Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
The new Washington
Post Weather website
Jump to CWG's
Latest Full Forecast
Outside now? Radar, temps
and more: Weather Wall
Follow us on Twitter (@capitalweather) and become a fan on Facebook
Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/ 9/2010

How to calm the climate science confidence crisis

By Andrew Freedman

* Enjoy today's sun before it's gone: Full Forecast | CWG T-Shirts! *
* Snow pile watch | Polar opposite positions on snow *

Following the uproar caused by 'climategate' and the finding of errors in parts of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, scientists are asking tough questions about how to reform their research practices as well as their communications with the media, policymakers and the public.


The Khumbu Glacier, in Asia's Himalaya mountains. The IPCC recently admitted that scientific evidence does not support a prediction in its 2007 report that Himalayan glaciers could dry up by 2035. (AFP/File/Prakash Mathema)

There are plenty of lessons to be learned from the climate science confidence crisis. Some prominent scientists, such as Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology, are encouraging scientific institutions and individual researchers to engage more openly with the public, and especially with climate change skeptics, rather than making reflexive appeals to the authority of the IPCC and other climate panels.

"Credibility is a combination of expertise and trust," Curry wrote in a recent blog post. "While scientists persist in thinking that they should be trusted because of their expertise, climategate has made it clear that expertise itself is not a sufficient basis for public trust."

Other scientists think the best way forward is to recognize that there is an asymmetric war going on, in which one side (a portion of the climate skeptic community) is waging a no-holds-barred political battle against greenhouse-gas emissions reduction measures, while freely distorting scientific evidence in the process, and the other side (mainstream climate scientists) is discussing science rationally. The only way to fight and win such a war, they say, is to start fighting on the same level as your enemy.

Although the fight-fire-with-fire approach might satisfy some scientists' desires for a return punch, it is bound to reduce scientists' credibility even more by identifying them as overt political actors, which is exactly how some climate change skeptics would like the public to view them. Scientists should leave the political mudslinging to the professionals, and instead work on shoring up their research practices, and their communication of scientific information to all audiences.

Increased media outreach must be a major component of the strategy to restore public trust in climate science. Part of the reason why this is so necessary is that the decline of environmental journalism and the rise of the blogosphere are placing new communications demands on scientists and their institutions.

Skeptic firebrand Marc Morano, who edits the ClimateDepot Web site, recently highlighted the point that widespread layoffs of scientifically qualified journalists are enabling climate skeptics to play a larger role in media coverage of climate change.

In an interview with biologist and filmmaker Randy Olson, Morano said that the decline of environmental journalism in the United States, mainly due to economic pressures within the industry, has led more outlets to treat manmade climate change as a subject for 'debate,' rather than a near scientific certainty.

Morano stated:

So what I'm for is a "rational energy debate" and that is almost impossible to have when you have a U.N. and the IPCC, which started in 1988, and Gore as a national spokesman. And you have media led by ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, and previously CNN, the recession has really improved CNN's reporting on climate issues, they got rid of Miles O'Brien, they got rid of some of their alarmist reporters, all these cut-backs have really done a radical improvement in balance. CNN now has panels on global warming with more skeptics than warmists. So CNN has come a long way and we have nothing but the recession to thank for that.

He continued: "we've seen it across the board, environmental journalism has improved dramatically with these cut-backs and the loss of these activist reporters..."

Morano's notion of balanced coverage is, to put it mildly, different from mine (and likely different than the vast majority of climate scientists around the world). My view, and I think theirs as well, is that the debate in the media about the causes and consequences of climate change should reflect the debate in the scientific community.

When, as is the case today, the debate among scientists is predominantly about whether manmade climate change will be catastrophic or whether it will be only moderate and relatively manageable, and the debate in the media (especially cable TV and the blogosphere) is about whether or not manmade climate change is occurring at all, something is seriously wrong.

So what can scientists do to ensure that their voices are heard above the shrill, oftentimes partisan voices, and in light of the dwindling ranks of science reporters who may be more aware of how climate science research is conducted?

One step that climate scientists should take is to fully engage in the blogosphere, rather than limit their writing to the scientific journals, which few people other than their scientific peers actually read. This may be a painful step at first, since it would bring researchers out of their comfort zone and subject them to the bitter discourse taking place online. But it is necessary, since to an increasing extent the blogosphere is driving the news cycle on a wide range of climate topics. After all, climategate itself first emerged in the blogosphere, and slowly migrated into the mainstream media.

According to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, climate change is a much bigger topic in the blogosphere -- where climate skeptics dominate the conversation -- than it is in the traditional press.

One of the first climate scientists to adopt the blogging format, Gavin Schmidt of realclimate.org, told me that "more voices online," including "more independent blogs," would improve the accuracy of media coverage of climate change. He said a "road show" sponsored by a major scientific society, such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, "that takes the science (and more important -- how science works) to the newsrooms" could also improve journalists' and the public's understanding of climate change and other scientific topics.

Curry also favors this approach. "Additional scientific voices entering the public debate particularly in the blogosphere would help in the broader communication efforts and in rebuilding trust," she wrote in her most recent post. "The openness and democratization of knowledge enabled by the Internet can be a tremendous tool for building public understanding of climate science and also trust in climate research."

Having more scientific voices in the blogosphere certainly won't repair all of the damage from climategate, but it should be treated as an important component of a broader strategy of self-assessment, scientific openness, and sustained engagement with the public.

The views expressed here are the author's alone and do not represent any position of the Washington Post, its news staff or the Capital Weather Gang.

By Andrew Freedman  | March 9, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, News & Notes, Science  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Enjoy today's fantastic sun and warmth
Next: PM Update: Pleasant weather on borrowed time

Comments

"Other scientists think the best way forward is to recognize that there is an asymmetric war going on, in which one side (a portion of the climate skeptic community) is waging a no-holds-barred political battle against greenhouse-gas emissions reduction measures, while freely distorting scientific evidence in the process..."

Andrew - you must be honest and admit that there is distortions on all sides and that science functions by debate - to cut-off debate is to cut-off the process of science.

Posted by: randalljharris | March 9, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

"The views expressed here are the author's alone and do not represent any position of the Washington Post, its news staff or the Capital Weather Gang."

I see, and what exactly is the position of the Post and the CWG on climate change? Us readers deserve to know how it differs from that expressed in this article.

Posted by: MiniSpare | March 9, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

randall: I am not in any way advocating "cutting off debate," in fact, I clearly call for more scientific engagement with the public as well as within the scientific community. The quote you cite discusses one key aspect of the post-climategate criticism being levied against the climate science community, which is that much of it is coming from politically-motivated skeptics, such as climatedepot, not individuals and groups who are really interested in a scientific debate. Scientists are realizing that they are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to such political discourse, but the knee-jerk response to strike back in a similar political manner is ill-conceived, in my view.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | March 9, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Freedman wrote, "Other scientists think the best way forward is to recognize that there is an asymmetric war going on, in which one side (a portion of the climate skeptic community) is waging a no-holds-barred political battle against greenhouse-gas emissions reduction measures, while freely distorting scientific evidence in the process, and the other side (mainstream climate scientists) is discussing science rationally."

Wow. It's been a while since a sentence of yours has left me almost speechless. Is that kind of rhetoric meant to reach the critics, or is it meant to marginalize the critics? I would argue the latter.

I find it stunning how utterly out of touch you are. Your ability to stick your head in the sand regarding the -
* hiding and destruction of raw data
* alienation and intimidation of critics
* passing off of grey literature from the WWF as peer reviewed in the IPCC reports
* completely bogus claims of melting glaciers
* countless infantile claims of impending doom
* etc... etc... etc...
and other unscientific behavior of the alarmists is truly breath taking.

Science is supposed to be verifiable, reproducible and capable of being proven wrong. Until such time as the alarmists choose to behave in a manner fitting of real scientists, they will continue to marginalize themselves and bring shame and scorn upon the reputation of all scientists. And nothing you say or write will change that.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 9, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

MiniSpare: See http://blog.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2008/01/frequent_questions.html#does_capital_weather_gang for an answer to your question from CWG's perspective.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | March 9, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

@MiniSpare

Capital Weather Gang has no stated position on climate change. CWG cannot speak for the Washington Post overall.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | March 9, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Here is a quote of Dr. Judith Curry's that you may want to take to heart, Mr. Freedman, "No one really believes that the ‘science is settled’ or that ‘the debate is over.’ Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda. THERE IS NOTHING MORE DETRIMENTAL TO PUBLIC TRUST THAN SUCH STATEMENTS." (emphasis mine)

I like Willis Eschenbach's response to Dr. Curry - The confidence is forfeit, that ship has sailed. You should read his entire response. I promise you will find it well worth your time. Dr. Curry called Mr. Eschenbach's reply "thoughtful" and "helpful".

