Unthreaded #3

Continuation of More Unthreaded.

447 Comments

  1. welikerocks
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 9:10 AM | Permalink

    Some new climate related papers:

    “Researcher Creates First Temperature Record For The Great Plains” link

    From 7,000 to 5,000 years ago, temperatures finally warmed to the point that it was about 2 degrees hotter than it is today. It has since gradually declined to present day temperatures.

    Another: “Airborne Dust Causes Ripple Effect On Climate Far Away” link

    “atmospheric teleconnection”

    is what they call it. ;)

  2. Gary
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    “atmospheric teleconnection”

    is what they call it. ;)

    It sounds like hocus-pocus, but what they mean is regional meteorological conditions producing atmospheric patterns around the globe. The definition, “The term “teleconnection pattern” refers to a recurring and persistent, large-scale pattern of pressure and circulation anomalies that spans vast geographical areas” is found here. They could have picked a better word to make it sound less like Star Trek.

  3. JMS
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    Kinda like El Nino.

  4. bruce
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

    The CSIRO has it all sorted out. This from today’s Sydney Morning Herald.

    Sydney temperatures to soar: CSIRO report

    January 31, 2007 – 1:47AM

    Average Sydney temperatures will soar by 4.8 degrees by 2070, according to a CSIRO report commissioned by the NSW State Government.

    In summer, maximum temperatures could rise by up to seven degrees by 2070, according to newspaper reports.

    The CSIRO has predicted Sydney would resemble the dry, harsh conditions in the village of Paterson, 150 kilometres north-west of Sydney, in less than 25 years.
    Heat-related deaths will increase from the current average of 176 per year to 1312 by 2050, the report predicts.

    The frequency of droughts is also tipped to increase to nine out of every 10 years by 1970, forcing Sydney residents to reduce water consumption by 54 per cent for the city to remain sustainable within the next 20 years.

    The CSIRO report says the coastline will be devastated by 110-metre storm surges by 2100 and bushfires will almost double as rainfall is expected to fall by 40 per cent.

    Meanwhile, a report due to be released today says a 30 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions would cost $75 billion in new infrastructure.

    Thirty per cent is the amount necessary to meet scientists’ calls for reductions to combat climate change, the newspaper reports said.

    On Friday, the world’s leading body of climate scientists, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will release a report forecasting global temperature rises of between two per cent and 4.5 per cent.

    AAP

  5. Nordic
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    “bushfires will almost double as rainfall is expected to fall by 40 per cent” Well, here is an area where I can offer some expertise. An obvious error. Brushfires would spike if such a scenario happened quickly, but after that the problem would dimminish because such a dramatic decrease in precipitation would lead to a decrease in fuel loading. I can’t believe they were dumb enough to put both pieces of information in the same sentence. Were I tasked to write this scare piece I would have separated the two “facts” – mentioning the increase in brushfires with rising temps, and decreased precipitation elswhere, that way only the most careful and skeptical readers would notice the contradiction.

  6. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    How does a temperature rise two to 4.5 percent? Percent of what number?

  7. welikerocks
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    re 2

    Hi Gary, thanks I understand that. There was a joke on the blog about tree rings and the gift of teleconnections to the global temperature they have or “tree telepathy” a little while back; that’s why I quoted that part of the article and put the wink at the end. I keep seeing in my mind’s eye, Dr. Michael Man with a pine tree on his head for some reason? LOL

    “large-scale pattern of pressure and circulation anomalies that spans vast geographical areas”” Say that three times fast and put it in a climate model! :)

  8. L Nettles
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

    How does a temperature rise two to 4.5 percent? Percent of what number?

    Wouldn’t that have to be in degrees Kelvin, and therefore some where about 6 to 11 degrees.

  9. Gerd
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    If you ever felt not fully convinced about something but could not explain why, read this very significant piece of literature.

  10. L Nettles
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    I’ll admit there is very little science in this global warming dialog but it has the flavor of some the the discussions on this blog so I thought I would link it.

  11. Bill F
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

    “110-metre storm surges”???

    What mechanism are they suggesting that will produce 330 foot storm surges? That has to be a typo right?

  12. John M
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    re JMS #411 from the “More Unthreaded” thread

    “Unforced internal variability”

    I guess that’s right. How could I have forgotten about the “accidental” agreement.

    For a good discussion by Ken Fritsch, see here (comments number 40 and 68).

  13. Tom
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

    George Monbiot – Don’t be fooled by Bush’s defection: his cures are another form of denial

    Though conservative in its assumptions, it [the UN-IPCC FAR] shows that if you persist in believing that there is no cause for concern, you must have buried your head till only your toes are showing. If even Bush now grudgingly acknowledges that there’s a problem, surely we’ve seen the last of the cranks and charlatans who had managed to grab so much attention with their claims that global warming wasn’t happening?
    Some chance. A company called Wag TV is currently completing a 90-minute documentary for Channel 4 called The Great Global Warming Swindle. Manmade climate change, the channel tells us, is “a lie … the biggest scam of modern times. The truth is that global warming is a multibillion-dollar worldwide industry: created by fanatically anti-industrial environmentalists; supported by scientists peddling scare stories to chase funding; and propped up by complicit politicians and the media … The fact is that CO2 has no proven link to global temperatures … solar activity is far more likely to be the culprit.”
    So it’s the same old conspiracy theory we’ve been hearing from the denial industry for 10 years, and it carries as much scientific weight as the contention that the twin towers were brought down by missiles. The programme’s thesis revolves around the deniers’ favourite canard: that the “hockey-stick graph” showing rising global temperatures is based on a statistical mistake made in a paper by the scientists Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes. What it will not be showing is that their results have been repeated several times by other scientists using different statistical methods; that the paper claiming to have exposed the mistake has been comprehensively debunked; and that the lines of evidence used by Mann, Bradley and Hughes are just a few among hundreds demonstrating that 20th-century temperatures were anomalous.

    Can anyone tell me when and by whom MM04 was “comprehensively debunked”? – Monbiot ‘forgot’ to say.

  14. Bob K
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 8:04 PM | Permalink

    According to the Saffir-Simpson scale category 4 storms produce surge of 13-18 feet. Category 5 storms, greater than 18 feet. I don’t think category 5’s are meant to include surge of 110m/360ft. So what category would that surge fall into?

  15. David Smith
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 8:16 PM | Permalink

    Re #14 If the IPCC is now forecasting the oceans to get hot enough to boil then 110 metres of boiling seafoam is plausible.

    In a different subject, I saw this reference to two new books.

  16. JMS
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 11:14 PM | Permalink

    #12: Do you understand why one year might be warmer or colder than the previous w/o a change in the external forcings? The models are at least good enough to reproduce this variability with some degree of realism. This emergent (there is no code in the models to say “make this year warmer or colder than the last year…” it just happens. Just like the ITCZ, transport of heat from the tropics to the poles, fronts and all kinds of other emergent phenomena which are found in these models (even ENSO).

    Some are better at it than others, but most models provide a fairly reasonable facsimile of the earth’s climate w/o being told to do so. This is something that Willis seems to not want to understand.

  17. John Creighton
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 12:01 AM | Permalink

    There has been much discussion on these boards about cosmic ray’s causing cloud cover. The theory makes a lot of sense but the observational evidence to support the theory is over a very short period of time. I would like to suggest an alternative link between cloud cover and solar activity. There has been a lot of talk about weather water vapor is a positive feed back or a negative feedback via clouds. My I suggest that while the sun is in a warming cycle the water vapor starts to increase in the atmosphere first contributing to the warming effect.

    Then when the sun starts to cool the combinations of a cooler and moister upper atmosphere results in more clouds. Since the initial evaporation of water into the atmosphere takes energy away from the surface the warming feedback from clouds is delayed from the solar response and consequently out of phase. I suspect that this cycle is nonlinear and takes several solar cycles to damp out. I also suggest that the resulting nonlinearity results in a cycle half, double and 4 times and 8 times the frequency of the solar cycles but with considerable spectral broadening. I understand you could get similar power spectrum characteristics with the right linear filter since the solar cycles aren’t that narrow in bandwidth. However, I do not believe that the earth’s climate system would drastically prefer one frequency in that spectral range without a nonlinear resonant effect.

  18. Mark H
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 12:43 AM | Permalink

    I am just venting, but I wanted to point out the very odious rat that I am smelling.

    Here are a few facts:

    a) The IPCC report is “embargoed” for three monthes, but the summary will be announced as “Iconic” by Dr. Trenberth on February 2nd.

    b) I thought the IPCC participants in TAR3 either denied this behavior was their fault and/or confessed that totemizing Mann was inappropriate.
    Now a leader is pushing a whole document as ‘iconic?’

    c) About a year ago the leading expert on Atlantic hurricanes, Dr. Landsea, resigned from the IPCC effort. His explanation was that the process was politicized and dishonest. He had been asked to write the Atlantic hurricane section, only to find that the report lead, Dr. Treathbloth had already gone to the press with other scientists to announce hurricanes dramatically increasing because of global warming.

    Dr. Landsea was astounded, particularly as none of the researchers were hurricane specialists and none seemed to be aware that the literature was absent any such claim, and some studies suggested warming would have little effect on hurricanes. The “conclusion” announced being directly opposite to his in written work for the IPCC.

    d)And today the Observer announced that it had obtained a copy of the embargo’d draft, which apprently had Dr. Trenberth dire warnings over future hurricanes.

    “A draft copy of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, obtained by The Observer, shows the frequency of devastating storms – like the ones that battered Britain last week – will increase dramatically. Sea levels will rise over the century by around half a metre; snow will disappear from all but the highest mountains; deserts will spread; oceans become acidic, leading to the destruction of coral reefs and atolls; and deadly heatwaves will become more prevalent. The impact will be catastrophic…”

    http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=56&ItemID=11928

    e) Naturally the press is not focusing on this dubious history, and is getting ready to sensationalize the summay iconic results. But if the observer is correct, it looks like the promised ‘moderate’ report will be an alarmist call to action, well, at least it will be made so by the time the draft is written to match the prior onclusions..some we know to be a year old.

    Trust them?

  19. brent
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 12:50 AM | Permalink

    We nearly threw it away. We must be more radical

    Labour must fundamentally change to be re-elected and climate change could be the spur, minister says
    snip
    Mr Miliband sees the climate change issue as a way of reinvigorating the government and of reviving its radicalism
    snip
    Climate change is the mass-mobilising movement of our age
    snip
    Climate change is about social justice,

    http://tinyurl.com/yus966

    Privatize the Amazon rainforest says UK minister
    mongabay.com
    October 1, 2006

    At a summit this week in Mexico, David Miliband, Britain’s Environment Secretary, will propose a plan to “privatize” the Amazon to allow the world’s largest rainforest to be bought by individuals and groups, according to a report in The Telegraph newspaper online.
    The scheme, which has been endorsed by Prime Minister Tony Blair, would seek to protect the region’s biodiversity while mitigating greenhouse gas emissions to fight global warming.

    http://tinyurl.com/plxgy

  20. Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 4:04 AM | Permalink

    #17: Do you understand why in the AGW theory the ocean heat content cannot be lower one year with respect to the previous one?
    But it happened!
    And are you sure that the models are so able to reproduce the internal variability of the climate system?

    http://climatesci.colorado.edu/2006/10/12/a-new-paper-that-evaluates-the-accuracy-of-the-ipcc-models-to-assess-regional-weather-patterns/

  21. MarkW
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 6:32 AM | Permalink

    If models are so good at replicating the climate, why can’t they come even close to getting clouds right?
    If they are so good, why are the tempuratures off so badly, both horizontally and vertically?
    If they are so good, why can’t they come even close to getting snow coverage right?

    If they are so good, why do they have to be tuned so heavily in order to get average temperature even
    close to right, and then, only part of the time?

  22. paul m
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 7:46 AM | Permalink

    Regarding models

    Climate models look a bit like the investment scam where you tell 50 punters that the stock will go up and 50 that it will go down. You discard the 50 that were “wrong’ and then repeat till you get to the last two one of whom, gets stung for serious money.

    There are many climate models and if many are “run’ many times, eventually one will give something that looks like a correct result.

    Surely the acid test is whether any of the models, when given the last 25 years ( or whenever satellite data became available) can tell us anything useful about today’s conditions.

    The models, a la Stern, also have to predict future human behaviour. We only have to look at the results from such predictions made only 25 years ago to know how difficult this is. Yet Stern pretends certainty.

    The experience of the insurance industry is telling in the light of the Katrina/Rita/Wilma experience. The models used to predict the insured damage that a hurricane would cause all failed magnificently. Although they are naturally complex, they do not have to deal with the multiplicity of variables that a GCM does. Yet they still did not allow for the “two’ events caused by Katrina — the wind damage and the stormsurge flood damage as a result of the failure of the levees. Nor could they deal with the “demand surge’ that led to a massive increase in rebuilding costs nor the interconnected business interruption losses. The new models have “dealt’ with these issues and still have credence but……

  23. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

    re: #17

    Some are better at it than others, but most models provide a fairly reasonable facsimile of the earth’s climate w/o being told to do so.

    I’m somewhat sorry that nobody has responded to your post yet. I think it’s an important post. Not because it’s right, but because it’s wrong in such an interesting and instructive way. But to understand what that is, some background is necessary.

    Your point is that 1) the models mostly do ok at mimicking the ups and downs of weather and short-term climate patterns. And you claims that 2) this shows some merit on the part of the models and that therefore we can trust, at least in a general way, their findings. … I guess I shouldn’t have said nobody responded to your message as MarkW made a stab at it. But whether or not his point concerning your first point is on the mark, I’m not going to argue your hypothesis that the models show changes similar to the real world. We’ll accept that at least for purposes of argument.

    Now two other givens
    1. Models use large grid cells for computational tractability. These are at least 100km on a side, and I think generally much larger as if you divided the earth into sections of 10,000 (100×100) km2 you’d end up with over 51,000 of them and I think the models generally only have a few thousand grid-cells. In any case any process which is dependent on events which occur over areas less than thousands of square miles can’t be mimicked in a model except by approximating it.

    2. Patterns of events in general, once properly described, can be reproduced by fairly simple equations. And generally, if you don’t demand perfect fidelity with the actual events (and sometimes if you do), there are many ways of reproducing the “look and feel” of the real world.

    Therefore my first-order response to your claim is that what you observe isn’t any special merit on the part of the models per se, but is a necessary side-product of the attempts of climate modelers to mimic a system which is too complicated to be accurately modeled, by reproducing the look and feel of observed reality using a reduced set of equations. It doesn’t demand any conscious attempt to “cook the books” but simply the necessity of making the model appear sensible. Further, about any physical equations which are known and adaptable to a model can be made part of the ensemble of equations used to produce a respectable looking result. I.e. if you feel certain known relationships must be included because of previous scientific knowledge, this doesn’t prevent proper tuning, using a smallish set of tunable and more or less arbitrary equations which will still produce a sensible looking output. Thus the observer will find the things needed for scientific believability as well as observational plausibility.

    This is enough for a single post, but if you wish to argue along these lines go ahead and respond.

    P.S. while writing this off-line I see there’s been another response which does address your second claim, but is concerned with the problem of verification rather than the claim itself, so I’ll leave my post as is.

  24. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

    their results have been repeated several times by other scientists using different statistical methods;

    What they don’t seem to understand when making such a statement is that “different statistical methods” are all just variations on a theme. Ultimately, they all require the same fundamental assumptions that just don’t hold up. Whether the method is principal component analysis, expectation maximization (with the “regularization” moniker added) or even simple least squares regression, the relationship between the sources and observations must meet certain requirements, one of which is almost always uncorrelatedness. The latter is always assumed, but never shown to be true. Another is the old “centering” problem, which is present even in the silver bullet reg-EM. Somehow they’ve stretched their uncorrelatedness to ergodicity across all proxies. I suppose we are also to believe that Moberg’s wavelet analysis is a “different statistical analysis” when it is nothing more than time-frequency filtering.

    W.r.t. validity of proxies in the first place, tree rings are not proxies for temperature, at least not well enough to be used for _global yearly averages_. The fact that the trees in question only grow 2 months out of the year never seems to shake the faithful, nor does the fact that their linear relationship to temperature (within those two months) has never been shown (assumption #2 in MBH98 I believe, which is mentioned only once).

    When you repeat the same test, using slightly different methods but the same data, you will probably get the same answers. Duh. This is even exaggerated when your different methods can actually be shown to be identical in result, only using a different path (so to speak) to get there. Maximum aposteriori (MAP), maximum likelihood (ML) and mean square error (MSE) methods, for example, are identical when detecting in the presence of Gaussian noise. Ultimately, the data, and subsequent assumptions about the data, need to be improved in order to provide “validation.”

    Mark

  25. Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

    tree rings are not proxies for temperature

    They are proxies for Hale cycles, de Vries cycles and Gleisberg cycles. And if you use multivariate calibration, they are proxies for anything :)

  26. EW
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

    When you repeat the same test, using slightly different methods but the same data, you will probably get the same answers. Duh.

    Interestingly, the same holds true for evolutionary analyses of DNA sequence sets. There are various models correcting for multiple mutations at the same site, different rates of evolution etc., but the main point is to get a set of sufficiently long sequences with just the right amount of variability. Then the phylogeny looks the same whatever tree-computing method is used. If this isn’t the case, the branches of the tree aren’t statisticaly supported enough and small difference in grouping the sequences changes the phylogeny.

    Only – saying this aloud isn’t widely popular. Models are The Thing.

  27. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    And if you use multivariate calibration, they are proxies for anything

    Pirate population.

    Keep in mind, my comments in no way denigrate the methods themselves. PCA/reg-EM/ICA/MCA, etc. are all valid methods for separating sources from observations. Unfortunately, as used, there is no verification as to what the resolved “components” represent (another unpublished consequence of the above methods), nor any verification of the actual source content with which to compare.

    Mark

  28. Joe B
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    On Roger Pielke Sr.’s blog is a long assesment of computer models by Hendrik
    Tennekes, retired Director of Research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute.
    I think this will be of interest to many on this site:

    Pielke Sr. Blog

  29. jae
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

    Meterologists admit that the computer models they use to predict weather are not valid for more than two weeks out. Is it easier to model the Earth’s climate than it is to model local weather? I don’t think so.

  30. paul m
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

    Global Cooling

    Just a thought. Somewhere back in this thread there was a comment from an AGW promoter that only two scientists had ever proposed global cooling and that the fears back in the seveties were a myth.

    I am sure that I remember a BBC Horizon programme on this very subject way back then but the on-line archive does not gio back that far and my quick Google search did not reveal anything. Does anyone else from the UK remember this?

    Paul M

  31. JP
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    #24

    Dave,
    When I was a beginning forecaster, one of the 1st things I was taught was to initialize the
    model run. That is, we had to check the 00Hr realtime snapshot against our own surface and
    upper level analysis (usually the boundary layer, 850,700,500 and 300mb layers). Invariabley
    the models usually missed something (shortwave trof, high level speed max, etc…), or the
    models (in those days it was the LFM and Spectral Models) would manufacture something
    that wasn’t there. I’m told the Nested Grid Model is a huge improvement (I left the weather
    field in 1992), but the rule of thumb was that models accuaracy grew expotentially worse with time.
    For long to medium range forecast, we depended on climo data.

    Even for shorter range forecasts, models are being constantly updated to correct for earlier
    run deficiencies. Without Sat and RADAR data, we would be sunk.

  32. Follow the Money
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    #16 I wrote:

    “AGW is nearing that, and will reach it if the USA signs onto the crypto-Kyoto schemes pushed by Democratic Party presidential nominees fronting for support and money.”

    Uh, I should have wrote candidates, not nominees. Obama jumped in a few weeks ago, the good documentarian would examine what money he has got and what firms have written the bill he is proposing…these people do NOT write the bills bearing their names. Hillary Clinton jumped in recently and on the Republican side there’s John McCain, an old hand at big lie financial scams, Americans will remember him as one of the Keating 5 in the S& L scandal.

  33. BKC
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    How ’bout this for a t-shirt graphic (hope this works)…

  34. BKC
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

    On a t-shirt…

  35. K
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

    #30: Yes, I think it is easier to model climate than weather. And that will probably invoke great wrath.

    Climate modeling is mostly physics. Energy from space less energy radiated to space plus energy internally generated from radioactivity, melting and freezing change of states, and burning of fossil reserves. The result must tell if the Earth is growing warmer or cooler at a given moment.

    The problem with the warming/cooling balance is that none of these numbers has been measured well enough and long enough.

    If we knew the numbers well enough we could at least ruthlessly determine how much man, the sun, and the other natural effects contribute to the heat balance. Then modelers could proceed with some confidence to forecast long term effects. That still would not be simple because the feedbacks are not linear. Still the models could be quite good.

    In contrast true weather modeling depends upon all the above plus fluid states and fluid movements in both waters and the atmosphere. And fluid mechanics is not nearly as well understood as measuring radiations and temperatures.

    So getting the weather right is more difficult because it does more than is required of climate modeling.

  36. Dave B
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    For a statistical layman like myself, this article dealing with propagation of error was quite interesting and informative:

    1. WHY GLOBAL WARMING IS PROBABLY A CROCK

    By James Lewis
    As a scientist I’ve learned never to say “never.” So human-caused global warming is always a hypothesis to hold, at least until climate science becomes mature. (Climate science is very immature right now: Physicists just don’t know how to deal with hypercomplex systems like the earth weather. That’s why a recent NASA scientist was wildly wrong when he called anthropogenic warming “just basic physics.” Basic physics is what you do in the laboratory. If hypercomplex systems were predictable, NASA would have foolproof space shuttles — because they are a lot simpler than the climate. So this is just pseudoscientific twaddle from NASA’s vaunted Politically Correct Division. It makes me despair when even scientists conveniently forget that little word “hypothesis.”)

    OK. The human-caused global warming hypothesis is completely model-dependent. We can’t directly observe cars and cows turning up the earth thermostat. Whatever the human contribution there may be to climate constitutes just a few signals among many hundreds or thousands. All our models of the earth climate are incomplete. That’s why they keep changing, and that’s why climate scientists keep finding surprises. As Rummy used to say, there are a ton of “unknown unknowns” out there. The real world is full of x’s, y’s and z’s, far more than we can write little models about. How do you extract the human contribution from a vast number of unknowns? That’s why constant testing is needed, and why it is so frustrating to do frontier science properly.

    Science is difficult because nature always has another surprise in store for us, dammit! Einstein rejected quantum mechanics, and was wrong about that. Newton went wrong on the proof of calculus, a problem that didn’t get solved until 1900. Scientists are always wrong — they are just less wrong now than they were before (if everything is going well). Check out the current issue of Science magazine. It’s full of surprises. That’s what it’s for.

    Now there’s a basic fact about complexity that helps to understand this. It’s a point in probability theory (eek!) about many variables, each one less than 100 percent likely to be true.

    If I know that my six-sided die isn’t loaded, I’ll get a specific number on average one out of six rolls. Two rolls of the die produces 1/6 x 1/6 = 1/36. For n rolls of the die, I get (1/6) multiplied by itself n times, or (1/6) to the nth power. That number becomes small very quickly. The more rolls of the die, the less likely it is that some particular sequence will come up. It’s the first thing to know in any game of chance. Don’t ever bet serious money if that isn’t obvious.

    Now imagine that all the variables about global climate are known with less than 100 percent certainty. Let’s be wildly and unrealistically optimistic and say that climate scientists know each variable to 99 percent certainty! (No such thing, of course). And let’s optimistically suppose there are only one-hundred x’s, y’s, and z’s — all the variables that can change the climate: like the amount of cloud cover over Antarctica, the changing ocean currents in the South Pacific, Mount Helena venting, sun spots, Chinese factories burning more coal every year, evaporation of ocean water (the biggest “greenhouse” gas), the wobbles of earth orbit around the sun, and yes, the multifarious fartings of billions of living creatures on the face of the earth, minus, of course, all the trillions of plants and algae that gobble up all the CO2, nitrogen-containing molecules, and sulfur-smelling exhalations spewed out by all of us animals. Got that? It all goes into our best math model.

    So in the best case, the smartest climatologist in the world will know 100 variables, each one to an accuracy of 99 percent. Want to know what the probability of our spiffiest math model would be, if that perfect world existed? Have you ever multiplied (99/100) by itself 100 times? According to the Google calculator, it equals a little more than 36.6 percent.

    The Bottom line: our best imaginable model has a total probability of one out of three. How many billions of dollars in Kyoto money are we going to spend on that chance?

    Or should we just blow it at the dog races?

    So all ye of global warming faith, rejoice in the ambiguity that real life presents to all of us. Neither planetary catastrophe nor paradise on earth are sure bets. Sorry about that. (Consider growing up, instead.)

    That’s why human-caused global warming is a hypothesis, not a fact. Anybody who says otherwise isn’t doing science, but trying to sell you a bill of goods.

    Probably.

  37. jae
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    This may have been referenced before, but it is a very interesting paper by Landscheidt that shows a close association between CO2 levels and the solar torque. It all seems to be related to temp., also. People here have remarked several times about the surge in temperature in 1976. Interestingly, the figures in this paper show that some peculiar solar cycles were going on at that time.

  38. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 7:16 PM | Permalink

    #37, oh I wish what this article said were truly applicable, but in the end, it is not. The analogy doesn’t quite hold for many reasons. The most significant is that not everyone of the “unknowns” is weighted equally. This gets into relative cost calculation. There could easily be two or three dominant guesses which account for 90% of the variability (that in and of itself is an unknown as well). Furthermore, they do not necessarily propagate in the same manner as a die roll. This is particularly the case in which several unknowns may be related in some fashion, e.g. one may be 99%, but an increase in its impact may be known to cause a decrease in another’s impact that is also 99% probability.

    There’s lies, damn lies and statistics. They say what they say, no matter how people may use them to justify their ends or means.

    Mark

  39. John Creighton
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 8:55 PM | Permalink

    #36 that makes sence. On earth the magnetic field is caused by the spinning molten core in the earth. Why shouldn’t the rate the sun spins effect the magnetic field. Sine the amount of sunspots is related to the magnetic field it is a perfectly reasonable explanation that the solar cycle is a result of an exchange in energy between magnetic energy and rotational energy.

  40. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 10:38 PM | Permalink

    Re #31 – **Global Cooling
    Just a thought. Somewhere back in this thread there was a comment from an AGW promoter that only two scientists had ever proposed global cooling and that the fears back in the seveties were a myth. **
    There were more than a few scientists. Cooling made the front page of Time and National Geographic about 1976. I still have the Geographic.

  41. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 1:20 AM | Permalink

    If I’m not mistaken, didn’t Trenberth and Hansen lead the charge back then, too?

    Mark

  42. Jim Barrett
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 5:24 AM | Permalink

    NOMINATION FOR MILLENNNNNNIUM DOO DILL-IGUNCE AWARD

    I hereby nominate Steve McIntyre and John A for the Millennnnnnium Doo Dill-Diligunce Award, for allowing climateaudit to go down for a day, just one day before the release of the IPCC AR4 Summary For Policymakers, in the midst of discussions of momentous global import (I refer of course to the thread “Fixing the Facts to the Policy”).

    Thank God these guys weren’t organising the meeting in Paris!

  43. Jim Barrett
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 5:31 AM | Permalink

    Dave B (posting 37): “…..say that climate scientists know each variable to 99 percent certainty! (No such thing, of course)”

    No – of course there is “no such thing” – knowing a “variable to 99 percent certainty” is a totally meaningless concept. Why do you even quote an article which contains such rubbish – to make Steve’s statistics look good?

  44. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 7:36 AM | Permalink

    re: #43

    Wrong again, as always. There were a few glitches yesterday, but most of the time the site was up and running. What’d you do, try logging on twice and couldn’t make it and assumed it was down the whole day? This thread alone has messages 18-41 dated yesterday. (Which you could have determined yourself before making one of your usual obnoxious posts.)

  45. James Erlandson
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

    Carbon Dating, Fossil Fuel and CO2

    Several readers have commented that they learn a lot from reading ClimateAudit — it’s a rich experience. This is my contribution for today.
    Until recently I was not familiar how the C-14/C-12 ratio in organic material is used to determine how much atmospheric CO2 has come from burning fossil fuel. A recent article in the OC Register (that’s Orange County California, home of Disneyland) has a good basic description of the method and some results.

    There is also an excellent graphic that raises a few questions familiar to regular readers. Using samples from 70 locations in 31 states (including Alaska and Hawaii) they have created a map of C-14 levels in all 48 contiguous states including 19 states that were not sampled. Compare the levels around Pittsburgh, PA (one sample) with the industrial rust belt states of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio (no samples) and decide if they make sense to you.

  46. Jaye
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    re 44

    The dude was using a boundary condition argument…pretty common stuff when refuting the easily refutable.

  47. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 9:59 AM | Permalink

    Re #44 – Maybe you can explain how Michael Mann can determine the temperature to within .5 degree a thousand years ago.

  48. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    knowing a “variable to 99 percent certainty” is a totally meaningless concept.

    Knowing the range of a variable to 99% certainty is not, however, meaningless. That’s what a confidence interval is. The value of that variable is then chosen as the mean of the interval. That does not speak to the variance, however.

    Given that the original poster admitted to being a “statistical layman,” it’s pretty obvious that he posted the article because he does not understand the subtleties. That you would chastise him as you did speaks to your character as well.

    Mark

  49. jae
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink

    43, Jim, your post indicates you have no understanding of what you are commenting about. LOL.

  50. jae
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

    Jim, I meant #44, but it’s equally applicable to 43.

  51. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

    Re #12

    My concluding view of Hansen’s scenarios A, B and C, constructed back in 1988 and with 19 years of out-of-sample results, revolves around 2 aspects of those predictions, i.e. inputs and outputs. My conclusions about both can be summarized as uncertainty and uncertainty.

    Inputs are significantly below those predicted without mitigation, i.e. at or below Scenario C. Predicted temperature differences (1988 to 2006) outputs for the widely different scenarios span 0.15 degree C. HadCRUT3 difference 1988 to 2006 is 0.28 degree C. Input variability under identical conditions into 1988 starting point for the three scenarios is 0.20 degree C.

  52. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 11:05 AM | Permalink

    #43. Jim Barrett, that’s a very annoying comment. This blog is run at a shoestring cost on a public server.
    If I had the resources of the Environmental Defence Fund to back me, yeah, it would operate more seamlessly.

    I’ve got sticker shock over the cost of a dedicated server and don’t want to spend that much money unless there’s no alternative. It wouldn’t be an issue for Environmental Defence Fund’s site, realclimate, which probably has a dedicated server. Of course, the difference in cost over a year is the cost of putting up one delegate in Paris for about one night.

  53. jae
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

    Summary of research at Oregon State U. for those interested in alternative energy sources. One of the conclusions is that corn-based ethanol is 750 times more expensive than gasoline!

  54. MarkW
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

    36,

    The problem is that when attempting to model the climate, the physics that you admit we don’t fully understand yet,
    is the weather.

