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‘The Deniers’, Reviewed by Art Raiche

DOES society benefit from a fear-driven science-funding policy that threatens the livelihood of scientists with the courage to argue against “orthodox” and established “beyond doubt” views on climate? 

The media drives this fear with increasingly hysterical messages that the earth is getting hotter, that this is being caused by human CO2 emissions and, that without radical social and economic surgery, we will face a myriad of global catastrophes, the like of which have not been seen since the dawn of our history.    We are told that all serious scientists agree with this and that those few who dissent are either charlatans or are funded by the fossil fuel companies.  Other dissenters are regarded on a par with creationists, Holocaust deniers or supporters of tobacco companies.  

But is this true?  Is the science really settled?

To answer this, Lawrence Solomon, the Canadian environmentalist and anti-nuclear campaigner, sought to find well-regarded scientists who disagreed with the AGW (anthropogenic global warming) hysteria promoted by Al Gore and the IPCC. 

The result was astonishing in that for all of the headline issues of the AGW hypothesis, he found dissenting scientists who were consistently the most accomplished and eminent people in their respective fields of expertise.  In fact, the more he searched, the more there seemed to be, complete with data and analysis to support their positions. Chillingly, several of them, despite their substantial expertise and reputations, declined on-record interviews for fear of losing their funding and, in some cases, their jobs.

Solomon’s book, ‘The Deniers’, is a tour-de-force of expert opinions organised into chapters corresponding to the headline issues of AGW.  It starts with a chapter on the famous “hockey stick” graph, created by Michael Mann from temperature proxies such as tree rings and ice cores.  The graph purports to show that for the past 1000 years, temperatures had been declining until about 1900 when they began rising alarmingly in correlation with the growth of human-induced CO2 emissions.    It showed the 1990s as the hottest decade and 1998 the warmest year of the millennium.  This graph of northern hemisphere temperatures for the last 1000 years appeared 7 times in the IPCC report of 2001.

Curiously, the “hockey stick” graph failed to show a well-known period of warming in the 1930′s and essentially contradicted records from Russian naval log books that noted substantial Arctic warming during the period 1920-1940.  It also contradicted information from British naval log books that showed a period of  rapid warming in Europe during the 1730s similar to that recorded during the 1990s. Most astonishingly, it failed to show the well-established existence of the Medieval Warming Period of 800-1300 CE.

Amongst many other critics, a Canadian statistician, Steve MacIntyre, recognised the graph as being similar to the deceptive graphics used by mining promoters to hype risky hard-rock mineral exploration projects based on isolated results.  After analysing the statistical process used by Mann, he concluded that even when applied to random data, it would produce a “hockey stick” graph.  The  Energy and Commerce Committee of the US Congress asked Edward Wegman, a man with a long, distinguished career, including being a past chairman of the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics of the National Academy of Sciences, to examine the controversy.  After he corrected Mann’s errors in statistical methodology, the hockey stick disappeared.   Along with the panel of  prominent statisticians that he had recruited (pro bono) to help him, Wegman concluded that, at most, Mann’s graph was valid for less than half of that 1000 years.  As a result, despite its prominence in the IPCC’s 3rd AR (Assessment Report) of 2001, the graph was dropped from their 2007 4th AR. 

Another chapter of ‘The Deniers’ discusses the work of Richard Tol, one of the world’s leading environmental economists and an author for chapters from all three IPCC Working group contributions.  A holder of multiple prestigious academic appointments, he was highly critical of  the Stern Review on the Economists of Climate Change.  Tol said that the Stern Report was a mishmash of bad mathematics and bad faith and had treated worse case scenarios with the unwarranted likelihood of being correct.

A lot of the alarmism connected with climate change is associated with the predictions of various climate modelling programs, sometimes referred to as GCMs (general circulation models).  ‘The Deniers’ contains a long chapter on the limits of predictability of these programs and how their simplifications do not begin to capture the complexity of climate processes.  To quote Freeman Dyson, one of the world’s most eminent physicists: “The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in.”  Solomon notes that Richard Lindzen, a professor of meteorology at MIT, consultant to NASA and recipient of many professional society honours, testified that numerous problems had been found with the way the models treated clouds and water vapour, two very critical drivers of climate.  He states:  “It isn’t just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong.  It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn’t happen even if the model results were right.”