Here is another part of Dr. Curry's comment you may want to take to heart, Mr. Freedman -
"With regards to “trust”, I am not talking about smooth talking snake oil “trust”, but the real thing BASED ON THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD, TRANSPARENCY etc etc I have written other essays on this. But no one person can sort through everything, so we have to trust the process and institutions of science to support the scientific progress. When these are no longer working, we are all in trouble. I am angry as a scientist, since I may have been using unnecessarily inaccurate surface temperature data in my research." (emphasis mine)

She isn't sticking her head in the sand.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 9, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

climategate is a great opportunity for the public to learn about the extent of the scientific consensus. the main point the public should get is that mistake were made, but STILL, the vast vast majority of scientists "believe in" global warming.

i have been occasionally nudging realclimate's gavin scott to start PROJECT JIM. ("jim", for james hanson, pioneering climate "alarmist", and gavin's boss.) this would be a climate version of "project steve". (if you haven't heard of it google it - pretty funny, and it makes a point.)

of course these silly lists do not speak to the truth of the issues, but merely address the consensus. people may have come away from climategate thinking the science has been undermined. the fact is, vast vast majority of scientists STILL "believe in" global warming.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 9, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

PROJECT JIM would be kind of a humorous response to the famous senate minority report list of "skeptic scientists".

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 9, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

There was a woman on CSPAN yesterday (cant remember her name, but I think she was a governor) who had a pretty good view on global warming that I feel is a way to get more people on the same page. to paraphrase:

Humans do not CAUSE climate change, but we exacerbate it

Sure, there has always been climate fluctuation, and now is no different, but we are putting all of this stuff into the air that can't help but make it worse and impact our health. I personally strongly believe that we are doing irreparable harm to our environment and we will pay dearly for it, but I also think that we sometimes jump too quickly to blame climate change for everything and cheapen its real importance.

Posted by: timdgoff | March 9, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't think I have ever said (including in this column) that the "science is settled." I agree with Dr. Curry that that is a counterproductive argument at best.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | March 9, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

(part 2 - had to break this up)

It is every BIT analogous to the war we are fighting against Al Qaida - terrorists who care nothing for human life, play by no rules, lurk in the darkness and will resort to anything to accomplish their unholy agenda.

As to the question in this column, I tend to fall into the camp of the "other scientists" who see a need to confront the many misleading tropes of the "skeptics" (which I put in quotes because many of them know full well what is going on, but have an agenda to obfuscate the process for other motivations). But they need to do it in a calm, professional, just-the-facts way, so as not to sink to the level of the deniers - or appear "political".

But MORE THAN THAT they need to be PRO-ACTIVE in contacting the media to educate them on relevant issues when stories like so-called "climategate" come out. I find it pitiful that so few MSM journalists who wrote about that "hide the decline" email bothered to contact even one tree-ring specialist to learn that that indeed is the currently accepted way to handle recent-decades ring data. So you have millions of people now thinking that there was something fishy going on, when there really wasn't. I wish newsrooms had more funding to have experts on-hand, but in the absence of that scientists have to step up and volunteer their time to the journalist.

Posted by: B2O2 | March 9, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

(part 1 - I guess this should have been posted first)

Sadly, "assymetric war" is a spot-on analogy to all this. On the one side you have mostly stoic - but passionately dedicated to learning about the natural world - scientists who feel bound by all kinds of rules about objectivity, proof and decorum (the latter perhaps unnecessarily so). They put in their long hours collecting data, analyzing it and writing it up. They are busy trying to crank out knowledge, basically, for the rest of us.

Then you have large armies of moderately- to completely uneducated anonymous people on the internet, motivated by everything from blind hatred of a certain former vice president to childish stubborn love for commuting to work in their large ego-bolstering SUVs to outright greed motive (oil industry shills). The war is assymetric because these people have no reputation or credibility to protect, so they can just poke their sociopathic heads out from the woodwork on the internet at regular intervals, feeding distortions, red herrings and misleading interpretations of real research until the cows come home. If someone informed enough happens to be there at that moment to call them on it and set people straight, well they just poke back into the woods and lurk till they pop out and pop off again somewhere else.

They are never accountable to any of the lies they spread, never. Meanwhile, the one or two studies in every hundred published that turn out to be flawed (perhaps even called out by its own author when he discovers the error), are HUGE NEWS. The press covers it as if all of climatology has just fallen apart. And the knownothingsphere has its predictable ignorance-fest where they inevitably give it 100 times the PR they would ever give to the other 98% of the research.

Posted by: B2O2 | March 9, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm in reasonably complete agreement with you Andrew.

As Dr. Judith Curry has stated before, the circle the wagons approach of some climate scientists is precisely the wrong approach to take. Not only does it lead to a lack of diversity of opinion, but it also leads the public to view climate science with increased skepticism.

However, I'm not sure how many climate scientists will actually welcome transparency. As we're seeing with Dr. Phil Jones now, there is a lot of climate science that rests on shaky foundations.

Posted by: nlcaldwell | March 9, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Mr Q: when you quoted the lead article "Other scientists think the best way forward is to recognize that there is an asymmetric war going on..." It looks to me that Andrew-CWG was not talking about his own views, but the views of "other scientists". I agree with you that the attitude expressed by these (unnamed) "other scientists" is out of touch with reality. But Andrew-CWG is probably not as extreme as these "other scientists" that he speaks of, at least from what I have seen.

Posted by: eric654 | March 9, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

B202, I suggest you read the link above in Mr Q's post by Willis Eschenbach speaking of rebuilding trust. Especially the paragraph starting with "Because we don’t want scientists who are advocates."

Posted by: eric654 | March 9, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Andrew,

It is reporters like yourself who are the problem. You and your compadres understand so little about this AGW scandal that anyone can con you into believing almost anything. Do you realize that the CRU along with Mann are responsible for the entire premise that global warming even exists? It is this simple. Throw out the bogus tree ring data sets of Crowley, Briffa, Jones and Mann (Penn State) and the MWP and LIA return. When that happens, there is no global warming period. With the MWP and LIA back to their rightful places in climate history, today's temperature is seen to be smack dab in the middle of the temperature range for the past 1000 years. Which, if you don't get it, means that there is no global warming at all. Climagegate is not some side issue. It is the exposure of the total fraud of the entire AGW hypothesis. Do some original homework dude!!! The tree ring data sets don't match up with real temperature measurements from instruments taken since 1900.. That bit of reality created the famous "hide the decline". If the tree rings are not temperature proxies at all, which they are obviously not, than there is no case for AGW at all since there is no proof that global warming exists from any source.

Posted by: beegdawg007 | March 9, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Walter wrote "climategate is a great opportunity for the public to learn about the extent of the scientific consensus. the main point the public should get is that mistake were made, but STILL, the vast vast majority of scientists "believe in" global warming."

Walter it is utter nonsense to claim that the vast majority of scientiests believe in AGW or global warming. In the past 1000 years, there has been no global warming period when the work of Briffa, Jones, Crowley and Mann is shown to be the lie that it is.

As for the vast majority, part 1 of the IPCC 4th assessment involves in total only 650 scientist. Of that group, less than 70 held almost total control over what was written and Jones was part of that group. And one scientist alone, Ben Santer "unilaterally" deleted the following statements from the second IPCC report:

"None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases."
"While some of the pattern-base studies discussed here have claimed detection of a significant climate change, no study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed] to [man-made] causes. Nor has any study quantified the magnitude of a greenhouse gas effect or aerosol effect in the observed data - an issue of primary relevance to policy makers."
"Any claims of positive detection and attribution of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced."
"While none of these studies has specifically considered the attribution issue, they often draw some attribution conclusions, for which there is little justification."
"When will an anthropogenic effect on climate be identified? It is not surprising that the best answer to this question is, `We do not know. "'

Following is a link to a petition signed by 32,000 American scientists, (9,000 PhDs) who believe that the AGW hypothesis is nonsense.

http://www.petitionproject.org/

And here is a link to an article which demonstrates that 36,000 U.K. Physicists, are calling for a more complete Climategate investigation..

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/01/uk_physics_climate/

Posted by: beegdawg007 | March 9, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

beegdawg007?

How many of those ". . . 32,000 American scientists, (9,000 PhDs) who believe that the AGW hypothesis is nonsense" are actually qualified to interpret the data?

Just because a person has a PhD doesn't mean a whole lot, and sometimes means squat. I see an ophthalmologist who has a PhD. I know my ophthalmologist doesn't feel qualified to interpret much of the climate data. I also know a lot of the PhDs you 'cite' on that list are not qualified to practice ophthalmological surgery. Are all those PhDs you cite qualified to interpret climatological data?

And if you think I'm mixing apples and oranges (by stating that a scientist in one specialty may not be qualified to comment on information in another specialty), the ophthalmologist I am a patient of is considered a scientist and has had many papers published (some sole author, most with others) in the JAMA and other scientific journals.

Posted by: critter69 | March 9, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

The author suggests disingenously that the climate skeptics are waging a "no-holds-barred political battle" as though the global warming activists are innocent of the same charge. His advice to "start fighting on the same level as your enemy" is, for the same reason, disingenuous as his camp has been waging a no-holds-barred political battle since the beginning of the global warming PR campaign.

