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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

WUWT round-up: Chris Horner's Email Withdrawal and a New Denier Don

Sou | 7:20 AM Go to the first of 116 comments. Add a comment

I'm a bit flat chat at the minute so will just do a quick round-up of denier nonsense from WUWT.

Climate science is a hoax because Chris Horner has no emails


First of all, Chris Horner of ATI, who gets his kicks from reading emails between scientists, when he can get them, is running out of emails to read (archived here).  He's suffering email withdrawal symptoms.  Chris doesn't understand science but he reckons that if he could only get his hand on some emails he'd be bound to find something nefarious in them.  Like "regards".  Now what hidden code could that be?  "Regards" would obviously be shorthand for "no regards" which would mean that scientists have "no regards" for the likes of Chris Horner.  As for "cheers".  Why would a scientists be cheery if they seriously believed the earth was heading for catastrophe.  The word "cheers" in an email would signify that climate science is a hoax.

Cheers to Andrew Dessler, I say.


Another Professor "Gone Emeritus" who lists denier memes


Climate science denier Donald C Morton has declared that he's given up astrophysics and gone emeritus.  He has posed a number of questions and outlined some difficulties he has with climate science (archived here).  For the most part these are answered in the literature but Donald C Morton is no longer capable of understanding or doesn't want to understand.  Donald has decided to embark on a new career of climate science denial.

Here are his questions.  Well, they aren't questions for the most part.  They are a random collections of tired denier memes drawn from SkepticalScience.com.  Perhaps a reader will help him out further.

His first question isn't a question it's a statement that global surface temperatures haven't gone up lately.  He doesn't explore this in any depth, like looking at what's happened in the earth system overall.  For example:


.

His next question isn't a question either.  He says he thinks that water vapour isn't a greenhouse gas any more, or something like that.  He also doesn't appear to understand the first thing about climate models. Here is what he wrote - you can see if you can figure it out.
Without justification the model makers ignored possible natural causes and assumed the rise was caused primarily by anthropogenic CO2 with reflections by clouds and other aerosols approximately cancelling absorption by the other gases noted above. Consequently they postulated a positive feedback due to hotter air holding more water vapor, which increased the absorption of radiation and the backwarming. The computer simulations represented this process and many other effects by adjustable parameters chosen to match the observations. As stated on p. 9-9 of IPCC2013, “The complexity of each process representation is constrained by observations, computational resources, and current knowledge.” Models that did not show a temperature rise would have been omitted from any ensemble so the observed rise effectively determined the feedback parameter. [Sou: Huh? What models were 'omitted'?]
Now that the temperature has stopped increasing we see that this parameter is not valid. It even could be negative. CO2 absorption without the presumed feedback will still happen but its effect will not be alarming. The modest warming possibly could be a net benefit with increased crop production and fewer deaths due to cold weather.
In the above you'll notice that he's managed to squeeze in "CO2 is plant food", "people die in the cold" and "water vapour feedback might be negative".

Don's next question isn't a question, it's a speculation.  He's invoked the denier meme "it's the sun" and speculates that climate scientists don't know how the sun works.
The sun has entered a phase of low activity. Fig. 5 shows that previous times of very low activity were the Dalton Minimum from about 1800 to 1820 and the Maunder Minimum from about 1645 to 1715 when very few spots were seen. Since these minima occurred during the Little Ice Age when glaciers were advancing in both Northern and Southern Hemispheres, it is possible that we are entering another cooling period. Without a physical understanding of the cause of such cool periods, we cannot be more specific. Temperatures as cold as the Little Ice Age may not happen, but there must be some cooling to compensate the heating that is present from the increasing CO2 absorption.
Regrettably the IPCC reports scarcely mention these solar effects and the uncertainties they add to any prediction.
He could try reading some science about the impact on climate of changes in solar radiation.

Someone told Don to mention the dumb writings of Essex, McKitrick and Andresen (2007) and Essex and McKitrick (2007). So he did.  He reckons that because a bunch of denialists don't see the relevance of temperature to global warming or global cooling or climatology, that it can't be much use as a gauge.  Don thinks that it's quite meaningless to claim that summer is generally warmer than winter.  And it would be especially foolish to try to work out the average temperature difference between a summer's day and a winter's night in the desert.

Finally Don does come up with a question.  It's about chaos.  Don, like so many at WUWT, can't understand why weather forecasts are short term because of chaos but climate can be projected.  Maybe someone will point him towards Lorenz and explain the difference between initial value problems and boundary conditions. Don asks:
Why do the climate models in the IPCC reports not show these instabilities? Have they been selectively tuned to avoid them or are the chaotic physical processes not properly included? Why should we think that long-term climate predictions are possible when they are not for weather?
Once more, Don probably can't figure out how people are so sure that winter will generally be colder than summer.  I bet he has a really hard time with figuring out how anyone can be so certain that Florida has a different climate to that of McMurdo Sound, given the chaotic property of weather.  Here's a tip for him from Gavin Schmidt:
Weather concerns an initial value problem: Given today's situation, what will tomorrow bring? Weather is chaotic; imperceptible differences in the initial state of the atmosphere lead to radically different conditions in a week or so. Climate is instead a boundary value problem — a statistical description of the mean state and variability of a system, not an individual path through phase space. 

Next Don both protests the consensus and complains that those who reject science are described as denying science.  He asks: "Why do some proponents of climate alarm dismiss critics by implying they are like Holocaust deniers?" Don is a classic example of a climate science denier.

Don summarises his denial as follows - I've reformatted them as a list for your convenience:
At least six serious problems confront the climate predictions presented in the last IPCC Report.
  1. The models do not predict the observed temperature plateau since 1998,
  2. the models adopted a feedback parameter based on the unjustified assumption that the warming prior to 1998 was primarily caused by anthopogenic CO2,
  3. the IPCC ignored possible affects of reduced solar activity during the past decade,
  4. the temperature anomaly has no physical significance,
  5. the models attempt to predict the future of a chaotic system, and
  6. there is an appeal to consensus to establish climate science.
His second item demonstrates he doesn't understand climate science.  His first and third item could be regarded as cancelling each other out to some extent.  His fourth item is plain silly. His fifth item shows he doesn't understand the difference between climate and weather.

I haven't checked, but one wonders, going by his sixth and last item, whether he wrote all his astrophysics papers from first principles with no need for references to published literature of science that went before.  His papers would have been very long. It's amazing he was still able to get published.

There you go.  Another physicist bites the dust.  Still, he does demonstrate he's not proud.  He's not so arrogant as to disdain association with an ex-television weather announcer and anti-science advocating blogger.


From the WUWT comments

Just one, belatedly added for the record (archived here).

Greig says:
February 17, 2014 at 8:19 pm
Hi Don,
The knaves over at HotWhopper are “twisting the truth you have spoken”, here. Whilst you say critical comments are welcome, deliberate misinterpretation perhaps deserves to be challenged.

116 comments:

Greig said...

He says he thinks that water vapour isn't a greenhouse gas any more, or something like that.

Actually he says nothing like that, you are being deliberately flippant.

Don specifically refers to "reflections by clouds and other aerosols" as the feedback mechanisms worthy of study. As the IPCC has clearly stated, further study is required to better match the models to current observations, and the idea that cloud feedback would be part of that process is not contentious. Don's comments on cloud feedback are not silly, they are simply optimistic (non-alarmist) and it should be noted that they well within the lower bounds of IPCC analysis to date.

Cugel said...

So the denier movement gets some new blood. So to speak.

Apart from reference to the mythical Pause we could have seen this 25 years ago. The same zombie "questions", and no appreciation that clouds haven't prevented the warming yet, so why should they suddenly start having a greater effect? This question is left unaddressed; instead uncertainty justifies the view that they might, and we should wait and see. Indefinitely.

Boring. Where are the squirrels?

Dave said...

Greig, how is it that you seem to misinterpret and misunderstand everything you read. Blinded by ideology perhaps?

You write
"Don specifically refers to "reflections by clouds and other aerosols" as the feedback mechanisms worthy of study"

But where did Don say "reflections by clouds and other aerosols" were "feedback mechanisms worthy of study". That is simply your gross misinterpretation.

Don said "Without justification the model makers ignored possible natural causes and assumed the rise was caused primarily by anthropogenic CO2 with reflections by clouds and other aerosols approximately cancelling absorption"

Don was pouring scorn on the CO2 and the negative feedbacks of clouds and aerosols. It is just a long version of the 'it's all natural' myth.

Don then said "Consequently they postulated a positive feedback due to hotter air holding more water vapour"

Fo a start this is not postulation, but simple physics.
http://littleshop.physics.colostate.edu/tenthings/WhyDoesWarmAirHoldMoreWater.pdf

Don then says "Now that the temperature has stopped increasing we see that this parameter is not valid. It even could be negative"

The parameter that Don is talking about is NOT clouds or aerosols, but water vapour. So he is trying to claim that the positive water vapour feedback could be negative. But this claim defies the laws of physics, and this is what Sou picked up on.

