AGU Day 1

I’m tired already and just got here. I flew in from Toronto yesterday getting up about 5 am Toronto time, arrived at AGU about 2 pm San Fran time and caught about helf the day. I mainly go to the Paleo sessions, where, among other things, I’m scouting for new high-resolution series covering the past millennium. This year there are quite a few speleothems. Paleo matters today were mostly on the monsoon.

Julia Cole has a new speleothem at Cave of the Bells in the U.S. monsoon rgion, which she contasted to the following proxies: Chahancanab Hodell), Cariaco Ti (Cariaco alreday discussed here), a new Galapagos % sand proxy (Conroy, sub QSR), Soreq Cave in Israel, Dongge Cave in China, Qunf Cave in Oman. She attributed changes to N-S movements of ITCZ and also argued/noted the idea hat the zonal gradient across the Pacific had changed during the Holocene.

Biondi talked about detailed climate at a tropical treeline site at Nevado de Colima in Mexico. Spring temperatures were warmer than summer temperatures as the arrival of the monsoon moderated temperatures (and increased moisture),

Shanahan had a high-reslutino lake sediment record fom ake Bosumtivi in Ghana, which was said to be a proxy for the monsoon. His comparanda were deMonocal 658 SST(Loehle used this), Dongge Cave, Qunf Cave.

Poster 1416 showed that the unusual dO18 in a 1980 storm at Mt Wrangell could be traced to a different water source – Siberia instead of the PAcific.

Poster 1420 – a Korean speleothem (Yongcheon Cave – K Woo et al ) was decadal resolution and showed elevated modern monsoon levels with highish “MWP” levels in the 14th century.

Core MD02-2494 was sampled at 1.5 cm but was only 15th cenury and earlier due to top core loss.

Poster 1419 (Isono, Yamamoto…) showed a graient in the N Pacific in the mid-Holocene (MD01-2421).

Buckley reported that they had developed tree ring chronologies from high conifers in SE Asia (where an annual signal could be recovered due to altitude.)

I have a few more notes but I’m off this instant to see a session on aerosols, Schwartz is speaking at 8.05.


125 Comments

  1. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Dec 11, 2007 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

    Well, if nobody else wants to kick off this thread, I will. I don’t know where the Qunf cave is in Oman, but I once got to fly over Oman from Muscat to the oil region to deliver some equipment. The scenery is spectacular, and would probably be a tourist attraction, but Oman doesn’t want tourists. Is Qunf a cavern type cave or something by the seashore?

  2. Posted Dec 11, 2007 at 1:19 PM | Permalink

    Dave:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/metadata/noaa-cave-5541.html

  3. Posted Dec 11, 2007 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    Where is the “US monsoon region”? Are you referring to the winter monsoon in Buffalo??

  4. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Dec 11, 2007 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    US Monsoon region is the Southwestern USA and is driven by pacific moisture coming up from Mexico to the northeast. Happens in the summer.

  5. Murray Duffin
    Posted Dec 11, 2007 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    The previous Sheik of Oman kept the country closed from most of the world. His son, who took over 20+ years ago (educated in the UK – Sandhurst maybe?) has opened the country to both investment and tourism, and there is a thriving economy, with very rapid modernization. Interesting place to visit, but I missed the cave.

  6. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Dec 11, 2007 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    re: #5

    Interesting. When I was there in the early 1990s the son had been in power for a while and it was still closed. I suppose the change had to do with the gulf wars.

  7. Patrick M.
    Posted Dec 11, 2007 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

    Interesting info from AGU at RC:

    To put things in perspective, I should first mention the talk by Tom Lowell, on work in collaboration with about a dozen other authors, concerning organic remains from the Istorvet Ice Cap in East Greenland. These are organic remains recently uncovered by the retreating glacier. Dating them tells you when the glacier had last retreated that far. Carbon-14 dates put the date of this earlier glacial retreat to between AD 800 and 1014, bracketing the time of the Norse colonization. Insofar as glaciers are primarily sensitive to temperature, that does indicate that in the Middle Ages this particular place, at least, was probably as warm as at present. It is an indication of some kind of regional warming in the area in the Middle Ages. Thus, if Greenland were taken in isolation, one couldn’t confidently say that what is going on there just now is completely unprecedented in the Holocene — at least not yet. However, as Tom would happily tell you, the Middle Ages were not as generally warm as the present, and Greenland shouldn’t be taken in isolation. It is the rapid melt in Greenland today, taken as one of a vast constellation of signatures of unusual warming, that gives one cause for concern.

  8. Posted Dec 11, 2007 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

    I guess Greenland isn’t tele-connected to anywhere? If it were, we would have two data points for MWP. :)

    Evidently, there is a Mexican Monsoon and it affects weather in the southwest. I’ll admit I never knew this.

  9. Jeff Wood
    Posted Dec 11, 2007 at 4:48 PM | Permalink

    #7

    Patrick quotes from RC:

    “…a vast constellation of signatures of unusual global warming…”

    Are there even a few the experts here would agree on? Apologies if this has been thrashed out elsewhere.

  10. MattN
    Posted Dec 11, 2007 at 6:39 PM | Permalink

    #7

    Quite interesting….thanks.

  11. Patrick M.
    Posted Dec 11, 2007 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

    Kinda makes the name “Greenland” seem a little bit plausible…

  12. Posted Dec 11, 2007 at 8:40 PM | Permalink

    The Mexican Monsoon hits as far north as SLC, UT, and perhaps even farther. It comes in late July and lasts through early September. In the late afternoon, storms boil up from the south as towering steel-gray cloud masses, and they move swiftly northward, bringing brisk winds that can sometimes reach gale forces and topple trees. (One year we got a little tornado that hit downtown SLC and killed a guy.)

    When the clouds drop their load, it’s like buckshot spat angrily from the sky. The duration is brief, but the quantity can cause severe flash-flooding in southern Utah in the slickrock slot canyons. People die there every year when an upstream thunderstorm that they can’t see fills the narrow canyons, and within seconds, the slot canyon fills up, and there’s no high ground except the sheer cliff walls.

    I was hiking the lower part of Zion Narrows one year when one of these storms hit. I was wearing only a swimsuit and shorts, so the hail (yes, hail) felt really nice on my bare back. My glasses were useless within seconds, and the water started getting muddier and faster and deeper.

    Luckily, the storm was confined to the area just above us (no upstream storms to stoke the river), but it was scary just the same. The instant waterfalls were lovely to see, except for the one that dragged a head-sized rock over the cliff and nearly clobbered my sister.

    Normally, storms come to us from the Gulf of Alaska or the northern Pacific, so that’s why it’s a monsoon in the summer.

  13. Steve H
    Posted Dec 11, 2007 at 9:08 PM | Permalink

    Arizona is where the monsoon is usually seen during the summer months. As the typhoons form off of the coast of Bahja California, they pump moisture into the air, which flows toward Arizona.

    Because of the increased elevation between the Pacific ocean and the Rocky mountains, that moisture will create a classical monsoon situation.

  14. George T
    Posted Dec 11, 2007 at 11:43 PM | Permalink

    #13 – And they sometimes reach all the way to the Pacific Northwest. By the time they get here, they’re pretty dry, but still powerful, and they can produce the dreaded “dry lightning storms” — enough lightning to cause fires, but without rain to extinguish them. Our worst fires/fire seasons result from that.

