BBC "Climate Wars"

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343 Comments

  1. Stuart Harmon
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 7:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I watched this programme with mounting fury. The presenter showed little or no objectivity nor made any attempt to hide the fact that he was a believer.

    There was no attempt to allow scientists to express their views and ideas unless of course they supported the theory of anthropegenic climate change.

    The camera work was such as to show the scientists opposed to the theory as a bunch of loonies.

    He interviewed Mann and showed the Hockey stick graph which I thought had been accepted as a mistake or misinterpretation of data.

    Why is it that BBC reporters are unable to report without giving their own views also they are unable or unwilling and allow scientists to express fully their views. They would not do this if it was a question of party politics but on environmental matters they do.

    An hour long programme which not once mentioned water vapour as a greenhouse gas?

    The BBC on this subject is now a defacto campaigning organisation and therefore have lost any moral right to charging a television license fee.

    Anyway keep up the good work.

    • Mel Rowiing
      Posted Sep 22, 2008 at 2:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Stuart Harmon (#1),

      I’ve just watched the last episode much centred on historical events occurring well before industrialisation.

      Was not the theme of the series that global warming is anthropogenic? If not what are we supposed to do about it?

      What disturbed me was the inadequacy of basic science offered even if the programme was targeted towards lay audiences. Take the thermal image of the candle obliterated by an injection of CO2 into a glass cell between the candle flame and the thermal image camera.

      Very convincing:

      Except that a candle burns at a temperature around 1000x the temperature of the surface of the earth with a consequent difference in the infra red signature produced.

      If, CO2 behaved in the way implied spectroscopically. Have I got it wrong? Does not the infra red absorption spectrum of CO2 show that the absorbance of infra-red of this gas is limited to specific bands? Are we now to assume that thermal imagers used on satellites and aircraft no longer work?

      Then going back to the satellite temperature aberrations. Again have I got it wrong? Don’t satellites measure temperature via wavelength patterns? If that be the case then there is no way these can be affected by satellite altitude. Further are we to assume that the operators of these satellites have no knowledge of their position at any particular point in time?

      • Peter Lloyd
        Posted Sep 22, 2008 at 4:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Mel Rowiing (#77),

        re infrared-

        Yes, and not only by this programme am I puzzled by many scientists’ (chiefly pro-AGW)
        claim that the CO2 molecule is a more powerful absorber than the H2O molecule – yes, on a molecule-for-molecule basis! I’m no spectroscopist, but worked closely with IR spectroscopists and learned something of their fascinating discipline. So did I get it wrong when I understood that the area under the absorbance curve was proportional to the energy absorbed? So when I look at the 3 or 4 narrow 100% peaks, plus another 3 or four much smaller, of the CO2 curve, and compare it to the many more much broader peaks of the water vapour curve, many of which are at shorter wavelengths (i.e., more energetic) than the CO2 peaks; plus the fat mountain range at about 14 microns and longer – who am I supposed to believe? Ph.Ds or knowledgeable B.Sc lab techs?

        Add the fact that water vapour makes up 2% – 4% of the atmosphere, all low down where the climate’s made, as against <0.04% CO2 evenly distributed throughout, and the relative importance cannot be in doubt.

        satellite temperature measurements-

        This was done not just to decry satellite instrumentation but purely to assassinate Roy Spencer’s reputation in the “interview”. Yes, there were some problems – damn, it was the launch of a new complex system and almost guaranteed to have some glitches. But Iain Stewart deliberately and with malice aforethought omitted to show that Spencer immediately publicised the problem, told his peers what was wrong, what corrections had to be made, and what he eventually did to fix the problem. He could not have been more open. Roy Spencer did a great job in seeing this system through from inception to current status as a standard data source. He is a real scientist. Dr Iain Stewart should compare and reflect on his own achievements.

        • Phil.
          Posted Sep 26, 2008 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

          Re: Peter Lloyd (#78),

          Yes, and not only by this programme am I puzzled by many scientists’ (chiefly pro-AGW)
          claim that the CO2 molecule is a more powerful absorber than the H2O molecule – yes, on a molecule-for-molecule basis! I’m no spectroscopist, but worked closely with IR spectroscopists and learned something of their fascinating discipline. So did I get it wrong when I understood that the area under the absorbance curve was proportional to the energy absorbed? So when I look at the 3 or 4 narrow 100% peaks, plus another 3 or four much smaller, of the CO2 curve, and compare it to the many more much broader peaks of the water vapour curve, many of which are at shorter wavelengths (i.e., more energetic) than the CO2 peaks; plus the fat mountain range at about 14 microns and longer – who am I supposed to believe? Ph.Ds or knowledgeable B.Sc lab techs?

          First you should look at the spectra at sufficiently high resolution to see the individual transitions, you can be mislead by the low resolution ‘cartoon’ shown in many websites, water bands are typically composed of more sparsely distributed bands than CO2, low res doesn’t show this. That’s why you need to run the likes of Hitran to see what’s happening.

          Add the fact that water vapour makes up 2% – 4% of the atmosphere, all low down where the climate’s made, as against <0.04% CO2 evenly distributed throughout, and the relative importance cannot be in doubt.

          That’s a mistake, the upper troposphere is where critical interactions occur.

          satellite temperature measurements-
          This was done not just to decry satellite instrumentation but purely to assassinate Roy Spencer’s reputation in the “interview”. Yes, there were some problems – damn, it was the launch of a new complex system and almost guaranteed to have some glitches. But Iain Stewart deliberately and with malice aforethought omitted to show that Spencer immediately publicised the problem, told his peers what was wrong, what corrections had to be made, and what he eventually did to fix the problem. He could not have been more open. Roy Spencer did a great job in seeing this system through from inception to current status as a standard data source. He is a real scientist. Dr Iain Stewart should compare and reflect on his own achievements.

          Actually his peers told him about the problems and Spencer rather grudgingly accepted them eventually!

          Mears, Wentz & Schnabel, Fu et al, Prabhakara et al, Vinnikov & Grody, R.E. Swanson for example.

          In 2005 for example Spencer said the following:

          “Mears & Wentz were additionally able to demonstrate to us, privately, that there is an error that arises from our implementation of the UAH technique. This very convincing demonstration, which is based upon simple algebra and was discovered too late to make it into their published report, made it obvious to us that the UAH diurnal correction method had a bias that needed to be corrected.”

    • Daryl M
      Posted Oct 5, 2008 at 12:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Stuart Harmon (#1), I watched this programme with mounting fury. The presenter showed little or no objectivity nor made any attempt to hide the fact that he was a believer.

      I just finished watching it last night and your view is pretty consistent with my own. I already sent an email to Iain Stewart and I’m going to send one to the BBC as well.

      I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the experiment with the candle and the CO2. That was incredibly misleading.

      I also found it incredible the way Stewart criticized “sceptics” for ending the graph showing correlation between solar activity and temperature at 1980 when his temperature graphs end at 1998, conveniently omitting the downward trend since then.

      I also thought it was one-sided for him to brag about how climate models predicted the temperature decrease from the Pinatubo eruption yet they did not predict the temperature would level off during the last decade and drop dramatically during the past 18 months.

      The entire programme was nothing but a propaganda piece.

  2. Spence_UK
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 7:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

    In response to Christopher Booker’s comment here – I was just about to cross-post to a satellite temperature thread but I thought this might be more suitable! Christopher asked (and may never see my reply….):

    The BBC’s ‘Climate Wars’ three-part series is indeed a very clever(and, from the wealth of worldwide location shots, clearly very expensive) attempt to provide a rebuttal of all the main sceptical claims made in Channel Four’s The Great Global Warming Swindle last year. This had all the look of a carefully planned operation, using the BBC’s sadly ill-deserved reputation for impartiality to mount a major counter-attack on the rising tide of informed scepticism.
    I was particularly struck by the ingeniously tendentious way they tried to show that the ‘hockey stick’ was alive and well (complete with film of the presenter fondling bristlecone pines on location in the Sierra Nevada, but naturally without any reference to the work of McIntyre and McKittrick!)
    But like your contributor above I was also struck by the care they took to discredit satellite tenperature readings, making them out to have been shown as less reliable than surface readings.
    Since I am hoping to comment on this in my weekly column in the London Sunday Telegraph this week, I would be grateful for any comments on this from your admirable contributors. In particular,which studies do the AGW lobby use to support their argument that the RSS and UAH satellite readings provide a less reliable record than the GISS and Hadley surface records?

    Actual studies criticising the satellite temperature record are surprisingly hard to find. Most of the criticisms are organised around personal smears and attacks on Roy Spencer and John Christy, the UAH team that developed the original record. The first versions of the processing did not fully account for certain drifts in the instrumentation. This resulted in a series of improved versions of the processing (A, B, C, D) – the actual net effect of these corrections on the record was virtually nil (some of the corrections were large, but of differing signs!). This updating and improving of processing is a natural thing that scientists should encourage. However, in climate science, acknowledging an error is unfortunately seen as a weakness and Spencer and Christy – by acknowledging an error and improving their product – have been unfairly smeared by the climate science community. Confusingly, their latest version is numbered 5, and includes a bug fix to a diurnal drift correction which resulted in an increase in the long-term trend of 0.035K/decade.

    (Interesting to constrast this behaviour with Mann et al, who refuse to acknowledge any errors, thereby never having to improve their product, despite the glaring errors within. This behaviour does not correlate with objectivity in science)

    The most famous – and ironically in my opinion, one of the worst – criticisms of the satellite temperature record is by Fu et al. The satellite instrument doesn’t get a perfect image of the lower atmosphere – it has to look through the upper atmosphere, which contaminates the signal. This is corrected using shallower views (which yield a better estimate of the higher altitude temperatures). Fu et al removed “too much” of the higher altitude measurements – inverting and amplifying a weak stratospheric cooling trend and adding it into the surface trend. There is a rebuttal to this by the UAH team here:

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2004/05/04/assault-from-above/

    (The “physically impossible” claim argued there is a bit of a stretch, but Fu et als solution definitely distorts the record).

    In practice, the satellite record is far from perfect. It includes drifts, corrections, stitching together of instrument records. The data recorded is influenced by clouds, rain and background type (land/ocean data sets are processed differently). However it has some advantages too – very good uniform coverage of the globe (poles/high spots excepting), no spatial aliasing, none of the land use / urbanisation contamination of thermometer records. In practice, neither satellites or thermometers are a panacea. They both need to be used with an awareness of the limitations of these data. The tendency of people on both sides of the debate to summarily dismiss one record is usually based on a post hoc preference rather than an objective, a priori requirement for the best possible data set.

    This leads to a second paper criticising the satellite temperature record:

    Examination of ‘global atmospheric temperature monitoring with satellite microwave measurements': 1) theoretical considerations, Prabhakara et al

    The problem with these criticisms is that similar criticisms of drift, contamination etc. can be applied equally to the instrumental record.

    • Steve Powell
      Posted Dec 14, 2008 at 6:27 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Spence_UK (#2),

      I despare. You watched a programme where you saw the key note speaker of the main climate change sceptics conference say that humans are at least partly responsible for climate change in the latter part of the 20th century, and you complain about bias.

      The consequences of not moving the argument on to taking the urgent action now required to mitigate climate change do not bear thinking about, and yet we must before it’s too late.

      This whole debate over whether humans are responsible has been as damaging as Neville Chamberlains appeasement policy in the years preceding world war 2. So what was the plan B if human’s weren’t responsible for climate change – just let it continue because we’re not reponsible? We’re not responsible for earthquakes or volcanoes but that doesn’t mean that scientists aren’t seeking ways of predicting when they happen so that we can try and limit the loss of human life.

      We are at war with the climate and have created this situation by squandering precious natural resources (oil, coal and gas) which are about to become the flip side of the global warming issue when they reach peak production and then start to decline causing shortages, high prices and recession – or is that what’s just happened (it’s certainly not just the credit crunch).

      By Daniel Howden,The Independent
      Thursday, 14 June 2007


      “In recent years the once-considerable gap between demand and supply has narrowed. Last year that gap all but disappeared. The consequences of a shortfall would be immense. If consumption begins to exceed production by even the smallest amount, the price of oil could soar above $100 a barrel. A global recession would follow.”

      Daniel Howden, 2007. World oil supplies are set to run out faster than expected, warn scientists – Scientists challenge major review of global reserves and warn that supplies will start to run out in four years’ time [online]. The Independent. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/world-oil-supplies-are-set-to-run-out-faster-than-expected-warn-scientists-453068.html (Accessed 7/12/08)

      “…the [International] panel [on Climate Change] concluded that it was at least 90% certain that human emissions of greenhouse gases rather than natural variations are warming the planet’s surface.”

      Referring to the findings of the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change)
      Richard Black, Environment correspondent, 2007. Humans blamed for climate change [online]. Paris; BBC News website
      Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6321351.stm (Accessed 7/12/08)

      Publiched Scientific research lags behind the actual situation – do we really want to just ‘index track’ the decline in the environment with our belated response?

  3. Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 7:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve

    Presumably you know there is a 26 comment thread on this subject under ‘Unthreaded?’ It would be good to have a main page position but would it be possible to provide a suitable link so the posts don’t get spread around? Thanks

    Tony Brown

    • Chris Wright
      Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 12:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Tony Brown (#3),

      Hi Tony,
      I’ll continue here as this seems to be the ‘official’ thread now.

      As we said on the other thread, it’s completely bizarre to go into some detail about the HS without any mention of M&M. It’s a bit like telling the story of David and Goliath – without mentioning David!

      A few general comments, some of which I made in the other thread:

      I thought the programme could have been a lot worse. Compared to Al Gore’s film it was a paragon of truth and reason. He used the term ‘sceptics’ and not climate change deniers. He did present some of the sceptic arguments reasonably accurately, for example the historical evidence and UHI. He actually gave a good demonstration of UHI in Las Vegas and described how the temperature station there had been surrounded by increasing amounts of concrete and air conditioners. In fact you could have used many of those clips in the Channel 4 Swindle film. The odd thing is that he didn’t provide any refutation of those arguments, so it’s difficult to understand how he could go on to present the HS and keep a straight face. Those historical arguments he presented and the HS can’t both be true.

      Unlike Gore’s film, I don’t believe there were any demonstrable untruths. If he says he believes in the HS it’s a difference of opinion, not a lie. Rather than tell untruths, I think he was misleading and very selective. But can anyone point out any demonstrable untruths in the film?

      He struck me as a likeable and reasonable person. I believe he’s a geologist and not a climate scientist, so there is hope. I have a feeling that if, by some magic, he could be made aware of all the painstaking work by Steve M and many others, and of the appalling behaviour of some scientists, then he would be prepared to modify his position relating to the HS. I would love to invite him to a drink and a discussion about the HS and climate change in general. I don’t think I could say the same about Gore, Hansen and Mann!

      I would issue a challenge to him: show me an epoch in Earth’s history when it can be proven that the climate was driven by carbon dioxide. To do that he would have to show that the temperature changes came *after* the changes in CO2. Thanks to the high resolution ice cores we can rule out the last 400,000 years.

      Chris

      • Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 12:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Chris Wright (#13),

        I was hoping we might be able to arrange a big transfer fee for the continued use of our talents on a rival thread. No such luck. As I jokingly said on the other thread I nearly passed out after seeing what they did with the HS! To parade it through the streets like that on a big van seems to me that the presenter is cocking a snook at the deconstruction Chris. It is incvonceivable that he would not havbe known about the controversy and has ignored it for the same reason that others want to deny past periods of climactic warming. It doesn’t suit their computer models which say there hasnt been warming and blow the observable ‘anecdotal’ evidence to the contrary.

        If I had been less well informed (yes really) I would have been completely taken in by the programme. It was a slick multi million pound production with a likeable presenter who ‘appeared’ to give the sceptics a fair crack of the whip but instead managed to make them look old, silly and out of touch.

        There were very many things I did like about the programme but the selectivty hardly made it as unbiased as I had hoped

        Tony Brown

  4. Rich
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 7:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I tried to find something on the BBC website to link to. I could only find this: from the Press Office and links to iPlayer so you can watch it again. Otherwise there seems to be corporate silence.

    I recall a quote from Iain Stewart in an earlier episode of the “Earth” series. He said that, for 99% of its history, Earth has been ice-free. This makes ice-caps and glaciers anomalies. Funny, that.

    Rich

  5. Ashley
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 8:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    In the past I have filed a formal complaint on the BBC website concerning bias on the reporting of climate change. I filed a complaint March this year at the BBC’s failure to report on the NIPCC conference and received a rather wooly reply. Responding further did force them to go and consider my complaint more fully, but the response was still not satisfactory. I am now about to file a further two complaints – one concerning the reporting of Mann without mention of MM05 (or even papers such as Loehle, Haltia-Hovi etc) and the second to reprise my earlier complaint about the NIPCC conference not being considered news. Interesting enough for them to have a reporter and camera crew there though, footage of which they showed in Climate Wars, in order to a documentary “hatchet job”.

    I would urge people to make properly substantiated/justified complaints to the BBC. As a public body charged with impartiality they have to respond to complaints. You can complain at

  6. Ashley
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 8:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Apologies – complaints to BBC at http://bbc.co.uk/complaints

  7. CuckooUK
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 9:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

    complain to Ofcom, get them to investigate the bias in the programme – that’s what the global warm-mongers did about TGGWS

    http://www.ofcom.org.uk/complain/progs/specific/

  8. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 9:26 AM | Permalink | Reply

    First, I don’t think Ofcom has jurisdiction over the BBC but you need to check that. Second, as I reported previously, OFcom was definitely looking ahead in its Swindle ruling as it pretty much refused to rule on any of the scientific complaints, pretty much sending the complainants home without supper. There were a few mercy findings for the complainants on trifles like notice to IPCC or David King on breeding couples in the Antarctic, but their ruling made it clear that they are not going to try to resolve climate disputes. I think that their main rulings showed considerable common sense and I would urge readers to bear that in mind before they get too worked up about things.

  9. CuckooUK
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 9:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, you are correct. I was thinking about section 5, impartiality and accuracy

    Section 5 – Due Impartiality and Due Accuracy and Undue Prominence of Views and Opinions
    (Relevant legislation includes, in particular, section 319(2)(c) and (d), 319(8) and section 320 of the Communications Act 2003, and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.)

    This section of the Code does not apply to BBC services funded by the licence fee or grant in aid, which are regulated on these matters by the BBC Governors.

    Please remove above comment if you think fit

  10. christopher booker
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 11:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Could I just thank Spence for such an admirable response to my query (in connection with the comment on the BBC’s Climate Wars I hope to include in my Sunday Telegraph column next Sunday). Extremely helpful.

    • Dodgy Geezer
      Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 5:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: christopher booker (#10),

      I would like to add my congratulations to Spence, for a useful and detailed set of references. To my mind, the most important part of his post is the comment about acknowledging an error being seen as a weakness. This is the heart of the reason for Climate Audit’s existence.

      Science usually proceeds with a polite and open exchange of views. Some climate science exchanges seem to consider that rudeness is a sufficient rebuttal, and that if a technical point can be prevented from being disseminated it can be ignored. The corollary is that if a point is sufficiently publicised it must be correct.

      This attitude has polarised both sides of the debate, prevented any advance, and wasted years of dedicated and intelligent people’s time, probably on both sides. It has changed climate science into something closer to religion or politics. Probably the most damaging aspect of the whole sorry affair is that the scientific establishment has done nothing to halt this, but rather encouraged it.

  11. Nigel Calder
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 11:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    First, to confirm: comments on The Climate Wars should go to the BBC Trust, not Ofcom. The weblink is given by Ashley in reply 9 above. The BBC Trust replaces the old Board of Governors.

    Secondly, remember that in June 2007 the BBC Trust published a report on impartiality, available at
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/research/impartiality/century21.html

    It singled out climate change as an area for concern. For example the report said:

    “Dissenters … cannot be simply dismissed as ‘flat-earthers’ or ‘deniers’, who should not be given a platform by the BBC. Impartiality always requires a breadth of view.”

    “Recent history is littered with examples of where the mainstream has moved away from the prevailing consensus.”

    “The BBC has many public purposes of both ambition and merit – but joining campaigns to save the planet is not one of them.”

    For about 2 weeks after that report came out, dissenters like me got unusual invitations to take part briefly in news and current affairs programmes of the BBC. Thereafter the BBC Trust’s call for impartiality was simply forgotten.

  12. Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 12:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The BBC describes the series as The Climate Wars, geologist Dr Iain Stewart (Earth – The Power Of The Planet) presents a definitive guide to the history of climate change.

    Definitive to me suggests some impartiality – but as I have linked elsewhere Dr Stewart is an activist, with an agenda. He finished the second programme saying how the third programme will show how our freedoms need to be curtailed. And in the BBC article above he finishes with:

    Blaming scientific uncertainty is now not an option to delay action. Sure, actions by individuals can make a difference, but real progress will only come when individuals come together with a strong, common voice to demand that rhetoric turns into regulation. And that’s where I see my role – in convincing ordinary folk that this is an issue that they should care about, not because it will affect them but, more insidiously, it will be their legacy to their kids and grandkids.

    I think we can see how the series is building up to be a polemic demanding regulation rather than as any sort of definitive history.

  13. Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 12:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Ashley and Calder above for the addresses to mail complaints.

    Re# Spence (2), just to be 100% certain : can I state that Spencer and Christ’s satellite data is now accepted as accurate, even by global warming campaigners, and that the BBC was wrong to give the impression that satellite temperature data is a false representation of global temperature records?

  14. Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 12:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Apologies Re (14): I meant Christy’s not Christ’s, satellite data! Then again, it may be good to have God on our side!

  15. UK John
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Iain Stewart has been making films like this for some time, one of them from a few years ago was about the “theory” that all the fresh water from the Artic ice melt would stop the Gulf stream. All mixed up with a bit of salinity differences etc, deep ocean currents. And we were all heading for the next glacial period and certain disaster, because of this, maybe!

    He kept a straight face all the way through, and still remained totally visually and verbally scientific, even when one expert contributor more or less said it was all total b*llocks. (Expert said something about the Earth’s rotation).

    On Sunday I fell firmly asleep after 10 mins, so he must be a good presenter, as I only do that while watching “good programmes”. So I am looking forward to next week.

  16. Stan Palmer
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 1:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7616622.stm

    This is in regard to the technical accuracy of BBC articles. Eh above URL points to a story about hackers taking over one of the servers in the new large Hadron Collider. The hackers left the message:

    “We are 2600 – don’t mess with us”

    The BBC explained the 2600 referece in this way:

    The number 2600 is often used by the hacking community. It is believed to have originated in the US in the 1960s with the discovery that a tone of 2600Hz played down the line could be used to access restricted parts of the national telephone system.

    It is difficult to detail what is incorrect about this statement because it is incorrect in so many ways

    a) the discovery was no discovery since 2600Hz SF (single frequency) signalling is a published international standard

    b) it did not give access to restricted parts of the national telephone system since it was the common signalling and supervision standard on most connections between switching offices. It was used to signal on and off hooks. Off hook was the absence of a tone. On hook was signalled by the presence of a tone.

    There are numerous other misunderstandings in this short passge. One can wonder about the fact checkng of the BBC if they would not reference even a Wikipedia page

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2600_hertz

  17. Alan Bates
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 1:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I have a lot of time for Iain Stewart who is a great publicist for geology, earth sciences and science all together. While he is not of the gravitas of Professor Aubrey Manning (the iconic “Earth Story” series) he is an excellent presenter.

    He is not an activist on the lines of Dr James Hanson, Al Gore etc. He is definitely following the party line in the UK of the Government, the BBC, the Royal Society, the Hadley Centre and many others.

    His technical adviser for the series is Prof. Naomi Orekes who has already shown her care for accuracy of reporting in the essay for Science based on her literature search for papers on global warming which showed none in disagreement with the mainstream concensus.

    This is series entirely consistent with the BBC and UK government position on climate change i.e. act as if it was all decided.

    • Not sure
      Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 2:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Alan Bates (#19), Dr. Oreskes is a historian. How can she be a “technical adviser” in scientific matters?

  18. PHE
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 1:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Somedbody, somewhere has to work hard to get a challenge to the Hockey Stick published in a leading scientific journal. Unfortunately, that’s perhaps the only way to get establishment credibility.

    • jae
      Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 5:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: PHE (#20),

      Somedbody, somewhere has to work hard to get a challenge to the Hockey Stick published in a leading scientific journal. Unfortunately, that’s perhaps the only way to get establishment credibility.

      It has already been done, and I guess it was just ignored by those who don’t want to believe it.

  19. Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 1:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    For starters, the BBC (Biased Broadcasting Company) are using ‘straw-man’ arguments about snowball earth, the near surface temperature record, the satellite data, and I won’t even mention the Hockey Stick:

    1. There is no single explanation why the earth didn’t end up as a ‘snowball,’ but cosmic rays were probably a big factor:

    Towards a Solution to the Early Faint Sun Paradox: A Lower Cosmic Ray Flux from a Stronger Solar Wind – Shaviv 2003:

    http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/astro-ph/0306477

    2. Urban Heat Islands/lack of robustness in the near surface temperature record – plenty of peer reviewed science supporting a warm bias in the surface temperature, e.g:

    Unresolved issues with the assessment of multidecadal global land surface temperature trends. Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol 112. 2007.

    http://climatesci.colorado.edu/publications/pdf/R-321.pdf

    Satellite data – the ‘correction’ was 0.035C, which was well within the 0.05C margin for error quoted by Christy et al. Slight cooling or slight warming – doesn’t matter – the data contradicts climate models:

    Douglass, Christy et al;

    A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions. International Journal of Climatology, 2007

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/904914/A-comparison-of-tropical-temperature-trends-with-model-predictions?page=6

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3058

    Complaints are in order, but I never receieved a response to my complaint about the Jo Abbess/Roger Harrabin debacle.

  20. Jim Turner
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 1:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I think the BBC have pretty much stated that they are not impartial on AGW. I read something on the BBC website earlier this year, I think it was on a science correspondent’s blog. The reasoning given was that they had reported the MMR controversy in the UK in an ‘even-handed’ way, and in doing so they had inadvertently given too much credibility to the ‘anti’ case, so contributing to the fall-off in vaccination uptake. He said (to the effect that) they would not make the same ‘mistake’ with AGW by giving equal weight to the skeptic position as to the science establishment. To be fair, although frustrating, I don’t think this is far from Steve M’s position on who governments should believe. My problem with the BBC is their one-sided news reporting of anecdotal evidence (polar ice, glacier shrinking, sea levels etc.) that gives a biased perspective to the public.

    Unfortunately I cannot now find this article or remember who wrote it, did anyone else see it?

  21. ep
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 1:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Having just looked at the final episode on iPlayer it is clear that the first Mann graph has that experimental dataset bolted on. Not only bolted-on, but with exactly the same colour and thickness as the rest of the reconstruction. It’s also clear that every plot has this wonderful attachment bolted-on. Cue presenter with smug grin telling us that none of the more recent recons. show earlier temperatures “anywhere near as warm as present day.”

    Well that cleared it up nicely. Thanks.

  22. Patrick M.
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 2:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re 22: (Jim Turmner)

    To be fair, although frustrating, I don’t think this is far from Steve M’s position on who governments should believe.

    Given the discussion of the “Gell-Mann Amnesia effect” on the Jolliffe thread, is Steve M. immune to Gell-Mann Amnesia? What exactly are the convincing arguments that humans are causing global warming?

    From reading Climate Audit I have become sceptical of temperature proxies, GCM’s, and even actual temperature readings. So what AGW science does hold up?

    • Dodgy Geezer
      Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 5:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Patrick M. (#25),

      So what AGW science does hold up?

      I think this is a very interesting question. My understanding is:

      1) The surface, satellite and proxy records all show that the period from about 1980-2000 was one of strong warming (though this was not necessarily unusual over the last 1000 years)

      2) CO2 concentrations have definitely increased over this period.

      3) Increased CO2 concentrations in air can be shown in the laboratory and in theory to increase heating of that air by sunlight. The magnitude of this effect decreases with increasing concentration. What happens in the real atmosphere is less clear.

      4) A theory can be proposed which links the above facts and predicts that the small amount of CO2 which is ‘man-made’ is a critical driver of temperature. This theory can be modelled on computers and predictions derived from it.

      These statements are ones that I believe in, anyway. I also believe that the warming period appears to have halted (perhaps temporarily?), the concentrations of CO2 may be very dependent on natural sinks and sources of which we know little, actual heat transfer in the atmosphere is very complex, and almost certainly dominated by water precipitation in a way that acts against runaway feedback, and the climate models are currently too simplistic to provide adequate predictive power. Furthermore, they appear to be being ‘fiddled’ to produce the ‘required’ answers, and so may be not being developed properly. The CO2 AGW theory therefore is currently unproven.

