Reducing Arctic Ice Field(ing)

One of the meme’s that some (like Bolt) continue to use is that the ice area in the Arctic is not getting smaller. But it is not just the area that is important, but the volume – that is, the total amount of ice. And now we have some new data from NASA that says that the ice in the Arctic has “dramatically thinned’.

Arctic sea ice thinned dramatically between the winters of 2004 and 2008, with thick older ice shrinking by the equivalent of Alaska’s land area, a study using data from a NASA satellite showed.

But what is important for people like Bolt and Fielding is that their questions (loaded?) must be answered before they will consider that AGW is taking place. By the time they accept the science it might be too late to do anything. To me it is all about risk management – we should act now to prevent what the climate scientists say could happen.

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464 Responses

  1. I would like nothing better than for all the AGW proponents to be proven wrong, and even better still that the planet is warming from any cause to be proven wrong, but like you say joni this is about risk management.

    If there is even a 1% chance the proponents maybe right and thus a 99% chance the opponents are right, then I’ll take my chances with the proponents, especially considering all the good that is being done along with the exciting new industries and technologies that are being spawned.

  2. Exactly Mobius… the potential benefits from moving away from a carbon based economy are still there even if AGW is proven false in the long run.

  3. There is much as a chance of me believing in AGW as there is me in believing in God because there is no evidence yet to prove the case so it is based on faith!

    I also find it amusing that people believe they can change the climate, in the grand scale of this planet, mankind is insignificant and can not control the influences which are not fully understood.

    What really gets me is the constant pushing of this faith by the true believers although we are going to get this flawed ETS…reminds me Jehovah’s Witnesses constantly at the door!

    I sometimes wonder if these true believers have actually contributed in any real way to saving the environment or improving it.

  4. Here’s another reason I can’t stand the climate church.

    http://www.news.com.au:80/couriermail/story/0,23739,25740962-952,00.html

    They’ll push out the most ridiculous claims to justify the faith and convert the populous!

  5. scaper

    I respect your opinions but at times there is much to be said for going on instincts and not just unrefuted evidence.

  6. Ah scaper. The old “climate change as religion” fall back when you have little to argue with.

    I think this one was number two or three on the excuses used by opponents.

  7. scaper …

    What about evolution (natural selection) or relativity (widely relied upon in the electronics and space industries) or even gravity. All are just theories that are strongly supported by measurements and models. Climate change (and not god) is in exactly the same boat.

    Belief in AGW has nothing to do with faith.

  8. Adrian, as I said it is based on faith…you’ve shown your hand by using the excuses bullshit!

    Hey, you are getting your ETS so why are you trying to convert more to your ‘faith’?

    Is it some attempt to hold moral high ground or something?

  9. Dave, I have yet to see any proof that there is AGW!

    I remember you acknowledging the fact by referring to ‘insurance’ a while back.

  10. scaper

    There is no proof of evolution, gravity or relativity either.

    I agree with the conclusions reached in the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC – the overwhelming evidence supports the theory that human emissions of greenhouse gases is warming the earth’s atmosphere. I have NEVER said that there was conclusive proof.

    What really F#@k’n annoys me is that a lot of people who say that GHG emissions can’t be having an effect and it is all about the sun have far less evidence to support their theory and yet they criticise people relying on evidence consistent with AGW as faith based beievers – sheesh.

    Stop listening to Plimer scaper …, his arguments don’t stand up to close (or even casual) scrutiny.

  11. Latest arctic sea ice graph from the NSIDC

    Still above the 2007 level but well below the 2 standard deviation from the mean area. Of course Fielding (and his ‘advisors) will probably spin this as being higher than 2007 so it means warming is occuring 🙄

  12. And this from the article in my post:

    A study published in April by the Colorado-based National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) also showed that the Arctic ice cap is thinner than ever and the maximum extent of Arctic ice was at an all-time low.

    My bolding.

  13. “thinner than ever”

    What, thinner than it was a thousand, a hundred thousand, a million years ago or since this rock was formed???

    I prime example of how the facts get bent both ways to justify each side’s position.

    Bring on the ETS I say…then let us see man heal the earth!

  14. This is not just about the ETS scaper.

  15. Yes it is, joni.

    The ETS is the way forward this government reckons…it is their so called vehicle to reduce CO2 or is it about power and money???

  16. I find the attached chart helpfull in understanding the science of the debate that the scientists seem to want to keep at a level above what most people understand.
    This may help bringing some understanding.
    Probably the most interesting aspect is the range that CO2 absorbs energy lies within the range that H2O absorbs energy also.

  17. scaper

    As joni said this is not about the government’s very flawed ETS, which I certainly don’t believe in or want.

    What you believe in: The Religion of Global Warming

    Let’s not argue the science but attack it as religion, because it’s easy to attack faith, for like faith it requires no effort or anything other than superficial thinking.

  18. Mobius Ecko 12:17 pm,

    If there is even a 1% chance the proponents maybe right and thus a 99% chance the opponents are right, then I’ll take my chances with the proponents, especially considering all the good that is being done along with the exciting new industries and technologies that are being spawned.

    I couldn’t disagree more. First of all, you’re discounting the potential damage a political ‘solution’ like an ETS will do to the economy (if you think an ETS is all upside then I’m afraid you’re very much mistaken). Secondly, I’m yet to see much evidence of all these “exciting new industries and technologies” which are meant to save us all from fiery damnation and solve our economic and social problems with one woosh of a windmill blade.

    (BTW, here’s an article for those who believe the so-called precautionary principle is best and only solution in cases like this.)

  19. John, we can randomly cherry pick bits and pieces of science until the cows come home, and that data is from a fairly good project. It is how you like to frame this debate and then attempt to get posters to argue on your turf in the random bit of data you decide is to be the topic.

    But still it is from a person who professes climate nothing more than and extension of “playing with a hobby”. It does present the debate of climate change in a more peaceful way though.

    How about you tell us then if you believe it is worth the risk of ignoring any science that may point to there being an anthropogenic cause to warming, or even a natural cause, or do you believe that global warming is a religion and any science supporting it should be treated that way and ignored?

    In other words do you believe it’s worth taking even a slight chance the majority science has it wrong, or are you like most with the negative viewpoint, more worried about what it is going to cost your hip pocket or lifestyle now than what it will cost your grand or grand grand childrens’ hip pockets and lifestyles?

    Let the future worry about itself and in the meantime go on business as usual, after all apparently the earth’s resources are infinite and nothing mankind can do can destroy it or upset the natural balance in anyway.

  20. Tony I do not believe in the government’s ETS, it is the wrong approach, and I have said so from the start. What we are discussing here is not the ETS but whether doing nothing is a viable alternative if climate change is a reality.

    It appears you are clearly in that camp because you would rather not part with one cent or alter your lifestyle one iota for a better outcome for the world. Greed, there is no other word for it.

    If you have not seen these new and exciting industries and technologies or the potential for them then you really are insular or blinkered.

  21. Tony did you bother reading the comments in that Times Online piece, some very good and logical counters amongst that lot?

  22. Tony

    If the only thing that matters is the economy by way of the almighty dollar then in the end we are doomed as mankind is nothing if not the greediest most destructive animal on the planet. I am not a greenie but even I know in my heart that we are destroying our planet slowly, but like so many others turn a blind eye because I know it won’t be destroyed in my generation or the next, but after that I fear for our planet unless the excesses of the past 50 years are abated.

  23. “then you really are insular or blinkered.”

    Adrian, that sounds like a typical religious sermon there.

    “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

    So tell me, what are these new technologies that you talk about?

  24. scaper …

    You haven’t responded to my comments about other theories that you obviously don’t believe in based on your approach to AGW; instead you switched tack to criticse the ETS. Any reason for this?

  25. On the precautionary principle issue, I think there is generally a poor understanding of what the precautionary principle is and some defnitions deliberately distort its application.

    The precautionary principle is, put generally, that a lack of scientific information or certainty should not be used as an excuse to not implement monitoring or environmental controls when there is a risk of serious or irreversible harm. In other words, where there is the potential for serious or irreversible harm, the lack of certainty that that harm will occur is no reason for not taking a precautionary approach to mitigate against that harm occuring. The principle is equally applicable Government interventions like the ETS.

    IMO the precautionary principle is simply common sense and, based on the weight of scientific opinion and evidence, the fact that there is no definitive proof of AGW should not be used as an excuse to not take any action.

    As far as an ETS is concerned, I support it as the means of reducing emissions. While the CPRS has flaws, it will deliver reductions where the alternative of doing nothing will not. Whatever approach is taken to reducing emissions will have an economic cost on Australia and will cause a change in the Australian industrial landscape. However to suggest that the Australian industrial landscaope wouldn’t change over the next 20 years anyway is laughable. Accordingly, it is difficult to assess the actual costs of any climate change policy on industry because the baseline against which it is being assessed is naturally dynamic.

    The advantage of a market based instrument in delivering emission reductions is that it drives investment in low cost abatement first. An ETS is actually a very neat was to correct a market failure. A carbon tax is another option but the arguments that it is simpler than an ETS are misguided.

  26. There is much as a chance of me believing in AGW as there is me in believing in God because there is no evidence yet to prove the case so it is based on faith!

    Head, meet sand, in a veritable explosion of irony.

    Scaper, you’re either lying or deluded if you say there is “no evidence”. There’s plenty out there. The fact that you can’t or won’t understand it doesn’t make it go away. Maybe you’d be better off saying “I don’t draw the same conclusions from the evidence”, because there’s plenty out there.

  27. Dave, do you mean this?

    “There is no proof of evolution, gravity or relativity either.”

    Because it is a diversion in my opinion from the topic that won’t prove the point you are attempting to make.

    Now, if people were shrilling about the fact that evolution, universal gravity and relativity existed to convince the whole planet to alter their lifestyles and end up paying more then it would be an entirely different story.

  28. Probably the most interesting aspect is the range that CO2 absorbs energy lies within the range that H2O absorbs energy also.

    Er, no, it does not, not even on the chart that you posted. Look again! Parts of the CO2 strong absorption range lie within the H2O strong absorption range. Parts do not.

    And furthermore the extra CO2 absorbs radiation that would not otherwise be absorbed, EVEN in the range where strong absorption overlaps – think about the case of dry portions of the globe where there’s less atmospheric H20 around.

    This type of argument has been rebutted time and time again. It’s a variation of the “geez, it’s too small to have any effect” (whether referring to the CO2 proportion in the atmosphere, or the “small” region of absorption non-overlap with H2O). Both have been rebutted time and time again.

  29. A Washington Monthly report on tropical deforestation and global warming. Haven’t read it yet – might have some interesting nuggets.

  30. Lotharsson, for every piece of evidence out there on one side there is counteracting evidence!

    Aren’t you one of the proponents of models?

    “Head, meet sand, in a veritable explosion of irony.”

    A typical statement from a person who believes their opinion is superior!

  31. Scaper, you’re either lying or deluded if you say there is “no evidence”. There’s plenty out there.

    Lotharsson, there’s plenty of data out there. Whether someone’s selected data are “evidence” of AGW or anything else is another thing all together. Like the ABC finance reporter said the other night, “If you interrogate statistics hard enough, they’ll admit to anything.”

    (This might be what you’re saying, but the way you put it to Scaper it doesn’t sound that way.)

  32. Lotharsson, for every piece of evidence out there on one side there is counteracting evidence!

    Scaper, it’s not the NUMBER of pieces of “evidence” that counts; it’s their relative strength. There’s quite a lot of fairly strong evidence supporting the hypothesis that recent global warming is in part man-made; there’s very little serious challenge to that hypothesis, although it’s true that it could still fall to new evidence. But it’s getting harder and harder to see that happening as we learn more and more.

    Furthermore, most of those pushing the evidence against AGW are consistently found to be one of the following:
    – flat-out mistaken
    – lying
    – over-hyping the weight or implications of their evidence
    – arguing about politics rather than science

    It’s true that there are some scientists who are doing straightforward science and don’t agree with the AGW hypothesis, but they are largely drowned out by the professional propagandists. I posted about some of these in the most recent thread where you talked about AGW, but you seemed to have stopped reading it at that point. Funny that. One could almost imagine that was a religious-based decision.

  33. Lotharsson, there’s plenty of data out there. Whether someone’s selected data are “evidence” of AGW or anything else is another thing all together.

    Sorry, but that’s just flat-out bulls**t.

    There’s plenty of _evidence_ now; the fact that it takes more than a casual glance to understand that it is evidence and how much weight it has doesn’t make it go away.

  34. A typical statement from a person who believes their opinion is superior!

    No, it was a statement responding to what I see of your belief structure here. I could certainly be mistaken, as I’m only going on what you write. But it seems rather pre-determined – almost religious – rather than based on a careful examination of the evidence.

  35. Perhaps it would help if scaper and Tony were to explain which parts of (say) the IPCC AR4 report they disagree with and why?

    Or explain what evidence they would accept as indicating that global warming is at least partly anthropogenic? (Assuming they both believe global warming is occurring in the first place.)

  36. Lotharsson,

    Sorry, but that’s just flat-out bulls**t.

    There’s plenty of _evidence_ now; the fact that it takes more than a casual glance to understand that it is evidence and how much weight it has doesn’t make it go away.

    Gee, you sound so very sure of yourself today. Circumstancial evidence, some of it may be, but if you’re suggesting any of it is conclusive evidence of AGW, then here’s your “bulls**t” – right back at you.

  37. Lotharsson, I’m over all the bullshit being spouted by both sides of the debate and take offence to the way the whole thing has been prosecuted by the believers!

    I’m all for cleaning up our act and working towards sustainability which has been my belief for over thirty years and have done a little bit in my time and will keep persisting instead of sitting around and tapping on my keyboard.

    I suppose in a way that is my kind of belief but because others might not share my passion for the environment I would never attempt to change their opinion or insult them either.

  38. Scaper…

    Now, if people were shrilling about the fact that evolution, universal gravity and relativity existed to convince the whole planet to alter their lifestyles and end up paying more then it would be an entirely different story.

    Ah, so it’s not evidence or proof at all that you are worried about but the fact that some theory might result in government’s doing things that affect your way of life for the worse as opposed to for the better. Theories are only to be doubted if they cause you harm but theories which will lead to an improvement in life don’t need as much proof. Got it now. 🙄

    Government’s take action which adversley affects people pased on theories all the time. There are countless economic theories that have held sway from time time that have hade widespread application accross the globe and affected billions of people. Most of these theories had lfar less evidence to support them than than even the ‘it’s the sun’ theory (and that’s not much). Bans on certain chemicals, drugs etc, all fall into the same category and many of these had negative consequences for humans because they increased the cost of alternatives (CFCs, DDT, Asbestos, Cigarettes, Thalidomyde etc).

    I’m sorry scaper, by my analogies to these other three theories is quite appropriate and valid. Your contrary arguments and assertions that my view is somehow faith based nonsense is sounding more and more shrill as time goes on and not unlike a faith based argument itself. The problem is, you can’t see the hypocrisy in your own argument.

  39. Dave, you can whatever faith you like but don’t attempt to shove it down my throat as it is the action of fanatics.

    My argument on the CC church is related to a link that I doubt you have read and I will paste it here.

    Do you agree with the statements that these people have made???

    —————————————————————————

    IT’S blamed for shrunken Scottish sheep, stampeding walruses, ruining Tiger Woods’ chances of a US Open win, and a Chinese rat plague – global warming is even more of a villain than you thought it was.

    As well as melting glaciers and weird weather patterns, global warming is being blamed for its effects on everything from weird animal behaviour to what you’re eating for breakfast.

    There’s sheep shrinking – wild Soay sheep on the St Kilda archipelago are supposedly smaller than they once were.

    UK researchers found the sheep had grown five percent smaller over the past 24 years.

    They told The Daily Record that milder winters mean the sheep don’t have to be as big as previous generations to survive. Team leader Professor Tim Coulson of Imperial College, London, told journal Science: “Sheep aren’t the only animals feeling the pinch of climate change.

    The warming of the planet is putting entire ecosystems out of kilter and is being blamed for cougar maulings and shark attacks in the US.

    Chinese newspapers also reported that officials blamed a population boom in rats on climate change.

    Climate change also apparently causes masses of stampeding walruses. Vulnerable to stampedes when in a large group, thousands of distressed walruses in Alaska died in 2007 as they crowded onto disappearing sea ice.

    Scientists also say the melting glaciers are making the mountains of the European alps grow taller.

    Not to mention some highly inconvenient first world problems. People with allergies are “sneezing more” due to warmer temperatures, European gourmands are despairing as truffles become rarer in the changing weather and in a brilliant display of irony, Johannesburg officials allegedly blamed a poor turnout to the Live Earth concert on global warming.

    Climate change is wreaking havoc in the sporting world too. Climate Progress blogger Joe Romm wrote that Tiger Woods’ loss at the US Open was because global warming rained all over his parade.

    If you thought climate change was bad now, at least you’re not eating killer cornflakes yet. An environmental health conference was told that climate change could potentially contaminate crops with mycotoxins. Also on its attack on breakfast foods, climate change is also to blame for the decrease of maple syrup, as warmer weather is interfering with sap production.

    But perhaps the most horrifying of all climate scientists predict that water shortages and the rising costs of malted barley could mean a “drought” in beer production over the next 25 years. Dr Jim Salinger told the New Zealand Herald “it will mean either there will be pubs without beer or the cost of beer will go up.”

    Climate change may cop the blame for a fair share of problems, but spare a thought for the Scandanavian moose. Researchers told Norwegian newspapers they are concerned because Norway’s national animal produces over 2,100 tons of carbon emissions a day through burping and farting.

    We can only hope these pressing issues will be addressed at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in December later this year for the sheeps’ sake.

  40. Circumstancial evidence, some of it may be, but if you’re suggesting any of it is conclusive evidence of AGW, then here’s your “bulls**t” – right back at you.

    I repeat, which part of (say) the IPCC AR4 report do you think is wrong? What is your hypothesis that explains the full set of climate-related observations that we have today?

  41. My argument on the CC church is related to a link that I doubt you have read and I will paste it here.

    That article ENTIRELY misses the point about whether global warming is in part man-made. (And you haven’t presented any evidence that the article is wrong either.)

    Care to try again on the AGW hypothesis itself, rather than what is attributed to it?

    Or have you merely decided that because some people attribute things to global warming that you don’t care for or don’t believe, that AGW itself must be bogus? That would be outstanding use of logic…

  42. Actually scaper, I did read that link.

    That article has plucked out some interesting observations from sceintific research. All appear to be consistent with AGW theory. Of course the article is tongue in cheek and has picked some more obscure (but probably valid) impacts to make AGW policy look silly. I honestly don’t know why you are placing so much emphasis on it to support your argument though.

    I have previously said that extreme AGW views don’t help from a policy development perspective because, as you so ably illustrate, the extreme views (which BTW are no the impacts identified in that article) get people offside. This is not to say that extreme views should be disregarded but rather the emphasis should be on the views supported by the weight of evidence. Unfortunately, extreme views make great headlines and debunking of extreme views also makes good headlines so the bulk of people of people only hear the extreme view or the Anti AGW aruments, generally in equal doses; the reality is that the bulk of scientific evidence points to something in between.

    Read the IPCC AR4 – it isn’t extreme (although it identifies outlying predictions) and it pulls together research from all areas (despite what Plimer says). It’s a bit dry but it’s nowhere near as preachy as Plimer’s book.

  43. Lotharsson, I’ve stated my position that until there is evidence either way I will not accept the theory of AGW!

    There is nothing that you can do or say that will change my position and your continual insults on my opinion exposes you and the ilk for what you are…fanatics!

    I’ve come across people like that in my life…all talk, no walk, very torturous!

  44. There is nothing that you can do or say that will change my position…

    Yes, I’m beginning to see that. =

    …and your continual insults on my opinion exposes you and the ilk for what you are…fanatics!

    Ah, yes, because calling out falsehoods is an insult(!) which equates to fanaticism(!!!). But stating falsehoods as a basis for your position is a fair and reasonable position to take.

    Thanks for the clarification.

  45. I repeat, which part of (say) the IPCC AR4 report do you think is wrong? What is your hypothesis that explains the full set of climate-related observations that we have today?

    I’m not interested in that question Lotharsson – you’re trying to change the subject. If there were any proof of AGW, we would have heard of it it ad nauseum by now (and I am assuming that by “evidence” you mean proof). The fact is, none exists. “Climate related observations” are just that; they are not proof of anything except what they have observed.

  46. Dave, will read it when I’ve got time on the weekend.

  47. Gee, because one does not believe what another believes it is called falsehoods.

    Showing fine form but at least it proves a point…

  48. If there were any proof of AGW, we would have heard of it it ad nauseum by now…

    Either:
    (a) you’ve been off the planet for a few years, or
    (b) you’ve hung your hat on a very high standard of “proof”.

    I’m assuming it’s the latter. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be surprised if the level of proof you demand is not possible to provide any time soon, perhaps even ever. Care to clarify what would be good enough proof for you?

    The IPCC AR4 SPM (PDF) is quite open about their assessment of the strength of evidence for various hypotheses.

    Warming of the climate system is unequivocal. [p2]

    Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.
    [p5]

    If you want to claim that the current strength of support is insufficient for you, go right ahead. But if you want to claim that the current science amounts to no support for the hypothesis, well, that doesn’t make it true.

  49. Gee, because one does not believe what another believes it is called falsehoods

    No. Because one says something that is demonstrably false, it is called a falsehood.

    And you have the gall to talk about the church of climate change!

  50. Let me put it this way, scaper and Tony.

    You both seem to be going for a black and white view of the world, that says either a hypothesis is 100% proved or it is not; and if it’s not then there’s no point worrying about it.

    If you were a betting person, would you bet that humans caused a significant part of the current global warming, or that they did not? What odds would you give or take?

    There are many questions in the world for which no utterly conclusive proof is available (including rather a lot of medical questions), and yet we have to assess the likelihood of them being true, and the corresponding risks, and accordingly take action (or not).

  51. “Very likely” is insufficient for me. It has no meaning in a scientific context, and there is no methodical way of arriving at such an arbitrary assessment. “Very likely” is just a weasely way of saying: We want you to believe us, be we can’t offer you anything except this beat-up old AGW theory we’ve got laying around here somewhere; we’re scientists, though, and you’re not, so you should trust us.

  52. It has no meaning in a scientific context, and there is no methodical way of arriving at such an arbitrary assessment

    Er, yes, there is. We do it in various scientific fields, including medicine. Just because you don’t understand the methodology for arriving at that conclusion doesn’t make it go away.

    So I repeat – what evidence would you have to see before you agreed that AGW was likely enough to be “proved” to the standard you require?

  53. I see you are still pushing the same cart by intimating that I have a different opinion as falsehoods.

    You are a pathetic example of the CC church!

    You might be getting your ETS but you won’t be getting me to alter my stance!

  54. Lotharsson,

    Taking your betting anology one step further, I’d be prepared to offer anyone insurance against any weather or climate event that could be proven to be a direct result of AGW. Usual commercial terms would apply: annual premiums payable in advance. Proof would need to meet the ‘unequivocal’ test; not the ‘very likely’ one.

  55. Tony

    Funny you should mention insurance from a commercial point of view, because quite a few insurance companies are very worried how climate change is going to affect them. For example, AON Australia:

    However, research and analysis performed by progressive companies now see it as a fundamental that will affect not only the nature of insurance risk, but also public policy towards natural hazards. This paper will critically examine the reasons for the industry’s tardy response to climate change and whether this response is likely to change in the near future. The paper will consider how public policy might evolve, and how insurance can form part of a broader program for natural disaster reduction, incorporating climate research, land use planning, and information strategies. It will explore the problems and opportunities that arise for the insurance industry from climate change, within the wider context of the industry’s own internal dynamics, and external global economic change.

  56. An act of Gaia…lol!

  57. I see you are still pushing the same cart by intimating that I have a different opinion as falsehoods.

    Scaper, I think it’s pretty well established that “there is no evidence for AGW” is a falsehood. If you disagree with that statement, rather than (say) with the level of confidence placed in the evidence, then there’s no point talking about it with you.

    You are a pathetic example of the CC church!

    Another falsehood.

    As I have said on other threads, I’d be delighted if AGW were proved wrong and I acknowledge that it is possible to prove it wrong. I just don’t think the odds of that happening are very high, and I arrived at that conclusion by looking at both the arguments put forth by the proponents and many of the prominent nay-sayers, something I suspect you can’t honestly say you did.

    If that makes me a “pathetic example of the CC church” in your eyes, then that says more about you than me.

  58. Taking your betting anology one step further, I’d be prepared to offer anyone insurance against any weather or climate event that could be proven to be a direct result of AGW. Usual commercial terms would apply: annual premiums payable in advance. Proof would need to meet the ‘unequivocal’ test; not the ‘very likely’ one.

    But you’re not taking that analogy one step further at all, unless and until you answer the question you keep dodging – WHAT PROOF would YOU accept? (Especially if you want an “unequivocal” level of proof.)

  59. Yes Joni,

    And you canl bet they’ll be looking at reasons why their premiums will need to go up because of climate change (in anticipation of claims, of course, not because of them). 😉

  60. Unequivocal proof. Got any?

  61. You know the predictable thing about scaper is that if it all does go tits up and/or they prove with a high degree of certainty a link between global warming and man made influences, then say sorry people you left it all to late and the pain is just beginning with your comfortable life as you knew it gone, he will be on blogs asking why governments didn’t do something far earlier when the evidence was always there and the predicament we are in is all their fault.

  62. For reference, IPCC AR4 definitions of terms relating to uncertainty:

    “Confidence”:

    The level of confidence in the correctness of a result is expressed in this report, using a standard terminology defined as follows:
    Terminology – Degree of confidence in being correct
    Very high confidence – At least 9 out of 10 chance of being correct
    High confidence – About 8 out of 10 chance
    Medium confidence – About 5 out of 10 chance
    Low confidence – About 2 out of 10 chance
    Very low confidence – Less than 1 out of 10 chance

    “Likelihood”:

    Likelihood
    The likelihood of an occurrence, an outcome or a result, where this can be estimated probabilistically, is expressed in IPCC reports using a standard terminology defined as follows:
    Terminology – Likelihood of the occurrence / outcome
    Virtually certain – >99% probability of occurrence
    Very likely – >90% probability
    Likely – >66% probability
    More likely than not – >50% probability
    About as likely as not – 33 to 66% probability
    Unlikely – <33% probability
    Very unlikely – <10% probability
    Exceptionally unlikely – <1% probability

  63. So Tony you need unequivocal proof that a fire will one day destroy your house, a flood will sweep through, a tree will fall on it, you will have a car accident, you will be injured, incapacitating you for a considerable time etc. before you will take out any insurance.

    I suppose you don’t have a single insurance policy at the moment because none of those companies can give you an unequivocal guarantee that any of those things and more will happen to your property, you or your family?

  64. scaper…, on July 8th, 2009 at 4:49 pm Said:

    “UK researchers found the sheep had grown five percent smaller over the past 24 years.

    They told The Daily Record that milder winters mean the sheep don’t have to be as big as previous generations to survive. Team leader Professor Tim Coulson of Imperial College, London, told journal Science: “Sheep aren’t the only animals feeling the pinch of climate change.”

    Talk about spin doctors.
    If this is the case, and I imagine they have statistics to prove it, I would also like to see how lambing percentages and survival rates have changed in that time. I assume that inbreeding has been discounted as a possible cause, and also internal parasites, as such parasites tend to multiply rapidly in milder conditions.
    One way what is being claimed could be a fact is that the milder winters have allowed the runts and poor doers to survive, whereas in colder conditions they would have died, thereby reducing the average size overall, plus increasing competition for the available food supply.