  15. Briso
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 3:28 AM | Permalink

    #7 Patrick M. says: December 11th, 2007 at 2:56 pm
    At least the Polar Bears will be OK.

  16. Patrick M.
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

    RE #15
    I didn’t say anything about polar bears.

  17. tpguydk
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    waaait wait wait wait (#7):

    To put things in perspective, I should first mention the talk by Tom Lowell, on work in collaboration with about a dozen other authors, concerning organic remains from the Istorvet Ice Cap in East Greenland. These are organic remains recently uncovered by the retreating glacier. Dating them tells you when the glacier had last retreated that far. Carbon-14 dates put the date of this earlier glacial retreat to between AD 800 and 1014, bracketing the time of the Norse colonization. Insofar as glaciers are primarily sensitive to temperature, that does indicate that in the Middle Ages this particular place, at least, was probably as warm as at present. It is an indication of some kind of regional warming in the area in the Middle Ages. Thus, if Greenland were taken in isolation, one couldn’t confidently say that what is going on there just now is completely unprecedented in the Holocene — at least not yet.

    Right, this is what people have been saying forever, even though they keep attempting to erase the MWP from history because it’s inconvenient (and it seems, downgrade the Holocene Optimum and Eemian Interglacial Optimum.)

    However, as Tom would happily tell you, the Middle Ages were not as generally warm as the present, and Greenland shouldn’t be taken in isolation. It is the rapid melt in Greenland today, taken as one of a vast constellation of signatures of unusual warming, that gives one cause for concern.

    Why? What? If the retreating glaciers are disgorging organic material from the time of Norse settlement, then Greenland was as warm then as it was today, and that would be indicative of warming in the region, and would coincide with the historical record from California to Japan and everywhere inbetween!

    I did read that right, right? It seems such a leap in logic…

  18. Susann
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

    #17, if I can try to answer: I think the quotes raise 2 issues: 1. Was the MWP regional/local? 2. Is the current Warming / melting unusual in its rapidity?

    1. The assumption of the person you quoted seems to be that the MWP was not global, but regional and thus the wording “not as generally warm as the present”. IOW, Greenland may have been as warm but not the globe.

    2. The rapidity of warming and melting taken with other signatures of unusual warming is what also distingishes the two periods.

    I’m not an expert on the literature on the question of whether the warming in the MWP was regiona/local but I think that is the main divide. Same goes for the nature of the warming — I seem to recall reading that some scientists think it is the rapidity of the melt/increase in temperature that is unique, besides the actual degree of warmth.

    Just my understanding after a brief read-through of some of the literature so it may not be entirely (or even remotely :) ) accurate.

  19. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 7:42 PM | Permalink

    Susann, thanks for your post. You say:

    2. The rapidity of warming and melting taken with other signatures of unusual warming is what also distingishes the two periods [present and MWP].

    Setting aside for a moment the mysterious “other signatures of unusual warming”, perhaps you could tell us how you know that the modern warming and melting is more rapid than the warming/melting of a thousand years ago …

    w.

  20. Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 7:46 PM | Permalink

    She has it on authority. . .

  21. bender
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 8:07 PM | Permalink

    Susann, there is not enough certainty in the data to make the inference you are trying to make. Read the blog. Statistically, there is no difference between MWP and CWP. If you haven’t learned this, you haven’t learned much.

  22. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 8:10 PM | Permalink

    I can tell you three reasons I know it.

    1. Tree rings.
    2. I’m immortal and was alive back then.
    3. Models.

  23. Susann
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

    You guys are so quick to make assumptions.

    I didn’t say I agreed with those positions. I was merely trying to describe the positions. I have not read enough of the literature to have a final opinion on the veracity of those positions.

  24. SteveSadlov
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 8:43 PM | Permalink

    RE: #8 – what a greenhorn. (just messin’ with ya).

  25. bender
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

    Yes, apologies yet again, Susann. I read your point #2 and jumped in to attack. I didn’t pay attention to context. You likely do undertsand that #2 is precisely what is disputed.

    Like I said: spoiling for a fight :)

    To make it up to you: have you read Carl Wunsch and Leonard Smith? Soul food.

  26. Susann
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 8:54 PM | Permalink

    Susann, there is not enough certainty in the data to make the inference you are trying to make. Read the blog. Statistically, there is no difference between MWP and CWP. If you haven’t learned this, you haven’t learned much.

    One thing this blog has taught me is that there is a great deal of uncertainty in the paleoclimate data — in the quantity and quality of the proxy data. Might I venture to suggest that you find the data to be certain enough to conclude that the MWP was global and highter than today? If so, I’m surprise you feel so confident in the quality and certainty of the data. Who’s the skeptic now?

  27. bender
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 8:57 PM | Permalink

    Might I venture to suggest that you find the data to be certain enough to conclude that the MWP was global and highter than today?

    No, you may not. Please retract your subsequent speculation. No one is more even-handedly skeptical than bender.

  28. Susann
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

    So retracted.

  29. Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

    Susann, #23: “You guys are so quick to make assumptions.”

    Yup. Mea Culpa.

    “I didn’t say I agreed with those positions.”

    You better not. Not until they are adjudicated, so to speak. :)

  30. tpguydk
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

    don’t pick on susann…she’s good people.

    Susann I think that’s a good stab at it.

    (as for me, I need to stop reading CO2Science…!)

  31. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    Susann, your #17 comments on the quotes by tpguydk:

    As far as I can tell, you should have prefaced both your 1 and 2 with “The assumption of the person you quoted seems to be” not just in your point 1. You’re fairly clear that you don’t know if the warming is regional or local or if the nature of the warming is unique (or not) in how rapid (or not) that the warming was.

    If your point is to describe the positions, make clear that a) I am describing the positions and b) This is my only point. (Don’t say it, just make it clear!)

    This was good, I think I understood your point here…. :) “Just my understanding after a brief read-through of some of the literature so it may not be entirely (or even remotely ) accurate.”

    Comment; it’s not your understanding; it’s your impression. Make that clear up front so nobody looking for a fight misunderstands you.
    :D

  32. bender
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

    Picking on Susann? But she won the argument! We relent!

  33. Susann
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 9:08 PM | Permalink

    tpguydk, now you see how gullible I am — I actually thought you didn’t understand the arguments. I see you understand quite well. :)

  34. Susann
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 9:12 PM | Permalink

    Sam U, I can see now that I was not clear enough in my original post that I was trying to describe the quoted poster’s assumptions and positions. I thought I had covered both 1 and 2 with that opening statement, but apparently not.

  35. Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 9:14 PM | Permalink

    # 15

    Brizzo,

    Actually, I’ve never been worried for polar bears. They can interbreed with grizzly bears and produce hybrids. Algorian doom for polar bears is just another fairytale.

  36. Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    # 21

    Bender,

    Would you be convinced by boreholes from Antarctica and proxies from China?

