Unthreaded #9

Continuation of Unthreaded #8


  1. cbone
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    From RC: Gavin says “New papers need to stand the test of time before they are uncritically accepted. ”

    It would appear that he only applies this critera to papers which don’t fit his particular POV.

  2. DaveS
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 9:59 AM | Permalink

    Yeah, I commented for the first time over there to point that out.

  3. Al
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    Benny Peiser


    Paper presented at the conference Climate Change: Evaluating Appropriate Responses. Brussels, European Parliament, 18 April 2007

    Benny Peiser, Liverpool John Moores University, Faculty of Science, Liverpool L2 3ET, UK

    Some amusing quotes.
    As the eminent mathematician David Orrell has pointed out persuasively: “The track record of any kind of long-distance prediction is really bad, but everyone’s still really interested in it. It’s sort of a way of picturing the future. But we can’t make long-term predictions of the economy, and we can’t make long-term predictions of the climate. Models will cheerfully boil away all the water in the oceans or cover the world in ice, even with pre-industrial levels of CO2 When models about the future climate are in agreement, it says more about the self-regulating group psychology of the modelling community than it does about global warming and the economy.” (David Orrell, Apollo’s Arrow. The Science of Prediction and the Future of Everything, 2007)

  4. DaveS
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

    Does realclimate significantly censor comments? I’ve posted several times today and none of them showed up until I tried again, omitting reference to Gavin’s “arrogantly immaturity and close-mindedness” in response to mention of research regarding cosmic rays in the Intelligence Squared debate. (If I recall, he said, without substantiation, that the researchers were “just wrong”).

  5. nanny_govt_sucks
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    Does realclimate significantly censor comments?

    It sounds like you’re new to the climate debate, DaveS. Welcome!

    Yes, RC significantly censors comments. I’ve stopped even trying to post there. When I actually could get comments through there, it was only about 50% of the time.

  6. Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 12:19 PM | Permalink


    I no longer bother to go to Real Climate, you can never tell when you are getting the truth. Roger Pielke at Prometheus: Policy Sciences has a post on his problems with Real Climate here.

  7. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    RE: RC – What would one expect regarding a blog / forum, which is bought and paid for by the Environmental Defense Fund (and its various front orgs) in spite of its seeming appearance as a serious science site? They even have real scientists on retainer – quite an operation!

  8. DaveS
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    This is really bizarre, seeing all of the posts by DaveSmith, and them not being me. Who would have thought there were more Dave Smith’s in the world?

  9. crmanriq
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    Bumping over to this thread as my timing is terrible.

    I’m passing along a request that I had from my son. He’s in a college level biology course, and for some reason they are covering global warming as a topic. He’s looking for two articles – one on each side of the global warming issue. Can anyone point to something that gives general overviews of the arguments on each side?


  10. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    MarkW, you say:


    One of the big problems with the UN estimates is that they assume that all countries whose population is currently dropping, will have their rates stabilize when they hit replacement. (2.1 live births per woman) Problem with that assumption is that it has never happened. To date, every country whose birthrates have hit replacement, have had their birthrates continue to fall.
    The UN also assumes that countries with birthrates below replacement will over the next decade, return to replacement. Once again, that has not happened either. Countries in Europe have had their birthrates well below replacement for decades now, with no evidence that they are moving upwards. Despite growing govt efforts to increase the rates.

    What we are seeing here is an accelerating trend.

    This demonstrates perfectly the advantage of doing one’s own calculations. As I pointed out, I did my own estimates, and they agreed very closely with the UN estimates. This allows me to speak with some authority regarding your points.

    I come to the same numbers as the UN without making a single one of the assumptions that you list above. I merely assume that the historical trends will continue. But the historical trends include all of the effects you refer to above, the rates not stabilizing after they hit replacement, and the lack of any tendency to return to replacement, all of that. Therefore, I would say that like me, the UN did not make any of those mistakes.

    Second, the trend is not accelerating as you claim. In fact, it has followed a fairly complex curve, but has been stable for about the last ten years.

    I strongly recommend that you run the numbers yourself, and come to your own conclusions. The population data is available here. Get the annual data. The trend is the first derivative of the population (each year’s population divided by the previous year’s population), and the acceleration of the trend is shown by the second derivative (each year’s trend divided by the previous year’s trend). Graph the results, you may be surprised.

    All the best,


  11. Andrey Levin
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 1:01 PM | Permalink


    You gotta be kidding. Two articles? It is like get an idea about ocean by two drops of water. Any way, try these two:

    Click to access 02_02_07_climatereport.pdf

    Click to access Independent%20Summary5.pdf

    It is two summaries (one official by IPCC, another ‘€” alternative) of the same collection of most current scientific articles on the subject.

  12. Mark T.
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

    Russ, your link is broken. Easiest way to get to the discussion is to remove the lt. br gt. symbols from the end of the link.



  13. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

    Alarmism…. Malthusianism …. Soylent Green …. etc.

    For the first time I looked at the Amazon user comments regarding the film Soylent Green. If they are indication, I am seriously worried. The masses are still, in spite of the real world evidence, bought into the Ehrlich / Lovelock world view. All sorts of highly negative consequences could arise. Not only does this result in poor public policy, but it also results in a major blind spot regarding a number of futures which have nothing to do with overpopulation and “exceeding the carrying capacity” and yet, would be very negative for Humans.

    I thought about why this is. Most of the masses are urbanites or at very least suburbanites. Very few have spent much time outside of major metro areas. Very few have dealt hands on with the ongoing, never finished tasks of beating back nature in a real non urban setting. If they did, they would wake up very quickly to reality. Yes, humanity is fragile, but not necessarily in the ways the masses believe. For example, I am fragile in a 1 x 1 battle with a Mountain Lion, if i don’t have my side arm. I am fragile if I freeze to death. Etc.

  14. KevinUK
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 1:36 PM | Permalink


    I sincerely hope that your son is able to cope with the whole AGW debate and is able to sift through the ‘evidence’ and decide for himself. I’m glad to say that I’ve had a recent experience were a young man (who at some point will be entering the environmental field) after having received the official briefing’ asked for my alternative advice in regards to the AGW debate. Like many people who have been given the party line he was somewhat surprised when I pointed him to a number of unofficial sources for AGW related information on the internet. I’m glad to say that he has now conducted his own research and has been surprised (not really as he suspected that h ewa being fed an alarmist story anyway) to find that contrary to what he has been told by the ‘Chicken Littles/Lickens’ that the sky is not going to fallen down on him tomorrow.


  15. nanny_govt_sucks
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

    He’s looking for two articles – one on each side of the global warming issue.

    There are 2 sides to the global warming issue?

    I can think of:

    GW is bad
    GW is good
    Do something even if we don’t know for sure
    Do the science right first (have it audited, archive data)

  16. crmanriq
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    #11 – Many thanks! I’ll get him started on those.

    #14 – My son is the original skeptic. They’re making him watch AIT in the biology class. He (jokingly) put forth the hypothesis that capitalism is the cause of global warming because it was invented by AlGore in order to generate $$. (Yeah, I know he’s not missing the mark by much.)

  17. Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    #340. trY ftp://ghrc.nsstc.nasa.gov/pub/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

    Yes, I found that (it is actually from http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt ). The NASA link http://www.ghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/MSU/msusci.html had stratosphere and troposhere temp vs time. Do you know who created it – or have access to the script?

    Sort of strange – this link has been up for years – with lots of sites linked to it – no notice other than a 404.

  18. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    Re: #17

    The NASA site may be down for some reason. The middle troposphere and lower stratosphere data can be found by backing up a few levels to here:


    the /t2 directory has the middle troposphere data and the /t4 directory has the lower stratosphere data. The geographic breakdown of the data for each level is in the last file in each sub-directory, /uahncdc.xx where xx is ls for lower stratosphere, mt is middle troposphere and lt is lower troposphere. The readme files in the subdirectories is informative as well, but haven’t been updated since 12/15/2006.

  19. Ralph Becket
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 5:50 PM | Permalink

    #9 crmanriq:

    Bjorn Lomborg (author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist”) accepts AGW, but has a very different take on the “solution”. His testimony to the Congressional hearing into climate change is well worth a read and easy to digest.

  20. kchua
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 5:53 PM | Permalink


    This article contains a devastating critique of Inconvenient Truth.

    Let me know if the link works.

  21. John Maxwell
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

    I just received the May/June 2007 issue of the Skeptical Inquirer. In this issue, the editor (Kendrick Frazier) took a position supporting the recent IPCC report. In addition, there is an article by Stuart Jordan (available at the link http://www.cfidc.org/opp/jordan.html) entitled “Global Climate Change Triggered by Global Warming Part 1) that also appears to be generally allied to the IPCC position.

    I would be interested in any response to this article that anyone at Climate Audit might be able to generate. I was assuming that since this was a magazine for ‘skeptics’, they might take a more balanced viewpoint. Apparently I was wrong.

  22. Follow the Money
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

    Steve, #7:

    RE: RC – What would one expect regarding a blog / forum, which is bought and paid for by the Environmental Defense Fund (and its various front orgs) in spite of its seeming appearance as a serious science site?

    I didn’t know that.

    I wonder if the Environmental Defense Fund has its finger in the carbon credit pie soemhow, for example, acting as a “validator” of carbon emissions, or supplying credits. Look at this recent announcement from Entergy,

    Entergy Offsets 100,000 Metric Tons of Carbon Emissions

    NEW ORLEANS, March 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Taking advantage of an opportunity to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and work toward the company’s voluntary greenhouse gas reduction commitment, Entergy has purchased emission reduction credits totaling 100,000 metric tons.

    The purchase of these credits was made available through Environmental Resources Trust by Nike Inc., which verified and registered the credit as a result of exceeding its carbon footprint goals with the World Wildlife Fund’s Climate Savers program. etc. etc.

    This is done voluntarily so what’s the real action of this complicated scheme? Tax evasion? Money laundering? Corp. board family members get salaries/consultancies, etc. from the Big Enviro orgs and this money pays for such? Maybe…Nike’s pure hearted desire help the world?

  23. Follow the Money
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 6:57 PM | Permalink


    That was a pretty good article. One thing the writer should consider when considering Gore’s motives is Gore’s own personal financial interests in carbon trading schemes, via that british corp’ whose name I forgot, 😦 laden with Goldman Sachs traders on its board.

  24. TAC
    Posted Apr 20, 2007 at 10:09 PM | Permalink

    There’s an intriguing new paper, “Suggestive correlations between the brightness of Neptune, solar variability, and Earth’s temperature,” in GRL. The abstract reads:

    Long-term photometric measurements of Neptune show variations of brightness over half a century. Seasonal change in Neptune’s atmosphere may partially explain a general rise in the long-term light curve, but cannot explain its detailed variations. This leads us to consider the possibility of solar-driven changes, i.e., changes incurred by innate solar variability perhaps coupled with changing seasonal insolation. Although correlations between Neptune’s brightness and Earth’s temperature anomaly’€”and between Neptune and two models of solar variability’€”are visually compelling, at this time they are not statistically significant due to the limited degrees of freedom of the various time series. Nevertheless, the striking similarity of the temporal patterns of variation should not be ignored simply because of low formal statistical significance. If changing brightnesses and temperatures of two different planets are correlated, then some planetary climate changes may be due to variations in the solar system environment.

  25. Andrey Levin
    Posted Apr 21, 2007 at 5:57 AM | Permalink


    Your boy got it right. Show him this article, chart consensus…”:


    Also interesting current carbon credit venture on Honest Al, for starters look here:


  26. Andrey Levin
    Posted Apr 21, 2007 at 6:08 AM | Permalink

    Click to access Volz.pdf

    It is quite interesting theory about overlooked climate change amplifying factor: increased sea surface emissivity with increased wind speed (increased wind – increased waves – increased IR emitting surface of the ocean – increased IR emissions – amplified cooling effect). With solar forcing as driving factor, the authors have demonstrated impressive correlation of solar activity, global temperatures on glacial and interglacial scales, and reconstructed by Antarctic dust proxies wind speed.

  27. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 21, 2007 at 7:16 AM | Permalink

    Today in Dutch newspaper “Trouw” three articles (Hans Labohm, Joep Engels and Josef Reichholf on the global warming hype. Science editor Joep Engels considers the Hockeystick not broken. Translations will follow soon.
    As a taster for dutch readers, here is Hans Labohm’s contribution:

  28. DaleC
    Posted Apr 21, 2007 at 7:52 AM | Permalink


    This is my current favorite; somewhat more on politics and media, but still quite a bit of science.

    Click to access 20070330_carter.pdf

  29. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Apr 21, 2007 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

    Re: #26

    I must be missing something. If high wind speeds increase emissivity (not to mention latent and sensible heat transfer to higher altitudes), then shouldn’t that cause cooling? But the dust deposition, presumably due to high winds, always come just before a period of warming, almost always at the end of a period of glaciation. A lowering of albedo caused by dust deposition seems to me to better fit the data.

  30. Stan Palmer
    Posted Apr 21, 2007 at 4:36 PM | Permalink

    The above is a link to a CNN summary.A quick summary of this is that it is a report on a paper that reveals that a rise in sea lvel of 100ft would cover all land that is less than 100ft above sea level.

    Now contrary to vicious rumours CNN does not sensationalize its reporting on AGW

  31. Steve Reynolds
    Posted Apr 21, 2007 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    Re 29> “But the dust deposition, presumably due to high winds, always come just before a period of warming, almost always at the end of a period of glaciation. A lowering of albedo caused by dust deposition seems to me to better fit the data.”

    It is not ‘just before’ a period of warming, but 20 to 50 thousand years before. Maybe this positive feedback extends the glaciation far beyond the time it would have ended otherwise.

  32. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 21, 2007 at 6:27 PM | Permalink

    re 27:

    The climatologists and their tormenting spirits

    Climate experts and sceptics are locked in a meaningless “so-not so” game, thinks science editor Joep Engels. The debate must according to him be lifted to a higher level and deal with the real problems. “Because there may be a large scientific consensus about the basic principles of the greenhouse effect, beyond that uncertainty rules and opinions are divided”.

    read on:

  33. Andrey Levin
    Posted Apr 21, 2007 at 10:59 PM | Permalink


    Yes, of course there are multiple factors, cooling effect of dust being one of them.

    However, calculations of authors place change of ocean emissivity at very high level.

    From the article:

    “…difference in emittance of sea surface for 0 and 15 m/s is 11.1 W/m2.
    Difference multiplied with atmospheric transmissibility (0.65) is 7.2 W/m2
    …variations of oceanic wind speed have a dominating influence on climate system,
    also in comparison with doubling of atmospheric CO2 (3.7 W/m2).”

    “not only variation in greenhouse gases and albedo, but also increase in wind speed
    are the cause of positive feedbacks during glacials/interglacials via sea surface
    emissivity (increased IR radiation during stormy periods).”

    “High solar activity corellates with low wind speed and warming, low solar activity
    with high wind speed and cooling”

    And very important conclusion, possibly having serious practical value:

    “… cooling being measurable AFTER SOME YEARS ONLY”

  34. Andrey Levin
    Posted Apr 21, 2007 at 11:02 PM | Permalink

    Sorry, my post 33 is reply to #29, Payne DeWitt.

  35. Boris
    Posted Apr 22, 2007 at 8:28 AM | Permalink


    I’ve posted several times today and none of them showed up until I tried again, omitting reference to Gavin’s “arrogantly immaturity and close-mindedness”

    So they censored your namecalling. How completely unfair of them.

  36. Reid
    Posted Apr 22, 2007 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

    Canadian Kyoto backers call skeptics alarmist.


    Kyoto skeptics claim meeting Kyoto targets will cause a deep recession and are labeled alarmist.

    That’s not alarmist. Alarmist is the very real possibility that complying with Kyoto will end in a great depression. Instead of year after year, decade on decade of growth that trend may reverse for a multi-decade period downward spiral in standard of living trend.

    Thats my alarmism. My alarmism is far more plausible than AGW alarmism.

  37. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 22, 2007 at 8:53 AM | Permalink

    #36. please stay away from economic discussions. There are other places to do so.

  38. Posted Apr 22, 2007 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

    Happy Earth Day everyone! I feel the need to point out yet again, that being skeptical about mankind’s contribution to global warming does not mean you don’t care about the planet. It’s interesting that if you express the slightest reservation about the causes and cures of global warming, people act like you’re going on a hunting trip for endangered species.

    This exchange between Kenner and Ted Bradley in Michael Crichton’s State of Fear makes a good point:

    So what exactly is your point?” Bradley said. “You’re saying that we don’t need to pay any attention to the environment, that we can just leave it alone and let industry pollute and everything will be hunky-dory?”

    For a moment, it looked to Sarah as if Kenner would get angry, but he did not. He said, “If you oppose the death penalty, does it also mean you are in favor of doing nothing at all about crime?”

