In Defence of ‘Heaven and Earth’

IN the following open letter to the President of the Australian Academy of Science, William Kininmonth explains that the science of climate change is ‘not settled’ and if the scientific community is to get to a position where it can confidently prediction future climate it will be necessary to both understand why and how the climate system has varied in the past, and to have a robust computer construct of the climate system.  Given so far we have neither, the recent very public criticisms of Ian Plimer’s new book ‘Heaven and Earth’ are not logical or consistent.  

Kurt Lambeck
Professor of Geophysics
President, Australian Academy of Science
The Australian National University
Canberra , Australia

Dear Professor Lambeck,

I was Interested in your views of Ian Plimer’s book, Heaven and Earth, given in the transcript of your interview on the ABC’s Okham’s Razor. As President of the Australian Academy of Science your opinions carry considerable influence. Based on your own understanding of science and the wide expertise within the Academy that you could draw from I expected a reasoned evaluation, both of the science of climate change and the sociological processes that may have led to the divergent views that exist on the magnitude of human influence. I was disappointed and suspect that many others will have been similarly disappointed.

You certainly set the scene correctly when you stated:
“There is no dispute that the geological record shows that climate change has occurred throughout the earth’s history. The dispute is over whether the modern record can be understood in terms of the natural background processes or whether there is a new human factor that changes the rules about climate change.
To address this requires more than geological insight. It requires an understanding of the underlying physical, chemical and biological processes and an ability to model them so as to test alternative hypotheses.” 

However, you fail to follow up and address the arguments advanced by Plimer that the recent record is not unusual, and that the human factor is not significant. Indeed, having correctly set out the basis for evaluation you largely ignore your own terms of reference!

The reality is that, except in the most general terms, we are unable to satisfactorily explain past variations of climate. Over the recent 2 million years why did the primary mode of climate oscillation change from a 40,000 year (axial tilt) periodicity to one close to 100,000 years (linked to eccentricity)? And how do we explain the recent glacial cycles, given that annual solar insolation intercepted by the Earth’s disc changes little between near circular and more eccentric orbits? Even the relative regularity in value to which temperatures asymptote during each interglacial, as estimated from Antarctic ice cores, can hardly be attributed to chance yet does not have an explanation!

And if we are unable to satisfactorily explain the past, how can we explain the future?

Of significance then is the arguments for the human factor in climate change. Will the human influence be sufficient to cause a shift to a new climate state that is dangerously different to the current one with its known variations? Plimer makes two points on this: firstly he notes the well established logarithmic relationship between radiative forcing and the increase in CO2 concentration; and secondly he notes how evaporation of latent energy constrains surface temperature rise.

The logarithmic relationship between radiative forcing and the increase in CO2 concentration is referred to in each of the IPCC assessment reports. It is not controversial and identifies the constant incremental increase in radiative forcing for each doubling of CO2 concentration. In a graphical form this is demonstrated in Plimer’s Figure 50, page 375 (What is controversial in Figure 50 is the implied relationship between radiative forcing and temperature, but the principle is captured). The approximately 3.7 W/m2 radiative forcing is the same for any doubling of CO2 concentration. Equally importantly, most (approximately 60 percent) of the greenhouse effect of CO2 is in the first 50 ppm concentration. Because of the logarithmic relationship the increase in CO2 concentration increase alone does not give rise to the suggestion of passing a ‘tipping point’ to dangerous global warming.  

The constraining effect of evaporation of water vapour on surface temperature rise is well documented in a 1966 paper by Bill Priestley, former Chief of the CSIRO Division of Meteorological Physics, where the physical basis of why temperatures are much lower over well-watered surfaces than dry surfaces was explained.

Plimer takes this up on page 373 where he identifies that an increase in surface temperature of 1oC will generate an increase in surface energy loss of 10 W/m2 (the text has an obvious misprint, where 1 W/m2 is erroneously quoted) and a 3oC temperature rise will generate an increase in surface energy loss of 30 W/m2. Clearly, the direct radiative forcing of about 3.7 W/m2 from a doubling of CO2 concentration can only sustain a surface temperature rise of under 0.4oC, a significantly different projection than that given by the computer models used in the IPCC fourth assessment that are up to an order of magnitude larger.