  37. tpguydk
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 9:21 PM | Permalink

    #33, Susann, and I wouldn’t have known any of it if I hadn’t stumbled, one day, on this site (actually, I clicked a link at Real Climate—Our Gracious Host had said or done something that had irritated them. Then I started digging. And now here we are.) :)

  38. Susann
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 9:34 PM | Permalink

    #37, tpguydk, I think I found both sites through a news article on the “hockey stick”. It’s very easy for a layperson to just accept what various scientific experts and scientific bodies say about a science issue because, in part, we don’t have the knowledge base from which to be confidently skeptical. But more likely it’s a habit of passivity that is nurtured by our society. It’s supposed to be a free society that encourages individuality, but in truth, everything is ready-made, pre-cooked, disposable and already-thought. Thinking for one’s self, not accepting the conventional wisdom, is work.

  39. bender
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

    #36
    1. That is not a global reconstruction.
    2. There are no error bars on that graph. I have no sense for how broadly applicable they are.
    3. I do not have the background to interpret those kinds of data.
    4. I have no idea whether or not those series are post hoc cherry-picked.

    Therefore they are virtually meaningless to me at this point.

  40. An Inquirer
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 10:21 PM | Permalink

    Susann, If I understand you correctly, you are wondering why are the people on this blog so confident that there actually was an MWP. First, there are the number of studies that show the MWP in bore samples and sediment studies. This reference is a little outdated, http://www.oism.org/pproject/GWReview_OISM150.pdf, but it shows that 88 studies confirmed the MWP and only 2 did not find it. Also, there is the physical evidence — barley fields in Greenland, grapes in England (even before genetic hybrids!), tropical plants in northern parts of China, trees under glaciers in western United States, and the list goes on.
    I can understand why it can be important to pro-AGW people that the MWP not exist, but when a person denies the MWP existence, then the credibility of other arguments they present is undermined in my view.

  41. Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 10:28 PM | Permalink

    # 39

    Bender,

    You must be joking, aren’t you? Have you revised the quotes on the graph? One is from AGU and the other one is from Science. Is there any problem with those institutions?

  42. Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 10:33 PM | Permalink

    # 38 and # 40

    Susannah and An Inquirer,

    You’re right. The society is ready to believe anything that is claimed in the name of science. That’s the why pseudoscience has prospered in the last 50 years as never before. In other times people simply didn’t know it was pseudoscience, now people think that pseudoscience is real science.

    Iron stained grains is a highly accurate(97%) method to calculate past climatic conditions, and iron stained grains show a very distinguishable global medieval warming period.

  43. tpguydk
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 10:36 PM | Permalink

    #41, I agree with Bender. He’s right—your graph picks two locations. Two locations in two different hemispheres does not a global reconstruction make.

  44. bender
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 10:37 PM | Permalink

    #41
    You’re trying to bait me into criticizing AGU and Science on the basis of two line graphs of your choosing? Sorry, I don’t get it.

  45. Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 10:39 PM | Permalink

    @43– Can’t we teleconnect those two points to other spots and turn them into 4 data points? :)

  46. bender
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 10:48 PM | Permalink

    I’ll go ask Rasmus :)

  47. Susann
    Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 11:04 PM | Permalink

    Inquirer, I don’t know if there really are 88 studies that show the existence of a global MWP or if those studies are valid. Have those been subjected to a Steve Mc-style audit? Sorry, but I’m not going to take your word for it. Show me the studies (beef).

  48. Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 11:15 PM | Permalink

    # 44

    Bender,

    I’m not trying to bait you or attract you to something. Please, don’t take it personal. :)

    # 43

    tpguydk,

    Here is a graph with more than one proxies and the average.

  49. Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 11:21 PM | Permalink

    # 47

    Sussanah,

    The issue has already been audited in Climate Audit.

  50. An Inquirer
    Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 5:15 AM | Permalink

    Susann,
    You pose an interesting question – how do I know which of these 88 studies are valid? Or the 2 with opposing conclusions are valid? Or the 7 with inconclusive results are valid? Do I need to have a McIntyre audit on every one in order to be comfortable?
    As a holder of two Ph.D.s, I am familiar with the need to defend research, but as a person who lives in the real world of supporting a family and having many time commitments, I also recognize there is a point to accept the research of others and move on. Are there criteria that I use when I accept the others’ research? Yes! Do I use such criteria consistently? Probably not. Sorry!
    [snip] I do not need a McIntyre-type audit to tell me that my home county had a drought and heat wave in the 1930s. I have talked with the farmers who lived through it, and I have seen piles of rocks they gathered as they farmed the bottom of the lake which had dried up. (Incidentally, the lake has now reformed and water skiers better know where those rock piles are!) However, if someone tells me that we have hotter temperatures now than in my childhood, I want an audit to see whether I have distorted childhood memories or if the relief of air conditioning today gives me a distorted impression or if something is wrong with the data set.
    The list of the 88 studies has been reviewed by Dr. Arthur Robinson. I recognize that he is persona non grata at RealClimate; however, I have not read anything at RealClimate or associated blogs that convince me that he is unreliable. I believe that the list can be confirmed at Soon, W., Baliunas, S., Idso, C., Idso, S., and Legates, D. R. (2003) Energy & Env. 14, 233-296. Several of these studies have been reviewed in ClimateAudit. Incidentally, there are 105 studies that show the Little Ice Age. Do I need an audit of these? Not really – physical evidence confirms the existence of the LIA. Most glaciers in the world have been retreating for 200 years, so logically it was colder over 200 years ago. Do I personally need to see audits of these 88 studies that show MWP? I am made more comfortable because there have been some audits, but most of these studies were undertaken without a political agenda in mind, and physical evidence is readily available throughout the world, and I doubt that this evidence has been placed around the world through a hoax. We have known about this evidence for many decades. If someone with a political agenda comes up with conclusions that contradict physical evidence, then I am more prone to want to see an audit.
    Earlier – if I understand you correctly – you had expressed surprise that political agendas had undermined the credibility of certain government agencies. I recognize that most of us are not 100% pure from political thoughts when we do our work; however, one’s personal bias can often be benign. I am sure that NFL refs have their favorite teams, but their calls typically do not reflect such a bias. I am afraid that such a benign level of personal bias does not exist in today’s field of climatology and government agencies. Wikipedia (although it is sometimes faulty) reports that the AP contacted 100 climatologists to ask whether AIT was scientifically accurate. All eleven who responded said “yes.” It appears that there is more political agenda than scientific accuracy in those replies. Even the NASA Goddard Institute Director seems to be influence by political agenda when he says “coal trains will be death trains – no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria, loaded with uncountable irreplaceable species.” http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/11/green_fever_global_warming_and.html

    I enjoy ClimateAudit because it is primarily a scientific blog. I recognize sometimes the blog wanders into politics, but hopefully those instances are when the audit reveals a political agenda rather than science.

  51. welikerocks
    Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 5:59 AM | Permalink

    An Inquirer says:
    physical evidence is readily available throughout the world!
    Hear Hear!

    Some news:
    Earth’s heat adds to climate change to melt Greenland ice

    http://www.physorg.com/news116684418.html

    I was wondering when they’d finally add these things to the big picture.

    quote:
    To measure actual temperatures beneath the ice, scientists must drill boreholes down to the base of the ice sheet– a mile or more below the ice surface. The effort and expense make such measurements few and far between, especially in remote areas of northeast Greenland.

    For now, the researchers are combining theories of how heat flows through the mantle and crust with the gravity and radar data, to understand how the hotspot is influencing the ice.