  65. Very nice Laotharsson. What statistical method does the IPCC use when allocating these lovely sounding confidence and likelihood levels, and their corresponding numerical ranges?

  66. So Tony you need unequivocal proof that a fire will one day destroy your house, a flood will sweep through, a tree will fall on it, you will have a car accident, you will be injured, incapacitating you for a considerable time etc. before you will take out any insurance.

    Are you deliberately missing my point? For the insurance I’m proposing all I’ll need as the insurer is proof that the event was a result of AGW. Easy.

    joni: fixed the formatting

  67. What statistical method does the IPCC use when allocating these lovely sounding confidence and likelihood levels, and their corresponding numerical ranges?

    Try reading parts of the AR4 report.

    For the insurance I’m proposing all I’ll need as the insurer is proof that the event was a result of AGW. Easy.

    Still waiting for you to explain what proof you would accept as proof – and I believe “unequivocal” was the standard you had in mind.

    I admit to developing a certain disheartening cynicism – that perhaps the reason you’re so keen to offer said insurance is that there’s essentially no evidence you (or scaper for that matter) can imagine that would provide unequivocal proof.

    On the other hand, your willingness to offer insurance suggests that perhaps you’d take a much lower standard of proof. Australian civil litigation – such as would be brought by an insured against a recalcitrant insurer – merely requires proof “on the balance of probabilities”, which corresponds to the IPCC’s “more likely than not” – i.e. >50%.

    So I think we should all take you up on that insurance offer. Let us know when you put your money where your mouth is, register an adequately capitalized insurance company and open for business 😉

  68. Australian civil litigation – such as would be brought by an insured against a recalcitrant insurer – merely requires proof “on the balance of probabilities”, which corresponds to the IPCC’s “more likely than not” – i.e. >50%.

    I don’t think you could even meet that standard of proof. You would need to prove that a specific event was not part of any other naturally occurring process, and can be directly attributed to human induced CO2.

  69. Telling me to go read or the AR4 only serves to strengthen my suspicions: The IPCC doesn’t have any scientific method of allocating those confidence levels, and they just arbitrary measures of how confident they ‘feel’.

  70. *they’re*

  71. I don’t think you could even meet that standard of proof. You would need to prove that a specific event was not part of any other naturally occurring process, and can be directly attributed to human induced CO2.

    Shifting the goalposts a little already? Previously it was

    …any weather or climate event that could be proven to be a direct result of AGW.

    The IPCC and most climate scientists would say that’s already proved beyond the balance of probabilities. The fact that you disagree is your affair, but if you took it to court your opinion doesn’t automatically win.

    Remember the (civil) lawsuit in the UK against showing Gore’s film in schools because it was apparently full of bad science? Most of the charges were dismissed because the science was good enough…do you feel lucky?

  72. Telling me to go read or the AR4 only serves to strengthen my suspicions: The IPCC doesn’t have any scientific method of allocating those confidence levels, and they just arbitrary measures of how confident they ‘feel’.

    And your response indicates you have no idea how they do it, and haven’t bothered to try and find out – which (if true) makes YOUR assessment arbitrary, and hence fails to prove your assertion.

  73. Shifting the goalposts? It’s the same thing isn’t it? It doesn’t matter to me and my insurance policies, though; the original definition is fine by me. It’s still impossible to prove.

  74. Well do they, Lotharsson? What is their method. Give me a link, and stop playing word games.

  75. Lotharsson, on July 8th, 2009 at 3:58 pm Said:
    “Er, no, it does not, not even on the chart that you posted. Look again! Parts of the CO2 strong absorption range lie within the H2O strong absorption range. Parts do not.”

    The part that lies within the H2O strong absorption range is the one relevant to the AGW theory.
    It is very clear that the greenhouse conditions that make life possible on earth are very much a function of H2O over all other influences

  76. It’s OK Lotharsson. I’ve found theIPCC’s “scientific” method of “adressing uncertainties” here. In it they warn lead authors that when applying these ‘methods’, they should:

    Be aware of a tendency for a group to converge on an expressed view and become overconfident in it [3]. Views and estimates can also become anchored on previous versions or values to a greater extent than is justified. Recognize when individual views are adjusting as a result of group interactions and allow adequate time for such changes in viewpoint to be reviewed.

  77. Can you buggers tell me when my solar hot water system and solar panels will kick in, ’cause my water tank is now full and the city dams are over 70% full and the weather predictors (who seem to be more accurate than the scientifically based meteorologists – check out the spelling…!) …

    … I have never seen so much cloudy weather in the Sunshine state – it truly is a miracle amazing – global warming is here and now I tell you …

  78. Shifting the goalposts? It’s the same thing isn’t it?

    CO2 isn’t the only anthropogenic influence (some of our influences have even had cooling effects), and the original attribution was to AGW itself rather than the causes of AGW. But that’s a relatively minor point.

    It’s still impossible to prove.

    LOL. Fine, open up your insurance company then and watch it crater over time as you lose lawsuit after lawsuit. Note that “climate event” is a very broad definition because climate is long-term average trends, and showing that humans contributed to those trends to a balance of probabilities is – as I pointed out – pretty much a fait accompli in legal settings.

  79. Don’t worry TB. It’s about “as likely as not (33 to 66% probability)” that everything will turn out all right. OK?

  80. Lotharsson, You won’t mind if I seek a second opinion on your legal advice, will you? I have a sneaking suspicion some of your learned colleagues may see things a bit differently.

  81. I’ve found theIPCC’s “scientific” method of “adressing uncertainties” here.

    And that doc references two deeper discussions, which I assume you will find and read too. Good to see you don’t need spoon feeding any more 😉 As your quote hints, the doc takes care to provide guidelines intended to help authors do a careful and considered job – which is just what you’d want.

    Take a look at Table 1 in that doc and how it seeks to address different types of uncertainty, along with the section “Review the information available”:

    3. Consider all plausible sources of uncertainty using a systematic typology of uncertainty such as the simple
    one shown in Table 1. Many studies have shown that structural uncertainty, as defined in Table 1, tends to
    be underestimated by experts [3]. Consider previous estimates of ranges, distributions, or other measures of
    uncertainty and the extent to which they cover all plausible sources of uncertainty

    4. Assess issues of risk where supported by published work. Where probabilistic approaches are available,
    consider ranges of outcomes and their associated likelihoods with attention to outcomes of potential high
    consequence. An alternative approach is to provide information for decisions that would be robust in the
    sense of avoiding adverse outcomes for a wide range of future possibilities [4]. (Note that the term “risk”
    has several different usages. If used it should be defined in context.)

    Make expert judgments
    5. Be prepared to make expert judgments and explain those by providing a traceable account of the steps used
    to arrive at estimates of uncertainty or confidence for key findings – e.g. an agreed hierarchy of information,
    standards of evidence applied, approaches to combining or reconciling multiple lines of evidence, and
    explanation of critical factors.

    And speaking of likelihoods, as we were earlier:

    14. Likelihood, as defined in Table 4, refers to a probabilistic assessment of some well defined outcome having occurred or occurring in the future. […] Likelihood may be based on quantitative analysis or an elicitation of expert views.

    So are you objecting to both quantitative analysis and expert judgements in assessing likelihood? Or just one of them? On what basis?

    And if you’re objecting to expert judgement, how would you prefer a judgement to be made?

  82. You won’t mind if I seek a second opinion on your legal advice, will you?

    Not at all – I think that’s eminently sensible.

    Feel free to report back here on the advice.

  83. Lotharsson,

    That document confirms my suspicions. Confidence intervals are allocated according to the lead authors’ feelings,/i> of likelihood (or “expert judgement” in IPCC-speak). Nowhere have I seen any evidence of quantitative analysis, and, in the absence of any being brought to my attention, I will assume there hasn’t been any.

  84. …feelings of likelihood (or “expert judgement” in IPCC-speak). Nowhere have I seen any evidence of quantitative analysis, and, in the absence of any being brought to my attention, I will assume there hasn’t been any.

    Come on Tony, that’s a bit rich.

    The word “feeling” doesn’t even appear in the document, which is dedicated to providing good process guidelines for how to assess probabilistic approaches and apply expert judgement in a defensible manner, based on evidence and traceable reasoning.

    How exactly would you have scientists do it?

    And since you argue that expert judgement based on the careful IPCC guidelines, taking into account the factors known to bias judgement, requiring traceable evidence supporting said judgements, etc. is “arbitrary” and “just feelings”…

    …then doesn’t the same apply to your assessment that they are wrong, only in spades?

  85. TB Queensland, on July 8th, 2009 at 7:09 pm Said:
    “Can you buggers tell me when my solar hot water system and solar panels will kick in, ’cause my water tank is now full and the city dams are over 70% full and the weather predictors (who seem to be more accurate than the scientifically based meteorologists”

    TB, don’t worry too much, BOM are hoping to get some new computers and are playing with new forecasting models. They claim more accurate forecasts should start appearing in 3 to 7 years time. At least that is what they stated at the recent government inquiry.

    Actually I think what they are hoping is that the weather changes back to a decadel cooler phase such as was the case in the period they “proved” their existing models and their forecasts will become accurate again without having to do anything. 😉

  86. Those judgements aren’t replicable or repeatable in any methodical way whatsoever, Lotharsson. They depend entirely on the person who made them. They’re just worthless pieces of rhetoric, in my book.

  87. I just pictured TB getting fed up and installing a huge fan pointing up to blow a hole in the clouds and having a godly ray of sun on the only house in brisbane.

    Headline:
    Satalites have mysteriously been pushed out into space, we suspect Russia.

  88. Those judgements aren’t replicable or repeatable in any methodical way whatsoever, Lotharsson. They depend entirely on the person who made them. They’re just worthless pieces of rhetoric, in my book.

    Well, there we have it.

    Tony feels that experts don’t know what they’re talking about, or they’re biased and use their emotions to form judgements, even when they’re explicitly following processes designed to remove emotion from the process and force them to justify the way that they arrived at their judgements..

  89. Lotharsson, on July 8th, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    And more than that Lotharsson, their processes are peer reviewed and made open to the scientific community for scrutiny.

  90. My comment on this is so what. I agree with Plimer. Climate has always changed.

    Perhaps 500 years ago there was no ice at the North Pole. And then it came back. Perhaps 1,000 years ago there was no ice at the North Pole and then it came back.

    Climate has always changed.

    Our more accurate measurements has made us more aware of things.

  91. Lotharsson,

    How about addressing what I said, rather than substituting your version and arguing against that. Straw-man, I think you like to call it.

  92. How about addressing what I said, rather than substituting your version and arguing against that. Straw-man, I think you like to call it.

    You said earlier that “feelings of likelihood” were known as “expert judgements in IPCC-speak”, and you followed it up by characterising expert judgements as “unrepeatable” and “worthless rhetoric”, “entirely dependent on the person making them” (the latter, despite the fact that almost the entire climate science community is in significant agreement with the IPCC report).

    Did you mean to withdraw the “feelings” part and leave only the “unrepeatable” and “worthless rhetoric” comment?

  93. I agree with Plimer. Climate has always changed.

    Neil, ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE agrees with Plimer on that point.

    It’s the rest of his argument that appears to be rather ungrounded in evidence. He (roughly) says that because climate has changed in the past, that humans can’t possibly be responsible for any change now.

  94. I wonder if anyone who _feels_ that the IPCC and most of the climate science community are wrong will ever tell us what it would take for them to change their feelings on that point.

    And I’d be interested in what other areas of human endeavour they also feel the experts are not to be trusted in…

  95. that humans can’t possibly be responsible for any change now.”
    Lotharsson, on July 8th, 2009 at 8:54 pm Said

    No this is not true. Plimer says that there is no evidence for human induce climate change.

    Climate has always changed and will always change

  96. Plimer says that there is no evidence for human induce climate change.

    OK, fair enough. But his argument on that point – “no evidence” for human cause – is still bogus.

    And his pointing out – like you did – that “climate has always changed” is completely orthogonal to that argument, and yet he (and you) make a big deal out of it, as if it supports the argument that there’s no evidence that humans have influenced climate.

  97. “no evidence” for human cause – is still bogus.”

    O.K. This could be true. However why is this bogus??? i would think that it would be very difficult to prove that humans are causing climate change even if it was true.

    Climate has always changed.

  98. Some of you might enjoy this blog – and the commenters are often worth reading too 😉

  99. i would think that it would be very difficult to prove that humans are causing climate change even if it was true.

    If you did some reading from the climate scientists you might be in danger of modifying that opinion. Try RealClimate’s “Start Here” page, the IPCC reports (potentially heavy going but the Summary For Policy Makers may be useful as an overview), grist.org’s How To Talk To A Skeptic series which will coincidentally give you a high level overview of some of the factors involved, and why most of the skeptical questions/assertions that come up over and over again need a second look, etc.

    Or if you have recently read Plimer try reading some of the scientists who have reviewed his book on why his argument is so bad. (That doesn’t prove all arguments against AGW are bad, but it gives you some idea of what a bad argument looks like.)

  100. O.K. I had a millsecond flick through yours links. It would take me several months to digest the information.

    Even if what you say is true where would we start??? We could do more damage than help if we do not know what we are doing. To think that humans can control climate is crazy.

  101. Lotharsson, on July 8th, 2009 at 8:56 pm Said:
    “And I’d be interested in what other areas of human endeavour they also feel the experts are not to be trusted in…”

    Lotharsson, that’s easy. CSIRO/BOM, long range weather forecasting. Officially acknowledged at the recent government enquiry no less.

  102. To think that humans can control climate is crazy.

    Well, that’s almost exactly what scientists saying has happened, although one could legitimately discuss the difference between “control” vs “affect”.

    We could do more damage than help if we do not know what we are doing.

    We certainly could, which is why I have concerns about solar radiation management or climate engineering approaches. But we know we did stuff that adversely affected the climate. Undoing some of that stuff might be a good idea before trying other approaches…

    And it’s not just CO2 where we have applied this principle – we figured out some time ago that CFCs were putting holes in the ozone layer. We decided to stop putting most of the CFCs into the atmosphere, and the ozone hole began to repair itself. The difference with CO2 is that it has a much longer lasting impact than those CFCs had. And then there were industrial sulfates that were _cooling_ earlier in the 20th Century…

  103. O.K. but CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 concentration has varied before in our history. People even pump it in to greenhouses. it actually helps plants to grow.

    Perhaps increased CO2 is good for the human race.

  104. Those judgements aren’t replicable or repeatable in any methodical way whatsoever, Lotharsson. They depend entirely on the person who made them. They’re just worthless pieces of rhetoric, in my book.

    OMD – I wish to nominate these as the most arrogant words submitted in the history of blogocrats! Are you for real Tony?

    What qualifications do you have to qualify you to judge peer reviewed scientific analysis as “just worthless pieces of rhetoric”?

  105. O.K. but CO2 is not a pollutant.

    I agree – it’s not a pollutant in the traditional sense of the word, and it would be better if those who point out that it’s contributing to adverse climate change found a better description – or perhaps stuck to “greenhouse gas”.

  106. What qualifications do you have to qualify you to judge peer reviewed scientific analysis as “just worthless pieces of rhetoric”?

    Bacchus,

    (During lunch at the cricket.) Would you mind looking at what I was referring to, before making sweeping statements about “peer-reviewed scientific analysis”. I’m pretty sure this doesn’t meet any of those lofty descriptions.

  107. (First par above quote from bacchus.)

    joni: will fix it.

  108. Those judgements aren’t replicable or repeatable in any methodical way whatsoever.

    What judgements Tony? Made by whom? To whom do the Guidance notes apply? I would suggest we’re talking about eminently more qualified judgements than those that may be provided by your good self. I reiterate – unbelievably arrogant!

    A small point, but how can you consider judgements “replicable” or otherwise? By one definition, they’re “the capacity to assess situations or circumstances shrewdly and to draw sound conclusions” – in simpler words, an expert opinion.

  109. Neil of Sydney, on July 8th, 2009 at 9:50 pm Said:
    “People even pump it in to greenhouses. it actually helps plants to grow.
    Perhaps increased CO2 is good for the human race.”

    The tomato industry relies on enhanced CO2 atmospheres in greenhouses. A CO2 level of about 1200 ppm is required for optimum growth.
    A recently completed in paddock study in Victoria of enhancing the atmosphere above a plot of wheat otherwise subject to normal open field growing conditions determined a yield increase of about 20% for the enhanced CO2 fertilised wheat.
    Note the use of the word fertilised, the scientists conducting the experiment considered CO2 as a fertiliser, not a pollutant.
    But that has long been an accepted fact, at least for those knowledgeable in the growing of crops. It’s an essential building block for all life.

  110. Here’s something I found over at Bolt’s site, ‘The Skeptics Handbook’.

    http://joannenova.com.au/globalwarming/the_skeptics_handbook_2-22_lq.pdf

    I definitely agree with this guy!

    Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, says “I
    am a skeptic…Global warming has become a
    new religion.”

    Go on, try to pull this apart without attacking the messenger, which is the MO of the true believers!

  111. In fact I’m going to post all the names in the booklet…come on Loth, lets see you shoot them all down with your so called superior knowledge!

    Geophysicist Dr. Claude Allegre, who has authored more
    than 100 scientific articles and was one of the first
    scientists to sound global warming fears 20 years
    ago, now says the cause of climate change is
    “unknown.”

    Geologist Bruno Wiskel of the University of Alberta once
    set out to build a “Kyoto house” in honor of the
    Kyoto Protocol but recently wrote a book titled
    “The Emperor’s New Climate: Debunking the Myth
    of Global Warming.”

    Astrophysicist Dr. Nir Shaviv, one of Israel’s top young
    award-winning scientists, “believes there will be
    more scientists converting to man-made global
    warming skepticism as they discover the dearth of
    evidence.”

    Atmospheric scientist Dr. Joanna Simpson, the
    first woman in the world to receive a PhD in
    meteorology: “Since I am no longer affiliated with
    any organization nor receiving any funding, I can
    speak quite frankly.” Formerly of NASA, she has
    authored more than 190 studies.

    Mathematician and engineer Dr. David Evans devoted
    six years to carbon accounting, building an award
    winning model for the Australian Greenhouse
    Office. He wrote FullCAM that measures
    Australia’s compliance with the Kyoto Protocol
    in the land use change and forestry sector. Evans
    became a skeptic in 2007.

    Meteorologist Dr. Reid Bryson, dubbed one of the
    “Fathers of Meteorology,” became a leading
    global warming skeptic in the last few years before
    passing away in 2008.

    Botanist Dr. David Bellamy, a famed UK environmental
    campaigner, former lecturer at Durham University,
    and host of a popular UK TV series on wildlife,
    said “global warming is largely a natural
    phenomenon. The world is wasting stupendous
    amounts of money on trying to fix something that
    can’t be fixed.”

    Climate researcher Dr. Tad Murty, a professor of earth
    sciences at Flinders University, says: “I started
    with a firm belief about global warming, until I
    started working on it myself.”

    Climate scientist Dr. Chris de Freitas of The University
    of Auckland, N.Z., converted from a believer in
    man-made global warming to a skeptic.

    Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental
    physical chemist, says warming fears are the
    “worst scientific scandal in the history…When
    people come to know what the truth is, they will feel
    deceived by science and scientists.”

    Andrei Kapitsa, a Russian geographer and Antarctic ice
    core researcher, says “The Kyoto theorists have
    put the cart before the horse. It is global warming
    that triggers higher levels of carbon dioxide in the
    atmosphere, not the other way around …”

    Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden notes, “Many
    [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out
    quietly [from promoting warming fears], without
    having their professional careers ruined.”

    Dr. Richard Courtney, a UN IPCC expert reviewer
    and a UK-based climate and atmospheric science
    consultant: “To date, no convincing evidence for
    AGW (anthropogenic global warming) has been
    discovered.”

  112. How about we list all the scientists who are proponents for AGW scaper and see you shoot them down?

    Of course the list would be longer than the blog would allow.

    Skeptic Arguments

    Number 2 is pertinent to Neil.

    And of course when all the chop and change arguments from the opponents fail as their latest theory is either disproven or is put into doubt the skeptics all back to their two major arguments:

    1. CC is a fanatical religion
    2. CC is a global scam

  113. Project Steve
    650 international scientists? Err, not exactly.

    Actually that 650 is now 700 and growing all the time.

  114. The science is far from settled, which is what the true believers keep squawking to shut down debate!

    These ‘heritics’ have nothing to gain by speaking up.

  115. True scaper the science is far from settled, which is where the debate should be, with the science, but as can be seen here non-scientist bloggers keep attempting to shoot down the AGW hypothesis by using science they know nothing about, just cherry picking bits and pieces they find around the internet that support their already set in mind point of view, then challenging proponents to argue on that.

    Until there is definitive proof that global warming is not a danger to the planet and the majority science has it all wrong, then I’m sticking with the proponents because I see it as an insurance cost that will also have benefit to mankind.

    Thing is scaper, unlike you who has already declared AGW a religion and scam, thus apparently somehow proven scientifically false, I actually hope that the scientific argument for global warming from any cause, manmade or natural, is proven false, but until that occurs I hope we continue to treat it as a threat and act accordingly.

  116. Interesting. Climate as global-niche competitor; can’t kill it, so might as well domesticate it with a little help from the climate whisperer. Someone like Julian Simon might even approve of that kind of a ring-road around the jungle, if that road were considered an intangible resource, useful for now and useful for later on time-scales already amounting to millions and billions of years, regardless of debate about in which direction that road’s being built should travel. And taken one step further down the path not yet travelled, it’s precisely the kind of resource-base, and whatever incidentals might emerge, which noetic Life might want to have at its disposal if it were to be subconsciously entertaining niches and tangible resources where precautions about planetary engineering systems were simply less applicable in any terrestrial sense. But, I leave such matters to the best judgements of The Triumvirate whilesoever one set of race conditions are being applied for a given set of purposes.

  117. Adrian

    I’ve left the science to the scientists.

    The politics bothers me a bit.

    I can have no influence on the ETS – that money making execise will happen anyway.

    The only thing I can to do is the “…learn the rules and use them to my advantage…”

    I shall continue to drive my nine year old car until a better alternative hits the showrooms (or the government forces me of the road) – and to this old motor mechanic that means, hydrogen … nothing else really stacks up for sustainability …

    … I have a 1Kw solar power system with an additional 1Kw additional option on the inverter (just need smaller more powerful panels because of space)…

    … I have room for an additional 5000l water tank …

    etc etc

  118. TB Queensland, on July 9th, 2009 at 9:15 am Said:
    “I shall continue to drive my nine year old car until a better alternative hits the showrooms (or the government forces me of the road)”

    TB, that is showing a lot of common sense. Those people who currently decide to buy a more fuel efficient car, all in the name of saving the planet, fail to take into account the energy inputs of building their new car means that overall their new car is unlikely to ever be carbon positive compared to keeping their existing vehicle.
    I believe that those who modify their existing habits to reduce energy waste are doing much more than those who continually update to the latest energy saving appliance or equipment in the belief that they are making a difference.
    I also have to take with a grain of salt those who believe in AGW, but also believe they have a right to maintain their workplaces in shirt sleeve comfort during the middle of winter.
    How many people who blog here are presently in shirt sleeve heated comfort rather than having a jumper or jacket on to keep warm?

  119. Not me. I wear short sleeve shirt (fashion victim), but in the apartment we have:

    – no aircon, no heating
    – we do not use the clothes dryer (clothes rack)
    – we hand wash the dishes (do not use the dishwasher)
    – we do not own a car, we walk or use the bus

    Unfortunately, I do have to fly to SE Asia quite often, so that cancels out all the good stuff we try to do.

  120. TB, good on you, no talk just the walk!

    I will do the walk after I ascertain the effects of the ETS on my proposed venture so hopefully it will become clear next year.

    Johnd, we rarely use heaters in winter and ceiling fans only on hot summer nights, it is a habit we took up over twenty years ago and have maintained to this day.

  121. Thanks, jd/scaper…

    joni,

    … The Minister, has always been against dishwashers (not clean enough according to her standards – guess who the Chief Dishwasher is?) … and the water has always been heated from the sun (our second Solarheart – replacement – went on a couple of years ago .. first one lasted 25 years) …

    Used our A/C two days last summer and once this winter …

    … I do not think that this government is really serious about GG with the way they treat domestic “green” industries … too much concentration on The Robber Barons for me … there is a con job going on here but I’m still trying to figure out exactly what it is … and it will resolve around some entity gaining more power and/or revenue from the serfs …

    … the only answer I have is to be as independent as possible … its just a pity that we paid for our insulation a over a decade ago!

  122. scaper…, on July 9th, 2009 at 9:53 am

    scaper, being successfully self employed means that you have a different mindset to the run of the mill employed person, and hence see things from a more practical perspective.
    When it comes to this issue of conserving energy, and what people are either doing or not doing, I feel it is the people who chose NOT to do things, break old habits etc, that are making the most positive moves.
    Just as running your own business, you have to control your inputs, that is where your profit is determined, not at the other end.

  123. TB Queensland, on July 9th, 2009 at 9:15 am Said:

    The politics bothers me a bit.

    It bothers me a lot.

  124. Personally, I’m sitting in the office wearing jeans, a long-sleeve shirt, and jacket. I could turn the heater on, but then it’d just dry out the air and I hate that…

    We’re currently looking into purchasing our first home (fingers crossed the accountant give me good news) and our budget includes a deposit, legal fees, and solar panelling. I’ve always wanted to have my rack of computer equipment powered by solar, especially given how damaging their development is on the environment.

  125. Ben, need a lot of panels to generate a little (practical 240v) power …

    … good luck, on both counts, BTW – the trick with buying a home, is to get into the market – and not to think of it as an asset but a home (once you own it then you can start investing seriously – its slow but sure) … oh! and I can assure you it works – ask both my kids …

  126. Thanks TB.

    We’re looking to by a “home” & not a “house”. So it’s not even an “investment” as far as we’re concerned. Nice to know I’m not the only one that thinks that way though 🙂

    And I’m aware that it’ll require a significant sum of money to put up enough solar to generate the juice required for running my tech. It’s a long term project.

  127. (During lunch at the cricket.) Would you mind looking at what I was referring to, before making sweeping statements about “peer-reviewed scientific analysis”. I’m pretty sure this doesn’t meet any of those lofty descriptions.

    Er, Tony, you do realise that surveying the literature and doing meta-analysis is a common form of research activity, leading in many cases to peer-reviewed publication?

  128. In fact I’m going to post all the names in the booklet…come on Loth, lets see you shoot them all down with your so called superior knowledge!

    Despite your misconceptions, the case for AGW does not rest on the qualifications of those who agree or disagree with it. It rests on the science itself.

    The science is far from settled, which is what the true believers keep squawking to shut down debate!

    The core science is pretty much settled, in that the chances of it being overturned seem fairly unlikely.

    And stop with the martyr complex and the projection – I don’t see anyone shutting down debate; we’re participating in one with you right now!

  129. Those people who currently decide to buy a more fuel efficient car, all in the name of saving the planet, fail to take into account the energy inputs of building their new car means that overall their new car is unlikely to ever be carbon positive compared to keeping their existing vehicle.

    Do you have a reference for this? The average car does 100,000km plus, which uses a LOT of energy.

  130. And we’re planted 15 Lilly Pillies, 10 grevilleas, 3 baeckeas and 6 kangaroo paws, 1 eucalyptus (Summer Red) and 1 golden penda and this is just on a normal suburban building block. This is just for starters.

  131. Sorry. we’ve nor we’re..

  132. Sounds like a lovely garden, Min. How long have you been setting it up?

  133. Scaper, your skeptic’s handbook PDF recycles a bunch of discredited talking points. If you’re serious in arguing that AGW is a religion, but anti-AGW is not, then how about you do an honest search through some of the climate science sites and consider if their rebuttals make sense – and if the Handbook has been entirely honest – before you post this type of thing as if it were gospel?