A question arises as to why the computer models project a global mean temperature rise that is an order of magnitude larger than basic physics would suggest. One reason might be that there is apparently a fundamental deficiency in the representation of the hydrological cycle in the computer models. This has been independently identified by two groups assessing the computer models and is published in the peer reviewed literature (Journalof Climate, Science). In the computer models the rate of increase of evaporation and latent energy exchange is only about one-third that expected by the Claussius Clapeyron relationship, thus reducing the constraining influence over surface temperature rise of evaporation. The attached paper elaborates on the essential physics in more detail.

The immediate interest is in how the computer models will respond once the identified deficiency in surface evaporation response is corrected. Will they continue to portray apparent runaway global warming or will a better-represented hydrological cycle constrain temperature response? Although local computer modellers have been alerted to the evaporation deficiency its significance does not seem to be recognised. Overseas modelling groups are now working on the problem and with time a resolution of the theoretical versus modelling differences will be available. Our understanding of surface energy exchange processes suggests that 30-31oC is a natural asymptote ocean surface temperature for an interglacial that is relatively insensitive to CO2 forcing.

The point of this email is to alert you (and through you the wider academy) that the science of climate change is not as settled as you have led the public to believe. As you have correctly noted, “No single discipline is equipped to handle the complex problems of climate change”.  However, if the scientific community is to get to a position that confident predictions of future climate can be made then it is necessary to both understand why and how the climate system has varied in the past, and to have a robust computer construct of the climate system for predictions. As yet we have neither. As a consequence, the criticisms that you have made of Ian Plimer’s book do not meet the benchmarks of assessment that you set at the commencement of your interview.

Yours sincerely

William Kininmonth
Melbourne, Australia

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

Comments on ‘Heaven and Earth’: Global Warming: The Missing Science, Today Professor Kurt Lambeck, president of the Australian Academy of Science, discusses Professor Ian Plimer’s book Heaven and Earth.
with Robyn Williams, http://www.abc.net.au/rn/ockhamsrazor/stories/2009/2589206.htm#transcript

To order the book through Connor Court Publishing: http://www.connorcourt.com/catalog1/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=103&zenid=c9cb640a08f4bb1a73fa4694484f85d9

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53 Responses to In Defence of ‘Heaven and Earth’

  1. Louis Hissink June 10, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    William,

    Hear hear! Excellent description of the naked emperor.

  2. Ian Mott June 10, 2009 at 3:15 pm #

    Yes, it seems the folks who were claiming that Plimer’s book didn’t stack up to peer review have a great deal of trouble stacking up to peer review themselves. But what is new?

  3. cohenite June 10, 2009 at 3:29 pm #

    The most detailed critique of Plimer’s book is here;

    http://bravenewclimate.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/plimer1a6.pdf

    About the p375 fig 50 Enting says;

    “However above 100ppm the values seem to be inversely proportional to concentration as expected for incremental change when temperature has a logarithmic dependence on concentration…Thus a better label for the vertical axis would be ‘incremental warming’.”

    Warmists can’t accept the fact that the temperature response for increases in CO2 is an exponentially declining one; in addition, blithe claims that all the effective radiation temperature, Teff, above the average temperature, Tave, that is 288C – 255C = 33C is due to the greenhouse effect of CO2 flow from this failure to note that CO2 ‘heating’, while asymptotic, is essentially exhausted at about 6-8C above Tave. Enting can’t accept this because it would mean “a climate sensitivity of 0.35C”! This is instead of the predicted ~3C from the various IPCC report drivel. The fact is all the empirical evidence supports the low [even non-existent] sensitivity figure for increases in CO2. If Plimer is guilty of anything it is overstating the effect of CO2.

  4. Chuck June 10, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    like i was told in my first geology lecture, The past is the key to the future

  5. spangled drongo June 10, 2009 at 4:37 pm #

    Prof. Kurt Lambeck states:
    “The present climate system shows all the hallmarks of an unstable system tenuously held under control by the astronomical forcing and perturbed at intervals by other forcing such as the injection of volcanic dust and gases into the atmosphere.”

    This seems to be admitting that the system is poorly understood, IOW unpredictable, yet he scorns Plimer at every turn.
    Cowardly act.

  6. SJT June 10, 2009 at 4:42 pm #

    “Warmists can’t accept the fact that the temperature response for increases in CO2 is an exponentially declining one; in addition, blithe claims that all the effective radiation temperature, Teff, above the average temperature, Tave, that is 288C – 255C = 33C is due to the greenhouse effect of CO2 flow from this failure to note that CO2 ‘heating’, while asymptotic, is essentially exhausted at about 6-8C above Tave. Enting can’t accept this because it would mean “a climate sensitivity of 0.35C”!”

