At WUWT there's an article by Danley Wolfe (archived here). No, I'd never heard of him before, either. He's not a climate scientist as will become quite clear. He's just another WUWT denier who Anthony Watts decided to trot out for some inexplicable reason.
In his article, Danley is writing about the so-called hiatus in global warming. He has got so much wrong that I'll not hope to cover everything. So I'll just pick him up on a few points.
First off, he put up a scatter plot showing monthly (yes, really!) CO2 against global surface temperature. What's wrong with that? Well, for starters, CO2 has a strong seasonal element. Look here:
|Data source: Scripps|
This is what Danley plotted.
He said he got the temperature data from NASA GISS. I don't know what he got. GISTemp data is provided as anomalies from a mean. I'm not aware of any data it provides in actual temperature. If Danley added an anomaly to some actual, then how did he adjust it every month? I don't know. And he's not saying.
Anyway, let's look to see if there is a correlation between surface temperature and atmospheric CO2. Below is a comparison of the time period that Danley plotted (1999 to the present) and the full time period of Mauna Loa CO2 - from 1959 to 2014. I've used annual data, to filter out some of the intra-annual noise and show the relationship:
|Data sources: Scripps and GISS/NASA|
As you can see there is a strong correlation. Quite the opposite from what Danley said when he wrote: "...a complete lack of correlation between atmospheric CO2 and global mean temperature during the ongoing hiatus." Even over the short period from 1999 to 2014, the chart shows a linear trend.
There's another way of looking at it. I've lined up the charts as suggested at realclimate.org. Stefan Rahmstorf wrote about how to plot surface temperature on the same chart as CO2:
One needs to scale the CO2 data correctly for an honest comparison with temperature, so that it can actually be used to evaluate climate scientists’ predictions of the CO2 effect. You can calculate this with a complicated climate model, but one can also use a back-of-envelope estimate. A CO2 increase from 280 to 400 ppm (equivalent to 2 Watts/meter2 radiative forcing) produces about 1 °C of global warming (at the time when 400 ppm is reached – some further warming will follow with delay). Thus, an increase of 100 ppm CO2 on the right hand side of the graph corresponds to a temperature increase of 0.8°C on the left hand side.
It's a bit rough - but you can easily see that temperature and CO2 are heading in the same direction at the same time. Remember, too, that this is only the surface. The oceans are absorbing more than 90% of the extra heat being retained in the system.
|Data sources: Scripps and GISS/NASA|
How many wrongs can a denier fit into a short paragraph?
Now for the fun part. Danley wrote:
The IPCC make a robust claim that climate change is “caused” by anthropomorphic / greenhouse gas causes – with a certainty at the “97% confidence level” (… never mind this is a social science Delphi polling of consensus hands, and not a fact-based probability. Having said that, they go on to say we are now “on track” (talking point phrase) for a temperature rise of 2oC, with range of 1.5-4.5oC (AR5) (Ref4), the self designated tipping point. So the obvious inference, therefore, is that AGW is what will be doing the “causing” of temperature to rise above the critical point leading to catastrophic damage to mother earth and all its inhabitants.Let's count the "wrongs":
- The IPCC doesn't claim that greenhouse gases are anthropomorphic :)
- Danley seems to be confusing the 97% consensus found in studies like Cook13 (which AFAIK didn't rate a mention in the IPCC report) with the scientific finding that it's greenhouse gases that are causing the world to warm.
- He is also wrong when he conflates climate sensitivity (1.5 to 4.5C), or perhaps transient climate response, with the 2C target set by the world's governments, beyond which they don't want the world to warm.
- He then confuses both the previous with a tipping point of some kind, though he doesn't say what is going to tip where.
- Then he gets a tad emotional, talking about "catastrophic damage to mother earth and all its inhabitants". You'll not read those words in any IPCC report.
And if Danley didn't appear stupid enough for you with that previous paragraph, try this one for size. He wrote:
It is also important to recognize that the Mauna Loa data includes manmade and non-manmade CO2. The policy prescriptions (and most of the agitation) are mainly directed towards reducing manmade CO2, although there is consideration on land use and burning of forests to plant palm plantations (as in Indonesia and elsewhere).
What is he getting at? Of course the measurements of CO2 concentration includes all the CO2 in the lower troposphere. It doesn't just pick out the molecules that got there when we burned fossil fuels. Is he suggesting that every time a CO2 measure is taken, the techs only count the molecules that got there by burning fossil fuel, or because a tree was chopped down?
