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Comments 64451 to 64500:

  1. Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    Tom Curtis,

    And you accuse me of playing semantics?

    I know exactly what I'm talking about. Perhaps I better way to put it would be falsification testing. The point is for a theory to be sound it must be thoroughly testable, which means it must be falsifiable or have a clear idea of what evidence would be sufficient to prove it untrue.

    The only 'consensus' or accepted aspect of climate science is that anthropogenic CO2 will perturb the climate system. The AGW theory of a 3 C rise in the next 100 years is not falsifiable in the way other 'accepted' scientific theories are. Given that it requires a response so much greater than the measured response of the system to surface incident energy makes it an extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary proof. At best it's an educated guess - more so it's an unfalsifiable series of heuristic assumptions.
  2. Models are unreliable
    CBDunkerson 368.

    I don't see THC as hemispheric balancing. The Antarctic has plenty of cold salty water. Some say it even undercuts the Atlantic bottom water. I would describe the THC as an Antarctic beltway, both bottom and surface water, with three feed loops into the Pacific, Atlantic, and Inian Oceans. It balances overall ocean temperature by cooling the Pacific and Indian Oceans and warming the Atlantic, the only ocean directly connected to Arctic bttom water.

    I am not trying to reconstruct Singer and Avery.They have done that ably, and it is interesting, but I am tired of the notion that adding CO2 does NOTHING.

    It would be nice if we could get a model to reproduce the Younger Dryas or the 8.2ky event by adding meltwater. My suggestion: try it again with the CO2 knob backed off.
  3. Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    RW1 @124:
    "Scientific theories generally become 'accepted' after rigorous falsification testing fails repeatedly and when all the existing evidence is in strict accordance with the theory (i.e. no pieces of contradictory evidence exist). When any such theories become accepted, there is never a 'consensus'."


    Translated: the theory becomes 'accepted' by all, or nearly all scientists; but there is no 'consensus' amongst scientists about that theory.

    So your whole argument is based on an empty word game. (Worse than empty, because the meaning of the word consensus is well known, and has been clearly explained several times in this thread, so you 'misunderstanding' of its meaning cannot be simple ignorance.)
  4. Stephen Baines at 13:01 PM on 13 May 2011
    Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    RW1 @ 125

    What you fail to accept is that most of the evidence for climate change, and the human impact on it was generated by multiple and multifarious attempts to test those predictions. It was not assembled post facto.

    Thus we have evidence that temperature has increased not only over land but in the oceans and in the troposphere, that sea levels has risen, that CO2 has increased, that CO2 is human in origin, that it has influenced radiative transfer, that changes in distribution of heating geographically, vertically in the atmosphere and in time correspond to predicted effects of CO2 on warming (fingerprinting). Finally, we currently have no physically realistic model of climate that can recreate the current pattern without CO2 forcing.

    The effect of human produced CO2 was on climate has past multiple tests, sometimes repeatedly. What more could you want?
  5. Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    RW1 @119:

    "Science advances primarily through falsification and paradigm shifts. So-called 'consensus' has nothing to do with science."


    What an incoherent statement. Falsification is an idea from Popper about how science advances. It is in fact a false idea. As has been frequently pointed out, you cannot test any theory in isolation, but only in together with a number of auxiliary hypotheses (Duhem-Quine thesis). If the test fails, what is falsified is not the theory, but the conjunction of the theory and all those auxiliary hypothesis. That is, if the test fails, we know that at either the theory is false, or that least one of the auxiliary hypotheses is false - but we don't know which one. Nor do we know if the change required to the theory or auxiliary hypotheses to make them true are minor, or radical. Naive falsificationists, if consistent, would insist that Newton abandon his theory of gravity when it was first formulated because it included the (known falsehood) that astronomical bodies are point masses; and his theory of motion because canon balls never match a parabola in their flight. Popper was far more sensible than his interpreters and maintained that whether something was falsified or not was largely a matter of convention.

    Paradigms are the invention of Thomas Kuhn, a historian of science who knew Popper's account simply did not match actual scientific practise (nor can because of the Duhem-Quine hypothesis. He therefore proposed his theory of scientific revolutions and paradigm shifts in opposition to falsificationism. Saying that science advances by falsification and paradigm shifts is like saying wood burns by oxidation and by emitting phlogiston. It shows RW1 to be illiterate on the philosophy of science.

    What is more puzzling (if we assumed that he knew what he was talking about, is that a paradigm shift only occurs when a new consensus forms around a particular theory. RW1 has just claimed that science doesn't work by consensus, but rather it works by falsification and an incommensurable scientific consensus forming around new theories.

    In fact, both theories are false. Science advances by the empirical testing of theories, with rational support being given to those theories which have the best track record, and show the best prospects of fruitful prediction. Currently there exist an incoherent hodgepodge of theories that agree about nothing except that humans are not responsible for the majority of 20th century climate change, and that we couldn't do anything about it if we were; and the theory of AGW. The former hodgepodge of ideas have an almost uniform record of predictive failure, while the theory of AGW has a solid record of predictive success. Naturally this record has attracted knowledgeable scientists who gravitate to that theory as a result.

