Sunday, January 20, 2008

Global Warming

In this inaugural post, I would like to discuss the issue of what is generally termed Anthropogenic Global Warming. This term is used because the Earth for all of its history has been warming and cooling. The Sahara Desert used to be green. Minnesota used to be covered by a giant glacier, which is why it is so flat and has so many lakes. These facts are well known, and disputed by no one.

Therefore the term Anthropogenic must be used. "
Anthropo" means "related to humans", and "genic" of course is related to "genesis", meaning "to come from". The question is: are human beings, through the consumption of carbon based fuel sources like oil products and coal, creating an increase in the so-called "Greenhouse Effect"?

This Greenhouse effect is so called because solar radiation, passing through the windows of a Greenhouse, warms the air inside. Since the air has nowhere to which to
reradiate that absorbed heat, it warms up. This is why your car is so hot on sunny days, and why cracking the windows helps. Cracking the windows enables the air to expand, mix with cooler air, and thus lower the overall temperature. This analogy, while not exact, is intended to convey the idea of heat collecting without dissipating.

With respect to the Earth's atmosphere, there are numerous Greenhouse Gases (you will often see
GHG's as a shorthand), including Carbon Dioxide, Nitrous Dioxide, Methane, and most importantly Water Vapor. In effect each of these acts as one-way filters. Sunlight passes through the atmosphere, and reaches the Earth, where it warms plants, soils, and oceans. Since light is energy, that energy is absorbed by the Earth, and some of it is converted to heat, which in effect changes the frequency profile of that radiation. This new frequency, generally in the infrared portion of the spectrum, is blocked by the identified GHG's.

Depending on the source you look at, somewhere between 60% on the low side, and 95% on the high side of the Greenhouse Effect results from water vapor. This effect will vary depending on the clarity of the day. Clouds block the sun, and so block the sunlight from getting in. Where there are no cloud, though, water is by far, hands down, by all accounts the single most important
GHG.

Carbon Dioxide represents on average about .03% of the atmosphere, as near as we can determine. It is essential for plant photosynthesis, and it is abundantly clear that even apart from its beneficial effect with respect to the Greenhouse Effect that life would be impossible without it.

As far as a frame of reference, it is the source of carbonation in soda drinks, the reason Pop Rocks fizzle, and the reason bread dough rises. It is what you exhale when you breathe out, and the actual reason that you breathe. Our brains, you see, respond not to decreases in oxygen, but to increases in CO2 in our blood stream.

Carbon Dioxide is, in other words, not only not pollution, but exceedingly beneficial.

You have, however, likely heard differently, or at least heard this framed differently, so let us now dig directly into this debate.

In 1988, James Hanson--who is on the government payroll at
NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Sciences--testified to Congress that the Earth was warming, and that in his view the collective carbon dioxide emissions of industrialized nations were largely to blame. This basic claim has been expanded and amplified in the intervening 20 years or so, and today represents a principle reason for the large scale concern bordering often on hysteria.

Self evidently, Summer and winter represent in almost all climates variations in temperature that are not catastrophic in any sense. The difference between New York City in the summer, on average, and the New York in the middle of winter, on average, might be 60 degrees. This is roughly the temperature difference between having an atmosphere, and having no atmosphere.

Moreover, as you drive south from New York, the temperature gets steadily warmer, and this is true at all times of the year. If temperature per
se were the only determinant of well being, then the Caribbean ought to horrific. In fact, it would be paradisical if most islands were not overpopulated (another issue entirely).

The case can in fact be made that for much of the world, longer growing seasons would actually make life better, and shorter winters life less unpleasant.

So why, first of all, the concern about warming?

The one thing we hear over and over is that the seas will rise. In the era of the dinosaurs, the seas were roughly 300 feet higher. What changed was that for unknown reasons much of the water in the oceans was frozen into glaciers at the North and South poles.

Let us take that as a worst case scenario, one which no one predicts. You know what happens? The poles become habitable, and ocean reefs will be able to grow farther north. Plants of all sorts and varieties thrive, and areas which were previously uninhabitable become bread baskets.

Many islands and coastal nations do indeed disappear, unless Dutch-style dikes are built, but the outcome--while highly disruptive--is one which takes place over many dozens of years, and allows for
accomodation.

It would be, in short, hardly the end of the world as we know it. All of our social institutions would survive, and it's far from clear the net effect would not be beneficial.

In none of these scenarios does the Earth become uninhabitable, and frankly in none of even the most overblown, flamboyantly dramatic scenarios do we even return to the state I mentioned, which as I said the Earth has been in before, and in which life thrived.

If our concern is with the poor of the world, then why is so little said about the role of energy in the building of the industries that enable developing countries to develop? It's unclear the Earth will warm, but it's abundantly, categorically clear that power plants in hungry nations do a great deal of good, and that such plants would be strongly frowned upon if the
UN's IPCC ruled the world.

Still, in all honesty it must be said that studies have been done showing an enormous economic cost to the projected effects of global warming (one study showing a 20% shrinking of the global economy)--not to mention the large scale displacements of people--so it does matter whether the science is valid or not. To that we will now turn.

The Science
I would like to address this basic issue in two ways: first, by a review of relevant facts, and secondly by a more philosophical review of the underpinning thinking.

Anthropogenic Global Warming is a hypothesis. The way this works is you generate an idea, which in this case can be summarized as follows: "the consumption of carbon based fuels for modern industrial economies works to increase atmospheric CO2 levels, which ought in turn to lead to increasing global temperatures, in ways unlikely to be self corrected other natural processes."

What two data points would be most relevant to this hypothesis? Obviously, historical CO2 levels, and historical temperature levels. What we would expect to see would be CO2 levels steadily increasing since the dawn of the industrial age--when large scale coal burning become common--up to now. We would expect to see temperatures increasing in a similarly linear fashion.

Obviously, the
IPCC, in claiming a clear human influence, believes it has such evidence. The single piece which caused a simmering concern to burst into wholesale panic was a proxy study done by Michael Mann and colleagues at the University of Virginia. If you have heard that the 90's was the hottest decade on record, and that 1998 was the hottest year, then you are familiar with Mann's work. He has a website, if you want to review it.

His goal was to place 20
th Century temperatures in context as best he could, and of course the only way to look back into the past is by proxy data. Data carried by non-human substitutes for thermometers.

He chose tree rings as a principle source, particularly for the periods more than 300 years or so ago. Trees grow more when it is warm, and less when it is cold. The rings are larger when the trees grow more, and smaller when they grow less. We can look at a given species, and compare the actual rings to actually measured temperature records for the last 100 years or so, and extrapolate from there about what the temperature might have been. If, for example, a tree grew X amount in 1945, at an average temperature of Y, then a similar amount of growth in 1545 ought to indicate a similar temperature.

If that sounds dubiously approximate, it is. For example, you might see as much growth with a long mild summer, and long mild winter, as you would see in a short hot summer and long cold winter. It's impossible to know for sure. For this reason, statistical corrections are used.

Although not a statistician himself, and in my understanding not employing any on his staff of
Paleoclimatologists (specialists in past climatic periods), he developed his own algorithmic corrective process, which when developed (you run it through, and something pops out like a picture) showed a graph which has become famous, in which the temperature for roughly the last 1,000 years is roughly steady, then at the latter half of the 20th Century rises rapidly. It looks like a Hockey Stick, and has thus come to be called that.

If you look at this graph, it is difficult not to become alarmed. It seems so obviously to show a major aberration in temperature that it is difficult to explain in any other way than that offered by the
AGW proponents. And as Mann himself often points out, he was not the only one to conduct such an analysis. However, in my understanding, all subsequent such analyses were conducted in similar manners, with similar bases of data. That they yielded similar conclusions is unsurprising.

The devil, as they say, is in the details. There are in fact two principle bases of criticism with respect to his work, and the work which followed.

First is methodological. When Mann's work was subjected to rigorous analysis by two Canadians, Ross
McKitrick and Steven McIntyre, they found that the conclusion reached by Mann--the "Hockey Stick" effect--could be erased entirely by eliminating one series of proxy analyses that appeared to have been in effect cherry picked to yield the hockey stick result. The data mining looked for aberrant samples, and then weighted them disproportionately. In my understanding, every professional statistician who has looked at this issue has--regardless of their thoughts on the AGW issue--found flaws. The issue is summarized here.

What you need to know is that if data is discarded which seems to have been mined solely to skew the results, no large scale aberrations in either direction (warming or cooling) remain, and this result has been found consistently by multiple researchers.

As importantly, it was a commonplace prior to the ascendancy of both the
AGW hypothesis--and those supporting it--that there has been substantial temperature variations within the last 1,000 years in Europe. This in fact was the consensus when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change first convened in 1990, and was reiterated in 1995. What changed that consensus was Mann's paper.

Perhaps most importantly, it was well attested that Greenland was in fact warm enough to grow crops on during what was called the Medieval Warming Period. It had far less icCheck Spellinge on it, in other words, making the current apparent melting a return to a condition it has been in before, and our current temperatures unexceptional.

This is key: the contextualization of current temperatures. Is this the exceptional period we are being told it is, or has it happened before? According to many, it has been warmer in the last 1,000 years, meaning that CO2 cannot have been the cause of those temperatures. You can look at good reviews of this issue here and here.

The bottom line is that all reconstructions of the past 1,000, much less 10,000 years are subject to large experimental bias, in the sense that we really don't know how accurate our readings are, and they in any event quite frequently seem to show no exceptional patterns.

The smoking gun that the Hockey Stick appeared to show, in others words, is a dud, at least currently.

But what about what we might term "thermometer time", the period since widespread measurements could be made with thermometers?

What we have in this regard is more data, but data that is of uncertain reliability. In general, the practice for those taking regular temperatures was to write down daily the high and the low. Would-be temperature historians average the two, and hope thereby to generate a useful average.
However, how many readings do you think we have from the mid-Pacific from 1742? How about from Himalayan mountaintops in 1875? Brazilian jungles in 1902? Some, possibly, but hardly many, and even the two-a-day method is suspect.

In fact, a man who has sat on the Expert Review Panel of the IPCC virtually since its inception, has written a letter to a colleague supporting his call for the abolition of the IPCC, and cites in particular the cavalier nature of the IPCC's treatment of temperature data:

"To start with the "global warming" claim. It is based on a graph showing that "mean annual global temperature" has been increasing.

This claim fails from two fundamental facts

1. No average temperature of any part of the earth's surface, over any period, has ever been made. How can you derive a "global average" when you do not even have a single "local" average?

What they actually use is the procedure used from 1850, which is to make one measurement a day at the weather station from a maximum/minimum thermometer. The mean of these two is taken to be the average. No statistician could agree that a plausible average can be obtained this way. The potential bias is more than the claimed "global warming.

2. The sample is grossly unrepresentative of the earth's surface, mostly near to towns. No statistician could accept an "average" based on such a poor sample.

It cannot possibly be "corrected" It is of interest that frantic efforts to "correct" for these uncorrectable errors have produced mean temperature records for the USA and China which show no overall "warming" at all. If they were able to "correct" the rest, the same result is likely."

Thus a man intimately familiar with the basis of the discussion is making what appear to me to be common sense points. The Earth is large, our measurements are few, and likely only reasonably accurate since the dawn in the last couple decades of accurate satellite data.

Moreover, what is not generally known is that the existing scenarios actually predict warming that is 2-3 times what is predicted at the surface.

If you read this report
--written as he says by a contributor to the IPCC's 2007 Report, and an eminent scientist in his own right--you will find that the math used by the IPCC to calculate heat radiance and its effect on atmospheric temperatures predicts very large temperature increases in the upper atmosphere, which ought, if their math is correct, to be very substantial, and much larger than any increases on the surface.

But they are not.

I will quote him at length:


"At the very heart of the IPCC's calculations lurks an error more serious than any of these. The IPCC says: "The CO2 radiative forcing increased by 20 percent during the last 10 years (1995-2005)." Radiative forcing quantifies increases in radiant energy in the atmosphere, and hence in temperature. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 in 1995 was 360 parts per million. In 2005 it was just 5percent higher, at 378 ppm. But each additional molecule of CO2 in the air causes a smaller radiant-energy increase than its predecessor. So the true increase in radiative forcing was 1 percent, not 20 percent. The IPCC has exaggerated the CO2 effect 20-fold.

Why so large and crucial an exaggeration? Answer: the IPCC has repealed the fundamental physicalthe Stefan-Boltzmann equation - that converts radiant energy to temperature. Without this equation, no meaningful calculation of the effect of radiance on temperature can be done. Yet the 1,600 pages of the IPCC's 2007 report do not mention it once.

The IPCC knows of the equation, of course. But it is inconvenient. It imposes a strict (and very low) limit on how much greenhouse gases can increase temperature. At the Earth's surface, you can add as much greenhouse gas as you like (the "surface forcing"), and the temperature will scarcely respond.

That is why all of the IPCC's computer models predict that 10km above Bali, in the tropical upper troposphere, temperature should be rising two or three times as fast as it does at the surface. Without that tropical upper-troposphere "hot-spot", the Stefan-Boltzmann law ensures that surface temperature cannot change much.

For half a century we have been measuring the temperature in the upper atmosphere - and it has been changing no faster than at the surface. The IPCC knows this, too. So it merely declares that its computer predictions are right and the real-world measurements are wrong. Next time you hear some scientifically-illiterate bureaucrat say, "The science is settled", remember this vital failure of real-world observations to confirm the IPCC's computer predictions. The IPCC's entire case is built on a guess that the absent hot-spot might exist. "

Bottom line: what they predict, isn't happening. And as he points out, the tone of the IPCC's report from 2007 was markedly scaled down relative to 2001, even though to all non-detail level appearances it was scaled up. He even rebuts Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" in detail.

Noteworthy there is that a British judge mandated that British schoolchildren be told of 9 scientific errors before they could be shown the film, lest laws against the "political indoctrination" of school children be violated.

Temperatures, in short, do not appear to be rising significantly, and in any event we can, with reasonable confidence, believe that it has been warmer in the recent past, and that warming now is natural and nothing to be concerned about.

What, then, about CO2 levels? Has the predicted rise happened?

First off, there are enormous methodological problems with CO2 measurements. Look at a picture of the Earth. Do you see clouds? Do you think it likely that CO2, like water, interacts with the atmosphere in fluid ways? For obscure reasons, the IPCC, in my understanding, treats CO2 as "well mixed" for their analytical purposes, meaning that a CO2 measurement at noon at the North Pole is theoretically as good as one taken at midnight at the equator. Yet humidity goes up and down, doesn't it? Why is CO2 any different?

It is well known that the solubility of gases in liquids is a function of temperature. Our oceans cycle relentlessly from North to South in what is referred to as thermohaline circulation
. The thermo of course refers to temperature, and haline to salinity.

Aeronautical Engineer Jeff Glassman has developed, based on his own research, a detailed model
showing how CO2 is taken up by cold waters, and released by warm waters. The oceans cannot differentiate between manmade CO2 and natural CO2, and the relative proportions of manmade to natural (estimated at roughly 1 part manmade to 15 natural) CO2 make our own contributions minescule compared to the effectively limitless potential of the oceans to absorb CO2.

He makes the further important point that what the Vostok ice cores
show is that CO2 levels rise AFTER temperatures. As mentioned, temperatures have gone up and down continuously as long as life has existed on this planet. What the Vostok samples were initially supposed to have said was that increases in CO2 led to increases in temperature, which is the basic AGW hypothesis. However, later it was determined that CO2 levels lagged temperatures.

AGW supporters then argued that CO2 levels amplified existing warming, and that the same will happen in our era if our current production of CO2 is unchecked.

However, if it were true both that warming causes the release of CO2, AND that CO2 amplifies that warming, why has our climate never run away? Why have we not returned to the era of the dinosaurs, or something even warming? As far as that goes, why do we keep having Ice Ages, which are much, much, much more common than warming episodes?

This basic notion is called feedback, and use of this idea is why we keep hearing that we only have a few years before it's too late. Supposedly there is a tipping point, beyond which the climate will run out of control. Yet, the basics for such a tipping point are right there in the sedimentary record, and it didn't happen. We know it is possible, since CO2 levels in the pLE

This is because in the real world there are both positive and negative feedback loops. CO2 levels have always gone up and come down as the ocean temperatures-and corresponding capacity for CO2 absorption--have changed.

Yet what about this claim we hear constantly that CO2 levels are the highest in 420,000 years? First off, the 420,000 years number comes from the estimated age of the Vostok record. Essentially they are comparing data from a single source, to that which can be obtained today. In turn, the bulk of the data in use today comes from a 50 year study done in Hawaii by Charles Keelling.

Any extrapolations made from this data rest on two assumptions: first, that CO2 "clouds" do not exist, and that CO2 somehow behaves different from other gases; and secondly that the Vostok data is sufficiently complete that it can be used as a basis for generalized conclusions.

With respect to the first assumption, simple chemistry tells us that CO2 has a solubility curve, as well described by Jeff Glassman. Simply put, cold water holds more CO2 than warm water. Hawaii is in the middle of a lot of relatively warm water, and it is therefore quite conceivable that the readings taken there are not typical of the entirety of the atmosphere, and are in fact unduly high.

Dr. Vincent Gray--remember, one of the original members of the IPCC Expert Review Panel-- has in fact alleged that much of the CO2 data has been fudged:

"The other flagship set of data promoted by the IPCC are the figures showing the increase in atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide. They have manipulated the data in such a way to persuade us (including most scientists) that this concentration is constant throughout the atmosphere. In order to do this, they refrain from publishing any results which they do not like, and they have suppressed no less than 90,000 measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide made in the last 150 years. Some of these were made by Nobel Prizewinners and all were published in the best scientific journals. Ernst Beck has published on the net all the actual papers."

In short, we began with a paucity of data--CO2 being yet harder to measure than temperature--and even that data set has been unjustifiably reduced so as to, apparently, engineer uniform data.

With respect to the second assumption, that Vostok is a fair representation of historical CO2 levels, Jeff Glassman makes a very valid point
:

"Check the Vostok data. The CO2 samples number 283, covering 414,085 years. The average spacing is 1463 years. The chances of sampling an epoch like the present 50 year record, if it existed, is about 50/1463 or 3.4%.

That translates into a 3.4% confidence level for the statement that the present CO2 trend was unprecedented in the last 420 Kyears. That confidence level does not begin to rise to an acceptable standard for a scientific conclusion. . .The CO2 growth rate at Mauna Loa is unprecedented because no comparable measurements exist."

Thus we see that the projections of the hypothesis are at best weakly confirmed, and at worst (for them) falsified outright. There are methodological problems, empirical problems, problems of sloppy math, and most of all a lack of the sort of concrete predictions that would enable them to overcome their otherwise lackluster performance.

The bottom line is that the alleged phenomena of large scale, rapid warming and greatly increased atmospheric CO2 levels do not appear to have come true. In point of fact, even if the earth were warming, there are multiple plausible hypotheses for it, but for now we do not even need to proceed to an explanation of something it is not clear even exists.

It is now time for a more philosophical treatment, which will be shorter.

What is science?
It is in the nature of religions to assert truths, and force compliance with them. Witches in the Middle Ages were burned because they were considered to be agents of the Devil. Quite often, the evidence marshalled against them consisted in little more than the accusation itself.

Today, on the internet, "evidence" seems quite often to consist in little more than name-calling. Several of the people to whom I have linked have been publicly lambasted, and in at least one case found cause to file several lawsuits, for nothing more than stating the facts as they saw them.

Science is supposed to be an antidote to that. When witches were accused of being in league with the Devil, did it make any difference to the truth how many people believed these charges? Did it matter how many Cardinals sided with their Church in condemning Galileo, or how many Biology Professors sided with Hitler?

Science is not a popularity contest. It doesn't matter how many people believe something, one trenchant and indisputable fact can overturn the whole intellectual system in favor of something radically new, and in general that something is quite small.

What scientists MUST do to warrant the name is make predictions, and reassess their opinions if what they predict does not happen.

The last 7 years have not shown increased warming. In particular, the projected 2-3 fold increase in the upper atmosphere is entirely absent. CO2 measurements are entirely suspect, and all that remains are computer models. In point of fact, 2007 showed an unpredicted and unexplained global COOLING.

Yet "the map is not the territory". Models are not reality, and their only conceivable claim to validity is repeatedly accurate predictions. If someone can find me a list of predictions made by AGW enthusiasts that have come true, I will link it HERE. I have seen none, and I don't believe one exists.

We were told a few years ago about an increased risk of hurricanes, after Katrina. This did not happen. In fact, the season was milder than normal.