Posted by: andersonce | March 9, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

andersonce: I am not sure of which "author" you speak. I did not advocate for climate scientists to "start fighting on the same level as your enemy." I very specifically argued against that approach. Also, I was comparing climate scientists and the skeptics, not activists to skeptics. There is a big difference.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | March 9, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Andrew, please, in the future when you decide to smear a person or group... "Other scientists think the best way forward is to recognize that there is an asymmetric war going on, in which one side (a portion of the climate skeptic community) is waging a no-holds-barred political battle against greenhouse-gas emissions reduction measures, while freely distorting scientific evidence in the process, and the other side (mainstream climate scientists) is discussing science rationally." Please show your work Mr Journalist. The skeptics you so disdain can point to specific fraudulent activities (ie examples) as proof of the low science being performed by your demigods. Please enlighten us with proof of "distorted science" on the skeptic side. Not what one zealot says, I want "peer reviewed" literature produced by skeptics that has been proven fraudulent or shut the hell up.

Posted by: changein2012 | March 9, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Should climate scientists go on the offensive to win the “battle” over anthropogenic global warming?? In my opinion, no! The purpose of science is to increase knowledge and understanding, not for the purpose of accumulating evidence to fight some cause. This is especially true when that cause, such as global warming, is politically charged with the implications of government policy decisions at stake. When the cause rather than the science is perceived, justifiably or not, to be the primary goal of research, it inevitably invites criticism of bias and/or purposeful manipulation of results and provides the basis for the rallying cry of deniers to charge blindly ahead with all guns blazing.

The critics are correct in that some mistakes have been made, but to imply or even argue that all climate science is corrupt, at least that which supports the hypothesis that global warming is occurring and likely caused by human activities, is an egregiously unsupportable attack on the integrity of the vast majority of climate scientists.

I use the word hypothesis advisable. It’s the term scientists use for a seemingly reasonable assumption, but one that requires investigation to prove or disprove. Scientists by definition are skeptical of the working hypothesis, but have yet to uncover after decades of research evidence that disproves it. Climate scientists cannot eliminate the possibility that the hypothesis is wrong. And, no one on the list of the supposed 32,000 on the list who believe the AGW hypothesis is nonsense have yet to provide a convincing body of peer-reviewed evidence that shows the hypothesis is false.

I do not think that climate scientists of any stripe should go on the offensive to “win” the battle surrounding AGW. Rather, they should strive to effectively communicate as widely as possible the status of climate science and uncertainties therein to the public at large, as well as policy makers – not join the battle for establishing the righteousness for or against any cause relevant to major policy decisions

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | March 9, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Andrew:
Other scientists think the best way forward is to recognize that there is an asymmetric war going on, in which one side (a portion of the climate skeptic community) is waging a no-holds-barred political battle against greenhouse-gas emissions reduction measures, while freely distorting scientific evidence in the process, and the other side (mainstream climate scientists) is discussing science rationally. The only way to fight and win such a war, they say, is to start fighting on the same level as your enemy.

From the 'they say' greenwire link:
The e-mails obtained by E&E show the scientists are considering launching advertising campaigns, widening their public presence, pushing the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to take a more active role in explaining climate science and creating a nonprofit to serve as a voice for the scientific community.

Andrew again:
One step that climate scientists should take is to fully engage in the blogosphere, rather than limit their writing to the scientific journals, which few people other than their scientific peers actually read.

Andrew, I'm confused. I don't see how what 'they say' is much different from what you say. Both you and 'they' seem to want scientists to take a more active role and fully engage. I don't see any of the scientists wanting to wage a no-holds-barred battle or to freely distort scientific evidence.

So is your argument that a blog would be more effective medium than a newspaper ad? If so, I agree.

Posted by: imback | March 9, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

steve, you said,
"no one on the list of the supposed 32,000 on the list who believe the AGW hypothesis is nonsense have yet to provide a convincing body of peer-reviewed evidence that shows the hypothesis is false."

you said "convincing body". are there ANY scientific papers that assert co2 has a neutral or a cooling effect on climate?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 9, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Good news. The InterAcademy Council has apparently agreed to review the IPCC.

Posted by: imback | March 9, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

imback: The difference lies in the type of engagement. The scientists discussed in the Greenwire/NYT story are contemplating fighting back in a way that would make climate science appear as just another special interest group in Washington, fighting for a political agenda through newspaper ads etc. That is exactly how many critics see climate science, and science in general, but its not how I see it.

What I discuss is engagement that is based more along the lines of science education and discussions with skeptics than confrontation. Basically, I am advocating for more realclimate.org's rather than newspaper ads or alternate versions of Climate Depot.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | March 9, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

All sounds reasonable, so perhaps Andrew Freeman you could interview the editor of C&E News, the in-house organ of the ACS, American Chemical Society about why he refuses to cover an open letter to the ACS Board of Directors submitted by more than 100 scientists, members of the ASCS which ask for a revision of the ACS Policy Statement on Human Contributions to Climate Change, asks for an independent review of Climate Science (independent of IPCC report) and open the discussion with all members of the ACS interested in contributing. Ask him why he does not help the members of the ACS before their National Meeting in San Francisco to become informed about the open letter and decide if they want to support or oppose it. You could equally approach the editor of Physics Today, which is the in-house organ of the APS, American Physical Society why he did the same thing earlier this year when over 200 senior Physicist, APS members made a similar request. One could go on and on, Climate Scientists don't mind engaging the leadership of the various science organizations, but not the members, in signing them on to support their scientific position, but they are not willing to engage in open discussion too much. You should explore what happens to those scientists who question the science. The kind of names and labels that are put on them for asking reasonable science questions...yes by other scientists. ClimateGate lifted the curtain just a bit. Consider where the power lies in the climate science discussion. All major science organizationas have signed on, most of the government, President down are signed on, state governments of CA, NJ, PA, NY, RI, MA just to mention a few are all signed on and are pushing the agenda, major mass communications media are signed on, significant fraction of the financial community is committed, so on and on...the power is all on one side. Yet it is the powerful who are feeling weak. What is wrong with this picture? Reporters like you should be exploring the assymetry that is real, and not promulgating the assymetry that is fictionally created. Be well, just one scientist opinion.

Posted by: 123andy | March 9, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Andrew Freedman wrote: "One side (a portion of the climate skeptic community) is waging a no-holds-barred political battle against greenhouse-gas emissions reduction measures, while freely distorting scientific evidence in the process, and the other side (mainstream climate scientists) is discussing science rationally."

Well, Andrew, here are some quotes from your mainstream scientists discussing science "rationally."

"To capture the public imagination ... we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified
dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest."
-- STEPHEN SCHNEIDER, Stanford Professor of Climatology,
lead author of many IPCC reports,Discover Magazine interview, Oct.89 [88]

"It doesn't matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true. You are what the media define you to be. Greenpeace became a myth, and a myth-generating machine."
-- PAUL WATSON, co-founder of Greenpeace, on the "secret of Greenpeace's success",
Forbes magazine interview, 11.Nov.91 [90]

“Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.”
-- SIR JOHN HOUGHTON, first co-chair of the IPCC and lead editor of its first three reports (1990, 1995, 2001), in his 1994 book "Global Warming, The Complete Briefing" [89]

Posted by: carolm62 | March 9, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for responding, Andrew. Rereading the Greenwire/NYT story, I still don't see that scientists are advocating fighting on the same level as the enemy, presumably no-holds-barred with truth being the victim, as just another special interest group in Washington. They are mainly discussing ways to promote science education, such as with a newspaper ad or a PBS show. As individuals, scientists should be allowed to run for public office. As individuals, scientists should be able to defend themselves against scurrilous accusations. What in particular do you think is wrong with that?

Posted by: imback | March 9, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Scientists need to speak out equally against all who use hyperbole to advocate positions for or against AGW if they hope to regain trust. If they're going to deride a Senator from OK for saying heavy snows on the East Coast proves AGW, they should likewise deride a certaion former VP for implying that Hurricane Katrina is proof of AGW. AGW has become a noholds barred fight between political activists for and against the theory. Unfortunately some of the "biggest" names in scientists such a Michael Mann, Phil Jones, and James Hansen are more political advocates than scientists. It's hard to trust someone whose voice is so firmly behind advocating a political position to be an impartial judge of evaluating scientific data which could potentially conflict with their advocacy. The IPCC has shown itself to be more of a political than a scientfic organization and does more harm than aid in supporting AGW. What we need is more hard talk about the science, and less political rhetoric. Scientists should be willing to discuss any skeptism of their claims by a logical presentation of the facts without resorting to calling the skeptic a denier of the holocaust.

Finally, scientists need to either refute the idea that the vast majority believe in all aspects of AGW or provide hard scientifc and verifiable proof that this consensus indeed exists. I've heard tons of claims, but have been able to find precious little evidence to support this acertion.


