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The Consensus on Global Warming Weakens?

Update: Or maybe not. There is a lot of controversy surrounding this story. Climate Progress reports on the controversy:

Physicists forced to reaffirm that human-caused global warming is “incontrovertible”

First off, I like Joseph Romm, who wrote the article above. But he is guilty of what I think is too common any time global warming is the subject. He uses inflammatory and leading language to frame the issue:

Now you can be just as sure that any denier talk point is wrong without studying it in detaila denier websiterich man’s (failed) James Inhofe

I think Romm makes a good argument that there is a lot more to the story than all of the headlines yesterday indicated. There is no need to paint opponents with a broad brush as “deniers” or say to call this a “conservative” issue (see – “The right’s misguided frenzy over the American Physical Society“).

As for me, my position is the same: I lean toward the viewpoint that humans are contributing to global warming. I am, however, interested to see the debate play out and I am strongly opposed to intimidation tactics from both sides that attempt to influence the issue.

——————-

I have often said that my position on global warming is based on the scientific consensus (just as it is in other fields where I lack specific expertise). The consensus weakened today, when the American Physical Society – a major association of physicists – issued a statement that suggested that many of the members are skeptics:

Myth of Consensus Explodes: APS Opens Global Warming Debate

In a posting to the APS forum, editor Jeffrey Marque explains,”There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.”

The APS is opening its debate with the publication of a paper by Lord Monckton of Brenchley, which concludes that climate sensitivity — the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause — has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling. A low sensitivity implies additional atmospheric CO2 will have little effect on global climate.

Larry Gould, Professor of Physics at the University of Hartford and Chairman of the New England Section of the APS, called Monckton’s paper an “expose of the IPCC that details numerous exaggerations and “extensive errors”

This was an interesting development. I will however continue to withhold judgment and let the debate play out.

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July 19, 2008 - Posted by | climate change, global warming

71 Comments

  1. Congratulations, Robert, on maintaining an open mind — however qualified.

    It is a bit of a cop-out, though, to hide behind "consensus". Even if one does not have specific expertise in an area, one still has intelligence & education to help evaluate a so-called "consensus". Along with the knowledge that beliefs which once truly did have scientific consensus (e.g., the indivisibility of the atom, Newtonian laws of gravity) have been left behind in the remorseless advance of human knowledge.

    Two simple questions: Has the Earth's climate been stable over history? Is there a good correlation between atmospheric CO2 and global temperatures?

    You don't have to have a PhD in Climate Science to know that the answers to both are — Definitely No! Which is enough to make any thinking person wonder about the validity of Al Gore's "consensus".

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | July 19, 2008

  2. Actually, Check out the APS website:

    APS Position Remains Unchanged

    The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007:

    “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate.”

    An article at odds with this statement recently appeared in an online newsletter of the APS Forum on Physics and Society, one of 39 units of APS. The header of this newsletter carries the statement that “Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum.” This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed.

    Comment by Sean | July 19, 2008

  3. Without getting into the argument about the role of anthropogenic CO2 emissions in climate change, it’s interesting to see how “CO2” is being used here in Japan (1) as a way for corporations to push all sorts of “energy-saving technologies” and (2) as a way for the government to promote energy conservation without mentioning peak oil or otherwise admitting to serious future energy problems.

    Comment by Rice Farmer | July 19, 2008

  4. Hey Robert.
    In short, this whole flap all comes down to one guy with a degree in Journalism posting a “scientific” paper in the non-peer-reviewed section, of a peer reviewed journal, and that journal horribly backpedally wildly to explain why they gave him such a mouthpiece that APPEARS as if it were peer reviewed.

    Here’s my own explanation.
    thomhartmann.com/index.php?option=com_fireboard&Itemid=106&func=view&id=246952&catid=59#247112

    Here’s a couple of others.
    desmogblog.com/junkscience-lies-aps-offers-respectful-correction
    gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/7/18/74618/8261

    Comment by GreyFalcon | July 19, 2008

  5. Btw, please either post a second article, update this one or rip this one to pieces.

    Remember, you have viewers. (Bloggers, Guardian folk etc) No need for this rubbish to go on.

    And please, do some fact simple checking before posting next time.

    And just in general, avoid things published by DailyTech.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Global-cooling-the-new-kid-on-the-block.html
    http://greyfalcon.net/lanina
    http://greyfalcon.net/pdo
    http://greyfalcon.net/elnino

    Comment by GreyFalcon | July 19, 2008

  6. I agree with greyfalcon.

    See also:

    http://www.bobpark.org/

    who says this:

    Science is open. If better information becomes available scientists rewrite the textbooks with scarcely a backward glance. The Forum on Physics and Society of the APS exists to help us examine all the information on issues such as global climate change. There are physicists who think we don’t have warming right, I know one myself. It is therefore entirely appropriate for the Forum to conduct a debate on the pages of its newsletter. A couple of highly-respected physicists ably argued the warming side. Good start. However, on the denier’s side was Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, who inherited his father’s peerage in 2006. Lord Monckton is not a scientist, his degree is in journalism and he’s a reporter for the Evening Standard, an English tabloid. Whatever it is that Viscounts do, he may do very well, but he doesn’t know squat about physics and his journalism suffers from it. Worse, somebody fed the media the line that Monckton’s rubbish meant the APS had changed its position on warming; of course it has not. Few media outlets took the story seriously.

    Comment by JoulesBurn | July 19, 2008

  7. “the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.”

    Kind of almost could be a maybe. Someone correct me where I’m wrong,but the GW theory does have a few holes in it.

    1. Temperatures in the last half of a century tend to be hotter than the first,primarily because of sunspot cycles. Back in the 70’s,the fear was of an impending ice age.
    2. Average world temperatures peaked in 1998. Scientists recently advised us not to expect any warming over the next decade either.
    3. A greenhouse traps heat,but the earth’s atmosphere isn’t a greenhouse. Even if a region could retain more heat throughout the summer,there’s nothing preventing that excessive heat from escaping during winter months.

    My own theory is that the sun is hot. When there’re excessive sunspots,it gets even hotter. Apply more heat,and the planet will get warmer. We’re in a period of diminished sunspot activity. Temperatures will cool over the next 40 years. Somewhat excessively even.

    Comment by Maury | July 19, 2008

  8. Global warming hoax?

    http://tinyurl.com/5zdyrz

    Comment by Maury | July 19, 2008

  9. I’m all in favour of debate within science, it is how science works. In particular it would be good to cross check the IPCC assumptions, especially in the area of climate sensitivity which is crucial to predictions. There are a few legitimate scientists questioning the consensus.

    So I am disheartened to see APS give the floor to Lord Monckton, who may be a Peer but not THAT sort of peer. To be generous he is in the classic English mould of “upper class twit”. He is a journalist, political advisor, businessman – not even vaguely a scientist.

