if you want to vomit about consensual pseudo science read that wiki-rejected article
        http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/cf/293wikipedia.html

        “Furthermore, if the claimed excess heat exceeds that possible by other conventional processes (chemical, mechanical, etc.), one must conclude that an error has been made in measuring the excess heat”
        -> any dissentig data is false

        “It would not matter to me if a thousand other investigations were to subsequently perform experiments that see excess heat. These results may all be correct, but it would be an insult to these investigators to connect them with Pons and Fleischmann. . . . Putting the ‘Cold Fusion’ issue on the same page with Wien, Rayleigh-Jeans, Davison Germer, Einstein, and Planck is analogous to comparing a Dick Tracy comic book story with the Bible.”
        -> even if proven it have to be false

        @hunter
        “When climate scientists get it wrong, they hide the data, sue, blame the Koch Brothers, fudge the numbers, have pal reviewed crap papers written in their support and get big grants.
        Posing climate hustlers as victims is funny, actually.”

        This is what cold fusion deniers did.
        The experiment paper of MIT done in 60 days gave too good result (anyway so badly done that could not be sure) was tweaked to hide the incline, and the manager of MIT publication “Eugene Mallove” have seen the fraud, and got furious… after being insulted he resigned…

        since then people like Huzenga always said the experiment, the thousands of positive exepriments, the hundred of peer-reviewed paper are fraud, ar artefiat.
        of course they never see the frauds, the weakness, the incompetend in experiments which failed.
        since few years there is so many good resulst that they simply refuse to consider anything new. they keep the old argument on old experiments.

        some explain the fact that National instruments jumped from support to Tokamak to Cold Fusion sponsoring (NIWeek2012, ICCF18, Concezzi/Rome/LENR, Concezzi/Brussels/LENR), just because they hope to get money from LENR labs (who fight for dollar, except if the technology is real)… not because they see it is real and that in few years they will be heroes.
        They explain that JJAP or Naturwissenschaften (See Cold Fusion Review in Naturwissenschaften by ed Storms, the LENR editor of NW) accept to peer-review LENr just for the money… not for the honesty, or simply the vision…

        See Groupthink description. see Roland Benabou Groupthink papers, Mutual assured Delusion, Delusion trickle-down in hierarchies…

        Climate Science, Finance, Cold Fusion … same story of pathological consensus and ridiculed repressed dissenters.

      • Steve,

        Apologies for the delay in replying.

        First of all, although I have no problem with advocacy by scientists per se I agree that it should not be done in scientific papers, I just don’t think that this is as widespread as you seem to think. Or maybe we have a different idea of what constitutes advocacy.
        I disagree with you on the subject of AR5 though, I don’t accept that it actually does either underplay the uncertainties or overstate the likelihood of serious consequences of AGW, if anything it is a rather conservative document. Obviously we have different interpretations of what the science is actually telling us which we are unlikely to agree on here so it’s reasonable to agree to disagree on that.
        However, I see no evidence that the document is not a fair representation of the collective judgement of the many scientists who contributed to it and I think it’s wrong to say that because you don’t personally agree with that judgement scientists are therefore somehow not being straight with the public or that they are guilty of unacceptable levels of advocacy. Nor do I see any damage to the crediblity of scientists and climate science in general – those people who already disagreed with the IPCC position will obviously not have changed their minds but as far as I can tell the wider public sees the IPCC reports as credible (to the extent that they are aware of them at all).

    • David L. Hagen

      “Nothing else you’ve thought of yet.”
      An excellent summary of the classical logical fallacy of “the argument from ignorance” pervading the IPCC’s reports.

      • David L. Hagen

        The “argument from ignorance” is usually worded something like:

        Our models can only explain this if we assume…:

        The fact that climate models are only able to reproduce observed global mean temperature changes over the 20th century when they include anthropogenic forcings, and that they fail to do so when they exclude anthropogenic forcings, is evidence for the influence of humans on global climate. [AR4 WG1 Ch.9, p.684]

        “Evidence”?

        Huh?

        Max

    • JPS –
      I think you slightly misrepresent us, and so miss a relevant point.
      The errors you describe (glossing over that anyone can have a bad day) are typically not trivial. They sometimes lead to significant new knowledge and directions. Arguably, if you’re making no errors, you’re probably not doing much real chemistry.
      Generalising from this: Considering the breadth of activity, somewhere within climate science I would expect an occasion when the Establishment has said (metaphorically): “Oh dear, we’ve made a complete horse’s of this issue; please disregard all previous communication on it. Here is the proper account of it, which you’ll probably find makes much better sense…”.
      I haven’t seen an important instance; have you? Has anyone?
      Everyone has the inalienable right to make any particular mistake (once).

  25. Thanks, Professor for identifying the common trait in us ‘ornery’ chemists.

    Fear seems to be a common trait in ‘control freaks’ of all disciplines.

    The scientific method is designed to protect conclusions from interference by instinctive fears, but that has not worked well in climate studies.

    “Acceptance of Reality” will be the title to Chapter 2 of an ongoing autobiography, A Journey to the Core of the Sun.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Synopsis.pdf

    It will begin with a quote from Maria Curie, “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.

    Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

    Fear of reality is the reason for Mr. Snowden’s conflict with the United States government.

    http://theinternetpost.net/2013/11/04/ed-snowden-nsa-and-fairy-tales/

  26. I hope that the majority of skepticism in the chemist’s community is due to the recognition of how extraordinarily hot 390PPM of CO2 molecules must be to have any measurable influence on 1,000,000PPM (close enough) of N, O and Ar.

    • Ken Coffman,

      Careful, though: All those ppm of N2, O2 and Ar do not, cannot, absorb infrared radiation. So if most of your atmosphere is IR-silent, it’s not absurd to worry about a substantial change to the tiny, IR-active fraction.

      The more apt question is, what about those 10,000 ppm or so of water vapor? And how well do we understand clouds, anyway?

      • JPS, there’s a thermometer on my wall. It displays a temperature. What influence does 390PPM of CO2 have on the reading? If we wanted CO2 to increase my room temperature by 10%, what would we have to do?

      • Increasing temperature by 10% only makes sense on the absolute Kelvin scale. So if you want to increase a room temperature value of 300K by 10%, that would make it 30 degrees warmer.

      • Webby’s right, of course.

        At an average global temp of 15C (288K) a 10% increase in the (absolute) temperature would be around 29C.

        We’ve seen a 0.7C increase since the HadCRUT4 record started 160+ years ago, so that’s a 0.24% increase in the absolute temperature.

        And if it warms another 2C over the rest of this century, that would be another 0.69% increase.

        Just to put it into Webby’s perspective.

        Now my perspective would be more based on seasonal and diurnal max/min temperatures one actually experiences.

        Here we’d have (let’s say in scenic Minnesota) a minimum winter temp of -30C and a maximum summer temp of +40C, or a 70C range. This is the range a Minnesotan experiences every year (=100%)

        The 0.7C increase since 1850 represents a 1% change and the 2C projection a 2.9% change of the expected range.

        That would be closer to my perspective on the impact of AGW on Minnesota temperatures.

        Max

        PS And, if I lived in Minnesota, I’d be glad for every fraction of a degree warming I could get, especially if I were told it would come mostly in winter.

      • Manacker +1

      • Ollie, there’s this guy on the interwebs thinks we would like our ice fishing season a little shorter, Vut you dink bout dat?
        Sven

      • JPS, we understand clouds about as well as Judy Collins:

        I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
        From up and down and still somehow
        It’s clouds’ illusions I recall
        I really don’t know clouds at all.