    Despite this, deniers keep on trying their little two-step.

    1) They claim that because two dentists in Woking disagree with AGW, there is a significant scientific debate on AGW (or AGW has been falsified) and therefore it is too early to act against future warming.

    2) And when this appeal to authority is challenged by pointing out that the overwhelming majority of climate scientists accept the evidence for AGW, they claim that science is not settled by consensus (true) and that we are resorting to argument by authority (false).
    Moderator Response: Martin Gardner wrote a good critique of Popper. Here is quote he reprinted: "'Sir Karl Popper / Perpetrated a whopper / When he boasted to the world that he and he alone / Had toppled Rudolf Carnap from his Vienna Circle throne.' —a clerihew by Armand T. Ringer"
  6. Bob Lacatena at 12:56 PM on 13 May 2011
    Could global warming be caused by natural cycles?
    203, RW1,

    A trend is only needed to establish that warming is occurring, and that has been done. The trend will not help to distinguish natural versus anthropogenic causes, unless your technique is to wait a bunch of decades to see if it reverses on its own (in which case, how long is long enough to satisfy you?). If the only proof that you will accept is dangerously and continuously rising temperatures, and you won't do anything about it until decades have passed, then we're pretty much sunk.

    But fortunately we don't need that. The effects of CO2 were predicted long before we had evidence that it was in fact happening, and many, many lines of evidence support the theory, including paleoclimate, theoretical physics, supporting observations of a variety of factors, and complex computer models.

    More importantly, we know that there is nothing else that could be causing the warming. We've measured solar output, and it hasn't increased. All GCR studies have so far come up completely negative. There is no reasonable, competing theory, so to paraphrase Sherlock Holmes, when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how desperately you refuse to believe that it's true, must in fact be the truth.
  7. Same Ordinary Fool at 12:55 PM on 13 May 2011
    Lindzen Illusion #7: The Anti-Galileo
    The primary difference between Galileo and Lindzen is that Galileo was at the front edge of new discoveries. People who don't know what he found still remember that he was persecuted for publishing something new.

    On the other hand, Lindzen is at the rump end in the march of climate science. Fifty-sixty years ago, his no-significant-CO2-effect position was the consensus position among climate scientists. It has since declined to only 3% (or 1%, with 2% don't know).

    This distinction is of obvious interest to those who don't know much climate science, and are looking for other indications of validity.

    Those who would champion Richard Lindzen need to find another analog. In the history of science are there any examples of scientific positions that have declined to 3% participation, yet eventually prevailed?
  8. Models are unreliable
    KR 365.

    The models are unable to make specific predictions at a decadal scale to be contradicted or confirmed, except that it will be warmer at the end.Various alternative celestial and cyclical hypotheses are likewise untestable at a decadal scale.

    Those who wait breathlessly for yearly GAT data are making essentially the same mistake as one who guages global warming by his backyard thermometer.
  9. Stephen Baines at 12:31 PM on 13 May 2011
    CO2 has a short residence time
    Previous post addressed to drrocket @ 49
  10. Stephen Baines at 12:30 PM on 13 May 2011
    CO2 has a short residence time
    "I would have no use for adjustment time under any circumstances because the climate system never reaches equilibrium. "

    The fact that the atmosphere is not now in equilibrium has no bearing on this debate. That is a red herring. The residence time also has almost no bearing on how quickly the CO2 added to the atmosphere will be absorbed by the biosphere. What matters are net exchanges between the atmosphere and the terrestrial and oceanic reservoirs and how those net exchanges have changed with increasing pCO2. These net exchanges are small relative to the atmospheric reservoir.

    You are misinterpreting the phrase 'anthropogenic fluxes' in the IPCC graph. The 'anthropogenic fluxes' are simply the difference between pre and post industrial fluxes. It does not refer to fates of carbon dioxide molecules specifically produced by natural or anthropogenic carbon emissions - although I can see where the confusion arises. Basically the fluxes into the ocean have increased due to the effects of increasing pCO2 on solution chemistry. On land net losses have increased due to forect conversion and inputs have increased slightly because of CO2 fertilization (yes, skeptics, it is accounted for). It's that simple.

    This usage of "anthropogenic fluxes" makes sense to scientists, because it is the only way to discuss the effect of humans on the carbon cycle. The idea that these processes don't discriminate between natural and anthropogenic carbon is a given to them, and it's ludicrous to suggest that the scientists are trying to pull the wool over your eyes on that front. The reason the confusion is arising is precisely because it wouldn't even enter their minds that someone would consider that possibility. They are naive that way (and I include myself in that judgement).