    It is therefore highly misleading to suggest that the consensus is changing due to non-scientists like Monckton. I wonder if your open-mindedness actually tends towards skepticism?

    Don’t get me wrong, there are very good reasons to be skeptical of the IPCC projections, but the science of GW is not one of them.

    Comment by bc | July 19, 2008

  10. It is a bit of a cop-out, though, to hide behind "consensus". Even if one does not have specific expertise in an area, one still has intelligence & education to help evaluate a so-called "consensus".

    It depends entirely on the complexity of the issue. My views are influenced strongly by years of debating with Creationists. They will say exactly the same thing. They don’t need not stinking biology training. Just bit of common sense, a few random guys with credentials who agree, and they think they have disproved evolution.

    Cheers, Robert

    Comment by Robert Rapier | July 19, 2008

  11. And please, do some fact simple checking before posting next time.

    Let me tell you about the history here. I got off a 10-hour plane flight yesterday, and heard this story reported on the cab driver’s radio when going home. I got home, and saw more stories on it. I didn’t find a single story that seemed to contradict it, so I reported on what appeared to be a mainstream story on an important topic. I was also very tired, having been up for 20 hours. I posted it, and went to bed. Had I posted in the morning, as I usually do, I would have pretty quickly learned that there was more to the story.

    You did what I count on people to do in situations like this: Pointed to additional information, which is now incorportated into the story.

    Cheers, Robert

    Comment by Robert Rapier | July 19, 2008

  12. It depends entirely on the complexity of the issue. My views are influenced strongly by years of debating with Creationists.

    What is the link between Creationism and Global Warmism?

    A reasonable person who looked at the situation objectively would have to acknowledge that it is the Anthropogenic Global Warmers who are analogous to the Creationists.

    The Anthropogenic Global Warmers are the ones who insist on the importance of unconditional belief; who are unable to give any coherent scientific explanation of simple observations; and who have to “deny” obvious facts such as the historic variability of climate before any possibility of anthropogenic involvement.

    Plus, the Anthropogenic Global Warmers are the ones always making themselves look silly. They dismiss Viscount Monckton as a mere journalist — and idolize Al Gore, whose job in the US military was (you guessed it!) journalist.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | July 19, 2008

  13. A reasonable person who looked at the situation objectively would have to acknowledge that it is the Anthropogenic Global Warmers who are analogous to the Creationists.

    Some aspects. Creationists would like to quash all debate, and in that sense, you are correct. However, in the sense that a layman says “you don’t really need any training, commmon sense will suffice” – that is a Creationist tenet as well.

    RR

    Comment by Robert Rapier | July 19, 2008

  14. The Anthropogenic Global Warmers are the ones who insist on the importance of unconditional belief; who are unable to give any coherent scientific explanation of simple observations; and who have to “deny” obvious facts such as the historic variability of climate before any possibility of anthropogenic involvement.

    That’s just the sort of “stand the facts on their head” balderdash that Creationists use against “evolutionists”, so you have pretty much proved RR’s point.

    I agree about Al Gore though, his presentations of the science are rather inaccurate and misleading.

    Comment by bc | July 19, 2008

  15. Those who believe that recent global warming is largely anthropogenic do not want to quash all debate. They want to quash the disinformation campaign.

    The faked-up "scientific" opinion piece by Lord Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, clearly falls under that classification.

    Furthermore, if you are so concerned about inflammatory and leading language, where is the concern about Monckton's habitual, reflexive stream of insults as he, for example, labels AGW supporters "zombies" "enviro-loony" "bedwetting" and "UN archpriest."

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/12/monckton_watch_2.php

    The "debate" you are so keen to watch is a sideshow of disinformation mostly funded by oil money & right wing think tanks supported by oil money.

    Meanwhile the real scientific debate continues, as is has for decades, in the credible, peer-reviewed scientific journals.

    We would all like to see anthropogenic global warming conclusively disproved in a credible, peer-reviewed manner. That would be a huge relief to the entire world. The lead scientists behind such a finding would be heroes and celebrities for a long, long time.

    Comment by Anonymous | July 19, 2008

  16. Maury, citing a geologist for your “global warming hoax” bit is pretty amusing. For some reason I like to talk to climatologists when I want to understand the climate better.

    As for your “points”:
    1. “Temperatures in the last half of a century tend to be hotter than the first,primarily because of sunspot cycles. Back in the 70’s,the fear was of an impending ice age.”
    Sunspot cycles don’t sync with our centuries, so you are not starting out well. Sunspot cycles are well understood and their influence is taken into account in all major climate models.
    As for the whole “ice age” idea, that was a media hype thing, not a science thing. http://skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s.htm
    Read real science, folks, please!

    3. “A greenhouse traps heat,but the earth’s atmosphere isn’t a greenhouse. Even if a region could retain more heat throughout the summer,there’s nothing preventing that excessive heat from escaping during winter months.”
    Come on, use a little common sense, or at least some physics. If more heat is being trapped, the average temperature is going to rise. Obviously the heat is going to make it back into space eventually, it’s just how long that takes.
    It’s also worth knowing that warming is affecting winter months more than summer months.

    Comment by Farmer on Mars | July 19, 2008

  17. Maury –

    Here’s a really good ‘one stop shopping’ site for getting a second opinion when someone gives you a reason why global warming is happening or why global warming isn’t caused by human behavior….

    http://gristmill.grist.org/skeptics

    There’s a set of “why nots” that get recycled over and over. People just starting to learn about the problems that we face often get sidetracked by spurious claims. You might save yourself a lot of time if you check new “why nots” against this site.

    As for the “greenhouse” part, try substituing “blanket” for “greenhouse”.

    The problem facing us seems to be that prior to 1850 we had just about the right number of blankets on the bed. Since then we’ve piled a couple more and it’s starting to get uncomfortable.

    Remember that prior to 1850 we traveled the world by sail and horse, lit our houses with (carbon neutral) whale oil and candles, ran our factories with falling water, etc.

    Since then we have hauled billions of tons of fossil fuel from deep under the earth and burned it. Go watch a coal train rumble past and think about the bazillions of those cars full of coal that we’ve burned in the last 150 years.

    Don’t you think burning all that stored carbon should have some effect on our environment?

    Comment by Robert | July 19, 2008

  18. Hey anonymous, when your trashing someone for inflammatory and leading language, you may want refrain from throwing out the old “funded by oil money” argument. I know, I know, when you have nothing else to fall back on it’s real easy to slip in the old “funded by oil money” tripe. We all know how evil big oil puts a gun to your head and demands that you pump unleaded in your vehicle instead of flowers and rainbows. I’ve seen that argument thrown out so many times that I have a “habitual” and “reflexive” reaction to it…buying more Chevron stock.