      • Welcome back, faustino.
        On clouds and modellers in cloud towers:

        ‘All nature faithfully.’- But by what feint
        Can Nature be subdued by modellers’ constraint,
        Her smallest fragment is still infinite,
        And so they model what they like in it,
        What do they like? They like what they can model
        … not what they cain’t.’

        Aplogies ter Nietzche.

      • Beth, if only the modellers’ standards were as high as yours!

      • The bulk of the atmosphere (N2, O2) gains a lot of heat from the surface by non-radiative means. Looking only at the surface/air heat exchange, more than the rest of the heat gained radiatively.

    • That’s a pretty weak argument. One IR photon is enough to raise the ‘temperature’ of one CO2 molecule to extreme temperatures (IICR in the 1000s of degrees) for a few milliseconds, until the energy is transferred to adjacent N2 and O2. There are better arguments.

      • Please can anybody show me the results of any experiment quantifying any temperature rise in any IR absorbing/emitting gas or mixture of gases which is free to radiate to space?

      • In a word no. The momentum of atmospheric IR photons is too small to allow any significant portion of their energy to go directly into translational kinetic energy of the molecules that absorb them. Ergo the CO2 molecule is not thermalized. Instead the dipole moment is changed. Some of this energy is transferred during collision with other molecules (or the emission of a photon – though odds are a collision will occur before emission) but direct translational kinetic energy is unchanged.

      • It offends me when people suggest one photon can make a CO2 molecule really hot and stimulation by another photon will make it even hotter and stimulation by a lot of photons makes the CO2 molecule really, really hot as if the photonic stimulation is coherent (in phase) with the stimulated dipoles. Give me a break. Even if this was true, do you think Mother Nature would allow it? At what temperature does CO2 decompose? Go outside. Is it raining Carbon?

        http://carbon.atomistry.com/decomposition_carbon_dioxide.html

        Now, tell me again. How can 390PPM of CO2 do anything measurable to 800,000PPM of Nitrogen? CO2 can delay outgoing IR by a few milliseconds and that’s it. From that, you can’t derive human-caused global warming doom. Watch for the inevitable handwaving when the Warmists attempt to explain this. Their global warming engine that contributes 33K to the Earth’s average surface temperature only works in a cold, rarefied atmosphere. Right. Good luck with that.

    • “If we wanted CO2 to increase my room temperature by 10%, what would we have to do?”
      Using WebHub’s 300K > 30K change, and say 3K per doubling you’d double CO2 10 times.
      Considering water vapor, I’d make 2/3s of your floor area water by some means.

      Carrying this right off the edge of the cliff, if you have ever over humidified your house in the middle of a Minnesota Winter, the excess water vapor appears on the windows in liquid form.

    • Steven Mosher

      the green house effect doesnt work that way.

      it works by raising the ERL

      at the ERL C02 is the dominate active gas.

      • How does raising the ERL increase the surface temperature?

      • How does raising the ERL increase the surface temperature?

        By reducing OLR. Reduced OLR means that more energy is retained by the Earth (atmosphere, oceans and terrestial areas combined). That leads to warming.

        It’s best to study an effect where it’s easiest to understand, not where it’s more difficult to understand. Warming of the Earth system can be studied and understood most easily by what’s going on at the TOA. The upper troposphere is very important for that and CO2 is the most important GHG in the upper troposphere.

        What happens at lower altitudes is also important, but cannot cancel the effects from upper layers.

      • “It’s best to study an effect where it’s easiest to understand, not where it’s more difficult to understand. Warming of the Earth system can be studied and understood most easily by what’s going on at the TOA. ”

        Whether it is easier or not, TOA is an abstract value. It is important, but it has no direct relationship to surface temps, that is what we’re suppose to fear, that is what we can all go measure, we experience it. I think IR temperature measurements from the surface to zenith is an important measurement. Again other than possibility arguing what emissivity the sky is, It’s hands on science, and it is what the surface radiates to.

      • Pekka, in the new steady state, after the increase in CO2, the OLR will be the same like before, by definition.

      • Right, but then it’s warmer.

      • Make up your mind Pekka. Wishy-washy physics is certainly wrong.

      • Edim,
        First it’s warming, then it’s warmer. Is that too difficult for you?

      • Pekka, I agree with you that it’s best to study an effect where it’s easiest to understand, not where it’s more difficult to understand. So we look at the steady state physics, not the transient changes from state to state, which are much more difficult to solve/model.

        First you say that the increased ERL will reduce the OLR, but now you agree with me that it will (can) not change in the new steady state (the OLR composition can change of course). So, I repeat my question, how does raising the ERL increase the surface temperature?

  27. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    dennis adams asserts [without reason, observation, or calculation] “Yes the seas will keep rising with no discernible increase in the rate.”

    Engineers in general … and NASA engineers in particular! … quantitatively appreciate the plain mathematical fact that small accelerations inexorably accumulate to enormous changes.

    It is a pleasure to help improve your appreciation of this plain mathematical reality, dennis adams!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Fan

      small accelerations inexorably accumulate to enormous changes.

      Only if these are:
      – actually observed and
      – continuous and not cyclical

      Not if they are simply
      – postulated or
      – based only on model simulations

      And certainly not if they are based on observed decadal oscillations, which far exceed the current rate.

      Glad to help you out with your logic, Fanny.

      Max

    • Sea level rise is irrelevant. The cost is negligible according to Tol (2011) Figure 3: http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/climate_change.pdf

      The only significant cost impact of Global Warming is energy cost.

      Agriculture and and health impacts are both strongly positive to beyond 4 C temp increase.

      The impact of storms and sea level rise are about zero net benefit/cost.

      Health and water are small negative costs but the positive benefits of agriculture and health greatly exceed the negative impacts of health and water.

      Conclusion: get cheap energy and the impacts of global warming will be positive to at least 4 C increase above today average global surface temperature and to well beyond the end of this century.

      So, FOMD, you can go back to smoking what ever it is you smoke.

      • Correction; The fourth sentence should read:

        ‘Water’ and ‘Ecosystems’ are small negative costs but the positive benefits of agriculture and health greatly exceed the negative impacts of “Water’ and ‘Ecosystems’.

      • Peter Lang

        Thanks for that link to the more recent study by Tol.

        I had heard statements that “AGW was net beneficial for humanity up to 2C (or 2.2C)”, but have never seen a breakdown by individual impacts..

        Looks like the 2.2C limit is now extended to around 4C, which means AGW brings a net beneficial impact on average (more “winners” than “losers”) until well beyond 2100, and probably even beyond the warming theoretically possible from the complete combustion of all remaining fossil fuels on our planet.

        And, yes, the potential problem is the continued availability of easily accessible, low-cost energy – not the potential future impacts on humanity from environmental changes brought about by AGW.

        All such studies must be taken with a grain of salt, but this one is good news – hope it will help poor Fanny stop being such a worry-wart about Hansen-style CAGW Armageddon.

        Max

      • Manacker,

        I agree that “all such studies can be taken with a grain of salt”. But the two recent papers by Tol are probably the most comprehensive and objective available at this time on the economic impacts of GW. They both use the inputs from the climate orthodoxy, such as ECS, so it is hard for the orthodoxy to criticise them from that perspective. The fact that GW is net beneficial if the cost of energy is not as great as the inputs they’ve used that is very interesting.

        And, just as the projections of ECS and AGW have proved to be too high, so it is likely that the estimated impacts of GW are also likely to prove too negative. Tol says:

        the researchers who published impact estimates are from a small and close-knit community who may be subject to group-think, peer pressure and self-censoring.

        https://www.sussex.ac.uk/webteam/gateway/file.php?name=wps37-2012-tol.pdf&site=24

        Have a look at Figure 1 in the full paper (link above) or in the version with just abstract and figures here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165188913000092

  28. David L. Hagen

    Are there any chemists upholding the Scientific Method like Physicist Robert G. Brown of Duke Univ.?