    Your outrage is misplaced.
  11. Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    RW1:
    Wow. You show me a list of what you would call "accepted theories" and I'll show you a list of what I would call "laws of nature."

    But then, what would you call a theory that is a synthesis of known physics that does meet your "accepted theories" criteria (but also includes elements that involve some uncertainty), has good predictive value, has no competing theories that come anywhere close to explaining the data as well, and that has survived decades of spirited challenges?

    And what word would you use to express the idea that, among those most familiar with the evidence in the field, almost all are persuaded by this theory?
  12. Could global warming be caused by natural cycles?
    BTW, I'm not dismissing the trend. I'm simply saying the trend is not large enough to clearly distinguish causation - primarily natural or anthropogenic.
  13. Bob Lacatena at 12:10 PM on 13 May 2011
    Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    124, RW1,

    I don't think you understand. "Consensus" is just a word, which describes the situation where scientific theories generally become 'accepted' after rigorous falsification testing fails repeatedly and when all the existing evidence is in strict accordance with the theory (i.e. no pieces of contradictory evidence exist).

    This has pretty much happened, and the only case where there is more still unknown than known and significant uncertainties and contradictory pieces of evidence abound is in the minds of those who desperately want such uncertainties and evidence to exist, to the point that they are in complete denial, and turn everything upside-down.

    You are correct in saying that significant research on the subjects' many facets continues from all perspectives, but that research is being done by the real scientists, not the skeptics in denial, and the goal is to learn more, wherever the truth may not, and not to simply prove it wrong at all costs.

    In the meantime, we're digging ourselves a deeper and deeper hole.
  14. Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    Stephen Baines (RE: 123),

    "And what happens when scientific propositions survive attempts to falsify them?

    What is/are the primary falsification tests for AGW?
  15. Lindzen Illusion #5: Internal Variability
    Victor - we addressed the hypothesis of an internal forcing in Christy Crock #3, I believe. But that wasn't Lindzen's argument, so I didn't address it here.
  16. Could global warming be caused by natural cycles?
    I'm well aware of what I've been 'told'.
  17. Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    Sphaerica (RE: 121),

    "You have it upside-down.

    We don't have a consensus because we need proof, we have a consensus because we have proof."


    I don't think you understand. There is no such thing as 'consensus' on anything in science.

    Scientific theories generally become 'accepted' after rigorous falsification testing fails repeatedly and when all the existing evidence is in strict accordance with the theory (i.e. no pieces of contradictory evidence exist). When any such theories become accepted, there is never a 'consensus'. There is more or less a cessation of further testing and research on the theories.

    This is certainly no where near the case with climate science, as there is more still unknown than known and significant uncertainties and contradictory pieces of evidence abound. Significant research on the subjects' many facets continues from all perspectives.
  18. Michael Hauber at 11:46 AM on 13 May 2011
    Book reviews of Climate Change Denial
    'One side is behaving hysterically while the other relies on science'

    A generalisation which I think is true quite often. But there are plenty of exceptions. Or at least as long as I take relying on the science to cover those who make the attempt but fail.

    And I think by far the biggest problem with denialism is the fact that discussion on genuine uncertainties suffers. Initiating discussion on an uncertain topic is likely to be savagely attacked by the deniers, as such a topic is going to be the closest thing they have to a real argument. And so it takes confidence to raise such issues, and none are so confident as those who are certain of themselves, when no justification for this certainy exists.
  19. Stephen Baines at 11:40 AM on 13 May 2011
    Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    115 @Tom Curtis

    Thanks for the link! Exactly what I was asking for. That matches my memory pretty well. I wonder if there would be a way to turn that info into a nice graphic.

    119 @ RW1 "Science advances primarily through falsification and paradigm shifts. So-called 'consensus' has nothing to do with science."

    And what happens when scientific propositions survive attempts to falsify them? You get consensus. Without it you cannot have establish settled scientific propositions upon which to build future work and science essentially stops. I'm not sure how you can say consensus has no role in science.

    The fact is there used to be plenty of scientists skeptical about the proposition that the earth was warming and that humans were responsible. They have slowly been convinced by the evidence over time. Only a few diehards still remain concerning those two central issues.
  20. Eric (skeptic) at 11:35 AM on 13 May 2011
    CO2 has a short residence time
    drrocket, the IPCC diagram that we both linked above is misleading and I should have said so instead of saying the red arrows are the "new" or ACO2. Going from the atmosphere to the ocean there 22.2 red down and 20 red up. And there is 70 black down, 70.6 black up. Those ratios cannot be different since the ocean is nonpreferential. Nor are those arrows equal ratios of the reservoirs, not that it matters. The simplest explanation of the red down and up arrows is that they wanted to show some amount of CO2 exchange but wanted the net exchange to equal 2.2 down or about 1/3 of the 6.4 from fossil fuels. Net red transfer cannot possibly differ from net black transfer, but they ignored that fact and made it different.

