Valuing Passion Over Wisdom: Hansen Awarded Highest Honour by American Meteorologists

THE director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, James Hansen, was awarded the 2009 Carl-Gustaf Rossby Medal in Phoenix yesterday.  This is the highest honour bestowed by the American Meteorological Society and was awarded for Dr Hansen’s outstanding contributions to climate modelling, understanding climate change forcings and sensitivity, and for clear communication of climate science in the public arena.

Dr Hansen is passionate about global warming and quick to give advice and offer support to those who champion the idea that there is an urgent need for a global reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.    He has been an advisor to Al Gore and flown to the UK to testify in support of Greenpeace activists on trial for criminal damage to a coal-fired power station.

There is, however, nothing charitable or thoughtful in Dr Hansen’s approach to controversy.  He has only contempt for so-called climate change sceptics claiming they operate like tobacco scientists and he has suggested that CEOs of fossil energy companies should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.[1]

Dr Hansen heads a team that collates thermometer temperature data from all over the world some have described him as “the keeper of global temperature data”.  

This honour will further confirm Dr Hansen’s place with opinion leaders as the most reliable source of expert advice on climate related issues.   As New York Times journalist Andrew C. Revkin has commented on his DotEarth Blog:  “Whatever one thinks of James E. Hansen’s mix of climate science and policy advocacy it’s hard not to take note when the country’s largest organization of weather specialists, the American Meteorological Society, gives this veteran climatologist its top honor.”

It seems we live during a period where passion is valued much more than wisdom even by scientific societies.

**************

1. Global Warming Twenty Years Later: Tipping Points Near, by James Hansen, Address to the National Press Club and Briefing to the House Select Committee on Energy Independence, Washington, June 23, 2008
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2008/TwentyYearsLater_20080623.pdf

Photograph of Dr James Hansen republished from Phil Aroneanu’s blog post here: http://itsgettinghotinhere.org/2008/06/24/20-years-later/

156 Responses to Valuing Passion Over Wisdom: Hansen Awarded Highest Honour by American Meteorologists

  1. Terry January 16, 2009 at 2:41 am #

    It would/will be very interesting to see how history treats Dr Hansen.

  2. hunter January 16, 2009 at 3:30 am #

    He is now so high that his inevitable fall will be truly memorable.

  3. bill January 16, 2009 at 4:01 am #

    Proving, you can soar on a hoax, if you make it big enough.

  4. RW January 16, 2009 at 5:19 am #

    Having contempt for idiots is not incompatible with being charitable and thoughtful.

  5. Steven Earl Salmony January 16, 2009 at 6:06 am #

    Valuing science over ideology……….

    Special good wishes and congratulations to James Hansen,

    Thanks, Jim, for all you have been doing for many people over many years by speaking out loudly, clearly and often for the sake of protecting biodiversity from extinction, the environment from degradation, the Earth from wanton dissipation and the children from reckless endangerment.

    Please note that not only does humanity face a challenge from human-forced climate destabilization, good scientific evidence of human population dynamics is also being all but universally ignored.

    It seems somehow not quite right for the human family not to be actively encouraged to consider — and not to deny — the potentially profound implications of extant scientific evidence regarding the population dynamics of absolute global human population numbers. The research appears to indicate with remarkable clarity and utter simplicity that human population dynamics is essentially similar to the population dynamics of other species; that increases and decreases in absolute global human population numbers can be better understood as a function of food supply; and that human carrying capacity is primarily determined by food availability. The failure of able people with widely accepted knowledge of biology, population dynamics and the biophysical world to communicate openly, in an intellectually honest and morally courageous way, regarding the predicament presented to humanity by distinctly human-induced and -driven threats to human wellbeing, life as we know it, environmental health and Earth’s body from the unbridled growth of the human species now overspreading the surface of Earth is as unacceptable as it is unforgivable. The elective mutism of leading experts inside and outside the scientific community has to be replaced, I suppose, with more adequate, more reasonable, more sensible and readily available evidence of what could be real about the way the world in which we live actually works as well as about the “placement” of human beings within the order of living things. By so doing, the family of humanity can get about the necessary work of responding ably to the recognizably daunting global challenges which are looming ominously before us on the horizon.

    Somehow, the human family will most assuredly find its way forward from “here and now” to a good enough and sustainable future for the children, coming generations and life as we know it in this wondrous planetary home we inhabit and call Earth.

    Godspeed,

    Steve Salmony

    Steven Earl Salmony, Ph.D., M.P.A.
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001
    http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176
    http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/index.php

  6. Bickers January 16, 2009 at 6:35 am #

    All this award has done is to show that the AMS has become highly politicised.

    But why should those of us who believe in the evidential and empirical approach to science be surprised – many of these once great institutions e.g. the Nobel Prize committee giving an award to a snake oil saleman politico like Gore (for making a movie that misled the public) have been brought into disrepute by their grant grabbing members.

  7. Jeremy C January 16, 2009 at 6:39 am #

    Jennifer,

    You wrote above:

    “He has only contempt for so-called climate change sceptics claiming they operate like tobacco scientists and he has suggested that CEOs of fossil energy companies should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.[1]”.

    I don’t think that is being clear because when when I went to the link and read it I found that Hansen used ‘tobacco companies’ not the word scientist. In the link Hansen is comparing fossil fuel concerns and what he labels ‘special interests’ with tobacco companies, because he believes that they have been actively denying the risks from releasing too much in the way of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and so acting in the same vein as tobacco companies did when they knowingly suppressed information on the risks associated with smoking. He sees these actions as cynical, designed to stop society moving along a high technology path that deals with the problem of global warming.

    Now I don’t know if he is right or wrong about the actions of fossil fuel concerns but its a bit different from what you posted, unless you are using other sources not included above.

    But does this post indicate that you think that the members of the American Meteorological Society have been hoaxed or duped by James Hansen or is the membership just incompetent?

    BTW, in other commentary stuff I’ve read by Hansen he calls climate sceptics, ‘contrarians’. I think that is being kind, I prefer to use the made up word, ‘denialists’.

  8. Minister for Truth January 16, 2009 at 7:14 am #

    “But does this post indicate that you think that the members of the American Meteorological Society have been hoaxed or duped by James Hansen or is the membership just incompetent”

    Is there any doubt, and why would the AMS be any more or less competent than Wall Street and look what they have done to the world.

    This is the same country that went to war over facts that were not right so why would AGW be any different.

    Hansen is a fraud and so is his buddy Gore, but in the latters case he is smart enough to be making a huge amount of money out of it.

    The banner on this web site has it right.

    http://antigreen.blogspot.com/

  9. Nexus 6 January 16, 2009 at 7:36 am #

    Hansen is and has been an excellent scientist. The amount of times he has stuck his neck out only to be proven correct supports this. The other aspects with regards to his thoughts on dodgy denialists are just an added bonus.

    Hansen will likely be remembered as the late 20th/early 21st century’s greatest scientist.

  10. Thomas Moore January 16, 2009 at 7:43 am #

    “He has only contempt for so-called climate change sceptics claiming they operate like tobacco scientists”

    Heh. If the shoe fits…

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

  11. Geoff Brown January 16, 2009 at 8:00 am #

    From Joe D’Aleo’s ICECAP http://icecap.us/index.php/go/political-climate

    By Craig James, AMS Fellow in the NYT DotEarth blog

    I believe Dr. Hansen’s political ideology has taken over his science and renders him no longer qualified to be the keeper of the global temperature data.

  12. Ian Mott January 16, 2009 at 8:49 am #

    Hansen looks like a scrotum with ears.

  13. janama January 16, 2009 at 8:50 am #

    Hansen will likely be remembered as the late 20th/early 21st century’s greatest scientist.

    wow !

    It was Hansen and his original models that started the global cooling scare in the 70s when it was noticed that the earth had been cooling since the 40s. By the end of the 80s he’d turned it all around and was predicting catastrophic global warming. He claimed his views were being suppressed by the Bush administration and thus won the hearts and minds of the left.

    None of his predictions have eventuated and none of what has eventuated did he predict!

    Is it just me or does anyone else notice that he is looking more and more like Homer Simpson every day. 🙂

  14. Louis Hissink January 16, 2009 at 8:55 am #

    Calling us “tobacco scientists” is a deliberate association with the antics of the tobacco companies, so SOD is indeed picking rhetorical nits.

    The very fact that a scientist of Hansen’s stature needs to use these perjoratives means only one thing – he does them silenced because of the inconvenient facts they have in their possession.

    A true scientist would not call for censorship.

  15. Jeremy C January 16, 2009 at 9:01 am #

    Louis,

    Did you just confuse me with Sod?

  16. Thomas Moore January 16, 2009 at 9:13 am #

    Louis,

    The IPA is funded by tobacco companies. Jennifer works for the IPA. This is a deliberate association – no pejoratives needed!

    Thomas

  17. MattB January 16, 2009 at 9:20 am #

    “It seems we live during a period where passion is valued much more than wisdom even by scientific societies.”

    Bitter much?

  18. Mike Davis January 16, 2009 at 9:22 am #

    Janama: AHA! someone that has read history. Looking at the picture I think that the characture Homer was based on James But that would demean Homer so I will not compare them as I have more respect for homer. Yes he was a co-author of a paper advising of the dangers involved with the coming ice age.

    Maybe Elmer Gantry!
    I find that his supporters can change the wording of his testimony before congress in 1988. The transcript read that scenerio a was Buisness as usual. When that was seen to fail the claim was B. was what he meant. Lately I have read support that he was speaking about C. Which was stopping allemmisions immediatly in 1988. I read a supporter yesterday who claimed the briliance of the man for his accutate prediction in 1988. I do not think that commenter realized the Joke he was telling and prubably did not my laughing in response.

    I feel it is a shame and demeans any group that gives an award to someone that supports Terrorism. Which is what we are seeing. It is people like him that are currently causing starvation and death arround the globe due to diverting funds from needed projects to non scientific goals creating bogus fears by spreading and manufacturing lies.

    Maybe one day I will express how I really feel about this issue.

  19. hunter January 16, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    His support of eco-terrorism should leave him outside the bounds of civil organizations worldwide.
    His non-falsifiable pap disguised as science will leave future generations- not very far off at all- shaking their heads in disbelief at the gullibility of so many for a good con dressed up as science.

  20. bazza January 16, 2009 at 9:41 am #

    Valuing Passion Over Wisdom’? I can assume it is Hansons passion, but whose wisdom.? And who is doing the valuing? The award was clearly about his package wtih his passion based on his knowledge of the science and the with courage to communicate. Should be more of him.

  21. mikiwud January 16, 2009 at 9:56 am #

    What value is there to any medal now given in America? For God’s sake you’ve given one to Tony Blair who must be the worlds biggest creep and the second most despised man in the UK after Gorgon (not a spelling mistake) Brown. Hanson Perjured himself in a British court and may be called back as the verdict may be overturned, that could be interesting.

  22. Mike Davis January 16, 2009 at 10:00 am #

    bazza:
    Once upon a time there were more like him. Have you read about the inquisition? How about the Nuremberg Trials? Does the word Genocide mean anything? Maybe Eugenics?
    AGW is the modern day revival of these. Maybe for a clear view of a future with more like him you might read about Stalin.
    We have our own home grown terrorist orginizations here and now. There color is green.

  23. SJT January 16, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    All the hatred and contempt for Hansen falls in a heap if he is right. The physical basis for AGW and the consistent results supporting AGW suggest that he is.

  24. FDB January 16, 2009 at 10:23 am #

    “Once upon a time there were more like him. Have you read about the inquisition? How about the Nuremberg Trials? Does the word Genocide mean anything? Maybe Eugenics?
    AGW is the modern day revival of these. Maybe for a clear view of a future with more like him you might read about Stalin.
    We have our own home grown terrorist orginizations here and now. There color is green.”

    Oh, mercy. The ever-decreasing circles of the denialists’ downward spiral into shrill irrelevance are really fun to watch, for a good ol’ fashioned lover of schadenfreude like yours truly.

    Keep it up Jen, your check’s in the mail.

  25. janama January 16, 2009 at 10:43 am #

    if you really want to impress you should send Jen a cheque, much more impressive especially if it’s left open like a good mind.

  26. All Gaia Worship January 16, 2009 at 10:44 am #

    Carry on spinning FDB, wearing a hair shirt and chanting lies does not make it the truth.

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=2674e64f-802a-23ad-490b-bd9faf4dcdb7

  27. Taluka Byvalnian January 16, 2009 at 10:56 am #

    The physical basis for AGW and the consistent results supporting AGW suggest that he is.

    Well, he was right finally suppressing the fraudulent “hockey-stick” graph.

    Was he right in declaring that a carbon tax was a way to re-distribute the wealth?
    http://talbyv.blogspot.com/2009/01/james-hansen-communist-or-robbing-hood.html

  28. Thomas Moore January 16, 2009 at 11:11 am #

    Once upon a time there were more like him. Have you read about the inquisition? How about the Nuremberg Trials? Does the word Genocide mean anything? Maybe Eugenics?
    AGW is the modern day revival of these. Maybe for a clear view of a future with more like him you might read about Stalin.

    This has to be the best comment i’ve ever seen on ANY blog topic. Association fallacy?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

    Thomas

  29. Robert Wood January 16, 2009 at 11:41 am #

    Attached my letter to the President of the AMS:

    Sir/Madam,

    Congratulations. You have desecrated your organization by awarding its highest honor to a hysterical poltiical hack. I advise you read the letter he wrote, and was widely publicised, to President Elect Obama.

    Hansen obviously puts “science” at the service of politics. He is a sham and a fraud. To award Hansen any honor other than Chief Scumbag is a diservice to the AMS.

    If I were a member, I would resign.

    Robert Wood

    ottawa, Canada

    And no fool.

  30. Tim Curtin January 16, 2009 at 11:59 am #

    “Having contempt for idiots is not incompatible with being charitable and thoughtful'”. As in this comment by Hansen on the Rudd Government by Hansen (in his letter to Obama of 29 Dec 08)? “Australia … sets atmospheric carbon dioxide goals so large
    as to guarantee destruction of much of the life on the planet”. So Hansen charitably considers Kevin Rudd to be worse than Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mugabe, Saddam, as they only set out to destroy some of humanity, unlike our Kev. Such is Hansen’s math that while Australia’s 0.95% of current emissions will guarantee destruction of most of us, the rest of the World’s 99% will have no such impact. Will Hansen’s charity extend to Obama when he too fails to deliver?

    Thomas: as yet no new coral reef data for me from your chum De’ath. Can you help him?

  31. Will Nitschke January 16, 2009 at 12:05 pm #

    It’s useful to put scientific awards in historical perspective.

    Scientist: Paul R. Ehrlich

    Most famous prediction:

    “He became a household name after publication of his 1968 book The Population Bomb, in which he predicted that “In the 1970s and 1980s . . . hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”

    Awards:

    Awards

    * The John Muir Award of the Sierra Club
    * The Gold Medal Award of the World Wildlife Fund International
    * A MacArthur Prize Fellowship
    * The Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
    * ECI Prize winner in terrestrial ecology, 1993
    * A World Ecology Award from the International Center for Tropical Ecology, University of Missouri, 1993
    * The Volvo Environmental Prize, 1993
    * The United Nations Sasakawa Environment Prize, 1994
    * The 1st Heinz Award in the Environment (with Anne Ehrlich), 1995
    * The Albert Einstein Club Commemorative Plaque, 1997
    * The Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, 1998
    * The Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences, 1998
    * The Blue Planet Prize, 1999
    * The Eminent Ecologist Award of the Ecological Society of America, 2001
    * The Distinguished Scientist Award of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, 2001

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_R._Ehrlich

    And yes in case you’re wondering, he’s a firm believer in AGW…

  32. Malcolm Hill January 16, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    Isnt it funny how these self promoting gad flies and alround shonks con Govts and people around the world to get themselves awarded gongs they havnt earnt, or are not worthy of.

    First it was the left wingers of the Swedish Parliament that awarded a shared Nobel Peace Prize ( note it wasnt for any scientific discipline) to Gore and crew when there is demonstrable evidence to attest to his shonkiness and conflicts of interest. But then he is an American, so anything goes.

    Now the AMS have awarded Hansen of all people a gong when there is demonstrable evidence that he and his crew have been cooking the books, not to mention all the instances where Hansen’s predictions have been wrong. Of course we wont mention Hansens own politcial machinations, cooked up by himself and his mate Gore.

    Closer to home we have The Australian of The Year being awared to the flim flam man himself when his own book and public utterances are replete with laughable nonsense and predictions that have not stood up,even after only a few years.

    Makes you wonder about the competence of the people who make these decisions when there are some many far more deserving people in the community.

    The AMS is clearly scraping the bottom of the barrel with this decision.

    Is there a pattern here.?

  33. Minister for Arts January 16, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    “Hansen looks like a scrotum with ears.”

    You are very observant Mr Mott.

    Its actually a disease caused by brown nosing.

    If only we knew who was on the receiving end.

  34. Mike Davis January 16, 2009 at 1:13 pm #

    Malcom: Yes I do see a pattern. Maybe it is due to halucinations or flashbacks. you know excessive use of pot and LSD in the late 60’s and early 70’s. They are still tripping today and it carried over in thier children. Then it was rose colered glasses now the color is green.
    He was after all the science adviser for AIT. The trouble is that AMS has a commity to make such decions about such things and people want to appear on the correct band wagon even if it is in runaway mode heading for the cliff. Just like lemmings!

  35. MattB January 16, 2009 at 1:17 pm #

    Will, you don’t have to be as obscure as a reference to Ehrlich, one just has to look at that medal Howard got yesterday as proof that medals don’t mean much.

  36. FDB January 16, 2009 at 1:44 pm #

    So… was Erlich wrong?

  37. spangled drongo January 16, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    Imagine how bad the rest of the climate modellers must be when Hansen gets the prize?
    Or does the rest of the Hockey Team get the prize too, like last time?
    And forcings and sensitivity?
    Oh, Gawd!
    How much different is it now than 1988 when he made his dire prediction?

  38. Will Nitschke January 16, 2009 at 1:58 pm #

    “So… was Erlich wrong?”

    You mean about all those food riots he forecast would happen in the US, etc?

    As opposed to what actually happened, called the called the obscenity epidemic… 😉

  39. FDB January 16, 2009 at 2:04 pm #

    No, about the prediction cited above.

  40. Will Nitschke January 16, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    Err.. no. Hundreds of millions of people did not starve to death… fortunately improved seed and food crop types prevented that from happening… you know, the sort of practical solutions, like the genetic engineering of crops, that the environmental movement tends to oppose…

  41. Taluka Byvalnian January 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm #

    James Hansen would no doubt be pleased to know that Google searches for items such as Global Warming+Hoax/lie/skeptic have doubled in the past year. Could it be the climate?
    Details here: http://talbyv.blogspot.com/2009/01/global-warming-hoax-lie.html

  42. FDB January 16, 2009 at 3:18 pm #

    “Hundreds of millions of people did not starve to death”

    So, how many people did die from malnutrition during the 70s and 80s, and what’s your source?