    We note that the warmest of the models that are still included in the CIMP5 data because nobody ever rejects a model just because it doesn’t work are a whopping 0.5 to 0.6C warmer than reality — they are the models with a total sensitivity of 5 or 6 C by 2100, so they have to warm at 0.5C a decade to get there.

    This really is shocking. Shockingly bad science, shockingly dishonest political manipulation of policy makers on the part of scientists who participated in the creation of AR5 and permitted their names to give the report its weight. . . .
    The only way the IPCC can possibly avoid this as it proceeds is to issue a correction to AR5. Go back in and eliminate the GCMs with absurdly high sensitivity, the ones that obviously fail a hypothesis test when compared to the actual climate record. Personally I would advise eliminating at a much more generous level than 95% — a complete idiot with experience in computational modeling could go into these models and figure out what is wrong, given an additional 16 years of data — simply retune the models until they can manage both the warming of the late 20th century AND the warming hiatus since. . . .
    the good news that even though the remaining models will all still predict more warming than actually occurred the warming that they project by 2100 will be between 0.5 and 1.5 C, not 2.5 C or more. This is almost precisely in line with what was observed in the 19th and 20th century without CO_2, and will grant a far larger role to natural variability (and hence a smaller one to CO_2).

    • Steven Mosher

      “they are the models with a total sensitivity of 5 or 6 C by 2100, ”

      he should retire if it hasnt already. One model has a sensitivity of around 4.5. none is 5 or 6.

      • Then why is Hansen saying possibly 8 or 9? Just shooting from the tuchas?

      • also, a complete idiot could not figure it out. i hate it when people do that….

      • Why Harold, that’s so the professional societies can get all skeert and panicked, and the politicians can make fools of themselves.
        ==================

      • Once the politicians make fools of themselves, then what, asks Marvin the Martian.

      • David L. Hagen

        Steven Mosher
        Singer shows the same climate model varying output by an order of magnitude between runs. Roy Spencer shows CMIP5 models vary by a factor of at least 3 from 0.5 to 1.6 C/47 years.
        What then is a factor of 33% between friends?

      • Mosh

        A 2xCO2 sensitivity of 4.5C versus one of 5 to 6C is not much of a difference.

        Both of these estimates are goofy.

        But I believe what Dr. Brown was referring to was the projected greenhouse warming to 2100:

        they are the models with a total sensitivity of 5 or 6 C by 2100, so they have to warm at 0.5C a decade to get there.

        This is the upper end of the projected range for the “high forcing, high coal, high-end climate sensitivity, worst case business-as-usual scenario” RCP8.5 (average 3.7C warming to the end of the century).

        Since it cooled by around 0.05C over the first 1.2 decades, it would have to warm by an average of 0.62C per decade for the next 8.8 decades to reach a total of 5C warming over the 21stC.

        And this is also goofy.

        Brown’s right.

        Max

      • Steven Mosher

        Hagen

        “Steven Mosher
        Singer shows the same climate model varying output by an order of magnitude between runs. Roy Spencer shows CMIP5 models vary by a factor of at least 3 from 0.5 to 1.6 C/47 years.
        What then is a factor of 33% between friends?”

        Neither of these points HAS ANYTHING TO DO with Browns claim

        Here you are dumber than brown and singer

        from Ar4

        ‘The current generation of GCMs[5] covers a range of equilibrium climate sensitivity from 2.1°C to 4.4°C (with a mean value of 3.2°C; see Table 8.2 and Box 10.2),

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch8s8-6-2-3.html#table-8-2

        The Highest is 4.4
        the model that matches reality the best is 2.3 (FGOALS)

      • Steven Mosher

        manaker brown is just wrong but you cannot say so.

      • Steven Mosher

        Aw, c’mon, Mosh.

        Don’t just pout “Brown is wrong”.

        Brown says that warming of 5C by the end of this century (top end of IPCC scenario RCP8.5) is BS (my choice of wording, not his).

        Is “Brown wrong” on that?

        I hardly believe so, because it would mean warming of more than 0.6C per decade over the remainder of this century (compared to around 0.6C total over the past century) – which (no matter what some goofy GIGO models might project) is BS.

        It ain’t gonna happen, Mosh.

        Get used to it.

        Max

      • Max, “Brown says that warming of 5C by the end of this century (top end of IPCC scenario RCP8.5) is BS (my choice of wording, not his).”

        The correct terminology is a “Crock of $hit”. Any warming approaching the model mean is “highly unlikely” :)

      • David L. Hagen

        Mosher
        Re: 5 or 6 C by 2010.
        Why are you quoting AR4 when Brown was referring to AR5?

        the warmest of the models that are still included in the CMIP5 data because nobody ever rejects a model just because it doesn’t work are a whopping 0.5 to 0.6C warmer than reality — they are the models with a total sensitivity of 5 or 6 C by 2100, so they have to warm at 0.5C a decade to get there.

        Furthermore, Brown did not state the starting date, and he could have been referring to the industrial period before the modern jump in anthropogenic CO2 > 1950.
        In AR5, the IPCC is projecting up to 4.8°C by 2010 FROM 1986-2005 i.e. on top of 0.61C from 1850-1900. i.e. combined anthropogenic temperature increase is projected up to 5.4°C.

        To me, 5.4°C appears to be within Brown’s 5 to 6 °C by 2100.

        See: AR5 WG1TS.5.5.1 Projected Long-Term Changes in Global Temperature

        Under the assumptions of the concentration-driven RCPs, global-mean surface temperatures for 2081–2100, relative to 1986–2005 will likely be in the 5–95% range of the CMIP5 models; 0.3°C to 1.7°C (RCP2.6), 1.1 to 2.6°C (RCP4.5), 1.4°C to 3.1°C (RCP6.0), 2.6°C to 4.8°C (RCP8.5) (see Table TS.1).

        Furthermore, where has the IPCC ever addressed Type B error – which can be comparable to statistical Type A error. Consequently the IPCC projected temperature ranges are understated.

        So what is your beef? Why are you so adamant in defending the IPCC’s AR5 models when it is obvious that 96% of 34 year projections are wrong – too hot? See Roy Spencer Maybe that IPCC 95% certainty was correct after all.

        PS On Brown, I do NOT claim he is infallable. He is a human being, subject to error just as I am. I just find him to be more knowlegable on statistics and more eloquent on the IPCC problems than most writers.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Go back in and eliminate the GCMs with absurdly high sensitivity, the ones that obviously fail a hypothesis test when compared to the actual climate record. Personally I would advise eliminating at a much more generous level than 95% — a complete idiot with experience in computational modeling could go into these models and figure out what is wrong, given an additional 16 years of data — simply retune the models until they can manage both the warming of the late 20th century AND the warming hiatus since.”

      1. he hasnt actually looked at the models. few are absurdly high
      2. The issue isnt figuring out what is wrong, the issue is he’s assumed the issue is sensitivity. Thats an outsider mistake. It may not be sensitivity it could also be forcing uncertainty or a combination. Also, if the hiatus is due to a natural cycle less than 60 years… fat chance tuning to that.

      although I once held brown opinion. now after actually working with the data and the code and looking at diagnostics, I’ll say his opinion is worthless.
      makes for nice copy, but worthless.

