Christopher Monckton: Apocalypse Cancelled

Chris Monckton has started a series of weekly articles on the current state of climate science, including the Hockey Stick affair and Steve McIntyre’s contributions in that area, in the UK newspaper the Sunday Telegraph

The Royal Society says there’s a worldwide scientific consensus. It brands Apocalypse-deniers as paid lackeys of coal and oil corporations. I declare my interest: I once took the taxpayer’s shilling and advised Margaret Thatcher, FRS, on scientific scams and scares. Alas, not a red cent from Exxon.

In 1988, James Hansen, a climatologist, told the US Congress that temperature would rise 0.3C by the end of the century (it rose 0.1C), and that sea level would rise several feet (no, one inch). The UN set up a transnational bureaucracy, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The UK taxpayer unwittingly meets the entire cost of its scientific team, which, in 2001, produced the Third Assessment Report, a Bible-length document presenting apocalyptic conclusions well beyond previous reports.

This week, I’ll show how the UN undervalued the sun’s effects on historical and contemporary climate, slashed the natural greenhouse effect, overstated the past century’s temperature increase, repealed a fundamental law of physics and tripled the man-made greenhouse effect.

The article is here and the background information (or at least the first part) is given here in pdf format. The backgrounder in particular is a pretty good overview of the current state of the science, such as it is, and covers the salient points from MM03, MM05GRL and MM05EE pretty well.

There are some slips of the keyboard in the backgrounder, so perhaps someone would like to e-mail Chris about them, or mention them in the comments.

Also to bring to your attention is a remarkable (in several senses of the word) attack on the notion of climate catastrophe by Mike Hulme, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the UK

188 Comments

  1. Theo Richel
    Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 6:29 AM | Permalink

    The denouncing of alarmism by mr Hulme of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research gets extra depth when you realise that according to John Brignell ( see here) the Tyndall centre was one of the main authors of the Stern review, probably one of the most alarmist climate publications ever.

  2. glrmc
    Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 6:58 AM | Permalink

    Steve,

    In addition to the Mike Hulme piece, see also this piece in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph.

    The naked chutzpah of these people just leaves one gasping for breath, but it must be a good sign that they are abandoning Stern to his fate.

    I’ve written to the Independent (UK) about it. But given that they are probably unlikely to publish it, I repeat the letter here for CA readers.

    ———————
    Date: Sun 5 Nov 08:50:52 EST 2006
    > From: Bob Carter
    > To: “letters@independent.co.uk”
    >
    > Dear Sir,
    >
    > Professor Mike Hulme, Director of the Tyndall Climate Centre, has had an epiphany. He writes on BBC News Viewpoint that “It seems that it is we, the professional climate scientists, who are now the (catastrophe) sceptics”. He adds “The language of catastrophe is not the language of science”, a truth that has been a long time coming from the U.K.’s climate “professionals”.
    >
    > Professor Hulme shows breathtaking audacity, for the view that he is now espousing is closely similar to that long held by thousands of professional scientists around the world. These persons are derogated as “climate sceptics” but are actually agnostic regarding the probability of dangerous human-caused change. They take just the balanced, empirical approach to the climate change issue that Professor Hulme now recommends.
    >
    > Nonetheless, it is good to have the professor’s reassurance that the Tyndall Centre and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)are no longer going to support their views of climate change with “a cascade of value-laden assumptions which do not emerge from empirical or theoretical science”. No more hockey-sticks then?
    >
    > Bob Carter
    ——————————

    Bob Carter

  3. glrmc
    Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 7:02 AM | Permalink

    For some reason, the URL for the Telegraph article won’t post.

    To find it, do a Google search on “Stern’s report scare-mongering”

    Bob

  4. James Erlandson
    Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 7:42 AM | Permalink

    re 3:

    http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,20693265-5005941,00.html

  5. Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 8:08 AM | Permalink

    Re #3 The link works for me. Maybe it’s something about being outside the UK?

  6. Jeff Weffer
    Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

    That is a great article and a great backgrounder.

    Good to see your research having such an impact Steve.

    The best quote in the article explains a lot in my opinion “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”

  7. bender
    Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 9:05 AM | Permalink

    Re #6
    It is not a “great” article. It is a useful summary of the contrarian perspective, and everyone should read it. But it is not “great”.

    Re: “slips of the keyboard in the backgrounder”
    The references are incomplete. For example MM05 is cited but not referenced. (Also two-author papers are usually referred to by using both authors names: e.g. McIntyre & McKitrick (2003, 2005).)

  8. bender
    Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 9:28 AM | Permalink

    I would like to hear Monckton’s account of the writing of the section “Temperature effects of greenhouse-gas forcings” starting on p. 24. It is very technical. I wonder if he had help writing that section? Seems these arguments are sufficiently technical and contrarian that they should have to go through a peer review process before being taken at face value. It’s very easy to distort complex arguments (e.g. those based on computer models) to favor your POV, and these assertions do not square up with facts and arguments as presented in the literature. Not enough citation in this section. Discussion is suspiciously too one-sided.

    The backgrounder is also very selective about the arguments it chooses to take on, and this is suspicious. I’m sure jae will like it, as it emphasizes solar as an alternative hypothesis for 20th c. warming. But these arguments are weak & sketchy. More like an attempt to sow “reasonable doubt” about GHG forcing than to synthesize what is known/suspected/hypothesized about solar effects.

  9. Mike Doran
    Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    [snip]

    [Not just off-topic, but off-planet]

  10. Hans Erren
    Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

    I have some comments on the climate sensitivity section, of course if you reduce the factor a in the formula a ln(C/C0), e.g. reduce the forcing for co2 doubling from 3.7 W/m2 to say 3.5 W/m2, then of course the climate sensitivity alpha (with units K/Wm-2) must increase for a given temperature increase.

  11. bender
    Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

    #9 is off-topic. After 5 attempts, clearly, nobody is biting. My advice is (1) to keep the electrics talk over in the hurricane threads; (2) re-package these thoughts so that they are relevant to the conversation. Even then, the only reason for Steve M to care about this stuff is that it might bear on the question of the quiet 2006 hurricane season (which he correctly predicted). Other than that … electrics has little to do with proxy-based temperature reconstruction, updating proxies, due diligence, auditing, etc. Not sure CA is the place for talk about extreme alternative theories for climate phenomena.

  12. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

    #8 Bender,

    Your criticism is severe, but to some degree you’re right. The section starting p.24 nevertheless sounds like a reasonable argument, but if it really is, it should have no problem being published in a peer-reviewed journal.

    IMO, despite all the more or less weak “contrarian” rhetorics, there are good scientific reasons to be suspicious of alarmist warming claims, and to believe that the case for a large CO2 forcing may have been overstated, at the expense of other explanations for the recent observed warming trend. “Why” it would have been overstated has, however, sociological as well as scientific explanations. In short, here is my position:

    - “Natural” historical climate variability indicates that temperatures at least as warm as today’s are not “unprecedented”. Therefore, natural forcings are, at the very least, a plausible candidate for last century’s warming. It is fairly well established that the 400 years prior to the 20th century have been a “cold” period. But until we have a better picture of the climate prior to that period, we cannot assign with precision a value for the “natural” forcings, and therfore cannot simply brush aside forcings such as solar as being insufficient to explain the recent warming.

    - We also need to review the data for last century’s temperatures. There is enough evidence that UHI and related effects (e.g. local land use changes) have resulted in an overestimation of the temperature rise. Maybe not by much, but since the estimation of CO2 sensitivity relies mostly on modeling last century’s temperature evolution, any correction of the former will change the latter.

    - Much of the earth’s climate is determined by the clouds dynamics. Cloud forcing can be much larger than any estimated CO2 forcing, and on a much smaller time frame. Still, cloud dynamics is probably the least well understood and modeled effect. It is clear that we will not be able to refine the projected temperature rise due to GHG until we have a better understanding of clouds and their feedback. That GCM’s cannot give us a smaller range than 1.5-5.5 deg.C is clearly indicative of our lack of knowledge. As such, it would be unwise to trust these models for public policy decisions.

    - Finally, the recent research on solar forcings indicates that these can be much larger than previously thought. Given the above, this is not unexpected because if they are, and if there is, say, a warmer than today’s MWP, all the pieces of the puzzle seem to fall into place and paint a coherent picture of, say, last millenium, including the 20th century. But it is still early, and more research needs to be done on both the physical mechanisms (which would incidentally further our knowledge of clouds), and their inclusion into GCM’s. It is nevertheless possible that when that has been done, the GHG’s role in the recent warming will be seen as significantly less than previously thought. Compouding this is the fact that if, say, “natural” forcings (including solar) have been responsible for half of the warming, and if these forcings change sign during the coming century, this would cancel most of the warming from increased GHG’s concentrations, rendering useless any mitigation policy.

    For all those reasons, it seems clear to me that more research needs to be done before we jump to alarmist conclusions, or implement costly policies. But more importantly, climate scientists need to clean up their act, and ensure that the funding and publishing environment is not biased in favor of one particular hypothesis. Maybe scientists who publicly advocate one side of the issue should be barred from review panels. Maybe the IPCC should be dissolved, as its focus on consensus has a distorting effect on the actual state of the science. Maybe competing hypothesis shoud be specifically assigned better funding.

    Bender, if you disagree with this assessment, I’d like to know how and why.

  13. KevinUK
    Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    #11, bender

    “Not sure CA is the place for talk about extreme alternative theories for climate phenomena.”.

    There are lots of subjects that have been discussed on this blog that started off as off thread. Its up to Steve but I think that he should put up another thread on alternative explanations for global warming/natural climate variability that don’t necessarily fit with the current scientific consensus. Mike D’s topic on the influence of electrical phenonena on climate is worth at least a debate even if it doesn’t get very far. I listened to his interview on Talkin Tropics (after listening to Nigel Lawson’s speech at to the CPS) yesterday. I for one would like some further details on what Mike talked about. I suspect that it will spark off some interesting discussions on the the variation in the earth’s magnetic field, how this influences the VAB, cloud formation, TS’s etc all of which have been discussed elsewhere previously on this blog.

    KevinUK

  14. Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

    Mike Doran should get his own blog and make his case there.

  15. 2br02b
    Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    The Tyndall Centre’s Mike Hulm’s attack on the notion of climate catastrophe led me to think of the old saying:

    “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”

    Does the same apply to prime ministers who are serial sexer-uppers?

  16. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

    Mike Doran, fondly? known as Methane Mike, certainly has far-out views. But while it might be enlightening to discuss his ideas, it will mostly have to be of a clinical nature. You’ll find him singularly unwilling to engage in quantative analysis of his ideas. Actually I wasn’t even going to respond to him this time around, but I fear some of the people here haven’t really been inoculated by exposure to him. Still, don’t take my word for it, see what you can get out of him here or elsewhere.

  17. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

    Mike,

    I assume your message will be deleted, but if not I’ll be happy to present the actual message in which you refused to listen to reality.

  18. Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 4:16 PM | Permalink

    His messages were put in moderation – and then marked as spam. We give a good fair trial before we hang ‘em.

  19. Follow the Money
    Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    “The UK taxpayer unwittingly meets the entire cost of its scientific team,”

    Now that’s interesting.

    Doing the work of British Petroleum and it’s gamble on methane and carbon credit schemes.

    The British Government has been strident lately.

  20. Dimitris Poulos
    Posted Nov 6, 2006 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    It’s not just that we seem to overestimate the CO2 effect. It’s the stress on logic. Supose that we prepare the infrastractures for a warmer planet. And then supose that the planet instead of becoming warmer becomes considerably cooler( as my research shows). Then, how do we deal with the situation?

  21. KevinUK
    Posted Nov 6, 2006 at 9:49 AM | Permalink

    #19, FTM

    I was also surprised by that statement. Does anyone have any references to back up this claim by CM? If its true, then I feel a letter to my MP coming on. Its bad enough if we are paying for a large share of the IPCC’s costs but surely not all of them?

    KevinUK

  22. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 6, 2006 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

    Interesting mini bio about Stern in this past Saturday’s FT. I had forgotten, and the article reminded me, just what a committed globalist utopian he is. His pedigree runs through the usual do nothing asset consuming orgs – World Bank, UN, EU, etc. Early on in his career he adopted the “holier than thou” aspects we recognize in his report. He became a squishy, lukewarm-about-capitalism sort at the outset. I will not deny my admiration for anyone who, like him, lived in a part of India with extreme rural poverty, however, his motivation appears to have been part of a larger overall program of anti capitalist, anti Western sentiments.

  23. jae
    Posted Nov 6, 2006 at 11:05 AM | Permalink

    #8, bender:

    The backgrounder is also very selective about the arguments it chooses to take on, and this is suspicious. I’m sure jae will like it, as it emphasizes solar as an alternative hypothesis for 20th c. warming. But these arguments are weak & sketchy. More like an attempt to sow “reasonable doubt” about GHG forcing than to synthesize what is known/suspected/hypothesized about solar effects.

    Yeah, the solar arguments do seem to be rather weak and sketchy. They only address TSI effects, not the additional effects that may be caused by cosmic rays. These effects may be even more important than TSI.

  24. Si
    Posted Nov 6, 2006 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

    Monckton’s piece is unsupported by the science that he presents, or any other science for that matter, or even a basic logic check. He has not been reviewed by anyone with a questioning outlook, let alone a knowledgeable scientist. It’s as “sexed-up”, unbalanced and misinformed as you are ever likely to see.

  25. jae
    Posted Nov 6, 2006 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    So, Si, what do you think about the Stern report?

  26. Oui
    Posted Nov 6, 2006 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    Ya, the Stern report was strident and basically unsupported by any science.

  27. fFreddy
    Posted Nov 6, 2006 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    Re #24, Si

    Monckton’s piece is unsupported by the science that he presents, or any other science for that matter, or even a basic logic check.

    How frightful. Would you care to cite examples supporting your assertion ?

  28. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Nov 6, 2006 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    #20 Dimitri,

    You’re right. But in the end, it’s all a matter of risk assessment. Do we have the knowledge to assign a probability to either warming, neutral, or cooling? Even the IPCC, despite all the talk about certainty and consensus, could just come up with a sentence of the kind: “It’s likely that the majority of the warming is anthropogenic”. Likely being, if I remember well, somewhere between 60% and 80%. Then, the “majority” could be 51%. In which case, as I said, there is a high probability that a reversal of the other 49% will cancel any further “anthropogenic” warming. Finally, “anthropogenic” includes all possible man-made causes, including land-use change, and all GHG’s other than CO2.

    So even the IPCC implicitly acknowledges the still large uncertainty, by leaving many “exit doors” in its own conclusion.

    #24 Can you be more specific? There are about 100 references in that paper. To say that “He has not been reviewed by anyone with a questioning outlook” would also apply to a lot of the paleoclimate research, as this blog here has shown.

    The current “strong warming” case was built upon hundreds of papers, but again, many of them have “not been reviewed by anyone with a questioning outlook”. Furthermore, authors of papers that make opposite claims have to suffer intimidation and personal attacks. This is not an environment where good science can flourish.