    Comment by tb | July 19, 2008

  19. @tb: Why should I refrain from throwing out the old "funded by oil money" argument when it is so easy to verify? Check out:

    http://www.desmogblog.com/directory/

    http://www.exxposeexxon.com/facts/globalwarming.html

    http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/listorganizations.php

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Category:Global_warming_fronts

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Climate_change_controversy

    http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/indusclient.php?lname=E01&year=a

    By the way, someone took the time to go through Monckton's article and point out all the cooked numbers at-

    Monckton's triple counting
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/07/moncktons_triple_counting.php

    Comment by Anonymous | July 19, 2008

  20. As always, global warming is a hot topic.
    I do wonder two things: 1) Why did CO2 rise in earlier global warming epics? We didn’t do it.
    and 2) According to some, oceans have risen 60 meters since 14,000 bc. I read this while researching early man in the U.S. That is why there is so little evidence of early man in some areas. The oceans have risen, wiping out coastal settlements.
    Okay so oceans have risen 60 meters in since 14,000 bc, and now some say they might rise 2 feet more in next couple of hundred years. A continuation of a trend, or something new?

    Comment by benny "peak demand" cole | July 20, 2008

  21. I think you were being very generous with Joe Romm. Romm is somewhat of a bully. He posts Jeff Marque’s e-mail, work address, and phone number, then asks people to write his bosses to get him fired. I’m not sure if he meant fired from his APS or fired from his real job but you could take it either way.

    I’m not sure what the big deal is. Marque was merely asking for a debate. It seems that if you want to have one, the APS forum on Physics and Society would be the right place. The same issue published an article by Hafemeister and Schaffer reviewing the basic physics of climate change. No disclaimer appeared above this article.

    Curiously in the same issue there are articles on creationism. I think some of RR’s impressions of AGW skeptics come from his debate with creationists and proponents of intelligent design.

    I believe in God and evolution (so does the Pope, read Humani generis written by Pope Pious XII over 50 years ago.), but remain skeptical about global warming. Is there no room for debate on this issue? Can someone who holds the other view even get published in a peer reviewed journal? It seems to me that one could still believe in AGW but argue that the data and computer models don’t support the conclusion or at least that there could be uncertainty in projecting out 50 or 100 years.

    Comment by KingofKaty | July 20, 2008

  22. He posts Jeff Marque’s e-mail, work address, and phone number, then asks people to write his bosses to get him fired.

    I agree with you that this was entirely inappropriate. I have had someone try to intimidate me in the same way, and I don’t condone that at all.

    Is there no room for debate on this issue?

    That’s the thing that really annoys me about this issue. While I hold a view that is aligned fairly opposite of yours on this, I want to see all of the normal scientific debate play out. There are intimidation tactics going on here that have no place in a scientific debate. Science is a continuing debate, and sometimes the consensus is in fact overturned. But not if everyone who had a contrary opinion was treated as if they were committing crimes against humanity.

    Note that I feel the same way about evolution. While I firmly believe that the evidence is overwhelming, I would never suggest that it is a sacred cow that isn’t up for debate. That’s what global warming seems to have become.

    RR

    Comment by Robert Rapier | July 20, 2008

  23. … I would never suggest that it is a sacred cow that isn’t up for debate. That’s what global warming seems to have become.

    You have put your finger on the heart of the matter there, Robert. The refusal of the Anthropogneic Global Warming crowd to allow normal scientific debate is a real red flag.

    My day job involves making investment decisions based on mathematical modeling of inadequately-characterized physical systems. From that tough commercial environment, I have learned a number of things: the importance of looking at the data (lots of things that "everyone knows" turn out to be only partially true or wrong); the limitations of mathematical modeling (they tell us the consequences of our assumptions, not whether those assumptions are correct).

    With that background, much of the Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis seems grossly inadequate. For example, the use of the incorrect junk-science term "greenhouse gas" — greenhouses work by limiting convective heat transfer, whereas radiatively active gases work by changing radiative heat transfer. The use of models which mis-characterize the role of water vapor in the atmosphere. And on & on.

    The scientific case for Anthropogenic Global Warming is astonishingly weak — and it is very obvious that most of the supporters are not able to articulate any scientific case at all. They immediately degenerate to appeals to authority or to ad hominem attacks.

    Galileo would have recognized the behavior.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | July 20, 2008

  24. There are really two debates, the scientific and the political. These should be separate and independent, but the division becomes blurred.

    Politics in science makes for bad science, but equally we should not leave political decisions to a scientific elite.

    The scientific debate has been conducted in science journals over the past 30 years, and is more or less done, the conclusion is in the IPCC reports. AGW is real and is happening.

    What is now happening in public is the political debate, but the political debate won’t change the science. It’s a debate about cost versus risk. It’s not unreasonable to conclude that the cost of mitigation outweighs the risk, and if that’s what people decide then so be it. But it is simply irrational to make a decision with the claim that the science is faulty.

    Comment by bc | July 20, 2008

  25. much of the Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis seems grossly inadequate. For example, the use of the incorrect junk-science term “greenhouse gas” — greenhouses work by limiting convective heat transfer,

    That’s just nit picking. This level of “scientific debate” is typical of the skeptics and frankly deserves all the derision it gets.

    I get my investment advice from the shoe-shine guy. Where do you get your science?

    Comment by bc | July 20, 2008

  26. “The scientific debate has been conducted in science journals over the past 30 years, and is more or less done,”

    The planet warmed from 1910-1940. Then it cooled for 30 years. Then it got warmer for 30 years. Now,it’s cooling again. 1998 was the warmest year on record. If there’s anything to the GW theory,that record will have to fall eventually. Don’t hold your breath.

    Comment by Maury | July 20, 2008

  27. I don’t know if AGW theory is right or not. I think you can make good arguments either way. My position is that there isn’t enough good quality data yet and the doomsday scenarios are making predictions outside the accuracy of the data and techniques in the models.

    One of my favorite possessions is a late 19th century physics text book. There is a whole chapter on luminfrous aether . This was the consensus science of 1900, until better experiments and data came along. There were likely those promoting aether theory who held skeptics in disdain. If we rewound 100 years I wonder if Einstein would be labeled an “aether denier”.

    Missing from the APS controversy was that the forum also published a paper on the basic physics of global climate change. I may write an e-mail to the authors thanking them since it answered a few of my basic questions. I liked that it approached the problem from a energy balance perspective, something a chemical engineer could appreciate.

    You have to wonder about the veracity of the claims from AGW theorists when they attempt to cut off any debate and immediately jump to ad hominem arguments.

    Comment by KingofKaty | July 20, 2008

  28. bc opined: “That’s just nit picking.”

    Hardly. The troposphere (lower part of the atmosphere) is characterized by convective heat transfer — hence (e.g.) those rising thermal currents that birds of prey use to stay aloft without beating their wings. Since the principal mechanism of heat transfer is convective, just how does a very minor change in the overall radiative heat transfer properties of the air translate to global disaster?