Then you said "Don's comments on cloud feedback are not silly".

Yes they were. He was pouring scorn on them, but it was essentially irrelevant anyway. The main thrust of his comments was NOT about cloud feedback, but water vapour feedback. (But since you think that clouds and water vapour are the same thing, is it any wonder that you got confused.) Remember that water vapour is an invisible gas, and is virtually ubiquitous in the atmosphere. It is measured as relative humidity. When increasing CO2 heats the air, the air gets hotter, and so the water vapour partial pressure can increase and since water vapour is also a greenhouse gas, it's infra-red emissivity will then heat the air even more. This is the essence of the water vapour feedback.
http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch8s8-6-3-1.html

It is also not just a postulation or hypothesis, but has been observed.
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/vapor_warming.html

That is why Don sounds crazy. He is disputing actual satellite observations.

And then you come along, also not making any sense at all. This seems to be an obsessive habit of yours.

(I'm sure you will feel incensed with my comments, thinking that I am bullying you. And I'm sure you will reply with a never ending gish gallop of semantic silliness. In fact I encourage you to do so. Reading the nonsense you contrive to bolster your distorted view of reality and your corrupt ideology is very amusing.)

Greig said...

Don states, first sentence of section 3: There is no controversy about the basic physics that adding CO2 to our atmosphere absorbs solar energy resulting in a little extra warming on top of the dominant effect of water vapor.

Yet somehow Sou and Dave are suggesting that Don (who is an astrophysicist after all) is trying to prove the exact opposite of what he regards as "basic physics" and not controversial.

Someone is misinterpreting Don's meaning.

caerbannog said...

Actually, they *have* been studied for decades by real scientists. And the latest research indicates that changes in clouds will likely magnify, rather than attenuate, global warming. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/a-bit-more-sensitive/#ITEM-16609-0

Uncertainty cuts both ways -- it is *not* your friend.

caerbannog said...

An astrophysicist should know the difference between forcing and amplifying feedback.

The bottom line is, in terrestrial conditions, water vapor *cannot* act as a greenhouse gas without underlying forcing by non-condensing greenhouse gases.

If the above isn't clear to you, then consider this question.

In the Earth's atmosphere, what does water vapor do that CO2 doesn't? Once you figure out the answer, then you will understand why water vapor can't act as a greenhouse forcing agent.

Bernard J. said...

"His first question isn't a question it's a statement that global surface temperatures haven't gone up lately."

In other words Morton is a variant of the pp-hacker, who seeks the particular p value he desires without proper consideration of the overall milieu of directly relevant data.

The rest of Morton's nonsense is, as Sou rightly points out, simply more excursion into the miasmatic swamps of intellectual decay. He is, as cRR so usefully pointed out, completely engaged in System I thinking - which is to say, not much thinking at all.

Recommended reading:

http://davidjjohnson.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/false-positive-psychology-the-p-curve/

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2160588

http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/p-hacking-and-other-statistical-sins/

http://legallysociable.com/2013/07/17/wireds-five-tips-for-p-hacking-your-way-to-a-positive-study-result/

https://www.movesinstitute.org/2014/02/12/dont-be-a-p-hacker/

Bernard J. said...

P[oo]p..

I meant "p-hacker", not "pp-hacker".

Flakmeister said...

Raises hand...

Please! Please pick me!

Condense?

Flakmeister said...

In the case of the potty peer, pp-hacker is so apropos...

Dave said...

Greig writes
"Don specifically refers to "reflections by clouds and other aerosols" as the feedback mechanisms worthy of study."

No he doesn't, you have misrepresented him. Where does he say that?

Greg writes
"Don's comments on cloud feedback are not silly"
No one is saying they were uncontentious. Why are you focussing on cloud feedback anyway? It is the water vapour feedback that he is contesting, not cloud feedback. You will see that better in his other paper.

What Don is trying to claim is that the water vapour feedback doesn't 'add up'.

It might be worthwhile to read his other paper on the subject which clarifies his position on water vapour feedback
http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.8235

In it he says this.
"However, the backwarming by CO2 produced only about half the temperature rise, so the models needed to include amplification by
a positive feedback caused by hotter air holding more water vapour, which absorbs more radiation. "

"Essentially the feedback has been calibrated by the past rise in temperature; if it is no longer rising, the effect of more CO2 will be
less serious."

You will see that he took his original paper, and 'Wattified' it.

But what is really weird is this statement.
"The IPCC climate models are among the most sophisticated of all computer simulations. Nevertheless, something seems to be missing. "

And then he goes on to try and explain 'his' interpretation of the earth's energy budget. It just does not match what is here.
http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/abstracts/files/kevin1997_1.html

It then becomes clear that 'what is missing' is comprehension.

How about this Don, as an astrophysicist, you study the stars, and leave the study of the climate to the climate scientists. That way you won't end up looking like an idiot.

Greig said...

I am sure astrophysicist Don knows "the difference between forcing and amplifying feedback", however his simple comment above doesn't need to make the distinction.

Water vapour *** is *** the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, which is why it dominates CO2 in its impact on greenhouse warming. By their percentage contribution to the greenhouse effect on Earth the four major gases are:

water vapor, 36–70%
carbon dioxide, 9–26%
methane, 4–9%
ozone, 3–7%

If there were no non-condensing GHGs, water vapour would still "act as a greenhouse gas" provided it was present in the atmosphere as a gas. If you are implying that the Earth would be a desert "snowball" without non-condensing GHGs, you may be correct. But that doesn't mean Don's comment (about H2O being the dominant GHG) is wrong.

Dave said...

But no one is contesting that water vapour is the dominant greenhouse gas.

But what Don says here
"However, the backwarming by CO2 produced only about half the temperature rise, so the models needed to include amplification by a positive feedback caused by hotter air holding more water vapour, which absorbs more radiation. "

IS WRONG

According to this analysis
http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/huber11natgeo.pdf
"Greenhouse gases contributed 1.31 ◦ C (0.85–1.76 ◦ C) to the increase, that is 159% (106–212%) of the total warming."

So CO2 can account for all the warming. His assertion is just plain false.

The models don't 'need' the water vapour feedback to account for the other half of the temperature rise, since the statement that " backwarming by CO2 produced only about half the temperature rise" is wrong in the first place. But in reality, the models 'need' the water vapour feedback because it's actual physics that have been confirmed by experimental and satellite data. Not to put in the water vapour feedback element would make the model results unrealistic.

That is why what Don says is just plain stupid. Everyone else can see it, which is why he published it on WUWT. Anyone with an elementary understanding of the climate would just laugh him off.

Sou said...

I can't believe that anyone's trying to defend Denier Don M. Fer crying out loud - the man is a successful astrophysicist who is so bent on denying climate science he is willing to sink any reputation he might have had in his own field to write a an article for Anthony Watts' blog!

Sheesh - and his article is just reeling off one dumb denier meme after another as if he thinks that if he throws in everything but the kitchen sink something will stick. Never mind that he contradicts himself multiple times - it's hot, it's not hot, it's the sun, it's not CO2, it is CO2. No-one reading what he wrote would have guessed he used to be a scientist himself. (About the only thing he left out was undersea volcanoes.)

And Greig thinks if he can only find one thing that makes sense it'll somehow salvage denier Don M's reputation. Not only is he wrong - it can't make up for his nonsense. But Greig didn't find anything that made sense. Nothing, nada.

Climate science denial makes fools of NASA astronauts and astrophysicists. The fact they'll demean themselves to the extent of appearing on WUWT. I mean this wasn't something that Anthony found somewhere else and copied and pasted (as he often does). He said the chap wrote a "guest article". That means that this scientist actually *chose* Anthony's blog. No-one who valued their reputation would sink so low.

Denier Don is willing to share a platform with the potty peer, the crazy conspiracy theorist grubby Tim Ball, Chris "email" Horner, David "funny sunny" Archibald, Perennially Puzzled Bob Tisdale, Wondering Willis Eschenbach, Denier "Greenland" Don E and all the other wacky conspiracy theorists and pseudo-science crazies.

Anonymous said...

Peter Lilley MP summed global warming up very well today when he asked Dr Emily Shuckburgh (at an Energy and Climate Change Committee hearing) whether the fact that half of all the CO2 ever emitted by man had been emitted since 1997 and coincidentally there had been no significant warming since that date, had altered her confidence in the IPCC’s longer term predictions.

Sou said...

Correction: "Peter Lilley MP illustrated global warming denial and his ignorance of the use of statistics in climatology..."

Anonymous said...

man , you really are funny , why dont you just say "nananananaaa! so there"

George Montgomery said...

Qui cum canibus concumbunt, cum pulicibus surgent!. If you lie down with dogs, you'll rise with fleas.