      As well as this, there is a dearth of research into other natural phenomena which could have an equal or greater effect on ‘climate’. This inability to accept that anything apart from CO2 is important is probably skewing any ‘good’ science which is being done in the AGW field.

      Any comments gratefully accepted – I am probably wrong on several matters of substance!

  23. Newcomer
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 2:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This is off-topic, sorry, but I couldn’t see where else to put it.

    Is Steve or anyone interested in taking a look at Hansen’s written submission in the Kingsnorth trial?

    It’s online here:

    http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/files/pdfs/climate/hansen.pdf

    Excerpts from his Q & A are here:

    http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/climate/kingsnorth-day-three-trial-jim-hansen-20080903

    Written statements from the other defence witnesses are here:

    http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/climate/kingsnorth-trial-witness-statements-full-20080912

  24. Spence_UK
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 3:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #10, no problem, hope it is useful – please note I’m no expert on the topic, just “in my humble opinion” etc. I also didn’t see the BBC programme so cannot provide any context with respect to claims made there.

    Re #14, what is the conventional view of satellite temperatures? Well the IPCC will give you the mainstream climate view, bearing in mind the strong advocacy present in the AR4 report… from WG1, chapter 3 summary:

    While there remain disparities among different tropospheric temperature trends estimated from satellite Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU and advanced MSU) measurements since 1979, and all likely still contain residual errors, estimates have been substantially improved (and data set differences reduced) through adjustments for issues of changing satellites, orbit decay and drift in local crossing time (i.e., diurnal cycle effects). It appears that the satellite tropospheric temperature record is broadly consistent with surface temperature trends provided that the stratospheric influence on MSU channel 2 is accounted for. The range (due to different data sets) of global surface warming since 1979 is 0.16°C to 0.18°C per decade compared to 0.12°C to 0.19°C per decade for MSU estimates of tropospheric temperatures.

    The statement more or less argues that the spread of results is a good indication of the uncertainty in the records. Each being based on two non-independent degrees of freedom, this really isn’t a good way to assess uncertainty in the measures.

    The party line on the satellite data seems to be they’re still not sure about the measure, so they aren’t going to throw their weight behind it just yet. More details are given on pages 267-268 (beware, it’s a 24MB download… from here). They rely heavily on… Fu’s papers, amongst others, even underscoring the comment:

    This technique for estimating the global mean temperature implies small negative weights at some stratospheric levels, but because of vertical coherence these merely compensate for other positive weights nearby and it is the integral that matters (Fu and Johanson, 2004).

    There is a very good technical reason why this is wrong (IMHO). The stratospheric trends are a noise source in this, that you want to minimise. Zeroing the integral effectively removes the mean. This works well if the error term is fixed as a function of height. But it isn’t. Because the error term is not fixed, it has spatial bandwidth (vertically); removing the integral is like claiming you can eliminate noise in a receiver by removing the mean. This doesn’t work, because the noise has a bandwidth, removing the mean only removes a tiny part (the DC component) of the noise. The noise still passes through at other (spatial) frequencies, frequencies that may have even been amplified by the zero integral constraint. Minimising the noise power makes much more sense to me – say by minimising the RMS component of the coefficients – unfortunately the method of Fu et al has the potential to increases the noise power (and hence the uncertainty) rather than reducing it.

    This isn’t quite the way world climate report expresses their view, but it makes a similar point – only their article is probably easier to follow :)

  25. Anthony Watts
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 5:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I haven’t seen this programme, but they contacted me for an example of a badly sited weather station. I provided them with Baltimore, on the roof of the NWS (customs house) downtown there. Has anyone seen it in the programme?

    Here is the photo:

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/01/23/how-not-to-measure-temperature-part-48-noaa-admits-to-error-with-baltimores-rooftop-ushcn-station/

    • Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 2:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Anthony Watts (#30),

      As another poster said Baltimore wasn’t shown, instead we were shown a good example at Stoneyhurst.

      Several of The UK temperature records have been recorded at Gravesend-on an estuary and at Heathrow-close to the runways. Clasic examples of unlikely in the case of Gravesend-it is surrounded by water and unrepresentative in the case of Heathrow. I dont know if Anthony has ever investigated either of these two sites.

      The subject of UHI in general was rather glossed over with the presenter travelling to Las Vegas to show examples. London is ferequenmtly cited by the UK weather forecasters as being 4 or 5 degrees warmer than its surroundings and I would have thought that would have been a better example as it would be more relevant to the BBC audience and it is much closer logistically for the filming.

      Tony Brown

      • Dodgy Geezer
        Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 5:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Tony Brown (#36),

        “..I would have thought that (London) would have been a better example as it would be more relevant to the BBC audience and it is much closer logistically for the filming.”

        I must admit that if I had someone else’s budget, as a Londoner, I would be arguing that it was essential for me to check the UHI in the Bahamas as well!

        I note all the comments about continual ‘petty’ bias in reporting. It will be hard to substantiate a complaint about this. The producer can and will argue that both sides of the discussion were represented, which is what the Broadcasting Code requires.

        If you wish to complain (and I would encourage people to do so) you should read the Code, and read the Ofcom finding on the Great Global Warming Swindle, to see how complaints are handled. As Steve says, Ofcom, and the BBC Trust, will NOT rule on scientific issues. That is what the IPCC, amongst others are for, and it would be quite reasonable for the BBC to present the IPCC statements as fact. They may be wrong, but the alternative (the BBC doing it’s own science!) would surely be worse.

        So look for instances where people are misquoted, or quoted out of context, or not given opportunity to respond. Complaints about whole aspects of science being left out may be possible to make, but will have to be made in the context of ‘knowingly misrepresenting’, which will be difficult to substantiate…

  26. Manny, in Moncton
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 9:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, did you hear about the latest GISS paper on how peak oil could impact climate (link below)? They show graphs with atmospheric CO2 concentrations decreasing. Have they become deniers?

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20080910/

  27. Ray Soper
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 9:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Last night in the UK, the BBC broadcast a Horizon program entitled ‘The President’s Guide to Science’ (can be seen at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00dlr2j) that presented advice that scientists might give to the incoming US president. There are some comments regarding AGW towards the end of the program that some might find interesting.

    • PhilD
      Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 2:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Ray Soper (#32), I watched a bit of this and had to turn it off when the narrator constantly mispronounced ‘nuclear’ as ‘nucilar’. That told me all I needed to know about the quality of the programme (Horizon hasn’t been very good for years now).

  28. sean egan
    Posted Sep 16, 2008 at 11:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Anthony
    From your link it appears the Baltimore customs house has been out of service since 1999. If I was looking for an example, I too would have looked for something in full service.

  29. Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 12:08 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Anthony

    No, there was no mention of Baltimore. The issue of siting was not discussed as far as I recall. They showed the site at Stoneyhurst College in England, which looked pretty much perfect to me. This was only in the context of explaining how global T is measured.

    The series is fairly chronological, so it may be they’re not going to discuss Baltimore until part 3.

    You might try searching the video sharing sites for it. I have a vague recollection that someone has posted it on the web. I think the BBC I-Player version is only good for the UK.

  30. Phillip Bratby
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 1:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I have posted a complaint of bias in Climate Wars at the BBC link given by Ashley at #6. I would urge everybody to lodge a complaint. The BBC professes to take more notice of multiple complaints about the same issue or programme.

  31. Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 4:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t think the BBC will take any notice until either a) a large number of people write to the BBC Trust, b) the issue of propaganda by the BBC is taken up by newspapers and c) the definitive book is written on the Mann Hockey Stick and the collapse of climate science.

    I keep watching Richard Black quoting pronouncements by Greenpeace and other environmental pressure groups without allowing any criticism of them. Often Greenpeace is used to answer the reports produced by legitimate scientists, eg Professor Ian Fell often with ad hominem attacks.

    • Phil.
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 9:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: John A (#38),

      In case anyone wishes to follow up on this they should note that Ian’s surname is Fells.

  32. fewqwer
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 4:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The Baltimore picture WAS shown, but not in the context of bad siting.

    It was (IIRC) the first picture in a series melodramatically presenting the awesome global network of climate sensors (the ones that haven’t already melted from AGW).

    The issue of micro-site biases in the record was one of the programme’s innumerable tendentious omissions.

  33. py
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 7:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Here is the link to the position of Harrabin and Black, both environmental correspondents for the BBC.

    Climate Sceptics

  34. Pete Stroud
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 7:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I recently contacted the BBC over bias against AGW scepticism. Below is a part of rheir reply.

    “BBC News currently takes the view that their reporting needs to be
    calibrated to take into account the scientific consensus that global
    warming is man-made. The BBC’s Editorial Guidelines, issued to all
    editorial staff, state that “we must ensure we avoid bias or an imbalance
    of views on controversial subjects” and, given the weight of scientific
    opinion, the challenge for us is to strike the right balance between
    mainstream science and sceptics since to give them equal weight would imply
    that the argument is evenly balanced.”

    I am afraid that we are going to progress little with this organisation which, bearing in mind its influential position, is a pity. Obviously Hansen et al wins.

    • Dave Salt
      Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Pete Stroud (#43),
      This is a very interesting statement from the BBC because it tells me that BBC News does not consider investigative journalism as part of its brief.

      You don’t have to be a scientist or to dig very deep to see that there are a significant number of experts that question the apparent “weight of scientific opinion”. You also don’t have to be a scientist or a statistician to get alarmed by the tactics of Mann et al in their disclosure of details concerning their data or methods. So, if BBC News journalists are unwilling to address these and other issues raised by skeptics just because someone in authority (the IPCC, the Royal Society, etc.) tells them there’s nothing to look into, I really do think they should explain just what sort of journalists they are — maybe “publicist” would be a better description.

  35. Ed Saunders
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 7:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This is part of an answer I received from the BBC after complaining of bias in favour of AGW.

    “BBC News currently takes the view that their reporting needs to be
    calibrated to take into account the scientific consensus that global
    warming is man-made. The BBC’s Editorial Guidelines, issued to all
    editorial staff, state that “we must ensure we avoid bias or an imbalance
    of views on controversial subjects” and, given the weight of scientific
    opinion, the challenge for us is to strike the right balance between
    mainstream science and sceptics since to give them equal weight would imply
    that the argument is evenly balanced.”

    • Colin
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 2:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Ed Saunders (#44),

      Makes you wonder if the BBC would report the consensus on eugenics before WWII in the same way doesn’t it?

    • Mango
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 2:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Ed Saunders (#44),

      Makes you wonder if the BBC would report the consensus on eugenics before WWII in the same way

  36. Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 11:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Sean #33

    I provded several examples of stations with siting issues, including currently operating ones. Baltimore was the one they chose.

  37. Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 12:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Apparently Naomi Oreskes is programme ‘adviser’

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/9/7/the-climate-wars.html

  38. Follow the Money
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 7:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    His technical adviser for the series is Prof. Naomi Orekes

    Wow. Oreskes has moved up in the world. She made her fame with a dodgy “survey” of scientific articles to prove the “consensus.”

    She is, in a fashion, the Keeper of the Holy Relic of Consensus.

  39. MarkR
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 3:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

    If it’s any consolation, I believe that the British (and US and other) Governments already know that CO2 based AGW theory is incorrect, The US Congress heard for themselves how wrong Mann was from Wegman and SteveMc. However, in the UK it continues to be used for its original purpose (defined by Margaret Thatcher and through the instrument of the University of East Anglia research, funded by her, and successors), of defusing objections to Nuclear Power (now more urgent than ever), and so to allow us to reduce dependence on coal (and the Miners), and more importantly oil, which comes as we know, mainly from politically unstable, unreliable or hostile regions of the world. The BBC is still the British Government media outlet, and it is doing its job. Mann and his ilk are revolting specimens, but it is some consolation to know that while they think they are doing the manipulating, they are themselves being manipulated. The BBC generally only invite those who serve the purpose of reinforcing the BBC WorldView, and that is dictated by UK Government.

  40. Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 5:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: Spence #27

    Thanks for your excellent summary of how the satellite temperature records are viewed.

    Martin J

  41. Spence_UK
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    OK, I hadn’t seen the BBC programme, but I noticed the youtube clip Steve posted up was put up by “Climate Resistance”, another blog, and they have a whole bunch of clips, including some stuff on the satellite data, here. The full argument about the satellites isn’t shown in clip form, but is mentioned in the text.

    The tenor of the argument seems to be that the diurnal drift correction changed the slope of the satellite data from flat to a big uptick. Now I’ve gleaned that from the text of Climate Resistance so it is possible this is not the argument they presented, or that Chinese whispers have distorted it, but the following analysis assumes I’ve understood the original point correctly.

    In the clip that is shown, we can see a “before” graph showing a flat trend from 1979 to 1987. The bit not shown, I presume, is where they claim the problem was fixed by correcting the diurnal cycle. I’ve picked up the UAH satellite data set that I downloaded on 6th August 2008, which includes the diurnal correction, and carried out a linear regression on a monthly scale from Jan 1979 to Dec 1987 (the period shown in the initial clip). The regression results are shown in the plot below.

    Notice anything about the plot? Yep, the fixed error didn’t change the trend in that period at all. It is still quite different to the surface instruments.

    Climate scientists like to claim that this was all just an error by Spencer and Christy and once these “serial egregious errors” (as a notorious RealClimate moderator put it) were fixed everything was sweetness and light. But the evidence they present for the disagreement still stands unresolved.

    What raised the trend on the satellite data was the fact that the satellites measured the 1990s as being warmer than the 1980s. It had very little to do with “egregious errors” or bug fixes. There are still discrepencies between the satellite and instrumental data, and it is still not clear which is the best record (in my opinion). Unfortunately the climate science community is predisposed to providing misleading examples to quash the opinions of those they consider to be denialists.

    • Phil.
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 9:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Spence_UK (#53),

      What raised the trend on the satellite data was the fact that the satellites measured the 1990s as being warmer than the 1980s. It had very little to do with “egregious errors” or bug fixes. There are still discrepencies between the satellite and instrumental data, and it is still not clear which is the best record (in my opinion). Unfortunately the climate science community is predisposed to providing misleading examples to quash the opinions of those they consider to be denialists.

      I disagree, at the time the corrections made clearly raised the trend shown by the UAH data (although not their website, they were very reluctant to change their headline page even long after it was at variance with their associated data).

      • Spence_UK
        Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 2:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Phil. (#60),

        Yes, I believe you made similar claims over at The Blackboard. I asked you for specific evidence to support your claims and you provided virtually nothing that I asked for.

        Just to make it clear, while you’re making a straw man – I didn’t claim the bug fixes had no effect, I just said the bug fixes were small compared to what really happened (the new data points showed warming). I looked up the various versions and I estimate that around 20% of the change (arguably not statistically significant) was due to bug fixes and new correction, and around 80% of the change was driven by new observations.

        Furthermore, I provide direct evidence in graphical form above. I understand (caveat – I picked this up second hand as I did not see the programme – hopefully more will be posted soon so I can be more certain of this point) that the above BBC graph was used to show how things were “before” the corrections and fixes. My graph shows “after”. My graph has visibly no real difference in the trend (if anything, it goes slightly down).

        I’ve provided evidence to support my claim, all you’ve provided are simple assertions. Since we’re supposed to be doing science here, some kind of evidence would be nice – either an error / misunderstanding on my part (I’m not infallible and will accept when someone demonstrates – with evidence – that I am wrong). But your repeated assertions without evidence are quite tiresome.

        • Phil.
          Posted Sep 22, 2008 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

          Re: Spence_UK (#62),

          Yes, I believe you made similar claims over at The Blackboard. I asked you for specific evidence to support your claims and you provided virtually nothing that I asked for.

          One of the points I made was that S & C left incorrect values on their web site for long after their data page showed otherwise. They used the 1998 value (-0.06) until at least Dec2001.

          Just to make it clear, while you’re making a straw man – I didn’t claim the bug fixes had no effect, I just said the bug fixes were small compared to what really happened (the new data points showed warming). I looked up the various versions and I estimate that around 20% of the change (arguably not statistically significant) was due to bug fixes and new correction, and around 80% of the change was driven by new observations.

          The MSU data showed a nadir value of +0.11 (Prabakahara) which was one reason why the S & C data was distrusted. You also omit the correction regarding the significant cooling effect caused by including stratospheric contributions (Fu et al.), their attempt to deal with this was the synthetic TLT layer (imperfect but an improvement). Note that even when they showed their first negative result the error bands were very broad and could lead one to think that there was a 50% chance it was in fact +ve. Something of interest to auditors, S & C stated the uncertainty in their papers without saying that it was the 80% value rather than the more usual 95% value. Wentz et al. pointed out the orbit error, one satellite at the time was very bad (Tiros 11?).

          But your repeated assertions without evidence are quite tiresome.

          I have given evidence for this in the past, however S & C got rid of some of the evidence by erasing the website!

        • Spence_UK
          Posted Sep 23, 2008 at 2:58 AM | Permalink

          Re: Phil. (#76),

          Phil, I made a simple logical argument as to why the BBC claims were wrong, which were similar to your claims before (that the main change in MSU trend was down to errors by S and C). I’ve demonstrated, with data, that this is not true. You have not addressed any of the points I made, instead simply thrown a wide net of why you dislike S and C (e.g. they were too slow to update their website). In fact this simply reinforces my view – the climate science / environmentalist community spend more time smearing S and C – because they don’t like their opinion – rather than actually looking closely at the data.

          Of course there are wider issues – just like there are with the instrumental series, which is why above I have argued it wouldn’t surprise me if the uncertainty bars on both series should be widened a bit. And you claim I ignored Fu et al – I can only assume you haven’t read my comments correctly because I quite clearly address Fu et al above. Fu et al is a seriously flawed paper and a trivial application of Parseval’s theorem (signal processing 101) shows why.

          You complain that the data aren’t available, and whilst I agree it would make life easier if the last processed version C and D data were still available on the web, this isn’t necessary to test the hypothesis that S and C’s errors were dominant in the change of trend. There are many papers and graphs that show OLS trend regression (and it is the trend we’re interested in, right?) for the old data. We then simply make an apples-to-apples comparison to the corrected data. Apples-to-apples mean we use the same date range. I’ve done this on several occasions now, and each time draw the same conclusions – the corrections hardly make any difference at all (resulting in just a small increase – with perhaps no statistical signficance – in trend). We can then make an apples-to-apples comparison (corrected data for the short segment, and corrected data for the full date range) to determine the consequence of the new data points. And every time I’ve tried, this is the dominant reason for the change in trend.

          The test is simple to understand and apply. It shows the claims, such as those made in the BBC article, that the improvements made by S and C to the signal processing are the main reason for the increase in trend are false. I demonstrate this clearly by replicating the BBC graph above.

          So to separate out the various points:

          1. Are the corrections to the UAH MSU data set the main cause for the change in trend – answer no, as clearly demonstrated with data above. To address this you must first explain why my analysis is wrong, which you have not done.

          2. Are there improvements that could be made to the satellite data? Sure, I expect there are. Stitching together long climate records is difficult, and there are peer reviewed criticisms of both the satellite and instrumental data. I suspect both series should have wider error bars. But this doesn’t affect the point (1).

          3. Should web sites / archiving records be better? Again, sure. Climate science is woeful in addressing these issues. S and C aren’t the worst offenders but there is always scope for improvement. Again, irrelevant to the various claims being made by the BBC etc. in point (1)

          On a side note, and example of your lack of objectivity in this discussion:

          The MSU data showed a nadir value of +0.11 (Prabakahara) which was one reason why the S & C data was distrusted.

          This reminds me of a discussion I had with a friend (very good and experienced scientist). I pointed him to the BBC climate wars programme, which he duly watched. He was furious at the programme, calling it unscientific. It was interesting to compare his views with mine – I was very focussed on the details (I tend to be), whereas he took a different view (not being as aware of the details of the climate debate as I am). He observed that generally, when there were two competing data sets, the “inconvenient” data set is simply dismissed. This happened with the medieval warm period. He pointed out that when you have two competing theories, it is insufficient to simply dismiss inconvenient data – you have to show, quantitatively, why the old data were not right. You make the same basic (unscientific) error here. You highlight a difference in data sets, and you simply say the S and C data set were “distrusted” because of disagreements. Much like the medieval warm period was simply “distrusted” when MBH98 came out. That isn’t how science is done. When there is a disagreement, an objective scientist doesn’t simply dismiss the inconvenient data set for being untrustworthy. You objectively investigate the two without any such prior assumptions.

  42. Spence_UK
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 7:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I should have added this plot to the last post, a screen shot from youtube showing the “before error fixed” graph that the BBC showed in its programme. The blue line is supposed to be the satellite trend (note how it hasn’t really changed after the diurnal fix?) and the red line the instrumental. Is it me, or does that graph show about a one degree rise over eight years of the instrumental record? I guess the graph is just a cartoon, and actually the y-axis isn’t labelled, but hmmm… if the science is so clear cut, why do these people feel the need to spin and distort graphics so much?

  43. Shawn Whelan
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 7:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

    snip – calm down, Shawn

  44. Soronel Haetir
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 8:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

    If the BBC is just following a hidden UK government agenda to promote nuclear power they sure seem to be taking their sweet time about it.

  45. MarkR
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 8:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5166426.stm

  46. Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 12:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    From Martin J

    Re# 27 (Spence) Thanks for the excellent summary of how satellite temperature data is currently regarded.

  47. Spence_UK
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 12:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    OK just a quick follow up. I watched the programme on iPlayer and can confirm the usual Spencer and Christy stitch up by the climate community.

    They showed the short term temperature trend in the graph above, showing a flat trend. They then explained about the orbital decay correction. And indeed, the orbital decay correction had a significant effect on the trend. It was incorporated in 1998 and described in Christy et al 2000. It increased the trend by 0.1K per decade.

    Thats a pretty big fix, right? The trend of the instrumental data is around 0.15-0.2K per decade. Sounds significant.

    What the programme doesn’t mention is that in the same paper, they include the hot target calibration drift correction. This improvement reduced the trend by 0.07K per decade, virtually wiping out the fix above. Those were the two largest corrections, there were a bunch of other enhancements / corrections smaller than this, again all with differing signs.

    The net result? The satellite temperature history was shifted by a statistically insignificant amount. But climate scientists won’t spin the story this way – and you can see the likes of Phil have bought into it hook line and sinker.

    You can check yourself, against the data, to see that the various fixes have negligible effect – and I have done so above. Simply locate a regression analysis from the early satellite data (plenty floating about in the literature), take the latest product OVER THE SAME PERIOD, and regress again – and you get a very similar answer. The additional corrections and fixes make hardly any difference.

    The pea under the thimble is the “OVER THE SAME PERIOD” bit. Climate scientists compare apples and pears – they like to show “before” graphs with trends over the first decade, then more recent “after” graphs with much larger trends. But the larger trends are largely created from the new data, not so much from the corrections and fixes. They are comparing apples and pears. When comparing apples and apples, the differences are trivial.

    The spin is all about discrediting sceptics. Spencer and Christy make a mistake, own up, fix it, makes no difference to the end product – they get a pasting from the old guard. Mann makes a mistake, doesn’t own up, doesn’t fix it, insists it doesn’t matter because the answer is right – climate scientists rally round and defend him.

    This speaks volumes about the cliquey, gatekeeping climate science community. Drum the sceptics out and insist the mainstream cannot err. Doesn’t sound like science to me.

    NB: to be fair to the programme, they didn’t actually show the later graph, just hand waved how this fix resolved the differences, and they did give Roy Spencer a few seconds to explain how most of the difference was due to later measurements. But the programme still reinforced an incorrect meme through half-truths.

  48. Phillip Bratby
    Posted Sep 20, 2008 at 9:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    And the BBC says the following about the third and final part of Climate Wars to be shown on 21st September:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/cgi-perl/whatson/prog_parse.cgi?filename=20080921/20080921_2100_4224_28763_60

    “3/3. New Challenges

    In the light of the science behind global warming and the arguments of climate change sceptics, Dr Iain Stewart looks at the biggest challenge facing climate scientists. How can they predict exactly what changes global warming will bring?

    The journey takes him from early attempts to model the climate system with dishpans to supercomputers, and on to the frontline of climate research: Greenland. Most worryingly, he discovers that scientists are increasingly concerned that their models are underestimating the speed of changes already under way.”

    Which way will the changes be going? I look forward to seeing the evidence for the validation and verification of the models!

  49. Phillip Bratby
    Posted Sep 21, 2008 at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Latest from Christopher Booker in today’s Sunday Telegraph:

    BBC series stitches up sceptics in counter-attack over climate change

    As informed questioning of the global warming orthodoxy rises on all sides, the BBC’s three-part series Climate Wars, ending tonight, bears all the marks of a carefully planned counter-attack.

    BBC science producers were apoplectic at the attention given last year to Martin Durkin’s Channel 4 documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle, featuring a galaxy of the world’s more sceptical climate scientists. This is their riposte.

    Last week, against a range of far-flung locations from Greenland to California, the presenter, Dr Iain Stewart, tackled three of the main arguments of Durkin’s film.

    In each case the technique was the same. After caricaturing the sceptics’ point, with soundbite clips that did not allow them to develop their scientific argument, he then asserted that they had somehow been discredited.

    For example, doubts had been raised over the reliability of satellite temperature records which do not show the same degree of warming as surface readings. Dr Roy Spencer, who designed Nasa’s satellite system for measuring temperatures, was allowed to admit that a flaw had been found in the system.

    But his interview ended before he could explain that, when the flaw was discovered in 1998, it was immediately corrected (although it made little difference to the results).

    Likewise, there is a growing case for a correlation between global temperatures and solar activity. Dr Stewart accused Durkin’s programme of cutting off a graph which illustrated this at a point when the data failed to support the thesis. Then he did exactly the same himself, not extending his own graph to 2008 in a way that would reinforce the thesis.

    Most hilarious of all, however, was a long sequence in which Stewart defended the notorious “hockey stick” graph, which purports to show that temperatures have recently shot up to their highest level on record.

    The BBC had a huge blow-up of this “iconic” graph carted triumphantly round London, from Big Ben to Buckingham Palace, as if it were proof that the warming alarmists are right.

    There was no hint that the “hockey stick” is among the most completely discredited artefacts in the history of science, not least thanks to the devastating critique by Steve McIntyre, which showed that the graph’s creators had an algorithm in their programme which could produce a hockey-stick shape whatever data were fed into it.

    There was scarcely a frame of this clever exercise which did not distort or obscure some vital fact. Yet the “impartial” BBC is sending out this farrago of convenient untruths to schools, ensuring that the “march of the lie” continues.

  50. Posted Sep 21, 2008 at 7:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Good article By Mr Booker. Can I remind everyone that the final episode is on BBC tonight. Ive got my rotten tomatoes ready…

    As the IPCC themselves had admitted computer models are flawed and unreliable I have every confidence DR Stewart will bring this fact out with great clarity on tonights programme…

    Tony Brown

  51. Nick Waddecar MA
    Posted Sep 21, 2008 at 12:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

    snip – too angry and policy -..

  52. Phillip Bratby
    Posted Sep 21, 2008 at 3:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Just watched the final episode. As expected, single-handedly, the climate modeller James Hansen was able to use his climate model and calculated the cooling effect of Mt Pinatubo, and thus climate models are validated and can accurately predict the future climate! And the warming is also faster than the models predict and so the temperature is going to rapidly rise again just like it did at the end of the Little Dryas! There is now no doubt that man-made global warming is real and that it is in our hands to do something about it – for the future of the next generation – with closing scenes of his daughters in the Eden Project greenhouses.

  53. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Sep 21, 2008 at 3:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve just finished watching the last part of Dr. Iain Stewart’s Climate Wars.

    Very, very curious.

    Is it my imagination, or did I really hear a rapid back-pedalling from the ‘man-made CO2 as a cause of global warming’ position?

    There was a lot of proof of the existence of global warming itself, (all of it simplistic, some plain daft) which no sceptic scientist I am aware of would seriously disagree with. After all, it’s been blindingly obvious since the end of the last Ice Age. And he emphasized the existence of sudden climate changes – more sudden than originally thought – which has been clear to all since the high-definition analysis of ice cores (and suspected longer by some of us from historical/biological/archaeological/folklore evidence).

    There was also some extensive, but completely unconvincing “proof” of the accuracy of climate models. He started to talk about modelling the effect of atmospheric CO2 and then wandered off into a long proof that a climate model predicted the effect of dust from Pinataubo. What the relevance was to CO2 I never figured out.

    But for the last half, at least, of the program, there was no mention of rising CO2 as a cause of warming, or the necessity of reducing man-made CO2. Nothing I could take serious exception to, beyond the flashy cutting between irrelevant images, overly dramatic background music, and his twitchy, hyperactive presentation, which is only a matter of my personal taste, after all. All he said was “Beware – this is really happening and could happen quicker than you think”. Personally, I think it’s going to take a lot longer than he claims – about another 20,000 years – but that’s another argument. I don’t even disagree too much with his predicted eventual temperature rise, either. Seems perfectly reasonable in the light of past interglacials. At no time did he even launch an impassioned plea to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support carbon credits or junk your 4×4.

