SEVERAL weeks ago on the Science Show, broadcast nationally by our ABC, the host Robyn Williams interviewed a journalist, Bob Ward, masquerading as an expert on climate science. Mr Ward proceeded to make various inaccurate statements and false claims including that he had systematically reviewed the literature on climate science. As a consequence of this systematic review the listener was lead to believe that Mr Ward had accurately identified a paper by Professor Bob Carter, James Cook University, as the worst paper ever published on climate science.
In fact Mr Ward has made no systematic review, and the focus on Professor Carter and a paper he published two years previously was not news. Furthermore Professor Carter was not invited onto the program to debate Mr Wards as suggested in the following letter, but rather to make a pre-recorded comment.
The real news that week was that Professor Carter’s new book, The Counter Consensus, was to be launched at a small function in Melbourne – something the program failed to mention.
I complained to the ABC about the interview which I construed as a spiteful attack on Professor Carter’s credibility orchestrated by host of the science show, Robyn Williams, a well known hater of so called ‘climate sceptics’.
I received the following official reply yesterday which is complete nonsense. Indeed the program violated the ABC’s various codes because while purporting to be factual, was inaccurate and not in context.
Furthermore it would appear from the following letter that the ABC management might be prepared to excuse the broadcasting of ill informed opinion on its Science Show because it has another program ‘Counterpoint’ that broadcasts quality science.
Dear Ms Marohasy
Thank you for your email regarding the 2 October broadcast of The Science Show.
Your concerns have been referred to Audience and Consumer Affairs, a unit which is separate to and independent of program making areas within the ABC. We have the role, under the ABC’s Editorial Policies (http://abc.net.au/corp/pubs/edpols.htm) of examining the compliance of material, about which a complaint has been made, against the relevant editorial standards. In the course of these examinations, we seek and consider material provided by the relevant Division, in this case, ABC Radio.
Radio National’s Science Show is classified by the ABC as a topical and factual program. As such, it must adhere to the guidelines set out in section 7 of the Editorial Policies. These state, in part:
“7.1 Through its topical and factual content the ABC reflects a wide range of audience interests, beliefs and perspectives, presented in a wide variety of formats and styles. This content includes for example:
7.1.1 specialist topics such as arts, children’s, education, entertainment, history, Indigenous, lifestyle, natural history, religion, science and sports.”
“7.4 Staff must also observe the following principles:
7.4.1 The ABC is committed to impartiality: where topical and factual content deals with a matter of contention or public debate, a diversity of principal relevant perspectives should be demonstrated across a network or platform in an appropriate timeframe.
7.4.2 Factual content requires accuracy. (a) Every reasonable effort must be made to ensure that factual content is accurate and in context.”
Our role in Audience and Consumer Affairs is to assess whether the interview with Bob Ward on the Science Show complied with the relevant editorial requirements outlined above. The first point we must consider is whether Bob Ward can be regarded as a “principal relevant perspective” for the purposes of the discussion. We understand from ABC Radio that Mr Ward was invited on to the program to discuss his views on the quality of climate sceptics’ publications as this is a subject of his research. Given his position as Policy and Communications Director for the Grantham Institute, a group lead by Lord Nicholas Stern which is based in the London School of Economics, and his ability to strongly and coherently argue his views, we are satisfied that he constitutes a “principal relevant perspective” on this matter.
During the interview, Mr Ward expressed views on the quality of some climate research which were clearly contentious and as you note he was particularly critical of a paper authored by Professor Bob Carter. However, we understand that Professor Carter was asked on to the show to respond to the criticisms made of his views and others by Bob Ward. Professor Carter declined, as Robyn Williams noted during the broadcast. Nevertheless the program has published on its website links to the initial paper published by Professor Carter, Mr Ward’s critique of the paper, and Professor Carter’s written response to the claims made by Bob Ward (http://abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/stories/2010/3023812.htm). In our view, the invitation made to Professor Carter to appear on the program, and the publication of his paper and response on the program website, indicate that the program was seeking to present its audience with a diversity of views on this subject.