Posted by: LRBinFrisco | March 10, 2010 3:06 AM | Report abuse

Andrew, last night you said you wanted to compare climate scientists to skeptics, not activists to skeptics. Like Willis said in his thread (like above), far too many climate scientists are activists. A recent example is near the bottom of the thread. The press release says

"“Subsea permafrost is losing its ability to be an impermeable cap,” Natalia Shakhova, a scientist at the University of Fairbanks, Alaska, said in a statement. She co-led the study published in Friday’s edition of the journal Science."

The report says

"To discern whether this extensive CH4 venting over the ESAS is a steadily ongoing phenomenon or signals the start of a more massive CH4 release period, there is an urgent need for expanded multifaceted investigations into these inaccessible but climate-sensitive shelf seas north of Siberia."

Willis' point is that to regain our trust, scientists must stop being activists (and stop cooking/losing data, stop restraining contrary views, etc, etc)

Posted by: eric654 | March 10, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

SteveT says "I do not think that climate scientists of any stripe should go on the offensive to “win” the battle surrounding AGW". Too late Steve, the already did it and have to accept the consequential loss of credibility. The question is what they will do to regain credibility.

Posted by: eric654 | March 10, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Walter, there is very broad agreement about CO2 and warming. Take away CO2 and we lose 9% of the greenhouse effect. Take away all other GH gasses except CO2 and we still have 25% of the GH effect. The issue is only how much more the climate will warm due to increased water vapor. Estimates range from cooling (negative feedback) to warming (positive feedback).

Posted by: eric654 | March 10, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

steveT, (or anybody knowledgeable),

i was serious when i asked, are there ANY scientific papers that assert co2 has a neutral or a cooling effect on climate?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 10, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

eric654,
i hadn't seen your posts before i wrote mine. didn't mean to possibly imply you weren't knowledgeable - i don't know if you are.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 10, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

No problem at all Walter! I think there are some papers that dispute the warming effect of CO2, but IMO they are highly technical (written by physicists) and not convincing. But I am not a physicist and don't understand much of their argument.

Posted by: eric654 | March 10, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

eric654,
so, what percent of scientific papers, which apparently display "broad agreement about CO2 and warming" (at least initially), assert a negative feedback now?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 10, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Hi Walter, I can't give you an exact percentage but I would guess about 10%. First though, here's an example of disputing the warming power of CO2. Hans Jelbring does exactly what I criticized above, mixing activism and science.

http://www.tech-know.eu/NISubmission/pdf/Politics_and_the_Greenhouse_Effect.pdf

One great argument against positive feedback is to ask to see the full run from the model output. As we keep adding CO2, when does the model show the temperature reaching a peak? Does it flatten out at some high temperature, and if so, what keeps it from going even higher? Looking at the earth's history with CO2 10 to 15 times higher (albeit with a weaker sun), one wonders where the positive feedback was back then.

Posted by: eric654 | March 10, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

eric654

You are correct in that it is too late to keep some climate scientists from going on the offensive to “win” the battle surrounding AGW. But only a relatively few have done so. Unfortunately they get the attention and asymmetrically taint the credibility of the vast majority who remain true to the science and sciences only.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | March 10, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

that hans jelbring paper eric654 linked to is not a scientific paper. it's just something a scientist wrote. and i get the feeling he's trying to pull the wool over my layman eyes.... i'd LOVE to have other scientists take a look at it.

i'm suspicious because, for example, he says,

I. The high school approach.
The average sea level pressure is around 1013 mbar. If you live at a higher altitude the pressure will be less. Your barometer at 100 m above sea level will read about 12 mbar less. Pressure is a direct measurement of how much atmospheric mass there is above your head per square meter. The ideal gas law can be written PV = RT where P is the pressure (Pascal), V is the volume (m3), R is the gas constant (Joule/K) and T is the average temperature (over some days). Let us now calculate the temperature in a 1 m3 volume at any height. Hence T = P/R, T is proportional to P and P is known from observation to decrease with increasing altitude. It follows that the average T has to decrease with altitude. This decrease from the surface to the average infrared emission altitude around 4000 m is 33 oC. It will be about the same even if we increase greenhouse gases by 100%. This is a consequence of the ideal gas law, a natural law which politicians cannot change, but unscrupulous scientists can twist."

now, i went to high school some 30 yrs ago, but for some reason i actually remember the ideal gas law. firstly, i can't figure out what it has to do with climate change. secondly, i remember it as pv=nrt. (note the "n" - the number of molecules (or moles?) in given CLOSED system.)

i think this is such typical obfuscation that comes from AGW "skeptics" (scare quotes intentional). what he preys on is either total scientific ignorance on the part of laypersons, or the "a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing" syndrome.

a person who barely remembers pv=nrt (and forgets about the "n", and forgets about the closed system thing...) might remember that less pressure = less temperature. so jelbring's weird argument might be vaguely convincing.

scientists? comments?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 10, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Walter, you are absolutely right. He neglected the n. Since n is proportional to mass, and mass over volume is density, meteorologists usually write the gas law as p=(rho)RT, where (rho) stands for density and the proportionality constant of n to mass is absorbed by a new value of R. Jelbring is basically claiming the non-existence of a stratosphere where temperature increases with decreasing pressure. The part of the paper you quoted is pure nonsense; there's no need to read further.

Posted by: imback | March 10, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

eric654, you said,

"Looking at the earth's history with CO2 10 to 15 times higher (albeit with a weaker sun), one wonders where the positive feedback was back then."

i believe the standard answer to this is that milankovitch cycles (and possibly the arrangement of the continents and the resulting oceanic patterns) initiate warming which releases co2 which causes more warming. the thing that may have "capped" it in the past (to the extent it was capped - it's been historically much warmer on earth than it is now) may be milankovitch cycles again.

but IN THIS CASE, WE STARTED THE CYCLE by emitting gobs of co2, which has caused some warming AND which will release more co2 which will cause more warming etc....

i mentioned above how the earth has been much warmer in the past than it is now. it's also true that we cannot really say what's the "ideal" temperature for earth. and it's possible that these past warmer periods have had greater biodiversity thaN exists today (or, as we are experiencing the 6th great extinction, perhaps i should use 1900 biodiversity as a baseline....).

the reason we want to keep the climate as stable as possible is that it takes hundreds of thousands to millions of years for new species to adapt to new climates but only a few years to kill off existing species. so, this new warmer earth, welcomed by people like the "green earth society" (or whatever they're called), will not have much biodiversity for the first few hundred thousand years, but could be really great, eventually.....

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 10, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

imback,
i suspected as much re hans jelbring. and i don't think it's just a mistake on his part. i mean, he's not that stupid, right? he's GOT to know the real ideal gas law and how to apply it...bastard...

are you a "scientist" of some kind?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 10, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

so, seriously, still, i'd like to know if anybody knows of ANY peer-reviewed scientific papers that argue (and presented evidence) for co2 having a negative or even neutral forcing effect.

(i remember a while ago there was that one paper in a european (?) geosomething journal that was published, but then the the paper was discredited and the reviewer had to resign?? help?)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 10, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Walter

There can be no mistake that Atmospheric CO2 alone contributes to warming. That's physics, and not subject to debate.

The influence of CO2 is only one component out of a multitude of interactions and feedback mechanisms which govern the energy balance (temperature change) of the climate system. It is possible that the influence of CO2 in conjunction with some other set of processes could result in a net cooling effect. That's unlikely and, to the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence of it actually being the case.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | March 10, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Andrew, written like a true Progressive!!! The Climate Deceivers have been outed!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | March 10, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Walter,

Prof. Richard Lindzen a Meteorologist at MIT has used over 20 years of ACTUAL satellite observations of CO2 in the upper atmosphere to show little if any is trapped. Most CO2 excapes in space!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | March 10, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Jimbo77,
interesting theory.... why then is co2 concentration in our atmosphere increasing? or do you dispute that too?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 10, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

imback: you wrote: "As individuals, scientists should be allowed to run for public office. As individuals, scientists should be able to defend themselves against scurrilous accusations. What in particular do you think is wrong with that?" There is nothing wrong with that. But how they go about "defending themselves" will have an influence on the credibility of the broader scientific community. You're right though, that the emails disclosed by Greenwire and others don't show scientists who are willing to throw away scientific evidence and argue in favor of unsupported positions, but there is still a significant divide between those who are pushing for more confrontation and those, like Curry (and I guess I put myself in her camp, for now, although I disagree with her analysis of the evolution of the climate skeptic movement), who are pushing for more honest and open engagement with critics.

