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. Billy on May 6, 2012 at 6:18 pm said:

    Must be a worry to the warmistas that the weather here in NZ is so settled and comfortable.Another degree or two would be welcomed by me,getting cool at night.My garden is thriving.More veges this year.

  2. rob taylor on May 6, 2012 at 8:42 pm said:

    Speaking of the really thick, Richard, which part of the following quote, from the page cited, do you not understand?

    Greenhouse gases occur naturally and are essential to the survival of humans and millions of other living things, through keeping some of the sun’s warmth from reflecting back into space and making Earth livable

    Or do you think they should have eschewed a simple description that all can understand, and instead offered a rigorous development of radiative physics via QFT?

    If you want that, I can loan you a text.

  3. Thanks.

    I just don’t see it as describing the science of global warming. For one thing, global warming’s apparently a problem, but that sentence carries no hint of it. Your suggestion of an advanced course in physics goes too far, but there’s a lot of middle ground. Anyway, if you’re going to describe the radiative physics of the process, wouldn’t you have to mention that the energy intercepted by human emissions is relatively minute, and it couldn’t heat the ocean?

    And there are these problems:

    the concentration of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere is directly linked to the average global temperature on Earth

    The thinking person would notice that it does not state the apparently obvious – that the concentration of greenhouse gases “causes” the temperature – and would wonder why not. They would acknowledge the equal possibility that the temperature actually “causes” the concentration of greenhouse gases, which is probably more likely. I’m not saying there’s no greenhouse effect.

    the most abundant greenhouse gas [is] carbon dioxide

    This is plain wrong. Water vapour is by far the most abundant greenhouse gas, and in any case CO2 is produced naturally every year in quantities that completely overwhelm human emissions of it.

    There is much fringe speculation set out in the remainder of this “science” page, presented either as fact or as uncontroversial, yet most of it is either highly controversial or the output of unverified computer models.

    Little of it is science.

  4. rob taylor on May 6, 2012 at 10:50 pm said:

    If you actually believe the above, Richard, and are not merely propagandising for ideological reasons, then all you are demonstrating is your own ignorance of basic climate science.

    I suggest you read an elementary text, say “Global Warming for Dummies”, before you embarrass yourself any further.

    BTW, do you also do your own dentistry, accounting and law, or do you rely on qualified professionals? Why might that be, I wonder?

  5. PeterM on May 6, 2012 at 10:57 pm said:

    State of the science ? in fun quotes
    Jo Nova says – I’ve got great news for you, all you have to do to avert a global catastrophe is to find peer reviewed papers that support the models. I’ve been asking for two years, three months and four days, and no one can find one that suggests CO2 will cause much more than 1 degree of warming at most. (not feedbacks)

    Monckton – ‘We tell the computer models that there will be strong warming if we add CO2 to the air. The models show there will be a strong warming. Therefore the warming is our fault. This is the argumentum ad petitionem principii, the circular-argument fallacy, where a premise is also the conclusion.’

    When you can measure the data accurately, do the math on the back of an envelope without playing statistical games and explain the science to your MP then we can stop being skeptical.

  6. Anthropogenic Global Cooling on May 6, 2012 at 10:58 pm said:

    Ah yes, the water vapour. I’m still waiting for the elusive tropospheric hot spot to magically appear as predicted. Either that or an explanation as to how the AGW theory can function without the water vapour feedbacks associated with the hot spot. You’d think the AGW crowd would have that base covered, especially as it’s the major part of their hypothesis that fails without it.

  7. If you actually believe the above, Richard, and are not merely propagandising for ideological reasons, then all you are demonstrating is your own ignorance of basic climate science.

    Easy to say. Prove it. But stick to what I actually said.

  8. Andy on May 7, 2012 at 12:14 am said:

    I’d be interested to know what Global Warmng for Dummies does to explain the case for high climate sensitivity due to positive feedbacks?

  9. rob taylor on May 7, 2012 at 8:33 am said:

    Long-debunked but endlessly repeated cherry-pick, Gish Gallop, non sequitur, argumentum ad ignotantum, half-truth, magical thinking and outright lie – is that all you can come up with, guys?

    http://quasar.as.utexas.edu/BillInfo/Quack.html

    How about some actual climate science that isn’t risible, doesn’t assume what it pretends to prove, and isn’t paid for by fossil fuel interests and right-wing billionaires?

    No, I don’t mean your new theory of thermodynamics, RC2…

  10. Rob Taylor,

    You don’t just overlook some questions – you actually answer none at all.

  11. Bob D on May 7, 2012 at 11:37 am said:

    From the ‘Science’ page:

    These are some basic well-established links:
    the concentration of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere is directly linked to the average global temperature on Earth;

    It is, true. But the concentration follows the temperature, lagging behind by hundreds of years. Oops.

    the concentration has been rising steadily, and mean global temperatures along with it, since the time of the Industrial Revolution; and

    The Industrial Revolution (1750 onwards) started after the climate started to warm up from 1650, the bottom of the LIA. The CO2 level increase at the start of the Industrial Revolution was extremely small, and could not possibly have influenced the global temperatures for hundreds of years, Hansen postulates 1960-onwards. Therefore the Industrial Revolution did not start the LIA recovery. Since the LIA recovery was entirely natural, we need proof of extraordinary warming over and above this base natural warming before we can even begin to postulate anthropogenic origins.

    the most abundant greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, is the product of burning fossil fuels.

    Wrong. As Richard T pointed out above, water vapour is far and away the most abundant greenhouse gas. Also, most carbon dioxide is not the product of burning fossil fuels, only about 3% is, over any year. The other 97% is natural.

    Regarding sea levels, the recent rate of 1.7-1.8mm/year is nothing unusual, in fact it’s pretty lame. See here.
    We know that during the previous interglacial (125,000 years ago), sea levels were 4-6m higher. So natural variations produce some pretty drastic changes. During “meltwater pulse 1B”, between 11,500-11,000 BC, the sea level jumped up by an estimated 28m! That’s 56mm/year. Several thousand years previously “meltwater pulse 1A” was responsible for a 16-24m rise over a thousand years, at over ten times our current rate. Ref: Fairbanks (1989)

  12. Graham Thompson on May 7, 2012 at 12:54 pm said:

    This is interesting and relevant …

    An internal study by the U.S. EPA completed by Dr. Alan Carlin and John Davidson concluded the IPCC was wrong about global warming. One statement in the executive summary stated that a 2009 paper found that the crucial assumption in the Greenhouse Climate Models (GCM) used by the IPCC concerning a strong positive feedback from water vapor is not supported by empirical evidence and that the feedback is actually negative. Water vapor in the atmosphere causes a cooling effect, not a warming one. Carbon dioxide also causes a slight cooling effect but it so small it could never be measured by man’s instrumentation.

    EPA tried to bury the report. An email from Al McGartland, Office Director of EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE), to Dr. Alan Carlin, Senior Operations Research Analyst at NCEE, forbade him from speaking to anyone outside NCEE on endangerment issues. In a March 17 email from McGartland to Carlin, stated that he will not forward Carlin’s study. “The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator (Lisa Jackson) and the administration have decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision. …. I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.” A second email from McGartland stated “I don’t want you to spend any additional EPA time on climate change.”

    McGartland’s emails demonstrate that he was rejecting Dr. Carlin’s study because its conclusions ran counter to the EPA’s current position. Yet this study had its basis in three prior reports by Carlin (two in 2007 and one in 2008) that were accepted. Another government cover-up, just what the United States does not need.

    Eliminate this regulation immediately. This is a scientific tragedy.

  13. Rob Taylor,

    There’s another defect with the UNFCCC explanation you quote:

    Greenhouse gases occur naturally and are essential to the survival of humans and millions of other living things, through keeping some of the sun’s warmth from reflecting back into space and making Earth livable.

    It’s factually incorrect (even if it is illustrated by an Al Gore cartoon).

    The Greenhouse Effect is not about reflection of the Sun’s warmth, but the emission of infra-red radiation by the Earth.

    The reflection of the Sun’s warmth is due to albedo, and the clouds play a major role in that. Lindzen gets ridiculed for pointing it out.

  14. Richard C (NZ) on May 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm said:

    “Long-debunked” by whom? Some citations would be helpful (or even just one).

    [ad hom removed. Clever, but off-topic, RC. – RT]

  15. Richard C (NZ) on May 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm said:

    The CO2 “Keeling Curve” is as bogus as it gets to start with – 2 disparate datasets fudged to fit.

    Then there’s the little problem back in the 40s that the CO2 forced models have so much difficulty with.

    They (UNFCCC) could replace all those paragraphs with one word – parlous.

  16. Richard C (NZ) on May 7, 2012 at 5:44 pm said:

    From C3 Headlines (4th post down):-

    Urban Heat Islands: Bursting the IPCC Myth That ‘UHI Isn’t Important’ In Global Warming Records

    The 2007 IPCC report went out of its way to diminish the importance of the urban heat island (UHI) effect on global warming. In typical Climategate-style research, the IPCC had to strengthen its case that human CO2 was the primary cause of recent global warming, and the only way to accomplish this was to marginalize and reduce the impact of other factors, including UHI.
    >>>>>>>>>
    http://www.c3headlines.com/global-warming-urban-heat-island-bias/

    But urban trees exhibit a different story:-

    Trees lap up the city heat

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/6871263/Trees-lap-up-the-city-heat

    The urban location had average maximum temperatures 2.4 C warmer than the rural location, and minimum temperatures 4.6 C higher.

    By the end of summer, the city trees had put on eight times more biomass than those raised outside the city mainly by putting out more leaves, the study, published in the journal Tree Physiology, found.

  17. David on May 7, 2012 at 5:50 pm said:

    “the most abundant greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, is the product of burning fossil fuels.”

    “Wrong. As Richard T pointed out above, water vapour is far and away the most abundant greenhouse gas. Also, most carbon dioxide is not the product of burning fossil fuels, only about 3% is, over any year. The other 97% is natural.”

    OMG- I really can’t believe Taylor did not know this . It is such a basic thing. He really does live in an echo chamber full of group think. How embarrassing for him that his knowledge is exposed as being so woeful.

  18. Yes, it’s a stupid statement — two mistakes in it and pretty embarrassing, but not for Rob Taylor. Remember that the statement is published by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Which quintuples the embarrassment. They ought to be rushing right now to change their web site. But don’t hold your breath.