We should also explain that for topical and factual content like the Science Show, the relevant impartiality standard requires that a diversity of principal relevant views be demonstrated across the network in a reasonable timeframe. In this case, the network is Radio National. In considering whether Radio National has met this standard (notwithstanding Professor Carter declining the invitation to appear on the 3 October program), we note that the views of so-called climate sceptics have been featured across a range of Radio National programs in an appropriate time frame. In our view, these broadcasts provide the required diversity of views to augment those expressed by Mr Ward on 2 October, and taken as a whole, this coverage satisfies the impartiality requirements. By way of example, UK politician and lobbyist Lord Christopher Monckton appeared twice on the network during his recent visit to Australia, in the Counterpoint program (http://www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint/stories/2010/2800684.htm) and on Radio National Breakfast (http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/stories/2010/2803256.htm). Counterpoint has also featured Professor Aynsely Kellow, from the School of Government at the University of Tasmania discussing the IPCC review (http://www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint/stories/2010/3020300.htm. Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Richard Lindzen, who Bob Ward critiqued in the Science Show on 2 October has also appeared on Counterpoint discussing his views on flawed climate science (http://www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint/stories/2008/2395805.htm) as have you (http://www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint/stories/2008/2191714.htm). More recently, Professor Ian Plimer was interviewed on the Counterpoint program of 18 October discussing the the Royal Society and its updated guide on climate change (http://www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint/stories/2010/3039797.htm).
Please be assured that your views have been noted by Radio National and the Science Show team.
For your reference, the ABC Code of Practices summarises the major principles which guide ABC content and is available here –
Thank you again for taking the time to write.
Claire M Gorman
Audience and Consumer Affairs
John Sayersj says
so if you have a scientific view counter chief Pa Boo Robyn Williams you have to be invited onto Counterpoint, a political discussion program, to get a hearing! Fair and balanced my ar..
John Sayers says
she has just demonstrated in her letter how biased the science show is as none of the scientists who have an alternative view ever get to speak on the Science Show!
spangled drongo says
“Furthermore it would appear from the following letter that the ABC management might be prepared to excuse the broadcasting of ill informed opinion on its Science Show because it has another program ‘Counterpoint’ that broadcasts quality science.”
Doncha luv that name? Counterpoint? As though anything that appears there is some obscure contrarian opinion, not worthy of a place in the sun [like CAGW].
You could put up with their assinine riposte if they at least put alternate CAGW science on Counterpoint and gave the odd sceptical report some prime time.
And that’s assuming the CAGW stuff had equivalent quality [which the ABC’s doesn’t].
Steve Woodman says
I received the same reply to my complaint about that particular interview. I want my 8 cents back.
Ian Mott says
Do you mean people still listen to the ABC? If any source of information adopts a course of action that trashes their credibility then the logical thing to do is to stop listening to them. I stopped listening to ABC radio some years ago and I feel so much better for it. These scumbags only survive on the basis of their capacity to gain your attention so why would you give them what they want? My charge-out rate is $120 an hour to people I respect and $180/hour for pond scum. And unless the ABC has the money up front for even a quick 5 minute news bulletin then they can go to the far queue.
It really is about time we took the entire ABC budget and put it out for tender from the commercial stations so they can deliver parts of their program content without adverts and free of commercial considerations. They already cover their overhead costs with their commercial content so there is little room for doubt that they could deliver any part of the ABC lineup for only a fraction of the cost. In todays world a stand alone public broadcaster is nothing more than an over priced dinosaur.
spangled drongo says
The local ABC today was criticising Aust Post for wanting to close down a non-functional PO at Palm Beach Q.
The Inference was that AP should subsidise its existence.
Pity the ABC [which costs taxpayers $1 billion plus per year] didn’t have the same MO as AP.
Considering AP, while similarly govt owned, is not funded by the taxpayer and pays all govt taxes, the ABC [and the taxpayer] would sure benefit from a similar cost/benefits philosophy.
I’m outraged – the ABC is biased as is evidenced by the excessive pandering to sceptics on Counterpoint. In proportion to the amount of serious scientific literature the level of bias is about 100,000 to 1. In their attempt to be fair they’re actually massively unfair.
Motty makes a good point though – A Current Affair and Home and Away well illustrate the high value that commercial considerations can bring.
John Sayers says
I am an ABC supporter, I like the original programming, I like commercial free television, and I like the extensive News coverage.
I am not a supporter of the current left wing management. Just take Q&A last night – all were blatantly from the left, including Tony, except Janet and George. That’s 4 – 2. Obvious Bias yet ABC management looks the other way because they are just as biased.
ABC management look the other way with Robyn William’s science show as well.
The problem is not public broadcasting, it’s biased management.
el gordo says
‘Please be assured that your views have been noted by Radio National and the Science Show team.’
This nut’s too hard to crack right now, but come the revolution a natural balance will be restored at the ABC.