Eric654: I would question whether Mike Mann and Phil Jones are activists. Putting them in the same category as Hansen is a big stretch, in my view. They haven't been demonstrating against coal plants, for example, or writing urgent letters in favor of carbon taxes, which Hansen has been doing in his personal capacity.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | March 10, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

steveT, you said,
"It is possible that the influence of CO2 in conjunction with some other set of processes could result in a net cooling effect. That's unlikely and, to the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence of it actually being the case."

that's what i'm asking about. and if indeed there is scientific uncertainty on that point, then "skeptics" should be able to reference many scientific papers demonstrating the COOLING (or at least neutral) effect of co2.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 10, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

walter: most studies regarding the cooling effect from climate forcers focus on natural and man made aerosols, such as sulfate particles and organic carbon. There are many unanswered questions about how much warming from CO2 these aerosols offset or 'mask', especially since other aerosols, like black carbon (soot) are strong warming agents. I am not aware of scientific studies that show that adding CO2 to the atmosphere would cool the climate or have a neutral influence by itself. There are, however, uncertainties regarding just how sensitive the climate system is to a doubling of CO2, as well as the complicated interactions with aerosols, water vapor, and non-CO2 greenhouse gases.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | March 10, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

The Logarithmic Effect of Carbon Dioxide

Spencer: Global Urban Heat Island Effect Study – An Update
The real source of the land based temperature increase.

NSIDC Reports That Antarctica is Cooling and Sea Ice is Increasing
A fact which I am sure Mr. Freedman was just on the cusp of reporting. ;)

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 10, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

andrew,
so, NOBODY's arguing over whether co2 causes warming?

that seems like a good "takeaway lesson" for climategate....

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 10, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"Other scientists think the best way forward is to recognize that there is an asymmetric war going on, in which one side (a portion of the climate skeptic community) is waging a no-holds-barred political battle against greenhouse-gas emissions reduction measures, while freely distorting scientific evidence in the process, and the other side (mainstream climate scientists) is discussing science rationally."

Just that backwards spin-phrasing alone is all you need to understand why there is a "public confidence crisis" (Crisis? Whose crisis?)

The "a no-holds-barred political battle" -- against what/who? I'll give you a hint. "Deniers". "Denialists". That word, used early on, and right from the political and scientific top. That strategy (still in play!) of goonery and buffoonery just wasn't enough. The science itself, and not the mantra that claims ownership of "the science" as a shield of words, will all come to light, the truth will out, and that alone will prevail in the end -- not the no-holds barred political battle warmists and warmist propagandists have engaged.

Posted by: sdlawrence | March 10, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Walter, sorry for the delay. How can a very weak milankovitch cycles which require positive feedback from CO2 be overcome by an equally weak M-cycle ending? That doesn't really answer the question of how positive feedback is limited.

I think your analysis of Hans J's paper (not journal paper) is on the mark and like I said above, I don't put a lot of credence in CO2 causing cooling. At the very least there are IR photons emitted from the earth's surface that are caught on their way to space by CO2 and 1/2 of them are reflected back. I don't think there'a any cooling offset from CO2 from that effect.

But let me be more clear about WV feedback. Having negative feedback from water vapor doesn't mean cooling, just less warming than CO2 would otherwise cause if weather stayed the same.

The weather issue is critical: what happens in the tropical troposphere as CO2 warms it? If there is more concentrated convection then that will offset some of the CO2 warming. Models are notoriously dependent on assumptions for weather because they (GCM) lack the resolution to model convection processes.

Posted by: eric654 | March 10, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Walter, I'm not sure why you believe that climategate has anything to do with claims about CO2 causing warming or not. One lesson from climategate is that contrary statisticians' critiques of climate proxies were excluded from journals and IPCC consideration. The other lesson is that the instrumental temperature record is a mess and attempts to validate it have been rebuffed. Now CRU has admitted their analysis needs to be redone. Why did it require a bunch of leaked emails for them to admit that?

Neither of those two main issues has anything to do with CO2 or even with models of water vapor feedback.

Posted by: eric654 | March 10, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Debate, constructive criticism, additional insight or data, malicious lies, personality attacks, claiming fraud on specious grounds, and personal threats cannot be given equal value. Of course not.
Anyone is right to be angry about malicious lies and personality attacks. These do not promote progress in any way. These are what the scientists are trying to figure out how to combat.

The basic science of global warming occurring due to man-made emissions has not changed a bit since I first heard of it almost 50 years ago. I rather say the science is "well-established" than "settled".

What has changed is that warming is happening faster than expected 50 years ago. The major reason is that people have increased the rate of carbon emission since then.

The scientists see the changes that are occurring now and most feel some positive duty to warn fellow human beings of a danger.

Their message is unwelcome, certainly to me. I don't want to duck reality, and I understand some people do.

That the head-in-sand mentality is fed by outright falsehoods is the great scandal. Too much of the press is treating easily disproved statements as "the other side" in the interest of "fair play". Nope, the disingenuous nonsense is as fair as sticking a thumb in someone's eye.

Posted by: belowrey | March 10, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

eric654,
i only linked co2 emissions and "climategate" because some people have come away from "climategate" thinking the foundations of global warming theory have been undermined.

they have not: co2 emissions STILL cause global warming. nonetheless, "skeptics" feel justified in saying things like "climategate proves AGW is a hoax". and people "on the fence" are newly or even more confused - which is the aim of "skeptics".

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 10, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Walter- you said: "the reason we want to keep the climate as stable as possible is that it takes hundreds of thousands to millions of years for new species to adapt to new climates but only a few years to kill off existing species. "

Not so. Seems recent DNA analysis of Polar Bear fossils show that they actually adapt very quickly and are not very separated very far from "Brown" (Grizzly) bears, can interbreed with them, and have survived previous warming periods. They were even able to analyse their diet and check on their closest relatives in the Alaskan Islands - more to come as they analyze more information. Don't worry about the polar bears and global warming - but you might worry about what they eat if we keep netting everything that moves in the ocean and dumping our garbage in it. Pollution and overfishing make Global Warming a miniscule problem hardly worth even thinking about. A great misdirection by ... who knows?

Posted by: delbekew | March 10, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

eric654,
why do you think milankovitch cycles are "weak" forcings?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 10, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Walter, I was repeating your hypothesis that M-forcings are enhanced with CO2 feedback. Namely some warming from solar effects, releases some CO2 to cause more warming and release more CO2. In other direction, a relatively warm planet is cooled by solar effects, then snow and ice albedo and CO2 starts to drop as it is absorbed by a cooling ocean.

It's a nice hypothesis if the aim is to also provide a theory of man made catastrophe. But what if there is no feedback loop? The CO2 rises because it is warmer, but the rise in CO2 doesn't cause much further warming? One alternative is that M-cycle forcings are strong enough not to need much CO2 feedback. An alternative explanation is that weather is in feedback loop, as the earth cools from the solar effects, the weather causes further cooling. The vice versa case works too until the weather regulates the maximum temperature.

The regulation of climate by weather makes sense to me. In the case of warming from rising CO2, it means weather will temper the warming. The alternative is, what? That CO2 and warming continue until a strong M-cycle downtrend comes along (your theory)? What happens in the mean time?

Another theory is volcanic forcing. Although the M-cycles line up pretty well with the celestial system, the actual triggering of the ice age would require a Toba. To get out of the ice age, volcanoes could again do the trick in the opposite direction.

So the short answer is I don't know if M-cycles are strong or weak, but I don't think you can simultaneous claim they are strong, but they also need CO2 feedback to keep the warming (or cooling) until you can explain why it stops warming (or cooling) before the end of the M-cycle.

Posted by: eric654 | March 10, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

walter wrote:
are you a "scientist" of some kind?

I claim to be, but then again so does Jelbring. On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. :)

walter wrote again:
so, seriously, still, i'd like to know if anybody knows of ANY peer-reviewed scientific papers that argue (and presented evidence) for co2 having a negative or even neutral forcing effect.

That CO2 is a greenhouse gas was discovered by Tyndall in 1859. It is well established science.

walter wrote further:
(i remember a while ago there was that one paper in a european (?) geosomething journal that was published, but then the the paper was discredited and the reviewer had to resign?? help?)

You might be thinking of the (not credible) paper mentioned here--
http://www.realclimate.org/wiki/index.php?title=G._Gerlich_and_R._D._Tscheuschner

Posted by: imback | March 10, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

imback, re discredited skeptic paper:
ding ding ding ding ding.... that's the one! thanks.

which i suppose also allows me to grant changein2012's wish. earlier he said, "I want "peer reviewed" literature produced by skeptics that has been proven fraudulent or shut the hell up."

there you have it.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 10, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

eric654, re M-forcing:
seems to this layperson like M-cycles historically are clearly related to climate changes on earth. as far as which feedbacks are triggered, and what dominates, and what loops happen, that's much more up in the air (heh heh).

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 10, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Walter, the paper I mentioned is certainly wrong but hardly fraudulent. Accusations of fraud have been thrown around way too freely from people who should know better (coughInhofecough).