Dave said...

For anyone who is interested, the full video of the session is here
http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/house-of-commons-26135586

Also just as a correction, Lilley said not half, but a third. But it does in no way diminish the folly of his ill-posed question.

It is the signature of a denier that they are obsessed with the 'no warming for xx years'. What is also the case is that they seem to never understand why it is such a foolish way of thinking. It was explained that the GMSAT is a 'poor proxy' of the increasing amount of energy that AGW is trapping and that many other indicators showed that global warming hasn't stopped at all.

Most GMSAT data is solely based on thermometer records, and since there are large parts of the world, especially the polar regions, that are very poorly represented, it is foolish to rely on this very noisy single 'proxy'. Cowtan and Way's analysis, which used a combination of satellite and thermometer records, showed that once those missing areas are filled in with satellite data, there actually is no 'hiatus' anyway.

You never seem to get a 'light bulb' moment with the denier. When confronted with the folly, Lilley became incensed. Denial and anger, and a complete refusal to accept the reality is most definitely the hallmark of your hardcore denier. Deniers seem to think that 'no warming for xx years' somehow falsifies AGW, like it's a gotcha moment, but why would a reduced or increased trend in less than 3% of the climate system have much meaning in the first place. If sea level's started to drop, ocean heat content started to drop, global ice mass started to increase, and all did so for at least 30 years, only then would you have a strong case for AGW being falsified. And I'm sure that if that were to happen we would all be dancing in the street!!!

George Montgomery said...

Peter Lilley MP demonstrates his ignorance profound i.e. no significant warming since that date in the lower troposphere. He conveniently overlooks ocean warming but leaving that aside, why does the Arctic meltdown and grand glacier retreats continue? Maybe, Peter the MP was channeling a Chris Lilley character like Jonah?

And what will Peter the MP say when the next El Nino comes along? Pat Michaels, the skeptic climate scientist, has warmed skeptics like Peter the MP not to make statements like the one you've quoted because El Nino will turn up one day, etc., etc.

And when it comes to statistical significance, there's been No Significant Cooling in the lower troposphere either since 1997. Specificity! Specificity!

Cue opening lyrics to Billy Joe Royal's song Hush (cover versions by Deep Purple and Russell Morris) so there!

Anonymous said...

Greig said:
"If there were no non-condensing GHGs, water vapour would still "act as a greenhouse gas" provided it was present in the atmosphere as a gas."

Here's an interesting question (I don't know the answer): To what extent could water vapour be present in the atmosphere if there were no non-condensing GHGs?

Bernard J. said...

"coincidentally there had been no significant warming since that date"

So Anonymous, you're a p-hacker too?

Denial and p-hackage - go together like a horse and carriage...

The tragic thing is that in all likelihood you have no clue whatsoever as to why you're on such very thin ice.

Millicent said...

"And what will Peter the MP say when the next El Nino comes along?"

I don't know what Peter the part time MP and part time fossil fuel executive will say; but I remember what climate change deniers said in 1998. And they will say the same thing again.

They will say that its hot because its an El Nino year. They will say that you cannot determine temperature trends using El Nino years. The fact that they have been doing precisely that every time they say 'no warming since 1998' won't bother them because they are liars and hypocrits.

And then, after a few years, they will have another bout of amnesia and be back to their 'no warming since the last El Nino year' mode. Again, proving they are liars and hypocrits, but everyone knew that already so what the heck.

And so it will continue for as long as the fossil fuel industry doles out large wads of money for the crime.

Lionel A said...

I was dismayed and not a little irritated by Lilley's behaviour here.

Peter Lilley used his parliamentary experience to try to baffle-gab the scientist who gave a perfectly adequate explanation.

He calls himself a 'humble policy maker' who cannot, or will not, understand anything about the science of climate change. Sorry, get another job Lilley, you are out of your depth on this one. Maybe he should undergo some hours of remedial education and could do worse than start with this three part report from the Met' Office The recent pause in warming.

Lilley behaved like a very rude spoilt child, it was his behaviour which was disgraceful and humbled himself.

BBD said...

Anon. your answer is here.

Radiative modeling analyses of the terrestrial greenhouse structure described in a parallel study in the Journal of Geophysical Research (Schmidt et al., 2010) found that water vapor accounts for about 50% of the Earth's greenhouse effect, with clouds contributing 25%, carbon dioxide 20%, and the minor greenhouse gases (GHGs) and aerosols accounting for the remaining 5%, as shown in Fig. 1. Thus, while the non-condensing greenhouse gases account for only 25% of the total greenhouse effect, it is these non-condensing GHGs that actually control the strength of the terrestrial greenhouse effect since the water vapor and cloud feedback contributions are not self-sustaining and as such, only provide amplification. Because carbon dioxide accounts for 80% of the non-condensing GHG forcing in the current climate atmosphere, atmospheric carbon dioxide therefore qualifies as the principal control knob that governs the temperature of Earth.

The numerical climate experiment described in Fig. 2. demonstrates the fundamental radiative forcing role of the non-condensing GHGs, and the feedback (only) role of water vapor and clouds. This climate modeling experiment was performed using the GISS ModelE general circulation coupled atmosphere-ocean climate model by zeroing out all of the non-condensing greenhouse gases. Doing this removed the radiative forcing that sustains the temperature support for water vapor and cloud feedbacks, causing rapid condensation and precipitation of water vapor from the atmosphere, collapsing the terrestrial greenhouse effect, and plunging the Earth into an icebound state.

The scope of the climate impact becomes apparent in just 10 years. During the first year alone, global mean surface temperature falls by 4.6 °C. After 50 years, the global temperature stands at -21 °C, a decrease by 34.8 °C. Atmospheric water vapor is at ~10% of the control climate value (22.6 to 2.2 mm). Global cloud cover increases from its 58% control value to more than 75%; the global sea ice fraction goes from 4.6% to 46.7%, causing the planetary albedo of Earth to increase from ~29% to 41.8%. This has the effect to reduce the absorbed solar energy to further exacerbate the global cooling. After 50 years, one third of the ocean surface still remains ice-free, even though the global surface temperature is colder than -21 °C. At tropical latitudes, incident solar radiation is enough to keep the ocean from freezing. While this thermal oasis within an otherwise icebound Earth appears to be stable, at least on the short timescale illustrated, further calculations with an interactive ocean are needed to verify the potential for long-term stability. The surface temperatures in Fig. 3 are only marginally warmer than 1 °C within the remaining low latitude heat island.

From the foregoing, it is clear that CO2 is the key atmospheric gas that exerts principal control (80% of the non-condensing GHG forcing) over the strength of the terrestrial greenhouse effect. Water vapor and clouds are fast-acting feedback effects, and as such, they are controlled by the radiative forcing supplied by the non-condensing GHGs.


Lacis et al. (2010) full pdf.

malcolm nott said...

Changing the subject slightly have you seen the latest fantasy from Goddard? The third coldest Dec-Feb in US on record with a whacky chart.

http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/third-coldest-winter-on-record-so-far-in-the-us/

Cugel said...

To me, Lilley's anger demonstrates insecurity and frustration. Back in his comfort zone (Monckton, Lawson, Paterson, Telegraph editors, etc) he'll have been assured he did an excellent job demolishing that silly woman but out there he felt very alone and undermined. What seem like killer points among his friends were all being blown away and he couldn't understand how or why. Hence the bluster and tantrums.

He'll have learnt nothing from it, of course. Back in his comfort zone it will all be made better by soothing noises and stroking, his certainties re-established. Which is all to the good, since he'll act up again in public one day and do yet more damage to the denier cause. I mean, would you want to belong to a club which has people like him as members?

Anonymous said...

Thanks BBD! That is very much in line with what I intuitively thought might be the case - because water vapour condenses, it cannot sustain itself, so if the non-condensing forcing weren't there, pretty much all of it would drop out. I wonder what a 'sceptic' would predict would happen?

t_p_hamilton said...

"the fact that half of all the CO2 ever emitted by man had been emitted since 1997"
ain't a fact. According to http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/global.html 1997 the total CO2 emitted was about 24000 teragrams, no way the total is 48,000 by now. More like 35000.

BBD said...

I wonder what a 'sceptic' would predict would happen?

Well, it's interesting watching Greig try to square that circle. He's doing what they usually do, which is take a very narrow focus on one bit of the story and hammering it for all its worth while hoping that those of us with a clue aren't watching.

guthrie said...

Anonymous @ 10:01pm - since your post contained no information, evidence or anything else, dismissing it is the only sensible thing to do. Even more so when Lilley is wrong.

Greig said...

Deniers seem to think that 'no warming for xx years' somehow falsifies AGW, like it's a gotcha moment

The warming hiatus does not falsify AGW, but it does draw into doubt the rate of future warming we might expect.

Millicent said...