      • Steven, why so mean? How about PCMDI should evaluate models and eliminate the worst 50%. They rerun then the ensemble. Do you think that might reduce the variance to something more realistic?
        Scott

      • David L. Hagen

        Steven Mosher
        You have not shown that you comprehend let alone scientifically disprove Brown’s statistical arguments. He makes a lot more sense to me than the IPCC. e.g. The “ensemble” of models is completely meaningless, statistically

        What I’m trying to say is that the variance and mean of the “ensemble” of models is completely meaningless, statistically because the inputs do not possess the most basic properties required for a meaningful interpretation. They are not independent, their differences are not based on a random distribution of errors, there is no reason whatsoever to believe that the errors or differences are unbiased (given that the only way humans can generate unbiased anything is through the use of e.g. dice or other objectively random instruments). . . .Worst of all, one cannot easily use statistics to determine when or if one’s predictions are failing, because damn, climate is nonlinear, non-Markovian, chaotic, and is apparently influenced in nontrivial ways by a world-sized bucket of competing, occasionally cancelling, poorly understood factors. Soot. Aerosols. GHGs. Clouds. Ice. Decadal oscillations. Defects spun off from the chaotic process that cause global, persistent changes in atmospheric circulation on a local basis (e.g. blocking highs that sit out on the Atlantic for half a year) that have a huge impact on annual or monthly temperatures and rainfall and so on. Orbital factors. Solar factors. Changes in the composition of the troposphere, the stratosphere, the thermosphere. Volcanoes. Land use changes. Algae blooms.

        And somewhere, that damn butterfly. Somebody needs to squash the damn thing, because trying to ensemble average a small sample from a chaotic system is so stupid that I cannot begin to describe it.

      • David L. Hagen:

        That damn butterfly.

        Nice post.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Esoterica of modelling. There are many divergent solutions for any model within the range of feasible inputs. A particular solution is chosen after the fact on the basis of the appearance of plausibility. It goes in one ear and out the other.

        ‘In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?

        Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence…

        AOS models are therefore to be judged by their degree of plausibility, not whether they are correct or best. This perspective extends to the component discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupling breadth: There are better or worse choices (some seemingly satisfactory for their purpose or others needing repair) but not correct or best ones. The bases for judging are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behavior.’ James McWilliams

      • Mosher: Why don’t you post this over at WUWT where Brown might see it and respond? Your hit-and-run remarks over there were less than substantive. Also, now you have conceded that at least a “few” GCMs are “absurdly high.” Before, it was none, so perhaps a few more rounds will get you to “some” or “many” GCMs are absurdly high. Finally, forcing uncertainty–really? More magic volcanos or sneaky sulfates somehow not previously accounted for? And then, if we end up with a high CO2 sensitivity and combine that with the pause we’re left with the policy conclusion that we’re damn lucky to have kept emissions going in order to avoid an unpleasant global cold snap.

        It’s getting hard to thread the needle on the “official” mainstream approach to understanding the climate.

      • stevepostrel, you write “Mosher: Why don’t you post this over at WUWT where Brown might see it and respond?”

        He has. it is worth the time to go over and read the comments.

      • Steven Mosher

        “You have not shown that you comprehend let alone scientifically disprove Brown’s statistical arguments. ”

        That argument is also wrong.

        The simple fact is we can average models ( just do it )
        whether or not it has any ‘statistical” or ‘scientific” meaning is beside the point. the point is, does it have a practical use.

        Like averaging hurricane paths. its phsyical nonsense. its statisical nonsense. but it works better than shrugging your shoulders.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘Mosher: Why don’t you post this over at WUWT where Brown might see it and respond? Your hit-and-run remarks over there were less than substantive. Also, now you have conceded that at least a “few” GCMs are “absurdly high.”

        HUH?

        1. I avoid words like absurdly when describing model performance.
        2. Long ago I raised this issue and laid out what the bounds were:
        2.1 to 4.4. back when Ar4 was first published. go read me.

        Frankly I dont need to read what Brown thinks because he is stupid.
        The charts are published
        I’ve linked to them as far back as 2008 and discussed that some models are too high
        He comes along, moronically, and invents models with sensitivities of 5-6 C.
        why would i read another word from that idiot.

        Finally if stupid hagen want to pollute a thread by droppiing browns turds in it, then i’ll respond where i choose and how i choose.

      • Steven, “Like averaging hurricane paths. its phsyical nonsense. its statisical nonsense. but it works better than shrugging your shoulders.”

        There is a difference between useful and useful for an intended purpose. Averaging models that are obviously high makes them useful for providing a realistic upper limit, not for projecting a realistic outcome. Down here in the Keys we love the UKmet hurricane model. If you are in the UKmet model path, you know you will most likely not have any problems :)

        Now if you intend to “sell” Global Warming based on consistently high estimates and toss in greater than worse case scenarios to boot, the models are also useful.

        Now what are you thinking that the intended purpose of the models currently might be?

      • David L. Hagen

        Some people can state the obvious more eloquently. e.g. At WUWT, more soylent green! says: November 4, 2013 at 2:35 pm – (succinctly:)

        @ Steven Mosher says: November 4, 2013 at 10:26 am
        You doth protest too much.
        I’m from Missouri and don’t need to step in cow manure in order to recognize it and I don’t need to attempt to build a model to know the models are [wrong], either.

      • David L. Hagen

        Steven Mosher
        Models now show marginal (outside 90%) to inconsistent (outside 95%) performance over 34 years. That is longer than half the 60 year PDO during its warmest period. Now we are in the cool PDO period combined with lowest in a century solar cycle. These likely reduce the warming trend, indicating even poorer performance by the models.

        See: Observations Now Inconsistent with Climate Model Predictions for 25 (going on 35) Years By Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger and Patrick J. Michaels

        For data ending in the year 2013, the category of marginal inconsistency extends out to 37 years and is now flirting with lengths exceeding 50 years, and trends of lengths 11-28, 31, 33, and 34 (!) are clearly inconsistent with the climate model simulations.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/05/climate-models-worse-than-we-thought/#more-96845

        If this does not raise the issue of failing validation, could anything invalidate models? Would that not abandon the scientific method, replacing “climate science” with partisan politics?

        PS Ad hominem accusations of stupidity only reflects on yourself.

  29. Steven Mosher For a useful reasonable, empirical ,prediction method and cooling forecast see comment at 10/59 above and check the data linked at
    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com

  30. Schrodinger's Cat

    Theoretical chemistry has evolved over the centuries and as a result, we chemists take nothing for granted. The atom is divisible, after all, so nothing is sacrosanct.

    Carbon dioxide has been at over 1000 ppm in our atmosphere in the past. Global warming has come and gone a number of times and looks like doing the latter once again. Nothing is new in nature.

    The UV induced chemistry in the upper atmosphere is not well understood yet the solar UV output is very variable and UV has higher energy than visible wavelengths.

    The ever changing solar magnetic field may influence the flocculation of aerosols or cause other interactions and this may influence cloud formation. There are countless ways in which nature can act a buffer to climate changes.

    Chemistry is a very practical science that depends on the interactions of subatomic particles. It provides the mechanisms by which biology and biochemistry function and it provides the material world within which physics can be observed. Chemists interact with most scientific disciplines, so we are reasonably comfortable with other disciplines. For example, the GHG behaviour is just one aspect of IR spectroscopy and chemists know more about this than all the climate scientists put together.

    I am not surprised that chemists are sceptical about global warming. I use that label deliberately, because even climate scientists changed it to climate change when the realised that it was no longer appropriate.

  31. I see one respondent, Badger badger, is concerned about the group called “grandchildren”. This is a very important group, whom few will risk offending.

    As a grandchild myself, I have decided on mock trials of my grandparents for the Great Depression and Two World Wars, but I am uncertain about their role in the increase of Arctic ice – which was melting so nicely! – into the 1970s.