    I posted some useful links before, as did Mobius Ecko. Skepticism is essential to science, but blind skepticism, divorced from reality would seem to meet your own definition of a “religion”.

    For example, from your PDF:

    Instead of carbon pushing up temperatures,
    for the last half-a-million years temperatures have gone up before carbon dioxide levels. On average 800 years before. This totally threw what we thought was cause-and-effect out the window. Something else caused the warming.

    This is suitable skepticism from a beginner who doesn’t understand the scientific case. Unfortunately, it’s also wrong because it assumes a falsehood – that scientists say that the only way for warming to occur is for more CO2 to first be pumped into the atmosphere. They don’t. (In other news, a forthcoming paper will prove that

    “Chickens do not lay eggs, because they have been observed to hatch from them”.

    😉

    The Skeptic’s Handbook argues that the “Greenhouse signature is missing” – they claim that predicted troposphere warming has not been observed. Try asking the scientists whether the handbook is corrector not.

    Here’s another one:

    Temperatures are not rising.
    Satellites circling the planet twice a day show
    that the world has not warmed since 2001.
    How many more years of NO global warming
    will it take? While temperatures have been flat,
    CO2 has been rising, BUT something else has
    changed the trend. The computer models don’t
    know what it is

    This one relies on a false definition of “climate trend” (you need to look at 25-30 year trends due to natural variability), ignoring natural variability (and on ignoring the surface temperature record). I’m sure you can find a climate scientist addressing this question if you are not religiously wedded to your belief that this quote is correct.

    The Handbook goes on about the Urban Heat Island effect and the interesting work done at surfacestations.org. The trouble with that is that recently it was shown that taking about 75 of their identified “best” surface stations across the US and using that to reconstruct the average temperature across the country led to very similar results as all of the surface stations together, no matter how good/bad surfacestations.org thought they all were. And that means the UHI effect has been largely accounted for.

    Do you get the picture yet? The Skeptics Handbook isn’t a 100% reliable balanced analysis; in fact much of what it says is demonstrably false or exaggerated. I bet you’d find it interesting to go through the rest of their claims and check them against what the scientists say, rather than the edited version the Handbook includes.

  134. Ben

    Perhaps the long term project of your solar powered tech is not so far away.

    http://www.dailytech.com/New+Nanopillar+Solar+Cells+Promise+OneThird+of+Current+Costs/article15600.htm

    Although, this wouldn’t be the first time we have heard about the cost of solar being slashed.

  135. Although, this wouldn’t be the first time we have heard about the cost of solar being slashed.

    That’s for sure. I’ve been following solar technologies pretty much since high school. They’ve been some advances and the prices have dropped, but never anywhere near the initial promises made when new technology is reported.

    Thanks for the link though – I’m reading it as soon as I press the submit button 🙂

  136. Ah the old 2001 starting point Bolt now uses, which used to be 1998 until inter-decadal trends showed this decade was going to be warmer than the previous one, which was much warmer than the one before etc. Yes the trend had abated and the warming trend not as dramatic as the previous inter-decadal trend, but it was still warming none the less.

    This didn’t gel too well with their sprouting on for a considerable period about the world now cooling. So how to get around that little embarrassment? Shift the starting point two years forward of course and declare the warming has flattened out. No more mention of cooling, just ignore that an no one will pick up on the fact they said it, it’s flattening now.

    If you want an absolute plethora of decadal data from just about every region, sphere and topography then NOAA has untold reams of extremely complicated data for you to pour over.

    Here is my search result on their site for “decadal trend”, and that’s only the tip of the (melting) iceberg.

    So if you want to argue on the science as a non-scientist then I guess you must be prepared to understand both sides to the complexity required, otherwise you are doing what Lotharsson states, latching onto discredited or doubtful science because it sounds right and supports your fixed/ideological point of view.

    For mine I’ll leave the science to the scientists and though it pains me to do it, trust that governments have listened to the right science advice and act appropriately, just as you would hope they would listen to the most sound money and market experts for financial advice.

  137. Looks promising (then again, they all do). On the other hand – it only produces around one third the amount of power than existing solar panels. Much cheaper though.

    I personally think solar is best used to setup power-plants in the middle of desert/wasteland areas, producing hydrogen &/or other transportable fuels.

    Still want my solar powered computer room 🙂

  138. Yes, the return per square metre is a lot lower than conventional solar panels, but the cheapness of the construction and durability might make it ideal for small public (or even private) infrastructures. Looks like you would need a ranch sized roof to operate a laptop.

  139. The only problem I see is the toxicity of cadmium telluride but as long as the units are retrieved and recycled before breakdown or deposited in earth fills then this can be overcome.

    I have the same concerns with these new light bulbs that contain a very small amount of mercury…if this found its way into the groundwater it would be an environmental tragedy.

  140. Yup, I noticed that… then again, that’s why it is a “long term” dream… because there isn’t anyway of me doing it in the short term (either due to cost or technology).

    Thanks though – it was an interesting read.

  141. And yes Adrian, it is laughable the way that the figures and goalposts are constantly moved by the denialist camp.
    Credibility = 0

    Unfortunately, it is an easy topic to argue against due to the lack of the ‘smoking gun’ and the complexity of the subject. However, close examination does reveal a mountain of EVIDENCE supporting the AGW theory.

    Possibly more than the readily accepted theory of evolution.

  142. Ben..we moved from Billinudgel to the ‘burbs of Banora Point in November last year. I have done landscaping plans previously for other people but this was the first time that I’ve had a chance to do one for myself (and hubby too of course).

    The backyard is small and the frontyard large and so I thought that I’d make it a back-to-front front garden..that is, an inward looking courtyard with lillypillies as the background. It’s going to be all natives (bird and butterfly food) with the exception of the garden arch which is banksia roses (lutea).

    I have had to start with bare earth and 3 bug-ugly ornamental shrubs which have now been grubbed out. It’s been tricky as usually when doing a landscaping plan there is something to work with such as established trees..this is a blank canvas.

  143. Ben

    I reckon you need to ignore the need to have a solar powered computer room – I think a pedal powered computer room would be a better idea. Would keep you fit too.

    Oh yeah – I also have a solar panel bag that I use when I travel to charge my mobile.

  144. Last year I attempted to broker a deal for a leading solar company to set up in Australia to service Asia as this company has two plants in the northern hemisphere, USA and Germany.

    The government killed it to lack of interest…these type of actions contradict the message they are sending to the public.

    http://www.nanosolar.com/about.htm

  145. Joni, do you know just how hard it is to type whilst riding a bicycle?! 😉

    Min, the garden sounds promising… Let us know how it goes as you progress 🙂

  146. Good find Tom R. Catalyst had the Australian equivalent on the show a couple of months ago:

    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2550612.htm

    Dr Gerry Wilson:
    If the world had about six one hundred kilometre by one hundred kilometre grids of ten percent efficient solar cells scattered around the world, we would be able to satisfy the world’s current energy needs. These plastic solar cells, we’re not restricted necessarily to put them on land. We could use them to cover our dams to stop evaporation. We could use them in the ocean.

    Narration:
    The ability to use existing factories to print these solar cells makes them ideal for mass production.

    Mark Horstman:
    If this high speed printer was printing solar cells, it could do around 200 metres every minute, or 100 kilometres every day. At that rate, in just two months, it could print more generating capacity than a coal-fired power station. And that’s got to be a licence to print money. Here at Securency, they’re rolling out their first proofs of polymer solar cells – six months ahead of schedule, and just in time for a clean energy future.

  147. Lotharsson, on July 9th, 2009 at 11:43 am Said:
    “Do you have a reference for this? The average car does 100,000km plus, which uses a LOT of energy.”

    Lotharsson, firstly it is the difference in energy use between the new car and the old car that is relevant. Generally it appears that a saving of about 2litre /100km would be what most people seem to be looking at, that equates to 2000 litres saving per 100,000 km. That is not a great saving, either in terms of energy or $. The energy input into manufacturing the new vehicle has to be considerably less than this for any appreciable gain to be had overall.
    In addition, if cars are changed over at 100,000 km, the old car undoubtedly remains on the road for a number of years more. Singapore controls that aspect by forcing one old vehicle to be taken off the road before a new one can be put on, but that doesn’t happen here.

  148. not to mention riding a bike one handed whilst typing…. bad joni, bad bad joni

  149. Mobius Ecko, on July 9th, 2009 at 12:59 pm Said:
    “just as you would hope they would listen to the most sound money and market experts for financial advice.”

    Have to laugh, just finished listening to a discussion on the ABC about how the World Bank and the IMF have contrasting projected outlooks for the world economy due to?
    What else, but different economic modelling. 🙂

  150. not to mention riding a bike one handed whilst typing…. bad joni, bad bad joni

    What, you don’t put the pictures into a slide-show? 😛

  151. Another discussion also just heard on the ABC was about how scientists are now certain that declining rainfall in SW WA, Victoria, and the Darling Murray Basin are due to the effects of climate change.
    Here are some graphs from BOM, do they support the claims?

    Perhaps for SW WA, but here is the trend for all of southern Australia.

  152. Johnd, if you click on ‘scaper…’ above this you will find some interesting information concerning the MDS.

  153. Unfortunately, it is an easy topic to argue against due to the lack of the ’smoking gun’ and the complexity of the subject.

    I think there are two factors that need to be noted.

    The first is the Dunning-Kruger effect (“Unskilled and Unaware Of It” – PDF).

    In this effect,

    “…people reach erroneous conclusions [often about their own competence and abilities] and make unfortunate choices but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it”. They therefore suffer an illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average. This leads to a perverse result where people with less competence will rate their ability more highly than people with relatively more competence. It also explains why competence may weaken the projection of confidence because competent individuals falsely assume others are of equivalent understanding.

    (My emphasis and [side note].)

    The second is why scientists aren’t more persuasive (part 1, part 2). This relates to earlier comments that expert scientific judgement is considered by some to be “empty rhetoric”.

    Rhetoric works, even when it’s not based on truth. Most scientists are almost completely unskilled at rhetoric and stick to careful, precise and measured assessments that don’t project confidence to the scientifically unskilled listener – and indeed, may even sound like they are hedging or dissembling. Furthermore, appearing intelligent is (perhaps surprisingly to some) not an advantage in a debate. Further still, engaging in public debate and rhetoric may actively harm a scientific career, so there’s little motivation for most scientists to develop the skills.

    In contrast most public anti-AGW statements are made by those who are selected to make them precisely because they are good at rhetoric and at projecting confidence, even when that confidence is unfounded, and engaging in such rhetoric is frequently rewarding on both a career and financial level.

  154. Here are some graphs from BOM, do they support the claims?

    I don’t know from looking at it. They show a linear trend over 100 years, which doesn’t address the question very well given that people like yourself will point to the early part of the century as largely unaffected by climate change, and the middle of the century as anomalous (sulfates?) and so forth.

    We know that global temperatures have really taken off in the last 50 or so years. How about you post graphs with a moving 25/30 year average and then we can see the trends from the period when climate change?

  155. Min, on July 9th, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Min, if you can plant that lot (you’re gonna hate me…), rip ’em all out (before they grow) and plant fruit trees!

    We cut down our first bunch of bananas tomorrow (kids are here for school hols) and we’ve got avocados forming on the tree (its only about 1.5 m tall) … The Minister is making marmalade from lemon, orange, lime and cumquat and manadrins from our son … all grown within family …

    … daughter expecting her bantams (five) to lay their first eggs within the next few days …

  156. TB, please advise your daughter not to feed avocado skins to the bantams…it will kill them.

  157. TB..have done that around the side..so far a very rampant passionfruit, an avocado..it’s only a young’un and starting to fruit, a lemon (of course), a lime and an apple tree. We had a good crop of pun’kin previously and Jeff now has this plot in spuds. Our banana (lady finger) is pool-side. And the lillypillies in the front garden will be the best jam ever..once they fruit..I hope that I live so long.

    Youngest daughter in Bris also has chooks. Bantam eggs are the best..rich flavor and excellent for cakes.

    One thing that I miss is my Dad’s blood plum tree..kept the whole family in jam for at least 20 years.

  158. Yes scaper..these are also lethal to lorikeets.

  159. OK! Min! Forgot about lilly pilly berries never had ’em!

    scaper, thanks for the advice…

    The local produce store has asked daughter if she would be willing to breed her bantams with their cockerel (can’t keep cocks in the suburbs) for a fee of course …

    … this GW/CC just might bring back the society I seek…

  160. Lotharsson, on July 9th, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Those first two links to Climate Progress are first class and indeed they should be read all who engage in debate, and particularly political debate. In QLD, we had Joh who could never win an intellectual debate but always (often?) won the political debate for reasons the links highlight.

    As for the Dunning-Kruger effect, I suspect the message will go straight through to the keeper.

  161. Lotharsson, on July 9th, 2009 at 2:36 pm Said:
    “…people reach erroneous conclusions [often about their own competence and abilities] and make unfortunate choices but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it”. They therefore suffer an illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average.”

    This is related to problems found in most organisations. Employees that display competency at any level are likely to expect promotion to the next level until they reach a level that is beyond their competency level. Their superiors can face a dilemma, try and keep the employee, now disgruntled, at the lower level, or make the promotion and suffer the consequences. Unfortunately it seems that too many managers take the easy way out and end up with an organisation staffed by people trying to operate at one level beyond their capabilities.
    I think the problems start in schools with automatic promotion of students when clearly they are struggling at their current level.
    I’ve observed recently the same problem with tradesmen. Most young ones that are supposedly qualified as tradesmen seem to have the skills, and attitude, of what was expected of a trades assistant a generation ago.

  162. As for the Dunning-Kruger effect, I suspect the message will go straight through to the keeper.

    Don’t you worry about that. It’s time to feed the chooks. If Krug isn’t the question, yes, I don’t, no, you don’t know what the answer is. Do have one of Flo’s pumpkin scones. We’ll have the Dean Brothers work day and night on a solution to that old chestnut and wrap it up in brown paper for later. Any more questions? Good.

  163. I seem to recall that being called the Peter Principle, johnd, and yes, it’s a real problem.

    I once saw a great Dilbert cartoon along the following lines:

    – “We have a corporate policy that every manager can only hire people who are smarter than they are”
    – “Hmmm, so I guess that makes our CEO the dumbest person in the company?”

    Can’t remember what the 3rd panel was or where it fit, but you get the gist of the joke.

  164. Lotharsson, on July 9th, 2009 at 5:52 pm Said:
    “Hmmm, so I guess that makes our CEO the dumbest person in the company?”

    Lotharsson, LOL, though I’m not so sure about that.
    A CEO that hires people smarter than he is, may turn out be the smartest person in the company.
    And I think the reverse might also apply.

  165. Yes Legion – he was like that.

    I think scientists also suffer from a ‘psychological’ disadvantage in debates, given that they are well aware the ‘truths’ they (reluctantly) espouse are tentative. Positions to be modified or refined in the light of further research or new evidence.

    Indeed I suspect that many scientists have abandoned notions of ‘truth’ and instead speak in terms of the ‘weight of evidence’, and use verbs such as ‘seem’ or ‘suggest’ or ‘indicate’ and so on which is the realistic ‘scientific’ position but not a powerful ‘political position, broadly defined.

    In the wider world, the punters like binary opposites such as ‘good/bad’, ‘right/wrong’, ‘fact/fiction’, ‘black/white’ etc. (Never heard a successful politician say ‘I don’t know’ or adopt a ‘tentative’ stance). The punters like ‘certainty’. Always reminded of the quote (Voltaire?):

    Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but Certainty is a ridiculous one.

    Perhaps a School Motto for the future?

  166. johnd, on July 9th, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    jd, The Peter Principle, pointed out by LTSN, is a great read – and spot on …

    However, like me, I think you may simply be showing your age. Have you noticed how police”persons” and paramedics look like they have just left h/school?

  167. As for the Dunning-Kruger effect, I suspect the message will go straight through to the keeper.

    There’s something beautifully recursive about Dunning-Kruger – it predicts its referents inability to notice it by placing comprehension of the applicability of itself within the scope of itself 😉

  168. A Catch 22! Now who was it who made reference to it? LOL.

    Irony abounds.

  169. Amen.

  170. “KEVIN Rudd has warned world leaders they have 150 days to bite the bullet on climate change, after talks between environment ministers failed to break deadlocks threatening a global agreement at Copenhagen in December and G8 leaders managed only the vaguest consensus.”

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25759688-11949,00.html

    I don’t have much faith that the Copenhagen Summit will achieve anything substantial as China, India and Russia will not come to the party in my opinion.

  171. .

    I don’t have much faith that the Copenhagen Summit will achieve anything substantial as China, India and Russia will not come to the party in my opinion.

    Why is that? I was under the impression that all three of those BRIC economies were interested in participations in multilateral diplomatic institutions. I’m thinking they’ll be there in Copenhagen, and the achievements in dialogue alone will be considerable, given it’s an opportunity for addressing seemingly important and very complex issues where the ‘interests’ are highly crafted, many, and varied.

  172. Speaking of things beginning with C – like a capital idea, or Copenhagen, or consensus, a not-unrelated barometer on such matters might, perhaps, be this, which is approaching a big fat F from from its present D: Doha Development Round.

  173. This is why they do it (i.e. get people like Carlin to submit rubbish to some official body) – so their legion of propagandists can stand up in venue after venue and make false claims about “research” being “suppressed”, hoping that some of the audience will be fooled by it.

    And I haven’t posted to Blogocrats several other cases where public officials have made the same sorts of claims.

  174. The Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate “acknowledged a growing scientific consensus” that average temperatures should not rise more than 2 degrees Celsius from 100 or so years ago…but didn’t really agree on much specific action to make that happen.

    There’s clear tension between the BRIC bloc and the developed countries.

    And some scientists are already skeptical that it’s even possible to limit temperature rise to 2 degrees by reducing emissions from now onwards.

  175. Lotharsson, on July 10th, 2009 at 2:46 pm Said:
    “And some scientists are already skeptical that it’s even possible to limit temperature rise to 2 degrees by reducing emissions from now onwards.”

    Lotharsson, is this not good enough reason to consider Carlin’s proposal of Solar Radiation Management, irrespective of his personal qualifications.
    It has been proved through experience with SO2 that dispensing aerosols into the atmosphere does have a cooling effect, and if limiting CO2 is not going to have the limiting effect, what is the plan then.
    This has always been my concern. The argument by the proponents of AGW has been that even if the scientists turn out to be wrong, it is better to do something to reduce CO2 rather than do nothing.
    My view is that what if the scientists are wrong and the heating is not due to CO2, but entirely due to natural variation. To me that is a far greater danger. Time and resources will be squandered for nought, and no Plan B to fall back onto.
    As for the argument about the temperature trend over the last decade, whilst the argument generally descends to whether the opponents believe it indicates cooling or a temporary pause in heating, the real point is that trend has undoubtedly departed from that projected by all climate models. I don’t think anyone on either side of the debate would deny that.
    Therefore the focus, and debate, should be on what are the possible causes that could overwhelm the effects of ever increasing amounts of CO2, and just how reliable are the models if this relatively minor change hasn’t been allowed for.

  176. …is this not good enough reason to consider Carlin’s proposal of Solar Radiation Management, irrespective of his personal qualifications.

    Yes, although others have proposed it too.

    A key problem with this idea is that those who propose it usually pooh-pooh current climate models and their predictions, but argue that we should do some form of Solar Radiation Management – despite not having a good idea of the outcome. The law of unintended consequences is likely to bite back…

    My view is that what if the scientists are wrong and the heating is not due to CO2, but entirely due to natural variation

    It’s a possibility, but increasingly slim one. And if it turns out to be true, then it may even be the case that the resulting temperature increases will be less severe than predicted, in which case there’s a lot less to worry about, so it’s probably not the “far greater danger” that you’re worried about.

    …the real point is that trend has undoubtedly departed from that projected by all climate models.

    No, this is false, as has been explained over and over again. So yes, many actual climate scientists are denying your unsupported assertion here.

  177. My view is that what if the scientists are wrong and the heating is not due to CO2, but entirely due to natural variation…

    BTW, the problem with this stance is the same as with advocating solar radiation management.

    You argue that maybe it’s just natural variation. Alright, let’s presume it is for the sake of argument.

    How bad will it get? Well, you don’t know. You don’t accept the current climate models model this hypothesised natural variation, and you don’t have one that plausibly explains the observations, so you have no way to predict anything about the future change.

    What action should we take? No idea, because we have no idea why much of the change is happening, or even how bad it will get.

    It seems to be the case that people saying “bah, the current models are way wrong” get hoist on their own petard, because whatever they advocate (except perhaps “do nothing and hope like hell”), they can’t come up with a better model to justify their advocacy.

  178. “There’s something beautifully recursive about Dunning-Kruger – it predicts its referents inability to notice it by placing comprehension of the applicability of itself within the scope of itself ”

    The irony is palpable indeed.

    Thanks to Lotharsson, johnd & Legion. The dialogue is very useful in assisting my evolving opinions re AGW theory. Well resourced & substantiated arguments devoid of the shallow & deflective snippet memes that characterise the debate on “more popular” forums (both anti & pro…but I’m mainly fixing you in my gaze Andrew[fanatic]Bolt).

    So far Lotharsson is carrying logic with clinical efficiency to my way of thinking. That’s not to disregard johnd’s measured arguments. What I most appreciate is the absence of unhelpful hyperbole or histrionics from both.

    Thanx again.

  179. Lotharsson, Firstly, I read Carlins report, and despite the attacks on it, and him, I did not think it could be described as a scientific paper, rather merely a discussion paper making a case for an alternative approach.
    The argument is not about whether it is warming or not, but whether the temperature is responding to increasing CO2, or to some other, yet identified forces.
    With SRM, if it works, it could counter both scenarios, AGW and natural warming. It also could have some immediate effect, and if switched off the ongoing effects would dissipate reasonably quickly. I’m not advocating pumping SO2 into the atmosphere, but our experience with it provides some basis in the search for a suitable alternative. It does not have to be a solution with no adverse effects as the adverse effects of curbing CO2 are likely to be extreme if they are to achieve the intended outcome.

    “No, this is false, as has been explained over and over again.”

    Perhaps you could direct me to the models that did predict this temperature situation of the last decade, then perhaps it wouldn’t have to be explained again.

  180. It seems to be the case that people saying “bah, the current models are way wrong” . . . they can’t come up with a better model to justify their advocacy.

    Have you ever considered this idea: that the climate system might just be too complex and too dynamic, with too many unpredictable influences, to ever replicate on a mere computer model, let alone predict its future behaviour with any degree of certainty?

  181. Perhaps you could direct me to the models that did predict this temperature situation of the last decade, then perhaps it wouldn’t have to be explained again.

    I have explained to you several times, and the climate science websites have done the same, that (a) “climate trend” measurement requires looking at more than 10 years or so – more like 30; that the trend is still up; that most of the hottest years for a long time in the GISTEMP surface measurements have been in the last 10 years; that the trend is well within the ranges predicted by the models. You can easily find this information for yourself if you really want to evaluate it.

    With SRM, if it works, it could counter both scenarios, AGW and natural warming.

    I agree with you in principle – with strong reservations about the risks of alternative approaches, but the key problem remains.

    What effect will it have on climate? If you don’t trust the current models, and you don’t have a better one, then you don’t really know – and you can’t even say how bad the future problem might be until you experience it.

    If you do trust the current models to predict the effect of solar radiation management strategies, then you have to accept that they also attribute much of the warming to anthropogenic CO2, in which case turning off that spigot is highly prudent. (You still might want to consider alternate strategies in addition…)

    You might argue “suck it and see” (try out some form of climate modification technique for a while and see what happens), but that’s unlikely to be politically viable…

  182. Human Dividend, on July 10th, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Thanks HD. Hope you can share your opinions.
    Perhaps like that song –
    “ah, but one night in some empty room
    where no curtains ever hung
    like a miracle some golden words
    rolled off of someone’s tongue”

  183. Tony
    “Have you ever considered this idea: that the climate system might just be too complex and too dynamic, with too many unpredictable influences, to ever replicate ”

    Congratulations Tony, you have just demonstrated that you fail to even comprehend the nature of modeling, and yet, continue to deny the validity of the work of those who do understand such matters,

    FYI, modeling is not concerned with replicating a system (or systems) but rather with simulating those systems. If you do not, or are unable to understand this simple difference, then it is impossible to regard any of your statements wrt to models and modeling as having any credibility whatsoever.

  184. Yes, of course you’re right, Pterosaur. Let me fix it for you so you can argue my point instead of nit-picking my (incorrect) choice of word.

    Have you ever considered this idea: that the climate system might just be too complex and too dynamic, with too many unpredictable influences, to ever replicate simulate on a mere computer model, let alone predict its future behaviour with any degree of certainty?

  185. Well its been done Tony, I know you don’t like it as you hate having to remove your head from the sand, but

    “them’s the facts”

  186. Pterosaur, on July 10th, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    How can “modelling” be facts?

  187. No, TB you misunderstand, “the facts” are that the models exist, and work.

    This in response to Tony’s ignorance on the nature of modeling.

    BTW, for Tony – no way is the differnce between “replication” and “simulation” “nit picking ” as you term it.

    Not when the change of a word can change the meaning of a statement.

  188. Yes, I’d say it’s nitpicking.

  189. “Thanks HD. Hope you can share your opinions”johnd

    I try to stay out of this as I’m dubious of things (generally) by nature but did a bit of various Earth sciences at uni a looong time ago so am inclined to disbelieve that it’s all “an orchestrated conspiracy by Teh Scientists”.
    I’m interested in facts & intelligent, dispassionate analysis where the fate of the planet my offspring will inherit is concerned. I learn much from watching you, Lotharsson, Tony & a few others bounce off of eachother.
    For me it isn’t a case of wanting to be right or wrong but to come to a reasonable, actionable understanding; I fear this may be a way off yet.

    I mistrust what appears to be a left’right polarity around the issue as I’m naturally wary of the same people who deny the health risks associated with cigarettes, or those who (still) claim that it was a legitimate action to invade Iraq; unfortunately these are some of the loudest oponents of AGW theory, at least publicly.
    When politics & ideology can be separated from the argument I learn rather than filter.
    I think that particularly you and Lotharsson are blunt & concise without being overly suggestive; I appreciate this.

    My heart is probably closer to the proponent side than the other but I’m far from a “zealot” & bow to no church, scientific, imagined or otherwise.

  190. Well you would, wouldn’t you ?

  191. Lotharsson, on July 10th, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    How the modelling has worked:

    Working Group I: The Scientific Basis

    There is a site somewhere that lists the incidents where the modelling has been accurate and surprising in predicting major climatic changes. Can’t remember where it is and I didn’t bookmark it.

  192. Mobius Ecko, on July 10th, 2009 at 8:10 pm Said:
    “There is a site somewhere that lists the incidents where the modelling has been accurate and surprising in predicting major climatic changes.”

    I assume you mean major climatic changes of the past, but why shouldn’t any such modelling be accurate, and why surprising if so?

    I find the three graphs on the link interesting.
    Graph (a) seems to assume no natural overall warming trend, just a seemingly regular variation. From the beginning of the graph until about 1880, the natural model predicted warmer than observed temperatures, apparently some anthropogenic induced cooling occurred then.
    Similarly from about 1910 until 1960 graph (a) predicted more or less stable temperatures at an elevated level with some cooling towards the end, whilst graph (b) predicted more or less stable temperatures but at normal levels and also some cooling indicated towards the end, yet the observed trend was very strongly up over that period. Perhaps natural forcings again overpowered anthropogenic forcings?
    The trouble with creating models to account for past climatic conditions is that those creating them have to know everything about everything that occurred in the past. The further back in time we go the harder it is to get representative data, and then it is only proxy data, and we can only assume it’s accuracy. Even now new opinions are coming forth about what was considered global events of the past may have been regional instead.