  43. MattB January 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

    300 million deaths from starvation between 1968 and 2003:
    http://starvation.net/terrorism-vs-starvation-1968-2003.htm

    today that is about 10 million a year. (2003)
    800 million chronically malnourished. (2003) wikipedia

  44. Will Nitschke January 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm #

    I’m referring to all the claims specifically made by Elrich in relation to food production. He was not discussing catastrophes caused by war and politics. You’re both mixing these things up. Please read up on the subject first if you want to discuss it. Yes, millions of people have died from all sorts of things, including starvation, but this is not because the world could not produce enough food. The problem has primarily been getting it to the people who need it.

  45. MattB January 16, 2009 at 4:33 pm #

    I guess had he known that food production was not going to be a problem he would not have contemplated we would just let it sit in sheds while hundreds of millions starved;) naive man!

    Look Will you introduced him to the blog not us. And I didn’t even pick you up on your single example as not even coming close to being able to bring scientific awards in to historical perspective:)
    I guess the message is that if you don’t want irellevant ramblings don;t introduce irrelevent issues:)

  46. Will Nitschke January 16, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    MattB, that’s sort of your irrelevant opinion, isn’t it? My point was very pertinant.

    If you want to discuss something, then try to understand it first. Don’t pull unrelated numbers out of context in an attempt to make some kind of confused point. I suppose you can do that when discussing AGW because it hasn’t happened yet. But you paint yourself into a corner if you want to discuss historical facts you don’t understand, which don’t lead to the conclusion you’ve already arrived at.

  47. NT January 16, 2009 at 5:00 pm #

    Will, your opinion is pretty irrelevant too.

  48. Thomas Moore January 16, 2009 at 5:05 pm #

    Tim,

    Thomas: as yet no new coral reef data for me from your chum De’ath. Can you help him?

    No new data from you, either! Are you ever going to post your analysis?

    Thomas

  49. Les Francis January 16, 2009 at 5:21 pm #

    Comment from: Nexus 6 January 16th, 2009 at 7:36 am

    Hansen is and has been an excellent scientist. The amount of times he has stuck his neck out only to be proven correct supports this. The other aspects with regards to his thoughts on dodgy denialists are just an added bonus.

    Hansen will likely be remembered as the late 20th/early 21st century’s greatest scientist.

    That would be the same J.H. that predicted a major El-Nino in 2007….right?

  50. Tim Curtin January 16, 2009 at 5:36 pm #

    Thomas: you said dr D had more data than he has archived which does prove his claim that coral growth rates have declined. I await it. Until then it is for you to disprove the upward growth rate trends I reported from his archived data on the 13 reefs. But I know you and Dr Death are like James Hansen who equally will never admit that his award winning model cannot even get the airborne fraction (AF) of CO2 emissions right, he claims it is 56-60% (PNAS 2004) when all actual data (see Canadell et al PNAS 2007 and the Global Carbon Project 2008 not to mention my own paper that innate modesty forbids me to reference) show it has averaged only 43% since 1958, and on early indications, less than that in 2008. Clearly Hansen got his award for this gross exaggeration as it promises more moolah for the AMA from Obama. In fact I bet that the AF will be not have been more than 40% in 2008. Given his claim that Kevin Rudd is as guilty as Hitler for not legislating for cessation of all emissions and coal mining, his award from AMA is like that great journal Time’s choice of Hitler as Man of the Year c.1937, and the Nobel award for Gore and the IPCC. They will live to regret giving awards for such patently fraudulent stuff.

  51. MattB January 16, 2009 at 5:39 pm #

    Lighten up Will… take a chill pill it’s Friday:)

  52. MattB January 16, 2009 at 5:50 pm #

    I’m no Rudd fan and don’t like the ETS much… but TIM you cannot say Hansen said Rudd is as guilty as Hitler…. it is total fabrication of Hansen’s letter. Heck I’m not really a fan of Hansen (other than the science bit) – his PR and marketing skills to me are terrible.

    What Hansen said was that in his opinion “cap and trade… do not work… as proven by honest efforts of the greenest countries..” and as an example cites Australia, which as part of the ETS has set a cap level that if adopted globally will “guarentee destruction of much of the life on the planet.” Which as far as his scientific opinion is concerned is a 100% accurate statement, and is a critique of cap and trade, not Australia. I disagree with him personally.

  53. Geoff Brown January 16, 2009 at 6:09 pm #

    Mattb “What Hansen said was that in his opinion “cap and trade… do not work… as proven by honest efforts of the greenest countries..” and as an example cites Australia, which as part of the ETS has set a cap level that if adopted globally will “guarentee destruction of much of the life on the planet.” Which as far as his scientific opinion is concerned is a 100% accurate statement, and is a critique of cap and trade, not Australia. :”

    Which as far as his scientific opinion is concerned is a 100% accurate statement??

    Not 100% accurate, only as far as his scientific opinion is concerned?
    Has he promised the world’s destruction before this? Has it happened?
    Is he going to retract some of his other WRONG predictions?
    Does he regret foisting the fraudulent “hockey-stick” on the world?
    Does he regret using the wrong month’s figures in his global average?
    Does he regret advising failed Presidential Candidate Gore on his movie filled with 41 inconvenient LIES?

    Or perhaps I am being too critical – has he done the right thing and said “I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!”

    or is he still pushing his communistic take-from-the-rich-and give to-the-poor advice to Obama?

    Does he still (or is it just his political position) believe in CO2 as a pollutant? If so, has he requested the banning of beer and wine?

    Jimmy. Jimmy. Jimmy. give it back – you know you’re not worthy!

  54. Gordon Robertson January 16, 2009 at 7:31 pm #

    Nexus 6 “Hansen is and has been an excellent scientist. The amount of times he has stuck his neck out only to be proven correct supports this”.

    And which planet did you just drop in from? I’m waiting for Hansen to say just one thing that is correct. He’s an astronomer who programs computer models badly and an alarmist who studies ancient glacier systems, much like a witchdoctor might study the entrails of chickens. The inferences drawn are about the same.

  55. Gordon Robertson January 16, 2009 at 7:37 pm #

    Mike Davies “I feel it is a shame and demeans any group that gives an award to someone that supports Terrorism”.

    Are you talking about Al Gore and the Nobel Institute or Hansen and the meteorological twits?

  56. Luke January 16, 2009 at 9:11 pm #

    Gordon – what is it about Hansen? If you don’t like what he’s saying tune out.

    As for most of your comments above – it’s pure rhetorical twaddle and bile. Most people couldn’t even run GCMs in a research capacity without some serious help.

    Apart from those who are already convinced – do you really think you provide a convincing argument.

    Do I believe Hansen – some of it – some not. He’s a source of views not THE source of views.

    But he must be a powerful threat to you guys given the way you savage him. Heapum big medicine. Otherwise why don’t you just shrug and walk away?

  57. vindavfuktare med kontrollerad ventilation January 16, 2009 at 9:50 pm #

    RW

    “Having contempt for idiots is not incompatible with being charitable and thoughtful.”

    Idiots? Like Roger Pielke Sr? If you think such men are idiots it tells a whole lot about yourselve.

  58. spangled drongo January 16, 2009 at 9:53 pm #

    Luke,
    Hansen is the captain of the hockey team, all the gory bleeders genuflect to him and his utterances are headlines in the alarmist MSM.
    Consequently, any normal person is as sceptical of him as they are of Al Gore particularly as these two are currently in positions of great influence.
    I just hope he’ll successfully promote 4th gen nuclear and thereby finally do something worthwile.

  59. MattB January 16, 2009 at 10:27 pm #

    Ok Gordon… a comment that is 100% accurate as a representation of the “consensus” version of AGW. the point was he did not say what Tim claimed… nothing near it.

  60. Jeremy C January 16, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    Luke,

    Don’t forget AGW denialism is driven by worldviews, not science or reason, and when your worldview is under threat you get mighty het up. Hansen is the face of the threat to the denialist worldview and so people lash out at him.

    However I think Jennifer is being tactically smart in posting this thing about Hansen at this time. It takes people’s minds off Keith Windschuttle’s embarrassment, geeing them up with a hate figure so that they come out swinging. Its what i would do to rouse the troops after a stinging defeat.

  61. Jeremy C January 16, 2009 at 10:47 pm #

    Ahh, Spangled Drongo I see you have noticed Hansen has written positively about IFR or 4th gen nuclear

  62. MattB January 16, 2009 at 11:10 pm #

    Spangled Drongo… funny you should mention 4th Gen… you should pop over to BraveNewClimate for Prof Brook’s latest on IFR technology (it was also an ABC Unleashed article this week).

  63. Sean Wise January 16, 2009 at 11:18 pm #

    I could never be generous about Hansen’s passion. He is a linear thinker who believes his simple model of a very complex system. Think about what happens if governments listen and aggessively move energy to bio-derived fuels just as the roller coaster that is climate changes direction. Arable land and/or food crops get diverted to fuel production just as crop yeilds decline because of climate change, but its cooling rather than warming. Combine that with the size of the world population and you got a recipie for one of the most drastic population control programs in 500 years, mass starvation. Hansen is leading the world out on a limb and if he is wrong, the pain and suffering will be severe. Excuse me, make that more broadly severe as the food shortages and price hikes in commodities due to agricultural diversion has already been felt severely by many.

  64. hunter January 16, 2009 at 11:25 pm #

    Nexus6,
    That is so funny.
    Thanks for the early chuckle.

  65. Joel Shore January 17, 2009 at 12:47 am #

    janama says:

    It was Hansen and his original models that started the global cooling scare in the 70s when it was noticed that the earth had been cooling since the 40s.

    You are clearly just parroting stuff that you have read here. Have you even read the original Rasool and Schneider paper (available here: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;173/3992/138 ) that you are obliquely referring to or their reply to a comment on their paper (available here: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/175/4017/95-a.pdf ). Do you even know what Mie scattering calculations are (which is what Hansen provided them with)? I do, having written code to do these calculations myself.

    First of all, Rasool and Schneider were far from alarmist…In fact, their reply to a comment is the only reply to a comment on a scientific paper that I have ever seen that not only agrees that the commenter has a point in his criticism of their work but then goes on to point out additional potential problems! Second of all, blaming Hansen for the results in Rasool and Schneider is about as logical as blaming Newton, since they made use of calculus which had been invented by Newton. In fact, blaming Newton is probably more logical since Newton did in fact invent calculus whereas Hansen did not invent Mie theory (which was worked out in the very early 1900s) but merely wrote code to perform the calculations. And, there is no evidence whatsoever that this code was in any way incorrect in performing the calculations that it was written to perform.

    When you repeat stuff that you have read elsewhere without trying to make any attempt to investigate or understand it, you just end up making yourself look silly.

  66. Joel Shore January 17, 2009 at 1:22 am #

    I said:

    You are clearly just parroting stuff that you have read here.

    Please ignore the word “here”. I am not sure where you have read this and did not mean to imply that it was necessarily on this particular website.

  67. hunter January 17, 2009 at 1:53 am #

    Joel,
    “Hansen…..but merely wrote code to perform the calculations. And, there is no evidence whatsoever that this code was in any way incorrect in performing the calculations that it was written to perform.”
    Except that the entire excercise was incorrect, sort of like Hansen’s incorrect A-B-C predictions of 1988.
    The thread of interest to climate realists is how Hansen has always been on the wrong, and apocalyptic side, of climate modeling.
    Hansen is either involved with tricking us into worrying about freezing to death or cooking to death. Now he has figured out how to make a buck or million off the fear mongering and gain a great deal of social capital in the process.

  68. Joel Shore January 17, 2009 at 2:18 am #

    Hunter, whether or not Rasool and Schneider were incorrect in their paper is not the fault of Hansen for giving them correct code to do their Mie scattering calculations anymore than it is the fault of Newton for providing them with calculus. At any rate, there was never any consensus in the climate community that Rasool and Schneider were correct…In fact, it never even constituted a majority opinion in the peer-reviewed scientific literature (see http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/03/the-global-cooling-mole/ ) and even Schneider himself became convinced that warming due to greenhouse gases would dominate over cooling due to particulates within a few years of publishing that paper.

    As for Hansen’s 1988 predictions, they have performed reasonably well, thank you (see http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/hansens-1988-projections/ ) Twenty years later, we still cannot say that there has been a statistically-significant deviation from the one that best matches the actual forcings…although one would hope, given that this model had a climate sensitivity at the high end of the current IPCC range, that eventually reality will be somewhat lower than his predictions. And, his predictions are certainly far ahead of those at the time who didn’t think the warming was likely to continue at all.

  69. hunter January 17, 2009 at 3:16 am #

    Joel,
    Referencing RC is just another example of the self-referential nature of the AGW dysfunction.
    Hansen predicted things would be much warmer than they are now, if CO2 rates were lower than they are now, in his 1988 trestimony.
    He was wrong.
    RC is going to of course cover for their great leader.
    RC is even now lying and pretending that the non-existant tropo hot spot was not another big AGW prediction that has failed.
    RC is simply a Hansen sock puppet, and of no value at all in discussing the issue if one is seeking truth.
    The only thing we can say for sure is that in 20 years there has been change inthe climate that is easily within the margin of error. Since the AGW industry simply trades the same data over and over and makes wilder and wilder predictions based on models and not data, there is not really much else to be said about that.
    But over to Hansen’s predeliction to be involved, throughout his career, with failed apocalypses. I think his participation, even as a ‘keyboard monkey’ in the ice age scare is completely relevant. He was not drafted into working on the failed ice age. It is instead good evidence that even then he was obsessed about climate apocalypse.
    As to the ‘consensus’ dodge about the ice age scare, I am sure that fear mongers of the future will be pretending that today’s AGW scam was not a ‘consensus’, either.
    Hansen, today, is reduced to making guesses about weather in the 1 and 2 year ranges, betting that new heat waves will return in that time frame, thus once again demonstrating his well used dodge:
    Weather that disagrees with him is not significant, while any weather that does is *proof* of his theories.
    The Wegman report should have, if people were seriously thinking critically about climate science, inspired a complete top-to-bottom reform of climate science and ended its self-absorbed, self-referential culture. Real audits of methods, procedures, budgets, pracitices, etc. could have redeemed some of the work of the last years on climate.
    Instead, the report was largely ignored.

  70. Joel Shore January 17, 2009 at 4:12 am #

    hunter says:

    RC is even now lying and pretending that the non-existant tropo hot spot was not another big AGW prediction that has failed.

    No, what RC is doing is trying to counter all the misinformation about the hot spot. This misinformation includes the idea that the data on the tropical tropospheric temperatures is artifact-free enough or in good enough agreement to conclude that the hot spot is not there as well as the idea that it is a specific prediction for greenhouse gases as a warming mechanism. In fact, it is a general prediction of warming due to any cause (including temperature fluctuations such as those that occur due to ENSO…where it is in fact seen in the data).

    I think his participation, even as a ‘keyboard monkey’ in the ice age scare is completely relevant. He was not drafted into working on the failed ice age. It is instead good evidence that even then he was obsessed about climate apocalypse.

    He was obsessed with climate apocalypse because he lent colleagues at NASA computer code to do Mie scattering calculations? You really are desperate for arguments, aren’t you? I don’t think he had even entered the field or published any papers on climate at that point!

    As to the ‘consensus’ dodge about the ice age scare, I am sure that fear mongers of the future will be pretending that today’s AGW scam was not a ‘consensus’, either.

    This is a silly argument! The best people who perpetuate the global cooling scare myth can come up with is a small handful of scientific articles that are in fact in the minority in the peer-reviewed literature and a few articles in the popular press (most notably Newsweek) and one or two popular books. And, when the National Academy of Sciences was asked to write a report on climate in the mide 1970s, they flatly stated that we were not yet at the point to predict which of the various effects acting on the climate system would win out and thus to predict the future climate. Contrast this to what the NAS is saying today.

    To make such a comparison shows a lot of willful ignorance regarding the scientific enterprise.

    The Wegman report should have, if people were seriously thinking critically about climate science, inspired a complete top-to-bottom reform of climate science and ended its self-absorbed, self-referential culture. Real audits of methods, procedures, budgets, pracitices, etc. could have redeemed some of the work of the last years on climate.
    Instead, the report was largely ignored.

    The Wegman report was commissioned by one political party in the U.S. Congress who chose the narrowness of the question to be addressed and the person to address it in order to get the answer that they wanted to hear. Wegman’s conclusions that you refer to regarding the working together and referring of each others’ papers (which were actually in regards to the paleoclimate community not the whole climate science community) are the same sort of conclusions one would reach regarding almost any small enough subfield of science. And, after he issued his report, Wegman showed his own biases by signing onto a letter to the Prime Minister of Canada that argued against the scientific consensus on climate change even though in the Congressional hearings he showed an astonishing ignorance of the actual climate science (not surprising given he is a statician who has not worked in the climate science field).

    The report to read in regards to the paleoclimate temperature reconstructions is the NAS one, which is from a highly respected scientific authority whose whole reason for being is to advise the federal government on scientific matters.

  71. hunter January 17, 2009 at 5:09 am #

    RC is rewriting history and RC controllers are cynical and deliberate about it:
    http://www.osti.gov/energycitations/servlets/purl/881407-xk2Sdg/881407.PDF
    Schmidt, et al say in their own paper: ““Tropospheric warming is a robust feature of climate model simulations driven by historical increases in greenhouse gases (1–3). Maximum warming is predicted to occur in the middle and upper tropical troposphere.”
    I do notice that you can snipe at the Wegman report while dodging the meat of it: that the data collection, data control and models are all self-referential and that climate science is dysfunctional.
    They are not the only people to notice this:
    http://www.chron.com/commons/readerblogs/atmosphere.html?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3a54e0b21f-aaba-475d-87ab-1df5075ce621Post%3ae0a0ca41-1f88-4013-b34a-8dead62750f2
    written by Prof. John Nielsen-Gammon, an AGW supporter.
    So pretending that the Wegner report is without merit is typical AGW player behavior- avoid the actual issue at all costs and focus on alleged bias- while ignoring massive bias and non-disclosed relationships on the AGW side.
    And I leave it to the observor to judge if Hansen, in his increasingly extreme behavior, from calling for criminalization of climate dissent, to support of eco-terrorists to over-the-top unsubstantiated claims about coal eterminating life, as part of a long pattern of obsession with apocalypse.
    The Mann report is indefensible garbage, from its misues of proxies to its unethical use of statistics.
    In real science, when evidence or theory about something, like punctuated v gradual evolution or Piltdown Man, either people look at the models and discuss (in the former)or if fraudulent (in the latter), workers admit failure and move on.
    AGW is on such a pile of bs that not one shred of Hansen’s con can be questioned, or the likelihood of seeing the naked emperor becomes too great.
    The philosophical question of this really simple:
    Why does the AGW community confabulate massive conclusions from such mild-to-nonexistant data?