    On the other hand, heat transfer in the stratosphere is primarily radiative, but satellite & balloon data shows the stratosphere is cooling instead of warming. Most annoying when data does not fit one's preconceptions, eh?

    Look — there is a whole lot that I (for one) do not know about global climate, and I retain an open mind about the science. It would be great to hear some real scientific discussion. But I know enough to recognize that most of the people who promote fear of Anthropogenic Global Warming know a whole lot less even than me. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that they are mainly misusing science to push a political agenda.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | July 20, 2008

  29. Call me nutty,but I think the heat source has more to do with GW than anything else.

    “Sunspot numbers over the past 11,400 years have been reconstructed using dendrochronologically dated radiocarbon concentrations. The level of solar activity during the past 70 years is exceptional — the last period of similar magnitude occurred over 8,000 years ago.”

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

    Comment by Maury | July 21, 2008

  30. Call me nutty,but I think the heat source has more to do with GW than anything else.

    I think to make a credible case you have to show not only that sunspot activity is exceptional, but that this explains the observed climate phenomena.

    Don’t climate change modellers already claim to have taken sunspot activity into account? I am no expert, but I have heard quite a few explanations consisting of “X is at exceptional levels”, or “Y is in a particular configuration”, “therefore X or Y explains Z”. Don’t we need to show more than just the mere fact of X or Y, and demonstrate that they are a sufficient explanation for Z?

    Don’t we run the same risk as the people who assume that technology T will solve our energy needs without considering that it is many orders of magnitude short of supplying energy in useful quantities, and will hit bottleneck B long before it does.

    Comment by PeteS | July 21, 2008

  31. This comes from a former true-believer in AGW theory who has changed his mind: No smoking hot spot

    The money quote from his article (my emphasis):

    The world has spent $50 billion on global warming since 1990, and we have not found any actual evidence that carbon emissions cause global warming. Evidence consists of observations made by someone at some time that supports the idea that carbon emissions cause global warming. Computer models and theoretical calculations are not evidence, they are just theory.

    One of the things I find suspicious is that when the data doesn’t back up the AGW theory, proponents just change the model or discard the data they don’t like. It is as if the theory is right and the data is wrong. This isn’t very scientific. If the satellite or surface temperature measurements don’t show GW, just make an adjustment to the data so it comes out right.

    Just as in the APS controversy, the AGW crowd has heaped lots of abuse on Dr. Evans. Someone wrote this gem in describing Evan’s apostasy:

    At no point does he actually produce any evidence for his implied belief that CO2 has a negligible effect.

    Did you catch that? It is skeptics which must provide the proof that the theory is not correct, instead of the other way around.

    The tactics used by Joe Romm and others to attack and discredit anyone who dares question the theory are employed to intimidate skeptics, or worse, those who would defect to the other side. Romm’s favorite epithet is “denier” equates AGW skeptics to neo-nazi’s and others who deny the historical accuracy of the holocaust. But in using this term they are are also equating historical facts and first-hand evidence of the holocaust with a scientific theory for which there isn’t much direct evidence.

    Comment by KingofKaty | July 21, 2008

  32. Thanks Grey for making my point. Lambert employs most of the usual tricks.

    1) Lambert claims that the Australian and Evans are attacking science and the scientific method (appeal to authority). The implication is that you can’t be a “real scientist” and be skeptical of AGW theory. This is utter nonsense.

    2) Evans says he has doubts and that computer models don’t qualify as evidence. Lambert rebuts this argument by using computer models with and without CO2 forcing to prove the existence of global warming. Wan’t that Evans’ point? No models no evidence?

    3) Lambert liberally uses the term “denier” equating opponents of AGW with kooks and elevating AGW theory to historical fact equal to the holocaust.

    I’m surprised that Lambert doesn’t say that Evans can’t comment on AGW because he isn’t a “climate scientist”. But then neither is Lambert (computer scientist), so he can’t employ trick number:

    4) AGW proponents don’t have to be climate scientists. As long as you believe in AGW your educational background doesn’t matter. Even
    philosophy majors
    and actors
    (are they required to take any science?) count. But if you are a denier your opinion doesn’t matter because you aren’t a climate scientist. You silly science denier.

    Comment by KingofKaty | July 21, 2008

  33. The editor who opened up debate and allowed Monckton to work with the physics reviewers to publish a reviewed article is to be commended. A lot of physicists, geologists, atmospheric scientists…do not accept the catastrophe theory of man-made climate.

    The APS executive board on the other hand likes all the research grants coming their way to do AGW research. If the scientific debate is allowed to proceed freely, billions of dollars in grant money will be at stake.

    I see that BC and Greyfalcon are up to their old debate-quashing ways again.

    Comment by Bugaloo | July 21, 2008

  34. Thanks for the charts Greyfalcon. Despite all the hooping and hollering going on,the average world temperature is exactly where it was 30 years ago. And scientists don’t expect any warming over the next decade either. Most expect more cooling,in fact. Accuweather is a fairly non-biased source…LOL.

    http://tinyurl.com/5bkhf6

    Comment by Maury | July 21, 2008

  35. Notice the trend line is up over that 30 year period,unless you back the el nino of ’98 out of the graph. Then,there’s a whole lot of boring,showing absolutely no change over the last 30 years. And that was during some of the fiercest sunspot activity ever recorded. We’re in a another new solar phase now. A very quiet phase.

    Comment by Maury | July 21, 2008

  36. Maury – reduced solar activity combined with the flip of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation to a cold phase could mean some pretty cool temperatures for the next 30 years.

    Maybe AGW theorists will tell us that cooling is the planet’s natural response to global warming and that whether the earth warms or cools – it is still our fault.

    So send lots of money to Washington, DC or the UN. Because humans cause global warming, nope make that climate change (since we aren’t too sure about the warming thing, and besides this way we CAN’T be wrong). Giving up our freedom and comfort to large socialistic government programs is the only way to fix it.

    So shut up and just hand over the money, you science denier!

    Comment by KingofKaty | July 21, 2008

  37. Anonymous,

    Could you provide some sort of name please, having to type anonymous all of the time stretches my spelling skills to the breaking point.

    The “funded by oil companies” gambit is one of the worst forms of argumentative cowardice and intellectual laziness there is.

    If the arguments are so weak just take a couple of minutes of your valuable time and disprove them.

    That process is a lot more informative, and useful to everyone, than a drive by comment providing funding information while ignoring the actual arguments.

    TJIT

    Comment by Anonymous | July 22, 2008

  38. Anonymous,

    The other problem with your funding based argument is that it assumes the non profit NGO groups honestly represent the facts and the public interest so they can act as honest brokers in these arguments.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Astroturf Politics, … foundations fooled Congress into passing McCain-Feingold.