    In recent days I watched a documentary on how the Great Lakes of North America were formed. Glaciers advanced and retreated a number of times both compressing and scouring out what is now the lake basin and the lakes themselves. The last great glacier formed about 100,000 years ago, peaked at about 18,000 years ago, began retreating about 14,000 years ago, leaving the lakes area in their present form about 4000 years ago. Even today the land in the basin area is still rebounding from the weight of the glacier at a rate of about 7.5cm every 100 years.
    And temperatures are apparently still recovering.

  193. Well, it looks like the PM is finally seeing the reality.

    “KEVIN Rudd holds little hope of a breakthrough post-Kyoto agreement being reached in Copenhagen later this year.”

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25763533-601,00.html

    Just like the cooperation to attain world peace the world uniting to reduce the perceived problem of CO2 is just another ‘pipe dream’.

  194. this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal;

    Maybe not so much.

    BTW, WTF is a “rolling global clearing house”?

  195. johnd, on July 11th, 2009 at 6:45 am Said:

    I assume you mean major climatic changes of the past, but why shouldn’t any such modelling be accurate, and why surprising if so?

    No not at all.

    The modelling has made predictions that such and such should happen over a region of the world, and these things occurred more or less to the degree the modelling predicted.

  196. That must be very pleasing for the modellers, Adrian. Care to quote some examples of such accurate predictions?

  197. As I have said, this topic is far above my simple understanding.

    Perhaps this http://cce.890m.com/climate-models/ will add something to the dabate. I would like to read your thoughts on it.

    the section on Model validation is what drew my attention, particularly considering the previous few posts.

    I did note that I could not find much about the site, except the author is a computer scientist. But some of the information was well presented for me, the ‘layman’

    sorry if this is all old news.

  198. Your child too can one day aspire to become a ‘climate cop’!

    http://www.infowars.com/british-kids-encouraged-to-become-climate-cops/

    A religion is an understatement!

  199. This must be the new ‘green’ jobs that the government is referring to.

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/public_sector/article6639289.ece

    Green jackets…wouldn’t brown shirts be more appropriate???

  200. So Tony and Scaper, both obviously mathematical geniuses, yet who both apparently fail to understand the nature and purpose of modelling wish to cast doubt on the (peer reviewed) work of thousands of scientists from a wide variety of disciplines ?

    Perhaps if either of you had the comprehension skills necessary to distinguish between “climate” and “weather” then you would be able to mount sustainable criticisms against the use of models and their accuracy, although it seems pretty clear to me that this is not the case.

    TomR ‘s link may help in understanding what’s going on, for those who are approaching these issues with an open mind, although, to be fair, I have seen no evidence that Tony or Scaper are much interested such an approach.

  201. Pterosaur,

    Please don’t bother addressing your personal insults towards me. I’ll not be responding to you at all while you beclown yourself with this kind of approach.

  202. Pterosaur, on July 11th, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Obviously another self professed intellectual…I really don’t give a f**k if there is or is not AGW as I believe in cleaning up our environment and moving to sustainability but won’t have a bar of the CC movement!

    Do these precious models allow for volcanic activity, asteroids or possible sunspot variability that has not occurred in the past?

    If so, what exact point do these models predict such?

    These models are nothing more than electronic crystal balls as no person or technology can predict the future.

  203. scaper

    please do not read the link I provided

    Oh, you already haven’t, cheers 🙂

    Hindcasting

    A model should be able to closely approximate the climate of the recent past. We know past greenhouse gas concentrations. We know when volcanoes erupted and the magnitude of these eruptions. We know the emissions of anthropogenic aerosols, and we have an idea of the magnitude of solar activity. Plugging these values into the models should give us a close match to past climate.

    This is the result of 58 simulations produced by 14 different climate models for AR4.

  204. That must be very pleasing for the modellers, Adrian. Care to quote some examples of such accurate predictions?

    The Mount Pinatubo eruption.

    The prediction was that a major eruption would have a cooling effect whose magnitude depends on the amount of stuff released into the atmosphere; the observed cooling was quite close to the model’s predictions.

  205. I assume you mean major climatic changes of the past, but why shouldn’t any such modelling be accurate, and why surprising if so?

    Because, as explained to you at length in the past, the modeling is based on physics (and biochemistry and other sciences), NOT on embedding past observations into the model.

    And because the models have shown reasonable ability to predict the response of the climate to external forces whose timing and magnitude are unpredictable.

    So the fact that they do reasonably well at simulating major climatic changes in responses to both predictable and unpredictable forces means that they are probably capturing something essential about the climate system.

  206. Do these precious models allow for volcanic activity, asteroids or possible sunspot variability that has not occurred in the past?

    You need to understand how the models work. You can specify a series of inputs to the model describing the starting state of the climate system, plus known forces at work on the climate over time. These forces can include volcanic activity, sunspot activity, solar radiation variations, massive atmospheric compositional disturbances dues to asteroid impacts, Milankovich cycles, greenhouse gas concentration additions, and much more. Then you run the model and it predicts how the climate will (or would have) respond(ed).

    And if we do this with historical data on the forces that impacted climate over time, we get reasonably good agreement with what we know happened to the climate.

    Obviously we can’t predict some future forces like volcanic activity or asteroid impact, so we don’t know when those things will have an effect. But we could simulate what would happen should such an event occur by modeling the resulting forces on the climate.

    So the answer is “yes”.

    But you also need to know the difference between climate and weather or you will get confused about what the models do (e.g. your CanadaFreePress link was all about weather predictions, not climate…)

  207. Care to quote some examples of such accurate predictions?

    At a very high level, IIRC:

    The models predicted a “hot spot” in the atmosphere, which was not currently observed by the instruments in use, but was subsequently found to exist.

    They predicted cooling over parts of Antarctica due to the ozone hole, despite global warming occurring. This has also been observed.

  208. I’ll not be responding to you at all while you beclown yourself with this kind of approach.

    Tony, you say that careful expert judgement following fairly standard scientific rules designed to remove personal bias and provide a chain of reasoning and evidence for the judgement rendered is “applying feelings” and that any such judgement is merely “empty rhetoric”.

    Seems to me that

    I have seen no evidence that Tony or Scaper are much interested such an approach [i.e. with an open mind].

    is at least a plausible characterisation of that position of yours. I find it interesting that you feel this is an insult. Did you consider that you had an open mind about whether expert judgement might be useful and valid, and then you made your mind up after reading the IPCC guidelines?

  209. Scaper

    …won’t have a bar of the CC movement!

    Perhaps you can explain what the “CC movement” consists of, that you won’t have a bar of. Does it contain the scientists working on understanding the climate? Or only those whose work supports the hypothesis that the planet is warming? Or only those whose work supports the hypothesis that the warming is at least partly anthropogenic? Or only those who state that they agree with the “A” in “AGW”? I presume it doesn’t contain those who state that they disagree with the “A” in “AGW”?

    Who else or what else is part of the “CC movement”? Anyone who agrees with “GW”, or with the “A” in “AGW”? Or anyone who advocates mitigating action somehow?

    And you regularly talk about the “CC church”. Is it different to the “CC movement”?

  210. Lotharsson,

    is at least a plausible characterisation of that position of yours. I find it interesting that you feel this is an insult.

    Not that it’s any of your concern, but the lines you highlighted were not the comments I found objectionable. (Another of your strawmen, perhaps?)

    Nevertheless, that’s my last comment on the matter as I find this kind of personal stuff extremely tiresome. You can have the last word if you want it.

  211. Not that it’s any of your concern, but the lines you highlighted were not the comments I found objectionable. (Another of your strawmen, perhaps?)

    It’s the best interpretation I came up with. Apologies for getting it wrong.

  212. http://on-walkabout.com/2009/02/08/bob-brown-blames-bushfires-global-warming/

    So scaper, what part of Bob Brown’s actual statement did you find objectionable? (I’m assuming you did, given the tone of the post you linked to.) That he stated scientific opinion that global warming will lead to increased numbers of and intensity of bushfires? That we should perhaps do something about it? Or that you imagine that he attributed those specific fires to global warming – which his quoted statement clearly did not?

    http://www.infowars.com/british-kids-encouraged-to-become-climate-cops/

    I agree, that’s over the top, and the spying/crime file metaphors are not a healthy way to get kids to look at the world.

    Still not sure how you get “church” or “religion” out of it though – they imply belief-not-grounded-in-evidence, which you have time and time again failed to show is the case regarding AGW when challenged with pointers to actual evidence. .

  213. Have you ever considered this idea: that the climate system might just be too complex and too dynamic, with too many unpredictable influences, to ever replicate on a mere computer model, let alone predict its future behaviour with any degree of certainty?

    I want to revisit this.

    Yes, I’ve considered that, and so have the scientists, especially the ones who work on the models and their interpretation.

    The only ways to make your implied statement (that climate is too complex to simulate) true are
    – to make it from a position of ignorance-fueled hubris (given that the models already do a reasonable job of simulation), or
    – to argue that the simulations we have today (and the best possible ones we CAN make in the future) just won’t be good enough by giving some particular definition of “good enough”.

    Yes, everyone involved acknowledges that the simulations we have today have significant shortcomings, but it’s difficult to argue that they’re not (and can never be) “good enough” because they’re already useful.

    Perhaps this is related to the question you repeatedly refuse to answer – what evidence would it take to persuade you that humans were responsible for a significant portion of recent global warming?

  214. what evidence would it take to persuade you that humans were responsible for a significant portion of recent global warming?

    First of all you would have to show that no other natural influences could have been responsible for that warming, leaving human influence as the only answer. Since there are so many other theoretically possible causes, AGW is no more than an elaborate hypothesis.

  215. June 2009 monthly sea ice data is now out for NH and SH [Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere].

    The global sea ice anomaly in June 2009 remained positive. Over the 1979-2009 period, there is zero trend in global sea ice anomaly, with a SH increasing trend offsetting a NH decreasing trend. June 2009 NH anomaly was not remarkable.

  216. First. Climate Audit doesn’t directly link to data. The links are there scribbled at the bottom of the graphs, but they don’t directly link to it and that is disingenuous.

    Second. Read the comments, very enlightening.

    Third. Isn’t it telling they accuse the proponents of using an exceptional global ice melt year as a basis to make a point yet the opponents have had no problems with using an exceptionally global hot year, 1998, to make their point that the world has stopped warming. Goose and Gander comes to mind here.

    As the models predict, the NH is behaving differently to the SH and is wearing the brunt of the global warming, which is the case even when there is no warming. Different but interacting influences are at play between both hemispheres. That is discussed and sourced in the replies as it this which quotes there is no real rebound in Arctic ice.

    “A record was set in the reduction of Arctic perennial ice extent in winter 2008, while the winter total sea ice extent has been stable compared to the average over the decade of the QS data record (1999-2009). By 1 March 2008, the extent of perennial sea ice was reduced by one million km2 compared to that at the same time in 2007, which continued the precipitous declining trend observed in this decade. Beyond the QS satellite data time-series, the perennial sea ice pattern change was deduced by using the buoy-based estimates computed with 50 years of data from drifting buoys and measurement camps to track sea ice movement around the Arctic Ocean. The combination of the satellite and surface data records confirms that the reduction of winter perennial ice extent broke the record in 2008 compared to data over the last half century. In the 2007-2008 ice season, perennial ice extent reduced by 1.2×10^6 km2 between 10/1/2007 and 5/1/2008. Updated observations from QS data showed that perennial ice extent was 0.5×10^6 km2 larger on 10/1/2008 compared to the same date in 2007 due to more plentiful survival of sea ice after summer 2008. Nevertheless, between 10/1/2008 and 5/1/2009, the reduction of sea ice extent was 50% more rapid than the reduction rate in the same period between 2007 and 2008. On 5/1/2009, perennial ice extent has reduced to 2.1×10^6 km2, which is a virtual tie to 2.2×10^6 km2 of perennial ice extent on 5/1/2008 given the uncertainty of ±0.2×10^6 km2 in QS measurements. “

    One respondents reply to that was that you only had to fly over the Arctic and eyeball it to see there is a rebound. Unless human eyes have evolved the ability to behave like GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) then I don’t know how eye balling an ice covered continent proves much.

  217. Also to shoot the messenger and to give those who don’t know Stephen McIntyre of Climate Audit his background so you can judge where he comes from:

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

    That is not to say that Climate Audit hasn’t raised some legitimate points and is a legitimate organ to hold the climate science to account, but that must be tempered with the fact that at times his hypotheses and/or claims have been discredited, yet he doesn’t acknowledge that.

    A good thing to do with any article posted in Climate Audit discrediting climate change or pulling out the latest climate data is to go through all the replies and the sources normally given in them. Climate Audit to its credit does have healthy and informative debate in amongst the few radicals on both sides that can be found everywhere on this.

  218. Tom R, on July 11th, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Just reading though your link.
    I know virtually everybody claims weather and climate are different, but climate is just the range of weather events normally experienced over a period of time. But what is that time period, at what point does weather become climate, is there a defined point?
    The article indicates weather forecasts as being measured in a few days, does that mean that the seasonal outlooks such as produced by BOM/CSIRO and other agencies, looking a month, three months or a year in advance are weather forecasts, or climate forecasts?

    “”The climate over the long term, however, is determined by the Earth’s energy balance. That is, how much energy is reaching the earth, how much bounces off, how much is retained, and how long it is retained. Everything else is just a matter of the earth temporarily shifting the energy from one part of the world to another.””

    For me, the last sentence about shifting energy is exactly what defines weather. To my mind, weather is the process of trying to achieve balance between areas of heat differential with H2O being the main vehicle. Weather therefore is a negative feedback mechanism.
    Not only is heat transported between regions, but between the surface and the upper layers of the troposphere. Some storms are now thought to be rising so quickly that they actually punch through the upper layers of the troposphere straight into the stratosphere.

    The bit about GCM’s is a bit confusing as there are two GCM’s, General Circulation Models, as mentioned, and General Climate Models. The former is what is used by agencies making short term outlooks and are key components of the latter.

    The bit about computer power is relevant as presently BOM/CSIRO are after extra funding for new computers to enable them to run more sophisticated models, but state that useful forecasts are still three to seven years away.
    Interestingly the Japanese agency, JAMSTEC, who are the leading researchers with regards to the Indian Ocean, and had been creating a successful track record in predicting the IOD, so much so that primary producers in SE Australia were beginning to swear by their predictions, recently transferred their models and data, completely intact, to a new computer system, which immediately began throwing out forecasts that completely contrasted those produced on the old system. They had been the odd man out in recent years, and the only one correct, but their current forecasts now approximate most of the others. The next month or so will tell whether their earlier forecasts on the old system, or the newer ones will prove to be correct.

    With regards to model validation, as noted in an earlier post, there should be no surprise when models predict events, indeed that is the whole objective of creating, and then tweaking, models.
    But knowledge is expanding all the time. El-Nino/SOI (ENSO) figures prominently in weather and climate related matters, but with the recent discovery of the IOD, some influence of what had been attributed to ENSO has now been shown to be that of the IOD and currently research is being undertaken to re-evaluate the influence of ENSO which should eventually be allowed for future weather and climate forecasts.
    I notice the three graphs mentioned in an earlier post are also in your link. I notice also that no-one responded to my comments which alluded to the natural and anthropogenic models seemed to only by chance, when combined, to coincide with the observations. As noted in the link, the results aren’t perfect, but given the relatively recent time frame, and recognising the scale of the temperature anomalies, there obviously is a long way to go in getting models that do reflect actual observations.

    The 1000 year graph is interesting. It leaves me wonder whether it is the trend as depicted by the reconstructed data, or that depicted by the models that we should most fear.

    Got to go.

  219. Adrian,

    Steve McIntyre is very careful not to make statements about the truth or otherwise of climate change (although he does take great delight in pulling apart various peer-reviewed studies data-point by data-point).

    Further, he doesn’t allow comments of a policy or political nature on his blog, and he is ruthless in deleting personal attacks – what he likes to call ‘piling-on’ – a most refreshing point-of-difference from most other mainstream climate blogs: deltoid and realclimate are two that spring to mind whose stock-in-trade is smarmy ad-hominem.

  220. All this is about money and power and will not achieve the desired effect.

    http://www.climatedepot.com/a/1893/Gore-US-Climate-Bill-Will-Help-Bring-About-Global-Governance

    This is the real agenda!

  221. “Happer, director of energy research at the U.S. Department of Energy for two years, was asked to leave at the end of May. Although he was a political appointee, he had expected to remain until his replacement was nominated, since the Clinton administration had asked him to stay on in January. But he was pushed out two months beforehand. “I was told that science was not going to intrude on policy,” he says. Now the DOE’s former chief scientist is back at Princeton.”

    http://www.sepp.org/Archive/controv/controversies/happer.html

    “In the worst cases, science has been turned on its head. Instead of policy being guided by factual information, the facts are being forced to fit the policy requirements of certain politicians, bureaucrats, and activists. “With regard to global climate issues, we are experiencing politically correct science,” Happer says. “Many atmospheric scientists are afraid for their funding, which is why they don’t challenge Al Gore and his colleagues. They have a pretty clear idea of what the answer they’re supposed to get is. The attitude in the administration is, ‘If you get a wrong result, we don’t want to hear about it.”

    The ETS is a SCAM!

  222. First of all you would have to show that no other natural influences could have been responsible for that warming, leaving human influence as the only answer.

    That’s pretty much what the models show to reasonable likelihood, Tony. That you either don’t understand how they do this, or won’t accept that they do this, does not change those facts.

    Since there are so many other theoretically possible causes, AGW is no more than an elaborate hypothesis.

    What other causes that have not already been assessed, Tony? Please help enlighten the climate scientists who have obviously missed something big.

  223. It’s pretty funny to watch scaper post “global governance” panic articles by Marc Morano, whilst asserting that “climate change is a religion” (i.e. unsupported by facts or evidence).

    Marc Morano was the environmental communications director for Senator Inhofe. (We’ve seen Inhofe before – he has a very tenuous grasp on reality, and is not afraid to pad his anti-AGW petitions with non-scientists – and with people who are pro-AGW.)

    Marc Morano was the centre of a small network responsible for much of the anti-AGW articles appearing in the blogosphere, often getting them into the press. He himself has a rather poor reputation for being truthful.

    Here he trots out the favourite right-wing boogeymen, or terms close enough to some of them to cause most people to miss the difference.

  224. I suppose all these scientists in this link are liars and under the pay of the big polluters too?

    http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=10fe77b0-802a-23ad-4df1-fc38ed4f85e3

    The first commandment is to discredit the messenger, not the message…well done!

  225. scaper…, on July 12th, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Scaper, what Happer was drawing attention to is most likely illustrated on this chart. The blocking by ozone is effective in the same approximate UV wavelengths as Rayleigh Scattering.

    The same could be said about CO2 and water vapour. At the temperatures that are relevant to the earths greenhouse, CO2 blocks outgoing radiation up to at about -60C, but then allows almost total transmission at the level transmission by water vapour peaks at, about 37C

  226. Tony, on July 12th, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Agree Tony. Of most of the AGW/CC opponents sites that claim to be scientific his is the most credible. But that still doesn’t make him right all the time, and as I have stated some of his hypotheses or articles he has raised have been discredited yet he still goes on with the discredited science as though it is fact.

    Just one for instance. He rightly attacked the accuracy of individual weather stations in the US because of their poor maintenance and the bad location of some. He then project the erroneous readings from these stations onto the whole of US climate modelling from GISS. What he did though was selectively take poorly maintained or located stations that read high whilst ignoring those that read low for the same reasons.

    I haven’t gone back to check this for a while, but at the time he also didn’t project or give the percentage of erroneous stations compared to all stations, his site just highlighted and lambasted those that were the worst case.

    I also believe the Urban Heat Island effect has been discredited or explained away, and after the adjustments made the Hockey Stick effect has been justified by the IPCC.

    As I stated, his is a good effort at keeping the authorities on their toes and ensuring they do things correctly, he has spawned some enquiries and had data slightly adjusted, but who is policing him and the data he presents as fact? You certainly seem to believe him without reservation.

    Like all science Tony, leave it to be debated and argued amongst the scientists. It is beyond you and I and I suggest everyone else here, and you could go on forever cherry picking bits and pieces of it just because it suits a mostly ideological point of view.

    I’m nowhere near 100% certain the AGW view is correct, and slightly more convinced that climate change is correct from whatever cause, I’m far less convinced that the opponents have it right though and their continuous antics and jumping from one thing to another as each is discredited has me even more convinced they are yet to have it right.

    But what makes you so 100% absolutely certain the proponents have it wrong?

  227. scaper…, on July 12th, 2009 at 12:10 pm Said:

    The first commandment is to discredit the messenger, not the message…well done!

    No scaper, because you have rarely raised messengers but have oft quoted known obfuscates and deliberate misdirects, some who are known to be in the pay of vested interests or spokespersons for vested interests or are driven ideologically.

    What you do is search around and find anyone that speaks out against AGW and then jump at the chance to use them to back up your stance. If you do not check their background and why they are taking the position they do then you must rightly expect their background and position to be pointed out here or anywhere. That is not shooting the messenger at all but correctly raising the background and vested interest of those making a claim, usually not backed up by peer reviewed science.

  228. scaper…, on July 12th, 2009 at 9:55 am

    ETS may well be a scam, but it is also dishonest and immoral in how it is intended to apply it to agriculture.

    To only count the emissions and not allow for offset by the CO2 sequestered from the atmosphere by the fodder consumed by the livestock, is something that any reasonable person must find hard to justify.
    It is obvious that the origin of the CO2 in the emissions can only have originated from the atmosphere. The plants that sequestered it transfer part of the carbon to the root system and the balance to the vegetation consumed by the animal. Intensive livestock grazing on improved pastures is an efficient means of raising soil carbon content, that has been proved.
    Much has been made of the fact that some of the CO2 is converted into methane, CH4, by the animal, and that methane is 23 times more potent than CO2, but if you refer to the chart mentioned in my previous post, methane is primarily effective at blocking heat within the same band as water vapour. The vast quantities of water vapour compared to the tiny volumes of either CO2 and CH4 have to count for something you would imagine.

    It’s like saying that if there were three Magpies supporters in a grand final crowd of 100,000, allowing an extra three in would double their effectiveness.
    True, but they would still be irrelevant.

  229. Hey Adrian, discredit these guys.

    Prominent Japanese Geologist Dr. Shigenori Maruyama, a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences who has authored more than 125 scientific publications, said in March 2009 that “there was widespread skepticism among his colleagues about the IPCC’s fourth and latest assessment report that most of the observed global temperature increase since the mid-20th century ‘is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.” Maruyama noted that when this question was raised at a Japan Geoscience Union symposium last year, ‘the result showed 90 per cent of the participants do not believe the IPCC report.” [Also See: The prestigious International Geological Congress, dubbed the geologists’ equivalent of the Olympic Games, was held in Norway in August 2008 and prominently featured the voices of scientists skeptical of man-made global warming fears. [ See: Skeptical scientists overwhelm conference: ‘2/3 of presenters and question-askers were hostile to, even dismissive of, the UN IPCC’ & see full reports here & here –More analyses of recent developments see report’s introduction here. ]

    “I do not find the supposed scientific consensus among my colleagues,” noted Earth Scientist Dr. Javier Cuadros on March 3, 2009. Cuadros, of the UK Natural History Museum, specializes in Clay Mineralogy and has published more than 30 scientific papers.

    Award-Winning Princeton University Physicist Dr. Robert H. Austin, who has published 170 scientific papers and was elected a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, lamented the current fears over global warming.

    “Unfortunately, Climate Science has become Political Science…It is tragic that some perhaps well-meaning but politically motivated scientists who should know better have whipped up a global frenzy about a phenomena which is statistically questionable at best,” Austin told the minority staff on the Environment and Public Works Committee on March 2, 2009.

    ‘Could turn the climate change world upside down’

    The rise in skeptical scientists are responding not only to an increase in dire “predictions” of climate change, but also a steady stream of peer-reviewed studies, analyses, real world data, and inconvenient developments have further cast doubts on the claims of man-made global warming fear activists. The latest peer-reviewed study in Geophysical Research Letters is being touted as a development that “could turn the climate change world upside down.” The study finds that the “Earth is undergoing natural climate shift.” The March 15, 2009 article in WISN.com details the research of Dr. Anastasios Tsonis of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “We realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,” Tsonis said. “I don’t think we can say much about what the humans are doing,” he added.

    Tsonis further added: “The temperature has flattened and is actually going down. We are seeing a new shift towards cooler temperatures that will last for probably about three decades.” [ See also: Peer-Reviewed Study Finds Global Warming could stop ‘for up to 30 years! Warming ‘On Hold?…’Could go into hiding for decades’ study finds – Discovery.com – March 2, 2009 ]

    Climate ‘primarily being driven by natural forcing mechanisms’

    Climatologist and Paloeclimate researcher Dr. Diane Douglas, who has authored or edited over 200 technical reports, also declared natural factors are dominating climate, not CO2. “The recent ‘panic’ to control GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions and billions of dollars being dedicated for the task has me deeply concerned that US, and other countries are spending precious global funds to stop global warming, when it is primarily being driven by natural forcing mechanisms,” Douglas, who is releasing a major new paper she authored that will be presented at a UNESCO conference in Ghent, Belgium on March 20, 2009, told the minority staff on the Environment and Public Works Committee on March 10, 2009.

    Retired Award Winning NASA Atmospheric Scientist Dr. William W. Vaughan, recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, a former Division Chief of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and author of more than 100 refereed journal articles, monographs, and papers, also now points to natural causes of recent climate changes. “The cause of these global changes is fundamentally due to the Sun and its effect on the Earth as it moves about in its orbit. Not from man-made activities,” Vaughan told the minority staff on the Environment and Public Works Committee on February 6, 2009.

    Geology Professor Uberto Crescenti of the University G.d’Annunzio in Italy, the past president of the Society of Italian Geologists also agrees that nature, not mankind is ruling the climate. “I think that climatic changes have natural causes according to geological data…I am very glad to sign the U.S. Senate’s report of scientists against the theory of man-made global warming,” Crescenti told the minority staff on the Environment and Public Works Committee on January 15, 2009.

    UN IPCC Scientist Dr. Steven M. Japar, a PhD atmospheric chemist who was part of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Second (1995) and Third (2001) Assessment Reports, and has authored 83 peer-reviewed publications and in the areas of climate change, atmospheric chemistry, air pollutions and vehicle emissions, challenged the IPCC’s climate claims.

    “Temperature measurements show that the [climate model-predicted mid-troposphere] hot zone is non-existent. This is more than sufficient to invalidate global climate models and projections made with them!” Japar told the minority staff on the Environment and Public Works Committee on January 7, 2009.

    Mathematical Physicist Dr. Frank Tipler, professor at Tulane University who has authored 58 peer-reviewed publications and five books, ridiculed man-made climate claims. “Whether the ice caps melt, or expand — whatever happens — the AGW (anthropogenic global warming) theorists claim it confirms their theory. A perfect example of a pseudo-science like astrology,” Tipler wrote on December 22, 2008.

    Botanist Dr. David Bellamy, a famed UK environmental campaigner, former lecturer at Durham University, and host of a popular UK TV series on wildlife, says the international promotion of man-made global warming fears are nearing their end. (Note: Bellamy was in the original 2007 U.S. Senate report.] “The ­science has, quite simply, gone awry. In fact, it’s not even science any more, it’s anti-science,” Bellamy, who used to believe in man-made warming, declared on November 5, 2008.