    “No,” Ted said.
    “You can oppose the death penalty but still favor punishing criminals.”
    “Yes. Of course.”
    “Then I can say that global warning is not a threat, but still favor environmental controls, can’t I?” (426-427)

    Crichton clarifies his own position during his testimony in the Senate hearing on September 28, 2005:

    “In closing, I want to state emphatically that nothing in my remarks should be taken to imply that we can ignore our environment, or that we should not take climate change seriously. On the contrary, we must dramatically improve our record on environmental management. That’s why a focused effort on climate science, aimed at securing sound, independently verified answers to policy questions, is so important now.”

  39. David Smith
    Posted Apr 22, 2007 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    Occasionally an article appears about the northward spread of certain pests, like fire ants, as North America warms. It’s a nuisance but not a big deal, as those of us in the southern reaches of the US have dealt with these ants for many decades since they were accidentally brought to North America.

    Anyway, I was walking through an undisturbed area of woods in Mississippi (US) this weekend and found this fire ant mound . The mound is in the foreground – I measured the height at 22 inches. These mounds house tens of thousands of angry ants (if disturbed) with some estimates of up to 250,000 ants in the biggest colonies.

    Ken F., if you happen to mow your Chicago lawn next weekend and see a suspicious 22-inch mound like this in your grass, mow around it. 🙂

  40. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Apr 22, 2007 at 6:41 PM | Permalink

    Ken F., if you happen to mow your Chicago lawn next weekend and see a suspicious 22-inch mound like this in your grass, mow around it.

    Thanks for the warning, David. My first inclination would be to mow right through and blast away with my can of insecticide, but since Kahlessa has reminded us all of Earth Day, in deference, I will follow your advice.

  41. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Apr 22, 2007 at 6:59 PM | Permalink


    With plans in the works to move back to fire ant country, I happen to fear fire ants more than climate change.

    Still, it’s just a matter of time (if not already) before there’s an article about how climate change will push fire ants northward and push to extinction any number of insect and animal species the fire ants prey on…

  42. David Smith
    Posted Apr 22, 2007 at 7:52 PM | Permalink

    Re #41

    Fire Ants and Global Warming

    The ants are projected to march towards Chicago at the rate of 600 meters (give or take 600 meters) a year.

    Ken, I figure you’ve got only another 900 years, more or less, to enjoy ant-free summers in your backyard.


  43. Jim Clarke
    Posted Apr 22, 2007 at 8:56 PM | Permalink


    Re #35…They do not censor their own name calling so, yes, it is unfair to censor the name calling by others. Both should be censored if we are really discussing science!

  44. David Smith
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 5:30 AM | Permalink

    Part of the Global Warming Brain Trust is developing solutions to reduce society’s carbon footprint.

    They suggest limiting toilet paper use to one square per sitting, except in personal emergencies.

    I guess they’re saving a proposal on flush limits until their Science Magazine paper is published.

  45. Jeff Norman
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 6:06 AM | Permalink


    Not if they are given a boost. The eco-terrorist theme proposed by Crichton would have people assisting the march northward to support the spread and acceptance of their message.

  46. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 6:31 AM | Permalink


    I agree with Crichton’s point of view. The worst part of AGW is that it actually distracts us from real environmental problems, that affect us today, not 100 years in a hypothetical future. By having everyone focus their attention on an invisible, harmless, and vital gas such as CO2, one forgets that smog and other nasties are a much more urgent problem in developing countries, not to mention a host of chemicals.

    Personally, I care about the Earth, but, call me selfish, I care about humans first. Billions of people on this Earth live in misery, not because of GHG’s, but because they’re hostages to political regimes and economic forces out of their control. Millions are caught in the middle of wars that kill their children needlessly. Yet we hardly talk about them, and about the solutions to improve their condition. We’re willing to sacrifice 20% of GDP to avoid warming by a couple of degrees, but don’t raise the price of coffee beans to ensure decent living for peasants in Columbia, and keep buying nice looking bananas treated with pesticides that kill agro-workers in Nicaragua.

  47. JP
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 6:50 AM | Permalink

    That gives the artic polar bears only another 3200 years before the fire ants will threaten them.

  48. JP
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 6:57 AM | Permalink


    You are correct. Here are some real problems that the UN could work on

    1)Clean drinking water for developing nations
    2)Deforestation of the tropical rain forests (now being accelerated as Indonesia and Brazil rush to provide ethanol products to market
    4)ALGORE’s energy consumption

  49. Andrey Levin
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 9:05 AM | Permalink


    National Energy Policy Act of 1992, which took effect in 1994 for residential and in 1997 for commercial customers, sets upper limit for single flush of toilet tanks to 1.6 gallons. All toilet tanks produced and sold in US should comply with the standard.

    The aim of legislation was to conserve energy and reduce water usage. In fact, it was mainly adopted to avoid extremely costly upgrades of municipal water supply systems nationwide.

    Also, government standards are set for many things we use, like efficiency standards for freezers, air conditioners, cars, houses, etc. Nothing really wrong about it per se, except for really nut cases as toilet paper usage you mentioned.

  50. kchua
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

    The following is a devastating critique on Al Gore and his movie.

    This is a statement by Fred Singer on the “Revelle-Gore Story”

  51. James Erlandson
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    Reconstructions of climate over recent millennia: problems and prospects (abstract)
    R.S. Bradley
    Hans Oeschger Medal Lecture
    EGU General Assembly 2007

  52. kchua
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 11:13 AM | Permalink


    Sorry, the links were messed up.

    The earlier link is to article on Al Gore’s movie.

    This one is to the Revelle – Gore Story

  53. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 1:46 PM | Permalink


    Gad, I hate fire ants. Having moved to TX 9 years ago, the pesky little buggers just drive me insane. The especially love my flower beds, and I have to be extra careful when I go to pull weeds, since I am usually barefoot or in sandals. Funny thing is, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in there barefoot and not gotten a single bite, yet walk into the yard and stand there for 30 seconds, only to see a small army of them attacking my toes, yet no mound is in the yard anywhere.

    Two years ago, I started use Over and Out, a once a year treatment for fire ants. This has done remarkably well with eliminating mounds in the yard. The first year, I only had one and it was in the flower bed (got it with some Spectracide). Last year, late in the year, I had two or three along my fence line, which I also treated locally with Spectracide. Within hours, the mounds are dead. Just treated a new mound this year near one of my tree wells, but haven’t put down the Over and Out yet so that’s to be expected, as have only had two mounds so far this year.

    OTOH, at least the ants are outside. I’ve killed at least 25 scorpions in my house, as well as two black widows. Scorpions are nearly impossible to treat for, and best method is to make sure there’s nothing close to the house for them to hide under. Unfortunately, my house backs up to a treed common area and there are lots of them lurking under the rocks and leaves.

  54. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

    Can anyone verify what I saw on one of the USA channels last weekend while visiting. The person said that a Discovery Channel program showed a Polar Bear that had to swim about 60 miles because of the lack of ice, then dug a hole to die in. My understanding is that they dig a hole to hibernate and give birth to young.

  55. Mark T.
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

    When I lived in FL, we often joked that you don’t really “kill” fire ants, you merely chase them to your neighbor’s yard. He then has the option to attempt a “kill,” thereby chasing them back to your yard, or let them live on undisturbed. Fire ants are a pain because they send out chemical signals to attack simultaneously. You won’t know you’ve been attacked till they all chomp down at the same time (I probably got about 100 bites last time I stepped on a mound). No such problems here in CO, thankfully.

    In 3200 years, I’ll feel sorry for the polar bears.


  56. StuartR
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

    I fully agree with the refreshing tendency of this site to detach political sentiment from science, although rather disturbingly I would say I have lefty sentiments.

    I would say, to paraphrase Tony Blair, that the important educational point that we should all understand is:

    “Causlity, causality, causality”

    As a fervervent layman, I still will lay claim to have said about the disturbing PR side of this issue (not political), refering to the Oreskes report:

    Benny Peiser wasn’t being drawn into a debate about “my consensus is bigger than yours”, he was just using the terms of the proposer of the point to show how useless and flawed it is.

    A bit like Steve McIntyre isn’t claiming to predict the past history of the worlds temperature better than Michael Mann (RealClimate), but rather showing that his whole statistical approach was flawed and skewed.

    I don’t have a problem with this, as it an application of the “emperors new clothes” approach. It may not make understanding the climate better, but it sure as hell helps the understanding about who is posturing about it.”

  57. EW
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 4:25 PM | Permalink


    a Polar Bear that had to swim about 60 miles because of the lack of ice, then dug a hole to die in.

    So much effort for just dying? Sorry, but I’m starting to be very, very cynical about such sob stories.
    Anyway, taking into account the temperatures during Medieval WP and the warm period in Roman time, how come that the polar bears are still with us?

  58. James Erlandson
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    Re 54: From USA TODAY, For ‘Planet Earth,’ filming proves to be a wild ride

    An Arctic polar bear is seen swimming more than 60 miles and later, exhausted, attacking a walrus herd.

  59. nanny_govt_sucks
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 5:14 PM | Permalink

    I’m trying to figure out just how one might identifiy an “exhausted” polar bear from a set of polar bears in various states. Were beads of sweat streaming down the polar bear’s face? Was he grasping for a Gatorade? Was he barely able to speak?

  60. Mark T.
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

    Anyway, taking into account the temperatures during Medieval WP and the warm period in Roman time, how come that the polar bears are still with us?

    Not only are they still with us, it turns out they’re actually increasing in number, contrary to “dying out” scares we often hear about in the media.


  61. Follow the Money
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 6:15 PM | Permalink

    “An Arctic polar bear is seen swimming more than 60 miles and later, exhausted, attacking a walrus herd.”

    Probably was worth the swim. Better than chasing some frisky seal nearby.

    The “exhausted polar bear” motif predated Gore, but he did much to popularize it with his cute polar bear cartoon in “An Inconvenient Truth.”

  62. John Lang
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

    I saw the documentary on the polar bears who swim out to an island off the coast where the walruses birth their young and breed.

    It was amazing. Truly, a hungry bear walks into a herd of 40 male walruses (after much soul-searching because the male walruses outweigh the bears 4 to 1 and have huge bear-killing tusks). Then the bear attacks one of the smaller ones, the bigger walruses come to its rescue; the bear fights them off, the bigger walruses give up, and the bear has one of the biggest meals possible (short of a whale).

    The bears know exactly what they are doing swimming out to the island. Three of them did so (while the scared s”’less, naturalist film-makers are trying to decide what to do if one of the the bears decides to attack them instead of the walruses).

    So what did the polar bears do during the ice ages? I’m sure they moved south to the Oregon and New York coasts where the glacial ice shelves were smaller.

  63. Follow the Money
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 7:20 PM | Permalink

    From youtube

    This is the best video I’ve seen debunking Gore’s/IPCC’s graphs’n’stuff

    Good for students too.

  64. Gary
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 7:34 PM | Permalink

    Polar Bears drink Coca-Cola, not Gatorade.

  65. Kevin
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

    As you note, Steve, readers of your blog are aware of Phil Jones’ refusal to release data fairly important to the case being made for AGW, the consistent failure of climatologists to archive data in a timely fashion or sometimes at all, the inconsistencies of their premises and practice of their stated standards.

    I don’t think this is a well publicized story, and I think it would serve the interest of your auditing project if it were. Jones’ views in particular are scandalous for a scientist doing global public policy work to hold; it requires no expertise in climatology or statistics [fortunate for me] to understand why a scientist refusing to release data used for public policy research is problematic. I can’t really speak to the best method for making your experience more well known, but regardless of one’s political orientation or position on AGW, there is so much fascinating material on your blog, I can’t help but think you’d have a great book and that the publicity would be fantastic for bringing the interests of people like Jones in line with making their data public. It simply cannot be more obvious that Jones’ obstructionism is best served by being kept quiet and beneath the radar of public awareness.

  66. Carl Smith
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 8:00 PM | Permalink

    #59, 64:
    In Australia, polar bears drink Bundaberg Rum:

  67. James Erlandson
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 9:22 PM | Permalink

    Re: “Polar bears” + “60 miles”
    Searching on the two terms (using the quotes) returns thousands of hits. Enough to make one curious about the source(s). Are there thousands of naturalists and documentary researchers in kayaks and helicopters tracking swimming bears? Do all polar bears swim 60 miles? Why 60 miles? Is that some physiological limit or the average. Inquiring minds want to know.

    According to Wikipedia, a Ramsey and Stirling paper (Ramsey, M., I. Stirling. 1988. Reproductive biology and ecology of female polar bears (*Ursus maritimus*). Journal of Zoology, 214: 601-634) stated that “Polar bears are excellent swimmers and have been seen in open Arctic waters as far as 60 miles from land” which is not the same as “They’ve been tracked swimming continuously for 100 km (62 mi)” as Sea World claims or “researchers were startled to find bears having to swim up to 60 miles across open sea to find food.” as The Sunday Times wrote in 2005.
    And one shouldn’t forget that while 60 miles has a scientifically precise sound to it, the real measurement was a nice round 100 km. I can imagine Stirling asking Ramsey, “How far away do you think the ice is this year?” To which Ramsey responds, “Oh, I dunno. Maybe a hunnert kilometers?”

    So the bottom line is that Polar Bears spend lots of time in the water. They can swim long distances with 60 miles not at all unusual. And as any scientist worth his grant application would say, “Before we come to any strong conclusions about how far Polar Bears can swim, more research is needed.”

  68. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Apr 23, 2007 at 9:32 PM | Permalink

    Thanks everyone for the help on Polar Bears. Sounds like there are too many amateur warmers assessing the bears. I think they did well without our help and can do without our interference. We have put settlements in their natural paths as in Churchill on the Hudson Bay coast.

  69. TonyN
    Posted Apr 24, 2007 at 3:47 AM | Permalink


    Does this sound like one of the stars of the Hocky Team going into damage limitation mode?

    Everything seems to be wrong with temperature reconstructions other than the way in which the data is analysed and presented. And wouldn’t it be so much better to move on to reconstructions of something really difficult to quantify and compare, like “extreme events”.

    I found it hard to believe my eyes when I saw this.

  70. Posted Apr 24, 2007 at 4:24 AM | Permalink

    #51 That was presented at an interesting meeting :

    Tuesday, 17 April 2007
    Oral Programme – CL28 Climate of the last millennium: reconstructions, analyses and explanation of regional and seasonal changes (including Hans Oeschger Medal Lecture)
    Convener: Jones, P.
    Co-Convener: Mann, M., Jouzel, J., Dullo, W.

    10:30 – 11:15

    Bradley, R.S.
    Reconstructions of climate over recent millennia: problems and prospects (Hans Oeschger Medal Lecture) (solicited)

    11:15 – 11:30

    Juckes, M; Allen, M; Briffa, K; Esper, J; Hegerl, G; Moberg, A; Osborn, T; Weber, S; Zorita, E
    Millennial temperature reconstruction intercomparison and evaluation

    Too bad I missed that one.

  71. trevor
    Posted Apr 24, 2007 at 5:28 AM | Permalink

    Re: #70:

    11:15 – 11:30

    Juckes, M; Allen, M; Briffa, K; Esper, J; Hegerl, G; Moberg, A; Osborn, T; Weber, S; Zorita, E
    Millennial temperature reconstruction intercomparison and evaluation

    That looks very similar to the paper that is still under peer review at CoPD, and if I recall correctly, attracted some rather focussed criticism that so far as I can see, has not entirely been addressed yet. Has it passed ‘peer review’ and been published. If so, it would appear that the noble and lofty aims of CoPD have been compromised already in favour of the team. ….But maybe I have it all wrong.

    Guidance from dendrochronologists appreciated.

  72. Posted Apr 24, 2007 at 6:01 AM | Permalink


    In the first stage, papers that pass a rapid access-review by one of the editors are immediately published on the Climate of the Past Discussions (CPD) website. They are then subject to interactive public discussion, during which the referee’s comments (anonymous or attributed), additional short comments by other members of the scientific community (attributed) and the author’s replies are also published in CPD. In the second stage, the peer-review process is completed and, if accepted, the final revised papers are published in CP. To ensure publication precedence for authors, and to provide a lasting record of scientific discussion, CPD and CP are both ISSN-registered, permanently archived and fully citable.

    Juckes et al is not yet accepted to CP (and it will remain in CPD if rejected). But I think that after some minor cosmetic changes, it will be accepted..

  73. James Erlandson
    Posted Apr 24, 2007 at 6:40 AM | Permalink

    Today’s OpinionJournal has a review of Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

    We eagerly romp with him through the follies of confirmation bias (our tendency to reaffirm our beliefs rather than contradict them), narrative fallacy (our weakness for compelling stories), silent evidence (our failure to account for what we don’t see), ludic fallacy (our willingness to oversimplify and take games or models too seriously), and epistemic arrogance (our habit of overestimating our knowledge and underestimating our ignorance).