    For example. In order to understand whether or not it is going to rain today, you have to fully
    understand the conditions that will cause it to rain. The actual temperature throughout the column of air over your
    city. What’s the particulate levels throughout the atmosphere. Dew points, the physics involved in the formation of
    droplets. Exactly how condensing water interacts with the air around it. Exactly how the forming clouds interact
    with incoming sunlight, and outgoing radiation. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    To get a good shortrange forecast, you need to know these kinds of things.
    When modeling climate, you need to know these exact same things. Because for your model to be accurate, your model
    is going to have to predict how the changes you are examing are going to affect things like cloud formation, and
    changes in rainfall totals.

    This is just one example, I’m sure those that are closer to the science would have more examples.

  55. Dave B
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    44 jim barrett…

    the point of the article was propagation of error. the “known” effects of variables like clouds, cosmic rays, solar inputs, UHI, etc, are admittedly known with MUCH less than 99% certainty. Even if the CO2 effect is known with 100% certainty (a stretch), these other errors clearly are propagated through the entire climate change equation. honesty from climatologists regarding just how unsure they are would be a big help. until the uncertainty is faced, skepticism will remain a growing force.

  56. Joe B
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

    Anyone see Richard Linzden of MIT debating Bill Ney on Larry King last night? Priceless….

  57. Follow the Money
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    #43,

    Your humor is, well, lame. It comes across as someone defensiveabout what he is reading here.

    No extra carbon credits for you from the registry.

  58. Chris H
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

    #54 jae, 750% more expensive would be 8.5 times as expensive not 750 times more expensive. Still a lot more expensive, of course. Probably about as expensive as petrol (gasoline) is here in the UK :)

  59. K
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

    #55: I don’t quite understand your point. Possibly because of word use. I regard ‘climate’ as the prevailing (or usual) weather patterns over years. And ‘weather’ as how things are today and what is expected within a few days. And that seemed to be how #30 was using the terms.

    My reply was to #30, you can read his question and position yourself. It is my view that heat balance is the ultimate driver of climate change (change in the prevailing weather patterns) at every place on Earth. And that measuring that balance and devising climate models is better understood than how to model weather.

    I don’t think the physics we don’t understand is the weather. And why the loaded word ‘admit’?

    The reason I emphasized the problems with fluid mechanics is that we know a lot about fluid states – which is where I group concerns about particulates, dew points, temperature, pressures, etc. But the calculation of movements is simply worse.

    Look at hurricane tracking, there will be a dozen models all devised by fine teams, and within hours the paths diverge. And once the separation begins the predicted tracks almost never cross again.

  60. jae
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

    59, thanks, I forgot the % sign. It’s 7.5 times more expensive.

  61. Fred Harwood
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    Has anyone else missed Philip Stott’s postings to his EnviroSpin Watch blog? He has not blogged since early November.

  62. jae
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    Pielke’s testimony to Waxman’s Committee is very interesting.

    An excerpt:

    Scientists have not been innocent victims in these political dynamics. Writing in the National Journal, Paul Starobin suggests that:
    “Inevitably the scientist has been dragged, or has catapulted himself, into the values and political combat that surround science and has emerged, in certain respects, as just another (diminished) partisan.”33
    Recent debate over hurricanes and climate change provides a perfect case study of these dynamics and the role that individual scientists play in creating conditions for the pathological politicization of science.

  63. MarkW
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    #60,

    My point is that you can’t understand climate, until you can understand weather.
    For the reasons I gave in my previous post.

    There are some that claim that you can gloss over the parts you don’t know by making big boxes,
    and averaging everything that happens within those boxes into simple variables. These are the
    kind of people who write climate models.
    But how can you average out the influence of a process that you don’t understand?
    How can you average out the influence of a process that you don’t even know exists?

    You have to figure out the small, then use that knowledge to work your way up to the big.
    The other way around doesn’t work.

  64. Jim Barrett
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

    Postings 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 56: Come on guys, don’t “celebrate the cause of ignorance” – to postulate “….. that climate scientists know each variable to 99 percent certainty …..” (posting 37) is unadulterated crap. Without stating the RANGE within which the variable is believed to be, at a “99 percent certainty”, this means absolutely nothing. The remaining discussion in James Lewis’ “Crock of …..” which attempts to propagate this meaningless concept of uncertainty only compounds the error.

    Why does Steve NEVER pick up on these fundamental howlers in statistics?

  65. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

    #65. Jim B, I’m not a nanny and don’t monitor all the posts or rise to every jibe. Just because I don’t respond to something doesn’t meant I acquiesce in it. I only have a certain amount of attention and energy and, in addition, this week I’ve had a horrendous flu/cold. I have no intention of participating in this topic.

  66. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

    Why does Steve NEVER pick up on these fundamental howlers in statistics?

    Hmm, odd, but I criticized the result in post 39, did you fail to notice that? I also pointed out what a confidence interval is. Do you not understand, or are you just being obtuse and whining because you don’t like the fact that CA exists?

    Out of curiosity, what exactly constitutes a fundamental “howl” in my post in 49?

    Mark

  67. Chris H
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

    #61 jae, I’m being pedantic but I’ll stick with my 8.5 times: “750% more expensive” means the original 100% plus an additional 750%, giving a total of 850%. Otherwise “50% more expensive” would actually mean “half price”.

  68. Follow the Money
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 4:36 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    There’s been a lot of long-term colds this year in my parts, not the 24 hr. vrieties.

    Don’t let Barret get to you. He’s a carbon trading flack.

  69. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

    My son has it now. I’m doing my best to keep my fingers/hands away from my face as I’ve heard this one is lasting 4-6 weeks. Ugh.

    Mark

  70. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    It’s particularly annoying for me because I’m playing in our club squash Pro-Am which just started this week. I got my first round delayed til Monday. Jonathon Power is playing in it which should impress the squash junkies. He was only the 5th seed among the pros – he’s not a doubles player. Paul Price and Gary Waite are the top two doubles players. Power played an exhibition on Monday with Graham Ryding in mixed doubles with the CAnadian women’s doubles champions – and Power’s virtuosity is breathtaking. It won’t take him long to be a flashy doubles player. Doubles is actually a better forum for racquet handlers since it permits flashier shots than singles due to the big court. The tournament is structured really well with amateurs picking in reverse order so that the teams are balanced. We have a Calcutta and everyone has fun.

  71. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

    Ouch. I took a test in my karate class once (25 years ago) with the flu. I was running a 102F fever. Needless to say, I did poorly. Of course, I had the highest score in the class on the written exam (we actually had to memorize Japanese counting, kata names, all of the masters up through the style inventor, etc.)

    Mark

  72. K
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

    #64: Thanks MarkW. I believe the better approach to climate modeling is top-down. And that it will improve faster than building up from fine grain weather analysis.

    And the way you deal with processes you don’t understand is to compare model outputs to reality and then hunt down the caused of differences. You detect processes you don’t know exist by the same method.

    But perhaps that is because I have no concerns about weather but much interest in GW – with ‘A’ prefixed or otherwise. And I don’t see that weather per se changes the heat of the Earth. I think the reverse.

    You did explain your point. Thanks sgsin.

  73. Jim Barrett
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 5:14 PM | Permalink

    Steve (posting 53): It is interesting how, in the “climateaudit” view of the world, climate scientists are somehow backed by collosal reserves of funding (which is absolutely not true of the majority of scientists), while you have to do everything “at a shoestring cost”. You pour scorn on the efforts of these scientists, but when a little scorn is poured on you we get the story of “poor little Cinderella” who can only run her site on a “public server”. Well, a wealth of sites run continuously with absolutely no problems on public servers. Given the importance with which I assume you view the release of the AR4 SPM on 2 Feb. and given that your domain name expired the day before, I simply thought that “due diligence” would have required that you put in a little more effort.

    Finally, you make unsubstantiated postulations that RC is “Environmental Defence Fund’s site ….. which probably has a dedicated server”. However, even if this is true, a reading of EDF’s mission statement at http://www.environmentaldefense.org/aboutus.cfm does not exactly fill me with horror – do you object to their principles? Do you think ordinary people shouldn’t choose to support this fund?

  74. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

    Steve (posting 53): It is interesting how, in the “climateaudit” view of the world, climate scientists are somehow backed by collosal reserves of funding (which is absolutely not true of the majority of scientists), while you have to do everything “at a shoestring cost”.

    Steve’s funding is nearly nil, but climate scientists are getting grants. Period. At the same time, they are continually brow-beating folks such as Steve for working with “big oil” money. A rather hypocritical statement by you given the fairly common treatment Steve receives.

    Additionally, Steve did not comment on the ethics or principles of EDF, which you seem to have taken issue with. He merely mentioned that they have funded the website, contrary to his situation.

    Mark

  75. Jim Barrett
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

    Sorry Steve (posting 66), this is always your excuse (that you “don’t monitor ALL the posts”; my emphasis). What is important is that you haven’t answered my question about why you “NEVER pick up on these fundamental howlers in statistics”.

    O.K., perhaps “never” is hyperbole, but you don’t appear to dispute it – you also now have the opportunity to affirm that posting 37 was crap – you haven’t – that says a lot.

  76. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 5:31 PM | Permalink

    JMS, in post #17 you say:

    Some are better at it than others, but most models provide a fairly reasonable facsimile of the earth’s climate w/o being told to do so. This is something that Willis seems to not want to understand.

    I’m not sure which planet you are living on, but here on Earth models don’t do anything without being told to do so. The people that tell them to do so are called “programmers”. Having written a variety of computer models for a variety of tasks, I can assure you that not one of them ever stood up and said “I’m going to do something that Willis never told me to do.”

    Are you just being obtuse, or do you actually not understand that GCMs are TUNED to produce the results they produce?

    w.

  77. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

    Big deal. Again, nobody questioned their ethics or principles. YOU are the one complaining about his website performance when it just isn’t possible for CA to stack up. Steve merely pointed that out, yet here you continue to harp on an immaterial point.

    What is important is that you haven’t answered my question about why you “NEVER pick up on these fundamental howlers in statistics”.

    Nor have you acknowledged the fact that a) I did not post anything incorrect and b) I denigrated the article as well noting that it just doesn’t work the way the author explained it. Hypocrisy count #2. Bender used to keep track of double standards, where has he been?

    Mark

  78. jae
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    Don’t feed the trolls…

  79. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 5:36 PM | Permalink

    #74. The locus of RC’s site was outed shortly after it started. I’m going to play squash.

  80. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 5:46 PM | Permalink

    Don’t feed the trolls…

    It’s too fun to miss. I can see him feverishly typing while he’s got his statistics book open, or wikipedia page up, attempting to “prove” he knows more than the rest of this cesspool of idiots.

    Good luck with the squash tourney, Steve. I get to drive home in another GW induced snow storm as soon as my probability of detection simulation finishes (NOT an experiment…).

    Mark

  81. Tim Ball
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 6:41 PM | Permalink

    #31
    The program I think you refer to was called “The Greenhouse Conspiracy” produced for Channel Four in the UK. PBS refused to show it in the US claiming it was too biased. In Canada I understand Suzuki blocked it from being on the CBC. I saw it in a pirated copy because a group of people wanted my commentary. It is extremely difficult to get copies as I understand only half hour audios are available. It is still very relevant today, which is probably why it is out of circulation. The premise of the program was the theory of warming due to CO2 was based on four major components; each component supported a Greek Temple. As the program examined each pillar it was shown to be insubstantial and fell. At the end the last column fell and the temple collapsed. There was a particularly telling segment of the ‘eminence gris’ Tom Wigley.

    #42
    Another major promoter of global cooling was Stephen Schneider, particularly in a book titled “The Genesis Strategy”. Also influential was Ponte’s book “The Cooling” in which the following quote appeared, “It is cold fact: the global cooling presents humankind with the most important social, political, and adaptive challenge we have had to deal with for ten thousand years. Your stake in the decisons we make concerning it is of ultimate importance; the survival of ourselves, our children, our species.” Change the seventh word “cooling” to warming and you have exactly what is being said about warming today. The CIA spent millions including money at the University of North Dakota on studies about the social collapse and wars that would erupt as the cooling led to harvest failures. They even coined the word climatocracy to identify the discipline. They produced two major reports referenced in another influential book titled “The Weather Conspiracy” published in 1970 with subtitles such as “The coming of the New Ice Age” and “Have our weather patterns run amok? Or are they part of a natural and alarming timetable?” On the back it says, “Many of the world’s leading climatologists concur; we are slipping towards a new ice age?”

  82. richardT
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

    # 85

    It seems plausible that humans are speeding this up by some amount, but the $64K question is by how much.

    I’m glad that you agree that human activity could be causing enhancing climate change; at least some contributors to this blog would deny even that. What proportion of the late 20th Century warming in anthropic may be the $64k question, but a much bigger question is what will the climate be like in fifty or a hundred years when greenhouse gas concentrations will be far higher than they are now. We could argue till then that the data is imperfect, and wait and see. That could be a really expensive mistake. Alternatively we can use the imperfect models and data available now, trust their message, and begin to take action to protect our and our children’s future.

  83. Paul Linsay
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 6:56 PM | Permalink

    #87

    The summary fails to mention that while 1998 was a big El Nino year, and so warmer global temperatures are expected, 2005 was not an El Nino year but was about as warm.

    Not really

  84. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

    Alternatively we can use the imperfect models and data available now, trust their message, and begin to take action to protect our and our children’s future.

    That could be a costly mistake. The “precautionary principle” in reverse given that there is no evidence we can effect any change directly (particularly given that the 3rd world is the dominant contributor to the “problem”), without severe harm.

    Mark

  85. Jaye
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 8:05 PM | Permalink

    Postings 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 56: Come on guys, don’t “celebrate the cause of ignorance” – to postulate “….. that climate scientists know each variable to 99 percent certainty …..” (posting 37) is unadulterated crap. Without stating the RANGE within which the variable is believed to be, at a “99 percent certainty”, this means absolutely nothing. The remaining discussion in James Lewis’ “Crock of …..” which attempts to propagate this meaningless concept of uncertainty only compounds the error.

    You don’t get it do you. The writer was setting up a best possible situation that showed even under those conditions the results are dicey. He was not saying that we can know those variables to 99% certainty, he was saying that even if we could know them that well the errors would stack up. Its very simple.

  86. James Erlandson
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 8:14 PM | Permalink

    Wall Street Journal

    Rep. Henry Waxman’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform “took on the Bush administration’s handling of climate change science” in a Tuesday hearing …
    … testimony drew largely from a report produced by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Government Accountability Project, a private group that defends whistle-blowers.
    … only about 17% of the scientists who received the survey actually filled it out and returned it. There is no reason to think this is a representative sample of the total population, and it seems reasonable to surmise that people who would go to the trouble of completing such a survey are more likely than those who wouldn’t to perceive themselves as under political pressure–i.e., to agree with the UCS.

    To put it much more simply, this was an unscientific survey. If this is how these guys do social science, how can we trust them with the hard stuff?

  87. David Smith
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 8:54 PM | Permalink

    Well, I have to give Steve Sadlov a big salute. Steve forecast an “ice bridge” between Greenland and Iceland this winter, an unusual event. By George, it has happened!

    The latest ice extent plot for the east coast of Greenland / northwest coast of Icelend is shown here . The squiggly line on the bottom right is the coast of Iceland. The red and yellow areas have concentrations of 50% and higher, which, under our for-fun rule set last October, constitutes an “ice bridge”. (Caution: do not try to stroll on 50% sea ice).

    The yellow is now touching Iceland. Steve S called it.

    The shifting Arctic Oscillation may reinforce this ice in next several weeks.

    I checked some records last fall which indicated that such a “bridging” is unusual, occurring perhaps once every ten years or so.

    There is still sea ice along the east coast of Iceland, which is rare.

    This, of course, is weather, not climate.

  88. Dieter Riedel
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 9:59 PM | Permalink

    #86

    Thanks for the memories of that “end of the world” worry-fest. It is ironic that it coincided with the fears of oil running out.

    A cooling world would present many more problems than a gradually (and temporarily) warming world. In light of the contemporary fears, this consideration does not usually enter into the debate.

  89. Ian
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 10:36 PM | Permalink

    #93 It goes without saying that any cooling event is weather. Any warming even is of course irrefutable evidence of global warming ;-)

  90. Pat Frank
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 10:42 PM | Permalink

    #86 — Here’s a transcript of “The Greenhouse Conspiracy.”

    It’s interesting to see that the “4 pillars” of 1990 are the same ones cited today, and are as much in error today as they were in 1990. Isn’t progress wonderful.

    Has anyone else noted the complete recent absence of Steve Bloom? Anyone else figure he’s currently hip-deep in last-stage planning for a chicken-little media blitz to follow release of SPM4?

    We’re all doomed, alright — not from greenhouse warming but from death by propaganda toxication.

  91. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 11:34 PM | Permalink

    Has anyone else noted the complete recent absence of Steve Bloom?

    Actually, I’ve already made mention of that with a little conjecture that maybe JB is his doppleganger. Bloom has been absent ever since trashing Jean and Steve M. on another blog, after which Steve M. said Bloom owed him an apology.

    He’s a coward and a troll. Good riddance.

    Mark

  92. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 1, 2007 at 11:39 PM | Permalink

    He was not saying that we can know those variables to 99% certainty, he was saying that even if we could know them that well the errors would stack up. Its very simple.

    Regardless, JB is correct (for once) that they do not stack up in the same manner as indicated in the article. It just don’t work that way.

    Realistically, what you would have to do is run the simulation with every conceivable value for every variable with some noticeable range, and then produce some sort of error analysis out of that… very difficult, if not impossible.

    Mark

  93. William L. Hyde
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 1:26 AM | Permalink

    Re #62…Yes, I check EnviroSpin Watch every day. I certainly miss Phillip Stott and his humerous analysis of the days follies. Well, coffee on the deck, outdoor heaters on full!
    Cheers….theoldhogger

  94. John Baltutis
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 2:43 AM | Permalink

    Re: #91

    Has anyone else noted the complete recent absence of Steve Bloom? Anyone else figure he’s currently hip-deep in last-stage planning for a chicken-little media blitz to follow release of SPM4?

    More than likely, too busy massaging his imputs to the SPM4 so that the message get included.

  95. richardT
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:03 AM | Permalink

    Why have my posts about the alternative IPCC summary been censored?

  96. Jim Barrett
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:10 AM | Permalink

    Hyde (posting 94): “outdoor heaters on full!”
    I find it amazing the selfishness that this site engenders …..

  97. Jim Barrett
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:16 AM | Permalink

    Mark T (posting 93): “what you would have to do is run the simulation with every conceivable value for every variable with some noticeable range, and then produce some sort of error analysis out of that… very difficult, if not impossible.”

    Ummmm ….. I think these are called “Monte Carlo techniques” ….. I think they’ve been around for a while ….. (head in hands ..)

  98. Jim Barrett
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:30 AM | Permalink

    Jaye (posting 86): “You don’t get it do you.”

    No – YOU don’t get it. It has nothing to do with the “99” – it could be any number you choose. I’ll rephrase it one last time:

    To postulate “….. that climate scientists know each variable to x percent certainty …..” (posting 37) is unadulterated crap. Without stating the RANGE within which the variable is believed to be, at “x percent certainty”, this means absolutely nothing.

    (The “x” is a symbol in something we call algebra – I did it at school when I was about 11.)

    Yes – it IS “very simple” – it’s CRAP.

    And a free, gratuitous, bit of advice to all the other wolves – if you don’t want me to respond (which I think you equate to being a “troll”), just stop continually trying to defend the indefensible – just accept crap for what it is.

  99. Jim Barrett
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:39 AM | Permalink

    Steve (posting 80): “The locus of RC’s site was outed shortly after it started.”

    Once again you give me a glib answer, but you don’t answer the questions I asked, which were: “do you object to their principles? Do you think ordinary people shouldn’t choose to support this fund?”

    Incidentally, “outed” was an interesting word to use – it was originally used to “expose” homosexuals – do you dislike them as well as environmentalists?

  100. John Baltutis
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:55 AM | Permalink

    Re: #100

    Finally, you make unsubstantiated postulations that RC is “Environmental Defence Fund’s site ….. which probably has a dedicated server”. However, even if this is true, a reading of EDF’s mission statement at http://www.environmentaldefense.org/aboutus.cfm does not exactly fill me with horror – do you object to their principles? Do you think ordinary people shouldn’t choose to support this fund?

    Since Steve’s out bashing squash balls, I’ll give you my answer. I do object to their principles and think that ordinary people should be smart enough to not support it. It promotes the The Gaia hypothesis which relegates mankind to abject creatures destroying the planet. Just my 2¢.

  101. richardT
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 4:28 AM | Permalink

    The text posted in #37 proposes that errors are propagated by multiplying them
    total error=product(individual errors)
    This is erroneous. Errors are propagated as the square root of the sum of squared errors. This is no secret, most of those who post here should know this.
    The numbers in #37 are then completely wrong: not
    0.99^100=0.366
    but
    1-(sqrt((1-0.99)^2*100)=0.9
    Quite a difference.

  102. richardT
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 4:43 AM | Permalink

    #85

    there is no evidence we can effect any change directly (particularly given that the 3rd world is the dominant contributor to the “problem”), without severe harm.

    Such pessimism is unnecessary. There are many changes that could be made immediately that would reduce CO2 emissions without significantly affecting lifestyles. For example, just improving the fuel efficiency of the US cars to the European average would lead to substantial CO2 saving. The technology is already on the road – only manufacturers of 4x4s need worry. Changing to low energy light bulbs makes large energy savings, with no harm to lifestyles

    If we don’t make the small easy changes now, then the cuts required if warming becomes a real problem will be much more severe than they need be.

  103. Jim Barrett
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 4:49 AM | Permalink

    Richard T (posting 103): Amen to that!

  104. KevinUK
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 4:51 AM | Permalink

    #102 richardT

    Ah yes the good old central limit theorem.

    KevinUK

  105. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:09 AM | Permalink

    RichardT, you say:

    The text posted in #37 proposes that errors are propagated by multiplying them
    total error=product(individual errors)
    This is erroneous. Errors are propagated as the square root of the sum of squared errors. This is no secret, most of those who post here should know this.

    This is naive oversimplification. There are many kinds of errors, such as bias errors, which do not propagate as the square root of the sum of squared errors.

    In a complex calculation, there are also errors which increase as they propagate through the calculation, and also errors which tend to zero as they propagate through the calculation.

    Finally, the nature of the propagation is dependent on the distribution of the residuals (actual – estimate). Your statement is correct … but only for one single type of error, independent gaussian distributed errors. For other types of errors, many of which are common in climate science, other rules apply.

    Please stop trying to impress us with your erudition. You are only embarrassing yourself, and ruining your credibility in the process.

    w.

  106. KevinUK
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:14 AM | Permalink

    #64 MarkW

    “You have to figure out the small, then use that knowledge to work your way up to the big.
    The other way around doesn’t work.”

    Absolutely spot on.

    And you have to carry out lots of REAL experiments in REAL laboratories using expensive test rigs to stand any chance of understanding the phenomoena. Its only after all that expensive hard work is done that you can stand any chance of producing a computer model that you can claim is valid. But even then ONLY valid wiithin the scope of its proven validity. You CANNOT extrapolate well beyond the proven scope of validity of the model and claim 90%+ certainty in its predictions as the IPCC do.

    KevinUK

  107. Jim Barrett
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:26 AM | Permalink

    Mark T (posting 85): “particularly given that the 3rd world is the dominant contributor to the ‘problem'”.

    Let’s get a few facts on the table.

    Here are a few of the big emitters in (CO2-equivalent units) in 2004. Data are from the UNFCCC and UNFPA and include land use and land-use change. Firstly the actual emissions (Mt/a):

    Australia: 533.5
    Canada: 838.9
    USA: 6294.3
    UK: 663.4
    France: 510.8

    World: 31947.4

    Now, here are the per-capita emissions (tonnes/a):

    Australia: 26.8
    Canada: 26.5
    USA: 21.2
    UK: 11.2
    France: 8.5

    World: 5.0

    So, just Australia, Canada and USA emit 24% of the world total. However, they only represent 5.5% of the world’s population – doesn’t this seem marginally unfair? The per-capita emissions, of course tell the same story – the per-capita emissions of Australia, Canada and USA are about 4.4 times the world average, or 5.5 times that of the rest of the world.

    So, while the third world may emit the most greenhouse gases, they do it at an efficiency (per head of population) which is at least 5 times higher than that of Australia, Canada and USA.

    And isn’t it rather surprising that some of the most vocal climate contrarians seem to come from the three countries which are among the dominant per-capita emitters? Now why do you think that is?

  108. Jim Barrett
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:33 AM | Permalink

    Sorry Willis (106): the only requirements for errors adding as squares is that they are independent and symetrically distributed – normality is unnecessary.

    Please stop trying to impress us with your erudition. :-)

  109. Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 6:16 AM | Permalink

    I see, we have variations of this theorem:

    The variance of the sum of an arbitrary finite number of independent random variables, whose variances exists, equals the sum of their variances.

  110. TAC
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 6:21 AM | Permalink

    #109 JB,

    the only requirements for errors adding as squares is that they are independent and symetrically distributed – normality is unnecessary.

    Actually, if you are talking only about variability rather than bias — Willis is not, by the way: read carefully — the result is even more general. At most all you need is the first “i” of “iid” — no symmetry required. Errors don’t even have to be identically distributed.

    But Willis is employing a broader definition of error which includes errors due to bias. For the case he is discussing, Willis’s statement in #106 is correct.

  111. Jean S
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 6:34 AM | Permalink

    There is a new submission by G. Bürger over CPD:
    On the verification of climate reconstructions

  112. Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 6:44 AM | Permalink

    I consider bias error as ‘very very correlated error’, which means that bias errors are not independent. They don’t ‘average out’. And, as the correlation is positive, and
    Var(X+Y)=Var(X)+Var(Y)+2E(XY)-2E(X)E(Y),

    the variance of the sum is more than the sum of the variances.

    (JB, not sure if this is a substantive argument. If not, you can skip it)

  113. Jaye
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 7:34 AM | Permalink

    To postulate “….. that climate scientists know each variable to x percent certainty …..” (posting 37) is unadulterated crap. Without stating the RANGE within which the variable is believed to be, at “x percent certainty”, this means absolutely nothing.

    He is making a simple analogy. A proof by contradiction. You are making it harder than it has to be. The range of values has nothing to do with the argument he is engaging in. You just don’t get what he is saying…whether or not he is correct is another matter. The x comment was gratuitous. I have a math degree and a cs degree so spare me the sophomoric insults. Simply stated you are not correctly parsing the article but instead are getting hung up in an irrelevant detail. What you are saying is equivalent to this made up response to this made up 5th grade word problem:

    Teacher: Suppose we have a Bristle Cone Pine tree that grows 10ft per year, how much will it grow in 535 days?

    Barret: But Bristle Cone Pines don’t grow 10 feet per year.

    Teacher: Just answer the question kid or no recess for you.

  114. richardT
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 7:45 AM | Permalink

    #106
    Yes Willis, in complex calculations, propagating the errors is a complicated job. But the case in #37, as far as can be ascertained, does not refer to a complex case, but the simple one of combining 100 equally-weighted variables. True, I assumed for simplicity that the variables were being added, or subtracted, and a different calculation would apply if the variables were being multiplied.
    So for a real calculation, I may have over-simplified things, but I am sure we both agree that the error propagation proposed in #37 is invalid. Or perhaps you can suggest a special case where it would be appropriate?

    Please stop trying to impress us with your erudition. You are only embarrassing yourself, and ruining your credibility in the process.

    I’m not trying to impress anyone, just trying to correct some gross miscomprehensions. I though that was the purpose of this blog.

  115. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

    Jim, you are right. Normality is not required, only that they be symmetrical. However, if they are symmetrical, the law of large numbers says that they will be normally distributed, so it’s a distinction without a difference.

    Now if you’d discuss the many exceptions to your incorrect claim that errors always add quadratically, we’ll be there … I notice you somehow forgot to do that.

    w.

  116. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 8:55 AM | Permalink

    So, just Australia, Canada and USA emit 24% of the world total. However, they only represent 5.5% of the world’s population – doesn’t this seem marginally unfair?

    Not when you consider that the US creates about 1/3 of the world’s economy. That doesn’t change the fact that China and India are STILL growing, and contribute more. That their per-capita is lower is a direct result of the fact that their per-capita income is so much lower. Normalize those numbers by per-contribution to the world’s wealth and suddenly they dominate.

    So, while the third world may emit the most greenhouse gases, they do it at an efficiency (per head of population) which is at least 5 times higher than that of Australia, Canada and USA.

    Efficiency? You’re kidding, right? It’s not due to “efficiency.” It’s due simply because only a small percentage of their population is actually contributing. Re-normalize your numbers based on people actually in the workforce. China has about 100 million in their workforce (well, what is considered “middle class”), now their output is greater than that of the US, with less people. They’re less efficient because they are 3rd world, and trying to come out of it.

    And isn’t it rather surprising that some of the most vocal climate contrarians seem to come from the three countries which are among the dominant per-capita emitters? Now why do you think that is?

    I think it’s more surprising, well not really, that the “faithful” all seem to think from a socialist viewpoint. The US also has the fastest growing economy, and folks such as yourself see our emissions as a reason to stifle that in favor of your socialist plans on “equalling out” everything.

    Mark

  117. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 8:56 AM | Permalink

    So, just Australia, Canada and USA emit 24% of the world total. However, they only represent 5.5% of the world’s population – doesn’t this seem marginally unfair?

    Not when you consider that the US creates about 1/3 of the world’s economy. That doesn’t change the fact that China and India are STILL growing, and contribute more. That their per-capita is lower is a direct result of the fact that their per-capita income is so much lower. Normalize those numbers by per-contribution to the world’s wealth and suddenly they dominate.

    So, while the third world may emit the most greenhouse gases, they do it at an efficiency (per head of population) which is at least 5 times higher than that of Australia, Canada and USA.

    Efficiency? You’re kidding, right? It’s not due to “efficiency.” It’s due simply because only a small percentage of their population is actually contributing. Re-normalize your numbers based on people actually in the workforce. China has about 100 million in their workforce (well, what is considered “middle class”), now their output is greater than that of the US, with less people. They’re less efficient because they are 3rd world, and trying to come out of it.

    And isn’t it rather surprising that some of the most vocal climate contrarians seem to come from the three countries which are among the dominant per-capita emitters? Now why do you think that is?

    I think it’s more surprising, well not really, that the “faithful” all seem to think from a socialist viewpoint. The US also has the fastest growing economy, and folks such as yourself see our emissions as a reason to stifle that in favor of your socialist plans on “equalling out” everything.

    Mark

  118. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    Such pessimism is unnecessary. There are many changes that could be made immediately that would reduce CO2 emissions without significantly affecting lifestyles. For example, just improving the fuel efficiency of the US cars to the European average would lead to substantial CO2 saving. The technology is already on the road – only manufacturers of 4àƒ’€”4s need worry. Changing to low energy light bulbs makes large energy savings, with no harm to lifestyles

    Even using JB’s numbers, the MOST we can reduce (in the US) is 20%, and that is if we eliminate ALL of our emissions. Not possible. Such minor changes that you’re bringing up are drops of water in the ocean, and their impact will be even less since CO2 is not the only (if at all) forcer.