    ‘Journalistic malpractice’

    Chemist Dr. Mark L. Campbell, a professor of chemistry at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, who has published numerous studies in the Journal of the American Chemical Society on topics such as methane, squarely blames the media for promoting unfounded climate fears. “The sky is not burning, and to claim that it is amounts to journalistic malpractice…the press only promotes the global warming alarmists and ignores or minimizes those of us who are skeptical,” Chapman wrote on January 13, 2009.

    “Scientists across the globe are catching on — global warming is not real science. There is a sucker born every minute who believes in it, and Al Gore is playing the role of P.T. Barnum,” Chemist Max S. Strozier declared on December 22, 2009 in an email to the minority staff of the Environment and Public Works Committee. Strozier spent 26 years specializing in chemical laboratory analysis, served as a U.S. Department of Defense aerospace chemist and is a former lecturer at San Jose State University and the University of Texas.

  230. Lotharsson 11:51,

    That’s a bit rich coming from someone who’s previously argued that temperatures not continually rising doesn’t disprove the AGW hypothesis, because:

    At its most basic the part of it that deals with CO2 posits that – all other things being equal – increased atmospheric CO2 will lead to increased average surface temperature.

    What other things? They wouldn’t happen be the “other theoretically possible causes” I was referring to, by any chance? And why would they need to remain equal if the models have isolated human influence as the only possible cause of recent observed warming?

    (I – like Legion Kilroy – have a long memory.)

  231. Like all science Tony, leave it to be debated and argued amongst the scientists. It is beyond you and I and I suggest everyone else here, and you could go on forever cherry picking bits and pieces of it just because it suits a mostly ideological point of view.

    Thanks for the advice Adrian, and perhaps we should stop discussing politics because we’re not politicians, and religion because we’re not clergymen, and so on?

  232. scaper

    why discredit them, they are providing simple scientific observations

    But, lets bring it all into context

    Point three probably being the most pertinent to your specifc grudge I think.

  233. Tom R, on July 12th, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    LOL.
    Point one makes the author look like a fool. He is assuming all those millions of scientists apart fom the dissenters agree with the AGW theory, even given most of them are in totally unrelated fields, therefore unqualified.
    Hardly worth reading his other points, he shot himself down, but then he mentions the case of Galileo.
    He doesn’t present a very coherent case.

  234. scaper…, on July 12th, 2009 at 12:48

    scaper how about this?

    You discredit all the scientists that are proponents of AGW and/or Climate Change, or are you saying your scientists are absolutely right and all others are absolutely wrong?

    We could play this foolish my scientist is better than your scientist until the cows come home, proves nothing but leaves the debate where it should be, with the scientists. Or are you stating that you know all about the science, at least enough to make an informed and knowledgeable judgement on who is right and who is wrong?

    Finally you cherry picked a few scientists who to you sounded the most credible. How about listing all 700 and tell us that every single one are credited and peer reviewed specialist climatologists, geologists or meteorologists?

  235. Missed the point Tony, but oh well.

  236. Actually jd, the author very explicitly raises this point

    That means at least 99.98% of scientists either are on board with the global warming consensus or do not know of this report.

    Must be a lot of scientist’s who don’t read their emails.

    “even given most of them are in totally unrelated fields, therefore unqualified.”

    Kind of like the actual list itself, hey jd.

  237. Tom R, on July 12th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Not at all, those on the list have been knowingly put on the list, or put themselves on it.
    The author explicitly assumes, “in the absence of any contrary evidence” (my borrowing of the phrase), that 99.98% apparently are in agreement or otherwise ignorant of the report.
    Unless of course he is the nominated spokesman for those 99.98% of scientists, then he may be speaking with some authority, but he doesn’t seem to indicate that, or that the 99.98% form any common grouping, formal or otherwise. Perhaps if he has a list of all of their names, he should have attached it to his story to back up his claim.

  238. What other things? They wouldn’t happen be the “other theoretically possible causes” I was referring to, by any chance?

    And why would they need to remain equal if the models have isolated human influence as the only possible cause of recent observed warming?

    Wow.

    You’ve utterly failed to understand the reason I used “all other things being equal”. It was to point out that the childlike argument that “Geez, temperature went down this year whilst CO2 went up, so it can’t be CO2 causing the increase” would only work if there were no other influences on temperature – but we know about other influences at work, which means that temperature can go down for a while even as CO2 goes up.

    That statement is not evidence or argument for the idea that these other influences have been ignored or remain undiscovered by scientists. They model, characterise or bound the size of as many other influences as they can precisely to rule out the possibility that something else accounts for climate change.

    I note that you suggest that maybe the climate is “too complex” for modeling (i.e. science) to understand it, you
    fail to name any influence that would explain the warming that you suspect scientists might have missed, just as you fail to specify what actual evidence would persuade you – other than asking for “proof of non-existence” which can never be done. I conclude until further evidence arises that your position is “religious”, on the basis that no evidence is ever going to be available that can persuade you.

    No doubt scaper will condemn your position shortly 😉

  239. The first commandment is to discredit the messenger, not the message…well done!

    Hilarious 🙂

    Your first commandment seems to be “Rely on discredited messengers, so that you can complain about how unfair it is when people point out they are dishonest”, aka the old “playing the victim card for sympathy” gambit.

    And whenever I actually discredit your message, you don’t respond. Later you post essentially the same discredited stuff. I’ve seen this pattern on multiple threads. So your second commandment may be something like “Disregard any discrediting of your message. This reinforces your ability to execute the first commandment.”

  240. I suppose all these scientists in this link are liars and under the pay of the big polluters too?

    Never said they were.

    I don’t claim no honest scientists disagree with AGW. I’ve said the exact opposite before.

    But the mere existence of scientists who disagree does not prove their case – because the same argument would simultaneously prove the case of those who agree with AGW, which is clearly absurd.

    When you approvingly quote naked propagandists who have been proven to mostly be dishonest and/or wrong, it doesn’t help your case. You would do better to concentrate on science, and scientists who appear to be staking out an honest position.

  241. Lotharsson 4:16pm,

    OK, let me get this straight. So, we’ve got all these influences affecting the climate, and we’ve got them all dialled in so accurately that we know, in the event of any cooling, that it’s not that CO2 is failing to warm as predicted, it’s because of one of these other influences. However, if temperatures go up, it can only be because of CO2. Got it.

  242. Scaper, what Happer was drawing attention to is most likely illustrated on this chart. The blocking by ozone is effective in the same approximate UV wavelengths as Rayleigh Scattering.

    Again, as I pointed out earlier, you mischaracterise a graph that you yourself have provided by pretending that the partial overlaps in absorption ranges have no effect.

  243. Not at all, those on the list have been knowingly put on the list, or put themselves on it.

    If you’re talking about Inhofe’s list of “650, no 700 scientists” who don’t agree with AGW, then as I posted before:
    (a) At least one on the list was put on it without their knowledge and against their beliefs, and Inhofe won’t take them off as requested, and
    (b) many are not scientists, especially not climate scientists. (Follow some of the links there for more.)

    And as I pointed out on an earlier thread as well, an attempt to robustly survey scientists with actual relevant qualifications found that 97% agreed with AGW.

    Anyone feel like it might be smart to stop saying “my anti-AGW case is proved because I can appeal to the authority of a few scientists” yet?

  244. So, we’ve got all these influences affecting the climate, and we’ve got them all dialled in so accurately that we know, in the event of any cooling, that it’s not that CO2 is failing to warm as predicted, it’s because of one of these other influences. However, if temperatures go up, it can only be because of CO2. Got it.

    Yes, in a nutshell, as explained over and over again.

    We run the models on known inputs from the past and observe that they correspond quite well to the known past climate. (As we more accurately model more and more influences the models have become better at this type of prediction, not worse.)

    Then we run them without the extra CO2 (and if we like without the other anthropogenic influences, some of which have a cooling effect) and we observe the difference.

    If we like we can also run the models without any of the “other influences” too – and observe what happens. If you take away effects that cause temporary cooling – like (IIRC) all the sulfates we pumped into the atmosphere in the first half of the 20th Century, or the ozone hole over the Antarctic, then the warming becomes even more pronounced.

    Do you mean you haven’t understood this after all this time, or you simply have a “feeling” that it is a crock?

  245. A blog post on how Marc Morano works.

    This is why you have to check what he says with a fine-toothed comb. Just because he said it supports his case doesn’t mean it does.

  246. Do you mean you haven’t understood this after all this time, or you simply have a “feeling” that it is a crock?

    Pretty much the latter.

  247. Scaper, that list of scientists and quotes from them doesn’t prove what you think it does.

    One of them says the sun did it, which is pretty hard to believe given the masses of evidence to the contrary.

    Another points out that warming may be slowed down for the next couple of decades by natural forces – which is entirely in agreement with AGW.

    Another claims the tropospheric hot-spot does not exist, when AFAIK it does.

    David Bellamy has made himself notorious for making “pronouncements about science outside his area of expertise, but not backing them up with evidence.

    Dr. Cuadros’ claim that earth scientists are not in consensus appears to be discredited by the survey I linked to earlier, noting that you’ll never see 100% consensus in any active field – 97% is very high.

    Dr. Tipler fundamentally misrepresents the interpretation of the ice-caps data. He’s almost making the “if the climate is warming, then the ice-caps at either pole must decrease in area/volume every single year” argument that’s so foolish when you make the same claim about CO2 and temperature.

    Dr. Campbell rails against journalists claiming that “the sky is burning”, a position against hyperbole that most who agree with AGW would take without discrediting their position.

    If any of these guys has any actual science to discredit AGW, bring it on. An awful lot of people – myself included – would be very happy if AGW was disproved! But you can see most of them, at least as quoted, are not arguing science. Maybe they have some research out there to argue their case.

  248. Pretty much the latter.

    Noted.

  249. Lotharsson, on July 12th, 2009 at 4:44 pm Said:
    “Anyone feel like it might be smart to stop saying “my anti-AGW case is proved because I can appeal to the authority of a few scientists” yet?”

    The author in Tom R’s link who claimed that 99.98% of scientists, by default, support AGW, did mention the case of Galileo. That must count for something.
    But that particular author, as far as I can ascertain, appears to be a taxation accountant familiar with taxation law. 😦

  250. Lotharsson, on July 12th, 2009 at 5:09 pm Said:
    “Another points out that warming may be slowed down for the next couple of decades by natural forces – which is entirely in agreement with AGW.”

    What natural forces would those be? Have they been identified and objectively measured?

  251. An awful lot of people – myself included – would be very happy if AGW was disproved!

    But surely you would feel just the tiniest twinge of disappointment that all the hundreds of thousands of words you had written, and all the intellectual capital you had invested, in order to defend every single aspect of AGW, had been for nothing? 😉

  252. I see Gore is supportive of the ETS.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25768749-12377,00.html

    I wonder if the PM is going to have an audience with Gore…well, he had an audience with the Pope so it’s only fair…lol!

  253. But surely you would feel just the tiniest twinge of disappointment that all the hundreds of thousands of words you had written, and all the intellectual capital you had invested, in order to defend every single aspect of AGW, had been for nothing?

    No problem. 😉

    Because you’ve misidentified the object of “my defence”. It’s science, not any particular theory. If science overturns AGW, that’s a victory for science.

    And that’s why there’s little point in me continuing to debate your anti-AGW position – because it appears to be based on your personal feelings, not on any scientific basis.

  254. Lotharsson, on July 12th, 2009 at 7:16 pm Said:
    “If science overturns AGW, that’s a victory for science.”

    LOL, thats politician talk preparing for an arse covering exercise.
    Science won’t overturn AGW, only nature can do that.

    Science is what people have used to justify their mindset, and if the AGW theory is discredited, given how the subject has polarised both the scientific community, and the general public, it would long reflect badly on scientists generally, and be a loss for science.
    Just as the hypothesis of weapons of mass destruction, the supposition of an ever rising property market, or stock market, all backed up by credible research, supported by expert opinion , was sold to a trusting public, once reality set in, the credibility of whole administrations, both government and private sector, was left in tatters.
    No, an overturning of the AGW theory would not be a win for science.

  255. There are now two “professions” that claim to be able to see into the future (three, if we include the Liberal Party Crystal Ball Brigade) … and strangely (or not) both see Armageddon …

  256. johnd, on July 13th, 2009 at 8:10

    Oh c’mon John the WMD was supported by expert opinion and credible research? It was no such thing, it was nothing more than a snow job from start to finish.

    Don’t tell me you fell for it?

  257. Mobius Ecko, on July 13th, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Adrian, only those who blindly follow others fell for it.
    You know, the type of people who put their faith in others simply because they don’t know otherwise.

  258. LOL, thats politician talk preparing for an arse covering exercise. Science won’t overturn AGW, only nature can do that.

    Your first sentence is false – and very revealing. Scientific understanding evolves. It always has. To argue that we should NOT update our understanding of the world as scientific understanding improves is a perfect example of the “religious” mindset that scaper regularly lambasts.

    And your second is ungrounded in reality.

  259. Adrian, only those who blindly follow others fell for it.

    That’s a pretty ironic observation for someone who has just dissed the idea of adhering to scientific understanding as it grows.

  260. It really is time to tell the Climate Change Creationists to get on board or get out of the way.

  261. Kittylitter, that’s interesting timing – I was mulling over using that comparison on the weekend, but felt the analogy might lead people to take the “debate” in this forum in non-constructive directions.

    But the core analogy is roughly right – defenders of pre-conceived position, evidence to the contrary ignored or dismissed for no plausible reason, and in many cases mutating the scientific (i.e. disprovable) hypothesis into a non-disprovable hypothesis and clinging to that.

    You can see all of that on display here, with the added bonus of psychological projection (aka “Pot. KEttle. Black.”) – most illustrated by the refrain that “climate change is a church”!

  262. Speaking earlier of David Bellamy who was quoted as an authority by scaper, he has previously made statements that the scientists called “complete bullsh*t” – an unusually forthright statement for any scientist, who normally speak in very measured and precise terms.

  263. The other thing about many creationists is that they are very uncomfortable with uncertainty – it all has to be absolutely true or false. This is a key driver for their rejection of a lot of science. (I was raised in a creationist religion.)

    By nature, science is not 100% certain about almost anything, (except what is provably wrong). A future experiment could invalidate – or evolve our understanding of – almost any accepted “scientific truth”, and that just isn’t good enough for most creationists (especially creationist propagandists) – let alone getting comfortable with something that’s “very likely” correct, but could still turn out to be wrong as further evidence comes in.

  264. Lotharson

    That article on Bellamy is fascinating. It shows how the CCC (Climate Change Creationists) use each other in a round about way to build up a Ponzi scheme of misinformation.

  265. A future experiment could invalidate – or evolve our understanding of – almost any accepted “scientific truth”, and that just isn’t good enough for most creationists (especially creationist propagandists) – let alone getting comfortable with something that’s “very likely” correct, but could still turn out to be wrong as further evidence comes in.

    When I get home this afternoon I’ll give you a quote from Hawkin’s a “Briefer History of Time” on exactly this. His ability to make the very complex easy to understand is his strength.

  266. This from kitty’s link is worth quoting:

    It is hard to convey just how selective you have to be to dismiss the evidence for climate change. You must climb over a mountain of evidence to pick up a crumb: a crumb which then disintegrates in the palm of your hand. You must ignore an entire canon of science, the statements of the world’s most eminent scientific institutions, and thousands of papers published in the foremost scientific journals.

  267. The disciple has spoken!

    Not one word typed or link presented by him on this thread proves without doubt there is AGW but he keeps attempting to convert all and sundry to his belief and feigns superior knowledge that I reckon hardly exists.

    Got to give it to him, he sure is persistent as evidenced by the torture subject that he soiled this blog with for over a month like on a soapbox in an empty town square!

    It really gets to him that he can not convert people here to his ideology and it is rather amusing watching his feeble attempts…I see the frustration in his so called sermons because he expect others to bow to his opinion.

    I’d be surprised if this person has done anything to contribute to the environment, all talk but no walk like most people that preach at the alter of CC!

    He will get his ETS but he wants more…quite sad.

  268. JohnD states (wrt to AGW)

    “given how the subject has polarised …… the scientific community,”

    Insofar as I am aware there is NO “polarisation” within the “scientific community” about the existence, or effects of AGW.

    “Polarisation” doesn’t exist just because you say so – to demonstrate that such “polarisation” existed, you would have to demonstrate that there was a (statistically) significant proportion of anti AGW scientific opinion, in comparison to the views of the IPCC, and all reputable scientific societies on a global basis – thus demonstrating the existence of separate and significant schools of thought about the topic.

    A few genuine sceptics, and a (slightly) larger number of denialists, and pseudo scientists who disagree with the observations and conclusions of the vast majority of both reputable scientists and scientific organisations worldwide, does not even come close to providing the “polarisation” you so avidly seek, presumably in order to lend some legitimacy to your stance.

    IMHO, a rather more accurate portrayal of these opinions would be as the extreme outliers on the “bell curve” of opinions held by such scientists and organisations wrt to AGW.

  269. scaper…, on July 13th, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Someone’s got a bee in his bonnet, pissed at having a precious list torn to shreds perhaps?

    scaper, no science can prove anything without doubt.

    How come you put a far greater onus of research and scrutiny on proving AGW, yet without reservation accept the far less researched and scrutinised science that purports (mostly wrongly) to discredit AGW?

  270. Got to give it to him, he sure is persistent as evidenced by the torture subject that he soiled this blog with for over a month like on a soapbox in an empty town square!

    What rot – the discussion on torture were read and commented on by many. It was not an empty square.

  271. I see Gore has jumped on the ‘bushfire’ bandwagon…obviously he has had a word with Brown.

    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,25771976-953,00.html

    Adrian, the onus is on the believers to prove there is definately AGW but what is the big deal, you will get your ETS and we’ll see how it saves the planet!

  272. If the square was not empty then why would one jump from thread to thread, to thread ,to thread and so on???

  273. Lotharsson 1:12 pm,

    mutating the scientific (i.e. disprovable) hypothesis into a non-disprovable hypothesis and clinging to that.

    I must have missed the bit where you explained what the disprovable (am I safe to assume that’s the same thing as falsifiable?) hypothesis actually is, and what would disprove it.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t you already stated that temperatures failing to continue rising would not falsify (disprove?) the AGW hypothesis?

  274. What do you mean “jump from thread to thread”?

    There were (and will be) threads on torture. Sometimes Lotharson would post individual comments on the open threads.

    Are you trying to close down the debate on torture?

  275. It shows how the CCC (Climate Change Creationists) use each other in a round about way to build up a Ponzi scheme of misinformation.

    Read the earlier link I posted about Marc Morano when he was Senator Inhofe’s director of environmental communications. He was there to drive exactly this type of process…

  276. Joni, point me to a comment that I made on torture, so if you can find none that would indicate I did not attempt to shut down anything.

  277. The disciple has spoken!

    Not one word typed or link presented by him on this thread proves without doubt there is AGW but he keeps attempting to convert all and sundry to his belief and feigns superior knowledge that I reckon hardly exists.

    Got to give it to him, he sure is persistent as evidenced by the torture subject that he soiled this blog with for over a month like on a soapbox in an empty town square!

    It really gets to him that he can not convert people here to his ideology and it is rather amusing watching his feeble attempts…I see the frustration in his so called sermons because he expect others to bow to his opinion.

    Grow up scaper – you’re starting to sound like Sparta!

    I’ve pointed out – which seems to be what gets up your nose because some of it comes from you – that there’s a lot of bullsh*t posted that CLAIMS to refute AGW, but that does not. And that there’s a great deal of evidence that supports the AGW hypothesis. And that I can find little credible evidence to the contrary, despite having looked. And, without prompting, that AGW isn’t 100% proved, merely very likely, and that there are legitimate, albeit narrow (and narrowing), grounds for scientific dissent.

    In your worldview, does that make me “a disciple”? Looking at both sides and weighing the evidence and drawing a conclusion? Refusing to accept bullsh*t arguments? Or because I don’t believe what you believe?

    So what’s your problem? That you don’t like getting called out on bullsh*t, or that you think it’s loony to act on AGW before we have 100% proof? Or that you don’t like people arguing about stuff on a political blog?

    I’d be surprised if this person has done anything to contribute to the environment, all talk but no walk like most people that preach at the alter of CC!

    He will get his ETS but he wants more…quite sad.

    More blustering about stuff you don’t know about? Feel free (for example) to link to any quote from me on “wanting the ETS”, let alone “my ETS”. Or post some information on my personal contributions or otherwise to the environment.

  278. No scaper – you said that Lotharson was debating in an “empty square” and that he “soiled” the blog with the posts on torture – which to me seems like you do not want those sorts of comments to be made not those threads to exist. Why bring up the torture threads if you thought otherwise?

    If you chose to ignore the evidence that the scientists put forward for AGW, then that is your perogative – but if you do want to put forward links and comments that support your point of view, then others are perfectly within their right to take those arguments apart. And do turn on people accusing them of being “disciples” and that those who accept AGW are blindly following a “religion” does not (IMHO) to advance your case.

  279. I must have missed the bit where you explained what the disprovable (am I safe to assume that’s the same thing as falsifiable?) hypothesis actually is, and what would disprove it.

    Tony, the non-disprovable hypothesis is in one case yours. Roughly restated, “I will only believe AGW if you can show me the non-existence of any natural explanation…”, i.e. proving non-existence of an effect, “…but your models and attribution methods don’t count.”

    Another non-disprovable hypothesis in the real world is scaper’s, roughly “I’ll only believe in it it you can 100% prove it”.

  280. Correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t you already stated that temperatures failing to continue rising would not falsify (disprove?) the AGW hypothesis?

    That is correct, because the hypothesis is far too simplistic.
    You have to apply “all other things being equal” to correctly draw that conclusion from that hypothesis, and they are not equal, so you have to account for their effect.

    Let me spin this around. One could disprove AGW via observations of rising temperature, if you could show that the natural forces created the rise and the anthropogenic forces did not contribute to it – or even caused the rising temperatures to be lower than they would have been without them!

  281. If the square was not empty then why would one jump from thread to thread, to thread ,to thread and so on???

    Because “open thread” means just what it says. Simple enough?

    I even started tagging my torture comments on the open threads so that people who weren’t interested could scroll on by…

    And this red herring has nothing to do with thread specific to climate change…

  282. Got to give it to him, he sure is persistent as evidenced by the torture subject that he soiled this blog with for over a month like on a soapbox in an empty town square!

    I was mulling over using that comparison on the weekend, but felt the analogy might lead people to take the “debate” in this forum in non-constructive directions.

    Yep and right on cue, ‘that person’ rushed in to prove your point!

    I for one, have learned a lot from Lotharsson’s well thought and well argued comments, much more than I would ever have got from the blathering of ‘that person’.

  283. And do turn on people accusing them of being “disciples” and that those who accept AGW are blindly following a “religion” does not (IMHO) to advance your case.

    For what it’s worth, I agree that all this comparing AGW believers (or deniers) with followers of a religion is derailing discussion on the actual science and politics which are the legitimate areas for debate. And both sides are doing it (witness the very recent Climate Change Creationist or CCC comments on this thread).

  284. Tony – and I know that I am being hypocritical by using CCC and then saying to scaper that it does not help his case…. my bad.

  285. Ah, I see the name caller is attempting to push her usual rubbish…I’m not surprised because it just proves that a certain side of the political spectrum like to run in packs.

    That’s when they are not slandering others, poppy cutting or dancing on corpses!

  286. Ok, Lotharsson, one more time. In a nutshell, what is this falsifiable AGW hypothesis of which you speak?

    (My version, in its simplest form, is that human produced CO2 is causing temperatures to rise. If temperatures continue to rise as predicted, AGW remains a legitimate hypothesis. If temperatures fail to continue rising, the hypothesis is falsified.)

  287. Debate?

    What is there to debate as the science is in according to the believers.

    You are getting your beloved ETS which will save the planet.

    We will see.

  288. And both sides are doing it (witness the very recent Climate Change Creationist or CCC comments on this thread).

    Tony, there’s two axes here. Firstly agreement vs disagreement with the hypothesis. Secondly, how that position is reached or defended – on the basis of science, or on the basis of pseudo-scientific arguments, made-up facts, because someone says so, or because of personal feelings.

    Using religious metaphors for the second half of that second axis is quite apt, regardless of where the person is on the first axis.

    But equating a position on the the first axis with religion merely by virtue of that position is bogus.

  289. My version, in its simplest form, is that human produced CO2 is causing temperatures to rise.

    Hard to believe we need to go over this again.

    Your hypothesis is NOT the AGW hypothesis, because yours is incomplete.

    AGW in a nutshell:

    Human influences have caused (and will cause) temperatures to rise significantly more than they would have otherwise.

    The usual caveats apply:
    – Not just CO2, other human influences have an effect too (some cooling)
    – Near-surface temperatures
    – Climate (long term averages), not weather.

  290. What is there to debate as the science is in according to the believers.

    And you’re claiming that because someone else believes a thing, that you can’t debate whether they are correct or not – even as you do that very thing?

  291. Ok Lotharsson, given your version of the hypothesis, along with all its ifs and buts, I’m struggling to see anything that would falsify it (and, according to Popper, that’s a weakness in a hypothesis, not a strength).

  292. …I’m struggling to see anything that would falsify it…

    Tony, as I’ve said to you in the past, it’s very easy to falsify.

    Produce a climate model that works at least as well as what we have today at modeling the climate. If it has the property that when you run it on the known past climate inputs, minus the anthropogenic forces, you get a cooler result on average than you do when you run it with the anthropogenic forces, then you’ve falsified AGW.

    This could even occur as the models themselves evolve to become better and better, but I don’t like the chances. The best bet at the moment is increased understanding of clouds, because they have the highest remaining uncertainty (apart from pinning your hope on some factor scientists don’t currently know about, or forgot, or massively screwed up on…) But even there I think most climate scientists believe that clouds won’t be nearly enough.

    You could also produce some other method of accounting for the impact of anthropogenic forces, and show a net negative forcing. That seems unlikely to happen, given what we already know – but stranger things have happened, just not very often.

  293. Produce a climate model that works at least as well as what we have today at modeling the climate. If it has the property that when you run it on the known past climate inputs, minus the anthropogenic forces, you get a cooler result on average than you do when you run it with the anthropogenic forces, then you’ve falsified AGW.

    Lotharsson, that’s clearly not good enough. A hypothesis needs to be able to make a prediction – the riskier the better – and that prediction needs to then be supported by either an experiment or observations. If the experiment or observations don’t support the predictions, the hypothesis is false. So far all you and your models have got is the predictions.

  294. Lotharsson, on July 13th, 2009 at 3:08 pm Said:
    “Produce a climate model that works at least as well as what we have today at modeling the climate.”

    As you indicated, the clouds are claimed to be the least understood of all natural forces, by scientists on both sides of the debate, and this is where current models are most suspect.
    It is whether water vapour and clouds have a negative or positive feedback that has divided opinion amongst scientists, or polarised opinion if you like, and is the biggest stumbling block.
    It is interesting to check the research on greenhouse gases and historical trends, and whilst CO2 is well covered, H2O, the major greenhouse gas, has appears to not been as well researched or measured, and consequently appears to be the least understood. It’s all very well to utilise research done in a laboratory, but how it applies to the real world is something else entirely.
    Yes, if anything is going to overturn AGW it will be nature in the form of water vapour and clouds.

  295. A hypothesis needs to be able to make a prediction – the riskier the better – and that prediction needs to then be supported by either an experiment or observations.

    Tony, as explained many times – including to you – models make predictions for past outcomes based on past inputs. That’s certainly risky enough.