    Other than that correction, my closing remark above still stands. I didn't justify it, but other people in the thread did. It is not shilling for this site, but my own conclusion from a few facts. One fact is that the 6.4 GtC/yr released by fossil fuels and cement is an accurate estimate. The second fact is that the year to year increase in the atmosphere is about 1.9 ppm measured at numerous locations. The first fact means that the atmosphere should rise by about 3.6 ppm. The second fact means that the ocean and biosphere is absorbing some of that 3.6 so we only see 1.9 remain in the atmosphere on a yearly basis.
  21. Models are unreliable
    Here some new stuff about climate models.

    According a paper from J.Hansen, M.Sato and P.Kharecha
    most IPCC models and GISS modelE-R mix heat too efficiëntly downward through the oceans. The result is that models respond slower on forcings as the real world does.

    On page 18 in Hansen et al 2011 I read "Below we argue that the real world response function is faster than that of modelE-R. We also suggest that most global climate models are similarly too sluggish in their response to a climate forcing and that this has important implications for anticipated climate change."

    Adjustments towards less ocean heat uptake are in better agreement with observed OCH trends. Despite the slow response IPCC models do a good job in mimicing global warming. The IPCC underestimates aërosol cooling effects and some models have too large GHG forcings according Hansen. Since the oceans are NOT the favourable place for large antropogenic aërosol influences the answer may be quite more simple: Climate models are too sensitive to GHG (and other forcings) and thus OVERestimate AGW.

    You can read more about this in chapter 5 t/m 7 of the paper.(Excuse me if this subject is discussed before).
  22. Bob Lacatena at 11:04 AM on 13 May 2011
    Lindzen Illusion #5: Internal Variability
    86, Victor,
    Internal variability as a change in heat distribution around the globe also implies effects on snowcover, clouds en water vapour.
    The forcing must be maintained. Clouds, water vapor, and even snow cover all react to temperature as well as affecting them. Without a continuous forcing, each of those feedbacks will drop back down.
    ...no other forcings exists?
    Beyond those we know of, no. Of course, there's a crowd of people trying to come up with new ones (GCR, for example), but so far these are only unproven theories, and to date evidence contradicts rather than supports these theories.
    Don't forget that these feedbacks, like changing ice-albedo and watervapour, disturb earth radiation budget as well and thus act like forcings.
    True, but as already stated, they respond to temperature, as well as affecting temperature. Without a non-temperature influenced, continuous forcing, they will eventually swing back (and generally fairly quickly, based on the climate's known reactions to volcanic eruptions and changes in solar radiance).

    The factors that are long lived enough to swing the climate are few:
    • Anthropogenic CO2 (non-anthro, in almost all of the rest of history, has been a very powerful, long lived feedback, rather than a forcing)
    • Changes in solar radiance
    • Changes in insolation due to orbital changes
    • Changes in insolation due to aerosols from dramatic and constant volcanic activity
    Note that the last three of those really amount to changes in insolation in different ways. Only changes in CO2 can force things without changing insolation, and in the past, that has only happened on geologic timescales through geologic mechanisms.

    Satellite measurements of reduced cloudiness (ERBE, ISCCP-clouds) implies that such internal forcings do exist.
    I don't know what this means. Can you clarify?
  23. Book reviews of Climate Change Denial
    mclamb6: you're absolutely right, it's not difficult to see which is which. That's why I come to sites like this one, or Real Climate, or Tamino's Open Mind, or many others (there's a great listing of links in the right column on Real Climate, for example). They're always eager to discuss the latest developments in the science, and many of them do it in a surprisingly accessible fashion for the non-climate scientists like myself.

    The Ville: The podcast will be available at The Science Show's website. It's a great radio program, I've been listening to it for many years (although I have to say I'm well behind in listening to the podcasts). It's also available on iTunes.
  24. Could global warming be caused by natural cycles?
    Robert S (RE: 193),

    "No, it can't. I think you're confused as to what a trend represents -- it's the average slope, not the temperature [anomaly] at a point in time."

    No, I fully understand the what a trend represents. I've never not understood what a trend represents. Yes, a trend does not represent a temperature anomaly at a point in time. I fail to see how this in anyway contradicts anything I've said.

    "If that were the criteria we would never be able to discern a trend in any observational series. I'd feel a whole lot better about my stock portfolio over the past 4 years."

    We are talking about natural variability here, not whether or not there is trend. The point is when the trend amount is less than or equal to the observed short term variations over the whole of the trend, it can't really be distinguished from random natural variability.

    Contrast this with a trend of 3 C over 30 years. This is much more likely to be outside the range of natural variability since the trend amount is so much greater than the short term, random variability.
    Moderator Response: You have been told before that it is not legitimate to offhandedly dismiss a trend merely because the noise seems large. There are rock solid statistical methods for computing probability of the trend over a given amount of time, given the particular noise level.
  25. Bob Lacatena at 10:51 AM on 13 May 2011
    Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    120, apiratelooksat50,

    Sorry about your Achilles. That's got a long recovery time, but I know a few people who have done it, and they were all fine (eventually).