One example of this was Lindzen’s observation that if the model results were correct, global warming would reduce temperature differences between the poles which would decrease rather than increase the energy in tropical storms.  Nevertheless, fuelled by Hurricane Katrina and several other storms in 2004, many doomsayers predicted an apocalyptic increase in the number and ferocity of hurricanes due to global warming.  Dr. Christopher Landsea, of the Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory, one of the world’s top experts in hurricanes and a contributing author to the IPCC’s 2nd and 3rd ARs, disagreed strongly because his work was showing the direct opposite.  He resigned his involvement in the 4th IPCC report after the lead author of the chapter in which hurricanes were discussed had made a speech supporting the increased hurricane hypothesis.  Solomon devotes several pages describing the efforts of Landsea, Lindzen and others to combat this falsely generated hysteria.  These efforts eventually succeeded, partially due to the failure of subsequent hurricane seasons to live up to prior billing.  The latest IPCC Summary for Policymakers stated: “There is no clear trend in the annual numbers of tropical cyclones”.

‘The Deniers’ discusses another of the apocalyptic predictions of AGW, the rise of sea levels and the concomitant flooding of low-lying heavily populated areas.  After analysing satellite data from 1992 to 2003, Prof. Duncan Wingham, director of the NERC Centre for Polar Observation & Modelling and principal scientist of the European Space Agency Cryosat Satellite Mission, found that there was a net growth of the Antarctic ice sheet of 5 mm per year.  This includes the well-publicised melting on the Antarctic Peninsula that juts so far to the north.  Since Antarctica contains about 90 percent of the world’s ice, the fact that it seems to be a sink rather than a source of sea water would indicate that concerns of rising sea level are misplaced.

Another headline issue discussed in ‘The Deniers’ is the predicted catastrophic spread of malaria and other mosquito borne diseases with increasing temperature.  Prof. Paul Reiter, head of the Insects and Infectious Diseases Unit at the Pasteur Institute, chairman of the American Committee of Medical Entomology and contributing author to the IPCC 3rd AR regards this as utterly without foundation.  He notes that until the second half of the 20th century, malaria was widespread throughout the world including Europe, the US, Siberia and with major epidemics as far north as the Arctic Circle.  Malaria was an important cause of death in England during the Little Ice Age and only began to decline there in the 19th century when the present warming trend was well underway.    It was largely eliminated through the use of insecticides, anti-malarial drugs and sound public health and land management practices.  Reiter notes that the rapid recrudescence of mosquito-borne diseases is due to inept government public health policies and resistance to insecticides and drugs.

‘The Deniers’ features extensive discussions by prominent scientists of aspects of the greenhouse effect of CO2.  The technical details are difficult to summarise in a short book review but they include discussions of atmosphere-ocean interactions, radiative transfer, ice core measurements and the lifetime of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.  All basically conclude that cultural CO2 concentration has very little effect on global temperature.  Several prominent researchers note that the graph in An Inconvenient Truth showing a 600,000 year correlation between increased atmospheric CO2 concentration and rising temperature is somewhat dishonest in confusing cause and effect.  Temperature rise led rather than lagged the CO2 increase, typically by a few hundred to a thousand years.  In the same vein, Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu points out that the dramatic fall in temperature from 1940 to 1970 doesn’t correlate with increasing CO2.  Moreover, the IPCC’s own models point to the irrelevance of CO2 as a driver of climate change because different geographic regions were warming at different rates while others actually cooled.

Has the earth actually warmed during the 21st century?  This is a contentious issue because of the problems associated with trying to define an average global temperature, especially from ground-based measurements.  Although 70 % of the earth’s surface is ocean, 90 % of the ground-based measurement stations are on land.  Moreover, as urban centres have expanded, these are now disproportionately located near heat sources.  The IPCC says that the data has been corrected for this but this is contentious.  By contrast, satellite temperature measurements, which can sample the entire globe, show a cooling trend so far this century.  Is this temporary or is it possible that the earth is starting to cool?

Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov the head of the Space Research Laboratory at the Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory, a man at the pinnacle of Russia’s space-oriented scientific establishment, is a strong critic of manmade CO2 as driving global warming.  The Deniers presents his observation that parallel global warmings on Mars and Earth can only be due to a long term change in solar irradiance.  He has identified a 200 year cycle in solar activity that has peaked and is now decreasing.  He believes that a protracted cooling period will begin in the period 2012-2015 leading to a deep freeze around 2055-60, similar to that of the Little Ice Age.  His hypothesis is now the focus of Russian experiments on the International Space Station.  Project Astrometria has been given high priority by the Russian and Ukrainian Academies of Science to try to identify the likely duration and depth of the predicted global cooling period.

The effect of solar cycles on our climate goes beyond the total solar irradiance reaching Earth.  Periods of high solar activity result in high solar wind velocities and magnetic fields that shield us from the cosmic ray barrage from the rest of the cosmos.  This shielding attenuates significantly during periods of low activity.  The Deniers presents the science that links increased cosmic ray flux with global cooling because it promotes an increase in low altitude cloud formation.  As shown by Project SKY at the Danish National Space Centre, this happens because the passing muons in the cosmic radiation release electrons that promote the formation of molecular clusters, the building blocks for cloud condensation nuclei.  A follow-on study of this crucial effect, the CLOUD experiment has been established at CERN, with an interdisciplinary team of scientists from 18 institutes in 9 countries, comprised of atmospheric physicists, solar physicists, and cosmic-ray and particle physicists.

‘The Deniers’ is a fascinating journey through leading-edge climate research.  The experts cited by Solomon are clearly neither charlatans nor pandering to any particular funding channel.  Rather, these eminent scientists present cogent reasons, strongly supported by data, for questioning the accepted “truth”.  One is left with astonishment and indignation that their work is largely ignored by the media.   


The Deniers: The world-renowned scientists who stood up against global warming hysteria, political persecution and fraud,  by Lawrence Solomon, published by Richard Vigilante Books, 2008,
ISBN 978-0-9800763-1-8, is available from Amazons

This review was first published in ‘Preview’, a publication of the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

Art Raiche worked for CSIRO for 35 years, the last 15 of with the rank of Chief Research Scientist.  He ran the longest exploration project in AMIRA’s history (27 years).  He is now retired and appalled at the irresponsible way CSIRO is publishing climate-hysteria reports based on very inadequate climate modelling programs.


89 Responses to “‘The Deniers’, Reviewed by Art Raiche”

Pages: « 1 [2] Show All

  1. Comment from: Gordon Robertson

    cohenite “Gordon; have you opened that rum yet”?

    No, but I have a devious plan to email Louis some Foghorn Leghorn cartoons to make sure he follows through.

  2. Comment from: Ninderthana


    Sorry, I forgot to mention natural cycles that would cause a +/- 1.0 – 2.0 C change in temperature that would easily overwhelm the slight increase caused by CO2.

    I am convinced that SJT doesn’t actually think for himself/herself. I believe that he/she
    is a Knowbot that simply regurgitates whatever is posted at under the
    assumption that it is the gospel truth. I am thinking posting an article at realclimate claiming that fairies and unicorns are true. I am sure that in no time SJT will be quoting my article as “peer-reviewed science” that cannot be crticized or impeached.

  3. Comment from: cohenite

    That reminds me; perhaps I should send a bottle of double strength rum to poor old eli who is having trouble keeping his usual tipple and source of anti-oxidants down.

  4. Comment from: SJT

    “I am convinced that SJT doesn’t actually think for himself/herself. I believe that he/she
    is a Knowbot that simply regurgitates whatever is posted at under the
    assumption that it is the gospel truth. I am thinking posting an article at realclimate claiming that fairies and unicorns are true. I am sure that in no time SJT will be quoting my article as “peer-reviewed science” that cannot be crticized or impeached.”

    You want the opinions of people on an internet blog, or a summary of the science as it is understood? Weart’s reasoning looks fine to me, and it all refers to physical processes.