    So what’s happening? Are they getting worried that the evidence against anthropogenic CO2 emissions is piling up? Scary!.

    • Posted Sep 22, 2008 at 1:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Peter Lloyd (#69),

      I would like to take full credit for DR Stewarts change of emphasis in Programme three. He has obviously been following my thread ‘have we been this way before?’ and from the deluge of information has concluded the answer is yes.
      http://www.climateaudit.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=520

      If anyone else can add anything to the thread please do.

      My conclusion after watching a somewhat confusing third programme without a strong narrative, is that he seems to be saying that everything he had stated in previous programmes that this modern episode of warming was unprecedented was clearly not true. So is he the first public ‘scientist’ to agree that its all happened before? Is he therefore taking the base line temperature of say 1880 as being the ‘real’ temperature that man had not influenced and suggesting therefore that a doubling of CO2 would increase that figure by 3 degrees? Or was he just getting confused (or bored) and not following through his previous points?
      When does he find time to teach Geology at Plymouth University?

      Tony Brown

  54. Nick Waddecar MA
    Posted Sep 21, 2008 at 5:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    snip – sorry, Nick. It’s a bit of a fine line with these sorts of threads, but I don’t want to get into political discussions as they will consume the blog.

    • kim
      Posted Sep 21, 2008 at 6:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Nick Waddecar MA (#70),

      Be proud, Nick, snipping by Steve is something to brag to your grandchildren about.
      ====================================================

  55. PhilD
    Posted Sep 22, 2008 at 2:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I watched the last episode last night, after avoiding it until now because I like to relax on a Sunday evening :)

    It was an interesting programme, as much for what was left unsaid as for what was said. The ice core was interesting – he clearly stated that no-one knew why the climate shifted so rapidly at the end of the Younger-Dryas and yet failed to mention any connection with what is going on now, I guess to leave the scary inference to the viewer. His story about the people in the US that had to abandon their settlement because of rapid climate change was interesting too – was anyone thinking that maybe they left because it got to the end of the Medieval Warm Period and conditions were no longer favourable?

  56. Nick Waddecar MA
    Posted Sep 22, 2008 at 2:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

    OK Steve, fair enough, I’d not thought of the repercussions of coming at the issue from the political angle I’d chosen.
    Nick

  57. Dave Salt
    Posted Sep 22, 2008 at 5:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

    At the start of the third part of ‘Earth – Climate Wars’, Dr Stewart stated that global warming is the most rigorously tested/investigated science, yet he failed to mention how many climate models have been independently validated — zero, to my knowledge. He also gave no evidence of how accurate predictions like Hansen’s have been, except to say that they predicted the medium-term (over 3-5 years) effects of one volcanic eruption (Mt Pinatubo) upon the North American and European weather. The demonstrable “success” of Hansen’s predictions from his 1988 paper were noticeable (by those that are aware of them) by their absence.

    Concerning data from the 21st Century, he made absolutely no mention of the recent cooling trend! However, he did mention the recent decrease in Arctic (minimum) sea ice cover, though he conveniently forgot to mention the associated increase in Antarctic (maximum) sea ice cover!

    The lack of any significant evidence or even argument for CO2 driven AGW in this final part was remarkable — looking at what the models predicted for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 was the best he could do. However, his concentration on the evidence for rapid climate change, based upon past records, was commendable though the lack of any attempt to explain what drove them was also noticeable by its absence (I assume he expects the viewer will make a subconscious link with CO2 and so class this as yet more “proof” of AGW).

    So this is what the BBC thinks are the key elements of a hard science programme: glossy/exotic/expensive locations; sentimental talk about saving our children from potential future disaster; a total ignorance of any hard evidence that may raise even the slightest question about the central thesis — Newton and Darwin must be turning in their graves’.

  58. Phillip Bratby
    Posted Sep 25, 2008 at 7:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Response from the BBC to my complaint of bias:

    Thank you for your e-mail. We note your concerns regarding ‘Earth: The Climate Wars’, broadcast on 14 September. We raised this issue with the production team and they have responded with the following: “We are naturally disappointed that you are critical of the series. Our intention in making the series was to take the current scientific understanding of anthropogenic global warming, and show how scientists arrived at this point. It was, in other words, a piece of science history. We do not accept that our approach was biased. Nor was it politically motivated. It was based on the latest scientific understanding, and there is no doubt that the overwhelming majority of scientists involved in climate research believe in three basic propositions. First, the earth’s climate is in a warming trend. Second, that this warming trend is largely the result of human emissions of greenhouse gases. Third, if human emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise, then the climate will continue to warm. Our team spent an enormous amount of time investigating all the major arguments advanced by global warming “sceptics”; we talked to dozens of scientists and read many, many papers. Having done so it was very clear that the evidence very strongly favours the scientific consensus. We are aware that many people on all sides of the global warming debate feel very strongly about the subject. All we can do as programme makers is approach the subject with an open mind, study the evidence, and present what we understand to be the true state of knowledge at the time we are making the film. That is what we did to the best of our ability.” Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact us. Regards BBC Complaints.

    Note the statement”

    the overwhelming majority of scientists involved in climate research believe in three basic propositions

    Not scientific evidence, but belief! The non-scientific word ‘consensus’ is there again.

    • Dave Salt
      Posted Sep 25, 2008 at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Phillip Bratby (#80),
      I also got the same “considered response” but sent the following reply…

      “Dear Sir/Madam,

      I thank you for your reply to my complaint. However, I have to say that I find the production team’s response both inadequate and, to my mind, rather disingenuous.

      My complaints were very specific and could be quite easily verified and addressed, had someone taken the time to do so. Moreover, the most obvious issue (i.e when accusing ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’ of data distortion, Dr Stewart presented a plot of solar activity and temperature trends that ignored the temperature data for the last eight years and so created a similar distortion of the correlation!) does not involve any reference to the so-called scientific consensus, since I was merely reporting an observable fact!

      Given this situation, I can only conclude that the production team is either unwilling or unable to address these simple points. In either case, I consider this to be unacceptable and would suggest that my complaint be raised with a higher authority and I look forward to receiving a response to this request.

      Yours Faithfully,

      David Salt (B.Sc Physics / M.Sc Astronautics)”

      I’ve very little confidence that I’ll get a serious reply, but at least they know exactly why I’m annoyed.

      • Dave Salt
        Posted Sep 25, 2008 at 1:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Dave Salt (#87),
        Guess what; I just got this reply from the British Borg Collective…

        “We are sorry, but our email system can only receive your email if it is submitted using our pre-formatted webform. We realise this is an inconvenience, but webforms allow us to manage the many emails we receive each day more efficiently and this makes best use of the Licence Fee.”

        Yes, I should have expected something like this but… oh, well.

  59. Posted Sep 25, 2008 at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Does an overwhelming consensus of publicly funded climate scientits believe there is a need for continued public funding of the science?

    Does an overwhelming majority of publicly funded broadcasters believe there is a need for continued public funding of their service?

    It may be consensus but that doesnt make it scientific or correct.

    Tony Brown

  60. fFreddy
    Posted Sep 25, 2008 at 9:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Our team spent an enormous amount of time investigating all the major arguments advanced by global warming “sceptics”; we talked to dozens of scientists and read many, many papers.

    Please provide a list of these “many, many papers “…

  61. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Sep 25, 2008 at 9:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It’s one thing to “believe” in the major AGW propositions and quite a different thing to (1) believe that Graybill bristlecone chronologies are magic world thermometers (2) Team proxy selection procedures are unbiased.

  62. Phillip Bratby
    Posted Sep 25, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I complained about the third episode and expect a reply to that next week. If that response is equally unsatisfactory (and you have to understand that, according to the BBC, the BBC is always right) I will take it to the Director General of the BBC.

    • Peter Lloyd
      Posted Sep 25, 2008 at 12:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Phillip Bratby (#84),

      ……and I’m afraid you will get the same BBC smug, bureaucratic nu-speak.

      They have no interest in balance, indeed, they have stated that they see no pressure for balance in this debate, since the science is established and it is in the public interest to disseminate it.

      Nor do they wish to be told that many of the ‘sceptic’ scientists are highly respected, well-published, peer-reviewed, at the top of their careers and – importantly – climatologists or meteorologists rather than computer modellers. Some even members of IPCC!

      Reith may have been a very strange man, but he gave the BBC brilliant initial guidance. He must be spinning in his grave.

  63. Jeff Alberts
    Posted Sep 25, 2008 at 2:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Dave Salt, they’re pretty much telling you there will be no continuing dialog.

  64. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Sep 25, 2008 at 3:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    In fifty years time this situation will look like the Lysenko scandal in the early Soviet Union. And our political masters will look as daft.

    I wish I could be around to see it.

  65. Bob in Devon
    Posted Sep 25, 2008 at 3:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I too have experience of the BBC Sausage Machine approach to complaints. They shovel you around between various ‘Information Departments (Propaganda Teams) attempting to wear you down in the hope you will go away.

    I am currently awaiting a response from DG Mark Thompson. If everyone were to write DIRECTLY to him, we could create a situation he cannot ignore!

  66. nevket240
    Posted Sep 25, 2008 at 6:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re: Peter Lloyd.
    the winners write the history Peter, not the victims. regards

  67. idlex
    Posted Sep 25, 2008 at 7:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I rather agree with those posters upthread who wondered if Ian Stewart was breaking with the AGW consensus. I watched all three broadcasts, and while I had expected to be infuriated, ended up feeling that he’d done quite a good job of presenting the sceptical viewpoint.

    Indeed, he almost overdid the sceptical viewpoint. For example, in the last programme, he discussed the climate simulation models. He said that there was a lot of ‘crucial’ information that had not been ‘plugged in’ to them. He mentioned the ‘butterfly effect’, that very small changes in input data could result in completely different outcomes. He also said that the models predicted gradual change, whereas the geological record showed several examples of very rapid change in a decade or less. Various other criticisms of the models were included. To me, this all added up to pretty much saying, “These models really aren’t very good.” That they had predicted the effect of the single case of Pinatubo’s eruption didn’t boost confidence much. I ended up thinking that it all could have been presented by a sceptic. The only difference was that Stewart ended up saying that AGW was happening, and might happen far more suddenly than the models predicted.

    Casting around for an analogy, it was a bit like someone from the Soviet Union saying out that state-run production resulted in shortages, unresponsiveness to changing demand, inefficiency, waste, etc, etc – but nevertheless end up praising the latest 10 Year Plan, and singing the Internationale.

    • Posted Sep 26, 2008 at 1:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: idlex (#93),

      I think that is a really good analogy. It is almost as if this was programme 2 -the sceptics case- rather than one that summarised the casse for AGW which clearly was the main thrust of the series and that Stewart wanted to believe-but perhaps had seen enough evidence elsewhere to have some doubts. I dont know the various dates of the actual recordings as the final edit shapes everything but was he becoming more sceptical as time went on?

      Tony Brown

      • idlex
        Posted Sep 26, 2008 at 5:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Tony Brown (#94),

        It may not be that important what Stewart personally does or does not think. After all, creating a set of rather slick programmes like these required a production team of writers, editors, researchers, etc, of which Stewart was just the visible tip. What went into the programme was probably first outlined by whoever commissioned it, and the production staff were left to fill out the brief as they saw best. The end result was a collective effort, in which Stewart was just one contributor.

        It may well have been that, at the outset, all concerned were convinced Global Warmers, who’d never looked closely at the sceptics’ arguments. But they felt that they had, for the sake of balance, to present the sceptics case as best they could. In the process, they may have learned a few things they didn’t know before, and started getting a tiny bit sceptical themselves. Maybe some of them became very sceptical. I can well imagine the director or producer getting rather concerned that far too much of the sceptics’ case was being made, and things were getting to the point where the series was almost becoming a showcase for their many abominable heresies. Perhaps it was decided that everything would be all right on the night if the ‘orthodox’ central message required by the brief – “AGW is happening” – was retained, and dutifully repeated by Stewart in every episode. Why, they even managed a bit of ultra-orthodoxy, by adding in the extra scary idea that global warming could happen very suddenly!

        It would be very interesting to know what the back story was on this production, the arguments and disagreements and compromises. Perhaps the real point is that, whenever perfectly ordinary and rational people encounter new (i.e. unfamiliar) ideas, they become interested, and may even become persuaded by them. Global warmers are trying to maintain and build an international orthodoxy, and they’re largely doing so by dismissing and discounting sceptical viewpoints. In this respect, whatever the central message of The Climate Wars might have been, the rather comprehensive airing that these programmes gave to sceptical viewponts was perhaps highly subversive of AGW orthodoxy.

        I should perhaps add that I haven’t seen any need to complain to the BBC as yet.

  68. Mick
    Posted Sep 26, 2008 at 10:08 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Does not look like this has been mentioned, seems some complaints about the balance of the programme are being responded to. reports with the title “BBC investigated over climate change documentary”.

    First post here, my regards to all that make this site one that is about the detail and not the “message”.

    Mick.

    • Gerald Machnee
      Posted Sep 28, 2008 at 7:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Mick (#96),
      Lord Monckton and real scientists like Roy Spencer should consider having the interviewer sign an agreement that they would preview and approve the broadcast before it is shown to the public. This would eliminate the problem of key points being left out. Or do your own op-ed.

  69. John Newell
    Posted Sep 27, 2008 at 11:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Watching the Climate Wars I was struck by the most elementary error. Sagely, Dr Stewart informed us that we record the maximum temperature at a weather station, and also the minimum. Halfway betwen is the ‘average’

    If there are technical advisors ( qualified in history I see) , then what credance can we place in the ‘facts’ they present. To describe AGW as the most thorougly tested theory ever is worrying. If they tested a plane in which I was flying, and they said it was almost certainly safe i.e. only a 10% chance of crashing, would you stay on board?

  70. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Sep 27, 2008 at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for your attempts to improve my understanding of these matters, but frankly I find your comments more puzzling than ever.

    infrared-

    It should have been obvious from the wording of my post – since I mentioned narrow peaks of different heights, etc., – that I was not talking about crude ‘cartoons’, but real spectra, i.e., the output plots of IR spectrometers. Your recommendation of Hitran in this context is baffling. Hitran is great for feeding computer models – it’s already digitised and the peaks are therefore already ‘sliced’, so the appearence of ‘high definition’ is an illusion. In the real world an IR spectrum is the measurement of a response to a continuum of wavelengths and the traditional analogue spectrum print-out is far higher definition than digitised Hitran data. Moreover, when you are comparing different compounds, raw Hitran data is presented as pages of dense numerical data, which tells you diddly-squat without computer analysis, whereas eyeball comparison of two IR scans will show you the difference in one second flat.

    In this context, a look at H2O and a CO2 spectra side-by-side will show you conclusively that the water vapour molecule absorbs much more energy than a carbon dioxide molecule. Also take in to account that there are several peaks in the water vapour spectrum at shorter wavelengths (= higher energies) than in the CO2 spectrum.

    water bands are typically composed of more sparsely distributed bands than CO2

    To say this about the infrared band of one micron to, say, 15 or 20 microns is a total distortion of reality. Just LOOK at them! The CO2 bands are overwhelmed by the H2O vapour bands.

    Unfortunately I have not worked out how to import graphs onto these posts, or I would provide the spectra, but you can obtain them on several websites. If it becomes necessary to convince you, I will simply list the wavelengths and peak widths for you, but it would be more convincing for you to look them up yourself.

    That’s a mistake, the upper troposphere is where critical interactions occur.

    No, it isn’t. I said the water vapour was low down in the atmosphere, which is by definition the troposphere. Critical interactions certainly do occur in the upper troposphere, but by no means all – by far the most critical reactions for climate happen in the bottom half of the troposphere – where the weather is made by solar warming, water vapour interactions, clouds, absorption of Earth’s IR emissions, precipitation and winds.

    Spencer and satellite temperature measuring –

    I said nothing about who identified the initial problems. I cannot see where your information conflicts with mine, beyond your use of the word “grudgingly”, which is your value judgement unsupported by evidence. The fact is, Spencer accepted the evidence of the existence of the problems, did not attempt to hide them, corrected them and was open about the whole procedure. You, yourself, quote Spencer in 2005 reporting what his own critics had previously said, not trying to deny it.

    This reaction was totally different to that of, say, Hansen and Mann when their data was challenged.

    • Phil.
      Posted Sep 27, 2008 at 6:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Peter Lloyd (#99),

      In this context, a look at H2O and a CO2 spectra side-by-side will show you conclusively that the water vapour molecule absorbs much more energy than a carbon dioxide molecule. Also take in to account that there are several peaks in the water vapour spectrum at shorter wavelengths (= higher energies) than in the CO2 spectrum.

      The comparison is only relevant if run at sufficiently high resolution!

      To say this about the infrared band of one micron to, say, 15 or 20 microns is a total distortion of reality. Just LOOK at them! The CO2 bands are overwhelmed by the H2O vapour bands.

      Most of which are of no relevance to heat loss from earth!

      Here’s the IR spectrum at the top of the atmosphere for the tropics both wet and dry (Modtran).

      • Peter Lloyd
        Posted Sep 28, 2008 at 8:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Phil. (#101),

        You’re losing me, Phil!

        The comparison is only relevant if run at sufficiently high resolution!

        Why on earth would I use low resolution data? The mechanism – what we are interested in – happens in the real world, i.e., at the highest resolution there is! We are not talking about models here.

        Most of which are of no relevance to heat loss from earth!

        Who is talking about heat loss? My original post (78) was about the relative infrared energy absorbance of the CO2 and H2O. molecules. Wake up, Phil!.

        Here’s the IR spectrum at the top of the atmosphere for the tropics both wet and dry (Modtran).

        What is the point of this? Weather is made in the lower troposphere, where the water vapour is. There isn’t any water vapour at the top of the troposphere, so a ‘wet’ IR spectrum is irrelevant.

        • Phil.
          Posted Sep 29, 2008 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

          Re: Peter Lloyd (#102),

          Re: Phil. (#101),
          You’re losing me, Phil!
          The comparison is only relevant if run at sufficiently high resolution!

          Why on earth would I use low resolution data? The mechanism – what we are interested in – happens in the real world, i.e., at the highest resolution there is! We are not talking about models here.

          But the spectra that are measured depend on the apparatus used, slit-width etc. also in the real world the line-widths vary with altitude (pressure). Your mention above of 3 or 4 peaks indicates you’re talking about very low resolution spectra.

          Most of which are of no relevance to heat loss from earth!
          Who is talking about heat loss? My original post (78) was about the relative infrared energy absorbance of the CO2 and H2O. molecules. Wake up, Phil!.

          In the context of the earth’s climate that’s what’s relevant, absorbance by either alters the emission at the top of the atmosphere.

          Here’s the IR spectrum at the top of the atmosphere for the tropics both wet and dry (Modtran).
          What is the point of this? Weather is made in the lower troposphere, where the water vapour is. There isn’t any water vapour at the top of the troposphere, so a ‘wet’ IR spectrum is irrelevant.

          The overall effect depends on the total interaction from surface to TOA, including convection clouds and BB emission from cloud tops etc. A ‘wet’ spectrum is certainly not irrelevant, it’s the ‘real world’ one!

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Sep 29, 2008 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

          Re: Phil. (#108),

          Explaining atmospheric radiative transfer to the willfully ignorant is impossible. It’s also OT for the blog, even though I occasionally fall off the wagon (see below) and try as well. No matter how many times you demonstrate that the radiative transfer part of enhanced greenhouse is essentially bullet proof and that posts to the contrary are an embarrassment to themselves and the reputation of the blog, it doesn’t sink in.

          Re: John Lang (#100),

          Do you seriously believe that radiative transfer calculations, much less GCM’s don’t include the atmospheric lapse rate? Don’t bother answering. Go play on the bulletin board and stop wasting bandwidth here.

        • KevinUK
          Posted Sep 29, 2008 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#109),

          “Explaining atmospheric radiative transfer to the willfully ignorant…”. I think thats a bit rich DWP and that you need to justify your statement. In what way is Peter Lloyd being willfully ignorant? I’m a degree level educated physicist who knows and understands the quantum mechanics that underpins this radiative heat transfer theory and I support PL’s earlier posts. If anyone is being ‘ignorant’ of the science you are as in common with far too may climate modellers you are failing to accept the fact that its not just radiative heat transfer to space that ultimately determines and regulates the temperature of our planet.

          Like TB in #107 I feel that it really is time that the real elephant in the room, that overwhelmingly influences our climate is acknowledged by the climate modellers, namely water in its various phase states (in particular its solid and vapour phases). You only have to extend your timescale further back that a century (which AGW proponents don’t want to do), by a millenia, by 10,000 years, by 100,000 years and further and it is clear that the large swings in the past temperature of our planet have been associated with the proportion of how much water in its solid form (ice) has built up, with somewhat lower albedo than the land it has covered to appreciate that the proportion of how much water we have on our planet in its different phase states (sold, liquid, vapour) hevily influences the temperature of our planet and significantly more so than comparative much less significant greenhouse CO2. Don’t get me wrong ‘m not denying CO2 plays a part it is just that it needs to be acknowledge that is influence is being significantly over exaggarated by the IPCC at present.

          KevinUK

        • Peter Lloyd
          Posted Sep 29, 2008 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

          Re: KevinUK (#111),

          Like TB in #107 I feel that it really is time that the real elephant in the room, that overwhelmingly influences our climate is acknowledged by the climate modellers, namely water in its various phase states (in particular its solid and vapour phases).

          Too right. I am often surprised at the number of scientists with no appreciation of the amounts of energy tied up as latent heat, especially by the water molecule. Good grief, it’s very basic – I did it two years before School Certificate!

          I had a slap-down drag-out argument on a science board a couple of years ago about the UK climate and the Gulf Stream, which turned out to revolve around his ignorance of the huge amount of energy – around 540 cal/gm? – in the heat of vapourisation carried in the water vapour in the UK’s prevailing SW winds and the simple 1 cal/degC/g in ocean water. I got called ignorant then!

          Perhaps they were asleep at the back of the class that day.

          Thanks for your professional support!

        • Posted Sep 29, 2008 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

          Re: KevinUK (#111),
          Re: Peter Lloyd (#113),

          I was roundly slapped down by DWP over at Sea ice#3 regarding this but also received some support and queries concerning the amount of man made‘new water impoundments‘ (NWI) such as reservoirs- that might have the potential to add a measurable amount of water vapour into the atmosphere through evaporation. This post takes those comments into account as well as those made here.

          I was looking for new sources of water in the last 40/50 years that could explain the divergence between solar activity and temp levels cited by Usokov and Solanki in my last post, which some put down to C02, but bearing in mind its greater prevalence and its absorption characteristics, water seems to be a much more logical cuprit. NWI could (I’m not saying does) contribute to climate change by accentuating natural warming episodes through increased evaporation caused by the provision of additional fresh water surface areas (which evaporates faster than saline oceans) I hadn’t meant to be contentious, just following a logical train of thought!

          We are dealing with surface area only, as volume is relatively immaterial for evaporation-although a shallow lake (i.e most man made NWI) will evaporate at a faster rate than a deep one (natural sources) at certain times of the year.

          In answer to the comment about numerous marshes etc being drained which would more than counteract NWI –yes, but some have recovered whilst others were drained to grow crops which then need irrigation-surely the quickest way to increase evaporation. I visited Shatt al Arab which has now partially recovered from its draining in the 80’s. Marshes in general have reduced levels of evaporation compared to open water as the plant material provides cover, although this is highly dependent on plant type which has varying degrees of evapotranspiration.

          Some lakes/seas have undoubtedly shrunk over recent years-such as the Aral- now at some 68000km 2 although that lost water has been diverted to irrigation so is still present, albeit in a different form. Incidentally there has been a dramatic rise in cotton production in the last fifty years and each hectare of cotton requires irrigation with 16000m3 of water.

          The number of water impoundments prior to the start of the 20th century was very small, although I am aware that the Babylonians had reservoirs which I have seen when in Iraq. In effect NWI is a new phenomenon.

          Some facts;
          Total surface area of seas 361 million km2 (includes Arctic/Antarctica)
          Inland seas, lakes and rivers at 855,000km2
          So total of natural water sources is around 362 million km2 less frozen areas of 21 million which have different evaporation profile

          Man made NWI;
          Reservoirs worldwide have a total surface area of around 750,000km2 (there are 4000 in Brazil alone)
          Impoundments for hydroelectric 210000 km2 the largest being the 3 Gorges at 1084 km2 (Brazil has 700 dams)
          Man made Lakes for recreational fishing, boating etc 25000km2
          Barrages to control water for diversions 20000km2
          Sewage farms 5000km2
          Swimming pools (this is not facetious see link for worlds biggest swimming pool the size of a lake) 20000km2
          http://www.thethinkingblog.com/2008/02/in-pictures-biggest-swimming-pool-on.html

          Commercial lakes to grow fish as a food source (usually by impoundment) 15000km2
          No doubt all the domestic water features in the world have a measurable amount of surface area but I don’t intend to measure it.
          That is around 1.1 million km2 of NWI. As a comparison Lake Superior has around 82000km2 of surface area and ALL the freshwater lakes in the world around 800,000km2

          Add on Irrigation (for general agriculture, golf courses, cotton) with its high evaporation profile (dependent on humidity/wind etc) which studies show can cause up to 8.5% of the water to be immediately lost to evaporation before it can reach the ground
          http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/AE/AE04800.pdf

          There are various studies where the Co2 consideration of dams have been made but rarely the implications of water vapour except; http://www.kvvm.hu/cimg/documents/novovirje_study2000.pdf
          Which under 4.3 states

          “The project construction will not affect precipitations, wind and sunshine exposure duration. Within a comparatively narrow area, the air and soil temperatures might drop, while fog, air humidity and evaporation might increase.”

          So NWI represent some .25% of ALL water sources. Water in the atmosphere is 0.001% of all water on earth. Tyndall and Shadurov estimate that a rise of 1% of water vapour could raise the global average temperature of earth’s surface more than 4 degrees Celsius.

          I don’t want to take up bandwidth by citing some two dozen studies containing the above information, but all I am saying is that the amount of water potentially evaporating from man made NWI plus irrigation could possibly affect the water content of the atmosphere by the small amount that scientists have calculated could have a measurable effect on temperature.

          Tony Brown

        • Pat Keating
          Posted Sep 29, 2008 at 6:01 PM | Permalink

          Re: Tony Brown (#114), Peter Lloyd, KevinUK.

          Water is certainly an important energy-transfer factor in the lower 2/3 of the troposphere but above the tropopause most of the water has been frozen out and radiation is just about the only factor.

        • Peter Lloyd
          Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

          Re: Pat Keating (#115),

          Water is certainly an important energy-transfer factor in the lower 2/3 of the troposphere but above the tropopause most of the water has been frozen out and radiation is just about the only factor.

          Yes, but not entirely. There is still the 0.04% CO2 in the stratosphere, at very low pressure, above the tropopause. That certainly absorbs infrared energy which is transferred by conduction to surrounding molecules. However, the amount of heat involved is small because of the very low density, so the resultant temperature is low and cannot re-radiate down against the heat gradient, the inference being that it must radiate away to space. Because the amount of heat is low the insulaton effect of this layer must also be small. The marked increase in temperature with altitude in the stratosphere, up to over 0 deg.C, is believed to be more due to intense UV energy absorption by ozone, but I am not aware of certain proofs of this.

          But I’m sure everyone on this thread knows far more about this than I do and can inform you better.

        • bender
          Posted Sep 29, 2008 at 6:49 PM | Permalink

          Re: Tony Brown (#114),
          Are you suggesting that IPCC and the GCM-based estiamtes of climate sensitivity do not take this into account?

        • Peter Lloyd
          Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

          Re: bender (#116),

          bender,msg.116 –

          Are you suggesting that IPCC and the GCM-based estiamtes of climate sensitivity do not take this into account?

          That’s the trouble, bender. They are so secretive about their code – outsiders have no idea what is in their models.

          It’s only a short while ago they said in public that they had not allowed for clouds in their models! I’m sure they have now, but before that, how dared they make their catastrophic predictions with carefully calculated confidence limits – but clouds not included! It’s ridiculous.

          And somewhat longer ago, the arguments they were conducting in public made it clear that water vapour did not figure in their models. Again, I’m sure it does now, but having made such elementary mistakes, how can we trust them? What else is in – or, more relevant, NOT in – their models? I just have no faith in their competence, an opinion confirmed by their resource to ad hominem attacks on the many reputable climatologists and meteorologists who dare to disagree with them.

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 12:08 AM | Permalink

          Re: Tony Brown (#114),

          When I slap you down, you’ll know it. I tend to make bender sound polite and tactful by comparison. You expressed confusion on the topic. I provided some suggestions for further study. If I found the information, anybody can.

