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Climate Hustle

Examining Dr. John Christy's Global Warming Skepticism

Posted on 12 June 2011 by dana1981

Christy Crocks (200 x 70 pixels)By far the three most prominent and most frequently referenced climate scientists who are "skeptical" of the dangers of human-caused global warming are Dr. Richard Lindzen of MIT, and Drs. Roy Spencer and John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH).   These are not your typical unqualified "skeptics", like so many others (i.e. computer programmers, politicians, and former political consultants).  No, these are genuine climate scientists who receive government research grants, publish peer-reviewed studies, and have not received any funding from fossil fuel companies in recent years.  Thus their arguments are well worth examining.  Is there scientific validity to their skepticism?

This question is of particular importance since they have recently received so much media attention.  Dr. John Christy, for example, has recently testified before U.S. Congress, appeared on an Australian radio talk show, and on a Canadian radio show.  In these appearances, he advised his audiences that there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding man-made global warming, and that we need not take significant steps to reduce human greenhouse gas emissions.  This advice directly contradicts the findings of the vast majority of Dr. Christy's peers, most recently by the Australian Climate Commission, which concluded that we know beyond a reasonable doubt that humans are the primary cause of the current global warming, and it is critical that we immediately implement policies to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

We recently examined the scientific arguments of Dr. Richard Lindzen, and found that his arguments do present a mostly consistent alternative to the man-made global warming theory.  Essentially Dr. Lindzen argues that the climate is not very sensitive to increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases, and the warming we've observed is mainly due to the internal variability of the climate system.  However, we also found that Dr. Lindzen's alternative hypothesis is little more than a flimsy house of cards, with each scientifically faulty argument built upon several other faulty arguments.  In fact every single one of his arguments has turned out to be inconsistent with the observational evidence.  So what about Dr. Christy - does he present a consistent alternative hypothesis to the man-made global warming theory which is more scientifically accurate than Dr. Lindzen's?

No, as it turns out, we find that Dr. Christy's arguments create a similar, but less sophisticated alternative in comparison to Dr. Lindzen's.  The foundation of Dr. Christy's arguments is that despite over four decades of climate science research, we still do not understand the workings of the global climate much better than we did in 1970, and that as a result, we are "jumping to conclusions" in blaming recent global warming on human activities.  However, contrary to Dr. Christy's uncertainty exaggerations, the human influence on the recent global warming is one of the aspects which climate scientists are most certain about.

However, once he sows the seeds of doubt into the minds of his audience, Dr. Christy proceeds to argue, similar to Dr. Lindzen, that recent warming could simply be due to the internal variability of the global climate.  Dr. Christy argues that this is a plausible alternative explanation to man-made global warming because "we", as he puts it, are finding that the climate is not sensitive to greenhouse gases, and he claims that observational data is not consistent with climate model predictions.  Thus, Dr. Christy concludes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions will have little impact on the climate.

As you can see, this is a very similar alternative hypothesis to that put forth by Dr. Lindzen.  In fact, when Dr. Christy says "we" are finding that the climate is insensitive to greenhouse gases, he refers exclusively to studies by Dr. Lindzen and Dr. Spencer.  Virtually all other climate science research has found that the climate is indeed quite sensitive to greenhouse gases, and the work of Dr. Lindzen and Dr. Spencer concluding otherwise contains numerous errors.  And as with Dr. Lindzen's alternative hypothesis, every single one of Dr. Christy's arguments is directly contradicted by the observational data (as illustrated in the links above).

Thus unfortunately we once again find that even the arguments by climate scientist "skeptics" that we need not worry about global warming or greenhouse gas emissions are scientifically unsound.  There's an important distinction to be made here: human-caused global warming is a robust scientific theory which is supported by a vast body of evidence and has withstood extreme scientific scrutiny for many decades.  The alternative hypotheses like that of Dr. Christy, on the other hand, have quickly been falsified by ongoing scientific research.