"The warming hiatus does not falsify AGW, but it does draw into doubt the rate of future warming we might expect."

Only if you are an amnesiac who forgets how El Ninos affect the temperature record. So again you are showing worrying symptoms that lead me to suggest you should go and get that brain scan done.

Anonymous said...

The warming hiatus does not falsify AGW, but it does draw into doubt the rate of future warming we might expect.

What hiatus?

caerbannog said...

Even if there were a true "hiatus" in warming, it would mean that a current La Nina year is as warm as an exceptionally strong El Nino year in the late 1990's. That should have any sane, reasonable person quite concerned.

PL said...

Given that the recent reduction in the rate of surface T increase is almost entirely a function of the short-term trend in ENSO state, persistence of the reduced dT/dt relies on the recent ENSO trend persisting. Any documented reason to expect that to occur?

Dave said...

Don represents the attitude of 'the new age denier'. Most of the professional deniers now accept that CO2 will cause warming. To deny that puts you now in the loopy crackpot category. (Although most of the professional deniers have moved on, your typical public denier is still stuck in loopy crackpot territory that is Watt's target audience). They wish to distance themselves from the denier label, and concentrate on uncertainties (Curry) and feedbacks. Unfortunately, they are still on the last stages on denial, that is, there will be only minimal warming, but it won't be bad, and any problems that it does cause, we will be able to adapt and mitigate. One of the popular ways do this is by denying positive feedbacks, as Don has shown, using the 'hiatus' as some sort of 'evidence'. But of course denying feedbacks is just as stupid as denying warming by CO2, as you are still denying physics and satellite observations.

The other sign of the 'new age denier', is the way they look at 95% confidence intervals. For example, they look at the latest estimate for ECS of 1.5C-4.5C, and only see the lowest number. See, even the IPCC says it won't be all that bad, but again they consistently fail to understand the numbers they are looking at. By hanging your coat on the low probability 1.5C number, you are ignoring the other 90% probability, all of which will be detrimental to human society. The best estimate anyway, based on paleodata and models is that it will be between 2C and 3C.

Also I have seen a tendency to change the 'it was warmer in past' argument. Before, it was that the MWP was warmer, but with all the recent proxy data, you look like a complete dill if you use the 'MWP was warmer' line. (It still is being used by your clueless average denier though) I saw a recent interview with Newt Gingrich who said that it was warmer when the dinosaurs were around and it didn't hurt them. Of course the fact that it was warmer during the Cretaceous cannot be refuted, so the argument at first appearance seems sound, but what it fails to consider is yes, it was warmer during that time, but the time it took to reach that temperature was over many eons, and so life was able to easily adapt and evolve. The difference now is that although it is cooler now than during the Cretaceous, the rate of change is orders of magnitude faster than anything else during that time, except perhaps during the extinction event, when a bolide caused extremely rapid and abrupt climate change. It is the rapidity of the climate change that is the problem, not the absolute differences. It makes it difficult for animals and plants to adapt and evolve. It also make it difficult for the human race to adapt, as we can't just move entire cities to higher ground, or put quickly put vast acreage of crops under protective glasshouses, or suddenly irrigate vast areas of crops with desalinated seawater. (We could perhaps do that but it would be prohibitively expensive). It just goes to show how hard nosed and unwilling to adapt and accept the reality of rapid climate change by hard core deniers, that they will continue to shift their position and continue to conjure the most ludicrous and baseless arguments.

Mogumbo Gono said...

The squirrels are in your head, Cugel, looking for Chicken Little's acorn. Because anyone who emits the pejorative "denier" has given up thinking; the word takes the place of thinking, and its users are nuts.

That said, may I point out that the central Belief of the climate alarmist crowd is that CO2 [they call it "carbon"] is the cause of global warming.

But the Real World clearly does not agree: http://tiny.cc/iu9hbx

I do agree, however, that there has been no "pause" in global warming, because to be a pause requires that global warming must resume. But it hasn't; global warming stopped more than seventeen years ago. That is a fact, which causes immense constewrnation among the squirrel set. They have given up arguing, and now they simply deny that global warming has stopped — to the amusement of rational folks.

Finally, Soy should send a note of thanks to the great Anthony Watts for allowing a link here. That's why there is an unusually high bit of traffic for this blog.

OK then, back to WUWT, where my comments are read by thousands, not by dozens.

Anonymous said...

Mogumbo Gono - small error above which I have corrected.

"OK then, back to WUWT, where my comments (if lucky enough to be picked) are laughed at by the thousands who read Sou's blog"

Greig said...

Ah yes, the pause is caused by ENSO, or the heat is in the ocean, or the aliens ate my heat, or [some other lame point of denial].

Again I say, it is not about trying to prove that AGW is not real, nor that there will be no future warming. It is about quantifying the rate of future warming as greenhouse forcing continues.

I remind you that the IPCC has acknowledged that current observations do not match with expectation. So is the IPCC wrong?

MikeH said...

@Greig demonstrates that he is just another common garden variety climate crank.

"the pause is caused by ENSO, or the heat is in the ocean, or the aliens ate my heat,..."

You are a fool. Stop pretending that you are any different to the nutters at WUWT.

Sou said...

Mobumbo Gono is a rarity at WUWT. I can attest to the fact that most readers of WUWT are fake sceptics and fake sceptics do not click on links.

Even when a main WUWT article has been about HotWhopper, only a handful of WUWT-ers click through to here. WUWT-ers are not interested in anything but using Anthony's blog as a notice board to post their own weird and various brands of pseudo-science - usually contradicting each other in the process.

By contrast, by far the majority of the thousands who visit HW are scientists themselves or are people having a genuine interest in science or are otherwise keen to explore the world we live in, and curious about what makes the deluded 8 percenters at WUWT tick.

Cugel said...

Wow. That was strange. But it wasn't a squirrel.

Greig said...

MikeH, when the only content in your post is insults, you should realise that you have lost the argument.

Bernard J. said...

Grieg.

I've asked you this before to a resounding blast of silence from you, but I'll try again.

1) Is the heat budget of Earth in balance?

2) If "No" to (1), is the Earth accumulating heat, and if so how much?

3) What will be the effect of such heat accumulation over the next 20 years, 50 years, 100 years, 500 years?

Take your time in answering. You may use crayons and butcher's paper if you require them. Where appropriate, show working.

We'll watch with anticipation.

Greig said...

OK BernardJ, you have now changed the subject. So you are engaging in so-called Gish Gallop. You are responsible for this, not me, OK?

But you ask a straight question so here's a straight answer.

1) Is the heat budget of Earth in balance?

No. It is never "in balance" (it is always seeking a new equilibrium) , but the Earth is clearly accumulating heat now due to increased CO2. AGW is real.

2) If "No" to (1), is the Earth accumulating heat, and if so how much?

Yes the Earth is accumulating heat at the rate of about 0.5 W/m2 (currently) +/- factors associated with feedback processes and natural variations in the heat budget which vary over time.

3) What will be the effect of such heat accumulation over the next 20 years, 50 years, 100 years, 500 years?

Unknown, since the rate of accumulation over time and impact in the future is unknown.

In the near term +'ve accumulation will probably mean atmospheric and ocean warming, but the rate is unknown, since we do not understand the natural processes (eg rate of ocean heat uptake, feedback processes, etc). Since these natural factors are unknown, we face an unquantified future risk of climate change.

Further the impact on the biosphere of a warmer world is unknown. There will be both positive and negative consequences, though it is well demonstrated that the greater the rate of warming the more negative the impact will be.

Finally, when facing an unquantified future risk, policy should be to follow a rational evaluation of risk + cost/benefit. There are reasons for us to reduce atmospheric CO2, and reasons why we should not dramatically change our energy technology base. Policy should seek a balance, or should I say, like the Earth's heat budget, policy is seeking a balance.

And one day the denizens of HotWhopper will realise that screaming "Denier!" at people isn't helping that process.

Millicent said...

"Ah yes, the pause is caused by ENSO"

Its a result of cherrypicking a year that happens to have a super strong El Nino for the start of the time period Greig uses when assessing temperature trends. Greig would know that if his belief system didnt require him to have recurring amnesia.

"or the heat is in the ocean"

No. Thats how the La Nina part of the ENSO cycle affects global temperatures. Greig would know that if recurring amnesia wasn't a necessary part of his belief system.

" or the aliens ate my heat, or [some other lame point of denial]."

Well yes Greig. Lame denial does seem to sum you up. Sadly MikeH's comment was not an insult: it was the barebones truth. The only thing to discover is if you are being paid to waste our time and your own, or whther you truly are a recurring amnesiac. If its the latter then why aren't you going for the brain scan your mental problems would seem to urge?

Anonymous said...

I just found this blogsite - I must say that I've never come across so many uninformed, unabashed alarmists that cite things that they clearly do not understand! Sou and MikeH in particular take note! Greig take heart!

Anonymous said...

