The empirical evidence for man-made global warming

Via Skeptical Science, Peter Sinclair's video on the evidence for man-made global warming.

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That's a very impressive summary of the evidence. I was especially impressed with the 29,500 indicators, 90% of which are consistent with the AGW hypothesis. I'm going to look up that paper.

By Erasmussimo (not verified) on 01 Mar 2010 #permalink

I just finished skimming the paper. It really is impressive. More than 29,500 datasets covering biological, agricultural, cryospheric, and other phenomena, and 90% of them indicate warming since 1970. The mountain of data supporting AGW just gets bigger and bigger, and denialists respond by shrieking that CRU refused to release its original data. Pathetic.

By Erasmussimo (not verified) on 01 Mar 2010 #permalink

Erasmussimo: The denier mentality is such that the headlines will read, "2950 indicators which disprove global warming." Soon we'll all be knee-deep in internet postings all parroting the same claptrap.

I wonder when I became so cynical.

By Proper Gander (not verified) on 01 Mar 2010 #permalink

"I wonder when I became so cynical."

Perhaps when Lord Munchkin and ClimateFraudit and WFUWT were considered impartial sources of "real" science?

Anyone have an idea whether or not higher sea-levels could have been a contributing factor to the breaching of the sea walls in France with this last "bomb" (i.e, rapidly intensifying depression)?

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 01 Mar 2010 #permalink

Anyone have an idea whether or not higher sea-levels could have been a contributing factor to the breaching of the sea walls in France

I think that we can safely dismiss the possibility that higher sea levels played a role, because so far the rise is only a few centimeters. The intensity of the storm might -- MIGHT -- have been due to increased ocean temperatures. While it's reasonable to say that AGW might be increasing storm intensities, assigning that causal factor to any single storm is just not justified at this time.

By Erasmussimo (not verified) on 01 Mar 2010 #permalink

I highly recommend this video as a reference for the retard that pop up in any AGW comments section asking for proof of AGW.

Just keep on linking to it every time you see that moronic request.

The crock is the video. No sceptic (or very few) denies the greenhouse effect of CO2. No sceptic denies that there was warming in the three decades up to 2000 (although the extent appears may have been exagerrated). No sceptic would deny the natural consequences of warming (migratory patterns, ice melt etc). Some (perhaps many) sceptics question the extent of these natural consequences and contend that they are overstated.

What is questioned is the extent (and unprecedented nature) of the warming, the extent to which anthropogenic CO2 is responsible, the extent of the consequences, and the effectiveness of the proposed solutions. The "Bolshevik Plot" refers simply to the idea that such a problem, if it exists, can be solved by the methods proposed by the Australian (and other) Government and the United Nations. Those solutions present like socialist makeovers rather than real solutions.

So in creating what Sinclair would like his opponents' arguments to be, he is then able to effectively rebut them. It is this type of tactic that has the sceptics wondering about conspiracies.

The video is the crock.

And that's before we start talking about the conduct of some of the more prominent scientists and politicians in the AGW "industry".

#7

The "Bolshevik Plot" refers simply to the idea that such a problem, if it exists, can be solved by the methods proposed by the Australian (and other) Government and the United Nations. Those solutions present like socialist makeovers rather than real solutions.

Most laughable: The proposed solution is to introduce an emissions trading scheme that establishes a market for the licenses to emit CO2-e. The to the extent that the govt takes part is to
1) set the number of licenses to issue, and
2) compliance with those licenses.

The rest is entirely up to the private sector. The govt is not "picking winners" or even "taking over the means of production", which is what Bolshevism was/is.

So the ETS is the opposite of being socialist. The ETS is a free market solution that says, "you can pollute as much as you want, so long as the cost of the correction to the pollution is included.

After all, if you want to live in a fun world, you have to pay for the ride.

Jeff Masters made an excellent post which shows that the storm that hit Europe intensified over much warmer than normal water off of Africa.

Precipitable water, not sea level, explains the storm's intensification and damage.

James @ 7

The crock is the video. No sceptic (or very few) denies the greenhouse effect of CO2. No sceptic denies that there was warming in the three decades up to 2000 (although the extent appears may have been exagerrated). No sceptic would deny the natural consequences of warming (migratory patterns, ice melt etc). Some (perhaps many) sceptics question the extent of these natural consequences and contend that they are overstated.

Now the deniers are misquoting themselves.

Thanks guys @ 5 and @9.

Just to avoid any confusion, I completely understand that one cannot use a single storm, or even one season to draw conclusions about whether or not factors associated with AGW played a role.

My thoughts about the sea walls is that they were built centuries ago, and sea levels have increased quite a bit since they were first built. Age was probably a factor too, of course.

Regarding the role of the SSTs, yes the SSTs off N. Africa right now are much warmer than average. The storms which dumped so much snow on the eastern seaboard of the USA also developed in an air-mass having unusually high PW values. Now is internal variability responsible for the high SSTs off N. Africa (e.g., perhaps associated with the negative NAO on the go right now), of is there also an AGW signal there? Looks like a good case study on many fronts, and if combined with the US storms, one might be able to make some connections between the warming and storm intensity and precip. totals.

Off to read Jeff's piece....

James @7. Intriguing post and good effort to spin it for the contrarians. But that is all you guys can do now, spin, distort and misrepresent. And of course throw in some reference to a 'socialist plot' (the video is about empirical evidence for AGW) for good measure. Desperate times indeed for the 'skeptics'.

Things did not go too well for the contrarians today in London either with the Parliamentary commission. McI bungled some key figures, Lawson made several erroneous and alarmist statements. The only ones who were grounded in reality and solid science were the scientists from the CRU, Met Office and government.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 01 Mar 2010 #permalink

James insists that "nobody is denying the basic phenomena". C'mon, James, do I really have to trot out several dozen quotes from comments on this very blog denying precisely what you say "nobody denies"?

I would be pleased if deniers would be so reasonable as to acknowledge the obvious and move on to the questionable, but my experience leads me to conclude that deniers concede a point only when it was established beyond a reasonable doubt five years earlier. I am convinced that deniers are engaging in a cynical rearguard action, denying everything possible, obfuscating everything possible, and conceding only what has long since been lost.

As to the issues that you claim are questionable:

1. the extent (and unprecedented nature) of the warming.

The temperature records for the last century are beyond question. They show the extent of the warming quite plainly. As to the "unprecedented nature" of the warming, deniers can't seem to get it through their thick skulls that it's the rate of change of temperature that is unprecedented, not the temperature itself. I hope that you're a cut above the average denier, but if you recognize the difference between a value and its rate of change, you wouldn't be calling it "unprecedented".

2. the extent to which anthropogenic CO2 is responsible

C'mon, all the other possible hypotheses have been examined quite closely and there simply isn't any other plausible mechanism -- and the CO2 hypothesis explains the data quite neatly. What do you want -- a deep voice booming out from the clouds, "It's the CO2, stupid!"

3. the effectiveness of the proposed solutions

Now here's something that can be discussed in a reasoned way. Yes, there's plenty of debatable material here -- but all of your fellow riders shut down debate on the subject by arguing endlessly about scientific points when they don't know the difference between a time derivative and a hole in the ground. So yes, let's talk about the effectiveness of proposed solutions, their costs, and the costs of not acting. I'm willing to decide this matter strictly on economics. Let's quit frackin' around with ignorant arguments about science and get down to dollars and cents.

4. Those solutions present like socialist makeovers rather than real solutions.

Since when is taxation a socialist makeover? A carbon tax is the preferred approach of most economists and scientists. If taxation is socialism, then every government in human history has been socialist.

By Erasmussimo (not verified) on 01 Mar 2010 #permalink

Fishoutofwater

That warm spot off the Afican coast looks ominous and I wonder if we are to get a repeat of the 1780 hurricane season.

James @ 7

The "Bolshevik Plot" refers simply to the idea that such a problem, if it exists, can be solved by the methods proposed by the Australian (and other) Government and the United Nations. Those solutions present like socialist makeovers rather than real solutions.

In reality the ETS is a neo-liberal solution to carbon mitigation which is why first John Howard and then Malcolm Turnbull supported it.

Tony Abbott's "direct action" [plan](http://www.theage.com.au/business/abbotts-idea-of-direct-action-is-busi…) is actually a plan to do little more than hand tax payer funds to the major polluters - commonly known as "socialism for the rich".

The Business Spectator columnist Alan Kohler this week commended the Coalition's Emissions Reduction Fund as a plan to pay British utility International Power, operator of the developed world's dirtiest brown-coal-fired power station at Hazelwood, in Victoria, and Chinese-owned Truenergy, operator of the similarly polluting Yallourn station nearby, to switch to cleaner gas-fired power.

Eras......,

We can both trot out ridiculous arguments from both sides and we both know where that leads. You (or this blog) regard Bolt as at the extreme of "climate denial" so how about we use him as the "end point" for the spectrum of sceptical argument. Now can you perhaps nominate and "end point" for your side? Gore perhaps? Pachauri? Flannery? Someone whose claims beyond which I won't go when evidencing the ridiculous.

The temperature records for the last century are broadly not contended, at least until recently. To the extent that they are, can I suggest you visit the University of East Anglia to discover the reasons why?

There is much debate, despite the apparent "consensus" as to what caused the warming of the last century, and I don't accept that the debate is close to concluded. For the decade that I have been following this it has become more and more apparent that the arguments, and the methods of argument, on the part of (shall we call you) proponents has been fundamentally flawed. It would seem highly unlikely that the addition to the naturally occurring CO2 in the relatively minute levels that is anthropogenic would be causing the heating that has occurred and is predicted (however incorrectly so far) to occur. Specifically, as far as I can tell (and I am in no way a scientist or a mathematician) there is much debate as to what should be the figure for the "forcing effect"(?) of CO2.

Happy to talk solutions. $50 billion (more than enough I would contend) towards a nuclear power plant should get us through nicely until research into other "green" energy sources reaches a point where they can be economically competitive. Shouldn't be a problem given what we spend on pink batts, school halls, cash gifts to taxpayers etc and we might just generate a return out of it.

The effect of the ETS would be to centralise wealth and power. Moreover, the creation of an industry which trades in hypotheticals is a recipe for disaster and an invitation for fraud. Just see what happened with Collateralised Debt Securities and Tech Stocks. Can't work, won't work, and the damage will be done to the consumer. And if the UN want to have countries like Australia pay countries like Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and China a "climate debt" they can leave forthwith and fornicate (it's that which is the socialist part).

James@7 has never heard of Tim Ball and a dozen like him. James must be the first PhD in See-no-evilology, and 28 (or 35) years not using the internet.

"The crock is the video. No sceptic (or very few) denies the greenhouse effect of CO2. "

James @7

I envy the sheltered life you've led.

Just check out the trolls that visit here, or for a concentrated dose of the crazies, check out any climate change thread by Andrew Bolt.

I am a frequent visitor (and sometimes contributor) to Bolt's blog and a number of others. They are punters with opinions, some more, some less, informed. So what? I haven't seen anything worse there than that expressed in "6" above.

James, don't be ridiculous.

olt's blog attracts a tidal wave of ignorant drivel from a bunch of frothing idiots who are clearly quite a few snags short of a barbie.

Here's one now:
"Its all a blind they are coninuing with the mad one world green government ,the Bali info has been leaked to fox news under the heading of Bali Woo ,it will blow your mind what they are up to as if climate gate never happened. "

[I mean, huh?]

"You are right. The UN is still at it - world governance etc. The agenda is still the same business as usual. Thereâs a lot of life still left in the AGW scam! "

[True. It's those inconvenient facts that are keeping it alive, eh?]

"mainstream and WE NEED someone like Lord Monckton to come out again and spread the word of what is REALLY going on before it is too late!"

[Not enough CAPS there - please try harder]

"Nevertheless, the final report of the parliamentary committee may be interesting to read. Will it be a cover up or will it reveal all? With questioning like that, I have reservations. "

[Gee, I guess it depends - will reveal anything about paranoid conspiracy theories? Probably not. That's a cover-up then]

"Phil Jones and his mates have fudged the temperature data to such an extent that they have some poor people believing we are about to melt or something - so who do you blame?"

[Er, yep - Phil Jones went and left his heater on all day to warm the planet up and pretend it was the CO2]

By Vince Whirlwind (not verified) on 01 Mar 2010 #permalink

Come on, Vince, it's a blog, a popular one, and a conservative one. I can name plenty of vitriolic trash coming out of left wing blogs but where does that leave us? Interesting to see the types of arguments my comment has attracted. Only one attempt out of eight to even try to debate the substance of what I have written, which was on point. You guys can hardly be critical of Bolt with a scorecard like that eh? You can debate what I have written or not. I stand by what I write, and what I quote. Or would you perhaps like to defend David Marr on ABC declaring that the opposite of an ETS was to "let the world fry....". It's a chicken shit argument. "Those who share your views express them this way therefore you are wrong".

Don't feed the concern troll

Nice video.

Although it would have been nicer to see the GHG molecules vibrate when hit by photons.

@James

Get off your high horse - you've come here seemingly claiming to hold the "one true coherent message from the anti-AGW movement" when in reality what you've claimed is contradicted time and time again in popular blogs, in the media, and in comments here. You say no skeptic denies the greenhouse effect of CO2 - yet you would surely have to agree that the attack on the vostok ice cores (that there is an 800 year lag between rising CO2 and rising temperature) has been a popular anti-AGW line for many years. The purpose of that argument is to show that rising temperatures cause a rise in CO2, not the other way round, and therefore question the very CO2 greenhouse effect you claim nobody questions. This is but one example of many (largely contradictory and incoherent) arguments that take this line. See, eg. Ian Plimer's abysmal Heaven & Earth for more.

For a primer of the patient, well-sourced debunking of utterly repetitive misinformation that goes on in the comments on this blog in the face of really quite offensive trolling, I refer you to [this epic thread](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/08/matthew_england_challenges_the…). Incidentally your argument about "minute" amounts of CO2 having little impact is dealt with repeatedly in there.

Until you accept the very simple premise that rising CO2 is a driving force of much of the warming, and that anthropogenic sources are the primary cause of that rise, there really isn't any valid way to have a discussion about the economics. Solutions to eg. reduce CO2 emissions from transportation that might not seem economically viable become comparatively cheap if the cost of inaction is accepted to be high. Using attacks on the science as a way to skew the economic discussion in a direction you find more acceptable is not especially helpful, and neither are tangential asides about socialism or ill-informed smears about the temperature record and UEA.

When you say there is much debate about the causes of temperature rise in the last century, please point to where in the scientific literature that debate is occuring and what nature that debate takes.

Dear James (#7), you wrote:

"And that's before we start talking about the conduct of some of the more prominent scientists and politicians in the AGW "industry"."

Don't you realise how lame you sound? Translation of your screed: I have no scientific arguments against the video presentation, so I will just call it a "crock" as a substitute. Not having arguments means that then I want to attack a handful of scientists personally in order to distract readers from the weakness of my position.

Get a life.

OK James, let's try to find this "substance" you claim to be providing us with:

- Bolt's frothingly mad blog equivalent to Al Gore/Pachauri/Flannery

- The Uni of East Anglia causes the temperature records to be "contended"

- Cause for warming not acceptable to you, arguments re CO2 "fundamentally flawed", much debate re figure for CO2 forcing

- solution = nukes, nothing else is economic

- ETS = centralise wealth and power

And my answer to your 5 points of "substance:

1/ equivalence arguments of this sort are an artifact of the unthinking antilogic from post-modern uni-wankers. It's bullshit, pure and simple. Bolt's nonsense is demonstrably false, time and time again, while the mad rantings of his supporters are just off-the-wall.

2/ the Uni of East Anglia has done nothing of the sort. They aren't the only people presenting temperature info and they haven't presented anything which isn't in agreement with other research organisations. You've fallen for the bullshit on this one. Clearly you either will not or can not bring yourself to understand what a "trick" is, and what the "hide the decline" divergence issue was all about.

3/ CO2 forcing is a fact, which has been known about for over 150 years. The precise figures are under discussion. CO2 is causing warming, and your "fundamentally flawed" assessment bers no relation to the facts.

4/ Nukes are an utterly uneconomic form of producing energy, which is why they only exist through massive government subsidy. A form of socialism of which you clearly approve. Hypocrite.

5/ Utter bullshit. Ask an economist to explain to you how the free market works.

So we see that contrary to your pathetic bleatings, you've brought all froth and no substance to this party.

By Vince Whirlwind (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

James write:

>*The crock is the video. No sceptic (or very few) denies the greenhouse effect of CO2.*

James who do you speak for a so called "skeptic's" consensus? I've regularly read rubbish such 'CO2 is not a pollutant', and man cannot change the climate'. Sinclare eve used denialist industry video that claim there is no evidence of CO2 warming.

I suggest you need a poll to support your claim that no or few people who call themselves AGW skeptics deny the greenhouse effect of CO2.

James continues:

>*No sceptic denies that there was warming in the three decades up to 2000*

Then James contradicts himself:

>*(although the extent appears may have been exagerrated).*

What evidence do you have for exagerrated warming in the last 30 decades?

James continues:

>*No sceptic would deny the natural consequences of warming (migratory patterns, ice melt etc).*

That would be except if they called it exaggerated instead of admitting to denial:

>*Some (perhaps many) sceptics question the extent of these natural consequences and contend that they are overstated.*

Add to James' denial (or science conspiracy) those who invest the debate with arguments such as the sea ice has recovered. Jame have you ever smacked down a denialist for that type of bogus claim?

James continues:
>*So in creating what Sinclair would like his opponents' arguments to be, he is then able to effectively rebut them.It is this type of tactic that has the sceptics wondering about conspiracies. The video is the crock.*

Sinclare has nailed you James, you've raced to the barricades and you've need to charge scientific conspiracy (exaggeration) to state your beliefs.

Mark E. Gillar wrote :

"Gore and The UN IPCC should be forced to give back their Nobel Peace Prize. "

What a mean-spirited and spiteful post! Dragging in a Holocaust victim like Irena Sendler to try to confer a extra bit of righteousness stands out as a model of smallminded, petty demagoguery.

I am sure Ms Sandler would disown your bitchiness, if she knew about it. I hope she gets her prize, but if it is with the help of this mindset, then it is devalued irredeemably.

Meanwhile, what not just forgive Mr Gore for behaving with a bit of nobility, like a REAL President?

James writes:

>*The temperature records for the last century are broadly not contended, at least until recently. To the extent that they are, can I suggest you visit the University of East Anglia to discover the reasons why?*

Denial and nonsense James. There is no evidence that the Warming has been exaggerated. CRU is not contradicted by GISS nor UAH nor RSS MSU, nor the sea ice loss nor biological response, nor glacial melt. You are exhibiting the denial that Sinclare addressed and you claimed he smacked too low.

James continues:

>*There is much debate, despite the apparent "consensus" as to what caused the warming of the last century*

Really where? Name just 5 papers in credible journals in the last year that showed strong evidenced that AGW was not the strongest driver of recent warming. Or if last years was a bit light, name 10 credible papers in the last 2 years.

>*For the decade that I have been following this it has become more and more apparent that the arguments, and the methods of argument, on the part of (shall we call you) proponents has been fundamentally flawed.*

Empty words James, lacking evidence.

James:

>*It would seem highly unlikely that the addition to the naturally occurring CO2 in the relatively minute levels that is anthropogenic would be causing the heating that has occurred and is predicted (however incorrectly so far) to occur.*

First point is that That you assert with out evidence that CO2 is highly unlikely assertion to cause the warming, and you make this claim without counter evidence. You also sneak in you assumption that something is incorrect, again without evidence.

Second point is you are proving Sinclair correct buy squeezing your self under his nail.

James says

"It would seem highly unlikely that the addition to the naturally occurring CO2 in the relatively minute levels that is anthropogenic would be causing the heating that has occurred and is predicted (however incorrectly so far) to occur."

And my word, so does it seem unlikely that ozone, which has concentrations of up to 8ppm in the denser parts of the ozone layer, could block the vast majority of shortwave UV radiation incident on the atmosphere. But it does. So there ya go.

NB: I feel I have to tack a note onto the end of this (because of dunder-headedness I have encountered in the past). This argument demonstrates that radiatively active trace gases can have a significant effect on the radiation balance of the planet. It obviously doesn't demonstrate the effect that CO2 or CH4 has, other arguments do that. The stated purpose is simply to falsify the following notion: "It's a trace gas, so it can't have a major effect".

Further to the comment above, I wouldn't call a ~35% increase in total atmospheric CO2 due to human activity 'a relatively minute anthropogenic addition' (slight paraphrase).

There is much debate, despite the apparent "consensus" as to what caused the warming of the last century...

So now the denialist both admits and denies a consensus, in the first half of a sentence? The Saudi oil barons should give James a gold medal for doubletalk.

By Raging Bee (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

@toby:
Sadly, Irena Sendler passed away in 2008.

the concern troll appears to not have watched the entire video. Or they did, but the hard-wired denialism prevented the images and narrative from sinking in. Maybe if they actually read Rosenzweig et al. that would help.

And the CRU temps have not been "fudged'-- the troll has clearly fallen for the Limbaugh propaganda and has not bothered to check the facts, context and reality of what was said and why. Hint troll, "hide the decline" had nothing to do with any observed temperature record and refers to the divergence problem in dendro chronologies when compared with instruments. The CRU data are in agreement with the independently determined NASA GISS, NCDC, JMA, as well as the satellite data (the actual numbers do not agree with what Lawson said yesterday in London), and radiosonde data (RATPAC). Moreover, the warming in the CRU data is *lower* than in the other datasets.

Anyhow, no amount of reason or scientific facts are going to convince the trolls so I'll leave it at that.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

I'd like to defend James against the avalanche of angry responses to his comments. Not that I agree with his claims. I'd like to point out that James represents a different class of commentator here. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to call him an "opponent" rather than a "denier". His arguments are not in the same class as the idiotic, ill-informed crap that are usual among deniers. I realize that everybody here is so used to seeing outright lies from deniers that there's a strong tendency to attack anybody who takes that side, so the response is psychologically understandable, but I think it's also wrong. Although I doubt that we'll be able to reach any agreement with James, I do think that he'll respond to reasoned arguments with reasoned counterarguments -- don't you think that would be far more productive and interesting than the usual head-bashing that characterizes discussion on this board?

That said, now let ME roll up my sleeves and go to work on James! ;-)

First, I like your idea of characterizing the bell curve of opinions, so we don't argue against each others extremists instead of each other. I'll start by declaring the centerline of proponent arguments on AGW: the IPCC AR4 reports, which you can find here:

http://www.ipcc-wg1.unibe.ch/publications/wg1-ar4/wg1-ar4.html

As to the extrema, I'd put Al Gore at the edge. Much of what he says is true, but he occasionally overstates his case. I see no reason to defend Al Gore when I have IPCC AR4. So I'll ask you to confine your criticisms to statements in IPCC AR4. Another centerline source of information is the National Academy of Sciences brochure on AGW, which you can find here:

http://dels.nas.edu/dels/rpt_briefs/climate_change_2008_final.pdf

This isn't so intimidating a document as IPCC AR4, because it presents the case in nontechnical language. But remember this: IPCC AR4 is the core document, the fundamental case, against which all opposing arguments should be made.

To the extent that they are, can I suggest you visit the University of East Anglia to discover the reasons why?

I suggest that you visit this page:

http://www.ipcc-data.org/

to get an idea of why the whole CRU thing is a tempest in a teapot, a trumped-up distraction from the truth.

There is much debate, despite the apparent "consensus" as to what caused the warming of the last century, and I don't accept that the debate is close to concluded.

This is correct, by only in the sense that there are plenty of ignorant people who are presenting idiotic arguments against the science of climate change. If you want to get an idea of the real issues being debated, please consult the NAS brochure and/or the IPCC AR4 report. There really is a strong consensus that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are the cause of the recent warming.

For the decade that I have been following this it has become more and more apparent that the arguments, and the methods of argument, on the part of (shall we call you) proponents has been fundamentally flawed.

Then perhaps you should actually read the arguments and methods of arguments used by the actual proponents, not the crap that you see on television. Read IPCC AR4! It's all there for public consumption, and yet nobody ever bothers to read it -- instead they complain that the scientists are being secretive. Until you've read IPCC AR4, you have no ethical basis to comment on the arguments in favor of AGW, because you haven't even seen them.

It would seem highly unlikely that the addition to the naturally occurring CO2 in the relatively minute levels that is anthropogenic would be causing the heating that has occurred and is predicted (however incorrectly so far) to occur.

It is long been known that the earth's surface temperature is 33ºC warmer than it would be without any greenhouse effect, and that most of that effect is due to CO2. So if 270 ppm of CO2 can raise the temperature of the earth by 30ºC, what's so crazy about saying that adding another 100 ppm of CO2 might increase temperatures by another 5ºC?

Moreover, this notion that "tiny things can't have any effect" is absurd. A meteorite with mass of just one billionth that of the earth managed to destroy the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. A few hundred HIV viri on your skin, with a mass of picograms, can kill you. There are plenty of poisons a few micrograms of which can kill you. Tiny things can certainly have big effects.

there is much debate as to what should be the figure for the "forcing effect"(?) of CO2

Please see Table 2.1, IPCC AR4 WG1 Chapter 2, which presents atmospheric concentrations and changes of more than a dozen different chemicals in the atmosphere, as well as the radiative forcing of each one as of 2005. CO2 forcing is put at 1.66 W m**-2.

I agree with you that most of the schemes I have seen for addressing climate change are pretty lame. They aren't aggressive enough to accomplish much, and they seem more like disguised subsidies. I would much prefer a carbon tax -- as do most economists. I concede that a carbon tax is politically unviable -- but that's only because people don't understand the magnitude of the problem. So let's talk carbon tax, OK? Do you object to a revenue-neutral carbon tax?

By Erasmussimo (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

"And if the UN want to have countries like Australia pay countries like Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and China a "climate debt" they can leave forthwith and fornicate (it's that which is the socialist part).

The only thing vaguely "socialist" is the status quo, whereby the evironmental costs of emissions are shared globally, while none of the benefits are. In effect, a wealth transfer to the industrialized nations.

Erasmussimo, terrific post @34.

I have a couple of things to say about your post though, firstly the biggest contributor to the 33C greenhouse effect is water vapour. The part due to CO2 is by no means insignificant though (see )

Secondly, HIV on your skin will do squat. Get in a cut though...

Anyway, as I have already said, I agree wholeheartedly with the vast majority of your post.

Yep, Stu, those were both blunders on my part; I caught them on re-reading. Damn, I wish this blog had an edit capability.

By Erasmussimo (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

Thanks Ben @38, Yup, James is just a common troglodyte, I mean troll. Sigh.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

Eli is often asked to name a few denialists of the Greenhouse Effect, and he has some who have published papers in refereed journals: Gerlich, Tscheuschner, Chilingar, Khilyuk, Sorokhtin, Kramm of the tips of his ears.

Go google some of those worthies and you will find multiple fan clubs. So James, let us not pretend that denial don't deny the greenhouse effect

Hah well, he can stir the pot all he likes and it wont make a difference. We're already a well mixed group ;-)

James dressed up his talk in more reasonable terms than many of the 'sceptics' that pop up on this blog, but he didn't make any arguments of substance (and certainly didn't back up any of his assertions with evidence) and now his true intentions are exposed. I wonder if he'll be back?

By the way Ben, how did you find that link?

re stu:
>The stated purpose is simply to falsify the following notion: "It's a trace gas, so it can't have a major effect".

I think that you only have to 'view' the gases in the atmosphere from IR radiations perspective. eg. from that perspective CO2 roughly becomes about 9% of the relevant atmosphere and not a 'trace gas'. Water vapour obviously becomes the majority gas, replacing Nitrogen.

Once you take the IR band POV, then the picture is a lot different.

James is just another reminder of the futility of reason when dealing with the wilfully ignorant.

After seeing a video explaining the empirical evidence shwoing some of the relevant papers, we have idiots like James saying - they showed no evidence.

It's just a litle bit amazing that we're in the 21stC but there are people who wear anti-science ignorance like a badge of honour.

Tim, you should really not be posting links to weak stuff like this. This is the kind of stuff every sceptic will have a field day with, because it doesn't really show the link between CO2 and runaway global warming.

By Anonymous (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

Anon,

global warming doesn't have to be 'runaway' to be concerning!

Shorter Anon:

*This stuff hurts us, and makes the science more accessible. Please don't show it.*

Stu@46:

Runaway global warming caused by CO2 is what IPCC predicts. Everyone knows and agrees CO2 is a greenhouse gas a causes some warming, which if not enhanced by other factors in the system would not be catastrophic at all.

By Anonymous (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

Erasmussino has me right, the rest wrong. Yes, I did refer to being here as "having fun" etc, but to define that as trolling you would need to show that my arguments are deliberately ridiculous. Gutter Trash is hardly a friendly environment for me, as I am well outnumbered in most cases. But that is my fault. I prefer rigorous debate to head nodding and therefore am attracted to environments where I am likely to be in a minority. One poster there historically links this site as proof of his arguments as regards AGW. I regard that as lacking in debating substance. I can just as easily link WUWT in the same way and we reach a stalemate. So I have a bit of a chuckle at him for that reason, and my comments should be regarded in that context. In a way, I have proven a point. Look what happens when you come in to a blog like this with a contrary argument. One or two are prepared to roll up their sleeves and engage in reasoned debate, the majority just wish to engage in abuse. So I guess in proving that point, it was a form of trolling.

Eras, I did read the summary of AR4 at the time it was released and I will read it again to continue this debate. As to Climategate, I have never argued on the issues of "trick" or "hide the decline" but on the broader conduct of the scientists evidenced in the emails. The only issue I have with "hide the decline" is the implication that the tree ring data is unreliable after a given date so I struggle to see how it is reliable before that given date. I am open to being educated on that point.

In terms of "tiny trace gas" the difference between CO2 and HIV is that the CO2 is already present in a natural form. Either you have HIV or you don't. If you have, say, 380 PPM of HIV infected cells in your body injecting another hundred PPM is going to make no difference. Without treatment, you are a goner anyway. Similarly with the meteor. Your example assumes there are no other meteors. But if there are meteors of similar size belting the earth day in day out, you'd be hard pressed to argue that that one meteor, by its addition alone (leaving aside arguments about specific points of impact as that can't be equated to CO2) caused the dinosaurs to be wiped out.

Got a fair bit on today, so I'll drop by later to continue.

Shorter Anon (sounding a bit like James):

*I'm gonna make up stuff about what the the IPCC say, don't mind me.*

The references early in the video to the "show me the proof" cries of the denialists reminds me of a joke from the 1970s in which a mother is exhorting her finicky son to eat his vegetables with the words "Don't you know that millions of kids your age are strving in China and India?" to which he replies "Oh yeah? Name one!"

By Paul Norton (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

James, CFCs are trace gases (and measured in ppt compared to ppm for CO2) and look what they have done to the ozone hole, in the stratosphere, above Antarctica.

Your trace gas argument is feeble and a classic contrarian myth that has been discounted repeatedly.

Let's cut to the chance, b/c this is essentially what it boils down to. What is the climate sensitivity to doubling CO2? And I want a reputable reference from the peer-reviewed literature to support your assertion (i.e., not Lindzen and Choi, 2009).

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

For those who need further evidence to doubt James er Sancty's credentials as a troll.

http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/global-warming-has-stopped-…

And Stu, to answer your question as to how I found that link, it is because I post over there under the name Tom R. No, don't ask me why I used Ben Breeg here, except perhaps that Tom R is just a boring name (shrug). I typed it on the fly when blogocracy was around, and wanted to maintain it so people knew who I was (to a degree). So I guess I will revert :( to avoid cinfusion.

As to james, his arguments usually end in the 'you post Lambert, and I'll post WUWT' type rant, ignoring completely that one is based in fact, while the other is based on ??? (don't really know yet). Or, his even better one, his mates told him it wasn't happening, so there (the great Barrier Reef escapade).

I guess, in the short of it, it is my fault he is here, so for that, I apologise.

@Mapleleaf......congratulations on the ice hockey win (I think). It was a very exciting game.

I'm not certain why Lindzen is not a reputable scientist and would appreciate a definition of reputable.

In any event......http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=87

Stu, I'm no coward and my ability to debate is restricted only by time constraints and general scientific ignorance. I acknowledge that freely but reserve my right to participate as an affected citizen who is capable of applying critical consideration of many of the issues.

TomR has misrepresented one of my points. I am a frequent visitor to the GBR, as an enthusiastic yachtie and snorkeller. I have in the past repeatedly asserted that the parts of the GBR that I visit, and they range on a broad scale, show no visible signs of stress over a period of two decades. I can see for myself that the many predictions of Ove (whatever his surname is) are demonstrably false.

Anonymous:

Runaway global warming caused by CO2 is what IPCC predicts.

No, runnaway global warming in when the positive feedback (caused by water evaporating) goes to more than 100%. This is not expected to happen until the oceans reach 60 degrees C which is not expected to happen because there is not enough carbon available.

Everyone knows and agrees CO2 is a greenhouse gas a causes some warming, which if not enhanced by other factors in the system would not be catastrophic at all.

I'd like to live in an ideal world too.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

James:

I can see for myself that the many predictions of Ove (whatever his surname is) are demonstrably false.

All right. Demonstrate it then. Tell us at least one prediction and demonstrate that it's false.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

Interesting to see that James, having been smacked down (by myself) over at Gutter Trash over his assertions equating his observations with scientific observation (wrt to the GBR)brings his lunacy here.

Nothing more than your run of the mill liar and troll really, although (slightly) more coherent than most.

He has demonstrated (to my satisfaction at least) that he is entirely dishonest in his approach to AGW, and is incapable or unwilling to provide evidence supporting his POV.

The only "evidence" I have ever seen to back his assertions is his standard reply of "Google Climategate" which is evidently all the evidence he requires to slander scientists/organisations such as Jones, CRU, Mann etc.,deny global warming, sea level rise, impute the peer review process, and deny the existence and relevance of data collected which supports AGW.

I might also point out that ALL of the claims he makes wrt to AGW have been demonstrated as relying upon lies, misrepresentation and/or quote mining by many contributors at Gutter Trash, including myself, yet, while refusing to ever acknowledge his own errors, mistakes or lies, he now brings them here "to have a bit of fun".

By Pterosaur (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

Anon writes:

>*Runaway global warming caused by CO2 is what IPCC predicts.*

Jakerman wrties:

>Shorter Anon [...]: *I'm gonna make up stuff about what the the IPCC say, don't mind me.*

Anon writes:

>jakerman@50: Please read: http://www.ipcc-wg1.unibe.ch/publications/wg1-ar4/ar4-wg1-faqs.pdf

Anon, do your own homework, I say you made it your claim up. Prove me wrong, show me were the "*IPPCs predicts*" *"Runaway global warming caused by CO2"*. Cite the passage, or the page, the chart or the figure.

Why do I think you are wrong? Cos I've read what [climate scientist write](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/07/runaway-tipping-p…):

>People often conclude that the existence of positive feedbacks must imply ârunawayâ effects i.e. the system spiralling out of control. However, while positive feedbacks are obviously necessary for such an effect, they do not by any means force that to happen. Even in simple systems, small positive feedbacks can lead to stable situations as long as the âgainâ factor is less than one (i.e. for every initial change in the quantity, the feedback change is less than the original one). A simple example leads to a geometric series for instance; i.e. if an initial change to a parameter is D, and the feedback results in an additional rD then the final change will be the sum of D+rD+r2Dâ¦etc. ). This series converges if |r|<1, and diverges (âruns awayâ) otherwise. You can think of the Earthâs climate (unlike Venusâ) as having an ârâ less than one, i.e. no ârunawayâ effects, but plenty of positive feedbacks.

Geez, and here come the troops..... Where's Adrian?