    Prove/Disprove:

    1) Bigfoot
    • Prove: Find physical evidence, such as a carcass, skeleton, DNA, or live specimen
    • Disprove: can't ever be done (unless maybe you can program an army of surveillance robots capable of scouring the entire northwestern part of the continent, leaving no stone unturned).
    2) Evolution
    • Prove: This is a case where real science comes in, because one can rarely ever "prove" anything, and even when you do, that "proof" is founded on other "proven" hypotheses, so if one of them is overturned, everything else collapses as well. But after a while, a compilation of confirming evidence and a paucity of contradictory evidence strengthens the case to the point where one no longer feels that "proof" is needed.
    • Disprove: First you need an alternative hypothesis, whether it be a variation on or complete refutation of evolution. Then you need a compelling body of evidence supporting that hypothesis and unambiguously contradicting that of evolution. As an example, Intelligent Design will never be proven or disproven, unless God comes down and interrupts a science lecture at MIT to assume the role of guest speaker.
    3) Climate Theory
    • Prove: We already have substantial evidence, but this can no more be "proven" than one can "prove" evolution. It's better to speak in terms of "confidence" than "proof."
    • Disprove: The answer is the same as with evolution: a feasible hypothesis with supporting (but unambiguous) evidence.
  26. Bob Lacatena at 10:35 AM on 13 May 2011
    Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    119, RW1,

    You have it upside-down.

    We don't have a consensus because we need proof, we have a consensus because we have proof.

    There is also a consensus on lung cancer, ozone and CFCs, the right ways to construct buildings, fly planes, prepare food, etc.

    The only reason we don't discuss the consensus on those issues is because there aren't masses of people who have been fooled into thinking there's actually any question in those matters.

    The only reason we do discuss the consensus behind climate change is because of the number of people who so adamantly refuse to look at, understand, and accept the science that proves the facts behind climate change.
  27. apiratelooksat50 at 10:20 AM on 13 May 2011
    Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    This question may not be that well thought out, but I am asking mercy. I ruptured my Achilles tendon and recently had surgery and the Lortab sometimes REALLY has an effect.

    Let's take 3 situations: AGW, evolution, and the existence of Bigfoot.

    I believe in AGW (to a limited effect). Definitely believe in evolution. And, I think the existence of Bigfoot MIGHT be a possibility.

    All have multiple lines of evidence and the first 2 have scientific consensus. All are currently a theory or maybe hypothesis. What would it take to prove or disprove any of the 3?
  28. Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    This is utter nonsense.

    Science advances primarily through falsification and paradigm shifts. So-called 'consensus' has nothing to do with science.

    'Consensus' is pure propaganda. The bottom line is you don't use consensus if you have proof.
  29. Harry Seaward at 10:07 AM on 13 May 2011
    Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    Albatross @ 100
    You are so intent on making your point that you are not reading what I posted. I knew you had your list waiting and to clarify my response to that let me state the following: "the organizations may be endorsing their support of catastrophic AGW, but there are individuals within those organizations who do not."

    Your task was: "Please list for us all the professional scientific societies of the same standing as the American Meteorological Society (for example) who state that human emissions of GHGs are not contributing to global warming."

    I replied: "I don't know of any scientists period that would make that statment."

    You replied: "Bad news, I'm a scientist and I made that statement. But then again, you don't know me ;)"

    If you would slow down and read what is posted instead of anxiously waiting to cut and paste your trump card, you might finally understand that we really aren't that far apart.

    I've said it before and I will say it again - human activities do have impact on the global climate. We disagree on the level of impact, future ramifications, and current strategies to cope with those anticipated changes.
  30. Bob Lacatena at 10:00 AM on 13 May 2011
    Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    111, JMurphy,

    Back in the 80s (in hang gliders in Chicago) I launched two ways, from the Indian Dunes by foot, or by tow off the back of a station wagon on an abandoned army air strip (basically, a long, straight dirt road through the fields).

    The dunes were low, so I could carry the glider the 100 feet up. The north wind coming in over a smooth-as-glass Lake Michigan, hitting the sand dunes that had been built over the millenia by that same wind, produced tremendous lift, especially in the natural "bowl" where we launched. Landing was actually a problem, because the lift was so strong in the bowl, but it was the only safe place to land. The shore line itself was too narrow, crowded with beach goers, and you were likely to drown if you ever had to try to come down there.

    Of course, it was over an hour and a half drive to the dunes from Chicago, with the glider on the roof.

    And launching at Lookout Mountain in Tennessee required an SUV to get up the mountain (after having driven 6-8 hours to get there).