    Mark

  119. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 9:05 AM | Permalink

    Ummmm ….. I think these are called “Monte Carlo techniques” ….. I think they’ve been around for a while ….. (head in hands ..)

    Really now. Are you really that thick? Of course they’ve been around for a while. I was merely explaining to the other poster what you have to do to see what happens with every permutaion. Duh. I’d also like to see where the results of these MC runs have been posted, since they’ve “been around for a while.” All we ever get is the “worst case.”

    Mark

  120. JP
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

    Here’s the IPCC Summary for Policymakers:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM2feb07.pdf

  121. MarkW
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    richardT,

    I agree we need to take appropriate action now.
    The appropriate actions is …. NOTHING.

    As to relying on the imperfect models? Why should we. The actual science is showing us that AGW is so small that
    it can barely be measured, much less feared. (I mean barely measured in as much as a few tenths of a degree C is
    substantially less than the error bars of our ability to measure the earth’s “temperature”.)

  122. MarkW
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    richardT,

    Increasing the fuel mileage of cars does have a substantial impact on life styles. It kills people, even the NHTSA has
    admitted that thousands of extra people are killed every year due to the current CAFE standards.

    Secondly, it is easily demonstratable that when the cost of driving goes down, people drive more. The net result is
    that increasing CAFE standards has little impact on total fuel useage. Except of course for those people who have been
    killed. They of course are not driving any more.

    Additionally, where is your evidence that warming is ever going to be a problem, much less a severe one.
    Don’t forget to include the many positive benefits of warmer temperatures and enhanced CO2.

  123. Chris H
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    How about scrapping all agricultural subsidies and making a serious effort to complete the Doha round of trade negotiations? This would help reduce CO2 emissions while increasing world economic growth.

  124. jae
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    And isn’t it rather surprising that some of the most vocal climate contrarians seem to come from the three countries which are among the dominant per-capita emitters? Now why do you think that is?

    Jim, I would be interested in knowing what you, personally, are doing to help (besides lecturing everyone else). That is my problem with most of the socialist types is that they want OTHERS to take action, and believe that they are doing their part by just supporting action. I have attended many environmental hearings, and I’m always amazed by how many of the environmentalists drive full-size SUVs. If you ARE taking individual action, I applaud you.

  125. KevinUK
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    #105 and other posts

    About 20 years or perhaps more ago now, I was doing some modelling of unceratinties in nucler reactor modelling and came across the central limit theorem (CLT). I had access to a reasonable computer at the time so I decided to test out whether the CLT was true or not (must have been that doubting skeptic tendency in me that still thankfully persists today). So I wrote a (Fortran 77) program which used a Monte Carlo technique to simulate a variety of non symmetric PDF functions with different means. The reason iuse different PDfs was because I didn’t know the PDfs for one or two of the equations which I was using in the reactor model so wanted to see what effect different assumptions on the PDFs would be on the ‘combined’ PDF.

    I was pleasantly surprised to find that within the limits of my simulation (how many random numbers I used to ‘sample’ the shapes of the PDFs) that the CLT applied very well i.e. that the variance of the combined PDF was equal to the sum of the variances of the separate (assumed independent) PDFs. Some of the PDF I tried were pretty non symetrical (skewed) and certainly were not normally distibuted. This exercise got me interested in statistics oncemore, a branch of maths which up until then I found rather boring.

    KevinUK

  126. Nordic
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:34 AM | Permalink

    #82: Tim; Thanks for that information. It looks like I have a few more books to acquire for my environmental catastrophe bookshelf. The shelf started when I was in graduate school and stumbled upon a copy of “Famine 1975″, written by an eminent professor at my University. Interesting reading 25 years after the predicted famine.

    Jim Barrett: RE#108. That is an interesting discussion you have started. It is too bad you didn’t include China and India in your numbers. Of, course once one pulls out a napkin and starts looking at the numbers of various strategies (like raising CAFE) standards and comparing them to likely impacts on global warming (accepting IPCC assumptions about sensitivity to greenhouse gasses) the economic (and real human) pain resulting from meaningful decreases in emissions becomes apparent. CA is probably not the place to have those debates. The debate will be held, however, and it will be very interesting to watch.

    I predict that the current hysteria will lead to real legislative action in the developed world, then in 5 or 10 years when we are all feeling the costs and seeing how few benefits are showing up at Mauna Loa the debate over what to do will quickly head off into territory you don’t want to enter (huge increases in nuclear generating capacity, iron fertilization of oceans, etc) As a conservative I have a great appreciation for the humor of human folly. I shall stock up on popcorn and enjoy the show.

    Incedentally, I don’t think you will find many here that would oppose “no regrets” actions such as building a few more nuclear plants, increasing research into new geothermal technologies, or even more solar or wind power (should they ever become more economical and useful storage be developed). Right now, however, I am more afraid of actions that might be taken to solve the AGW problem than of the warming itself. Actually, we could use a little warming here. January was 13 degrees below the long-term (106 year) average.

  127. jae
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

    I predict that the current hysteria will lead to real legislative action in the developed world, then in 5 or 10 years when we are all feeling the costs and seeing how few benefits are showing up at Mauna Loa the debate over what to do will quickly head off into territory you don’t want to enter (huge increases in nuclear generating capacity, iron fertilization of oceans, etc) As a conservative I have a great appreciation for the humor of human folly. I shall stock up on popcorn and enjoy the show.

    Yes, and I wonder what will happen when we see the inevitable cooling.

  128. BKC
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

    Look. All this talk about C02 emissions, statistics, normality, abnormality and the recent IPCC FAR(t) is really great and interesting. Really. But I think everyone is ignoring commenting on the elephant in the room. That is, what do you think about the graphics in #34 and #35?! Any comments? criticisms? Orders? Copyright infringement claims?

  129. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 12:09 PM | Permalink

    Certainly you can sum ANY set of random variables (with mean mu and variance sigma^2, both

  130. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 12:11 PM | Permalink

    That’s strange…

    uh, should finish with “both

  131. fFreddy
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

    Mark, I’m guessing that the next character in your post was a “less than” sign. If so, the blog interpreted it as the start of an HTML tag, then ignored everything else when it couldn’t interpret it.
    There are various clever things you can do to get round this – or you can just put .lt. . Being lazy, I recommend the latter …

  132. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

    Thanks fFreddy.

    Ok, attempt #3. Shoud finish with “both .lt. infinity) will approach a Gaussian distribution ~N(0,1) (assuming you apply the CLT).

    Mark

  133. Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

    If people really wanted to reduce carbon dioxide emissions the answer is simple, trivial even. Implement a substantial carbon dioxide tax. Quadruple the price of gasoline and electricity. Stand back and watch innovation and a free hand of capitalism at work. Also stand back and watch the massive protests and near revolts — coming from the same people that demanded action in the first place. These people don’t want real solutions. They want the government to steal from the rich and give to the poor — which won’t really solve the problem of reducing CO2 emissions, but will satisfy their real socialist aims.

  134. richardT
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

    #123
    At the risk of wandering off-topic…

    While NHTSA may have made hash of car safety regulations, there is an experiment in more efficient cars called Europe. European cars are typically ligher and more fuel efficient than American vehicles, but the fatality rate per million kilometers is equivalent or slightly lower. This directly contradicts your charge.

    Sure if a heavy and a light vehicle collide, the occupants of the light one will not fare well. But if most cars on the road were lightweight, there is no increase in risk.

    As to your second charge, that drivers would compensate for increased fuel efficiency by driving further, there is a simple solution called fuel tax.

    Even if you refuse to accept the evidence for CO2 impacts on climate, there are many other reasons to increase fuel efficiency, including reducing dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

  135. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    As to your second charge, that drivers would compensate for increased fuel efficiency by driving further, there is a simple solution called fuel tax.

    Ah yes, socialism in action. That’s always the answer. Of course, then you make it so only the rich can afford the luxuries and life, and we can trust that the rich will partake (and they won’t go away, btw, socialism merely widens the gap between the haves and the have nots).

    Oh, being that this is the “unthreaded” thread, there is no distinction between on-topic or off-topic. It’s merely a vent, so you won’t here many complain (well, not about relevance of topic)…

    Mark

  136. Joe B
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

    I’m all for reducing our dependency on oil and for increased fule efficiency but
    we should be clear, we do not get most of our oil in the USA from the middle east.

    “How dependent is the United States? If we look at total energy”¢’‚¬?including coal, nuclear, and a small, but growing, share from renewables”¢’‚¬?the country is over 70 percent self-sufficient. Oil”¢’‚¬?refined into liquid fuels for transportation”¢’‚¬?is where most of the current dependence comes from. The risks do not owe to direct imports from the Middle East, contrary to the widespread belief. Some 81 percent of oil imports do not come from that region. Thus, only 19 percent of imports”¢’‚¬?and 12 percent of total petroleum consumption”¢’‚¬?originate in the Middle East

    Our largest source of oil imports is Canada. It’s also the source of most of our current natural gas imports, via pipelines. One can hardly say that either Canada or energy imports from Canada constitute a major threat to national security. The energy trade is part of a normal trading relationship with the country with which we’re conjoined economically and which just happens to be our biggest trading partner. Our second largest source is Mexico, with which we are also in a dense relationship. Mexico depends upon oil for about a third of total government revenues.
    -Dan Yergen

  137. mzed
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    DaveB (and anyone else who thinks that you can’t model a system if you don’t konw the values of every single variable):

    We can’t even solve the three-body problem. Yet it is a fact that Jupiter orbits the sun. How do you explain this?

    Quoting from “David Lewis”:

    “So all ye of global warming faith, rejoice in the ambiguity that real life presents to all of us.”

    What makes him think that those who accept the reality of anthropic global warming don’t rejoice in ambiguity?

    “Neither planetary catastrophe nor paradise on earth are sure bets. Sorry about that. (Consider growing up, instead.)”

    What makes him think that anyone is seriously betting on either planetary catastrophe or paradise on earth? Ask yourselves: is this an accurate description of those who accept the reality of global warming, or is it just rhetorical distortion (and a childish one, at that)?

    “That’s why human-caused global warming is a hypothesis, not a fact.”

    From his perspective, *any* theory is hypothesis, not fact. Ask yourselves: which theories do I accept as fact, and why? Then ask yourselves: why *not* the theory of anthropic global warming over the past 30-50 years?

  138. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    luxuries and life

    That should read “luxuries OF life,” not AND.

    Mark

  139. mzed
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 1:58 PM | Permalink

    Or, perhaps to use a better example: assume that David Lewis is right. Now ask yourself: is it a fact that it will get warmer next summer? If this is a fact, how do you know this?

    If it is a hypothesis, ask yourself: should I believe in this, or not? Why?

  140. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

    Then ask yourselves: why *not* the theory of anthropic global warming over the past 30-50 years?

    Because there is a reason hypothesis is distinguished from theory. Simply put, it is only conjecture until tested to the point of theory. Using the precautionary principle, the impact of moving from hypothesis to theory, without proper scientific reason to back the change, could yield negative results.

    Mark

  141. Follow the Money
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

    Jim Barret writes:

    “And isn’t it rather surprising that some of the most vocal climate contrarians seem to come from the three countries which are among the dominant per-capita emitters? Now why do you think that is?”

    What is not surprising in your over-heated arguments is the lack of disclosure on your part about being tied to the carbon credit trading lobby. As conflicts of interest go, you have the biggest here.

    ________
    Mark T.

    Do you know what Socialism is?
    _______________

    Jae writes,

    “Yes, and I wonder what will happen when we see the inevitable cooling.”

    By that time the carbon credit bubble will have burst, China and India will be teeming with new capital, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will be sated enough to lose interest, and lots of smaller businesses will be pushed out of business not having the wiles and lobbying power to have had overestimated their carbon footprints in the UN Carbon Credit registry, or those popping up now in the United States.

    Environmentalism will take another hit for hopping on this bag wagon because the big environmental orgs took money from the carbon traders.

  142. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

    Mark T.

    Do you know what Socialism is?

    Quite well, why? One of the tenets of socialism is control of resources, btw.

    Mark

  143. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    Along with heavy taxation, btw.

    Mark

  144. Jaye Bass
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

    socialist and leftists want to solve the worlds problems with somebody else’s money.

  145. richardT
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

    #136
    Items of faith
    1) there is no evidence that greenhouse gases influence climate
    2) Even if they was, any reduction in western energy use would make no difference as China will soon emit more than we can save.
    3) Even if changes might make a difference, any reductions in CO2 emissions cause unacceptable reductions in lifestyle
    4) Even if there is minimal lifestyle-cost, people will compensate for increased efficiency by using more energy, giving no net benefit
    5) Anyone who suggests using fiscal measures to discourage energy use is a socialist

    Governments need taxes, and the population has to pay them, or acquire debt for future generations to pay. The choice is how to allocate tax demands. It makes sense to reduce tax on things that have a social benefit, like jobs, and to add tax to things that have social costs, like pollution and energy use.

    This is not a socialist policy.

    #137
    Physical independence from volatile energy producing regions is excellent, but if oil supplies from the Middle East or Nigeria are disrupted, the price on the open market will rocket. There isn’t enough spare capacity to make good any shortfall. Canada and Mexico will charge this market rate, the US will have to pay it (or invade!). Reducing oil demand reduces this risk.

  146. mzed
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

    “Using the precautionary principle, the impact of moving from hypothesis to theory, without proper scientific reason to back the change, could yield negative results.”

    Sure–so why do you think we lack proper scientific reason to back the theory that anthropic greenhouse gases have caused a majority of global warming over the last 30-50 years, and that it will continue to contribute a significant positive forcing to global temperatures for the forseeable future?

  147. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:11 PM | Permalink

    #136
    Items of faith
    1) there is no evidence that greenhouse gases influence climate

    Funny, but I never said that.

    2) Even if they was, any reduction in western energy use would make no difference as China will soon emit more than we can save.

    China is already emitting more than we can save, and that difference will continue to grow as their economy grows.

    3) Even if changes might make a difference, any reductions in CO2 emissions cause unacceptable reductions in lifestyle

    Which is not really my overall concern. My concern is the general economy, which will suffer considerably.

    4) Even if there is minimal lifestyle-cost, people will compensate for increased efficiency by using more energy, giving no net benefit

    Again, not my argument.

    5) Anyone who suggests using fiscal measures to discourage energy use is a socialist

    Again, not my argument.

    Please do not be so disingenuous as to attribute claims to me that I have not made.

    Governments need taxes, and the population has to pay them, or acquire debt for future generations to pay. The choice is how to allocate tax demands. It makes sense to reduce tax on things that have a social benefit, like jobs, and to add tax to things that have social costs, like pollution and energy use.

    This is not a socialist policy.

    Control of resources IS socialist, no matter how you want to spin it. I do not agree that anyone pushing such control is a socialist, but those that are leading the pack (so to speak) have that goal in mind (eventually). The primary culprit is, and has been since its inception, the UN. Btw, you mention the “social costs” and “social benefit” while claiming you’re not speaking about “socialist policy.” If an individual’s needs are placed behind society’s needs, it is, by definition, collectivist, which is nothing more than a form of socialism.

    There is no way to immediately push for a socialist society as developed countries would never allow it, nor could any economic system tolerate such a hard change. However, it is possible to slowly push such ideals on a society. Control of resources is one of the first steps.

    Mark

  148. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:16 PM | Permalink

    Sure–so why do you think we lack proper scientific reason to back the theory that anthropic greenhouse gases have caused a majority of global warming over the last 30-50 years, and that it will continue to contribute a significant positive forcing to global temperatures for the forseeable future?

    Uh, read the site man. The statistical connection between A and GW is, at best, weak, and cause-effect is even weaker. We only have good temperature records spanning 150 years or so, and they really didn’t get accurate till 30 years ago (satellites in particular). In order to make some claim of attribution, someone needs to show something better than a weak correlation. The correlation, mind you, works with other forcers than simply CO2 (solar, for example).

    Mark

  149. Darwin
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

    # JB at 105
    Sigh. JB is right. The US, Australia and Canada do have more emissions of greenhouse gasess. But at the time Mark in #85 could well be right. How? Think land use — US land use results in a negative 109.94 teragram flux of carbon to the atmosphere, or nearly 400 million metric ton equivalent of CO2. And Tropical Asia — developing world — meanwhile has a 1120 teragram positive flux of carbonthat’s about equal to 4,000 metric tons of CO2. And most other developing countries are in the same situation of high positive flux emissions of carbon to the atmosphere. Maybe Pielke Sr. has something in talking about land use changes. Huh, guys? Meanwhile, does anyone have information on what the output of CO@ from Pinatubo and the Gulf Oil fires was in 1991 and whether the fall of the Soviet Union led to an equivalent reduction of emissions so that Mona Loa’s figures showed no effect from either event? And what would average global temperatures look like if years affected by lower temperatures due to volcanic eruptions were removed?

  150. mzed
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

    “Btw, you mention the “social costs” and “social benefit” while claiming you’re not speaking about “socialist policy.” If an individual’s needs are placed behind society’s needs, it is, by definition, collectivist, which is nothing more than a form of socialism.”

    This is absurd. Let’s say a policy would benefit 200 million individuals in the US. As an example, let’s say a tax cut would cut the taxes of 200 million individuals. Do you think it would be inaccurate to describe this policy as a “social” policy?

  151. Follow the Money
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

    Mark T.,

    Here’s a link to what AGW and the ongoing shock and awe public relations campaign is really about:

    “Trading Hot Air?” link

  152. mzed
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

    “The statistical connection between A and GW is, at best, weak, and cause-effect is even weaker.”

    Actually it is rather good over the last 30 years.

    “In order to make some claim of attribution, someone needs to show something better than a weak correlation.”

    Good thing, then, that the IPCC is doing just that!

    “The correlation, mind you, works with other forcers than simply CO2 (solar, for example).”

    Actually, no, solar correlations are not very good over the last 30 years. Though they still seem to correlate somewhat well on smaller scales.

  153. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    This is absurd. Let’s say a policy would benefit 200 million individuals in the US. As an example, let’s say a tax cut would cut the taxes of 200 million individuals. Do you think it would be inaccurate to describe this policy as a “social” policy?

    Depends upon the tax cut. Usage taxes, or sales taxes, are not necessarily socialist in the first place. You get out of them what you put in. Income tax, however, is.

    Given what we’re talking about, btw, you say benefit, I say detriment. Control of resources IS socialist. Sorry if you don’t like that phrasing. That’s not the way folks at the UN will sell it, either. “Think of the benefit to mankind if only you sacrifice now” is socialist. You’re redistributing the wealth of those that have it to everyone.

    Mark

  154. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

    Actually it is rather good over the last 30 years.

    Uh, no. You need to do a little research on what is known as “the divergence problem.” Most of the proxies used in the so-called “hockey sticks” stop at 1980 or so because they start to diverge with what has been observed.

    Also, are you under the assumption that 30 years is a worthy sample for a planet that has known 100,000 year cycles?

    Good thing, then, that the IPCC is doing just that!

    Hate to tell you but the IPCC hasn’t done anything of the sort. They’re only reporting on what others have done. Most of the statistical connections are based on flawed math.

    Actually, no, solar correlations are not very good over the last 30 years. Though they still seem to correlate somewhat well on smaller scales.

    Again, wrong. The sun has been on a high cycle for many years. Also, “the last 30 years” for considering the sun is silly since the small scale oscillations in sun spots are 11 years. That gives you 2 or 3 points for a correlation.

    Mark

  155. mzed
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

    “Given what we’re talking about, btw, you say benefit, I say detriment. Control of resources IS socialist.”

    So, just out of curiosity, what do you think of gasoline taxes? Or what would you think if a government decided to tax sales of incandescent lightbulbs?

  156. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    So, just out of curiosity, what do you think of gasoline taxes? Or what would you think if a government decided to tax sales of incandescent lightbulbs?

    Both are usage taxes, in general. However, gasoline taxes are already ridiculously high. There’s a point at which even a usage tax can become oppressive, IMO.

    Personally, I’m in favor of abolishing income tax and replacing it with sales tax. Of course, I also think we should get rid of all the non-infrastructure responsibilities that Uncle Sam has taken on in the past 200 years or so…

    But that’s a different debate.

    Mark

  157. mzed
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

    “You need to do a little research on what is known as “the divergence problem.” Most of the proxies used in the so-called “hockey sticks” stop at 1980 or so because they start to diverge with what has been observed.”

    It’s a good thing, then, that the correlation between surface temperatures and greenhouse gases over the last 30 years does not rely on paleoclimate reconstructions or tree-ring proxies.

    “Also, are you under the assumption that 30 years is a worthy sample for a planet that has known 100,000 year cycles?”

    If we are not on the cusp of one of those cycles, then yes, it can be a worhty sample.

    “Hate to tell you but the IPCC hasn’t done anything of the sort. They’re only reporting on what others have done.

    I apologize–when you said:
    [quote]In order to make some claim of attribution, someone needs to show something better than a weak correlation.[/quote]
    –I asssumed that by “show” you meant “display”, which is just what the IPCC is arguably doing. But if instead you mean “carry out scientific research that produces results”, then I just mean that it’s a good thing that the science which the IPCC is based on is doing just that.

    “Most of the statistical connections are based on flawed math.”

    Could you provide an example of the flawed math which correlates greenhouse gas emissions with surface temperatures (within the context of global climate)?

    “The sun has been on a high cycle for many years.”

    Yes, though since 1950 the cycle is not enough to explain current temperatures.

    “Also, “the last 30 years” for considering the sun is silly since the small scale oscillations in sun spots are 11 years. That gives you 2 or 3 points for a correlation.”

    So, which points are those?

    Why wouldn’t solar radiation over the last 30 years have, say, 30 points?

    Also, even if you are right, why would that be enough for *you* to claim that there *is* a correlation?

    (I am sorry if this seems like a one-on-one conversation: I am not trying to single you out, nor am I trying to be a troll. Just trying to ask questions.)

  158. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    It’s a good thing, then, that the correlation between surface temperatures and greenhouse gases over the last 30 years does not rely on paleoclimate reconstructions or tree-ring proxies.

    No, but the previous 30 years things were reversed (rising CO2, falling temps), which calls to question the last 30 years. I.e. using only the last 30 years is an unrepresentative sample. This is part of the problem with what gets played out in the media. If you haven’t had some good statistical training, the “correlation” in the last 30 years may sound impressive. The point of the proxies is to look back a few thousand years to get better representation. Unfortuanately, they have too many flaws to be useful (currently).

    Note that I’m not saying we aren’t impacting the climate. I’m also not saying things haven’t warmed (though the magnitude is questionable for various other reasons). It’s just that the methods that are being employed currently are incapable of showing this. Add to that the sleight of hand by “the team,” and I’m going to doubt their conclusions.

    If we are not on the cusp of one of those cycles, then yes, it can be a worhty sample.

    Again, wrong. In order to show some correlation that is valid, you need to understand what it has been doing for a long period of time. 30 years is hardly long enoug, particularly, as I’ve already noted, when the previous 30 years showed the opposite.

    Could you provide an example of the flawed math which correlates greenhouse gas emissions with surface temperatures (within the context of global climate)?

    The short-term correlation between GHGs and temperature are not what I’m talking about. Those, as I’ve stated, are simply too small of a sample to make any inference (if you take the 70 year average, it is almost 0, btw).

    Michael Mann’s “hockey stick.” His current method, known as reg-EM, takes the mean of a random vector (consisting of proxies, each of which is a random variable for purposes of the decomposition) as the mean of each of the means. He has placed an assumption of ergodicity on the set of proxies, which cannot hold. As a result, bias is inserted into the adaptive algorithm used to come up with his results. Furthermore, each of the “sources” they are trying to blindly (blind is not an insult, the method is sort of “blind source separation) remove are attributed to specific causes with nothing more than a correlation, a correlation that has been shown to be near zero the further back in time you go.

    So, which points are those?

    Why wouldn’t solar radiation over the last 30 years have, say, 30 points?

    There’s an 11 year cycle on the sun spots (i.e. solar activity). In order to assess long-term variability, you have to sort of “smooth” the data to remove high frequency oscillations. Since we know there is an 11-year cycle, applying an 11-year averaging and you get about 3 real points.

    Also, even if you are right, why would that be enough for *you* to claim that there *is* a correlation?

    I’m not only using the last 30 years. There’s a plot of smoothed solar activity running around here somewhere… try “An Inconvenient Graphic.” I’d link to it, but my load times are ferociously long right now.

    I am sorry if this seems like a one-on-one conversation: I am not trying to single you out, nor am I trying to be a troll. Just trying to ask questions.

    I understand. That’s why I’m taking the time to answer, rather than bicker as I do with some others…

    Mark

  159. jae
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

    135 says:

    Sure if a heavy and a light vehicle collide, the occupants of the light one will not fare well. But if most cars on the road were lightweight, there is no increase in risk.

    And we should make all the trucks and buses tiny, too?

  160. jae
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    Sure–so why do you think we lack proper scientific reason to back the theory that anthropic greenhouse gases have caused a majority of global warming over the last 30-50 years, and that it will continue to contribute a significant positive forcing to global temperatures for the forseeable future?

    Perhaps we have a hypothesis for explaining temperature rise (whatever it is). The problem is those pesky NATURAL cycles that have been confirmed. We just don’t know, yet, how much of the current warming might be due to a natural trend, like the Holocene Maximum, Roman Warm Period, Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age (which we are now coming out of). It is simply foolish to assume that all current warming is due to mankind. Especially when there are some signs that things are cooling off (no T rise the past 8 years, cooling oceans, fewer hurricanes, no warming in the southern hemisphere). Then we have the clear exposure of poor science by Steve M and others on this site. We don’t know how much more poor science is out there, because most of it hasn’t been audited. Some CAN’T be audited because the scientists will not release their data and methods. We can’t even be sure of the “near surface average temperature figures,” since the scientists won’t allow auditing. Surely you can smell a rat in all this!

  161. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:50 PM | Permalink

    RE: #88 – I wonder what if any effect it will have on global current and atmospheric circulation?

  162. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 6:03 PM | Permalink

    RE: #161 – I believe that there is a significant error term in surface measurements experienced by nearly all surface measurement stations, due to a long list of anthropogenic energy fluxes being emitted due to structure heating, lighting, power transmission, surface modification (e.g. affecting the emissivity in the IR band), etc. I believe that the surface record is too badly contaminated to be of use. I also suspect that overall tropospheric readings, including even satellite and radiosonde readings, may be impacted, especially in certain areas of the globe. It is highly disappointing to see so few scientists attempting to understand this.

  163. William L. Hyde
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    Re #97…Jim Barret, you silly man! You have obviously never read phillip Stott’s blog. He always ened his posting with a whimsical line like that. As for me, it was close to 10pm last night and -16C or -17C on my deck, covered with two feet of snow. It’s always ridiculously cold outside and even if I possessed any outdoor heaters they wouldn’t prevail anyway. Professor Stott lives in ENGLAND! You do take yourself too seriously, don’t you think?
    Cheers….theoldhogger

  164. Jim Barrett
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

    Willis (posting 116) “Jim, you are right”.

    No, sorry, I was actually wrong and TAC is, I think right (although I don’t exactly understand what he means).
    The only condition necessary for errors adding as squares is that the mean of the error is zero (i.e. that it is unbiased).

    However, it is misleading for you to say “however, if they are symmetrical, the law of large numbers says that they will be normally distributed” – I assume you are referring to the central limit theorem, which says that the distribution of a SUM of random variables approaches normality for a large sample (there are several ways of expressing this theorem, so please don’t pick me up on this) – however this doesn’t change the original distribution of the error. If I take a million numbers from a distribution X, they will still have a distibution close to X, as will a collection of 100 numbers from the distribution X (although not quite so close) – these distributions certainly don’t approach normality.

    I don’t understand your saying “Now if you’d discuss the many exceptions to your incorrect claim that errors always add quadratically, we’ll be there” – I think you have the wrong person – I never said that.

    —————————

    Mark T (posting 117 and 118 – did you really have to post this obnoxious tripe twice?): I’m baffled – are you actually arguing that the USA should be able to emit more greenhouse gases just because they earn more than anybody else? If some poor Pacific Islander doesn’t earn any real money, then he/she should be omitted from the equation? I didn’t think Americans were really quite as selfish as this.

    —————————

    Mark T (posting 119): Your argument has the moral credibility of that of a bankrobber who isn’t going to stop until all the other bankrobbers stop (“look – I only represent 20% of the world’s bankrobbers”).

    —————————

    Mark T (posting 120): All we ever get is the “worst case.”

    I think, if you read the IPCC AR4 SPM, you’ll find the ranges given, covering a range of both scenarios and models – NOT just the “worst case” results.

    —————————

    jae (posting 125): “I would be interested in knowing what you, personally, are doing to help (besides lecturing everyone else)”

    Well, I do a little – I work in climate change science, try to convince others of the reality of AGW (spending quite a bit of my own time doing so), walk to work, share a small car with my partner, live close to the city to minimize transport costs, buy the most energy-efficient devices when I can, make sure my house is reasonably well insulated, put on warmer clothes when it’s cold inside rather than turning up the heating, eat mainly vegetarian food – things like that.

    —————————

    Follow the Money (posting 142): “What is not surprising in your over-heated arguments is the lack of disclosure on your part about being tied to the carbon credit trading lobby. As conflicts of interest go, you have the biggest here.”

    Evidence please? Otherwise please withdraw the statement.

    —————————

  165. Jim Barrett
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

    Wiliam L Hyde (posting 164): “You have obviously never read phillip Stott’s blog.”

    I’m afraid I have that misfortune in the past. It is rather poorly informed .

  166. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

    Siberia Express, continued ….

    I spent most of this week at a conference on an island a couple hundred miles southeast of Florida (no, not Cuba! LOL!) It was quite near the Tropic of Cancer. Both the journey there and back as well as my time on the island were quite instructive observationally speaking. First, the main thing of importance, our friend / enemy Mr. Siberia Express. As noted by me on the previous “Unthreaded” threads, we are experiencing a “dry” Express – one that brings moisture mostly to more northerly latitudes on the West Coast and the interior, with the SW being in a drought. Its path dips down far to the South in the middle of the country and that dip opens up and closes as the Bermuda High strengthens and weakens. As we changed planes in Atlanta outward bound, it was in the low 40s and brisk. On the island, it was never really all that warm, so the sweaters I brought were definitely a good idea. One day it got into the mid 70s for about an hour and that was as good as it got. On the return trip, we flew through the cold front (thankfully at 40K feet) responsible for the tornado outbreak in central Florida. Landing at Atlanta there was pretty serious icing and I would not wanted to have been in a slower, smaller plane. It was right at the frozen precip line at ground level. All of this was thanks to Mr. Express. As the cold air packages turned the corner at the bottom of the jet stream dip, they were passing right through Florida and the islands to the SE. These fronts have been making it clear into the tropics. I was impressed by Mr. Expresses ability to cool areas that are not all that far from the ITCZ and certainly, amazingly close the equator.

    A few additional notes, not related to Mr. Express. The island I was on was a classic coral reef based island. The coast and general lay of the land had “emergence” written all over it, there was absolutely no evidence of any relative MSL rise in the area. New, very, very expensive properties are being developed right up to the beach. Marshy and lagoon areas do not appear to be growing in extent. Certainly, the tectonic environment is complex in that area, only a few miles north of the North American – Caribbean Plate boundary. Still, it really changed my impression regarding MSL rise in that part of the world.