  5. Comment from: SJT

    “Sorry, I forgot to mention natural cycles that would cause a +/- 1.0 – 2.0 C change in temperature that would easily overwhelm the slight increase caused by CO2.”

    Have you stopped to ponder what AGW plus cycles is going to result in? We have already seen a sample in 1998.

  6. Comment from: Ninderthana

    Here is the “telling” arguement” that SJT referes to at realclimate:

    “So, if a skeptical friend hits you with the “saturation argument” against global warming, here’s all you need to say:

    (a) You’d still get an increase in greenhouse warming even if the atmosphere were saturated, because it’s the absorption in the thin upper atmosphere (which is unsaturated) that counts
    (b) It’s not even true that the atmosphere is actually saturated with respect to absorption by CO2


    INFRA-RED ABSORPTION BY THE ATMOSPHERE WAS SATURATED BUT THAT IT IS SATURATED BY THE CO2 IN THE LOWER TROPOSPHERE – [UN] actually agrees with this and points out that the bulk of excess absorption (caused by an increase in CO2) takes place higher in the troposphere.

    (c) Water vapor doesn’t overwhelm the effects of CO2 because there’s little water vapor in the high, cold regions from which infrared escapes, and at the low pressures there water vapor absorption is like a leaky sieve, which would let a lot more radiation through were it not for CO2, and

    ALL I AM SAYING IS THAT BULK OF THE EXCESS ABSORPTION IS TAKING PLACE ABOUT 8 – 10 km ABOVE THE TROPICS. [UN]Realclimate agrees that this should be the case.

    (d) These issues were satisfactorily addressed by physicists 50 years ago, and the necessary physics is included in all climate models.”

    BULL SHIT – alarmists are claiming that something which their own model predicts is not true.
    If you are going to argue that CO2 is not producing greater warming in the upper, rather the lower troposphere, then for GOD sake look at your own models. Either are telling you the truth or they are not.

  7. Comment from: SJT


    INFRA-RED ABSORPTION BY THE ATMOSPHERE WAS SATURATED BUT THAT IT IS SATURATED BY THE CO2 IN THE LOWER TROPOSPHERE – [UN] actually agrees with this and points out that the bulk of excess absorption (caused by an increase in CO2) takes place higher in the troposphere.

    I think your problem is comprehension. They are saying the excess absorption happens in the higher troposphere. That is, the new absorption as a result of the increase in CO2. That’s their whole point, ‘saturated’ doesn’t explain what is a complex situation.

  8. Comment from: SJT

    No…I want someone to explain what a global mathematical average means when a significant portion of the globe went through a warmer period in the 1920-1940’s than in modern times. We are being fed rhetoric today that the globe is warming due to CO2 anthropogenic emissions. CO2 emissions were a fraction of today in the 1920-1940 era yet a large part of the globe was warmer then than it is today.

    Have you thought of going out and reading up some of the information yourself, rather than just waiting for someone to come along and answer your questions?

    After 1940, there was a huge increase in particle pollution, that had a cooling effect. Particle pollution is relatively shortlived, CO2 effects last a lot longer.

  9. Comment from: Ninderthana

    You hit it right on the head SJT – and it is the warmers who are having the comprehension provlem.

    CO2 absorption takes place in lines or bands. As you increase the number of CO2 atoms along a line of sight you will find that any given aborption line will appear to expand and deepen i.e. in the core (or central wavelength) of the absortion line the amount of light will start to rapidly decrease and approach saturation, while in the wings ofthe line – the aborption process will remain unsaturated.

    Using the real climate analogy of M&M’s on a conveyor belt – it is as as though the red m&m’s are preferentially being eaten by the children from the centre of the conveyor belt i.e. they eat only a few of the M&M’s from the left and right sides of the conveyor belt and they get through.

    If you increase the CO2 further, most of the increased absortion takes places in the wings of the absorption lines and not in the cores i.e. the line as a whole is still unsaturated even though the cores are near saturation.

    This is like adding having a second group of children furter down the conveyor belt (equaivalent to CO2 atoms higher in the atmosphere) who must live off the M&M’s that are left over after the first group of kids have had a feed.