Johnathan Wilkes says
“The problem is not public broadcasting, it’s biased management.”
I think you got it wrong John, management has no control over staff, and it’s the staff that is biased.
There were a few middle of the road reporters and hosts, but eventually they left, nobody likes to stay where they are unwanted.
There have been managerial appointments in the past, sympathetic to the other side but they were quite ineffectual or undermined and pushed out by staff.
I’m an avid listener and viewer of ABC programmes, what I do is, I accommodate for the bias.
Must admit, sometimes I just use the mute button when I had enough!
Dr John Happs says
9th November 2010
Here is a copy of the letter I sent to the ABC and I received exactly the same reply as you.
From: John Happs [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, 9 October 2010 2:10 AM
To: Angela Peters
Subject: Ward – Williams interview
Maurice L Newman AC, Chairman of the Board of the ABC via:
Assistant to Maurice L Newman AC
Tel: +612 8333 5135
Fax: +612 8333 2967
RESPONSE TO WARD INTERVIEW – FROM DR JOHN HAPPS (copy sent directly to ABC complaints)
I would like make a formal complaint about the thoroughly biased and trivialised interview of Bob Ward by Robyn Williams (2nd October 210). Williams has made his alarmist position on climate change very clear on a number of occasions, aided with his silly statements about a possible 100 metre rise in sea level by the end of this century when even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC’s) 4th AR (2007) predicted a sea level rise of 59 cm.
I am a retired university lecturer with an academic background in the geosciences. I have a special interest in climate science with more than a toe-hold on the literature. I have looked closely at the IPCC scientific reports and their Summaries for Policymakers and frankly, I am appalled at their questionable methodology and unsubstantiated conclusions. These appear to have gone unnoticed by Robyn Williams and others at the ABC.
Bob Ward is a public relations worker at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. He, like Robyn Williams, has no qualifications in climate science so this interview was a case of the blind leading the blind. Neither should be making comments in an area where they have no expertise and it is totally inappropriate for Ward or Williams to criticize the work of outstanding scientists, such as Richard Lindzen, who are climate realists and know exactly what is happening with the IPCC.
Dr Richard Lindzen, Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and IPCC contributor is one of the world’s leading atmospheric scientists. He said:
“There’s little doubt, that the IPCC process has become politicized to the point of uselessness.”
When Williams asked the question:
“So what about the quality of the climate sceptics’ publications?”
It duly invited this facile response from Ward:
“You can usually see that they don’t actually have much of an academic publication record.”
“A lot of these people who claim to be sceptical about climate change don’t bother with journals.”
If Williams had actually done a little homework, he would have found that a decisive majority of scientists reject the notion of anthropogenic global warming and many of these scientists have excellent publication records. This includes Bob Carter and Ian Plimer. I suggest that Williams checks this for himself at: http://members.iinet.net.au/~glrmc/new_page_4.htm
The idea that the IPCC have recruited the world’s best climate scientists to look into climate change is nonsense.
Contrary to the claims made by some politicians, the media and environmentalists there are not thousands of scientists supporting the IPCC Summaries for Policymakers. Dr John McLean makes the comment:
“Fifty-three authors and five reviewers are all that can be said to explicitly support the claim of a significant human influence on climate. The figure of 4,000 is a myth.”
and, of more concern:
“Very few of the IPCC membership have expertise in climate science. The IPCC President, Rajendra Pachauri, has no scientific qualifications at all.”
I would suggest that Robyn Williams starts to talk to scientists who do not have a vested interest in promoting the alarmist warming dogma and a good starting point would be with those who have actually worked for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as contributors/reviewers. Here is a starting list:
Dr Robert Balling: “The IPCC notes that “No significant acceleration in the rate of sea level rise during the 20th century has been detected.” (This did not appear in the (IPCC) Summary for Policymakers).
Dr John Christy: “Little known to the public is the fact that most of the scientists involved with the IPCC do not agree that global warming is occurring. Its findings have been consistently misrepresented and/or politicized with each succeeding report.”
Dr Rosa Compagnucci: “Humans have only contributed a few tenths of a degree to warming on Earth. Solar activity is a key driver of climate.”
Dr Richard Courtney: “The empirical evidence strongly indicates that the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis is wrong.”
Dr Robert Davis: “Global temperatures have not been changing as state of the art climate models predicted they would. Not a single mention of satellite temperature observations appears in the (IPCC) Summary for Policymakers.”
Dr Willem de Lange: “There is no evidence to support the hypothesis that runaway catastrophic climate change is due to human activities.”
