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Unknowns behind climate chief's resignation

Richard Black | 08:31 UK time, Friday, 19 February 2010

Rumours that Yvo de Boer, the UN's top climate official, would be leaving his post well before the end of this year were rife even during the Copenhagen summit.

The theory went like this. If Copenhagen turned out to be a "failure" - however you want to define that - then someone would have to take the blame.

The two candidates mentioned most often for that role were Danish climate minister Connie Hedegaard, who chaired most of the conference, and Mr de Boer.

Blaming Ms Hedegaard would divert ordure from the head of her boss, Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, according to this thesis, while pointing the finger at Mr de Boer would divert responsibility away from the chain of senior UN officials right up to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who had invested large amounts of prestige in moves to "seal the deal".

It would also assuage the anger said to be felt in governments of some rich countries, notably the US, at how far Mr de Boer had gone in public in saying that they had to demonstrate more ambition if there were to be a deal in Copenhagen.

Yvo de BoerThe fact that he signed only a one-year contract extension last year rather than the three years that is normal in UN circles was cited by some as an indication that not all governments were happy to see him continue. In Copenhagen itself, some delegates appeared only too happy to lay blame for some of the summit's logistical fiascos - notably the repeated barring by security forces of a senior Chinese negotiator - at his door.

It's important to say at this juncture that rumours of many hues were woven into a rich tapestry during the Copenhagen fortnight, and which of them contained a germ of truth was a matter of usually-inconclusive debate.

Now that Mr de Boer has announced his departure from the post of UN climate convention (UNFCCC) executive secretary, you might expect matters to have become somewhat clearer, especially to those who follow the process closely; but there still appears to be a pretty dense cloud surrounding the issue.

Ms Hedegaard has moved on to become the EU's climate commissioner - a job for which she had been nominated before the summit - and what blame there is within Denmark has fallen principally on Mr Rasmussen.

But the questions concerning Mr de Boer are still very much live, and his official comments about his departure - that he believes "the time is ripe for me to take on new challenge" - give nothing away.

If he has decided that the prices paid in stress, abuse and time away from home for doing such an onerous job are no longer worthwhile, who could find anything surprising in that?

In public, he backs the accord approved by most governments on the summit's final day - "the political commitment and sense of direction toward a low-emissions world are overwhelming".

But if in private he has concluded that the job is no longer worth doing, given that Copenhagen's central message is that powerful governments in what we are accustomed to call the developed and developing worlds do not want to tackle climate change through the UN process, who would blame him?

While Copenhagen remains fertile ground for those of a forensic disposition, the more important question for the wider world is: what happens now?

Greenpeace - whose campaigners were among the more successful in prising out what was going on behind closed doors during the summit - comments that Mr de Boer "injected much-needed dynamism and straight-talking into the role of executive secretary to the UN climate convention".

Are the most important governments prepared to tolerate a straight-talking boss any more?

It's worth recalling in this context how a previous US administration engineered the departure of another senior UN climate official, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chief Bob Watson, because his talk was seen as too straight for their interests.

Greenpeace continues:

"The job is to make sure that countries and world leaders not only turn up (to the next UN climate summit in Mexico) but do so with the intention of agreeing a fair, ambitious and legally binding deal to avert climate chaos."

In reality, is it within the gift of anyone in or outside the UN system to do that, however campaigners and governments of nations projected to be especially vulnerable to climate effects might wish it?

Yvo de BoerMr de Boer leaves behind a string of memories that I am sure are emblazoned on his brain cells even more strongly than they are on mine: the collected calm under the tropical downpours of the 2006 UNFCCC summit in Nairobi; the extraordinary work rate during the Bali summit; the tearful breakdown as an oversight threatened to derail negotiations at the end of that meeting; the quick-fire capital-to-capital diplomacy last year as Copenhagen loomed; the measured-yet-wry replies to the sometimes inane questioning of journalists; the past-midnight revelations in Copenhagen of how Barack Obama and Wen Jiabao - arguably two of the three most powerful people on the planet - had personally sat down to write a climate non-treaty together.

These are among the memories that Yvo de Boer leaves with as he trades the UN climate convention for life as a climate advisor to business and as an academic.

In public, it's entirely his decision to leave a process that in public he says has many more miles to run.

In private? We can only guess.

Comments

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  • 1. At 08:49am on 19 Feb 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    The backlash against the climate of fear is well underway - those who intended to use 'global warming' as an excuse to force their pre-existing political beliefs on ordinary people are now on the back foot.

    I read this week of Obama opening a new nuclear power station. He spoke of a need to cut emissions (ecozealots applauded) but he also spoke of the need for energy security and the need to move away from unreliable and declining fossil fuels (millions of normal people applauded).

    If you want to pursuade people, take a hint from Obama. Stop trying to frighten people into returning to the dark ages. Give people non-fossil energy which maintains their current lifestyles. Why would they object?

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  • 2. At 09:01am on 19 Feb 2010, Flatearther wrote:

    Still suffering from cognitive dissonance, Richard. When will you environmentalists realise that AGW is dead and carbon dioxide is blameless. It's all been a scam.

    Greenpeace, WWF etc are evil entities.

    The IPCC should be dissolved.

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  • 3. At 09:07am on 19 Feb 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Jon112uk at1

    " I read this week of Obama opening a new nuclear power station."

    He didn't. The plants haven't being built yet!

    President Obama announced loan Guarantees to construct two new nuclear power reactors in Georgia.

    The loan guarantees will be extended through the the Department of Energy. DOE has offered conditional commitments for a total of $8.33 billion in loan guarantees for the construction and operation of two new nuclear reactors at a plant in Burke, Georgia.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/obama-administration-announces-loan-guarantees-construct-new-nuclear-power-reactors

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  • 4. At 09:54am on 19 Feb 2010, Martman wrote:

    Flatearther @ #2, your assertions do not make any sense. While a large number of us who maintain a healthy scepticism over AGW, to deny it outright is ridiculous. Surely it is obvious to anyone that while it has not been proven that recent warming has been due to anthropogenic CO2 release, there is a possibility that there is at least some connection. Therefore, the IPCC must remain in place to investigate the strength of the connection. The problem most of us find is that there is a lack of openness in terms of what data is being used and how it is being manipulated. Recent revelations about manipulation of weather data in Australia for example are eye-opening but not necessarily representative of the data collected across the globe.
    You are in danger of sounding like a mirror-image of the warmest zealots. In denying warming so strongly as a 'scam' you lay yourself open to ridicule if AGW is ever proven to be a fact. A more balanced view is required where we say there may be a link between CO2 release and global temperature increase, but that link and its effects are not yet proven. However, the fact that this link MAY exist leads me to beleive that action should be taken in advance of any catastrophe before it is too late - after all, is it so bad to reduce our over-reliance on fossil fuels, even if the reason politicians give is not necessarily valid?
    Finally, your comment about Greenpeace and WWF being 'evil'! Wow, that is one strong assertion, and not one I would choose to make, no matter how much I find their positions flawed. I'm sure they are acting for the best interests of the planet as they see it, and that is to be commended.
    As for the resignation of Mr De Boer, I find it sad that a person of such high standing and with such strong political connections has apparently been made a scapegoat for the inability of the World's politicians to come to an agreement. Whatever Mr De Boer's personal policies and beliefs, such a person will be hard to replace and therefore badly missed.

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  • 5. At 10:02am on 19 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @4

    got as far as this

    " A more balanced view is required where we say there may be a link between CO2 release and global temperature increase, but that link and its effects are not yet proven"

    so you're not sure there's a link, but you're going to act anyway. great.

    "However, the fact that this link MAY exist leads me to beleive that action should be taken in advance of any catastrophe before it is too late - after all, is it so bad to reduce our over-reliance on fossil fuels, even if the reason politicians give is not necessarily valid?
    "

    there MAY be an asteroid hurtling to earth right now- no reason to go build a jian frikkin lazer beam (shark attachment optional)

    "As for the resignation of Mr De Boer, I find it sad that a person of such high standing and with such strong political connections has apparently been made a scapegoat for the inability of the World's politicians to come to an agreement."
    regardless of my views on AGW, i'd echo that statement- but isn't that always the way in politics, conveniently located fall guys?

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  • 6. At 10:40am on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    The link between Carbon Dioxide and the recent warming is glaringly obvious to most people who understand the nuances of climate science. The reasons for believing in this link appeal to reason rather than emotion. It is unfortunate that individuals who know very little about the theory of anthropogenic climate change are so outright and certain that it does not exist.

    Of course there is room for doubt as this is the very nature of science. Nothing can be known with absolute certainty. In saying that, there are many, many pieces of evidence that suggest the recent warming is anthropogenic and very little makes sense if you discount the warming effect of increased CO2 in the past 100 years. These are not throw away comments, they are based on rigorous science built up over many decades. Even if the IPCC made mistakes in the impacts section of the report, it changes absolutely nothing about the physical science basis and this is the most important section.

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  • 7. At 10:44am on 19 Feb 2010, Martman wrote:

    @ LabMunkey

    "there MAY be an asteroid hurtling to earth right now- no reason to go build a jian frikkin lazer beam (shark attachment optional)"

    Very true, but definitely a good reason to go looking for said potential asteroids and also to consider ways of potentially diverting same.
    The same is true of AGW - while the link between anthropogenic CO2 release is not yet definitively proven and its future effects accurately and consistently predicted, the fact is that we have the technology and political will to mitigate any potential effects before they are manifested. A switch to a less carbon-intensive economoy will also bring significant advantages in other areas, so we should move towards this switch while continuing to investigate this area of science with an open mind. The blinkered view of both many climate skeptic and many warmists does nothing except reduce science to the level of bickering.

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  • 8. At 10:45am on 19 Feb 2010, Flatearther wrote:

    I onviously cannot repeat my #2, but I agree with LabMunkey.

    I don't like organisations that tell lies to push their unfounded agenda on the rest of the world - Greenpeace, WWF, IPCC.

    I go on real world evidence. There is no evidence for detectable AGW.

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  • 9. At 10:48am on 19 Feb 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    3. At 09:07am on 19 Feb 2010, simon-swede wrote:
    Jon112uk at1
    " I read this week of Obama opening a new nuclear power station."
    He didn't. The plants haven't being built yet!
    ===================

    True ... but they will be.

    Whilst the last failing remnants of the ecozealots desperately try to frighten us, some countries are just quietly moving on with plans to shift away from fossil fuels.

    Whether people are taken in by the climate of fear or not, measures to replace fossil fuels still make sense.

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  • 10. At 11:05am on 19 Feb 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    jon112uk at #9.

    So you didn't read it as you claimed, then?

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  • 11. At 11:08am on 19 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 7

    i was of course being overly flippant, but

    "the fact is that we have the technology and political will to mitigate any potential effects before they are manifested"
    yes, and these measures- on the off chance the IPCC are right, will DEFINITLEY have a negative effect on the worlds economy and will DEFINITLEY have negative results.

    @6

    firstly-

    "The link between Carbon Dioxide and the recent warming is glaringly obvious to most people who understand the nuances of climate science. The reasons for believing in this link appeal to reason rather than emotion. It is unfortunate that individuals who know very little about the theory of anthropogenic climate change are so outright and certain that it does not exist. "

    i find this paragraph amusing for a number of reasons- the ipcc itself tells us it doesn't understand the system- so understanding the nuances is a mean trick. Also, no link, barring laboratory scale experiments and theoretical abstractions has EVER BEEN MADE between temp and co2. if you're sure i'm wrong, link it, please, no one in how-many-threads i've been posting on has managed it yet.

    " In saying that, there are many, many pieces of evidence that suggest the recent warming is anthropogenic and very little makes sense if you discount the warming effect of increased CO2 in the past 100 years."

    really? such as what- again please link this evidence or stop repeating, parrot like, what you are told.

    finally, the 'it doesn't make sense unless we assume it's co2' argument is so flawed i barely know where to begin.

    back on topic- i'd be interested to see if the international community uses this resignation as a point to 'rebrand' the whole 'movement'. It is usually the way in politics when something fails so comprehensively.

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  • 12. At 11:09am on 19 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 9

    i agree wholeheartedly.

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  • 13. At 11:28am on 19 Feb 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    jon112uk at #9

    When you assert "they will be" about the US reactors being built, it is little more than a declaration of faith.

    Firstly, the DOE has offered loan guarantees which are conditional, not absolute.

    Secondly, the experience from Bush the younger's term in office shows that loan guarantees may not be sufficient. Generous loan guarantees for new nuclear construction were offered then, but despite an initial surge in interest and proposals from nuclear firms, plans to start new construction in the US were suspended or cancelled. It had nothing to do with your so-called "eco-zealots" and whether or not people found them frightening. It was to do with economics - the numbers simply did not add up, even with the guarantees. It may be different this time around, but it is by no means certain...

    On the other hand, moving ahead with ways of reducing fossil fuel use is a good idea. Some ways are more affordable than others.



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  • 14. At 11:31am on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "really? such as what- again please link this evidence or stop repeating, parrot like, what you are told."

    CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It has the basic physical property of absorbing certain wavelengths of radiation and re-emitting it as heat. Even though around 2/3 of the greenhouse effect is caused by water vapour, CO2 is still the driver. This is because water vapour is a simply a function of temperature whereas CO2 can vary. Slightly more CO2 = slightly higher temperature amplified by subsequent increase in water vapour. It's this positive feedback that drives the natural cycle because increases in temperature tend to unlock more CO2 from sinks, e.g. through ocean de-gassing. With this in mind, here is the evidence:
    1) Ice cores show that atmospheric CO2 remained below 270ppm for 600,000 years, until, that is, the industrial revolution. Now it is 388ppm and rising.
    2) Analysis of isotopes ratio of carbon shows that the extra CO2 in the atmosphere could only have come from the burning of fossil fuels.
    3)Analysis of spectra of outgoing longwave radiation in 1970 and 1997. The results, if you bothered to look, show experimental evidence that the greenhouse effect is increasing.

    I could go on and on with this.

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  • 15. At 11:33am on 19 Feb 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Flatearther

    You say that Greenpeace, WWF etc are evil entities and tell lies.

    That sounds pretty extreme to me and I don't see the need for it here. It adds nothing but vitriol.

    If you think it is so important, why don't you just say that you disagree with them and be done with that?

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  • 16. At 11:48am on 19 Feb 2010, nick-ynysmon wrote:

    the 'paradox' is, if Copenhagen was a failure, it must have been a great success. a success for those who are rational and see the nonsense of the AGW debacle. that there is absolutely no man made global warming of any consequence at all, means we should now be waiting for the rest of the scoundrels on the IPCC to resign.
    As Lord Monckton says, man made emissions if carbon dioxide account for about 1.7 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions though this may for transport. factories may account for similar.
    I hope Roger Harribin read the links I sent and also Lord Moncktons website. also his St. pauls lecture.
    the sooner this load of nonsense is put behind us like the swine flue rubbish we were fed, the sooner we can get on with a rational, sensible existence. Doubtless the politicians and the Bilderbergers amongst them will be trying other means to resurrect this fiasco in some form.

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  • 17. At 11:52am on 19 Feb 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    "..Just a reminder that today (19th February), is the day that the Corus Steel Works in the UK closes with the loss of over 1600 jobs in a town that it is already under huge pressure with increasing unemployment:

    This is the direct fall out of AGW alarmism and the subsequent creation of Cap and Trade.

    Tata, is closing one of Europe’s biggest steel works and will be able to transfer the very same production to India.

    In the process, Tata will be able to benefit from millions of pounds/dollars of carbon credits through the reduced steel production in the UK – whilst there is no balancing cost in carbon debits as the production is moved to India.

    To summarise – No reduction in steel production, no reduction in CO2 production, 100s of millions of pounds to Tata and 1600 British workers thrown out of work."

    When they are in opposition, I wonder how long it will take the labour party to remember that Margaret Thatcher gave a big push to AGW theory (hadley centre website, says 1988 was a good year)
    Nothing at all of course with weaning UK Energy policy away from coal (unions) and onto Gas/nuclear. Unintended consequences coming back to haunt the tory party in a year or so.

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  • 18. At 11:53am on 19 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 14

    1)= ice cores also show co2 lags temp rises by approximatley 800 years
    2)= really? as far as i was aware our output was miniscule in comparison to natural sources?
    3)= and yet temperatures havn't risen in over 15 years. some greenhouse effect.

    look, i'm not trying to needle you here- i was being very flippant with my first post (to be honest i just wanted to shoehorn sharks with frikkin lazer beams into the discussion somehow), however i can assure you, i've looked into this very carefully and on the back of that research i still find that there is perilously little to support the agw theory.

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  • 19. At 11:54am on 19 Feb 2010, Vic Smith wrote:

    Yet again, 'science' is being quoted as being involved in the AGW idea.

    Many people involved in climate research are well qualified scientists.

    Their work in this field, however, is not in any way 'scientific'. When they report their findings, or discuss them in public, they do so as private individuals.

    There is no need to see malicious intent in their failure to underline this fact, but the result is just as bad. Their standing as scientists leads gravitas to their work that it does not warrant.

    No doubt this does not apply to all scientists in this field, and many may continue to attempt to practice rigorous science. They are currently being exhorted to abandon that attempt, however;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/09/climategate-plausibility-and-the-blogosphere-in-the-post-normal-age/

    The AGW case will be debated for some time to come but 'science' cannot help the believer side of the argument. Sceptics are likely to totally ignore such 'evidence' simply because it is not science.

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  • 20. At 12:10pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "As Lord Monckton says, man made emissions if carbon dioxide account for about 1.7 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions though this may for transport. factories may account for similar."

    I'll just clear up a misconception people have regarding this point.

    Though man made CO2 emissions are small compared to natural sources, it must be realised that natural sources and sinks of CO2 almost exactly balance. If you study the carbon cycle, you will come to the conclusion that this MUST be true.

    The extra carbon being released through the burning of fossil fuels is outside any of the natural processes and is a tipping over of nature's balancing act. The carbon, once released through the burning of fossil fuels, has nowhere to go except the oceans and the atmopshere. This is why CO2 has risen from 270ppm to 388ppm since the industrial revolution.

    Don't be fooled by the charlatans like Lord Monkton.

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  • 21. At 12:16pm on 19 Feb 2010, Veronica wrote:

    "Martman" says the IPCC should remain in place to investigate climate change. The trouble is, that's not what it does. It distils the data available into digestible reports for politicians to use. Two problems with this:

    1. The data it uses is not irreproachable. Lately it has been found to work off MSc theses, anecdotal evidence from ski instructors, non-peer reviewed data, off the cuff comments from Indian glaciation scientists, massaged and "homogenised" data from dubious surface temperature measurement stations, and biased reports from environmental pressure groups. You want the details? Go to www.wattsupwiththat.com.

    2. It gives the politicians what they want to hear. There are political pressures to introduce carbon trading. Certain interests (the companies both Al Gore and Dr Pachauri are involved with, plus the interests of the City of London to estabilsh a carbon-trading exchange, to name a few) have nobbled the IPCC and led it into groupthink.

    Add to that the impossibility of a glbal warming sceptic getting a tenured post in the public researtch sector these days, and you will realise that we are hearing an exaggerated version of alarmish global warming propaganda, which bears no resemblance whatever to the data.

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  • 22. At 12:22pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "1)= ice cores also show co2 lags temp rises by approximatley 800 years
    2)= really? as far as i was aware our output was miniscule in comparison to natural sources?
    3)= and yet temperatures havn't risen in over 15 years. some greenhouse effect."

    You are perpetuating misconceptions that have already been dealt with robustly by scientific arguments.
    For point 1, there is indeed a lag of 800 years but this is just for the natural cycle. The 800 year lag shows that the initiator of the cycle was not CO2, but something external (for instance, changes in the earth's orbit and tilt, see milankovitch cycles). Once the warming got going, CO2 is released naturally through ocean de-gassing (CO2 is less soluble in warmer water) and other natural sinks. This adds CO2 to the atmopshere incrimentally, a bit at a time. Each extra bit of CO2 causes a bit more warming which released more CO2..and so on. The lag shows only that the first bit of warming was not caused by CO2. Yet if you look at the core data, CO2 and temperature are extremely closely correlated, adding weight to the argument that the climate is sensitive to CO2.

    What is happening now is a completely outside of this natural cycle. The natural cycle adds CO2 to the atmpshere extremely slowly. We have just added 100ppm in about 100 years. Global temperatures are responding by increasing, completely in line with everything we know about the physics of CO2 and the greenhouse effect.

    Point 2: No, the output is not miniscule. The evidence shows clearly that the rise in CO2 MUST have come from burning fossil fuels because the change in C12/C13 ratio matches the rise.

    Point 3: You have to know about the effects of natural variability like el nina and el nino. There is clearly an underlying warming trend and it has been shown over and over again by scientists that there is a warming trend and natural variability superimposed on top. Again, this goes back to understanding the nuances of the theory.

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  • 23. At 12:27pm on 19 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @sr# 20

    i understand that theory, however, hasn't there been data and papers released to show that rather than be saturated, the 'earths' capabilities to absorp CO2 are increasing along with 'supply' (if you'll forgive the term)?

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  • 24. At 12:28pm on 19 Feb 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    13. At 11:28am on 19 Feb 2010, simon-swede


    Frankly I don't have that big an axe to grind about what they use as the alternative to fossil fuels - nuclear, tidal, hydro (even wind if absolutely necessary).

    The big thing for me is that people are starting to challenge the whole climate of fear being promoted by the ecozealots. Fear over 'global warming' fear over 'nuclear will make your kids glow in the dark' etc etc

    An organised and effective move to non-fossil energy is in all our interests.

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  • 25. At 12:29pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "Add to that the impossibility of a glbal warming sceptic getting a tenured post in the public researtch sector these days, and you will realise that we are hearing an exaggerated version of alarmish global warming propaganda, which bears no resemblance whatever to the data."

    I'm sorry, there is no evidence of this.

    Sceptics papers very rarely get published in the journals not because they are being stopped by the global warming propaganda machine, it is because their methods are bad and the conclusions they draw unsubstantiated. This is the reality.

    Professional climate scientists have no been trained to use the most rigorous methods and stive for the most accurate use of the raw data. The results of doing this are what the are.

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  • 26. At 12:29pm on 19 Feb 2010, johntherock wrote:

    SR,

    Glad to see there's at least one voice of reason in here today!

    Keep up the good work!

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  • 27. At 12:36pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "i understand that theory, however, hasn't there been data and papers released to show that rather than be saturated, the 'earths' capabilities to absorp CO2 are increasing along with 'supply' (if you'll forgive the term)?"

    There is evidence that plants will absorb more CO2 and grow quicker in an atmosphere of greater CO2. There may be other sinks that draw more carbon in. But look at the other side of the coin. There is evidence that methane is being released in vast quantities from the melting permafrost of Siberia, ocean de-gassing has been shown to be increasing at greater rates. It's almost unconceivable that the sinks will match the sources. By definition, the sinks haven't matched the sources for the past 100 years because CO2 has definitely increased, and by A LOT.

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  • 28. At 12:49pm on 19 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ sr- ok to pick up on one point to begin with

    "For point 1, there is indeed a lag of 800 years but this is just for the natural cycle. The 800 year lag shows that the initiator of the cycle was not CO2, but something external (for instance, changes in the earth's orbit and tilt, see milankovitch cycles). Once the warming got going, CO2 is released naturally through ocean de-gassing (CO2 is less soluble in warmer water) and other natural sinks. This adds CO2 to the atmopshere incrimentally, a bit at a time. Each extra bit of CO2 causes a bit more warming which released more CO2..and so on. The lag shows only that the first bit of warming was not caused by CO2. Yet if you look at the core data, CO2 and temperature are extremely closely correlated, adding weight to the argument that the climate is sensitive to CO2.
    "

    this line of argument doesn't make sense. You've admitted that the historically co2 lags behind temp. You've also admitted that temperature rises cause co2 release. To just then jump to the conclusion that co2 drives temp is, well, to my mind unjust. I see what you're trying to say, but i don't buy it.

    it WOULD make sense that the Co2 levels of the last 100 years or so could drive temperature- given that 100 year (ish) period only.

    but, historically this is not the case, you can therefore not be certain that the co2 levels are driving temperature at all, they may (and were) rising in an apparently linked way, but this does not prove the case. it's a logic fallacy. Something else could be driving the temperature rises, and the co2 rise could be purely coincidental.

    "Sceptics papers very rarely get published in the journals not because they are being stopped by the global warming propaganda machine, it is because their methods are bad and the conclusions they draw unsubstantiated. This is the reality."
    despite direct proof that counter-claim papers were blocked for no other reason?

    "Point 3: You have to know about the effects of natural variability like el nina and el nino. There is clearly an underlying warming trend and it has been shown over and over again by scientists that there is a warming trend and natural variability superimposed on top. Again, this goes back to understanding the nuances of the theory"

    There has also been significant evidence that we are actually about to undergo a massive cooling trend, and that historically, a smal term and rapid warming trend always preceedes this.

    Look. Sr. I am honestly not trying to be contrary just for the sake of it, or out of any ideological belief. I am genuinley trying to understand the issue and where the IPCC et al are coming from- however, the conclusions they make, to my mind, are unscientific and not fully supported.

    I am happy to debate the specifics with you, and if you manage to talk me around i'll happily admit it- i have no vested interest in 'which side wins'.

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  • 29. At 12:51pm on 19 Feb 2010, PLN wrote:

    #25

    So it's warmist science good, sceptic science bad. Reminds me of a book I once read.

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  • 30. At 12:52pm on 19 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 27.

    that could just be a lag issue. After all after historical rises the levels of co2 have always fallen at similar rates.

    the way to test this would be to hold co2 release levels at a constant rate (figure out of air for example purposes) 2000 ptm/day, if levels then fell it would show the 'sinks' were coping/adapting to 'supply'.

    However what we have is an exponential increase of Co2 release, so although the co2 levels are rising, this does not tell us whether the sinks are unable to cope, or whether the co2 level rises are just outsrtipping them temporeraly- i.e. the lag.

    make any sense?

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  • 31. At 1:00pm on 19 Feb 2010, seasambo wrote:

    #8 Flatearther
    I too am not keen on greenpeace, WWF, friends earth etc. but guess what? I am convinced from the evidence that man is warming the planet and changing the climate through CO2, and is also dangerously effecting the ecosystems that sustain life on this planet. My reasoning is that they are more political bodies than science ones. But I don't understand why you think they are the ones who provide the evidence. They are not...the evidence comes from non-biased (most of them at least until otherwise proven), peer-reviewed science from universities and other institutes. This is quite different to NGOs who in my opinion are biased.
    I too dont like the term environmentalist because it suggests a political motivation (like hippies or something) when in my opinion the environmental issues facing human civilisation are based on scientific evidence. And I'm not talking climate change now but all the other related issues we face such as deforestation, agricultural over-production and under-production, population growth, over-fishing, water resources, biodiversity loss, all of which are ecosystem services that keep you and me alive. But then of course we need energy and food so how do we reconcile our economic needs with our ecological needs?
    In many respects the NGOs may be right but sometimes for the wrong reasons. For example, i think habitats and ecosystems should be conserved not single species (tell that to the WWF). No one considers that the microorganisms are actually more important to ecosystem stability than a lion or tiger. But whos gonna give money for microbe protection (actually they do a pretty good job themselves).
    Ecology and the environment are ultimately more important to life on this planet than the current human economy. But that doesnt mean that the economy is not important. It means that we have to learn to live within our means and without destroying the life support system around us. But of course humans only live a short life and so we are selfishly obsessed with our own luxuries, not realising that we are about to go over a cliff!
    Everyone is focused on the current economic crisis as the the economy is all that keeps us alive. But economic growth is driving energy and agricultural production resulting in population growth. At some point that growth will be limited by the environment at a carrying capacity. So endless growth is a nonsense that the Prime Minister and Presidents will continue to talk about but is impossible. We are told to live within our means and yet bankers and politicians continue to invest and borrow money they havent got and increase our countries debt. This is the real issue and i find it amazing that we still support economic growth over sustainability. And to achieve economic and environmental sustainability we will need to invest in the technology needed to reduce CO2 (i.e. energy efficiency).

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  • 32. At 1:02pm on 19 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #5 LabMunkey wrote:

    "so you're not sure there's a link, but you're going to act anyway. great."

    It makes perfect sense. Every time you eat shellfish (say), you get sick. You're not sure there's a link, but you avoid shellfish anyway. What's the problem?

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  • 33. At 1:05pm on 19 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #25 SR wrote:

    "Professional climate scientists have no been trained to use the most rigorous methods and stive for the most accurate use of the raw data."

    Did you mean to say "no"? If you meant they have been trained, and that that adds to their trustworthiness, your knowledge of science is as bad as your spelling!

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  • 34. At 1:11pm on 19 Feb 2010, Veronica wrote:

    "There's nowhere for the CO2 to go except atmosphere and oceans?"

    Wrong. There's plants.

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  • 35. At 1:16pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "this line of argument doesn't make sense. You've admitted that the historically co2 lags behind temp. You've also admitted that temperature rises cause co2 release. To just then jump to the conclusion that co2 drives temp is, well, to my mind unjust. I see what you're trying to say, but i don't buy it."

    "Something else could be driving the temperature rises, and the co2 rise could be purely coincidental."

    The natural cycles show that CO2 and temperature rise and fall almost completely in phase. But don't forget, we're talking CO2 variation of between 150 and 270ppm, spread out over many thousands of years with a rate of rise of CO2 of about 6ppm per century. The last 100 years we have seen CO2 rise at 100ppm per century. Nothing in these natural cycles contradicts the view that temperature is sensitive to atmospheric CO2. If it does, i've missed something major but i'm pretty sure climate scientists have this view too. The basic formula is higher CO2 = higher temperature. The driver of CO2 can be anything, from the positive feedback mechanism of the natural cycle (giving the 800 year initial lag) or even from the burning of fossil fuels.

    "Something else could be driving the temperature rises, and the co2 rise could be purely coincidental."

    Given that we know the physics of CO2 and have emperical evidence showing that the greenhouse effect is increasing, and that temperatures are rising, and that atmospheric CO2 suddenly started rising at the onset of the industrial revolution, and that the paleoclimatology records do broadbly show that the rate of rise in temperature is unprecended in recent times, it would be a really big coincidence if there was something external largely responsible for the recent warming. Sun spots and natural variability have been touted, but the arguments have been shown to be wrong. On the other hand, we have lots of emperical evidence, observational evidence, a solid mechanism that agrees with our knowledge of atmospheric physics and a multitude of smaller pieces of evidence supporting the theory that man made CO2 is largely responsible for the warming. There will always be uncertainty but nothing else seems to make as much sense.

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  • 36. At 1:21pm on 19 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @32.

    there's so many examples i could give in direct contradiction to that analogy that it's not even worth doing it.

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  • 37. At 1:22pm on 19 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    Greenpeace - whose campaigners were among the more successful in prising out what was going on behind closed doors during the summit

    So an activist group has more access to the powers that be than journalists and the man in the street?

    That can't be right

    /mango

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  • 38. At 1:24pm on 19 Feb 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @SR #6

    "The link between Carbon Dioxide and the recent warming is glaringly obvious to most people who understand the nuances of climate science. The reasons for believing in this link appeal to reason rather than emotion. It is unfortunate that individuals who know very little about the theory of anthropogenic climate change are so outright and certain that it does not exist. "

    Sorry, but if there was a link you wouldn't need to 'believe' in it, as you've just put it.

    The IPCC have most definitely been looking for a definitive link/signature, as yet with no success. Are you perhaps aware of some new research that rest of us (very interested, nuance aware and possibly quite bright people) might have missed?

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  • 39. At 1:40pm on 19 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 35.

    "The last 100 years we have seen CO2 rise at 100ppm per century. Nothing in these natural cycles contradicts the view that If it does, i've missed something major but i'm pretty sure climate scientists have this view too. The basic formula is higher CO2 = higher temperature"

    ok. it's this bit i still don't agree/get.

    -temperature historically preceedes cos rises. so i still don't follow how you can then say it is the other way around. I understand that co2 has a greenhouse effect (though i'd argue it's effect is nothing like that shown by laboratory experiments), and would agree that it has an insulating effect on temperature levels, however i still do not see how it can drive temp when for all recorded history (barring last 100 years, and to the best of our knowledge) it has been the other way around.

    The contradiction to the view "temperature is sensitive to atmospheric CO2." is this history. surely.

    It is just as likely that something else is driving the climate change and that the co2 increases are just a background noise. a 'happy' coincidence. Just because we don't know (or rather, we can't fully explain) what IS driving climate change doesn't automatically prove the case for co2.

    "and have emperical evidence showing that the greenhouse effect is increasing, and ", and that atmospheric CO2 suddenly started rising at the onset of the industrial revolution, and that the paleoclimatology records do broadbly show that the rate of rise in temperature is unprecended in recent times"

    i'll break this up

    1-"that temperatures are rising"
    recent information would contradict that claim

    2-"and that the paleoclimatology records do broadbly show that the rate of rise in temperature is unprecended in recent times"
    " but not in HISTORICAL times, we have seen sharper and more pronounced temperature rises before in earths history, with co2 lagging behind. This would, if anything, suggest co2 is NOT a primary driver.

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  • 40. At 1:49pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "Sorry, but if there was a link you wouldn't need to 'believe' in it, as you've just put it. "

    My question to you is, if there was indeed a link, what would you EXPECT to see? What would make you believe in it yourself?

    The evidence that there is an underlying warming trend is really clear. We can't think of anything else, except the recent rise in CO2, that explains it properly. There will always be incertainty but once you remove the information from the noise, what you're left with is an abundance of evidence that rises in CO2 is responsible for the underlying warming. If not CO2, what?

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  • 41. At 1:52pm on 19 Feb 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    Blunderbunny said this in reply to SR (#38)

    "The IPCC have most definitely been looking for a definitive link/signature, as yet with no success. Are you perhaps aware of some new research that rest of us (very interested, nuance aware and possibly quite bright people) might have missed?"

    SR told us the basic evidence in post #14. I'll repeat what SR said there:

    "1) Ice cores show that atmospheric CO2 remained below 270ppm for 600,000 years, until, that is, the industrial revolution. Now it is 388ppm and rising.
    2) Analysis of isotopes ratio of carbon shows that the extra CO2 in the atmosphere could only have come from the burning of fossil fuels.
    3)Analysis of spectra of outgoing longwave radiation in 1970 and 1997. The results, if you bothered to look, show experimental evidence that the greenhouse effect is increasing."

    And SR has very cogently expanded on this in further posts

    In our present state of scientific knowledge, it actually requires blind faith to 'believe' in any other explanation. Note in particular that the current climate models include many uncertainties and, yes, they do leave open the possibility that CO2 has a low or even no effect on temperatures. But the most consistent interpretation of all the data has CO2 as quite a significant player and supports a political goal of minimizing emissions

    Any neutral observer could perhaps go back over this thread and compare SR's comments with those of the LabMonkeys and FlatEarthers (there's an appropriate name if ever I saw one) of this world.

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  • 42. At 1:56pm on 19 Feb 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @SR

    You're really not having much luck are you:

    "Given that we know the physics of CO2 and have emperical evidence showing that the greenhouse effect is increasing, and that temperatures are rising, and that atmospheric CO2 suddenly started rising at the onset of the industrial revolution, and that the paleoclimatology records do broadbly show that the rate of rise in temperature is unprecended in recent times"

    Again, there's nothing of the sort. There is no 'empirical' evidence, if there was there would be no need for all these conversations that we've all been having.

    There's also no evidence that this warming is either unusual or unprecedented and whilst you might claim some suggestive link to CO2 for the most recent warming, that does not explain the medieval warm period or indeed where the cooling that caused the little ice age might have come from.

    I'd suggest that you need a little more reading, even if it's only reading of your own cause's most recent positions and opinions, as you appear to be a little behind the times.

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  • 43. At 2:02pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "-temperature historically preceedes cos rises. so i still don't follow how you can then say it is the other way around. I understand that co2 has a greenhouse effect (though i'd argue it's effect is nothing like that shown by laboratory experiments), and would agree that it has an insulating effect on temperature levels, however i still do not see how it can drive temp when for all recorded history (barring last 100 years, and to the best of our knowledge) it has been the other way around."

    I don't know why this is so confusing. The natural cycle works by positive feedback. Temperature drives CO2. CO2 drives temperature. This is why a very small increase in temperature, such as that caused by changes in the Milankovitch cycle, i.e., eccentricity of the earth wrt. the sun, can sow the seed of the natural cycle, even though IN ITSELF, this small change in initial temperature was small.

    Now forget about this natural cycle, or at least just take from it the fact that CO2 increases temperature (the CO2 drives temperature part of the positive feedback cycle). The logic that drives the natural cycle is not the same logic to apply here. The only logic you need to apply is that CO2 has a warming effect and we have increased it. Of course, the same natural processes that cause the natural cycle (ocean de-gassing etc.) are still happening now but they are slow to respond to temperature. All that matters is that we have more CO2 and higher temperatures.

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  • 44. At 2:02pm on 19 Feb 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    After politics sapped the energy out of the process the results have been to make the position that of "care-taker."
    As a couple of States in the US have signaled that they intend to challenge the basic science of climate change in the courts there may be some legal decision on the science. We all understand that going to court is a roll of the dice. As the Chinese saying goes: Sue a flea, catch an bite. Legal processes can be very long. Governments are never good at intitatives as they are more about maintaining the status quo and vested interests. People take initiative and governments respond....leadership in politics is the recognition of what is already happening.

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  • 45. At 2:04pm on 19 Feb 2010, seasambo wrote:

    34 Veronica

    "Wrong...plants"
    Hmm...partly right...but not totally correct. Plants respire CO2 just as humans do. The net storage of CO2 is seen in the annual growth of plants called net primary production. But plants also release C as dissolved organic carbon into the soil. This C is then broken down (along with slower inputs of dead plants) back to CO2 and also CH4 which is a more potent GHG. So, ultimately the CO2 is returned back to the atmosphere or ocean depending on whether your plant is aquatic or terrestrial. CO2 will only increase the storage of C in ecosystems up to a certain point because growth becomes limited by other factors. But also temperature will increase respiration of CO2 which will counter balance the uptake of CO2 by ecosystems. Actually, ecosystems like peatlands which are charaterized by being sinks of CO2 (i.e. NPP is higher than respiration resulting in increased soilC) are predicted to become sources of CO2 in a warmer, drier world...which is a feedback on global warming.

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  • 46. At 2:05pm on 19 Feb 2010, Joe Melone wrote:

    Labmunkey thinks the economic measures to combet AGW would be "definitely" damaging? He clearly doesn't know much about economics. Compared with economic forecasting, climate forecasting is an exact science. When a few of the "usual killjoys" suggested that the idea of recycling dodgy debt was highly dangerous, they were scoffed at, but now everyone knows what a foolish thing it was to do. In fact the economic effects of a big change in our growth patterns are difficult to predict and could easily be very positive in the long run (even if climate change turned out to be less damaging than the worst predictions). By creating work in new areas, and by stimulating technological creativity, it could have positive economic effects. What is disturbing to some people is that it might not be them who reap the benefits, and some people could lose out relative to others. And for that they are willing to risk catastrophe. Because when there is a possibility of a major disaster, and there clearly is, then it is ridiculous to demand proof before taking measures to avert possible damage. The burden of proof should be on the people who say we should do nothing. There has never, ever been a piece of evidence produced to show that GW is not the result of human activity - while simple logic suggests that the ever-increasing human interference in the environment is bound to produce side-effects. So please, AGW-deniers, produce some evidence which shows that we can really be sure that present long-term growth trends will not wreck the planet's climate.

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  • 47. At 2:05pm on 19 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #36 LabMunkey wrote:

    "there's so many examples i could give in direct contradiction to that analogy that it's not even worth doing it."

    It's not supposed to be an analogy but a counterexample to the principle you seem to be appealing to, namely, that we need to be certain of a link before acting is rational. What other way is there of reading the following?

    "so you're not sure there's a link, but you're going to act anyway. great."

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  • 48. At 2:08pm on 19 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @41

    ignoring the implied insults.

    "In our present state of scientific knowledge, it actually requires blind faith to 'believe' in any other explanation. "

    The fact 'you' do not know of anything else that COULD explain the temp rises, does not prove it is C02.

    A first year science student could tell you that.

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  • 49. At 2:09pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "1-"that temperatures are rising"
    recent information would contradict that claim"

    If you look back at the temperature record of the last 100 years, you'll see that it is not a linear rise. There are periods of rapid warming followed by periods of constant temperatures. This is exactly in line with the climate models. There are in-built natural variability factors like el nino and la nina, and other effects like aerosols at play. Since 1998, there has probably been a very slight warming, but this warming is not statistically significant. Yet the amount of heat taken up by the earth continues to increase (ocean temperatures increasing), it is the internal variability of the climate system that means more heat is taken up by the ocean than the atmosphere. If you look at the trend over a longer period of time, temperatures have risen without doubt. You can only remove the internal variability by looking at temperature over a longer period of time.

    What people do not realise is that climate scientists can explain all these events quite well. It is exactly what is expected. What matters is the underlying trend and that shows quite clearly that the world is getting warmer.

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  • 50. At 2:12pm on 19 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #38 blunderbunny wrote:

    "if there was a link you wouldn't need to 'believe' in it, as you've just put it."

    Translation:

    "if there was a link you wouldn't need to think it is true".

    Is that was you meant? If so, what does it mean? If that was not what you meant, what did you mean?

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  • 51. At 2:19pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    ""There's nowhere for the CO2 to go except atmosphere and oceans?"

    Wrong. There's plants."

    Study the carbon cycle. The carbon that we release from fossil fuels will accumulate as excess carbon. The carbon locked in by plants is subsequently released back where it come from through natural processes. It is a closed system. You might understandably be suspicious that it is a closed system but when you think about it more, you'll realise it is. There is very little wastage in nature and life seems to be everywhere.

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  • 52. At 2:25pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "The fact 'you' do not know of anything else that COULD explain the temp rises, does not prove it is C02."

    The fact that there is an abundance of evidence indicating that the temperature rises are caused by CO2 is the primary reason for believing, with good confidence, that anthropogenic global warming is happening.

    The fact that no other explanation makes any sense at all, and that there is very little evidence supporting any other explanation, is a secondary reason why we are confident in AGW.

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  • 53. At 2:31pm on 19 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    ok- few to address.

    @43

    "I don't know why this is so confusing. The natural cycle works by positive feedback. Temperature drives CO2. CO2 drives temperature. This is why a very small increase in temperature, such as that caused by changes in the Milankovitch cycle, i.e., eccentricity of the earth wrt. the sun, can sow the seed of the natural cycle, even though IN ITSELF, this small change in initial temperature was small."

    i think i get what you mean now. If i'm right, you're saying that after the initial temperature increase, the 'lagged' co2 releases served to 'prop-up' and 'propel' the temperature rises higher. Is that correct?

    Not to sound daft or anything, but do you have any proof it works this way? wouldn't it be more logical, and simple, to just say whatever caused the initial temp rise (and therefore co2 release) caused the continuing temp/co2 rises?

    @46.
    sigh. i wondered how long it would take for someone to pursue that line. I said it would be definitley damaging because we would be forcing expensive, inefficient technology on developing coutries, which will in all probability stifle their economy and development.

    As for your other ramblings- if you want to discuss the precautionary principle, then fine- but please don't try to suggest it has anything to do with science.

    There are many things we can do to help the planet- to help developing countries AND reduce pollution. Concentrating on CO2 is just plain daft.

    @47.

    i'm confused as hell with that post until. you relise the 'great' on the end was sarcastic??

    acting without fully understanding the situation, more often than not, creates more problems than it solves.


    @49
    "If you look back at the temperature record of the last 100 years, you'll see that it is not a linear rise. There are periods of rapid warming followed by periods of constant temperatures. This is exactly in line with the climate models"
    yes, the same models that are then unable to predict past events correctly (outside of this 100 year period) and were built on the data and tailored to give these correlation results. tested anywhere out of this 'programmed range' and they fail. repeatedly.

    "What people do not realise is that climate scientists can explain all these events quite well. It is exactly what is expected. What matters is the underlying trend and that shows quite clearly that the world is getting warmer"

    no- no they can't. The theories that co2 drive temp are not courne out by the historical records. they omit large areas of history to suit their case and mix different incompatable data sets (both proven cases) to present trends where none exist.

    The entire credibility of the climate scientsist is falling apart- i repeat what i've said in other threads;

    if this kind of farce (re:data handling/interpretation/tampering) had happenend in any other scientific field, the theory would have been thrown out, and the proponents ridiculed and excluded from further research.

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  • 54. At 2:33pm on 19 Feb 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @bowmanthebard

    "if there was a link you wouldn't need to 'believe' in it, as you've just put it."

    I thought it was quite clear, but I could say it again like this:

    Belief is only required, as an abstract concept, in the absence of proof.

    Or,

    If something is proven, there would be know need to believe in it.

    As to SR,

    I would re-iterate my earlier point, I think you need to do a little more reading.

    But failing that I guess we'll all have to go through the same old dance again. So, let's start with the easiest one first:

    What evidence do you have to support your belief that the planet's current temperatures are even unusual or unprecedented for just this current interglacial period?

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  • 55. At 2:37pm on 19 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @52
    "The fact that there is an abundance of evidence indicating that the temperature rises are caused by CO2 is the primary reason for believing, with good confidence, that anthropogenic global warming is happening.
    "

    please- what's this evidence. link it if poss. i want something causal- not coincidental.

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  • 56. At 2:46pm on 19 Feb 2010, davblo wrote:

    The score so far... (occurrences of word; comment #1 through #52)

    de Boer:...3
    CO2:.....113

    Anyone notice? de Boer resigned.

    /davblo

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  • 57. At 2:48pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "Not to sound daft or anything, but do you have any proof it works this way? wouldn't it be more logical, and simple, to just say whatever caused the initial temp rise (and therefore co2 release) caused the continuing temp/co2 rises?"

    It might be more logical to the layman because it's a simple explanation, but ultimately, scientists just want to know the truth. There are thousands of scientific papers by experts in the field explaining why and how increasing temperatures purge carbon from sinks.

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  • 58. At 2:50pm on 19 Feb 2010, davblo wrote:

    evidence: ....37
    no evidence: ..8
    AGW: .........15

    I'm having trouble finding a single word which is mentioned less than...
    ..de Boer

    /davblo

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  • 59. At 2:54pm on 19 Feb 2010, seasambo wrote:

    Lab munkey
    I strongly suggest you watch this video a couple of times. Some may point out that its not a scientific publication. No...but it is a scientific presentation by a highly respected climate scientist at one of the biggest conferences. His evidence is all peer-reviewed and in the literature so it is not just his opinion. But he does stress that there are alot of uncertainties
    http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtml

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  • 60. At 3:00pm on 19 Feb 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    LabMunkey #55

    "please- what's this evidence. link it if poss. i want something causal- not coincidental."

    Try this

    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg1.htm

    Its the physical science basis from the last IPCC report. Then read the cited papers if you can access them.

    You may not want to 'believe' what the IPCC says. But its a summary of the mass of climate science. It makes all the uncertainties explicit. You won't find a different explanation or any more evidence anywhere else. And I don't think there are any peer reveiewed scientific papers that contradict the basic science (although there are undoubtedly some that support models in which the sensitivity of temperatures to CO2 is at the low end of their projections)

    If you want something much simpler, just go back to what SR said at #14 then do some googling. Its all available out there if you really want to look for it.

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  • 61. At 3:10pm on 19 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 57
    "There are thousands of scientific papers by experts in the field explaining why and how increasing temperatures purge carbon from sinks."

    but that's not what we're discussing.

    @59- thanks i'll look at it tonight.

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  • 62. At 3:16pm on 19 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 60.
    i've read it. i've also read the NIPCC which systematically pulls that report apart.

    The 4th report is also the one that has been shown to have numerous errors in it, some known of beofre copenhagen.

    it's not about beleif, it's about trust and reliability. the IPCC have been proven to 'lie' or at the very least, mislead on at least two occasions. I therefore think i'm well within my rights to take anything they say with a pinch of salt.

    To put it another way. would you believe the doctor at the centre of the MMR debacle if he turned around and said- look, ok so that data was flawed- but the rest is fine. honest..

    unless the vid linked in 59 contains anything i haven't seen before, i still stand by my assertion that AGW is not based on anything concrete.

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  • 63. At 4:01pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    Someone needs to explain to me how the IPCC mistakes relating to what year the Himalayan glaciers will melt or the 'wrong' source (but indidentally, the 'right' scientific analysis) of the effects on the amazon, have anything to do with the physical science basis.

    The impacts section and the physical science basis section are completely separate. The IPCC only summarise the evidence and the evidence in the physical science basis section has not really been put into question. It's the wrong assumption to think it has - but the media report things as the 'tip of the iceberg' so that influences public perception.

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  • 64. At 4:05pm on 19 Feb 2010, seasambo wrote:

    Labmunkey
    I just wanted to make a few points about the NIPCC. I havent read all of it but Im reading it now. The first thing that strikes me is that it is an attack on the IPCC report. To me this is more like a letter to a journal about a problem with a paper rather than a systematic review of the literature on climate change. Straight away I think this makes it a week document as it is not discussing and reviewing the literature but rather arguing against another review.
    Secondly, I jumped to the sectin on plant growth response to CO2. They claim to have reviewed more papers than the IPCC but look at this paragrpah
    "A 300 ppm increase in the air’s CO2 content typically
    raises the productivity of most herbaceous plants by
    about one-third (Cure and Acock, 1986; Mortensen,
    1987). This positive response occurs in plants that
    utilize all three of the major biochemical pathways
    (C3, C4, and crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM)) of
    photosynthesis (Poorter, 1993). Thus, with more CO2
    in the air, the productivity of nearly all crops rises, as
    they produce more branches and tillers, more and
    thicker leaves, more extensive root systems, and more
    flowers and fruit (Idso, 1989)."
    All the references are pre-1990!!! There has been significantly more research performed since then, and most importantly from FACE experiments in natural ecosystems rather than in labs. This report was published in 2009!
    They havent even included CO2 in the report. There are a vast amount of literature on CO2! How can that be a balanced view on climate or even the scientific literature. They also appear to concentrate on their own papers or papers pre-2000. I would be highly sceptical of this report.
    HOWEVER, there is nothing wrong with sceptics publishing a review of climate change without any presumptions or bias. I'm still waiting for it though!