Bernard J - I give you answers...

(1) is the heat budget in balance?
A. No, nor is it ever in balance

(2) if no, acummulating heat and by how much?
A. currently not accumulating heat (Raschke and Stackhouse, 2011) - this is why globalT has levelled... see http://www.gewex.org/images/Feb2011.pdf even better, access data and calculate difference between LW and SW anomalies...

Note lack of significant trend in LW due to CO2/water vapour (ie. positive feedback). Note secular changes in SW (due to cloud/albedo changes) far larger than LW variability. Also note that large LW events occur, related to ENSO events, that do not lead to runway positive feedbacks.

sensitivity to CO2 overestimated

(3) consequence?
A. insignificant both statistically and practically

Anonymous said...

Dave - great narrative you've put together but it ignores the reality that science is about uncertainty, acknowledging it and doing something to reduce it. Name calling (ie denier) is the surest sign that you acknowledge none in your position. "The reality of rapid climate change..."? You sure you're not confusing climate variability for CO2 change? of course you are!

Phil Clarke said...

Off topic again. Just left this at WUWT, parking it here in case it gets 'disappeared' again ...

"Ah yes, Delingpole the self-styled 'interpreter of interpretations', a man who is so convinced he is right that by his own admission he does not need to involve himself in the the tedious business of actually reading the science.

Nice spin on his being shown the door by a heavyweight national newspaper and moving to an outlet nobody has ever heard of.

It is of course reprehensible to intimidate someone in their own home, so I am sure readers will want to join me in condemning Delingpole for instigating a campaign of stalking and bullying by publishing the address of an ordinary citizen for the crime of writing to his political candidate asking for opinion.

Ah yes, Delingpole the self-styled 'interpreter of interpretations', a man who is so convinced he is right that by his own admission he does not need to involve himself in the the tedious business of actually reading the science.

Nice spin on his being shown the door by a heavyweight national newspaper and moving to an outlet nobody has ever heard of.

It is of course reprehensible to intimidate someone in their own home, so I am sure readers will want to join me in condemning Delingpole for instigating a campaign of stalking and bullying by publishing the address of an ordinary citizen for the crime of writing to his political candidate asking for opinion.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2010/jan/27/james-delingpole-climate-change-denialn

Or just maybe, it was stunts like this that got him fired?

Anonymous said...

you measured ocean warming? science community only started in seriousness in 2006. Great trend you got going there!

Phil Clarke said...

Oops! Copy-paste error in that tiny edit box.

cRR Kampen said...

A blatant lie with a smear at your host. Typical.

Millicent said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The 'reality' is that uncertainty does not imply that outcomes will be more favourable than predicted.

Lionel A said...

Greig wrote:

'OK BernardJ, you have now changed the subject. So you are engaging in so-called Gish Gallop.'

Looks like you don't even understand the meaning of Gish Gallop for Bernard J asked a series of cascading questions most certainly not a long list of different points.

You, however, then proceeded to produce a Gish Gallop of an answer which can be summarised as, '...not yet enough data so let us keep collecting data and not do anything in the way of mitigation until we do have enough data'.

Dave said...

Anonymous writes.

A. currently not accumulating heat (Raschke and Stackhouse, 2011)

Anonymous proves without doubt that couch experts who hang around WUWT should never ever interpret data, they will without doubt, always find a way to stuff it up.

Funny that you mention Stackhouse, because here is a paper that he co-authored and published in Nature that basically shows you up as the complete fool that you are.
http://www.aos.wisc.edu/~tristan/publications/2012_EBupdate_stephens_ngeo1580.pdf

He and his co-authors have calculated an imbalance of 0.58 ±0.4 Wm–2, incorporating the same data that you grossly misinterpreted and misrepresented.

What is it with deniers and their obsession with misrepresentation, cherry picking and misinterpretation. If they actually told the truth for once, they might actually gain some respect. One might even be tempted to even believe them. In the end I just feel sorry for them.

Don Brooks said...

That's not Greig's style. He does put a spin on things, but amateurish socking would be totally out of character.

Millicent said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
spilgard said...

If you've just found this site, then congratulations!

You've take a tiny step towards actually learning about climate science, and away from the morass of what the late Martin Gardner referred to as "peevish ignorance", which betrays no understanding of a subject although the persons have had every opportunity to avail themselves of such knowledge.

PL said...

@Grieg: I've tried to defend you here in the past, but you're not worth it. Yes, there is a strong ENSO signature in short-term global averaged T. It's been shown again and again. Trends for El Nino and La Nina years are the same, but El Nino years are about 0.15 C warmer than La Nina. Look at John Nielson-Gammon, or Skeptical Science, or many other sources.

So yes, short-term trends in ENSO are important. We've seen more La Ninas lately than earlier in the famous "since 1998" T record. Tell us what that does, or shut up.

PL said...

Anyone got a fuller cite (URL) for "Raschke and Stackhouse, 2011" ? Struggling to find it in Google scholar. Maybe people who cite it haven't actually read it?

Lionel A said...

PL asked:

'Anyone got a fuller cite (URL) for "Raschke and Stackhouse, 2011" ?'

Is this it?

http://conference2011.wcrp-climate.org/orals/B4/Stackhouse_B4.pdf

Looks like it was a conference PowerPoint presentation.

t_p_hamilton said...

World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level
change (0–2000 m), 1955–2010
S. Levitus et al. Just sayin'

t_p_hamilton said...

That presentation is on the GEWEX project. One the home page it says: "The GEWEX-RFA data products should not be used in publications while the assessment is underway." The reason is because determining the radiation fluxes is very difficult, with huge current uncertainties. For a warming imbalance of ~0.6 W per square meter, considering differences in numbers with errors much larger than 0.6 as evidence to the contrary is to admit that the argument of no increase in heat content is so weak as to be nonexistent.

guthrie said...

But, anonymous, you aren't a scientist doing science, you're claiming that scientists and their work are wrong, without any evidence or rational argument. That hardly shows you in a good light.

Greig said...

Lionel A incorrectly paraphrased me with: "...not yet enough data so let us keep collecting data and ***not do anything in the way of mitigation *** until we do have enough data'.

Anyone who thinks I am proposing inaction on climate change has a problem with comprehension.

And PL, I am not saying that ENSO is not involved in global temperatures, quite the opposite. However using natural variability *** as an excuse to defend a conclusion on a specific 17 year temperature trend is exactly the kind of behaviour you berate "the deniers" for. It shows a lack of scepticism, it shows bias. That's why I am mocking it.

Greig said...

The 'reality' is that uncertainty does not imply that outcomes will be more favourable than predicted.

But it does impact on policy response (cost/benefit analysis), since risk is a function of consequence *** and probability *** . This is the point that alarmists apparently do not understand.

Greig said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Greig said...

take a very narrow focus on one bit of the story and hammering it for all its worth

[Groan]

If I engage on more than one topic, it is called Gish Gallop, right? I am always happy to let a discussion move on, but after "The Gallop" I insist that other posters determine the direction.

PL said...

@Grieg: What you said was "Ah yes, the pause is caused by ENSO, or the heat is in the ocean, or the aliens ate my heat, or [some other lame point of denial]." Precisely how am I meant to interpret that? To me it says "blaming" a specific short-term temperature trend on ENSO is a "lame point of denial". That suggests to me that you don't think scientists should be "allowed" to identify variability in ENSO as a cause of global T change.

To be clear, I berate deniers for denying science, not for evaluating mechanisms to explain climate anomalies.

George Montgomery said...

Wow! 2006! Great scam Bob Tisdale's got going there!

PL said...

@Grieg: We've been through this before. A lack of action (i.e., BAU) on CO2 does have a high cost, taken at the *median* level of ECS predictions. I don't have to pretend that ECS is actually at the high end (4.5 C) to place on a high cost on BAU.

Most people who claim that decarbonizing the economy has a low benefit don't argue from median ECS: they argue that ECS is actually much lower than median, based on "science" that only they understand and haven't been able to convince the vast majority of scientists.

So, who counts as an "alarmist" is your view? Someone who accepts the IPCC range and median of ECS?

BBD said...

Greig

It shows a lack of scepticism, it shows bias. That's why I am mocking it.

It shows natural variability imposed on a long term trend. That is what you don't like. Hence the hyperfocus on transient variability in the rate of surface warming modulated by transient variability in the rate of ocean heat uptake - apparently itself modulated by variability in zonal wind speeds.

Quite how you think we can say anything about ECS or even TCR based on the recent expression of transient variability eludes me. I don't want to overburden this comment with technical detail but in formal terms, the wibbles cancel out over multi-decadal spans and have no effect on the centennial trend.

(Wibbles are those uppie-and-downie bits on the GAT curves)

PL said...