    What the second group of kids see is conveyor belt with M&M’s mostly on the left and right hand sides of the belt [as virtually alll of the M&M's in the middle have been eaten by the first group of kids]. An additional kids in the second group who can only eat M&M’s from the middle of the conveyor belt have slim pickings as there are few left to eat [these are like the extra CO2 atoms that are added to the atmosphere but do not contribute to an increase in unfra-red absorption]. It is only the Kid’s who can eat the M&M’s on the sides of the conveyot belt who can eat.

    So uou can see that the CO2 absorption can be saturated in the abortion line cores but not the wings – leaving the CO2 abortion lines unsaturated overall. This means that any additional CO2 will preferntially absorp infra-red flux in the wings of the lines – shifting the point of maximum absortion to hgher and higher altitude in the tropshere.

    This is what the models at REALclimate predict from the physics. However, it is not what is observed.

  10. Comment from: Ninderthana


    You are absolutely right in pointing out that with natural variations of 1 – 2 C, the CO2 contribution from humans will eventually become a very serious problem. We just disagree when this will ocuur.

    Our research indicates that there will be a cooling of ~ 1 C over the next two to three decades, followed by a warming starting in about 2040. By then the human component to the warming will be ~ 0.2 – 0.3 C warmer and so when warm up again it will be from a higher base. So I firmly believe that we need to reduce our CO2 emissions, however, I believe tha we have ~ 50 – 100 years to clean up our act, not the 5 – 20 years that the alarmists are
    frothing at the mouth about.

  11. Comment from: Louis Hissink


    Would you contact me please?



  12. Comment from: Louis Hissink

    “SJT: As for CO2 it absorbs and re-emits radiation. It doesn’t catch it and never let it go.”

    Says it all.

  13. Comment from: SJT

    Glad I could help, Louis. :)

  14. Comment from: James Mayeau

    “Let’s face it – both sides think the other is dishonest.
    Both sides think the other side has a hidden agenda.
    Whatever is said daily by either side reaffirms that confirmation bias !”

    Long experience arguing with democrats tells me that this is as close as you will ever get to a mea culpa from a liberal. If you caught them red handed with their dirty fingers in the pickle jar, they will never admit fault, but they will try to plea bargain down the coming retribution by saying “Reagan did such and such too”.
    Luke has as much as waved the white flag.

  15. Comment from: Luke

    White flag? Pigs recty James – especially not for a dishonest skunk like you. I’ve seen enough mate to realise we won’t be getting any objectivity from you. Now back to your banjo records. “Peace out “as you used to say when in stealth mode.

  16. Comment from: Louis Hissink

    SJT: “t doesn’t catch it”

    Otherwise known as putting foot in mouth.

  17. Comment from: SJT

    Oh, I see now, Louis. If you pick a part of a sentence and selectively quote it, you can make it appear to mean the opposite of what I actually said. You are a clever little rascal, aren’t you. ;)

  18. Comment from: cohenite

    Ninderthana; your CO2 ‘wings’ exposition and consequent upper troposphere cooling is the subject of a new paper by P Keating which is discussed at lucia’s latest post; looked at in this light, extra CO2 will steepen the lapse rate and produce overall cooling; what a strange world.

  19. Comment from: cohenite

    Will, the 1940-70 cool period was not due to aerosols; aerosol levels were high to the 1980′s;

    Aerosols have a heating capacity as Professor Ramanathan has found and this study shows;

    As well, since aerosol is a product of industry, then due to the concentration of such aerosol generating sources in the Nthn hemisphere the cooling should only have affected the Nthn hemisphere, but the Sthn hemisphere was equally affected.

  20. Comment from: Eli Rabett

    Aerosols have both heating and cooling capacities in the atmosphere depending on where and what they are. Black carbon, low down heats strongly, sulphate aerosols up near the tropopause cool strongly (see volcanic eruption). Really cohenites, you gotta get out of the habit of thinking you understand this stuff.

  21. Comment from: cohenite

    Eli; I defer to your superior knowledge on the subject, and all I can say in my own defence is that ignorance craves company.

  22. Comment from: James Mayeau

    “Peace out “as you used to say when in stealth mode.”

    Stealth mode?