We need to be clear: there is nothing whatever wrong with decreasing carbon emissions. If it accomplishes nothing else, it should decrease somewhat the importance of the Middle East, at least to the US (the Chinese and Indians will likely take up any slack we leave). There is nothing wrong with conservation, and with taking better care of the environment.

However, these common sense and unobjectionable types of projects should never be confused with the apparent desire of the UN to use the AGW hypothesis to foster a transnational government with a socialist agenda.

Here is Brian Eno on Global Warming:
"Things change for the better either because something went wrong or because something went right. Recently we've seen an example of the former, and this failures fill me with optimism.

The acceptance of the reality of global warming has, in the words of Sir Nicholas Stern in his report on climate change to the British government, shown us 'the greatest and widest ranging market failure ever seen'.

The currency of conservatism for the last century has been that markets are smarter than governments: and this creed has reinforced the conservative resistance to anything resembling binding international agreements. The suggestion that global warming represents a failure of the market is therefore important. Technical solutions will hopefully be found, but the process will need to be primed and stoked and enforced by legislation that would be regarded as big government socialism in the present climate. The future may be a bit more like Sweden and a bit less like America."

Or take a look at this piece:

"For decades, environmentalism has been the Left's best excuse for increasing government control over our actions in ways both large and small.

It's for Mother Earth! It's for the children! It's for the whales! But until now, the doomsday-scenario environmental scares they've trumped up haven't been large enough to give the sinister prize they want most of all: total control of American politics, economic activity, and even individual behavior.

With global warming, however, greenhouse gasbags can argue that auto emissions in Ohio threaten people in Paris, and that only global government can tackle such problems. National sovereignty? Democracy? Forget it: global warming has now brought the Left closer to global government, statism, and the eradication of individual rights than it has ever been before."

Summary

I could be wrong. My understanding of the facts might be erroneous. If anyone sees any flagrant errors, please let me know. However, it seems to me that a lot of very intelligent people whose funding is no more suspect than that of UN employees (remember the "Oil for Food" scandal?) believe, increasingly, that this issue can more accurately be characterized as an indirect attack on the Capitalistic system than a sincere effort to provide an unbiased voice to the entirety of the evidence.

Here is a list, which I intend to be expanding, of people who are scientifically qualified to evaluate the evidence, and who have come down against the IPCC's supposed "consensus", and in favor of explanations that are not catastrophic, and which do NOT require large scale government regulation of free enterprise.

I will add a response in advance, as well, to those whose education was insufficient to teach them that ad hominem attacks are the lowest possible form of argumentation, and do not even rise to a level sufficient to be called debate.

To take the most obvious example, does the explanation "of course they think like that, they are "right wing", carry any more weight than "of course they think like that, they are "left wing"?
Is any meaning conveyed other than that people think the way they think because they think the way they think?

I don't think so, and I think this is a pretty moderate, intelligent position.

I don't believe that labelling an argument constitutes a counter-argument. In fact, in general it constitutes an evasion which I generally take to be a de facto admission of intellectual bankrupcy.

Read the links, and if you choose to comment, comment in detail with respect to specific claims they have made. Their qualifications are irrelevant: if they make factual claims, show me where those claims are falsified.

Thanks for your time!!!

99 comments:

PJ said...

Great work Barry. I wish I had your ability to write so effectively and intensely... Let me know if you would like me to link your blog to pjcountry...

Mountain Goat said...

This was posted and apparently removed yesterday. I'm including it because it makes sense, and adds to my argument in some ways.

I'm aware of all the objections raised here, and simply have not included them because the argument is already strong.

In my view, the net is that in order to make any accurate correlation between temperature and CO2 you have to have enough data points to eradicate the noise of constant variations which we have never understood. We have neither. We don't have accurate global temperature readings on the surface EVEN NOW. We have few to no sensors in the polar regions, and not many in the oceans, as I understand it. We do have accurate atmospheric data from roughly the late 1990's, but that is a drop in a very, very, very large bucket.

To be clear, we don't know why the last Ice Age ebbed in our current interglacial period, but we do know the historical record is clear that we should be expecting a new Ice Age some time in the next 1,000 years or so.

As far as the "greenhouse" effect, I know my treatment was not quite accurate, but I felt it was close enough to make the point.

In any event, I never reject feedback:



You need to change what you said about how a green house works. A car or greenhouse gets hot because there is no CONVECTION (air movement) to remove the heat.

The other point that is a major achilles heel is the models Warmers use for how Green house gases work depend on a FLAT surface. The earth is a sphere so in general the IR escapes in all directions except for straight down. This causes a BIG change in the calculations.


As far as I can tell there are three legs upon which the fallacy stands.
1. CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere,and Maunna Loa and Ice Core data represent the actual CO2 now and in the passed. Dr Jaworowski explains it here: www.warwickhughes.com/icecore/zjmar07.pdf

2. Water ~ Water in all three phases is the elephant in the room that actually regulates our climate. Clouds and ice change the albedo and the ocean acts as a heat sink/capacitor. The ocean temps oscillate and this causes thirty year temp swings. The oceans also redistribute the heat from the tropics toward the poles.

3. SUN ~ Warmists try to say the sunlight is constant and therefore has no effect. However think of a kid on a swing. That is the ocean and small changes in the total energy of the sun, charge the heat sink/capacitor and keep the oscillation going. Small changes also could have a big effect on the cloud cover.

There are also the planets. We know the actual length of day is changed by the configuration of the planets and the tides depend on the moon/ sun. We know the change in the earths orbit and tilt effect the climate. Do the planets have other effects we have not yet figured out? Do they disturb the earth's orbit, or cause the various solar cycles?

Vaytw said...

Hi Barry.

I’d like to respond to some of what you’ve written here. I'm going to deal with the "science" section as opposed to impacts. I have many points to quibble with you on, but I'll start with this one. You claim:

// Anthropogenic Global Warming is a hypothesis. //

This is simply wrong. You can check a dictionary or encyclopedia on this: AGW is a scientific theory. Think Relativity. Evolution. Electromagnetism. etc. A scientific theory is distinguished from a hypothesis in that it is supported by independent, converging lines of evidence, among other things.

Epistemically, scientific theories are basically the top of the food-chain. Here, in a nutshell, is the Theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming:

1. Increasing the level of a greenhouse gas in a planet’s atmosphere, all else being equal, will raise that planet’s surface temperature. (Fourier 1820’s)

2. CO2 is a greenhouse gas (Tyndall 1859).

3. CO2 is rising (Keeling et al. 1958, 1960,etc.).

4. Therefore (given 1-3 above) the Earth should be warming.

5. From multiple converging lines of evidence, we know the Earth is warming (NASA GISS, Hadley Centre CRU, UAH MSU, RSS TLT, borehole results, melting glaciers and ice caps, etc.).

6. The warming is moving in close correlation with the carbon dioxide (r = 0.874 for ln CO2 and dT 1880-2008).

7. The new CO2 (as shown by its isotopic signature) is mainly from burning fossil fuels (Suess 1955, Revelle and Suess, 1958).

8. Satellite data shows less warming is escaping to space, and more warming is being reflected back to Earth. In both cases, the heat bears the radiation signature of C02. This is a smoking gun that the temperature increase is human-caused. (Harries 2001, Griggs 2004, Chen 2007 / Philipona 2004, Evans 2006, Wang 2009).

9. Other human "fingerprints", such as the fact that warming occurs faster at night than during the day, and faster in winter than in summer, also confirm the observed warming as being of human origin.

10. Therefore the global warming currently occurring is primarily anthropogenic.

11. In order for man-made global warming to be falsified, a PHYSICS -BASED alternative would have to exist (and survive scientific scrutiny) that explains the multiple lines of converging evidence we see that also explains why the physics of greenhouse gases works in every instance except for those GHG's produced through the activity of man.

12. Decades later, no such theory is forthcoming.

I'll see whether or not this post appears and stays in your comments section before continuing.

Mountain Goat said...

Vaytw: you don't know me very well. I delete nothing, and never finish a debate until the person I am debating stops talking. This because I never stake out a strong position until I am confident that the evidence favors it.

I will respond in depth to your assertions when you indicate that you have in fact read my post.

As examples, I deal in depth with problems in MEASURING average global temperatures and CO2 levels. You ignore these critical issues. You can neither assert that temperatures are rising or that CO2 levels are rising when the empirical methods for making the measurements are highly suspect from a scientific point of view, which is allegedly the one that matters with respect to this topic.

And as far as hypothesis/theory, CLEARLY within the actual scientific method when you make a prediction, such as record hurricane activity, which is WRONG, and demonstrably so, your hypothesis is WRONG. Not only is the AGW idea not a hypothesis, but I would argue that it is an unanchored conjecture. You establish conjectures so as to develop testable ideas which you formulate as hypotheses.

All the models for Global Warming have been wrong many times, over time. This is why they changed the label to Climate Change.

Again, demonstrate that you have actually read my piece prior to regurgitating the usual suspects, and I will respond in depth to everything you have to say.

Vaytw said...

// Vaytw: you don't know me very well. I delete nothing, and never finish a debate until the person I am debating stops talking. This because I never stake out a strong position until I am confident that the evidence favors it. I will respond in depth to your assertions when you indicate that you have in fact read my post. //

Oh yes, I read it from stem to stern. All the way to the list of “people who are scientifically qualified to evaluate the evidence, and who have come down against the IPCC's supposed ‘consensus’, and in favor of explanations that are not catastrophic, and which do NOT require large scale government regulation of free enterprise.” (which is strange, because you later say, “Their qualifications are irrelevant: if they make factual claims, show me where those claims are falsified”) – but whatever.

Starting right from the tail end, and admittedly without having read your links there (my time isn’t infinite), you do realize that in one of the numerous drafts of the paper where Richard Tol tries to challenge the John Cook consensus study, he says the following:

“There is no doubt in my mind that the literature on climate change overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis that climate change is caused by humans. I have very little reason to doubt that the consensus is indeed correct.”

…not that it matters. He’s no more qualified to adjudicate truth in this matter than am I… or probably you, for that matter – but I find a certain mindset seems to totally discount qualifications when it comes to this issue, so I thought I’d bring that up!

As for Christopher Monckton… mamma mia! You said to specify claims I have problems with? Well, there is a 4,096 character limit on these posts, you know! I'll try to add it in a later post. Better cut this here...

Vaytw said...

// As examples, I deal in depth with problems in MEASURING average global temperatures and CO2 levels. You ignore these critical issues. You can neither assert that temperatures are rising or that CO2 levels are rising when the empirical methods for making the measurements are highly suspect from a scientific point of view, which is allegedly the one that matters with respect to this topic. //

Come on man. Are you serious? You’re being Post Modernist level of “skeptical” here. Are you aware of the sheer NUMBER and variety in type of temperature studies corroborating the same basic facts? Even if, as WUWT claims, the temperature measurements are biased warm (which has in fact been refuted), why does pretty much each and every temperature record show a strikingly similar pattern? Errors tend to be scatter-shot, not all in one direction.

Anyway, I’ll come back to these issues of CO2 measurement and temperature records later. Because I ignored these particular claims in my initial post for a reason: even if the temperature and CO2 measurements were fatally flawed, it doesn’t invalidate the demands of physics. Nor does it
explain how satellite measurements of the irradiation show more less lR radiation escaping to space and more IR radiation returning to Earth, both at the wavelengths of CO2. Energy doesn’t just disappear in a burst of rhetoric… it has to go somewhere. If it isn’t escaping to space, it has to end up somewhere. And in terms of our planet’s climate, that “somewhere” is primarily into the planet’s oceans.

Vaytw said...

// And as far as hypothesis/theory, CLEARLY within the actual scientific method when you make a prediction, such as record hurricane activity, which is WRONG, and demonstrably so, your hypothesis is WRONG. Not only is the AGW idea not a hypothesis, but I would argue that it is an unanchored conjecture. You establish conjectures so as to develop testable ideas which you formulate as hypotheses. //

Please. You clearly aren’t aware of the bulk of the research. Moreover, you seem to think that modifying a theory based on new information invalidates it. This is so wrong it’s Creationist-interpretation-of-science wrong. In fact, revisibility is one of the qualifications for a scientific theory. I’ll quote Wikipedia:

“”A body of descriptions of knowledge is usually only called a theory if it has fulfilled these criteria:
1) It makes falsifiable predictions with consistent accuracy across a broad area of scientific inquiry (such as mechanics).
2) It is well-supported by many independent strands of evidence, rather than a single foundation. This ensures that it is probably a good approximation, if not completely correct.
3) It is consistent with pre-existing theories and other experimental results. (Its predictions may differ slightly from pre-existing theories in cases where they are more accurate than before.)
4) It can be adapted and modified to account for new evidence as it is discovered, thus increasing its predictive capability over time.
5) It is among the most parsimonious explanations, sparing in proposed entities or explanations.”

Vaytw said...

As to hurricanes, that issue is still controversial. Concerning the ~frequency~ of storms, there is no consensus and reputable scientists have two conflicting hypotheses. Which shows that, no, AGW doesn’t have some top-down, pre-established conclusion about things that scientists are forced to conform with. The consensus that storms are getting more intense is building, though… and if you think about it, it’s pretty obvious: extra energy in the atmosphere lends itself to increased intensity of precipitation events.

// All the models for Global Warming have been wrong many times, over time. This is why they changed the label to Climate Change. //

No, they haven’t. And the “label” has never been changed. In fact, both terminology are still used, and have about equal representation in papers going back for decades. It was Republican strategist Frank Luntz who said that the terminology “climate change” should be preferred, as it was less scary-sounding. K, think I’ll leave it there for now.

Vaytw said...

Almost forgot! Here's a nice list of errors/obfuscations/lies (take your pick) from Christopher Monckton:

1. Monckton said he advised Thatcher on climate change. There is no evidence to support this.
2. He claimed he wrote a peer-reviewed scientific paper. He didn’t.
3. He says the Earth has been cooling. It hasn’t.
4. He says that Johansson found that overall Greenland ice wasn’t melting. Johansson didn’t.
5. He says there’s been no systematic loss of sea ice in the arctic. There has.
6. He says there’s no correlation between temperature and CO2 over the last 500,000,000 years (Monckton actually said “500,000” in the lecture, but his chart showed 500,000,000) – there is.
7. He says the pre-Cambrian “snowball Earth” shows that CO2 has no effect on climate. It shows the opposite.
8. He says there’s been no change in Himalayan glaciers for the last 200 years. There has.
9. He also says only one Himalayan glacier is retreating. Lots of them are.
10. He quotes a Lindzen paper to claim that forcing due to CO2 is 1.135 watts per square meter. Lindzen’s paper has it three times higher.
11. He confuses forcing with sensitivity.
12. He says Dr. Pinker’s research shows that a loss of cloud cover is responsible for recent warming. She says it shows no such thing.
13. He mis-quotes Kevin Tremberth, Justice Burton and Sir John Houghton.
14. He says planets with a high albedo are cooler than ones with a low albedo. Wrong.
15. He claims Solanki’s research shows solar irradiance is the cause for recent global warming. It says the opposite.
16. He claims solar physicists Scafetta & West say the sun is responsible for 69% of the recent warming. They don’t – they say it could be responsible for as much as that much of the warming since 1900.
17. He claims other solar physicists agree with Scafetta and West. They don’t. S&W’s research is at the extreme high end of the spectrum.
18. He says some planets are warming because of the sun. No, they’re not.
19. He says the International Astronomical Union supports the notion that the recent warming is due to the output of the sun. His literal words were “They (the IAU) concluded that was the case.” This argument was made by ONE paper out of 241 at the 2004 symposium on climate change he mentions.

I can dig up for you when and where Monckton makes these particular claims, but really this is a side issue. The main point is this: no one should be putting this crank in a list of “qualified people”… probably for anything! And yet you claim “I never stake out a strong position until I am confident that the evidence favors it.” Hmm… I hope you haven't staked as much of your ego in this post as your tone suggests.

Mountain Goat said...

Amusing. That is a lot of words to say something close to nothing.

Let's start with "theory". You define it in part as follows: ”A body of descriptions of knowledge is usually only called a theory if it has fulfilled these criteria:

"1) It makes falsifiable predictions with consistent accuracy across a broad area of scientific inquiry (such as mechanics).
2) It is well-supported by many independent strands of evidence, rather than a single foundation. This ensures that it is probably a good approximation, if not completely correct."

I don't think you understand what the Global Warming cultists do. They create models, then treat them as data. That is not science. It is a shell game.

When they do make predictions, like "this will be the worst hurricane season in a long time", they are wrong.

Back in 1988, when the High Priest first started ringing his claxon, he figured people would listen to him, so in his worst scenario he only projected a 1.5% annual increase in CO2 emissions. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/15/james-hansens-climate-forecast-of-1988-a-whopping-150-wrong/

In reality, because India and China have actually implemented Capitalist methods, reversing the poverty of their previous Socialism, the utilization of fossil fuels has increased 2.5% annually since 2000.

It is an inconvenient truth that his model was wrong.

It is also an inconvenient truth that there has been no net warming since 1998, which is absolutely at odds with the predictions made during the Kyoto talks.

Antartic ice is increasing. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/09/23/antarctic-sea-ice-hit-35-year-record-high-saturday/ To put it simply, this is not a symptom of warming. Quite the contrary. Can some version of scientific theology be concocted to avoid facing this truth? Of course. Catholics have answers for everything, and so too do people trying to explain to us how cooling is actually warming, and how weather--which has always been with us--is actually Climate Change, which is sinister.

Let me ask you this: do you grant that CO2 levels have been ten times what they are currently, within measurable geological history, that the oceans have been 300 feet higher, and that life THRIVED during those times? You know, giant butterflies, dinosaurs and the like.

As far as Monckton, a list of things he said which were wrong is not the same as a coherent treatment of what he got right. I have a specific quote, in which he makes very specific, common sense claims.

As I noted, the principle Greenhouse Gas is CLEARLY, OBVIOUSLY, beyond any hint of a shadow of a doubt water vapor. CO2 only matters in the upper atmosphere. This means that if CO2 levels are forcing temperatures up from the upper atmosphere, if the heat from areas where the atmosphere is not dense at all is radiating down, it will have to increase a LOT to make much of a difference. This is common sense, and also happens to be something we can measure well.

It isn't happening.

The AGW conjecture is more hole than bucket. You disagree, though. I get it.

Please do answer my question, though, about whether or not you agree with substantially all scientists everywhere that historic CO2 levels have been much, much higher, and that far from destroying life, they supported it in abundance.

Mountain Goat said...

I'm disappointed. I guess realizing that there is a whole world of information out there you never suspected existed--because you have been regurgitating predigested pabulum your whole life, calling it "education", and "reason"--caused some cognitive dissonance and affective disturbance.

If you'd like to continue, though, I'm game. The next step is to point out we are in an interglacial period, and that if historical patterns are any indication, if we are due for any form of massive climate change, it is global COOLING, which is much, much, much more disruptive than warming.

Vaytw said...

Disappointed with what? I'm just busy. I'll get back to you. And I haven't realized anything. Frankly - and it's ironic because you've accused me of regurgitating - I'm seeing the same talking points as I've seen a hundred times here.

I'll be happy to answer your "the climate's been hot before" question, but there's a hierarchy of AGW skepticism:

1) global warming simply isn't happening at all
2) global warming is happening, but humans aren't responsible or at least not primarily
3) global warming is happening, and we are primarily responsible, but it's a good thing - or at least we're not sure it's bad
4) global warming is happening and it's probably bad, but we can't do anything about it
5) it's happening, it's probably bad and we probably can do something - but taxes, regulations and government intervention in general are the wrong way to go about it

See I'm pretty sure that point 5 is really where you and most climate contrarians are actually coming from, but the problem is you seem to not have confidence in your position, because you also try to dabble in points 1-4.

This is very normal: cognitive science research has shown that people's moral outlooks tend to precede their perception of the objective world, rather than vice versa. If you don't believe me, think about the following question:

If some genius suddenly came up with a way to solve the AGW problem with a clever tech solution... let's say, CO2 sequestration that turns captured CO2 to diamonds... would you really quibble about "broken hockey-sticks" and "tropospheric hotspots"? Heck no!

You're a conservative... don't you want to be on the side of science again, like you were back in the days when scientists were telling irrational, tree-hugging liberals nuclear power was safe?

So anyway, if we're going to continue this discussion and you want to talk about impacts, please at least concede that 1) the climate is in fact warming and that 2) humans are primarily to blame. Otherwise, we really need to settle those issues first.

By the way, I should add that I haven't included references to claims I'm making because I tend to find no one looks at them, but if you'd like a reference for something I say, please let me know.