Pterosaur you have "smacked me down" much as a fly to an elephant. You have already mischaracterised one of my arguments. "Google Climategate" only as far as I am concerned has related to the inappropriate conduct of a certain group of scientists and only in relation to the treatment of data and their relationships with other scientists, particularly as regards the peer review process. I use the Great Barrier Reef as an example of just one climate scare that is self evidently false. You cannot tell me something is dying when I can see for myself that it is not.

If, perhaps, you could point out one lie that I have relied upon, please do so. If you can point out once that I have refused to acknowledge a demonstrated "error, mistake, or lie" please do so. Otherwise, please allow us adults (Eras etc) to debate the issues.

James,

it's all on record, I've justified every claim I've made here (at Gutter Trash) and I simply can't be bothered with your lies any more.

By Pterosaur (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

>*I use the Great Barrier Reef as an example of just one climate scare that is self evidently false.*

No James you use the Great Barrier Reef as an example of what you say is is self evidently false.

Most here differ from yourself in that many here require evidence rather than accept what you claim through mere assertion.

Pterosaur, you want me to substantiate scientific arguments, despite my repeated admission that I am no scientist. I can argue only on the basis of reason and logic. To whit, my original argument on this subject is about the positioning of the sceptical argument in the posted video.

Yet, you come on here, attack my character, accuse me of lying, twice, then refuse to "be bothered" to substantiate your accusation in the forum in which it was made (never mind that you have also failed to do so in the forum in which you have claimed to). Back up your serious charges, Pterosaur, because no matter what side of the debate you stand on, to fail to do so would make you a fraud.

@60:

Runaway, as in so big (after being amplified by factors other than CO2) that it is going to have catastrophic effects (i.e. it has run away from what we can control and tolerate).

So, coming back to the original post, this video does not in any way establish the link between CO2 and global warming that will run away from us. For that to be true, it would have to show evidence that other factors in the system act the way it was predicted by IPCC. However, such evidence is not in the video (possibly because it doesn't exist).

PS. Only the far alarmist fringe suggest an out of control positive feedback loop (what you understood I meant by plain use of the word runaway).

By Anonymous (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

Anon, stop contradicting yourself, you just had it confirmed that you are using the wrong term yet you opt to keep using it.

>*So, coming back to the original post, this video does not in any way establish the link between CO2 and global warming that will run away from us.*

You were the joker who claimed it should be trying to establish such a link. I called you on your folly.

Your post is utter nonsense, you arn't close to discussing the science nor what the IPCC say or need to say.

James, you are weaseling mate. I asked for a "reputable reference from the peer-reviewed literature to support your assertion"

You gave me a link to a denialist blog. You fail.

This from the denialist blog:

"The best estimate for climate sensitivity is about 0.4 C for a CO2 doubling"

OMG! I had no idea that we had doubled CO2 by the 80s ;) Dr Hoyt is of the mistaken belief that the sun is responsible for pretty much all of the warming.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

Maple Leaf, there are five papers listed in that blog which give a climate sensitivity figure of less than the IPCC. Again, what constitutes "reputable". On your criteria, it would seem to eliminate anyone who holds a view different to those to which you adhere?

@65:

Strong words. And still no evidence for the claims...

By Anonymous (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

Anon, looking past your persistent use of misleading terms I will address a question that I hope you are asking:

>Can we establish the link between CO2 and global warming that is going to have catastrophic effects?

To address this question first answer me this, do you accept the evidence that greenhouse gases cause global warming?

>*there are five papers listed in that blog which give a climate sensitivity figure of less than the IPCC.*

James your sources citing of 5 papers does not mean the data supports his claims. [Your source](http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=87) is out of date and misses the [corrections by Lyman](http://www.skepticalscience.com/Mystery-of-the-vanishing-ocean-heat.html), the [updates by Levitus](http://www.skepticalscience.com/cooling-oceans.htm) and your source [completely dodged Domingues](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/06/ocean-heat-conten…).

[This data](http://www.realclimate.org/wp-content/uploads/synthrepfig1.jpg) is compelling.

James,

Nope. Sorry. Oh now your moving the goal posts to the references of said blog post. I searched each of the PDFs for "climate sensitivity".

Levitus paper was about OHC, no hits for "climate sensitivity"
Lyman, alleged recent ocean cooling in upper ocean 2003-2005 (later found to be b/c of a problem with sensor on Argo floats), no hits for "climate sensitivity"
Gouretski and Koltermann, XBT issues, no hits for "climate sensitivity"
Ellis, Cloud amounts and dymanics. Conf. abstract, not peer-reviewed. Did not bother.
Hansen 2005, does not try and calculate climate sensitivity, the climate model's equilibrium sensitivity (which they used) to doubled CO2 is 2.70C.
Hansen 1985, estimates sensitivity of ~3C for doubling CO2, same as mean value of range predicted by IPCC (2.0-4.5C) in 2007.

For a reputable papers on climate sensitivity:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Working-out-climate-sensitivity.html
http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-sensitivity.htm
(see papers referenced therein which speak directly to calculating climate sensitivity).

Also, for a thorough review of the Earth's energy imbalance read Murphy et al. (2009, JGR-A).

You have failed yet again to answer my question.

PS: I know of a paper or two which claim sensitivity is lower, but they have all been either refuted or challenged by their peers. I would tell, but thought it best for you to find them.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

MapleLeaf,

Do you really think James could manage to find his own arse even with a flashlight?...... well, maybe if it was posted on a denialist blog, then he might.

First, I like your idea of characterizing the bell curve of opinions, so we don't argue against each others extremists instead of each other.

It's a fundamentally dishonest idea that is based on a false equivalence and a mistaken notion that reality and rationality are "moderate". An honest exercise would put "completely right" at one end of the curve and "completely wrong" at the other, with people who are half right in the middle. On that curve, Gore would be toward the "completely right" end, Bolt would be at the "completely wrong" end, and James would generously be about halfway down the "completely wrong" end.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

my ability to debate is restricted only by time constraints and general scientific ignorance

Isn't that a fact.

I can argue only on the basis of reason and logic.

Reason and logic, of which you are also generally ignorant, aren't particularly useful for addressing empirical matters when one is unfamiliar with, or in denial of, the evidence.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

Runaway, as in so big (after being amplified by factors other than CO2) that it is going to have catastrophic effects (i.e. it has run away from what we can control and tolerate)....PS. Only the far alarmist fringe suggest an out of control positive feedback loop (what you understood I meant by plain use of the word runaway).

Uncontrollable catastrophic effects can occur in the absence of an out of control positive feedback loop, so your comments, full of equivocation, are fundamentally dishonest. Catastrophic effects can also occur even if we can control them (and especially if we can but fail to).

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

I use the Great Barrier Reef as an example of just one climate scare that is self evidently false. You cannot tell me something is dying when I can see for myself that it is not.

You're a fucking idiot.

http://www.thetechherald.com/article.php/200917/3529/Dying-coral-reef-s…

David Wachenfeld, chief scientist at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, told the program he was heartened to see damaged corals respond.

"It's incredibly heartening to see how quickly a really healthy coral reef can respond," he said.

"But of course at the same time it's somewhat sobering because it makes us realise that reefs do have to be very healthy to survive impacts of climate change, and also indicates to us that we only have a certain amount of time to do something about climate change if we want to keep coral reefs around the world," Wachenfeld continued.

There those scientists go, scaring people with their sober talk.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

Marcel, what a polite and dignified way to enter a debate. You must be just so proud of your capacity to refrain from resorting to abuse.

Go back to my original post on the subject. Guess what, it says nothing of the science but it speaks to the way the presenter in the video has couched his opponents arguments. In my view, he has misrepresented the mainstream sceptical argument. I have explained why. Despite repeating a number of times now that I am not arguing the science, which is not to say I accept it, I continue to cop vulgar abuse from the likes of you for being ignorant re science.

Your contribution above confirms what I have seen for myself. The GBR is healthy. That is all I have ever argued back at the other blog and it would appear that I am right.

So, Marcel, in deference to my friends over at the other blog who consider that I am deficient in the area of personal abuse, cop this.....Go fuck yourself you intellectual midget.

So I guess in proving that point, it was a form of trolling.

Indeed, a scientific illiterate coming to a scientific forum for the purpose of having a debate is a case of trolling.

In terms of "tiny trace gas" the difference between CO2 and HIV is that the CO2 is already present in a natural form.

Did you even watch the video, moron? CO2 from natural and anthropogenic sources can be distinguished, and the increase is due to the latter; the fact that CO2 is already present in a natural form is irrelevant. Who are you to talk about "the relatively minute levels" of anthropogenic CO2 and the likelihood that would cause the heating that has occurred when you admit that you're scientifically illiterate? You whine that you're being asked to substantiate scientific arguments, despite your repeated admission that you're no scientist, that you can argue only on the basis of reason and logic. Fine, asshole, give us your deductive proof that the levels of anthropogenic CO2 are insufficient to produce the indicated level of warming.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

You must be just so proud of your capacity to refrain from resorting to abuse.

A fucking piece of garbage like you deserves nothing but abuse. The catastrophe to come is on the heads of scum like you.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

Calm down Marcel! Quadruple posting :-0

James, I never called you a coward. I merely wondered whether you'd be back. And you are.

I'd appreciate it if you'd respond to MapleLeaf's post @73 if nothing else, as those're good points.

And answer me this: are reason and logic always going to help? I have come across a great deal of scientific results that are counterintuitive. You have to go where the evidence leads, not just to what 'feels right'.

As an example, what is your answer to the following question

Which is better news for the magnitude of global warming over the next century: that aerosols have a large or a small cooling effect?

Your contribution above confirms what I have seen for myself. The GBR is healthy. That is all I have ever argued back at the other blog and it would appear that I am right.

As I said, you're a fucking idiot, and a grossly dishonest one. What my "contribution above" says is

Southern parts of the massive reef, which is a popular tourists attraction, have been badly damaged in recent years from global warming and subsequent warming sea temperatures.

But this you deny; you say it is false; you say it is a "scare". You are filth, you are scum.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

Calm down Marcel!

Don't patronize me. I'll post as many times as I choose to.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

You will until the filter catches you for flooding. I'm amazed it doesn't put posts with gratuitous swearing in for moderation, TBH.

Just love this new robustness in the debate, but I'll throw a bucket of cold water over everyone.

The snowiest decade in US history has just been recorded. Is that weather or climate?

Guess what, it says nothing of the science but it speaks to the way the presenter in the video has couched his opponents arguments.

First, you're lying, you did speak to the science. Second, you lied both about the content of the video and about what "sceptics" say. In fact, it's hard to find a truthful statement in that post. You say the video is a crock, but any honest and intelligent person can see that the video presents evidence to support its contentions, including its contentions about skeptics and deniers -- it provides visual evidence of their written claims, as well as video of flaming assholes like Dan Lungren (with whom I am all too familiar as a Californian).

So fuck off and die, scumbag.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

You will until the filter catches you for flooding.

Thank you ever so much for your concern.

I'm amazed it doesn't put posts with gratuitous swearing in for moderation, TBH.

My swearing is not gratuitous. And I hardly find it amazing -- not everyone is so immature as to recoil at common expressive language.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

Green pill, anyone?

Just in the nick of time, el gordo wafts in with some non-science.

We could try to present some facts, but if we mention that increased snowfall is expected under warming conditions, poor el gordo wil have a fit.

sancty, I think it is obvious to all here now that you are nothing more than a troll trying to hone his argumentative skills for your law degree, and AGW just happens to be the field you have chosen. It is hardly surprising that the comments get more heated, as it becomes more obvious you are not sincere.

Your initial post over here was both dismissive and abusive. You began by calling what was a very informative post about the basic science of AGW a crock, purely on the basis that it didn't address your particle form of denialism (well,todays version anyway). Your continual rehash of 'no sceptic would' was a totally infantile attempt to try and put all deniers onto the same supposed intellectual level of yourself, which, as was soon pointed out, they are not.

The "Bolshevik Plot" is not what you refer to in your opening tirade, it is specific dig at the insane accusations labelled at Copenhagen to impose a world government. You can try and twist it to suit your own argument, but that doesn't change what it is. And to link that with a free market ETS is, well, lame.

You top it all of by making pathetic allusions to the failed climate gate smear. So, the replies you got were quite restrained IMO. But then, they just haven't got to know you better. I do note that after that dibber dobber Ben busted you, that changed very dramatically.

You top it all of by making pathetic allusions to the failed climate gate smear.

He topped his topping off with this immense idiocy:

I use the Great Barrier Reef as an example of just one climate scare that is self evidently false. You cannot tell me something is dying when I can see for myself that it is not.

It's hard to find more intellectually obtuse "skepticism".

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

Marcel, I'll quite happily respond to your posts in person in a bar. Or a park. Or wherever. Other than that, what you write are the irrelevent rantings of a lunatic, and a pea hearted one at that.

Stu (can I call you Disco?)I'll be happy to respond to Maple Leaf's post when I can get a handle on his definition of "reputable". It's a fair question and I've asked it twice now. Why is Lindzen not reputable? Clearly, I am not equipped, and I happily admit that, to engage in a back and forth scientific debate off the top of my head. But logic does come into it. Like it or not, it's laypeople like me that have to make the decision whether we are going to vote for and support your position or not. You simply can't expect us to just "believe". I know there are plenty of people who are qualified and honestly believe that AGW is a serious concern. I know there are others who are hitching a big financial wagon to the issue. Same goes for the sceptical side. There are qualified people who think it's a crock. And there are vested interests who don't want it to be so. For my part, I stand to gain substantially financially if an ETS is introduced in Australia. But that's not the point.

As to your other question, let me get back to you. I suspect the answer has something to do with whether I think Global Warming is a problem or not.

TomR, the term "crock" comes from the title on the video. It is a play on words and hardly abusive in that context. I stand by my words on "Bolshevik Plot". It was put in to mock and characterise all sceptics, and was therefore unfair.

As to a "free market ETS" there is no such thing.

While someone called Marcel appears to have punched the self-destruct button and gone into total breakdown, I find my self giggling in the corner with el gordo and his green pill joke. How odd!

By the way, el gordo, 10 years is pretty good, but no climate, nor is the US global. The models are not as conclusive on precipitation trends as temperature. Some place will get more, some less. But these outcomes have lower certainty than for temperature.

I'd like to point out that James represents a different class of commentator here. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to call him an "opponent" rather than a "denier". His arguments are not in the same class as the idiotic, ill-informed crap that are usual among deniers.

Here is James/Sancty's characterization of this video, posted at guttertrash:

My comments are in relation to the video, described as âempirical evidenceâ. It is nothing of the sort, just a bunch of assertions. None of it is evidence, none of it is linked to evidence, hence I felt quite comfortable describing it as a crock.

Read that carefully, then watch the video again, and tell me that this isn't radical denialism.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

Spoken like a true bolshevik lol

Amidst it all Marcel makes many valid points. Unfortuantly James is saved from need to to be held to account by these valid points because rage gets top billing, thus letting Jame's multiple misrepresentation slip out the side door for a quiet exit.

Marcel, sorry that I poked fun. I have a shocker every so often, so should't make fun when others take their fair quota of angry venting.

While someone called Marcel appears to have punched the self-destruct button and gone into total breakdown

I have not self-destructed or broken down, silly; try reading my posts more carefully.

what you write are the irrelevent rantings of a lunatic

No, that would be you -- one surely must be a lunatic to dismiss this video as "just a bunch of assertions" and claim that none of it is linked to evidence. What I write is substantive rebuttal of your lies, along with apt characterizations of the sort of person who indulges in them.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

Unfortuantly James is saved from need to to be held to account by these valid points because rage gets top billing, thus letting Jame's multiple misrepresentation slip out the side door for a quiet exit.

This is nonsense and ad hominem. One always needs to be held to account for their lies and misrepresentations, regardless of the tone of their critics.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

Unfortuantly James is saved from need to to be held to account by these valid points because rage gets top billing, thus letting Jame's multiple misrepresentation slip out the side door for a quiet exit.

Another point about this: there's the implicit assumption that, if one is calm and measured in their response to liars and trolls, that they will somehow be forced to attend to one's points, to admit error where it is demonstrated, etc. It's as if you (and others who take this approach) have never heard of or encountered bad faith -- it's fantasy thinking. People like James will dodge and evade or ignore salient points regardless of how they are expressed ... so one might as well express them with the contempt that people like James so richly deserve.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 02 Mar 2010 #permalink

James you have been shown why your source is [not reputable](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…) by me and others. You have been accurately called for misrepresenting Sinclair video. You even managed to squeeze yourself under his hammer [ex post facto](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…).

You pretend to want open discussion yet to make [continued unsupported claims](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…) and run away when you are called on them, even ignoring the multiple times you have been caught out.

Whether you know it or not your traits expressed here are dishonest, and incompatible with reasoned debate.

Marcel, re your last point, I think your point is sound. Lets see if James continues to run.

>In terms of "tiny trace gas" the difference between CO2 and HIV is that the CO2 is already present in a natural form. Either you have HIV or you don't. If you have, say, 380 PPM of HIV infected cells in your body injecting another hundred PPM is going to make no difference. Without treatment, you are a goner anyway.

As I said earlier as far as warming is concerned CO2 is not a trace gas. From a purely, far reaching, broad outlook and with no reference to much science other than to measure the quantities in the atmosphere, then CO2 is a trace gas.

But from the perspective of science and IR radiation it is about 9% of the IR sensitive atmosphere and hence is in no way a trace gas.

Playing with what words mean, deflects from the science. We all know that when some people refer to CO2 being a trace gas, they are often trying to con naive people into thinking there is no problem. It is a lie and a political move, aimed at spreading disinformation.

>*Looks like the snowiest decade and the warmest decade are not incompatible. No need for alarm*

Non sequitur.

And in case James is reading, I'm still waiting for James to explain himself and his change the topic runaway traits.

We all know that when some people refer to CO2 being a trace gas, they are often trying to con naive people into thinking there is no problem. It is a lie and a political move, aimed at spreading disinformation.

Sigh. Sometimes it helps to actually go back and read what people have written.

James: "CO2 in the relatively minute levels that is anthropogenic"

Stu: "trace gases can have a significant effect on the radiation balance of the planet"

Stu: "I wouldn't call a ~35% increase in total atmospheric CO2 due to human activity 'a relatively minute anthropogenic addition' (slight paraphrase)."

Erasmussimo: "Moreover, this notion that "tiny things can't have any effect" is absurd. A meteorite with mass of just one billionth that of the earth managed to destroy the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. A few hundred HIV viri on your skin, with a mass of picograms, can kill you."

James: "In terms of "tiny trace gas" the difference between CO2 and HIV is that the CO2 is already present in a natural form. Either you have HIV or you don't. If you have, say, 380 PPM of HIV infected cells in your body injecting another hundred PPM is going to make no difference. Without treatment, you are a goner anyway. Similarly with the meteor. Your example assumes there are no other meteors. But if there are meteors of similar size belting the earth day in day out, you'd be hard pressed to argue that that one meteor, by its addition alone (leaving aside arguments about specific points of impact as that can't be equated to CO2) caused the dinosaurs to be wiped out."

James never said that CO2 is a trace gas ... Stu was the one who used that phrase. But what James did say was stunningly stupid, first in his characterization of the anthropogenic increase of CO2 as "relatively minute" (but hey, he isn't arguing the science, he says), and second in his string of non-sequiturs about how CO2 is different from HIV and meteors -- differences irrelevant to Erasmussimo's point that small quantities can have large effects.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Marcel, re your last point, I think your point is sound. Lets see if James continues to run.

If my point is sound then we already know the answer. Again, "People like James will dodge and evade or ignore salient points regardless of how they are expressed"; whether he runs or not, whether he offers explanations or not, the one thing we can count on is his bad faith.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

>*If my point is sound then we already know the answer.*

It would require as stunning turn around for James to cease exemplifying the point to made.

Contrast James' opening salvo:

>*The crock is the video. No sceptic (or very few) denies the greenhouse effect of CO2.*

With his later contradiction and unmasking:

>*It would seem highly unlikely that the addition to the naturally occurring CO2 in the relatively minute levels that is anthropogenic would be causing the heating that has occurred and is predicted*

A [picture says it best](http://www.comics101.com/comics101//news/Comics%20101/192/two_face.jpg).

Marcel,
what annoys you most ?
1/ that it won't stop snowing in the northern hemisphere ?
2/ or the troll's that keep reminding you about it ?
3/ the relatively cool wet summer in Australia ?
4/ or the trolls that remind you about it ?

If I may step in, what I think what "annoy's" Marcel is when "troll's" post "thing's" that are either misleading, or untrue, and seem to actually believe them.

I could point out to Sunspot that this January was the warmest on the global satellite record but it would be futile. Sunspot will merely continue on believing what he/she wants and the world will continue to warm regardless.

What annoys me most is that we have to keep reminding the determinedly ignorant that a., weather is not climate and b., local is not global. (Should I add - c, warmer = more snow?).

January was (globally) the warmest ever on record.

Almost as annoying as "I put some ice and some water in a glass, the ice melts, it doesn't overflow."

But it's always fun to *then* ask what they think a glacier might be, then listen to the gears jamming.

James says "As to your other question*, let me get back to you. I suspect the answer has something to do with whether I think Global Warming is a problem or not."

Well, not really. It does have implications for how much of a problem global warming will turn out to be though. And is an exercise in scientific reasoning (note my preamble about counterintuitive results).

*The question was "Which is better news for the magnitude of global warming over the next century: that aerosols have a large or a small cooling effect?" By which I of course meant, which scenario would result in less warming over the next century :-)

PS sure you can call me Disco, but please, not in public. Disco Stu doesn't advertise.

Re Marcel @107.

I have come across the term 'CO2 is a trace gas' so often, that I think it was worth clarifying the issue. It is all to often to easy to get wrapped up in a discussion, without understanding the wider context of educating the layman that might be passing by.

Sometimes the best way to shut down a ridiculous discussion is to keep a comment simple and to the point. No need for anything complex unless you just like arguing.

Education is a much better weapon than a one to one argument.

@ Paul UK

Your intellectual dishonesty is noted. Again, it was Stu who referred to "trace gas", and thus it is Stu who would be subject to your charge "We all know that when some people refer to CO2 being a trace gas, they are often trying to con naive people into thinking there is no problem. It is a lie and a political move, aimed at spreading disinformation."

James is guilty of much, but not that -- he merely said (erroneously) that anthropogenic CO2, as compared to natural CO2, is "relatively minute". Rather than your comment being "simple and to the point", it made clearly erroneous claims about motivation that completely missed the point.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I actually misread James' post when I mentioned trace gases, hence why I immediately posted the followup point that a 35% increase due to human activity is not 'relatively minute'. But I let the argument about trace gases stand because it does come up so often. I had a feeling James was going to go there eventually.

I'm certainly not subject to the charge of misunderstanding what radiatively active trace gases in the atmosphere actually do.

Hi, guys,
I'm a new kid in town; please don't beat me up!

I'm pretty durn fascinated by this Great AGW Debate and, if I may join in here, I'd welcome a give-and-take of views.

Somebody wrote above "I like your idea of characterizing the bell curve of opinions, so we don't argue against each others extremists instead of each other." Yessss!

Brief intro: I'm a graduate Manufacturing Eng who dropped out of a physics degree at London Uni.
Cards on table: Whilst much of the supporting logic of the AGW hypothesis is watertight, I doubt the overall conclusion. Given that there are bright, educated, informed, sincere people on both sides, I'll welcome energetic counterarguments but, please, no abuse.

I hope it's fair to summarise the video as saying: "This physics is proven, these measurements are solid, these are the trends and feedbacks, and so here is our forecast." If so, here's a question: If, despite this great research work, the forecasts of temperature rise don't materialise (say, the UAH MSU satellite temp stays below the 1998 peak anomaly of 0.75C), would it be fair to consider the hypothesis refuted?

James, in #7 above, wrote that "No sceptic (or very few) denies the greenhouse effect of CO2.. ...what is questioned is the extent (and unprecedented nature) of the warming......" This seemed like a reasonable attempt to agree common ground before moving the debate on, and yet he attracted some pretty nasty replies. Is this neccessary?

Let's seek a meeting of minds: thesis -> antithesis -> synthesis.

Sorry... typo... meant to write: "would it be fair to consider the hypothesis refuted - say, 10 years or 20 years hence?"

If, despite this great research work, the forecasts of temperature rise don't materialise (say, the UAH MSU satellite temp stays below the 1998 peak anomaly of 0.75C), would it be fair to consider the hypothesis refuted?

This is a quite common and reasonable question. But the answer is one that many people find difficult to understand.

Answer: no, not even with "say 10-20 years" attached.

Imagine we start the (say) 20 year clock today. Further imagine that we monitor all of the forcings over the 20 year period, and note that whilst CO2 forcing is going up, the sum of other forcings are going down even more. What would we expect to see? The global average temperature would not exceed the global average temperature this year because the net change in forcing was negative over the 20 years.

[For simplicity I've assumed 20 years is long enough when it might not be in practice; I've ignored feedbacks, changes in feedbacks, short term variation in forcings & feedbacks, and natural variation, and non-equilibrium states. I trust that you can see how these can be added to the simple consideration without fundamentally changing the idea.]

So...if you're looking for falsification criteria based on observed temperature trends, you need to factor in (or at a minimum sufficiently constrain the uncertainty ranges of) all the forcings and feedbacks. And that means you can't pick N and do a simple max temperature comparison after N years.

Strictly speaking if you really want to falsify the current hypotheses, you should aim to create a model that explains observations better than current models do without relying on the current understanding of anthropogenic influences. (And you likely want to show reasons why your model is not only better at explaining observations, but is at least equally plausible in terms of physical considerations.)

I'm sure some actual scientists can weigh in on any errors or misconceptions in my comment - and on other considerations you might also need to pay attention to when developing and validating your competing model - but this should give some idea why "no rise in N years" is not particularly useful.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent
Let's start with reality rather than fantasy:
2005 is the warmest year on record.
2009 is in a dead heat for second.
Cherry picking is wrong.
The earth is warming faster than at any time during the proxy record.

âGiven that there are bright, educated, informed, sincere people on both sides.â
You have provided no evidence to support that ridiculous statement and you post is evidence against it.

Welcome, Brent! I had given up on this discussion, as the "fair share of angry venting" seems to have quadrupled in the last day or two. Let me address your questions during this brief lull in the firestorm.

Yes, if temperature shows no increase for an extended period, then we can consider the hypothesis refuted. How long is "extended period"? The general rule of thumb is that the dividing line between weather and climate is about 30 years. Some people squeeze that down to 15 years, but that's pushing it; the historical record shows anomalous temperature excursions lasting that long. 30 years is a good safe number. After all, the general upward trend that we see in the historical record extends over more than a century; if it were confined to the last 30 years, I think there'd be much less confidence in the hypothesis.

The problem here is that temperature measurements show lots of fluctuations. Much more reliable are the integrating phenomena that add up the overall change in temperature over a long period of time. The best of these are the large-scale changes in the cryosphere: melting glaciers, reductions in Arctic sea ice, loss of ice in Greenland and Antarctica. Together, these show much less fluctuation and give us a clearer, if somewhat delayed response.

By Erasmussimo (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent, see the blog posts You Bet! and How Long? at Open Mind. You may find them interesting and germane.

Brent, welcome to this discussion. It is good to have you here.

However, I beg to differ with respect to when you said this: *Given that there are bright, educated, informed, sincere people on both sides [of the debate]*

This is patently false. The vast majority of the academic community - and with few exceptions, climate scientists, meaning the one's doing the actual research - argue that the empirical and theoretical evidence behind AGW is solid. The most amazing thing in my opinion as a senior scientist is that there is any debate at all. The uncertainty lies in the outcome of human-driven climate change, not in its existence. The most cunning sleight of hand amongst those in the denial camp is that they have taken the uncertainty over the potential outcomes of climate change and to have applied that to climate change itself. Aided by a huge PR apparatus, think tanks, and astroturf lobbying groups, all funded heavily by polluting industries anxious to maintain the status quo, they have shifted the debate through a culpable corporate mass media apparatus in such as way as to have undermined a huge and growing volume of empirical evidence. Certainly there are thousands of biological indicators which are pointing to a rapidly warming biosphere. And virtually all of the climate scientists I have spoken to at workshops and conferences say that the human fingerprint is all over the current warming.

Another problem is that controversy sells whereas consensus doesn't. The media will interview two scientists (or a scientist and a think tank 'scholar') on opposite sides of the issue as to create 'balance' whereas in actual fact the 'balance' is actually 95% on one side and 5% (or less) on the other. The media did the same thing a few years ago with respect to discussing the importance (and scale) of biodiversity loss. They would interview a scientist with longstanding expertise on the one side, and a contrarian, such as the late Julian Simon, or Patrick Moore, on the other. In striving for 'balance' they gave the completely wrong impression of the scientific evidence and opinion as well as the qualifications of those on either side of the debate. They will often not say that the denier has also received financial support for a polluting indsutry with an axe to grind.

It is no different with climate change. I have seen interviews given with a climate scientist like Steve Schneider or James Hansen on one side and individuals like Ross McKitrick or Myron Ebell on the other. The fact that McKitrick and Ebell are not climate scientists and are associated with corporate-funded right wing think tanks is rarely mentioned; instead, they are treated like 'experts' whose views are just at odds with experts on the other side who have spent their careers involved in research on climate.

So when you say that there are "well informed and bright people" on both sides of the climate change debate, I am reminded that there are allegedly "well informed and bright people" on the other side of other debates dealing with a wide range of comtemporary environmental issues. Having presented lectures on the anti-environmental lobby in both Europe and the United States, I think you would do yourself a service by looking at who these prominent "well informed and bright people" are in the denial camp and what their pedigree is in the relevant fields of research, as well as what idealogical biases might be motivating them. I think that you will find this quite enlightening.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Lotharsson (124): Thanks for that. Yes, of course you're right that future underlying CO2 forcing might be masked by other factors such as volcanoes, solar and a positive feedback effect if icecap reflection reduces due to smaller area.
That word "falsifiability" is, as I'm sure you'll agree, a key part of scientific method. The most spectacular example I know is Einstein's bold prediction that stars' apparent position would be shifted during the 1919 eclipse. Had their light not been bent, that was General Relativity out of the window!

Elspi (125): I listened to a 26 Feb interview with Michael Mann. Regardless of whether his "Hockey Stick" remains part of the record, I judge him to have those qualities I mentioned, including sincerity. So there's one! If I cite examples from the sceptics' side I might incur your wrath, so I'll refrain. Afraid I don't see why it's "ridiculous" to consider (some) people on both sides of a fiery debate worthy of respect and worth listening to.

Erasmussimo (126): Having read James Gleick's 'Chaos', and Benoit Mandelbrot's 'The Behaviour and (mis)Behaviour of markets', it's clear that the human tendency to find patterns can sometimes work aganst us when we look at 'fractal' phenomena. (Shakespeare: "How easy is a bush suppos'd a bear"). We all of us spot trends and then extrapolate them. Mandelbrot wrote that if you remove the scale from the time-axis of a chaotic plot, it's impossible to guess whether the timescale is seconds, minutes, years or millennia. So a momentary uptick has, to the eye, a similar shape to a mighty surge.
So the Mk I Eyeball is unreliable. Instead, we use statistical significance testing to distinguish between Noise and Signal. My stats is now too rusty, but I recall that adequate sample size is part of the art. Lotharsson was right! It IS 'N' years!

What jakerman said at 102, and what Stu said @ 108

Marcel@101 I fear that you are right.

Brent, welcome, I think you should read the full thread (I know a mission), but it might help you understand why some here have lost it. And remember, most people who understand AGW to be a legitimate threat have, for many years now, been dealing with the same tired old arguments, tricks, tactics and games being played by James here-- it becomes very tiresome, annoying and frustrating that people are so determined to misrepresent and distort the science. Science and scientists are also under assault from politicians and the media and political lobby groups (ClimateAudit, WUWT), run under the guise of "science", with almost all of the allegations fallacious.

Brent, if you want to do some fact checking I highly recommend
www.skepticalscience.com

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Oops, sorry, forgot to turn off the bold tag.

Re regional weather. Since when did the USA (<2% of the planet's surface) become the centre of the universe. Someone said something about Oz's summer being cool and wet. Huh?

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/images/rnl/sfctmpmer_90b.rnl.html

Also:

http://www.bom.gov.au/announcements/media_releases/wa/20100226.shtml

Anyhow, whether it be Oz or the USA, these are all just regions. We are interested in long-term trends in global temperatures. From RSS lower troposphere satellite anomalies for the meteorological winter:

Dec: +0.24 C
Jan: +0.64 (warmest on satellite record)
Feb: +0.59 (second warmest on satellite record)

from:
http://www.remss.com/data/msu/monthly_time_series/RSS_Monthly_MSU_AMSU_Channel_TLT_Anomalies_Land_and_Ocean_v03_2.txt

30-yr trend 1.56 C/century

And don't try and blame the current global warmth all on the moderate El Nino like certain weathermen. The warming now is on par with the super El Nino of 1997-1998, and much warmer than the global SATs associated with the even stronger super El Nino of 1982-1983. Why? Read Swanson et al. (2009, PNAS):

"Here we present a technique that objectively identifies the component
of inter-decadal global mean surface temperature attributable
to natural long-term climate variability. Removal of that
hidden variability from the actual observed global mean surface
temperature record delineates the externally forced climate signal,
which is monotonic, accelerating warming during the 20th century."

As for N. Hemi snow cover, Tamino has solidly debunked the nonsense over at WFUWT:

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/cherry-snow/

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent

You miss the point.

"the UAH MSU satellite temp stays below the 1998 peak anomaly of 0.75C"

Is a cherry pick of a cherry pick. The year 1998 is a cherry pick and UAH MSU are cherry picks as well. This is dishonest. 2005 was hotter than 1998. The reason that
UAH and MSU did detect that is that one of them is distorted by El Nino, and the other doesn't measure the temp. in the polar regions (where warming has been the greatest).

You shouldn't cherry pick like that if you want people to take you seriously here.

>Your intellectual dishonesty is noted. Again, it was Stu who referred to "trace gas", and thus it is Stu who would be subject to your charge "We all know that when some people refer to CO2 being a trace gas, they are often trying to con naive people into thinking there is no problem. It is a lie and a political move, aimed at spreading disinformation."

Geez. Give it a break.
Quoting someone and making a comment, doesn't automatically mean that the comment is in opposition or in agreement to the quote. Sometimes it is just an alternative perspective.

Maybe in future i'll write an essay instead, which no one will read because its to long.

P. Lewis (127). Thanks for the links to Open Mind. It's going to take me quite some time to read it all. If I may report my early impressions:

The combined GISS/NCDC/HadCRU 1975-2007 graph: The pattern looks pretty darn linear (but then a little cartoon Mandelbrot pops up on my shoulder saying, 'No, you, fool, have you learned nothing from my wisdom?'!)I don't recall seeing it before (I watch Hadley CET and UAH MSU which I judge trustworthy). I guess these are all earthstation measurements; hasn't there been some recent controversy in the news? ;-)

The Open Mind author proposes a chequered flag at 2015 (when one camp or the other is declared champ), but then makes Lotharsson's point about masking: 'even if AGW is completely correct itâs still possible for temperature to show no increase long enough for the âno-further-warmingâ side to win this wager, IF unexpected events happen...'

I'm going back to read your sites properly now(thanks again), but may I offer this for comment:

When I grew tired of dumbly believing this expert or that one, I went in search of source data, but insisted on framing my own questions. These were:
(i)What is the longest continuous direct measurement of temperature anywhere? Ans: Hadley CET since 1659. Conclusion: business as usual.
(ii)What is the longest single-glacier record, direct and indirect anywhere? Ans: Mr. Holzhauser's pet glacier, the Aletsch, since 1200BC. Conclusion: Business as usual.
(iii)What is the longest continuous direct CO2 measurement record, and is it corroborated elsewhere? Ans: Mauna Loa, and yes. Conclusion: Rising steadily.