Additionally, another critical point which Dr. Christy neglects is that even aside from climate change, our carbon emissions are also causing ocean acidification (another major environmental problem which we refer to as "global warming's evil twin"), and there are numerous other issues with our continued reliance on fossil fuels (i.e. peak oil, air pollution, reliance on foreign energy sources, etc.).  It's unfortunate that Dr. Christy and his two "skeptic" colleagues continue to present this misleading and scientifically unsound information to the general public and policymakers, because the more we listen to them and the longer we wait, the worse the consequences will be.

NOTE: As you can see from yet another of John Cook's snazzy buttons at the top of this post, we have launched a comprehensive Christy Crocks page very similar to Monckton Myths and Lindzen Illusions.  We hope people will make use of these resources to respond when these "skeptics" are referenced.  The short URL for the Christy Crocks page is

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Comments 51 to 95 out of 95:

  1. "On rare occassions, those on the edges of the scientific spectrum are proven correct".

    Someone had better hope that Hansen's not ...
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  2. Thanks Tom Curtis and KR for your comments. However, the links in the articles on Christy and Lindzen, take one only to criticisms, most if not all of which I have read, which state simply that those scientists are "wrong". I could find none which goes deeply enough into the science to show "WHY" they are wrong.

    What I am looking for is something which spells out the physics of the atmosphere, the interactions between carbon dioxide, radiation and other molecules and how these cause the earth to become warmer as CO2 increases. Perhaps some which give details of the principle features of the models. Professor David Karoly recently gave a very good summary of the case made for accepting the hypothesis that carbon dioxide causes global warming. He explained that the case is based on models being able to determine patterns of change in the global climate - warming here, cooling there which is consistent with the injection of an increased or new "forcing" into the models, assumed to come from increased carbon dioxide. As Andy Pitman says, the assumption is based on the fact that carbon dioxide concentration is the only thing that has changed, so it is natural to point to carbon dioxide. These are basic pieces of evidence which represent a scientific approach. They also meet the criteria of the "scientific method", first enunciated by Karl Popper and embraced universally by most if not all scientists from every discipline for many years. This "scientific method" involves formulating an hypothesis, in this case Svante Arrhenius' hypotheis, and testing it using empirical measurements or theoretical analysis, all of which must be "falsifiable" i.e. has an underlying reason for its pronouncement which could be found to be wrong by the presentation of further evidence. As Einstein once said: "I could write a hundred papers, proving I am right, it would only take one paper to prove that I was wrong". Karoly's and Pitman's statements are falsifiable, and therefore represent a basic scientific approach. One of the stronger arguments, which does not "falsfy" Karoly's and Pitman's statements, but does tell us that they are not complete in demonstrating the link between CO2 increases and Global Warming, is the absence, after 25 years of dedicated searching by a large number of internationally distributed groups including in Australia, of any evidence of the "Green House Signature", which was and still is, a very significant result from the atmospheric modelling. he models need to show noe that this warming is not part of the green house effect. It was the modelers who defined it as a "signature", such was their confidence in its existence. That would/should be the next logical step for the modelers in a truly scientific analysis of the problem where there is evidence coming in from both sides of the hypothesis - some which proves and some which disproves it. Statements that Christy is wrong here or Lindzen made a mistake there because someone else said the opposite, do nothing to clarify the science. The comment 15. above, is an example.
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  3. Greenhouse signature?? Are you referring to the tropospheric hot spot ? If so, I suggest a careful reading of the link - and strongly suggest the links within it.

    If not, can you clarify which signature you're looking for? Thanks.
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    [DB] Fixed link.

  4. jonicol

    I would suggest reading this excellent history of the science of the greenhouse effect. If you have further questions, please, ask them. But read this first.
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  5. jonicol, I would recommend the science of Doom series for the basic textbook physics. On the same site this series is also good. KR has pointed you to Weart which has the key historical papers. Ramanathan & Coakley 1978 is the key to radiative physics in models but read the background first!
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  6. Jon, I would also say that "signature" is something to use carefully. If you take a climate model and change GHG you get a pattern. Change solar and you get another etc. There are a large no. of predictions made and some would be what you expect for say solar OR GHG; some for GHG OR reduced aerosols and so on. Its the whole suite of predictions that are important. There is also the question of robustness. They cant make decadal predictions. There is no robust prediction for effect on ENSO. Warming from ANY cause should show a "troposphere hot spot" but measuring that is very difficult. Stronger would be prediction that CO2 should cool the upper stratosphere but then you also have filter ozone effects in the lower stratosphere and stratosphere has not been well observed. Stronger would be arctic amplification, warmer nights, warmer winters.