    In his recorded comments, Mr. Treglia expressed satisfaction at how the Pew Charitable Trusts were able to avoid public scrutiny of the $40 million the foundation poured into the campaign.

    “The strategy was designed not to hide Pew’s involvement . . . “I advised Pew that Pew should be in the background. And by law, the grantees always have to disclose. But I always encouraged the grantees never to mention Pew.”

    He acknowledged that this created an appearance problem. “Did we push the envelope? Yeah. Were we encouraged internally to push the envelope? Yeah. . . . We stayed with the letter, if not the spirit, of the law.”

    But the subterfuge was indeed necessary. “If Congress thought this was a Pew effort, it’d be worthless,”he confessed.

    Hence the need “to convey the impression that this was something coming naturally from beyond the Beltway.”

    National Public Radio openly accepted $1.2 million from … foundations to provide such items as “coverage of financial influence in political decision-making.” Its campaign finance reporter, Peter Overby, is a former editor of the magazine put out by Common Cause, a major supporter of McCain-Feingold.

    Given the non profit groups behavior in the past it is highly likely that they are using the same type of astroturf campaign on global warming.

    TJIT

    Comment by Anonymous | July 22, 2008

  39. Giving up our freedom and comfort to large socialistic government programs is the only way to fix it.

    That certainly seems to be the aim of the Neo-Stalinists who have played such a large part in raising concerns about Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    But there are also True Believers in Anthropogenic Global Warming — serious people who have studied the data, who can articulate the underlying science, and who can make one stop & think. Not too many, but they do exist.

    Here is an interesting empirical observation about the few True Believers I have met — all of them had become major proponents of nuclear power.

    I wonder if there lies the resolution to the Anthropogenic Global Warming debate?

    People who are concerned about CO2 should want to see more use of nuclear power to back out fossil fuels. People who are concerned that there are not enough fossil fuels for atmospheric CO2 ever to be a problem should want to see more use of nuclear power.

    And from the Neo-Stalinists perspective, Peak Oil is just as good an excuse for taking control of others' lives as Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | July 22, 2008

  40. Katty,
    Notice how nothing of what you replied to had anything to do with the actual scientific substance of what Lambert said.

    _

    And as for complaining about the Fed spending tax dollars.

    Please, some perspective.
    http://greyfalcon.net/iraqvsenergy.png
    http://greyfalcon.net/doonsbury.png
    http://greyfalcon.net/debt2.png

    Are you honestly implying that fossil fuels are magically unsubsidized?

    Comment by GreyFlcn | July 22, 2008

  41. ==Two simple questions: Has the Earth’s climate been stable over history? Is there a good correlation between atmospheric CO2 and global temperatures?==

    The answer you seem to be implying.

    1. Does the changing in the output of the sun explain the changes in earth’s temperature over the past million years.

    Only partially, the primary factor is the orientation of the earth and it’s orbital pattern relative to the sun.

    This however happens on timescales of tens of thousands of years.

    Not decades.
    http://greyfalcon.net/milankovitch

    2. Is there a single variable which explains the behavior of the climate in the past few decades. Absolutely not. There are many variables involved.

    Here’s four main ones.
    http://greyfalcon.net/lean2005.png

    You don’t get the last few decades worth of warming without them current warming without them.
    http://greyfalcon.net/forcing4.png

    _

    But then again this is the usual logical impossibility put forward.

    On the one hand, the climate is so simple that it can be simplified down to only 1 variable.

    On the other hand it’s so amazingly complex that it’s completely worthless to event attempt to understand it.

    The scary thing is how often people argue both these completely opposite arguments at the same time.

    Comment by GreyFlcn | July 22, 2008

  42. OK Grey, I’ll play.

    Lambert answers Evans first two points, the existence of a “hot spot” and evidence of global warming, by using climate models. I didn’t really understand the significance of the hot spot issue. But Evans’ general point was that he wanted observational evidence – not computer models. Lambert doesn’t really answer the challenge.

    Evan’s says that the warming trend ended in 2001 and that recent temperatures dropped below the 1980 levels. Lambert counters with a straight line plot of 1980 to 2008. Again not answering Evan’s challenge but claiming victory anyway.

    Try this plot of average temperatures (could have gotten this chart elsewhere but I wondered if your browser would melt down if you went to this site ) Going back over the last 7 years, it sure looks to me like the trend is pretty flat. And, just as Evans said, April dropped below the average 1980 temperature. So I would say that Lambert really didn’t debunk that statement either.

    Was that good enough?

    Comment by KingofKaty | July 22, 2008

  43. “My point is this: It may well be that human activity is indeed changing the climate, at least in part, but there is an increasing body of science that says that the sun may have a greater role.

    If it does have, then global warming is likely to stop, as it appears to have done since 1998, and if the current sunspot cycle fails to ignite, then cooling, possibly rapid and severe cooling, may eventuate. The next five years will tell us a great deal. In these circumstances, we should wait and see.”

    http://tinyurl.com/59w9qp

    Comment by Maury | July 22, 2008

  44. ==Lambert answers Evans first two points, the existence of a “hot spot” and evidence of global warming==
    He was referencing the fact that the Statosphere was cooling in the global warming chart, and Not in the sun warming chart. Which is also referenced in this NOAA report. Notice how Lambert’s left chart has some blue at the top. Thats a big difference. The hallmark of a cooling stratosphere.
    http://greyfalcon.net/forcing.png
    http://greyfalcon.net/forcing2.png

    ==http://climate-skeptic.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/06/22/rss_may_08520.png==
    Actually thats a rather good chart.
    Notice how 1998 is an extremely unique year.
    As is the sudden drop in 2008.
    Solar activity, while low, doesn’t explain the sudden drop though.
    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/sunspot.gif
    The real explaination, as I keep hammering away, is that there are more variables involved.
    http://greyfalcon.net/lean2005.png
    The ENSO Cycle (El Nino Southern Occislation) is broken up into two parts.
    1) The El Nino Cycle, where things get warmer
    2) and the La Nina Cycle where things get colder.
    Well 1998 had a rather exceptional El Nino
    http://greyfalcon.net/elnino
    And 2008 had a rather exceptional La Nina.
    http://greyfalcon.net/lanina
    Then to complicate things further, the 60 year cycle PDO gets a crack at things keeping the 2008 La Nina cycle alive for a few more months.
    http://greyfalcon.net/pdo
    That said, we can expect the LaNina/PDO cycle to be gone before the end of this year.
    Nothing more than a short term spike.
    Here for instance is a chart which isolates the ENSO effect
    http://www.realclimate.org/images/enso_corr.jpg

    ==if the current sunspot cycle fails to ignite==
    Which would be rather unlikely, since it already started.
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/10jan_solarcycle24.htm

    ==Going back over the last 7 years, it sure looks to me like the trend is pretty flat.==
    “Pretty flat” is a relative term.
    Which doesn’t make much sense unless you put it in context.
    http://greyfalcon.net/globaltemps.png

    Comment by GreyFlcn | July 22, 2008

  45. “greyflcn” wrote — well, lots of links to his own stuff.

