Ice Scare Goes Wong

DAILY, new evidence emerges to demonstrate that Climate Minister Penny Wong is wrong.

The latest blow to the Government’s apocalyptic prophet is news from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute that there is more ice than normal in the Arctic waters north of the Svalbard archipelago.

According to the Barents Observer there are open areas in this area in most years during July – but this year the area is covered by ice.

A fortnight ago a Norwegian research ship, Lance, and a Swedish ship, MV Stockholm, got stuck in the ice in the area and needed to be freed by the Norwegian Coast Guard.

While one ice floe does not amount to a mini-ice age, the dramatic evidence runs counter to the mantra of the climate warming cult which has claimed the Arctic is becoming progressively free of ice.

The Daily Telegraph, Piers Akerman: Icy reality cools the climate cultists

The New York Times Magazine published a story “Ice Free” by Stephan Faris, hawking his new book “Forecast: The Consequences of Climate Change, From the Amazon to the Arctic, From Darfur to Napa Valley”, to be published in January.

In the article, Faris notes “Greenland’s ice sheet represents one of global warming’s most disturbing threats. The vast expanses of glaciers- massed, on average, 1.6 miles deep – contain enough water to raise sea levels worldwide by 23 feet. Should they melt or otherwise slip into the ocean, they would flood coastal capitals, submerge tropical islands and generally redraw the world’s atlases. The infusion of fresh water could slow or shut down the ocean’s currents, plunging Europe into bitter winter.”

There is little recognition in the media and by the author of history. Greenland actually was warmer in the 1930s and 1940s than it has been in recent decades. For the period from the 1960s to the 1990s, temperatures actually declined significantly as the Atlantic went through its multidecadal cold mode. The temperature changes up and down the last few centuries were closely related to these multidecadal ocean cycles.

Shown below is the temperature plot for Godthab Nuuk in southwest Greenland. Note how closely the temperatures track with the AMO (which is a measure of the Atlantic temperatures 0 to 70N). It shows that cooling from the 1940s to the late 1990s even as greenhouse gases rose steadily, a negative correlation over almost 5 decades. The rise after the middle 1990s was due to the flip of the AMO into its warm phase. They have not reached the level of the 1930s and 1940s.

GreenlandvsAMO.jpg

Temperatures cooled back to the levels of the 1880s by the 1980s and 1990s. In a GRL paper in 2003, Hanna and Cappelen showed a significant cooling trend for eight stations in coastal southern Greenland from 1958 to 2001 (-1.29ºC for the 44 years). The temperature trend represented a strong negative correlation with increasing CO2 levels.

Many recent studies have addressed Greenland ice mass balance. They yield a broad picture of slight inland thickening and strong near-coastal thinning, primarily in the south along fast-moving outlet glaciers. However, interannual variability is very large, driven mainly by variability in summer melting and sudden glacier accelerations. Consequently, the short time interval covered by instrumental data is of concern in separating fluctuations from trends. But in a paper published in Science in February 2007, Dr. Ian Howat of the University of Washington reports that two of the largest glaciers have suddenly slowed, bringing the rate of melting last year down to near the previous rate. At one glacier, Kangerdlugssuaq, “average thinning over the glacier during the summer of 2006 declined to near zero, with some apparent thickening in areas on the main trunk.”

Dr. Howat in a follow-up interview with the New York Times went on to add: “Greenland was about as warm or warmer in the 1930’s and 40’s, and many of the glaciers were smaller than they are now. This was a period of rapid glacier shrinkage world-wide, followed by at least partial re-expansion during a colder period from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. Of course, we don’t know very much about how the glacier dynamics changed then because we didn’t have satellites to observe it. However, it does suggest that large variations in ice sheet dynamics can occur from natural climate variability.” For more on this issue see this full post here. SPPI has also posted a response here. EPW compiled a series of papers here.

Icecap: Greenland Again

During our last check in, we had a look at northern Canada from the Arctic Circle to the North pole, and found we had quite a ways to go before we see an “ice free arctic” this year as some have speculated.

Today I did a check of the NASA rapidfire site for TERRA/MODIS satellite images and grabbed a view showing northern Greenland all the way to the North Pole.

There’s some bergy bits on the northeastern shore of Greenland, but in the cloud free area extending all the way to the pole, it appears to still be solid ice.

With more than half of the summer melt season gone, it looks like an uphill battle for an ice-free arctic this year.

This dovetails with a press release and news story about more ice than normal in the Barents Sea:

The Barents Observer:
http://www.barentsobserver.com/?cat=16149&id=4498513

The Meteorological Institute writes in a press release:

The ice findings from the area spurred surprise among the researchers, many of whom expect the very North Pole to be ice-free by September this year.

Watts Up With That: Polar Ice Check – Still a lot of ice up there

Bernie draws our attention to an article in the Globe and Mail on another break-off of the Ellesmere Island ice shelf:

The Globe and Mail has an excellent map of the “collapse” of this ice sheet. Apparently its collapse has been proceeding for about 100 years.

Update- The break is said to be unprecedented since as long ago as 2005:

Scientists say the break, the largest on record since 2005 but still small when compared with others

This topic is in the news from time to time – there was another similar story in a couple of years ago. At the time, I looked into the matter and wrote several posts on the topic of Ellesmere Island ice shelves, which people interested in this topic may wish to re-visit.

Climate Audit: Ward Hunt Island: Unprecedented since 2005

323 Responses to Ice Scare Goes Wong

  1. david August 1, 2008 at 5:46 am #

    Northern sea ice is running neck and neck with the second lowest extent ever observed by man. We may even get the record, if we are unlucky.

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent.png

    Who are we kidding?

  2. Ann August 1, 2008 at 5:53 am #

    Translation from the Norwegian Meteorlogican Institute.

    http://met.no/?module=Articles;action=Article.publicShow;ID=1032

    More ice than normally around the Svalbard , but ice thickness varies.

    Stats go back to 1980 and the trend has been open water along the northern coast of Svalbard with normal ice cover.

    BUT MUCH ICE COVER AROUND THE SVALBARD IS NOT UNUSUAL. This was the case in 1980, 1990 , 1997 ,2000 and 2003, states the leader for the ” Ice Service” in Tromsö.

    1984 and 2002 there were little ice , and year 2006 exceptionally little.

    Years with much ice in the southern archipelago were in 1982 , 1993 and 2004 , that means once about every 10th year.

  3. Ann August 1, 2008 at 6:02 am #

    The ignorance here is amazing, because as all scientits know , there are big regional differences in the region.

  4. Paul Biggs August 1, 2008 at 7:31 am #

    David – do you mean observed by satellites? Arctic sea ice is unlikely to beat the short record low set at a time when Antarctic sea ice was at a short record high. Global sea ice is therefore very healthy.

  5. wes george August 1, 2008 at 7:40 am #

    Ann is right, “the ignorance here is amazing.”

    According to the New York Times, “Expert says that the Artic Ocean will soon be an open sea.” This could result in “catastrophic shifts in climate…”

    Read the whole article, it’s absolutely terrifying.

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/nyt_arctic_77442757.pdf

  6. gavin August 1, 2008 at 8:29 am #

    I keep forgetting Wes is only the upside down reflection of Luke i.e. toe to toe at the waterline.

  7. Ann August 1, 2008 at 8:53 am #

    “This dovetails with a press release and news story about more ice than normal in the Barents Sea” – Paul

    According to Havsforskningsinstituttet ( The Marine Research Institute) , Bergen , Norge , the sea temperature is rising in the Barents Sea.

  8. Ann August 1, 2008 at 9:04 am #

    Here’s the report from IMR , Institute Marine Research.( Ask a Norwegian Embassy to make a translation)

    http://fiskeribladetfiskaren.no/default.asp?side=101&lesmer=7882

    I see it quite futile to discuss here , with quotes taken from the blogosphere and tabloids with tits in the centerfold.

  9. cohenite August 1, 2008 at 9:28 am #

    One by one, the AGW shibboleths are falling; temp, hurricanes, ice, rising sea levels; I would say the chimera of ocean acidity is the only one left standing.

    I watched a bit of ‘our’ Penny on ‘our’ ABC last night with Mr fair and balanced, Tony Jones; and the exchanges between Wong and Turnbull were instructive; they were competing to see who could be the most aggressive in terms of implementing non-fossil energy, excluding nuclear of course; it now really is a case of no political opposition to AGW in Australia.

  10. Ian Mott August 1, 2008 at 9:31 am #

    So we still have these clowns flogging atlantic conveyor collapse and new ice age more than 3 years after it was first refuted and more than 2 years after Wunch completely debunked it.

    And yet more Greenland “tipping point” crap despite needing more than 19,000 years to melt at current melt rates. This $hit just goes on and on and on.

    The spivs predicted no ice sheet this year but forgot to tell the ice sheet. The trouble with this ice is its got no damned gratitude.

    All we care about, Ann, is were the tits real?
    Fact or fiction?

  11. Patrick B August 1, 2008 at 9:40 am #

    “DAILY, new evidence emerges to demonstrate that Climate Minister Penny Wong is wrong.”

    Garnaut, green paper, Liberals roll leader on climate change, you lot and Piers are having such a devasting effect on the evil supporters of AGW that one wonders when you will receive your due recognition. One is reminded of that Iraqi guy who was saying that there was nothing to worry about as the US took Baghdad.

  12. SJT August 1, 2008 at 9:44 am #

    “Scientists say the break, the largest on record since 2005 but still small when compared with others ”

    That’s because that’s all that was left to break off, all the rest is gone already.

  13. Steve Short August 1, 2008 at 9:46 am #

    Yes, indeed.

    This Arctic ice scare BS is another beat up in a now very long line of such AGW alarmist beat ups.

    Remember the transient press reports by (ferally green) ‘Antarctic trekkers’ (yes, of course they exist) of ‘freak rain storms’ in Antarctica? Not a word at the time on exactly where they were taking place or whether they happen yearly, every decade or every century?

    In actual fact the rain was taking place at about 63 degrees south on the Antarctic Peninsula which is north of the Antarctic Circle. Now I havn’t been to Antarctica (yet) but this does mean it’s no further south then Reykjavík, Iceland is north. I have spent a few bits of time in Reykavik and even in winter it can be miserably cold and rainy.

    The Antarctic Peninsula is also part of West Antarctica which is only one-third of the continent. The record does shows West Antarctica is undoubtedly warming slightly, possibly due to cyclic volcanic action as the stations reporting the warming are those located closest to, or downwind of known zones of natural volcanic heat flux.

    The record also shows East Antarctica (two-thirds of the continent) is cooling. When you read about Antarctica melting notice how it’s always West Antarctica they mention. Little or no mention will be made of the much larger East Antarctica cooling.

    Next we come to the massive Wilkins Ice Shelf is melting furphy. Remember that? The Wilkins Ice Shelf is 150 km x 110 km or 16,500 km^2.

    Now 16,500 km^2 sounds like a lot but as of June 2008 there was 14.5 million km^2 of ice around Antarctica.

    That compares with 13.8 million in 2007 and 12.6 in 1979 (the first year of satellite data).

    The June 2008 number is the record most ice for June in the short, 30 year history of satellite monitoring of Antarctica ice areas.

  14. wes george August 1, 2008 at 9:47 am #

    Patrick B,

    Fact is, about a thousand years ago European’s hailing from Ann’s homeland settled in GREENLand, and ran milk cows. They sailed into the Northwest Passage in wooden long ships and left archeological remains. They were driven out of their colonies by global cooling because they would not adopt the lifestyle of the Inuit people. To this day, there is not a single dairy farm in Greenland.

    About 500 years ago elephant seals had colonies in Antarctica, where today they have been driven to out by expanding ice sheets.

    http://www.climatechange.umaine.edu/Research/Expeditions/2006/seals/index.html

    Polar bears survived both these warm periods, which were warmer than today. Homo sapiens thrived as well.

    To have a rational discussion it is important to frame the debate in the historical context, rather than popular mass delusion…

    Climate is not weather. Yet, our historical data for NH sea ice only goes back to 1979.

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

    That’s barely the length of a single PDO phase or 2.5 solar cycles. It’s weather, not climate.

  15. meh August 1, 2008 at 11:29 am #

    CLIMATE CHANGE – THE TROJAN HORSE – TIME FOR A COOL CHANGE –

    Who will speak for science when the barbarian is already inside the gate?
    Science today, that triumph of humanity over primitive superstition, that monument to the
    evolutionary miracle of the human brain, is now being debased by barbarians.

    The Church of green warming religions is very big in Christian Europe. Everyday anythings are now blamed on warming and reported uncritically by media. The dumbed-down, trumped-up science is the modern religious medicine used to mesmerise the masses. Institutionalised across the globe, politicians and activists of all persuasions, present their arguments in terms of what ‘the trumped-up science’ is telling them to do. The so called “world’s best thinkers” have grabbed and promoted this moral agenda emphasising sinful behaviour change over technological innovation – purchasing the absolution of carbon offsets for their sins.

    Climate environmentalism is a political mission with a religious agenda, offering disciples the delicious prospect of being in the right and running things under the motherhood banner of saving the planet – very attractive to the young and fearful old. Activists demand the high moral ground, with an epitaph chanting “O Mother Earth… pardon me for trampling on you.” Any movement enforcing this degree of moral certitude is a sign of uncertain things to come.

    The science of future climate is in its infancy and is multi-disciplinary, no one branch knows the whole story. The truth is – climate prediction is hard, half of the variability in the climate system is not predictable and modellers don’t expect to do well. We are being asked to take irreversible actions today, to produce un-testable postulates for tomorrow, based on computer simulated predictions in excess of 100 years. Very iffy stuff! When the Western world became increasingly pessimistic about Man’s carbon footprint, science was hijacked to decode nature’s message. The more scientists research global climate, the more we learn how much they don’t know. The more alarmists talk, the more we realize they know even less.

    We live on a majestically dynamic planet with intertwining complexes. Scenarios for future climate involve natural equations of infinite variables. Fluctuation in the Sun’s intensity is arguably the controlling factor in Earth’s climate. Recent solar flare activity suggests cooling will occur next. To assume human induced carbon emissions alone will significantly alter predictions is pretentious pseudo-science. Advocating carbon change will change the way you live, but will not change future climate. It’s a blatant tax on breathing. To accept the mantra of evil carbon is to invite the death of nationalism to dinner.

    That’s the thing about history…when you live it, you’re rarely there. Real science is alive and lives in time. It is what it is. Not what it should have been or would have been. It is what it is. So enjoy the journey, because the destination may not be that great. Look at the best educated generation in history… all dressed up with nowhere to go. Superstition is the mantra of the day. Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

    Science, that once esteemed bastion of knowledge and fertile pillar to truth, has been neutered into the floppy-dick instrument of global politics and vested activists. Not only does the censorship of science render it impotent, it also looses its ability to objectively inform the public, producing an atmosphere of deafness towards insight and freedoms. What is at risk is not the climate but freedom. Today we live in the most censored of times.

    Is it not high time we entered a dialogue to awaken an audience to the enveloping clouds of non-news that invade our everyday? “Global warming” is only a vehicle that exemplifies part of the way the system works. It is the insidious procession of the erosion of human rights through the co-verted use of selective censorship, that we should be most interested in. Climate science is in the van-guard of such a procession.

    The scientific method is not perfect but it does “sophisticate the superstition” and provides a method upon which to gauge progress and proximity of truth. The funnelling of science to deliver a prescribed outcome happens everywhere everyday. In the past, science has arguably aided well for prescribed beneficial outcomes. But the stakes are sky high and connived in the case of global warming.

    The western world is not going to cripple itself to iron-out injustice. The moral or philosophical question here is, does the end justify the means or the start of a slippery slope? The real question is, what will they pick on next using “science” to substantiate their stance?

    CARBON EMISSIONS TRADING just doesn’t feel right. Blind Freddy can see the sums just don’t add up.
    Last month “the world’s best thinkers” at the Copenhagen Consensus reported on a PRIORITISED list of solutions to combat the biggest challenges facing the planet. Their findings included, research showing that even the most extreme carbon emission reductions would have an undetectable effect on warming.

    The truth is… THE REAL DAMAGE COST OF CARBON IN ABOUT $2 PER TONNE – not $20 to $50 as reported by media. This degree of uncertainty will impact on business confidence for years to come.
    The “tax on breathing” is money for jam for some others.

    SAVE YOUR BILLIONS – direct it to where it will do the most good today rather than tilting at windmills for tomorrow. For example – address malnutrition and malaria cheaply today and save millions from death. The brain dead dilemma is; – wasting trillions for naught effect with carbon trading or spend two bob today to iron-in doable good. The net effect of emissions trading will have the worst impacts on the poorest people.

    WHAT IS REALLY NEEDED IS SMARTER TECHNOLOGY AND THINKERS…
    “staring down on the serene aesthetic
    looking into the cherry deep future.”

    meh…TOP RYDE

  16. bikerider August 1, 2008 at 12:19 pm #

    I watched the ABC’s QandA last night and was intrigued by Penny Wong saying that inflows to the MDB have been 40% below previously lowest levels in the last couple of years and that this was worse than the projections for 2050. She then said that the inflows were tracking the projections quite well. Can’t have it both ways Penny, the projections are either working or they’re not. Couldn’t be other reasons for low inflows could there?

    There was amusement from the audience when, in a response to a question about how to educate the greater public about climate change, Tim Flannery suggested they watch AIT.

  17. Travis August 1, 2008 at 12:45 pm #

    >About 500 years ago elephant seals had colonies in Antarctica, where today they have been driven to out by expanding ice sheets.

    Southern elephant seals still come ashore on the Antarctic continent. True they do not come ashore there to breed or moult as they need ‘sand and dirt and rocks and so forth’ (hey Schiller, THESE seals need this substrate, not the Arctic ones!!!), but they are seen each summer around the various bases where sand and dirt and rocks and so forth exist. 500 years ago their numbers had not been drastically reduced due to hunting.

    >Polar bears survived both these warm periods, which were warmer than today. Homo sapiens thrived as well.

    And how quickly did these polar bears have to adapt to their new climate, not to mention their prey?

    >is another beat up in a now very long line of such AGW alarmist beat ups.

    This coming from someone who doesn’t even have the decency to publicly admit when he was wrong in misrepresenting someone here.

  18. Ann August 1, 2008 at 1:00 pm #

    “Polar bears survived both these warm periods, which were warmer than today- Wes George

    This is of course only anctotal , but the Viking Sagas from Greenland and Canada states that THE NORTHERN parts of Greenland and Canada were cold. That’s why the Viking settlements were based in the southern Greenland coast and the Inuits lived futher to the north.

    Re the Viking travel to Canada ( Vinland) from Greenland , the closest sea way brought the Vikings to northern parts of Canada( Baffin Bay) , where it was TOO COLD to zettle down . That’s why they sailed down the coast southwards to L’Anse aux Meadows ( New Founland).

    So it must have been the case that the polar bears must have survived in northern Canada, where it was STILL VERY COLD and in northern parts of Greenland as well.

    This re the Saga of Erik the Red

  19. Ann August 1, 2008 at 1:04 pm #

    Ooops, sorry for all spelling errors , but it is very early in the morning. Need some coffe ;)!

  20. Steve Short August 1, 2008 at 2:33 pm #

    It is true that Southern Elephant seals were heavily exploited for their oil in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

    However it is now almost exactly 100 years since hunting ceased. There is an estimated 700,000 such seals breeding on a number of sub-antarctic islands (approx. 60,000 on Macquarie alone). Although this is open to debate some seal researchers have suggested that Southern Elephant seal numbers now approach levels comparable to what they were before human exploitation.

    Carbon dates of former Southern Elephant seal breeding colonies around the coast of Antarctic suggest significant sizes to such colonies most recently in the 1400 – 1000 y BP period. Some dates are as recent as 500 y BP but dates spread between 1000 and 500 y BP are significantly scarcer than dates older than 1000 y BP (or indeed older than 4000 y BP).

    One would have thought that sometime in the last 100 years, with the steady recovery of the Southern Elephant seal population, if spring/summer recession of ice off beaches around Antarctica was sufficient to allow re-establishment of breeding colonies that initiation of such breeding e.g. on the Antarctica Peninsula, would have been observed.

    It would appear that the major constraint to that occurring, whatever it may be e.g. mature seals sensing what the water temperature tolerance of young cub seals is (noting these seals travel extraordinary distances to their feeding zones), has not been lifted since about 1000 – 500 y BP. There is no good evidence of any other such constraints e.g. dwindling food supply, major changes in predator population etc.

  21. Ann August 1, 2008 at 2:39 pm #

    “This dovetails with a press release and news story about more ice than normal in the Barents Sea” – Paul

    The headline and the following report from the IMR has the headline :” Summer feeling in the Barents Sea worrying”.

    IMR is the Institute for Marine Research, Norway.
    From June 2008

  22. wes george August 1, 2008 at 4:03 pm #

    Steve,

    I get the feeling that Ann isn’t listening. Viking dairy farms, small open wooden knorrs manned by people dressed in medieval weather gear in Baffin Bay. Grapes, prized by Vikings growing on the coast of Canada where no grapes grow today. Regular agricultural trade between Greenland and Iceland conducted in small open wooden boats. No mention of drift ice in the old records until the 1300’s.

    Hello? Anyone home?

    At the other end of the planet at the same time, Elephant Seal fossils where no elephant seal can survive today. Ancient coral reefs off the coast of NSW in water too cold for reef formation today.

    So why is Occam’s Razor such a difficult concept?

    http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/occamraz.html

    The elaborate AGW theory is unnecessary to explain the observed warming and cannot explain cooling. Worrying about that summer time feeling (in July?) isn’t warranted by the historical evidence.

  23. Ann August 1, 2008 at 4:12 pm #

    ” Regular agricultural trade between Greenland and Iceland conducted in small open wooden boats. “- Wes George

    Hey George, do you know WHY there existed a trade between Greenland and Norway and Iceland. It was because it was TOO COLD in Greenland to grow some seeds.They were imported from Iceland and Norway.

  24. Eyrie August 1, 2008 at 4:27 pm #

    So it must have been the case that the polar bears must have survived in northern Canada, where it was STILL VERY COLD and in northern parts of Greenland as well.

    Guess what Ann, it is still very cold in those places.

  25. Ann August 1, 2008 at 4:34 pm #

    I have already mentioned that in a recent PB thread that according to a Russian polar bear expert from the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group, the subpopulations in northern Canada and in Greenland are currently out of danger, other subpopulations are more in danger , and one must look at the long time perspective.

  26. wes george August 1, 2008 at 4:49 pm #

    Yes, Ann, but dairy products are no longer an export commodity from Greenland. It’s a mote point that veggies don’t grow well at the arctic circle.

    The trade didn’t exist because the Vikings loved exotic salads, it existed because white bear skins could be sold for a Prince’s ransom in Europe, same with walrus tusk, hides and Greenland Falcons were quite popular among the royalty of Europe. Of course, the Greenlanders brought back trade goods that they could not produce because it was TOO COLD, like wine, various fabrics and root and seed stocks.

    Apparently, Greenland cheese was also quite popular.

    Btw, Greenland falcons no longer breed in Greenland, it’s TOO COLD.

    Ever wonder why they called it GREEN land. Hint: It wasn’t because Vikings were environmental activists.

  27. cohenite August 1, 2008 at 4:55 pm #

    wes; yes, Occam’s Razor; a paraphrasing of Sherlock is also in order; the original is;

    “Eliminate the impossible, and whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

    The AGW logic is;

    Eliminate the possible, and whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

  28. Travis August 1, 2008 at 4:57 pm #

    So you can be bothered to respond to what I have written concerning southern elephant seals but are still too proud to admit your were wrong Steve?? Issues, issues, issues.

    >However it is now almost exactly 100 years since hunting ceased. There is an estimated 700,000 such seals breeding on a number of sub-antarctic islands (approx. 60,000 on Macquarie alone).

    Macquarie Island has seen a ‘continued decrease in recent years’ (McMahon et al, 2005).

    >One would have thought that sometime in the last 100 years, with the steady recovery of the Southern Elephant seal population, if spring/summer recession of ice off beaches around Antarctica was sufficient to allow re-establishment of breeding colonies that initiation of such breeding e.g. on the Antarctica Peninsula, would have been observed.

    ‘Our results demonstrate that juvenile southern elephant seals from Macquarie Island spent more time south of the Antarctic Polar Front and within fisheries management areas than previously suspected’ (Field et al, 2004).

    ‘The decline of this species has occured mainly in the Southern Indian and Pacific populations over the last three decades, while the Southern Atlantic populations are apparently stable or increasing (SCAR, 1991). The decline of such a major vertebrate predator is regarded as a cause for concern because of the ecosystem possible knock-on effects within (Hindell et al, 1994).’ (Caiafa et al, 2005).

    ‘Although the patterns and magnitude of the decrease have varied among populations, some populations have declined by as much as 80% since the 1950s.’ (McMahon et al, 2005).

    >young cub seals

    They are called pups, which by definition are young.

    >There is no good evidence of any other such constraints e.g. dwindling food supply, major changes in predator population etc.

    http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=219693

    ‘Such pronounced decreases in the numbers of a large vertebrate pedator cause concern because these changes potentially signal larger, unrecognised ecosystem changes (Caughley & Gunn, 1996)’ (McMahon et al, 2005).

    >At the other end of the planet at the same time, Elephant Seal fossils where no elephant seal can survive today.

    Another typically dopey statement from Wes the biologist.

  29. Steve Short August 1, 2008 at 4:57 pm #

    Drift ice is carried from the arctic ice pack and the waters north of Iceland by ocean currents. In colder times, arctic waters carry the ice southward while in warmer times the Gulf Stream dominates the Iceland area, keeping drift ice away. Iceland and Greenland are far enough north to observe this ice but far enough south so that they are not always surrounded by drift ice. Drift ice was carefully observed by Icelanders both from shore and from ships because it threatened ships and therefore affected commerce. Drift ice can be considered a thermometer of the north Atlantic.

    From 1846 to present, detailed records were kept in Iceland that show the number of months drift ice appeared along with the temperature. Bergthórsson (1969) estimated past north Atlantic temperatures using a drift ice vs. temperature correlation derived from recorded data. For example, he observed that if ice is sighted in 20 months of one decade and 22 months of the next decade, that second decade was about 0.1 C cooler than the first. By analyzing various clues to reports of drift ice, he applied this correlation to estimate temperatures back to 1591. Using other historical references to past climate, he extended his temperature estimates back to the year 900. Both exercises illustrated the MWP and the LIA quite well.

    Lamb (1966, 1969, 1995), Ladurie (1970), Bryson (1977), and others used anecdotal records to infer the climate record from the MWP to present. These records include agricultural markers such as grain prices, wine yields and crop types, changes in fishing conditions, allusions to climate in art and literature, tax logs, church logs, and other reported history. These records are extensive during the LIA years but there are fewer clues to infer climate during the MWP.

    Lamb (1995) describes a passage from Landnámabók, a book written in Iceland in the year 1125, that catalogs the settlement of Greenland. It was recorded that Thorkel Farserk, a cousin of Erik the Red who founded the colony, having no boat at hand, swam out across a fjord to fetch a sheep from the island of Hvalsey. The distance is over 3.2 km. Lamb (1995) cites a medical endurance expert who established 10 C as the minimum possible water temperature for a very strong man to survive swimming that distance. Given that the normal water temperature at present for that fjord in August (midsummer) is 6 C, the story suggests a much warmer climate than present.

    Lamb (1995) and Tkachuck (1983) both refer to old Norse burial depths on Greenland being much greater in the past than possible today which suggests the permafrost was deeper (warmer climate) than at present.

    Bryson (1977) refers to ship reports that mention Blaserk and Hvitserk. These are Norwegian words meaning “black shirt” and “white shirt,” respectively, that were used as a navigational reference for Greenland. Blaserk and Hvitserk referred to the same mountain but Blaserk was not mentioned after the early 1300’s. Bryson (1977) concluded that during the MWP the mountain was not snow-covered so would be “darker,” while during the post-MWP cooling, the mountain was “white” due to snow cover.

  30. cohenite August 1, 2008 at 5:10 pm #

    Steve; a fine bit of detective work; Sherlock would have approved.

  31. Steve Short August 1, 2008 at 5:11 pm #

    I referred to long term constraints such as food supply and predators possibly stopping Southern Elephant breeding on Antarctica over approximately 100 years between the very early 20th century and now.

    Travis’s web reference given above in response reads:

    Guinet, Jouventin and Weimerskirch
    Antarctic Science (1999), 11: 193-197

    Recent population change of the southern elephant seal at Îles Crozet and Îles Kerguelen: the end of the decrease?

    The elephant seal populations breeding on the Îles Crozet and Kerguelen were regularly surveyed over the last three decades. At Îles Kerguelen the number of breeding females decreased at an annual rate of 3.6% between 1970 and 1987, then increased at an annual rate of 1.1% to 1997. At Îles Crozet, the population was reported to decrease at a rate of 5.35% between 1970 and 1990 but no change in numbers was found between 1990 and 1997. These results indicate that the rapid decline observed both at Îles Crozet and Îles Kerguelen has ended, and these populations are now either stable or slightly increasing. We suggest that broad scale change in environmental factors affecting the food availability for elephant seals may be responsible for the change in numbers of these marine predators. The higher rate of decrease, the longer period of decline, and the absence of any significant change between 1990 and 1997 observed on the Îles Crozet may be explained by additional factors such as killer whale predation.

    More congenital fibbing and fudging of facts I see, Mr. T.

  32. Paul Biggs August 1, 2008 at 5:16 pm #

    There is ample evidence for the MWP in Greenland. Archaeological evidence shows that the Viking occupation ended in the LIA when they were reduced to eating their own dogs as a last resort. The legend of the Northwest Passage hails from the MWP, when Arctic sea ice was probably non-existent.

  33. Steve Short August 1, 2008 at 5:28 pm #

    Hang on Paul.

    The LIA commenced about 1650. The Vikings were forced off Greenland or died of old age or plague about 1350. There is an interregnum of about 300 years.

    At least one side of this debate has to keep its standards up.

  34. Jeff August 1, 2008 at 5:33 pm #

    Wes George posted a map of the Artic sea ice extent, earlier.How the seas ice is reducing at an alarming rate.
    Did anyone notice the date on the paper?
    No? It was Feb 20 1969
    It’s at the bottom of page

  35. Steve Short August 1, 2008 at 5:55 pm #

    Actually, to be precise:

    1408: A wedding is held at Hvalsey Church (as in the island of Hvalsey swum over to by Thorkel Farserk). This is the last written record of Greenland’s Norse population.

    1480-1500: The Norse population of Greenland disappears.

    So make that interregnum 150 years if you wish.

  36. Paul Biggs August 1, 2008 at 5:56 pm #

    Steve, the LIA was at its peak of coldness in the late 17th to early 18th century. The MWP is generally regarded as being from 800 to 1200, the LIA from around 1300.

    “Greenland’s climate began to change as well; the summers grew shorter and progressively cooler, limiting the time cattle could be kept outdoors and increasing the need for winter fodder. During the worst years, when rains would have been heaviest, the hay crop would barely have been adequate to see the penned animals through the coldest days. Over the decades the drop in temperature seems to have had an effect on the design of the Greenlanders’ houses. Originally conceived as single-roomed structures, like the great hall at Brattahlid, they were divided into smaller spaces for warmth, and then into warrens of interconnected chambers, with the cows kept close by so the owners might benefit from the animals’ body heat.”

    “One valley farm, excavated in 1976 and 1977, revealed just how desperate some of the Greenlanders had become. During a freezing winter, the farmers killed and ate their livestock, including a newborn calf and lamb, leaving the bones and hoofs on the ground. Even the deerhound, probably the companion of many a hunt, may have been slaughtered for food; one of its leg bones bore the knicks of a knifeblade. Similar remains were found on another farm, but if, like their masters, the animals were starving, their fatless meat would have offered little nourishment.”

    “Whoever killed the animals was used to living in squalid conditions. The bone-littered earthen floors had been spread with an insulating layer of twigs that attracted mice and a variety of insect pests. Study of the farms’ ancient insect fauna revealed the remains of flies. Brought inadvertently from Europe, the flies were dependent for their survival on the warm environment of the Norse houses and on the less than sanitary state of the interiors. Radiocarbon dating of their remains revealed that they died out suddenly when these conditions ceased to prevail around 1350, presumably when the structures were no longer inhabited. Some of the rooms had been used as latrines, possibly out of habit or because the occupants were reluctant to venture out into the searing cold. An ice core drilled from the island’s massive icecap between 1992 and 1993 shows a decided cooling off in the Western Settlement during the mid-fourteenth century.”

  37. Steve Short August 1, 2008 at 5:59 pm #

    I have never heard of the LIA starting as early as 1300? Wikipedia gives 1650. Please explain.

  38. wes george August 1, 2008 at 6:02 pm #

    “So you can be bothered to respond to what I have written…”

    If you mean “can’t”, That is correct.

    Thanks, Steve, for the explanation of drift ice. Apparently, it wasn’t enough of an issue for Greenland colonists to document it in their Sagas.

    And this is interesting too:

    “Lamb (1995) and Tkachuck (1983) both refer to old Norse burial depths on Greenland being much greater in the past than possible today which suggests the permafrost was deeper (warmer climate) than at present.”

    Ann, you online? Permafrost was deeper in the MWP. What say ye?

    Steve, someone must of “borrowed” my copy of Jared Diamond’s latest book, “Collapse, blah, blah.” He goes to great lengths to show how the Vikings were forced off Greenland due to cooling and their lack of willingness to adapt to the Inuit-style hunter/gatherer pagan lifestyle. Cooling in Greenland must have preceeded the LIA?

    Jeff, What? You mean that New York Times story I linked to claiming the Arctic would be ice free in 15 years was from 1969? Bloody hell, history repeats itself, don’t it?

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/nyt_arctic_77442757.pdf

    Ann, comments please?

  39. Paul Biggs August 1, 2008 at 6:08 pm #

    I see William Connelley’s name appears as an editor of the Wiki LIA page!

    From Wiki:

    Dating of the Little Ice Age

    There is no agreed beginning year to the Little Ice Age, although there is a frequently referenced series of events preceding the known climatic minima. Starting in the 13th century, pack ice began advancing southwards in the North Atlantic, as did glaciers in Greenland. The three years of torrential rains beginning in 1315 ushered in an era of unpredictable weather in Northern Europe which did not lift until the 19th century. There is anecdotal evidence of expanding glaciers almost worldwide. In contrast, a climate reconstruction based on glacial length[3] shows no great variation from 1600 to 1850, though it shows strong retreat thereafter.

    For this reason, any of several dates ranging over 400 years may indicate the beginning of the Little Ice Age:

    1250 for when Atlantic pack ice began to grow
    1300 for when warm summers stopped being dependable in Northern Europe
    1315 for the rains and Great Famine of 1315-1317
    1550 for theorized beginning of worldwide glacial expansion
    1650 for the first climatic minimum
    In contrast to its uncertain beginning, there is a consensus that the Little Ice Age ended in the mid-19th century.

  40. Steve Short August 1, 2008 at 6:11 pm #

    Interesting. Food for more thought. Thanks.

  41. Ann August 1, 2008 at 6:18 pm #

    Hi all again, interesting discussion! I will try to come back with more comments later, posting some Viking stuff on my site right now , check out the Viking dragon ship and the Viking Rune stone in my neighbourhood:

    http://annimal.bloggsida.se/

  42. Louis Hissink August 1, 2008 at 6:22 pm #

    Steve/Paul

    there were also calendar issues around this time as well ~ 1300, and if I recall correctly the Korean Choson annals recorded quite frequent meteor activity around this time as well – suggesting that the LIA could have been global, depending on where one was.

    Mike Baillie’s work is relevant, as well as, in a peripheral sense, Gavin Menzie’s accounts of the Chinese activity as discussed in 1421 and 1434.

    There is also some tenuous evidence of the collapse of South American civilisations at this time and Ted Bryant of Wollongong Uni adds more data re a meteor impact between Australia and NZ at this time as well.

    Of course none of the GCM’s factor in these extra-terrestrial impacts to climate, rendering the whole exercise as nothing more than the latest version of the Peter Principle – Theories are created to require proof within the newly funded research grants.

    However, as Wes and Steve would appreciate, the plague of post-modernism that has afflicted our institutions of higher learning eschews any historical evidence as politically motivated.

    Much as Lyell dismissed the Old Testament as literature, (though I suspect the Jewish people might beg to differ).

  43. cohenite August 1, 2008 at 6:38 pm #

    wes; maybe they read Ian Wilson’s paper on, amongst other things, the operation of the NAO; from 1970-2000 there was a -ve NAO with mild conditions in Greenland; how prescient of them!

  44. Ivan (845 days & Counting) August 1, 2008 at 8:04 pm #

    “Actually, I’m going to delete the whole post as it was posted when I was in a bad temper.”

    Please – don’t go revising history on our account.
    Personally, I’m more of an Oliver Cromwell kind of person (“warts and all”).

  45. wes george August 1, 2008 at 8:05 pm #

    Hi, all again!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tifmqKz34V4

  46. Steve Short August 1, 2008 at 8:06 pm #

    Don’t worry, we all get a little heated up some times.

    It is always best to try to moderate anger with humour.

    Even sarcasm is not so bad if it has some wit to it.

    Two old sailors were sitting on the wharf watching the sea slide back and forth and the birds wheeling though the crystal clear sky.

    One old sailor said to the other: “Them’s really nice albatrosses”.

    The other old sailor said: “You stupid, senile old idiot. Them’s not albatrosses, them’s gulls”.

    The first old sailor said: “Boy’s or gulls, them’s nice albatrosses.”

    This is life.

  47. Louis Hissink August 1, 2008 at 8:07 pm #

    Wes

    The 1969 Newspaper report you note is fact, but the Chinese, ~ 1400 AD mapped the arctic regions, free of ice one assumes.

    Comment?

  48. Louis Hissink August 1, 2008 at 8:12 pm #

    Just in case most of you have forgotten the issue,

    AGW is about human emission of CO2, that increases the temperature, or thermal state, of the air we breathe, ignoring the thermal input of the earth itself, and the sun, and also ignoring the CO2 emissions of Senators Pelosi and others, (dismissing those as irrelevant).

  49. Paul Biggs August 1, 2008 at 8:56 pm #

    Keep comments relevant to the thread!

    Steve: “At least one side of this debate has to keep its standards up.”

    I’ve demonstrated that my claims for the timing of the LIA are bona fide, although not necessarily definitive!

  50. Steve Short August 1, 2008 at 9:21 pm #

    I agree.

  51. Louis Hissink August 1, 2008 at 10:49 pm #

    Paul

    so what is the problem?

  52. James Mayeau August 1, 2008 at 10:51 pm #

    http://www.gi.alaska.edu/snowice/sea-lake-ice/barrow_webcam.html
    This is current events that Minister Wong is talking about so,
    Barrow Alaska webcam.

    Looks chilly to me. Through the fog you can barely make out white stuff in the water.
    I don’t care how tough a viking you are, no swimming today. The sheep is on it’s own.

  53. Arnost August 1, 2008 at 11:10 pm #

    Two interesting articles:

    One re a new Viking settlement found in Greenland.

    quote:
    ——————————————————————————–

    Ruins recently discovered on Greenland may mark the Vikings’ most northerly year-round hunting outpost on the island.