    Must be refering to the good ol’ days when Luke assumed me a push over.

  23. Comment from: Luke

    No James – I still regard you as hopeless – a science ninny.

  24. Comment from: Janama

    “I still regard you as hopeless – a science ninny.”

    of course you do – you regard everyone in the same manner – it’s defined as arrogance where I come from.

  25. Comment from: Rick Beikoff

    Yes, Gordon Robertson. Thanks. It looks to me like this conspiracy, this greatest ever hoax and fraud against humanity, is about to blow it’s head off. Just like an over-ripe boil.

  26. Comment from: Gordon Robertson

    Rick Beikoff “this greatest ever hoax and fraud against humanity, is about to blow it’s head off”.

    Wish I could share your optimism but history tells us reaction to such paradigms are slow. Going back to the times of James Lind, who had never heard of Vitamin C, but who recommended the British Navy carry limes on it’s long voyages to heal scurvy, we can see with dismay that it took the Navy 45 years to act.

    In the early 1900′s a pellagra outbreak in the southern US states was quickly identified by a health official as being diet related. Researchers in officialdom went on looking for a viral/bacterial cause for 30 years, till another researcher discovered the B-Vitamins. That’s when they started fortifying cereals and grain products with B-Vitamins.

    In 1983, Robert Gallo, a researcher who had made a collosal mistake by claiming he had identified a viral cause for cancer, claimed to have found a viral cause for AIDS. An independent study by Luc Montagnier made the same claim at the same time, but soon qualified his claim by stating that the virus, HIV, could not cause AIDS on its own but needed a mysterious cofactor. A few years later, a leading viral researcher, Peter Dueberg, claimed there was no way HIV could cause AIDS, for the simple reason that AIDS in North America was restricted to groups that were predominantly male. There is no known virus that attacks only males.

    Here we are 25 years later, with no cure for AIDS in sight, or a vaccine, and people like Gallo are clinging tightly to their theory that AIDS is caused by a virus. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. The point is, why have we wasted 25 years where we could have been looking for alternative causes for AIDS? They used exactly the same rhetoric as for global warming: the science is settled and anyone not accepting the ‘consensus’ is a flat-earther. Duesberg’s career has been ruined due to a loss of funding, he can’t get published and his university has brought sanctions to limit his tenure.

    It’s one thing to form a theory that CO2 is causing global warming and quite another to suppress research into other areas of possible causation. These are scary times for science when political, egotistical twits have taken control. With the advent of the internet, activists can embellish Al Gore-type nonsense while refuting good sense from skeptics. Fortunately it works both ways. Blogs like Jennifers can have an effect. I was doing a Google search and encountered one of my blog entries here being discussed, good and bad, as far away as Belgium. The point is that a minor statement form a nobody like me can be fodder for discussion half way across the world.

    Hopefully we will have a more expeditious breakthrough but I’m not overly optimistic.

  27. Comment from: Will Nitschke

    Gordon Robertson,

    You are a disgrace. Trying to suggest that AIDS denialism is even plausible, casts a shadow on every genuine sceptic trying to make sense of the data and the reasoning behind AGW. You sir, are a rather nasty crank.

  28. Comment from: Will Nitschke

    Eli Rabett:

    “Aerosols have both heating and cooling capacities in the atmosphere depending on where and what they are. Black carbon, low down heats strongly, sulphate aerosols up near the tropopause cool strongly (see volcanic eruption). Really cohenites, you gotta get out of the habit of thinking you understand this stuff.”

    How about addressing the points raised, rather than going off on a tangent and then throwing in an insult that only ends up making yourself look stupid?

    Why not address the issues directly?

    If a evolutionary biologist is debating a creationist, he’ll tackle the creationist’s arguments head on. I’ll happily change my opinion and join the ‘warm’ side if you stopped doing little dances and just addressed the points raised in the links provided in a straight forward way. And how about dropping all the smarmy insults that make you look like an arrogant arse, at least to casual readers? (No, Luke is not a good role model.) That more than makes up for all the conspiracy theory rubbish I have to wade through posted by the ‘cool’ side…

    Right now I think I’m sitting in the middle here, but if we get another la nina next year, I might have to start rooting for Cohenite rather than feeling so ambivalent about his postings.