  72. Joel Shore January 17, 2009 at 5:53 am #

    hunter says:

    RC is rewriting history and RC controllers are cynical and deliberate about it:
    http://www.osti.gov/energycitations/servlets/purl/881407-xk2Sdg/881407.PDF
    Schmidt, et al say in their own paper: ““Tropospheric warming is a robust feature of climate model simulations driven by historical increases in greenhouse gases (1–3). Maximum warming is predicted to occur in the middle and upper tropical troposphere.”

    Thank you for providing a link to the paper that illustrates exactly what I said. In my previous post, I said:

    No, what RC is doing is trying to counter all the misinformation about the hot spot. This misinformation includes the idea that the data on the tropical tropospheric temperatures is artifact-free enough or in good enough agreement to conclude that the hot spot is not there as well as the idea that it is a specific prediction for greenhouse gases as a warming mechanism. In fact, it is a general prediction of warming due to any cause (including temperature fluctuations such as those that occur due to ENSO…where it is in fact seen in the data).

    Now, let’s look at the paper that I linked to. My statement that “This misinformation includes the idea that the data on the tropical tropospheric temperatures is artifact-free enough or in good enough agreement to conclude that the hot spot is not there ” corresponds to this statement from the paper that you linked to:

    This discrepancy may be an artifact of residual inhomogeneities in the observations
    (13–19). Creating homogeneous climate records requires the identification and removal of non-climatic influences from data that were primarily collected for weather forecasting purposes. Different analysts have followed very different data adjustment pathways (4–7, 12, 14, 17). The resulting ‘structural uncertainties’ in observed estimates of tropospheric temperature change (20) are as large as the model-predicted climate-change signal that should have occurred in response to combined human and natural forcings (16).

    The first part of my statement that “…as well as the idea that it is a specific prediction for greenhouse gases as a warming mechanism. In fact, it is a general prediction of warming due to any cause…” is admittedly a bit ambiguous because I put “specific” in the wrong place. What I should have said is “…as well as the idea that it is a prediction specific for greenhouse gases as a warming mechanism,” although the next sentence does, I think, make that clear. And, this statement of mine is supported by the following statement in the paper that you linked to:

    Based on simple moist adiabatic lapse rate (MALR) theory (29), we expect scaling ratios in
    the deep tropics to increase with increasing height, and to peak at roughly 200 hPa.

    Finally, my statement “(including temperature fluctuations such as those that occur due to ENSO…where it is in fact seen in the data)” is supported by the statement in the abstract of the paper that says:

    The month-to-month variability of tropical temperatures is larger in the troposphere than at the Earth’s surface. This amplification behavior is similar in a range of observations and climate model simulations, and is consistent with basic theory.

    As far as your own quotation from the paper goes, it does say that the tropical tropospheric amplification is predicted by models driven with greenhouse gas forcings. However, it doesn’t say that this is a prediction specific to the warming being due to greenhouse gases and, in fact, the rest of the paper makes it quite clear that this is in fact not the case. The prediction in fact arises from much more general principles and is confirmed for fluctuations in temperature on the monthly-to-yearly timescale, for which the data is reliable. It is only not confirmed for the multidecadal trends, for which any residual errors in the datasets are likely to contaminate.

  73. Joel Shore January 17, 2009 at 6:25 am #

    I do notice that you can snipe at the Wegman report while dodging the meat of it: that the data collection, data control and models are all self-referential and that climate science is dysfunctional.

    What I noted is that their analysis of the “in-breeding” in the paleoclimate community is useless if they don’t ask how this compares to other small subfields of science. Are these subfields all dysfunctional?

    What I didn’t note, but could have, is that even if they are correct that Mann et al.’s statistical manipulations were problematic, the results are not affected by this fact since they can be duplicated in other ways. This would not be the first time that the pioneers in a field had gotten a result that is subsequently confirmed by others even though there are flaws in their analysis.

    They are not the only people to notice this:
    http://www.chron.com/commons/readerblogs/atmosphere.html?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3a54e0b21f-aaba-475d-87ab-1df5075ce621Post%3ae0a0ca41-1f88-4013-b34a-8dead62750f2
    written by Prof. John Nielsen-Gammon, an AGW supporter.

    I don’t see any relation to your claims or those of Wegman here except in the use of the word “dysfunctional”. However, what Nielsen-Gammon is complaining about is that some results can’t be adequately explained in a Letters journal and if scientists publish there without publishing the details elsewhere, their results there can be presented so cryptically as to be essentially useless. It is a reasonable point but hardly one unique to climate science. The same point has been made by others in regards to Physical Review Letters, the premier letters journal in my field of physics. However, noone has then concluded from that that the entire field of physics is dysfunctional and we can’t trust any of the scientific conclusions in the entire field of physics!

    If you were actually a practicing scientist, you’d know that, to a first approximation, all scientists believe the peer-reviewed journal system is dysfunctional in some way, either because they publish some papers that are clearly garbage and have glaring errors that should have been caught in the refereeing process (like Douglass et al.) or because they reject that author’s own papers (which clearly are the most brilliant thing to come along in a while), or for some other reason (like the one that Nielsen-Gammon presents here). Such complaints are ubiquitous and are certainly not without merit but they do not mean that the entire field is “dysfunctional” and the scientific conclusions of that field can therefore be ignored.

    The rest of your diatribe doesn’t really contain any scientific issues so I won’t bother responding to it.

  74. janama January 17, 2009 at 7:43 am #

    In the February 8 (2006) New York Times, NASA’s Jim Hansen again complained that his ideas on climate change are being suppressed by the Bush Administration, which is destroying our democracy by censoring climate science. According to the Times:

    “On climate, the public has been misinformed and not informed,” he said. “The foundation of a democracy is an informed public, which obviously means an honestly informed public. That’s the big issue here.”

    On the other hand, Hansen thinks that lying about climate change in order to get attention is just peachy.

    He wrote this in Scientific American in March of 2004:

    Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue, and energy sources such as “synfuels,” shale oil and tar sands were receiving strong consideration. Now, however, the need is for demonstrably objective climate forcing scenarios consistent with what is realistic under current conditions.

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2006/02/10/a-misinformed-public/

  75. hunter January 17, 2009 at 7:50 am #

    Joel,
    One of the more predictable ways to know and AGW believer is losing is when they are reduced to appeals to authority. I have never ever pretended to be a scientist.
    I would leave that to you.
    The other way to tell an AGW beleiver is losing is that they pretend an opinion-based conversatino is suddenly bereft of ‘scientific content’ and is therefor unworthy of further recognition by the AGW believer.
    But, as is so often the case, great minds of the past summed up the true position of the AGW believer when confronted with unpleasantness, albeit in other contexts:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4SJ0xR2_bQ
    The world has not heated to any significant degree. Clilmate is not near any sort of tipping point, nor is it likely to ever do so, weather patterns have not changed in unusual ways, and there is nothing going on that humans and the rest of the biosphere will not be able to adapt to and muddle through just fine.
    Too bad for you apocalypse, but there it is.

  76. hunter January 17, 2009 at 8:12 am #

    Joel,
    One other question:
    What is it with AGw beleivers that, when confronted with obvious, properly quoted evidence that one of their prediections are wrong, the beliver persists in pretending taht the plain words of the false prediction do not mean what they mean?
    How can you possibly explain your take on what Schmidt said, versus the failure of what he said to have happened, as other than a rational response on your part?
    Unless you have hot news about a newly discovered hot spot?

  77. hunter January 17, 2009 at 8:15 am #

    Janarna,
    That quote from Hansen sort of says it all, doesn’t it?
    Hansen has been, and is engaged in today, deliberate willful deceit on a grand scale.
    He is a complete fraud as a scientist. He is a troll come to life.

  78. Joel Shore January 17, 2009 at 8:36 am #

    janama says:

    He wrote this in Scientific American in March of 2004:

    Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue, and energy sources such as “synfuels,” shale oil and tar sands were receiving strong consideration. Now, however, the need is for demonstrably objective climate forcing scenarios consistent with what is realistic under current conditions.

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2006/02/10/a-misinformed-public/

    Good God, don’t you folks have any ability to go back to original sources and investigate when you have been hoodwinked? The quote from Hansen about extreme scenarios refers to future emissions scenarios. His point simply is that he no longer believes such emission scenarios are likely to play out in the real world because people are too well aware of the consequences of not constraining CO2 emissions to actually do dumb things like get all the oil out of tar sands. He now believes it is not realistic, in light of our knowledge, to imagine people being this stupid.

    There is nothing about lying involved here at all; it is simply an issue of what future courses for our society and its energy use are most likely to come to pass…and how these future courses themselves are affected once we know of the dangers of climate change.

  79. Joel Shore January 17, 2009 at 8:49 am #

    What is it with AGw beleivers that, when confronted with obvious, properly quoted evidence that one of their prediections are wrong, the beliver persists in pretending taht the plain words of the false prediction do not mean what they mean?
    How can you possibly explain your take on what Schmidt said, versus the failure of what he said to have happened, as other than a rational response on your part?
    Unless you have hot news about a newly discovered hot spot?

    I and Gavin have explained this as well as I think we possibly can and I really don’t know how we can make it any clearer to you. To summarize:

    (1) The data for fluctuations on monthly to yearly timescales is trustworthy enough to demonstrate that the expected tropical tropospheric amplification occurs for such temperature fluctuations.

    (2) The data for the multidecadal temperature trends is not trustworthy enough to demonstrate one way or the other whether this amplification is occurring for the temperature trend that we believe to be due to greenhouse gases. One of the two satellite analyses does see such amplification while the other does not. The radiosonde data sets do not, although they have known major problems and once these problems are corrected (or other data is looked at such as wind speeds) there is some evidence that the amplification is there…although this is still an active area of research.

    (3) Even if the amplification is not occurring, this would not be evidence that the warming seen is due to something other than greenhouse gas emissions because the amplification is predicted by the models independent of the warming mechanism and arises from the basic physics in the models that describes convection in the tropics. It would admittedly be evidence that the models are missing some piece of physics…and would thus make us less confident in general in their predictions.

    (4) However, given the problems with the data for the trends and the fact that the amplification for the temperature fluctuations over the shorter timescales (for which artifacts that cause slow drifts in the data over time would not be a problem) is in fact seen in the data, it is easy to believe the problems lie with the data and hard to even hypothesize ways in which the models could have a new piece of physics put in that would get rid of the amplification in the trends over multidecadal timescales while preserving the amplification of the fluctuations.

    Which part of this specifically are you having difficulty understanding or do you object to?

  80. janama January 17, 2009 at 8:51 am #

    Oh Joel – you are a spinmeister!!

    He hasn’t stopped, he’s still talking about extreme scenarios, tipping points, general scaremongering. Don’t you read any of his stuff or are you that smitten by his fairy stories.

  81. Thomas Moore January 17, 2009 at 9:06 am #

    Tim,

    Until then it is for you to disprove the upward growth rate trends I reported from his archived data on the 13 reefs.

    So show us your analysis! Come on Tim, you can’t blast De’ath for not showing their data and analysis, and then not post yours for scrutiny! That would be hypocrisy. So, are you going to post your analysis of this upward growth trends?

    But I know you and Dr Death are like James Hansen who equally will never admit that his award winning model cannot even get the airborne fraction (AF) of CO2 emissions right, he claims it is 56-60% (PNAS 2004) when all actual data (see Canadell et al PNAS 2007 and the Global Carbon Project 2008 not to mention my own paper that innate modesty forbids me to reference) show it has averaged only 43% since 1958, and on early indications, less than that in 2008. Clearly Hansen got his award for this gross exaggeration as it promises more moolah for the AMA from Obama. In fact I bet that the AF will be not have been more than 40% in 2008. Given his claim that Kevin Rudd is as guilty as Hitler for not legislating for cessation of all emissions and coal mining, his award from AMA is like that great journal Time’s choice of Hitler as Man of the Year c.1937, and the Nobel award for Gore and the IPCC. They will live to regret giving awards for such patently fraudulent stuff.

    Great stuff, Tim. Show us your analysis!

    Thomas

  82. SJT January 17, 2009 at 9:11 am #

    Thanks, Joel, for setting people straight on the evidence for AGW, and the arguments against it. It won’t get them to change their minds, but I found it very informative.

  83. Many Questions January 17, 2009 at 9:14 am #

    Nexus 6:

    “Hansen is and has been an excellent scientist. The amount of times he has stuck his neck out only to be proven correct supports this.”

    Correct? Hansen has gotten a single prediction correct until after he “ADJUSTS” his data.
    Hansen abdicated any authority he had as a scientist a long time ago. Now he is just a flimflam man.

  84. Jimmock January 17, 2009 at 9:20 am #

    JS: ‘What I noted is that their analysis of the “in-breeding” in the paleoclimate community is useless if they don’t ask how this compares to other small subfields of science. Are these subfields all dysfunctional?’

    What’s special about climate science? Hmmm, let me think… Could it be the immodesty of the underlying political agenda. These people are self-confessed Green activists who are working towards radical social and economic change on a global scale. They are quite upfront about it. Worse still, they seem to have the ear of governments and business leaders everywhere. That makes them somewhat different from any old club of butterfly catalogers, wouldn’t you say?

    Are you, like the unworldly, leftist, science worker Luke, going to suggest that if I don’t like what Hansen has to say, I can just walk away? ‘Walk away’ to where? There is no corner of the globe where anyone can be free of the taxing, imposing, preaching, intimidating, agitating, obstructing, propagandising and scamming that Hansen and his kind are creating.

    And if you ask Hansen’s crowd, they’ll tell you that they don’t have NEARLY as much political power as they want. Now that is scary.

  85. Joel Shore January 17, 2009 at 10:27 am #

    Jimmock says:

    Are you, like the unworldly, leftist, science worker Luke, going to suggest that if I don’t like what Hansen has to say, I can just walk away? ‘Walk away’ to where?

    Nope…I’m not going to suggest that. But, if you spout all sorts of things that are factually incorrect like janama and hunter have, I will try to set the record straight. I am tempted to respond to some of your paranoid political diatribe but I will resist that. Life is too short.

  86. Jimmock January 17, 2009 at 11:09 am #

    Joel, There’s nothing paranoid about pointing out that Green activists (and most climate scientists are happy to wear that label) want to change THE WAY WE ALL LIVE. There is no secret about that. That is what Green activists are for.

    Changing the way we all live is not a modest political agenda. Immodest political programs will be, and ought to be, sharply contested, and the motives of their promoters are fair game. What part of this do you not understand?

  87. Joel Shore January 17, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    It wouldn’t be paranoid to believe that there are some environmental organizations and a few scientists sympathetic to them who are trying to push their political agenda, just as it is not paranoid to believe that there are some anti-environmental (or whatever label you want to use) organizations and a few scientists sympathetic to them who want to push their political agenda.

    What sort of becomes paranoid is when this turns into a giant conspiracy that has taken over or co-opted the IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences and the analogous bodies in the other twelve G8+5 nations, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the councils of the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Physical Society, the editorial staffs of Science and of Nature, and a large numbers of major multinational corporations including many who make most of their money from fossil fuels or from selling products (like cars) that use fossil fuels.

  88. MattB January 17, 2009 at 12:37 pm #

    You know Joel… when conspiracies get THAT BIG I prefer to use the terms democracy and global cooperation…

  89. Tim Curtin January 17, 2009 at 12:54 pm #

    Thomas: anybody even perhaps you can take De’ath’s 13 calcification coral reef data series that extend to 2001 and view the easily fitted linear trend that on 9 of the 13 is clearly up not down as he claimed (only 3 are downward, one is flat). De’ath exactly typifies Hansen’s modus operandi, only the latter is worse, because of his refusal to compute the carbon cycle correctly. Hansen also resolutely refuses to contemplate the impact on global agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and coral reefs of reducing atmospheric CO2 availability to the level of 1750 when life was nasty brutal and short for most of human, animal, and marine life. Add to that his arrogance in addressing Mr Obama and his wife by their first names – what a shame Deli and Eli or Winnie and Clemmie are not still around to enjoy his intimacies, and we had a narrow escape from having him write Hillie and Billie the same nauseating rubbish he delivered to Mich and Bara. I hope they reply to Jim Belsen in similar patronising terms.

  90. cohenite January 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    Well Will, if you derive benefit from Joel’s devious bloviations then there is no hope for you; Joel is a fan of/collaborator with Schmidt; Schmidt is a co-author of Santer’s latest, disgraceful effort on the THS; Santer has form with data;

    http://www.john-daly.com/sonde.htm

    And so does Schmidt; most recently in the cacophony directed at Evan’s El Troppo article on the scam of the IPCC predicted THS ‘fingerprint’ the completely false argument that the troposphere heating could not be distinguished between natural and Anthropogenic causes was excreted; about this Schmidt had stated the following [and a tip of the hat to Birdie for picking up this damning bit of evidence];

    “The basis of the issue is that models produce an enhanced warming in the tropical troposhere when there is warming at the surface. This is true enough. Whether the warming is from greenhouse gases, El Nino’s, solar forcing, trends aloft are enhanced. For instance, the GISS model eqilibrium runs with 2xCO2 or a 2% increase in solar forcing both show a maximum around 20N to 20S around 300mb (10km).

    The first thing to note about the two pictures is how similar they are. They both have the same enhancement in the tropics and similar ampification in the Arctic. They differ most clearly in the stratosphere (the part above 100mb) where CO2 causes cooling while solar causes warming. It’s important to note however, that these are long-term equilibrium results and therefore don’t tell you anything about the signal-to-noise ratio for any particular time period or with any particular forcings.”

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/tropical-troposphere-trends/

    So, for achieving this THS equivalence between 2xACO2 and solar we need a 2% increase in solar forcing; that’s quite a lot; but the best part is the disclaimer at the end; essentially Schmidt is saying the results are useless. Enough of Schmidt.

    I may have to reappraise Hansen; I still think he is certifiable but there may be a method in the madness; he’s in favour of the new model Nuclear power plants; the ones the French have been running for 25 years [in principle] which reuse nearly all waste; because of green idiots who have objected to reactor waste on the basis it could be used for weapon production in the US, and elsewhere, reactor waste is not reused but stored. Anyway kudos to Hansen for suggesting this and Brooks for reporting it.

  91. MattB January 17, 2009 at 8:45 pm #

    I’m pretty confident the French have not been running those reactors for 25 years Cohenite. feel free to prove me wrong but my reading of brook’s site and the literature is that the IFR is not an off the shelf established technology at all.

  92. cohenite January 17, 2009 at 10:09 pm #

    MattB; 95% of a spent nuclear fuel rod is natural uranium; the other, radiactive part is half uranium and half plutonium and can be recycled with oxide fuel, which is what the French have been doing; the IFR is a step up again [in principle]; the point I was making is that green ideology has prevented the more efficient use of nuclear fuel and caused large storage and contamination issues.

  93. SJT January 17, 2009 at 10:51 pm #

    “Well Will, if you derive benefit from Joel’s devious bloviations then there is no hope for you”

    I’m sorry, Cohenite. What part was devious?