    Knut Espen Solberg, leader of ‘The Melting Arctic’ project mapping changes in the north, told Reuters the remains uncovered in west Greenland may also be new evidence that the climate was less chilly about 1,000 years ago than it is today

    ——————————————————————————–

    See http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/science/20080728-0828-greenland-vikings.html and http://www.sikunews.com/art.html?catid=6&artid=5192

    And one a travelogue from Greenland with with an interesting quote

    quote:
    ——————————————————————————–

    I’d like to say that global warming was evident during my visit, but that is not really the case. Indeed, Salik tells me that he and most Greenlanders are pretty skeptical about it.

    The local fishing industry used to be based on arctic prawns, but the sea temperature has changed just enough that the prawns are much further north, so now they fish for cod.

    But, as Salik points out, this cycle has happened several times in living memory. The same with the glaciers: yes they are retreating, but at least in his area, they have yet to reach the limits that the locals remember them.

    ——————————————————————————–

    See http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/18/eating-polar-bears-is-okay-in-greenland/

  54. Louis Hissink August 1, 2008 at 11:36 pm #

    Ann

    How about posting the topic here and not advertising your version of ecological Ikea here?

  55. Ann August 2, 2008 at 12:07 am #

    Hi Louis,
    For some years ago , I read the book ” Västervägen till Vinland” , roughly translated as ” Westernway to Vinland” , by the Norwegian Arctic explorer , Helge Ingstad. He is probably the most authorative person on the subject of Vikings , Greenland , Vinland etc.

    During the 60’s the National Geographic Society , funded his research re Viking settlements in New Foundland , and he was the scientist who finally found the Vinland settlements.

    I’m going to do a summary from this book on my blog soon.

    In the meantime you can read from the book , published in 1965, that Erik the Red , was an outlaw in Iceland , and he organised an expedition to Greenland in 987.

    It was said that this was a dangerous travel. The expedition had 25 ships , only 14 ships finally reached southwest Greenland due to pack ice and icy sea conditions.

  56. Ann August 2, 2008 at 12:10 am #

    Re Arnost comment, it is stated in the book , that the cod in the fjords in Greenland migrated northwards due to cold summers in the end of the colonization….

  57. Louis Hissink August 2, 2008 at 12:37 am #

    Ann

    Thank you for things I know.

    As an Ikea Scientologist, do you think that the Leggo-like basis of technology you advertise, is applicable to the rest of humanity?

  58. Ann August 2, 2008 at 12:53 am #

    Louis,
    The only reason why I ever have made comments on the blog , is because Jennifer has e-mailed me dozens of times asking me to make guest post , comments etc. Now , methinks I have been bulls@**ing around enough!

  59. Louis Hissink August 2, 2008 at 12:57 am #

    Ann

    I remember your past departure from here, and your present explanation does you proud as an EU climate/carbon trading functionary.

    Hannes Alfven might have changed his passport on the basis of your comments.

  60. Chris Crawford August 2, 2008 at 1:46 am #

    In regards to the overall suggestion that the Arctic ice mass is not melting:

    “Aye, Caesar, but not gone.”

  61. Chris Crawford August 2, 2008 at 2:15 am #

    I’d like to offer a larger thought regarding this matter of the latest news on the Arctic front. It seems to me that people still can’t quite get over the difference between weather and climate. Weather is what’s happening today and tomorrow; climate is what’s going to happen in 50 years. It’s therefore pointless to worry about the details of what’s happening at this instant in time — it’s the big picture that count. Please indulge me a bit of artistic license in presenting the arguments of a fictitious “anti-deforestation” blog that attacks the hysterical blubberings of environmentalists that the earth’s forests are disappearing:

    Meanwhile, in Bend, Oregon, we have photographic proof that the environmentalists are all a bunch of liberal liars: actual photographs of a Ponderosa Pine seedling on June 1st, 2008 and July 1st, 2008, showing beyond any doubt that the seedling has grown by a whopping 4 millimeters. Applying this data to the rest of the world, we can see that world forest biomass is now increasing at a whopping 0.2% per annum!

    But there’s more! On Easter Island, site of catastrophic deforestation hundreds of years ago, heartening news that reforestation efforts are moving ahead faster than originally predicted. Infuriatingly, the International Cabal of Liberal Environmentalist Commies has suppressed this data, refusing to permit it to appear on the front page of the New York Times.

    Lastly, some news from the Amazon Basin, poster child of the environmentalists’ most rabid deforestation claims. What the environmentalists WON’T tell is stories about people like Jorge Medina, a small farmer in Brazil who has been planting beech trees along the creek that flows through his land. “The cattle from my neighbor were always trampling the creek, making it muddy. But I got him to fence them off, and now I’m planting the beech trees to provide some shade for the water. I hope that we’ll see fish in the creek someday.” One more story you won’t read in the MSM.

    OK, I know: it’s satire, it’s silly, it’s a caricature, and it proves nothing. But I suggest that it might be worth your while to consider the whole matter of seeing forests and trees. Climate is not weather.

  62. Eyrie August 2, 2008 at 5:52 am #

    Thanks for that Chris Crawford. I’m sure none of us here understood that before./sarcasm off

  63. Travis August 2, 2008 at 6:29 am #

    >More congenital fibbing and fudging of facts I see, Mr. T.

    I presume you are referring to me Strawberry Shortcake. More? Please tell me where it was previously? Or are you referring to me supposedly citing Harries? LOL! Whatever you are referring to you can provide some evidence – you being the well-referenced, ‘famous’ Dr that you are, I’m sure finding evidence to support your claims is within your capacity?? Otherwise,get back in your little hole and stop making pathetic blatantly untrue lies about people here you have issues with. You’ve been caught out Short, but you have an obvious issue with being shown you are wrong, and an emerging history of disturbing behaviour.

    Yes Steve, I would put this link up deliberately to fudge facts and fib. Actually, I would leave that to you…there is evidence here for that.

    For a start you tried to suggest that southern elephant seals had undergone a steady recovery. Really? As I provided, some populations have declined, some are steady and some show ‘slight’ increase. The link was included to (a) show that some had shown a ‘slight’ increase, and (b) that changes in food availability and possibly predation may explain some of the decline. You may not have noticed that the title questioned whether the decline had stopped (There we also words like ‘suggest’ in there. Tsk, words that Ivan can’t deal with).

    With regards to the declines, a more recent reference by people with almost as many publications as you Steve (who would never dream of wasting their precious time on a blog such as this or desperately try and convince people of how superior they are):-‘Intrinsic hypotheses for patterns of regional decline include factors that are affected by density-dependent mechanisms: (i) paucity of males, (ii) population ‘overshoot’ and (iii) pandemic disease. Extrinsic hypotheses include (iv) predation, (v) competition with fisheries concerns, (vi) interspecific competition, (vii) environmental change and (viii) human disturbance. Of the eight hypotheses proposed and examined here, we conclude that three can be discounted (i, v, viii), three are unlikely, but may require more testing (ii, iii, iv) and two are plausible (vi, vii).’ (McMahon et al, 2005).

    If you are going to be such a pompous twit, try being a smart one. At least that way people can learn something from you.

    >If you mean “can’t”, That is correct.

    Thank you Wes for being consistently dopey.

    >someone must of “borrowed”

    You mean ‘must have’, don’t you? LOL!

  64. James Mayeau August 2, 2008 at 6:42 am #

    Chris

    Hansen, using his Co2 weighted computer models, couldn’t predict today’s climate twenty years ago.
    Now you are saying he’s going to do better in 50?
    His predictions are getting further off by the day.
    Bangladesh isn’t sinking, it’s adding land. He was off by a whole sign on that one.

  65. Chris Crawford August 2, 2008 at 7:01 am #

    James, did Hansen predict that Bangladesh would lose land mass?

  66. Ann August 2, 2008 at 7:32 am #

    ” Hannes Alfven might have changed his passport on the basis of your comments” – Louis

    FYI , Hannes Alfven was an anti nuclear activist.

  67. Ann August 2, 2008 at 8:16 am #

    To Loius,

    ” Alfvén’s interests encompassed important matters outside science. These included nuclear disarmament, population growth, and the environment”

  68. Ann August 2, 2008 at 8:37 am #

    To Louis,

    Hannes Alfven was also a member of the Pugwash movement , that works for social and environmental issues.

    Statement from the Pugwash movement : ” Scientists know for certain that human activities have increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere…..

    Continue to read what the Pugwash movement states on climate change :

    http://www.spusa.org/pubs/energy_environment/climate/gcc_brief.html#background

  69. Steve Short August 2, 2008 at 8:44 am #

    Travis

    The last C14 dated skeletons of Southern Elephant seals around the coast of Antararctica are about 500 y BP. That is a full 300 years BEFORE human exploitation.

    Since early 21st century there has been overall a recovery in the total population of such seal, That fact is well referenced. Papers showing regional declines and rises in population over a 27 year period between 1970 and 1997 are certainly interesting but hardly germane.

    Leaving out the whole 19th century that leaves a total period of 400 years since 1600 AD when Southern Elephant seals had the opportunity to breed on the coast of Antartica, free of the influence of man, the last 100 years covering a period of claimed SST rise (actually only around the Antarctic Pensinsula if one examines the record carefully).

    Prior to 1600 AD there is also evidence (from C14 dating) of a decline in the size and number of locations of breeding populations going back to at least 1100 AD.

    These are the basic facts, whatever diversionary postering and smoke screening you may choose to plaster over them in the vain hope the gullible may get sucked in.

    The key question is what do these facts tell us about SSTs and Southern Ocean climate over the last 500 – 1000 years? The answer seems obvious to me and it is to the people who study these fossil bones.

  70. Louis Hissink August 2, 2008 at 9:53 am #

    Ann

    Scientists do not know anything for certain – only the religious have this certainty – so I suppose I would not be too far wrong in concluding that you are here to peddle your faith.

  71. Travis August 2, 2008 at 10:02 am #

    Steve,

    >These are the basic facts, whatever diversionary postering and smoke screening you may choose to plaster over them in the vain hope the gullible may get sucked in.

    I could say the same of you regarding population fluctuations and the possible factors for this. It is clear you are not a biologist.

    You can answer my question of where I have mislead and where I cited Harries.If you make such claims publicly Steve, you should be prepared to back them up when the poster being slagged off asks. It is the least you could do, and having the humility to say you were wrong would not be taken lightly.

  72. Chris Crawford August 2, 2008 at 10:19 am #

    Louis Hissink writes:

    “Scientists do not know anything for certain – only the religious have this certainty”

    While you are technically correct, I think you are being unfair here. Nobody questions that the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations of the last 50 years is due to human activities. Do you question that statement? If you don’t, why raise a stink about it?

  73. wes george August 2, 2008 at 10:54 am #

    Steve’s right.

    For the record:

    “Southern elephant seals currently do not have breeding or moulting sites within the Ross Sea, which is considerably south of their primary habitat in the Subantarctic. In previous work, we discovered that the seals once occupied large areas of the Victoria Land coast at times between about 500 and 7000 years ago. We believe that the presence or absence of elephant seals in this region is largely due to the extent and duration of sea-ice cover. The coast today is locked in land-fast ice…”

    http://www.climatechange.umaine.edu/Research/Expeditions/2006/seals/index.html

  74. wes george August 2, 2008 at 11:00 am #

    It’s been an interesting debate. Ann seems to have conceded that the Arctic/Antarctic were much warmer than today during the Medieval Warming Period (MWP) in spite of atmospheric CO2 ppm being almost doubled today… (See Pugwash movement.)

    The MWP was so much warmer that dairy farms existed in Greenland (Cheese was an export commodity of Greenland!) and the Vikings buried their dead much deeper than permafrost on the same sites would allow today.

    As someone quite familiar with Viking history, Ann is unable to refute these, and other observations, instead can only offer that the colonists had to import veggies, they lost Knorrs at sea and other non sequiturs. Nevertheless, there is only one reason why there are no dairy farms on Greenland today.

    We’ve shown that the warming was global by introducing evidence that species, now extinct on mainland Antarctic because it is TOO COLD there for them to find a breeding habitat, once were common there about a 1,000 years ago.

    http://www.climatechange.umaine.edu/Research/Expeditions/2006/seals/index.html

    We’ve shown that weather is not climate. The ice extent data for the poles only goes back to 1979, not 1879 or 1279 and as such the record is barely as long as a single PDO cycle. It’s the start of a climate database, of course, but not long enough to reveal a climate trend.

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

    For those who insist on parsing a few years of data, we have shown that although the Arctic did experience “A Historic World Record Low” sea ice extent level in 2007, the same year the Antarctic experienced a new sea ice maximum extent. Naturally, the Antarctic maximum did not make the nightly news. Perhaps, this explains why “Climate Change Delusion” is so common among the public.

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Antarctic.jpg

    We’ve shown that if the Arctic has shown warming trends in recent decades and the Antarctic is experiencing record high levels of sea ice, then the warming is not global, by definition. CO2 warming, which conform well within the GCMs scenarios, doesn’t fit the observed data. The AGW hypothesis doesn’t predict Antarctic cooling.

    http://idw-online.de/pages/de/news256486

    We’ve shown that respectable news and science journals have made Arctic ice cap meltdown claims repeatedly throughout the 20 th century, that is, when they weren’t predicted a new ice age.

    We’ve shown that the media reports anecdotal events, an iceberg breaking off here, a “worrying summer time feeling” there, as hard evidence for catastrophic climate change, while ignoring the vast context of historical data that is out there from a variety of sources: ethnographic history, archaeology, sailing log books, Arctic explorers, palaeontology, oceanography and, of course, climatology.

    As the Pugwash Movement’s motto states, we must “learn to think in a new way,” rather than following whatever fashionable paradigm is momentarily in vogue.

    Lastly, we’ve suggested that the supporters of the AGW hypothesis review the observed data again, this time with Occam’s Razor foremost in mind, in order to sort out the dialectic errors of reason, which are commonly held by the public today. Learn to think for one’s self, outside the constraint of popular fashion.

    http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/occamraz.html

    Ladies and Gentleman, I believe the debate is over and the science is settled. The Earth has been warmer than today within the last millennium and that warmer-than-today period lasted hundreds of years. The polar bears, the ice cap and human beings all survived quite nicely.

    In spite of the so-called Greenhouse Gas emissions of late, today’s temperatures are well within natural pre-industrial variation.

    So, if some one here could make a rational, on-topic argument in the context of historical evidence that the above is in error, we can begin again…

  75. Chris Crawford August 2, 2008 at 11:18 am #

    Wes, I have a couple of comments regarding your summation.

    First, I’d like to address your assertion that “the Antarctic is experiencing record high levels of sea ice”

    This does not address the issue of AGW. What matters is the temperature, not the sea ice. And a good indicator of long-term temperature change in the Antarctic is the total mass of ice, not just the amount of ice in the sea. The IPCC AR4 report indicates that there’s a lot of uncertainty here, with the range of change between +50 gT/year and -200 gT/year. Thus, the degree of certainty you imply seems much too high to me. The most reliable statement would seem to be that the Antarctic appears to be warming, but might not be.

    More important is the logical implication of your observation that temperatures at some time in the past have been higher. This is absolutely true. The problem is that your observation has no predictive value — it tells us nothing about our current situation. Perhaps you mean to imply that these things just spontaneously happen and hence there’s nothing we can do about it. If so, I’d request that you make that explicit so we can consider your line of reasoning.

  76. cohenite August 2, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    wes; you are right, but I don’t share your confidence that the debate is over; it is certain that CO2 as the nominated agent of AGW is as dead as a Dodo; the other greenhouse fingerprints, declining ice, historically high temps, hurricanes, rising sea level, droughts, biosphere decline, either are plain wrong, or have other less apocalyptic causes involved; the reason I don’t share your confidence is that, firstly, the issue here has never been the science; this is a philosophical movement with the materialism and excesses of Western capialism firmly in its sights; secondly, there is so much ego investment in support of this issue by the commissars that they are not going to let go lightly; 3rdly, the tactics being used are formidable and unscruptulous; we’ve seen the censorship, the threats, the obfuscation and lies and distortions; a good example of some of the more subtle methods was manifest during Steve Short’s run-in with Steven Watkinson over the ocean acidity issue, probably the only remaining unresolved issue in this debate; I asked Watkinson whether he was a lawyer because he used classic legal technique in the ‘debate'; lawyers are trained to condense and shape facts into a dichotomy, black and white in form; it was clear that Watkinson had a ‘brief’ (as opposed to a scientific) understanding of the facts sufficient to herd Steve into a legal cul de sac of being right or wrong; that that wrong or right was a relatively minor point about a contradiction in an article with a different take on ocean Ph is beside the point; the tactic is to force an admission or an apparent error from the other side which can then be used as a springboard to wholesale denigration of the entirity of the opposite side, and as a bonus, use the ‘error’ (and it should be realised that such a legal ‘error’ is simply a matter of reductionist logic and is mostly not a true reflection of the complexity of the entire issue which may be able to accomodate different views, or even more basic, that the circumstances may contain inherent contradictions or stochastic elements) to apply the ad hom personal attack; the tactics against Steve were, as I say, classic legal ones; and we see these, along with all the subtle and not so subtle methods of propaganda and agitprop, being employed by the AGW proponents; as a result the public is being manipulated into its current state of ignorance and compliance; as creatures of measures of public opinion the base pollies cannot be relied upon; which is why blogs like this are crucial; the msm, on the main is pro-AGW; Bolt, Ackerman and a few other print and radio people are really all that is standing between AGW chaos (I firmly believe that a great number of the AGW supporters have no idea of how disruptive the effects of proposed AGW measures will be) and public sanity.

  77. Louis Hissink August 2, 2008 at 12:27 pm #

    Chris Crawford,

    Which part of the increase in CO2 is due to human activities? The best figures put this at about 3% of the total. Since CO2 has risen from 280 ppmv to 380 ppmv, some 100 ppmv increase, then 3 ppm is attributable to humanity. 97 ppmv is natural.

    I raise a stink about it because the climate clowns want to blame us for the 97ppmv rise in addtion to the 3% which we are responsible for.

  78. Birdie August 2, 2008 at 1:07 pm #

    Climate change will have “major impact” on fishing industry

    Climate change is already impacting the world’s oceans and will have serious consequences for the hundreds of millions of people who depend on fishing for their livelihoods, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

    Zoom

    Changes in sea temperatures alter the body temperature of aquatic species used for human consumption and therefore impact their metabolism, growth rate, reproduction and susceptibility to diseases and toxins, FAO said today, at the start of a four-day scientific seminar in Rome on climate change and marine fisheries.

    Impacts on fisheries that have already been observed include an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as the El Niño phenomenon in the South Pacific; the warming of the world’s oceans, with the Atlantic in particular showing signs of warming deep below the surface; and warmer-water species increasing toward the South and North Poles.

    There has also been an increase in salinity in near-surface waters in hotter regions, while the opposite is occurring in colder areas because of greater precipitation, melting ice and other processes. In addition, the oceans are becoming more acidic with probable negative consequences for coral-reef and calcium-bearing organisms.

    Fishing communities in the world’s high-latitudes, as well as those that rely on coral reef systems will be most exposed to the impact of climate change. Fisheries located in deltas, coral atolls and ice-dominated coasts will be vulnerable to flooding and coastal erosion because of rises in sea level.

    FAO says that some 42 million people work directly in the fishing sector, the great majority in developing countries. Counting in those who work in processing, supply, marketing and distribution, the fishing industry supports several hundred million jobs.

    Aquatic foods have high nutritional quality, contributing 20% r more of average per capita animal protein intake for more than 2.8 billion people, again mostly in developing countries.

    Fish is also the world’s most widely traded foodstuff and a key source of export earnings for many poorer countries. The sector has particular significance for small island States.

  79. Birdie August 2, 2008 at 1:09 pm #

    FAO report from July 2008

  80. Louis Hissink August 2, 2008 at 1:26 pm #

    Cohenite

    The legalistic hatchet job done on Steve has echoes from 2 centuries ago when Charles Lyell, also a lawyer, did a hatchet job on geology as described by George Grinnell in 1975.

    http://www.mikamar.biz/geology.htm

    I am not sure we can turn the AGW madness around as quickly as we might wish since geology is still captivated with the Lyellian plague.

    (This does not under any circumstance mean I support Creationism, only that I do not support geological uniformitarianism).

  81. Travis August 2, 2008 at 1:51 pm #

    >Steve’s right.

    You’re such a bloody stupid groupie Wes.

    Travis wrote at August 1, 2008 12:45 PM
    >Southern elephant seals still come ashore on the Antarctic continent. True they do not come ashore there to breed or moult as they need ‘sand and dirt and rocks and so forth’

  82. Chris Crawford August 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm #

    There seems to be a glut of surprising undocumented statements in the last few comments. I’m not averse to giving people the benefit of the doubt, but I think some of those statements need to be backed up with some sort of support, such as:

    “it is certain that CO2 as the nominated agent of AGW is as dead as a Dodo”

    (It may be certain to the author, but the evidence of which I am aware directly contradicts this claim. I request that the author of this statement provide some support for the claim.)

    “declining ice, historically high temps, hurricanes, rising sea level, droughts, biosphere decline, either are plain wrong, or have other less apocalyptic causes involved;”

    (That’s a pretty broad statement. As far as I know, there’s strong evidence for declining ice, rising temperatures, and rising sea levels. Again, I request that the author provide some sort of substantiation for these assertions.)

    ” the issue here has never been the science; this is a philosophical movement with the materialism and excesses of Western capialism firmly in its sights”

    (This may be true of some proponents of AGW, but it is most certainly not the concern of all proponents; moreover, it’s irrelevant; if they’re right for the wrong reasons, they’re still right. You need to prove that they’re wrong, not that they have the wrong motivations.)

    ” there is so much ego investment in support of this issue by the commissars that they are not going to let go lightly”

    (I request that you provide evidence regarding the ego investments of the thousands of scientists working on the problem. Without that evidence, the assertion is idle speculation.)

    “the tactics being used are formidable and unscruptulous”

    (Again, this is a broad statement. I’m sure that you can come up with a few examples to support this claim, but I very much doubt that you can show that such behavior is common among the proponents of AGW.)

    ” we’ve seen the censorship, the threats, the obfuscation and lies and distortions”

    (Again, you can probably come up with a few examples. However, we’re talking about a process involving literally thousands of people. That process includes a great many checks and balances to insure that human foibles do not significantly affect the overall result. Moreover, there is much more evidence of violations of intellectual integrity among the opponents of AGW. The problem here is that there are plenty of fringe activists on both sides who go way over the edge. The proper response is to simply ignore the nut cases and concentrate on the facts.)

    “we see these, along with all the subtle and not so subtle methods of propaganda and agitprop, being employed by the AGW proponents”

    (Again, the same methods are used by some of the AGW opponents. The proper response, again, is to simply ignore falsehoods and concentrate on the science.)

    ” the public is being manipulated into its current state of ignorance and compliance”

    (That’s your opinion. My own opinion is that the public is being made aware of a serious problem. Neither of our opinions really matters much. What matters is the truth. So why don’t we talk about that?)

    “I firmly believe that a great number of the AGW supporters have no idea of how disruptive the effects of proposed AGW measures will be”

    (There are TWO issues here, and they are completely independent. The first issue is whether AGW presents a significant threat to our overall well-being. The second issue, which is completely independent of the first issue, is what we might do about it. The first issue is a matter of science and the second issue is a matter of policy. My impression, based on reading the statements of many AGW opponents, is that they are primarily concerned with the second issue — and those concerns are valid — and therefore allow their opinions on that second issue to affect their judgements on the first issue — which is completely invalid. Render unto Caesar: let us make scientific judgements based solely on the science, and political judgements on political considerations. My impression is that the opponents of AGW are fighting the wrong fight, and are discrediting their efforts by engaging in shoddy logic with regard to the science. One of the most important adages of military science is “Fight on the ground of your own choosing”, which means, fight where you have the advantage. The opponents of AGW are fighting a losing battle on the ground where they are weakest. They are on much stronger ground addressing the economic costs and benefits of AGW abatement. I suspect, however, that by the time they realize that they are fighting a losing battle, they will have lost all public credibility and will lose the more important battle over costs and benefits of AGW abatement.)

    “Which part of the increase in CO2 is due to human activities? The best figures put this at about 3% of the total.”

    I’d sure like to see those ‘best figures’. I suspect that you may be confusing some different numbers here. Have you a source for your assertion?

  83. Steve Short August 2, 2008 at 2:15 pm #

    “Fishing communities in the world’s high-latitudes, as well as those that rely on coral reef systems will be most exposed to the impact of climate change. Fisheries located in deltas, coral atolls and ice-dominated coasts will be vulnerable to flooding and coastal erosion because of rises in sea level.

    FAO says that some 42 million people work directly in the fishing sector, the great majority in developing countries. Counting in those who work in processing, supply, marketing and distribution, the fishing industry supports several hundred million jobs.

    Aquatic foods have high nutritional quality, contributing 20% r more of average per capita animal protein intake for more than 2.8 billion people, again mostly in developing countries.

    Fish is also the world’s most widely traded foodstuff and a key source of export earnings for many poorer countries. The sector has particular significance for small island States.”

    ALL true BUT:

    The net effect of rising atmospheric CO2 is to increase the cyanobacterial (phytoplankton) biomass of the oceans due to the CO2-fertilization effect.

    Photosynthetic phytoplankton absorb CO2 and bicarbonate (HCO3-) and respire O2 under the influence of sunlight. They gave us this O2-rich atmosphere. They are the ‘lungs of the planet’.

    This all-important process removes (acidic) dissolved CO2 and HCO3 from the near surface layers of the ocean and converts it into organic carbon and biogenic calcium carbonate. Therefore, by definition, it counteracts oceanic acidity.

    While anthropogenic emissions of CO2 are increasing at a rate now of about 3.3%/year the rate of increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is still only 0.45% and has been constant for at least the last 3 decades. This means that the oceans are presently taking up 3.3-0.45/3.3 = 86% or 6/7ths of all emitted CO2, both anthropogenically and naturally produced.

    It also means that oceanic phytoplanktonic ‘primary productivity’ must therefore be increasing in response to rising atmospheric CO2.

    This is also shown by the demonstrable, increasingly negative average annual offset between average atmospheric CO2 over all 8 monitoring stations below 40 S and the global average (falling from about -0.34±0.08% in 1983 to about -0.59±0.03% in 2006 and -0.53±0.03% in 2007). If the Great Southern Ocean was losing its ability to increasingly absorb the increasing atmospheric CO2 this offset would be trending towards 0.00% not drifting in the opposite direction.

    This effect arises because the great Southern Ocean (SO), containing the (west to east) circum-Antarctic current and its associated gyres, are the major zones of cyanobacterial primary productivity on this planet. Obviously the SO is either reducing its temperature (thereby increasing CO2 solubility) AND/OR is increasing its primary productivity due to the ‘CO2-fertilization effect’.

    There is no evidence for significantly falling SSTs over the SO and it runs counter to the idea of AGW.

    If such oceanic primary productivity were not also constrained by other factors (other than temperature and available CO2), principally dissolved Fe, Si and N nutrient limitations, it’s productivity would probably be increasing even more rapidly (and an even greater fraction of atmospheric CO2 would therefore be being removed).

    Oceanic phytoplanktonic primary productivity is the fundamental basis of the oceanic food chain. This is the base platform upon which the total of ALL marine-based human food production is exclusively based.

    If oceanic cyanobacterial primary productivity is rising in response to rising atmospheric CO2 (which all indication are that it is), it follows, by definition, that the (human) food productivity of the oceans is also rising in line with AGW.

  84. Ann August 2, 2008 at 2:30 pm #

    According to Helge Ingstad, the world’s probably most authorative scientist on Vikings and Greenland, it is not certain the Vikings found grapes in New Foundland.

    It might have been squash -berries that are also called vin bär in Scandinavian. He suggests that the whole grape story is exaggerated and it was the VINberries that were fermented.( The wild berries could me found there as well today)

    He suggests its only in the folklore that the ” wrong” version of the grape story continues.

    The northern border for wild grapes today is around 42 latitude , that means Massachusetts.

  85. Louis Hissink August 2, 2008 at 2:45 pm #

    Chris Crawford

    US Department of Energy 2000 numbers here

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html

    (11880/368400)*100 = 3.22%

    And if we include the added CO2 from the baseline it works out at about 17%.

    And since man is a natural animal, any activity is by definition natural, so our emission of CO2 however one wishes to put it, is also natural. It’s why we are humans I suppose.

    I am not confused at all with the numbers.

  86. Chris Crawford August 2, 2008 at 2:49 pm #

    Steve, thanks for a very informative post. I knew that cyanobacteria were gobbling up CO2, but I didn’t know that the effectiveness (86%) was so large.

  87. Ann August 2, 2008 at 3:01 pm #

    ” If oceanic cyanobacterial primary productivity is rising in response to rising atmospheric CO2 (which all indication are that it is), it follows, by definition, that the (human) food productivity of the oceans is also rising in line with AGW.” – Steve

    A very , very simplistic conclusion. I have not the time right now to make more comments , but warming waters will affect fish populations according to different species . Climate change will affect certain fish in a negative way . Will post on this later. It means as well that spawning areas and fishing activity is moving to the poles.

    And finally , warming means more blooming of toxic algae etc, etc….

  88. Chris Crawford August 2, 2008 at 3:15 pm #

    Louis Hissink, I checked the source that you provide, and there’s definitely a mismatch between what you state and what’s actually documented. The source you give does indeed state that “natural additions” to CO2 amount to 68 ppm and “human additions” amount to 12 ppm. However, I was wondering what the author meant by “natural additions”. He doesn’t define that term anywhere. I assume that he’s talking about sources such as vulcanism — but these are not differentials, they’re part of the background. Here, let me explain:

    There are many sources of natural carbon release: vulcanism, decomposition of organic materials, and so on. These have been with us for millions of years, and the pre-industrial concentration of CO2 (280 ppm) reflected the equilibrium between those natural sources and the natural sinks. Then we humans came along and started adding our own CO2 emissions. These were on top of the existing natural sources of CO2 emissions, and they caused the atmospheric concentration of CO2 to increase from 280 ppm to 380 ppm. The natural sources continued, but they didn’t add to the increase — they are part of the baseline. Hence the argument offered in your source is wrong.

    Moreover, it isn’t even justified. The source that the author provides does NOT provide the number he presents. I don’t know where he got that number for natural contribution, but it did not come from the source he cited. Interestingly enough, the source he cites ultimately cites the IPCC reports. So if you want to eliminate the middlemen, just do directly to IPCC AR4, which clearly explains what’s happening — and the increase in CO2 concentrations is due to anthropogenic sources, not natural sources. See AR4, Chapter 2, pages 137 – 140.

    BTW, Steve Short, you mentioned that atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are increasing by 0.45% per year, but IPCC AR4, Chapter 2, page 137 cites 1.4 ppm per year increase in atmospheric CO2, which is only 0.37%. And their figure for human emissions of carbon (Figure 2.3) looks like a growth rate of about 8% per year. Go figure. Perhaps I’ve misinterpreted something?

  89. Louis Hissink August 2, 2008 at 3:37 pm #

    Chris Crawford

    I just did a Live Search and dredged that reference up. Strangely, or not so strangely, it’s seems rather difficult to find any up to date numbers on these estimates.

    You are right- the numbers don’t seem to gel but somewhere someone must have the up to date numbers.

    Given that the US decreased its CO2 emissions while Europe and the UK have been increasing theirs.

    Incidentally you could have posted those numbers on here to make your point, so I suspect as you have not corrected the numbers I posted, I assume they must be correct.

  90. Ann August 2, 2008 at 4:03 pm #

    Here’s the rebuttal to Steve re phytoplankton, climate change and fish productivity:

    Greenhouse may cut fish productivity:

    http://worldfishingtoday.com/news/news.asp?mode=soeg&soeg=plankton&nyId=183

  91. Ivan (844 days & Counting) August 2, 2008 at 4:44 pm #

    “(There we also words like ‘suggest’ in there. Tsk, words that Ivan can’t deal with)”.

    Travis – if you are going to ‘verbal’ me, please at least stick to some semblance of fact.

    If someone ‘suggests’ that we go have a few beers and then go to the football, I can deal with that.
    If the waiter ‘suggests’ that the eye fillet is better than the porterhouse tonight, I can deal with that.

    But is someone tells me they ‘believe’ that the world is getting warmer, and ‘thinks’ the cause is man-made CO2, and ‘suggests’ that we all ruin the economy and pay a carbon tax to fix the ‘problem’, then I’m not OK with that.

    The thing that beats the $hit out of me is that there are as many people out there as the opinion polls would ‘suggest’ who do subscribe to this nonsense.

  92. Ivan (844 days & Counting) August 2, 2008 at 5:03 pm #

    “James, did Hansen predict that Bangladesh would lose land mass?”

    Well, yes – as a matter of fact, he did.

    Here..
    (http://lightblueline.org/nasas-james-hansen-ipcc-forecast-climate-change-news-business)
    “According to Hansen, large areas of Florida, East Anglia and the Netherlands, as well as many oceanic islands and most of Bangladesh, could be inundated within the lifetime of children now being born.”

    And here:
    (http://www.topix.com/forum/world/bangladesh/TBJSRG1BU23254VMC)
    “Bangladesh could disappear entirely by end of century: NASA”

    And here:
    (http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=43563)
    “Johann Hari wrote: “[A]nd found that many climatologists think the IPCC is way too optimistic about Bangladesh. I turned to Professor James Hansen, the director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, whose climate calculations have proved to be more accurate than anybody else’s. He believes the melting of the Greenland ice cap being picked up his satellite today, now, suggests we are facing a 25-metre rise in sea levels this century — which would drown Bangladesh entirely.””

    There are a few dozen more – if you need to be convinced, that is.

  93. SJT August 2, 2008 at 5:21 pm #

    You are arguing for something that the IPCC has not stated. The argument by the IPCC, (Hansen is only one person), is that sea levels are rising. On that basis, land will be lost. It’s a simple matter of physics. The silt coming down a river has nothing to do with whether sea levels rise or not. To claim that the IPCC and Hansen are liars is amazing.

  94. steven watkinson August 2, 2008 at 5:33 pm #

    Ann, Steve Short also doesn’t seem to believe that there is danger to the pteropods either, yet here is part of what appeared in Nature in 2005:

    “The changes in seawater chemistry that we project to occur during this century could have severe consequences for calcifying organisms, particularly shelled pteropods: the major planktonic producers of aragonite. Pteropod population densities are high in polar and subpolar waters. Yet only five species typically occur in such cold water regions and, of these, only one or two species are common at the highest latitudes31. High-latitude pteropods have one or two generations per year12,15,32, form integral components of food webs, and are typically found in the upper 300m where they may reach densities of hundreds to thousands of individuals per m3 (refs 11, 13–15). In the Ross Sea, for example, the prominent subpolar–polar pteropod Limacina helicina sometimes replaces krill as the dominant zooplankton, and is considered an overall
    indicator of ecosystem health33. In the strongly seasonal high latitudes, sedimentation pulses of pteropods frequently occur just after summer15,34. In the Ross Sea, pteropods account for the majority of the annual export flux of both carbonate and organic carbon34,35. South of the Antarctic Polar Front, pteropods also dominate the export flux of CaCO3 (ref. 36).

    Pteropods may be unable to maintain shells in waters that are undersaturated with respect to aragonite.”

  95. Ivan (844 days & Counting) August 2, 2008 at 5:48 pm #

    “You are arguing for something that the IPCC has not stated.”
    Let’s not start reinventing history here. Hansen is the one making the ultra-alarmist statements – well beyond anything ‘predicted’ by the IPCC. There are mountains of reports on the public record to this effect, including, of course our very own government-funded propaganda organ:
    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s1870955.htm
    Hansen also specifically refers to Bangladesh as being in the front line of sea level rise casualties – as pointed out previously.

    “On that basis, land will be lost.”
    Intuitively – yes. But let’s pose the question again. Where is there any evidence of this? Just because AGW people repeat this assertion ad nauseaum doesn’t make it a fact.

    “It’s a simple matter of physics.”
    Ahh. Some real science at last. See previous question.

    “The silt coming down a river has nothing to do with whether sea levels rise or not.”
    Not directly – but it is the canary in the cage. IF sea levels are rising a la Hansen’s predictions, then the minor contribution of river silt should be lost in the noise. How is it possible to have rising sea levels AND growing coastlines.

    “To claim that the IPCC and Hansen are liars is amazing.”
    What alternative would you prefer: a) idiots? b) frauds? c) incompetents? d) all of the above?

  96. wes george August 2, 2008 at 5:53 pm #

    Chris Crawford,

    “….your assertion that “the Antarctic is experiencing record high levels of sea ice. This does not address the issue of AGW. What matters is the temperature, not the sea ice.”

    Antarctica is more like an archipelago than a continent. Total ice mass isn’t easy to measure and sea ice extent is. It’s also the part of the mass that varies radically from year to year and should reveal trends. If total ice mass is declining it will show first in sea ice extent.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:AntarcticaRockSurface.jpg

    Therefore, sea ice does seem to be the best T proxy available. And on that evidence it seems probably that the Antarctic is NOT warming according to the predictions of AGW theory.

    That’s my point. AGW theory doesn’t appear to match the observations. Where warming is predicted to be most extreme, at the poles, half the polar regions shows no or little warming. This is a challenge to the predictive value of AGW theory.

    “More important is the logical implication of your observation that temperatures at some time in the past have been higher. This is absolutely true. The problem is that your observation has no predictive value.”

    This would be a true if AGW theory didn’t forecast a global climate apocalypse. The fact that temperatures have often been warmer in the Holocene past reveals that our current situation is within interglacial normal variation. This is extremely relevant to the debate because AGW supporters have repeatedly claimed that we are well above natural temperature variations and that an apocalypse will occur within our lifetimes. Thus, the observation that today’s temperatures are within natural variation predicts that AGW theory is wrong, at least in this respect.

    It also shows that today’s temperature can be accounted for without the apparatus of AGW theory, which is at its foundation based upon unproven assumptions about the climate’s sensitivity to CO2 increases.

    Back to Occam’s Razor.

  97. Ivan (844 days & Counting) August 2, 2008 at 5:55 pm #

    “doesn’t seem to believe that there is danger to the pteropods either”

    Hmmmm…
    “that we project to occur during this century..”
    “could have severe consequences..”
    “may be unable..”

    The only danger I can see is that at some point some actual science might intrude into the discussion. But then again, I doubt it. Guesswork has proved more effective so far.

  98. cohenite August 2, 2008 at 6:16 pm #

    CO2 is as dead as a Dodo; CO2 does absorb reemitted LW but is limited by Stefan-Boltzman and Wien; H2O does the most of the greenhouse effect and as Spencer and Lindzen and Monckton have recently shown has a dominant stochastic negative feedback effect; the AIRS satellite instrument has recently shown that CO2 is not uniformly mixed in the atmosphere which means that there is not an opaque trapping layer; in any event this was obvious already by reference to any albedo map which shows large parts of the earth reflecting incoming SW; with SW not reaching the surface there is no reemitted LW to absorb; Stewart’s Law shows that thermal and therefore radiative balance will be maintained with only variations in internal forcing; a recent paper from the Russian Academy of Sciences shows that the convective heat transfer mechanism dominates radiative heat transfer and due to ocean absorbtion and atmospheric pressure, increases in CO2 have a cooling effect;

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15567030701568727

    As well, CO2 is not correlated with historical or even recent temp movements, and in fact historically CO2 follows temp movements.

    Ice is not declining; you have to remember 99.9% of the land ice is on Greenland and Antarctica;
    Western Antarctica, bearing in mind that this part of the continent is underpined by a ring of active volcanoes;

    http:www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2007GL032529.shtml

    East Antarctica;

    http:www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/308/5730/1898

    Greenland; a historical perspective;

    http:www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2007JD008742.shtml

    In addition the Arctic is not at historical lows as Steve and other have shown; there are numerous pre-satellite records of less ice during the 20thC.