  29. Posted Nov 6, 2006 at 3:10 PM | Permalink

    Re #20

    It’s not just that we seem to overestimate the CO2 effect. It’s the stress on logic. Supose that we prepare the infrastractures for a warmer planet. And then supose that the planet instead of becoming warmer becomes considerably cooler( as my research shows). Then, how do we deal with the situation?

    Then its the fault of all of the man-made particulates pouring out of the back of huge smokestacks on the back of every American SUV (Chinese and Indian SUVs produce no sizeable contribution)

    It’s straightforward: if it’s warming – man-made greenhouse gases, if its cooling – man-made smoke particles. This has been going on for nearly forty years in climate science (or at least some parts of it – there are quite a few climate scientists who wrote that the natural variation was much larger than the man-made contribution)

    As long as the temperatures continue to not fall, and carbon dioxide does not do what methane did in 2000 and start falling, then James Hansen has fair winds to a lovely retirement.

  30. Jean S
    Posted Nov 6, 2006 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    Wow, the article may get even slashdotted

  31. Prophet
    Posted Nov 7, 2006 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

    Not to be off topic much ;) I fond this site from it being mentioned at another scientist site.
    I must say I recognize one of the posters from there here , and his tenor is much more civilized than at the other site .
    This being my first post here I feel it is important to state I am not a scientist per se.
    However science being the art of observation of which I am an expert.
    There are 2 things I find missing in the pro and con versions of the global warming debate.
    1. The effect of venting , it appears to me no one has any data on the effect of venting out the poles.
    2. The effect the magnetic poles have on localized temperature changes . It would occurs to me that the inner workings of the planet which gives us the most important protection against the suns awesome power . Taking into consideration Mr. Monckton stated fact that “The number of temperature stations round the world peaked at 6,000 in 1970. It’s fallen by two-thirds to 2,000 now ” .

    I find the current rush to control the way we live incongruous.

  32. Dimitris Poulos
    Posted Nov 7, 2006 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

    #28, Francois I agree that it is a risk management matter; a difficult one with many factors to be taken in consideration.

    #29, John we are responsible for many things but not for everything.

  33. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 7, 2006 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

    re: #31

    Welcome! I agree that the amount of heat vented from the poles is important and not very well understood. Thus, for instance, the degree of cloud cover vs the degree of ice cover in the arctic can make a lot of difference as can changes in the well known thermohaline current. There have been one or two discussions here on the subject, but You’ll probably have to look to find them.

  34. Mick
    Posted Nov 7, 2006 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

    Moncktons maths is so good that he apparently once calculated his puzzle would take millions of years to solve. Someone cracked it in 5 months.

  35. Greg F
    Posted Nov 7, 2006 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    Mick wrote:
    Moncktons maths is so good that he apparently once calculated his puzzle would take millions of years to solve.

    Apparently he didn’t.

    Although Mr Monckton claims it would be impossible for a computer alone to crack the puzzle, he concedes that a combination of a specially-written solver program and human ingenuity could have already done the trick.

    He did speculate.

    Before marketing the puzzle, Monckton had thought that the puzzle would probably be solved within 1 to 3 years.

  36. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Nov 7, 2006 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    So, Mick, now that we see that Moncktons math is actually quite good … do you believe him now?

    w.

  37. John Reid
    Posted Nov 7, 2006 at 6:23 PM | Permalink

    Come on you guys, give him a go – Monckton is a journalist not a scientist.

    As such he has advantages and disadvatages. Some of the latter include his cringe-making misuse of units. e.g. “watts per square meter per second” for example. I emailed the URL to a non-scientist friend of mine who replied ” ….. I enjoyed reading this. Monckton says somewhere that he was employed by Thatcher to advise on scientific frauds and scams. Well, he seems to have swallowed the 1421 scam about Chinese exploration of the arctic (just google “1421″). Being a hereditary peer, Monckton seems disposed to wackiness (eg his plans to quarantine everyone who has HIV). I am not trying to argue ad hominem but he would be much more credible to laymen if he were a bit more mainstream.”

    However his advantages include the fact that as a journalist he is able to marshall information from a wide variety of sources on a wide variety of topics. Scientists are extremely relectunt to publicly discuss matters which do not lie within their own narrow field of expertise. Scientists are lousy generalists. Also as a journalist with a high profile he was able to publish in a widely read UK newspaper.

    Despite its shortcomings I thought it was a fantastic article and long overdue.

    Is it just me or have contrarians been getting a better go in the press since the Stern report?

  38. Posted Nov 8, 2006 at 3:34 AM | Permalink

    However his advantages include the fact that as a journalist he is able to marshall information from a wide variety of sources on a wide variety of topics. Scientists are extremely relectunt to publicly discuss matters which do not lie within their own narrow field of expertise. Scientists are lousy generalists. Also as a journalist with a high profile he was able to publish in a widely read UK newspaper.

    Despite its shortcomings I thought it was a fantastic article and long overdue.

    Is it just me or have contrarians been getting a better go in the press since the Stern report?

    I think you’ll find it is the Stern Report which is contrarian – contrary to known laws of mathematics, economics and logic.

    As I pointed out, there are quite a few minor mistakes in Monckton’s analysis which could stand correction.

  39. Mick
    Posted Nov 8, 2006 at 4:43 AM | Permalink

    Monckton doesn’t appear to have presented anything new (other than his own blunders), most of what he discusses (as opposed to genuine analysis) has been discussed many times over, by many thousands of scientists, engineers and business leaders.

    The conclusion is the same. Only a few conspiracy theorists maintain that the governments of the world are in some way funding a massive scientific campaign to raise taxes.

  40. Posted Nov 8, 2006 at 5:21 AM | Permalink

    Only a few conspiracy theorists maintain that the governments of the world are in some way funding a massive scientific campaign to raise taxes.

    There are always a few who will believe any old rubbish including any conspiracy theories.

    In any case, I don’t think the “scientific consensus” is anywhere near as broad as its made out to be. In fact, I think its really very narrow and its driving force isn’t science.

  41. Posted Nov 8, 2006 at 5:40 AM | Permalink

    Re #39:

    I simple example from Belgium about raising taxes, not based on any form of (AGW) science: The federal government needed money to cover a hole in their budget. They invented a “CO2 tax” on one-way plastic bottles. But as we have the world wide record of recycling (over 90% of one-way bottles!), this is pure nonsense.

    In a Flemish investigation from 1993, with about 20% recycling at that time, the CO2 emissions were already better for one-way bottles. And what the government forgot: for one-way bottles (97% product, 3% package), most trucks have a return load, for glass return bottles (60% product, 40% package), the trucks have to return with the heavy glass. All together, 1 million liters product need about 80 trucks for one-way bottles, but 180 trucks for return bottles. What that means for pollution and traffic jams in a densily populated area, one can guess…

  42. Posted Nov 8, 2006 at 5:51 AM | Permalink

    Meanwhile, the Tyndall Centre (headed by the completely uncatastrophic Mike Hulme) produces stuff like this for the Stern Report:

    Based on the peer-reviewed literature, predictions of climate change impacts on the earth system, human systems and ecosystems can be summarised for different
    amounts of annual global mean temperature change (àŽⵃ Ž⢩ relative to pre-industrial.
    At àŽⵃ Ž⢠= 1°C (only 0.4C above today’s temperatures) 80% of world coral reefs would
    be lost, with different ecosystems variously transformed by 2 to 47%. Serious
    drought would be expected in Peru owing to the loss of glacier melt. Crop yields
    would begin to decline in Africa, whilst they might increase elsewhere if carbon
    dioxide fertilisation occurs. However, this fertilisation process is highly questionable
    since it would be offset by increased drought intensity and frequency, reduced crop
    quality, damage due to tropospheric ozone, and outbreaks of pests and disease which
    are predicted to increase in a warmer world. Vector born disease such as malaria and
    dengue would begin to spread. Extinctions would begin in sensitive ecosystems such
    as Australia where half the rainforest of Queensland would be lost. Marine
    ecosystems would be damaged due to acidification and further changes in plankton
    composition, and Arctic ecosystems would be damaged. Rainfall variability, sea level
    rise and water stress would increase worldwide.

    What’s interesting is that none of these claims are referenced. It’s a litany of claims abotu future warming that have already been debunked (including the myth of the unstoppable spread of malaria due to warmth, forgetting that malaria was endemic in Western Europe during the Little Ice Age).

    Does the Tyndall centre have any experts on species extinction? I think we should be told.

  43. Posted Nov 8, 2006 at 6:00 AM | Permalink

    Here’s more from Tyndall’s submission:

    The implications of this analysis lead to a set of conclusions concerning global
    mitigation strategies that are discussed in Warren’s paper for the Exeter Dangerous
    Climate change conference.10 To prevent sea level from rising several metres over
    next few centuries immediate drastic emission reductions are required. African
    farmers, Himalayan villagers and coral reefs will require enormous attention to
    attempt to enhance their adaptive capacity to climate change, since it will be difficult
    to prevent temperature from rising to a level of 1C above pre-industrial levels. To
    prevent futher impacts expected for a global annual average temperature rise of 2C
    above pre-industrial temperatures, significant emission reductions are required now.

    Now I could almost put this under the heading of “Spot the Hockey Stick”, since the claim that there was a stable “pre-industrial” climate and an identifiable “pre-industrial” mean temperature comes straight from MBH98/99 and the IPCC TAR.

    It is simply false.

  44. Mick
    Posted Nov 8, 2006 at 7:32 AM | Permalink

    The Stern report had many inputs from environmental groups, insurance companies, fossil fuel industry and many others.
    Of all of them, by far the most concerned was the insurance industry, rather than the environmental groups.
    Also Stern had input from groups such as the German Coal Mining Association which obviously had a different bias to the Tyndell Centre.
    German coal miners obviously would like less money spent on wind farms and more on carbon sequestration for coal fired power stations.
    Ironically the Exxon Mobil input appeared to be rather timid, although the last few words of their submission revealed more than their submission as a whole.

  45. Posted Nov 8, 2006 at 8:45 AM | Permalink

    Mick,

    To say that the Stern Report had many inputs is not to say that each input was given equal weight, or even listened to.

    What came out of the Stern Report reflected very strongly the opinions of environmentalist groups and the Tyndall Centre.

  46. KevinUK
    Posted Nov 8, 2006 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    #42, John A

    This is a puzzle isn’t it. Perhaps, although its hard to believe given how they are funded perhaps there is actually even a lack of consensus within the Tyndall Centre?

    From your last few posts on the Stern Review thread and this one I take it that you agree with most if not perhaps all of my posts?

    KevinUK

  47. Posted Nov 8, 2006 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    Kevin,

    If you mean the political statements, then I’m afraid I cannot confirm or deny anything. I’m a fundamental believer that the truth will out, but I’m very unhopeful that the truth of the current panic won’t be realised until we’re smack in the middle of the next one. And then it’ll be denied that there was a scientific consensus (which of course will be true) but that this one is different.

    The science appears to be very shakey, and there’s a lot of bland assertion to paper over widening cracks in the evidence.

    What I’m most concerned about is the reputation of science as both a repository of evidentially-based truth and as a method for arriving at more insight into the Universe. I think these people are on a mission, the Belief Engine has kicked in, and nothing will stop them. Once the public realise they’ve been duped, then the trust in science will diminish and superstition will take its place.

    The identification of a position about global warming has somehow been conflated with a political position, with (in American terms) the extreme Right of the Republican Party versus the Left Wing of the Democrats. But science is not a political position, and some politicians are riding Global Warming without realising what it is they’re mounted on.

    Science rests on evidence from experiment, not upon consensuses or political movements. That doesn’t mean that scientists cannot be political, but it does mean that when politics meets science, science gets twisted and distorted.

    In Russia, the Academy of Sciences already knows what phenomenon we’re dealing with: it’s Lysenkoism all over again.

  48. Si
    Posted Nov 9, 2006 at 5:22 AM | Permalink

    OK, here’s some logic:

    CO2 keeps the earth warm.

    CO2 levels have increased, by around 70% over pre-industrial levels, and will continue to rise.

    Records show rising average temperatures, all climate models predict this will continue, to an unknown degree.

    There are no known mechanisms large enough to counteract rising temperatures, many expected to exacerbate them.

    Average temperatures will rise, but the effects on local climate phenomena (hurricanes, floods, droughts, etc) are extremely unpredictable.

    Stern’s review is about risk, and investment.

    By investing 1% of your income now, you can reduce the risks of death, drought, famine and poverty that you impose on future generations.

    The downside could be that you advance technologies that you didn’t need to advance yet. But you will need to advance them anyway, eventually – this investment will have to be made at some point.

    Do you want to impose unknown damage on your grandchildren and later descendants?

  49. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 9, 2006 at 5:58 AM | Permalink

    re: #48

    There are no known mechanisms large enough to counteract rising temperatures, many expected to exacerbate them.

    This one is not true which by itself destroys your logic.

    By investing 1% of your income now, you can reduce the risks of death, drought, famine and poverty that you impose on future generations.

    Except that it isn’t I who would do the “investing”, it would be green burocrats who would decide how to wast… er invest my money.

    Do you want to impose unknown damage on your grandchildren and later descendants?

    This isn’t logic, it’s a appeal to emotion. And though I don’t have descendents, if I did I’d rather leave them an unknown damage than a known damage by inflicting them with more taxes and misinvestment.

  50. Posted Nov 9, 2006 at 7:24 AM | Permalink

    re: #48

    CO2 keeps the earth warm.

    I’s water to keep the Earth warm!

  51. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Nov 9, 2006 at 7:41 AM | Permalink

    #48 Here’s about logic:

    Say you live in an unheated house. During the night, the house gets cold. You get up in the morning and turn on a lightbulb. After a while, the house gets warmer. So you say: it must be the lightbulb, I must turn it off, or the house will soon catch fire!

    But it isn’t the light bulb, it’s just the sun coming in through the window. Don’t worry: when the evening comes, the Sun will set again and the house will cool down.

    Finally: if we are willing to spend 1% of GDP NOW to avoid drought, famine, and poverty, I suggest we do it to reduce the droughts, famine, and poverty that are already endemic in our world TODAY!

  52. David Graves
    Posted Nov 9, 2006 at 11:34 PM | Permalink

    How did Monckton come up with the notion that tropical glaciers all disappeared in the “MWP” and have all re-formed since then? And then there’s the notion of th ice-free Arctic in 1421.