  94. SJT January 17, 2009 at 11:11 pm #

    I have to also have to say, Cohenite, a few orders of magnitude better than yours, too.

  95. SJT January 17, 2009 at 11:12 pm #

    I have to also have to say, Cohenite, his grasp of science is a few orders of magnitude better than yours, too.

  96. hunter January 18, 2009 at 2:16 am #

    Joel,
    The extreme scenarios, like the ones Hansen was recently tossing around about Earth becoming Venus, were always fiction and still are.
    That he continues to use them is his choice. That you continue to defend Hansen is yours.
    To more and more people, it is obvious you guys are caught up in a very corrosive social network that feeds on itself.
    And on the models that predicted tropo hotspots, you guys were just plain wrong.
    Admit it, if you can.
    Your points two and three simply demonstrate the non-falsifiable nature of the faith you are preaching.
    If the amplification is not occurring, then AGW is an incorrect theory. If the atmosphere dynamic provides negative and positive feedbacks, then the AGW alarmism industry has wasted billions of dollars that could have been used to actually help clean the environment and make cleaner better energy.
    As has been demonstrated, the problems with the data the AGW industry controls are pervasive, systemic and a source of the rationalizations to focus on CO2. GIGO, in other words.

  97. Joel Shore January 18, 2009 at 4:47 am #

    Hunter says:

    The extreme scenarios, like the ones Hansen was recently tossing around about Earth becoming Venus, were always fiction and still are.
    That he continues to use them is his choice.

    Part of the problem here is that you are using words in a different way than Hansen used them. He was talking about extreme EMISSIONS scenarios (although such scenarios might not be so extreme if folks like you who continue to believe that there is no reason to worry about CO2 levels in the atmosphere and we can burn all conventional and unconventional fossil fuel sources were in charge).

    As for Hansen’s recently expressed concerns of there being a real danger of a true runaway greenhouse effect like on Venus (if we follow the more extreme emissions scenarios), I actually am skeptical of this too as it goes against what most other scientists in the field seem to believe is true. On the other hand, Hansen has historically been saying things 10 years or more earlier than other scientists come around to his point of view. At any rate, I would like to see Hansen put these arguments into the peer-reviewed literature where other scientists can respond to them. But, regardless, the dangers that the bulk of the scientific community believe to be there are worrisome enough…and enough reason to be taking real actions to reduce our emissions.

    As for “non-falsifiable”, that is a red herring. The fact is that at any time, any theory in science has some data out there that seems at odds with the theory. In other fields, we don’t automatically jump to the conclusion that the theory is falsified and throw out the whole theory, with all that it does explain, simply because there are some remaining mysteries. And, of course, this is especially true when the data which is most reliable (that for fluctuations on monthly to yearly timescales) agrees with the models and only the data which is known to have significant artifacts is in some conflict with the models (depending on whose satellite analysis you believe and which analysis or re-analysis of the radiosonde data you believe).

    And, my point (3) is simply a fact about the nature of the predictions. As much as you may want the tropical tropospheric “hotspot” to be some sort of unique signature that the warming is due to greenhouse gases, it is not. So, if the hotspot wasn’t there, it would give us less confidence in the models that predict it to be there (independent of the warming mechanism) but it would not immediately lead to a conclusion one way or the other in regards to whether the warming seen is due to greenhouse gases. It might also imply that there is something we don’t understand going on in regards to feedbacks, but it wouldn’t be immediately clear whether it means that there are stronger negative feedbacks. In fact, the most direct consequence of the “hotspot” not being there is that one could no longer justify the lapse rate feedback which is a negative feedback, which sort of makes me think that the “skeptics” who want to believe that the data says the hotspot isn’t there should be careful what they wish for! (In a much more indirect way, it might also call in question some of the physics behind the positive feedback due to water vapor…But since that currently has support from other more direct evidence such as the work of Dessler et al. and Soden, it is hard to justify doubting its existence and approximate strength based only on some indirect evidence that convection in the tropical atmosphere isn’t working as the models predict.)

    At any rate, this is all merely idle speculation because there is really no compelling observational evidence that the “hotspot” is not there.

    By the way, the observational evidence that the stratosphere is cooling while the troposphere warms is a robust result that is much more resilient to any uncertainties with the radiosonde or satellite data. And, this is something that truly does distinguish warming due to greenhouse gases from other mechanism such as warming due to increasing solar irradiance (which would warm the stratosphere). (Some of this cooling is due to stratospheric ozone depletion but apparently the magnitude and structure of the cooling seen cannot be explained without also invoking the effects of greenhouse gases.)

  98. hunter January 18, 2009 at 7:36 am #

    Joel,
    Yes, the lack of evidence something is for sure not evidence that it is not there. Not.
    What could be more faith based than your position, hidden behind so many scientific sounding words?
    Hansen offers apocalyptic hype at every turn. He is not ahead of the curve in predictions. He is ahead of the curve in getting his echo-chamber trained to reanalyze data sets he is in control of to get the results they expect.
    Just like so many other out of control institutions in collapse today, climate science is suffering from what you are exhibiting right here and now.
    In the recent past, as I specifically and properly quoted, the hotspot was the signature of AGW.
    Now…since it is not there, that is not what was meant.
    That you true believers cannot admit that and move to modify the radical claims of impending doom is proof in and of itself of the non-falsifiable nature of AGW.
    Now a cooling stratosphere is proof of warming?
    lol.
    By the way, are you aware that Hansen is now in the two year weather prediction game?
    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2009/20090113_Temperature.pdf
    where he predicts:
    “Summary: The Southern Oscillation and increasing GHGs continue to be, respectively, the dominant factors affecting interannual and decadal temperature change. Solar irradiance has a non-negligible effect on global temperature [see, e.g., Reference 7, which empirically estimates a somewhat larger solar cycle effect than that estimated by others who have teased a solar effect out of data with different methods].

    Given our expectation of the next El Niño beginning in 2009 or 2010, it still seems likely that a new global temperature record will be set within the next 1-2 years, despite the moderate negative effect of the reduced solar irradiance.”
    So the non-warming of the last several years; the decline in ACE storm activity; the global non-trend in icepack; none of that mattered.
    Now, if we have a warm year…as his group measures it in their balckbox…..we have *proof* yet again of AGW.
    By the way, when Hansen was in Houston speaking about his obsession, he derided those who have been pointing out that the sun is not helping his cause in unprofessional terms.
    As usual.
    Hansen is doing to climate science and climate policy with his models what Myron Scholes and Robert C. Merton, highly acclaimed Nobel Prize Winners, did to world finance with their models.

  99. Gordon Robertson January 18, 2009 at 8:08 am #

    Joel Shore “…I would like to see Hansen put these arguments into the peer-reviewed literature where other scientists can respond to them”.

    I would like to see it taken even farther. I’d like to see Hansen’s credentials tested by physicsists. I am not disputing his abilities as an astrophycist or as a computer modeler, I am disputing his ability to understand basic physics. His tipping point theory and his greenhouse theory are not based on physics, rather they come from geophysics and historical glaciation theory.

    Gerlich and Tscheuschner have challenged both the greenhouse theory and the entire basis of climate science. They are physicists. I have yet to see a coherent and comprehensive rebuttal to their charges that the greenhouse effect is a misnomer and that climate science has taken liberties with basic physics theory. The main attack seems to come from realclimate, where Hansen’s employee, Gavin Schmidt, a mathematician, rules the roost.

    To the best of my knowledge, there is not one pure physicist commenting at realclimate who is currently employed in research related to physics. The AGW contingent on this blog have been unable to give satisfactory answers to even the simplest of G&T’s points. I have been in touch with Ralf Tscheuschner, trying to clarify some point in their paper, ‘Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics’. The best arguments I’ve seen against his paper are ad homs and the rolling of eyes.

    The greenhouse warming theory is fundamentally flawed, yet Hansen continues to promote it with arrogance. He has infered that people should be jailed for not accepting it. The basis of the theory is an assumption based on what our planet would be like without an atmosphere. As G&T point out, how about our planet without an ocean? Who the heck knows what Earth would be like without an atmosphere or an ocean? Who is so arrogant as to presume he does?

    The crux of the AGW theory is the role played by CO2 in the atmosphere. The focus is on CO2 simply because it’s one of the only trace GHG gases which man can affect. Water vapour is largely credited with raising the planet’s mean temperature from – 19 C to +15 C, but that too is a theory. It seems plausible but it is a theory. No one knows for sure. Even at that, Roy Spencer, a real climate scientist (with a degree in climate science), and Richard Lindzen, who teaches atmospheric physics at MIT, claim the process of the so-called greenhouse warming is far more complicated than GHG’s forming a blanket around the Earth and back-radiating heat to the surface.

    G&T, real physicists, claim that kind of back-warming is not possible for two reasons. One, the thermal conductivity in the atmosphere would have to be zero, or less, for that to occur. Secondly, air is a good insulator for heat flowing due to radiation. A third reason is the interpretation of the laws of thermodynamics by Clausius. He claimed that a body cooler than a body that warms it cannot warm the warming body (through back radiation) to a temperature higher than the warming body was in the first place. The atmosphere is cooler than the surface, and according to Clausius, it cannot warm the surface more than the surface temperature that warmed the atmosphere.

    There’s another problem. The atmosphere is also warmed by portions of the incoming IR spectrum from the Sun, yet it is cooler than the surface, after having supposedly been warmed by IR from the surface as well. How does that work? It’s quite apparent that the atmosphere-surface interaction is far more complicated than the single-line drawings of heat flow, and the heat budgets put forth by computer modelers and pseudo-physicists.

    This is basic thermodynamics!! Certain pseudo-climate scientists (ie. don’t have actual degrees in atmospheric physics), like Hansen, have finagled formulas to get a ‘net energy balance’ that contravenes the laws of thermodynamics, according to G&T. They have invented the equivalent of a refrigerator that cools without a compressor, and a motor to drive it. Negative heat flow is not possible without an external energy source to drive it.

  100. Gordon Robertson January 18, 2009 at 8:33 am #

    Joel Shore “At any rate, this is all merely idle speculation because there is really no compelling observational evidence that the “hotspot” is not there”.

    Are you serious? The AMSU’s in the satellites that measure temperature data in the atmosphere scan 95% of the atmosphere. If there was a hot spot they’d see it. You haven’t bought into this conspiracy theory that the satellite data is flawed, have you?

    John Christy of UAH, has admitted CO2 ‘should’ warm the atmosphere, he is just not seeing it in the satellite data. What would Christy have to gain by making false claims? He’s a religious man who has no affiliation to big oil, and he pays his own way to any conference he attends.

    He studied under Kevin Trenberth, a CO2/warming advocate, when he was a graduate student in climate science. One would think he was indoctrinated in the CO2/warming paradigm hence his statement that CO2 ‘should’ warm the atmosphere. The guy is looking for the warming and not finding it. What more do you need?

    You guys need a reality check. You are so imbued with this theory that CO2 is warming the atmosphere and the surface, that when direct evidence contradicts your theories, you refuse to see it. Instead, you defend an astrophysicist/activist with direct ties to the mother of all activists, Al Gore.

  101. cohenite January 18, 2009 at 8:43 am #

    Will, Joel’s still being devious; I won’t discuss his assertions about the THS, they are absurd and it is beyond reasonable dispute that FIG 6.10 distinguishes between different sourced warming of the troposphere; so to with Dessler and Soden and their findings about increased SH and RH; they are contrary to decades of NOAA data; what caught my eye with Joel’s latest obfuscation is the reference to the lapse rate, as though the absence of a THS would have dire consequences for the -ve feedback of the LR; Kleidon’s paper shows that the THS is not a consequence of the LR of the moist tropical adiabat;

    “Energy balance models suggest that the atmospheric circulation operates close to a state of maximum entropy production. Here we support this hypothesis with sensitivity simulations of an atmospheric general circulation model. A state of maximum entropy production is obtained by (i) adjusting boundary layer turbulence and (ii) using a sufficiently high model resolution which allows sufficient degrees of freedom for the atmospheric flow. The state of maximum entropy production is associated with the largest conversion of available potential energy into kinetic energy which is subsequently dissipated by boundary layer turbulence. It exhibits the largest eddy activity in the mid latitudes, resulting in the most effective transport of heat towards the poles and the least equator-pole temperature difference. These results suggest that GCMs have a fundamental tendency to underestimate the magnitude of atmospheric heat transport and, therefore, overestimate the equator-pole temperature gradient for the present-day climate, for the response to global climatic change, and for atmospheres of other planetary bodies.”

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2003/2003GL018363.shtml

  102. cohenite January 18, 2009 at 8:45 am #

    Sorry, that should be FIG 9.1, p675 AR4.

  103. Gordon Robertson January 18, 2009 at 9:17 am #

    Joel Shore “Do you even know what Mie scattering calculations are (which is what Hansen provided them with)? I do, having written code to do these calculations myself.

    When you repeat stuff that you have read elsewhere without trying to make any attempt to investigate or understand it, you just end up making yourself look silly”.

    Starting with your second statement, I think that is apt when applied to you. In trying to ascertain your background, I found a statement, presumably from you (3 June 2006 at 3:17 PM) on RC asking about a good book that would teach a physicist climate science. If you are a physicist, why do you need a book to teach you climate science? The basis of climate science is physics, that’s where all their theories came from originally, even though climate science has decided to take certain liberties with physics theory.

    Instead of spewing RC rhetoric, why don’t you use some of your basic physics to see what is wrong with a trace gas like CO2 being a major player in greenhouse warming? If you are a physicist, presumably at least a B.Sc., why are you kissing up to Ray Pierrehumbert for books on climate science? If you need books on climate science in 2006, what makes you such an authority now?

    Try explaining this hot spot in terms of thermodynamics. How does a gas like CO2, with a density of 38 molecules per 100,000 molecules of air, create such a hot spot? If you can do that, please explain how the human contribution of 1 molecule per 100,000 of air can make a difference. Those are the numbers I want, not the reflections of mathematicians, geophysicists and geologists who can’t create a graph without missing the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.

    Please explain to me how an atmosphere that is 0.5 C cooler, on average, than the surface, can warm the surface to a higher temperature than the surface was when it supposedly warmed the atmosphere. Instead of working so hard trying to be a groupie at RC, why don’t you ponder those questions on your own, and consult real physicists and atmospheric physicists in an attempt to answer them?

  104. SJT January 18, 2009 at 11:52 am #

    “G&T, real physicists, claim that kind of back-warming is not possible for two reasons. One, the thermal conductivity in the atmosphere would have to be zero, or less, for that to occur. Secondly, air is a good insulator for heat flowing due to radiation. A third reason is the interpretation of the laws of thermodynamics by Clausius. He claimed that a body cooler than a body that warms it cannot warm the warming body (through back radiation) to a temperature higher than the warming body was in the first place. The atmosphere is cooler than the surface, and according to Clausius, it cannot warm the surface more than the surface temperature that warmed the atmosphere.”

    Clausis lived and created his law before quauntum theory was discovered.

    His law is still valid, but quantum theory is all about statistical events. Statistically, a cold body is not warming a hotter body, over time. The cooler troposphere, even when radiating back towards the surface, is not going to make the surface hotter. It is going to act like a blanket, slowing down the rate of radiation escaping to space. The resulting effect is that the earth warms slightly, just as a blanket warms you in bed. The blanket doesn’t break the laws of thermodynamics either, it’s cooler than you, but it makes you warmer.

  105. Ralph Short January 18, 2009 at 12:58 pm #

    Here is a guy who wants people who disagree with him jailed. Here is a guy who openly defends vandals and trespassers. Here is a guy who is a “public” figure but is not transparent with his public responsibility.

    Regardless, there are some here who defend him.

    Jennifer, you are correct with your post and this is a great blog.

  106. Luke January 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm #

    Well Gordon – you got an answer to your last para at http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/01/claims-of-data-manipulation-at-nasa/?cp=7#comment-80193 but you decamped.

  107. Thomas Moore January 18, 2009 at 7:03 pm #

    Tim,

    Thomas: anybody even perhaps you can take De’ath’s 13 calcification coral reef data series that extend to 2001 and view the easily fitted linear trend that on 9 of the 13 is clearly up not down as he claimed (only 3 are downward, one is flat).

    Show us your analysis! It isn’t difficult. You can’t blast De’ath for not showing their methods or specific data points, then go do the same yourself – that would be hypocrisy. Which reefs did you use? Which showed an upward or downward trend? Where did you start and finish your linear analysis? What were the R2 values?

    De’ath exactly typifies Hansen’s modus operandi

    Still looking forward to your analysis of the De’ath dataset. If you can’t post it on your own website, or get Jen to post it, I’ll find a website somewhere to post it to – you have my email address. If it’s really that damning, show everyone!

    Thomas

  108. SJT January 18, 2009 at 7:33 pm #

    “It seems we live during a period where passion is valued much more than wisdom even by scientific societies.”

    It doesn’t seem like that at all. The ‘passion’ is only in the introduction to this topic, which completely ignores the reasons cited for Hansen getting his award, which were to do with his contributions to science.

  109. Tim Curtin January 18, 2009 at 9:32 pm #

    Thomas, you said I have your email address. I don’t, please provide to mine and I will send Death’s data file with all 13 trends, mostly up. I don’t manage my own website so putting up stuff is a pain and costs, not worth it for such a banal fraud as De’ath’s. Jim Belsen’s is much bigger game, and I see he has started to change his tune, beginning to admit there are such phenomena as solar cycles and El Ninos (see David Stockwell at http://landshape.org/enm/).

    In Belsen’s letter to Mich and Bara he presents himself as the greatest living economist, with his preposterous claim that all it will take to reduce atmos. CO2 to the 1750 level is a carbon tax “on oil gas and coal at the well-head or port of entry”, the total proceeds of which will be paid out as a “100% dividend’ to every household. The first effect of the tax will be to raise prices of those commodites and all others that embody them. The second effect is that the dividend will enable all to consume those products and their embodiments as before, for zero net change. Despite being the greatest living economist, Belsen has clearly never read F.Y. Edgeworth who proved what I have just asserted, and the same applies to the second greatest living economist Ross Garnaut. Luckily Mr Obama’s father was quite a good economist at the Central Bank of Kenya at around the time I was in those parts, so I have some confidence he will treat Jim’s letter with the contempt it deserves, not least because of its implication that Kevin Rudd is no better than Adolph Eichmann.

  110. Joel Shore January 19, 2009 at 6:05 am #

    Gordon Robertson says:

    Gerlich and Tscheuschner have challenged both the greenhouse theory and the entire basis of climate science. They are physicists. I have yet to see a coherent and comprehensive rebuttal to their charges that the greenhouse effect is a misnomer and that climate science has taken liberties with basic physics theory.

    Apparently, you haven’t been looking very hard. Arthur Smith, who has a PhD in physics from Cornell, has written a very nice refutation of G&T available here: http://arxiv.org/abs/0802.4324 And, by the way, I know Arthur’s background because he and I were together in physics grad school at Cornell, so I can vouch for the correctness of Arthur’s arguments and the ludicrousness of the ones of G&T.