    Sea levels have been rising since the end of the last glacial; it is moot whether there have been recent rises, but play the game yourself;

    http://sahultime.monash.edu.au/explore.html

    Right for the wrong reasons is a totally absurd comment in the context of this debate; the issue is whether the science is right; if it isn’t nothing valid flows; so far the science hasn’t made the case.

    Ego investment; Hansen, Flannery, Pearman, Schmidt, Humbert; in addition there are not thousands of scientists; the consensus argument is bunk.

    The fact is the msm and mainstream politics has been ensnared by this deceit and any deviation is punished; every prominent scientist who criticises the orthodoxy is smeared.

    There is as much more evidence of violations of intellectual integrity among the opponents of AGW

    Utter, unmitigated garbage; give one.

  99. Louis Hissink August 2, 2008 at 6:43 pm #

    Cohenite

    Could you clarify your second last sentence? You are not meaning us are you? Or are you quoting some drivel posted above.

  100. cohenite August 2, 2008 at 7:02 pm #

    Louis; it is what Chris Crawford has asserted in his long, disingenuous reply of 02:02 PM to an earlier comment by me; sorry for not making it plainer; it is a jaw-dropping assertion is it not?

  101. Louis Hissink August 2, 2008 at 7:32 pm #

    Cohenite

    Aah, I suspected you were quoting someone here but I obviously didn’t read ‘that’ particular assertion by Chris Crawford.

    That said, it is indeed jaw dropping but par for the course.

    I base my view based on personal experience with this lot (Politically) but Bernard Goldbergs two brilliant books on the MSM and its philosophical (and this is crediting them more than they deserve) basis in leftism. (Biased and Arrogance are the titles (paraphrased) of his two books).

    Bernard summed it quite neatly – lefties only fratenise with their own kind, so all they hear are confirmations of their own beliefs. Because they avoid socialising with us, they never get to experience different takes on a topic. They believe they are normal and we not. I hate to say it but I suspect they are sociopaths.

    And far more importantly, their whole reasoning system is dialectic – truths are established by consensus – not from compulsion of experimental fact. There is a good reason why global warming is taught as a strand in the social sciences and not the physical sciences.

  102. James Mayeau August 2, 2008 at 8:02 pm #

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2007/CanWeAvert_20070625.pdf
    Here is Hansen predicting that all of Bangladesh would be under the Indian Ocean – in his own paper(page 11). That’s for Chris.

    Thanks for the backup, Ivan,,, Cohenite.

  103. James Mayeau August 2, 2008 at 8:12 pm #

    There are probably records for Bangladesh dating from 1000 AD.
    We have already established that the MWP existed, was global in nature, and that it’s global warming exceeded today’s temperatures.
    All we have to do is ask the Indians “was Bangladesh underwater between the years, 1000 and 1450 ish?”
    Seems easy enough.

  104. gavin August 2, 2008 at 8:26 pm #

    “We have already established that the MWP existed, was global in nature”

    Which blog???

  105. wes george August 2, 2008 at 9:22 pm #

    “All we have to do is ask the Indians “was Bangladesh underwater between the years, 1000 and 1450 ish?””

    Good point, James. Isn’t amazing where a rational analysis of the evidence can lead?

    Of course, Bangladesh wasn’t underwater in the Middle Ages, even as Vikings exported dairy products to Europe from Greenland. Nor were the Indians suffering great drought. In fact, Indian civilization was experiencing a Golden Age as was the Islamic world in the Middle East. Fortunately, they were blithely unaware of the IPCC scenarios for civilization collapse due to global warming.

    Cambodia, Bali, Java, China, Japan, North American Indian, Oceania and part of Africa all were in high renaissance mode culturally during the MWP, when according to the IPCC they should have been experiencing mass starvation, water shortages and mass migration and war due to global warming.

    The MWP was extremely kind to human cultural evolution in all places but Central America. And to be fair, the collapse of the Mayan city states is not a well understood phenomena and probably is only partly related to climate shifts. The Anasazi culture to the north collapsed due to drought, but not until 1200 or 1300 AD when LIA had begun, at least in Europe.

  106. Louis Hissink August 2, 2008 at 9:34 pm #

    Gavin

    “Which blog?”

    Never mind I know who you are but won’t take advantage of it.

    That said, you do raise an interesting point – the MWP was indeed regional, in terms of the European perspective and if, as you do, assume that the earth’s physical orientation in space is fixed, by assumption, then the MWP can’t be global.

    Assuming that the earth can’t change it’s axis wrt the celestial references, Tim Lambert’ point,
    then there must be clear evidence for very high temperatures in the equatorial regions at the same time as the MWP.

    No one seems to have reported this. So if the GMT of the earth was higher, uniformly, over the earth, and Greenland was amenable to farming in areas that yet to allow that, then we should have records from countries at the equator complaining of scorching summers.

    I have not encountered any.

    So if Greenland was hospitable to farming during the MWP, and no one else complained of excessive heat south of Greenland, then the only plausible mechanism for climate change in Greenland is that the earth reoriented itself, as a result, of an NEO interaction.

    The Korean Choson Annals sugest this.

    If this novel explanation is unsatisfactory, then you need to demonstrate that a regional climate warming, the MWP, was assocated with even more torrid cllimates at lower latitudes.

  107. Ivan (844 days & Counting) August 2, 2008 at 9:56 pm #

    Gavin – “Which blog?”

    Try a few research papers instead:
    MWP in North America
    (http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/20060823_1/20060823_1_09.html)
    repeated in Science:
    (http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/313/5785/345)
    MWP in Russia:
    (http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/20051110/20051110_12.html)
    MWP in China
    (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2002AGUFMPP71C..09L)
    MWP in Asia
    (http://www.co2science.org/subject/a/summaries/asiamwp.php)
    MWP in South America:
    (http://www.cosis.net/abstracts/AVH4/00044/AVH4-A-00044.pdf?PHPSESSID=bd1cbdaa2c636868bb6b65df9e2456eb)
    MWP everywhere:
    (http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/2005-08-04/evil.htm)

    You AGW nongs need to inform yourselves, instead of just playing “Simple Hansen Says” all the time.

  108. Paul Biggs August 2, 2008 at 10:05 pm #

    Just a few quick points. The alarmists can’t have it both ways – Antarctic sea ice is just as relevant as Arctic sea ice, but increasing Antarctic sea ice just doesn’t make news. Plus Antarctica’s West/East climate differences are long established – see elsewhere on this blog about east and west antarctica’s divergent climate histories over 14 million years.

    Climate change has significant regional differences, whether we talk about the modern warm period, or the medieval warm period – there is evidence both for and against the global MWP, but the IPCC bias their proxies against (Steve McIntyre has summarised the proxy evidence against a warm MWP), plus we have mentioned elsewhere the witheld, unverified data by hockey stick proponents.

    Certainly, the shift to colder conditions finished off Greenland’s Viking settlers, although they already had other problems.

    The Mayan civilisation was destroyed by prolonged drought – an interesting detective story in itself:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/cultures/maya_01.shtml

  109. wes george August 2, 2008 at 10:12 pm #

    Actually, Louis, global warming (or cooling for that matter) has an increasing effect towards the poles. Thus, in the Jurassic it wasn’t much warmer at the equator than today, but it was much, much warmer at the poles. No need to postulate planetary axis shifts. Occam’s Razor.

    Indeed, it was likely cooler at the equator during the MWP than today, certainly it was in cities, due to the effects of vast primary forests, no UHI, no Asian Brown Cloud and unfettered river systems. Not to mention remnant mountain glaciers left over from the Younger Dryas.

  110. Ivan (844 days & Counting) August 2, 2008 at 10:16 pm #

    “UN rushes aid as unexpected cold spell threatens Peruvian livestock”

    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=27537&Cr=&Cr1=
    “This year, the cold arrived well ahead of the usual season – in March and April, instead of June – and many small-scale farmers have not been able to harvest their crops.”
    “The gravity of the situation has led the Peruvian Government to declare a state of emergency in 11 of the country’s 25 provinces.”

    Meanwhile, what is their sister organisation (WMO) obsessing about on their website:
    “Strong climate warming in the Netherlands”
    //www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/news/index_en.html
    The rest of us probably have another name for it: summer.

  111. Louis Hissink August 2, 2008 at 10:16 pm #

    And the remains of the Mayan civilisation are in tropical regions, so how the drought?

    If drought closed the Mayan civilisation,, the how does one create a drought in an equatorial rainforest climate.

    Not my problem but yours.

  112. Louis Hissink August 2, 2008 at 10:21 pm #

    Wes,

    Easy to explain rhetorically – but what’s that based on?

    Jurassic times – what evidence do we have that the earth was oriented in its present configuration. None.

    (nor I that it was different from primary data).

    But think on it.

  113. cohenite August 2, 2008 at 10:27 pm #

    Louis; an alternative perhaps; one of the predictions of AGW is that there will be proportionally more warming in the colder parts and times; the other side of the coin, that the warmer areas and times will tread water or experience slight cooling, has been overlooked; the crucial feature of the big global climate patterns like the PDO, NAO, SAM etc is that they have up and down features which dovetail with the up/down phases of each other; if it’s hot somewhere then it’s cold somewhere else; the energy and thermal balance is maintained over any time span; so with the MWP which provided so much benefit to the colder climes; if it was average to slightly below elsewhere then balance was maintained over the globe; this is regionalism at work; NASA have reognised this effect in respect of the LIA/Maunder Minimum;

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/shindell_06/

    In effect the paper is describing the opposite of what may have happened during the MWP; the authors say;

    “So a reduction in the amount of sunlight reaching the planet leads to a weaker equator-to-pole heating difference, and therefore slower winds. The effect on surface temperatures is particularly large in winter. Because the oceans are relatively warm during the winter due to their large heat storage, the diminished flow creates a cold-land/warm-ocean pattern by reducing the transport of warm oceanic air to the continents, and vice-versa.”

    In other words, the colder got colder and the warm got warmer; the MWP, if solar caused, would have featured the opposite; the cold got warmer, and the warm got cooler.

  114. Travis August 2, 2008 at 10:39 pm #

    Ivan wrote:-
    >If someone ‘suggests’ that we go have a few beers and then go to the football, I can deal with that.
    If the waiter ‘suggests’ that the eye fillet is better than the porterhouse tonight, I can deal with that. But is someone tells me they ‘believe’ that the world is getting warmer, and ‘thinks’ the cause is man-made CO2, and ‘suggests’ that we all ruin the economy and pay a carbon tax to fix the ‘problem’, then I’m not OK with that.

    Ivan then wrote:-
    >”doesn’t seem to believe that there is danger to the pteropods either”
    Hmmmm…
    “that we project to occur during this century..”
    “could have severe consequences..”
    “may be unable..”
    The only danger I can see is that at some point some actual science might intrude into the discussion. But then again, I doubt it. Guesswork has proved more effective so far.

    LOL!!! Classic! It’s all too easy…and very, very funny.

  115. Steve Short August 2, 2008 at 11:04 pm #

    Chris Crawford:

    “BTW, Steve Short, you mentioned that atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are increasing by 0.45% per year, but IPCC AR4, Chapter 2, page 137 cites 1.4 ppm per year increase in atmospheric CO2, which is only 0.37%. And their figure for human emissions of carbon (Figure 2.3) looks like a growth rate of about 8% per year. Go figure. Perhaps I’ve misinterpreted something?”

    In a nutshell, yes Chris, you have misinterpreted something. FYI the best fit to the official NOAA average annual levels of atmospheric CO2 starting at 340.56 ppmv in 1982 and finishing at 382.65 for 2007 is the function y = 0.0423exp(0.0045x) where y = CO2 (ppmv) and x = year. R^2 = 0.9951 i.e. 99.51% of all variance is explained by this (fitted) exponential equation.

    I am sure you are familiar with simple exponential equations? Presumably you know how to amortise a property or asset or calculate the compound interest of a loan or debt etc. It is simply exactly the same type of exponential relationship.

    This means that the average global atmospheric CO2 is increasing at a fraction of 0.0045 per year i.e. 0.45%/year. This is for reasons deriving from the solubility of CO2 in seawater (at various temeratures) and the cyanobacterial primary productivity of the oceans (at various temperatures and conditions of key nutrient supply) exactly as I explained above.

    Not “very, very, simplistic…” at all as Ann claims. Just proven as the core facts established through thousands of published studies. No different to the ‘consensus’ proclaimed by the adherents of AGW (which BTW I have always made clear I believe in, but to a more moderate degree than the alarmists would have it).

    Possibly Ann fails to understand that the one true ‘art’ of good science is the rigorous and verifiable discernment of simplicity within the midst of complexity.

    steven watkinson:

    “Pteropods may be unable to maintain shells in waters that are undersaturated with respect to aragonite.”

    As demonstrated using USGS Phreeqc modeling (or using any other common geochemical speciation code) the Saturation Index (SI) of aragonite in the surface layers of the ocean will not fall to 0.00 (and hence begin to dissolve (according to the constraints of standard thermodynamics) until the atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 rises to 2344 ppmv. Note that I used a seawater temperature of 25 C in determining this to simulate largely tropical waters where coral is common. Incidentally the pH of seawater will then be then be 7.54 (@ 25 C) i.e. still not acidic.

    Even at a seawater temperature of 20 C where the growth of corals (= rate of calcification) is very slow naturally, the Saturation Index (SI) of aragonite in the surface layers of the ocean will not fall to 0.00 (and hence begin to dissolve according to standard thermodynamics) until the atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 rises to 1905 ppmv. Incidentally the pH of seawater will then be then be 7.60 (@ 20 C) i.e. still not acidic.

    Using the aforementioned relationship between year and atmospheric CO2 and solving for y it can be seen that an atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 of even 1905 ppmv will not be attained at current projections until the year 2381 i.e. some 373 years in the future.

    One would like to think, and appears likely, that fossil fuels will have been exhausted by that date and that alternative sources of energy would have long since become dominant.

    However, these simple, thermodynamic calculations suffice to show just how implausible suggestions that marine species which deposit biogenic aragonite are likely to be threatened ‘ any time soon’.

    These are neither slick legal arguments nor post-modernist ‘opinions’.

    They are purely and simply scientific facts. It is just not possible to refute the above, standard, thermodynamic arguments relating to the constraints on the solubility of aragonite in seawater without rejecting the entire body of aqueous solution thermodynamic knowledge accumulated through the very hard work of thousands of dedicated scientists over the last 200 years or, in a phrase, ‘pissing on all their good work.’

    One should presumably not do that lightly without a damn good reason for doing so.

    I was lucky enough to be raised by my parents to believe in literal truth. I was then very fortunate enough to receive a long, and highly rigorous academic education in 3 countries culminating in the privilege of a post-doctoral fellowship at the very university Einstein attended and at an institute just across the other side of very small park from the one he attended.

    Consequently, personally, I am quite unable to piss on all the hard work of my respected forebears in science. It is as simple, and is no more complex, than that.

  116. Travis August 2, 2008 at 11:12 pm #

    >I was lucky enough to be raised by my parents to believe in literal truth.

    Pffft!!! Yeah, plenty of evidence for that here!

  117. Ann August 2, 2008 at 11:15 pm #

    PLEEAZE , Steve no bragging here about which Uni you have attended and making merits out of that!

    Dear Louis told me that Hannes Alfven would change his passport if he had read my comments , despite that I have been accepted and attended the Med School that nominates the Nobel Medicine laureates!

  118. Trebble August 2, 2008 at 11:19 pm #

    Bloody hell Steve Short your fan club may want to hear all about your upbringing, numerous publications, “famous” fish discoveries and la-de-da schooling adventures, but for the rest of us it is tedious. You are a tosser with no social graces whatsoever. Just stick with what you *do* know as scientific fact and spare us your profound superiority complex.

  119. Steve Short August 2, 2008 at 11:41 pm #

    I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

  120. cohenite August 2, 2008 at 11:52 pm #

    Ann; as long as it’s not the school which nominates the Nobel Peace Laureates.

    So, Travis and Trebble; is this the new ad hom; ridiculed for having the necessary credentials to reach a scientific conclusion, as opposed to not having the necessary qualifications as, say Monckton is accused of? Not that I care, but is there anyone who you guys would consider as a reasonable source for a critique of AGW?

  121. Dr Kenn Plowman August 2, 2008 at 11:55 pm #

    Steve Short,

    Someone here mentioned you try humility. Clearly neither your parents or the university system taught you this. A shame.

  122. klf August 3, 2008 at 12:00 am #

    “I was lucky enough….” Steve Short

    So??? Who cares???

  123. Jan Pompe August 3, 2008 at 12:10 am #

    cohenite; “Not that I care, but is there anyone who you guys would consider as a reasonable source for a critique of AGW?”

    That would be blasphemy.

  124. Travis August 3, 2008 at 12:15 am #

    >is this the new ad hom; ridiculed for having the necessary credentials to reach a scientific conclusion

    No Cohenite. I couldn’t care less what scientific credentials he has. When I read a journal paper or informative piece I judge it on its merit, not its author’s cv. The ‘ad hom’ is because your upstanding good Steve has taken it upon himself to misrepresent me. When asked for clarification he continued with his delusion. He has again made suggestions about me without substantiating. It appears he is beyond admitting he was wrong or providing information to the contrary. Hence why his reference to ‘truth’ is being brought into question (not to mention his character).

    >Not that I care

    So don’t ask.

    >Someone here mentioned you try humility

    Yeah, me!

  125. Chris Crawford August 3, 2008 at 2:30 am #

    Louis Hissink writes:

    “Incidentally you could have posted those numbers on here to make your point, so I suspect as you have not corrected the numbers I posted, I assume they must be correct.”

    Assume away. My lack of comment indicates that I neither confirm nor deny them at this time. If they become relevant to the discussion, I’ll reconsider their value.

    Ivan repeats the point he made in the topic on “Hansen and IPCC Wrong Again:…” I responded to his point there. In brief, I argued that long-term predictions do not conflict with short-term evidence. In short, “Aye, Caesar, but not gone.”

    Ivan also asks: “How is it possible to have rising sea levels AND growing coastlines.”

    The answer is simple: if the rate of sea level rise is less than the rate of land rise due to silt deposition, then the land area increases. If the rate of sea level rise increases, then the day may come when it exceeds the rate of land rise due to silt deposition, and at that point the land area will decrease.

    Wes George offers the argument that Antarctic sea ice is the best proxy for Antarctic temperatures. I disagree. The amount of sea ice is affected by factors not related to temperature, such as average wind speeds and strength of ocean currents. I prefer to rely on the overall conclusions of the IPCC, which take into account many factors, and conclude that overall Antarctic ice mass change lies in a band between +50 GT/yr and -200 GT/year. This conclusion is ultimately slightly supportive of the AGW hypothesis — although not conclusive. It certainly refutes the claim that the Antarctic evidence opposes the AGW hypothesis.

    “The fact that temperatures have often been warmer in the Holocene past reveals that our current situation is within interglacial normal variation.”

    The fact that a phenomenon lies within the range of past variation does not justify our dismissing that phenomenon as natural. For example, the region in which I live has been swept by forest fires for millions of years. This does not mean that my fellow citizens refrain from passing laws against behavior that is likely to start forest fires. Sure, forest fires can happen naturally — they often do! But the existence of natural causes for forest fires does not preclude the existence of human causes for forest fires. And since forest fires are often undesirable, we take active measures to protect our property. Should we not do the same with AGW?

    “AGW supporters have repeatedly claimed that we are well above natural temperature variations and that an apocalypse will occur within our lifetimes.”

    It really doesn’t help to cite the claims of some people, when those claims are not embraced by all people. There are some AGW opponents who claim that this is all a communist conspiracy. I don’t attempt to discredit your case by arguing against them. I argue the real case. If you want to argue against straw men, go ahead — but in doing so, you’re not making any headway against the more substantial case. The IPCC report already incorporates the evidence for the MWP — and the IPCC is your real target, not the nutcases.

    “It also shows that today’s temperature can be accounted for without the apparatus of AGW theory”

    Let’s apply this to my forest fire example. If a forest fire destroys my home, does the existence of lightning as a possible cause for forest fires mean that the fire in question was not started by a human?

    Cohenite, you present in your August 2 6:16 PM post an eclectic assortment of assertions unaccoutred with logical support; I suggest that your comments would be more effective if you took the time to present your arguments rather than your conclusions.

    In particular, you seem to have misunderstood my statement regarding “right for the wrong reasons”. Perhaps it would have been better for me to phrase it as “right with the wrong motivations”. I was responding to a claim that scientists who disagree with the poster are motivated by unethical considerations; my response was that their motivations are of no significance, and that we should concentrate on the evidence, not the people. Have you any dispute with my point?

    Louis Hissink presents us with an example of the kind of thinking I contest:

    “lefties only fratenise with their own kind, so all they hear are confirmations of their own beliefs. Because they avoid socialising with us, they never get to experience different takes on a topic. They believe they are normal and we not. I hate to say it but I suspect they are sociopaths.”

    Actually, Louis, it is common for people on BOTH sides of the political spectrum to congregate with like-minded people to provide confirmation of their beliefs. The best response that reasonable people have to this problem is to spend time discussing issues with people who disagree. And calling the people on the other side “sociopaths” does not contribute to this solution.

    Louis further writes:

    “global warming is taught as a strand in the social sciences and not the physical sciences”

    Wow, that comes as a surprise to me! You mean to say that Climatology in your area is part of the Social Sciences? In North America, it’s part of the Physical Sciences curriculum.

    This is getting overlong so I’m going to post it and begin work on a new post.

  126. Chris Crawford August 3, 2008 at 2:59 am #

    James Mayeu presents a link to a paper by Mr. Hansen: “Here is Hansen predicting that all of Bangladesh would be under the Indian Ocean”

    Actually, what the paper says is that, IF the sea level were to rise by 25 meters, THEN Bangladesh would be under water — a statement that I doubt anybody here would disagree with. The real question is whether Mr. Hansen predicts that sea level will rise by 25 meters. Here is his statement from the cited paper:

    “It is impossible to say at exactly what level of global warming the rate of sea level rise could accelerate to meters per century, because ice sheet disintegration is a very non-linear process in which changes can occur suddenly. But paleoclimate data suggests that we are not far from such a level of global warming.”

    So Mr. Hansen is saying that we are “not far” from a level of global warming that would accelerate sea level rise to meters per century. “Not far” is an obviously vague statement; does anybody care to attempt to prove that it means “one year” or “ten years” or “a hundred years”? And that’s just the point where the process of rapid sea level rise BEGINS. Mr. Hansen is talking about “meters per century”. How many centuries must we wait for “meters per century” to accumulate to “25 meters”? Does anybody here care to present a case proving that all this means that Bangladesh will be under water next year? By 2030? 2050? 2100?

    Wes Grange states: “Of course, Bangladesh wasn’t underwater in the Middle Ages”

    Wes, have you any evidence to support your claim? Specifically, do you have a map of Bangladesh showing its coastline at that time? We know that coastlines have changed dramatically in the last few hundred or thousand years. Bruges was a port in the Middle Ages; now it’s well inland. Much of this change is due to silt deposition; but some is also due to the fall in sea level since the MWP.

    “Cambodia, Bali, Java, China, Japan, North American Indian, Oceania and part of Africa all were in high renaissance mode culturally during the MWP, when according to the IPCC they should have been experiencing mass starvation, water shortages and mass migration and war due to global warming.”

    Could you cite the chapter and page in IPCC AR4 that makes this claim?

    Ivan cites the cold spell in Peru. I remind Ivan: weather is not climate.

    Steve Short, you write that I have misinterpreted the data but you aren’t addressing the fact that I’m citing a different source: the IPCC AR4 Chapter 2, page 137 cites a figure of 1.4 ppm/year increase in CO2 for the period 1960-2000. You instead cite the NOAA data on this. It appears that there is a disagreement between the two sources. I don’t want to make a federal case out of this conflict — I was curious as to your thoughts on it.

    I’d also like to request that people refrain from engaging in personal assaults on Mr. Short — or anybody, for that matter. Let’s just talk about the science, and keep the personal mudslinging out of it, OK?

  127. Chris Crawford August 3, 2008 at 3:12 am #

    Aha, I’ve deciphered one of cohenite’s comments:

    “There is as much more evidence of violations of intellectual integrity among the opponents of AGW

    Utter, unmitigated garbage; give one.”

    He’s asking me for an example of violations of intellectual integrity among opponents of AGW. Perhaps the most blatant is the infamous Oregon “Petition Project” (http://www.petitionproject.org/), which claims that 31,000 scientists (including 9,000 PhDs) have signed a petition asserting that there’s no scientific evidence to support AGW. The catch is that there’s no verification process whatsoever. Anybody can log on as many times as they want, with as many different names as they want, declare themselves a scientist, claim that they have a PhD, and sign the petition. I myself went through a tiny subset of the list of names and here’s what I found:

    1. many could not be found on the Internet,
    2. some were people who work for the oil and chemical industries
    3. one appeared to be the wife of a manager of an oil facility in Alaska.
    4. One was a city councilman in Anchorage.
    5. I found one genuine scientist: a biologist who had published a paper on insects in the Amazon 30 years ago. That was the only publication of his that I could find.
    6. One was a forestry worker in Washington.

    How’s that for an example of lack of intellectual integrity?

  128. James Mayeau August 3, 2008 at 3:51 am #

    Chris, I think it’s par for the course alarmist tactics, you trying to enuendo people you don’t know.

    Provide links proving your assertions or retract your slander.

  129. Chris Crawford August 3, 2008 at 4:15 am #

    James, what are you talking about? Please elaborate.

  130. James Mayeau August 3, 2008 at 4:47 am #

    Have you ever used simular dilligence investigating the assertions of Naomi Oreske?
    Have you investigated how many of those people are members of affiliated with Fenton communications, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund, The Tides Foundation, ect.
    Have you audited the membership of the IPCC reviewers? (Actually that would be a chore because the IPCC doesn’t see any need to name their reviewers – amazing amount of hubris isn’t it)
    Small “subset” of the Oregon petition? Or carefully cherrypicked promotion of the latest AGW pr?
    At any rate the skeptics have real names and real affiliations. There’s no hiding of the money stream like we see from the top down in the AGW camp. http://archive.columbiatribune.com/2002/Feb/20020226Comm007.asp

    You want to play follow the money?
    Lets play.
    “Cathy Zoi has spent two decades in the energy and environmental sectors in both the United States and Australia. In February 2007, she joined the Alliance for Climate Protection as its founding CEO in Palo Alto, California. The Alliance, established and chaired by Former Vice President Al Gore, is spearheading a massive campaign to persuade Americans and people elsewhere in the world of both the urgency and solvability of the climate crisis.”

    Cathy Zoi testified before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence on Thursday that the former vice president’s goal of generating all U.S. electricity from clean, renewable sources within 10 years is ambitious but attainable. http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSN3151584420080731?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=10218

    What are her credentials to speak as a climate expert? http://www.climateprotect.org/staff

    “Cathy served as Chair of the Board at the Climate Institute, a nonprofit Australian organization whose purpose is to focus public attention on the impact and importance of climate change. She was a member of the International Climate Change Taskforce (ICCT), a coalition of policymakers, business leaders, scientists, and non-governmental organizations from Britain, Australia and the United States. Launched in 2004, ICCT formulated a climate change strategy that went ‘beyond the Kyoto Protocol’ and made specific recommendations to member governments in January 2005.”

    “Prior to joining Bayard, Cathy was Assistant Director General of the New South Wales EPA. She co-chaired the Sustainability Advisory Council and was the founding CEO of the Sustainable Energy Development Authority, a $50 million fund to commercialize greenhouse-friendly technology. Landmark efforts during her tenure included the first nationwide Green Power program (1997) and the world’s largest solar-powered suburb (1998). Cathy has served on boards and advisory committees of a variety of companies in the clean technology sector.”

    “Prior to her move to Australia, Cathy served as Chief of Staff in the White House Office on Environmental Policy in the Clinton-Gore Administration, where she managed the staff working on environmental and energy issues. She was also a manager at the US Environmental Protection Agency where she pioneered the Energy Star Program. Previously, she worked as an energy analyst at ICF Incorporated and Pacific Gas & Electric Company.”

    So basicly, before Gore hired her, turning her into an extremist hardcore econazi, she had a job working for the evil energy sector. That obviously disqualifies her,

    – right Chris Crawford?

  131. Chris Crawford August 3, 2008 at 5:05 am #

    James, if you’d like to see some references on the Oregon Petition, I suggest that you start with the Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_petition); it’s a good starting point and has plenty of references.

    You seem to be approaching all of this as a mudslinging contest: who can throw the most mud? Mudslinging is a distraction from the significant issues; I criticized an earlier act of mudslinging by observing that the situation on the other side was worse. Perhaps I should have written “at least as bad” instead of “worse”. In any case, I was challenged to justify my claim that there are examples of intellectual dishonesty among the opponents of AGW, and I cited the case of the Oregon Petition.

    If you want to attack Cathy Zoi, go right ahead. The important issue here is the science; the matter of Cathy Zoi is irrelevant to AGW.

    You write, “Actually that would be a chore because the IPCC doesn’t see any need to name their reviewers – amazing amount of hubris isn’t it”

    Might I suggest that you examine Annex II and Annex III of the IPCC AR4 document? Annex II provides a list of contributors to the IPCC WGI Fourth Assessment Report; it lists over 500 contributors. Annex III provides a list of reviewers of the IPCC WGI Fourth Assessment Report; it lists over 400 such reviewers.

  132. James Mayeau August 3, 2008 at 5:13 am #

    Chris says, Mr. Hansen is talking about “meters per century”. How many centuries must we wait for “meters per century” to accumulate to “25 meters”? Does anybody here care to present a case proving that all this means that Bangladesh will be under water next year? By 2030? 2050? 2100?

    I’ll remind Chris that Bangladesh is adding land at a rate of 2000 square kilometres per century. And that is with no “ifs”, “buts” or “maybes”.
    http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003294.html

  133. Chris Crawford August 3, 2008 at 5:22 am #

    James Maeau writes, “I’ll remind Chris that Bangladesh is adding land at a rate of 2000 square kilometres per century.”

    Indeed so. And it will likely continue to add land for a while yet. At some unknown point in the future, probably a goodly distance into the future, this process will reverse. That’s the point that Mr. Hansen made.

    But the immediate problem is not land loss but flooding during storms. Bangladesh already suffers great loss of life in storms and that loss of life is likely to increase if the sea level rises, regardless of the amount of land being added to Bangladesh.

  134. James Mayeau August 3, 2008 at 7:12 am #

    Flooding will add more land still.
    Chris I looked at your wikipage on the Oregon Petition for references.
    Some were quite entertaining.
    http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=2748308&date=19980501&query=jokers+petition
    “Jokers add names to petition”
    Most wre nakedly partisans, regurgitating cherrypicked character dispersions without even a shred of corroberation (like you did in your 3:12 post). http://web.archive.org/web/20060823125025/http://www.sciam.com/page.cfm?section=sidebar&articleID=0004F43C-DC1A-1C6E-84A9809EC588EF21

    I was shocked {not really} that those methodical fact checkers at Wiki included Deltoid and Real Climate as credible sources, with regard to the Oregon Petition.

    The main thing that stands out though – all of their references predate the Oregon Petition (31,000 scientists) that we are talking.
    Also not one link demonstrating even one person misrepresenting themselve for the purposes of signing the petition.

    It’s time for you to retract your slander.

  135. Chris Crawford August 3, 2008 at 8:12 am #

    James, I suppose that we’ll have to agree to disagree on the validity of the Oregon Petition. I urge readers to look at the Wikipedia article and decide for themselves. Here’s that URL again:

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

    The organizers originally set up their petition to make it appear that it came from the National Academy of Sciences. The NAS repudiated the petition and wrote, in a news release, that the petition contradicted the official position of the NAS on global warming.

    What with duplicate names, names of corporations, last names without first names, the name of one of the Spice Girls, it’s all really rather silly. Even one of the organizers of the petition said “When we’re getting thousands of signatures there’s no way of filtering out a fake”.

    You write, “all of their references predate the Oregon Petition (31,000 scientists) that we are talking.”

    The references refer to the original Oregon Petition; a renewed effort was launched in October 2007. That renewed effort changed none of the flawed methodologies of the original effort, so the criticisms remain pertinent.

    You write, “I was shocked {not really} that those methodical fact checkers at Wiki included Deltoid and Real Climate as credible sources”

    I find these two sources credible in matters of climatology. You don’t. Hence, we must discuss the science rather than the authorities. That’s fine with me.

    So no, I have not slandered anybody and I have nothing to retract.

  136. Louis Hissink August 3, 2008 at 9:02 am #

    Wikipedia –

    A comment I received in an email from a top US scientist:

    “Something has to be done about Wikipedia, if only to alert people to its zealots, disparagers, slanderers, graduate student editors, some useful information, a great deal of misinformation. Universities generally will not accept Wikipedia as a valid reference.

    But it is approaching 20 million hits a day so it does has an impact on our society. How do you handle a non-refereed, non-peer-reviewed Blog site that usually comes up first on any search?”

    There is a book published on it as well – “Wikipedia – A Techno-Cult of Ignorance” by Paulo N Correa, MSc PhD, Alexandra N Correa HBA, Malgosia Askanas, PhD 2005.

    Patrick Michaels recounts that he noticed his birthdate was wrong in the Wikipedia entry, corrected it, and seconds later someone reinserted the wrong date.

    Wikipedia cannot be considered a credible reference source especially on matters associated with anthropogenic global warming issues.

  137. cohenite August 3, 2008 at 9:11 am #

    Chris, you really have shot yourself in the foot with the Petition; its original form was subject to inadequate checking which is why the organisers have revamped the validation procedure; but the irony is the some of the false listings were from advocates of AGW as boasts on a Deltoid indicate! Anyway the organisers have addressed the issue;

    http://www.petitionproject.org/gwdatabase/GWPP/Frequently_Asked_Questions.html

    The reason why the Petition causes so much anngst among the AGW supporters is that it proves the lie of consensus, which I’m sure you’ll admit is a lousy basis for deciding the validity of a scientific issue anyway. But the Petition is not the only list of sceptical scientists; this blog alone has listed a torrent of recent anti-AGW papers and there are plenty of other lists. But this is besides the point and symptomatic of the AGW tactics; a reversal of the onus of proof; AGW has to prove it is right; other people don’t have to disprove it; but, IMO, that has been done. Now I’m going to compile a list of the outrageous mistakes and cover-ups and obfuscations and lies and manifestations of misanthropy and extremism which have been forthcoming under the AGW banner in recent times; it won’t be hard; all I’ll have to do is quickly look at the archives on this site, McIntyre’s, Watts’, Stockwell’s, lucia’s, Bolt’s etc; I can tell you right now that the history of dubious statements and pronouncements made in support of AGW is almost as long as the Petition.

  138. Chris Crawford August 3, 2008 at 9:13 am #

    Louis, you don’t like Wikipedia. Lots of people do. I have seen a few small errors in it; there are errors in any encyclopedia. I vaguely recall a head-to-head comparison with a print encyclopedia in which Wikipedia came out very well.

    Moreover, you overlook an important point about my post: I did not rely on the authority of the Wikipedia entry itself, but on the references it makes to other authorities. And that is the real power of Wikipedia; it can direct the reader to additional sources of information.

    You write, “Wikipedia cannot be considered a credible reference source especially on matters associated with anthropogenic global warming issues.”

    Well, I suspect that’s only because you disagree with the statements made in Wikipedia. The problem here is that you would discredit just about EVERYBODY: the National Academy of Sciences of the USA and those of a dozen other countries; the IPCC; Wikipedia; and a number of other scientific institutions. Now, you have every right to believe that you are right and most everybody else is wrong. And I prefer to discuss the science itself rather than the authorities. I won’t claim that you are necessarily wrong because you disagree with the authorities. However, I do take exception to your claiming that the authorities are wrong because they disagree with you.

  139. Louis Hissink August 3, 2008 at 9:16 am #

    Laurence Solomon’s opinion is very relevant:

    In theory Wikipedia is a “people’s encyclopedia” written and edited by the people who read it – anyone with an Internet connection. So on controversial topics, one might expect to see a broad range of opinion.

    Not on global warming. On global warming we get consensus, Gore-style: a consensus forged by censorship, intimidation, and deceit.

    I first noticed this when I entered a correction to a Wikipedia page on the work of Naomi Oreskes, author of the now-infamous paper, published in the prestigious journal Science, claiming to have exhaustively reviewed the scientific literature and found not one single article dissenting from the alarmist version of global warming.

    Of course Oreskes’s conclusions were absurd, and have been widely ridiculed. I myself have profiled dozens of truly world-eminent scientists whose work casts doubt on the Gore-U.N. version of global warming. Following the references in my book The Deniers, one can find hundreds of refereed papers that cast doubt on some aspect of the Gore/U.N. case, and that only scratches the surface.

    Naturally I was surprised to read on Wikipedia that Oreskes’s work had been vindicated and that, for instance, one of her most thorough critics, British scientist and publisher Bennie Peiser, not only had been discredited but had grudgingly conceded Oreskes was right.

    I checked with Peiser, who said he had done no such thing. I then corrected the Wikipedia entry, and advised Peiser that I had done so.

    Peiser wrote back saying he couldn’t see my corrections on the Wikipedia page. I made the changes again, and this time confirmed that the changes had been saved. But then, in a twinkle, they were gone again. I made other changes. And others. They all disappeared shortly after they were made.

    Turns out that on Wikipedia some folks are more equal than others. Kim Dabelstein Petersen is a Wikipedia “editor” who seems to devote a large part of his life to editing reams and reams of Wikipedia pages to pump the assertions of global-warming alarmists and deprecate or make disappear the arguments of skeptics.

    I soon found others who had the same experience: They would try to squeeze in any dissent, or even correct an obvious slander against a dissenter, and Petersen or some other censor would immediately snuff them out.

    Now Petersen is merely a Wikipedia “editor.” Holding the far more prestigious and powerful position of “administrator” is William Connolley. Connolley is a software engineer and sometime climatologist (he used to hold a job in the British Antarctic Survey), as well as a serial (but so far unsuccessful) office seeker for England’s Green party.

    And yet by virtue of his power at Wikipedia, Connolley, a ruthless enforcer of the doomsday consensus, may be the world’s most influential person in the global warming debate after Al Gore. Connolley routinely uses his editorial clout to tear down scientists of great accomplishment such as Fred Singer, the first director of the U.S. National Weather Satellite Service and a scientist with dazzling achievements. Under Connolley’s supervision, Wikipedia relentlessly smears Singer as a kook who believes in Martians and a hack in the pay of the oil industry.

    Wikipedia is full of rules that editors are supposed to follow, and it has a code of civility. Those rules and codes don’t apply to Connolley, or to those he favors.

    “Peisers crap shouldn’t be in here,” Connolley wrote several weeks ago, in berating a Wikipedian colleague during an “edit war,” as they’re called. Trumping Wikipedia’s stated rules, Connelly used his authority to ensure Wikipedia readers saw only what he wanted them to see. Any reference, anywhere among Wikipedia’s 2.5 million English-language pages, that casts doubt on the consequences of climate change will be bent to Connolley’s bidding.

    Nor are Wikipedia’s ideological biases limited to global warming. As an environmentalist I find myself with allies and adversaries on both sides of the aisle, Left and Right. But there is no doubt where Wikipedia stands: firmly on the Left. Try out Wikipedia’s entries on say, Roe v. Wade or Intelligent Design, and you will see that Wikipedia is the people’s encyclopedia only if those people are not conservatives.