    Another observation was just how remarkable the salinity is there. We’ve had some salinity maps here recently and I got a first hand feel for that. My dealings with the Atlantic have been minimal and I am most familiar with the Pacific and Indian Oceans, in terms of actually being in the water. For what it’s worth, the water was not bathtub warm, which given the time of year, is no great surprise.

    I sure hope we start to get some rain in California, and do not relish another repeat of 1975 – 1977, or worse.

  167. Follow the Money
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 7:46 PM | Permalink

    Jim Barrett writes, #165

    Follow the Money (posting 142): “What is not surprising in your over-heated arguments is the lack of disclosure on your part about being tied to the carbon credit trading lobby. As conflicts of interest go, you have the biggest here.”

    Evidence please? Otherwise please withdraw the statement.

    I suppose there’s a chance I’m wrong…

    Do you live in the area of Oakland, CA?

  168. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 7:57 PM | Permalink

    RE: #168 – The Bay Area Sierra Club leadership and other eco radicals in this neck of the woods are wierd – they use their real names when blogging but then claim they are not the person you think they are when confronted. It’s pretty lame. If they don’t want their IDs to be known, why not use handles. DUH!

  169. Follow the Money
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 8:09 PM | Permalink

    #169

    To be clear,

    1. I don’t know if Jim is connected to the Sierra Club or not,

    2. I’m not a radical, but I’m an eco-something or other myself.

    3. I’ll say this for the Sierra Club and other big enviro-orgs, they resisted the AG band wagon for a long time. Even if they’ve jumped on some, like some Friends of the Earth folks I’ve seen speak, are resisting carbon trading…too softly, IMO. A complexity might be that persons supporting cleaner air and energy security might feel they have to jump on the AGW band wagon to get their traditional concerns addressed, the same for industries like GE supporting wind power, they profit from it, the AGW juggernaut has adopted these concerns to its periphery.

    The core of the juggernaut is carbon trading interests and whatever others hope I believe traditional environmental concerns are and will be harmed, even rebuked, by their association with AGW and the carbon trading bubble that will inevitably burst.

  170. Bim Jarrett
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

    Follow the Money (posting 168): Look Steve, I’ll take your word that climateaudit is not a “cesspool of idiots” but here is clear evidence that it is indeed the “cesspool of one idiot”. Personally, I never thought that everyone in the world had a unique name – some posters seem to think otherwise. Consequently, to satisfy all those who would believe that, if I had another pseudonym it would somehow “prove” that I am not another poor soul called “Jim Barrett” who is currently within the sights of climateaudit “detectives”, I hereby change my name to “Bim Jarrett”.

    And no, I don’t live anywhere near Oakland CA.

    Satisfied everyone?

  171. brent
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

    UN Climate Summary Designed to Dupe, Critics Say

    Lindzen specialized in the study of clouds and water vapor for IPCC’s third assessment report, which was released in 2001.

    He told Cybercast News Service the rules for the fourth assessment report specifically require changes to be made to the body that will bring it into line with the summary statement.

    “If you were doing that with a business report, the federal trade commission would be down your throat,” Lindzen said.

    “These people are openly declaring that they are going to commit scientific misconduct that will be paid for by the United Nations,” Harvard University physicist Lubos Motl wrote on his website last week.

    “If they find an error in the summary, they won’t fix it,” Motl said. “Instead, they will ‘adjust’ the technical report so that it looks consistent.”

    http://tinyurl.com/yvfdso

  172. Follow the Money
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

    “And no, I don’t live anywhere near Oakland CA.

    Satisfied everyone?”

    No.

    I should have looked more, sorry. RP is headquartered in Oakland, but has one other office, in Washington D.C., which you run.

    Am I wrong again?

  173. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 9:37 PM | Permalink

    RE: #170 – I am a reformed would be Ecotopian revolutionary myself – these days, essentially a Crunchycon. My reference was mostly directed toward Steve Bloom, who just happens to have the same name as a Sierra Club HQ guy and just happens to live in the Bay Area in the same general area as that HQ guy.

  174. Pat Frank
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

    Bloom mentioned on another blog that he worked for the Sierra Club. I posted that here in another thread, but don’t have the link anymore.

    Here it is — I found it in Google cached, from Roger Pielke Sr’s blog: “9. … I should mention that this is not at all a theoretical exercise for me. I’m a state officer of the Sierra Club in California, and as you probably know things are moving rather quickly here in terms of a state-level response to climate change. …

    “Comment by Steve Bloom “¢’‚¬? January 17, 2006 @ 9:33 pm” bolding added

  175. Bim Jarrett
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 9:59 PM | Permalink

    Follow the Money (posting 173): “Am I wrong again?”

    Yes. Are you ever right?

    And also, folks, I am NOT Steve Bloom – wasn’t he much more polite than me (probably cleverer too)?

    And also, folks, I am not Steve McIntyre, John A, welikerocks, Gary, JMS, bruce, Nordic, Gerald Machnee, L Nettles, Gerd, Bill F, John M, Tom, Bob K, David Smith, Follow the Money, John Creighton, Mark H, brent, Paolo M, Mark W, paul m, Dave Dardinger, Mark T, UC, EW, Joe B, jae, JP, BKC, K, Dave B, George Bush, Charlie Chapman, Elvis Presley, King Harold ………………

  176. Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

    When I search for Jim Barrett I get over one million hits. We should all strive to attack the science not the man. Even if one does belong to the Sierra Club — so what. Let’s not fall victim to the “conspiracy theory” thinking that behind every conviction is someone waving a dollar bill. Most often the dollar bills follow those with conviction already, not the other way around.

    It can be very difficult of course since certain people are really only here to pick a fight. Please ignore them. If they say something useful and challenging (and without mocking, condescension, and insults, etc.) then we can engage in a productive conversation. Otherwise we should clue in — they are not here for a productive conversation. They just enjoy irritating others ( why is this anyways — maybe someone has done a paper ;-)

  177. Bim Jarrett
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

    Thank you Ian (posting 177) – some sanity at last! It’s a pity that a few people didn’t think a bit more about the probability of this “Jim Barrett” being their “Jim Barrett” – it’s rather simple statistics.

  178. Follow the Money
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 10:55 PM | Permalink

    Ian writes,

    “When I search for Jim Barrett I get over one million hits. We should all strive to attack the science not the man.”

    You should google the name search with another word like “carbon” or “climate.” You will find Jim Barrett, also going by James, is an substantial American writer on carbon/climate topics, especially economics and stats aspects, and served on various groups including the “R.P.” I acronymically mention above – which currenlty has interjected itself into current California carbon politics. If you google Jim’s posts here at climateaudit you will find expressed interests and concerns similar.

    However,…

    Our Jim here uses spellings such as “spoilt” which very likely makes him not American.

    So, Jim, I apologize for mistaking you for the other Jim Barrett in the global climate change discourse. You might want to follow the google suggestions I mention for your namesake, I think you’ll find it interesting.

  179. Ian
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 12:20 AM | Permalink

    Thank you guerrilla marketing guys for making reporters look like idiots:

    http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/scp_v3/viewer/index.php?pid=16390&rn=222561&cl=1790967&ch=222562

    Maybe will shock them into a bit of independent thinking …. knaw …

  180. Ian
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 1:15 AM | Permalink

    #179
    Also my numbers and methodology were terrible. There can not be 1 million Jim Barretts! However, to me, I don’t care if he is the president of Greenpeace. If he has a valid point great, if he is just here to annoy or whatever, I will ignore him.

    People come here for only a few reasons:
    1.) Because they have a strong interest in the esoterics of temperature proxy data and statistics.
    2.) Because they are skeptical of AGW and want to hear the thoughts and discuss their doubts in a like minded community.
    3.) Because they don’t like that a group of people disagree with what they believe (AGW) and they like to argue.

    I’m here for #2 personally whome I suspect are the majority. Seriously this is one of the places on the internet with the highest most civil level of communication out there — let’s keep it that way by not engaging #3 even though they are experts in provoking a response ;-)

  181. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 1:33 AM | Permalink

    Jim B, thank you for your post in which you list the CO2 emissions, and say that they are for 2004, from the UNFCC. However, I find nothing on the UNFCC site for China which is more recent than 1994.

    CDIAC has figures for CO2 emissions (fossil fuel, cement production, and gas flaring) both by country and per capita. Here’s the top twenty by country, in thousands of metric tonnes of carbon:

    RANK___ NATION_____________________ CO2_TOT
    1______ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA___ ___1580175
    2______ CHINA (MAINLAND)___________ ___1131175
    3______ RUSSIAN FEDERATION_________ ____407593
    4______ INDIA______________________ ____347577
    5______ JAPAN______________________ ____336142
    6______ GERMANY____________________ ____219776
    7______ CANADA_____________________ ____154392
    8______ UNITED KINGDOM_____________ ____152460
    9______ REPUBLIC OF KOREA__________ ____124455
    10_____ ITALY (INCLUDING SAN MARINO ____121608
    11_____ MEXICO_____________________ ____113542
    12_____ ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN___ ____104112
    13_____ FRANCE (INCLUDING MONACO)__ ____102065
    14_____ SOUTH AFRICA_______________ _____99415
    15_____ AUSTRALIA__________________ _____96657
    16_____ UKRAINE____________________ _____85836
    17_____ SPAIN______________________ _____84401
    18_____ POLAND_____________________ _____83121
    19_____ SAUDI ARABIA_______________ _____82530
    20_____ BRAZIL_____________________ _____81445
    And the top twenty per capita

    RANK___ NATION_________________ CO2_CAP
    1______ U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS____ _____33.87
    2______ QATAR__________________ _____20.33
    3______ UNITED ARAB EMIRATES___ _____11.81
    4______ KUWAIT_________________ ______8.81
    5______ BAHRAIN________________ ______8.67
    6______ GUAM___________________ ______6.83
    7______ NETHERLAND ANTILLES____ ______6.18
    8______ ARUBA__________________ ______6.12
    9______ LUXEMBOURG_____________ ______6.05
    10_____ TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO____ ______5.98
    11_____ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA _____5.43
    12_____ WAKE ISLAND____________ ______5.02
    13_____ CANADA_________________ ______4.88
    14_____ AUSTRALIA______________ ______4.85
    15_____ FALKLAND ISLANDS _____ ______4.13
    16_____ FAEROE ISLANDS_________ ______3.91
    17_____ ESTONIA________________ ______3.67
    18_____ SAUDI ARABIA___________ ______3.64
    19_____ BRUNEI (DARUSSALAM)____ ______3.58
    20_____ FINLAND________________ ______3.56

    Now, Bahrain emits more twice as much per capita as Finland, and the good folks in Luxembourg emit more than Saudi Arabia. The US doesn’t even make it into the top ten per capita emitters. China is expected to surpass the US in total emissions in the near future.

    Is all of this “fair”, as you ask? Hard to answer. Is it fair that most of the world’s oil is concentrated in the Mideast? Is it fair that Israel didn’t get any of it? Is it fair that people in the US work more hours per year on average than any other country? Is it fair that Bangladesh has the world’s richest cropland, and Mongolia the world’s poorest, and the US just about the world average? Is it fair that most of the roads on the US side of the Rio Grande river are paved, and most of the roads on the Mexican side are not? Is it fair that Canada has a democracy, and Venezuela has a de-facto dictatorship? Is it fair that the natural resources of Brazil far exceed those of Poland? Is it fair that Trinidad and Tobago are sitting on a lake of oil, and Haiti has none?

    Not sure “fair” is well enough defined in your question to have an answer.

    w.

    PS – if you link to your data sources, it is much easier to check your figures. I spent a long and not fruitful time at the UNFCC site looking for your number.

  182. John Lang
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 7:09 AM | Permalink

    Here is a really nice table that shows CO2 equivalent emissions for all greenhouse gases for all countries from 1990 to 2003.

    http://millenniumindicators.un.org/unsd/mdg/SeriesDetail.aspx?srid=749&crid=

  183. Paul Linsay
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 8:54 AM | Permalink

    #183, John. It’s a remarkable table. The US, Russian, and Chinese emission of CO2 is listed to seven significant digits. Just how did they come up with these numbers? How were they measured? Where does the remarkable precision come from? Try doing a lab experiment to 7 digits of precision and you’ll understand what makes me skeptical. They might have the first two digits and the order of magnitude right, but this looks to me like an attempt to snow the rubes or put together by people who have no understanding of measurement. Makes me wonder about the overall validity of the data.

  184. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    Perhaps some of you have heard of the Bridezilla Wig-out video that has caused a little controversy on youtube. The bride is the daughter of a friend of mine (she even plays squash). They were on Good Morning America yesterday.

  185. Kevin UK
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

    #184 PL

    You’ve obvious missed my posts in the past in regard to my very precise bagofthefagpacket supercomputer (endorsed but sadly not funded by the UK NERC for its high degree of numerical precision). It’s clear that the results given in the table have been calculated using the next generation of my backofthefagpacket supercomputer, the frontofthefagpacket supercomputer. Sadly due to cuts in its budget, I’m sorry to say that the Hadley Centre can no longer afford the frontofthefagpacket supercomputer which they ordered from NEC last year.

    KevinUK

  186. Pat Frank
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 1:10 PM | Permalink

    #185 — She’s got too easy a life to be so frantic over her hair. She’d also do better to postpone her marriage for about 10 years. Some serious life-seasoning is in order there.

  187. David Smith
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

    One of the reasons that global warming hysteria is slow to gain traction in the US are the charts that accompany local stories, like this one .

    Click on the side link labeled, “The fall and rise of temperatures in Texas”. A glance at the chart shows that the big state is, well, almost as warm as 1920.

  188. Jon-Anders Grannes
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

    UN is insiting more than ever that the economic development of the third world will lead even more to global climatic chaos?

  189. Stan Palmer
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    Marvin Minsky on simulations of complex theories

    Q (Discover). So as you see it, artificial intelligence is the lens through which to look at the mind and unlock the secrets of how it works?

    A (Minsky). Yes, through the lens of building a simulation. If a theory is very simple, you can use mathematics to predict what it’ll do. If it’s very complicated, you have to do a simulation. It seems to me that for anything as complicated as the mind or brain, the only way to test a theory is to simulate it and see what it does. One problem is that often researchers won’t tell us what a simulation didn’t do. Right now the most popular approach in artificial intelligence is making probabilistic models. The researchers say, “Oh, we got our machine to recognize handwritten characters with a reliability of 79 percent.” They don’t tell us what didn’t work.

  190. richardT
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

    Back to the proxies…
    A paper in yesterday’s edition of Science by Helen McGregor and coworkers uses alkenones (a biogeochemical SST proxy) to reconstruct sea surface temperatures off the Moroccan coast. There is rapid cooling in the 20th-century, without analogue in the previous 25 centuries. Cooling at this location indicates increased upwelling, driven by stronger winds forced by an enhanced land-ocean temperature gradient.

    The 20th Century changes are far larger than those reconstructed for either the Medieval Warm Period or the Roman Warm Period. At least at this location, the climate appears to have moved well outside the range of its recent (i.e. late Holocene) natural variability.

    The data are due to be posted at http://www.pangea.de

  191. Ian
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

    #182
    It would be interesting to see a plot of CO2/person over time for each country. I suspect the developed world might even be declining for some while countries like China and India are taking off like a rocket.

  192. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 6:03 PM | Permalink

    #191. I’ll be interested in this data – but the trouble comes when people try to suck and blow. The evidence for “cool tropics” in the Holocene Optimum is exactly this sort of upwelling site. So you’ll agree that this evidence as support for a “cool” Holocene Optimum is without merit.

  193. richardT
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

    #193
    I agree, I too would be cautious about inferring that the Early Holocene tropics were cool solely from upwelling sites. It would be difficult to disentangle temperature changes from changes in upwelling intensity from regional temperature changes, at least without using information from several proxies giving information on different aspects of the climate.
    There are many proxy records from these sites as they tend to have the high sedimentation rates required for high-resolution work, and are more dynamic, making it easier to detect changes.

  194. David Smith
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

    This El Nino is about done. The latest Powerpoint presentation, from last week, is here .

    An interesting slide is #33 . This slide shows an ensemble forecast (heavy blue line) of conditions this coming summer. The indication is for neutral-to-La Nina conditions, which favor hurricanes.

    It’s hard to see, but the small JAS (July-August-September) SST chart on the left of #33 shows rather normal tropical Atlantic SST during hurricane season, cooler than in recent years.

  195. David Smith
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

    The latest Arctic Oscillation (AO) chart is here . The heavy black and red (future) lines show a mostly negative AO, which favors ice extent.

    True to form, the increasingly negative AO in January helped increase ice extent, as shown in this January, 2007 plot . January finished slightly ahead of 2005 and 2006. The February, 2007 relative extent will be even stronger, if the AO holds as forecast.

    This is weather, not climate, but it does help illustrate that wind (AO) affects Arctic ice cover.

  196. Jaye
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 8:33 PM | Permalink

    Marvin Minsky on simulations of complex theories

    Q (Discover). So as you see it, artificial intelligence is the lens through which to look at the mind and unlock the secrets of how it works?

    A (Minsky). Yes, through the lens of building a simulation. If a theory is very simple, you can use mathematics to predict what it’ll do. If it’s very complicated, you have to do a simulation. It seems to me that for anything as complicated as the mind or brain, the only way to test a theory is to simulate it and see what it does. One problem is that often researchers won’t tell us what a simulation didn’t do. Right now the most popular approach in artificial intelligence is making probabilistic models. The researchers say, “Oh, we got our machine to recognize handwritten characters with a reliability of 79 percent.” They don’t tell us what didn’t work.

    Quite true. A few years ago my company, in its infant stages, developed some software that was tailored to helping categorize SAT essay questions into which sentences in the essay related to the stated rubrics. It was a combination of several techniques maximum likelihood estimators, some fuzzy logic and a neural net core. Turned out it did quite well for several of our test cases. We got several experts in various fields to add phrases or sentences to a database that were representative of what somebody might be expected to say if they understood the various rubrics associated with the essay topic. You could submit an essay and the server would return a color coded version that showed which bits of the students essay mapped to which rubrics. If stable it would have been a great help to those grading stacks of these SAT exams.

    So late one night I submitted Jabberwocky to the server for comparison to an essay question that had something to do with greek women in early greek theater. It got very confused giving all sorts of spurious results.

    Turned out that if the essays were either close to right or not too wrong the system worked great. Without the Jabberwocky test we could have proclaimed various success and failure rates that would have told one nothing about what the model couldn’t to…namely filter out text that was “too wrong”.

  197. David Smith
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

    Brrr: Chicago US has wind chills down to -35C the next several nights.

    Link

  198. bender
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 9:25 PM | Permalink

    Re #198 Thankfully the Bears will be playing in Miami. Outdoor sports at -35° isn’t right.

  199. Bim Jarrett
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 10:16 PM | Permalink

    Willis (posting 182): You say: “However, I find nothing on the UNFCC site for China which is more recent than 1994.”

    This stuff is not as easy to find as I would have liked. It’s actually a can of worms. But here are the two UNFCC documents which I used:

    http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2006/sbi/eng/26.pdf (Table 5)

    http://maindb.unfccc.int/library/view_pdf.pl?url=http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2005/sbi/eng/18a02.pdf (Table 1)

    I like to pick figures which are as consistent as possible (i.e. from one site), which include most greenhouse gases, which include land-use change and forestry and which report in terms of some “radiation equivalent” such as “CO2-equivalent emission”. I say “most greenhouse gases” because many people don’t realise that ozone-destroying chemicals such as CFCs are often not included in the statistics for “greenhouse gases” (even though they may be highly potent greenhouse gases) because they are handled by another (i.e. non-Kyoto) protocol – the Montreal Protocol. Emissions for “the world” are extremely difficult to get hold of – indeed, there will be many countries for which there are no up-to-date reports. The report 18a02.pdf which I used to estimate the “world” value is for 1994 (as you surmised) – I know of no more up-to-date values for “total greenhouse gases” – so sorry if you think I was misleading you by using “old” data – all the other emission values are for 2004. If anyone can point me to more up-to-date total greenhouse gas emission statistics I’d be glad to learn of them.

    As an indication of how difficult these comparisons actually are, take the case of Australia. “Your” (CDIAC) value is for 2003 and is 96657 kilotonnes per annum of carbon, which is equivalent to 354409 kilotonnes of CO2 (scaling by the ratio of the atomic weights, 44/12). However the value for “total” emissions including land-use change and forestry is 514585 kilotonnes per annum CO2-equivalent, or 45% larger than the “CO2-only value”! So we have “discrepencies” as large as 45% creeping in if we are not careful.

    However, let’s look at the values which you give (which are only for CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, cement production and gas flaring, and which therefore only represent a subset of total emissions). Your tables make an interesting point – here is your first table of the top-20 emitters of CO2 with the per-capita ranking transferred from your second table:

    Rank______________Nation___________CO2 emissions__Per-capita rank
    __________________________________(kilotonnes/a)

    1______ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA___ ___1580175__________11
    2______ CHINA (MAINLAND)___________ ___1131175
    3______ RUSSIAN FEDERATION_________ ____407593
    4______ INDIA______________________ ____347577
    5______ JAPAN______________________ ____336142
    6______ GERMANY____________________ ____219776
    7______ CANADA_____________________ ____154392__________13
    8______ UNITED KINGDOM_____________ ____152460
    9______ REPUBLIC OF KOREA__________ ____124455
    10_____ ITALY (INCLUDING SAN MARINO ____121608
    11_____ MEXICO_____________________ ____113542
    12_____ ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN___ ____104112
    13_____ FRANCE (INCLUDING MONACO)__ ____102065
    14_____ SOUTH AFRICA_______________ _____99415
    15_____ AUSTRALIA__________________ _____96657__________14
    16_____ UKRAINE____________________ _____85836
    17_____ SPAIN______________________ _____84401
    18_____ POLAND_____________________ _____83121
    19_____ SAUDI ARABIA_______________ _____82530__________18
    20_____ BRAZIL_____________________ _____81445

    Obviously, most of the entrants in the “per-capita” table rank nowhere near the top as total emitters – in fact only four of the top-20 per-capita emitters make it into the top-20 of total emitters. You can guess which three of these are – good old USA, Canada and Australia. Saudi Arabia is the other country which also appears in both lists. You may have noticed that, in posting (108), I was careful to describe USA, Canada and Australia as “among the dominant per-capita emitters”, instead of saying that they are the top emitters, as some people do. Quoting tiny coutries as high per-capita emitters is pretty irrelevant – they hardly have any impact. It is the fact of being in BOTH top-20s that condemns USA, Canada, Australia and Saudi Arabia as being “bad” global citizens.

  200. Bim Jarrett
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

    John Lang (posting 183): The link you provide only appears to give CO2 emissions – not “CO2 equivalent emissions for all greenhouse gases”.

  201. Paul Linsay
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 10:46 PM | Permalink

    #200, BJ. Since you seem to have studied the data, I’m going to repeat my question of #184: How the heck does the U.N. measure U.S. CO2 emissions to seven significant digits? Or for that matter, Brazil’s to five digits?

  202. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 11:28 PM | Permalink

    #194. Then I take it that you disagree with the following statement in chapter 6 of the AR4:

    When considering the periods of largest temperature changes (Figure 6.9), paleoclimatic records of the Holocene provide no conclusive evidence for globally synchronous warm periods, especially because the temperature trends appear distinct in the low versus mid- and high-latitudes during the Holocene (Lorentz et al, 2006).

    since, as I discussed in my post on Lorenz et al 2006, the so-called distinct trends come from upwelling sites.

  203. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 11:35 PM | Permalink

    Bim Jarrett, thank you for your post and your identification of the data that you used.

    I’m still not clear what your point is. Yes, US, Canada, and Australia emit a large amount of CO2 per capita. However, that only makes them “bad global citizens” if we accept the underlying assumption that CO2 is “bad”. To do that, you need to establish two things using facts (as opposed to models):

    1) Increasing CO2 will cause a significant rise in temperature.

    2) The effects of this rise will be significantly deleterious/dangerous.

    Near as I can tell, neither of these is any where near established. Yes, I’m very aware of what the IPCC says … but if you can’t see the holes in their claims, you desperately need new eyeglasses. If you move from New York to LA, you have experienced a change in average temperature far, far exceeding what the IPCC predicts … where is the downside? Increased malaria? Paul Reiter, one of the world’s most qualified experts in the subject, says this is nonsense … and for saying so, he was dumped from the IPCC panel on health effects, and replaced by someone expert in … coprolites. If you are looking for clues, there’s a clue in there about the IPCC report’s value, when they dump real health scientists and replace them with experts in fossilized …

    Increased rainfall? While there may be more floods, unlike a small amount of warming, water shortages are a very real problem in many parts of the world. How is increased rain a problem?

    Increased drought? Drought is associated with cooler climates, not warmer. The Sahara is becoming more green, not less. I don’t see that as a worrisome trend.

    Sea level rise? The IPCC currently predicts about a foot (300 mm) of rise in the coming century … which is what we’ve seen since 1850, and somehow I don’t recall anyone saying that sea level rise was one of the great disasters of the 1900’s.

    Animal extinctions? Lets get real, where is the evidence? Yes, there’s scads of claims of “27,000 species per year gone extinct” and the like, but when I ask people to name a few species of the hundreds of thousands that are claimed to have gone extinct, they can’t come up with even one name.

    A reasonable response to these possible (but very far from established) threats is to continue to learn how to protect ourselves from the dangers which face us now. As these are the dangers which we would face if the CO2 hypothesis is correct, it’s a win-win situation, we fix current problems and protect against possible future problems.

    An unreasonable response is to cripple the world’s economies through limiting CO2 emissions. This not only hurts the developed world, it hurts the developing world even more, because the developed world is the market for the products of the developing world. It’s a lose-lose solution to what may not even be a problem. I fail to see how hurting the poor (both in the developing and developed world) is a brilliant plan …

    Now if you want to bust countries for real pollution, not CO2 but real pollution, count me in … but the reality is that the industrialized nations pollute much less than the poor nations, you have to have money to fight pollution. So it won’t be all politically correct light fighting evil CO2.

    w.

    PS – Loved the change in your name … now you only have to worry about being confused with the other “Bim Jarretts” out there …

  204. Bim Jarrett
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 12:57 AM | Permalink

    Paul Linsay (posting 202): You ask: “How the heck does the U.N. measure U.S. CO2 emissions to seven significant digits? Or for that matter, Brazil’s to five digits?”

    Firstly, it isn’t the “UN” who “measure” these emissions. If you go to the CDIAC site, you will find a description of the methodology at: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/meth_reg.htm. The calculations were done by G. Marland, T.A. Boden, and R.J. Andres at the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy.

    Secondly, I have always thought it very dangerous to assume that uncertainties are indicated by the number of significant digits quoted for a given value.

    Thirdly, I don’t think that quoting more significant digits that would be consistent with the uncertainty is a problem. It in no way indicates that the data should be viewed with suspicion.

    Fourthly, if you want to know the uncertainty to be attached to any of these numbers, I suggest you contact the authors directly, or alternatively read the various papers to which they refer and calculate the error budget yourself.

  205. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 1:11 AM | Permalink

    Bim, the link in your post above doesn’t work.

    w.

  206. DaleC
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 1:18 AM | Permalink

    Re #188, David Smith on Texas average temperature chart:

    I have spent quite a lot of time trying to replicate many of these sorts of charts from the raw daily data (where available), for the most part without a great deal of success. Steve Sadlov keeps reminding me that it is something of a fool’s errand, since the surface data is so unreliable (a point with which I would agree). However, since so much store is placed on the surface average temperature increases over the last 100 years as the prime measure of global warming, it would be nice to be able to say at least that one understands how the final plots are derived. That is surely the first step before using them as evidence for anything – in this case, that the average temperature for Texas has increased by 0.6F per decade over the last 30 years.

    The problem is that so many station records are discontinuous. Here is a plot of the number of temperature observations per year for Texas from USHCN/Daily. The fat red line is maxima, the thin light blue line is minima. They are mostly co-incident, but not entirely. Obviously the record is very incomplete, with a strange drop in the late 1940s and again of about 18% from 1995, right in the middle of the nominated 30 years.

    Does anyone know how the discontinuities are handled? Say there are observations for a given station only for summer. Is the entire year discarded? Is some sort of extrapolation applied? What happens if a station in a particularly hot or cold region is dropped? Are there any agreed rules for cleaning, in-filling from surrounding averages, blending, etc, or do the curators of each of the major global repositories make it up as they go along? Since the debate is about tenths of a degree, the strategies adopted for dealing with these sorts of issues can make a big difference to whether an averaged line goes up or down.

  207. bruce
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 1:24 AM | Permalink

    #207:

    Does anyone know how the discontinuities are handled?

    Sure. Phil Jones knows. But he isn’t saying. He would rather reserve the right to back-adjust to suit his story, ignore UHI effects, ignore the economic incentives that those measuring temperature in Siberia had to report lower temperatures so as to gain better subsidies etc.

    A REAL scientist would share his data, explain his methods etc. However, in Phil’s scheme, the benefits of scaring s..t out of the world population far exceed maintaining his integrity as a scientist. Go figure.

  208. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 2:25 AM | Permalink

    Has anyone read the 10 part series of articles by Lawrence Solomon found here Statistics needed. There’s a nice report on Wegman and other related stories about climate “deniers”, not a term he uses to describe skeptics but used by the AGW crowd to denigrate those who haven’t accepted their viewpoint.

  209. Bim Jarrett
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 3:34 AM | Permalink

    Willis (posting 204): I and a few others are convinced of the reality of current global warming and the fact that it has been mainly caused by humans. You may disagree but I’m not wasting my time arguing the toss with you – it is sufficient that we convince politicians, policymakers and planners – which, thank God, we at last seem to be doing.

    I’ll pick you up on one point though, in order to show how you misrepresent things. You say “the IPCC currently predicts about a foot (300 mm) of rise in the coming century … which is what we’ve seen since 1850″. If you look at Figure SPM-3 the IPCC AR4 SPM, you will see that since 1870, sea level rose around 20 cm. Over the 20th century it rose about 17 cm (page 5). From (1980-1999) to (2090-2099) – a period of 105 years – sea level is projected to rise between 18 and 59 cm, or between 17 and 56 cm over a 100-year period (i.e. just scaling the IPCC projections by 100/105). So the LOWER limit of the projections is the same as the last century, the mid-range is about twice the 20th-century rise and the upper limit is over three times as large. These projections carry the caveat:

    “The projections include a contribution due to increased ice flow from Greenland and Antarctica at the rates observed for 1993-2003, but these flow rates could increase or decrease in the future. For example, if this contribution were to grow linearly with global average temperature change, the upper ranges of sea level rise for SRES scenarios shown in Table SPM-2 would increase by 0.1 m to 0.2 m. Larger values cannot be excluded, but understanding of these effects is too limited to assess their likelihood or provide a best estimate or an upper bound for sea level rise.”

    (You may believe you know better than the scientists who made these projections – however I prefer to believe the scientists.)

    There will therefore most probably be a significant increase in sea level and one which will have a major impact, given the presently large (and increasing) coastal populations around the world.