@Greig: Who is saying anything about anthro-CO2-based ECS based on "recent expression(s) of transient variability"? Not the IPCC; not posters here. We all accept the existence of natural variability on top of an AGW-forced trend. We also accept that the IPCC ECS (based on physics, models, modern observations, and paleo), is likely to be correct. We can see that ENSO, which has a long-term average of zero, influences short-term global T, but that the trends for -ve and +ve ENSO years are the same (and agree with IPCC-cited ECS).

So, maybe you're talking to the WUWT crowd, who think that what's happened since 1998 means that we don't have anything to worry about.

I keep thinking you just don't express yourself clearly, but after I while I start to doubt that you're sincere. No point in staying on this thread: enjoy.

Millicent said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Greig said...

PL,

1. That anyone here is arguing for BAU is in your imagination.
2. A case for low end ECS (and perhaps more importantly TCR) exists because observations do not match projections i.e. it is based on science, sorry you don't understand it. And a connection between fact and "convincing a majority of scientists" has never been, and hopefully never will be, anything to do with science. Having said that there is always the chance that ECS and is at the high end. That is also a possibility and there is a case for that position also. And that risk should be included in policy response.

PL said...

@Greig:

1)If you don't believe that people are arguing for BAU, you are not reading very widely. I never said that people *here* (including you) were making that argument.

2) "Convincing the majority of scientists" *is* important. Bucking the consensus is *not* evidence of having something useful to say. Coming up with a convincing case, that experts can't pick any easy holes in, is how you change the consensus.

3) It's like there are two separate Greigs. Above, you say "And PL, I am not saying that ENSO is not involved in global temperatures, quite the opposite. However using natural variability *** as an excuse to defend a conclusion on a specific 17 year temperature trend is exactly the kind of behaviour you berate "the deniers" for. It shows a lack of scepticism, it shows bias. That's why I am mocking it." Here you're saying "A case for low end ECS (and perhaps more importantly TCR) exists because observations do not match projections". This statement only applies to the last 17 years *ignoring ENSO contributions to global surface T*. What *is* your view? That the last 17 years are a plausible case for lower ECS and TCR, or that that view should be mocked?

4) Cut the crap about other people (including me) not understanding science. You pretend to wonder why people get pissed at you. You make inconsistent statements, fail to comprehend what is written, fail to state clearly what you believe and accept, fail to behave anything like a scientist, but think people should treat you with respect.

Dave said...

I can see now why Greig is so abrasive. He gives a voice to his Morton's daemon. It's also why he always end's up looking like a fool. Morton's daemon thrives on uncertainty and irrationality. It is an rapid fire excuse maker, and for the particularly gullible and feeble minded, the Morton's daemon will relentlessly overwhelm any science. WUWT is your Morton's daemon ultimate playground, which is why it's so popular. A lot of people, Greig included, prefer to fool themselves and other like minded people with the outpourings of their Morton's daemon, and love to listen to other peoples Morton's daemon. The main problem is that Greig thinks that his particularly ideologically obsessed and deviant Morton's daemon is actually worth listening to, he seems blissfully unaware that this is a forum that prides itself on demolishing the disinformation of the climate change denier and the rumination's of their Morton's daemon. Of course Greig loves to listen to his Morton's daemon, and finds it's musings particularly agreeable, but to other scientifically literate people, it's an annoying and frustrating dumbass. One of the dead giveaways that you are talking with a Morton's daemon is the pure arrogance, and the lack of any scientific evidence, such as a publish papers. If by chance a published paper is cited, it will be misrepresented, but more than likely a red-necked ideological rant from some extremist right wing 'think-tank' will be cited instead. Also, when you try to explain to a person that has a very powerful Morton's daemon the failings of their 'argument', they respond with voluminous and irrelevant gish gallop and accusations of bullying. We have all seen it time and time again, it is the hallmark of a denier.

Greig said...

PL,

1) How many times in this thread have I been accused of arguing for BAU? I don't a rats about anyone else's argument, it is mine that I am defending. And I am not advocating BAU.

2) "Convincing the majority of scientists" *is* important. Hogwash. Consensus is utterly irrelevant in science, and I have no interest at all in "how to change the consensus." I am however interested in how to convey a reasonable scientific position to laypeople so that a political compromise can be sought.

3) ENSO is only one explanation for current observations not matching expectation over the last 17 years. Others are ocean heat uptake and lower climate sensitivity model parameterisation (eg associated with unknown feedback mechanisms). There may be others that we haven't recognised. Science currently provides no confident conclusions on this. So declaring that you know the answer - that is what I am mocking- it is exactly what you crucify your so-called deniers for.

4) I am constantly accused of not understanding the science by people I know haven't half my qualifications. My interpretation differs. I disagree. Why should I "cut the crap" when I think my opponent is clueless? After all, you don't hold back for a millisecond.

Greig said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
PL said...

@Greig:

1) I have never accused you of supporting BAU. But "don't touch my CO2 emissions" is a primary goal of a large number of vocal pseudo-skeptics, the sort that Sou chooses to highlight here.

2) You're wrong: you show no awareness of science. You don't "convey a reasonable scientific position to laypeople" by lying about what is known. I think you're better at the "political compromise" bit, but you can't misrepresent the science for the purpose of a political compromise.

3) ENSO is part of ocean/atmosphere heat exchange. It does an excellent job of explaining the recent slowdown in increase of global surface T. Yes, other things are going on, but everyone should feel free to ridicule people who make up stuff just to please their audience.

4) You don't know anyone's qualifications other than, maybe Sou's. Your qualifications don't shine through in your posts. Maybe you're an excellent engineer and a poor communicator, but you come across as a Judith Curry type, trying to push the envelope on "uncertainty" towards a "compromise" that involves doing nothing. She shouldn't be a role model for anyone.

See you on a new thread some time.

Greig said...

... You're wrong ... show no awareness of science ... don't "convey a reasonable scientific position to laypeople" ... lying ... misrepresent the science ... make up stuff ... qualifications don't shine through ... poor communicator... Judith Curry type.

This is no different to Dave's meaningless psychobabble rant about Morton's daemon. ... Lots of accusation of a personal nature, and no substance - seems to be what this site is about. A place for angry alarmists to vent their frustration over being ignored by policymakers.

Bernard J. said...

"OK BernardJ, you have now changed the subject."

Wrong.

In fact, not even wrong.

You were rabbitting on about the hiatus in warming, employing the same gambit beloved of so many deniers who promulgate misinformation via the nonsense that global warming has paused, and I strove to make a point.

Perhaps we need to take you back to kindergarten and use simple metaphor in order to ring that rusted bell in your head. Consider my example of a filling theatre. I'll repeat it here for completeness...

There’s a theatre filling with people (global warming), who have been disproportionately heading for the gallery seats (increasing land temperature). Then, an usher (climate-affecting phenomenon, involving Pacific trade winds as it turns out) decides to shunt the the bulk of the influx to the stalls (ocean) and the movement to the gallery slows to a trickle (hiatus!!1!11eleventy-one!).

Has the increase in the total number of people in theatre (global warming) stopped? No.

Will the filling of the gallery (increasing land temperature) continue when the usher shifts the flow again? Yes.

Your final response to my (relevant) questions is a dissembling argument by assertion. I asked "What will be the effect of such heat accumulation over the next 20 years, 50 years, 100 years, 500 years?" and you claimed that they would be "[u]nknown, since the rate of accumulation over time and impact in the future is unknown". This will come as a surprise to many scientists who have projected the future rate of global excess heat retention based on a range of emissions scenarios - are you telling us that you are not familiar with any of this work?!

That would be rather telling...

Further, the effects are also known, again from the work of many scientists who use paleological and ecophysiological work to gauge species' and ecosystems' responses to climatic changes. Are you saying that the study of ecological sequelæ resulting from changes in climate have never been investigated with any thoroughness?

That would also be revealing...

To go back to my analogy, my questioning was aimed at determining whether you think that the theatre (rather than just the gallery) is filling with people, and whether there would be any consequence if the capacity of the theatre was exceeded.

You spat like fat on a griddle, but you didn't manage to follow the science to its end.

Telling. And revealing.

Greig said...

Wrong. In fact, not even wrong.

So that would mean ... right? :-)

In your silly analogy the rate at which patrons are entering varies due to unknown factors (eg congestion in the foyer, patrons ducking off to the loo), and there are a million upper circle seats (deep sea heat buffering) and an infinite amount of time before the show begins. And you are shouting "Fire!".

Certainly I am familiar with the many respectable scientists who have had a crack at predicting the future, with a lot of disagreement, big error bars, and very few prepared to bet their house on it.

No doubt you cheer on the white knights who earnestly warn of your alarmist version of future events, and you boo and jeer the evil moustache-twirling villainous tobacco scientists who you disagree with.

And so it's all very obvious to you, the chosen scientists say the matter is settled and we know for certain that we all face certain doom unless we immediately [insert ideologically motivated policy here].