    When a thread descends to quoting G&T as if they seriously know what the hell they are talking about, one knows one has gone off into fantasyland!

    A third reason is the interpretation of the laws of thermodynamics by Clausius. He claimed that a body cooler than a body that warms it cannot warm the warming body (through back radiation) to a temperature higher than the warming body was in the first place. The atmosphere is cooler than the surface, and according to Clausius, it cannot warm the surface more than the surface temperature that warmed the atmosphere.

    G&T are so completely out-to-lunch here that if I were in academia rather than industry, I’d actually give as a problem set to my students in a first-year physics course a simple radiation theory problem that disproves their claim. The have no clue about what the laws of thermodynamics actually say (or they do have a clue and are simply intentionally misleading others).

    Negative heat flow is not possible without an external energy source to drive it.

    Here’s a little hint to you: the sun is an external energy source. (Also, heat is not flowing in net from the upper atmosphere to the earth. The atmosphere is acting merely to reduce the flow of heat from the earth back into space.)

  111. Joel Shore January 19, 2009 at 6:20 am #

    Gordon Robertson says:

    Starting with your second statement, I think that is apt when applied to you. In trying to ascertain your background, I found a statement, presumably from you (3 June 2006 at 3:17 PM) on RC asking about a good book that would teach a physicist climate science. If you are a physicist, why do you need a book to teach you climate science? The basis of climate science is physics, that’s where all their theories came from originally, even though climate science has decided to take certain liberties with physics theory.

    Instead of spewing RC rhetoric, why don’t you use some of your basic physics to see what is wrong with a trace gas like CO2 being a major player in greenhouse warming? If you are a physicist, presumably at least a B.Sc., why are you kissing up to Ray Pierrehumbert for books on climate science? If you need books on climate science in 2006, what makes you such an authority now?

    Gordon, one interesting thing that studies have shown is that the more people know about something, the less they think they know. I.e., it is the people who know the least who tend to think they know the most. I think your attitude is a good illustration of this. And, my attitude is a good illustration of the fact that, while I may not know that much about climate science, I know enough to know how much I have to learn. You clearly do not suffer from the same self-awareness.

    I don’t consider myself to be an authority in climate science although I have over the past several years spent a reasonable fraction of my free time learning more about it…and my physics background obviously does provide a good place to start from although there is still a lot to learn.

    Try explaining this hot spot in terms of thermodynamics. How does a gas like CO2, with a density of 38 molecules per 100,000 molecules of air, create such a hot spot? If you can do that, please explain how the human contribution of 1 molecule per 100,000 of air can make a difference.

    First of all, I’m not sure you even understand what the “hot spot” is…It is merely a reference to the fact that the structure of the warming in the tropics is predicted to be such that the warming at the surface is amplified as you go up in the troposphere. Second of all, I am not the one claiming that the hot spot is a specific result of warming due to an increase in CO2. It is in fact a very general prediction from the basic structure of the tropical atmosphere, what is called “moist adiabatic lapse rate theory” and is expected regardless of the mechanism causing the warming.

    Third of all, the human contribution to CO2 levels in the atmosphere has been to raise it from about 280ppm in pre-industrial times to over 380ppm today. That is an increase of 100ppm, or one part in 10000, not one part in 100000. And, your intuition on these sort of things is not a very good guide unless your intuition has been trained from your experience. While CO2 is a small component of the atmosphere, it is a much more significant component of those molecules capable of absorbing IR radiation, which the two largest constituents of the atmosphere (nitrogen and oxygen) are not.

    Hint: If AGW were so obviously in violation of physics principles, do you think the American Physical Society would be amongst those scientific societies that have issued statements endorsing the IPCC’s conclusions?

  112. janama January 19, 2009 at 6:53 am #

    Third of all, the human contribution to CO2 levels in the atmosphere has been to raise it from about 280ppm in pre-industrial times to over 380ppm today.

    Pardon? so you are saying that we are fully responsible for the 100 ppm in CO2 over the past 100 years. You did say you are a physicist didn’t you?

  113. Thomas Moore January 19, 2009 at 8:09 am #

    Tim,

    Thomas, you said I have your email address. I don’t,

    That’s strange, you emailed me only last week.

    Either way, I have sent you an email to your address.

    Thomas.

  114. hunter January 19, 2009 at 8:42 am #

    Gordon,
    Great comments. You are much more eloquent than I.

  115. Joel Shore January 19, 2009 at 11:28 am #

    Pardon? so you are saying that we are fully responsible for the 100 ppm in CO2 over the past 100 years.

    Yes. Actually, we have burned enough fossil fuels to raise the CO2 levels by 200ppm. The fact that they have only gone up by 100ppm is a tribute to the fact that the oceans and biosphere are capable of absorbing some of the excess.

  116. SJT January 19, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    “Great comments. You are much more eloquent than I.”

    Eloquent, but wrong.

  117. Gordon Robertson January 19, 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    Joel Shore “Hint: If AGW were so obviously in violation of physics principles, do you think the American Physical Society would be amongst those scientific societies that have issued statements endorsing the IPCC’s conclusions”?

    Yes I do, and that is not an answer to my question. The IPCC is a corrupt, political organization and anyone who blindly supports them is either stupid, or political and corrupt themselves. I think it’s a bit of both. If you read IPCC documentation closely, you will see they conclude virtually nothing, and opine a great deal. They also don’t back up their physical inferences with any facts from physics. They present new terms from computer model theory, such as ‘forcing’, with the presumption that something like that exists in the real world. Most of what the IPCC presents is ad hoc theory which has no basis in physics.

    Reading through the IPCC documentation is like reading a well-illustrated comic book. It says nothing of scientific value but implies an awful lot. What kind of a dumbass scientist would come up with an evaluation system for science based on consensus, that embodies such qualitative statements as ‘likely’ and ‘most likely’? What kind of scientific body makes the exact statement, as the IPCC did in TAR, that “future climate states cannot be predicted”, then go ahead and predict them anyway using virtual models, while ignoring direct observations from satellites? Who are they trying to kid, some junior high school wannabee?

    I think the American Physical Society are a load of followers who are hung up on a paradigm. If there was one scientist in their midst willing to ask the same question as I did about CO2, he’d be kicked out on his butt. We live in embarrasing times for science in which groups of scientists hide behind a consensus based on an immature virtual science. The IPCC, on the other hand, have scientists like Richard Lindzen and John Christy who are thankfully willing to contradict them.

    As for you, you give this brilliant statement, “…one interesting thing that studies have shown is that the more people know about something, the less they think they know”. When someone lays jargon on me, like “studies show” or the “vast majority”, I know right away I am dealing with someone desperate to win an argument through innuendo and emotion, but who doesn’t have the proof. I asked a simple question, “how does a trace gas like CO2 warm the atmosphere”, and you sidestepped the question entirely. I have become used to that response from AGW types.

  118. Gordon Robertson January 19, 2009 at 4:33 pm #

    SJT “Clausis lived and created his law before quauntum theory was discovered”.

    QM has value only at the sub-atomic level. Even at that, it was based initially on a mathematical interpretation of classical physics. Without classical physics, QM would not exist and Planck would never have discovered the discrete quantum levels upon which QM depends. Planck was looking for energy levels in atoms using classical techniques, since he was trained in that field. As Feynman said, QM works, but we don’t know why. I’m willing to concede that QM works for the study of sub-atomic particles, but not for the study of a macro body like the atmosphere.

    I think what Clausius said about thermodynamics still stands and that QM has no application here. In order for QM to apply, a state equation would have to be supplied for the atmosphere. That’s what computer models have tried to do, so far with limited success. The wave equation was used for the study of light and atomic particles, but where is the equivalent for the universe, and what would it mean without direct observation to back it up? Remember that QM was verified by observation.

    SJT “The cooler troposphere, even when radiating back towards the surface, is not going to make the surface hotter. It is going to act like a blanket, slowing down the rate of radiation escaping to space”.

    That’s not the theory as I understand it. I was directed to a NASA page the other day with a 7 page explanation of the energy budget. Find it here:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/EnergyBalance/

    On page 6, they claim “The natural greenhouse effect raises the Earth’s surface temperature to about 15 degrees Celsius on average—more than 30 degrees warmer than it would be if it didn’t have an atmosphere. The amount of heat radiated from the atmosphere to the surface (sometimes called “back radiation”) is equivalent to 100 percent of the incoming solar energy. The Earth’s surface responds to the “extra” (on top of direct solar heating) energy by raising its temperature”.

    They are claiming the back radiation is 100% of the incoming solar energy, which is a ludicrous statement. If you look at the bottom of page 7, you will see James Hansen and Kevin Trenberth among the references. A little later on page 6 they claim “As solar heating and “back radiation” from the atmosphere raise the surface temperature, the surface simultaneously releases an exponentially increasing amount of heat—equivalent to about 117 percent of incoming solar energy. The net upward heat flow, then, is equivalent to 17 percent of incoming sunlight (117 percent up minus 100 percent down)’.

    Those claims are unsubstantiated in physics theory.

    While you’re on page 7, take a look at his dilly: “The exact amount of the energy imbalance is very hard to measure, but it appears to be a little over 0.8 watts per square meter. The imbalance is inferred from a combination of measurements, including satellite and ocean-based observations of sea level rise and warming”.

    The energy imbalance ‘appears’ to be ‘a little’ over 0.8 watts per meter. What kind of quantification is ‘appears to be’? They go on to say the energy imbalance is ‘inferred’, then they lie about it, claiming they took into account measurements from satellites. The NOAA satellites, from which UAH and RSS get their data, are telling a totally different story about the CO2/warming theory they are presenting, but they don’t include that information to balance their wild theory.

  119. Gordon Robertson January 19, 2009 at 4:48 pm #

    SJT…I have to retract my inference that NASA lied about the satellites. They were talking about satellite and ocean-based observation of sea level rise and warming.

    That’s even wilder, however, the presumption that oceans are warmed by GHGs. It has recently been suggested that the oceans are responsible for land warming, but that the cause of ocean warming is not known. I can live with that. If NASA had claimed the atmosphere is warming, but we don’t know why, I could live with that too. Blaming it on anthropogenic CO2, which is a spit in the ocean (no pun intended) compared to natural CO2, is a little hard to swallow. Even suggesting that the small percent increase in CO2 levels due to anthropogenic contributions, is causing an additional amount of water vapour to be released, hence an increased warming, is hard to take. I say that because Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen, scientists trained in atmospheric physics, describe the warming in an entirely different way.

    It’s the removal of the focus on water vapour as the warming medium that bothers me most. The inference in the article is that CO2 is somehow this important gas that is warming the atmosphere, yet there is nothing in the way of proof that CO2 has this ability.

  120. SJT January 19, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

    “Yes I do, and that is not an answer to my question. The IPCC is a corrupt, political organization and anyone who blindly supports them is either stupid, or political and corrupt themselves. I think it’s a bit of both. If you read IPCC documentation closely, you will see they conclude virtually nothing, and opine a great deal. They also don’t back up their physical inferences with any facts from physics. They present new terms from computer model theory, such as ‘forcing’, with the presumption that something like that exists in the real world. Most of what the IPCC presents is ad hoc theory which has no basis in physics.”

    He didn’t refer to the IPCC, he referred to the APS. If he was Australian he would have referred to the CSIRO, or a similar body. Are the CSIRO and the APS corrupt as well?

  121. SJT January 19, 2009 at 6:55 pm #

    “Reading through the IPCC documentation is like reading a well-illustrated comic book. It says nothing of scientific value but implies an awful lot.”

    The AR4 is the “high level” document. All the conclusions are based on research done independently of the IPCC. The research is all referenced in the AR4.

  122. Gordon Robertson January 19, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    Joel Shore “Apparently, you haven’t been looking very hard. Arthur Smith, who has a PhD in physics from Cornell,…”

    Joel…I am aware of Arthur’s paper and he was on this blog defending it. It seems Arthur has not worked as a research physicist for a long time. If I have it right, he now works as a historian, or in a library setting. Anyway, I would never judge him on that, or on whether or not he has a degree. I am interested only in what he has to say and on his sources.

    Believe it or not, I am trying to learn about global warming from a scientific POV. Although you and others may see me as an opinionated, loud mouth, which I am some of the time, in general, I try to be objective and stay away from my own opinions. I realize only too well how easy it is to misunderstand the deeper theories in science. Mostly, I am asking questions, even though many of my questions come in the form of assertions. I am never claiming I ‘know’ such and such to be a fact, I am challenging people to prove me wrong. If I get a good argument, I’m open to it.

    I put several questions to Arthur, and for whatever reason, he did not respond. The first was why he cherry picked only the greenhouse part of G&T’s paper, which I thought was interesting but not the thrust of their paper. I followed Arthur’s reasoning about the greenhouse effect and thought it was good up to the point where he introduced a leap of faith. He arrived at the point where there was a difference between incoming energy from the Sun and outgoing energy. At that point, he claimed the difference ‘must’ be due to anthropogenic CO2. I found that inference really disappointing.

    G&T spend much of their paper talking about the effect of CO2 in the atmosphere. They talk about Boltzmann’s constant and how it applies only to pure blackbody radiators. Neither the surface nor the atmosphere are blackbody radiators, so Boltzmann’s constant does not apply. As you know, a constant is applied to an equation to balance it and it is based on ‘known’ relationships between the parameters on both sides of the equation. Since the surface and the atmosphere are not blackbody radiators, no one knows what relationship either have to heat flow.

    With respect to the use of the Stefan-Boltzmann equation to calculate radiative transfer, G&T claim: “One word of caution is needed here: As already emphasized in Section 2.1.5 the constant appearing in the T4 law is not a universal constant of physics. Furthermore, a grey radiator must be described by a temperature dependent sigma(T) [sigma = Stefan-Boltzmann constant] spoiling the T4 law. Rigorously speaking, for real objects the Equation [Stefan-Boltzmann) is invalid. Therefore all crude approximations relying on T4 expressions need to be taken with great care. In fact, though popular in global climatology, they prove nothing”!

    G&T also talk about the simple line drawings used by the IPCC et al to represent heat flow in the atmosphere. They claim real heat flow in gases is far more complicated. G&T claim, “…in the literature on global climatology it is not explained, what the arrows in “radiation balance” diagrams mean physically. It is easily verified that within the frame of physics they cannot mean anything”.

    G&T go on, “Climatologic radiation balance diagrams are nonsense, since they:

    -cannot represent radiation intensities
    -cannot represent sourceless fluxes, i.e. a divergence free vector fields in three dimensions, since a vanishing three-dimensional divergence still allows that a portion of the field goes sidewards;
    -do not fit in the framework of Feynman diagrams, which represent mathematical expressions clearly defined in quantum field theory
    -do not fit in the standard language of system theory or system engineering”

    I think G&T are trying to tell us the diagrams used for radiative transfer in climate systems are mickey mouse.

    With respect to global values, G&T claim “The current local temperatures determine the radiation intensities and not vice versa. If the soil is warmed up by the solar radiation many different local processes are triggered, which depend on the local movement of the air, rain, evaporation, moistness, and on the local ground conditions as water, ice, rock, sand, forests, meadows, etc. One square meter of a meadow does not know anything of the rest of the Earth’s surface, which determine the global mean value. Thus, the radiation is locally determined by the local temperature. Neither is there a global radiation balance, nor a global radiation budget, even in the mean-field limit”.

    I have tried to argue that on my own and have been countered by claims that local temperatures are not important. Yet, in the northern hemisphere, particularly in North America, the warmest years in the past century have been in the 1920 to 1950 era. In fact, the Arctic was as warm in the early 1920’s as it is now. I am asking legitimate questions as to what ‘global’ warming means, and I’m getting no scientific answers.

    I got laughed at all the way to Belgium for this one, but here’s what G&T have to say about it: “At long relaxation times, the heat flow from the Earth’s core is an important factor for the long term reactions of the average ground temperature; after all, according to certain hypotheses the surfaces of the planetary bodies are supposed to have been very hot and to have cooled down. These temperature changes can never be separated experimentally from those, which were caused by solar radiation”.

    Think about it for a minute. If the Earth has been cooling for a long time, and if heat still flows from the Earth’s core, how do we know what the temperature of the planet would be with or without an atmosphere? It is presumed it would -18 C with no atmosphere. How do we know that? When it is claimed the average surface temperature is such and such, what geological time frame are we talking about? Is the +15 C we claim for now a varying value and how much of it is due to solar radiation?

    I could go on and on with this. G&T wrote a comprehensive critique of climate science as we know it and I have not seen a note for note rebuttal to disprove what they say.

    Joel Shore “G&T are so completely out-to-lunch here that if I were in academia rather than industry, I’d actually give as a problem set to my students in a first-year physics course a simple radiation theory problem that disproves their claim. The have no clue about what the laws of thermodynamics actually say (or they do have a clue and are simply intentionally misleading others)”.

    A typical ad hom attack by someone who is lacking in the abilty to critique G&T. Admit it, man, you’re not in their class, and you never will be. Never mind what you ‘would’ do, address the issues in terms of physics. You are talking down to two Ph. Ds in physics who are working in the field. Yet, you, working in industry, know more than them? Reality check!!

    Joel Shore “Here’s a little hint to you: the sun is an external energy source. (Also, heat is not flowing in net from the upper atmosphere to the earth. The atmosphere is acting merely to reduce the flow of heat from the earth back into space.)”

    You just proved to me that you’re grasping at straws. I gave SJT a link earlier to a NASA article that sources Hansen and Trenberth. Their explanation of what you describe is vastly different than yours. Maybe you’re the one living in a fairyland.

    In a refrigerator, heat is drawn from the air inside by means of compressing a fluid with a compressor driven by a motor. In the earth-atmosphere ‘closed system’, heat supposedly is radiated from the surface to the atmosphere where GHG’s radiate it back to the surface, warming it. The Sun heats the surface using full spectrum radiation and parts of that spectrum heat the atmosphere on the way in. So, there are initial conditions. The surface only radiates a small part of the spectrum back to the atmosphere.

    Are you claiming the Sun then adds to the IR reflected from the atmosphere? That’s the only way it could possibly act as an external source, but that would be cheating because you already warmed the atmosphere on the way in. NASA claims the back radiation is equivalent to the original solar radiation, warming the surface to a net 117% over what the Sun warms it alone.

    Why don’t you get it that you don’t know your butt from a hole in the ground with respect to what is going on in the atmosphere. And neither do the rest of your cronies at realclimate. You come on this blog with your patronizing attitude and hints, thinking you are teaching us something. That may work at RC, where you tow the line with respect to their dogma, but here we ask critical questions and expect scientific answers. Ad hom attacks are seen for what they are.

  123. SJT January 19, 2009 at 7:36 pm #

    “I asked a simple question, “how does a trace gas like CO2 warm the atmosphere”, and you sidestepped the question entirely. I have become used to that response from AGW types.”

    The answer is quite complex, as it involves quantum physics. I bothered to take the time to read up on it, there is information out there on it, to my satisfaction. There are simplified explanations, but I doubt you would accept them, as they are just ‘comic book’ illustrations.