    If there is one thing you cant complain about it, is that climate models dont produce testable predictions. Models produce a huge no. of predictions and with remarkable skill so far.
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  7. Thanks Adelady, KR and Scaddenp for the links. I have read the foirst "the tropospheric hotspot" and will read it again as well as trying to obtain the references given in the article. I will now lookat the others as well. Below is an explanation of the signature I was referring to:

    The "signature" I am referring to is the warming in the upper troposphere betweeen about -20 S and +20 N latitude and 7,000 and 11,000 m, which certainly up until 2006 was defined clearly and consistently as a most important parameter to distinguish between anthropogenic and natural warming, and was widely accepted as such. I understand that everyone searching for it were expecting it would be found and were using apparatus which was little, if at all, different from what is available now. Good quality well calibrated detectors have been in use since the 1940s at least, and have continued to be refined, leaving little to be improved upon since the late 1980s when very refined atom trapping experiments using IR lasers were taking place. People I know of, and one whom I know, working on the experiments were certainly expecting the model predictions to be correct. I don’t know what all of the researchers now believe, but some at least have become ardently sceptical of Arrhenius’ hypothesis. In 2005 and 2006, when it became obvious to most of those workers looking for the signature that the hot spot would not be found, and papers were published explaining the difference between the predictions and the results of measurements, there were several following papers claiming that reworking the data could show the semblance of a warming. No one questioned the accuracy of the measurements the accuracy of which were well within that needed to distinguish the warming from the noise. Since this warming signature has not been found, it now seems that the answer to the problem is that this is not what should have been looked for as indicated in the article I have just read, the references for which are all post 2006(2) and the rest later. It is all very confusing but I will withhold my judgment until I have had a chance to follow through at least the 2010 publications among the references given. Thank you all again for the interesting links.
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  8. jon Nicol. the tropospheric hotspot is NOT as signature of GHG warming. Read that article. and you will see that you are making a host of incorrect statements in your post. What is your source for this?
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  9. jonicol "I don’t know what all of the researchers now believe, but some at least have become ardently sceptical of Arrhenius’ hypothesis."

    Who are these people? The only ones I can think of challenging the radiative physics of greenhouse gases are the seriously strange products of Gerlich & Tscheuschner (not providing a link - not good enough science) and a couple of others whose names escape me just now.

    Anyone who doubts the properties of CO2 has a very big job ahead of them explaining how CO2 lasers work.
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  10. KR I would have to say that the ultimate in "Argument from Authority" is the claim by the climate group who keep reminding us of the "consensis" on climate change without providing any substantial evidence beyond that claim. Not everyone is so confident, but one is mindful of Einstin's oft quoted comment. A hundred papers may show that I am right. Only one paper is required to show that I am wrong.
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  11. Adelady, I would agree with you totally in your remarks on Gerlich and Tscheuschner. I do not know how such a simplistic paper got into the "peer eviewed" literature which everyone clamours for these days. As an aside, in my 35 years as a physicist, most of my colleagues in any field and scientists generally were happy to read unpublished internal research group reports,and would often challenge much more harshly peer reviewed articles even in what were considered top journals. Everyone had a sufficient grip of the science to make their own judgments. I believe that still persists in most other sciences except climate science, for some unknown reason, where anything which is written and not "peer reviewed" is criticised for that alone, without any scientifically based criticism seen as being necessary to refute what has been presented.
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  12. jn "A hundred papers may show that I am right. Only one paper is required to show that I am wrong."