  53. John Prendergast
    Posted Nov 10, 2006 at 7:40 PM | Permalink

    Monckton has written a very clear article and I await his next one. He assumes CO2 actually plays a part in Global warming. I do not beleive it does since it is only 0.04% of the atmosphere and while it does inhibit radiation of some bands of long wave IR back into space (especially 15 micron) it is not a good insulator. CO2 actually passes its trapped heat to other gaseous molecules that jostle against the CO2 molecules. This transfer takes about 1 pico second- barely long enough to get warm! The other adjacent molecules, typically N2(79%) or O2(20% approx) are good radiators of long wavelength Infra red heat (earth’s emiting bands). Thus CO2 plays no discernable part in trapping earth’s radiated heat. Water vapour, by contrast does, otherwise we would be freezing at -23C approx average. In an Ice Age there is very little water vapour in the air hence the cold, enhanced by the white albedo of the Ice sheet.
    CO2 is actually a very good conductor of heat which is why it was used in the earliest refrigeration equipments and Toyota (and Nippon Denso) are planning to use it in Car Air Conditioning as a safe refrigerant. CO2 has also been used successfully as a heat transfer medium in nuclear reactors, not good if CO2 does not ransfer heat- Big Boom! Consider that increased incoming solar radiation (even by a mere 1 w/sm.m/sec will not only raise earth temperature diurectly but also increase the temperature gradient against which the earth is trying to dump heat- this is true forcing. CO2 is also supposed by the warming lobby to hang aroun d in the atmosphere for decades (some say centuries) but it only last s a month or sountil picked up by water vapour and makes slightly acidc rain, not the 1950′s coal fired sulphuric acid rain which was several hundred toimes more potent. Many people actually drink relatively far stronger solutions of carbon dioxide in water for choice- it is called soda water.

  54. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 10, 2006 at 11:34 PM | Permalink

    re: #53

    How can either N2 or O2 radiate in the IR? They’re symmetric molecules and radiation requires some sort of dipole moment. H2O is V shaped and thus has a built-in dipole moment. CO2, while linear, has bending and vibrational motions which create a dipole. Thus they can absorb and radiate at the bands involved. It is true that CO2 normally gives up the energy absorbed to colliding molecules, but that does warm the local atmosphere and thereby increases the chance of CO2 eventually gaining enough energy to radiate IR.

    IOW, the errors in AGW does not lie in the assertion that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It is and is responsible for a fair percentage of the total greenhouse effect.

  55. Nicholas
    Posted Nov 11, 2006 at 12:06 AM | Permalink

    I’ve read estimates of around 11%. It’s complex because of the fact that the absorption/emission bands overlap with those of water and other gases. I think I read that if CO2 was the only “greenhouse gas” it would provide an effect of about 27% what we experience now. But since there is also water vapor absorbing in many of the same bands, removing all the CO2 would reduce the effect only about 11%. Then there’s the band saturation issue, which means doubling the amount of CO2 probably does not add another 11% to the effect, since the radiation in some bands is entirely absorbed before it reaches the surface.

    I agree there is plenty of evidence to suggest that CO2 does contribute to trapping the heat. The real argument IMO comes down to the claim of 2.5x positive feedback from other processes which some people use to justify apocalyptic predictions, but there’s little solid evidence to support it.

  56. Tom
    Posted Nov 11, 2006 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

    Wrong problem, wrong solution
    By Christopher Monckton

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/11/12/nclim12.xml&page=1

  57. John Scott
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 2:24 AM | Permalink

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of global warming it is the latest excuse for politicians to raise more taxes. Any excuse will do if you spin it correctly. Curious how the planet survives in spite of perceived threats. Stern does sound awfully stern!

  58. Louis Hissink
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 3:18 AM | Permalink

    re#53

    OMG – only now do we learn that CO2 is a good conductor of heat. John, your explanation is basically the same as my argument over the last year or two – but I could never work out how intelligent scientists could assume that a gas like CO2 could “trap” heat in isolation to the rest of the air. One reason why it gets so cold in the middle of a desert at cloudless night – the heat from the ground is effectively conducted out to space via the atmosphere. But enough of that.

    I strongly suspect it lies in the word “absorption” where it is assumed CO2 sucks in heat like a paper towel, water. I think John Shotsky of CS would concur with your summary too.

    As for Mike Hume’s comments – let’s remember that catastrophism was the issue that preoccupied the English political classes in the early 19th century. I think it would come as quite a shock to realise that climate alarmism is nothing but a latter day apocalyptic movement, and unwittingly a 21st century version of apocalyptic religious belief.

    Monckton’s article today is even more worrying when the UK Foreign Minister Beckett equates climate sceptics to islamic terrorists and thus to be denied access to the news media. Would that also mean censoring blogs such as this one?

    Internet censoring in China seems to be effective in some respects so perhaps a few Freudian slips are definetely showing. Monckton avers that these statements are for the benefit of India, China and Brazil, but my take is that is simply Big Brother, or Sister in this case, enunciating the holy writ for all our benefit.

    We are still living in very interesting times.

  59. Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 4:27 AM | Permalink

    Monckton’s article today is even more worrying when the UK Foreign Minister Beckett equates climate sceptics to islamic terrorists and thus to be denied access to the news media. Would that also mean censoring blogs such as this one?

    If she could, then I’d assume she would.

    I am not underestimating the gravity of the threat we face.

    But let us deny the terrorists the historical importance they claim to themselves. They have no right to speak for the great and noble faith of Islam. This is a not a battle between civilisations but a stand-off between the whole of society on the one hand and a fairly small and particularly nasty bunch of murderers and criminals on the others.

    In practical terms that means avoiding the temptation to artifically polarise debate.

    I’ve seen it so often in the long-running debate on climate change: wheel out the resident sceptic, however unrepresentative or discredited, to generate tension and voice provocative views in the name of editorial balance.

    It makes for more heated exchanges and louder headlines. But it is not the way to build a common consensus on the ground we share. And when it comes to counter-terrorism that is positively dangerous. It buys into the twisted rhetoric of division, so assiduously fostered by those who are the enemies of us all.

  60. Louis Hissink
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 5:06 AM | Permalink

    #59

    Never, ever believe the opinions of a Fabian.

  61. Roger Bell
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 7:26 AM | Permalink

    Re #55.
    The article in Physics World by Tennyson and Maurellis
    physicsweb.org/articles/world/16/5/7/1/pwten3%5F052003%
    says that CO2 absorbs in a relatively narrow spectral interval – 12 to 18 microns, while water absorbs over a much wider wavelength interval. Nicholas, do you know if detailed line by line calculations have been done to get the value of 11% for the contribution of CO2 to the total greenhouse effect?
    I ask because Tennyson has told me that at least one group doesn’t do this but simply treats water as a continuous absorber in some wavelength intervals, which is a superficial way of doing things.

    Roger

  62. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

    Roger, I did a post on this article last year http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=169 and http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=172. You’d have to look at how each GCM does things – many of them have in the past used “broadband” IR models i.e. parameterized absorption in the band, rather than LBL. There have been intercomparisons from time-to-time. The trend with more computing power has been to add detail.

  63. jaye
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

    CO2 has absorption bands around 2.5, 4.5 and 15 microns. I forget the exact numbers.

  64. jaye
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

    The 4.5 micron band is pretty strong.

  65. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 11:34 AM | Permalink

    The main band is around 667 cm-1 (cm-1 * microns = 10000). It’s very distinct in upwelling and downwelling spectra.

  66. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    Re: 44, Mick

    The Stern report had many inputs from environmental groups, insurance companies, fossil fuel industry and many others.

    Roger Pielke does not agree with you that insurance companies had much input into the Stern Report.

    Please see Stern’s cherry picking…..

  67. Paul Linsay
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 1:19 PM | Permalink

    The extra CO2 will trap a bit more radiation, mostly at 15 um since that is near the peak of the blackbody spectrum of the atmosphere. The question is what happens to it. As described in #53 it gets “thermalized”, that is, it’s spread out all over the blackbody spectrum of the atmosphere which has a thermodynamic temperature of about 288 K. If we are to believe the models the temperature of the atmosphere will increase by 0.01 to 0.04 C each year as CO2 ramps up. Then this change in temperature from 288 to 288.01 is supposed to load lots of extra water vapor into the air and magnify the effect. This in the presence of daily and annual changes of temperature that are orders of magnitude larger and handled easily by atmospheric dynamics. Maybe if there were a CO2 bomb the models might work.

  68. KevinUK
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    #50, Louis H

    It looks like you’ve missed some of my posts on nuclear power as you are surprised by the fact that CO2 is a (relatively) good thermal conductor (its actually quite poor at atmospheric pressure compared with some other gases eg. Helium). It is used as the primary coolant in all but one of the UK’s operational nuclear power reactors. However it is important to note that inorder to increase it’s thermal conductivity and so make it a more effective coolant it is pressurised to approx 40 bar (40 x atmospheric pressure) in the UKs Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors (AGRs).

    If you are interested in nuclear reactor coolants here is a link that provides some details.

    KevinUK

  69. Hans Erren
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

    re 63 64 65

    As Knut àƒ…ngstràƒ⵭ already showed as early as 1900, the absorption of dry CO2 is 18%
    The contribution of the 2.5 and 4.5 micron bands is marginal.

    see:
    àƒ…ngstràƒ⵭ K, 1900, Ueber die Bedeutung des Wasserdampfes und der Kohlensàƒ⣵re bei der Absorption der Erdatmosphàƒ⣲e. Annalen der Physik Bd 3. 1900, p720-732.

    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/angstrom1900/index.html

    Compare with àƒ…ngstràƒ⵭’s original figure 2 of 1900:

  70. Hans Erren
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    re 53:

    It’s not the absorption that causes the CO2 greenhouse effect, it’s the downward emission. The downward emission increases as the number of emitters (molecules) increases.

  71. cytochrome_sea
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    re 70: Well, also the collisional transfer to nearby N2 and O2 especially in the lower troposphere, no?

  72. Hans Erren
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    nope, the bulk of atmosphere warming comes from straightforward conduction from the surface and phase transitions of water, not from radiative heating, there are simply not enough spectral lines in oxygen and nitrogen.

  73. Louis Hissink
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

    Re#68

    Kevin

    I have missed your previous posts on that topic, since I go out in the field for extended periods and trawling through every post here when I am in civilisation isn’t really an option. Thanks for the update.

  74. KevinUK
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

    #58, John A

    I agree that for those of us who live in the UK this is indeed very disturbing. I followed Tom’s link in #56 to this and the best quote from this article IMO is

    “Yet, reading his findings, it is hard not to feel that the Stern report might create a monstrous misallocation of resources. We could give housing and clean water to the entire world, and eliminate all major diseases, for just a fifth of what Stern will cost. We ought, in other words, to be absolutely certain of the gains before we start. As yet, we are not.”

    I fully agree with this statement. IMO there is a crime being perpertrated at the moment here in the UK. The crime being perpetrated is that funds that should be be spent on real world problems will if the UK Government has its way be diverted to at best a futile political exercise in bolstering the international reputations of some of our UK politicians. Please, please, please UK public, wait up and smell these particular putrified roses as other wise it will be too late.

    KevinUK

  75. KevinUK
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

    #71 c_s

    ‘collisonal transfer’. That’ll be diffusion (brownian motion) then not to mention all that convection that occurs in our atmosphere courtesy of the diffences in temperature and therefore pressure that occur in our atmosphere thanks to Boyles Law that in turn ensures that the CO2 we emit from our cars, power stations and airplanes is uniformly distributed around our planet. And of course don’t forget to mention the water vapour (the real greenhouse gas) that is thanks to convection evenly distributed around our planet (NOT!)? What’s my point? Why should global warming be driven by a minor greenhouse gas (CO2) when it is obvious that the real culprit is water vapour? In other words, the real greenhouse gas that sadly for the eco-theologians isn’t man-made, that in its liquid form covers approx 2/3 of our planet and is essential (along with CO2) to our continued existence on this planet.

    KevinUK

  76. JP
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    re: 70 So what happens when we have higher levels of CO2 and a clear night with low humidity? Does the heat get radiated into space faster?

  77. Hans Erren
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    Kevin, although CO2 is a trace gas it is a major greenhouse gas.

    Anthropogenic change in water vapour is relatively small because water vapour is a less potent greenhouse gas (it takes more water to get the same result as CO2).

    Sorry, physics.

  78. Hans Erren
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

    re 76, no slower, because the increase in radiation to space occurs from a cooler layer. The radiation from the hot surface is absorbed better by the excess CO2, and replaced by the cooler CO2. So if we look from the outside of the earth we see a cold CO2 layer emitting radiation, instead of the warm surface.

  79. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 6:57 PM | Permalink

    re: #78

    So if we look from the outside of the earth we see a cold CO2 layer emitting radiation, instead of the warm surface.

    Well, that’s true as far as the CO2 absorption band goes. But for the rest of the IR spectra, when the humidity is low, space will see a slightly warmer surface emitting. [Well, I suspect that there's a large portion of the thermal IR spectra which is so saturated by water vapor that even in what we'd call very arid areas it will still be saturated by what little water there is. So the sky will just see water vapor at a lower altitude than usual and thus at a higher temperature than usual emitting in most of the spectra. There are, of course some holes where neither H2O nor CO2 absorb and there space will see a bit warmer surface.]

  80. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 7:21 PM | Permalink

    Re #72, Hans, you say:

    nope, the bulk of atmosphere warming comes from straightforward conduction from the surface and phase transitions of water, not from radiative heating, there are simply not enough spectral lines in oxygen and nitrogen.

    This is in direct contradiction of general global energy budgets. The most widely agreed-upon budget is that of Kiehl-Trenberth, which gives the following figures for heating of the atmosphere:

    Direct absorption of solar energy – 67 W/m2

    Conduction from the surface – 24 W/m2

    Evaporation – 78 W/m2

    Radiation – 360 W/m2

    Although these figures are approximate, it is clear that the major warming of the atmosphere is from radiation.

    w.

  81. KevinUK
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 7:29 PM | Permalink

    #77, Hans

    Have a read of this and so as to ensure a balance between pro and anti-AGWism then read this. And Hans, as a physicist I do understand the definition of Global Warming Potential (GWP) given here as well as the importance of conduction and convection as well a sradiation in the distribution of heat around this planet.

    KevinUK

  82. Nicholas
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

    Roger: Sorry, I do not remember exactly where I got those figures from.

    I remember at one point doing some Google searching in order to work out whether scientists agreed upon how large the contribution of CO2 on the “greenhouse effect” is, and if so what the answer is. I found a number of differing figures. I think it’s because you get different answers depending upon how you measure it or analyze the problem. For example, if you calculate how much of a “greenhouse effect” there would be with ONLY CO2, compared to if you calculate how much there would be WITHOUT CO2 (but with everything else), those answers don’t add up to 100%.

    I got the impression the 11% figure came from empirical measurements (perhaps by shining sunlight through a chamber filled with air from the atmosphere, measuring the light coming out of it, then changing the %age of CO2 and measuring again), but that was just an impression I got, I’m not sure that’s how they did it. It might have been all paper calculations. Personally I would go for empirical measurements if at all possible, but perhaps the differences in the example I gave would be too small to accurately measure. I agree that if this calculation is done on paper it should be a proper integral across all bands in which the sun radiates, for proper accuracy, and should probably take the temperature and composition of the atmosphere at different altitudes into consideration too.

    Sorry I don’t have better information for you, perhaps if you hit Google and search for something like “co2 greenhouse effect contribution percentage” you’ll find some of the articles I did.

  83. MarkR
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

    Re#80 Where in the model is the figure for the energy loss from Earth core cooling, and is it sigificant?