    For anyone who has been compelled to give a long-term vision or read a marketing forecast for the next decade, Mr. Taleb’s chapter excoriating “The Scandal of Prediction” will ring painfully true. “What is surprising is not the magnitude of our forecast errors,” observes Mr. Taleb, “but our absence of awareness of it.” We tend to fail–miserably–at predicting the future, but such failure is little noted nor long remembered. It seems to be of remarkably little professional consequence.

    This explains why a man standing in front of a melting glacier is such a compelling argument.

  74. bernie
    Posted Apr 24, 2007 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    Did anyone attend the EGU General Assembly 2007? From the abstracts Bradley seemed to be highly circumspect, while Juckes et al seem to have restated their original position. Am I reading their relative positions correctly?

  75. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Apr 24, 2007 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

    RE: #44 – As a veteran of short term overseas work assignments in places without sufficient toilet paper, all I can say is, I would challenge anyone promoting an anti-TP agenda to go and get themselves some “hands on” experience in someplace like rural China ….. 🙂

  76. Mark T.
    Posted Apr 24, 2007 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    BTW, Colorado is experiencing yet another bleezard. Evergreen, a town west of Denver (uh, a suburb of sorts) has already seen 16″ of the fluffy stuff. Well, the ground is warm enough that there’s no fluff involved, just slush. I’ve probably gotten 4-5″ of slush at the office today but there’s nothing on the ground since it’s melting as fast as it comes down.

    I don’t care either way as a) I’m trading in my Cherokee for a new Xterra tomorrow so bad weather won’t be an issue and b) my model railroad layout kit should be at home any time now so I won’t need to leave the house for a while. Oh, wait, that’s “John’s model…” since the kit is for my son’s train set. Hehe… 🙂


  77. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Apr 24, 2007 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    Developing nations would be exempt 🙂

  78. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 24, 2007 at 3:55 PM | Permalink

    Sealing vessels trapped in ice offshore Newfoundland were on the front pages of a Toronto paper http://www.thestar.com/photoGallery/204977 . Global warming was not blamed for this.

  79. DaleC
    Posted Apr 24, 2007 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

    To UC,

    I notice you have raised your concerns about moving averages again at comment #16 of

    NAS: Assuring the Integrity of Research Data

    Could I request a response to my comments and examples at
    Dunde: Will the Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up

    comments #32, 34 and 37?

    This is a subject dear to my heart, so any insights would be much appreciated.


  80. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Apr 24, 2007 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    #78 Steve,

    A polar bear is caught swimming for 60 miles in the open ocean, and that’s because of global warming. Doesn’t matter that the bear had enough energy left to kill a seal afterwards, so it’s probably not un uncommon feat. Many animals are really good swimmers, moose regularly swim across the St-Lawrence in Quebec city in the spring, chased by other males, and end up in the middle of the city. Not a 60 mile swim, but the current is really strong.

    But vessels get caught in the ice in the middle of April, and that’s just, well, bad weather I guess.

    BTW, Steve, have you followed the debate on “framing science”? It’d be interesting to hear what you have to say about this.

  81. Jim Clarke
    Posted Apr 24, 2007 at 9:09 PM | Permalink

    Re. #73

    This is why the biggest group of consensus skeptics among atmospheric scientists resides in the meteorological forecasting community. The consensus prefers to think of this group as being ignorant of the science. The reality is that this group knows the fallacy of putting too much faith in a model of a non-linear, complex chaotic system and denying the power and unpredictablitly of nature.

    The research community that develops the climate and forecasting models has never paid the consequences for when the models fail, that is until now. As we enter the upcoming period of global cooling, the backlash against the research community may get ugly!

  82. Gaudenz Mischol
    Posted Apr 24, 2007 at 11:43 PM | Permalink

    Dear Jim Clarke

    I read your post over at Prometheus, where you explain, why we are going into a period of cooling. I think it would be interesting for many readers here to see your explanation. Would you mind posting it?


  83. Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 3:50 AM | Permalink


    I’ll try to take a closer look when I have more time (needless to say, I’m very interested of these issues as well), shortly:

    You want to remove some part of the data (annual oscillation in this case) to further analyze the data. That’s ok, you decided to use N=365 MA filter, which removes annual oscillation. But note that it removes other frequencies as well, 2 X annual 4 X annual etc. It is possible to design a filter that preserves those frequencies (e.g. notch filter). As you have selected the filter length beforehand (before looking at the data, remember 😉 ), and you can describe why you chose that kind of filter, my concern about freely-selectable-MAs does not apply.

    Note that if you have a model for signal and noise (statistical or frequency domain description), the filtering problem is quite trivial to solve (should I say, it is well-posed problem).

    Climate-people -case seems to be that they take a very short observation record, they fit a model that is in agreement with their view, and then use that model to filter the ‘noise’ out. In this case my concern about freely-selectable-MAs apply. MannGRL04 is a terrifying example.

    The optimal nature of the smoothing of the instrumental NH temperature used by Mann and Jones [2003] is thus shown to be robust.

    Applications of our approach to the NH annual mean temperature series demonstrates that an optimal 40 year smooth approaches the early 21st century boundary with a constant slope, suggestive of non-stationary behavior in the mean and a persistent positive trend late in the series.

  84. Sombonivagh Jalapenat
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 4:14 AM | Permalink

    The Sun is heating up

  85. Reference
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 7:07 AM | Permalink

    Some comments yesterday on the NASA Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) science briefing – a new satellite due to be launched today.

    AIM will study translucent water ice clouds that form at 80 kms altitude in the coldest part of the atmosphere at the poles. These dynamic clouds first reported after the Krakatoa eruption in 1883 have since become brighter, occur more often and are appearing at lower latitudes. Their variability correlates with the solar cycle (time lagged). One explanation for these changes is that the higher level of atmospheric CO2 is causing cooling of the Mesosphere.

  86. JimP
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 7:31 AM | Permalink

    RE: 78 The odd thing about this story is that the local fishermen (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/04/19/wseal119.xml) say the ice is the worst it has been in 20 years. However, Cryosphere Today (http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.4.html) shows that the ice extent is still below normal in the Baffin Bay area.

  87. MarkW
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 7:55 AM | Permalink


    Both statements could well be true.

    Coverage only concerns how many square miles of ice can be seen. It says nothing about how thick the ice is.
    I would think that fisherman would be as concerned about thickness as coverage, maybe even more.

    Having thickness increase while coverage decreases, implies that winds are causing the ice to pile up against the shore.

  88. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    RE: #81 – It will be particularly bad because the masses have now been conditioned to expect “death by AGW” – tropical dieseases, all climate zones shifting north, coastal innundation, etc. They are really going to be, as the Tool song alluded – dumbfounded ___________ – not if but when the next major cool off sweeps the globe. Death for sure, but due to totally different factors.

  89. Mark T.
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    Woohoo! 6-8″ of heavy, wet snow in my yard after the storm yesterday. Nothing here on the west side of town as it all melted as fast as it came down (I work pretty close to the front range, but live in the plains on the east side). Wow. It was a weird storm.


  90. bernie
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

    There was a posting yesterday of an article in the uncritically pro-AGW Independent that summarized some existing findings – some of which have been explored here. One story that fits the earlier discussion on “framing science” is the apparent emergence of an island off the NE coast of Greenland – Warming Island (sic!). It would be useful to understand the basic facts behind the melting of the ice sheet that previously made this island look like a peninsula. This is potentially a more compelling metaphor than the endangered polar bears who ase population is expanding fairly rapidly by all accounts. Does anyone have any additional information? I have looked at the glacier quake stories, mentioned in the article, and that data is very problematic – because the additional frequency was highly localized in among the glaciers of NW Greenland rather than across the entire island – but that is another story.

  91. C_G_K
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    Re: 81

    I’m sure they will just blame those pesky aerosols again when things start to cool down.

  92. fFreddy
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 12:11 PM | Permalink

    Re #90, bernie
    A quick Google leads to this page. I see that in 1985, the island was by the sea. There is not really an awful lot of melting.

  93. Jeff Norman
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

    Re #92, Bernie & fFreddy,

    I also note that the 1985 picture was from November whilst the 2002 & 2005 pictures are from April.

    My eyes may deceive but is it possible that the SL is higher in 2002/2005 verus 1985? If yes than that could contribute to enhanced erosion of the narrow ic bridge. NAO?

  94. MarkW
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 1:55 PM | Permalink


    More likely they will blame the shutting down of the Gulf Stream and resulting huge hurricanes for any cool down.

    After all, didn’t “The Day after Tomorrow” PROVE that global warming will cause the next ice age?

    (Of course recent science has shown that the Gulf Stream has a barely measureable affect on European climate, and none on N. American climate.)

    Seattle is about the same latitude as London. Seattle has about the same climate as London. There is no equivalent to the Gulf Stream affecting Seattle.

  95. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    Actually there looks to be a bit more ice in the 2005 shot than in 2002 except for the tiny open space which is being claimed to have created a new island.

  96. Chas
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

    Re #79 Dale,there is a bit of a discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of different smoothing methods in W.J.Burroughs book “Weather cycles, real or imaginary?”(1992). He points out that a moving average will not only completely flatten the higher harmonics of the annual cycle (if the averaging is one year long) but also has peculiar effects on other shorter time periods too ; an eight month cycle (if it happened to exist) will be let through partly and inverted. He suggests that a binomial filter has fewer vices. This, I believe, can be done in Excel by doing a two point moving average of the raw data and then doing another two point average of that average ,this can process can be repeated until the desired level of smoothing is acheived.- I use this when I mess about and it is has quite a pleasing effect.

    I see that there is now a second edition of Burroughs’ book -I would be very interested to hear if anyone has read both versions and wether the second is much changed from the first?

  97. bernie
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

    Many thanks for the satellite pictures. For those of you familiar with satellite imagery, how big of a change has there been in the quality since 1985. The 1985 image is difficult for me to decipher – Can you tell the difference between snow cover and ice. Also how do you measure the thickness of the ice optically? Are there likely to be shots of the same area between 1985 and 2002?

  98. bernie
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    I think you are confusing US and British dating sequences. 1985 is Aug 11, 2002 is Sept 5 and 2005 is Sept 4 – so they are all in the same general time of year window. I would like to see a broader view that show that the glaciers in this area are in an accelerated retreat rather than some long term retreat. For that we would need, at a minimum, year of year pictures of the same spot.

    Also to avoid local anomalies, a broader view of the area would be helpful.

  99. Mark T.
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    This, I believe, can be done in Excel by doing a two point moving average of the raw data and then doing another two point average of that average

    That’s the same effect as doing a filter with impulse response of [1 2 1]. As a general case, successive filters have a response that is a convolution of the original responses (which may be more than two) if there is no decimation in between filters. So two two-point, unweighted MA filters would be [1 1] convolved with [1 1]. There’s also a 12 dB power gain at DC, btw (4x amplitude).

    The biggest problem with filtering natural data as this is that you “spread” the energy from each data point across others. In a comm system, it is known as ISI, though I’m sure if one was clever enough he could invent another name in this case (since there are no “symbols” in the data). There’s also an issue of lag, which deserves its own attention.


  100. Mark T.
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 2:47 PM | Permalink

    Oh, I should point out that repeatedly convolving MA filters will eventually produce a Gaussian response. This is an analog to the central limit theorem.


  101. James Erlandson
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

    Since “audit” is a word used frequently around here, some readers may be interested to learn how an audit is performed at some well known data gathering/reporting organizations.

    For the preaudit, the MRC hires certified public accountants, usually from Ernst & Young, to check processes, documentation and disclosure, and makes suggestions for improvements. In a full audit, CPAs assess and test the samples used, the devices to collect data (software in the case of the online companies … ) and the data being recorded.

    … the companies being audited pay for the cost of auditing.

    Take a peek at this article to see what important scientific organizations are involved here. Hint: It has nothing to do with tree rings, polar bears or hurricanes.

  102. Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 3:59 PM | Permalink

    don’t drop the cards.


  103. trevor
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    Re: #101:

    And from personal experience of building a financial model for a Feasibility Study for a US$400m project, we engaged an independent specialist firm – Mercer – to undertake a detailed audit and check of the model’s integrity. It was a substantial mandate and took two weeks to complete.

    I agree that it is standard practice in finance or engineering to engage independent experts to carry out detailed verification work. Why not in climate science where the economic impact of the ‘recommendations’ arising from the work will have much more substantial impact on economies around the world.

  104. James Erlandson
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    From The Atlantic Online
    Global Warming: Who Loses’€”and Who Wins?
    Climate change in the next century (and beyond) could be enormously disruptive, spreading disease and sparking wars. It could also be a windfall for some people, businesses, and nations. A guide to how we all might get along in a warming world

  105. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    RE: #104 – Even though, in the past, it has been global cooling which has tended to bring out the worst in Man.

  106. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 7:47 PM | Permalink

    Andrew Jack doesn’t know jack about mosquitos or the pathogens they carry:


    My main experience and knowledge is with the mosquito borne pathogens common West of the Rockies – Encephelitis and West Nile Virus. Neither of these have much if anything to do with climate or weather, other than the fact that more people are bitten and infected during the warmer months since they are more likely to both be outside and wearing shorts and t-shirts during such times.

    Even correlation with rainfall is suspect. Higher rainfall certainly means more standing water away from streams but it also means higher stream flows and fewer pools in streams. During the yearly dry, more pools in streams and less standing water elsewhere.

    As for Malaria, it used to be endemic in much of the mid latitudes. What eliminated it was mosquito eradication. Malaria case on Corsica as evidence of global warming? Even this article makes it clear that the transmission was from someone who had been to Madagascar (a known Malaria hot spot). Yet another example of all AGW all the time at FT.

    (s)No conflict of interest here, vis a vis the City based carbon trading Ponzi scheme. (/s)

  107. bender
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 8:25 PM | Permalink

    In cool environments where temperature is a limiting factor, warmer temperatures will cause a larger number of generations of mosquitoes to complete their development each year. This will cause higher peak population densities, all other factors (availability of suitable breeding habitat, availability of bloodmeals, predation, etc.) being equal (always a questionable assumption). Vectoring of disease is another issue entirely. Jack may know jack, but there has been lots written on this subject in the primary literature.

  108. Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 9:18 PM | Permalink


    So two two-point, unweighted MA filters would be [1 1] convolved with [1 1]. There’s also a 12 dB power gain at DC, btw (4x amplitude).

    And you’ll get rid of the DC gain by convolving [0.5 0.5] with [0.5 0.5], [1/4 1/2 1/4] etc.

    for i=1:20, c(i)=nchoosek(20,i);end ; c=c/sum( c)

    Better than equal-weight MA as when the frequency response drops, it doesn’t come back.

    That weather cycles book looks very interesting, Amazon suggests to buy it rogether with Hoyt’s Role of the Sun in Climate Change.

  109. David Smith
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 9:20 PM | Permalink

    Here’s an interesting link, worth a browse:

    Threadex climate station threads

    It gives a view of US climate station relocations over the years.

  110. Mark T.
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

    And you’ll get rid of the DC gain by convolving [0.5 0.5] with [0.5 0.5], [1/4 1/2 1/4] etc.

    Oh, I realize that, though I suppose not everyone else might.

    for i=1:20, c(i)=nchoosek(20,i);end ; c=c/sum( c)

    Better than equal-weight MA as when the frequency response drops, it doesn’t come back.

    I assume you mean flat response in the stop-band with the last statement?

    I suppose it all depends upon what you’re trying to accomplish in the end.


  111. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 10:55 PM | Permalink

    Well, no big surprise here
    The FT investigation found:

    Widespread instances of people and organisations buying worthless credits that do not yield any reductions in carbon emissions.

    Industrial companies profiting from doing very little ‘€” or from gaining carbon credits on the basis of efficiency gains from which they have already benefited substantially.

    Brokers providing services of questionable or no value.

    A shortage of verification, making it difficult for buyers to assess the true value of carbon credits.

    Companies and individuals being charged over the odds for the private purchase of European Union carbon permits that have plummeted in value because they do not result in emissions cuts.

    And so on and so on…

  112. fFreddy
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 1:54 AM | Permalink

    Re #103,trevor

    And from personal experience of building a financial model for a Feasibility Study for a US$400m project, we engaged an independent specialist firm – Mercer – to undertake a detailed audit and check of the model’s integrity.

    Absolutely right. The same will be true of any significant structured financing: a condition precedent for first drawdown wil be that the financial model gets a clean audit report.
    As a result, an experienced modeller goes out of his way to make the model easy for the auditor to read, and to ensure that it is well documented, with all linkages to external sources of data clearly laid out. It is the only sensible way to make the model audit a quick and painless process.

  113. fFreddy
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 2:01 AM | Permalink

    Re #97, bernie

    Can you tell the difference between snow cover and ice.

