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Senator Inhofe's attempt to distract us from the scientific realities of global warming

Posted on 26 February 2010 by John Cook

There has been a shift in the climate debate over recent months. It seems people are talking less about the science and more about the alleged actions of a small group of climate scientists. Senator Inhofe is an extreme example with his recent attempt to criminalize 17 leading scientists. These accusations are largely based on stolen private emails that are being quoted out of context and/or without understanding of the science involved. Unfortunately, this is shifting the focus away from the most important element of the climate debate: the scientific reality of global warming. The empirical evidence that global warming is happening and that humans are the primary cause has been and continues to be observed, measured and documented in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

We find out what's happening in our climate by empirical observations - measurements made out in the real world. We have even more confidence in our understanding when independent measurements find the same result. In the case of man-made global warming, we have multiple lines of evidence that global warming is happening and that human activity is the predominant cause. There are not only independent scientific teams all over the globe but also measurements of a wide range of phenomena all painting the same picture.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide is increasing. This is measured by hundreds of monitoring stations across the globe, all finding the same increasing trend (NOAA). The rising trend is confirmed by satellite measurements conducted independently by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Combined with ice core measurements from Greenland and Antarctica, this tells us that atmospheric CO2 levels are the highest in over 15 million years (Tripati 2009).

What's causing rising CO2? We can use energy statistics to calculate human CO2 emissions at around 29 billion tonnes per year (CDIAC). In contrast, atmospheric CO2 is rising by 15 billion tonnes per year. Humans are emitting nearly twice as much CO2 as ends up remaining in the atmosphere. Measurements of carbon isotopes confirm that the rising CO2 originates from the burning of fossil fuel (Ghosh 2003). Further independent confirmation comes from observed  falling oxygen levels caused by the burning of fossil fuel (Manning 2006).

What's the effect of all this extra CO2? Satellite measurements of outgoing longwave radiation find an enhanced greenhouse effect (Harries 2001, Griggs 2004, Chen 2007). This result is consistent with measurements from the Earth's surface observing more infrared radiation returning back to the surface (Wang 2009, Philipona 2004, Evans 2006). Consequently, our planet is experiencing a build-up of heat (Murphy 2009).

This heat build-up is manifesting itself across the globe. Arctic sea-ice loss is accelerating beyond the worst case scenarios of model forecasts (Stroeve 2007). Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are losing ice mass at an accelerating rate (Velicogna 2009). This is speeding up sea level rise as observed by tidal gauges and satellite altimeters (Church 2006). Spring is coming earlier each year (Stine 2009). This leads to observed changes in animal breeding and migration (Parmesan 2003). Distribution of plants are shifting to higher elevations (Lenoir 2008).

How will global warming affect humanity? For brevity's sake, let's focus on just one impact. The latest research that takes into account accelerating ice loss estimates sea level rise by the end of this century of between 75 cm to 190 cm (Vermeer 2009). An independent study of glacier ice dynamics predicts similar results (Pfeffer 2008). Studies of Earth's climate 125,000 years ago find that sea levels were at least 6 metres higher than today (Kopp 2009). Global temperatures were around 2°C warmer - this is the amount of warming expected for some of the IPCC's lower emission scenarios. This provides additional evidence that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are highly sensitive to sustained warmer temperatures.

Senator Inhofe is trying to distract us from the unpleasant reality: within the lifetime of our children and grandchildren, they'll witness sea level rise of around 1 to 2 metres. To hope to mitigate against such a future, it's imperative that the climate debate returns to a focus on science. Scientists need to do better at communicating their research to the public. Skeptics who are genuinely seeking scientific truth need to search the peer-reviewed literature to obtain the broader picture. The stakes are too high to be distracted by political manoeuvring and ad hominem attacks.

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Comments 51 to 100 out of 137:

  1. . #46 Ricardo If you lose track of $10 then don't be surprised if I question your ability to handle other money. And don't be surprised if I am skeptical of your investment advice.
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  2. Yes, it would be better to post it in that thread. Unfortunately this site lacks "last updated" feature, no one can see comments to old posts.
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  3. 49.Karl_from_Wylie at 11:59 AM on 27 February, 2010 . #43 Tom Dayton Asked about whether he lost track of data, Professor Jones said: ‘There is some truth in that. We do have a trail of where the weather stations have come from but it’s probably not as good as it should be. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250872/Climategate-U-turn-Astonishment-scientist-centre-global-warming-email-row-admits-data-organised.html#ixzz0gh3ygxsK Is this really a surprise? I know if someone asked for copies of everything in my decade-old dissertation, I would surely not be able to come up with everything. It's not because I have something to hide, but rather, I am a human with limited amounts of time and limited amounts of effort I can put into organization.
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  4. Karl_from_Wylie at 11:59 AM on 27 February, 2010 Karl, I have a very good friend who is an active researcher and who has performed many experiments over the years. She has attempted like any good scientist to retain all data used in the course of her investigations, "just in case." Presently there are something like 500 boxes of moldering floppy disks, papers, hard disks etc. sitting in the downstairs of her house. Theoretically nearly all her work product is there, but I can almost guarantee that if she had to account for all of it there would be a shortfall of some percentage. Guess what? When a grant expires, is consumed, there's no annuity provided to fund record keeping in perpetuity. When a grant is zeroed out, entropy sets in regardless of the best efforts at preservation. If nobody is tasked specifically with archiving data it'll inexorably rot. There's nothing controversial or mystifying about this phenomenon, these artifacts are subject to the same vagaries as anything else in the physical world. CRU has managed to hang on to something like 95% of their records going back decades. That's actually a very good performance and of course is indicative of an active attempt to combat rot. Some folks would like us to imagine there's incompetence or worse at play in this matter, but in fact the CRU resides in the same physical world as the rest of us and cannot reasonably be expected to do otherwise.
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  5. Berényi Péter at 12:06 PM on 27 February, 2010 Don't despair; check to the left: "Latest Posts"!
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  6. Wow Karl @49 if that's the very *best* you guys can come up with, then that's just beyond WEAK!
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  7. Correction: checked the geometry and it's a little shy of 400 boxes of research product.
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  8. I would add a further point Doug. I doubt that any of the researchers collecting original climate data 30-50 years ago could have predicted the politically motivated attacks that the current crop of researchers would be subjected to. Had they predicted it, I've no doubt they'd have made a far greater effort to keep every last paper-clip & staple.
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  9. #54 doug_bostrom at 12:10 PM on 27 February, 2010 "When a grant is zeroed out, entropy sets in regardless of the best efforts at preservation. If nobody is tasked specifically with archiving data it'll inexorably rot" Not necessarily. "Only wimps use tape backup: _real_ men just upload their important stuff on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it" (Linus Torvalds)
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  10. #55 doug_bostrom at 12:11 PM on 27 February, 2010 "Don't despair" Come on. Latest blogposts, not latest comments. Not the same.
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  11. Berényi Péter writes: Come on. Latest blogposts, not latest comments. Not the same. Well, then look at the top left: "RSS Comments"
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  12. The first page of this thread was getting pretty ugly. Let's all take a deep breath and remember that this site is focused on science. Accusations of fraud and casting aspersions on people's motives are off-topic here.
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  13. . #53 Ogemaniac "...I know if someone asked for copies of everything in my decade-old dissertation, I would surely not be able to come up with everything." Not a problem until you ask someone else to spend their money based upon your analysis. If you want someone to spend their money as a result of your study, you'd better have ALL your ducks in a row.
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  14. Berényi Péter at 12:22 PM on 27 February, 2010 "Only wimps use tape backup..." :-) Karl_from_Wylie at 12:55 PM on 27 February, 2010 As Marcus pointed out, back in the 80's I don't think anybody knew what a bone of contention this would become. The raw data underlying CRU's analysis is available, the processing methods are known, if there's serious doubt about wagering large amounts of cash on predictions made on the basis of this research there's no actual obstacle to verifying the results. Compared to the money everybody's worried about the cost of doing so is infinitesimal. Moralizing about Phil Jones and CRU's lack of candidacy for being patron saints of data archiving is sort of beside the point. I'd be the last to criticize, just based on my own experience. In my real life I'm sometimes dependent on restorations done from backups being done on an hourly snapshot basis with modern equipment. When we're called to rely on those there's invariably something missing. Nobody is perfect, sadly enough.