Dr Chris de Freitas: “Government decision-makers should have heard by now that the basis for the longstanding claim that carbon dioxide is a major driver of global climate is being questioned; along with it the hitherto assumed need for costly measures to restrict carbon dioxide emissions. If they have not heard, it is because of the din of global warming hysteria that relies on the logical fallacy of ‘argument from ignorance’ and predictions of computer models.”
Dr Peter Dietze: “Using a flawed eddy diffusion model, the IPCC has grossly underestimated the future oceanic carbon dioxide uptake.”
Dr John Everett: “It is time for a reality check. The oceans and coastal zones have been far warmer and colder than is projected in the present scenarios of climate change.”
Dr Eigil Friis-Christensen: “The IPCC refused to consider the sun’s effect on the Earth’s climate as a topic worthy of investigation. The IPCC conceived its task only as investigating potential human causes of climate change.”
Dr Indur Goklany: “Climate change is unlikely to be the world’s most important environmental problem of the 21st century. There is no signal in the mortality data to indicate increases in the overall frequencies or severities of extreme weather events, despite large increases in the population at risk.”
Dr Vincent Gray: “The (IPCC) climate change statement is an orchestrated litany of lies.”
Dr Kiminori Itoh: “There are many factors which cause climate change. Considering only greenhouse gases is nonsense and harmful.”
Dr Yuri Izrael: “There is no proven link between human activity and global warming. I think the panic over global warming is totally unjustified. There is no serious threat to the climate.”
Dr Aynsley Kellow: “I’m not holding my breath for criticism to be taken on board, which underscores a fault in the whole peer review process for the IPCC: there is no chance of a chapter [of the IPCC report] ever being rejected for publication, no matter how flawed it might be.”
Dr Madhav Khandekar: “I have carefully analysed adverse impacts of climate change as projected by the IPCC and have discounted these claims as exaggerated and lacking any supporting evidence.”
Dr Hans Labohm: “The alarmist passages in the (IPCC) Summary for Policymakers have been skewed through an elaborate and sophisticated process of spin-doctoring.”
Dr Chris Landsea: “I cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound.”
Dr Richard Lindzen: “The IPCC process is driven by politics rather than science. It uses summaries to misrepresent what scientists say and exploits public ignorance.”
Dr Philip Lloyd: “I am doing a detailed assessment of the IPCC reports and the Summaries for Policy Makers, identifying the way in which the Summaries have distorted the science. I have found examples of a summary saying precisely the opposite of what the scientists said.”
Dr Martin Manning: ” Some government delegates influencing the IPCC Summary for Policymakers misrepresent or contradict the lead authors.”
Dr Stephen McIntyre: “The many references in the popular media to a “consensus of thousands of scientists” are both a great exaggeration and also misleading.”
Dr Patrick Michaels: “The rates of warming, on multiple time scales have now invalidated the suite of IPCC climate models. No, the science is not settled.”
Dr Nils-Axel Morner: “If you go around the globe, you find no sea level rise anywhere.”
Dr Paul Reiter: “As far as the science being ‘settled,’ I think that is an obscenity. The fact is the science is being distorted by people who are not scientists.”
Dr Tom Segalstad: “The IPCC global warming model is not supported by the scientific data.”
Dr Hajo Smit: “There is clear cut solar-climate coupling and a very strong natural variability of climate on all historical time scales. Currently I hardly believe anymore that there is any relevant relationship between human CO2 emissions and climate change.”
Dr Gerd-Rainer Weber: “Most of the extremist views about climate change have little or no scientific basis.”
Dr David Wojick: “The public is not well served by this constant drumbeat of alarms fed by computer models manipulated by advocates.”
Dr Miklos Zagoni: “I am positively convinced that the anthropogenic global warming theory is wrong.”
Robyn Williams should be reading the above statements and asking why scientists such as Dr Vincent Gray, climate consultant, long-standing member of the NZ Royal Society and expert reviewer for the IPCC has described the IPCC’s climate change statement as:
“An orchestrated litany of lies.”
Bob Ward also said in the interview:
“If they (skeptical scientists) did submit their ideas to journals, they’d probably be demolished in the process of peer review which is designed to examine the robustness of these ideas.”
This is an outrageous statement considering that I have a list of 750 peer-reviewed and published papers all arguing against the notion of anthropogenic global warming and ignored by the IPCC. Of course Williams simply accepts the nonsense uttered by Ward without bothering to check for himself.