  19. rob taylor on May 8, 2012 at 3:16 am said:

    Sorry, guys, but I do have a life and have little time for your cultish hall of mirrors, although I guess someone had to fill the void left by the demise of the Flat Earth Society… as practising pseudoscientists, do you also consult astrologers, take homeopathic “medicines” and have your auras read?

    Briefly, David, the anthropogenic GHG, although only 2 – 3% of the natural atmospheric content, is cumulative, rather than cyclic. This is why atmospheric CO2 has increased by one third over pre-industrial levels, causing a temperature rise of about 1 C, with more “in the pipeline” owing to the long residence time of CO2 – which is measured in decades, rather than in days, as is the case with water vapour.

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

    All this is well documented, based on measurement and experiment, which is something you denialists never do, preferring to spend your time playing empty word games with concepts you patently do not understand.

  20. Andy on May 8, 2012 at 6:33 am said:

    This is all well documented. Probably true, Rob, and I am not really disputing any of this. As you know, the argument all depends on positive feedbacks due to water vapour. This is the argument that always gets sidestepped.

  21. Richard C (NZ) on May 8, 2012 at 7:29 am said:

    Except that the critical pressure level that is supposed to be warming, isn’t.

  22. Anthropogenic Global Cooling on May 8, 2012 at 7:53 am said:

    Great Rob, you almost understand the theory. All you have to do to prove the hypothesis is show the tropospheric hot spot that is supposed to prove the positive feedback of water vapour. A couple of quick questions:

    If the tropospheric hot spot isn’t there, what does that tell you about the positive feedback of water vapour?

    If the positive feedbacks are non existent, what ramifications does that have for the theory of AGW?

  23. PeterM on May 8, 2012 at 8:17 am said:

    My District Council takes the Global Warming very seriously. Over 100 pages are devoted to it under the sustainable futures hazard section. Most of it IPCC report stuff. Two pages are devoted to Northland’s exposure to tsunami.
    This from Bookers recent article – ‘The result was that WWF “climate witnesses” contributed to two thirds of the 2007 report’s 44 chapters, including every one of the 20 chapters in the section on the impacts of climate change. A third of all the chapters in the report had WWF witnesses as co-ordinating lead authors, ultimately responsible for their contents. As Laframboise summed up, her analysis confirmed that, far from the report being the work of dispassionate scientists, “the IPCC has been infiltrated… wholly and entirely compromised”.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if it were a few degrees warmer with a bit more co2 with taller greener grass and fatter cattle. It really would then be the winterless north. Just imagine all year jandals!

  24. rob taylor on May 8, 2012 at 8:38 am said:

    Here is a suitable primer (or should that be plimer) on AGW. Read it and learn (yeah, right!):

    http://www.climatechange.gov.au/climate-change/understanding-climate-change/~/media/climate-change/prof-plimer-101-questions-response-pdf.pdf

    As for the tropospheric hot spot, AGC, this is another well-debunked “God of the Gaps” straws-grasping meme. See, for example, http://www.skepticalscience.com/tropospheric-hot-spot-advanced.htm

    in your closeted world, AGC, how do you interpret the incontrovertible signature of global warming, namely the observed stratospheric cooling?

    Angels fluttering their wings, perhaps?

  25. rob taylor on May 8, 2012 at 8:41 am said:

    Fancy some dengue fever and Ross river virus with that, Peter?

  26. PeterM on May 8, 2012 at 9:04 am said:

    Rob
    Ask a farmer who has farmed in the tropics and locally. Mosquitos are easily controlled with DDT.

  27. rob taylor on May 8, 2012 at 9:12 am said:

    Fancy some cancer with your DDT, Peter?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDT#Effects_on_human_health

  28. rob taylor on May 8, 2012 at 9:20 am said:

    More magical thinking, Richard C, or do you have actual evidence that the Keeling curve is “bogus”?

    NB: Denialosphere ranting doesn’t count – give me a reference from a scientific journal, preferably one whose publisher isn’t a conspiracy theorist who thinks the Queen is a drug trafficking alien lizard.

  29. PeterM on May 8, 2012 at 9:50 am said:

    Fancy that! and there was me thinking only sunshine and smoking caused cancer.

  30. Nice! That’s what people want. I see it finally admits that water is more important than CO2: “Water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas.”

    But see how deeply it’s buried! There’s no sign of it on the front page, and to reach it you have to dive blindly into one among an interminable list of book covers. Also, it’s not the UNFCCC site, but the IPCC. It’s certainly there, but without even minimal signposting it’s not helping many people. Thanks.

  31. Mike Jowsey on May 8, 2012 at 10:10 am said:

    That’s one of the lamest posts I have ever read, cthulhu. Do you have a statement to make, or a question to pose?

  32. Andy on May 8, 2012 at 10:15 am said:

    Section 26 Scientists have shown, beyond doubt, that the current warming of our climate is being driven by human activities, such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation

    Beyond doubt? So that’s a 100% chance then? There is zero percent chance that the warming, any of it is caused by any other activity?

    Even the IPCC don’t ascribe this level of certainty to the 20th century warming.

    Is this really the best that the Australian government can come up with? Pathetic.

  33. rob taylor on May 8, 2012 at 10:16 am said:

    i’ll try to keep this simple for your benefit, Richard.

    Water vapour, although a GHG, does not drive global warming, as it precipitates out in days (think rain & snow).

    CO2 does drive global warming, as human emissions are accumulating in the atmosphere far faster than they can be removed by natural processes – and those natural processes are also being degraded by humans, especially deforestation.

    Warmer air holds more moisture, thus providing a positive feedback, as evidenced in the paleoclimate record.

    See, for example, http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha05510d.html

  34. rob taylor on May 8, 2012 at 10:20 am said:

    DDT also appears to cause diabetes in humans, and resistance in mozzies, so I suggest you do some research before deciding that Northland will benefit from AGW.

    Bit of a pity about the beaches, as well.

  35. The spread of Dengue fever is dominated by human travel and living conditions, not climate. Duane J. Grubler is professor and chair, Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai’i. This 2008 interview of him reveals how to fight it:

    dengue arrived in the United States some 300 years ago. Fortunately, we eliminated dengue along with malaria and yellow fever more than 50 years ago. We eliminated it, not by eliminating the mosquitoes, they’re still here, but by improving our living standards, with better housing, hot water systems, medical care, mosquito control—essentially good public health.

    Concerning Ross River virus, I cannot specifically eliminate climate as a factor. The spread of the virus seems highly dependent on air travel yet is still confined to Australia, New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands, its traditional locus.

    As a matter of interest, malaria seems wholly indifferent to climatic zones and flourishes as well in tropical as in sub-polar regions. It succumbs to better living conditions and DDT.

  36. rob taylor on May 8, 2012 at 10:47 am said:

    Mr. Treadgold, i’d be very interested in your comments on the following post:

    https://theconversation.edu.au/are-heartland-billboards-the-beginning-of-the-end-for-climate-denial-6888

  37. Andy on May 8, 2012 at 10:50 am said:

    The blanket ban of DDT also resulted in the death of a few million people.

  38. DDT is still only suspected of being capable of causing some cancers in humans, though it certainly kills malaria mosquitos.

  39. Bob D on May 8, 2012 at 10:52 am said:

    …how do you interpret the incontrovertible signature of global warming, namely the observed stratospheric cooling?

    No, the signature is the hotspot. The stratospheric cooling means nothing in the absence of the hotspot, you should know that Rob.

    The hotspot results directly from GHG forcings and water feedbacks, and should occur at a rate of twice the surface warming. The stratospheric cooling is a direct result of the hotspot, in that the energy absorbed lower down (the hotspot) is no longer available to the higher levels 9the stratosphere).

    However, stratospheric cooling can also come from ozone or solar forcing (see AR4), so it is definitely not a signature of GHG forcing on its own.

    From AR4:

    Greenhouse gas forcing is expected to produce warming in the troposphere, cooling in the stratosphere

    they both go together. Statospheric cooling in the absence of tropospheric heating denotes a solar or ozone forcing.

    See here for the hotspot signature from AR4. Note that the timescale runs from 1890 to 1999, and the temperature change is expected to be of the order of 1°C. In other words, the hotspot should be clear and obvious by now. Yet it just isn’t there.

    From the US Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) in 2006:

    All model runs with surface warming over this period show amplified warming aloft.

    On the lack of warming:

    Another noticeable difference is that the HadAT2 [measured] data show a relative lack of warming in the tropical troposphere, where all four models simulate maximum warming.

    Does this sound like the hotspot is irrelevant to the debate? Or that the stratospheric cooling is really the “fingerprint”

  40. Andy on May 8, 2012 at 10:53 am said:

    Define “climate denial”

    Are you too lazy to say “Those who disagree with the thesis of high climate sensitivity to CO2 due to positive feedbacks from water vapour because of the lack of empirical evidence to support the theory”

    I realise that the latter is a bit of a mouthful, and comparing sceptics with Holocaust Deniers is a useful marketing tool.

  41. Rob Taylor,

    Ah, it’s a long way off topic. Sorry, I’ll read that in detail later. I want to post on the Heartland experiment because they make some important points so I’ll comment then. Thanks.

    Just one brief comment for now: Lewandowsky says:

    the laws of physics that underlie the fact that the globe is warming are accepted by the Vatican’s Academy of Science; the UK Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific body; the National Academies of Science of all G8 countries; the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and virtually every other scientific organisation in the world. The consensus is supported by more than 90% of all experts and by all but a tiny handful of peer-reviewed scientific papers.

    To show warming, you don’t need a consensus, you only need a thermometer. All the thermometer records I’ve seen show no warming for over a decade and precious little for 150 years before that.

    I’ll get back to you later.

  42. Bob D on May 8, 2012 at 10:59 am said:

    DDT works. I was born in Africa and lived there for thirty years, and I know the damage that malaria does to communities. My own grandfather died of it.

    Fortunately, South Africa didn’t bow to international pressure and continued using DDT. Now the WHO has belatedly admitted that it’s safe and reintroduced it.

    http://www.southafrica.info/about/health/malaria-190906.htm

  43. rob taylor on May 8, 2012 at 11:15 am said:

    Its a simple enough test, Andy.