    I’m going to go easy on the old dears, since their own grandparents were responsible for some foolish monocultural practices across Ireland, which only needed some cold, damp weather to bring on disaster. I don’t know if those monoculturists have ever been brought to task, and I’m uncertain if they were responsible for the climatic conditions, since their own grandparents seem to have set in motion a marked rise in sea levels which, thankfully, has slowed in the last century and a half.

    I do feel that my grandparents, instead of mucking about listening to piano rolls and so on, should have been giving more consideration to making a better world for their grandchildren. Of course, over time they did a thing or two for my benefit, just not enough. Now they’ve left me in this pickle.

    • It’s really hard to make good decisions today for the unborn decades ahead away but a good start would be to not totally abandon the Ten Commandments or to have reverence for the scientific method, one or the other and probably both, but not neither as the Left demands.

      • Waggy, if you disagree with someone, it’s best to just say why you disagree rather than threaten them with the disapproval of people who do not exist yet. I’m reminded of those ubiquitous quotes from Burke or Orwell: any side can use them them against the other. Like “our grandchildren”, they are all-purpose.

        Imagine the pearl-clutchers and finger-waggers of the past:
        “Soon the world will run out of paraffin and mast timbers. Lack of horse feed is threatening the viability of transport. Rousseau was dining at the chateau the other day and said our materialism and disconnection from nature is eating our souls. Is this the kind of world we wish to leave to our grandchildren?”

      • The government could burn through a billion more dollars on filing cabinets full of worthless junk science but the real harm done by global warming fearmongering is cutting GDP growth and that amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars and millions of jobs lost, and futures of the next generation destroyed, and poorer nations being deprived of the benefits of modernity; and, that KILLS. How many have died from malaria because of the global ban on DDT?

      • I do see your point, but I am optimistic enough to think that in spite of – or even due to – the current wave of fetishism and fear, someone may well come up with a new way of generating or storing or transferring energy. It may well be that we are doing the suffering, not our grandchildren.

        Of course Rachel Carson has a lot to answer for, but it may be the last and present generations, rather than future ones, who pay the price for the inhuman ban on DDT.

        We need to remember that alarmists will speak of waste and “futures destroyed” in much the same terms as you have done. Not saying you are wrong, but we simply don’t know what the needs and resources of our grandchildren will be. We think we do, but we don’t. It’s a bit like climate, when you think about it.

      • … on a positive note, Al Gore’s offspring may be bucks-up.

      • mosomoso | November 4, 2013 at 3:54 pm asks;

        Is this the kind of world we wish to leave to our grandchildren?

        Only those who have survived the Great Plague of Abortion will be alive to assess the decisions & ethics of their grandparents.

        Ted

      • …to assess the decisions & ethics of their meek grandparents.

      • Wag, an Australian article by Henry Ergas recently included the following:

        “Yet, even were climate change adding to the threat from fires, the question would still be the most efficient way of responding. To believe Australia’s unilateral carbon tax reduces the likelihood of global warming, and hence could cost-effectively avert an increase in bushfires, is on a par with faith in the tooth fairy.

        “But the tooth fairy leaves money under the pillow. The carbon tax, according to the previous government’s own modelling, will impose losses with a present value as high as 83 per cent of current Australian GDP, or $1.25 trillion.

        “Far from enhancing the capacity to deal with natural disasters, making ourselves poorer reduces our ability to invest in mitigating threats and recovering from catastrophes. The carbon tax therefore aggravates the very problem it pretends to solve.”

        The last point echoes one I’ve made repeatedly: in an uncertain world, where we have little capacity to correctly predict critical elements of the future even for a decade or two – other than that we can expect surprises – our best preparation for whatever eventuates is to increase our capacity to cope with, to make best use of, whatever befalls. The anti-GHG emissions measured adopted in many countries weaken our capacity.

      • True, true, in addition to negative economic impacts of more and more government, diverting resources to the non-productive is a societal and cultural disaster. We should worry less that grandchildren will never know snow and worry more about them being able to wipe their own arses.

    • Grandparents,
      not
      turtles,
      all
      the
      way
      down.

    • Grandparents? Closer relationships likewise
      says Philip Larkin.

      They —k you up, your mum and dad.
      They may not mean to, but they do.
      They fill you with the faults they had
      And add some extra, just for you.

      But they were —k– up in their turn
      By fools in old-style hats and coats,
      Who half the time were soppy-stern
      And half the time at one another’s throats.

      Man hands on misery to man,
      It deepens like a coastal shelf,
      Get out as early as you can,
      And don’t have any kids yourself.

      Say, perhaps a possible anthem fer
      the Club of Rome?

  32. Schrodinger's Cat

    Mosomoso – I don’t know anyone who isn’t a grandchild.

    Probably for UK people, the greatest pickle for our grandchildren is the useless energy supply situation we will leave to them and the resulting destruction of our industries and jobs.

  33. Steve Fitzpatrick

    Are chemists more likely to be skeptical of CAGW?

    Perhaps. I can’t speak for all chemists, but I can speak for myself: climate scientists seem too often twist and torque any apparently conflicting data to fit the extreme warming hypothesis. There is too much ‘everything is consistent with our theory’ and not nearly enough real skepticism when data do not fit theory. (Sensitivity of 4.5C per doubling remains plausible in light of actual measurements? Please, only a fool would believe that.)

    Maybe this is because the field is young and there have not been many embarrassing convulsions due to paradigm changes, or maybe it is because those involved suffer from terminal hubris and are motivated to ‘save the world’. But in any case, what climate science needs to become more rigorous (and less obnoxious!) is a healthy dose of humility. I am hopeful another decade of ‘the pause’ will help with that, but I am not certain.

    Humanity will suffer long term consequences of non-existent and/economically destructive energy policy, including no nuclear technology development to lower costs, so long as the climate science hubris remains unchecked. It is in everyone’s interest that demands from climate scientists for destructive and ineffective public energy policies (renewables, higher energy costs, carbon taxes, etc) come to an end. James Hansen has started to deal with reality. Maybe others will follow.

    • Steve Fitzpatrick

      As a lowly chemical engineer (not a chemist), who broke too much glassware in early lab assignments to stay there very long, I can still agree with what you have written, especially:

      what climate science needs to become more rigorous (and less obnoxious!) is a healthy dose of humility. I am hopeful another decade of ‘the pause’ will help with that, but I am not certain.

      I am, however, rationally skeptical of the premise that “James Hansen has started to deal with reality” – at least until he concedes that his 1988 estimates of future warming turned out to be exaggerated by a factor of more than two, because he was using a 2xCO2 climate sensitivity that was also exaggerated by a factor of more than two.

      Max

      • Nature is Nemesis.
        ============

      • Max,
        I am a chemical engineer as well. I am horrified by the CAGW consensus based on models that don’t match observations. I pretty much support your comments and now understand why.
        Scott

  34. – that Chemistry world article, I just commented over on BH that it was strange the writer didn’t mention that the next time the survey was done after 2007 , the 2010 one showed skeptics had grown by 10% to become 49%
    – 2007 http://www.soci.org/Chemistry-and-Industry/CnI-Data/2007/13/Your-views-on–climate-change.aspx
    – 2010 http://www.soci.org/Chemistry-and-Industry/CnI-Data/2010/1/Is-climate-change-really-the-main-threat.aspx

    • stewgreen

      skeptics 49%
      uncommitted x%
      believers 51-x%

      Wow!

      I thought skeptics were the “outlier” 3%.

      What happened?

      Max

  35. The Left never questions how well the French handle their nuclear waste.

    • They never seemed too worried about how the Soviets did it, either. Even after Chernobyl.

      To this day, they have this weird tic of having to say TMI every time they say Chernobyl. As if the two had anything to do with each other.