My suggestions to Robyn Williams are:
1. Check for yourself the publication record of Bob Carter and, if you think it appropriate, offer him a public apology;
2. Tell your listeners that Bob Ward has no scientific credibility in the field of climate change and that you should have made that clear before the interview;
3. Ask yourself why tens of thousands of scientists now strenuously oppose the notion of human-induced climate change. See for instance: The Heidelberg Appeal; The Oregon Petition; The Manhattan Declaration; The Petition to the United Nations; The Petition to the Canadian Prime Minister; The Petition by German Scientists to the Chancellor; The Leipzig Declaration and the Statement from Atmospheric Scientists; The American Physical Society;
4. If you have difficulty finding any of the above, try looking up:
“UN Scientists Speak Out On Global Warming.” 700 international scientists dissent over man-made global warming claims;
5. Tell your listeners about the large volume of peer-reviewed published journal articles which argue against human-induced climate change and ask yourself why these were virtually ignored by the IPCC;
6. Look into the whitewashing that masqueraded as an investigation into Michael Mann and Pennsyvania State University. Compare the university’s findings with those from the independent Wegman report:
“Overall, our committee believes that Mann’s assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by his analysis.”
7. Look into the whitewashing that masqueraded as an investigation into Phil Jones and the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia University. Again, an internal “investigation” gave CRU scientists and collaborators a predictable slap on the wrist whereas an independent investigation by the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works has accused the scientists of:
(a) Obstructing release of damaging data and information;
(b) Manipulating data to reach preconceived conclusions;
(c) Colluding to pressure journal editors who published work questioning the climate science ‘consensus’;
(d) Assuming activist roles to influence the political process.
No witnesses were called and there were no opportunities for the questioning of Jones et al. by climate realists or statisticians;
8. Look into the whitewashing that masqueraded as an investigation into the IPCC. As predicted, the IAC, like previous “investigations” did not spend any time analysing the accuracy of the IPCC climate models or their climate “science”. No independent witnesses or anthropogenic global warming skeptics were consulted. While the IAC report was more critical than the Mann/Jones whitewashes, it was still the bite of a toothless tiger.
9. Ask yourself why the Royal Society has been forced to change its position on AGW following strong protests from 43 of its members. Blind commitment to the AGW dogma will no longer be promoted by the Royal Society.
10. Ask yourself why the London Science Museum has revised the contents of its new climate science gallery to reflect the wave of scepticism that has engulfed the issue in recent months.
11. Find out why statements in the IPCC’s scientific reports were deliberately changed in the Summaries for Policymakers.
There are many other serious issues that Robyn Williams should be looking into with regard to the IPCC structure and process. Additionally, there are a few matters of science which he might probe, along the lines:
(a) Carbon dioxide levels, although currently climbing slowly, via natural processes, are around their lowest levels in 500 million years;
(b) There has never been any correlation between carbon dioxide levels and global temperatures over 500 million years;
(c) When carbon dioxide levels were ten times higher than today’s levels, the Earth was in the depths of an ice age;
(d) Despite governments spending billions of dollars on climate research, there is still no empirical evidence to show that carbon dioxide, anthropogenic or natural, has any effect on global climate. Curiously, the IPCC has been unable to provide such evidence.
It is my opinion (along with many of my colleagues) that the IPCC and its supporters will eventually be linked with the greatest scandal in the history of science and Robyn Williams appears to have no idea as to what is happening.
Dr John Happs
Schiller Thurkettle says
Clearly, Audience and Consumer Affairs have learned a great deal about how to conduct an investigation from those who ‘investigated’ Climategate. Birds of a feather, etc.
toby robertson says
John what a great letter supported by facts and clear statements from scientists who deserve to be heard.
You should also send it to all politicians, particularly the 3 stooges who are likely to vote in favour of an ETS in this country.
Ian Mott says
So where is Williams based? The way to fix this kind of $hit is to get a bunch of likely lads and lassies together and rumble the ABC studios. These people won’t change their MO until they are publicly confronted, in the same way the Gays first marched on Darlinghust Police Station spoiling for a fight. It was that confrontation that was critical in drawing a line in the sand and making it absolutely clear that Gay bashing was no longer ignored. The rest is history, we now have a major tourist attraction called the Mardi gras but it only became possible because good men were willing to cop a bloody nose while dishing it out as good as they got.