    Denialists can’t understand complex issues, is more like it. You clearly can’t.

  7. spangled drongo June 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm #

    “Denialists can’t understand complex issues, is more like it. You clearly can’t.”

    SJT, Well now, your moment has arrived. Be our guest! [speaker, that is].

  8. SJT June 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm #

    The response is logarithmic, but we are going to double the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere at least. That will still cause a significant temperature rise. To the direct CO2 forcing must be added the ‘enhanced’ greenhouse effect as described in “A saturated gassy argument” on realclimate, and the positive feedback effects. When you add it all up, 3C is entirely plausible.

  9. Louis Hissink June 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    SJT,
    “When you add it all up, 3C is entirely plausible.”

    Only in the computer modelling, not in physical reality.

  10. RW June 10, 2009 at 6:41 pm #

    “an increase in surface temperature of 1oC will generate an increase in surface energy loss of 10 W/m2”

    E=σT^4
    T≈288K
    E(289K)-E(288K)=5.45
    E(290K)-E(288K)=10.9
    E(291K)-E(288K)=16.5

  11. janama June 10, 2009 at 8:24 pm #

    Tomorrow Kinglake is predicted to have a max of 7C.

    Today it looked like this

    http://blogs.abc.net.au/.a/6a00e0097e4e68883301156ff62bf8970c-pi

    source = http://www.abc.net.au/victoria/kinglake-3763/

    on Black Saturday it was around 46C.

    The wildlife that’s us btw, and the countryside (planet), survived a 39C variation in temperature and extreme changes in weather, albeit not a change in climate.

    Why does a .04C variation, or 1C really matter?

  12. Jeremy C June 10, 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    So is Kininmonth defending all the mistakes in Plimer’s book, or is his letter just a diversion from Plimer’s mistakes? If the latter he is not being particulary honest.

  13. Luke June 10, 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    Bad luck denialist scum – your pin-up’s theology has suffered so many holes that the argument looks like chicken wire more than swiss cheese.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/global_warming/plimer/ Don’t read the critiques boys or you’ll fall into the sun – hahahahahaha

    and Kininmonth coming to the defence – hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  14. hunter June 10, 2009 at 11:13 pm #

    Luke,
    You are very entertaining.
    you can try – and fail – all you care to poke holes in those who show AGW is not happening, but you will make no difference. AGW is falsified, and has been for quite some time.
    We are not facing a climate crisis now, nor is one likely.
    You can rant rave and call names all you wish.
    You are an AGW fundamentalist and you react with a fundamentalist’s rage when your faith is challenged.
    That does not make you bad or wicked. It just makes you, and your fellow true believers, wrong.

  15. cohenite June 10, 2009 at 11:50 pm #

    RW; the SB formula is only relevant for radiative loss; wouldn’t there also be a transfer of latent heat via evapotranspiration and sensible heat through dry thermals?

  16. kuhnkat June 11, 2009 at 1:12 am #

    Luke,

    say what you will, but, I haven’t heard any Sceptic/Denier top Hansen’s Coal Trains of Death stupidity!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  17. Alan Siddons June 11, 2009 at 3:15 am #

    So professor Plimer upholds “the well established logarithmic relationship between radiative forcing and the increase in CO2 concentration.”

    ‘Well established’ my foot. One has to establish radiative forcing in the first place and THEN establish how it operates quantitatively. Neither of these has ever been done. By Kirchhoff’s laws, a higher concentration merely affects the WAY light is lost, as a linear beam or by radiative dispersal, but concentration does not IMPEDE the emitter’s radiant losses. The very fact that CO2 heats up MEANS that it is radiating IR, not trapping it. Moreover, as a cooler body absorbing just a fraction of the earth’s radiated warmth, the reactive radiation from a CO2 layer is unable to double back and heat the earth — due to a silly law of physics called the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    One might as well believe that a battery’s output can be used as an input to recharge it. Call it “electrical forcing.”

    The Greenhouse Effect: A physical phenomenon that either works by insulating or by adding heat — for opinions differ. Described as a radiative barrier, it absorbs radiation instead of repelling it and permits the same radiant energy out as that which goes in. An effect that cannot be demonstrated in a laboratory and for which no empirically-derived equations exist. Whose principal component, water vapor, is regarded as a heat amplifier but also as a cooling feedback to other such components. A well established concept that cannot be coherently explained and is indistinguishable from belief in a Sky Dragon.