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Sep 29, 2008 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

          Re: KevinUK (#111),

          I’m not a climate modeler. I’m a retired analytical chemist. I have done a fair amount of study of atmospheric radiative transfer including line-by-line calculations. Knowing the fundamentals of molecular absorption and emission or radiation isn’t sufficient. You have to combine that with the structure of the atmosphere, the behavior of temperature, pressure and specific humidity with altitude and how that affects line width. The ability to calculate IR spectra essentially ab initio (the water vapor continuum is still a problem, but there are good empirical models for that) that fit the observed atmospheric spectra is pretty convincing evidence to me that the radiative transfer calculations and the resulting energy balances are basically correct.

          However, I’m also convinced that there are gaping holes in AGW theory and GCM’s once you get past the basic radiative transfer part, like deep convection, clouds, etc. So turning a ghg forcing from a well mixed gas like CO2, which can be calculated to +/- 10% globally, into a global mean temperature sensitivity is problematic.

          It’s quite clear from reading posts here and on the bulletin board that there is a vast misunderstanding of how radiative transfer of energy in the atmosphere actually works to create the greenhouse effect by a lot of people. The information is out there, but too many people settle for one liner explanations (CO2 absorption is saturated so an increase in concentration won’t change anything, e.g.) that fit their prejudices and that are misleading at best and completely wrong at worst.

          If you want to falsify something, work on its weakest points, not its strongest.

        • bender
          Posted Sep 29, 2008 at 10:30 PM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#117),
          Well said, sir.

        • Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 1:48 AM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#117),

          I am curious about the influence of water vapor against the influence of GHGs in the total radiation budget. Especially, since water vapor seems to be the main cause of the higher temperatures in Europa (see Philipona e.a.), probably caused by NAO and increased humidity of the SW winds over NW Europe (and not by a feedback on the small increase of GHGs).

          Is the Modtran program (of Archer) sufficiently accurate to compare the influence of changes in water vapour vs. changes in CO2 and other GHGs?
          In your opinion, is the ratio of absorption of water vapor to GHGs around what the NASA tells us (about 60/40)?

        • Peter Lloyd
          Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

          Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen (#121),

          Ferdinand Engelbeen, msg.121 –

          I’m as interested as you are about the relative importance of carbon dioxide and water vapour in the transfer of heat between solar radiation and Earth’s climate system – and have been all my life, ever since I read Callendar as a boy (a very long time ago!!)

          This paper you link to – (Philipona e.a.) – is very curious indeed, for at least two reasons.

          However, superimposed to these changes a strong west-east gradient is observed for all months. The gradual temperature and humidity increases from west to east are not related to circulation

          If this is correct, it goes against the established meteorological picture of north-west Europe. And, incidentally, my own experience of travelling all over that region during the last sixty years.

          As I’m sure you know, the usually accepted meteorological picture of Europe is of a typical NH land mass on the eastern coast of a large ocean – served by warm SW winds loaded with moisture giving a wet, temperate climate on the coast, but becoming drier and cooler inland as moisture is lost through precipitation, so that the interior features a typical, more extreme mid-continental climate of drier, cold winters and very warm summers. Like the difference between UK/W.France and, say, Geneva, Berlin and Vienna. There is also a contradiction – “a strong west-east gradient” vs. “The gradual temperature and humidity increases from west to east”.
          Interesting. But I haven’t read the body of the paper, which may be quite brilliant, and my comments merely reflect my anecdotal experience.

          Furthermore –

          However, high correlation of increasing cloud-free longwave downward radiation with temperature (r = 0.99) and absolute humidity (r = 0.89), and high correlation between ERA-40 integrated water vapor and CRU surface temperature changes (r = 0.84), demonstrates greenhouse forcing with strong water vapor feedback.

          Is this a PC way of saying that the water vapour is the dominant greenhouse gas? I assume these measurements must have been made at night to eliminate incoming solar IR.

        • Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

          Re: Peter Lloyd (#129),

          For what its worth I was taught by our geography teacher (who trained to be a meterologist) that Britain was typified by warm wet westerly winds.

          Living now in South West England I would say that it is a common wind direction but wind blows from all parts of the compass with easterlies becoming fairly common in recent years.

          Perhaps predominant wind directions have changed over the years or perhaps it merely proves that Britain is not part of Europe (as many of us believe!)

          Tony Brown

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

          Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen (#121),

          The Archer MODTRAN interface is rather inflexible. You can change the overall level of CO2, methane, tropospheric and stratospheric ozone and water vapor. You can change the surface temperature. You can specify constant water vapor pressure or constant relative humidity for surface temperature offset changes. You can add a layer of clouds But you can’t change the lapse rate except by using a different locality: tropical, midlatitude summer and winter, subarctic summer and winter and 1976 standard atmosphere. IMO, its greatest utility is as a pedagogical tool to demonstrate how radiative transfer works. Generate spectra at different altitudes looking up and down. Make large changes (orders of magnitude) in CO2 or methane and see how that affects the spectra and the integrated flux density. Double CO2 and see how much you have to change the temperature offset to make the integrated flux density looking down from the tropopause or above equal to that for 1X CO2. Do all that with the different localities at constant water vapor pressure and constant relative humidity. Try to duplicate some published IR spectra. Select the save data option and look at the tables. It’s very informative especially in conjunction with a good textbook. I can personally recommend Grant W. Petty, A First Course…. But I’m sure there are others just as good.

          As far as the relative importance of CO2 and water vapor, it depends entirely on how you do the calculation. Set CO2 equal to zero and the surface temperature offset is -7.3 C compared to 375 ppm CO2 with the 1976 standard atmosphere and constant water vapor pressure. That would be approximately 20%. But that’s just one way of calculating and it’s probably an underestimate, IMO. But it does give an idea of the ballpark.

        • jae
          Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 8:54 PM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#136),

          The Archer MODTRAN interface is rather inflexible.

          Yes. What if you want to “model” Barrow, AK in December. There is no solar radiation at the surface, but there is at X altitude. How do you determine the downward radiation at Barrow in December?

        • Posted Oct 1, 2008 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#136),

          Thanks for the explanation and the link! More to learn here…

        • JamesG
          Posted Oct 1, 2008 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

          Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen (#121),
          I think you should know they have a more recent paper out where they say the European warming is caused by a reduction in aerosols – yes the same warming they said was caused by water vapour positive feedback. And they are still just as certain that there can’t possibly be any natural variation present. We can eagerly await their 2011 paper that reproduces another of the popular hand-waving arguments some years after everyone else has already done so. It’s a fine life over in Switzerland.
          http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2008GL034228.shtml

        • Posted Oct 2, 2008 at 2:35 AM | Permalink

          Re: JamesG (#155),

          What Rhuckstul, Philipona e.a. (again) seems to forget is that aerosols are washed out by rain, increasing when the NAO is in positive mode (especially in winter), leaving cleaner skies… It seems to me that they (again) revert cause and effect…

        • JamesG
          Posted Oct 2, 2008 at 6:48 AM | Permalink

          Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen (#163),
          Of course CO2 should be washed out by rain along with the aerosols, since it dissolves in rainwater, forming carbonic acid. I feel that has been somewhat ignored in the models.

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Oct 2, 2008 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

          Re: JamesG (#169),

          I feel that has been somewhat ignored in the models.

          Why do you ‘feel’ this? Can you point to the code in any GCM covering the carbon cycle or any carbon cycle model that ignores this? Henry’s Law applies here. The concentration of CO2 in a rain drop is proportional to the partial pressure of CO2 in the air. The data on CO2 solubility in pure water as a function of partial pressure and precipitation amounts should be readily available. Run the numbers. Prove your point instead of flapping your arms.

          Or consider this: Surface water is in equilibrium with the atmosphere. When it evaporates, the dissolved CO2 is released into the atmosphere. When it condenses again, the same amount of CO2 is dissolved again for no net gain or loss.

        • JamesG
          Posted Oct 2, 2008 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#174),
          You should be aware that most climate models do not have a carbon or water cycle incorporated before you get on your high horse. Carbon and water cycle models also typically give rather less alarming results than the IPCC-preferred models. My feeling is simply down to natural skepticism of the unproven, “arm-waving” assumption that CO2 is well-mixed in the atmosphere. Everyone just assumes it’s true but the carbon and water cycle requirements should, I strongly suspect, produce a significant variance with altitude. I have seen aircraft studies which reported such a diminishing with height but they were vague on values. I’d like to see a true measurement of variation with altitude but nobody seems to have produced that yet.

          BTW Ferdinand, a CO2 map taken at jumbo jet cruising height is probably not too helpful.

        • Posted Oct 2, 2008 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

          Re: JamesG (#177),

          Seasonal variation decreases with altitude and with the NH-SH barrier. That was already known by Bert Bolin in 1970, see his graph here:

          Caption: Figure 3:2 Amplitude and phase shift of seasonal variations in atmospheric CO2 at different altitudes, calculated from direct observations by harmonic analysis (Bolin and Bischof, 1970).

          The difference in yearly averages (seasonal variation nearly levels out) between Barrow (7 m) and Mauna Loa (3.000 m) is less than 2 ppmv. Between Mauna Loa and the South Pole (3.000 m) less than 5 ppmv. All show quite identical trends, but there is a delay between the NH and SH, as the ITCZ hinders the exchange of air masses (which incidently shows that most of the CO2 increase comes from the NH)…
          Here the trends over the past 50 years:

        • JamesG
          Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

          Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen (#179),
          Ferdinand
          Thank you, but anything Bert Bolin was responsible for demands a second opinion as far as I’m concerned. If that’s the only source of the + or – 5ppm variation then there is a lot of speculation built on scanty evidence. “Calculated from harmonic analysis” indeed – involving a high degree of extrapolation I’ll bet. And those satellite measurements, as I said, are focused at a single height where they are guaranteed to be mixed up with direct dumping from aircraft. you can even identify the hotspots over tourist areas rather than industrial zones! I’d like to see a proper CO2 altitude map from satellite or aircraft measurements, ie not assumed or calculated. One day we might get one I trust. Also it’s very reasonable to assume (and is somewhat more logical) that the similar CO2 values at Antarctica and Mauna Loa are due to the CO2 coming almost entirely from sea. As for the enormous residence time in the models, which is also based purely on pessimistic models rather than direct measurements and no doubt ignores rainfall too…. I’ll just go along with Freeman Dyson’s 12 years calculation, which makes much more sense in a biosphere which is extremely short of, and hungry for, CO2.

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

          Re: JamesG (#226),

          Don’t confuse the half life of an individual CO2 molecule in the atmosphere with the half life of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. You have huge fluxes into and out of the biosphere which makes the residence time of an individual molecule very short. But the average concentration over time is unaffected by those flows, all other things being equal. The average concentration is determined by the geologic and anthropogenic source and sink fluxes, which are much smaller than the seasonal atmosphere/biosphere fluxes, leading to a much longer half life for the concentration than for an individual molecule.

        • Chris Knight
          Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#227),

          If an individual molecule of CO2 is not representative (in terms of half-life) of the whole atmospheric population of CO2 molecules, i.e. the concentration, then the whole atmosphere (troposphere) cannot be assumed to be well mixed, as in the GCM simulations. “Bomb 14CO2″ clearly had a (atmospheric persistence) half-life of 6-8 years in various proxy studies.

          Ignoring volcanoes, this indicates that the surface emissions (the majority of natural and anthropogenic sources, with large natural sinks available on land, bodies of water and in the lower tropospheric water cycle, with large diurnal etc., variations above background) are perhaps distinct from altitude emissions, which are either aviation (including rocket RP1 first stages), or radiogenic nuclides and cosmic debris, of which the regularly growing proportion is anthropogenic, the only sinks being relatively inefficient diffusion and precipitation of dissolved CO2 in the mid to upper troposphere.

          Is not this part of the reason for the steady rise in the background levels of CO2, and the two (or many) conflicting half-life residence measures for CO2?

          Ferdinand #216

          An interesting scatter plot, for those who have the data at their fingertips, would be (the area of ocean above or below say 65 deg latitude minus monthly extent of sea-ice for the respective north and south poles) versus the detrended CO2 monthly data for Barrow in the Arctic and Palmer in the Antarctic. I have a hunch that they would be pretty good straight lines, with cool ocean area varying inversely with the atmospheric CO2 concentration for each hemisphere, as I doubt that rates of photosynthesis and decay of surface vegetation vary inversely to each other during the seasons, and are more likely to match each other, perhaps with a slight lead/lag, varying with local surface temperature.

          The oceans are a different case from the land, with photosynthetic uptake of energy and fixing of carbon occurring preferentially in pelagic cooler waters, via various possible food chains, and literally sinking fixed carbon to benthic depths, sequestering carbon in deposits of carbonates or as alkane clathrates or other reduced carbon-rich deposits, or merely as CO2 dissolved under pressure in cold ocean bottom water. (Minus the anthropogenic fraction that is “fished” for food etc.)

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 9:38 PM | Permalink

          Re: Chris Knight (#230),

          I hope this isn’t too far off topic because this seems to be a common misconception.

          You’re completely wrong. The applicable mathematics for the atmosphere is something like a continuous flow stirred reactor. Combining the ocean with the terrestrial biosphere for simplicity, you have two well mixed stirred tanks connected by pumps, the atmosphere and the biosphere. You pump from the biosphere tank into the atmosphere tank and from the atmosphere tank into the biosphere tank at a rate such that the total volume in the atmosphere tank is pumped out every five years. The biosphere tank is orders of magnitude larger than the atmosphere tank. So in the absence of any other source or sink, the residence time in the system as a whole is infinite even though individual carbon atoms have a half life (actually 1/e) of five years in the atmosphere tank. Now add a source of carbon just to the atmosphere. The concentration will go up, but not as fast as a simplistic calculation involving only the volume of the atmosphere tank would show because some of the additional carbon will be transferred to the biosphere tank. Now add a sink, like a small leak, in the tanks. The residence time in the whole system is no longer infinite but it would still be very much longer than the residence time in just the atmosphere tank. Note that there are sinks in both tanks. Organic matter gets buried in the biosphere and the ocean and calcium carbonate precipitates in the ocean and weathering (replacement of SiO2 by CO2) removes carbon from the atmosphere.

          For a practical example, consider a stirred tank with 10 kilograms of 1% sodium chloride solution. Drain 1 kg from the tank and replace it with 1 kg of pure water. Now the concentration of salt in the tank is 0.9%. Drain another 1 kg and replace with pure water. The concentration drops, but only to 0.81%. Each additional drain and replacement removes less and less salt. By the time you have removed 10 kg, the concentration is down to 0.35%, not zero. Now suppose instead of replacing with fresh water, you replace with 1% sodium chloride solution. The concentration in the tank now doesn’t change, but you have still replaced 65% of the original sodium chloride with new sodium chloride.

          Hope that helps.

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#231),

          BTW, this can also be used to explain why the atmospheric CO2 wouldn’t quickly decay all the way back to pre-industrial levels if anthropogenic addition to the atmosphere by fossil fuel burning and land use/land cover changes ceased. The geologic sink rates are very small and the reservoirs (tanks) are very large, with half lives of hundreds of thousands to millions of years. So in the short term, a few millenia, they have no effect on the concentration and anthropogenic addition to the system is effectively a step change. That step change willl then equilibrate between the faster reservoirs, ocean, biosphere, atmosphere, e.g. With more total carbon in the fast exchange part of the system, the equilibrium concentration in the atmosphere will be higher than before and will only decay on a geologic time scale.

        • Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 4:05 AM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#232),

          DWP, I have some doubts about the very long-term residence time of excess CO2 in the atmosphere (like the “constant” term in the IPCC Bern model). The main sink of CO2 is at the THC sink place, which has a strong negative pCO2, compared to the atmosphere. The upwelling of the THC near the (Pacific) equator is some 800-1500 years later and meanwhile still at the old (deep ocean) values. It seems to me that the faster decay rates will pull the atmospheric/upper ocean CO2 to near old equilibrium (if we stop CO2 emissions), long before the return of the THC will come into play…

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Oct 8, 2008 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

          Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen (#236),

          The main sink of CO2 is at the THC sink place, which has a strong negative pCO2, compared to the atmosphere.

          My impression is that the THC is close to neutral as a long term reservoir and is not the cause of the constant term in the IPCC carbon cycle budget. It may even be part of the feedback mechanism that keeps the atmosphere from being completely depleted of CO2 by increases in weathering rates (Tibetan Plateau uplift, e.g.). Although at first glance, the chemistry would seem to work in the other direction. Carbonate minerals are the largest reservoir and have the slowest turnover rate. That’s the slow step that leads to a constant (in human civilization time span) term. Also, if the THC is approximately plug flow, the equilibration time would be close to the turnover time rather than a multiple.

        • Posted Oct 9, 2008 at 12:11 PM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#260),

          I am not sure on this, all I know is that there was a historic equilibrium at about ~285 ppmv, where the THC sink and upwelling moved CO2 in about the same amount into and out of the (deep) oceans, with a delay between sink and source of app. 800 years. This equilibrum is broken now with +100 ppmv in the atmosphere.

          The current oceanic pCO2 at the sink place is about 150 µatm (see Feely e.a., or a difference of about 235 µatm with the atmosphere. By bringing that back to the old equilibrium, the difference will reduce to 135 µatm, still not zero. The same for the release side: 750 µatm currently, or 365 µatm difference, increasing to 465 µatm at equilibrium. At least during 800 years.

          The sink rate (1/2) is relative fast (~40 years) and directly into the deep ocean, bypassing the surface. Thus I don’t see that the sink rate will halt at a non-zero level, before the 800 years are over…

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Oct 9, 2008 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

          Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen (#266),

          I’ve been looking for a primary reference. The best I’ve found so far is: Archer, D., H. Kheshgi, and E. Maier-Reimer. Multiple Time Scales for Neutralization of Fossil-fuel CO2. Geophysical Research Letters 24(4), 405-408, 1997.

          Abstract

          The long term abiological sinks for anthropogenic CO2 will be dissolution in the oceans and chemical neutralization by reaction with carbonates and basic igneous rocks. We use a detailed ocean / sediment carbon cycle model to simulate the response of the carbonate cycle in the ocean to a range of anthropogenic CO2 release scenarios. CaCO3 will play only a secondary role in buffering the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere because CaCO3 reaction uptake capacity and kinetics are limited by the dynamics of the ocean carbon cycle. Dissolution into ocean water sequesters 70-80% of the CO2 release on a time scale of several hundred years. Chemical neutralization of CO2 by reaction with CaCO3 on the sea floor accounts for another 9-15% decrease in the atmospheric concentration on a time scale of 5.5 – 6.8 kyr. Reaction with CaCO3 on land accounts for another 3-8%, with a time scale of 8.2 kyr. The final equilibrium with CaCO3 leaves 7.5-8% of the CO2 release remaining in the atmosphere. The carbonate chemistry of the oceans in contact with CaCO3 will act to buffer atmospheric CO2 at this higher concentration until the entire fossil fuel CO2 release is consumed by weathering of basic igneous rocks on a time scale of 200 kyr.

          I don’t have convenient library access and I’m not sure it’s worth the $9 to buy a copy.

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Oct 9, 2008 at 1:08 PM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#267),

          Archer has a pdf copy on his home page.

        • jae
          Posted Oct 9, 2008 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#267),

          Chemical neutralization of CO2 by reaction with CaCO3 on the sea floor accounts for another 9-15% decrease in the atmospheric concentration on a time scale of 5.5 – 6.8 kyr.

          Don’t they mean reaction of CO2 and calcium, here?

        • JamesG
          Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 3:45 AM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#231),
          Re: DeWitt Payne (#227),
          DeWitt
          Again you are basing a lot of your arguments on unproven assumptions and theories rather than by direct measurements. That way you can argue anything but it’s not necessarily true. The idea of a very long return-to-normal residence time relies on the three assumptions of a) pessimistic take-up by nature, b) well-mixed CO2 and c) most added CO2 being anthropogenic rather than by natural ocean warming. The first two are dubious and the third relies on yet another assumption; that concentrations of C12/C13 give a fingerprint of man-made CO2, which has turned out to be dubious too. You also assume, in your “flow-stirred reactor” that CO2 acts much like water vapor. Yes, water vapor IS well-mixed but CO2 probably isn’t because while it comes down very readily via rainwater, it doesn’t go up as readily; it needs pushed. There is no pump – only wind and thermals, so most spreading of CO2 should be horizontal, near ground level and followed by dumping via rainwater. Ground level is after all where nature needs it. Also most CO2 injection by us is not into the atmosphere as you had written, it is via very short stacks or exhaust pipes near ground-level. So it’s very possible that nature absorbs that man-made CO2 very quickly.

          I’m not trying to convert you though, I’m only trying to demonstrate how many unsupported assumptions go into these supposed accepted “facts” while less pessimistic and more logical assumptions can actually explain things a lot better. It’s the data that tells us the truth finally but there seems to be an extreme dearth of data in climate science and very little, if any, of that data supports the AGW theory. However, all of the data supports a natural warming cause. Instead of seeing what the data tells them though and adjusting their theories accordingly, climate scientists have a habit of adjusting for assumed data errors so they can obtain agreement with their extremely dubious models. That extreme confirmation-bias behavior should set off alarm bells in everyone.

        • Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 5:35 AM | Permalink

          Re: JamesG (#234),

          James, this seems to need a complete new topic (although already discussed in part in the past), where we can discuss this in detail. But first read my web page mentioned in #233…
          Only two remarks now:

          Humans add some 9+ GtC as CO2 per year nowadays. The measured increase in (95% of) the atmosphere is average 4 GtC per year over the past 50 years. How much do you think that the ocean warming has added per year?

          The long term influence of temperature on CO2 levels (ice ages – interglacials, this includes ocean currents and land ice – vegetation changes) is about 8 ppmv/°C. That means that the temperature increase of about 1°C between the LIA and the current period has added (as maximum) some 8 ppmv. The real increase is about 100 ppmv…

        • JamesG
          Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 7:09 AM | Permalink

          Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen (#236),
          Ferdinand
          I’ve read your site previously and I noticed the theory of C12/C13 fingerprinting taking pride of place. You may be aware that has been called into question by Roy Spencer and by other researchers recently. I’d say it’s very possible that the increase is entirely due to the sea. However, the idea that ice cores can be extracted without the CO2 escaping is ridiculous so I won’t even go there, but you might look at the (so far) uncontested criticisms of Zbigniew Jaworowski. In support, you’ll find there are many reputable scientists who find that the CO2 levels in the past were much higher than today and much higher than the ice core interpretations suggest for the past. Such contradictions are never resolved by the “community” – just ignored. There has indeed been a great deal of poor science involved in those ice-core interpretations – notably the singular focus on Vostok despite other ice-cores telling a different tale, plus the manipulation of the Siple data splice to produce a faked-up CO2 hockey stick. Meanwhile Grip, that shows a high medieval warm period is ignored. Ridiculously, Petit didn’t even seem to be aware of the CO2 outgassing mechanism when he wrote his seminal paper. Where he thought the CO2 came from is anybody’s guess. However, if you look at Beck’s collation of direct measurements of CO2, which again have been largely ignored, you’ll see that CO2 went up in the 40’s then back down again perfectly in line with temperature, so we don’t even need to consider ice cores with all their inherent flaws – we just need to use the available direct measurements. Ah, science as it used to be practised…

        • Geoff Sherrington
          Posted Oct 8, 2008 at 11:46 PM | Permalink

          Re: JamesG (#239),

          Re carbon isotope fingerprinting and attribution of man-made CO2.

          As a rule of thumb, C-14 dating methods run out of puff after 50,000 years, so carbon specialists need C-13 and C-12 for older times. But the last 50,000 years contains calibration periods, so one has first to understand C-14, which in general has been done rather well, before extracting C-13:C-12 significance.

          The scenario would be much simpler if Man was the only producer of C-14. But man is not. Any material less than the nominal 50,000 years age that decays to give off CO2 to the air will give a C-14 signal.

          Any material older than 50,000 years that decays to give CO2 to the air will give the appearance of Man-burned fossil fuel. Now, think of the abundance of carbonate marine life older than 50,000 years that is doing precisely that. Think of methane leaks from coal seams and tundra that oxidises in the air to make CO2 and think Re: DeWitt Payne (#228), volcanics. Then be just a little sceptical of an easy attribution of atmospheric CO2 to Man. There is no argument that Man does this, but calculating the extent is not so simple.

        • Posted Oct 9, 2008 at 11:05 AM | Permalink

          Re: Geoff Sherrington (#261),

          Geoff, 14C is not used for fingerprinting the human contribution to increased CO2 levels, but it is used to make a distinction between organic carbon (e.g. from forest fires) and fossil fuel carbon deposits. See e.g. here:
          http://lch.web.psi.ch/pdf/anrep05/25.pdf

          13C/12C ratio’s are more interesting, as most natural sources of CO2 like (deep) oceans, carbonate deposits, volcanic vents,… have a d13C level of near zero per mille, while fossil fuels and recent organic carbon containing material have a very low d13C (average -24 per mille). The distinction between fossil and recent organics is possible with the 14C level, but also as a global net balance by oxygen measurements: fossil fuel burning uses oxygen, decay or burning of vegetation/organics too, but if more vegetation is growing than burned/decays, the oxygen decrease as result of fossil fuel burning would be less than calculated, which is the case nowadays.

          The decrease of 13C levels in the past 150 years in the atmosphere (direct measurements, firn, ice cores) and the oceans (coralline sponges)completely coincidences with atmospheric release of CO2 from fossil fuels. See here.

        • JamesG
          Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 7:41 AM | Permalink

          Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen (#236),

          Hers one reference by Jaworowski. Notice figure 2, the selective bias by Callander when selecting usefully low CO2 measurements from the mass of higher ones.
          http://www.warwickhughes.com/icecore/

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

          Re: JamesG (#239),

          Beck and Jaworowski are ignored for cause. They are outer fringe and as a result cannot be discussed here by site rule. Citation of them as reliable sources means you cannot be taken seriously either. *plonk*

        • Peter Lloyd
          Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

          Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen (#236),

          The long term influence of temperature on CO2 levels (ice ages – interglacials, this includes ocean currents and land ice – vegetation changes) is about 8 ppmv/°C.

          That is an extraordinary statement.

          Nobody on this planet knows enough about Earth’s climate system to justify it.

        • Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

          Re: Peter Lloyd (#250),

          Peter, the 8 ppmv/°C is based on the Vostok ice core and is consistent for most of the 420,000 years, if you take into account the lag of CO2 after temperature changes. There is a dip of ~6 ppmv in the Law Dome ice core around the LIA. If you believe MBH98, there was near no LIA (-0.2°C), and the ratio is 30 ppmv/°C. If you believe the deepest cold reconstructions (boreholes, Moberg, Esper, -0.8°C), then we are back at 7.2 ppmv/°C.

          These ratio’s are independent of the large smoothing of 40 years (Law Dome) to hundreds of years (Vostok).

          While CO2 levels are measured in the gas phase, the temperature is a proxy, based on deuterium/hydrogen isotope ratio changes. This more or less reflects the SH ocean temperatures. It is possible that the NH had some different temperature profile, or that there was a lag in temperature changes of one of the hemispheres. And the D/H isotope ratio may have been misinterpreted. But anyway, the remarkable point is that it is consistent over the full period and in the same range up to a few centuries ago.

          Al we can say is that the ratio (according to several ice cores) is about 8 ppmv/°C.

          The current short-time influence of temperature on CO2 increase variability is ~3 ppmv/°C, that is around the trend, not the trend itself.

        • Daryl M
          Posted Oct 9, 2008 at 9:39 PM | Permalink

          Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen (#252), 8 ppmv/°C is based on the Vostok ice core and is consistent for most of the 420,000 years

          With all due respect, and I’m not being sarcastic, I find it very difficult to believe that the rate would be consistent over 420,000 years and not be expressed as a range. Considering the differences in the biosphere between ice ages and interglacials how could it possibly be the same?

          Also, even if the composition of gas extracted from an ice core can be measured accurately, how can it be verified that the measurements reflect the composition of the atmosphere at the time the ice was formed? I won’t make any pretenses about being an expert on ice cores, but the physical and chemical processes that take place from the time the snow falls to the time the ice core is extracted (420,000 years later!) surely must have some effect on the gas composition. At the very least, considering the high pressure that is applied over such a long period of time, wouldn’t gas diffusion have a smoothing effect on the composition?

          Finally, how was the 8 ppmv/°C value verified? Comparing the results against other ice cores may demonstrate repeatability in the measurement methodology, but that doesn’t prove there is an understanding of what happens to the gas in the ice core over the 420,000 year period. By what experiment could the result be falsified?

        • Peter Lloyd
          Posted Oct 10, 2008 at 8:59 AM | Permalink

          Re: Daryl M (#274),

          Yes, I have previously commented on the impossibility of Ferdinand’s 8ppmv/oC figure (251).