    Once they finish searching the rest of Greenland for other hotspots, they hope to turn their attention to Antarctica.

  52. tpguydk
    Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 7:06 AM | Permalink

    #48, I stand by what I said in #43—based on everything I’ve learned here.

    #45, only if we can add a proxy for my bank account (to make it go up, up up!) :-)

  53. Susann
    Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 7:27 AM | Permalink

    I’m sorry, Inquirer, but as I said before, even 2 PhDs and a rhetorically powerful but logically irrelevant reference to the holocaust will not in themselves convince me to trust you on the existence of a global MWP. I have to read the material myself. Since I hope to spend quite some time on this subject over the next few years, I expect I will come to that at some point. Certainly if you and others feel comfortable accepting the word of Steve Mc, and the other opinions you’ve read, do so. I’m holding off on making my own conclusions until I’ve read more. I know nothing about those 88 studies or the kind of proxy evidence on which they are based. When were they done? What kind of errors existed in them? The fact that they are used to support one agenda is as suspicious to me as the fact that other articles are used to support the other agenda. What’s sauce for the goose as someone here said.

  54. welikerocks
    Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 7:32 AM | Permalink

    You guys are arguing about nothing but fractions of temp. Look at this graph (and I can provide others) you can’t even see “now” on it because “now” is so small!
    graph of 18,000 years before presen

    Most of the land on earth is in the Northern Hemisphere. the MWP and LIA are written in the rock, sediment, and ice very well. Hockey Stick came to town and started rumors. Boy, Climatology would be ZIP NADA NOTHING without that geological record and the work of these earth scientists (that’s how we know climate CAN CHANGE in the first place-from that very same work) They’ve forgotten their roots.

  55. tpguydk
    Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 7:48 AM | Permalink

    We’re not arguing. We’re having a friendly, intelligent discussion. :) Most of the other places on the internet where I see discussion of this turn into highly emotional illogical screaming matches.

    Most of the land on earth is in the Northern Hemisphere. the MWP and LIA are written in the rock, sediment, and ice very well.

    You know that reminds me of a story of a new bridge that was put in spanning one of the rivers in my area. They’re required by law to do an archeological study. This river is very wide but shallow and has several islands. On the one island the bridge crossed they did an archeological study that netted a 9,000 year sediment core. It’d have been really cool, given that this location (without outing where I live too much) is only 2 hours south of where Dr. Mann currently holds court, if an analysis had been done on the site beyond picking arrowheads and pottery out of it.

  56. M. Jeff
    Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 7:54 AM | Permalink

    re: #48, Nasif Nahle, December 12th, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    # 43
    tpguydk,
    Here is a graph with more than one proxies and the average.

    I need some help with the graph you referenced http://www.biocab.org/Holocene_Delta_T_and_Delta_CO2_Full.jpg

    The average change in temperature is listed on the graph as being 2.25 K, but the change as shown on the primary y axis seems to be 1.25 K.

  57. welikerocks
    Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 8:10 AM | Permalink

    tpguydk, :)

    I forgot to say you can find the MWP and the LIA in botany and biology papers too. example: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050919082534.htm
    (article about salamanders) Just google..fossils plus Medieval Warm Period together.

    Here’s a paper with Russian data on pine trees called “Medieval climate warming and aridity as indicated by multiproxy evidence from the Kola Peninsula, Russia”:
    link

  58. Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 8:23 AM | Permalink

    # 57

    M. Jeff,

    Yes, you’re correct. The change is 1.75 K, not 2.25 K. Perhaps I took the period before 10380 ybp and the outcome was erroneous when applied the formula. I’ll correct the error just now. Thanks a lot, M. Jeff!

  59. M. Jeff
    Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

    re: #59, Nasif Nahle, December 13th, 2007 at 8:23 am

    My observation, December 13th, 2007 at 7:54 am, was that the primary y axis seemed to show 1.25 K, not the 1.75 K that you mention in your reply. But, I may have misinterpreted your graph.

  60. An Inquirer
    Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 9:09 AM | Permalink

    Susann,
    I am not asking you to trust me. You are more than welcomed and encouraged to read, study, analyze and critique the multitude of studies. I was responding to your question of why so many at CA are confident that the MWP existed, and I pointed out both physical evidence and studies. Many of these studies were done independent of — or before the before — the Global Warming issue so I doubt that a political agenda drove them. I noticed something interesting in your post. You pointed out that some articles are being “used” by pro AGW and some articles were being “used” by the other agenda. That is different than some studies were DONE by the pro AGW vs. studies DONE by the other agenda. Many of the authors of studies being USED by MWP believers had no idea that their studies were going to be used in this debate.
    It is probably obvious that proxies are based on samples, and therefore they need to deal with confidence levels. However, physical evidence is somewhat different. A barley field is a barley field. Trees under a glacier are trees that existed before the glacier. And tropical plants are tropical plants — and the list can go on.
    I suspect from your comments that ascribe a certain political agenda to me that may be incorrect. I apologize if my suspicion is incorrect, but I want you to know that I am no friend of the coal or fossil fuel industries. My analysis and opposition was cited as key to the rejection of 2400 MW of coal-fired generating capacity. I put solar panels on my home and bicycled to work. However, I became concerned about the AGW movement when I saw unintended consequences of moving pollution to lesser-developed countries and also hurting the progress on the ozone layer. In summary, as events are unfolding — and being shaped — I fear that the AGW movement will hurt the global environment.

  61. Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

    # 59

    M. Jeff,

    I had made the calculation for deltaT since 13000 ya, that was the cause of the error (2.25 K). I made the new calculation since 10380 to date and the outcome is 1.75 K. If I had included the plot from Antarctica boreholes the change of temperature would be ~3 K. The graph with the Antarctic boreholes included shows that the Holocene warming started in Greenland long before than in Antarctica, and the warming in Antarctica started many years before in the rest of the world. Thanks again for your observation, M. Jeff. I’d made a wrong calculi that has been corrected.

  62. Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

    # 60

    An Inquirer,

    It is probably obvious that proxies are based on samples

    Indeed, proxies are “prospect -samples”. The accuracy of each method based on proxies depends on the physicochemical resilience of those proxies for changing with the time and their response sensibility to minimal changes of the surroundings. Tree rings are less accurate than other samples because many external and internal factors (with respect to the biont) can modify the growth and frequency patterns of the tree rings. That’s the reason by which the dendrochronologists only consider few species for their studies.

  63. steven mosher
    Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

    What is unusual? What is unprecedented? what suprises you? ( cue Claude Shannon)

    As I tried to point out before Climate science utilizes CS Pierce’s rule of abduction.

    The warming is suprising, but if AGW were true, then the warming is not suprising.

    Similar forms of the same argument:

    The universe is suprising, but if an Designer designed it, then it’s not so surprising.

    ( NOTE: I am ONLY noting a structural similarity)

    Now, abduction, is the method by which new discoveries are made. Someone is attendant to an
    oddity. That oddity is usually dismissed by others ( outlier, fluke, measurement error, bias etc )
    but if the oddity is taken seriously, and explained then you get a paradigmn shift.