  36. confusing the real climatic changes with the phony GLOBAL warming is the precursor of all evil. Human affects the climatic changes by deforestation = negative and building dams = positive; but that has nothing to do with the phony global warming

  37. It’s an remarkable piece of writing for all the internet people; they will take advantage
    from it I am sure.

  38. I would suggest that physicists are idealistic, biologists are conservative, and chemists are best described by that useful rustic Americanism, ‘ornery’…

    I do believe it’s true…

    The historians stand for honesty
    Sociologists are insincere
    And the psychologists are kindly but they’re dumb
    Philosophers are skeptical
    Of changes in their cages
    And attorneys are very fond of rum

    Chemists are reactionaries
    Anthropologists are missionaries
    Economists plot in secrecy
    And theologians turn on frequently
    What a gas
    Ya gotta come and see
    At the zoo…

  39. Aided by do goodly politicians and economists much apprehension has been spread about climate. Yes, global average temperature has risen by nearly 1Csince the beginning of the 20th century and this rise is is due to human activity. Is it serious? In Australia you can get a rise of 3C just by moving from Melbourne to Sydney and that happens every day with no complaint. So why the fuss? The fuss is because the above citizens and some scientists predicted that the rise would continue, but in the last 15 years there has been no further rise. Clearly people who made those predictions don’t understand climate..

    Yes alarm has been raised, so science needs to get to the bottom of this dilemma and that is what we are doing.

  40. It is for some reason the engineers that are mostly skeptical of man made global warming.

  41. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    Anthropogenic climate change (ACC) is a theory not based in observations (as these observations will take from 900 to 10000 years).
    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4r_7eooq1u2VHpYemRBV3FQRjA
    Any scientist: physicist, chemist, meteorologist, climatologist; or engineer, should disagree with any scientific theory not based in observations.
    Why keeping then a debate on ACC?.

  42. Real scientists practice the scientific method, by definition.

    Experiments are not computer simulations. I can write a simulation to do any darn thing I want it to do.

    Real scientists use laboratories of one sort or another. In general, their laboratories will have staff including technicians and lab assistants. This is one useful means of distinguishing real scientists from their pretend counterparts. Chemists are real scientists.

    Faux scientists have each other, and computers. They decry real experiments as being either unworthy of them, or pointless, as simulations provide the sum of all knowledge.

    Faux scientists use words in novel ways, and ascribe meanings and definitions which are liable to change without notice. “Back radiation”, “forcing”, “greenhouse”, “carbon” . . . the list continues.

    In the end, it doesn’t matter. The billions wasted would have quite possibly been wasted on some other fancy founded on fiction. “Shock and awe” springs to mind. “New economy”, “clever country”, and suchlike can and do consume enormous resources and produce no discernible net benefit.

    And now I have neatly boxed myself into a corner, it would seem. Do nothing? Accept anything and everything?

    No. What one does, and what one accepts, depends on the assumptions one makes at an earlier time. Thus, one can accept that, at any given time, the Universe is unfolding as it should.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  43. Imagine a chemist given the task of verifying the wondrous warming abilities of CO2.

    In his lists of the properties of CO2, he cannot see any mention of energy multiplication, asymmetrical energy transmission, or suchlike.

    So off to the laboratory.

    “Wait,” says the Warmist. “You cannot verify the properties by experiment, in a laboratory.”

    “How so?” asks the chemist.

    “CO2 only exhibits these properties when the surface underneath it is exposed to direct sunlight, and if the CO2 is also exposed to direct sunlight. The warming properties disappear if a cloud passes over, and at night.” replies the Warmist, “but I have run hundreds of different models showing the effect exists, albeit in direct sunlight.”

    The chemist asks how much the Warmist is prepared to pay for the necessary experiments to establish a new property of CO2.

    “Nothing,” replies the Warmist.

    “Goodbye,” says the chemist, “I’ve got some scientific work to do.”

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  44. Gauging members’ opinions and attitudes by the stances their institutionalized “Societies” take in public is a capital mistake. Especially when they refuse to poll, air, or discuss and debate those attitudes, despite valid requests under their Charters to do so. (Viz. Dr. Lewis), whose conclusion was that Climate Science was the reification of “the greatest pseudo-scientific fraud in my long life as a physicist”.

  45. Dr. Strangelove

    Among scientists the most skeptical of AGW are meteorologists and geologists. Those who study the weather are familiar with chaos and natural climate cycles. Those who study earth’s history know the high variability of past climates. Examples: Curry, Lindzen, Spencer, Carter, Bastardi, Christy, D’Aleo.

    The most likely to accept AGW are physicists because they are used to the predictability of physics, theoretical arguments, making and believing their own models. Examples: Hansen, Schmidt, Mann, Rahmstorf

  46. It’s hard to scare most chemists with carbon dioxide, especially the organic chemists.

    But that doesn’t stop the IPCC trying it on other people, with ridiculous statements such as “When CO2 reacts with seawater it forms carbonic acid (H2CO3), which is highly reactive…..”

  47. It looks like the ‘Serial Disinformer’ is up to her old tricks again. Linked from Drudge today and reported on the radio:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2485772/Global-warming-pause-20-years-Arctic-sea-ice-started-recover.html

  48. William McClenney

    Sorry folks. The bar has been set, and nature set it. The post-MPT end interglacials scored from 1 (MIS-11), 2 (MIS-5e), and 3 (MIS-19) thermal excursions right at their very ends. At the possible end of the most recent interglacial the only 3 questions that remain are:

    (1) is the late 20th century grand solar maximum all the Holocene has left?

    (2) how far out in time can we extend the next glacial inception with the trace gas CO2 etc.?

    (3) If CO2 cannot delay or prevent the next glacial inception, what can?

    William

  49. Once again a clumsy and awkward effort to avoid looking at what skeptics, this time in the ranks of chemists, might be skeptical about. That is verboten as it risks conceding skeptics legitimacy. So instead we are presented with yet another ridiculous attempt at amateur psychoanalysis. The conclusion? Chemists may be prone to skepticism because they are “ornery”!

    I raise my beaker of dilute ethanol in salute to Ornery chemists, recipients of a most fortunate diagnosis. Ornery is considerably better than evil or insane, the most commonly touted explanations for skepticism.

  50. The characterisation of the sciences that I remember from school is: “if it moves its biology, if it stinks its chemistry and if it doesn’t work its physics. “

  51. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    michael hart reminds Climate Etc readers  When CO2 reacts with seawater it forms carbonic acid (H2CO3), which is highly reactive

    Prose by Hart, links by FOMD.

    michael hart, your post is a welcome correction to the blindly ignorant ideology-driven content-free anti-scientific demagoguery that increasingly saturates the discourse here on Climate Etc!

    Thank you, michael hart!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse | November 5, 2013 at 7:43 am;

      Is CO2 in the ocean a problem?

      The recent Gulf Spill placed a large amount of crude oil into the local ocean … and inconveniently, within a short time it was very difficult to tell that anything had ever happened.

      Same thing with carbonic acid. There are ecosystems in the ocean that are always at the ready to take advantage of nutrients that tumble off someone else’s truck.

      “Finders keepers; losers weepers”, goes the pop-sci wisdom.

      Ted

      • Almost certainly not a problem. More likely to be beneficial.

        The quote I selected was an example of alarmist hype about ‘chemicals’. Labeling carbonic acid as “highly reactive” betrays a knowledge of chemistry I would expect from a high school student of age ~11 years.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Deepwater Horizon Spill  USA/Obama/Admiral Allen assume control, BP’s runaway well is shut-down in 87 days, Gulf clean-up proceeds immediately.