          As you say, there are processes within layers of old ice which are unarguably inevitable and which must affect the accepted interpretation of ice cores.

          Diffusion from layers of higher gas concentration to adjacent layers of lower gas concentration is certain to occur – this is no hypothesis, but an unavoidable physical process. The result is to reduce the concentration gradients along the core, smoothing out both low concentration and high concentration peaks. The speed and extent of the diffusion is accelerated by pressure, which, of course, increases with depth.

          Thus, the measurement of high concentration CO2 peaks at interglacials will be reduced from the original values and the low concentration troughs at ice ages will be measured as higher than the original values.

          This is such an inevitable mechanism that I am surprised it is not more widely discussed in the literature. But perhaps I have just not read widely enough.

          There is also, of course, the effect of compression at depth increasing the number of annual layers in a standard ‘slice’, which also smooths out the measured differences between layers.

          Although ice cores show incontrovertably the causal relationship between atmospheric CO2 and temperature, the combination of these two effects means that the actual values for CO2 shown by ice core data must be interpreted with great care, if not scepticism. At least, it seems inevitable that atmospheric CO2 levels over the last few hundred thousand years vary between much wider limits than ice core data indicate at first sight. Old peaks measured in ice cores at ~280ppmv may have been laid down at concentrations as high as today’s ~380 ppmv, and old troughs measured at ~200ppmv may well have been laid down at less than 100ppmv.

          The smoothness of the plots of CO2 vs. time from ice cores, seen in the literature, is sufficient warning that an intrinsic smoothing mechanism is operating – the real world cannot be as uneventful!

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Oct 10, 2008 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

          Re: Peter Lloyd (#278),

          …old troughs measured at ~200ppmv may well have been laid down at less than 100ppmv.

          No. Most plants would not survive or at best do very poorly at a concentration of CO2 that low. There is no evidence that ever happened during glaciations. It would also show up in sea floor sediment cores.

        • Peter Lloyd
          Posted Oct 10, 2008 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#279),

          No. Most plants would not survive or at best do very poorly at a concentration of CO2 that low.

          DWP-
          How do you know that 100ppmv is not enough? Especially when large parts of the NH continental masses are covered by deep ice caps. The planet would find its own equilibrium, as it has done during the deepest glacials in the past.

          I’m not putting forward 100ppmv CO2 as a typical interglacial low: I’m just saying that our deduction from ice core measurements could be out by that much due to diffusion and layer compression.

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Oct 10, 2008 at 7:01 PM | Permalink

          Re: Peter Lloyd (#280),

          How do you know that 100ppmv is not enough?

          Because I’ve looked it up. Find a reference that shows I’m wrong.

        • Craig Loehle
          Posted Oct 11, 2008 at 2:02 PM | Permalink

          Re: Peter Lloyd (#280), according to lab experiments, 200ppmv of CO2 plants begin to starve, and at 100 I don’t think they can grow.

        • Posted Oct 10, 2008 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

          Re: Daryl M (#274)
          Re: Peter Lloyd (#278),

          Daryl and Peter, the cloud of measurements is here. The relation is surprisingly linear (R^2 = 0.750), a quadratic response is hardly better (R^2 = 0.762). Most of wideness is caused by the CO2 lags during transitions, especially to the upper side. Without these shifts in time, the correlation even would be better.

          There were tests with the ice cores, brought under the same pressure and temperature conditions as the Vostok ice core at depth. These reveal that after 100,000 years some migration may occur. But the migration was measured against ambient atmophere, while there is little pressure gradient in any adjacent layers of the ice core.

          Against the migration are a few observations:
          – a series of ice cores, differing in accumulation rates, (sea) salt deposits and temperature have similar CO2 values (within 5 ppmv) in overlapping periods of time.
          – the Vostok series still shows relative sharp peaks, which appear to be unsmoothed.
          – the Vostok series has 4 distinct periods with high temperatures and four with low temperatures. The difference between low and high temperature is of similar magnitude for the 100, 200, 300 and 400 kyr old warm periods. If migration occured, the CO2 amplitude between cold and warm periods should be smaller with age. But that is not the case: the oldest, of 400 kyr, still shows the same 8 ppmv/°C as the youngest. See Wiki

        • Geoff Sherrington
          Posted Oct 12, 2008 at 6:03 AM | Permalink

          Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen (#281),

          At Vostok, approx the first 100,000 years of estimated ice age are over the top 1600 m of drill hole. At the bottom, 100,000 years is spread over about 200 m. The most prevalent explanation I have seen is that immense pressures compress the ice – in this case, to one-eighth of the original thickness.

          Now, if the pressures at hole bottom of 3,200m are so intense, why do they not crush the drill apparatus? Why does the drill hole stay open if the rods are drawn up a little? It’s because of false impressions about crustal pressure/depth/temperature relations, which are rather hard to measure.

          Theoretically, I can show you a 100m high brick wall, with one lower brick removed. The surrounding bricks do nor crush in in an instant and fill the void. The pressure distribution is not simple like that. That example helps show why we can have deep underground mines.

          I keep referring to an intensively-studied, super-deep drill hole on land at the Kola Peninsula, Russia. This reached a record 12,200 m depth and still stayed open, although the rocks were becoming hot and plastic. In that hole, a study of pressure/depth/temperature showed there was a previously unknown and unexpected zone of microfracturing starting some 3 km down. Microfracturing has since been found in many other deep holes. In one postulated mechanism, the microfractures were interacting with exsolved water of crystallisation; additionally, the microfracturing was assisting the circulation of groundwaters.

          In the light of the above, I think it is scientifically naive to think that the pressure/depth interactions at Vostok are simple and I think it unlikely that much accurate quantitative data can be derived. Of course ice does not need to act like rock and there might be no cases to compare. But caution is indicated. The seismic interpretation models at Kola were also shown to be hopelessly flawed.

        • Daryl M
          Posted Oct 12, 2008 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

          Re: Geoff Sherrington (#285), Now, if the pressures at hole bottom of 3,200m are so intense, why do they not crush the drill apparatus?

          The drill uses a coring bit, for which the pressure from the ice inside the core would be the same as the pressure from the ice on the outside of the core, so it wouldn’t crush the drill.

          A very rough WAG using the standard 1 atm per 10 m from scuba diving, the pressure at the depth of 3200 m would be ~4700 psi. How much does the ice core expand when it is extracted out of the coring bit? I wonder how much of the compressed gas it contains leaks out of the cracks?

          Like I said previously, all of these factors beg the question of how reliable this method is for determining the composition of gas from 420,000 years ago.

        • Posted Oct 12, 2008 at 4:49 PM | Permalink

          Re: Geoff Sherrington (#285),
          Re: Daryl M (#286),

          Vostok was drilled with drilling fluid, a mixture of kerosene and CFC11 at the app. same density of the ice, which compensates for the pressure at depth. See: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/stis1993/opp94007/opp94007.txt

          The ice core layers are smaller with depth, partly due to pressure, but also due to the ice flow. Vostok is not at the top of an icefield, but underway the glacier flow. When expanding the ice core rods (called relaxation), the volume of ice can double, without getting cracks, as long as that happens slow enough at very low temperature. See e.g. http://www.udel.edu/PR/UDaily/2008/nov/ice112107.html, where ice from the deepest part was recovered and still “crystal clear”…

          Even if there were cracks: in normally, oxygen and nitrogen of the ancient air would escape first, as the O2 and N2 clathrates decompose at much higher pressure and lower temperature than CO2 clathrates. Long after these escaped (and the inside pressure would be near equal to the outside), the CO2 clathrates would decompose. As that only represent less than 0.03% of the original volume, not much leakage would occur and that should lead to too high levels of CO2 in the measurements. But they measure (much) lower CO2 levels than ambient…

          And again, one should see huge differences in CO2 levels from top to bottom for equal proxy temperature periods. Which is not the case…

        • Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 3:42 AM | Permalink

          Re: Chris Knight (#230),

          Chris, I think that DWP has given a good example of the differences in residence times:

          One is the residence time of an individual molecule in the atmosphere, which is directly related to the continuous and seasonal turnover (app. 150 GtC/yr) of the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere (app. 800 GtC). That gives a short half life time of somewhat over 5 years. This has no influence on the total mass of CO2 in the atmosphere, as long as the sources and sinks over a year are equal to each other. This residence time influences the concentration of 14C and the 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere.

          The other is the residence time of excess CO2 in mass over the natural equilibrium (as far as that exists, but in general, including a small influence of temperature of about 8 ppmv/°C the pre-industrial levels in the Holocene were between 280-300 ppmv). That has nothing to do with the residence time of individual CO2 molecules, but with the average pressure difference of total CO2 between atmosphere and oceans. Which is currently about 7 ppmv. The net result over a year (a full seasonal cycle) is in average 4 GtC more sink than source. Thus of the about 200 GtC increase in CO2 over the past 150 years, only 4 GtC is removed per year (while we add about 9 GtC per year nowadays). The difference between 4 GtC/yr sink rate and the 150 GtC/yr exchange rate shows that the residence time of an extra mass of CO2 is much larger than the residence time of an individual molecule… As DWP said, there are more components in play, which makes that the residence time (as mass) is more complicated.

          I have another example to make it (hopefully) more clear here.

          The entire page is a comprehensive overview why humans are responsible for the current increase in the atmosphere.
          How much influence that has on temperature, that is an entirely different question…

        • Geoff Sherrington
          Posted Oct 9, 2008 at 12:02 AM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#228),

          This is way OT but continues the topic. Question: When I watch TV at night and see a weather map with a fast-moving front, I have failed to work out yet (by analogy with the duality of particles and waves in quantum theory) whether individual gas molecules are moving with the speed of the front, or whether the front is more a wave that bobs molecules up and down then passes by.

          Further, when I see huge tropical thunderheads developed above the 55,000 ft of the bizjet, is heat conducted from bottom to top by the motion of individual molecules moving conservatively with the mass, or is there a faster-moving radiative or wave process that dominates? Last, if that thunderhead is rising air with adiabatic cooling, must there be reciprocal air falling with heating to give a near-zero overall effect?

          These are not trick questions, I simply have never studied them.

        • Posted Oct 9, 2008 at 3:15 AM | Permalink

          Re: Geoff Sherrington (#262),
          don’t mind if I answer.
          If you think that the polar jet is what drive the extratropical cyclones, air flows are generally much faster of the waves within the flow. Cyclones are areas of convergence that generate rising flows and faster surface air flows are what feeds them.

          The same can be said for convective towers: air is rising at high speed and if you look carefully at a rising cumulus congestus you can appreciate it, expecially if a thin cloud cap appears.
          And yes, the cycle is closed somewhere but the energy balance of a thunder cloud is not zero because you have a net transfer of energy in the higher troposphere, the latent heat released by the ocean which is then radiatively lost.

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Oct 9, 2008 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

          Re: Geoff Sherrington (#262),

          For vertical air movements, hydrostatic equilibrium holds over sufficiently large area. The center of mass can’t move up or down (well, it can, but only a little due to thermal expansion or contraction). So every upward flow is balanced by downward flow somewhere else. But as Paolo M. pointed out above, only the mass flow is balanced, energy is lost to space in the process. With horizontal movement, I’m pretty sure it’s the air mass itself that moves. The large temperature difference between the poles and the equator provides the driving force to move warm air masses away from the equator and cold air masses from high latitudes toward the equator. Combined with ocean currents, this leads to excess OLR a high latitudes compared to Incoming Shortwave Radiation absorbed and an OLR deficit at latitudes closer to the equator, within about +/- 40 degrees. The net effect is a somewhat increased loss of energy to space and a slightly higher global average temperature.

        • Posted Oct 9, 2008 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#264),

          The net effect is a somewhat increased loss of energy to space and a slightly higher global average temperature

          I’m just speculating, but I think the net effect is a reduced loss of energy.
          I think that an atmospheric and ocean circulation not efficient in moving heat towards the poles could lead to higher temperature at the tropics and lower at the high latitudes. Since radiation is proportional to the fourth power of T, concomitant higher tropical and lower polar temperatures should lead to a net increase in energy lost to space.

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Oct 9, 2008 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

          Re: Paolo M. (#269),

          That was a mistake. The net loss to space should remain the same on average. But the linear average temperature goes up because the poles increase much more than the equator decreases, even corrected for the difference in area.
          Re: jae (#271),

          The reaction is CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O = Ca(HCO3)2 or calcium carbonate plus carbonic acid equals calcium bicarbonate. The equilibrium constant for this reaction strongly favors the formation of bicarbonate.

        • Peter Lloyd
          Posted Oct 2, 2008 at 5:46 PM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#174),

          DWP.msg.174 –

          Or consider this: Surface water is in equilibrium with the atmosphere. When it evaporates, the dissolved CO2 is released into the atmosphere. When it condenses again, the same amount of CO2 is dissolved again for no net gain or loss.

          Not completely. The dissolved CO2 forms carbonic acid which can react with rocks with which the water is in contact, or be used by biota in the water, before evaporation. In both cases the CO2 is sequestered from the climate cycle – for a few billion years, anyway. Geologists consider this an important mechanism at a very large scale.

        • Shawn Whelan
          Posted Oct 3, 2008 at 8:32 AM | Permalink

          Re: Peter Lloyd (#185),
          And there is just huge amounts of limestone rock in the world all formed from carbon and present day the reefs and all the shelled animals in the ocean forming from carbon. Most everything that is growing is removing carbon.

          And as the oceans cool they will absorb CO2, and as they warm they release it.

        • Peter Lloyd
          Posted Oct 3, 2008 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

          Re: Shawn Whelan (#193),

          You are quite correct, though I must point out that DWP was talking about fresh water – as was I.

          Round my neck of the woods are vast cave systems where the fresh surface water has percolated through and created not only the stalagmites and stalactites you see in documentaries, but laid thick ‘roadways’ over the flor of the cavern, feet thick.

          Somewhere in the last year I saw a reference to the amount of carbon dioxide (as carbonic acid) removed from seawater by sea creatures from diatoms up – can’t remember the number, but it was of the order of millions of tonnes/yr.

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Oct 3, 2008 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

          Re: Peter Lloyd (#194),

          Somewhere in the last year I saw a reference to the amount of carbon dioxide (as carbonic acid) removed from seawater by sea creatures from diatoms up – can’t remember the number, but it was of the order of millions of tonnes/yr.

          That seems like a lot until you consider that annual production of CO2 from making cement and burning fossil fuel is measured in gigatons.

          Weathering as a CO2 sink has to have a rate that is proportional to concentration. There also have to be long term sources that are inversely proportional to concentration or all the atmospheric CO2 would have disappeared, or at least been reduced to levels that would not support life as we know it, long ago. The geologic carbon cycle, weathering, precipitation, subduction and volcanic emission dominates on scales of millions of years. But those rates are small compared to the seasonal fluxes into and out of the biosphere. One theory is that the elevation of the Tibetan Plateau, which created fresh rock surface and a massive annual rainfall, is responsible for the current low (geologically speaking) CO2 level.

        • Posted Oct 2, 2008 at 11:16 AM | Permalink

          Re: JamesG (#169) and anna v,

          I didn’t say that CO2 is washed out (aerosols are washed out for sure). I beg to differ here, as water drops are formed at height within an atmosphere where about the same concentration of CO2 is present as near the surface (but at lower pressure), at least over the oceans and at height (as in the Alps, where is measured). Exception is under the inversion layer over land, where a lot of local CO2 production and absorption processes are at work, which may give higher or lower concentrations…

        • jae
          Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#117),

          It’s quite clear from reading posts here and on the bulletin board that there is a vast misunderstanding of how radiative transfer of energy in the atmosphere actually works to create the greenhouse effect by a lot of people.

          I dare say, it is not “settled science.” Some of those people have credentials at least equal to yours.

        • Posted Oct 1, 2008 at 1:00 PM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#117),

          Gaping holes in AGW theory DWP?

          A hole suggests there is something of substance from which something is merely missing.

          We have in climate science imperfectly understood physical processes, constant revisions of uncertain data that remains uncertain, unproven and theoretical computer models input with data of dubious merit, limited real world observation and constant massaging of historic facts, all operating within a chaotic and dynamic real world environment Gaping holes? That is a far too complimentary a term. I’d say most of them are making up climate science as they go along.

          Tony Brown

        • Peter Lloyd
          Posted Sep 29, 2008 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

          Re: Phil. (#108),

          Phil, 108 –

          I’m not giving up on you!

          But the spectra that are measured depend on the apparatus used, slit-width etc. also in the real world the line-widths vary with altitude (pressure).

          You are side-stepping the argument in msg.78, which is only about comparing the amount of infrared energy actually absorbed, in the real world, by the CO2 molecule and the H2O vapour molecule. Measure both by the same apparatus, whether high-res. or low-res., across the same waveband, and the result will appear in the same order. Your introduction of pressure-broadening is also a red herring. Pressure broadening, as you must well know, applies to both molecules and its effects are nowhere near large enough to affect the order of a side-by-side comparison of these two molecules. So why do you introduce all these irrelevant factors?

          In the context of the earth’s climate that’s what’s relevant, absorbance by either alters the emission at the top of the atmosphere.

          Again, you are changing the context for the sake of denying my argument. I’m not talking about emissions, or whereabouts in the atmosphere, just about which molecule absorbs most energy.

          The overall effect depends on the total interaction from surface to TOA, including convection clouds and BB emission from cloud tops etc.

          Yes, of course. But again, my posting had nothing to do with that – only with whether the H2O vapour molecule absorbs more infrared energy than the CO2 molecule.

          Phil, what is so dreadful about admitting the simple truth of my argument in msg.78,
          that the water vapour molecule absorbs more infrared energy than the carbon dioxide molecule? I’m not arguing about all the subsequent interactions hat help to determine climate – just that very simple scientific fact.

          Finally, can you justify your remarks about CO2 infrared spectra ? Let’s take two of the 100% absorption peaks, one at 2.5 microns, base from 2.28 microns to 2.8 microns, the other at 3.6 microns, base from 3.4 to 3.7 microns. Give me reference to these being composed of narrower, sharper peaks. Real ones, now, not digitised.

    • Posted Sep 29, 2008 at 3:27 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Peter Lloyd (#99),

      I posted this over at ‘Sea ice’ in reply to a link by Gerald Machnee. However I think it more properly belongs here as it is somewhat off topic to the growing health of baby ice!

      “I must have read 500 articles over the last six months and basically I am more bemused than ever over this debate.

      There is no doubt whatsoever that temperatures have been warmer in the past, so humanity can not be to blame for those episodes. Personally I agree that there is a compelling argument that there is a very close (but not perfect) correlation with sun activity.

      However Usokov, Solanki et al believe they demonstrated this natural correlation broke down in the 1970’s, others say that we diverged from ‘natural’ temperatures several decades earlier.
      http://www.mps.mpg.de/dokumente/publikationen/solanki/c153.pdf

      The theoretical rise of 3 degrees from doubling Co2 is remarkably close to Tyndall and Shadurov’s estimates that a rise of 1% of water vapour could raise the global average temperature of earths surface more than 4 degrees Celsius. As water vapour is the overwhelming GHC-and as it absorbs more energy than Co2- it seems reasonable this is the culprit, not a minor trace gas where a doubling of concentration would seem unlikely to cause a rise of 3 degrees-unless scientits have now managed to create the missing formula-in which case Steve would have shut this site down!

      The surface area of all water sources (many in hot countries) has increased by something getting on for one quarter of one percent over the last 100 years and irrigation has also allowed more water to enter the lower atmosphere where a proportion will evaporate. Any natural increase in temperatures-which have happened throughout our history- would likely result in enhanced evaporation thereby raising temperatures further by a measurable amount. Steve doesn’t like us discussing pet theories so I am saying this is surely factual?

      This obsession with Co2 seems strange especially as enhanced levels are known to increase plant growth at a time it is needed to feed the growing population. I am sure this is highly un scientific but surely Al Gore fingered the wrong culprit back in 1992 in his rather good book ‘Earth in the balance’ but following his growing fame and fortune from the co2 industry has been unable to revisit his earlier thoughts. In the same way Dr Mann would surely have checked his figures and sources better if he had realised the furore the HS would cause. His HS directly contradicted entire Chapters of Gores 1992 book regarding past temperatures-did the two ever meet or was there ever a fuss about two icons of the CO2 science contradicting each other?”

      Tony Brown

  71. John Lang
    Posted Sep 27, 2008 at 5:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    At 1.0 km height, the average global temperature is already -3.0C. At 4.0 kms (14,000 feet), the global average temp is -20.5C (a little colder than the black body temperature of Earth without GHGs of -18C.) So, all the meaningful activity is occurring in the lower troposphere.

  72. J Solters
    Posted Sep 28, 2008 at 5:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: 99 and 103. Peter LLoyd. You’re getting a good lesson in obfuscation and slight of hand responses disguised as honest commentary. You’ll notice the ‘warmies’ use language expressly to confuse issues when facts aren’t available. It’s a technique to keep inconvient facts and ideas off the table. Hang in there, you’re doing a great job.

    • Peter Lloyd
      Posted Sep 28, 2008 at 5:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: J Solters (#104),

      Thank you, JS, for those kind words! I’m trying very hard to keep my cool and not let the side down. Terribly English, don’t you know.

  73. JamesG
    Posted Sep 29, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Alas in the science of climatology biased opinions become evidence and gross assumptions become facts. Few indeed are the opinions and assumptions that are actually backed up by hard data.

  74. Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 12:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

    DWP and Bender.

    Surely as in many walks of life the results of theoretical computer models will partly depend on what answer you seek and what emphasis you are placing on the component parts of the model?
    To prove their models some scientists feel it necessary to ignore history and previous warming episodes not caused by mans activity-surely major components which if they are ignored will affect the model?

    All I am saying is that we are fixated on CO2 and perhaps are not looking closely enough at all the alternatives-whatever they may be. Anyway, thank you both for your courteous replies on the subject and suggested reading matter. The idea of DWP making Bender sound polite and tactful is a scary thought.

    Tony Brown.

    • bender
      Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 7:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Tony Brown (#120),
      GIGO? Of course. The point is if you want to make progress in science you need to FOCUS on the weakest link, not the strongest. As DWP put it. Pointing the finger at the GCMs and EBMs is a start. But what about them? You need to be laser specific.

  75. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 11:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I wasn’t aware anyone was disputing the fact that carbon dioxide reacts to longwave infrared leaving the ground, or that its presence makes things work differently than they would without it.

    As far as credentials, holding yours up to prove you’re correct is just as wrong as pointing out somebody else doesn’t have them to prove they’re incorrect.

    • bender
      Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 12:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Sam Urbinto (#126),
      I said as much and got snipped. Glad to see someone else was able to make my point.

      • Sam Urbinto
        Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 1:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: bender (#132),

        I think that was Jae’s point; anyone using somebody’s credentials (especially their own) to bolster the validity or truth of their argument, or using somebody’s lack of credentials to attack the validity or truth of their argument, is a waste of everyone’s time and has no place here.

        While I respect the degrees of many of the participants (and non-participants) here, the fact you have a degree means two things as pertains to your deep understanding of your part of a field, the level of knowledge of the entire field, or areas beyond your degree. Doodly and squat. Maybe you know everything, maybe you know nothing.

        It’s fairly easy to see who knows what they’re talking about. This is regardless if you agree with them or not (and to what degree) as to basis, preconditions, beginning assumptions, conclusions and repercussions. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon.

    • KevinUK
      Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 2:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Sam Urbinto (#126),

      Sam I didn’t hold up my credentials to try to exert any leverage, but only to make it quite clear that I’m sufficient educated to understand radiative heat transfer, probably at least as much as Isaac Held who refused an offer I made to him to discuss quantum mechanics and its application within the theory of radiative heat transfer when he posted on a CA blog thread at one time.

      In particular I wanted to discuss with him just how he and Brian Soden have managed to persuade the GCM modelling community and so the IPCC that water vapour is a strong positive feedback and the fact that there is little doubt that it is this assumption that is required within the all the GCMs in order to obtain a value of 3 deg C (and more) for doubled CO2 (and most definitely the claimed predictions of catastrophic global warming if we don’t act now argument from the AGW alarmists). Needless to say he went silent and then stopped posting and hasn’t returned to CA since.

      PL, bender is quite right to point out that the source code for many of the GCMs (e.g. GISS’s Model E) is available on the internet. However that is a fairly mute point as I’m sure not many of us have the time to go through them line by line to find out exact what is and what is not modelled and how extensively within each of them. However I’m sure many of us who have followed some of the threads on various aspects of GCMs on CA and other web sites will be aware of the fact that they contain many approximations (involving the use of parameterisations – which is a euphemism for ‘fudge factors’) of important physical processes that occur in our atmosphere and oceans. Some still continue to use ‘flux adjustments’ (at the boundary between the atmosphere and the ocean) in order to maintain numerically stability. These ‘adjustments’ are not minor and are in fact often of the same order as the energy transferred between the atmosphere and the ocean). IMO they are most certainly far from being in a position to have been sufficiently validated (i.e. shown to even modestly, accurately reproduce past variations in our planets spatial variations in temperature, precipitation etc) that we should seek to drastically change our economies fundamentally (to ones based on so called sustainable energy sources rather than fossil fuels) on the basis of their ‘projections’.

      KevinUK

      • bender
        Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 2:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: KevinUK (#135),

        In particular I wanted to discuss with him just how he and Brian Soden have managed to persuade the GCM modelling community and so the IPCC that water vapour is a strong positive feedback and the fact that there is little doubt that it is this assumption that is required within the all the GCMs in order to obtain a value of 3 deg C (and more) for doubled CO2 (and most definitely the claimed predictions of catastrophic global warming if we don’t act now argument from the AGW alarmists). Needless to say he went silent and then stopped posting and hasn’t returned to CA since.

        I recall that incident and was upset at his sudden departure because this is precisely the question I was hoping would be answered. IMO it’s the weak link in the “dangerous warming” argument. (That and the 450ppm instability threshold.) It’s the question I think Lindzen would like to see answered as well.

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

          Re: bender (#138),

          A good project for someone who’s good at reading code would be to see exactly how water vapor positive feedback is generated by a GCM code. I seriously doubt there’s something there that specifically says that relative humidity remains constant as temperature changes or that the feedback coefficient for water vapor is, say, 0.6. My guess for a place to start looking would be how the model deals with surface evaporation, moist convection (and advection) and precipitation. My next guess is that there’s little or no between model variation in how this is done. I’ve read somewhere that you can initialize a model with zero water vapor in the atmosphere and within a week or two of model time the level of water vapor in the model atmosphere has reached normal levels.

  76. J solters
    Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 11:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: 118, 119. Dwit (and bender agrees) threatening to “slap people down”. That’s precisely the attitude of most ‘semi-tough’ warmies. You will get metephorically slapped down if you dare question their analysis or conclusions. That’s certainly not indicative of mature scientific dialog. These bully girl tactics denigrate honest inquiry into climate model fundamentals. “Pretty convincing evidence that the resulting energy balancees are basically correct” (Dwit), is not the exact engineering standard needed to support worldwide carbon trading, IMHO. Play nice; in the real world, you couldn’t scare anybody anyway.

    • bender
      Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 12:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: J solters (#127),
      Right. The desire to see mistakes corrected is definitely a “warmie” thing. These spitballs of yours are becoming annoying. Do you do anything productive here? Or just troll for opportunities to launch off at “warmies”?

      And speaking of correcting mistakes:
      Re: Peter Lloyd (#125),

      They are so secretive about their code – outsiders have no idea what is in their models.

      Nonsense. The codes are completely transparent and freely available. Google GCM code.

      It’s only a short while ago they said in public that they had not allowed for clouds in their models! I’m sure they have now, but before that, how dared they make their catastrophic predictions with carefully calculated confidence limits – but clouds not included! It’s ridiculous.

      This is a distortion both of what they said and what they did. Provide a quote to back your assertion. Hint: you can’t.

      And somewhat longer ago, the arguments they were conducting in public made it clear that water vapour did not figure in their models.

      Quote please.

      having made such elementary mistakes, how can we trust them?

      But you have not proven these “elementary” “mistakes”. You have merely asserted it.

      I just have no faith in their competence, an opinion confirmed by their resource to ad hominem attacks on the many reputable climatologists and meteorologists who dare to disagree with them.

      The number that disagree is quite small. You may choose to focus on the ad hominem attacks of the alarmists. That does not mean there are not also good logical arguments against these “reputable” skeptics.

      But enough. Please list the “numerous reputable climatologists” who disagree with the consensus. Oh, I know: there are so many it’s just not possible to list them all.

      Look, I respect Lindzen’s work. He has a great couple of arguments that are worth pursuing. That doesn’t mean the modelers behind the consensus have zero credibility. Show some moderation. As for ad hominem attacks, Lindzen et al. can fend for themselves. They certainly don’t need your brand of “help”.