    A very good question. On the 1985 picture, the area south/east of the island clearly has lots of little bits of floating ice. If there is a current flowing from the top left of the picture, I could well believe that the apparently solid ice in the north/east area is just thin floating ice that has been caught up in a bottleneck, which could potentially disappear if tomorrow is a sunny day.
    I’d like to see daily pictures of the same area for a week either side of these pictures.

  114. MarkW
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 5:10 AM | Permalink

    Increases in malaria cases in recent years have much more to do with the banning of DDT, than they do with any increases in temperature.

    I’ve read that back in the 1800’s they had problems with malaria in New York.

  115. JP
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 6:55 AM | Permalink

    Most AGW proponents tie economic growth and its attendent activites to the rise in 20th Century surface temperatures. They point to the steady increases in GHG since 1850. Electrical turbines powered by oil and coal, the huge increase in automobiles, as well as the changing of the earth’s landcape brought on most of the temperature changes they claim. They also claim that if one adds the rapid increase in population (doubled since 1940), and that most of this increase has occured in now developed nations and thier industrial activites, it is fairly obvious why the glaciers are melting, winters have warmed, etc… The 20th Century if anything was a time of intense economic improvement for much of the world.

    Everyone at the IPCC thinks this trend will continue indefinitely. Looking at current demographic trends, I beg to differ. I’m surprised no one at the IPCC even mentioned a disturbing trend in developed nations fertility rates, and what that might mean for our climate (assuming that GHG are the driving parameter in our Climate). Spain, Russia, Greece, Italy, France, Great Britain, not to mention the Baltic States all have fertility rates below 1.5 children per couple. Japan’s hovers around 1.1, Canada’s is about 1.7, China and India are also seeing an abrupt decrease in the rate of growth in thier fertility rates. Austrailia’s is about 1.8, and the US is about 2. Any nation that falls below 1.5 will see thier population halved every generation.

    This should be a huge concern, both from an economic as well as climate point of view. With less technicians, engineers, doctors, planners, scientists, not to mention consumers, the worldwide economy will definitely take a hit. With less economic activity, there will be less pollution -less CO2. If the demographers are correct, we should be hittiing our peak CO2 concentrations during the next 20 years at best. Even in the US, which is regarded as being the “worst polluter” as far as CO2 emissions, our relatively higher birthrate will not make us immune as we do much business abroad. Overall, our economic activity could be halved by the end of the century.

    As usual the UN is worrying about something that will probably never come to pass. If thier theories are correct, then CO2 concentrations should be less in 2100 than today, and we should be seeing a resultant cooling.

    It appears that close to a billion people will be checking out this century leaving no replacements. Most of those people will come from wealthy industrial nations. I’m surprised no economists or climate scientists are even curious.

  116. John Lang
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 7:01 AM | Permalink

    On the satellite pictures of the new island on Greenland noted in #90 and #92, the first picture was take on August 11th and the second two were taken on September 4th and 5th.

    The melt season peaks in early to mid-September in the Arctic and many places are still ice-bound in early-August. It looks like there is sea ice and snow in the area in August which melts back by September (only to start freezing back in October.)

    Typical misleading of the pro-AGW set.

  117. rhodeymark
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 8:56 AM | Permalink

    Uh-oh – it looks like “Mark” Durkin is in trouble with his anti-AGW film, particularly the volcanic CO2 output and the MWP claims. The story is hilarious in many respects, and the fact they couldn’t even get his name right betrays bias, perhaps?
    Yahoo! indeed

  118. bernie
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

    John (#116)
    To be definitive on this I think we need additional information. Is there a weather station nearby? I can’t seem to find a latitude and longitude for it except that it is 400 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

  119. Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 9:31 AM | Permalink


    Oh, I realize that, though I suppose not everyone else might.

    Hey, it was not intended to be a besserwisser- comment 😉

    I assume you mean flat response in the stop-band with the last statement?

    Yes, MA frequency response is annoying. A bit better with binomial , but what’s wrong with this

    I suppose it all depends upon what you’re trying to accomplish in the end.

    Very true, but I can’t find an example where moving average or binomial filter are optimal in some sense. Illustrative examples are welcome!

  120. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

    RE: #115 – With the minor exceptions of the Dark Ages (an issue local to Europe) and the Plague (a bit more widespread but still mostly focussed in Europe) there has never been a previous time where there was not general global market growth. It is a complete unknown. I am personally planning on there being many unexpected and negative side effects. One of the initial ones will be shifts in comparative advantage. For example, the comparative advantages of the Shanghai Cooperation Org will grow versus the 1st world. It’s southern member nations are better breeders than the West. It northern ones have resources and competitive technology. Etc.

    I would also wonder about other factors beyond population trends. The AGW fanatics place far too much stock in GHGs as climate drivers and overly discredit cosmic ray flux density, aerosols, dust, clouds and a number of other factors. Whilst they hype a very narrow scenario, others ones get passed over stupidly. We are simply not even thinking about, let alone creating contingency plans for, other scenarios besides “killer AGW.”

  121. Mark T.
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

    Hey, it was not intended to be a besserwisser- comment 😉

    No harm, I understood what you were getting at. I should’ve mentioned that tidbit in the first place since technically, an MA requires dividing by the number of points anyway.

    I’d say the best use of an MA (or an integrate and dump) would be with automatic gain control circuits, which is why I tend to get a lot of use out of them (I’ve done a lot of receiver front-end designs). In such cases, you often want a measure of average power present in a circuit, estimated with a simple sample variance, i.e. sum of the squares.

    This tiny back and forth actually reared its head in another area last night. I opened the newest IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing magazine (actually two parts this time) and noticed a couple papers in the 2nd part. The first was “Comment on ” and the 2nd was “Reply to ‘Comment on’…”. What I found interesting was that the first comment noted, rather politely, that the previous paper was incomplete, and they provided an counter-example of WHY it was so. The reply, by the original authors, was equally polite, acknowledging the incompleteness but noting that there was a reason for it, i.e., their original paper was constrained to some particular area and they didn’t want to go into detail for the full scenario. They then offered a further derivation that avoided incompleteness of the counter-example proof. In other words, the original authors said “yeah, we could have gone into that detail, and in the broader context it fails, but we knew there was a way around it and simply failed to mention it the first time.” No name calling, just professional back and forths to make sure the math was right and nobody was being misled.

    It seemed relevant to our general issues in here… I wish it worked the same way in all fields.


  122. Sidviscous
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    What was that about early Ice brakeup?

    Shifting ice frees dozens of vessels off Newfoundland


  123. trevor
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

    Re #115. You mention the lack of discussion regarding population growth and the impacts that might result from that.

    The other issue that doesn’t seem to be discussed is Precipitation, or lack of it. Precipitation has as much, or probably more, impact on glacier and icesheet advance/retreat than temperature.

    And I think in countries like Australia, currently suffering drought in much of the country, people are conflating temperature with precipitation. The issue is that the landscape has dried out, the rivers are not flowing, the dams are not being replenished. Is this part of a normal cycle? Or is something different this time?

    What is the relationship of temperature to precipitation? What causes droughts?

    I could be missing something, but issues relating to precipitation seem to be much more important than temperature changes of 0.6 deg C (I am not buying Phil Jones’s continual efforts to produce more alarming temperature changes) over the course of a century. Is there research on that issue? Do we know how man’s activities are affecting precipitation? If there is an impact, it is probably much more to do with land-use practices than CO2 emissions.

  124. cbone
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

    Excellent entry on Roger Pilke Sr.’s blog on the IPCC consensus nonsense:

  125. bernie
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

    Back to Greenland, disappearing glaciers and reappearing islands. Not being that savvy on the geography of Greenland I went looking for a weather station on the East Coast of Greenland at the highest possible latitude. One I came across was Danmarkshavn – I am still not sure how close it is to Warming Island since I can’t find the latitude and longitude of this new piece of real estate. This then triggered a search for historical climate data for Danmarkshavn on the assumption that retreating glaciers should be associated with increasing temperatures.
    I went to John Daly’s site for Danmarkshaven. It showed only the slightest of warming trends. Then I found the following lead paragraph in a Los Alamos Newsletter :

    The Danmarkshavn weather station lies on the northeastern coast of Greenland.
    Sitting on a mile thick sheet of inland ice, Danmarkshavn was recently instrumental
    in helping scientists at the Laboratory and the Institute for Atmospheric and
    Climate Science in Zurich, Switzerland discover that the rate of temperature increase
    due to global warming along Greenland’s northeastern shore is more than twice that
    of the global average. The discovery could help climatologists better understand the
    mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The melting of Greenland’s Ice Sheet would
    result in a significant global rise in sea levels.

    Needless to say I thought, perhaps John Daly’s data is mis-charted. The newsleter article by Todd Hanson was pretty definitive: OK looks like we have a clear physical indicator of NH warming with possible real world consequences to sea levels, etc.
    Being a skeptic, I thought I would check the primary LANL source, Petr Chylek. I then found his very interesting paper I have yet to read it thoroughly but I found this amazing quote at thin the conclusion:

    The Greenland surface air temperature trends over the past 50 years do not show
    persistent warming, in contrast to global average surface air temperatures. The
    Greenland coastal stations temperature trends over the second half of the past
    century generally exhibit a cooling tendency with superimposed decadal scale oscillations
    related to the NAO. At the Greenland ice sheet summit, the temperature
    record shows a decrease in the summer average temperature at the rate of about
    2.2 ‘—¦C/decade, suggesting that the Greenland ice sheet at high elevations does not
    follow the global warming trend either.

    Something really amazing must have occurred in the time between this article and the newsletter!!!

    In any event, I would welcome more sets of eyes on this little issue: Warming Island may not be what it seems to be.

  126. Bob Koss
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 12:11 AM | Permalink

    For those that are interested. Here’s a just released report from the CBO on the effects of a US cap and trade program. PDF
    Nothing good about cap and trade to be found, so I don’t expect the media will give it much play.

  127. Gaudenz Mischol
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 2:00 AM | Permalink


    very interesting, especially if you look at the date of publishing of the article (2004) and the date of the Los Alamos Newsletter (09/26/05)!

  128. TAC
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 2:36 AM | Permalink

    #125, interesting indeed. Has anyone found a way to reconcile the cooling trends in Greenland’s instrument records with the general perception of warming? I searched the web for some kind of rebuttal to Chylek’s findings — some explanation for how Greenland has been cooling in recent decades — and came up with almost nothing. One admitted non-specialist suggested (here)

    If there is general warming, we expect more precipitation. In some places this will lead to more accumulation than is balanced by ablation due to higher temperatures. In such regions, glaciers will advance (and the regions near the glaciers will cool).

    Could that possibly make sense?

  129. Gaudenz Mischol
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 3:10 AM | Permalink

    The Chilling Stars by Nigel Calder and Henrik Svensmark

    there is an interesting explanation for what is going on in the artic and antarctic. So far we see a warming in the arctic and a cooling in the antarctic in this book. The explanation is as follows according to GCR-cloud-theory:

    when there are (more) clouds (with increased GCR), over big ice shields as antartic and greenland, this will lead to warmig, whereas in the other areas it leads to cooling. When there are less clouds, this will lead to cooling over big ice shields because of high albedo.

    This theory sounds very interesting and is at least an explanation for what we see at moment and for which the Greenhouse-theory has no real explanation (besides the saying that it takes longer for the warming to appear in antarctica)

  130. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 3:11 AM | Permalink

    Re #125, an oddity …

    The first quote says:

    The Danmarkshavn weather station lies on the northeastern coast of Greenland. Sitting on a mile thick sheet of inland ice, Danmarkshavn …

    In fact, the weather station is at 76.767N, 18.667W, and is right on the coast. The elevation of the station is 12.0 metres. No way it’s sitting on a mile thick sheet of inland ice.


  131. Gaudenz Mischol
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 3:14 AM | Permalink

    To clarify my recent post:
    when I mention the cooling of Greenland I mean the interior of Greenland, where a cooling of -2.2°C/decade is measured, as reported by P. Chylek

  132. JP
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 6:13 AM | Permalink


    Trevor, I think most of the assumptions about climate change involve changes in surface temps. Precipitation patterns are dependent on temperature changes. There is still much we don’t know about how different teleconnections affect long term temperature and precip patterns. The discovering and study of the NAO, PDO, ENSO are fairly recent, and as far as I know no one scientist outside of RealClimate claims to have all of the answers.

    The point of my post was to assume that everything the IPCC claims is true. All of their predictions concerning temperature increases is based upon continued industrial and economic trends of the top industrial nations of the world (China, India, Japan, Europe, and North America). Yet, the demographics of all of these nations cannot support these assumptions. For all of thier consensus building, someone at the IPCC never got around asking a demographer what the populations trends will be for the next 30-70 years. For sustained economic growth on a global scale you need people -especially skilled young people. How the industrail nations will cope with this is anyones guess, but I imaagine, Global Warming will be the least of thier worries in 2107.

  133. bender
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 6:30 AM | Permalink

    This is a poll that ran at CA ran last November. Maybe it is time for a post-winter/pre-summer update? Mail your estimate and into the database it goes.

    What proportion of the 20th century warming trend do you think is attributable to human-caused greenhouse effects?

    Here are some of the estimates of A in AGW that were received:

    poster A date posted
    B.Hurd 0.30 November 22nd, 2006 at 9:07 pm
    pat 0.20 November 23rd, 2006 at 12:56 pm
    Reid 0.02 November 23rd, 2006 at 10:27 pm
    KevinUK 0.30 November 23rd, 2006 at 6:09 am
    W.Eschenbach 0.30 November 23rd, 2006 at 11:12 pm
    bruce 0.05 November 24th, 2006 at 1:21 am
    Chris H 0.30 November 24th, 2006 at 2:14 am
    beng 0.20 November 24th, 2006 at 10:43 am
    D.Dardinger 0.30 November 24th, 2006 at 1:15 pm
    jae 0.10 November 25th, 2006 at 12:46 pm
    Lee 0.70 November 27th, 2006 at 3:19 pm
    M.Juckes 0.5 November 28th, 2006 at 3:29 am

  134. bernie
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 6:34 AM | Permalink

    Gaudenz (#129)

    I will check out the book, but I think the surprising thing to me, notwithstanding the presumption in the media, is that Greenland is not warming according to the Chylek paper. The media focuses on warming stories, for example, in addition to the Warming Island story, there was an article and a bunch of hoopla recently indicating 2 haying crops in Greenland facilitated by warming. Then there is the flawed explanation for the increase in glacial quakes. Cheylek’s paper is in line with the absence of a warming trend from the charting of Greenland WS on John Daly’s site. The Arctic, or at least the Greenland part, is like the Antarctic. Given the IPCC charts that highlight temperature changes, one has to wonder what the true facts of the situation are. (One point here is that Greenland WS may be far less susceptible to UHI effects because of the extremely sparse population. Even in Arctic Canada, not to mention Siberia, there have been sgnificant population shifts leading to the possibility of UHI effects on local temperature records.) Has anyone a contact with Chylek? Is he one of the IPCC panel scientists? Perhaps he can shed some light on this.

  135. David Smith
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 7:11 AM | Permalink

    Update on 2007

    At the beginning of 2007 the Hadley Centre said that 2007 will likely be the warmest on record. The link is here . How is that forecast doing?

    For the year-to-date (which includes the warming effects of a dying El Nino) NCDC/NOAA shows January-March 2007 as the 2’nd warmest year to-date (2005 was the warmest). On the other hand, the lower troposphere anomaly from RSS satellite shows January-March as the 7’th warmest of the 29-year record (1998, 2004, 2005, 2002, 2003 and 2006 were warmer).

    How is Hadley Centre’s year-to-date doing? The data shows 2007 to-date as the 3’rd-warmest (to 1998 and 2004).

    Year-to-date is important because the El Nino was an important part of Hadley’s prognostication. If we did not see excessive temperatures in this early part of the year then the chances that 2007 will be warmest-ever will diminish greatly.

    How is the remainder of 2007 looking? Well, the model-generated seasonal forecasts (surface temperature) from NOAA are here . (Each map covers a three-month span and they overlap, so it may take a moment to focus on them). The maps show the world progressing from current warmth (especially in the Arctic) towards cooler temperatures at years-end. The Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) show both a cool La Nina pattern and a cool-phase PDO pattern.

    How skilled are these NOAA forecasts? Not very, but they’re about all we have. The La Nina forecast is in agreement with most other models.

    So, Hadley’s 2007 warmest-ever forecast already seems to be headed for the trash bin, just four months into the year. I hope Hadley’s not one of those entities making 100-year GCM forecasts.

  136. bernie
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    Willis (#130):
    Great picture. I don’t even see the ice!! Any clue as to where Warming Island actually is? Does “shavn” signify port in Danish? – Hafen is German for port, right?!! (With your surname, you surely speak German.)One has to wonder at the editiorial policy at LANL!

  137. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 8:05 AM | Permalink

    At the beginning of 2007 the Hadley Centre said that 2007 will likely be the warmest on record…Hadley’s 2007 warmest-ever forecast already seems to be headed for the trash bin, just four months into the year.