These pricks have taken over OUR ABC and have converted it to their own ends. So best get a good tot of rum under the belt and get in there and trash the joint so Williams becomes the issue. And make sure all the other stations are there to run the story of ABC misconduct.
el gordo says
I wholeheartedly agree with John Happs prediction that ‘the IPCC and its supporters will eventually be linked with the greatest scandal in the history of science.’
spangled drongo says
Thanks Dr Happs for standing up for common sense against this one eyed institution.
John Happs pseudo-sceptic list is hardly convincing except for the cheer squad is it. A tedious list of rebutted sceptics, concern trolls and maybe even the odd denier.
A shonky list of campaign notes and talking points from headquarters. How utterly pretentious.
And isn’t it interesting that the Geological Society has a completely different view than the rent-a-crowd. http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/gsl/null/lang/en/page1022.html
I did enjoy this little try-on – “When carbon dioxide levels were ten times higher than today’s levels, the Earth was in the depths of an ice age;”
Well were they ? and if so please tell us the value of the solar forcing and impact of continental configurations at the time.
I see Toby likes the soothing tones of the sceptic mantra. Try being sceptical Toby.
But why is everyone busting to get on the Science Show anyway – it’s all very light weight isn’t it. Like QANDA – a few rhetorical salvos – Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines….. Are you really worried what Robyn Williams thinks?
And would you really want to be in a club that would have you as a member?
Another Ian says
Re Dr John Happs November 9th, 2010 at 10:51 pm
John, thanks. I’ll point some others to this.
I wonder if Luke will quote Real Climate et al at you?
Johnathan Wilkes says
Are you really worried what Robyn Williams thinks?
I’m afraid he has influence with his audience.
You might not believe this but the majority of people get their news and “facts” from the media.
Not everyone takes the time to research the climate, or any issue in depths, if at all, but they still vote!
toby robertson says
Luke it is interesting to know that the Geologic society are firmly in the AGW camp. Their reasoning is however very superficial ( on this link). Now this may be because they are merely stating what they believe to be fact, but it doesnt do much for me. Too many facts on the other side that I notice they obviously do not feel worth mentioning or refuting. Why I wonder?
The good old Marx Brothers eh, what a witty bunch. I bet they would find plenty of material on both sides of the fence.
Toby – don’t you find it strange that sceptics never mention these events http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/gsl/site/GSL/lang/en/page6122.html
I wonder why?
toby robertson says
Luke I am not sure it is true to say that there is no acknowledgement of the PETM. It is certainly considered to be an example of rapid warming due to most likely methane increases. I was not aware of the Earlier Toarcian change. Of the first two links I clicked on today one was in agreement and one cast doubts on the reliability of the data being used because it relies on a constant rate of change.
“What is problematical is their view that the isotopic data series from the Toarcian and Palaeocene–Eocene intervals (fig. 1a and b) record not only the amounts of change in the carbon isotopes, but also the rates of change. In practice, this claim is reliable only if the samples analysed derive from intervals characterized by unbroken accumulation at an unchanging rate.”
I also found the following; http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v437/n7057/full/nature04037.html
We interpret these results as providing strong evidence that methane release proceeded in three rapid pulses and that these pulses were controlled by astronomically forced changes in climate, superimposed upon longer-term global warming.
Which seems to imply there was also an astronomical forcing at play?
I am in the middle of report writing so I am short of time to investigate further, but will use my holidays fruitfully.
The PETM reprsents the highest temperatures of the last 65 million years:
However as I have noted before, many times, the CO2 injections followed the temperature spike:
From the paper:
” Hence, sea surface conditions characteristic of the PETM, including extreme warming, initiated significantly prior to the injection of 12C-enriched carbon. This implies that this injection likely occurred as a result of global change, rather than the other way around,”
A couple of other things; the PETM is not the warmest period:
And in the period following the rapid temperature decline after the PETM, CO2 levels were falling as temperatures gradually rose back to the PETM maximum.
toby robertson says
Thx for the input Cohenite, do you think it is reasonable to suggest that natural forces started the warming and this warming caused a sudden release of methane causing more warming and the then rapid change in temp?
It seems reasonable for instance to believe that if the tundra and permafrosts melt they will release large amounts of methane causing rapid temp increase?
spangled drongo says
The PETM, due to our ignorance of how it happened is only a speculative possibility of the result of BAU.
However it seems to be the favourite scenario used as the basis of GCM assumptions programming.
But as cohers and others have pointed out, it was most likely caused by something other than excessive CO2e.