And you wonder why there are sceptics who disagree with you.

Bernard J. said...

"That anyone here is arguing for BAU is in your imagination."

It's completely irrelevant whether anyone's is "arguing for BAU". The fact is, that despite decades of serious effort by informed people to encourage otherwise, humanity remains steadfastly welded to a business-as-usual trajectory, the vagaries of the exponential phase of a "growth economy" notwithstanding.

Without conscious and deliberate human action business-as-usual will only stop when the fossil fuels are depleted, or the climate changes so much that our ecosystem functions collapse in a cascade of smaller failures resulting for the unprecedented heating of the planet.

That's the point, Grieg. And either result is Big Trouble for billions of people and the environment in which they live.

Millicent said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Greig said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phil Clarke said...

24 hours later, and my modest contribution to the 'site that doesn't censor' remains sadly unpublished.

Bob said...

"ENSO is only one explanation for current observations not matching expectation over the last 17 years. Others are ocean heat uptake..."

I know PL addressed this but it kind of got buried in the above. I think it is worth reiterating that ENSO and ocean heat uptake aren't two completely separate things. I find it interesting that someone who claims to have sufficient insight to convey a "reasonable scientific position to laypeople" should make such a basic error.

Lionel A said...

Greig, so you think I incorrectly paraphrased you. Let us see, here are the pertinent sections of your ramble through uncertainty:

'Unknown, since the rate of accumulation over time and impact in the future is unknown...but the rate is unknown, since we do not understand the natural processes (eg rate of ocean heat uptake, feedback processes, etc). Since these natural factors are unknown, we face an unquantified future risk of climate change.
Further the impact on the biosphere of a warmer world is unknown.
Finally, when facing an unquantified future risk...There are reasons for us to reduce atmospheric CO2, and reasons why we should not dramatically change our energy technology base...'

So what do we see in the above? No recognition that we know enough about the amount of extra warming in the pipeline even if we stop adding GHGs to the atmosphere as of now to understand that the consequences for the biosphere, of which we are a part, are going to be severe.

Oh and on being 'Not even wrong' - no that does not indicate that you are correct, check out what the originator of that expression, Wolfgang Pauli, intended it to mean. It is rather like the question Peter Lilley asked.

Anonymous said...

Phil, it has nothing to do with censorship. The blog software has been eating comments, a problem that Sou has referred to on several threads. Several of my comments have also had to be hauled from the spam folder.

I'm experimenting with posting anonymously (with a sig) rather than the Name/URL option, which seems to be less problematic. At least, its worked on the small number of comments I've made since the problem cropped up.
(fingers crossed)

FrankD

Bernard J. said...

Grieg.

The best analogies are kept simple. You've conceded that the Earth is accumulating heat, so what will this rate of heat accumulation do to the mean temperature of planet over decades and centuries, and what effect will this increase in temperature have on humans and the biosphere?

You can wiggle and squirm and dissemble all you like, but there is a fracking mountain of science that tells us the answers, and bugger all from your denialist buddies that says that the effects aren't serious or are unknown. If you adhere to this nonsense all it proves is that you aren't aware of the science, or you choose to ignore it. Take your pick.

Personally, I couldn't give a rat's if you learn anything or not, because I know that you're wrong and if you're happy to continue living in Delusionland then that's your issue. I'm just curious to see if you have anything that resembled an evidenced argument to contradict the real science, and you don't.

That's the bottom line.

Bob said...

Further to the above, I would recommend this Real Climate article to Grieg.

Also, this more recent article on the England et al paper.

Lionel A said...

Greig

I think Richard Alley, as ever, puts it well in a quote included in 'Rising Sea Levels' by Hunt Janin and Scott A Mandia which can be found here,

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=l6RA71uAQu4C&pg=PA136&lpg=PA136&dq=%22The+climate+can+be+a+little+like+a+kayak%22&source=bl&ots=lcTeV0TYMC&sig=mgP1Y51dTk8gjevqmA23U0iV-Ws&hl=en&sa=X&ei=9eYFU5a-BNORhQfFwICYBw&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22The%20climate%20can%20be%20a%20little%20like%20a%20kayak%22&f=false

start from 'The climate can be a little like a kayak,

BBD said...

I see Greig is still peddling his claim that all forcing increase is buffered by deep ocean heating for millennia, so TCR is negligible and ECS so distant a concern as to be irrelevant. This is a gross misrepresentation of the way the forced climate system responds as any climatologist or paleoclimatologist will confirm.

Greig said...

BBD: Greig is still peddling his claim that all forcing increase is buffered by deep ocean heating for millennia, so TCR is negligible and ECS so distant a concern as to be irrelevant.

I am not "peddling" any such thing. It speaks volumes that you need to misrepresent and exaggerate.

This is a gross misrepresentation of the way the forced climate system responds as any climatologist or paleoclimatologist will confirm.

BBD, you are playing the "science is settled" card, when you know that there is nothing analogous in the paleoclimate record to current climate forcing, which is why there speculation around TCR, and even new ideas emerging (eg England et al) to explain the fact that observations do not match the CMIP projections.

I have pointed out the weakness in Bernard J's analogy, noting he still cannot fathom that the rate of heat accumulation can and does change over time due to feedback processes (which remain largely unknown), that there is no circumstance where the number of patrons exceeds the theatres capacity, i.e. we are not facing a catastrophe but a continuous change over time.

Science does not answer all of our questions at this point (we do not know what the future holds). This should be self-evident, but it emerges constantly here, the absurdity of absolute confidence that science has predicted everything, that that it is unambiguously bad. Such a position is not how scientists behave- you have abandoned your scepticism, you are not willing to acknowledge what you don't know.

Sou said...

There are scientists who add to knowledge, who make the unknown known, and then there are the anti-science brigade who want to only talk about what isn't known for sure with absolute certainty down to the fifteenth decimal place and pretend that nothing at all is known.

We know *you* don't know, Greig. You've made that abundantly clear.

HotWhopper is not meant to be a platform for various less than knowledgeable commenters. It's aim is to *demolish* the disinformation about climate. Much of that disinformation takes the form of a pretence that the known isn't known. Or isn't known sufficiently to take action.

We (that is humans alive today, collectively) know more than enough to *know* how to act and have *known* this sufficiently well for more than thirty years.

Greig said...

We (that is humans alive today, collectively) know more than enough to *know* how to act

If only that were true.

BBD said...

Greig

You wrote this:

and there are a million upper circle seats (deep sea heat buffering) and an infinite amount of time before the show begins. And you are shouting "Fire!".

Which is peddling your favourite misrepresentation exactly as I described it above. Don't treat me like an idiot and I won't need to point out your nonsense. Then we will both be happy.

BBD, you are playing the "science is settled" card, when you know that there is nothing analogous in the paleoclimate record to current climate forcing, which is why there speculation around TCR, and even new ideas emerging (eg England et al) to explain the fact that observations do not match the CMIP projections.

First, the lack of analogy in the paleoclimate record for modern rates of GHG forcing increase is irrelevant. There is an A in AGW for a reason. Second, paleoclimate behaviour demonstrates unequivocally that the climate system is sensitive to radiative perturbation. Modern climate behaviour confirms this but with high-resolution data you see the natural variability imposed on the long-term trend. You hyperfocus on decadal variability and claim - incorrectly - that this is informative about TCR and ECS.

I've already said all this and the repeats are getting boring for me and doubtless for others.

Sou said...

All I can do is apologise, FrankD. It didn't work that time - weirdly. I'll try to stay on top of this. I can't explain it.

(Phil Clarke was referring to a comment he made at WUWT, not here.)

Greig said...

paleoclimate behaviour demonstrates unequivocally that the climate system is sensitive to radiative perturbation.

Over time, and when associated with positive feedback processes such as CO2 outgassing and albedo.

The question is about time, about rate of change. You know this. Don't treat me like an idiot and I won't need to point out your nonsense. Then we will both be happy.

Greig said...

despite decades of serious effort by informed people to encourage otherwise, humanity remains steadfastly welded to a business-as-usual trajectory

That is because most of the world's inhabitants see economic prosperity and overcoming poverty as the most important objectives, and addressing climate change is a secondary issue. Not everyone in the world lives your privileged lifestyle and can afford more expensive energy.

However if you think that it all caused by the ignorant "deniers" over at WUWT, then keep on screaming at them. I am sure it will yield results one day. Not.

And thanks Bob, I have read both those pages previously and followed the discussion on England et al.

Sou said...

Now it's back to the "think of the poor" argument that fake sceptics trot out when they run out of other things. Global warming is going to affect poorer countries much more severely than developed countries in the short to medium term.