Mountain Goat said...

"If some genius suddenly came up with a way to solve the AGW problem with a clever tech solution... let's say, CO2 sequestration that turns captured CO2 to diamonds... would you really quibble about "broken hockey-sticks" and "tropospheric hotspots"?

Absolutely I would not just quibble with it, but oppose it vigorously, because it is expensive, grants more power both to national and transnational goverments, and because it is UNNECESSARY.

No, I do not think it is clear that the Earth is continuing the warming that has been going on for 20,000, and no, I do not grant ANY demonstrated human influence in it at all. I think the sum total of CO2 put into the atmosphere through human activity is dwarfed by the amount put into circulation by small changes in the temperature of the ocean. I think climate is forced by a number of things, but that CO2 CLEARLY, in the actual record, LAGS warming. It does not force it.

I will note both that you ignored a very simple question--the answer of course is YES, we have been much hotter many times before, and in all likelihood were hotter in the Medieval Warming Period that forced Michael Mann to tweak his raw data; and that you ignored the salient point Monckton made about how if these conjecture were true, if it had been formatted as a scientifically valid hypothesis, the lack of warming in the upper atmosphere ALONE would have falsified it.

Leftists discuss polls and people. True Liberals, people who ACTUALLY value truth and freedom, discuss facts.

You, in this post, are discussing me, not what is true.

What is true matters. I know it has been many, many years since you believed that, but do your best to regress to a time when you were capable of intellectual honesty.

Vaytw said...

Please. If #1 is true, discussing anything beyond that point is pointless. That's why I'm not bothering to respond to your impacts question. AGW deniers want to play every goalpost at once instead of just admitting that the source of their skepticism is ideology. I'd like to have one discussion at a time, so I'll answer the "climate's been hotter question" when we've resolved other issues prior to it. And I suggest you stop with the caricatures... it doesn't make your argument stronger in any way.

Mountain Goat said...

So until I grant a point you have not proven you are unwilling to prove it?

I grant that you have a commendable grasp of Sophistry, that great vehicle of Athenian empire.

I am more inclined to believe, though, that the use of logic through rational argumentation has done human civilization more good than power masked by clever lies.

If you want to ask me to grant that the Earth has been warming since the end of the last Ice Age, I am willing to do that.

If you want me to grant that ANY scientific evidence that is credible exists that this is likely our continued direction, I am unwilling to do that. We are at a 50 year low in hurricanes. We just had a major blizzard in the Plains in early October.

My gut instinct, which can certainly be supported by looking at climatic records, is that we are nearing the end of the current Interglacial Period, and set for a long period of cooling. To the extent human additions of CO2 to the atmosphere slow this process, so much the better.

Either you have the ability to argue using fact or you don't. All I have seen thus far is Appeal to Authority and Ad Hominem. Those tactics may work with stupid people, but I am not stupid.

Let us sum up:

I have asserted that CO2 levels have been much, much higher in the past, somewhere between 5 and 40 times higher, and that life flourished.

You have not responded.

I have asserted that if anyone wants to claim that CO2 levels in the upper atmosphere are causing ground level increases in temperature, there would need to be much greater warming there, which is demonstrably not happening.

You have not responded.

I will add another question: the historical record appears to show that atmospheric CO2 levels LAG, rather than lead warming. You likely want to claim the reverse. If so, how is it that we have avoided "runaway" warming in the past? How is it that much of the last million years has seen much of the Earth covered in ice, AFTER extraordinarily high levels of CO2 were released into the atmospher?

Finally, I will note that there are three stages of "debate" (I use the term loosely, and no doubt with excessive generosity) with leftists. First is avoidance. You are currently there. Second is Ad hominem. You have already started down that path. Third is silence, which you are already signalling you are willing to pursue, since with your superior and my inferior intellect we cannot possibly have a constructive conversation.

This claim, of course, is sheer farce.

Your turn. Warrant me considering you other than one of the usual tools who wander around in loud ignorance, spouting claims they lack the intelligence and balls to back up.

Vaytw said...

Mountain Goat said...

// So until I grant a point you have not proven you are unwilling to prove it? //

Is that what I said? I don’t think so. What I think I said is that I’m not going to deal with a logically later goalpost until an earlier goalpost has been settled. I don’t think this is unreasonable. I’ve argued with conspiracy theorists and science denialists on a number of topics, and such discussions always turn into a game of whack-a-mole: ‘What about this?’ ‘Oh. Well what about THIS then?’ on and on.

// I grant that you have a commendable grasp of Sophistry, that great vehicle of Athenian empire. //

Ok there’s insult #1 in this message.

// I am more inclined to believe, though, that the use of logic through rational argumentation has done human civilization more good than power masked by clever lies. //

There’s implicit insult #2.

// Either you have the ability to argue using fact or you don't. All I have seen thus far is Appeal to Authority and Ad Hominem. Those tactics may work with stupid people, but I am not stupid. //

When did I appeal to authority? Citing experts in their area of expertise isn’t appeal to authority. Look it up.

As for Ad Hominem, I haven’t attacked your argument by attacking your character. I’ve expressed an opinion that your actual motive for attacking AGW science would be better served by just skipping the first four goalposts of AGW skepticism and focussing on the fifth. In the interests of "intellectual honesty", among other things.

As for your argument itself, I’ve hardly begun to address it, except to point out that AGW isn’t a hypothesis as you claimed, but a scientific theory with over a century of converging lines of evidence from independent sources supporting it.

// Finally, I will note that there are three stages of "debate" (I use the term loosely, and no doubt with excessive generosity) with leftists. First is avoidance. You are currently there. //

Because I’m not going to be your bitch and play “Go fetch” for you doesn’t mean I’m avoiding. My time is precious to me as yours is to you. But please notice again you are implicitly mocking me here and calling me a Leftist (without evidence, I might add).

// Second is Ad hominem. You have already started down that path. //

Already answered this. As far as derogatory language, ok, I did use the term “denialist”, but I can give you a pretty good list of pejoratives you’ve used in your previous responses to me.

// Third is silence, which you are already signalling you are willing to pursue, since with your superior and my inferior intellect we cannot possibly have a constructive conversation. //

When did I say anything like that. You’re a funny one – you keep insulting me and accusing me of arrogance at the same time. As far as silence: do you imagine I sit at my computer all day waiting to carry on this discussion? I’ll respond as time allows, and you’ll have to be satisfied with that – sorry.

Regarding your questions, please pick one, and I’ll deal with it. But don’t give me a list of homework. Each item is its own rabbit-hole of information, and as I said, I don’t intend to play whack-a-mole. I’ll move on to another item when one has been adequately settled. This isn’t avoidance or “sophistry”, and if you think it is, well sorry, you’re talking to the wrong guy.

Mountain Goat said...

I think if you spent a fraction of the time discussing the topic as you spend discussing the discussion, and the people who do this discussion, we might actually be interacting as two sovereign minds in an interesting way. That, however, is not happening.

Let me make this simple: I do not grant that the IPCC has established beyond reasonable doubt that the warming of the past half century is anything but background noise which is simply a manifestation of weather. I do not grant that the IPCC understands climatic change to the degree needed to predict changes in the future. I think their models omit very important potential forcing agents like cosmic rays and solar activity.

Put simply: I disagree on a SCIENTIFIC basis with your first premise.

I will point out as well that your efforts to "grade" dissidents are not all that different than what the Soviets did and the Cubans do.

Science is science. There is no heresy in science because there is no dogma. Science, as embodied in empiricism coupled with the use of reason made as dispassionate as possible, "believes" nothing. Everything can be questioned. I can question F=MA if I want to. It is simply very easy to document.

The claims made by the IPCC are nothing of the sort. You reference a "century" of research. Are you so ignorant as to not know that ALL the early climate models showed cooling being by far the prevailing tendency, AND that this is borne out by the actual historic record?

Not only do you not know what you think you know, you don't know what you don't know either.

Vaytw said...

Where have I "graded dissidents"? Please quote me. Oh, and you insulted me again.

As far as your comment about the IPCC, that is way to broad a statement to comment on. It just broaches even more issues (cosmic rays, solar activity, climate models, philosophy of science). While I'm happy to discuss any of these issues (particularly the last one, as it's my favorite and probably my strongest area), if you want to continue the discussion, I suggest you stop mocking me (I am an actual person, not a caricature), pick a point and we can talk about it. I don't mind going over any of these issues, but I will do it methodically, or not at all. I thought any of the questions you asked before sounded fine... Or broach something new - but please keep it focused, and maybe even try to be respectful about it. Otherwise, continue on as you have been - carpet-bombing me with issues, insulting me and projecting viewpoints onto me, and you can declare victory in my subsequent absence lol

Mountain Goat said...

If you ever decide to discuss the topic, have at it. I get emails when new posts appear. We'll go from there.

You have numerous choices to pick from. Please do pick one which is evidence based. This topic already has plenty of philosophy, which when misapplied, as in the case of the AGW farce, is WORSE than useless. There is no problem so bad that it cannot be made worse by a specialist.

Mountain Goat said...

Here is one of my favorite jokes.

A man and a woman get married, and go on their honeymoon. As they get in bed together she looks at him and says "honey, please be gentle. This is my first time,." Puzzled, he looks at her and says "how can that be? This is your fourth marriage." She says "I know it is odd. Let me explain. My first husband was gay. My second husband was a drunk. And my third husband was a salesman (insert here AGW propagandist)." The husband says"honey I get the first two, and I feel so sorry for you, but I dont get the third."

"Simple",she said," all he knew how to do was sit on the side of the bed and tell me how good it was GOING TO BE".

Vaytw said...

Re: your joke...

Is this speed chess you think we’re playing? Well, play with yourself, then... I’ll get to it when I get to it.

That said, I think I’ll start here:

// ...the historical record appears to show that atmospheric CO2 levels LAG, rather than lead warming. You likely want to claim the reverse. If so, how is it that we have avoided "runaway" warming in the past? How is it that much of the last million years has seen much of the Earth covered in ice, AFTER extraordinarily high levels of CO2 were released into the atmospher? //

It’s a good question and one I’d wondered about before. Not only regarding the Voltock ice core data, but more generally: how did the Earth get out of Hothouse (aka Greenhouse) phases in the past?

What I didn’t do, though, is assume that because I didn’t know, that the answer didn’t exist. As you astutely observed, “...you don’t know what you don’t know.” This incidentally is what distinguishes genuine ~skepticism~ from denialism. Skepticism goes hand-in-hand with curiosity. Denialism has no place for curiosity. It’s just, “No amount of argument or evidence is going to convince me”. Which is why you’ll find no predominant hypothesis at places like WUWT (and many contradictory ones); there is only an anti-hypothesis: ‘Whatever it is, it AINT GHG’s!”

But I digress. I'm going to post this so I don't get cut off by a word limit, but please don't respond yet, or you'll interrupt the series.

Vaytw said...

To get to your question, specifically, first of all, even if scientists didn’t have any idea why we haven’t seen “runaway warming”, it wouldn’t actually matter; it’d just be a gap in scientific knowledge.

Because in fact we have clear evidence that, at least in the example of the transition from the last glacial maximum to the current interglacial period, CO2 first lagged, then led temperatures. This was discovered in the recent Shakun et al study,

“Global warming preceded by increasing carbon dioxide concentrations during the last deglaciation”

(I don't know how to hyperlink in blogs; but you can Google it.)

...which found that roughly 7% of the glacial-interglacial global temperature rise happened before the CO2 increase, while 93% of the global warming followed it. So even if you’re going to claim that this process seemingly should have led to runaway warming, it didn’t. Obviously, Earth didn't turn into Venus.

The process inferred from the evidence runs along these lines:
• orbital cycles caused initial warming about 19,000 years ago at high latitudes
• this Arctic warming melted lots of ice, flooding the oceans with fresh water.
• that influx of fresh water disrupted Atlantic circulation, leading to a seesawing of heat between the hemispheres. The ocean of the southern hemisphere warmed first, starting about 18,000 years ago.
• the Southern Ocean then released CO2 into the atmosphere starting around 17,500 years ago, causing the whole planet to warm

For a bit of background (and to build the suspense, as I’ve seen you’re an incredibly patient person hehe), I should mention that Hansen quite astutely predicted this back in 1990:

“Changes in CO2 and MH4 have played a significant part in glacial/interglacial climate changes by amplying the relatively weak orbital forcing, and by constituting a link between Northern and Southern Hemisphere climates.”

He wrote this 13 years before the Cailion Volstock ice core study that AGW deniers latched onto – minus the bit about the warming spreading globally via the GHE, which Shakun added. To quote Cailion:

“This sequence of events is still in full agreement with the idea that CO2 plays, through its greenhouse effect, a key role in amplifying the initial warming.”

That’s a quote you didn’t see in “The Great Global Warming Swindle” – in spite of the fact that the Calion et al study is its cited source for the maker's claim about CO2 lagging temperature! Funny, aint it?

Regardless, combine the Cailion et al study with the more recent Shakun study, and what you get is Hansen’s prediction, verified.

Anyway, before you again accuse me of avoidance, the specific answer to your question will be in the next post.

Vaytw said...

K, now that I’ve got you on the edge of your seat (lol), here finally is the specific answer to your question. Luckily, the Earth’s climate has natural checks on runaway warming (or cooling) . How ~convenient~, a Creationist might say! But the fact remains. The “checks” I know of are the following:

• First of all, you have the Milankovitch cycle itself to consider. In the past, as Earth’s orbit changed, increasing sunlight falling on the Northern Hemisphere decreased by tens of percent, leading to a gradual regrowth of the ice sheet.

• Second, while temperature increases logarhythmically with atmosphereic CO2 concentration, ocean output of CO2 increases linearly with temperature. It’s a case of diminishing returns, which is compounded by the fact that,

• Third, solubility of CO2 in seawater increases with concentrations in the atmosphere, meaning the more CO2 you have in the air, the more the oceans just want to suck it up. (We’re seeing the downside of this now!)

• Finally, over a long time-scale, we also have the impact of rock weathering. Rock surfaces interact chemically with CO2 to “scrub” it out of the atmosphere, and as warming increases, so does this weathering. (Scientists have even considered using a modified version of this effect as a means of CO2 sequestration.)

Combined, we have here a sort of natural thermostat which has the effect of, well, answering your question.

Turnabout is fair play; I’ve got a question for you... I’ve explained how the climate has gotten out of past Greenhouse Earth periods. Now you please explain how the Earth has gotten out of past Snowball Earth periods (IE frozen pole to pole) – without the use of the Greenhouse Effect.

The power of a scientific theory is not only in its predictive power, but also its explanatory power. Any legitimate critique of a theory should contain an alternative theory which explains more existing observations than the conventional theory does. The fact of phases of the Earth’s history where the planet was frozen pole to pole – and thus reflectivity was so high that the Earth should’ve stayed frozen forever, offers a great opportunity for such a theory to offer a better explanation than the Greenhouse Effect... assuming such a theory exists.

Vaytw said...

PS - hope it was as good for you as it was for me! ;)

Mountain Goat said...

I wasnt in the room.

You have answered at length the least relevant question. OBVIOUSLY the Earth self corrected. The relevant question is why those processes would not still be in place, and why--when we know high CO2 levels have happened before and self corrected--the cultists keep speaking of "runaway warming". I dont have an answer and you havent provided one

Further, I would dispute your claim that there is a logarithmic correlation between CO2 levels and the greenhouse effect. It is a REVERSE logarithmic relationship, in which each doubling mstters half as much. This fact is one more of a very long list of reasons that this issue is best characterized as bad farce and gross fraud.

Vaytw said...

// You have answered at length the least relevant question. OBVIOUSLY the Earth self corrected. The relevant question is why those processes would not still be in place, and why--when we know high CO2 levels have happened before and self corrected--the cultists keep speaking of "runaway warming". //

Bullshit. That wasn't your question. I quoted your question at the beginning of my post. Who was it who brought up intellectual honesty earlier? Typical use of weasel words ("cultists") and moving of goalposts.

You asked why we didn't SEE runaway warming, and I explained it. I also explained a fact which you very conveniently ignore: that the evidence shows the vast majority of the warming lagged CO2. But of course you ignore this fact, because it demolishes your criticism.

As for "runaway warming", some misguided people may be getting that wrong and thinking the Earth will eventually end up like Venus because of AGW, but that isn't what the science says. The science says that we are likely to see an increase in surface temps for doubling CO2 of around 3C - and on our current emission trajectory, we are going to blow right past that. Even 3C is a change that will take us way beyond what this planet has experienced in many millions of years - in the span of a mere 200 years. Do you really think that species and ecosystems can so quickly adjust to this kind of radical change?

As far as this:

// Further, I would dispute your claim that there is a logarithmic correlation between CO2 levels and the greenhouse effect. It is a REVERSE logarithmic relationship, in which each doubling matters half as much. //

I looked it up, just to be sure:

"The formula for radiative forcing is RFt = 5.35* ln(ct/c0). That is, the radiative forcing due to CO2 at time, t, relative to time, 0, equals 5.35 times the natural log of the CO2 concentration at time t divided by the CO2 concentration at time 0. The equilibrium temperatue response to that radiative forcing is a linear function of the radiative forcing, so that it follows the same logarithmic relationship.

An immediate consequence of that logarithmic relationship is that the temperature response for a doubling of CO2 concentration is the same for any doubling of CO2 concentration across the range over which that formula is valid (it clearly does not apply for very low values of CO2). That is, if the temperature response for increasing CO2 from 100 to 200 ppmv is X, then the temperature response for increasing it from 200 to 400, or 300 to 600, or 400 to 800, or 500 to 1000 ppmv will also be x."

http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/pdf/TAR-06.pdf

Scientists understand the logarithmic effect - it's built into every aspect of the science and has been ever since Arrhenius at the beginning of the 20th century. In fact, your position is contradicted by your own "skeptical" researchers like Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen. But contradictory positions never seem to bother WUWT readers, oddly.

Now, I have spent over an hour responding to a single question of yours (after being repeatedly insulted, like I'm some sort of chickenshit who doesn't have the balls to engage),and you have in turn cranked out a dishonest response missing key points in probably less than two minutes. So answer my question. Mr. Intellectual Honesty.

Vaytw said...

PS - since I AM intellectually honest (mostly... no one's perfect!), I should point out I missed an issue:

// The relevant question is why those processes would not still be in place... //

They are. The Earth's climate will eventually correct itself. In the example of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, it only took around a hundred thousand years. But incidentally, I should mention that you are implicitly admitting here that the GHE is real. Or have you always acknowledged that? Sorry, I confuse easily.

Mountain Goat said...

Is the Greenhouse Effect real? You claim to have read my originsl post, but if so you have a poor memory. Of course it is. At issue is the effect of nthropogenic, versus naturally occuring CO2.

And thank you for looking up the math on CO2 for me. I now have it in as clear a form ad I am likely to find.

I will note that what you said is that the relative effect of CO2 as a GHG diminishes greatly as concentrations increase. The first doubling does X. So too does the second doubling and then the third. The amount of added CO2 necessary to affect anything increases exponentially.

As to the rest, I will wait until I get to a keyboard.

Mountain Goat said...

I reread the foregoing, and will simply say that while you clearly have a talent for spotting trees, the forest eludes you and you don't even realize it.

The reason I asked that question was to point to the obvious fact that the term "runaway"--which we see CONSTANTLY--is misleading.

I was reading that Mr. Boomtown Rats thinks humanity will be dead by 2030. This is not unreasonable, if you take the Chicken Littles at their propagandizing best, but it is INDEFENSIBLE once one understands the many blocks within the Earth's ecosystem to excessive warming.

Do I think the Earth's ecosystems can survive a 3 degree warming? ABSOLUTELY. Are you kidding me? We are surviving 20 degree differences between day and night, and 50 or 100 degree differences between summer and winter. Yes, the oceans rise a bit, but nothing like in the Riefenstahl-worthy propaganda film "An Inconvenient Truth", which manages to tell two lies in three words: it is HIGHLY convenient for aspiring Carbon Credit traders like that worthless hack Al Gore; and it is filled with lies.

It is unclear to me how you think I could be so stupid as to look out my window and not realize I was not looking at Venus. No doubt this a type of stupidity all its own.

Let's simplify this. The question at hand is if it worth passing economically disruptive regulations and installing in the process a global government in order to stop something that is not even clearly a danger.

Is it worth denying developing nations the benefits of cheap energy? Is it worth raising energy costs across the board in the United States and other nations, which will hurt the poor the most?

I don't believe anyone has shown clearly, much less beyond any reasonable doubt, that the warming we have seen since the Little Ice Age is anything but background variation. We have weather on a daily basis, and climate across decades, centuries, and millenia. There were no coal plants when CO2 levels were ten times what they are today.