      • Peter Lloyd
        Posted Oct 1, 2008 at 8:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: bender (#131),
        bender,131 –

        Please list the “numerous reputable climatologists” who disagree with the consensus. Oh, I know: there are so many it’s just not possible to list them all.

        Not quite sure whether you are being ironic or issuing a genuine challenge.

        I’m too damned lazy just now to trawl all through my files and type a list of all the names and affiliations of respected, published (many times), peer-reviewed, scientists, many of them Professors or Heads of Departments of Climatology or Meteorology, who do not subscribe to the ‘consensus’. It would take a sizeable chunk of this thread.

        Although this is not a reference source I would normally quote, this will have to do for now –

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

        If you have a good reason for rejecting this list, I will prepare a list of, say, my top twenty.

        Oh, by the way, try “The Deniers”, by Lawrence Solomon, publ. Richard Vigilante Books, 2008. Interesting book.

        Well, you wanted names.

  77. beng
    Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 11:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I’d have to agree w/DeWitt (& Phil.?!?) on the strictly radiation questions.

    We can test & quantify the radiational properties of GHGs in a test-tube environment (which HITRAN does), but that’s not the actual radiational effect in a complex, deep, real atmosphere. For ex., radiation signature observations from above polar regions show emission rather than absorption at CO2 frequencies, which would suggest it causes cooling, not warming, there.

  78. Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 1:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I thought you all might be interested in the abstracts from a major climate conference held in Exeter last week under the auspices of The Hadley Centre, Met Office, Environment Agency, Proudman Oceanographic and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
    Amongst the outcomes were forecasts of significantly lower sea level rises and less storm surges than previously predicted (Uk bias)

    http://www.exeter.ac.uk/climatechange/conference/timetable.php

    I have extracted three of the topic subjects –the first because it deals with water vapour -the other two because of the number of times that the word ‘uncertainties’ appear.

    M. Joshi (1), S. Fueglistaler (2): (1) Walker Institute for Climate System Research, University of Reading (2) Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge.
    THE IMPACT OF STRATOSPHERIC WATER VAPOUR INCREASES IN THE 21ST CENTURY ON EXTRATROPICAL WEATHER AND CLIMATE
    The atmospheric concentration of methane is forecast to significantly increase from its present-day values over the course of the 21st century, causing an associated increase in stratospheric water vapour. While it is well-known that such a change will slightly warm the global-mean climate, here we focus on the potential effects on extratropical weather and climate. Long-term changes in stratospheric water vapour have the potential to change the character of extratropical modes of variability such as the AO or NAO, impacting for example winter rainfall over large regions. We shall show the results of such perturbations using a stratosphere-resolving climate model, and discuss the implications for climate prediction in extratropical regions such as Europe.

    D.Stainforth, University of Exeter
    CATEGORIES OF UNCERTAINTY AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR ADAPTATION PLANNING
    The requirement to quantify uncertainty in projections of future climate change is increasingly widely acknowledged. Uncertainty has a significant influence on the design of experiments to inform us about the future, on strategic scientific planning at national and international levels, and on the development of robust adaptation decision making processes. There are, however, several different sources of uncertainty and each influences experimental design and adaptation planning differently. Here, these sources of uncertainty will be broken down into five categories: forcing uncertainty, microscopic initial condition uncertainty, macroscopic initial condition uncertainty, model inadequacy and model uncertainty. Each will be described and illustrated and its implications for impact studies, adaptation planning and experimental design will be presented. Finally current proposed methods for providing guidance to industry and government, such as UKCIP08 and the weADAPT climate change explorer (CCE), will be discussed in the context of these sources of uncertainty.

    B. Booth, Metoffice Hadley Centre, UK
    PREDICTIONS OF CLIMATE CHANGE UTILIZING PERTURBED PHYSICS AND MULTI-MODEL ENSEMBLES
    We present a method to produce probabilistic climate predictions for the coming century, conditional upon different emissions scenarios. The method is built upon ensembles of the Hadley Centre HadCM3 model with perturbations to key parameters (perturbed physics ensembles) and uses a Bayesian statistical technique. The technique seeks to “emulate” the parameter space of HadCM3 based on some prior assumptions about parameter ranges, and then down-weights regions of parameter space based on a comparison of modelled historical climate with observations (accounting for observational uncertainties). The effect of structural uncertainties, not sampled by the perturbed physics approach, are further accounted for by incorporating information from the CMIP3 and CFMIP multi-model ensembles in a term which we call the discrepancy. The method seeks to account for the major uncertainties in feedbacks associated with the atmosphere, surface, ocean, sulphur cycle and terrestrial carbon cycle in a systematic way as well as tracking uncertainties from the statistical components of the method. The resulting probability distribution functions for future climate change provide a benchmark whereby sensitivities to methodological assumptions may be tested and the value of future progress in climate modelling and new observations may be measured. The method is currently being implemented, together with a combined dynamical-statistical downscaling.

    Hope it will give you a few things to chew over

    Tony Brown

    • KevinUK
      Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 3:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Tony Brown (#133),

      Thanks for the link and the abstracts from this no doubt UK taxpayer funded climate change conference. When reading the last one from B Booth which uses such terms as ‘probabilistic climate change’ and ‘perturbations to key parameters (perturbed physics ensembles) and uses a Bayesian statistical technique’ I am minded of the famous conversation between Freeman Dyson and Enrico Fermi.

      here

      Having said that it is good see that the GCM are at least making some attempt to quantify the uncertainties that currently exist within their limited models even if it is only through perturbing some of the ‘key parameters’ within the parameterised parts of their models. So long as they also allow for the likelihood that they are overestimating and underestimating some of th ephysical processes that affect climate then we might soon be able to see the futility of this climate modelling exercise, namely that the uncertainties are so large and are likely to remain so for some time yet for the models predictions to have have any utility.

      KevinUK

      • Peter Lloyd
        Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 4:32 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: KevinUK (#141),

        then we might soon be able to see the futility of this climate modelling exercise, namely that the uncertainties are so large and are likely to remain so for some time yet for the models predictions to have have any utility.

        An outcome devoutly wished. But how to get the politicians to give up their lovely new weapon – ‘Pay up or you die’.?

  79. bender
    Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 2:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    OT. Steve M, were you among those invited to fill out von Storch’s survey looking at the underpinnings of the IPCC consensus?

    • jae
      Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 3:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: bender (#137),

      OT. Steve M, were you among those invited to fill out von Storch’s survey looking at the underpinnings of the IPCC consensus?

      I wonder if Al Gore will complete the survey.

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Oct 3, 2008 at 5:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: bender (#137),

      Re von Storch survey, as a sideline I set up a polling group at head office and monthly or so we’d grab numerous volunteers to use the phones and optical wands. The truism exists still, that the survey can produce what you seek because of the way the questions are framed. So we got experts to do ours. The van Storch effort is very open to criticism. Questions like this one of his are meaningless:

      62. On blogs on the w.w.w., the quality of the scientific discussion of climate change is (scale added from very bad to very good)

      Situation is explained neatly by the following “Yes Minister” interchange, perhaps first aired on the BBC, who seem to have learned the method well.

      Sir Humphrey instructs Bernard Woolley on how to phrase opinion poll questions. First, for the benefit of the Party. Topic, should we introduce national Service for young people?
      SH Mr Woolley, are you worried about the rise in crime among teenagers?” BW “Yes,”
      SH “Do you think there is a lack of discipline and vigorous training in our Comprehensive Schools?” BW “Yes.”
      SH “Do you think young people welcome some structure and leadership in their lives?” BW “Yes.”
      SH “Do they respond to challenges?” BW “Yes.”
      SH “Might you be in favour of reintroducing National Service?” BW “Yes.”
      Next, Sir Humphrey poses a new survey, not for the Party but for the Ministry of Defense.
      SH “Mr Woolley, are you worried about the danger of war?” BW “Yes,”
      SH “Are you unhappy about the growth of armaments?” BW “Yes.”
      SH “Do you think there is a danger in giving young people guns and teaching them how to kill?” BW “Yes.”
      SH “Do you think it wrong to force people to take up arms against their will?” BW “Yes.”
      SH “Would you oppose the reintroduction of National Service?” BW “Yes”
      SH “You see, Bernard, you’re the perfect Balanced Sample.”

  80. jae
    Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 8:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Gawd, Von Storch’s survey is a hoot! One important question that was left out was: “What is the source of your funding for your climate science pursuits?” (a) Gov’t; (b) private; (c) me. And maybe I missed it, but is there an independent third party commissioned to summarize the results of the survey, or is it just RC? If it’s just RC, I smell a LOT of censored surveys. LOL.

    • bender
      Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 9:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: jae (#143),
      RC’s got nothing to do with it. In fact the “warmies” (thanks, Joe S, for that endearing term) seem a bit suspicious. Not wanting to admit any value in re-assessing the state of the precious consensus. Afraid it might take a few hits.

      • jae
        Posted Oct 1, 2008 at 6:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: bender (#146),

        RC’s got nothing to do with it. In fact the “warmies” (thanks, Joe S, for that endearing term) seem a bit suspicious. Not wanting to admit any value in re-assessing the state of the precious consensus. Afraid it might take a few hits.

        bender, the reason I thought RC is involved is that their URL comes up when you access the link you provided.

  81. John Lang
    Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 8:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    To Dewitt Payne, has the observed water vapour content of the atmosphere behaved as expected under the models.

    When something is very complicated, a sophisticated model may be necessary to predict future conditions. But the more complicated that system is, the more sophisticated that model becomes, the more real-world observations are required to confirm the model’s expectations.

    Have observed temperatures met expectations? Has water vapour?
    What might then be wrong with the “bullet-proof” radiation transfer budget equations?

    • DeWitt Payne
      Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 10:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: John Lang (#144),

      Radiation transfer codes do not predict temperature and humidity. They use temperature and humidity and other ghg concentrations as a function of altitude to calculate absorbed and emitted radiation. It’s the rest of the GCM that calculates the atmospheric profiles at any point on the globe that are then used as inputs to the radiation code. It’s these calculations that don’t seem to have matched observations. But if you actually knew what you were talking about, you would know this and wouldn’t ask such a stupid question.

      Re: jae (#145),

      How do you determine the downward radiation at Barrow in December?

      You determine the downward radiation by measuring it(March not December, but probably close enough) with, for example, an FT-IR spectrophotometer. But you probably meant calculate. How much solar energy is going to be absorbed at altitude above Barrow? Not much. The short wavelength UV will still be absorbed in the stratosphere. The near IR is absorbed mostly by water vapor and there isn’t much water vapor in the atmosphere over Barrow in December near the surface, much less at altitude. So to a first approximation, you neglect solar absorption below the tropopause. But that doesn’t have anything to do with calculating IR emission. You do a sounding to measure the temperature and humidity profile, and then use that to calculate the thermal IR emission spectrum. You don’t need to know anything about incident solar absorption. The subarctic winter locality has an average temperature and humidity profile for high latitudes. If you use it to generate spectra, they look very much like measured spectra.

  82. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 9:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

    137. no

  83. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Oct 1, 2008 at 7:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    bender, msg.131
    kevinUK,msg.135 –

    PL, bender is quite right to point out that the source code for many of the GCMs (e.g. GISS’s Model E) is available on the internet.

    My apologies – I was wrong. Too parochial-just because Hadley’s/UKMet Office isn’t available.
    Anyway, as you say, I certainly don’t have the time to trawl through thousands of lines of code looking for unjustified assumptions.

    No, I cannot at this stage provide the original quotes for the absence of the influences of water vapour and clouds. But I distinctly remember that within the past twelve years (more than 4 and less than 12) there were two separate announcements that these parameters had now been incorporated to improve the accuracy of the models. Which, at the time, I thought was the understatement of the year.

  84. Posted Oct 1, 2008 at 1:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    My post 152

    If you think I’m being harsh there follows below one of the closing presentations of a major climate change conference in Exeter last week as per my link
    Re: Tony Brown (#133),
    Read the rest of the presentations also and then tell me I’m being too cyncial.

    Enjoy

    Tony Brown

    “Professor Paul Moorcroft, Dept. of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
    HOW CLOSE ARE WE TO A PREDICTIVE SCIENCE OF THE BIOSPHERE?

    Insights into the role of terrestrial ecosystems in the earth’s response to changes in climate and rising atmospheric CO2 levels rely heavily on the predictions of terrestrial biosphere models. These models contain detailed mechanistic representations of biological processes affecting terrestrial ecosystems; however, their ability to accurately predict field-based measurements of terrestrial vegetation dynamics and canopy carbon and water fluxes has remained largely untested. We have addressed this issue by developing a constrained implementation of a new structured terrestrial biosphere model, using eddy-flux tower measurements in conjunction with forest inventory measurements of tree growth and mortality. Evaluation against independent flux and forest dynamics measurements shows that the constrained model yields greatly improved predictions of observed patterns of carbon fluxes and tree growth with no further adjustment in model parameters. These results demonstrate how structured terrestrial biosphere models, which explicitly track the dynamics of fine-scale heterogeneity in ecosystem structure and composition, can be parameterized and tested against field-based measurements that provide quantitative insight into the underlying biological processes that govern ecosystem composition, structure and function at larger scales.”

  85. Posted Oct 1, 2008 at 1:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    http://landshape.org/stats/the-new-climate-theory-of-dr-ferenc-miskolczi/

    I thought this theory was interesting which seems to finger water vapour and suggests the impact of C02 doubling in concentration is much less than thought.

    Tony Brown

    • DeWitt Payne
      Posted Oct 1, 2008 at 3:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Tony Brown (#156),

      Miskolczi is definitely bulletin board material and has been discussed at length there with occasionally much heat but little light. It is OT for this blog along with Beck, G&T and other such fringe papers.

      • jae
        Posted Oct 1, 2008 at 8:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: DeWitt Payne (#159),

        Miskolczi is definitely bulletin board material and has been discussed at length there with occasionally much heat but little light. It is OT for this blog along with Beck, G&T and other such fringe papers.

        I agree, based on Steve Mc’s stated policies restricting comments on anything in the physics world that was not considered by IPPC in AR4 (and which I think is strange and inconsistent). But the link provides additional support and explanation for Miscolczi’s hypothesis, and I hope you consider it. I would appreciate your insights. His hypothesis at least FITS THE EMPIRICAL DATA, unlike the magic GCMs and radiation cartoons of “the consensus.” If you and other folks here are interested in learning more, please go to the BB.

      • Posted Oct 2, 2008 at 12:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: DeWitt Payne (#159),

        DWP. Sorry. The comment was precipitated after an astonishing day spent at a major British Govt agency which has just reorganised itself to cope with climate change and whose expensive actions are being substantially negated by the top level conference posted here which contradicts some established IPCC certainties.
        Re: Tony Brown (#133),

        Jae Re: jae (#161),

        Agreed.

        Tony Brown

  86. JamesG
    Posted Oct 1, 2008 at 2:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Regarding whether the source code of GCM’s is on the web, the Hadley one certainly isn’t – but we don’t really want to see the actual code, which is surely as much a dog’s breakfast as the GISS code. We want the full documentation detailing the theory, assumptions, justifications, validations and benchmark tests: ie the type of stuff routinely available from a finite element software vendor. Particularly for Hadley, I’d be keen to delve into their famous “proof” that warming was due to man when they plotted up man-made, natural and combined contributions. It’s very easy to conclude that they used the known results, subtracted the apocalyptic man-made contribution and (after a few aerosol adjustments) declared the remainder as the natural contribution then presented the procedure in reverse order as if it had been a useful prediction. Mere “Curve-fitting”, as Lindzen called it, presented as evidence. We’d expect such duplicity from a salesman but we have a right to expect scientists to do it properly and document every step so that it may be reproduced.

    • Posted Oct 2, 2008 at 2:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: JamesG (#157),

      James, there was a test of the HadCM3 model, where they used 10xsolar and 5xvolcanic as forcings. Statistically, there is an offset of 2 times more solar and 0.8 less GHGs effect, to obtain the “best fit”. See: http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/pdf/StottEtAl.pdf

      The expanded solar reconstruction of Hoyt and Schatten in Fig. 1 gives a nice fit with the temperature observations…

      But that can be expanded to even a much lower influence of GHGs, if one of the constraints of the model runs (a fixed influence of aerosols) is set free: with halve the “standard” 3°C/2xCO2 and 1/4th the expected influence of aerosols (which anyway are very uncertain), see here.

  87. Jeremy Ayrton
    Posted Oct 1, 2008 at 3:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Somewhat OT, but the Beeb does offer alternatives to the AGW orthodoxy from time to time.
    This makes some points worth discussion, IMHO.

    Here’s a taste, bear in mind we Brits have been whingeing about another wet, cool summer. (Plus ca change…)

    All long-term climate scenarios suggest British summers will become drier; if we now start adapting for drier summers what happens to farmers, businesses and tourists when we have two successive very wet summers?
    All long-term scenarios also suggest heatwaves, such as the one in August 2003, will become more frequent, even the norm, by 2050. How does adapting to this prospect improve our ability to survive cool, gloomy weeks like those we had in 2008?
    We will never know empirically on any useful timescale whether or not we have accurate climate predictions for 2050. Yet even if they do prove accurate, if our shorter-term forewarning of daily weather to decadal climate is poor, we may end up just as maladapted and just as exposed to weather risks as if we had ignored global warming entirely.

  88. Nick
    Posted Oct 1, 2008 at 4:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Tony and others should read this:

    “Using the jargon of climate science, are we giving too much weight to the anthropogenic “signal” of global warming whilst ignoring the natural “noise” of climate?”

    and

    “But climate scenarios for the year 2050 cannot be tested against observations; we have to rely on our faith in the underlying climate models. This faith is tested when we endure summers like those of 2007 and 2008.”

    Quotes from Mike Hulme, professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and founding Director of the Tyndall Centre….and on the BBC website, too (!!!!)

  89. Pete
    Posted Oct 2, 2008 at 3:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    That Mike Hulme piece is excellent. Please everyone, I urge you to read it.

  90. Posted Oct 2, 2008 at 3:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Ferdinand and James,
    Philipona’s paper is a low point in the advancement of meteorology and climate science and put in question the peer reviewing process.

    Here is brief comment of his paper.

  91. Nylo
    Posted Oct 2, 2008 at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    If you really want something hilarious from BBC, watch this:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7638321.stm

    Poor polar bears getting deaf too because of the evil CO2…

    I really don’t understand how they manage to get people to believe this stuff.

  92. anna v
    Posted Oct 2, 2008 at 8:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Ferdinand Engelbeen (#163),

    Of course CO2 should be washed out by rain along with the aerosols, since it dissolves in rainwater, forming carbonic acid. I feel that has been somewhat ignored in the models.

    Interesting observation. One should be able to compare the CO2 world map
    http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpegMod/PIA11194_modest.jpg
    to the precipitation world map.
    Not holding my breath, but maybe the CO2 map is so structured, the rain did it !!.

  93. Nick
    Posted Oct 2, 2008 at 8:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I think the important point about Prof. Hulme’s comments on the BBC website is that it appears to be a subtle step backward from the GCMs and their alarmist conclusions. Among other things, given Steve’s McIntyre’s work on the HS and other issues, the fact that a substantial number of scientists are questioning whether CO2 is actually a temperature driver or not, the question marks over recorded temperature data and, last but by no means least, the fact that recent weather has not played ball with the GCMs (a fact to which Hulme alludes) means that the value of GCMs as even vaguely accurate indicators of future climate is now being questioned. I see Hulme’s comments as a first move to slip quietly off the bandwagon. Sooner or later, the divergence of observational data from the models will leave those still holding on to them as a sort of Holy Grail looking very red-faced. Indeed, I would not be surprised to see more “experts” try and leave the party quietly by the back door.

    The fact that Hulme is part of the UAE establishment makes his comments even more fascinating – then again, maybe I have read too much into them.

  94. anna v
    Posted Oct 2, 2008 at 12:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Ferdinand Engelbeen:
    October 2nd, 2008 at 11:40 am

    You did not look at the link with the CO2 world map? in n0 172? Here is the main CO2 page from AIRS

    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/geophysical_products_multimedia/carbon_dioxide/

    Well mixed within 20ppm is more like it from these plots.

    • Posted Oct 2, 2008 at 1:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: anna v (#180),

      I just had a discussion this morning about the same satellite data, “disproving” the well-mixed content of the atmosphere. But what they plot is not the yearly averages. What you see there is the influence of the seasonal vegetation decay/uptake, especially in the NH for the month of July 2003 (and 2008). This is measured at the ground stations too: Mauna Loa and the South Pole (both at about 3,000 m) show the same seasonal variation as the satellites. Here a graph of older years (I will update that with monthly data of 2003, but there is little variation in seasonal amplitude over the years).

      For July, the difference between Mauna Loa (20 N) and the South Pole (90 S) data is 3-4 ppmv. According to the satellite measurements, it is 3 ppmv
      For May, the difference between MLO and SPO data is 6-7 ppmv. According to the satellite: 4 ppmv

      See further the seasonal variation with altitude in #179, which is BTW only for the NH, as the SH shows far less variation (less land/vegetation).

  95. Posted Oct 2, 2008 at 2:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    anna v,

    Here the graph for the 2002-2004 monthly averages:

    Not much difference with the older one…

  96. anna v
    Posted Oct 3, 2008 at 12:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Ferdinand Engelbeen #182

    True, if you average over the earth and over the map you will get similar curves. The interesting bit is the nonuniformity, and the transport by the prevailing winds? The bands.

    2ppm is the increase every year or so, so differences of about 20, which is the color scale, ( and all colors are present) are in the same ball park at least. The bands persist through different maps.

    Also interesting is the red spot in the Antarctic in the July 2008 plot. That can only be volcanic, imo.

    In the paper they have published they compare with the chemical measurements which show the uniformity that you give. There is also a five day animation there. http://www.agu.org/journals/gl/gl0817/2008GL035022/

    • Peter Lloyd
      Posted Oct 3, 2008 at 8:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: anna v (#186),

      Yes, it seems that 2ppm/yr would also be about the rate of decrease in the (impossible) event of suppressing all further CO2 emission, so all the CO2 would disappear within 200yrs.

      Curious how this sounds different to the perfectly valid (apparently) claim that “anthropogenic CO2 stays in the atmosphere for 200 years”. Only just, but it seems that it does.

      Rather longer, probably, as the actual rate of decay would probably be asymptotic.

      • Peter Lloyd
        Posted Oct 3, 2008 at 8:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Peter Lloyd (#191),

        Scrub 191! I really am too old to be let out these days……

        Ferdinand Engelbeen’s Mauna Loa graph (msg.183)shows clearly that the rate of decay would be approx. -6ppm/yr, so all the CO2 would be gone in about 70 years. Even allowing for a more asymptotic decay rate, the figure of 200 years is unsupportable.

        Wi some, lose some….

        • Posted Oct 4, 2008 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

          Re: Peter Lloyd (#192),

          Peter, you forget that the seasonal cycle has two halves: what is absorbed in cooling oceans and growing vegetation is released again by vegetation decay and warmer oceans… What counts is the difference over the full cycle. That difference is somewhere between 1-8 GtC/yr (average 4 GtC/yr), while the emissions are near 9 GtC/yr.

          If we should stop all emissions today, that should result in a drop of about 4 GtC after a year, caused by the 7 ppmv difference in pCO2 between the average pCO2 of the atmosphere and the oceans (see Feely e.a.), but the next year, the pressure difference is not 7 ppmv anymore, but about 5 ppmv, as the atmospheric pressure of CO2 decreased from 385 ppmv to 383 ppmv. That has as result that the next year only 2.9 GtC is absorbed, not 4 GtC as in previous year. And so on…

          Lucky, there is another flow which helps in this case: the pCO2 of the oceans will decrease too, as there is an exchange of about 100 GtC between the surface and the deep oceans (on a total of about 1000 GtC in the upper parts). But it takes more than a few years to remove the excess CO2 from the atmosphere…

          The IPCC takes into account several sink rates (upper oceans, deep oceans, rock weathering), with an average half life time of about 40 years (that means that about 12.5% still is in the atmosphere after 120 years). The more scary hundreds of years you hear quite often is not a half life time, but how long a small part (about 13%) remains forever in the atmosphere, according to the IPCC (based on what? That is a big question for me).

        • Peter Lloyd
          Posted Oct 5, 2008 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

          Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen (#196),

          The object of my 192 was not to arrive at a detailed mass balance of atmospheric CO2. The object was merely to point out that the recorded annual decay of about 6 ppmv (fom a reliable data source)is a strong indication that the commonly quoted life of CO2 in the atmosphere is wrong.

          A straight-line estimate for decay to zero of 65 years is obviously simplistic, as my refeence to an asymptotic decay rate indicated. Nevertheless, 200 years is not supportable.

        • Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 1:50 AM | Permalink

          Re: Peter Lloyd (#204),

          Peter, the seasonal (not annual) decay and growth, mainly in the NH, is a direct result of temperature changes in the moderate latitudes.

          There is a seasonal decay and increase at ground level in the NH (Barrow) of about 20 ppmv, less than 10 ppmv at 3,000 m (Mauna Loa) and less than 4 ppmv at the South Pole, at about the same altitude as Mauna Loa. As the 13C/12C ratio’s follow the opposite cycle, it is clear that the seasonal cycles are dominated by vegetation decay and growth.

          While the seasonal cycle moves about 150 GtC as CO2 back and forth, this gives a global average of seasonal variation of not more than 5 ppmv (10 GtC), as ocean release and vegetation uptake are in opposite direction (reverse in winter and reverse in the SH). Related to temperature, this is about 5 ppmv/°C, comparable to the 3 ppmv/°C that short-term variations in temperature give on CO2 increase speed and the 8 ppmv/°C from long-term changes over glacials and interglacials.

          The difference over a year is only 4 GtC more sink than source, or 2 ppmv, at constant temperature. Temperature modulates the natural source and sink rates, but the average sink rate is the direct result of the CO2 increase, less of temperature changes (which is small over the past 50 years). The CO2 pressure difference atmosphere – upper oceans, together with the secondary cycle (ocean surface – deep oceans) leads to a half life rate of about 40 years, and indeed not 200 years (as that is not a half life time anyway).

  97. tty
    Posted Oct 3, 2008 at 3:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re 182

    Would you please explain what vegetation it is that takes up the CO2 and causes the minimum over the Greenland Icecap?

    The same for Barrow by the way – there isn’t much in the way of vegetation there either.

    • Posted Oct 4, 2008 at 10:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: tty (#188),

      tty, there is of course no vegetation on the Greenland ice cap, but just in the neighbourhood is the strongest sink place for CO2 in the world: the NE Atlantic, where the THC (thermohaline circulation) is formed and sinks into the deep oceans…
      And don’t underestimate the tundra near Barrow: after over halve a year of snow and ice, in a few months everything must have grown and flowered again. This causes a clear seasonal dip (of about 20 ppmv) with minimum in August in the Barrow ground record too.

      • Reference
        Posted Oct 4, 2008 at 5:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen (#197),

        Ferdinand
        Your graph of the Barrow trace shows a consistent dip at month 8. Another possible sink near Barrow, Alaska is the cold open waters of the Arctic Ocean in August, during the summer sea-ice melt.

    • Phil.
      Posted Oct 4, 2008 at 4:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: tty (#188),

      Would you please explain what vegetation it is that takes up the CO2 and causes the minimum over the Greenland Icecap?

      Almost certainly a katabatic flow from the high altitude ice inducing a downward flow of stratospheric air. (Similarly over the antarctic).

      • Posted Oct 5, 2008 at 5:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Phil. (#198),

        Phil, have you got some reference about the decrease in Greenland CO2 concentration due to a sort of stratospheric replacement of air blowing away for a katabatic forcing?

        And has that katabatic wind a meteorological reason to blow right (or more) in that period?

        Thank you.

        • Phil.
          Posted Oct 5, 2008 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

          Re: Paolo M. (#203),

          Phil, have you got some reference about the decrease in Greenland CO2 concentration due to a sort of stratospheric replacement of air blowing away for a katabatic forcing?

          Above the tropopause [CO2] decreases, the time taken for surface emissions to reach the stratosphere is ~5years which itself leads to a lower concentration. High ice sheets such as in antarctica and Greenland give rise to katabatic flows thus allowing dry stratospheric air to enter the troposphere.

          http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1985Natur.316..708B
          http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/mksg/tea/2002/00000054/00000005/art00009;jsessionid=30ql6f4ip4dpt.alice?format=print
          http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=2133878

        • Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 2:18 AM | Permalink

          Re: Phil. (#212),

          High ice sheets such as in antarctica and Greenland give rise to katabatic flows thus allowing dry stratospheric air to enter the troposphere.

          How high is the ice cap over Greenland? Do you think is quite close to the tropopause?

          The three references you bring disproof your claim!
          A katabatic wind is a very shallow air flow (a few hundred metres at most) at the very edge of an ice cap and a very strong synoptic forcing to make stratospheric air go down (e.g. tropopause unfolding following a strong cold front) is needed.