    I have to agree that “the science” isn’t settled. I just wish that the people who keep saying this had a keener appreciation of what they’re actually saying.

  18. Lloyd Burt June 11, 2009 at 4:32 am #

    There are two important things that go on in the atmosphere that the AGW hypothesis doesn’t take into account.

    First, you’ll notice that they calculate ONLY absorption. They completely ignore the fact that the frequencies they’re talking about are also EMITTED by CO2 as it radiates away its own heat energy. So while they talk about half of the absorbed radiation radiating backward (so-called “back radiation” they never mention that CO2 at the same temperature would be emitting half of its own thermal radiation forward. The only place absorption is an issue is when there’s a difference in the temperature. This limits the CO2 absorption to no lower than the levels of the black body curve within it’s own spectrum.

    The coldest part of the atmosphere is at the top of the troposphere. The troposphere decreases by 6C per kilometer going up until it’s at about -50C then the temperature steadily increases at about 2C per kilometer through the stratosphere. This layer also lies above 80% of the rest of the atmosphere. There can be no movement to a colder radiative zone as some AGW proponents suggest because that’s as cold as it gets.

    Second, (and more importantly) they ignore water vapor. If you look at the overall emissions from earth you’ll find water vapor’s frequencies emit with little resistance even though technically…water vapor’s frequencies should be absorbed to extinction. The spectrum of water vapor overlaps CO2’s spectrum. Since there is so much more water vapor covering a much larger part of the spectrum and because it has so little resistance to emission of its frequencies…most of CO2’s spectrum gets sidetracked into water vapor’s at some point and escapes easily through its frequencies.

  19. Luke June 11, 2009 at 8:29 am #

    Says who – a bunch of flim flam artists from whoop whoop. The reality dudes is that the climate change research effort is continuing very well. Faux sceptics have added nothing to the serious science (that’s quality material that doesn’t appear in E&E).

    CSIRO and Hadley are flat tack.

    You’ve had a little rant in your cloistered little safe space here – nett serious impact =0.0

    Coho here is about the only one worth listening to – at least he does a bit of reading. But he’s now gooooone after having bet the bank on Miskolczi.

    You might think I’m angry Huntsbury – but I’m just reflecting your own behaviour and larfing at yas !

  20. Luke June 11, 2009 at 8:37 am #

    Hunter – why should we be having a “climate crisis” right now – this is just where the denialist scum have shepherded the debate. AGW like climate effects will grow over decades. Humanity has always had crises with climate – just depends how often you’d like them ….

    And if AGW were true – given background climate variation you would not expect an angry God to hand it to you on a platter – you’d be trying to discern a signal emerging from the fog of variability.

    There’s enough signal there not to be too stupid in terms of risk management. And some issues unanswered. Yes coal trains of death ! Over the top – but hey Hansen’s just one voice.

    But whoops. Slipped up and almost was treating you lot seriously like I used to.

    Where was I – oh yea – denialist scum and ya Mum’s ugly.

  21. spangled drongo June 11, 2009 at 9:05 am #

    “Humanity has always had crises with climate – just depends how often you’d like them ….”

    Is that right Luke? When was the last time?

    Humanity only ever has a crisis with weather. Climate it learns to cope with.

    And have a guess why that is.

  22. cohenite June 11, 2009 at 9:17 am #

    luke; it wouldn’t hurt if you read a bit, especially what has been said by Miskolczi. M has used empirical measurements of radiative fluxe to develop an atmospheric model which theorises that the atmosphere is operating at maximum efficiency consistent with MEP theory; his ‘symbol’ of that is the constant Tau which is the parameter of optical depth or how many times a photon is transmitted before it leaves the atmosphere; generally the higher the OD the higher the ‘greenhouse’ effect [whatever that is].