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  • 65. At 4:05pm on 19 Feb 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    ghostofsichuan at #44

    "As a couple of States in the US have signaled that they intend to challenge the basic science of climate change in the courts there may be some legal decision on the science."

    Don't forget that a whole colelction of states DID take the EPA to court for its failiure to act on CO2 - and won!

    As for Mr de Boer, I had the pleasure to meet hm on a number of ocassions in the last two decades. As Richard describes, he makes a favourable impression.

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  • 66. At 4:06pm on 19 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #54 blunderbunny wrote:

    "Belief is only required, as an abstract concept, in the absence of proof."

    Since we never have proof of any scientific hypothesis, we had better get clear about the concept of belief, then, don't you think?

    I say that as a sceptic. A sceptic is a person who believes some things but not others things, and he is sceptical about the things he does not believe. If we withhold belief where there is no "proof", we will have to withhold belief from absolutely every scientific hypothesis, not just the AGW theory.

    That would be a bit unscientific, wouldn't? We don't want to make our position so easy to dismiss, do we?

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  • 67. At 4:07pm on 19 Feb 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @Paul Butler #60

    Sorry to intrude, but have you actually read all the reports and papers that working group 1 collated, which you gave a link for or are you just assuming that's what they all say - Did you bother to go past the Summaries and the FAQ?

    Can you point to any one of them, just one - it's not much to ask, which actually shows a causative link?

    As there really would not be any need for all of this if you could and we could all go home for tea and buns.

    I would suggest reading the NIPCC paper suggested by LabMunkey, if only to understand where some of the rest of us might be coming from.

    Then as you mention yourself, there's the 64 trillion dollar question of climate sensitivity to consider.....

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  • 68. At 4:34pm on 19 Feb 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    LabMunkey #62

    " i've read it. i've also read the NIPCC which systematically pulls that report apart."

    If you think the NIPCC pulls the IPCC report apart, you also think it pulls apart all the peer reviewed science cited there.

    So ask yourself this: why isn't it suddenly obvious to all those scientists cited in IPCC that they've been barking up the wrong tree for the last 3 decades and that Fred Singer

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

    and Craig Idso

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

    were right all along

    Do you really not think that if NIPCC really did pull the IPCC report apart at least some of those real scientists would recognize the fact.

    You probably think you're a skeptic. So go back to NIPCC and look at it again, but this time look at it as a genuine skeptic would. A selective skeptic really isn't a skeptic at all

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  • 69. At 4:52pm on 19 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    #20:

    "Though man made CO2 emissions are small compared to natural sources, it must be realised that natural sources and sinks of CO2 almost exactly balance."

    Doesn't it strike you as a wee bit implausible that they almost exactly balanced for a period of hundreds of thousands of years?

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  • 70. At 5:26pm on 19 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    #51:

    "The carbon locked in by plants is subsequently released back where it come from through natural processes"

    Then how do you explain how fossil fuels came to be?

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  • 71. At 5:35pm on 19 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    #53:

    "acting without fully understanding the situation, more often than not, creates more problems than it solves."

    There's evidence of this already. Huge tracts of tropical rainforest have been cleared, to make room for producing palm oil and other biofuel crops. World food prices are also on the rise because of this, leading to increased hunger in poorer countries.

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  • 72. At 5:38pm on 19 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #20 SR wrote:

    "If you study the carbon cycle, you will come to the conclusion that this MUST be true."

    Would you mind explaining in what sense it "MUST" be true?

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  • 73. At 5:45pm on 19 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    #63:

    "Someone needs to explain to me how the IPCC mistakes relating to what year the Himalayan glaciers will melt or the 'wrong' source (but indidentally, the 'right' scientific analysis) of the effects on the amazon, have anything to do with the physical science basis."

    It doesn't, but neither does it do the perceived credibility of the basic science any favours.
    Even those who aren't sceptical about the basic science are likely, as a result of these revelations, to take at least the predictions of disastrous outcomes with a pinch or two of salt.
    After all, if they can lie about one thing...

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  • 74. At 5:48pm on 19 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    To keep davblo happy, I thought I'd better mention De Boer.

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  • 75. At 5:53pm on 19 Feb 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    Peter317 #69

    Yes, its not quite true to say they balanced all that time. In fact the glacial cycles indicate that there are two states in which they are in some kind of balance (glacial and interglacial) and between those states some kind of amplifying feedback occurs between temperatures and greenhouse gas concentrations.

    What we don't know is what happens when temperatures and CO2 increase starting from an interglacial with CO2 concentrations increasing much more rapidly than they ever do as part of the natural cycle.

    So that's the experiment we are inflicting on the world right now. The last time anything remotely similar occurred (around 55 million years ago) temperatures rose by something of the order of 5 degrees over a period of around 1000 to 10000 years. But then (there's a lot of uncertainty around this of course) both temperatures and CO2 were probably a bit higher than they are today.

    This is why rather a lot of climate scientists find themselves in the 'alarmist' camp. Even though they can't 'prove' a link (at least not in the way that Blunderbunny #67 would apparently like) there are enough smoking guns out there to make them worried. Justifiably in my opinion.

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  • 76. At 6:11pm on 19 Feb 2010, Flatearther wrote:

    Richard, don't you sometimes think you're wasting your talents at the beeb. The main BBC news items are sooo important - Tiger Woods' infidelities and Eastenders 25th anniversary! You couldn't make it up.

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  • 77. At 6:12pm on 19 Feb 2010, Flatearther wrote:

    Damn, I forgot to mention De Boer.

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  • 78. At 6:26pm on 19 Feb 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To simon-swede re UN Charter previous thread; Yvo de Boer; and Hello Davblo2!

    Thank you. I was not aware of it, and read it with a certain amount of what I can only describe as 'wistfulness.'

    Fine words, fine ideas, like Professor Stone's "Should Trees Have Standing," which you put me onto so seemingly long ago.

    I think I like this man Yvo de Boer, though I hve never met him, and know him through the media only peripherally. That you like him only solidifies my 'feeling.'

    As I have mentioned repeatedly, there are different ways of knowing, and we tend to restrict ourselves to rational thinking here - Robert Pirsig's "Church of Reason."

    Davblo2 has noted the almost complete lack of attention to the theme of this thread by Richard Black.

    For myself, I read the report on Mr. de Boer's leaving the other day, and did my usual reading between the lines.

    Richard Black has stated what would be my view:

    "But if in private he has concluded that the job is no longer worth doing, given that Copenhagen's central message is that powerful governments in what we are accustomed to call the developed and developing worlds do not want to tackle climate change through the UN process, who would blame him?" (Richard Black - this thread)

    For me, Mexico is already dead in the water.

    I assume you might take exception to so blunt a statement, and I respect that.

    But don't you think we need some new ideas?

    You have implied that we should not act precipitously based on worst case scenarios, as these are unproven and speculative.

    Fair enough.

    What about convening, as Thomas Friedman suggested, fifty or so of the absolute best minds on the subject of Planetary Boundaries/Limits to Growth/Climatology/Population/Ecology/Local Nuclear War... rather immediately, perhaps under the auspices of the Interacademy Panel on International Issues, and chaired by Lord Martin Rees and the Royal Society, and asking them for a metric on worst case scenarios and state of the planet?

    How if we do this now, this year?

    The Sun has turned back on, James Hansen's and the HadCrut crews have correctly I think predicted that 2010 will be a warm one, and the seasonal Arctic Sea Ice is almost gone, with all that implies.

    Perhaps instead of London we could convene in the Arctic, perhaps a rolling convention around the shores of the Arctic Ocean, in several countries.

    Without a political agenda, the science could be summarised quickly and concisely, in the form of an IAP 'Statement,' and delivered to the world from say Tuktoaktuk [1], as it is being washed away by the rising of the sea.

    - Manysummits -

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuktoyaktuk




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  • 79. At 6:47pm on 19 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #75 Paul Butler wrote:

    "there are enough smoking guns out there to make them worried. Justifiably in my opinion."

    I always wonder what these people are worried about. It can't be fewer humans born in future generations, because that's good thing, surely? It can't be more land available for farming, because that too is good thing, surely? It can't be more biomass and therefore cheaper food, because that too is good thing, surely?

    Are they worried about people getting killed? How will these future people get killed? People who die in low-lying areas today die because they are poor. How will this change?

    Isn't the real "problem" just that some not especially reflective religious-minded people (who mistakenly think they've got over religious belief) think "we must not interfere with the way things were meant to be"?

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  • 80. At 7:19pm on 19 Feb 2010, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Nick-ynysmon claims at #16:-

    ‘….that there is absolutely no man made global warming of any consequence at all…’

    And he goes on

    ‘……As Lord Monckton says…..’

    But Nick, Monckton is not a member of the House of Lords. He was an unsuccessful candidate for a Conservative seat in the House of Lords in March 2007, where he polled no votes.

    If you can’t get that right why would anybody have confidence in your assertions with respect to global warming?

    I would have to ask you what standard of evidence are you being being held to with, what otherwise, appears to be uninformed opinion?

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  • 81. At 7:24pm on 19 Feb 2010, JRWoodman wrote:


    All followers of the AGW question -- for or against -- will find the following interesting; a satellite video of variations in CO2 concentration across the globe.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8tPKj20GFo&feature=player_embedded

    Note how highest concentrations emanate from the deforestation in Central Africa and the Amazon; and also the centres of dense population in Europe, Asia and North America.

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  • 82. At 7:25pm on 19 Feb 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    bowmanthebard #79

    The problem relates to the fact that we've developed a complex advanced society in the context of an historically extremely stable climate. A rapid rise in global temperatures would effectively make the tropics uninhabitable (meaning many millions of people on the move looking for somewhere to live). Rising sea levels and increased storminess would force large communities (including many cities in the developed world, with all their associated infrastructure) to move inland. Ocean acidification will threaten the marine food chain (I know, its threatened in any case ...). Species will not be able to adapt quickly enough, resulting in a massive extinction.


    This is all a worst case scenario of course (whereas you presented some kind of best case scenario in you #79) and I would hope it doesn't come about and it may not come about and in fact it had better not because at present it looks as if our leaders are going to do **** all about preparing for it or trying to avoid it.


    Not sure what your final point is all about. As far as I can see the main priority should be to avoid catastrophic events, whether their causes are anthropogenic or 'natural'. If we can predict such an event - or at least its possibility - it seems crazy to sit there staring at it like the proverbial rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming lorry.

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  • 83. At 7:34pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "Would you mind explaining in what sense it "MUST" be true?"

    Fossil fuels have come about through processes acting on organisms up to 650 million years old. That is a very long time ago! The carbon cycle has drastically changed since then and reached a new equilibrium state - one which does not have this fossilised fuel in active circulation.

    The rate at which carbon is locked away for good is small compared to the circulation of carbon around the cycle. In fact, the rate at which it happens is in balance with the rate at which long stores are released. The burning of fossil fuels is an example of a source that has no accompanying sink. In fact, the atmosphere has become the sink.

    There is nothing conspicuous about the carbon cycle being in balance. This is an inevitable condition, unless, of course, there is an imbalance and the planet responds to restore the balance. Nature is like this, it strives for balance and reacts against change. Another point is that the carbon has to be somewhere.

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  • 84. At 8:00pm on 19 Feb 2010, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Labmunkey at #62 says:-

    ‘……I therefore think i'm well within my rights to take anything they say with a pinch of salt…..’

    And you do Labmunkey …..all the time…..

    That is why we are perfectly entitled to take anything you say with a warehouse full of salt.

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  • 85. At 8:00pm on 19 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #82 Paul Butler wrote:

    "The problem relates to the fact that we've developed a complex advanced society in the context of an historically extremely stable climate."

    I think the climate has been very unstable. It has been hotter and colder, since humans arrived, and has generally been much hotter before humans arrived. Since humans arrived, hotter has been better than colder.

    "A rapid rise in global temperatures would effectively make the tropics uninhabitable (meaning many millions of people on the move looking for somewhere to live)."

    I wonder why? Are you imagining some sort of sci-fi scenario, with temperatures much, much higher than anyone has forecast? Or are you taking as your model the Sahara -- or the rain-drenched tropical rain forests?

    "Rising sea levels and increased storminess would force large communities (including many cities in the developed world, with all their associated infrastructure) to move inland."

    The people who live in low-lying areas do so because they're POOR, not because their "country pile" happens to be in the delta. Please, get real about poverty.

    "Species will not be able to adapt quickly enough, resulting in a massive extinction."

    Rubbish. How would any of us know how quickly or slowly "evolutionary change" versus "climate change" occurs? That is arrogance on a grand scale. And anyway, have you given any thought to the evils of "extinction"? What do you think is the basic evil there?

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  • 86. At 8:08pm on 19 Feb 2010, Flatearther wrote:

    Paul butler #82

    "The problem relates to the fact that we've developed a complex advanced society in the context of an historically extremely stable climate". No, society developed during a very changeable climate. It prospered during the warm periods (e.g. MWP) and struggled during the cold periods (e.g.LIA).

    "A rapid rise in global temperatures would effectively make the tropics uninhabitable". No, the presence of essentially an infinite amount of water keeps the tropics at a very uniform temperature. More heating gives more evaporation which prevents the temperature from rising - it's simple physics. People live quite happily in hot tropical conditions.

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  • 87. At 8:22pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "Rubbish. How would any of us know how quickly or slowly "evolutionary change" versus "climate change" occurs? That is arrogance on a grand scale. And anyway, have you given any thought to the evils of "extinction"? What do you think is the basic evil there?"

    It's not arrogance, it is recognition of something that is self evident. The basic evil is that at the present time, we are confident that our own emissions of CO2 are having a demonstratable effect on the species inhabitating this planet. The best and most educated minds, i.e., the experts in the relevant fields, have said that the many species will become extinct if temperaures continue to rise. If we do not take measures to stop that happening, it's our own fault that these species die. It's not natural justice, it is an anthropogenic influence that will have killed them.

    I would rather base my position on the views of the experts than the conjecture of a lay person.

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  • 88. At 8:50pm on 19 Feb 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    Bowmanthebard #85 and Flatearther #86

    With respect, both your comments have taken what I said was a worst case scenario and treated it as if I'd said it would happen.

    In fact your 'complacent' interpretations are stated with far more certainty than my 'alarmist' scenarios. All I'm saying is that we need to accept that those scenarios - desertification, sea level rise, acidification, species extinction - represent sufficiently real risks that we don't want to wait and find out if they're going to happen.

    The scientists who assess these projections are well aware of the uncertainties, but even so rather a large number of them feel we need to take these 'alarmist' scenarios into account when formulating public policy. That is in itself a matter of concern, since scientists are notoriously reluctant to speak out on political concerns.

    The general public are woefully unsophisticated at assessing risk. They get obsessively paranoid about things that never happen ('stranger danger' for example) yet happily carry on with habits (smoking, binge drinking) that are known to be likely to lead to painful illness later in life. And as for collective threats based on rather difficult science, forget it.

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  • 89. At 9:02pm on 19 Feb 2010, Flatearther wrote:

    Paul Butler #88

    No, I just pointed out what was wrong with what you were claiming.

    As an expert in the field of risk I agree with you about people's perceptions of risk. Most people haven't a clue about the risks they take or are willing to accept. I consider that the risks from a cooling world are far greater than the risks from a warming world (because the consequences are worse).

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  • 90. At 9:05pm on 19 Feb 2010, rainsong wrote:

    Through the Late Pleistocene and Holocene the sea levels have been rising and glaciers retreating. This has not been linked to manmade CO2. The avg. rate of sea level rise over the pas 20,000 years ago has been higher than present rates of presumed rise. This may have been because there was more ice 20,000 years ago and most of the polar ice and high mountain glaciers have already melted. Some were too quick to blame carbon for their woes.

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  • 91. At 9:30pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "Through the Late Pleistocene and Holocene the sea levels have been rising and glaciers retreating. This has not been linked to manmade CO2. The avg. rate of sea level rise over the pas 20,000 years ago has been higher than present rates of presumed rise. This may have been because there was more ice 20,000 years ago and most of the polar ice and high mountain glaciers have already melted. Some were too quick to blame carbon for their woes. "

    Just because temperature and CO2 varies naturally does not mean the current situation is not anthropogenic. On the contrary, what we know about historic CO2 and temperature SUPPORTS the view that global temperature is sensitive to CO2 concentrations. We have just dumped more excess CO2 in the atmosphere in 100 years than the natural cycle is capable of in 5000 years.

    Given the emperical evidence and what we know about basic physics, how anyone can think that increasing atmospheric CO2 from 270ppm to 388ppm in little more than a century and not expect temperature to rise is beyond me.

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  • 92. At 9:56pm on 19 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #87 SR wrote:

    "It's not arrogance, it is recognition of something that is self evident."

    "self evident"! No ordinary human discusssion then, I presume, could possibly capture your own religious insight?

    "The basic evil is that at the present time, we are confident that our own emissions of CO2 are having a demonstratable effect on the species inhabitating this planet."

    That's not an "evil" but an expression of what you believe to be a fact.

    "The best and most educated minds, i.e., the experts in the relevant fields, have said that the many species will become extinct if temperaures continue to rise."

    That's not an evil either, but an appeal to authority. Get off it, please! You seem to mindlessly think extinction is a bad thing, no matter what the species, because you've been told to think that, and you're very obedient.

    Are you against the extinction of smallpox, polio, AIDS?

    How much longer will people like you get away with this easy, know-nothing appeal to "extinction"? Have you given NO thought at all to the difference between individuals and species? Why, in the name of all that is unholy, would anyone give a flying eff-you-sea-kay about "species" instead of sentient individuals who belong to species?

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  • 93. At 10:04pm on 19 Feb 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    Flatearther #89

    I'm glad we have a little agreement there.

    The thing about cooling is interesting, as some argue we should be due to be going into an Ice Age, which perhaps would be the case if the cycles weren't being disrupted by CO2 from fossil fuels. Bill Ruddiman thinks the next ice age was prevented a few thousand years ago, essentially by deforestation by humans.

    The problem now, however, is that the CO2 concentration is way above anything we've seen in during the glacial cycles and is continuing to increase. And in the models (whatever you may think of them) CO2 is required to provide, by amplifying the temperature effect of the orbital cycles, sufficient heating and cooling to explain the amplitude of the glacial cycles. That's why I (and, as I said earlier, the great majority of climate scientists) think that the main issue we need to address is warming.

    Of course, it would be nice if some balance were achieved between the two tendencies. But that is very unlikely, and the fact is that the scientific consensus is that some degree of warming is likely and that the temperature increase at which a new equilibrium would be reached is unknown.

    Sure you don't like the conclusions (who does?). But what's the reason not to accept what nearly all climate scientists and atmospheric physicists think is going in?

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  • 94. At 10:24pm on 19 Feb 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    Bowmanthebard #92

    "Why, in the name of all that is unholy, would anyone give a flying eff-you-sea-kay about "species" instead of sentient individuals who belong to species?"

    Not with you, old chap. So its OK for every single individual in a species to die, but not for any single individual to die?

    Do please explain your logic

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  • 95. At 10:42pm on 19 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    #83:

    "There is nothing conspicuous about the carbon cycle being in balance. This is an inevitable condition, unless, of course, there is an imbalance and the planet responds to restore the balance. Nature is like this, it strives for balance and reacts against change. Another point is that the carbon has to be somewhere."

    What's inevitable about it? And what makes nature 'strive for balance'? Is the earth a sentient being?
    Besides, if it strives for balance and reacts against change, how is it that it reacts to increased CO2 by invoking positive feedbacks which exacerbates things?

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  • 96. At 10:49pm on 19 Feb 2010, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    Given how important the next round of negotiations are going to be, the loss of someone of the calibre of Yvo de Boer looks rather unfortunate.

    Given that all this is rather depressing, I recommend those of you in Britain go onto 4od and watch the Daily Show Global Edition from last Monday. There is a very funny parody of the way Fox News has been covering cold weather and climate change.

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  • 97. At 10:50pm on 19 Feb 2010, jazbo wrote:

    6. At 10:40am on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    The link between Carbon Dioxide and the recent warming is glaringly obvious to most people who understand the nuances of climate science.

    Erm, methane, water vapour, thermohaline circulation, Bond events, cycle of very strong recent El Nino's...

    why does it have to be CO2, why is it glaringly obvious?

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  • 98. At 10:51pm on 19 Feb 2010, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    Jon112uk @1: “force their pre-existing political beliefs” – sounds a lot like ideological free marketers who oppose any form of regulation that impacts on the beloved free-markets and just happen to think climate change is made up...

    “frighten people into returning to the dark ages”. Good grief, that old strawman does pop up far too regularly on the internet. Name me one organisation or prominent academic that proposes we move back to ‘the dark ages’. I think you may have read a few too many Jeremy Clarkson books...

    Flatearther @2: I genuinely thought that post was intended to be sarcastic. Enough said really.

    Jon112uk @9: “Whilst the last failing remnants of the ecozealots”.
    I hope you have told them this because the academics and professionals I know appear to be unaware that mainstream science on climate change is in its death throes. I usually find that using terms like ‘ecozealots’ doesn’t instil confidence in those around me that I am analysing an issue entirely dispassionately...

    Barry Woods @17: Great conspiracy theory. I suggest you write a book about it and get it published. Given that nick-ynysmon @16 thinks that Viscount Monkton is a reliable source for scientific discourse, then you’re likely to be able to sell at least one copy there.

    persuademe @19: “The AGW case will be debated for some time to come but 'science' cannot help the believer side of the argument. Sceptics are likely to totally ignore such 'evidence' simply because it is not science.”
    That sounds suspiciously like another group of people I can think of...

    bowmanthebard @79: “ Isn't the real "problem" just that some not especially reflective religious-minded people (who mistakenly think they've got over religious belief)” etc etc etc

    You my good man seem to spend more time talking about religion than the average churchgoer. There is a well known psychological condition that comes to mind when reading your comments.

    Again, I suggest you write a book about your theories on religion and then hopefully people who share your beliefs can meet up with you in a public building and listen to you give sermons and then...

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  • 99. At 10:52pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    I thought it would be obvious why the conservation of species is important.....

    Biodiversity is a good thing for humans in many ways. It provides a greater variety of crops, more robust ecosystems (resillience against natural disasters, drought etc.), more food, more sustainable environments, natural protection of water resources, maintenance of precious soil.

    It has been shown scientifically that an ecosystem needs a variety of genes to survive and adapt. Humans require nature to survive, we have not yet reached a stage in which we command complete control of our environment indepedent of nature.

    So in short, individuals may live or die but it is the survival of species and the health of ecosystems that really give the foundations for human life, especially for the poor.

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  • 100. At 10:57pm on 19 Feb 2010, jazbo wrote:

    14. At 11:31am on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    1) Ice cores show that atmospheric CO2 remained below 270ppm for 600,000 years, until, that is, the industrial revolution. Now it is 388ppm and rising.

    Another way of looking at it would of course e to say that CO2 levels have declined for millions of years to their current insignificant levels. And also, if they were so high in the past, how did the planet come back from the "runaway" greenhouse effect that will destroy the planet previously?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Phanerozoic_Carbon_Dioxide.png

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  • 101. At 11:03pm on 19 Feb 2010, jazbo wrote:

    20. At 12:10pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:


    The extra carbon being released through the burning of fossil fuels is outside any of the natural processes and is a tipping over of nature's balancing act. The carbon, once released through the burning of fossil fuels, has nowhere to go except the oceans and the atmopshere. This is why CO2 has risen from 270ppm to 388ppm since the industrial revolution.

    There is already a ton of evidence of increasingly rapid re-forestation, and also increased growth of plants in areas that were previously inhospitable (ie icy). So it looks like nature is taking up the strain, and we may actually benefit more.

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  • 102. At 11:04pm on 19 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    #99:

    I knew we should have taken better care of the velociraptors ;-)

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  • 103. At 11:14pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    " What's inevitable about it? And what makes nature 'strive for balance'? Is the earth a sentient being?
    Besides, if it strives for balance and reacts against change, how is it that it reacts to increased CO2 by invoking positive feedbacks which exacerbates things?"

    There is positive feedback that amplifies an initial warming, but the positive feedback that makes the earth hotter is matched by the subsequent feedback that eventually drives the earth back into a glacial period. If there were no natural balance, there would be runaway climate change. I think the rate of change of temperature is limited by the propensity of sinks to release carbon as temperature rises. In the natural cycle, the sensitivity is relatively low so the change isn't a sudden shock to the system, more like a pendulum slowly swinging with the resistance to swing set by the inertia of carbon release. To extend the analogy to today, anthropogenic release of carbon is like exerting a huge force on the pendulum one way.

    The inevitability of balance is a result of the earth's processes being materially closed systems, yet the earth as a whole is an open system because it receives energy from the sun. If the solar radiation increases, the earth will respond by attempting to reach a new equilibrium at a higher temperature. If the solar radiation decreases, it does the same in opposite. The state of equilibrium for a given level of solar radiation is set largely by the carbon cycle. Humans are messing up the carbon cycle such that a given level of solar radiation will result in a greater level of global temperature, i.e., energy, in the atmosphere. That's my take on it anyway.

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  • 104. At 11:20pm on 19 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "Another way of looking at it would of course e to say that CO2 levels have declined for millions of years to their current insignificant levels. And also, if they were so high in the past, how did the planet come back from the "runaway" greenhouse effect that will destroy the planet previously?"

    The sun is a lot stronger today than in previous geological ages. It is fortunate for us that a lot of the biomass that existed as life in those days has become fossilised and locked away, else atmosphere would exert too great a greenhouse effect to make life as we know it feasible. Just look at Venus.

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  • 105. At 11:48pm on 19 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #94 Paul Butler wrote:

    "So its OK for every single individual in a species to die, but not for any single individual to die?

    "Do please explain your logic"

    Every single sentient individual of every single species is going to die anyway, because we are all mortals.

    I repeat: we individuals are all going to die. Probably, most species will "die" too, although extinction is not "death" in any ordinary sense of the word.

    Let us prolong individuals' lives, and diminish suffering as much as possible, and all that -- it is good to prolong an individual's life, because most sentient individuals do not want to die.

    But we cannot prevent death -- the idea that we can is a psychotic fantasy.

    Can you please explain why "preventing extinction" is anything other than another, less intelligent psychotic's fantasy?

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  • 106. At 11:51pm on 19 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #99 SR wrote:

    "individuals may live or die"

    It's tough, but we all die. There's no "may" about it.

    "but it is the survival of species and the health of ecosystems that really give the foundations for human life, especially for the poor."

    Now explain what you're on about with the "foundations" for human life.

    I insist that you be literal please. What can you possibly mean by the "foundations" of human life?

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  • 107. At 11:56pm on 19 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #98 Yorkurbantree wrote:

    "You my good man seem to spend more time talking about religion than the average churchgoer. There is a well known psychological condition that comes to mind when reading your comments."

    A few weeks ago, JaneBasingstoke accused me of having Asperger's syndrome. At least she had the guts and honesty to name a mental illness!

    Let me be honest. I think AGW people are religious nutters. I talk about religion a lot so I can bring your attention to it.

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  • 108. At 11:58pm on 19 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #103 SR wrote:

    "There is positive feedback that amplifies an initial warming, but the positive feedback that makes the earth hotter is matched by the subsequent feedback that eventually drives the earth back into a glacial period. If there were no natural balance, there would be runaway climate change."

    I have never believed anything different from the above. Now can we slough off our religious fanaticism, sit back and enjoy the ride?

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  • 109. At 00:06am on 20 Feb 2010, jazbo wrote:

    78. At 6:26pm on 19 Feb 2010, manysummits wrote:

    "The Sun has turned back on, James Hansen's and the HadCrut crews have correctly I think predicted that 2010 will be a warm one, and the seasonal Arctic Sea Ice is almost gone, with all that implies."

    "No solar physicist alive today has experienced a minimum this deep or this long," Madhulika Guhathakurta, NASA.

    Arctic ice still above 2007 so hardly "almost gone":

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

    But then with ENSO strong, you may just get your prediction, but would that count?

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  • 110. At 00:26am on 20 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    #104:

    "The sun is a lot stronger today than in previous geological ages."

    And as the sun got stronger, CO2 levels dropped in perfect sync?
    Sounds too convenient to be true.

    "Just look at Venus"

    Once upon a time....

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  • 111. At 00:30am on 20 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    #103:

    "There is positive feedback that amplifies an initial warming, but the positive feedback that makes the earth hotter is matched by the subsequent feedback that eventually drives the earth back into a glacial period. If there were no natural balance, there would be runaway climate change"

    Can you substantiate your assertions?

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  • 112. At 01:29am on 20 Feb 2010, Phlogiston wrote:

    Yvo de Boer's departure for many posters appears to be a compleate non issue. It just doesnt matter. The underlying currents and the surface political winds has reduced his resignation to a marginalized footnote.

    His job just didnt matter... World travel, long hours, heavy stress, and his exhaustive efforts were rendered meaningless. Which quite frankly is the danger for any and all diplomatic posistions and mission statements.

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  • 113. At 01:55am on 20 Feb 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Plogiston #112:

    Blunt and to the point!

    I concur.

    We need more than good intentions.

    I will digress, but it is actually not a digression.

    Etched into my memory, like the 'rays' of a bolide impact on an airless world, was a talk I once heard on the environment, on humanity's future, which is very much on topic on this weblog.

    It was by an astrophysicist, and it concerned models of the 'Limits to Growth' kind. This scientist had apparently travelled the world looking for solutions, as I remember it, and found that the only model parameter that could turn the curve 'up' for humaity's future was the exploration of space and the exploitation of space resources.

    Ergo a new article in this week's New Scientist.

    "Destination Phobos: humanity's next giant leap"

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20527451.100-destination-phobos-humanitys-next-giant-leap.html?full=true
    -----------

    The 'Phobos-Grunt' mission is scheduled for launch in 2011. If successful it may return a sample of Phobos to Earth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phobos-Grunt

    I know this type of thinking is a leap from the usual topics here, but since most or all good intentions vis a vis the ecosphere are either at a standstill or rapidly running back downhill - why not think about this while we still have the money to fund it?

    Phobos is an interesting 'archetype.'

    - Manysummits -

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  • 114. At 02:14am on 20 Feb 2010, Shadorne wrote:

    The Sound of Alarm

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/letters/articles/2010/02/19/the_sound_of_alarm/

    You alarmists are sounding like a broken record. When will you realize that you can fool some of the people some of the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time?

    The only sounds I hear are the warning sirens to leave IPCC Titanic ripped apart by Himalayan glacier that stubbornly refuses to melt as desired by the dire alarmists faction.

    We are getting tired of the alarmists. Soon you will be hounded at dinner parties and down at the pub if you start to promote your eco-fascist agendas.

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  • 115. At 02:28am on 20 Feb 2010, Shadorne wrote:

    Kerry Emanuel is giving Chicken Little a run for his money

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/02/15/climate_changes_are_proven_fact/

    In case you might wonder who Kerry Emanuel is - he is famous for having been completely totally utterly wrong about hurricanes and, as he once claimed for a FACT, that hurricane activity would increase due to man-made global warming. Sadly that this is exactly his area of expertise. One cannot help but wonder why we taxpayers are paying for such trash.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/tech/news/5693436.html

    You can't make this stuff up - it is so hilarious.

    Kerry, we all believe you this time. We are all in total panic and fear of your PROVEN FACTS.

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  • 116. At 09:24am on 20 Feb 2010, Wayne job wrote:


    Sir you continue to write a blog as though the global warming as per the IPCC still exists in reality.
    Truth is it has been totally discredited. Please do some research. Three different" really "peer reviewed
    satellite data sensing the energy in and out of the atmosphere puts a lie to any suggestion that CO2 has a positive feed back causing heating of the atmosphere. Totally destroying any claim that CO2 is a problem.
    Please research, that is your job,then post the truth about this despicable AGW nonsense.
    GETTINGGRUMPIER

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  • 117. At 10:14am on 20 Feb 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    I have had a quick trawl through the blog offerings and found nothing new. However, reading through my
    30p government environment book, I see we should be considering many other things besides CO2 and the like. Alarm bells ring for me when I see evidence of soil erosion on a massive scale. Although pesticides are strictly controlled in this country, what is happening elsewhere? What are our imports of exotic fruit and vegetables living on? These crops also have to be watered, and at what cost to the rest of the local environment? I understand that the richer farmers have sophisticated irrigation systems but so much of the farming is done by poor farmers.

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  • 118. At 11:48am on 20 Feb 2010, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Shadorne at #114 sneers as usual:-

    ‘….We are getting tired of the alarmists. Soon you will be hounded at dinner parties and down at the pub if you start to promote your eco-fascist agendas….’

    And we are getting tired of your abusive outbursts. You show yourself up and discredit any comment you make with the use of this gutter language.

    Please try and keep a civil tongue in your ‘discussions’.

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  • 119. At 12:14pm on 20 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @sensiblegrannie #117

    I see we should be considering many other things besides CO2 and the like.

    I've said many times, I don't accept the argument that CO2 is a primary driver of global warming, but I do accept mans role in climate change through land use change etc.

    I understand that the richer farmers have sophisticated irrigation systems but so much of the farming is done by poor farmers.

    Access to clean water and sanitation is a bigger problem in my humble opinion

    /mango

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  • 120. At 12:51pm on 20 Feb 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The reason behind the failure of the climate change alarmists is that their entire effort had all the trappings of a political movement, not a serious coherent unified effort by the world's most respected scientists working with economists to make a compelling case for the reality of climate change and having come up with a coherent plan that was seen as fair and likely effective in averting a worldwide catastrophe. In fact it was seen by many Americans as one more European attack on the economy of the United States, previous European attacks on it by other means having failed.

    The climate alarmists besides failing to make the case outlined above were talking to the wrong people. They felt that if they could somehow enlist the support of the American left now that Barack Obama and the Democrats are in power in the US, people they see as their political allies, they would persuade America to "show leadership" by agreeing to commit economic suicide unilaterally and that this would somehow persuade China and India to jump off the same cliff after them. It didn't work. I said all along that if they wanted to persuade the Americans, not only would they need a far more compelling scientific case, they would have to get the Chinese and Indians to agree first. This would have been the only way to pressure Washington DC. Not only didn't they do that, in the face of Chinese and Indian opposition, the alarmists gave the Chinese and Indians what Americans see as a free pass, an exepmtion which would give them enormous one sided advantages in trade among other things. Also, the case for technologies for alternative energy sources creating more jobs and wealth than it destroys is very dubious and without prior firm commitments, there is no reason to expect China and India to agree to the expense of replacing existing plant with new equipment until the life of the plant they've already invested in is at an end, a time frame of decades in the future.

    While the alarmists might not have been able to make a case to China and India that their intransigence has serious impact on Africa and Central Asia, China especially only concerned with the welfare of its own nation, they might have pointed out that China and India are also among those who are being hurt most by the effects of climate change.

    It hardly matters now, the entire alarmist movement is in complete tatters. Whatever chances there was for the world to adopt their agenda whether it was based on sound science or not, they threw it away by the crude blundering heavy handed method they used to try to impose it. Batten down the hatches, if their flawed scientific evidence turns out to be correct despite themselves, we'd better start thinking about dealing with climate change by adapting to it, it doesn't appear it is going to be stopped.

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  • 121. At 1:39pm on 20 Feb 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Richard Black & Roger Harrabin:

    You are constrained, I imagine, by your positions with the BBC, by their guidelines, and by your natural wish for a secure future and career prospect, to work and write within prescribed guideleines, giving the disinformation campaign space here, for example, and you must always be seen as fair and impartial in your articles.

    In reading the BBC piece "Science damaged by climate row says NAS chief Cicerone" by Victoria Gill, I was reminded how secure and mindful of their positions and obligations and future career/legacy are Ralph Cicerone of the US National Academy of Sciences and Lord Rees, President of the Royal Society.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8525879.stm
    -----------------------------------------------------

    Even James Lovelock, independent scientist that he is, is quite obviously concerned with his legacy, and with the loss of a civilization which has treated him well.

    But what of the rest of 'us'?

    I am wondering if what is needed is someone who is not secure - not beholden - who understands the situation - and can lead.

    Would it break your house rules if you or Roger commented on this?

    - Manysummits -

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  • 122. At 1:42pm on 20 Feb 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    35,000 invited delegates running around Copenhagen like chickens with their heads cut off waiting on lines for hours trying to cram in to a facility designed to hold only 15,000. If the organizers of this debacle can't even manage a meeting they'd planned for years, how could anyone expect them to be trusted to reorder the entire industry of the world in any way that could possibly make sense?

    President Obama was smart. He flew in, bypassed the usual Euro-goofus-doofuses, crashed China's little club meeting, said his piece, and flew out. The only task he'd left undone was not bombing Stockholm for the Nobel Committee having tried to bribe him to betray his country by forgoing war when it is in America's best interest to fight one like it is in Afghanistan.

    It looks like the war on climate change will be won by climate change. Chalk one up for their side.

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  • 123. At 1:50pm on 20 Feb 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    manysummits:

    I don't know if you use this site but physicist Joseph Romm is compiling a list of what he considers the best science on his website at climateprogress.org.

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  • 124. At 2:09pm on 20 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @ghostofsichuan #123

    Will that include all best science or just selected best science that supports his view?

    I would guess it's whatever supports his case and anything else doesn't get addressed

    /mango

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  • 125. At 2:49pm on 20 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "And as the sun got stronger, CO2 levels dropped in perfect sync?
    Sounds too convenient to be true.

    "Just look at Venus"

    Once upon a time...."

    It didn't happen in perfect sync, there were mass extinctions and times where almost all life was at its knees. If atmospheric CO2 did not drop as it did, humans would not be here to talk about it, but it did and we are.

    Basic physics still holds. More CO2, the greater the greenhouse effect, the warmer the planet will be. If the planet gets too warm, life as we know it is less feasible. Why do people struggle to resist against these basic, self evidence facts?

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  • 126. At 2:54pm on 20 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "Will that include all best science or just selected best science that supports his view?

    I would guess it's whatever supports his case and anything else doesn't get addressed"

    That's not true. In the physical science basis section the IPCC select from the most prestigious peer reviewed journals (don't confuse this with the impacts section), and if a paper contradicts AGW, it would be considered.

    The reality is that very few papers do contradict AGW because the evidence happens to point the other way - the way that a consensus of around 98% of practising climate scientists support.

    It is slightly amusing how the average person can think they somewhow know more about climate science than a professional scientist who has dedicated their life to the topic. More than a hint of the Dunning-Kruger effect I think!http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

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  • 127. At 3:11pm on 20 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "There is positive feedback that amplifies an initial warming, but the positive feedback that makes the earth hotter is matched by the subsequent feedback that eventually drives the earth back into a glacial period. If there were no natural balance, there would be runaway climate change"

    Can you substantiate your assertions?

    ---------------------------------

    Look at the Vostok (and other) ice cores. They show a cyclical behaviour of temperature and CO2, but remarkably, these two things are very closely correlated.

    Who can explain why these two things are so closely linked without invoking the argument that CO2 is part of a positive feedback mechanism? The 800 year lag (CO2 lags temp. by about 800 years) shows that the first bit of warming was not caused by CO2, but the rest of it (the other 7000 years or so), was. CO2 is released as the earth warms, and the warmer it gets, the more CO2 is released: positive feedback and evidence that the climate is sensitive to atmospheric CO2.

    Sceptics moan and groan but what they don't do is provide a counter explanation for why this happens. Are CO2 and temperature linked by pure coincidence? Does an external source drive the warming, if so what?, and why does CO2 lag temp? Surely, CO2 and temp would be in phase all along if it were external.

    It turns out that sceptics have no good counter explanation (and when I say sceptics, I don't mean the amateur internet boggers, I mean the professional sceptics). All that seems to make sense is the prevailing consensus view. It's a shame there are so many ill-informed, unknowledeable people who insist on perpetuating myths.

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  • 128. At 3:16pm on 20 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @SR #128

    We're talking about Joe Romm's intention to create a list of what he considers the best science, not about the IPCC and i'm not even sure the IPCC considered all the evidence, but i am sure they broke their own rules by using papers that were either unpublished or referenced unpublished work and i'm not talking about the impacts section either.

    /mango

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  • 129. At 3:29pm on 20 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @SR #125
    (@Peter317)

    You can't use Venus as an example of the greenhouse effect on these threads without answering Joanne Nova's Venus "debunk".

    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/02/4-carbon-dioxide-is-already-absorbing-almost-all-it-can/

    You might find her debunk confusing. This is because her debunk is incomplete. You need to look at her source:

    Her original source is the Omniclimate blog
    http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2008/03/02/venus-missing-greenhouse-warming/

    This correctly identifies much of Venus's extra heat as coming from adiabatic compression, whereby gases heat up when compressed adiabatically. Most of the rest of the extra heat is from Venus being closer to the Sun.

    However this is not a Venus greenhouse debunk. It is actually part of how the greenhouse effect works for planet scale greenhouses.

    No greenhouse gases makes ground level the radiative surface. Adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere raises the effective radiative surface above ground level. The distance between the radiative surface and ground level allows adiabatic compression to warm the surface.

    So she hasn't found a debunk. She's only tripped over the oversimplified greenhouse analogy.

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  • 130. At 3:34pm on 20 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @SR #127

    Look at the Vostok (and other) ice cores. They show a cyclical behaviour of temperature and CO2, but remarkably, these two things are very closely correlated.

    If CO2 was the primary driver of global warming and the amplification actually exists (I haven't seen any published paper to show it does exist, so please correct me), why didn't the amplification cause the temperature to rise, which should should have caused runaway global warming? Something must have stop runaway warming, mustn't it?

    Who can explain why these two things are so closely linked without invoking the argument that CO2 is part of a positive feedback mechanism?

    Close link?

    http://www.global-samizdat.org/Global-Samizdat/GS8-GlobalLie1/ImageFiles/GlobalTempAndAtmospheric.gif

    /mango

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  • 131. At 3:51pm on 20 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #129 JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    "This correctly identifies much of Venus's extra heat as coming from adiabatic compression, whereby gases heat up when compressed adiabatically"

    I don't follow this at all. Please explain.

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  • 132. At 4:02pm on 20 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    " If CO2 was the primary driver of global warming and the amplification actually exists (I haven't seen any published paper to show it does exist, so please correct me), why didn't the amplification cause the temperature to rise, which should should have caused runaway global warming? Something must have stop runaway warming, mustn't it?"

    The runaway global warming scenario is stopped because there is an external force cooling the earth again. Look up Milankovitch cycles, the amount of solar radiation received by the earth varies as a function of tilt and spin, and it goes in cycles that are roughly coincident with the inter-glacial periods. If the earth cools slightly because it receives slightly less solar radiation, the sea will cool slightly too and absorb more CO2. This reduces temperature and the sea absorbs yet more CO2 and so on. The feedback works both ways.

    All you would need to do is pick up any undergraduate level textbook from about 1975 onwards and you'd get this explanation. There have been quite literally hundreds, if not thousands of peer reviewed scientific papers with this explanation pivotal to the interpretation of observed proxy data.

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  • 133. At 4:10pm on 20 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    Here's one source just to get you started. This is from a team analysing the Vostok ice core.

    "Finally, CO2 and CH4 concentrations are strongly
    correlated with Antarctic temperatures; this is because, overall,
    our results support the idea that greenhouse gases have contributed
    significantly to the glacial–interglacial change. This correlation,
    together with the uniquely elevated concentrations of these gases
    today, is of relevance with respect to the continuing debate on the
    future of Earth’s climate."
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    This was from 1999. Since then, more and more evidence has piled in supporting the view that CO2 has a massive role to play in global temperature.

    It is bizarre how anyone can simply dismiss evidence like this, and the reams of other evidence and come to the knee jerk conclusion that it's all a whole load of rubbish.

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  • 134. At 4:14pm on 20 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #131

    Heating during adiabatic compression is a consequence of Boyle's law.

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

    This is significant in meteorology because pressure decreases with height. Rising air expands due to the drop in pressure. Falling air contracts due to the increase in pressure.

    This expansion and contraction is adiabatic and therefore causes temperature changes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adiabatic_lapse_rate#Significance_in_meteorology

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  • 135. At 4:39pm on 20 Feb 2010, gords wrote:

    The gorilla in this room that no-one has mentioned is that the historical data, ice cores etc show 'natural' changes and variation, the effect of AGW (and it's not just CO2) is compounded by environmental destruction, pollution, deforestation, over exploitation of ALL resources etc over the last 60 years.Is this why previous cycles show CO2 lagging the warming? we're not just adding CO2 were taking away the environments ability to adjust its self to climatic variation natural or otherwise. Why people seem happy to appcept the oil industries successful attempts at degrading the climaste science is beyond me ,maybe the idea that we will most likely experience wars, famine, disease and immeasurable suffering if the status quo (sic) is maintained is too much, stick your own heads in the sand by all means, just don't complain when it all goes belly up and don't make others stick their heads in the sand with you,they'll probably be the ones saving your asses..just a thought

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  • 136. At 4:49pm on 20 Feb 2010, Shadorne wrote:

    Is the eco-fascist?

    "The nasty truth is that the likelihood of random and violent death [from war] is the cheapest form of conservation yet invented."

    The article claims that war and the killing of mankind is a good thing.

    The Economist
    Green.view
    Conflict conservation
    Biodiversity down the barrel of a gun

    http://www.economist.com/research/articlesBySubject/interstitial.cfm?subjectid=7933604&storyid=15488793

    If you do not find these green views scary then you probably do not know about the history of Germany in the 30's.

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  • 137. At 5:32pm on 20 Feb 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    for goodness sake Gords....

    The OIL industry, is going to make TRILLIONS out of AGW theory...

    All the hype, drives up oil prices, the oil industry is not suddenly going to be stopped. It will be with us for a very long time yet.

    They are also the ones making billions, chopping down rainforests to grow bio fuel plants (many environmental groups are appaled at this). Yet the EU, USA sanction this.

    Then there is the joy of carbon trading, all those bankers, hedge funds and OIL compnaies, huge multi-nationals, are you have guessed it going to make trillions...

    All for a discredited scientific theory, where NO real world physical evidence, has actually been seen...

    yes the planet has warmed, it does that after evey iceage...
    What has NOT been proved is ANY man made contribution to it...

    There has not any thing occured in the last 200 years, that is not totally within the planets naturally variable climate.

    The IPCC predictions and computer models, have been shown to be due to the process of politics...

    If anybody actually looks at IPCC working group 1 reports(the science), they are so full of coulds, mights, maybe's and uncertainties, it makes the categoric statemnets parroted by politicians to be the riduculous propaganda, that even a growing number of IPCC scientists are complaining about.

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  • 138. At 5:32pm on 20 Feb 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Shadorne #136.

    "If you do not find these green views scary.."

    so, now war is a 'Green' issue?

    how gulliblle and intellectually bankrupt can you be?

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  • 139. At 5:35pm on 20 Feb 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    SR #125;

    There are just too many people for planet earth to support unless we are willing to return to living at the level of a pre-industrial age. I for one am not.

    "Why do people struggle to resist against these basic, self evidence facts?"

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  • 140. At 6:15pm on 20 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #134 JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    "This is significant in meteorology because pressure decreases with height. Rising air expands due to the drop in pressure. Falling air contracts due to the increase in pressure."

    But how could temperature changes caused by pressure changes have any effect on the overall heat content or enthalpy of a planet's atmosphere? You did mention "Venus's extra heat".

    I'm not trying to "catch you out", by the way, it just sounded funny to me when I first read it, and I couldn't find any mention of the above in the link you supplied.

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  • 141. At 6:20pm on 20 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "yes the planet has warmed, it does that after evey iceage...
    What has NOT been proved is ANY man made contribution to it..."

    Are you simply not aware that climate scientists have a VERY GOOD explanation for why naturally occuring ice age and warm periods happen and also, have extremely powerful evidence suggesting that the current warming is outside the realm of natural variability. There are about 10 page on this in the full IPCC report and it draws on hundreds of peer reviewed scientific papers, including the vostok ice core.

    "The IPCC predictions and computer models, have been shown to be due to the process of politics..."

    How?

    "If anybody actually looks at IPCC working group 1 reports(the science), they are so full of coulds, mights, maybe's and uncertainties, it makes the categoric statemnets parroted by politicians to be the riduculous propaganda, that even a growing number of IPCC scientists are complaining about."

    Have you actually read the physical science basis section of the IPCC? It is extremely cautious and all the known uncertainties are given the due consideration. Why don't you bring up a specific example of where you think the climate scientists have the wrong end of the stick?

    Even better, why don't you share with the scientific community exactly how they have been so foolish and unveil this wonderful alternate explanation for the current warming and the associaed rise in atmospheric CO2. You might win a Nobel prize.

    Words like yours are cheap. Rigorous science is not so cheap.

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  • 142. At 6:33pm on 20 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "The OIL industry, is going to make TRILLIONS out of AGW theory..."

    No Barry, the Oil Industry is going to make lots of money out of the shortage of oil!

    As you'll know from our discussions elsewhere, the Oil Industry does indeed consider AGW a threat to its profits...... which is why oil companies were leading lights in the Global Climate Coalition, which used the same tactics previously employed by the Tobacco Industry in its attempts to discredit the science linking smoking to serious diseases.

    You'll probably remember this article, which explains how the GCC continued to manufacture doubt over the science of AGW even after its own scientists told it the science could not be refuted:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/science/earth/24deny.html?_r=3&emc=eta1

    If the Oil Industry does not consider AGW a threat, why do Exxon Mobil and the American Petroleum Institute continue to fund the same type of activities?

    There's no question that a lot of the "science" employed by sceptics has come from these sources - old arguments long since proven false yet still trotted out by leading sceptics who should know better. Of course, they continue to use the same arguments because they realise that the public don't understand the science well enough to see through them.

    Remember "Doubt is their Product", by David Michaels? I think there are a lot of people posting here who could do with going and reading it!