  84. Louis Hissink
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 11:07 PM | Permalink

    Re#83

    MsrkR, the assumption that the core is cooling is problematical.

    The earth has a magnetic field that has to be generated internally by commensurate electric currents, and electric currents through resistive loads generate heat.

    Since the geomagnetic field seems to be reasonably steady, this suggests that something is driving the internal electric currents, whether in the core or elsewhere within the earth. In other words the earth is getting a source of energy from somewhere.

    Now all that energy has to go somewhere and it certainly does not end up being trapped in the earth’s core.

    The other assumption is that the earth’s internal temperature is maintained by decay of radioactive nucleides but that theory has an enormous difficulty – there is not enough helium around from assumed decay of those nucleides over time.

    Now two possibilities come to mind, one which creationsists come up with, and one which science comes up with.

    If the earth’s internal heat is not driven by radiogenic decay then what else is driving it? How about the electric currents maintaining the geomagnetic field?

    The assumption made in the cartoon Willis posted is the belief that the earth’s internal temperature is purely radiogenic and hence irrelevant.

    I would venture that thermal fluctuations within the mass of the earth itself would have more effect on the temperature of the earth’s surface and thus the air than us burning some hydrocarbons.

  85. jaye
    Posted Nov 12, 2006 at 11:24 PM | Permalink

    RE: 69

    2.5 and 4.5 are important to IR imaging systems (FLIR’s, Seekers, etc.). I tend to forget about anything above 12 microns.

  86. MarkR
    Posted Nov 13, 2006 at 1:19 AM | Permalink

    Re#84 If one accepts that the Earths core is relatively very hot (whatever the heat source), then the laws of physics dictate that the heat must be disipated. IWHT There is only one way for the heat to go, and that is outwards from the Earth.

  87. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Nov 13, 2006 at 2:37 AM | Permalink

    Re 84, 86, while there is heat coming from inside the earth, it has been measured and is quite small on average. From memory, it’s on the order of 0.1 watts/m2, which over the entire surface is a lot, but on a per square meter basis is a couple orders of magnitude smaller than the climate drivers. I’ll look for some references, but it’s small. Hang on …

    Thanks for waiting. There’s a reference here which says:

    Although 38 trillion Watts is a lot of energy, when we spread it out over the entire surface of the Earth, the average global heat flow is only about 0.075 Watts/meter2

    Guess my memory’s not entirely gone yet …

    w.

  88. Louis Hissink
    Posted Nov 13, 2006 at 5:20 AM | Permalink

    Re #86,87

    Which suggests the core may not be as hot as we assume it to be.

    Unfortunately I have to go to the field again (42 deg C stuff in Halls Creek in the Kimberley of Western Australia) so right now I can’t focus too much on this, or any thread for that matter, plus a house move before Xmas) so I’ll be AWOL for a month.

    One interesting calculation I did some time ago was to assume equal specific heats for the air and earth, and worked out how much the earth’s temperature would need to raise the temperature of the atmosphere 1 Kelvin. I think I might have posted it on the Hissink file on the Henry Thornton site but then my memory is a little hazy on that one.

    I promise to think about it though :-)

  89. beng
    Posted Nov 13, 2006 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

    RE 86:

    The heat will dissipate, unless surrounded by a perfect insulator, which doesn’t exist in nature. But the crust is a very good heat insulator, being many miles thick, so the rate of heat escaping is very, very slow.

    I’m speculating, but I’d think much of that (small) heat release occurs underwater in the mid-oceanic volcanic ridges.

  90. Posted Nov 13, 2006 at 9:39 AM | Permalink

    Hans Erren:

    ..although CO2 is a trace gas it is a major greenhouse gas.

    Anthropogenic change in water vapour is relatively small because water vapour is a less potent greenhouse gas (it takes more water to get the same result as CO2).

    I’m sorry Hans but that makes no sense at all. On Mars, the partial pressure of CO2 is approximately ten times that of the Earth, yet the greenhouse effect is miniscule. A similar calculation would show that water vapour is far more important the retention of heat than CO2, which is why El Ninos cause a general rise in temperatures globally.

  91. KevinUK
    Posted Nov 13, 2006 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    #90, hans

    Go and read the post I linked to over at RC and you’ll see that the debate is about whether water vapour is a feedback or a forcing. This is what is at the crux of the modelling debate and enables the GCMs to come up with their alarmist predictions. The fact is no one really knows the answer but that doesn’t stop the modellers from claiming an unjustifiable level on certainty in their predictions. Note when you read this post, that Gavin uses a computer model to justify his claim that water vapour is a feedback and not a significant forcing.

    KevinUK

  92. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 13, 2006 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

    RE: #89 – In addition to the mid oceanic ridges (and their continental extensions) pretty much any area that is undergoing crustal extension (for example, Nevada) will have high heat flow relative to the overall crustal mean.

  93. bender
    Posted Nov 13, 2006 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

    Re #84

    MarkR, the assumption that the core is cooling is problematical. The earth has a magnetic field that has to be generated internally by commensurate electric currents, and electric currents through resistive loads generate heat. Since the geomagnetic field seems to be reasonably steady …

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the geomagnetic field was weakening as we approach a change in polarity? I also thought climatic volatility was expected to increase as we approach this switch? Maybe these are just very slow processes compared to the time-frame you have in mind? (Or maybe I’ve just been watching too much Star Trek / Discovery Channel?!)

  94. Hans Erren
    Posted Nov 13, 2006 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

    re: 90

    John where did you get the information that there is no greenhouse effect on mars.

    Here is a comparison of the outgoing infrared spectrum of venus earth and mars

    enlargement:

    discussion:

    http://origins.jpl.nasa.gov/library/exnps/ch04_2.html

    using:

    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/sb.htm

    distance: 1.5 AU
    coalbedo: 85%
    emisivity 100% (no CO2)
    yields: equilibrium temperature: -54.749 ºC

    estimated emissivity from the graph: 80% (approx 20% CO2 absorption, please correct me)
    yields: equilibrium temperature: -42.219 ºC

    Total Greenhouse effect on Mars: 12.53 ºC

    Source:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_(planet)

  95. Hans Erren
    Posted Nov 13, 2006 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

    re 89, 92
    terrestrial heat flow:

    http://www.geo.lsa.umich.edu/IHFC/heatflow.html

  96. Paul Linsay
    Posted Nov 13, 2006 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    #95: Beautiful map! Could the hot ridge off the coast of S. America be the cause of El Nino? The warm water is trapped and builds up under the over laying cold water. Eventually it becomes unstable and rises to the surface all at once?

  97. Hans Erren
    Posted Nov 13, 2006 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

    re 91: agree the WV feedback claim is extreme.
    see:

    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/howmuch.htm

    re 79:
    Metoosat gives impressive online vater vapour maps (6.2 micron wavelength):

    copyright 2006 Eumetsat

    Note the water vapour infrared saturation, you can’t see the surface!

  98. Posted Nov 13, 2006 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

    Hans

    John where did you get the information that there is no greenhouse effect on mars.

    Where did I say there was no Greenhouse effect on Mars? There is an effect, but its very much smaller than the Earth’s.

    Its water vapour which has a massive effect in retaining heat.

  99. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 13, 2006 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    RE: #96 – No. El Nino is due to the ENSO, which is due to the periodically piling up warm pool off of SE Asia. If the pool has built up to a certain height, and the trade winds relax, all that warm water overcomes the prevailing Equatorial Current and sloshes eastward across the Pacific.

    One thing about the East Pacific Rise, though, is that is has some of the most prolific “black smoker” thermal vents seen anywhere via deep sea exploration. Draw your own conclusions about what that does to the notion that we “know” the sum total of all GHGs and other gases being added to the system by so called “volcanism.” I think that when many researchers refer to “volcanism” they are alluding to volcanoes that emit directly into the atmosphere and may be missing out on what is going on in the abyss.

  100. McCall
    Posted Nov 14, 2006 at 12:04 AM | Permalink

    Good summary graphics of absorption spectra of GHGs and the absorption coefficient of H20:
    http://www.meteor.iastate.edu/gccourse/forcing/images/image7.gif

    and
    http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/vibrat.html

    Dr Hoyt has referenced the latter — I don’t recall where I came across the former. One must also consider the latter because of SST warming dynamic misconceptions that are popular with AGW crowd — namely how shallow into the ocean depths, that GHG-contributed (especially CO2) infrared actually penetrates. The incremental ocean penetration/absorption at 2.6+, 4+, and 14+ microns is very shallow compared to other spectra including the visible.

  101. McCall
    Posted Nov 14, 2006 at 12:16 AM | Permalink

    of H2O

  102. George
    Posted Nov 14, 2006 at 12:40 AM | Permalink

    Re 98

    Sherwood Idso used the Venus-Mars greenhouse effects to temperature increases due to CO2 doubling. He said,

    “Venus exhibits a greenhouse warming of approximately 500°C that is produced by a 93-bar atmosphere of approximately 96% CO2; while Mars exhibits a greenhouse warming of 5 to 6°C that is produced by an almost pure CO2 atmosphere that fluctuates over the Martian year between 0.007 and 0.010 bar. Plotting the 2 points defined by these data on a log-log coordinate system of CO2-induced global warming versus atmospheric CO2 partial pressure and connecting them by a straight line produces a relationship that, when extrapolated to CO2 partial pressures characteristic of present-day Earth, once again yields a mean global warming of only 0.4°C for a 300 to 600 ppm doubling of the air’s CO2 content.”

    That leaves a lot of room for water vapor. John’s correct.

    Idso: A skeptic’s view of potential climate change. Climate Research, 10: 69–82, 1998. Available from

    http://www.int-res.com/articles/cr/10//c010p069.pdf

    along with a lot of other worthwhile articles. CR is a fine journal.

  103. Posted Nov 14, 2006 at 2:53 AM | Permalink

    Re #102

    George,

    It’s interesting for that paper that from several different experiments, Idso produces the same value for the total Greenhouse effect of around 0.1°C/(W m–2)

    The late John Daly did a similar calculation based on the elliptical orbit of the Earth and got a value of 0.11 °C/(W m–2).

    That’s the total Greenhouse Effect: water vapour, CO2, methane and trace gases. So why we are being told that the climate sensitivity of just one component is ten, twenty or more times that value is another of those “Great Mysteries of Climate Modelling”

  104. Louis Hissink
    Posted Nov 14, 2006 at 6:24 AM | Permalink

    re #103

    Very simple – study Stern’s report as summarised by John Ray a day, or so, ago.

    “The starting point of the Stern report is the argument that climate change reveals the flaws of capitalism. `It is the greatest example of market failure we have ever seen’, says the report (p1). The fact that the market system is seen as driving the world to disaster is a strong indication of the nervous mindset of its authors and its government sponsor. ”

    In other words the imagined climate catastrophe is not humanity but capitalism.

    The theory of anthropgenic climate change, I suspect, has always been to counter capitalism, or the system in which individual citizens decide what to do, as opposed to its corrolary, totalitarianism in which an authority, whether based in Divinity or other-wise, dictates how we, as individuals, act.

    I suspect we have opened the door to another Dark Age.

  105. Louis Hissink
    Posted Nov 14, 2006 at 6:52 AM | Permalink

    Re #93

    Bender,

    Appreciate your comment.

    Now if the geomagnetic field is decreasing over measureable time, how come no one seems to have any graphs of it? My personal experience, professionally) is that it is “variable”.

    I am aware that one group of commentators reckon it’s decreasing (from an assumed base 10,000 years ag0) but those conclusions seem short of a bit of hard data ( me being an unlra-cynical exploration geologist).

    That said, your comment is relevant for it touches on the duration of some geophysical phenomena.

    Please comment thoughtfully :-)

  106. Posted Nov 14, 2006 at 7:14 AM | Permalink

    Actually it wasn’t John Ray who said it. He quoted (verbatim) an article by Daniel Ben-Ami here

  107. fFreddy
    Posted Nov 14, 2006 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    Re #84, Louis Hissink

    If the earth’s internal heat is not driven by radiogenic decay then what else is driving it?

    I always wondered about tidal friction. Might explain why Mars and Venus have almost no magnetic field.

  108. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 14, 2006 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    RE: #100 – It is interesting that the AGW fanatics’ typical argument is that they don’t need to demonstrate statistical skill because “the Physics” help make their case, when, in fact, anyone who really knows Physics (especially Quantum Mechanics) can immediately see that the AGW fanatics are actually in afront to Physics!

  109. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 14, 2006 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

    RE: #104 – Looking at the confluence of capitalist self hatred, junk science, changes in resource sourcing, and general geopolitical dynamics, all layered on top of what may be an approaching peak of a warm period, I can’t refute your last sentence.

  110. Tom
    Posted Nov 14, 2006 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    Guardian’s Monbiot attacks Monckton (without mentioning Wegman once):

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1947248,00.html

  111. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 14, 2006 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    RE: #110 – I am reminded of a book by Burnham, titled “The Suicide of the West.” To attack the foundation of the scientific method, and of logic in general, is to embark on a suicidal jouney. No good can come of it.

  112. Hans Erren
    Posted Nov 14, 2006 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

    re 102, 103

    It depends how you calculate the greenhouse effect on Mars, my numbers based on observed spectra show 12 degrees.

    The radiative equilibrium surface (photosphere) for venus is at the cloud tops. Below temperature follows the adiabat. So it’s a bit more complicated.

    Also, because of the big thermal inertia of oceans and ice caps, climate sensitivity is not a constant but acts more like a low pass filter.

    PS pretty site improvement!

  113. Hans Erren
    Posted Nov 14, 2006 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    This graph was not published in the previous post

  114. John Baltutis
    Posted Nov 14, 2006 at 7:39 PM | Permalink

    Re: 104

    The true socialist-state paradigm: blame capitalism and not statism. We’re closer to revisiting the dark ages than most realize”¢’‚¬?Gaia-think (the green religion), forever.

  115. Louis Hissink
    Posted Nov 16, 2006 at 4:45 AM | Permalink

    Re #107

    An interesting issue has been raised with comment #107.

    I gotta think about this, and right now it a bit hard as I am off to the Kimberley region of Western Australia for 2 weeks, so the mind is on more important matters.

    That said, I have to rattle a cage or two of my plasma physicist mates to get an angle on this perceptive observation.

    I’ll post a comment here if I can get a quick response from the PP’s otherwise it will have to wait until I get back to the big smoke.

  116. fFreddy
    Posted Nov 16, 2006 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

    Re #115, Louis Hissink
    Yes, please, I’d love to hear what knowledgeable folk think of it.
    As background, Mercury is the only other of the rocky planets with any significant magnetic field, and that is only about 1% of ours. It doesn’t have a moon, but it is so much closer to the sun, and tidal forces are an inverse cube effect, that one wonders if solar tides alone would be enough to be relevant.
    Of course, the other thing is that tidal flexing for Earth would be larger near the planet’s surface rather than near the core; for Mercury, it would be much more constant throughout. Dunno how that would affect things.