    Read the whole article at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/08/opinion/main4241293.shtml.

  140. Chris Crawford August 3, 2008 at 9:17 am #

    Oh, and one other thing I forgot to mention: for each and every entry in Wikipedia, there’s a discussion page where controversies can be aired. If you don’t like an entry in Wikipedia, don’t just sit there and bitch about it: get involved! Make your case on the discussion page. You may lose (you probably will if you try to convince them that you’re right and the National Academy of Sciences is wrong!) but at least you’ll get a chance to make your case before a group that has demonstrated a great deal of concern for even-handedness.

  141. wes george August 3, 2008 at 9:31 am #

    Chris Crawford,

    “Wes George offers the argument that Antarctic sea ice is the best proxy for Antarctic temperatures. I disagree.”

    Well, OK, maybe you’re right. Nevertheless, the IPCC can find no substantial evidence for significant warming in Antarctica. This is a major problem for AGW theory since the most pronounced effects of AGW are predicted to occur at the poles.

    “Bremerhaven, April 21, 2008. The Antarctic deep sea gets colder, which might stimulate the circulation of the oceanic water masses. This is the first result of the Polarstern expedition of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association that has just ended in Punta Arenas/Chile. At the same time satellite images from the Antarctic summer have shown the largest sea-ice extent on record. In the coming years autonomous measuring buoys will be used to find out whether the cold Antarctic summer induces a new trend or was only a “slip”.”

    http://idw-online.de/pages/de/news256486

    A small amount of warming at the poles is expected by natural interglacial warming. Where’s the large anthropogenic pulse predicted? The GCMs the IPCC cites all have predicted pronounced warming in Antarctic waters, but it’s not happening. The question is why?

    When a hypothesis makes a prediction and the prediction is not satisfied, the hypothesis must be modified or discarded. I am NOT saying AGW theory has been falsified. I’m saying it is superfluous to the observed climate variation at this point. That may change as more evidence is collated, then again it might not.

    “The fact that a phenomenon lies within the range of past variation does not justify our dismissing that phenomenon as natural.”

    Your forest fire metaphor makes a very good the point. Let’s run with your metaphor, ”If a forest fire destroys my home, does the existence of lightning as a possible cause for forest fires mean that the fire in question was not started by a human?”

    Of course, not. However, If dry lightening strikes preceeds the fire that destroyed your home, then yes, it is most likely the fire wasn’t anthropogenically induced.

    This is exactly the case with our current interglacial– Holocene warming is ongoing in our climate, like the dry lightening strikes, it preceeds the AGW hypothesis, therefore yes, it is quite likely that what has been labeled AGW is mostly simple naturally occurring interglacial climate variation.

    The fact that today’s climate is cooler than the MWP renders the AGW hypothesis superfluous, by showing that we are well with natural climate variation for an interglacial warming period.

    To claim otherwise is to see a horse-like animal with black and white stripes and assume that some evil capitalist must have painted the poor creature rather than think it might be a naturally occurring ungulate?

    People, use the bloody Occam’s Razor!

    http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/occamraz.html

    Chris, the only strongly supportive evidence for the AGW hypothesis is from GCMs based on unproven assumptions of climate sensitivity to CO2. Perhaps that what we should be debating?

  142. Louis Hissink August 3, 2008 at 9:40 am #

    Chris

    This is the whole problem with Wikipedia – scientific truth by consensus on a discussion page – take Patrick Michael’s birthdate – it’s either wrong or right, what is there to discuss about it? Peiser was misquoted and the error remains if I read Solomon correctly.

  143. Chris Crawford August 3, 2008 at 9:44 am #

    cohenite writes: ” its original form was subject to inadequate checking which is why the organisers have revamped the validation procedure…Anyway the organisers have addressed the issue;”

    I went to the URL you provide and there is nothing on that page describing any validation procedure. They CLAIM that they have verified the information, but provide no explanation as to the nature of that verification process. Look, anybody can make any claim they want, and they can loudly declare that their claim has been verified. That’s why we insist upon independent verification of the claims. That’s why Steve McIntyre is quite rightly insisting on seeing the Briffa data. Yet the organizers of this petition are offering absolutely nothing in the way of verification; they simply expect us to trust them. That just doesn’t cut it in my book. Without independent verification, their claims are so much hot air.

    Louis, your quotation from Mr. Solomon about Wikipedia strikes me as so much “sour grapes”. Mr. Solomon attempted to inject his personal opinion into a Wikipedia article and his attempt was foiled by the judgement of both the editor and the administrator. He claims that they’re biased. Why does he claim that they’re biased? Because they disagree with him. Well, I’m sure that they see him as biased.

    There is no simple resolution to this disagreement. I cannot address the specifics of this dispute because I have not studied the specifics. What I will say is that I myself have written some stuff for Wikipedia on matters in which I hold special expertise, and in one case one of my statements was in conflict with another statement. I was overruled on that point. I am not so childish as to conclude that the Wikipedia editors are biased against me. The point in question was a difficult one; I acknowledge that fair-minded people can disagree on such matters and accept their judgement without resentment, even though I think it incorrect.

  144. cohenite August 3, 2008 at 10:05 am #

    Chris; what do points 5-7 say about validation of duplicate names, forgeries and deaths? What validation would you consider adequate?

  145. Chris Crawford August 3, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    Wes George writes:

    “the IPCC can find no substantial evidence for significant warming in Antarctica.”

    Yes, this is correct. The evidence to date has a wide error bar. The Antarctic might be warming; there’s a smaller chance that it might be cooling. Our problem is insufficiency of data, not existence of data falsifying the hypothesis. We need to do more work on the subject.

    “That may change as more evidence is collated, then again it might not.”

    I am in complete agreement with you on this point. Let’s just see what the data says when we get it.

    Your logic regarding the cause of current warming befuddles me. First you assert that ” Holocene warming is ongoing in our climate”, suggesting that current warming trends are merely a continuation of warming that has been going on for the last 10K years. But then you write: “The fact that today’s climate is cooler than the MWP renders the AGW hypothesis superfluous, by showing that we are well with natural climate variation for an interglacial warming period.” So that same Holocene warming became a cooling and is now a warming again? There’s something very mixed-up in your logic here.

    Yes, it’s true that Holocene warming could explain current warming, but for the fact that the current round of warming appears to be much steeper than most previous warmings. More important, however, is the fact that the greenhouse effect is a well-established phenomenon and it could just as well be the cause of the current warming. You can’t simply dismiss the greenhouse effect as a cause merely because there are other possible causes.

    “To claim otherwise is to see a horse-like animal with black and white stripes and assume that some evil capitalist must have painted the poor creature rather than think it might be a naturally occurring ungulate?”

    That’s a real non-sequitur to me! Perhaps we should slow down and make our points step by step.

    “the only strongly supportive evidence for the AGW hypothesis is from GCMs based on unproven assumptions of climate sensitivity to CO2″

    I disagree. For me, the most convincing evidence is:

    1. we have seen an increase in temperature in the last hundred years
    2. That increase is roughly correlated with the increase in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.
    3. The increase in temperature is steeper than most natural increases in temperature
    4. Theory predicts that increases in CO2 concentrations should result in increases in temperature.

    There are, of course, many complexities to all this, but this simplified representation covers the basic factors I consider important.

    Louis makes two points I’d like to address. First, he appears to disapprove of “scientific truth by consensus on a discussion page”. Very well, Louis, how would you have it done? By fiat from Louis Hissink?

    Second, you cite the case of Patrick Michael:

    ” take Patrick Michael’s birthdate – it’s either wrong or right, what is there to discuss about it?”

    That’s the whole point of the discussion page. I went to what appears to be the Wikipedia page on Patrick Michaels. It quotes a birthday of February 15, 1950. If this is incorrect, then Mr. Michaels should have notified the Wikipedia editors via the discussion page. But there is no such mention there. How can you or Mr. Michaels complain about a factual error when you never bother to inform the editors of the error? Don’t bitch about it, fix it!

  146. Chris Crawford August 3, 2008 at 10:18 am #

    cohenite asks: “what do points 5-7 say about validation of duplicate names, forgeries and deaths? What validation would you consider adequate?”

    Point 5 mentions that some forgeries have appeared, and that they have attempted to clear some out. Point 6 says that some names are duplicates, and that some of these duplicates are really different people; Point 7 says that some signers have died and that when the organizers of the petition become aware of such deaths, they remove the name from the list.

    None of these points say anything about how the organizers verify each signature. Suppose a card comes in with a signature claiming to be from a person holding a PhD in climatology. Do the organizers determine whether there really is any such person with such a degree? How do they do it?

    You ask what validation would be adequate. I would not hold the organizers to the same standard of strictness that we apply to scientific data — every single datum must be available to be checked by an outsider. Instead, I would be satisfied with an independent random check of, say, 1% of the names on the list. Let somebody else go through the entire list, randomly select 1% of the names on the list, and then attempt to verify that 1) the person named actually possesses the degree declared and 2) that person actually did sign the petition.

  147. Steve Short August 3, 2008 at 10:27 am #

    Chris Crawford:

    “Steve Short, you write that I have misinterpreted the data but you aren’t addressing the fact that I’m citing a different source: the IPCC AR4 Chapter 2, page 137 cites a figure of 1.4 ppm/year increase in CO2 for the period 1960-2000. You instead cite the NOAA data on this. It appears that there is a disagreement between the two sources. I don’t want to make a federal case out of this conflict — I was curious as to your thoughts on it.”

    Hi, Chris. I am happy to discuss this issue with you. I don’t think there are any differences between us here. I actually have the NOAA data (since 1960) in a spreadsheet right here. The average annual increase i.e. linear increase in atmospheric CO2 for the period 1960 – 2000 was indeed 1.4 ppmv/year precisely as you state (sourced from IPCC AR4 Chap – in my files too). However a linear fit to the whole ‘anthropogenic’ period since (say) 1880 is poorer than an exponential fit and for example, most recently the average annual increase is around 1.7 ppmv/year e.g. between 1982 and 2007 (just arbitrarily choosing the last quarter century) the average annual increase was 1.68 ppmv/year. However, the linear fit for that period has a only a very slightly smaller R^2 than for the exponential fit (0.9935 versis 0.9951). As I’m sure you know, if your shorten (pun intended) the period of any segment of a curve the linear fit to that segment may be quite good.

    However, hopefully you would agree that if we are comparing things like (say) annualized % increases in anthropogenic CO2 emissions with (say) annualized % increases in atmospheric concentrations then it is wise (and useful) to use the exponential relationships.

    steven watkinson:

    Moving back again to the issue of the dissolution of forms of marine biogenic calcium carbonate (calcite and aragonaite) I note for the record that it has long been recognized that fossil records of shelled pteropods are relatively poor, primarily because their thin and fragile aragonitic shells are more susceptible to chemical and mechanical damage in comparison to calcitic skeletal remains of other marine organisms like foraminifers.

    Pteropods, and particularly those living in circum-polar waters are widely recognized as being a highly susceptible (probably the most highly susceptible) organism to potential decalcification due to the facts that their shells are aragonite rather than (the various) forms of calcite, the those shells are relatively thin and the solubility of CO2 increases with decreasing temperature (which in turns maximizes the solubility of calcium carbonate).

    However, once again it is relatively easy to model, using any solution thermodynamic code the point at which the shells of living peteropods would be susceptible to dissolution (decalcification).

    So, I’d like to specifically address thermodynamically the issue of pteropods and in particular Arctic and Antarctic pteropods living in water at (say) 0 C – the EXTREME CASE.

    At 0 C the Saturation Index of aragonite drops to 0.00 when the partial pressure of CO2 with which the water is equilibrated is 741 ppmv. Only at that point is decalcification of aragonite thermodynamically permitted and hence decalcification rates will begin to rise (from a base level of zero).

    At present rates (previously discussed) of atmospheric CO2 rise, this state would be reached in the year 2171 i.e. 168 years from now.

    Obviously, if the ‘Great Oceanic CO2 Conveyor’ were to show signs of failing and (say annual) rates of rise in atmospheric CO2 were to increase significantly this date might well be brought forward and we would need to carefully consider that.

    For a lot of interesting information on the Conveyor check out:

    http://www.rocketscientistsjournal.com/2006/11/gavin_schmidt_on_the_acquittal.html

    While I do not agree entirely with Jeff Glassman, principally where he ignores the highly significant role of cynanobacteria and the sinking fluxes of organic and inorganic carbon there is no doubt he has some powerful (and correct) points to make.

    Ann:

    Here is some interesting data from work currently being done in the North Pacific subtropical gyre.

    Oxygen
    DO Concentration 205-215 uM
    Relative air saturation 100-104%
    Gross primary production 0.3-6-1.2 umol O2/L/day
    Respiration 0.5-1.0 umol O2/L/day
    Nutrients
    Nitrate 1-5 nM
    Phosphate 200-100 nM
    DOC 80-100 uM
    DON 5-6 uM
    DOP 0.2-0.3 uM
    Microorganisms
    Chorophyll a 0.05-0.15 ug/L
    Prochlorococcus 2-3 x 10^8 cells/L
    Synechococcus 1-4 x 10^6 cells/L
    Heterotrophic bacteria 6-7 x 10^8 cells/L
    Biological Production
    Photosynthesis (light 14C-bicarbonate incorporation) 0.5-2.0 umol C/L/day
    Heterotrophic bacterial production (dark 3H-leucine incorporation) 0.07-0.28 umol C/L/day
    Phosphate uptake 3-4 nmol P/L/day
    DOP uptake 1-5 nmol P/L/day
    Methane
    Concentration 2-4 nM
    Relative air saturation 105-175%
    Sea-air-flux 0.9-3.5 umol/m^2/day

    Now, given that you obviously know what is “simplistic” and what is not, your test for this week is simply to comment on these data.

  148. Ivan (843 days & Counting) August 3, 2008 at 10:35 am #

    “Wes Grange states: “Of course, Bangladesh wasn’t underwater in the Middle Ages”
    Wes, have you any evidence to support your claim?”

    Plenty of history to draw on:
    http://asnic.utexas.edu/asnic/countries/bangla/bangladeshm.html
    “Proto-history and Pre-history:
    Geological evidence indicates that much of Bangladesh was formed 1 to 6.5 million years ago during the tertiary era. Human habitation in this region is, therefore, likely to be very old. The implements discovered in Deolpota village in the neighbouring state of West Bengal suggest that paleolithic civilization in the region existed about one hundred thousand years ago.”

    Also..
    http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=41159
    “The 600-year old Binat Bibi Mosque in Narinda..”

    I think even AGW nongs would agree it’s a bit hard to do all this when you’re under water.

  149. Ivan (843 days & Counting) August 3, 2008 at 10:40 am #

    “Ivan cites the cold spell in Peru. I remind Ivan: weather is not climate.”

    Let’s not be selective in our criticism, now. As I pointed out in the same post – the WMO were banging on about the ‘weather’ in the Netherlands at the same. It seems that when it supports the AGW argument, it is ‘climate’, and when it doesn’t it is ‘weather’. More AGW Newspeak.

  150. Chris Crawford August 3, 2008 at 11:01 am #

    Ivan, I think you misunderstand the line of reasoning that has been followed so far with respect to Bangladesh. The starting point was the claim that Mr. Hansen had predicted that Bangladesh would end up underwater. We later established that Mr. Hansen had declared that, if the sea level were to rise by 25 meters, much of Bangladesh would indeed end up underwater — simply because most of Bangladesh is at an altitude of less that 25 meters.

    From there, somebody made the observation that some evidence regarding this matter would be derivable from the MWP, when sea levels were slightly higher (we believe). Mr. Grange asserted that Bangladesh wasn’t underwater during the Middle Ages. I countered by asking what evidence he had for this. Specifically, I asked if there were any map of the Bengali coastline.

    Now you come along and note that there were parts of Bangladesh that weren’t underwater. This doesn’t help resolve the question. What parts of Bangladesh were not below sea level? All of the current land mass? I doubt it — the sea level has fallen and there has been considerable silt deposition.

    The fact is, we don’t have the data to use the MWP as an indicator in this matter.

    Next, Ivan defends his weather:climate conflation by pointing out that some AGW adherents do it, too. Ivan, two wrongs don’t make a right. So why don’t we just agree up front that weather is not climate and we don’t accept weather arguments as indicating anything significant about climate, OK?

  151. Steve Short August 3, 2008 at 11:02 am #

    Actually I am rather glad that Chris Crawford has raised the issue of the rate of rise of atmospheric CO2. This is because, while much of the focus of argument has been heavily of the rate of rise in global surface, tropsheric or stratopsheric temeratures, there has been a far less critical examination of the patterns inherent in the rates of rise of atmospheric CO2 since the adoption of the modern agreed method of CO2 analysis by Keeling in 1957 (a matter which itself is not without controversy – but let us put that aside here).

    This is what Jeff Glassman has to say about his statistical examination of the modern atmospheric CO2 record:

    “In your analysis on your Questioning Climate blog, you first removed the linear trend from the global and MLO (Mauna Loa) records for the selected interval. That is a conventional first step, and objective. In the next step, you partitioned the reduced records into “medium-term” trends. Not only is this step subjective, but it removes from the data what you ultimately should want to observe – the underlying, non-seasonal variations in CO2 concentration.

    In your third step, you estimated a sinusoid to fit the reduced data using guesses, a “crude amplitude match”, and a “close enough” phase estimate. Instead, you should fit sinusoids at the fundamental period of one year to the two records, solving for the amplitude and phase that produces the minimum mean square error. Then subtract the best sinusoids from the detrended records to produce another pair of intermediate records. Repeat the process for the harmonics of the fundamental until the process runs out of gas. At each step, measure the variance (power) reduction in the reduced records. This way you will uncover the underlying concentration variations in the records.

    The two records are quite similar. The global is less noisy, as suggested by NOAA. The trends are quite similar: 1.618 ppm/year for the global data and 1.639 ppm/year for MLO. The measured seasonal components are as follows, where the fundamental or first harmonic has a period of one year:

    MLO
    harmonic Amplitude,
    ppm Relative
    phase, mos Relative
    power, %
    1st 2.91 0 48.0
    2nd 0.81 4.74 5.8
    3rd 0.07 6.13 0.05

    Global
    harmonic Amplitude,
    ppm Relative
    phase, mos Relative
    power, %
    1st 1.97 0 34.7
    2nd 0.67 4.76 5.4
    3rd 0.14 -2.64 0.24

    The fourth harmonics are in the noise. NOAA removed the seasonal fluctuations and their harmonics efficiently in the records it called trends.

    The two fundamental seasonal components differ in phase by 1.15 months. That is a random variable depending on global CO2 gradient dynamics, both static and seasonal, and sampling errors because of the spatial distribution of the measuring stations and because of the Monte Carlo selection of data.

    {Rev. 6/29/08. Keeling, id., pp. 202-203, reported,

    A clearly defined seasonal trend in concentration is found at all locations in the northern hemisphere. Going from south to north, the annual range of concentration becomes greater and the month of minimum concentration occurs earlier. Bold added.}

    The variations in CO2 concentration underlying the seasonal effects are quite similar, comparing the global to the MLO average records. To remove much of the noise, form the cumulative records for both. Then you will see previously undiscovered events in the CO2 record, most of which were discarded with the medium-term trends.

    The average, global CO2 concentration (rise – my insterion) was close to nominal (1.62 ppm/yr) until 1987.9 when it suddenly began to rise at an additional 1.8 ppm/yr, over twice nominal. Between 1992.2 and 1998.2, it FELL at 3.18 ppm/yr below nominal. Between 2005.6 and 2008.2, the CO2 concentration rose at 7.83 ppm/yr above nominal. These changes and other lesser changes in CO2 accumulation persist for years. These might be due entirely to the MLO record, depending on the UNPUBLISHED WEIGHTING (my caps) weighting NOAA used to form the global record. If so, then the events could be due to regional events at the Hawaii station. Regardless, the events need to be checked against global and regional temperature records, and perhaps the Southern Oscillation Index, and it needs to be checked with the conjecture that the added CO2 is anthropogenic.”

    In other words, there is a deep story also emerging in the pattern of atmospheric CO2 rise – especially between (say) 1988 and 2008 (the present day).

    This is a story which has yet to be unravelled and will likely involve a number of ‘players’ from Man to Cyanobacteria to PDO to ENSO to Arctic to Great Southern Ocean to Antarctic to….Sun?

  152. Chris Crawford August 3, 2008 at 11:33 am #

    Steve, I can suggest two possible factors. First is the 1991 Pinatubo eruption, which might be a factor in the decrease from 1992.2 to 1998.2. The timing isn’t perfect, but it’s a possibility.

    Second is the fact that anthropogenic emissions of CO2 are rising sharply. Have you tried a fit with Figure 2.3 of IPCC AR4?

  153. wes george August 3, 2008 at 11:37 am #

    Chris said:

    “So that same Holocene warming became a cooling and is now a warming again? There’s something very mixed-up in your logic here.”

    Don’t be disingenuous. Just because the T signal is extremely noisy on a decadal or even century scale doesn’t mean the general trend of an interglacial isn’t upward on the 1,000 year scale until it peaks. Cooling and warming trends exist inside the larger trend. Since we are well with in the band of natural variation of temperature for the later Holocene, it’s poor reasoning to propose extraordinary circumstances account for today’s climate.

    BTW, it’s just this natural level of climate noise, which makes all evidence of AGW suspect at best.

    “Yes, it’s true that Holocene warming could explain current warming, but for the fact that the current round of warming appears to be much steeper than most previous warmings.”

    That’s a false statement because no one knows the steepness of trends before about the 1880’s. If anything the last few decades of earth science research has tended to move away from uniformism toward punctuated, more rapid change interface in many different fields.

    “More important, however, is the fact that the greenhouse effect is a well-established phenomenon and it could just as well be the cause of the current warming.”

    That’s “the science is settled” argument combined with a logical fallacy.

    You just said that I cannot prove that AGW doesn’t exist, therefore it does. Really now. The burden of proof lies with you to prove that the AGW hypothesis does account for the observable climate. I’ve already shown that a less complex hypothesis accounts for today’s climate without AGW. That’s all I have to do.

    You just refuse to grok the principle of parsimony.

    “The principle states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory. The principle is often expressed in Latin as the lex parsimoniae (“law of parsimony” or “law of succinctness”): “entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem”, roughly translated as “entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity”.

    This is often paraphrased as “All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best.” In other words, when multiple competing theories are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selecting the theory that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities.”

    –wiki

    “You can’t simply dismiss the greenhouse effect as a cause merely because there are other possible causes.”

    Yes you can when the other possible cause is the simplest theory that makes the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities: the natural climate variation of the Holocene existed for 9,950 years and it likely has continued into the last 50.

    It’s up to you to explain why today is so different from the last 9,950 years to require an extravagant new theory to account for the data. You have failed to do this. While we have shown over and over again why today’s climate isn’t anything out of the ordinary.

  154. Chris Crawford August 3, 2008 at 12:15 pm #

    Wes, we’re going round and round. Let’s see if we can’t sort this out.

    Your central theme seems to be that the warming we have seen in the last hundred years is consistent with previous Holocene warming and therefore, since a continuation of past trends is the simplest possible assumption, the best hypothesis to explain the current warming is that it is simply a continuation of past warming.

    I will proceed on the assumption that this represents a fair statement of your basic thesis. If it is not, please correct me and we’ll take it from there.

    Let’s now present your argument in graphical form. You draw a graph of temperature versus time for the last 10K years and point out that the general trend of this graph is upward. You therefore argue that the simplest hypothesis is to simply extend that line onward and upward.

    My first objection to your case is that, in fact, the general trend of the graph is NOT upward. Temperature history for the last 10 ka is a real mess. It appears that there was a peak around 6 ka ago, with overall declining temperatures since, but different regions show different behaviors. Most of the Holocene warming took place in the first half of the Holocene; since then, temperatures have shown little in the way of a simple trend — until the 20th century, when they suddenly start shooting up.

    Hence, a simple extrapolation of past temperatures does not yield anything like the rising temperatures we’re seeing now.

    Indeed, if you look at the last 1200 years (see Figure 6.10 of IPCC AR4), you don’t get anything at all like a steady upward trend; you get a lot of meandering with a sudden jump in the 20th century. I strongly urge to examine that graph and read its associated text closely. That sudden jump in temperature in the 20th century is the fundamental empirical evidence in favor of the AGW hypothesis.

  155. Chris Crawford August 3, 2008 at 12:18 pm #

    Oh, I also urge you to read the item on page 465:
    Frequently Asked Question 6.2
    Is the Current Climate Change Unusual Compared to Earlier Changes in Earth’s History?

  156. cohenite August 3, 2008 at 1:21 pm #

    Chris; AR4 is a deeply flawed document; but rather address that directly I want to look at what I believe is a misrepresentation of temp rise over the 20thC; the conventional temp graph of say the last 150 years typically shows a reasonably steep upward trend in the last 30 years of the 20thC; and I’m indebted to Bob Teasdale, who I think is doing some good statistical analysis, for these graphs;

    http://i32.tinypic.com/2s01m5y.jpg

    HadCrut uses a base period to ascertain temp anomalies of 1961-90; the PDO phase shifts during the 20thC were a +PDO with hot and dry temps from 1900 (approx) to 1940; a wet and cool -ve PDO from 1940-76; and another +PDO with warm and dry from 1976-2002; the base period of 61-90 straddles the PDO phase shifts from cool to warm so you would expect that the mean over the 30 years would neutralise any tainting from comparing temps in a natural cold climate period with temps in a natural warm climate period; but it doesn’t; that straddle average will always be lower than temps in a completely warm period, and the trend of temps after the onset of the warm PDO phase will feature a step-up after the +ve PDO begins; likewise temps before the average period which were entirely during a cool PDO will always be anomalously lower and will feature a step down so that even though temps during the first +ve PDO at the beginning of the 20thC show an upward trend they do so from a -ve anomalous, that is cooler base.

    Bob overcomes this base period taint by using a method of calculating temp by subtracting the prior yeat anomaly value from the current year value, then repeating the calculation over the full HadCrut range of 1850-2007. Temps are rising whenever the “annual change” is above zero, and dropping when they are below zero; this method removes the straddling issue because the temps are consistent with the prevailing climate phase of the PDO; if there was an underlying secular upward trend the graph would still have an upward trend;

    http://i25.tinypic.com/e6zj0l.jpg

    A comparison is here;

    http://i26.tinypic.com/2hmpw6r.jpg

    There is no upward temp trend during the 20thC; what there is is entirely a construct of base period taint; the situation with GISS is even worse because its base period is 1951-80.

    This is turning into a long post so I’ll deal with lucia’s and John McLean’s contribution to this in another.

  157. cohenite August 3, 2008 at 2:02 pm #

    Continuing; HadCrut and GISS provide weightings to compensate for their relatively cooler baselines; for HadCrut it is 0.15, and for GISS it is 0.24; but these are inadequate because they do not allow for further natural variations such as Pinatubo and the super El Nino of ’98, although these factors affected all data collectors;

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/notes#baselines:

    The graph of recent history is informative as to the differences between the collectors; in respect of ENSO and whether it is masking a continuing trend lucia has removed the effect of the super El Nino from the recent data;

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/ipcc-falsifies-gavin.gif

    This really is an indictment, once again, of the failure of the models and GISS to provide accurate scenarios and reliable data; which brings me back to my original point about the scandalous nature of AR4 based, as it is, on GISS revisionism;

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/02/a_tale_of_two_thermometers/

    The most interesting graphs are the 1999 and 2007 GISS graphs of historical temp records; faced with this sort of manipulation the weighting for cooler base periods is a joke.

    IMO a strong case exists to conclude that there has been no temp increase over the 20thC; and that being the case, since CO2 has, apparently, being going up during that period, AGW is a failed thesis; well we know that already because of Koutsoyiannis, amongst others. I say apparently in respect of CO2 increases because the latest results from the AIRS satellite instrument show some interesting figures about CO2 increases and uniform mixing. Relying, therefore on any IPCC document to prove AGW is rather like relying on a religious text to explain reality: it requires an act of faith.

  158. James Mayeau August 3, 2008 at 2:06 pm #

    Here is real climate on the Oregon petition.http://www.realclimate.org/wiki/index.php?title=OISM
    Isn’t that neat? Isn’t that cosy and comfortable? RC has their own Wiki complete with editor blocking. What could be more perfect for a bunch of socialist propagandists?

    Oh on the actual RC website they have very little on the Oregon Petition. They sure do a lot of chest thumping over it though. Big time condesention of Dr. Seitz a past president of the National Acadamy of Sciences. They call him senile, dishonest, immoral, unethical, poor excuse for a scientist, tabacco scientist, pretty much anything and everything you could imagine a bunch of no account scumbags like RC would say.
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/10/oregon-institute-of-science-and-malarkey/
    The one thing they don’t show however, and it’s a very telling point, they do not show any of the signers of the CURRENT (32,000 scientists and counting) Oregon Petition misrepresenting themselves.

    – They couldn’t do it with the first oregon petition either BTW.

    RC however completely buys into the Mannian hcokeystick and tree temps as most of the rest of their kiping revolves around the OP letter not conforming to the Hockeystick millenial climate reconstruction.

    Chris says, “I find these two sources credible in matters of climatology.” – refering to Deltoid and RC.
    You find the hockeystick graph and tree core reconstructions as credible?

    Aslo Chris says, “So no, I have not slandered anybody and I have nothing to retract. ”

    You slandered every signer of the Oregon Petition by asserting that

    1. many could not be found on the Internet,
    2. some were people who work for the oil and chemical industries
    3. one appeared to be the wife of a manager of an oil facility in Alaska.
    4. One was a city councilman in Anchorage.
    5. I found one genuine scientist: a biologist who had published a paper on insects in the Amazon 30 years ago. That was the only publication of his that I could find.
    6. One was a forestry worker in Washington.

    I’ll say it again.
    PROOVE YOUR ASSERTION or retract your slander.

  159. James Mayeau August 3, 2008 at 2:22 pm #

    Chris says “Indeed, if you look at the last 1200 years (see Figure 6.10 of IPCC AR4), you don’t get anything at all like a steady upward trend; you get a lot of meandering with a sudden jump in the 20th century. I strongly urge to examine that graph and read its associated text closely. That sudden jump in temperature in the 20th century is the fundamental empirical evidence in favor of the AGW hypothesis.

    James says: that sudden jump in temperature is the splice where parties unknown with methods unknown tacked on Jimmy Hansen’s Giss temp to the Mannian tree core studies.
    “Fundamental empiracle evidence” he says. It’s a wonder that the Oregon Petition doesn’t number in the million of signatories.

    I wonder does the IPCC “adjust” the splice to match Jimmy’s ongoing adjustments of pre 1970 data, or do they just consider the graph “close enough” for government work? Good enough to fool greenpeace.

  160. Chris Crawford August 3, 2008 at 3:01 pm #

    There’s a real irony here: immediately after being accused of failing to grok Occam’s Razor and preferring a complex hypothesis to a simple one, I am presented with an argument coming from the other extreme, claiming that instrumental temperatures should be “corrected” by means of a complex statistical manipulation that massages the temperature change right out of existence. Cohenite, you use some undefined terms, so it’s impossible to determine precisely what calculation you’re performing, but it is obvious that you’re building a lot of assumptions into your analysis, assumptions that would need to be taken apart piece by piece in order to justify your calculations.

    You dismiss the IPCC AR4 as a “deeply flawed document”. You are of course welcome to your own opinion, but I suspect that you dismiss that report because it disagrees with your beliefs. I do not dismiss that report, nor do I dismiss the National Academy of Sciences. You are welcome to declare that thousands of climatologists are wrong and you are right; as for myself, I find the IPCC AR4 document well-reasoned and careful in its statements of the degrees of certainty it has for its many conclusions. But again, there’s no need for us to butt heads over this. I encourage every reader to download the documents, read them, and decide for themselves. You may find them here:

    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/wg1-report.html

    James Mayeau defends the Oregon Petition with the observation that “The one thing they don’t show however, and it’s a very telling point, they do not show any of the signers of the CURRENT (32,000 scientists and counting) Oregon Petition misrepresenting themselves.” James, you have reversed the logic here. Let’s take the case of Mr. William B. Hoeing, who shows up as a signer of the Oregon Petition. I just did a Google search on this name, and I got eight hits for it. Every single one of those hits is part of a listing of names of signers of the Oregon Petition. In other words, Mr. William B. Hoeing has no apparent existence on the Internet other than as a signer of the Oregon Petition.

    Now, first I’d like to make the observation that it’s rather odd that a scientist by the name of William B. Hoeing has no apparent independent existence on the Internet. I tried a number of other names and got these hits:

    Thomas Hoeing: 314 Google hits
    Robert Hoeing: 320 Google hits
    Chris Hoeing: 29 Google hits
    Richard Hoeing: 6 Google hits
    Joseph Hoeing: 374 Google hits

    So I did a Google search on plain old “William Hoeing” and got two hits: one showed a William Hoeing from Verizon taking second place in the “12th Subaru of Dallas DFW Championship Series presented by Quiznos’Sub Sister Grove Race: Sport Clydesdale Men 40-99″ The second was a reference in the December 13, 1880 edition of the New York Times regarding the court date for a “William Hoeing” for robbery. I doubt this is our man.

    BTW, I just happened to pick that name at random. How many other randomly chosen names have never been mentioned anywhere on the Internet? My doctor is on the Internet. My dentist is on the Internet. My next-door neighbor has 9 Google hits. I did Google searches on every scientist I know personally and every single one of them had multiple hits. Well, not every single one — one fellow who died in 1975 didn’t show up.

    My quest to locate the real William B. Hoeing doesn’t prove much, but I do think it humorous that such an eminent scientist as William B. Hoeing doesn’t show up when a robber from the 1880s bearing the same name DOES show up. Oh, well.

    But on to the real point: the organizers of the Oregon Petition are asking us to believe that there really is a person named William B. Hoeing, that this person is a scientist, and that this person signed their petition. You are apparently demanding that we prove this is wrong. That’s backwards. The point of verification is that, if they really are on the up-and-up, they should be able to provide us with some sort of identifying information so that his existence, education, and opinion can be verified. They don’t provide any such information. Therefore I reject their claims.

    You demand (for the third time, I believe), that I prove my assertions or retract my slander. Believe it or not, my answer this time is the same as it was the previous two times: no. But you’re welcome to keep demanding.

  161. Steve Short August 3, 2008 at 3:37 pm #

    Chris:

    “Steve, I can suggest two possible factors. First is the 1991 Pinatubo eruption, which might be a factor in the decrease from 1992.2 to 1998.2. The timing isn’t perfect, but it’s a possibility.

    Second is the fact that anthropogenic emissions of CO2 are rising sharply. Have you tried a fit with Figure 2.3 of IPCC AR4?”

    These are useful questions. If you checked out my article in Jennifers blog of 4 June you will see that I am particularly interested in the biogeochemistry of the great Southern Ocean.

    Here below are the best estimates of the degree to which simple mean annual atmospheric CO2 levels for ALL stations from 40 S to the Pole have lagged BELOW the official NOAA global averages (in %). Thus these are NEGATIVE offsets. These have been computed from each and every one of the monthly lags. The value of ‘n’ indicates the number of stations taking part, which has steadily increased from 2 in 1982, the last year when only 2 stations were measuring CO2.

    Note that in some years there were known methodological issues at some stations, resulting in an incomplete annual record not covering all months/seasons. These incomplete annual records have not been used. The errors are expressed at the ± standard deviation level.

    1982 0.35±0.02 n=2
    1983 0.34±0.08 n=3
    1984 0.38±0.08 n=3
    1985 0.42±0.09 n=4
    1986 0.49±0.06 n=3
    1987 0.43±0.11 n=4
    1988 0.50±0.11 n=4
    1989 0.54±0.09 n=3
    1990 0.53±0.09 n=4
    1991 0.56±0.06 n=5
    1992 0.45±0.10 n=6
    1993 0.43±0.10 n=6
    1994 0.44±0.10 n=5
    1995 0.50±0.02 n=6
    1996 0.53±0.05 n=6
    1997 0.48±0.05 n=6
    1998 0.50±0.04 n=5
    1999 0.51±0.02 n=6
    2000 0.52±0.02 n=7
    2001 0.48±0.02 n=4
    2002 0.47±0.03 n=5
    2003 0.53±0.04 n=7
    2004 0.51±0.05 n=6
    2005 0.53±0.03 n=6
    2006 0.59±0.03 n=7
    2007 0.51±0.03 n=7
    Long term average 0.48±0.06%
    A linear fit through these data has an R^2 of 0.44. A cubic spline fit through these data has an R^2 of 0.65.

    By way of comparison, here is the equivalent record for the % lag (% negative offset) of the (single) Easter Island Station, located in the middle of the high primary productivity, Southeast Pacific Gyre, below the global average:

    1994 0.65
    1995 incomplete record
    1996 0.63
    1997 0.59
    1998 incomplete record
    1999 0.66
    2000 0.70
    2001 0.63
    2003 0.53
    2004 incomplete record
    2005 0.60
    2006 0.66
    2007 0.61
    Long-term average 0.64±0.06%

    Now, when one considers that; while the rate of increase in anthropogenic CO2 emissions has steadily increased over the last quarter century so that now it is rising at about 3.3%/year, it can ALSO be clearly seen that:

    (1) over the same period the rate of increase in average global atmospheric CO2 has remained at 0.45%/year, now over 7 times slower; and

    (2) in the great Southern Ocean atmospheric CO2 levels have ALWAYS consistently lagged behind the average glabal CO2 in every year by anywhere between about another 0.35 and 0.55%; and

    (3) there is absolutely no evidence of that lag (offset) DECREASING towards the expected 0.00% difference from the global mean rate of rise over that quarter century and possibly some evidence that it actually increasing; while at the same time

    (4) over the South-east Pacific Gyre, CO2 levels have always consistently lagged behind the average global mean CO2 in every year by about 0.64% since measurements commenced 14 years ago in 1994; and

    (5) there is also absolutely no evidence of that lag decreasing towards the expected 0.00% difference from the global mean over that quarter century.

    So, on the one hand, we have the human race conducting a giant experiment on the planet by pumping fossil CO2 into the atmosphere YET, ON THE OTHER HAND we also have clear evidence the planet itself is also somehow conducting a giant experiment of its own, effectively on the human race itself, valiantly mopping that CO2 up.

    Thus it would only be a brave and foolhardy person who asserted that there is any evidence that the planet itself is losing. To my mind it’s clearly doing damn well, thus far.

    Under these circumstances, IMO it would also be only a fool who said that there was no justification for identifying just how, where and why the planet was doing so well and possibly helping it to perform that task, given that such a ‘great experiment’ is being conducted by the planet on us and is already fully underway.

    Please notice I have deliberately mentioned ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming’ at any point in the above discussion.

  162. Steve Short August 3, 2008 at 3:38 pm #

    Sorry, correction: ” deliberately NOT mentioned…”

  163. cohenite August 3, 2008 at 6:01 pm #

    “complex statistical manipulation that massages the temp change right out of existence.” No it doesn’t, it still shows temp change consistent with PDO phase shift; the method isn’t complex, it’s done on an annual variance basis; and what “undefined trems” have I used? I go to great length to explain the defects of base period averaging, something HadCrut and GISS both recognise by virtue of their ‘weighting’, and then I explain how that is insufficient. And then, to rub salt into the wound, you endorse AR4 as being “well reasoned and careful in its statements of the degrees of certainty it has for its many conclusions.” Read the Executive Summary on pp131-132 where their degrees of certainty for clouds and H2O are non-existent, and then check FAQ 3.1 where their concept of the Enhanced Greenhouse absolutely depends on a defined and predictable feedback from H2O. This is cognitive dissonance writ large.