    Paul

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  • 143. At 6:34pm on 20 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Shadorne #136: "If you do not find these green views scary"

    jr4412 #138: "so, now war is a 'Green' issue?
    "how gulliblle and intellectually bankrupt can you be?"

    I haven't been following this discussion closely, but...

    I'm guilty of using the term 'eco-fascism' myself, but it's really as bad as 'denier'. Which is not to say it should be banned, or deemed "offensive" or any of that rubbish, just that I must make a point of not using it myself anymore (if I can remember not to).

    However, I think there is a deep anti-liberal streak in ecological political movements. By 'liberal', I just mean putting individuals at the centre of politics, justice, and all that sort of thing. It seems to me that ecological political movements love "the planet", and love "the species", and fear "extinction of the species"... but what about the individuals who might die prematurely, or have to live vile and uncomfortable lives?

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  • 144. At 6:53pm on 20 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #137 Barry Woods wrote:

    "What has NOT been proved is ANY man made contribution to it..."

    We're probably "on the same side", Barry, in respect of the "science" of AGW. However, your use of the word 'proved' above is a gift to people who say, with some justice, that sceptics are "looking for proof".

    No scientific hypothesis is ever "proved". The fact that AGW theory (whatever it may be) has "not been proved" does not tell against it. The fact that some people complain that it has "not been proved" does tell against them, however.

    #141 SR wrote:

    "Are you simply not aware that climate scientists have a VERY GOOD explanation for why naturally occuring ice age and warm periods happen and also, have extremely powerful evidence suggesting that the current warming is outside the realm of natural variability."

    I for one am aware and fully accept that climate scientists have a very good explanation of the above, and I respect that fact. However, I do not believe they have "very powerful evidence" that warming is outside the realm of natural variability, and I have deep suspicions about your use of the words 'powerful' and 'natural' above.

    But this makes me snort out loud:

    "it draws on hundreds of peer reviewed scientific papers".

    Now you've lost me completely. You're appealing to popular opinion. There's none of that in real science.

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  • 145. At 6:53pm on 20 Feb 2010, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    Shadorne @136: Thanks very much for posting that link. I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise. However:

    “The article claims that war and the killing of mankind is a good thing.”
    No it doesn’t.

    “If you do not find these green views scary then you probably do not know about the history of Germany in the 30's.”
    Given that no one is professing to have the views you have just made up, then the relative knowledge anyone has about German history is something of a moot point. Your ability to misinterpret everything you read is worrying – goodness only knows what happens when you read road signs...

    Barry Woods @137: Responding to a rant with a rant of your own isn’t going to win over the masses to your cause. I think you’ll find fairly universal agreement that chopping down forests for biofuels is wrong and that carbon trading is flawed. I think most people would also agree that politicians have a habit of exaggerating things. However, to claim that humans have nothing to do with climate change is, as demonstrated by those pesky scientists, rubbish.

    MarcusAureliusII @139:
    “There are just too many people for planet earth to support unless we are willing to return to living at the level of a pre-industrial age. I for one am not.”
    No there aren’t and neither am I. What is your lots obsession with the trying to scare people with strawman arguments about returning to the past? A little bit hypocritical methinks...

    Paul Briscoe @ 142: Excellent points.

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  • 146. At 6:55pm on 20 Feb 2010, yertizz wrote:

    SR wrote '....who know very little about the theory of anthropogenic climate change....'

    AGC theory says that man is totally responsible for changing the climate because of his propensity to burn fossil fuels. So, what's to know about AGC? Only that a theory remains a theory until it is proven!

    Attempting to shore up his argument, SR writes '.... what you're left with is an abundance of evidence that rises in CO2 is responsible......' Thus he believes AGC theory is proven.

    But AGC theory is predicated on the Hockey stick Graph which, because its roots lie within the fudged science of CRU at UEA, is now absolutely discredited as a reliable source.

    Thus AGC is not proven but still remains a theory.

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  • 147. At 6:59pm on 20 Feb 2010, rainsong wrote:

    Investigate the shrinking polar ice caps on Mars. I do not believe the warming hysteria movement could find a non-natural cause for it. They might look no further than the Sun.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html

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  • 148. At 7:04pm on 20 Feb 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #143.

    "However, I think there is a deep anti-liberal streak in ecological political movements. By 'liberal', I just mean putting individuals at the centre of politics, justice, and all that sort of thing."

    first, can you give concrete examples of how 'ecological political movements' are at odds with "liberal: favouring ideas that treat all people with equal justice regardless of educational, financial, sexual or racial status"? (def. Wikipedia)

    seems to me that ALL currently established political movements -- 'ecological' or not -- struggle with this concept.

    second, are you not confusing personality/celebrity cult with liberalism?

    I mean, watching Tiger Woods getting fifteen minutes live on a national UK news channel to whine on about how he cheated on his wife, don't you find those cultural values, er, strange? do you not think that in such a 'culture' real concerns for the wider ecology will be manipulated and exploited cynically, and without regard for truth or social benefit?

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  • 149. At 7:05pm on 20 Feb 2010, gords wrote:

    I agree barry that the climate hasn't done anything that is beyond it's previously exhibited conditions(from and cambrian iceball to the swealtering triassic neither of which would of made for happy humans), what i am concerned for are the viability of the ecosystem, i know in 100 million years mankind will be dust and our cherished environment will be nothing more than a distant relic as the dinosaurs are to us (nature can destroy us all in the blink of an eye) but we owe it to our children and however many greats grandchildren to give them a planet that is sustainable,and deny the greed of the big industies (oil is but one,but the most vocal against climate change).
    we whom consume popular culture have been brainwashed that we can have it all , we can't and in pretending that we can we will deny everyone that part which we can all have on a sustainable planet.Just as an aside i mention briefly the oil industry and your response is mostly to this mention hmm and who exacly has discredited the global warming theory i ask,scientists on the frontline of research will tell you there are no climate change controversies the facts are in, the climate is changing, man is having a derimental effect on all ecosystems significantly effecting the viability of human culture as we aspire to. as for the 'mays' and 'coulds' etc in any scientific report these are used mwhen ther are measure of uncertainty quantifiable or not,science is not religion we never deal in absoloutes in that manner and those that do come unstuck sooner or later.
    The role of big industry and their marketing minions,the right wing religious-political backers in the climate change debate ensures that those that want a fairer more sustainable world will be dismissed as pie in the sky hippy nutcases, communists, and the natural uncertainties in any science will be used unfairly against the arguments,
    whilst we in the west are in the grip of the pursuit of money, things will only get worse.(if you think we are better than stone age people because we live longer-this is only so because someone makes money out of you living lomger and falls into the false assumption that more is better) that's me de vitrioleed for the moment, but i speak the truth and you all know it.Pleasant dreams and happy sustainable futures to you all

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  • 150. At 7:08pm on 20 Feb 2010, Kieron Bryan wrote:

    I just wanted to congratulate SR on a fantastic show on this comment thread.

    Usually when I try and digest the diatribe of comments on articles regarding climate change I get tired and depressed within minutes - the often vicious attacks on anyone who sides with the majority scientific view that we are responsible for a warming planet, rather than this being some quirk in the well documented and understood natural cycle is difficult to swallow.

    (And before anyone says the planet is cooling - it is a fact that the average temperature of the past decade makes it the warmest on record even though no year has since matched the record in 1998.)

    On every point thus far SR has provided a clear and concise account of the science and often pointed those who doubt towards the original source material. I applaud him for that - he has also you will note avoided slinging abuse at anyone who disagrees with him and has refrained from using words such as 'facist' or 'zealot' or accused anyone of being religious (or pedantically corrected spelling. Which is a low and petty hobby - debate on semantics is one for bores and politicians as far as I can tell.)

    SR was not alone and I have watched the video on Ice cores posted by Sesambo (http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtml) and extremely informative it was too.

    Debate is good - but feelings of inferiority and paranoia being loaded in to a genuine scientific discussion is largely unproductive. The fact is, no-one on here claims to be an expert or has provided any credentials to back up their claims - if the sceptics / sophists / devil's advocates / belligerent idealogues want to genuinely benefit the world they should probably provide compelling scientific evidence and a coherent explanation of what is happening to our world.

    They haven't, and until they do the argument will remain one of the echo chamber perpetrated by a minority who have learnt the power of unregulated blogging.

    Since the sceptics have no credible science that explains away the anthropogenic global warming theory they can retreat to their blogs and cast aspersions on every minute detail - the mud they throw will miss more than it sticks but it only has to stick occasionally to feed a news and controversy hungry media.

    Climate scientists on the other hand can for this reason cannot be seen to ever make a mistake, no matter how insignificant. The truly sad thing is that whilst all this goes on, the scientific debate does not move on. The sceptics do not increase the strength of their case, merely the volume at which they shout it.

    Stop shouting - start discussing with intelligence and most importantly, evidence.

    SR is. Well done to you sir.


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  • 151. At 7:09pm on 20 Feb 2010, Brooke Monfort wrote:

    This is an interesting (and necessary) discussion. However, what I cannot comprehend are any arguments that approach the issue of global warming from any of the following perspectives: 1). That the world's environments are not intrinsically and irrevocably connected, 2). That oil companies spend millions of dollars every year trying to influence public and political opinions for no reason, 3). That the world's resources are not finite, and 4). That the way we live today does not have an impact on our environment.

    These are blatantly illogical positions.

    One does not need to be a scientist to connect the dots. The physical evidence is all around us. The only valid argument is around how long those of us fortunate enough to be living in developed nations will be able to exploit our cavalier, consumeristic lifestyles, with no heed to where our garbage ends up, whether that's the atmosphere, the ocean or the land.

    I find the position that human beings are incapable of affecting our environment to be utterly ridiculous. The icebergs all over the world ARE melting, and sea levels WILL rise. With an estimated 80% of the world's population residing in communities on the ocean, this should be a huge concern to all of us. Compounding this is the alarming decrease in fresh water supplies, which I expect will be the next issue in our faces rather soon.

    This all goes far beyond global warming; it demands that those of us living in developed countries examine our very lifestyles and what we support with the way we live day to day. You either care, or you don't.

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  • 152. At 7:15pm on 20 Feb 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #143.

    "It seems to me that ecological political movements love "the planet", and love "the species", and fear "extinction of the species"... but what about the individuals who might die prematurely, or have to live vile and uncomfortable lives?"

    yes, what about those individuals?

    what about those who already exist 'at the margins'? like the almost 6bn have-nots and disposessed struggling to eke out a living? like the ones dying in current wars around the world? like the ones dying because they lack access to clean water or food?

    if I shared your 'fears', I'd be more worried about the current establishment and the so-called status quo.

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  • 153. At 7:19pm on 20 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @SR #132

    All you would need to do is pick up any undergraduate level textbook from about 1975 onwards and you'd get this explanation. There have been quite literally hundreds, if not thousands of peer reviewed scientific papers with this explanation pivotal to the interpretation of observed proxy data.

    Perhaps you should stop reading undergraduate level textbooks and point to these hundreds, if not thousands of peer reviewed scientific papers with this pivotal explanation of the Milankovitch cycle influence on CO2 levels?

    /Mango

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  • 154. At 7:27pm on 20 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Kieron Bryan #150

    get a room

    ;)

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  • 155. At 7:29pm on 20 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    jr4412 wrote:

    "first, can you give concrete examples of how 'ecological political movements' are at odds with "liberal: favouring ideas that treat all people with equal justice regardless of educational, financial, sexual or racial status"? (def. Wikipedia)"

    It's a crummy, journalist-level definition. It's like "Bible Belt" radicals calling themselves "conservatives"!

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  • 156. At 7:29pm on 20 Feb 2010, Kieron Bryan wrote:

    I apologise if SR is a woman - I wrote 'him' simply because I'm at work and didn't have time to proof (or include a few more commas.)

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  • 157. At 7:36pm on 20 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Brooke Monfort #151

    The icebergs all over the world ARE melting

    Melting ice, whether it is at the ice caps or a glacier, is a symptom of warming, but tells us nothing about what caused the warming. For example, wind and ocean currents influence melting ice. Don't believe me?

    Perhaps you will believe NASA:

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2010-056

    There's the obligatory reference to AGW, but essentially what they are saying is in 2007 (lowest sea ice ever) the ice escaped through missing ice bridges, floated away into warmer seas and then melted.

    In 2007, the Arctic lost a massive amount of thick, multiyear sea ice, contributing to that year's record-low extent of Arctic sea ice. A new NASA-led study has found that the record loss that year was due in part to the absence of "ice arches," naturally-forming, curved ice structures that span the openings between two land points. These arches block sea ice from being pushed by winds or currents through narrow passages and out of the Arctic basin.

    /mango

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  • 158. At 7:43pm on 20 Feb 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #155.

    ".."liberal: favouring ideas that treat all people with equal justice regardless of educational, financial, sexual or racial status"? (def. Wikipedia)"

    It's a crummy, journalist-level definition."

    ;-(

    'nuff said, then.

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  • 159. At 7:43pm on 20 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    Also - see here:

    http://www.ngu.no/en-gb/Aktuelt/2008/Less-ice-in-the-Arctic-Ocean-6000-7000-years-ago/

    /mango

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  • 160. At 7:48pm on 20 Feb 2010, Barry Woods wrote:


    It what way what I said a 'rant', again use of language by a side of the debate, that feels the need to attempt to belittle, marginalise, patronise, or just insult something that goes againts their beliefs.

    As I said, outside of predictions and computer models.. There has been no physical evidence of man made climate change..

    In fact the theory and models have made a numerous predictions, which have been shown to be wrong...

    Usually in science, you have a theory, test it against observable evidence, and if the evidence does not match the theory.. the scientists throws the theory out.

    I am a good freind of someone who is very much involved in 'climate research' and in fact has worked for the IPCC as a editor of the reports. We had a bit of a disagreement last weekend about the use of computer models.

    We discussed the point, How, if as we know, when CO2 levels rose x thousand years ago, through and beyond the levels of CO2 seen in the last 200 years. That the planet did NOT reach a global warming tipping point, or have accelerated global warming, etc,etc,etc..

    How does AGW theory explain this...

    I pushed and pushed, (my wife did give me a kick at this point!)the response, and I was surprised... was the planets atmosphere was 'probably' different then.

    'Probably'!!! Evidence does not match the theory, adjust the evidence (a la, the hockey stick, mediavel warm period, etc)

    At this point we had our meal, with our six (between us) young children
    and had a good evening (The fact that co2 is the same molecule, and the laws of physics were not different, in pre modern human history, remains something to be discussed)

    Back to my point, neither of us, are in the pay of anybody(though they do get funds from oil, insurance, etc - who have just been sold the idea, as much as anybody else), we did not insult each other, patronise, condescend, nor did we talk about sceptics, deniars, nor did we talk about alarmists, warmists. We both care about the planet, we both care about our childrens futures. We both have scientific qulaifications, we both have experience of writing complex computer code and models. We, I'm sure both have the VERY best intentions and happily trust each other to look after our children.

    Yet we can be polite, and thrash ideas around, and challenge each other..
    Unfortuanetly, in the world today, the Politics of AGW and the vast somes of money now involved, and the vast Carbon economy, government policy vested interests prevent this.

    History is littered with scientists, resisting anything that changes their consensus.

    Bizarrely, it is GOOD news if AGW is wrong.
    I would just like to see evidence, not correlations (poor correlations at that)

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  • 161. At 7:49pm on 20 Feb 2010, Shadorne wrote:

    jr4412 #138: "so, now war is a 'Green' issue?
    "how gulliblle and intellectually bankrupt can you be?"

    I am no fool.

    The green view of things is that mankind are destructive of planet Earth. The green view is that we should live sustainably (i.e. without fossil fuels and fertilizers). If this philosophy is successful then it will be like the Khmer Rouge - anyone with an education will be eliminated and we will be forced back to till the fields by hand. Millions and possibly billions will starve as food prices sky rocket.

    Read about the green policies of a sustainable purely agrarian based society here:

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

    I am all for protecting the environment and being more energy efficient but I do not support higher energy costs. Windmills and solar power are an uneconomic joke. Just the cost of food alone will increase at least fivefold if we drive up energy costs through heavy carbon taxes.

    You simply cannot sustain our population without industrial farming and fossil fuel powered machinery. I do not want to be party to increased poverty that higher energy prices will bring. Invest in Nuclear fusion by all means but lets not invest in things that will dramatically increase food prices.

    In the USA, they already have the Green Police in most states:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVhT7P0lDfI

    I am no fool - this agrarian movement is already starting to happen. Lately I pay extra recycling fees. I am already seeing many forms of green taxation. I pay double for organic products in the supermarket. Green solar and wind power is heavily subsidized and utilities pass on these costs to regular consumers.



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  • 162. At 8:08pm on 20 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #160 Barry Woods wrote:

    "There has been no physical evidence of man made climate change."

    That is much better. I agree.

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  • 163. At 8:15pm on 20 Feb 2010, Kieron Bryan wrote:

    #160 Barry

    Some excellent points in there - why can't there be a genuinely civilized discussion?

    Unfortunately, and I am certainly not leveling this criticism at yourself, many who reject the idea of AGW do it for political or economic gain either directly or indirectly - and it makes sensible discussion very difficult.

    The case of health care reform in the US is a good one - vested interests want to stop a bill. GOP makes sure party representatives are present at town hall meetings and inflame the debate. This creates a media hype which echos the effect and by the end you can't spot the GOP reps from the ill-informed public who think their grandmother's life support machine will be switched off if they have no insurance etc.

    As for climate change, if you've studied the evidence and are friends with an IPCC scientist and he hasn't convinced you then that is totally acceptable. I can understand your desire to ask for more information.

    I don't think there is anyone who doesn't want the debate to move forward and the science to be strengthened or surpassed by a new theory.

    You are also completely right in saying that no-one wants AGW to be true. I genuinely hope the scientists are proved wrong and I would take all the abuse my friends could throw at me for believing that we are facing a very difficult century and beyond - happily.

    In my opinion, the sceptical community would better serve their cause by producing science to disprove a theory they believe to be a conspiracy or an expensive mistake. Otherwise everyone suffers.


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  • 164. At 8:21pm on 20 Feb 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    shadorne #161.

    "I am no fool.

    The green view of things is that mankind are destructive of planet Earth. The green view is that we should live sustainably (i.e. without fossil fuels and fertilizers). If this philosophy is successful then it will be like the Khmer Rouge - anyone with an education will be eliminated and we will be forced back to till the fields by hand. Millions and possibly billions will starve as food prices sky rocket. ... Windmills and solar power are an uneconomic joke. ... Lately I pay extra recycling fees. I am already seeing many forms of green taxation. I pay double for organic products in the supermarket. Green solar and wind power is heavily subsidized and utilities pass on these costs to regular consumers."

    all your writing seems underpinned by a belief that the unsustainable, free-marketeering way of life 'works' (which it does -- for a precious few) and cannot be changed.

    do you really think that it is viable to have societies where individuals 'own' vast estates or even private islands whilst the majority of their populations haven't access to resources?

    do you think that, say, a Bill Gates or HM The Queen are so superior that they somehow deserve excessive (financial) resources while six out of seven people have to make survival decisions like which of their children to feed?

    do you think a sustainable future for humanity can be made a reality when the current systems are based on injustice and inequality?

    you say you're no fool, but where is the evidence?

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  • 165. At 8:28pm on 20 Feb 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To ghostofsichuaN #123:

    Thank you Ghost - I've added it to my files.

    http://climateprogress.org./
    ----------------------------

    I see we are getting some very knowledgeable and talented posters on the weblog. All to the good.

    I am reminded however, of the state of the economy here in North America by the front cover feature article in the new issue of 'The Atlantic':

    How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America

    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/201003/jobless-america-future
    --------------

    And I am reminded of a new favorite expression, from Albert Einstein:

    The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind a faithful servant..."
    ----------------

    It seems to me that we need to exercise our collective 'intuitive minds' in this time.

    There is simply no way that I am aware of to instantly have a majority of the planet's citizens come up to speed on the science now extant, nor to evaluate the possible outcomes of the near future, in a rational way.

    However, there are surely other ways of knowing.

    My own life experience, now nearing sixty years, unequivocally supports Albert Einstein's statement.

    A charismatic leader can overcome the appeal to reason, i.e., the disinformation campaign.

    Naturally this will be seen as heresy by many who are not comfortable save in the secure and protected world of the intellect.

    As we are likely in the not too distant future to descend into some form of anarchy, I thought it worthwhile to see if any here are aligned with Dr. Einstein's view, expressed at the beginning of this post?

    I had no luck with my 'Phobos' post @113, so I'll try again.

    - Manysummits -


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  • 166. At 8:32pm on 20 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #140

    "But how could temperature changes caused by pressure changes have any effect on the overall heat content or enthalpy of a planet's atmosphere? You did mention "Venus's extra heat"."

    These temperature changes affect the temperature distribution throughout the atmosphere. Incidentally you can actually see the Earth equivalent contributing to our weather. Or birds soaring up thermals without flapping their wings.

    Both Earth and Venus are in near thermal equilibrium with space. They receive energy in the form of light from the Sun. And they emit about the same amount of energy in the form of infra red and longer wave radiation according to the rules of "black body" radiation.

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

    Where the greenhouse comes in is from how deep in the atmosphere they effectively emit the infra red. On Venus that height is well up in the atmosphere (by mass). On a planet with no greenhouse gases that height would be ground level.

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  • 167. At 8:36pm on 20 Feb 2010, ChartsUnlimited wrote:

    Of course it is highly possible that the debate over whether climate change is real/man-made/etc will roll on - human nature being what it is - until it is either too late (overheating etc...) or shown to be just a blip in the cycle....

    What DOESN'T seem to be under debate is the matter of increasing demand for oil and gas, with proven reserves to meet demand NOT increasing. And this increasing demand WILL push up food prices if left unchecked.

    So irrespective of whether our activities are warning the planet or not - wouldn't it be smart to do stuff that reduces our dependance on fossil fuels anyway? (Especially given the toxic effect this demand has in Middle East politics too.)

    That way, if global warming turns out to be so much 'bilge water' (and I really hope the skeptics are right!!) at least we will have some oil and gas left for the next generations for more important uses than just burning it for energy.

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  • 168. At 9:02pm on 20 Feb 2010, yertizz wrote:

    Kieron Bryan wrote'....Stop shouting - start discussing with intelligence and most importantly, evidence......'

    I'm not shouting.....merely inviting you to visit

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Read this paper...it should keep you occupied for some time...it's only 115 pages long.

    Enjoy!


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  • 169. At 9:07pm on 20 Feb 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    all.

    to wind up the 'socialist rant'.

    it ill behoves us to forget that we are here simply because of an accident of birth; anyone of us could have been born in a war-torn Afghanistan or a draught-stricken Eritrea.

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  • 170. At 9:16pm on 20 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Barry @ #160

    "As I said, outside of predictions and computer models.. There has been no physical evidence of man made climate change.."

    Are we talking about AGW here or climate change? If you're wanting physical science evidence of AGW, I suggest that you read this long but detailed article describing the history of how AGW was discovered:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/Radmath.htm#L_M020

    The work of Harries (2001) comparing satellite data from several years apart has confirmed that carbon dioxide is indeed reducing IR radiation lossses to the atmosphere. This by definition means that carbon dioxide is having a warming effect. The warming effect can be calculated and is of the correct order to account for recent warming. If recent warming is NOT Man made, where is this additional heat from the greenhouse effect going?

    "How, if as we know, when CO2 levels rose x thousand years ago, through and beyond the levels of CO2 seen in the last 200 years. That the planet did NOT reach a global warming tipping point, or have accelerated global warming, etc,etc,etc.."

    Let's be clear. Ice cores show that the current concentration of carbon dioxide is already well above anything that has been seen in the past 600,000 years...... and of course in recent inter-glacials carbon dioxide followed warming, whereas in the present Man-made scenario carbon dioxide levels are rising first.

    Beyond ice core times, there is no truly reliable data for carbon dioxide. There's no doubt that in prehistory carbon dioxide levels were initially much higher, but we have no reliable record of climate for those times (certainly not to within the thousand years or so that would be necessary to draw meaningful conclusions) and there is certainly no way of knowing that the Earth could have supported nearly 7 billion humans! As such, it is fanciful to suggest that previous higher levels of carbon dioxide could be meaningful with regards to the present situation.

    Paul

    Paul

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  • 171. At 9:26pm on 20 Feb 2010, Shadorne wrote:

    Jr4412: all your writing seems underpinned by a belief that the unsustainable, free-marketeering way of life 'works'

    Yes, except I do not agree with you that it is "unsustainable" - there is no evidence to support this point of view. We continue to manage to feed more and more people successfully and population growth is showing signs of curtailing - especially as we give more empowerment to women to control their lives and the number of children they bare.

    Jr4412: do you think that, say, a Bill Gates or HM The Queen are so superior that they somehow deserve excessive (financial) resources while six out of seven people have to make survival decisions like which of their children to feed?

    Gosh, you are scaring me now. Folks like yourself seem only to happy to re-distribute wealth under your green idea of a fair society and the urgent need to protect gaia from thermageddon, acidification, floods etc. Would you really advocate to take back vast farmland (from relatively few Western farmers) and the commanding heights of the economy (from the industrialists) and redistribute the land and factories equally and then share all fruits of labor going forward? Robert Mugabe has some experience with this, as does Lenin and Chavez and countless others. Please show me where this works.

    I am scared to see the green movement, which started out as a wonderful and laudable goal to better protect the environment, visibly morphing into a political vehicle to redistribute wealth and control of the commanding heights of the economy.

    I am particularly scared when The Economist (a far right wing magazine) writes "The nasty truth is that the likelihood of random and violent death [from war] is the cheapest form of conservation yet invented" and there is no outcry. How could the death of millions of people in a violent war be described as "the cheapest from of conservation"? This is sickening.

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  • 172. At 9:30pm on 20 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #166 JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    "These temperature changes affect the temperature distribution throughout the atmosphere."

    "Incidentally you can actually see the Earth equivalent contributing to our weather."

    But where?

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  • 173. At 9:32pm on 20 Feb 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    In science, it is NEVER the sceptics responsibility to disprove a theory..
    The onus, is alway on those that propose a theory, to provide evidence.

    of course, sceptics do point out where there are faults, but the onus remains on those that have the theory.

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  • 174. At 9:39pm on 20 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #171 Shadorne wrote:

    "I am particularly scared when The Economist (a far right wing magazine) writes "The nasty truth is that the likelihood of random and violent death [from war] is the cheapest form of conservation yet invented" and there is no outcry."

    1. The Economist is not generally regarded as a "far right wing magazine".

    2. The remark you quote above was meant ironically.

    3. If you want to be very accurate, the Economist is actually filed by careful libraries as a "newspaper". I know that's a bit silly, but you ought to be aware of it.

    but a

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  • 175. At 9:57pm on 20 Feb 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    SR;

    Since you are so certain there aren't more people living on earth at the level our industrial age can support with our existing technology, you must know where that point is having calculated it. What is that point and exactly how did you arrive at that conclusion? Show us your calculations.

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  • 176. At 10:22pm on 20 Feb 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    shadorne #171.

    "..I do not agree with you that it is "unsustainable" - there is no evidence to support this point of view.."

    no? for instance, why not ask the fishermen (and women) from 'Cape Cod' how much of the fish that gave its name they're landing? or ask farmers in Kansas what happens when their Monsanto(tm) crop fails?


    "Folks like yourself seem only to happy to re-distribute wealth under your green idea of a fair society and the urgent need to protect gaia from thermageddon, acidification, floods etc. Would you really advocate to take back vast farmland (from relatively few Western farmers) and the commanding heights of the economy (from the industrialists) and redistribute the land and factories equally and then share all fruits of labor going forward? Robert Mugabe has some experience with this, as does Lenin and Chavez and countless others. Please show me where this works."

    well it doesn't work in the (political) world that we were born into.

    personally, I think your time and my time are equally valuable, ie when we contribute to society, our respective inputs should enable us lead comparable lives.

    I question the whole notion of 'ownership'. for instance (for urban dwellers), why should a bus/tube ticket be paid for? public transport enables us to lead productive lives in society, therefore the means should be provided by society.

    is it really inconceivable to live in a global society where no token exchange (ie money) is necessary? as long as every person contributes to the best of their ability, they should be able to benefit from the gains.

    as for Lenin, Mugabe, Chavez, Pol-Pot and Tony Blair -- all prospered under the rules and regulations of a global setup you so defend.


    "I am scared to see the green movement, which started out as a wonderful and laudable goal to better protect the environment, visibly morphing into a political vehicle to redistribute wealth and control of the commanding heights of the economy."

    and I have a lot of sympathy for this view; the 'green movement' (or rather, many of the groups, NGOs, etc) has become embroiled in politics and economics, instead of insisting on decisive change on principle.

    at times "compromise is never anything but an ignoble truce between the duty of a man and the terror of a coward" as Reginald Kauffman said.


    "I am particularly scared when The Economist (a far right wing magazine) writes "The nasty truth is that the likelihood of random and violent death [from war] is the cheapest form of conservation yet invented" and there is no outcry. How could the death of millions of people in a violent war be described as "the cheapest from of conservation"? This is sickening."

    I agree that this argument is sickening, but it is logical (because 'cost effective') from the perspective of 'the powers that be', whose raison d'être you defend. as they say: you cannot have your cake and eat it.

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  • 177. At 10:23pm on 20 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Barry @ #173

    "In science, it is NEVER the sceptics responsibility to disprove a theory..
    The onus, is alway on those that propose a theory, to provide evidence.

    of course, sceptics do point out where there are faults, but the onus remains on those that have the theory."

    At post #170, I have provided the basic physical science evidence for AGW, which is clearly backed up by a whole host of data and other evidence from different sources. In a dynamic natural system such as the Earth's climate, this as near as one can get to certainty.

    Meanwhile, sceptics happily use "science" in their attempts to discredit AGW........ but when using scientific arguments, sceptics are under exactly the same obligation to justify the science they use. Sadly, they do not. Consequently, every counter argument I have seen the sceptics using is deeply flawed.

    Paul

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  • 178. At 10:27pm on 20 Feb 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    #163 Kieron Bryan

    "you can't spot the GOP reps from the ill-informed public"

    Is that why the newly elected senator for Massachusetts is a Republican?

    I believe your logic is flawed. I would wager that most if not all people in America want health care reform. That includes Republicans. It's a question of what it looks like and how do we get there. Much like the climate debate it becomes a matter of who do you believe. Till this day I don't know what the Congress is purposing with regard to health care and wonder if anyone in congress understands the thousands of pages included in the bills. The same can be said for people with regard to climate control. Who knows what the hell is going on? Nobody gains with the destruction of the environment but most people want to know the truth. That seems to be a rare commodity unfortunately. This blog is a perfect example, the truth depends on whose telling it.

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  • 179. At 10:57pm on 20 Feb 2010, manysummits wrote:

    "Greenhouse gases in the Earth system: setting the agenda to 2030"

    http://royalsociety.org/Event.aspx?id=1958
    -----------

    I see the Royal Society has a two day meeting scheduled for Mon/Tues Feb 22/23, 2010, and that Ralph Keeling will be there, marking the fiftieth anniversary of his father's first publication of CO2 data.

    Maybe it's time to get back to basics, and have a look at the data:

    \\\ "Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide" ///

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

    - Manysummits -

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  • 180. At 11:39pm on 20 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #177 Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "At post #170, I have provided the basic physical science evidence for AGW, which is clearly backed up by a whole host of data and other evidence from different sources. In a dynamic natural system such as the Earth's climate, this as near as one can get to certainty."

    "As near as one can get to certainty" is just an outrageous claim.

    I note that you cite a great big fat -- and frankly illiterate -- article instead of honestly trying to put it in your own words.

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  • 181. At 11:42pm on 20 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke:

    "These temperature changes affect the temperature distribution throughout the atmosphere."

    My point is, when air moves up one side of a mountain and cools because of its lowering pressure, the air a bit further downwind moves down the other side of the mountain and warms up because of its increasing pressure.

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  • 182. At 11:48pm on 20 Feb 2010, andrew9999 wrote:

    @janebasinstoke
    (bowmanthebard)
    #140

    As I started this whole discussion of jo nova's 'debunk' of the venus greenhouse effect I thought I would add my bit.

    Bowman is right there is no energy added to the venus atmosphere (or any atmosphere)by an adiabatic compression, she really does play fast and loose with physics.
    I'm trying to find a good way to explain why (and I'm tired), I think importantly she plays with the difference between pressure and being compressed, the atmosphere isn't being adiabatically compressed. If it was it would gain heat once then it would just radiate out to space and cool making no difference.

    The seconded example you give http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2008/03/02/venus-missing-greenhouse-warming/
    is wrong in so many ways but one is that it is using the dry adiabatic lapse rate the wrong way round. The lapse rate is derived from the hydrostatic equation (the pressure changes due to the earths gravitational field) combined with the ideal gas equation (bowman you were right) and first law of thermodymanics to give the temperature fall with height away from the earth it gives you the temperature change NOT the temperature.
    The surface temperature is given by the amount of radiation falling on it so it does not change by making the atmosphere in the example higher. Combine the two and all it would mean is that the temperature is lower at 60km than at 10km (amazing). On this site they work backwards from the top to add temperature to the surface. Can you see that is wrong.
    Is this clear, I bet its not.

    Now back to Venus, even though Venus is nearer to the sun than earth its albedo is higher (0.77) than earths (0.30) so its equilibrium temperature is actually lower than earths (227K compared to to 256K) so that removes that argument of hers.

    Thats enough from me.

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  • 183. At 00:04am on 21 Feb 2010, manysummits wrote:

    For those not up to radiation calculations, there is luckily empirical evidence - built in thermometers, as it were, which also have the advantage of not being models - being the very thing itself:

    \\\ Ice Sheet Disintgration ///

    http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/IceSheet/

    \\\ Accelerating Sea Level Change ///

    http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/SeaLevel/
    -----------------------------------------

    Both James Hansen and James Lovelock consider these as fundamentally important.

    As far as I know, neither one is illiterate.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 184. At 00:17am on 21 Feb 2010, manysummits wrote:

    In case the contrarians are not up to reading graphs either, I will add a few words to ease their pain - Addendum to # 183:

    Sea Level:

    1) Past 5000 years - "much less than" 1 millimetre rise per year (geology)

    2) 1920 to 2000 - ~ 2 millimetre rise per year (tide gauges)

    3) 1993 to now - ~ 3 millimetre rise per year (satellites)
    --------------

    Ice Sheet Disintegration:

    The red lines - going down - that's not a good sign!
    ----------------

    \\\ Connect the Dots ///

    Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide: (post #179)

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

    - Manysummits -

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  • 185. At 01:00am on 21 Feb 2010, manysummits wrote:

    \\\ Just to be Sure ///

    Let's connect the dots, just in case the contrarians are having more difficulties. Perhaps it's not easy connecting dots?

    1) CO2 goes up - and is currently higher than at any time in the past 650,000 years, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory: (see beautiful graph)

    http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

    JPL is generally thought of as pretty first rate, operating space missions is what they do - I believe they too are fairly literate:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JPL
    ---------------------------------

    New evidence suggests CO2 hasn't been this high for fifteen million years (Tripatti et al), but we won't go there - we'll just try and connect a few dots without messing up too badly.

    2) Ice Sheets Melt (see posts #183 & 184:

    3) Sea Level Goes Up (see posts #183 & 184)

    See how that works?

    - Manysummits - What's that expression you guys love - LOL

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  • 186. At 01:04am on 21 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #172

    In cloud formation over thermals. Although this shows rising air cooling. Lots of clips on Youtube, this one looks more relevant than most.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpriSb6uN4A

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  • 187. At 02:03am on 21 Feb 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    manysummits:

    I post a website for reference and it is condemed by those who have never looked at it. You cannot have discussions with that kind of ignorance.

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  • 188. At 02:12am on 21 Feb 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Ghostofsichuan:

    No you can't!

    There may be the odd true skeptic posting here, but for the most part I decided long ago that in general the contrarians are either paid or wannabe 'business as usual' lobbyists - or disturbed personalities.

    The true skeptics will be reading here, and wondering.

    I can only hope that eventually the light will dawn - JPL is not an outfit that posts nonsense, etc...

    Meanwhile, I always look forward to your thoughts.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 189. At 02:47am on 21 Feb 2010, TJ wrote:

    Manysummits #185

    Actually, use contrarian guys, say "ROTFLOL". Especially when reading your kind of stuff.

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  • 190. At 04:29am on 21 Feb 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The bad news is that climate change due to burning too much fossil fuel may be real. The good news is that Europe is broke. It may have to cut back whether it wants to or not because it can't afford to buy anymore. Problem solved.

    Anybody want to buy a windmill to tilt at?

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  • 191. At 04:47am on 21 Feb 2010, Shadorne wrote:

    I wonder if this is what greens mean by "sustainable":

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-green-is-my-golf-course.html

    R K Pachauri’s “not-for-profit” TERI – imbued with a mission to “work towards global sustainable development, creating innovative solutions for a better tomorrow” – is the proud owner of a water-guzzling nine hole golf course in Gual Pahari on the outskirts of Gurgaon a satellite town to the southwest of New Delhi.

    You can't make this stuff up it is so hilarious.

    Just like Al Gore the head of the IPCC preaches environmental apocalypse, but lives high on the hog.

    Gore also has a beach front property.

    http://www.joepascal.com/figure-eight-island.html

    I guess he knows that the flooding described here, in this UK taxpayer funded government ad, is just to control the sheeple:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w62gsctP2gc

    You can't make this stuff up it is so hilarious.

    The only thing that is even more funny is that some people take this stuff seriously and are genuinely worried about the planet.

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  • 192. At 06:50am on 21 Feb 2010, TeaPot562 wrote:

    Consider the last 2000 years - a Roman Warming period, a subsequent cooling for several centuries, a Medieval Warming Period (perhaps four centuries, warm enough for Viking colonies in southern Greenland to grow their own crops until circa 1400 A.D., followed by a Little Ice Age (ending about 1750 A.D.), then warming again. in 20th Century, 1940 was the warmest year in the first half, followed by cooling until about 1975, then warming again until 1998. So last ten years (1999 to 2008) is warmest decade EVER? Only if EVER begins after 1960 and is limited to the last five decades, a/c real global measurements and regular photos of arctic and antarctic polar caps do not exist much before 1980.
    Also, surface temp. of Mars has increased about 1 deg. F in last century. Announcement claimed Martian increase had nothing to do with Terra's increase, but was caused by "a change in Mars surface albedo."
    "Change in albedo" explains nothing. What caused the albedo on Mars to change? Surely not evil oil companies! A common factor for both Terra and Mars w/b solar radiation.
    The AGW proponents ignore the observed swings in earth's Temp as above, running a hockey stick graph through the several centuries of MWP and LIA, and ignoring the actual multi-decade swings in observed Temp in the last 110 years. The CO2 hypothesis is interesting, but it ignores too much observed temperature to be compelling as a reason for action.
    TeaPot562

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  • 193. At 08:28am on 21 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke:

    The terseness of your replies suggests that you don't know how "Venus's extra heat" comes from "adiabatic compression". Frankly, I don't either, although I am familiar with adiabatic expansion of gases and with clouds forming when air rises and so on.

    What I want to know is: How can "adiabatic compression" cause "extra heat" to occur on a planet? Please note that I'm talking about extra heat here, not temperature change. Can anyone on the blog enlighten me?

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  • 194. At 08:31am on 21 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #182 andrew9999:

    Thanks, I'll ruminate on that for a bit. I studied engineering before switching to pure maths, so it might not be a complete waste of time, but I don't promise to understand every detail!

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  • 195. At 08:34am on 21 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Bowmnthebard,

    "I note that you cite a great big fat -- and frankly illiterate -- article instead of honestly trying to put it in your own words."

    I'd be interested to know why you think the article in question is "illiterate". In fact, if you look at it more carefully, everything is backed up with peer-reviewed literature.

    In my experience, if you want to understand science and get to the truth, there is no substitute for reading. Sadly, a lot of people are not prepared to spend the necessary time looking at the real science and hence don't understand it as well as they think.

    I linked to this article because it gave the background and explained how the scientific research developed (context is very important). Why paraphrase a small part when it is all important?

    Here are 2 very interesting articles from Realclimate which make for slightly lighter reading:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/01/the-carbon-dioxide-theory-of-gilbert-plass/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument-part-ii/

    Paul

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  • 196. At 08:39am on 21 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #192 TeaPot562:

    That's an excellent message -- which I suppose translates as usual into "I agree with it".

    ...Except I'm not familar with the abbreviations "a/c" and "w/b". Must be my age.

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  • 197. At 08:50am on 21 Feb 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Bowman at #143 (and repeated)

    Your write: "deep anti-liberal streak in ecological political movements. ... It seems to me that ecological political movements love "the planet", and love "the species", and fear "extinction of the species"... but what about the individuals who might die prematurely, or have to live vile and uncomfortable lives?"

    Those comments suggests a deep gulf between your knowledge and what ecological polical movements" have been doing over at least the last two decades.

    Just one example at the international level, have a look at the language of UNCED and Agenda 21 for a start and then look at what emerged from WSSD in Johannesburg. Much of what you find there is exactly about what you say is missing. And the "ecological political movements", as you call them, played major roles in both processes.

    The language around ecosystem services, which I think you derided earlier, has a lot to do with recognising how human needs are met through well-functioning ecosystems - not least of all how damage to ecosystems creates burdens on human societies and that this falls disproportionately on the poor.

    It is all very well to dismiss views that you do not share or disagree with, but surely one should do it from a basis of knowledge, not ignorance?

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  • 198. At 09:31am on 21 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Teapot562 @ #192,

    I'm not sure what temperature records you're using, but they obviously aren't the global ones the scientists refer to:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A.lrg.gif

    http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn14527/dn14527-4_629.jpg

    Prior to the 1900's temperature data are far more sparse and therefore cannot be relied upon to be representative of the planet as a whole (so they aren't directly comparable). This is why the proxy reconstructions were done using tree-ring, corals etc. Of course, these have come in for much criticism from sceptics and they are not a measure of actual temperature, but they are the best information we have. Also, there have now been lots of reconstructions from different sources which have all shown the same basic pattern.

    The proxies suggest that neither the "Medieval Warm Period" nor the "Little Ice Age" were discreet global events. The only real problem is that the bulk of the data is for the Northern Hemisphere (for obvious geopraphical reasons). This is why the latest IPCC report concludes that IN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE, the past few decades have almost certainly been the warmest in the past 1000 years at least.

    Turning to the question of the temperature on Mars, the following article from the New Scientist explains why this is probably a red herring:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11642-climate-myths-mars-and-pluto-are-warming-too.html

    Paul

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  • 199. At 09:36am on 21 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Manysummits #lots

    All the hand waving in the world won't change the fact that it's not just temperature that causes ice to melt or the fact that melting ice is a symptom of warming, but tells us nothing about what caused the warming

    From JPL:

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2010-056

    There's the obligatory reference to AGW, but essentially what they are saying is in 2007 (lowest sea ice ever) the ice escaped through missing ice bridges, floated away into warmer seas and then melted.

    In 2007, the Arctic lost a massive amount of thick, multiyear sea ice, contributing to that year's record-low extent of Arctic sea ice. A new NASA-led study has found that the record loss that year was due in part to the absence of "ice arches," naturally-forming, curved ice structures that span the openings between two land points. These arches block sea ice from being pushed by winds or currents through narrow passages and out of the Arctic basin.

    Perhaps you should stop the hysteria now?

    /mango

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  • 200. At 09:41am on 21 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #198

    The proxies suggest that neither the "Medieval Warm Period" nor the "Little Ice Age" were discreet global events.

    For "data published by 805 individual scientists from 478 separate research institutions in 43 different countries ... and counting" to show the MWP was more than a NH event see:

    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

    So far they have evidence from Africa,Antarctica, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Europe, North America, Northern Hemisphere, Oceans, South America

    You may not like the source, but please look at the data

    /mango

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  • 201. At 10:19am on 21 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #197 simon-swede wrote:

    "have a look at the language of UNCED and Agenda 21 for a start"

    I just did, and it confirms what I said. A lot of Rousseau-inspired abstract "big talk" that basically expresses contempt for the individual by ignoring individual welfare and focussing on groups and abstract high-flown ideas of justice instead. Typical example: adopting "income equity" as a goal in itself instead of promoting the freedom of individuals through freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom to frame the plan of one's own life, and so on. Such anti-individualism is what always inspires Fascism, Communism and Socialism and similar anti-liberal movements.

    In the proper sense of the word, liberalism is concerned with individuals, not abstract

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  • 202. At 10:23am on 21 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    For the record, by a "liberal" I mean someone who regards the freedom of the individual as the only social good. In my terminology, "liberalism" is NOT a load of abstract Continental European codology about "social justice"!

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  • 203. At 11:59am on 21 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    #198:

    "The proxies suggest that neither the "Medieval Warm Period" nor the "Little Ice Age" were discreet global events."

    To suggest that large-scale local anomalies can persist for centuries without some global-scale forcing is stretching credulity just a bit, don't you think?

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  • 204. At 12:31pm on 21 Feb 2010, rainsong wrote:

    What forced the end of the ice age and a 120 meter rise in sea level over the past 20,000 year ago? Near the border of Canada and the US in Vermont the ice was over a kilometer thick. What forced the melting of the continental ice sheets? In 2007 a NASA scientist reported continued loss of ice at the Mars north pole. What forced global warming on Mars? Solar radiation was not as intense further from the sun as the energy dissipated with distance. European countries have some of the highest debt to GDP ratios in the world. Can you afford to live in a "carbon free" society? China did not follow. European iron and steel making might be forced to close down with the curbing of emissions.

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  • 205. At 12:32pm on 21 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    From today's Observer:

    "Leading scientists in Britain and America have warned that recent controversies over research into climate change are damaging the public's faith in science."

    This says it all doesn't it? The "authorities" think the riff-raff should not question their supposed "authority", and simply take what they say on "faith".

    These "leading scientists" have blackened the very word 'science' with their grotesquely anti-scientific attitudes. If they were real scientists, they'd be delighted that what they say isn't taken on "faith".

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  • 206. At 12:36pm on 21 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #195 Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "I'd be interested to know why you think the article in question is "illiterate"."

    It's scientifically illiterate because it's a work of scriptural studies, not explanation, or observation, or testing, or questioning, or criticism. It's authoritarian Bible study, guided by clerics.

    "In fact, if you look at it more carefully, everything is backed up with peer-reviewed literature."

    That cuts absolutely no ice with me. That just reinforces my sense that it's orthodoxy with the "seal of approval" of the authorities.

    This sort of thing does not deserve to be called "science".

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  • 207. At 12:46pm on 21 Feb 2010, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    Shadorne @161:
    “The green view of things is that mankind are destructive of planet Earth. The green view is that we should live sustainably (i.e. without fossil fuels and fertilizers). If this philosophy is successful then it will be like the Khmer Rouge - anyone with an education will be eliminated and we will be forced back to till the fields by hand. Millions and possibly billions will starve as food prices sky rocket.”

    Reading your posts reminds me of those experiments they do with animals, where researchers put random bits of text on the floor and construct sentences out of where the animals decide to sit down. I think the overlaying philosophical problem you are having is that you think environmentalists and communists or fascists are all the same thing...

    Shadorne @171:
    “Yes, except I do not agree with you that it is "unsustainable" - there is no evidence to support this point of view.”

    Words fail me. Buy a newspaper, visit a library, watch the news, look at some of the articles on the environment section of this website...

    “I am scared to see the green movement, which started out as a wonderful and laudable goal to better protect the environment, visibly morphing into a political vehicle to redistribute wealth and control of the commanding heights of the economy.”

    No it isn’t. I think you’ll find that what you are referring to is socialism or communism.

    “I am particularly scared when The Economist (a far right wing magazine)”
    See post 174. If you think that The Economist is a far right wing magazine, I’d hate to see what would happen if you picked up a copy of The Spectator...

    Shadorne @191:
    Criticising a man that that the Republican Party had parachuted in to the IPCC is a bit rich don’t you think? Of course politicians are hypocrites, but that is irrelevant to the quality of the research that shows we need to improve the way we treat the environment.

    “You can't make this stuff up it is so hilarious.”
    Your poor punctuation is mildly amusing. However, the failings of our political leaders to get on top of the issue of ‘sustainability’ are anything but hilarious.

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  • 208. At 1:04pm on 21 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #193

    The terseness of my last reply (#186) was because it was in the early hours of the morning.

    However there is a problem with using these threads to discuss complicated ideas. We lack normal social cues like tone of voice and facial expression. We can't do our own pictures. And there is the time lag between each response. These threads are best for soundbites.

    OK, try again.

    (Note, the following assumes that you are happy with the heating effect of adiabatic compression and the cooling effect of adiabatic expansion.)

    When it comes to Venus's excess heat we are ultimately talking about the transfer of energy into Venus (sunlight) and the transfer of energy out (black body radiation).

    These are approximately balanced. The energy in matches the energy out.

    Because the energy out is black body radiation, it depends on the temperature of Venus.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_body
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_radiation

    But not any old part of Venus.

    If Venus was bare rock, or if Venus's atmosphere was not a greenhouse gas, then the black body radiation would be from the ground surface. However Venus's atmosphere is a greenhouse gas. So the effective radiative surface is way up in the atmosphere.

    Now this is where the adiabatic compression and expansion comes in.

    The adiabatic compression and expansion acts as a solar powered heat pump. It maintains a temperature gradient with Venus's upper atmosphere being cool and Venus's lower atmosphere being very hot.

    WhenVenus's greenhouse was increased by adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere the effective radiative surface moved upwards to a cooler part of the atmosphere. This temporarily gave Venus a cooler radiative surface. A cooler radiative surface meant less black body radiation. Venus therefore lost less heat as black body radiation until the sunlight topped it up. Losing less heat to space meant that Venus had extra heat in its atmosphere. While this extra heat built up the adiabatic heat pump distributed it throughout Venus's atmosphere, maintaining the temperature gradient, resulting in all of it getting hotter.