    Sceptics genuinely seek the truth by questioning the evidence; deniers seek to avoid the truth, regardless of the evidence, for political / ideological reasons of their own.

    Think tobacco, DDT, CFCs, AIDS and AGW:…

    [Sorry chaps, way off topic. – RT]

  44. rob taylor on May 8, 2012 at 11:19 am said:

    Then you must be looking at different records, Richard!

    Even climate sceptic Richard Muller, once he’d crunched the numbers, agreed with the IPCC that warming was incontrovertible:

    The study addressed scientific concerns raised by skeptics including urban heat island effect, poor station quality, and the risk of data selection bias. The Berkeley Earth group concluded that the warming trend is real, that over the past 50 years the land surface warmed by 0.911 °C, and their results mirrors those obtained from earlier studies carried out by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Hadley Centre, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Surface Temperature Analysis, and the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. The study also found that The urban heat island effect and poor station quality did not bias the results obtained from these earlier studies.[

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

  45. rob taylor on May 8, 2012 at 11:23 am said:

    Really? Sub-polar malaria??

    Don’t you mean sub-tropical?

  46. Andy on May 8, 2012 at 11:32 am said:

    Funny that Muller gets called a “sceptic” when there is no evidence to suggest that he was ever one. Furthermore, Judith Curry (co-worker on BEST with Muller) picked him up on the statement that there had been no warming over the last decade. She thought that his statement was misleading.

  47. rob taylor on May 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm said:

    [ad hominem remarks removed. – RT]

  48. No. See this map from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention showing the distribution of the Anopheles mosquito, about 100 species of which are alone capable of transmitting the Plasmodium parasite.

    See also the map on page 2 of this Word Bank study showing the range of infection since about 1900. This reveals somewhat how modern improvements, rather than the climate, have controlled the parasite in some areas.

    Malaria was once endemic in Britain (quite un-sub-tropical), as recently as the 19th century, and Siberia was famously the site of the deadliest-ever outbreak of malaria, in the 1920s. This article at Climate Audit quotes a submission to the House of Lords in 2005 which rebuts the IPCC notion that warming alone will spread malaria. Here’s a snippet:

    In fact, the most catastrophic epidemic on record anywhere in the world occurred in the Soviet Union in the 1920s, with a peak incidence of 13 million cases per year, and 600,000 deaths. Transmission was high in many parts of Siberia, and there were 30,000 cases and 10,000 deaths due to falciparum infection (the most deadly malaria parasite) in Archangel, close to the Arctic circle. Malaria persisted in many parts of Europe until the advent of DDT. One of the last malarious countries in Europe was Holland: the WHO finally declared it malaria-free in 1970.
    I hope I have convinced you that malaria is not an exclusively tropical disease, and is not limited by cold winters!

    That submission, by the way, also rebuts the myth that IPCC reports confine themselves to any so-called scientific consensus. They sometimes omit what suits their argument.

  49. BEST found 0.911°C over 50 years? The IPCC claims about 0.6° over 100 years, or thereabouts.

    CORRECTION

    I haven’t looked up the BEST study, just the IPCC.

    In the newly-discovered IPCC FAQ, we read:

    Expressed as a global average, surface temperatures have increased by about 0.74°C over the past hundred years (between 1906 and 2005; see Figure 1). However, the warming has been neither steady nor the same in different seasons or in different locations. There was not much overall change from 1850 to about 1915, aside from ups and downs associated with natural variability but which may have also partly arisen from poor sampling. An increase (0.35°C) occurred in the global average temperature from the 1910s to the 1940s, followed by a slight cooling (0.1°C), and then a rapid warming (0.55°C) up to the end of 2006.

    The AR4 was published in 2007 using even older data. Since 2005, average temperatures have further dropped about 0.3°C, so the 0.74°C 100-year warming has reduced to about 0.44°C.

    Our CO2 isn’t doing a great deal yet.

  50. Bob D on May 8, 2012 at 12:44 pm said:

    Warmer air holds more moisture, thus providing a positive feedback, as evidenced in the paleoclimate record.
    See, for example, http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha05510d.html

    Have you read the paper, Rob? Not just the abstract, or the press release? Hansen says:
    “…it is only the all fast-feedback climate sensitivity that can be derived precisely from paleoclimate records.” In other words, we cannot say what feedback is having what effect, and certainly it does nothing to prove water vapour is a positive feedback.

    Basically, Hansen starts by making some sweeping assumptions.

    ‘Fast feedbacks’ appear almost immediately in response to global temperature change. For example, as Earth becomes warmer the atmosphere holds more water vapor. Water vapor is an amplifying fast feedback, because water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas. Other fast feedbacks include clouds, natural aerosols, snow cover and sea ice.

    In other words, he starts by assuming that water vapour is a positive feedback, he isn’t proving it.

    What he’s doing in this paper is assuming that CO2 drives temperature, and from that point he’s trying to work out the magnitude of all the feedbacks, based on the temperature change.

    There are some problems with his approach. First, he uses the Antarctic ice core data, which clearly show that in the period between the LGM and the Holocene that he’s using, temperature leads CO2. Instead of addressing this problem and explaining why he feels a lagging CO2 level can drive the temperature change that happened over a hundred years previously, he simply ignores it completely.

    There is an even bigger problem with his theory. He doesn’t explain where the CO2 came from. The change between the LGM and the Holocene occurred over a very short period, relative to the geological CO2-producing processes he advocates in the first half of the paper – only 7,000 years. However, the change in CO2 makes perfect sense if it is driven by outgassing from the oceans (it is – we know this from the ice core record and basic physics), because that happens relatively quickly.

    Then he ignores solar effects, simply based on TSI. He simply assumes that CO2 is the main driver of the climate, and surges ahead. He then shows a lovely correlation between Temperature and “GHG forcing + Albedo”.
    Since GHG forcing equates to CO2 level in this case, it’s no surprise that Temp correlates well with GHG Forcing, since CO2 always lags temperature and follows it pretty exactly. It’s also no surprise that Temp correlates with Albedo – albedo is taken from sea level studies, and sea level again lags temperatures.

  51. Bob D,

    Nice analysis of Hansen, thanks.

  52. Bob D on May 8, 2012 at 3:13 pm said:

    Rob Taylor:

    …in your closeted world, AGC, how do you interpret the incontrovertible signature of global warming, namely the observed stratospheric cooling?
    Angels fluttering their wings, perhaps?

    Simple:

    “Incoming solar radiation interacts with the ozone causing the stratosphere to heat up. The ozone has thinned recently so less solar energy is reacting with ozone, thus cooling the stratosphere.”

    The quote is from Bob Guercio, writer of this:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=468

    You seem to like Skeptical Science a lot (and Wikipedia). Perhaps you will believe it if it comes from them.

    Or, if you’d prefer Science Of Doom:

    Less ozone must also cause cooling in the stratosphere. … Less ozone means less ability to absorb solar radiation. If less energy is absorbed, then the equilibrium stratospheric temperature must be lower.

    Thanks for playing.

  53. Mike Jowsey on May 8, 2012 at 4:08 pm said:

    Good call RichardT. Taylor gets abusive at the drop of a hat rather than simply sticking to a polite on-topic conversation. Any casual observer would see the difference in tone between the debaters and draw appropriate conclusions regards ideologies. He therefore does his debate no service by way of his supercilious and derogatory ad-homs.
    Some examples, just from this thread (in case he tries denial):
    “[I] have little time for your cultish hall of mirrors…”
    “Speaking of the really thick, Richard, which part of the following […] do you not understand?”
    “i’ll try to keep this simple for your benefit, Richard.”
    “Read it and learn (yeah, right!):”
    “I suggest you read an elementary text, say “Global Warming for Dummies”, before you embarrass yourself any further.”

    Richard, your patience with him is far more than I could muster if I was moderating.

  54. Richard C (NZ) on May 8, 2012 at 4:35 pm said:

    What parts of “disparate” and “fudged” do you not understand Rob?

  55. Andy on May 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm said:

    FAQ 1.3 “What is the Greenhouse Effect” from the link above
    Additional important feedback mechanisms involve clouds. Clouds are effective at absorbing infrared radiation and therefore exert a large greenhouse effect, thus warming the Earth. Clouds are also effective at reflecting away incoming solar radiation, thus cooling the Earth. A change in almost any aspect of clouds, such as their type, location, water content, cloud altitude, particle size and shape, or lifetimes, affects the degree to which clouds warm or cool the Earth. Some changes amplify warming while others diminish it. Much research is in progress to better understand how clouds change in response to climate warming, and how these changes affect climate through various feedback mechanisms.

    (My emphasis)

    This doesn’t sound like “settled science” to me!

  56. Anthropogenic Global Cooling on May 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm said:

    Rob, you’re a complete joke – all mouth & no substance. Show us this debunking, I’m very interested. If it’s been debunked so definitively then it’ll be easy for you to show us your proof. Less dribble, more substance please.

  57. Richard C (NZ) on May 8, 2012 at 4:47 pm said:

    Don’t tell us about cooling Rob, tell us about the warming i.e. where’s all that “trapped heat” in the upper troposphere? It seems very elusive without the imaginative aids of hallucinogens, cannabinoids, magic mushrooms etc.

    Come on Rob, let us in on climate change’s big secret. I’m sure there’s a relevant chapter of your ‘Global Warming for Dummies’ with a pointer to the appropriate mind altering substance to help us “see the heat”.

  58. Anthropogenic Global Cooling on May 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm said:

    We’re all still waiting for you to show that proof of the tropospheric hot spot Rob, either that or explain how the AGW theory works without it. I think perhaps you need to take your own advice and come up some proof yourself before you hypocritically demand it yourself. C’mon Rob, where’s this proof, hmmm?

  59. Anthropogenic Global Cooling on May 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm said:

    Ah Rob, it’s you who don’t know what you’re talking about regarding the hot spot. Listen carefully and you might learn something:

    A cooling stratosphere is only a signature in COMBINATION with a warming upper troposphere. A cooling stratosphere by itself can be attributed to ozone levels. Without the combination of a cooling stratosphere/warming UPPER troposphere there is no signature.

    But that isn’t my main point about the troposphere, although people like you try to intentionally sidetrack it into that issue. The real point is, if there is no tropospheric hot spot what proof is there of a positive feedback from water vapour?