  164. Ivan (843 days & Counting) August 3, 2008 at 7:10 pm #

    “Ivan, I think you misunderstand the line of reasoning that has been followed so far with respect to Bangladesh.”

    No – I completely understand the line of ‘reasoning’ underpinning the discussion. It’s childishly simple: “Simple Hansen Says that sea levels are rising because global warming is melting the polar icecaps. This flooding will inundate Bangladesh. Therefore, according to this logic, Bangladesh must have been flooded during the MWP (given that the MWP is not part of the AGW catechism).” There – have I missed anything?

    “simply because most of Bangladesh is at an altitude of less that 25 meters.”
    In fact well below. If you had bothered doing any research, you would have learned that most of Bangladesh is, in fact, at an altitude of less than 10 metres. Therefore making it even more prone to flooding or inundation. According to most estimations, if the sea level rose by a metre about 50% of the land would be flooded. But is there any record of this ever happening? Of course not. This is a completely spurious and unsubstantiated line of argument.

    “Now you come along and note that there were parts of Bangladesh that weren’t underwater.”
    What I ‘came along and noted’ was that there is no available documentation that asserts that ANY of Bangladesh was underwater. What is now Bangladesh is part of one of the oldest developed civilsations in the world. It is almost inconceivable that a significant part of the country could have been inundated without there being some historical record.

    In addition, all of the main coastal cities (Dhaka, Chittagong, Barisal) are at elevations of 4m or less. All have historical records dating back centuries. Chittagong goes back (at least) as far the 9th century as a seaport. And anyway – it’s not up to the ‘sceptics’ to prove that Bangladesh wasn’t underwater, it’s up to the proponents of the argument to prove that it was.

    “All of the current land mass? I doubt it”
    Unfortunately, your doubts don’t amount to a hill of beans. Facts are what matter.

    “Next, Ivan defends his weather:climate conflation by pointing out that some AGW adherents do it, too. Ivan, two wrongs don’t make a right. So why don’t we just agree up front that weather is not climate and we don’t accept weather arguments as indicating anything significant about climate, OK?”

    Not “some AGW adherents” — the WMO. As long as they resort to this tactic on their website – when they of all people should be following the principle that “weather is not climate”, then it’s not OK. When they engage in this sort of deception, they are using their ‘authority’ to lend credence to this fallacy.

  165. James Mayeau August 3, 2008 at 7:11 pm #

    Chris says; James, you have reversed the logic here. Let’s take the case of Mr. William B. Hoeing, who shows up as a signer of the Oregon Petition. I just did a Google search on this name, and I got eight hits for it. Every single one of those hits is part of a listing of names of signers of the Oregon Petition.

    You see what he did there? He inserted his own criteria ie google search. If I were to try I wouldn’t be able to find my sister, brother, father, uncle, aunt, cousin, nephew, or niece on google.

    It’s your lucky day Chris. I’m not asking the impossible (even though you are going the long way around the barn to try and make it appear so). All I want to see is you naming the people you say you already found. Should be simple.
    Show me the wife of the Alaska oilman.
    Show me the city councilman in Anchorage.
    Show me the genuine scientist.
    Show me that forestry worker in Washington.

    Not so tough. You already did it once. Or so you say.
    I think it is no coincidence that you are avoiding the easy to pretend I am being unreasonable.
    I think you never found these un named people.
    If you had found somebody who had misrepresented themselves on the OP you would be only too happy to report it.
    But instead you conceal their identies. Why are you keeping these names classified?
    You ever think of trying Bill Hoeing?
    http://preview.ussearch.com/preview/ala/newsearch?&searchLName=Hoeing&searchFName=B&searchState=MD&searchCity=Lutherville%20Timonium&adID=6194003754&adsource=9&TID=1&cid=background&searchtab=background

    William B of Bel Air Maryland – bet you did.

  166. Ann August 3, 2008 at 7:31 pm #

    ” Ann:

    Here is some interesting data from work currently being done in the North Pacific subtropical gyre.”- Steve

    GEEEZ, I know that you and Jan Pompe want to excell in calculi, but can you please put this in a context, please?

    BTW, you and Jan don’t suffer from the savant syndrome????LOL!

    Even if I do have an exam in biochemistry and medical statistics , I’m nowadays only Annimal;) , as Pixie stated. Basically , I make only comments on whales , birds , other animals and fisheries:)!!!!

  167. Ivan (843 days & Counting) August 3, 2008 at 7:39 pm #

    “Basically , I make only comments on whales , birds , other animals and fisheries:)!!!!”

    Great. There’s nothing the AGW ‘discussion’ needs more than another single-issue zealot.

  168. Louis Hissink August 3, 2008 at 7:58 pm #

    As we continue to listen to the thunder of silence which is AGW reasoning, we continue to be regaled by other distractions.

  169. wes george August 3, 2008 at 7:59 pm #

    Chris says:

    …”Indeed, if you look at the last 1200 years (see Figure 6.10 of IPCC AR4), you don’t get anything at all like a steady upward trend; you get a lot of meandering with a sudden jump in the 20th century. I strongly urge to examine that graph and read its associated text closely. That sudden jump in temperature in the 20th century is the fundamental empirical evidence in favor of the AGW hypothesis….”

    Well, I can see why you didn’t provide the link to your verbally described graphic. In reality Figure 6.10 demolishes your whole argument once and for all.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/ipcc2007/fig610.png

    I strongly urge everyone to examine the IPCC AR4 graph Chris Crawford cites as evidence of AGW. It might well be the single most revealing graphic the IPCC has ever released.

    Just what is so remarkable about the “sudden jump” in temp in the early 20 th century? It’s a carbon copy of the sudden jump in temp in 950 AD, perhaps bit stronger because of the natural bias of the IPCC bureaucracy is to justify their continued funding. It would not be in the IPCC’s vested interest to paint the MWP as much warmer than today.

    Nevertheless we’ve already shown that Vikings operated dairy farms in Greenland and Elephant Seals lived in Antarctica where they are extinct today because it’s to cold to breed there. It was warmer in 950 AD than today. So the 950 AD temperature peak of the IPCC graphic 6.10 is too low. Many researchers today agree. If not there would be dairy farms in Greenland today. .

    If this is the “fundamental empirical evidence for AGW” then it’s tedious to have to repeatedly state that there is no good case for the AGW hypothesis because we are well within natural climate variation, slopes, meanderings, jumps, manipulations, etc…

    But here goes, one…more…time….

    Since the “fundamental empirical evidence” for AGW is a carbon copy of a warming event that took place 1,000 years before human CO2 emissions were an issue, the AGW theory is a superfluous construct that violates the basic principle of parsimony. The only proper scientific explanation is that we are well within the natural variation of the current interglacial.

    Furthermore, it follows that if human CO2 emissions are not driving the GW of the 20 th century, as they did not in the 9 th century, any attempt to mitigate natural GW would be worse than futile, it would divert precious resources from other REAL environmental and human problems that need our attention.

  170. SJT August 3, 2008 at 8:16 pm #

    “Just what is so remarkable about the “sudden jump” in temp in the early 20 th century? It’s a carbon copy of the sudden jump in temp in 950 AD, perhaps bit stronger because of the natural bias of the IPCC bureaucracy is to justify their continued funding. It would not be in the IPCC’s vested interest to paint the MWP as much warmer than today.”

    Science is about understanding how things work. It is our ability to research climate that gives us the ability to make that call. If all you want to do is sit back and watch world in dumb ignorance, and say ‘I have no idea’, feel free.

  171. Louis Hissink August 3, 2008 at 8:31 pm #

    SJT

    What caused the sudden jump in 950 AD?

  172. Ann August 3, 2008 at 8:32 pm #

    Fishing news from the commercial industry ( note not from any NGO) , re impact of warming on fisheries around the world. This special article tries to be on topic and discuss’ fisheries and warming in the North ( Iceland) :

    http://worldfishingtoday.com/news/news.asp?mode=soeg&soeg=iceland%20&nyId=1239

  173. Ann August 3, 2008 at 8:53 pm #

    Cough, cough , note the statement :” warming has affected the North Pole region badly” and the statement from Icelandic Marine Research Institute ” a warming period started in Icelandic waters 1996..”

  174. Ivan (843 days & Counting) August 3, 2008 at 10:04 pm #

    “Cough, cough , note the statement..”

    Cough, cough, also note the statements:

    “The reason MIGHT BE the biosphere in the ocean around..”
    “The ice is melting,..” (Anyone bother to check this year?)
    “He further said that some of these changes … are permanent.” (Now, how could he possibly know that?)

    Yep – that’s what I call definitive ‘science’ all right.

  175. Chris Crawford August 4, 2008 at 2:43 am #

    First off, I’m going to ask everybody to lower the temperature of this discussion. We’re starting to see nastiness, mudslinging, and ugly sarcasm. I urge everybody to stay calm and stick to the science.

    Second, there’s way too much for me to address properly here; I’m sorry if I don’t respond to every comment, but I want to do a proper job with the significant ones. And yes, I am deliberately ignoring a few arguments that are irrelevant to the scientific issues.

    Steve, thanks for all that data; I especially appreciate the fact that you concentrate on the science rather than getting sucked into the grand political fight. You make a very solid case that much of the CO2 produced by humanity is removed from the atmosphere by biological processes. Of course, the CO2 that remains in the atmosphere is still having an effect, but at least we have some buffering working in our favor. But more interesting, I think, is the fact that much of the CO2 emission is in the Northern Hemisphere and much of the CO2 absorption is in the Southern Hemisphere. This suggests to me that we would expect to see a greater greenhouse effect in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere. I don’t recall IPCC AR4 mentioning this. What are your thoughts on my speculation?

    Cohenite asks me what undefined terms he had used. The two that really threw me are “tainting” where I would expect “bias” and “straddle temp”.

    Further, you offer this criticism of IPCC AR4:

    “Read the Executive Summary on pp131-132 where their degrees of certainty for clouds and H2O are non-existent”

    Here is what they say on that on page 132:

    “The RF due to the cloud albedo effect (also referred to as first indirect or Twomey effect), in the context of liquid water clouds, is estimated to be –0.7 [–1.1, +0.4] W m–2, with a low level of scientific understanding.”

    Looks pretty existent to me. ;-)

    Next you write, “check FAQ 3.1 where their concept of the Enhanced Greenhouse absolutely depends on a defined and predictable feedback from H2O.”

    You have sent me on a wild goose chase here; I went over FAQ 3.1 very carefully looking for the topic you reference and it just isn’t there. FAQ 3.1 is entitled “How are Temperatures on Earth Changing?” and it’s about observations of temperature increases, and says nothing about Enhanced Greenhouse or feedback from H2O.

    Ivan argues the Bangladesh issue with this statement:

    “Therefore, according to this logic [Mr. Hansen's], Bangladesh must have been flooded during the MWP (given that the MWP is not part of the AGW catechism).” There – have I missed anything?”

    Yes, the statement of the logic is incorrect. Mr. Hansen’s statements do not imply that Bangladesh should have been flooded during the MWP. The evidence shows that the MWP was not significantly hotter than today’s temperatures, so we would not expect any sea level rise greater than today’s. Add to this the lack of detailed knowledge of the coastline of Bangladesh during the MWP and we end up with a line of reasoning that goes nowhere. You discuss altitudes of various locations in Bangladesh at great length, emphasizing that many of these locations are at an altitude of 4 meters or less — yet the current sea level rise is only 130 mm. Your numbers just don’t add up to anything from which we can draw conclusions.

    Lastly, on the issue of weather versus climate: you argue that the WMO makes this mistake. Fine. The important thing is that we both agree that weather is not climate and that neither one of us should make statements confusing the two. OK?

    James Mayeau continues to grind the Oregon Petition ax. I see no point in arguing with you about this, James; I have already explained in detail numerous times why the Petition is meaningless. As to your continued insistence that I “reveal names”, I see no intellectual value in that tedious exercise, no moral merit in doing so, and hence will not waste my time jumping through your hoop.

    Wes George, I’m glad that we agree that everybody should look at Figure 6.10, although I resent your ignoble insinuation that I’ trying to hide it (“I can see why you didn’t provide the link to your verbally described graphic”); I provided the link to the entire IPCC AR4 report, which includes that figure. Please, can’t we keep this discussion gentlemanly?

    In discussing my reference to the sudden jump in temperature during the 20th century, you write: “It’s a carbon copy of the sudden jump in temp in 950 AD, perhaps bit stronger because of the natural bias of the IPCC bureaucracy is to justify their continued funding. It would not be in the IPCC’s vested interest to paint the MWP as much warmer than today.”

    First, it’s more than a bit stronger. The midline jump in the first case is from -0.3ºC to 0.0ºC, whereas the midline jump in the second case is from -0.4ºC to +0.5ºC — three times larger! (Warning! I expect you to respond with the classic “cherry-picking” mistake. Please don’t!)

    Second, you denigrate the IPCC graph with some nasty comments about the IPCC being biased. I regard this kind of conspiracy theory talk as unscientific, and I reject entirely your comments. If you want to dispute the temperature data, then present a scientific case against the reasoning used to derive Figure 6.10. Leave the conspiracy theories for a political blog.

    You write: “It was warmer in 950 AD than today. So the 950 AD temperature peak of the IPCC graphic 6.10 is too low.” I ask that you justify this assertion with some scientific reasoning. Noting that Vikings in Greenland had cows doesn’t provide much in the way of evidence.

    Your assertion that the current warming is a carbon copy of the MWP is belied by Figure 6.10. You need some evidence to make your case.

  176. James Mayeau August 4, 2008 at 4:35 am #

    Chris says; “I see no intellectual value in that tedious exercise, no moral merit in doing so, and hence will not waste my time jumping through your hoop.”

    Well thats all good for you. And just as I said in my August 3, 2008 03:51 AM post, par for the course.
    Of course you won’t name names, because then you run the risk of me finding out, by a more in depth search then is afforded by google, that these people are real, honest to god, scientists. You are just going to smear them, and the Oregon Petition with enuendo, then run away.

    Unverifiable drive-bys are a dime a dozen, Chris.

  177. janama August 4, 2008 at 6:34 am #

    Now the ABC is in bed with the Sydney Morning Herald – sheeesh!!

    http://www.smh.com.au/interactive/2008/arctic/index.html

  178. Chris Crawford August 4, 2008 at 7:17 am #

    The video you link to looks like a fairly even-handed treatment of the issue for a popular presentation. It’s not up to the standards of a scientific paper, but it’s pretty good for TV.

  179. cohenite August 4, 2008 at 8:54 am #

    “Bias” will do; “straddle” as cover 2 PDO phases; is that clear? As to AR4 and FAQ 3.1; I don’t want anyone looking like a goose, but isn’t it strange that IPCC can give a definite value for a POSITIVE feedback for clouds and yet have a LOW understanding of the scientific reason for that value; as to FAQ 3.1, it is there; this may help take you through it;

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2567

  180. Louis Hissink August 4, 2008 at 9:02 am #

    Given that the MWP was engineered to become insignificant in the temperature proxies, there is little wonder the recent jump in temperature seems significant.

    In any case Greenland is still not at the balmy temperatures of the MWP if anecdotal evidence is any guide.

    And arguing about temperature reconstructions when the core hypothesis that increasing atmospheric CO2 causes warming and decreasing atmospheric CO2 causes cooling, has not been experimentally verified.

    Until it has, AGW remains a belief system.

  181. wes george August 4, 2008 at 9:25 am #

    Chris,

    No disrespect intended…your whole argument has degenerated into an attempt to invert the burden of proof.

    We’ve shown as well as one can on a blog that it was warmer during the MWP than today. We’ve shown that today’s climate can be explained by natural interglacial variation and that we are well with in the climate norms.

    What you now demand is that we prove that AGW doesn’t exist and, if we can’t, then it must exist. That’s your principle point and its a classic error of reasoning.

    I’ll try to explain it with a metaphor.

    If we were arguing about Aliens on Mars and I said they probably don’t exist and listed some reasons and you retort those reasons are false. Does it then follow that aliens live on Mars? Absolutely not.

    The burden of proof is on you to prove that AGW exists, not on us to prove that it does not. According to the rules of reasoning if you can’t prove AGW exists (ie is a necessary hypothesis to explain today’s climate) then we can assume that it does not exist. Or in the case of AGW it’s an insignificant factor in driving climate change.

    You are positing that something exists. I am claiming that AGW is an unnecessary assumption to explain the observed climate. Because you are positing that something exists the burden of proof rests with you.

    We need to get on with the central issue or the debate is over and you lost it.

    Your job here is to now simply prove that AGW exists to the best of your ability. Everything else is simply obfuscation.

  182. Steve Short August 4, 2008 at 9:29 am #

    As posted before:

    Drift ice is carried from the arctic ice pack and the waters north of Iceland by ocean currents. In colder times, arctic waters carry the ice southward while in warmer times the Gulf Stream dominates the Iceland area, keeping drift ice away. Iceland and Greenland are far enough north to observe this ice but far enough south so that they are not always surrounded by drift ice. Drift ice was carefully observed by Icelanders both from shore and from ships because it threatened ships and therefore affected commerce. Drift ice can be considered a thermometer of the north Atlantic.

    From 1846 to present, detailed records were kept in Iceland that show the number of months drift ice appeared along with the temperature. Bergthórsson (1969) estimated past north Atlantic temperatures using a drift ice vs. temperature correlation derived from recorded data. For example, he observed that if ice is sighted in 20 months of one decade and 22 months of the next decade, that second decade was about 0.1 C cooler than the first. By analyzing various clues to reports of drift ice, he applied this correlation to estimate temperatures back to 1591. Using other historical references to past climate, he extended his temperature estimates back to the year 900.

    Both exercises illustrated the MWP and the LIA quite well.

    Lamb (1995) describes a passage from Landnámabók, a book written in Iceland in the year 1125, that catalogs the settlement of Greenland. It was recorded that Thorkel Farserk, a cousin of Erik the Red who founded the colony, having no boat at hand, swam out across a fjord to fetch a sheep from the nearby island of Hvalsey. The distance is over 3.2 km, however. There is no reason to believe this is not a genuine report.

    Lamb (1995) cites a medical endurance expert who established 10 C as the minimum possible water temperature for a very strong man to survive swimming that distance. Given that the normal water temperature at present for that fjord in August (midsummer) is 6 C, the story suggests a much warmer climate than present – perhaps by as much as 3 – 4 C. This broadly accords with the inferences of Bergthórsson (1969).

    Lamb (1995) and Tkachuck (1983) both refer to old Norse burial depths on Greenland being much greater in the past than possible today which suggests the permafrost was deeper (warmer climate) than at present.

    Bryson (1977) refers to ship reports that mention Blaserk and Hvitserk. These are Norwegian words meaning “black shirt” and “white shirt,” respectively, that were used as a navigational reference for Greenland. Blaserk and Hvitserk referred to the same mountain but Blaserk was not mentioned after the early 1300’s. Bryson (1977) concluded that during the MWP the mountain was not snow-covered so would be “darker,” while during the post-MWP cooling, the mountain was “white” due to snow cover.

  183. wes george August 4, 2008 at 10:08 am #

    Chris said, on August 2, 2008 11:18 AM in reference to our evidence submitted on the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) that:

    “…your observation that temperatures at some time in the past have been higher. This is absolutely true.”

    Now he’s decided to argue that the MWP was cooler than the present. It’s frustrating to argue with some one whose position significantly evolves during the course of the debate.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/ipcc2007/fig610.png

    Chris also argued the common climate trope, “that the current round of warming appears to be much steeper than most previous warmings.” Not so, if you closely inspect the graph 6.10.

    I’m so glad that Chris asked us to revisit IPCC2007 fig. 6.10, because with a little forensic work one can discern the most remarkable evidence against AGW that the IPCC has ever publicly released.

    Please keep in mind the source of this data and that what I am pointing out isn’t graphically designed to be obviously displayed. But the data must be so robust that IPCC graphic artists couldn’t completely disguised it.

    Look at the IPCC fig. 6.10 of the temperature record for the past 1200 years. Study closely the low of the year 850 as it ramps up to the high of 1000.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/ipcc2007/fig610.png

    Now compare that to the trend from 1820 to 2006. They are almost exact matches. The slope is the same.

    Of course the 1820 to 2006 part of the graph is reinforced visually and the whole graph designed with a torque so that today is the warmest moment in the last 1200 years…

    But the striking thing is the stunning similarity between the 850-1000 slope and the 1820 to 2006 slope. They are virtual matches! No where else in the whole 1200 year period does such a strikingly parallel of patterns occur.

    I wonder why?

    AGW doesn’t explain the 850-1000 warming slope, obviously. AGW doesn’t explain the “new record highs” of today, since they are artefacts of the political context from within the UN IPCC must operate. The MWP was warmer than today.

    So what is so unique about the 1820-2007 warming slope? absolutely nothing. It’s a climate pattern with precedents in the recent past. The IPCC has inadvertently revealed as much in their fig 6.10, in spite of their attempt to bury it.

    Just what does the AGW hypothesis explain, does it have a purpose? Why is it necessary at all?

    Chris, the burden of proof clearly lies with your posit.

  184. Glen August 4, 2008 at 10:46 am #

    Hey Jennifer, just to clear up any confusion, are you or any related entity funded by the fossil fuel or irrigation industries, or interests associated with them. Cause that would be very very relevant to disclose.

  185. James Mayeau August 4, 2008 at 10:57 am #

    Wes, I’m pretty sure that all of those wonderfully colored squigglies on fig 610 are manifestations of tree core data with varying degrees of ice cores, bore holes, and pollen counts, added for seasoning.
    I say “pretty sure” because for the better part of a day I have been trying to log into the actual AR4 to find the list of what MSH2005, DWJ2006, and HCA2006, stand for. (Example: MBH1999 = Mann, Bradley and Hughes 1999; B2000 = Briffa 2000)
    It never fails that whenever someone like Chris directs me to an IPCC website, either the site won’t load [most often] or loads at a snail’s pace trickle [rarely].

    Do you suppose thats a feature built into the system to discourage inquiry?

    Then again it might just be my computer [I doubt it].

    Do you get that same problem?

  186. cohenite August 4, 2008 at 11:14 am #

    James, Steve, Louis, Wes and others; why don’t you take a look at the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald, 4th August 2008; today.

  187. James Mayeau August 4, 2008 at 11:14 am #

    Glen

    I’m offended that you never ask me if I work for the oil company.
    What’s the matter? Not a big enough fish for you?

    Truth is I have received compensation from the Atlantic Richfield corporation.
    They gave me this cool Arco Gasoline ’99 eliptical tanker Winross Truck for half price when I filled the tank.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Arco-Gasoline-'99-eliptical-tanker-Winross-Truck_W0QQitemZ310071890559QQcmdZViewItem?IMSfp=TL0808021125r27906

  188. James Mayeau August 4, 2008 at 11:48 am #

    Snow?

  189. steven watkinson August 4, 2008 at 12:12 pm #

    Steve Short: I see the ocean acidification issue is now running here as well as at the previous thread.

    Your comment above:

    “However, these simple, thermodynamic calculations suffice to show just how implausible suggestions that marine species which deposit biogenic aragonite are likely to be threatened ‘ any time soon’.”

    ignores my line of argument at the previous thread that the concerns of ocean acidification scientists are not solely about “dissolving” aragonite, they are about the difficulty with which coral can continue to make aragonite.
    Even if your saturation index arguments are correct, it would make little difference if low carbonate saturation states make it impossible for some corals to continue building shells at a rate that will exceed natural (mechanical) erosion.

    Same argument for pteropods. If they can’t live without a shell, then low saturation levels preventing them building a shell would be fatal for them anyway, would it not?

  190. WJP August 4, 2008 at 12:20 pm #

    Glen’s Law: If you are offered discounted petrol and you accept and/or if you are offered any irrigated food and you accept, you can’t be trusted. In short you have sold out. Hang your head in shame for all eternity.
    Not a member of any “environmental” lobby group are we? And not tainted by that association? Or you didn’t end up with a set of angry pants from the bargain bin by any chance?

  191. Jan Pompe August 4, 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    Steven: “If they can’t live without a shell, then low saturation levels preventing them building a shell would be fatal for them anyway, would it not?”

    I haven’t time to dig it up now and I don’t know if it’s about pteropods but I have seen a study (might be on an old hard disk somewhere) but some coral organisms under more acidic continue to live as separate individuals and do quite well then when conditions return to more alkaline they start build their communities again.

  192. Chris Crawford August 4, 2008 at 1:59 pm #

    Once again there’s a lot of stuff to cover here. I’m going to attempt to handle as much as I can. I’ll begin by noting that conspiracy theories are the stuff of fevered imaginations, not calm rationalism. I’ve noted a number of comments insinuating that the IPCC is conspiring to deceive the public. This is pretty pathetic thinking.

    Most of the commentary concerns the MWP. There are two separate issues here: the absolute temperature during the MWP and the rate of change leading up to it. Our problem here is a dearth of hard data. Steve Short, for example, mentions the tale of a man swimming in the ocean waters. I don’t deny the tale but I also don’t think that it provides us with anything definitive. Did this guy really swim three kilometers to fetch a sheep? That’s a long, long swim at ANY temperature. I don’t want to get sucked into a discussion of marathon swimming records or layers of fat affecting thermal conductivity, etc, etc. I think this kind of thing is squeezing the data too hard. We already know that it was significantly warmer in Greenland then than it is now. But to apply Greenland temperatures to the whole world is a BIG leap. Consider: a simple volume calculation shows that, if a significant portion of Greenland’s ice cover had melted, the sea level would have risen by several meters. Yet a number of writers here have adamantly insisted that it didn’t rise at all during that time period. This has nothing to do with AGW — it’s just geometry.

    My conclusion is that global temperatures definitely did rise during the MWP, but that there’s little justification for a claim that global temperatures were significantly higher during the MWP than they are today.

    Therefore I contest wes george’s assertion that:

    “We’ve shown as well as one can on a blog that it was warmer during the MWP than today.”

    and I also contest this assertion:

    ” We’ve shown that today’s climate can be explained by natural interglacial variation and that we are well with in the climate norms.”

    I agree that you have ASSERTED these things, but I contest the claim that you have SHOWN them to be true.

    But now let’s dig into the biggest issue: Figure 6.10. I warned against the common “cherry-picking” mistake and sure enough, wes, you fell prey to it. You instruct the reader to examine the value at 850 AD, which is abnormally low — about -0.6ºC. Then you compare this with the value at 1000 AD, which is the peak of the curve at about 0.0ºC. The mistake you have made is to “cherry pick” your data: to rely on the most extreme values to make your case. The correct way to handle noisy data like this is to build your case on central values, not noise. Think of it this way: smooth out the graph mentally. What you get is a fairly stable temperature profile for the period 700 AD to 900 AD, centered on about -0.3ºC. Then there’s definitely a rise in temperature, going up to about 0.0ºC.

    Now let’s apply exactly the same reasoning to the 20th century. The centerline temperature in the late 1800s is about -0.4ºC. Now move to the year 2000. It’s not covered by the bottom figure, but it is covered by the top figure, which shows a value for 2000 AD of +0.5ºC. And if you’re worried that there’s a change in methodology here, go ahead and look at the values for the late 1800s on that graph — they’re right around -0.4ºC.

    Hence, the change in temperature for the MWP was +0.3ºC over 150 years while the change in temperature for the twentieth century is +0.9ºC over 100 years — nearly five times greater for the current warming. This is the most compelling evidence in support of AGW — and Wes, it simultaneously undermines your Occam’s Razor argument (the current phenomenon is five times greater than the previous one, hence cannot be explained as a natural event) AND it provides empirical support for the AGW hypothesis. A real two-fer! ;-)

    Oh, and Wes, you made this accusation:

    “What you now demand is that we prove that AGW doesn’t exist”

    I’ll ask you to cite the place where I made such a demand. I don’t recall making any such demand.

    Lastly, I’d like to correct a mistake I’ve been repeating. I’ve been sloppy in my reference to “today’s temperature”. I rely on the standard temperature anomaly graphs, but those graphs are zeroed for mid-20th century, not today. There’s a 0.5 degree difference there and the sloppiness of my wordings has probably generated some confusion arising from that difference. Apologies to all.

  193. steven watkinson August 4, 2008 at 2:10 pm #

    Jan, that is true. The point is still that to keep reefs as reefs, you need the coral to be making their shells. One of the major concerns of acidification is that it can take thousands of years for ocean chemistry to bring the pH up again after abrupt pH change. In the meantime, even if coral polyps are alive, if they aren’t building shells (or building much of them), the structure of the reef itself is subject to normal weathering and suffers.

    Somehow, I get the feeling that lots of skeptics here just haven’t read the ocean acidification articles very carefully.

  194. Louis Hissink August 4, 2008 at 3:04 pm #

    Cohenite

    All I can get is the SMH online version. Apart from the Arctic melting what other report made the front?

  195. Louis Hissink August 4, 2008 at 3:21 pm #

    Lots of sceptics haven’t read the ocean acidification articles very carefully because:

    1. CO2 either cooling or warming the surface is not a proven scientific fact
    2. Any deduction made from such a basis is pseudoscience and thus not considered.

    AGW is a superstition.

  196. Steve Short August 4, 2008 at 3:21 pm #

    Steven watkinson:

    “Even if your saturation index arguments are correct, it would make little difference if low carbonate saturation states make it impossible for some corals to continue building shells at a rate that will exceed natural (mechanical) erosion.

    Same argument for pteropods. If they can’t live without a shell, then low saturation levels preventing them building a shell would be fatal for them anyway, would it not?”

    Look, steven, I know that may appear intuitively correct to you (and if I had not spent many years doing thermodynamics etc I would feel that as well) but, alas, it is not in actual fact correct.

    WHY?

    Many, if not all species HAVE ADAPTED to depositing biogenic calcium carbonate (in their preferred various forms, be it aragonite, pure calcite, magnesium calcite etc) wherever the SI is >0.00 i.e. the thermodynamics allows it. It therefore generally doesn’t matter where between an SI of 0.00 or (say) 0.6 the actual SI (of the particular form of calcium carbonate preferred in pure seawater) lies.

    WHY?

    BECAUSE (and most people, even scientists either do not realise this or forget it) many if not most natural aquatic environments where organisms deposit biogenic calcium carbonate BEHAVE as though they were in equilibrium with a partial pressure of CO2 GREATER than atmospheric!

    WHY?

    BECAUSE most such environments ARE ALSO subject to a net flux of CO2 into the water from heterotrophic aerobic bacterial action within either nearby bottom sediments or in the water column itself. This fact is well known and has been studied and characterized in hundreds of papers. In an earlier post above, in reply to Ann, for other reasons I have listed an example of biogeochemical measurements from the North Pacific Ocean where the magnitude of what is called (dark) heterotrophic activity (generating dissolved CO2) has been measured and is clearly shown.

    PLUS

    Even further evidence for the fact that biogenic calcium carbonate depositing organism have generally evolved in environments containing dissolved CO2 in excess of that expected for simple equilibration with the atmosphere is afforded by the paleoclimatic record.

    As I have noted several times, that record generally shows that such organisms have higher growth rates and higher rates of origination (= rate of evolution of distinct new species within genera) when CO2 levels (in the atmosphere and/or in the water) are higher – up to a threshold which approaches the thermodynamic limits for forms of calcium carbonate formation of course.

    Mother Nature in all her glory – don’t you just love her!

  197. Chris Crawford August 4, 2008 at 3:34 pm #

    Very interesting information, Steve. Could you expand upon the “thermodynamic limits for forms of calcium carbonate formation”? Do you mean energetic limits or limits in the availability of calcium and oxygen or some other limits?

    Also, what do we know about the ability of these systems to handle change at the speed we’re contemplating? That is, it’s obvious that a slow change can readily be adapted to, but do we have any data on the more rapid changes we may be facing? I don’t know anything about the marine life issues you’re dealing with, but I have read some material on northward migration of flora in response to warming, and there is serious concern that some of the slower-propagating species, especially trees, may not be able to move fast enough and so may face extinction. Do these concerns apply to genera you’re dealing with?

  198. gavin August 4, 2008 at 3:56 pm #

    Louis: I think we have a link between a lady from the SMH and this program “Tipping Point” tonight on ABC

    http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/

    “Four Corners journeys to the Arctic Circle to explore how the melt is challenging human understanding of global warming. The Four Corners team* joins scientists on board a Canadian icebreaker, Louis S St Laurent, as they scout for icebergs, bears and evidence of a changing seascape. Across the scientific community there is a quest for answers: How fast is the melt happening? Is it stoppable? What may be lost? What riches will be unlocked? How much global warming is caused by people and how much by nature?”

  199. Steve Short August 4, 2008 at 4:06 pm #

    Chris

    “Very interesting information, Steve. Could you expand upon the “thermodynamic limits for forms of calcium carbonate formation”? Do you mean energetic limits or limits in the availability of calcium and oxygen or some other limits?”

    What I mean are the thermodynamic limits for forms of calcium carbonate formation which are defined by the Three Laws of Thermodynamics. What this means in practice is the limits imposed by the need to minimize the transfer of Gibbs Free Energy (delta G).

    Thus aragonite, calcite etc cannot precipitate under conditions where the Saturation Index (SI) is not >0.00. Saturation Index can be described in terms of Gibbs Free Energy but in practice is the log of the ratio of the Ion Activity product (IAP) i.e. [Ca+2][CO3-2] over the Solubility Product (Ksp) or if you will Log IAP – log Ksp.

    Note well this says nothing at about the rates (kinetics) of processes which ARE thermodynamically permitted.

    “Do these concerns apply to genera you’re dealing with?”

    Sure, of course they do. One thing I’m really interested in is the magnitude of phytoplankton primary productivity of the oceans with (possible) increased SSTs as it is such a critical issue.

    It has been claimed in the literature that, due to an increased SST of the great Southern Ocean (SO), its primary productivity has declined. However, as phytoplankton consumes dissolved CO2 and bicarbonate and respire O2 my associate John Runcie (a marine phytoplankton specialist) and I have shown that SO CO2 levels below 40 S have not declined commensurately.

    I tried to explain the ‘bare bones’ of this in an earlier post as you know. Hence the assertion of declining primary productivity in the SO is likely unfounded. We will be submitting this paper before end 2008.

  200. Louis Hissink August 4, 2008 at 4:22 pm #

    Gavin

    Oh, in that case I won’t waste my time watching it. Thanks for the update.

  201. cohenite August 4, 2008 at 4:36 pm #

    Louis; sorry, I had the hard copy; janama above links to the web copy; I’m still astounded at the hyperbole and obfuscation that is manifest from the AGW side; speaking of which, this nonsense about whether the MWP really was warmer than today is typical but understandable because if previous past periods were as hot or ‘hotter’ than today then AGW is shot to bits, once again; here is a fun game which shows study sides from around the globe during the MWP; you can pick a site and get temp details and study information about the MWP climate at that site;

    http://www.co2science.org/data/timemap/mwpmap.html

    There are plenty of studies about temp comparisons between the MWP and today;

    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_nzcave.php

    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_perushelf.php

    http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003175.html#comments

    Since our new resident AGW supporter has finally reached the tipping point stage we best look at how those are not exceptional;

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080619142112.htm

  202. Steve Short August 4, 2008 at 5:05 pm #

    But please, let’s all be as civilized as possible – at least you can have a reasoned if robust dialogue/debate with Chris……….in marked contrast to the previous ‘incumbent’ who kept re-defining the meaning of ‘rabid’ on an hour-by-hour (and often on-the-job too ;-) basis.

  203. gavin August 4, 2008 at 5:16 pm #

    Cohenhite: Folks reading through the above comments must realize by now, skeptics arguments depending on the MWP in particular diminish as time goes on. Evidence for the MWP has been mostly a red herring.

    There are many twists to the stories in the news as climate gurus everywhere scramble for fresh positions. More reasons for melt rates of ever diminishing Artic ice areas are hardly news today and it will be the same with coral reefs as the next few months roll by

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    Sorry Shorty; other excuses like softened shelly creatures wandering about the seas looking for new places to die won’t do either. Our adult majority while hoping there no problems ahead now expects governments of all persuasions to do a lot more than wait it out.

  204. cohenite August 4, 2008 at 5:25 pm #

    I’m civilized Steve, I’m married; here’s another good one on the MWP and Greenland from a historical perspective;

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/282/5387/268

    Here’s another on how heating and ice melt are not necessary travellers;

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=A1YourView&xml=/earth/2008/01/10/sciglacier110.xml

    I was going to look at the AGW obfuscation, censorship, lies, misanthropy and bizarre philosophical undercurrents but who wants to research PETA, Flannery, Gore, Clive Hamilton, John Reid and Robin Williams; tipping-points Hansen is fair game though;

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1946

    http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/1748-9326/2/2/024002/erl7_2_024002.html

  205. Steve Short August 4, 2008 at 5:29 pm #

    “Sorry Shorty; other excuses like softened shelly creatures wandering about the seas looking for new places to die won’t do either. Our adult majority while hoping there no problems ahead now expects governments of all persuasions to do a lot more than wait it out.”

    Sorry, Gavie; as a mature man of experience you should (and I thought would) be ashamed to spit out such childish gobbledegook. I had the strong impression you had been around far too long and had too much real world experience not to avoid such arrogant and immature nonsense.

    Or does baby Chucky Luke now even have permission to use your name as well as all his other ‘non(;;;)-de-plumes’?

    Such reprised lowest common denominator language/content does sound awfully familiar, methinks.

  206. cohenite August 4, 2008 at 5:33 pm #

    gavin; I think you are being very hard, robust even, about the MWP; there are a number of pillars supporting AGW; one is exceptional and rapidly changing climate conditions today, which the MWP disproves; and I think you are being optimistic about the “diminishing returns” based on ‘heating’ continuing of the MWP comparison; any way Chris has raised the numbers game with thousands of AGW scientists; this disproves that;

    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=7553

    As to there being no anti-AGW papers or scientists;

    http://petesplace-peter.blogspot.com/2008/04/peer-reviewed-articles-skeptical-of-man.html

    The sections on the MWP and Greenland are good.

  207. steven watkinson August 4, 2008 at 6:13 pm #

    Steve Short, the reason I keep questioning your explanations is because they do not seem to reflect what is being reported from many biological experiments. Namely, that there is a slowing of calcification in low carbonate saturation waters for coral and some other creatures. (In the case of the pteropod experiment, the suggestion was that low saturation harmed living pteropod shells.) I have listed nearly all of these reports in the previous thread, but I will save time for anyone who only wants to read here:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2000/1999GB001195.shtml
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/3069000
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v437/n7059/full/nature04095.html
    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118895764/abstract
    http://tinyurl.com/5789tx
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2008/07/25/0712167105

    I note that there was an article by the CO2science people (a suspect source if ever there was one) which pointed to studies showing corals increasing growth in 20th century, but they all seem to be based on increased warming:
    http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/20051013/calcifying.htm

    However, that seems to be far from a reassuring answer, in that none of the studies of recent past coral growth can reflect the higher pH that is expected in future decades, and it is also clear that water temperature can’t increase indefinitely without harm to coral.

    So, I am not arguing anything by “intuition”, and I am certainly no “postmodernist” (where you get some of your insults from I do not know). In fact, all I am doing is quoting results of actual studies on things like coral and pteropods, and you keep failing to explain why those results don’t match up with your explanations. (Well, you have pointed out before that there are other factors involved in determining calcification rates, so I guess you might be arguing that all of these experiments just fail to properly control for those other factors. That to me would sound an improbable explanation across so many experiments.)