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  • 209. At 1:18pm on 21 Feb 2010, P Steadman wrote:

    Peirs Corbyn said in November that we were in for a hard winter right through to March. his theories were based on sunspot cycles and the interaction of the solar wind on the atmosphere, nowt to do with CO2.
    The Marvellous Mechanical MET office said we were in for a mild winter, nothing unusual at all, their theories appear to have been based on hysterical, fact fiddling, climatologists belief systems, CO2 the devils tool.
    Will you now admit, Mr. Black, that the man you ridiculed has apparently got his predictions right, to the letter, and consistently does so, while your religion has failed miserably, and consistently does so? or will we have to wait the remaining 7 days of february in the hope of a little balmy weather before you grudgingly accept that the AGW cabal is a fear based lie?

    You said at the time, we'd have to wait and see who is right, well we waited, and now we have seen.

    Score one to the good guys.

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  • 210. At 1:35pm on 21 Feb 2010, thinkforyourself wrote:

    New ‘resource’ for ‘sceptics’

    Don’t miss out. Cut and paste from here:-

    http://www.salon.com/comics/tomo/2007/02/26/tomo/index1.html

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  • 211. At 1:36pm on 21 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke #208:

    Thank you very much for taking the trouble to explain all that, I really apprciate it. You're probably right about the unwisdom of using these threads to explain complicated ideas, but as simple-minded questions sometimes have a similar effect on established research programmes as mice to elephants...

    "The adiabatic compression and expansion acts as a solar powered heat pump. It maintains a temperature gradient with Venus's upper atmosphere being cool and Venus's lower atmosphere being very hot."

    Wouldn't the compression and expansion act to diminish the temperature gradient rather than to "maintain" it?

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  • 212. At 1:43pm on 21 Feb 2010, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Yorkurbantree at #207.

    Good post.

    Yes, Shadorne is the resident ‘comedian/enne’ on here. He/she even thinks the Jet Propulsion Lab at Caltech is part of the ‘Conspiracy’.

    I think the cartoon above at #210 contains a beautiful truth!

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  • 213. At 1:49pm on 21 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #170

    The work of Harries (2001) comparing satellite data from several years apart has confirmed that carbon dioxide is indeed reducing IR radiation lossses to the atmosphere. This by definition means that carbon dioxide is having a warming effect.

    So you are saying, if the OLR is unchanged or increased then something other than CO2 has caused the warming?

    Are you aware the Lindzen and Choi 2009 paper examined the ERBE data and found OLR loss increased dramatically with warming (up to 6W/m2 /K)?

    /mango

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  • 214. At 1:53pm on 21 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @thinkforyourself #210

    if it's ok with you, i will give that one a miss, we all know it's turtles all the way down:

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

    /mango

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  • 215. At 2:02pm on 21 Feb 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Bowman at #201

    The point is, in the last 20 years there has been a significant transition away from the your false picture of "ecological political movements" who only love "the planet", and love "the species", and fear "extinction of the species"...

    I would suggest that your reading of what UNCED and WSSD sought to address and how they suggest improvements might be made is both an extremely narrow, shallow and selective one as well as incorrect. Perhaps not suprising if you literally "just read it" in the few minutes between my post at #197 and yours at #201. Read what, indeed, I wonder. Certainly not the whole outputs of either process.

    The reality is that both UNCED and WSSD are examples of how "ecological polictical moevments" (your term) sought to address environmental challenges in a context which recognises societal (in the broadest sense of the word, including individuals) needs, both current and future. These were international processes, and there are many more examples at local, national and regional levels.

    Your self-chosen "path" is but one of many, and it is a very narrow one. To me it appears as if you have developed a very rigid personal ideological framework that exists in the abstract but has little to offer communities in practice. You might learn something from those who choose other paths if you took the time to try understand what they say, instead of rejecting things out-of-hand as you so often appear to do here, simply because they don't use your chosen labels.




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  • 216. At 2:04pm on 21 Feb 2010, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Peter317 at #203 says:-

    ‘..To suggest that large-scale local anomalies can persist for centuries without some global-scale forcing is stretching credulity just a bit, don't you think?...’

    No. It just requires the orbital mechanics (identified by Milutin Milankovitch) to be different to today.

    One of many ‘Milankovitch’ cycles is that of Axial Precession. Axial precession is the change in the direction of the Earth's axis of rotation relative to the fixed stars, with a period of roughly 26,000 years.

    This gyroscopic motion is due to the tidal forces exerted by the sun and the moon on the solid Earth, associated with the fact that the Earth is an oblate spheroid shape and not a perfect sphere. The sun and moon contribute roughly equally to this effect.

    When the axis is aligned so it points toward the Sun during perihelion, one polar hemisphere will have a greater difference between the seasons while the other hemisphere will have milder seasons.

    Notice that the ‘period’ of this particular cycle is 26,000 years or 260 centuries. There are many other cycles.

    I think that meets your ‘requirement’ of ‘centuries’.

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  • 217. At 2:16pm on 21 Feb 2010, Shadorne wrote:

    Yorkuran tree: I think the overlaying philosophical problem you are having is that you think environmentalists and communists or fascists are all the same thing...

    When taken to the extreme, it is now becoming fairly obvious that environmentalists and fascists have an awful lot in common. I never said they were the same thing - clearly "gaia" has replaced the country 'nationalism' of fascism but the same radical views dominate the green ideology (no more fossil fuels etc.). They also seek to impose an authoritarian state (over all earth) as clearly evidenced by the UN/IPCC "Intergovernmental" group which seeks authority above the country level.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVhT7P0lDfI

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  • 218. At 2:27pm on 21 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @thinkforyourself #216 (#210)

    Axial precession is the change in the direction of the Earth's axis of rotation relative to the fixed stars, with a period of roughly 26,000 years.

    This gyroscopic motion is due to the tidal forces exerted by the sun and the moon on the solid Earth, associated with the fact that the Earth is an oblate spheroid shape and not a perfect sphere. The sun and moon contribute roughly equally to this effect.


    As copy / pasted from wiki ;)

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

    /mango

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  • 219. At 2:49pm on 21 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #215 simon-swede wrote:

    "exists in the abstract but has little to offer communities in practice"

    It has precisely nothing to offer communities, because communities don't matter. What matter are individuals. Only individuals have wants, needs, aspirations, fears, hardships and all the rest of it, so it is only those things we should be paying any attention to.

    I suspect we have a difference in how we understand "freedom" -- I understand it in Isaiah Berlin's "negative" sense alone, whereas people who think in terms of "communities" generally understand it in his "positive" sense. But I maintain that ecological movements understand it almost exclusively in that "positive" sense. That is why liberals sometimes lose their temper and start calling it "eco-fascism". I'll try not to -- I'm giving it up for Lent!

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  • 220. At 2:50pm on 21 Feb 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Shadorne at #217

    You wrote: "They also seek to impose an authoritarian state (over all earth) as clearly evidenced by the UN/IPCC "Intergovernmental" group which seeks authority above the country level."

    Bravo, Shadorne - 10 points for nonsense value!

    "Intergovernmental" means "between States".

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  • 221. At 3:04pm on 21 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #211

    No. Rising air cools as it expands. Downwellings warm up as they compress. On Earth you can see the effect of expansion related cooling, clouds condense from water vapour as the rising expanding air cools to the dewpoint.

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

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  • 222. At 3:07pm on 21 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #205

    Yes. Scientists have feet of clay.

    Climategate / Glaciergate has badly damaged the political credibility of scientists as a whole. The opinions of the general public will become more relevant in political decisions involving science.

    One possible outcome of Climategate / Glaciergate is that creationism gets put on the science component of the UK national curriculum.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/nov/07/creationism-intelligent-design-religion
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8322781.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4648598.stm

    I feel extremely conflicted about this. I have big problems with the science of creationism. But if over half of the UK public want creationism taught alongside Darwin in science lessons, and only about a quarter of the UK public want the current situation of Darwinism taught on its own, then creationism in UK taxpayer funded science lessons needs to happen.

    http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/poll.aspx?oItemId=2379

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  • 223. At 3:47pm on 21 Feb 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #219.

    "It has precisely nothing to offer communities, because communities don't matter. What matter are individuals."

    oh dear, you must find it hard to swallow your pride every time you buy a loaf of bread from a baker, etc.

    or are you (the 'individual') fully self-sufficient?

    no?

    rank hypocricy then.

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  • 224. At 3:52pm on 21 Feb 2010, manysummits wrote:

    \\\ From where I stand - the IPCC ///

    Preliminary Note:

    The refractory contrarian contingent on this weblog did not like my posts #'s 179; 183; 184; and 185, and their links; nor did they like 'ghostofsichuan's link in his post #123.

    For those reading this who are actually wondering if mankind can really have done this much damage to our environment, and if the consequences are as dire as some predict, I can only urge that you compare the links in the posts indicated, and from the very many excellent science posters who increasingly frequent this weblog, with the contrarian links.
    -------------------------

    In his syndicated Sunday column, which I read regularly, Eric Margolis points out that the Greek Hero Hercules diverted two rivers to clean out the Augean stables of 30 years of manure for his fifth labor.

    The he went on to found 'The Olympics.'

    I will take these two rivers to represent, in out time, a cleansing spate of new ideas, one of which I will focus on here - the IPCC.

    Rather than 'impartial voices,' perhaps we need voices that are emphatically 'not impartial.'

    Voices that are 'unafraid' to speak the truth, as it is given them to see this truth.

    I have never liked the IPCC, despite repeated attemps to do so. Perhaps it was necessary at the time - perhaps it is even in some sense necessary now.

    But this hermaphrodite blend of politics and science, nationalism and 'good intentions,' is in my opinion, and with the benefit of hindsight, the proverbial "road to hell."

    If there are men and women of courage as well as of high intellect in positions of science, let them stand up and speak out, even at some risk to their careers and standing in the community.

    This will be hard, as virtually all of their training may have run counter to this type of 'instinctive' action.

    I would urge those who feel the call but doubt their instincts to ponder hard the words of Albert Einstein:

    "The instinctive mind is a sacred gift; the rational mind a fathful servant,"

    and to reread Robert Pirsig's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," where the 'Church of Reason' is held to account.

    Unambiguous statements by the world's leading scientists, perhaps through the aegis of the Interacademy Panel on International Issues, on the state of the planet and the implications for its future, along with humanity's, are urgently required.

    Bold statements, up to date, ahead of the curve, with appropriate caveats to separate speculation from empirical fact.

    This can never be achieved by a process such as the unwieldy and slow as a turtle IPCC.

    Stand up - speak out - maintain the right.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 225. At 3:57pm on 21 Feb 2010, DavCrav wrote:

    @222: Luckily, what is scientific is decided by experts, not by the unemployed. (I am referring to your last link, where if you follow it through it is those least educated and in the lower positions in society, the grades DE, who believe in creationism, and the most educated and in the higher positions in society, the grades AB, who believe in evolution.)

    Tables 2 and 3 of the document are fascinating, as they broadly state that there is a correlation between being educated and believing in evolution, and also that those more educated believe that (real) evolution and belief in God are independent positions, whereas those less educated do not (and hence, since they believe in God, cannot believe in evolution).

    Since it is clear that the existence of God is independent from evolution (as opposed to the existence of a meddling God, for which things are so clear), the most important way to tackle the problem of creationism is to educate people out of it.

    As for the media circus surrounding climate change, I have given up making any statements about it, since neither side will change their opinion.

    I often wonder what would have happened if we had had such stupid media in 1859, when the perihelion of Mercury problem was discovered. Would it have been called 'gravitygate' (except for the fact Nixon hadn't been born yet) and led to a 'debate' about the existence of gravity?

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  • 226. At 3:59pm on 21 Feb 2010, poitsplace wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke RE:Venus

    Venus is a radically different system than earth. There are no oceans. The atmosphere is so much thicker that it actually stratifies into different compositions. The planet rotates at a much slower rate. The liquid that goes through a phase change is sulfuric acid.

    Think about this. On earth much of the heat from the surface just spews straight out into space. Most of what doesn't spew out into space directly passes through the water cycle. Water vapor is only about 60% the density of the surrounding atmosphere so it actually increases convection and actively transports large amounts of energy through vapor phase changes as well as that additional convection. I believe water vapor is also an emitter of black body radiation as well (snow is too).


    Venus is entirely shrouded in clouds of sulfuric acid. Below the clouds there's about 10-20km of a less opaque sulfuric acid fog. The sulfuric acid is capable of transferring energy through vapor phase transitions but unfortunately...it boils at 600C! Then, even when the sulfuric acid DOES vaporize, it actually INCREASES the density of the atmosphere, because sulfuric acid vapor has a density of about 2.2 times that of CO2. The higher density would suppress convection. Between the cloud cover, fog, discouraging of convection and high boiling point...sulfuric acid is probably responsible for a huge chunk of the gradient.

    Wouldn't you agree?

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  • 227. At 4:21pm on 21 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @mansummits #224

    The refractory contrarian contingent on this weblog did not like my posts #'s 179; 183; 184; and 185, and their links; nor did they like 'ghostofsichuan's link in his post #123.

    it's not a question of liking, manysummits, it's a question of trying to show you there are alternative explanations for your claimes. If you are saying I have a stubborn desire to point out the errors in your argument, then I admit you are correct.

    I think you are so narrow minded that you don't even open the links that show how wrong you are, because can't bear the thought that you could be wrong. Did you actually read the link I provided to show the 2007 sea ice extent low was due in part to missing ice bridges, not temperature? Care to comment or just ignore evidence that goes against your preconceptions?

    which one of us has the "disturbed personality"?

    /mango

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  • 228. At 4:33pm on 21 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #222 JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    "I feel extremely conflicted about this. I have big problems with the science of creationism."

    I do too, but let me share an experience of mine. Many years ago, I was a grad student and teaching assistant in philosophy of sciences courses of the sort I later taught as a lecturer. This was in the US midwest. One year, we used a book by Philip Kitcher called Abusing Science. It is subtitled "the case against Creationism", but don't let that give you the impression that this is a biased book. It is in fact a sober and careful examination of the logical and epistemological pros and cons of evolutionary theory versus Creationism, side by side.

    At the beginning of the course we had a rough "show of hands". Of about 140 undergraduate students, over 100 said they were sympathetic to Creationism and unsympathetic to Darwinism (mostly, it turned out, because they associated it with Hitler, eugenics, racism, etc.). By the end of the course nearly everyone -- apart from one or two good-natured controversialists -- had been converted to Darwinism.

    Now you'll have to take my word for it, but I always did my damnedest to welcome contrary opinions in class. A "cat among the pigeons" is always welcome and productive in a philosophy class. Disagreement is gold-dust, and I've always known it. The principal instructor did too. What converted the students was just seeing the two theories in the plain light of day, side by side, in an atmosphere of almost complete freedom of thought and expression. We tried very hard not to "push" in any way.

    I think much the same will happen to children if they are simply allowed to think whatever they like, and are honestly and decently presented with the two theories. Children have scientific minds, or at least they do until embarrassed teachers stifle their urge to continually ask "why?"

    Obviously, at a later stage in education it would be a colossal waste of time to spend half of it on Creationism, but I think if children spent a bit of time on it early on, nearly all of them would want to move on quickly to the intelligent theory (by which I do not mean "intelligent design" theory!).

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  • 229. At 4:39pm on 21 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #223 jr4412 wrote:

    "are you (the 'individual') fully self-sufficient?

    "no?

    "rank hypocricy then."

    I think you've misunderstood my position, which is not "rugged individualism" but classical liberalism of the sort defended by decent fellows like JS Mill. Of course I'm not self-sufficient. The baker's interests need to be respected every bit as much as mine. But it's the baker's interests and my interests that count -- all of the individuals involved -- not the supposed "interests" some abstract racist concept of "community".

    Considerable injustices are done because of that silly idea of "community" (such as the exclusion of "rednecks" from US universities because they don't belong to the right "community"). It's really a hangover from the doctrine of original sin.

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  • 230. At 4:56pm on 21 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #224 manysummits wrote:

    "The refractory contrarian contingent on this weblog did not like my posts #'s 179; 183; 184; and 185, and their links; nor did they like 'ghostofsichuan's link in his post #123."

    Are there really people on this blog stupid enough to try to censor the expression of views they disagree with? -- I'm appalled, and I reject them totally. As you know, I'm not afraid to disagree with my fellow sceptics from time to time.

    I don't agree with what you write, manysummits, and I'm proud of being a contrarian, but I'll never file a complaint against a posting because I don't like someone's links.

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  • 231. At 4:59pm on 21 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    #216:

    I would classify planetary cycles as being at least "global-scale", wouldn't you?

    Now perhaps you can tell me which cycles led to the MWP and the LIA.

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  • 232. At 5:03pm on 21 Feb 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #227.

    "Did you actually read the link I provided to show the 2007 sea ice extent low was due in part to missing ice bridges, not temperature?"

    although not addressed to me, I did read the link, and quote from it below:

    "We don't completely understand the conditions conducive to the formation of these arches," Kwok said. "We do know that they are temperature-dependent because they only form in winter. So there's concern that if climate warms, the arches could stop forming."

    as you say, missing ice bridges account in part for accelerated losses but you have not told us what your thoughts are as to why those bridges failed to form.

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  • 233. At 5:16pm on 21 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    is it just me that find it funny that the AGWer's are getting so desperate to promote their propaganda that they even have an app for that:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/throw-your-iphone-into-the-climate-debate/

    lmao

    /mango

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  • 234. At 5:18pm on 21 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #230

    I think manysummits isn't saying some people have tried to censor his posts, i think he is saying some people disagree (me) with his links

    /Mango

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  • 235. At 5:23pm on 21 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @jr4412 #232

    glad you followed the link

    as you say, missing ice bridges account in part for accelerated losses but you have not told us what your thoughts are as to why those bridges failed to form

    The experts at NASA just state they the bridges didn't form without explanation, so I can't offer a cast iron reason, but i do know that wind and ocean currents are viable options for ice melt as well as rising temperature

    /mango

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  • 236. At 5:29pm on 21 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #221 JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    "No. Rising air cools as it expands. Downwellings warm up as they compress."

    And since the atmosphere of Venus is neither expanding nor contaccting overall, for every bit of gas that goes up and cools, another bit of gas has to come down and warm up. Do you see my problem? -- I can't see how it would make any difference to the overall heat content, just local differences to the temperature.

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  • 237. At 6:01pm on 21 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #234 MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    "I think manysummits isn't saying some people have tried to censor his posts, i think he is saying some people disagree (me) with his links"

    Ooops -- sorry, I thought he was saying those messages had been referred to the moderators! I'm glad they weren't.

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  • 238. At 6:05pm on 21 Feb 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 239. At 6:14pm on 21 Feb 2010, Stephen Just wrote:


    It's Time to Reconsider the World that's been Pulled Over Your Eyes...

    Since the now discredited IPCC has been pushing Global Warming Alarmism down our throats for 20 years. It is time to take a hard look at the facts and to stop believing these scare stories.

    Alarmist Fiction Vs. the Facts:

    "Polar sea ice levels are actually decreasing rapidly. Polar bears are starving as a result of not being able to get out onto it to hunt. Sea Levels are rising fast and will soon drown Bangladesh, London and many Island nations"

    No - Polar sea ice levels are not decreasing rapidly - quite the opposite:

    According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado, Arctic summer sea ice has increased by 409,000 square miles, or 26 per cent, since 2007.

    No - Polar Bears are not starving - they are increasing very rapidly:

    The global polar bear population has at least quadrupled in 40 years. Estimates from about 1970 - when they tightly regulated hunting, suggested about 5-6,000, and now the estimate is about 25,000.

    No - sea levels are not rising at all.

    The world's leading authority on sea levels is the Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Morner, formerly chairman of the International Commission on Sea Level Change. And the verdict of Dr Morner is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story.

    Despite fluctuations down as well as up, "the sea is not rising," he says. "It hasn't risen in 50 years."

    No - Bangladesh isn't drowning it's gaining 20 sq kms annually!

    Data shows that Bangladesh's landmass is increasing, contradicting IPCC forecasts that the South Asian nation will be under the waves by the end of the century, experts say.

    Scientists from the Dhaka-based Center for Environment and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) have studied 32 years of satellite images and say Bangladesh's landmass has increased by 20 square kilometres annually.

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  • 240. At 6:15pm on 21 Feb 2010, andy765gtr wrote:

    "Labmunkey thinks the economic measures to combet AGW would be "definitely" damaging? He clearly doesn't know much about economics. Compared with economic forecasting, climate forecasting is an exact science. When a few of the "usual killjoys" suggested that the idea of recycling dodgy debt was highly dangerous, they were scoffed at, but now everyone knows what a foolish thing it was to do. In fact the economic effects of a big change in our growth patterns are difficult to predict and could easily be very positive in the long run (even if climate change turned out to be less damaging than the worst predictions). By creating work in new areas, and by stimulating technological creativity, it could have positive economic effects. What is disturbing to some people is that it might not be them who reap the benefits, and some people could lose out relative to others. And for that they are willing to risk catastrophe. Because when there is a possibility of a major disaster, and there clearly is, then it is ridiculous to demand proof before taking measures to avert possible damage. The burden of proof should be on the people who say we should do nothing. There has never, ever been a piece of evidence produced to show that GW is not the result of human activity - while simple logic suggests that the ever-increasing human interference in the environment is bound to produce side-effects. So please, AGW-deniers, produce some evidence which shows that we can really be sure that present long-term growth trends will not wreck the planet's climate."

    excellent post. 'economic damage' indeed.

    rapid development of green tech would certainly boost the economy and provide many welcome new jobs. some will be lost in dirty outmoded industries, but this is an acceptable price for sustainability.

    you also make the valid point that it is not so much denialists are really concerned about the economy, but that readjustment to low carbon sources will see THEM ousted from a very lucrative position. im particularly suspicious of their argument for the economy as it goes against the grain of their 'market forces find solutions' ideology. it might well do, esp IF IT HAS TIME. shall we find out?

    may i also say SR's posts are most excellent. very clear. one wonders how hard labmonkey and others are trying to understand.

    i'll just add that i can't believe anyone is STILL repeating the hoary old chestnut about planting trees. what happens when they rot then? i'll tell you -in case you were setting fire to the bins during your cse biology class and GENUINELY dont know. they release it again - like they have for hundreds of millions of years. its called the carbon cycle. there is not a lot stored in carbon sinks like coal and oil in any time frame that might give you an argument. it takes millions of years. maybe in 500 million years time they'll be enough coal, oil, and peat stored up for some semi rational intelligent creature of the age to have the same bright idea as homo sapiens did in his search for an lazy life for a while. who knows, it might be just in time for the 7th mass extinction!

    ok, im wittering on. monktons minions can carry on repeating his boring long debunked fallacies.

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  • 241. At 6:20pm on 21 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @poitsplace

    I don't understand how black body radiation from water vapour debunks the Venus greenhouse. Or any planetary greenhouse. Water vapour is a greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases are responsible for a significant proportion of the black body emissions of a planet scale greenhouse.

    Your comments about density don't make sense. In an atmosphere without weather the gases might tend to separate out according to density. But Venus does have weather. Lots of it.

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

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  • 242. At 6:27pm on 21 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #236

    On its own it doesn't, it just moves heat energy around to creates a temperature gradient.

    Introduce greenhouse gases and it does, the greenhouse effect changes which part of the atmosphere is in radiative balance with space.

    And this post is brief because I don't know which part of my earlier posts are inadequate.

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  • 243. At 6:31pm on 21 Feb 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #229.

    "I think you've misunderstood my position, which is not "rugged individualism" but classical liberalism of the sort defended by decent fellows like JS Mill. ... all of the individuals involved -- not the supposed "interests" some abstract racist concept of "community"."

    perhaps, perhaps not.

    see, you are quick to point out that your understanding of 'liberal' is "of the sort defended by decent fellows", but you have no problem insinuating the very worst interpretation of our use of 'community'. to you a "abstract racist concept" (really?!), to me (and I suppose simon-swede) nothing of the sort; I've just watched part of 'Countryfile' over supper, do you think that the teacher (school which started their own electriciry generation) is a 'racist' just because she argues that one of the benefits is their ability to sell surplus back into the community?

    to be frank, I think you should make your position clear for all to understand.

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  • 244. At 6:42pm on 21 Feb 2010, manysummits wrote:

    \\\ From where I stand - Individual Scientists & the IAP ///

    Further to my post #224 on the IPCC, and my post #78 to simon-swede:

    For example:

    The group of top scientists meeting around the shores of the Arctic Ocean, hypothetically under the aegis of the Interacademy Panel on International Issues, might include these scientists:

    1) James Hansen, perhaps the world's top climatologist. To summarize his view, in his own words: "end of creation"

    2) James Lovelock, ninety years old, a superb generalist and originator of the 'Gaia Hypothesis", now the 'Gaia Theory', and increasingly mainsteamed as "Earth Systems Science." His words: "A Final Warning"

    3) Lord Martin Rees, current president of the Royal Society, and writer of the book "Our Final Century" (UK) retitled "Our Final Hour" (elsewhere).

    4) Peter Ward, University of Washington, author of many popular books on his speciality, mass extinctions, the deep geologic past and paleontology. His book, "Under a Green Sky," outlines perhaps the worst case scenario - a world of stratified oceans, from which bubbles the lethal gas hydrogen sulphide, courtesy the ascendant green and purple bacteria.

    5) Johan Rockstrom, author of "Planetary Boundaries", from the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

    6) Richard Alley and Lonnie Thompson, glaciologists extraordinaire, the first who wrote "The Two Mile Time Machine," and perhaps most familiar with the giant ice-sheets of Greenland and the Antarctic; the second the world's number one mountain glacier ice-coring expert and laboratory dustman.

    7) Wallace Broecker, 'Wally' to everyone, originator of the thermoshaline oceanic circulation idea, author of "Fixing Climate."

    8) David Schindler, author of the new edition of "The Algal Bowl," an ecologist and activist - one of the world's experts on the eutrophication of the world's waterways.

    9) David Suziki, microbiologist and activist, skilled in the ways of multi-media - Canada's voice on the Environment.

    10) Etc...


    That's just off the top of my head.

    Every one of these men can be easily researched on Google or Wikipedia. These are some of our best scientists, doubtless a more exhaustive list can be easily assembled.

    These scientists could each speak semi-autonomously, obviating the unnecessary need for concensus.

    The people of the world have the right to know the truth as regards the scientific thinking on the current state of Earth, and on its immediate prospects - up to date and ahead of the curve, which is whizzing in as we blog here.

    Then the people will decide what actions need doing, and will tell their governments where to get off, and how soon.

    - Manysummits -

    PS to Bowman: "Pride cometh before the Fall."

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  • 245. At 6:42pm on 21 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #236

    On its own it doesn't, it just moves heat energy around to creates a temperature gradient.

    Introduce greenhouse gases and it does, the greenhouse effect changes which part of the atmosphere is in radiative balance with space.

    Change the amount of greenhouse gases and the effective radiative surface moves up (more greenhouse) or down (less greenhouse). Then the black body radiation from the planet reduces (more greenhouse) or increases (less greenhouse) until the new temperature balances the black body radiation with incoming sunlight.

    And this post is brief because I don't know which part of my earlier posts are inadequate.

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  • 246. At 6:47pm on 21 Feb 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Mango and Bowman re #237 - Yes, entirely correct.

    Thank you Mango, and no problemo Bowman.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 247. At 7:18pm on 21 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mangochutney @ #200,

    I have come across "CO2 Science before". It is striking how little detail they give regarding the methodology for their plots. Also, if you take a look at the individual references they cite in their "study", they are in many cases reading more into the data than is really there........ not surprising given that they are funded by Exxon Mobil:

    http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=24

    The following site has a more recent plot of various proxy reconstructions (as used by IPCC AR4):

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/medieval-warm-period

    There's no question that there was period between AD850 and AD1200 where most of the proxies show some signs of warming, but the different proxies show peaks at different times, indicating that there was no single "event". It's also important to bear in mind that most of this data is for the Northern Hemisphere, so an assumption that there was a global MWP is stretching things a bit far. The most striking feature, though, is the way ALL proxies start to show warming together from around AD1850...... when carbon dioxide levels started to rise.

    Paul

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  • 248. At 8:04pm on 21 Feb 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    How the kyoto scientific consensus happened?
    As I mentioned above, lots of very well meaning people belives in AGW.
    Unfortuanetly my IPCC friend signed this as well
    sigh...

    Found in Telegraph comments section(google climategate emails, to find the complete source)

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100018192/climategate-the-ipcc-is-over-says-uea-climate-scientist/

    "..Climategate email number 0880476729.txt
    This one show a chain letters used to build concensus without giving scientist the ability to contribute to the point of view. It demostrates that only a handful of scientist (11) had a say in deciding what the concensus now used by the politicians actually would be. So it is not true that and informed concensus has been reached thousands of scientist.

    Note that Tom Wigley tried to get them to conduct science in the correct way.

    From: Tom Wigley
    To: (apologies to bbc mods, email addresses removed this time)

    Subject: Re: ATTENTION. Invitation to influence Kyoto.
    Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 11:52:09 -0700 (MST)
    Reply-to: Tom Wigley
    Cc: Mike Hulme , t.mitchell

    Dear Eleven,

    I was very disturbed by your recent letter, and your attempt to get
    others to endorse it. Not only do I disagree with the content of
    this letter, but I also believe that you have severely distorted the
    IPCC “view” when you say that “the latest IPCC assessment makes a
    convincing economic case for immediate control of emissions.” In contrast
    to the one-sided opinion expressed in your letter, IPCC WGIII SAR and TP3
    review the literature and the issues in a balanced way presenting
    arguments in support of both “immediate control” and the spectrum of more
    cost-effective options. It is not IPCC’s role to make “convincing cases”
    for any particular policy option; nor does it. However, most IPCC readers
    would draw the conclusion that the balance of economic evidence favors the
    emissions trajectories given in the WRE paper. This is contrary to your
    statement.

    This is a complex issue, and your misrepresentation of it does you a
    dis-service. To someone like me, who knows the science, it is
    apparent that you are presenting a personal view, not an informed,
    balanced scientific assessment. What is unfortunate is that this will not
    be apparent to the vast majority of scientists you have contacted. In
    issues like this, scientists have an added responsibility to keep their
    personal views separate from the science, and to make it clear to others
    when they diverge from the objectivity they (hopefully) adhere to in their
    scientific research. I think you have failed to do this.

    Your approach of trying to gain scientific credibility for your personal
    views by asking people to endorse your letter is reprehensible....."

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  • 249. At 8:13pm on 21 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mangochutney @ #213

    "So you are saying, if the OLR is unchanged or increased then something other than CO2 has caused the warming?"

    If OLR were to increase in the wavebands relevant to carbon dioxide, then clearly, it could not be acting as a greenhouse gas. However, Harries found precisely the opposite.

    With reference to the paper you cite by Lndzen and Choi, you should check out the following articles, which throw very serious doubts over their findings:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/01/lindzen-and-choi-unraveled/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/01/lc-grl-comments-on-peer-review-and-peer-reviewed-comments/

    You'll also note that Forster & Gregory (2006) looked at essentially the same data and drew totally the opposite conclusions!

    Paul

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  • 250. At 8:20pm on 21 Feb 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Same T Mitchell, that sent out and collated the above:

    "...Although I have yet to see any evidence that climate change is a sign of Christ's imminent return, human pollution is clearly another of the birth pangs of creation, as it eagerly awaits being delivered from the bondage of corruption (Romans. 19-22).

    Tim Mitchell works at the Climactic Research Unit, UEA, Norwich, and is a member of South Park Evangelical Church.

    http://www.e-n.org.uk/p-1129-Climate-change-and-the-Christian.htm

    Even the scientists seem to Believe in AGW, rather than test for it experimentally, like John Haughton, they seem to want to belive that humans are polluting and destroying the earth. if you don't look for the null hypothesis, you may not find the good news that AGW theory, has a miniscule impact when compared to natural processes.
    For an enhanced version of this article, with extra diagrams and links to further information, visit the website: http://www. uea.ac.uk/~f709762/climate/en-article.htm

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  • 251. At 8:24pm on 21 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #247

    Also, if you take a look at the individual references they cite in their "study", they are in many cases reading more into the data than is really there........ not surprising given that they are funded by Exxon Mobil

    So you are saying that 805 individual scientists from 478 separate research institutions in 43 different countries are all funded by Exxon Mobil?

    Go back to your website and list each individual that has received there share of the few million dollars to "deny" global warming. Let's see a few million dollars divided by 800 = virtually nothing (and that excludes the rest of us who are apparently funded by ExxonMobil!). Now list the number of pro-AGW scientists who have received funding from the several billion dollars provided by government and look at the difference.

    When you have finished that, try looking at the data and not the funding. If you are able to show how the data is wrong, fair enough, but until then, you really should look at how stupid your ExxomMobil funding deniers statement really is.

    You guys need to stop being so paranoid

    >mango

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  • 252. At 8:30pm on 21 Feb 2010, Shadorne wrote:

    I see some discussions on radiative physics above.

    FWIW: I would recommend this book

    http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookdescription.cws_home/675302/description#description

    If you can grasp undergraduate level physics then you'll find this pretty easy stuff. Radiative physics is simple although atmospherics physics is complicated by things like clouds, convection, wind, ocean currents, hydro-geologic cycle etc (lots of feedbacks and modifications to simple radiative theories) - most of which we do not understand well enough to model and which is why we do NOT yet have a clue about the actual impact of man-made CO2 (all we know is that it is very much on the low side of the IPCC predictions and may actually be insignificant).


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  • 253. At 8:40pm on 21 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #249

    The point is, Paul, the OLR hasn't changed, which negates what you said about OLR would decrease because CO2 would absorb more.

    Have you actually read the paper, because I have. Harries compared 2 points using data from 2 different sources over 2 different time periods, so of course it could be different.

    /mango

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  • 254. At 8:46pm on 21 Feb 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Of course if you get students with a geography degree to write the HADCRUT code...?

    What do you get (see for yourselves in in Harry_read_me.txt)

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/~timm/personal/index.html

    Tim Mitchell:
    "At Oxford University I read geography (1994-1997, School of Geography). My college was Christ Church. At Oxford I developed a special interest in the study of climate change.

    In 1997 I moved to Norwich to carry out the research for a PhD at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia. My subject was the development of climate scenarios for subsequent use by researchers investigating the impacts of climate change. I was supervised by Mike Hulme and by John Mitchell (Hadley Centre of the UK Meteorological Office). The PhD was awarded in April 2001."

    CRU provides one of three datasets (Hadcru) for OTHER researchers:
    (we have since seen that the 3 are more interlinked than previously thought)

    Tim Mitchell:
    "An important part of my work is to develop climate data-sets. My intention is that these data-sets will then be used by researchers investigating the impacts of climate change. Here I provide access to these data-sets."

    CRU TS 1.2 10′ Europe 1901-2000 time-series pre, tmp, dtr, vap, cld MITCHELL et al, 2003 this site

    CRU TS 2.0 0.5° globe 1901-2000 time-series pre, tmp, dtr, vap, cld MITCHELL et al, 2003 this site

    (full list see the links)
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/~timm/data/index.html
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/~timm/data/index-table.html

    There are three centres which calculate global-average temperature each
    month.

    link: [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    •Met Office, in collaboration with the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UK)

    •Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which is part of NASA (USA)

    •National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (USA)”

    Tim Mitchell again:
    www.cru.uea.ac.uk/~timm/research/index.html

    I imagine an audit of the software development processes would be interesting to see.

    If you're going to do good science, release the computer code too:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/feb/05/science-climate-emails-code-release

    Steve Mosher sums it up:
    “So, I take a hard hard line on this.
    If you dont freely release your data and freely release your code
    in all cases then I am not rationally bound toeven consider your claims.
    You haven't produced science, you've just advertised it.
    The real science, is not the paper describing the data, its not the words
    describing the algorithm. the real science is the data AS YOU USED IT
    and the code AS YOU RAN IT.

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  • 255. At 8:51pm on 21 Feb 2010, tiredocra9 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 256. At 9:30pm on 21 Feb 2010, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Jr4412 at #232 says (to mango):-

    ‘…but you have not told us what your thoughts are as to why those bridges failed to form…..’

    Quite so jr.

    Nor did mango (or peter317) address the idea that the earth’s axial precession, while a global mechanism, can produce climate anomalies between the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

    Mango merely pointed out the reference, referring to Milankovitch cycles, was from Wikipedia (he did n’t tell us his thoughts on the actual mechanism or its effects on climate) and peter317 chose to ignore, altogether, the hemispheric climate anomaly that this particular mechanism causes.

    It seems it’s a question from ‘sceptics’, followed by an answer from the science, followed by yet more questions from ‘sceptics’, at all times, carefully ignoring the answers supplied or giving us their thoughts on those answers.

    You have to hand it to them. It’s a very clever mechanism they have established.

    Yet ultimately pointless.

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  • 257. At 9:41pm on 21 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mangochutney @ #253,

    "So you are saying that 805 individual scientists from 478 separate research institutions in 43 different countries are all funded by Exxon Mobil?"

    No, not at all. It is the people at CO2 science, funded by Exxon Mobil, who are putting their own spin on the real science undertaken by 805 individual scientists from 478 separate research institutions - you should not assume that just because the literature is listed there the authors actually agree with the way it is being used!

    Paul

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  • 258. At 9:49pm on 21 Feb 2010, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Barry Woods at #248 says:-

    ‘…Unfortuanetly my IPCC friend signed this as well…’

    He’s still your friend, Barry?. Even though you said your wife had to kick you under the table while you relentlessly interrogated him over dinner, with regard to ‘climate change’.

    You sound a ‘fun’ guy.

    He is a good friend indeed to put up with you.

    Can’t you just keep it light and talk about politics!!?

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  • 259. At 9:58pm on 21 Feb 2010, tiredocra9 wrote:

    hi Richard,
    I wonder what the delay putting my comment on is perhaps a FOI might help with the answers.

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  • 260. At 10:01pm on 21 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mangochutney @ #253

    In fact, if you think about it, you would actually expect the overall OLR to have INCREASED between 1970 and 1997 due to the increased temperature of the Earth.

    Sadly, I can't link directly to the original document as it is a PDF, which is not allowed here. However, if you run a google search for "Harries 2001", you should see the document as the second item. It is the third graph which shows the difference between 1970 and 1997 - for the most part, there is little difference, but there are clear changes in the parts of the spectrum relating to carbon dioxide and methane.

    Paul

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  • 261. At 10:13pm on 21 Feb 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    thinkforyourself #256.

    to be fair, MangoChutneyUKOK replied in #235: "..but i do know that wind and ocean currents are viable options for ice melt as well as rising temperature".

    another thing not mentioned though is pollution, the freezing-point of water does change depending on which impurities (and amounts) are present.

    "It’s a very clever mechanism they have established. Yet ultimately pointless."

    yep, ultimately we all 'kick the bucket', irrespective of our beliefs. ;)

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  • 262. At 10:21pm on 21 Feb 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Paul Briscoe #260.

    "..I can't link directly to the original document as it is a PDF, which is not allowed here."

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 263. At 10:36pm on 21 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Bowmanthebard @ #206,

    "Illiterate" - definition:

    1.unable to read and write: an illiterate group.
    2.having or demonstrating very little or no education.
    3.showing lack of culture, esp. in language and literature.
    4.displaying a marked lack of knowledge in a particular field: He is musically illiterate.

    No, I don't think the article in question falls into any of those categories! Maybe a bit dry, but then it's quite a dry subject.

    Far more relevant is:

    "Factual" - definition:

    1. of or pertaining to facts; concerning facts: factual accuracy.
    2. based on or restricted to facts: a factual report.

    One reason why I used this particular article is because, through covering the history, it showed that for a long time scientists could not agree over the greenhouse effect (mainly because of the now discredited "saturation" argument). This changed when Gilbert Plass took a fresh look at the problem. The point is that the scientific community have come together on this issue - in truth it is a very small number of individuals (who get a disproportionate amount of media coverage) who actually disagree with the science of AGW.

    If you're looking for a slightly "lighter" read with more direct reference to experimentation, try these articles:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument-part-ii/

    What matters is that carbon dioxide IS a greenhouse gas and DOES act as such in the atmosphere.

    I have to say that your attitude towards peer-reviewed literature makes no sense at all....... unless you simply don't want to believe what the real science is telling you.

    The peer-review process is not perfect, but it does prevent spurious pseudo science from being given a status it does not deserve. I guess that if you work on the principle that the entire scientific community is in cahoots over AGW (as some blogs suggest) then the peer-review process might prevent proper scientific debate, but if you have any genuine evidence of that, then you should produce it.

    Paul

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  • 264. At 10:38pm on 21 Feb 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    #262.

    ok, sorry mod's (and Paul, please ignore).

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  • 265. At 10:48pm on 21 Feb 2010, tiredocra9 wrote:

    Richard and moderators,i have read the house rules regarding comments and cannot see anything which would require lengthy moderation,is there a problem with what i asked?

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  • 266. At 10:56pm on 21 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #263 Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "I guess that if you work on the principle that the entire scientific community is in cahoots over AGW"

    I have yet to met a physicist or biologist -- or philosopher, by the way, although that's by the way -- who counts AGW promoters as fellow scientists. They feel the same way about psychologists, who also tag along with real scientists in the hope of getting a bit of reflected glory. AGW promoters want to be part of the "scientific community", but you can tell they're losers and outsiders from the fact that they use the term "scientific ccommunity"!

    Science just isn't a matter of reading your holy scriptures. It's a matter of wonder and questioning and explanation and bold conjectures -- and scepticism, not plodding peer review. That's for humanities types.

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  • 267. At 11:04pm on 21 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 268. At 11:16pm on 21 Feb 2010, xtragrumpymike2 wrote:

    58. At 2:50pm on 19 Feb 2010, davblo wrote:

    evidence: ....37
    no evidence: ..8
    AGW: .........15

    I'm having trouble finding a single word which is mentioned less than...
    ..de Boer

    Since then I have only seen his name mentioned ONCE. By Simon-Swede.

    I think that if Richard were to write an article about the reproductivity of rabbits, someone (I could guess at a few names) would find an excuse to turn it into the same old same old.

    I've just been away for three most enjoyable days, signed in to see if there was anything new but it's the same old faces pushing out the same old tired cliches, usually attached to some absurd, extravagant claim that they refuse to justify.

    While away, Manysummits might be interested to hear, I was fortunate to listen to an interview here in New Zealand with Dr. David Suzuki.

    I certainly would put more "faith" in him than Lord Monckton.But then I guess it's each to his own.

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  • 269. At 11:17pm on 21 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @tiredocra9

    Sympathies. It's happened to all of us.

    When a comment gets referred to the moderators without being displayed first it means they want a moderator with more expertise to look at it. You will probably have to wait until some time on Monday during the working day.

    If you know of a reason why they might want it OKed by a moderator with more responsibility perhaps you might have a go at rewording it.

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  • 270. At 11:49pm on 21 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Bowmanthebard @ #266

    "I have yet to met a physicist or biologist -- or philosopher, by the way, although that's by the way -- who counts AGW promoters as fellow scientists. They feel the same way about psychologists, who also tag along with real scientists in the hope of getting a bit of reflected glory. AGW promoters want to be part of the "scientific community", but you can tell they're losers and outsiders from the fact that they use the term "scientific ccommunity"!

    Science just isn't a matter of reading your holy scriptures. It's a matter of wonder and questioning and explanation and bold conjectures -- and scepticism, not plodding peer review. That's for humanities types."

    Interestingly enough, my degree was biology-based, although my PhD was more a mixture of chemistry and ecology.

    Your statement above clearly has no foundation in fact. If you look at the thousands of individuals who have contributed to the science of AGW, they come from lots of different disciplines...... all clearly scientific. In fact, it is increasingly the case that sceptics are not scientists, because most scientists have now concluded that AGW is a real phenomenon.

    Consider the following petition, which is like a who's who of UK scientists:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6950783.ece

    If you've read my other posts, you'll know that even the scientists of the Global Climate Coalition, which used such dubious tactics in campaigning against AGW, said that the science could not be refuted.

    It is the sceptics, many of whom are funded by coal, energy, mining and oil industry money, who are putting out bad science. They complain about the peer-review process because their own arguments cannot withstand close scientific scrutiny.

    Paul

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  • 271. At 11:59pm on 21 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #260
    @MangoChutneyUKOK #253
    @jr4412
    (@myself #267)

    Note to moderators - you should not need "obscure software" for this link to work
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 272. At 01:45am on 22 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #270
    (@bowmanthebard)

    That petition is an embarrassment. It illustrates the accidental intimidation that genuine sceptics have been subjected to.

    "One scientist told The Times he felt under pressure to sign. “The Met Office is a major employer of scientists and has long had a policy of only appointing and working with those who subscribe to their views on man-made global warming,” he said.

    Professor Slingo denied that the Met Office had put anyone under pressure. “The response has been absolutely spontaneous. As a scientist you sign things you agree with, not because you are worried about what the Met Office might think of you,” she said."


    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6951029.ece

    This is a better link. It covers the results of opinion polls amongst individual scientists, and a survey of the peer reviewed literature.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11654-climate-myths-many-leading-scientists-question-climate-change.html

    Note, the opinion polls predate Climategate. Also the survey of peer reviewed literature has been affected by the peer review controversy associated with Climategate.

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  • 273. At 03:28am on 22 Feb 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To extragrumpymike #268 re David Suzuki:

    Glad you got to hear him.

    I've seen Dr. Suzuki in person, and being a Canadian, literally grew up with him.

    You asked on the last blog how I make my evaluations.

    I like to get to know the scientist, as best as I can. Without personal contact, the next best thing is reading books written by the person in question. I don't think you can write without revealing much about yourself, which is probably what keeps so many people away from writing, including here on this weblog.

    Videos & television help, for example Richard Alley's recent presentation to the American Geophysical Union, linked to repeatedly these last few threads.

    Also - time.

    For example, when Stephen Gould was alive, I followed his thinking through his books and magazine articles, and found him much to my liking.

    Same with Peter Ward, the paleontologist. I literally read his books as he went from middle age to shall we say fully mature status.

    Most emphatically I am not looking for perfection in these figures, quite the opposite. Humanity is what I value most, and a basic integrity and honesty, coupled with a sense of humor.

    Carl Sagan and Jacques Cousteau for example, though Jacques was not himself a scientist in the conventional sense.

    For myself, I have always been an adventurer first, and a geologist a distant second. Astronomy and space exploration always fascinated. NASA is a magic name for me, and I have visited Cornell University, just to see where Carl Sagan worked and lived, and Los Alamos, where the Bomb was made. You may remember the name Gilbert Plass from this thread and I think the last, in relation to CO2. When I was at McGill University in 1970, in my third year, I took an oceanography class, and Gilbert Plass's 1959 Scientific American article "Carbon Dioxide and Climate" was required reading. I have this offprint in the binder before me, and just recently was able to add the 1956 article by Dr. Plass, as American Scientist reprinted "Carbon Dioxide and the Climate" in their Jan/Feb/2010 issue. This resides in that same binder of mine, right beside the 1959 article. Gilbert Plass worked on The Bomb as well. This man, and scientists like Carl Sagan and James Hansen etc., are really really good. To the uninitiated, it is hard to convey this. Since the Olympics is on in Vancouver, perhaps likening them to the Olympic athletes of science will help.

    Finally, though a free spirit I am often considered, I have been in love with science since a lad, possibly because of all knowledge and ways of thinking, I have always found science the truest way to knowledge of the natural world. A good hunter or fisherman is a scientist at heart, ergo, there is no conflict in being an avid and dedicated outdoorsman and thinking like a scientist.

    I'm not sure if that helps? I suppose I've left out my own natural abilities in science. That is a subject that would quickly lead to cries of 'ego.' Nevertheless, having been in on, if only as an interested observer, some of the big revolutions in science in my time, such as continental drift, major bolide impacts, and a few others of lesser note, I find myself, quite curiously, always on the right side of the argument, when the topic is more or less decided years later. This gives me some confidence in the current subject, climate science and limits to growth.

    To me it is absurdly obvious that AGW is not only real but its consequences apocalyptic, but it would take a lifetime to discuss this, quite literally.

    Just as we are in effect wholly dependent on the few crops we domesticated at the beginning of the Holocene, we are now more or less wholly dependent on the skilled work and dedication of those few great scientists who actually do understand in a quantitaive sense the current situation.

    I want to bring them together and have them speak directly to us, the world's citizens, warts and all.

    Surely that is asking a lot, but as the Bible says, somewhere:

    "Ask and thou shalt receive."

    - Manysummits -

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  • 274. At 06:16am on 22 Feb 2010, poitsplace wrote:

    @thinkforyourself #256 who wrote...

    "It seems it’s a question from ‘sceptics’, followed by an answer from the science, followed by yet more questions from ‘sceptics’, at all times, carefully ignoring the answers supplied or giving us their thoughts on those answers.

    You have to hand it to them. It’s a very clever mechanism they have established. "


    The problem is that the answers we keep getting are not in any way scientific answers...and they are essentially the same answers. We ask for evidence and they say CO2 went up and temperature went up. We point out that temperatures started rising before there was a significant CO2 increase...and they point to melting glaciers as if this was different evidence (its at best, a proxy of temperature going up). We ask again and they point to melting sea ice. It seems that in the "new" science, correlation IS causation.
    -----------------------

    @Paul Briscoe #257 who wrote...
    "you should not assume that just because the literature is listed there the authors actually agree with the way it is being used!"

    Actually, this was a common problem at the IPCC. Quite a few scientists left the IPCC but their names were then kept on the report that they strongly disagreed with. Quite a few of them left because of the very errors being re-exposed today.

    and in #263 wrote...
    "The peer-review process is not perfect, but it does prevent spurious pseudo science from being given a status it does not deserve. I guess that if you work on the principle that the entire scientific community is in cahoots over AGW (as some blogs suggest) then the peer-review process might prevent proper scientific debate, but if you have any genuine evidence of that, then you should produce it."