    The problem for M is his application of Kirchoff’s law; as you know KL says that the emissivity of a body equals its absorbance at thermal equilibrium; M centred his use of KL around eqn 4 where he argued A_A = E_D; that is the amount of radiation absorbed by the atmosphere, A_A, is = the amount of downward radiation, back-radiation as Philipona says, E_D. If this were the case there would be no discontinuity between the surface and the immediate air and there would be a thermal equilibrium maintained from the bottom of the atmosphere to the top of atmosphere and OLR would not change. However, it appears a good case for a radiative discontinuity at BOA has been made [Jan would disagree]; does this mean Miskolczi should be thrown away? Not at all; the solution is the evapotranspiration which takes heat from the surface as latent heat and dry thermal activity which takes heat as sensible heat as vertical convection. The amount of heat in these 2 non-radiative forms compensates for any radiative discontinuity at BOA. The latent heat forms low cloud depending on CNN availability and that low cloud immediately acts through increased albedo and higher radiative upward movement of radiation in the water wave-lengths from the tops of the clouds to mitigate through either negative feedback [Spencer and Braswell who are not restricted to E&E; not that there is anything wrong with E&E] or direct stochastic causation any heating through the imbalance caused by the discontinuity. The upward radiation at water wavelengths has easier passage at TOA because there is less high water due to the formation of low clouds.

    The point of this is that the constant amount of water in the atmosphere works in a way consistent with Miskolczi’s theory of MEP and maximum greenhouse regardless of the proportion of other greenhouses gases; the role of water to mitgate temperature in either direction is a product of the form and location of that fixed amount of water.

  23. SJT June 11, 2009 at 10:22 am #

    “luke; it wouldn’t hurt if you read a bit, especially what has been said by Miskolczi. M has used empirical measurements of radiative fluxe to develop an atmospheric model which theorises that the atmosphere is operating at maximum efficiency consistent with MEP theory; his ’symbol’ of that is the constant Tau which is the parameter of optical depth or how many times a photon is transmitted before it leaves the atmosphere; generally the higher the OD the higher the ‘greenhouse’ effect [whatever that is].”

    M is rubbish, and the easiest way to spot a denier is to see if they believe is piffle.

  24. hunter June 11, 2009 at 11:45 am #

    Luke,
    Your momma says ‘hello’, and wishes you would get that drooling fixed.
    And she also says that random patterns are still random, no matter how much order you try to impose on them.
    And, since we were supposed ly in a climate crisis in 2005, in the Arctic, in the Aussie droughts, etc. etc. etc., I guess I am not surprised that a true believer would fall back on to the ‘it is happenin’ later’ dodge.
    And your momma is not surprised either.

  25. J.Hansford June 11, 2009 at 12:56 pm #

    I am currently reading Plimers book….. Good read.

    Now Luke……

    You are a person who doesn’t believe that the Earth has been warmer than this current decade… I’m pretty sure I’ve seen posts where you say the last ten years contain 6 of the hottest years in history…..

    So if this is so….

    Why is it then, that in Baltic Sea sediments of about 1000 years ago. That would be during that Medieval warming period you don’t believe in. That during this period a semi tropical plankton lived in the SouthWestern Baltic that no longer lives there today…. That disappeared when the Baltic Sea cooled during the period known as the Little Ice Age, Which you also don’t believe in….

    So if it was warm enough in the Baltic Sea to allow Pseudosolenia calcar-avis to exist in about the year 1050 and that it is now too cold for that particular planktonic diatom to exist there now…. therefor the conclusion would have to be that it was warmer then, than it presently is now.

    So the Baltic was warmer, Greenland was warmer, England grew grapes….

    Here’s a link to CO2 science who has an article about it and the link to the Authors paper, so you don’t have to just take my word for it.

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V4/N3/C2.php

    That little diatom in the sediment cores wrecks Manns hockey stick…. Can’t have a warmer Baltic back then, than now, without a medieval warming period…. ‘eh?

  26. Luke June 11, 2009 at 1:16 pm #

    Irrelevant J Hansford (and must we be so formal). Did Plimer mention the civilisation busting droughts in the MWP – Americas, China, Africa – fucking grapes in England indeed

    Of course the sleaze didn’t.

    Spanglers – humanity is in constant battle with droughts, floods, heatwaves, cold snaps, big storms. Sometimes causing major death, economic and environmental havoc. Anything else is denial. Just because you’re lucky enough to be retired in the first world …

    But you’d like some more I take it?

    Coho – if Stevey Wonder reckons Misowatzy crap – it’s gooooooooooooonnnneee !

    Huntsbergur – random patterns are not random is you have a good mechanistic understanding and a bunch of stats – AGW does. Stop goofing around bilge blogs and start reading.

  27. Luke June 11, 2009 at 1:27 pm #

    OK Coho – I’m sorry – that was a crap answer. It’s my intolerance of any serious discussion growing.