    CO2 absorbs energy, then re-emits it. The energy is re-emitted in a random direction, which can be right back where it came from. This has the effect of effectively raising the temperature of the atmosphere and the surface.

  124. Gordon Robertson January 19, 2009 at 7:42 pm #

    SJT “Are the CSIRO and the APS corrupt as well”?

    If they behave like the IPCC and back them, I’d say yes. Mind you, that’s my opinion and you can’t even take that with a pinch of salt.

    When I claim the IPCC are corrupt, I’m not implying a deliberate attempt to mislead. We refer to corrupted files on a computer and that may refer to one critical bit out of a megabyte file being 1 instead of 0. The rest of the file might be fine but it is unusable due to the one corrupted bit. Corruption to me is like entropy, when you have so many people trying to work in harmony, order is liable to go askew. The longer those people have a monopoly on forming global warming consensus, the more corrupt they are liable to become.

    I’m thinking about the effort made by Steve McIntyre in AR4 to have the controversy over bristle cones clarified. According to McIntyre, and even NAS, including that data in Mann’s work was inadmissable. When Susan Solomon asked that the lead author in that section address the issue, she was ignored. It turned out the lead author and others in the group were related to Mann in some way.

    I can’t prove they intentionally ignored the request of Solomon, or that they acted deliberately to subvert the process, but the process was corrupted nonetheless. When the IPCC went on to break the rules about admission dates for studies, and McIntyre complained, he was told to shut up. More corruption. Again, I’m not claiming Susan Solomon, the lady who told him to shut up, was being intentionally corrupt, but she used her clout to overrule him on a legitimate matter.

    John Christy reported corruption by a group of lead authors themselves. At a luncheon, they talked openly about enhancing reports to make sure the US joined Kyoto. Richard Lindzen has written openly on corruption as did Jaworowski. The latter reported the practice of the IPCC regarding the the Summary for Policymakers. They release the Summary, written by 50 people, several months before the main report. When asked why, they replied they needed time to bring the main report in line with the Summary. Corruption.

  125. Gordon Robertson January 19, 2009 at 8:11 pm #

    SJT “CO2 absorbs energy, then re-emits it. The energy is re-emitted in a random direction, which can be right back where it came from. This has the effect of effectively raising the temperature of the atmosphere and the surface”.

    I have no problem whatsoever with the capability of CO2 to absorb IR and re-radiate it. That’s a laboratory observation, however, done over short distances. G&T refer to a study by Schack in 1972. He claimed, based on the 1972 levels of CO2, that CO2 would absorb no more than 1/7th of the surface radiation, ‘IF’ water vapour had not already absorbed the available IR.

    G&T claimed as well that most work on radiative energy has only been done in gaseous atmosphere like those of stars. It just occured to me that Hansen is an astrophysicist and I wonder how much of his theories come from that discipline. It would seem most of the current AGW paradigm came from people like Hansen programming computer models and making huge assumptions about the ability of CO2 to absorb and retransmit heat with the effect it is claimed to have.

    I’ll tell you one thing. With the very unusual cold we are having in my part of Canada this winter season, I have little patience for the theories of computer modelers. A ten year flat trend for warming, and the extended cold period of this winter, are convincing me something is very wrong with the AGW theory.

  126. SJT January 19, 2009 at 10:10 pm #

    “I have no problem whatsoever with the capability of CO2 to absorb IR and re-radiate it. That’s a laboratory observation, however, done over short distances. G&T refer to a study by Schack in 1972. He claimed, based on the 1972 levels of CO2, that CO2 would absorb no more than 1/7th of the surface radiation, ‘IF’ water vapour had not already absorbed the available IR.”

    That’s like saying you dropped a ball a short distance, but you’re not sure if it will fall a long distance. As it is, Luke has already introduced you to the devices for meauring radiation coming from the sky.

    CO2 absorbs a small spectrum of the bandwidth, but, if you had read the ‘saturated gassy argument’, you would know why it is an incomplete argument.

  127. cohenite January 19, 2009 at 10:24 pm #

    Gordon; excellent work; Joel has been the most condescending interloper since James Haughton

  128. SJT January 19, 2009 at 10:31 pm #

    “Gordon; excellent work; Joel has been the most condescending interloper since James Haughton”

    Gordon has done is tell us that his knowledge of the CO2 greenhouse effect needs to be rounded out.

    Joel has smacked down G&T as the curiosities they are.

  129. Eli Rabett January 20, 2009 at 2:29 am #

    APS is a private organization of physicists, similar to the AGU, ACS, etc. It should not be compared to CSIRO. Better would be NSF

  130. Steven Earl Salmony January 20, 2009 at 3:21 am #

    Many thanks to Jim Hansen for speaking out loudly, clearly and often. Millions of voices are needed now more than ever before to support your efforts.

    A jeremiad follows concerning wasting time and keeping silent while woefully inadequate leaders of the human community promulgate policies and initiate large-scale corporate activities that recklessly overheat and relentlessly ravage Earth and its environs.

    My not-so-great generation of elders will likely be remembered as the perpetrators of the most perverse, self-serving silence in human history. No other generation has taken so much from this good Earth, threatened the very future of its own children and given so little of themselves to preserve life for coming generations. Photographs of us will disclose both our corpulence and hollowness.

    Although the disclosure of truth is unsettling, hiding the truth from the human community could be a monstrous example of human-driven foolery, one that could soon lead to a colossal ecological wreckage.

    To suppress the truth by conscientiously substituting whatsoever could somehow be true with willful silence is tantamount to the commission of a pernicious lie.

    A widely shared and consensually validated determination among people with knowledge to maintain their silence, when remaining silent betrays intellectual honesty, conceals the truth and thwarts courageous action, is the most dangerous of all global threats to the family of humanity, life as we know it and the preservation of Earth as a fit place for human habitation.

    From this perspective, perhaps we can begin to apprehend the actual, most formidable enemy of future human wellbeing and environmental health.

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on the Human Population,
    established 2001
    http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176
    http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/index.php
    http://www.panearth.org

  131. hunter January 20, 2009 at 4:49 am #

    Steven Earl Salmony,
    Hansen is a confessed liar who has manipulated many people of good will into making incredibly bad conclusions about climate.
    You appear to be one of them.

  132. Luke January 20, 2009 at 7:53 am #

    Well Cohers – just keep telling yourself nothing is happening…. what was that about the Walker circulation again … ho hum ….

    Nature Geoscience 2, 46 – 50 (2009)
    Published online: 21 December 2008 | doi:10.1038/ngeo390

    Unprecedented recent warming of surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean

    Jessica L. Conroy1, Alejandra Restrepo2, Jonathan T. Overpeck1,3,4, Miriam Steinitz-Kannan5, Julia E. Cole1,4, Mark B. Bush2 & Paul A. Colinvaux6

    Through its intimate connection with the El Niño/Southern Oscillation system, climate variability in the tropical Pacific Ocean influences climate across much of the planet. But the history of temperature change in the tropical Pacific Ocean during recent millennia is poorly known: the available annually resolved records1, 2 are discontinuous and rarely span more than a few centuries. Longer records at coarser temporal resolution suggest that significant oceanographic changes, observed at multi-year to multi-century resolution, have had important effects on global climate3, 4, 5. Here we use a diatom record from El Junco Lake, Galápagos, to produce a calibrated, continuous record of sea surface temperature in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean at subdecadal resolution, spanning the past 1,200 years. Our reconstruction reveals that the most recent 50 years are the warmest 50-year period within the record. Because our diatom-based sea surface temperature index resembles Northern Hemisphere temperature reconstructions, we suggest that with continued anthropogenic warming, the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean may continue to warm.

  133. cohenite January 20, 2009 at 8:11 am #

    hunter, you are too generous in your description of Salmony; he is a loon; one of many who have crawled out from under their rocks to bask gratuitously in the sun at this time of mass hysteria.

  134. cohenite January 20, 2009 at 8:27 am #

    Thanks luke; I’ll see your historical study and raise it 2;

    http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003175.html#comments

    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_perushelf.php

  135. Joel Shore January 20, 2009 at 9:41 am #

    Gordon,

    I’ll leave alone your diatribe about the IPCC reports except to note that perhaps scientists like those in the APS, the AAAS, the NAS, etc. etc. may be better able to judge the scientific merit of the report than you are. I am sorry that you don’t find it scientifically convincing but considering you consider the utter garbage of G&T to be some sort of Bible to quote from, I am afraid that merely says more about your own judgement than the reports themselves.

    I think the American Physical Society are a load of followers who are hung up on a paradigm. If there was one scientist in their midst willing to ask the same question as I did about CO2, he’d be kicked out on his butt. We live in embarrasing times for science in which groups of scientists hide behind a consensus based on an immature virtual science.

    You seem unfortunately to have very little knowledge of what physicists are like. Have you ever heard the expression about the difficulty of herding cats? That applies well to physicists. Sometimes physicists seem to like to disagree just for the hell of it. Physicists are questioning established ideas and paradigms all the time. However, fortunately, most of them can distinguish between real scientific arguments and fake ones such as those put forth by G&T.

    The IPCC, on the other hand, have scientists like Richard Lindzen and John Christy who are thankfully willing to contradict them.

    Although you might be interested to know that neither of these scientists contests the basic physics behind the greenhouse effect as G&T do. I believe they would both agree (I know Lindzen would) that the radiative forcing from doubling CO2 is about 3.7 W/m^2. The thing that these two scientists contest is the sign and magnitude of the various feedback effects (especially clouds and, to a lesser extent, water vapor). While the weight of the scientific evidence is against them, their positions are not utterly ridiculous, as is the case of G&T.

    It’s the removal of the focus on water vapour as the warming medium that bothers me most. The inference in the article is that CO2 is somehow this important gas that is warming the atmosphere, yet there is nothing in the way of proof that CO2 has this ability.

    They focus quite a bit on water vapor. However, because sources of water vapor are so plentiful and the lifetime of water vapor in the atmosphere is so short, it turns out that the concentration of water vapor is not something that we can significantly alter in a direct way (unlike CO2); rather, it is essentially “slave to” the temperature. However, water vapor plays a very important role because as the temperature warms due to other causes (such as increasing CO2 concentrations), more water vapor will enter the atmosphere and, since water vapor is indeed a strong greenhouse gas, this will cause further warming. This is known as the water vapor feedback and its effect is to magnify the warming.

  136. cohenite January 20, 2009 at 10:16 am #

    “This is known as the water vapor feedback and its effect is to magnify the warming.”

    Utter and unmitigated garbage; the enhanced greenhouse is the last refuge of the scoundrels of IPCC and its slavish acolytes; Spencer and Braswell, Douglass and Christy and Lindzen have all said the EG is a dud concept; anyone who asserts that water is magnifying the [negligible and exhausted] heating from CO2 is a troll.

  137. Luke January 20, 2009 at 10:34 am #

    Would that be a scientific or rhetorical statement Cohers?
    When you’ve reviewed the water vapour feedback literature properly, e.g. reaction to Pinatubo cooling, and not just the denialist fodder report back. Extrapolated from Spencer and MJO to the entire globe I see…. yawn.

    As for your sketchy , missing data, no error bands paleo study – typical CO2 science dross.

  138. cohenite January 20, 2009 at 11:24 am #

    A bit of both luke; I did link 2 studies; I don’t know what you mean by no error bands; how is the treatment of the proxies different from your study? The link between SST and global temperature is pretty well established with minimal lag [Trenberth, Compo et al] so if the last 50 years are the warmest SST then the GMST should be the highest as well; this is dubious and basically Hockeystick territory; anyway, here is another ‘denialist’ study;

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/274/5292/1503

  139. Jo January 20, 2009 at 12:08 pm #

    Joel…I am aware of Arthur’s paper and he was on this blog defending it.

    Frankly, if Arthur wasn’t able to convince you of the ludicrousness of G&T, I think there is no hope. You know that saying about every cloud having a silver lining, well Arthur’s excellent paper in response to the dark cloud of ignorance that is the G&T paper is the silver lining on that whole affair.

    But, against my better judgment, I will try to make a few comments on what you say here.

    The first was why he cherry picked only the greenhouse part of G&T’s paper, which I thought was interesting but not the thrust of their paper.

    Well then, was titling their paper “Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics” some kind of attempt to distract us from what their main focus was? And, just in case you want to argue that it is somehow only the “CO2” part they objected to, I’ll note that the abstract refers to the greenhouse effect without even mentioning CO2 and the six points they claim to show in the last sentence of that abstract are not specific to CO2 but rather apply to the entire atmospheric greenhouse effect.

    It is true that it is a long and rambling paper and they touch on some of the other standard debunked arguments, but the thrust of their paper (and, it seems, strangely enough, of the quotes you present from the paper) concern the atmospheric greenhouse effect.

    I followed Arthur’s reasoning about the greenhouse effect and thought it was good up to the point where he introduced a leap of faith. He arrived at the point where there was a difference between incoming energy from the Sun and outgoing energy. At that point, he claimed the difference ‘must’ be due to anthropogenic CO2. I found that inference really disappointing.

    I’m not I am following you here. Perhaps Arthur was going beyond his paper…but his paper doesn’t concern anthropogenic CO2 at all…It is merely about the greenhouse effect, not specifically the anthropogenic part. Of course, the anthropogenic part works just like the natural greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere work.

    Rigorously speaking, for real objects the Equation [Stefan-Boltzmann) is invalid.

    This is basically silly since, that sentence, taken to its logical conclusion would mean that the Stefan Boltzmann equation doesn’t apply to anything in the real world, which would make it not a particularly useful piece of physics. And sure, taking everything to the ultimate in rigor, one can never apply physics to the real world. After all, temperature is defined only for objects in thermal equilibrium and since no real object can truly be in thermal equilibrium, rigorously speaking, the temperature of an object is never before. This sort of “red herring” argumentation is similar in spirit to argumentation that I have seen in other “skeptical” papers, such as the Essex and McKitrick’s on there being no such thing as global temperature. I think there ought to be a name given to it. It seems to mainly impress non-scientists whose naive view of science is that it is always completely rigorous and essentially deductive…who basically don’t understand the distinction between science and mathematics. It won’t tend to fool actual scientists.

    G&T go on, “Climatologic radiation balance diagrams are nonsense, since they: …
    -do not fit in the framework of Feynman diagrams, which represent mathematical expressions clearly defined in quantum field theory

    This line more than almost any other in that whole paper is what makes me believe that G&T aren’t actually just misguided but are engaging in actual deception. (And, in fact, I think the only interesting question to come out of the G&T paper is the question of whether they actually believe what they wrote or whether it was an active attempt to deceive.) I don’t think I could write such a sentence with a straight face!

    Thus, the radiation is locally determined by the local temperature. Neither is there a global radiation balance, nor a global radiation budget, even in the mean-field limit”.

    What the fuck? Are they saying that the concept of conservation of energy is meaningless then?

    Yet, in the northern hemisphere, particularly in North America, the warmest years in the past century have been in the 1920 to 1950 era. In fact, the Arctic was as warm in the early 1920’s as it is now.

    No, for the northern hemisphere as a whole the warmest years have not been those. For the U.S., a year from that era and 1998 are essentially in a statistical tie for warmest year. (I’m not sure offhand about the arctic.) As you pick smaller and smaller regions to look at, there is less and less averaging of fluctuations and thus the “noise” becomes larger and larger relative to the signal of the global temperature trend.

    Think about it for a minute. If the Earth has been cooling for a long time, and if heat still flows from the Earth’s core, how do we know what the temperature of the planet would be with or without an atmosphere?

    There are in fact ways to estimate the amount of heat flow from the earth’s core and the answer, as I recall, is that it is smaller by something like 5 orders of magnitude than the amount of energy that we receive from the sun.

    I could go on and on with this. G&T wrote a comprehensive critique of climate science as we know it and I have not seen a note for note rebuttal to disprove what they say.

    Why would a scientist want to waste the time to preoare a note-for-note rebuttal of a piece of garbage that hasn’t even been published in any peer-reviewed journal, let alone one of stature? Scientists want to deal with real science not pseudoscientific garbage. Arthur has done a great selfless service by actually providing an excellent rebuttal to the main point of their paper. However, to get into every silly utterance they make in the 114 pages is asking too much of any mortal with a finite amount of patience.

    A typical ad hom attack by someone who is lacking in the abilty to critique G&T. Admit it, man, you’re not in their class, and you never will be.

    Never mind what you ‘would’ do, address the issues in terms of physics. You are talking down to two Ph. Ds in physics who are working in the field.

    Yet, you, working in industry, know more than them? Reality check!!

    You may want to look up the meaning of “ad hom”. It is not ad hom to note that their statements about what the Second Law does and does not say in regards to energy flow can easily be disproved using a simple problem that any first year physics student could be guided through once they have read the chapter about radiative heat transfer.

    And, yes, I sure as hell hope that I am not in G&T’s class. I may have done some silly and incorrect calculations in my time, but I don’t think anything quite this grand…let alone putting out for the world to read without thinking it through a little more!

    And, when you say they are “are working in the field”, could you tell me what field that actually is and what they have published in that field in reputable journals?

    You just proved to me that you’re grasping at straws. I gave SJT a link earlier to a NASA article that sources Hansen and Trenberth. Their explanation of what you describe is vastly different than yours. Maybe you’re the one living in a fairyland.

    What in their explanation contradicts what I said? I said heat is not flowing in net from the atmosphere to the earth which, if you add up the various flows in their diagram, you will find is indeed the case…I.e., more heat is flowing from the earth to the atmosphere than vice versa.

    The Sun heats the surface using full spectrum radiation and parts of that spectrum heat the atmosphere on the way in. So, there are initial conditions. The surface only radiates a small part of the spectrum back to the atmosphere.

    The spectrum from the earth is no less “full” than the sun’s spectrum. Both will have (approximately) the characteristic spectrum of a blackbody emitter. The difference will be that the sun’s is for a blackbody with a temperature of ~6000 K while the earth’s is for a blackbody with a temperature of ~288 K. Hence, the earth’s radiation is centered in the IR whereas the sun’s is centered in the visible.

    NASA claims the back radiation is equivalent to the original solar radiation, warming the surface to a net 117% over what the Sun warms it alone.

    No…What the NASA link says is that the amount radiated from the earth is equal to ~117% of the amount received from the sun. The reason that this is so is because the earth’s surface is at an average temperature of ~288 K rather than the “blackbody temperature” it would be in the absence of greenhouse gases of ~255 K. If the earth were at 255 K then the amount of energy radiated would equal the amount it receives from the sun (which is not the 100% number, but actually the ~71% that is not reflected by either clouds or the surface). However, because it is at ~288 K and because the amount radiated goes as the 4th power of the temperature, it radiates a lot more…which is how they get that 117% number.

    It would seem most of the current AGW paradigm came from people like Hansen programming computer models and making huge assumptions about the ability of CO2 to absorb and retransmit heat with the effect it is claimed to have.