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  15. The missing data at CRU is an old story. I tried to replicate some time history for islands in the Pacific and requested the original station data used for the HADCRUT3 time series for those locations. Their response was "we don't have it anymore". UEA put up this notice back in August 2009: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/availability/ The key section says "Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e. quality controlled and homogenized) data."
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  16. doug_bostrom at 13:15 PM on 27 February, 2010 "The raw data underlying CRU's analysis is available, the processing methods are known, if there's serious doubt about wagering large amounts of cash on predictions made on the basis of this research there's no actual obstacle to verifying the results." I guess you haven't read much of the harry.txt file and seen how arbitrary, opaque and non-replicable were the decisions on how series were chosen and combined. And how many known errors are in the current database.
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  17. Sounds as though you believe the whole CRU process is quite useless. That being the case, there's no point in following their method. Instead you should obtain the raw station data and do your own analysis. Maybe you'll come up with some new insights.
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  18. @ Doug_bostrom #67 I'm merely saying that the CRU results most likely cannot be replicated. As for starting with the raw station data, it appears that the Met Office may indeed do this. I don't expect any tremendous changes in the temperature series, but then again we are looking at trends of 0.1 or 0.2 C per decade. Were I a betting man, I would give 2 to 1 odds that the overall temperature trend of the reconstructed series is lower than that of the CRU. OTOH, I would be surprised if the difference in trends were more than 0.05 C/decade.
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  19. Charlie A at 14:13 PM on 27 February, 2010 Based on this analysis, you should be careful of your odds: New analysis released today has shown the global temperature rise calculated by the Met Office’s HadCRUT record is at the lower end of likely warming. The study, carried out by ECMWF (the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) with input from the Met Office, performs a new calculation of global temperature rise. This independent analysis is based on information from a wide range of sources. It uses all available surface temperature measurements, together with data from sources such as satellites, radiosondes, ships and buoys.The new analysis estimates the warming to be higher than that shown from HadCRUT’s more limited direct observations. This is because HadCRUT is sampling regions that have exhibited less change, on average, than the entire globe over this particular period. This provides strong evidence that recent temperature change is at least as large as estimated by HadCRUT. New evidence confirms land warming record
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  20. doug_bostrom (@29), It appears that I have caused you some distress which was not my intention. Please accept my apologies. Now I will try to explain my position without using the f***d word. Yesterday the UK Institute of Physics submitted a memorandum to the British parliament that did not once use the f***d word. Even so their meaning is pretty clear: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/.../uc3902.htm I wonder why the US press is ignoring the Climategate eruptions that are taking place in the UK? Ooops! I hope you do not find the C*********e word offensive too.
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  21. gallopingcamel at 15:19 PM on 27 February, 2010 Funny! Yeah, that IOP thing is blazing around the internets today, carried far and wide because it's that rare instance where rejection is seemingly endorsed with the imprimatur of a legitimate organization. It's been dutifully deposited wherever climate science is discussed. I'm betting it'll blow up dramatically when the IOP membership notices they've been spoken for. It's a familiar narrative.
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  22. The argument about CRU and the data is silly. CRU is not an archive center. They got the data from the original sources, who have the responsibility to archive the data. Nobody has to get the exact data set from CRU, and almost all of the data is freely available anyway. If someone takes the freely available data and gets a significantly different result than CRU, then they should submit their result and methods for publication -- and more power to them if they are right! As for my own nearly 20 year old dissertation, all of the results not published on paper are on unreadable 9-track tapes (probably long since degraded). To even read the electronic files of my dissertation itself, I would need to buy a translator program or unscramble the out-or order text. But so what? Anyone can download the original data and reanalyze it.
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  23. Berényi Péter, i can just quote doug_bostrom, you should post in a different thread.
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  24. Charlie A 68: The focus on the missing CRU data is a big political con. It has no scientific importance and is merely advanced to try to discredit the very robust and independently validated recent warming trend. We could pretend CRU never existed and our understanding of warming in recent decades would not change. That's how robust the result is and how little any individual record - like HadCRUT matters. Five other temperature records - GISTEMP, NOAA, JPA, RSS and UAH, all show the same as what HadCRUT shows. And other analyses are also showing the same picture: http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/false-claims-proven-false/