    Finally, here’s another way that ocean acidification has come up not exactly looking good:

    http://www.sciencecentric.com/news/article.php?q=08080154

  208. Louis Hissink August 4, 2008 at 6:30 pm #

    ” note that there was an article by the CO2science people (a suspect source if ever there was one) which……”

    This is an ad hominem.

  209. cohenite August 4, 2008 at 6:41 pm #

    Steven; what is that you cannot understand about the fact that there are strong equilibriating factors, not to mention thermodynamic principles, which will prevent the dire tipping points you are worried about and which are manifest in the alarmist literature you quote?

  210. Ivan (843 days & Counting) August 4, 2008 at 6:42 pm #

    Chris says: “Lastly, on the issue of weather versus climate: you argue that the WMO makes this mistake. Fine. The important thing is that we both agree that weather is not climate and that neither one of us should make statements confusing the two. OK?”

    No it’s not OK, and your tactic of ignoring the substantive issue will not make it OK, no matter how many times you ask the same question. The issue is not you and I, the issue is the WMO using its position of authority to further corrupt the debate and disseminate misleading information.

    The example I provided (Peru) was more about climate than weather. If you had bothered to read it you would have noticed that, among other statements, it said that:
    “This year, the cold arrived well ahead of the usual season – in March and April, instead of June – and many small-scale farmers have not been able to harvest their crops.”
    The Oxford dictionary defines climate as: “prevailing conditions of temperature, humidity, wind, etc.” I suspect the fact that winter arrived 2-3 months ahead of the normal schedule – and then persisted – would fit this definition of climate.

    The WMO, on the other hand, posts an item on their website which makes the simple bald statement that: “The central Netherlands temperature is now about 1.5°C higher than in 1950″, and then provides a link to a website in Dutch. From this, I gather, we can deduce that they are having a warmer than normal summer – accoding to normal seasons – in Holland. Weather – not climate.

    The fact that this issue has become a discussion of “weather is not climate” is a product of your imagination. Again – it illustrates your motives of sidetracking the discussion rather than debating the issues. Had you have bothered to read the items that I posted, then you could possibly have come to the same conclusions yourself without me having to take up everyones’ time explaining it to you.

  211. Louis Hissink August 4, 2008 at 6:47 pm #

    Cohenite

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/08/04/mauna-loa-co2-january-to-july-trend-goes-negative-first-time-in-history/#more-2031

    CO2 concentration is dropping at Moana Loa, presumably from the lower SST.

    If this carries on for the next few months, then it’s the death knell for AGW. It also falsilfied Arrhenius’s hypothesis (which I suspect could be further falsified if glacial periods were associated with higher atmospheric CO2 levels that I recall someone posting somewhere in the blogosphere).

  212. Ivan (843 days & Counting) August 4, 2008 at 7:02 pm #

    Wes said: “your whole argument has degenerated into an attempt to invert the burden of proof.”

    Wes – that is part of it. I believe it is actually more insidious than that. It is also an attempt to completely derail the discussion, such that the ‘sceptics’ are forced into the position where they not only have to ‘prove’ that the AGW crowd actually made the statement or assertion – but we have to do this before we can get on to debating the actual issue. Not only is it a double burden of proof, but the issue usually gets submerged by the “He said / she said” before it ever gets to the floor of the house, so to speak.

    Someone has been reading a “Marketing 101″ text book – as the methods being used are taken straight of the first two chapters – namely: “Handling Objections” and “Gaining Agreement”.

    “Handling Objections” is about paraphrasing the objectors comments back to them, but subtlty changing the emphasis, thrust, and -ultimately- meaning. (Putting words in their mouth, if you like.) Thus the issue is diluted or defused and everyone forgets what they were arguing about or runs out of energy. (Note that substantive issues are always ignored and not debated).

    “Gaining Agreement” is about taking this to the next step and summarising the diluted argument back to the proponent in an attempt to get them to agree to a position they do not believe in. (See my example above, and then go back and look at the times he repeats this then asks – “OK?”)

    Don’t be taken in by this garbage – stick to the issue at hand and dispense with the attempts at distraction.

  213. wes george August 4, 2008 at 7:40 pm #

    Good point, Ivan. There are many subtle angles in Chris’s posts which need to be deconstructed and revealed. Especially his outrage that anyone dare question the IPCC’s absolute authority.

    Chris sez,

    “Therefore I contest wes george’s assertion that: “We’ve shown as well as one can on a blog that it was warmer during the MWP than today.””

    Mate, you can contest all you like. You have proved nothing. The burden of proof is on you to show that AGW is a real phenomenon. You posited something exists. We’ve shown a simpler explanation for the observed data exists than the complex group of assumptions you present.

    So cut to the chase, and show your hand of evidence for AGW. I call you. It should be an easy task, since Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC said that climate doubters are members of a Flat Earth Society. (No bias there, eh, Chris?)

    So far Chris’s logical argument has been constructed thus:

    Chris: I think AGW is forcing today’s climate.
    Wes: I invoke the principle of parsimony. What is your proof?
    Chris: You can’t prove that AGW doesn’t exist, therefore it must.

    BBBBBZZZZT. Logic error.

    Come on, Chris. Give it a proper go.

    I’ll post a more complete autopsy of Chris’s arguments tomorrow morning. Got a dinner party to attend tonight.

  214. Ivan (843 days & Counting) August 4, 2008 at 7:58 pm #

    Wes – call me suspicious, but I find it interesting that at the same time as the raving nutter sinks from trace, along comes a completely different flavour of obfuscation.

    A completely different tack, but the modus operandi seems pretty much the same: stifle any serious discussion and debate.

  215. Steve Short August 4, 2008 at 8:01 pm #

    Nice one , Louis. Thanks for that. I had missed it due to work load and concentration on SH sites.

    Seriously, I’m ‘working through’ right now (cough, cough, ahem, ahem…), so I have to keep this very brief – will post more tomorrow.

    FYI ‘Saturation State’ otherwise known as Scaling Tendency’ or Sigma (Greek symbol) is simply the antilog of (my) Saturation Index (SI) i.e. sigma = IAP /Ksp i.e. SI = log (sigma), so when sigma = 1.00, SI = 0.00, or when SI= 0.6, Sigma = 4.0 etc.

    As I said, more to come, but while we are on the topic of avatars…., please check out:

    http://www.nova.edu/ncri/11icrs/abstract_files/icrs2008-001155.pdf
    http://www.biogeosciences-discuss.net/4/3581/2007/bgd-4-3581-2007-print.pdf
    http://www.gsajournals.org/pdf/online_forum/i0091-7613-31-6-e92.pdf
    http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=14095823
    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118533076/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V66-4D4C8TB-7&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=7d5339a7b09725d755721f212fc0cbeb
    http://plankt.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/fbm105v1

  216. Louis Hissink August 4, 2008 at 8:06 pm #

    That is the same argument John Wheeler basically used to bolster support for astronomical black holes – you can’t prove they don’t exist, so I am free to use them.

    Pure pseudoscience.

    Keep at it peoples – good science has to dominate in the end.

  217. gavin August 4, 2008 at 8:13 pm #

    Cohenite: Referring to other blogs in support of your arguments has become a very bad habit. Please desist.

    Steve: I thought Luke was missing.

    Wes: My SO reckons you lot are definitely flat earthers. I say Ivan remains in the cheer squad because he can’t help himself. Louis is about to miss a good show on 4 corners.

  218. Louis Hissink August 4, 2008 at 8:14 pm #

    Ivan

    Nothing mysterious at all – London to a brick they all work for AGO – our own “Team” so to speak, to plagiarise Steve McIntyre.

    Where they become unstuck is not having experience in the empirically based scientific method – it’s how the humanities departments think science is done – by dialectics and consensus.

    Wrong, quite wrong.

  219. Steve Short August 4, 2008 at 8:25 pm #

    Yeah, riiigghht, missing indeed………a real lot. It’s just the ‘transmissions from the Twilight Zone’ that still keep popping in and out….

    LRON the 1st would be proud.

  220. Ivan (843 days & Counting) August 4, 2008 at 8:42 pm #

    “I say Ivan remains in the cheer squad because he can’t help himself.”

    Gavin – you’re going to have to explain that one. Is this supposed to be a profound statement, or what? I say that Gavin’s cheese has slid off the cracker.

    “Nothing mysterious at all – London to a brick they all work for AGO”

    Louis – undoubtedly. As I have said many times, nobody engaged in worthwhile science subscribes to this AGW horse$hit. It would therefore have to be the 2nd and 3rd rate ones that can only land a job in the sheltered workshop.

  221. cohenite August 4, 2008 at 8:45 pm #

    gavin; righto;

    Louis; this will be front page news at the SMH tommorrow; maybe steve is feeding his bacteria steroids.

  222. Louis Hissink August 4, 2008 at 8:59 pm #

    I will wait for Andrew Bolt and Tim Blair to comment on it tomorrow morning. I accidentally activated the Marian Wilkinson online video this morning when Cohenite mentioned it and twigged rapidly what it was all about.

    I presume posts will cease here until the 4 Corners program is finished, so it’s next morning then.

  223. Ian Beale August 4, 2008 at 9:23 pm #

    For the record:-

    “Captain Cook’s last discovery: Is climate change a myth?”

    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,24126123-5012321,00.html

  224. Ivan (843 days & Counting) August 4, 2008 at 9:31 pm #

    “Captain Cook’s last discovery: Is climate change a myth?”

    It depends.
    Are Hansen, Mann, Schmidt and the rest of the crooks involved in analysing these logs or ‘peer reviewing’ the papers?

  225. Ivan (843 days & Counting) August 4, 2008 at 9:40 pm #

    “Louis; this will be front page news at the SMH tommorrow..”

    If this CO2 drop continues, this could be the basis for a brand new alarmist campaign – Global Freezing:
    http://news.scotsman.com/scitech/Last-Ice-Age-happened-in.4351045.jp
    “THE last ice age 13,000 years ago took hold in just one year, more than ten times quicker than previously believed, scientists have warned.”

    “Rather than a gradual cooling over a decade, the ice age plunged Europe into the deep freeze, German Research Centre for Geosciences at Potsdam said.”

    The indicator for this will be Hansen pulling his old 1970s “Global Cooling” computer model out of his bottom drawer and dusting it off…

  226. Ivan (843 days & Counting) August 4, 2008 at 9:47 pm #

    …oh look!
    More cold records being set. In Montana … in July.
    http://www.greatfallstribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080802/NEWS01/808020308/1002
    “Two temperature records were set or tied in July in Great Falls, including one dating back more than a century, according to the National Weather Service.
    An overnight low of 39 degrees on July 11 broke the daily record of 40 degrees set in 1897, said Ed Kurdy hydro-meteorological technician with the Weather Service.”

  227. gavin August 4, 2008 at 11:11 pm #

    Hey who watched “Tipping Point” on ABC?

  228. gavin August 4, 2008 at 11:13 pm #

    http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/default.htm

  229. SJT August 4, 2008 at 11:36 pm #

    “”Captain Cook’s last discovery: Is climate change a myth?””

    Amazing, they take something that has nothing to do with AGW, and say it has. Captain Cook nearly lost his life trying to find the North West Passage, and decided all the maps that claimed there was one were no better than maps to Lassiter’s Reef.

  230. cohenite August 4, 2008 at 11:37 pm #

    I watched the other version;

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0319262/

  231. Mark August 4, 2008 at 11:37 pm #

    Cohenit: “If this carries on for the next few months, then it’s the death knell for AGW.”

    You kidding me? Don’t you know the drop in CO2 is due to the alarmists Kyoto efforts! And lo and behold the temperature is now dropping. Yay! They saved the planet! We can all pack up and go home now!

  232. Chris Crawford August 5, 2008 at 2:21 am #

    Once again, there’s way too much material for me to address thoroughly, so once again I have to confine my comments to the most important material. I’ll start with cohenite’s link to material from the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. I browsed through some of the data and was initially impressed. It appears that they have a good, broad collection of information supporting the hypothesis that the MWP was in fact warmer than today. Perhaps, I thought, I should reconsider the point in light of all this data. So I rummaged around some more. But then I noticed something odd. They referenced many papers but never presented any of the papers themselves. At first I figured it was because most such papers aren’t online. But then I noticed something else: they don’t present the published abstracts of the papers (the usual method). Instead, they present their own interpretation of the contents of the paper. That raised the Red Flag of Skepticism in my mind. So I dug around, and I found a reference to a paper that I was able to independently locate. Here’s the information you need to evaluate this for yourself. First, here’s their representation of the paper:

    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_bahamabank.php

    Next, here’s the paper itself:

    http://www.geo.lsa.umich.edu/~dclund/papers/Lund_and_Curry06.pdf

    Finally, here’s my own interpretation of the difference between the two: What they present is a cherry-picked version of the contents of the paper. The paper itself is 15 pages long, quite technical, and has a great deal of information that cuts in both directions. It’s complicated; yet the people from CO2 Science cut through the complexity, cherry-picked one graph from the whole set, the one graph that is most supportive of their goals, and presented only that.

    This pretty well discredited them in my eyes. An honest scientist presents both sides of the story. The original authors were honest and presented both sides, but the CO2 Science people had deliberately presented only one side of the story. That means that I can’t trust them. So I decided to see just who they are. It turns out that this is not a scientific group, it’s an advocacy group. That is, their goal is not to research the science, it’s to present a version of the science that is supportive of their political goal of combating the broad scientific view about AGW. And yes, they’ve had financial support from Exxon (not that I think that very important). My overall conclusion is that they’re attempting to deceive people by presenting only part of the truth, and therefore nothing they say can be trusted.

    But then I asked myself just how important this question is. Let’s suppose that overall world temperatures were indeed higher than they are today. What are the implications of that supposition? Normally, I proceed from the data to the conclusions, and the data in favor of the claim that MWP temperatures were higher than today’s were not convincing to me. But, what the hell, I thought, what if they were? What does that change? If a warmer MWP were in fact damaging to the AGW hypothesis, then I should look into this matter much more closely. But the single most important evidence in support of the AGW hypothesis is not the absolute value of the temperature, but the rate of change of temperature, which I have already shown to be five times higher than the rate of change during the MWP. If the MWP peak temperature was a bit higher than I had thought, then that rate of change difference would be only, say, three times higher — but the difference is still so great that the AGW hypothesis is not threatened by a warm MWP. So why, I asked myself, am I wasting time arguing this point? There’s no need!

    I shall therefore stipulate(note that verb, ‘stipulate’!) that MWP temperatures were slightly warmer than temperatures in the year 2000, and I hope that we can now focus our attention on more significant issues.

    Inasmuch as this comment is already overlong, I shall post it and begin work on additional comments.

  233. James Mayeau August 5, 2008 at 2:42 am #

    The way I figure it, tree bark is insulation.
    It might be the best insulation. That means the growth ring is cut off effectively from ambient temperature. The leaves preferentially conduct photosynthesis at 21 degrees. This is transmitted to the growth ring entirely insulated from the ambient temp.

    So how are ancient tree rings a proxy for temperature or climate?

    They can’t be. They have to be a proxy for ancient tree leave temperature.
    And that is exactly what we see in the MBH1999 – a more or less flat line over the lions share of the millennium. If you excise the HADCrut surface temperature, which is spliced on to MBH for no good reason at all except to sell AGW to the masses (The practice has been repudiated by the lead author Micheal Mann as highlighted by Steve McIntyre [www.climateaudit.org/?p=3384]), and continue the MBH tree core study through to the present, I bet that they will show the tree temp continues in a straight line right up to 2008.

    So all of the IPCC’s millennial climate reconstructions are faulty, based on the mistaken belief that tree rings are dependant on air temperature, except for the ones that append the SST through dubious means. Those reconstructions are out right fraud.

    There is no persuasive argument that the MWP wasn’t a global phenomena.
    Unless Chris has some evidence besides the IPCC millennium reconstructions.

  234. James Mayeau August 5, 2008 at 2:57 am #

    http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003170.html

    I probably should have included this for Chris to read.

  235. Chris Crawford August 5, 2008 at 3:13 am #

    Cohenite, you present a blizzard of links with a couple of lines of text; it can be quite tedious tracking them down, studying them, and preparing a response, especially when the claims you make for them are not borne out by the actual content. For example, you present a URL stating that it disproves the notion that thousands of scientists support the AGW hypothesis. That URL does nothing of the sort; what it demonstrates is that most of the reviewers confined their comments to a small section of the overall report. What your link demonstrates is that none of the reviewers submitted comments on all of the report — that’s nowhere near the statement that the reviewers reject the report. Indeed, the only supporting evidence that link provides is a statement from ONE scientist — out of hundreds of reviewers. The link arbitrarily dismisses most of the reviewers as having conflicts of interest — but it never defines what it means by ‘conflict of interest’ nor presents any evidence to support its arbitrary categorizations.

    There’s lots of controversy within the scientific community regarding the details of climatology and the IPCC report. Indeed, the amount of controversy raging over the details is enormous. That’s what scientists do: argue! You folks are standing outside the conference hall hearing the yelling and screaming and thinking that scientists don’t agree about basic AGW theory — and you’re completely misinterpreting the evidence you have.

    Consider modern evolutionary theory. It seethes with controversy about a great many topics. When the idea of punctuated equilibrium came along in the 70s, there was lots of fighting over it. Or consider group selection versus individual selection — now THERE was a ruckus! I could go on and on; biologists have been fighting about the details of evolutionary theory from the very beginning. But do you think that this means that any of them doubt the basic Darwinian hypothesis? Of course not! They’re fighting over the details, not the basics. And the same thing is happening with respect to AGW. The great majority of climatologists accept the basic AGW hypothesis, even though they fight like dogs and cats over the details.

    I’ll give you a good example in the case of Steve McIntyre. Some years ago I asked him point-blank what he thought of the basic AGW hypothesis. His answer, as I recall (and please don’t ask me to provide a link, as it was at least three years ago and my memory isn’t THAT good!) was that he was extremely critical of many of the arguments used in favor of AGW, but that he was not willing to reject the hypothesis. Perhaps his opinion on this matter has changed over the years — I wouldn’t be surprised if it has swung closer to or further away from AGW, because Steve strikes me as an honest scientist who relies on the data (although I do worry that his scrapes with some of the hard-nosed proponents of AGW may have induced an emotional bias).

    But if you really want to get down to something substantial, you need look no further than this:

    http://dels.nas.edu/basc/Climate-LOW.pdf

    It’s the summary from the US National Academy of Sciences regarding climate change. Let me tell you a little bit about the NAS. It was created by the US Congress in the 1860s to provide the government with expert advice on scientific matters as they pertained to public policy. The NAS is truly an elite organization, consisting of the very best American scientists. To be invited to join the NAS is a major career plum for any scientist. The NAS carries out a number of efforts; the two most important are preparing reports in response to specific requests from Congress, and conducting ongoing reviews of scientific questions of broad political interest, such as climate change.

    The NAS is extremely careful in preparing its reports. It creates special subgroups to examine particular issues and those subgroups confine their comments to those matters on which they can achieve a strong supermajority. There are no hard and fast rules here; the NAS does not impose any specific criterion other than something along the lines of “You’d damn well better be really certain of anything you put into a report!” And the results show up in the track record. In 140 years of work, not once has the NAS issued a report that has later been shown to have an incorrect statement. Not once. The NAS has a perfect track record, largely because they never go out on a limb; they state ONLY what they’re really certain of. And here are a few of their official statements on climate change:

    “The most striking evidence of a global warming trend is closely scrutinized data that show a relatively rapid and widespread increase in temperature during the past century.
    The rising temperatures observed since 1978 are particularly noteworthy because the rate of increase is so high and because, during the same period, the energy reaching the Earth from the Sun had been measured precisely enough to conclude that Earth’s warming was not due to changes in the Sun. Scientists find clear evidence of this warming trend even after removing data from urban areas where an urban heat-island effect could influence temperature readings. Furthermore, the data are consistent with other evidence of warming, such as increases in ocean temperatures, shrinking mountain glaciers, and decreasing polar ice cover.”

    “changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities” with some contribution from natural variability.”

    So let’s put aside this false claim that scientists are divided about AGW. Yes, there are some scientists, good ones at that, who question the basic AGW hypothesis — but they are few in number. Yes, there are many scientists who loudly challenge specific issues within the broad AGW hypothesis — but this does not mean that they reject the overall AGW hypothesis. The NAS DOES provide us with a clear statement of what the great majority of eminent scientists think about AGW, and it is unequivocal support for the basic AGW hypothesis.

  236. Mark August 5, 2008 at 3:38 am #

    CC: “But the single most important evidence in support of the AGW hypothesis is not the absolute value of the temperature, but the rate of change of temperature”.

    What? You mean like this?

    http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/UAHMSUglobe.

    Come again?

  237. Mark August 5, 2008 at 3:41 am #

    Try that link again!

    http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/UAHMSUglobe.html

  238. James Mayeau August 5, 2008 at 3:52 am #

    “But if you really want to get down to something substantial, you need look no further than this: (snip)
    It’s the summary from the US National Academy of Sciences regarding climate change. Let me tell you a little bit about the NAS. It was created by the US Congress in the 1860s to provide the government with expert advice on scientific matters as they pertained to public policy. The NAS is truly an elite organization, consisting of the very best American scientists. To be invited to join the NAS is a major career plum … (blah blah blah).”

    Arguments from authority are a dime a dozen also, Chris.

  239. Chris Crawford August 5, 2008 at 4:19 am #

    I note that Louis Hissink rightly criticizes as ad hominem a remark by another writer. I applaud Mr. Hissink’s criticism and intend to refer to it in the future.

    Ivan continues to argue about the details of his claims regarding weather versus climate. I have not the time to dig into these details, and I certainly don’t consider them to be of any significance to the larger debate. I’ll conclude my part of that conversation by declaring that I shall continue to remind people that weather is not climate. I hope that Ivan can agree with me on this simple point. And in fact, Louis Hissink provides us with a case in point:

    “If this carries on for the next few months, then it’s the death knell for AGW”

    Louis, weather is not climate.

    But Ivan writes something I applaud and would like to emphasize:

    ” stick to the issue at hand and dispense with the attempts at distraction.”

    Of course, there may be some difference of opinion as to what the issue at hand actually is. One person might define the issue at hand as being the desire to prove that he was right and somebody else was wrong on some minor point. Another person might define it to be proving that somebody, somewhere, is a bad person. As for myself, I consider the issue at hand to be this:

    “Is the basic AGW hypothesis supported by the evidence?”

    And that’s what I’m arguing here.

    Wes George, you’re getting a little hyperbolic here, with statements such as this:

    “Especially his [Chris's] outrage that anyone dare question the IPCC’s absolute authority.”

    Where, I ask you, have I ever shown outrage? Please, can’t we keep this discussion gentlemanly?

    Wes writes:

    “You have proved nothing. The burden of proof is on you to show that AGW is a real phenomenon. You posited something exists. We’ve shown a simpler explanation for the observed data exists than the complex group of assumptions you present.”

    Wes, I don’t expect to be able to prove ANYTHING to you, and you are quite welcome to claim that you have proven anything you want. My purpose in this discussion is to provide rational arguments that objective readers can assess for themselves. You are, in effect, the foil against which I make my case. The important people here are not you or I, but the fair-minded readers who can be swung by rational argumentation. And I will advise you that emotional arguments on your part only serve to discredit your position in their eyes. I want this discussion to be a robust, interesting one that will really help undecided people make up their minds. If you present weak arguments, then my efforts are less effective because a reasonable person might well conclude “Well, yes, Crawford presents the better case, but he hasn’t really been tested. I want to see somebody really hit him hard with a substantial argument.” Now, you may think that you’re presenting substantial arguments, but I don’t see it that way. All I can do here is request that you try harder to present truly rational arguments — only in this way can we be of service to our fair-minded readers.

    “So cut to the chase, and show your hand of evidence for AGW. I call you”

    The high rate of change in global temperatures in the 20th century.

    You represent my arguments as:

    “Chris: I think AGW is forcing today’s climate.
    Wes: I invoke the principle of parsimony. What is your proof?
    Chris: You can’t prove that AGW doesn’t exist, therefore it must.”

    No, my argument is that the high rate of change of temperatures in the 20th century presents strong evidence in favor of AGW. Your representation of my statements is false.

    Louis repeats the falsehood in his statement: “That is the same argument John Wheeler basically used to bolster support for astronomical black holes – you can’t prove they don’t exist, so I am free to use them.”

    Ivan writes, “nobody engaged in worthwhile science subscribes to this AGW horse$hit. It would therefore have to be the 2nd and 3rd rate ones that can only land a job in the sheltered workshop.”

    First, Ivan, this is an ad hominem argument, and both I and Louis think ill of ad hominem arguments.

    More important, the NAS subscribes to “this AGW horseshit”; are you claiming that your scientific expertise exceeds that of the members of the NAS?

    Ivan writes, “The indicator for this will be Hansen pulling his old 1970s “Global Cooling” computer model out of his bottom drawer and dusting it off…”

    You seem to be misinformed regarding the myth of the ‘global cooling scare of the 1970s’. I refer you to this URL

    http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2006/11/23/18534/222

    which presents a quick summary of the facts of the case, and includes links to more detailed information on what actually happened. Despite the fact that this myth has been completely debunked, the opponents of AGW seem to keep raising it over and over.

    Ivan writes:

    “…oh look!
    More cold records being set. In Montana … in July.”

    Ivan, weather is not climate.

    James Mayeau writes:

    “The way I figure it, tree bark is insulation.
    It might be the best insulation. That means the growth ring is cut off effectively from ambient temperature. ”

    James, you misunderstand simple heat flow. It’s a simple equation:

    Heat flow = temperature differential / thermal insulation

    analogous to Ohm’s Law:

    I = E/R

    High insulation reduces the speed of heat flow, but never eliminates it. Thus, thick tree bark slows down heat flow, but, given enough time, thermal equilibrium will be reached where the temperature differential reaches zero. I don’t have R-values for tree bark at hand, but my acquaintance with R-values for similar materials suggests that these R-values are not at all sufficient to maintain significant temperature differentials for periods exceeding, say, a day. A simple experiment will suffice to demonstrate the point. Enter a house with an internal temperature of, say, 20ºC, and an outside temperature of 0ºC. Turn off the heat in the house. How long will the temperature remain above, say, 2ºC? My experience suggests a value of about 24 hours. Certainly with 48 hours the internal temperature of the house will be very close to the outside temperature. So I think it pretty safe to say that a tree’s internal temperature will match the air temperature within a week — a much shorter time than the length of the seasons.

    I looked at the short item on tree leaf temperatures that you linked to, James, and it doesn’t seem to add up to much one way or the other. It certainly doesn’t support your assertion that internal temperatures in trees (as opposed to leaf temperatures) are not affected by air temperatures. It’s difficult to assess the significance of this finding. It could go either way. For now, I don’t think that anybody can use this paper to show anything significant about AGW. Let’s give the scientists some time to digest it and figure out its significance.

    Mark offers a link to a graph. He doesn’t say anything about that graph. Yes, Mark, it’s a pretty graph. Do you have a point you’d like to make?

    James Mayeau criticizes my reference to the NAS conclusions as “argument for authority”. The error in your comment, James, is the assumption that argument from authority is necessarily invalid. In fact, argument from authority is quite valid when the authority in question possesses expertise relevant to the issue in question and a considerable amount of judgement is required to render a decision about the issue.

    The argument from authority is indeed invalid when the cited authority has no relevant expertise as in:

    “Well, this famous actor says that global warming is a crock.”

    In this case, the actor has no relevant expertise and so this argument from authority is invalid.

    Another case where argument from authority is invalid is rather rare: the authority has relevant expertise, but the evidence unquestionably confutes the authority’s claim, as in this apocryphal example:

    “Albert Einstein says that the earth takes 400 days to orbit the sun.”

    However, the case of AGW is very complicated, and the assessment of the many factors at work requires expertise. I myself do not possess the expertise to offer myself as an authority; I have to rely on supporting evidence where possible, and I also rely on authority when appropriate. Do you, James, wish to declare that you possess the expertise necessary to certify yourself as an authority? Any honest man who knows his own expertise to be significantly less than that of an authority will give great credence to the advice of that authority. And I think that many of the opponents of AGW are vulnerable to the accusation of vainglory in this regard. I have no idea whether that criticism can be applied to any of the individuals commenting on this blog, but I can state with confidence that a person who casually dismisses the conclusions of experts who have invested many years of education and hard work in their field, when he himself has not made a comparable investment in time and exertion in that field, is intellectually dishonest.

  240. James Mayeau August 5, 2008 at 6:08 am #

    Let’s look at it this way. Jen’s website is blessed with the presence of Steve Short. I don’t know him (from anywhere but here) but he appears to be an expert in that he knows a bit more about ocean chemistry then I do (probably alot more then I do since I know bubkis about it).
    Inspite of my lack, his argument makes sense to me because it doesn’t depend upon a title, be it PHD or MA or member of such and such society, being affixed to the end of his name. He explains the reason why ocean acidification isn’t a problem in clear understandable terms, accessible to anyone with interest in the topic.
    What you are doing here, with your invocation of the NAS, is analogous to me going to say… Gristmill, finding an acidification topic, then telling the people who comment there that ocean acidification isn’t a problem because Steve said so.
    That wouldn’t fly over there, and it wouldn’t matter if I were to say Steve is right because he argues from sound uncontroversial principles of chemistry, agreed to by the AAAS, NAS, IPCC, AGU, APS, 9/10 dentists surveyed, or what have you.
    If I don’t argue with like style as Steve ie; clear understandable terms, accessible to anyone with interest in the topic, then those people at Gristmill will laugh and dismiss me (actually they laugh and dismiss my arguments with a simular style as you, ie; “we’re right because the vast majority of scientist have been looking at this and they never brought up… blah blah blah” anyhow, regardless of merit, because they are true believers – oh yes I have argued my points with them.)

    To the substance. If trees indeed achieve temperature equilibrium after a 24 hour period as you suggest, why have I never seen a tree freeze to death?

    Have you seen a tree freeze to death, Chris?
    Here in Sacramento, where I live, it rarely freezes, but there are exceptions.
    Like for instance January 2007, Sacramento Executive Airport established a new record for consecutive days with low temperature or 32 degrees (fahrenheit) or less; 15 days in a row from January 6th through the 20th which broke the previous January record of 13 days set back in 1949.
    The all time cold streak record at Sacramento Executive Airport is 16 consecutive days of 32 degrees or less set back in December 1990.

    Don’t worry. My trees made it through, all three times.

  241. Chris Crawford August 5, 2008 at 6:08 am #

    I believe that I have tracked down the source of a misconception that has been advanced numerous times. Several writers on a number of occasions have accused me of demanding that they prove AGW wrong. Their accusations are false; I have never made any such demand. But I think I have figured out how they came to their false conclusion. It arose from a point I made regarding forest fires. My point was simple: the existence of natural causes for forest fires does not preclude the possibility of non-natural causes for forest fires. Any given forest fire could have been started by lightning — or it might have been started by a human. I was attacking the claim that the existence of a natural cause (lightning) means that an unnatural cause is not possible. At no point did I ever claim that the proponents of the lightning hypothesis must disprove the human-ignition hypothesis.

    The underlying reasoning behind this misconception appears to be a misunderstanding of Occam’s Razor. So let me explain Occam’s Razor.

    The basic idea behind Occam’s Razor is that simpler explanations of phenomenon are to be preferred over more complex explanations WHEN THERE IS NO OTHER MEANS TO RESOLVE THE ISSUE. In other words, if you have a limited amount of data, and that data is insufficient to discriminate between two hypotheses, then the simpler hypothesis should be given preference. Occam’s Razor does not permit us to simply ignore data; if the data supports the more complex hypothesis, then we accept the more complex hypothesis.

    Wes George has argued the proposition that the “natural explanation” is simpler than the AGW hypothesis, and therefore we should prefer the natural explanation. The problem is that the natural explanation does NOT explain the data: specifically, the steep rise in temperatures seen in the 20th century. His example case, the MWP, shows temperature rises that are at least three times slower than those of the 20th century. Hence, his natural explanation doesn’t explain the data. And the data is the decisive factor — not the simplicity.

  242. Chris Crawford August 5, 2008 at 6:23 am #

    James, you raise several points. First, on the matter of the role of authority, you point out that you prefer a good clear explanation of the science. And in fact, the NAS item I linked to does provide a good clear explanation of the science. You’re welcome to dismiss it as nonsense, if you so choose. And I don’t expect that it will convince you. If the clouds over Capital Hill parted, a dazzling light shone down on Congress, choirs of angels could be heard signing, and a loud voice boomed out, “AGW is real!”, you’d still dismiss it as an argument from authority. So I don’t have a problem with your refusing to accept the scientific arguments or the conclusions of the National Academy of Sciences or the Stefan-Boltzmann Law or anything else. My goal is not to convince you, but to convince readers who haven’t already made up their minds. You may be willing to dismiss all those scientists as a bunch of liberal egghead commies, but most people don’t share that opinion.

    You write, “If trees indeed achieve temperature equilibrium after a 24 hour period as you suggest, why have I never seen a tree freeze to death?”

    Simple: because you’ve never been in a really cold climate. There’s plenty of evidence of trees actually shattering from sudden intense cold. Indeed, I have not 50 meters from my home a number of dead white oaks that were killed some years ago by a really sharp cold snap. The reason that trees can survive subzero temperatures is that they have an organic anti-freeze in their saps. The colder the climate they’re in, the more anti-freeze they manufacture. But if they encounter truly abnormal conditions, they can still succumb to the cold.

  243. Mark August 5, 2008 at 7:37 am #

    “Mark offers a link to a graph. He doesn’t say anything about that graph. Yes, Mark, it’s a pretty graph. Do you have a point you’d like to make?]

    Let me spell it out for you!:

    You made the statement:

    “But the single most important evidence in support of the AGW hypothesis is not the absolute value of the temperature, but the rate of change of temperature”.

    Well if you look at the graph I provided which is the UAH MSU temperature record going to when it first began, there is nothing in it to support your statement. We’re right back to the temperatures in the late 70’s. That’s what is known to climate alarmists as a “inconvenient fact”. That is why they (including yourself) choose to ignore it. However, that won’t work here as most of the resident participants here who like to challenge the AGW myth are kind of partial to facts and not made-up shit! You may want to try elsewhere!

  244. Louis Hissink August 5, 2008 at 8:06 am #

    Chris Crawford

    “Louis repeats the falsehood in his statement: “That is the same argument John Wheeler basically used to bolster support for astronomical black holes – you can’t prove they don’t exist, so I am free to use them.”

    You just stated it was a falsehood – you have not demonstrated that it actually is.

    “Louis, weather is not climate” – I was dealing with CO2 not weather, so the comment made out of context – the decrease in CO2 at Mauna Loa, which if it kept decreasing, would invalidate the climate sensitivity assumption.

    This suggests you don’t really understand the science, as you more or less admit in your concluding paragraph.

    I also note you collate all your specific disagreements with us into one concatenated muddle, requiring us to read it to see if we actually get a mention. (I suppose if I had not read it to find comments in the body of the your reply pertinent to something I wrote, I would have been accused of avoiding answering).

    But you continue, as do all AGW supporters, to avoid dealing with the fundamental principle – does an increase in atmospheric CO2 actually cause a temperature rise, or if atmospheric CO2 decreases, a cooling of temperature since the two processes go hand in hand.

    This is simply Arrhenius’ hypothesis.

    I am not criticising climate science, just the fact that political activists have seized on one aspect of it to further a political agenda – I am struck by the observation that AGW is principally a progressive or left of centre movement. If it were based in science, that distinction would not be possible since science is apolitical.

    In any case I have been told to my face by staunch ALP supporters that the science is neither here nor there, it is simply being used as the means to force us into a more sustainable lifestyle.

    Hence my resolute opposition to the latest Whig hijacking of science for political purposes.

  245. Raven August 5, 2008 at 8:26 am #

    Chris Crawford,

    “But the single most important evidence in support of the AGW hypothesis is not the absolute value of the temperature, but the rate of change of temperature”

    I disagree with this claim because:

    1) We don’t have any proxies for global temperature that can tell us how fast the climate has changed in the past over 30 year periods. This means you have no data which allows you to make such a claim. (I say 30 years because the warming to 1940 is generally accepted as natural and there was no warming from 1940 to 1980 so the entire AGW arguement is based on less than 30 years of data).

    2) The proxies that we do have such as the ice core records show numerous 100 year periods during the last 10000 years where the rate of change is as high as or higher than the last 100 years.

  246. Chris Crawford August 5, 2008 at 8:49 am #

    Mark, there are a number of flaws in your reasoning:

    1. The graph you provide only covers the period 1978 through 2007. While this is most recent data, it’s only a portion of the overall data. You’re cherry-picking the data.

    2. It’s also incomplete in that it represents lower tropospheric temperatures. There are other temperature measures to consider, such as sea surface temperatures. I base my conclusion on the IPCC Figure 6.10, which represents a consolidation of many different sources of temperature and covers an extended period of time.

    3. Even worse, your graph strongly supports my claim. When I eyeball a best-fit line through that data, I get it starting at about -0.1ºC and ending up at +0.3ºC. That’s an increase of +0.4ºC in just 30 years — an even steeper temperature climb than I had claimed previously! I have a guess as to the mistake you’re making, although since you haven’t articulated your reasoning, I’m only guessing. Here’s my guess:

    You’re looking at end points rather than the entire dataset. You look at the very first data point and read a value of about -0.15ºC. You look at the very last data point and read a value of about -0.15ºC. You therefore conclude that there has been no change in temperature. You are, for all intents and purposes, throwing away ALL the data from the intervening years.

    Throwing away data is never a good idea; a proper analysis takes into account as much data as it can. That’s why we do a least-squares fit to the data. The simplest form is a least-squares line, although in some situations we’ll want to fit another function to the data.

    Here’s a simple example of why throwing away data is never a good idea: you say that the only data points that count are the first and last in the series: 1978 and 2007. But hey, why are those two dates sacred? If YOU can pick whatever dates you want, why can’t I? So I counter by picking as my starting point the lowest value of late 1984: -0.5ºC. And for my endpoint, I choose the early 2006 value that peaks at +0.6ºC. Now I’ve got an increase of a whopping +1.1ºC in just 22 years! So which of us is right? Each of us arbitrarily picked a beginning and ending point, and we get completely contradictory results!

    The answer is that we’re both wrong to cherry-pick the data. The right way is to consider ALL the data before drawing conclusions. And when you do that, you get a very steep increase in temperatures.

    Louis protests that I have not demonstrated that his claim that I claim that he must disprove AGW and I don’t have to prove AGW is false. That sentence is difficult to follow, but I thought I had clarified all this with my post of August 5 6:08 AM. In any case, there’s a simple solution to all this: Louis, do you still assert that I demand disproof of AGW? If so, can you actually provide a quotation from me in which I make that demand?

    Next, Louis complains that my comment about weather not being climate is irrelevant to his comment about CO2. Apparently the basis of his claim is that CO2 concentrations are not part of weather. I have several ways to attack Louis’ argument, but I think that the simplest is to fall back on the essence of the matter: weather is a short-term phenomenon and climate is a long-term phenomenon. Louis’ original statement (“If this carries on for the next few months, then it’s the death knell for AGW”) applies to a time scale of a few months; that’s short term. Climate considerations apply on a much longer time scale — decades. Louis’s mistake is to rely on short-term data to make conclusions about long-term climate.