    The answer is …. none. Without this feedback the theory of AGW is grossly exaggerated by around three times. Which is funny, because the temperature measurements compared to the failed model predictions show something similar. Perhaps you think that’s just a coincidence, so let’s recap:

    No tropospheric hot spot from both satellite or radiosondes over a 40 year period.

    No water vapour feedback as a result.

    The actual temperature readings back up the strong probability the amplifying feedbacks don’t exist.

    There you have it Rob, the spanner in the works of the AGW theory. BTW I’ve read all Cook’s writeups on the subject & I find it very interesting he doesn’t mention the papers debunking the papers he quotes, especially Sherwood:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/10/is-the-western-climate-establishment-corrupt-part-9-the-heart-of-the-matter-and-the-coloring-in-trick/

    Educate yourself for once.

  60. Richard C (NZ) on May 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm said:

    Bob could I add to “……absorbed lower down (the hotspot) is no longer available to the higher levels 9the stratosphere)”?

    My understanding is that in addition, the top of the troposphere (100 – 200 hPa) is the “last stop” to intercept OLR and re-emit back to the layer immediately below (200 – 400 hPa) thereby warming it abnormally.

  61. Bob D on May 8, 2012 at 5:10 pm said:

    Richard C:

    My understanding is that in addition, the top of the troposphere (100 – 200 hPa) is the “last stop” to intercept OLR and re-emit back to the layer immediately below (200 – 400 hPa) thereby warming it abnormally.

    Yes, that’s correct, as I understand it. Above the tropopause CO2 becomes a net emitter of IR, and is optically “thin”, allowing the 15 micron radiation from the troposphere to pass straight through to space.

  62. Mike,

    He therefore does his debate no service by way of his supercilious and derogatory ad-homs.

    That’s really the whole point, right there, isn’t it? Thanks, Mike.

  63. Bob D,

    Above the tropopause CO2 becomes a net emitter of IR, and is optically “thin”, allowing the 15 micron radiation from the troposphere to pass straight through to space.

    Why do the characteristics of CO2 change?

  64. rob taylor on May 8, 2012 at 6:15 pm said:

    Hey, guys, where else can I express my inner Unabomber and act like a madman and terrorist, rather than the mild-mannered civil servant I really am?

    All hail Gore and Soros! Death to the denier unbelievers!

    (oops, gotta go feed the cat)

  65. Richard C (NZ) on May 8, 2012 at 6:49 pm said:

    Rob T, here’s the story of the CO2 record starting with Charles Keeling’s record from 1955 and then the fudged splice of a disparate dataset onto the beginning of it it:-

    The lynching of innocent CO2

    http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Curious.htm

    The scare science has been building up for quite a while. Over a hundred years ago, Arrhenius suggested that if our CO2 emissions built up, they could cause global warming. Interestingly, his grandson joined the same laboratory in the US as Roger Revelle, who later became Al Gore’s mentor. Revelle became concerned that our emissions could become a problem – but how to measure the CO2 levels well enough? So he set up a station at Mauna Loa in the Pacific, far from any land-borne influences, subject only to seasonal fluctuations, to measure CO2, and appointed Charles Keeling as record keeper.

    [See plots demonstrating the actual curve vs Keeling’s]

    Now the old, forgotten chemical CO2 records are being re-examined by Beck, Lansner and others. Keeling’s son would like to see this evidence suppressed. Yet Beck’s records have a very high level of accuracy. They are still effectively as accurate as Keeling’s system (with different issues) and were used, interestingly, for a short overlap period in Scandinavia when Keeling started. Therein lie some important observations that cast doubt on the “infallibility” of Mauna Loa. There is a problem of location, since winds from forests and industries can create huge daily differences. It is possible Beck’s records indicate higher CO2 levels that collapsed suddenly – this reflects the old Central England temperature record (below left).

    [See plots, particularly these ones http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Images/primer/CO2hockeyStick.gif

    The ice core CO2 record (above centre) has been shifted forward, to splice neatly onto the start of Keeling’s record in 1955. But this is a highly suspect splice, not checked over a proper overlap period. Most suspiciously, it produces a “hockey stick” with a sudden, recent, alarming rise, like the temperature Hockey Stick. There are serious questions about the reliability of ice core CO2 records regarding past levels of greenhouse gases: the stomata proxy record (above right) suggests far more variability, and a higher level of CO2, than the ice core shows. Prof Jaworowski, top expert in ice core studies, describes all this and more. Jaworowski deserves proper study of his Atmospheric CO2 and Global Warming (pdf) that he co-authored with Prof Segalstad of Norsk Polarinstitutt.

  66. Bob D on May 8, 2012 at 7:00 pm said:

    Richard T:

    Why do the characteristics of CO2 change?

    Because of pressure. At lower altitudes the air pressure is such that any energy absorbed by CO2 is immediately passed to other gases via collisions before it can be radiated away.
    At higher altitudes (stratosphere) the opposite happens – CO2 receives energy, either from absorption from below, or from the O2 and O3 molecules via collisions, and radiates it away before encountering another molecule. The oxygen and ozone molecules absorb UV solar radiation, and get their energy that way (luckily for us – the incoming harmful solar UV radiation is blocked).
    This is all “on average” you understand, hence the “net” in “net emitter”.
    Regarding the optical “thinness”, it’s due to the low pressure again – fewer CO2 molecules to absorb the radiation. Not none, just fewer.

  67. rob taylor on May 8, 2012 at 8:50 pm said:

    Oh dear, the Carlin report – another zombie argument, long-debunked, but reanimated for our amusement…

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/06/bubkes/

    [Rob, please give at least a brief summary of your understanding of this blog article. You can’t expect us to go away and faithfully read what we expect (from experience) will be a propaganda piece just because you told us to. This is not a conversation if we just hurl URLs at each other. We’ve already seen you don’t care much for the conversation, but now you’re confirming that you don’t know much, either (you can prove me wrong on that if you want). Thanks. – RT]

  68. rob taylor on May 8, 2012 at 9:31 pm said:

    Thanks for playing too, Bob D, but you seem to be unaware that the contribution of ozone depletion to upper atmospheric cooling is localised to the 20-30 km “ozone layer”, whereas the AGW cooling effect is not:

    Greenhouse gases have also led to the cooling of the atmosphere at levels higher than the stratosphere. Over the past 30 years, the Earth’s surface temperature has increased 0.2-0.4 °C, while the temperature in the mesosphere, about 50-80 km above ground, has cooled 5-10 °C (Beig et al., 2006). There is no appreciable cooling due to ozone destruction at these altitudes, so nearly all of this dramatic cooling is due to the addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Even greater cooling of 17 °C per decade has been observed high in the ionosphere, at 350 km altitude. This has affected the orbits of orbiting satellites, due to decreased drag, since the upper atmosphere has shrunk and moved closer to the surface (Lastovicka et al., 2006). The density of the air has declined 2-3% per decade the past 30 years at 350 km altitude. So, in a sense, the sky IS falling!

    http://www.wunderground.com/resources/climate/strato_cooling.asp

    There is also far more CO2 in the atmosphere than ozone, by a factor of ~ 600, thus the thermal effects of CO2 overwhelm those of O3 overall.

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

    NB: Whilst not authoritative, Wikipedia is reasonably thorough and accessible to all.

    Of course, if you have peer-reviewed papers from reputable journals establishling that strato cooling is mostly up to ozone, then let’s see them…

    Your serve.

  69. Bob D on May 8, 2012 at 10:57 pm said:

    Rob Taylor,
    The effect of ozone on the temperature gradient of the stratosphere is very obvious and powerful. It is the only reason the stratosphere increases in temperature with altitude. CO2 has a small effect at this altitude, but not nearly as much. If you have a peer-reviewed reference to show that CO2 dominates ozone in the stratosphere, please let me have it. On the other hand, I have a reference that confirms the strength of ozone over CO2 in this region (Ramaswamy et al. 1996):

    the observed ozone depletion exerts a spatially and seasonally varying fingerprint in the decadal cooling of the lower stratosphere, with the influence of increases in concentrations of other greenhouse gases being relatively small.

    Any ozone depletion automatically reduces the stratospheric temperature. Now if the lower stratosphere cools, what does that do to the higher stratosphere? It cools it too, simply because of the temperature gradient from the tropopause.
    As for a peer-reviewed reference, Akmaev & Fomichev (2000) looked at mesospheric and lower thermospheric (MLT) cooling over the past 3-4 decades, checking observations against GHG models, and concluded:

    Although this vertical shape is remarkably consistent with various sets of observations, the magnitude of the cooling rate is smaller by about a factor of 2–10. This suggests that other mechanisms, e.g., the ozone depletion, might have contributed substantially to the negative temperature trend.

    Note: the ozone depletion lower down caused the cooling much higher up.
    Forster & Shine advanced a water vapour theory too, to account for the cooling.

    But none of this helps your case, since there is no tropospheric hotspot.

  70. Richard C (NZ) on May 9, 2012 at 7:36 am said:

    Bob I recall this report of the most recent CME event re thermosphere (not stratosphere):-

    Solar Storm Blasted Earth With Mega-Energy Dose

    OurAmazingPlanet Staff – Mar 23, 2012 12:13 PM ET

    A recent spate of furious eruptions on the surface of the sun hurled a huge amount of heat toward Earth — the biggest dose our planet has received from our closest star in seven years, NASA scientists said.

    The March 8 through 10 solar storm shot enough energy toward Earth to power every home in New York City for two years, according to space agency researchers.

    Although the influx of solar energy puffed up the atmosphere, increasing drag on low-orbiting satellites, it caused fewer disruptions to electronic infrastructure such as electronic grids than some expected. It also offered plenty of eye candy, sparking dazzling auroras in many places.

    “It was a big event, and shows how solar activity can directly affect our planet,” Martin Mlynczak of NASA Langley Research Center said in a statement.

    The solar eruptions began on March 6, and on March 8 a coronal mass ejection — a wave of charged particles — smashed into Earth’s magnetic field.

    For the next three days, the upper atmosphere, known as the thermosphere, absorbed 26 billion kilowatt-hours of energy. Infrared radiation from carbon dioxide and nitric oxide, the two most efficient coolants in the thermosphere, radiated 95 percent of that total back into space.

    “The thermosphere lit up like a Christmas tree,” said James Russell of Virginia’s Hampton University.