I don't believe ANY of the climate models have yet predicted ANYTHING. Quite the contrary, they make guesses, and simply adjust the models to predicts in the past what actually happened. This does not inspire confidence, is absolutely inconsistent with a scientific model based upon falsifiable hypotheses, and CATEGORICALLY should not be used as the basis for invasive, disruptive, and costly government interventions.

And clearly many aspiring Fascists like Al Gore have seized on this issue as a means of generating global government with few democratic controls.

This is made quite clear in this article: http://www.claremont.org/publications/crb/id.1588/article_detail.asp

Global Warming is nothing but a repackaging of the old Malthusian notion that prosperity was going to make all of us poor. It was expressed for a while in the claim that the Earth was going to get overpopulated. Some initial Fascist policies were put in place, like forced sterilizations and abortions, but none of the mass famines that were predicted have happened.

In the past half century, virtually all mass hunger has been the result of wars, usually wars involving Communists. To bring back Mr. Boomtown Rats, the famine in Ethiopia was the result of INSANE policies initiated at gunpoint by INSANE left wingers, who moved people from places where they could feed themselves to places where they could not.

To the extent humanity still has problems, substantially ALL of them can be placed at the feet of Socialists, who like all deceivers go by many names.

Global Warming--or Climate Change, which again is a lie--is simply one of those names.

Mountain Goat said...

Here's the thing: I know what you don't, which is that not only is the Global Warming hoax an expression of a political agenda, and not an expression of science, but that the science itself falls apart like a house of cards when challenged by people who actually know what they are talking about. You no doubt deal mainly with True Believers, so you have never seen this happen.

You are likely used to spouting off all this data and having people quit because they can't decipher it. I can decipher it. And I can place it in context, in a big picture.

When I talk smack, it is the result of long experience. I had done this debate dozens of times in 2008 when I created this entry. The whole reason I created it was because I was tired of repeating myself.

This post is comprehensive. It addresses all the major issues, including fraud (although Climategate and other revelations have since made the idea that the IPCC engages in honest science simply indefensible).

This is why you ignored substantially everything I said, which included discussions of problems with both CO2 and temperature measurements, with the statistical methods used, and the economic impacts if we DO treat this hoax seriously.

I think I can say with some confidence that the AGW fraud is the biggest, best told lie in the history of science. When they believed the Earth was flat, they didn't know any better.

Michael Mann and James Hanson DO know better, unless they are complete fucking morons, and that does not appear to be the case.

The people pushing this agenda are not humanitarians. Quite the contrary. Quite a few environmentalists seem to view the human race as a pollutant, as a parasite, and don't care AT ALL about poor people trying to raise themselves out of poverty.

There is a fundamental misanthropy at the heart of this issue that is disgusting, and even evil.

Vaytw said...

Ok, I started addressing ONE scientific issue in fairly shallow way... and already you're jumping right back to impacts and politics. Sorry but there's no point in debate if you can't discipline yourself better.

You're accusing me of ignoring practically everything you've said, when you won't even give me a chance to talk without changing the subject.

You make all kinds of assumptions (about, for example, what I'm "used to" - which is quite the opposite of what you think. I've debated hard core denier guys like Pop Tech - who you are probably familiar with since he's a major contributor at WUWT).

You're very clearly unable to look at this issue except through the lenses of your ideology and political team affiliation. I couldn't give a crap about what fucking Al Gore says or that the implications for this issue about the free market hurt your feelings. I couldn't give two shits whether society solves this issue through clever tech such as fourth generation nuclear power, geo-engineering, carbon sequestration, etc... OR through your worst nightmare (taxes and regulations).

What I DO care about is what the peer-reviewed science says, and the implications that has for the planet my daughter is going to grow up in. I care that the ratio of heat waves to cold snaps has already moved from an average 1:1 in North America and NE Asia (where I live) three decades ago to 3:1 now... and we had to endure another unholy hell of a hot summer here in Taiwan this year... second heat record for us in the last ten years. If you simply search "temperature record" on Wikipedia, you'll find out that the number of heat records vs. cold records set in the last three decades is also about 3:1 in favor of the former. And the trend for heat waves for cold snaps is expected to reach about 50:1 by mid-century... that's IF we're lucky and the rather conservative IPCC predictions come true.

I care that the polar ice cap is in total collapse after only ONE degree of temperature increase, way ahead of IPCC predictions... and don't even bother bringing up whatever garbage you read in the Daily Mail about the latest "recovery", because it's a crock of shit. The "recovery" is the sixth lowest minimum on record, and that's not even considering Arctic ice ~volume~ (IE, what's under the water as opposed to what you can see from above it), which is down by 75%.

I care because I DO know the science, clearly much better than you, very sorry to say. Now as it appears you are incapable of carrying on this discussion in a focused way without jumping all over the place or throwing out insults and silly caricatures, I think I'm going to wish you well and leave it at that.

Mountain Goat said...

As I said: diversion, ad hominem, silence. I can set my watch by it.

Out of a perverse need to actuslly pretend this was a debate I will point out that Antartica's ice is expanding, that COMPLETELY. contrary to predictions made by politicians masquerading as scientists that we have seen no net warming in 15 years, and that honest scientists admit that the Medieval Warming Period was much warmer than today. Our period is unexveptional even in the last thousand years.

And for part I worry that my childrens opportunites will be lessened by political fanstixism, IDEOLOGY pretending to be honest, and by awful human beings obsessed with power.

Vaytw said...

Warming on the Antarctic peninsula is happening faster than anywhere on the planet, dude. Look it up.

As for "silence", I told you my conditions for having the debate, and they were simple and reasonable: be respectful, stay focused, no whack-a-mole. You immediately violated all of them. Moreover you couldn't even answer one simple question after I very conscientiously and laboriously answered one of yours. So pretend I fit your preconceived notion or that you won this debate if it helps you feel superior.

The fact is, I can answer any single talking point you repeat in this entire post, given a chance. And you definitely can't answer the empirical human fingerprints of AGW mentioned in my outline of AGW theory in my very first post. I know you can't because no AGW denier I've yet to meet can.

Human-caused global warming is the inevitable consequence of the law of conservation of energy, because greenhouse gas pollution is causing more energy to come in than go out. Scientists know that this is happening... and not from surface temperature records, as you seem to think. They can measure it via satellite at the TOA and there is no dispute. Because of carbon pollution, the Earth is gaining energy at the rate of 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs every day of every year. (Just Google "NOAA, ocean heat content" to get an astounding look at where most of that energy is going.) You can't spin physics.

I've got my skin in the game: already got my retirement property purchased up in northern Washington to make sure my little girl has at least a shot at a decent future. Let's just see how it all plays out, shall we? You hope you're right. I hope I'm wrong. And that should be a big red flag to you.

Mountain Goat said...

Lets make this simple: outline what you view as the evidence that supports the notion that the Earth is warming, your Point One.

And I did look the Antartic up. The ice sheets are growing. I posted a photograph yoy ignored, just like you ignored every other relevant factual claim I made.

Vaytw said...

I realize the Antarctic sea ice is growing. I didn't contradict this point. However, continental Antarctic ice is most definitely melting, and as I said, warming is occurring on the Antarctic peninsula faster than anywhere on the planet:

"Antarctic Peninsula Warms Rapidly … Again"
http://www.livescience.com/22593-antarctic-peninsula-warming-record.html

In any case, what you and those like you don't seem to understand, though, is that unforeseen developments don't falsify a theory. As I told you earlier, revisibility is one of the ~criteria~ for a scientific theory. If a scientific theory was tossed out every time there was a new development, we'd basically have no theories at all.

As for evidence the Earth is warming, sure... here's the evidence I know of:

* We've got increasing temperatures over land and oceans, as well as the sea surface temperature itself.

* We've got massive amounts of heat content increase in the oceans (see the NOAA graph I told you about).

* A trend of retreating glaciers globally. Yes, not all glaciers are retreating (due to factors like greater precipitation in particular microclimates), but overall, they are.

* Disintigration of ice sheets and sea ice.

* Treelines shifting poleward and upward.

* Animal species also migrating poleward and upward.

* Spring arriving earlier, and animals mating earlier in the year.

* As I told you earlier, heat waves outpacing cold snaps, and high temperature records outpacing low ones.

In addition to these lines of evidence for warming generally, we have the following "human fingerprints":

* Satellites measure less heat escaping out to space, at the particular wavelengths that CO2 absorbs heat.

* Surface measurements confirm more downward radiation returning to Earth.

* Examination of the downward radiation finds more heat returning at CO2 wavelengths.

* A predicted distinctive pattern of greenhouse warming is cooling in the stratosphere. Bingo.

* With the troposphere warming and the stratosphere cooling, another consequence is the tropopause should rise as a consequence of greenhouse warming. Bingo again.

* The ionosphere is expected to cool and contract in response to greenhouse warming. Triple bingo.

* Global warming theory predicts more warming at night than during the day, and more warming in summer than during winter. Quadruple and quintiple bingo.

This isn't a comprehensive list of the evidence; I'm not a research expert and I only follow out of interest and concern for my family's future. But I think it's enough to get us started.

I'm not sure how this list helps us, though, unless you intend to attack the evidence a piece at a time. If you do, please literally make it ONE piece at a time, stay away from insults, politics, conspiracy theories and the like and stick to the actual science.

Do take your time, though... in refreshing my memory for this discussion, I've come across a free online class on AGW from the University of Chicago that's gonna take up most of the time I usually waste on the Internet!

Mountain Goat said...

I will respond substantively tomirrow, but will point out I have already addressed all your points.

Do you see how?

Vaytw said...

// I have already addressed all your points. Do you see how? //

Sorry but I definitely don't have time to re-read all our correspondences or your original post. If it has anything to do with your radical skepticism about the temperature or carbon measurements, I already addressed the former point about as well as needs be (but I'm happy to carpet bomb you with the variety of temperature measurement which corroborate the same basic pattern, as well as other reasons you are wrong on that).

The CO2 skepticism issue is probably even easier... merely looking at the rather urgent issue of ocean acidification shoots that one down, though am happy to get into specifics on this topic as well if you like.

If you are claiming the temperature record is all just natural variability, then the "human fingerprints" completely shoot that down, but there are other reasons that position doesn't work as well, if needs be.

But those are just guesses off the top of my head. Feel free to give me your substantive response whenever you like. As I said, I'm rather busy. But do keep in mind the requests I made pertaining to content: focused, polite, empirical claims.

Mountain Goat said...

I am going to make a prediction: this morning, from roughly 6am until 2pm, I am going to see clear evidence of warming, which I can outline in many ways. I will see an increase in the amount of water vapor in the air, the decrease of frost, and of course increases in thermometer temperature. If I wanted to create dozens of metrics, I could do it.

Further, I could do the same thing with the annual cycle: I could posit, accurately, that overall global temperatures will increase steadily from roughly March through August.

In both cases, though, if I assumed that warming would CONTINUE I would be wrong.

As I have pointed out, the Earth has been much warmer than today in the last thousand years. This is a very inconvenient fact, which is why Phil Jones and Michael Mann worked so hard to cover up their data tampering, why Jones, if memory serves, said he would delete his entire data set before he would share it with fellow researchers who did not share his conclusions; why, in other words, he refused to engage in SCIENCE, if it might jeopardize the conclusions he had so assiduously, and disingenuously assembled.

You seem to think the presence of CO2 somehow constitutes a human marker. Why? As you have already granted, CO2 is dissolved in abundance in the ocean, and it appears historically to have FOLLOWED warming which happens for reasons entirely unrelated to CO2 levels. For a period of time CO2 plays an increasing role, then in high concentrations its relative role as a GHG diminishes, per the formula you so helpfully posted, and the implications of which you lack the INTELLECTUAL INTEGRITY-you keep accusing me of lacking this, all while playing these silly games--to concede.

EVERYTHING you describe no doubt also happened in the Medieval Warming Period. All of it. And to state the blindingly obvious, there was no widespread use of fossil fuels back then to improve human living conditions.

You keep speaking of the scientific method, but appear emotionally unable to develop the distance needed to see how far this whole "debate" has strayed from actual science. If I doubt the clinical efficacy of Vitamin E I don't get called a "denier". If I doubt, as I do, that low fat diets are anything but a path to reduced wellness, I don't get called a denier.

Denier is a propaganda term, and the manifest intent is to stifle debate through attack. It is intended to insult. It is intended to make a comparison with Holocaust deniers and fascists like Noam Chomsky. You have used this term repeatedly, all while taking umbrage at my mild efforts to respond in kind.

Mountain Goat said...

Let me make this simple. Let us format all the terms of the debate properly.

Conjecture: Anthropogenic CO2 may increase average global temperatures to such an extent that widespread problems will ensue.

Hypothesis: we will see "x" amount of warming if CO2 emissions continue at "y" amount.

Theory: we have seen results consistent with our hypotheses over a long period of time.

All the climate models are hypotheses, and thus far NONE of their predictions have come true. As one example, I would cite, as I already have, James Hanson's original predictions made back in the late 1980's. To that I would add Al Gore's dire predictions made in the late 1990's, when the Kyoto Treaty was being negotiated.

OF COURSE hypotheses have to be revised IF THEY ARE WRONG. This is in the nature of science. But the nature of this non-debate is that even when they are wrong, the True Believers keep pretending that their models were basically right.

It is like predicting two dice will roll a 7, then getting a 9 and claiming you knew it would be a 9 all along. No, you didn't. In SCIENCE you say you were wrong, and you don't have it right yet. What you do NOT do is simply attempt to impose conformity through withholding funding from people who have alternative beliefs, come up with propagandistic insults denoting their alterity, and declare non-existent science "settled".

That is what religions do. In SCIENCE all beliefs, all DATA, is shared and debated openly. That has not happened. Ross McKitrick still has not had Michael Mann's primary data sets made available to him, at least as far as I know.

So when I argue that the debate exists at the level of conjecture, what I am pointing to is the fundamental lack of intellectual integrity on display. They are not eating crow when they are wrong; they are doubling down.

I believe it is equally likely we will see cooling over the next decade as warming.

I will note, finally, that I am not dogmatic in the least. You have repeatedly demonstrated an unwillingness to listen, to learn, to interact with me as someone with a lively mind, broad command of the facts involved, and a curious spirit. You have accused me of dogmatism, but like most all the other words you have thrown at me, that word most applies to you. I am an abstraction to you, an ideological Other. In another place and time you would have had me arrested for heresy, for daring to doubt the validity of your world view.

Finally, on an empirical note, I will reiterate a claim I have made several times that the amount of warming we have seen in the Troposphere is only about a third what would be needed to create the sort of warming the cultists keep predicting.

I am not the denier. You are.

Vaytw said...

Well, you didn't really respond specifically to anything I said. Probably most importantly, you completely ignore the empirical evidence of human fingerprints... which incidentally is full of verified predictions (you claim there have been none... and I have plenty more for you), and then went off on another attack on me.

I'll probably keep playing just for compulsion's sake, but it'll take me time to go through your posts point-by-point.

I would like to start by saying this: I've already shown from the very outset that by definition AGW is a scientific theory, not a hypothesis. Feel free to check a reputable source on this.

As for the term "denier", it has a very specific definition, and is basically used to distinguish self-styled skeptics from actual ones (according to the philosophical definition). You can read a scholarly paper on the meaning of the term here:

"Denialism: what is it and how should scientists respond?"
http://eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/content/19/1/2.extract

…or a quick-and-dirty explanation here:

"Skeptics, Deniers And How To Tell The Difference. Part I: Blues Jam"
http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2011/06/29/137472680/skeptics-deniers-and-how-to-tell-the-difference-part-i-blues-jam

As evidence that the term isn’t simply a pejorative to make AGW “skeptics” sound like Holocaust deniers, here are examples of the terms “denial” and “denialism” used in roughly the same way in numerous articles in reputable sources. Note that none of them are discussing AGW:

“THE DENIAL OF EVOLUTION, AND THE EVOLUTION OF DENIAL”
(University of Wisconsin)

”Death by denial: The campaigners who continue to deny HIV causes Aids”
(The Guardian)

”The Cult of HIV Denialism”
(AIDSTruth.org)

”Paul Offit - The Costs of Vaccine Denialism”
(Center for Inquiry)

”Pseudoscience and vaccine denialism”
(Skeptical Raptor)

”Scientific denialism in the GMOs vs. organic debate”
(Scienceblogs)

”Refusing Flu Shots? Maybe You're A 'Denialist'”
(NPR)

But if that isn’t enough to pop your balloon, how about Michael Specter’s excellent book:
"Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives"

It covers numerous topics related to denialism, not one of which is AGW.

I had all the above handy because Pop Tech made basically exactly the same argument in his debate with me.

As for the rest, I’ll get to it when I have time. Again, each component is its own can of worms. I’ll probably start with the Medieval Warming Period, or maybe Michael Mann.

But please note: the empirical fingerprint evidence I provided above isn't something that can be ignored. It is a smoking gun for human-caused AGW.

Vaytw said...

PS: I can't let this slide: you again claim CO2 lags temperature, completely ignoring the evidence I provided from peer-reviewed literature. Would you like me to quote myself?

This is a perfect example of what gets denialism the label: when confronted with inconvenient evidence, don't deal with it - simply ignore it and carry on with the same talking points. The cog sci term is "confirmation bias". Seek out information that confirms one's preferred beliefs; ignore that which disconfirms it.

As a beautiful example, I've been in a very long ongoing debate with a fellow who adds "...I mean, 'Climate Change'!" every single time he writes "AGW" - EVEN THOUGH at least a year ago I showed him basically indisputable evidence that both terms have been and still are in equal use in science, and it was Republican strategist Frank Luntz who promoted using "Climate Change" by politicians.

As for this:

// You have used this term repeatedly, all while taking umbrage at my ~mild efforts~ to respond in kind. //

I explained in my previous post the use of the term. However, shall I go back and line up for you the numerous insults you've heaped upon me? It'll be a long and telling list. If the term still bothers you, though, how about "climate contrarian"? Is that sufficiently neutral for you? "Skeptic" just doesn't work, for the reason I've already explained: that genuine skepticism goes hand-in-hand with curiosity, as well as the other reasons outlined in the articles I've provided above.

PPS: I'm quite happy to accept the term "Alarmist" - as I am indeed alarmed about what's happening.

Mountain Goat said...

Ace, you can't make assertions and call it evidence.

I ADDRESSED your claim that "human fingerprints" are on current warming trends. I pointed out that CO2 is a naturally occurring element that is released into the atmosphere through natural processes, and has been since the Earth cooled. Much, much higher concentrations have been present in the past, meaning that EVERYTHING WE SEE CAN BE EXPLAINED AS PART OF NORMAL CLIMATIC VARIATION.

What part of that is causing you trouble?

I am starting to think you are retarded. You lack the ability--or perhaps more likely, the motivation--to sift the relevant from the irrelevant. Certainly, you are emotionally constrained by your dogmatism.

But for my part, because both evidence and logic are clearly in my favor, I am quite content to continue daily exchanges for the next decade. Much sooner than that, though, you will be unable to reconcile the emotional contradiction between your irrational certainty and my on-going ability to offer rational, empirical arguments for which you have no conclusive answer.

I am not ignorant, stupid, or working for any cause but the truth.

Mountain Goat said...

As far as CO2, you yourself ADMITTED that in initial stages of warming CO2 lags temperature. You, yourself.

And AGAIN, you have ignored YOUR OWN MATH showing that the relative importance of CO2 as a climate force agent decays quickly.

And given, again, that we KNOW that CO2 levels have been much, much higher, NO anthropogenic fingerprint can be inferred from the mere presence of CO2 in the atmosphere.

If this continues for more than a post or two more, I am going to type up all the evidence I have presented in a Word document, and every time you fail to address it, I am going to point it out via cut and paste every single time you attempt one of your diversions.

Mountain Goat said...

Actually, I will point out one more thing you ignored: the FACT, the UNAMBIGUOUS, DEFINITIONAL FACT, that a hypothesis which fails in its predictions is wrong, and that no claim for theory status can be claimed on the basis of hypotheses which have been repeatedly falsified by actual data.

You are attempting to use a circuitous Appeal to Authority with someone who recognizes no such authority, and has justified at length why.

Vaytw said...

// I ADDRESSED your claim that "human fingerprints" are on current warming trends. I pointed out that CO2 is a naturally occurring element that is released into the atmosphere through natural processes, and has been since the Earth cooled. //

No doubt. Couple problems. Why is the CO2 currently in our atmosphere “being released” from? The oceans? Well that’s funny, because the evidence of ocean acidification unprecedented in, if memory serves, millions of years, shows that it’s ~going the other way~. Moreover, partial pressure of CO2 in the ocean is increasing, hence the CO2 in the atmosphere cannot be there because of oceanic outgassing.