          Furthermore, your second claim that katabatic winds would have the right seasonality is still unsupported, but since the first claim has fallen, the second one follows…

        • Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 2:46 AM | Permalink

          Re: Paolo M. (#215),

          Paolo, it doesn’t need to be stratopsheric air, as the difference in seasonal changes between e.g. 8,000 m and 3,000 m for July is already 7 ppmv for the NH. For the SP, it seems that indeed stratospheric air is descending into the troposphere, see:
          http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=2586105

          per day, 0.83% of the vortex mass descends into the troposphere. This indicates that roughly 65% of the vortex air is flushed out during August-September-October, the approximate lifetime of the Antarctic vortex.

          I am not sure what the air mass is doing the other months (didn’t lookup), but I suppose that there is more descend without than with a vortex…

        • Sam Urbinto
          Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

          Re: Paolo M. (#215),

          The tropopause over Greenland is at around 5 kilometers (say 4.5 to 6.5 and up). The ice sheets at their highest are about 3 kilmeters. So there’s a buildup of cold air at high density over the sheets, with the elevation lending a great deal of gravitational energy, resulting in hurricane winds. Faster Pitaraq when there’s coastal low-pressure areas.

          What does this

          http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/76/Katabatic-wind_hg.png

          have to do with carbon dioxide?

        • Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 6:32 AM | Permalink

          Re: Sam Urbinto (#228),

          What does this have to do with carbon dioxide?

          Sam, I repeat one more time for you.
          Someone (Phil and, maybe, also Ferdinand) is claiming that katabatic winds allow some parcels of low CO2 content stratospheric air to descend to the ice cap top.
          Is this the link you are asking for?

          Katabatic winds are a very shallow (a few hundred metres) phenomenon that develops at the very edge of the ice cap, where a strong air density gradient may estabilish. I really cannot understand, in a meteorolgical point of view, how an event like that can have an influence in the middle of the ice cap, a thousand of Kms further inland for Antarctica or hundreds of Kms for Greenland, go figure if it may allows some stratospheric air to get to the ice top.

          It’s the same as I say that the sea breeze in Sydney has an influence in Alice, it’s a nonsense. And don’t let you impress by the high speed a katabatic wind can reach, it’s very local.
          By the way, there is no difference between a sea breeze and a katabatic wind, since the cause is the same, a density gradient across a geographical border.
          Pools of densier (colder) air naturaly tend to spread out. If there exists a geographical barrier like a ridge in front of the sea, a strong gradient may estabilish right there. But that gradient is an effect and not the cause of the outward flow.

          Of course I can be wrong, but I’d like to see a paper showing the influence of local katabatic winds on stratosphere.

        • Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

          Re: Paolo M. (#237),

          Paolo, after reading a lot about katabatic winds and so, and where the stratosphere and the troposhere intermix, I don’t think that the stratosphere is involved above Greenland (but it is, at least a few months per year above Antarctica). At the other side, the katabatic winds shouldn’t be underestimated. In contrast to a sea breeze, the Greenland katabatic winds start already at the top and can be as wide as the whole land (half the size of Europe). The downwelling air must be renewed from anywhere else, which is highly probably the upper troposphere, which follows the seasons more slowly than at ground level…

        • Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 1:10 PM | Permalink

          Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen (#244),
          in the middle of a huge plateau you cannot have the downwelling you are talking about: without a synoptic forcing, you need a steep slope, a cliff, something else can induce the gravity acceleration.
          Over there you can’t have a katabatic wind by definition!

          Your sources are confounding the more general meteorological features, some patterns of general circulation and air mass behaviour, with a local scale wind.

        • Phil.
          Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

          Re: Paolo M. (#245),

          In the middle of a huge plateau you cannot have the downwelling you are talking about: without a synoptic forcing, you need a steep slope, a cliff, something else can induce the gravity acceleration.
          Over there you can’t have a katabatic wind by definition!

          Check out this map of Greenland, it isn’t really a plateau, more a long ridge up the center of the island. The cooling of the high ice leads to a gravity induced flow downhill, (a katabatic flow), the slope doesn’t have to be exceptionally steep, that just determines how fast the wind might get. The dense cold air from the top is replaced by downwelling air from above, the tropopause is about 8km and the ice at 4km.

          The AIRS data is measured at ~500hPa as I recall, which corresponds to ~5km so the measurements aren’t far above the surface.

        • Paolo M.
          Posted Oct 8, 2008 at 1:41 AM | Permalink

          Re: Phil. (#249),
          I repeat one more (and the last) time:
          “you are confounding the more general meteorological features, some patterns of general circulation and air mass behaviour, with a local scale wind.”
          I suggest a basic course of meteorology.
          And, please, stop continuing to claim an influence on stratosphere without a scientific reference.

  98. Posted Oct 3, 2008 at 4:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Very interesting new award from The Royal Society for ‘Blue Skies’ research which does not require tradiional peer review. I would nominate investigation of water vapour and its role in climate change. Sorry DWP! I’m (probably) just joking.

    http://royalsociety.org/funding.asp?id=8028

    Tony Brown

  99. Shawn Whelan
    Posted Oct 4, 2008 at 6:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I must wonder if the scientist are right with all there musings of climate trends caused by a tiny increase in CO2 in the atmosphere or if common sense will be a better judge of the future climate. Now obviously the Earth has been just as warm in the recent past yet the scientist split hairs and produce all these graphs that say this is the warmest the Earth has ever been.

    Will be interesting to see if a thinking man like myself is right that the Earth is just going through normal cycles or if the scientists with there billions of dollars and high tech research will be proven right that a tiny increase in CO2 in the atmosphere will continue to heat the Earth.

    Smart people will bet on a cooling of the Earth due to the cooling of the Pacifac and the lower activity from the Sun.

    • Phil.
      Posted Oct 4, 2008 at 8:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Shawn Whelan (#200),

      The point is Shawn that it is a large increase in CO2 not a tiny one!

      • Daryl M
        Posted Oct 5, 2008 at 12:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Phil. (#201), The point is Shawn that it is a large increase in CO2 not a tiny one!

        It’s a large increase relative to what? There are only direct measurements of CO2 for recent history and everyone on this site knows how unreliable proxies are for determining atmospheric CO2 concentration indirectly. In spite of that, we do know that temperature and CO2 concentration have been going up and down for thousands of years with CO2 changes lagging temperature changes, not the other way around.

        Also, how much of the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration is due to the use of fossil fuels as opposed to natural sources such as ocean off-gassing, earth’s carbon-based biosphere or volcanic activity? There is much more CO2 in solution in the ocean than there is in the atmosphere. It would take relatively little off-gassing to cause a significant increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

        Finally, considering that C02 has been increasing pretty consistently for the past few decades, if it truly is the prime mover of global temperature, its correlation with temperature (rather lack thereof) doesn’t show it. If strong correlation doesn’t imply causality, then weak correlation should imply causality even less.

        • bender
          Posted Oct 5, 2008 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

          Re: Daryl M (#206),
          Phil is pointing to an inconsistency with Shawn’s earlier posts, where HE was the one who claimed temperature was not rising despite a “massive increase in CO2″. You see, Shawn makes things up to suit whatever belief he is trying to propagate at that time. CO2 increase was “large”, but now it’s “tiny”. The fact is that it is what it is. Phil is right to point out Shawn’s inconsistency.

    • bender
      Posted Oct 4, 2008 at 9:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Shawn Whelan (#200),
      I’m tempted to post this at RC. You would make a lot of new friends real quick and I’m sure they would grow to love CA. Would you be a pal and do that for us?

  100. tty
    Posted Oct 5, 2008 at 11:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re 197/198

    “tty, there is of course no vegetation on the Greenland ice cap, but just in the neighbourhood is the strongest sink place for CO2 in the world: the NE Atlantic, where the THC (thermohaline circulation) is formed and sinks into the deep oceans…”

    I would have thought that the waters around Antarctica where the Antarctic Bottom Water is created must be larger. In any case the minimum is over the icecap, not the NE Atlantic.

    “And don’t underestimate the tundra near Barrow: after over halve a year of snow and ice, in a few months everything must have grown and flowered again. This causes a clear seasonal dip (of about 20 ppmv) with minimum in August in the Barrow ground record too.”

    Actually the productivity of tundra is quite low, even during the short growing season. I tend to agree with 199 that the cold ocean is a more likely CO2 sink.

    “Almost certainly a katabatic flow from the high altitude ice inducing a downward flow of stratospheric air. (Similarly over the antarctic).”

    Quite possibly, but that would imply that the CO2 content of the air decreases rather strongly with altitude. Is there any evidence for this? It would be interesting to see a winter map, since katabatic winds are stronger in winter.

    • Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 2:26 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: tty (#205),

      tty, I agree with Reference in #199 that the open Arctic Ocean is probably the cause of the large sink in CO2 during summer, as good as the katabatic (Phil #212) winds are cause of reduced CO2 levels over Antarctica and Greenland.

      The differences are not that large (between -5 and -10 ppmv, according to the satellites), while we add 4 to 5 ppmv/year at ground level. There are several barriers which hinder the exchange of air: the inversion layer, below which most exchanges occur (never use data below that layer for global averages – see Beck), the troposphere-stratosphere border (tropopause) and the NH-SH border (ITCZ). That wouldn’t make a difference if everything was in equilibrium, but as we constantly add CO2 at ground level in the NH, this causes a gradient in altitude (with a sharp change at the tropopause) and a NH-SH gradient. The latter causes an (increasing) delay in trend of nowadays less than 5 ppmv between NH and SH stations. See also the graphs in #179.

      • Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 5:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen (#216 and 217),

        sorry, Ferdinand, but your and Phil’s claim that katabatic winds have somenthing to do with the low CO2 concentration at the top of the ice caps, make me think that you and Phil don’t know what a katabatic wind is.
        And , in fact, as you report, a strong synoptic forcing is required to have some stratospheric air entrainment over the Antarctic troposphere.
        Phil claimed that katabatic winds allow stratospheric air to descend and this is not. Katabatic winds are a so unremarkable forcing, that the stratosphere doesn’t care at all!

        The only (so to speak) computation you need is to measure the CO2 concentration at the edge of the ice cap, compute the air mass flow during a katabatic event, and you have the influence of a katabatic wind on the coast of Greenland or Antarctica. Where the stratospheric air is in all that?

        • Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

          Re: Paolo M. (#219),

          As far as I know, katabatic winds are going from the top of the icecap down to the edges (I have only basic knowledge in this case, but that is what I learned somewhere, see e.g. Wiki).
          Anyway, what comes down from the ice cap in Greenland must be replaced from another source, which in that case probably is the mid to high troposphere…

  101. bender
    Posted Oct 5, 2008 at 12:32 PM | Permalink | Reply

    considering that C02 has been increasing pretty consistently for the past few decades, if it truly is the prime mover of global temperature, its correlation with temperature (rather lack thereof) doesn’t show it. If strong correlation doesn’t imply causality, then weak correlation should imply causality even less

    This would be true if there was no warming “in the pipe”. But we are told that it is, in fact, “in the pipe”. And so one needs to examine this proposition. Which means examining the GCMs – the tools that allow them to infer the magnitude of this effect.

    So audit the GCMs. The empirical record is not the issue.

  102. bender
    Posted Oct 5, 2008 at 1:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Specialist blogs daring to question the “consensus” in search of a more precise answer:

    climate paleohistory: Steve McIntyre’s Climate Audit
    climate instrumental data: Anthony Watts’ Watts Up With That?
    climate models and analysis: Lucia Liljegren’s The Blackboard
    climate policy: Roger Pielke Sr.’s Climate Science

    • Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 2:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: bender (#210),

      all the persons you cite deserve respect and we are in their debt for all their work.

      Prof. Pielke has also a lot of expertise in instrumental data and, above all, in numerical modelling, so that his web blog dares to question the consensus also in instrumental data and climate models.

      By the way, when you say that we have to audit the GCMs, he did a lot of work and he says the GCMs are mere hypotheses and not of the best ones.
      We have to look at CGMs only as sensivity studies and not as forecasts, predictions nor scenarios.

  103. steven mosher
    Posted Oct 5, 2008 at 1:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RSS test

  104. Simon Abingdon
    Posted Oct 5, 2008 at 11:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I do not have any doubt at all that the physics of climate change mechanisms are absolutely rock solid in every respect and completely accepted by the scientific community. But since the overwhelming characteristic of weather/climate is its chaotic divergence, any attempt at modelling its long term effects has to be a vain and futile exercise. Why isn´t this blindingly obvious?

    • KevinUK
      Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 5:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Simon Abingdon (#213),

      “I do not have any doubt at all that the physics of climate change mechanisms are absolutely rock solid in every respect and completely accepted by the scientific community.”

      I’m not sure why you think this is the case Simon.

      Have a good look into what physical processes are and aren’t modelled in GCMs and how they are modelled and I think you’ll find that a great deal of the ‘rock solid’ physics (not!) consists of parameterised models of aspects of the physical mechanisms that contribute to determining our climate. For sure, you’ll see equations of sorts but the key point to note is that that the equations are often approximations to the real physics designed in a lot of cases to ‘fit’ the predictions of other more detailed models e.g. interaction of the atmosphere with the rain forests etc.

      These more detailed models in turn have very little ‘validity’ i.e. little if any recorded data from ‘real’ experiments (conducted in ‘real’ laboratories) against which they have been compared and shown to be ‘valid’. Yet despite this lack of ‘validity’ they are used to predict ‘die-back’ of the Amazonian rain forest as a result of man-caused global warming by 2050.

      Clearly utter non-sense IMO yet as a UK taxpayer I am expected to fund this futility.

      KevinUK

      • Simon Abingdon
        Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 6:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: KevinUK (#220),
        And your response to my second sentence?

        • KevinUK
          Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 6:56 AM | Permalink

          Re: Simon Abingdon (#221),

          I am in complete agreement with you on your second sentence as you can hopefully see from my last sentence in #220.

          One of the reasons why they parameterise the models of some of the physical process that occur in our climate is also to attempt to avoid any numerical instabilities that are inherent in modelling some of these complex processes. There is little doubt that the ‘real climate’ is chaotic. Who is to say that as a result of ‘smoothing out’ some of these physical processes (to avoid numerical instability/for calculational efficiency) that some of the important natural effects that exist in our ‘real’ climate and service as negative feedbacks are missed? My personal opinion of the GCMs is very similar to a lot of people who post on this subject on this blog. Namely that we have a long way to go yet before we should be basing important policy decisions on how best to adapt/mitigate against the potential negative effects (remember that there are also many positive effects) climate change. IMO the GCMs have AT BEST an equal chance of being wrong as being right in their predictions of future climate. We therefore shouldn’t be ‘betting our shirts’ (making fundamental changes to the way in which our economies work) based on the predictions of these GCMs.

          KevinUK

        • Simon Abingdon
          Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 8:00 AM | Permalink

          Re: KevinUK (#222), Thanks Kevin. It´s the idea that modelling had any chance at all that I find so absurd – like trying to make a map correct down to the smallest detail; it would have to be as large as the terrain it tried to represent. IMH(and woefully uninformed)O the physics, though unassailable at the level of application, is too reductionist, and therefore incapable of convincingly anticipating effects at macro levels. (And why does chaos theory seem to have gone out of fashion, despite it´s obvious relevance to climate science. Perhaps that´s why).

    • Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 7:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Simon Abingdon (#213),

      The IPCC themselves admit there are very serious flaws in modeling and I dont know why people persist in believing they are perfect or even particularly useful.

      Tony Brown

    • jae
      Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 9:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Simon Abingdon (#213),

      I do not have any doubt at all that the physics of climate change mechanisms are absolutely rock solid in every respect and completely accepted by the scientific community.

      Is this sarcasm? I hope so. If the physics is so solid, why hasn’t the troposphere warmed faster than the surface, as predicted by the “solid physics?”

  105. Chillin'Jim
    Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 12:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/09/28/what.matters.meltdown/index.html

    The Gories will eat this up.

    We take one step forward…and 10 steps back.

    Jim

  106. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 8:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    James G, this blog is about mainstream papers relied upon by IPCC. I’ve asked people not to discuss Beck and Jaworski here as, in my opinion, any issues that they may have raised have been adequately answered. I’m not interested in intervening myself into this sort of topic. But if I don’t, this is interpreted elsewhere as acquiescence. So editorially I ask that you take this topic to some other venue.

  107. JamesG
    Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 10:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I can see that I’ve breached a boundary of political correctness by preferring scientific measurement over the interpretative climate arts. I hope I made some people start to think for themselves at least. We’ll know in a few years time who was right. Perhaps someone would be kind enough to direct me to where Jaworowski’s questions have been “adequately answered” as I’ve only ever seen replies like DWT’s.

    • Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 11:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: JamesG (#242),

      James, as Steve says, discussions on Beck and Jaworowski don’t belong here. This is a serious blog on scientific matters (and it is Steve’s blog). If you want to discuss them, go to Lucia’s pages, where I have put my opinion on their work…

    • Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: JamesG (#242),

      James, Can I suggest you also try the web site of TonyN called Harmlesssky.org. I also tend to prefer practical observations rather than theory, but as mine tend to be on history related rather than science matters I tend to be tolerated. The point is that Steve needs to ensure the comments here are not detrimental to his credibility by curtailing discussions of issues considered by some to be ‘outer fringe.’ They are on the whole a very nice bunch here and are very knowlegable but they do like their theories. (there should be a smiley here!)

      Hope to see you over at Harmless sky.

      Tony Brown

  108. Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 2:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Without mentioning any other pre-Keeling CO2 estimators there is an interesting paper in PNAS – A role for atmospheric CO2 in preindustrial climate forcing which uses tree records (aargh!) to suggest, to quote the abstract:

    CO2 trends based on leaf remains of Quercus robur (English oak) from the Netherlands support the presence of significant CO2 variability during the first half of the last millennium. The amplitude of the reconstructed multidecadal fluctuations, up to 34 parts per million by volume, considerably exceeds maximum shifts measured in Antarctic ice. Inferred changes in CO2 radiative forcing are of a magnitude similar to variations ascribed to other mechanisms, particularly solar irradiance and volcanic activity, and may therefore call into question the concept of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which assumes an insignificant role of CO2 as a preindustrial climate-forcing factor. The stomata-based CO2 trends correlate with coeval sea-surface temperature trends in the North Atlantic Ocean, suggesting the possibility of an oceanic source/sink mechanism for the recorded CO2 changes.

    Might throw a small kitten amongst the pigeons…

  109. Posted Oct 7, 2008 at 3:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Tim,

    We are going quite out of topic here…

    While stomata index data may have some value (like a sub-decadal resolution), there are several problems which are not easely resolved:

    – There is a spring bias:
    Leaves start to grow when background CO2 levels are at maximum, that is e.g. for Barrow at +10 ppmv
    – There is a local bias:
    Trees are by definition growing on land, in not well mixed atmosphere, in a vegetation surrounding. Diurnal CO2 levels may fluctuate 100 ppmv and more and may be up in average with tens of ppm’s if e.g. in a shielded valley.
    – There may have been historical changes:
    If there is a change in landscape (and that is surely the case for The Netherlands), that may change the regional CO2 levels in the main wind direction (like swamps to pasture to forest and back to pasture). One need the detailed history of the wide surroundings and its effects on CO2 levels over time.
    – There may have been changes in wind speed/direction:
    Changes in pressure systems (NAO, AMO) change wind speed/direction, which may give differences in average CO2 level by better/worse mixing local/regional air with overlying background air during springtime.

    Further, the method is rather coarse: a measurement error range of about 10 ppmv on a suitable range of 50 ppmv.

    Anyway, I like to see a few years of upwind CO2 measurements around the trees involved during springtime, and a comparison with the stomata data in these years…

  110. JamesG
    Posted Oct 8, 2008 at 3:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It’s easy for people to get dogmatic about things they’ve spent a lot of their life defending. I tend to pick out and compare the contradictory statements of climateers. It’s a great indicator of those who just make things up as they go along, as opposed to those really seeking the truth. For example, the Swiss climateers we mentioned above, changing from positive feedback to reduced aerosols as a main mechanism; both ideas presented as absolute fact at the time but based on very short data periods (a climate no-no). There are many such examples. Here’s another:
    Normally climateers will protect their data tooth and nail, regardless of how obviously poor it is, and this site is a testament to that. Not so long ago Anthony Watts showed how contaminated the rural temperature readings were and realclimate.org defended GISS by saying software could fix it. Stalwart physicists defenders like Ray Ladbury were adding “it’s just bad science to throw out data…much better to adjust it”, and Eli Rabett was talking about “the theory of large numbers” which apparently corrects data errors all on it’s own. Yet with CO2 data you see these same people arbitrarily objecting to instrument measurements because they were taken in cities and may therefore be contaminated by external CO2 sources. Not only assuming thereby gross stupidity on the part of the measurers but ignoring that most temperature measurements are also thusly contaminated. It clearly demonstrates a collective confirmation bias that rejects data not in accordance with theory but keeps poor data which can be adjusted to agree with theory. We are then supposed to believe the rather unlikely scenario that data taken from a single ice-core, from ice buried several millenia ago, is 100% accurate and representative of the entire planet, while hundreds of instrument readings taken last century are 100% wrong and can be rejected. Consider that a moment! Bizarre or not?

  111. JamesG
    Posted Oct 8, 2008 at 4:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Going farther back and reading about Callandar and Keeling it’s odd to realize that neither of them understood much about the carbon cycle. Callandar correctly assumed ocean take-up but thought it was due to a chemical reaction (perhaps he’d never drank carbonated water). Keeling spent several years wandering the earth and finding the same CO2 reading everywhere, contrary to conventional wisdom (or consensus if you like). When others didn’t agree he replied that their data must be affected by external sources of CO2 and so he set out to find a place free from such disturbances – on a volcano in the middle of the Pacific. It’s so ridiculous, it’s funny! We’ve all seen people like this in science with the absolute belief that their theory is right and that any data contradicting it must be wrong. Sometimes they even turn out to be correct. One man’s crank is another man’s genius.

    • Posted Oct 8, 2008 at 5:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: JamesG (#254),

      James, you are demonstrating that you have not the slightest knowledge of the carbon cycle, neither do you know that CO2 measurements are done at a lot of places besides Mauna Loa (which incidently confirm the Mauna Loa data within 5 ppmv), neither do you know that there are more ice cores measured over different time frames, which overlap each other within 5 ppmv, neither have you read my page on the CO2 measurements, neither have you read the uphil struggle of C.D. Keeling to start with and maintain the highest standards of quality of “background” CO2 measurements.

      Please stop this here, read these works, my comments on Lucy’s pages and if you have questions, objections or remarks, do it there, not here.

  112. trevor
    Posted Oct 8, 2008 at 4:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Bravo JamesG: Good points, well made!

  113. JamesG
    Posted Oct 8, 2008 at 8:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Ferdinand
    You are being unfair. Unlike you, I’ve not pretended to know more about the carbon cycle beyond that which is blindingly obvious. Unlike DeWitt and yourself I try not to make things up as I go along. There is a lot of data to obtain before we properly understand things. I trust you agree with that at least! Meantime speculation based on dubious assumptions and theories (including my own) remains speculation – not fact. I merely demonstrated that the activist-scientists who we are told to trust are very inconsistent and utterly biased so we have every reason for doubting them – most especially when they profess to be 100% certain of very uncertain things. I have read your page and was nearly convinced until I noticed the many leaps of faith involved in your conclusions. About Keeling, I merely read his own words. At some point I’ll let you know privately the basic problems with your analyses (including the areas where you commit the same errors that you accuse others of) although I invite you to look at it again yourself. Meantime yes this will be my last post. I have work to do – converting physical equations into accurate computer models – fully backed and proven by multiple physical tests the way it should always be done.

  114. tty
    Posted Oct 8, 2008 at 8:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re 250

    Phil, I hope you are not deliberately trying to mislead by linking to a map of ice-flow, which is (of course) away from a central ice divide. The fact is that the central parts of the Greenland ice-sheet is really a very flat plateau with a slope of the order of 1/1000. There is a detailed map of the topography of the ice sheet at: http://www.geus.dk/program-areas/raw-materials-greenl-map/greenland/gr-map/kost_1-uk.htm

    • Phil.
      Posted Oct 9, 2008 at 10:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: tty (#259),

      Phil, I hope you are not deliberately trying to mislead by linking to a map of ice-flow, which is (of course) away from a central ice divide. The fact is that the central parts of the Greenland ice-sheet is really a very flat plateau with a slope of the order of 1/1000. There is a detailed map of the topography of the ice sheet at: http://www.geus.dk/program-areas/raw-materials-greenl-map/greenland/gr-map/kost_1-uk.htm

      No I’m not, but I hope you’re not trying to mislead by suggesting that the cold, dense air above that 3000m+ high plateau doesn’t spill over the sides and flow downslope? Note the slopes shown on your map, I thought of using that one but felt it had too much information on it.

      • Posted Oct 10, 2008 at 2:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Phil. (#276),
        you were the one obstinate in claiming that “dense air above…that high plateau” spilling over was a katabatic wind.
        And you were not the one thinking that the Greenland ice sheet were a plateau as also you were not the first one here to claim that colder, denser air has a natural tendency to spread out. Moreover, this tendency doesn’t need a slope, a flat surface is more than sufficient.

        Then you can think that over there nothing else happens, that the atmosphere is in a steady state of tranquillity and air can only gently spread out of Greenland allowing stratosphere to replenish that divergence, but that planet is not Earth!

  115. jae
    Posted Oct 9, 2008 at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    er, Calcium Oxide.

  116. Posted Oct 9, 2008 at 6:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    James G, I like what you’ve said here. I’m trying to distil out some of the core of the Climate Science that has got skewed with AGW – what’s come up is the CO2 total cycle – and your contribution would be appreciated. I appreciate it’s not CA’s primary work, but it is IMO important that the sceptical science has reasonably worked-out material to present to counter the AGW hype.

    tty, Paolo M – IMO the CO2 distributes roughly along latitudes, and Greenland might pick up the huge taiga seasonal changes. Also height makes a difference to CO2 as a heavy gas.

  117. John F. Pittman
    Posted Oct 12, 2008 at 5:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    http://live.psu.edu/story/31052 Tells of bacteria found in greenland ice. #281, not only is diffusion with time due to pressure occurs at a slow rate, it is a basic physical phenomena. A mechanism as to why CO2 did not diffuse in ice cores when it has been shown to diffuse in water and ice would be needed. The mechanism would also need to explain how this single cell bacteria could live, or an explanation that their life irrevelant to diffusion and/or the mechanism. i.e. Diffusion is a necessary property for life to exist for most biota.

    • Posted Oct 12, 2008 at 2:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: John F. Pittman (#284),

      John, bacteria are found everywhere, including the Vostok ice core, but in general are immobilised in ice cores. Some survive hundredthousands of years (don’t grow) by using energy as slowly as possible only to repair eventually DNA damage. When the circumstances are better again, they restart to grow. See: http://www.pnas.org/content/101/13/4631.full.pdf, see item K. In the case of Vostok, the bacteria use N2O as energy source survive and CO2 as carbon source, but the quantities of CO2 used are so small that this doesn’t influence the CO2 measurements.

  118. John F. Pittman
    Posted Oct 12, 2008 at 5:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Nutrients can be transported to immobile and mostly dormant microbes as H2 gas (59, 60) or as water-soluble organic compounds such as humic and fulvic acids (61, 62). For glacial ice (12), the access paths for gaseous and liquid nutrients and waste would be micrometer-diameter veins; for shale and clay (61, 62), they would be sub-micrometer-size pores.

    From http://www.pnas.org/content/101/13/4631.full.pdf . Well if these micro-diameter veins can be access paths for gaseous and liquid nutrients, they definetly can be for the diffusion of CO2.

    The N2O is produced both by the denitrification of the NO2 product of NH4 oxidation and by the oxidation of NH2OH intermediate. This interpretation is consistent with studies of N2O production in Antarctic lake ice (Lake Bonney) at depths where there was a strong excess of nitrifiers (49). Nitrifiers require an aqueous, dark medium, at lowO2 pressure: conditions that exist in liquid veins deep in the Vostok ice.

    Nitrifiers use CO2, generally. It would appear that this paper supports my concern about the low CO2 being an artifact and not a unbiased measurement.

    • Posted Oct 13, 2008 at 1:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: John F. Pittman (#289),

      John, the metabolic rate at -40 (the temperature of Vostok ice) is very low:

      The rate at -40°C in ice corresponds to 10 turnovers of cellular carbon per billion years

      That is not comparable to what happens in permafrost or other ice cores where temperatures during summer can reach melting at the surface. Or in the case of Vostok and/or Greenland bottom cores, where temperature is higher and gases/liquids even (organic) debris are mixed with the ice.