  28. steve from brisbane June 11, 2009 at 2:02 pm #

    Time for one of my quarterly attempts at reminding this crowd (Luke and SJT excepted) that all of this argument about temperature ignores ocean acidification as a problem of great concern to (what appears to me to be) the great majority of scientists looking at the issue.

    Indeed, I understand that Plimer’s book gives it barely a mention too. Funny that. I maintain it is because he does not have anything more than superficial arguments against it being a concern. (He must address current rate of change if he wants geological history to be an argument against concern.)

    Meanwhile, increasingly, ocean science groups are putting out statements urging CO2 limits to be put in place to try to limit ocean acidification.

    There’s been a string of posts at the Ocean Acidification blog about this lately. There’s also a string of interesting bits from studies looking at the extremely long term effects of increased CO2 on the oceans. Unfortunately, they are mostly behind a paywall.

    The blog is: http://oceanacidification.wordpress.com/

    And by the way, before anyone points out that the blog has notes about studies showing that some corals, phytoplankton, etc don’t seem to be too badly off under higher CO2 in some recent experimental set-ups: I know, I can read. It’s a very complicated thing, biology, and the process of testing thousands of species is proving to be trickier than might be expected. But anyway, no one has ever said it would be a case of everything in the ocean will be a “loser.”

    There’s nothing much that I have seen to suggest that some important species of shelled fish food are not clearly in the firing line (pteropods, eg.) (Some favourite shelled human food – oysters – may not do so well either.)

    But never mind, I guess the quasi-religious belief expressed here along the lines “everything will be alright, you just wait and see” is supposed to give me comfort.

  29. Walter Starck June 11, 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    Steve,
    You say of ocean acidification, “I understand that Plimer’s book gives it barely a mention….”

    This statement seems an excellent example of the “quasi-religious belief ” you mention. Plimer devotes 9 pages in his book to ocean acidification and cites some 55 references. Rejecting what he says without even knowing what it is, just because you think it may not accord with what you now believe should surely qualify at least as quasi-religious belief if not full fledged devotion.

  30. steve from brisbane June 11, 2009 at 3:07 pm #

    Walter,

    I admit I may be misinformed: I was going by a radio interview. As I am not going to give Plimer the pleasure of buying his book, and can’t get likely get a library copy for some time, perhaps you can give us a precis of his argument? (Maybe I should just check the index while I at the book shop. Or if that doesn’t work – just give me the page numbers.)

    As he has been criticised for cherry picking within papers which ultimately do not agree with him, the mere number of references cited counts for zip.

  31. steve from brisbane June 11, 2009 at 3:32 pm #

    Oh, I also see I missed a specific recent post here on acidification! So sorry I am late to the party. (You see, it’s the kind of party where I really don’t like to stay long: the guests are not that fun to be around.)

  32. Louis Hissink June 11, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    AIG News Issue 96 is now on the web – http://www.aig.org.au

    As for summarising Ian Plimer’s argument, how about this

    “Louis,

    I noted your Editorial comment in the Mat AIG News about “the nonsense that CO2…is the principal driver of the Earth’s climate,” and “criticism of the AGW by the geological fraternity continues apace”.

    I whole-heartedly agree with both comments.”

    Anonymous AIG member – (We really don’t need the climate pitbulls here vilifying others, do we).

    Actually there is an ever growing groundswell of opposition to AGW in the industry, judging by my email in box, so it’s not over until the fat lady sings.

  33. SJT June 11, 2009 at 3:46 pm #

    “Anonymous AIG member – (We really don’t need the climate pitbulls here vilifying others, do we).”

    Mr Pot, meet Mr Kettle.

  34. cohenite June 11, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    Yes Steve, so the guests are not very nice but you just can’t stay away; fair dinkum mate, as our ocker and just one of the boys PM would say, probably has said, if you’ve got something to say say it otherwise stay down the bottom of the garden with the rest of the pixies. Now say something supportive about the Dea’th opus.

  35. sod June 11, 2009 at 8:41 pm #

    The very fact that CO2 heats up MEANS that it is radiating IR, not trapping it.

    what sort of bogus claim is this?

    the very fact that your cover heats up MEANS that it is radiating IR, not trapping it.

    i assume you sleep naked in winter nights?

  36. Louis Hissink June 11, 2009 at 8:47 pm #

    SJT,

    As you write anonymously here, vilifying you doesn’t fall into our laws of libel or slander. However your libels and slanders do, but we can’t do anything about it.