    Consequently there are three questions on the table:

    1. IS THIS AN ODDITY. how odd? how far back do we look? Is this the sideshow lady with a beard?
    the snake with two heads? A baseball hitting streak? Statistically feasible?
    2. If it is ODD, does it require A) a refinition of oddity( odd in period of time X) or B)a physical explanation.
    3. If it requires a physical model to explain it ( more than noise) then what do those
    models predict and are they more accurate than wild ass guesses.

  64. Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    # 43

    tpguydk,

    I never said it was global. It’s a comparison between the warming in the Antarctica and the warming in China during the last 2000 years.

  65. Susann
    Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 7:42 PM | Permalink

    Susann,
    I am not asking you to trust me. You are more than welcomed and encouraged to read, study, analyze and critique the multitude of studies. I was responding to your question of why so many at CA are confident that the MWP existed, and I pointed out both physical evidence and studies.

    First off, I apologize for getting a bit testy. I felt a bit testy after people made assumptions about my post.

    However, I don’t recall posting a question “Why are so many at CA confident that the MWP exists?” I seem to recall suggesting to Bender that he trusted the proxy evidence so much that he accepted the existence of a MWP that was warmer than the CWP. He responded with a resounding NO, that he was even-handed in his skepticism.

    I appreciate that some CA regulars do feel confident that the MWP was global and warmer than the CWP. I also appreciate that others from RC are confident with the notion that the CWP is warmer than any regional MWP. I do not know enough about proxies, their validity, and their uncertainties to make a judgment and am not willing to accept the authority claims made by either side. I am drinking no one’s Kool-Aid. Not yet, anyway. :)

    You say 88 studies prove MWP was global and greater than CWP? That may be. Until I see the evidence I can’t know. Everything I have read about proxy data suggests that they are incomplete, uncertain, need updating, and that all must be adjusted in some way to account for confounding factors. The farther back in time the proxy data goes, from what I read, the less certain can be the conclusions that may be drawn from some of them. Combining them seems to bring with it even more complexity and uncertainty. What I have read, admittedly incomplete, suggests that we are pushing the limits of credibility when we say anything about periods more than a few centuries ago when using some proxies.

    In the end, we still are left with the question of what a MWP, whether regional or global, warmer than today, the same, or less warm, says about current warming. That is yet another issue I am not able to address. I simply don’t know enough about the issues and uncertainties about the instrumental record or the Greenhouse Effect, the qualities of the models, etc. It’s all a big “?” to me.

    That there is warming is beyond doubt to me. The extent of the warming (regional, global), the cause (solar, aGHG, land use, unknown other), the prospects (minimal effect, harmful, catastrophe), the response (mitigation, adaptation) – those are all questions to be answered regardless of whether the MWP was global, regional, and whether temperatures were higher or lower than today.

    Many of these studies were done independent of — or before the before — the Global Warming issue so I doubt that a political agenda drove them.

    Those older pre-AGW studies can still have uncertainties that limit the nature of the conclusions that can be drawn from them. A scientist with a pro-AGW agenda can still do good science just as it is possible for a scientist with ties to the oil industry can do good science. Both may have a higher likelihood of producing biased results or ignoring results that do not keep with their agenda, but until that is proven, we have to look at the science rather than the “man” (or woman, of course).

    I noticed something interesting in your post. You pointed out that some articles are being “used” by pro AGW and some articles were being “used” by the other agenda. That is different than some studies were DONE by the pro AGW vs. studies DONE by the other agenda. Many of the authors of studies being USED by MWP believers had no idea that their studies were going to be used in this debate.

    I am sure many studies done in the past on other science problems were done in good faith but were still based on an incorrect method, premise, etc. I simply don’t know. Maybe they are valid, maybe not. I have seen both sides use particular studies, new and old, to bolster their agenda. I am willing to consider and skeptical of everything at this stage. At some point, I hope and trust that my skepticism will be rewarded and I will feel comfortable about the issue to accept one position or another.

    I suspect from your comments that ascribe a certain political agenda to me that may be incorrect. I apologize if my suspicion is incorrect, but I want you to know that I am no friend of the coal or fossil fuel industries. My analysis and opposition was cited as key to the rejection of 2400 MW of coal-fired generating capacity. I put solar panels on my home and bicycled to work. However, I became concerned about the AGW movement when I saw unintended consequences of moving pollution to lesser-developed countries and also hurting the progress on the ozone layer. In summary, as events are unfolding — and being shaped — I fear that the AGW movement will hurt the global environment.

    snip

    You seem like a reasonable person, that aside. How is it you think that controlling anthropogenic carbon emissions will harm the environment? The environment existed for millions of years without the emissions from the buring of fossil fuels. I don’t see how reducing them will harm the environment. Massive geoengineering schemes that attempt to combat warming in some way (say through emitting aerosols) or sequester carbon might. I’d be more in fear of those than using carbon free or carbon neutral alternatvies or reducing emissions. YMMV.

  66. Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 8:42 PM | Permalink

    Sussan,

    I don’t see how reducing them will harm the environment. Massive geoengineering schemes that attempt to combat warming in some way (say through emitting aerosols) or sequester carbon might. I’d be more in fear of those than using carbon free or carbon neutral alternatvies or reducing emissions. YMMV.

    What’s YMMV? Let’s see what could happen if we add iron to oceans. If we do that we could cause eutrophication. Eutrophication refers to an overfeeding of the marine phytoplankton allowing it to growth excessively causing thus a scarcity of dissolved in water minerals and oxygen; let’s say that all species of phytoplankton would flourish in that altered environment. There are some species of phytoplankton, for example dynoflagellates, that are nooot so good for fish and other forms of aquatic life, including aquatic mammals and sporadic swimmers (humans are mammals). The communities of those microorganisms would increase excessively and cause serious problems to the ecosystem. On the other hand, let’s talk about dimethyl sulfide (C2H6S), an aerosol that could act both like a positive “feedback” and like a negative “feedback”. C2H6S in aerosols react in the atmosphere with water by the action of UV radiation and form sulfuric acid, which would cause acidic rain… worst than the natural global warming. We are on need of adapting to Earth changes, as all bionts are doing just now. Do you remember the “solution” to diminish the population of rabbits in Australia? We do not know for certain what effect we could produce in the environment on trying to change natural processes and phenomena.

  67. Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 10:16 PM | Permalink

    Susann,

    re:December 12th, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    It is astonishing what an effort it seems to be for many people to put their brains definitely and systematically to work. – Thomas A. Edison

    It has always been that way. Shoveling 10 tons of coal is easier than 10 minutes of thinking for most people.

  68. Criton
    Posted Dec 13, 2007 at 10:39 PM | Permalink

    Spoken like a man who has obviously never shoveled coal.

  69. Andrey Levin
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 3:48 AM | Permalink

    Susann:

    How is it you think that controlling anthropogenic carbon emissions will harm the environment?

    Only rich nations have means and desire to care about environment. “Controlling antropogenic carbon emissions” means 4 billion people will remain poor – and polluting.

  70. MarkW
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 5:38 AM | Permalink

    Susann,

    It’s not that controlling CO2 might harm the environment. It’s that controlling CO2 will devastate the economy.

  71. MarkW
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 5:39 AM | Permalink

    YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary

  72. welikerocks
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 5:49 AM | Permalink

    Here’s one for Susann:

    “Baby tax needed to save planet, claims expert” By Jen Kelly, December 10, 2007 01:00am
    Article from: The Advertiser

    A WEST Australian medical expert wants families to pay a $5000-plus “baby levy” at birth and an annual carbon tax of up to $800 a child.