  210. Bim Jarrett
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 3:35 AM | Permalink

    Willis (posting 206): the link is:

    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/meth_reg.htm

    (i.e. no full stop at the end)

  211. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 8:18 AM | Permalink

    Just wondering how much worse it could have been – Winnipeg was M39C ot M38F this morning. Will have to check if the Rum is OK.

  212. David Smith
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 8:32 AM | Permalink

    Re #207 I agree. The rules and practices used by the key agencies for determining surface temperatures should be totally transparent and public.

    This is especially true since its a matter of public interest, uses publicly-funded data and is a search for such small temperature changes in noisy data. Let the sunshine in!

  213. jae
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 8:52 AM | Permalink

    Larger values cannot be excluded, but understanding of these effects is too limited to assess their likelihood or provide a best estimate or an upper bound for sea level rise.”

    LOL. In other words, we don’t know. Also, keep in mind BJ that we are still coming out of the LIA.

  214. RDC
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 9:55 AM | Permalink

    Enjoy:

    What’s so hot about fickle science?

    February 4, 2007
    BY MARK STEYN Sun-Times Columnist

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/steyn/241518,CST-EDT-STEYN04.article

    “The famous ‘hockey stick’ graph showed the planet’s climate history as basically one long bungalow with the Empire State Building tacked on the end. Completely false. In evaluating industrial impact, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change used GDP estimates based on exchange rates rather than purchasing power: As a result, they assume by the year 2100 that not only South Africans but also North Koreans will have a higher per capita income than Americans. That’s why the climate-change computer models look scary. That’s how ‘solid’ the science is: It’s predicated on the North Korean economy overtaking the United States.”

  215. Paul Linsay
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    #205, BJ, from the link you provided,

    The 1950 to present CO2 emission estimates are derived primarily from energy statistics published by the United Nations (2006), using the methods of Marland and Rotty (1984).

    Marland, G., and R.M. Rotty. 1984.
    Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels: A procedure for estimation and results for 1950-82. Tellus 36(B):232-61.

    Notice the word estimate that keeps popping up (and the pesky U.N.) ? I still have no idea where the seven digit accuracy comes from.

    Thirdly, I don’t think that quoting more significant digits that[sic] would be consistent with the uncertainty is a problem. It in no way indicates that the data should be viewed with suspicion.

    It’s not standard scientific practice to quote more digits than the uncertainty allows, in fact, it’s meaningless and discouraged. Ever take an introductory lab course in college?

  216. Michael Hansen
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    Yep, shame on Willis E for reporting 0.3 meter see level rise from 1850-2006, when maybe he should have written 0.22, 0.25, or whatever…the error margin on these measurements seems to be quite high, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level_rise. That totally invalidates, of course, the point that Willis was trying to make, namely, it’s borderline grotesque when big strong men fear a lousy 0.3 meter rise in see level, when a similarly rise has already been handled with no problems what so ever. Have not Calcutta experienced some +0.5 meter in see level rise over a mere 50 years? Have not 1/3 of Holland been several feet below see surface for 200-300 years? The world is not able to handle, in 100 years, 1/10 of what the Dutch’s could handle 200 years ago? Uhm, right! Party on, Bim Jarretts of the world.

    You don’t have to have a PhD in climate science to address that kind of defeatism; that kind of total lack of confidence in western technology and the brainpower of humans. We could put man on Mars if we really wanted to. The technology to build a space elevator is probably no more than 10 years away. Nanotechnology. Stem Cells. Biochips. Biomechanics. Level 0.5 civilisation mid-century. All this — and all the breakthroughs we are not even close to fathom at this point — and we have grownups loosing sleep over a rise in see level of mere 0.3 meter. In 100 years. Unbelievable.

    Bim Jarrets mindset is a complete mockery of all the brave men that crossed the oceans, conquered land, build nations, won wars, challenged the sky, and brought back dust from the moon.

  217. Steve P
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    Bim Jarrets mindset is a complete mockery of all the brave men that crossed the oceans, conquered land, build nations, won wars, challenged the sky, and brought back dust from the moon.

    Like many other climate alarmists, Bim Jarret likely has a political agenda served by over-reaction to AGW. Unfortunately he won’t reveal that bias.

  218. beng
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    RE 167: Steve_S says:

    I sure hope we start to get some rain in California, and do not relish another repeat of 1975 – 1977, or worse.

    The current jetstream pattern looks similar, w/a ridge pushing well into, even north of Alaska & a coupled fast stream diving from the MacKenzie delta southward even into NW Mexico. In Jan 1977 the southward push was even stronger & concentrated more eastward toward the Gulf of Mexico/Florida & it left the US intermountain basin & left coast in a “soup” of foggy, stagnant high pressure. And it was the coldest Jan on record for some spots in the mid-atlantic states.

    Here yesterday, there was the rather unusual situation of getting strong arctic-origin surface & jetstream winds (albeit moderated) from the SW. The morning was 9F (-13C), but the sun briefly warmed it to 25F (-4C). But much colder to the N & W.

  219. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

    Re: 24

    The atmospheric component of CCSM3 used for the IPCC AR4 has 851,968 grid cells.

  220. richardT
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

    #203
    I don’t think that the Lorentz paper is the final word on this subject. Their result is what I would expect from the orbital forcing (without considering any feedbacks), but, for the best of reasons, their site selection is not ideal. But Lorentz is not the only evidence for slightly cooler Early Holocene tropics, although data are much more scarce that for high latitudes. See for example, Rühlemann et al 1999 with a site off Grenada, or Hippler et al 2004 in the eastern tropical Atlantic using Ca isotopes. There are probably more data and syntheses, but this is outside my geographical domain.
    The wording in that quote from AR4 is tentative, and I would agree with that. Certainly, the large temperature anomalies found at high latitudes are not representative of the whole globe, and the term Climate Optimum reflects the geographic origins of the science.

  221. mzed
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    Alright, instead of answering each comment individually, let me just combine them all into one:

    I’m asking for an alternative hypothesis for the continued increase in global temperature since 1975. Besides hand-waving about interglacials, I mean. It should be demonstrable, that is, it should use data that is resistant to criticism
    Calling me an “apologist for the hockey team” is the kind of rhetoric that tends to dominate these discussions, and a good reason why I will probably end up leaving this one. I haven’t said I’m apologizing for anyone, much less “The Team”. It’s wrong to say I support the methodology of a particular study just because I defend the hypothesis of agw. Anyway, whatever.

    Of course arguments about the co2 lag could be armwaving. But why does that mean it’s *ridiculous*? And why does it mean that it’s any worse than any other explanation? Can you provide a non-armwaving explanation for the correlation between temperature and gg? (for that matter, why aren’t ggs lagging behind temperature right now?)

    No one is suggesting that boreholes don’t support a warmer earth something like 125K BP. Why do you think that the co2 lag explanation suggests otherwise? I find this mystifying. And if co2science.org has lots of studies showing that the MWP was warmer than today, great. Give me one of them. Just one–it doesn’t matter. And whoever said that M&M did *not* in fact provide a true reconstruction is correct”¢’‚¬?which is why I asked for one. I’ll ask for it again–can you give me a reconstruction (a “true” reconstruction, I guess, if you need me to be specific) that shows a MWP warmer than it is today? Again, no one is denying that there have been temperatures in the past that were greater than today. Do you seriously think that agw-theory proponents have never had a look at past temperature records? I ask because I’m confused why this is relevant. Current conditions are different than they were in the past, and current temperatures appear to be unique for the Holocene.

    As for the purportedly linear relationship between co2 and temperature at the weblink that was provided, I see a logarithmic relationship, but I guess we would have to look at the actual values to be sure. Again, no one is denying that co2 does not always drive climate. But where is the proof that it *can’t*? If albedo is the only thing that drives temperature, where is the evidence? Where is the evidence that an albedo feedback has been driving temperatures since 1975? Why isn’t this as much hand-waving as anything else that others have called that?

    Once again, even if temperatures in the distant past have always lagged behind co2, if this is true, why does this mean that the same forces are in effect today? Again, what is the driver for changes today? Are they solar? If so, which cycle is the culprit? Are they the random drift of a chaotic system? If you really think so, say so. And if so, why does it appear to be so unusual? If you don’t think it’s unusual for the Holocene, where is the evidence?

  222. mzed
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 2:55 PM | Permalink

    I should also ask: for those who called the co2 lag explanation, did you read the article the RealClimate entry linked to? I’m not saying I’m smart enough to know if it’s right or not, but is that really what you consider “handwaving”? If so, what would it look lke if it weren’t “handwaving”

  223. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

    Re #222 ** Again, no one is denying that there have been temperatures in the past that were greater than today.**
    Really? Isn’t that the “hockey stick”? What period are you talking about?
    You are all over the map with your questions. Do some readng – solar topic for one. You will see that there is work to be done yet. You can also start by asking the IPCC authors one question: Name one scientific study which measures the percentage of the warming that has been caused by CO2. Maybe that is why one of their favorite words is “liklely”

  224. mzed
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

    “Really? Isn’t that the “hockey stick”?” What period are you talking about?”

    I’m certain no one on the so-called “hockey team” would claim that emperatures have never been as warm as they are now! I was addressing the same period that I was asked about: recent geological periods (lets say 125K BP and beyond).

    “You are all over the map with your questions. Do some readng – solar topic for one. You will see that there is work to be done yet.”

    That’s because you guys were all over the map with your comments! I’ve done plenty of reading–and I’m happy to do more–but I’m unaware of any study which can attribute most of the warming since the 70’s to a solar cause. I can accept that there’s work to be done yet–in fact folks like the IPCC admit as much. I just don’t understand why that would make agw-theory *ridiculous*.

  225. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

    mzed, thanks for your comments and mostly constructive tone.

  226. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    Re # 225 (I just don’t understand why that would make agw-theory *ridiculous*.)
    The problem I have with most of the AGW is that they are blaming CO2 for most of the temperature increase by using a graph of association and not measurement.
    There is work in progress on other items such as solar and cosmic effects. That does not mean that those are the causes. However they could also be causing some seeding or amplification of cloud – as I said more work needed. With respect to cutting CO2 emissions, I believe that would not stop the temperature change because there is a good chance that CO2 is only a small part. If the scientists are worried about out health, they should be asking for a rapid decrease in (chemical)pollution in the air, water and land. In addition conservation of resources would not hurt.
    For solar studies a few names to check are Jan Veizer, Nir Shaviv, S. Solanki, Svensmark, Christensen, Lassen.

  227. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

    re 222

    Why are interglacials to be dismissed as “handwaving”?

    About 30,000 yrs ago, in the middle of the last ice age, Earth’s orbit was at its most elliptical. During 20,000 yrs (10,000 before & 10,000 after max.) the planet received 20-25% less solar radiation than at perihelion for three months of every year. That’s a lot of energy shortfall for a long time, enough to allow formation of ice caps down to New York and London in the northern hemisphere, and up to the tip of South America in the southern hemisphere.

    In about 20,000 years, Earth’s orbit will be nearly circular and for 20,000yrs (again, 10k before & 10k after midpoint) will receive almost the same amount of solar radiation all year round and will doubtless get very warm.

    It is obvious that during the 50,000 years between these two extremes the average temperature of our planet rises, as it has done repeatedly in the past. Our knowledge of the retreat of the ice caps during recorded history is confirmatory evidence.

    I am well aware that the above is crudely simplistic, but it isn’t handwaving and isn’t any less true either. It is a factual representation of what is known about Earth’s orbit.

    So why is it that some people get so dismissive about interglacials? Here is a straightforward and powerful mechanism for global warming and consequent climate change that does not involve atmospheric carbon dioxide. So why drag it in?

  228. David Smith
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

    Re #222 Hi, mzed. I haven’t closely read all the posts today (busy elsewhere) so I may be missing keys parts of the conversation. However, I think I saw that you asked for a “natural” hypothesis for the warming of the last 30 years. I can’t offer a hypothesis but I can offer a reason to think that one will, one day, exist for a portion of the warming.

    First, let me say that I am a “lukewarmer”. That means that I believe that a portion of 20’th century warming is from human activity. But, I also believe that nature has also played a role. How much to assign to each is the big question.

    The warming of the last 30 years is a critically important issue because most of the evidence offered for AGW centers on recent decades. The IPCC attributes essentially 100% of that recent warming to human activity. I think the percentage should be smaller, perhaps much smaller.

    Let me offer a chart that makes it difficult for me to accept that the recent warming is predominantly radiative forcing (CO2 buildup):

    This chart is of something called global 500mb geopotential height. What it indicates is the thickness of the bottom half of the atmosphere, and the thickness is related to the warmth of the atmosphere. (The nice things about thickness is that it’s reasonably reliable and, unlike surface temperature data, is not subject to UHI, hidden adjustments, etc.)

    What it shows me is that the atmosphere warmed (expanded) rather suddenly in 1976-1977 and then again, suddenly, circa 2001. Now, it takes time for oceans to respond, and oceans affect surface temperature, so what you may see in the surface record looks more gradual than what actually happened in the atmosphere.

    Sudden changes like 1976 and 2001 are, in my opinion, more characteristic of natural mode shifts than of gradual buildup of forcings like CO2. (If someone has hypothesized that CO2 causes such bumps, I’ve missed it.)

    The current (FAR) IPCC report discusses the “1976-1977 climate shift” (thirteen times!)and suggests (page 3-50 and elsewhere) that it is of tropical origin. Exactly what shifted the IPCC does not know and I certainly don’t know. Exactly how CO2 might have caused it, they don’t offer a suggestion.

    I suspect the “natural” answer lies in the circulation of the tropical oceans, not CO2.

    The Earth’s atmosphere is its heat exchanger. That heat exchanger shifted suddenly from a slightly more-efficient to a slightly less-efficient mode in 1976, and apparently again in 2001. It could be that tropospheric circulation patterns shifted such that ocean low-cloud cover decreased several percent, or key parts of the Warm Pool warmed above the “magic temperature” of 28C, or the mid-latitude westerlies sped up and hindered the north-south mixing, or a combination of things. Something shifted enough to make the atmosphere remove several fewer W/m2, and did so rather suddenly. The land and ocean temperatures take time to come into equilibrium with this new efficiency.

    I suspect that some climate professionals are quietly looking for a natural explanation for the 1976 climate shift, especially outside the English-speaking world.

    Finding a natural cause for the 1976-1977 climate shift would not negate AGW (it exists) but instead should place AGW in a more-proper context.

  229. mzed
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 7:34 PM | Permalink

    “thanks for your comments and mostly constructive tone.”

    Thanks–I certainly hope my questions are seen as constructive. Not trying to raise a fuss–just trying to ask challenging questions, since the opposite sides of this argument seem to talk past each other most of the time. I should say in return that the tone of this site is usually very civil and high-level, and I try to visit it somewhat often even though much of the math and many of the issues are beyond me.

    Just a couple brief comments: I separate the science from the policy when it comes to agw, and I think it tends to clarify the issues. Also, I can understand the sense that this might just be the way an interglacial climate evolves–but again, I have to ask: where’s the direct evidence? (In other words, which experts should we trust?) Agreed that we need more studies about clouds and so forth. Hopefully this debate will always remain open in some sense or other.

  230. mzed
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

    David Smith–thanks for the tip–I’ll try to keep an eye on this topic.

  231. TAC
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 5:37 AM | Permalink

    The Fraser Institute (also see RC) just announced release of an “Independent Summary for Policy Makers” prepared by Ross McKitrick and co-authored by a lot of familiar names. The ISPM report can be found here.

  232. David Archibald
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 6:44 AM | Permalink

    Re #224, using the Modtran site, the 100 ppm increase from the pre-industrial level has produced warming of 0.13 degrees C, which is about one quarter of the 0.6 degrees C warning over that interval. The next 100 ppm to 480 ppm is worth 0.1 degrees C, and the next 100 ppm after that is worth 0.08 degrees C. Ultimately, and this is over several hundred years, the warming effect of CO2 may be good for 0.4 degrees C total. When it happens, this will be a non-trivial amount which we will be grateful for.

  233. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

    mzed, you raise an interesting question when you say:

    I’m asking for an alternative hypothesis for the continued increase in global temperature since 1975. Besides hand-waving about interglacials, I mean. It should be demonstrable, that is, it should use data that is resistant to criticism.

    There are a few problems with this. One is that there is very little in the field of climate science that “resistant to criticism”. One of the things which is least resistant to criticism is the metric you are discussing, the “continued increase in global temperature since 1975.” Phil Jones has refused to open his data to public view, which means that it is worthless scientifically. There are a variety of problems with the individual ground stations, which are known to exist but whose total effect is unknown. There is an unknown amount of urban (more properly local) warming. In short, we don’t have a good grasp of even the dimensions of the divergence you are asking people to explain.

    Another problem is that air temperature is a horrible metric, because it does not measure the energy in the air. To do that, you need to include the amount of water vapor in the air, and we have very poor figures on that.

    Even ignoring the water vapor issue, we don’t even have any agreement on how to measure the “average temperature”. Should we use area-averaging, or EOF averaging? Should we average the whole world, or average each of the hemispheres individually and then average them? How do we deal with gridcells where there is no data? For coastal areas, should we use the ocean temperature or the land temperatures? For the ocean, should we use the air temperature records, or the sea temperature records? How do we deal with gridcells that contain a great variety of microclimates, perhaps at different elevations? How do we adjust for the fact that as we go further back in time, the number of stations changes? How do we deal with missing data? How many daily records must be present in a month, or in a year, to say we have enough to use? Each of these questions has no inherently “correct” answer, and each one has proponents and detractors. Thus, even the question you have proposed is far from being “resistant to criticism”.

    Our understanding of the climate is very primitive, simply because the climate is so complex. Climate is an immense, multi-stable, driven, chaotic, optimally turbulent, constructally organized tera-watt scale heat engine, with dozens of forcings and feedbacks, both internal and external, and both known and unknown. It is composed of five major subsystems (ocean, atmosphere, lithosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere), none of which are well understood. Each of these subsystems has its own forcings and feedbacks, again both known and unknown, which affect both itself and the system as a whole.

    In addition, because of the sheer size of the system, our measurements of the various phenomena have large error margins. Even with satellites, we don’t have good figures for such basic things as total upwelling radiation at different frequencies, the albedo, or the temperature of the upper atmosphere. Our scientific knowledge of the whole is so poor, and our measurements are so uncertain, that we can not predict the next month’s weather or the next decade’s climate in anything more than the most general terms.

    Despite (or perhaps because of) this lack of knowledge, the rude truth is that many climate scientists seem extremely reluctant to say “we don’t know”. As a result, people like yourself and others expect or request that we explain extremely short-term (25 year) fluctuations in the climate. Unfortunately, given our current state of knowledge, this is not necessarily possible.

    Take for example the effects of the solar magnetic field on climate. This effect is known, but is very poorly understood. Is it responsible for the recent warming? We don’t know.

    And this is separate from the effect of coronal mass ejections and the solar wind on climate, which is even less understood.

    Or how about the effect of land use changes? NOAA has said publicly that they may have a greater effect than CO2 changes. Are they responsible for the recent warming? We don’t know.

    It is well known that there are a variety of short-term (multi-decadal) oscillations or shifts in the climate system, such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Arctic Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, and others. These have significant effects on the global temperature. Could one of these, or a combination of these, or other unknown oscillations have caused the recent warming? We don’t know.

    Methane is not a well-mixed gas. Levels vary all over the world. It has recently been discovered that plants emit methane, perhaps a quarter of the global totals. This methane is concentrated in the lowest levels of the atmosphere. Worldwide, the planet is greening. What effect has this had on the registered temperatures, which are measured in the lowest layers of the atmosphere? We don’t know.

    It has recently been discovered that plankton emit gases that cause the formation of clouds above them. What effect does this have on the climate? We don’t know.

    How much has the sun’s irradiance changed since 1975? There is much scientific dispute about that question as well, because of the lack of overlap between satellites that have given different answers.

    Finally, how do these (and a host of other forcings and feedbacks) affect each other? What happens if a swing in the PDO occurs at the same time as a swing in the cosmic ray intensity, or any of hundreds of other possible interactions? This we really, really don’t know.

    In fact, of the 12 forcings listed by the IPCC in the Third Annual Report, the “Level of Scientific Understanding” (LOSU) of nine of them is rated as “Low”, or “Very Low” … that’s the majority of the forcings (and doesn’t even include some known forcings), yet despite that, people like yourself say “explain the historical record”. Sorry, but … we don’t know.

    Now, faced with this lack of knowledge, the standard response from the AGW crowd is “it must be CO2″ … but why must it be CO2? Not knowing is certainly not proof of anything. In addition, the change doesn’t fit the theoretical model of CO2 effects. Why would CO2 cause very little effect until 1975 (as evidenced by the close correlation between solar and temperature up to that point) and then suddenly cause a large effect? Why would the sun’s suddenly stop affecting the temperature in 1975? Saying “we can’t explain it, so it must be CO2″ is nonsense.

    So, despite the existence of a wide variety of possible explanations, I regret that I cannot offer you anything that is “resistant to criticism” about what caused the divergence. We don’t even have any evidence “resistant to criticism” regarding whether the divergence is of the claimed size. It is one of the many, many unsolved mysteries of the climate. All it proves is one thing …

    We don’t know.

    Thank you for highlighting this revealing issue,

    w.

  234. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

    Well put, Willis.
    Mark

  235. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    re 234

    Willis E –

    Last week I watched on TV that imposing table of scientific bureaucrats telling the world that climate change was “very likely” caused by AGW.

    I wish that they could be forced to read your clear exposition of the real state of our knowledge and then explain their conclusions.

    Excellent summary. Thanks.

    What makes it worse (for me) is that I learned recently that the whole tab for the management and co-ordination of the scientific work for IPCC is borne by the UK Government (Good grief! – so that’s where our taxes are spent) which also micro-manages UK scientific research to an extent that would have won admiration from Stalin. Figures – remember Lysenko and Shostakovich. As my gran used to say – “It will all end in tears”.

  236. Nordic
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

    Steve Sadlov has probably already seen this, but here is a story that will be of interest to any of the regulars who were around for Steve’s Iceland ice-bridge post:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/02/04/wbears04.xml

  237. jae
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

    I’m asking for an alternative hypothesis for the continued increase in global temperature since 1975. Besides hand-waving about interglacials, I mean. It should be demonstrable, that is, it should use data that is resistant to criticism

    Just a thought here. There has been no significant increase since 1998. Are we at a peak? Time will tell.

  238. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    RE: #217 – This whole debate is a microcosm of a much greater issue. There is an ailment affecting some but not all within Western Civilization. Somewhere starting during the Enlightenment, it first arose, but was only incubating until the past century. This loss of faith and general malaise affects many but thankfully not all.

  239. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 12:25 PM | Permalink

    RE: #237 – I hope they’ve got a good supply of Weatherby .460 magnums and ammo to go with them in NW Iceland!

  240. Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 12:21 AM | Permalink

    Re 222:

    For global warming to be realistically assigned to anthropogenic causes, a mechanism needs to be found which enables humanity to alter a huge system which is used to turning over vast quantities of material. My instinct is that industrial CO2 cannot be that mechanism. We need new narratives. Lack of hard science enables more to be constructed within the wide boundaries of what we actually know. Here is one.

    Warming since 1975 is caused by loss of oceanic low level stratocumulus cloud. Reading about climate models, I am struck by the comments about failure to handle clouds well. Albedo has been falling: research is needed to prove it is low-level cloud reduction which is letting more radiation through. This is a falsifiable statement.

    Cloud reduction is caused by pollution of the ocean surface and that pollution has lowered wind/water coupling. This is a falsifiable statement.

    The false anthropogenic isotope signal is caused by one, two or three of the following: the effects of the pollution lower ocean fertility, and phytoplankton using the C4* process increase in numbers having gained a competitive advantage; certain species compensate for lower mineral content by switching from C3 to C4 metabolism (a neat trick only identified a few years ago); initial warming causes slight changes in the thermo-haline circulation allowing methanophages to consume more chlathrates and bubble off light isotope CO2. This is a falsifiable statement.

    *C4 metabolism is less fractionating of C isotopes and so gives off a false isotope signal.

    Until we do the numbers, this is just a narrative. However, unlike some alternatives (and, some might think, even the current paradigm) it’s testable. A major experiment has been carried out inadvertently and I think I can see the results very loud and clear in the Hadley graphs, particularly the new one.

    To prevent myself being consigned to outer darkness, I’d better stop there: last time I was shuffled for being off topic and the ignominy of being expunged completely would be too much. More of my woolly thinking is at my website which I updated last night when inspired by this question.

    The post by willis crystallises the doubts perfectly: it should be added as an appendix to every item of policy makers’ global warming literature.

    JF
    http://www.floodsclimbers.co.uk

  241. DaleC
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 3:32 AM | Permalink

    Re #234, Willis.

    Well put – an excellent post. Thank you.

  242. brent
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 4:48 AM | Permalink

    If the Cap Fits

    Washington this week officially welcomed the newest industry on the hunt for financial and regulatory favors. Big CarbonCap may have the same dollar-sign agenda as Big Oil or Big Pharma, but don’t expect Nancy Pelosi to admit to it.
    Democrats want to flog the global warming theme through 2008 and they’ll take what help they can get, even if it means cozying up to executives whose goal is to enrich their firms. Right now, the corporate giants calling for a mandatory carbon cap serve too useful a political purpose for anyone to delve into their baser motives.
    snip

    There was a time when the financial press understood that companies exist to make money. And it happens that the cap-and-trade climate program these 10 jolly green giants are now calling for is a regulatory device designed to financially reward companies that reduce CO2 emissions, and punish those that don’t.
    snip

    CEOs are quick learners, and even those who would get smacked by a carbon cap are now devising ways to make warming work to their political advantage. The “most creative” prize goes to steel giant Nucor. Steven Rowlan, the company’s environmental director, doesn’t want carbon caps in the U.S.–oh, no. The smarter answer, he explains, would be for the U.S. to impose trade restrictions on foreign firms that aren’t environmentally clean. Global warming as foil for trade protectionism: Chuck Schumer’s dream.
    What makes this lobby worse than the usual K-Street crowd is that it offers no upside. At least when Big Pharma self-interestedly asks for fewer regulations, the economy benefits. There’s nothing capitalist about lobbying for a program that foists its debilitating costs on taxpayers and consumers while redistributing the wealth to a few corporate players.
    This is what comes from Washington steadily backstepping energy policy into the interventionist 1970s, picking winners and losers. In ethanol, in biodiesel, in wind farms, success isn’t a function of supply or demand. The champs are the ones that coax out of Washington the best subsidies and regulations. Global warming is simply the biggest trough yet.

    http://tinyurl.com/39pgxj

  243. brent
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 5:07 AM | Permalink

    Re #234 Willis

    Splendid post!!

    Many Thanks
    brent

  244. Bim Jarrett
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 6:00 AM | Permalink

    jae (posting 238): “There has been no significant increase since 1998. Are we at a peak?”

    Just look at http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2_lrg.gif

    Doesn’t this graph make your suggestion (which is now very old and discredited contrarian fodder) look just mildly ridiculous? Does it look like peak?

  245. Bim Jarrett
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 6:09 AM | Permalink

    Thank you Willis (posting 234) – once again I am reminded of Ross Gelbspan’s quote:

    “The goal of the disinformation campaign wasn’t to win the debate. The goal was simply to keep the debate going. When the public hears the media report that some scientists believe warming is real but others don’t, its reaction is “Come back and tell us when you’re really sure.’ So no political action is taken.”

  246. Spiceman
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 7:48 AM | Permalink

    I’m new here, but I thought I might ask if anyone has read much of Svenmark and his work on cosmic rays and cloud formation? An experiment recently demonstrated the link between cosmic rays and cloud formation, I’ve quoted some of the comments below:

    A missing link in climate theory
    The experimental results lend strong empirical support to the theory proposed a decade ago by Henrik Svensmark and Eigil Friis-Christensen that cosmic rays influence Earth’s climate through their effect on cloud formation. The original theory rested on data showing a strong correlation between variation in the intensity of cosmic radiation penetrating the atmosphere and the amount of low-altitude clouds. Cloud cover increases when the intensity of cosmic rays grows and decreases when the intensity declines.
    It is known that low-altitude clouds have an overall cooling effect on the Earth’s surface. Hence, variations in cloud cover caused by cosmic rays can change the surface temperature. The existence of such a cosmic connection to the Earth’s climate might thus help to explain past and present variations in the Earth’s climate.
    Interestingly, during the 20th Century, the Sun’s magnetic field (which shields Earth from cosmic rays) more than doubled, thereby reducing the average influx of cosmic rays. The resulting reduction in cloudiness, especially of low-altitude clouds, may be a significant factor in the global warming Earth has undergone during the last century. Until now, however, there has been no experimental evidence of how the causal mechanism linking cosmic rays and cloud formation may work.
    “Many climate scientists have considered the linkages from cosmic rays to clouds to climate as unproven,’ comments Eigil Friis-Christensen, who is now Director of the Danish National Space Center. “Some said there was no conceivable way in which cosmic rays could influence cloud cover. The SKY experiment now shows how they do so, and should help to put the cosmic-ray connection firmly onto the agenda of international climate research.’

    you will find more HERE

  247. Gaudenz Mischol
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

    Spiceman

    if you want to know more on this, buy the book “The manic sun” by Nigel Calder. It’s a good book about the sun and the history of cosmiy ray cloud link. The book was published in 1997, so already 10 years old and up to now this links has not yet been proven, unfortunately. The experiment you describe in your post is probably a little step for better understanding this link. Nigel Calder tells a lot about the sun and it’s impact on the earth and I still believe there is more than TSI or cosmic rays. But so far we do not know the exact mechanism.

    BTW does anybody know where I can find the latest figures for TSI, aa-index etc.

  248. Spiceman
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 8:06 AM | Permalink

    Thanks Gaudenz! Very interesting, sounds like we will hear more in due time…

  249. cbone
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 8:15 AM | Permalink

    Re: 246

    Thanks Bim. Your posts, and the AGW crowd in general remind me of a Farley Mowat quote:
    “If the truth gets in the way of a good story, f— the truth.”

  250. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

    Bim, not sure what the point of your quote was. If we don’t know, we don’t know … would you prefer that we say we know, when we don’t?

    My goal is not to keep the debate going, quite the opposite. It is to get it started. To do that, we need facts, and those, unfortunately, are in very short supply in the world of climate science.

    Science progresses by making falsifiable predictions. Once again, however, those are also in very short supply in climate science. Some of the few that I can recall being made have been the late Theodor Landscheidt’s successful predictions of three successive El Niños … a prediction which has been roundly ignored …

    Now, we have climate models, but unfortunately, everyone agrees that they are pretty useless in the short term, which makes it hard to falsify their forecasts. We have no general theory of climate, which would allow us to say something like

    T = f(a,b,c,d,e …)

    so we have nothing to falsify there either. The climate modelers seem very unwilling to subject their models to the standard V&V and SQA, which makes it hard to falsify them. However, it is clear, both from my own studies and others, that they do very poorly at replicating the basic statistics of climate (mean, standard deviation, first and second differences, etc.) except for the trend … but they are tuned to replicate the trend, so that doesn’t count.