    As a capitalist I find this not a problem – it’s a free market and you are free to write whatever you wish about the reputations or motives of your hates.

    But perhaps you could supply us with some facts supporting your ad hominem that I vilify posters here. Remember one fact – they have to be recognised as “real” persons in the legal sense (Cohenite will advise), not the rhetorisms you usually post here.

  37. Louis Hissink June 11, 2009 at 8:58 pm #

    Sod,

    Go back and study some physics? Energy In and energy OUT wrt to a molecule of CO2 is dependent on its temperature, but no molecule has the capacity of storing energy because there is no known mechanism to explain that.

    Energy loss from the Earth is basically a solar modulated one.

    In a purely physical sense, CO2 as a gas phase does not exist in the atmosphere. Rather we are dealing with the gas AIR, comprised of N2, O2, and some minor gases including CO2.

    The physical behaviour of CO2 believed by climate changers (a tautology if there was one) in the Earth’s atmosphere is not perceptible in the physical sense, but might be chemically.

    But perhaps you should unpeel yourself from the computer screen and do some proper science.

  38. hunter June 12, 2009 at 12:09 am #

    Steve from Brisbane,
    Ocean ‘acidification’ is simply the fall back position for AGW promoters since they can no longer get away with calling their claptrap ‘global warming’, and people are figuring out that ‘climate change’ is an empty phrase.
    Few enough people understand pH, so far, to give ‘acidification’ the ridicule it deserves.
    But, as always, truth will out.
    so enjoy the thrill of apocalyptic anticipation ‘aacidification’ gives you for the brief time it will last. If I was a true-blue AGW believer, I would be thinking ahead to the next fear mongering concept to try and sell.

  39. Alan Siddons June 12, 2009 at 2:00 am #

    Sod, the warming effect of a blanket doesn’t owe to trapping IR. Acting like a greenhouse, a blanket merely reduces convective heat loss to the surrounding air. But if you covered yourself with something that could NOT reduce convective loss, something that could only absorb and relay the IR that you emit, you’d enjoy no warming at all. Indeed, you’d simply be heating this substance, at your loss, the only difference in this case being that you’re heating it radiatively instead of convectively. ‘Something that cannot reduce convective loss’ describes the open atmosphere, and absorbing and relaying IR is all that CO2 does. CO2 has no way of trapping IR.

  40. Luke June 12, 2009 at 7:48 am #

    Another geologist drop kicks heaven and earth – http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/06/one_of_the_claims_that.php

    hahahahahahaha – you’re not gonna live Plimer down for a long while guys.

  41. SJT June 12, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

    “Reviewing this book has been an unpleasant experience for me. I have been a friendly colleague of Plimer’s for 25 years or more. I admired his support for innovative geological research during his early career as a mineral explorer in industry. I cheered him on when he took on the so-called creation scientists and their bogus nonsense, a crusade that cost him dearly in the end. I have enjoyed his always lively and entertaining lectures. But this time, in my opinion, he has done a disservice to science and to the community at large.”

    Indeed.

  42. Noelene June 12, 2009 at 4:27 pm #

    The only people doing a disservice to science is the scientists who state that the science is settled.I am a dumbo when it comes to science,but I have read enough to know that most scientists don’t have a clue when it comes to the climate.They can theorise all they like,but nothing has been proven.Is there a looming El Nino?Will the sun get spots?Does the spots have anything to do with heating or cooling?Is the ice melting or growing?Is the Maldives sinking?Is the world cooling or heating?The answers to those questions lay in which scientists you listen to(and some are honest enough to admit,they don’t know enough to predict what will happen in a week,net alone 50 years).The scientists are starting to look like fools in the public’s eye.If the world does enter a cooling age,and the various governments have turned a blind eye,who will be blamed?My guess is the politicians,but there will be a backlash against science.People demand answers,they look for somebody to blame,and take a long time to forgive.

  43. spangled drongo June 12, 2009 at 5:33 pm #

    “OK Coho – I’m sorry – that was a crap answer.”

    Yeah, and so was this:

    “Spanglers – humanity is in constant battle with droughts, floods, heatwaves, cold snaps, big storms.”

    Droughts can possibly become climate but the rest are weather!

  44. spangled drongo June 12, 2009 at 5:53 pm #

    “Reviewing this book has been an unpleasant experience for me. I have been a friendly colleague of Plimer’s for 25 years or more.”