    Main point you seem to be making, “greyflcn”, is that lots of factors affect global climate (and let’s not get into the definition of what constitutes “global climate”). You reference solar activity, La Nina, El Nino. Others could add many more factors to the mix.

    In fact, even the great “gryflcn” wrote “The real explaination, as I keep hammering away, is that there are more variables involved.”

    OK – so global climate is the result of many factors. We also know it has been that way for as much of the history of the planet as we can determine (Ice Ages, anyone?). We know that global climate has never been stable.

    Now, how (scientifically, remember scientifically) does one prove that a trivial change in only one factor out of many will result in global catastrophe?

    And please don’t post another tiresome link to your own website. Make your point here, on Mr. Rapier’s website. It is OK to provide a link to additional information, but it is disrespectful to your host to direct the discussion off-site.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | July 22, 2008

  46. If that’s the best grey can do, then I guess global warming really is a scam.

    Comment by Anonymous | July 22, 2008

  47. Anon – I don’t think it is a scam in the sense of a confidence game where the proponents know they are pepretrating a hoax. Rather I think some people have gotten carried away with the “save the planet” thing and have lost a bit of objectivity.

    I do believe there are a lot of politicians who have latched on to the global warming movement to advance big government agendas. When many countries abandonded the state development model in the 1980s and when the Soviet Union fell it looked pretty grim for those who believed in big government. Global warming (excuse me) – climate change – gives them an excuse for extracting more money from the citizens, restricting freedoms, and for expanding the role of government in our daily lives. (Remember the proposal in California to have new thermostats installed that could be controlled by the government in case of power emergencies?)

    Kinuachdrach is right. Global weather and climate is very complicated with overlapping cycles of sun activity, regional climate patterns, and alternating ice ages.

    Both sides in the debate like to cherry pick data and examples that tend to prove their point. So far 2008 is turning out to be colder, could this be an outlier like 1998 or is it a new trend. We probably won’t know for 10 years or so. Al Gore likes to show declining ice in one part of Antartica, without taking into account what is happening in the rest of the continent where ice is growing.

    To answer Grey’s question on subsidies – no, I don’t believe the fossil fuel industries get much in the way of subsidies. Outside of liquor and cigarettes, they are one of the most heavily taxed industries in the world. The share of government take for all producers is huge, somewhere over 90%. Compared to ethanol and wind (read Loren Steffy: Wind Power may blow a hole in our wallets , fossil fuels get next to nothing. Steffy says $500/MWh for wind, that seems a bit high, but not too far off. Yet we have people who say wind is competitive TODAY (forgetting to mention the subsidies and tax credits).

    Comment by KingofKaty | July 22, 2008

  48. “Global Warming” is a phrase born purely out of reaction, it has already happened. Nobody has the balls to cite the flaws in human nature which are the root cause of energy demands and hence global warming. It will never get fixed because we are humans and don’t want to face the human root cause, the definition and origin of ourselves. Now it gets religious, and no scientist can/will argue over that. Quantum physics/mechanics proves you cannot measure anything without changing it, including your self. I have a good friend who, in six months, while conducting climate change research on huge, low-occupancy airplanes, has swelled his carbon footprint into a shoe I will never fill in my entire lifetime. I have shared my disapproval for “global warming” with my friend, and he accepts my view, because I do more than most to minimize my impact/footprint, but for completely different non-argumentative motives. My scientific viewpoint is that proactivity takes priority over reactivity. Don’t complain about what you cannot Change! We can all complain about Bush, or we can all volunteer our time and proactive opinions in our own commmunities. I’d be entertained to observe a violent argument over “global warming” within a larger violent argument over evolution, just to see who survives the whole ordeal.

    Comment by evan | July 22, 2008

  49. re: Katty

    1. Steffy is complaining about 5.3 cents/kwh Which is actually rather competitive with NEW plant construction of all types. It’s only more expensive compared to 30 year old fully amortized plants. New Nuclear power for instance is can be pushing as high as 15-19.75 cents/kwh.
    http://www.nirs.org/neconomics/nuclearpowerplantelectricitycostslusk.pdf

    2. “Wind gets too much Federal Tax Credits”

    First off Nuclear and Coal get the exact same damn credits (except even better since they are approved for longer periods)
    http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/7/22/9564/67669#comment1

    And thats only the start of all the lavish support for coal, nuclear, and natural gas get.

    Where as it makes up virtually ALL of the finance support that Renewable electricity gets.
    http://greyfalcon.net/taxcredit.png

    And the Renewable credits keep getting blocked by Republicans. In 2000, 2002, and 2004.
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3258/2434183462_e63c29c1c2.jpg?v=0

    And so far 9 times this year so far for the 2009 credit.
    http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/6/10/11530/1857

    3. If you’re complaining about the Tax that goes to the Highway Trust Fund, guess what. Every car has to pay that, regardless. And as soon as electric cars are mainstream, they will have to pay it too. The US Roadway don’t fix itself.
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/03/illinois_man_fi.php
    http://enr.construction.com/news/transportation/archives/080625a.asp

    4. “$500/MWh”
    Steffy doesn’t appear to understand the difference between a Megawatt, and a Megawatt-Hour.

    Comment by GreyFlcn | July 23, 2008

  50. There are plenty of scientists (that is to say, “people with scientific degrees”) who “doubt” AGW, but they are overwhelmingly scientists who have never done any science related to the issue, and basically believe, like the general public, what the same “skeptics” feed them. That is to say, sciency sounding arguments that don’t represent the true state of the science.

    I’m working on a guide to global warming and the “controversy.”

    http://cce.890m.com

    The sources are cited and linked. I’m currently writing the final section, “solutions,” and I’m on the lookout for any input on energy, or any input in general on the previous sections (section 12 touches on “peak oil”). The final version will be a flash based presentation, which can be previewed here

    http://cce.890m.com/introduction

    (the introduction is just a case study for my own personal global warming journey).

    Comment by cce | July 23, 2008

  51. Grey –

    1) I may need to take back the reference to Steffy. Usually he is pretty good, but in this case he is quoting a study that blames wind power for reduced school funding.

    2) Certain coal facilities qualify. Some IGCCs and some refined coal. Refined coal is NOT the same as pulverized coal. Refined coal goes through a process to remove impurities leaving nearly 100% carbon.