    You actually don’t even seem to know what the real scientific disagreements are about. Only the complete phonies or the scientifically ignorant are still arguing about CO2 absorbing and retransmitting heat. As I noted, all that stuff is basically well-settled science that even the “skeptics” with any serious scientific credentials in the field, like Spencer, Christy, and Lindzen don’t dispute. What the arguments are actually about are the feedback effects, especially the one due to clouds, which modify the amount of warming you would get from what you would naively compute using the well-understood radiative effects of the additional CO2.

  140. Joel Shore January 20, 2009 at 12:13 pm #

    Utter and unmitigated garbage; the enhanced greenhouse is the last refuge of the scoundrels of IPCC and its slavish acolytes; Spencer and Braswell, Douglass and Christy and Lindzen have all said the EG is a dud concept; anyone who asserts that water is magnifying the [negligible and exhausted] heating from CO2 is a troll.

    Oh…my bad. If the oracles Spencer and Douglass and Christy and Lindzen have spoken then I guess we can just ignore all the peer-reviewed science showing otherwise. After all, they said it was a “dud concept” thus must it be so!

    I suppose that a “troll” on this website by your definition is someone who is actually injecting a little bit of real science into the discussion?

  141. Jo January 20, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    A typical ad hom attack by someone who is lacking in the abilty to critique G&T. Admit it, man, you’re not in their class, and you never will be.

    Never mind what you ‘would’ do, address the issues in terms of physics. You are talking down to two Ph. Ds in physics who are working in the field.

    Yet, you, working in industry, know more than them? Reality check!!

    You may want to look up the meaning of “ad hom”. It is not ad hom to note that their statements about what the Second Law does and does not say in regards to energy flow can easily be disproved using a simple problem that any first year physics student could be guided through once they have read the chapter on radiative heat transfer.

    And, yes, I sure as heck hope that I am not in G&T’s class. I may have done some silly and incorrect calculations in my time, but I don’t think anything quite this grand…let alone putting out for the world to read without thinking it through a little more!

    And, when you say they are “are working in the field”, could you tell me what field that actually is and what they have published in that field in reputable journals?

    You just proved to me that you’re grasping at straws. I gave SJT a link earlier to a NASA article that sources Hansen and Trenberth. Their explanation of what you describe is vastly different than yours. Maybe you’re the one living in a fairyland.

    What in their explanation contradicts what I said? I said heat is not flowing in net from the atmosphere to the earth which, if you add up the various flows in their diagram, you will find is indeed the case…I.e., more heat is flowing from the earth to the atmosphere than vice versa.

    The Sun heats the surface using full spectrum radiation and parts of that spectrum heat the atmosphere on the way in. So, there are initial conditions. The surface only radiates a small part of the spectrum back to the atmosphere.

    The spectrum from the earth is no less “full” than the sun’s spectrum. Both will have (approximately) the characteristic spectrum of a blackbody emitter. The difference will be that the sun’s is for a blackbody with a temperature of ~6000 K while the earth’s is for a blackbody with a temperature of ~288 K. Hence, the earth’s radiation is centered in the IR whereas the sun’s is centered in the visible.

    NASA claims the back radiation is equivalent to the original solar radiation, warming the surface to a net 117% over what the Sun warms it alone.

    No…What the NASA link says is that the amount radiated from the earth is equal to ~117% of the amount received from the sun. The reason that this is so is because the earth’s surface is at an average temperature of ~288 K rather than the “blackbody temperature” it would be in the absence of greenhouse gases of ~255 K. If the earth were at 255 K then the amount of energy radiated would equal the amount it receives from the sun (which is not the 100% number, but actually the ~71% that is not reflected by either clouds or the surface). However, because it is at ~288 K and because the amount radiated goes as the 4th power of the temperature, it radiates a lot more…which is how they get that 117% number.

    It would seem most of the current AGW paradigm came from people like Hansen programming computer models and making huge assumptions about the ability of CO2 to absorb and retransmit heat with the effect it is claimed to have.

    You actually don’t even seem to know what the real scientific disagreements are about. Only the complete phonies or the scientifically ignorant are still arguing about CO2 absorbing and retransmitting heat. As I noted, all that stuff is basically well-settled science that even the “skeptics” with any serious scientific credentials in the field, like Spencer, Christy, and Lindzen don’t dispute. What the arguments are actually about are the feedback effects, especially the one due to clouds, which modify the amount of warming you would get from what you would naively compute using the well-understood radiative effects of the additional CO2.

  142. Joel Shore January 20, 2009 at 12:49 pm #

    Having trouble posting here…but this post should precede the one above:

    Joel…I am aware of Arthur’s paper and he was on this blog defending it.

    Frankly, if Arthur wasn’t able to convince you of the ludicrousness of G&T, I think there is no hope. You know that saying about every cloud having a silver lining, well Arthur’s excellent paper in response to the dark cloud of ignorance that is the G&T paper is the silver lining on that whole affair.

    But, against my better judgment, I will try to make a few comments on what you say here.

    The first was why he cherry picked only the greenhouse part of G&T’s paper, which I thought was interesting but not the thrust of their paper.

    Well then, was titling their paper “Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics” some kind of attempt to distract us from what their main focus was? And, just in case you want to argue that it is somehow only the “CO2” part they objected to, I’ll note that the abstract refers to the greenhouse effect without even mentioning CO2 and the six points they claim to show in the last sentence of that abstract are not specific to CO2 but rather apply to the entire atmospheric greenhouse effect.

    It is true that it is a long and rambling paper and they touch on some of the other standard debunked arguments, but the thrust of their paper (and, it seems, strangely enough, of the quotes you present from the paper) concern the atmospheric greenhouse effect.

    I followed Arthur’s reasoning about the greenhouse effect and thought it was good up to the point where he introduced a leap of faith. He arrived at the point where there was a difference between incoming energy from the Sun and outgoing energy. At that point, he claimed the difference ‘must’ be due to anthropogenic CO2. I found that inference really disappointing.

    I’m not sure I am following you here. Perhaps Arthur was going beyond his paper in his discussions here…but his paper doesn’t concern anthropogenic CO2 at all…It is merely about the greenhouse effect, not specifically the anthropogenic part. Of course, the anthropogenic part works just like the natural greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere work.

    Rigorously speaking, for real objects the Equation [Stefan-Boltzmann) is invalid.

    This is basically silly since, that sentence, taken to its logical conclusion would mean that the Stefan Boltzmann equation doesn’t apply to anything in the real world, which would make it not a particularly useful piece of physics. And sure, taking everything to the ultimate in rigor, one can never apply physics to the real world. After all, temperature is defined only for objects in thermal equilibrium and since no real object can truly be in thermal equilibrium, rigorously speaking, the temperature of an object is never defined. This sort of “red herring” argumentation is similar in spirit to argumentation that I have seen in other “skeptical” papers, such as the Essex and McKitrick’s on there being no such thing as global temperature. I think there ought to be a name given to it. It seems to mainly impress non-scientists whose naive view of science is that it is always completely rigorous and essentially deductive…who basically don’t understand the distinction between science and mathematics. It won’t tend to fool actual scientists.

    G&T go on, “Climatologic radiation balance diagrams are nonsense, since they: …
    -do not fit in the framework of Feynman diagrams, which represent mathematical expressions clearly defined in quantum field theory”

    This line more than almost any other in that whole paper is what makes me believe that G&T aren’t actually just misguided but are engaging in actual deception. (And, in fact, I think the only interesting question to come out of the G&T paper is the question of whether they actually believe what they wrote or whether it was an active attempt to deceive.) I don’t think I could write such a sentence with a straight face!

    Thus, the radiation is locally determined by the local temperature. Neither is there a global radiation balance, nor a global radiation budget, even in the mean-field limit”.

    What the f…? Are they saying that the concept of conservation of energy is meaningless then?

    Yet, in the northern hemisphere, particularly in North America, the warmest years in the past century have been in the 1920 to 1950 era. In fact, the Arctic was as warm in the early 1920’s as it is now.

    No, for the northern hemisphere as a whole the warmest years have not been those. For the U.S., a year from that era (1934?) and 1998 are essentially in a statistical tie for warmest year. (I’m not sure offhand about the arctic.) As you pick smaller and smaller regions to look at, there is less and less averaging of fluctuations and thus the “noise” becomes larger and larger relative to the signal of the global temperature trend.

    Think about it for a minute. If the Earth has been cooling for a long time, and if heat still flows from the Earth’s core, how do we know what the temperature of the planet would be with or without an atmosphere?

    There are in fact ways to estimate the amount of heat flow from the earth’s core and the answer, as I recall, is that it is smaller by something like 5 orders of magnitude than the amount of energy that we receive from the sun.

    I could go on and on with this. G&T wrote a comprehensive critique of climate science as we know it and I have not seen a note for note rebuttal to disprove what they say.

    Why would a scientist want to waste the time to prepare a note-for-note rebuttal of a piece of garbage that hasn’t even been published in any peer-reviewed journal, let alone one of stature? Scientists want to deal with real science not pseudoscientific garbage. Arthur has done a great selfless service by actually providing an excellent rebuttal to the main point of their paper. However, to get into every silly utterance they make in the 114 pages is asking too much of any mortal with a finite amount of patience.

  143. Joel Shore January 20, 2009 at 1:34 pm #

    blockquote>
    A typical ad hom attack by someone who is lacking in the abilty to critique G&T. Admit it, man, you’re not in their class, and you never will be.

    Never mind what you ‘would’ do, address the issues in terms of physics. You are talking down to two Ph. Ds in physics who are working in the field.

    Yet, you, working in industry, know more than them? Reality check!!

    You may want to look up the meaning of “ad hom”. It is not ad hom to note that their statements about what the Second Law does and does not say in

    regards to energy flow can easily be disproved using a simple problem that any first year physics student could be guided through once they have

    read the chapter on radiative heat transfer.

    And, yes, I sure as heck hope that I am not in G&T’s class. I may have done some silly and incorrect calculations in my time, but I don’t think

    anything quite this grand…let alone putting out for the world to read without thinking it through a little more!

    And, when you say they are “are working in the field”, could you tell me what field that actually is and what they have published in that field in

    reputable journals?

    You just proved to me that you’re grasping at straws. I gave SJT a link earlier to a NASA article that sources Hansen and Trenberth. Their

    explanation of what you describe is vastly different than yours. Maybe you’re the one living in a fairyland.

    What in their explanation contradicts what I said? I said heat is not flowing in net from the atmosphere to the earth which, if you add up the

    various flows in their diagram, you will find is indeed the case…I.e., more heat is flowing from the earth to the atmosphere than vice versa.

    The Sun heats the surface using full spectrum radiation and parts of that spectrum heat the atmosphere on the way in. So, there are initial

    conditions. The surface only radiates a small part of the spectrum back to the atmosphere.

    The spectrum from the earth is no less “full” than the sun’s spectrum. Both will have (approximately) the characteristic spectrum of a blackbody

    emitter. The difference will be that the sun’s is for a blackbody with a temperature of ~6000 K while the earth’s is for a blackbody with a

    temperature of ~288 K. Hence, the earth’s radiation peaks in the IR whereas the sun’s peaks in the visible.

    NASA claims the back radiation is equivalent to the original solar radiation, warming the surface to a net 117% over what the Sun warms it

    alone.

    No…What the NASA link says is that the amount radiated from the earth is equal to ~117% of the amount received (at the top of the atmosphere)
    from the sun. The reason that this is so is because the earth’s surface is at an average temperature of ~288 K rather than the “blackbody temperature” it would be in the absence of greenhouse gases of ~255 K. If the earth were at 255 K then the amount of energy radiated would equal the amount it receives from the sun (which is not the 100% number, but actually the ~71% that is not reflected by either clouds or the earth’s surface). However, because it is at ~288 K and because the amount radiated goes as the 4th power of the temperature, it radiates a lot more…which is how they get that 117% number.

    It would seem most of the current AGW paradigm came from people like Hansen programming computer models and making huge assumptions about the

    ability of CO2 to absorb and retransmit heat with the effect it is claimed to have.

    You actually don’t even seem to know what the real scientific disagreements are about. Only those who are disingenuous, are not at all versed on the science, or are deluding themselves are still arguing about CO2 absorbing and retransmitting heat. As I noted, all that stuff is basically well-settled science that even the “skeptics” with any serious scientific credentials in the field, like Spencer, Christy, and Lindzen don’t dispute. What the arguments are actually about are the feedback effects, especially the one due to clouds, which modify the amount of warming you would get from what you would naively compute using the well-understood radiative effects of the additional CO2.

  144. Joel Shore January 20, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    Sorry about the HTML coding error (and added line spacings) in the above post. The first blockquote should start at the beginning of the post and end with “Reality check!!”

  145. Gordon Robertson January 20, 2009 at 6:28 pm #

    Joel Shore…I felt a bit fed up and depressed after replying to you last. I wondered why I am bothering. I’m fed up because there are people like you out there who are willing to make totally uncorroborated claims, yet when you’re called on them, you can’t/wont back up your claims with scientific references. You counter with your own opinions and theories, as if they hold any value, and you criticize experts who work in the field of physics. I was depressed, mainly because I was overly tired, but also because I realize that good science is being repressed with your kind of pseudo-science and is being taken seriously by many people.

    You claim your attacks on G&T were not ad hom. Claiming they don’t know anything about the laws of thermodynamics, without supplying proof, is an ad hom attack. It’s attacking the person, and whereas it can be fun, and make the attacker fell better, it is highly unscientific. You can’t even be bothered to inform yourelf as to their qualifications and you use that lame argument about peer review (i.e. where were they published).

    Peer review was introduced to keep scammers out of science, now it is being used to censor skeptics. When people like G&T reach a level of Ph.D. and they are working in cutting edge science, that’s good enough for me. If we were living in the times of Einstein, and some reviewer, who worked as a geneticists rejected his work, anonymously to boot, who am I going to believe, Einstein or the reviewer. Peer review has lost its credibility, and we who seek truth in science have to resort to the internet and unknown publications to get wind of valid skepticism.

    FYI…Prof. Dr. Gerhard Gerlich teaches Mathematical Physics at the Technical University Carolo-Wilhelmina in Braunschweig. He is an expert on vectors and tensors in the field of physics, and in case you missed it, fluids and their movements, as well as heat flows and gases, are described using vector and tensor fields. When he claims the single-line diagrams used in climate science to describe heat flow are mickey mouse, he seems to know what he’s talking about. I haven’t seen any rebuttals from equally qualified experts in physics, or elsewhere.

    The thing that impresses me most about him, however, is that he actually did the experiments on greenhouse conditions using his own car and a box he set up using different kinds of glass. Are you familiar with that method? It’s called the scientific method and the beauty of it is that you can reproduce it yourself and see if you get the same results. I’ll take Gerlich’s words for it, but if you doubt him, why don’t you replicate his experiement and convince yourself that real greenhouses work due to the lack of convective heat flow and NOT radiative heat flow.

    Climate science is studying the atmosphere as if a radiative balance is the issue. Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen are claiming convection is the issue, not radiation. It’s not the back radiation (or absorption) of CO2 that’s the issue, it’s convection. The surface is heating the air next to it, and that air is rising naturally and being transported by wind currents created by the rising air. It has been well-established that heat cannot escape at the latitude of the tropics and has to be transported north and south so it can rise and escape.

    It’s unlikely that Hansen et al have expertise in atmospheric physics other than what they have read. Hansen’s field is astrophysics. They are programming computer models based on their own interpretation of the laws of physics and failing to listen to people like Spencer and Lindzen who are experts in atmospheric physics. Hansen et al have programmed models based on physics as they understand it and G&T have come along, as bona fide physicists, and said, “no…that’s not right”. Then people like you and Eli Rabbett come along and call them names.

    Dr. Ralf Tscheuschner collaborates with Dr. Gerlich, so I would assume he has an equivalent standing. He is a researcher in Applied Solid State Physics. His expertise seems to be in atomic physics with research in superconductivity and the Hall Effect. I have communicated with him and he has talked about superconductivity studies. I don’t think anyone would be researching superconductivity without being an expert in heat theory. Of course, that’s the old science, as mathematician Gavin Schmidt would imply, whereas his new science based on mathematicians and astronomers programming the atmosphere into a computer is the new science.

    Joel Shore “What in their (NASA’s) explanation contradicts what I said? I said heat is not flowing in net from the atmosphere to the earth which, if you add up the various flows in their diagram, you will find is indeed the case…I.e., more heat is flowing from the earth to the atmosphere than vice versa”.

    You completely misunderstand what G&T are trying to say. It is impossible for more heat to flow from the Earth to the atmosphere than vice-versa. For one, G&T have pointed out that the simplified one-line drawings used by NASA are wrong. Even at my level, it is plain that drawing an arrow on a drawing to represent all upward heat flow is just plain pseudo-science. For another, the entire concept of radiative balance is wrong. The assumption that a radiation budget exists is the work of mathematicians and astronomers, not physicists.

    If it was possible to get more heat out of a system simply by recycling the heat, it would have been done long ago. CO2 and water vapour would have been implemented in heating systems, either as insulators or as products to increase heat by recycling it. That’s not possible, so why do you have so much trouble understanding that? You can’t heat a system with mathematical hocus pocus. As far as your argument about slowing down heat radiated from the surface, how is that accomplished? IR travels at the speed of light. It is absorbed and transmitted that fast. How do you slow that down?

    I have seen a theory I found interesting, that all the air molecules in the atmosphere can act in that way. The theory basically claims that IR is bouncing off all molecules and being redirected in all directions. That makes more sense, that the atmosphere is behaving like a giant pinball arcade and the oceans like a giant hot water bottle. When you consider the density of the IR reflected from the surface, how can a gas as rare as CO2 possibly impede it? There has to another mechanism at work.

  146. Steven Earl Salmony January 21, 2009 at 1:48 am #

    Leadership of a not-so-great generation passes into history on this day, 1/20/09.

    It appears that a single generation, my not-so-great greed-mongering generation, will be remembered for having first recklessly plundered and then ravenously consumed the lion’s share of all Earth’s limited resources. No generation before mine, and certainly no generation to follow, will behave so arrogantly and avariciously because the resources to do what my generation has done will have already been devoured and, therefore, unavailable to future generations. In the pernicious process of global plundering and conspicuous per capita over-consumption, many too many leaders of my generation will also have allowed the unhealthy pollution of the environment, the unrestrained depletion of natural resources and the unconscionable mortgaging of our children’s future. My generation’s leaders will have lead us to threaten the children and coming generations with the likelihood of dangerous ecological conditions…a situation for which my generation is responsible but for which my generation refuses to take responsibility. Many leaders in my generation have determined to “pass the buck” to the children, come what may. So grave and unfortunate a situation cannot longer be ignored just because the leading perpetrators of this ominously looming ecological wreckage choose to remain willfully blind, hysterically deaf and electively mute when called upon to account for their (and our) behavior.