Posted by: imback | March 10, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Funny you should mention convection (it's probably my favorite climate change theory)

Posted by: eric654 | March 10, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

imback,
i suppose you're right that the G&T paper was wrong, but not intentionally so. so i guess it's not "fraudulent" like changein2012 requested.

hhhhmmmm.......

the jelbring paper is wrong and fraudulent, but not peer reviewed....

hhhhmmmm....

are there any "AGW is false" peer reviewed papers you know of?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 11, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Hi Walter, I found a paper that bounds temperature. You would have to define "AGW is false" more clearly to see if this addresses that phrase, but it probably supports a conclusion that high sensitivity (WV feedback) is false. What this paper shows is that there are upper and lower bounds on temperature which should be obvious since we are not frozen or broiled into a situation where either negative or positive feedback dominate.

The paper hypothesizes that changes in convection keep the climate within boundaries around a center point dictated by celestial factors like M-cycles. What I was asking above is what keeps CO2 and warming from an infinite positive feedback loop (there is lots of CO2 in the deep ocean waiting to be released as it warms)? Obviously something regulates the maximum temperature and this is one hypothesis. I'm sure there are others.

The author's changes to the solar constant in his model with subsequent climate insensitivity could equally well apply to CO2 forcing. The remaining question is where we are at in the curve. Here's the paper:

http://ams.allenpress.com/archive/1520-0442/14/13/pdf/i1520-0442-14-13-2976.pdf

Posted by: eric654 | March 11, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting the way the warmists try to define the argument and then win their contrived contest. The warmists are the ones who have presented a theory of climate change based on CO2. Foundational to the theory and the climate models predicting catastrophe are the statements that "current 'warm' temperatures are unprecedented" and that those temperatures are caused by CO2.

There is plenty of evidence that temperatures were warmer several times in the last 2,500 years. This evidence must be ignored to believe that today's temperatures are even unusual, let alone 'unprecedented'. If today's temperatures are normal variation, then the premise that CO2 caused 'unprecedented' warming is nonsense. CO2 probably does affect temperature, but it is up to the warmists to prove that there is even an issue, let alone that CO2 is causing any important changes.

Sea ice has returned to near normal levels in the northern hemisphere, and has been increasing all along in the south, regardless of IPCC false statements about no increase in the south. Nothing about increasing ice is likely to be mentioned by the Post or any other MSM publication because it contradicts their often stated beliefs.

Scientific fact is not established by belief systems, but by research that is published and reproduced by other scientists.

What did Drs. Mann, Jones, and Hansen say to the clam shell? Where did you put my hockey stick?

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | March 11, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

esmerelda123,
thanks, i'll try to read that. i spent a few minutes with it - enough to see it's probably "over my head". are you a "scientist"?

i don't at all dispute the notion that there are some kind of upper and lower "bounds" on earth's temps. and i don't think our co2 output is going to trigger some kind of irreversible warming (like where earth becomes venus or something).

the problem with warming (as opposed to the relative stability of the past 5-10Kyrs) is that we and the plants and animals and environments are "tuned" to THIS temperature... we'll adapt and survive of course (many plants and animals won't) but things will change, and at least at first, for the worse.

btw, it's absolutely true that global warming IS NOT our only environmental concern. toxic pollution, deforestation, overfishing.......

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 11, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

eric654 (and esmerelda123...) - oops! sorry about that! that last post was (hopefully obviously) for eric654.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 11, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

WallyFallsHurt, I'm an engineer. The paper is somewhat difficult for me to read also, I was mainly looking for the gist and need to read it some more.

The bounds are important, I'm glad you are thinking about those. The next question is what are the bounds at 250ppm CO2 preindustrial versus 380 now versus 500ppm CO2 where we are headed. IE how much does rising CO2 bump up the upper bound? The paper doesn't answer that specific question of course. I also would be interested in any other views on how the bounds are determined.

To your list of environmental problems I would add underhunting. We have far too many deer (not allowed to discharge firearms in my HOA except for self-defense). Also too many geese here on the Shenandoah, but fortunately we do get a few hunters to come upstream.

Posted by: eric654 | March 11, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Walter, sorry didn't see your second posting. I thought esmerelda123 was my new nickname. I didn't know she was real (not in this thread anyway). I'll call you Walter if that's ok.

Posted by: eric654 | March 11, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Two points -

1. Did you not read the Climategate emails??? There was a coordinated, concerted effort to deny skeptic papers from being published via the peer review process.

2. People who do not believe in AGW, for whatever reason, do NOT have to prove squat. We do NOT wish to impose economy crippling regulation on the United States. We do NOT wish to sign a binding agreement with the U.N. that will transfer vast sums of money to third world countries to help them with their dignity. We do not want to increase the price of all existing forms of energy in an effort to drive up the pain for using it, so that people might use less.

No, we don't have to prove squat. People who believe in AGW need to prove it to us. And they have yet to do that.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 11, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

eric654,
the comment i made before the one to you was to "esmerelda123" on another thread. i still had her name copied to my clipboard. thought i had copied yours before my comment to you....but i hadn't....

mr. q.,
your "who has to prove what to who" comment aside, can you provide examples of scientific papers proposing the recent (last 120 or so years) warming is due to something other than man-made greenhouse gas emissions? there's got to be a few that made it past the vast global warming conspiracy.

to that end, i will not accept papers saying it has cooled in the past year or two or even 10 - as any climatologist (phil jones included) will tell you that's not a statistically significant period.

i'm beginning to think changein2012's challenge is more of a trick question.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 12, 2010 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Walter, although Mr Q is more than capable of arguing his own points, I would try to distinguish between AGW which is indisputably minor up to the present and CAGW which is postulated to be severe due to high sensitivity. It's the CAGW case that I would argue has not been made.

Posted by: eric654 | March 12, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Walter:
Instead of wishing for more "scientific" papers, which may or may not be accurate or even relevant, you would be well served to seriously consider whether a less than 1 degree anomaly over one hundred years has or can be accurately measured or as Phil Jones might say about other indices: this is not statistically significant

Once an idea loses public confidence, regaining that precious commodity can be very elusive!!:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/126560/Americans-Global-Warming-Concerns-Continue-Drop.aspx#1

The trendline was well established long before anyone heard of "Climategate" or any of the other plagues that have attached to this AGW campaign within the past year.

THIS IS REALITY!!!!!!

Posted by: AugustaJim | March 12, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

walter-in-fallschurch wrote, "your "who has to prove what to who" comment aside, can you provide examples of scientific papers proposing the recent (last 120 or so years) warming is due to something other than man-made greenhouse gas emissions? there's got to be a few that made it past the vast global warming conspiracy."

The "vast global warming conspiracy"? That is your response? Seriously?

I made a statement of fact which was completely void of snark and sarcasm. I would be happy to quote to you from their emails the concerted effort they undertook to deny skeptical papers from being published. And your response is to insert the phrase "vast global warming conspiracy". How do you expect me to take you seriously when you do that? I can not. This is precisely why I quit conversing with you in the past.

You can not simply brush aside the fact that you would like the U.S. government and the U.N. to insert massive new control over my life and the lives of my family. You attitude appears to be that I need to justify to you why the government should leave me alone. Does that accurately summarize your attitude?

Augusta Jim is correct. Dr. Jones and Dr. Hansen have both conceded that what little warming has occurred is statistically INSIGNIFICANT. Do you not understand the significance of that?

Do you fully understand what your phrasing of the question reveals about you? You phrased the question this way - "... can you provide examples of scientific papers proposing the recent (last 120 or so years) warming is due to something other than man-made greenhouse gas emissions?"

This is the exact same attitude of some of the scientists! To wit - "We can't explain the statistically insignificant warming other than to blame man." And that appears to be your attitude as well. It is an attitude that *ASSUMES* we know all pertinent and relevant facts. It *ASSUMES* that there are no unknown facts that could account for what we are observing.

I flatly reject that attitude outright! In fact, I find it ludicrous and absurd. My vocabulary is not sufficient to adequately convey how absurd I find that attitude (while avoiding being banned from the Washington Post).

Allow me to remind you of previous theories whose proponents had that very same attitude.

*The world is flat.

*The sun revolves around the earth.

*Prior to the germ theory of disease, people believed in spontaneous generation of life.

People believed stupid crap like that for centuries; simply because they lacked sufficient knowledge and they had no better explanation.

However, if you are genuinely interested in other theories that explain some of the statistically INSIGNIFICANT warming that has occurred, simply Google -
"new paper" site://wattsupwiththat.com

The results should keep you busy reading for months to come. If you are genuinely interested.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 12, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 12, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

New Paper Suggests Long-Term Water Vapour Feedback is Negative

If true, and water vapor feedback is negative, an increase of CO2, which will lead to warming, which leads to more water vapor in the air, which leads to cooling greater than the original increase from CO2.

And another paper which essentially states the same thing.

And a really good paper pointing out the heinous flaws in the current computer models. Check out the summary -
"We have tested the proposition that greenhouse model simulations and trend observations can be reconciled. Our conclusion is that the present evidence, with the application of a robust statistical test, supports rejection of this proposition."

Shall I go on?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 12, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Mr Q says "If true, and water vapor feedback is negative, an increase of CO2, which will lead to warming, which leads to more water vapor in the air, which leads to cooling greater than the original increase from CO2."