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  25. . #74 wingding It looks like NOAA might have its own issues with removing climate measuring stations that report cooler than expected values. http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/surface_temp.pdf
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  26. Inhofe's report is frankly pathetic. The discussion of "hide the trick" is laughable, with Jones being accused of 'data manipulation' in his graph, indicating that Inhofe's staffers don't even know what data are. The whole premise that someone nefariously hides something by including the real temp data is absurd. It doesn't even mention the NAS report on the Hockey Stick graph, which is a pretty striking act of intellectual dishonesty in a governmental publication. And it cites Jones' "no statistically significant warming" comment repeatedly as if it were some kind of shocking admission, without mentioning that GISS, etc do show warming that passes the significance test. On a skeptic scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being EM Smith of WUWT and 10 being Lindzen, I'd give it a 2.5.
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  27. Karl_from_Wylie, you might want to check here.
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  28. #72 Jeff Freymueller at 17:00 PM on 27 February, 2010 "Anyone can download the original data and reanalyze it" Jeff, I am trying to reflect on this statement, but John keeps deleting my posts. In a _political_ thread, full of off-topic comments. I really do not know why he does it. Anyway, I give it another try following Doug Bostrom's advice in #50, this thread and repost under "Are surface temperature records reliable?" as #57. http://skepticalscience.com/argument.php?p=2&t=57&&a=110#9491
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  29. . #77 Deech56 The first question to be addressed is sloppy research. And the amazement scientest exhibit when they are asked about their adherence to the standards they set themselves.
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  30. Karl_from_Wylie: You earlier implied that people were being asked to spend money based on the HadCRUT analysis. But that isn't true and that is why the CRU "lost data" issue is scientifically irrelevant. The HadCRUT analysis is but one analysis of global surface temperature that uses station data. Even without HadCRUT there would be the same picture from GISTEMP, the NCDC and the JPA analysis. Therefore nothing hinges on HadCRUT. There is no need for the HadCRUT data. The HadCRUT result has already been reproduced by these other studies. In the case of GISTEMP the source code is available online. So there are no excuses for focusing on the CRU "missing data" as if this impacts a scientific result. The report you link to, which mainly consists of smear-like questions without bothering to find out the answers, takes issue with NOAA GHCN. But similar issues apply here too. Even though the surface temperature records all use GHCN station data (except HadCRUT) - they only do so for the land. The ocean data also shows warming. And completely independently both satellite records show warming over the past 30 years too. If the NOAA GHCN data is incorrect, how come the derivative surface land temperature records (GISTEMP, NCDC, JMA) agree well with the ocean and satellite derived temperatures which don't rely on NOAA GHCN data? There's too much agreement between these different sources to possibly regard it as an error. Worse of all skeptics just can't make up their mind where the errors are. Contradictions abound. One moment the issue is HadCRUT, next it's GHCN, then suddenly it's GISTEMP (but never UAH). They can't make up their minds what kind of size of error they are talking about, they invoke numerous vague arguments like station dropout in the 90s, or UHI, microsite biases, etc, but don't explain why the satellites also show similar warming (given they are immune to these arguments). It's all very vague and very unscientific. They are all over the shot and none of them have bothered to even try and reproduce the global surface temperature record from station data.
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  31. Karl_from_Wylie, "It looks like NOAA might have its own issues with removing climate measuring stations that report cooler than expected values." It looks very likely the way too often people do not distinguish (or do not want people to distinguish) between absolute temperature and anomaly. Indeed, high northern latitude stations have shown higher trends. The ovreall effect of dropping those stations is (if any) a decreasing trend. As for the urban vs rural stations dropping, anyone can see that less rural stations has been droppend in relative numbers. So there's no "preference" on urban stations, which anyways have the trends corrected and made equal to those in rural stations. It's just one of the many bogus claims on the surface temperature dataset.
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  32. For those of you who point to the similarity of the various global average temperature time series, I would recommend that you look into the history of expectation bias and confirmation bias. An interesting article is "A selected history of expectation bias in physics", by Monwhea Jeng. http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0508/0508199v1.pdf In particular, look at Figure 2 showing the history of measurements of the speed of light. Note how for much of the first half of the 1900's that the consensus on the value was well below the currently accepted value. Also note that the currently accepted value for the speed of light is _outside_ of the error bands reported in paper after paper. As Skeptical Scientists we should keep in mind the problem of confirmation bias and expectation bias. I don't have a reference at hand, but as I recall, the electron charge to mass ratio has a similar measurement history where there were periods of consensus where the measured values converged, with increasingly smaller error bands, upon a value that later turned out to be erroneous.