    >>>>>>>>>

    http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/2660-solar-storm-blasted-earth-mega-energy-dose.html

    Makes a little ACO2 in the troposphere look tame by comparison. Strange too that the heat doesn’t get trapped (sceptic joke Rob T)

  71. Anthropogenic Global Cooling on May 9, 2012 at 7:51 am said:

    And what is the absolute maximum CO2 can raise the temperature without the feedback of water vapour, Rob?

    1.2C absolute maximum after a doubling of total (not just man’s) atmospheric CO2. Without the water vapour feedback to amplify the small effects of CO2 there is no problem, in fact it’s likely that it might be beneficial for both man & nature. If you’d like to prove the water vapour feedbacks then you’ll need to show a tropospheric hot spot, the problem for you is it doesn’t exist and over 40 yrs of looking for it proves it’s nowhere to be seen. Observation trumps models & theory every time Rob.

  72. Richard C (NZ) on May 9, 2012 at 8:25 am said:

    Rob, 2 points (probably more but can’t be bothered) about Gavin Schmidt’s Real Climate “debunk”.

    1) The date was 26 June 2009. There has been some water under the bridge since then and science has moved on particularly in the case of Scafetta and West. Scafetta’s empirical model is tracking better than the IPCC’s simulations so the last laugh was not by Schmidt back in 2009, it could be that he will have to eat his words in the not too distant future.

    2) The supposed “debunk” seems very heavy on the ad homs but light on the science e.g. Landsheidt. This was a guy who could run rings around the IPCC with his proven predictions, hence Schmidt’s puerility.

    There’s probably more but I can’t be bothered, besides, the climate seems to making it’s own point.

  73. rob taylor on May 9, 2012 at 8:50 am said:

    Here you go, Bob

    Science 24 November 2006:
    Vol. 314 no. 5803 pp. 1253-1254
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1135134

    Global Change in the Upper Atmosphere

    J. Laštovička ,R. A. Akmaev, G. Beig, J. Bremer and J. T. Emmert

    Life on Earth is affected more directly by climate change near the surface than in the upper atmosphere. However, as the story of Earth’s ozone layer illustrates, changes higher up in the atmosphere can also be important. In 1989, Roble and Dickinson (1) predicted that rising greenhouse gas concentrations should affect atmospheric climate in the highest reaches of the atmosphere. Since then, upper atmospheric data have been combed for evidence of long-term trends. A coherent pattern is now beginning to emerge.

    The increase in global surface air temperature during the 20th century has been attributed mainly to the increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. In the upper atmosphere, the radiative effects of greenhouse gases, particularly CO2, become more pronounced and produce a cooling rather than a warming effect (2, 3). This effect is demonstrated by the CO2-dominated atmosphere of Venus, where the troposphere is more than twice as warm as Earth’s and the thermosphere is 4 to 5 times as cold (4). The cooling should cause the upper atmosphere to contract; we may thus expect a substantial decline in thermospheric density, as well as a downward displacement of ionospheric layers (5).

    Over the past three decades, the global temperature at Earth’s surface has increased by 0.2 to 0.4°C, compared with a 5 to 10°C decrease in the lower and middle mesosphere. Summer-winter differences of mid-latitude land-surface temperatures are comparable in magnitude to the seasonal and 11-year solar cycle variability of mid-latitude mesospheric temperatures. Thus, the signal-to-noise ratio of the trends is much higher in the mesosphere than at Earth’s surface.

    No direct information on thermospheric temperature trends is available. However, estimated ion temperatures (7) at heights near 350 km reveal a negative trend of about −17 K per decade (8). Because ion temperature is strongly coupled to thermospheric temperature, these trends are qualitatively consistent with the expected thermospheric cooling.

    Temperature directly affects atmospheric density. At altitudes between about 200 and 800 km, atmospheric drag causes measurable decay of the orbits of satellites and space debris. Routine satellite tracking data have been used to derive long-term changes in thermospheric density. The results (9, 10) indicate that thermospheric density has declined during the past several decades at an overall rate of 2 to 3% per decade; these density trends increase with height (9). This behavior is qualitatively consistent with model predictions (2). Model simulations also show that, in addition to the effects of greenhouse gas increases, the impact of long-term changes in stratospheric ozone and water vapor on atmospheric density may extend well into the thermosphere (11).

    Thermal contraction of the upper atmosphere should result in a downward displacement of ionospheric layers (5). Laštovička and Bremer (12) reviewed long-term trends in the lower ionosphere and found a positive trend in electron density at fixed heights, consistent with downward displacement. The maximum electron density of the E-layer and the F1- layer increased slightly (see the figure), and the height of the electron density maximum of the E-region decreased slightly (13), in qualitative agreement with model predictions (2). These ionospheric trends accelerated after 1980, providing support for their anthropogenic origin (14).

    The trends described above form a consistent pattern of global change in the upper atmosphere at heights above 50 km (see arrows in the figure). The upper atmosphere is generally cooling and contracting, and related changes in chemical composition are affecting the ionosphere. The dominant driver of these trends is increasing greenhouse forcing, although there may be contributions from anthropogenic changes of the ozone layer and long-term increase of geomagnetic activity throughout the 20th century. Thus, the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases influence the atmosphere at nearly all altitudes between ground and space, affecting not only life on the surface but also the spacebased technological systems on which we increasingly rely.

  74. Bob D on May 9, 2012 at 10:20 am said:

    Rob Taylor:
    The paper says exactly what my references say, apart from the speculating about anthropogenic causes.

    Basically, we don’t measure temperature trends in the thermosphere, but based on ion estimates (?) and density measurements we think it may be cooling. All well and good.

    Now, what does the cooling look like? Well, “this behavior is qualitatively consistent with model predictions.” But not quantitatively. This is exactly what Akmaev said:

    Although this vertical shape is remarkably consistent with various sets of observations the magnitude of the cooling rate is smaller by about a factor of 2–10.

    A factor of 2-10 is not trivial by any means. So what is wrong?
    From Laštovička:

    Model simulations also show that, in addition to the effects of greenhouse gas increases, the impact of long-term changes in stratospheric ozone and water vapor on atmospheric density may extend well into the thermosphere

    Oops. So maybe the density change was caused by other factors after all. In fact, considering that model simulations show that the expected cooling from CO2 is up to an order of magnitude less than they measured, it can’t be the CO2 alone doing it.
    Hence Akmaev’s conclusion:

    This suggests that other mechanisms, e.g., the ozone depletion, might have contributed substantially to the negative temperature trend.

    Either that, or the models are hopelessly wrong. Again.

    Akmaev’s conclusion is backed up by Ramaswamy:

    the observed ozone depletion exerts a spatially and seasonally varying fingerprint in the decadal cooling of the lower stratosphere, with the influence of increases in concentrations of other greenhouse gases being relatively small.

    And we know from both Akmaev and Laštovička that (in the words of Laštovička):

    the impact of long-term changes in stratospheric ozone and water vapor on atmospheric density may extend well into the thermosphere

    So the ozone- (and possibly water vapour-) driven cooling of the lower stratosphere extends all the way to the thermosphere. This cooling is too strong to be CO2 alone, by almost an order of magnitude.

    Now Laštovička et al. come to different conclusions, but they are basing their conclusions on the qualitative assessment only. Note:

    The trends described above form a consistent pattern of global change in the upper atmosphere at heights above 50 km

    They can’t back up their statements with quantitative results.
    They say:

    The dominant driver of these trends is increasing greenhouse forcing

    without giving any evidence. In fact, they have to admit immediately:

    although there may be contributions from anthropogenic changes of the ozone layer and long-term increase of geomagnetic activity throughout the 20th century

    So now there’s another contributor in the mix: geomagnetic activity.

    So what do we see in all this? CO2 should cool the high altitudes, yes, as it is a net emitter up there. However, the actual cooling we’ve seen far exceeds CO2’s theoretical contribution. Therefore there must be other, much more powerful forces at work. These are given as: ozone depletion, water vapour and geomagnetic activity.

    Therefore the high altitude cooling we’ve seen is not the fingerprint of CO2 increase. At best, the CO2 contribution is well hidden in the overall cooling.

    One last comment: AR4 specifically mentions tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling. No mention is made of the mesosphere or thermosphere in Chapter 9.

    Now, about that tropospheric hot spot that appears to have gone missing…

  75. Richard C (NZ) on May 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm said:

    I note too that Schmidt acknowledges “….the importance of natural variability on short time scales”. That was in 2009 and natural variability has continued to be the dominant climate driver since.

    Question is: how long for natural variability to dominate before Schmidt has to concede that CO2 (and ACO2 in particular) is not the dominant climate driver he thinks it is and debunks himself?

  76. rob taylor on May 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm said:

    Don’t be ingenuous, Bob, your “missing tropospheric hot spot” is a straw man, a zombie meme that is yet another “God of the gaps” exercise in desperation, to be trotted out as real-world evidence for AGW become impossible to ignore.

    This will help:

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

    and

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Dispelling-two-myths-about-the-tropospheric-hot-spot.html

  77. rob taylor on May 10, 2012 at 5:00 am said:

    Bob, here is a 2008 paper that assesses the relative contribution of GHG and ozone loss to stratospheric cooling; are you aware of any later work?

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JCLI2955.1

    The temperature of the stratosphere has decreased over the past several decades. Two causes contribute to that decrease: well-mixed greenhouse gases (GHGs) and ozone-depleting substances (ODSs). This paper addresses the attribution of temperature decreases to these two causes and the implications of that attribution for the future evolution of stratospheric temperature. Time series analysis is applied to simulations of the Goddard Earth Observing System Chemistry–Climate Model (GEOS CCM) to separate the contributions of GHGs from those of ODSs based on their different time-dependent signatures. The analysis indicates that about 60%–70% of the temperature decrease of the past two decades in the upper stratosphere near 1 hPa and in the lower midlatitude stratosphere near 50 hPa resulted from changes attributable to ODSs, primarily through their impact on ozone. As ozone recovers over the next several decades, the temperature should continue to decrease in the middle and upper stratosphere because of GHG increases. The time series of observed temperature in the upper stratosphere is approaching the length needed to separate the effects of ozone-depleting substances from those of greenhouse gases using temperature time series data.