    If the Democrats want to exend the tax credits they need to quit loading the bills up with crap like:

    – Expensing certain qualified film and TV productions
    – Seven uyear ccost recovery period for motorsports racing track
    – increase in limit on cover over of rum excise tax to Puerto Rico and USVI
    – Parity in the application of certain limits to mental health benefits
    – Uniform treatment of attorney-advance expenses and court costs in contingency fee cases

    And a bunch of other stuff too numerouus to list here.

    3) I didn’t mean road taxes.

    4) Yep, Steffy screwed up and my fat typing fingers put in an extra 0. But if the $53/MWh is AFTER the direct subsidies of $74 out of each $100 in wind investment, AND the $25/MWh credit, then wind is more expensive than nuclear or IGCC even with carbon capture.

    Comment by KingofKaty | July 23, 2008

  52. If the Democrats want to exend the tax credits they need to quit loading the bills up with crap like:

    – Expensing certain qualified film and TV productions
    – Seven uyear ccost recovery period for motorsports racing track
    – increase in limit on cover over of rum excise tax to Puerto Rico and USVI
    – Parity in the application of certain limits to mental health benefits
    – Uniform treatment of attorney-advance expenses and court costs in contingency fee cases

    And a bunch of other stuff too numerouus to list here.

    You do realize the pork is largely in there to buy off individual Republican Senators, right?

    The problem is they can’t even attempt to pass it as a clean bill without getting a fillibuster.

    But for instance, they had the Tax Credit inside the “Economic Stimulus Package Bill”.

    Well, that was missing 1 vote in the Senate to gain the magic 60 number of votes.

    Want to guess which Republican Senator didn’t vote for it?

    But did vote for the exact same bill after the Tax Credit language was removed.

    http://thinkprogress.org/2008/02/07/mccain-stimulus-2/

    Comment by GreyFlcn | July 23, 2008

  53. From cce’s peculiar diatribe:
    “If there’s no natural explanation, it stands to reason that the temperature increase is caused by humans.”

    Einstein would have gasped in awe at such perceptiveness!

    Unfortunately for your logic, there are natural explanations — which were responsible for major climate fluctations long before mankind appeared.

    The good part about your unbalanced diatribe is that at least you have quoted some references to the scientific literature.

    The bad part is that you have made no attempt to address the real issues. Simply regurgitating self-serving statements from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change does not add anything to the debate.

    If you want to make a real contribution, cce, get beyond the partisan talking points. Do some real scientific enquiry. Learn enough to get beyond invoking Rush Limbaugh as a reason for rejecting the solid scientific criticisms of the Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis.

    Actually lay out the scientific case for rejecting the Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis (lots of books & articles to reference there), and then systematically demonstrate the scientific deficiencies in each of those many arguments.

    Do that, and you would have written something worth reading.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | July 23, 2008

  54. And for a while they had the subsidies in bills that included so-called windfall profit taxes on domestic oil companies.

    It looks like there is pork for both Democrats and Republicans in this bill. You’d have to ask individual senators why they don’t support it but it looks like there are a lot of tax goodies.

    If you want your wimpy ITCs for alternatives AND want to pay for it then the way to do it is to lift the offshore drilling ban and approve leasing in the 1002 (the National Mosquito Refuge). I think it is time for a little Chuck Norris .

    EARTH FIRST – we’ll drill the other planets when we get around to it!

    Comment by KingofKaty | July 23, 2008

  55. Kinuachdrach,

    If you want a politically motivated diatribe, you can look no further than the vacuous “science” of the thinktanks, or Monckton for that matter. If you don’t like the IPCC, you can please name a scientific society that disagrees.

    The problem for skeptics is that those “natural explanations” don’t exist. There is no physically plausible mechanism that explains the current warming that isn’t contradicted by observations.

    Comment by cce | July 23, 2008

  56. Kinuachdrach, I’m right there with you. I am in support of sustainable practices and renewable energy for numerous ethical reasons, but Seriously, “global warming” people, you need to expand your horizons a bit. I rented two videos from the library:

    1 Al’s movie(my sister insisted I watch it)

    2 an intriguing NOVA video about earth’s magnetism. It was on the shelf next to Al.

    I watched both videos back to back, I was intrigued by the new-to-me study of magnetic pole reversal phenomena in video 2. Al’s reasoning just didn’t convince me that he is omnipotent and can comprehend the planet and its entire history, he’s just another dude, and a politician and he should stick to politics.

    As it turns out, pole reversal is an unstopable function of the earth and cosmos, which can cause the temperature of the earth to rise, and the climate to change in ways very similar to “global warming”. You might find you are very tunnel visioned in your political “global warming” mission. There are many sources of explanation for climate change, few of which can easily be challenged. It is a big, old planet, and it’s very difficult for any mortal to completely grasp its cycles in just 100 years. We humans often forget how small we are in the history of the planet we inhabit. Did the T-rex eat Republicans when their climate went kaput? Did it help? I just wish “global warming” people could grow up and stop trying to win a mute argument, we need you to fix ground level problems, not make more. Find better arguments for sustainable practices, enlighten people about things they can truthfully impact, it is important.

    Comment by evan | July 23, 2008

  57. ==If you want your wimpy ITCs for alternatives AND want to pay for it then the way to do it is to lift the offshore drilling ban and approve leasing in the 1002 (the National Mosquito Refuge).==

    Or we could decommission our Military presence in the Persian Gulf.

    Because as you said, clearly Oil isn’t supported by US Federal spending programs.

    So by eliminating these gigantically costly programs, we could save a bundle, without having any affect on oil markets.

    Iraq for instance, we’re spending $1.4 million dollars per hour.

    Comment by GreyFlcn | July 23, 2008

  58. cce – looking at Monckton’s figure 7 taken from the IPCC report there appears to be not very good correlation between CO2 levels and global temperature. You can find times when global temperature was high and CO2 low and vice versa. That indicates that there is more going on than just CO2.

    So somehow you have to discern the CO2 impact from a lot of other things going on. It is like people who see images of the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich. To those who look really hard for it and believe in it, they see the Virgin. And every time the look at it that is all they see. For some of us it is just a grilled cheese sandwich. You can outline the figure and show us all the evidence you want, but at the end of the day we just don’t see it.

    Comment by KingofKaty | July 23, 2008

  59. cce wrote: There is no physically plausible mechanism that explains the current warming that isn’t contradicted by observations.

    Quite a claim, cce! You will not be surprised to be asked to back it up. You certainly didn't back it up in your protracted appeal to authority.

    First, is there current warming? Given the very limited temperature data over planetary surface & time, the manipulation of such data as does exist by bodies with an ax to grind, heat-island effects, automation of Stevenson boxes, counter-evidence from satellites & balloons — you might understand that reasonable people will not simply take an assertion of warming as a fact.

    Second, if we take the asserted current warming trend as a given (just for the sake of argument), why does it correlate so poorly with the asserted increase in atmospheric CO2? Correlation does not prove causation, but lack of correlation would seem to be a fatal flaw.