And even if the CO2 in the atmosphere ~were~ being released from the oceans, what’s causing it? Warming? Then what’s causing that? You might say, “The sun” or “cosmic rays”… except the evidence I’ve already shown you PROVES it’s the Greenhouse Effect! So are you going to tell me that the CO2 which is somehow magically being released into our atmosphere because of warming is also causing the warming that’s making that happen?

Further, this argument is as dead as dead can be, and by the way thank you for basically giving away the store by making it. I’ll tell you why later.

// Much, much higher concentrations have been present in the past, meaning that EVERYTHING WE SEE CAN BE EXPLAINED AS PART OF NORMAL CLIMATIC VARIATION. //

Totally non sequitur. That’s like saying, “This guy is dead. People have died of natural causes before. Therefore this guy must’ve died of natural causes.” Same goes for many AGW contrarian arguments along similar lines. “Normal climatic variation” is about like saying “Magic pixie dust” – it’s dodging the question. When big changes happen, something caused them.

// I am starting to think you are retarded. You lack the ability--or perhaps more likely, the motivation--to sift the relevant from the irrelevant. Certainly, you are emotionally constrained by your dogmatism. //

Well there’s another pretty terrible insult. And you tell me I’m “constrained by my dogmatism”? Seems to me the guy who can’t remain detached enough to bite back such comments might be the guy who’s more dogmatic in his beliefs. Last I checked, I haven’t said anything about you which insults your intelligence, though you certainly make me want to.

// But for my part, because both evidence and logic are clearly in my favor, I am quite content to continue daily exchanges for the next decade. Much sooner than that, though, you will be unable to reconcile the emotional contradiction between your irrational certainty and my on-going ability to offer rational, empirical arguments for which you have no conclusive answer.

I am not ignorant, stupid, or working for any cause but the truth. //

Oh really? What’s all that stuff about how the root cause of every problem in the world is liberalism (I’m paraphrasing, obviously)? Such simple, black-and-white answers don’t exist in the real world… sorry. And as for truth, oh, I’m about to hit you across the face with it….

Vaytw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vaytw said...

(Sorry - I deleted and re-posted this because the formatting sucked.)

// As far as CO2, you yourself ADMITTED that in initial stages of warming CO2 lags temperature. You, yourself. //

Indeed I did. But the part you ignore... is everything that came AFTER that. You know, the part about how well over 80% of the warming lagged CO2 after the initial impetus? Now, if you’re implicitly ~agreeing~ with that part (sorry if I missed that, but you never made it explicit), well, like I said, you just gave away the store. Here’s why:

We absolutely KNOW that the extreme and increasing amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is human-caused. First, note my initial paragraph in this post about ocean acidification. But that aint all. Here’s a copious list of reasons for you to chew on:


* The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is going up by around 15 billion tonnes per year. Humans are emitting around twice as much. You do the math. If we ain’t causing the increasing levels of atmospheric CO2, what the hell is happening to all the stuff we’re emitting?

* When we measure the isotopes of carbon accumulating in the atmosphere, we observe more of the type of carbon that comes from fossil fuels (Manning 2006).

* As you burn fossil fuels, you take oxygen out of the atmosphere. Measured oxygen levels are falling in line with the amount of carbon dioxide rising (Manning 2006).

* There's been a sharp rise in "fossil fuel carbon" in corals (Pelejero 2005) and sea sponges (Swart 2010).

* Anthropogenic CO2 is penetrating even to the ocean depths (Murata 2010).

* Measurements of radiocarbon in tree-rings confirms human activity is the cause of rising CO2 (Levin 2000).

* Even the pages of ancient books trace the rising effects of fossil fuel pollution going back to beginnings of the industrial revolution (Yakir 2011).

These, among other, independent lines of evidence (and common sense) confirm that yes, we are responsible for the recent rise in atmospheric CO2. And you’ve apparently admitted there is such a thing as a “natural greenhouse effect” (though I keep trying to give you chances to escape that corner, you seem to want to keep going back there). So unless there’s some magical reason why “natural” GH emissions are different from human ones in terms of their effects on climate, you’re screwed. Sorry.

Vaytw said...

// And AGAIN, you have ignored YOUR OWN MATH showing that the relative importance of CO2 as a climate force agent decays quickly. //

It aint “my math”, it’s from an IPCC assessment. And what do you mean by “quickly”? Historical incidences of GH warming have lasted millennia and led to numerous mass extinctions. The Thermal Maximum I mentioned before took about 100,000 years to sort itself out. So I’m not sure what conclusion you think we should draw from the fact of “my math”. As I said, scientists have known about it since the end of the 19th century. I guess you think you’re something really special to have an insight into things that all of them have missed. Or perhaps Arrhenius was in on the Communist conspiracy to impose global eco-Communism, which miraculously predates even the first Communist revolution?

// And given, again, that we KNOW that CO2 levels have been much, much higher, NO anthropogenic fingerprint can be inferred from the mere presence of CO2 in the atmosphere. //

As I’ve shown above, we already know from multiple converging lines of evidence (there’s that phrase again – it’s important) that the CO2 in the atmosphere is anthropogenic. The “fingerprints” I gave you were to prove the role of GHG’s as the causal agent for the warming we are seeing. Sorry you missed that, but I did spell all this out pretty clearly in my very first post, remember?

// Actually, I will point out one more thing you ignored: the FACT, the UNAMBIGUOUS, DEFINITIONAL FACT, that a hypothesis which fails in its predictions is wrong, and that no claim for theory status can be claimed on the basis of hypotheses which have been repeatedly falsified by actual data. //

Please show me evidence of such falsification. All I see falsified so far is pretty much your entire argument.

Mountain Goat said...

Your entire first post depended upon the claim that someone in the late 1950's claimed to have been able to differentiate CO2 caused by humans burning fossil fuels, and that which occurred naturally. I have read that study, and it is weak, even pathetic.

As I noted in depth in my original post the problems with respect to measuring global Co2 levels are nearly insuperable, and have been filled with patent fraud via discarding all measurements which did not conform to the hypothesis.

There is no way to differentiate types of CO2. If you want to make that claim, provide a link. I have never seen anyone make this claim and I don't believe it.

Now I want to speak to you like the petulant and overly grandiose school child you evidently are.

We are currently in an Ice Age, one which began over two million years ago. The pattern of the Ice Ages appears to have been that cold and ice prevail for long periods of time, and are periodically interrupted by warming periods lasting, they think, either roughly 50,000 years or 10-12,000 years. The present one, the Holocene, appears to have seen roughly a 10 degree global temperature increase over that period.

Much of that warming was likely facilitated by the release of CO2 into the atmosphere both from melting ice sheets, and from the oceans.

As I have said though REPEATEDLY, and what you have ignored REPEATEDLY, the relative role of CO2 as a climate forcing agent decays quickly. Every time you double it it only creates an added amount of warming seen in the first doubling. One can readily see that the periods of time 2,000, or 5,000 years ago when CO2 levels were much lower would have been much more affected by CO2 release, than now, when that frequency is just about full saturated. After a certain point, added CO2 does very little. This is, in part, why we keep winding up in Ice Ages.

And you ask where the CO2 comes from? Again, from the oceans. Jeff Glassman discusses this extensively in his blog, which I linked, and which you ignored.

Mountain Goat said...

And what you seem utterly incapable of grasping is that all the things the AGW conspirators are claiming as evidence of "human fingerprints" would be expected within normal climatic variation.

You claim not to grasp why it matters that the Earth was significantly warming 1,000 years or so ago than it is today. I don't honestly think you are that stupid. You are made stupid by your blind need to prove yourself right, rather than to explore the topic with the intellectual integrity you keep claiming I lack.

There were no cars, and no coal plants 1,000 years ago, and yet all the symptoms, or nearly all of them, you cite happened. WE HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE.

Logically, if we can get here without an AGW influence, then a possible, plausible alternative explanation for whatever warming we are seeing is that it is unexceptional, and perfectly normal. Certainly not anything to get excited about, or induce global poverty over.

I keep claiming that the warming models of the assholes pushing this nonsense have been falsified by events. What part of this do you not get? If Al Gore says in 1998 that we are going to see X amount of warming, and then NOTHING HAPPENS, if the Earth inexplicably and contrary to all predictions stays at the same temperature, then HOW AND WHY should we do anything but treat those who commit such errors and fail to learn from the with contempt?

A theory has consistent predictive value. There is NOTHING, NOTHING in this whole house of cards that can be separated from the basic hypothesis that this is all normal variation.

You say "show me evidence of such falsification". I say where the HELL is the warming over the last 15 years? NOBODY predicted that. No one.

How is this unclear to you?

Finally, I will add that if memory serves the Antartic and Artic Circle are the two largest deserts on Earth. They are virtually uninhabitable by virtually all animals. How and why do you think that even I am wrong and you are right adding millions of square miles of arable land to cultivation is a bad thing?

Global warming, in my view, would be a very good thing, and frankly I hope I am wrong that we are going to follow historic prescendent and lapse into the desertification via cold of much of the Earth.

Mountain Goat said...

I take it you are getting your parrot points from somewhere like here: http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?n=586

I look at studies like this one, by Keeling, Manning, and others, and it does not appear to say what they claim: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/icdc7/proceedings/abstracts/keeling.rFF328Oral.pdf

On all of these, if you read the fine print, you will always find that the "findings" are to some extent stipulated. Our measurements of all these things are terribly inaccurate. We only have historical CO2 data from 1960, and that only from one place. Even today I doubt we gather it more than a couple dozen places, if that, making any firm statements about current CO2 levels not even remotely scientific. What they do is model how they think it works, then treat that as a finding.

Or take this one, where I am hoping to learn what "fossil fuel carbon" is, and instead am treated to an assertion in the first sentence:

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/309/5744/2204.abstract

"The oceans are becoming more acidic due to absorption of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. "

And here is a treatment of the Suess effect, in which they show that what we are seeing today has been seen a number of times before: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/28/dusting-for-fingerprints-in-the-holocene/

Lies and lying liars.

I will reiterate for the third or fourth time as well that we should be seeing some 3x the warming we actually see in the Troposphere if climatic models were actually correct. We have a clear prediction, and as is not often the case with most of this, good data.

This is just one MORE falsification of the hypothesis.

Vaytw said...

// Your entire first post depended upon the claim that someone in the late 1950's claimed to have been able to differentiate CO2 caused by humans burning fossil fuels, and that which occurred naturally. I have read that study, and it is weak, even pathetic. //

Nice refutation of a study that is overwhelmingly accepted in the scientific community.

// As I noted in depth in my original post the problems with respect to measuring global Co2 levels are nearly insuperable, and have been filled with patent fraud via discarding all measurements which did not conform to the hypothesis. //

Bullshit. You bring it up again later, so I’ll deal with it there.

// There is no way to differentiate types of CO2. If you want to make that claim, provide a link. I have never seen anyone make this claim and I don't believe it. //

I suspect you’d never heard it because you get your information from political spin sites like WUWT that are in the pockets of conservative think tanks like the Heartland Foundation. But I see you actually did a little research later on. Which you subsequently dismiss with little more than a rhetorical wave of the hand.

// Now I want to speak to you like the petulant and overly grandiose school child you evidently are. //

Another direct insult. Have you considered the possibility that the reason people “go silent” is because you are simply too obnoxious to bear for long? If your argument holds water, you wouldn’t need these kind of statements to decorate it.

// We are currently in an Ice Age, one which began over two million years ago… //

The climaet is warming way too fast to be coming out of the last ice age, and according to our knowledge of Milankovitch cycles that cause glaciation, we should be very very slowly heading into another ice age (about 20,000 years from now, if I remember correctly).

// And you ask where the CO2 comes from? Again, from the oceans. Jeff Glassman discusses this extensively in his blog, which I linked, and which you ignored. //

Then how do you explain the fact that ocean acidification is the worst we’ve seen in roughly 300 millions years? How can the oceans simultaneously be both the source of and the recipient of these anomalous amounts of CO2? Along with this, as I mentioned above, if the amount of CO2 in the ocean was falling, the partial pressure of CO2 would be doing likewise (and the pH rising). We are seeing the opposite. Hence, ocean outgassing can’t be responsible. This is physics, and it’s straightforward. Sorry.

Moreover, we know the oceans aren’t the source for various other reasons. One is the measurement of atmosphere oxygen – also as I told you before. It is being reduced by the amount that atmospheric CO2 is going up. This shows that the carbon part of it must have come from a compound which was released into the atmosphere. If the source of the CO2 was the oceans, this wouldn’t affect atmospheric oxygen content.

And what about all the CO2 we are emitting? Where the hell is that going? If you want to say the oceans – you’re partly right. If memory serves, that amount is roughly 40%. That right there should be reason enough to know we’re doing our planet a terrible disservice with all this CO2 pollution we’re subjecting it to.

// And what you seem utterly incapable of grasping is that all the things the AGW conspirators are claiming as evidence of "human fingerprints" would be expected within normal climatic variation. //

We certainly would not see the fingerprints in my list unless the warming were from GHG origins, and we wouldn’t see the isotopic and other evidence that GHG’s are human-emitted detailed above if they were natural.

Further, what your “natural variation” absolutely cannot explain is why the GHE has an effect when it’s natural, but not in this case. If you think it doesn’t in either case (an question I frankly can’t work out, as your logic seems to encompass both positions simultaneously), try to answer my “Snowball Earth” question you conspicuously ignored earlier without it.

Vaytw said...

// You claim not to grasp why it matters that the Earth was significantly warming 1,000 years or so ago than it is today... //

It wasn’t. The Medieval Warming Period wasn’t global, and the temperatures we are seeing now are already the highest in this interglacial period, going back 11,000 years:

“A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years”
http://content.csbs.utah.edu/~mli/Economics%207004/Marcott_Global%20Temperature%20Reconstructed.pdf

Moreover, and here’s something your totally ad hoc hypothesis can’t explain: the heat-energy accumulation of this Earth is showing no signs of slowing. You repeatedly ignore the simple, in-your-face evidence of ocean heat content. As I said, Google “NOAA, ocean heat content” and explain THAT if we’re on our way back to cooler times.

// There were no cars, and no coal plants 1,000 years ago, and yet all the symptoms, or nearly all of them, you cite happened. WE HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE... Certainly not anything to get excited about, or induce global poverty over. //

And here it is again. “This guy died. Lots of people have died of natural causes in the past. He must’ve died of natural causes.” Moreover, “inducing global poverty” is a total non sequitur. You free market zealots always think any regulation is going to destroy economies… until it doesn’t. We saw the same thing with the ozone/CFC’s debate back in the 80’s and 90’s.

You want to talk about inducing global poverty, wait til you see the effects having agricultural output reduced by a conservative estimate of 50% will have on the developing world. Among plenty of other things.

// I keep claiming that the warming models of the assholes pushing this nonsense have been falsified by events. What part of this do you not get? If Al Gore says in 1998 that we are going to see X amount of warming, and then NOTHING HAPPENS, if the Earth inexplicably and contrary to all predictions stays at the same temperature, then HOW AND WHY should we do anything but treat those who commit such errors and fail to learn from the with contempt? //

Is Al Gore a climate scientist? And isn’t your hatred of him blinding you to a LOT of evidence? And “nothing” has not happened. Look at the ocean heat content data. Look at ocean acidification. Look at the evidence from the TOA about the energy imbalance. Look at statistical data like the intensity and frequency of heat waves and extreme precipitation events. Look at the volume of frickin’ Arctic ice or all the other evidence I’ve given you that warming is occurring. Look at the simple fact that 9 of the warmest years on record since records have been kept were in the first decade of the 200o’s.

// A theory has consistent predictive value. There is NOTHING, NOTHING in this whole house of cards that can be separated from the basic hypothesis that this is all normal variation.

You say "show me evidence of such falsification". I say where the HELL is the warming over the last 15 years? NOBODY predicted that. No one. //

Answered this above (about the last 15 years). As to what people have predicted, Plass made three predictions half a century ago that have been verified, quite clearly. Not to mention predictions I have already described in posts above. Further, predictions that heat from the GHE would go largely into the oceans go back as far as Hogbom in 1896, but I can show you statements in a Hansen climate report from ’79 as well as the IPCC FAR assessment in 1990 saying the same thing, very clearly. And need I remind you that even surface temperature measurements are still within the error bars of IPCC predictions? If you want to see predictions that have failed dismally, check ANY prediction climate skeptics such as Lindzen have made.

Vaytw said...

// Finally, I will add that if memory serves the Antartic and Artic Circle are the two largest deserts on Earth. They are virtually uninhabitable by virtually all animals. How and why do you think that even I am wrong and you are right adding millions of square miles of arable land to cultivation is a bad thing? //

Moving goalposts here. But to answer quickly, first of all, it's very bad because of all the permafrost full of nasty methane that’s already melting and will almost certainly crank up the GHE even worse. Not to mention what’s going to happen to the arable land we already have. You don’t think that brutal heat-waves 50 more frequent than they were three decades ago is going to have any impact? Have you noticed any news from the US on this front lately? Or Russia? Or Australia? Or China? Or how about 500-year or 1,000-year floods like the ones we’ve seen in, oh, Germany, Pakistan, Thailand, Italy, Greece, Australia… all in the last five years? You don’t think when they’re a totally regular occurrence, that’s going to bother anybody? Nah, I’m sure none of that will make any difference to anyone.

// I take it you are getting your parrot points from somewhere like here: http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?n=586 //

Um, are you claiming to be doing original climate research? Have you been coming up with all the talking points I’ve heard a thousand times from others like you yourself? If so, wow, that’s an amazing coincidence. If not, stop pretending that you’re Sherlock Holmes. The points in sources I use are always linked directly to peer-reviewed research or I don’t use them. I have no pretenses that I’m originating anything. That would be pretty incredible hubris, wouldn’t it?

I’ll have to deal with your vague “refutation” of the copious CO2 isotope studies and the “tropospheric hotspot” talking point you’re parroting (your word) from Monckton another time. Cheers~

Vaytw said...

PPS - Oh yes, I also forgot to re-deal with your "diminishing returns" argument. Will have to do that later as well. This really is full-on whack-a-mole now...

Mountain Goat said...

You're right: we are playing whack-a-mole. The reason is not my lack of intellectual coherence, but rather your unwillingness to follow straight lines to their conclusions.

You insulted me in your very first post by ignoring the entirety of my argument, which was created precisely to avoid playing silly games with unserious people.

Therefore, if this discussion is going to continue, we are going to be systematic. We will overlook nothing, for my part I will avoid nothing, and we will go through this like serious people who actually want to understand the topic and reach the best possible conclusions.

We will start with my first paragraph:

"In this inaugural post, I would like to discuss the issue of what is generally termed Anthropogenic Global Warming. This term is used because the Earth for all of its history has been warming and cooling. The Sahara Desert used to be green. Minnesota used to be covered by a giant glacier, which is why it is so flat and has so many lakes. These facts are well known, and disputed by no one."

Do you grant that most scientists agree that the Sahara used to be green and that Minnesota was covered by glaciers? That is my first question.

My second question is: do you grant that within the Earth's history average temperatures have both been roughly 10 degrees Celsius warmer than today, and roughly 5-10 degrees colder?

Here is a link, from a site patently interested in peddling the AGW conjecture, so it should be unobjectionable.

You are free to question the relevance of these facts, but for now I want you to concede them, because slippery dialogues start with slippery minds.

You have no reason to deny any of this, so I assume this is pro forma.

No more whack-a-mole. If truth actually is your interest, you should be happy.

Mountain Goat said...

Here is the link: http://knowledge.allianz.com/?624/climate-timeline-a-short-history-of-the-earths-climate

Feel free to provide your own and we can look at it. Approximation is sufficient for now.

Mountain Goat said...

The Socratic method is intended to uncover contradictions, fuzzy thinking, and unwarranted assumptions. In the moral realm, it can be used to attack nearly any firm view.

In the scientific realm, in contrast, it is the best method we have for interrogating evidence and beliefs. Aristotle's work can easily be seen as a reaction to the ultimate practical uselessness of Plato's work.

Science and reason go together.

If you are right, if the notion of AGW is in fact a theory as you claim, if the predictions have been clearly formulated so as to exclude alternative explanations for observed data points, and if those predictions have been repeatedly validated over time as you claim, there is no place in this discussion where you need feel danger. You can refute me point by point, and since we are doing it so methodically, there will be no wiggle room for me, nowhere to hide.