    And besides that, as pointed out recently, the predictions of future observations were made prior to Mount Pinatubo…

    You sound like you’re stuck in a Popperian view of science, and you’re going over and over the same old ground.

  296. You sound like you’re stuck in a Popperian view of science, and you’re going over and over the same old ground.

    And you’ve yet to show me where my views, based on Karl Popper’s philosophy of science, are wrong.

    (By the way, are you saying someone predicted the Mt Pinatubo eruption? If so, can you give me a reference.)

  297. And you’ve yet to show me where my views, based on Karl Popper’s philosophy of science, are wrong.

    We went over this quite some time ago. At the time, according to my (sometimes) faulty memory, you came to understand that science is much broader than Popper’s philosophy. Either my memory is faulty, or you’ve since lost that insight.

    (By the way, are you saying someone predicted the Mt Pinatubo eruption? If so, can you give me a reference.)

    No. I’m saying that someone (IIRC James Hansen) predicted via models how climate would respond to a volcanic eruption. When Mount Pinatubo came along the future predictions were put to the test. The results were quite close to the model predictions – and IIRC this was on much less sophisticated models than we have today.

  298. No, your memory is faulty. It was this kind of faulty science that Popper sought to address. In my book, if a hypothesis doesn’t meet his criteria – that is, is falsifiable – it’s not science. The AGW hypothesis as advanced by you is not falsifiable, therefore is unscientific.

  299. Try this comment from December last year. (I pre-emptively apologise if you’re a different Tony from that thread).

    It shows the same old ground being gone over:
    – why your form of AGW hypothesis is wrong; why “all other things being equal” matters and what it means
    – medicine as non-Popperian science
    – A link to “Is Climate Modeling Science?”
    – How to falsify AGW
    And a comment to the effect that these points had been made to the poster the previous time around!

    And…Popper again in January…

  300. Lotharsson,

    It shows the same old ground being gone over. . . And a comment to the effect that these points had been made to the poster the previous time around!

    I don’t see why that’s a problem, particularly, unless you have something you’d rather be doing. 😉 (In other words, if you don’t want to go over old ground, dont.) As for me, I remain unconvinced by any of the arguments you have put forward on this topic, on this thread, or any other.

  301. Tony, no doubt Popper made a significant contribution to the advancement of understanding but, as always, life and the way we understand moves on. You might be interested in the work of Imre lakatos who did much to ‘clean up’ or at least ‘refine’ some of Popper’s ideas and if you want to go further, can I suggest you read some of Paul Feyerband who rejects Popper’s ideas.

    Just sayin …

  302. Lotharsson, with regards to predictions, and your recent observation about a period of cooling being within the range of existing models, El-Nino apparently plays a significant role in those models, given 1998 is justified by being a result of an El-Nino event. Whilst it is easy with hindsight to plug a past event into models and produce outcomes close to observations, as yet the ability to accurately predict ENSO is measured more like weeks rather than months, and as far as predicting the magnitude of the event, it amounts to a lucky guess, so poor is the current understanding of what is claimed to be such a significant contributer to variations within the climate.
    Whilst a single event may not be so important, what is important to climate projections is to be able to predict in advance those decadal cycles related to El-Nino and perhaps now the IOD, and not only those cycles, but those that perhaps occur over longer time frames, especially given that in the past there have been long periods under predominately El-Nino influences, as well as long periods under predominately La-Nina influences.
    However it is not so much the time frame that is most important, but the magnitude of the events that needs to be allowed for in the models.
    I am interested in what projections have been made in relation to the cycles of ENSO over coming decades and into the next century, given the dire climate forecasts of existing models for that period of time.
    Have you found any such predictions as I would be interested in viewing what has been forecast and the basis on which it was done?
    Most of what I have found is all short term.

  303. Thanks Nature 5,

    There are no doubt plenty who disagree with Popper, it’s just that I don’t happen to be one of them. There were all sorts of things being put forward as scientific theories when popper formulated his philosophy, not the least notable of which was Marxism.

  304. Whilst it is easy with hindsight to plug a past event into models and produce outcomes close to observations…

    This is only easy if you fudge the model to match the specific event you’re about to throw at it, which is not known to be going on. And it gets progressively harder as you ask the very same (i.e. unmodified) model to produce outcomes close to more and more past events.

    El-Nino apparently plays a significant role in those models, given 1998 is justified by being a result of an El-Nino event.

    Your conclusion does not follow from your data point. The models do not pretend to make specific reliable predictions for any given year, primarily because they’re climate models, not weather models. El-Nino is pointed out when people who don’t understand the distinction start saying that global warming has stopped by pointing to 1998; not because it’s specifically important to long term climate predictions.

    …what is claimed to be such a significant contributer to variations within the climate.

    Yes, read that again. It’s variation within the climate, which is defined as the long term average…of weather, including ENSO-influenced weather (and non-ENSO-influenced weather).

    Whilst it would be nice to better predict those events more accurately, and no doubt climate scientists hope to be able to do so, you don’t need to do so in order to predict useful things about climate.

  305. As for me, I remain unconvinced by any of the arguments you have put forward on this topic…

    It’s easy to remain unconvinced when you define away the science 😉

  306. There were all sorts of things being put forward as scientific theories when popper formulated his philosophy, not the least notable of which was Marxism.

    And I note that is a non sequitur that does not prove Popper right.

    Do you take prescription drugs or other medicine or follow your doctor’s recommendations? If so, why? Medical science clearly isn’t Popperian either…

  307. Do you take prescription drugs or other medicine or follow your doctor’s recommendations? If so, why? Medical science clearly isn’t Popperian either…

    Yes, you’ve used this one before. How about you explain why. I would have thought the hypothesis would run somethin like: a certain dose of this drug will cure and/or provide immunity to this disease.

    The animal then human trials of those drugs would serve as the experiment phase, with appropriate placebos in place.

    The hypothesis would be falsified if the results weren’t as predicted. Pure Popperian, I would say.

  308. Tony, on July 13th, 2009 at 7:37 pm Said

    a certain dose of this drug will cure and/or provide immunity to this disease

    Then what do you do when the drug in question works in some instances but not in all? That is, the ‘hypothesis’ is not absolutely valid.

    Does one simply abandon a hypothesis (drug) because it is not ‘fool proof’?

  309. Stephen Hawking – A Briefer History of Time (The Nature of a Scientific Theory)

    A theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements. It must accurately describe a large class of observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations. (long example given)

    Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time a result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory.

    Yet many opponents and some here demand absolute irrefutable proof of global warming, which is an impossibility. On the other hand they don’t demand the same standard from the opposition science or spokespersons. They only need raise some far fetched idea, make it public without peer review or due diligence and it is latched onto to be decreed as the single finding that disagrees with the CC predictions, thus rending global warming theory void. When the counter theory is discredited by a single or more observation that disagrees with it there is no detraction published, but it is passed around and around to become absolute fact.

  310. scaper…, on July 13th, 2009 at 2:10 pm Said:

    Adrian, the onus is on the believers to prove there is definately AGW but what is the big deal, you will get your ETS and we’ll see how it saves the planet!

    How many times do you have to misrepresent what I have said scaper? This is more than disingenuous by you.

    I have stated several times now that I do not agree with this government’s ETS and that it is very flawed, but as you had nothing else to debate with you had to bring it back to that and accuse me (and others) of being supporters of the ETS when at I am no such thing. I have said quite clearly I believe in Xenophon’s suggestions on this, and unlike Fielding, Xenophon did his homework when in the US fact finding mission.

    And no scaper, yet again you get it wrong. It is not up to the believers to definitely prove an AGW, read my quote from Hawking. Is it really that complicated for you to grasp, Lotharsson has explained it succinctly many times now?

  311. I don’t know about your editorial Adrian – your point eludes me – but Hawking seems to agree to the letter with Popper.

  312. Popper’s theory of ‘falsification’ is interpreted by some along the lines that scientists should abandon a theory or hypothesis as soon as they elicit any falsifying evidence. That’s a nonsense.

    Why we can’t full theorise ‘gravity’ at this point but we make use of the concept on a daily basis. Or at least i hope so. LOL.

  313. Nature 5,,

    I’d be interested to know what is this evidence that would falsify gravity.

  314. Tony, try this link re Popper and the application of ‘naive’ falsification to medical science. http://elm.eeng.dcu.ie/~tkpw/newsletter/v4n1-2/node31.html

  315. I don’t know about your editorial Adrian – your point eludes me

    …slaps hand against forehead.

    I’d be interested to know what is this evidence that would falsify gravity

    …and I think you missed this one too.

  316. Lotharsson, on July 13th, 2009 at 7:26 pm Said:
    “Your conclusion does not follow from your data point. The models do not pretend to make specific reliable predictions for any given year, primarily because they’re climate models, not weather models.”

    You’re missing the point. It’s the natural decadal or longer cycles of increased frequency of El-Ninos or La-Ninas occurring that I was referring to. Those such cycles determine the climate due to their increased ability to transport and dissipate heat. Whatever factors may cause heating on the surface or in the lower troposphere, it is those other offsetting factors that cause heat to be transported and dissipated thus determining the equilibrium.
    If climate models predict that increased greenhouse gases cause heat to accumulate, they must also accurately predict how the frequency and magnitude of such heat dissipating events will also respond, and whether or not they have the capacity of not to restore equilibrium. Heating at the surface can only increase if the ability to transport it to the upper atmosphere fails. Weather is the mechanism that transports heat on a daily basis and it is a negative feedback system.
    As reconstructed records show, events such as El-Ninos varied greatly over long periods of time indicating that the necessity to transport heat also varied greatly over long periods of time.

  317. Tony, ‘GRAVITY’ is a concept like ‘POWER’ or ‘CLASS’ and any number of scientific or sociological concepts. Just as there are different meanings given to the concepts of ‘class’ and ‘power’, there are different meanings given to the concept of ‘gravity’. It’s not a ‘truth’ but an ‘understanding’.

    Here’s a wiki link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitation and you might want to follow up the Recent alternative theories listed at the bottom of the page.

    Tony, science advances – usually by modifying existing ‘theories’ and occasionally by a paradigmatic shift.

    I suspect that if Popper was still alive and kicking he would find it a scream that anyone still hadn’t moved on.

  318. Just FYI, If it doesn’t involve 27+1 dimensions, I don’t want to know about any new theory of gravity. Additionally, I don’t like the idea that there’s some sort of paralogical evolution going on within the cladogram for scientism’s shadow progeny.

  319. Can’t tell you how relieved I am to hear that, Legion. 😉

  320. Mobius Ecko, on July 13th, 2009 at 7:50 pm from your link

    On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory

    Re the ‘single observation’. There’s no doubt that a ‘single observation’ presents problems and/or weakens a particular ‘theory’ (broadly defined). But then that single or indeed multiple instances pose(s) the problem of what to do next.

    ‘Theories’ or ‘hypothesis’ (or whatever descriptor one wants to use) cannot or should not be simply abandoned because of one falsifying instance. FGS, the realistic option is simply to ‘modify’ the theory in question.

    Lakatos talks about ‘core’ and ‘belt’ theories with ‘belt’ theories being abandoned if the ‘evidence’ suggests same.

    The simple fact is that one needs to proceed and it seems prudent to operate on the best available mental construct, imperfect as it maybe. The alternative seems ridiculous.

  321. Reb’s CD of ‘two types of music’ (assuming he’s still trying to get rid of it) to anyone who can guess the author of these comments:

    1. If climate change is due to man, why has the planet throughout its long history changed so dramatically without our input?

    2. Why are we using data that has been accumulated over the past 100 plus years to predict phenomena that spans millions and is clearly beyond just interpreting ice cores?

    3. If it is a combination of both man and natural cycles, how can we be sure to what extent man is responsible for that change when even now we cannot explain or predict the natural cycles fully?

  322. Legion, on July 13th, 2009 at 9:13 pm Said:

    don’t want to know about any new theory of

    Indeed! The Allegory of the Cave springs to mind. Better to ponder the shadows rather than be ‘mugged by the reality’.

    But then again what ‘meanings’ and what ‘shadows’?

    Wasn’t Plato about ‘absolute truth’? LOL.

  323. Tony, somewhat predictable that you fail to engage when it comes to ‘basic’ questions and instead choose to be selectively sceptical. LOL.

  324. All right, N5, I’ll bite.

    On what basic question, exactly, is it you would like me to engage?

  325. How about you explain why. I would have thought the hypothesis would run somethin like: a certain dose of this drug will cure and/or provide immunity to this disease.

    The analogy is certainly not exact, but it is instructive.

    There are thousands of possible things that might affect the outcome of any drug trial. If I were aping your rejection of the scientific basis for AGW, I would say “prove to me that no other cause was responsible for the observed effect of the drug trial”. And the scientists would point out that they can’t disprove a negative, and you’ll just have to accept (or reject if you please) their logic, evidence and analysis – and with the uncertainty inherent in their results, even if that uncertainty is quantified.

  326. On the other hand they don’t demand the same standard from the opposition science or spokespersons.

    Nor do they demand the same standard in criminal trials, even ones that can lock up a defendant for the rest of their lives.

    This quote is really the heart of what I spend much of my time writing about. It’s not about defending AGW at all costs – no matter how hard that concept is to understand for some – it’s about defending the scientific process, and accordingly asking people to accept solid science and reject bogus science, no matter what outcome that leads to for any given theory.

  327. If climate models predict that increased greenhouse gases cause heat to accumulate, they must also accurately predict how the frequency and magnitude of such heat dissipating events will also respond, and whether or not they have the capacity of not to restore equilibrium.

    No, they need not.

    They need only accurately predict the average effect over climate timescales.

    Heating at the surface can only increase if the ability to transport it to the upper atmosphere fails.

    No.

    It can also increase if the “ability to transport heat to the upper atmosphere [and more accurately, out into space]” fails to keep pace with the increase of surface heat, and/or the ability to transport heat to (say) the deep ocean fails to keep up, and/or the ability to change heat energy to some other form of energy (or matter) fails to keep up.

    Weather is the mechanism that transports heat on a daily basis and it is a negative feedback system.

    Weather is certainly one mechanism that transports heat, but others exist too.

    I’m not sure how you know that “weather, in total” is a negative feedback system either, FWIW.

    As reconstructed records show, events such as El-Ninos varied greatly over long periods of time indicating that the necessity to transport heat also varied greatly over long periods of time.

    You appear to be begging the question by presuming the “necessity to transport heat” is the cause of these events. What if there is an interplay between other heat transport, consumption and production mechanisms too?

  328. Tony, on July 13th, 2009 at 7:37 pm Said:

    I would have thought the hypothesis would run somethin like: a certain dose of this drug will cure and/or provide immunity to this disease.

    Tony, this comes to the point of “certainty” that Lotharsson tried to get through to you earlier.
    http://www.epha.org/a/957

    A senior executive with Britain’s biggest drugs company has admitted that most prescription medicines do not work on most people who take them.

    Allen Roses, worldwide vice-president of genetics at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), said fewer than half of the patients prescribed some of the most expensive drugs actually derived any benefit from them.

    How Popperian is the science within pharmaceutical industry then? It would seem the science here is similar to that used by the IPCC-associated scientists – ie. neither group of researchers work with “absolute certainty” as the goal, rather balance of probabilities, uncertainty and confidence levels.

    Climate, like the human body, is too complex for such simplified solutions to problems. “Adding x amount of CO2 to the atmosphere will always result in y warming” is so vastly simplified as to be useless, as is “you have Rheumatoid Arthritis, take z mg of Methotrexate and you’ll be cured”.

  329. Nature 5, on July 13th, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    The key word in that Hawking’s statement is “can”.

  330. Lotharsson, on July 13th, 2009 at 10:45 pm Said:
    “They need only accurately predict the average effect over climate timescales.”

    What then are “climate timescales”, several decades, several centuries?

    “”No.
    It can also increase if the “ability to transport heat to the”

    You are being overly pedantic about a single word rather than wanting to be seen as agreeing.

    “”I’m not sure how you know that “weather, in total” is a negative feedback system either, FWIW.””

    Weather is the mechanism that works to restore equilibrium between points of differential heating.
    Perhaps you can explain how it can respond in a manner other than as a negative feedback.

    “”What if there is an interplay between other heat transport, consumption and production mechanisms too?””

    Please elaborate.

  331. Truenergy has announced that it will no longer perform major maintenance on the Yallourn Power Station.

    Yallourn produces about one quarter of the power generated in Victoria, about one tenth of the NEM. While it is over 30 years old, it continues to operate at higher level of efficiency and reliability than when first constructed. It ahs been looked after.

    With the type of maintenance and overhaul program that is normally applied, it could operate indefinitely.

    Instead, the uncertainty created by government policy causes this significant piece of infrastructure to become pretty well worthless. Not worth looking after. Useful only to “run til it breaks”.

    Isn’t a policy that creates a “run til it breaks” attitude the antithesis of conservation?

    When it breaks, and it will unexpectedly, where will the generation come from?

    Surely before causing the closure of a power station, the government has an obligation to implement a strategy to pick up the energy shortfall.

    Incidentally, this power station supports almost 1000 jobs in the economically disadvantaged Latrobe Valley.

    Any comments on actual practicality?

  332. Contributor, on July 14th, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Heard the ABC interview with an executive from TRUenergy and it seemed to me that they were attempting to get out of having to pay for further normal upgrades to the power station and get the government (local and federal) to subsidise them, and this is especially disingenuous in that they have already undertaken $122 million in major upgrades to allow them to operate until 2032.

    And this using a polluting company supporting jobs to justify keeping it polluting is a fallacious argument. It’s the same one timber companies use to clear fell forest after forest, only to cry poor and request government assistance when the forests are gone.

  333. Nature 5, on July 13th, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Sometimes, I like to think that Plato was somewhat of an idealist, or an anatomist-optician, N5. But then, again, so was Terence McKenna, in his own way, perhaps.

  334. johnd, climate timescales are about 30 years and longer.

    You are being overly pedantic about a single word rather than wanting to be seen as agreeing.

    No, my point was significant, not pedantic. I followed the “No” with three different mechanisms rather than the one that you appear to presume is the ONLY one that transports heat – including pointing out that heat may be transformed into some other form of energy. Inaccurate presumptions may lead to inaccurate conclusions…

    Perhaps you can explain how it can respond in a manner other than as a negative feedback.

    Warmer weather near the poles melts more ice. This exposes more sea. The sea absorbs more heat from the sun than the ice because of its lower albedo (reflects less incoming radiation). This raises average temperatures, which melt more ice…

    IIRC there’s a positive feedback permafrost-methane( or was it CO2?)-temperature cycle.

    No doubt there are others.

    There are many different feedback cycles in the climate system, some positive, some negative. The idea that aggregate weather is always a negative feedback isn’t immediately obvious to me.

  335. Good to see that Steve Fielding is grappling with some heavy questions of quanta, quantisations, and guessing which way the elephant jumps next: Steve Fielding wants to convince Al Gore he’s wrong. Cue Henry Mancini mood music.

  336. Philosophical, scientific and statistical background to evidence based medicine

    Mr James W Fairley BSc MBBS FRCS MS
    Consultant ENT Surgeon

    Popperian logic and Evidence Based Medicine

    The same philosophy that lies behind advances in scientific knowledge in general forms the basis of evidence based medicine (EBM).

    The principle of falsifiability was described by Karl Popper in his book “The logic of scientific discovery” in 1959, translated into English from the original German edition of 1934. The principle of falsifiability is that, if you want to make scientific knowledge, the first thing you need is an idea. An idea of what might be true is a theory. The statement

    “I believe that x is true”

    is not, as it stands, a scientific theory, because it cannot be tested by experiment. A scientist must state a theory in such a way that it can generate a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a statement that can be proved false by an experiment. Falsifiable hypotheses take the form of an “if – then” statement –

    “if x is true … then y should happen”.

    You (or someone else – or preferably several independent people) then carry out experiments, to see whether y does or does not happen. . . .

    Principle of falsifiability underlies the Randomised Controlled Trial

    The principle of falsifiability forms the foundation of the randomised controlled trial (RCT). All RCT’s are designed around a null hypothesis.

    The null hypothesis

    The null hypothesis is a sub-set of the Popperian falsifiable scientific statement. In establishing whether or not treatment x is beneficial, we have to compare it with something else – treatment y. Let us say that treatment x is a new pill for condition a, treatment y is the currently accepted treatment. The null hypothesis takes the form of

    “the outcome of treatment x is the same as treatment y”.

    We then design an experiment to try and disprove (falsify) the null hypothesis. That experiment is the randomised controlled clinical trial. . . .

  337. Mobius Ecko, on July 14th, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Efficient operation of power stations require minor maintenance between shut downs. Truenergy has cut back on its maintenance spend.

    This is what happens when the value of any asset declines, when it makes sense to “run it til it breaks” rather than care for it. That’s economics.
    But the critical point is – a significant piece of essential infrastructure may stop operating and a most inconvenient and unexpected time – due to government policy.

    How does the government intend to make up for the power generation shortfall?

    Isn’t a “run til it breaks” approach the antithesis of care and conservation?

    Is the significant risk to 22% of the generation capacity of Victoria an intended consequence of government policy? Or is it just unintended? I think the government should tell us.

    These are critical, practical and almost immediate issues. Not based on opposing views of theory or modeling.

    By the way, I agree that the employment effect is incidental to the issue. That’s why I said “incidentally”.

  338. Tony,

    Consider a different medical example – the hypothesis that smoking causes cancer. The smoking denialists were saying exactly the same thing you now say about AGW for many years – I don’t believe it, and you need to “prove that there’s no other non-smoking cause”. Is “smoking causes cancer” falsifiable? Do you believe smoking causes cancer, and why or why not?

    How does smoking research, with its statistical analyses and difficulty administering trials due to ethical constraints – differ from climate science?

    Does not AGW also have a null hypothesis – that the planet’s climate would be exactly the same without anthropogenic influences? And is that not falsifiable in a probabilistic & statistical sense, just like medical null hypotheses are tested in a probabilistic & statistical sense, by applying everything we know about how climate works?

  339. Very interesting article Tony.

    the outcome of treatment x is the same as treatment y

    which may be that treatment x is successful in treating 30% of patients with condition z, not that if we treat all patients with x, they’ll all have the same outcome. There is no absolute certainty here either, as you seem to be demanding for proof of AGW, rather a “known degree of probability”.

    From your link:

    When we talk about strong evidence, what we essentially mean is that

    * the null hypothesis has been falsified – to a known degree of probability
    * we have an estimate of the effect size.
    * Strong evidence is not the same as a big important effect.
    * You can get strong evidence by having lots of patients in your trial, even though the size of the effect is small.
    * Strong evidence does not mean good medicine
    * Neither does absence of strong evidence mean bad medicine.

    I found the following pertinent also:

    Unfortunately, zealots in the cause of EBM have published, primarily on the Cochrane website but also in other arenas, the results of reviews which conclude there is “no evidence” for treatment x.

    If one reads the detail, the main cause of there being no evidence is that there are no published trials using the randomised control methodology.

    * The absence of this particular sub-type of evidence does not mean that treatment x does not work, it just means we don’t know whether or not it works.
    * More accurately, it means we can’t put a statistical figure on how ignorant we are of whether or not treatment x works.
    * But then we don’t really know anything about anything anyway…

    This, of course, is too subtle for most people who actually need to know whether or not treatment x works. Those responsible for prioritising resource allocation are not always philosophers of science. They are easily misled by the published evidence, they further simplify the conclusions. They begin to entertain the illusion that, if there really is no evidence, then they must know as much – or as little – as those experienced in the field. They are then apt to make ill informed pronouncements and bad decisions, on matters about which they are ill educated and ill equipped to judge.

    Hmm… Could similar comments be made about those on both sides of the climate change debate?

  340. Yes, Senator Fielding still says no warming for last 15 years.

    This might be relevant, including a very similar looking graph – but it’s hard to verify without further checking. (And if that’s correct, it looks like it might be a lower troposphere temperature record, not near-surface…interesting choice there.) I think there’s discussion in the comments about the shortness of the time period selected too.

    Then there’s this highly relevant quote (even to this thread) from “Australia’s chief climatologist” (whatever that means):

    “We have produced rebuttals of all of these arguments – they have all been addressed. But they just keep trotting them out. No matter how many times you tell them they’re wrong, they just keep going. The general approach seems to be – if we keep banging away at an untruth, people will start to believe it“.

    [My emphasis.]

    One would hope he gets to meet with Gore and learn something, but I would bet strongly on any meeting resulting in a press release from Fielding claiming vindication for his claims, and lambasting Gore for not believing Fielding’s arguments.

  341. A fairly measured article in – of all places, given their propensity for printing unsupported argument – The Australian. Well worth reading – several key points:
    – long term trends more important than short term
    – other evidence considered by some more important than climate models
    – dealing with uncertainty
    – claims of historical instances of CO2 leading temperature increase, as well as lagging
    – the IPCC process said to consider comments from skeptics, many of whom declined to provide comments
    – ice, ozone and temperature change in the Antarctic
    – The infamous Oregon Petition, and what it’s worth (and its careful wording)
    – natural variability and its ability to temporarily overwhelm warming

  342. FWIW, Fielding’s site claims the graph is Hadley’s surface temperatures, not the lower tropospheric temperatures on that other site. (Haven’t time to compare the two yet…but he’s certainly limiting the view to 15 years, which is too short to be meaningful.)

  343. Bacchus 3:06 pm,

    There is no absolute certainty here either, as you seem to be demanding for proof of AGW

    Would you kindly point to an instance where I’ve said any such thing. I’m challenging the AGW hypothesis (as advanced by Lotharsson and others) on the grounds that it’s unfalsifiable, therefore unscientific.

  344. Contributor, on July 14th, 2009 at 1:25 pm Said:

    But the critical point is – a significant piece of essential infrastructure may stop operating and a most inconvenient and unexpected time – due to government policy.

    How is government policy going to stop a critical piece of infrastructure from operating in this case Contributor?

    This wouldn’t be the same mob who was telling the media doom and gloom if they are made to clean up their act whilst at the same time telling their stake holders a bed of roses with long term healthy returns?

    Believe them with a pinch of salt, this is all about squeezing more free money out of the tax payers to pay the share holders.

  345. Lotharsson, on July 14th, 2009 at 2:35 pm Said:

    Consider a different medical example – the hypothesis that smoking causes cancer. The smoking denialists were saying exactly the same thing you now say about AGW for many years – I don’t believe it, and you need to “prove that there’s no other non-smoking cause”. Is “smoking causes cancer” falsifiable? Do you believe smoking causes cancer, and why or why not?

    Glad you bought that up because the same PR firm used by the tobacco lobby to muddy the waters on that debate decades ago was used by the US energy lobby and quoted by the Bush administration on muddying the waters on the climate change debate. And the very same tactics were used, including getting scientists onboard to find the way the lobbyists wanted the outcome to be found.

    Telling this time though is that many of the scientists used have now spoken out against the energy lobby that employs them.

  346. Would you kindly point to an instance where I’ve said any such thing.

    Maybe bacchus was thinking of scaper who certainly said “there’s no 100% proof”.

    I’m challenging the AGW hypothesis (as advanced by Lotharsson and others) on the grounds that it’s unfalsifiable, therefore unscientific.

    FWIW, I still don’t see how you justify that assertion – other than by declaring on your own authority that “it’s not science”, or “I don’t believe the scientific evidence”, or “I don’t think Popper would have approved”. I’ve posted more than once on how to falsify it.

    Care to restate the basis for your non-falsifiable belief?

  347. Er…more precisely, “care to restate the basis for your non-falsifiability belief?”

  348. And I missed the blockquote around “I’m challenging…therefore unscientific”.

    Sigh 😦

  349. Lotharsson,

    To recap:

    You say that observed temperature trends not continuing to rise as predicted would not falsify the AGW hypothesis, whereas I say this is precisely what would make the hypothesis falsifiable.