No, read it again. Positive feedback amplifies the warming from CO2. Negative feedback reduces it (their word). Bottom line is that CO2 warms the planet. The only question is whether water vapor multiplies the warming or divides it. It may divide it enough to zero it out for practical purposes. That would be effect of the upper bound I was talking about above.

Posted by: eric654 | March 12, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

eric654,

You are correct on that particular point. I stand corrected. Thank you.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 12, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

--begin quote--
We show that although greenhouse gas forcings share a common stochastic trend, this trend is empirically independent of the stochastic trend in temperature and solar irradiance. Therefore, greenhouse gas forcings, global temperature and solar irradiance are not polynomially cointegrated, and AGW is refuted. Although we reject AGW, we find that greenhouse gas forcings have a temporary effect on global temperature. Because the greenhouse effect is temporary rather than permanent, predictions of significant global warming in the 21st century by IPCC are not supported by the data.
--end quote--

Source of the above quote -
New paper on mathematical analysis of GHG

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 12, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

--begin quote--
Climate feedbacks are estimated from fluctuations in the outgoing radiation budget from the latest version of Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) nonscanner data. It appears, for the entire tropics, the observed outgoing radiation fluxes increase with the increase in sea surface temperatures (SSTs). The observed behavior of radiation fluxes implies negative feedback processes associated with relatively low climate sensitivity. This is the opposite of the behavior of 11 atmospheric models forced by the same SSTs.
--end quote--

Source of the above quote -
Richard S. Lindzen and Yong-Sang Choi
Revised on July 14, 2009 for publication to Geophysical Research Letters

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 12, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Georgia Tech: “50 percent of the [USA] warming that has occurred since 1950 is due to land use changes rather than greenhouse gases

--begin quote--
“Across the U.S. as a whole, approximately 50 percent of the warming that has occurred since 1950 is due to land use changes (usually in the form of clearing forest for crops or cities) rather than to the emission of greenhouse gases,” said Stone. “Most large U.S. cities, including Atlanta, are warming at more than twice the rate of the planet as a whole – a rate that is mostly attributable to land use change. As a result, emissions reduction programs – like the cap and trade program under consideration by the U.S. Congress – may not sufficiently slow climate change in large cities where most people live and where land use change is the dominant driver of warming.”
--end quote--

Paper published in the December edition of Environmental Science and Technology

Source of the above quote.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 12, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

New paper in Nature on CO2 amplification: “it’s less than we thought”

Amplification of Global Warming by Carbon-Cycle Feedback Significantly Less Than Thought, Study Suggests

From Science Daily January 2010

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 12, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Dust study suggests only 30% of Atlantic temp increase due to warming climate

(From PhysOrg.com h/t to Leif Svalgaard) — The recent warming trend in the Atlantic Ocean is largely due to reductions in airborne dust and volcanic emissions during the past 30 years, according to a new study.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 12, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

New Study Casts Doubt on Cause of Himalayan Glaciers Melting

Weather variations, not global warming cause glacier melt

New Delhi (PTI): Himalayan glaciers, including the world’s highest battlefield Siachen, are melting due to variations in weather and not because of global warming, Jammu University scientists have claimed.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 12, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Well, what do you know! Someone took the time to compile a list!

500 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of "Man-Made" Global Warming

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 12, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

mr.q.,
i'll check it out. no time now.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 12, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

According to Dr. Hansen, there was no warming prior to 1989. That narrows your 120 year window down to 21 years.

And that would make the last 10 years rather significant. Wouldn't it? Given that we are only talking about 21 years.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 12, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Hi Mr Q, the title on that last link "no warming prior to 1989" should be "no U.S. warming prior to 1989". In the article Hansen goes on to say he thinks there was 1 degree warming worldwide up to 1989.

Posted by: eric654 | March 12, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Here is a little known tidbit.

Even NASA scientists do NOT believe that AGW is entirely caused by CO2!!

--begin quote--
The other issue where science could be an inconvenient truth for climate politics is the basic question of what is causing the greenhouse effect. Earlier this year Gore phoned two scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute, which is above the Manhattan coffee shop where the Seinfeld characters hung out. Drew Shindell, Schmidt, and colleagues run state-of-the-art computer calculations on how much various greenhouse gases contribute to global warming. The relative impact of each, they were finding, was different from what simpler models had suggested. As they reported last week in Science—findings that Gore got hold of last spring—methane accounts for about 27 percent of the man-made warming so far, largely because of how it interacts with atmospheric aerosols. Halocarbons have caused 8 percent of the warming; black carbon (sooty emissions from burning wood, dung, and diesel), 12 percent; carbon monoxide and volatile organics, 7 percent—and carbon dioxide, 43 percent.
--end quote--

Source of the above quote.

The people who believe in AGW only attribute 43 percent of the statistically insignificant warming that has occurred to CO2.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 12, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

eric654,

I appreciate the correction - I truly do. And I am pleased that out of my last eight comments, you found only found one error. I hope I am correct in inferring that the other seven had no errors.

As far as the U.S. temperature record vs the rest of the World, I trust the U.S. temperature record far more than I trust the rest of the world's. And that isn't saying a whole heck of a lot. If our temperature stations look this bad, I cringe at the thought of third world countries data collection.

Factor into the equation the games they play with their temperature "adjustments", and I have almost no confidence at all in the land based temperature record. Are you aware of the Bolivia effect?

I will quit now and allow you and Walter to finish debating each other.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 12, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

If Georgia Tech is correct, and only 50% of the statistically insignificant warming in the U.S. since 1950 is due to greenhouse gases, and NASA is correct that only 43% of greenhouse gas warming is attributable to CO2, then the amount of warming from CO2 would be trivial.

And that doesn't even factor into the equation the PDO or any other phenomenon that we don't fully understand and may be contributing to the statistically insignificant warming. Factor into the equation the fudging they do with the temperature "adjustments", and it is clearly much to do about nothing. But it makes good headlines and can attract readers/viewers!

OMG!! WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 12, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Mr Q, No problem. I didn't scrutinize everything you linked to and said, but the rest looked ok. I especially like the 500 papers. Some are superseded and some are still unresolved as happens routinely in science. I am not trying to debate or debunk anyone, just point out what I think are important points to think about.

Posted by: eric654 | March 12, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

A truly fascinating paper published in Energy and Environment

Climate Change And The Earth’s Magnetic Poles, A Possible Connection

Published in Energy & Environment, Volume 20, Numbers 1-2, January 2009 , pp. 75-83(9)

--begin quote--
SUMMARY

The drift of the Earth’s magnetic poles over the last 105 years show strong correlations with the variations in temperature, regardless whether for the northern hemisphere alone or globally, suggesting a potential connection between these phenomena. Statistically there is a less than 1% probability of the correlations being due to chance alone. A connection between climate variability and variations in the Earth’s magnetic field has been proposed previously although the exact mechanism is still disputed. Since the movement of poles affects the shape of the geomagnetic field and hence regional patterns of shielding of the Earth from both solar and galactic cosmic rays, the most likely scenario appears to be that the moving poles affect the distribution and dispersion of the cosmic rays to more climate sensitive areas of the atmosphere. If so the dominating influence on climate over the last 105 years may have been natural.
--end quote--

Isn't it odd how Mr. Freedman never highlights papers like these? That is so strange. ;)

If all you followed was the dinosaur media, you would never even know papers like this existed. There is a reason they are the dinosaur media.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 12, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

The full paper for the summary I quoted above can be found here.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 12, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Long comment in two parts since the whole thing doesn't appear to post at once....

Mr Q, I would not agree with combining the percentages from different sources to get a percentage of warming from CO2. Also I think the "statistical significance" idea has been tortured way beyond its formal definition.

What I would say is that CO2 rising has caused some warming. The amount of warming from the CO2 alon e is about 0.3C so far and may be as much as 1.2C for our doubling of CO2 (280 to 560 ppm). The uncertainty comes from spectral overlap with water vapor. The rest of the observed warming (the amount is debated) is due to water vapor feedback and the other warming factors you brought up (black carbon, methane, etc). The natural factors include PDO as you mention, but also solar.

The biggest unknown is weather which is always cooling and always warming. The biggest heat engine on the planet is surface cooling from evaporation followed by higher atmospheric warming from condensation. That warming then gets partly sent into space and the surface cooling stays. With changes in weather due to natural factors and manmade factors including warming from CO2, it is next to impossible to make predictions about water vapor (or more properly, weather) feedback. We don't know whether the weather will enhance that 1.2C from CO2 warming or reduce it.

Posted by: eric654 | March 12, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

part 2: There is ample evidence that natural forces dominate climate not CO2. Look at for example the month-to-month changes in the satellite record. One month "global warming" is in full swing, a few months later it is global cooling. In the range of a few years we can go from El Nino to La Nina with global temperature and rainfall pattern changes. Decade to decade it's PDO like you said, and century to century we had MWP followed by an abrupt and devastating LIA which we are now just recovering from.