If you are right, you can shred all of my arguments, and I will be defenseless.

If, on the other hand, your position consists as I have often claimed of house of cards that does NOT withstand sustained scrutiny, we are at an impasse. You can read what I wrote, see where we are going, see what hills you will need to climb, and if you lack confidence in your beliefs, silence will be your only alternative to sustained embarrassment.

I will repeat that I have done this debate many times, and spent many thousands of hours in debate in general.

It is your decision whether or not a rigorous, focused discussion favors you or me.

Vaytw said...

Hello again.

// You're right: we are playing whack-a-mole. The reason is not my lack of intellectual coherence, but rather your unwillingness to follow straight lines to their conclusions. //

Have you followed the “straight lines” of, say, the evidence of ocean acidificaition, partial pressures, isotope data and ocean depletion of the atmosphere to their logical conclusion? Or the positive energy imbalance at the TOA (IE, more energy coming in than leaving)? Or the ocean heat content data?

// You insulted me in your very first post by ignoring the entirety of my argument, which was created precisely to avoid playing silly games with unserious people. //

I’m sorry if you took this as an insult. I don’t however see how one could possible respond in a single post to your entire argument. As I said earlier, I like to follow a logical hierarchy and take things one point at a time. Science is slow, methodical, skeptical and careful, and so I think one must be in discussing it.

// Therefore, if this discussion is going to continue, we are going to be systematic. We will overlook nothing, for my part I will avoid nothing, and we will go through this like serious people who actually want to understand the topic and reach the best possible conclusions. //

Sounds great! However, last week I completed none of the assignments in the online course I signed up for, and left pressing work unfinished, as I used what spare time I had to respond in this discussion. This week I must put that on the front burner, so this goes to the back. You’ll only be hearing back from me very sporadically.

Regarding your two questions, without having time to read your link (I haven’t read your WUWT article yet, either, but it’s on my list), based on my background knowledge, I’d say yes to both.

// If you are right, you can shred all of my arguments, and I will be defenseless. //

This doesn’t actually follow. My knowledge of the topic could be lacking, or my logic might simply fail. “The weakness of my argument doesn’t entail the strength of yours.” But that’s fine.

// If, on the other hand, your position consists as I have often claimed of house of cards that does NOT withstand sustained scrutiny, we are at an impasse. You can read what I wrote, see where we are going, see what hills you will need to climb, and if you lack confidence in your beliefs, silence will be your only alternative to sustained embarrassment.

I will repeat that I have done this debate many times, and spent many thousands of hours in debate in general.

It is your decision whether or not a rigorous, focused discussion favors you or me. //

Based on my knowledge of epistemology, I’d have to say the burden of proof actually rests with you... as your position, much like, say, HIV skepticism, evolution skepticism or vaccine skepticism, questions conclusions that are widely accepted by the vast majority of experts in a field. It thus represents what skeptics would call an extraordinary claim, and likewise requires extraordinary evidence. But that’s fine too. I’m happy to go along and do my best. Just please don’t pressure me on time. I’ll respond when I can.

Vaytw said...

PS - "ocean depletion of the atmosphere" should read "~oxygen~ depletion of the atmosphere".

Mountain Goat said...

Science does not involve emotion or prejudgement. Therefore the term "extraordinary" is already a political, and not a scientific term. It has no place in the vocabulary of those who understand the scientific method. In what we might call Truth Work, there is a continuum between strongly supported empirically, and falsified empirically, by which to say the actual data contradicts in clear and patent ways the claimed pattern.

Be that as it may, when you get time, grant me an unequivocal yes to both claims which, being generally accepted, should meet the standard which appears to matter most to you: popularity.

Then we will move on. All the things you mentioned will be addressed in due time, without exception, including ocean acidification and the rest.

Vaytw said...

// Science does not involve emotion or prejudgement. Therefore the term "extraordinary" is already a political, and not a scientific term. It has no place in the vocabulary of those who understand the scientific method. In what we might call Truth Work, there is a continuum between strongly supported empirically, and falsified empirically, by which to say the actual data contradicts in clear and patent ways the claimed pattern. //

Sorry but the phrase "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" is a re-wording (by Carl Sagan) of a statement by David Hume to the same effect. Hume is the father of modern empiricism. To deny it is to basically deny the entire field of Bayesian probability. People engaged in extremely improbable research such as para-psychology or Homeopathy are the ones who tend to like to throw it out as "unscientific".

// Be that as it may, when you get time, grant me an unequivocal yes to both claims which, being generally accepted, should meet the standard which appears to matter most to you: popularity. //

Yes, I agree those are both true based on our current understanding.

As for popularity, this is again a pseudoscientific slander. Just as it is incorrect to call the citation of experts in a relevant field "appeal to authority", it is equally incorrect to refer to a consensus of experts in a relevant field "appeal to popularity". You can look this up, or I can show you the definition.

// Then we will move on. All the things you mentioned will be addressed in due time, without exception, including ocean acidification and the rest. //

Great... looking forward to it.

Mountain Goat said...

Would you agree that at one time the following beliefs were generally held:

1) that the universe circled the Earth.

2) that the Earth was flat.

3) that faster than light communication was not possible.

4) that the world consisted in matter which was at some level irreducible?

Do you not agree that science consists ENTIRELY in dispassionate observation, and that to the extent scientists regard ANY field of study in advance as implausible, they are made that much more likely not to make PRECISELY the observations which DEFINE science?

To take parapsychology, can you name me any scientist on the planet who is in the "mainstream" who has taken the effort to do ANY research in the field?

In the modern age, intelligent minds are in a position to evaluate evidence on their own, and reach their own conclusions, which is what we are going to do here in depth.

I thus cannot grant in advance that a "concensus" of any sort--such as that which was widely held in the 1960's that the Earth was going to suffer famine due to overpopulation.

Here is my question, then: are you willing to grant that science is about where the evidence leads, and not about what people who call themselves scientists want to claim?

Put another way, are you willing to grant that science can be politicized?

As I said, I want to be systematic, and if need be I am willing to start with citing historical and present day abuses of scientific status.

Mountain Goat said...

I thus cannot grant in advance that a "concensus" of any sort--such as that which was widely held in the 1960's that the Earth was going to suffer famine due to overpopulation--constitutes evidence of any sort, in principle, even if with regard to some topics the necessary specialization takes it beyond the reach of most.

Mountain Goat said...

Actually, I will add one more question: if you want to insist the word "extraordinary" has scientific value, how do you define it? What is the definition?

I see no way to define it which does not involve referencing prevailing belief systems, and thus the social status of an idea, and thus politics.

I grant the categories:

Claim for which there exists no evidence, and which can thus be considered falsified.

Claims which have not been investigated.

Again, how do you define, as you must within the actual scientific method, the word "Extraordinary"?

Vaytw said...

// Would you agree that at one time the following beliefs were generally held:

1) that the universe circled the Earth.

2) that the Earth was flat. //

Neither of these beliefs was held when there was anything close to a scientific consensus, as there was no such thing as science when they were prominent!

// 3) that faster than light communication was not possible.

4) that the world consisted in matter which was at some level irreducible? //

The third I thought had actually turned out to be a measurement error, but I could be wrong on that, as I haven’t followed that issue very closely.

The fourth I think can qualify as a genuine revolution within science. Please notice that I didn’t see consensus guarantees correctness, any more than expertise does. It simply means it’s a better bet for the non-expert... especially if the consensus is broad and long-standing. Science is always tentative and revisible subject to new information, but when there’s a clear consenus on something, it means there’s no better bet.

// Do you not agree that science consists ENTIRELY in dispassionate observation, and that to the extent scientists regard ANY field of study in advance as implausible, they are made that much more likely not to make PRECISELY the observations which DEFINE science? //

No, I don’t. Because humans all humans are vulnerable to bias, and that includes scientists. To think one is “dispassionate” is generally to delude oneself. This is why science is so largely a social endeavor, and makes progress in the aggregate.

// To take parapsychology, can you name me any scientist on the planet who is in the "mainstream" who has taken the effort to do ANY research in the field? //

Sure. Daryl Bem. He did a paper on pre-cognition that got a lot of flap in psychology circles – largely thanks to the very kind of argument that you’re making: that we have to toss out everything we think we know, simply because a study with a large sample size came up with a result that was statistically significant.

There are plenty of other examples of serious researchers who do research that, based on our current knowledge of nature, is highly improbable. Homeopathy and other alternative medicine research is an example. Researchers such as Peter Duesberg who seek to falsify the causal connection (or non-existence of) the HIV virus with AIDS is another. Researchers who seek to establish a causal connection between vaccines and autism is yet another.

// In the modern age, intelligent minds are in a position to evaluate evidence on their own, and reach their own conclusions, which is what we are going to do here in depth. //

They can try. But there is something called the Dunning-Krueger Effect which I think you should look up. It’s basically a bias that people vastly under-estimate the difference between their own qualifications and those of experts. Today’s body of scientific knowledge is so vast that even experts can only really call themselves that within a narrow slice of their field.

Vaytw said...

// I thus cannot grant in advance that a "concensus" of any sort--such as that which was widely held in the 1960's that the Earth was going to suffer famine due to overpopulation. //

I don’t know that there was a scientific consensus on this, but I do know that if Norman Borlough’s “Green Revolution” in GM crops hadn’t happened, there very likely would’ve been mass famine in the developing world.

// Here is my question, then: are you willing to grant that science is about where the evidence leads, and not about what people who call themselves scientists want to claim? //

Sure. No argument with that. And a skeptic should try to hold his beliefs in accordance with the bulk of the evidence. But as non-experts, we should also be careful, as our knowledge of what constitutes “the evidence” tends to be limited. Especially if we get that “knowledge” from politically-motivated sources, instead of directly from peer-reviewed literature itself.

// Put another way, are you willing to grant that science can be politicized? //

Oh, most definitely. Fred Singer is a perfect example.

// As I said, I want to be systematic, and if need be I am willing to start with citing historical and present day abuses of scientific status. //

No need. I certainly agree individual scientists can be guilty of abuses, and sometimes groups of scientists get things seriously wrong. Eugenics is a good example – or phrenology. It’s worth pointing out though that the last time an actual scientific theory was overturned was – if memory serves – when plate techtonics finally triumphed in the mid-20th century. Moreover the percentage of scientific studies retracted for reasons of scientific fraud are (again, if memory serves) around .02%.

// Actually, I will add one more question: if you want to insist the word "extraordinary" has scientific value, how do you define it? What is the definition? //

I’d say that in the way it’s used by Sagan, it means “extremely unlikely, given our prior knowledge”.

// I see no way to define it which does not involve referencing prevailing belief systems, and thus the social status of an idea, and thus politics. //

This is a very Post Modernist type of skepticism. So you think that every time, say, a medical study is conducted, medical researchers must first re-test the Germ Theory of Disease? Scientific progress would be impossible if this level of skepticism were demanded. I suggest you look up Bayesianism.

// I grant the categories:

Claim for which there exists no evidence, and which can thus be considered falsified. //

Absence of evidence doesn’t equal falsification. For example, there’s no good evidence for the existence of God (IMO), but that doesn’t render God falsified. It simply means we have no good evidence-based reason to believe in Him.

Falsification generally means presence of other evidence which renders the claim logical impossible or highly improbable in some way.

Mountain Goat said...

I like your example of Daryl Bem, as he showed that claims of the existence of the "paranormal"--which already is a value-laden word--are not extraordinary, not "beyond the normal". They are in fact empirically demonstrable.

Fair enough.

Are you willing to grant that the conjecture element of the Global Warming idea is contained in statement: "human beings, through the consumption of carbon based fuel sources like oil products and coal, are creating an increase in the so-called "Greenhouse Effect" (I don't dispute the science, but the dynamics of atmosphere and actual greenhouses differ), in ways unlikely to be corrected by underlying natural processes"?

If you grant this, we can move on to a listing of hypotheses associated with this claim, which is to say that if it is correct, these are the thing we expect to see which can ONLY be caused by our stated forcing agent.

Vaytw said...

You probably got this, but just to be clear – I didn’t intend to say that I think Daryl Bem proved pre-cognition. Actually, there were a number of important problems pointed out with his study, including (again this is from memory) evidence of data-mining and ad hoc hypothesis revision. But probably most importantly, an attempted replication failed to reproduce his results. Which is a good example of why the social aspect of science is so important: we tend to get attached to our discoveries. Everyone’s work needs to be checked.

But the study does raise interesting questions. A lot of people who do psi research or simply believe in that kind of thing raised a lot of fuss about the reception it got in the skeptical community. Their reaction I think you’ll sympathize with: Bem passed all the normal hurdles… he has his credentials, he did the research, passed peer-review, got published. So why the especially rigorous treatment of his study? It smacked of suppression, even conspiracy.

But the skeptics were right. If Bem’s study were the first of its kind, that would be one thing. But literally thousands of studies involving precognition and other psi-related phenomena have been done. Meta-studies have been done on this research, and it has all been a dismal failure.

Not only that, but in order for Bem’s study to be true, pretty much our entire understanding of physics would have to be overturned. There’s simply no known mechanism that makes his result possible.

In terms of Bayesian inference, we can therefore say that Bem’s hypothesis has a very low ~prior probability~ of being true – which then dictates that ~his~ skepticism should’ve been raised to begin with, and likewise ~our~ skepticism, given his finding. This is very important. Scientists ~must~ be conservative about revolutionary findings, because knowledge isn’t just a pile of random facts: it is intricately inter-connected within a theoretical “web”.

Along this line: you never answered my previous question to you about whether a medical researcher should have to re-test the Germ Theory of Disease before conducting whatever research he’s pursuing. The answer, in a nutshell, is no, he shouldn’t. That’s not to say he ~couldn’t’~ test it, if he had reason to – but generally he can just assume the scientific edifice he’s standing on is firm and work from there. If not, progress in science would be impossible, and scientific discoveries would be meaningless.

Vaytw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vaytw said...

(I swear, no matter how many farging times I re-read a post, as soon as I post it, I notice a glaring error!)

// Are you willing to grant that the conjecture element of the Global Warming idea is contained in statement: "human beings, through the consumption of carbon based fuel sources like oil products and coal, are creating an increase in the so-called "Greenhouse Effect" //

I’m not sure what you mean by “conjecture”. What I know of this issue is that back in the very early 19th century, Fourier first calculated that the Earth should be colder, given its size and distance from the sun. He hypothesized that the atmosphere might have an insulating effect.

Then Tyndall’s study of the properties of gases showed the heat-absorbing capacity of some, thus offering a mechanism for Fourier’s hypothesis.

This was built upon by the work of Arrhenius at the end of the 19th century, who formulated the equation for the radiative forcing of CO2. He was I think the first to observe that addition of GHG’s to the atmosphere would probably result in warming and calculated the likely range of temperatures – which wasn’t far off at all from what they still are today.

Arrhenius’ work was criticized by Angstrom and others for a number of reasons with which you are familiar – that the human contribution was simply too small, that water was also a GHG and more prevalent in the atmosphere, that the effect would already be “saturated”. It was with atmospheric research during WW2 that these objections were eventually refuted, leading to the work of Revelle, Suess, Plass and others after the war that began the modern phase of AGW research.

// (I don't dispute the science, but the dynamics of atmosphere and actual greenhouses differ), in ways unlikely to be corrected by underlying natural processes"? //

I think we’ve already discussed the issue of “correction by natural processes” pretty thoroughly above.

Mountain Goat said...

We will leave Bem for another discussion. His research was refuted by no one, although that claim was made by the same disingenuous people everywhere else interfering with scientific progress on this issue.

The net is that you very simply do not know the FACTS about psi research, which is a condition a well organized and well funded group of people wants to continue. If you would like what was a pretty thorough treatment of the topic back in the 1990's, read Dean Radin's "The Conscious Universe". There are a number of resources, but that book is sufficiently thorough to provide a basic grounding in the scientific method, as well dealing extensively with the topic EMPIRICALLY.

Does it have critics? Of course. Does it have honest critics? Not in my view. That is a discussion we can have once we are done with this one. Happy to do that. I don't pick weak positions, and that, too, is a debate I've done many times.

With regard to the discussion at hand, let's do this.

All clear thinking necessarily involves definitions, and some notion of what the desired end goal is.

Here, we are evaluating the merits of the claims made by the IPCC and others that we are in a historically unique time, and that we must respond with specific policies that are likely in aggregate to lower standards of living the world over.

Any intelligent discussion, prior to discussing the claims, will lay them out in detail, for the sake of reference. This prevents the goalposts from being moved unnecessarily, and to no intellectual benefit.

As you know, there are on most accounts 4 types of scientific status: conjecture, hypothesis, theory, and Law.

I will deal with the first two, since if you want to claim AGW is a theory, it must also have been formatted as an hypothesis, and offered numerous and rich predictions which were borne out by subsequent measurements, in ways precluding the null hypothesis.

Let me try this again:

Conjecture: burning fossil fuels may increase overall global temperatures sufficiently to cause more harm than good, and which are unlikely to be corrected by underlying natural processes.

Hypothesis in four parts:

1) the Earth's temperature will continue to rise as long as humans continue burning fossil fuels MORE than it would have had those fuels not been burnt; and

2) the historical processes which previously reversed global warming will not be able to act quickly enough to prevent these temperature increases; and

3) the changes caused by such warming are likely to do more harm than good to the human race.

4) reducing Carbon Dioxide emission today will have a significant impact on future temperature increases.

I will add that no one--certainly not me--is questioning the existence of a Greenhouse Effect. Suggesting that I do is something between an insult and a Straw Man. I deal with all the GHG's in my original post, and note that water is by far the most important, accounting for something 60-90% of heat retention.

As far as medical research, do they have to reprove everything? Of course not. But when we are dealing with areas where these is considerably ambiguity, such as global climate, when climate definitionally is a Chaotic System, it is both right and proper to ask a lot of questions without assuming the answers.

Again, I am formatting in a clear way the actual claims being made. There should be nothing to object to here.

Do you agree these are the claims being made, and do you have any to add?

Vaytw said...

As far as the stuff on Bem and psi, I'd say let's forget it. I'm pretty up on that topic, and I'd say there's likely 0% chance of our reaching agreement, based on what you've said here.

// Here, we are evaluating the merits of the claims made by the IPCC and others that we are in a historically unique time, and that we must respond with specific policies that are likely in aggregate to lower standards of living the world over. //

I agree that this is a historically a unique time. I don’t agree with the bit about “lowering standards of living”; in my view, it’s a non sequitur - especially when you consider how our current activities are likely going to affect those standards!

// I will deal with the first two, since if you want to claim AGW is a theory, it must also have been formatted as an hypothesis, and offered numerous and rich predictions which were borne out by subsequent measurements, in ways precluding the null hypothesis. //

I think I’ve already given you good reasons to agree this is true. Did you read my last post? Have you ever seen a timeline of AGW science history, such as this one:

http://www.aip.org/history/climate/timeline.htm

// 1) the Earth's temperature will continue to rise as long as humans continue burning fossil fuels MORE than it would have had those fuels not been burnt; and //

This gets tricky, because it’s very possibly true that even if we stopped burning fossil fuels today, with the estimated climate change inertia of around 30 years, it might be the case that feedbacks are already set in motion that would cause basically catastrophic warming regardless of what we do now. I know there are scientists of this opinion.

I’m not well-informed enough to have a strong opinion on this myself, but everything I do know suggests this I’d better just prepare for the worst and give up on society doing anything meaningful. Here in Taiwan where I live, we don’t even ~have~ climate change denialism... and they are ~still~ doing nothing. Or look at Norway – most liberal country on the planet and most climate change deniers per capita, too. The political situation is simply hopeless. Which I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear.

// 2) the historical processes which previously reversed global warming will not be able to act quickly enough to prevent these temperature increases; and... //

Yep. Oceans are taking up a lot of the warming ~for now~ and the sea ice from Antarctica will probably help things in terms of albedo, but other processes such as rock weathering aint gonna cut it, as the time-scale for them is simply too long.

Vaytw said...

// 3) the changes caused by such warming are likely to do more harm than good to the human race. //

Well, Bjorn Lomborg and the Wall Street Journal aside, I’d say, yes. Lot of harm, not much good. And not only to humanity... it’s worth noting that the fossil record indicates pretty much all big climate change events were accompanied by mass extinctions.

// 4) reducing Carbon Dioxide emission today will have a significant impact on future temperature increases. //

Like I said, the estimated inertia in climate is a matter of 2-3 decades, so “future” really needs defining there, as well as “significant”. My sense is we’re pretty well screwed no matter what, so I’d probably agree with you that, no, reductions won’t be “significant” in the way a reasonable person would hope to see. It’s the collective action problem from Hell. That said, it’s likely that, had people like Fred Singer and crew not been sewing doubts for a couple decades now, this situation would be very different.

