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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Deniers are catching up with climate science - they're now only 76 years behind

Sou | 1:21 AM Go to the first of 9 comments. Add a comment


Wondering Willis Eschenbach at WUWT (archived here) has just discovered Guy Stewart Callendar, 76 years after everyone else did. He sings his praises, though he is selective about the bits he quotes.

"GS Callendar 1934"
University of East Anglia Archive (provided by James R. Fleming).
Source: Spencer Weart
At this rate, by 2032, deniers will be praising the 1956 work of Gilbert Plass. Then in 2051, some science denier will discover a 1975 paper by Wallace S. Broecker, and sing his praises.

In around 2064, another random denier will claim discovery of Dr James Hansen's 1988 testimony to the US Congressional Committee and say what a brilliant scientist Jim Hansen was.

Callendar didn't anticipate the rate at which we'd burn fossil fuel, with his Table VI showing CO2 at 360 ppm in the 22nd Century instead of 1995. He figured at 360 ppm, CO2 would result in a rise in global surface temperature of 0.57 degrees Celsius, which is pretty close to the actual increase by the mid-1990s, but doesn't allow for the climate to come to equilibrium. So it's probably an underestimate.  Someone more familiar with Callendar's work might comment on this.

Ed Hawkins and Phil Jones wrote a paper last year, to celebrate 75 years since Callendar's seminal paper. They also put together a poster. I see from their paper that if deniers want to get access to a "large collection" of Callendar's notebooks, they'll have to go cap in hand to the University of East Anglia, and maybe beg forgiveness from Dr Phil Jones.


Wondering Willis was surprised that Guy Stewart Callendar mentioned the urban heat island effect. What Willis didn't mention was that Callendar segregated stations based on their location in city and rural areas and said the data showed:
no increase of temperature due to "city influence", has occurred at the city stations, in spite of the great increase in population in the immediate neighbourhood during the period under consideration.

On the subject of urban temperatures, I wonder what Willis would make of this paper published in 1905, which puts a different light on Anthony Watts' surface stations effort. Or this paper from 1911 by  Andrew H. Palmer on "Is the Heat Generated by Cities Changing their Climates?" which begins with:
The statement has frequently been made that the heat generated by great cities is changing their climate, causing them to grow warmer and drier.
So it wouldn't have been the first, which I think was in the 1800s, but I can't recall the first paper on the subject. Perhaps someone can help out with that.

Update: In the comments Raoul provides a reference to a paper by Gerald Mills describing Luke Howard's work from the early 1800s, in which he refers to the urban heat effect.

Guy Stewart Callendar wrote a number of other papers, with the last being in 1961. I couldn't find an online copy of the full paper, only the abstract, which included this bit:
The annual temperature deviations at over 400 meteorological stations are combined on a regional basis to give the integrated fluctuations over large areas and zones. These are shown in graphical form, and it is concluded that a solar or atmospheric dust hypothesis is necessary to explain the world-wide fluctuations of a few years duration. An important change in the relationships of the zonal fluctuations has occurred since 1920. The overall temperature trends found from the data are considered in relation to the homogeneity of recording, and also to the evidence of glacial recession in different zones. It is concluded that the rising trend, shown by the instruments during recent decades, is significant from the Arctic to about 45°S lat., but quite small in most regions below 35°N. and not yet apparent in some. It is thought that the regional and zonal distribution of recent climatic trends is incompatible with the hypothesis of increased solar heating as the cause. On the other hand, the major features of this distribution are not incompatible with the hypothesis of increased carbon dioxide radiation, if the rate of atmospheric mixing between the hemispheres is a matter of decades rather than years.

From the WUWT comments


Despite Guy Stewart Callendar showing that CO2 warms the climate, many of the deniers at WUWT are embracing his work. This leads one to marvel at the capacity of the ringleaders there to tell people what to think, and the blind, mindless obedience of the denialati in complying.