  117. jae
    Posted Nov 16, 2006 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

    Here’s an interesting view.

  118. Paul Linsay
    Posted Nov 16, 2006 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    The problem of the earth’s magnetic field was solved about a decade ago. Here’s a simulation and discussion by the scientists who solved the nonlinear equations for the molten iron core and magnetic field. More detail is given here.

  119. jae
    Posted Nov 16, 2006 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

    Radioactivity may be responsible for heating in the core, according to some research.

  120. fFreddy
    Posted Nov 16, 2006 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    Re #118, Paul Linsay
    Paul, thank you, but those don’t address Louis’ original question in #84 of where the core heat comes from.
    Also, since getting more familiar with climatology, I tend to be a bit cynical about great big supercomputer models with enormous uncertainties in their inputs …

  121. fFreddy
    Posted Nov 16, 2006 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

    Re #119, jae
    Yes, radioactivity is the thing you always hear as the reason. But Louis in #84 is pointing out problems with that. Given that he is the pro geologist, and I’m just an interested amateur, I’ll take his word for it.
    Although, come to think of it, I wonder if radioactive decay is where the helium in crude oil comes from ?

  122. John Reid
    Posted Nov 17, 2006 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

    I recently had an email correspondence with a climatologist friend, a convinced Warmer, about Monckton etc. He responded that he is convinced about AGW because of his specialist knowledge of ocean latent heat fluxes. I will paraphrase what he said about this -

    Radiation budget measurements are extremely tricky and only accurate to 10 w/m2 at best.

    Zonally averaged surface heat fluxes have shown increases greater than 10 w/m2 in the last two decades.

    The reason for these increases is not understood. They could be due to greenhouse gas forcing or they could be due to changes in solar radiation fluxes.

    I replied as follows -

    Now consider that a recent (IPCC I think) value for the forcing resulting from doubling of CO2 is 4.4 w/m2. Given the above I can only concluded that either the 4.4 w/m2 figure is wrong, or something other than (or as well as) CO2 is responsible for the observed increases in latent heat flux.

    In any event the people who wish to engineer the earth’s climate by controlling greenhouse gases wish to do so on the basis of a theoretical change in a physical quantity which is too small to be measured.

    I have another issue with this radiation question. Monckton’s argument can be summarized in a back-of-the envelope calculation as follows:

    Bodies (black or otherwise) radiate heat according to Stefan’s Law which says that the radiated energy is proportional to the fourth power of the absolute temperature. Hence an incremental change in radiative forcing of 4.4 w/m2 in 1300 w/m2 (0.34 percent) should lead to an incremental change in absolute temperature of 1/4 of this, i.e. of 0.085 percent.This percentage of 300 K is 0.255 K which is an order of magnitude smaller than the 3 K to 5 K being bandied around by the IPCC.

    Certainly the earth is not a black body and does not have a “surface” per se from which radiates. Nevertheless Stefan’s Law is derived from thermodynamics and it seems unlikely that any part of a thermodynamical system would have the ability to concentrate heat so as to yield a temperature change which is ten times the black body value.

    I have recently come to believe that present day CO2 increases are in fact man-made. I was convinced by Fig 3.4 of IPCC TAR (Bert Bolin’s diagram on the KTH thread). It is impossible to explain observed small decreases in atmospheric O2 without assuming some process such as combustion or respiration. In the diagram about half of the CO2 deficit is due to ocean uptake and the other half goes into the biosphere.

    It is perhaps an impediment to our understanding that this man-made increase in [CO2] happened to occur at a time of global warming due to changing solar output. This has inhibited the ocean from taking up the excess CO2 which it would have done in cooler times and this has lead to an unfortunate misunderstanding about the nature of the climate system.

    While present-day CO2 increase is due to human activity the close relationship between atmospheric CO2 concentration and proxy temperatures in the Vostok (IPECA) ice cores is most likely due to changing solubility in sea water although permafrost formation may also have played a part. Whatever the reason it would be completely misleading to use the regression relationship between [CO2] and T in these ice cores to predict temperature increases in the present day because a completely different mechanism is involved.

    John Reid

  123. Mr. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 17, 2006 at 8:35 PM | Permalink

    Sorry guys, but earths magnetic field has not been anywhere near fully understood. I was deep into the research a decade ago, with a full on explanatory theory, thats where I got my 115,000 yrs of 1-2mm sediment core samples. The earths field is thought to be understood, but not its behavior or its effects. I have not heard of any new theories coming out to change this view and I just talked with my UC Berkely Phd advisor yesterday due to the earthquake generated tsunami in Crescent City. She allowed me to present my thesis as part of the explanations for the behavior of the earths magnetic field in her classes as a graduate student in geology.

    Also, in my research I found that MOST of the planets have a measurable magnetic field, although not as powerful as earths, they exibit a similar type of behavior as far as we can measure these things. Feel free to ask any questions, I can dig out all my old books and notes if needed. I am sure this is all to be found online somewhere. University of Washington was one of the leaders in the field a decade ago, I am sure they have lots of newer information posted.

  124. Curt
    Posted Nov 17, 2006 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

    #122 John: In your back-of-the-envelope calculations, I think you should be using 1300(+)/4 W/m2 as
    the average (over time and surface area) incoming radiative flux. This brings your temperature
    increase from 0.25K to 1.0K, but still this is substantially less than the warmers’ estimates.

  125. KevinUK
    Posted Nov 18, 2006 at 5:53 AM | Permalink

    #123 Mr Rocks

    Have your read the link supplied by jae in #119? What do you think? I’m not a geologist/geophysicist but the article has piqued my interest in geophysics and what causes the earths magnetic field to vary. Can you suggest some good web sites where I can reasearch this subject? Do you know of any references which underpin the theory that the earth was formed from large meteor collisions. What caused these meteors to start to coalesce (form the first stages of a planet) in the first place?

    KevinUK

  126. Mick
    Posted Nov 18, 2006 at 11:09 AM | Permalink

    #84 and others.

    From what I understand, the heat produced in the Earth’s core is a relatively small fraction of the total. Most of the heating by radioactive decay is actually in the mantle. Overall, the Earth is only generating about half as much heat as is being lost to space at the surface. The interior is therefore cooling and the solid inner core growing over time. The magnetic field appears to be generated in the liquid outer core by a “self-exciting dynamo” involving convective fluid flow. Interestingly, the temperature gradient in the outer core is sub-adiabatic, so the fluid convection is not simply driven by temperature gradients. Rather, it appears that the fluid Fe outer core contains a dilutant, probably S or H, that lowers its density. As the core cools, Fe freezes out on the growing, solid inner core, but the H or S is left behind. This results in the creation of a S or H enriched layer of Fe surrounding the inner core. This lower density material then convects – a process known as “compositional convection”, and one which can occur at subadiabatic temperature gradients. The convective flow is not simply radially towards or away from the core because of Coriolis forces which inhibit radial flows but allow flows parallel to the rotation axis. Supporting evidence comes from the quadrupole component of the measured field which suggests that there are actually four cylindrical cells of fluid flow in the outer core aligned with the rotation axis. Each cylinder generates a field and the composite of these yields the Earth’s overall field. There is a good account of this in The Inaccessible Earth, by Musset and Brown. It’s a while since I looked at this, so there may be more recent revisions of these ideas.

    The idea that there has to be Fe freezing out at the surface of a growing inner core to generate the field in a terrestrial planet may explain why Venus has no magnetic field. It may simply be that Venus’s core is too hot for a solid inner region to have formed yet.

  127. Mrwelikerocks
    Posted Nov 18, 2006 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    Kevin UK, The above explanation is as good as anything I can come up with off the top of my head. I have a 10yr old text called “Reversals of the earths magnetic field by ? (I will go find it and post later) It has the top 10 theories of the geohydrodynamo and why it behaves the way it does. But it is 10 yrs old and more recent work is more than likely available.

    I would go to the University of Washinton geophysics ( Seatle campus I think?) web page for a good start. They were the leaders in the field 10 yrs ago. Also NASA Goddard space science web site used to have some good information.

    Its been a long time but its my first passion. The planetary magnetic fields are really interesting.

  128. Mrwelikerocks
    Posted Nov 18, 2006 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

    #125 Kevin UK, Yes I read the link. I have the original papers on the subject in my garage with that text so I am quite familar with the computer modelling that was done at that time (1996 I think?) It does a decent job of modelling the field for a short period of time. The spontaneous reversals can be explained when you look at the system from a chaos point of view. My model has a more detailed explanation using the earths orbital parameters to induce the chaotic current behavior. Interestingly the earths magnetic field components show up in deep sea and lake sediments, that was what I was looking at.

  129. John Reid
    Posted Nov 18, 2006 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    Re #124

    Curt. Why am I supposed to divide the solar radiation flux at the top of the atmosphere by 4?

    JR

  130. Mick
    Posted Nov 18, 2006 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    #129
    The solar flux intercepted by the Earth is equal to the solar constant times the cross-sectional area, i.e., 4 * pi * R^2.

    But the surface area of the Earth is 4 * pi * R^2.

    So the flux per unit surface area = the solar constant divided by 4.

  131. Mick
    Posted Nov 18, 2006 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

    #128, 129 ooops – typo. Cross sectional area is pi * R^2. Surface area is 4 * pi * R^2.

  132. John Reid
    Posted Nov 19, 2006 at 4:01 AM | Permalink

    RE #130,131

    Mick. Thanks mate, you’re right. I guess it depends on how “radiative forcing” is defined.

    JR

  133. Posted Nov 19, 2006 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

    Re #122,

    John, the temperature – CO2 level relationship in the Vostok ice core is one-way (the influence of temperature on CO2 levels), doesn’t tell anything about the reverse relationship (the influence of CO2 levels on temperature). In fact there is one period in the Vostok core where CO2 levels stayed high, while the temperature (and methane levels) were already near their minimum, at the end of the Eemian, the previous interglacial. The subsequent reduction of about 40 ppmv CO2 had no measurable influence on temperatures. See here.

  134. Posted Nov 19, 2006 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

    Re #122,

    John, the temperature – CO2 level relationship in the Vostok ice core is one-way (the influence of temperature on CO2 levels), as CO2 always followed temperature changes with a (huge) lag. That doesn’t tell anything about the reverse relationship (the influence of CO2 levels on temperature). In fact there is one period in the Vostok core where CO2 levels stayed high, while the temperature (and methane levels) were already near their minimum, at the end of the Eemian, the previous interglacial. The subsequent reduction of about 40 ppmv CO2 had no measurable influence on temperatures. See here. That points to a low influence of CO2 on temperature…

  135. John Reid
    Posted Nov 19, 2006 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    Re #134

    Ferdinand. Our skepticism about this does not appear to have bothered Jim Hansen who says “Ice Age Forcings Imply Global Climate Sensitivity ~3/4 deg C per W/m2″ in his presentation of 23 April 2006.

    JR

  136. Hans Erren
    Posted Nov 19, 2006 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

    re 135:
    As the earth climate acts as a low pass filter, the ice age sensitivity doesn’t say anyting about sensitivity to shortperiod (centuries) fluctuations.

    ;

  137. John Reid
    Posted Nov 21, 2006 at 3:30 AM | Permalink

    Re #136

    Surely this is not just about time scales. The ice age sensitivity does not say anything about the present day because a completely different mechanism is involved. On the one hand changing ocean temperature changes the way in which CO2 is partitioned between ocean and atmosphere. On the other hand increasing anthropogenic CO2 is supposedly causing a global temperature increase.

    JR

  138. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Dec 4, 2006 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

    re: CO2 infra-red absorption, etc., – 53-100 approx., especially Hans Erren!

    One cannot separate heat absorbance of CO2 from emission – the molecule has to absorb energy before it can emit at a different frequency, and the total energy emitted cannot be more than what is absorbed. Sorry to be simplistic, but one or two of the previous submissions seem to ignore this.

    And as for water vapour not being as effective as C02 – !!!!! It’s many, many times more effective as a heat transfer agent on a molecule for molecule basis, as well as there being about one hundred times more of it than CO2. The relative specific heats are almost irrelevant – it’s the latent heat of water vapour which allows it to absorb and give up hundreds of times more heat than any other atmospheric gas when it vapourises and condenses, which is how water vapour “heat exchanges” in the atmosphere. Conductivity is not that important in a “mixed gas” situation, but for the record water vapour is about forty times more thermally conductive than C02.

    There are two 100% absorbance peaks for CO2 in the thermal energy band of 1 to 15 micrometers, at 2.6 – 2.8 and 4.1 – 4.5. There are a couple of very small peaks, around 15% absorbance, at around 2.1 and 4.8 micrometers. At about 13 micrometers there is the shoulder of a broad 100% absorbance band which goes on to well above 15 micrometers, but these are low-energy wavelengths outside the the thermal region. The absorbance peaks for water vapour are at 1.1 (about 80%), 1.4 (over 90%), 1.7-1.0, 2.5-3.4 and 5.0-7.0 (all 100%) micrometers. Note that the first three are at shorter wavelengths and are therefore more energetic than the CO2 peaks, and the fourth overlaps the broader of the two main CO2 absorbance peaks. You could lose all the CO2 and any thermal energy “left over” – and I doubt there would be any – would be instantly absorbed by water vapour. CO2 just cannot be having this huge effect on our atmosphere – there simply is not enough of it. That’s no excuse for dumping it in the atmosphere, mind, any more than dumping raw sewage in rivers, but reducing anthropogenic CO2 (still less taxing it!) is just not going to stop climate change.

    These are basic chemical engineering data, not computer simulations ! (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

    Peter Lloyd

  139. John Reid
    Posted Dec 4, 2006 at 11:33 PM | Permalink

    Re #138 Peter Lloyd

    Thanks for your post Peter. Is there a text book review paper which spells it out as well as you do? I can quote you but references to blog posts tend not to be taken seriously.

    JR

  140. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Dec 4, 2006 at 11:54 PM | Permalink

    re: #138 Peter,

    First of all, CO2 does not emit the same energy as it absorbs. Except for very rare instances, the energy is lost almost immediately as heat to the surrounding atmosphere which is almost entirely N2 and O2. These do not emit long-wave IR except as part of the occasional black body radiation caused by collisions. But CO2 and H20 also collide with other molecules and pick up energy and occasionally this is enough to produce long-wave IR.

    Secondly, don’t confuse radiation with convection, where, of course H2O far excels, as you indicate. But that’s a different property of water and might theoretically be another molecule altogether in some alternative universe. And that doesn’t even mention some of the other miraculous properties of water such as expanding upon cooling (well, fresh water does anyway). And snow and ice reflecting radiation so well, etc.

    Finally while it’s true that CO2 absorbs at 100% over much of its spectrum, there are always side bands which aren’t saturated. They’re caused by things like what amounts to a doppler effect, isotope effects and even by quantum uncertainty. Sure the current ones will saturate at some point, but there are always new ones coming on-line and that’s why there’s a logrithmic difference in absorption at different concentrations of CO2.