Still, there’s an (increasingly tiny) Cornucopian skeptic in me that hopes human ingenuity will pop something amazing like super GM trees, really kick-ass sequestration tech or something like that out of its ass.

Sorry – I realize these responses probably weren’t what you wanted, but we’re getting far away from what I feel strongest in discussing – as it’s going deep into the realm of uncertainties (which to AGW “skeptics” is the favorite place to be – “Doubt is our product” is the old cigarette industry slogan - whereas to me, it is a realm of so many Swords of Damocles).

// I will add that no one--certainly not me--is questioning the existence of a Greenhouse Effect. Suggesting that I do is something between an insult and a Straw Man. //

Sorry but then your position is very confusing. You’re “skeptical” at just about every point. You bring up things that – were you genuinely accepting of the GHE – seem needless. For example, disputing the temperature record. Disputing the CO2 record. Bringing up the point about CO2 lagging temperature. And so on. But perhaps I’m not understanding what you mean by “questioning the existence of the greenhouse effect”. To me it sure seems like you are.

// I deal with all the GHG's in my original post, and note that water is by far the most important, accounting for something 60-90% of heat retention. //

Did you read my last post? This is exactly one of the points I mentioned got refuted with the research during WW2. What they found out from that research was that, in a nutshell, water vapor doesn’t overwhelm the effects of CO2 because there’s little water vapor in the crucial, very high, cold portions of the atmosphere where IR radiation leaves the atmosphere. Moreover, at the low pressures found there, water vapor absorption is like a leaky sieve, which would let a lot more radiation through if not for CO2. You can read up on that here, starting from “A Theory Restored”:

http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm#S2

This also gets into why saturation isn’t the issue skeptics think it is. As I said, this is all research from over fifty years ago, so the fact that people like Watts ignore it in repeating these easily-digestible talking points I find pretty darn lousy.

Mountain Goat said...

You are not understanding what I am trying to do. We are not yet at a point where we are evaluating these claims. All I want you to do is own that these are in fact the claims being made, without rendering at this point any opinion.

We can and will get into the specifics at length, and with regard to each point. I am quite happy to do that.

And as far as your confusion, I would think it self evident, not least because I have now said it a number of times, that I can both grant the obvious existence of a Greenhouse effect, and not grant that humans are having a significant impact on it.

Again, when we deal with details, this will come up repeatedly.

Since I am asking you to own these as your hypothesis, I will offer one of my own: particularly AFTER having considered all relevant data, the null hypothesis is tenable with respect to all of these claims, and that this necessarily refutes the claim that "the science is settled."

This does not require to prove my point. It merely shows that the degree of certainty on display with respect to this issue far outstrips any possible scientific justification for this certainty.

Vaytw said...

// You are not understanding what I am trying to do... //

I’m sorry, but as to whether these are ~the~ claims being made, I’d have to say “It depends”. All of them are talking about future predictions, which of course is always a tricky issue. I’ve downloaded the fifth IPCC assessment, but haven’t read it yet, so I can’t say how much it’s in agreement with your summary. All I can say is that, yes, in my knowledge of what experts generally believe on the topic, they seem to be an acceptable description.

Anyway you now know basically my own views on those issues. I’d say of particular interest to you should be the one on whether we can do something about AGW at this point, since that’s the only one where we’re likely in agreement.

However, I’m still confused… why are you taking the question of impacts first? It seems backwards to me. If the logically-prior issues are unresolved, then the question of impacts is totally irrelevant to anything.

// ...I can both grant the obvious existence of a Greenhouse effect, and not grant that humans are having a significant impact on it. //

I just don’t see how that follows at all so maybe that’s why I’m confused that that’s your point. Moreover I think I’ve already dealt with this in some depth (as far as a discussion between non-experts like this goes), and hopefully won’t need to repeat myself too much.

// Since I am asking you to own these as your hypothesis, I will offer one of my own: particularly AFTER having considered all relevant data… //

First of all, have you actually “considered all of the relevant data”? You weren’t aware of the numerous lines of evidence regarding the anthropogenic origins of CO2 until I pointed them out to you. I don’t say this to insult you, but it’s simply a fact that’s discernible from the discussion, and it's important to consider: how much of the scientific literature on this topic are you actually aware of (let alone well-familiar with)?

It also seems you’re not aware of the research on water as a GHG or the saturation of CO2 either. I suspect this was also true of the IR radiation data showing less energy escaping to space and more energy returning to the Earth’s surface at the wave-lengths of CO2, as well as the TOA data showing an energy imbalance which corresponds to energy “cropping up” in the atmosphere,much like water crops up in a sink that’s being filled when the drain is partly plugged by some hair.

Second, I'm not sure why you're trying to form my hypothesis for me. I've already summarized the theory of AGW according to my best understanding - in my very first post.

//…the null hypothesis is tenable with respect to all of these claims, and that this necessarily refutes the claim that "the science is settled." This does not require to prove my point. It merely shows that the degree of certainty on display with respect to this issue far outstrips any possible scientific justification for this certainty. //

Sorry, but this is a misconception of the null hypothesis, and I’ve seen it used lots of times in this way - IE, attempting to shift the burden of proof. The null hypothesis is a statistical tool and ~must be~ falsifiable. But among people that tend to get the label “scientific denialist”, it is used as a sort of indestructible epistemic force-field. They set no conditions for the falsification of the null hypothesis, and thus of course no amount of evidence with which they are presented is ever enough to convince them. I’ve seen this repeatedly – not only with AGW “skeptics”, but HIV deniers, anti-vaccinationists, 9/11 Truthers who think the Bush administration was responsible for 9/11 and so on.

I should add that I'm happy the tone of this discussion is now much nicer, so if my own means of expression isn't as nice as it should be, please keep in mind I'm very pressed for time in typing these messages and don't have time for as much self-editing as I'd like. If I've crossed any lines, please let me know.

Mountain Goat said...

I dealt with water vapor in my own original post. I understand that in the lower atmosphere is overwhelmingly the most important forcing agent, and that only in the much thinner air of the Troposphere does CO2 accumulation matter.

What I am trying to do here is pin you down to a specific set of claims which can be evaluated on their merits. You seem unwilling or unable to grasp that a very credible case can be made that the warming we are seeing is simply background variation.

I have no more desire than you to write exhaustive responses every day. What I am trying to do is simplify this and put it on a line.

Let us take the first hypothesis: 1) the Earth's temperature will continue to rise as long as humans continue burning fossil fuels MORE than it would have had those fuels not been burnt.

What pieces of evidence do we need? Historical temperature records--so as to place the current period in context--and some means of differentiating background from anthropogenic warming. It would also be helpful to have accurate long term measurements of average global CO2 levels.

Let us take the first element. You have already granted that the Earth has been much hotter in the past, so we cannot exclude, logically, the possibility that this is simply normal climatic variation. I deal in any event with the sundry problems with measurement in my original post.

This leads us to the second element, the so-called "Human fingerprint". Are the two studies from the 1950's all you have? What all do you want to submit as evidence?

I propose we deal in turn with those two studies, ocean acidification, the claim that the existence of certain carbon isotopes in increasing amounts in sea creatures constitutes evidence, your claim that heat is increasingly being blocked at the frequency of CO2, and whatever else you want to add here.

You know these things by heart, please list and number them and I will treat them one at a time.

And please keep in mind that no evidence indicating warming means anything. We have already established that current temperatures can and have happened naturally.

What we need is something differentiating human-caused from natural variation. Again, you cite a number of sources. I will deal with them one at a time.



Mountain Goat said...

I will add that this s a large topic, and can be expanded quite a bit. I am merely granting a platform to make your case. My experience is that the longer the list, the weaker each individual piece of evidence.

We will see.

Mountain Goat said...

Since you seem confused about what I believe and why, I will cut and paste a section of my original post, which some typos corrected, and a tad added.

Here is the link referenced, which I think clearly shows that the ocean is the principle repository of CO2: http://www.rocketscientistsjournal.com/2006/10/co2_acquittal.html

I will note in advance that I am quite willing, as stated, to go through what you claim as evidence piece by piece. But macroscopically, if your question is "where is the CO2 going?", my answer is the oceans.

If, then, you want to start with alleged ocean acidification, we can do that.

Your call.

"Aeronautical Engineer Jeff Glassman has developed, based on his own research, a detailed model showing how CO2 is taken up by cold waters, and released by warm waters. The oceans cannot differentiate between manmade CO2 and natural CO2, and the relative proportions of manmade to natural (estimated at roughly 1 part manmade to 15 natural) CO2 make our own contributions minescule compared to the effectively limitless potential of the oceans to absorb CO2.

He makes the further important point that what the Vostok ice cores show is that CO2 levels rise AFTER temperatures. As mentioned, temperatures have gone up and down continuously as long as life has existed on this planet. What the Vostok samples were initially supposed to have said was that increases in CO2 led to increases in temperature, which is the basic AGW hypothesis. However, later it was determined that CO2 levels lagged temperatures.

AGW supporters then argued that CO2 levels amplified existing warming, and that the same will happen in our era if our current production of CO2 is unchecked.

However, if it were true both that warming causes the release of CO2, AND that CO2 amplifies that warming, why has our climate never run away? Why have we not returned to the era of the dinosaurs, or something even warming? As far as that goes, why do we keep having Ice Ages, which are much, much, much more common than warming episodes?

This basic notion is called feedback, and use of this idea is why we keep hearing that we only have a few years before it's too late. Supposedly there is a tipping point, beyond which the climate will run out of control. Yet, the basics for such a tipping point are right there in the sedimentary record, and it didn't happen. We know it is possible, since CO2 levels have been ten or more times what they are today, in the thousands of parts per million.

This makes it farcical to claim that going from, say 300 to 500 ppm is going to ruin the Earth, or that there is a "tipping point."

Vaytw said...

Barry I'm sorry I just haven't got time to respond adequately these days, but I have to say, I've honestly addressed pretty much each of these points adequately (IMO) already, including the question of evidence for the human origin of atmospheric CO2 (I provided a list, to which I can add, actually), the question of "natural variability", the question of why oceanic CO2 can't be both the source and recipient of CO2 and the question of why we haven't had runaway warming.

I'm rushing, so if I've missed something here, don't take it personally, but since I'm going to be pretty busy for a few days, could you maybe take some time to review previous posts? You don't need to respond; I can come in and re-address these points if you like, but of course I'd prefer if you review the information I've already provided first.

Mountain Goat said...

With regard to CO2, it is soluble gas. The atmosphere can only hold so much, depending on the temperature. As Jeff Glassman points out, it betrays a simple ignorance of basic principles of chemistry and thermodynamics to assume that CO2 is absorbed by the ocean equally at the equator as at the poles. In his model, which makes perfect sense and which is at variance with no data or physical laws of which I am aware, CO2 is taken up at the poles into the oceans, recirculated, and then released in the warmer waters at the equator. As he notes, Mauna Loa is likely situated in the middle of an outgassing point, and thus delivering highly skewed numbers with respect to CO2 concentration.

But if you are busy, fair enough.

I will deal in turn with the relevance and scientific quality of the claims made with respect to the varying lines of "evidence" which you claim show a "human fingerprint". These include:

1) Two studies from the 1950's, which if memory serves were the reason Charles Keeling started measuring CO2 levels in Hawaii in 1960 or so.

2) The claim I have not yet investigated that ocean acidification--as measured somewhere by someone--contradicts any claims that CO2 levels can be rising, if they are rising, as a result of anything but the combustion of fossil fuels.

3) Sea creatures and the Suess Effect.

If I have missed any, let me know. I will reiterate that I can admit warming, admit rising CO2 levels, and not admit an anthropogenic influence; and in point of fact, I do not admit either of the first two points, in the sense that the past does not predict the future. I am simply granting them provisionally so the discussion can proceed with respect to other issues.

My gut instinct continues to be that global cooling is by far our bigger concern.

I may not get to these points today, but it won't take long once I do.

Vaytw said...

K, I'm gonna try to crank this, so sorry if any typos:

Mauna Loa can be used as a proxy because it's the longest record that doesn't use ice cores, but you need to keep in mind the reason this is ok is because measurements taken there since 1980 when more recent measurements began happening globally correlate almost exactly with the measurements from ML. Sorry, that sentence comes off convoluted, but imagine a graph of Mauna Loa CO2 measurements and averages from all other soucres of measurement since 1980 - what I'm saying is that the two trend lines are practically identical (The trend from Mauna Loa is 1.64 ppm/year, whereas globally it is 1.66.)

Here is a video graphic from NOAA of CO2 levels rising in the atmosphere over time, which actually shows location where each measurement was taken:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7jvP7BqVi4&feature=player_embedded

Here's a video graphic of mid-tropospheric CO2 levels measured from space by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on the NASA Aqua spacecraft, and comparison with Mauna Loa:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-bhzGvB8Lo

Also, I'm reading quickly here, but does Glassman's argument address how CO2 levels can be rising simultaneously in both oceans ~and~ atmosphere? If it's going in one place and coming out another, there shouldn't be any net increase. The logical problem there is the same as asserting ENSO is the source of warming: equations need to balance, but unless I'm totally misunderstanding, his doesn't.

As far as my evidence for the source of atmospheric CO2, no, the Suess/Revelle study was not the only evidence by a long shot. I posted a list. Among the most easily understandable evidence is the fact of oxygen depletion in the atmosphere - it corresponds exactly with the amount of increased atmospheric CO2. This shows that what's happening to that oxygen is that it's bonding with carbon to fjom CO2 in the atmosphere. The obvious reason for that is the burning of fossil fuels. If the source for atmospheric CO2 were the ocean, there would be no reason for this oxygen depletion.

I can also address your article from WUWT about CO2 isotopes if you'd like, but frankly even ~by itself~ the oxygen depletion evidence is a kicker, let alone in light of all the other evidence. In any case, this is gonna have to be all from me for a while.

Mountain Goat said...

Here is a detailed post on carbon emissions, which correlates ocean temperature with CO2 release:

http://notrickszone.com/2013/03/02/most-of-the-rise-in-co2-likely-comes-from-natural-sources/

His conclusion: "It is ten times as likely that atmospheric CO2 is coming from natural sources, namely the warming ocean surface, as it is likely that it is coming from anthropogenic sources. The changes in CO2 track ocean surface temperature, not global carbon emissions. Burning fossil fuels is not increasing atmospheric CO2. Recovery from the Little Ice Age, driven by the sun, is causing the oceans to release CO2. It is temperature driving CO2 release, not the other way around. Just as it has always been."

With regard to oxygen depletion, nobody--certainly not me--is arguing that fossil fuels are not being burned. I am not arguing that the basic processes of chemisty, in which these reactions yield water and CO2, are not in place.

What I will argue is that, as you tend to do, you have stated a fact which seems clear, but which is irrelevant. Stating that O2 levels seem to be dropping does NOTHING to support your case that the global temperature is being forced in hot direction by that burning. It is a non sequitur, an irrelevancy.

And since the O2 depletion seems to be waiting in the wings as one more prospective assault on generalized prosperity, I will note that there is ZERO evidence this presents a danger of any sort.

Here is a link: http://theautopsy.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/global-warming-how-about-global-oxygen-depletion/

Mountain Goat said...

With regard to ocean acidification, we can think about it conceptually, then empirically.

Conceptually, if high CO2 levels kill ocean animals, how did anything survive when CO2 levels were 10x what they are today? My understanding is that all creatures were much larger then, including ocean creatures, and they had to eat something. That something would have begun with something eating plants.

Empirically, this study shows that pH levels vary naturally across wide ranges--nearly 1.5 on the pH scale--naturally, and presumably always have: http://www.c3headlines.com/2012/01/worlds-best-ocean-scientists-confirm-skeptics-correct-ocean-acidifcation-hysteria-is-unwarranted.html

What you seem unable to comprehend is the notion of cycles. There are seasons when CO2 is emitted, and seasons when it is taken up. There are decades where it is emitted on balance, and decades when it is taken up. There are centuries and millenia which see net warming, and vice versa.

With regard to sea creatures, again, there is no chemical difference between the CO2 created by burning fossil fuels and that which occurs naturally. Logically, then, all that has been shown--assuming all other variables have been controlled for--when you can demonstrate a particular type of CO2 in a Sea Cucumber or whatever it is, is that the CO2 was scrubbed from the atmosphere by the ocean, and absorbed by that creature.

Again, I have no need to deny that humans are burning fossil fuels, or that they enter the ecosystem.

I will deal with your 1950's studies, which were a linchpin in your first post, tomorrow.

Prior to even looking them up, though, I will hopefully not insult you by pointing out that science, and scientific methods have improved over the last half century, and that any study which has not been replicated often and vigorously since then is likely flawed in fatal ways, which is a claim I feel no hesitation making at the outset.

Vaytw said...

Just very quickly:

I can find nowhere in that post that answers my basic question: net CO2 levels are rising in BOTH the ocean and the atmosphere, so how can the ocean be the source? This logically makes no sense.

Also, his conclusion about the cause of warming doesn't correspond with the basic fact that warming from the sun has decreased and then declined since the mid-1950's. Further, discussing temperatures tracking ocean surface temperatures is another red herring: more than 90% of heat from global warming is ~going into the oceans~.

Regarding ocean acidification: my main point about this wasn't the threat to marine life - although this is a pretty-much undeniable fact. There will be winners and losers, of course - but there will be a LOT of losers. Search for the term "Permian Extinction" and you'll see what I'm talking about. Or you could of course just read what marine biologists have to say about the topic. They are in generally extremely concerned. This is from the International Program on the State of the Ocean, which is ~not~ a Communist front:

http://fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?l=e&ndb=1&id=63931

But in any case, my main point about ocean acidification was that it proves the CO2 is going INTO the oceans, not coming FROM them. This is also proven by the issue of partial pressure, which I mentioned recently as well.

As far as reduction of oxygen: again, sorry but you're missing my point. I'm not worried about oxygen depletion. The point about it is that it simply ~proves~ the source of all the extra CO2 we're seeing is anthropogenic, not natural. The fact that humans are emitting greater amounts than we can actually account for underscores this point as well. And regarding the isotope studies, there are ample modern ones. I provided some names in my list of evidence of human origin of carbon above, which I've suggested several times you look at.



Mountain Goat said...

I will say that I resent having to do line item defenses, when we are talking big ideas which you keep ignoring.

But I am certainly able and willing. As you say, this is an important topic.

You say: "I can find nowhere in that post that answers my basic question: net CO2 levels are rising in BOTH the ocean and the atmosphere, so how can the ocean be the source? This logically makes no sense."

As Jeff Glassman demonstrated in a link you did not read, CO2 is primarily taken up in the cold waters in the southern and northern latitudes, circulated in the very deep ocean where no measurements are being taken, and resurfaces after a very long period of time.

It is thus not only possible but predicted that when the overall Earth is warming that CO2 off-gassing would be increasing both at equatorial latitudes and in the air.

Again, you seem unable or unwilling to grant that the Earth is not a uniform surface, both in terms of the actual 26,000 mile circumference, but also temporally, in the sense of the many cycles in play.

I speculate that this is, again, due to a failure of mental agility made inevitable by your emotional attachment not just to the narrative you have been peddled, but by a need to feel a sense of connection with the community peddling it.

You say: "Also, his conclusion about the cause of warming doesn't correspond with the basic fact that warming from the sun has decreased and then declined since the mid-1950's."

This is empirically inaccurate, at least according to this graph, which makes a nearly irrefutable case that the principle cause of warming on Earth is in fact the principle cause of warming:

http://rocketscientistsjournal.com/

Mountain Goat said...

You say: "Further, discussing temperatures tracking ocean surface temperatures is another red herring: more than 90% of heat from global warming is ~going into the oceans."

We have no measurements on this. What is happening is that the climate models predicted a much greater increase in surface temperatures, which have not been forthcoming, so they have simply ASSUMED that is where the warming they can't find has gone.

I will add that oceanic temperature measurement is highly suspect. We have very, very few sensors in the deep ocean, and if you look at a globe you see a lot of blue.

In general, even though we have not gotten to this yet, the supposed "data" of the NOAA is highly suspect, since wherever they lack actual measurements they use statistics ("lie, damn lies and statistics") to supposedly correct for it. No real scientist can accept this, not when making sweeping statements. They have very, very few temperature sensors in the Arctic Circle, but make sweeping claims about temperatures there.