Maybe it's parochial to find reassurance in data from just England (i) and Austria (ii), but I still ain't buildin' no ark just yet. As for (iii), I'd dearly like to know if CO2 drives temperature or whether it's vice-versa. In a brilliant talk to the American Geophysics Union,
[http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtml] Prof. Alley demonstrated the close correlation over centuries, millennia and gigayears, but correlation is not causality.

Brent says "(i)What is the longest continuous direct measurement of temperature anywhere? Ans: Hadley CET since 1659. Conclusion: business as usual."

The CET data shows a steadily rising trend throughout, with an acceleration in late 20th and early 21st centuries:

I really wouldn't recommend looking at just one temp series for my very nice, but very small, home country and one glacier in Austria, and drawing your global conclusions from those. They may not be representative of the global situation. Luckily Mauna Loa CO2 is representative.

Brent, I strongly urge you to read the IPCC AR4 WG1 report, which you can download here:

http://www.ipcc-wg1.unibe.ch/publications/wg1-ar4/wg1-ar4.html

This is the nitty-gritty, the real meat of the science of climate change. It is a compilation of everything that we know about climate change. It is very carefully done and its conclusions are sound. And it will teach you a great deal about the science.

By Erasmussimo (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent - the final thing about CO2 and climate change is the laws of physics. Basically, CO2 as a greenhouse gas cannot do other than cause warming.
A general explanation here:
http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm

There are of course other greenhouse gases as well as CO2.

By calcinations (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Elspi (132):
You say that 1998 is not a fair reference point in the UAH MSU record. Okay, but I'm sure you see what I'm getting at: that for the hypothesis to be confirmed or refuted we need clear criteria that everybody buys into.

Here's a bit of fun: Let's pretend that you and I are the armies' champions: on this single combat swordfight the fates of empires will be decided!

I propose: Have a look at the UAH MSU graph at:
http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/UAHMSUglobe.html
See the three troughs or 'downspikes' in the past 15 years? They trough at -0.2C. If there are fewer than two downspikes below the 0.0C mark in the next 15 years, I'll capitulate and our armies will hand over their swords hilt-first. I shall declare: "Well it took a while, but my scepticism has now disappeared. I believe in AGW; now let's get cracking on a solution. Mineral sequestration using powdered Serpentine? Go!"

Make me an offer: What would it take for you to declare: "Despite the rational reasoning behind the AGW hypothesis back in 2010, the thermometer beats the theory. The end isn't nigh. Let's all go down the pub instead!"

Brent,

As other shave done I would caution you against looking at point data to infer global trends. Regardless, as for your claims CET is not 'business as usual', and the Aletsch glacier is receding and thinning. From article in Royal Met. Soc. Magazine (2004):

"(ii) In the past 140 years, it has retreated 3 km (21.4 m yearâ1, on average).
(iii) The ice depth has decreased by 200m along much of the length of
the glacier since the 1860s; it is now 100â150m thick near the foot, below Riederalp."

Also:
http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/Experts_size_up_glaciers_as_they_melt_away…

The glacier in question is responding to the warming in a manner which is entirely consistent with other glaciers monitored by the WGMS.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent @ 138:

I propose: Have a look at [...] junkscience.com

No. I'm not going to get information about climate science from people who are [paid to lie about it](http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Steven_J._Milloy).

If there are fewer than two downspikes below the 0.0C mark in the next 15 years,

You need to look at the trend, not the noise. Read some reputable sources like the ones that have been suggested above.

OK Brent, I'm going to call it. You came I here stating "I am new here" and creating the impression that you are here to learn (where have I heard that before?) sounding all sincere. However, a few things you said off the bat raised some flags. Now as this discourse evolves and you start to show your true colours, and then start citing "junkscience.com".

Have you even watched Sinclair's video? Have you read WG1 of AR4?

The "thermometers" are consistent with the theory (and I assume you know that a theory has much more weight scientifically than a hypothesis), with satellite, radiosonde and station data are all in agreement regarding the global warming. For example:

http://tinyurl.com/ylxu5gw

http://tinyurl.com/ycvouyq

The satellite record, RSS, is warming at 0.156 C per decade (30-yr trend).
You should also know that UAH MSU data have many issues, read their "README" file.

The warming trend in HadCRUT is lower, b/c they do not account for the enhanced warming over the Arctic.

And the IPCC says nothing about the "end being nigh". You are being alarmist and making fallacious statements.

Your hypothesis is that we can dramatically increase concentrations of GHGs (CO2, CH4 and N2O) in an incredibly short time and for it to not have marked consequences for the biosphere. Well, the observations are showing that hypothesis to be wrong.

We can give you all the facts, evidence and science, but it will not sway your opinion. You are clearly in denial and applying your 'skepticism' in one direction only. Good luck.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I was starting to wonder much the same as you did MapleLeaf.

Brent has made one or two comments typical of concern troll behaviour. I sincerely hope he's not a time waster, because if he is, then the next "newbie" that comes along (who may be genuine) is likely to get short shrift ... which I suppose is part of the plan with such acts of trollishness.

Brent writes:

>*James, in #7 above, wrote that "No sceptic (or very few) denies the greenhouse effect of CO2.. ...what is questioned is the extent (and unprecedented nature) of the warming......" This seemed like a reasonable attempt to agree common ground before moving the debate on, and yet he attracted some pretty nasty replies. Is this neccessary?*

Brent yes the small part you cited does make it seem like a James is wanting to appear like some type of skeptic rather that a an all too common 'so called skeptic'.

Unfortunately the bit you didn't quote told [another story](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…).

Contrast James' opening salvo:

>*The crock is the video. No sceptic (or very few) denies the greenhouse effect of CO2.*

Compare that to James' subsequent statement that shows the Sinclair's video is on the mark:

>*It would seem highly unlikely that the addition to the naturally occurring CO2 in the relatively minute levels that is anthropogenic would be causing the heating that has occurred and is predicted*

This seemed like a reasonable attempt to agree common ground before moving the debate on

Yeah, right, calling the video a crock, and denying the existence of "sceptics" that we have all encountered is a reasonable attempt to agree on common ground.

I can smell people like you and James from a mile away.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Here's a bit of fun: Let's pretend that you and I are the armies' champions: on this single combat swordfight the fates of empires will be decided!

Here's a different sort of fun: let's pretend we're doing science. In which case we would do things rather differently, namely making the best inference from all of the available data, without need to slay every willfully ignorant skeptic.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I still ain't buildin' no ark just yet

Which indicates your complete failure at risk assessment, as well as analogy fail. Here's a better one: We're on the Titanic, those in the crow's nest have been seeing the tip of the iceberg looming for quite a while, but you're not willing to start turning the ship until you organize a diving expedition to verify with your own eyes that it's really an iceberg -- by which time it will be way too late.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

but correlation is not causality

Oh how the ignorant deniers do love to misuse that. The causal connection between CO2 and warming was covered at the beginning of the video, fool.

What is it that James said? "No sceptic (or very few) denies the greenhouse effect of CO2." Brent is one of the "very few". So much for "common ground".

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Quoting someone and making a comment, doesn't automatically mean that the comment is in opposition or in agreement to the quote.

And correlation doesn't automatically mean causation -- but that's a strawman.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Given that there are bright, educated, informed, sincere people on both sides

No, there is no one on the skeptic/denier side who has all of those qualities. You yourself clearly lack the third, and the first and fourth are suspect.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Jeff Harvey (128)
Thanks for the long comment; from what you say I think that you have had some unpleasant encounters with some slippery customers. I was recently in discussion with fellow sceptics, trying to make a case for "minimum concensus" - areas where both sides can agree some basics and then continue debating at a more elevated level. I got some flak from people arguing for more confrontation, not less. (I'll spare you the kind of vocabulary used, but.... yeah you're ahead of me!)

Right, that's enough luvvy-duvvy stuff... let's fight!

;-)

You mention the massive financial forces ranged behind the sceptics. I think it's the contrary. Yes, theoretically the fossil fuel companies might have a secret slush fund to pay WUWT and Climate Audit. But where's the money going? You can run a website from a spare bedroom on a pension. Compare this with the costs of the Copenhagen meeting: how many thousands of air tickets and hotel rooms? Add the costs of punduts in academia, IPCC, carbon traders, NGOs and we're surely talking billions.

You wrote: "The most cunning sleight of hand amongst those in the denial camp is that they have taken the uncertainty over the potential outcomes of climate change and to have applied that to climate change itself." Would you please expand on that? I guess it's a tactic I meet in my work: Person A gives a reasonable, broad, common sense estimate; person B retorts "See? He doesn't know!"

To turn from the politics to the science, you say that there are "thousands of biological indicators which are pointing to a rapidly warming biosphere" and, yes, I hear this often and I'm sure it is true.

I promise that I am not being disingenuous here: If we all accept that there has been a warming period from approximately 1975 to 1998, or to 2005, why should we be alarmed at the biosystem's adaptation to it? Within Production Engineering (my discipline) lies the speciality of Control Engineering; the engineering principles behind, say, vehicle suspension are found in nature - one example being mammals' temperature regime. Isn't nature's adaptation to climate change entirely to be expected?

Some will doubtless think that the above paragraph is gratuitous and provocative. No! By all means, let's debate climate change, but 'lag indicators' are not supporting evidence. If 2010/2020 turns out to be a decade of cooling, I won't trumpet that "ha! the daffodils are flowering later!"; the thermometer will have already told us what we need to know.

One final point, if I may: I think that our "microscopes are at too high magnification". Whatever the oscillations causing (e.g) the Aletsch Glacier to reverse every century or so, it grinds on, sublimely indifferent to yearly changes. In Victorian times, the Catholic church commenced prayers in an attempt to halt the advance which had started a century before. And it worked! The Aletsch went into reverse in 1860, and continues to do so. They are now praying for it to stop retreating...

I hope I have made my point about timescale. At risk of labouring it, using one's bank balance as an analogy to global temperature, we don't examine our savings daily - weeping on Monday and hooraying on Tuesday. Monthly or yearly is a more appropriate timescale. It is equally absurd to find meaning in the fact that Texas has snow today, or the polecap shrank between 2005 and 2006.

Make me an offer: What would it take for you to declare: "Despite the rational reasoning behind the AGW hypothesis back in 2010, the thermometer beats the theory. The end isn't nigh. Let's all go down the pub instead!"

You're rather confused about the concept of "an offer". But I'll play your silly game: When you have provided a plausible explanation for at least half of the 90% of 29,000 indicators from the NASA study mentioned in the video (which you have shown no evidence of having watched).

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

You mention the massive financial forces ranged behind the sceptics. I think it's the contrary.

What a complete idiot. You're about as far along on that bell curve of extreme denial as one can get.

I promise that I am not being disingenuous here

Of course you are; it's classic moving of the goalposts.

More broadly, your inane post clearly puts the lie to both "bright" and "sincere".

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Isn't nature's adaptation to climate change entirely to be expected?

Yes, of course, you blithering fool. Which is why these "indicators" are indicators, and the conclusion is ... global warming. Goodbye to your skepticism, yes? Oh, wait, no, you simply moved the goalposts to "uncertainty over the potential outcomes of climate change ", just as Jeff Harvey said.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Make me an offer: What would it take for you to declare: "Despite the rational reasoning behind the AGW hypothesis back in 2010, the thermometer beats the theory. The end isn't nigh. Let's all go down the pub instead!"

This set alarm bells ringing for me as well.

On the off chance that you're actually genuine though, a protracted levelling off or cooling of global temperatures continuing beyond, say, 2020, coinciding with a continuing rise in CO2 levels, would suggest that there may be something wrong with the established estimates for climate sensitivity to CO2. Otherwise, work showing that estimates for climate sensitivity are far too high would have to appear, and the scientific community could accept its error and move on.

My question to you would be, why are you asking these questions? Nothing has happened recently to suggest that either events are likely. We are coming out of the hottest decade in recorded history, just out of the hottest january in recorded history, and out of the joint second-hottest year in record history after 2005. What reason has there been so far to suggest that people might be wrong? If you aren't convinced yet, by the reams and reams of literature on the subject and by the temperature record which clearly shows warming what would it take to convince you of the theory?

Brent, I have to hand it to you for keeping your cool in the midst of this storm of vituperation. I have often experienced the same thing, from the other side, when I have visited pseudoskeptic blogs, but this is the first time I've seen it going the other way, and I must say, it's embarrassing -- a plaint that might well put ME on the receiving end of the vituperation, I fear.

I agree with those who point out that there's no single number or event that could be taken as decisive one way or the other. It's entirely possible that the Arctic Ocean freezes over while Antarctica melts. If we had chosen Antarctica as our "key indicator", then the pro-AGW side would win, while had we chosen the Arctic, the anti-AGW side would win.

Instead, I think we have to look at the broad range of numbers. Yes, global average temperature is the best overall single indicator, but it is subject to wild swings due to changes in ocean circulation and volcanic activity. I'd use a best-fit line over a period of, say, 30 years to evaluate temperature trends. And such a best-fit line applied to current temperature data shows a strong upward trend.

Nevertheless, there is an indicator that I think is solid enough to hang my hat on: a best-fit (least squares) line covering the 30 years up to the present. We calculate that best fit line every year and if its slope ever turns negative, then I'd say that AGW has taken a serious body blow.

You ask, why should we be alarmed at the biosphere's adaptation to climate change? First, those data are meant to be seen as long-term indicators of climate change. They're supporting evidence. Second, while some portions of the biosphere can readily adapt to rapid climate change, other portions cannot. Birds can easily shift their range, but trees react more slowly, requiring decades to shift their range short distances. If the range moves too quickly, those tree species will get clobbered.

I think you're way off base in claiming that there's financial interest in hyping climate change. All those politicians who flew to Copenhagen would still be politicians if there were no AGW, and they'd still be jetting off to distant conferences to discuss the problems of the day -- hunger, terrorism, nuclear weapons, whatever. Don't blame the behavior of politicians on AGW.

As to all the academics, boy, do you have it wrong, wrong, wrong! You never get ahead in science by parroting what everybody else is saying. The path to success in science lies in coming up with surprising new hypotheses or evidence or reasoning. I guarantee you that any scientist who disproves AGW will certainly get a Nobel Prize. So the motivations of all scientists are to overturn conventional wisdom, shake things up, disprove what everybody thought was true. You've got it backwards. And BTW, there is a lot more money coming from industry to combat climate change science. Here's a website that specializes in figuring out where all the money goes:

http://www.desmogblog.com/node/1067

By Erasmussimo (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Wow, it's pretty ferocious around here!

- Somebody dismissed JunkScience as a Nest of Denial. I may be wrong, but I thought that it conveyed verbatim data or live links from sources such as NASA and CRU. If it is seen as a partisan site then I apologise: no provocation intended.
- This James guy did start a bit pugnaciously ("It's the video that's the crock"), but didn't he have a fair point about agreeing the greenhouse-physics and then moving on?
- The statement "I can smell people like you aand James a mile away" is rather unfair. I stated from the outset that I was sceptical (no, I think I said "unconvinced" or "in doubt", wishing to avoid the tribalism). And, yes, I will argue the case as I see it and take interest in contradictions, and I'm quite prepared to say, "Oh, I get it now!"
-Would somebody please define "troll" for me?
-I am using open, friendly language in my postings. When I say, "Right, let's fight!", I hope that the humour and bonhommie is understood; expressions like "I ain't building no ark yet" and "microscopes at the wrong magnification" can doubtless be shot down with scorn and derision.
-Some people here have recommended some reading, such as WG1 of AR4 and various websites. I will go there. I have an open mind and current position which I will amend according to evidence. The more aggressive brethren here seem to resent contrary viewpoints.
-I don't think I have been rude so far, although others are rude to me. I think that advancing a contrary viewpoint is legitimate.
-"Correlation is not causality" should have read "...is not neccessarily.." but I thought the 'neccessarily' superfluous at the time. Come on, guys, it is claimed that CO2 reaches a peak 800 years after temperature peaks. Now this may well be duff information, in which case point me to somewhere that contests it. But sneering, "Correlation is not causation, he says? Pah! Trollspeak!" is unhelpful.

THe 800 years later thing is because orbital changes cause slight warming, which when things warm up more, causes CO2 to be released, perhaps through more plants becoming more active, I can't recall exactly. But its mostly irrelevant to the modern day situation because it describes the earth coming out of an ice age, which we actually did quite a few thousand years ago (well, into an interglacial).
Secondly, there's no sign of warming 800 years ago which would somehow cause a pulse of CO2 now, or rather, there was a warm pulse across various parts of the planet a thousand years ago to 800 years ago, but there is no sign of massive changes in CO2 at that time.
Thirdly we know the extra CO2 is from humans because of the isotope ratios (carbon from fossil fuels has no C14 due to it decaying, so the ratios of C12, C13 and C14 change) and in fact we know it is from fossil fuel combustion because the O2 concentration is changing as well as lots of oxygen is removed from the atmosphere by combustion, whereas if it was CO2 from the ocean or volcanoes we would expect the oxygen not to be decreasing.

Hmm, what else?
Ah yes, if the CO2 now was from a warm period 800 years ago, how come it is appearing now rather than 800 years ago, especially given we had the little ice age inbetween...

By calcinations (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent, apologies if you are genuine. You have to understand that a lot of people come up with the same kind of 'new here, interested in real discussion, meeting of minds' stuff only to slowly reveal themselves as being the equivalent of a sniper rather than a machine gunner. I suggest not posting inflammatory nonsense like "the end is not nigh, let's all go to the pub instead", because that is guaranteed to get you dumped on from a great height. I struggle to see how anyone could not consider junkscience.com not a market-fundy front site, but didn't bring it up because it was always possible you are unaware of its true nature.

I'd appreciate it if you answered my questions, cheers.

MapleLeaf (139:
Thanks for the link to the Glacier site, but it didn't connect for me.

I have a copy of Hanspeter Holzhauser's paper "Fluctuation of the Great Aletsch glacier during the last 3500 years", althogh I can't find it online any more. Assuming his graph is accurate, and assuming that this glacier's 3500 years are related to European climate at least, well it's been coming and going, coming and going. Between 200BC and 100AD it was shorter than it is today. In fact, its retreat since 1860 has revealed.... the foundations of Roman walls!

Now, OK, maybe I'm giving too much weight to one glacier in one country. But be fair - shouldn't this give pause for thought? Doesn't this call into question the assertation that the Earth is warmer than it has been for yonks?

If [junkscience] is seen as a partisan site then I apologise

It takes work to be this clueless.

but didn't he have a fair point about agreeing the greenhouse-physics and then moving on?

He didn't make a point about agreeing to the greenhouse physics -- he blatantly lied and said that "very few" skeptics disagree with the greenhouse physics and offered this in the context of faulting the video for attacking a strawman -- even though the video includes screenshots from such skeptics. And then along you come, lacking agreement with the greenhouse physics when you blather about "correlation is not necessarily causation" in re the connection between CO2 and temperature.

The statement "I can smell people like you aand James a mile away" is rather unfair.

Not at all -- your posts are riddled with falsehoods, intellectual laziness, and intellectual dishonesty.

When I say, "Right, let's fight!", I hope that the humour and bonhommie is understood

What is understood is you complete disregard for the fact that there is overwhelming evidence and a strong scientific consensus for GW -- it is GW, not just AGW, that you are chalenging -- and thus your BS about fighting and standing at the head of armies and heading off to the pub when we finally agree that there's nothing to worry about is sheer arrogance, whether expressed rudely or not. On what it is to be a troll: as I said of James, "a scientific illiterate coming to a scientific forum for the purpose of having a debate is a case of trolling". If you want to learn, then act like a receptive student.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Now, OK, maybe I'm giving too much weight to one glacier in one country. But be fair - shouldn't this give pause for thought?

No. First, because not all areas will be expected to warm equally, and microclimate factors can always come into play. And second, even if it turned out to have been slightly warmer, say, 1000 years ago, it makes very little difference to the current science.

And a question in turn: is it right to take the evidence of one glacier and give it equal weight to the evidence of all the glaciers on Earth?

Thirdly we know the extra CO2 is from humans because of the isotope ratios (carbon from fossil fuels has no C14 due to it decaying, so the ratios of C12, C13 and C14 change)

As was noted in the video which, again, Brent shows no signs of having watched.

Now, OK, maybe I'm giving too much weight to one glacier in one country. But be fair - shouldn't this give pause for thought? Doesn't this call into question the assertation that the Earth is warmer than it has been for yonks?

More indications that Brent hasn't watched the video, as well as his vast intellectual dishonesty as he cherry-picks madly -- funny how none of the other evidence of warming causes him to pause in thought.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent @ 156:

Now this may well be duff information, in which case point me to somewhere that contests it.

Go back and read comment 130, where you were given a site that debunks all these ignorant talking points you're regurgitating. And these things are not difficult to find. If you put the latest one "co2 lags" into google you will get plenty of references explaining it. The top one is the site you were given in comment 130.

Oh for Christ's sakes Brent, of course the climate changes. We know that thank you very much. You know what else? The drivers of climate also change. Whereas in the past CO2 and other GHGs were oftentimes a feedback (lagging temperature change (invoked by Milankovitch cycles for example), CO2 is now acting as a driver and the warming will invoke feedback loops. You are also conveniently forgetting the importance of rate of change.

Something else for you to consider Brent is ocean "acidification"-- no warming needed there. Even if climate sensitivity comes in at 2 C for doubling CO2 (the low end of the range), ocean acidification has the potential to have huge consequences.

Climate scientists know this, there is a whole discipline of paleo-climate. one of the reasons we have been able to estimate the sensitivity of our climate system to doubling CO2 is by using paleo climate reconstructions:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Working-out-climate-sensitivity.html
http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-sensitivity.htm

Anyhow, if others wish to waste their time, fine. But I am done being an echo chamber for you.

Thanks to JBowers at SheWonk for the following list for Brent to reflect on since he is so focussed on Paleoclimate:

"Coupling of CO2 and Ice Sheet Stability Over Major Climate Transitions of the Last 20 Million Years. Tripati et al (December 2009)
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1178296
The carbon dioxide (CO2) content of the atmosphere has varied cyclically between ~180 and ~280 parts per million by volume over the past 800,000 years, closely coupled with temperature and sea level. For earlier periods in Earthâs history, the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) is much less certain, and the relation between pCO2 and climate remains poorly constrained. We use boron/calcium ratios in foraminifera to estimate pCO2 during major climate transitions of the past 20 million years. During the Middle Miocene, when temperatures were ~3° to 6°C warmer and sea level was 25 to 40 meters higher than at present, pCO2 appears to have been similar to modern levels. Decreases in pCO2 were apparently synchronous with major episodes of glacial expansion during the Middle Miocene (~14 to 10 million years ago) and Late Pliocene (~3.3 to 2.4 million years ago).

Earth system sensitivity inferred from Pliocene modelling and data. Lunt et al (December 2009)
http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n1/abs/ngeo706.html
Quantifying the equilibrium response of global temperatures to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations is one of the cornerstones of climate research. Components of the Earthâs climate system that vary over long timescales, such as ice sheets and vegetation, could have an important effect on this temperature sensitivity, but have often been neglected. Here we use a coupled atmosphereâocean general circulation model to simulate the climate of the mid-Pliocene warm period (about three million years ago), and analyse the forcings and feedbacks that contributed to the relatively warm temperatures. Furthermore, we compare our simulation with proxy records of mid-Pliocene sea surface temperature. Taking these lines of evidence together, we estimate that the response of the Earth system to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations is 30â50% greater than the response based on those fast-adjusting components of the climate system that are used traditionally to estimate climate sensitivity. We conclude that targets for the long-term stabilization of atmospheric greenhouse-gas concentrations aimed at preventing a dangerous human interference with the climate system should take into account this higher sensitivity of the Earth system.

Hereâs a chart to oggle:
http://www.paleo.bris.ac.uk/~ggdjl/conferences/egu2009_ess.pdf

High Earth-system climate sensitivity determined from Pliocene carbon dioxide concentrations. Pagani et al (December 2009)
http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n1/abs/ngeo724.html
Climate sensitivityâthe mean global temperature response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations through radiative forcing and associated feedbacksâis estimated at 1.5â4.5â°C (ref. 1). However, this value incorporates only relatively rapid feedbacks such as changes in atmospheric water vapour concentrations, and the distributions of sea ice, clouds and aerosols2. Earth-system climate sensitivity, by contrast, additionally includes the effects of long-term feedbacks such as changes in continental ice-sheet extent, terrestrial ecosystems and the production of greenhouse gases other than CO2. Here we reconstruct atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations for the early and middle Pliocene, when temperatures were about 3â4â°C warmer than preindustrial values3, 4, 5, to estimate Earth-system climate sensitivity from a fully equilibrated state of the planet. We demonstrate that only a relatively small rise in atmospheric CO2 levels was associated with substantial global warming about 4.5 million years ago, and that CO2 levels at peak temperatures were between about 365 and 415âppm. We conclude that the Earth-system climate sensitivity has been significantly higher over the past five million years than estimated from fast feedbacks alone.

Palaeoclimate: Global warmth with little extra CO2. Schneider & Schneider (January 2010)
http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n1/full/ngeo736.html
In the Early Pliocene, three to five million years ago, global temperatures were about 3â4|[deg]| C warmer than today in the low latitudes, and up to 10|[deg]| C warmer nearer the poles. Climate simulations and reconstructions of this relatively recent period (geologically speaking) may help constrain realistic magnitudes of future warming.

Atmospheric CO2 concentrations during ancient greenhouse climates were similar to those predicted for A.D. 2100. Breecker et al (October 2009)
http://www.pnas.org/content/107/2/576
Quantifying atmospheric CO2 concentrations ([CO2]atm) during Earthâs ancient greenhouse episodes is essential for accurately predicting the response of future climate to elevated CO2 levels. Empirical estimates of [CO2]atm during Paleozoic and Mesozoic greenhouse climates are based primarily on the carbon isotope composition of calcium carbonate in fossil soils. We report that greenhouse [CO2]atm have been significantly overestimated because previously assumed soil CO2 concentrations during carbonate formation are too high. More accurate [CO2]atm, resulting from better constraints on soil CO2, indicate that large (1,000s of ppmV) fluctuations in [CO2]atm did not characterize ancient climates and that past greenhouse climates were accompanied by concentrations similar to those projected for A.D. 2100."

Bye, bye.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

I stated from the outset that I was sceptical (no, I think I said "unconvinced" or "in doubt", wishing to avoid the tribalism).

You were far more honest when you wrote

I was recently in discussion with fellow sceptics, trying to make a case for "minimum concensus" - areas where both sides can agree some basics and then continue debating at a more elevated level.

You so-called "sceptics" are indeed a tribe, committed to a position, and prepared to wage battle with what you percieve as the other side. But it is scientists who are the true skeptics and go where the evidence leads, wherever that is. Science is not a process based on debate as such, but rather on the scientific method -- observe, form hypotheses consistent with observation, attempt to disconfirm the hypotheses, producing new observations, rinse and repeat, while organizing the observations and hypotheses into explanatory theories. Those who waltz into the middle of this process to "debate" these theories are not doing science and are not merely being skeptical -- they are ideologues committed to a position.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Bud (154 and 158):
Sorry I didn't respond faster; I'm fending 'em off with both arms and one leg.

You asked: "My question to you would be, why are you asking these questions? Nothing has happened recently to suggest that either events are likely. We are coming out of the hottest decade in recorded history, just out of the hottest january in recorded history, and out of the joint second-hottest year in record history after 2005. What reason has there been so far to suggest that people might be wrong? If you aren't convinced yet, by the reams and reams of literature on the subject and by the temperature record which clearly shows warming what would it take to convince you of the theory?"

Well, Bud, here are my main reservations:
(i) If the temperature graph is chaotic (rather than driven directly by known factors such as orbit, greenhouse gases, insolation etc) then it's a big mistake to extrapolate linear trends.
(ii) Aristotle insisted that observation is a foundation of good science. The forecasts for coming decades may be spot-on, or may be way off; but they're still only forecasts: the observation is still to be done.
(iii) There has been lots of ruckus surrounding Phil Jones and the questioning of data validity. The two camps need to agree, in advance, what is valid data in the next decade. I imagined that people here would say, "Yeah, the Jones thing has been unfortunate, but UAH MSU? Sure, that's dependable."
(iv) You mention "hottest January" and "hottest year". Did you catch what I said about the timescales and 'microscope magnification'. It's maybe a function of modern people's ever-shorter attention-span (seen any 1960s TV lately? Slooooow!) filtering through even to the scientific classes. We wouldn't start saying "hottest Tuesday" (please, God, no!!). I'm suggesting that we should maybe analyse the past decade by decade. Equally, the 'Actual v Forecast' comparison, when we judge the IPCC's work, must take place a decade-or-so at a time. "Two swallows do not a summer make."

Erasmussimo (155):
I should've kept my big mouth shut about the funding aspect. What the hell do I know? I was responding to somebody who's mentioned it, and sounded off like an idiot.

There's a little story here: A few years ago, when I believed, I set myself the task of investigating remedial actions to AGW. All the tree-planting I concluded was a con-trick, and found some outrageous schemes, e.g. flying energy-saving lightbulbs half way round the world and sending teams of well-heeled accountancy types to Africa to train the natives how to do their fires more carbon-friendly. (Don't get me started....!) I then heard about mineral sequestration, where certain silicates such as Serpentine will react with CO2 and fix the carbon in a new carbonate compound. Started designing equipment. Started getting supplies from Lizard Point, and conducting trials with bottled CO2 and pressure-vessels. Had a couple of meetings at Nottingham Uni's CICCS. Went in search of funding to set it all up and got "piss off" letters from half of the FTSE 100 Index.

What you said about maverick scientists is of course right: the Nobel Prizes go to groundbreaking pioneers, not conformist clones. But how many 'honest journeyman' scientists are benefitting from research funding linked to AGW? I have heard biologists say "Nobody's interested in buttercups, but if we edit the grant proposal to say, "The effect of Global Warming on Buttercups....."

Anyway, there's a guy above - Calcinations - who's found the silver bullet and doesn't know it. Says, "If there's an 800-year lag, today's CO2 would be the result of events 800 years ago". Bingo! Medieval Warm Period! Shhhhhh! Don't tell Calcinations! That Nobel Prize - Calcination's by rights - will me mine all mine. Hahaaaaaa!

Oh, Kincaid - please don't take the above paragraph literally.
Oh, no, he's typing it already: "Hey, Calc, that Nobel's yours man. Don't get ripped off, dude!"
Oh, Kincaid - are you allowed to believe in the Medieval Warm Period? No? Then keep schtumm...

Brent, are you james? I have another post, but it is stuck in moderation, probably b/c of all the links. Hopefully Tim can free it up.

Brent "(i) If the temperature graph is chaotic (rather than driven directly by known factors such as orbit, greenhouse gases, insolation etc) then it's a big mistake to extrapolate linear trends"

Nobody in the know (e.g., a climate scientists) would do that.

Brent "(ii) Aristotle insisted that observation is a foundation of good science. The forecasts for coming decades may be spot-on, or may be way off; but they're still only forecasts: the observation is still to be done."

You do not know how they calculate climate sensitivity do you? One doe snot need a model to estimate climate sensitivity to doubling CO2. And what instead do you propose we do. Extrapolate? No, can;t do that. Stare into a glass ball? Oh I know what you are going to suggest...wait a few years...right?

The fiasco regarding the fallacious claims against CRU has nothing to do with the radiative forcing of GHGs. The HadCRUT data are also in agreement with GISS, NCDC, JMA and satellite and radiosonde data. In fact, HAadCRUT is one of the cooler analyses.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Disco, I mean, Stu. To be honest, I really don't get the question. And I am afraid that if I start delving down that path I will be accused yet again of changing the subject.

Is it your suggestion that the prescence of aerosols in the atmosphere has masked the effects of AGW until now, and that aerosols are being replaced, therefore we can expect AGW to accelerate as a result? Look I don't know.

Do I think AGW, if it does exist, is a problem? Well again, I am not sure. I don't believe the predictions of multi metre sea level rises. The apparent melting that has already occured (see video) has had very little effect on sea levels (millimetres? centimetres?). And I would have thought that seasonal ice melt would show some sort of sea level effect if this were the case. From what I can tell, droughts and hurricanes etc at least so far are a bit of a red herring as the CSIRO pointed out only in the last day or so (at least with respect to the drought). I am cynical, to say the least, at the Victorian Government restricting coastal building due to sea level expectations whilst at the same time building a multi billion dollar desalination plant on the coastal flats of Wonthaggi.

Now look, perhaps you guys have it completely right. If that is the case, then you must be extraordinarily frustrated at how the message was sold in the first place, and to some degree continues to be sold. The likes of Gore were showing hockey stick graphs (leave aside the MWP bit) that showed a continuing vertical line. Now for a decade, that line has been largely horizontal. It hasn't gone down, sure, but it hasn't gone up the way it was represented, or, at least, the lay person was allowed to expect. The Arctic ice cap hasn't disappeared. Nor have the polar bears, nor have we seen an increase in the intensity of hurricanes. You can't escape that to the lay person, this was how the message was sold.

Then you look at this blog. I follow it a bit, as I follow many blogs. Due to work commitments, I won't be from Tuesday so please don't think I'm running away at that point. But look what happened when I jumped on and threw in some reasonable points about the video. At least half of it is dedicated to consequences of a warming that is not denied. It warmed, of course it did. We know that. Of course there are going to be consequences of warming so it doesn't add to the argument to list them. It doesn't prove that the warming was anthropogenic, which is the question. Even Monckton doesn't deny that CO2 has a greenhouse effect. The whole question is whether the effect is so great as to have caused the warming of late last century and can we expect that warming (in a directional sense) to resume. So I get on to make those points and, aside from one or two reasonably polite chaps, look at the abuse I copped. Way to sell your argument, guys. It's not just Marcel, but look at this character, Jakerman. I don't think I've yet responded directly to one thing he's said, so he's having an abusive argument with himself. Usually, the louder someone argues, the less convinced I am of their argument.

By the way (and this is generally rather than specific). The HIV analogy doesn't wash as I pointed out earlier. Use white blood cells. They are necessary but if you put too many in your body, it can be damaging (not a biologist by any stretch, just something I saw once).

are you allowed to believe in the Medieval Warm Period?

Not globally, fool.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

By the way (and this is generally rather than specific). The HIV analogy doesn't wash as I pointed out earlier.

You don't understand how analogies work. The point about HIV was simply that small quantities can have large effects; Erasmussimo wasn't making any claim that the mechanisms or an other details are similar. Sheesh.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

>Make me an offer: What would it take for you to declare: "Despite the rational reasoning behind the AGW hypothesis back in 2010, the thermometer beats the theory.

This would have been a credible offer back in 1979 when the [Charney Report](http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/~brianpm/charneyreport.html) was first published. We've had over 30 years to answer the hypotheticals. If you wish to double down you should pay up front whatever it is you're willing to wager.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Bud (161):
You wrote: "And a question in turn: is it right to take the evidence of one glacier and give it equal weight to the evidence of all the glaciers on Earth?"

Well, Bud, I believe that the Aletsch is the most studied. And of course, many will not have been studied at all. Man, I'd love to unearth similar studies for glaciers elsewhere, maybe in Canada or Argentina, and do a comparison. This would be a fair test of the "local or worldwide phenomenon" question, wouldn't it?

In fact, this is precisely what I did with the Mauna Loa data: It looked too tidy to me - too regular - looked a little fishy. So I went in search of other observatories and found... almost exactly the same data, complete with PPM (to within +/- 10), and seasonal variation with the selfsame peak annual decline rate between Jul and Aug. I confess, I was sceptical, but then happy to validate the data and update my view.