    Writing in today’s Medical Journal of Australia, Associate Professor Barry Walters said every couple with more than two children should be taxed to pay for enough trees to offset the carbon emissions generated over each child’s lifetime. ”

    “Professor Walters, clinical associate professor of obstetric medicine at the University of Western Australia and the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Perth, called for condoms and “greenhouse-friendly” services such as sterilization procedures to earn carbon credits.”

    “”Far from showering financial booty on new mothers and rewarding greenhouse-unfriendly behaviour, a ‘baby levy’ in the form of a carbon tax should apply, in line with the ‘polluter pays’ principle.”

    Yikes here we go! full article

    (I always wondered if the AGW thing might just be the old “over-population” thing in disguise)

  73. kim
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 5:53 AM | Permalink

    Criton, I’ve heard that back in the day, railroad engineers advanced according to their skill at encouraging coal shovelers.
    ===================================================

  74. Susann
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 7:10 AM | Permalink

    It’s not that controlling CO2 might harm the environment. It’s that controlling CO2 will devastate the economy.

    But that’s not what Inquirer said, was it? He said he was concerned that it would harm the environment.

    The economy I get. I undertand how our civilization runs on fossil fuels. I’m not that certain it would on balance harm the economy to develop alternatives and clean carbon fossil fuel processes. I’m not one of those who thinks we should only move to alternatives, but also develop carbon-neutral ways of using fossil fuels. I don’t know a thing about it, but I believe in human imagination and innovation. If we could put humans on the moon, we should be able to figure out how to burn coal without destroying the atmosphere and killing ourselves off. We should be able to develop nuclear energy that is safe and clean. That may make me a heretic but I do believe that if the incentive is there — $$$ — we can do it. There has been resistance to this for a number of reasons, but if AGW is real and if there is economic and human harm coming “in the pipes”, I think that resistance has to be overcome. Now, granted, this assumes that AGW is real and harm is in the pipes. I have not come to that conclusion yet, but I can still contemplate “what ifs” regardless and speculate.

  75. Susann
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 7:14 AM | Permalink

    Here’s one for Susann:

    You know, that’s real cute, and I appreciate your attention, but why don’t you leave me out of your posts unless you have something of value for me to consider.

  76. Susann
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 7:17 AM | Permalink

    Only rich nations have means and desire to care about environment. “Controlling antropogenic carbon emissions” means 4 billion people will remain poor – and polluting.

    How so? Unpack those hidden assumptions. You’ve made a lot of them and some of them are not necessarily valid.

  77. welikerocks
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 7:45 AM | Permalink

    #75 Well excuse me. Did I hit a nerve?
    I don’t think that story was cute nor silly, nor a jibe at you- AT ALL. I was seriously offering it up for consideration.

  78. Susann
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 7:59 AM | Permalink

    If you really think it is so cogent and worth discussing, have at it, WLR. I don’t know why you’d refer to me though.

  79. MarkW
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 8:08 AM | Permalink

    How so? Unpack those hidden assumptions. You’ve made a lot of them and some of them are not necessarily valid.

    Why don’t you specify what you believe these invalid hidden assumptions are. I don’t see any.

    1) Only rich nations have the means and desire to care about the environment.

    Basic logic. Poor people care about putting food on the table. That is first and foremost on their minds. They don’t have the resources to spend protecting the environment. For evidence of this, look at the environmental policies and quality of rich vs. poor countries.

    2) “Controlling antropogenic carbon emissions” means 4 billion people will remain poor

    Again, basic logic. Use of energy is how the rich nations became rich. You are denying access to energy to nations that are poor.

    3) and polluting

    A direct combination of 1 and 2.

  80. Susann
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

    Why don’t you specify what you believe these invalid hidden assumptions are. I don’t see any.

    A course or two in logic and philosophy would be useful to take apart your statements and analyse the assumtions. You’ve made assumption after assumption. I don’t have time now, but will get to it later.

  81. EW
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 8:17 AM | Permalink

    Of course the “babies are BAD for Gaia” idea was only to be expected. I’ve read similar in columns of British journals. Something along the lines “think about the carbon footprint of your progeny first and only then decide its number”. True, the Australians are the first who came with an idea of slapping taxes on such a luxury as babies. No doubt that this catchy idea will be repeated by various policymakers. It’s a very misanthropic era we live now in. Therefore I also don’t share any enthusiasm about the future clean technologies.

    A civilization that perceives itself as a danger for world and now also unworthy of having future generations is not in a state of mind suitable for creative and novel ideas.

  82. trevor
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

    Re #65, Susann, Dec 13th, 7:42 pm.

    Susann, I for one appreciate your presence and contributions here.

    And in fact, as I read your #65, I find myself agreeing with most of it. You eloquently express an agnostic view based on the premise that the climate system is very complex, and you see that there is much that we don’t know about it.

    Would you accept that the view you express seems to contradict the certainty with which IPCC, Al Gore, and RC state that we know that human caused CO2 emissions is the primary cause of potentially cataclysmic warming? And that there was no MWP, and thus CWP is “unprecedented”? IPCC, Al Gore and RC state that “there is a consensus” that “the science is settled” when perusal of the literature and the blogs makes it very evident that these statements are far from true.

    Having reached what seems to be serious agreement with you, I find myself puzzled as to why you then think that invoking the precautionary principle is the right thing to do:

    The economy I get. I undertand how our civilization runs on fossil fuels. I’m not that certain it would on balance harm the economy to develop alternatives and clean carbon fossil fuel processes. I’m not one of those who thinks we should only move to alternatives, but also develop carbon-neutral ways of using fossil fuels. I don’t know a thing about it, but I believe in human imagination and innovation. If we could put humans on the moon, we should be able to figure out how to burn coal without destroying the atmosphere and killing ourselves off. We should be able to develop nuclear energy that is safe and clean. That may make me a heretic but I do believe that if the incentive is there — $$$ — we can do it. There has been resistance to this for a number of reasons, but if AGW is real and if there is economic and human harm coming “in the pipes”, I think that resistance has to be overcome. Now, granted, this assumes that AGW is real and harm is in the pipes. I have not come to that conclusion yet, but I can still contemplate “what ifs” regardless and speculate.

    While I share your agnostic position of “not knowing”, my concern is that what seems to me to be obsessive focus by IPCC, Al Gore and RC (and many politicians and members of the public on what they have to say) on what may well be a non-problem (CO2 emissions) is misdirecting attention and resources from what may be much more serious impacts of humanity on the environment and climate, viz, brown-cloud pollution, misuse of water resources, poor land management practices (causing loss of soil moisture, degrading the subsoil microbiological environment), uncontrolled clearing of native forests, release of various hydrocarbons into the environment, degradation of food quality, poor quality water supplies etc etc.

    Anyhow, thanks for being here, and adopting a robustly sceptical attitude.