    Actually, there were a LOT of people that were outraged by the content of the emails. To real scientists the UEA emails show a clear bias and manipulation of the system to force whatever their agenda might be...which in this case is AGW. Also, the requirement by those corrupt scientists that all criticisms be "peer reviewed" is a new thing. The entire point of "peer review" is to throw a hypothesis out there to be torn to pieces by critics...so the only thing left is what works. Requiring that the criticisms are themselves peer reviewed means your work is initially bulletproof.

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  • 275. At 07:53am on 22 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #270 Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "The peer-review process is not perfect, but it does prevent spurious pseudo science from being given a status it does not deserve."

    I think our difference is really the ancient one of relativism versus realism. I'll try to explain why.

    Peer-review among practitioners of homeopathy would not make homeopathy a genuine science. Peer review among phrenologists would make phrenology a genuine science. Peer review among psychologists does not make psychology a genuine science.

    Why not? The possibility that the peers who are doing the reviewing are not themselves judges of what is or isn't good science is such a glaring, obvious possibility that you simply cannot have missed it.

    For that reason, I'm inclined to think that our difference goes much deeper, and involves your acceptance of, and my rejection of, a form of relativism. A relativist is someone who thinks truth is determined by agreement. For example, Plato wrote his deepest dialogue (Thaeatetus) in opposition to Protagoras's claim that "Man is the measure of all things". The fact that that sentence is still widely quoted approvingly shows that relativism is still going strong, in all areas of life. For example, a moral relativist is someone who think it is right to do whatever people agree is right. I would accuse you of being a scientific relativist -- someone who thinks that science is whatever people agree is science.

    I'm instead with WV Quine, who defined science simply as "the judicious application of logic". Now, of course, we have to answer the question of which applications of logic are or are not "judicious"! But at least I'm having a decent stab at it.

    I agree that pseudo-science is a terrible problem -- in fact I think it's the problem of our "post-religious age". But I do not agree with your suggestion that in effect it should be censored.

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  • 276. At 08:00am on 22 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #274 poitsplace wrote:

    "It seems that in the "new" science, correlation IS causation."

    Of course, it's worth bearing in mind that there are few decisive ways of telling when a correlation is a mere correlation rather than causation, and Hume argued that at root causation just is perfect correlation.

    One dead giveaway that CO2 is not the cause of rising temperatures would be clear evidence that temperatures rise after CO2 levels rise. Many say we have that evidence already. But then we are confonted with the reverse problem of deciding whether rising temperatures are the cause of rising CO2, or a mere correlation.

    In general, correlations are not very good evidence for anything compared with genuine tests -- i.e. observational predictions are made and later checked to see if they turn out to be true.

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  • 277. At 08:19am on 22 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #257

    No, not at all. It is the people at CO2 science, funded by Exxon Mobil, who are putting their own spin on the real science undertaken by 805 individual scientists from 478 separate research institutions

    So you're saying, because CO2 Science received a £100K over 10 years, the data provided, by whatever means, by 805 scientists from 478 research institutions is incorrect?

    Ah, no, you say spin. Really? The data is presented for others to rip apart. that's not spin, Paul

    And what does that say about the lavish funding of pro-AGW scientists?

    xtragrumpymike2 really doesn't like people playing the man

    /mango

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  • 278. At 08:28am on 22 Feb 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Bowman at #276

    "observational predictions are made and later checked to see if they turn out to be true."

    And if your prediction was that X will occur if Y, your 'truth' may be nothing more than "yes, there is apparent correlation between X and Y".

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  • 279. At 08:32am on 22 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #260

    Sadly, I can't link directly to the original document as it is a PDF, which is not allowed here.

    I've already read the paper, Paul, and asked if you'r read it.

    As i said "Harries compared 2 points using data from 2 different sources over 2 different time periods, so of course it could be different."

    @JaneBasingstoke

    Thanks Jane, I have access to many of the papers at work, so it's not a problem - i've read it

    /mango

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  • 280. At 09:16am on 22 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @seasambo #59

    Got around to watching that vid. Very interesting- i immediatley warmed to the chap- i've worked with a few people startliningly similar (in mannerisms) to him.

    Enjoyed the vid, and can see the reason you posted it. I'm still not 100% convinced, BUT i need to go do a bit more research as it raised a few interesting questions/points on my 'co2 lag's behind temp' point, that i'm not as clued up on as i could be.

    Cheers for the post.

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  • 281. At 10:18am on 22 Feb 2010, seasambo wrote:

    Labmunkey
    Im glad you liked the video...Keep diggin into the research as it is all there to back up what he says.
    You will also like the work of James Lovelock particularly "The Revenge of Gaia". Lovelock is a well respected scientist who investigated the possibility of life on Mars for NASA back in the 50s and 60s. He came up with Gaia Theory and also invested the Electron Capture Detector used in Gas Chromatographs.
    Also, New Scientist recently published this article on gases which both cool and warm our atmosphere. I think it highlights the balance that climate scientists such as Jim Hansen and Lovelock aspire to as well as how complex the situation is:
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20527481.400-smoke-bomb-the-other-climate-culprits.html

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  • 282. At 11:14am on 22 Feb 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    The New York Times also has an editorial concerning the departure of Mr de Boer.

    See: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/22/opinion/22mon1.html?ref=global

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  • 283. At 11:31am on 22 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    bowmanthebard #276: "observational predictions are made and later checked to see if they turn out to be true."

    simon-swede #278: "And if your prediction was that X will occur if Y, your 'truth' may be nothing more than "yes, there is apparent correlation between X and Y".

    I'm uneasy about your use of the word 'truth' above, especially when it appears between inverted commas! So first, let's be clear about a crucial distinction between truth and certainty. For illustration, the claim that "the highest mountain on Venus is higher than Everest" is something I haven't a clue about. Yet it is either true or false. If we pretend it is true for a moment, then that it is a claim for which we have no certainty at all, yet it is true.

    So obviously there's a clear difference between truth and certainty. Science never, ever gives us certainty. But science does sometimes yield truths. I have been suggesting that the best way to get truths is via the hypothetico-deductive method. But I have never claimed that we can identify for certain which of our findings is a truth.

    If a hypothesis passes a genuine test, it gets over a "hurdle". Depending on the "height" or difficulty of getting over the hurdle, we have a better reason for thinking it is true, because it would be an "amazing coincidence" -- or at least good luck -- for it to be false yet for it still to have made it over the hurdle.

    By contrast, if a hypothesis is simply made up specifically to fit some "data" that record a correlation, the hypothesis will simply parrot that correlation, with the added risk that now it will be interpreted as a causal law.

    That sort of thing happens all the time in psychology, the pseudoscience par excellence that relies on inductivist methods. Typically, a psychologist gives some students a questionnaire to fill out, which duly records a correlation in, say, preferred waist-to-hip ratios. The next day it is presented as a new "psychological law" as if it had some sort of deep explanatory significance.

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  • 284. At 11:54am on 22 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    From the NY Times:

    "deepened a sense of pessimism about whether the world can ever get its act together on global warming"

    Even I am surprised by that apparent inability of the establishment to even consider the possibility that we should not take action on climate change.

    Humanity is in the grip of the worst outbreak of conformism since the 1930s.

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  • 285. At 11:59am on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Jane @ #272

    Fair point regarding the Times petition, although there's surely no evidence that the majority of signatories felt coerced into doing so.

    As I'm sure you're aware, Bowmanthebard was suggesting that Climate Scientists are not real scientists. I was merely pointing out that an awful lot of what he considers to be "real" scientists do agree with AGW.

    Paul

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  • 286. At 12:32pm on 22 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #285

    Agreed.

    Also I don't think that the scientific community will have reacted to some of the revelations the same way as the general public, the scientific community as a whole will always have picked up on the nuances of the statements by the scientists and have had problems with the way some politicians have glossed over the uncertainty.

    However, given the recent revelations, it would be interesting to see the results of new polls.

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  • 287. At 12:36pm on 22 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #285 Paul Briscoe wrote:

    'bowmanthebard was suggesting that Climate Scientists are not real scientists. I was merely pointing out that an awful lot of what he considers to be "real" scientists do agree with AGW.'

    My main point is that the methods of climate science methods are not properly scientific. You don't think petitions are going to persuade me of anything different, do you?

    If so, I think you mustn't "get it" in a really fundamental way. Hint: to persuade me otherwise, you would have to engage with my oft-stated problem of inductivism. Look at the methods of the so-called science itself rather just telling me what the majority think.

    No amount conformism, or appeals to authority, or appeals to majority opinion will do anything for me, because I simply don't judge things to be properly scientific on those criteria. I strongly recommend that no one else does either.

    I did say at one point that all of the scientists I know personally think AGW is unscientific too. But I accept I probably mix with a small and unusual set, as most of them would be interested in philosophy of science as well as just "white coats and clipboards"!

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  • 288. At 12:46pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Poitsplace @ #274

    "Quite a few scientists left the IPCC but their names were then kept on the report that they strongly disagreed with. Quite a few of them left because of the very errors being re-exposed today."

    In fact, the overwhelming majority of scientists whose work is cited by the IPCC have no direct links to it. Yes, there have been a few scientists who have become disillusioned with the IPCC's presentation of the science (and I personally would tend to agree with them), but that does NOT mean that the IPCC is actually misrepresenting their work in the preparation of its reports. As far as I'm aware, even scientists who believe the IPCC should be reformed do not disagree with the basic science as presented in WG1 of AR4. If you have examples, I'd be interested to know who they are.

    "Actually, there were a LOT of people that were outraged by the content of the emails. To real scientists the UEA emails show a clear bias and manipulation of the system to force whatever their agenda might be...which in this case is AGW. Also, the requirement by those corrupt scientists that all criticisms be "peer reviewed" is a new thing. The entire point of "peer review" is to throw a hypothesis out there to be torn to pieces by critics...so the only thing left is what works. Requiring that the criticisms are themselves peer reviewed means your work is initially bulletproof."

    What you, like most people looking at these emails, are failing to do is consider them in full context. Of course, from the sceptic's perspective all of the emails are bound to part of a conspiracy. However, there is a far greater conspiracy going on here, which I've mentioned above. You probably will not agree, but it's absolutely clear to me that the bulk of arguments being put forwards by sceptics are utter nonsense...... indeed many of them are clearly manufactured. You'll find many of them here:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11462-climate-change-a-guide-for-the-perplexed.html

    ....... but there are more. There is undoubtedly a well-organised machine, funded by the oil industry, pulling the strings behind the scenes and constantly trying to discredit the science (which its own scientists told it could not be refuted). I've linked to this before:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/science/earth/24deny.html?_r=3&emc=eta1

    .... but you should also take a look at this:

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/the-denial-machine

    The point is that climate scientists are becoming increasingly angry and frustrated at constantly having to defend themselves against bogus scientific arguments put forwards by people whose only real aim is to avoid controls over the burning of fossil fuels.

    There are obvious examples of the way sceptics have quite deliberately misrepresented raw data to give the impression that scientists are fiddling it. In this context, their comments in their PRIVATE emails are hardly surprising.

    Just to be clear, I believe it was a mistake for the UEA scientists to withold data, because it was inevitable that sceptics would claim they had something to hide. In my view it would have been far better to let the sceptics misrepresent it and then expose them for what they really are!

    Finally, take a look at this independent evaluation of the "Climategate" email "scandal". The scientists don't get off without any criticism, but this balanced article puts the affair in a more sensible perspective than most others I've seen:

    http://www.aolnews.com/science/article/report-says-hacked-e-mails-dont-disprove-climate-change/19276482

    Paul

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  • 289. At 1:06pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Bowmanthebard @ #275,

    I think we may have to agree to differ over this one, as I can find little common ground with your assertions.

    In fact, there are a lot of similarities between climate science and the ecology of natural systems that I studied at university. There are also a lot of parallels with medical science. It may not be "black and white" enough for a mathematician (I think you said that!) such as yourself, but it is no less a science. Climate science is also, like ecosystems, extremely complex, with high internal variability and lots of inter-related processes operating side by side....... with feedbacks etc.. This makes interpretation of any trends very difficult and any conclusions will always have an element of doubt about them. Sceptics are deliberately exploiting this........ just as they did with the science linking smoking to cancer.

    The key point is that you really need to be a climate scientist in order to fully understand it and in order to properly review scientific literature. Yet most of the sceptics are NOT climate scientists (97% of climate scientists agree with AGW) and many sceptic arguments are clearly part of a malicious campaign rather than any genuine attempt at proper constructive scientific debate.

    Sure, a sceptic is bound to argue that peer-review could lead to surpression of other views, but the comments in the emails do not show that this has happened in practice...... they're just wishes in private amongst colleagues.

    Paul

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  • 290. At 1:14pm on 22 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #288 Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "I believe it was a mistake for the UEA scientists to withold data, because it was inevitable that sceptics would claim they had something to hide."

    A mighty gulf yawns between us, if that is indeed your reason for thinking it was a mistake to withhold data.

    Your reason for not withholding data seems to be political expediency. And you seem bizarrely unashamed of that -- not unlike many at the CRU.

    I suggest you (and they) give a bit of thought to the role of criticism in the growth of knowledge. When an idea is subject to scrutiny and questioning and all that, defenders of the idea generally try to accomodate criticism by correcting the idea, or discarding it, and/or by coming up with a new idea. By many such small steps of open public debate does our understanding of the world move forwards.

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  • 291. At 1:17pm on 22 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #260
    @MangoChutneyUKOK #253
    @jr4412
    (@myself #267)
    (@myself #271)

    Note to moderators,
    there is no explicit ban on all PDF links,
    there is only a ban on normal PDF links that need "obscure software"
    the recent re-wording of the house rules does not even mention PDFs
    (I am assuming that Adobe Reader is being classified as "obscure software")
    my PDF link is via the Google website
    my PDF link should not need Adobe Reader
    my PDF link should not need "software installed to view" it
    my PDF link should not need "obscure software"
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #279

    There is a principle involved.

    The problem with PDF links has been rumbling on for some time. It has caused unnecessary friction with the moderators, who are just trying to do their job.

    Now the Google site has a technical solution to the problem, and I would like to see that solution used.

    Make life more pleasant for everyone involved.

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  • 292. At 1:19pm on 22 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @288.

    i think, there is a huge difference in the argumental techniquoes of both sides. Both sides are accused (and guilty) of 'political' tricks, both sides have put forward shoddy science, but it still doesn't change the fact that there are very serious concearns surrounding the CRU and the IPCC- even if we completely divorce those issues from the scientific discussion.

    The cru have comitted fraud and behaved illegally- both proven.
    The IPCC is facing fraud charges and has failed it's own charter.

    Now, even if the science were not in question, these would warrant thorough investigation (the uk govs current investigation can not be called anything close to thorough). If you cannot see that then i would suggest you are not in any way impartial and therefore being blinded by your beliefs.

    As for the oil funding argument,. it's tired and old. the AGW side by FAR has the larger real, and prospective funds available. by orders of magnitude. So i'd drop that line if i were you.

    If we can cut through all the 'noise' there is actually a very interesting and important debate here, it serves us all to get to the bottom of it with as little name calling, accusation throwing and mud slinging as possible- regardless of the outcome.

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  • 293. At 1:21pm on 22 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8525879.stm

    and as if any further proof of my poin in 292 were needed.

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  • 294. At 1:52pm on 22 Feb 2010, tiredocra9 wrote:

    Richard,as the mod's deem my post at 255 to be a breach of copyright I will re word it..
    Were you the enviroment correspondant who attended the training session on 26/27 march 2007 for the Al Gore training initative at Cambridge University? along with the BBC Director of Global news,at which the stated rationale was to inspire senior leaders across the uk who share a common lanquage to take action not just individually but collectively to become a significant force in their respective communities,if so was there a cost to the licence payers directly or indirectly as a result, could you also confirm if it was you did either or both of you became members of the Alumni as a result.
    I note also that the BBC director of enviromentally sustainable productions and news was listed to attended a seminar entitled the Climate Leadership programme recently run by Cambridge University whos costs were advertised as being £3950 and that after atending such a seminar states that "you will join an international community of Climate Leadership programme alumni".
    Do you believe that attendance at these sort of events allows for unbiased reporting of the AGW debate within the BBC.

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  • 295. At 2:01pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mangochutney @ #277

    "Ah, no, you say spin. Really? The data is presented for others to rip apart. that's not spin, Paul"

    The point is that the references are listed in a way that GIVES THE IMPRESSION that the scientists in question support the CO2 Science study. However, if you go and look at the individual references they might make a vague reference to a warm period without being at all precise as to when it happened. CO2 Science has given no explanation as to how it turms such vague statements into "data"! I'm far from the only person who believes that CO2 Science is spinning far more from other peoples' data than was ever there..... and given the major funding source, that is hardly surprising.

    "And what does that say about the lavish funding of pro-AGW scientists?"

    In fact, the overwhelming majority of scientists working on AGW do so without the "lavish funding" you mention. Indeed, they give up lucrative commercial contracts in order to continue their AGW work.

    Paul

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  • 296. At 2:18pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mangochutney @ #279

    I fully understand the point you're making, but it is the change in the spectrum over time that is important here.

    Surely, the whole point of this paper is that it compares 2 "snapshots" taken above the same part of the Earth (the Pacific) 27 years apart. We know that in 1997 the global temperature, carbon dioxide and methane levels are all higher. Comparing the spectrum from 1970 and 1997, the overall OLR was certainly very similar and the spectrum was pretty well identical except for the wavelenghts specifically absorbed by carbon dioxide and methane, where there was a clear reduction.

    Clearly, you cannot hope to calculate any forcing from this, but it does provide strong circumstantial evidence that carbon dioxide and methane are acting as greenhouse gases in practice. If there is another scientific explanation for this, I'd be interested to know what it is.

    When taken alongside previous lab experiments, this is significant and represents another piece of the jigsaw.

    Paul

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  • 297. At 2:20pm on 22 Feb 2010, Kev wrote:

    Is Greenpeace and some of the other environmental movements Evil?

    I don't believe so, but ask yourself this question, if the IRA or Al-Qaeda were to break in and sabotage a vital UK utility, would we do nothing and just except their right to protest?

    Or would we send in armed police to shoot them dead?

    I suspect the latter, and yet environmentalist do this all the time and get away with little more than a police caution!!

    How does that work?

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  • 298. At 2:26pm on 22 Feb 2010, seasambo wrote:

    The more I think about this debate (well..in my opinion its not a debate but heyho)..the more I think the real issue is politics not science.
    Whether you like it or not, there is scientific evidence and theory that supports the AGW hypothesis but there is not nearly enough evidence to support a solely natural cause of recent warming. Being a sceptic and saying its not your job to provide the evidence of a natural cause is just lazy, bonkers and completely non-scientific argument.
    Politics is clearly based on opinion and is completely unfounded by evidence. Heres three examples, the education secretary completely ignoring scientific evidence that children should not begin on a curiculum until six years old (Sweden and Germany follow this education and i dare say their education is better than ours). The home secretary completely ignored the scientific advice on cannabis, and decided that it should be class B rather than class C. And of course Tony Blair went to war without any evidence at all.
    What bugs me the most is that all our decisions are apparently based on MPs and PMs decisions which follow there own opinion and occassionaly go against evidence. This cannot however be said for climate change although i expect there are many related policies that are not working and need to be changed such as carbon credits and offsetting.
    I believe that politicians have made an appalling mess of conveying the science of climate change to the public and now scientists are trying to pick up the pieces. If we really want to change the world we should have educated and experienced people in power who know what they are talking about. Apparently most of the maths teachers today weren't very good at maths at school!!!!
    I know this is slightly off topic but of seriously go the humph with MPs!!!

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  • 299. At 2:26pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    LabMunkey #292

    "The IPCC is facing fraud charges and has failed it's own charter."

    What charges? Being bought by whom? Please be specific.

    As a matter of interest, exactly how many genuine errors would you allow there to be in a document the size of the IPCC's last report? Because you surely can't seriously think that a document with that size and scope could be produced with no errors at all

    In fact the entire document has been scoured for months by selective sceptics looking for inconsistencies and evidence of 'fraud' and as far as I can see they've come up with almost nothing. I think in most people's eyes that would render it quite robust. Its only the relentless spinning of one or two specific errors that has managed to create public mistrust of the process

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  • 300. At 2:29pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    LabMunkey #292

    "The cru have committed fraud and behaved illegally- both proven"

    What fraud? How proven? Again, please be specific.

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  • 301. At 2:31pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Bowmanthebard @ #290

    "A mighty gulf yawns between us, if that is indeed your reason for thinking it was a mistake to withhold data."


    No, I wasn't actually meaning that was the only reason that scientists should feel obliged to make data available. Indeed, as a scientist myself I believe it's important to be open and objective. In fact, though, most of the data is already in the public domain and I understand that the remainder, which is not actually owned by the scientists, is to be released.

    "I suggest you (and they) give a bit of thought to the role of criticism in the growth of knowledge."

    There is nothing at all wrong with criticism in science IF it is constructive AND has a sound scientific basis. That is indeed one of the major processes in moving our knowledge forwards. Where you and I disagree is over the soundness of the arguments being put forwards by the sceptics. There is no value at all in a scientific debate where one side are required to stick to genuine scienctific reason whilst the other side use pseudo science that appears convincing to the general public.

    Paul

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  • 302. At 2:39pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    LabMunkey #292

    "As for the oil funding argument,. it's tired and old. the AGW side by FAR has the larger real, and prospective funds available. by orders of magnitude. So i'd drop that line if i were you."

    After oil prices spiked in 2008 Exxon Mibil posted the biggest profits in corporate history. And all the other oil companies were similarly raking it in the back of the poor old consumers who will have nowhere else to turn unless we radically restructure our energy strategies.

    I don't know what are these larger funds available to "the AGW side" that you refer to.
    Do you mean cap and trade? As far as I can see that is a bribe to get carbon emittors onside (so the oild companies win both ways as usual). I don't think 'the AGW side' is especially supportive if it.
    Do you mean research funding? Have you any idea how much the average scientist (in any discipline) gets in compoarison with their peers in industry?


    So tell me about this funding the 'AGW side' stands to get. Because frankly I'd like to get my hands on some of it. Again, please be specific and give sources and references

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  • 303. At 2:42pm on 22 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #295 Paul Briscoe wrote:

    'the overwhelming majority of scientists working on AGW do so without the "lavish funding" you mention. Indeed, they give up lucrative commercial contracts in order to continue their AGW work.'

    I think scientific claims ought to be judged wholly independently of the personal affiliations or funding or moral commitments of the people who make them.

    HOWEVER, it seems that you and others don't. It seems that you judge what a scientist says as if it were testimony, so that his character is relevant in judging its content.

    Given that that is the case, you should be much more troubled by the fact that some scientists are liable to be swayed by their moral commitments than that they receive funding from somewhere. Moral commitments more than any other are likely to "suspend disbelief". A scientist who is morally committed to the truth of his favoured theory will happily ignore, disguise, and manipulate evidence, because he will feel he has "right on his side".

    Personally, I think the corrupt crew at the CRU were in the throes of a "moral crusade" rather than just trying to preserve their own scientific reputations.

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  • 304. At 2:52pm on 22 Feb 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    For those who are intersted in other perspectives, here's one by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General.

    His remarks, “The Road to Mexico: Strategies and Vehicles for successful climate change negotiations 2010”, were given during a workshop on Climate Change organised by the EU and the Spanish EU Presidency. 3 February 2010.

    Contrary to some of the bloggers here: “At the OECD, we believe that it is possible to tackle climate change and grow the economy at the same time.”

    http://www.oecd.org/document/53/0,3343,en_2649_34487_44542133_1_1_1_1,00.html

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  • 305. At 2:56pm on 22 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "Peer-review among practitioners of homeopathy would not make homeopathy a genuine science. Peer review among phrenologists would make phrenology a genuine science. Peer review among psychologists does not make psychology a genuine science.

    Why not? The possibility that the peers who are doing the reviewing are not themselves judges of what is or isn't good science is such a glaring, obvious possibility that you simply cannot have missed it."
    ----------------------------------------------
    Except that homeopathy is not a science. It would be rightfully ripped apart if it tried to enter the genuine scientific arena. Arguments in science must appeal to reason. The same goes for phrenology.

    Climate science, like every other science, work on hypothesis and the mental reasoning to support them must follow a rational, reasonable path. If some part of it is glaringly wrong, it would be picked up very quickly because the assumption is that scientists are clever independent thinkers. The dogma you think exists is extremely limited. A powerful, robust argument supported by emperical evidence is above all else.

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  • 306. At 3:02pm on 22 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "I suggest you (and they) give a bit of thought to the role of criticism in the growth of knowledge. When an idea is subject to scrutiny and questioning and all that, defenders of the idea generally try to accomodate criticism by correcting the idea, or discarding it, and/or by coming up with a new idea. By many such small steps of open public debate does our understanding of the world move forwards."

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    And this is exactly what has always happened, is still happening, and will continue to happen in climate science anyway!

    There are fierce arguments between climate scientists and quite a high level of disagreement on many niche issues. This is *real* criticism within climate science. What's not real is the constant bombardment of quack, pseudo scientific arguments perpetuated by amateur bloggers and an hysterical internet communty. These arguments are a joke - seriously, but because the lay community generally have no knowledge or training in climate science, they buy into it.

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  • 307. At 3:13pm on 22 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #301 Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "There is nothing at all wrong with criticism in science IF it is constructive"

    Oh dear. You think we must never try to show a theory is false?

    "AND has a sound scientific basis."

    Let the authoritiers decide this, as usual, I suppose?

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  • 308. At 3:17pm on 22 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Kev #297

    It's called non-violent protest.

    The protesters sometimes risk their own lives but never the lives or wellbeing of others. Physical damage is minimal, and only applies to some protests. Painting "GORDON" on a power plant chimney and pulling up maize in a field owned by a big agricultural firm are not normally the sort of acts that the general public finds scary.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/7608054.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/404703.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2636431.stm
    http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/about/why-non-violence-absolute-heart-greenpeaces-message-20090430

    And yes when I say they risk their lives I mean it. Some Greenpeace protesters have been the victims of manslaughter.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/november/3/newsid_2538000/2538099.stm

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  • 309. At 3:30pm on 22 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @299
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/23/breaking-news-scientist-admits-ipcc-used-fake-data-to-pressure-policy-makers/

    @300
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7088055/University-scientists-in-climategate-row-hid-data.html

    http://www.climategate.com/climategate-professor-phil-jones-could-face-ten-years-on-fraud-charges/comment-page-1#comment-2114
    ignore the website, it's clearly 'slanted' but the legal perspective is valid. i've had it checked by a lawyer friend. Feel free to do the same.

    @302

    you mean like these for a start for the CRU ~ £13 million since 1990-
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/11/cru_files_betray_climate_alarm.html

    there's also the co2 taxes they stand to get, there's the revenue that will be poured into research, there's the funding available to any scientist who ties his work to AGW. this is listed in the trillions.

    Also, i'd REALLY suggest you look into who else funds the CRU and other co2 research.... it kind of destroys your argument.

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  • 310. At 3:32pm on 22 Feb 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #303.

    "A scientist who is morally committed to the truth of his favoured theory will happily ignore, disguise, and manipulate evidence, because he will feel he has "right on his side"."

    would that apply, for instance, to a scientist who holds the view that community is (#229)"some abstract racist concept"?

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  • 311. At 3:39pm on 22 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @simon-swede #304

    I hope it is possible to tackle AGW and grow the economy at the same time.

    But unfortunately your example bases his argument on carbon trading. He makes four references to "carbon markets" and one to "emissions trading".

    There are big problems with carbon trading. It is difficult to police, has nasty similarities with the derivatives problem that contributed to the current recession, and its only guaranteed benefit is to the carbon trading middlemen in the City.

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  • 312. At 3:41pm on 22 Feb 2010, SR wrote:

    "Given that that is the case, you should be much more troubled by the fact that some scientists are liable to be swayed by their moral commitments than that they receive funding from somewhere. Moral commitments more than any other are likely to "suspend disbelief". A scientist who is morally committed to the truth of his favoured theory will happily ignore, disguise, and manipulate evidence, because he will feel he has "right on his side".

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Why would an extremely intelligent middle aged scientist with expert knowledge in a particular field choose to deliberately commit scientific fraud in order to support a theory they knew was wrong, or at least exaggerated?

    Where would their moral commitment to do this come from? What incentive do they have to do this? Surely, being intelligent, they would know that they would be found out sooner or later. It makes no sense.

    Surely it's far more plausible that these scientists are simply performing their duties to the best of their ability, and their moral commitments to society is far more likely to push them towards TRUTH than falsities. Belief is never suspended, or if it is, you'd come crashing back to reality when someone makes a fool out of your interpretation of scientific data. In science, objectivity is assured by the necessity for the prevailing theory to be the one that makes the most sense in a rational, logical kind of way. If you want to go down the route of accusing scientists of doctoring data, you'll need proof. So far, nobody has been able to prove it and the vast majority of the data is in the public domain anyway...

    Times this by 3000, or however many climate scientists there are in the world and it becomes increasingly unlikely, almost impossible, that there is a deliberate deception going on.

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  • 313. At 3:45pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    Bowman the bard #303

    "Given that that is the case, you should be much more troubled by the fact that some scientists are liable to be swayed by their moral commitments than that they receive funding from somewhere. Moral commitments more than any other are likely to "suspend disbelief". A scientist who is morally committed to the truth of his favoured theory will happily ignore, disguise, and manipulate evidence, because he will feel he has "right on his side"."


    We can't really win, can we, Bowman. Either we're just in it for all that funding or we're in it to produce made up findings that justify some pre-existing moral position (which would be a truly remarkable conspiracy; just think for a moment about the practicalities of impementing something like that).

    You know what I think, Bowman? I think most climate scientists, like most scientists in other disciplines, are in it because they are generally interested in how the world works. Now, if they find out something that appears to present a genuine threat to our complex society, they might feel a moral imperative to alert the rest of us to it. Frankly, I'd be a bit concerned if they didn't do that. But the data comes first and moral positions might be based on the implications of that data. Not the other way around.

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  • 314. At 4:11pm on 22 Feb 2010, Kamboshigh wrote:

    I go away and the AGW crowd try and take over with the same warn out attacks and accusations, and yet again try and defend the indefensible with twisted logic.

    How can Paul or SR possibly defend the practises of people like Jones and Mann when even a 12 year old can see that the science is so corrupted by their behaviour to make it untrust worthy.

    As a scientist Paul you must be discussed with this group who have attacked other scientists/hidden data/cherry picked out of political motivation and financial gain. In short anything not fitting their ideal theory is chucked out.

    I mean lets face it paleoclimatolgy scientists are not exactly going to be pulling the girls down the pub, I mean you count tree rings? Makes Train spotting positively dangerous. It appears they cannot even count the rings properly either as the divergance problem seems to be due to changes in rain fall. What? sorry you are going to tell us that the climate was so solid and predictable 1000 years again that it always rained on Mondays.

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  • 315. At 4:14pm on 22 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #305 SR wrote:

    "Except that homeopathy is not a science."

    That was my whole point: none of the above (homeopathy, phenology, psychology) are sciences in any proper sense of the word.

    I accept that the clarity of what I wrote was badly compromised by my leaving out the word 'not' here:

    "Peer review among phrenologists would make phrenology a genuine science."

    I meant -- I hope it's obvious now -- "Peer review among phrenologists would not make phrenology a genuine science." My overall point being that what makes a science is not who says it is, but what it does.

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  • 316. At 4:21pm on 22 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #301 Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "There is no value at all in a scientific debate where one side are required to stick to genuine scienctific reason whilst the other side use pseudo science that appears convincing to the general public."

    I think there's value in all debate, but even if there were not, I think we'd disagree about which side uses pseudo-science.

    By the way, I have clear criteria for demarkating pseudo-science from genuine science, and I have tried to explain them as clearly as I can here on the blog.

    How do you distinguish pseudo-science from genuine science? I suspect the only answer you will be able to give me is "I appeal to the authorities". Or words to that effect such as "I trust peer review".

    Which sounds like pure pseudo-science to me!

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  • 317. At 4:22pm on 22 Feb 2010, Kamboshigh wrote:

    308 Jane

    Painting chimneys and riping up maize fields are criminal offences punishable with upto 7 years in jail. As Kev says "How do they get away with it?"

    There are actually a large number of eco groups on the terrorist list, and they are as nutty as the rest of them. On that subject I cannot comment, thankfully behind me, drinking beers for the cause and chasing hippes across the countryside.

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  • 318. At 4:22pm on 22 Feb 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    July 1, 2010, Yvo de Boer will step down from his UN post. De Boer resigns just two months after the very disappointing summit in Copenhagen. This ended with a nonbinding accord brokered by President Barack Obama.
    De Boer's successor will be named by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and it’s believed this individual will come from a developing countries.
    As for Yvo de Boer he will become KPMG’s global adviser on climate and sustainability. Mr De Boer will have an international role working with KPMG member firms in advising business, governments and other organizations on sustainability issues.
    KPMG’s Global Head of Advisory, Alan Buckle said: “We are delighted and proud to welcome Yvo De Boer to KPMG. He is bringing with him enormous knowledge and experience of climate change, sustainability and environmental policies. These issues are becoming increasingly important for all organizations – and many business leaders acknowledge that climate will affect the way they do business in the future.”

    You state: “Now that Mr. de Boer has announced his departure from the post of UN climate convention (UNFCCC) executive secretary, you might expect matters to have become somewhat clearer.”
    I answer: No, I’m afraid I don’t expect matters to get somewhat clearer.
    At the last summit, I believe that there was too much hush-hush going on “behind closed doors” - those “closed doors” that developing countries kept asking about, and behind which developed countries were whispering.
    I can’t help but feel that something BIG is going on that some countries are privy to and some are not.
    Yvo de Boer concluded developed and developing worlds do not want to tackle climate change through the UN process.
    The first question is why not through the UN process.
    The next question is: what happens now?

    Questions keep head-aching my brain; so, I'll share them with you:
    If climate change is not seen as a hefty priority by developed nations, what do they know that the rest of us don’t know?
    Are they not unterested in claimate change because they know the KEY factor(s) affecting climate change are manmade (i.e. developed, created, and manufactured by scientitists)?
    Do they have a vested interest in this on-going secrecy until these manmade climate changers have been perfected?
    Was HAARP (as so many have said) responsible for setting off the Haiti earrthquake?
    Has HAARP-SORT-OF-TECHNOLOGY been responsible for tsunamis, avalanches, earthquakes and other weather-like catastrophes?

    The UN is well aware of this new generation of sophisticated weapons.
    Both the Americans and the Russians have developed capability, maybe other countries by now.
    In the US, the technology is called the High-frequency Active Aural Research Program (HAARP); it’s part of the ("Star Wars") Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI). Recent scientific evidence is said to demonstrate that HAARP is fully operational and has the ability of triggering floods, droughts, hurricanes and earthquakes.
    HAARP is a weapon of mass destruction. Should the UN not be asking questions about HAARP systems?
    How come the use of these deliberate climatic manipulations (for military use) is never on the agenda of climate change?
    Are these military technologies that affect the World's climate not an object of concern?
    Zbigniew Brzezinski, 1970: "Technology will make available, to the leaders of major nations, techniques for conducting secret warfare, of which only a bare minimum of the security forces need be appraised... Techniques of weather modification could be employed to produce prolonged periods of drought or storm. "

    Marc Filterman, former French military officer, refers to "weather war," indicating that the U.S. and the Soviet Union had already "mastered the know-how needed to unleash sudden climate changes (hurricanes, drought) in the early 1980s."

    Is “global warming” the red herring for WEATHER-WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION?

    Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) signed at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro:
    "States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction."
    Also an international Convention ratified by the UN General Assembly in 1997 bans "military or other hostile use of environmental modification techniques having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects."
    Both the US and the Soviet Union were signatories to the Convention.
    The Convention defines "environmental modification techniques" as referring to any technique for changing - through the deliberate manipulation of natural processes - the dynamics, composition or structure of the earth, including its biota, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere or of outer space."
    In February 1998, the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, Security and Defense Policy held public hearings in Brussels on the HAARP program. The Committee's "Motion for Resolution" submitted to the European Parliament: "Considers HAARP by virtue of its far-reaching impact on the environment to be a global concern and calls for its legal, ecological and ethical implications to be examined by an international independent body. The Committee regrets the REPEATED REFUSAL OF THE UNITED STATES to give evidence to the public hearing into the environmental and public risks of the HAARP program."
    It’s important (and I hope you will agree with me) to find out how much weather is changing naturally and how much weather is being manufactured.
    If it’s being manufactured, surely there are war crimes here, most recently Haiti.

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  • 319. At 4:36pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Bowmanthebard @ #303 & #307

    I think SR has addressed your points admirably. However, I'd like to take a closer look at this statement:

    "Oh dear. You think we must never try to show a theory is false?"

    I'm interested to know who you consider the "we" to be. If by "we" you mean rational and objective scientists, then I'm quite sure that climate scientists would be only too glad to enter into a constructive debate over any genuine scientific points raised. The problem, though, is that in the case of AGW sceptics "we" usually means people (not necessarily even qualified scientists) who do not WANT to believe in AGW and will use any stick they can to beat the science! In truth, the latter has nothing to do with getting at scientific "truth" and everything to do with distorting public opinion.

    If you have any genuine scientific evidence (as opposed to the nonsense emanating from most internet blogs) that the science of AGW is flawed then I for one would be happy to hear it.

    Paul

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  • 320. At 4:37pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    LabMunkey #309

    I feel like I'm in some kind of hall of mirrors. You point me at websites whose bias, hysteria and, yes, alarmism is precisely the kind of approach of which they are accusing IPCC and CRU.

    The arguments against Phil Jones are all about CRU's failure to respond to FOI requests, technically illegal (maybe) but actually not fraudulent.

    You said in your earlier posting that fraud had been proved against CRU. Witholding data from a vexatious litigant may be against the spirit of FOI but, no, it isn't fraud.

    What I'm asking you to show me is strong evidence of the wholesale manipulation of data to produce some predetermined result.

    Bowman, it just isn't there. That's why the sites you point me at are forced to churn over at interminable length all the ways in which Jones tries to withold his data specifically from Steve McIntyre

    If there was any evidence of actual data manipulation we'd be hearing about it ad nauseum.


    And another thing: £13 million in funding since 1990 for the UK's main climate research unit? I really don't think that's a lot of money. In fact, as its ultimately taxpayer's money, I for one would object if they wasted it dealing with dozens of vexatious FOI requests.

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  • 321. At 4:37pm on 22 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #310 jr4412 wrote:

    'would that apply, for instance, to a scientist who holds the view that community is (#229)"some abstract racist concept"?'

    It might. Lucky for you I'm not a scientist, and lucky again that scientific theories ought to be judged on their own merits and demerits rather than on the character of the people who hold them.

    To return to the question of a "community", communities are generally individuated on the basis of imagined deserts (i.e. what people supposedly deserve as reward or punishment). Since these deserts are mostly determined by ancestry, I stand by my claim that "community" is a hair's breadth away from being a racist denomination. Hence the "Irish community", the "gay community" or as I heard on the BBC World Service the other day, the "doping community" (of athletes who take performance-enhancing drugs)!

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  • 322. At 4:39pm on 22 Feb 2010, seasambo wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke and Simon-Swede
    I think you should read Herman Daly's work on the growth economy and its replacement by a steady-state economy.
    http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/publications.php?id=775
    I think this philosophy fits in with what we know about ecology. No population can continue to grow for ever as it will reach a carrying capacity. The argument over whether the human race has reached that carrying capacity is arguably more heated than global warming but i cant imagine that economic growth can go hand in hand with a solution to global warming since it is to blame for global warming in the first place. Of course we are at the moment dependent in the short-term on a growth economy and a transitionary phase will be needed to move to a new economic model that is sustainable for all. Is this a dream? Maybe..

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  • 323. At 4:40pm on 22 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #313 Paul Butler wrote:

    "We can't really win, can we, Bowman. Either we're just in it for all that funding or we're in it to produce made up findings that justify some pre-existing moral position"

    If you had read the first bit of that message, you would notice I said that scientific theories should be judged independently of the characters of the people who hold them. So yes, you can "win", when you stop treating science as a matter of mere personal reputation, which as far as I can tell is all you've done so far.

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  • 324. At 5:06pm on 22 Feb 2010, SamuelPickwick wrote:

    #312 SR, it's called groupthink - look it up, wikipedia or elsewhere.
    It fits perfectly with the behaviour of these people:
    * Illusions of invulnerability
    * Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions.
    * Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, biased, spiteful, disfigured, impotent, or stupid.
    * Mind guards — self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information.


    SR, if you have an explanation for why a respectable scientist would "hide the decline", repeatedly refuse to supply information and data, ask colleagues to delete emails relating to the IPCC report, refer to a skeptic as "an utter prat", and refer to the death of a skeptic as "cheering news", I'd love to hear it.

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  • 325. At 5:16pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    I think there is one important point that many posting here, as well as on the internet as a whole, are forgetting.......

    The investigations into "Climategate" are still ongoing and nobody has yet been found guilty of fraud. I think people need to ask themselves why scientists would deliberately fiddle data when all of it is ultimately going to be in the public domain. Indeed 80% of the HADCRUT data is already in the public domain and the rest will be soon. All of the GISS data is already publicly available.

    As Paul Butler has pointed out, there is certainly scope for errors in data handling...... especially in situations where large amounts of data are being produced by different groups around the World (with language barriers, for example) and then passed on to a central institution for collating. Small problems have been uncovered with individual datasets and these have been corrected quickly and without argument.

    However, accusations of fraud are a different matter. I've seen plenty made by sceptic websites in recent months (Watts Up With That seems to be a major source of these) and they have invariably been gross misrepresentations of the facts.

    Paul

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  • 326. At 5:29pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    Yes Kamboshigh #314, we were just waiting (adding a few more tortuous twists to our logic) while you nipped out to pull some girls down the pub.

    Obviously, there's no way we can cope with your fearsome intellect

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  • 327. At 5:30pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Kamboshigh @ #314

    "As a scientist Paul you must be discussed with this group who have attacked other scientists/hidden data/cherry picked out of political motivation and financial gain."

    As you'll see from my post above, none of that has been proved and your statement actually far better describes the sceptic side of this debate.

    I take it that from the above statement you mean that any scientist who agrees with the science of AGW is guilty of collusion. Does that mean that pretty well the whole scientific community is part of a grand conspiracy? Does that mean that the scientists who did the pioneering physical science work on AGW 50 years ago (long before the IPCC and now long since dead) were conspiring as well?

    All of a sudden your argument looks pretty silly!

    "In short anything not fitting their ideal theory is chucked out."

    This statement far better fits your own position!

    Paul

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  • 328. At 5:37pm on 22 Feb 2010, tiredocra9 wrote:

    here's a little taste of Dr Terry Barker of Tyndall centre on youtube explaining his veiws on AGW,you have to watch this,I defy anyone that doesn't think of private Fraser from dads army whilst watching it.
    Type this into the youtube search bar,

    Terry Barker on Decarbonisation and the Credit Crisis

    ,and stand well back.This is someone that has been involved with the IPCC assesments since 2001.Scary.
    Your all DOOOOOMED

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  • 329. At 5:55pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Bowmanthebard @ #316

    "How do you distinguish pseudo-science from genuine science? I suspect the only answer you will be able to give me is "I appeal to the authorities". Or words to that effect such as "I trust peer review"."

    This is the type of stuff I mean by "pseudo-science":

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11462-climate-change-a-guide-for-the-perplexed.html

    To anyone with a reasonably sound grasp of science it is self-evident that these arguments are false, but leading sceptics continue to quote them as though they are facts. The peer-review process does at least prevent most such nonsense from getting into the scientific literature.
    Perhaps you think it should be published, but personally I think that would be dangerous because it would devalue ALL science.

    Paul

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  • 330. At 5:59pm on 22 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #278 I wrote -- in what has been a bad day for typing errors on my part:

    "One dead giveaway that CO2 is not the cause of rising temperatures would be clear evidence that temperatures rise after CO2 levels rise."

    I meant: a dead giveaway that CO2 is not the cause of rising temperatures would be clear evidence that temperatures rise before CO2 levels rise.

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  • 331. At 6:04pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    Bowman #343

    "If you had read the first bit of that message, you would notice I said that scientific theories should be judged independently of the characters of the people who hold them"

    But I'm even more confused after that. Why then do you discuss the desire for funding or people's moral position or (here's a third motivation you've come up with) their personal reputation. Forget all that and just look at the alternative theories and their justifications.

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  • 332. At 6:08pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Butler wrote:

    BluesBerry #318

    "It’s important (and I hope you will agree with me) to find out how much weather is changing naturally and how much weather is being manufactured.
    If it’s being manufactured, surely there are war crimes here, most recently Haiti."

    errr .... but Haiti was an earthquake.

    Trouble is, if you got even that so spectacularly wrong, how can you expect anybody to take the rest of your bizarre spiel seriously

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  • 333. At 6:12pm on 22 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #320 Paul Butler wrote:

    "Bowman, it just isn't there. That's why the sites you point me at are forced to churn over at interminable length"

    I have never referred you to a site in my life. Retract!

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  • 334. At 6:22pm on 22 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #312 SR wrote:

    "Why would an extremely intelligent middle aged scientist with expert knowledge in a particular field choose to deliberately commit scientific fraud in order to support a theory they knew was wrong, or at least exaggerated?

    "Where would their moral commitment to do this come from?"

    They think they're saving the world, don't they? Who wouldn't feel themselves to be on a "moral crusade" for something as important as that?

    What I actually said was that moral commitments are likely to "suspend disbelief" -- a term I think Coleridge coined to refer to the way art can transport the mind and make it temporarily inhabit a world of imagination. I'm certainly not suggesting that anyone chose deliberately to commit an act of fraud. I'm suggesting that a lot of people got carried away into a world of imagination, thanks to their own moral fervour.

    It's a very dangerous thing, moral fervour -- we'd all be much better off without it.

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  • 335. At 6:30pm on 22 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Paul Butler #302

    So tell me about this funding the 'AGW side' stands to get. Because frankly I'd like to get my hands on some of it. Again, please be specific and give sources and references

    Forget the source if you can and comment on the contents please. There is a link to the document which you can follow and check the references for yourself:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2009/07/massive-climate-funding-exposed/

    /Mango

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  • 336. At 6:31pm on 22 Feb 2010, SamuelPickwick wrote:

    #320 Paul Butler - What planet are you from? Have you even read the climategate emails? Have you heard the phrase "hide the decline"? The arguments against Jones are not all about withholding data, that is just one of the many issues, see
    324 for some of the others. You appear to be in denial.


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  • 337. At 6:32pm on 22 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #319 Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "If you have any genuine scientific evidence (as opposed to the nonsense emanating from most internet blogs) that the science of AGW is flawed then I for one would be happy to hear it."

    The "science of AGW" used inductivist methods. It is therefore a pseudo-science. Kindly address that complaint.

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  • 338. At 6:38pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Samuel Pickwick @ #324

    Perhaps you didn't pick up on this link posted above:

    http://www.aolnews.com/science/article/report-says-hacked-e-mails-dont-disprove-climate-change/19276482

    In fact, the "hide the decline" statement is entirely innocent once you understand the full context. The "decline" was actually a divergence of tree-ring data in parts of North America from the expected pattern of increased growth with temperature. This was almost certainly due to climate-change induced drought. The point was that the data in question could not be used in the proxy reconstructions. What Michael Mann did was plot the actual temperature data on the same graph where the missing tree ring data would have been (hence "hiding" the gap in the data). However, he made no secret of what he'd done. In fact, he even plotted the temperature data in a different colour! So there's no question of fraud - he simply made the graph more visually striking to get his message across - hence the "trick", which is a term often used by scientists in this situation.

    This shows just how important it is to read all of the emails with their full context. Those who released them (so very close to Copenhagen) quite deliberately presented them without this context.

    Paul

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  • 339. At 7:06pm on 22 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #329 Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "This is the type of stuff I mean by "pseudo-science":" [Link]

    Do not bother referring me to links. I don't refer you or anyone else to links, and I don't bother following them. If you can't argue on your own two feet using your own words, you have nothing interesting to say --nothing of interest to me anyway.

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  • 340. At 7:12pm on 22 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    #256:

    "Nor did mango (or peter317) address the idea that the earth’s axial precession, while a global mechanism, can produce climate anomalies between the Northern and Southern hemispheres."

    Let's get this straight.
    I pointed out that the anomalies as existed in the MWP and LIA were unlikely unless caused by some global-scale event or forcing.
    To which you replied that hemisphere-scale anomalies can be because of planetary cycles - which, while true, 1) missed the point that planetary cycles ARE global-scale events, and b) you made no attempt to link, much less identify, which cycles could be responsible for the MWP and LIA anomalies. Those century-scale anomalies HAD to be caused by SOMETHING, and that something had to be large. So what was it? If it was planetary cycles, which planetary cycles were they? If it was something else, then what?
    When I pointed this out, albeit in not so many words, you replied with this:

    "Mango merely pointed out the reference, referring to Milankovitch cycles, was from Wikipedia (he did n’t tell us his thoughts on the actual mechanism or its effects on climate) and peter317 chose to ignore, altogether, the hemispheric climate anomaly that this particular mechanism causes."

    Show me where I ignored this, when I really wanted you to expand on this in the context of the MWP and LIA - which was my whole point from the outset.

    "It seems it’s a question from ‘sceptics’, followed by an answer from the science, followed by yet more questions from ‘sceptics’, at all times, carefully ignoring the answers supplied or giving us their thoughts on those answers."

    That's not what happened. You, either accidentally or deliberately, misunderstood my original posting, and then got all uppity because I tried to point out that you were missing the point.

    "You have to hand it to them. It’s a very clever mechanism they have established."

    Yeah, right! Us sceptics have worked out a secret code amongst us - just like all those alarmist websites where you can find 'pat' answers to sceptic arguments.
    If you wish to see a 'sceptical conspiracy' under every bush, that's fine - just don't accuse us of being conspiracy theorists.

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  • 341. At 7:14pm on 22 Feb 2010, Shadorne wrote:

    Does anyone here agree with this ?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/feb/19/climate-change-sceptics-science

    "And the message is clear: large-scale use of oil, coal, and gas is threatening the biology and chemistry of the planet. We are fuelling dangerous changes in Earth's climate and ocean chemistry, giving rise to extreme storms, droughts, and other hazards that will damage the food supply and the quality of life of the planet.