    This is often cited - and it's right in a limited sense. Someone could conceivably (just barely) come up with a physically coherent scenario where CO2 (and other GHGs) in the upper atmosphere had different radiative properties from CO2 (and other GHGs) at ground level or in lasers or whatever.

    Fine, one paper. But not nearly enough. Now we need a few extras to back this up.
    One on how the satellites got the LW absorption observations wrong.
    One on how everyone across the world has mistakenly recorded LW returning to the surface.
    A dozen on how the temperature record is wrong in some mysterious way(s).
    One on how, why, when glaciers and icesheets and Arctic sea ice are melting without heat input.
    A score on how plants and animals are not changing their breeding seasons.
    another landmark paper showing that there is some previously unknown forcing driving temperature changes in the oceans and the atmosphere that, mysteriously, exactly parallels what we would expect from GHG forcing.
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  13. jonicol @60 the claim that the "climate group" do not provide any substantial evidence is straight forwardly false. Nor is it a falsehood that could be believed by anyone who has made a serious attempt to understand the evidence for global warming, as for example, by reading the IPCC reports and referenced papers.

    By publishing an an article in Quadrant, as also by taking a position as Chairman of the Australian Climate Science Coalition you have set yourself up as an expert on climate change. Despite that your writings are littered with errors and you plainly do not understand the underlying physics. You repeat egregious errors with no apparent attempt at fact checking.

    For example, you could have fact checked your claim that the "tropospheric hotspot" is a "signature" of global warming by reading that part of the IPCC AR4 which deals with spatial variability in forcings, ie, section 9.2.2. There you will find not a single claim of that nature, although the difference between solar and greenhouse warming in their effects on the stratosphere is clearly mentioned. Given that, why, I wonder, have you identified as a "signature" of greenhouse warming something the IPCC does not so identify, but fail to identify as a "signature" something they clearly do mention?

    Einstein may have boasted that it only takes one paper to show the was wrong. In your case it takes not even that, but only simple editorial fact checking.
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  14. Tom,
    I think that jonicol was stating that the "climate group" had not provided any evidence of a "consensus." At least, that is how I interpreting his comment.
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  15. Eric the Red @64, if that is what jonicol meant, then the claim is still without substance. Of course, I am not certain to whom he refers when he says "climate group", and it may refer to some obscure group of which his claims are true. But then his claims are irrelevant in that some very non-obscure groups have provided or reported on copious evidence both for the existence of AGW, and for the existence of the consensus.
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  16. Tom Curtis,
    Thank you for taking the time to respond and for the curtesy of reminding me that I had made reference to the "Climate Group". In that remark, I was not meaning that the climatologists have not presented any evidence demonstrating, at least from the perspective of modelling, that carbon dioxide causes global warming. I was referring to others, principally some politicians and journalists, who make claim that the consensus indicates that “the science is settled” and talk about numbers of scientists rather than quality of research.

    In an earlier comment I made reference to David Karoly's and Andy Pitman's explanations which I accept are valid demonstrations that carbon dioxide could be the cause of the observed global warming. I do not question the measurements of carbon dioxide concentrations nor the measured temperatures of the globe by both ground based thermometric processes, including the adjustments made for the paucity of sites, the absence of sites in mountainous and polar regions. What ever doubts I might have about some of these measurements and adjustments, I am quite happy to accept them at face value exactly as presented.

    I am happy to accept also that carbon dioxide absorbs the infra red radiation in its main bands at 2.7, 4.3, 10.6 and 14.7 microns. One can easily calculate that figure within the main, most obvious portions of these bands, finding the total radiation is very roughly of the order of 25% (from memory) of the radiation from the earth's surface, which itself accounts for at least 20% of the energy lost to the atmosphere, the remaining 80% being transferred by means of vaporisation at the surface of the oceans (Total about 60%) and from the contact/wind cooling at the air-earth interface. I accept that without question because these are not difficult calculations and simply verify the work of others - meteorologists, IPCC, CSIRO etc.