Oh, whilst we're on the subject, I plotted exponential decay curves, extrapolating the Jul/Aug 1959 gradient and also the Jul/Aug 2008 gradient. To my great pleasure, they yielded almost identical half-lives: 121 months and 124 months. Now, would anybody care to comment on the implications of this on "Residence Time". (If the above is too garbled, I'll be happy to expand on the subject. Maybe we can learn something together.)

DaveR (163):
Thanks for the tip on reading up about C02 lags. Yes, I'll google it.

You said I hadn't followed the link suggested in #130, to SkepticalScience.

Gimme a chance, man! They're coming at me so fast now that I'm fending them off with Kung Fu from one leg and Karate with the other. That fecking Kincaid just appeared at the window and yelled "blithering fool" before running off.

Oi, Kincaid! What kind of word is 'blithering'? I had you down as a spotty teenager who can't find a girlfriend. 'Blithering' is old-fashioned. Are you one of those senile delinquents?

Brent

(i) If the temperature graph is chaotic (rather than driven directly by known factors such as orbit, greenhouse gases, insolation etc) then it's a big mistake to extrapolate linear trends.

I'm not sure what you mean by this. A chaotic data set is one heavily dependent on initial conditions, yes? So what initial conditions are we talking about here, and from when? I ask because if you're trying to suggest that temperature doesn't have a cause that is effected by current conditions, then that's absurd.

There are multiple variables affecting global temperature. Hypothetically. changing one whilst all others remain constant is obviously going to have an effect. In reality though, all variables are constantly interacting, meaning we have a noisy data set - NOT a random or chaotic one.

(ii) Aristotle insisted that observation is a foundation of good science. The forecasts for coming decades may be spot-on, or may be way off; but they're still only forecasts: the observation is still to be done.

I seem to remember a post over at realclimate where one of the authors suggested it was more reasonable to speak of scenarios rather than forecasts. But regardless, this is always going to be true at whatever point you begin making a prediction - the point is whether the science the prediction is based on is sound.

Past scenarios have proved accurate to within stated uncertainties - see [Grist](http://www.grist.org/article/climate-models-are-unproven) and the linked articles. We now know enough to be confident that future warming will be exacerbated by increasing CO2 emissions. Taking action to mitigate predicted effects is good policy built on sound science. Trying to overplay uncertainties and using them as an excuse for inaction is the opposite.

There has been lots of ruckus surrounding Phil Jones and the questioning of data validity. The two camps need to agree, in advance, what is valid data in the next decade. I imagined that people here would say, "Yeah, the Jones thing has been unfortunate, but UAH MSU? Sure, that's dependable."

I'm sorry, but with respect, this is not a negotiation, the "two camps" (not that this is an appropriate way to describe the scientific community against the 'skeptics') need to agree nothing of the sort, and you are way off in your imagining on what most people here would agree with.

There is not a scrap of evidence that any of the CRU work is unreliable, and there is no reason to scrap the HadCRUt series (I assume that was your implication) just to appease a few fringe voices who generate more heat than light and who are hardly likely to make any concessions in return. All useful datasets - including various satellite reconstructions - are important.

(iv) You mention "hottest January" and "hottest year". Did you catch what I said about the timescales and 'microscope magnification'. It's maybe a function of modern people's ever-shorter attention-span (seen any 1960s TV lately? Slooooow!) filtering through even to the scientific classes. We wouldn't start saying "hottest Tuesday" (please, God, no!!). I'm suggesting that we should maybe analyse the past decade by decade.

Again, with respect, you are the one who is bringing single data points in to the discussion on things like glaciers, temperature records and 1998. I was merely pointing out that if we're not cooling - and we're clearly not - why start asking questions about how long cooling would have to continue before AGW was proved wrong? Why are you asking no questions of yourself about how long warming would have to continue for before you accept it?

And your point about taking decadal averages is valid, but already done in principle. Running 5, 8, 10-year averages are already widely applied to datasets. It's just one way of establishing a trend where one exists.

>*If you aren't convinced yet, by the reams and reams of literature on the subject and by the temperature record which clearly shows warming what would it take to convince you of the theory?*

Shorter Brent:

>*The theory might be wrong in some way, and the temperature record is like two swallows*.

Brent, what evidence would you accept as cause for serious GHG mitigation such as 350 or 450 ppm CO2?

Brent @ 167:

Bud (154 and 158) [...] (iv) You mention "hottest January" and "hottest year". Did you catch what I said about the timescales [...] I'm suggesting that we should maybe analyse the past decade by decade.

Here's what Bud wrote @ 154:

We are coming out of the hottest decade in recorded history

Why are you trying to misrepresent his comment?

[Here](http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/pr20091208b.html) is a decade by decade analysis from the UK Met Office.

>I have a copy of Hanspeter Holzhauser's paper "Fluctuation of the Great Aletsch glacier during the last 3500 years", althogh I can't find it online any more.

That might be because the correct title is:

[Holzhauser, H. (1997): Fluctuations of the Grosser Aletsch Glacier and the Gorner Glacier during the last 3200 years: new results.](http://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/3826275)

You might be interested in more recent research by Holzhauser; ["Holocene Glacier Fluctuations in the Swiss Alps and Dendrochronological Investigations at the Alpine Timberline in the Valaisian Alps"](http://4dweb.proclim.ch/4dcgi/proclim/en/Detail_Project?ch-2488), wherein he writes:

>These investigations are necessary to find the range of glacier fluctuations during the last 10,000 years - the maximum and minimum extensions during holocene advance and retreat periods. Furthermore, this investigation also shows how far the modern accelerated retreat period of the alpine glaciers is unusual as compared to earlier retreat periods.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Maple Leaf (169).
No, I'm not James. Did he have a history on this site before the posting at the top? I was kinda hoping he'd come back; I'm a little outnumbered here. I just spotted your very big posting at 164. I can't do it justice right now, so haven't even tried to absorb it , but I will when I've had some sleep.

I'm interested in what you say here:

"You do not know how they calculate climate sensitivity do you? One does not need a model to estimate climate sensitivity to doubling CO2. And what instead do you propose we do. Extrapolate? No, can;t do that. Stare into a glass ball? Oh I know what you are going to suggest...wait a few years...right?"

Indeed, I don't know how they calculate it. I'd appreciate it if you'd fill me in here: What effect does a doubling of CO2 have, and a 4-fold and 8-fold increase? Does the rate of radiative forcing tail off to an asymptote or what?

A the end, there, are you saying that wait-and-see is a dangerous loss of time, that the science is settled enough for immediate action? (Don't bite my head off, now! Just trying to understand you, who seem to be one of the more knowledgeable brethren.

And I need to understand the C12/C14 thing. I'm familiar with the C14 dating thing, but I'm none too clear on this method of (if I understand) distinguishing between atmospheric CO2 molecules from fossil fuels and those from other sources.

G'night, folks. Glad to have met you all. Sorry if I have failed to respond yet to some postings addressed to me; I've been under pressure here. I'll be back...

P. Lewis [nailed it at #142](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…).

What gave it away for me was the [preference for UAH](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…), the shortest and (because it is not measuring surface temperature) least "warming" record in the modern temperature context, whilst simultaneously [coming out with](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…):

When I grew tired of dumbly believing this expert or that one, I went in search of source data, but insisted on framing my own questions. These were: (i)What is the longest continuous direct measurement of temperature anywhere? Ans: Hadley CET since 1659...

Whatever's convenient at the time, eh?

Of course, the oh so polite beginning which eventually decloaked to show a linguistic pugilist, and the use of many discredited Denialist factoids, both added to the toll of warning bells, but what got me most was that a "[graduate Manufacturing Eng who dropped out of a physics degree at London Uni](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…)", who professed to be "pretty durn [sic] fascinated by this Great AGW Debate [sic]", could [come up with the notion that the temperature record of the planet is fractal](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…).

He's obviously not studied the nature of temperature change over different scales of time, because the planet's temperature record is not fractal.

I smell troll, slathered in the lavender scent of feigned concern and moderation.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent is an obvious troll.

Brent's incorrect title did turn up this gem that reveals his true feelings, however (scroll to bottom):

>[Brent Hargreaves](http://globalwarming-factorfiction.com/about-the-author/), on September 30th, 2009 at 6:54 am Said:

>Hi there, and thank you for helping the AGW debate along.
Iâm a graduate engineer, and have made determined attempts to obtain the source data behind the AGW hypothesis. My current thinking is that the debate resembles a political or religious debate rather than a scientific exercise intended to confirm or refute the hypothesis. Doubt it and youâre a heretic!! I reckon that the AGW scare is just the latest incarnation of âapocalypticismâ: mankind perversely needs to fear some great danger.

Sheesh!

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Luminous Beauty (180): Thanks for the links to Holzhauser documents. But they are different to the one I've got copied in Word format, and with the title I said.

And thanks for picking out that quotation from him. If he says that recent melting is exceptional, it certainly makes my ears prick up. More homework for me!

Brent:

What is the longest single-glacier record, direct and indirect anywhere? Ans: Mr. Holzhauser's pet glacier, the Aletsch, since 1200BC. Conclusion: Business as usual.

Here's Holzhauser's "business as usual":

along with virtually every other glacier expert, he is deeply worried. "No one can yet say with scientific certainty that the glacier is shrinking because of a greenhouse effect caused by humans," says Holzhauser. "But the fact is that in the last 100 years the glacier has shrunk faster than ever before. And in the last 10 years it has been reducing at a phenomenal rate of up to 50 m per year."

"The Aletsch is so big it reacts slowly," says Holzhauser. "But what we're seeing already augurs a tragedy."

Yup, sounds like business as usual to me.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent has left a long trail on the Internet. Let's follow it and find out what he really thinks, shall we?

All emphasis mine.

ABC Blogs:

What a good article! I have actually found the Great Climate Debate rather distressing, fearing that the "other side" may carry the day, with catastrophic consequences. (I am teasing you here: I'll reveal "my side" later...)
The notion that scientific debate is not gentlemanly but instead a pitiless conflict between ambitious combatants has the ring of truth. "Science" has recently stepped into the void left by theologians; the unwashed public have replaced one set of authority figures for another. And we, the public, find it distressing that our experts are in conflict. Like yer parents arguing with each other. But the daft notion that "science" has it all figured out is, well, daft. It's a dynamic process advancing in fits and starts, and (presumably) even through regressions. And is NEVER settled.

Watts Up With That:

I hereby propose a detailed study of the Urban Heat Island Effect. Its null hypothesis would be: âthat there is, to 99% significance, no difference between temperatures at the centre of 100,000-population towns and a temperatures at a 10km perimeter.â And then let the facts speak.
The Gore Brigade have failed to demolish the null hypothesis that temperatures in recent decades are insignificantly different to those of past centuries. The general public continue to believe in this null hypothesis. This is not surprising: beneath the byzantine complexity of Statistical Method lies a solid core of common sense, a quality which sadly disappears in some scientists who place their seat on the gravy train before their professional integrity.

Watts Up With That:

Following the advice of Jerome Ravetz here on Wattsupwiththat â âNever forget that you might be wrongâ â I had a stroll around the RealClimate site looking for their best shot at validating the AGW hypothesis.
It linked to a âStand Up for Climate Scienceâ petition, http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?clim4tr&1
and a sad little entry by Phil Jones:
â195. Prof Phil Jones. Thanks guys, I need all the help I can get. Your support is much appreciated.â
I guess he had it coming, but he looked like a frightened old man yesterday in London. Guys, the momentum is with us now: shouldnât we now concentrate on scientific debate rather than further reviling Jones now that heâs down? Some great victories have been won since Climategate emerged; isnât it time to look for common ground, to capture the parts of climate science that are agreed by both factions? Please, a little magnanimity. Donât destroy his dignity.

Ritchie, James, I share your fury at the obscene fraud that is AGW.
(RichieP (08:54:05) â â⦠these wicked conmenâ,
James Sexton (09:08:39) â âThere must be a judgment dayâ¦â)

If the Hockey Team didnât believe their own pseudo-science Iâd agree with you that the attack must go on. But listen to the interview Mann gave on 26 Feb â http://www.pointofinquiry.org/michael_mann_unprecedented_attacks_on_cli… and I hope youâll hear what I hear: this guy thinks heâs just an honest scientist being attacked by irrational savages who try to undermine his solid research and the consequentâ¦. aaaah⦠apocalypse. Yes, heâs barking mad. Steven Mosher, here on WUWT argues that itâs a case of âNoble Cause Corruptionâ. Mann is wrong, not evil.

Ritchie, your references to Virgil and Nelson make your point very well, but the historical metaphors I would offer are 1918 v 1945. The allies foolishly took Germany to the cleaners at the end of WWI, and wisely helped Germany back to health at the end of WWII. Fight the disease (self-calibrating data-withholding gravy-train futurological pseudo-science) not the patient.

I suggest that a true victory would be Michael Mann declaring, âBased on the data I then had, the Hockey Stick was good science. But in the light of the new evidence, I agree that recent decades are well within historical range. Maybe the âdriverâ â if any driver is required â is solar. Whilst we all agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, we now know that its variations are a consequence of temperature changes, not a cause.â

And they all lived happily ever after ;-)

Never Yet Melted:

I reckon that the hacker (or was it maybe a mole) who blew the whistle on this scandalous abuse of scientific procedure at East Anglia University deserve a Nobel prize!
Professor Jones has paid the price and resigned; I hope that in the US a rigorous examination of Michael Mannâs âHockey Stickâ graph will now be conducted. If, upon accessing Mannâs full methodology and data, the Hockey Stick is discredited, then the reputation of its creator must inevitably crumble.

Climate Fraudit:

Steve, I think you made a small typo above. Sumbissions by the public to the Muir Russell Inquiry need to be in by 28 Feb, not 10 Feb as you wrote above.

Iâm going to propose that Boultonâs links to UEA make him an unsuitable member.

Keep up the magnificent work. I reckon that your tenacity in demanding scientific rigour is of great importance, and will be celebrated in future accounts of science at the millennium.

There's a lot more. Follow it up for yourselves if you're interested in what kind of person Brent is, and the puerile game he's playing.

El Gordo a bit upstream mentioned the East Coast's snowy winter. I'm wondering, has it actually been significantly colder or just wetter? FWIW Seattle weather.More.

We shouldn't be too surprised at all this denialist straw grasping.

It's happened before. In the 19thC the denialists of the day (the Flat-Earthers) were quite prominent in the media (ie. gutter-press), issueing challenges (and cash prizes) to scientists if they could demonstrate that the earth was round. Naturally, the Flat-Earther would proclaim all the proofs wrong and then do it all over again some time later.

The similarities with Monckton et al are notable - shameless self-promoters and showmen, who appealed to those sections of the media more interested in spectacle than substance.

Geez, you're right John. That Brent seems like a right bastard.

BTW, what do we think of people who take quotes out of context and place them into another context to reinforce a message that the quote had nothing to do with in its original context?

Luminous Beauty (183):

Yes, the posting I wrote on Sep 30th was, and remains, my view. Neoapocalypticism indeed.

Had I stated my entire 'current position' at the outset my reception here on this site would have been all the more hostile.

I expect that my reticence will be seen as deviousness and hypocrisy, and I suppose I had better withdraw.

With nothing to lose, here is my parting shot: If a "Troll" is a person who maliciously engages in conversation with the express purpose of disrupting it, well, no, I have better things to do with my time. I was hoping to encounter courteous and knowledgeable people who would, during frank and fiery debate, challenge my current position and thereby help me evolve.

Hasn't been a complete waste of time: People have kindly proposed some interesting leads on C14, on sensitivity, on Holzhauser's latest work.

For those who consider that explicit confirm/refute criteria of a hypothesis is some kind of trap, well this I find revealing. Ask a churchman when his prophet's coming back, or ask a politician when the budget will balance: they will both spout empty eloquence which really means "Ahhhhh no! You're not going to get me on THAT one!"

Ask a scientist what velocity will be a second after dropping an apple and he'll reply "9.81 m/s"

Ask a climatologist, as distinct from a scientist, what are the falsifiability criteria for his hypothesis and (with the honourable exception of the OpenMind website) you'll get a load of waffle that really means "Ahhhhh no! You're not going to get me on THAT one!"

Brent:

I'd appreciate it if you'd fill me in here: What effect does a doubling of CO2 have, and a 4-fold and 8-fold increase? Does the rate of radiative forcing tail off to an asymptote or what?

You can find the answers to these and other questions in the index of another blog that is intended to spell out the science behind global warming, i.e. the index of realclimate.org. The main purpose of the Deltoid blog is to expose lies and other dishonesty told about the science behind global warming. You are wasting everyone's time if you just want to ask questions whose answers have already been written elsewhere.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

>"Ask a scientist what velocity will be a second after dropping an apple and he'll reply "9.81 m/s""

Bang there goes the atmophere! If only science were so simple Brent. That whispy invisible stuff, you'd think physics could almost ignore it wouldn't you.

I find the conclusion to you [latest rant](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man… quite removed from the discussion I read here, thought I haven't read it all.

However I find your conclusion quite antagonistic to your method/process.

From this:

>*I was hoping to encounter courteous and knowledgeable people who would, during frank and fiery debate, challenge my current position and thereby help me evolve.*

To this:

>*Ask a climatologist, as distinct from a scientist, what are the falsifiability criteria for his hypothesis and (with the honourable exception of the OpenMind website) you'll get a load of waffle that really means "Ahhhhh no! You're not going to get me on THAT one*

What is missing is the evidnece to support your conclusion. In fact how many climatologist did your interveiw here to gain this conclusion?

BTW, what do we think of people who take quotes out of context and place them into another context to reinforce a message that the quote had nothing to do with in its original context?

James, all I did was quote, in full, comments of his that reveal he has an entirely different agenda to the one he pretends to have here. He admits himself that he came here under a false pretense.

It's such a shame that the denialists always have to resort to lying and misrepresentation, isn't it?

Not accusing you, John. It was a general question unrelated to what you posted about Brent.

Not accusing you, John. It was a general question unrelated to what you posted about Brent.

Of course it wasn't. Because accusing me of wrong doing in this matter would be a futile and embarrassing excercise.

John, in my own mind I silently disagreed with you when you wrote Brent is an obvious troll. I thought he was a different class and his approach was not obvious. But your chasing evidence and subsequent developments have altered my position.

Cheers.

I sensed it my bones, Jakerman.

Gack!

[At #182]() I should have said:

...least "warm" record...

rather than:

...least "warming" record...

They mean two quite different things.

And whilst I'm here - Brent, you might protest a desire to engage others here on the basis of science, but when you walk through the door with so many patently false 'points', you can't expect to be tolerated for too long. As [Chris O'neill noted](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…), one of the foci of the Deltoid crowd is to unpick both the deliberate and the ignorant bullshit of pseudoscientific claims, and you walked in with a [great big target on your chest](http://www.scaper.com/images/birthmark.jpg).

You were given quite a long grace period by the rough-and-tumble standards of blog discussion, and you failed to demonstrate your sincerity. The problem is yours, and not that of others.

Live with it - or leave your ideology behind and get some real education.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

James next you'll tell me that the lady from the Dallas style 80s show saying "those dam" scienitst were not refering to Mann and Jones?

I know [you are aware](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…) of whacky conspriacy theorists who claim a [socialst plot](http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&rls=com.microsoft%3Aen-au&q=globa…) driving AGW.

My preference would be for Peter not to use this footage of Obama for the reason that it gives denialist an excuse to talk about not-science issues.

How serious a misrepresentation would you rate this one James? Does it go the science? It is critiqueing a strawman that doesn't exists? Do you completely reject it as an analouge charicature from a debate/conspriacy with similiar elements?

Peter if you read this, I really liked the video, but I didn't like the Obama bit even before James presented it as relateing to health care. I found that bit a little grating.

No Jakerman. One is a TV show, the other is the current US President and is designed to give credence to to the idea that the mainstream sceptic argument is about a socialist plot. Which brings me back to my original point. The video misrepresents the mainstream sceptical argument.

James the misrepresention is limited to Obama making this joke against anit AGW conspiracists rather than health care. Video's premise is accurate insofar as it conveys the the anti AGW delusionist who actually [agrue there is a conspiracy plot](global warming socialist plot).

My assessment is the the consipracy delustionsist are in greater number on in the anti AGW group than the anti health care group, But with much overlap.

And you Jame are one that resorts to scientific conspiracy theory in this debate if to a lessor extent than some.

>*The video misrepresents the mainstream sceptical argument*

Do you represent the mainstream sceptical argument? I thought the IPCC represented the mainstream sceptical argument.

Do you represent the mainstream 'so called sceptical 'argument? Or the mainstream of those who call themselves skeptical?

Can you tell me where I can find this mysterious thing that is some how being presented correctely somewhere and misrepresented elsewhere? How can I tell which is which?

Can I know mainstream from mainstrem media such as Bolt? If not than who is more mainstream in the so called skeptics?

John @188 many thanks!

Brent, lovely comments made at the denier sites. Why do those in denial about AGW have to repeatedly show themselves to be morally bankrupt and deceitful? You only harm your cause.

For what it is worth, my log post #164 finally came through. A good few references to keep you busy.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Shorter James:

>Warmist are only permitted to smack down arguments I have vetted and deemed to represent mainstream sceptics.

>Please send arguments you intend to smack down to me for vetting, as I will not let you know in advance which arguments are mainstream and which get a free pass.

So Brent, were you lying when you said you haven't read WG1, or have you really expended that much energy calling AGW and scientists frauds all over the 'net not even having read WG1?

James said:

"Disco, I mean, Stu. To be honest, I really don't get the question. And I am afraid that if I start delving down that path I will be accused yet again of changing the subject.

Is it your suggestion that the prescence of aerosols in the atmosphere has masked the effects of AGW until now, and that aerosols are being replaced, therefore we can expect AGW to accelerate as a result? Look I don't know."

Don't worry, you were halfway there. If aerosols provide a big cooling effect, the immediate reaction is usually 'good, that'll counteract the warming!'. But only for as long as aerosols are increasing in concentration, even if they stayed the same the increasing GHG forcing would cause warming. Obviously if aerosol pollution was cleaned up, the warming would likely accelerate.

To put it another way, large aerosol cooling implies high climate sensitivity, and vice-versa. We've seen 0.7-0.8C warming in the surface temp record over the last >100 years. If aerosols are hardly masking any warming, then great because we'll probably only see a 2C rise this century. Could be 4-6C if they're masking a lot of warming.

I dunno about you (and everyone else), but it seemed counterintuitive when I first heard this. Made plenty of sense after some thought though.

Stu, that makes absolute sense. So which is it?

Ah, that's the crux of the matter! We simply don't know James, aerosol forcing is one of the biggest uncertainties in climate science.

So the science isn't settled? ;)

I guarantee you that any scientist who disproves AGW will certainly get a Nobel Prize.

The smart money is on two - physics and economics ;-)

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 03 Mar 2010 #permalink

Heh smooth work to get that in there James.

It's a bit of a grey area. Most of the basics are settled (like radiative forcing and temp rise without feedbacks for doubling CO2), everything else is subject to uncertainties, and some of it (like aerosols) is subject to large uncertainties.

This should probably be self-evident from the wide range of possible climate sensitivities that the IPCC gives (2C to 4.5C, best estimate 3C, very unlikely to be less than 1.5C and significantly higher figures cannot be ruled out).

An interesting study of the Urban Heat Island effect has just emerged, by Dr. Roy Spencer at Alabama Uni.

If this research "has legs", then it will surely be a useful calibrator of earthstation temperature measurements.

Some troll called Brent was calling for just such a study (#188). Glad we got rid of him.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/03/spencer-using-hourly-surface-dat-…

There was no change in the background aerosol burden between 2000-2005, otherwise the satellites would have picked it up.

It may be there, but masked by a bigger forcing.

Brent droned;

Ask a scientist what velocity will be a second after dropping an apple and he'll reply "9.81 m/s"

And a feather??.........

OMG! Gravity is a fraud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not sure what your point is El Gords

First, what's your source? I'm having trouble finding time series of total atmospheric aerosol loading.

Second, what your point?

Whoops, yes this is the missing words round.

tnerB @218 - Brent is that you?

Yes, Andrew, it's me.

Given that people found postings I've made elsewhere (which, incidentally, I stand by), I'm wondering whether to withdraw.

It seems that others here consider me some kind of agent provocateur, and 'blew my cover'. But had I wished to visit incognito I wouldn't have used my real Christian name.

I drew some flak for claiming that there were people of goodwill on both sides, and fell foul of some ferocious partisanship. For what it's worth, I'm convinced that this Great Debate will eventually reach some form of concensus, with combatants on both sides conceding points, and over on WUWT I was arguing with sceptic bigots that, e.g., the atrocious attacks on Phil Jones were unfair and utterly unhelpful, and that the two warring factions should be seeking at least SOME common ground.

For instance, a guy called James tried an approach along the lines of "We all agree on these points; but we disagree on some others; let's debate those others." He was howled down, but the howlers may have drowned out other, more courteous debaters who might usefully have continued the debate.

I stated from the outset that I was a sceptic, but initially avoided using that loaded word. I did not claim that I had a virgin record; that I had never expressed grave reservations about the AGW hypothesis. I figured that it would poison the atmosphere here if I tried to describe the full journey I've travelled as a mere member of the public in search of the truth.

I've been reading some of the WG1 document, which begins with a sound statement of Scientific Method (in Ch 1), and refers to Popper's principle of falsifiability. In what I thought was a cheerful tone, I asked the chatroom what it would take to make them change their minds (WG1 says "It is not the belief or opinion of the scientists that is important, but rather the results of this testing." The "test" I proposed was the UAH MSU data, but earthstation data corrected for UHI effect would do). Some had a decent stab at accepting this cheerful challenge which would anyway have zero effect on the high-level players. Some said, "It's more complicated than that: a single temperature series can't do what Einstein's eclipse did. Other factors, such as polecap cover, need to contribute to the chequered flag", which is a very fair point.

The scorn and derision heaped upon language like 'chequered flag' (which men of good will will accept as shorthand for a much more verbose set of validation criteria) is a little offputting. But one must accept that, in such a blogosphere environment, the loudmouth is enitled to his say.

I remain convinced that, on the warmist side (sorry to use that perjorative label) there are people who hold the beliefs they do because they have seen what to them is satisfying evidence, and I'm interested in that. Now that my sincerity is disbelieved, I understand that some will think these are empty words; that fools like me will maintain their stance regardless of contrary evidence.

There's intolerance here to contrary viewpoints, although some have been kind enough to say, "What you just asserted is countered by the following (...)", and I'm determined to follow such leads and question my current stance.

I see a historical parallel between this Great Debate and the theory of Continental Drift which was initially pooh-poohed by the leading lights of geology until observation confirmed the theory. Unfortunately, because the current debate's resolution depends on how the future pans out, we may have to wait a long time.

History, as they say, has a habit of repeating itself.

Now this is not new, but it bears repeating from time to time: "sceptics" (i.e. pseudosceptics) should be aware that we have been here before.

Michael (220): You said "And a feather??.........

OMG! Gravity is a fraud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Surely, you understand the point I was making: that science depends on the comparison of observed and predicted data; that a physicist would stick his neck out and make a forecast; that if some figure other than 9.81 m/s were measured it would be worthy of investigation, with the potential to cause a re-think.

Tell me, if in the future the IPCC forecasts don't tally with actual observation, what would it take for you to say, "Theory refuted!"?

Brent, you talk about debate a lot. Are you a master debater?.

By Dappledwater (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

Do you know who I don't like, Brent?

Liars.

I don't like people who take advantage of the goodwill of the Deltoid commenters under false pretenses, while harbouring "fury" at the "obscene fraud that is AGW". Those are not the views of a reasonable person interested in science.

Don't lie to us and tell us you have interest in actual science behind AGW, because everything you've posted elsewhere tells the exact opposite:

Brief though it was, Professor Plimer's slot on the Today programme was a welcome contribution to balanced debate. I thoroughly enjoyed his response to the interviewer patronisingly telling him he was entitled to his beliefs. Without quite getting shirty, Plimer said that Belief is the currency of politics and religion; that science in contrast proceeds by accumulation of evidence in support of, or in refutation of, a given hypothesis.
If the current cooling trend continues, we the public will mock and scorn the bent scientists with their seats on the apocalypse gravy train.
However, the vast economic forces being wheeled out to combat non-existent AGW will take some stopping. With such momentum, I fear it will take a decade or more to dismantle the Global Warming Bandwagon.
Montaigne put it succinctly: "Nothing is so fervently believed as that which is not known."

It's so pathetic that lying and misrepresenting is ingrained in the hearts of the denial brigade. They have no shame.

Brent @ 228:

Tell me, if in the future the IPCC forecasts don't tally with actual observation, what would it take for you to say, "Theory refuted!"?

I'm not a climate scientist. I accept the overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that human caused global warming is a real and serious problem. That's the only sensible position a layman can take. If the theory were to be refuted either by observations or by some new research, that consensus would change and I would follow.

Brent@228,

The feather is a reasonable analogy to the climate sytstem and a reminder that even with apparently straightfoward physical phenomena such as gravity, it isn't as simple as you implied.

That CO2 is a climate forcing is as indisputable as gravity. But how it plays out is more complex and variable than the gravity/feather example. But just like with gravity on the feather, we know that CO2 is affecting the climate system continuously. The effect is variable due to a range of other feedbacks and forcings, hence the range of estimates for overall warming.

The empirical evidence is compelling. The case against is not much stronger than the claim that a feather not travelling at 9.8 m/s after one second suggests that the science is not settled on gravity.

Brent writes:

>*Surely, you understand the point I was making*

[I did](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…), and it was an exemplar point. You tried to make science simpler than it really is and you go caught out, as in gotchya!

Science isn't as simple as you pretend. There are complexities and hence scientists make some caveats. But the uncertainties work both ways. Things could be worst or better than best estimates, timing could be sooner or later than best estimates. That does not mean we ignore nor even reject the most precise estimates achievable.

Lotharsson was right! It IS 'N' years!

Hard to take someone seriously who claims you said the exact opposite of what you said. I suspect this was in jest, but find it hard to tell.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

DaveR,

An excellent point. I am a senior scientist who works in the field of population ecology. However, in the field of climate science, like you, I defer to the vast majority of my peers doing the actual research who argue that there is a very real human fingerprint over the current warming. Note that the denialiti, for the most part, do not do any research. Like creationists, their job is to sit by on the sidelines and to chip away at the evidence in support of AGW which regularly appears on the pages of peer-reviewed scientific journals. Similarly, don't expect the pages of Evolution or Journal of Evolutionary Biology to publish articles in support of intelligent design, because the evidence does not exist. Instead, there are web sites who dedicate themselves to debunking the evidence behind evolution. This is the same game played by the AGW denialati.

What I tend to find in these debates is that many of the contrarians try to give the impression that they are, indeed, armchair experts, valiantly seeking the truth from the fiction. But, like Brent, they come on here hand waving 'facts' from appalling anti-scientific denialist web sites like Milloy's "Junk Science". At the same time, they do not like to read (or are too lazy to seek out) the primary literature. Instead they rely on interpretations from think tanks, astroturf corporate lobbying groups and web sites set up explicitly to distort the empirical evidence.

When Brent appeared to deny yesterday that there is a huge anti-environmental 'slush fund' I realized his comments were beyond the pale. One of the things I wrote in the journal Oikos with Stuart Pimm ten years ago with respect to separating good science from the rubbish rotuinely churned out by the think tanks is to 'follow the money'. In researching this on and off for the past 15 years what I have found is that huge amounts of cash are constantly channeled from industries opposing government regulation to public relations companies and think tanks who act as third parties in promulgating the corporate view. Check out how much money, for example, the fossil fuel industries and their paid-for lobbyists spend trying to influence government policy in the United States each year, and then compare this with the total lobbying budget of environmental NGOs. The latter's lobbying and PR budget is infintisimally small in comparison. And this is just money spent for lobbying purposes. Add up campaign contributions and then the difference becomes even more stupendous. Of course money buys influence, and this is why the corporate lobby invest so much money in trying to debunk the science that they effectively hate.

With respect to adaptation, humans are challenging natural systems and the communities and species that make them up to adjust to changes that they have not experienced in millions of years, if ever. Besides climate change, humans have simplified ecosystems in a variety of ways, through fragmentation, outright elimination, the invasion of non-native exotic species, chnages in the nutrient and hydrological cycles and various types of pollution. Climate change has been added to the mix. GiThere is little doubt that we are forcing nature to respond in ways in which it will not be able to, given the synergized effects of the human assault. We are already seeing ecological network webs unravel, due to mistimed phenological effects amongst species at different trophic levels that are involved in strong interactions. When this happens, feedback loops within communities are damaged, and entire chains of species are disprupted, with serious consequences for the functioning of ecosystems. The think tanks and astroturf groups do not have a clue about any of this, so they dismiss it. This is a typical contrarian trick. Do not understand something? Then ignore it.

The problem is that natural systems are immensely complex and exhibit adaptive properties. At the same time, given their complexity, ecologists have only been able to examine some communities whereas the vast majority (>99%) are not being studied at all. This means that, if the worrying trends that are being currently elucidated in research were to be extrpolated across ecological communities across the biosphere, we would probably realize how serious the predicament really is. Given that complex adaptive systems do not function linearly, once some critical threshold is passed then we can expect very nasty surprises. Pleading ignorance, as Marcel Kinkaid said quite elegantly earlier using the Titanic analogy, is no excuse.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

There's intolerance here to contrary viewpoints,...

Ob Princess Bride quote - Inigo Montoya (recall the accent):

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

Totally off-topic, guys, but apparently the American Family Association, also known as People Who Should Focus On Their Own Fucking Family, wants to stone Tillikum the orca.

The crazies want to stone a fucking orca.

By Katharine (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

Tell me, if in the future the IPCC forecasts don't tally with actual observation, what would it take for you to say, "Theory refuted!"?

I already told you. In one ear and out the other though.

The problem with the Popperian fundamentalists is that they think the whole set of understandings that makes up AGW today stands or falls together as a unit. If you propose a litmus test such as Brent is desperately seeking and it fails, then the whole thing goes up in a puff of smoke. There's simply no possibility that one of the component pieces was flawed and needs correction.

I find it impossible to explain why not to most of them, in part because they're so wedded to a relatively simplistic view of how science should work. And even those that have a lightbulb moment usually end up with fairly dim overhead illumination - they often spin it around after a moment to argue that proves it's non-falsifiable...

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

Tell me, if in the future the IPCC forecasts don't tally with actual observation, what would it take for you to say, "Theory refuted!"?

For crying out loud, Brent. I reckon I've given you longer shrift than most, but if you consistently refuse to answer the question which I have asked you twice - what would it take you to accept the conclusions of the vast majority of the world's scientific community? - the why the hell should anyone respond to that question that you keep parroting over and over again?

I repeat, there is no indication that any of the theories which underpin current climate knowledge and predictive capability are anywhere close to being refuted. Asking the question that you keep asking implies an intransigience on the part of the recipient that is simply not borne out by the evidence.

"An excellent point. I am a senior scientist who works in the field of population ecology. However, in the field of climate science, like you, I defer to the vast majority of my peers doing the actual research who argue that there is a very real human fingerprint over the current warming. Note that the denialiti, for the most part, do not do any research. Like creationists, their job is to sit by on the sidelines and to chip away at the evidence in support of AGW which regularly appears on the pages of peer-reviewed scientific journals. Similarly, don't expect the pages of Evolution or Journal of Evolutionary Biology to publish articles in support of intelligent design, because the evidence does not exist. Instead, there are web sites who dedicate themselves to debunking the evidence behind evolution. This is the same game played by the AGW denialati.