    The IPCC and the climate scientists are telling us a crucial message. We need urgently to transform our energy, transport, food, industrial, and construction systems to reduce the dangerous human impact on the climate. It is our responsibility to listen, to understand the message, and then to act."

    The article is both extremely alarmist and a direct attack on the motives and integrity of skeptics.

    On the other hand, this alarmist attack is coming from Jeffrey Sachs, an economist with ties to the UN, IMF and other influential "global" institutions.

    According to Wiki "Sachs has turned to global issues of economic development, poverty alleviation, health and aid policy, and environmental sustainability. He has written extensively on climate change, disease control, and globalization, and is one of the world's leading experts on sustainable development."

    It would appear that Sachs may have a vested interest in propagating climate catastrophe beliefs - it certainly makes the global issues that he is deeply involved with even more absolutely critical. Sachs criticism is "The truth is that there is big money backing the climate-change deniers, whether it is companies that don't want to pay the extra costs of regulation, or free-market ideologues opposed to any government controls".

    Is this the pot calling the kettle black? Or is Sachs right?









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  • 342. At 7:26pm on 22 Feb 2010, poitsplace wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe
    "What you, like most people looking at these emails, are failing to do is consider them in full context...

    You probably will not agree, but it's absolutely clear to me that the bulk of arguments being put forwards by sceptics are utter nonsense...... indeed many of them are clearly manufactured. You'll find many of them here:"


    I do fully understand the emails within their context. The problem is there is no other context in which to take some of them and that context is quite disturbing.

    It is you and other people so horribly worried about warming that do not understand things in proper context. The link you listed beneath simply makes it clear (in corrections) that the oil industry was well aware of...the theory of greenhouse gas forcing. HOWEVER, the absolute, theoretical maximum forcing one would expect from CO2 is only 3.7 watts for a doubling of CO2. That is a theoretical maximum for which the environment would have to adjust about 1C. BUT you should never expect the theoretical maximum of anything.

    The annoying thing is that he propaganda machine for AGW is FAR larger and spouts far more nonsense. Its annoying watching people like you continue these accusations. Let's be honest here, your complaint isn't that the propaganda is being spewed but that any anti-AGW propaganda is being released at all (while you welcome far larger volumes of garbage from the AGW camp). Until the climategate emails there was essentially NO coverage of the flaws in the mainstream media. The behavior of the people involved in the climategate emails was noticed quite a while ago. Blogs, the ONLY outlet the skeptics have had against the terrible science and the massive AGW propaganda machine had mentioned these problems for some time but everyone just called them contrarians, deniers and accused them of taking money from big oil. Well they were right so it just MIGHT be worth your while to give them a bit more credit.

    The basic problems with the whole "dangerous" AGW hypothesis come down to two points

    (1) feedbacks have never been found to be strongly positive during the interglacial periods...and are most likely weak to negative (which is why we can't get out of the glacial/interglacial cycle.

    (2) there is no significant evidence that the warming is indeed harmful. Yes, there are lots of absurdly stupid projections BUT, you look back in the record of past, warmer climate and about the only thing you will find is that the world explodes with life when its warmer)

    Basically, the MOST we should expect from CO2 is 1.2C for a doubling from pre-industrial levels.
    ---------------------


    @Kev #297 who wrote...
    "Is Greenpeace and some of the other environmental movements Evil?"

    Indeed, Greenpeace does at times border on a terrorist organization. It would be an injustice to simply lump them in with other terrorists though because its rare for greenpeace to get much worst than just being...annoying. Also, they don't have death and destruction as a part of their mission statement (I should probably check to make sure that's accurate but I'm being lazy on this)
    ---------------------


    @seasambo #298 who wrote...
    "Being a sceptic and saying its not your job to provide the evidence of a natural cause is just lazy, bonkers and completely non-scientific argument."

    Its an inherent lazyness of science but its also very practical. The new hypothesis is that CO2 is THE major driver of climate and in that it is not at all well supported. This is just the way science is supposed to work. Someone comes up with a hypothesis and puts it out there for everyone else to destroy. If it survives criticism its more likely to be true. Unfortunately the propaganda machine for AGW has been distorting the process (as seen in the emails) and managed to get people to think that science somehow works by people proving negatives (a big no-no in any science, logic or philosophy). Look at the theory of relativity...which completely changed our entire perception of physics. There are HUGE problems with the three part hypothesis of harmful, substantial (high feedbacks), AGW (CO2).

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  • 343. At 7:57pm on 22 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    #338:

    "This was almost certainly due to climate-change induced drought."

    Can you back up your assertion? Have you seen the precipitation data? And, even if there was a drought, how can you be so sure that it was 'climate-change induced'?

    "The point was that the data in question could not be used in the proxy reconstructions."

    So then how can the tree ring data be considered to be a reliable proxy for past temperatures?

    "What Michael Mann did was plot the actual temperature data on the same graph where the missing tree ring data would have been (hence "hiding" the gap in the data)."

    Except that he always emphatically denied that he had ever grafted instrumental data onto proxy data - until, of course, he could no longer deny it.

    "However, he made no secret of what he'd done. In fact, he even plotted the temperature data in a different colour! So there's no question of fraud"

    Even if you look at the graph really closely, it's difficult to see where the proxy data ends, and that it doesn't just continue along the same course as the instrumental data. Some may call it fraud - I'll be kind and call it deception.

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  • 344. At 8:13pm on 22 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    #302:

    "I don't know what are these larger funds available to "the AGW side" that you refer to."

    How many thousands of scientists and researchers are on the AGW side? And how many are on the sceptical side?
    Those thousands of scientists cost money - even if they're all paid the same, two scientists costs twice as much as one scientist.
    If 'big oil' was really trying to sway the science, what's stopping them from hiring an equivalent thousands of scientists?

    Oh, and all those supercomputers also cost mega-bucks.

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  • 345. At 8:45pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Bowmanthebard @ #339

    "Do not bother referring me to links. I don't refer you or anyone else to links, and I don't bother following them. If you can't argue on your own two feet using your own words, you have nothing interesting to say --nothing of interest to me anyway."

    This thread is difficult enough to follow without pointlessly reiterating information which can easily be seen with a single click of a mouse. If you are not prepared to do this and rely instead on heresay from threads like this then you are very unlikely to achieve a proper grasp of the facts pertaining to AGW.

    There is little value in oue exchanges continuing!

    Paul

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  • 346. At 9:10pm on 22 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Paul Butler #296

    Surely, the whole point of this paper is that it compares 2 "snapshots" taken above the same part of the Earth (the Pacific) 27 years apart

    Would you agree comparing many more "snapshots" would give a better picture as Lindzen did?

    Or maybe we should take a temperature "snapshot" say 10000 years ago (i haven't checked if the temp was higher so don't bother checking), compare it with todays temperatures and call it global cooling?

    Clearly, you cannot hope to calculate any forcing from this, but it does provide strong circumstantial evidence that carbon dioxide and methane are acting as greenhouse gases in practice.

    We already know CO2 and CH4 are greenhouse gases, circumstantial evidence does nothing for the case against CO2, when there is alternative evidence to tell us CO2 is not the culprit

    /Mango

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  • 347. At 9:18pm on 22 Feb 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    simon-swede #304.

    "At the OECD, we believe that it is possible to tackle climate change and grow the economy at the same time."

    there is really no question that re-tooling (or changing) existing industries to use new technologies and methods could be profitable and produce 'growth'.

    what is lamentable though is the lack of commitment; from the link:

    "..on financing climate change, Copenhagen has delivered both, initial fast-start finance of 30 billion US$ for 2010-2012 and a longer term-perspective with advanced countries aiming at mobilising 100 billion US$ per year by 2020.."

    in other words, over the next three years we (all participating nations) will commit just under one twentieth of the US of A's 2008 defense spending to 'save the world', and by 2020 we hope to spend one sixth of that amount. risible!

    I for one do not see the diplomacy and earnest intergovernmental hand-wringing producing anything like the changes required.

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  • 348. At 9:25pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Poitsplace @ #342,

    "I do fully understand the emails within their context. The problem is there is no other context in which to take some of them and that context is quite disturbing."

    The acid test is what the enquiries find. However, if you read the AOL News article, which was entirely independent and balanced, you might get a more OBJECTIVE view of the conversations. These are real people who feel angry and frustrated at personal attacks from sceptics. Their comments, made in PRIVATE emails, reflect this. Can you honestly say that you've never expressed similar anger towards someone you believe wishes you ill?

    The REAL scandal of this was the hacking and the release so carefully timed to coincide with Copenhagen.

    "It is you and other people so horribly worried about warming that do not understand things in proper context..........HOWEVER, the absolute, theoretical maximum forcing one would expect from CO2 is only 3.7 watts for a doubling of CO2. That is a theoretical maximum for which the environment would have to adjust about 1C. BUT you should never expect the theoretical maximum of anything."

    Your comments do not fill me with confidence in your grasp of the science. I'm wondering where you get your figures from, as the more normally quoted figure from climate scientists is around a 3 Celsius temperature rise for a doubling of carbon dioxide. You also seem to have forgotten about:

    Warming increasing the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere = positive feedback

    Warming reducing the solubility of carbon dioxide in the oceans = positive feedback

    Extra carbon dioxide trapped in the ice being released = positive feedback

    Methane trapped in the permafrost but released as it melts = positive feedback

    Your numbered arguments also seem to be based on some of the pseudo scientific myths I linked to from the New Scientist article. Would you care to enlighten us with your source?

    If you really believe what you are saying with regard to the science of AGW, I think it's time you came up with some REAL proof.

    There is indeed plenty of evidence of oil industry money funding a sceptic campaign - I've shown that. If you want more, you should read "Doubt is their Product" by David Michaels.

    There is clear evidence of flawed and bogus science being passed of a counter arguments to AGW - I've shown that...... and I can list more if you like.

    There is also clear evidence of sceptics deliberately misrepresenting data in order to smear scientists (this is just one of a number of recent scams):

    http://hot-topic.co.nz/nz-sceptics-lie-about-temp-records-try-to-smear-top-scientist/

    Yet all you have is some private emails which contain words said in the heat of the moment, with NO evidence of fraud and nothing more damaging than a FOI issue, which is perhaps understandable given the individuals who were asking for the data.

    Paul

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  • 349. At 9:41pm on 22 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #345 Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "There is little value in oue exchanges continuing!"

    Agreed -- you have no ideas of your own.

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  • 350. At 9:52pm on 22 Feb 2010, RobWansbeck wrote:


    No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, “grafted the thermometer record onto” any reconstruction. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites) appearing in this forum.

    Michael E. Mann

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  • 351. At 9:53pm on 22 Feb 2010, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    Reading Bowman's comments always reminds me of the seminar group where there's one guy who just wants to argue with everything. Doesn't matter what you say, he will come back arguing that your source material is 'not real' or was conceived within an 'inauthentic' context. That said I would much rather have a chat with him than Kambo or Shadorne. “chasing hippes across the countryside” (post 317) sounds a wee bit sinister and having to always invert the interpretation of Shadorne's analyses of any article he posts gets, frankly, rather tiring.

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  • 352. At 9:54pm on 22 Feb 2010, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    Kamboshigh @314:
    “I mean lets face it paleoclimatolgy scientists are not exactly going to be pulling the girls down the pub, I mean you count tree rings? Makes Train spotting positively dangerous.”

    Where as neo-con internet bloggers like your good self, with a tenuous grasp on spelling and grammar, is no doubt batting of the hotties with a stick!

    Bowman @321: Your understanding of 'community' is nonsense. The actual concept is hopelessly fluid and loose. Moreover, your assertion that it is based on race, ancestry and the like is only one facet of community conceptualisation.

    Samuel @ 324: Firstly, your conclusion that 'groupthink' is relevant to the heterogeneous groups and individuals that formulate the mainstream science on climate science is conceptually baseless and just more smearing.

    Secondly, you could just as easily make that claim against any scientific movement – cancer specialists etc. As ever, the analogy with the anti-smoking narrative is instructive.

    Shadorne @ 341:
    “Is this the pot calling the kettle black? Or is Sachs right?”

    Nope. Yes, but he is generalising, so he is not always right. There you go!



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  • 353. At 10:07pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Peter317 @ #343

    "Can you back up your assertion? Have you seen the precipitation data? And, even if there was a drought, how can you be so sure that it was 'climate-change induced'?"

    The problem was restricted to high altitude and high latitude trees in North America. Temperature-induced drought stress is certainly the explanation most commonly given (ie NOT related to precipitation). The following paper explains the generally held view:

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2007/05/04/a-new-paper-on-the-differences-between-recent-proxy-temperature-and-in-situ-near-surface-air-temperatures/

    "So then how can the tree ring data be considered to be a reliable proxy for past temperatures?"

    Given that the drought stress itself is almost certainly anthropogenic, there is no reason that the same problem existed in earlier times..... and in any case, the growth rates did not reach the 1960 levels in past times...... and of course, most tree ring data did not exhibit this divergence.

    "Except that he always emphatically denied that he had ever grafted instrumental data onto proxy data - until, of course, he could no longer deny it."

    Except that he didn't! Yes, he plotted the temperature data on the same graph, but that is very different from trying to pass it off as tree-ring data. You will also note that he ended his proxy reconstruction plot at 1960, even though the temperature data carried on beyond this.

    All of the information was present to make it clear what he had done. I know that the various blogs like to paint this as some type of fraud (or deception), but there is none!

    Paul

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  • 354. At 10:13pm on 22 Feb 2010, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Sceptic Dr. Roy Spencer reproduces Phil Jones’ NH land surface temperature anomalies from 1986 to 2009 and says he is ‘astounded’ at the agreement between his work and Jones’!

    He says, quote:-

    ‘….Similar to the Jones methodology, I then averaged all station month anomalies in 5 deg. grid squares, and then area-weighted those grids having good data over the Northern Hemisphere. I also recomputed the Jones NH anomalies for the same base period for a more apples-to-apples comparison. The results are shown in the following graph……http://www.drroyspencer.com/ (scroll down to the CRUTem3NH graph)….
    …..I’ll have to admit I was a little astounded at the agreement between Jones’ and my analyses, especially since I chose a rather ad-hoc method of data screening that was not optimized in any way…...’

    Looks like the ‘sceptic’ science is starting to agree with HadleyCRU, GISS etc. and the whole ‘Climategate’ edifice is seen for the manufactured mirage it always was.
    The satellite data from the AMSU sensor continues to show high temperatures through February.

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  • 355. At 10:14pm on 22 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #348

    "I do fully understand the emails within their context. The problem is there is no other context in which to take some of them and that context is quite disturbing."

    The acid test is what the enquiries find.


    Regardless of whether or not the emails are just banter between colleagues, the enquiry will find all the participants acted correctly.

    What else would you expect from a panel who made the following statement on there website:

    "Do any of the Review team members have a predetermined view on climate change and climate science?

    No. Members of the research team come from a variety of scientific backgrounds. They were selected on the basis they have no prejudicial interest in climate change and climate science and for the contribution they can make to the issues the Review is looking at."

    Except Boulton spent 18 years at the UEA and Boulton said this in 2008:

    "The impacts are there already. These are representative images from Central Ladakh from ‘69, ‘79, ’89; they show the cover of snow and, in fact, glacier ice. The reason why that’s important is that during the dry season something like 80% of the flow of the rivers of the great north Indian plain, the Indus, the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, about eighty per cent of that dry season flow comes from snow and melting glaciers. Already in the last fifteen years we’ve seen dramatic reductions in dry season flow. Calculations by glaciologists now suggest that by 2050 most of the Himalayan glaciers will have gone and the impact on dry season flow of those great rivers will be dramatic in the extreme. They could be reduced between twenty and thirty per cent of their current dry season flow with devastating impacts on agriculture in both India and Pakistan and indeed, in Western China."

    and:

    "None have any links to the Climatic Research Unit, or the United Nations’ Independent Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). More information about each of the review team members can be found in the Biographies section. "

    and Boultons own CV states:

    "9. CONTRIBUTIONS TO SCIENCE & RESEARCH POLICY

    As contributor to G8 Preparatory Groups and Intergovernmental Panels on climate change"

    It's a whitewash before it even started.

    /mango

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  • 356. At 10:16pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mangochutney @ #346

    Wrong Paul, I'm afraid - but entirely forgiveable given how difficult this thread is to follow!

    "Would you agree comparing many more "snapshots" would give a better picture as Lindzen did?"

    Absolutely. I'm guessing that there simply weren't enough situations where the 2 satellites produced data from the same area to make more comparisons.

    "We already know CO2 and CH4 are greenhouse gases, circumstantial evidence does nothing for the case against CO2, when there is alternative evidence to tell us CO2 is not the culprit."

    The point is that previous work had been laboratory based. This work showed for the first time that carbon dioxide and methane were acting as greenhouse gases in the real world.

    I understand that there have since been other studies that have found the same thing, but I can't put my finger on them at present. I guess I'll have to wade through the IPCC report to find them!

    Paul

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  • 357. At 10:25pm on 22 Feb 2010, RobWansbeck wrote:

    The divergence problem is not limited to a part of North America but is widespread.

    The divergence issue is not limited to a part of North America but the proxies responsible for most of Mann's original Hockey Stick are.

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  • 358. At 10:28pm on 22 Feb 2010, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Peter 317 says at #343:-

    ‘…So then how can the tree ring data be considered to be a reliable proxy for past temperatures?.....’

    Peter, if you don’t believe in proxy climate reconstructions then how are you so certain of the existence of either the mediaeval warm period or the little ice age or, furthermore, that they were global phenomena?

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  • 359. At 10:34pm on 22 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @thinkforyourself #354

    I don't think anybody seriously thinks temperature hasn't risen, the argument is over the cause of the temperature rise

    I also can't understand why you seem shocked that a sceptical climate scientist may actually have verified the temperature rise, even if said climate scientist was "astounded". Repeatability is one of the cornerstones of science

    /mango

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  • 360. At 10:36pm on 22 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #356

    I understand that there have since been other studies that have found the same thing, but I can't put my finger on them at present. I guess I'll have to wade through the IPCC report to find them!

    Please do, i will look forward to reading them

    /mango

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  • 361. At 10:59pm on 22 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    #353:

    Had you read the link you supplied properly, you would have seen that that was only one of many possible explanations.

    In fact, the article concludes with:

    "If the in-situ near-surface air temperature warm bias that we have identified is real, the lack of warming seen in the recent proxy tree ring data could be real and would explain the 'divergence problem’ in Northern Forests?. This would mean that the high latitude land areas may not have increased in temperature as much (or at all) as concluded in reports such as the 2007 IPCC Statement for Policymakers."

    Even if it was drought stress, what makes you think that droughts are modern phenomena?

    The bottom line is, if you can't explain past climate variability then how can you know how much of recent variability is natural?




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  • 362. At 11:01pm on 22 Feb 2010, andrew9999 wrote:

    @bowman
    #194 my own #182 (which should have referred to Janes#129)

    A bit late to reply I know, but it is interesting.

    I entirely agree with all your comments on the 'adiabatic heating of Venus' thread. I have been trying to think of an good explanation of why this doesn't happen. The argument seems to arise that because venus has very high pressure therefore a parcel of gas that sinks and is adiabatically compressed by these high pressures will reach a very high temperature (compared to earth). In the equation of adiabatic lapse rate (its quite a simple one) the pressure doesn't appear, but an important conceptual point is that the energy gained by a falling parcel of air under adiabatic compression is exactly matched by its lose of gravitational potential energy (a gain if its rising) so it is the change in height not pressure which defines the temperature change. So if two atmospheres had the same gravity but very different densities (and therefore surface pressures) the adiabatic lapse rate would be the same (if the specific heat is the same), Venus's high pressures make no difference.

    As an aside twenty years ago when I did my degree (physics) I took a short philosophy option, I had to write two essays one of them was on relativism, I had to read Plato's Thaeatetus and a couple of the essays in A Farewell to Reason. I wish I could remember much about it.

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  • 363. At 11:04pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mangochutney @ #355,

    "Regardless of whether or not the emails are just banter between colleagues, the enquiry will find all the participants acted correctly."

    If ALL of the members of the enquiry team were as obviously pro-AGW as Boulton, you might have grounds for concern, but he is just one member of that team.

    Never fear, though. If there really are deliberate manipulations of the data, I'm quite sure that Steve McIntyre will find them! However, I don't believe that AGW scientists would risk their reputation by fiddling data in the public domain.

    It is, of course, entirely predictable that some sceptics will turn to the "conspiracy" argument if the enquiry finds that the UEA scientists have done nothing wrong...... but it's a very tired argument. As I pointed out above, once you look at the number of scientists involved and how far back the AGW research goes, the conspiracy argument is patently ridiculous.

    ...but let's wait and see what happens!

    Paul

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  • 364. At 11:19pm on 22 Feb 2010, xtragrumpymike2 wrote:

    Reply to Manysummits, NEXT BLOG re Whales.

    What I have perceived on this site is that both parties, pro and anti, are "preaching" to their respective "Converted"

    Neither side is prepared to "listen actively" to the other and neither side will achieve any "conversions" from the other.

    Hence......same old same old.

    My contributions have never been on the science but on the decision making process since I have no expertise on the former but too much experience of the latter.Those experiences here in NZ are very similar in my own field to those described by Jim Hansen in the preface to his book.

    Consequently, I see nothing to gain by further participation in "debate" that is going nowhere and where much of it , based on the language being used, is obviously "mischievous"

    This blog is just a waste of time which I feel is better spent reinforcing the basics in my more adjacent localities.

    However, I will continue to read your contributions and others likeminded and wish you well for the future.

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  • 365. At 11:27pm on 22 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    #353:

    "and of course, most tree ring data did not exhibit this divergence."

    So why all the fuss about the few that did? Why not simply discard them, instead of trying to 'hide the decline'?

    #358:

    There is ample other evidence, as well as documented history, for the MWP and the LIA.
    Regardless of whether or not they were global, nobody seems to be able to explain what caused them.

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  • 366. At 11:33pm on 22 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mangochutney @ #360

    "Please do, i will look forward to reading them"

    I've found one quite quickly, although it's debatable whether it adds much new:

    http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1175%2FJCLI4204.1

    Paul

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  • 367. At 11:37pm on 22 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Kamboshigh #317

    You did see what Kev compared Greenpeace to, didn't you. If he'd said that around here people would have been falling around laughing, whether or not they approved of Greenpeace.

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  • 368. At 00:03am on 23 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Peter @ #361,

    In fact, the passage you read was not from the paper I linked to but an excerpt from another paper mentioned in the same article.

    I linked to the D'Arrigo et al paper simply to show the description of temperature-induced drought, which is the explanation I most commonly see given for the divergence. It was the abstract I was wanting to draw your attention to.

    The view expressed by Pielke et al (which I didn't spot at the bottom of the page) may be fair enough (although I can't open the original paper to see what they've done), but their views are clearly at odds with the majority of scientists (as they are on most issues related to AGW!).

    Paul

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  • 369. At 00:07am on 23 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @seasambo #322

    I really don't want to get into a deep argument about economics.

    The main point of my comment at #311 was about the flaws in carbon trading.

    However I will point out that we are only just coming out of recession and that there currently aren't enough jobs and some people are on very low wages. In the very short term at least our economy needs growth to fix that. I would also like to see growth in sustainable technology so that no one is forced to wear a hair shirt to balance the planet's books.

    Anything much beyond that is outside my expertise.

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  • 370. At 00:30am on 23 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #368
    (@Peter317)

    I think you need to look at what IPCC AR4 says about divergence.

    "In their large-scale reconstructions based on tree ring density data, Briffa et al. (2001) specifically excluded the post-1960 data in their calibration against instrumental records, to avoid biasing the estimation of the earlier reconstructions (hence they are not shown in Figure 6.10), implicitly assuming that the ‘divergence’ was a uniquely recent phenomenon, as has also been argued by Cook et al. (2004a). Others, however, argue for a breakdown in the assumed linear tree growth response to continued warming, invoking a possible threshold exceedance beyond which moisture stress now limits further growth (D’Arrigo et al., 2004). If true, this would imply a similar limit on the potential to reconstruct possible warm periods in earlier times at such sites. At this time there is no consensus on these issues (for further references see NRC, 2006) and the possibility of investigating them further is restricted by the lack of recent tree ring data at most of the sites from which tree ring data discussed in this chapter were acquired."

    which seems to paraphrase to this (I remind you I am not an expert)

    "Briffa et al. (2001) ignored the post-1960 data when calibrating tree ring temperature proxies, and used this as an excuse to keep divergent tree ring proxy temperatures out of their Hockey Stick. This treats ‘divergence’ as only applying after about 1960ish, which is the same approach as Cook et al. (2004a). Others, however, say that divergence is caused by warm weather related drought stress (D’Arrigo et al., 2004). If true, this would interfere with identifying historical warm periods at such sites. At this time the experts are still arguing (for further references see National Research Council, 2006) and there aren't enough recent tree rings to investigate divergence properly."

    which seems to paraphrase to this (I remind you I am not an expert)

    "Some mainstream climate scientists think Hockey Sticks that use tree rings as temperature proxies could accidentally reduce or even get rid of a global Mediaeval Warm Period. Mainstream climate scientists are still arguing with each other about it. There isn't enough evidence to "rescue" tree rings."

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch6s6-6.html

    As debunks for a global Mediaeval Warm Period you can consider Hockey Sticks with tree rings not just broken but thoroughly smashed.

    This doesn't make Hockey Sticks worthless. It makes them an important step towards reconstructing past temperatures. Eventually they may find enough genuinely reliable proxies to establish past temperatures.

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  • 371. At 07:00am on 23 Feb 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Kev #297 & Poitsplace at #342

    In your posts comparing Greenpeace to terrorists, I don't know which is more spectacular, the profound ignorance or the spectacular lack of judgement displayed.

    Greenpeace has a fundamental policy of non-violence. No fudging at all. It has been a basic grounding principle since the organisation's inception 4 decades ago. The nearest Greenpeace has got to terrorism was a victim of an act carried out by agents of a government - when its ship the Rainbow Warrior was sunk and a crew-member killed.

    What Greenpeace does can be annoying, especially to those who are at the receiving end of its protests. But it is ridiculous to compare hanging a banner on a chimney with blowing something up and killing people.







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  • 372. At 08:23am on 23 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #362 andrew9999 wrote:

    "I took a short philosophy option, I had to write two essays one of them was on relativism, I had to read Plato's Thaeatetus and a couple of the essays in A Farewell to Reason."

    That's interesting! Although he "goes too far" with his relativism, I have a soft spot for Feyerabend because I like his liberal attitudes and he has written some very sensible stuff on inter-theroetic reduction (he points out that in the classic cases, the two theories involved are always strictly speaking inconsistent with each other -- for example, Kepler's theory of the solar sytem has the planets moving in perfect ellipses, Newton's has them attracting each other to some extent, making very imperfect ellipses). That simple idea turned the standard understanding of inter-theoretic reduction on its head. So although I certainly don't agree with everything he said, especially on relativism, his "voice" was a very valuable one, and I regret never having met him.

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  • 373. At 09:19am on 23 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    I would like to report an "erratum" in my own post at #348.

    On closer reflection it is unlikely that the release of carbon dioxide trapped in ice will act as a positive feedback.

    Paul

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  • 374. At 09:47am on 23 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke @ #370

    Thanks for posting the extract from the relevant part of the IPCC report.

    It is remarkable how basically the same facts can be given an entirely different spin!

    The problem, really, is that all temperature projections related to the MWP are proxy based and as such they all have their own inherent weaknesses. It is certainly impossible to say from any of the available information whether the MWP was global or not, let alone whether it was a single global event as warm as today.

    However, I think the criticism of the tree-ring proxies suggesting that they actually "hide" the MWP is unwarranted. If you look at the plots in the IPCC report (Fig 6.10 (b)), they do actually show a general warming centred around 1000 AD. However, the peaks do not exactly coincide, which implies that the warmest period was at different times in different places.

    Paul

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  • 375. At 10:52am on 23 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    Please ignore my above posts on Venus. They include some correct science but mixing in my misunderstandings about lapse rates have made them pure nonsense.

    I may not be competent to describe the situation on Venus, but I am competent to identify at least some of my mistakes.

    1. Pride
    I thought I could take on the mighty sceptic Joanne Nova and the pride went to my head.
    Joanna Nova eats fools like me for breakfast
    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/02/4-carbon-dioxide-is-already-absorbing-almost-all-it-can/
    http://joannenova.com.au/2009/03/desmog-accidentally-vindicates-the-skeptics-handbook/

    2. Skim reading the text book on adiabatic lapse rates (see 1 above)

    3. Not paying proper attention to other people's posts (especially bowmanthebard's, sorry bowman) (see 1 above)

    4. Confusing adiabatic processes with weather. When weather processes such as convection (thermals) and wind blowing up a mountain slope (orographic lift) move heat energy around they are by definition not pure adiabatic processes.

    5. References to "heat pumps" (see 4 above)

    6. Not appreciating the role of gravitational potential energy in the lapse rate.

    Meanwhile Joanne Nova, like Monckton before her, has demonstrated that AGW grass roots don't understand AGW science.

    Joanne Nova likes to keep score
    Score Joanne Nova 7 : JaneBasingstoke 0

    Now the lapse rate is part of the blogosphere greenhouse debate, someone competent needs to deal with this. They need to demonstrate how greenhouse gases reposition a planet's black body thermostat above the ground surface, and how weather processes such as convection distribute the resulting changes in heat energy.

    I think I understand the basics now, but I don't trust myself.

    Joanne Nova's debunk of planet scale greenhouses stands unchallenged, at least on the BBC threads.

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  • 376. At 10:59am on 23 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard
    @andrew9999
    @poitsplace
    @SR
    @Peter317

    Please see my post #375 about Venus. I think I have tackled all my nonsense.

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  • 377. At 11:23am on 23 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard

    My above mistakes with Venus demonstrate the benefits of peer review. My duff Venus posts were not peer reviewed at all. My most recent attempt (#375) has benefited from both your peer review and andrew9999's peer review.

    Notice the way that correct peer review (as opposed to peer review abuses that are the subject of Climategate inquiries) is not about appealing to authority.

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  • 378. At 11:35am on 23 Feb 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    The US magazine “Skeptic” on-line archives (www.skeptic.com) do not appear to contain articles disputing the science of climate change. However, there are several pieces critical of unsubstantiated claims that climate change sceptics have made.
    The web-site for the UK Skeptics organisation (www.ukskeptics.com) states: “We are nothing to do with opposition, activist, or denialist groups who wrongly refer to themselves as 'skeptics' because they adopt a position of non-belief (eg global warming skeptics, vaccine skeptics, etc).”
    John Jackson, from UK Skeptics: "Terms like "climate change sceptic" are very damaging to scepticism - basically because this is not what scepticism is. We often get people calling us, referring to themselves as climate sceptics, but we argue with them. We accept global warming because the evidence is overwhelming."

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  • 379. At 11:48am on 23 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke #375:

    Once again your intellectual integrity puts the rest of us to shame. Or me to shame, anyway. I am genuinely humbled by it, and must emulate your example!

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  • 380. At 12:31pm on 23 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #378 simon-swede wrote:

    'The web-site for the UK Skeptics organisation (www.ukskeptics.com) states: “We are nothing to do with opposition, activist, or denialist groups who wrongly refer to themselves as 'skeptics' because they adopt a position of non-belief (eg global warming skeptics, vaccine skeptics, etc).”'

    I'm actually relieved to hear this, as I've long regarded the magazine at least as having misapproropriated the word 'sceptic'! I say that because in my opinion its editors seem not to have given enough thought to the varieties of sceptical thought, or to the nature of belief in particular.

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  • 381. At 12:50pm on 23 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    Paul @368:

    "I linked to the D'Arrigo et al paper simply to show the description of temperature-induced drought, which is the explanation I most commonly see given for the divergence. It was the abstract I was wanting to draw your attention to."

    No problem.
    It just seemed to me that you were ignoring the rather obvious (to me) implication that, if temperature-induced drought is a factor now, it could very well also have been a factor during the MWP (higher temperature -> drought -> narrow tree rings -> lower perceived proxy temperature)

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  • 382. At 12:54pm on 23 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    @Jane #375:

    I echo Bowman's sentiments, and salute you.
    If we could all follow your example and be willing to admit that we could be wrong, these debates would go much further towards improving our understanding.


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  • 383. At 1:59pm on 23 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #363

    If ALL of the members of the enquiry team were as obviously pro-AGW as Boulton, you might have grounds for concern, but he is just one member of that team.

    Perhaps just the one that is still on the panel - don't forget Philip Campbell, editor-in-chief at Nature was forced to resign for comments such as this:

    “The scientists have not hidden the data. If you look at the e-mails there is one or two bits of language that are jargon used between professionals that suggest something to outsiders that is wrong.”

    But as you say, let's see what happens.

    @Paul Briscoe #366

    I've found one quite quickly, although it's debatable whether it adds much new

    The Griggs and Harries paper to my mind is more interesting because, almost as a footnote, it states more work is required to investigate the way water vapour affects the spectrum. The paper also suggests any change in OLR is lost in noise.

    @JaneBasingstoke #370 & #375

    This is why i like you Jane. You are prepared to accept the sceptic when the evidence points their way, but prepared to defend your view when you think the evidence points your way.

    Please don't be too hard on yourself

    Respect to you, Jane.

    /mango

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  • 384. At 2:03pm on 23 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #363

    The other thing that is interesting is the Muir Russell enquiry hasn't invited McIntyre, or anybody else that was involved in the attempts to obtain information from CRU, to the oral sessions on 1st March

    /mango

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  • 385. At 2:13pm on 23 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard
    @Peter317

    Before you get too generous with your praise.

    Joanne Nova has demonstrated that most non-specialists on the AGW side of the debate do not have a basic understanding of planet scale greenhouses. In particular she has demonstrated that most of us do not understand the role of lapse rates in planet scale greenhouses, and none of us here are competent to debunk her.

    Her view on Venus now holds sway on these threads, and my foolishness helped promote it.

    Excess temperatures on Venus are associated with the lapse rate
    http://joannenova.com.au/2009/03/desmog-accidentally-vindicates-the-skeptics-handbook/


    Joanne Nova likes to keep score
    Joanne Nova 7 : JaneBasingstoke 0

    However I personally find my personal revised interpretation of Venus and planet scale greenhouses (#375, towards the end of my post) more convincing than Joanne Nova's, even though I do not trust myself to use it to debunk her. So I remain concerned about AGW.

    Meanwhile other AGW posters here may choose a different scientific authority to Joanne Nova, and remain concerned about AGW for that reason.

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  • 386. At 2:13pm on 23 Feb 2010, Shadorne wrote:

    Jane,

    Agreed nice of you to make a retraction.

    Remember that Weather is not Climate and Venus is not Earth.

    We actually know very little about our climate drivers despite the ridiculous claims.

    Meanwhile more and more Snow...

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-02-21/moscow-covered-by-more-than-half-meter-of-snow-most-since-1966.html

    Is this consistent with man-made thermageddon? I don't think so! Old Man Winter seems alive and well. Absolutely NO cause for alarm.

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  • 387. At 2:46pm on 23 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    Request for peer review

    I do not believe that Joanne Nova's views on Venus help progress the debate. So I would be very grateful for any meaningful comments on the following.

    1. This is an extremely simplified argument.

    2. Venus's atmospheres have an adiabatic lapse rate.
    An adiabatic lapse rate is a meteorological phenomenon that creates a temperature gradient in the atmosphere. Cool temperatures towards the top and warmest temperatures towards the bottom.

    (Minor comment. The extreme outer atmosphere behaves differently.)

    3. Venus has a black body thermostat.
    Planets gain energy from sunlight and lose it via black body radiation. The amount radiation lost depends on the planet's temperature.

    4. Greenhouse gases affect the position of the thermostat
    A planet with no greenhouse gases would have its "thermostat" at ground level. Introducing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere raises the position of the "thermostat".

    5. The position of the thermostat interacts with the temperature gradient.
    Changing the position of the thermostat using greenhouse means changing the position of the thermostat on the atmospheric temperature gradient. Changing the position of the thermostat on the temperature gradient changes the outgoing radiation. The planet gains or loses heat until the thermostat is back in balance.

    6. Weather helps distributes changes in planetary heat.
    Weather includes convection such as thermals.

    7. None of the above threatens sceptics. It does not touch on feedbacks, which are the heart of the scientific debate on AGW.

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  • 388. At 2:47pm on 23 Feb 2010, poitsplace wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #348 who wrote...
    "Your comments do not fill me with confidence in your grasp of the science. I'm wondering where you get your figures from, as the more normally quoted figure from climate scientists is around a 3 Celsius temperature rise for a doubling of carbon dioxide. You also seem to have forgotten about

    water vapour = positive feedback"

    Actually, if you check the spectrum, water vapor emits at the same temperature even over places where the concentration is different...due to the fact that it precipitates out at the same temperature.

    "Reducing the solubility of carbon dioxide in the oceans = positive feedback"
    Except the 10C change in global temperatures between the glacial and interglacial period only seems to have been able to liberate or absorb about 80ppm. You're only talking about 3C and a trivial 30ppm increase...and you still haven't even established what the real-world forcing from CO2 (by its self) would actually be. The theoretical maximum from a doubling of CO2 is only 3.7 watts but that sort of overall impact is highly unlikely.

    "Methane trapped in the permafrost but released as it melts = positive feedback"
    And a half-life in the atmosphere of about 10 years...look it up. Of ALL the methane in the air right now...only .1% will remain in the atmosphere in 100 years. There wouldn't just have to be a methane release...there would have to be a non-stop methane release.

    Seriously, go look at a temperature reconstruction and ask yourself...how can the feedbacks possibly be as powerful during the interglacial periods as they are during the glacial periods. The temperature fluctuations (both up and down) are far smaller. Clearly the feedbacks during the interglacial are weak to negative.
    --------------------------

    @JaneBasingstoke #376 who wrote...
    "Please see my post #375 about Venus. I think I have tackled all my nonsense."

    Heh, you certainly don't owe ME any sort of apology or clarification. I actually didn't even look into the matter until after a recent post of (possibly yours) mentioning venus. Until then I had kind of vaguely assumed that there was PROBABLY something just a bit different about venus and that CO2 wasn't a good explanation. Your comment inspired me to give it some actual thought and do some digging. I think I found/figured out my answers late on friday night :D

    But... kudos on the integrity

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  • 389. At 2:51pm on 23 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #383

    I was disrespectful in public of Joanne Nova. Joanne Nova. And she keeps score. I may not have apologised enough.

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  • 390. At 3:03pm on 23 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Paul Driscoe #374

    You have seen the scale of the divergence problem, haven't you?

    (scroll to bottom of page)
    (thermometer temperatures in black)
    http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2009/nov/CRUupdate

    except that's not quite the whole story

    (thermometer temperatures in black)
    http://climateaudit.org/2009/11/29/still-hiding-the-decline/

    I think that's plenty to accidentally reduce or get rid of a synchronised global MWP. I think the idea that drought based tree ring divergence is more likely at higher temperatures is reasonable, and therefore would be expected to accidentally reduce or get rid of even a mild synchronised global MWP.

    As to your point about AR4 Hockey sticks

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch6s6-6.html
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-6-10.html

    there are very few suitable temperature proxies, so many of them may be sharing some of the same proxies, which will increase their likelihood of them sharing the same inaccuracies.

    Meanwhile central to Climategate is Stephen McIntyre's claim that problems with statistics will also reduce the size of the MWP.

    Hockey Sticks are a mess, and their authors are quite clear that they are not the main part of the case for AGW.

    Here is a 2004 comment from Michael Mann

    "MYTH #0: Evidence for modern human influence on climate rests entirely upon the "Hockey Stick" Reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere mean temperatures indicating anomalous late 20th century warmth.

    This peculiar suggestion is sometimes found in op-ed pieces and other dubious propaganda, despite its transparant absurdity. Paleoclimate evidence is simply one in a number of independent lines of evidence indicating the strong likelihood that human influences on climate play a dominant role in the observed 20th century warming of the earth’s surface. Perhaps the strongest piece of evidence in support of this conclusion is the evidence from so-called “Detection and Attribution Studies”. Such studies demonstrate that the pattern of 20th century climate change closely matches that predicted by state-of-the-art models of the climate system in response to 20th century anthropogenic forcing (due to the combined influence of anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations and industrial aerosol increases)."


    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/myths-vs-fact-regarding-the-hockey-stick/

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  • 391. At 4:48pm on 23 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Paul Driscoe #374
    (@myself #390)

    Highlights in above Michael Mann quote are mine.

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  • 392. At 4:58pm on 23 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke @ #375

    To be honest, I have not really been following your discussions regarding Venus - I've been finding it hard enough to follow the threads I've been involved in myself, without following that discussion too! However, I wouldn't be too hard on yourself over the Venus.

    Realclimate have done a decent discussion on Venus that shouldn't prove too controversial:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/04/lessons-from-venus/

    However, I have to say that Joanne Nova's blog is not normally a reliable source of information and in fact the DeSmog blog did make a lot of valid points.

    In particular, Jo Nova's claim that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is already absorbing as much IR as it can is just plain wrong. This "saturation" argument is what stopped Angstrom believing that carbon dioxide could act as a greenhouse gas in practice, but Gilbert Plass disproved this as early as 1956.

    Again, I find myself directing you towards Realclimate, which has a pair of articles by Spencer Weart and Ray Pierre which look first at the history and then discuss some more recent expperimentation:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument-part-ii/

    Paul

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  • 393. At 5:28pm on 23 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke @ #390

    Thanks for the links, although I have seen the graphs you linked to before. Yes, the "decline" was very significant...... but what ultimately matters is that we know actual temperatures were rising whilst the tree growth slowed.

    I don't know how closely you have followed the "hockey stick" debate, but it has been completely done to death! There have been 2 major independent enquiries in the US and although they were critical of Mann's original statistical methods, neither of them found him guilty of dishonesty or fraud. In fact, the US Academy of Science enquiry broadly agreed with Mann's findings.

    Mann has since taken on board the criticisms and has even followed some of Steve McIntyre's suggestions. Furthermore, there is now far more data, with much less reliance on tree-ring proxies. A more recent article at Realclimate (2008) shows that even more progress has been made with the proxies since AR4, with proxy data now coming from corals, ice cores and bore holes as well as tree-rings:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/09/progress-in-millennial-reconstructions/

    Of course, all of the inherent weaknesses of proxies still exist (but nobody ever pretended they were perfect!). The bottom line, though, is that all of the proxies, from independent sources, do show basically the same thing. Also, the fact that non-tree-ring proxies show basically the same pattern does suggest that the "decline" did not feature significantly in medieval tree-ring data.

    Paul

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  • 394. At 6:25pm on 23 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    Paul @363:

    "If ALL of the members of the enquiry team were as obviously pro-AGW as Boulton, you might have grounds for concern, but he is just one member of that team."

    Except that he appears to be running the show. See:

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/02/15/who-wrote-the-issues-paper/

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  • 395. At 6:31pm on 23 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    One thing that's always bothered me about Venus and the greenhouse effect is that Venus' atmosphere is practically opaque.
    Little or no solar radiation reaches the surface, or even very deeply into the atmosphere, so any significant greenhouse effect must be limited to the very upper reaches of the atmosphere.
    Am I missing something?

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  • 396. At 6:31pm on 23 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    Paul Briscoe #392

    However, I have to say that Joanne Nova's blog is not normally a reliable source of information and in fact the DeSmog blog did make a lot of valid points.

    Sweeping statement with no foundation in truth

    By all means point out where she is going wrong, but until then please try to answer her points.

    DeSmog?

    The website set up by a PR guy with several "green" clients who's only reason for living is to push his clients views?

    /mango

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  • 397. At 6:47pm on 23 Feb 2010, RobWansbeck wrote:

    @393, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    “ …..........
    I don't know how closely you have followed the "hockey stick" debate, ….......


    I assume you haven't since you link to an RC post heralding the arrival of 'Upside-Down Mann'.

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  • 398. At 6:54pm on 23 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #All of your posts

    Paul,

    You really need to broaden your reading matter to more than just RealClimate. You may not like what you read, you may even disagree with what you read, you may even learn something, but one thing's for sure, you will see that not everything RealClimate says is gospel

    /mango

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  • 399. At 6:58pm on 23 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    Paul @392:

    "In particular, Jo Nova's claim that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is already absorbing as much IR as it can is just plain wrong."

    It really depends on your definition of saturation.
    If saturation was absolute then there would be no temperature increase with any level of CO2 increase.
    If there was zero saturation then you would expect a linear relationship between CO2 levels and temperature.
    The fact that there's a logarithmic relationship between CO2 and temperature shows that saturation always exists, but is never absolute.

    I prefer to think of it in terms of optical depth. If you shone a beam of 16um IR through the atmosphere, it would become more scattered due to CO2 absorption and re-emission in other directions until, at a certain distance, it would no longer be 'visible' (to an IR detector). This is the optical depth - which, at current CO2 levels, is around 1.5 to 2.5 miles (depending mainly on altitude). With increasing CO2 levels, this optical depth decreases.

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  • 400. At 7:58pm on 23 Feb 2010, Dave__G wrote:

    At 02:14am on 20 Feb 2010, Shadorne wrote:

    "We are getting tired of the alarmists. Soon you will be hounded at dinner parties and down at the pub if you start to promote your eco-fascist agendas."

    And then our businesses will be taken from us.
    And we will be forbidden by law from working in some professions.
    And then we will be restricted to marrying only our own kind.
    And then we will be transported to "work camps".

    And you have the brass neck to mention the word "fascist" about a group of people? Unbelievable!

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  • 401. At 9:28pm on 23 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Peter317 @ #394,

    I take the point regarding Prof Boulton having an obvious interest in AGW. However, this does not in itself prevent him from acting fairly and objectively as a part of the enquiry team.

    Frankly, one would expect Steve McIntyre to kick up a stink about it...... as he does with pretty well everything related to this topic.

    Paul

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  • 402. At 9:39pm on 23 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Peter317 @ #399

    If you notice, I actually said:

    "In particular, Jo Nova's claim that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is already absorbing as much IR as it can is just plain wrong."

    In other words, she is claiming that full saturation has already been reached.

    At the risk of incuring MangoChutney's wrath, I'll post the same link to Realclimate that I used above, as it does explain things in similar terms to the ones you are using:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument-part-ii/

    From the experimentation described in this article, it is clear that the present concentration of carbon dioxide is still low enough to demonstrate a near linear relationship with IR absorption - so there's a long way to go before saturation significantly slows absorption.

    Paul

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  • 403. At 10:36pm on 23 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    MangoChutney @ #396 & 398,

    Believe it or not, I've done a lot of reading. I quote Realclimate most frequently for the simple reason that it is easily the most reliable source of proper science. You may not have confidence in the peer-review process, but I believe that it works well in most cases. Realclimate normally only quote proper peer-reviewed scientific literature. Most blogs do not.

    In fact, I don't simply ignore sceptic viewpoints. There are a few sceptics whose views I do value, even though I don't agree with everything they say. One would be Bjorn Lomborg. Another would be Henrik Svensmark. Another, surprisingly perhaps, would be Steve McIntyre - in my opinion his actions do amount to harrassment in some cases, but he's an able man and does have valuable contributions to make.

    When it comes to Joanne Nova, however, I have no such respect. Every single blog of hers that I have read has been riddled with misrepresentations. Anyone who quotes Lord Monckton's views as though they are fact has very little credibility in my eyes!

    I've already mentioned the "saturation" argument. However, the other blog which JaneBasingstoke linked to, on close inspection, is the same.

    First we have Venus. Despite Ms Nova's apparent cockiness and bluster, it is DeSmog who is correct. Quoting from the Realclimate article I linked to earlier (and let's face it, they clearly have no vested interest here!):

    "Because of the cloud cover, the surface temperature of Venus would be a chilly -42C if were not for the greenhouse effect of its atmosphere. In reality, the surface of Venus, at 740K (467C) is even hotter than the surface of Mercury, which is a (relatively!) pleasant 440K. Per unit of surface area, the atmosphere of Venus has as much mass as about 100 Earth atmospheres, and it is almost pure CO2. This accounts for its very strong greenhouse effect. In contrast, the CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere accounts for a mere .00056 of the full mass of one Earth atmosphere."

    1-0 to DeSmog!

    Point 2 relates to the saturation argument that I've already dealt with above - carbon dioxide is presently not even CLOSE to saturation.

    2-0 to DeSmog!

    Point 3 relates to a slightly more complex argument regarding the apparent discrepancy between tropospheric temperatures in the tropics and those predicted by computer models.

    Nova's views appear to tie in with a paper by Douglass et al (2007) (the "et al" included Dr S Singer, who has presented questionable science both on behalf of the Tobacco Industry and the Oil Industry).

    DeSmog linked to Realclimate because it described a recent paper by Santer et al (2008). This clearly showed that Douglass et al's methodology was deeply flawed and showed that there was in fact no significant discrepancy at all. Unfortunately, yet again, I can't link to the paper and a summary document as they are PDF documents, but they are linked to in this Realclimate article:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/10/tropical-tropopshere-iii/

    Nova's attack on DeSmog appears to be based on the fact that he linked to the Santer et al paper...... but it actually seems quite a sensible course of action to me as that is surely what scientific literature is there for....... there's no point re-inventing the wheel!

    I confess that I'm not sure what the "wind-shear" bit is about, but all told, I would say that it's:

    3-0 to DeSmog!

    Paul

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  • 404. At 11:27pm on 23 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Poitsplace @ #388

    Sorry, but I missed your post.

    "water vapour = positive feedback"
    Actually, if you check the spectrum, water vapor emits at the same temperature even over places where the concentration is different...due to the fact that it precipitates out at the same temperature."

    I think you may be missing the point here. The point is that as the air temperature rises, so the vapour pressure of water increases, meaning that the atmosphere holds more water vapour, thus adding to the greenhouse effect.