      Fukushima Melt-Down  TEPCO plays incompetent “whack-a-mole” for years-on-end.

      Which disaster has been handled competently, Ted Clayton?

      The world wonders!

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      • Gulf clean-up proceeds immediately

        mans mess was a microbial meal.

        http://www.pnas.org/content/109/50/20292.full

      • Fanny

        You’ve commented on the TEPCO (Fukushima) and BP Deep-water Horizon (Gulf Coast) disasters.

        The two accidents had similar root causes:

        1. Incompetent (or corrupt?) governmental permit authorities, which allowed

        a) BP to save around $ 1 million rather than install a fail-safe blowout prevention system, which is normally required for deep-water offshore wells

        b) TEPCO to “go cheap” and save maybe $ 1 million on protected, fail-safe backup pumping and standby power generation systems, which should normally be required for installation in earthquake/tsunami prone zones

        2. Foolhardy decisions by (the greedy and unconscionable managements of) both companies to take advantage of the lax controls, save the $$$ and take the risk

        The outcome of the two accidents was different, however.

        Unlike the small quantity of radioactively contaminated water that leaked into the Pacific at Fukushima, which is not readily degradable, the huge quantities of crude oil, which flowed into the Gulf, were quickly gobbled up naturally by bacteria, after causing some damage to coastlines and the fishing and tourist industries (and a cleanup effort to undo this).

        Other than some oratory, President Obama had nothing to do with either the BP spill or the subsequent cleanup

        One similarity: As far as I know, no humans died from either “spill“, although 11 rig workers died in the explosion leading to the BP leak and thousands died from the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami. However, many birds and other animals died from the BP spill.

        Both companies “lost face”: hurting BP’s efforts to present itself as a “green” company (with its new “logo” and “Beyond Petroleum” slogan) and tragic for a Japanese company, in any case.

        The BP CEO was forced to resign after claiming he was “vilified” by the media (but allegedly got $17 million in severance pay).

        Both companies lost immense amounts of money: BP lost several thousand times as much money than it saved in the first place. It’s hard to tell how much TEPCO has lost and is still losing (probably in the $ billions), and difficult to separate the “spill” losses from the loss resulting from the destruction of the Fukushima plant, which was only partly a result of the inadequate backup facilities.

        I haven’t heard of any governmental authorities getting fired (or committing hara-kiri) as a result.

        Max

      • Lucid, Max. It struck me that there is an ironic parallel. Government regulation about CAGW wants to cause huge immense costs now for extremely small future gain, if any, and I’m sure you’ve heard me maunder on about the benefits rather than the harms of warming. The public can only go along with such a poor bet by being kept ignorant with klaxons from the tower and terrorized with hallucinations and shackled with guilt.
        =================

      • Ooh, I kinda wanted ‘ironic corollary’ instead, but ‘ironically’, both work.
        ============

      • Kim, it’s a dirty little secret in the legal biz that often private companies, especially larger ones with deep pockets, prefer a lot of regulation because regulation can shield them from civil exposure. If your lawyers can show the jury that you were in conformance with all the laws and codes, you can’t be found at fault. Absent the laws and codes, you can be found responsible for bad results.

    • Fanny

      “When CO2 reacts with seawater it forms carbonic acid (H2CO3), which is highly reactive“

      A “highly reactive acid”? Wow! Sounds downright scary!

      Duh! Pull your head out, Fanny.

      Seawater chemistry is complex but not that difficult to understand.
      http://core.ecu.edu/geology/woods/SEAWATERchemistry.htm

      Major dissolved ions are:
      Cl- ~2%
      Na+ ~1.2%

      In addition to several others, we have:
      Ca2+ ~0.04%
      HCO3- ~0.01%

      CO2 is highly soluble in sea water. The solubility decreases with increased temperature and increases at higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations. When CO2 from the atmosphere reacts with seawater, it immediately forms carbonic acid (H2CO3), which further dissociates to form bicarbonate and carbonate ions. These ions regulate the pH and are responsible for the buffering capacity of seawater, so that. seawater can resist drastic pH changes even after the addition of weak bases and acids. In addition, the carbonate ion can react with calcium ions (Ca), which are in abundance in seawater, to form calcium carbonate (CaCO3), the material out of which the shells, skeletons and exoskeletons of many marine life forms are made.

      So CO2 has two main roles in seawater: as a pH buffer and as a source of carbonate essential for many marine life forms.

      Check it out.

      And then, sit down, have a nice glass of bubbly (with dissolved CO2), relax and stop trembling in fear about “ocean acidification” (or climate Armageddon).

      These are imaginary hobgoblins.

      Max

      • Not only immaginary, but the range of Ph at any site usually exceeds the currently projected increase. On a night to day basis. What a fantasy scare tactic.
        Scott

      • This is to reinforce the information by manacker: As an environmental engineer I have design several water soften plant. In the process it is necessary to add CO2 to help precipitate lime. Solubility curves are available in any water treatment design book.
        We had to provide a railroad siding for the liquid CO2 cars to get enough CO2 to complete the process.
        When the environmentalists brought up the red herring of ocean acidification I obtained the pH data from the City of Cleveland water intake. They provided a ten year record( every 15minute recorded). As lake water has far less solids and other dissolved materials it will absorb more CO2 than sea water.
        The summary of the 10year data was that the pH varied from a high of 8.5pH to a low of 7.5pH. It never went below 7.00 pH neutral. Thus it never became acidic. Yes it did become less basic. The cyclic pattern could be identified as lake turnover spring, summer, fall, and winter.
        I have not gone back to get more recent data to see what if any effect the zebra mussels have had. Many reports are that the zebra mussels have done almost to good a job of removing pollutants causing competion for food by algae thus causing reduction in food supplies for fish.
        We just can not win, one gives one takes away. The science is never settled!

      • “Highly reactive”.

        Lol. Sounds like a perfect description of Fanny.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      manacker’s CO2 prescription  “Sit down, have a nice glass of bubbly (with dissolved CO2) …”

      Policy by manacker, links by FOMD.

      Thank you for so simply solving the “wicked” problem of oceanic CO2 chemistry, manacker!

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  52. If you talk to astronomers and astrophysicists, many of them are quite skeptical of the CO2 bogeyman. They are well-aware of cycles in solar activity, and its complex interaction with the earth’s magnetosphere. They are also aware that the entire atmosphere expands during periods of high solar activity and shrinks when the sun is quiet, an effect seen through increased drag on orbiting satellites. http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.0233

    If the entire atmosphere expands and contracts with the solar cycle, how can this NOT have an effect on climate?