What I tend to find in these debates is that many of the contrarians try to give the impression that they are, indeed, armchair experts, valiantly seeking the truth from the fiction. But, like Brent, they come on here hand waving 'facts' from appalling anti-scientific denialist web sites like Milloy's "Junk Science". At the same time, they do not like to read (or are too lazy to seek out) the primary literature. Instead they rely on interpretations from think tanks, astroturf corporate lobbying groups and web sites set up explicitly to distort the empirical evidence."

Quoted for truth. I find virtually none of them are capable of actually reading the scientific articles surrounding it. Large numbers of them are uneducated idiots.

American culture does not help the push for reason in any way; these days it appears to foster the growth of stupidity. American media disturbingly seems to celebrate the anti-intellectual and the armchair predictor.

Honestly, if people are so het up about this that they devote huge amounts of their time to posting on the interwebs trying in vain to debunk what is the consensus of the community of CLIMATOLOGISTS, then perhaps they should become climatologists themselves and see what actually goes into the training of a climatologist.

Let's pull up a curriculum for a climatology graduate program:

http://www-paoc.mit.edu/paoc/education/climate_phd.htm

"The elements of climate are so broad that one cannot cover all important aspects in course work, nor is it possible for any small group of subjects to provide a completely adequate foundation. But the Committee for the Climate Physics and Chemistry degree strongly recommends that all students, in the interests of having a good grounding in the essential disciplines, should understand the content of at least the following subjects:

12.800 Fluid Dynamics of Ocean and Atmosphere
12.842 Climate Physics and Chemistry
12.806 Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry
12.740 Paleoceanography

Substitutions are possible with the agreement of the studentâs adviser

Examples of Course Selections

Students will have or will develop more specialized interests within the wider climate problem. A background adequate to carry out original research within one of these areas, leading to a PhD dissertation, can be obtained through courses offered in the Department and elsewhere at MIT.

It is expected that individual programs will be worked out by students in close consultation with their adviser. The following examples are intended to be only illustrative and not restrictive of the possibilities.
For a student focusing on dynamics

First year, term 1
12.800 Fluid Dynamics of the Ocean and Atmosphere [12]
12.842 Climate Physics and Chemistry [12]
12.815 Atmospheric Radiation [6]
18.075 or 18.305 [Mathematics] [12]

First year, term 2
12.810 Dynamics of the Atmosphere [12]
12.806 Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry [12]
12.801 General Circulation of the Oceans [12]
Electives or "Special Problems" [12]

Second year, term 1
12.803 Quasi-Balanced Circulations [12]
12.804 Large-Scale Flow Dynamics Laboratory [9]
12.812 General Circulation of the Earthâs Atmosphere [12]
Electives or "Special Problems" [12]

Second year, term 2
12.864 Inference from Data and Models [9]
12.870 Air-Sea Interaction [12]

For a student focusing on paleoclimate

First year, term 1
12.800 Fluid Dynamics of the Ocean and Atmosphere [12]
12.815 Atmospheric Radiation [6]
12.842 Climate Physics and Chemistry [12]
18.085 Mathematical Methods for Engineers I [12]

First year, term 2
12.801 General Circulation of the Oceans [12]
12.806 Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry [12]
12.452 Mechanics of Sedimentary Processes [12]
Electives or "Special Problems" [12]

Second year, term 1
12.742 Marine Chemistry [12]
12.808 Introduction to Observational Physical Oceanography [12]
12.818 An Introduction to Atmospheric Data and Synoptic Meteorology [12]
Electives or "Special Problems" [12]

Second year, term 2
12.707 Pre-Pleistocene Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology [12]
12.740 Paleoceanography [12]
12.864 Inference from Data and Models [9]
Electives or "Special Problems" [12]
For a student focusing on ocean biogeochemistry

First year, term 1
12.800 Fluid Dynamics [12]
12.842 Climate Physics and Chemistry [12]
1.76 Aquatic Chemistry [12]
18.075, or 18.085, or 18.305 [Mathematics] [12]

First year, term 2
12.801 Steady Circulation of the Oceans [12]
12.806 Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry [12]
HA.7752 Biological Oceanography [12]
12.736 Special Problems in Chemical Oceanography [12]

Second year, term 1
12.742 Marine Chemistry [12]
12.803 Quasi-balanced Circulation [12]
12.804 Large-scale Flow Dynamics Laboratory [9]
12.736 Special Problems in Chemical Oceanography [12]

Second year, term 2
12.740 Paleoceanography [12]
12.864 Inference from Data and Models [9]
12.736 Special Problems in Chemical Oceanography [18]
7.440 Introduction to Mathematical Ecology [9]

General Examination
A student will normally have acquired the necessary background in academic subjects by the end of the fourth academic semester and will take the General Examination at that time. In extenuating circumstances, the Examination may be taken at a later date. (See the separate document on the General Examination and Thesis.)"

Essentially, this is a lot of math, chemistry, and physics. Most denialists I have talked to have absolutely no understanding of the BASICS of math, chemistry, or physics.

The amount of information the denialists are missing in their debate is STAGGERING.

By Katharine (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

[Brent imagines](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…):

I see a historical parallel between this Great Debate and the theory of Continental Drift which was initially pooh-poohed by the leading lights of geology until observation confirmed the theory.

If that's what you see, you need to have your scientific methodology vision checked.

Disparagers of continental drift, and disparagers of other radical ideas such as a round earth and evolution, were largely holding onto their scientifically untested beliefs through ideology (usually religious) or through habit. Those folk who relinquished their opposition were the ones who examined the scientific evidence and assessed it independently of their ideology.

The physics of anthropogenic global warming has been tested as have few other theories, with no credible refutation resulting. The science underpinning many other climate-related fields has also been minutely scrutinised, and it has emerged ever more robust.

In the case of AGW, the denialist cause is not the equivalent of continental drift, for several fundamental reasons.

Firstly, the idea of human-caused climate change was in fact rejected decades ago by many, when it intially emerged, and it was with the gathering of evidence that it has come to be accepted by most.

Secondly, the testing of AGW physics reinforces the scientific case for it, whilst the testing of the denialist cause weakens the denialist case.

If there really is some extraordinary proof lingering somewhere that refutes AGW, it has hidden itself so well that it has eluded both the rational impartiality of the scientific method, and the desperate trawlings of the pseudoscientific anti-AGW ideologues. Any evidence that might be able to counter the fundamental case for AGW after such searching must be so subtle that it's existence is unlikely to actually make much difference to the case anyway, or it simply does not exist as the Denialati imagine it.

If Brent thinks that he has a serious case for refuting the physics and the empirical evidence supporting AGW, he might consider helping the [latest troll on deltoid who has dropped the ball when asked my standard list of questions](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/open_thread_43.php#comment-2318…).

In the end, the only poo-pooing that will happen will be scraped off the faces of the Denialists when the Great Experiment inexorably unwinds in spite of the howls of the ideaologues who claim that there is actually a "Great Debate" in the first place. Unfortunately for many humans, and for many non-human species, by then the rest of us will probably be up to our necks in poo-poo because we wasted so many decades engaged in useless faffing about a debate that was not a debate at all.

[I've quoted Francis Crick before](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/08/matthew_england_challenges_the…), and I'll quote him again:

And so to those of you who may be vitalists I would make this prophecy: what everyone believed yesterday, and you believe today, only cranks will believe tomorrow.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

Ever notice how when you click all the links to denialist blogs they're all also conservative?

It's really funny.

By Katharine (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

To me the most obvious evidence that the world is warming is that satellites can now see how much electromagnetic radiation the Earth receives and how much electromagnetic radiation the Earth either reflects or radiates away into space. Earth receives more than it emits and reflects. If one understands the concept called conservation of energy then one knows the Earth is warming without trusting the temperature database of CRU or the other multiple organizations as well.

Is this type of concept really too hard to be mentioned on TV, radio, and newspapers?

/Formerly a "a lurker"

By Childermass (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

BernardJ @242:

"If there really is some extraordinary proof lingering somewhere that refutes AGW, it has hidden itself so well that it has eluded both the rational impartiality of the scientific method, and the desperate trawlings of the pseudoscientific anti-AGW ideologues."

Well stated Bernard!

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

Bud (240):
You wrote: ".... but if you consistently refuse to answer the question which I have asked you twice - what would it take you to accept the conclusions of the vast majority of the world's scientific community? - the why the hell should anyone..."

Fair point, Bud, and I see I have tried your patience. It seems I need a bit of a re-think on validation criteria. People here are consistently saying that it's dumb and simplistic to seek validation by some single numerical parameter. Previously, I'd have responded to your challenge with "a UAH MSU temperature anomaly above +0.8C on three occasions in the period 2010-2020".

But (and I'm not being ironic here) I'm struggling to come up with something more sophisticated. I've taken the position that, since we're talking about global warming, the question 'well, is it warmer or not'? was reasonable.

Above, Lotharsson spoke disapprovingly of 'Popperian fundamentalists'. Now don't bite my head off here... I must say that that sounds like a virtue not a vice. Here I am looking for a yes/no validation, and people are saying that it's dumb and simplistic approach to hypothesis testing. And I'm honour-bound to shift my paradigm if I'm shown to have reduced the pass/fail criterion to a meaningless snippet of data.

Assume for the moment that I'm not being cute with you: Please tell me what is an appropriate measure of whether the AGW hypothesis is sound? And please treat me as if I were 'an intelligent but uninformed listener'; be patient. All this angry "Look, idiot, 29000 biological indicators can't be LYING like you are!!!" is a tad upsetting, even via our remote keyboards.

Luminous Beauty, I wonder if it will be lost on Brent that the report you link to was published in 1966, or the facts that the US military has done research on radiative forcing of GHGs.

Brent's faith in the misguided assertion that AGW is a fallacy and/or hoax, and that climate scientists are frauds is unshakable. Why are we engaging such a mendacious individual who have stated such heinous and fallacious statements about climate scientists on the public record?

Why are those in denial so often morally bankrupt, and compelled to lie? Why?

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

MapleLeaf, it's less 'morally bankrupt and compelled to lie' than 'stupid'.

Remember, half of the world's population has an IQ less than 100.

By Katharine (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent @ 246:

I'm struggling to come up with something more sophisticated

What specific objections do you have to the more sophisticated approach to which you were pointed in #127?

Here I am looking for a yes/no validation

What specific objections do you have to the simple approach that was suggested in #232?

Assume for the moment that I'm not being cute with you

I don't think that's a realistic assumption.

MapleLeaf, it's less 'morally bankrupt and compelled to lie' than 'stupid'.

Uh, no; regardless of whether he is stupid, Brent is clearly morally corrupt and compelled to lie (and I called it early on).

Remember, half of the world's population has an IQ less than 100.

No one forgot your non sequitur; Brent clearly has an IQ over 100.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

They're coming at me so fast now that I'm fending them off with Kung Fu from one leg and Karate with the other.

This is your fundamental problem, moron. Instead of "fending off" the collected knowledge of the scientific community, you should be shutting your yap and listening.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

I'm a little outnumbered here.

Not just here, fool; see

Scientific opinion on climate change

@Bud
I'm sorry, but with respect, this is not a negotiation, the "two camps" (not that this is an appropriate way to describe the scientific community against the 'skeptics')

Indeed it is not. As I noted earlier, science is not a process based on debate as such, but rather on the scientific method. The basic ethos of debating is winning (witness Brent's fight metaphors) whereas the basic ethos of science is learning. Or, as Quine put it,

The desire to be right and the desire to have been right are two desires, and the sooner we separate them the better off we are. The desire to be right is the thirst for truth. On all counts, both practical and theoretical, there is nothing but good to be said for it. The desire to have been right, on the other hand, is the pride that goeth before a fall. It stands in the way of our seeing we were wrong, and thus blocks the progress of our knowledge.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

Marcel, it's been fun to read your contributions, apart from the minor explosions, you are very skilled at skewering the ignoramuses. I do however understand your frustration, these idjits think this (gambling with the Earth's future habitability) is a game.

By Dappledwater (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

LB, thanks for the cartoon. What really cracked me up is that they are paying money to hear a lie.

And Marcel, keeps on nailing it. The wise thing for Brent to have done would have left as soon as John outed him and exposed the vitriol and rhetoric that Brent has posted elsewhere. i like that quote by Quine.

I'm beginning to think that Brent may be yet another denialist D-K case.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

@Jakerman
John, in my own mind I silently disagreed with you when you wrote Brent is an obvious troll. I thought he was a different class and his approach was not obvious.

Folks like you and Erasmussimo lack either experience with anti-science trolls or have trouble detecting nuances of human behavior -- it's a common problem among scientists. As I said, I can smell these folks a mile away, but that comes from years of encountering the same methods among evolution deniers and "skeptics".

@Dave R
I don't think that's a realistic assumption.

Certainly not given #188. After that damning evidence about Brent, it's foolish to engage him as if he were seriously interested in dialogue.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

apart from the minor explosions

If you don't express contempt for these people, you're playing into their hands -- they seek legitimacy in the form of a "debate", with two "sides" or "camps". Don't give these scum what they want.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

>*Folks like you and Erasmussimo lack either experience with anti-science trolls or have trouble detecting nuances of human behavior -- it's a common problem among scientists.*

Indeed, yet in my defense, "obvious" was the descriptor that caused my initial disagreement with John on this matter.

Having met [John Archer](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/leakegate_on_stovepiping_and_p…) and more than 20 like him, my initial disagreement with 'our' John's assessment of 'obvious troll', would have been reversed if John had called Brent a 'nuanced troll'.

None the less, I wouldn't have guessed John would do such a thorough unearthing, that so completely dragged Brent into new light.

I think that kind of evidence is powerful, at least to thinking people. Perhaps even Brent is one such thinking person.

Though as the propaganda machine (employed by partisan talk radio and TV) demonstrates labels can be powerful to influence vulnerable people or people who have bamboozled by the complexity. If people don't understand the science, give them a story or label they do understand. Hence we get the battle of the labels, the battle of the analogies and the battle of the narratives.

But I'm not sure that we can or want to really muscle up and make central the use of that tactic. Our best tactic is evidence, risk management and effective communication. Unfortunately it made take too long. I'm open to further suggestions.

Our best tactic is evidence, risk management and effective communication.

Indeed, but it is a (nuanced?) mistake to think that "communication" should include dialogues with anti-science trolls on blogs like this, regardless of how nuanced they are -- it's a waste of time and resources, per #101. And again, on what makes someone like Brent a troll from his very first post: "a scientific illiterate coming to a scientific forum for the purpose of having a debate is a case of trolling". His post was "nuanced" in that it was deliberately designed to present himself as a reasonable, uncommitted person, a non-extremist, seeking a reasonable and rational discussion ... but to a nuanced reader there were all sorts of red flags; certainly his defense of fellow "sceptic" James and his mischaracterization of James's ridiculous attack on this video was a big one.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

Don't fret, Marcel, it will all be ok. God forgives you and so do I. You know not what you do. ;) Poor love.

Thanks James, now we know youâve got nothing meaningful to contribute. What are you doing back here again?

*activates killfile*

Well, Philip, before I was trying to engage in some meaningful debate, and I got some from Stu and Eras (sadly it appears that he found some of the abuse distasteful, understandably, and bowed out). My comment at 261, however, is just stirring. You should be able to tell by the wink. You see a check of Marcel's form via Google demonstrates that his unfettered hatred and rage is not limited to those who question the science and politics behind Anthropogenic Global Warming. He just hates generally.

I was trying to engage in some meaningful debate

Denial is no debate, you scientific illiterate.

You see a check of Marcel's form

Ah yes, form ... but substance is what matters, fool.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

Marcel, I'd love to check your analyse your comments for substance, but sadly, there is none. Unless of course vitriolic and obscene abuse counts as substance.

As a long time reader of this blog, I have to say that one of the main reasons it is so consistently excellent is the relatively civil, science-based exchanges. I understand that it is frustrating to engage with others who are clearly not interested in good faith discussion, but I don't see how gratuitous belligerence and spite do anything but cheapen the discussion and dilute otherwise good arguments.

By A. Lurker (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

>Ah yes, form ... but substance is what matters, fool.

But Marcel, form is all that fools know. Their perceptions are their reality. 'Tis true 'tis a pity; pity 'tis 'tis true.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

Marcel, I'd love to check your analyse your comments for substance, but sadly, there is none.

That you are a liar is already well-established; no need to compound it with such obvious falsehoods.

I don't see how gratuitous belligerence and spite do anything but cheapen the discussion and dilute otherwise good arguments.

Argumentum ad ignorantiam. And just what good arguments are there with those acting in bad faith?

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

"And just what good arguments are there with those acting in bad faith?"

None. No argument is going to convince a troll. The point is to present your side for laymen like me, who may not otherwise know what the good arguments are.

I really don't want to sound like a concern troll. This blog gets plenty lively and I don't have any problem with that. Certainly someone who comes to a discussion in bad faith deserves to get slapped around a bit. I just think such unrelenting hatred and bile is unproductive.

By A. Lurker (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

I really don't want to sound like a concern troll.

Then stop being one.

I just think such unrelenting hatred and bile is unproductive.

What are you, James's older brother?

Given how many people have said that I'm spot on, my comments don't seem to be all that unproductive. How about yours, lurker?

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

Marcel @ 258:

If you don't express contempt for these people, you're playing into their hands -- they seek legitimacy in the form of a "debate", with two "sides" or "camps". Don't give these scum what they want.

I think you're absolutely right there, but bear in mind that although Tim is pretty tolerant, he does [like it to be reasonably polite](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/tom_fuller_and_senator_inhofe.p…).

A. Lurker, are you Brent?

P.S.

The point is to present your side for laymen like me, who may not otherwise know what the good arguments are.

See the video, and the early posts, not including the seventh, when James called the video a crock. Note particularly posts 4, 5, 9, 11, and 13. Note how serious discussion gets cut off as soon as trolls like James show up and people try fruitlessly to reason with them.

And please stop talking about "your side"; there is only one legitimate side, and that is the side of science. If you don't know what the science says, then study up -- arguing won't get you anywhere.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

I'm not sure why you think that my questioning your tone is equivalent to defending James, but whatever. I'm not really interested in arguing about this.

>Then stop being one.

Fair enough. I've said my piece.

By A. Lurker (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

Tim is pretty tolerant, he does like it to be reasonably polite.

So be it. There are plenty of places where people don't have sticks up their butts.

A. Lurker, are you Brent?

That's very unlikely, and unfair.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

I'm not sure why you think that my questioning your tone is equivalent to defending James, but whatever.

That's not what I meant. James said that my posts (including my other internet posts) consist of nothing but "vitriolic and obscene abuse", and then you chimed in with "unrelenting hatred and bile"; these are very similar misrepresentations.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

>A. Lurker, are you Brent?

No. I really am a long time reader. Brent and James are full of shit and the standard troll-beating is perfectly appropriate, AFAIK. I just thought that Marcel was over the line. Perhaps I am misreading his tone, or maybe I'm being overly sensitive. Either way, carry on. I didn't mean to derail the thread and I will not bother about it any more (really this time!).

By A. Lurker (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

Sorry to sound accusatory, but I do get suspicious when threads fill up with a variety of new names after an inglorious exit from a troll.

I am another lurker and I disagree with A.Lurker. I don't see why people on this science blog need show civility and courtesy to those who come to them trying to be smart arses and have no intention of learning anything or contributing in good faith. They already have a set position and nothing, no science, no honest debate will change their opinion, it is a sadistic pleasure for them. They come to you purely to 'stir' the existing community like poking a stick into an ant nest.

I learn plenty from the links and the general discussion, the trolling does not change the information presented, in fact it is a (entertaining) distraction from it.

"Certainly someone who comes to a discussion in bad faith deserves to get slapped around a bit. I just think such unrelenting hatred and bile is unproductive."

But that (hatred and bile) doesn't come from the scientists here, it is brought to them from the trolls. Keep slapping them down marcel, you use science AND words as your weapons against dishonesty and wilful ignorance. The dignity of the high road is lost on the deniers who deliberately lie, distort and manipulate to spread their rubbish to a wider audience.

Marcel, i largely agree with your assessment of both James and Brent. I just prefer the way John demostrates his case. Its a rare occation that calling someone a liar is more effective than demonstrating it.

Name calling is an equal opportunity sport, any mug can swing back with bluster and noise. Using evidence to make a case greatly favours those who are practicing truth seeking traits.

How about we agree to separate the issue of the legitimacy of global warming from the issue of whether or not it's our fault? Somehow, they always seem to be considered as one question. A lot of the craziness in the refusal to a accept global warming is from people saying, essentially, "I'm not taking the blame for this." In fact, the reality of global warming is overwhelming, but the issue of our responsibility for it is less so. Personally, I believe it is probably our doing, but that is not particularly important. Blame is not the point here. Repair is. After all, even if you believe natural causes are largely at fault, you can still logically say "Well, I can't control nature, but I can control that part of it that's man-made" and proceed to do so. Bringing down the emotional level would certainly help to achieve the changes we need to make.

By Terry Grinnalds (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

Its a rare occation that calling someone a liar is more effective than demonstrating it.

That's silly; one demonstrates that people are liars by taking into account their words; John did that by linking to Brent's words elsewhere, and I did it, for instance, by commenting on James's words here; in response to his

Guess what, it says nothing of the science but it speaks to the way the presenter in the video has couched his opponents arguments.

I pointed out that

First, you're lying, you did speak to the science. Second, you lied both about the content of the video and about what "sceptics" say.

What is quite ineffective is to allow such lies to stand unchallenged and to then proceed to have an exchange as if these people are acting in good faith.

Name calling is an equal opportunity sport, any mug can swing back with bluster and noise. Using evidence to make a case greatly favours those who are practicing truth seeking traits.

This too is silly, because a) whether someone is lying can be determined by examining the evidence and b) people acting in bad faith can simply deny the evidence and "swing back" with their own claims. This is the whole point behind these people seeking "debate", or in the evolution case "teach the controversy"; there's equal opportunity everywhere. As I noted in #101,

there's the implicit assumption that, if one is calm and measured in their response to liars and trolls, that they will somehow be forced to attend to one's points, to admit error where it is demonstrated, etc.

Using evidence to make a case greatly favors those who are practicing truth seeking traits ... among those who are practicing truth seeking traits, but it falls flat among those who are not. To ignore that is to ignore the evidence about human beings -- for instance, polls that show that the number of people in the U.S. (where I am) who disbelieve GW is increasing: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/24/AR20091…

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

Somehow, they always seem to be considered as one question.

Uh, no; GW and AGW are different terms.

even if you believe natural causes are largely at fault, you can still logically say "Well, I can't control nature, but I can control that part of it that's man-made" and proceed to do so.

But what AGW deniers actually say is that anthropogenic factors are swamped by natural factors and that it's too expensive and demanding to make changes with uncertain and at best minimal benefits.

Bringing down the emotional level would certainly help to achieve the changes we need to make.

The emotional level is pumped up by the huge outlays of money by corporations that don't want to make such changes.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

I am with Marcel 100% on this. It is not a civil debate because there should not really be a debate at all. By now, given the volumes of scientific evidence in favor of AGW, we should have moved on well into the policy arena. I think that, for the most part, those in denial do not deserve to be treated with anything other than contempt.

The issue of climate change finds scientists on the one side who are doing the research and who are in broad agreement over the issue; on the other side there is a hodge-podge assortment of different characters pushing various agendas. Their primary agenda, as I see it, is a political one, based on a far right idealogy which loathes the role of the government in the economy. Scientists are naturally sceptical but accept the burgeoning evidence behind AGW whereas the other side lies, distorts and twists the empirical data in support of a pre-determined worldview.

Speaking 'from the inside' (as a scientist) it is my opinion that the deniers do not deserve to be treated as intellectual equals. This is the way I see it, hence why I have no problem supporting Marcel's approach to them. In this case, I believe his derision of them and their arguments is correct.

Katherine (above) and Clive Hamilton alluded to the anti-intellectual culture that is embraced by many in the United States (and Europe for that matter), and this culture fits in well with right wing populism and a hatred of science and scientists. Anti-environmentalism and the growing backlash against evidence for AGW fits in well with this agenda.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

jeff of the "inside". If you have a problem with the debate, then perhaps you'd best start looking internally for the reasons why.

For instance, look at Al Gore's "documentary". If your lot hadn't made such a big deal out of the over dramatics, and outright lies in Gore's and other documentaries, hadn't so blatantly manipulated the media, hadn't sought to suppress the release of data and conflicting views, then our lot might not have so much to work with.

At the end of the day, Jeff of the inside, unless you find yourself a bunch of weapons and a bloody big army, you're going to need to convince our lot that your case is meritorious. So far you have failed dismally. The abuse of the Hamiltons and Kincaids of the world hardly helps. So suck it up, Princess, and make your case. Because so far you haven't.

They come to you purely to 'stir' the existing community like poking a stick into an ant nest.

Yes, and they crow about it back at their denier haunts, as James/Sancty was documented doing in #54.

I learn plenty from the links and the general discussion, the trolling does not change the information presented

They don't alter the information, but they do change what information is presented -- all the posts turn toward them and offer refutations of their falsehoods, whereas in their absence we would see more discussions that further our knowledge rather than reiterate it. As Jeff Harvey notes, " By now, given the volumes of scientific evidence in favor of AGW, we should have moved on well into the policy arena". But policy has stalled because of trolling-writ-large: http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/ExxonMobil-GlobalWarming-tobac…

According to the report, ExxonMobil has funneled nearly $16 million between 1998 and 2005 to a network of 43 advocacy organizations that seek to confuse the public on global warming science.
"ExxonMobil has manufactured uncertainty about the human causes of global warming just as tobacco companies denied their product caused lung cancer," said Alden Meyer, the Union of Concerned Scientists' Director of Strategy & Policy. "A modest but effective investment has allowed the oil giant to fuel doubt about global warming to delay government action just as Big Tobacco did for over 40 years."
...
"As a scientist, I like to think that facts will prevail, and they do eventually," said Dr. James McCarthy, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography at Harvard University and former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's working group on climate change impacts. "It's shameful that ExxonMobil has sought to obscure the facts for so long when the future of our planet depends on the steps we take now and in the coming years."
...

Scientists like to think that facts prevail, but that's a quasi-religious faith that doesn't reflect the realities of human psychology and social structure.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

, unless you find yourself a bunch of weapons and a bloody big army, you're going to need to convince our lot that your case is meritorious

That would take brain surgery, not an army.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

"Because so far you haven't."

And what have the denialati, paragons of probity that they are, managed to come up with? What's their crowning glory?

Some stolen e-mails.

James,

I think that Marcel and others here have pretty much dismantled the nonsense you have presented here with unfortunate regularity. As I said above, the 'debate' over AGW should have been over 10 years ago. That is hasn't has little to do with science and everything to do with profit and power. Given that you, like most of the denialists that come on here, know little about science, I can only surmise that your motivation is also a political and idealogical one. Let me guess: you are politically to the right and perhaps even a libertarian? Gee, that was not hard to predict, was it?

The so-called 'victory' of the denialati is a pyrrhic one. All that this obfuscation of the science does is to push complex adaptive systems towards a point beyond which they will be unable to sustain life in manner that we know. Once this happens (and it already is), we can expect there to be serious consequences.

Nature is unforgiving. Once critical ecosystem services break down as a result of a diverse and ongoing human assault, then there will be profound consequences for our species. There is no way around it. At present we are living off a one-time inheritance of natural capital and are spending it like there is no tomorrow. On top of that, we are altering critical biogeochemical cycles (and climate), forces that operate over very large spatial and temporal scales. As ecologist Peter Vitousek said back in 1994, there will be effects of human activities on ecosystems across the biosphere. We are already entering a period of consequences. Against this background are people like yourselves who are happy to see humanity fiddling while Rome burns. You appear unconcerned that there are likely to be serious repercussions over the current global experiment that humans are conducting on systems of immense complexity but which sustain us. Climate change, given its scale, is likely to exacerbate many of the other stresses induced on nature by humanity.

So go ahead and keep your head buried in the sand. They say that ignorance is bliss. You are a shining example of that.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

Jeff, to the extent that I can possibly understand, I have read much of both sides of the debate. And you know what, if the proposed "solution" were something that 1. might be effective in limiting carbon emissions and 2. didn't sacrifice my country's sovereignty to a world body that has thus far proven utterly inept in pretty well every venture it has engaged in, I would say, "Well, I might not be convinced, but hey, let's give the earth the benefit of the doubt here".

But Jeff, here is where I am of the "inside". Trading hypotheticals does not work. It is not a real market and must fail. And even if it did work, if the other countries aren't engaged, then it can't work. The GFC was about trading hypotheticals.

If a Government came out and said "Right, all cars are switching to gas, we're building a nuclear power plant to replace coal, and all domestic homes will be solar powered by 2020", well, I reckon I'd be aboard it.

But as a voter and an active opinionater, I am stuffed if I will stand by and watch as a Government concedes our political and economic sovereignty for a sum environmental gain of exactly sweet fuck all.

Even if everything you AGW proponents say is true, there are three countries that count in this whole thing and Australia isn't one of them. And as for paying "climate debts" to countries that have spent the last 50-100 years slaughtering each other well fuck that.

Oh, and the only thing that Marcel has dismantled is any shred of goodwill that interested doubters may have had in your cause.

James@286 *make your case. Because so far you haven't*

James, James ..the problem is you're not qualified to understand it when it is made.

If you rock up to your local hospital and say, "I'm not a doctor but would you mind if I diagnose the patients and do a spot of surgery?" they'll call security.

Similarly, you can't deny Climate Change science with no more qualifications than Google 101.

If you want to be *an active opinionater* (@291) fine, if you must, but restrict yourself to policy not science.

"Trading hypotheticals does not work. It is not a real market and must fail."

Someone had better tell the currency markets to hurry up and fail.

James @ 286:

outright lies in Gore's and other documentaries

James doesn't try to provide any evidence for his claims, because he knows that they are outright lies.

you're going to need to convince our lot that your case is meritorious. So far you have failed dismally

James isn't convinced by [the evidence](http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/contents.html) that is sufficient for the overwhelming majority of the world's climate scientists and its major scientific organisations. Not because he thinks any of it is wrong, but because he thinks he can simply dismiss anything that doesn't mesh with his ideology.

The abuse [...] hardly helps. So suck it up, Princess

James would like a job at the Institute of Irony.

make your case. Because so far you haven't.

James thinks that when he covers his ears, nobody else is saying anything.

Andrew, you would be hard pressed to find me trying to debate the science with out very clearly expressed reservations on this blog......you might want to read my comments rather than the abusive commentary on my comments when assessing this. And sorry, but like it or not there are a bunch of scientists with an opposing view. They are not all paid by Big Oil (I've checked that) and a lot of them make a very good logical case.

They are kind of helped by the flatline temperature graph over the last decade.

Oh, and the only thing that Marcel has dismantled is any shred of goodwill that interested doubters may have had in your cause.

All you have is bad faith. You say the case has not been made. a) How do you know? Have you read through all the peer reviewed literature? b) If it hasn't been, then why does every reputable scientific organization accept it?

Again, what it would take to convince you that the case is meritorious is brain surgery, because you are a pigheaded dolt and ignoramus, and all the fault of your not being convinced lies with you.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

James @ 292:

Oh, and the only thing that Marcel has dismantled is any shred of goodwill that interested doubters may have had in your cause.

James thinks that he can switch back and forth between concern trolling and regular trolling without anyone noticing.

James, you utterly default yourself from this debate when you write, "And as for paying "climate debts" to countries that have spent the last 50-100 years slaughtering each other well fuck that".

Good grief, where to begin dismantling this appalling remark? Perhaps by beginning with the fact that poverty in the third world has been driven by western foreign policy for years? By the fact that the US and UK have traditionally seen countries in the south as having a service function for comemrcial elites in the north? Hell, man, have you read any planning documents at all? Have you heard of George Kennan? Paul Nitze? Henry Kissinger? The Council on Foreign Relations? Zbignieuw Brezinski? Have you read memos written by these political 'luminaries'?

Samir Amin, perhaps Africa's most renowned economist, said at the World Social Forum at Peurto Allegre in 2003 that the developed world (meaning countries in the 'quad') were only interested at 'looting resources for the south'. Patrick Bond exapands upon this in his book, "Looting Africa: The Economics of Exploitation", as does economist Tom Athanasiou in "Divided Planet: The Ecology of Rich and Poor". Dimitri Simes, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, observed in 1988 that Mikhael Gorbachevâs initiatives would âliberate American foreign policy from the straightjacket imposed by superpower hostility". This meant that the United States can end âthe manipulation of America by third world nations.â The manipulation of the rich by the undeserving poor has always been seen as a serious problem amongst western elites, and is particularly relevant in Latin America, which in the preceding five years (1983-1988) had transferred some $150 billion to the industrial West in addition to $100 billion of capital flight, amounting to twenty-five times the total value of the Alliance for Progress and fifteen times that of the Marshall Plan.

The litany goes on. Nothing changes, except that the US now sees little in the way of a military impediment to its control of areas containing vast resource and mineral wealth. This is backed up by the statements of government planners over many yhears and which, not surprisingly, are ignored by the MSM.

I need not spend the next two hours responding to such a flippant remark on your part. It is precisely this comic-level book understanding of the way that the world works which appears to sum up the views of many in the denialati.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

there are a bunch of scientists with an opposing view

Not climate scientists.

They are not all paid by Big Oil (I've checked that)

Do tell.

a lot of them make a very good logical case

You are no judge of that.

They are kind of helped by the flatline temperature graph over the last decade.

No reputable scientist would use that to make their case, even if it were true, which of course it is not -- in fact, it is a immensely stupid claim. "flatline"? Bwaahahaha!!! Take a look, fool: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Instrumental_Temperature_Record.svg

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 04 Mar 2010 #permalink

looks like these guys have got a plan

http://www.tinyurl.com.au/2x5

this confirms the warming

http://www.tinyurl.com.au/2vb

lotta inflated ego's in here :)

I'm thinkin I might have remind some about the total and monumental fuck up's scientists have made over time,
they thought they were right too !

lotta inflated ego's in here :)

More irony.

I'm thinkin I might have remind some about the total and monumental fuck up's scientists have made over time, they thought they were right too !

There's a difference between scientists and science.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

"I'm thinkin I might have remind some about the total and monumental fuck up's scientists have made over time, they thought they were right too !" - Sunspot

You referring to Roy Spencer &, John Christy and the UAH satellite data?.

By Dappledwater (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

looks like these guys have got a plan

Idiots citing idiots. The one intelligent comment on that TED talk, in response to claims that Gates was suggesting killing children with vaccines, is

C'mon. no need for conspiracy nonsense here. Gates has made clear on numerous occasions his view, backed up by a lot of evidence, that the one of the best ways to reduce population growth is to improve health, especially of children. When parents are confident their children won't die, they don't have as many.

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent 246 - assuming you're still around.

I read from your post that the continuation of the current upward temperature trend would do it for you, yes? Ok, but in that case why - even if all 10 years in the next decade were above your chosen anomaly value - would you choose to ascribe that temperature increase to rising human emissions? Why not the Sun? Or GCR? Or pirates? Whatever?

If you doubt CO2 causes warming now, then it seems you have absolutely no reason to accept that it causes warming just because the world continues to warm in the future.

You have your reasoning backwards. If CO2 causes warming - and we [know](http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm) this to be the case and we have progressed enough to make a [reasonable prediction as to the extent of this](http://www.ipcc-wg1.unibe.ch/publications/wg1-ar4/ar4-wg1-chapter9.pdf) - then the next decade will not comprehensively confirm or refute anything. Obviously if global temperatures fall significantly outside current estimates, then we will have to find out why, but this is not something that will refute the whole scientific case that we are warming the planet any more than a temperature record complying with current estimates means all the work has been done.