    Basically, the hobby used a lot of fuel, even if the actual flying was "emissions free" (not counting the energy expended in constructing the high-tech glider to begin with, of course).
  31. Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    Bud @87:

    "It is irrelevant how many scientists there are in total nor how many are "climate" scientists. It only takes one experiment by scientist or non-scientist to prove them all wrong. Consensus is not part of scientific method.

    Consensus is a political process."


    Consensus does not make anything true, but it was (and is) a fundamental assumption of the enlightenment and of science (which grew out of it) that close examination of the evidence with an open mind will lead people to the same opinion. The will converge on truth. So, arriving at a consensus by negotiation is a political process; but arriving at a consensus by independently examining the evidence is the hallmark of science. It is a sign that the consensus theory accurately represents the available evidence, which in turn means any superior theory is not likely to be very different in its predictions.

    As can be seen from the evidence in my preceding post, the consensus on global warming was reached slowly and arduously. Slowly, one scientist after another has moved from rejection or agnosticism about the theory to endorsement, and what has moved them is the accumulation of evidence. You would be arrogant indeed to think that you no better without a full and detailed knowledge of the evidence; and any politician who bases their policy on the consensus being wrong is a fool.
  32. Lindzen Illusion #5: Internal Variability
    I'm not convinced why Lindzen is 'wrong'.

    "Internal variability means that heat is just being moved around from one part of the Earth's climate system from another, i.e. in Lindzen's example, from the deep ocean layers to the surface."

    "Clearly this warming of the entire global climate system must be caused by an external forcing, and the radiative forcings over the past century have been dominated by greenhouse gases. "

    Why is an 'internal' forcing ruled out?

    Internal variability as a change in heat distribution around the globe also implies effects on snowcover, clouds en water vapour. This in turn changes the radiation balance and an internal forcing is born.

    There is obviously some long term warming trend due to increased GHG's but does this mean that, besides the known external forcings (solar cycle, aërosols), no other forcings exists?
    Climatologists widely believe that the initial forced GHG-warming will be amplified by a factor 2 to 4, the positieve feedbacks. Don't forget that these feedbacks, like changing ice-albedo and watervapour, disturb earth radiation budget as well and thus act like forcings. It seems to me rather odd that only and only temperature can change these parameters.

    Satellite measurements of reduced cloudiness (ERBE, ISCCP-clouds) implies that such internal forcings do exist.
  33. Lindzen Illusion #7: The Anti-Galileo
    By the way, I love the Lindzen's Illusions button!!!
  34. Lindzen Illusion #7: The Anti-Galileo
    I meant to include this link with my previous post:
    Dessler and Davis (2010) - full paper
  35. Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    Stephen Baines @84:

    "What I would like to see someday is a historical perspective of how the level of consensus has changed over time."


    Bray, 2010, "The scientific consensus of climate change revisited" draws on three surveys by Bray and Storch, the first in 1996 and the last in 2008, to answer your question. It turns out that:

    1) In 1996, just over 60% of climate scientists believed the Earth was warming; just under 40% believed humans where responsible; and just under 60% believed the IPCC was an accurate reflection of the science.

    2) In 2003, just over 80% of climate scientists believed the Earth was warming; around 55% believed humans were responsible; and around 75% believed the IPCC reports accurately reflected the science.

    3) In 2008, around 95% of climate scientists believed the Earth was warming; just under 90% believed humans where responsible; and 80% believed the IPCC reports accurately reflected the science, or understated the risks.

    Based on Doran and Zimmerman, Bray indicates that the proportion of climate scientists believing humans where responsible for global warming had risen to around 95% by 2009. (All data from Figure 1 in the paper.)

    Robert Lichter (2008) also compares the results of a 1991 Gallup Poll of climate scientists to his 2007 Survey:

    "We repeated several of their questions verbatim, in order to measure changes in scientific opinion over time. On a variety of questions, opinion has consistently shifted toward increased belief in and concern about global warming. Among the changes:

    In 1991 only 60% of climate scientists believed that average global temperatures were up, compared to 97% today.
    In 1991 only a minority (41%) of climate scientists agreed that then-current scientific evidence “substantiates the occurrence of human-induced warming,” compared to three out of four (74%) today.
    The proportion of those who see at least a 50-50 chance that global temperatures will rise two degrees Celsius has increased from 47% to 56% since 1991.
    The proportion of scientists who have a great deal of confidence in our understanding of the human-induced sources of global climate change rose from 22% in 1991 to 29% in 2007. Similarly, the proportion voicing confidence in our understanding of the archeological climate evidence rose from 20% to 32%.
    Despite these expressions of uncertainty, however, the proportion which rating the chances at 50-50 or better that the role of human behavior will be settled in the near future rose from 47% in 1991 to 69% in 2007."


    There is a clear pattern of a rising consensus as scientist by scientist is driven by the evidence to conclude that temperatures are rising, we are responsible, and it is dangerous.
  36. Lindzen Illusion #7: The Anti-Galileo
    @ Climate Watcher 22

    Paltridge et al. found that specific humidity in the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis declined between 1973 and 2007. However, this reanalysis is incredibly biased and almost certainly inaccurate for several reasons.

