State of the science

Many of us want to know the science behind global warming.

It would be reasonable to assume that the international experts would tell us what we need to know. Problem is that, strangely, they don’t make it easy for honest seekers after truth.

The UNFCCC has a page on their web site called “The Science”. But stupidly for a page with such a title, there’s not a single statement that tells us how greenhouse gases warm the earth.

This is the governing body of the IPCC, yet it can’t tell us how global warming works.

The IPCC takes a different approach: it simply swamps us with documentation without saying what we’ll find in it. It has no link to anything resembling “the science simplified” or even “science”.

Of course, it’s all science, but who wants to wade through hundreds of pages of an Assessment Report for a summary of the greenhouse effect?

They’re either really thick or they’re not the slightest bit interested in helping us.

Or perhaps they’re hiding something?

267 Thoughts on “State of the science

  1. Andy on May 18, 2012 at 11:29 am said:

    The comments reflect the level of contempt that the general public has with climate scientists. I can’t change that. They made their own bed now they have to lie in it.

  2. rob taylor on May 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm said:

    Not so long ago, Andy, there would have been similar comments from the general public in Serbia, reflecting their level of contempt for Bosnian Muslims.

    Further back, the German papers were no doubt full of contempt for Jews and Gypsies.

    Would you tell a Muslim women raped by Serb soldiers – as so many were – that she had “made her own bed, and now had to lie in it?”

    As you can indeed, fool some of the people all of the time, the fossil fuel industry will always be able to find “useful fools” to spread their self-interested and potentially genocidal message of complacency and disinformation.

    Reality always has the stronger hand, however, and no lie lasts forever…

    As an example closer to home, Andy, do you smoke tobacco?

    If not, why not?

  3. Andy on May 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm said:

    Reality always has the stronger hand, however, and no lie lasts forever…

    As an example closer to home, Andy, do you smoke tobacco?

    If not, why not?

    What a ridiculous analogy.

    Perhaps you’d like to give up fossil fuels for a week Rob. When I mean give up, I mean anything that is remotely derived from fossil fuels, including all iron and steel products:

    Washing machine, microwave, knife, fork, car, bicycle, etc.

    Let us know how you get on.

    By the way, I enjoy your comparisons of sceptics with Nazi sympathisers like Quisling.

  4. rob taylor on May 18, 2012 at 1:08 pm said:

    AGC, I know the “missing hot spot’ is an icon of your denialist belief system, but have already provided links that put it in context:

    1. the predicted equilibrium hot spot occurs in other warming models as well as AGW, and

    2. short term effects and observational uncertainties make it difficult to detect at present.

    Once there is sufficient data, however, I am sure the denialerati will quickly seize upon some other purported “missing evidence” to magically disappear 150 years of scientific knowledge and observation from their collective conscience.

    As regards physical reality, however, I suggest that, the next time you are at Mt Cook village, you hike out onto what remains of the Tasman glacier and chant ‘AGW is a hoax!” as many times as it takes for the ice to stop melting.

    I’m sure that will keep you occupied for quite a while…

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/tropical-troposphere-trends/

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/tropospheric-hot-spot-advanced.htm

  5. rob taylor on May 18, 2012 at 1:22 pm said:

    No one said it was going to be easy, Andy.

    BTW, what brand of ciggies do you prefer?

    Oh, I quite forgot, you don’t smoke because you understand the scientific evidence that shows, on balance, that it is a very risky practice…

    BTW, would even you tell a Muslim women raped by Serb soldiers – as so many were – that she had “made her own bed, and now has to lie in it?”

    Or a female climate scientist whose children have been threatened?

    Or an elderly climate scientist who requires police protection when giving public lectures?

    Know any history, Andy? If you do, kindly explain to us the essential difference between a Jew-baiter and a Delingpole.

  6. Andy on May 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm said:

    I was at Mt Cook village recently. The Tasman glacier is certainly melting, as you’d expect since we are in an interglacial period

  7. rob taylor on May 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm said:

    Uh, Andy, do you suppose this “interglacial period” might just have a cause?

    I’ll give you a clue – 3 letters, beginning with an “A” and ending with a “W”…

    Despite the sensitivity of New Zealand glaciers to changes in both precipitation and temperature, the volume of ice in the Southern Alps dropped by roughly 50% during the last century. New Zealand’s temperature increased by about 1 °C over the same period.

    Globally, most glaciers are retreating. Of the glaciers for which there are continuous data from the World Glacier Monitoring Service, the mean annual loss in ice thickness since 1980 remains close to half a metre per year. The Service has said that the loss in ice mass “leaves no doubt about the accelerating change in climatic conditions”. For world glacier data, see http://www.geo.unizh.ch/wgms

    http://www.niwa.co.nz/news/glaciers-continue-shrink

  8. Andy on May 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm said:

    Uh, Andy, do you suppose this “interglacial period” might just have a cause?

    So you are telling me that interglacials are caused by CO2 emissions?