This, in a nutshell, is why being a "Popperian fundamentalist" is frowned upon. You were in effect proposing to rest the entire success or failure of a huge body of scientific work on whether or not the temperature rises above an arbitrarily determined value an arbitrary number of times as recorded by a certain arbitrary dataset. Does this not strike you as a little absurd? Popper's falsification principle has an important part to play in science, but he was not the final word in scientific philosophy. An adjustment of predictions to fit current updated knowledge does not constitute a falsification, yet it most certainly represents scientific advancement. An incorrect prediction which is based on several theories does not indicate the falsification of all those theories. Your error comes in looking at AGW as a 'hypothesis' or a 'theory' as a whole, without component parts.

You may respond to this by saying you don't doubt that CO2 causes warming, but do doubt the current estimates for climate sensitivity (I haven't seen you mention it yet though). If this is the case, then what reasons do you have for doubting the current estimates, and what arguments do you have for suggesting that we should base policy on those doubts, which you must agree are on the fringe of any discussion on the matter, rather than on the best scientific viewpoint? And do you think that the next ten years will comprehensively answer the value for climate sensitivity?

Hey Jeff, I thought the thing with scientists were that they were not politically motivated. Could have fooled me.

Your error comes in looking at AGW as a 'hypothesis' or a 'theory' as a whole, without component parts.

Bud, you had best look at #188. Brent's actual view of AGW is that its an "obscene fraud" and he's furious about it.

You may respond to this by saying you don't doubt that CO2 causes warming

He has clearly stated that he does doubt that; in fact, he thinks fluctuations in temperature cause fluctuations in CO2: "Whilst we all agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, we now know that its variations are a consequence of temperature changes, not a cause".

By Marcel Kincaid (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

Marcel, you can produce as many complicated graphs as you like..... and you have the hide to call me a liar. It hasn't warmed for the last decade and you know it. Now amount of graph fudging can change that. Everyone knows it. Trenberth knows it and thinks it's a travesty that he can't account for it. Does it disprove AGW? Perhaps not. But it sure as hell doesn't help your cause. Brent asked the question earlier. What if it doesn't warm for another decade? And another after? What then? I notice you've all neatly avoided that question. The guts of your science, as you people have explained to me, your words, is that there is no other explanation. Well, if it continues to not warm, there must be another explanation that the scientists haven't yet found. That's logic, and it beats science every time.

To Bud, ten years of no warming in the face of increasing CO2 emissions suggests that your sensitivity figure might be wrong. Another 10 years would make that certain.

@Jeff, Marcel and others.

Several years ago, when I used to frequent a certain online discussion forum, a guy signed up with a username which flagged him as a Ayn Rand-loving market libertarian fundamentalist. The forum had plenty of them at the time, and having argued with them countless times I was pretty fed up and short-tempered with the new guy. He spouted the same old garbage, in a manner never less than cordial, and was understandably shot down every time he posted - by myself probably more than anyone else.

After about a week I got a private message from this guy. Entitled "why is it like this?", it was an honest and genuinely confused query as to why no-one considered Rand's libertarianism a valid or benevolent philosophy. I confess to being a little touched, congratulated him on doing what no other Randist had done and actually asked a question with the purpose of learning, and proceeded to set out exactly the problems with her ideas. A few mails later, and he had scrapped his libertarian leanings and his Randist username.

Of course, this made little difference to the rest of the 20 or so Rand acolytes on the forum. Some people are of course completely entrenched trolls. Sometimes it's open to question. It's the same on climate change. I'm aware that debate with certain individuals on here - John Archer, Dave Andrews, James et al - are impossible to debate with, and I'm also well aware that Brent may simply be a concern troll. But he has at least recognised the need to answer questions (with a little prompting, granted), which is why I carry on a discussion. To be honest, it doesn't actually bother me if I occasionally waste a bit of time on a concern troll. I think I've got a pretty decent radar so as not to do it too often, and I'd rather be fooled three times than falsely accuse someone whose position could genuinely be changed once.

That's just my position, different strokes. If nothing else, and Brent merely goes back to places like WUWT and reinforces his position, at least we can point to this thread in future as evidence of the futility of engagement with people on the pseudosceptic camp. Even if they profess genuine scepticism.

Bud (308): You wrote: "You were in effect proposing to rest the entire success or failure of a huge body of scientific work on whether or not the temperature rises above an arbitrarily determined value an arbitrary number of times as recorded by a certain arbitrary dataset. Does this not strike you as a little absurd?"

Well, yes, actually, it does. Having it pointed out so well by yourself is, I must confess, embarrassing.

I wish that it were possible to convey my tone of voice to you, and it isn't, so I will try to find the text which conveys this:

Bud, I'm just a member of the public trying to assess within my own unfortunate limitations whether human activity is heating the world dangerously (as opposed to triviallly). I think that the question: "How best to seek confirmation of the IPCC forecasts?" is a fair one. I agree that my "three high measurements in the next decade" was dumb; that this would not be a fair test.

Let me ask you - and I'm trying to be conciliatory here - if you were me, how best to seek confirmation?

James, it's not my sensitivity figure, it's from the IPCC, but thanks. The rest of your nonsense is a key example of why I cited you above as someone not worth bothering to debate with.

Again, James is insistent on mangling science when he says, "It hasn't warmed for the last decade and you know it".

For the billionth time, warming is not measured in such short term cycles because climate control is a largely deterministic process. A major forcing is required to shift a deterministic system out of short term equilibrium. Ten years is not long enough in the case of global climate patterns. At least 30 years would be the minimum baseline. And we know that the years 2000-2009 were the warmest in the past century anyway. Of course the warming has not stopped.

As for my political motivations, call me someone who believes in social justice. If that makes me political, then so be it. But certainly, James, your views on this and AGW are what I would expect from a mediocre high school student. And that is perhaps giving them too much credit.

So, James, my advice is to take your simplistic posturings elsewhere, perhaps to one of the many anti-environmental sites that will welcome you with open arms. They revel in ignorance, so you will be well placed.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

James @ 310:

It hasn't warmed for the last decade

Another blatant lie from James. That claim has already been [shown to be false](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…). Repeating it again without addressing the rebuttal will not make it true.

What if it doesn't warm for another decade? And another after? What then? I notice you've all neatly avoided that question.

Another blatant lie from James. That question has been answered several times in this thread, for example #127 and #232.

The guts of your science, as you people have explained to me, your words, is that there is no other explanation.

Another blatant lie from James. The mechanism by which the addition of CO2 to the atmosphere causes warming was understood long before we had added enough to make a measurable difference.

Well Gents, it's been fun, yes, I even quite enjoyed the mindless abuse.

Like Tamino and his code, you simply can't be straight, let alone polite. Thanks to Stu and Eras for trying. It's a pity that what could have been a sensible and illuminating discussion got drowned out by a bunch of hysterically screaming extremists. But I guess I got my answer. You can't make a case for AGW and that's clear. Remember it's the "A" in AGW that's important (which is why the 29,500 pointers is meaningless and I'd love to know who sat down and counted them and whether ice loss that has trapped all those boats in the Baltic is one of them).

I'm not running away. I'm away for a wedding anniversary this weekend then start a project next week with work so I won't be available to interrupt your fierce head nodding.

And Tim, if you're an "academic" then God help academia.

Marcel, get help.

"I'm not running away."

Seems like you are.

Can't help yourself, can you?

[James at #310](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…).

Your misrepresentation of the last decade's temperature trajectory has already been called by Bud, Jeff Harvey and Dave R.

In case the message is slow to reach your brain, after issuing from the monitor in front of you, you might consider spending some time pondering [the points posted here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/open_thread_43.php#comment-2318…). Of course, the same delay in comprehension is bound to operate, but perhaps if you sleep on it, the import may eventually sink in.

Do share your insights with us when they finally deign to visit your chugging brain.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

Dave R (232): You wrote: "I'm not a climate scientist. I accept the overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that human caused global warming is a real and serious problem. That's the only sensible position a layman can take."

Maybe you're right. One accepts the word of experts in many domains, such as an oclogist diagnosing your lump, or your garage mechanic telling you that the electronic diagnostics declare a faulty sensor, without contesting it and saying that we know better.

I think that the newfound availability of so much info on the internet tends to make many of us dig in areas previously reserved for the elite. Our forefathers accepted the experts' views more easily than this generation does.

Whilst I do have a technical background, maybe I have to accept that the IPCC's forecasts must be accepted as the best we've got without scepticism; and sigh "what the hell do I know?"

In my industry (automotive), when I audit a production process needing to run at, say, 150C, I'll ask: "How do you know we've got the right temperature?", they reply "This temperature gauge", I ask, "How do you know the gauge is accurate?", they say, "From this current calibration certificate", and I say, "That's good enough for me, thank you!"

The sarcastic brethren will now hoot, "This dumb-arse thinks that global warming confirmation is a mere matter of temperature measurement, as if the planet were his welding machine!"

So, guys, would you have me declare: "My previous desire to seek confirmation of the AGW hypothesis was misplaced. Climatology is the domain of specialists, and to go in search of confirmation is a perfect example of armchair science. Verification is beyond the layman's capability. I'll just have to defer to the experts."?

James:

It hasn't warmed for the last decade

Liar.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent please state in precise terms what you want to verify.

By Anonymous (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent;

In my industry (automotive), when I audit a production process needing to run at, say, 150C, I'll ask: "How do you know we've got the right temperature?", they reply "This temperature gauge", I ask, "How do you know the gauge is accurate?", they say, "From this current calibration certificate", and I say, "That's good enough for me, thank you!"

And how do you know that piece of paper actually means what it says it means??

Most Alaskan Glaciers Retreating, Thinning, Or Stagnating
ScienceDaily (Oct. 6, 2008) â Most glaciers in every mountain range and island group in Alaska are experiencing significant retreat, thinning or stagnation, especially glaciers at lower elevations,
http://www.tinyurl.com.au/2xa

but wait..................

Mass Loss from Alaskan Glaciers Overestimated? Previous Melt Contributed a Third Less to Sea-Level Rise Than Estimated

ScienceDaily (Mar. 3, 2010) â The melting of glaciers is well documented, but when looking at the rate at which they have been retreating, a team of international researchers steps back and says
http://www.tinyurl.com.au/2xb

hmmmm.........astounding

James;

You can't make a case for AGW and that's clear. Remember it's the "A" in AGW that's important

No, there's just the hundreds of pieces of science that you've been directed towards.

Nevermind, as you said on another site, you just come here to "stir". Learning or understanding simply aren't a part of the equation for you.

The hypocrisy of trolls such as James who "cry foul" about "abuse", but are happy to slander researchers such as Mann, Jones, Briffa on the basis of the "climategate" beatup, and anyone who disagrees with their delusions is certainly instructive, if more than tedious.

His hypocrisy is only challenged by his dishonesty and arrogance, IMHO, although his ignorance is in the race too.

I have spent thousands of words, explaining why (e.g) he is wrong to equate his personal "observations" with scientific methodology, but he is apparently unable to process information contrary to his POV.

I fear I may have (in some small part) played a role in bringing him here, as I have used links to this site to expose many of his "arguments" as the rubbish they are - hence his rage, I guess, and trolling here (where, funnily enough, he tries to mount the same "arguments".)

Thus demonstrating his honesty and search for information.

Sorry about that.

James is incapable of having a "sensible and illuminating discussion", which is why I can't be bothered engaging with him any more.

By Pterosaur (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

The headline to [SS's link](http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100302123124.htm) is Mass Loss from Alaskan Glaciers Overestimated? Previous Melt Contributed a Third Less to Sea-Level Rise Than Estimated.

Which means:
1) the glaciers are still melting; and

2) a larger than expected fraction of current [sea level rise](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Current_sea_level_rise) is due to ocean heat content causing thermal expansion.

Brent @ 320:

So, guys, would you have me declare: "[...] I'll just have to defer to the experts."?

Yes, since you've apparently just dismissed the more direct method of assessing it that was suggested in #127, without providing any reasoning whatsoever for that dismissal, despite being asked several times.

James has followed my advice and left. Given he was way out of his depth on the science (and politics) here, his presence will not be missed.

He wrote: "You can't make a case for AGW and that's clear".

The case has been made time and time and time again in the empirical literature (which James has apparently not read) and in the latest IPCC report (which he has either not read or does not understand). Next thing you know James will be claiming the moon is made out of green cheese and will taunt us for failing to disprove it.

As Marcel said, by being polite to those who are mangling science we are providing them with some sort of legitimacy. I do not mind politely discussing environmental science with those who are clearly seeking the truth, but I have no time for those in the denial camp (like James) who parade their ignorance here and package that as "informed discussion".

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

Dave R (250):
You referred me to a couple of sites which provide useful analysis: at Opinionations and at OpenMinds. Sorry I haven't responded quicker; I have a life outside this debate ;-)

Can I ask for you help here?

The Opinionations chappie writes that "Forcing per doubling of CO2 is 4W/m2 [Hansen et al. 2005]." Does this imply that a doubling of CO2 from the current 385 to 770PPM would add 4W/m2, and from 770 to 1540 another 4W/m2, and from 1540 to 3080? If so, am I right in thinking that the forcing effect would 'level off'? (I understand that higher PPM increases the greenhouse effect, so 'levelling off' refers only to the CO2-insolation ratio, not to temperature, and that 24W/m2 changes can be catastrophic.)

The OpenMinds site takes us through a statistical analysis. Either side of the GISS 'actual' temperature trend (in black) are confidence limits (in red). I assume these are 97% 0r 99% confidence limits, although he doesn't state it.
He writes: "When the lower confidence limit (the lower red line) is above zero, we have some confidence that the trend rate is definitely positive." Now, the lower red line sinks below zero in 1996. Am I right in saying that this tells us that we can be confident that there was a warming trend up to 1996, but that more recent data has such wide confidence limits that no conclusion can yet be drawn?

This approach is indeed useful, and I'm grateful. When sceptics say, "the earth started cooling in 1998", the OpenMinds approach proves such declarations to be premature, and possibly just-plain-wrong.

Michael (324):
You ask whether calibration certificates are to be trusted.

Whoa, steady now, there's no place on this website for people who are sc.... (try again) sce..... (try again) sc...

Sorry, I can't say that heinous word. They just are, OK?

Brent @ 331:

You referred me to [...] Opinionations

I've no idea what Opinionations is.

Either side of the GISS 'actual' temperature trend (in black) are confidence limits (in red)

You want to be looking at the first link in #127, which addresses your question directly. [Here is the link again](http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/01/31/you-bet/).

Brent:

am I right in thinking that the forcing effect would 'level off'?

No, the logarithm function is unbounded. BTW, atmospheric CO2 is growing faster than exponentially with time, so the CO2 forcing is growing faster than linearly with time.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

Anonymous (323): You asked "Brent please state in precise terms what you want to verify."

I will, but first let me explain why. Imagine a history of this time being written a century hence. I can imagine three different ones:

(i) From today's perspective in 2110 it seems unimaginable that the unfolding catastrophe fell foul of the infamous "Denialisti". Climatology had proven the greenhouse effect; demonstrated that fossil fuels were raising atmospheric CO2 concentrations; warned of positive feedback beyond 450ppm. And yet the politicians failed to act, partly due to the denial movement. As if orchestrated by perverse Fate, the IPCC disbandment in 2015 coincided with the rapid escalation of temperatures. These led to a major de-gassing of the oceans and tundra, and the vicious circle of positive feedback was unleashed. By mid-century, the human race had retreated to three zones separated by the Great Cancer Desert and the Great Capricorn Desert.

(ii) By mid century it was clear that the painful decarbonisation of the world economy had just - and only just - prevented the Earth reaching tipping point. The catastrophic warming of the 2020s (whose death toll is still disputed but lies between 50 and 150 million) was the final spur to action. The scientists now vindicated, the politicians, armed with their new mandate, took swift and draconian action with almost unanimous public support. Fossil fuel consumption was reduced by a remarkable x%, and PPM at last began to subside.

(iii) From today's perspective in 2110, belief in the IPCC's projections may seem the height of gullibility. Unlike their electorates which (the polls tell us) became ever more dubious in the century's second decade, governments continued to frame policy according to IPCC advice until, in 2030, xxxx

I can think of several comic endings for 'xxxx', but humour doesn't go down well in this nest of po-faced miseryguts.

To answer your question, Anonymous, "In the event that the causal relationship between rises in CO2 PPM and global temperatures are trivial, upon reaching what set of quantifiable parameters should the AGW hypothesis be declared refuted?"

And its opposite: for "trivial" substitute "as per IPCC AR4", and for "refuted" substitute "confirmed".

Brent @ 337:

It might be worth your while looking at the opinion-nation site with its statistical analysis and tell me what you think?

I don't think it's worth wasting any of my time doing your homework for you. If you want to dispute mainstream science then the burden of proof is yours. If you're not prepared to shoulder that burden, the answer you're looking for is [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…).

Brent,

Your third 'scenario' is a non-starter. For instance, climate change is just one of a series of human effects across the biosphere. Every indiactor of the health of natural systems is in decline (e.g. we have lost about 35-40% of the capacity of freshwater, marine and forest ecosystems since 1970). If our species continues to simplfy nature at the rate we are now, there is every possibility that few of us will be around in 2110 to look back over the accuracy of the IPCC predictions.

Nature has tipping points, just like the climate control system does. A wide range of critical ecosystem services emerges from nature over variable scales of space and time as a result of a stupendous array of interactions involving individuals, populations and communities of organisms. These interaction network webs reinforce ecological stability and from these emerge provisioning services upon which human civilization rests. Lose these services and we are in serious trouble.

Given the warning of potentially serious consequences regarding human actions (including climate change), it is prudent to act now to avoid the possible serious repercussions of inaction. No one alive in 2110 would seriously look back and mock our current concern over AGW and other human threats to the environment, unless we sat back and did nothing in the hope that all would turn out well when the evidence grew that it would not.

Essentially, given what we do know, continued procrastination is, in my view, the sprint of folly.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent:

humour doesn't go down well in this nest of po-faced miseryguts

Just let us know how you react to being lied to.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

"So, guys, would you have me declare: "My previous desire to seek confirmation of the AGW hypothesis was misplaced. Climatology is the domain of specialists, and to go in search of confirmation is a perfect example of armchair science. Verification is beyond the layman's capability. I'll just have to defer to the experts."?"

Yes, you idiot, because you're not trained in climatology, the same way I'm not trained in physics and even if I think I understand a paper's explanation I'll still defer to the opinion of the physical community.

Climatology is more complex than you yobs think.

By Katharine (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

"Nature is unforgiving. Once critical ecosystem services break down as a result of a diverse and ongoing human assault, then there will be profound consequences for our species. There is no way around it. At present we are living off a one-time inheritance of natural capital and are spending it like there is no tomorrow. On top of that, we are altering critical biogeochemical cycles (and climate), forces that operate over very large spatial and temporal scales. As ecologist Peter Vitousek said back in 1994, there will be effects of human activities on ecosystems across the biosphere. We are already entering a period of consequences. Against this background are people like yourselves who are happy to see humanity fiddling while Rome burns. You appear unconcerned that there are likely to be serious repercussions over the current global experiment that humans are conducting on systems of immense complexity but which sustain us. Climate change, given its scale, is likely to exacerbate many of the other stresses induced on nature by humanity."

Indeed. Too many humans think they are important to the universe. Humanity is only important to itself.

Earth will do with humanity as the fundamental constants of physics and the chemistry and biology produced therein and their actions within the ecosystem please.

The universe doesn't give a shit about life. It's already nearly gotten rid of it twice.

By Katharine (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

Katherine (341): ".... you idiot [-] you yobs...]"

Whoa! Steady girl! Here am I conceding that laymen must sometimes defer to experts, and you agree with me and abuse me at the same time. Blimey! Reminds me of Kincaid whose vicious vituperative rants so enliven the proceedings here. I asked him if maybe a girlfriend would calm him down a little; get rid of some of that angst.

Er.... have you two met? No?
Er.... Kincaid, c'mon over here, there's somebody I'd like you to meet. I wonder if you may have something in common...

Sorry, mis-spelled your name. Katharine with an A.

Ah, now weren't the Cathars a sect of angry heretics who burnt true believers at the stake?

Dave R:

Thanks for the link to the YouBet page of the OpenMind website,
http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/01/31/you-bet/
Nice one.

The author proposes some clear-cut criteria for this Great Debate, based solely on annual average GISS temperature in coming years. (Call it AAGISST?)

He proposes:
(i) If on two occasions, AAGIST anomaly > 0.75C - Warmists win.
(ii) If on two occasions, AAGISST anomaly < 0.35C - Denialists win.

Now some participants here have counseled against such simple criteria, saying that it's misplaced 'Popperian Fundamentalism', that the immense efforts of Climatology cannot be reduced to such a simple test. I can't argue with that.

So let's call this a 'side bet', just between you and me. It may take a few years to produce a result, and you and I count for nothing, so it's just for our own personal benefit, yes? Deal?

(Er... Dave, would you be Professor Sir David King by any chance? I can picture you at the IPCC rostrum in 2015, the press photographers a-snapping, saying, "Your majesties and presidents, five years ago I had a friendly bet with a bloke called Brent. He won. Let's disband this IPCC and spend the money on a massive programme of endangered species protection." Dave, they'll carry you on their shoulders, cheering you. Daily Mirror: 'King for King!'. Independent: 'King says Emperor Has No Clothes' Times: 'Official: Global Warming Scare Over'. Guardian: 'Our Last Remaining Reader Goes Carbon Neutral, Buried in Hermetically Sealed Coffin'.

Oh, and here's a question to the assembled brethren: "Have you personally taken any steps whatsoever to reduce your carbon footprint by a significant amount? If so, please give some indication in kWh per annum, litres of vehicle fuel per annum, and aircraft passenger-miles."

X(

Here's the preceding two paragraphs:

"In my industry (automotive), when I audit a production process needing to run at, say, 150C, I'll ask: "How do you know we've got the right temperature?", they reply "This temperature gauge", I ask, "How do you know the gauge is accurate?", they say, "From this current calibration certificate", and I say, "That's good enough for me, thank you!"

The sarcastic brethren will now hoot, "This dumb-arse thinks that global warming confirmation is a mere matter of temperature measurement, as if the planet were his welding machine!"

The rest of your post does say, in fact, that one must occasionally defer to experts. However, your post about the industry you work in tells me a few things:

1) You make poor analogies. The issue with what you're saying is that the climate is changing, but not at the same rate everywhere. In addition, a number of factors must be taken into account; the weather, the human contribution to global warming, and what would have happened had we not contributed to global warming.

To compare this to the relatively simplistic task of CALIBRATING A GAUGE shows how much you don't understand about science. (What's your background? Engineering? They don't teach engineers much about the scientific method, if I remember correctly. I mean, they're the subjects of the Salem Hypothesis.)

2) Part of being scientific is releasing your results to others so that they can evaluate them, knowing full well that any individual human may be subject to their own biases. Doing this decreases, generally, the likelihood that an individual's own biases will interfere.

By Katharine (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

Call me 'girl' again and I'm going to get ugly.

By Katharine (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

Jeff Harvey (339):
Jeff, thanks for that. What you wrote is measured and intelligent.

The other threats that you mention are indeed serious, distressing, and in need of urgent action. I'll just pick out one phrase you wrote:

"e.g. we have lost about 35-40% of the capacity of freshwater, marine and forest ecosystems since 1970"

and of course you said plenty more which resonates.

My view (and I think this is shared by many Denialists, barring the extremist fringe) is that many urgent nature conservation tasks and anti-pollution tasks are being impeded - not assisted - by global warming hysteria. I would urge people to separate out the global warming issue from the general (and laudable) green agenda.

My reason for spending time on this site is to assess the AGW hypothesis from 'inside', listening to sincere, educated, well-informed people who (apart the abusive ones) argue their case passionately and also with dispassionate evidence. From 'outside' it appears that the AGW believers are a bunch of crazy tree-huggers, neoapocalyptic doommongers, egged on by corrupt scientists with a seat on the gravy train. A bunch of 'watermelons'. So I'm glad to be here and size up the psychology. The caricature is way out.

Although I have endured quite some abuse, (I think a 'troll' is a malicious participant in a conversation attempting to disrupt or deflect progress; some call me this) I have benefited from this contact: I now see more clearly how logical the AGW hypothesis is, and understand how believers see sceptics as anti-nature barbarians, as blinkered, selfish fools trying to hold back the noble endeavour of carbon reduction, as bad people, as spoilers.

Now, although I doubt the AGW hypothesis, I'm prepared to see it validated and (if this happens) be compelled to (sheepishly) reverse my position. But validation depends on the events of the next few years. Until then the jury's still out (or rather, this bloody juror, me, is voting 'unproven').

If the graph shoots up, I'll be crapping myself and I'll find a job within cycling distance, and maybe resuscitate my failed Carbon Capture business. The over-intellectual brethren here say that you can't measure global warming with a thermometer - that is Popperian Fundamentalism.

You say "Given the warning of potentially serious consequences regarding human actions (including climate change),..."
Jeff, delete the last three words and I'm with you all the way! In my view, the monies which COULD be spent combating deforestation, combating rhino poachers, combating mercury pollution is frittered away on this issue-that-never-was, and future generations will sneer at us.

You mention 'tipping points' and 'ecological stability'. Can you help me out here? May I query this? (Marcel Kincaid: keep you big rude nose out of this. We're talking like grown-ups here.)

The expression 'tipping point' is of course familiar to me as an engineer, and I understand unstable equilibrium. But I understand ecosystems have embraced stable equilibrium out of Darwinian neccessity. Can you cite me some examples of tipping points? One such would be 'minimum breeding population'. Are there others? At present I think of the term as hyperbole.

As for 'ecological stability', I read about wild swings in some species (locusts, lemmings, in briefly-blooming deserts). Has there in the past been 'ecological stability', or isn't nature characterised by constant change and adaptation, often with vast population swings over a variety of timescales?

Brent;

ou ask whether calibration certificates are to be trusted.
Whoa, steady now, there's no place on this website for people who are sc.... (try again) sce..... (try again) sc...
Sorry, I can't say that heinous word. They just are, OK?

Such faith Brent. You know that they are just approximations of temp., don't you?? Good ones, mind you, but based on all kind of scientific theories (gasp!).

It's been previously noted by others (John Mashey I think) that technicians (engineers being the archetype) are particularly prone to an errorneous type of doubt over AGW. The classic symptom is references to techincal procedures, such as calibration, ISO processes etc, as if the scientific production of new knowledge is a by-the-numbers process leading to a precise outcome. This is the kind of thinking that led Steve McIntyre down the garden path, where he remains off with the fairies.

This technical approach is to scientific discovery what Photoshop is to the Sistine Chapel.

Katherine (346):

Salem Hypothesis: Never heard of it before, but reading the definition gave me a right old shock! I'm grateful to you. ma'am. And it certainly gives me pause for thought.

Engineering is an accumulation of human ingenuity founded on maths. Science, on the other hand, is a work of discovery, not of invention, although creativity and imagination are an asset. Two very different mindsets indeed, and I imagine your point is: 'Engineers, having reached almost total mastery of their field, are prone to straying into other areas where their ignorance is comical and their certainty a positive liability.' Scary thought. Plank in own eye?

Before engineering I had two unhappy years at London Uni doing physics. Quantum mechanics especially was my downfall. Maths too hard.

OK, maybe I am being thick, but please be patient: Why is it so dumb to want to validate global warming with a thermometer (yeah, yeah, with due regard to statistical technique)?

There are those who sneer "Huh, that's just Popperian Fundamentalism." They're a bit quiet at the moment, but in case they'e lurking, here's a question:

"Is the expression Popperian Fundamentalism used solely by slippery customers who like to wriggle out of giving a straight answer to a straight question?"

And, for those same people, I'll ask again: "If my thermometer isn't capable of testing global warming, pray tell, what other falsifiability criteria (as insisted on by WG1 section of the AR4) do you propose?"

Katharine, you also say "Part of being scientific is releasing your results to others so that they can evaluate them", and somebody was recently saying here that great reputations are won in science not by conforming but by leaps which overturn the prior state of the art. These two concepts together speak of honesty being at the heart of science.

Would you therefore please comment on Roy Spencer's recent work on the Urban Heat Island effect? If most of the GISS thermometers are truly undercalibrated (figure of speech) by a degree, the Great Debate over a piddling half-degree will be over in a very short time and, with the integrity you describe, the scientists will be bailing out of the AGW movement like a flock of seagulls.

Michael (349):
Somebody else made your very point, and it certainly draws blood. I hope I am not as narrow as the Salem Hypothesis description. Twenty years ago I was reading, in French, a book on scientific method, and I reckon that my engineering career has benefited from the rigorous approach I have imbibed from a lifelong interest in science.

You wrote: "This technical approach is to scientific discovery what Photoshop is to the Sistine Chapel." Ouch!

May I say that I'd much rather be attacked in a dark alley by somebody carrying a Salem Hypothesis than by Marcel Kincaid's vocabulary. He must have keyboard shortcut to "idiot" and "fool".

Michael, please block your ears now. I'm going to insult somebody and I don't want you to hear.

Kincaid: You is one great big blithering Ctrl F2

Brent:

So let's call this a 'side bet', just between you and me. It may take a few years to produce a result, and you and I count for nothing, so it's just for our own personal benefit, yes? Deal?

It's a brave man who would bet that this trend has suddenly come to an end, especially one who couldn't be bothered to check realclimate for CO2's logarithmic forcing.

By the way Brent, you still haven't told us how you react to being lied to.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent asks:

"Why is it so dumb to want to validate global warming with a thermometer (yeah, yeah, with due regard to statistical technique)?"

Why on earth do you think it isn't already validated by thermometer??

Fit a line to warming since 1975 (the modern warming era - there is very good statistical support for beginning in 1975) or since the turn of the last century, 110 years ago - both are positive slope, with statistical significance. Ask if the temperatures over the last 5 years - or 10 years, or 8 years, or even the last 1 year - are statistically distinguishable from what is expected given the continuation of that trend line. The answer, of course, is "no." I'll also point out that recent temperatures are now back ABOVE that trend line.

Warming, at approximately this rate and time course, has been predicted for at least a couple decades now. For a century, if you accept the early estimates. Those predictions continue to be validated. So, why, precisely, do you need to wait for more warming, and what, precisely, is your reasoning for needing more 'thermometer' data? How many more years of data do you need, and why?

Oh, Michael (349), another couple of points:

-As I'm sure you understood, I was mocking that guy's scepticism over my acceptance of a calibration certificate. An interesting idea was raised by Australian blogger Jo Nova: she suggested that the opposite to scepticism is "unscepticism". But here we reach the limits of the words. The majority here would define AGW sceptics as "those who are immune to evidence, due either to prejudice or financial interest or from being maliciously antisocial". And the label "unsceptic", were we to adopt it, would mean: "those who unquestioningly accept the doomsday scenario of the Hockey Team, who consider scepticism a vice rather than a virtue; people of 'faith' which is defined as 'holding a viewpoint regardless of contrary evidence'."

-Steve McIntyre: Can we please compare our thoughts on him? Me first, if I may: I see Steve as a dogged pursuer of scientific integrity. Admittedly he has no research of his own; his contribution is one of 'policing'. Using his statistical expertise, he has unearthed malpractice. The title of his website includes the word 'Audit', which is an essential part of ensuring integrity in other domains such as accounting and quality assurance.

Now, feel free to contest any of the above. You say 'with the fairies'. I am sure that you have grounds for saying such a thing, and I'd welcome your further comments. If the guy has a screw loose, well I'll have to stop admiring him.

Brent @ 354:

Steve McIntyre [...] has unearthed malpractice

No he hasn't you liar.

Steve McIntyre [...] has unearthed malpractice - Brent

No he hasn't you liar. - Dave R.

Sure he has Dave. McIntyre was looking in the mirror when he unearthed it.

By Dappledwater (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

Chris O'Neill (340, 352):
Sorry I didn't reply to your question, "Just let us know how you react to being lied to." I'm afraid I didn't quite know how to respond. Short answer: Don't like it!

Are you referring to the fact that I entered this website claiming to have an open mind and failed to admit that I had a current position, stated on other sites? That, since I have lied to people here, how would I like the same treatment? Chris, if I had arrived at Deltoid saying "Now Hear Ye - Stand aside, peasants, I know better than you!", I'd have caused an unproductive shouting match.

Thanks for your earlier "No, the logarithm function is unbounded." So, exponential growth - or faster - of CO2 will not result in backscatter reaching an asymptote then; it'll carry on climbing.

You recommended visiting the RealClimate site for more background on CO2 forcing. It's not that I couldn't be bothered before, it's more a question of time and knowing quite where to look. But I will - thanks for the tip.

Oh, and thanks for the link to a Holzhauser interview in 2005. Until now I've only looked at his papers and his graphs, not his opinions (didn't know he had spoken out).

"The Aletsch is so big it reacts slowly," says Holzhauser. "But what we're seeing already augurs a tragedy."

The keyword for me is "augurs": this verb refers to the future, and it's a recurring theme here that past behaviour is all very well, but forecasts are only forecsts until the time comes. When the time comes, they're either "spot on" or "bollocks", and I prefer to wait and see. Given that Holzhauser's figures show a shorter glacier 2000 years ago, I'm surprised he predicts a "tragedy", but he DID say it, and I'll be trying to find out why.

When Brent says:

Can we please compare our thoughts on him? Me first, if I may: I see Steve as a dogged pursuer of scientific integrity.

he means:

I reckon that [Steve's] tenacity in demanding scientific rigour is of great importance, and will be celebrated in future accounts of science at the millennium.

Shorter Brent @ 357:
_We must wait until it's too late. Trust me I'm an unqualified idiot._

Brent:

Why is it so dumb to want to validate global warming with a thermometer

I must have missed something somewhere but where do you get the idea that global warming is not being measured by thermometers?

If most of the GISS thermometers are truly undercalibrated (figure of speech) by a degree, the Great Debate over a piddling half-degree

You appear to be making a basic mistake in not realizing that warming is detected from changes in anomalies and doesn't rely on absolute temperature measurement. (BTW, GISS doesn't operate its own set of thermometers.) Your attitude is preventing you from learning these basic facts from places such as realclimate.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent:

The majority here would define AGW sceptics as

Just because someone calls themselves a "sceptic" doesn't necessarily mean they are. Plenty of self-described AGW sceptics are quite gullible. Just calling yourself a sceptic is rather arrogant.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent:

Sorry I didn't reply to your question, "Just let us know how you react to being lied to." I'm afraid I didn't quite know how to respond. Short answer: Don't like it!
Are you referring to the fact that I entered this website claiming to have an open mind and failed to admit that I had a current position, stated on other sites? That, since I have lied to people here, how would I like the same treatment? Chris, if I had arrived at Deltoid saying "Now Hear Ye - Stand aside, peasants, I know better than you!", I'd have caused an unproductive shouting match.

False dichotomy. It is not necessary to say "Now Hear Ye - Stand aside, peasants, I know better than you!" in order to avoid lying.

You recommended visiting the RealClimate site for more background on CO2 forcing. It's not that I couldn't be bothered before, it's more a question of time and knowing quite where to look.

It doesn't take very long to just read their articles without the comments. Perhaps in particular, the CO2 problem in six easy steps, is a good overview but browsing the index for particularly interesting points is a good way to find something interesting.

forecasts are only forecsts until the time comes. When the time comes, they're either "spot on" or "bollocks", and I prefer to wait and see.

So you'd rather wait for the tragedy to occur just to make sure the forecasts are correct. What a clever strategy that is.

Given that Holzhauser's figures show a shorter glacier 2000 years ago, I'm surprised he predicts a "tragedy", but he DID say it, and I'll be trying to find out why.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the glacier has lost 3 kilometres in 140 years and is now retreating faster than at any time in history. At this rate, it won't be very long before it's the shortest it's been in 125,000 years.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent:

He proposes: (i) If on two occasions, AAGIST anomaly greater than 0.75C - Warmists win. (ii) If on two occasions, AAGISST anomaly less than 0.35C - Denialists win.