  350. Sorry Tony, I guess I must have misunderstood you when, in reply to Lotharsson saying “unless and until you answer the question you keep dodging – WHAT PROOF would YOU accept? (Especially if you want an “unequivocal” level of proof.)”, you said (https://blogocrats.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/reducing-arctic-ice-fielding/#comment-51240)

    Unequivocal proof. Got any?

    ( http://www.thefreedictionary.com/unequivocal )

    Adj. 1. unequivocal – admitting of no doubt or misunderstanding; having only one meaning or interpretation and leading to only one conclusion; “unequivocal evidence”; “took an unequivocal position”; “an unequivocal success”; “an unequivocal promise”; “an unequivocal (or univocal) statement”

  351. You say that observed temperature trends not continuing to rise as predicted would not falsify the AGW hypothesis, whereas I say this is precisely what would make the hypothesis falsifiable.

    The assertion of “precisely” is in error, and this has been discussed with you many a time. Your formulation lacks the necessary nuance (something akin to Popper’s strong desire to change only one variable at a time), and you appear unable or unwilling to understand this point. On its own it does not falsify AGW, precisely because “all other things are not equal”.

    But your formulation – on the condition that it is taken over a long enough term to be fairly sure we’re not fooled by natural variability, and/or accounting well enough for the effects of other forces acting on climate – is sufficient to falsify AGW. Therefore AGW is falsifiable, even (more or less) by your own admission. (So why do you say that it is not?!)

    However, your formulation plus conditions, whilst sufficient, is not necessary. AGW can be falsified even in the presence of rising temperatures, a possibility that you ought to be embracing as it makes the hurdle higher for the AGW hypothesis.

    If you can’t understand these points, then you will continue to assert falsehoods and be confused by the climate science – and what the temperature record proves (or does not).

  352. Lotharsson,

    If you can’t understand these points

    I’ll agree that precisely was in error, and I should have said “this is precisely what would make the hypothesis falsifiable”, but do try not to be so condescending. I am capable of grasping the odd basic concept from time to time; it’s just that instead of my not understanding your points, I just don’t agree that they’re necessarily true.

  353. But your formulation – on the condition that it is taken over a long enough term to be fairly sure we’re not fooled by natural variability, and/or accounting well enough for the effects of other forces acting on climate – is sufficient to falsify AGW. Therefore AGW is falsifiable, even (more or less) by your own admission.

    Good, we finally agree on something. It’s just time-scales we’re haggling over (and I’ve got no firm opinion on those).

  354. AGW can be falsified even in the presence of rising temperatures, a possibility that you ought to be embracing as it makes the hurdle higher for the AGW hypothesis.

    I’ve got no problem with AGW remaining as one valid hypothesis, and as long as temperatures continue rising with CO2, it is. It’s just not the only explanation.

  355. …but do try not to be so condescending.

    I wasn’t trying to be condescending, merely pointing out that you are going around and around misunderstanding a basic point (pretty much the same point as the last few times this topic came up) – and that understanding that point is a pre-requisite to making sense on this topic.

    I’ve got no problem with AGW remaining as one valid hypothesis, and as long as temperatures continue rising with CO2, it is. It’s just not the only explanation.

    Make that:

    “…as long as temperatures continue rising with CO2 it is”, provided “all other things are equal” (or sufficiently accounted for). I can’t tell whether you’ve repeated your fundamental mistake, or whether this is a shorthand expression for the more nuanced and accurate falsifiability criterion.

    True, AGW is not the only hypothesis, but it’s by far the most probable explanation at this point. Do you have an alternative explanation that you think the scientists have missed?

  356. you are going around and around misunderstanding a basic point (pretty much the same point as the last few times this topic came up) – and that understanding that point is a pre-requisite to making sense on this topic.

    Let’s assume that either I’m not understanding it, or you’re not getting it across; either way, what exactly is this particular point that seems to have eluded me?

  357. …what exactly is this particular point that seems to have eluded me?

    That your simple falsifiability criterion for AGW is correct, without the “all other things being equal/accounted for” bit.

  358. That your simple falsifiability criterion for AGW is correct, without the “all other things being equal/accounted for” bit.

    OK, but you can’t have that without conceding that CO2 is not the only possible cause of rising temperatures.

  359. Just stumbled upon this excellent youtube channel courtesy of deltoid

    Perhaps fielding should watch this.

    Although I don’t think it would help him, as I am sure his mind (sic) is already made up.

  360. Moribus Ecko,

    Clearly the federal government has foreshadowed the limited future for brown coal power generation. Carbon trading is an example of the policy.

    In this context government policy has fed uncertainty. IN turn this has devalued the asset to the point that Truenergy has decided that this power station is not worth the maintenance spend.

    This is known as “run it til it breaks”. This was common in our rust bucket manufacturing industry, the diseases is spreading to infrastructure. Particularly to power generation.

    I don’t have any reason to believe that Truenergy is bluffing. Do you have any evidence that it is?

    The reality is that uncertainty causes reduction in value, reduces maintenance, which reduces operational reliability. This increases the risk of failure, and therefore an unplanned reduction in power generation.

    22% of Victoria’s generation capacity is at risk.

    Don’t you think that it may have been prudent to identify the risk in advance? And source replacement generation?

    Perhaps this expectation requires too much forethought.

  361. OK, but you can’t have that without conceding that CO2 is not the only possible cause of rising temperatures.

    Yes, I agree. In fact, that’s kind of my point. Rising temperatures alone don’t prove CO2 warmed it – something else could have; conversely falling temperatures alone don’t prove CO2 didn’t warm it – something else could have cooled it at the same time. You need to account for other forces too,

  362. Contributor, on July 14th, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Yet whilst the energy companies were telling the media that uncertainty will put all coal power generation in Australia at risk, those very same energy companies were telling their shareholders that the long term future was certain and looking good for their returns.

    This was such a disconnect that the ACCC was called to look into it and the energy companies had to pull back on their anti-ETS rhetoric or face a shareholder backlash. Both statements couldn’t be true or reconciled and the energy companies mostly stated that the latter on the ETS closing them down was the wrong one.

    And the answer is simple. Because power generation is a strategic national requirement, if the energy companies begin to shut down their power stations then the government under emergency legislation takes them over. It will never happen of course, but the energy companies are bluffing to get more money from the tax payer. They are already well compensated in the ETS, which is why it’s so weak and useless, as are all energy intensive industries getting a free ride. The ones who will pay are ordinary people and not one carbon atom less will be stopped from going into the atmosphere.

    But don’t come the raw prawn on hard done by coal fired power stations. They have polluted for over a century whilst not only being heavily subsidised by government (as they still are) but also having tax payers clean up their messes. It is about time they were made to pay for the damage they have caused, but that will never happen as yet again they get what they want whilst espousing a green future all the while polluting away to shove large amounts of money into their pockets and to keep shareholders acquiescent.

  363. Speaking of electricity, we received a notice from AGL that our electricity and gas combined will rise by $4.24 per week!

    What will the rise be when the ETS comes in?

    I don’t really give a stuff about us as we can afford it plus we are going sustainable next year but what about the lesser well off?

    The ETS will bring about a cost rise for everything, mark my words and the polluters will keep on polluting and not much will be achieved to clean up our air, rivers, the ocean or to reestablish the natural balance through reforestation.

    The ETS is a scam!

  364. Taxing or capping or a combination thereof or other methods of carbon reduction are not scams scaper. The Rudd government’s attempt at an ETS is wrong because it is deeply flawed and doesn’t go far enough whilst allowing the polluters a long time free reign by punishing ordinary Australians in subsidising that continuation of carbon emitting.

    Something has to be done scaper and Rudd’s ETS is not it. Not because the idea is wrong or that it is going to cost so much, but because it is not enough and will not cost enough.

    And why does it always come to cost and jobs above the climate and the future cost and loss of jobs if nothing is done about that?

    Greed is so evident in all this protestation. As long as I’m all right Jack, stuff those who come after me.

  365. Well Mobius Ecko, the notion that the government will step in to operate a power station is flawed.

    Not because they won’t do it, I agree they will.

    The problem is a catastrophic failure, causing power generation to be interrupted for a couple of months.

    Unplanned, unpredicted failure that is actually entirely preventable seems irresponsible. All that is required is the usual level of maintenance.

    Asset depreciation is the cause of this significant economic risk, and this is caused by government policy.

    The government should have comprehended this in the first place.

    Anyway, nice exchanging opinions with you. I’m off for the time being.

  366. Asset depreciation is the cause of this significant economic risk, and this is caused by government policy.

    Mobius Ecko, if correct, appears to have indicated that the “asset depreciation caused by government policy” is not supported by the evidence, based on the ACCC investigation into anti-ETS rhetoric. Are you saying his assertions are wrong? Or that some other government policy has caused this “asset depreciation” (which – sorry for the nitpick – would more correctly be called “devaluation”)?

  367. Lotharsson, I’ll leave the machinations of the ACCC and investors to the experts.

    My point relates to the integrity of power generation, and the role of government in ensuring that its policy framework does not contribute to less reliable power supply.

    Surely it is not too much to ask that the policy framework of our government will not undermine reliability of power supply and generation? When the policy framework contributes to a “run til it breaks” attitude, the government policy cannot be regarded as successful.

    Do you think this risk to generation, the potential for catastrophic failure, and the potential economic impact of this, is an intended consequence of policy? Or unintended?

    This time I’m definitely going. Thanks for the opinion!

  368. Seems like you cannot stay away Tom. I thought you were leaving.

  369. Contributor

    But the government policy is not going to lead to a risk to power generation, that is an utter furphy started by the power generators themselves as a scare tactic to obtain more accessions from the government and a delay in an already long lead time to do anything at all. Yet have a look at their websites and they are already sprouting green credentials and of being great and environmentally aware corporate citizens, even as they pollute major rivers or divert them to destroy pristine habitats, and continue to spew tens of millions of tones of carbon into the air each year. Yallourn Power Station alone spews out 11.5 million tons each year.

    Then you have ignored the disconnect where after telling the media there will be doom and gloom because of the ETS, shareholders started making noises asking what’s going on because the latest reports they had just received from the energy companies said they had a bright and rosy future with expansions, embracing new greener technologies and better returns, nary a word about catastrophic failure or even a cent lost in profits.

    And talk about scaremongering:

    Do you think this risk to generation, the potential for catastrophic failure, and the potential economic impact of this, is an intended consequence of policy?

    Catastrophic failure, please spare us, we are not mindless rusted on Liberal voters who lap up fear statements like that with nary a second thought.

    How about you answer us as to the potential economic impact and jobs lost if nothing is done about curbing their pollution?

  370. I’m not contesting the point that there is a need to reduce emissions. I’m also aware that most generators are upgrading their plant for efficiency and therefore reduce emissions.

    There are various projects underway to reduce the moisture content of brown coal prior to firing to reduce the emissions.

    I am also aware that Yallourn will reduce their maintenance spend. The “run til it breaks” approach to revenue maximisation is a fact. They have put plenty of analysis into how best to extract every last dollar from their power station investment, which is now pretty well worthless.

    Hence, it may break, entirely unexpectedly. And if it does it may take several months to get back on line. In the meantime, where will the base load power generation come from?

    I think it is reasonable to suggest that the government should have contemplated and addressed itself to these questions.

    By the way Adrian, I didn’t think for a moment that you’d fallen for sock puppetry.

    Regards

    Tom

  371. Its like having a ghost in the system with Tooo-ooom turning up everywhere, anytime and as ANYONE!!!!

    The posts don’t change much still eerie! 😆

  372. Lotharsson, on July 14th, 2009 at 12:04 pm Said:
    “climate timescales are about 30 years and longer.”

    Personally I believe climate timescales have to be a multiple of at least twice any known weather cycles.
    If events such as El-Ninos are deemed weather events, then cycles such as the PDO must also be seen as weather rather than climate cycles. The PDO takes about six decades to cycle through a warmer then a cooler cycle. A trend can only be established with a minimum of three such cycles.

    “”Warmer weather near the poles melts more ice. This exposes more sea. The sea absorbs more heat from the sun than the ice because of its lower albedo (reflects less incoming radiation). This raises average temperatures, which melt more ice…””

    You have only described a tiny part of the cycle. To determine whether nett positive or negative feedback occurs, the cycle must be completed. ie does the cycle ultimately include regulation of the incoming solar heating.
    Please continue, on timescales relevant to climate.

    You might find some interest in this article.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/100/20/11225.abstract
    The global Diurnal Temperature Range (DTR) has been claimed to be one of the more critical indicators used to support the AGW theory.
    The global DTR has been decreasing, though interestingly in Australia, after falling from the late 1940’s to the late 1980’s, it has been rising ever since, with two individual years exceeding any other years since 1910. By definition, it would then appear that AGW has been reversed. for Australia at least. 🙂

    However the most interesting part, the subject of the link above, is the discovery of the “weekend effect” in the DTR. What the research discovered is that the DTR in many locations varies according to the day of the week. However, what I believe is significant are two points.
    The first is that the variation within the week approximates that of the long term trend.
    The second is that the research led to the interaction with, and response of, the clouds to these daily variations.
    It seems that clouds are very responsive, and given that even the most adamant supporters of AGW are unsure of the roles clouds play, this research may be providing them with data that might remove some of that doubt.
    Let me know how you interpret the research relating to the DTR “weekend effect”

  373. Lotharsson,

    At the risk of going over old ground, (and bearing in mind how boring it might be for other reaers) I would like to clear-up one final matter, once and for all.

    Is there a way – other than your earlier suggestion of producing a computer model which contradicts the current models – that an attempt might be made to falsify the AGW hypothesis

    (which, if I have understand you correctly, roughly translates to: Provided all other known climatic influences remain equal, additional atmospheric CO2 will always increase earth’s global average surface temperature, when measured over climatic timescales)

    thus confirming its scientific status?

  374. A paper just released with Kyle Swanson as a co author. Below is some extracts of what he had to say in a guest post for Real Climate:

    There are links to data on variability within the warming cycles.

    It first needs to be emphasized that natural variability and radiatively forced warming are not competing in some no-holds barred scientific smack down as explanations for the behavior of the global mean temperature over the past century. Both certainly played a role in the evolution of the temperature trajectory over the 20th century, and significant issues remain to be resolved about their relative importance. However, the salient point, one that is oftentimes not clear in arguments about variability in the climate system, is that all else being equal, climate variability and climate sensitivity are flip sides of the same coin.

    It’s painfully easy to paint oneself logically into a corner by arguing that either (i) vigorous natural variability caused 20th century climate change, but the climate is insensitive to radiative forcing by greenhouse gases; or (ii) the climate is very sensitive to greenhouse gases, but we still are able to attribute details of inter-decadal wiggles in the global mean temperature to a specific forcing cause.

    What we find is that when interannual modes of variability in the climate system have what I’ll refer to as an “episode,” shifts in the multi-decadal global mean temperature trend appear to occur. I’ll leave the details of these episodes to interested readers (here and here), as things get pretty technical. It’s sufficient to note that we have an objective criteria for what defines an episode; we aren’t just eyeballing curves. The climate system appears to have had three distinct “episodes” during the 20th century (during the 1910’s, 1940’s, and 1970’s), and all three marked shifts in the trend of the global mean temperature, along with changes in the qualitative character of ENSO variability. We have also found similar types of shifts in a number of model simulations (both forced and unforced) that were run in support of the IPCC AR4 report.

  375. Tony, of course there are.

    You could start by falsifying the property of CO2 that makes it a greenhouse gas – that it passes most solar radiation and absorbs a bunch of re-radiation from the earth. This would be easy to do in a small lab. Do this and AGW-from-CO2 is gone. (You might still want to check in to the rest of the AGW hypothesis which attributes some warming – and some cooling – to other anthropogenic influences, but using CO2 as one example is instructive.)

    You could falsify that additional CO2 in the atmosphere makes any difference to overall solar radiative forcing. One way to do this would be to falsify the logarithmic heat retention curve as CO2 concentration goes up – this can be done in a small lab; another would be to falsify the hypothesis that CO2 in the presence of our other atmospheric components causes net energy retention in the presence of solar radiation.

    You could demonstrate that the additional heat retained due to additional CO2 is always dissipated – or compensated for – through other mechanisms (clouds? conversion to other forms of energy that don’t impact temperature? …) However once you start proposing interactions between any (set of) mechanism(s) with even a moderate level of complexity, you rapidly get beyond tractable equations and simple tests, so you typically start building models – which, after all, are merely encapsulations of hypotheses, facts and equations about how climate works.

    If you’re going to reject models outright, then:
    (a) AGW-from-CO2 is still clearly falsifiable as described earlier.
    (b) You’ve cut off the most likely avenue to falsify AGW-from-CO2 because you’ve pretty much ruled out any complex falsification. (Oops.)

    These are only off the top of my head – climate scientists will likely have hundreds of potential falsifications, none of which succeed at current knowledge levels within a reasonable level of uncertainty.

  376. More, where he states there is no comfort in the variability with the climate.

    Finally, it is vital to note that there is no comfort to be gained by having a climate with a significant degree of internal variability, even if it results in a near-term cessation of global warming. It is straightforward to argue that a climate with significant internal variability is a climate that is very sensitive to applied anthropogenic radiative anomalies (c.f. Roe [2009]). If the role of internal variability in the climate system is as large as this analysis would seem to suggest, warming over the 21st century may well be larger than that predicted by the current generation of models, given the propensity of those models to underestimate climate internal variability [Kravtsov and Spannagle 2008].

  377. Please continue, on timescales relevant to climate.

    Not sure what you’re looking for. The part where the feedback effect continues until there’s no ice left? Or the more complex interactions of “more heat where the ice used to be” interacting with all sorts of other mechanisms, some of which don’t count as weather for most people – that complexity underscoring my original point that aggregate nett effect of “weather” isn’t immediately apparent?

    You have only described a tiny part of the cycle. To determine whether nett positive or negative feedback occurs, the cycle must be completed. ie does the cycle ultimately include regulation of the incoming solar heating.

    Regulation does not necessarily imply negative feedback. Regulation can also occur because the positive feedback effect goes away at some point as the variable in question changes.

    For example, if the temperature all the ice melts, the positive feedback effect from melting ice disappears. (Noting that what has changed is that you’re at a higher equilibrium temperature than you were before, due to the positive feedback loop.) And yet, the ice feedback loop is still clearly positive.

    Note that regulation will occur in EVERY natural positive feedback loop, because no natural quantity is infinite, therefore the region over which positive feedback holds is finite (speculations about internal properties of black holes aside…)

  378. Lotarsson, in response to your reply above, and to Tony focusing on CO2.
    Very simply, CO2 absorbs heat radiated back from the surface, but within a somewhat lower temperature band than what H2O peaks at giving almost total transmission. Transfer of heat from CO2 to H2O should occur unless there was no temperature differential between the molecules of each. Is that correct? Is it possible to have two gases mixed, existing at different temperatures?
    What could be the factors that would inhibit or prevent such transfer of heat?

  379. By definition, it would then appear that AGW has been reversed. for Australia at least. 🙂

    Well, strictly speaking, by definition that would mean for Australia, rather than the globe, that DTR, not Australian warming, had reversed…unless you can show that DTR reductions (or increases) can ONLY occur in concert with warming (or cooling).

    The global Diurnal Temperature Range (DTR) has been claimed to be one of the more critical indicators used to support the AGW theory.

    Got a reference?

    I don’t know much about DTR, let alone the “weekend effect”.

    What seems to be the case is that DTR reductions occured lately because night-time warming is significantly larger than daytime warming in many parts of the globe. (It seems like DTR increases occured in other parts…)

    One might take this to indicate that clouds warm the earth – to a first approximation, clouds block incoming radiation during the day, so making days cooler than they would otherwise be; they absorb outgoing radiation at night, making nights warmer than they would be.

    However this is far too simplistic to be anywhere near conclusive, and there are other effects that may play a role in DTR variations.

  380. Lotharsson, on July 15th, 2009 at 2:01 pm Said:
    “Well, strictly speaking, by definition that would mean for Australia, rather than the globe, that DTR, not Australian warming, had reversed”

    The global Diurnal Temperature Range (DTR) has been claimed to be one of the more critical indicators used to support the AGW theory.

    Got a reference?”

    Lotharsson, most of the articles on DTR refer to the importance of the DTR being a critical indicator, or fingerprint of AGW.

    What is interesting about the “weekend effect” even though it varies across locations, is that it is making the connection with clouds and providing data measuring their effects. As you know clouds are the big unknown, left out of climate models because scientists are firstly divided on their effect, and secondly found difficulty in coming up with any objective measurements. This research appears to be filling both those gaps.

  381. Very simply, CO2 absorbs heat radiated back from the surface, but within a somewhat lower temperature band than what H2O peaks at giving almost total transmission.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “temperature band”. Radiation does not have a temperature. It is measured by wavelength or frequency (as well as intensity). (You may be thinking of the temperature of an “ideal” radiating black body which can precisely predict the emitted radiation spectrum from the black body. Even then, note that the earth is not an ideal black body.)

    I think what you mean is that absorbing (the same intensity? of) different frequencies of radiation will change the energy of the absorbing molecules by different amounts. (In the particle view of the wave-particle duality, the energy of a particle is defined by its frequency.)

    But IIRC temperature is an “ensemble” measure so it’s the gas that has the temperature; not the individual molecules. And the energy absorbed thus goes to raising the temperature of the gas, regardless of which molecule(s) absorb it.

  382. Lotharsson, I forgot to mention, the DTR “weekend effect” is not challenging the existence of warming or otherwise, but determining the role of clouds, and thus the role of CO2. Clouds have previously been discounted, and not even allowed for in climate models, but the research so far provides for the possibility that clouds, rather than CO2 may be the most significant factor afterall.

  383. As you know clouds are the big unknown, left out of climate models because scientists are firstly divided on their effect, and secondly found difficulty in coming up with any objective measurements.

    I agree clouds have the biggest uncertainty, and if this gives some ways to attack that problem it’s great.

    But I think you’re mistaken about “left out of the models”. See this (sideline) part of the moderator response to comment #90, from 2006.

    Though there is uncertainty in the magnitude of response, we always get substantial warming in all the cloud models that have been implemented so far.

    I suspect more evidence of clouds-in-models can be found…

  384. Clouds have previously been discounted, and not even allowed for in climate models, but the research so far provides for the possibility that clouds, rather than CO2 may be the most significant factor afterall.

    Yes, clouds are important, as pretty much all the climate scientists agree (rather than “discounting” them). But I think you’ll find that even those aware of the DTR “weekend effect” – disagree with your quote.

    It’s pretty clear to most that CO2 is the forcing factor; clouds either amplify or dim the effect, but I think very few would argue that clouds dim the effect enough to prevent global warming.

  385. Clouds have previously been discounted, and not even allowed for in climate models, but the research so far provides for the possibility that clouds, rather than CO2 may be the most significant factor afterall.

    John not true.

    Do have references to show they haven’t been accounted for, also references that were asked for previously on DTR etc?

    In the past I posted the link to the study being conducted on the forcing effect of solar radiation due to clouds. A study being conducted by two Swedes with considerable funding (initially US$20 million from memory) from the IPCC and government agencies, which makes a mockery that other areas of climate change aren’t funded or looked at.

    This is the only study I know of that might show that clouds have more effect than first thought, but not due to clouds on their own. It is the only study that so far might show a significant solar influence, but again not solar radiation on its own.

  386. Lotharsson, on July 15th, 2009 at 2:23 pm Said:
    “I’m not sure what you mean by “temperature band”. Radiation does not have a temperature. It is measured by wavelength or frequency (as well as intensity). ”

    And it transfers what? Lets say infrared radiation as emitted by the earth.

  387. Mobius Ecko, on July 15th, 2009 at 2:38 pm Said:
    “Do have references to show they haven’t been accounted for, also references that were asked for previously on DTR etc?”

    Go to the link I gave previously, and do your own searches, you might find material different to what I have.
    The research is probably limited, but that doesn’t mean it is not relevant nor unreliable.
    You normally place great emphasis on the credibility of the researchers, are these people or organisations credible?
    Piers M. de F. Forster, Susan Solomon
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Aeronomy Laboratory,and Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading
    Edited by James E. Hansen, Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY,

  388. Adrian,

    From your Realclimate link:

    If this hypothesis is correct, the era of consistent record-breaking global mean temperatures will not resume until roughly 2020.

    Whew, close call. 😉

  389. Mobius Ecko, on July 15th, 2009 at 2:38 pm Said:
    “Do have references to show they haven’t been accounted for,”

    Do you have references that they have been included in models.
    My understanding that clouds are acknowledged by scientists on both sides of the debate as being the big unknown, surely they wouldn’t include unknowns in their models. Perhaps you can show otherwise.

  390. And it transfers what? Lets say infrared radiation as emitted by the earth.

    It transfers energy through the process of emission form a source and subsequent absorption by a target.

    Energy != temperature.

  391. Lotharsson, on July 15th, 2009 at 2:29 pm Said:
    “But I think you’re mistaken about “left out of the models”. See this (sideline) part of the moderator response to comment #90, from 2006.”

    I avoid “Real Climate”, too often it descends into personal abuse.
    Yes, obviously clouds have been put into models, BUT are they included in models used for the IPCC projections, they I believe are the relevant models with regards to the AGW debate.
    If so which particular models, and how have they quantified them? Surely the accuracy on any models containing incomplete or inconclusive data has to be questioned.

  392. My understanding that clouds are acknowledged by scientists on both sides of the debate as being the big unknown, surely they wouldn’t include unknowns in their models.

    Your error is “Uncertain” != “Unknown”.

  393. …BUT are they included in models used for the IPCC projections…

    Well, now, there’s a question you could presumably answer yourself, and might want to given that you assert that scientists have “left them out of models”, despite the fact that they assess the range of uncertainty due to clouds.

  394. Surely the accuracy on any models containing incomplete or inconclusive data has to be questioned.

    Their accuracy is questioned – continuously – whether or not they have clouds. This is precisely because they are models, which by definition cannot be perfect simulations, and thus asking whether they are “good enough” analogs to the real world is a fundamental prerequisite, along with the obvious corollaries – e.g. how good/uncertain are they, and in what areas?

  395. Lotharsson, on July 15th, 2009 at 3:16 pm Said:
    “It transfers energy through the process of emission form a source and subsequent absorption by a target.
    Energy != temperature.”

    Energy? Can’t be mechanical energy. Electrical energy?
    Now I get it, heat energy. 😉
    So does the CO2, being a target, assume a temperature by absorbing this energy? If so what would that temperature range within, and at what temperature would it radiate at?

  396. Lotharsson, on July 15th, 2009 at 3:20 pm Said:
    “despite the fact that they assess the range of uncertainty due to clouds.”

    That range of uncertainty goes from positive feedback to negative feedback. The proponents of the CO2 induced warming theory have assumed an overall positive feedback.
    An overall negative feedback is claimed by those who challenge that theory, with that negative feedback being a major factor in the different outcomes projected.

  397. Lotarsson, you are right, I am wrong. My apologies. Clouds are indeed included in the IPCC models. However, and perhaps not surprisingly, their modelling is very simplistic, and only allows for cloud cover decreasing as warming increases.

    The relevance of the DTR “weekend effect” research is that it finds a reduced DTR results in increased cloud cover.
    If the DTR has been seen as a fingerprint of CO2 induced warming, then clearly one of the relationships is not valid.

  398. “Something has to be done scaper and Rudd’s ETS is not it. Not because the idea is wrong or that it is going to cost so much, but because it is not enough and will not cost enough.”

    So Adrian, you abrogate people not being able to afford electricity, food and possibly a roof over their heads in the name of your belief?