    I am quite open-minded on the whole topic of Anthropogenic Global Warming. The available data suggests that the hypothesis of Anthropogenic Global Warming is rather dubious, but if there is a convincing scientific argument, let's hear it.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | July 23, 2008

  60. Here we go again……

    ==First, is there current warming? Given the very limited temperature data over planetary surface & time, the manipulation of such data as does exist by bodies with an ax to grind, heat-island effects, automation of Stevenson boxes, counter-evidence from satellites & balloons — you might understand that reasonable people will not simply take an assertion of warming as a fact.==

    “The climate is so complex, that we shouldn’t even attempt to understand it”

    ==Second, if we take the asserted current warming trend as a given (just for the sake of argument), why does it correlate so poorly with the asserted increase in atmospheric CO2? Correlation does not prove causation, but lack of correlation would seem to be a fatal flaw.==

    “The climate is so simple, that if it can’t be explained in 1 variable, then that variable can’t have any impact”

    _________

    That said, Urban Heat Island effect doesn’t explain why the Oceans are also warming.
    And as for the Satellites and Balloons thing goes, you’re extremely out of date on this issue by about 3 years.
    http://greyfalcon.net/christy
    http://greyfalcon.net/trends.png
    http://greyfalcon.net/forcing2.png
    http://greyfalcon.net/christycorrection.pdf

    As for the single variable thing. There is no single variable which explains whats going on.
    http://greyfalcon.net/forcing4.png

    But there are some big ones.
    http://greyfalcon.net/lean2005.png
    http://greyfalcon.net/milankovitch

    Comment by GreyFlcn | July 24, 2008

  61. kinofkaty,

    Monckton’s figure 7 wasn’t taken from the IPCC report. There is a figure in Chapter 6 (Figure 6.1) that goes back hundreds of millions of year and you will find that, generally, when CO2 has been high, so has temperature (and vice versa). Another point is that no one ever suggested that CO2 controls everything about the Earth’s climate. The present climate is constrained by the geography of the continents. Separate two continents or remove a mountain range and the whole dynamic changes. Hundreds of millions of years ago, the Earth wasn’t anything like today, not even the plant and animal life.

    Comment by cce | July 24, 2008

  62. kinauchdrach,

    Firstly, I have an entire section on Solar and Cosmic rays, unless you are suggesting a different mechanism for warming. Also, it is not an “appeal to authority.” It is an appeal to experts. The National Academy of Sciences was set up specifically to advise the US Government on matters of science. For 30s years, we’ve ignored their expert advice in favor of libertarian thinktanks, science fiction authors, and British Lords.

    Secondly, I have a section on the temperature record, and whether you use the surface record or the satellites the Earth has warmed between 0.13 and 0.17 degrees per decade since 1979, when the satellites first went online.

    Thirdly, CO2 is not the only driver of climate. When all forcings are combined together, you get something like this:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/NetF.gif
    Which does correlate with temperature.

    Comment by cce | July 24, 2008

  63. As it turns out, pole reversal is an unstopable function of the earth and cosmos, which can cause the temperature of the earth to rise, and the climate to change in ways very similar to “global warming”.

    Evan — you might be interested in a book by Robert W. Felix, "Not by fire but by ice", Sugarhouse Publishing, 2000.

    Felix hypothesizes that magnetic pole reversals are related to episodes of sub-sea volcanic activity. That activity warms the oceans, increases evaporation of water, increases cloud cover, drops the temperature below the clouds, increases snow fall => Ice Age.

    It certainly provides a hypothesis for the "cold damp" climate needed to explain the Ice Ages — whereas reduced solar activity or orbital patterns would cause "cold dry" periods. (There are those too in the recent geological record, such as the Younger Dryas).

    Felix's hypothesis seems more credible than the UN's Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis — but that is not a very high standard. Still, it is interesting that geologists have recently observed increased sub-sea volcanic activity in the Arctic, which may be warming the oceans and causing asserted reduced ice coverage.

    It is a big, complicated world. Interesting to see that, when challenged, even the gryflcn's and cce's of this world back quickly away from CO2 as the sole cause of their asserted global warming. Anthropogenic Global Warming is a very shaky hypothesis.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | July 24, 2008

  64. Kinuachdrach,
    http://timlambert.org/2005/06/pearson-claims-that-undersea-volcanoes-cause-global-warming

    *Sigh*
    Kin, are you familiar with the concept of a Confirmation Bias?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

    Comment by GreyFalcon | July 24, 2008

  65. This is the last time I will ever say it, greyfalcon: your practice of sticking in a link with no explanation or discussion is highly discourteous to everyone on this thread, and especially to our host here, Mr. Rapier.

    A wise person would have had to have this pointed out to him only once.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | July 25, 2008

  66. Robert,

    Even if you doubt the scientific consensus on global warming, I think ocean acidification is really a more pressing issue.

    We know there is more C02 in the air. We know it is man-made. Some don’t believe that it is causing global warming.

    But we know that man-made C02 is finding its way into the seas and creating conditions that could lead to mass extinctions.

    I look at carbon regulation as an insurance policy. SO I take a few less vacations, maybe I don’t buy as much stuff.

    But then maybe my kids will actually have life in the seas when they grow old.

    Mike

    Comment by Mike | July 25, 2008

  67. kinauchdrach,

    Please provide a citation of either me or Greyflcn saying that CO2 is the only cause of warming to justify your statement that we are “backing away” from those beliefs. If you can’t, and I guarantee you can’t, you can apologize for making stuff up.

    Also, the “underwater volcanoes cause arctic/antarctic ice melt” talking point is just as absurd as the “volcanoes cause more CO2/Ozone destruction/Sulfur Dioxide than man” argument. It’s just another random concoction with no scientific justification whatsoever to add to the pile.

    Comment by cce | July 25, 2008

  68. cce: Please provide a citation of either me or Greyflcn saying that CO2 is the only cause of warming to justify your statement that we are “backing away” from those beliefs.

    So, cce, you are now affirmatively stating that CO2 is NOT the only cause of (asserted) global warming.

    You realize, cce, that recognition makes you a "Denier".

    Just look what the global warming mob did to Lomborg when he opined that Anthropogenic Global Warming was real but far from being the most important challenge we face. No more wine & brie party invitations for you, sad to say.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | July 26, 2008

  69. Yes, CO2 is not the only cause of global warming….
    http://greyfalcon.net/lean2005.png

    However the warming of the past few decades can’t be explained unless you factor in manmade (i.e. Anthropogenic) activities.
    http://greyfalcon.net/forcing4.png

    Comment by GreyFlcn | July 27, 2008

  70. Mockton’s stuff is weak: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/07/once-more-unto-the-bray/
    Nobody credible is claiming that CO2 is the only climate factor; only that it is a significant factor.

    Comment by hightide | August 1, 2008


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