You say: "Regarding ocean acidification: my main point about this wasn't the threat to marine life - although this is a pretty-much undeniable fact. There will be winners and losers, of course - but there will be a LOT of losers. Search for the term "Permian Extinction" and you'll see what I'm talking about. Or you could of course just read what marine biologists have to say about the topic. They are in generally extremely concerned. This is from the International Program on the State of the Ocean, which is ~not~ a Communist front:
http://fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?l=e&ndb=1&id=63931 "

I looked up Permian Extinction. It happened 250 million years ago, and much of the damage appears to have been from environmental catastrophes like volcanoes erupting, and meteorites hitting.

Further, it has been on all accounts much hotter within the last 5 million years, without mass extinctions.

Again, I offer the seemingly useless common sense: if we have been here before many times without catastrophe; if, as shown in at least one study I linked, pH variations are a normal part of everyday life for the marine world; then all of this hysteria is unnecessary.

With regard to your link, I want to be clear: I am not accusing these people of being Communists. I am accusing them of being the TOOLS of Communists. You read any generic science fiction, you read the actual prose of globalists (as here: http://www.claremont.org/publications/crb/id.1588/article_detail.asp), and you realize that they cannot conceive of a planet that does not have people like them--scientists, rationalist--in charge.

This AGW hoax is just a means of putting "the smart people" in more charge, of moving things along.
And this piece has a patent political bent:

"The report pleads for the international governments to urgently reduce the global CO2 as present targets for carbon emission reductions are ineffective as this has been dissolving in the ocean for decades."

They make it sound like CO2 only comes from humans, and that if we stop emitting it the oceans will stop releasing it. They have no honest basis for this, as I continue to show.

Mountain Goat said...

You say: "But in any case, my main point about ocean acidification was that it proves the CO2 is going INTO the oceans, not coming FROM them. This is also proven by the issue of partial pressure, which I mentioned recently as well."

As I said, it can come in one place, and out the other. I find it odd that someone claiming the capacity for scientific analysis would be unable to differentiate the fluid mechanics present at the equator from those at the poles.

You say: "As far as reduction of oxygen: again, sorry but you're missing my point. I'm not worried about oxygen depletion. The point about it is that it simply ~proves~ the source of all the extra CO2 we're seeing is anthropogenic, not natural. The fact that humans are emitting greater amounts than we can actually account for underscores this point as well."

It proves nothing of the sort. If you think I am stupid enough to think we can "account" for gigatons of gas emitted into the atmosphere of a planet 26,000 miles in circumference you are mistaken. We have, presumably balloons and samples from a few hundred places, but nothing more.
The amount of CO2 that exists, we have no idea. We don't know well what is in the deep oceans, we can't estimate with precision biomass. There are so many variables that detailed, definitive analysis is impossible.

But let us take for a moment the people at their word who claim to see a global decline of a fraction of a percent of oxygen.

As I said, we burn fossil fuels. Those fossil fuels create CO2 and water. I don't dispute this. I dispute the claim that this proves anything. Co2 is released, and goes all the normal places.

And as I keep pointing out, and you keep ignoring, there is a natural corrective to CO2 climate forcing. If we want to imagine a runaway train, then there is a hill coming up which the train will go up, and slow down. We have almost certainly already begun that process.

As I have said, CO2 accounts for perhaps 30% of overall warming. Most heat is retained in the lower atmosphere by water vapor. The troposphere is vastly colder than the Earth's surface. But it does retain heat, obviously: you have misunderstood me a couple times too many on that score.

But, 1) the troposphere should be warming 3x faster than it is if the AGW climate models were correct; and it isn't. 2) according to your own math, the first doubling of CO2 from 1ppm to 2ppm was quite significant. So too was the second, from 2 to 4, and 4 to 8, and 8 to 16, and 16 to 32, and 32 to 64, and 64 to 128, and 128 to 256. This is about where the Industrial Age began.
So CO2 absorbs 8x as much heat at 256ppm as it would at 1ppm. To get it to 9x, we will need to get to 512ppm, which nobody projects any time soon.

We need CO2 levels at some minimal level to keep enough water vapor in the air to prevent Ice Ages, but once they are sufficient to do that, they no longer matter that much.

As this piece argues at length, the atmosphere already seems to be absorbing substantially all radiant heat at Co2 frequencies: http://nov79.com/gbwm/prmr.html

Here is my question to you: how much radiant heat emitted at the CO2 frequencies is still escaping to space? Very, very little is my suspicion.

Mountain Goat said...

All of the flamboyant scenarios, all of the ones requiring "immediate action", just like they did 10 and 20 twenty years ago, base their projections not solely on CO2, but rather on chain effects CO2 concentrations supposedly create, like increases in water vapor, which actually is an important GHG.

And we have not yet dealt with outright fraud. Over and over again I have shown you common sense arguments that are consistent with evidence which you keep ignoring in favor of highly technical arguments which are controlled by an elite which refuses--in the case of Phil Jones and Michael Mann at least--to release primary data sets to anyone who doesn't agree with their agenda.

You say: "And regarding the isotope studies, there are ample modern ones. I provided some names in my list of evidence of human origin of carbon above, which I've suggested several times you look at."

As I told you, finding Co2 isotopes you can claim are the result of burning fuels in ocean life can only constitute evidence of AGW if you have a foundational confirmation bias; if, in other words, the truth is less important than supporting a preexisting belief, then the entire dialogue can be viewed honestly as corrupt. The combination of extremely technical analysis, closed data sets, and sweeping policy recommendations is a highly toxic and wrong one.

For my part, it damages my argument not at all to grant that CO2 from my gas tanks ended up in a seahare somewhere south of Bermuda.

Mountain Goat said...

I found this summary of the Suess and Revelle studies, which if anything is tilted your direction: http://www.aip.org/history/climate/Revelle.htm

They did not "prove" anything. They created a model including their best guesses on how the ocean takes up CO2, in which anthropogenic CO2 was expected to stay in the atmosphere.

The more I think about it, the more I think the crux of this thing resides in the question: how much heat is still being emitted at the frequency at which CO2 blocks it (mainly about 15 microns, from what I can tell)? That is the ONLY amount by which CO2 from any source could even conceivably continue to contribute to global warming.

Mountain Goat said...

I will add, that the entirety of Suess's argument depends upon the burning of fossil fuels being the sole source of depleted carbon.

But it only takes a couple million years for this to happen. Why could biomass stored within the ocean not be getting, effectively, unfrozen by warming oceans? This may be the warmest it has been in two million years. Again, that would not negate my argument that whatever warming we are seeing is easily explainable as natural variation.

And as noted in this post: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/28/dusting-for-fingerprints-in-the-holocene/

depleted CO2 can be found throughout the historical records. It seems quite unlikely that there were large oil or coal fires 150,000 years ago. Brief or extended warming, though, which brings up depleted biomass which enters the ecosystem makes perfect sense.

I reiterate: not only is the science not settled, it is not even clear, and it is riddled--empirically--with sloppiness and fraud.

Vaytw said...

// I will say that I resent having to do line item defenses, when we are talking big ideas which you keep ignoring. //

Have I ignored them? The first time you posted those four “hypotheses” which were basic impacts discussions, I told you my basic views on them. But is or is not the following true:

1)If global warming isn’t happening, the cause of the warming that isn’t happening is irrelevant.
2)If global warming is happening, but humans aren’t the cause, mitigation is irrelevant.

This is about as straight-forward as it could be, so I think it’s pretty darn obvious why issues 1 & 2 need to be settled. The fact that certain people keep wanting to jump around just shows, well, that they have an agenda other than “the truth”, as you like to say.

// You say: "I can find nowhere in that post that answers my basic question: net CO2 levels are rising in BOTH the ocean and the atmosphere, so how can the ocean be the source? This logically makes no sense."

As Jeff Glassman demonstrated in a link you did not read, CO2 is primarily taken up in the cold waters in the southern and northern latitudes, circulated in the very deep ocean where no measurements are being taken, and resurfaces after a very long period of time. //

I think I read the wrong link. I read the one by Pierre L. Gosselin, and he basically only discusses irrelevant temperature correlations.

// It is thus not only possible but predicted that when the overall Earth is warming that CO2 off-gassing would be increasing both at equatorial latitudes and in the air. //

First of all, as the satellite measurements I posted above visually demonstrate, CO2 concentrations are originating mainly in the northern hemisphere, not the equator. I'd suggest you look for yourself, but you seem "skeptical" of any evidence that refutes your position, so what's the point.

Second, Glassman’s hypothesis cannot deal with the fact which I now mention for the third time of oxygen depletion in the atmosphere. An oceanic source for CO2 would not have this effect. Moreover, the oxygen depletion corresponds pretty much exactly with the amount of CO2 being added to the atmosphere. So gosh, where could that oxygen be going?

(Edit:) Oh, wait, I just read through your entire post and I see you sort of dealt with this below… again, by denying the empirical evidence out of hand. Did you even read the study? Would you like me to link you to it? Or would you rather just again ~assume~ it’s wrong, ~assume~ scientists are full of shit because the implications of their research is inconvenient to your ideology?

Finally, there is the blatantly smack-you-in-the obvious fact that we are producing more CO2 that we can even account for in the climate. So if the oceans are the source for atmospheric CO2, where is all ~ours~ going?

// Again, you seem unable or unwilling to grant that the Earth is not a uniform surface, both in terms of the actual 26,000 mile circumference, but also temporally, in the sense of the many cycles in play. //

When have I been “unable to grant this”? But pointing to prevailing winds, heat from the sun, cosmic rays or what-have-you when someone’s actively pouring gasoline on a burning building seems to be what you’re doing.

// I speculate that this is, again, due to a failure of mental agility made inevitable by your emotional attachment not just to the narrative you have been peddled, but by a need to feel a sense of connection with the community peddling it. //

Again, I’m not the one arguing for international conspiracies of scientists and a highly-charged ideological assessment that “all the evils of the world are caused by liberalism”. Come on – quit projecting!

Vaytw said...

//This is empirically inaccurate, at least according to this graph, which makes a nearly irrefutable case that the principle cause of warming on Earth is in fact the principle cause of warming://

Sorry but this claim has been refuted by so much research I hardly know where to start. But before I even begin, I should point out to you that the graph uses temperature data you yourself are supposedly “skeptical” of! (Same goes for records of past temperature and CO2 concentrations.)

In any case, I guess I’ll start with Usoskin 2005:

“"...during these last 30 years the solar total irradiance, solar UV irradiance and cosmic ray flux has not shown any significant secular trend, so that at least this most recent warming episode must have another source."

In fact, Lockwood 2008 concludes that the sun has shown a slight cooling trend since 1960, over the same period that global temperatures have seen the most warming, meaning temperatures and solar irradiation are going in opposite directions.

Further findings along the same lines are found in Foukal 2006, Ammann 2007, Lean and Rind 2008, Erlykin 2009, Foster and Rahmstorf 2011, Huber and Knutti 2011 … shall I go on? I'm happy to quote the studies or link you to them, but something tells me it won't matter.

//We have no measurements on this. What is happening is that the climate models predicted a much greater increase in surface temperatures, which have not been forthcoming, so they have simply ASSUMED that is where the warming they can't find has gone. //

There have also been copious studies showing this. Shall I start listing them for you? Again, you are assuming experts with thousands of hours of study under their belts to be idiots or liars, while implicitly trusting people like Antony Watts who are funded by ideologically-motivated think tanks, and don’t even have expertise in the most relevant subject.

// I will add that oceanic temperature measurement is highly suspect...//

Yes yes. Evidence to the contrary of your desired conclusions is simply more evidence of the conspiracy. I’m well familiar with this line of argument – as all proponents of conspiracy theories use it. Since you like to frequently bring up the Popperian principle of Falsificationism, I suggest you stop making arguments that are unfalsifiable?

Vaytw said...

// I looked up Permian Extinction. It happened 250 million years ago, and much of the damage appears to have been from environmental catastrophes like volcanoes erupting, and meteorites hitting. //

There is no proven association between the Permian Extinction meteorites – or at least not the last time I checked. The main culprit was prolonged volcanic eruptions which led to Greenhouse Effect in the atmosphere, which warmed the world enough to cause the oceans to release their stores of methane. The result was devastating – particularly for marine life.

// Further, it has been on all accounts much hotter within the last 5 million years, without mass extinctions... //

Apparently your only evidence of absence of “catastrophe” in the past is that life has survived until now. What the fossil history shows is that abrupt changes lead to mass-extinctions. Species generally can’t adapt over short time scales, and thus such changes lead to new regimes. The Snowball Earth led to Cambrian Explosion. The Permian Extinction made way for the regime of the dinosaurs. The KT extinction made way for the rise of mammals, and so on. (But here’s an interesting point to consider: the rise of ~our~ civilization was this little space of relative climate stability since the last ice age.)

I’m not arguing that ~some~ kind of life will not recover, but I’m biased towards the life we have on the world ~NOW~ - I couldn’t give a shit that 20,000 there will be some new and interesting biological regime! As for the danger of ocean acidification, stop speculating and read what marine biologists actually say. We are acidifying the oceans way too fast for most shell-making creatures to adapt, and the eco-system will pay a heavy price for it, at a time when there are more and more human mouths to feed on this planet.

Frankly I’m amazed at the audacity of people who call themselves “Conservatives” to suggest that it is completely acceptable to continue this one-time experiment we are conducting on the Earth’s atmosphere, based only on the principle that we can’t be ~entirely~ certain what the outcome will be (even when we have good reasons to think we know pretty much what to expect, I might add.)

K, you’ve written a lot this time. I’m going to have to leave it there. And I’ll add the following: if your response to every bit of empirical research is going to be, “Oh yeah, SURE” then this discussion is pointless. This isn’t how evidence is refuted. It’s simply another example of epistemic closure: you’re insulating yourself against evidence that disproves your position, so that, no matter how much evidence gets poured at you, you just keep shaking your head.

Mountain Goat said...

You simply ignore what you don't want to address. Fine. Let me make it so simple even you can't ignore it: how much energy is still being radiated at 15 microns from Earth into space? What is the number?

Vaytw said...

Regarding the issue of “lies, damn lies and statistics”… I’ve seen this criticism many times, and it annoys the heck out of me. It clearly comes from sources that aren’t doing any actual ~research~ . It’s easy enough to criticize when you aren’t the one who has to try to deal with complicated question of how to take measurements… as all the while you call for more and more measurements of greater and greater precisions to keep moving the bar beyond where it can ever be reached by anyone.

There are very sensible reasons why data undergoes 'adjustment' - because it is often flawed or compromised in some way. Just as an example, the satellites that measure sea level rise slowly drift in their orbits, atmospheric conditions disturb the radar pulse from the satellites, and the sea surface height changes a lot between calm and rough conditions. These and other biases have to be corrected for in order to obtain a good record of sea level rise.

Another good example is the ARGO floats which measure ocean temperature. They developed a leak in their pressure sensor so they were much deeper than calculated and therefore gave erroneously cold readings. The faults were later identified and corrections have to be made to the data collected from these malfunctioning floats, until they are eventually taken out of service.

Similarly, odd cooling trends were also identified in the data collected from the MSU satellites which measure global temperatures in the upper atmosphere. This was later found to be the result of orbital decay, calibration errors and that kind of thing that NORMALLY happens in the real world. So we can either just write those satellites off as a big wasted expenditure… OR we can give up on this bizarre raw data worship which only happens among people ~not~ conducting research in the real world.

These are all examples of the kind of stuff one ~never~ hears about in places like WUWT when they’re busy screaming about “tweaking”.

// You simply ignore what you don't want to address. Fine. Let me make it so simple even you can't ignore it: how much energy is still being radiated at 15 microns from Earth into space? What is the number? //

Dude, I spent over an hour before work typing my response to part of your last carpet-bombing, then after work I was typing a response to ~more~ of your points when I got the above question, which might as well be in all-caps for its maniacal tone. Did it ever occur to you I'm simply answering your points ~chronologically~? Is that hard to grasp? No wonder you think all scientists are insidiously evil, if even my not having three spare hours to play whack-a-mole with you makes me suspect.

Tell you what... since I don't have the answer off the top of my head, why don't you address your "15 microns" question to an ~actual~ climate scientist? How about going into the comments section at Skeptical Science or Real Climate and find out little you actually know about the topic? They have a piece on your "tropospheric hot spot" talking point - I suggest you start there:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/tropospheric-hot-spot-advanced.htm

Or maybe go to Real Climate to find out that your "saturated CO2" argument is nonsense:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument-part-ii

Answer this post if you like, but just to let you know, I'm unsubscribing from your blog, so I'll never see it. I've put up with your rudeness quite long enough.

Oh, and science is the LAST thing from common sense. If we followed that, we'd still think the sun revolved around the Earth, because it sure looks like it does. Peace.

Mountain Goat said...

Suit yourself. I accept your concession.

This has been productive, though: I have reached the one question for which there is no good answer.

You know what the likely answer is? NONE. No heat is getting out at 15 microns. As you say, the stratosphere is cooling.

CO2's ability to absorb heat applies across about 8% of the spectrum, and from what I read it is already absorbing all that heat.

This means no amount of added CO2 will do ANYTHING to further amplify existing warming.

I clicked on your first link. This is the first thing I read:

"Satellite measurements match model results apart from in the tropics. There is uncertainty with the tropic data due to how various teams correct for satellite drift. The U.S. Climate Change Science Program conclude the discrepancy is most likely due to data errors."

What do honest scientists approaching this issue claim constantly? That whatever the IPCC is doing, it is not honest science. Here, IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH, they state that when their models conflict with measurement, they trust the model.

This is the INVERSE of true science, in which models are changed to meet measurement.

Mountain Goat said...

I clicked on your second link, and HE HIMSELF grants that in what is by far the most important frequency, roughly 15 microns:

"We see that for the pre-industrial CO2 concentration, it is only the wavelength range between about 13.5 and 17 microns (millionths of a meter) that can be considered to be saturated. Within this range, it is indeed true that adding more CO2 would not significantly increase the amount of absorption."

If you look at the "wings" what you see is it is very inefficient at absorbing IR radiation.

A quote from here, which I have already linked: http://nov79.com/gbwm/prmr.html

"Climatologists say radiation on the shoulders of the absorption peaks does not all get used up. They say 5% is functional, and the greenhouse effect of CO2 occurs with this 5%. The 5% number is rationalized fraud with no evidence or objective basis."

He goes on: "Sometimes, the claim is made that the absorption peak will widen as CO2 is increased. It absolutely will not. The width is dependent upon the energy state of the molecules, and increasing the concentration does nothing to change the energy state. All real measurements show this. How can so much crap enter real science? It shows that this subject is not real science."

Here is the net: you are not being honest. You are not trying to address my points seriously. You are simply repeating yourself when I am trying to engage in a dialogue.

This entire subject is permeated with evidence of scientific sloppiness and outright fraud. Debate is not allowed to happen as it would on any other topic. Many allegedly "scientific publications" refuse to allow dissent from the Politburo's line, which is that "the science is settled."

What have you done here? You have made me MORE CERTAIN THAN EVER that I am looking at the largest display of craven corruption of method and principle that has ever afflicted the scientific world.

Nothing you say bears scrutiny. Even the first link you posted, allegedly falsifying Jeff Glassman's climate reconstruction, was simply a proxy data study trying to push measurements back 200 years, and presumably using in the process already cherry picked data of the sort those two whores, Michael Mann and Phil Jones specialize in.

If you are going to spend so much time typing, I would strongly encourage you to spend at least as much actually reading what you are allegedly responding to. You have clearly not done that. Otherwise, you might have learned something.

For my part, I think I have clearly demonstrated that not only is the "science not settled", but that we need to interrogate in depth why this farce is allowed to continue, and who all the tens of thousands of people are who clearly benefit FINANCIALLY from continuing this fraud.

As I say, though, you have made me stronger. This was not your intent, but that has been the outcome. That is why I always have and always will take all comers, for as long as it takes.

Mountain Goat said...

Actually, I will add one more comment, then I assume we are done (even if your vanity cannot prevent you from coming back one last time): if you are going to be patronizing, don't be a little bitch when people react with anger.

I spent a good 8-10 hours writing the original post, precisely to avoid having to deal with the "usual suspects" you people trot out with the same zeal Roman Catholics have for Hail Mary's.

And what do you do? You post the catechism, as if I'm a fucking imbecile, as if I have been seeing the same damn arguments since the mid-90's.

That is just STUPID. There is no other word for it.

If that offends you, then get the fuck off the internet. It's bound to upset your delicate and refined sensibilities.

For my part, people trying to ruin my world and that of my children--for NOTHING--piss me off, and can expect very little sympathy from me.