Toby; what is overlooked with the PETM is that the temperature drop was as precipitous as the rise; however that drop occured while CO2 levels were still high; as I said the CO2 levels then started to decline while temperature rose again to reach the PETM levels during the Eocen Optimum, which, by all reports [I believe luke’s ancestors were underfoot at the time], was a very pleasant time to live.
toby robertson says
Thx Cohenite, are you sure the temp drop was as quick? the reading i did this morning suggested it then took millennia to fall back to “normal” temperatures? much appreciate your input as usual.
The recovery time appears to be shorter than supposed but the jury is still out:
30,000 years is along time in a sauna but a geological blink and, as I say about how long the temperatures took to rise. And bear in mind the temperature increase preceded the CO2 increase by about 3000 years:
The volcanic province (thousands of flows and intrusive equivalents) was not
emplaced instantaneously, but over 6
million years (61-55 Ma). Moreover, much of it was was continental (emplaced
above sea level over East Greenland and the Faeroes). There was a surge in
activity at around 56 Ma, due to the final rupturing of the continent –
allowing the mantle to rise to a shallow level, and resulting in a large amount
of melting due to decompression. It was this surge in magmatism that appears to
have triggered the PETM – however, NOT by heating the oceans, or by directly
contributing greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Most likely explanation is
that sills (intrusive lavas) cooked organic rich sediments in basins, releasing
thermally produced methane. This was proposed by Svensen et al in Nature 2004 –
they sesmically imaged hundreds of vent (gas release) structures coming from
sills emplaced in the Vøring Basin off the west coat of Norway. Later work has
shown similar structure in other sedimentary basins that 55 million years ago
would have been proximal to the developing rift between Greenland and Europe.
It would be rather like placing a giant hotplate beneath the North Sea today
— the sills were the hotplates 55 million years ago.
We know from the ocean sedimentary record that the release of greenhouse gases
(and the increase in ocean temperature) occurred in less than 20,000 years. The
start of the breakup-related surge in magmatism appears to closely correspond in
time with the release of greenhouse gases — indicating a trigger mechanism for
the PETM and supporting the Svenensen et al idea. It took 100,00 to 200,000
years for ocean temperatures to drop down to the value preceeding the event. So
20 ky to warm , 100-200 ky to recover.
So methane or CO2 – does it matter? Anthropogenic or natural. Atmosphere still cooks.
Anyway now that you guys have dispatched AGW I’m thinking of going into movie reviews – what do you think http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikqj3flngww
Another Ian says
For the next trick?
Germany gets ugly with climate skeptics
Posted on November 11, 2010 by Anthony Watts
“When I first saw this I thought to myself “maybe posting this isn’t appropriate on Veterans Day”. Then, after additional reflection, I realized this is exactly what our American veterans and the allies fought for: freedom of speech and freedom from tyranny. The seeds of tyranny appear to be taking hold again in the German government at least when it comes to climate change issues. – Anthony”
spangled drongo says
It’s fascinating to speculate on aspects of the PETM.
We all know that during this period one of many geological events occurring was the formation of the Himalayas and raising the floor of the Tethys Ocean a few thousand metres is bound to cause a few unforseen problems.
But I feel that using this period as an example of what could happen with current AGW is not very scientific.
spangled drongo says
But the sceptic German said, “Ve haf vays of making you fall into our trap”.
toby robertson says
Fascism and communism are just a small step apart. Both are totalitarian and both sum up most vocal “greens”. Germany needs to be very careful. We all know how easy they are to lead down the wrong path. They can still not believe what they did and they still do not want proper armed forces because they dont trust themselves.
This CAGW has always been on the brink of falling into the precipice of extreme totalitarianism which has always been my underlying fear.
Fortunately more people seem to be waking from their slumber and maybe stupid politicians will notice there really is a debate out there and talk of no peer reviewed sceptic papers is just another lie propagated by the desperate and stupid.
Mott’s bizarre call for violence is more than usually repellent. And Happ’s sorry catalogue of denialists says nothing new. Very few of his scientists have any climate expertise, and many of them are associated with the fossil fuel industries. Of course this doesn’t make them wrong, but there is a clear pattern of interest. And the fact remains that the majority of the world’s climate scientists (1) have no observable political agenda, and (2) accept the theory of human influenced climate change. Their research is published in reputable scientific journals, for anyone to refute if they can. It’s how science works.
el gordo says
There is no political agenda among the scientists, as such, but unless they jumped onto the gravy train they were left behind. So many times I have seen a worthwhile paper corrupted by mention of AGW in a closing paragraph. Peer review journal articles on climate change no longer carry the authority they once had.