  29. Comment from: cohenite

    Actually Will N ( to distinguish you from SJT who I have christened Will in honour of Will Robinson, another fantasist), eli is wrong for other reasons about aerosols; it is not the case that they just warm at altitude in the stratosphere;

    Both the El Chichon and Pinatubo reuptions show an immediate heating effect consistent with eli’s theory, but then there is a drastic dropping off; is this due to the resumption of the AGW effect, or is due to another effect of the eruption, namely SO2 ozone-destruction? This ozone depletion has been well documented with extra UV reaching the ground and enhanced photosynthesis as a result; some other factors to consider; Lucia has done a couple of posts about the duration of volcanic effects, and 7-9 years is likely; this dovetails with Pinatubo because since 2001 Stratosphere temperatures have been moving back up while surface temperatures have been declining (with the exception of GISS, of course). A further complication is a new paper by Pat Keating which finds that correct modelling of the radiative transfer mechanism of CO2 would actually produce cooling in the mid to high troposphere, well below the higher cooling predicted by the Weartian AGW atmospheric model, but at the level, the CEL, or Characteristic Emission Layer, noted by Christy and Douglass in their most recent paper; Keating’s paper is featured in Lucia’s most recent post.

  30. Comment from: Eli Rabett

    It’s due to the injection of sulphate aerosols into the lower stratosphere which block solar insolation. You are such an amusing guy.

    The Climatic Aftermath
    Alan Robock*

    The eruption of Mount Pinatubo on Luzon Island, Philippines (15.1ºN, 120.4ºE), on 15 June 1991 produced the largest stratospheric volcanic aerosol cloud of the 20th century (1). In just a few days, about 20 megatons of SO2 was injected into the stratosphere (1). The effect of the eruption on global climate could be felt for years. Surface air temperatures over Northern Hemisphere (NH) continents were cooler than normal by up to 2ºC in the summer of 1992 and warmer than normal by up to 3ºC in the winters of 1991-92 (see the figure) and 1992-93.”

    Oh yeah it was well know immediately that Pinatubo would be a test of GCMs and they were shown to be right

  31. Comment from: Eli Rabett

    To continue (hit the submit too early)

    “Several volcanic aerosol effects collude to create this pattern of tropospheric temperature changes: warming of the tropical lower stratosphere, ozone depletion at high latitudes, tropical surface cooling, and mid-latitude surface warming (15). The pattern is associated with a strong polar vortex and is called the positive mode of the Arctic Oscillation (16) [which is closely related to the North Atlantic Oscillation (17)]. External stratospheric forcing can push the system into this natural mode of the winter atmospheric circulation relatively easily.

    The polar vortex is strengthened by lower stratosphere warming at low latitudes, which is caused by absorption of solar and terrestrial radiation by the volcanic aerosol cloud. Ozone depletion, which in the case of Pinatubo took place mostly at high latitudes in the NH (15), also strengthens the polar vortex by causing polar cooling. Climate models have reproduced the observed winter warming when forced with the observed aerosols (18) and ozone changes (15) after the Pinatubo eruption (15, 19). The results show that the dynamical response of atmospheric circulation to radiative forcing is an important aspect of climate change and highlight the climatic role of the stratosphere (20).

    Global warming was retarded for several years after the Pinatubo eruption because of the cooling effects of the volcanic aerosols. Simulations of this cooling helped to validate climate models used for global warming. The strong but relatively short-lived climate forcing was used to test and improve climate models and has sharpened our understanding of the climate system. In the past, it has been difficult to attribute global warming to anthropogenic greenhouse gases because observations of climate change show irregular coolings that do not match the expected warming from greenhouse gases. Simulations that include solar forcing and volcanism (21-23) accurately simulate climate change before the past century but do not reproduce the 0.6ºC warming observed in the past century unless anthropogenic greenhouse gases are considered. These studies have allowed the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report (24) to give the strongest support yet to the attribution of recent warming to human actions.”