    As a result, the problem is not that the debate continues “¢’‚¬? it is that there is nothing to debate. Our understanding is too poor to formulate theories that might be refuted, because we don’t even know all of the forcings and feedbacks involved. Even for most of those we do know, our level of scientific understanding (LOSU) is rated by the IPCC as either “Low” or “Very Low”. How can we possibly debate something we don’t understand?

    How can we get the debate started? Well, a few steps would be:

    1) Open up the hidden datasets and reveal the secret methods, so that we can at least agree on such basic questions as how much the instrumental record of temperature is changing.

    2) Subject all of the models to a standardized V&V and SQA to make sure that there are no obvious mistakes.

    3) Create a set of benchmarks that models would have to successfully complete before the IPCC would consider their output. Among these would be that they be “lifelike” in some measured and defined sense, that is to say, that they act like the real climate, neither heating up way too fast or far too slowly, that they have a standard deviation, an interquartile range, a skewness and kurtosis, that is similar to that of the real world in a variety of measurements (surface temperature, ocean temperature, troposphere temperature, etc.

    4) Continue to collect spectrally resolved satellite measurements, on as many wavelengths as possible, of the planet so that we can have some kind of agreed upon set of data to discuss.

    5) Require that all modelers provide studies of the error propagation through their model, of how they handle overflow and underflow conditions, of the exact number of parameters used and their nature, and that they are positive-definite and that they converge in all conditions.

    6) Require that to be considered by the IPCC, the model must provide a forecast which is better than a simple estimate based on the input factors (CO2, volcanos, solar, etc.). The ugly reality is that most of the models do no better than a linear regression of the inputs.

    7) Investigate, photograph, take the history of, check the instruments against standard instruments, and document each and every one of the ground stations, and close (or ignore) those that do not comply with international standards.

    8) Step up the measurements of the ocean temperature, which is a much better metric than the air temperature for the heat content of the planet.

    9) Get the politics out of the IPCC, and open it up to scientific debate. Record the procedure of arriving at the conclusions, and allow for the inclusion of minority views. DON’T LET SCIENTISTS REVIEW THEIR OWN WORK! Do we think they might have a vested interest? D’oh …

    Anyhow, that’s a quick (and far from complete) list of what we might do to get the debate started. The idea that the scientific debate is over is a cruel hoax … it hasn’t even begun.

    w.

  251. Darwin
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    BJ is just repeating the litany put up by Gore former science aide, Anthony Socci, in 1998 when he wrote an article for Elements of Change, put out by the Aspen Institute. http://www.agci.org/publications/eoc98/AGCI%20EOC-98SIIpp356-402.pdf In the article, Socci, who oversaw grants, programs and media communications for the US Global Change Research Program, admonished scientists not to use statistical levels of uncertainty nor to engage in debate as “Debate is a Loaded Word,” “hard-wired” to imply “there are only two sides to an issue, and that the sides are divided equally, and the issue is therefore, very much undecided.” He then says that the “real scientific debate has already occurred during the processes of peer-review and publication in respected scientific journals.” From Steve McIntyre’s and Ross McKittrick’s efforts, along with Wegman’s, wwe have an idea of how well a closed-system peer-reviewed process can become distorted. And from Roger Pielke Jr. we know that it isn’t the debate that kills action. The lack of it has probably done more harm than good as it has only raised everyone’s suspicions of each other. Now, on to important things, as I asked at 150, does anyone have some information about the effects of Pinatubo and the Gulf oil fires in 1991 on CO2 and whether they were offset by Russia’s decline. Thanks to anyone in advance who can offer some help. Love the discussion, and BJ, if you don’t enjoy the debate, why blog? Seems a bit contradictory, unless you are interested in imposing a view rather than engaging in discussion.

  252. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    Re: 251

    Are you prepared to have much more funding go into science to pay for all your requirements for climate science?

  253. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

    #253. those are things that should be done as a matter of course. The field is awash with money.

  254. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

    Re: 254

    “The field is awash with money.”

    I guess that’s why there have been staff reductions at NOAA and NCAR, and NASA is trying to figure out how to keep various EOS instruments going.

  255. Hans Erren
    Posted Feb 7, 2007 at 4:31 AM | Permalink

    It is strange that we still don’t have a proper CO2 observing sattelite in place.
    The currently “best” alternative, Sciamachy, is looking in the wrong band (NIR), and is having tremendous noise problems.

    http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de/sciamachy/NIR_NADIR_WFM_DOAS/PROMOTE/CO2_cols_SCIAMACHY/co2_images.html

  256. BradH
    Posted Feb 7, 2007 at 5:01 AM | Permalink

    Re: 255

    Gary,

    Even if funding is reducing, that is not a refutation of the field being “awash with money”.

    I have not confirmed the veracity of this link, however if it is true, it indicates that there is in excess of $1.6bn allocated by the US Government to climate change research/programs/etc. for the 2007 fiscal year (in 2005 dollars).

    In businesses mainly based around labour (cf. manufacturing of goods), a reasonable rule of thumb is: 1/3 to salaries, 1/3 to other costs, 1/3 to owner and profits. In Government undertakings, there is no profit margin.

    In any event, this is just a rough estimate. Let’s say the US Government’s expenditure is 50% salaries, 50% other costs. That still leaves $8bn for salaries.

    Now, assuming the average salary paid for these people is $80,000 p.a., that allows 100,000 people to be employed by the US Federal Government directly in climate change activities.

    This does not take account of the various USA State Governments’ expenditures, nor the expenditures of local counties (all of which seem to require at least the equivalent of one or two person years p.a. from their combined workforce, when they don’t directly employ personnel dedicated to ameliorating climate change).

    Now, this is just in the USA. Let’s say that, conservatively, including all of the other countries and the US State and county employees, we’re spending between 500,000 and 800,000 full-time jobs p.a. world-wide on climate change change.

    That’s a lot of people and a lot of loot, Gary. If this field is not awash with money, pray tell, what field is?

  257. L Nettles
    Posted Feb 7, 2007 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

    re 252 and 253

    Are you prepared to have much more funding go into science to pay for all your requirements for climate science?

    It would be the height of foolishness to spend Hundreds of Billions of Dollars on attempts to modify the climate without validating the science in the manner suggested

  258. Michael J
    Posted Feb 7, 2007 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

    #255 Perhaps some cost control and emphasis on real, verifiable, problems would help the budgeting situation?

  259. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 7, 2007 at 5:39 PM | Permalink

    Re: 257

    You made some simple math errors – but they aren’t particularly important. My point is that as someone who’s actually doing climate science, I just don’t see how someone else can claim that the field is “awash with money”. One need not posit some made-up numbers to see where the money is going – if you’ll read the White House and GAO reports carefully, a lot of the money is going to “technology”, not “science” – and of that, some of what is called “climate science” isn’t really.

    And as for this comment:

    “If this field is not awash with money, pray tell, what field is?”

    Look into no-contest Halliburton contracts.

  260. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 7, 2007 at 5:40 PM | Permalink

    Re: 258

    “It would be the height of foolishness to spend Hundreds of Billions of Dollars on attempts to modify the climate without validating the science in the manner suggested.”

    It’s also not practical to engage in all those activities, from my perspective, at the current funding level.

  261. David Smith
    Posted Feb 7, 2007 at 7:02 PM | Permalink

    Silencing the oppostion…

    Story 1

    Story 2

  262. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Feb 7, 2007 at 11:05 PM | Permalink

    #260,

    You know a person has nothing left to offer when has to resort to using Haliburton, Dick Cheney, big oil, or Nazis/Hitler in their post.

  263. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Feb 7, 2007 at 11:17 PM | Permalink

    Is this enough money? Global warming ethics, pork and profits

    “In accusing ExxonMobil of giving “more than $19 million since the late 1990s” to public policy institutes that promote climate holocaust “denial,” Senate Inquisitors Olympia Snowe and Jay Rockefeller slandered both the donor and recipients. Moreover, this is less than half of what Pew Charitable Trusts and allied foundations contributed to the Pew Center on Climate Change alone over the same period. It’s a pittance compared to what US environmental groups spent propagating climate chaos scare stories.

    It amounts to 30 cents for every $1,000 that the US, EU and UN spent since 1993 (some $80 billion all together) on global warming catastrophe research. And it ignores the fact that the Exxon grants also supported malaria control, Third World economic development and many other efforts.”

    80 Billion over 13 years. That’s a lot of money.

  264. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Feb 7, 2007 at 11:41 PM | Permalink

    re: #260

    Look into no-contest Halliburton contracts.

    This sort of contract isn’t a gravy train. What we have are time and material jobs where a client can call you out on short notice and you need to have the personnel and material available to do the work. Plus you have to provide paperwork showing what you did and signed off by the client personnel in the field.

    I used to work for a service organization which worked at power plants. We had some blanket contracts with particular utilities and while an individual job was no-bid, the overall blanket contract had to be bid and we had to carefully sharpen our pencils to make sure we could underbid our competitors and still allow for making a profit.

    And in any such contract there will be times when the client disagrees with your billing and you have to either prove to their satisfaction that you did what you said you did and that it’s charged in accordance with the contract and that any changes in the field was signed off on, etc. And sure, for a really big outfit like Halliburton, there will be some cases of fraud. If it’s too common the company risks losing the contract or even being sued, so it’s generally rare. I doubt seriously that Halliburton is particularly a bad apple. More likely politicians who want to make names for themselves blow simple contract disputes into claimed fraud.

  265. Mr. welikerocks
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 12:01 AM | Permalink

    #265
    I agree.

    Here is something worthy of some thought. Record cold temps in Cambodia. See This

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0206/p04s01-woap.html

    I am sure some warmer will find a way to blame humanity for this one as well.

  266. Consense
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 3:16 AM | Permalink

    Study shows largest North America climate change in 65 million years

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. ‘€” The largest climate change in central North America since the age of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, a temperature drop of nearly 15 degrees Fahrenheit, is documented within the fossilized teeth of horses and other plant-eating mammals, a new study reveals.

    The overwhelming majority of previous climate-change studies on the 400,000-year transition from the Eocene to the Oligocene epochs, about 33.5 million years ago, focus on marine environments, but University of Florida vertebrate paleontologist Bruce MacFadden and his colleagues turned their attention to fossils from the Great Plains.

    The study will be published online Feb. 7 in the journal Nature and will appear in the Feb. 8 print edition.

  267. Bim Jarrett
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 5:21 AM | Permalink

    Over the last few days, all my posts have been deleted. Have I been banned?

  268. Consense
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 5:41 AM | Permalink

    Today at 10 am ET on C-SPAN3

    Susan Solomon explains the findings of a recently issued Climate Change report. The co-chairwoman of the Intergovern-mental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Working Group 1, Ms. Solomon appears with other report authors before the House Science and Technology Committee.

  269. Hans Erren
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 6:25 AM | Permalink

    re 268
    Spam karma doesn’t like negative waves.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065938/quotes

  270. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 7:06 AM | Permalink

    re: #269

    Didn’t you mean “More likely contrarians who want to make names for themselves blow simple scientific disputes into claimed fraud.”?

    Begone, foul troll!

  271. Nordic
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    RE:268 Bim. More likely they got lost in all the technical difficulties. My last couple of posts got lost including one that elicited a truly amusing response from you. They were both up for a while but dissapeared with the transition. Too bad really.

  272. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 10:40 AM | Permalink

    Re: 263

    Compared to the 800-lb fiscal gorilla in the room, climate science is incredibly cheap. You’re arguing about relative pennies…

  273. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

    #274,

    Compared to the cost of impplementing Kyoto and even more drastic policies to prevent something that we can’t prove is occuring and can’t prove will change anything, I agree.

  274. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    Anyone read Roger Pielke’s Climate Science Blog today? Getting back to what it used to be.

    You may or may not agree with the solar radiation theory, but I find it intriguing, having read a few other papers on the subject as well.

  275. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

    Re: 275

    One of the funny things about contrarians is that they heavily use econometric models to describe the cost of mitigation schemes, yet those models themselves are a mess compared to climate models. Seems to me a certain level of bias in choosing which kinds of models are acceptable and which are mere games or worthless junk is obvious.

  276. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    RE: #266 – That is remarkable. Normally the high country out east from Khao Yai (Thailand) keeps the colder air up to the north on the Issarn Plateau, where it can get down to around freezing during December and January. This is also a bit late in the season for this, normally by now you are already seeing hints of the Hot Season (e.g. sun angle increasing but before clouds and rains from the monsoon, late Feb – late April). I bet they are below freezing in the valley north of Khao Yai and in many locations in Issarn. Probably a dusting of snow in Northern Thai mountains and ones in central Burma, northern Burma probably skiable (a whole other story behind that …. for another day …. )

  277. Reid
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    Speaking of global warming…

    http://powerlineblog.com/archives/016725.php

  278. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

    RE: #267 – Heck, maybe Whitley Strieber is right. Maybe global superstorms do happen once in a while. Brrrrrrr …

  279. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

    Re: #277

    One of the funny things about contrarians is that they heavily use econometric models to describe the cost of mitigation schemes, yet those models themselves are a mess compared to climate models. Seems to me a certain level of bias in choosing which kinds of models are acceptable and which are mere games or worthless junk is obvious.

    GS, I would hope that contrarians and skeptics would be just as skeptical of econometric models as climate models and I think they are for the most part — for the true skeptics, that is. Most of the problems with econometric and climate models come from the assumptions of ideal interactions and approximations that must be made of the real world interactions. I think when combining the econometric models and climate models for constructing future scenarios we have something that will tell us with huge error brackets that this or that will happen in 30, 50, 100 or 200 years if all these assumed actions/conditions occur. The problem I have with that is that I know inputs for years into the future are dynamical and interactive to degrees not comprehensible by these models. I also know that inputs for political solutions are almost always idealized and forget that much will done based not on facts or conditions but on politics.

    For econometric models, a major advantage is being more transparent as to input and assumptions and the apparent greater attention of the users to the statistical repercussions from over fitting. Perhaps you can give your personal views on these differences (not confined wholly to links).

  280. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 12:52 PM | Permalink

    Re: 281

    Are you just trying to get me to slam Jones for not being transparent enough with his work?

  281. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    Re: 282

    Are you just trying to get me to slam Jones for not being transparent enough with his work?

    Not at all. I thought my comments were clear in that I was comparing climate models with econometric models. I would not continue to ask a question of you that you have clearly demonstrated, at least to me, where you stand. In addition your stand on Jones has little consequence to me or the my discussions here as I selfishing only look to someone such as yourself to provide me with insights into climate models.

  282. ET SidViscous
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

    Can I ask a math question here. Discusion on another forum and I think the problem is more one of grammar from my research.

    Should be simple but doesn’t seem to be for some reason.

    Concerns the ambiguous terms “X times more than” and “X times less than”.

    If I have $500 dollars and you have

    5 times more than me

    And

    5 times less than me

    how much do you have in each example.

    In addition, is 1/5 equal to 5 times less than.

  283. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

    #284

    Never was a math fanatic and who knows if this is correct but…

    The use of the terms “more” and “less” are ambiguous at best. You should just say 5 times what I have or 1/5 what I have.

    In that case, 5 times what you have would be 500 x 5, or 2500. Conversely, it would be 1/5 what you have or 500 / 5.

    Otherwise, since since 100% is one time, 5 times more would be a 500% increase or 6 times, such that 6 x 500 = 3000. 5 times less would be 500 / 6 or 83.3333333.

    So 1/5 would not be 5 times less. 1/5 would be 1/5 and 5 times less would be 1/6.

    If I got this totally wrong, my apologies and I won’t attempt any more math problems :)

  284. Boris
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

    262:, Re: story 1

    Whenever someone says “natural cycles” are to blame for the recent warming, why do I picture Doug Henning?

  285. george h.
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

    Re #277,281

    Any model, for it to be of value, needs to tested for its validity, either vs other proven tools or preferably vs real-world observations. Economic models are no different in this respect from models which attempt to predict climate change. Many econometric models have been tested and validated, others not. A good example of a simple, successful economic model is the Black-Scholes option pricing model which accurately and reliably predicts the prices of options in an efficient market. My impression of the GCMs, in contrast, is that they have been enormously unsuccessful at predicting anything to do with climate prospectively and only retroactively with lots of backfitting and fudging. We should be suspicious of any model, climate or economic or whatever, if it can’t be validated. Of course, witholding of data or computer code, alarmism, attempts to silence critics only add to the suspicions of many skeptics that there is more than honest science at work here.

    I think Richard Feynman might as well have been talking about some climate scientists when he wrote the following:

    “… Now it behooves me, of course, to tell you what they’re missing. … It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty–a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid–not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked–to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.”

    “… In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.”

  286. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 5:40 PM | Permalink

    Re: 287

    “We should be suspicious of any model, climate or economic or whatever, if it can’t be validated.”

    What are your requirements for a “validated” climate model?

  287. Steve B
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

    I’m looking for some low tech CO2 experiments. I devised one with two 500 watt halgon lamps, three digital stick thermometers, 2-120oz air tight jars and Alka-Seltzer. There was no differance bewteen the the control jar and the jar with elevated CO2 in it. The only thing I may have done wrong— I didn’t have computer. Steve B

  288. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

    Just finished

    “Unstoppable Global Warming” by S.Fred Singer & Dennis T. Avery.

    Thoroughly recomended to all who contribute here, whatever your beliefs. A good read, and if you don’t accept the 1500yr. cycle hypothesis you can have a great time picking holes in it.
    No, I’m not on commission.

  289. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

    re 289

    Ah, but you have to wait for 100yrs, until there’s nobody left to take the blame. And you need thermometers that measure ‘anomalies’, not degrees C or K. But most of all, you have to figure out beforehand what result you want.

    Bet you had fun, though.

  290. Steve Reynolds
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    Re 289:

    If the jars are glass, that would be a problem. Glass is not transparent to long wave IR.

    Even if you use a silicon or other IR window, the effect is pretty small.

  291. John Baltutis
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 7:45 PM | Permalink

    Re: #284

    Keeping it simple and assuming you have $500.

    If I have the same as you, we both have $500. I have nothing more (zero times more) than what you have; i.e., I have 0% more than you.

    If I have two times more than you, I have $1000, which is twice what you have, but only 100% more.

    If I have three times more than you, I have $1500, which is triple what you have, but only 200% more.

    The same analogies work with respect to how much less I have than what you have.

    If I have 1/5 of what you have, then I have $100, which is 20% of what you have. Conversely, you have five times as much as I have, but only 400% more.

    Confusion arises when one is trying to compare percentages over with how many times more than. That is: 100% more is 1 more but 2 times more (double). However, how many times less is consistent: 50% less is 1/2 less.

  292. ET SidViscous
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

    Can I ask why with “5 times less” It becomes a fraction. Why is it not 500% less?

    I agree that that $500 is 5 times more than $100 but wouldn’t -$400 be 5 times less?

  293. george h.
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

    re #288

    Validation of climate models? How about the ability to make accurate, statistically valid predictions. Hint: A vote of the congregation saying “We are 95% sure that man is responsible” does not count.

  294. Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

    #289

    There will be no difference — see http://www.ianschumacher.com/index.html

    The greenhouse effect cannot create temperatures higher than that of a similar black body in the same environment. The greenhouse effect merely acts to increase ‘effective’ absorptivity. The maximum absorptivity is one — a black body. A similar experiment to yours was done by R.W. Wood (http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/wood_rw.1909.html) with the same result. Once he reached saturation (near black body absorptivity) there is no difference and can be no difference.

  295. Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

    Sorry, that link should be — http://www.ianschumacher.com/gwc.html

  296. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

    #294,

    Look at it from the reverse. Assume I have 83.33333 dollars and you have 5 times more. Since 100% = 1 time, 5 times more would be 500% increase, or 6 times what you have. 6 times 83.3333 = 499.99998 (it’s approximate based on the number of decimal places), so really you would have $500 after rounding.

    This assumes that my inital calculations were correct of course.

  297. ET SidViscous
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 8:45 PM | Permalink

    While I agree there is some ambiguity if 5 times more is 500% of %500 more ($500+(5*$500)) or (5*$500), my larger concern is in the less than portion.

    Why is 5X more 500% (regardless of how you apply it) but 5 Times less is 1/5. Shouldn’t 5 times less be 500% less.

  298. Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 8:48 PM | Permalink

    #289
    If you have a writeup of your experiment with maybe some pictures, I would love to put a link to it on my site (or host it if you like).

    Cheers,

    Ian — ian.schumacher[at]gmail.com

  299. ET SidViscous
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

    Sorry typo should be.

    “While I agree there is some ambiguity if 5 times more is 500% or X + 500% more”

  300. David Smith
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 9:20 PM | Permalink

    RE #297 Interesting website, Ian. You’ve given me something to ponder.

  301. John Baltutis
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 9:32 PM | Permalink

    Re: #294

    Because, 500% less is meaningless in this context. 500% of something is the thing plus four more of the thing. A thing less 100% of the thing is zero, zero less X% of the thing is still zero, no matter how large X is.

    In other words, 500% less of a thing doesn’t mean anything’€”there are no minus things. All you can do is take things away from other things. If you have five apples, you can’t give away seven of them. Conceptually, there are negative numbers, but there aren’t negative apples. Thus, there are no negative percentages, per se.

  302. jae
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 9:33 PM | Permalink

    A new paper in Science regarding negative feedbacks from dimethylsulfide. Surprised Science published it, since it is not “PC.”

  303. ET SidViscous
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 11:05 PM | Permalink

    RE:303

    While I agree you can’t have negative things, you can have negative money. Just ask my mortgage company.

    Regardless, my original point elsewhere, not eludicated here, was that a reporters comment of “a billion times less than the temperature between the stars” and 100 trillion times less than ambient air pressure were ludicrous. In this context it does not work, but only if 5 times less than X is 500% less. I do not understand the usage of “5 times less than” in place of one fifth (1/5).

    The 5 times more than and 5 times less than came from a simplification of the original statement, and the confusion the large numbers were creating.

    I can understand your point that 5 times less than (meaning 500% less), in the context of real objects does not work, though with money, since negative money is a familiar and recognized concept, it works fine. What I don’t understand is why in the simple statement if we go less than we go from the whole numbers to fractions of.

    Original article for those who may have any interest.

    http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2001/01.24/01-stoplight.html

    “They did it by passing a beam of light through a small cloud of atoms cooled to temperatures a billion times colder than those in the spaces between stars. The atom cloud was suspended magnetically in a chamber pumped down to a vacuum 100 trillion times lower than the pressure of air in the room where you are reading this.”

  304. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 11:35 PM | Permalink

    re: #305, etc.

    I think the real problem is semantic rather than mathematical. We all agree that 500 is 500% of 100. So what most people do as a way of way of coping with the problems we’re discussing is use “less” and “more” or “Hotter” & “Colder” as direction indicators. Thus if something is 500% less than 500 they mean 100 since 500% of 100 (i.e. 500% more), is 500. So if something is a billion times colder than 300 deg K, it means that temperature that if you multiply it by 10^9 would yield 300 deg K, i.e. 3.0 x 10^-7 deg K. Yes it sounds strange to the scientific ear, but linguistically it works fine.

  305. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 11:39 PM | Permalink

    #305,

    As I said, I may be totally wrong about it and am more than willing to accept that fact. My going to a fraction is explained in this way. If I have 5 times less than you do, and you have 500, then I must have something, not a negative value. For example, if I have 1 times less than you, then I would have 250, since the 500 amount is based on what I have (1 times less, or 500 / 2). If I have 5 times less, then I would have 83.3333, or 500 / 6.

    Frankly, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but I can’t figure it out any other way. That’s why I said in teh original reply that the “more” and “less” were ambiguous. Maybe the less isn’t as ambiguous as the more, which to me is interpreted as the starting value + x times the starting value. I assume (probably a bad thing), that the “less” is handled the same way. However, in the context of the article, I think they don’t mean what I said in my reply. It seems as though they mean if it’s zero degrees in space, they cooled it to -1,000,000 degrees (made up numbers of course). Sorry for any confusion I may have created. Where are our math geniuses when you need them.

  306. ET SidViscous
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 12:15 AM | Permalink

    Dave

    I agree that the problem is semantic, and my original comment elsewhere is that the language was wrong. I’m sorry I can’t agree that the description is derived from the answer. If I were to ask you to calculate 5 times less than 300K, you would have to first calcualte the answer, before knowing the untis you would need to calcualte. I think that linguistically what should have been said was 3-5 degrees less than temperature between the stars.

    John,

    your confusion is exactly my problem with the originall article.

    The proper terminology in my opinon should have been (not knowing the actual final values) One billionth and 100 trillionth.

    As an exercise. what is 100 trillion times less than 14 psi(estimated ambient pressure).

    For your edification. My original statement was towards the poor reporting of science by reporters.

  307. Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 6:05 AM | Permalink

    re: 304

    This will come as no surprise to those who read para 4 of the global warming part of my website. These chaps have a Nobel in their grasp — they have the mathematical equipment and the research facilities to examine the oil spill record of WWII, work out the relative power of DMS and oil spill feedbacks, and reveal the entire process with, and this is the important bit, numbers.

    I hope they invite me along to the ceremony.

    JF
    BTW, does anyone have practical experience of stilling wells?

  308. Boris
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 8:00 AM | Permalink

    298:

    I think you’re importing an imperfection in the language. “5 time more than X” is the same in common usage as “5 times X.”

    The “more” is a redundancy. It’s kind of like double negatives. In math, they cancel out, but in language they are used for emphasis.

  309. Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 8:16 AM | Permalink

    Re 307: This “x times less” and “x times more” comes up on blogs and forums all the time. The first style rule should be: Don’t use these expressions if you need to avoid ambiguity. People disagree about what they mean, plus some people get irritated if your idea of what it means conflicts with theirs. So, find another way to describe what you mean.

    I agree with Dave’s interpretation of the phrase. It’s an idiom and this is what people who actually use the expression generally mean:

    10 times more means: if X = 1, then “ten times more than X” is X = 10; people usually don’t mean X=11. (Do not try to make sense of this using math. People never say “2 is 1 times more than 1″; they say “2 is two times more than 1″. )

    10 times less means: if X=1 then “ten times less than X” is X=1/10. They don’t mean X=-9; they also don’t mean X=1/11. I’ve seen decent mathematical arguments based on the meaning of “times” and “less” advanced for both X=-9 and X=1/11. That’s irrelevant. Nearly everyone who actually uses this expression means X=1/10.

  310. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 9:05 AM | Permalink

    #311,

    I agree it’s ambiguous at best and confusing at worst. The funniest part is that part of my original answer cme from a “Math tests for jounalists” quiz. The specifically said you should avoid words like more and less because of the ambiguity.

  311. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    Re: 295

    “Validation of climate models? How about the ability to make accurate, statistically valid predictions.”

    What do “accurate”, “statistically valid” and “predictions” mean in this context? For example, should we expect a GCM to hindcast Katrina?

  312. jae
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 10:40 AM | Permalink

    Better go with the consensus, or your job may be in jeopardy. Maybe this is the reason more climate scientists are keeping their beliefs to themselves.

  313. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    RE: #304 – I lived for the better part of the 1980s near the Ventura – Santa Barbara county line, at the Western exurban Southland / exurban edge. There are natural oil and natural gas seeps all over the place around there and H2S is in the air. It’s funny, I always sort of associated smelling the H2S smell with cool, slightly breezy, heavy marine layer, stratus / fog types of conditions. This is a fascinating paper.

  314. beng
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    RE 296

    Ian, you’ve commented here before, and your thoughts are interesting.

    When looking at the polar ice-cores, one thing that stands out is the climate looks like a “heat engine” w/distinct, relatively stable upper & lower bounds, and rather wildly varying between the bounds. This indicates that a strong, positive feedback exists in both temp directions in the area between the bounds, but that the feedback in the temp trend direction decreases to near zero at the temperature bounds (the feedback in the opposite direction remains available).One could reasonably assume that the glacial albedo feedbacks are these feedbacks. Since the large majority of glaciers have disappeared since the LGM (~20 kyra), and the remaining glaciers on Greenland & Anarctica are thick, at high latitudes/elevations & resistant to change, the positive feedback from melting glaciers is much less now than during the beginning of the interglacial, and hence our relatively steady Holocene temps. Keep in mind that positive feedbacks for lowering temps (growing glaciers) are still available — these are the steep dropoffs at the beginning of new glacial periods. I think it’s possible that the height of the LIA (1850ish?) was close to the point of allowing persistance of snowfields in northern, arctic Quebec thru the summer if it had continued much longer (& signified the first “cough” of an interglacial teetering on the edge of ending), but that’s just my speculation. But it isn’t speculation that this was the coldest period since the Holocene Thermal Max. The next “LIA” might tell, but prb’ly won’t be in my lifetime. :)

    One semantic point — I wouldn’t describe the variability as a runaway “greenhouse” effect — rather a runaway “ice/albedo” effect. Of course, this is caused by a form of water, but not vapor in the atmosphere, so it really isn’t a GHG effect. If fact, GHG “forcing” seems to be a relatively minor player in this scenario, esp CO2, which is just a tag-along effect w/some minor positive forcing to a certain limit (the biggest CO2 GHG effect coming from the first 100 ppm).

    Your simplified radiational model is useful, tho incomplete. The real earth’s radiational “surface” would be more like variable-diameter, spherically concentric “shells” of atmosphere (I’m assuming most of these surfaces would reside around the height of the tropopause?), each radiating out to space at different IR wavelengths dependent on their temps & emitting molecules. But I believe Nir J. Shaviv (his papers referred to alot here at CA) wrote that the earth did act very similarly to a perfect blackbody.

  315. Joe B
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    Well, today’s Boston Globe has a piece comparing AGW alarmism skeptics to Holocaust deniers.

    This is totally inappropriate in my opinion.

    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2007/02/09/no_change_in_political_climate/?p1=MEWell_Pos1

  316. ET SidViscous
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

    “Nearly everyone who actually uses this expression means X=1/10.”

    So we’re going with the consensus are we?

    Kidding. I won’t argue with how you’ve put it, and that is basically what we came up with on the other forum. Regardless of whether he is mathematically or linguistically wrong, he’s still wrong. And while number like 5 times more and 5 times less are bad enough, I think 100 trillion times less than ambient pressure is still a ludicrous statement.

    Thanks all

  317. Roger Dueck
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    #317
    This is an astonishing piece of political alarmism! No reason to look at facts. I’ve been told (sic!) what they are.

  318. Ian
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

    #316
    Beng,

    Completely agree with all of your points. Really the runaway effect is albedo related not GHG (which have a small contributing effect, but minor compared to albedo). My simplified model is definitely too simply and does not give the right answer but is ‘close’. The main point though is the obvious ‘clipping’ of temperature that occurs. Anyone with a electronics or signal processing background can see this in the earth’s temperature history. There is an obvious and sudden clipping at the same temperature range over and over, which would seem to be best explained by assuming strong positive feedback forcing the system to saturation.

    Look at the amazing stability of the current inter-glacial. Temperatures remaining within a very small range (compared to glacial periods and transition periods) — amazingly stable for such a chaotic system. The reason is saturation. There is strong positive feedbacks in the system, very strong, but we are at saturation already.

    cheers,

    Ian

  319. MarkW
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

    Gary,

    How about a GCM that is able to accurately hindcast temperature and cloud cover distribution over most of the earth?