Ian Mott says
For fox ache nico, spare us the climate cretinous cliches about fossil fuel links. At least have the good grace to name the ones you claim don’t have climate expertise, or name the ones you claim have “links to fossil fuel industries”. And kindly use your full name you gutless plodder so your defamatory slurs can get the legal remedies you deserve. This is an informed blog where we have long memories. And here we have this weeks pathetic climate hideoid trying on the same old crap we hit for six more than 6 years ago and every week since. Shouldn’t you be scrolling through your kiddie porn by now?
Actually nico; this whole AGW nonsense is so reminiscent of early school peer pressure and attendant attitudes and values that a good stoush is probably the best way of resolving it; since most of the AGW advocates are flat-track bullies – gore, cameron, the flocks of actors and vip luvies – who are used to having their own way I reckon a few one on ones with prominent and gutsy sceptics would finish this up very quickly.
Nico – Cohenite will get Motty off if he jobs ya one. “Crime of passion”.
I found this video of Motty in cadets http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLJ8ILIE780
Depressing that Mott, foaming at the mouth, seems to have learned nothing in the six years that he claims to have been posting on the topic, not even how to present a rational argument. Without doing Mott’s homework for him, a very few minutes’ investigation provides the background to the denialists on Happ’s list. Perhaps the one researcher with genuine credibility in the list is New Zealander Willem de Lange, who had a real scientific reason for rejecting the IPCC paper he was asked to referee. But there’s not much else of substance there amongst the vested interests. Mott refuses to acknowledge the plain fact that the majority of the world’s climate scientists are in agreement on human influenced climate change, and are very concerned about it. Of course there is robust debate within the scientific community, because science doesn’t stand still, and new observation and measurement continually adds to the sum of knowledge.
“Of course there is robust debate within the scientific community, because science doesn’t stand still, and new observation and measurement continually adds to the sum of knowledge.”
But the science is settled nico, as I’m sure you know; I think nico is taking the piss.
spangled drongo says
“I think nico is taking the piss.”
He could hardly be serious:
Gee you’re not going to quote Nova as reputable source are you. Even Motty got snipped over there. It’s just vile. Cohenite of course is completely sucky and doesn’t get snipped.
Just did my latest review – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy5DwsmwZ90 specially for El Gordo and Spanglers
Ian Mott says
So tell us Luke. Is the fact that you only provide links to Monty Python skits some sort of Freudian slip? As if your entire presence here has been nothing more than an absurd joke all along?
And readers will note that when nico was asked to provide specific information on the people on the list of quotes who either had links to fossil fuel interests or who hadn’t any expertise in climate science, he failed to provide any. Instead he took the classic MO of the shonk by identifying just one person who he believed had some expertise and tried to imply, by omission, that all the rest fell within his claimed subset. Par for the course for climate scum. You had your chance to demonstrate your bona fides here, punk, and you failed. Now on ya bike.
That’s not true luke; I got snipped for calling someone a creep; and it wasn’t even you.
As for Dessler; what agreat reposte from Paltridge, a great scientist, an Aussie and a gentleman; Dessler on the other hand has form:
And having watched the debate between Dessler and Lindzen I have to say that Dessler is, now what was that word that got me snipped at Jo’s?
Well I had thought of using this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUfvgHFh9CY
Or perhaps http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3221110/Rioting-students-storm-Tory-HQ.html might be a taste of how storming the ABC might be reported?
Yes I agree Coho – he was done like a dinner.
el gordo says
James Delingpole believes ‘decarbonisation’ of the western world is a joke and those responsible for this scientific fraud should be placed in the box at a global warming Nuremberg. A recent meeting of the Bilderberg Group had global cooling on the agenda, but you may not have noticed.
There is no warmist conspiracy, just ignorance, greed and power.
This is funny – “Nuremburg” – do froth on. And then citing some secret society of vested interested running secret meetings as “source”. Keep wanking – you’ve just advocated a mob into “greed and power.”. LMAO.
el gordo says
Wandering around I notice that story is old news, belatedily discovered by Icecap. Hate when that happens.
The meeting wasn’t secret, it was known months in advance, and the group are well known so its hardly a secret society.
Wonder who gave the paper on global cooling? Probably Henry K. All the others wanted to talk about was how to save the euro.
el gordo says
Perhaps greed and power is a little harsh, they are just doing what they are programmed to do. CAGW is a political fiction and those invested in this nonsense will be punished by the markets.