Truthseeker wrote:
November 13, 2014 at 9:47 pm
This is an example of why scientists gained such a good reputation over many years. That reputation has been trashed very quickly by politically motivated, rent seeking alarmists who care nothing about reality, only about getting more money for doing nothing useful.

ntesdorf  says:
November 13, 2014 at 10:18 pm
What a pleasure to read such a sensible and reasonable approach to the difficult topic of Climate and CO2. His estimate of the effect on temperature of doubling CO2 from 300ppm to 600ppm, to be close to +1.5C.looks much better and more reasonable than the wild IPCC assertions.. Guy Stewart Callendar is a real scientist not a rent-seeker or rationalist for Global Warming Alarmism, inventing data to order.. I wish there had been more of him.
I don't know where ntesdorf gets the 1.5 degrees from. Looking at the chart in the 1938 paper, it looks as if Callendar estimated more like two degrees for a doubling of CO2. (I'll add a copy of his chart when I get to my other computer.) We were both wrong. The chart suggests he figured around 1.75 degrees for a doubling of CO2. I've added the red lines to Callendar's Figure 2. Click to enlarge.



Apparently Steve McIntyre discovered Guy Stewart Callendar a whole year ahead of Wondering Willis and boasts about the fact. What a clever little denialist chap he is, isn't he. That means he's only 75 years behind the science instead of 76 like his fellow science deniers.


Zeke Hausfather who, unlike Steve McIntyre and Wondering Willis, really is quite smart, must have missed the paper by Ed Hawkins and Phil Jones, who discuss the points Zeke raises.
November 13, 2014 at 10:32 pm
It would be interesting to compare the spatial coverage provided by the temperature stations that Callendar had access to vs. those in modern databanks like Berkeley Earth or GHCN-D. I suspect that greater coverage in more remote regions (that hadn’t been assembled in a central repository in Callendar’s time) along with the correction of various inhomogenities accounts for much of the difference, rather than any explicit UHI correction on Callendar’s part. 

Ed Hawkins and Phil Jones say in part:
Fig. 1 compares the latest CRUTEM4 (Jones et al. 2012) estimates for annual near-global land temperatures with that of Callendar (1938). The agreements in trends and variability are striking...
...Callendar had access to temperatures from just 147 land-based stations to reconstruct his global temperature timeseries, whereas CRUTEM4 includes more than 200 in 1880, increasing to more than 2000 by 1935. The differing amplitudes of variability is therefore perhaps surprising as fewer stations might be expected to result in a higher variance (e.g. Jones et al. 1997), but this feature remains unexplained.∗
The analysis is restricted to 60◦S-60◦N because Callendar did not include any Antarctic or Arctic stations in his record. However, he did note that the omitted Arctic stations had the largest variations and that the northern latitudes were warming faster than other regions. 

Charles Nelson says:
November 13, 2014 at 10:57 pm
How strange to see a normal scientific approach to the issue after so many years of magical thinking and hysteria. 

phlogiston says:
November 14, 2014 at 12:30 am
Great paper indeed.
True scientific work such as this loses no value with the passing of time.
“They grow not old as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.”
Callendar 1937 is still the state of the art of knowledge of CO2 effects on climate.
Nothing of substance has been added since.
He will be proved correct that CO2 effects are beneficial,
despite the hi-jacking of his name by the alarmists.

geronimo says, of Callendar, whose work was published by the Royal Meteorological Society but greeted with skepticism by some scientists at the time:
November 14, 2014 at 12:47 am
Callender didn’t have a university degree, as far as I’m aware his qualifications where acquired from the City and Guilds of London, an organisation that specialised in providing technical courses for apprentices. Can you imagine the sneering he’d receive from Gavin and Co today – a pleb presuming to do climate science without a university degree? 

Callendar is described in Wikipedia as an engineer and inventor, and son of a physicist. And by climate science historian Spencer Weart as "An engineer specializing in steam and power generation" who "achieved distinction for his many contributions to civilian and, during World War II, military-related engineering".

It's interesting what deniers come up with. Leo G, for example, writes:
November 14, 2014 at 1:39 am
Also interesting to note that before his death in the 1960s Callendar accepted that the multi-decadal pause in warming had effectively falsified his carbon dioxide theory of global warming. That is poossibly why you hear very little about him from warmists.