  9. Andy on May 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm said:

    You really are dredging the barrel now Rob.

  10. rob taylor on May 18, 2012 at 4:16 pm said:

    Note the quotation marks, Andy – your “interglacial” excuse is meaningless, as the rising CO2 level has postponed the next glaciation for a very long time, given the residence time for CO2 emissions.

    In fact, had it not been for humanity, we would likely now be well into another Ice Age…

    http://www.acamedia.info/sciences/sciliterature/globalw/residence.htm

  11. rob taylor on May 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm said:

    You really are dredging the barrel now Rob.

    You’ve taught me most of what I know about that, Andy…

  12. Andy on May 18, 2012 at 4:33 pm said:

    That’s a bummer. I was looking forward to the next Ice Age and the death and mayhem that would ensue

  13. Richard C (NZ) on May 18, 2012 at 5:09 pm said:

    Yes I do have a “thing” about geothermal Rob

    I do understand your aversion (verging in anathema) to attention being directed at geo heat because that messes with the warmists nice simple scheme of things (the sun heats the earth and anthropogenic GHGs trap the heat making it even warmer).

    So OK, point sources:

    5700 K approx, inner core – Point source #1

    230 – 300 K approx range, lithosphere surface – Point source #2 (obliquity, diurnal, seasonal etc)

    0 K space

    Temperature gradient ………….core => lithosphere => space

  14. Richard C (NZ) on May 18, 2012 at 5:47 pm said:

    That pesky point source being taboo (but issues resolved hopefully – phew!) I now have to address the topic which according to you Rob is:-

    “climate change involving average temps across the earth”

    OK but you might find the news on that front a tad disappointing. Turns out that average temperatures across about 70% of the surface of the lithosphere have been falling since peaking 2005 (spikes excluded)

    http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/1-global-month.png?w=640&h=418

  15. Richard C (NZ) on May 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm said:

    You use “this phenomenon” in present tense but over the last decade or so and as of right now, “this phenomenon” is entirely natural variability.

  16. Richard C (NZ) on May 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm said:

    And then rest of the sentence that Rob [ad hominem removed – RT] denies:-

    …….but is much more concentrated in areas where thermal energy is transported toward the crust by convection such as along mid-ocean ridges and mantle plumes”.”

    He probably cannot bear to read further where we (the non-deniers) see:-

    The final major mode of heat loss is by conduction through the lithosphere, the majority of which occurs in the oceans due to the crust there being much thinner and younger than under the continents

    Deny that Rob [ad hominem removed – RT].

    [Richard, we don’t like Rob to get supercilious and worse with us, so let’s not do it to him. :-) – RT]

  17. Richard C (NZ) on May 18, 2012 at 6:37 pm said:

    Wairakei power station has harnessed the “approximately 1/10 watt/square meter on average, ( about 1/10,000 of solar irradiation ) ” since 1958:-

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

    But I don’t see the landscape there festooned with solar panels.

    Wairekei is due to be phased out but the 1/10 watt/square meter on average must be an attractive proposition because Contact are going ahead with Te Mihi:-

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

    No word about a solar plant 10,000 times bigger though.

  18. Bob D on May 18, 2012 at 10:37 pm said:

    Rob, simply quoting back to me what I said in the first place doesn’t win you any points at all. In fact it makes you look pretty silly. And the constant stream of insults does more to expose the type of people warmists are than anything we could ever say.

  19. Richard C (NZ) on May 19, 2012 at 8:06 am said:

    [Richard, we don’t like Rob to get supercilious and worse with us, so let’s not do it to him. :-) – RT]

    Finding your line is tricky RT I keep overstepping it in my exuberance. My present time-challenged sleep-deprived state doesn’t help either.

    [You hide it well, Rich. Look, you’re doing a great job and the rule against rudeness isn’t meant to be yet a further imposition, rather to keep everyone thinking freely. – RT]

  20. Anthropogenic Global Cooling on May 19, 2012 at 11:54 am said:

    ‘1. the predicted equilibrium hot spot occurs in other warming models as well as AGW, and

    2. short term effects and observational uncertainties make it difficult to detect at present.’

    The hot spot does appear in other warming models also, but the hot spot doesn’t exist anyway so it doesn’t matter what models it appears in, does it?

    As far as the hot spot being difficult to detect, over 30 million radiosondes over a period of 40 yrs, & 2 satellites fail to find it. The surface temperatures fail to observe the warming that should be occurring as a result of the positive feedback, as evidenced by the comparison of observed temp vs. the predicted of the models.

    You’ve avoided the other question that I asked Rob – if the hot spot doesn’t exist (which it doesn’t), what evidence is there for positive feedback from atmospheric water vapour?

    I’ll add one other question Rob – If there is no positive feedback from water vapour (which the missing hot spot reinforces), how can the temperature rise beyond the maximum 1.2C attributed to a doubling of total atmospheric CO2?