    "Reducing the solubility of carbon dioxide in the oceans = positive feedback"
    Except the 10C change in global temperatures between the glacial and interglacial period only seems to have been able to liberate or absorb about 80ppm. You're only talking about 3C and a trivial 30ppm increase...and you still haven't even established what the real-world forcing from CO2 (by its self) would actually be. The theoretical maximum from a doubling of CO2 is only 3.7 watts but that sort of overall impact is highly unlikely."

    You're forgetting that at least half of the carbon dioxide from Man's recent activities has thus far been absorbed by the oceans. Consequently, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the oceans is much higher than in the past (hence the reason why ocean acidification is becoming a problem). Therefore, the amount released into the atmosphere as the oceans warm will be far greater.

    "Methane trapped in the permafrost but released as it melts = positive feedback"
    And a half-life in the atmosphere of about 10 years...look it up. Of ALL the methane in the air right now...only .1% will remain in the atmosphere in 100 years. There wouldn't just have to be a methane release...there would have to be a non-stop methane release."

    I'm well aware of methane's short life in the atmosphere, but it is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, so a continuous gradual release due to AGW would significantly add to the warming. Also, when it breaks down it releases water vapour and carbon dioxide - both greenhouse gases.

    Incidentally, it is widely believed that it was sudden methane emissions from ocean sediments (clathrate) that resulted in the huge leap in temperatures 55 million years ago. This is one of the reasons why some scientists fear that a "tipping point" may be reached if we allow AGW to continue unchecked.

    "Seriously, go look at a temperature reconstruction and ask yourself...how can the feedbacks possibly be as powerful during the interglacial periods as they are during the glacial periods. The temperature fluctuations (both up and down) are far smaller. Clearly the feedbacks during the interglacial are weak to negative."

    The point is that we are in a totally different scenario here to the one that existed in previous interglacials - now it is Man-made carbon dioxide rather than natural warming which is driving the process. The CO2 concentration is already well above anything seen in those past interglacials.

    Paul

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  • 405. At 00:47am on 24 Feb 2010, Shadorne wrote:

    Paul/Peter/Mango/Jane - you can't simplify the atmosphere as you have done - this only works in gross approximation. The whole optical depth/saturation argument is a mute point - for sure more CO2 will absorb more infrared and drive up temperatures - EVERYBODY knows this.

    The issue is what happens to the oceans, water vapor and clouds?

    This is important because the single most important greenhouse gas on Earth (ignoring Venus) is H2O!!!

    This is the big elephant in the room with the ridiculous high school assumptions being adopted by alarmists.

    Until we know these answers then it is all speculation. What positive or negative feedbacks take place? What increased albedo effects from more cloud cover? When this is all combined how does it effect the overal energy balance??

    It is just too simplistic to use straight radiative physics and ignore the feedbacks of temperature on water vapor, hydrogeologic cycles and clouds....

    Of course, I am stating the obvious but none of the alarmists want to hear anything at all about these huge uncertainties in their simplistic beliefs and oversimplified models.

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  • 406. At 05:19am on 24 Feb 2010, poitsplace wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #404 who wrote...
    "I think you may be missing the point here. The point is that as the air temperature rises, so the vapour pressure of water increases, meaning that the atmosphere holds more water vapour, thus adding to the greenhouse effect."

    No, you are missing the point. What you're talking about can only ever work in an atmosphere in which the water vapor NEVER changes back to a liquid (like the way CO2 never changes back). But on Earth it DOES change back. 30% of the entire energy budget of Earth passes through water vapor as latent heat. It doesn't matter how much water vapor increases. So long as there is still an active hydrologic cycle it short circuits almost all additional "greenhouse gas forcing" by water vapor because MOST of the energy it deals with isn't initially passed as radiation. In fact, it's quite likely stealing radiation from CO2.
    ================

    "You're forgetting that at least half of the carbon dioxide from Man's recent activities has thus far been absorbed by the oceans. Consequently, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the oceans is much higher than in the past"

    And you are forgetting that solubility increases with temperature. The temperature HAS been increasing yet the oceans have actually been taking on more and more CO2 anyway. The worst case scenarios by the most worried alarmists STILL have temperature increases far too low to offset the increases in solubility due to increased CO2 concentrations. In other words, the oceans will ONLY absorb more...and that's a fact we can demonstrate in a lab.
    ================

    "I'm well aware of methane's short life in the atmosphere, but it is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

    Incidentally, it is widely believed that it was sudden methane emissions from ocean sediments (clathrate) that resulted in the huge leap in temperatures 55 million years ago."


    Let me point out that Dr. Jones has acknowledged...there is nothing special about the current temperature increases. There is no reason for an unusual methane outgassing. Let me point out that this interglacial has had numerous increases that are twice as pronounced as those today with NO major outgassing. Let me point out that during MOST of those interglacial temperature spikes, the "cold" starting point was actually warmer than it is today and yet..no major outgassing. Methane is just not a significant AGW issue if there are expected increases in emission rates and there is no reason to think we're ever going to see some sort of massive outgassing.
    ================

    You don't seem to get how far off this "science" you're talking about really is. I doubt you're even aware of the fact that we are already experienceing 40% of the impact we'll expect for a doubling of CO2. There was an existing warming trend when CO2 levels were not increasing enough to cause detectable warming. The warming since the end of the last warm period (in the 40s) is only just enough to cover the theoretical maximum forcing of the amount we've already added. The increase in the rate of warming isn't even statistically significant. The current rate of warming (since the peak of the last warming period) is a piddly .5C per century.

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  • 407. At 07:56am on 24 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    @ simon-swede #378:

    Thanks for bring my attention to this gloriously stupid snippet from the UKskeptics website: "We are nothing to do with opposition, activist, or denialist groups who wrongly refer to themselves as 'skeptics' because they adopt a position of non-belief"

    The more I thnk about it, the funnier it gets. When I looked up their site, I found this as number one among their "aims and objectives":

    We adopt the epistemological description of skepticism: as it being the pursuit of knowledge (justified belief) through rational and empirical inquiry

    I assure anyone interested that that is nothing like "the epistemological description of skepticism" at all. Scepticism is the withholding of belief, for whatever reason. There are many ancient varieties of scepticism (such as "Pyrrhonian" and "Academic") and quite a few modern varieties (e.g. Cartesian, Humean, mitigated, etc.). Most of us are familiar with the difference between agnosticism and atheism: agnostics say we can't tell whether God exists, atheists positively assert that God doesn't exist, so agnosticism is a form of scepticism but atheism isn't.

    I would say that most varieties of scepticism are downright irrational: but they still count as scepticism! In resisting this, the UKskeptics are making the so-called "no true Scotsman" manoeuvre, and so openly it's really quite amusing.

    I suspect that much of the UKskeptics' position is guided by headlines like this one from the Guardian:

    "Do climate change sceptics give scepticism a bad name?
    There is a crucial difference between scepticism and non-belief in the face of overwhelming evidence"

    Even if we accept that the evidence is "overwhelming" I'm afraid the Guardian is wrong about non-belief not being scepticism.

    I'll leave the question of the evidence being "overwhelming" as an exercise.

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  • 408. At 08:03am on 24 Feb 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe

    I'm tied up today but i will address your points either this evening or tomorrow

    They're rubbish obviously

    >;-)~

    /mango

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  • 409. At 08:07am on 24 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Shadorne @ #405,

    I agree that there is some uncertainty regarding cloud formation, but there is certainly no genuine scientific evidence that we can RELY on cloud formation to act as a negative feedback and "save us" from more serious warming.

    Regardless of what Poitsplace may be saying, there's no question that warmer temperatures will increase the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere - this WILL increase the warming.

    Turning to the oceans, they are indeed important as they hold more than 90% of the heat energy. They are warming and some of that extra heat will ultimately be transferred to the atmosphere.

    There is far less doubt about these things than you appear to be implying.

    Paul

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  • 410. At 08:26am on 24 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #409 Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "there is certainly no genuine scientific evidence that we can RELY on cloud formation to act as a negative feedback and "save us" from more serious warming."

    What beats me about claims like these is why you don't just come clean and admit that none of us knows any of these things -- they are matters of great uncertainty. It's just common sense that the more we have to rely on abstractions, calculations and guesses, the less confidence we can have in what we assert.

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  • 411. At 09:40am on 24 Feb 2010, Dave_oxon wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke #374,374 (+many)
    @other interested readers (Mango, LabMunkey Larry Kealey)

    First up, kudos to you Jane for saying you think you got it wrong, I thank you for your fine example.

    I have been following the discussion of the thermodynamic treatment of the Venusian(?) atmosphere and the point I think that was confusing your discussion is that the theoretical parcel of air moving up and down in the atmosphere is not supposed to represent actual movement of air, rather it is a convenient mental picture on which to build a mathematical model of the adiabatic lapse rate which is easily derived from the laws of thermodynamics... this gives the rate of change of temperature with height in the atmosphere, nothing to do with actual gas movement.

    However, and this is a biggie that Jo Nova, and many others have not taken into account, this assumes the atmosphere is an ideal gas, something which atmospheres are certainly not (See Bowman and Larry Kealey's fascinating debate on this point in the previous thread).

    In particular, there is variation of the specific heat capacity of gases with pressure (which is a significant factor on Venus) which is dealt with in a 1970 paper The adiabatic lapse rate in the Venus atmosphere (Staley, J. Atmos. Phys. 27 (1970) pp219). This treatment implies that the adiabatic lapse rate for the Venus atmosphere may vary by ~10% from the ideal. (It is interesting that the surface temperature they derive is ~750K, i.e. pretty close to our best measurements, but this is qualified by the statement that the knowledge of the Venus atmosphere in 1970 was so sparse that important factors could have been left out of their model and they arrived at this "correct" result erroneously.)

    Further to this, a much more recent study proposes a model that includes the temperature variability of the specific heat capacity Venus atmosphere profile from a maximum Entropy principle (Epele et al, NonlinearProcess.Geophys.14:641,2007). In this study the Venusian(?) atmosphere is calculated to behave adiabatically below ~34km, significantly differently to the 60km I have seen quoted in various places.

    In conclusion - Neither of these papers, nor this comment, are presented to answer the question "What is the Venusian surface temperature according to a thermodynamic treatment and can CO2 greenhouse effects be demonstrated?". What I have tried to do is to illustrate how the argument based on ideal gas laws is simply incorrect and a much more thorough treatment is needed. I'm afraid I haven't the time to undertake this work personally but if anyone else fancies having a go then the first paper I mention above gives the initial derivations and is an excellent place to start!

    Regards to all,
    Dave.

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  • 412. At 09:41am on 24 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Poitsplace @ #406,

    I'm afraid that it's very difficult to conduct a meaningful discussion with you when much of the basic science your arguments rely on is flawed.

    The point regarding water vapour is that the warmer the air the more water vapour it can hold - this is the reason why clouds only form as air rises and hence cools. This is explained by the "Clausius-Clapeyron relation":

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clausius-Clapeyron_relation

    Also check out this brief explanation of the science from Realclimate:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/11/water-vapour-feedback/

    In other words, water vapour DOES add to the warming effect of carbon dioxide, but is never likely to push the Earth to a tipping point because it is a "feedback" rather than a "forcing".

    "And you are forgetting that solubility increases with temperature."

    Sorry, but this is just plain wrong. The solubility of (nearly all) gases in water DECREASES with increasing temperature - this is why we boil water to remove the air from it.

    "Let me point out that Dr. Jones has acknowledged...there is nothing special about the current temperature increases. There is no reason for an unusual methane outgassing. Let me point out that this interglacial has had numerous increases that are twice as pronounced as those today with NO major outgassing. Let me point out that during MOST of those interglacial temperature spikes, the "cold" starting point was actually warmer than it is today and yet..no major outgassing. Methane is just not a significant AGW issue if there are expected increases in emission rates and there is no reason to think we're ever going to see some sort of massive outgassing."

    Surely the "cold starting point" was an Ice Age?! We are now in an interglacial. I agree that we can't yet say that the Earth is warmer than previous interglcials (although previous temperatures have only been estimated by proxies). The point here is that the temperatures trend is still upwards and if do nothing to control emissions the rate of warming will increase. Also, warming is greatest at high Northern latitudes....... where methane is trapped in the permafrost. There is already evidence that the permafrost is receding.

    Regarding the clathrates, we simply don't know at what point they might spontaneously break down (although it is already happening to some extent). The point is that the higher the temperature goes, the more likely it is to happen...... do you want to take that risk? You might want to take a look at the following:

    http://www.csiro.au/multimedia/Methane-Clathrate.html

    "You don't seem to get how far off this "science" you're talking about really is. I doubt you're even aware of the fact that we are already experienceing 40% of the impact we'll expect for a doubling of CO2. There was an existing warming trend when CO2 levels were not increasing enough to cause detectable warming. The warming since the end of the last warm period (in the 40s) is only just enough to cover the theoretical maximum forcing of the amount we've already added. The increase in the rate of warming isn't even statistically significant. The current rate of warming (since the peak of the last warming period) is a piddly .5C per century."

    The impression I get from this is that you have been paying too much attention to internet blogs which misrepresent the science and too little to the actual scientific literature. It's obvious that I'm not going to persuade you that you've got it wrong, so let's leave it there, shall we?

    Paul

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  • 413. At 11:05am on 24 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #411 Dave_oxon wrote:

    "the theoretical parcel of air moving up and down in the atmosphere is not supposed to represent actual movement of air, rather it is a convenient mental picture on which to build a mathematical model of the adiabatic lapse rate"

    We all accept that the thinner the atmosphere, the colder it tends to be. That's what I usually understand as the "lapse rate".

    But surely the adiabatic lapse rate has to do not with thinner gas being colder, but with the changing temperature of gas with changing pressure -- i.e. as gas becomes thinner, it cools down?

    In which case, surely we have to limit our discussion here to actual movements of parcels of gas?

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  • 414. At 12:08pm on 24 Feb 2010, Dave_oxon wrote:

    #413 Bowmanthebard wrote:
    "In which case, surely we have to limit our discussion here to actual movements of parcels of gas?"

    Sorry, I should have made it clear that we are talking about no net movement of air, the over-riding assumption being that the atmosphere being modelled is in hydrostatic equilibrium, i.e. all rising mass is balanced by equal falling mass, thereby maintaining a static pressure gradient. Any individual movements of air parcels need not be considered explicitly as we are to assume that anything of the sort has already occurred leading to the static gradients mentioned above. The only consideration of these in the derivation is their use as the infitesimal test element used to set up the simple differential equations.

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  • 415. At 2:42pm on 24 Feb 2010, Shadorne wrote:

    Paul wrote: Shadorne @ #405, I agree that there is some uncertainty regarding cloud formation, but there is certainly no genuine scientific evidence that we can RELY on cloud formation to act as a negative feedback and "save us" from more serious warming.

    My point was that we know so little.

    For example, there is certainly no genuine scientific evidence from paleoclimate studies to suggest that we ever get runaway global warming - so some processes are tempering or stabilizing the atmosphere - in fact it suggests that some processes makes the climate cooler even when there are high amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere - H2O, convection, changes in albedo (clouds, vegetation, ice/snow, continental drift), milankovich cycles, Galactic Cosmic rays, sunspots all seem potential candidates at some points or other in the historical records - some or all of these probably play a continuous role.

    My point is that it is simply ridiculous to speak in the alarmists terms typically used (as per Jeffrey Sachs, IPCC, etc etc) - especially given our sorry state of understanding of an extremely complex system on a global scale.

    Alarmists are "crying-wolf". It really is quite pathetic.

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  • 416. At 3:05pm on 24 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    MangoChutney @ #408

    "I'm tied up today but i will address your points either this evening or tomorrow

    They're rubbish obviously"

    I think that more precisely translates as "IN YOUR OPINION they are rubbish".

    Sadly, I too have other things I need to be doing!

    Paul

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  • 417. At 5:11pm on 24 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #379

    I'm lucky. As a nobody I can afford to make honest mistakes about climate change without politicians demanding my financial details and work history.

    "Republican Congressman Joe Barton waded into the controversy late in June [2005].

    In his capacity as chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Mr Barton wrote to Mann, Bradley and Hughes.

    He demanded they should send details from the whole of their careers, covering sources of funding, whereabouts of raw data, and full computer codes

    The letter's demands

    Comprehensive CV detailing all authored climate research
    List of grants or other financial support to pursue those studies
    Basis on which finance was obtained; any stipulations laid down or agreements sought
    Detailed catalogue of data archives, contents and location; including calculations and computer source codes used

    Mr Barton also wrote to the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which reproduced the hockey stick in its 2001 scientific assessment of global warming, and to the director of the National Science Foundation, which funds much of the climate science done in the United States.

    The letters were also signed by the Republican chairmen of the Sub-committee on Oversight and Investigations - a body that has previously looked into the Enron and oil-for-food scandals."


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4693855.stm

    All this in response to McIntyre's sincerely motivated work.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/4349133.stm

    Openness and transparency in science can only work if scientists are allowed to make honest mistakes.

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  • 418. At 5:28pm on 24 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Shadorne @ #415

    "My point was that we know so little."

    The climate scientists know a lot more than you appear to be giving them credit for.

    "H2O, convection, changes in albedo (clouds, vegetation, ice/snow, continental drift), milankovich cycles, Galactic Cosmic rays, sunspots all seem potential candidates at some points or other in the historical records - some or all of these probably play a continuous role."

    All of the above do indeed play a role, but climate scientists have assessed them, where necessary allowed for them and have concluded that none of the above can account for the recent warming trend. The fact that you appear to be unaware of this tells me that you have not actually READ what the real scientists are saying.

    This science is hugely complex and even with an Environmental Science degree and a science based PhD I don't pretend to fully understand all aspects of it. So what chance is there for the average blogger? However, as a scientist I have learned that the ONLY way to learn the truth about a specific science topic is to go and read the real science that is backed up by peer-reviewed scientific literature.

    It suits sceptics to claim that the peer-review process is biased....... and that AGW is just a conspiracy....... and that data is fraudulently manipulated. Why?.... because the sceptics know that most of their own arguments can't withstand peer-review. The sceptic blogs' entire credibility rests on being able to trick people into believing that their "pseudo-science" has equal value to the real science. This, ultimately, is why the peer-reviewed literature is the ONLY reliable source of information.

    Rather than having me address your questions regarding the uncertainties, you'd be far better going and getting your questions answered direct from the horse's mouth. With this in mind, if you are really interested in getting a balanced view (rather than what the internet blogs are telling you), you should go and visit www.realclimate.org for yourself. All of the answers are there. Most of them are also in IPCC AR4.

    Paul

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  • 419. At 6:04pm on 24 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #393

    Unfortunately with Hockey Sticks the published papers are the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot of science on Stephen McIntyre's Climate Audit website that has never been submitted for peer review but is suitable to be written up for peer review. Science that postdates mainstream science attempts to fix the Hockey Sticks.

    Or in other words, unlike other areas of climate science, the cream of the sceptic work has not been published in peer reviewed journals.

    The reason why it hasn't been published involves a lot of messy politics and misunderstandings. You can get a flavour of the misunderstandings by looking at the rhetoric at RealClimate and Climate Audit, and by looking at some of the Climategate emails.

    Also you can look at how this

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/4349133.stm

    was followed by this

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4693855.stm

    the latter of which contributes to an atmosphere that is hardly conducive to good science.

    Personally as far as the debate is concerned I am not interested in rescuing Hockey Sticks. The sheer work involved in sorting science from rhetoric in an area requiring deep understanding of multiple disciplines... Yuk. And it isn't a core element of the AGW case.

    But as far as the science is concerned, yes, the more recent attempts are definitely worthwhile.

    I notice Gavin Schmidt downplaying even this more recent Hockey Stick as part of the main case for AGW (highlight Gavin's):

    "First off, this paper (like MBH98 before it) is not an attribution study. That means that the reasons for any of the ups-and-downs in the records are not demonstrated by these papers alone. Attribution of the recent trends (as discussed in IPCC AR4) to anthropogenic effects has mostly focussed on the last 150 years and did not use any paleo-data."

    and

    "Finally, while the headline numbers ‘likely warmest since XXXX’ are of some contextual value, they aren’t the real point of this kind of study. Most of the interesting work – looking for patterns associated with solar forcing say – will start when the spatial patterns of temperature change start to be discerned – and that is still a work in progress."

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/09/progress-in-millennial-reconstructions/

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  • 420. At 6:30pm on 24 Feb 2010, LarryKealey wrote:


    @bowmanthebard #413 wrote:

    "We all accept that the thinner the atmosphere, the colder it tends to be. That's what I usually understand as the "lapse rate".

    But surely the adiabatic lapse rate has to do not with thinner gas being colder, but with the changing temperature of gas with changing pressure -- i.e. as gas becomes thinner, it cools down?"

    -------------end of excerpt---------------

    Not true. Temperature inversions are very common within the atmosphere. Hot air tends to rise, just as cold air tends to sink. In the atmosphere - as opposed to a glass bottle, where when we increase pressure we increase temperature.

    I have experienced this phenomenon many many times as a skydiver with over 900 jumps. It is also well documented. If you look at the atmosphere, you will find that temperature generally decreases upward through the troposphere - but only generally, temperature inversions are very common - and result in things like snowfall - where warm moisture laden air rises above cold air at the surface, the temperature warms as one rises through the stratosphere - almost to the temperature at ground level, declines in the mesosphere and climbs dramatically in the Thermosphere - the edge of space.

    http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/images/profile_jpg_image.html

    this reference provided just for you - but please check your own references. Boyle's law - returning to our previous discussion, does not apply in the atmosphere as it does in a 'contained system'.

    Cheers.

    Kealey


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  • 421. At 6:44pm on 24 Feb 2010, LarryKealey wrote:


    @Paul, #418

    Shadorne is right on the mark - we know so little - to pretend otherwise is utter fallacy and unfounded arrogance.

    I certainly don't trust 'realclimate.org' - essentially another blog - nor do I have any faith in the IPCC - nor much else the UN is involved in.

    To think that 'we know enough to predict climate change' or much less 'tackle climate change' is utterly ridiculous. Pure rubbish.

    The whole AGW thing has been unraveling for years now. Repeatedly we have heard that 'scientists' have overstated their conclusions and understated their doubts and certainties.

    The Earth's Climate System is a very long way from being 'well understood'. I mean really - to imagine as the IPCC does that feedback associated with CO2 forcing is a constant - how ridiculously simplistic - and unrealistic. Sensitivity of temperature to CO2 depends upon a great many other interrelated factors. A complex set of interrelations we have hardly scratched the surface of understanding, much less the ability to model and make predictions.

    Perhaps you should consider skepticism to be valuable - as most scientists throughout the ages have (good scientists anyways).

    Regarding the peer-review process - it has been shown with regards to climate science to be seriously flawed, as many 'climate scientists' are now admitting. When only your cohorts get to 'peer review' your work and your raw data, corrections, assumptions, models, etc are not released, just your conclusions - there is no transparency - your results cannot be reproduced by outside parties.

    It is unfortunate that the climate scientific community has done so much damage to the larger scientific community - which generally adheres to the tenets of peer review and release of information for third party independent peer review and reproducibility of results.

    It will take many years to undo the damage done by 'climate science' to the larger scientific community. Many years to restore credibility.

    Cheers.

    Kealey

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  • 422. At 6:45pm on 24 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Shadorne #415: "My point was that we know so little."

    Paul Briscoe #418: "The climate scientists know a lot more than you appear to be giving them credit for."

    A dangerous and important equivocation in the word 'know' is relevant here. An newly-trained astrologer might be unfamiliar with the astrological jargon, whereas an old hand might "know astrology" like the back of his hand. So in one sense of the word 'know', he "knows astrology". Does he have a lot of astrological knowledge? -- No, it's all poppycock.

    I don't doubt that climate scientists "know a lot of climate science" in the first sense of the word 'know', but I do doubt that climate scientists know a lot about the climate, which is what we are concerned with here.

    It has been claimed on numerous occasions on this blog that climate science -- unlike physics or biology -- is wholly inaccessible to the layman, that it requires years of training to even begin to plumb its arcane depths...

    If so, your alarm bells should be ringing. If some area of inquiry is so highly specialized and complicated and abstract that the ordinary person cannot even begin to grasp it, then it is very uncertain indeed.

    We are all very fallible -- importantly, we are more fallible than we think we are. People who get "stuck into" technical disciplines tend to admire their own skills so much, they tend to be the most blind to their own fallibility. The glaciers may or may not be melting, but we are all on thin ice in that respect.

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  • 423. At 7:15pm on 24 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    Paul #409:

    "there is certainly no genuine scientific evidence that we can RELY on cloud formation to act as a negative feedback and "save us" from more serious warming."

    As much or as little as we can rely on anything.

    Can you think of any reason why more moisture in the atmosphere should not result in more clouds?

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  • 424. At 7:20pm on 24 Feb 2010, LarryKealey wrote:


    410. At 08:26am on 24 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #409 Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "there is certainly no genuine scientific evidence that we can RELY on cloud formation to act as a negative feedback and "save us" from more serious warming."

    What beats me about claims like these is why you don't just come clean and admit that none of us knows any of these things -- they are matters of great uncertainty. It's just common sense that the more we have to rely on abstractions, calculations and guesses, the less confidence we can have in what we assert.

    -------------end of excerpt--------------

    @bowmanthebard

    Excellent. On the mark.

    Cheers.

    Kealey

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  • 425. At 7:32pm on 24 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    Paul #418:

    "This, ultimately, is why the peer-reviewed literature is the ONLY reliable source of information."

    I don't agree. Most peer-reviewed literature (in all scientific fields) is subsequently shown to be wrong.
    On the other hand, if any published research can withstand the critique of independent 'hostile' parties, and not be found wanting, then it's fair to say that it's probably reliable.
    Peer-review is only the first (and not absolutely necessary) step.

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  • 426. At 7:33pm on 24 Feb 2010, LarryKealey wrote:


    @Paul Briscoe

    As you seem to be in the complete believe that we can cause 'runaway warming', riddle me this...

    In taking a look at the Vostok Ice Cores, why is it that we find that the onset of each period of glaciation is preceded by the highest levels of CO2 for the interglacial.

    This would seem to imply that there is a great deal that we don't understand about CO2's role, climate drivers in general and feedbacks associated with CO2.

    Please point me to the research which shows that climate feedback (on temperature) related to CO2 is a constant - as the IPCC and the 'climate modelers' seem to think.

    If the Earth's Climate System were so simple - we would have had runaway warming and an uninhabitable planet long ago. The earth adjusts and takes care of itself in many ways we have yet to even fathom in our scientific studies.

    Why is this so hard for you to accept? Questions answered in science do not generally lead to answers, but ultimately to more questions.

    Cheers.

    Kealey

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  • 427. At 7:39pm on 24 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    Jane #417:

    "I'm lucky. As a nobody I can afford to make honest mistakes about climate change without politicians demanding my financial details and work history"

    I know the feeling. In my line of work, honest mistakes - if not subsequently picked up by rigorous review and testing - could well result in 'life and limb' hazards.

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  • 428. At 8:11pm on 24 Feb 2010, LarryKealey wrote:


    @JaneBasingstoke re: #419

    I am very impressed. Nice post.

    Cheers.

    Kealey

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  • 429. At 8:20pm on 24 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard

    "It has been claimed on numerous occasions on this blog that climate science -- unlike physics or biology -- is wholly inaccessible to the layman, that it requires years of training to even begin to plumb its arcane depths...

    If so, your alarm bells should be ringing. If some area of inquiry is so highly specialized and complicated and abstract that the ordinary person cannot even begin to grasp it, then it is very uncertain indeed."


    Let's get things clear.

    Just because the AGW bloggers here can't use the medium of BBC blog threads to answer all your questions to your satisfaction doesn't mean that core climate science can only be understood by an elite.

    Meanwhile you might be interested in this paper, whose author had clearly familiarised himself with earlier work on the same subject before submitting his take.

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/On_the_Electrodynamics_of_Moving_Bodies_(1920_edition)

    Oh, and here's a Feynman quote for you to mull over:

    "If I could explain it to the average person, I wouldn't have been worth the Nobel Prize."

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  • 430. At 8:38pm on 24 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Peter317 #427

    But you would have known that when you chose your line of work. Whereas the Hockey Stick authors had fame thrust upon them as non-specialists on both sides of the debate decided that the first steps of this young science were the "proof" everyone had been looking for.

    I mean, tree ring counting, who'd have ever guessed politicians or the general public would be interested in that.

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  • 431. At 8:46pm on 24 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard
    (@myself #429)

    Sorry, dud link. Brackets in URL problem.

    Here's my point with a working link.


    Meanwhile you might be interested in this paper, whose author had clearly familiarised himself with earlier work on the same subject before submitting his take.

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/On_the_Electrodynamics_of_Moving_Bodies_%281920_edition%29

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  • 432. At 8:48pm on 24 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    Jane #429:

    BTW Your link doesn't appear to work.

    I know that you have never suggested that climate science can only be understood by an elite, but others certainly have - on this blog as well as a host of others.

    If I were to make an ultra-conservative estimate, I would say that there are at least a million people in this country alone who are more than capable of understanding the intricacies of climate science. That's not, of course, to say that anyone really understands the intricacies of climate, but they are certainly capable of understanding the science.

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  • 433. At 9:38pm on 24 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Janebasingstoke @ #419

    Jane,

    I thought i was going to be out tonight, but as I'm now staying in, I'm more than happy to continue this discussion.

    I think the "hockey stick" saga has been blown up out of all proportion - probably because it became seen as a symbol, especially by sceptics who clearly saw it as fraudulent.

    I'm no expert on the statistical analysis of the data, but it's clear from the 2 enquiries that there were some question marks over this in Mann's original paper. As you have suggested, I'm quite convinced that Mann did not intend to deceive anyone and he has since incorporated many of the suggestions from others, including Steve McIntyre. There have also been quite a number of other parallel studies which have shown similar trends. The message that keeps coming out is that changes to the statistical analysis really make very little difference to the shape of the graph.

    The problem now, as I see it is that McIntyre is like a terrier and simply will not let go. He obviously firmly believes what he's saying, but at this point the different approaches to the statistical analysis are more a matter of personal opinion rather than one side or the other being right (I saw something similar in my own line of research). McIntyre and McKitrick put forwards their views in a blog whilst the AGW scientists put out rebuttals of their own.

    Personally, I think McIntyre has become almost obsessive about pressing home his attack (to the extent of being unreasonable)..... although others posting on his blog have made this personal.

    You might find the following paper interesting, as it gives some impression of the forces at work here and probably goes a long way towards explaining the huge anger felt by the UEA team:

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/briffa/yamal2009/

    There are a number of significant paragraphs, but this one stands out:

    "We wish to stress that McIntyre himself has made no such assertions. At no time does he suggest that either of his versions of the chronology represents general Yamal tree-growth changes "more realistically" than in our earlier work. However, his original posting has been interpreted in this way by others, both on the Climate Audit website and elsewhere. Some postings on Climate Audit, notably that by Ross McKitrick (comment no. 7), strongly imply that the data used in the published versions of the Yamal chronology were deliberately selected in order to manufacture misleading evidence of a recent tree-growth increase in this region. Subsequent reports of McIntyre's blog (e.g. in The Telegraph, The Register and The Spectator) amount to hysterical, even defamatory misrepresentations, not only of our work but also of the content of the original McIntyre blog, by using words such as 'scam', 'scandal', 'lie', and 'fraudulent' with respect to our work."

    This, more than any other factor, is what lies at the heart of the "Climategate" emails.

    Is it really that important? Well, as you've pointed out, Gavin Shmidt has put them into a more realistic perspective. In truth, I understand that even some of the scientists who have criticised the graph actually agree with the science of AGW as a whole on the basis of the instrumental data.

    Paul
    Paul

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  • 434. At 9:43pm on 24 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    @Jane #430:

    I agree in principle. However, if you go back a few decades, climatologists were very few and far between. Now there are thousands, and it's unlikely that many of them didn't have some idea what they were letting themselves in for.

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  • 435. At 10:37pm on 24 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    Here's an interesting read:

    http://curry.eas.gatech.edu/climate/towards_rebuilding_trust.html

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  • 436. At 10:54pm on 24 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Well, given that I'm now unexpectedly at home this evening, I have a little time. However, as it seems that I am presently the only proponent of the AGW scientists' viewpoint posting here, I will not even attempt to address every point in detail.

    First of all, I stand by every point I made in #418. I obviously can't MAKE you read peer-reviewed scientific papers, but they are certainly the only scientific material present on the internet that has undergone any kind of screening to ensure that the science is sound..... and Realclimate, although nominally a blog, is distinct from others in that it relies on this type of properly validated material.

    Also, if you are really sincere about learning the TRUTH about AGW, you do need to start looking at the science more objectively and not set out with the pre-conceived idea that it must be wrong....... although I put it to you that you might actually WANT it to be wrong! In fact, that is in my opinion the major problem in this debate.

    First, let's deal with Bowman's comment:

    "It has been claimed on numerous occasions on this blog that climate science -- unlike physics or biology -- is wholly inaccessible to the layman, that it requires years of training to even begin to plumb its arcane depths...

    If so, your alarm bells should be ringing. If some area of inquiry is so highly specialized and complicated and abstract that the ordinary person cannot even begin to grasp it, then it is very uncertain indeed."

    The main point I was making here, Bowman, is that people whose knowledge of basic science does not even extend to things such as the effect of temperature on the solubility of gases in water cannot hope to properly judge whether the science of AGW makes sense. There are far too many people with a poor grasp of basic science presuming that they understand AGW better than scientists who have studied it all of their adult lives. Ultimately, even many of the bloggers do not have a proper grasp of the science.

    Now Larry Kealey @ #426

    "In taking a look at the Vostok Ice Cores, why is it that we find that the onset of each period of glaciation is preceded by the highest levels of CO2 for the interglacial."

    The New Scientist has done an excellent article:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11659-climate-myths-ice-cores-show-co2-increases-lag-behind-temperature-rises-disproving-the-link-to-global-warming.html?full=true

    The main graph shows that carbon dioxide actually correlated closely with temperature, but to answer your specific question, it is believed that Milankovitch cycles triggered the switch from warm to cold and back again, with carbon dioxide effectively amplifying the changes.

    In fact, scientists know more as a result of more recent studies of the Vostok Ice Cores. You probably won't like the source article, but it covers this particular subject far better than others that I've seen.

    There are a lot of myths debunked in this article, but you need to scroll down the page to "Myth #21". I've actually linked to this article specifically because it mentions a recent research paper which shows for the first time that carbon dioxide levels rose BEFORE the Northern Hemisphere glaciers melted (in other words, it appears that carbon dioxide induced warming was an important part of the move to an interglacial):

    http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/2007/07/23/anti-global-heating-claims-a-reasonably-thorough-debunking/#m21

    Sadly, we have an ongoing problem with PDF documents not being allowed here, so you'll have to follow the link on the webpage to read it. It's entitled "Timing of Atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic Temperature Changes.... etc.".

    "To think that 'we know enough to predict climate change' or much less 'tackle climate change' is utterly ridiculous. Pure rubbish.

    The whole AGW thing has been unraveling for years now. Repeatedly we have heard that 'scientists' have overstated their conclusions and understated their doubts and certainties.

    The Earth's Climate System is a very long way from being 'well understood'. I mean really - to imagine as the IPCC does that feedback associated with CO2 forcing is a constant - how ridiculously simplistic - and unrealistic. Sensitivity of temperature to CO2 depends upon a great many other interrelated factors. A complex set of interrelations we have hardly scratched the surface of understanding, much less the ability to model and make predictions."

    I don't wish to sound patronising, but all of this sounds as though it's been lifted straight off the page of one of the sceptic blogs or a recent newspaper article. It is a long way from being fair and accurate...... there are still uncertainties, but nothing like as many as the sceptics would have you believe.

    I can't hope to cover all of the points here....... and nor should I have to! As I suggested above, I think it would be better for you to go and read what the scientists are ACTUALLY saying so that you can decide for yourself. Some of the other "myths" at the link above are relevant. However, the Realclimate site is easily the best source of the science - they will do it far better justice than I could here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/index/

    Now it's up to you!

    Paul

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  • 437. At 11:15pm on 24 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Peter317 @ #435

    Thanks for the interesting article. I think it is broadly correct.

    In fact, I think the only point it has really missed is that the so called "Climate Auditors" are not always as honest as they should be. If they stuck to the facts and actually provided a proper audit of the data, they would actually have a very valuable role. The problem is that far too many times blogs such as "Watts up with That" have clearly misrepresented cherry-picked data in order to manufacture evidence of fraud. As a result they have become part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

    Anyway, it was a good article. Thanks!

    Paul

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  • 438. At 11:56pm on 24 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Peter317 #432

    Clickable version of link now avail at my post #431

    There is a "feature" in the BBC's blogging software that assumes that colons (":"), brackets ("(" and ")") and possibly other characters mean "end of link". I presume this is a deliberate way of dealing with the problem of how you spot the end of a link when something else is typed immediately after it.

    Whatever the reason it is more awkward to use than its opposite, blogging software that only treats spaces and line throws as the end of a link.

    When I spot it happening to my links I try and post a clickable version as soon as possible afterwards (substituting %3A for colons, %28 for left brackets and %29 for right brackets).

    But even when it isn't properly clickable you can still use "cut and paste" to navigate to the link. Affected links are link coloured up to the problem character and plain text coloured afterwards.

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  • 439. At 00:06am on 25 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Peter317 #435

    Thanks for that.

    I would just like to add that Judith Curry is respected by both sides. She has posted at both Stephen McIntyre's Climate Audit and at Joe Romm's Climate Progress.

    http://curry.eas.gatech.edu/climate/towards_rebuilding_trust.html

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  • 440. At 01:17am on 25 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #433

    I agree with a lot of your post.

    However McIntyre being like a terrier is a good thing. His work has helped push the science forward.

    Scientists on both sides have been subject to appalling pressures, and this explains even if it does not condone their behaviour.

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  • 441. At 03:20am on 25 Feb 2010, Shadorne wrote:

    Paul" wrote" All of the above do indeed play a role, but climate scientists have assessed them, where necessary allowed for them and have concluded that none of the above can account for the recent warming trend. The fact that you appear to be unaware of this tells me that you have not actually READ what the real scientists are saying.

    Paul, I studied atmospheric physics in college. So don't worry - I actually do understand enough to know that there is HUGE uncertainty in this field. This is probably why I remain a skeptic of any dire catastrophic alarmist claims until I see some evidence. So far I have seen absolutely NO evidence at all to make me consider anything other than the alarmists are "crying wolf". I am not saying the alarmists can't possibly be right but I am saying that they are probably wrong with a probability of more than 99%.

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  • 442. At 05:31am on 25 Feb 2010, poitsplace wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #436 who wrote...
    "The main point I was making here, Bowman, is that people whose knowledge of basic science does not even extend to things such as the effect of temperature on the solubility of gases in water cannot hope to properly judge whether the science of AGW makes sense. There are far too many people with a poor grasp of basic science presuming that they understand AGW better than scientists who have studied it all of their adult lives."

    BTW, I was in a rush and mistakenly pasted my reply to a previous post in the wrong window and it ended up on the next thread.

    Anyway, I assume the above comment about CO2 solubility was about me. You should always be careful when you're being critical of others when it can come back to haunt you. You are referring to CO2 solubility as if CO2 concentrations were expected to stay constant...even though you expect the levels to rise substantially. As I too pointed out...CO2's solubility DOES decrease with temperature. What you failed to take into account is that the drop in solubility is more than compensated for by..the huge increase in partial pressure of CO2.

    I just want you to understand that some of the science fed to you by the so-called experts is demonstrably wrong and that the ability to spot the error is within the capabilities of anyone that has been through even the most basic chemistry class...if they haven't already been beaten senseless by the relentless torrent of AGW propaganda.
    ===============

    @JaneBasingstoke #438
    RE:the blog's link limitations

    Personally, when I see it start to do crazy stuff to the link...I just use HTML.
    <a href="LINK HERE">DESCRIPTION OF LINK HERE</a>

    Hopefully the automatic filter allowed that. It sometimes allows things in the preview but not in the final version that's displayed.

    With respect to PDF's...I've been wondering if google's "quick view" would be acceptable to the mods. It most certainly is not a PDF.

    Basically you need to search for the PDF's URL in google and then select "quick view" if available (I assume experienced users could get google to quick view just about any standard document you could manage to point it to) and then through a bit of hit and miss testing...remove the session/user ID from the link (otherwise it won't display properly) and possibly some of the other variables. Let's just test this concept, shall we?

    This is NOT A PDF but google's translated cache of one

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  • 443. At 07:49am on 25 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #436 Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "There are far too many people with a poor grasp of basic science presuming that they understand AGW better than scientists who have studied it all of their adult lives."

    I wonder why they don't? Presumably, because it's complicated. But complicated science is always less worthy of belief than simple science.

    I think a real difference in temperament divides us. Warm-mongers admire people who have "devoted their lives" to understanding complicated stuff, and have the urge to "take their word for it". Sceptics are suspicious of complicated stuff because it's less likely to be true.

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  • 444. At 09:09am on 25 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "I think a real difference in temperament divides us. Warm-mongers admire people who have "devoted their lives" to understanding complicated stuff, and have the urge to "take their word for it". Sceptics are suspicious of complicated stuff because it's less likely to be true."

    Bowman, I agree that there is a divide between us. The problem I have with your attitude is that it is based on an ASSUMPTION that the science has to be wrong because it is complex.

    Paul

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  • 445. At 09:24am on 25 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Shadorne @ #441

    Fair enough. You believe that you fully understand the science, but your views are clearly at odds with the 97% of climate scientists who DO believe that AGW is driving the present warming trend. Clearly, they must believe that the evidence is strong enough to be convincing. You also need to remember that it wasn't always thus. It is only more recently, as more evidence has built up, that they have reached this consensus.

    There are undoubtedly still uncertainties (and I too am mindful of them), but are you sure that you're right and the entire climate science community has got it wrong?

    Paul

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  • 446. At 09:37am on 25 Feb 2010, Steve Richards wrote:

    @433

    So here lies the problem. CRU will continue to release 'research' that can not be checked or verified or duplicated because of the use of 'private' data.

    -----
    from the link in @433

    The Climatic Research Unit has never been a prolific producer of tree-ring records, focussing mainly on the collaborative analysis of data generously provided by other institutions. We will continue to respect restrictions placed upon the dissemination of data by those colleagues who provide them. All of the data produced at CRU (sampled from living oaks or pines at various sites around the UK and Scandinavia) have been provided on request. (All of the data used or produced in the analysis described here are provided on the Data page.)

    ----

    This is in total breach of all scientific research ethics.

    If the staff of CRU were a private research facility, who's output mattered little, then this would not be a problem.

    However, CRU reports are taken seriously, they are used to further manipulate the Global Average Temperature record EACH MONTH.


    Conclusion:

    Until CRU join the civilised world and publish all the data and methods that they rely upon, then they will always be seen as second class scientists or charlatans.

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  • 447. At 09:37am on 25 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #444 Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "Bowman, I agree that there is a divide between us. The problem I have with your attitude is that it is based on an ASSUMPTION that the science has to be wrong because it is complex."

    I'm not assuming it has to be wrong if it's complicated, just that it doesn't deserve to be believed if it's so complicated that ordinary people have a problem understanding it. Ordinary people do not have a problem understanding the basic ideas of all sorts of other scientific theories in physics and biology.

    Trials by jury are guided by a somewhat similar epistemological principle. The idea is to establish whether or not there is reasonable doubt about a defendant having committed a crime. If twelve ordinary people (i.e. non-specialists) still think there is "reasonable doubt" after the case for and against has been explained by both sides, with the help of specialists on both sides, then there is room for reasonable doubt. It is a mistake to take drastic action against someone (such as imprisoning him) if there is reasonable doubt about his guilt.

    I wonder where you got the idea that I think the science "has to be wrong" if it's complicated? It suggests that you are confusing truth and certainty -- it's a very common error, but a very serious error as well.

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  • 448. At 10:03am on 25 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Poitsplace @ #442

    "Anyway, I assume the above comment about CO2 solubility was about me. You should always be careful when you're being critical of others when it can come back to haunt you. You are referring to CO2 solubility as if CO2 concentrations were expected to stay constant...even though you expect the levels to rise substantially. As I too pointed out...CO2's solubility DOES decrease with temperature. What you failed to take into account is that the drop in solubility is more than compensated for by..the huge increase in partial pressure of CO2."

    You can understand me being a little surprised by your statement at #406 regarding carbon dioxide solubility, which was obviously incorrect!

    I am indeed well aware of the effect of the increased partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The problem is that as the oceans warm, so the amount of additional carbon dioxide which they can absorb will fall, causing the atmospheric concentration to increase more quickly. Consequently, this is indeed a positive feedback.

    There is actually another potential cause for concern with the rising carbon dioxide levels in the oceans. I've already mentioned ocean acidification. The problem with this is that it impacts on the ability of marine organisms to take up carbonate. Not only does this pose a serious problem for the organisms themselves, but it is also one of the key mechanisms in the long term removal of carbon dioxide from the system.

    "I just want you to understand that some of the science fed to you by the so-called experts is demonstrably wrong and that the ability to spot the error is within the capabilities of anyone that has been through even the most basic chemistry class...if they haven't already been beaten senseless by the relentless torrent of AGW propaganda."

    I think you are forgetting the propaganda emanating from the sceptic side of this debate. Of course, two wrongs certainly don't make a right, but you need to bear in mind that the sceptics are demonstrably making false claims of their own. I refer you back to my comment in the post above. Climate scientists as a profession don't have any axe to grind over this and they are not fools. So if 97% of them believe in AGW then the science HAS to be far more convincing than you are suggesting - the present consensus has been arrived at over time due to a growing body of evidence.

    Paul

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  • 449. At 10:09am on 25 Feb 2010, Dave_oxon wrote:

    @Bowman #443:
    "Sceptics are suspicious of complicated stuff because it's less likely to be true."

    How do you justify this statement? General relativity (to return to an old, an probably over-used, example) is much more complicated than Newton's laws of motion/gravitation, yet it holds true over a wider range of physical situations. To make the "Occam's Razor" appeal to common sense when discussing science is to put oneself in a weak position before the argument has begun.

    Turning to your comment at #447, particularly referring to trial by jury, I would like to hold up the tragic case of Sally Clarke (convicted of double infanticide in 2003) for your consideration. The prosecution's case depended in large part on the statistical liklihood of two children from the same family dying naturally. This is a subtle point which even the experts in the case messed up as, since the children had already died, the correct question was "What is the liklihood, in a family where two children have died, that murder has been committed?" The answer to the first question is one in tens of millions. The answer to the second is less than one in two.
    So, the experts didn't understand it, the laypeople could not have been expected to understand it, yet by your position the correct form of the statistics in the prosecutions case didn't deserve to be accepted because it was too complicated to be understood?

    My point here is that it is dangerous to dismiss something simply on the grounds that it is complicated in favour of something that is simple. Particulalry in science, "simpler" does not mean "more likely to be correct" - every hypothesis needs judging on its own merits and against its particular evidence/tests. Now, without referring to AGW, I would be very interested in your opinion of this point of view.

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  • 450. At 10:17am on 25 Feb 2010, davblo wrote:

    bowmanthebard #447: "Ordinary people do not have a problem understanding the basic ideas of all sorts of other scientific theories in physics and biology."

    Don't you mean...

    Ordinary people do not have a problem understanding the basic ideas of some scientific theories in physics and biology.

    Why would you include all theories?

    There are some clear exceptions, and in some cases even scientists have trouble finding an acceptable "basic idea" from a working theory.

    If there are exceptions, why rule out climate science?

    /davblo

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  • 451. At 10:18am on 25 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "I'm not assuming it has to be wrong if it's complicated, just that it doesn't deserve to be believed if it's so complicated that ordinary people have a problem understanding it."

    Bowman,

    In my humble opinion, the second half of that sentence is wholly arbritrary! It's hardly the fault of climate scientists that there are so many different processes which need to be considered together when researching the climate. No single element of a dynamic system can be considered in isolation, which is why you need to have a grasp of ALL the processes to fully understand it. The same applies to medical science..... and I think most of us would prefer to listen to a medical specialist rather than a quack if our life depended on it!

    This doesn't preclude scientists from other fields making a valuable contribution, but there is always a risk that they may draw false conclusions by failing to take into account something important.

    Paul

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  • 452. At 10:24am on 25 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Steve Richards @ #446,

    In fairness, much of the data used in medical science has been produced by commercial organisations and as such is not freely available. Is that a scandal too?

    I agree that all scientific data SHOULD be made public. In fact, there's no question that all of the data held by UEA WILL be made available to the public (note that the GISS data already is). This is surely why it would not be in the interests of scientists to deliberately fiddle it.

    Paul

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  • 453. At 11:02am on 25 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    bowmanthebard #443: "Sceptics are suspicious of complicated stuff because it's less likely to be true."

    Dave_oxon #449: "How do you justify this statement?"

    The answer to that question may lie beyond the scope of this discussion! It might be that it is one of those statements that doesn't itself stand in need of justification, "simplicity" in this context possibly being just another word for "the sort of thing we recognize as being worthy of belief". But I accept that is a very murky answer, so here is another stab at it:

    Hypotheses can exhibit various truth-conducive "virtues" in addition to enjoying observational success through passing tests. Simplicity is the perhaps the most obvious such virtue. There is more than one kind of simplicity, but for illustration, consider Occam's Razor (which is typically expressed as "entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity"). This maxim tells us not to commit ourselves to the existence of more than an explanation posits. There is "more to go wrong" in explanations that posit a lot of different kinds of entity, rather as there is more to go wrong in a piston engine than a jet engine, which is why the latter is much more reliable.

    Even if we are mystified or disagree over why simplicity is a "truth conducive" virtue, surely we agree that simplicity is a "truth conducive" virtue? -- It would be very odd to claim that complexity is a good thing!

    "General relativity (to return to an old, an probably over-used, example) is much more complicated than Newton's laws of motion/gravitation, yet it holds true over a wider range of physical situations."