    You’re only looking at the current state of the data. Wait until it’s revised upwards in ’08 or ’09…

  138. MarkW
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 8:27 AM | Permalink


    My best guess is that 10% of the 20th century warming was due to CO2.

  139. Mark T.
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

    That Martin Juckes said only 50% is surprising, though I suppose not everyone is a full-fledged Team-member, complete with faith in the ideology.


  140. bernie
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

    Mark T (#139)
    Where do you think Juckes thinks the other 50% comes from?

  141. Lizi K
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

    I have a question about the H2O +ve feedback loop that the AGW models rely on. Hoping someone here can help….

    If I uderstand it correctly, increasing CO2 to 600ppm will produce a tiny temperature increase of

  142. Arnost Khun
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

    Since Australia is a current topic on some of the main threads…

    The temperature anomalies as determined by NCDC/NOAA for Australia and those as determined by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology are mostly in agreement, I would however like to point out an occasional disconnect between the two.

    December 2006 is a perfect example:



    Both NOAA and BoM anomaly calcs are with respect to 1961-90 base.

    From the BoM summary for December 2006:

    December 2006 in Australia saw few large departures from normal in either rainfall or temperature. Nationally averaged maximum and minimum temperatures were both very close to the 1961’ˆ’90 normal, with anomalies of ‘ˆ’0.01°C (23rd highest since 1950) and +0.06°C (27th highest since 1950) respectively.

    The NCDC/NOAA graph posits what looks like at least an overall +ve 1-2 ⹃ anomaly for Australia when a negligible anomaly for December 2006 is suggested by BoM.



  143. Lizi K
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 9:55 AM | Permalink

    -my previous post got truncated-
    I have a question about the H2O +ve feedback loop that the AGW models rely on. Hoping someone here can help

    If I uderstand it correctly, increasing CO2 to 600ppm will produce a tiny temperature increase of 0.5C. This 0.5C increase will then allow the atmosphere to absorb a little more H20, since warmer air holds more water.

    This all sounds prefectly reasonable.

    Then the magical mystical “feedback loop” thing happens.

    My questions is this – The increase in H20 comes from evaporation of water from the oceans. Evaporation ALWAYS produces a cooling effect doesnt it ?? So doesnt that first H20 evaporation produce a mild cooling effect on the surface of the oceans ? I would have thought this was pretty simple physics ?? As I also understand, if you cool the ocean sufrace a little – then the oceans will absorb more CO2 since the cooler the oceans, the more CO2 they can absorb.

    Do the AGW models include this ? After all, it is not a theory that evaporation of H20 will produce a cooling effect, it`s a fact isnt it ?? And isnt it a fact that cooler oceans as result will absorb a little more CO2 thus producing a negative feedback ??

  144. Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    How is Hadley Centre’s year-to-date doing? The data shows 2007 to-date as the 3’€²rd-warmest (to 1998 and 2004).

    David, if you check the global (mean NH+SH) data of the Hadley Centre observations datasets the 2007 anomaly to date is +0.0512, only second to 1998: +0.0515. So in fact, Phil Jones does look like having good chances of fulfilling his own prophecy.

    Only the SH anomalies this year are totally unimpressive, unlike those in 1998. And this is even more true in the rest of the official temperature records, especially in the satellite ones: http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/Warming_Look.html

  145. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

    RE: # 133 – On its face, 25%. But it’s not totally straightforward. Here are somesuspicions I have:
    1) CO2 is not really a well mixed gas – its concentration varies considerable and is very high near human sources. Therefore, local AGW can be very high, relatively speaking. It gets blurred with UHI since both happen in the same areas. What impact does this have on system behavior.
    2) GCMs probably overestimate the degree to which downward IR expresses itself – when integrated over space and time – as a straightforward global temperature increase. In fact, I would expect, given the heterogeniety of the atmosphere in terms of moisture, density, dust and other factors, that some parcels would heat more than others. Therefore, mechanical energy gets set up earlier in the energy cycle than predicted by GCMs. Simply put, more of the excess energy from AGW is expressed as kinetic energy than predicted by the GCMS.
    3) Of course, since clouds are not well understood, this also messes of any sort of “increased CO2 means monotonically increasing temperature” relationship.

  146. Jeff Norman
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

    Re: #133 bender,

    I’ll go along with 25% or 50% of the warming in the second half of the 20th century.

    Did Lee ever justify 70%? If half of the warming recorded for the 20th century occurred in the first half of the 20th century and the IPCC attributes only most of the warming in the last 50 years to AGW how could any reasonable person claim more than 50%?

  147. Jos Verhulst
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    Warming island: THE MOVIE

  148. Mark T.
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

    Mark T (#139)
    Where do you think Juckes thinks the other 50% comes from?

    Natural variability. Either that or a high-powered turbo heater that has been installed in the atmosphere without our knowledge.


  149. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

    RE: #142 – I strongly suspect that whomever handles this work at NOAA and its subcontractors and partners are if not a full members of the Team, at least adjunct members.

  150. Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

    Re: # 136:

    Bernie, it is Danmarks havn. Havn does in fact mean port/harbour in Danish (lufthavn is airport). I wonder if/when the bay was/is used as a ‘port’.


  151. Bill F
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    For those interested, the latests consensus solar cycle 24 forecast has been released. Only problem is there doesn’t appear to be a consensus.


    It looks like the two camps (those predicting an active cycle and those predicting a quiet cycle) were so far apart that they couldn’t even find a way to meet in the middle, so instead, they released two separate predictions. The groups predicting a very active (perhaps recordbreaking) cycle have backed away from those predictions, but are still predicting an above average cycle. What I find is significant is that both groups agree that cycle 24 is unlikely to start until sometime in 2008, which would mean that cycle 23 would be at least 12 years long. If you follow many of the solar/gcr/climate theories, longer less active cycles are theorized to result in cooling climate. If cycle 24 is at the low end, and the predictions of a mauder-esque cycle 25 hold, the prediction of global cooling may come to pass more quickly and more severely than any of us should want to see. Part of me wants to see rapid cooling over a prolonged period to once and for all destroy any confidence in the current crop of GCMs, but the kind of cooling that would take place from a weak 24 and a non-existant 25 would not be a pretty sight.

  152. JP
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 2:01 PM | Permalink


    NOAA should put more resources in its Medium Range Forecasts. Last Winter they were so far off (forecasts way too warm and dry for my area of the Great Lakes) that I now seldom refer back to them. For 5 straight seasons, they’ve over forecasted temps and underforecated precip. The only one who seems to have any skill at Medium Range Forecasting is Joe Bastardi at Accuweather- he nailed last winter’s forecast.

  153. Andrey Levin
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 2:21 PM | Permalink


    David, NOAA forecast looks quite close to PDO “cool” phase:


    Interesting to know what Steve Sadlov think about it.

  154. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

    RE: #151 – Indeed, a medium to worst case cooling would be an unmitigated disaster. This is the one climate future that actually causes me personal anxiety, whereas, I’ve never experienced the slightest bit of anxiety regarding AGW futures. This is not to say AGW futures are any less likely than other ones, but is to say, I do not believe them to be nearly as negatively impactful as cooling futures might be. Think “Dark Ages.”

    RE: #152 – NOAA’s been wrong because they have been assuming monotonic temp rise and monotonic northward climate zone shifts.

    RE: #153 – Maybe NOAA have learned from their AGW bias and now are looking at other factors. I hope ….

  155. bender
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    Re #151
    Where’s the 2012 cleft in those two predicted cycles? The cleft was observed in cycles #21-23, why not #24? Maybe that’s why the forecasters don’t agree: they are failing to acknowledge/understand/simulate that cleft? Maybe both camps are right about the timing when cycle #24 will peak, and wrong about the amplitude because there are two peaks to simulate, not one. Just a thought.

  156. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 3:47 PM | Permalink

    Re 155, there’s an interesting discussion of these issues online here.


  157. Mark T.
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    Part of me wants to see rapid cooling over a prolonged period to once and for all destroy any confidence in the current crop of GCMs, but the kind of cooling that would take place from a weak 24 and a non-existant 25 would not be a pretty sight.

    Just to shut up the Team, if anything, though you are correct, if there is any climate forcer the world does not want to see, it is a maunder-esque cooling due to low sun activity.


  158. Bill F
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

    I can’t help you on the cleft part of this Bender. And to be honest, I doubt the cleft has much significance in the larger picture. I can’t help but go back to Theo Landscheidt’s predictions (even though he missed on a couple of the el nino calls) and think that he was really onto something with the longer cycles he was seeing. His predictions about Solar Cycle 25 were made back in 2000-2001, way ahead of any evidence that it might be small, and even then he was saying 24 would be smaller and 25 would be practically non-existant. If you combine what he was seeing with some of the research into long-term cycles in the orientation of the IMF Bz component (which controls how the solar wind interacts with the earth’s magnetic field) and then look at the correlations with things like el nino/la nina and the PDO, there seems to be alot of evidence for cyclical behavior linked to the sun. His prediction for the 2006-2007 el nino’s arrival and growth were dead on. It remains to be seen if his predictions for la nina dominant patterns from 2007-2018 pan out.

  159. Follow the Money
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 9:17 PM | Permalink

    Re: James Hansen

    A relatively new website http://www.flickoff.org is arguably centered on his comment:

    “We have at most ten years’€”not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions.” Jim Hansen, NASA.

    The site has a “countdown clock” showing 9 years, etc. and approaching by the seconds!

    Text after Hansen’s quote:

    Yikes. Time is running out. If we don’t curb greenhouse gases that cause global warming in a hurry, global warming is going to be a runaway train. Rising sea levels, floods, droughts, species extinction, tropical diseases’€”they’re going to become increasingly disastrous, and we won’t be able to stop them. Hundreds of millions of people are going to lose their homes.

    What are we gonna do? We’re going to FLICK OFF, that’s what. If everybody flicks off…

  160. bender
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 9:35 PM | Permalink

    That Martin Juckes said only 50% is surprising

    Yes, that’s sort of my point. There are folks saying CA posters, the skeptics, the “denialists”, are nutters. Yet the difference between skeptics and warmers appears to be A=0.2 vs A=0.5. Of course, I’m oversimplifying differences to highlight the similarities. But it’s good for the media types out there to see that we’re talking quantitative, not qualitative, differences. That’s why we need audit, because the entrenched positions are, in reality, not that far apart. The primary qualitative difference between skeptics and believers is whether you think audit is worthwhile or whether you’re willing to take things on faith.

  161. David Smith
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 9:52 PM | Permalink

    RE #143 Hi, Lizi. Your thought experiment is a good one and worth expanding to include the hydrological cycle (evaporation and precipitation).

    A sustained increase in evaporation requires a sustained increase in precipitation ( a simple mass balance). Otherwise, the air becomes clogged with the extra water vapor.

    In your model the ocean evaporation increases at the beginning, but there is no reason to think that precipitation ( the hydrological cycle) also increases. If precipitation does not increase then the air becomes increasingly clogged by water vapor, eventually reacing a point where the evaporation of the ocean slows to match the precipitation rate.

  162. Andrey Levin
    Posted Apr 28, 2007 at 2:47 AM | Permalink


    Bender, I strongly suspect that at least some answers to the poll question “What proportion of the 20th century warming trend do you think is attributable to human-caused greenhouse effects?” are actually answers to the question “What proportion of the 20th century warming trend do you think is attributable to increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration?”

    If it is the case, the big question “What part of observed increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration is attributable to human activity?” could produce quite different answers.

  163. Andrey Levin
    Posted Apr 28, 2007 at 3:21 AM | Permalink

    Steve Sadlov:

    Isn’t it time to recycle old story?:


  164. Posted Apr 28, 2007 at 4:20 AM | Permalink

    “A sustained increase in evaporation requires a sustained increase in precipitation ( a simple mass balance). Otherwise, the air becomes clogged with the extra water vapor.”

    Let us imagine for the sake of example that the average relative humidity is 35%. If you raise the temperature a little, the RH will drop. The lower humidity increases evaporation. The evaporation brings the RH back to 35% and then evaporation rate returns to roughly what it had been before the increase. BUT … this increase in water vapor to maintain the same RH has added tons of H2O to the atmosphere in absolute terms. This addition of H2O may completely swamp the greenhouse impact of the CO2 since H2O is a more efficient greenhouse gas. But this H2O is also a “working fluid” at Earth’s temperature range so the whole evaporation/precipitation cycle tends to pump heat up high in the atmosphere above most of the CO2 (and H2O) density. Heat released from condensation of water high in the atmosphere has much less greenhouse gas to insulate it than the surface does. Does an increase in absolute water content yet at a constant RH increase precipitation? Probably because it will increase the dewpoint temperature. You would probably see increased precipitation on coastal mountains and increasing dryness in rain shadow areas. You would also see increased precipitation in areas that are very cold such as high latitudes. All of this would tend to act to drive temperatures back down again.

    I have yet to see an accurate model that takes CO2 and H2O working together into account and I have little confidence in forecasting skill of CO2 impact without factoring in H2O.

  165. John Lang
    Posted Apr 28, 2007 at 6:19 AM | Permalink

    Back to Greenland again. You’d think people have never heard of icebergs.

    If the Greenland and Antarctic iceshelves and glaciers were truly melting and breaking off, wouldn’t one expect to see a huge increase in the number of icebergs floating out into the Northern Atlantic.

    Here is one study I found showing there is no change at all since 1963.

    Click to access peterson09.pdf

  166. David Smith
    Posted Apr 28, 2007 at 7:26 AM | Permalink

    RE #164 Indeed, crosspatch, the water vapor issue becomes complicated fast.

    The way I look at it is that sustained greater evaporation requires sustained greater precipitation which requires sustained greater heat removal. The heat removal I refer to is the IR radiating into space from the thunderstorm outflows, which happens in the high-altitude clear-sky “downwelling” regions of the Hadley/Walker cells.

    Higher air temperatures in these downwelling regions would temd to radiate more IR, which would tend to remove the heat generated by increased precipitation. So, there indeed may be some increase in precipitation in a warmer world. If I recall correctly, the GCMs say it’s on the order of maybe 2% per K increase globally.

  167. Ron Cram
    Posted Apr 28, 2007 at 7:30 AM | Permalink

    I thought readers here might be interested in reading a new paragraph on Mann’s refusal to provide data to McIntyre in the Wikipedia article Hockey stick controversy. The paragraph occurs near the bottom of the section “Criticisms of the MBH reconstruction.” Mann’s refusal to disclose data and source code has never been written about on Wikipedia before. (Well, it was once but Dr. Connelley got the article deleted.) Enjoy!

  168. mccall
    Posted Apr 28, 2007 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    Alarmism, even in the rhetoric…

    AGW poster children, ‘er Drs. Gavin Schmidt and Steven Schneider were featured on camera, commenting on the latest CBSNEWSNYT poll report. Among other inflammatory comments, Dr. Schneider said it’s like were we’re having a “perfect storm” change in public opinion.

  169. Mark T.
    Posted Apr 28, 2007 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

    That’s why we need audit, because the entrenched positions are, in reality, not that far apart. The primary qualitative difference between skeptics and believers is whether you think audit is worthwhile or whether you’re willing to take things on faith.

    Unfortunately, the 20%-30% difference, though quantitatively small, is the difference between the public being alarmed and the public not caring.

    I’m also guessing that the majority of other Team members think it’s higher than 50% based on their comments.


  170. Posted Apr 28, 2007 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    Yesterday, tha Italian IPCC focal point, Sergio Castellari, was a bit nervous, I mean he got nervous 🙂
    He was the first invited speaker in a national meeting on climate changes and extreme meteorological phenomena. Both side of the climate community were present. He showed all the main figures of the AR4 SPMs. At the end of the morning session I made him notice that in one of his slide on GHGs he had put a huge word “CO2” and some smaller ones “CH4, NOx and CFC” and a ten times bigger H2O was missing, forgetting also to say that water makes this planet confortable and not CO2. Earlier during the coffe break, he got upset when I asked him why he had forgotten to talk about Antartica and I pressed him since his answers were vague.
    Of course he repeated many times that 2500 scientists were involved in the IPCC process, that everyone could be involved under request and got a draft of the tecnical report. He also talked about the Hockey Stick (showed earlier by another speaker with the correction by Mc&Mc) and successive proxy recostructions, reminding us that one worked in the mineral industry and the other is an economist. I was allowed only to mumble since actually I had monopolized the discussion and the moderator did not want a discussion on the HS because everybody knows how the HS story ended (and he is not a skeptic).

  171. John A
    Posted Apr 28, 2007 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    Re: #167


    There is no possibility whatsoever that the true story of the Mann Hockey Stick can ever be told on Wikipedia. Like much of the claims in climate science, “consensus” is used to ruthlessly purge all criticism.