  21. Bob D on May 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm said:

    …the evidence is that AGW is the cause of this phenomenon

    Well now, that’s interesting, since, as I’ve shown below, the IPCC says the phenomenon isn’t happening! So tell me, Rob, exactly how is it that the evidence is that AGW is the cause of a phenomenon that isn’t happening?

    And how exactly do we provide an alternative explanation for an imaginary phenomenon?

    I await your reply with breathless anticipation.

  22. Anthropogenic Global Cooling on May 19, 2012 at 9:15 pm said:

    The ‘miniscule effects of CO2′ statement are based upon the scientifically accepted fact that a doubling of TOTAL atmospheric CO2 can only raise the temperature a maximum of 1.2C. Without the non existent positive water vapour feedbacks (which a missing hot spot proves), 1.2C would more than likely have positive consequences just as it has historically. Hardly catastrophic Rob.

  23. Richard C (NZ) on May 22, 2012 at 6:07 pm said:

    “…all the models were “irrelevant with reality” at the 30 year climate scale…”

    Anagnostopoulos, G. G., D. Koutsoyiannis, A. Christofides, A. Efstratiadis, and N. Mamassis, (2010). A comparison of local and aggregated climate model outputs with observed data’, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 55: 7, 1094 — 1110

    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/05/we-cant-predict-the-climate-on-a-local-regional-or-continental-scale/

    “irrelevant with reality” but relevant to the alternative reality of Schmidt/Cook/Renowden perhaps.

    That is: Real Climate, Skeptical Science and Hot Topic.

  24. Mike Jowsey on May 27, 2012 at 9:23 am said:

    As anthro GHG warm the atmosphere, so, of course, the H2O content increases as a feedback, leading to higher rates of precipitation, flooding, etc.

    The popular myth, evangelised by the likes of Al Gore, is that extreme weather events (e.g. flooding) are becoming more frequent. To quote Gore himself, “the extreme climate events that the scientific community has been telling us are connected to global warming are getting worse. ”

    In fact the scientific community is telling us:

    Despite common perception, in general, the detected trends are more negative (less intense floods in most recent years) than positive.

    Bouziotas, et al, European Geosciences Union, 2011

  25. Mike Jowsey on May 27, 2012 at 9:50 am said:

    And then there’s this:

    A new paper authored by Reinhard Böhm of the Austrian Central Administration For Meteorology (ZAMG) refutes the notion that anthropogenic warming is causing an increase of climate extremes and making weather more variable and extreme.

    http://notrickszone.com/2012/05/25/comprehensive-alps-study-clearly-refutes-humans-are-causing-more-weather-variability-and-extremes/

    And this:

    Abstract

    There is argument as to the extent to which there has been an increase over the past few decades in the frequency of the extremes of climatic parameters, such as temperature, storminess, precipitation, etc, an obvious point being that Global Warming might be responsible. Here we report results on those parameters of which we have had experience during the last few years: Global surface temperature, Cloud Cover and the MODIS Liquid Cloud Fraction. In no case we have found indications that fluctuations of these parameters have increased with time.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364682611000319

  26. Andyj on May 6, 2014 at 3:07 am said:

    The Earth has been in the grip of an ice age for over two million years. The warm interglacials are nothing more than a snatch of breath that temporarily allowed life to recover.

    Anyone attempting to recreate the impending ice age in haste by any means does not deserve to live by their own admission. After all, the very premise of killing everyone, starting with their own children is the only way to stop mankind “re-creating” CO2. The life giving trace gas.

    The Earth will cool down and all the CO2 will be soaked back into the sea hence it came from.

    I wonder who proposed treating “deniers” as untermenshen. It’s a bit like the “Serbian rapes”. Kosovan Muslims started the civil war with 100% backing from Albania. Who not only raped, murdered, sold body parts, took lands, burned down churches and have now removed every Christian from what was a Christian country. A part of Serbia as Kent is a part of England. Rob Taylor, go visit.

    Facts are facts. Across the complete basket of all datasets, the Earth has had statistically zero globull warming for 14 years.
    Moreover, I’ve included CO2 with 12 month smoothing. then de-trended it and magnified the variance. We see CO2 FOLLOWS temperature variations and does not increase heating. This is not modelled. IT IS FACT!

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:1997/offset:-0.5/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/from:1997/normalise/mean:12/detrend:0.81/offset:0.42/scale:10/plot/esrl-co2/from:1997/normalise/mean:12/plot/wti/from:2000.83/offset:-0.5/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1997/normalise/mean:12/detrend:0.81/offset:0.42/scale:1

  27. Andyj on May 6, 2014 at 3:15 am said:

    rob taylor said:
    May 18, 2012 at 10:58 am
    “The comments on the article are entirely negative so far”
    Doh! Those pesky climate scientist got it wrong again, ‘cos Joe Sixpack says so!

    https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/clip_image0025.jpg

    102 failed climate models say so.

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