    Obviously, you don’t care for the less well off just like the twenty first century lefty that you are…talk about I’m alright Jack!

    Funny how the ones that talk the loudest are the ones that do the least…pathetic!

  399. “Former US vice-president and climate change campaigner Al Gore has warned that no country is more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than Australia.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/07/15/2626382.htm

    Oh, really?

    He and “all the cities will run out of water” Flannery should get together as both have been proven wrong in the past!

    I see he has not met with Fielding yet…something to hide?

  400. Energy? Can’t be mechanical energy. Electrical energy?
    Now I get it, heat energy. 😉

    Noooooooo!

    Heat energy is converted to electromagnetic energy when radiation is emitted. That is converted to kinetic energy in the absorbing molecule.

    So does the CO2, being a target, assume a temperature by absorbing this energy?

    The CO2 is part of a gas mixture, whose temperature is raised by absorption. The temperature of that gas mixture is not *determined by* the radiation wavelength. It depends on what temperature it started out at, and the amount of energy absorbed by radiation (and other processes that transport or transform energy, including convection and re-radiation).

    …at what temperature would it radiate at?

    Er, shouldn’t that be “at what wavelength” will it radiate at?

    Since the atmosphere is almost always cooler than the surface temperature, probably at a longer wavelength than was emitted from the surface. You need to check into this – I can’t remember how to determine non-black body radiation in any detail.

  401. The proponents of the CO2 induced warming theory have assumed an overall positive feedback.

    I believe this is incorrect. Do you have a reference showing that cloud feedbacks are never negative in any of the major models?

  402. The relevance of the DTR “weekend effect” research is that it finds a reduced DTR results in increased cloud cover.

    I was under the impression that the cause and effect were reversed – that increased cloud cover is believed to cause reduced DTR, which might invert your conclusion.

  403. He and “all the cities will run out of water” Flannery should get together as both have been proven wrong in the past!

    And so have you, therefore everything you ever say is wrong 😉

    I see he has not met with Fielding yet…something to hide?

    Strangely enough, attempting to educate those who don’t understand the science and don’t want to learn is probably not right at the top of his list.

  404. The proponents of the CO2 induced warming theory have assumed an overall positive feedback.

    Er…let’s make sure we’re on the same page here. I see you also said earlier:

    That range of uncertainty goes from positive feedback to negative feedback.

    This seems to contradict the earlier quote. So rather than saying that the models presume cloud feedback to be always positive, did you mean that the aggregate forcing due to CO2 + clouds is found to be positive?

    That seems consistent with what I’ve read.

  405. Reducing jet contrails appears to increase DTR. Obviously limited data, but clearly suggests (some types of) clouds cause reduced DTR, not the other way around.

  406. “Strangely enough, attempting to educate those who don’t understand the science and don’t want to learn is probably not right at the top of his list.”

    Then why did the PM have an audience with the AGW crusader?

    Yeah, setting up carbon credit trading companies and jetting around the world and preaching and getting paid for it is more important.

    I detect the first wobble of the wheels on the AGW bandwagon…lol!

  407. …and only allows for cloud cover decreasing as warming increases.

    Why is this positive feedback? I thought you previously argued that more clouds as temperature increases is negative feedback (because they trap more heat than they reflect?). Am I getting confused in my old age? 😉

  408. Lotharsson, on July 15th, 2009 at 5:14 pm Said:
    “I was under the impression that the cause and effect were reversed – that increased cloud cover is believed to cause reduced DTR, which might invert your conclusion.”

    Sorry, I should read what I post.
    Should read – The relevance of the DTR “weekend effect” research is that it finds a reduced DTR results FROM increased cloud cover.

    However the conclusion remains the same.
    If increased cloud cover causes a reduced DTR, the acceptance of a reduced DTR being an indicator of CO2 induced warming is questionable.

  409. Then why did the PM have an audience with the AGW crusader?

    Because the PM is the main man in Australia who is pushing the ETS and an agreement in Copenhagen, unlike Fielding who is a sideshow desperately trying to attract attention by manufacturing a “they won’t talk to me” boo-hoo story straight out of the propagandists’ playbook?

    Do I really have to point these differences out?

  410. “Do I really have to point these differences out?”

    No, just stirring to break up your six consecutive comments!

    Do you believe an ETS will achieve a result and that the world will come on board and turn nature’s thermostat down two degrees???

  411. No, just stirring to break up your six consecutive comments!

    LOL. Six in a row just proved I couldn’t organise my thoughts more effectively 😉

    Do you believe an ETS will achieve a result and that the world will come on board and turn nature’s thermostat down two degrees???

    The ETS alone clearly won’t do it.

    But pointing at everyone else and saying “you go first” won’t either. And neither will arguing that “some of us can’t afford it” – there are well-known ways to handle that problem, and if THEY are no longer useful then we’ve got a much bigger problem on our hands.

  412. …the acceptance of a reduced DTR being an indicator of CO2 induced warming is questionable.

    Fair point. On the other hand, if DTR reduction is significantly due to clouds (which themselves may be increased by increasing temperatures, as IIRC you as well as scientists have argued) then they may be a result of warming…and there could be other warming or CO2-related mechanisms too.

  413. scaper another who doesn’t give a stuff what happens to future generations as long as the current on can remain greedy and live an unsustainable lifestyle without giving up anything, in fact wanting to consume even more.

  414. Lotharsson, on July 15th, 2009 at 5:24 pm Said:
    “This seems to contradict the earlier quote. ”

    Even though there is that complete range of uncertainty in the research, the modelling disregards it and inputs decreased cloud cover as a response to any warming. Increased CO2, in theory, causes extra heat retention, which the models calculate as to further reduce cloud cover. The feared runaway temperature scenario.
    A reduced DTR is claimed to be a significant indicator, or fingerprint, of this warming.

    However a reduced DTR could be a result from increased cloud cover according to the “weekend effect” research.
    This pitches cloud cover against CO2 as the reason for the warming.
    It will be interesting to see where this leads.

  415. Lotharsson, on July 15th, 2009 at 6:00 pm Said:
    “On the other hand, if DTR reduction is significantly due to clouds then they may be a result of warming…”

    Given clouds currently reflect about 20% of solar radiation and absorb a similar amount, would it be a case of the more clouds the better?

  416. …the modelling disregards it and inputs decreased cloud cover as a response to any warming.

    Do you have a reference? Do all (IPCC-referenced) models that include clouds do this?

    The feared runaway temperature scenario.

    “Runaway” presumably in this case not actually meaning “increasing without limit”, but “moving to/approaching a new higher long-term equilibrium value”?

    A reduced DTR is claimed to be a significant indicator, or fingerprint, of this warming.

    This makes no sense to me, given that you state the cloud cover is PRESUMED by the models to decrease as temperatures rise, but DTR is shown to reduce as cloud cover increases and also as the earth warms. It’s hard to see how both can be simultaneously true – although perhaps there’s some wiggle room, given that DTR decreases in parts of the globe and simultaneously increases in others.

    Given clouds currently reflect about 20% of solar radiation and absorb a similar amount, would it be a case of the more clouds the better?

    I thought it depended on the details – type of cloud, altitude, latitude, relative albedo compared to underlying surface, etc.

  417. Lotharsson, on July 15th, 2009 at 7:21 pm Said:
    “This makes no sense to me, given that you state the cloud cover is PRESUMED by the models to decrease as temperatures rise, but DTR is shown to reduce as cloud cover increases and also as the earth warms.”

    I agree, no doubt further research will determine who is on the right track.

  418. Here’s something interesting from someone that will make you lefties’ skin crawl.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,532663,00.html

    Gee, if I didn’t have strong convictions I would get in on that action because there is big money to be made and it will come from our pockets!

  419. Here’s another skin crawler!

    http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/the-real-reason-ill-fight-in-the-senate-on-climate-change/

    Is that graph real as both sides have put out so much bullshit I tend not to believe any side anymore.

    The comments are indicative of the abuse the believers shovel up, I like the tactic of shovelling shit on his belief in God…pretty rich coming from the believers.

  420. Last, but not least…it seems that Gore had another motive for visiting our little island.

    http://cecaust.com.au/main.asp?sub=releases&id=2009_07_11_Evil_Al_Gore.html

    I see Turnbull is also one of the ‘suckers’.

  421. Scaper, I predicted Fielding would claim he was a victim of “Gore wouldn’t meet with me” and try to get publicity out of it pushing his “I’m the lone voice of reason” pose. Got it in one.

    And if you’re convinced by that graph from Fielding, even if it’s 100% accurate – as far back as it shows – then you haven’t been paying attention, just like all the other times I have a very nice bridge for sale, only one owner, nice little investment, safer than carbon credits, so get in quick!

    The comments are indicative of the abuse the believers shovel up,

    You mean like this?

    …Al Gore is a fraud who is desperately trying to form an environmentalist cult based on the Nazis’ approach to nature conservation. And we all know how well that ended. Because when you take the position that trees have the same status as human beings, it is then only a small step to believing (some) human beings are less worthy of life than flora and fauna.

    It’s easy to find commenters who are abusive, on both sides. Tells you nothing about whether they’re right or wrong about the science though.

    As to Goldman Sachs, cap-and-trade, and the flaws in that sort of system, I expect to see you vigorously campaigning for market reforms for all commodities including oil, right?

  422. BTW, you can read Taibbi’s full article here if you keep going far enough down.

  423. Well, if you read my first comment you would understand that I would not believe you owned a bridge!

  424. Here’s another link!

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2626711.htm

    It’s the sea temperatures now because air temperatures are not conforming…even the sea temperatures are not helping the cause!

    Bloody ABC, under the pay of big oil…lol!

  425. No playing with matches, Scaper. 😉

  426. Scaper – the ABC link is just an opinion piece.

    Have a look at this graph and see if you can discern a trend:

    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

    I agree it doesn’t look so flash if you only have the past 5 years or so but thats one hell of an increase over the past 40 (using the same data). Indeed, the only thing interesting about the flatness of the past couple of years is the lack of variability comparred to other periods where there were reductions or flat spots (ie in between increases). It’s all about natural variation within a broader climatic change. Even you’ll agree that the ocean temps don’t appear to be going down!

  427. *Bloody ABC, under the pay of big oil…lol!*

    The Robber Barons – still at work you mean, scaper …

    … as I said – “…there is a scam here, just can’t wrap my brain around it …”

    … serfs – keep ’em poor, keep ’em scared, keep ’em in chaos (so you can appear to control it), keep ’em down … if they get to educated – confuse the buggers with phrases like Anthopomophic Global Warming … better yet – start a war …

    … why not Human Warming Pollution … or something else as simple/stupid?

    … but then who’s doing the pollution? Big business? Not The Robber Barons?

    The weather may be changing – but why not reduce some of the disgusting profits/salaries – mmm – governments by big business and for big business …

    … time was if your business didn’t serve a need, it went under … and another more “in tune” business stepped in … too many “big/powerful” businesses (read dinasaurs) being kept alive for me … by politicians who couldn’t run a fruit stall …

  428. It’s the sea temperatures now because air temperatures are not conforming

    Air temperature trends are still rising, despite your (and others’) insistent denial. The guy who wrote that ABC piece with phrases like “cooling trends since 2006” immediately disqualifies himself from any credibility in climate science, and demonstrates that you are gullible in this area because you link to him approvingly. (Think about that bridge. Owning infrastructure with a captive market is a great investment…)

    And sea temperatures rising is really serious, because per-unit-volume water holds a lot more energy per degree temperature rise than air does.

  429. And, perhaps interesting for anyone so interested, is that Fielding has now changed his tune slightly since he scaled the ‘wall of silence’? GW is real, but the CO2 of A is now the phantom frequency per The Punch-Up piece, apparently.

  430. GW is real, but the CO2 of A is now the phantom frequency per The Punch-Up piece, apparently.

    I noticed that. If you believe him, loudly proclaiming “no warming over the last 15 years” using carefully chosen graphs was NOT meant to dog-whistle to those who refuse to believe that the earth is warming at all…

    Doesn’t say much for his credibility.

  431. The guys at Realclimate seem to think there’s been a pause in warming:

    The contentious part of our paper is that the climate system appears to have had another “episode” around the turn of the 21st century, coinciding with the much discussed “halt” in global warming. Whether or not such a halt has really occurred is of course controversial (it appears quite marked in the HadCRUT3 data, less so in GISTEMP); only time will tell if it’s real. Regardless, it’s important to note that we are not talking about global cooling, just a pause in warming. . . .

    We hypothesize that the established pre-1998 trend is the true forced warming signal, and that the climate system effectively overshot this signal in response to the 1997/98 El Niño. This overshoot is in the process of radiatively dissipating, and the climate will return to its earlier defined, greenhouse gas-forced warming signal. If this hypothesis is correct, the era of consistent record-breaking global mean temperatures will not resume until roughly 2020. . . .

    Whether there’s a warming trend, a cooling trend, or no trend at all – it’s all the same to me. It’s the cause of any warming (or not) that I’m yet to be convinced about.

  432. Just for the sake of accuracy, I’m not so sure Fielding has changed his tune all that much. Here he is from Washington on June 4:

    I am not a climate sceptic and I am not a climate change extremist. . . .

    We all know there are arguments which suggest climate change is because of pollution.

    But equally there are scientists saying climate change is naturally occurring.

    Either way until we have more of an understanding of the science and the economic implications I don’t believe the parliament can make an informed decision on a carbon cap until at least the end of the year.

  433. “To reiterate, just because we don’t understand all of the ways in which nature operates doesn’t mean that we humans are responsible for the changes we see in nature.

    The natural changes in climate I am talking about can be thought of as ‘chaos’. Even though all meteorologists and climate researchers agree that chaos occurs in weather, climate modelers seem to not entertain the possibility that climate can be chaotic as well (Tsonis et al., 2007). If they did believe that was possible, they would then have to seriously consider the possibility that most of the warming we saw in the 20th Century was natural, not manmade. But the IPCC remains strangely silent on this issue.

    The modelers will claim that their models can explain the major changes in global average temperatures over the 20th Century. While there is some truth to that, it is (1) not likely that theirs is a unique explanation, and (2) this is not an actual prediction since the answer (the actual temperature measurements) were known beforehand.

    If instead the modelers were NOT allowed to see the temperature changes over the 20th Century, and then were asked to produce a ‘hindcast’ of global temperatures, then this would have been a valid prediction. But instead, years of considerable trial-and-error work has gone into getting the climate models to reproduce the 20th Century temperature history, which was already known to the modelers. Some of us would call this just as much an exercise in statistical ‘curve-fitting’ as it is ‘climate model improvement’.

    The point is that, while climate models currently offer one possible explanation for climate change (humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions), it is by no means the only possible one. And any modeler who claims they have found the only possible cause of global warming is being either disingenuous, or they have let their faith overpower their ability to reason.

    Even the IPCC (2007) admits there is a 10% chance that they are wrong about humans being responsible for most of the warming observed in the last 50 years. That, by itself, shows that anyone who says “the science is settled” doesn’t know what they are talking about.”

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/07/how-do-climate-models-work/

  434. Tony, on July 16th, 2009 at 5:40 pm Said:
    “We hypothesize that the established pre-1998 trend is the true forced warming signal, and that the climate system effectively overshot this signal in response to the 1997/98 El Niño. ”

    El-Nino seems to be conveniently responsible for a number of things. I acknowledge that El-Nino has some special relevance to Australia due to it being associated with some, not all, of our droughts.
    But was does El-Nino figure more prominently in global climate related discussions than La-Nina. Basically they are driven by the same conditions except the location of the warmer and cooler sea surface temperatures are reversed. What El-Nino brings to Australia, La-Nina brings to the South America and vice-versa.
    So why is it El-Nino seems to be more associated with warmer temperatures globally?
    Is it just that the last three decades have been one of the regular cycles of predominately El-Ninos, and this will all change as we swing back into several decades of predominately La-Nina events?

  435. …climate modelers seem to not entertain the possibility that climate can be chaotic as well…

    That’s a bizarre claim. Every single one of them will tell you that it’s a chaotic system.

    …to seriously consider the possibility that most of the warming we saw in the 20th Century was natural, not manmade. But the IPCC remains strangely silent on this issue.

    Perhaps because they seriously considered the idea, and STILL concluded AGW was very likely true?

    While there is some truth to that, it is (1) not likely that theirs is a unique explanation,

    Fair point. There are a number of models that explain observations reasonably well. The trouble is this misses the point – the models that DO explain the observations reasonably well all say AGW is very likely. There are no current plausible explanations with reasonable probability that say AGW is very unlikely. Do you have one that they have missed?

    …and (2) this is not an actual prediction since the answer (the actual temperature measurements) were known beforehand.

    Whoever wrote that doesn’t know what they are talking about.

    If instead the modelers were NOT allowed to see the temperature changes over the 20th Century, and then were asked to produce a ‘hindcast’ of global temperatures, then this would have been a valid prediction.

    Er, scaper, do you realise that a “hindcast” is exactly what the modelers have been doing to validate their models? That description is almost EXACTLY how models are developed! Modelers DON’T say “here are the temperatures we have to reproduce, now let’s build a model that knows that“. They say “here are the equations that govern a variety of earth/climate processes; let’s build a model based on them and see if it produces something that looks like the known climate if we test it on past inputs”. If the models don’t do a very good job they don’t fudge the temperature outputs – they figure out how to make the modeling of earth/climate processes better and better. The key is that past temperatures year by year are not used as INPUTS to the model; they are OUTPUTS.

    Even the IPCC (2007) admits there is a 10% chance that they are wrong about humans being responsible for most of the warming observed in the last 50 years. That, by itself, shows that anyone who says “the science is settled” doesn’t know what they are talking about.”

    If you read the IPCC definitions “very likely” means “90% or more“, i.e. “10% or less” that “most of the warming is human-induced”. That quote by itself shows that the writer doesn’t know what he is talking about.

    It’s very hard for responsible science to commit to much more than 90% for most complex questions like this where you can’t run a control experiment. And if more understanding of climate arises, you’re likely to find that at best you end up with “most warming” turning into “much of the warming”. You’re very unlikely to get to “little of the warming” unless there’s been a major systemic error or shortcoming across most of climate science – and I don’t like your chances of that.

    If you want to cling to this figure as saying “the science is not settled”, then don’t take most modern medical advice, because the science isn’t settled there either…some researchers say that many modern medicines do very little for 40-60% of people who take them.

  436. Oops. MIssed the blockquote on “…and (2) this is not an actual prediction since the answer (the actual temperature measurements) were known beforehand. “

  437. Here’s one for those interested in the role of clouds in climate sensitivity, featuring an interesting comparison of the use of words between a peer-reviewed study, and the IPCC AR4’s own section on the topic.

  438. Could the best climate models — the ones used to predict global warming — all be wrong?

    Maybe so, says a new study published online today in the journal Nature Geoscience. . . . “In a nutshell, theoretical models cannot explain what we observe in the geological record,” says oceanographer Gerald Dickens, study co-author and professor of Earth Science at Rice University in Houston. “There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models.”

  439. Tony, on July 16th, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Tony, very interesting. Clouds are the stumbling block, and I’m not sure whether the changes of emphasis made are to cover themselves by appearing less certain, or is it setting up for a possible fundamental change.

    I found the comment made by the author on the following a bit bewildering.

    “Reviewer Richard Allan observed:

    8-586 A 47:54 48:5 It should also be noted that the cooling effect of clouds is primarily felt at the surface during the daytime, while the greenhouse effect of cloud generally heats the atmosphere. [Richard Allan (Reviewer’s comment ID #: 3-83)]

    The author observed
    “My two cents worth as an interested non-specialist reader: Allan’s comment here seems interesting – it was something that I wasn’t aware of.”

    Surely the author is not saying that he was not aware of the clouds act as both a cooling shade, and as a warming blanket.

    Have I misinterpreted his two cents worth, as I thought Allan’s observation was a basic truth known by everyone.

  440. Johnd,

    Surely the author is not saying that he was not aware of the clouds act as both a cooling shade, and as a warming blanket.

    Have I misinterpreted his two cents worth, as I thought Allan’s observation was a basic truth known by everyone.

    I’d say, given Steve McIntyre’s own area of specialty, he probably was not aware of that, and so was genuinely bemused that the IPCC rejected the reviewer’s comments (who considered it an important enough point, and one that wasn’t common enough knowledge, to place on the official record).

  441. Surely the author is not saying that he was not aware of the clouds act as both a cooling shade, and as a warming blanket.

    Have I misinterpreted his two cents worth, as I thought Allan’s observation was a basic truth known by everyone.

    It’s possible he was emphasising like this:

    It should also be noted that the cooling effect of clouds is primarily felt at the surface during the daytime, while the greenhouse effect of cloud generally heats the atmosphere.

  442. FWIW, McIntyre papered over or softened a change from Bony to AR4 that – to my limited knowledge – goes against his argument that “each changed softened or papered over the appearance of problems”. Bony talks about these clouds covering a large fraction of the Tropics; AR4 talks about them covering a large fraction of the global ocean – i.e. a far greater area, and hence one that would magnifying the impact of clouds (and cloud uncertainty).

  443. Could the best climate models — the ones used to predict global warming — all be wrong?

    The article says:

    he report found that only about half of the warming that occurred during a natural climate change 55 million years ago can be explained by excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

    The conclusion, Dickens said, is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of this ancient warming.

    Well, doh! That’s what climate scientists say. Other factors cause warming too, NOT JUST CO2. This is often pointed out in cases when people say “but sometimes temperature started rising before CO2 did”.

  444. FWIW I think (given my limited knowledge) that McIntyre is completely wrong on the version of the paragraph about albedo and optical depth. He claims the AR4 version is another instance of “papering over uncertainties”, when the Bony version says that an argument based on a formula has been refuted by observation – hence the AR4 summary seems exactly like eliminating mention of something now known to be false.

    Similarly, the rejection of the second reviewer comment seems to be for valid reasons – the comment is not about cloud feedback in response to climate change (as is acknowledged by the reviewer); it’s about cloud feedback in response to relatively short term phenomenon, which themselves generally average out reasonably well over climate-scale time periods.

    Similarly, the rejection of the first reviewers comment seems plausibly defensible, as it does not seem to be necessary to discuss cloud feedbacks.

  445. Lotharsson / Tony

    With or without emphasis, it is still a basic truth. If as Tony commented, someone such as McIntyre quite possibly may not be aware of something so basic, where does that leave the general population, who are in the hands of the experts and politicians when it comes to the matter of climate change.

    Maybe it is the same situation as with weather forecasts. Perhaps also for the general population, for who forecasts are only a topic of conversation or jokes, they simply may not be aware of just how poorly the weather forecasting services perform, or why this is so, but are prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to the experts who claim expertise.
    This is not the case for those whose livelihood relies on accurate forecasts, both short and long range. They know who are reliable and who are not, who seems to have a greater understanding of the systems driving our weather, and climate, and who does not. They know which experts to listen to, and who not to.
    That is why the government opened the enquiry into weather forecasting services, currently the major bodies are providing forecasts that are “less than useless”, as noted in the enquiry. That is another basic truth that perhaps the population generally is also unaware of.

  446. Lotharsson, on July 16th, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    I think the point being made was that if the IPCC were going to incorporate the original reports into their own reports, then what right do they have to selectively edit and change the emphasis of the original report.
    Surely the process, should they disagree with any of the report, is to either accept the paper and the conclusions reached in their entirety, which I assume to have been peer reviewed, whatever value that may have, or not have, or to write their own entirely original report, referencing their sources as necessary.
    What they appeared to have done would have school kids failed in exams if they were discovered doing the same.

  447. Lotharsson, on July 16th, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    I think the processes involved in the warming over the last 10,000 years are more relevant than those of 55 million years ago.

  448. Just to add to my last post. It would be interesting, and not so difficult, to divide the last 10,000 years into 100 hundred year blocks and study the conditions and rate of warming evident in each block separately.

  449. Why Poor Countries Won’t Curb Emissions

    . . . . [T]he depressing thing for climate warriors was that Obama could not get developing countries, without whose cooperation there is simply no way to avert climate change, to accept–even just in theory–the idea of binding emissions cuts. India’s prime minister took the occasion to position his country as a major victim of a problem not of its making. “What we are witnessing today is the consequence [of] over two centuries of industrial activity and high-consumption lifestyles in the developed world,” he lectured. “They have to bear this historical responsibility.” And even before the summit began, China declared the West had “no right” to ask it to limit its economic growth. . . .

    But this psychologizing only exposes the inability of climate activists to take seriously the rational case for inaction. In fact, there is a perfectly good reason developing countries are unwilling to act on climate change: What they are being asked to do is more awful than climate change’s implications–even if one accepts all the alarmist predictions. . . .

    In short, the choice for developing countries is between mass death due to the consequences of an overheated planet sometime in the distant future, and mass suicide due to imposed instant starvation right now. Is it any surprise that they are reluctant to jump on the global-warming bandwagon? . . .

  450. If as Tony commented, someone such as McIntyre quite possibly may not be aware of something so basic, …

    It’s basic to climate scientists, but McIntyre is not one.

    I think the point being made was that if the IPCC were going to incorporate the original reports into their own reports, then what right do they have to selectively edit and change the emphasis of the original report.

    They have every right to produce the text that summarises the aggregate research. If the fastest or most appropriate way to do that is to leverage text from one paper, (especially one by the same author so no copyright concerns arise), modified to incorporate knowledge from other research in the area, then that’s entirely legitimate.

  451. The general public doesn’t understand IPCC terms used to communicate levels of (un)certainty. As a consequence, they think the science is far more uncertain than it is.

  452. BTW, note one other thing from that paper referenced by McIntyre. It suggests the oft-made allegation that “AGW proponents” have somehow rigged their models by “presuming positive feedback” from clouds may not be true:

    When imposed in simple two-box models of the tropical climate … or into some GCMs’ parameterizations of boundary layer cloud amount … this empirical correlation leads to a substantial increase in low cloud cover in a warmer climate driven by the larger stratification of warmer moist adiabats across the Tropics, and produces a strong negative feedback.

  453. For the readers…it looks like this place is slowly dying so the action is at Reb’s Gutter Trash.

  454. scaper…

    It’s still happening at both places … I post all over the place (except Piers’ and Bolt’s blogs)

  455. scaper – it is dying because of the actions of a few people – I am assessing the next move.

  456. Have I missed something?

    Damn shiftwork!

  457. Lotharsson, on July 17th, 2009 at 9:37 am Said:
    “It’s basic to climate scientists, but McIntyre is not one.”

    I meant it is something so basic that any ordinary person who has ever stood under clear skies and cloudy skies day and night should be aware of. Or don’t people notice such differences or wonder why it is so?
    Is it that these days too many people rarely live outside an artificially controlled environment?

  458. I meant it is something so basic that any ordinary person who has ever stood under clear skies and cloudy skies day and night should be aware of.

    If you include the emphasis in my version, then it’s not so obvious.

    Or don’t people notice such differences or wonder why it is so?

    A lot of people don’t these days, I suspect. Is this an “I’m getting old” moment? 😉

  459. Lotharsson, on July 17th, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I’m getting a bit lost, when they refer to producing a strong negative feedback, what is it that reacts negatively.
    This defined the empirical correlation referred to-

    “Klein and Hartmann (1993) showed an empirical correlation between mean boundary layer cloud cover and lower-tropospheric stability (defined in their study as the difference of 700-hPa and near-surface potential temperature).”

    so does producing negative feedback mean that the difference of 700-hPa and near surface temperature falls as clouds increase?

  460. johnd, I don’t know. I had assumed that the negative feedback meant that rising temperatures rising led clouds in that model to act against rising temperatures…but as you suggest, maybe that’s not what was meant.

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