    Most of the quotations in that article are wilfully misleading.

  172. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Apr 28, 2007 at 2:30 PM | Permalink


    Bender, my guess is that 20% of any measured GW is due to humans, of which only 3 – 5% is due to increased CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels. The remaining 15 – 17% is due to land use changes across the globe, such as urbanization/sububanization, deforestation, etc. Totally unscientific, but based on everything I have read to date.

  173. Posted Apr 28, 2007 at 3:34 PM | Permalink

    “The way I look at it is that sustained greater evaporation requires sustained greater precipitation which requires sustained greater heat removal.”

    Right, but I was implying that the evaporation isn’t sustained at a higher rate. Once the air reaches the same saturation level (35% RH picked just as a value out of thin air) as it was before the temperature rose, evaporation rates return to what they had been. In other words, if you heat the air it acts somewhat like drying a sponge. The sponge will absorb some more water to reach its former saturation level and then things level off again.

    But that might not be the case everywhere because I would expect to see an intensification of “rain shadow” impact where air moving down slope is warmed to a higher temperature after dropping moisture on the windward side. So areas like the Great Basin and the Western Plains would be hotter and dryer but most of the rest of the country would be unchanged. Might make for a more interesting tornado season, though. But it is really too hard to tell. Overall, water is a natural refrigeration system that hasn’t been modeled accurately.

  174. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Apr 28, 2007 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

    Re #167 – I think they say two times “(an economist and a mineral-exploration consultant)”. Do they ever quote Mann ” I am not a statistician”? They imply that Mann released the code. I do not believe he released all that Steve M wanted. In reality – a waste of time to read it.

  175. Follow the Money
    Posted Apr 28, 2007 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

    “Among other inflammatory comments, Dr. Schneider said it’s like were we’re having a “perfect storm” change in public opinion.”

    Yes, in coordination with votes in the US to enact carbon trading markets, which don’t really exist without government coercion and action.

    Could be a dud though, like the “popular opinion swell” engineered and timed with last year’s US immigration “reform” bill, and Bush’s push to “privatize” Social Security.

  176. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 4:33 AM | Permalink

    Speaking of Drs. Schneider and Schmidt, here’s the program for one of the sessions at the Ethics and Climate Change conference this coming week at UW Seattle:

    Ethics and the Role of Climate Scientists

    Gavin Schmidt, “The Ethics of Communicating Science”

    Stephen Schneider

    Panelist: Kristen Intemann

    Chair: Cecilia Bitz

    And here is Gavin’s abstract:

    Gavin Schmidt, “The Ethics of Communicating Science”

    Climate change is example of a science that, given the large perceived impacts, has become highly politicized. In such an environment, science is often used within the political context as a proxy for political positions. This science’ is often uncontextualised, over-interpreted and frequently has nothing to do with the political debate at hand. Public statements by scientists’€”whether in media interviews, press releases or in briefings very often become fodder for political discussion in ways that are frequently contrary to the positions held by the scientists themselves. This scientization’ of the political discourse places scientists in a very delicate position.

    How far do scientists’ responsibilities go in ensuring that relevant science is appropriately transmitted and understood by the public and policy makers? Even if scientists are not interested in the political ramifications of their work, do they still have a responsibility to try and ensure that it is not misused? What recourses are available to extract work from the fake scientized’ political debate? Do all scientists have this responsibility, or can the field rely on a few public spokespeople? To what extent are public’ scientists responsible for explaining/defending the field as a whole rather than just their own work?

    I will try to make the case that simple publication in the technical literature is clearly not sufficient, but that attempts at popularization of the science is fraught with problems of its own. Examples of unfortunate public statements and subsequently appalling media coverage are legion.

  177. bender
    Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    “fake” political debate?!

    Err, speaking of things uncontextualized … Earth to Schmidt: science takes place within a political context. The political debate is not “fake”.

  178. JP
    Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

    Climate Science has always been a very general impercise science, in which the theorists, thier children and thier grand children would be long dead before thier theories could ultimately be proven. As a consequence, it is a perfect science for the “soft sciences” to co-opt. It is all about contextualizing, conceptualizing, and deconstructing.

    Because very few of us will be around in 2100 to see if the IPCC’s predictions will come to pass, the people at the IPCC can construct about any model to back up thier contentions. Which one of us will be around in 100 years to refute them? It is really quite ingenious idea. Construct a future world filled with enviormental disasters, but move those disasters just far enough in the future to avoid verification, but close enough to the present to scare people, and demand legislative action.

  179. george h.
    Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 9:35 AM | Permalink

    re: 176

    This site and several others exist, precisely due to ethical deficiencies within the climate science communitiy which has failed to police its own: to audit, to review, archive, validate, replicate and in general question its own work. On the contrary, a group of greenie-agenda-driven researchers, including Schmidt, have attempted to silence debate, slander other scientists who disagree with their work and to use the press, Hollywood nut-jobs, left-leaning politicians and the IPCC to accomplish what they will never acheive through reasoned, open, scientific inquiry. One only need look at the activity of Schmidt’s own censors at RC to see the irony here. I’m sorry, but “Dr. Schmidt on Ethics and Climate Change” makes about as much sense as “Mohammed Atta on Airline Safety”.

  180. Reid
    Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

    Gavin Schmidt “What recourses are available to extract work from the fake scientized’ political debate?”

    Yes Gavin, exactly what recourses are available to Steve McIntyre and Climate Auditors to extract the actual data from the fake scientized political debate?

    Auditors versus Inquisitors

  181. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

    How far do scientists’ responsibilities go in ensuring that relevant science is appropriately transmitted and understood by the public and policy makers?

    Full, true and plain disclosure would be a start. Things like disclose adverse verification statistics would help. Archiving data. Non-promotional press releases.

    What recourses are available to extract work from the fake scientized’ political debate

    What do you suppose this sentence means?

  182. bender
    Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    What do you suppose this sentence means?

    Steve M is too classy to say it, so bender will:

    “What mechanisms currently exist (or ought to exist) to allow Good Scientists to continue their Good Work unfettered by big oil tricksterism, such as FOI requests, fake “audits”, FUDtank misinformation, the cyberwars, etc. – all of which are designed to serve the interests of the rich & powerful, not society at large?”

    i.e. How can we (a) get out of our public obligation to archive and share our data so that our analyses can be reproduced, our studies replicated, our conclusions independently tested, while (b) still receiving state funds?

    If Dr. Schmidt is interested, I have an answer for him.

  183. Stan Palmer
    Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    Re 178

    Re 178

    Construct a future world filled with enviormental disasters, but move those disasters just far enough in the future to avoid verification, but close enough to the present to scare people, and demand legislative action

    The classic text on this is “Battle for the Mind” by William Sargent. Sargent began his research because of his wartime (WW2) experience of treating people suffering combat fatigigue. In this tratment of them, he realized that he was dealing with something much more general. He realized that he was seeing how the mind coped when it was faced with something with which it had not effective strategy toi cope. Solders in constant fear of sudden death were only one example. He traced this research beack to early work by teh famous physiologist Pavlov. Pavlov had a kennel of laboratory dos in the basement of the building where he worked. There was a flood that filled that basement kennel tot eh extent tht the dos were swimming with only a few inches of air at the ceiling. One of Pavlov’s assistants was able to rescue the dogs by pulling them underwater and taking them out a window. Pavlov noted that the dos exhibited a remarkable change in personality. Even dogs that had previously been independent and vicious became compliant.

    To put it far to briefly, the effect is that if the mind is confronted with something with which it cannot deal, it will be wide open to suggestion and will seek to find a belief system that will resolve the contradictions that it is seeing. Sargent demonstrated that this is the classic technique that is used in police interrogatiosn, brainwashing and even religious conversion.

    So for climate science to gain conversions, Sargent would predict a strategy of un-provable gloom and doom that can be prevented only if one fully accepts and adheres to the standard set of ideas. Skeptics cannot be tolerated since any deviation from the “truth” will inevitably result ion disaster.

    Sargent showed how police interrogators must be fully aware of this effect because of the danger in eliciting a false confession. The suspect is under stress and fearful of punishment. An unwitting interrogator may find that the suspect will latch onto suggestions contained in the questioning and unconsciously construct a story that he believes will satisfy his questioners. Sargent used the famous example of the Christie case in the UK (recounted in the movie “10 Rillington Place”) in which a man falsely confessed to murdering his wife. The husband was hanged for the murder. However later it was proved that the serial murderer Christie was guilty and he was also hanged. Two me confessed to same murder

    So, whether there is intent or not, the technique being sued by AGW proponents is typical Sargentian brainwashing.

  184. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

    Re: #133

    This is a poll that ran at CA ran last November. Maybe it is time for a post-winter/pre-summer update? Mail your estimate and into the database it goes.

    What proportion of the 20th century warming trend do you think is attributable to human-caused greenhouse effects? .

    Bender, estimates to the extent of having any practical value, imply that one can place some probability on their quantifications — be that subjective or objective. I think a poll would be more informative and revealing if it included more complete background thinking on the subject matter. My reasoning for this comes from a profound feeling that most people and even scientists are quite aware that their estimates are primarily subjective guesses and that a show of hands for such estimates are going to be related to the considerations one gives to the prescribed mitigating actions. A layperson or scientists who has no major uneasiness or qualms about mitigation in the form of government regulations is going to be much less hesitant to raise their hand for a large A in AGW, because, if they are wrong, they are probably thinking there is no harm (and in some cases significant good) coming from the actions.

    A list of additional polling question might look like the following:

    What probability do you associate with the portion of A that you estimated for AGW?

    What portion of the scientific consensus do you attribute to subjective and objective estimations with 100% indication 100% objective?

    Do you see a future time when we could better judge the quantification and effects of AGW? And if so do you have an approximate future time period in mind and what is it?

    Do you see a significant portion of scenarios for AGW mitigation where government regulations could have effects worst than having no additional regulations as in unintended consequences?

    Do you feel that you have a sufficient understanding of the climate science to make independent judgments about it?

    Do you have significant misgivings about the combined role of scientist and advocate and the possibility of self-censorship?

    Do you feel that most climate scientists understand the dangers of data snooping and cherry picking?

    On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do think humans could adapt to a change in the global average temperature of 3 degrees centigrade with 10 being completely adapted.

    What confidence do you have that increases in extreme weather events will be a major adverse effect in AGW?

    How much on a scale of 1 to 10 do feel the unmitigated adverse effects and beneficial effects of AGW will balance out, with 5 being balanced equally and 10 being all adverse and no beneficial effects?

  185. Doug
    Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    Re #184

    Those are really good questions.
    One might add: From what sources of information do you form your opinions?
    How do you feel the science is represented in the press?

  186. David Smith
    Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    Odd Article of The Week

    Interestingly, the EU also suggested that, as of 2011, cow feed be at least 15% ethanol, a renewable resource that doesn’t result in methane emissions.

    Be glad, be very glad,that cows don’t drive, at least not on major highways.

  187. David Smith
    Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 1:00 PM | Permalink

    The latest global temperature anomaly forecast from NOAA is here . Note the anomalously warm April, followed by considerable global cooling as 2007 progresses.

    Now, these forecasts have little skill beyond the intial month or two. However, I continue to wonder why the model develops such cooling in the ocean/atmosphere system. The cooling seems bigger than what La Nina and PDO cool phases alone would accomplish.

    An article about this forecast model (CFS) is here .

  188. Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    IPCC AR4 Working Group 1 full report is out. Everyone should look!


    For example, chapter 6 Paleoclimate tries to say peaceful things about MM but argues that Wahl and Amman showed that the impact was irrelevant. Nevertheless, there’s no temperature graph there that would look like a hockey stick graph.

  189. bender
    Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    p. 473:

    This divergence’ is apparently restricted to some northern, high
    latitude regions, but it is certainly not ubiquitous even there. In
    their large-scale reconstructions based on tree ring density data,
    Briffa et al. (2001) specifically excluded the post-1960 data in
    their calibration against instrumental records, to avoid biasing
    the estimation of the earlier reconstructions (hence they are not
    shown in Figure 6.10), implicitly assuming that the divergence’
    was a uniquely recent phenomenon, as has also been argued by
    Cook et al. (2004a). Others, however, argue for a breakdown
    in the assumed linear tree growth response to continued
    warming, invoking a possible threshold exceedance beyond
    which moisture stress now limits further growth (D’Arrigo
    et al., 2004). If true, this would imply a similar limit on the
    potential to reconstruct possible warm periods in earlier times
    at such sites. At this time there is no consensus on these issues
    (for further references see NRC, 2006) and the possibility of
    investigating them further is restricted by the lack of recent tree
    ring data
    at most of the sites from which tree ring data discussed
    in this chapter were acquired.

    So … why not update the proxies?

  190. Follow the Money
    Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    “Nevertheless, there’s no temperature graph there that would look like a hockey stick graph.”

    What about fig. 6.14?

    “So … why not update the proxies?”

    Who would pay for that? The tree ring hockey-stick served its purpose. Anyway, the “debate is over”. We’re culminating into the political phase here in the USA with the carbon funds pushing for regulations, having taken over the causes of environmentalism and energy independence like a catbird laying its eggs in the nest of a different species.

  191. John A
    Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    Is it me or is it Groundhog Day again?

    Consider this assemblage of spaghetti from Chapter 6 of the new IPCC 4AR Working Group 1:

    Figure 6.10. Records of NH temperature variation during the last 1.3 kyr. (a) Annual mean instrumental temperature records, identified in Table 6.1. (b) Reconstructions using
    multiple climate proxy records, identified in Table 6.1, including three records (JBB..1998, MBH..1999 and BOS..2001) shown in the TAR, and the HadCRUT2v instrumental
    temperature record in black. (c) Overlap of the published multi-decadal time scale uncertainty ranges of all temperature reconstructions identified in Table 6.1 (except for
    RMO..2005 and PS2004), with temperatures within ⯱ standard error (SE) of a reconstruction scoring’ 10%, and regions within the 5 to 95% range scoring’ 5% (the maximum
    100% is obtained only for temperatures that fall within ⯱ SE of all 10 reconstructions). The HadCRUT2v instrumental temperature record is shown in black. All series have been
    smoothed with a Gaussian-weighted filter to remove fluctuations on time scales less than 30 years; smoothed values are obtained up to both ends of each record by extending
    the records with the mean of the adjacent existing values. All temperatures represent anomalies (°C) from the 1961 to 1990 mean.

    I shall dub this the Osborn-Briffa Fuzzy Hockey Stick. There be bad statistics here, I can feel it…

  192. bender
    Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 5:40 PM | Permalink

    That fuzzy hockey stick is getting closer to a more honest presentation style, which I outlined last year. Now if only the handle were as fat and fuzzy as it ought to be, considering the divergence problem, i.e. the 20th c. weakening of the linear response to temperature.

    1. I challenge the Dendro Truth Squad to prove me wrong when I say that identifying the probable cause of this weakening and the mechanism leading to positive and negative growth trends is critical for developing robust estimates of past climate from tree rings.

    2. Nobody’s “moved on”, folks. I think it’s time to update a few proxies. FTM #190 asks “who will pay?”. Maybe the CA tip jar, aka “heavy equipment” fund?

  193. mzed
    Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

    Hi again, Mr. Eschenbach’€”finally getting back to our discussion. To keep this short I’ll leave out your responses; hopefully my own will still make sense.

    First, you misunderstand me: I am not arguing that Idso is wrong simply because most climate scientists think so. I am pointing out that because he is wrong, most do. Now, I think you did rightly detect that there is nevertheless an implicit argument there (whether I am making it or not), that because most think he is wrong, then that is evidence that he is. I have a larger point about the meaning of “consensus” to make, but I will try to split that into a separate comment’€”but in brief, I think that during a period of Kuhnian “revolutionary” science, when a theory goes from margin to “consensus” (let’s define that for now as “winning the citation war”) that is strong evidence that it has some fundamentals right.

    Since you admit that Idso’s first three experiments only describe instantaneous forcing, I take it you concede the point. As for longer-term, global forcing, I have addressed his other experiments in my post #241 in Unthreaded #8. It seems that in each example, Idso makes faulty assumptions about its similarity with his other examples (ignores feedbacks, ignores methane, treats Earth like Venus, etc.)

    As for feedbacks, I suppose that what I meant to say was “Such feedbacks and factors are accounted for in the GCMs”’€”which is certainly true. This does not mean that the GCMs account for every single imaginable feedback. But they do their best to account for the most important ones, using the best available data. My question is this: if it is really possible to construct a GCM as good as, or better than, the best current GCM models, using the same data, that refutes agw theory, i.e. which predicts cooling using the same data, then why hasn’t anyone provided this model? The models can fail here and there’€”but that isn’t surprising. It’s a young science that will slowly get better. The general conclusion of the models remains unchanged. For example, if it were easy to show that clouds provide a negative feedback’€”especially one so large that it would swamp any signal from anthro ggs’€”then why hasn’t any one shown this? (I am also surprised that you take some models to task for failing to include melting permafrost, since the general understanding is that this would increase gg emissions significantly).