    You're definitely confusing truth and certainty (or "justification") here. A hypothesis is either true or false, and it's the world ("reality", whatever we call it) that makes it one or the other. But the degree to which we can be confident in thinking that a hypothesis is true is a much more subjective matter, which depends on what we already believe.

    If relativity is true, then Newtonian physics is false. Of course it is a good and easy-to-apply approximation in the most familiar conditions, but it is still false, and we in the 21st century have very good reasons to think so. However, back in the 18th century, Newtonian physics looked unassailable, partly because it was so simple. People of the 18th century had very good reasons for thinking it was true, although as it happens it turned out to be false. We in the 21st century have moderately good reasons for thinking general relativity is true, but we should be much less sanguine about it than people of the 18th century were about Newtonian physics.

    "To make the "Occam's Razor" appeal to common sense when discussing science is to put oneself in a weak position before the argument has begun."

    I don't know what you mean by a "weak position" here, unless you mean a position that honestly acknowledges the weakness of our reasons for thinking the latest, most tentative, complicated, abstract, specualtive theories are true. Those reasons may be "weak", but the honestly of acknowledging that the reasons are "weak" strikes me as being "strong".

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  • 454. At 11:31am on 25 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    bowmanthebard: X "doesn't deserve to be believed if it's so complicated that ordinary people have a problem understanding it."

    Paul Briscoe #447: "It's hardly the fault of climate scientists that there are so many different processes which need to be considered together when researching the climate. No single element of a dynamic system can be considered in isolation, which is why you need to have a grasp of ALL the processes to fully understand it."

    In that case no one understands it, and therefore it should not be believed.

    You say this situation is "hardly the fault of climate scientists". But who said it was anyone's fault? (I have said other things are the fault of climate scientists, but the complexity of the climate isn't one of them!)

    It's no one's "fault" that the theory is complicated, but if it's too complicated for anyone to understand it then it doesn't deserve to be believed. We should only believe ideas that we can "get our heads around".

    By the way, although quantum theory has a million billion times the scientific integrity of climate "science", it too has a similar problem of being too mysterious for anyone to understand. It too shouldn't be believed, partly because no one has a clear enough idea of what to believe! Unlike climate "science", however, the predictive powers of quantum theory are stunning, so we should definitely keep using it, and wondering how best to understand it.

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  • 455. At 11:55am on 25 Feb 2010, poitsplace wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe who wrote...
    "The problem is that as the oceans warm, so the amount of additional carbon dioxide which they can absorb will fall, causing the atmospheric concentration to increase more quickly. Consequently, this is indeed a positive feedback."

    But we're not talking about CO2 uptake relative to some ideal, we're talking about CO2 uptake relative to however much there is in the atmosphere. It is a negative feedback...although an incredibly weak one considering CO2 isn't a potent GHG and this feedback is only weakly negative. Solubility will drop due to temperature but increase much more due to concentration. Basically, ever larger amounts of our emissions will be absorbed.

    The believers just need to face facts. The feedbacks are weak or CO2 just has little impact. The climate scientists foolishly assumed that most of the warming from this past warming trend was due to man...when most of it was completely natural. We've warmed about .4C since the 1940s. The warming rate is quite low and shows no significant signs of drastic increases. To reach 3C anomaly by 2100 we would need to be warming at nearly .3C per decade. That's about 5 or 6 times the observed rate.

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  • 456. At 12:03pm on 25 Feb 2010, poitsplace wrote:

    Ooh, for the short term at least, the translation of the PDF (ie NOT A PDF) back in #442 actually made it through. YAY

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  • 457. At 12:12pm on 25 Feb 2010, Dave_oxon wrote:

    @Bowman,#453

    Thank you for the comprehensive answer - there's certainly (more than) a few concepts in there worth further rumination, on first reading though I have a few further questions/points to raise:

    I am uncomfortable with your use of the word "truth" and black/white logical arguments. I will illustrate my unease using the gravitation/relativity example again (it's certainly proving useful). Your logical argument is that if relativity is demonstrated to be true then Newton's laws must be false. This is correct of a purely logical position and mutually exclusive theories, but is incorrect in discussing these related theories which are both approximate descriptions of reality. The fact that relativity provides a wider range (0&#60&#61v~&#60c, low to high gravity) description than Newton's laws does not mean Newton's laws are wrong in the range over which they are recognised to apply (v&#60&#60c, low gravity), indeed, relativity can be reduced to Newton's laws in the low velocity/gravity regime.
    Therefore it is wrong to talk of "truth", since on the one hand every scientific theory is an approximation and cannot de demonstrated to be "true", and, on the other hand, the logical invalidation of one theory is not necessarily implied by the demonstration of the wider applicability of another.

    Turning to your final point, you are making an assumption that a simple theory is more likely correct than a complex one - that assumption implies personal bias and therefore a partial suspension of objectivity. Since evaluation of a scientific theory requires rigorous objectivity, I consider your initial assumption to indicate that you may not remain objective in subsequent discussion. The position is therefore "weak" with respect to the fact that, compared to someone who approaches a discussion entirely objectively, one who approaches it with pre-conceived bias is to be regarded with a higher degree of suspicion.

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  • 458. At 12:54pm on 25 Feb 2010, LarryKealey wrote:



    @Paul Briscoe re: # 436

    your quote of my words:

    The Earth's Climate System is a very long way from being 'well understood'. I mean really - to imagine as the IPCC does that feedback associated with CO2 forcing is a constant - how ridiculously simplistic - and unrealistic. Sensitivity of temperature to CO2 depends upon a great many other interrelated factors. A complex set of interrelations we have hardly scratched the surface of understanding, much less the ability to model and make predictions."

    your response to them:

    I don't wish to sound patronising, but all of this sounds as though it's been lifted straight off the page of one of the sceptic blogs or a recent newspaper article. It is a long way from being fair and accurate...... there are still uncertainties, but nothing like as many as the sceptics would have you believe.

    My response:

    You find the page and I'll pay ya a hundred bucks - those are my words, by beliefs - my thoughts and writing one hundred percent - not lifted, nor paraphrased, nor nothing.

    I have seen the IPCC say forcing is 'highly positive' others say 'slightly positive' and still others say 'negative'. All arguing that they are right - well, I think they are all correct...but...

    My own studies on the subject have led me to believe that all of the above are true - under different conditions. Sensitivity of temperature is (in my belief) dependent upon a number of factors - not just CO2 - and CO2 forcing is dependent upon a number of interrelated factors - not just a constant times the log of ratio of CO2 concentration change. In other words, this forcing would be best described by a tensor field (multi-dimensional vector field).

    My words, my thoughts, not lifted from anywhere.

    The issue I see with much of the climate science is that the focus is solely on CO2 and supporting a very narrow theory, rather than taking a broader perspective - and realizing that there a lot of drivers affecting the climate. Models have their place, but making predictions of the future is not one of them.

    Every 'good' scientist I have known has been skeptical of his own work - yet we don't see this with much of the 'climate scientists' focused upon alarmism. We don't see a full accounting of their assumptions, nor do we get uncertainties presented rationally (clearly understated).

    I am and will continue to be very skeptical of any 'science' which is so lacking in transparency.

    Regarding your link to explain why when CO2 levels reach their peak during previous interglacials - just before the temperature plummeted and the ice ages began - it does not explain it. In fact, I did not find the article to be 'scientific' - just a bunch of alarmist garbage trying to debunk 'deniers'. Not even well written garbage.

    My specialty has been modeling chaotic dynamic systems. One of the tenets of non-linear dynamics is the 'center manifold theorem' - I suggest you look it up - it is well discussed in Wiggins book on non-linear dynamics. Basically it states that we can take a chaotic non-linear dynamic system and resolve it into three parts - or manifolds - the stable, unstable and center manifolds. Using mathematics, we can reduce the order of the system to the center manifold while still preserving the dynamics of the system. This tenet of mathematics is ignored (and even reputed in your referenced rubbish). To suggest that we can remove the chaotic portion of the system as if were 'noise' is ridiculous.

    To put it plainly, I am skeptical of the 'climate science' because I have studied it for many many years and I don't believe we understand the system well enough to model it. Think of this - the PDO was only discovered about ten years ago - and it is certainly a major driver in the system - there are so many interrelated complex factors that we simply don't understand well enough to model.

    Don't get me wrong, I believe in climate research - and modeling - but my view is that the models show us more about what we don't know that what we do know - in other words, the value of the models is not in predicting the future under this scenario or that, but to point out new avenues of research to be explored.

    I would also suggest that you read up on Ed Lorenz, one of the fathers of both computer climate modeling as well as chaos theory - his theories and predictions made in the 50's and 60's at MIT still hold true today.

    Cheers.

    Kealey

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  • 459. At 1:11pm on 25 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @452

    just to pick you up on this :

    "(note that the GISS data already is). "

    last time i checked the only GISS data available was the 'anomolous' data. That is something very different to raw data, as i'm sure someone with a pHD would know.

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  • 460. At 1:20pm on 25 Feb 2010, LarryKealey wrote:


    @interested parties RE: Bowmanthebard and 'complex theories'

    I think, and Bowman please correct me if I am wrong, his point is not that 'Occum's Razor' applies, nor that it people don't believe it because they can't understand it - but that...

    We are not given all the facts - not all the assumptions, nor the methodologies, nor data correction algorithms - just conclusions - this with uncertainties understated and basically given a 'certainty' number plucked from the air. Then we are told to 'believe' - and we don't need to see the nitty gritty because we won't understand it.

    Going back to Einstein and Relativity - certainly many people would have difficulty with the mathematics involved. But most of the key conclusions can be explained - take time dilation for example. You tell someone that time passage is relative to one's reference frame and use the example of a young man traveling to Alpha Centauri at near-light speed - upon return he has a grandson who is old, yet he has only aged very little - this they can comprehend - and when you tell them that this has been verified by taking an atomic clock into orbit, which has been synch-ed with an earth based atomic clock - and when returned, they show that time passed more slowly for the atomic clock in orbit - they understand it.

    Besides, Einstein's Theory of Relativity can be picked up by anyone at the local bookstore. You can't go an pick up the raw climate data, nor be privy to the correction algorithms - nor what data was 'deemed inappropriate' (as in the Russian temperature record, which out of some 300+ stations, only 85 were deemed 'worthy'), we don't see all the assumptions, nor until very recently, any of the models.

    It is this lack of transparency which causes mistrust.

    The Earth's climate system is incredibly complex - we have barely scratch the surface in even discovering, much less understanding all the drivers, mechanisms, feedbacks, interactions, etc which drive it - much less how they affect each other and ultimately drive the climate.

    That is why I am skeptical. I don't have a problem with the mathematics, nor the computer models. I actually worked on the team at Texas A&M in the late 80's which developed and implemented the first finite element modeling algorithms in a parallel processing environment and we blew the doors off a Cray-II with a nCUBE. The first applications were in calculating stresses and strains on aerospace structures - but this approach has been adapted to a wide variety of problems - and forms the basis for all of the climate models.

    Another complex problem which most people don't really understand is the fact that the Earth does not actually orbit the sun - all bodies in the solar system orbit the center of gravity of the solar system - which as the sun is by far the largest gravity well in the solar system - is very near the sun, but not at the center of the sun - this point we are orbiting is always also changing - as the relative positions of the bodies in the solar system are changing constantly - but it is close enough to be explained in layman's terms.

    To imagine that the Earth's Climate System can be 'simplified' to temperature is a function of some constant (feedback) multiplied by the natural log of the ratio of current over past CO2 concentration is utterly ridiculous. First, CO2 is clearly not the only driver, secondly, the behavior of CO2 as a driver cannot be so 'simplistic'. Thirdly, I find it difficult to believe that CO2 is the only first order driver for climate change - as the evidence does not support this.

    Cheers.

    Kealey

    Cheers.

    Kealey

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  • 461. At 1:38pm on 25 Feb 2010, LarryKealey wrote:


    @Bowmanthebard

    I would beg to differ on one point (which ploitspace brought up) regarding - truths and proofs.

    Science proves nothing - it only disproves. Those theories that we hold as 'truths' are only accepted until they are disproven. Going back to the example of Newtonian Mechanics vs. Einstein's theory of relativity - both have been widely accepted, but neither is 'true' - Newtonian mechanics has been disproven, yet is accurate enough in many situations to still be taught and used for many applications - but it is not the truth. It is worthy of note that even Einstein realized that his theory of relativity would not stand the test of time - it does not reconcile with quantum mechanics. That is why physicists are still searching for the holy grail of physics - "The Unified Theory".

    There is still so much research to be done to even begin to develop a rudimentary understanding of Earth's climate system, it is absolutely laughable that the IPCC or Met Office would make predictions regarding future climate states - and state ridiculous certainties with these 'predictions' (IPCC) or 'projections' (MET office). Perhaps if they tempered their conclusions by showing all their assumptions and stated that the certainties behind these predictions (or projections) are very very low...then perhaps we could believe in what they are doing.

    The models don't tell us squat about the future. They are not of practical value in that application - they should be used to help identify things we don't know nor understand - i.e. avenues for further research.

    Cheers.

    Kealey

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  • 462. At 1:54pm on 25 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @460

    "Another complex problem which most people don't really understand is the fact that the Earth does not actually orbit the sun - all bodies in the solar system orbit the center of gravity of the solar system - which as the sun is by far the largest gravity well in the solar system - is very near the sun, but not at the center of the sun - this point we are orbiting is always also changing - as the relative positions of the bodies in the solar system are changing constantly - but it is close enough to be explained in layman's terms.
    "

    i never knew that. it's obvious when you think about it, but it had never occured to me. thanks!

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  • 463. At 2:19pm on 25 Feb 2010, LarryKealey wrote:


    @Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Regardless of what Poitsplace may be saying, there's no question that warmer temperatures will increase the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere - this WILL increase the warming.

    --------------end of excerpt-------------------------------

    First, if warmer temperatures will increase the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, then why do the models suggest severe droughts due to global warming?

    Secondly, an increase in the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere generally leads to cloud formation. This does not necessarily mean that it will provide a positive feedback and induce more warming.

    Fly into a cloud under a parachute at fifteen thousand feet - and you will feel the temperature drop on the order of 20 degrees F. When a cloud passes overhead during the day, much of the light spectrum of the sun is reflected back outward into the upper atmosphere and space - it's cooler under the clouds (UV rays still penetrate pretty nicely, but not IR). Then consider nighttime - when you have a clear night, it is generally cooler at the ground as the clouds reflect the radiant heat absorbed by the earth back downward - trapping the heat between the earth and the clouds.

    So what is the net effect? I would generally expect a cooling effect from most clouds - as clouds reach saturation of water vapor and rain precipitates, energy is released - that energy is in the form of heat and is high in the troposphere - and generally radiates upward due to the reflection of the clouds below - reflecting the heat back into space. Why else would the temperature drop at the ground during the rain? This would imply a negative feedback, ultimately. More heat absorption by CO2 causes warming at the surface, inducing increased water vapor, which forms clouds and blocks the much of the IR spectrum, reducing the heat absorption of CO2 and reflecting energy back upwards, layers within the clouds cool, causing precipitation, cooling the air below with rain.

    This is just one simple interpretation of the observable data - but the point really is that we just don't really know enough. We know so very little about clouds, formation, precipitation and the hydrological cycle of the planet as a whole. How can you disagree with this?

    I could as a thousand question related to unknowns - and get a thousand different answers - some of which may be correct in certain situations, others not...

    Cheers.

    Kealey

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  • 464. At 2:27pm on 25 Feb 2010, LarryKealey wrote:


    @LabMunkey re: 462

    Even that example is a simplification - as the center of gravity for the solar system is also affected, albeit slightly, by the gravitational wells of bodies outside the solar system...but again, close enough...unless a black hole were to pass relatively near our solar system, but again, generally close enough...

    My pleasure.

    Cheers.

    Kealey

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  • 465. At 2:57pm on 25 Feb 2010, Dave_oxon wrote:

    @Larry, #460

    "It is this lack of transparency which causes mistrust."

    Entirely agree with this sentiment as, I think, would most people including the Royal Society as it is implied by their famous motto "nullius in verba".

    In follow up to your assertions on the current capabilities of climate science I would summarise your position as:
    1. Studying the Earth's climate is an important undertaking
    2. research completed to date is inadequate to make any meaningful prediction/projection.

    Given this summary I would like to ask whether you envisage a point in the future where our understanding of climate dynamics IS sufficient to make meaningful predictions? If so, which particular areas of research would you consider most pressing?
    I ask with genuine interest in your opinion as you have (verifiable!) experience in non linear, dynamic, chaotic systems.

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  • 466. At 4:09pm on 25 Feb 2010, mattmurdock wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe

    Just based on your '97% of Climate scientists believe the evidence is overwhelming' statements, thought you would be interested in reading Roger Harrabin's interview with Phil Jones in which question N seems particularly relevant.



    N - When scientists say "the debate on climate change is over", what exactly do they mean - and what don't they mean?

    It would be supposition on my behalf to know whether all scientists who say the debate is over are saying that for the same reason. I don't believe the vast majority of climate scientists think this. This is not my view. There is still much that needs to be undertaken to reduce uncertainties, not just for the future, but for the instrumental (and especially the palaeoclimatic) past as well.


    Link to full interview is below:
    Roger Harrabin interviews Phil Jones

    In fact, I would suggest that everyone read this, as it increased my opinion of Phil Jones considerably. He gave reasoned answers, steered clear of blaming all and sundry and presented his viewpoint calmly. I would suggest a number of people on both sides of the debate could do well to follow his example.

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  • 467. At 4:30pm on 25 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Bowman @ #454,

    I confess that I find you arguments increasingly spurious and I'm beginning to come around the the view that even if I agreed with you you'd still find a counter argument! :-)

    I think all I can do is agree with Yorkurbantree's assessment at #351..... or maybe we just live in different dimensions!

    Paul

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  • 468. At 5:05pm on 25 Feb 2010, LarryKealey wrote:


    @Dave_Oxen

    Your summary of my position is correct.

    First, I have doubts that we can every really make meaningful predictions of the future climate state on timescales which are relevant - certainly it would be fairly safe to predict that in some point in the near (geologic) future, the earth will enter another ice age - but when? who can say?

    Regarding research - I think that there is much work to be done with regards to the physical processes both internal to the Earth's climate system and external drivers (i.e. weather on the sun, etc) that will advance our knowledge a great deal - and help make more meaningful predictions of local climates on relatively short timescales - like El Nino's, etc...

    I don't see it possible to do any better with the climate than we do with weather today - and thats not very good.

    Physical sciences, atmospheric studies, a great deal needs to be learned about the oceans - not only in their role as a carbon sink/source but also as a heat sink/source and the interrelations with the rest of the climate system. The entire hydrological system is very poorly understood - there are also many mechanisms and process which I expect we have yet even discover which affect the climate system.

    Another are is computing - while computing power has made great advancements - Moore's Law still holds true. The same cannot be said for software - software advancement has not kept pace.

    I also believe that we need to advance to analog computers. Digital computers, no matter how many decimal places you program them to are still just approximations. If you take even a simple chaotic system - like for example, the Lorenz Attractor, make a run of the trajectory through phase space, then start again, and stop it half way - record your variables from the halfway point to any digital precision you like and then resume the run - you will find that the second run will diverge very quickly from the first run - this is known as sensitivity to initial conditions.

    You might read what Ed Lorenz (Prof Emeritus, MIT) had to say on the subject 50 years ago - in short, he did not believe that we could every predict the climate - while we can provide inputs to the system (such as CO2 emissions), we cannot predict the affect upon the system by these inputs.

    As I mentioned earlier - I think feedback from CO2 on the climate system can be highly positive, slightly positive or negative - depending upon the conditions and a thousand other variables. We have a very long way to go to really understanding all of these interrelated process and mechanisms (most of which we know about are poorly understood and I have no doubts there are many we have yet to discover).

    I guess in answer to your question - perhaps in five hundred or a thousand years...

    Cheers.

    Kealey

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  • 469. At 5:11pm on 25 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    poitsplace @ #455

    "But we're not talking about CO2 uptake relative to some ideal, we're talking about CO2 uptake relative to however much there is in the atmosphere. It is a negative feedback...although an incredibly weak one considering CO2 isn't a potent GHG and this feedback is only weakly negative. Solubility will drop due to temperature but increase much more due to concentration. Basically, ever larger amounts of our emissions will be absorbed."

    I think we're in danger of descending into semantics here! Clearly, William Connolley, who I understand wrote most of the Wikipedia entries on AGW, considers reduced solubility of carbon dioxide with increasing temperature to be a positive feedback:

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

    You'll notice it mentioned as the 2nd last "type" on the list. The point is this. Starting from steady state, around half of the carbon dioxide added by Man is dissolved in the ocean. However, as the ocean temperature increases so the proportion of the extra anthropogenic CO2 that can be absorbed by the oceans starts to fall. Consequently, the rise in the atmospheric concentration accelerates. There is no question at all that this is a positive rather than a negative feedback (note that it is a feedback, NOT a forcing). Clearly, it is not the most IMPORTANT feedback, but they all add up and account for the difference between your quoted figure of 1.6 Celsius for a doubling of CO2 (I thought it was 2 Celsius but I won't quibble) and the 3 Celsius more commonly quoted by AGW scientists once feedbacks are taken into account.

    "The believers just need to face facts. The feedbacks are weak or CO2 just has little impact. The climate scientists foolishly assumed that most of the warming from this past warming trend was due to man...when most of it was completely natural. We've warmed about .4C since the 1940s. The warming rate is quite low and shows no significant signs of drastic increases. To reach 3C anomaly by 2100 we would need to be warming at nearly .3C per decade. That's about 5 or 6 times the observed rate."

    Climate scientists clearly do not agree with that assessment. In fact, during the 30 years up to 2000 AD, the rate of warming was much faster at around 0.2 Celsius per decade...... and a key point is that the rate of emissions is expected to accelerate AND the net effect of the various feedbacks listed in the links above is expected to be positive as well. So an average rate of increase of 0.3 Celsius per decade is far from ridiculous.

    Let's take the above a little further....... At the present time CO2 levels are rising at around 3ppm per year. Assuming that the rate of increase remains constant, doubling relative to pre-idustrial times will be reached in around 50 years. In truth, though, it will probably be reached rather sooner if we take no steps to control emissions. Given that temperatures are already almost 1 Celsius higher than they were in 1850 (when CO2 levels started to rise noticeably), by 2060, we might expect the temperature to be 2 Celsius higher than today. That still leaves another 40 years for temperatures to reach the 2100 estimate of a 3 Celsius rise, which is the central figure used in IPCC AR4 executive summary. When placed in this context, the scientists' projections suddenly don't look so improbable.

    Paul

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  • 470. At 5:28pm on 25 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    LarryKealey @ #458,

    The point I was making was that they are the same arguments used by people who might be termed "professional sceptics", some of whom are known to be in the pay of the oil industry. Of course I'm not suggesting that you are and if you have reached your conclusions through a personal and independent assessment of all of the science then I have the utmost respect for your point of view.

    It may surprise you to know that I share your doubts about the models..... and I have indeed said so on these blogs in the past. The reason why I personally am convinced by the argument for AGW lies in the empirical physical science evidence. I find myself sticking up for the scientists because I believe that they are being unjustly accused of dishonesty when dealing with a very complex subject and doing their best to reduce the uncertainties.

    Maybe the Earth will not warm up as fast as the models predict, but I'm of the view that it would be a serious mistake to take that risk with something as chaotic and difficult to predict as climate.

    Paul

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  • 471. At 5:51pm on 25 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    LarryKealey @ #463,

    "First, if warmer temperatures will increase the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, then why do the models suggest severe droughts due to global warming?"

    My understanding is that the climate models actually predict a REDISTRIBUTION of water on the planet, with some areas getting a lot less rain but others getting more. I think the biggest worry is that the main area expected to get more rain is SE Asia...... where it is expected to increase the intensity of the monsoons - something which will help nobody!

    "Secondly, an increase in the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere generally leads to cloud formation. This does not necessarily mean that it will provide a positive feedback and induce more warming."

    I think even climate scientists admit that the effect of clouds is a key uncertainty in the present models. However, I'm not sure it's quite as simple as you appear to be suggesting. Warmer air can obviously hold more water vapour, which would indeed be expected to increase the greenhouse effect. However, it isn't necessarily the case that global cloud cover will increase as a consequence....... and it also isn't necessarily the case that more cloud will equate to cooler temperatures.

    I think the Wikipedia entry regarding feedbacks probably summarises it pretty well:

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

    As I said, I appreciate that this is a key unknown, but based on the above it would be unwise to assume that it will be a strong negative feedback.

    Paul

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  • 472. At 5:52pm on 25 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Steve Richards #446
    (@Paul Briscoe #452)

    "CRU will continue to release 'research' that can not be checked or verified or duplicated because of the use of 'private' data."

    You missed a very significant line in that link

    "Last updated: 28th October 2009"

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/briffa/yamal2009/

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  • 473. At 6:25pm on 25 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Mattmurdock @ #466

    Matt,

    We've already discussed this interview in some detail on Paul Hudson's blog.

    Just for the record, the 97% figure I mention comes from a couple of polls of scientists. You can read a bit more about them here:

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1184&tstamp=

    You'll note that the proportion of scientists as a whole who agree with AGW is around 82%, compared with the 97% amongst climate scientists. Intriguingly, meteorologists are more sceptical (64%)...... The report's author Peter Doran explained it thus:

    "Most members of the public think meteorologists know climate, but most of them actually study very short-term phenomenon."

    Perhaps rather less surprising was the fact that petroleum geologists were generally sceptical!

    The question posed by Roger Harrabin is not quite as specific as it could have been as it simply states "scientists" rather than "climate scientists". However, I agree that Phil Jones answered it well and from my own reading I think it reflects the views of most climate scientists.

    Part of the problem at present is that things have become personal and scientists have consequently become defensive - I think this is being mistaken by some as them having something to hide. There's also no question that some individuals (both politicians and IPCC executives) have made claims which extend beyond what the science shows.

    Paul

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  • 474. At 6:49pm on 25 Feb 2010, poitsplace wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #469 who wrote...

    "Clearly, William Connolley, who I understand wrote most of the Wikipedia entries on AGW, considers reduced solubility of carbon dioxide with increasing temperature to be a positive feedback:"

    OK, first of all William Connelley was kicked off the wikipedia editors for removing any edits that dared to question AGW. Second, you will notice the utter failure to mention the increasing solubility due to concentration (gee, who do I know that also had this problem?) Third and most importantly, it makes no difference what "experts" you find to say "well I think it's going to be a positive feedback"... because the earth its self is already demonstrating that it has other plans.

    CO2 emissions have increased faster than many expected yet CO2 levels have increased slower than expected. After examining the composition it's already been shown that he anthropogenic fraction of CO2 in the air is NOT increasing. You're just wrong.

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  • 475. At 6:51pm on 25 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #467 Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "I confess that I find you arguments increasingly spurious"

    I think you're just unfamiliar with the sort of ideas I'm discussing. That doesn't mean they're spurious, it just means that you're unfamiliar with them.

    Rather than just flinging insults around, why don't you try to say what you think is spurious about what I've said?

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  • 476. At 7:18pm on 25 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    @Labmunkey #462:

    Actually, it's even more complicated than that. The Sun, as well as the rest of the solar system, is revolving around the gravitational centre of the galaxy at great speed. Also, the galaxy itself is moving through space - even the universe may be moving.

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  • 477. At 8:07pm on 25 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #457 Dave_oxon wrote:

    "Thank you for the comprehensive answer"

    And thank you for your patience. I know that much of what I've said is bound to sound a bit alien and unfamiliar, and a lot of people get annoyed with that. Even grown-ups!

    "I am uncomfortable with your use of the word "truth" and black/white logical arguments. I will illustrate my unease using the gravitation/relativity example again (it's certainly proving useful). Your logical argument is that if relativity is demonstrated to be true then Newton's laws must be false."

    Not quite -- I'm saying that if relativity actually happens to be true, then the Newtonian theory it replaced actually happens to be false. There are two crucial differences between what you wrote and what I just wrote. First, the truth of relativity and the extent to which we are justified in believing it are quite different things. For the current discussion, it doesn't matter whether relativity has been "demonstrated to be true" or has even given us a "slight hint that it may be true". What matters is whether it actually is true as a matter of fact. If it is, then Newtonian physics is false as a matter of fact.

    The second crucial difference has to do with Newton's Laws. Relativity (plus the assumptions needed to apply it) contradicts Newton's theory (plus the assumptions needed to apply it). But they don't contradict everywhere. At low velocities and in familiar gravitational fields they do not differ much numerically, as you noted. And some of Newton's theory remains intact. As far as I recall, his third law still stands. But there remain deep conceptual differences. For example, Newton treated the mass of a piece of matter as an intrinsic property of that bit of matter, whereas for Einstein it's always the matter in this or that reference frame.

    "relativity can be reduced to Newton's laws in the low velocity/gravity regime."

    Inconsistency as well as rough agreement is a standard feature of reduced and reducing theories. Relativity gets it right, whereas Newton gets it almost right at low velocities, but still strictly speaking wrong. Since relativity gets it right as far as we can measure so far, and Newton gets it (slightly) wrong as far as we can measure so far, we have a good reason to think Einstein was right and Newton was wrong. (This is not to denigrate Newton's stunning achievements.) So although we might think of Newton's theory as a very respectable model of low-speed kinematics and dynamics, we should think of relativity as a stab at the truth. The absolute truth. But of course, we may be wrong, again, as we so often are.

    "Therefore it is wrong to talk of "truth", since on the one hand every scientific theory is an approximation and cannot de demonstrated to be "true"'

    Slow down there cowboy! Why say every scientific theory is an approximation? Do you think you are not completely literally -- not even the slightest bit approximately -- descended from fish? And being "demonstrated to be true" is entirely different from actually being true.

    But enough of my yapping. You've raised some very interesting questions here, so I tend to get a bit carried away trying to answer them.

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  • 478. At 10:00pm on 25 Feb 2010, Peter317 wrote:

    @Bowman #477:

    "Since relativity gets it right as far as we can measure so far, and Newton gets it (slightly) wrong as far as we can measure so far, we have a good reason to think Einstein was right and Newton was wrong."

    There's also the possibility that we may be measuring wrong - in which case it could be that either, both or none of the two theories is right.

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  • 479. At 11:35pm on 25 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    poitsplace @ #474

    "CO2 emissions have increased faster than many expected yet CO2 levels have increased slower than expected. After examining the composition it's already been shown that he anthropogenic fraction of CO2 in the air is NOT increasing. You're just wrong"

    Sorry, but the above is a misrepresentation of the facts.

    First of all, increases in atmospheric CO2 levels are entirely consistent with what would be expected in a system where around half of the anthropogenic CO2 is currently being absorbed by the oceans. It is probably true that the anthropogenic fraction of CO2 in the air has not increased to a measurable extent AS YET (simply because ocean temperatures are rising much more slowly than air temperatures), but that does NOT mean that it won't.

    This is basic empirical science based on Henry's Law:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry's_law

    ....... and no, this wasn't written by Connolley!

    First of all, we can agree on one thing - the oceans are absorbing a lot of the anthropogenic CO2. Also, in accordance with Henry's Law, as the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere rises, so the concentration in the surface water of the ocean will also increase in direct proportion. BUT (and it is a big but), this only applies as long as the temperature remains constant. As the temperature of the oceans rise, so the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere increases. Thus, in a system where both CO2 and temperature are rising, the proportion of CO2 absorbed by the oceans gradually decreases as the temperature rises. Thus it is a positive feedback.

    Quoting from the Wikipedia entry above:

    "carbon dioxide from a carbonated drink escapes much faster when the drink is not cooled because of the increased partial pressure of CO2 in higher temperatures."

    ...... and more importantly:

    "Partial pressure of CO2 in seawater doubles with every 16 K increase in temperature."

    I have to admit that the effect is rather more significant than I had appreciated.

    Whatever may have happened to William Connolley with regard to his editing rights at Wikipedia (I've heard a number of different versions), there's no doubting that he knows his stuff and that the entries themselves are factually correct. He would not have put this down as a positive feedback if there was any doubt over it....... and as you can see from above, there wasn't.

    Even so, let's have a look instead at the Encyclopaedia Brittanica:

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/235402/global-warming/274836/Feedback-mechanisms-and-climate-sensitivity

    "In the world’s oceans, this feedback effect might take several paths. First, as surface waters warmed, they would hold less dissolved CO2. Second, if more CO2 was added to the atmosphere and taken up by the oceans, bicarbonate ions (HCO3–) would multiply and ocean acidity would increase. Since calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is broken down by acidic solutions, rising acidity would threaten ocean-dwelling fauna that incorporate CaCO3 into their skeletons or shells. As it became increasingly difficult for these organisms to absorb oceanic carbon, there would be a corresponding decrease in the efficiency of the biological pump that helps to maintain the oceans as a carbon sink (as described in the section Carbon dioxide). Third, rising surface temperatures might lead to a slowdown in the so-called thermohaline circulation (see Ocean circulation changes), a global pattern of oceanic flow that partly drives the sinking of surface waters near the poles and is responsible for much of the burial of carbon in the deep ocean. A slowdown in this flow due to an influx of melting fresh water into what are normally saltwater conditions might also cause the solubility pump, which transfers CO2 from shallow to deeper waters, to become less efficient. Indeed, it is predicted that if global warming continued to a certain point, the oceans would cease to be a net sink of CO2 and would become a net source."

    ....... and here's another source:

    http://www.ghgonline.org/co2sinkocean.htm

    "....... as water temperatures increase the solubility of carbon dioxide is reduced and the likelihood of water stratification is increased - both leading to a overall reduction in oceanic carbon dioxide uptake."

    So although the effect may not yet be measurable in terms of an increased atmospheric fraction of CO2, empirical science dictates that it WILL happen.

    Paul

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  • 480. At 00:19am on 26 Feb 2010, Shadorne wrote:

    Paul Briscoe: . I find myself sticking up for the scientists because I believe that they are being unjustly accused of dishonesty when dealing with a very complex subject and doing their best to reduce the uncertainties.


    If you are sticking up for alarmists then I disagree. They are being quite rightly accused of exaggeration, manipulation and fraud. There is no doubt that this has allowed them to garner millions and billions in research grants and funding from taxpayers and worried governments. It is despicably dishonest to exaggerate in order to gain notoriety and funding. I see no difference between this so called "science" and a Ponzi scam.

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  • 481. At 00:27am on 26 Feb 2010, Shadorne wrote:

    Paul: There are undoubtedly still uncertainties (and I too am mindful of them), but are you sure that you're right and the entire climate science community has got it wrong?

    Absolutely. You only have to look at the temperature records to know that there is nothing at all unprecedented by the recent rise in temperatures. Nothing at all unusual. Why anyone would jump to dire catastrophic conclusions is beyond me!

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/noaa_gisp2_icecore_anim_hi-def3.gif

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  • 482. At 01:34am on 26 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #479

    "It is probably true that the anthropogenic fraction of CO2 in the air has not increased to a measurable extent AS YET"

    Sorry. V confused. V v v confused.

    What's this when it's at home if it isn't an increase in the anthropogenic fraction of CO2 in air?

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2

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  • 483. At 01:42am on 26 Feb 2010, RobWansbeck wrote:

    @482, JaneBasingstoke

    It is the percentage of CO2 believed to be of anthropogenic origin (compared to natural) not the absolute amount.

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  • 484. At 01:49am on 26 Feb 2010, RobWansbeck wrote:

    Perhaps I can make that clearer:

    It is the ratio of anthropogenic CO2 to natural CO2 that appears to have stabilized.

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  • 485. At 01:54am on 26 Feb 2010, RobWansbeck wrote:

    @479, Paul Briscoe quoting Encyclopaedia Britannica wrote:

    In response to poitsplace @ #474 you wrote:

    “Sorry, but the above is a misrepresentation of the facts.”

    No, poitsplace merely states the facts which differ from those who had claimed that the oceans ability to absorb CO2 was already ending.
    Your point that a time may come is valid but this does not negate poitsplace's statement of fact.

    You must also consider biological absorption.

    You also quote Encyclopaedia Brittanica [sic]:
    “ …........
    Second, if more CO2 was added to the atmosphere and taken up by the oceans, bicarbonate ions (HCO3–) would multiply and ocean acidity would increase. Since calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is broken down by acidic solutions, rising acidity would threaten ocean-dwelling fauna that incorporate CaCO3 into their skeletons or shells.
    …....... “

    Ignoring the semantics of calling neutralization of an alkaline solution an increase of acidity we have:
    “ Since calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is broken down by acidic solutions, rising acidity would threaten ocean-dwelling fauna ….. “

    The ocean is not an acidic solution and it is extremely unlikely that it ever will be. Can we take it from the above that ocean dwelling fauna is not threatened?

    An article linked from the Encyclopaedia Britannica page you gave hints at that pages quality:
    “How-Stuff Works - Science - What Does Global Warming Have To Do With The Decline In The Polar Bear Population? “

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  • 486. At 05:09am on 26 Feb 2010, LarryKealey wrote:


    In a sense, perhaps this whole global warming alarmism is starting to do some good. It has spurred some real scientific investigation - which is starting to show a better picture - or should I say, a more cloudy one, as we realize just how little we really do know and so many of the myths of global warming are debunked.

    I mean really, we have been told (and apparently still told by Encyclopedia Britannica) that Global Warming is causing decline in the polar bears (we can thank WWF on that one too), meanwhile, polar bear populations have increased some five fold in the last 30 years. From around 6,000 bears to over 30,000 bears. And now the word is out on the bears.

    We were told the island nation of Tuvalu was being inundated by rising sea levels, we now know that Tuvalu is sinking into the ocean, just as old pacific islands do, exacerbated by misuse of the land.

    We were told that hurricane Katrina and the devastation of New Orleans was because of AGW. Well, now the hurricane experts say no - hurricanes are not more intense now. And, lets face it, New Orleans should never have been built upon a peat bog - which now, after being drained is ten feet below sea level. New Orleans was doomed when some moron picked the spot to build the city.

    We were told by Mann, et al., that the MWP and LIA didn't really happen and were only locally significant in a few places. His reconstruction of temperatures from tree ring proxies for some time periods had only one tree growing on a mountainside to record the temperature of the planet. We now have basic agreement that both the MWP and LIA did happen and were global in nature. And we have a lot more evidence for more of the planet - but not really anything accurate enough of comprehensive enough to really tell us how much warmer the MWP was than today.

    We were told...

    The list of frauds, myths, lies, half-truths and utter fallacies goes on and on - and they are all coming unraveled and will continue to do so.

    And still so many cling to the myths...

    Perhaps soon, we will get back on track with good transparent science. We can stop charging windmills like Don Quixote and start working on genuine new technologies and energy sources - rather than just grabbing bad ideas off the shelf and selling them because they are 'green'.

    Perhaps we can shift to working on real environmental issues where we can have a real, measurable impact. Like we have already done with the (doomed - LOL) Polar Bear. And the progress being made with whales, the awareness of the importance and plight of the bluefin tuna.

    Perhaps we can start to develop Africa and South Asia with cheap energy - and not only deal with a host of humanistic issues, but also greatly reduce the strain on the environments in those areas.

    Perhaps people will start to realize that we are a 'CARBON BASED LIFE FORM' - just as is almost all the life on this planet - that we know about now. (except for some silicone based life found only at deep thermal vents at the bottom of the oceans, about which (oceans) we know so little...).

    Awe, who am I kidding...

    Cheers.

    Kealey

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  • 487. At 07:46am on 26 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 488. At 08:10am on 26 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #457 Dave_oxon wrote:

    'I am uncomfortable with your use of the word "truth" and black/white logical arguments.'

    I think you would be much less uncomfortable if you saw how big a difference there is between the (objective) truth of a claim P and our (subjective) certainty that P (i.e. the degree to which we are entitled to believe that P). The former looks black/white because in these discussions I am using the law of the excluded middle as a working assumption. The latter should not look black/white at all, as it differs from one individual to the next, and from one moment to the next.

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  • 489. At 08:15am on 26 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    bowmanthebard #477: "we have a good reason to think Einstein was right and Newton was wrong."

    Peter317 #488: "There's also the possibility that we may be measuring wrong - in which case it could be that either, both or none of the two theories is right."

    I can accept the possibility that either or none of the two theories is right, but I cannot accept that both could be right, because they contradict each other.

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  • 490. At 09:08am on 26 Feb 2010, Dave_oxon wrote:

    @ Larry Kealey #468,

    A very well written piece, particularly concerning the potential of analogue computing; this is an idea I was previously unfamiliar with as regards modelling chaotic systems... on a related note, do you think there is any application in this field for quantum computing?

    Further to your comment about software development, I would like to reproduce the abstract of an upcoming seminar being held by the UK Institute of Physics:

    "Millions of lines of code have been developed to support scientific research. Although an increasingly important part of almost all research projects, most of this software is barely fit for purpose compared with equivalent systems in the commercial world. The code is hard to understand and maintain, lacking documentation and version control, and is continually "re-invented" as the software developers move on to new projects.
    This seminar will investigate how this situation has come about, why it is important to the future of research, and what can be done about it."

    Does this sound familiar to you?

    @ Bowman #477

    Once again a very interesting read - the "alien" nature of the concepts you propose is quite well summarised by Peter317, #478 where he states
    "There's also the possibility that we may be measuring wrong"

    I would go further than that and say it's not just a possibility that we're measuring wrong but, according to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, it's a fact that we're measuring wrong (though the HUP is a theory as well... we could go round this conceptual loop ad infinitum!). Hence any experimental physicist knows that finding out whether something is "true" is not part of the scientist's remit.
    I think therefore (and I'll be happy for you to correct me if I'm glaringly wrong) that the difference in our points of view is that i'm coming at it from the experimentalist's side where absolute truth is known to be unobtainable, so is not considered. You're coming at it from the philosphical side where absolute truth must logically exist and a theory or approximation is considered in comparison to this truth.

    As a further example I'll use your phrase:

    "we should think of relativity as a stab at the truth. The absolute truth. But of course, we may be wrong, again, as we so often are."

    Philosophically that is so, but scientifically, even if somehow the theory does represent the absolute truth (and we know in this case that it doesn't as relativity is violated in many instances e.g. in relation to quantum physics) we can never know using the scientific method.

    This is, essentially, the answer to your question:
    "Why say every scientific theory is an approximation?"

    To go on:
    "Do you think you are not completely literally -- not even the slightest bit approximately -- descended from fish?"
    I think evolution is a very good description of how the animal kingdom works but, scientifically, we must entertain the possibility that what we theorise and observe as the evolutionary process might be an artefact of an even more complex (or maybe simpler!) process. For example this recent New Scientist article (I urge everyone to read it, it's fascinating) postulates that much of our DNA is viral in origin. If this is true it means that the theory of evolution (which is not just the concept but the mechanism of how it works, i.e. what exactly do you mean by "descended from") must be modified to be a better approximation of the "truth".

    Forgive me for blathering at length as well but this has turned into an extremely interesting discussion.

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  • 491. At 09:13am on 26 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @476

    yes i know, i used to be an amateur astronomer in my youth, still fascinated by it. I'd just 'forgotten' about the gravity effect of orbital bodies, and their relative motions to each other. It was just really nice to have a comment start me thinking about these things again, it really is quite fascinating.

    @ 486.
    pretty much sums up my entire position. Let logic prevail, not politically motivated alarmism.

    @470.
    sigh. i take it then you didn't look at the funding list for the key contributors of the CRU then? destory's your 'in the pay of oil' argument, but then no, you've already made your mind up... why would you bother...

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  • 492. At 09:31am on 26 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #490 Dave_oxon wrote:

    'any experimental physicist knows that finding out whether something is "true" is not part of the scientist's remit.'

    Certainty is not a scientist's goal, I agree, but truth certainly is. You really will have to start to distinguish them.

    No scientist thinks that he can find out whether something is true for certain, but all scientists are trying to find out truths.

    By the way: if intelligent, reflective people like us can so easily get confused about a simple distinction between truth and certainty, what hope do we have to be able to predict something as complicated as the climate?

    Practically none, I would say.

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  • 493. At 10:02am on 26 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    Janebasingstoke @ #482,

    Jane,

    From Wikipedia:

    "The airborne fraction is a scaling factor defined as the ratio of the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 to the CO2 emissions from anthropogenic sources. It represents the proportion of human emitted CO2 that remains in the atmosphere. The fraction averages about 50%, meaning that approximately half the human-emitted CO2 is absorbed by ocean and land surfaces."

    The point I'm making is subtly different to what RobWansbeck is talking about in #484.

    I hope we can all at least agree that when anthropogenic CO2 is added to the system a good proportion of it is absorbed by the oceans. Most sources suggest that the proportion absorbed is just less than 50%. If the temperature were to remain constant then Henry's law dictates that the proportion absorbed would remain around the same regardless of the amount added to the atmosphere (up to saturation, which is a long way away).

    However, climate scientists point to a number of mechanisms which would be expected to change that direct relationship and act as feedbacks. The one I mentioned is the most obvious, because it is entirely predictable from empirical science. As the oceans warm, their ability to absorb additional CO2 falls. This does not mean that absorption stops, but it does mean that we would expect to see a gradual reduction in the proportion of Man's CO2 emissions being absorbed by the oceans. This in turn leads to a gradual acceleration of the CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere, making it a positive feedback.

    There are other probable mechanisms too, including a reduction of biological uptake and increased stratification, reducing the oceans' capacity to redistribute the dissolved CO2 to the deeps. However, whilst these are probably genuine effects, they are undoubtedly more difficult to prove.

    The point Poitsplace is making is that there is as yet no evidence that the airborne fraction of CO2 is increasing. My point is that these feedbacks would be expected to build up very gradually, making it difficult to detect their effect amongst all of the natural variability (which is greatly increased by volcanic eruptions and ocean cycles).

    However, it seems that evidence is just starting to emerge of a reduction in the oceans' capacity to absorb CO2. Last night I found this article which details a number of recent papers:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Is-the-airborne-fraction-of-anthropogenic-CO2-emissions-increasing.html

    Some people here won't like the source, but the papers are real enough. You'll also note that the article mentions a paper by Knorr, which is invariably cited by sceptic blogs. The problem with Knorr's work was that his data analysis did not allow for volcanic eruptions or the ocean cycles, making the variability so high that he stood no chance of finding statistical significance, even though the trend in the airborne fraction is clearly upwards.

    I hope all of that makes sense!

    Paul

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  • 494. At 10:43am on 26 Feb 2010, ADMac wrote:

    Peter317 @ 435 regarding

    http://curry.eas.gatech.edu/climate/towards_rebuilding_trust.html


    While Judith is at least making some attempt at reconciliation she still "doesn't get it".

    I fully agreed with Willis Eschenbach's stongly worded analysis of Judith's piece.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/25/judith-i-love-ya-but-youre-way-wrong/#comment-328207

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  • 495. At 10:56am on 26 Feb 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @493.

    Paul, i'd serisouly reccomend you don't use wikipedia as a reference tool for anything remotley regarding a scientific discussion. There's clear and repeated evidence of tampering with facts on wikipedia to suit personal/political agenda's.

    Re- oceans absorption of co2, i've also seen data that suggests co2 absorption is rising in line with co2 release, allbeit with a slight lag.

    be interesting to see which way this plays out.

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  • 496. At 11:06am on 26 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    RobWansbeck @ #485

    With regards to the discussion with poitsplace, I'll simply refer you to my previous post at #493.

    Turning to ocean acidification......

    I agree that the sea is slightly alkaline and is likely to remain so. However, the term "acidification" is correct as carbon dioxide dissociates, releasing hydrogen ions and hence reducing the pH. The concentration of hydrogen ions in seawater is expected to increase by around 30% for a doubling of atmospheric CO2.

    Although this still leaves seawater alkaline, it does shift the EQUILIBRIUM balance of the various dissociation products of CO2 in water, reducing the amount of free carbonate ion in solution. As this process continues it is bound to have some effect on marine organisms such as corals which rely on the carbonate ion to build their external skeleton.

    As always, these processes are slow and difficult to measure and any evidence of actual damage to ecosystems thus far is heresay. Clearly, though, the threat becomes greater the further CO2 emissions are allowed to continue unchecked.

    You probably believe that the lack of clear evidence of any damage in the here and now means it's not worth worrying about, but that will be of little consolation 50 years down the line if the scientists studying this subject are correct.

    Paul

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  • 497. At 11:21am on 26 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    ADMac @ #494

    "I fully agreed with Willis Eschenbach's stongly worded analysis of Judith's piece."

    Is this the same Willis Eschenbach who was responsible for this?:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/willis_eschenbach_caught_lying.php

    There's more than a whiff of hipocrisy here don't you think?!

    Paul

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  • 498. At 11:22am on 26 Feb 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Paul Briscoe #493
    @RobWansbeck #483 #484

    Cheers for that, both of you. Wording issue.

    Although I am reminded of some Dickens:

    "‘My other piece of advice, Copperfield,’ said Mr. Micawber, ‘you know. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."

    From Charles Dickens, "David Copperfield", Chapter 12

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  • 499. At 11:35am on 26 Feb 2010, Paul Briscoe wrote:

    LabMunkey @ #495

    "Paul, i'd serisouly reccomend you don't use wikipedia as a reference tool for anything remotley regarding a scientific discussion. There's clear and repeated evidence of tampering with facts on wikipedia to suit personal/political agenda's."

    As long as others are citing sources such as "Watts up with That" I will make no apology for using Wikipedia entries where they are relevant - at least the are generally backed up with references.

    "Re- oceans absorption of co2, i've also seen data that suggests co2 absorption is rising in line with co2 release, allbeit with a slight lag."

    I'd be interested to see that data. Do you have a reference? In fact, the temperature of the oceans is climbing so slowly that you probably wouldn't be able to spot any change in the relationship simply by comparing raw data.

    Paul

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  • 500. At 11:44am on 26 Feb 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #496 Paul Briscoe wrote:

    "that will be of little consolation 50 years down the line if the scientists studying this subject are correct."

    I wonder if any of "the scientists" studying this subject have heard of the theory of evolution?

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