    1) Other reanalyses indicate that the long-term water vapor feedback is positive, as chris noted.

    2)The NCEP/NCAR reanalysis was solely dependent on radiosonde humidity measurements to constrain upper tropospheric humidity. As you note, there are problems with these measurements.

    3) While the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis showed that the long-term water vapor feedback is negative, it also indicated that the short-term feedback is positive. This makes very little physical sense.

    4) Newer reanalyses include improvements that are designed to increase the fidelity of long-term trends. Thus, the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis is not as accurate as the newer reanalyses which indicate the existence of a positive feedback.

  37. Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    funglestrumpet @82, quoting Tyndale is all very well, but their are deniers who believe that the climate response for a doubling of CO2 is around 0.5 degrees C after feedbacks. Indeed, I recently came across one who claimed increasing CO2 reduces the temperature. There is no way that you will convince such deniers and their gratefully hoodwinked political allies that reducing CO2 emissions will be a cost effective means of combating rising global temperatures. This is particularly the case seeing the same people also tend to believe that the major drivers of increasing temperatures is natural, and is in the process of reversing, ie, entering a sustained cooling period.

    You certainly would not convince me, if I believed those falsehoods, to reduce CO2 emissions without first convincing me that those beliefs were false. That is because I am rational.

    Further, Stephen Baines @85 is entirely correct.

    This is my last comment on this topic which is OT on this thread. I recommend, however, that you become familiar with the arguments deniers actually present before you recommend how we can overcome their political effect.
  38. Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    Albatross @100, I believe Harry Seaward was playing coy. Your statement was:

    "Please list for us all the professional scientific societies of the same standing as the American Meteorological Society (for example) who state that human emissions of GHGs are not contributing to global warming."


    You would not agree with that statement, and neither would Lindzen or Christie (although I know of some scientists who would). I believe the question should be:

    "Please list for us all the professional scientific societies of the same standing as the American Meteorological Society (for example) who state that human emissions of GHGs are not the major contributing factor to global warming."


    All of the scientific societies you listed endorse that human emissions of GHG is the major contributing factor, as of course, do you.
  39. Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    Tom Curtis, Rob, etc. - Take a look at the Sunseeker, a solar powered glider which crossed the US on solar power in August 1990.

    See also the Sunseeker II and other projects on that page, including the Sunship - a solar powered dirigible.
  40. Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    Sphaerica wrote : "Except to do any gliding you need power to get the glider aloft (or for a hang glider something to lug you and the glider up to a launch point, and then go pick you up where ever you wind up landing)."


    The last time I went gliding, I was launched by a winch, which is like launching a kite. I suppose the winch still needs fuel for the motor but, apart from that, and presuming a landing back on the airfield where you start, the carbon footprint should be very small !
    Best way to fly, unless you need to get somewhere...
  41. Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    Sphaerica - There's a lot going on in terms of electric airplanes, which can address at least small craft in the forseeable future. I believe there were several present at Sun-and-Fun this spring, and more to appear at Oshkosh. But battery recharge times limit distance traveled per day, which means even the best won't be replacements.

    For general and commercial aviation, however, we're more likely to end up with either biofuels or solar/wind generated (carbon neutral) liquid fuels. For example, there's a pretty serious effort by Swift Enterprises to certify their 100LL replacement (propeller driven planes), which is a biofuel, for FAA approved use. They're in testing now, and should have that cleared fairly soon - and it appears to be price competitive. I expect some kerosene/jet fuel replacements hitting the market in <5-10 years as well.
  42. Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    Rob @104, I have always wondered about the viability of an electrically powered ducted fan based on a glider frame and with PV cells in the wings.

    Sphaerica, most air transport needs could be met with derigibles again propelled by ducted fans and powered from battery power with PV cells recharging the batteries during daylight hours. Granted it would take five days to cross the atlantic, but that is almost irrelevant for freight; and if you need a faster personal meeting, there is skype.
  43. Bob Lacatena at 08:17 AM on 13 May 2011
    Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    106, Albatross,

    Except to do any gliding you need power to get the glider aloft (or for a hang glider something to lug you and the glider up to a launch point, and then go pick you up where ever you wind up landing).

    One of the big sins (I think) about how we're wasting fossil fuels today is that they're the only practical solution to powered flight. We're wasting it all puttering around to the corner store, when a hundred years from today people are going to regret all the things that can't be done because flying is so prohibitively expensive (because there's so little fuel left to meet the needs of aviation).
  44. Lindzen Illusion #7: The Anti-Galileo
    @Dana 21,
    Just to connect some dots, that is the same link posted by dankd, whom I suspect is the same climate researcher who studied under Lindzen as a graduate student about the time that the 1993 discussion and unpublished AGU presentation were written.