    What a two-faced hack. With friends like that………

  45. Bernard J. June 13, 2009 at 12:20 am #

    Alan Siddons said:

    “But if you covered yourself with something that could NOT reduce convective loss, something that could only absorb and relay the IR that you emit, you’d enjoy no warming at all.”

    Alan, why are ‘space blankets’ used for hypothermic patients, rather than plain plastic film which would do exactly the same job of influencing convection, and which cost a fraction of the price?

  46. Alan Siddons June 13, 2009 at 8:41 am #

    But reflection is the very opposite of absorption, Bernard. Like the silver lining in a thermos, a space blanket reduces heat loss from radiation. Mostly it reduces convective heat loss, though. By contrast, carbon dioxide absorbs IR and can’t protect you from heat-removing air currents. Expecting an IR-absorber to warm you up is a bit like painting a room black and expecting it to look brighter. CO2 has no way of trapping IR.

  47. Bernard J. June 14, 2009 at 2:39 am #

    “Expecting an IR-absorber to warm you up is a bit like painting a room black and expecting it to look brighter. CO2 has no way of trapping IR.”

    It’s not about CO2 “trapping” IR.

    And your analogy is not comparable at all. A better analogy would be to paint the inside of a glass vessel with transluscent fluorescent paint, and to irradiate the vesel with a high frequency EMR such as UV. Both the inside and the outside of the vessel (= ‘room’) would be illuminated with visible ER. More paint, more visible ER, and the brighter the interior would be.

    My point about the space blanket was simply that it’s more than just “protection from heat-removing air currents”.

  48. Alan Siddons June 14, 2009 at 4:05 am #

    My apologies, Bernard. I thought I might be talking to someone who’d try to understand.

    If you’re naked in air that’s colder than you are, air molecules will absorb heat by colliding with your body. That’s conductive/convective transfer. Their gain is at your loss. You’re also losing some thermal energy by radiation. A CO2 molecule that happens to absorb a fraction of this IR has still gained at your loss. That’s radiative transfer and there’s no basic difference. You are still heating the air. The air is not heating you.

    By contrast, a reflector does NOT gain. Because it does not absorb. To the extent an IR-reflector is effective, then, you will not lose heat by radiation. But you won’t gain heat by this reflection, either. There’s just a radiative standoff.

    In short, heat transfer is called transfer for a reason. It is not a trade, not an exchange. Heat will only flow to something that’s colder, i.e., less energetic. The very fact that CO2 is energized by the heat you emit means that CO2 cannot heat you in turn.

  49. SJT June 14, 2009 at 9:17 am #

    “My apologies, Bernard. I thought I might be talking to someone who’d try to understand. ”

    My irony meter just blew up.

  50. SJT June 14, 2009 at 9:27 am #

    “In short, heat transfer is called transfer for a reason. It is not a trade, not an exchange. Heat will only flow to something that’s colder, i.e., less energetic. The very fact that CO2 is energized by the heat you emit means that CO2 cannot heat you in turn.”

    You are confusing the action at the macro level and the micro level. At the micro level, a quantum of radiation will be emmitted from the CO2, in a random direction. That includes right back where it came from in the first place, the source of the heat. At a macro level, the flow of the heat is from hot to cold, if you take into consideration all the quanta of radiation emitted from the source to the CO2, since most of it will not go back towards where it came from.

  51. SJT June 17, 2009 at 1:09 pm #

    “The Skeptic” has an excellent review of Plimer’s book.

    The Reviewer starts off by studying the case for AGW, so that he understands it, something that the ‘faux sceptics’ here seem to be incapable of doing.

    He then realises that Plimer’s book has serious flaws. Plimer does not represent the case for AGW fairly, which will mislead readers into thinking that the case is very thin, by leaving a lot of the case for out. He indulges in deliberate “mischievous caricature” to deceive readers in the debate over the “Hockey Stick”. He misrepresents the case for AGW by stating that CO2 is the “major driver” of climate change, and the historical record. He also misrepresents the historical temperature record and it’s accuracy. Plimer is all too ready to dismiss the case for AGW “with little regard to the accuracy of the data or the validity of the argument”.

    The closing remark is “Professor Plimer subtitles his book “Global Warming: The Missing Science”, but one wonders much of this science is missing becuase it is either too conjectural or too discredited”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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