  83. bender
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 9:22 AM | Permalink

    If there is warming “in the pipe”, and “the pipe” is the ocean, then I do not understand what precludes past activity of the sun – especially its impact on the world’s oceans – as being the dominant source. If the GCMs were accurately parameterized in terms of solar and ocean dynamics, I would buy the argument that this factor has been ruled out. But the fact that they have not been accurately parameterized – because there is still some ignorance about how these bodies interact – leads me to conclude that back-inferencing of CO2 as a driver is unjustifiable. There’s simply too much uncertainty with the internal dynamics to attribute the residuals to external forcing by GHGs. Too much slop.

    I welcome factual refutation by any and all informed warmers.

  84. bender
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    But we are quickly going OT (AGU Day 1). Any replies should be properly threaded or else unthreaded.

  85. welikerocks
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

    Hmm. re: MWP evidence and 88 papers etc:
    “Those older pre-AGW studies can still have uncertainties that limit the nature of the conclusions that can be drawn from them”

    Really, can anyone give an example?
    Keep in mind there are evidences from the rock, sediment,ice, good old stalagmites, botany papers and biology papers that all correlate nicely from all around the world collected by 1,000s scientists for quite a while , before and after Al Gore invented the internet and google, who are just as smart and just as learned as “The Team” and Mr.Gore. So you might have to open a text book or go to the library.

    #81 I couldn’t agree more with your last paragraph there. My whole beef in a nut shell with this “theory” and how its being used like that. State of Fear.

  86. Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

    # 71

    Thank you Mark! YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary.

  87. Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    # 85

    IlikeRocks,

    Derek Briggs and Peter R. Crowther. Paleobiology II. Chapter 4; page 432.

  88. MarkW
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

    Susann,

    If those alternative energy sources are much more expensive, then it will destroy the economy. There’s a reason why fossil fuels dominate at present, and it isn’t the Captain Planet reason.

    There are also significant problems with all of the renewables. They are either limited in supply (hydro) or unreliable, (wind, solar).

    You can’t start a fossil fuel plant on a dime. It takes hours (nat. gas) to days (coal) to start up one of these plants. The output of wind and solar can vary in a matter of minutes. Until a way is found to cheaply store and recover energy, renewables will never account for more than a small fraction of electrical production.

    how to burn coal without destroying the atmosphere and killing ourselves off.

    I sure hope your tongue was firmly in your cheek when you wrote this.

    We should be able to develop nuclear energy that is safe and clean.

    We already have. We have had the ability to reprocess spent nuclear waste since the early 70’s. Perhaps earlier.
    The Japanese and I believe French, have been reprocessing all along.

  89. MarkW
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

    Even if there is real warming still in the pipes. Nobody has demonstrated that this warming will result in net harm. There is significant evidence that the warming will be overall beneficial. That and the fact that lots of CO2 in the atmosphere makes plants very happy.

  90. Andrey Levin
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

    Susann:

    Correlation between GDP per person and reduction of harmful pollution is well-researched subject in economics and environment protection studies. Google “Environmental Kuznets curve”.
    From Wiki:

    …many environmental health indicators, such as water and air pollution, show the inverted U-shape: in the beginning of economic development, little weight is given to environmental concerns, raising pollution along with industrialization. After a threshold, when basic physical needs are met, interest in a clean environment rises, reversing the trend. Now society has the funds, as well as willingness to spend to reduce pollution. This relation holds most clearly true for a many pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, lead, DDT, chlorofluorocarbons, sewage, and many other chemicals previously released directly into the air or bodies of water.
    However, there is little evidence that the relationship holds true for other pollutants…example is the emission of many greenhouse gases.

  91. Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

    @bender-

    If there is warming “in the pipe”, and “the pipe” is the ocean, then I do not understand what precludes past activity of the sun – especially its impact on the world’s oceans – as being the dominant source.

    Hmmm cross post… I will highlight what I said, not having read what you say.

    b) an oceanic time constant of 30 years or more (possibly even much more) coupled with an atmosphere with a short time constant. (These are consistent with values GCM modelers claim. More importantly, the long oceanic time constants is now being given as the reason the GCM’s over predict the CO2. It’s the “heat is in the pipeline” argument. If this argument applies to the earth’s response to CO2. An ocean time constant used to explain how the world responds to CO2 forcing should still exist if the forcing is solar.)

    See comment on unthreaded.
    As they say, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. :)

  92. steven mosher
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

    re 89. I’m a climate Progressive. I think climate change is good. Unlike these
    climate conservatives who think change is bad.

    Climate Progressive!

  93. Larry
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 1:58 PM | Permalink

    92, you stole my riff. Environmentalism, at it’s core, is an ultra-conservative movement. Reactionary, even. They don’t want anything to change. They want to return to an idyllic time that never was, just like the [self-snip].

    But I don’t want to invite the mohel.

  94. steven mosher
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 3:16 PM | Permalink

    RE 93… I improvised on your riff.. I do think the climate progressive trope will cause some
    brains to short circuit.. Tell the mohel to keep the tip.

  95. M. Jeff
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

    re: #93, Larry, December 14th, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Concerning environmentalists:

    Excerpt from WSJ, December 13, 2007

    http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB119751280921625673.html

    Green Projects Generate Splits in Activist Groups

    On Capitol Hill, the Audubon Society is leading the fight to increase production of climate-friendly power. So why are Audubon enthusiasts battling a wind farm that could help meet that goal?

    For one thing, there are trout in nearby streams, which activists say are at risk from chemical and sediment runoff from construction of 30 turbines, each soaring about 400 feet — taller than the Statue of Liberty. Then there are the bats and hawks, which might be puréed by the giant blades that would catch the wind gusting along the Allegheny Mountains of Western Pennsylvania.

  96. SteveSadlov
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

    RE: #70 – actually, a purist deep ecologist with no political motivation would have to at least question the environmental impact of any overt program to “turn around” atmospheric CO2 levels via emission caps, sequestration or both. I can easily wear such a hat, so here goes. All processes, whether natural or man made, will have a set of parameters controlling them. Each parameter will have a range of operation that is ideal. Some parameters may be such that, if the bounds of the ideal range are exceeded, safe operation is no longer possible. This may apply equally or unequally to upper and lower process “spec” limits for a given parameter. For the parameter known as atmospheric CO2 concentration, it is not only possible but probable that the spec limit at the low end for safe operation lies somewhere between 90 PPM (the effective lower limit for photosynthesis) and the current actual value. Without knowing what that lower spec limit is with great confidence and precision, there is a finite danger that efforts to lower atmospheric CO2 could send this parameter out of control, resulting in adverse results ranging from annoying to apocalyptically catastrophic.

    The mother of all EIRs would appear to be in order.

  97. SteveSadlov
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

    I’m not kidding, by the way. I really and truly believe that what I wrote in #96 is objectively correct, logical and is the “moral” thing to do. I learned along time ago that tweaking a process without understanding it can be a disaster.

  98. welikerocks
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

    #87 page 432? Ancient communities and Ecological Changes Through Geologic Time? Thanks! ;)

    (hee hee you can look inside the book on amazon.com)

  99. SteveSadlov
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

    Final note – managed forests, crops, mari/aquaculture and pastoralism currently needed to feed and take care of 6 plus billion people whilst maintaining a healthy environment may be a significant forcing to the CO2 cycle. This may constitute an additive factor to what appears, in the geological record, to be a slow downward trend in atmospheric CO2 since ~ 240MY ago, especially during the past 10MY. It may well be that the addition of CO2 and other GHGs by humans has actually somewhat mitigated, unwittingly, what could be a significantly adverse trend in atmospheric composition and the trend’s likely impacts on the viability of the green plants and phytoplankton at the base of our food chain and of course responsible for maintaining enough oxygen in the air for survival. Until we fully understand this, any serious effort to intervene vis a vis atmospheric CO2 concentration either passively via caps or actively via sequestration, could end up doing great unforeseen harm. Again, I am totally serious about this.