  141. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Dec 5, 2006 at 5:32 AM | Permalink

    re: John Reid/139

    McCartney E.J. Absorption and emission by atmospheric gases.
    John Wiley & Sons, 1983

    It’s rather dense, but the info. is there if you burrow.

    I know about the blog syndrome – I’m well accustomed to not being taken seriously -especially when I quote Newton, or Kepler, or even Boyles Law. Apparently they are all, like me, ignorant contrarians.

    Best of luck with McCartney. Might I also suggest getting hold of an old IR spectroscope lab. manual, from Perkin Elmer or similar – these manuals usually contained tables of transmission/absorption spectra for all the common gases.

    Peter Lloyd

  142. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Dec 5, 2006 at 8:59 AM | Permalink

    re: Dave Dardinger/140

    Dave – in my first para. I said that CO2 emits at a different frequency than that at which it absorbs, which is the same as saying different energy. I also reported the sidebands in the CO2 IR absorption spectrum – 15% at 2.1 and 4.8 micrometers. And I must correct you – there are NEVER any new ones coming on line. IR spectra are fixed characteristics.

    When you say “the energy is lost…as heat to the surrounding atmosphere” – yes, that’s heat transfer, that’s CO2 doing its greenhouse gas thing!

    As regards water, I’m certainly not confusing conduction and convection (yes I am -convection is only a special case of conduction, and when you get down to the fundamental physics, they are all radiation!!). But it would not matter if I did, because the mechanism does not matter, nor does the fact that “it is a different property”. All that matters in the context of greenhouse gas warming is that IR energy is absorbed, and is lost as heat by any combination of whatever mechanisms to the molecules of the atmosphere.

    My thesis is simply that fundamental physics shows that CO2 is a very much poorer absorber of IR than water vapour; that it has much less energy to transfer, by a factor of about 500; and that at only 0.04% it cannot warm the atmosphere sufficiently, let alone the whole planet. Solar radiation, with water vapour as a “greenhouse”, is an adequate mechanism.

    Incidentally, incoming solar IR is often dismissed by climatologists as being far too weak a component of the solar spectrum to have much effect on Earth’s heat balance. Maybe weak compared to the sun’s total energy emission spectrum, but it is very significant compared to Earth’s heat flux. Stand outside on a cold, clear day and feel the sun on your wind-chilled skin. That’s IR, man, powerful radiant thermal energy direct from the Sun at between 1 and 15 micrometers, even after having been filtered through the atmosphere. It’s not re-radiated, because the instant a cloud passes across the Sun, the radiation stops. IR re-radiated from the earth’s surface is very weak in comparison. QED.

    Peter Lloyd

  143. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Dec 5, 2006 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

    Well Peter,

    I can’t decide if you’re only slightly confused or very much confused. The trouble is that you’re not very precise in what you’re talking about. Let me just make one or two points.

    I said that CO2 emits at a different frequency than that at which it absorbs, which is the same as saying different energy.

    You’re clearly confused about what I was saying, whether that’s my fault or yours. Let me be more detailed. When a molecule absorbs a photon the energy of the photon is converted into a change in vibration or rotation or electron level of the molecule. Here I wish I could remember the rules of QM better since I don’t recall if it’s possible for the absorption of a photon to effect the translational velocity of the molecule or not. I’m seeming to recall that it can’t since the photon has no rest mass, but OTOH, I know that things like solar sails are possible, so there must some translational momentum. Anyway, pending clarification I’m assuming not; at any rate we know that at least part of the energy of a photon being absorbed by a GHG is converted to internal energy. So we have an activated molecule moving at perhaps the same speed as before.

    Now at this point one of two things can happen. Either it emits another photon fairly quickly or it give the energy of the photon up to another molecule. In a collision what was some other form of energy can get converted into an increase or decrease in the velocity of the colliding molecules (now both entities have rest mass so there’s no problem.) This results in the conversion of say rotational energy to translational energy; i.e. heat. And the opposite can also happen when two molecules collide. One or both of them can lose translational energy and convert it to rotational energy, say. Exactly how much is converted depends on the angles of collision, and the various quantum rules. If the molecule we’re talking about is CO2 then it may at some point spontaneously emit an IR photon, either of the same or a different energy as one it might have absorbed in the past. The point is that it’s meaningless to say the frequency is different since it could theoretically be a newly formed CO2 molecule which had never in it’s short existence emitted an IR photon before. The important fact is the rotational / vibrational state of the molecule at the time it emits.

    Now, nothing prevents a molecule which absorbs an IR photon from immediately reemitting it (or a photon of some other energy; as long as the molecule has the proper internal energy to do so), except that the mean time between collisions in the trophsphere is much shorter than the mean time for a molecule of CO2 in an excited state to emit a photon. Therefore almost all CO2 molecules which absorb a photon lose the energy (or at least part of it) to surrounding molecules. Obviously this average emission time is a function of just what photon we’re talking about. What exactly the half-life to emission is has, I assume, been calculated for the various lines in the CO2 spectrum, but I would have to search to find them. It might be useful for someone to track them down and provide a link but it’s not vital since we’re just talking theory, not practice here.

    Well this is long enough for one message. So I’ll leave it at one point, at least for now.

  144. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Dec 5, 2006 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    Way up above is that nice set of outgoing spectrum plots for Venus, Earth and Mars. The CO2 notch is similar on all three. Clearly, heat flow / behavior of water keeps us from being a Mars.

  145. Lee
    Posted Jan 1, 2007 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

    Monckton Publishes!!

    http://nexusmagazine.com/backissues/current.html

    Here’s part of the TOC – he chose an appropriate journal, it seems:

    THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT BEAUTY PRODUCTS
    By Charu Bahri. We’re reducing exposure to toxins by choosing organic foods, but we’re still to apply this thinking to cosmetic and hygiene products, whose chemical and often carcinogenic ingredients usually don’t have to be listed on the labels.

    THE CRIMINAL HISTORY OF THE PAPACY-Part 1
    By Tony Bushby. Far from being pious followers of Jesus Christ, as the Catholic Church would have us believe, a great many of the popes performed acts of corruption, cruelty, debauchery, genocide, greed, terror and warfare. This edition focuses on some papal scandals of the ninth to 13th centuries.

    APOCALYPSE CANCELLED: GLOBAL WARMING
    By Christopher Monckton. Scientists questioning the consensus view on global warming argue that the “hockey stick” graph used by the UN is based on a faulty algorithm and poor scientific analysis.

    SCIENCE NEWS
    This edition we feature Dr Michael E. Godfrey’s article on bioresonance as the 21st century’s new medicine, with reference to Dr Jacques Benveniste’s molecular memory findings and case studies on the healing success of electrodermal screening.

    THE SHADOW GOVERNMENT’S UFO AGENDA
    By Steven M. Greer, MD. With its arsenal of reverse-engineered craft and electromagnetic psy-ops weapons, the global shadow government has been faking alien abduction scenarios and may still be planning to stage an alien invasion of Earth.

  146. Pat Frank
    Posted Jan 1, 2007 at 9:33 PM | Permalink

    #145 — Lee, you’re approaching the Steve Bloom mark of excellence in argumentation by personal discredit. Congratulations. That site merely linked to Monckton’s Telegraph article; Monckton didn’t publish there.

    Here’s what Monckton himself wrote last November, in reply to his chief critic.

    Guardian Newspapers Limited
    The Guardian (London) – Final Edition
    November 15, 2006 Wednesday; Pg. 37

    Comment & Debate: Response: This wasn’t gibberish. I got my facts right on global warming: There are many questions about climate change which still need answers, says Christopher Monckton

    Christopher Monckton

    It’s a shame that George Monbiot didn’t check his facts with me before using his column to describe my two recent Sunday Telegraph articles on climate change as “nonsense from start to finish” (This is a dazzling debunking of climate change science. It is also wildly wrong, November 14). He implies that a classically trained peer ought not to express scientific opinions. It’s still a free country, George. And at least I got the science right.

    George says my physics is “bafflingly bad” and contains “downright misrepresentation and pseudo-scientific gibberish”. Yet he himself nonsensically refers to “lambda” as a “constant” in the Stefan-Boltzmann radiative-transfer equation. Lambda is not a constant, and it’s not a term in the equation.

    He wrongly states that the equation only describes “black bodies” that absorb all radiant energy reaching them. No qualified physicist would make such a schoolboy howler. Of course the equation isn’t limited to black bodies. Its emissivity variable runs from zero for white bodies to 1 for black bodies. The Earth/troposphere system is a rather badly-behaved grey body with emissivity about 0.6.

    He lifted these errors verbatim from a blog run by two authors of a now-discredited UN graph that tried to abolish the medieval warm period. I’d exposed the graph in my articles. Check your sources, George.

    He says I was wrong to reinstate the medieval warm period cited by the UN in 1990 but abolished by it in 2001. A growing body of scientific papers, some of which I cited, shows that the warm period was real, global and up to 3C warmer than now. Check them out, George.

    He says I shouldn’t have said the Viking presence in the middle ages shows Greenland was warmer than now. The Viking farmsteads in Greenland are now under permafrost, and you can’t farm permafrost.

    He says I was wrong to say James Hansen told Congress in 1988 that world temperature would rise 0.3C by 2000. Hansen projected 0.25 and 0.45C, averaging 0.35C. Outturn was 0.05C. I fairly said 0.3C and 0.1C. He says my source was a work of fiction by Michael Crichton. It wasn’t: it was Hansen’s graph.

    He says I overlooked the difference between the immediate and delayed temperature response to changing conditions. In fact I expressly addressed it, citing evidence on both sides of the theory that the delayed air-temperature response arises from warming of the oceans.

    He says I said the warming effects of carbon dioxide had been “made up”. I didn’t. I said all were agreed that there was more CO2 around and that we could expect some warming. But there is no consensus on how much.

    He says I claimed to know better than the UN’s scientists. I’m arrogant, George, but not that arrogant: I said the contrarians were probably a lot closer to the truth than the UN.

    Too many facts wrong. Too much argument ad hominem instead of ad rem. Too much ignorance of the elementary physics of radiative transfer and equilibrium temperature.

    Still, gie the puir numpty a cigar – at least he spelled my name right.

    Viscount Monckton of Brenchley is a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher.

  147. Lee
    Posted Jan 1, 2007 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

    Pat,
    That is the online version of the hard copy magazine – you can have that stuff printed and shipped to you.

    Even in that response, Monckton repeats several absurdities. “The Viking farmsteads in Greenland are now under permafrost, and you can’t farm permafrost.” Take a look at recent pictures – many of those areas are being farmed right now. Monckton is simply wrong on this, and he continues to be wrong after repeatedly being refuted on this.

    And lets not forget Monckton’s brilliant “There was little ice at the North Pole: a Chinese naval squadron sailed right round the Arctic in 1421 and found none.”

    And this:

    ‘The Earth/troposphere system is a rather badly-behaved grey body with emissivity about 0.6.”
    Well, no. Earth’s emissivity varies greatly at different wavelengths, and the emissivities at different wavelengths change differently in the face of rising CO2 concentrations.

    I’m finding that uncritical acceptance or defense of Monckton is a reasonable indicator of the credibility I should assign to people – and I don’t have to engage in ad homs in the direction of Monckton – he discredits himself.

  148. Pat Frank
    Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 12:02 AM | Permalink

    If you want to entirely discredit Monckton for his errors, Lee, you should entirely discredit Monbiot for his. And Michael Mann for his, which, given his training, are far less forgiveable.

    That online magazine still only links Monckton’s Telegraph article. The article doesn’t exist on the Nexus server. It’s clear Monckton himself didn’t publish in Nexus itself.

  149. Lee
    Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 1:01 AM | Permalink

    Pat, that is the online version of the print magazine. You can subscribe here, and they will mail it to you.
    I don’t see widespread ddefenses of monbiot or mann here – nice attempt to use a straw man to divert from Monckton’s absurdities (without responding to them, I note).

  150. Pat Frank
    Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 1:28 AM | Permalink

    Lee, this is the URL for Monckton’s article at Nexus:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/graphics/2006/11/05/warm-refs.pdf

    The other electronic Nexus articles there have a Nexus URL. Monckton’s has a Telegraph, UK URL. They’ve merely linked his article. Why don’t you ask Monckton whether they’ve obtained copyright permission. You’re making the accusation, you should back it up with facts.

    Monckton’s article doesn’t interest me. What interests me is your double standard: Monckton is discredited because you purport he made mistakes. Monbiot and Mann are not, despite having made mistakes.

    Or, tell us that in your considered opinion, Monbiot and Mann are likewise and for the same reason not believable. At least, then, you’ll admit of Emerson’s consistency.

  151. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    Monckton gave a list of propositions and his conclusions about each. It would be interesting to me to read how others here would judge these propositions. Here they are:

    Monckton View
    Proposition Conclusion
    1. That the debate is over and all credible climate scientists are agreed. False
    2. That temperature has risen above millennial variability and is exceptional. Very unlikely
    3. That changes in solar irradiance are an insignificant forcing mechanism. False
    4. That the last century’s increases in temperature are correctly measured. Unlikely
    5. That greenhouse-gas increase is the main forcing agent of temperature. Not proven
    6. That temperature will rise far enough to do more harm than good. Very unlikely
    7. That continuing greenhouse-gas emissions will be very harmful to life. Unlikely
    8. That proposed carbon-emission limits would make a definite difference. Very unlikely
    9. That the environmental benefits of remediation will be cost-effective. Very unlikely
    10. That taking precautions, just in case, would be the responsible course. False

    Would anyone else like to state their position?

  152. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    Don’t feed the troll.

  153. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

    re:152

    Steve,

    That was rude. Trolls are people who just want to cause problems. I am genuinely interested in the subject. Some of the posts are difficult for me to understand. I don’t ask all of the questions I would like to ask because I’m “trying to keep the noise down.” Knowing where people are coming from will help me understand what their posts. This thread is about Monckton. Why not ask people to state their view? How is that causing a problem?

  154. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

    re: #153 Ron,

    Steve probably wasn’t referring to your post 151. That was a typical cross post and you need to look a the time stamps to see if an un-referenced post was likely to be responding to your post or not. On my computer it’s 10:12 vs 10:16. So it’s unlikely that Steve saw your post before he posted. He was referring to you and others feeding Lee’s slurs.

  155. Paul Linsay
    Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

    #151 & 153. Ron,

    I think the key issue is item 4 and Monckton has it right. If you spend some time at the web sites of Roger Pielke, Sr., the late John Daly , and Warwick Hughes, they all have very substantial criticisms of the ground based measurements of temperature that have never been answered or even addressed by the AGW crowd. Simply stated, the ground stations are subject to a warm bias from any number of different sources and there is no good way to remove it.

    The satellite and balloon measurements agree with each other and don’t show the dramatic trend of the ground based measurements. (JunkScience.com has a compilation of all the temperature records if you haven’t seen them.) Without the ever increasing temps of the ground stations there’d be “no there, there.”

  156. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    re: 154

    Dave, thanks for the clarification. I knew people might not want to reply to my request (don’t want to take the time or they don’t want to go public with certain views), but it didn’t make sense that someone would attack me for making the request.