  32. Comment from: cohenite

    I wish I had your sense of certainty eli; there has been no meaningful Stratosphere cooling, at any level, since 1995;

    Randel et al are also more forthcoming about data uncertainties than you appear to be; Lucia also deserves a comment on this issue;

    You’ll notice she draws on your Robock source. She also links to an interesting paper by Sothers which deals with SO2; I don’t think the Stratosphere ‘fingerprint’ is quite there yet.

  33. Comment from: janama

    “Red Hot Lies” – the author speaks

  34. Comment from: janama

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned that I flew past the Pinatubo eruption. The volcano blew as we we taking off from Melbourne on a flight to Hong Kong. We reached the Philippines to be confronted with this huge brown fiery cloud, lightning was going off inside and at 30K ft it loomed high above us. The pilot said absolutely nothing and we veered away from it and it wasn’t until we got to HK that we realised what it was.


  35. Comment from: Eli Rabett

    cohenite, go take a look at Fig. 3 on this site

    you can click on it to blow it up. Note that the strong cooling from CO2 in the atmosphere occurs above 3 hPa (~20 km) and that there is not a lot, if any up to 100 hPa because cooling from water vapor and CO2 is balanced by a warming from O3. As the SPARC paper says

    “The global-mean cooling of the lower stratosphere has not occurred linearly over
    the past few decades, but rather is manifested as two downward steps in temperatures that
    are coincident with the end of the transient warming associated with the El Chichon and
    Pinatubo volcanic eruptions (e.g. Ramaswamy et al. 2006). In the global-mean, the lower
    stratosphere has not noticeably cooled since 1995.”

    The strong cooling is expected to occur above 100 hPa, which is what is observed at the link you provided. The maximum cooling will be at 1 hPa which is near the stratopause and not discussed in the paper. FWIW

    “Estimates of climate trends in the middle and upper stratosphere rely primarily on
    a single dataset derived from the operational SSU satellite data, and hence have
    substantial uncertainties. . . .

    Our assessment shows that the mid-stratosphere is now
    believed to be cooling at around 0.4-0.5 K/decade, considerably higher than indicated in
    earlier assessments, as a result of the inclusion of a correction for the effect of changes in
    atmospheric CO2 on the satellite weighting functions. As a consequence, there is much
    less vertical structure in the cooling derived from SSU data than previously indicated.”

    So at this point, the modeling may indeed be a better representation of reality than then measurements, which at best are a check against the models (they do agree) until they are improved. It is this competition (remember competition is good) that characterizes science. BTW, the figure Eli referenced above comes from the same sort of line by line calculation that Miskolczi uses, so if you reject it, you are rejecting what he did (Eli differs with M on other grounds, for example his mistaken assumptions, error filled statistical mechanics calculations, use of a non representative atmospheric profiles from early TIGR data sets, and his lack of mechanism beyond feverish handwaving for requiring that the optical density of the atmosphere remain constant. The Bunny has no problem with the line by line calculation. Details at Niche Modeling and CA discussion groups)

    btw, thanks for the SPARC paper link

  36. Comment from: James Mayeau

    ” So at this point, the modeling may indeed be a better representation of reality than then measurements … ”

    and if you click the ruby slippers together three times, saying “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”
    you can save your frequent flyer miles to use on vacation next summer.

  37. Comment from: SJT

    “and if you click the ruby slippers together three times, saying “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”
    you can save your frequent flyer miles to use on vacation next summer.”

    Didn’t you read what he said. The problem with satellite temperature readings is the depth. They are sitting up there out in space, reading temperatures through different layers of the atmosphere, indirectly. What if I was to say to you I can read the temperature of the stratosphere from down here on the ground? Would you believe me.

    Theoretically it can be done, and the satellite methods are improving, but this blind faith in their accuracy is puzzling.

  38. Comment from: James Mayeau

    There is so hot a summer in Al’s bosom,

    That all Gore’s bowels crumble up to dust:

    He is a scribbled form, drawn with a pen

    Upon a parchment, and against this fire

    Does he shrink up.

  39. Comment from: Eli Rabett

    On coherence and incoherence in science: when one has noisy data and imperfect models one looks for coherence with such other information as one has to judge the case rather than arbitrarily choosing data or model.

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