0.735C and 0.3946C actually.

So let's call this a 'side bet', just between you and me. It may take a few years to produce a result, and you and I count for nothing, so it's just for our own personal benefit, yes? Deal?

You just missed out on a big opportunity in 2008 which was 0.43C with its strong La Nina. La Nina's like that don't come around too often so you're not likely to have much chance for a long time. With warming, the record year (2005) was 0.62C so there's a fair way to go to break 0.735C twice so Tamino is giving you a big chance.

You're happy to go along with the idea that the world is warm since every year before 1998 was cooler than 0.3946C. Of course, you have absolutely no sensible explanation for why the world is so warm.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 05 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent;

Steve McIntyre: Can we please compare our thoughts on him? Me first, if I may: I see Steve as a dogged pursuer of scientific integrity. Admittedly he has no research of his own; his contribution is one of 'policing'. Using his statistical expertise, he has unearthed malpractice.

McIntyre's basic premise is the technician/engineer approach misapplied to science.

And while the 'audit' term is thrown around, it's misapplied as well. McIntyre doesn't look at climate science papers in general, he has focussed on those that are particualrly well known, hence his obsession with Mann. It's also quite clear that McIntyre has been looking to find evidence of what he already believed to be true - that there is some kind of fraud in climate science. This is his second basic premise.

It seems never to have crossed McIntyre's head to 'audit' papers that claim the scientific concenus is mistaken.

Chris O'Neill (360 etc):
As you recommended, I have begun reading the Realclimate site. (Hey, there's a lot to take in!)

The Hockey Stick page refers to a 1999 paper by Jones et al., which I have accessed. It's pretty readable! One doesn't feel as out of one's depth as when reading a quantum physics paper!

(It's at: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/temp/jonescru/jones.html)

Now, Jonesey writes: "from over 3000 station records that have been corrected for non-climatic errors, such as station shifts and/or instrument changes (Jones 1994)."

He doesn't explicitely refer to any Urban Heat Island effect, or write "...such as adjacent disruptive heat sources" but, in fairness, this can fall within the statement "... have been corrected for non-climatic errors..."

Can you help me here? Are you aware of literature where the Hockey Stick has been adjusted for UHI?

Let me put it rather more provocatively: If Jones has written somewhere: "The thermometer at Chicago airport is in the selfsame position since 1936, when there was the occasional Gypsy Moth half a mile away. The fact that it today sits in the exhaust Gases of an Airbus 380 might be relevant, but we assume not," it may damage the Hockey Stick's authority.

With less irony, let's put it straight: It is suggested that the Urban Heat Island effect may have skewed earthstation temperatures in recent years. If this effect is real, to what extent should the CRU/Hadley Global and Hemispheric Temperature Anomaly data be amended?

Ref: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/temp/jonescru/graphics/glnhsh.png

John (358):
You compared a recent comment I made about Steve McIntyre to an older one on some other site.

Although I used entirely different words, the sentiment then was identical to the sentiment yesterday.

If you are suggesting that:

"as a dogged pursuer of scientific integrity"

is inconsistent with

"tenacity in demanding scientific rigour"

well maybe you should (expletive self-censored by writer).

If Steve McIntyre is a bit loopy I'll be obliged to withdraw my admiration for him, but my current view is that I'd like to buy a cottage by the sea with him and have babies.

Chris O'Neill (352):

You wrote: "It's a brave man who would bet that this trend has suddenly come to an end"

http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/bet3.jpg

And, yes, that's very well put, Chris! The graph, showing a steady rise from 1975 to 2008, invites the eye to extrapolate it ever-upwards. Yes, I am offering to 'surrender' if the black dots go into the red zone twice.

For those who accused me of being a 'troll', I hope that the above proves my sincerity. I came here believing I was right but prepared to be proved wrong. I believe in Popperian Falsifiability.

Guys, if you are right I will change my mind, and encourage other sceptics to embrace the truth I took too long to see.

Lee (353):
Lee, I see the logic in what you say, and can see that within the 110-year timescale the trend looks like - well, a trend (!). And what do we do with trends? We extrapolate them.

You ended with: "How many more years of data do you need, and why?", and I see the frustration behind those words. Somebody less polite than you might equate 'wait-and-see' with 'we can spin this out indefinitely until our wicked plan to destroy the world succeeds'.

Here's my answer:

(i) I don't doubt that it started getting warmer around 1975. So what? Even Phil Jones of UEA accepted that it had been getting cooler before that. So what?

(ii) I don't even doubt that it's been getting warmer since 1860. The Aletsch Glacier has been getting shorter since then. So what? Before that it had been advancing over people's pastureland (and a team of Catholic priests were wheeled in to halt the advance). So what?

(iii) The 'so what' sounds a bit cocky, so let's put it more dispassionately: There is plenty of evidence that temperatures have been oscillating down the ages, long before industrialisation and long before 1975. I see no reason to be more alarmed by the past three decades of warming than the 1910-1940 warming.

(iv) The IPCC forecasts can only be confirmed by comparison with actual temperature measurements, which lie in the future. We should know in the next decade (or, at least, I for one will concede the warmist case). Had we been having this conversation 20 years ago, maybe I'd be a Warmist today. But we are where we are, in 2010, and today I say, "Wait and see."

(v) There is reason to believe that the GISS temperature graph is skewed by the Urban Heat Island effect. I am trying to assess whether any such skewing has already been taken into account, whether it is contested by, say, the CRU, and whether the Hockey Stick needs to be revised. Somewhere above I refer to an interesting new paper on UHI by Roy Spencer of Alabama Uni. If he's right that the UHI signal swamps the piffling half-degree that is alleged to be dragging us to Armageddon, then the Jeremiahs who insist that we're all doomed will have to find a new scare story.

[Brent](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…).

You should really acquaint yourself with the [updated proxies used in hockey stick reconstruction](http://dx.doi.org/10.1073%2Fpnas.0805721105). If it becomes too much like quantum physics, the [wiki summary](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_controversy#Updates) might help.

Ask yourself what these have to do with urban heat islands, and ask yourself why it matters anyway when [Menne et al](http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ushcn/v2/monthly/menne-etal2010.pdf) have destroyed the basis for the hysteria over the UHI 'effect' on the global temperature record.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 06 Mar 2010 #permalink

Addendum: the Menne et al paper is focussed on US temperatures of course, but the aforementioned hysteria is extrapolated to the globe from a US basis...

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 06 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent:

Are you aware of literature where the Hockey Stick has been adjusted for UHI?

You seem to be unaware that the "Hockey Stick" usually refers to reconstructions of paleoclimatic temperature that go back to times before the instrumental record was extensive enough to make it possible to estimate global temperature anomaly. The instrumental record, which covers the time when UHI became significant, is too short to make a shape that looks like a whole hockey stick. So UHI and the "Hockey Stick" have nothing directly to do with each other.

As regards UHI, the estimate of long term trend in global temperature completely avoids UHI because it is solely dependent on non-urban temperature measurements. Tamino dealt with this issue in a couple of his articles about the GISS estimate. So find those articles to learn something about it.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 06 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent:

(i) I don't doubt that it started getting warmer around 1975. So what? Even Phil Jones of UEA accepted that it had been getting cooler before that. So what?

There was only 0.1C of cooling in the 30 year trend to 1975 and 0.6C of warming since then. And all this was after another 0.5C of warming had occurred in the previous 30 years. You are ignoring the fact that the warming that has occurred is ten times as much as the 1944-1975 cooling.

(ii) I don't even doubt that it's been getting warmer since 1860. The Aletsch Glacier has been getting shorter since then. So what? Before that it had been advancing over people's pastureland (and a team of Catholic priests were wheeled in to halt the advance). So what?

Weren't you paying attention above when I said:

"Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the glacier has lost 3 kilometres in 140 years and is now retreating faster than at any time in history. At this rate, it won't be very long before it's the shortest it's been in 125,000 years"?

Holzhauser says that's it's currently shrinking at up to 1 kilometer per 20 years. Just tell us how much shorter it was in the historical past and you'll arrive at an estimate for how long it will be before it's the shortest it's been in 125,000 years.

(iii) The 'so what' sounds a bit cocky, so let's put it more dispassionately: There is plenty of evidence that temperatures have been oscillating down the ages, long before industrialisation and long before 1975. I see no reason to be more alarmed by the past three decades of warming than the 1910-1940 warming.

That's because you're ignoring cause. A large part of the 1910-1940 warming was caused by a temporary increase in insolation and a reduction in atmospheric particulates. None of these things have happened since 1975.

(iv) The IPCC forecasts can only be confirmed by comparison with actual temperature measurements, which lie in the future.

What on earth are you talking about? Forecasts were being made in the early 1980s. These have been largely confirmed with actual temperature measurements.

Had we been having this conversation 20 years ago, maybe I'd be a Warmist today. But we are where we are, in 2010, and today I say, "Wait and see."

So you think that because you've been asleep for the past 20 years, the rest of the world should also act as if it's been asleep for the past 20 years too? Pull the other one.

(v) There is reason to believe that the GISS temperature graph is skewed by the Urban Heat Island effect.

No there isn't. Urban temperature records are adjusted to have the same long-term trend as nearby rural records in calculating global average.

Somewhere above I refer to an interesting new paper on UHI by Roy Spencer of Alabama Uni. If he's right that the UHI signal swamps the piffling half-degree

His paper is about estimating UHI, NOT about whether UHI has any influence over global average temperature estimates which it doesn't.

that is alleged to be dragging us to Armageddon, then the Jeremiahs who insist that we're all doomed will have to find a new scare story.

Give it a break. You sound like an ideological nutcase.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 06 Mar 2010 #permalink

Now some participants here have counseled against such simple criteria, saying that it's misplaced 'Popperian Fundamentalism', that the immense efforts of Climatology cannot be reduced to such a simple test. I can't argue with that.

Not sure if this was answered between when I read it and the bottom of the thread.

You've misread or misrepresented my comment, and not just in this particular quote. Go back and read my comment *carefully*.

What is "the hypothesis" that you referred to that my comment addressed? *A*GW, no?

What is the hypothesis that the test at Open Mind assesses? *GW*, no?

I'm fine with the Open Mind test, because you *can* measure GW with a thermometer providing you distinguish signal from noise.

But that does not let you falsify AGW *until* you separate out the other warming/cooling effects. That concept should be understandable to someone who did a couple of years of Uni physics.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 07 Mar 2010 #permalink

A large part of the 1910-1940 warming was caused by a temporary increase in insolation and a reduction in atmospheric particulates. None of these things have happened since 1975.

This quote embodies precisely the kind of issue I was trying to point out to you in my response to your musings on falsifying "the hypothesis", which you seemed to acknowledge and then forget shortly afterwards.

Imagine "the hypothesis" was "pressing on this accelerator will accelerate this car". Can you falsify it by observing 60 seconds without acceleration? Sure, at least for the specific scenario the car is in. Imagine it's pointed up an incredibly steep hill, or on a road with no friction between the tires & road. You can even observe *negative* acceleration in some cases.

But is this the right hypothesis when you want to predict what impact the accelerator will have on the car under future scenarios - like, say, with decent grip on a flat road, or even going down a hill? Of course not!

A more useful hypothesis for prediction, and more similar to AGW, would be that "pressing on the accelerator leads to *more* acceleration than *not* pressing on it". Do you see why?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 07 Mar 2010 #permalink

Bernard (369): I'm grateful to you for the link to the Menne paper.

It shows(for others' benefit here) the Urban Heat Island effect to be trivial by comparing 'well-sited' earthstations with 'poorly sited' ones, and finding only a tiny difference. We see photos comparing airports 'then-and-now', which give credence to the UHI notion. But 'might feasibly skew the data' ain't 'has skewed the data significantly', and so this paper says we can discard the UHI effect and continue to trust the GISS/CRU/HAD data.

If you have seen Spencer's recent work on UHI, would you say that they contradict each other, or would that be comparing apples and oranges?

Chris O'Neill (371): You wrote: "The instrumental record, which covers the time when UHI became significant, is too short to make a shape that looks like a whole hockey stick. So UHI and the 'Hockey Stick' have nothing directly to do with each other."

I was under the misapprehension that the Hockey Stick was just that: a paleo reconstruction with actual measurement data in recent decades. Bernard linked to a Mann paper and a supporting PDF file:

http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2008/09/02/0805721105.DCSupplemental/…

This PDF shows (pp 21 & 22) some spectacular hockey sticks, with the recent red line going through the roof. The red line is labelled "CRU Instrumental Record".

Isn't this what all the concern is about? That directly measured temperatures have in recent decades risen to unprecedented levels as evidenced by older direct measurements and by paleo proxy?

(Chris, I'm not ignoring your #372; time limitations at the moment.)

the 'Hockey Stick' have nothing directly to do with each other.

Brent:

I was under the misapprehension that the Hockey Stick was just that: a paleo reconstruction with actual measurement data in recent decades.

Arguments about the "Hockey Stick" are normally centred around the potential inaccuracies in the part of the reconstructions before AD 1600, especially parts before AD 1450 and especially still parts covering the Mediaeval Warm Period. These issues are not the same as the issue of UHI. Although UHI could hypothetically affect the hockeystick shape, the former was a serious scientific issue while the latter was never a serious issue. So the "Hockey Stick" has never been adjusted for UHI because it was produced using data that had already been corrected for UHI. Before you start any consideration of the "Hockey Stick" you need to come to the realization that notions that the instrumental global temperature record (e;g. GISS's) are contaminated by UHI are absolute garbage.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 08 Mar 2010 #permalink

My first quote in 376 should have been:

UHI and the 'Hockey Stick' have nothing directly to do with each other.
By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 08 Mar 2010 #permalink

Chris O'Neill (372):
I have an important point to concede here: I followed the link you kindly supplied to the OpenMinds site, and find the following:

"...Gavin Schmidt (via email) has reminded me that the last step of NASA GISS adjustments â the correction for urban heating â uses data from nearby rural stations (like Orland) to apply a correction to non-rural stations (like Marysville). Hence in part, the urban heating correction applied to Marysville depends on the trend at Orland."

This answers my question nicely, and I'm grateful.

On the subject of the Aletsch Glacier, you wrote that maybe I wasn't paying attention when you previously wrote, "maybe it has something to do with the fact that the glacier has lost 3 kilometres in 140 years and is now retreating faster than at any time in history. At this rate... [-] ..Holzhauser says that's it's currently shrinking at up to 1 kilometer per 20 years. Just tell us how much shorter it was in the historical past and... "

It would be unfair to Holzhauser to subject his marvellous graph (with its turning points and gradients) to more analysis than he intended. Whilst the last 200 years of advance and (much more) decline are from direct measurement, he shows previous rates of decline similar to the 1860-to-today period which are probably intelligent guesses. I started doing a quick calculation of decline rates and then abandoned the attempt as over-interpretation. Yes, he said what he said about unprecedented rate of retreat. I don't see it in his graph, but he has a vast knowledge. Er, his paper is therefore just the tip of the iceberg ;)

To the minima he shows at 1300BC and 100BC (shorter than today) he added a big fat question mark, which is admirable. So, yes, if the 150-year trend continues for a few more decades it will reach (to our best knowledge) a record low.

You wrote: "Give it a break. You sound like an ideological nutcase." Maybe you're right; maybe I will!

I have learned a lot from these discussions, and many people have clarified the (joined-up) thinking behind the AGW hypothesis. I'm not quite there yet, but the case for AGW is (in my opinion (which counts for nothing)) stronger than I had figured.

In putting counterarguments, my intention was to put people to the test. Now that the vile shut-up-you-fool-it-just-is-brigade has withdrawn, I see a core of reasoning educated people who accept the hypothesis on its merits.

Ahem, there is a second order UHI effect in the hockey stick. Tree growth is calibrated against the instrumental record, if UHI made the instrumental record have a higher trend than was really the case, then all of the proxys would have too high a sensitivity, and the temperature anomalies in the past would have been also too high. In other words, any UHI effect if corrected for would flatten the handle of the hockey stick

Lotharsson (373,374): You wrote:
"But that does not let you falsify AGW until you separate out the other warming/cooling effects. That concept should be understandable to... " and "Do you see why?"

Well, yes, I do. What you say about other forcings potentially masking the radiative forcing of CO2 makes perfect sense, as does you analogy to a vehicle accelerating/decelerating.

And so there is the potential in the next few years for lower world temperatures which would in no way invalidate the AGW hypothesis. When I wrote something like: "Lotharsson was right: it IS 'N' years!", there was an element of humour, and I wasn't suggesting that you were being slippery or trying to delay the day when the AGW hypothesis can be refuted.

This is an infernally complex issue, and who knows when it can be resolved? Oh for a time machine or the elixir of life, to be able to look back on today.

I have to accept that the AGW hypothesis has an internal consistency and logic, and that its proponents are more rational than I had thought.

I haven't yet thrown in the towel, though. I shall continue to dig, to examine the prism from many angles. I suspect that astrophysics may hold the key, although the carbon boys have a working hypothesis. Just yesterday I heard that the flow of a certain S.American river correlates well with sunspot cycles. Other such revelations may well emerge.

Hey, maybe the sunspots are caused by the river!

Just yesterday I heard that the flow of a certain S.American river correlates well with sunspot cycles. Other such revelations may well emerge.

That might be because sunspots possibly correlate with rainfall. Google.

Brent @ 380:
>who knows when it can be resolved?

This was answered for you in #372.

>Just yesterday I heard that the flow of a certain S.American river correlates well with sunspot cycles.

They did not show a correlation with sunspot cycles. (The paper in question is [here](http://www.iafe.uba.ar/httpdocs/reprint_parana.pdf)).

Interesting though how the "correlation is not causation" meme is [trotted out](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…) in cases where it's a straw man, but not where it's relevant.

It's very easy to find out why the sun can be ruled out as the cause of the recent global warming. If you want to show that you are willing to learn you can post those arguments in your next reply, along with any objections you have to them.

Brent:

This is an infernally complex issue

Calculating the forcing caused by CO2 (and comparing it with other forcings) is not infernally complex. Estimating the temperature rise from this forcing is not infernally complex, it's just not very accurate. Estimating the detailed consequences of this temperature rise is infernally complex but some of them are absolutely catastrophic.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 08 Mar 2010 #permalink

Dave R (382): Thanks for a copy of the Maunas paper on the Parana River.

When you say, "did not show a correlation with sunspot cycles", have you read the passage where the authors write:

"For the last century, we find a strong correlation with Sunspot Number, in multi-decadal time scales, with larger solar activity corresponding with larger streamflow."

Tell me, do you think this interesting info on solar activity worthy of consideration in the wider debate about AGW?

In putting counterarguments, my intention was to put people to the test.

So it's about people rather than science? Wouldn't reading the many comments at this blog and elsewhere have established what these people are like? It seems to me that supporters of AGW -- which includes every reputable scientific organization, and 97% of climate scientists -- have already been put to the test over and over again.

Now that the vile shut-up-you-fool-it-just-is-brigade has withdrawn

That characterization does not seem accurate to me; all the comments I've seen, even the most hostile, provided some sort of factual support, rather than "it-just-is".

I see a core of reasoning educated people who accept the hypothesis on its merits.

And why didn't you see that before? There was vast amounts of evidence of it.

I have to accept that the AGW hypothesis has an internal consistency and logic

That's what you said in your very first post, but it isn't so much about "internal" consistency as it is about the supporting evidence.

its proponents are more rational than I had thought

In your first post you wrote "there are bright, educated, informed, sincere people on both sides" -- so you didn't really believe that of the science community (which is the side that supports the AGW)? You should look into how you came to, and sustained, your erroneous belief against considerable evidence.

This is an infernally complex issue, and who knows when it can be resolved? Oh for a time machine or the elixir of life, to be able to look back on today.

It has been resolved -- the science community has reached consensus. And over and over again you ignore the consequences of postponing action based on that consensus with your "We should know in the next decade" and "Wait and see" and "Oh for a time machine". This isn't just some debating game where the object is to get the maximum number of people to agree with one side or the other -- or worse, to get you to agree, although you seem to view it that way. Rather, the goal is to make a best possible determination from the available facts and to implement policy consistent with that -- "wait and see" is not a rational response. And I agree Chris O'Neill that "the piffling half-degree that is alleged to be dragging us to Armageddon, then the Jeremiahs who insist that we're all doomed will have to find a new scare story" makes you sound like an ideological nutcase. Certainly to start out with "Whilst much of the supporting logic of the AGW hypothesis is watertight, I doubt the overall conclusion" and then to end up with "I have to accept that the AGW hypothesis has an internal consistency and logic, and that its proponents are more rational than I had thought. I haven't yet thrown in the towel, though." as if your views had progressed seems rather nutty to me.

May I please ask the assembled brethren: "Have you personally taken any steps whatsoever to reduce your carbon footprint by a significant amount? If so, please give some indication in kWh per annum, litres of vehicle fuel per annum, and aircraft passenger-miles."

This was answered for you in #372.

It's very odd that Brent says "Had we been having this conversation 20 years ago, maybe I'd be a Warmist today." but thinks that, today, one must wait and see. Had Tamino offered his bet in 1997, anyone who took it up would have lost, and the trend since then, including today, has been entirely consistent with that. Treating today as a different matter is cherry picking, pure and simple, and as Tamino noted in http://deepclimate.org/2010/03/02/round-and-round-we-go-with-lindzen-mo… , the deniers have admitted to their cherry picking -- to quote LuboÅ¡ Motl, "1995 is the earliest year when the statistical significance of the trend from that year to 2009 safely fails" -- but there's always some such earliest year, for any trend.

#386

Ad hominem irrelevancy. While the answer is yes for me, asking me to provide detailed statistics can only be a product of bad faith.

Brent @ 384:
>When you say, "did not show a correlation with sunspot cycles", have you read the passage where the authors [made that claim]

Yes, but that's not what they showed. Read what they did with the data, not just what they claim in the abstract.

ts (386): I know it's putting you on the spot, but given your acceptance of the AGW hypothesis, have you personally taken any steps to reduce your own carbon footprint?

I do wonder whether the unsceptic fraternity have niggling doubts that the sequence of logic we've just been discussing actually culminates in a confirmed hypothesis. I recall my children having doubts about the existence of Father Christmas and then, for a few years, becoming less questioning (not more) until reaching the same conclusion as me on his existence. (I won't ask your view; it would be rude.)

I have yet to meet a single person who has done anything more than a token effort towards carbon reduction.

Dear reader, if you also take zero action (other than changing the odd lightbulb), could it be that deep inside you don't actually believe? And, dear reader, if you are a genuine unsceptic (that is, you buy the whole Inconvenient Truth package) doesn't your inaction suggest that you are indulging in h

390: goto 388.

have you personally taken any steps to reduce your own carbon footprint?

I already answered that, but your poor reading comprehension is well-established.

I have yet to meet a single person who has done anything more than a token effort towards carbon reduction.

Your beliefs about your personal experience would be irrelevant because of the limited sample space and your evident difficulty in accurately assessing evidence, even if it weren't irrelevant to the scientific questions.

Dear reader, if you also take zero action (other than changing the odd lightbulb), could it be that deep inside you don't actually believe?

Many things could be. For instance, you could be a radical denier and ideological nutcase who continues to attempt to defraud the readers here with your phony concessions about internal consistency and saying you're "not quite there yet" and that the case for AGW is stronger than you had figured and that those here are reasoning educated people who accept the hypothesis on its merits, all the while believing quite differently. Or perhaps not, and there's some other explanation for your patent contradictions.

doesn't your inaction suggest that you are indulging in h

Assuming that was "hypocrisy" chopped off, I offer you:

Ad hominem tu quoque

Ad hominem tu quoque (lit: "You too!") refers to a claim that the source making the argument has spoken or acted in a way inconsistent with the argument. In particular, if Source A criticizes the actions of Source B, a tu quoque response is that Source A has acted in the same way. This argument is fallacious because it does not disprove the argument; if the premise is true then Source A may be a hypocrite, but this does not make the statement less credible from a logical perspective. Indeed, Source A may be in a position to provide personal testimony on the negative consequences of the stated action.

Ad hominem is a fallacy of irrelevancy; hypocrisy is merely a human weakness that is neither here nor there in re the scientific issues. And even then, the charge is entirely speculative and based on limited personal experience, not any facts about the people you are accusing. But you just keep digging that hole deeper and deeper, to the point where no reasoning educated person could find you credible.

ts (388)You wrote that my question about one's actions backing up one's words was "Ad hominem irrelevancy. While the answer is yes for me, asking me to provide detailed statistics can only be a product of bad faith."

So that's a "yes". If you're reluctant to reveal your current mileage compared to previous (and remember, you have the cloak of anonymity here), well can you give me rough figures for somebody you know? Keep it simple: litres, kWh and air miles.

I assume that you 'offset'. Have you looked into precisely what tangible effect your hard-earned offsetting money has? I know it's distasteful to talk about concrete actions, but it's beginning to look like, well, you know, like the Judean People's Front.

No disrespect, but methinks the ge

P.S.

I have yet to meet a single person who has done anything more than a token effort towards carbon reduction.

Attempting to educate people about the science of AGW is itself a non-token effort toward its amelioration. But to start enumerating all the significant ways in which people who accept the reality of AGW work to address it would be to play Brent's ridiculous game that is fooling no reasoning educated person.

No disrespect

You're a pathetic clown and I'm done with you.

I do wonder whether the unsceptic fraternity have niggling doubts that the sequence of logic we've just been discussing actually culminates in a confirmed hypothesis.

No. The "unsceptic fraternity" think you're a troll, and every second you're here trying to expose non-existent "niggling doubts" you're simply digging yourself into a deeper hole.

When you arrived here I exposed you pretty quickly, and have remained suspicious of your motives ever since. I suspected you were just going to do the concern troll act here and then post back your buddies that you had bamboozled us with your superior intellect and questioning.

Theory proven correct. Posted just yesterday at Bishop Hill:

I've had a long debate with unsceptics over on the Deltoid site, and asked the following question: "May I please ask the assembled brethren: 'Have you personally taken any steps whatsoever to reduce your carbon footprint by a significant amount? If so, please give some indication in kWh per annum, litres of vehicle fuel per annum, and aircraft passenger-miles.' "

So far nobody has replied.

To the tune of "I Believed in Father Christmas"

They said that the world was warming,
They said we were going to fry,
They gave us the direst warnings,
Repent for the end is nigh

And I believed in global warming
I fell for a big fat lie
But listen up folks
Itâs only a hoax
A joke and a pig in a poke

They priced up our carbon footprints
They filled us with guilt and sin
Indulgences sold to order
To offset the mess weâre in

And I believed in global warming
I fell for a big fat lie
But listen up folks
Itâs only a hoax
A joke and a pig in a poke

Aloft with their sacred powers
The priests read the runes of old
The kings from their ivâry towers
Went off on a quest for gold

And I believed in global warming
I fell for a big fat lie
But listen up folks
Itâs only a hoax
A joke and a pig in a poke

You're a joke Brent.

Dammit, we just lost a good man there in ts. Sorry. What a stupid crack I made about Judean People's Front.

Would anybody else like to continue his logic? I think it goes like this (but blame him, not me, if I don't do it justice):

The science is settled, and CO2 is bad. Yes, it's gross hypocrisy to bleat on about carbon footprints and at the same time keep the central heating on, and drive to work, and fly off on holiday, but the fact that one is a goddam hypocrite (and SUCH a hypocrite that one may decline a casual audit even under anonymity) has no bearing on the laws of physics.

There's maybe a latin expression for "I'm just one bloke; my actions are so insignificant that a change in my behaviour will have zero benefit on the world and yet bollix up my lifestyle". But you can bet that these selfsame CH's are careful not to throw batteries in a ditch or put sump-oil in the gutter. Why doesn't such good individual behaviour extend to carbon footprints? Could it be that the CHs do not truly believe?

Our departed friend stood up for his hypocrisy, and deserves credit for such honesty. Would any other Carbon Hypocrite like to explain their apocalypse fear and their Range Rover simultaneously?

You're a joke Brent.

Actually he's much worse.

And so finally the true Brent comes out.

Ah, John (397), glad you culd join us!

Would you like to reveal your carbon reductions? The other guy was -ah - a tad reticent. There must be SOMEBODY on this website who takes concrete, tangible action. Surely you are a man whose actions speak at least as loud as his words...

Our departed friend stood up for his hypocrisy

This is of course a lie, as is the entirety of Brent's post.

a tad reticent

How droll from someone who continuously lies about his own beliefs.

Sure, I could. But I'm not going to play your silly games. You've been destroyed in science all week and now you've fallen back onto something that you think is safer ground so we get to see your true colours. Lucky us.

But as a wise man once said:

You're a joke Brent.

Brent, rationing doesn't work if it's not done collectively. I am a rational person. I accept that centuries old science that says that extracting heat absorbing molecules from sinks in the earth and sticking them into the atmosphere where they can, you know, trap heat, is likely to heat the earth all else equal. The alternative- that 'scientists are lying to us' about why this most obvious implication of said ineluctable facts is actually somehow not correct- is not what I would call compelling.

Being rational also has implications for my understanding of the potential for voluntary action to affect the climate. If this were a viable way for humanity to look after the commons, there wouldn't be any public institutions in the first place. But there are. Indeed, the field of economics, maligned as it is (both rightly and wrongly in my estimation), has devoted a good deal of study to what happens when, for example, embargos/sanctions/boycotts are attempted. Their conclusion is as unremarkable as most insights of economics: these things work when collective action is truly collective, and pathetically fail otherwise. So it is with carbon rationing.

So, far from evidence of some hypocrisy of disbelief in ones convictions, these two views sit quite happily with one another. In fact, can be counted as evidence of both rationality and minimal learnedness. By contrast, subscribing to the teachings of 97% of the medical profession regarding treatment of illness (e.g. mainstream oncology for cancer, antibiotics for bacterial infections, etc.), whilst simultaneously ascribing to the teachings of 3% of the climate science community regarding treatment of the single source of sustenance for all of humanity... this one, not so much.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 08 Mar 2010 #permalink

Right, we have two scores.

In petrol litres per annum, kWh per annum, and air miles per annum,

ts scores "yes for me, 386"

John scores "sure I could, 404"

Sorry, that should read "yes for me" (#386) and "sure I could" (#404). Don't want people thinking that 790 litres of anything have been saved.

Anybody else? (At risk of labouring the point, the question in #386 relates to actions rather than words, and calling into question the sincerity of the words when one carries on driving to the recycling station.)

That was "Sure, I could" as in "Sure, I could tell you about my carbon cutting efforts" you moronic troll.

As stated, I am not going to play your silly game.

You've lost.

Give up.

For anyone interested, here is what Brent thinks of Britain's Royal Society:

This current generation of intellectual pygmies are not fit to walk in the footsteps of Hooke and Newton. They should rebadge themselves Royal Society for the Promotion of Scare Stories.

He knows better, you see. He's studied engineering.

The point that you labor, Brent, is your lack of intellectual honesty or acuity. The inferences that you make, such as "if someone doesn't cough up an accounting of their carbon usage upon demand from a proven troll and liar then they must be a hypocrite" are not sound. In fact, there is good reason, IMO, to think you aren't sane. In any case, you aren't convincing to anyone who is.

He knows better, you see. He's studied engineering.

Aye, there's the rub. So many engineers claiming to have special scientific insight or to be actual scientists - and completely unaware of how incompetent they are at science.

I'm not quite sure what it is about engineering studies that produces/elicits this kind of response. It doesn't *have* to be that way. I studied engineering to PhD level, but I claim no special scientific insight or even competence in scientific research.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 08 Mar 2010 #permalink

I'm not quite sure what it is about engineering studies that produces/elicits this kind of response.

There's also a high correlation between being an engineer and being skeptical of evolution; see, e.g.,
http://www.theness.com/creationists-mechanical-engineers-and-the-second…

I think what happens with mechanical engineers is that they're all taught thermodynamics but, unfortunately, not all of them are the sharpest tool in the shed. So they learn all of the words and enough to be able to pass the subject (such as remembering the answers to likely exam questions) but when they start talking about it in public they don't realize when they're talking gibberish.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 08 Mar 2010 #permalink

I ride my bike instead of driving, most of the time. I have no idea how much of anything I save by doing so, but it's certainly something. I don't have the control over my living environment to do much else (I live in an apartment), but I do try to avoid turning on the heat or AC if I can wrap up in a blanket or strip down.

So what's your point? Why should my personal relatively-ascetic life affect my credibility if I call for increased funding into research into renewable energy and other forms of efficiency? Surely the validity of my arguments matter more than any other details about me, when it comes to something like this.

By Michael Ralston (not verified) on 08 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent:

To the minima he shows at 1300BC and 100BC (shorter than today) he added a big fat question mark, which is admirable. So, yes, if the 150-year trend continues for a few more decades it will reach (to our best knowledge) a record low.

Perhaps you could tell us how much shorter the glacier was estimated to be at those times rather than beating about the bush. I saw one graph that suggested it was 1 kilometre shorter at its shortest so on that basis it will break that record in 20 years at the current (and also accelerating) trend.

You wrote: "Give it a break. You sound like an ideological nutcase." Maybe you're right; maybe I will!

That'll be the day.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 08 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent:

May I please ask the assembled brethren:

Remember what I said about looking like an ideological nutcase?

"Have you personally taken any steps whatsoever to reduce your carbon footprint by a significant amount?

My household direct energy consumption is about half the average of the state where I live but I'll let you in on an inconvenient fact: households only directly consume 21% of total electricity consumption in my state. So even if they made an apparently heroic effort and brought their direct consumption down to mine it's still only going to reduce GHG emission from electricity generation by 10%. The real issue is getting consumption reductions by everyone, industry and commerce included, not just by households AND the reduction of GHG emission per unit of electricity generation.

In my state, there is one industry that is plain GHG madness. It is the smelting of Aluminium by burning brown coal to make electricity. Not only that, but the state government had the hide to force taxpayers to subsidize this stupid way of making electricity and all for the sake of a few hundred very expensive jobs. Not only that, but this madness (expect for the taxpayer subsidy hopefully) is contracted to continue until 2036! GHG emissions from electricity production in the state could be cut by 15% in one fell swoop if they turned off the Aluminium smelters.

So the biggest reductions in GHGs will come from obvious changes that should be made to industry. In a carbon-rational world, the last thing you would do is burn brown coal to smelt Aluminium. There won't be a carbon-rational world until carbon has a price.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 08 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent, I have reduced my carbon emissions significantly through various means - and my household use hasn't reduced by a huge percentage because it was relatively low to start with. I will certainly reduce my emissions again (for example) at the next vehicle technology refresh. Furthermore, since buying a new vehicle tends to have a knock-on effect ultimately taking one of the *least desirable* vehicles off the road, the total emissions reduction from that chain of events was probably quite a bit higher than mine alone.

And so what? I'm under no illusion this new data will make the case for the science any stronger *in your head*, since your question is NOT about the science - it has all the hallmarks of a gotcha attempt or a distraction from the main issues, and/or to provide material for a puerile boasting point on another blog.

Once again you're missing the forest for the trees - quite a talent you have for it. Ever wondered what purpose it serves *for you*?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 08 Mar 2010 #permalink

[Brent says](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…):

I have yet to meet a single person who has done anything more than a token effort towards carbon reduction.

[Here's one](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/07/the_australians_war_on_science_…)

I have had to repeat my own story more than once because the trolls here don't know how to use a search engine. One of the more recent repetitions was [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/06/moncktons_vision_of_the_future…) - I guess that I can now add this posting to the list...