  320. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

    Re: #313

    What do “accurate”, “statistically valid” and “predictions” mean in this context? For example, should we expect a GCM to hindcast Katrina?

    GS, it would appear that you have gone into question mode in this thread, but could you give your view of the methodology used to statistically validate a climate model. Also could you comment on the range of results that are reported for the various scenarios in the climate model temperature anomalies in the IPCC summary and what they mean or represent to you.

    To answer your questions about predicting Katrina, I would give you a definite and emphatic, no. Katrina was handled as a weather as opposed to a climate event that was initially classified as a Level 4 or 5 hurricane at land fall that now has been downgraded to a level 3. Any hindcasting would have to come from a weather model. Obviously the people of New Orleans had little faith in the predictions hours before landfall as they did little or nothing. The New Orleans (as opposed to what happened in Mississippi) damage was more related in the end to the failure of the US Army Core of Engineers to properly build levees and have them maintained. I would assume that the building of the levees used modeling for safety concerns but that more likely the errors derived from human (and bureaucratic/political) sources.

    I think we have a good example here of the inputs that are most important when it comes to dealing with weather or climate events and they are the abilities (and inabilities) of man to adapt.

    Your turn.

  321. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    Re: 321

    “How about a GCM that is able to accurately hindcast temperature and cloud cover distribution over most of the earth?”

    At what time (seasonal, monthly, daily, hourly?) and geographic (globe, hemisphere, continent, state, county, city, block?) resolution?

  322. MarkW
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

    Gary,

    Yes.

  323. James Erlandson
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    From Science:
    “Using satellite-derived surface elevation and velocity data, we find major short-term variations in recent ice discharge and mass-loss at two of Greenland’s largest outlet glaciers.”
    From the New York Times:
    “Greenland isn’t melting as fast as we feared.”

  324. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

    Re: 324

    So, a validated climate model should tell you “correctly” what the temperature will be at your house at 1pm on 14 Feb 2050? Wow.

    What about the salinity at a depth of 1200m at 135W, 40S?

  325. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

    RE: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/arctic.jpg

    A boringly normal set of cryosphere conditions for this time of year. Even Europe has gotten some snow (note, it is rare for large sections of Western European lowlands to have snow cover, so even this patcy situation there is boringly normal).

    Depending on how much faith you have in the current ways of measuring ice extent and in what constitutes the apparent baseline, there is very little change in the anomaly, as it contiues to wiggle within the range of a few hundred thousand Km^2. When one sees the anomaly steady like this, once must seriously wonder about the veracity of the baseline it is being measured against. If an “anomaly” never really changes much, it’s not really an anomaly, is it?

  326. JScott
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

    Gary,

    What’s your definition of a valid climate model? Just curious.

  327. JScott
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

    http://nsidc.org/sotc/glacier_balance.html

    World Glacier Inventory contains information for over 67,000 glaciers through out the world. Parameters within the inventory include geographic location, area, length, orientation, elevation,and classification of morphological type and moraines. The inventory entries are based upon a single observation in time and can be viewed as a ‘snapshot’ of the glacier at this time.

    At one time or another, researchers have measured mass balance on more than 300 glaciers since 1946, although we only have a continuous record from about 40 glaciers since the early 1960s. These results indicate that in most regions of the world, glaciers are shrinking in mass.

    How can this adequately be characterized as most glaciers are retreating, with continous records of only 40 glaciers and there are 160,000 glaciers worldwide.

  328. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

    NSIDC purports to be a science org but most of their cryo “science” is screaming hysteria. Even their Arctic ice extent numbers are “sexed up” to make extent look less than it really is (their tricks are an underreporting algorithm and consistently late reporting during the ice growth season). What a joke. (Of course, this is the only ice extent site used by Steve Bloom – telling). If that is any indication, then no surprise they are hysterical regarding glaciers as well.

  329. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    So, a validated climate model should tell you “correctly” what the temperature will be at your house at 1pm on 14 Feb 2050? Wow.

    What about the salinity at a depth of 1200m at 135W, 40S?

    A great example of a straw man.

    Nobody is asking for such a result. They fail to predict global yearly _average_ past temperatures, which is what has often been pointed out in model discussions, so the term “correctly” should obviously apply to the same. The straw man accusation applies because you’ve set up an argument that is obviously easy to defeat, as no climate model could ever be expected to predict with such a resolution.

    Mark

  330. Hans Erren
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    I expect a climate model to hindcast properly, which means that the ensemble mean of a lot of runs would encompass the observations, like this example

  331. Hans Erren
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 4:11 PM | Permalink
  332. george h.
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 6:19 PM | Permalink

    GS
    A comparison of climate model predictions vs. actual observations is here: http://www.warwickhughes.com/hoyt/scorecard.htm

    It speaks volumes about GCM predictive validity to me. In some cases it appears that the models are wrong with regard to both magnitude and sign on some variables which have been deemed rather important in making the case for AGW, among these: feedbacks, tropospheric temperature trends and, of course, ocean heat content which Hansen claimed in 2004 was the “smoking gun” for global warming. Oops. That’s a pretty big miss don’t you think. Perhaps your models are better. Please tell us why we should trust the IPCC models and how they have been validated. Thanks.

  333. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

    GS, you seem very hestitant about answering most questions put to you. I think the ones I have recently asked would be appropriate to ask someone with your background. Makes me wonder from where you are coming. Certainly I think I know when a conversation is going nowhere — and this was is going there fast.

  334. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 10:32 PM | Permalink

    George h, your link in #334 didn’t work. Is there a better link?

    w.

  335. bender
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 10:37 PM | Permalink

    Anything else to say on #316, #320?
    (These are weighty statements for an ‘unthreaded’ thread.)

  336. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 10:49 PM | Permalink

    #337y, bender, nice to hear from you. HAve you been sulking since the Super Bowl?

    (I’m smarting from a loss in our club ProAm doubles on Wednesday. It’s a wonderful tournnament. If we’d won, we’d have played Jonathon Power and his partner in the next round, who has graced our ProAm by playing in it. The teams are balanced so Power has a weak partner.)

  337. george h.
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 10:52 PM | Permalink

    Willis,

    Sorry. Try this: http://www.warwickhughes.com/hoyt/scorecard.htm

    GH

  338. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 10:53 PM | Permalink

    #316, 320. HAve you looked at (google) Jon Pelletier’s thoughts on this? They’ve not attracted much interest, but he approaches the matter from a comparison to an electronics substrate.

  339. Mr. welikerocks
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 2:12 AM | Permalink

    #320,

    I humbly disagree with you model and your findings. The Holocene climate has been anything but stable. Just a geologists take.

  340. bender
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 2:44 AM | Permalink

    #341
    By “stable” I think they mean “bi-stable”. i.e. I think they are speaking in terms of dynamics, not numerics/statistics.

    #340
    In a word, yes. Afraid of the hit to my credibility, having picked Grossman to show up on game day.

  341. James Erlandson
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 5:38 AM | Permalink

    Re 317 and Ellen Goodman’s piece in the Boston Globe:
    From the James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal:

    There’s an enormous difference between doubting an outlandish prediction (even one that comes true) and denying the grotesque facts of history. Because we are ignorant of the future, we can innocently misjudge it. Holocaust deniers are neither ignorant nor innocent (though extremely ignorant people may innocently accept their claims). They are falsifying history for evil purposes.

  342. TAC
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 6:50 AM | Permalink

    #317 Labeling “skeptics” as “deniers” amounts to little more than tired and transparent rhetoricfallacy of extention (aka “strawman”). By the way, the linked document notes that:

    On the Internet, it is common to exaggerate the opponent’s position so that a comparison can be made between the opponent and Hitler.

    ;-)

  343. James Erlandson
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 7:06 AM | Permalink

    Re 344:
    Godwin’s Law — “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

  344. Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

    #341 Mr. welikerocks

    I think there is just confusion over terminology here. Stable may be the wrong word (it’s metastable however). What I mean is low variability (perhaps not the right statistical term either). We seem to be at one of the longest interglacial periods in measurable history and the temperatures within this period have had very low variability in comparison to glacial periods (i.e. it’s a very flat top relative to the glacial period preceding it — http://services.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/view/S2fqLEsOtha64-EgR_rLE2- )

    #337 bender

    I guess my main additional comment would be it seems that perhaps we have still not integrated Chaos theory into our mindset. It seems we have forgotten the lessons learned:

    – with regards to the two meta stable states of the earth, I do not understand why we think that a chaotic system with two attractors needs some factor to trigger it to move from one state to the other? Nothing is required for it to move from one state to the other. No trigger is necessary. This is the beauty of chaos — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenz_attractor

    – modeling a chaotic system at ever finer and finer resolution is a fools game. Again we seem to have learned nothing from Lorenz who discovered that exponential sensitivity to initial conditions made such an exercise futile for long-term predictions. When you model chaos you can only hope to capture its general behavior, not any specific outcomes.

    – using supercomputers to model the infinite ‘trees’ can prevent one from seeing the much simpler general behavior of the ‘forest’ i.e. perhaps we should focus on the solution to the faint young sun paradox, the reasons that we are not trapped in a snowball Earth (which theoretically we should be), an understanding of the dynamics of the earth that gives us the two metastable states and other MAJOR climate theory problems before we pretend that we can model climate in its infinitesimal detail ;-)

    I know the allure of the supercomputer, but I also know the rewards of capturing behavior rather than details. Probably in a more sane environment this would be the case, but at the moment the false prophets with their computer gods seem to have won the faith of the public.

    I guess this was a bit of a rant, but hopefully of some interest to some.

    cheers,

    Ian

  345. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    I know that it’s only weather, but upstate New York, about which we hear lots in Toronto, , is reeling under 3 meters of snow. URL Toronto is cold but doesn’t have much snow (it doesn’t usually get that much snow).

  346. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

    Re #347 – It was on CTV this morning. Similar to a few years ago when Buffalo got dumped on with a persistent westerly flow resulting from the Arctic vortex over the north.

  347. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

    Today’s National Post has an article on whether green has become a religion. There is more than one article including discussion on modelling errors being more of a problem than the uncertainty.

  348. beng
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    RE 341:

    Mr. Welikerocks, you have to admit a mile or two thick glacier over most of Canada & much of the northern US that disappears in a mere 10 kyrs is a much bigger change than anything during the Holocene. :) In this scenario, w/the interglacials having near-zero positive feedback in the “higher” temperature direction (saturated in electrical circuit terms), the climate stability is mostly controlled by solar direct & indirect effects, like the proposed cosmic-ray/cloud relationship & also simple Milankovitch orbital variations. No one is suggesting that Holocene changes are minor (LIA, MWP, Holocene Thermal Max, etc), but if you really want climate changes, wait for the next glacial period!

    When an interglacial reaches some low-temp “threshold” and more & more high-latitude (mostly NH) sites retain snow over the summer, the albedo effect (reflecting sunlight away all year) increases. That can cause a “runaway” effect away from upper temp bound. The also occurs in reverse during the change from maximum glacial coverage to interglacial, like ~20 kya.One can surmise the possible “triggers” for initiating the change from glacial-interglacial (& vise-versa), but I’d think solar direct or indirect effects are sufficent, plus (for the change from glacial to interglacial) perhaps some undefined very-long term feedback involving large ocean-current/wind changes.But that’s just my guess — solar direct/indirect alone might be able to start the glacial to interglacial change.

    Some interesting theories on ice-ages suggest the interglacial must warm to the point of the Arctic Ocean becoming mostly or at least partly ice-free even during the winter to begin the glacier-building process. Right now annual preciptation amounts in most of the arctic north are very low (5-10″). If the arctic ocean were ice-free, storm systems could tap this moisture source & produce much greater arctic snowfall & hence start glacier-building. But I’m not sure this theory is reasonable.

  349. Ron Cram
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

    Steve,

    I understand that correlation is not causation, but I was intrigued by the article Clouds cloud climate modelling: Caltech scientists seek answers in moonshine.

    If they archived their data and you or some posters here were interested, it might make an interesting thread. Or possibly you have already discussed it. It was published in June 2004, plenty of time to make the AR4.

  350. John Baltutis
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

    Re: #349

    Do you mean this one?

    http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=07407be3-1f9f-4f41-a16a-5a286a5b374c&k=53926

  351. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    Re: 334

    I didn’t see many references to models from after 2000 in that reference – comparing model results from the mid-1990s or so is badly outdated. One thing that stood out was the glacial retreat numbers – I don’t see how one can slam climate models for not getting Montana glaciers right, when the gridscale doesn’t allow for that small an area.

    No-one is claiming climate models are perfect – but they’re not merely exercises in subsidy for “scientists”, nor are they “silly computer games” either.

  352. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    Re #352 That is the one.

  353. John Baltutis
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

    Re: #354

    Thanks

  354. jae
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 6:56 PM | Permalink

    351: Great link. I was intrigued by this paragraph:

    They found that the Earth’s reflectiveness, or the amount of cloud cover, declined steadily from 1985 to 1995, and fell even more dramatically between 1996 and 1997. This low albedo remained roughly constant until 2001. This same period saw a massive increase in solar heating of the planet and as a consequence, an accelerated increase in mean global temperatures.

    Gee, maybe the Sun caused the observed warming over the last two decades…

  355. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 9:05 PM | Permalink

    Re: 351 and 356

    Instead of relying on a newspaper account, why not use Google Scholar and dig out the refereed papers done on the topic?

    I’ve skimmed Palle’s work, and it’s interesting…

  356. Mr. welikerocks
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    #346,
    I don’t agree that we are in one of the longest interglacial periods on record. The dating techniques going back far enough to measure such things have margins of error on the order of hundreds to thousands of years. We don’t really know exactly how long the interglacial periods lasted. Just trying to keep everyone honest here.

  357. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    Re: 332

    Interestingly, if I trackback the URL of that plot, it appears to be from runs made with CSM 1.4 – a predecessor of CCSM3.

    Would you consider those runs, since they do meet your requirement of encompassing the obs, to be evidence for the validity of CSM1.4?

  358. David Smith
    Posted Feb 10, 2007 at 9:50 PM | Permalink

    Anyone here understand global sea level behavior well enough to explain the cyclic pattern shown in Figure 2 here ?

    Solar is not something I follow but I do wonder if the cycles are somehow connected to solar cycles.

    Thanks in advance for any information/opinion.

  359. ET SidViscous
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 12:25 AM | Permalink

    Depends on which when and wherefore one you use. But I dont seem to see a matching at first glance.

    Someone should scale it though.

    http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/245.htm

  360. Geoff
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 1:40 AM | Permalink

    There’s a new climate reconstruction just published in the Journal of Climate by Hegerl et al., “Detection of Human Influence on a New, Validated 1500-Year Temperature Reconstruction”.

    The abstract reads: “Climate records over the last millennium place the twentieth-century warming in a longer historical context. Reconstructions of millennial temperatures show a wide range of variability, raising questions about the reliability of currently available reconstruction techniques and the uniqueness of late-twentieth-century warming. A calibration method is suggested that avoids the loss of low-frequency variance. A new reconstruction using this method shows substantial variability over the last 1500 yr. This record is consistent with independent temperature change estimates from borehole geothermal records, compared over the same spatial and temporal domain. The record is also broadly consistent with other recent reconstructions that attempt to fully recover low-frequency climate variability in their central estimate.

    High variability in reconstructions does not hamper the detection of greenhouse gas’€”induced climate change, since a substantial fraction of the variance in these reconstructions from the beginning of the analysis in the late thirteenth century to the end of the records can be attributed to external forcing. Results from a detection and attribution analysis show that greenhouse warming is detectable in all analyzed high-variance reconstructions (with the possible exception of one ending in 1925), and that about a third of the warming in the first half of the twentieth century can be attributed to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The estimated magnitude of the anthropogenic signal is consistent with most of the warming in the second half of the twentieth century being anthropogenic”.

    The authors realize that past criticisms havng validity, but quote the literature quite selectively:

    “Concern about the reliability of reconstructions of past temperature arises from a climate model’€”based evaluation of one of the reconstruction methods (von Storch et al. 2004), which suggests that calibration methods that are based on ordinary least squares regression may fail to recover some of the low-frequency variance in the model’s true hemispheric temperature. However, the magnitude of the variance loss may be smaller than estimated by von Storch et al. (Mann et al. 2005; see also Wahl et al. 2006) and depends on the properties of the noise (von Storch et al. 2006).

    A further concern is that some tree-ring data, which dominate the input to most high-resolution surface proxy composites, may not adequately recover low-frequency centennial’€”millennial-scale variability unless standardized to preserve low-frequency information (Cook et al. 1995; Briffa et al. 2001; Esper et al. 2002). These concerns are emphasized by the discrepancy between most surface proxy reconstructions and Northern Hemispheric borehole composites (see Jones and Mann 2004). One exception involves a recent reconstruction that bases its low-frequency variability on lower-resolution sediment data from lake and ocean cores, and adjusts the variance to instrumental data during the calibration interval (Moberg et al. 2005)”.

    Their approach is described in a straightforward way:

    “Our new reconstruction of decadal Northern Hemispheric mean temperature is related to an earlier reconstruction based on a simple average approach (Crowley and Lowery 2000), but uses updated records, a modified reconstruction method, and a new calibration technique. The reconstruction consists of three individual segments. A baseline reconstruction uses 12 decadal records and covers the period to 1505. One longer, less densely sampled land temperature reconstruction, which we call CH-blend (long), is based on seven records back to a.d. 946, and CH-blend (Dark Ages) consists of five records back to a.d. 558. The three reconstructions are each based on equally long proxy records or regional proxy reconstructions based on multiple records that are distributed across the extratropical Northern Hemisphere (NH). Using only data covering the entire length of each individual reconstruction largely avoids inhomogeneity in the variability of reconstructions that arises due to changes in spatial sampling density over time (see Crowley and Lowery 2000).

    The details of construction of the proxy series are described in more detail than seems to have been common BMM (Before McIntyre and McKitrick):

    “We use decadal or decadally smoothed proxy records since information about low- frequency variability is crucial to separate natural climate variability from greenhouse warming, and because fewer records are needed to reliably sample decadal and hemispheric temperature variability (global decadal mean surface temperature is estimated to have effectively 8’€”16 spatial degrees of freedom, see Jones et al. 1997; Zwiers and Shen 1997). Since almost all long proxies are located in the mid- to high northern land areas, the reconstruction is calibrated to 30°’€”90°N temperature. A second version of the reconstruction is calibrated to land and ocean regions north of 30°N, which is used for the detection study (see below) and a study estimating climate sensitivity (Hegerl et al. 2006). The tree-ring data have mostly been processed in a manner that preserves low-frequency variance (Briffa et al. 2001; Esper et al. 2002; details are given in appendix A).

    The primary reconstruction for the time interval since 1505 is based on 12 well-spaced sites, some of which are area averages based on multiple records (Fig. 1 , for individual sites see appendix A). The first step of the reconstruction technique is to scale the individual proxy records to unit standard deviation, weigh them by their correlation with decadal NH 30°’€”90°N temperature (land or land and ocean, depending on the target of reconstruction) during the period 1880’€”1960, and then average them. This yields a unitless paleo time series pal(t) that shows high correlations with the instrumental data during the calibration period 1880’€”1960 (0.97 for land only and 0.92 for land and ocean temperatures, correlations become 0.82 for land and 0.75 for land and ocean after detrending)”.

    I won’t go into all the details, but the standard HS is evident again. It’s interesting that they have three appendices covering the details of the proxy sites (probably none of which will be surprising to Ca readers), another on estimations of uncertainty ranges, and a third on external radiative forcing of the past millennium.

    Should be interesting to study in more detail.

    Ref.: Gabriele C. Hegerl, Thomas J. Crowley, Myles Allen, William T. Hyde, Henry N. Pollack, Jason Smerdon, and Eduardo Zorita,
    “Detection of Human Influence on a New, Validated 1500-Year Temperature Reconstruction”, Journal of Climate, 2007, Vol. 20, No. 4, pages 650-666, abstract available
    here

  361. Gaudenz Mischol
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 3:30 AM | Permalink

    Global dimming and brightening

    I stumbled over two papers published last year
    Influence of cloud cover changes on solar dimming and brightening over Europe
    So cloud cover seems to get more attention (Swensmark may be rigth, also the mechanism is not yet clear)
    The second paper Decline of solar dimming reveals full extent of global warming focuses more on greenhouse effect and claims that this was masked in the 60’s to the 80’s by global dimming and shows now its full effect.
    Intersting to see the second author of the first paper (Wild) to come to different conclusions in his own paper, although the papers seem to be puplished in the same edition. I didn’t have access to the full papers so maybe the summary does not say everything.

    Is there a plausible explanation of global dimming and brightening? I only found some speculations of aerosol, pollution etc.
    Maybe it’s the clouds…

  362. Stan Palmer
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 3:41 AM | Permalink

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/02/09/climate.deep.freeze.reut/index.html

    More evidence of the global warming hysteria. Even the preservation of gnetic diversity is now cast in terms of global warming and the coming disaster

  363. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 4:41 AM | Permalink

    Geoff, thanks for the post about the “new paper”, “Detection of Human Influence on a New, Validated 1500-Year Temperature Reconstruction”. A pre-print version is available here. Unfortunately, this is just a reworking of the Hegerl Climate of the Past paper that was extensively discussed here on this site. From a quick read, it looks as though they have learned nothing from the peer review on the COP website … although at least they’re removed the libelous references to Steve M., but they’re still using most of the same proxies, bristlecones and all. What else. No mention of Monte Carlo techniques. Oh, and a new name, “CH-Blend” instead of “Union Reconstruction”.

    I gotta admit, though, I loved the title, it’s like something from a laundry soap advertisement … NEW! VALIDATED!

    They validated their reconstruction by, get this, you’ll probably think I’m kidding … comparing it with a climate model run for the last 1,500 years … NEW! VALIDATED!

    They used many of the same unarchived proxies including the Guliya series and the same old bristlecones from the “western US” series … although they did leave out the other bristlecones. … NEW! VALIDATED!

    They’ve still got the great citation style, vis: “Taimyr Peninsula: this is from Naurzbayev et al. (2002) by way of Esper.” By way of? … NEW! VALIDATED!

    Juckes, Moberg, Esper, and Osborn jumped off the sinking ship, Hegerl got promoted to Captain of the vessel, Crowley and Pollack joined the crew … NEW! VALIDATED!

    w.

    PS – I forgot to mention Mongolia, which wasn’t part of the Union Reconstruction, and is described as “Mongolia: this is from the D’Arrigo et al. (2001) study. However, the full composite illustrated in this paper is not available. We reconstructed the composite from nine records from tree ring sites sent to the NGDC sites. The early growth part of the treering series from overlapping records was removed without further removal of low-frequency variability.”

    PPS – Bonus Points: they managed to make it though the whole paper without mentioning the words “archived”, “a priori”, “chosen”, “selection”, or “criteria” even once … I guess that’s the NEW! VALIDATED! method to avoid getting busted for not following the rules you’ve established for having your proxies chosen on the basis of some a priori selection criteria …

  364. welikerocks
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

    #360 David,

    it says:

    “database has been developed for nine stations around the world including New York (1856’€”2003), Key West (1913’€”2003), San Diego (1906’€”2003), Balboa (1908’€”1996), Honolulu (1905’€”2003), Cascais (1882’€”1993), Newlyn (1915’€”2004), Trieste (1905’€”2004), and Auckland (1903’€”2000). These tide gauge stations (Figure 1) have long term data that have been carefully recorded relative to a consistent reference level on the nearby land. Holgate states “Hence the tide gauge data presented here is of the very highest quality available. All these records are almost continuous and are far away from regions with high rates of vertical land movement due to GIA or tectonics.”

    For one thing, I’d question the use of a tidal gauge at San Diego as “far away from regions with high rates of vertical land movement to GIA or tectontics” because there is a fault called The San Diego Trough just offshore link of map (red line near city offshore) There is subsidence there, and Balboa isn’t faultless either, at least I don’t think so. The Hawaiian Islands are sinking too, but very very slowly. Wonder if they take this into account-hard to tell from the wording.

  365. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 8:14 AM | Permalink

    re 346,358

    Unless I have seriously misunderstood something, surely we have a good idea of the length of interglacials ?

    Arctic and Antarctic ice cores all correspond well with the major Milankovich cycle of around 100,000 yrs. They show a fairly consistent cyclic sawtooth temperature profile, with slow, fairly steady cooling for 50,000 yrs down from a warm peak interglacial to the ‘ice age’ minimum, followed by a slow starting but rapidly increasing temperature back to the maximum interglacial again. (Superimposed on this, of course, the many other positive and negative forcings which complicate our efforts to understand). Exactly how much of this overall 50,000yr warming half-cycle you choose to call an ‘interglacial’ is a matter of semantics. Half? Two thirds? And how much of the cooling half-cycle? The published ice core data show the last temperature minima between 25,000 and 30,000 years ago, meaning we have 20,000 to 25,000 years to go to the next warm peak.

    Secondly, we can measure the eccentricity of Earth’s orbit as it varies from maximum to minimum, and, knowing our present eccentricity, estimate how far we are along the half-cycle from maximum to minimum. The problem here is that published data for maximum eccentricity varies from 0.05 to 0.07, and I have seen no data on whether the rate-of-change is linear or logarithmic. Using this spread, and the current eccentricity of 0.0167, and a linear rate-of-change, we have somewhere between 12,000 and 17,000 years to go before the next warm peak interglacial.

    Some might be disturbed by this wide range of estimates. Personally, in view of the overall length of the cycle, the difficulty of obtaining good data and the complexity of the system, I am surprised we can get so close after a relatively small amount of time spent on the problem. You have to admit that our perspective on our planet’s climate has changed enormously over the last fifty years.

  366. Michael Kozuch
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

    Gaudenz Mischol #363

    That first paper was very interesting. Thanks!

    I never thought about how cloud cover would explain Global Dimming. This makes me think that variances in cloud cover are an excellent explanation for the variances of temperatures on earth. It seems to fit most of the patterns that I see.

  367. welikerocks
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 8:30 AM | Permalink

    Peter LLyod,

    “our planet’s climate has changed enormously over the last fifty years” Compared to what? See that’s the problem right there. When you go back 1000s of years looking at geological data the resolution doesn’t show “50 year” snapshots of the climate. Doesn’t show 100 year snapshots of the climate either. Data, especially proxy cannot do that and is not that preciese going back in geological time. And add the fact the farther back in time you go looking at ice cores, bore holes, etc the resolution can be 1000s of years plus or minus the era or time period you want to look at. That is why this global warming stuff is so easily swallowed as “unprecidented” by folks. They do not understand this. 50 years of data is like having “0” data on the geological time scale too

  368. Chris H
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

    welikerocks,

    Peter Lloyd actually said “our perspective on our planet’s climate has changed enormously over the last fifty years.”

  369. welikerocks
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

    Peter Lloyd, I just realised I misunderstood your comment somewhat and then quoted you out of context a little bit there at the end in my comment. So, sorry. However, the point I made; do you see what I mean and what mr.welikerocks (my husband) said too? There is no way to know these things so exactly: snap shots of small time periods, like 100 yrs, 50 years, even 500 yrs the further you go back in time with geological data as some people think ie: longest interglacial period ever! Think about how the climate scientists, et al can’t even agree on the LIA and MWP.

  370. welikerocks
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

    ChrisH, thanks! I realized it too and we posted at the same time. :)

  371. David Smith
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    On a different note, the 2006-2007 El Nino is about gone, with the death blow coming over the next several weeks.

    The current anomaly map is given here . Double-click on the colored maps to see a closeup of actual temperature (top) and anomaly (bottom). The thick black line is zero anomaly, and an area of cooler-than-normal water is emerging in the middle of the slightly-warm water.

    Another interesting map can be found by double-clicking on the “Assorted Plots” button. The colored maps that then appear show temperatures below the surface. A region of anomalously cool water (associated with a wave along the thermocline) is mixing upwards, cooling the surface waters.

    The Warm Pool (left side of the map) also shows some relative coolness.

    Global weather patterns will move towards an ENSO-neutral state, though it often takes time for the atmosphere to “unwind” from an El Nino. The current computer models show northeastern Europe receiving some bitter cold air in a week or so, which would bring an end to their so-far nice winter.

    Regarding Toronto, the maps indicate another 10 days or so of below-freezing weather, which would run the consecutive-days count into the 30s. Not a record but maybe a top-5 finish.

  372. Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    #358
    My statement about this being the longest interglacial period (I think I hedged the words with measured or something like that) is just from memory of something I read. I didn’t mean it to be a point of contention as it has nothing to do with my core argument about saturation. I only mentioned it in that we have a nice long flat period in ‘recent history’ to look at ;-) That’s all.

    #367
    Peter, I agree with you and I believe that Milankovich cycles are the dominant force in moving the Earth from icehouse to greenhouse. However, the reason there is still controversy (from my understanding) is because these cycles do not always trigger a change and some changes occur out of synch? Thus, some people use this to claim that Milankovich cycles are not the dominant force. My personal feeling is that climate is a chaotic system and that Milankovich cycles have a strong influence in triggering a change, but they do not always trigger a change because the system is chaotic and occasionally it should be possible for a change to occur without any observable reason.

    Basically while many things will have a strong influence on climate, it’s chaotic nature may mean that some changes occur without any observable trigger. I don’t really hold us believe very strongly and could be easily convinced otherwise, it’s just my personal feeling at the moment.

    cheers,

    Ian

  373. David Smith
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

    Speaking of forecasts, the January forecast for early-summer (May-June-July)sea surface temperatures is given here . It shows strong warmth in the tropical Atlantic hurricane seedling region (near Africa), which would tend to support an active season.

    But the current (February) SST forecast for early summer, given here , has backed off the excess-warmth forecast.

    Models flip-flop like this quite a bit, which is one reason why I have skepticism about the European forecasters attempts to use detailed model output to predict a season.

  374. David Smith
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    RE #375 I’ll try again:

    January long-term forecast is given here

    February long-term forecast is given here

  375. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

    #365. The Hegerl et al paper is different from the Juckes et al paper, although the proxies overlap substantially. Last year based on information in the Nature paper, I attempted to guess what proxies were used based on maximum overlap. See the left frame category Hegerl under Multiproxy. A preprint was online last September and I commented on my predictions here. I tried to get further particulars on a couple of mysterious series versions, but Hegerl said that Crowley had had a hard drive failure – which I take to be a comment about his computer as opposed to a personal remark involving Viagra – and the versions used were not available. I’ve been unsuccessful in follow up.

  376. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    Re: #338

    #337y, bender, nice to hear from you. HAve you been sulking since the Super Bowl?

    (I’m smarting from a loss in our club ProAm doubles on Wednesday. It’s a wonderful tournnament. If we’d won, we’d have played Jonathon Power and his partner in the next round, who has graced our ProAm by playing in it. The teams are balanced so Power has a weak partner.)

    Bender, I have been defending our boy Rex from the bi-stable Chicago Bears fans (overly optimistic or total depressed and hostile). We need the good Rex to keep us at the SB level as an average Rex or other QBs with an average Rex skill set will not fill the bill. We need to eliminate a few of the bad Rex appearances. That can be accomplished by a little more experience and maturity and learning better pocket awareness.