  157. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    I was referring to the only obvious troll on this thread, Lee.

  158. Lee
    Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

    re 150: Pat, several of the articles in that TOC don’t have ANY links, either to the article or to the author. That is not a page of links – it is the online TOC for the print version of the magazine, with SOME links to source articles.

    The Monckton link goes to the full Telegraph version, but as I understand it Nexus published an abbreviated version in their print magazine. I haven’t seen that print issue myself, and don’t particularly want to give them any of my money.

    I also note that NO ONE has responded to the substantive criticisms of details of Monckton’s claims I posted above.

    Let me offer another one: Monckton applies his S-B equation to a simplified model treating the entire atmosphere as a single grey-body surface. But we know that delta temperatures can vary at different altitudes, and that different altitudes can even have different signs for delta temperature. Given that we are interested in delta temp at the surface, that the analyses he is attempting to discredit are deriving sensitivities for delta temp at the surface, and that ‘the surface’ by definition is low altitude, it is apparent that ignoring altitude-dependent responses will yield (at best) suspect results.

    This is one of MANY criticisms of Monckton, BTW – I’m just pointing out another one as an addition to the howlers I list above, to show that his historical, geographical and analytical work ALL have major problems.

    Dardinger – what slurs? Monckton made major aerrors of fact an danalysis. I’m pointing them out. If pointing out errors constitutes “slurs” and I’m a “troll’ for doing so as Sadlov says, then what on earth is the point of this site?

  159. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 5:36 PM | Permalink

    re: 158
    Lee,
    Why not send Monckton an email and ask him to respond to your questions here? If you are looking for a debate, wouldn’t it be better to debate the man himself?

  160. Boris
    Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    Maybe Monckton will sue himself for ruining his own scientific reputation.

    [Case will be thrown out of court--he had no scientific reputation]

  161. jae
    Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    Lee: I don’t doubt that Monckton made some errors. Most papers have errors. But they do not cancel any of the truths in the paper. Maybe even Gore’s masterpiece has some truths in it.

  162. Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

    There are many criticisms of Monckton but all of them attack at a point that Monckton himself acknowledges, that the simplified models he uses are just that: simplified. The real world is very much more complicated.

    But then, so is the notion of global mean temperature, a quantity that has no physical meaning in a non-equilibrium system like the Earth’s climate. Or the notion of climate change, a drastic oversimplification of a non-linear system’ near infinite variables down to a few variables, like temperature, precipitation or wind speed.

    The most noticeable thing about posters like Lee is they post in the exasperated tone of voice pretty much all the time and only in one direction. Thus Monckton makes “howlers” but not Hockey Team members, and Monckton makes “absurdities” and a not-too-concealed reference that anyone who gives Monckton credence, “uncritical acceptance or defense of Monckton is a reasonable indicator of the credibility I should assign to people – and I don’t have to engage in ad homs in the direction of Monckton – he discredits himself.”

    Unfortunately, Lee disqualifies himself as a scientific thinker with such overheated rhetoric with so much statements which are simply tendentious, and when that style doesn’t work then there’s the passive aggressive weary dismissal of the debate that Lee is desperate to avoid.

    Monckton did make mistakes of historical fact and small scientific terms which he got wrong (and which he acknowledged). As for the major part of his analysis, pretty much all of it is undergrad physics and uncontroversial from a science perspective. It IS controversial because climate science, which was a backwater for most of the time, has become isolated from the mainstream of physics and mathematics, especially statistics as Edward Wegman testified to Congress.

    It doesn’t matter, because Monckton has at least begun a debate about climate modelling, climate science and physics that won’t go away very soon.

  163. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

    I would think that politicians, like Monckton and Gore, will tend to present scientific arguments like they are accustomed to doing for political ones. This means they tend to present a very much for or against argument without addressing some of the finer and more detailed points that a scientist, i.e. a scientist being a scientist and not a policy advocate, would be more likely to do.

    It has been my view that politicians are much better at showing the fallacy of their opponents’ arguments and less than sincere motivations than they are in presenting their own arguments. In my skeptical view, I think Monckton can make a good case against the claim of certainty by AGW advocates, but I think he sometimes appears in too big a hurry to draw definite conclusions to the contrary when in my judgment the best one can say is that the uncertainty goes both ways.

  164. Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

    I asked Monckton and he says that the Nexus link was not his idea, but he doesn’t want to make a fuss because it will only bring attention to the magazine, which contains “disproportionate quantities of raw nonsense”.

  165. Lee
    Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 7:17 PM | Permalink

    re 164: What about the Nexus publication? Once again, that page is the online Table of Contents FOR THE PRINT PUBLICATION.

  166. DaleC
    Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 7:57 PM | Permalink

    re #151, Ron Cram’s request

    I’ll be brave. I’m nothing but an interested amateur, so I have no credibility to lose.

    1. That the debate is over and all credible climate scientists are agreed. False

    Agreed. An hour on the internet should be enough to convince anyone that claims of consensus are absurd.

    2. That temperature has risen above millennial variability and is exceptional. Very unlikely

    Agreed. To claim the present is exceptional is to fly in the face of a large body of historical evidence.
    The hockey stick and its spawn are a blatant attempt to rewrite history according to a pre-determined outcome.

    3. That changes in solar irradiance are an insignificant forcing mechanism. False

    Not qualified to say, but Lassen, Shaviv, Veizer among others certainly make a good case for solar dominance.

    4. That the last century’s increases in temperature are correctly measured. Unlikely

    Agreed. I have actually done quite a bit of work with the raw surface data, and its quality is very suspect.

    5. That greenhouse-gas increase is the main forcing agent of temperature. Not proven

    There are plenty of experts (eg Tim Ball) who disagree, so ‘not proven’ seems quite reasonable.

    6. That temperature will rise far enough to do more harm than good. Very unlikely

    I’m not sure anyone understands all the interlocking geo-systems well enough to be sure.
    The MWP and the holocene thermal optimum would seem to suggest however that the planet has coped quite well in the past with similar or worse.

    7. That continuing greenhouse-gas emissions will be very harmful to life. Unlikely

    In and of themselves, agreed. CO2 is not a poison. As for a positive temperature feedback, see point 6 above.

    8. That proposed carbon-emission limits would make a definite difference. Very unlikely

    With India and China all gung-ho for western-style development and industrialisation, agreed.

    9. That the environmental benefits of remediation will be cost-effective. Very unlikely

    Don’t know. It’s all too uncertain.

    10. That taking precautions, just in case, would be the responsible course. False

    There are many precautions we can and should be taking, because they make sense regardless, eg
    i) better air pollution controls
    ii) better land/forest management
    iii) much more research into renewable energy
    etc etc.

  167. Lee
    Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    re 162 – JohnA,
    Monckton further claims that his simplified modesl show that the climate scientists have got it all wrong. IOW, he claims that his simplified models are better than what the climate scientists have managed to do.

    He has been criticized on (among other things) the particular simplifying assumptions he made. Acknowledging that his models are simplified, is not in any way an answer to those specific criticisms, and it certainly does not support his continuing claim that the climate scientists ‘repealed a physical law’ and got it all wrong.

    I pointed out a problem with a specific simplifying assumption he had made – and this does not originate with me, it is a point that has been well made many times now by many people. You defended my iteration of that criticism by saying that he acknowledges that his model is simplified. of course it is – so what?! That is NOT a response to a specific criticism of a specific simplifying decision he made.

  168. Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 3:28 AM | Permalink

    Monckton further claims that his simplified modesl show that the climate scientists have got it all wrong. IOW, he claims that his simplified models are better than what the climate scientists have managed to do.

    He’s not the only one to state this. Steve Mcintyre has also made a case (as have several posters to this blog) that climate models perform worse most of the time, and certainly no better, than simple linear models. So does Monckton get this wrong? If he does, he’s not the only one.

    Acknowledging that his models are simplified, is not in any way an answer to those specific criticisms, and it certainly does not support his continuing claim that the climate scientists “repealed a physical law’ and got it all wrong.

    The “specific criticisms” would not have the impact that they have had unless there is a substantial kernel of truth about them. Ultimately, the Stefan-Boltzmann relation limits the behavior of thermodynamic systems – that is a fact.

    The question is whether climate models, in introducing many hand-picked parameters, actually fails that fundamental relation. I cannot say that Monckton is wrong unless those models are tested. And neither can you.

    I pointed out a problem with a specific simplifying assumption he had made – and this does not originate with me, it is a point that has been well made many times now by many people.

    So its been criticized by many people as well, does a popularity of belief make a proposition true or false? I’d think hard about that one on this blog.

    The question is whether those criticisms are valid. As I said much of his arguments rest upon undergrad physics which is the foundation of modern science, so there are questions about the physicality of climate models that have yet to be addressed by the modellers. Monckton has started a debate and an inquiry about such models, which must be addressed.

    I note that you’re not going for the ultimate simplification that I pointed out – the reduction of variables in the models to a relative few, and the reduction of climate to the variation of a single parameter of dubious scientific provenance. Perhaps you do know better after all.

  169. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

    re: 166

    DaleC,

    Thanks for your comments. I do not think there is anything wrong with saying “I have no opinion on this proposition.” Even highly qualified scientists cannot be expected to have an informed position on everything.

    My request has not generated the amount of response I had hoped for. I am considering posting my own amateurishly informed position up so some of the scientists here can correct me and point me to better research.

  170. Mark T
    Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

    My request has not generated the amount of response I had hoped for.

    If by “My request” you’re referring to the bulk of opinions regarding Monckton’s replies, then you’ll be hard pressed to get everyone in here to restate their already rather public opinions which are spread about the various threads herein. It is almost pointless to keep beating the dead horse on the blog when we all know where each other stands in the first place. Certainly there are debates about particulars, even among regulars that agree on the high-level conclusions (THAT is science!).

    I cannot speak for anyone but myself, but the list you posted in #151 is pretty much where I sit. In particular…

    1. That the debate is over and all credible climate scientists are agreed. False

    What’s funny about this is that many claim “all credible scientists agree,” which is a veiled ad-hom on the part of the “scientists that agree.” All credible scientists do not agree, and to assume disagreement == not credible is the worst of science.

    2. That temperature has risen above millennial variability and is exceptional. Very unlikely

    I’d actually say “impossible to prove given current understanding of the environment and technology capable of assessing past environment.”

    3. That changes in solar irradiance are an insignificant forcing mechanism. False

    This one is a joke. Last time I checked, the correlation between temperature and solar activity actually looks better than between temperature and CO2.

    4. That the last century’s increases in temperature are correctly measured. Unlikely

    Oy vey. Hansen won’t even release his method of finding a “global average,” how can we asses validity of this claim? As noted, by DaleC, satellites don’t agree, either.

    5. That greenhouse-gas increase is the main forcing agent of temperature. Not proven

    This also requires that solar activity be reduced to “insignificant.” #s 3 and 5 wash each others’ hands.

    6. That temperature will rise far enough to do more harm than good. Very unlikely

    Not sure how they come to these conclusions, but this is definitely not scientific. I’m guessing most of northern Asia would welcome a warmer climate. Perhaps Russia could actually develop a stable economy as a result?

    7. That continuing greenhouse-gas emissions will be very harmful to life. Unlikely

    It is my understanding that non-CO2 emissions have levelled off, so that’s not a danger. CO2 is, well, plant food.

    8. That proposed carbon-emission limits would make a definite difference. Very unlikely

    Well, they will make a difference, to the economies that enforce them. I’m guessing that, in spite of being a CO2 sink, the US will be hit the hardest. Take down our economy a notch or two and the trade deficit that pumps $1T into the world’s economy (other imacts not withstanding) suddenly isn’t there for the rest of the world to benefit from.

    9. That the environmental benefits of remediation will be cost-effective. Very unlikely

    #s 8 and 9 wash each others’ hands as well. Another subjective claim often made without basis. This is also only relevant in absolute worst-case scenarios from models which are beyond suspect.

    10. That taking precautions, just in case, would be the responsible course. False

    Ah yes, the precautionary principle. How can we know that it won’t plunge us into another ice age, hmmm?

    Mark

  171. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

    RE: #170 – RE: precautionary principle, deep ecology driven public policy, etc ….

    To be perfectly honest, the selfish capitalist in me actually welcomes certain aspects of the emerging tax and spend eco bureaucracy. My own personal situation will financially benefit from it. I have everything going against being a skeptic – I am cut from some fairly radical environmentalist cloth (well, at least I was one of them during my late teens and 20s), I have spent most of my life surrounded by people like Steve B, and as noted here, I have an overt financial conflict of interest which ought to make me the father of all AGW alarmists. And yet, here I am …. this is something significant.

  172. Mark T
    Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    Enlightenment.

    Re the last few bullets (7-10) as an addition…

    Realistically, these “conclusions” that are often pointed out by alarmists have no real basis in science. They are purely political beasts and as such, really aren’t relevant to any meaningful scientific discussion. However, these are also indicative of the “fallback” position they (alarmists) attempt to take when their “scientific” claims are shown to be either false, or severly flawed. I.e., “What can it hurt if we’re wrong? At least we’re doing good for the planet!” A strong, stable economy that is capable of removing poverty through wealth is better for the planet than any drastic, nay draconian, measures to prevent presumed catastrophes. But that’s not their goal, and this thought is probably already too much for further consideration in here.

    Mark

  173. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

    RE: #172 – Final OT comment … yeah, I know I am in a rare position, as many others would be distinctly harmed income wise by some of what is emerging. Here in the states, the overarching goal of those pushing this seems to be Europeanization in the sense of reduced automobile ownership, smaller vehicles, more highly subsidized mass transit, application of subtle (and perhaps not so subtle) pressure to get people to live in densepack instead of detached typical suburban dwellings, negative population growth, etc, etc, etc. It is essentially the Ecotopia manifesto of Callenbach et al, being put into practice, without any secessions or revolutions driving it. Sort of a crypto Ecotopia.

  174. Lee
    Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    I had nott responded to this because Monckton’s list is so extraordinarily tendentious – but here goes:

    1. That the debate is over and all credible climate scientists are agreed.
    WHICH debate? Essentially all credible climate scientists agree that humans are causing substantial increases in greenhouse gasses, and that temperature will rise as a result – on this, the debate is really over. There is debate over the magnitude of the rise, but again, there is broad agreement on the range of 1.5 – 4.5C / 2xCO2, with reasonable agreement that the bottom of that range is more solid than the top. In framing this statement, Monckton conflates several arguments in a way that is essentialy tendentious.

    2. That temperature has risen above millennial variability and is exceptional.
    Many lines of evidence are pointing to us in or soon moving into millenially unique temperature regimes. I posted some of it just above last night – no response.

    3. That changes in solar irradiance are an insignificant forcing mechanism.
    NO ONE credible says this. It is generally agreed that solar forcing via Milankovich cycles are the primary forcing for glacial/interglacial transitions, for example. Monckton in this statement is simply engaging in putting nonsense in to the mouths of his opponents – it is tendentious in the extreme.