    So, I suspect that Dan has a better understanding of what Lindzen's views are, or were, than anyone other than Lindzen himself. Which makes the AGU presentation, where he is the primary author and Lindzen the second, interesting.
  45. Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    In fact, the AAPG have decided that it would be best if they just didn't get involved in trying to work out where they stand :


    Sunsetting the Global Climate Change Committee

    ...as a group we have no particular claim to knowledge of global atmospheric geoophysics through either our education or our daily professional work.
    For our members who want to follow the climate change discussions there are numerous, easily accessed Web sites. If there’s a demand, and if it helps us to find
    hydrocarbons or characterize potential sequestration reservoirs, AAPG can host climate-related technical sessions at our meetings – but like our other sessions, they should be composed of presenters who are doing the primary research.

    In the meantime, the Executive Committee saw no advantage and several significant potential pitfalls in maintaining an AAPG Global Climate Change Committee. The AAPG Global Climate Change Committee has fulfilled its mission with passion and energy, providing lively debate. The members are sincerely thanked for a job well done.

    The Professional Geologist

    And that is pretty good, coming as it does from such a group (geologists), some of whom are die-hard so-called skeptics - *cough* Plimer...
  46. Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    Rob @104,

    There is always gliding :)
  47. CO2 has a short residence time
    Dikran Marsupial, 5/13/11, 03:37 AM CO2 residence time

    On 5/12/11 at 17:43, you wrote on the If this were true, then the annual rise in atmospheric CO2 would be greater than anthropogenic emissions (as both man and the natural environment would be net emitters of CO2 to the atmosphere). The second part about the natural environment conditionally being net emitter is an assumption, your assumption, and one that doesn't follow from your hypothesis that the CO2 concentration rise is surely natural. I used your exact words; there was no problem in reading or citing what you wrote, then or now. Could it be that what you object to is your assumption being called an assumption? You assumed the conclusion would follow from your hypothesis.

    You say, You (like e.g. Robert Essenhigh) are confusing residence time and adjustment time. They are not the same thing, both are well defined in e.g. the IPCC reports. How did I confuse what I didn't use? Here's what IPCC says on this subject:

    Response time The response time or adjustment time is the time needed for the climate system or its components to re-equilibrate to a new state, following a forcing resulting from external and internal processes or feedbacks. Bold added, AR4, Glossary.

    I was addressing nothing like the so-called equilibration time for the climate. I would have no use for adjustment time under any circumstances because the climate system never reaches equilibrium. I was talking about the average time molecules of CO2 stay in the atmosphere, and that is given by the residence time applied to some scenario for emissions. I was talking about CO2 uptake, not about climate equilibration.

    Your formula, dC = E_a + E_n – U_n, doesn't have enough variables. It's missing E_a altogether. Using your symbology, IPCC's ludicrous, irrational assumption is that U_a = 0.6E_a while U_n = E_n, where E_a ~ 8 GtC/yr and E_n ~ 210 GtC/yr. What you might have written is

    dC = E_a – U_a + E_n – U_n = 8.0 – 4.8 + 210.2 – 210.2 = 3.2 GtC/yr

    This is the equation for the air-sea flux in AR4, Figure 7.3, p. 515, where I happen to score IPCC's 20 GtC/yr of ACO2 flux between air and ocean as nCO2 with no loss of generality. The problem is that IPCC's ratio of U_a/E_a = 0.5 while its ratio of U_n/E_n = 1 is unjustified, if physically possible at all, considering that ACO2 and nCO2 are just different mixes of 12CO2:13CO2:14CO2.

    If you have any accountancy homework, just post it here, too, for lessons.
  48. Bob Lacatena at 07:39 AM on 13 May 2011
    Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming
    103, cynicus,

    And yet even they were forced to mollify their position in 2007 because (in their words) "the current policy statement is not supported by a significant number of our members and prospective members."

    The revised statement pretty much says nothing. It says that climate has changed in the past (no, really?), that the most extreme predictions of climate change aren't likely to come to pass (no, really?), and that they support alternative energy sources and conservation (with constant references to the need for it to be economically palatable).

    It's hardly a resounding refutation of current climate science.
  49. Lindzen Illusion #7: The Anti-Galileo
    ClimateWatcher - "Make the world more like the subtropics and it will cool off because it will emit more energy to space.

    Make the world more like the polar regions and it will warm up because it will emit less energy to space. "


    This is one of the more outrageous statements you've made. You are, I hope, aware of the T^4 relationship between temperature and power emitted? Of course the tropics emit more energy, they are warmer!

    I would rather not turn the polar regions into tropics, myself - it would have rather harsh consequences for the middle latitudes, let alone the present tropics.

    Moist air emits less energy than dry air at any particular temperature, ClimateWatcher. Predicted, tested, proven.
  50. Climate Change Denial book now available!
    Got my copy yesterday - ten days earlier than expected when ordering at amazon germany. :-)

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