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 08 Mar 2010 #permalink

Bernard J (347):
Bernard, you are a man of honour, and (with no irony) I salute you.

I can no longer say that I have never encountered a single person with the courage of his carbon convictions.

Lotharsson (416): You asked : "Ever wondered what purpose it serves for you?"

A fair question. For me, this idle exercise in exchanging ideas with others with a different perspecive was to assess:

(i)Additional scientific corroboration which I had not previously encountered. This has been fruitful, and I now see that my previous thoughts on the 'gravy train' was wide of the mark. You guys, and most of the professionals, truly believe the AGW hypothesis, and not without good reason.

(ii)The psychology. I think that both camps are subject to bias. Both camps are more receptive to evidence supporting their case than they are to contrary evidence. In a more gentlemanly debate there would be more statements like "the other side have raised Point X, which weakens our own case, and deserves to be conceded or rebutted".

(iii)Neoapocalypticism. I believe that Man has a profound need to fear some impending danger, and conjures up dire threats founded on apparently unassailable logic, and when this latest scare story evaporates, there will be another one to take its place. Guys, I don't doubt your sincerity and I understand why my failure to recant makes you suspect that my visit here was malicious. I think that the anger is a telltale sign of your need for an apocalypse.

I said "idle" above because I think that these (sometimes fiery) exchanges here will not affect the wider world. It has been a purely selfish intellectual exercise to check out your bona-fides. Had I recanted, my utter insignificance in this Great Debate would have made me a tarnished trophy, a plastic Oscar.

That said, I'm a little disappointed that we didn't manage to discuss 'residence time'. The Royal Society claims that CO2 stays in the atmosphere for a millennium; my extrapolations of the annual Mauna Loa 'downtick' indicate a half-life of 123 +/- 2 months, as if every northern summer there's 'a great sucking sound' (!)

I'll get out of your hair now. But I'd be grateful if somebody would comment on the Residence Time issue.

All anyone (trolls and genuinely interested parties alike) should need on residence time (at least to get you going) can be found in Wikipedia and the references cited.

Brent then:

I share your anger at the obscene fraud that is AGW.

Brent now:

I think that the anger is a telltale sign of your need for an apocalypse.

What a joke. I predict Brent will be back within 5 days.

Holzhauser et al. 2006: "A comparison between the fluctuations of the Great Aletsch glacier and the variations in the atmospheric residual 14C records supports the hypothesis that variations in solar activity were a major forcing factor of climate oscillations in west-central Europe during the late Holocene."

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V9/N20/EDIT.php

Hey, I thought the "constant sun" played no part in climate!

Brent,

Citing an article that has been distorted by the Idso family on their Western Fuels associated site is not the way to generate interest in a topic here. Moreover, when we are talking about the late Holocene, we could be intimating time scales that cover a millennium over more; not the space of half a century.

My advice: go to the primary literature, and not to those who are distorting it in order to make directed conclusions. The Idso's and 'C02 science' (a mis-named web sitre if there ever was one) did the same thing to a paper written by a colleague of mine here a few years ago that was published in Nature. Let me say that my colleague and the fellow authors of the paper were not amused that the Idso's were using it to score some cheap points as to the virtues of increasing atmospheric levels of C02 - nothing less than a huge global experiment, I may add. The web site is appalling and yet I am bemused that so many lay contrarians - you, el gordo etc. - use to it to support your views. It is NOT a primary source.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 09 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent @ 425:
>I thought the "constant sun" played no part in climate!

Wrong again. The sun plays a large part in climate, since it's a huge source of energy. Without it the earth would be very much colder.

Jeff Harvey (426):

Jeff, you're right; I can't find the primary source without paying, and if the CO2 Science has a history of tabloid-style mis-quoting, then 'let it be struck from the record'. My apologies.

Glaciers are integrators of temperature. If it was warmer than allowed for the glacier to maintain equilibrium/grow back then, then glaciers would recede; and the converse is true. There's nothing strange in that.

The bottom line is that past warm events have no bearing on today's warmth, unless the causes were the same. The causes are different. Today's is rapid and has a large anthropogenic component. "Yesterday's" conditions didn't have the anthropogenic component.

The full Holzhauser et al. 2006 Holocene abstract reads:

On the basis of glacier and lake-level records, this paper attempts, for the first time, a comparison between high-resolution palaeohydrological and palaeoglaciological data in west-central Europe over the past 3500 years. A data set of tree-ring width, radiocarbon and archaeological data, in addition to historical sources, were used to reconstruct fluctuations of the Great Aletsch, the Gorner and the Lower Grindelwald glaciers in the Swiss Alps. The three ice-streams experienced nearly synchronous advances at c. 1000-600 BC and AD 500-600, 800-900, 1100-1200 and 1300-1860. These glacier fluctuations show strong correspondence with lake-level variations reconstructed in eastern France (Jura mountains and Pre-Alps) and on the Swiss Plateau. This supports the hypothesis of climatically driven fluctuations. Historical data available for the period since AD 1550 reveal, in detail, various meteorological conditions behind the successive glacier advances. However, in agreement with the general trend shown by the historical data, the synchroneity between glacier advances and periods of higher lake level suggests the impact of general winter cooling and an increase in summer moisture as responsible for reinforced feeding of both glaciers and lakes in west-central Europe over the past 3500 years. Finally, a comparison between the Great Aletsch glacier and the residual 14C records supports the hypothesis that variations in solar activity were a major forcing factor of climatic oscillations in west-central Europe during the late Holocene.

In a more gentlemanly debate there would be more statements like "the other side have raised Point X, which weakens our own case, and deserves to be conceded or rebutted".

That is what happens among scientists and others who are not wilfully ignorant and intentionally act like jackasses.

I believe that Man has a profound need to fear some impending danger, and conjures up dire threats founded on apparently unassailable logic

Fallacy of affirmation of the consequent. Whether that is true in general has no bearing on whether it holds in this case. By your logic (an area in which you are grossly inept), any real threat can be dismissed -- without even examining the evidence -- on the basis of human psychology.

and when this latest scare story evaporates

There is no basis in the evidence to think that it will.

Guys, I don't doubt your sincerity and I understand why my failure to recant makes you suspect that my visit here was malicious.

Oh, I think you singing little "Itâs only a hoax A joke and a pig in a poke" ditties might have something to do with that.

I think that the anger is a telltale sign of your need for an apocalypse.

Which is yet more indication that you are an utter fool. The anger is a normal response to someone who goes out of his way to be a jackass, regardless of the topic -- exactly the same thing occurs with evolution deniers, but there's no apocalypse involved in that case.

Hey, I thought the "constant sun" played no part in climate!

That's because you're an idiot and wilfully ignorant.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 09 Mar 2010 #permalink

Truth Machine (430):

As I'm sure you know, there is discussion on the extent to which variations in solar activity influence climate. In rebuttal of this we see it argued that the tiny variations in specific power (I see figures within the range 1363 and 1367 W/m2) are too small to be a major driver.

And you're doubtless aware of the Svensmark hypothesis that solar activity radically affects penetration of cosmic rays to atmosphere with a consequent large effect on cloud formation. There are, in fairness, arguments which counter this.

Now, Herschel pondered the apparent correlation between sunspot activity and grain prices. And just recently a paper claimed a close correlation between sunspots and flow rate of the Parana River in S. America. And P. Lewis (429) reports glaciologists joining in. That's four leads.

Is there not at least a prima facie case that solar activity might be the single biggest driver of climate change? (Along with well-understood orbital precession and ellipticity.) Is it so unreasonable to conjecture that CO2 variations might be a consequence of these variations and their resulting temperature shifts rather than a driver of temperature?

When I wrote, "Hey, I thought the 'constant sun' played no part in climate!" maybe you missed the cheerful challenge in my tone, hoping that somebody would politely concede or counter ('Must admit that the case is growing' or 'Yeah, can see why you'd think that, but the following suggests otherwise....') Instead you write, "you're an idiot and wilfully ignorant." Such rudeness is unhelpful.

You wrote "Fallacy of affirmation of the consequent", er..... maybe you should get out more.

When I wrote, "Hey, I thought the 'constant sun' played no part in climate!" maybe you missed the cheerful challenge in my tone, hoping that somebody would politely concede or counter ('Must admit that the case is growing' or 'Yeah, can see why you'd think that, but the following suggests otherwise....')

Git.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 09 Mar 2010 #permalink

Truth Machine, your insult vocabulary is far wider than 'git' and 'idiot', I believe.

I know I've got off lightly so far. How's about we cease corresponding before you uset me?

How about you cease trolling here, period.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 09 Mar 2010 #permalink

Oh, Truth Machine OM...

Guy just tapped on the door from an adjoining chatroom. Name of 'Brownian OM'. Says they're discussing Catholic priests and prison practices and they miss your sparkling conversation. How nice for you to be so popular. Best you take it next door, eh?

[Thinks: phew, he's gone! Didn't dare ask what 'OM' stands for. Olympic medal? Something religious? Probably best we don't know.]

Troll.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 09 Mar 2010 #permalink

Breant @ 431:
>Is there not at least a prima facie case that solar activity might be the single biggest driver of climate change?

Solar activity has not increased over the recent period of global warming i.e. the last 35 years, so it cannot be the cause, no matter what mechanism you propose to amplify it.

The stratosphere has cooled at the same time that the surface has warmed. That is the fingerprint of warming driven by greenhouse gases.

Satellites have measured the decrease in long wave radiation escaping from the earth, again as expected from GHG warming and the opposite of what solar driven warming would show.

>Is it so unreasonable to conjecture that CO2 variations might be a consequence of these variations

It's not just unreasonable, it's utterly insane. The increase in CO2 is mainly caused by burning fossil fuels, with a smaller contribution from land-use changes. Unless you reject mainstream chemistry as well as physics and logic.

>rather than a driver of temperature?

So, contrary to what you said in [your first comment](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man…), you even dispute the existence of the greenhouse effect. Without offering a shred of evidence, naturally.

All of the points you've raised in this comment are addressed in the video that is the subject of this thread. It's about time you got round to watching it, and to reading some of the references you've already been given.

Brent asks:

"Is there not at least a prima facie case that solar activity might be the single biggest driver of climate change? (Along with well-understood orbital precession and ellipticity.) Is it so unreasonable to conjecture that CO2 variations might be a consequence of these variations and their resulting temperature shifts rather than a driver of temperature?"

In part, sure.

There is a very good case that in many times and circumstances, variation in solar activity is AT THAT TIME the single biggest driver of climate change. It (through orbital variation) is almost certainly the cause of transitions into and out of glaciations. It (through variation in output)was probably responsible for a large part of the warming in the first half of the 20th century.

So what?!

There is an equally good case - perhaps better - that variation in solar activity IS NOT NOW a driver of climate change, and has not been for the last 40 years or more. Brent, this stuff is the subject of a fuck-ton of active investigation and published research.

It would not be unreasonable to conjecture that "CO2 variations might be a consequence of these variations and their resulting temperature shifts rather than a driver of temperature?" - if it weren't for the fact that this is a conjecture that has already been well tested and shown to be false. We know where the CO2 is coming from, we know that there is net flow of carbon INTO rather than out of the relevant carbon sinks. And we know from the basic physics of CO2 that carbon is a driver of temperature changes. At this point, this is no longer a conjecture - it is a raving denialist fantasy.

So what?!

As I noted earlier, Brent's logic is based on the fallacy of affirmation of the consequent. The previous case was

"Man has a profound need to fear some impending danger, and conjures up dire threats founded on apparently unassailable logic" ( a highly dubious claim but we'll let that pass)

AGW is a dire threat founded on apparently unassailable logic

Therefore AGW is believed because man has a profound need to fear some impending danger.

In this case it's

The sun has caused global warming.
There is global warming.
Therefore the sun is causing it.

This sort of logic error is common among denialists, as when they talk about warming on Mars, Jupiter, or Pluto. It seems beyond their comprehension that warming on other planets, or at other times, is completely irrelevant. Sure, if we had no idea why the globe is warming, then we might hypothesize that the cause is the same as that of some other warming -- but we know better.

By Truthmachineom (not verified) on 09 Mar 2010 #permalink

Lotharsson (416): You asked : "Ever wondered what purpose it serves for you?"

Damn, you missed it **again**! Such an impressively high miss rate takes great dedication and much practice. You must be so proud.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 09 Mar 2010 #permalink

'Habibullah Abdussamatov of the Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in St. Petersburg, Sami Solanki of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon of the Solar and Stellar Physics Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and a host of the rest of the world's leading solar scientists are all convinced that the warming of recent years is not unusual and that nearly all the warming in the past 150 years can be attributed to the sun.

Solar scientists from Iowa to Siberia have overlaid the last several warm periods on our planet with known variations in our sun's activity and found, according to Mr. Solanki, "a near-perfect match."

Mr. Abdussamatov concedes manmade gasses may have made "a small contribution to the warming in recent years, but it cannot compete with the increase in solar irradiance."

Mr. Soon showed as long ago as the mid-1990s that the depth of the Little Ice Age -- the coldest period in the northern hemisphere in the past 1,500 years -- corresponded perfectly with a solar event known as the Maunder Minimum. For nearly seven decades there was virtually no sunspot activity.'

http://www.tinyurl.com.au/35q

*Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon*

Hey, you mean the denialists who are associated with the George Marshall Institute and who are known shills?

Sorry Sunspot, citing people like Soon and Baliunas as authorities on ANYTHING immediately disqualifies you from anything other than an illustration of the Dunning-Kruger effect. As it turns out, Soon should keep hjis mouth shut - in my view he and his views are an abomination.

It has already been shown that the recent warming (post 1980) has virtually nothing to do with solar forcing. The fact that the likes of Baliunas and Soon keep peddling this garbage should say more about them than about their 'science'.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 09 Mar 2010 #permalink

Dave R (437): "Solar activity has not increased over the recent period of global warming i.e. the last 35 years, so it cannot be the cause, no matter what mechanism you propose to amplify it."

If, by solar activity you mean irradiance, yes you're right. But there is a proposal that variations in length and peak of sunspot activity is significant, and the current cycle, No. 25, is getting off to a very slow start, with a superficial resemblance to the ones prior to the previous minima (Maunder or Dalton, I forget which).

You also wrote: "you even dispute the existence of the greenhouse effect". No. As dear departed James wrote, the question is "the extent to which". Of course there's a greenhouse effect, and PPM rises are increasing it. It's entirely legitimate to enquire "to what extent" the Sunspot Effect is significant, and the combined effect of the two.

Sunspot

Jeff picks up on S&B but I suppose that you could claim that he leaves Solanki's views untended. So, for your delectation I reproduce for you here Solanki's own words from his own homepage:

A misleading account of my views was published in the Toronto National Post in March, 2007 (and is to be found at different places on the web). In contrast to what is written there I am not a denier of global warming produced by an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases. Already at present the overwhelming source of global warming is due to manmade greenhouse gases and their influence will continue to grow in the future as their concentration increases.

http://www.mps.mpg.de/homes/solanki/

I find it quite irrational that Brent and his ilk will contort themselves to any degree in order to grasp at any old Mars quoting crank and other made up misrepresentations.

If that's what your chosen ideology requires of you, it's time to ditch it in favour of something more congruent with the real world, I'd have thought.

Lee (438): You wrote "In part, sure". I'm grateful.

And "Brent, this stuff is the subject of a fuck-ton of active investigation and published research." Fair point, but the Svensmark hypothesis sits on the other side of the scales. Admittedly it is outweighed by the fuck-ton, and admittedly countered by evidence that the cosmic ray effect on clouds is not borne out by evidence. So far. The four examples I cited of a 'possible' climate/sunspot correlation suggest that we haven't yet identified how the Sunspot Effect drives climate, and maybe (a big maybe, yes) the cloud thing will come through with further investigation.

You wrote: "And we know from the basic physics of CO2 that carbon is a driver of temperature changes." Indeed we do, and the CO2 is rising, and therefore driving temperatures up all other things being equal. Point conceded. But not neccessarily overwhelming other drivers. The question "to what extent is the global temperature rise since 1975 driven by greenhouse gases, and are other divers trivial in comparison?" is a legitimate one.

P.S. By "Sunspot Effect", I of course mean "solar activity still the subject of astrophysical research, whose sunspot cycles are a useful indicator".

Shorter Brent:

>AGW is real but IPCC are wrong. Can't remember the details, (details are not as important as my impression), its something to do with sunspots.

Perhaps Brent's theory involves warming associated with exceptionally low sunspot activity such as both occurred with 2009 (equal second warmest) and continuing in 2010.

Thanks Hasis.

This goes to show that one should always read the primary literature and not the way it is re-interpreted (and distorted) by those anxious to promote a pre-determinied world view. It is ridiculous that so many scientists are forced to speak out about how their research is being distorted by think tanks and their astroturf groups funded in part by polluting industries with an axe to grind. This is not an isolated example: many of the denial sites are gulity of it. That is because they do not do their own research. Their job is to stand on the sidelines and to take the empirical evidence and to mould it to generate directed conclusions. This tactic has been honed by those pushing a creationist agenda as well as those who donwplayed the health effects of tobacco.

As I said before, there is categorically no connection between solar activity and the recent warming episode (post 1980). Those using this mantra and clutching at metaphorical straws.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 09 Mar 2010 #permalink

Sunspot (442): You wrote: "corresponded perfectly with a solar event known as the Maunder Minimum"

I'm grateful. Rather outnumbered here.

We should concede that "correlation is not neccessarily causation", but is a useful area of inquiry. On occasion, correlation turns out to be pure coincidence, but on occasion a causal relationship is established to the advancement of scientific understanding.

Chek (446): You wrote "any old Mars quoting crank".

We do indeed see claims that solar activity is producing oscillations in other planets, Mars's polecap being one of them. From what you say, it's a non-starter.

This could be useful. You're clearly ahead of us here, and have looked into this enough to discount it.

I'd appreciate it if you'd give us your thoughts.

Brent @ 444

>there is a proposal that variations in length and peak of sunspot activity is significant,

No. There is some correlation between the length of a cycle and the size of the next one. The peak of the cycles has been in decline since the 1950s.

>and the current cycle, No. 25 [24 actually], is getting off to a very slow start, with a superficial resemblance to the ones prior to the previous minima (Maunder or Dalton, I forget which).

Yes, for the last few years we have been in the deepest solar minimum for a century. We should be seeing the coldest temperatures on record but instead we are at [the warmest](http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/pr20091208b.html). That is because the forcing from CO2 now [far outweighs](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Radiative-forcings.svg) that from the sun, as shown by all the peer-reviewed research on the subject.

* [Erlykin 2009](http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0901/0901.0515v1.pdf): "We deduce that the maximum recent increase in the mean surface temperature of the Earth which can be ascribed to solar activity is 14% of the observed global warming"

* [Benestad 2009](http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2009JGRD..11414101B): "Our analysis shows that the most likely contribution from solar forcing a global warming is 7 ± 1% for the 20th century and is negligible for warming since 1980."

* [Lockwood 2008](http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/464/2094/1387.abstract): "It is shown that the contribution of solar variability to the temperature trend since 1987 is small and downward; the best estimate is ?1.3% and the 2? confidence level sets the uncertainty range of ?0.7 to ?1.9%."

* [Lockwood 2008](http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/464/2094/1367.abstract): "The conclusions of our previous paper, that solar forcing has declined over the past 20 years while surface air temperatures have continued to rise, are shown to apply for the full range of potential time constants for the climate response to the variations in the solar forcings."

* [Ammann 2007](http://www.pnas.org/content/104/10/3713.full): "Although solar and volcanic effects appear to dominate most of the slow climate variations within the past thousand years, the impacts of greenhouse gases have dominated since the second half of the last century."

* [Lockwood 2007](http://www.warwickhughes.com/agri/lockwood2007.pdf): "The observed rapid rise in global mean temperatures seen after 1985 cannot be ascribed to solar variability, whichever of the mechanism is invoked and no matter how much the solar variation is amplified."

You seem to think you can make all this go away just by waving your hands around. You have also simply ignored the other evidence I mentioned that rules out the sun being the cause of the recent global warming. As is common for ideologically motivated denialists, you just stick your fingers in your ears and pretend not to hear -- precisely the opposite of a skeptic.

Sunspot do you support the claims made in that google discussion group? Some of the claims, all of the claims?

I like this one:

>*Misleading claims about sea level rise. AR4 gives the misleading impression that the rate of sea level rise is increasing, using the trick of switching from one measurement system (tide gauges) to another (satellites).*

some, do you deny all of them ?

Dave R (457): You wrote: "You've already been told", with a link which led to Skeptcalscience.com

They write there: "Skeptics vigorously criticise any evidence that supports man-made global warming and yet eagerly, even blindly embrace any argument, op-ed piece, blog or study that refutes global warming." Yes, there is a bias - one might call it a 'bias of receptiveness', and it's something that all fair-minded people need to fight.

Taken to its extreme, we become so bigoted that we blank out everything our opponents say, even their valid points.

The people I meet here fall into three categories:

(i) The nasty boys
(ii) The articulate ones who take the trouble to write their counterarguments
(iii) The linkers (they say: "Just follow this hyperlink and all will be made clear to you")

I don't doubt that linkers are trying to share a source that they find persuasive, and hope that others will find it as helpful. But it can result in homework-overload.

If by "you've already been told", you were pointing me somewhere I didn't reach, well I promise you I am not being obtuse in arriving at SkepticalScience and commenting on it. I'm sometimes tempted to post links to an interesting piece on WUWT, but would expect a hostile reaction.

Brent @ 459:
>They write there [...]

They provide a list of common denialist arguments along with the refutations of those arguments. You had asked us to explain one of those arguments. If you had bothered to check it first like you were told then you wouldn't need to ask.

Another method to investigate whether it's plausible that other forcings could be driving warming over the last century or so. Bear in mind this is a relatively simple model, so don't push it *too far* when interpreting results - but it should give you a feel for how difficult it might be to relegate GHGes to minor-/elevate solar to major-player status.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 09 Mar 2010 #permalink

>>Sunspot do you support the claims made in that google discussion group? Some of the claims, all of the claims?

Sunspot replys:

>*some, do you deny all of them?*

So you spread falsehoods you know to be false?

SS you missed Jo Nova's after party performance. It was a hoot!

I particularly enjoyed:

the ad homs after her injunction against them,

the implication that I couldn't think for myself because I posted a link to someone else's argument (Pot. Kettle. Black, Black, Black!),

the allegations of ad hom for noting that the climate science community don't seem to think much of Spencer's work lately and some possible reasons why whilst allowing that just maybe he was getting an unfair rap,

the allegation that I was all "bluff and bluster and false certainty" in response to a comment from me *outlining where I was uncertain* whilst she apparently asserted certainty in her own position and evidence,

the touting and attempted defense of Lindzen and Choi as strong evidence whilst ignoring much other contradictory evidence - this after saying we must follow the empirical evidence,

the little dummy spit,

the "there's no point arguing this with you here" gambit

...and I'm sure I forgot some. And if it really was her posting under her name by the end (I'm not entirely convinced), then it was quite a revealing little exhibition.

I particularly enjoyed the invitation to come to her site to **learn** from it (as long as I didn't use the "D" word). By that stage I did not feel a need to point out why that would be a fool's errand.

But the new theory of accelerated cooling of a planetary body due to GHGes really took the cake! And last I checked no apology, withdrawal or correction either.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 09 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent at Climate Audit:

My, these ARE exciting times!

Are these AGW frausters and scaremongers really to be exposed? We rational folk do seem to have the momentum all of a sudden. How delightful to read the ringing words of people posting above:

ianl8888: âThis IS history, happening as we watch. I find it utterly fascinating ⦠never thought I would live long enough to witness such a thing.â

Lucy Skywalker: âGabi Hegerl is obsessed, like Lady Macbeth, that she has to wash her hands clean. Sheâs complicit⦠â

Barclay E McDonald: âMay the person(s) who organized and executed the email leak sleep well.â

Stirring stuff! Although it is in the nature of Science that false hypotheses must ultimately collapse, there has always been a danger that some bent practitioners of science (who are after all no more immune to greed and vanity than the wider population) would pervert their noble profession for an extended period. Here, I see a resemblance to 1950s USA where one charismatic and determined maniac (Sr. McCarthy) browbeat thousands of good citizens into believing there were reds under the bed. His poison eventually dissipated, but it took many years and great damage to the careers of many an honest and liberal person. I hope that the paranoia created by the Church of Gore will soon dissipate, and the whole rotten edifice of AGW come tumbling down. But I fear that there are so many bent scientists and politicians and commodities traders with a vested interest in perpetuating this scam that it may take many years to consign this neoapocalyptic hysteria to the dustbin of history.

May our grandchildren smirk and say, âGrandad, did your generation REALLY believe that the polecaps would melt, the seas rise, that the end of the world was coming soon? How very silly you all were!â

What a joker.

Ah, but, ..., but corresponders here in the last few days have surely led to an incident of Damascene proportions.

(BTW John, great way to "link".)

Brent and Sunspot,

You rely far too much on the internet for your information. When I see you both providing links with stuff written by the likes of Soon and Baliunas, or else web sites like C02 Science, then I know exactly why you think the way that you do. Again, READ THE PRIMARY LITERATURE. Better still, why not go to a university and speak with some climate scientists - you know, the one's who publish their research is scientific journals? You might even wish to attend a workshop with real working scientists (not corporate shills) who may explain the basics to you.

I used to read the pages of Milloy's abominable Junk Science site when I was working as a post-doc in the United States in the 1990s. In my field (evolutionary and population ecology) I was struck by the gumbified comments made by some of the contributors there in discussing various aspects of global change. When I corrected some of the simplistic drivel on their forum page, I was attacked mercilessly by many there, who clearly thought that they knew more about my field of research than I did. It did not matter that I'd done my PhD in the field, and that none of my opponents had any relevant qualifications in environmental science. Instead, I was tarred and feathered and sent packing. Some of the comments had to be seen to be believed: one reader claimed that the world could easily sustain a population of one trillion people, and I was the only one to reply that this was complete and utter insanity, given the cumulative human impacts on the biopshere over the past century alone with a population a small fraction of that. Instead, pretty much all of the rank and file idiots who wrote into the forum thought that the planet could easily support one trillion people.

I do think that you both, in spite of your transparent acceptance of the denialati arguments, are seeking vestiges of the truth. Well, let me tell you that you will not find the truth, as elusive as that is, on denialist web sites. At least, speaking as a scientist, I would not touch these with a barge pole. For the most part, they are not interested in the truth, but in scientific manipulation in support of a political agenda. They will never shift their goalposts no matter how much data come in. And, in the very small chance that they ever do acknowledge the reality of AGW, they will claim it is too late to do anything anyway except to 'adapt', irrespective of the fact that humans are not exempt form the laws of nature and that adaptation is not a given in a world in which our ecological life support systems begin to break down locally or systemically.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 10 Mar 2010 #permalink

Brent says:

Taken to its extreme, we become so bigoted that we blank out everything our opponents say, even their valid points.

Oh the irony.

Jeff,
'but in scientific manipulation in support of a political agenda'.
That is evident on both sides ! and yes i am seeking the full truth, it hasn't arrived yet.

Sunspot you are avoiding my question:

>>Sunspot do you support the claims made in that google discussion group? Some of the claims, all of the claims?

Sunspot replys:

>*some, do you deny all of them?*

So you spread falsehoods you know to be false?

John (465):
I now regret having written "fraudsters and scaremongers" on Climate Audit. (This in the light of what I have since learned here.)

I begin to see that the case for AGW is a chain founded on a series of interlocking links. Whether the entire structure is sound is another question. (e.g., alternative forcing hypotheses which, if true, would weaken a weld. I have begun to absorb Lotharsson's link to OpenMind (461) which addresses this question.)

An old friend, a nuclear engineer, once commented on my half-finished solar panel saying, "It's funny how we specify and source a series of perfectly good components which together OUGHT to add up to a functioning power station, and sometimes do not."

May I also point out that my intemperate words on scaremongering were not written here where they would have been hostile.

are you denying the truths janet ?
are you trying to hide from the facts in that google discussion group? yeah i know, we don't like to talk about climate bloopers in here, twist it how ever you like, you need juicier bait on the hook than that, g/night :)

Brent @ 471:
>I now regret having written "fraudsters and scaremongers"

Go back there and publicly retract it then -- otherwise you're a liar.

sunspot @ 472:
>are you trying to hide from the facts in that google discussion group?

You've already been asked which of them you think are facts. Answer that question now.

dont do it brent, read the article again

In a spirit of 'disclosure' (in the light of people here reprinting some of my views elsewhere, some intemperate, but most of which I'm rather pleased with), here's something that was read out on Radio 4's Broadcasting House during the Great Swine Flu Pandemic:

Eddie Mair "Brent Hargreaves is listening in, with flu on his mind, and says 'May I suggest an official BBC Scare Story Quota which obliges you to knock off an old scare story before launching a fresh one. Armageddon Fatigue could thus be prevented when we get the all-clear from the Millennium Bug or Global Warming. We'll then be able to quake appropriately.' "

Brent, what DaveR said.

P. Lewis - d'oh!

P. Lewis - d'oh!

LOL. I thought you did it deliberately so as not to link to that other place.

Dave R (473): You wrote "Go back there and publicly retract it then -- otherwise you're a liar."

Dave, I have already written recently on WUWT:

"I just had a long visit to the Deltoid website, hoping to have an intelligent exchange of ideas; maybe learn why their viewpoint is so different from ours; maybe hear some compelling evidence to shake my view that the AGW hypothesis is based on some sound science but dodgy non-sequiturs. After all, I reasoned, there must be many people in the warmist camp who are educated, sincere and well-informed.

I still say that with mutual courtesy and open minds, the two sides can at least agree what is undisputed physics, what the Scientific Method demands, what is undisputed measurement data, and especially what are falsifibility criteria to one day resolve this Great Debate. A bit less ad-hominem, and a bit more honest debate, and a lot more disclosure is surely in everybodyâs interest."

It already feels a bit self-indulgent to be quoting myself here, and it'd be taking myself too seriously to issue a public retraction of the 'fraudsters and scaremongers' outburst. I'm Mister Nobody, just one layman blogger amongst many.

Now, if Al Gore stands up to his rostrum and says, "Sorry boys, I was being led on by a bunch of eggheads. When I dig my yacht out of the Miami sea ice I'm gonna rename it 'Solar Cycle 25'. Ah wus wroang.", now that would be an authoritative retraction.

Leopards and teenagers have a lot in common: spots can be so hard to shift.

Brent @ 481:
>Now, if Al Gore stands up to his rostrum and says, "Sorry boys, I was being led on by a bunch of eggheads.

Here we see the true colors of a denialist -- total contempt for science and scientists.

>When I dig my yacht out of the Miami sea ice

There isn't any sea ice in Miami you moron.

Brent, the situation is surprisingly simple. As is often the case when a moneyed denialist interest faces the scientific community (and it *is* the community), the denialist interests feed petty and misleading arguments to those sympathetic (on some level) to their conclusion, or even just their sentiment. The side of science, despite being more accurate, open, and honest, faces a daunting challenge: the accurate position takes a lot more explaining. It does not offer you the simplistic thinking of pointing at sunspots, misrepresenting a few articles, and calling it a day.

That is why you must do your homework. You are not going to be offered a nuanced and accurate understanding of global warming on a platter. Even if such an explanation were presented to you, you would still have to read and understand it, just like visiting a website or attending university courses. The people explaining it to you are not getting paid and they have surely done such explanations many times before, only to find that nothing was absorbed and the person didn't really care to begin with. Which brings me to the point: if you care, why use denialist claims as a resource when you know why they fail? The 'quick answer' is not automatically the right one, you need to look at consensus views and how they are established.

You're in a tough position, but not a pitiable one. Any time that you would like to learn about the physics going into climate science, the scientific literature is at your disposal as are gobs of attempts by climate scientists to communicate their research to the lay-public, as is the simple fact that the 'controversy' or 'debate' here is between the lay public prodded forth by moneyed interests with an incentive to misinform and a diverse group of scientists independently publishing research who would *love* the chance to prove the others wrong.

And of course, you've left several of Dave's points, arguments, and large pieces of evidenced unacknowledged, let alone publicly considered. At some point the blame has to fall squarely on the climate "skeptic" for a lack of understanding and cogency.

By Shirakawasuna (not verified) on 10 Mar 2010 #permalink

Jeff Harvey (468): You say:

"You rely far too much on the internet for your information. When I see you both providing links with stuff written by the likes of Soon and Baliunas, or else web sites like C02 Science, then I know exactly why you think the way that you do. Again, READ THE PRIMARY LITERATURE."

Trying my best, Jeff, little by little.

We recently discussed here a paper on the Parana River. I read it, observed the graph claiming correlation between sunspots and river flow, and quoted the authors' bold statement. Somebody here said that he'd done the same and proceeded to trash the authors' statement. Surely, the "scientists say" weapon should be used in a consistent manner.

I've made a bit of a fool of myself referring here to JunkScience (which I only use for its useful summaries of latest data from sources such as UAH) and CO2 Science which somebody (you?) said was tainted and twisted others' words.

Yes, the internet is a source of marvellous source data and also of atrocious misinformation. Despite the twists and turns and blind alleys and occasional embarrassing faux-pas, my journey still feels like steady progress through a jungle. Observe the red blotches on exposed flesh where I've pulled out the darts. There's Marcel Kincaid, John and P. Lewis lurking behind the rubber plants with their nasty little blowpipies. And "Truth Machine OM" crouching in that clearing with a fecking machete.

Next stop: a refreshing coconut at the OpenMinds site with their discussion of different forcings. If I find that they only address the W/m2, and don't address the Svensmark cosmic ray thing, there'll be pygmies yelling, "Hah! We knew it! Closed minded bigot! Stoke up that big cast iron cooking pot!"

Brent, before you make yourself look any more ridiculous, I suggest you go back to the corner wearing your dunce cap. The most accurate part of your post was when you described yourself as "Mister Nobody, a layman". You belong with the pseudos as WUWT and CA.

Having the audacity to write, *After all, I reasoned, there must be many people in the warmist camp who are educated, sincere and well-informed* has got to be the most inane comment I have read on Deltoid in a long, long time. Anyone writing such utter garbage ought to be sent packing.

As I said before, the science is being done by those you ignorantly refer to in your post. For the most part, the denialists do not do research. Basically, those you refer to as the 'warmists' are the academics; the denialists, with few exceptions, are the imposters. The only way that they can back up their views is to take existing research and distorting it. For this they can take a page out of the creationists handbook.

Sunspot, both sides categorically are not politically motivated to the same degree. This is some inane b*s that you gleaned from a think tank or from your dependence on the likes of Soon and Baliunas. Its the kind of same crap I hear from creationists who argue that their views are actually scientific but that evolutionary dogma combined with political forces prevents them from being heard. The fact is that scientists test hypotheses in their research. Once evidence is accrued in support of (or in conflict with) a certain hypothesis it is accepted or rejected. This is the way I was taught, as a scientist, to do research.

The evidence for AGW is voluminous and is growing. Those climate scientists I have spoken with at conferences and workshops are speaking from a scientific platform. Like lawyers, who are paid to be working on behalf of their clients, a few scientsts have also been bought and paid for on behalf of industry. Still others are using science to promote their own political agendas which are broadly right wing and opposed to government regulations. A few scientists - very few as it turns out - honestly believe that the evidence in favor of AGW is weak. But these are a very tiny minority of statured scientists and especially those working in the field of climate research. Please do not b*s me with the argument that 95% of climate scientists who are generally agreed that humans are forcing climate are politically motivated. And the grant funding argument has nix to do with it, either. With few exceptions, most scientists in my field of research strongly believe that the case for AGW is beyond reasonable doubt, and virtually none of us are doing research related to climate change. The truth is that we think the evidence is sufficient to do something about it.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 10 Mar 2010 #permalink