    If I had to put this colossal tragedy in a single set of sentences I would speak out in this way,

    “Never in the course of human events has so much been given to so few consolidators of great wealth and power, who then did so poorly by everyone else and everything else but themselves. A tiny minority of supremely greedy, self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe in my generation have directed the human community toward the extirpation of biodiversity, degradation of the environment and the depletion of natural resources. The fitness of Earth as a place for habitation by our own children has been put at risk. The abject failure of so many of my generation’s leaders to assume responsibility for such incredible arrogance, poor judgement and stupendous wrongdoing is somehow not quite right and, at least to me, difficult to tolerate in silence.”

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on the Human Population,
    established 2001
    http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1
    http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/index.php
    http://www.panearth.org

  147. Joel Shore January 21, 2009 at 2:22 am #

    Gordon Robertson says:

    You counter with your own opinions and theories, as if they hold any value, and you criticize experts who work in the field of physics.

    Well, you are dismissing experts in a similar way, only with some important differences:

    (1) You don’t actually have the necessary scientific background to judge their work.

    (2) The scientists who you are dismissing (Jim Hansen, for example) are ones with a huge publication record in the field and who have won important awards and honors from their scientific peers. While the scientists who you are promoting (G&T) have no publication record that I know of in the field.

    (3) You are promoting the views of these scientists over the views of organizations such as the IPCC and the U.S. NAS (National Academy of Sciences) and the analogous bodies in the other G8+5 nations. Despite your views regarding the IPCC, its reports are in fact considered to be the definitive summaries of the current state of the science in the field and they are cited in almost every paper published in the peer-reviewed journals in the field. And, the NAS was created specifically to advise the federal government to offer the best scientific summaries and advice to policymakers and the public.

    You claim your attacks on G&T were not ad hom. Claiming they don’t know anything about the laws of thermodynamics, without supplying proof, is an ad hom attack.

    I’ve told you that there is a radiation physics problem simple enough to be given to first year physics students that demonstrates what G&T claim is impossible from the laws of thermodynamics. I haven’t specifically given you the problem because it takes a while to explain…but I will do so when I have more time in a subsequent post.

    You can’t even be bothered to inform yourelf as to their qualifications and you use that lame argument about peer review (i.e. where were they published).

    Peer review was introduced to keep scammers out of science, now it is being used to censor skeptics. When people like G&T reach a level of Ph.D. and they are working in cutting edge science, that’s good enough for me.

    Well, it may be good enough for you but it is not for me. A PhD does not mean one is incompable of being ignorant or deceitful. And, for that matter, Jim Hansen and Gavin Schmidt and the leading authors of the IPCC reports have PhDs too and yet you seem to have no difficulty dismissing their work (sometimes by making lame excuses that their PhDs aren’t in fields you think are as relevant, based on what criterion of relevancy I do not know).

    Dr. Ralf Tscheuschner collaborates with Dr. Gerlich, so I would assume he has an equivalent standing. He is a researcher in Applied Solid State Physics. His expertise seems to be in atomic physics with research in superconductivity and the Hall Effect. I have communicated with him and he has talked about superconductivity studies. I don’t think anyone would be researching superconductivity without being an expert in heat theory.

    Do you really expect these qualifications to impress me? Although it was not the main focus of my work in my pre-industrial days, I too have worked some in superconductivity. In fact, I published a paper in this field in Physical Review Letters, the most prestigious physics journal in the U.S. (and arguably the world): http://prola.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v62/i26/p3089_1 More of my work was in statistical physics, which…among other things… forms the theoretical underpinning of thermodyanics. And, on the more practical side, in my industrial job, I have also done more engineering-type heat flow calculations. So, I have spanned the whole range from the very theoretical to the practical on that subject.

    You completely misunderstand what G&T are trying to say. It is impossible for more heat to flow from the Earth to the atmosphere than vice-versa.

    Actually, you have that backwards. What they are claiming is that it is impossible for more heat to flow from the (upper) atmosphere (which is colder) to the earth (which is warmer). And, while they are correct on this point (in regards to net heat flow), a simple summing up of the relevant flows in that diagram from NASA will show that more heat is flowing from the earth to the atmosphere than vice versa. So, there is no violation the laws of thermodynamics and yet as a result of these flows, the earth is still warmer than it would be in the absence of a heat-trapping atmosphere.

    As far as your argument about slowing down heat radiated from the surface, how is that accomplished? IR travels at the speed of light. It is absorbed and transmitted that fast. How do you slow that down?

    Yes, the radiation travels at the speed of light but there is still the issue of the quantity of radiative energy per unit time. One measures these flows in Watts, which is Joules (a unit of energy) per second. By “slowing down”, I meant the rate of heat flow in Watts is slower. I.e., I was thinking in terms of a given number of Joules of heat exchange now taking a longer amount of time. However, if this confuses you, it is perfectly equivalent to think of it as, in a fixed period of time, a smaller amount of heat being transferred.

    When you consider the density of the IR reflected from the surface, how can a gas as rare as CO2 possibly impede it?

    It may be rare but there is also a lot of atmosphere. In fact, some “skeptics” like to argue (wrongly, but for somewhat subtler reasons) that adding more CO2 doesn’t make a difference because all of the absorption bands are already saturated. (And, to be fair, a half century ago, I believe this argument was even in the scientific mainstream. If you want to read more about the history of all this, go here: http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm ) So, could you guys at least decide whether you think there is not enough CO2 or whether there is already so much that an additional amount doesn’t matter!?!

  148. Joel Shore January 21, 2009 at 4:25 am #

    a simple summing up of the relevant flows in that diagram from NASA will show that more heat is flowing from the earth to the atmosphere than vice versa. So, there is no violation the laws of thermodynamics and yet as a result of these flows, the earth is still warmer than it would be in the absence of a heat-trapping atmosphere.

    By the way, if it seems counterintuitive that the atmosphere could be keeping the earth warmer than it would be otherwise when more heat is flowing from the earth to the atmosphere than vice versa, it might help to think of it this way: In the absence of a heat-trapping atmosphere, none of the radiation that the earth emits would come back to it, i.e., it would be, roughly speaking, “giving the same amount away but getting nothing back”. However, with a heat trapping atmosphere, it is now getting some of what it gives away back…not all of it of course, but this is still going to keep it considerably warmer than the alternative of not getting any of the heat back.

  149. Joel Shore January 21, 2009 at 4:41 am #

    Gordon Robertson says:

    The thing that impresses me most about him, however, is that he actually did the experiments on greenhouse conditions using his own car and a box he set up using different kinds of glass. Are you familiar with that method? It’s called the scientific method and the beauty of it is that you can reproduce it yourself and see if you get the same results. I’ll take Gerlich’s words for it, but if you doubt him, why don’t you replicate his experiement and convince yourself that real greenhouses work due to the lack of convective heat flow and NOT radiative heat flow.

    I meant to comment on this. Not everything in G&T is incorrect and their claim that real greenhouses work by a different mechanism (i.e., they trap heat in a different way) than the atmospheric greenhouse effect is correct but is so well-known that it is noted in many, if not most, elementary discussions of the atmospheric greenhouse effect. For example, see the section “Real greenhouses” on this Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect

    So, while Gerlich may have impressed you with his implementation of the scientific method to devise an experiment, he has used it to demonstrate something that is already well-known and well-accepted in the literature and even explained in many popular explanations of the greenhouse effect.

  150. hunterhunter January 21, 2009 at 5:18 am #

    Steven Earl,
    Allusions to Churchill do not hide your hisotrical illiteracy. More people use more resources more effectively and efficiently than ever before. The habilitability of the Earth was not put in deeper peril by the actions of the last US Administration. Hansen has sort of sucked all of the oxygen from the public square regarding overblown misleading hype. Perhaps a good thing for enviros to do now would be to become more reasonable and factual. The change would be pleasant.
    More on Hansen’s latest fear mongering pap:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jan/18/jim-hansen-obama

  151. Joel Shore January 21, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    I said:

    I’ve told you that there is a radiation physics problem simple enough to be given to first year physics students that demonstrates what G&T claim is impossible from the laws of thermodynamics. I haven’t specifically given you the problem because it takes a while to explain…but I will do so when I have more time in a subsequent post.

    Okay, here it is:

    Consider a spherical body at a constant absolute temperature T. Now surround that spherical body by a concentric spherical shell A of very slightly larger radius and then surround that by a concentric spherical shell B of very slightly larger radius than A; surrounding this all is empty space (i.e., at an absolute temperature of 0). Assume that all three bodies are perfect blackbodies. [The assumptions such as the objects being perfect blackbodies and the radii of the shells being only slightly larger than the radius of the sphere should not be necessary to show the basic effect…But they are necessary to make the problem tractable enough to be a problem one could give to first-year physics students.]

    (a) Derive the steady-state temperature T_A of Shell A when Shell B is not present.

    (b) Derive the steady-state temperature T_A of Shell A and T_B of Shell B when Shell B is present.

    (c) What is the net radiant heat flow (W/m^2) between Shell A and Shell B?

    The answers are

    (a) T_A = T / 2^(1/4), which is ~0.841 T.

    (b) T_A = T * (2/ 3)^(1/4), which is ~0.903 T and T_B = T / 3^(1/4), which is ~0.760 T.

    (c) (1/3)*sigma*T^4 from A to B.

    So, what we have is a situation where the addition of the Shell B has caused the temperature of Shell A to be higher than it would be in the absence of Shell B (~0.903 T instead of ~0.841 T), yet Shell B is at a lower temperature than Shell A. This is the sort of situation that G&T claim would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics, i.e., that we have warmed an object (Shell A) to a warmer temperature than it would have an the absence of the “back-radiation” from a cooler object (Shell B).

    Of course, as you can see, the net heat flow is from Shell A to Shell B and thus the 2nd law is not in fact violated, just as is true of the earth / atmosphere case where the net flow of heat is from the earth to the atmosphere and yet the presence of the IR-absorbing atmosphere still results in the earth being warmer.

    Personally, I think that it would be pretty cool as a first-year physics student to be able to demonstrate that two PhD theoretical physicists are wrong!

  152. Gordon Robertson January 22, 2009 at 5:57 pm #

    Joel Shore…thanks for reply. I can’t reply at this time but I will respond in a few days. The fundamental problem I have with your mathematical analysis is that it ignores the problem of radiative heat flow between two bodies. You are describing a black body transfer which applies normally to a continuous spectrum of radiation at higher temperatures than those found in the atmophere. Also, your physical description using two concentric spheres around a sphere at constant temperature does not describe the atmophere-surface interaction for me.

    I would prefer to see an analysis using known amounts of CO2 and it’s ability to absorb and retransmit IR. In the NASA article I linked to for SJT, they admit that energy budgets are not known precisely for the atmosphere. From what I have read, only a theoretical analysis of the energy exchange between surface and atmosphere have been attempted. Even your thought experiment is highly theoretical. True blackbody radiators are a theoretical concept and no one knows where the low temperature atmosphere-surface interface falls into that theory.

    It’s one thing for you to give your thought experiment to first year physics student and quite another for them to go out and prove it. Then again, that’s how paradigms are cemented into the heads of undergraduates. They either swallow the bs or they fail. Later, as graduate students, they wont get far unless they are ready to accept what the profs say. Even with a doctorate, they are usually obliged to buy into the paradigm of the faculty and university they will be employed at.

  153. Joel Shore January 23, 2009 at 9:06 am #

    Gordon Robertson says:

    Joel Shore…thanks for reply. I can’t reply at this time but I will respond in a few days.

    Thanks, Gordon. I look forward to it. In the meantime, I will try to respond briefly to the points that you bring up.

    The fundamental problem I have with your mathematical analysis is that it ignores the problem of radiative heat flow between two bodies. You are describing a black body transfer which applies normally to a continuous spectrum of radiation at higher temperatures than those found in the atmophere.

    I am not sure what you mean in your first sentence. In fact, my analysis is precisely an analysis of radiative heat flow between the bodies, the bodies in question being blackbodies as this makes the problem easily tractable. Also, I am not sure what you mean by your second sentence. The radiation spectrum for a blackbody radiator can be defined for a body at any temperature. In fact, in astrophysics there is the so-called “3-deg background radiation” which is at only ~3 K above absolute zero.

    Also, your physical description using two concentric spheres around a sphere at constant temperature does not describe the atmophere-surface interaction for me.

    Well, I am not trying to give a complete physical description of the atmospheric greenhouse effect. What I am trying to do is respond to the following argument from G&T that you summarized thusly (actually arguably better than they summarized it themselves):

    G&T, real physicists, claim that kind of back-warming is not possible … A third reason is the interpretation of the laws of thermodynamics by Clausius. He claimed that a body cooler than a body that warms it cannot warm the warming body (through back radiation) to a temperature higher than the warming body was in the first place. The atmosphere is cooler than the surface, and according to Clausius, it cannot warm the surface more than the surface temperature that warmed the atmosphere.

    This is basic thermodynamics!! Certain pseudo-climate scientists (ie. don’t have actual degrees in atmospheric physics), like Hansen, have finagled formulas to get a ‘net energy balance’ that contravenes the laws of thermodynamics, according to G&T. They have invented the equivalent of a refrigerator that cools without a compressor, and a motor to drive it. Negative heat flow is not possible without an external energy source to drive it.

    Hence, to show that this argument is incorrect, it is useful to show that there is a much simpler problem, so simple that we can solve it exactly, that illustrates exactly what G&T claim cannot occur: Namely, the presence of an object Shell B (analogous to the IR-absorbing atmosphere) that “back-radiates” onto an object Shell A (analogous to the earth) causes Shell A to be at a higher temperature than it would be in the absence of Shell B. Hence, this shows that what G&T claim constitutes a violation of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics does not in fact constitute such a violation at all.

    Furthermore, this simple problem illustrates the hole in their logic: They seem to assume that if Shell B causes Shell A to be at a higher temperature than it would be in the absence of Shell B, then the net flow of heat must be from Shell B (which is colder) to Shell A (which is warmer), which would indeed be a violation of the Second Law. However, what I have shown is that the net flow is still from Shell A to Shell B. Shell A is warmer with Shell B there than without it there not because there is a NET flow of heat from Shell B to Shell A but rather because Shell B is able to radiate back to Shell A ANY of the heat that Shell A radiates whatsoever (because when Shel B is not there then, of course, it doesn’t).

    I would prefer to see an analysis using known amounts of CO2 and it’s ability to absorb and retransmit IR. In the NASA article I linked to for SJT, they admit that energy budgets are not known precisely for the atmosphere. From what I have read, only a theoretical analysis of the energy exchange between surface and atmosphere have been attempted. Even your thought experiment is highly theoretical. True blackbody radiators are a theoretical concept and no one knows where the low temperature atmosphere-surface interface falls into that theory.

    I’m not going to try to explain the entire CO2 atmospheric greenhouse effect to you from first principles. I myself haven’t read back through all of the original papers…This is old settled science that even skeptical scientists like Richard Lindzen agree with (i.e., that doubling CO2 produces a radiative forcing of somewhere around 3.7 to 4.0 W/m^2). If you want to learn more about it, I suggest the link that I gave you before to the history by Spencer Weart at the American Institute of Physics which can provide you with background, history and references: http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm

    And, while it may be true that ideal blackbody radiators are a theoretical concept, the fact is that many materials approach pretty close to this ideal. Furthermore, it is irrelevant for the basic point of discussion (which was whether the basic picture of an IR-absorbing atmosphere which is colder than the earth nonetheless warming the earth relative to what its temperature would be in the absence of that atmosphere constitutes a violation of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics).

    It’s one thing for you to give your thought experiment to first year physics student and quite another for them to go out and prove it. Then again, that’s how paradigms are cemented into the heads of undergraduates. They either swallow the bs or they fail. Later, as graduate students, they wont get far unless they are ready to accept what the profs say. Even with a doctorate, they are usually obliged to buy into the paradigm of the faculty and university they will be employed at.

    You have a pretty cynical…and, in my experience, inaccurate…view of how things work in our colleges and universities, at least in the physical sciences. Students disagree with their professors all the time…And sometimes the students even end up being correct. And, faculty often vociferously disagree with each other.

    However, in this case, the problem that I have presented is simple enough that I am rather doubtful that there is a major error in it. And, of course, unlike G&T’s conclusions, it is perfectly in line with over a hundred years of understanding of the issue by thousands of scientists.

  154. Joel Shore January 23, 2009 at 10:53 am #

    By the way, here is a website where the author, one Alistair Fraser, who is an emeritus meteorology professor gives what he feels is a simpler and more correct statement of how the greenhouse effect warms the earth: http://www.ems.psu.edu/~fraser/Bad/BadGreenhouse.html (see also the FAQ he links to at the bottom).

    I think he is a bit militant in his views that his statement is the only thing you should ever say in regards to the greenhouse effect. But, strictly speaking, I suppose he is correct that statements such as “re-radiates” and “traps radiation” are sort of shorthands that can lead to confusion. At any rate, his is really a pedagogical argument more than a scientific one. (In fact, it is interesting to contrast with G&T because I think that in the examples that they give, they are really making essentially pedagogical objections to the explanation of the greenhouse effect but then they use these to essentially argue that the science is actually wrong. If they simply stuck to improving pedagogy, like this fellow, they might actually be useful rather than destructive.)

  155. Tim Curtin January 24, 2009 at 10:28 am #

    Back to original Thread: I have found Joel Shore’s contributions very constructive, but he has yet to address why the alleged increase in global mean temperature of about 0.7oC from 1900 to now, which Hansen believes is mainly due to the 40+% increase in atmospheric CO2 (i.e. [CO2]) over this period, has been bad, and why any further warming attributable to a further 50% increase in [CO2] would be worse, when set against the undeniable benefits of increasing [CO2] for world food production. Why does Hansen invariably miscalculate the airborne fraction (AF) of CO2 emissions, which has averaged only 43% since 1958 (Canadell et al PNAS 2007)*, while he and Sato claim 60%? (PNAS 2004)? Why does he never consider what becomes of the [CO2] taken up by the oceans and biosphere? Is the increase in terrestrial absorption of [CO2] from 0.5 GtC in 1958 to over 3 GtC now a BAD THING? Does Hansen truly believe that reducing [CO2] to 350 ppm or less would have no impact on the productivity of the biosphere? Do you share and support Hansen’s apocalyptic vision based as it is on wilful suppression of the truth about the benefits bestowed on humanity by the increasing CO2?

    * The Canadell et al PNAS paper and their associated Global Carbon Project are a good source of data but not of growth rates; the fact of ever increasing world food production (FAO)does not support their claim of a declining capacity of the terrestrial sink.

  156. Luke January 25, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

    “undeniable benefits of increasing [CO2] for world food production” – we’ve been over this how many times now

    when you calculate out the hydrological cycle winners and losers , invasion of rangelands by C3 woodies, and major effects of increased frost sensitivity with higher CO2 – get back to us.

    Don’t give us some piddly greenhouse trial result in ideal circumstances, or a try-on that yield increases in the field have nothing to with improved agronomy or genetics

    In any case ocean sinks may be shutting down –

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090102101045.htm

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