  78. Bob D on May 10, 2012 at 10:05 am said:

    Rob, this may come as a surprise to you, but I don’t regard John Cook as an authority on anything. You have already referred me to that source. I read it, and followed on to the Advanced section, which is where I found the quotes I gave you earlier. So simply referring me to it again doesn’t help your argument at all.

    Earlier on, you said this:

    NB: Denialosphere ranting doesn’t count – give me a reference from a scientific journal, preferably one whose publisher isn’t a conspiracy theorist who thinks the Queen is a drug trafficking alien lizard.

    Yet most of your quotes and references have come from an alarmist blog written by a non-climate scientist, and of course Wikipedia.

    The reason John Cook is wrong is that in AR4 it says the following:

    Greenhouse gas forcing is expected to produce warming in the troposphere, cooling in the stratosphere

    Fig. 9, which he kindly reproduces, shows this quite clearly.
    The reason for the hot spot is warming of the surface by GHGs, amplified by increased water vapour in the tropics (water vapour feedback mechanism). Along with the hot spot, we expect to see stratospheric cooling. Why? According to Skeptical Science, this is due to a lack of upwelling IR radiation to be absorbed by stratospheric CO2. The two go together.

    The fingerprint of GHG warming can’t be the stratosphere cooling alone, becuse, as I’ve already shown, stratospheric temperature is dominated by ozone, not CO2.

    The lack of a hotspot tells us the feedback mechanism of water vapour isn’t positive.

  79. Bob D on May 10, 2012 at 1:37 pm said:

    Rob, yes that looks about right, as it confims the lower bound of the Akmaev finding (2-10 times too low). In other words, ozone depletion is at least twice as powerful as CO2, as far as temperature is the stratospher is concerned. So a cooling stratosphere cannot of itself be a signature of GHG increase.

    What I mean is this: if the stratosphere has cooled (it has), it could be due to GHGs or ozone depletion. Ozone is al least twice as powerful as GHG (or could be 10 times as powerful), so there is no way to determine what exactly is causing the cooling at this point. So John Cook cannot claim that stratospheric cooling on its own is the GHG fingerprint.

    However, as they say, once more data comes in over the next decade or two it may be possible to separate the ozone from the GHG contributions.

    The real issue at stake here, though, is not whether GHG concentration is increasing (it is) but what effect it has on the troposphere, which is where we live. The IPCC assumes water vapour feedbacks are positive, and have the mean effect of tripling the warming from CO2 alone (CO2 alone will only cause about 1°C per doubling).

    A simple way to check this is to look for the predicted hot spot – remember the physics behind the hot spot are childishly simple: water vapour increases over the tropics because of the GHG warming, and water is a powerful greenhouse gas. Ergo, more GHG warming – a positive feedback.

    The problem is, no hot spot.

    Until this issue is addressed, the scientific evidence for CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) is non-existent.

    Now the warmists have tried every trick in the book on this problem: they have tried to divert attention in numerous and ever-desperate ways (“The measurements are wrong!”; “It’s the stratospheric cooling that matters, not the hot spot!”; “It’s not important”; “Look, a bird!”) but I for one remain unconvinced.

  80. Richard Treadgold – you must realise that the IPCC was not set up to advise the man in the street. It puts the science in front of governments. A different matter. probably explains why governments tend to be better informed on this subject than people like you.

    However, if you are genuinely interested in understanding the mechanism of global warming you have to put in a bit of effort. It is silly to talk about “greenhouse gases warm the earth” – they don’t warm the earth – how could they? It is the sun that warms the earth. “Greenhouse ” gases get involved because of their absorption and re-radiation of IR emitted from the earth. Leading to a warming effect. Well understood by scientists.

    So, clearly, Richard, you do have a lot to learn about the science of climate change – not just statistics.

    Of course it would be nice for climate scientists to put more effort into educating the public, rather than just governments. Some do – and there is a wealth of information out there for those honestly looking for it.

    But you seem to make a virtue out of ignorance. Declaring you don’t understand statistics you then declare that warming in NZ has halted – when your “evidence” cannot pick up the trend you refer to. You also don’t understand the role of “greenhouse” gases in determining climate.

    Boy, are NIWA’s lawyers going to make you look silly at the High Court.

  81. Bob D on May 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm said:

    Boy, are NIWA’s lawyers going to make you look silly at the High Court.

    Oh, are they climate scientists too? Who’da thunk it?

  82. Andy on May 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm said:

    It puts the science in front of government

    It puts the Summary for Policymakers in front of government. Very few if any in government read the science.

    Does the SPM reflect the science? This is the question to ask.

  83. It seems that Treadgold can’t even handle the Summary for Policy Makers, let alone the reviews.

    He is effectively acknowledging he is in over his neck.

  84. Ken,

    So what’s the evidence for dangerous anthropogenic global warming, again? Just run it by me briefly.

  85. Richard C (NZ) on May 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm said:

    “…..probably explains why governments tend to be better informed on this subject than people like you”

    Yeah right.

    If my communications with the Ministry for the Environment Climate Change Office are anything to go by our govt is one of the more ill advised on the planet by advisers that are unable to grasp the issues beyond what they regurigitate from the IPCC and favoured warmist papers of the most simplistic kind.

    BTW Ken, could you explain for us anti-luddites (as I suppose you wish to characterize us) the GHG “warming effect” wrt the ocean?

    I look forward to your quotes from the relevant AR4 passages (good luck with that) and some appropriate citations (good luck with that too Ken).

  86. Richard C (NZ) on May 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm said:

    Our govt can never be well informed scientifically from MfE Climate Change if the science “evaluation” mgr is unaware that there is a paper-rebuttal-reply sequence and that the “state of the science” somehow froze at Santer 08.

    I don’t see that GHG oceanic “warming effect” Ken – what’s the hold up? It should only take a couple of minutes if as you say it’s “Well understood by scientists”.

  87. Richard C (NZ) on May 10, 2012 at 6:06 pm said:

    It does happen Bob. Anthony (Tony) Cox, lawyer and secretary of The Climate Sceptics.has degrees in law and climatology.

    Although I don’t think he will be representing NIWA.

    BTW, if a judicial review is granted, will it be purely legal or will an independent scientific body be given the job?

    Seems to me that GNS would be appropriate in the latter.

  88. RC,

    …if a judicial review is granted, will it be purely legal or will an independent scientific body be given the job?

    A judicial review is carried out by a judge and this one is in progress. We ask in our application for certain findings about what NIWA have done, not about their conclusions. Although, if a procedure done by NIWA is found to be unsound, we hope the court will issue an order for them to redo it.

    There are standing rules protecting a court against having to determine scientific facts. This case is not directly about the science, and where scientific facts are relevant they must be established by reference to published papers, not arguments. The request for a review questions the procedures and actions performed by NIWA, it does not try to change scientific facts.

    That’s broadly right, but I’m not a lawyer.

    Certainly, the fevered discussion at Hot Topic about the stupidity of the Coalition in asking a court to “decide” global warming is uninformed chatter.

  89. Mike Jowsey on May 10, 2012 at 8:50 pm said:

    Evidence:

    1. Global temps have been rising, although we are not too sure about that because the data has been screwed with, and the LIA has got nothing to do with it.
    2. CO2 has been rising, at least around Hawaii. Humans’ 4% of the atmospheric CO2 total doesn’t help matters.
    3. Correlation equals causation. We’re all gonna fry!

    /evidence
    /sarc

  90. Bob D on May 10, 2012 at 9:31 pm said:

    Richard C:

    Although I don’t think he will be representing NIWA.

    Lol

  91. Richard C (NZ) on May 11, 2012 at 7:34 am said:

    RT, thanks for this answer, this is very enlightening.

    I take it then, that the Judge has the SOC and SOD in front of him and he is reviewing NIWA’s procedural basis in seclusion (in chambers) without hearing the respective sides put their cases i.e. no lawyers expanding on SOC and SOD and cross-examining witnesses in a court session.

    This has the potential to make Ken Perrott sad.

  92. Richard C (NZ) on May 11, 2012 at 8:36 am said:

    Between 350 and 400 of the world’s leading climate scientists will descend upon Queenstown in 2014, for the general assembly of Stratospheric Processes and their Role in Climate [SPARC].

    The SPARC conference’s four key topics of climate variability and change, ozone, atmospheric chemistry and aerosols, and polar processes, will be discussed over five and a-half days.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/queenstown-lakes/208794/international-climate-science-conference

    1) Why don’t they just set up blog sessions like this one?

    2) Does the stratosphere REALLY need 350 – 400 “leading” climate scientists (plus how many are following?) watching its every move?

    This is like the global GCM supercomputing duplication of effort and expense although hopefully SPARC allows their participants a little more latitude than the IPCC’s ensemble-wide prescribed (and daft) simulation specifications (spin-up and RCP). Why don’t they just give model groups free rein to see what configuration models climate best in competition with the IPCC’s RF method?

    But then that has the danger of being self defeating I suppose.

  93. Andy on May 11, 2012 at 9:33 am said:

    Is the conference in the ski season?

  94. Richard, you will never understand scientific knowledge unless you put in some effort. To be scared of the literature because “it simply swamps us with documentation without saying what we’ll find in it” is lumping for ignorance. To be scared of the literature summaries and reviews – or even their Summary for Policy makers because they are beyond you is again lumping for ignorance.

    And then you cap it by attacking the experts. (What bright mind actually said – “Someone has to stand up to the experts!”)

    Now I have explained to you that when you say that there was no statistical warming in NZ over the last 10 years you are actually saying that any warming trend is < 4.5 degree /century. Not at all inconsistent with that measured for the 100 years data (0.9 degree).

    You pretend you don't understand.

    I have explained to you why you are completely incorrect to assert the science CLAIMS “greenhouse gases warm the earth. IT DOESN’T.

    And your childish response – “Just run it by me briefly.” Again?

    Let me quote to you Richard Feynman- “Science is what we do to keep from lying to ourselves.”

    It looks like you find the science too daunting and prefer to lie to yourself.

  95. Andy on May 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm said:

    Glad we share an appreciation of Feynmann, Ken

    He also made this famous quote :


    Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

    and …

    if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid — not only what you think is right about it; other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked — to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated

  96. Bob D on May 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm said:

    Just to close off the hot spot issue, AR4 SPM confirms two things for us when it states:

    The observed pattern of tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling is very likely due to the combined infl uences of greenhouse gas increases and stratospheric ozone depletion.