    Louis next complains that I respond to different commentators in a unified way, rather than addressing each one individually. I’m sorry, Louis, but there are many opposing commentators and only one of me and, when several of you make the same mistake it saves time for me to address that mistake in a single place.

    Next, Louis makes an accusation:

    “But you continue, as do all AGW supporters, to avoid dealing with the fundamental principle – does an increase in atmospheric CO2 actually cause a temperature rise, or if atmospheric CO2 decreases, a cooling of temperature since the two processes go hand in hand.”

    I refer you to my comment at August 5, 4:19 AM:

    “As for myself, I consider the issue at hand to be this:
    “Is the basic AGW hypothesis supported by the evidence?””

    That pretty well addresses it front and center, wouldn’t you agree?

    Next, Louis complains that many proponents of the AGW hypothesis hold left-wing opinions. He then goes on to imply (unwittingly, I suspect) that this is the reason why he is an AGW opponent: he’s right wing, he opposes the left wing, the left wing favors AGW, so he must oppose AGW. This problem bedevils all climate science. The science has been hijacked by political forces on both sides of the political spectrum, so that left-wingers are knee-jerkingly in favor of the AGW hypothesis and right-wingers are knee-jerkingly opposed to the AGW hypothesis. If we were being nonpolitical about this, we’d all agree to just let the scientists get on with their job and we’d let the scientists answer the scientific questions — which of course they have done. But now we have right-wingers who don’t like the scientific results, so we are treated to the spectacle of people who know little about science pontificating about scientific issues. This discussion provides a perfect example. Aside from Steve Short, most of the commentators here are making gigantic mistakes about elementary science. What’s really pathetic about this is that I — lil old nonexpert Chris! — has had to explain elementary scientific principles to people here. As the old adage goes, “In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” Meet one-eyed Chris.

    So I’m going to ask a few purely rhetorical questions, and I direct these questions not at the commentators but at the lurking open-minded readers. Do you think that the people attacking the AGW hypothesis are doing so out of a concern for scientific truth, or because they have a political axe to grind? If their concern is purely scientific, why aren’t they addressing other controversies in science, such as the raging controversy in linguistics over Chomsky and deep structure, or the role of dark matter in cosmology, or the possibility of life on Mars, or earth’s magnetic field reversals, or fine structure of meteoroid streams, or any of a million other controversies? Why do they pick this particular scientific issue? And why do they make such strong statements and such abusive comments about those who disagree with them about a merely scientific question?

  247. Brian Holland August 5, 2008 at 8:53 am #

    “Inspite of my lack, his argument makes sense to me because it doesn’t depend upon a title, be it PHD or MA or member of such and such society, being affixed to the end of his name.”

    What bollocks! Steve Short has inserted wherever he can his academic credentials and self-imposed superiority. Only someone incredibly insecure with an inflated ego would bother going to such lengths on a blog such as this. His continual personal attacks on Luke and others who may challenge his position are proof of this. If your expert were on the opposing team James Mayeau, you would not be paying the slightest bit of attention to him except to insult and inflame. No matter what authorities or experts may bother visiting this blog, the majority of you have firmly made up your minds. You are all experts.

    “However, that won’t work here as most of the resident participants here who like to challenge the AGW myth are kind of partial to facts and not made-up shit!”

    Case in point.

    “My goal is not to convince you, but to convince readers who haven’t already made up their minds.”

    You are doing a good job Chris and I have been enjoying reading your comments. What you write is clear and does not really on pitiful ad homs. I have no trouble reading your larger blocks of text in answer to posters, and in fact prefer it to the useless multiple posts those such as Louis feel inclined to subject readers to. He only seems to be interested in whether his name is in print anyway.

    This blog is anti-AGW and the environment, and those that subscribe to these beliefs do not want people here challenging them. They appear to get far more intellectual stimulation bantering amongst themselves about politics, philosophy, appropriate ad homs, pseudonyms and back slapping. It would be interesting to leave them to it and see them really vegetate.

  248. Chris Crawford August 5, 2008 at 9:06 am #

    Raven, first I want to say that, after all the unkind commentary of the last few days, it’s really nice to find somebody who disagrees in a gentlemanly fashion. Thanks.

    You write:

    “We don’t have any proxies for global temperature that can tell us how fast the climate has changed in the past over 30 year periods. This means you have no data which allows you to make such a claim. (I say 30 years because the warming to 1940 is generally accepted as natural and there was no warming from 1940 to 1980 so the entire AGW arguement is based on less than 30 years of data).”

    We don’t need proxies for the recent past because we have instrumental data going back to 1750, although the older data definitely needs to be normalized to fit modern data. It’s the temperatures from about 1880 forward that are most critical to this question and they clearly show a strong and rapid general increase in temperature over this period.

    “The proxies that we do have such as the ice core records show numerous 100 year periods during the last 10000 years where the rate of change is as high as or higher than the last 100 years.”

    There are only two periods of which I am aware that show rapid increases in temperature: in the first warming before the Younger Dryas Warming, and in the immediate aftermath of the Younger Dryas. See IPCC AR4 Section 6.4.2 for a discussion of abrupt climate change events. There were indeed some very dramatic warmings in the last million years, but the two early events around the Younger Dryas are the only Holocene events of which I am aware. Moreover, these were part of the transition from an Ice Age to a warm climate, and so it’s not directly comparable to current events. See especially FAQ 6.2: Is the Current Climate Change Unusual Compared to Earlier Changes in Earth’s History?

  249. gavin August 5, 2008 at 9:18 am #

    Brian: This blog is a bit of a honey pot for a number of dBrian: This blog is a bit of a honey pot for a number of diehards however feedback from the crowds relaxing out in the sun indicates it has been seen as quite irrelevant.

    The formation of public opinion is still largely independent of the internet and its string of like forums.

    I reckon it is only a window to the more desperate political lobbies that have not relaxed to the changes in thinking that are sweeping the globe.

  250. gavin August 5, 2008 at 9:19 am #

    Brian: This blog is a bit of a honey pot for a number of dBrian: This blog is a bit of a honey pot for a number of diehards however feedback from the crowds relaxing out in the sun indicates it has been seen as quite irrelevant.

    The formation of public opinion is still largely independent of the internet and its string of like forums.

    I reckon it is only a window to the more desperate political lobbies that have not relaxed to the changes in thinking that are sweeping the globe.

  251. wes george August 5, 2008 at 9:31 am #

    Chris claims that:

    “Several writers on a number of occasions have accused me of demanding that they prove AGW wrong. Their accusations are false; I have never made any such demand.”

    Chris Crawford at August 2, 2008 02:02 PM said:

    “This may be true of some proponents of AGW, but it is most certainly not the concern of all proponents; moreover, it’s irrelevant; if they’re right for the wrong reasons, they’re still right. YOU NEED TO PROVE THEY ARE WRONG, not that they have the wrong motivations.”

    ALL CAPS I added for emphasis. Chris’s verse is litter with calls (literal and implied) for us to prove this or that where the burden of proof lies with him (by him, I mean the supporters of the AGW hypothesis.) For instance: Wes George must prove Hansen’s claim that Bangladesh won’t flood in the next 30 years by proving it wasn’t underwater in the much warmer MWP. In fact, the case is quite the opposite.

    Chris, the whole gestalt of your argument is based on inverting the burden of proof upon us. Yet you are the one who has posited the AGW hypothesis.

    You like metaphors, try this one:

    We claim that the pyramids of Egypt were built by natural human culture and cite our reasoning, You claim that Aliens must have helped because the pyramids couldn’t be built by natural humans alone. We invoke the principle of parsimony and show the how the pyramids could have been built without alien help. And your reply is that we haven’t proven Aliens didn’t help, so they must have.

    Increasingly today, this type of logical error passes as sound reasoning.

    At this point in the debate is it fair to assume that you can not prove that AGW is forcing the observed climate change of today? I would submit that this is the case.

    (I’m deeply tempted to digress on “if they’re right for the wrong reason, they’re still right” in the relation to the ethical practice of scientific methodology.)

  252. Steve Short August 5, 2008 at 9:34 am #

    Chris:

    “Any honest man who knows his own expertise to be significantly less than that of an authority will give great credence to the advice of that authority. And I think that many of the opponents of AGW are vulnerable to the accusation of vainglory in this regard. I have no idea whether that criticism can be applied to any of the individuals commenting on this blog, but I can state with confidence that a person who casually dismisses the conclusions of experts who have invested many years of education and hard work in their field, when he himself has not made a comparable investment in time and exertion in that field, is intellectually dishonest.”

    Now, it just so happens that I agree with all of this statement!

    HOWEVER, I also assert that many, if not more of the supporters of AGW are also vulnerable to the accusation of vainglory in this regard.

    Personally, I generally try to take care to think and perhaps write about AGW-related issues where I have “invested many years of education and hard work in the field” but don’t claim to be perfect in this regard.

    But as one who has been actively working in science or applied science continually (except for vacations) for precisely 37 years, I have been struck, over the last 15 – 20 years of that period, by how so very common it has become, that even university trained scientists, who should know better, yet are themselves more or less committed to the basic tenets of the AGW theory, no longer hesitate to exhibit vainglory way beyond where their own field of expertise ends, and that of others, begins.

    This can only have arisen through a steady degradation of the education process itself, and an associated corruption and degradation of the peer review process.

    Almost all of my friends and colleagues in academia and research institutions, even regardless of where they stand in the AGW debate, privately and freely offer the same opinion.

    There is a great, great ethical tragedy emerging here. It is this:

    In publishing many so-called scientific papers which are bound up with the great social movement in the West which is AGW, many so-called scientists are now, on a daily basis, actually repudiating the findings of thousands of scientists who came before them over the last 200 or so years, consigning wholesale, great pieces of the real meaning of their mathematical descriptions, interpretations, papers, monographs and textbooks to the hot flames of revisionist history, NOT the winds of cool reason.

    This is why I fulminate against post-modernism etc.

    In very significant aspects the AGW movement represents a real repudiation of the rationality of the Enlightenment and its replacement with a process of enforced perpetual ‘re-education’ Mao-style.

    The Truth is now more and more relative and is continually being reworked by acts of will by those of monstrous ego rather than acts of rigorous experimental proof by those of long training and painstaking dedication.

    The splenic posturing and vainglory of the more rabid acolytes of the global AGW movement who post here, or indeed of some of their opponents, concern me not at all. It is so easily discerned, very often quite amusing and satirized, viz:

    “Yep, I’d walk….er a million miles for one of your wiles….no matter how deplaurable, ad-libbable, or downwright terrible, you poor little debble, Trebble – or whatever your name is.”

    No, the real tragedy here is the wholesale corruption of science and social discourse which the AGW bandwagon/movement (religions?) is now delivering us.

    We must be very, very careful that this does not also deliver us into a darkness that will blight the lives of our children and their children etc., etc for hundreds of years if not more, groaning miserable lives out under yet another vast, millenial, oppressive, Guilt-Edged Orthodoxy.

  253. Luke August 5, 2008 at 9:37 am #

    And the reason that Short is the most disingenuous creep I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet is that he’s happy to have all manner of cutesy private conversations off-line (which I’m not going to discuss) and then savagely put the boot in on-line. Very interesting behaviour. Anyway he’s now enjoying having court with his various mates who he’s quite prepared to let indulge in all manner of really silly ideas. But any price for a cheer squad of goons I guess. Being a bright boy his tolerance of them is most amusing. As long as they are perceived of the right colour.

    It would be good to push through and dispense with the tedious and predictable political and philosophical tirades from Louis, Ivan and Wes – but it ain’t going to happen – they really love it. You would think that perhaps one could work through to points of agreement and disagreement. But unlikely.

    So Brian and Chris – good luck. Your comments on politic here are most incisive.

  254. Louis Hissink August 5, 2008 at 9:51 am #

    Chris Crawford,

    (Some of us do question Dark Matter etc – it’s part of the Plasma universe theories).

    “I refer you to my comment at August 5, 4:19 AM:

    “As for myself, I consider the issue at hand to be this:
    “Is the basic AGW hypothesis supported by the evidence?””

    That pretty well addresses it front and center, wouldn’t you agree?”

    Categorically no – its fundamental assumption is not scientific.

    You regard it as a given that the AGW hypothesis is a scientific theory – it isn’t hence the rest of your deductions, while logical, are meaningless if the primary assumption is wrong.

    This is the gigantic error of science you have made, and you presume to instruct empirical scientists such as Steve Short and myself? (We are both geoscientists, I in mineral exploration)

    “Louis protests that I have not demonstrated that his claim that I claim that he must disprove AGW and I don’t have to prove AGW is false. That sentence is difficult to follow, but I thought I had clarified all this with my post of August 5 6:08 AM. In any case, there’s a simple solution to all this: Louis, do you still assert that I demand disproof of AGW? If so, can you actually provide a quotation from me in which I make that demand?

    Chris, I don’t recall writing this at all, and your first sentence is a non sequitur. You are confusing me with someone else, and let’s have your substantiation of the falsehood re John Wheeler.

    Diverting me into some other rhetorical cul-de-sac won’t work.

    Yes there are few of us and only one of you, but as you seem capable of posting enormous replies, perhaps dividing them into separate posts on the specific issue might clarifiy your own thoughts.

    Oh and I did not complain that AGW was a leftwing prelidection, I justed stated it as a fact.

  255. Raven August 5, 2008 at 9:54 am #

    Chris Crawford says:
    “There are only two periods of which I am aware that show rapid increases in temperature: in the first warming before the Younger Dryas Warming, and in the immediate aftermath of the Younger Dryas.”

    The ice core records show many periods with a rate of change more than 1 degC/century. Here is a plot of the rate of change from both poles:

    http://bp3.blogger.com/_JGioekRDX60/Riz5llqTNAI/AAAAAAAAAAU/8FvY5mEueP8/s1600-h/Comp_to_5Kybp_1.jpg

    The providence of this chart is explained here: http://turfins.blogspot.com/ (This page is an anti-Gore rant but I have verified the claims myself in the past by downloading the GISP core data and reviewing it in Excel. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the link to the data that I used in the past).

    Now I agree that the poles are not the globe but that I why I said we have no data that would allow us to know whether the current rate of change is unusual or not (instrument data back to the 1700s is not enough given the historical evidence for a MWP followed by a LIA).

    In short, I have looked but I can find no compelling evidence that the current rate of change is unusual over the last 10,000 years.

  256. Steve Short August 5, 2008 at 10:14 am #

    Hmmm….that brought the rodent out of his hole, I see.

    Attention:

    This Golum who accuses me of being “happy to have all manner of cutesy private conversations off-line (which I’m not going to discuss)” had the absolute nerve to privately contact me, totally unsolicited, ‘out of the blue’ under his own initiative some time back and then subsequently bombard me with pro-AGW papers.

    It is thus utterly disingenuous and offensive for this creep to then throw that fact back at me when he was the one that both initiated and (for a while) forced that attachment-laden correspondence.

    This illustrates the lengths to which the rabid, dedicated AGW jihadist will go.

    So Luke, Laura , Libby, Gavin, Trebble, Brian Holland, Bespectacled Funnel Web, Bibble, Bubble or whoever or whatever avatar (or collectively) in this always unlinkable little cabel of Public Service weasels you may actually be.

    Keep your rat dirt to yourself.

  257. Steve Short August 5, 2008 at 10:21 am #

    Hey, how about I actually post (both) FIRST CONTACT emails (with dates, headers etc)?

  258. Chris Crawford August 5, 2008 at 10:39 am #

    Wes, you’re relying on taking a statement in one context and applying it to another context. Let’s look at the FULL context of my statement. Here’s what I was responding to:

    ” the issue here has never been the science; this is a philosophical movement with the materialism and excesses of Western capialism firmly in its sights”

    (This may be true of some proponents of AGW, but it is most certainly not the concern of all proponents; moreover, it’s irrelevant; if they’re right for the wrong reasons, they’re still right. You need to prove that they’re wrong, not that they have the wrong motivations.)

    My point was a response to the dismissal of AGW proponents because they had, in the eyes of the writer, ignoble motivations. My point was quite clear: their motivations are unimportant, and the focus should be on the issues themselves, not the motivations of the participants. You have taken a comment with a narrow scope and mistakenly applied it universally; and the fact that I have many times presented the supporting evidence for AGW as the rapid increase in temperatures leaves little room for a defense of innocent misunderstanding.

    You make a completely different class of error with this statement:

    “Wes George must prove Hansen’s claim that Bangladesh won’t flood in the next 30 years by proving it wasn’t underwater in the much warmer MWP. In fact, the case is quite the opposite.”

    You’ve mixed up the negatives in this statement, but I take your meaning to be that you resent my demand that you support your assertion that Bangladesh wasn’t underwater during the MWP. You made a statement of fact: that Bangladesh wasn’t underwater during the MWP. I myself don’t know whether it was or wasn’t underwater, but you made the assertion and it is incumbent upon you to demonstrate that you have some evidence to support your assertion. If you don’t have any evidence, then you have no basis to make the claim in the first place.

    You write, “Chris, the whole gestalt of your argument is based on inverting the burden of proof upon us.”

    I will state now for the umpteenth time that the most compelling evidence in favor of the AGW hypothesis is the rapid increase in temperatures in the 20th century. I have yet to see any comment from you on that central point. Have you anything to say about it?

    You write, “At this point in the debate is it fair to assume that you can not prove that AGW is forcing the observed climate change of today?”

    I again cite the rapid increase in temperatures in the 20th century. Have you anything to say about this central point?

    Steve, I respect your point of view but I must say, the accusations you make seem both vague and hyperbolic to me. You seem to be talking about The End of Civilization as We Know It, but you’re short on specifics. I realize that broad historical trends cannot be captured in a few anecdotes (and even if you offered them, they would remain a handful of anecdotes, not substantial evidence). You’re making grand conclusions from the point of view of a single researcher.

    I happen to agree that educational standards have declined and I also think that it’s way too easy to get a PhD these days — I know some pretty unworthy people sporting the degree. Yet although the histogram is larger now and the people at the bottom end of the distribution are more numerous, I think that the people at the top end of the distribution are also more numerous. In other words, we’ve got more dummies, but we’ve got more brilliant people, too.

    I certainly share your concerns about the overall standard of education of the masses. We need a really educated citizenry to cope with the complex technological problems we face, yet when we read that nearly half of all Americans question evolutionary theory, we can only shake our heads in dismay.

    And there’s also plenty to worry about with respect to the general standard of education among the more educated members of society. A friend of mine who’s a science fiction writer is just now attending a special NASA training class of “Science for Writers”. She calls me every other night to vent her frustration at the pedestrian level of the presentations. It is really is appalling to realize that many writers don’t know the basic arrangement of the solar system, the distance scale, expansion of the universe, and so forth.

    I really disagree with this statement of yours:

    “In very significant aspects the AGW movement represents a real repudiation of the rationality of the Enlightenment and its replacement with a process of enforced perpetual ‘re-education’ Mao-style.”

    Do you really think that the climatologists are working in a less rigorous environment than you work in? Do you really think that shoddy work that would never stand up in your own field can sail past the climatologists? Are you sure you’re not being parochial here? I don’t know, I can’t decide for you, so I only ask the question.

    “The splenic posturing and vainglory of the more rabid acolytes of the global AGW movement who post here, or indeed of some of their opponents, concern me not at all. It is so easily discerned, very often quite amusing and satirized, viz:”

    Yes, we see lots of this stuff on BOTH sides of the political aisle. Many years ago, while still rather young, I had a job teaching people about energy issues. At that time the hot topic was nuclear energy and I had to be very careful to make sure of my facts, as I represented a major university and was subject to thorough review of everything I said publicly. I remember an informal chat with the dean of the Sciences college. He was concerned about how well I was holding up under all the political invective being tossed around me. (I was getting shot at from both sides.) Anyway, at one point, I expressed intense frustration at the outrageous lies that were being perpetrated by one side (I honestly cannot recall which side it was or what the lies were.) After venting my frustrations for five minutes on this topic, I concluded by muttering, almost under my breath, that it almost made me want to stretch the truth in the other direction to make up for their lies. Boy, did the dean come down hard on me for that! Finger wagging, he sternly told me that, no matter what, I was to hew to the line of truth as best known, and let the public make its own mind up. “All we can do is tell the truth” he said. “If the public misunderstands, we can’t fix the problem by lying.” I knew instantly that he was absolutely right and I felt very, very stupid.

    The same thing applies here. Yes, there are plenty of nescient fools on both sides of the debate contaminating it with their ignorant blatterations. Yes, it’s frustrating trying to keep cool and answer their abusive crap in a purely logical, rational way. But I put this question to you: if you don’t show calm and rationality, who will? Somebody has to take responsibility for making the debate constructive. I’m trying to do this from the pro-AGW side; I can think of few better positioned to do it from the anti-AGW side than you.

  259. cohenite August 5, 2008 at 10:53 am #

    chris; your ad hom about my MWP sources is not reasonable; the Lund and Curry paper you have focused on is primarily about dating techniques to recover prior temp records, and their focus is on the LIA with a comparitive nod towards the MWP; the graph extracted by the CO2 site was therefore reasonable; the Lund paper is interesting because it concludes that the sea/solar interaction with salinity as a proxy is the main driver of global temp; I note you have been flirting with the greenhouse concept with your house analogy; it only works if the house is neck high in water; the greenhouse, along with ave temp and uniform CO2 mixing, as essential aspects of AGW are rubbish; but rather go down that well-trodden path let’s look once again at the chimera of rapidly increasing 20thC temps;

    Here is a graph of 20thC PDO phases;

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/pdo_monthly.png

    A hot El Nino PDO started the 20thC in 1905-46; a cool, La Nina went from 1946-76, and a warm PDO went from 1977-2002 with a false ending and appears to have conked out in 2006-2007; this is consistent with SOI fluctuations over the last 2years.

    I have mentioned already how a base period can bias and create false temp trends because it does not properly deal with PDO phase change and consequent climate change; this graph from HadCrut temp data shows this bias;

    http://i32.tinypic.com/2s01m5y.jpg

    What Bob Teasdale has done is create a proper temp record which allows for the climate change between PDO phase shifts;

    http://i25.tinypic.com/e6zj0l.jpg

    Bob simply does a an annual variance adjustment by subtracting the prior year anomaly value from the current year value; the significance of this is that the temp data continuously allows for the PDO climate prevailing; if there was any non-PDO temp trend it would show up, either as an upward or downward movement; here is a comparison between the HadCrut data which has not allowed for the different temp regimes of the PDO’s and the temp data which has allowed for the PDO;

    http://i26,tinypic.com/2hmpw6r.jpg

    The inevitable conclusion is that there has been no upward temp trend over the 20thC.

    Now look what GISS has manufacture;

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/02/a_tale_of_two_thermometers/

    The relevant graphs are the before and after of US temp history; McIntyre has revealed this manipulation and has shown that GISS does it everywhere, not just in the US; this manipulation would not be necessary if the base period bias was accepted and the impact of PDO was recognised; GISS is either ignorant or deliberately obfuscating; one thing is certain thought; the exceptional climate change of the 20thC which AGW requires is not happening.

  260. Chris Crawford August 5, 2008 at 10:57 am #

    Louis Hissink comments:

    “You regard it as a given that the AGW hypothesis is a scientific theory – it isn’t hence the rest of your deductions, while logical, are meaningless if the primary assumption is wrong.”

    Louis, I must say, I’m quite aghast at this statement. You appear to be declaring that the AGW hypothesis is undeserving of consideration, and therefore you will not consider it — end of story. Would you mind elaborating?

    Raven, I think I can explain the discrepancy you note. You’re looking only at polar temperatures; I’m talking about global mean temperatures. There’s a huge difference between the two. Polar temperatures show much larger swings than global mean temperatures. Although we could compare current polar temperature swings with past polar temperature swings, these numbers are not considered as reliable as overall global temperatures, because they are highly sensitive to local conditions.

    Steve, I sympathize with your frustration at the invective directed at you. Please everybody, let’s keep this discussion gentlemanly.

    “Oh and I did not complain that AGW was a leftwing prelidection, I justed stated it as a fact.”

    Well, OK. Then surely you’ll agree that opposition to AGW is a rightwing predilection?

  261. cohenite August 5, 2008 at 10:59 am #

    That comparison is here; http://i26.tinypic.com/2hmpw6r.jpg

  262. Raven August 5, 2008 at 11:11 am #

    Chris Crawford says
    “Raven, I think I can explain the discrepancy you note. You’re looking only at polar temperatures; I’m talking about global mean temperatures. There’s a huge difference between the two.”

    Then that takes us back to my orginal point about the lack of data: we simply do not have any proxies for the GMST with the precision required to support your claim that the current rate of warming is unusual. More importantly, the local records that we do have seem to show large swings in temperatures which makes the claim of a slow changing GMST implausible if even they do not refute it.

  263. Chris Crawford August 5, 2008 at 11:13 am #

    cohenite writes:

    “chris; your ad hom about my MWP sources is not reasonable;”

    My remarks on that topic were most certainly NOT ad hominem in nature. An ad hominem argument starts with the claim that a source of information is bad, and then concludes that the information itself must be bad. I went in the opposite direction: I showed that the source had misrepresented the truth, and concluded that the source was untrustworthy.

    I disagree with your defense of their version of the paper’s content, because there were a number of items in the paper that are inconsistent with their representation of the paper.

    You write: “I note you have been flirting with the greenhouse concept with your house analogy; it only works if the house is neck high in water; the greenhouse, along with ave temp and uniform CO2 mixing, as essential aspects of AGW are rubbish”

    Wow! Would you explain why my explanation of thermal transfer requires water instead of air? Also, are you asserting that the greenhouse effect is rubbish? That the concept of average temperature is rubbish? That the concept of uniform CO2 mixing is rubbish?

    I have re-read your comments on 20th century temperatures several times, and must confess that I cannot understand your point. I’m pretty sure that it’s not random gibberish, because there does seem to be some underlying continuity. My best guess is that you aren’t good at expressing complex mathematical manipulations — that there really is something of value in there but you’re not expressing it clearly. I can follow some pretty hairy scientific papers — in fact, I’ve carried out two pretty hairy statistical analyses myself. But I sure can’t make hide nor hair of what you’re talking about.

  264. Chris Crawford August 5, 2008 at 11:17 am #

    Raven writes, “Then that takes us back to my orginal point about the lack of data: we simply do not have any proxies for the GMST with the precision required to support your claim that the current rate of warming is unusual.”

    Do you reject IPCC AR4 Figure 6.10? That’s the single best source, in my opinion, on overall global temperatures.

  265. Jan Pompe August 5, 2008 at 11:19 am #

    Gavin: “The formation of public opinion is still largely independent of the internet and its string of like forums.”

    On the other hand there might be a public opinion response to the rather heavy advertising campaign we are seeing presently.

    Some of it masquerading as news and documentary.

  266. Louis Hissink August 5, 2008 at 11:43 am #

    Chris Crawford

    Will you do us the favour of actually understanding the scientific basis of AGW? It’s based on Arrhenius’ paper of 1906.

    It’s an hypothesis that has not been proven. Keeling and others subsequently used the idea of CO2 causing heating to form the AGW hypothesis. That is AGW is an idea cantilevered onto an unproven hypothesis.

    This is why it is not worthy of consideration scientifically.

  267. wes george August 5, 2008 at 11:45 am #

    Chris admits that there is evidence that the MWP was as warm as today. Chris says, “I shall therefore stipulate(note that verb, ‘stipulate’!) that MWP temperatures were slightly warmer than temperatures in the year 2000…”

    Thanks for that, Chris. I still stipulate that, until the dairy farming returns to Greenland, (and Elephant Seals breed again on mainland Antarctica at the other end of the planet) that the MWP was warmer than today.

    Now that Chris has “stipulated” the MWP was as warm or warmer than today. That’s the end of all talk about the uniquely high temperatures of today. And if today’s temperature anomaly is hardly unique in history, why do we need an extraordinary set of assumptions to explain what can not be distinguished from the past?

    Ah, Chris explains it’s the unique “steepness” of today’s temperature slopes that require a revolutionary new hypothesis to explain. Absolute, rubbish, today’s temperature increase shows utterly no difference from that at many times in the past.

    Let’s return to IPCC 2007 fig 6.10:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/ipcc2007/fig610.png

    Notice that Chris “stipulates’ fig 6.10 displays the MWP high temperature anomaly as about .4c too low. (I would argue more like .7c) but never mind. We all agree the MWP was very warm. So look at fig 6.10 keeping in mind the MWP high at 1000 AD should be equal or greater than the year 2000’s temperature anomaly. Do you now see a pattern? Try to imagine the slope at 1000 AD forms a peak at about .5c t anomaly.

    What do you see?

    In the analysis of data that is presented in graphical form one important method is pattern recognition. Chris calls this “cherry picking.” But it is nothing of the sort.

    We can easily discern in fig. 6.10 that the steep slope of rising temperatures in the MWP from 860 to 1000 is the same pattern of temperature increase between 1820 and 2007. In fact, this is the most obvious pattern in the whole 1200-year period! There are two eras of major warming and the both are very similar.

    Remember as Raven pointed out, the effects of AGW are not postulated to have even begun before about 1940. Therefore the warming trend of 1820 to 2007 had already been ongoing for120 years by the time the proposed warming effects from CO2 could have even started.

    I submit that since natural causes produced the warming between 860 and 1000 AD, there is no reason to assume they didn’t cause the exact same pattern of warming 820 years later between 1820 and today. Furthermore, since AGW could not have even kicked in until the 1940’s, the first 120 years of the pattern is undisputedly natural in origin, yet the supporters of the AGW hypothesis imagine that the last 60 years of the same trend must have an extraordinary theory to account for it? This is illogical, if understandable. Much of AGW theory was in place by the 1980’s before it was understood how warm the MWP really was.

    Chris argues today’s T rise is steeper than the past. Yet this is not so. Look at fig 6.10 and you can see temperature slopes at today’s angle are the norm rather than the exception. Perhaps Chris is confusing slope with amplitude? In the case of amplitude there is a natural precedent event in the last 1200 years, the MWP between 850 and 1000 AD has the same amplitude as today’s warming.

    Today’s observed climate changes from 1820 to 2007 are the same in slope and amplitude as the MWP between 850 and 1000 AD. The most elegant hypothesis with the fewest assumptions to explain the observed similarity of patterns between today’s climate and the MWP is that the same natural forcing is the cause of both.

    The hypothesis that anthrogenic CO2 is the main forcing agent on climate today is an unnecessary construct that makes many more assumptions than are needed to explain the observed climate.

    Moreover, the observed data can actually be only adequately explained if the climate sensitivity to CO2 forcing is much lower than commonly assumed by most versions of the AGW hypothesis. If not then why isn’t today’s temperature any higher than the natural variation of the last 1200-years.

    The main argument for AGW has always been Mann’s famous Hockey Stick temperature reconstruction that was later discredited as false. That, and forecasts of soaring temperature anomalies toward 2c or even 3c. Yet the climate is tracking well below the forecasts made by NASA in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Now we have an anomalous global temperature plateau or even a cooling trend. The AGW hypothesis is not only not useful in explaining the latest climate trends, it is within a decade of falsification if today’s trends hold.

    The IPCC fig 6.10 does its damnedest to bury the MWP and retain as much of the “Hockey Stick” feeling as it can in the display of the data, but the natural patterns are still discernible and it shows that today’s climate is quite normal historically, once you adjust the t -anomaly for 1000 AD up to .5c

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/ipcc2007/fig610.png

  268. wes george August 5, 2008 at 11:46 am #

    Chris admits that there is evidence that the MWP was as warm as today. Chris says, “I shall therefore stipulate(note that verb, ‘stipulate’!) that MWP temperatures were slightly warmer than temperatures in the year 2000…”

    Thanks for that, Chris. I still stipulate that, until the dairy farming returns to Greenland, (and Elephant Seals breed again on mainland Antarctica at the other end of the planet) that the MWP was warmer than today.

    Now that Chris has “stipulated” the MWP was as warm or warmer than today. That’s the end of all talk about the uniquely high temperatures of today. And if today’s temperature anomaly is hardly unique in history, why do we need an extraordinary set of assumptions to explain what can not be distinguished from the past?

    Ah, Chris explains it’s the unique “steepness” of today’s temperature slopes that require a revolutionary new hypothesis to explain. Absolute, rubbish, today’s temperature increase shows utterly no difference from that at many times in the past.

    Let’s return to IPCC 2007 fig 6.10:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/ipcc2007/fig610.png

    Notice that Chris “stipulates’ fig 6.10 displays the MWP high temperature anomaly as about .4c too low. (I would argue more like .7c) but never mind. We all agree the MWP was very warm. So look at fig 6.10 keeping in mind the MWP high at 1000 AD should be equal or greater than the year 2000’s temperature anomaly. Do you now see a pattern? Try to imagine the slope at 1000 AD forms a peak at about .5c t anomaly.

    What do you see?

    In the analysis of data that is presented in graphical form one important method is pattern recognition. Chris calls this “cherry picking.” But it is nothing of the sort.

    We can easily discern in fig. 6.10 that the steep slope of rising temperatures in the MWP from 860 to 1000 is the same pattern of temperature increase between 1820 and 2007. In fact, this is the most obvious pattern in the whole 1200-year period! There are two eras of major warming and the both are very similar.

    Remember as Raven pointed out, the effects of AGW are not postulated to have even begun before about 1940. Therefore the warming trend of 1820 to 2007 had already been ongoing for120 years by the time the proposed warming effects from CO2 could have even started.

    I submit that since natural causes produced the warming between 860 and 1000 AD, there is no reason to assume they didn’t cause the exact same pattern of warming 820 years later between 1820 and today. Furthermore, since AGW could not have even kicked in until the 1940’s, the first 120 years of the pattern is undisputedly natural in origin, yet the supporters of the AGW hypothesis imagine that the last 60 years of the same trend must have an extraordinary theory to account for it? This is illogical, if understandable. Much of AGW theory was in place by the 1980’s before it was understood how warm the MWP really was.

    Chris argues today’s T rise is steeper than the past. Yet this is not so. Look at fig 6.10 and you can see temperature slopes at today’s angle are the norm rather than the exception. Perhaps Chris is confusing slope with amplitude? In the case of amplitude there is a natural precedent event in the last 1200 years, the MWP between 850 and 1000 AD has the same amplitude as today’s warming.

    Today’s observed climate changes from 1820 to 2007 are the same in slope and amplitude as the MWP between 850 and 1000 AD. The most elegant hypothesis with the fewest assumptions to explain the observed similarity of patterns between today’s climate and the MWP is that the same natural forcing is the cause of both.

    The hypothesis that anthrogenic CO2 is the main forcing agent on climate today is an unnecessary construct that makes many more assumptions than are needed to explain the observed climate.

    Moreover, the observed data can actually be only adequately explained if the climate sensitivity to CO2 forcing is much lower than commonly assumed by most versions of the AGW hypothesis. If not then why isn’t today’s temperature any higher than the natural variation of the last 1200-years.

    The main argument for AGW has always been Mann’s famous Hockey Stick temperature reconstruction that was later discredited as false. That, and forecasts of soaring temperature anomalies toward 2c or even 3c. Yet the climate is tracking well below the forecasts made by NASA in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Now we have an anomalous global temperature plateau or even a cooling trend. The AGW hypothesis is not only not useful in explaining the latest climate trends, it is within a decade of falsification if today’s trends hold.

    The IPCC fig 6.10 does its damnedest to bury the MWP and retain as much of the “Hockey Stick” feeling as it can in the display of the data, but the natural patterns are still discernible and it shows that today’s climate is quite normal historically, once you adjust the t -anomaly for 1000 AD up to .5c

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/ipcc2007/fig610.png

  269. wes george August 5, 2008 at 11:48 am #

    whoops, sorry for the double post

  270. Raven August 5, 2008 at 11:53 am #

    Chris Crawford says:

    “Do you reject IPCC AR4 Figure 6.10? That’s the single best source, in my opinion, on overall global temperatures.”

    Actually, I would say it is one of the least reliable sources because most of the reconstructions use dubious statistical methods to extract trends from things like tree rings which are not reliable temperature proxies.

    The IPCC spaghetti graph is also misleading because it makes you think that there were many independent studies but when you dig into them you will find that most rely on the same set of tree ring data processed in slightly different ways.

    I don’t want to get into a long debate on the technical merits of the IPCC proxy studies but I will say I have studied the topic and read the arguments and counter arguments at places like ClimateAudit, RealClimate and Tamino. Based on what I have read I have come to the conclusion that the critisms of Steve McIntyre are legimate and that the IPCC made a big mistake when it decided to defend the hockey stick and its derivitives. In fact, the willingness to defend what I now see as junk science tells me that he IPCC is not a trustworthy source of information.

    If you think about it you should see that the thought process I went through w.r.t the IPCC is identical to thought process you went through when you discovered misrepresentations by the people running the CO2 science website.

    The best reconstruction that I have seen is Loehle and McCulloch, 2008 which you can find discussed here:

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2008/02/11/a-2000-year-global-temperature-record/

    As you can see this reconstruction does not support your claim that the current rate of warming is unusual.

  271. toby August 5, 2008 at 12:09 pm #

    Chris, as a sceptic I must say that the polite and logical way in which you respond to matters raised on this blog are refreshing and to be commended. Thankyou.

  272. wes george August 5, 2008 at 12:27 pm #

    Raven,

    I like the AR4 fig 6.10 because once you adjust up the MWP t-anomaly up to .5c it becomes stunningly clear that the AGW hypothesis is utterly unnecessary to explain today’s climate.

    Chris likes fig 6.10 too because he’s comfortable with the IPCC consensus science, although he admits that the MWP is shown as much too cool in fig 6.10.

    Using fig 6.10 and asking the readers to imagine the MWP restored to its rightful significance is awkward, but it avoids the common AGW supporter dodge of questioning a source as biased. Naturally the IPCC has no bias.

    It just goes to show how thin the real argument is for AGW hypothesis. Once the MWP is restored to its rightful significance the theory is left with nothing but GCMs, which are failing to explain the last two decades of climate trend.

    And Louis is completely correct: The climate sensitivity to CO2 is hotly debated and utterly unproven one way or another. But AGW supporters, like Chris, treat climate sensitivity to CO2 as a known factor. The science is settled they imply. Far from it.

    In fact, the high to mid end solutions for climate sensitivity to CO2 are almost certainly incorrect or today’s temperature anomaly would be double what it is today. The AGW hypothesis has proven itself less than prescient in predicting the last 20 years of climate change. With out the El Nino event of 1998, the true failure of AGW hypothesis to describe modern climate might well be more apparent.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/ipcc2007/fig610.png

  273. bikerider August 5, 2008 at 12:29 pm #

    I echo toby’s comments Chris – the signal to noise ratio has improved enormously.

  274. Libby August 5, 2008 at 12:29 pm #

    “So Luke, Laura , Libby, Gavin, Trebble, Brian Holland, Bespectacled Funnel Web, Bibble, Bubble or whoever or whatever avatar (or collectively) in this always unlinkable little cabel of Public Service weasels you may actually be.

    Keep your rat dirt to yourself.”

    I don’t work in the public service Steve, and I have been posting on this blog for a fairly long time under my real name. I have not, up until now, posted on this thread. The only time I have ever addressed anything by you (and received no response at the time) is when you assumed that no one else here had academic qualifications, peer-reviewed publications or engaged in getting their hands dirty with science. If you wish to make such silly unsubstantiated statements in a public forum, be prepared to be questioned on it. If you don’t like criticism, stick with the facts. In the meantime, if you have an issue with a comment someone has made, don’t wait for a few weeks to pass before making some childish snipe hoping to score some points. And if someone contacts you personally, be adult enough to deal with it privately and again not hope to score points here throwing sand and shouting names.