Beneath that we are adding a small and steady increase in heat retention by CO2 (the CO2 is being doubled, but its effect is logarithmic). As that warming effect increases is it axiomatic that the other warming effects like water vapor feedback will decrease. There is no other way to be consistent with the earth's history which shows a bounding of temperature around the solar and celestial forcing. Until we can show how current temperatures are capped, we can't claim warming on a never-ending upward slope on a chart, that is either incomplete or nonsensical.

About what to do about the warming, I have quite certain views: nothing. CO2 increases are good for crop yields. There is not a single history book (and I am making an effort to study a lot of them) that says "and the people rejoiced as the climate cooled and they all enjoyed the new skating opportunities." Quite the opposite, every historical record around the world shows that the descent from MWP into LIA was genuinely catastrophic.

My views on fossil fuels are mostly market based. As we run out, people will have to come up with more money so that entrepreneurs will find news ways to make new energy sources. To leave that in the hands of government is suicidal. The government strategic petroleum reserve causes markets to squander oil and gas because politician can decide to flood the market and negate the value of private stockpiles. The subsidies for biofuel are mainly a large political payoff. The subsidies for destroying cars literally destroyed a portion of our economy and wealth. Wind and solar are in most cases a waste of resources (solar is moderately useful in the desert SW) They will only get worse if we allow them to.

Posted by: eric654 | March 12, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Eric654,

You sound like an interesting person. I sincerely hope you stick around. We could use your input here.

As to your criticisms that, "... I would not agree with combining the percentages from different sources to get a percentage of warming from CO2. Also I think the "statistical significance" idea has been tortured way beyond its formal definition" we shall have to agree to disagree on both of those. I have no problem admitting when I error, as I think I have proven. But I do not agree with either of those criticisms.

Respectfully,
Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 13, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Part 1 of my long comment

This is the single explanation (if there can be such a simplistic thing) of the observed temperature changes that rings most true to me. If someone were able to force me to bet my life on which particular explanation was the most accurate and complete, this would be the one that I would pick. They are able to account for 75% of all observed temperature deviations. And more importantly, their explanation is the only explanation which accounts for the changes in sea surface temperature.

If you want to read what I consider to be the best explanation for temperature fluctuations, then this is the one.

Rather than link directly to the paper, I am linking to a good synopsis of the paper and its implications. I strongly encourage anyone who is seriously interested in this issue to read the entire piece. A link to the paper is found within the article.

--begin quote from the paper--
Two mechanisms, the top-down stratospheric response of ozone to fluctuations of shortwave solar forcing and the bottom-up coupled ocean-atmosphere surface response, are included in versions of three global climate models, with either mechanism acting alone or both acting together. We show that the two mechanisms act together to enhance the climatological off-equatorial tropical precipitation maxima in the Pacific, lower the eastern equatorial Pacific sea surface temperatures during peaks in the 11-year solar cycle, and reduce low-latitude clouds to amplify the solar forcing at the surface.
--end quote from the paper--

continued in my next comment

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 13, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Part 2 of my long comment (continued from my previous comment)

--begin quote from the linked article--
Instead of being off by a factor of three as the conventional models were, their new model was within 25% of the actual observed SST variation, a huge improvement indicating that the combination of mechanisms is much more than the sum of their individual effects (see the plot below). This combination of effects enhances precipitation maxima, reduces low-latitude cloud cover, and lowers the temperature of surface waters in the tropical Pacific Ocean, resulting in the larger warm-to-cold variation. “This highlights the importance of stratospheric processes working in conjunction with coupled processes at the surface,” they concluded.

...

Previously, the direct impact of increased irradiance on global avarage temperature has been estimated at around 0.25°C last century—a three fold amplifying effect would raise that to 0.75°C. This leaves practically no warming effect for CO2 to account for and renders the whole anthropogenic global warming argument moot. In other words, if the atmospheric solar amplifier theory is correct anthropogenic global warming is wrong, a useless theory describing a nonexistent phenomenon. It seems like poetic justice that a modeling experiment may point the way to discrediting global warming once and for all.
--end quote from the linked article--

Source of the above quotes.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 13, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

mr.q., eric,
very interesting....seriously. and mr.q., i gotta hand it to you guys about the lists! man...you skeptics are good at that...

those skeptic articles, it seems to me, do not dispute the warming. they talk about measuring problems and feedbacks and possible other causes. you know, it could be the magnetic field...or...it could be all that co2......

i love eric's description: "Bottom line is that CO2 warms the planet. The only question is whether water vapor multiplies the warming or divides it."

more of the lack of recent "statistically significant warming" soon.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 13, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Mr Q, you point out that "Previously, the direct impact of increased irradiance on global avarage temperature has been estimated at around 0.25°C last century—a three fold amplifying effect would raise that to 0.75°C This leaves practically no warming effect for CO2... "

That's all well and good if you believe in a three-fold amplifying effect. We simply don't know if it is two-fold, one-fold or 0.5-fold. The argument you are making requires the use of the catastrophic warmers' model results which is what they are using to predict catastrophe.

Posted by: eric654 | March 13, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Walter, The GH effect of CO2 can't be avoided or denied. But I guess my wording "the only question is whether water vapor multiplies or divides it" is way oversimplified. It is widely agreed that increases in water vapor alone will increase the total GH effect. Probably the most important unknown is whether increases in convection (which will basically increase as surface heating increases) will create upward energy transfer to cool the surface. Increases in evaporation will also cool the surface while the corresponding condensation cools above the surface where the energy is more likely to escape.

Then there are changes in clouds which will warm or cool depending on the changes mainly the reflection of sunlight back to space, but also reflection of IR back to earth. There is no guarantee that a warmer world will have more cooling or more warming or neutral effects from clouds and the models don't handle them well at all.

Bottom line, heat tries to escape but CO2 reflects some of it back to earth. But convection is an end-run around that and transports heat to the upper atmosphere where it can be radiated to space. That's why it's critical to understanding the sensitivity.

Posted by: eric654 | March 13, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Eric654 wrote, "That's all well and good if you believe in a three-fold amplifying effect. We simply don't know if it is two-fold, one-fold or 0.5-fold. The argument you are making requires the use of the catastrophic warmers' model results which is what they are using to predict catastrophe."

Why do I get the impression that you didn't follow the link I provided and read the entire article?

What you wrote is incorrect. I hope you can find the time to read the entire article that I linked to. I really think you will enjoy it.

I am finished with this thread. I have no desire to converse with Walter, and I don't see where you and I have anything left to discuss. You and Walter have fun and I hope you make time to enjoy your weekend. Time for me to enjoy what is left of my weekend.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 13, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Mr Q, I just read the paper now. I'm not sure how they derive their SST anomaly that matches up to the solar cycles. The large oscillations e.g. PDO have unknown causes according to sources like this: http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/ So perhaps the authors in your paper subtracted out the PDO and other cycles to obtain more of an 11 year cycle? In any case, I was mistaken about their definition of amplification, it has nothing to do with water vapor feedback.

Posted by: eric654 | March 13, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

The headline is about how to calm the crisis. The answers are pretty simple:

CRU/UEA should release all of the computer programs and source documentation used to produce their 'homogenized' temperature data. Dr. Jones was evasive in his testimony to the UK Parliament investigative committee, stating that most and similar program sources were released, but he knows he kept some of the most damaging parts secret.

Stop with the dramatic forecasts of flooding, droughts, hurricanes, and both more and less snow. The climate models cannot even predict history, and certainly have not predicted anything meaningful. Quit with the drowning polar bears, the melting ice bergs, and the Himalayan typo. There was no typo in the IPCC report about Himalayan glaciers; there is no creditable science anywhere that predicts those glaciers will melt and never has been.

Withdrawn the papers where the data cannot be replicated by independent research. Stop with the friendly peer reviews and phony assertions that the whole world of science agrees with every dire forecast. They don't and the forecasts so far have been worthless.

Stop calling people who question the data names like denier, flat earther, etc. Quit asking the skeptics to prove their points, as if that would be a meaningful step. The people who propose to reorganize all modern industrial society based on their theories have to prove their own assertions. They have not proved anything, nor predicted anything, and it is not anyone else's duty to disprove their theories. Published data that cannot be reproduced by anyone else is not science and the duty to correct the problems falls to the publisher, not the questioner who points out the flaws.

The intensity of the argument flows from the very high probability that the people who published the AGW garbage will never again be respected scientists, and will soon lose their research grant gravy train. Reporters who are about to lose their incomes get passionate also, as to other folks. Getting caught publishing data that the publisher knew was trash is going to end a lot of careers, or at the very least severely diminish their life images.

Just like the perpetrators on a crime show, the first ones to break ranks may be able to negotiate a deal. Jones, Hansen, Mann, et al are probably not going to get a deal, they will fade into obscurity as the perpetrators of the greatest scientific fraud of all time.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | March 16, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2012 The Washington Post Company