    The two things are:
    1) the pattern is both tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling, NOT just stratospheric cooling.
    2) the stratospheric cooling is ALSO due to stratospheric ozone depletion.

    So when we see stratospheric cooling in the absence of a tropospheric warming hot spot, it basically tells us the theory isn’t working.

    The stratospheric cooling is mostly due to ozone depletion, with possibly some CO2 influence, but we can’t tell how much yet, although we do know it’s significantly less than the ozone influence.

    We know CO2 levels are increasing, we see some (very slight) warming of the troposphere, but no proportionately higher warming of the upper troposphere (no hot spot), which tells us that positive water vapour feedbacks aren’t happening.

    This forces us to conclude that overall climate sensitivity to doubling of CO2 is about 1°C maximum, possibly less if water vapour feedbacks turn out to be negative.

    Now according to Hansen et al., we’ve already had 0.6-0.7°C warming over the past century and a bit, so that leaves another 0.5°C or so by 2100, assuming we reach 560ppmv of CO2 by then. This is hardly a disaster, and is in fact more likely to be beneficial (longer growing seasons etc.).

  97. Ken,

    Minor point: “And then you cap it by attacking the experts.”

    What are you talking about?

    Minor point: “you are completely incorrect to assert the science CLAIMS “greenhouse gases warm the earth.”

    I made no such assertion of a scientific claim. I merely used “GHG warm the earth” as a convenient shorthand.

    Major point: “Just run it by me briefly.” Again?

    That’s what they all say. Just cite some evidence or go away.

    Cheers.

  98. Richard C (NZ) on May 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm said:

    Weather balloons reach mid stratosphere above the ozone layer. Perhaps if they all went on a crash diet they could each hitch themselves to one and ride to their site of study.

    Not sure where the balloons go after that but that would just make it more interesting for the rest of us.

    At the very least, Las Vegas would have been a better venue. They could all have ridden the Stratosphere’s X-Scream Ride where with a bit of luck this might happen:-

    http://www.8newsnow.com/story/4124918/tourists-stuck-on-las-vegas-stratospheres-x-scream-ride

  99. rob taylor on May 12, 2012 at 4:38 am said:

    Not so fast, Bob.

    Stolarski et al is fatal to your original argument that stratospheric cooling due to GHG is overwhelmed by, or cannot be distinguished from, cooling due to ozone depletion.

    In fact, we see 30 – 40% of observed cooling can already (2008) be attributed to GHG, a contribution expected to grow stronger with time.

    Thus, we observe the distinctive AGW signature: steady warming of the troposphere and cooling of the stratosphere.

    Emerging pattern of global change in the upper atmosphere and ionosphere

    Authors: Laštovička J, R. A. Akmaev, Beig G, Bremer J, J. T. Emmert, Jacobi C, M. J. Jarvis, Nedoluha G, Yu. I. Portnyagin, Ulich T

    Annales Geophysicae. 01/2008;

    In the upper atmosphere, greenhouse gases produce a cooling effect, instead of a warming effect. Increases in greenhouse gas concentrations are expected to induce substantial changes in the mesosphere, thermosphere, and ionosphere, including a thermal contraction of these layers. In this article we construct for the first time a pattern of the observed long-term global change in the upper atmosphere, based on trend studies of various parameters. The picture we obtain is qualitative, and contains several gaps and a few discrepancies, but
    the overall pattern of observed long-term changes throughout the upper atmosphere is consistent with model predictions of the effect of greenhouse gas increases. Together with the large body of lower atmospheric trend research, our synthesis indicates that anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are affecting the atmosphere at nearly all altitudes between ground and space.

    As for the missing “upper tropospheric hot spot” straw man you and AGC cling to, this is predicted by anti-AGW models as well, including solar forcing and Plimer’s magical undersea volcanoes. in essence, yours is a “God of the gaps’ argument that can be summarised as

    “because AGW cannot fully explain everything, it must be wrong”

    Invoking this logical fallacy, you claim that H2O feedbacks “aren’t happening” and move on to a Moncktonian low climate sensitivity – a classic Gish gallop into Panglossian territory.

    So, Bob, what research can you cite that would invalidate the current consensus re climate sensitivity?

    Various observations favour a climate sensitivity value of about 3 °C, with a likely range of about 2–4.5 °C. However, the physics of the response and uncertainties in forcing lead to fundamental difficulties in ruling out higher values.

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v1/n11/full/ngeo337.html

    For a general review of the topic, see
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-sensitivity-advanced.htm

  100. Bob D on May 12, 2012 at 10:32 am said:

    Rob, I think it was you earlier who claimed to have two honours degrees in physics and maths. Yet you seem to be woefully weak in analytic skills, I’m sorry to say. Apologies if it wasn’t you.

    You say:

    we see 30 – 40% of observed cooling can already (2008) be attributed to GHG

    Firstly, the paper distinctly says it cannot yet be attributed, and it will take some years before it can.
    Secondly, the effect of ozone is at least twice that of CO2 in the stratosphere. It could be up to ten times greater (Akmaev).

    That means that stratospheric cooling is dominated by ozone – you can’t point at it and say “See? That’s the signature of GHG increase!” It’s the signature of (at the last count) four things (from the scientific literature):
    1) ozone depletion (strongest)
    2) GHG increase (2-10 times weaker)
    3) water vapour
    4) geomagnetic activity

    As many people have pointed out ad nauseam, the signature of AGW is increased tropospheric warming AND stratospheric cooling. Together.

    But you keep evading the issue. I can’t spell it out more clearly (I think). Let me try again.

    AGW theory predicts that any initial warming by CO2 will create a positive feedback by water vapour. It works like this:
    Warming at the surface causes increased evaporation (ie: more water vapour in the atmosphere). This water vapour increase will be largest in the tropics, in the upper troposphere. Water vapour is a powerful GHG itself, and so it will absorb IR, heating the atmosphere. This creates a “hot spot”, and it’s not a trivial one – the heating is expected to be at least double the surface heating from CO2 alone. See Fig. 9 of AR4. It is this addition positive feedback mechanism that amplifies the CO2 warming from 1°C to about 3°C per doubling of CO2. In other words, the positive water vapour feedback mechanism triples the warming from CO2 alone.

    It is this hot spot that is missing. Stratospheric cooling is a side issue, and works on slightly different principles (net emission of CO2 in a thin atmosphere, together with reduced upwelling IR). You could still get some minor stratospheric cooling with increased GHGs, yes, but it’s the hot spot that proves or disproves the positive feedback from water vapour.

    No hot spot, no positive feedback. Can I get any plainer? Everybody else gets it. Well, not Ken, but we don’t expect much of him. Richard Christie neither, now that I think of it. But you should. Ben Santer himself wrote a paper where he spelled out how problematic this was to AGW theory.

    Now, regarding the solar forcing, yes, one gets a similar pattern of tropospheric warming, but the problem you face is that you need about a 2% variation in solar forcing for that to happen. Have we seen a 2% increase, Rob? No, we haven’t. Solar TSI varies by about 0.1%.

    “because AGW cannot fully explain everything, it must be wrong”
    Invoking this logical fallacy, you claim that H2O feedbacks “aren’t happening” and move on to a Moncktonian low climate sensitivity – a classic Gish gallop into Panglossian territory.

    No Rob, this is science. Hypotheses are always tested. Predictions must be made, and checked against observations. When the predictions are proved false, the hypothesis is rejected. You should know this.

    I’ll type slowly, so you can keep up: if AGW theory relies on positive water vapour feedbacks to achieve high climate sensitivities in the range 2-4.5°C, then the positive water vapour feedbacks must be seen to be occurring. If they are not seen to be occurring, the climate sensitivity must necessarily be lower.

    At this point the science is telling us that 1°C is an upper bound.

  101. Bob D on May 12, 2012 at 10:45 am said:

    So, Bob, what research can you cite that would invalidate the current consensus re climate sensitivity?

    Start with Lindzen & Choi (2011) “On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications”.

    The “consensus” on climate sensitivity is not nearly as strong as you make out.
    As James Hansen states in Hansen (2005): “A caveat accompanying our analysis concerns the uncertainty in climate forcings.”

    The values used are inferred, using assumptions and models, but they are by no means “settled science”.

    See here for a simplified discussion on climate uncertainties.
    http://climate.nasa.gov/uncertainties/

    Note the section on clouds.

  102. Anthropogenic Global Cooling on May 13, 2012 at 12:08 pm said:

    Jo Nova has a nice collection of articles on the missing hot spot if anyone’s interested:

    http://joannenova.com.au/tag/missing-hot-spot/

    The temperature readings on the surface reinforce the fact that the positive feedbacks via water vapour aren’t happening, and the radiosondes and satellite readings reinforce this also through a missing hot spot in the upper troposphere. Even Sherwood’s 2008 paper shows no warming of the upper troposphere, if you examine the colour coded scale of his graph:

    http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/hot-spot/sherwood-08-hotspot.gif

    AGW has terminal wounds and it’s just a matter of time until it bleeds to death. Juvenile attempts to try to hide the elephant in the room isn’t convincing either the general public, or an ever more skeptical scientific community. Every day the AGW crowd lose ground as the world wakes up to the fact that there is no evidence for problematic AGW whatsoever beyond the max. of 1.2C for every doubling of total atmospheric CO2. Only those who are too pig-headed to admit they’re mistaken, or are too ignorant of the facts continue to support this obviously failed hypothesis.

  103. rob taylor on May 13, 2012 at 9:42 pm said:

    Sorry to rain on your parade, Bob / AGC, but the scientific consensus on climate sensitivity is validated by multiple independent lines of reasoning and evidence, including paleoclimate studies as previously cited in the review articles above.

    If all you have is a “missing” tropical hot spot in a noisy nonlinear system, then you do not have sufficient evidence to claim this “wounds” AGW, unless you believe that one cherry picked from the tree magically disappears the entire tree.

    As I’m sure you are aware, Lindzen & Choi 2011 was rejected by PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences); now that it has appeared in the mighty Asian Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, I expect a debunking will follow, perhaps along the lines of that accorded their 2009 paper – see

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/01/lindzen-and-choi-unraveled/

    There is also the little problem of Lindzen’s misrepresentation of NASA GISS data in a presentation to the UK parliament, and subsequent weasel-worded apology:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/03/misrepresentation-from-lindzen/

    and

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/03/misrepresentation-from-lindzen/comment-page-7/#comment-230500

    Unsurprisingly, his is another “God of the Gaps” fallacy. Lindzen evidently hopes that an AGW refutation lies in the uncertainties about clouds and the tropics, but, unfortunately, after several decades of trying, he has failed convince his peers that his claims have anything to back them up but wishful thinking.