    On to the forcings. Let me try to summarize briefly: as you can see, most of these models do include ozone and solar irradiance, and nearly half include black carbon and volcanic aerosols (both of which are mentioned in IPCC AR4 FWIW). The rest’€”from land use changes to sea salt’€”could of course be important, but note that a significant minority of models do include them, and more importantly, what makes you think that including them would reverse the conclusions of agw theory? If not, then what is the concern? I can understand that they might change the specific predictions of the models, but what makes you think they would disconfirm agw in general? They are most likely just details that will be worked out sooner or later. Like feedbacks, our understanding of the forcings will grow over time. But there is no evidence to suggest that a better understanding of any of them would overthrow agw theory, so why do you think we should not have any confidence in agw theory? And if models are really just tunings, then if it is truly so easy to put together a model, based on the evidence, that would refute agw theory, where are the alternative models? Where is the alternative theory? There is none. There are just a bunch of one-man hypotheses, estimates, guesses, and wild hunches, scattered around here and there.

    (My description of RealClimate as “our friends” was intended to be ironic. I realize that you and they are not the best of friends!) At any rate, it seems to me that the ocean “delay” is simply the change in the heat content of the oceans, and in its distribution. I agree that there is an assumption that this heat will eventually be released to the surface; I guess I envision a very slow release into the atmosphere on a scale much larger than that of a co2 doubling, one which we cannot yet measure. I suppose it could forever remain in the oceans–but that would not disprove global warming either! It would just tell us that the equilibrium extends further into the oceans than we think. So I am not quite sure what your argument is here. (I should clarify something I suggested earlier: actually the redistribution of the heat in the oceans may in general just be a part of the PDO, which is still poorly understood. But then, I am not getting behind Hansen’s value for gg sensitivity; I’m just saying he does apparently have a mechanism.)

    I’m afraid you’ll have to alert me to your claims about dimming, as I’m unfamiliar with them.

    If you are unimpressed by corroborated predictions, then let me as what would impress you? Once again, how do you explain this warming, which you claim has been going on for 400 years? What sort of a theory would get your attention? How could any theory fit the bill, if you just thought any successful predictions it made were meaningless?

    You ask again how the S. Hemisphere could cool faster than the N. Hemisphere with aerosol cooling. But I told you: because aerosols are not the only forcings or factors! There are also 1) land areas, 2) ocean dynamics, 3) sea ice effects, 4) arctic feedbacks, etc.

    As for aerosols themselves, as you can see in the (rather nice) charts you sent, there are heavy changes over most of the Atlantic, and around most of the rims of the Pacific and Indian oceans to distances easily up to 1000km offshore. What’s more, the heaviest ocean changes are around the mid-latitudes, where it counts the most. And the very lowest values are not over the ocean, but over land: Antarctica, Alaska, Greenland, central Asia, and Siberia. (And around the Arctic, for example, where the aerosol-driven radiative changes are least, we see something un-surprising: more warming.) While the very heaviest are indeed concentrated over the Rust Belt and Europe, they are relatively small areas. This is certainly not enough evidence to convince me that aerosols have little or no effect on the oceans.

  194. Boris
    Posted Apr 30, 2007 at 7:09 AM | Permalink

    My question is this: if it is really possible to construct a GCM as good as, or better than, the best current GCM models, using the same data, that refutes agw theory, i.e. which predicts cooling using the same data, then why hasn’t anyone provided this model?

    Ah, the million dollar question. Once you start actually modeling–just CO2 for instance–you realize that the calculations scribbled on the back of an envelope do not accurately describe radiation in the real atmosphere. This is why it’s important for some people to question the practice of modeling itself.

  195. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Apr 30, 2007 at 1:51 PM | Permalink


    This is from the Monterey NWS discussion for today.

    Interestingly, whereas last year we were in a neutral to budding El Nino at this time, now we are in a La Nina. As expected, we are much drier than we were at this time last year. But in terms of the general pattern of late Alaskan Lows coming straight down here, it is the same. Something fundamental is happening, over a longer time frame than ENSO. Maybe its even over a longer time frame than PDO – that remains to be seen.

  196. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Apr 30, 2007 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    Arctic Ice Retreating More Quickly Than Computer Models Project

    BOULDER’€”Arctic sea ice is melting at a significantly faster rate than projected by even the most advanced computer models, a new study concludes. The research, by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado’s National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), shows that the Arctic’s ice cover is retreating more rapidly than estimated by any of the 18 computer models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in preparing its 2007 assessments.

    Hmmm, interesting. Bound to cause more noise.

  197. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Apr 30, 2007 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    RE: #196 – What a lightweight press release, no real facts or data in it. I wonder who the intended audience is? (he asked quite naively with tongue planted firmly in cheek).

  198. jae
    Posted Apr 30, 2007 at 2:54 PM | Permalink


    My question is this: if it is really possible to construct a GCM as good as, or better than, the best current GCM models, using the same data, that refutes agw theory, i.e. which predicts cooling using the same data, then why hasn’t anyone provided this model?

    Could it have anything to do with funding? Whoever does this certainly will not be very popular…

  199. Martin à…kerberg
    Posted Apr 30, 2007 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

    Re: #196, #197

    It is interesting how the recent update of the Cryoshpere Today supports this report (See this post by John Lang less than a month ago). Before the update the decline in arctic sea ice in september was only about 4% per decade. Now it seems to be in the range 9% which is also mentioned in the press release.

    Does anyone know the reason for the cryosphere database update and what was done? Apparently calculating the number of square miles covered by sea ice is not as straight forward as one might think.

  200. Martin à…kerberg
    Posted Apr 30, 2007 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

    Re: #196, #197

    It is interesting how the recent update of the Cryoshpere Today supports this report (See this post by John Lang less than a month ago). Before the update the decline in arctic sea ice in september was only about 4% per decade. Now it seems to be in the range 9% which is also mentioned in the press release.

    Does anyone know the reason for the cryosphere database update and what was done? Apparently calculating the number of square miles covered by sea ice is not as straight forward as one might think.

  201. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 30, 2007 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    #193. Ellingson et al 1991 studied infrared code in then current GCMs. Like cloud models today, they observed a wide variation among radiation codes. They described some codes as simply wrong with errors up to 30-80 wm-2. Yet all the models, regardless of hwether they used or correct or using incorrect infrared radiation calculations, yielded roughly similar results under doubled CO2. Ellingson observed:

    The 30-80 wm-2 range of variation in longwave radiative flux computations discovered during this study are a significant fraction of normally observed latent and sensible energy fluxes. In the end it is these energy fluxes that control the climate. The reason that such large discrepancies in radiative fluxes have not seriously distorted model predictions of current climate is simply that most climate models are heavily tuned to give the “right answer” for current climate conditions.

    Could one tune a GCM to give a 0.5 deg C response to doubled CO2 with no degradation in relevant metrics? I don’t know. I suspect that you could. Regardless of one’s religion, it would be a useful exercise for climate modelers to undertake to understand their models better.

  202. D. Patterson
    Posted Apr 30, 2007 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

    Observed outside the county courthouse: one bright and shiny Hummer SUV with Illinois license plate numbers “GORE 1”. Perhaps they were recording land deeds for the windmill farm, CO2 sink, or other carbon credit scheme????

  203. jae
    Posted Apr 30, 2007 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    A hypothesis for the “divergence problem” in radial tree growth. Plant growth appears to be retarded by UV-B radiation (damn link to reference on this won’t work here for some reason). Perhaps the trees are getting more “sunburned” by increases in uv.

  204. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Apr 30, 2007 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

    The creation of the North Atlantic Ocean might have spewed so much carbon dioxide that it toasted the Arctic ice covering

    Some commentary here.

  205. jae
    Posted Apr 30, 2007 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    The world’s leading hypocrite says he doesn’t like Canada’s approach to AGW.

  206. David Smith
    Posted Apr 30, 2007 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

    RE #196 The press release contains a snappy photogenic graphic (pretty colors with a background of cracking ice), but it’s slanted and uses those darn thick lines.

    When I see slanted graphics with thick lines I like to go back and look at an unslanted, thin plot of the data, which can be found here (the green line is summer ice thickness, which correlates well with September ice thickness).

    What becomes apparent in the unslanted data is the sharp drop in 1978-1979, almost a discontinuity. What’s special about that period? Well,1979 marked the beginning of satellite measurements of ice extent. Perhaps the drop is real or perhaps it’s a change in methodology.

    Now glance back at the attractive chart in the press release and find the 1978-79 drop. Note how key that 78-79 drop is to the point of the graph and (apparently) the article – without that drop, the post-1978 ice decline fits well within the computer projections, as does the pre-1978 data.

    Was it a large permanent drop in one year, or simply a change in methodology? I hope the article addresses that key question.

  207. Posted Apr 30, 2007 at 6:03 PM | Permalink

    If you were an alien and came to earth for the first time and landed in this muddle we have called “global warming” I suggest the first thing you would do is check the data, the codes etc and test the results. It is no different to a school pupil undertaking an experiment in a science class. The correct result of a simple experiment is given in the text book and the pupils task is to replicate the result. If the result cannot be replicated using the data, methodology etc laid down in the textbook you would have to question the data and methodology. The refusal of all concerned to see results replicated in climate science is obvious and should be seen as a clear intention to prevent any attempt at replication because it is already known the results are flawed. There is sometimes attempts to excuse the refusal of scientists to provide their data, codes etc and I beleive that many of you don’t want to believe what you are seeing as it shows a scandal of huge proportions which will cause much damage when finally exposed.

  208. bernie
    Posted Apr 30, 2007 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

    Richard (#196) – As a Bernard Cornwell fan you have one neat name –
    Anyway back to reality, or what passes for it, and Greenland. It seems to me that Greenland can be seen as a litmus test for many AGW theories. When the latest IPCC came out, I went to the ice and glacier chapter. I am still mightily puzzled by the absence of any clear warming trend in air temperature on Greenland. If these are absent are we down to chnages in precipitation as the major reason for reversal of glaciers and the disappearance of sea ice? I wil be interested in the article you mentioned. I am also puzzled by the mixing of observations and
    satellite imagery. I will be looking to try to figure out the rates of decline for just the satellite imagery.

  209. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Apr 30, 2007 at 7:47 PM | Permalink

    Bernie, yes I have read some of Cornwall’s books, and have watched Sean Bean in some of the episodes 🙂

    Re: Arctic ice, it’s all very confusing. After all there are studies that suggest that the planet has been through all this before, and that agriculture and civilization might be a human adaptation to changes in climate and precitpitation and so forth since the Holocene Optimum.

    What to do, what to do?

    Perhaps panic would not be a good reaction.

  210. David Smith
    Posted Apr 30, 2007 at 8:38 PM | Permalink

    RE #196 I wrote a note on the news release but it was eaten by the spam filter. If it doesn’t reappear I’ll repost it. Basically, it says beware of the sudden drop in reported summer ice extent in 1979, which corresponds to the start of satellite-derived estimates. If that drop was simply due to the new tool (satellites) rather than a real drop, then the paper’s graph, and presumably its premise, begin to melt.

    Re # 195, Steve S, to me it’s beginning to look like a relatively cool remainder of 2007. ENSO is currently neutral but I think winds are swinging towards La Nina. The equatorial Pacific remains on the cool side (see ocean cross-section temperature anomaly chart here ). (Relatively) cool and dry looks in order.

    For fun, the SST animation is here . The warm belt of water along the equator has begun its seasonal move northward.

  211. bender
    Posted Apr 30, 2007 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

    Re #201
    Scan RC to see where bender asks Gavin Schmidt about GCM tuning. Hilarious. Not.

  212. Noob
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 4:47 AM | Permalink

    Could someone please identify the primary scientist(s) who created AGW theory, no specific names appear in the media as its key proponents, there are only vague references to “2,500” nameless scientists.

  213. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

    Re: #212

    I think Svante Arrhenius’ publication in 1896 is considered to be the origination of the theory of anthropogenic global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions. His estimate for climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling was 4 to 6 C. Over a hundred years later and we haven’t made much progress in refining the calculation (2 to 4.5 C in IPCC FAR).

  214. jae
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    LOL. The environmental-extremists continue to ignore some real conundrums vis-a-vis AGW. Junk Science has recently published an interesting article about the costs and environmental hazards associated with fluorescent light bulbs which are being hailed as a partial solution to AGW. And the environmental-extremists continue to fight the use of nuclear energy, even though this is certainly the best way to decrease CO2 emissions. And the environmental-extremists insist on burning tremendous amounts of natural gas to incinerate toxic air pollutants, which also generates huge amounts of CO2 (and also generates large quantities of NOx that forms ozone, which is an even more toxic pollutant than most of those that are being incinerated). And of course, it’s now politically OK to use more fossil fuel energy to produce ethanol than can be recovered by burning the ethanol, thereby greatly increasing CO2 emissions. Typical of the “progressive” mind-set, however, these “little details” will be ignored. Orwell was correct; he just missed the date by about 25 years.

  215. woodentop
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    #211 bender – any link(s)? Just did a quick search on RC and came up with nothing!?

  216. bender
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    woodentop #215:
    See post #50 in “Pat Frank: Forcing assumptions in GCMs”. My brief dialogue with Fergus.

  217. David Smith
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    My goodness, the oceans oscillate


  218. bender
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 5:50 PM | Permalink

    woodentop #215:
    Dr Schmidt started his reply:

    In any model there are dozens of paramterisations [sic] – for the bulk surface fluxes, for the entrainment of convective plumes, for mixing etc.

    Maybe it’s my poor communication skills (I did try twice) but he did not understand my distinction between “parameters” and “parameterizations” (i.e. tunings). Little wonder he did not understand my point about the difficulty in tuning an under-constrained problem, and the challenge this poses for validation in out-of-sample trials.

    “Divergence” indeed. Climatological mystery requiring ad hoc adjustments to the theory, or statistical proof of an invalid model?

    Gerald Browning could probably phrase the question far better than I did.

  219. woodentop
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    #216, 218 bender – thanks for that – your Dr Schmidt quote jumped out at me too when I read the original posts. The factors he refers to are all later casually dismissed as minor, which is a breathtaking assumption when describing a non-linear chaotic system.

  220. bender
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

    Lead author on the research referred to in #217:
    Is this in association with a newly published article?

  221. bender
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    From that article, on the thermohaline circulation, for David Smith, who has an ongoing interest in what the heck happened in 1976:

    Minor disturbances have taken place in recent time, such as the Great Salt Anomaly in the 1970s, which seriously affected the cod population around the Faroe Islands.

    Is it possible that human “overfishing” did not cause the collapse of the cod fishery in eastern Canada after all?

  222. bender
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    … a breathtaking assumption when describing a non-linear chaotic system

    That is precisely what Dr. Gerald Browning is getting at in “Exponential Growth in Physical Systems”. That thread is brilliant.

  223. David Smith
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

    Steve S., looks like the forecast is for an extended cool La Nina, per the computers.


  224. C_G_K
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

    Here is an AP story about Arctic sea ice melting much faster (3 times faster) than predicted by the computer models used by the IPCC, complete with a blurb from Gavin Schmidt.

    Melting Ice

  225. David Smith
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 7:01 PM | Permalink

    RE #221 bender, a good article on the impact on Alaska of the 1976 climate shift is here . Whatever happened (PDO and/or something not clearly recognized) was a big deal.

  226. Posted May 2, 2007 at 2:55 AM | Permalink


    Hmmm, strong spatial negative correlations in temperatures.. Sampling problem in annual global temperature record is indeed interesting. Place a thermometer to each square meter in Earth surface. Collect annual averages of all those readings, and make a histogram. What kind of shape you’ll get? Gaussian? Multi-modal? What is the width? This histogram helps us to figure out what kind of sampling errors we’ll see, if we don’t have those 500 trillion thermometers. However, the problem is that we won’t be able to obtain independent samples, in some large areas there are no thermometers at all. Very difficult to estimate sampling distributions. Specially, if some area readings are negatively correlated with the other area – missing values will cause large errors then to the average. Of course Jones et al have figured all this out, and obtain nicely smoothed 0.01 C sampling errors for 1850.

  227. bernie
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 4:26 AM | Permalink

    I think this is an older story being recycled – or at least the authors have said all this before. A “great marketer” is at
    work somewhere. I could not find a more detailed look at the article. Is it posted anywhere?

  228. David Smith
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 4:53 AM | Permalink

    Re #227 I paid the $9 for it. As mentioned elsewhere, there’s not a lot to it. It was nice, though, to see a paper which acknowledges that natural oscillations have played a major role in Arctic ice decline in recent decades.