Anyway, I'll let Alyssa Battistoni respond, because she covers pretty well every talking point Greig has made in this thread:

He’s right that we shouldn’t attribute any one event to climate change, and that there’s a lot we still don’t know about climate systems; few scientists would argue otherwise. But there’s a whole lot we do know, and waiting decades until we do anything at all is the kind of logic only a former Exxon lobbyist could come up with. The thing is, there aren’t many people these days who deny that climate change is happening at all; even among Republicans, a plurality of voters believe climate change is occurring. Instead, self-styled “skeptics” offer a patchwork of arguments designed to obfuscate the issue, cautioning that we don’t really understand what’s going on, that we don’t know how much humans are really contributing, that scientists are just out for grant money, and besides, won’t somebody please think of the poor? They seek out the fringe scientists who support their opinions, and use scientific-sounding arguments to counter the scientific consensus; they’re just reasonable enough to sound legitimate to anyone who’s not well acquainted with the evidence.

http://www.salon.com/2012/07/05/climate_skeptics_still_not_worried/

And Greig - you've already written almost half the comments in this thread (incl the ones I deleted). Take a break, take a breath and go read some science or walk the dog or have a cuppa or something. You're repeating yourself.

Sou said...

Okay, I exaggerated with the "almost half" - it's more like a quarter. It's still more than Greig's fair share.

Anonymous said...

D'oh, of course he was referring to Tony's. That's what you get for posting after midnight - gremlins...

(I'm not worried about them not appearing quickly if you're not worried about fishing them out. Mostly, I enjoy reading here more than posting)

FrankD

BBD said...

The question is about time, about rate of change.

You aren't merely an idiot, you are intellectually dishonest, Greig, and it is now pissing me right off.

You find me a study - any study - that argues for a tiny TCR because of millennial-scale buffering of surface temperatures by the deep ocean. You just make this shit up but most of us here know what we are talking about and we recognise your BS for exactly what it is.

Modern climate behaviour ALONE demonstrates a rapidity of response to forcing change that falsifies your claim.

So stop making it. It is rubbish and it is a core part of your science denial and I am calling you right out over this. Either back it up or cease. We've all had enough of this incessant lying now.

BBD said...

The question is about time, about rate of change.

Two factors determine the size and speed of the climate response to a forcing change:

- The rate of forcing change

- The size of forcing change

If both are extremely large, as is the case with anthropogenic CO2, then the effect on the climate system will be rapid and pronounced. Trying to pretend that increased ocean mixing will simply magic the energy away and leave us with a tiny TCR smoothed out over millennia is misrepresenting everything known about the way the climate system responds to a change in forcing.

Proponents of the "tiny TCR" meme will also have to explain the observed multidecadal response to forcing change over the C20th, which is clearly *not* lagged by millennia.

[Caption: GAT (surface) annual means are shown at the top (green). The three lower curves are coherently-scaled forcings. Well-mixed GHGs (blue) and solar (yellow; bottom) bracket the total net forcing (red).]

Greig said...

Who said anything about a tiny TCR because of millennial-scale buffering of surface temperatures by the deep ocean ? And you accuse me of fabricating, intellectual dishonesty and lying?

You assert that Modern climate behaviour ALONE demonstrates a rapidity of response to forcing change , when you know that the there is still so much real debate amongst climate scientists about how much AGW contributes over natural warming, and how difficult that is to discern over natural variability (eg ENSO, PDO, etc). In fact you argue that to explain the hiatus, spot the double standard?

I am not arguing about whether AGW is real, or whether the forcing exists and is substantial. But there is still a lot of debate about TCR and rate of heat uptake in the ocean - the recent interview with Rosenthal and Lindley for example. And TCR is not just about ocean heat uptake, there are still unknowns around solar variance and there is clearly a problem with the CMIP parameterisations (eg feedbacks) as acknowledged by the IPCC

Quit with the "science-is-settled" argument, it is rubbish and you know it. Declaring that you know everything and can predict the future is unscientific. Such dismissive and emotive behaviour is the reason why nobody listens to alarmists.

BBD said...

Who said anything about a tiny TCR because of millennial-scale buffering of surface temperatures by the deep ocean ? And you accuse me of fabricating, intellectual dishonesty and lying?

FFS, Grieg, you are pushing it. You said it:

and there are a million upper circle seats (deep sea heat buffering) and an infinite amount of time before the show begins. And you are shouting "Fire!".

So you are once again lying about this.

You assert that Modern climate behaviour ALONE demonstrates a rapidity of response to forcing change , when you know that the there is still so much real debate amongst climate scientists about how much AGW contributes over natural warming, and how difficult that is to discern over natural variability (eg ENSO, PDO, etc). In fact you argue that to explain the hiatus, spot the double standard?

Don't play agnosia games with me. We *do* know that GHG forcing is driving the multi-decadal trend and that natural variability is clearly visible in in inter-decadal climate behaviour. Rosenthal was hand-waving and anyway he said again and again that the difference to surface warming trends *if any* would only be a brief respite. Read your own reference properly.

Quit with the "science-is-settled" argument, it is rubbish and you know it.

I said that we know enough and we do. Quit with the agnosia bullshit. It is misrepresentation of the *real* state of scientific knowledge and if you don't know it, you should.

Have another look at the graph you ignored. Observed climate response to forcing change during the C20th overturns your false claim that TCR is tiny and will be smeared over millennia by deep ocean warming.

You have been making the "tiny TCR" claim ever since you pitched up here, so do not have the gall to deny it again.

BBD said...

Since the denial is ongoing, I will repeat the facts:

Two factors determine the size and speed of the climate response to a forcing change:

- The rate of forcing change

- The size of forcing change

If both are extremely large, as is the case with anthropogenic CO2, then the effect on the climate system will be rapid and pronounced. Trying to pretend that increased ocean mixing will simply magic the energy away and leave us with a tiny TCR smoothed out over millennia is misrepresenting everything known about the way the climate system responds to a change in forcing.

Greig said...

Sou,

This is not a "think about the poor" political argument tailored for pampered Western middle-class elitists (which is what Alyssa Battistoni was referring to).

My point was that the developing world "is steadfastly welded to a business-as-usual trajectory" for a reason, and it has nothing to do with deniers at WUWT.

Anonymous said...

Dave/PL/BBD

the impact of enhanced atmospheric CO2 and any positive water vapour feedback is shown in the data (subject to uncertainties). Again, I encourage you to check out ... http://www.gewex.org/images/Feb2011.pdf

even better - it gives a link to the data - calculate the imbalance of surface fluxes yourself!

Dave - read it! "...the precision needed to monitor the changes in fluxes associated with forced climate change remains a significant challenge"

These are weasal words for - we cannot measure it precisely. Fine! I have no problem with that. It is an evident truth... BUT - they do provide a timeseries which whilst vulnerable to uncertainties in the absolute fluxes, is most definately reliable in their relative measures...

LWdown is increasing albeit insignificantly with respect to the natural variability (primarily major ENSO events).

Dave - I suspect you need to be more objective about your views and those of others that hold different views...

BBD said...

Anon.

If you want to get a handle on the relative efficacy of forcings you can use the lookup table from Hansen et al. (2005).

LWdown is increasing albeit insignificantly with respect to the natural variability (primarily major ENSO events).

Net GHG forcing change is not "insignificant" in and of itself, although it is much less than transient variability so I think you would have to be careful not to introduce confusion over the standard position here. People might think what you actually meant was something like "GHG forcing increase on multi-decadal scales is negligible".

Dave said...

Anonymous, you are are gutless clueless Wattie. You are either such a coward that you have to hide, or you don't know how to work out the post submission form. Either way, it only proves that you are a neurotic numpty, and obsessed, especially since you are still trying to push the same pointless barrow. You claim that the data in the link you provided is able to show the impact of enhanced CO2, but it can't. The data you linked to is a BROAD spectrum analysis of LW/SW EMR. The effect of CO2 and water vapour is at specific frequencies, so you need to examine the data at the CO2 and water vapour adsorption frequencies.

When that is done, the increasing effect of CO2 and water vapour is revealed.

Read this for further information.

https://workspace.imperial.ac.uk/physics/Public/spat/John/Increase%20in%20greenhouse%20forcing%20inferred%20from%20the%20outgoing%20longwave%20radiation%20spectra%20of%20the%20Earth%20in%201970%20and%201997.pdf

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2003GL018765/abstract

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00704-004-0038-7

http://www-ramanathan.ucsd.edu/files/pr50.pdf

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.49712253202/abstract

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022407397001520

But I doubt that you will read the papers and understand them, since you are ideologically driven, and your Morton's daemon will no doubt conjure some pitiful excuses, and you will be driven to go to WUWT to soothe your cognitive dissonance.

Also do you notice what I have done. I have not just interpreted the data myself, I have relied on published and peer reviewed papers by the experts in their field. What you have done is misinterpret raw data, a common feature of unqualified and ignorant keyboard warriors. Next time, don't link to raw data that you have grossly misinterpreted, but to published papers. That way your inexperience and unfamiliarity of the subject won't be so obviously demonstrated.