    So, when you claim to believe

    At this point the science is telling us that 1°C is an upper bound,

    please cite the peer-reviewed climate science papers that back up your opinion on the matter.

    PS: Joanne Codling, a.k.a. “Jo Nova” doesn’t count…

  104. Bob D on May 13, 2012 at 9:47 pm said:

    Rob Taylor:
    So you’re back to argument from authority.

    Very well, I’ve laid the evidence in front of you, and instead of addressing it directly, you skirt around the edges, claiming “debunking” of everybody who shows scientific evidence of the failures (yes there are many) of AGW. Believe me, we’ve all seen this behaviour before. It failed to work previously, and it fails now.

    Until you address the evidence I’ve presented directly and in a scientific manner, I’m done trying to have an adult discussion with you.

  105. Anthropogenic Global Cooling on May 13, 2012 at 11:53 pm said:

    Well it seems that the data doesn’t quite agree with the ‘consensus’ on climate sensitivity, does it it Rob. Data from James Hansen & UAH:

    http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/guest/evans-david/hansen-1988-a-b-c-scenarios.gif

    Facts (real data & observation) trump speculation (models) every time, especially when the models fail so miserably.

  106. rob taylor on May 14, 2012 at 8:59 am said:

    Surely, Bob, you are not admitting that you can cite no scientific research to back up your opinion re climate sensitivity?

    “At this point the science is telling us that 1°C is an upper bound.”

    You cannot claim that I am misrepresenting what you said, and going off in a sulk does not seem particularly adult behaviour.

    Come on, man, its a simple enough question – cite the peer-reviewed papers that you base your statement on, and we can then continue the debate.

    Or is this your “Monckton moment”?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZKzJwMOWAI

  107. Andy on May 14, 2012 at 9:03 am said:

    This paleoclimatic evidence of high climate sensitivity interests me. Is this evidence that doesn’t involve circular reasoning?

  108. rob taylor on May 14, 2012 at 10:12 am said:

    By circular reasoning, Andy, do you mean like the joke 2009 paper by “sceptics” McLean, de Freitas and Carter, who detrended the data and then found there was no trend?

    http://www.realclimate.org/wiki/index.php?title=John_McLean

    Please reference whatever paleoclimate papers you believe rise to these heights of absurdity, and outline your rebuttal for discussion.

  109. Bob D on May 14, 2012 at 10:22 am said:

    Rob, I have laid out the evidence multiple times above. Which part are you having trouble with? You 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.
    All this is well documented, based on measurement and experiment, which is something you denialists never do, preferring to spend your time playing empty word games with concepts you patently do not understand.

    Both AGC and I then showed you that we not only understand all this, we understand it better than you do. When challenged on the lack of the water vapour feedback hotspot by AGC, you changed your tune, and said this:

    As for the tropospheric hot spot, AGC, this is another well-debunked “God of the Gaps” straws-grasping meme. See, for example, http://www.skepticalscience.com/tropospheric-hot-spot-advanced.htm
    in your closeted world, AGC, how do you interpret the incontrovertible signature of global warming, namely the observed stratospheric cooling?
    Angels fluttering their wings, perhaps?

    So you claimed, in effect, that the hot spot isn’t, after all, a sign of AGW, and only the stratospheric cooling is (your point is immediately contradicted, of course, by the IPCC in AR4, and in a multitude of papers since, including Ben Santer’s).
    Of course, the reason you claimed this was because you looked it up in Skeptical Science, which is a partisan alarmist blog. In turn, the only reason John Cook says the stratospheric cooling on its own is suddenly the AGW signature is because, unlike the hot spot, we have in fact seen some stratospheric cooling. Unfortunately for our friend John, that cooling is dominated by ozone depletion and other factors, rather than just a GHG increase, so the story gets even weaker.

    I then showed you exactly why the hot spot is relevant to your point that water vapour feedbacks exist, and why they are important to measuring climate sensitivity.
    You are still not addressing that point, and are now trying to divert the conversation once again into a paper-chasing exercise.
    Previously most of your references were from Skeptical Science, or Wikipedia. Suddenly only peer-reviewed papers are good enough for you.

    You asked for a peer-reviewed paper on climate sensitivity. When I gave you one, instead of reading and understanding it, and then discussing it in your own words as a scientist would, you simply run off to find some blog post that claims to have “debunked” it. In this case you’re getting so desperate you even attack the journal that published it, all standard alarmist behaviour, I’m afraid.
    When the history of this sorry period is written, the word “debunk” will appear as the most common catch-phrase of a deluded generation.
    These are the reasons I have given up on your nonsense, certainly not because I’m “going off in a sulk”.
    Looking back over your attempts not to confront the truth, I’m reminded of something my old grandmother used to say: “There’s none as thick as them that wants to be.”

  110. Andy on May 14, 2012 at 10:41 am said:

    I meant an argument that could explain high climate sensitivity to CO2 without assuming high climate sensitivity to CO2 in the paleoclimatic records.

    I am sure it is there, but it’s difficult wading through the multiple debunkings and expungement of memes.

  111. Bob D on May 14, 2012 at 10:43 am said:

    Have you even read the paper, Rob? Do you understand it? I’m sure you have and do, because only a prime idiot would review something negatively that they hadn’t even read.

    Regarding the paleoclimate paper you referenced earlier, note my comment here that dealt with that. I notice you didn’t even respond to it.

  112. rob taylor on May 14, 2012 at 10:58 am said:

    Bob, the title of this thread is “The state of the Science”, so we are (presumably) discussing actual research that makes the cut of peer-reviewed publishing and then survives peer comment.

    You seem to want to divert attention from the science to myself, but I do not pretend to be a climate scientist. Do you?

    Fortunately, for laymen such as myself, there are ample resources, such as Sceptical Science and Real Climate who provide commentary and links to the published papers.

    Your entire argument seems to come down to a claim regarding climate sensitivity, for which you appeal to the authority of Richard Lindzen, who has, thus far, failed to convince his colleagues that major negative feedbacks actually exist.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/lindzens-clouded-vision-part1.html

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/lindzen-clouded-vision-part2.html

    As for strato. cooling, the AGW component appears to be both visible and increasing (Laštovička, Akmaev et al, 2008)

    Can you, perhaps cite later research that disproves this?

    As Richard Feynman once said, “”Science is what we do to keep from lying to ourselves”.

  113. Andy on May 14, 2012 at 11:09 am said:

    Fortunately, for laymen such as myself, there are ample resources, such as Sceptical Science and Real Climate…

    Is anyone else losing the will to live, or is it just me?

  114. rob taylor on May 14, 2012 at 11:18 am said:

    Be my guest, Andy.

  115. rob taylor on May 14, 2012 at 11:26 am said:

    I did read your comment on Hansen’s paper, Bob, and it was so self-evidently fatuous that I thought it could stand as its own rebuttal. I will return to it if you wish…

  116. Bob D on May 14, 2012 at 11:36 am said:

    …and it was so self-evidently fatuous that I thought it could stand as its own rebuttal.

    Oh wow. Pity, for a while there I thought you were vaguely interested in science.

    Look Rob, it’s clear to me you have no real interest in understanding any of the issues we’ve raised – you seem only to be interested in insulting folk and trying to get everyone to read Real Climate and Skeptical Science. Your mind is made up and nothing whatsoever will change it. That’s fine and all, but don’t expect us then to play your games.

  117. Bob D on May 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm said:

    Your entire argument seems to come down to a claim regarding climate sensitivity, for which you appeal to the authority of Richard Lindzen, who has, thus far, failed to convince his colleagues that major negative feedbacks actually exist.

    I don’t appeal to anyone. The Lindzen paper was simply the first for you to look at, since you wanted a paper dealing with climate sensitivities. Your response to that first paper was very weak, which is why I have no intention of helping you any further, if that’s all you’re going to do with papers I give you.

    The physics speaks for itself – high climate sensitiviy comes from positive feedback. Positive feedback equals hot spot. No hot spot. No high climate sensitivity.
    Do you have a substantive rebuttal to that argument? It’s simple enough, for heaven’s sake.

    We could start with a simple question. Do you, Rob Taylor, believe (like the IPCC) that we should have experienced a hot spot over the tropics by now? And that the magnitude of this hot spot is at least twice the surface warming? Yes or no.

    Something for you to mull over before you claim the science is settled:

    Our uncertainty concerning climate sensitivity is disturbing. The range most often quoted for the equilibrium global mean surface temperature response to a doubling of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere is 1.5C to 4.5C. If the Earth lies near the upper bound of this sensitivity range, climate changes in the twenty-first century will be profound. The range in sensitivity is primarily due to differing assumptions about how the Earth’s cloud distribution is maintained; all the models on which these estimates are based possess strong water vapor feedback. If this feedback is, in fact, substantially weaker than predicted in current models, sensitivities in the upper half of this range would be much less likely, a conclusion that would clearly have important policy implications.
    Held et al. (2000)

    Clouds and water vapour effects remain largely speculative.

  118. rob taylor on May 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm said:

    On the contrary, Bob, am very interested in the science, as researched and explained by practising climate scientists.

    One can’t help noticing, however, that the leading “contrarian” climate scientists such as Christy, Soon and Lindzen have been remarkably prone to experimental and analytical errors that have eroded their credibility.

    On the other (“warmist”) side of the climate science mainstream, we have Hansen, who has been vindicated time and again, and still leads the pack.

    http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2012/05/10/global-warming-an-exclusive-look-at-james-hansens-scary-new-math/

    BTW, Bob, are you a climate scientist yourself, perchance?

  119. rob taylor on May 14, 2012 at 4:02 pm said:

    “Clouds and water vapour effects remain largely speculative.”

    Indeed they do, Bob, but here is an accessible precis of the state of play today:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/01/science/earth/clouds-effect-on-climate-change-is-last-bastion-for-dissenters.html?_r=2

    Clearly, the weight of the evidence is against Lindzen’s hypothesis that clouds provide a major negative feedback mechanism.

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