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  33. #80 wingding at 03:00 AM on 28 February, 2010 "they invoke numerous vague arguments [...], but don't explain why the satellites also show similar warming" Satellites show neither warming nor cooling. They show radiance changes in certain narrow em radiation bands. To convert it to surface or lower troposphere temperature is a tricky business and depends on the model used. Until about 2000 "satellite temperature measurements" used to show cooling in lower troposphere in direct contradiction to both direct surface temperature reconstructions and GCM predictions. It was a long and painful process to develop atmospheric models and fine-tune backward calculation procedures to bring satellite data in line with expectations. However, this complex inverse transform can only be verified by direct measurements performed in situ. In this sense satellite temperature trends are not independent sources. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 111, D03106, doi:10.1029/2005JD006392, 2006 Temperature trends at the surface and in the troposphere Konstantin Y. Vinnikov, Norman C. Grody, Alan Robock, Ronald J. Stouffer, Philip D. Jones, and Mitchell D. Goldberg Received 20 June 2005; revised 12 October 2005; accepted 7 November 2005; published 11 February 2006. www.atmos.umd.edu/.../VinnikovEtAlTempTrends2005JD006392.pdf "As explained in section 1, it is for this reason that we compare the MSU channel 2 measurements directly with forward model calculations that include the stratospheric contribution, rather than attempt to correct the measurements for stratospheric effects"
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  34. Berényi Péter, the UAH satellite analisys showing cooling was not a problem of comparison, it was just flawed.
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  35. #78 Berényi Péter, I replied to you on the other thread, but I don't use that kind of data so my reply may be of limited use.
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  36. Until about 2000 "satellite temperature measurements" used to show cooling in lower troposphere in direct contradiction to both direct surface temperature reconstructions and GCM predictions. It was a long and painful process to develop atmospheric models and fine-tune backward calculation procedures to bring satellite data in line with expectations.
    Bull. Other researchers found a series of *algebraic* errors in the derivation of the Christy/Spencer algorithm, one of which was a *sign flip*. After correction, the UAH product shows rough agreement with both the surface temps and model outputs. A logical person might conclude that this increases our confidence in the robustness of GCMs and GISTEMP/HadCRUT.
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  37. Re 83: "Satellites show neither warming nor cooling" The UAH satellite record shows warming since 1979. The measure is independent of surface temperature records and it directly refutes the idea that warming in the surface records is due to "station dropout" or UHI or AC units.
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  38. #69 doug_bostrom: "Based on this analysis, you should be careful of your odds: ...http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/pr20091218b.html Dr Roy Spencer has used the International Surface Hourly (ISH) weather data archived by NOAA to see how a simple reanalysis of original weather station temperature data compares to the Jones CRUTem3 land-based temperature dataset. Details are at: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/02/spurious-warming-in-the-jones-u-s-temperatures-since-1973/ Although this analysis is limited to the USA because of the data source, it does result in some interesting results. Spencer did NOT adjust the ISH data for the urban heat island effect. Yet the HADCRUT3 showed a higher trend (for the same geographical area analyzed by Spencer). It also showed some rather strange results, including a sudden change of around 0.4C in the differences between the two series in the 2nd half of Several peer reviewed papers reanalyzing various temperature time series will undoubtedly be published in the next few years. Charlie
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  39. "isn't Oklahoma a large oil and gas producing state?" No and yes. CA produces a more oil than OK, OK more gas. "isn't Oklahoma a large oil and gas producing state?" http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petrosystem/petrosysog.html The real difference reside in the fact that it is dirt cheap to get a candidate elected in OK, compared to CA (about 4.8 times cheaper): http://www.pewcenteronthestates.org/ttw/trends_map_data_table.aspx?trendID=19&assessmentID=10
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  40. Charlie A at 12:25 PM on 28 February, 2010 Charlie, I read that (thanks) and it was not really comforting. There's no doubt we'll see refined results over the next few years, I'm sure we can agree on that. For my part I'll be happy if I see a fair number of analysis conclusions including a trend sloping down toward the right. Unfortunately they're all going the other way now. As to Dr. Spencer's conclusion "we're back to square one", I don't think he makes a case for that.
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  41. #90 I find it neither comforting nor discomforting. The world and the facts are what they are. The exact details of temperature trends a bit fuzzy, although the overall rising trend over both the last several centuries and the last several decades is very clear. Small differences in trends make a difference only when we get into attribution of the cause of various portions of the rise. Of course, it is based upon small differences in trend, and upon models being unable to match these small differences using the assumed forcing, that we attribute a major portion of recent warming trends to well mixed greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane. And based upon that attribution, we are on the verge of making major policy decisions.