  53. Geoff Sherrington

    Writing as a retired geochemist with about 60% of career in exploration geochemistry, there is a striking difference between mineral resources work and most climate work that I have read.
    When one looks for a new mine, one does not have any thoughts of “wishing for” an outcome. If you drill holes and assay the cores, the results are hard and inclusive. At the end of the day, you have an ore deposit or you do not have. (The economics can change with time). Your career is accountable in the sense that the sale of product from a mine you have helped to find is future funding, especially funding for research to expand the science horizons.
    I guess I’ve read close to 1,000 peer reviewed papers on climate work. I’m left with an overall impression that
    1. Little of it is final. People tend to rush to publish before the matter has been adequately researched. The precautionary principle is invoked too often. We did not have a precautionary principle in mineral work.
    2. There is little accountability. One outcome is that work that is published is not of the inclusive standard that is needed, both scientifically and by regulators, in mineral work like I’m writing about.
    3. Some modelling has a finite future. Many models are used in mineral work, but only those that are shown to deliver the goods survive. Too much climate work relies on models that have not been shown to deliver the goods. Climate workers ought to have an a priori set of criteria by which a model is judged to have failed.
    4. Approaches to error estimation vary. In climate work, too much reliance is placed on statistical estimators of error that essentially measure precision, or scatter around a best value. They often neglect bias, e.g. the treatment of past thermometer temperatures, the performance of successive generations of ocean floats. Disregard for bias in mineral work can make or break a company.
    5. There is an central place of temperature in climate work that might not be justified. The main item of interest in ore work is the grade of ore and its distribution within the deposit to be mined. Climate work does not have a clear equivalent; perhaps the global energy balance is central to studies of climate on earth. Temperature is just another dependent variable.
    6. Statistics is often at too low a level in climate work as Professor Wegman noted. Statistics is vital to mineral work and has lead to the study of new methods such as geostatistics. In particular the IPCC round table estimates of certainty are juvenile and might land one in Court if they were applied to mineral resource statements.
    8. The science is often poor in climate work. Enthusiastic youngsters often make schoolboy howlers. For example, most climate papers dealing with the oceans adopt an incorrect definition of pH. The inability of climate workers to properly structure the pathways of radiation processes in various parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, as witnessed in discussions above, should preclude any serious consideration of results to date.
    ……………………..
    I could go on for an hour or more, but these are some reasons why this Chemist is aghast as the standard of climate work.

  54. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1979/trend/plot/rss/from:1979/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1979/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1979/trend

    So, what does the actual data tells us:

    1. CO2/GHG cannot be the cause of the observed warming. CO2/GHG warms the planet by warming the atmosphere. This warming of the atmosphere then warms the surface as a result of the lapse rate. As a result the surface cannot warm faster than the atmosphere due to CO2/GHG, which is contradicted by observation. When observations contradict theory, the theory is wrong.

    2. The accuracy of the satellites is better than the surface records due to the smaller absolute error between the signals, and the accuracy of the satellites is increasing (convergence) while the accuracy of the surface records is decreasing (divergence).

  55. ferd berple

    The WfT curve you posted shows a linear warming at the surface (GISS and HadCRUT4) of 0.58C over the period 1979-2013, and a linear warming in the troposphere (RSS and UAH) of 0.46C over the same period.

    So, as far as the record goes (with all its acknowledged warts and blemishes, especially the surface record, which is used by IPCC to measure AGW), we have a surface that is warming at a rate that is greater than the rate of warming in the troposphere.

    Yet IPCC tells us [AR4 WG1, Ch.3, FAQ3.1, p.252] (bold face by me):

    …the most recent versions of all available data sets show that the troposphere has warmed at a slightly greater rate than the surface…This is in accord with physical expectations and most model results, which demonstrate the role of increasing greenhouse gases in tropospheric warming…

    Oops! (Somebody’s pants are on fire.)

    Max

  56. The introduction states:
    “””While climate change is occurring, the drivers of change are less clear.’””” …….No wonder for all who potter around the bush…..
    The real 5 drivers of change are described in:
    http://www.knowledgeminer.eu/eoo_paper.html
    Any comments welcome, the DRIVERS MORE THAN CLEAR! JS.

  57. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  58. After reading through many of the responses on this blog ,it appears that only one makes any sense, that is the reference to Dr. Pierre Latour : That is that “man can not control the climate”. the problem is that no one not even Dr. Curry has taken the time to define “climate” or “climate Change” .
    After reading a definition of “climate” below it will be obvious that all the supposed “scientists “need to go back to school and take some classes in statistics.
    You don’t change an “average pattern” with only a few years of data.
    A good friend of mine just pointed out to me that one county in California has 40 difference “climates” He is a retired Navy meteorologist and has found this out from experience.
    Here is the definition of “climate”. We don’t have enough data to show that we really have a “Climate change” especially when it has been proven that most of the data from the IPCC and NOAA has been manipulated.
    Yes natural climate change is occurring.
    There is no credible experiment that proves that the Hypotheses of the Greenhouse gas effect exists.
    Definitions of Climate

    What is Climate?•
    Definition:A few hundred thousand weather days end to end for a specific location. ( an average pattern)

    How many climates are there in the world? •
    Every part of the country and the world has a unique climate -the south of France, the North slope of Alaska, the heart of Africa, the northeast Great Lakes region of the US ,the north of Italy, the south of Italy, the west coast of Australia, the central region of Australia, the southern region etc., thousands of different climates etc. •
    What is weather? •
    The atmospheric conditions where you are. •
    Can mankind control the weather? •
    We have tried for thousands of years from the Indian rainmaker, to the cloud seeders of the 1950-60. Man can not control the weather, then how the hell can man be controlling the climate. This whole B.S of MANN-made global warming is a fairy tale. The MANN-ipulation of temperature data is a crime against humanity and these criminals should be put in jail.


    Be careful of the Pied Pipers of Gorezillaism- remember Hamlin- except it is happening to ignorant supposed adults. •
    Climatologists”- are temperature historians. If they chose to project into the future they have gone from historians to Flat Screen fortune tellers. “computer generated Models” “garbage in is garbage out”
    Not one of the Supposed climate models from the IPCC has worked. They are all based on the Hypotheses of the “greenhouse gas effect” without any correction for the effect of “evaporative cooling” which is occurring over 99.95 % of the earths surface.( The deserts don’t have much water to evaporate).
    Another definition: “Climatologist” : A temperature and weather historian. If one projects to future events then they are “fortune teller” Weathermen do a somewhat better job of predicting the future- 30 to 60 % correct.

  59. Just a slight correction: AlexM seem to know the physics of why the “greenhouse gas effect” does not exist he just doesn’t take it far enough.
    There may be others that understand that the world is being lied to by AGW and others that “believe the GHGE” exists but only has a slight effect.
    Let them provide credible experimental data to show that the GHGE exists.

  60. Tonyb: Thank you for the reference. Another very important link is the following: “Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia (iceagenow.info)”. This link discusses the Corruption of Wikipedia where they changed over 5000 Global warming references.
    I experienced this myself. Several years ago I looked up John Tyndall and his experiment. I found the following statement -paraphrasing it -the primary greenhouse gas is water /vapor . The other trace gases like CO2 can not cause any significant heating of the atmosphere because they are in too small a quantity. I did not copy the original wording(unfortunately). When I went back to John Tyndall recently this statement was gone. If anyone has access to Tyndall’s original text I’d be interested if this can be found.

  61. I went back to Wikipedia and found the follow, it is not as I remember but close. Again if anyone has access to the original let me know.
    Another area to examine. From John Tyndall history.

    “He concluded that water vapour is the strongest absorber of radiant heat in the atmosphere and is the principal gas controlling air temperature. Absorption by the bulk of the other gases is negligible. Prior to Tyndall it was widely surmised that the Earth’s atmosphere has a Greenhouse Effect, but he was first to prove it. The proof was that water vapor strongly absorbed infrared radiation.[9] “ from Wikipedia.

    This statement is in error as the following study shows that water vapor is not the strongest absorber of IR but condensed water absorbs far more IR. The phase changes of H2O greatly affect the amount of IR that is absorbed.

    http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/water/vibrat.html

    Water Absorption Spectrum

    Martin Chaplin Ph. D

    Emeritus Professor of Applied Science
    London South Bank University
    martin.chaplin@btinternet.com

    As is obvious from Dr. Chaplin’s study Tyndall was wrong because his experiment did not differentiate between the IR absorption of water vs. water vapor. Many thing have been learned since Tyndall in 1850’s , R.W.Wood in 1909, Neil Bohr 1921 and the present.

  62. In the list of references by Dr. Chaplin there is reference Number 710 about Why the sky is blue, If it is not somewhere else look up Albert Einstein’s Why the Sky is blue. about 1907.