  275. Mark August 5, 2008 at 12:32 pm #

    cc: “Mark, there are a number of flaws in your reasoning: blah, blah, blah:”

    I’m not cherry picking. The theory of AGW states that as CO2 levels increase temperatures should increase. We now have an almost 30 year period where they have not (in addition to the 30 years from 1945 to 1975!).

    As to basing your conclusion on the IPCC Figure 6.10, well Bob’s your uncle! That’s your problem. Anything coming out of the IPCC is a piece of contrived crap. The graph I showed is the most reliable record of temperature available covering most of the globe and free from UHI effects.

    As to eyeballing a trend, get real. For starters temperature is not determined by a trend line. The temperature will react to any number of factors. See if your pea brain can comprehend this!

    – The world has undergone a moderate warming since the end of the little ice age. Most of that warming took place before any notable increase in levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
    – The world cooled from 1945-1975 just as CO2 levels started to increase more significantly. The AGW lie is that this was caused by aerosols but that’s a crock. The heaviest cooling occurred in the SH while the aerosols were in the NH.
    – Temperatures shot up beginning in the late 1970’s as the PDO kicked into positive mode. Ever hear of the PDO Chris? Do you need me to spell that for you? P-D-O. Fortunately for the AGW alarmists a spate of volcanic eruptions starting in the 1980’s through the early 90’s served to hide this discontinuity in temperature and make it appear more like a gradual increase consistent with the AGW bullcrap! However, if we disregard the La Ninas and super El Nino from 97 through 2001, the temperature increase stopped from 1995 to until 2007.
    – Temperatures have dropped significantly over the last year with the recent La Nina and now the PDO flipping to negative mode.
    – The next few months will be telling. If temperatures stay down, it looks like the AGW movement will end up dead as a dodo. I hope you like the taste of crow Chris!

    cc: “Do you reject IPCC AR4 Figure 6.10? That’s the single best source, in my opinion, on overall global temperatures.”

    Well excuse us! As demonstrated above your opinion is worth shit!

    CC: “Do you think that the people attacking the AGW hypothesis are doing so out of a concern for scientific truth, or because they have a political axe to grind? If their concern is purely scientific, why aren’t they addressing other controversies in science, such as the raging controversy in linguistics over Chomsky and deep structure, or the role of dark matter in cosmology, or the possibility of life on Mars, or earth’s magnetic field reversals, or fine structure of meteoroid streams, or any of a million other controversies? Why do they pick this particular scientific issue? And why do they make such strong statements and such abusive comments about those who disagree with them about a merely scientific question?”

    Because these other scientific controversies aren’t about to cost society trillions of dollars in totally unnecessary spending!

  276. bikerider August 5, 2008 at 12:34 pm #

    *sigh* – spoke too soon…

  277. wes george August 5, 2008 at 12:37 pm #

    Toby,

    I second that.

    Thank you Chris for keeping your cool even when some of the regular posters here have attacked you with less than polite manners.

  278. wes george August 5, 2008 at 12:49 pm #

    Bikerider,

    Copy that.

    People, Chris Crawford has done an amazing job at defending a complex position under attack from multiple commenters coming from all angles of the rhetorical compass and he has held his own quite nicely. (Of course, in the end he fell to my deft and flawless arguments, but that’s not the point.;-)_

    I think he deserves our respect. Chris has shown that ad hominem style of debate is the reserve of those with nothing of substance between their eyes and the back of their head.

  279. cohenite August 5, 2008 at 12:52 pm #

    “random gibberish”; yes, well thanks for not thinking that; I don’t know how I can make this simpler; there are 30-40 year long climate patterns called PDO’s; a +ve PDO is generally dominated by El Nino and is warm and dry; a -ve PDO is usually dominated by La Nina and is cool and wet. Average temperature, as determined by HadCrut and GISS, is done by reference to a 30 year base period in which temps are averaged; let’s say for convenience on an annual basis; there was a cool PDO from ’46-76, and a warm one from ’77-2006; if you have your base period from ’61-90 you will be averaging over 2 different PDO’s each with different internal and natural temp regimes; a base period covering 2 PDO’s does not fairly average the 2 different temp regimes for the purpose of determining whether temps consequent to the base period are anomalous and indicate a temp trend, BECAUSE those temps consequent to the base period are all in one PDO temp regime and statistically must be higher in the case of a warmer PDO following a cooler PDO; a false upward trend is created which is meaningless because it simply reflects the PDO phase shift; Bob Teasdale has corrected this by doing a simple annual variance calculation; that is, the first year Tn1 is subtracted from the second year, Tn2, and so on over the whole temp history; the annual variance means the fluctuations that occur from year to year are simply reflecting the variations within the prevailing PDO; if there was an anthropogenic signal based on increasing CO2 levels there would be a consistent increase over the temp history; Bob shows there isn’t; let me repeat; there isn’t a temp trend signal from CO2 increases; lucia has verified this for the modern era when she removes the ENSO extreme of 1998;

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/ipcc-falsifies-gavin.gif

    I note you haven’t responded to the glaring example of GISS manipulation of temp history, but no matter.

    In regard to the other issues; the greenhouse concept, ave temp and CO2 uniform mixing; these have been recently done to death here, so I was a bit exasperated at the thought of revisiting them; the house full of water analogy was simply my, no doubt inadequate, way of alluding to the fact that AGW greenhouse analogies are disingenuous because they don’t consider the thermal modifying effect of the ocean, hence a house full of water.

  280. Chris Crawford August 5, 2008 at 12:54 pm #

    Louis Hissink writes,

    “Will you do us the favour of actually understanding the scientific basis of AGW? It’s based on Arrhenius’ paper of 1906.

    It’s an hypothesis that has not been proven. Keeling and others subsequently used the idea of CO2 causing heating to form the AGW hypothesis. That is AGW is an idea cantilevered onto an unproven hypothesis.

    This is why it is not worthy of consideration scientifically.”

    Louis, your comments are both increasingly rude and increasingly bizarre. You seem to think that the greenhouse effect is something that was just randomly proposed by Arrhenius without any foundation. In truth, the greenhouse effect is based on simple physics: the CO2 molecule has an absorption band in the infrared. When an infrared photon inside that absorption band encounters a CO2 molecule, there is a probability that the CO2 molecule will absorb that infrared photon. If it does, then it will later re-emit that photon. However, the emission of that photon is isotropic: it can go in any direction. Therefore, if you have CO2 molecules in the atmosphere with the earth emitting infrared radiation below, then they are receiving photons from below, but emitting them in random directions. Half of the re-emitted photons will go up and half will go down. Thus, the earth is cooling by emitting infrared photons but the CO2 intercepts some of those photons and sends half of those right back to the earth. The more CO2 there is in the atmosphere, the more infrared photons get bounced back to earth. And since the earth cools by emitting photons, if some of those emitted photons get bounced back, then the earth doesn’t cool as well — so it heats up.

    This is all really simple physics, the kind of thing we teach sophomores, and there’s no question whatsoever about this. Moreover, it has been observed in Venus. The Venusian atmosphere contains lots of CO2, and Venus’s surface temperature is higher than that of Mercury — even though Mercury is closer to the sun.

    So this is not some wild theory. It’s standard material for introductory physics courses for scientists and engineers. I just checked in my library and found some old physics textbooks. There are three kinds of physics courses for lower-division students: survey courses, a single semester long, that are non-mathematical and designed for arts & humanities students; “non-calculus” courses, one year long and designed for biology, pre-med and similar students, and “calculus” courses for scientists and engineers, that require two years of study.

    I had two survey course textbooks; one described the greenhouse effect (although not with CO2); the other did not. I don’t have any non-calculus textbooks, but I have several calculus texts, and they all cover the greenhouse effect, absorption and emission spectra, and CO2.

    This is standard material that has been taught for decades. Your questioning it is just bizarre. You’re welcome to simply dismiss physics as a pseudo-science, but I don’t think you’ll convince many people of your belief.

    Wes George, I’d like to point out two crucial mistakes in your post. First, you declare that “AGW could not have even kicked in until the 1940’s”. This is not correct. Human contributions to the carbon cycle included both land use factors such as clearing woods and replacing them with farmland, manufacturing cement, and burning fossil fuels. This latter was the most important factor, but all three factors picked up dramatically with the Industrial Revolution, which started in the late 1700s. There’s plenty of room to argue about when the effect was significant; most scientists simply settle on “sometime in the 19th century” as the starting point. But pushing it all the way back to 1940 simply has no empirical support. We were burning millions of tons of fossil fuels long before then. Nevertheless, I’ll compromise with you and agree to a date of 1900 AD for the starting point for 20th century warming.

    Second, you offer a hand-waving “pattern recognition” argument regarding the slope of the temperature curve in Figure 6.10 for the period 850AD to 1000 AD. You ask readers to look at it and determine if it “looks like” the curve for the 20th century. Well, yes, it does look like the curve for the 20th century: they’re both brown! But we don’t need to rely on touchy-feely notions of what things look like. This is a graph. It presents numbers in a 2-dimensional format. We can read those numbers and perform calculations. Here’s the way we do it. To make matters simpler, I’ll suggest that you print out the graph.

    Start by drawing a smoothing curve through the main curve. The main curve wiggles up and down a lot; you want to smooth out the high-frequency wiggles. So start at the left edge of the graph at a y-value of -0.3ºC. Draw your line rightwards. Now, you’ll probably demand that the line should drop down to about -0.5ºC at 900 AD, so as to take maximum advantage of that little valley. I think that valley is too weak to base your case on, but in the interests of fairness, I’ll meet you halfway, and give you -0.4ºC at 900 AD. From there, the line should start climbing upwards to peak at about 0.0ºC at 1000 AD. Now continue drawing the line toward the right, sloping slightly downwards. You can handle the bobbling between 1700 AD and 1900 AD in any way you want, because you’ve already demanded that we start after these dates. Our compromise starting date is 1900 AD. So we start drawing the new line at 1900 AD, where the temperature is about -0.4ºC. You could either draw a straight line up 2000 AD, where it hits +0.5ºC, or you could include the secondary peak at 1950 AD. It’s up to you, because it really doesn’t matter for this simple calculation.

    Now, let’s use those numbers. The line for the MWP you drew on the graph starts at a low of -0.4ºC in 900 AD and climbs to a high of 0.0ºC in 1000 AD. That’s a total change of +0.4ºC in 100 years. The current warming starts at a low of -0.4ºC at 1900 AD and reaches a high of +0.5ºC in 2000 AD — that’s a change of +0.9ºC in 100 years. So the slope of the MWP rise is:

    +0.4ºC / 100 years = +0.004ºC/yr

    while the slope of the 20th century line is:

    +0.9ºC / 100 years = +0.009ºC/yr

    So by this calculation, we get the modern temperature rise as +0.009ºC per year, while the MWP temperature rise is +0.004ºC per year. Just to make sure that we’re clear on this, I’ll calculate the ratio:

    +0.009ºC/yr / +0.004ºC/yr = 2.25

    In other words, the modern temperature rise is 2.25 times greater than the MWP temperature rise. You are asserting that the MWP temperature rise is sufficient to explain a temperature rise that is over TWICE as fast as the MWP temperature rise.

    Do you see that a slow rise cannot be used to explain a fast rise?

    You write: “The main argument for AGW has always been Mann’s famous Hockey Stick temperature reconstruction that was later discredited as false”

    I have never relied on Mann’s Hockey Stick temperature reconstruction. I am building my case on Figure 6.10 of IPCC AR4, which is not Mann’s Hockey Stick temperature chart. You are using a straw man argument.

  281. Ivan (842 days & Counting) August 5, 2008 at 1:03 pm #

    “the signal to noise ratio has improved enormously.”

    That would appear to be the objective. Chaper 3 in the marketing textbook: “Bullshit Baffles Brains”. When all else fails, bore them into submission.

  282. Ivan (842 days & Counting) August 5, 2008 at 1:08 pm #

    “It would be good to push through and dispense with the tedious and predictable political and philosophical tirades..”

    This from the raving nutter? Suddenly it’s all clear – the absence + the new philosophy can only mean one thing: the new medication regime is working.

  283. cohenite August 5, 2008 at 1:12 pm #

    chris; don’t go the Venus route; Mars has as much CO2 in its atmosphere as Venus does; and Venus’s atmosphere is almost impervious to incoming SW; if no SW can penetrate the atmosphere, how can LW be black-bodied out? The thing about Venus is that its atmosphere is 90 times more massive (and 36 times more dense) than Earth’s; Venus’s atmospheric weight and therefore pressure creates a temp gradient 500K hotter than Earth’s; at those temps CO2 near Venus’s surface would be a supercritical fluid; there is no greenhouse on Venus;

    You are generally correct about CO2 interception of reemitted surface LW, but the downward photons are slightly heat adjusted in terms of wavelength by virtue of Stefan Boltzman and Wien’s laws; as a consequence the second bite of the cherry by CO2 is limited by that wavelength adjustment; the AGW model is profoundly inadquate as Miscolczi has shown simply because the AGW model requires an increasing vertical expansion of the CO2 opaque layers with consequent troposphere heating; as Spencer and Monckton have shown, the troposphere is not heating.

  284. James Mayeau August 5, 2008 at 1:16 pm #

    When in doubt consult a specialist, right?

    Chris said: There’s plenty of evidence of trees actually shattering from sudden intense cold.
    [My comments will appear in brackets for clarity - James]

    http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/envirohort/426-500/426-500.html#L3
    [These are tree doctors from Virginia Tech on freezing damage]: – A sharp temperature change between day and night may freeze the water within the trunk of a tree, causing it to explode or split open in a symptom called frost cracking. If not severe, these cracks seem to close when warm weather arrives, although the wood fibers within may not grow back together. This is sometimes called southwest injury because it is commonly found on the southwest side of shade trees where warm afternoon sun creates further extremes in the day and night temperatures. A similar phenomenon with many shrubs is called bark split.

    [Further they say in a sidebar]: Rapid temperature changes can cause tree bark to split. This is known as frost cracking or southwest injury.

    [To prevent this injury they recommend] Wrapping trunks with burlap strips or commercial tree wrap, painting white, or even shading with a board may prevent bark splitting. All of these methods reflect sunlight and reduce the buildup of heat during the day, thus reducing the temperature fluctuations that cause splitting.

    [The cause is a bit obscured in the first paragraph. The tree doctors seem to be saying that sudden cold froze the water in the tree trunk, which expands to crack the bark open. Then they say it's called southwest injury. Then they go on to say that simply reflecting sunlight away from the trunk prevents the bark from splitting.]
    [From this information we can deduce that it is the bark that splits first. The opening defeats the insulating effect, allowing the heart of the tree to be exposed to the cold temperature, which causes the water in the trunk to freeze and expand, damaging the tree sometimes fatally.]

    Tadoucha

  285. Jan Pompe August 5, 2008 at 1:40 pm #

    Chris: ” the CO2 molecule has an absorption band in the infrared.”

    The physics you describe looks more like freshman stuff and is right as far as it goes but not quit far enough.

    CO2 absorbs it also emits the probability of emission is a deal lower than the probability inelastic collision which warms the atmosphere(it’s called thermalising) this goes on until the atmosphere surface layer temperature catches up with the surface temperature then CO2 radiates in all directions at the rate expected for that temperature. According to Kirchoff’s (or Stewart’s) law it will now radiate at the same rate it absorbs neither warming or cooling the surface or surface layer i.e. energy in = energy out so almost all the energy absorbed is emitted upwards at this point and so it goes until TOA is reached. A portion is lost to maintain hydrostatic equilibrium and converted potential energy which does not contribute to rising temperature..

  286. Steve Short August 5, 2008 at 1:52 pm #

    Libby:

    “The only time I have ever addressed anything by you (and received no response at the time) is when you assumed that no one else here….blah blah”.

    Your so-called ‘I have ever addressed’ was simply a personal attack based on your perception of my ‘assumptions’. But in turn that is simply your interpretation.

    However I, in turn had only been responding to a sudden welter of orchestrated ad hominem and personal attacks. I couldn’t respond to you at the time because there was absolutely nothing of any technical substance in your post to respond to.

    If you simply confine your posts to discussing/rebutting technical claims pertinent to the thread and/or providing interesting information, or data from your own sources or scientific background such as e.g. Chris Crawford, Cohenite or Jan Pompe does then there will only be concrete, non-personal issues to reply to.

  287. Ivan (842 days & Counting) August 5, 2008 at 2:08 pm #

    Steve,
    Apparently the politically correct response is:
    “Whatever, Libby. You’re a troll and I’m not interested.”

  288. Louis Hissink August 5, 2008 at 2:22 pm #

    Chris Crawford

    “This is standard material that has been taught for decades. Your questioning it is just bizarre. You’re welcome to simply dismiss physics as a pseudo-science, but I don’t think you’ll convince many people of your belief”

    So you are asserting that Arrhenius’ hypothesis has been validated?

    And just how you managed to conclude that I dismiss physics as pseudoscience is quite bizarre indeed, and to call it a belief even more bizarre.

    My argument was and remains that AGW is a concept based on an unproven hypothesis framed by Arrhenius.

    I incidentally you accused me of a falsehood re John Wheeler. I trust you can back your assertion with some facts because I would not make such a statement unless I was sure of my facts.

  289. Chris Crawford August 5, 2008 at 2:49 pm #

    Sheesh. Folks, there is simply too much stuff here. I have been valiantly trying to keep up with the avalanche but I have spent most of the day trying to dig up facts, read links that are posted, and respond articulately to complicated issues. But now Raven has provided me with a very interesting link (thanks for that, Raven!) on temperature reconstructions. I had a look at it and it definitely deserves serious study. I am also looking up reactions to it from any sources I can find — I want to read both supportive and critical commentary on it. It’s less than a year old so the literature has not had time to respond to it, but there has been some response and I want to digest that. In the meantime, I’m simply going to take a break and let you guys carry on without me. It’s my hope that temperatures here will undergo some “bloggal cooling” and, when I get a chance to return (IF I get a chance to return — I’ve deferred some very important work to handle my responsibilities here and I have to address some other problems before I can justify spending more time here), we’ll be able to resume. Also, I want some time to cool off myself — I’ve made a few comments in the last few hours that I now regret.

    Until then, best wishes to all!

  290. Ivan (842 days & Counting) August 5, 2008 at 2:56 pm #

    “Until then, best wishes to all!”

    Good grief! Another ‘seagull’.

  291. wes george August 5, 2008 at 3:13 pm #

    Chris,

    “I have never relied on Mann’s Hockey Stick temperature reconstruction.”

    Yes, you do! Can’t you see that fig 6.10 without adjusting the MWP upward to where you have stipulated it belongs is simply the latest sanitised version of Mann’s temperature reconstruction, at least in the end result? That’s why the IPCC ignores the MWP. They rely on it too!

    You know without the “hockey stick” shape of fig 6.10 you have utterly no case claiming modern temperatures are rising outside the natural variation and require an extraordinary set of assumptions to explain.

    That’s why you have flip flopped back to denying the MWP peak at 1000 AD was high — after only this morning “stipulating” that the MWP peak should be as warm as the year 2000 or warmer!

    Your whole argument is now hockey stick and slopes and dubious calculations well outside the error bars of the dataset. And–just like Mann’s hockey stick–an element of intellectual dishonesty is now creeping into your argument as your case falters. No disrespect intended. Just look at the evolution in your thinking…

    You said on August 5, 2008 02:21 AM:

    “I shall therefore stipulate(note that verb stipulate!) that MWP temperatures were slightly warmer than temperatures in the year 2000…”

    Now you realize that you can’t have your super-natural rise in temperature with a properly understood MWP rendering today’s increases merely natural. (The IPCC reached the same conclusion long ago.)

    So now you claim, as if we all have the memory of newts: “The line for the MWP you (wes) drew on the graph starts at a low of -0.4ºC in 900 AD and climbs to a high of 0.0ºC in 1000 AD.”

    What? “A high of 0.0c in 1000 AD” ? Hello? What happened to, “I shall therefore stipulate that MWP temperatures were slightly warmer than temperatures in the year 2000…” ?

    That’s not what I stipulated either… ~ –.8c in 860 to ~ .7c in 1000.

    You have descended to adjusting the data you accept to fit your predetermined conclusion.

    You said at August 5, 2008 02:21 AM:

    “Let’s suppose that overall world temperatures were indeed higher than they are today. What are the implications of that supposition? Normally, I proceed from the data to the conclusions….”

    Now you are proceeding from the conclusion to the data. Your conclusion is that warming is taking place at a higher than natural pace. We need some extraordinary assumptions to account for this never-seen-before phenomenon.

    All you have to do is set the MWP peak t-anomaly low enough to prove your conclusion. And while you’re adjusting parameters, why not say the MWP started at –4c in 900 for good measure! (Anyone looking at fig 6.10 will call the start of the MWP at about 860 with close to a –.8 t-anomaly.) Really now, Chris.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/ipcc2007/fig610.png

    Conclusion: The MWP warming slope 860-1000AD is almost an exact precedent climate event to the warming from 1820 to 2007 AD, both in magnitude and slope. If anything the MWP slope is steeper than today, given the MWP has the same amplitude of t-anomaly but occurred in only 140 years as opposed the 190-year modern warming period.

    The AGW hypothesis fails to explain why the MWP occurred. Furthermore, AGW hypothesis makes unnecessary assumptions to explain today’s climate, which is simply well within the natural variation of the last 1200 years.

    There is no need for the apparatus of AGW hypothesis to explain today’s climate.

  292. wes george August 5, 2008 at 3:33 pm #

    Thanks for the debate, Chris. You did a great job! Kept a whole mob of sceptics scrambling for days! I know you have certainly help me clarify my own views on the MWP significance.

    You must be exhausted.

  293. NT August 5, 2008 at 4:30 pm #

    Chris give it up, the people posting here subscribe to an alternative science. One where the Greenhouse Effect doesn’t exist (and for some there is no plate tectonics and oil is formed from interactions in the mantle). They refuse to read the literature and assume that their own personal ability in physics is enough to take apart arguments. Try doing this use google scholar and search on “Greenhouse effect” now trying telling all those people they’re wrong. You can see that the Greenhouse effect as a theory for planetary climate science goes way back and is clearly established, lots of early papers by Carl Sagan! If you think you know it’s wrong, publish.

    Chris, the best thing to do is leave them to their la la land.

  294. Libby August 5, 2008 at 5:35 pm #

    Steve,

    This is getting off topic, but you brought my name onto this thread. You have done this to others as well and tried to misrepresent people. I’m not sure what you are hoping to achieve.

    “Your so-called ‘I have ever addressed’ was simply a personal attack based on your perception of my ‘assumptions’. But in turn that is simply your interpretation.”

    This is what I wrote:

    “Hi Steve,

    So is your comment about academia directed at Luke, AGW supporters, everyone??

    My point is, you have made an assumption about people who contribute here based on your own opinions. There are people who contribute, and probably others who lurk, who have worthy academic qualifications and publications. There are also people here who do not have letters after their names but are very knowledgeable about topics posted. As Roger suggested, if you are going to be so judgmental about those whose opinions you do not share, please be consistent with those whose opinions you do. However, your comment attributing “foaming invective” solely to Luke would suggest you are not capable of this. BTW, didn’t your mother teach you to turn the other cheek?!”

    Yes, a very personal attack. That is YOUR interpretation. All you needed to do was clarify who you were directing your comments regarding credentials at. You ignored this and continued your own personal attacks against other posters.

    “I couldn’t respond to you at the time because there was absolutely nothing of any technical substance in your post to respond to.”

    Gee Steve, that didn’t stop you responding to the “sudden welter of orchestrated ad hominem and personal attacks”! You had plenty of time to simply respond and clear up any assumptions and interpretations. Going back to the thread, others were asking for clarification too, but you chose not to be bothered with any.

    “If you simply confine your posts to discussing/rebutting technical claims pertinent to the thread and/or providing interesting information, or data from your own sources or scientific background such as e.g. Chris Crawford, Cohenite or Jan Pompe does then there will only be concrete, non-personal issues to reply to.”

    And Steve if you didn’t feel the need to smear people here and make grandiose, untruthful statements of a personal nature, perhaps you wouldn’t get people off side in the first place. As for confining posts to “discussing/rebutting technical claims pertinent to the thread and/or providing interesting information, or data from your own sources or scientific background”, yes I see that your posts at August 5, 2008 10:14 AM
    and August 5, 2008 10:21 AM (amongst numerous others) have been confined to just that. You fit right in here Steve!

  295. Ivan (842 days & Counting) August 5, 2008 at 6:04 pm #

    “Chris give it up, the people posting here subscribe to an alternative science. One where the Greenhouse Effect doesn’t exist…”

    I never cease to be amused by onlookers telling people what I believe in.

    If you went to the effort of actually asking any of the people posting here whether they believe the Greenhouse Effect exists or not, most would probably agree that it does.

    What most of the people posting here don’t believe in is the fallacy of AGW – that man-made CO2 emissions contribute to a runaway greenhouse effect.

    If you were to further ask them why not, they would probably respond that the AGW theory is not based on any science, nor any empirical data – but a model. And a pretty shonky model at that – one that couldn’t even predict what is happening in the world’s climate at this present moment – let alone 50-100 years into the future.

    So if you are going to take it upon yourself to speak on others’ behalf, can you at least make the effort to represent their views correctly.

  296. Ivan (842 days & Counting) August 5, 2008 at 6:15 pm #

    Libby says: “And Steve if you didn’t feel the need to smear people here and make grandiose..”

    I find this “holier than thou” attitude of yours a little tedious. As I pointed out previously in the following thread at July 27, 2008 10:37 PM, you felt quite comfortable about launching a steady stream of gratuitous and provocative snipes at all and sundry:
    http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003271.html#comments

    So, before you start lecturing everyone on this thread, you might look to cleaning up your own act first.

  297. NT August 5, 2008 at 6:21 pm #

    Well relieved to hear that Ivan, and apologises.
    But sadly you may be in limited company. Jan Pompe and Louis Hissink don’t acknowledge the Greenhouse Effect.

    Also note the difference between Runaway Greenhouse Effect (like on Venus) and Enhanced Greenhouse Effect (what people are expecting on Earth).

    AGW theory is not based on a model. AGW is a theory, they use models to get an idea of what might happen. They are different things.
    AGW is based on the physics of greenhouse gases, so is based on the greenhouse effect. It doesn’t need models.

    Also you need to define what you mean by an “accurate” prediction. Do you exepct climate models to predict the weather?

  298. cohenite August 5, 2008 at 6:48 pm #

    NT; so if Venus is a result of runaway greenhouse, how did that happen given my post above on its current atmospheric conditions;

    The enhanced greenhouse effect at AR4 FAQ 3.1 is a travesty because it relies on positive feedback from water; Spencer has shown that water in its various forms is not a positive feedback but a negative one; if the enhanced greenhouse effect was correct there would be tropospheric heating; there isn’t; I can see we’ll have to revisit Gerlich and Smith amongst others; Gerlich is here;

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v3.pdf

    The Smith rebuttal is here;

    http://arxiv.org/abs/0802.4324

  299. Libby August 5, 2008 at 6:49 pm #

    At least you’re consistent Ivan!!

  300. wes george August 5, 2008 at 6:51 pm #

    NT

    It’s sad that you characterise all sceptics by the two you cite for personally derision. Do you do this with people you know of other races or nationality as well? Why not break out a box of yellow stars!

    This is a kind of bigotry. I’m not saying you are a bigot, merely unaware and insensitive to what the definition of bigotry is, while practicing the intellectual laziness of indulging in the expansion of anecdotal encounters into false universal statements. Pass me a yellow star, please.

    By the way, I don’t believe you understand the first thing about the climate’s sensitivity to forcing by CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. If you did, you would be well aware that the physics of it is hotly contested and far from settled. Louis and Jan are in the company of a number of serious scientists in their point of view. But then you wouldn’t be aware of that. Carl Sagan is as far as you got, eh?

    “What people are expecting on Earth,” is a statement from a Dr. Who episode. Are you sure you at the right blog?

  301. Ivan (842 days & Counting) August 5, 2008 at 6:53 pm #

    NT – very good. You win the English Literature prize for semantics.

    Also, to be strictly accurate, what you should have said is:
    “AGW is a theory, they use models to produce theoretical results which support the theory”.

    “AGW is based on the physics of greenhouse gases, so is based on the greenhouse effect. It doesn’t need models.”
    Execellent. Please provide links to the empirical data which supports this assertion.

    “Also you need to define what you mean by an “accurate” prediction.”
    An accurate prediction is one which would allow a business person to make a business decision with a reasonable degree of confidence. Since they expect the mug punters to cough up $20B a year to fund this frolic, I don’t think it’s asking a lot to expect answers to a few reasonable questions about start and end dates, scope, alternatives, etc.

    They keep telling us it is a science – and since other big-ticket science-based projects (like putting a man on the moon) can provide these sorts of answers, this shouldn’t be a big ask. I mean – given that it is a science, right?

  302. Ivan (842 days & Counting) August 5, 2008 at 6:56 pm #

    Libby says: “At least you’re consistent Ivan!!”

    This would seem to be a characteristic that we share.

  303. James Mayeau August 5, 2008 at 7:24 pm #

    I enjoy a workout.

    But as far as Chris goes, I’ll be damned if I’ll let some two bit smear merchant be the one who whips me, especially when he is defending social parasites like Gore, Mann, the IPCC, the NAS, the AAAS, BOM, MET, GISS, NOAA, the APS, or any of the other multitude of societies that indulge their ego at the expense of humanity’s welfare.

    YMMV

  304. James Mayeau August 5, 2008 at 7:29 pm #

    By the way, according to HADcrut the DeltaT between Jan 1900 and Jan 2000 was 0.404 degrees Celcius.

  305. NT August 5, 2008 at 7:44 pm #

    Boy what a reaction, I’m bigot. Wow.

    But seriously I don’t claim to be an expert so I don’t have to prove anything. BUT it’s not hard to find information out, just use Google Scholar.

    So, Cohenite, I don’t have to challenge your claim. But what you can do is use Google Scholar search under “Greenhouse effect Venus” then enjoy reading. And with your tropospheric claim, that’s not a rebuttal of the theory. I think what you need to look for, in terms of enhanced greenhouse is a cooling Stratosphere. But maybe you could just google scholar that too.

    Ivan, find the greenhouse gas data yourself. It’s not like it’s hidden. Just google it – it’s not tricky.
    Ivan, Your first statement is not actually true. The models aren’t there to ‘support’ the theory, but are used as a tool to investigate possible outcomes. Economic theories are similar – the modelling isn’t there to serve the theory, but rather attempt to investigate outcomes.

    Ivan, your second statement is qualitative. You need to make it quantitative.

    The man on the moon caper was more of an engineering feat.

  306. Marcus August 5, 2008 at 8:07 pm #

    NT
    You are new to debating/understanding this CC caper aren’t you?

    Google Scholar indeed!?

  307. Louis Hissink August 5, 2008 at 8:10 pm #

    NT

    I beg your pardon? I do not believe in the greenhouse effect?

    Where do I state that?

  308. NT August 5, 2008 at 8:35 pm #

    Marcus, new? Why new? Have you used Google Scholar? It’s marvellous. Do you know what Google Scholar is? What is your problem with it?

    Sorry Louis I may have mistaken you for Cohenite.

  309. Ann August 5, 2008 at 8:47 pm #

    Killer Whales at Risk from Warming in Antarctica.

    Study to be published in Polar Biology:

    “Two newly identified types of killer whales that hunt prey off of Antarctic sea ice risk losing food sources to global warming and melting, according to a new study on the whales’ movement patterns.

    The study reveals that killer whales that feed primarily on fish that congregate under ice shelves are more or less “homebodies,” sticking close to the ice, whereas seal-eating killer whales wander wide and seemingly aimlessly.

    The differences in movement patterns likely correlate to differences in the whales’ foraging strategies and how they interact with their prey, according to the study.

    For example, fish-eating whales can stay local because the main anti-predator strategy of fish is to bunch up into schools, often under the ice shelves, according to researchers. On the other hand, the seal-eating whales chase prey with a wider range, as seals wash off of ice floes and travel farther.

    Both types of killer whales tracked are heavily dependent on ice cover, according to Robert Pitman, a study co-author and marine biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in La Jolla, California.

    “If there are changes in the amount of ice cover [in the Antarctic] then it means there are going to be changes in the amount of habitat that [the whales] have available to them,” Pitman said. “And we’re not sure how adaptable they are to living in a different kind of habitat.”

    The new research, published online this month in the journal Polar Biology, highlights the need to unravel the whale’s basic biology, noted Pitman”

    Read more here: http://tursiops.org/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=6329

  310. wes george August 5, 2008 at 8:53 pm #

    NT,

    Please explain, what is this google that you refer too??? Sounds fascinating. How much does it cost? I would like to purchase one. Then enjoy reading about serving models to investigate outcome, now that’s greenhouse quality tomatoes!

    Happy evening to all!

  311. Steve Short August 5, 2008 at 10:21 pm #

    It is a pity Chris is leaving just as we are about to find out from thousand of good British ships logs that there was a period of warming in the 1730s possibly comparable to the recent CO2-attributed, over-hyped one.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article4449527.ece

    That should give Wes something nice to add to his MWP onset rate test case.

    Meanwhile, global temperatures continue to fall, the Sun still remains very quiet spot-wise, and there is no sign of Solar Cycle No. 25 getting underway.

    Now, to really throw the cat amongst the pigeons next even regional CO2 levels are not behaving as they should. The little dip at Mauna Loa is only a very minor part of the story of what is going on – the Great Southern Ocean and the gyres it drives are soaking up the extra CO2 more and more effectively now on a year-by-year basis.

    Have just taken delivery of a big chunk of extra stations data from NOAA and been stuffing into my master Excel spreadsheet off and on since last night. Even the cursory data reduction and stats I could fit in today shows the SH oceans are still gaining on the rate of increase of CO2 in the NH – despite what CO2 China, India, North America and Europe are pumping out.

    Who needs fancy theories when just the empirical data is going it’s own sweet way?

    Nope, the science still aint’ settled and yep, the catastrophists, and their associated ‘dolls, molls and trolls’ are still in for a continuing rough ride.

    Good evening.

  312. Ivan (842 days & Counting) August 5, 2008 at 11:17 pm #

    “find the greenhouse gas data yourself.”
    Semantics again. Not the greenhouse gas data – the empirical data that proves greenhouse gases causes climatic warming of the planet (the planet Earth, that is).

    “your second statement is qualitative. You need to make it quantitative”
    Start and end dates ARE quantitative – can’t get any more quantitative than a date. Scope and alternatives would generally be considered to be quantitative as well – otherwise they are just wish-lists and theories.

    “The man on the moon caper was more of an engineering feat.”
    So – what is the proposed ‘solution’ to AGW? $20B a year will be spent and no engineering involved? Wow – that will be some party.

  313. Ivan (842 days & Counting) August 5, 2008 at 11:24 pm #

    “Economic theories are similar – the modelling isn’t there to serve the theory, but rather attempt to investigate outcomes.”

    At least this confirms one theory – now it’s clear why economists are always called on to ‘prove’ AGW to the masses.

    One lot of charlatans calls on another lot of con-artists and crooks to substantiate their fraud. Marriage made in heaven.

  314. Jan Pompe August 6, 2008 at 12:04 am #

    Steve: “and there is no sign of Solar Cycle No. 25 getting underway.”

    do you mean cycle 24 perhaps?

    I have already seen something somewhere about temperatures in central England and have found tamino does an analysis of it and there does indeed appear to be a hefty rise in the early 18th century. Don’t know how good the data is or exactly how the estimates were done.

  315. Jan Pompe August 6, 2008 at 12:06 am #

    link to tamino’s article

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/04/28/central-england-temperature/

  316. KuhnKat August 6, 2008 at 1:39 am #

    Ann,

    “… risk losing food sources to global warming and melting…”

    “If there are changes in the amount of ice cover…”

    “…we’re not sure how adaptable they are…”

    How many studies can you ingest full of ifs and not sures and maybes, with no FACTS supporting the scenario, before your brain turns to mush?? We can play that kind of game until the sun dies with little point.

    What if the sun goes nova in 50 years. Shouldn’t we start building space ships NOW?!?!?!

    What if a large meteor hits in the near future…

    What if anthrax evolves into a more virulent form…

    What if the solar insolation drops by 4%…

    What if reducing CO2 causes a feedback dropping us into the expected ice age NOW…

    PLEASE try to operate on VERIFIABLE FACTS!!!

  317. Mark August 6, 2008 at 8:16 am #

    Jan:

    “I have already seen something somewhere about temperatures in central England and have found tamino does an analysis of it and there does indeed appear to be a hefty rise in the early 18th century. Don’t know how good the data is or exactly how the estimates were done.”

    Have a look at the CET (Central England Temperature), the longest instrumental record available:

    http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/Common/CET.html

    I guess in 1725 everyone thought they would die within 50 years of a heat wave too!

  318. Steve Short August 6, 2008 at 10:00 am #

    Jan

    “I have already seen something somewhere about temperatures in central England and have found tamino does an analysis of it and there does indeed appear to be a hefty rise in the early 18th century. Don’t know how good the data is or exactly how the estimates were done.”

    Mark

    “Have a look at the CET (Central England Temperature), the longest instrumental record available:

    http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/Common/CET.html

    I guess in 1725 everyone thought they would die within 50 years of a heat wave too!”

    Actually, some time ago I found out quite by accident this marked rise in temperature in England between about 1700 and 1740 – 1750 has long been well known to social anthropologists and historians. One of the major effects of it was a marked rise in agricultural productivity in rural England and a consequent rise in the GDP overall. For example, I understand that at that time England was producing almost all the wool used for clothing over most of Western Europe! This led in turn to a marked increase in the populations in the cities – especially London.

    I am fortunate enough to know my family tree reasonably well back to around 1690. In the 1740s my direct male line ancestor migrated from the English countryside into the East End of London to take work as a carpenter/cabinet maker and married into a down-at-heel but genteel emigre French Huguenot family who had fled to London sometime in the late 1680s or early 169Os. When I looked carefully at the East End parish records (marriages and births in particular) for the period 1700 – 1750 I was struck by the level of migration from the English countryside into London which was obviously going on over that period.

    Cockney genes: take no shit, keep one eye on the pennies and have a standard fox terrier behind your door!

  319. cohenite August 6, 2008 at 10:50 am #

    Tamino goes to a lot of trouble to diminish that early temp rise; it was probably a PDO effect, if saying that doesn’t get me into more trouble; for a different take on the CET history this guy is interesting;

    http://www.trevoole.co.uk/Questioning_Climate/_sgg/m2_1.htm

    He finds that winter warmings were catching up to summers by 0.4C per century but that this is not due to CO2 increase; however, the present trend appears to be towards larger differences between winter and summer, indicating a cooling.

  320. SJT August 6, 2008 at 10:05 pm #

    “PLEASE try to operate on VERIFIABLE FACTS!!!”

    CO2 is a GHG. We are in the process of at least doubling it’s concentration in the atmosphere.

  321. Louis Hissink August 7, 2008 at 9:07 am #

    SJT

    SO you think all the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere since 1880 is due to humanity?

  322. wes george August 7, 2008 at 5:59 pm #

    “CO2 is a GHG. We are in the process of at least doubling it’s concentration in the atmosphere.’

    Yeah, from 280 parts per MILLION to 390 parts per MILLION.

    As Forrest Gump like to say, Sjt is as sjt does.

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