You can tell that Danley has never opened an IPCC report because he wrote:
As I understand it, in a proper multiple regression analysis all the important “known” variables (say 6-7 in number) would be included in the regression model and their F stats would tell you the relative significance of each. Then you would adjust the model … eliminating variables to get the “best fit” with suspected variables … of course this doesn’t speak to “unknown variables” which is a different problem. Other variables would include solar incidence, water vapor, other GHGs, ocean temperature oscillation, etc. (A colleague pointed out it’s a little more complicated than this since “significance” in an econometric modeling sense also depends on degrees of freedom.)
In the latest IPCC report, there are charts showing the contribution of the different forcings to global surface temperature. For example the chart below shows the radiative forcing from greenhouse gases, solar radiation and volcanic eruptions:
We also know that the integrated assessment climate models (IAMs) are deterministic physical models of the climate with built in predetermined physical cause and effect structures. We can say they are wrong based on their ability to explain the data (facts) during this hiatus.IAMS are are models that integrate social, economic and environmental factors. The IPCC refers to how they were used to develop the representative concentration pathways, which in turn provided the information on the amount of greenhouse gases to model for future periods, which in turn provided projections for different aspects of climate for the various projected greenhouse gas levels (in simple terms). This is from the IPCC AR5 WG1 report:
The RCPs were developed using Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) that typically include economic, demographic, energy, and simple climate components. The emission scenarios they produce are then run through a simple model to produce time series of greenhouse gas concentrations that can be run in AOGCMs. The emission time series from the RCPs can then be used directly in Earth System Models (ESMs) that include interactive biogeochemistry (at least a land and ocean carbon cycle).
So it goes something like this:
Danley finished with this, probably intended to provoke serious thought, not the guffaws I'm hearing from you all.
I would like for someone to have made the points above with accompanying figures to Congressional types in explaining what the hiatus really means, and then watch to see any shock effect.
From the WUWT comments
You're probably as sick and tired of reading the stupid at WUWT as I am. Are the comments getting worse? No. I don't think so. As long as I've been WUWT watching, the comments have been just as bad as these.
markstoval believes that greenhouse gases cool the earth, not warm it. I wonder how he explains that earth is hotter than our moon? (Then again, p'raps he thinks the moon is made of cheese.)
April 22, 2015 at 2:42 am
... I would go much further if site rules permitted and explain why I think that CO2, on net, is a cooling factor rather than a warming factor. But regardless of whether I am correct or not, it is obvious that CO2 does darn little warming as your figures in your post demonstrate.
Konrad is another greenhouse effect denier who thinks greenhouse gases cool the earth. He bemoans Anthony Watts' censoring of "hard sceptics" - and he wasn't referring to you and me :(
April 22, 2015 at 4:43 am
“I would go much further if site rules permitted”
Ah, and there’s the rub.
You are correct, adding radiative gases to the atmosphere cannot possibly reduce the atmosphere’s radiative cooling ability. Additional CO2 would only cause immeasurably slight cooling. Warming from CO2 is a physical impossibility.
But the gatekeepers at WUWT have decided that the lukewarm “warming but less than we thought” Realpolitik solution has a chance. But of course it does not. There is no real difference between utterly wrong and slightly less wrong. Wrong is wrong.
Sceptics who choose the “warming but less than we thought” approach due to their lack of understanding of radiative physics and fluid dynamics are truly more foolish as the warmulonians. They fear looking foolish and refuse to contemplate that there is no radiative atmospheric radiative GHE. In doing so they leave a permanent record of being more foolish than the warmulonians. Hard sceptics never forgive and the Internet never forgets.
Prominent sceptics recently met with warmulonians in the UK to try an negotiate a “lukewarm” Realpolitik settlement. Sadly Anthony was amongst them. Their efforts are without worth. Radiative gases are the primary cooling mechanism for our atmosphere, which is heated primarily by conduction and release of latent heat of evaporation.
The WUWT approach of censoring hard sceptics just leaves a permanent Internet record of the gatekeepers here of supporting the most foul assault on science, reason, freedom and democracy in the history of mankind.
Why do deniers not show the slightest trace of scepticism at the rubbish they read at WUWT? Earthling just lapped it all up without question and wrote:
April 22, 2015 at 7:54 am
Even though it’s supposed to be heating the oceans, atmospheric CO2 level is rising, but not warming Earth’s surface.
How is that possible?