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  42. I agree with all, but nowhere (also in the report of the IPCC) found no answer to the question: why at the time of each large volcanic eruption amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increases by only circa 0.5 ppm?
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  43. @Marcus "As pointed out elsewhere, if the rise in CO2 concentrations were the result of release from natural carbon sinks, then we would see no change in the ratios of C13 & C12 in atmospheric CO2. Yet we're seeing a marked rise in ratio of C12:C13 in the atmosphere-suggesting that the new CO2 is from a source where there has been significant time for the 13C to decay to 12C-which is definitely true of coal & oil (where its constituent carbon atoms have had *millions* of years to decay from 13C to 12C)." CO2 from the soil has the same ratio of 12C: 13C as fossil coal or petroleum. Can only vary 14C.
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  44. Sorry, I have not noticed by Markus admitted to this error.
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  45. doug_bostrom at 15:26 PM on 27 February, 2010 Funny you should mention that. I've been a member of the Institute of Physics and a Chartered Physicist (amongst other things) for over 20 years. I don't recall being consulted on this submission. So much for transparency, involvement and representation of wider views. I note the submission is "prepared with input from the Institute's Science Board, and its Energy Sub-group".
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  46. The video at the head of this posting turned out to be based mainly on emotion rather than science so it says much for the debaters from both sides that they concentrated on scientific questions such as the connection between Greenhouse gasses and climate. At the simplest level, such relationships can be tested by asking two questions. Do they explain the past? Can they be used to predict the future? At the heart of the AGW theory is the relationship between global temperatures and the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. The Mann, Bradley & Hughes, 1988 paper shows an almost flat temperature reconstruction from 1000 to 1860 followed by an increasingly steep upslope into the 20th century (the Hockey Stick). As the atmospheric CO2 concentration appears to have followed a similar path, linking the two variables is certainly plausible. There are reasons to believe that the MBH98 and MBH99 temperature reconstructions are incorrect. Ironically, the first director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia was Hubert Lamb, an expert on the Medieval Warm Period. Even if you are prepared to throw Lamb under the bus, the IPCC itself published a temperature reconstruction in its 1992 report that clearly shows the MWP and the “Little Ice Age”. To bring things up to date, a reconstruction by Loehle & McCulloch, 2008 can be found at: http://www.econ.ohio-state.edu/jhm/AGW/Loehle/ Why does the L&McC08 reconstruction fail to agree with MBH98? The short answer is that MBH gives great weight to tree ring proxies while L&McC omits this data set entirely. What about predicting the future? At first all went well for the Hockey Team as temperatures continued to rise after 1988. Ten years later, 1998 turned out to be one of the hottest on record in the USA so at that moment the Hockey Stick predictions were looking really good. Then Mother Nature played a cruel trick by causing temperatures to fall. The blade of the Hockey Stick now points in the wrong direction. One parting shot. I challenge the “Crock of the Week” guy to name even one respected scientist who can keep a straight face while publicly declaring: “Atmospheric carbon dioxide is a pollutant”.
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  47. gallopingcamel, given that the Hockey stick is not broken (you have it even without tree rings) and that the earth is still accumulating heat and temperature is not dropping, you should conclude that AGW theory is at the very least plausible.
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  48. My apologies, my post (@96) was meant for the thread shown below: YouTube video on the empirical evidence for man-made global warming
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  49. Riccardo (@98), the first three links you cite are from John Cook's excellent web site. My position is that it only takes one experiment to disprove a theory and there are growing numbers of scientific studies that undermine AGW theory. You may choose to disbelieve Loehle & McCullough 2008, Lindzen & Choi 2009, Svensmark & Friis-Christensen 1997 etc. etc. but I would contend that the jury is still out. The biggest problems for the Mann et al. Hockey Stick reconstructions come not from climate scientists but from historians. If you believe the Hockey Team there was no Medieval Warm Period and temperatures hardly varied during the Little Ice Age. The last link relies on NASA/GISS surface station records. These are highly suspect owing to the "station drop off problem" and station cherry picking. For an explanation of this issue: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/26/new-paper-on-surface-temperature-records/ Don't give me an "ex cathedra" rejection of this paper because I am a skeptical skeptic who took the trouble to check some of the claims starting from the raw GHCN v2 data sets. If you have a copy of MS Excel I can show you how to do it yourself.
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  50. gallopingcamel, the "station drop off problem" and "station cherry picking" have been proven, empirically, to be bogus. Tamino has done the analyses, and at least two other people have replicated. Links to all that are here.
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    Response: Just to plug the new links page, there is a page on the station drop off problem linking to the various analyses that show dropping stations has no effect on the warming trend.

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