What Leo G. wrote seems to be contradicted by Callendar's 1961 paper, in which he wrote that it's not the sun, it's CO2, although he seems to have got the time for CO2 mixing wrong:
It is thought that the regional and zonal distribution of recent climatic trends is incompatible with the hypothesis of increased solar heating as the cause. On the other hand, the major features of this distribution are not incompatible with the hypothesis of increased carbon dioxide radiation, if the rate of atmospheric mixing between the hemispheres is a matter of decades rather than years.

There was one lone voice of opposition. johnmarshall didn't appreciate Guy Callendar's estimates of atmospheric CO2:
November 14, 2014 at 3:51 am
Is this the same G.S.Callendar who when writing a summary of the atmopheric CO2 experiments of the late 1800′s IGNORED all readings above 285ppmv? He then claimed that the 285ppmv figure was the ”correct” atmospheric value for CO2. So totally driven by opinion not data.
I suspect it is. He was wrong in that paper and he is wrong in this. A poor example of ”old science” 


Callendar, Guy Stewart. "The artificial production of carbon dioxide and its influence on temperature." Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 64, no. 275 (1938): 223-240. (link)

Callendar, G. S. (1961), Temperature fluctuations and trends over the earth. Q.J.R. Meteorol. Soc., 87: 1–12. doi: 10.1002/qj.49708737102

Hawkins, Ed, and Phil Jones. "On increasing global temperatures: 75 years after Callendar." Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 139, no. 677 (2013): 1961-1963. DOI: 10.1002/qj.2178

Plass, Gilbert N. "The carbon dioxide theory of climatic change." Tellus 8, no. 2 (1956): 140-154.

Broecker, W. S. "Climate Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?." Science 8 August 1975: Vol. 189 no. 4201 pp. 460-463 DOI: 10.1126/science.189.4201.460

9 comments :

  1. You can "stumble" on lots of interesting papers by buying a copy of "The Warming Papers" (http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1405196165.html), including this one by Calendar. It is a pity that more skeptics don't get a copy and find out where the basis for modern climatology comes from.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sou,
    "So it wouldn't have been the first, which I think was in the 1800s, but I can't recall the first paper on the subject. Perhaps someone can help out with that."

    According to this article by Gerald Mills, one of the first to mention the effect was Luke Howard in his studies of the climate or London.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The Climate of London" was published in 1833.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Raoul. That's quite a long time ago, isn't it.

      Delete
  3. Great article Sou. I see one of the illiiterati even managed an inappropriate quote from Lawrence Binyon. Have they foresaken Feynman?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh....my.....God....she has a sense of humor.

    The sheep are lining behind anything the masters trumpet...

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have to say that it was after reading Spencer Weart's The Discovery of Global Warming and realizing that so many incredibly smart people (like Callendar and others Sou mentions) have been thinking about so many aspects of climate science for so long, that I became convinced that AGW is real and a real issue.

    Fake skeptics fool people in believing that climate science is still in its infancy and that we don't know anything. They come up with stuff as if they're the first ones who have thought about it (take for instance Watts and his thermometer project which will never go beyond amateurish and biased), but these things have been rehashed again and again by hundreds/thousands of people before the idea even popped up in the fake skeptic brain.

    Dear raeder: If you're reading this and sitting on the fence because you don't know who to believe, try and read Spencer Weart's The Discovery of Global Warming, so at least you have a clear picture of the history of climate science. WUWT will only tell you 10% of the story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Neven. It's not just the facts that got me hooked, it was the way that Spencer Weart was able to bring the past to life. And there are still many scientists risking life and limb every day to collect information. A lot of quiet but high achievers.

      Delete
  6. "I see from their paper that if deniers want to get access to a "large collection" of Callendar's notebooks, they'll have to go cap in hand to the University of East Anglia, and maybe beg forgiveness from Dr Phil Jones." Sometimes this stuff is so good, you just couldn't make it up.

    ReplyDelete

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