  229. David Smith
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 5:05 AM | Permalink

    RE #228 One oddity is that the models start their runs in 1900, and for the first 50 years (1900-1950), a period of significant global warming, the models show little change in Arctic ice extent. Then, 1950-1975, a period of global cooling, the ice extent declines according to the models. That makes me wonder about the models.

    They also use “actual” ice extent data from 1953-1978, a period in which measurement was problematic. Estimates came from ships, airplanes and early visible-light satellites, not very accruate. The measurement problems don’t stop at 1979, either, as has been mentioned elsewhere at CA.

  230. Jeff Norman
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 6:37 AM | Permalink

    Re: some post about a month ago…

    Here in Toronto or more precisely at the GTAA (p.k.a. Pearson International Airport), April 2007 turned out to be 2.5°C cooler than the “warmest year on record”. Of course 1998 contained only the sixth warmest April in the record. April 1955 was 0.9°C warmer than April 1998. April 2007 was the 43rd warmest or 27th coolest April in the modern record recorded at the airport.

    Year-to-date, 2007 is 3.2°C cooler than the warmest year on record (1998).

    For 2007 to become the new “warmest year on record” here, the remaining months have to be something like 1.6°C warmer than their equivalent 1998 months.

    I guess it is still possible.

    They are promising warmer than average temperatures next week apparently.

  231. george h.
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 7:53 AM | Permalink

    More evidence that global warming is a religion. And the sacred text?

    April 27 (Bloomberg) — Visitors to the Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa won’t find the Gideon Bible in the nightstand drawer. Instead, on the bureau will be a copy of “An Inconvenient Truth,” former Vice President Al Gore’s book about global warming.


  232. cbone
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 7:55 AM | Permalink


    Yet again the GCM’s fail spectacularly in their predictive powers….

  233. JP
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

    David Smith,

    I read your linked paper of the 1976 PDO switch and Alaskan climate. It was very interesting. Figure 1 in the paper was of interest as it indicates the beginnings of a long term negative PDO. Of course, just when you thought you figured things out, the climate does something unexpected. I am reminded of the very harsh North American winters (1976-1979) that occured after the PDO went positive. Many in the field thought that the cold climate regime would last indefinitely. Little did they know that it was already warming.

  234. Michael Jankowski
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

    Looking at the graphic here, the models overpredict September arctic ice for the last 30 yrs, and outside the std dev for a decade or so.

    Granted, it’s a funny chart to look at b/c of the orientation, but it doesn’t appear as if there’s any acceleration in ice melt from the late 50s to present.

    I wonder how much this new revelation of sea ice quantity affects the albedo used in the GCMs?

  235. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

    RE: #223 – I realize it’s only a model, but that is one heck of an inflection point in April. 1976 – 1978 in reverse?

  236. jae
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    234: The graphic you linked would be hillarious, if the guys that produced it were not serious. We have now reached the stage in climate science where trends that don’t match the computer model are cause for alarm. I, too, see no accelerating trend in the data, possibly indicating a slow recovery from the LIA (most likely due to solar activity). Could it be that the model is incorrect?

  237. David Smith
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

    RE #233, #235 The latest NOAA long-term temperature forecast ( here ) shows, by next winter (lower right map), a strong cool-phase PDO pattern. The pattern is a warm region in the central Pacific surrounded by cool water to its north, south and east. Note the Alaskan temperatures with this pattern – cold.

  238. T J Olson
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    I’m reluctant to post his now, given the juicy data and report rich analyses ongoing in this thread. But perhaps it fits here anothers can dispell this misinformation.

    My understanding is that atsmopheric methane levels are flat, and have been for sometime. Yet here comes May 1 news of alarm about it, courtesy of the IPCC:

    “Scientists say a fifth of all greenhouse gas-induced global warming has been due to methane since pre-industrial times.”
    “Now the UN’s climate change panel says rice farming is a main cause of rising methane emissions. …”
    “Methane from rice paddies adds to the problem in global warming”

    These news stories come from Googling keywords “rice methane global warming” under “news.”

    Do I detect hyperbole and speculation? Or is there some real underlying science here? From what I know, plants like rice do add methane emmission

    The first sign of resistance: “Incredulity greets rice field warning
    Bangkok Post, Thailand – 6 hours ago
    ‘It is premature to talk about reform of rice-growing methods as a global warming mitigation measure.'”

  239. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 8:00 PM | Permalink

    RE: #237 – I am not very psyched about it. Cold and dry …. yech! ….

  240. bernie
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 9:15 PM | Permalink

    #233, #236
    The chart frankly strikes me as idiotic. The equivalent of using tree ring width proxies for temperatures before 1815 and then tagging on thermometer readings from say 1815 onwards. It is simply bizarre to conflate these different measures as if the measurement
    systems were comparable. It is also bizarre to be making trend predictions on such a limited set of data given the length of
    the cycles of known climate factors, i.e., the sun and earth orbits.
    I still need someone to explain how sea ice in and around Greenland is apparently shrinking, yet the air temperatures if anything are getting cooler. — Perhaps its too cold to snow!!

  241. Bob Koss
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 10:47 PM | Permalink

    Could be an albedo problem. Although at that angle of incidence I would think in any case the albedo would be very high.

    To me, solar is the elephant in the room. It appears they’re trying to keep it’s size as small as possible, so they can say global climate is under human control.

    I wonder how well the models work if they emulate decreasing CO2? I never hear any mention of the subject. If they have to re-tweak them to get them to emulate something realistic, then the models are defective.

  242. rhodeymark
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 3:40 AM | Permalink

    Interesting article from a surprising source, Alexander Cockburn in Counterpunch.
    Is Global Warming a Sin?

  243. bernie
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 6:26 AM | Permalink

    Did you find anything that Dr. Martin Hertzberg had written? I tried searching on Google and came up with nothing.

  244. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 9:08 AM | Permalink

    In a dark mood today …. in between two Artic cold fronts …. cold morning here in NoCal … 40s in coastal lowlands, must be frost in sheltered inland areas. It’s starting to be opressive. And my normal “anti SAD” curative is to be taken away in only a few short days (barring the long drive to Mammoth Mountain) as the remaining two Northern ski areas shut …. not for lack of snow, mind you, for lack of business. In addition to the normal tendency of flat landers here to forget about skiing after the end of Feb, high fuel prices and AGW hysteria (resulting in false beliefs that the mountain snow is all gone when in fact there was another foot yesterday) have not helped. I digress …

    What is the ultimate denialism? AGW hysteria itself is. Why? Because, it is bald faced denial of the inevitable next cold period and all the pain and death it shall bring. Is there a certain psychology at work in this? Indeed, there may well be! In any case, although some may deny it, every season (in the figurative sense) of warmth and easy living must be followed by its counterpoint. Today is a taste of that. Hence my dark mood ….

  245. John Nicklin
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 9:39 AM | Permalink



    Global Climate is under human control. Lately I have noticed that media and the “climate experts” have taken to accepting the output of models as reality, even when observation tells us that something is not happening, if a model says it is, thats good enough for certainty.

    Ipso facto, we control the weather and we can make it do anything we want.

  246. Gaudenz Mischol
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    Has anybody an idea, where MSU-satellite-data have gone? Under the so far known internet adresses I just get an error message.

    Steve: http://www.atmos.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/

  247. EW
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    The directory is still there, it works for me, last data from April 10, 07.

  248. cbone
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

    Interesting commentary by Von Storch and Zorita on the Hockey Stick in a new blog on the journal Nature’s website.


  249. jae
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

    238: methane from rice paddies ain’t nothing, compared to termite farts.

  250. woodentop
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    #244 Steve, sorry to hear about your rubbish weather. It’s been glorious here in Scotland for the last few weeks (apart from the anguished hand-wringing – it seems weather climate when it’s cold, but weather = climate when it’s hot)… I hope LA is warm later this year when I irresponsibly increase my carbon footprint.

  251. Gaudenz Mischol
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for pointing me to the data. I’m missing the normal homepage with the graphs. Maybe they are just updating it.

  252. jae
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    Forgot the link for 249.

  253. jae
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 12:11 PM | Permalink

    LOL. Some Arkansas folk think daylight savings time causes warming!

  254. Mark T.
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

    Your link is broken in 253, jae.


  255. woodentop
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

    Re. post #250 – my ‘not equals’ sign disappeared between the first ‘weather’ and ‘climate’…

  256. MarkW
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

    You can’t blame termite farts on humans, so by definition, they don’t fart enough to make a difference.

  257. jae
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    Here’s the link for 253.

  258. Mark T.
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

    I’m hoping that article was intended as a joke. 🙂


  259. David Smith
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

    The April, 2007 satellite-derived temperature for the lower troposphere is in. This is the value from RSS, which generally runs “warmer” than UAH.

    The global anomaly plot (courtesy of junkscience.com) is here .

    The global April value is a chilly +0.18C The sideways trend in global temperature over the last five years continues.

    It will be interesting to see what a combination of La Nina and cool-phase PDO do to temperatures later this year, if they materialize as expected.

    The anomaly plot for the Southern Hemisphere is here . There is a hint of a downturn, though there is so much variation that such a statement can’t be made with any assurance.

    Antarctica continues its slow cooling. The Arctic seems to have been the global warm spot in April, but even then not at record levels.

  260. Andrey Levin
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 1:54 AM | Permalink

    Re#238, methane emissions.

    No mistake here. Flooded rice paddles emit substantial amounts of methane due to anaerobic digestion of soil organics, devoted from atmospheric oxygen. And antropogenic biological emissions of GHG are huge and vastly and purposely underestimated and underreported, take a look for example here:

    Click to access A0701E00.pdf

    “According to a report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent’€”18%’€”than transport. When emissions from land use (such as production of feedcrops and grazing land) and land use change are included, the livestock sector accounts for 9% of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65% of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2. Most of this comes from manure.
    And it accounts for respectively 37% of all anthropogenic methane (23 times as warming as CO2), which is largely produced by the digestive system of ruminants.
    Livestock now use 30% of the earth’s entire land surface, mostly permanent pasture but also including 33% of the global arable land used to producing feed for livestock. Global meat production is projected to more than double from 229 million tonnes in 1999/2001 to 465 million tonnes in 2050, while milk output is set to climb from 580 to 1043 million tonnes.”

    Add to this agricultural emissions from remaining 67% of arable land (especially rice paddles and aquaculture), forestry and gardening, sewage treatment, landfills, biomass and waste burning and composting, clearing of forests, etc. ‘€” combined humankind arguably emits more biological GHG emissions than from combustion of all fossil fuels;

    Add to this huge methane emissions from Russian NG industry (estimated vent-off between 5 and 10%), and poorly flared-off NG from oil fields in ME, and such thing as underground coal fires (some estimations put GHG emissions from China coal mines fires alone comparable to US emission from cars and light trucks, http://www.post-gazette.com/healthscience/20030215coalenviro4p4.asp );

    And it becomes perfectly clear that UN/EU/IPCC/Kyoto fixation on fossil fuels and especially transportation fuels to “save the Earth” from meltdown is first degree hypocrisy, no more no less.

  261. MarkW
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 6:01 AM | Permalink

    I ran across an interesting phrase today.

    Gorebal Warming

  262. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 6:14 AM | Permalink

    Despite all the “catastrophical” claims about methane being released from melting permafrost, and despite increasing human-related methane emissions, methane concentration rising is slowing if not almost stopped in recent years:

  263. James Erlandson
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 6:15 AM | Permalink

    In Britain, a Farming Past of Golden Moors, Vineyards NPR

    Some 7,000 years ago, during the Bronze Age, the average temperature in Britain rose almost 4 degrees Fahrenheit above today’s norms.

    Martin Carruthers, an archaeologist at Orkney College of the University of the Highlands, says he usually turns to social and cultural explanations for historical agricultural changes. But he says it’s hard to deny that the balmy Bronze Age significantly altered land use, allowing ancient farmers to bring their crops to previously uncultivated areas.

    For instance, golden fields of wheat and barley flourished in the soggy, scrubby upland moors that are strewn throughout Britain’s higher elevations. In today’s climate, those areas are wholly unsuitable for farming.

  264. Nordic
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

    #260 I wonder how much agricultural practices have also worked to decrease methane emmissions. In particular I am thinking of the widespread use of of drainage tile to improve yields and increase arable land.

  265. Michael Jankowski
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    That time-change story has to be a joke, but there is an accidental element of truth to it…any folks who like to take temps at specific hours of the day and compare it to previous years have to adjust accordingly for the shift.

  266. David Smith
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 2:17 PM | Permalink

    April, 2007 in the US was the 47’th coolest in the 113-year record.

    So, US anomalies for the year (where 1 is coldest and 113 is warmest):

    January – 64
    February – 34
    March – 112
    April – 47

  267. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    RE: #266 – We’re getting smacked by natural gas bills. Here in NoCal the “summer” rate structure kicked in April 1. April and perhaps even May bills may exceed Feb and March ones.

  268. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

    While I was doing the North Pole EWMA for the Bill Gray thread, I also did one for the lower troposphere global temperature anomaly. After looking at it I find I have less confidence that there isn’t an underlying upward trend. The trend of the data prior to the 1998 El Nino seems to be flat, but there are three major cooling events, the eruptions of El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1992 and a major La Nina in 1988-1989. Even the El Nino in 1998 was immediately followed by a significant La Nina, bring the temperature anomaly back to the baseline. I don’t know where the heat goes in a La Nina or where it comes from in an El Nino, but the volcanic eruptions unquestionably result in less solar energy being absorbed by the Earth than would have been the case in their absence. There is a substantial increase in the lower stratosphere temperature anomaly after each eruption. Much of that energy is lost to space rather than being absorbed at the surface or lower in the atmosphere.

    Here is the chart (lambda = 0.3):

  269. jae
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

    260, methane. But on the other hand, there has been a great decrease in areas covered by wetlands, which are a HUGE source of methane (76% of all “natural” methane). This would partially balance out some of the human-caused increases.

  270. T J Olson
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the input from Andrey (#260) and Filippo (#262) regarding methane levels and ACW (#237).

    I’ve wondered if the satellite measured NH/SH temperature divergences might support flatening methane levels. The locig is this: 80% of humanity lives in the NH; as population growth increases, and cultivation and cities grow, natural sources of methane like wet-lands dimminish, replaced by man-made sources. But since most of this goes on the NH – not the SH – the last 15 or so years of temperature divergence is the consequence of the pattern of this changing production.

    If so, one implication is that natural sources will continue to decline; another, that as population growth levels off around 2050, man-made production should too.

    A final implication is that aggregate satellite temps may be a better reflection of the far more potent GHG methane than CO2. IF so, how can this theory be tested? The need to involve economic geographers address this this question appears obvious.

  271. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 5, 2007 at 12:11 AM | Permalink

    Re: #270

    While methane is considered as having an effect 23 times larger than CO2, its concentration is much lower, less than 1.8 ppmv compared to 380 ppmv for CO2. So methane is currently equivalent to about an additional 40 ppmv CO2.

  272. Andrey Levin
    Posted May 5, 2007 at 12:59 AM | Permalink

    Re:269, methane.

    There are some reduction of antropogenic methane emissions too, due to:

    1) severe downturn of Russian economy in late 1990;
    2) currently reduced venting from Russian NG wells and pipelines ‘€” just because of routine replacement
    for new and better compressors, valves, etc.;
    3) better practice and equipment in ME oil fields;
    4) no-till crop farming in US and Europe;
    5) conversion of flooded rainforest and wetlands in S. America and S.-E. Asia to drained plantations.

    Any way, reduction of methane emissions from industry and agriculture is the most effective way to reduce GHG emissions, if desired, and is environmentally and economically beneficial by itself. Take a look, for example, at US government “Methane to market” initiative:


  273. woodentop
    Posted May 5, 2007 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

    Steve – Durkin gives you and Ross a name check here over the hockey stick debunking and the Wegman report in my local (Scottish) paper today:

    ‘What is causing our climate to change?’

    Unfortunately it’s on their subscription only site, but in brief it’s Durkin and Bob Ward exchanging over TGGWS. Durkin doesn’t do a bad job of defending the usual criticisms and explains the corrections to be made to the DVD.

    Sadly, it’s laid out in the format Ward/Durkin’s response/Ward’s (wholly inadequate) summary…

  274. S. Hales
    Posted May 5, 2007 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

    For those interested in aerosols and the state of our knowledge of various aspects of their radiative properties, global concentrations, historical concentrations, and future monitoring see this

  275. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 5, 2007 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    Olson (#270) I think that different temperature profiles between NH and SH are more simply due to different land/ocean concentration.
    We know that land is warming (as was cooling during ’50-’60ies) faster than ocean. So, on the entire globe, seas are 70% of the surface and lands 30%. But, in the NH lands are almost 50% of the surface, while in the SH just about 20% (and Antarctic has even a cooling trend belonging to satellite measurements, but this does not affect too much emisphere trend). Moreover, warming trends (due to alterated heat flux, natural or artificial) are led from the equatorial belt, not by temperate regions.

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