  100. SteveSadlov
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

    “This may constitute an additive factor” of course, atmospherically speaking, our fixing activities subtract CO2 from the air.

  101. Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 4:48 PM | Permalink

    Why not to invite the MOHEL?

  102. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

    I agree with you Steve S. What would it do to purposely force AGHG levels down? While it certainly seems prudent to reduce the polluting effects of fossil fuels and develop renewable energy, that would be for health and standard of living reasons. That it would slow the release of AGHG (which may or may not do anything to temperatures) is just a side effect. If this were about the environment, that’s how I would go at “doing something” about AGHG, by working at it sideways.

    But I don’t think this is about the environment. I think this is about economic (and therefore political) reasons. That’s why the air/ground/water polution and renewable energy angle isn’t followed. My opinion.

  103. SteveSadlov
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

    FYI:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/p4n853765618725w/

    What do animals compete with?

  104. SteveSadlov
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 5:25 PM | Permalink

    Thought experiment, what happens at 80 PPMV atmospheric CO2, all other things being equal?

    Second thought experiment, what happens at 150 PPMV atmospheric CO2 if something else happens that generally stresses green plants, or inhibits photosynthesis?

    After either thought experiments 1 or 2, what happens ecologically, geochemically and atmospherically over the following 20 – 30M years?

  105. Pat Keating
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

    97

    tweaking a process without understanding it can be a disaster.

    Ain’t that the truth! It should be writ large on Capitol Hill, DC and on the UN building in New York.

  106. steven mosher
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    re 101. the mohel is fond of snipping

  107. SteveSadlov
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

    http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.physiol.62.1.135

  108. SteveSadlov
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

    Potentially falsifiable hypothesis – 1300 PPMV CO2 is the sweet spot.

  109. SteveSadlov
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

    I continue to present Susann with food (pun intended) for thought regarding potential downsides of CO2 reduction:

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2002AGUSM.B22C..02S

  110. Andrey Levin
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 6:44 PM | Permalink

    Re# 96, Steve Sadlov:

    actually, a purist deep ecologist with no political motivation would have to at least question the environmental impact of any overt program to “turn around” atmospheric CO2 levels via emission caps, sequestration or both.

    Ha!
    About half of FF carbon emitted today is sequestered by plants and (mostly) oceans. It means that if we want to maintain current 380 ppm CO2 (and we do, unless we want to damage biosphere productivity and diversity), we have to combust about 50% of our current consumption of fossil fuels.

    On long time scale even this is not possible. According to Segalstad oceans on long timescale have “infinite buffer capacity”:

    The chemical equilibrium constants for the chemical reactions above provide us with a partition coefficient for CO2 between the atmosphere and the ocean of approximately 1 : 50 (approx. 0.02) at the global mean temperature (Revelle & Suess, 1957; Skirrow, 1975). This means that for an atmospheric doubling of CO2, there will have to be supplied 50 times more CO2 to the ocean to obtain chemical equilibrium. This total of 51 times the present amount of atmospheric CO2 carbon is more than the known reserves of fossil carbon. It is possible to exploit approximately 7000 GT of fossil carbon, which means, if all this carbon is supposed to be burned, that the atmospheric CO2can be increased by 20% at the most under geochemical equilibrium at constant present surface temperature.

    http://folk.uio.no/tomvs/esef/esef4.htm

  111. SteveSadlov
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 6:49 PM | Permalink

    One might start to visualize a possible continuum of CO2 levels and results:
    1) 4000 PPMV – climate chaos, ecological disruption a certainty
    2) X – the sweet spot – Goldilocks zone
    3) Present value (or should it be above X? Who really knows?)
    4) 200 PPMV – Global famine threshold
    5) 150 PPMV – Fungal expansion threshold
    6) 90 PPMV – Green plant die off point
    7) 50 PPMV – climate chaos, complete death of biosphere threshold

    We don’t know what we don’t know. Yes, this is a Six Sigma Project (sort of).

  112. SteveSadlov
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 6:52 PM | Permalink

    RE: #110 – A yes, I see you also recognize the real problem. And it is a very big problem.

  113. SteveSadlov
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_images.jsp?cntn_id=103190&org=NSF

  114. SteveSadlov
    Posted Dec 14, 2007 at 8:43 PM | Permalink

    Is a safety margin of CO2 warranted?:

    http://www.snowballearth.org/could.html

    What should upper and lower warning limits and spec limits be?

  115. kim
    Posted Dec 15, 2007 at 6:12 AM | Permalink

    Carbonates don’t burn well.
    =================

  116. yorick
    Posted Dec 15, 2007 at 6:19 AM | Permalink

    The planet is trying to freeze us. We are in a death struggle to prevent it.

  117. kim
    Posted Dec 15, 2007 at 6:23 AM | Permalink

    No, the sun, in collaboration with the plants and animals here, is trying to freeze us; it’s a conspiracy.
    =======================

  118. kim
    Posted Dec 15, 2007 at 6:27 AM | Permalink

    I wonder is life sequestering carbon keeps us balanced at the cusp of glaciation, kept from it by gradually increasing insolation. That may give too large a role to carbon in climate regulation, maybe not. The butterfly is balanced, still.
    ===================================

  119. Posted Dec 15, 2007 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

    # 98

    Welikerocks,

    Huh? You read it at Amazon? Not fair… I bought it! Have you read the entire chapter? Chapter 4 is very interesting. :)

  120. welikerocks
    Posted Dec 15, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    #119 Nasif,
    No I was teasing. You can view the Table of Contents where I found the title to Chapter 4, and small portions of the book only on Amazon.
    I would like to read the entire chapter. :)

  121. VG
    Posted Dec 15, 2007 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

    From canada Free press quote

    “For the first time ever, the UN has released on the Web the comments of reviewers who assessed the drafts of the WG I report and the IPCC editors’ responses. This release was almost certainly a result of intense pressure applied by “hockey-stick” co-debunker Steve McIntyre of Toronto and his allies. Unlike the other IPCC working groups, WG I is based in the U.S. and McIntyre had used the robust Freedom of Information legislation to request certain details when the full comments were released”.

  122. Susann
    Posted Dec 15, 2007 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

    That’s great VG. I for one would love to see those comments.

  123. Cliff Huston
    Posted Dec 15, 2007 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

    Susann,

    See this thread: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1790#comments

    Cliff

  124. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Dec 15, 2007 at 6:03 PM | Permalink

    snip – I I don’t want alternative energy discussions at this site.

  125. steven mosher
    Posted Dec 15, 2007 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

    re 122. Susann you missed our FOIA fun? Check the side bar on FOIA. Following Steve’s lead
    a bunch of us FOIA’d susan solomon and got the comments to the IPCC released!

    Check the threads to the left… And then you can find the actual comments. It was fun!

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