    Peyton Manning is a future Hall of Fame QB, but certainly not the MVP of the SB. His collective offensive line deserved that honor. When rushed, even a little bit, I noticed that he threw early and poorly ‘€” a tactic that evidently got past Ron Rivera and probably cost him a head coaching job.

    Steve M, I have played singles and double tennis and I do not know whether it relates, but when I was playing many years ago (and smoking) I was able to keep up well and play well at doubles, but when I engaged in singles I was being beaten by players I knew were not my superiors — because I would get winded. After a singles loss to someone who was not a very good player at all and I should have easily defeated, I gave up smoking cold turkey and never looked back. Over the intervening years, I have often silently thanked that long ago and forgotten opponent for that defeat.

  377. TAC
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    Has anyone figured out what to make of the article that appeared in Eos (here; subscription may be required) last week on the topic of global dimming? It includes several very interesting statements, including:

    An analysis of many reports of global dimming over the land surfaces of the Earth yielded a total reduction of 20 W/m-2 (watts per square meter) over the 1958’€”1992 period [Stanhill and Cohen, 2001]. This negative shortwave forcing is far greater than the 2.4 W/m-2 increase in the positive longwave radiative forcing estimated to have occurred since the industrial era as a result of fossil and biofuel combustion [IPCC, 2001].

    The piece ends with provocative conclusions:

    The omission of reference to changes in Eg in the IPCC assessments brings into question the confidence that can be placed in a topdown, consensus’ science system that ignores such a major and significant element of climate change.

    A separate and more fundamental question is whether scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficient to produce a useful consensus view. Is climate change a science or is it a trans-science, asking questions that can be stated in the language of science but that are currently beyond its ability to answer?

    The cautionary note global dimming and brightening sounds for climate change scientists is not a new one; rather it strikingly vindicates the two rules of climate change set out by Peter Wright 30 years ago [Wright, 1971]. The first rule states that some feature of the atmosphere can always be found that will oscillate in accordance with your hypothesis; the second states that shortly after its discovery, the oscillation will disappear.

  378. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    Re: #379

    The first rule states that some feature of the atmosphere can always be found that will oscillate in accordance with your hypothesis; the second states that shortly after its discovery, the oscillation will disappear.

    I do not know the merits of the article proper but that last sentence sounds a lot like sage advice I have heard about investment schemes/strategies. What I think a lot of people do not realize is how many different oscillations are available for stock investments and, as I have found from discussion and references at CA, climate changes.

    Perhaps enough to make one at least a bit skeptical.

  379. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

    In today’s Sun papers in Canada, three columnists give their impressions on IPCC, etc.
    In the Winnipeg Sun, Tom Brodbeck criticizes pack journalism in the method of reporting the IPCC Summary. He says that the media did not present a balanced approach by not giving both sides. In the Toronto Sun Peter Worthington suggests global warming is a theory, not a scientific fact. He then talks about the panel of six on Larry King Live. In the Calgary Sun, Licia Corbella talks about whistle-blowing and the IPCC. In particular she mentions the incident with Chris Landsea leaving IPCC.

  380. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    In the Toronto Sun Peter Worthington suggests global warming is a theory, not a scientific fact.

    By definition, it is actually hypothesis, not theory.

    Mark

  381. bender
    Posted Feb 11, 2007 at 5:14 PM | Permalink

    Re #380
    Show me a model built on sums of oscillations of different frequencies, and then show me a validation based on independent (out-of-sample) observations in replicated trials. Any process, any natural system. The more climatological (obviously), the better.

  382. Bob Weber
    Posted Feb 12, 2007 at 3:20 AM | Permalink

    Have the results of Svensmark’s experiment on cosmic ray effect on cloud formation been discussed in CA?
    Here is the link where I read about it

    Bob

  383. Bob Weber
    Posted Feb 12, 2007 at 3:21 AM | Permalink

    Oops http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1363818.ece

  384. Posted Feb 12, 2007 at 4:04 AM | Permalink

    #385: and here is the new GREAT paper by Svensmark:

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0612/0612145.pdf

  385. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Feb 12, 2007 at 5:42 AM | Permalink

    re – Welikerocks 369/371

    OK about the misunderstanding – easily done, especially as I don’t always express myself as clearly as I would wish!

    But for the record, I concur absolutely with your arguments on resolution, which is precisely why I said I was pleased that the two methods of estimating interglacial periods agreed within 13,000 years!

    IanS – 374

    My interpretation is different. I see the published near-two-million-year record as showing that the 100k Milankovitch eccentricity cycle ALWAYS triggers change at every semi-cycle, resulting in a saw-tooth temperature cycle. But this basically simple system is overlaid with so many other influences. Some of these influences are regular, predictable and suitable for modelling, e.g., planetary axial tilt and precession, possibly regular solar variations now under study, etc., and some are entirely chaotic and unpredictable, e.g., irregular solar variations and possibly the interesting cosmic ray showers now under investigation (and real experimentation! Wow!- a first in climate studies?). And just to make life interesting, there are many positive and negative feedback mechanisms that we just don’t understand. All of these together result in the climate ‘system’ (oxymoron?) we know and love, and make nonsense of IPCC predictions. All we can do at present is to predict that certain 10k-20k yr. periods are going to be warmer or cooler than others, and whether the trend for the next 50k years will be up or down!

  386. Ian S
    Posted Feb 12, 2007 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

    #387 Peter,

    If the correlation is that strong (and I am not very informed about this at all I admit up front), why is there still debate?? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_age#Causes_of_ice_ages

    cheers,

    Ian

  387. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 12, 2007 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    [snip]

    John A: Steve, please leave all references to Nazis and the Holocaust off this site.

  388. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 12, 2007 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

    By the way, I hear tell that Nigel Calder has made his stand. If there will be secret police and thought crimes declared, the he and I and many others are all “criminals” under this new but not-so-new sick system. For the love of Big Brother? ;)

  389. Posted Feb 12, 2007 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    What’s interesting is that Nigel Calder in the 1970s was one of those convinced that further cooling was on the way.

  390. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 12, 2007 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    BTW2 – Nigel Calder is singularly responsible, via his “The Restless Earth,” for my having declared a Geophysics major in my youth. And as luck had it, I ended up being personally trained in Plate Tectonics by Dr. Tanya Atwater, who had in turn, during her Grad school days, coauthored that very paper which appealed to Calder, ultimately leading to that book! Definitely a good man, who had a major positive influence on me when I was 10 years old.

  391. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 12, 2007 at 11:16 AM | Permalink

    Memo to Ellen Goodman, the states of Oregon and Delaware, and many others:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eco-fascism

  392. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 12, 2007 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    RE: #391 – Perhaps he was actually right. (Sorry about my passionate reactions against Goodman et al. You must understand this is a real hot button for me. My family lost kin during 1933 – 1945, etc)

  393. welikerocks
    Posted Feb 12, 2007 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    #388 Ian, one reason is wikipedia is not the best source. if you look at the discussions page for that wikipedia information you will see that Willam Connelly is the official editor and submitter, and in charge of the debate and he also is a contributor and moderator for Real Climate and a publically stated believer in AGW. link He replied to me once when I asked why there were no seasoned geologists on these climate research teams and he said “Well, no offense but geologists only study rocks”

  394. Ian S
    Posted Feb 12, 2007 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

    #395,

    But I think it is safe to say there definitely is debate. Therefore I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that there must be enough ‘wiggle room’ in the data to fit these other theories? I have already stated that I believe that Milankovitch cyles theory makes the most sense (co2 theory is well … ludicrous in my opinion given the relatively cyclical nature and and ‘bounded’ temperature range and correlation lag). So Milankovitch cyles must not perfectly match the data and I feel that where it doesn’t can ‘probably’ just be chalked up to chaos.

    cheers, Ian

  395. Roger Dueck
    Posted Feb 12, 2007 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    #395 welikerocks

    Well, no offense but geologists only study rocks

    As a fellow geologist I can only say that a comment like that shows the level of abject ignorance and supreme arrogance of that group of self-important individuals who have an inflated oppinion of their value to EARTH SCIENCE.

  396. Ian S
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

    Examination of the economics of global warming. Basically, given the long time-frame the discount rate is crucial:

    http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic135505.files/Weitzman_Paper.pdf

  397. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

    RE: Sea Ice area measurements.

    These comments mostly pertain to the site Cryosphere Today, which I consider to be the most neutral one. I am at a point where I will consider Arctic Sea Ice measurements to be, at best, a very gross indicator and a highly error prone figure. Here is my rationale:
    – I have been observing both the overall NH extent and the individual basins now for about 18 months. The overall anomaly seems to just hang in there, wiggling around a set (or even, perhaps, slowly approaching zero) negative value. This calls into question both the baseline and the overall summation. A “DC” bias suggests itself. This may actually be a “proxy” for the sum of error terms.
    – Not all basins are created equal, at least in terms of how reliable I think the measurements are. Some “behave” very well, others quite erratically. I realize smaller basins can incur rapid changes, however I don’t think all the “changes” seen in the graphs are real changes in extent, at the individual basin level. Some basins are clearly more difficult to measure due to shape and shoreline type. Highly suspect ones include Canadian Archepelego, Hudson’s Bay, Bearing Sea and Kara Sea.
    – A recent seeming “event” indicated by the Bearing Sea graph is a massive sudden retreat. The only problem is, any retreat over the past week is not massive. I use Anchorage NWS to cross check daily. (Interesting side note is the CT never showed the bridging of ice between Iceland and Greenland a few days ago. CT’s satellite data or algorithms seems to have a real issue discerning the ice edge.)

    There is one thing I’ll give CT credit for and that is showing the ongoing low extent in the Barents Sea.

  398. jae
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 1:08 PM | Permalink

    Can someone tell me what’s wrong with this logic?

    The Solar Constant is 1366 W/M^2. 51% of that is absorbed by the land and oceans, making the total solar “forcing” 697 W/M^2. The average surface temperature is 14 deg. C or 287 K. Therefore, we get 287/697 = 0.41 deg/Watt of forcing. If a doubling of CO2 adds 4 W/M^2, then the total increase in temperature should be (0.41)(4)= 1.64 degrees. This should account for all the water vapor feedback and everything.

  399. Ian
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

    #400

    I think from a AGW believer perspective the 4 W/M^2 forcing from doubling of CO2 does not take into account positive feedback effects which will supposedly increase this to a higher effective forcing. The 4 W/M^2 is just the initial unamplified forcing. But your calculation does nicely illustrate how important positive feedback is to AGW belief. Without it global warming would be a rather insignificant problem.

  400. jae
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    Ian: but it DOES account for all feedbacks, since there’s no difference between a Watt from the Sun and a Watt from CO2.

  401. Paul Linsay
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    #402:

    there’s no difference between a Watt from the Sun and a Watt from CO2.

    Nope. There’s a big difference depending on the wavelength of the radiation. Sunlight is in the visible and ultraviolet, which can penetrate water to great depths and dump its energy there (see the last Figure). A Watt from CO2 is at 15 um and can only penetrate water, or anything else for that matter, to a depth of a few tens of microns. Sunlight heats the oceans, not long wave infrared.

  402. jae
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    403: Agreed, but the visible light is converted to IR, which is responsible for the temperature we measure. I don’t see the distinction.

  403. jae
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    IOW, the feedbacks from 1 Watt of IR ultimately produced by Solar energy should be the same as the feedbacks produced by 1 Watt of IR from CO2.

  404. jae
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 2:25 PM | Permalink

    We need an “Unthreaded #4.

  405. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

    Over at RC, the target rich Ray Pierrehumbert aluded to some paper he and others are working on to “prove” or purport that the polar / midlatitude jet has incurrred a northward shift of …. drumroll please ……. onnnnnnnnnnnnnne degreeeeeeeee. That’s 60 miles. Here in wild and wooly jet stream coming ashore country, 60 miles would be a typical bump in the jet incurred during a couple or three hours. How does one even locate the “coordinates” of jet stream, for the purposes of this sort of claim? Is this claim subsidiary to a notion that one can acurately measure the “center” of the stream based on the velocity maximum being the “center.” Talk about a house of cards.

  406. jae
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

    407: The RC guys are dodging Solar bullets, too, by effectively saying “we’ve been there, done that.” IOW, “we’ve moved on.”

  407. Paul Linsay
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

    #404 & 405, jae,

    The oceans store the heat that they absorb from sunlight and because of the high heat capacity of water can then heat the atmosphere for long periods of time. The atmosphere re-radiates the long wave IR back into space quickly and by the nature of thermal diffusion can only heat the oceans to a few meters depth.

  408. Ian S
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 4:05 PM | Permalink

    #403 Paul,

    I don’t understand this logic. Light doesn’t really penetrate that oceans very deeply, but regardless even if it did, absorbed energy is still absorbed energy and must show up in the system eventually. The sudden drop in ocean temperatures makes your long-term storage theory questionable (to me). I think more likely we can just say that that absorptivity is frequency dependent and a forcing from CO2 in the IR wavelength is absorbed more readily than higher frequency light from the sun. Seems like a more logical argument to me.

    However, this whole concept of CO2 forcing is a farce. CO2 does not contribute additional energy to the system. CO2 prevents existing energy from escaping as readily as it would otherwise. It increases the ‘effective’ absorptivity of the earth. Phrasing it in terms of an energy ‘forcing’ is misleading to say the least.

    Ian

  409. jae
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    However, this whole concept of CO2 forcing is a farce. CO2 does not contribute additional energy to the system. CO2 prevents existing energy from escaping as readily as it would otherwise. It increases the effective’ absorptivity of the earth. Phrasing it in terms of an energy forcing’ is misleading to say the least.

    Correct. But thermometers simply measure the amount of IR that is bouncing around. It does not matter where it comes from. CO2 is contributing IR, as is the Sun (although much of it is added indirectly). I am not convinced that my logic in #400 is invalid.

  410. Bill F
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    CO2 is not contributing IR. It is changing the amount of IR that is retained.

  411. jae
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    412: Yes, but it is in equilibrium with the surroundings, giving off IR as well as absorbing it. Just like water vapor does.

  412. Ian S
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

    #411

    Yes I think your logic may be wrong in #400. You are throwing away half of those Sun energy, but this cannot be correct otherwise the earth would be a lot colder than 287K. The Earth is operating with an effective absorptivity (taking into account the atmosphere etc.) close to one. Double your result — 3.28 K.

  413. Paul Linsay
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

    #410, Ian, check the link I gave in #403 re light penetrating the oceans.

  414. Ian
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 6:52 PM | Permalink

    #414 Hmmm, okay I think my logic is wrong — according to my logic you should divide your answer in half, not double it. Here is another try:

    4*S=sigma*T^4

    4*dS=4*sigma*T^3

    dS/S = 4*dT/T

    Maybe by 4 W per meter squared they mean everywhere, 24 hours a day — not solar flux equivalent. Therefore, solar flux equivalent would be 16 W per meter squared??? I have no idea how they do these things. It’s all fantasy anyways.

    dT=(dS/S)*(T/4)=(16/1633)*(287/4)=0.7 C

    So, if I assume that by 4 W/m^2 they mean the equivalent of a solar flux increase of 16 W/m^2 ( due to the ratio of received area versus radiating area, which is 4), then one still only gets a temperature increase of around 0.7 C

    Seems valid to me. Someone please set jae and I straight why our numbers are so low! You sure need a lot of positive feedback to get any scary scenarios. The climate would have to be incredibly unstable. Any kind of significant volcanic activity should have sent us careening out of control a long time ago.

    #415 Paul

    I assume you are referring to the absorptivity of pure water? Well, in the real world (unlike in a lab) the ocean is full of particles, biological in nature and otherwise. Except in a few wonderful scuba diving paradises etc. it is rare to be able to see (visible light) more than 30 ft. at least that has been my anecdotal experience. In most places in the world particles prevent light from traveling very deeply. I will change my mind in a snap if you can point to a better experimental study, but please don’t point to pure water for your evidence.

    cheers,

    Ian

  415. jae
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    I forgot atmospheric absorption in my example. Let me take another stab at it. Kiehl and Trenberth’s famous “energy balance” shows incoming and outgoing radiation of 342 W/M^2. The average surface temperature is 14 deg. C or 287 K. Therefore, 284/342 = 0.83 W/degree from incoming radiation from the Sun. A doubling of CO2 allegedly adds another 4 W/M^2. Thus, it looks like you were right (the first time); I need to double my figure: 0.83*4 = 3.3 degrees. However, are the 4 Watts in the atmosphere the same thing as 4 watts incoming radiation? Probably not. Trenberth also says that 69% of the energy in the atmosphere (where CO2 is) is emitted to space, leaving only 31% “forcing,” for a net of 0.31*4 = 1.2 Watts. Now I’m thoroughly confused. Need beer.

  416. Paul Linsay
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 7:38 PM | Permalink

    #416, Ian, you win for now, but remember, anecdotes aren’t data either!

  417. Ian
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 11:15 PM | Permalink

    #418

    Paul, I hope my comment didn’t come across wrong. I should have found a nicer way to state my argument. I hate the arrogance and snippiness that is so common on the internet (see RC et al for examples ;-) and I really want to strive not to do that myself.

    Anecdotes are data, just not very good data in that they are so limited. Sometimes it the only thing you have (I searched the internet for ocean absorption data but didn’t find any).

    cheers,

    Ian

  418. cbone
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 11:57 PM | Permalink

    I was looking at some of the model verification studies and came across this abstract. It piqued my curiosity for a number of reasons.

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006/2005JD006118.shtml

    “Solar fluxes at the Earth’s surface calculated in General Circulation Models (GCMs) contain large uncertainties, not only in the presence of clouds but, as shown here, even under clear-sky (i.e., cloud-free) conditions.”

    The first sentence was enough to raise my curiosity. If the solar flux variable has large uncertainties in the models, how can the models predict with any degree of certainty when one of the key components of the radiative forcing is described as ‘containing large uncertainties.’

    Some further research yielded an abstract for a presentation at the 2007 EGU conference that seems to have been derived from this study. It yields the following assessment:
    “Substantial uncertainty still exists regarding the distribution of radiative energy within
    the global climate system, and its representation in General Circulation Models. Compared
    to a comprehensive set of surface observations, the majority of the GCMs participating
    in the latest IPCC forth assessment report (AR4) overestimate the surface insolation,
    by 6 Wm-2 on average, while the bias is smaller at the TOA.”

    Now lets compare this to the IPCC SPM from the AR4 which arrives at a total anthropogenic forcing of 1.6 (0.6 to 2.4) Wm-2. Figure SPM-2.

    Am I missing something here, we have a study that finds the deviation of one critical model parameter from observed values is more than three times the total alleged anthropogenic climate forcing. The error with this variable alone could more than compensate for the total anthropogenic forcing from the models. And this is just one variable. It reminds me of my calculus 101 exams where the professor would give no credit for the right answer by the wrong method. You had to get the intermediate steps right too. The right answer by the wrong process is still wrong.

  419. cbone
    Posted Feb 13, 2007 at 11:57 PM | Permalink

    Ooops. Here is the EGU abstract.

    http://www.cosis.net/abstracts/EGU2007/03395/EGU2007-J-03395.pdf?PHPSESSID=f29025fe7d71ae5f96d46ab2b26dfd6a

  420. richardT
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 3:05 AM | Permalink

    #415
    The open oceans are mostly much less turbid than the coastal waters I presume you have dived in. They are nutrient depleted, so support little primary productivity and hence few biological particles, and have only small inputs of inorganic particles.
    There’s a plot of light absorption in the ocean here.

  421. BradH
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 3:30 AM | Permalink

    Now, this is priceless:-

    HOUSE HEARING ON ‘WARMING OF THE PLANET’ CANCELED AFTER ICE STORM

  422. MarkW
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 5:44 AM | Permalink

    The way I heard the joke was: The plural of anecdote, is not data.

  423. David Smith
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 7:04 AM | Permalink

    The January satellite tropospheric temperature from UAH is here while the RSS satellite plot is here .

    We’re finally seeing the El Nino heat spike, but I expect that to be short-lived, with perhaps a continuation into February and then a return to more-normal values.

    The UAH satellite temperature plot for the tropics is here . This has not been a spectacular El Nino.

    The temperature polt for the Northern Polar region is here . Not much of a heat kick.

  424. george h.
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

    In an earlier portion of this thread, there was a discussion on validation of climate models including alot of back and forth with Gary Strand, himself a modeller. Questions posed by myself and others were never really answered. Instead we were asked, “What do you mean by validation?” Dr. Vincent Gray’s insider-insightful critique of the SPM includes some important comments on validation:

    “In the first draft of the IPCC WGI 1995 Report there was a Chapter headed “Validation of Climate Models” I commented that this word was inappropriate as no model had ever been “validated’, and there seemed to be no attempt to do so. They agreed, and not only changed the word in the title to “evaluation”, but they did so no less than fifty times throughout the next draft. They have rigidly kept to this practice ever since.

    “Validation”, as understood by computer engineers, involves an elaborate testing procedure on real data which goes beyond mere simulation of past datasets, but must include successful prediction of future behaviour to an acceptable level of accuracy. Without this process nocomputer model would ever be acceptable for future prediction. The absence of any form of validation still applies today to all computer models of the climate, and the IPCC wriggle out of it by outlawing the use of the word “prediction” from all its publications. It should be emphasised that the IPCC do not make “predictions”, but provide only “projections”. It is the politicians and the activists who convert these, wrongly, into “predictions.”, not the scientists.

    An unfortunate result of this deficiency is that without a validation process there cannot be any scientific or practical measure of accuracy. There is therefore no justified claim for the reliability of any of the “projections'”

    More here: http://www.climatescience.org.nz/assets/20072141112360.SPM07GrayCritique.pdf

  425. MarkW
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    Back to the AC/emag field discussion of a couple of days ago.

    It seems to me that the particles we are talking about are moving so fast that 60Hz won’t be to different from DC to them.
    When the field from the power system lines up with the earths field, then half the time the fields will add, and half the time they
    will subtract. So no net gain there. However, if the power lines are lined up at right angles to the earth’s field, then wouldn’t
    the shielding affect of the magnetic fields add, all of the time? It’s been almost 30 years since I studied electro-magnetic fields
    in college, so I know that I have forgotten a lot about how these fields work.

    Another point is that these fields are not evenly distributed around the earth. The strongest fields will be around the biggest
    cities, with the middle of the oceans having the weakest fields.

    Another point is that power distribution usually consists of two wires, with electric current flowing in opposite directions.
    Because of this, the field falls off a lot faster than it would for a single wire alone.

  426. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 8:28 AM | Permalink

    #425 David,

    funny, there’s been a spike in temperature in January for the last three years. But february has been really cold here and I think most of north america.

  427. Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    I think that most of you have heard about it, but if you haven’t, read the interview with the Czech president

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2007/02/vclav-klaus-about-ipcc-panel.html

    Prof Vaclav Klaus hammers global warming – that he considers a myth – and after the interview was posted as a special report on Drudge Report, hundreds of blogs picked it and celebrated it. Foxnews and Washington Times followed. Such an overwhelmingly positive reaction to such completely skeptical pronouncements is not seen often. ;-)

  428. Jean S
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 9:08 AM | Permalink

    #429: Lubos, any news from the man himself? I suppose he has been notified of your translation (and of the (blog) reaction to it)?

  429. Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    Dear Jean S, Klaus is visiting Japan – but I guess he already knows. He will return in a few days to Europe. Busy schedule. I have been contacted by the office of Al Gore – a pleasant woman.

  430. Jean S
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

    #431: Wow, so what did she want to know?

  431. Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    Hi! She just asked whether the stories in the blogs were right and whether I made the wide-spread translation, and I answered Yes. Obviously, they needed to get ready to questions whether AG was sane. ;-) If you asked whether I met Klaus ever, I did:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2005/09/klauss-talk-at-harvard.html

    It was at Harvard – a natural place for two right-wing Czechs to meet. :-)

  432. Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

    Incidentally, the response was positive even from people like David Roberts from Gristmill – who proposed the war trials for deniers. He found it amusing and a commenter pointed out that Czechs are the nation that is most aware of the climate change. ;-)

    http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2007/2/13/16333/9799

  433. Ian
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    #422 richardT,

    Ahhh good find. If I read it correctly, 90% of light is absorbed in the first 75m — which pretty deep.

    Ian

  434. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    #425 David,

    funny, there’s been a spike in temperature in January for the last three years. But february has been really cold here and I think most of north america.

    With the exception of the last two weeks, CO has been quite cold. More snow again last night, btw. I’m guessing the folks in NY County, with 10-12 feet of snow in the last week or so, aren’t too worried about what warming will do to them. :)

    Mark

  435. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    RE: #433 / 434 – Fascinating stuff Lubos. Intersecting threads of those outing the STB agents of yore and those outing the “New Lies For Old” vis a vis the current AGW hysteria. Like a Gordian knot! Good stuff man!

  436. David Smith
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

    Re #428, #436 One of the unusual things about this winter’s El Nino has been that it (apparently) dumped a lot of its heat into the Southern Hemisphere, moreso than usual.
    That southern flow of heat is more typical of pre-1976 than post-1976. In 1976, El Nino shifted and began sending much of its hot air northward rather than southward. Perhaps there is a shift towards pre-1976 conditions. One data point, of course, does not estanblish a pattern, but it’s something to ponder.

  437. paminator
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    There is an interesting article by Vicent Gray on the recent SPM and some historical facts about the IPCC process. He has been an expert reviewer for all four IPCC reports.

    http://www.climatescience.org.nz/assets/20072141112360.SPM07GrayCritique.pdf

    He writes:

    The current document is really a Summary BY Policymakers, since it has been agreed line-by-line by government representatives. It has passed through the usual three drafts, the last of which was circulated only to government representatives. It has broken with the procedure followed previously, as it is issued before the main Working Group 1 (WG1) Report. For most people, this creates a difficulty, but as I have already been through two drafts of all the Chapters with a fine tooth comb and submitted copious comments on them, I have knowledge of the full document which is not available to most others. I have even received leaks and rumours which indicate what might be in the final document.

    I wrote an entire book criticising the 2001 IPCC WG1 Report (Gray 2002) and a full study of the complete 2007 Report must await its release. I will therefore confine these comments to the aspects of the “2007 Summary for Policymakers” which I find the most distasteful. They come under the headings of unreliable data, inadequate statistical treatment and gross exaggeration of model capacity. The first two tend to need to be treated together.

    Interesting reading, including discussion of the hockey stick.

  438. Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    Dear Jean S #430, update: Klaus’ webmasters certainly know about the story because Klaus’ personal website already contains a copy of the article where Inhofe praises Klaus’ courage. ;-)

    http://klaus.cz/klaus2/asp/clanek.asp?id=3laYoBP3mqrd

  439. Ian S
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

    jae,

    I’ve been thinking about it some more and the simple result of taking the derivative of the Stefan-Boltzmann equation is inescapable:

    dS/S = 4 dT/T

    It doesn’t matter what absorptivity (or emissivity) or other complicating factors one uses (these are all inherently captured in the base value of T) due to the outgoing flux being proportional to the fourth power of temperature, a 1% change in temperature requires a 4% change in incoming energy — everything else remaining constant.

    In the case of a ‘forcing’ of 4 W/m^2 and an average solar flux of 342 W/m^2 I get:

    dT = (dS/S)*T/4 = (4/342)*(287/4) = 0.84 C

    cheers,

    Ian

  440. jae
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 11:13 AM | Permalink

    Ian: makes sense to me. So the sensitivity is 0.84/4 = 0.21 deg/Watt M^2, which is in general agreement with other estimates of sensitivity.

  441. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

    RE: #438 – I am not a dowser or anything like that, but I am fairly adept as “reading the signs” in terms of the overall sense of nature in my particular neck of the woods. The “signs” (everything from time frames of leaf drop, moisture, animal behavior, weather patterns, etc) suggest that we are flipping or have flipped back into the 1940ish – 1976ish negative PDO phase, or something higher order that creates a similar set of synoptic constraints.

  442. David Smith
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

    Re # 443

    Steve S, there is an interesting situation in the tropical Pacific at the moment. A blob of quite cool (for the tropics) water is upwelling in the eastern Pacific while anomalously cooler water is also mixing upwards towards part of the Pacific Warm Pool. As a result, I would not be surprised to see tropospheric temperatures trend in a negative direction later in 2007.

  443. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

    Metrics I have personally given up on and will no longer consider to be valid indicators of purported anthropogenic GHG driven GW (or lack of it):
    – Arctic sea ice extent (as currently understood from satellite data)
    – BCP ring widths
    – The surface temperature record
    – Glacier mass balance in tropical (especially monsoon affected and borderline monsoon affected) areas, the Alps, and the Rockies
    – SSTs
    – Any cryospheric metric in Europe, anywhere west of 10 degrees E longitude and anywhere south of 55 degrees N latitude

    So, to prove AGW to me, other metrics shall have to be used.

  444. W. L. Hyde
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

    I was forced to sit through a speech by Suzuki a couple of weeks ago. The man certainly has charisma! I play in a ‘big band'(a la Guy Lombardo) and it was a fund raising formal dinner and dance for the new medical faculty at the university in Prince George, BC. He referred to predictions of Paul Ehrlich,(?) of all the failed prognosticators, and also an unamed study by scientists 15 years ago, warning mankind that we only had 10 years(?) to take action before doom would befall us. He implored people not to drive their SUVs 5 blocks to the store.(He didn’t offer to come up and help carry my groceries) At the end of his long screed I sat through a standing ovation thinking, “These people are Doctors and they’re taken in!” It was very uncomfortable, to say the least.
    Now I read that our new Environment Minister Baird chose Dr. Suzuki with whom to have his first consultation. It’s the Charisma factor, in IMHO that’s the problem. Gore has it too.(I saw him on SNL) Tony Blair certainly has it! We need equally charismatic skeptics to step forward, now, and counter the effect of these main players.
    Cheers….theoldhogger

  445. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

    Re #426 and “validation”. That new paper by Hegerl says “Validated” 1500-Year Temperature Reconstruction. Is it too late to be in IPCC 4AR? Interesting how inaccurate models validate inaccurate proxies.

  446. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    RE: #446 – The bottom has fallen out of natural population increase among the G8ish countries and it’s heading that way even in the developing countries. The few places still strongly growing are countries that are borderline failed states and cannot grow much more without serious social issues and strife, both of which will limit additional growth. So clearly, Ehrlich’s (and the earlier Malthus’) ideas of positive exponential population growth (eventually leading to disaster) are wrong. Even as recently as the 70s no one was talking about the global peak / reversal of population ~ 2050 (or earlier), that’s how poorly we comprehend real world population dynamics. Add to this wars and new virulent diseases, and the chances of “exceeding the carrying capacity” are right up there with me becoming king of the world – or far less. Ehrlich is yet an other boy who cried wolf and it disgusts me that people still believe his lies.

  447. MarkW
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

    Idle question.

    Regarding the mysterious leveling off of methane in the atmosphere. I know that chemical reactions speed up as temperature
    increases. Has the small warming of the last century been enough to measurably increase the rate at which atmospheric methane
    breaks down?

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