    4. That the last century’s increases in temperature are correctly measured. Quantitative and qualitative observations show the planet getting warmer. Both quantitative and qualitative observations indicate that we are near or into millenially unique temperature regimes – again, see my posting above for just a bit more such observation, and read the NAS report on the non-dendro stuff for more.

    5. That greenhouse-gas increase is the main forcing agent of temperature.
    More tendentious misstatement of the positions of those Monckton is attempting to dispute. The position is that CO2 is **ONE OF*** the major climate drivers, that is often acts as an amplifying feedback for solar forcing, and that the current extraordinary increase in CO2 means that forcing from CO2 will predominate over the near future. As he is wont to do, Monckton ‘simplifies’ to the point of absurdity here, and in so doing, misrepresents his opponents.

    6. That temperature will rise far enough to do more harm than good.
    This depends critically on defining “more harm than good,” and is at the center of the policy debates. Again, an oversimplification, and therefore misleading – AND it confaltes AGW science and policy.

    7. That continuing greenhouse-gas emissions will be very harmful to life.
    Well, Duh!!! NO ONE credible is claiming that “greenhouse-gas emissions will be very harmful to life.” We’re discussing potential major costs to humans – thiings such as flooding of coastal plains and northern shifts of wehat belts onto non or less arable land – and disruptions/shifts of existing ecosystems, not the potential sterilization of the planet. “Life” is pretty resilient, and pretty general.

    8. That proposed carbon-emission limits would make a definite difference.
    This is policy, and has nothign to do with the existence of A in AGW.
    The proposed limits are a start, a first step, intended in part to get technological focus on this problem, and this is generally acknowledged. AND they would reduce emissions. Again, Monckton is engaging in straw men.

    9. That the environmental benefits of remediation will be cost-effective.
    This is policy, and has nothing to do with the existence of A in AGW.

    10. That taking precautions, just in case, would be the responsible course.
    This is policy, and has nothing to do with the existence of A in AGW.

  175. jae
    Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

    167: Lee says:

    re 162 – JohnA,
    Monckton further claims that his simplified modesl show that the climate scientists have got it all wrong. IOW, he claims that his simplified models are better than what the climate scientists have managed to do.

    Now, here are some other “simple” ways to look at the sensitivity of the atmosphere to forcing by CO2. Can you explain why these approaches are wrong?

    1.)Here.

    2.)Here.

    3.)Here (summary)

  176. Mark T
    Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

    Essentially all credible climate scientists agree that humans are causing substantial increases in greenhouse gasses,

    Had you stopped here, you would have been spot on.

    and that temperature will rise as a result – on this, the debate is really over.

    Nope, sorry. And your “credible” comment is yet another veiled ad-hom. The scientists claiming that solar irradiance coupled with a few other non-GHG forcers, is about to drop temperatures (next solar cycle, or maybe the following) are no less credible than any of the others.

    There is debate over the magnitude of the rise,

    In the past, yes.

    but again, there is broad agreement on the range of 1.5 – 4.5C / 2xCO2, with reasonable agreement that the bottom of that range is more solid than the top.

    2xCO2 cannot cause that much increase, not even the bottom number. It’s simply a matter of physics.

    Mark

  177. Mark T
    Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    Lee, I otherwise agree with you on 8, 9 and 10, they are policy and certainly a matter of subjective opinion.

    However, as for 7, there are plenty claiming “harm” to life. The Stern report alone talks about the devastation to our economy, which is “harmful” to our existence. Resilience or not, poverty is hardly “beneficial.” But that was all hand-waving anyway.

    Both quantitative and qualitative observations indicate that we are near or into millenially unique temperature regimes

    But that’s not what the quote is about. That we have warmed in the last century is difficult to argue. The question is whether the measured warming is accurate or not. This has nothing to do with “near or into millenially unique temperature regimes.” This is purely “are the last 100 years’ of data accurate?” The answer is, “hard to say given the reluctance of those such as Hansen to release their methods.” Also, your “millenial” statement fails on two points. First, we don’t know what the temperature was beyond a few hundred years ago (even more than 100 becomes questionable). Second, if the current “global average” is not really that accurate, how can we compare anyway? Garbage results for both items in a comparison yields a garbage answer.

    Mark

  178. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 12:25 PM | Permalink

    Re: #174

    Lee, in attempting to comment on these climate issues with as much honesty, clarity and generalization as permitted in this short space, you may not realize it, but to the skeptic you do not decrease the uncertainty about any of them — not that Monckton increased my uncertainity.

    While I am not certain that this is your best effort, I suspect a more detailed account would only entail pointing to specific data as evidence, but with the ever present proviso of uncertainty and/or the use of loosely interpretable modifying terms with which the IPCC has made many of us painfully aware. But thanks for the effort and giving us a look into your thinking on the issues.

  179. Lee
    Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 12:31 PM | Permalink

    MarkT – I stand by my statements. Essentially all credible climate scientists acknowledge that increasing CO2 will drive increasing temperatures – even those who posit offsetting additional forcings that might independently cause decreasing temperatures. Note that I was careful with my language – near universal agreement that CO2 is a positive forcing, debate on the magnitude, and extensive agreement (not universal) on the range of 1.5 – 4.5C. Monckton obscured all this with his blanket statement.

    “Humans” is NOT equal to “Life.” People are claiming substantial possible harm to human economies, and to particular groups of humans, and to particular species and ecosystems. This is NOT equivalent to harm to “life.” I’ve noticed that Monckton tends to be precise in his choice of language – the choice of “life” here was false and tendentious. “Life” has survived several mass extinction events in the geological history of the planet – this doesn’t mean we’d like to have been there.

    The implication of the ‘inaccurate measurement’ statement, in the context of his claim that these statements are central to the debate, is that potential inaccuracies in quantitative temps over this century mean that don’t know whether this warming is unique or problematic. The fact is, the general outline of this century’s temperatures (at least) is accurate – it warmed, then it cooled part way back for a while, then it started getting a lot warmer again. And the additional quantitative and qualitative observations, as pointed out in several places in y answer, support our entering millennially unique temperature regimes.

  180. Mark T
    Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    MarkT – I stand by my statements. Essentially all credible climate scientists

    There ya go with the ad-hom again. Those that disagree are otherwise not credible I guess.

    You can stand by your statements all day but that doesn’t make them any more valid.

    Mark

  181. Mark T
    Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

    And the additional quantitative and qualitative observations, as pointed out in several places in y answer, support our entering millennially unique temperature regimes.

    In order to claim “millenially unique” you still need a) accurate current data and b) accurate past data. No matter how much hand-waving you do, b is certainly an unknown and a is a matter of debate. You’ve pointed out in several places the same nonsense you’ve always attempted to point out, which does not make it any more true. You seem to be under the false impression that quantity of posts/papers supporting your position makes them somehow true. A false premise is a false premise regardless of how many times you’ve made it.

    Mark

  182. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 12:48 PM | Permalink

    RE: #181 – If ever we experienced a truly “millenneally unique” climate regime, you can bet that there would be widepread panic, death and destruction – these latter two caused by both nature and humans. In my 40 plus years of living, I have yet to observe anything unique enough to get me excited. What we see now is a form of tea leaf reading with subsequent exagerated extrapolation to extreme scenarios. I base my statement here on something quite simple – namely – the past unique regimes that are within the geologically miniscule human historical record. So, back to my statement, in my life I have yet to witness anything along the lines of 1815, or, any sort of “opposite sign extreme” (e.g. some sort of “anti-1815″). Getting real specific here – imagine the media and masses today if we had another 1815 (!). I would head for the hills and become a survivalist for a few years ;)

  183. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 12:52 PM | Permalink

    Re: 174
    Lee,

    You claim Monckton has phrased his list to develop a “straw man.” However, most of his propositions seem to be very near the claims in the secondary literature, like wikipedia. I’ve organized my response to your comments under the Monckton statements of the AGW position.

    1. “That the debate is over and all credible climate scientists are agreed.”
    You ask “Which debate?” Rather than appear tendentious, I will not comment here.

    2. “That temperature has risen above millennial variability and is exceptional.”
    You say you posted evidence that 20th century temperatures were exceptional but you did not name the post with the evidence. As I glanced through, all I saw was criticisms of Monckton. What evidence? Will you provide a link?

    3. “That changes in solar irradiance are an insignificant forcing mechanism.”
    Your opinion seems to be at odds with the AGW folks I have spoken with. They tell me Milankovitch cycles have absolutely nothing to do with the present warming since these cycles take far too long to be responsible for the “rapid” rise in temperatures. Perhaps Monckton should have used “small” or “minor” rather than “insignificant.”

    4. “That the last century’s increases in temperature are correctly measured.”
    Oddly, it is possible both you and Monckton are correct. In other words, it is possible temperatures have risen (as you claim) and yet the data is still not correct (as Monckton claims). The debate certainly changes if the rise in temperature was somehow demonstrated to be half what is currently assumed.

    5. “That greenhouse-gas increase is the main forcing agent of temperature.”
    According to SPM: “most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.” Most observers will think Monckton is right that this proposition is commonly held among AGW adherents.

    6. “That temperature will rise far enough to do more harm than good.”
    Lee, surely this statement cannot be considered a straw man. The hardline warmers are predicting dire, even catastrophic, conditions: animals becoming extinct — more disease — extreme weather events and on and on.

    7. “That continuing greenhouse-gas emissions will be very harmful to life.”
    Lee, again, you cannot say this proposition is a straw man. The hardline warmers say our only choices are mitigation or adaptation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_global_warming

    8. “That proposed carbon-emission limits would make a definite difference.”
    Yes, this is policy. But the scientific question lingers: If governments successfully ended all emission of CO2, would it make a difference? Some scientists are unconvinced.

    9. “That the environmental benefits of remediation will be cost-effective.”
    Yes, this is policy. But if emission limits will not make any difference, then the question is easily answered.

    10. “That taking precautions, just in case, would be the responsible course.”
    Yes, this is policy. But it is not accurate to say this is a straw man argument.

  184. Lee
    Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

    183 – Cram,

    Yo repeate the overgeneralizatin that Monckton engaged in.

    A statement that most of that warming over the last century is due to CO2 and not due to solar variation, is NOT a statement that CO2 is the only temperature forcing, or that solar is an insignificant temperature forcing.

    Monckton (as he seems wont to do) overgeneralizes his statements to the point of being incorrect, often conflating two clearly different statments.

  185. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

    re:184

    Lee,
    Since the topic is the recent change in temperature, I believe most people will understand the ellipsis:

    “That greenhouse-gas increase is the main forcing agent (responsible for the recent change) of temperature.”

    If you read Monckton’s discussion, he asks the question: “What role has the Sun played in recent warming?” This is the issue at hand. So again, I think most observers will agree with Monckton that this proposition is held to be true by warmers.

  186. Jeff Weffer
    Posted Jan 3, 2007 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

    Here is the best measurement we have for historic temperature and CO2 – the record of the last 7 glaciations from the Antarctic ice cores going back 750,000 years. (Since we can’t agree on the data from earlier than 1850 what with all the Hockey Sticks flying around.)

    Look very closely and you will see that temperature has always moved ahead of CO2 – that is CO2 has lagged the temperature changes or responded to it, not the other way around.

    I think it also shows there is nothing unique about a measely 0.6C temperature increase in the last 100 years. 7 ice ages in the last 750,000 years might indicate to a rational person that the earth’s climate can vary a lot in short time frames.

  187. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 7, 2007 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

    Re: #151
    Open comments

    Earlier I posted a request that others here give their own assessment of the ten propositions Monckton listed as held by those who believe in AGW. A couple of skeptics posted their views and that was helpful. The only response from a warmer was not helpful because he only attacked Monckton for his wording and did not express his own opinion about the propositions. There is still more to learn from examining these propositions.

    I would like to give my own assessment and ask some questions as my opinions are still forming. I especially hope to get some insight from the warmers who post on this site.

    Propositions:
    1. The debate is over and all credible climate scientists are agreed.
    Monckton calls this proposition “False.” The fact this proposition is used by climate scientists to persuade others says more about the low web of climate science than anything else. Whether the proposition is true or false has no intellectual power. It is persuasive only to the muddle-headed and easily-led. This is a non-issue.

    2. The temperature has risen above millennial variability and is exceptional.
    Monckton says this is “Very unlikely.” From the evidence I have seen, including the debate on the Hockey Stick, I agree with Monckton.

    3. The changes in solar irradiance are an insignificant forcing mechanism.
    Monckton calls this “False.” According to one study, changes in solar irradiance were not significant but I would judge this as “Unlikely.” Even if this were found to be true, other studies have indicated UV rays and cosmic rays from the sun may play a very large role in climate change.

    4. The last century’s increases in temperature are correctly measured.
    Monckton calls this “Unlikely.” He is mainly referring to the Urban Heat Island effect. Some weather stations had parking lots built next to them and this would obviously skew the records. I assess this proposition as “False.” While it seems clear that temperatures have risen somewhat, a rise of half the currently assumed amount would change the debate dramatically. It seems to me the temperature record should come with error bars.

    5. The greenhouse-gas increase is the main forcing agent of temperature.
    Monckton says “Not proven.” The IPCC asserts that CO2 and methane are the primary culprits of the recent rise in temperature. This is the key point of the debate. At my current level of knowledge, I say “Not proven.” However, I am open to being persuaded. I have never had the opportunity to read a journal article that tests this hypothesis in a rigorous way and concludes in the affirmative. The AGW crowd all seem to assume it is true, but I have never seen it demonstrated. Other forcings that have to be considered, solar (Veizer), UV and cosmic rays (Svensmark), changes in ocean temperature (Giese) and volcanic activity, make it a daunting if not impossible task. I have no faith in computer modeling. The fact predictions from computer models have recently become “evidence” is further proof of the low ebb in climate science. Also, the ice core data seems to indicate the temperature warms prior to a rise in CO2. Can anyone point to an AGW explanation for why temperature seemed to rise prior to CO2 rising long ago? More importantly, can anyone point me to the most persuasive evidence available that GHG are mainly responsible for the recent rise in temps?

    6. Temperature will rise far enough to do more harm than good.
    Monckton says “Very unlikely.” In my opinion, if #5 is true, this may very well be true.

    7. Continuing greenhouse-gas emissions will be very harmful to life.
    Again, if #5 is true, this could be true.

    8. Proposed carbon-emission limits would make a definite difference.
    Monckton declares this “Very unlikely.” My gut feeling is that Monckton is correct. However, have any studies been done to actually look at this question? Please let me know.

    9. The environmental benefits of remediation will be cost-effective.
    Monckton says “Very unlikely.” This appears to be a question for Ross McKitrick.

    10. Taking precautions, just in case, would be the responsible course.
    Monckton says “False.” Again, the question goes back to #5 and #8. If #5 and #8 are true, then this is could well be true.

  188. William Boddington
    Posted Nov 24, 2007 at 9:28 PM | Permalink

    I have been reading in order to learn. The last entry is #187 and dated January 2007. Is there nothing since then and if there is more, where can I find it?
    Best,
    Wm Boddington

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