      Further, have a look at the amounts of N2O in the ice core: even if all N2O was produced in situ by the bacteria (which isn’t true), the amount of CO2 used is negligible:

      Carbon for growth is obtained from fixation of CO2 by means of the Calvin cycle. From the measurements in Lake Bonney (49), together with calculations (50), we used a ratio (C fixed)(N2O produced) 0.04 to convert from the rate of nitrification to the rate of carbon metabolism.

      The peak value of N2O in the Taylor Dome and Greenland ice record is around 300 ppbv, for Vostok a lot lower: around 50 ppvb. Calculated to CO2 use, this is 12 ppvb for Greenland and Taylor Dome and 2 ppvb for Vostok.

      For Vostok, that means a loss of 0.002 ppmv CO2 on a range of 180-280 ppmv…

      • John F. Pittman
        Posted Oct 13, 2008 at 1:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen (#290), The discussion started with the CO2 measurements. In that they can respire whether it is at high enough rates to effect CO2 concentrations may be minor compared to diffusion. The assumed (?) micrometer-diameter veins would indicate a laminar flow that could transport an appreciable amount of CO2 when measurements in the gaseous phase are but about 200 ppm. This would be due to the amount of time involved and the pressure involved.

        • Posted Oct 13, 2008 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

          Re: John F. Pittman (#291),

          The diameter of veins is a matter of temperature and salt inclusions, these are very high in sea ice and relative high for NH ice cores (Greenland), less for Antarctica, but even there more for coastal cores than for inland ones like Vostok.

          I have read somewhere the migration test, but don’t find it back…

          Something in the same direction is here:
          At closing depth, some fractionation happens for O2, Ne and Ar, see Severinghaus and Batlle. This happens with molecules smaller than 3.6 Å, which escape the bubbles just before closing. CO2 is theoretically a little smaller than 3.6 Å at its smallest side, but practically a little larger by vibration. There is no fractionation of CO2 measured, as both open and closed bubbles at closing depth show the same CO2 level. Thus most veins are smaller than CO2 molecules, already at closing depth…

        • John F. Pittman
          Posted Oct 13, 2008 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

          Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen (#292), The micro channels would not be useful for the purposes quoted in the paper if they were that small. They were large enough to provide transport of nutrients and of waste. NO2 or NO3 is larger than CO2, so there is a discrepancy as stated by you or a lack of definition or a misunderstanding on my part, as more likely.

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Oct 13, 2008 at 8:06 PM | Permalink

          Re: John F. Pittman (#293),

          I enjoy making fun of the willfully ignorant as much as any other arrogant S.O.B, but this idle speculation is getting old. You have no evidence that CO2 trapped in gas bubbles in the ice can diffuse out of the bubble. None, zero, zip, nada. It’s just idle speculation. Do you seriously believe that the people who do this for a living have not considered the possibility of diffusion? Do you think that you are the first person to have this idea? A quick Google on “co2 diffusion ice” finds this reference: Ice cores, CO2 concentration, and climate

          B. Geerts and E. Linacre

          It appears that the air bubbles trapped in the ice represent the atmospheric composition at the time of snow deposition, in other words gas diffusion through the ice is negligible. For instance, the CO2 concentration in air bubbles dated to be from 1958 or later agrees very well with direct free-atmospheric CO2 measurements, which have been made since then. Note the slightly lower CO2 concentration between 1550 – 1800 AD, i.e. during the Little Ice Age. The considerable increase since 1830 was interrupted by a brief stabilisation during 1935 – 1945, probably as a consequence of some natural variation of the carbon cycle. The concentration had risen to 335 ppm by 1980.

          That was number one on the Google list. Here’s another from somewhat lower down:

          CO2 isotopes as tracers of firn air diffusion and age in an Arctic ice cap with summer melting, Devon Island, Canada

          The results show a permeable but essentially nondiffusive zone from 50 to 60 m depth.

          Note that they’re talking about the firn before the bubbles close.

          Why are ice cubes usually cloudy in the center? Gas isn’t soluble in ice. If it were, then there would be no bubbles in deep ice. Solubility is sort of required for diffusion.

        • Geoff Sherrington
          Posted Oct 14, 2008 at 3:07 AM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#294),

          Does this reconcile with Chlorine-36 from bomb tests at the top of Vostok? Abstract from http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118775528/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

          A large pulse of atmospheric 36Cl generated by a limited number of nuclear tests peaked in the late 1950s to early 1960s. The corresponding enhanced 36Cl deposition is seen in various glaciological archives in the Northern Hemisphere. The profile of the bomb spike recorded in firn layers at Vostok Station, central East Antarctica, has been measured by employing accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). The records obtained from two well-dated data sets collected in snow pits in 1997 and 1998 show a broad 36Cl peak, beginning as early as the 1940s and reaching its maximum in the 1960s. The signal is followed by a long-lasting tail up to the surface. This pattern is totally unexpected. We show that the results, unlike the Greenland data, can be explained by a mobility of HCl in the Antarctic firn. This experiment demonstrates the instability of gaseous Cl− deposits, a phenomenon which has important implications for the use of natural cosmogenic 36Cl radionuclides as a reliable dating tool for deep ice cores from low-accumulation areas. However, during glacial times, under favourable atmospheric chemistry conditions this dating method may still be applicable. Snow metamorphism and ventilation are assumed to be the two main physical processes responsible for the observed patterns.

        • Posted Oct 14, 2008 at 4:01 AM | Permalink

          Re: Geoff Sherrington (#295),

          Geoff, until a certain depth, CO2 will diffuse in the firn, but as the Law Dome data show, there is a decrease of CO2 from the surface down. As the firn becomes more dense, the vertical exchange ceases, as the winter layer becomes near impermeable. That goes further until the firn densifies to completely closed bubbles surrounded by ice. HCl seems to behave slightly different than CO2, as the levels go up from the surface down. That only shows that migration occurs from the higher to the lower levels, as can be expected, but that the migration speed is faster than expected.

          Anyway, that is all about firn. Once the density is high enough, there is no migration anymore.

        • Stan Palmer
          Posted Oct 14, 2008 at 6:42 AM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#294),

          From the quoted text in 294

          The considerable increase since 1830 was interrupted by a brief stabilisation during 1935 – 1945, probably as a consequence of some natural variation of the carbon cycle.

          What would this natural variation be? This was the era when entire economies were mobilized and cities were being burned to the ground across the world.

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Oct 14, 2008 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

          Re: Stan Palmer (#298),

          Suppose the dating was off by only 6 years. Now you have 1929 to 1939, the depths of the Great Depression.

        • Phil.
          Posted Oct 14, 2008 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

          Re: Stan Palmer (#298),

          Not to mention waves of thousands of multi-engined planes flying around near the tropopause and injections into the stratosphere on a regular basis by atmospheric nuclear weapons testing! (equivalent to multiple volcanos?)

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Oct 14, 2008 at 9:02 AM | Permalink

          Re: Phil. (#300),

          The atmospheric nuclear testing didn’t start until the end of the period quoted for CO2 stabilization and the heaviest bombing was from about 1943 on. The bombing in WWII was much less than was dropped on Vietnam. There may have been a lot of planes flying, but they didn’t carry much of a bomb load. See here.

          However, records did show, they said, that the U.S. Air Force dropped 6.1 million tons of bombs and other ordnance in Indochina from 1964 to 1975, while the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps contributed another 1.5 million bombs.

          That compares to 2.1 million tons of munitions during World War II, and 454,000 in the Korean War, they said.

          B-52’s can fly near the tropopause. He111’s and B-17’s could only get about half way there. Piston engine planes don’t do well at high altitude, even with supercharging.

        • Phil.
          Posted Oct 14, 2008 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#301),

          The point is not the bomb load but the emissions at altitude, one third of the bombs dropped on Germany by the USAF were by B-17s with an operational ceiling of 35,000′ (~10km). Sometimes missions had to be rerouted because the con-trails from the previous day’s raid caused poor visibility.
          Of course this would take about 5 years to reach the antarctic.

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Oct 14, 2008 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

          Re: Phil. (#302),

          The quote did not pose the question of why CO2 increased after 1945, the question raised was why the rate of increase slowed from 1935 to 1945 compared to the earlier and later rate. If the transport time to Antarctica is indeed five years then my contention that the slowdown was due to the Great Depression still has merit and bombers in WWII are irrelevant.

        • Posted Oct 14, 2008 at 3:10 PM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#304),

          DWP, I shouldn’t give too much weight to the slowing, which is merely a few datapoints in two Law Dome ice cores. The third ice core of Law Dome and the Siple Dome ice core don’t show the same variation. The variation is within the measurement accuracy (1.3 ppmv – 1 sigma) for the same ice core and 5 ppmv over separate ice cores…

        • Stan Palmer
          Posted Oct 14, 2008 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#301),

          There may have been a lot of planes flying, but they didn’t carry much of a bomb load. See here.

          The bombing in World War 2 was not about explosions but about fires. The British developed the ‘triple attack”. An initial wave on bombers would cover the city with a mixture of high explosive and incendiary bombs. This was designed to blow out windows and knock down fire-proofed roofs. This turned the city into a forest of chimneys. The second attack would be about 10 minutes later with exclusive use of incendiaries. The first attack would have started a few fires. The second one would start fires across the city. The third attack would come several hours later. This was commonly in daylight after the first two raids occurred the night before. This was mostly high explosive with a few incendiaries. The city would have alerted its own and fire departments from nearby cities. The several hour delay gave time for these fire companies to deploy. The attack was intended to destroy the dire fighting capacity of the city and restart any fires that they had put out.

          The intensity of the firestorms that these attacks started was such that they could not be put out. The objective of the German fire brigades was to open corridors to bomb shelters so that the people sheltering there could escape down streets that were temporarily kept open by their hoses.

          Recall also that the fire attack on Tokyo of March 12/13, 1945 killed over 100,000 people outright. These attacks were more devastating than the atom bomb attacks. More people were killed in the March 12 attack than in either of the atom bomb attacks.The importance of the atom bomb was not in its destructive power but in the reduction in the number of aircraft needed to destroy a city. The massive destruction in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not because of the bomb blast but because of the fires that it started. No elaborate triple attack was needed.

          So the amount of explosive dropped is not indicative of the destruction that was caused or the amount of CO2 created. Any comparison to Viet Nam in this regard will not be useful. The important aspects of these attacks are the fires that they were intended to and did create.

        • John F. Pittman
          Posted Oct 14, 2008 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#294),

          The average ages for CO2 in the sampled firn air profile were determined by a new method based on the rate of 18O exchange between CO2 and the ice matrix. Calibrated with the 1963 peak for thermonuclear 14CO2, a 21.2-year reaction halftime is calculated for exchange taking place at the firn temperature of −22.8°C on Devon. This gives an average age of 54.9 (+6.0/−12.0) years for firn air at 60 m depth in 140-year-old ice. Thus CO2 has a mean age 85 years younger than associated ice at the point of occlusion. The measured δ 18OCO2 in firn air provides no indication of alteration by summer melting, which is attributed to a high degree of convective and diffusive flushing of the upper firn as shown by diffusion modeling. This suggests that ice sheets with summer melt layers can reliably preserve atmospheric trace gas signals.

          From http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2006JD007471.shtml
          Thus CO2 has a mean age 85 years younger than associated ice at the point of occlusion.

          With statements in items like this I wanted F. Engelbeen to discuss, as long as he doesn’t mind. I find his comments, links, instructive.The question I would want his comments on is if this age diffential effects the conclusion of reliable preservation. And if so, why? I found this article you listed and ones he has very interesting.

        • Posted Oct 16, 2008 at 6:52 AM | Permalink

          Re: John F. Pittman (#306),

          John, no problem to discuss that further, but we are way out of the original topic…
          The ice itself is deposited in layers, thus by counting the layers, one can know the age of the ice. The gas phase, as long as the firn/ice is permeable enough, still goes on with exchanges of molecules top-down and bottom-up, in general in the direction from higher levels to lower levels, but slower and slower with increasing density at depth. At the moment that the ice becomes impermeable for gases, the composition is fixed. That is not the composition of one year, but a mix of several years, depending on migration speed, which depends on temperature and accumulation rate.

          For the fast accumulating Law Dome ice cores, the gas inclusions are in average about 15 years younger than the ice age, and are a mix of about 8 ears of atmospheric levels. See the graphs at Lucy’s pages.

          For slow accumulating ice fields like the Vostok ice core, the difference in ice age and gas age is hundreds of years.

          That makes that fast changes in one of the component levels can not be detected in ice cores, as the gas phase always is an average, increasing in averaging period with decreasing accumulation rates… But let’s move this to Lucy’s pages…

        • Posted Oct 14, 2008 at 4:06 AM | Permalink

          Re: John F. Pittman (#293),

          John, the “large” veins, including transport of nutritients, is for near-zero temperature conditions in sea ice, permafrost and clays. The cold Greenland (-20°C) to very cold Antarctic (Vostok -40°C) ice cores have much smaller veins… Except where a lot of dust was deposited and near-bottom.

  119. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 14, 2008 at 10:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #308. I ask people not to discuss policy here, except on threads very occasionally set aside for that purpose. There are many forums to do discuss policy and few to discuss statistics and science – so I ask that you observe this rule. I’ve never suggested that politicians be inert in their policy; I think that these issues are important, otherwise I wouldn’t spend time on it.

  120. Posted Dec 14, 2008 at 10:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I made an official complaint to the BBC – I concentrated on satellite temps, surface temps and the hockey stick, otherwise I would have ended up writing a book. The programme purported to objectively examine the arguments between ‘skeptics and the ‘consensus,’ but did no such thing – surface temps are accurate and the satellite temps aren’t, hockey stick true, therefore there was no MWP. I had a pathetic response from the BBC, so I have asked to take the complaint further.

  121. Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 9:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Dear Critics of “global warming”:
    I am a Quaternary paleoclimatologist and have been keeping track of “global warming” debates. It seems to me that the “warming” group is winning in academic cirles and also in public. I am close to accepting the “warming” as scientically proven although the uncertainties (in data and in modeling results) are often too large to be completely acceptable.
    If you guys (or someone) are so confident in providing opposing views, why do not you guys write them up and publish your views formally (in peer-reviewed academic journals) so that your arguments can be scientifically circulated. I still believe that this is United States of America after all and any political power or academic popularity can not absolutely over-rule objective and scientific arguments! Please you guys (collectively or someone) do something if you are so desired. If you guys have points, you deserved to be heard and I will be your first listener and reader (I try to be open-minded). I encountered many “global warming” opponents, but their arguments are so pre-conceived that there is little science in their arguments.

    • Pat Frank
      Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 10:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jordan Feng (#311), Jordan, suppose you point us to a study giving the physical, not numerical, uncertainty limits of a GCM-produced climate projection.

      You know, following the standard scientific practice of propagating the parameter and measurement uncertainties through the physical theory.

      I’ll bet you can’t find just one.

      And as you’re a “Quaternary paleoclimatologist,” how about if you explain the physical theory that turns a tree ring width, or density, into degrees Kelvin.

      • bender
        Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 11:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Pat Frank (#313),

        if you explain the physical theory that turns a tree ring width, or density, into degrees Kelvin

        Get off it, will you? Growing seasons get longer under warmer climates and cambial cell division is increased in the radial direction during the shoulder seasons leading to a fatter tree. Getting temperature from ring width is an inferential step of arithmetic involving no physics. You can convert to any unit using an appropriate error-free conversion forumla. This process is subject to the obvious and standard assumptions that no other factors are limiting growth at any time. Why do you blow so much smoke?

        • Andrew
          Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

          Re: bender (#316),

          Growing seasons get longer under warmer climates

          This would actually depend somewhat on the nature and cause of the change, would it not? I can’t think of a specific circumstance at the moment but I don’t think that this has to follow.

          Since you generally like to go ballistic on people who even hint at disagreeing with you…Don’t Shoot! I Surrender! :{

        • bender
          Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

          Re: Andrew (#317),

          This would actually depend … would it not?

          Pat Frank asked for a physical theory. I gave it to him. I further qualified the theory by stating exactly what you just said: ability to infer past change “would depend somewhat on the nature and cause of the change”. In fact I gave a specific example under which the theory fails – when trees are more limited by moisture than temperature. So your comment is completely superfluous. What are you playing at, commenting where no comment is necessary?

          Since you generally like to go ballistic on people who even hint at disagreeing with you

          I try to criticize arguments that are factually wrong. I try not to “go ballistic” on people who disagree with me. Let me know when you think I’m crossing that line, and ask the moderator to snip me. Meanwhile I’ll do the same favor for you.

        • Andrew
          Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

          Re: bender (#318), I had a situation where there was a more fundamental assumption of yours was violated. A situation in which the growing season doesn’t get longer. I don’t know how that would happen, but, is this definitely always not the case/impossible? I mean, what if winters got substantially warmer, but remained too cold for plant growth, and there was little/no/negative change in the temperature of the hotter months? I think that could result in a climate which was, on average, warmer, but the growing season wouldn’t lengthen. This is a separate concern with your mechanism than precipitation dependence of plant growth.

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

          Re: Andrew (#320),

          This is a separate concern with your mechanism than precipitation dependence of plant growth.

          A third separate concern is the inverted U-shaped response of trees to temperature; or at least the supposed inverted U-shaped response. It makes more sense than using strip-barked bristlecone pines, but I suppose it needs more proof. But Bender likes to shoot from the hip (or shoulder-seasons in this case). But I didn’t see him present a set of equations to use which would let anyone actually calibrate a set of tree, let alone, of course, give a reference where a paleo-climatologist actually did such so for a data set which is used for climate reconstruction.

        • Pat Frank
          Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

          Re: bender (#316), bender your complaint is surprising. Kelvins are physical quantities. They can not be inferred from any “step of arithmetic involving no physics.”

          To make a conversion from tree rings to Kelvin, one needs a conversion formula derived from the physical relation between tree rings and temperature.

          If you point me to that physical conversion formula, I’ll get off it. But I’ll bet you can’t.

          There is a “get off it” here, but it involves getting off the supposition that it’s possible to derive a temperature from a tree ring, following merely from a qualitative judgment of temperature limited growth.

          There is no purely arithmetic or statistical method — physics-free — that will convert a tree ring width or density to Kelvins. None It doesn’t matter how good the statistical correlation. No physics, no expressible quantitative physical relationship, no conversion. To suppose otherwise is to misunderstand the very fundamentals of scientific knowledge.

    • Ron Cram
      Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 10:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jordan Feng (#311),

      I cannot imagine that a Quaternary paleoclimatologist would have much to contribute to the very active AGW scientific debate. After all, the quaternary period was a long time ago. But if you are interested in the scientific debate, I am willing to point you toward some of the peer-reviewed literature you should be aware of.

      First, Steve McIntyre, the proprietor of this blog and the resident data analyst extraordinaire, has published and has presented at scientific gatherings. You would do well to read his published papers and his recent presentation in New York. Papers and scientific presentations are here. Although I can see this list needs to be updated because it does not list the New York presentation. Jeff Id was kind enough to publish Steve’s slides and speaking notes from the NY presentation. In it you will learn that the supposedly independent paleoclimate reconstructions all have similar errors, such as using bristlecone pine series.

      Second, a number of peer-reviewed papers were published beginning in 2007 indicating AGW will not be catastrophic. These include the much lower climate sensitivity estimate published by Stephen Schwartz of Brookhaven National Lab. Also important is a series of papers by Petr Chylek of Los Alamos National Lab showing that the impact of aerosols has been overestimated which means climate sensitivity of CO2 is also vastly overestimated. Another key paper was by Roy Spencer and his team on a new negative feedback over the tropics. As yet, no GCM has taken this new feedback into account.

      Third, according to Josh Wills of JPL, ocean heat content has not risen since 2003. If James Hansen was correct that a radiative imbalance existed, it would show up in warmer oceans year over year. Craig Loehle has recently published a paper on this topic. Craig posts here regularly, as do a number of other authors of peer-reviewed literature. Roger Pielke, an ISI highly cited climatologist, has blogged on the issue of ocean heat content as well.

      There are many more points that should be made here but I am out of time. I agree with Jeff Alberts that this and my response belong on Unthreaded +1.

    • Kenneth Fritsch
      Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 9:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jordan Feng (#311),

      I am close to accepting the “warming” as scientically proven although the uncertainties (in data and in modeling results) are often too large to be completely acceptable.

      Jordan, how close to accepting and accepting how much warming and with how much uncertainty and how detrimental or beneficial are the consequences of that level of warming that you are accepting. If you are looking for simple and pat answers, in my view, you have come to the wrong place.

      I do not judge that one vote is very consequential when people are seeking truths – and not holding an election.

    • Gerald Machnee
      Posted Apr 8, 2009 at 1:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jordan Feng (#311),
      Dear Critics of “global warming”:

      It seems to me that the “warming” group is winning in academic cirles and also in public. I am close to accepting the “warming” as scientically proven although the uncertainties (in data and in modeling results) are often too large to be completely acceptable.

      There is a difference between presenting a winning argument and getting a lot of press. They do get a lot of press.

      If you guys have points, you deserved to be heard and I will be your first listener and reader (I try to be open-minded). I encountered many “global warming” opponents, but their arguments are so pre-conceived that there is little science in their arguments.

      If you want to be a good listener, you can start by going through all the threads that Steve M and associates have posted here. You will find a lot of information showing lack of archiving, misinformation, poor statistics, and of course how the blade appeared on the “hockey stick”. This is not an anti-global warming site, but an illustration of many things that are not substantiated. Report on the assignment.

      • Dave Dardinger
        Posted Apr 8, 2009 at 3:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Gerald Machnee (#325),

        you can start by going through all the threads that Steve M and associates have posted here.

        And for his next feat he can walk across the country on his hands and knees. Would take about the same amount of time. There are just too many threads for any newcomer to read all the posts in a reasonable amount of time.

        • Gerald Machnee
          Posted Apr 8, 2009 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

          Re: Dave Dardinger (#326),

          There are just too many threads for any newcomer to read all the posts in a reasonable amount of time.

          True, especially for a slow reader.
          I was not about to pick the significant ones but Steve has topics on the side which can be picked or one can search the contents for certain ones.

    • Ross McKitrick
      Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 9:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jordan Feng (#311), Jordan, come back, we hardly knew ye. Like I said, tell us what particular points you find persuasive and you can get pointers to the literature that didn’t make headlines in the NYT. Even within the IPCC report you’ll find many areas of apparent certainty dissolve into hemming, hawing and grappling with contradictory information.

      What often happens is that a publication appears which gets a lot of exciting attention and apparently “proves” the AGW case, or scuppers the deniers, as the saying goes most recently. Then some time later, rather quietly, subsequent work gets published that unravels the claim or substantially weakens it. But that doesn’t get any headlines (well only sometimes). The perception of consensus and proof builds up asymmetrically over time. Then if you ask for a publication that “disproves” AGW, there isn’t one grand article someone can point to, just as there isn’t one grand article that “proves” it. There are a few dozen lines of argumentation, with maybe half a dozen truly crucial. If you want specific rebuttals you need to point to specific arguments. Pointing to the IPCC Summary doesn’t count because they only selected the information that supported the position they held going into the writing process. What specific, factual issue is pivotal for you?

      • bender
        Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 10:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Ross McKitrick (#329),
        My current favorite ‘scuppering of the deniers’ is: “Er, the oceans don’t have urban heat islands, do they?” You preface anything by “Er” and your credibility goes up a notch. Try it next time you’re in a jam. Shutting down debate, that’s exactly what we need.

        • Ross McKitrick
          Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

          Re: bender (#332),

          Er, the oceans don’t have urban heat islands, do they?

          No, more like underwater heat islands

        • bender
          Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

          Re: Ross McKitrick (#333),
          Er … :)

        • Kenneth Fritsch
          Posted Apr 10, 2009 at 4:45 PM | Permalink

          Re: bender (#334),

          Bender, we have not yet reached the level of a simple “Er” that does not preface something in the way of clever rejoinder. The Er is a nice way of saying “you simpleton” and the rejoinder explains why.

        • BarryW
          Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 7:15 PM | Permalink

          Re: Ross McKitrick (#333),

          Has there been any update of the analysis since 1999?

        • Andrew
          Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 9:09 PM | Permalink

          Re: BarryW (#335), A quick analysis of this data:
          ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/anomalies/all.ocean.20S.20N.dat
          and this data:
          http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt
          indicates that the tropical trend over the oceans is very similar (one would think it would be more) with the satellites showing slightly less (I don’t think it is significant-it is very tiny).

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Apr 10, 2009 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

          Re: Andrew (#336),

          Just because it’s small doesn’t mean it’s not significant. OLS regression of UAH tropical (land plus ocean) temperature anomalies gives a slope of 0.000410418 degrees/month or 0.049 degrees/decade. The 95% confidence intervals (0.0001356 to 0.000685235 ) do not include zero, the t statistic for the slope is 2.936861204 and the corresponding P value is 0.003527613 so the hypothesis that the slope is not significantly different from zero can be rejected with high confidence. Autocorrelation might expand the confidence intervals and I didn’t check or try to correct for it.

        • Andrew
          Posted Apr 10, 2009 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#337), I was talking about the difference between the trends at the surface and in the troposphere, which is tinier still-the surface and troposphere trends over the ocean are nearly identical, visually (although the variability of the troposphere temps is much greater.

        • Ross McKitrick
          Posted Apr 10, 2009 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

          Re: DeWitt Payne (#337), OLS on heavily autocorrelated data is totally inappropriate. I have updated trends with ARMA(1,1) confidence intervals in my Response to Dingell. Neither UAH nor RSS are significant in the tropics (Mid-troposphere, where the trend is supposed to be strongest).

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Apr 11, 2009 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

          Re: Ross McKitrick (#339),

          Thanks. That illustrates, though, why comparing trends has little power, as the confidence intervals of the slopes are so large that only a very large difference will be significant.

  122. Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Jordan, this might be better placed in a more recent thread, though it may still be off-topic.

  123. Ross McKitrick
    Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 11:08 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Jordan, I agree that arguments need to be published in peer-reviewed journals, but what makes you say we don’t do this? Lots of papers that undermine the AGW view are in the journals, they just typically don’t get much attention, and in the case of the IPCC get ignored or misrepresented (elaboration here).

    Perhaps if you could point to a specific aspect of the pro-AGW argument you find especially convincing, we can point you to the counter-arguments in the journals, or to equivalent sources.

    • MrPete
      Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 1:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Ross McKitrick (#315),

      …arguments need to be published in peer-reviewed journals, but what makes you say we don’t do this?

      Because that’s the meme that gets promoted.

      The meme: Nobody who is a qualified skeptic ever publishes solid papers in a reputable journal. Therefore, there are no valid skeptical arguments.

      Reality doesn’t matter.

  124. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 7, 2009 at 6:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Please!! The tree ring thing has been discussed on numerous occasions and it doesn’t need to be re-hashed one more time on an unrelated thread.

    • Ron Cram
      Posted Apr 8, 2009 at 3:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#323),

      I have to disagree. I found the rehashing very informative. Perhaps I missed the earlier discussions but I am pretty regular here so if I missed it I bet others did too. Thank you for not snipping it.

      • bender
        Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 10:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Ron Cram (#327),
        You would do well to read the older threads. Yes, ALL of them. Yes, it will take you three months.

  125. Posted Apr 9, 2009 at 9:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Jordan Feng,
    For someone who claims to be keeping track of the global warming debate you seem to be remarkably ill-informed. In fact more and more scientists from non-climate fields who look at the subject objectively are coming to the conclusion that man-made GW is greatly over-exaggerated. And regarding the general public, the same skeptical view is growing, as shown by this recent independent Gallup Poll, the opposite of your claim.

    On the publication question, there are a number of publications listed above, but an important point is that editors and referees of the main climate journals are predominantly part of the warming ‘team’, many of whom simply will not allow skeptical papers to be published. For example, the chief editor of Journal of Climate, Andrew Weaver, has recently written a book in which he repeats the false argument that all skeptics are funded by oil and industry. What chance is there of a man who propagates such myths treating a submitted paper from a skeptic fairly?

    Finally, your remark “but their arguments are so pre-conceived that there is little science in their arguments” is just as applicable (if not more so) to the ‘warmers’ as to the skeptics: every weather event (drought or flood!) is regarded as ‘evidence’ for warming, while increasingly desperate excuses are being dreamt up for the lack of warming over the last decade.

    I hope that you will listen and join the discussion. It is best to this on ‘unthreaded’ or on the message board.

  126. Spence_UK
    Posted Aug 5, 2009 at 5:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Hot off the press, OfCom’s investigation into whether Lord Monckton of Brenchley and Professor Timothy Ball can be read here:

    OfCom Report

    Essentially, OfCom found that both Lord Monckton and Professor Ball were not sufficiently informed of the nature of the programme, and effectively did not give permission for their interviews to be used; despite this, OfCom found that they were not treated unfairly.

  127. Posted Jul 6, 2010 at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Reply

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