    [snipped portion about tropospheric hot spot, which belongs on a different thread to which you have been pointed]

    With regard to my being chairman of the scientific advisory group for the Australian Climate Science Coalition, I have difficulty in understnading the relevance of this in a scientific discussion. However, I am interested, along with others in that group, in determining the best possible understanding of global warming and in particular, the most accurate analysis of the behaviour of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, by considering among other things, the spectral characteristics of that and other atmospheric gases. Surely the most important aspect of this discussion is to discover the underlying behaviour of a green house gas and the influence of natural climate variation which has to be understood before one can quantify the effect of CO2.
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  17. scaddenp #48

    "KL - read the Gilbert paper and tell me E&E is not a joke. Anything published there will make no contribution to science so the purpose of anyone publishing there is political."

    scaddenup - I went to the SOD site and there is a robust discussion going on. Gilbert himself has entered the discussion and defended his paper and so have others.

    It appears that they are arguing basic textbook stuff extrapolated to the climate science area.

    I do not profess enough knowledge of that particular thermodynamnic topic to offer an opinion.
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  18. 69 Ken... "I do not profess enough knowledge of that particular thermodynamnic topic to offer an opinion."

    fair enough, I do, so let me help you out:

    a/ Gilbert posted only one response which only highlighted his errors - hardly "entered the discussion".

    b/ one of his errors was textbook differential calculus, nothing to do with thermodynamics.

    c/ Only Bryan is pretending the issue is basic textbook thermodynamics (an opinion you have offered!) - which only tries to distract from the core errors in the Gilbert paper; but no substantial error is found with the SoD analysis.

    So, the SoD 'robust discussion' substantiates KLs view.
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  19. jonicol - "With regard to my being chairman of the scientific advisory group for the Australian Climate Science Coalition, I have difficulty in understnading the relevance of this in a scientific discussion."

    Well, Jon, the Australian Climate Science Coalition, which shares a postal address and some staff with the Australian Environment Foundation, is an advocacy group funded by the Institute of Public Affairs, a right-wing Melbourne think tank. References and links here. Your articles repeat numerous 'skeptic' memes and incorrect statements, and you have managed (as pointed out) to contradict yourself multiple times within a single document.

    This is not surprising coming from an advocacy group, as it is the purpose of such groups to selectively push for their political or economic position. But that very nature makes the 'science' coming from an advocacy position more than a bit fishy.

    Note that I am not making any accusations of deception - it's just that advocacy groups such as yours have a tendency towards confirmation bias and one-sided presentations due to the orientations of the individuals and organizations. I find that important when evaluating the data presented - it's the elephant in the room.
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  20. Re my previous post - My apologies, jonicol, the multiple contradictions in a single article were from Carter's Quandrant article, not yours. My mistake.

    My statements about the inherent biases in data and articles from advocacy groups, however, stand. And those have to be taken into account when evaluating what's presented.
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  21. Jon Nicol,

    Thanks for posting on SkS. There are a few points I'd like to make concerning your comments.
    What I am looking for is something which spells out the physics of the atmosphere, the interactions between carbon dioxide, radiation and other molecules and how these cause the earth to become warmer as CO2 increases
    This is complex, and requires a serious investment of time, as well as multiple sources and avenues of education.
    Professor David Karoly recently gave a very good summary of the case made for...
    You can accept authority, or learn to understand it yourself. If you can't do the former, and commit to the latter, there's not reason to look at anything at all that is a "summary," no matter how good the presentation, or what point it is trying to make.
    ...the injection of an increased or new "forcing" into the models...
    Please avoid the use of quotes around particular words. It is frequently done by deniers, as a debate tactic, to imply disingenuous terms. I don't think that was your intent here, but forcing is a well defined and commonly used term in climate science, and as such does not need to be and should not be placed in quotations.
    ...assumed to come from...
    Not assumed. Logic and an understanding of radiative physics predicted the effect, which was then observed. Models added depth and details to the predictions. You do the science a serious disservice by implying that it is founded on whimsical assumptions when the stated ignorance of your own position (you said "What I am looking for is something which spells out the physics of the atmosphere...") does not qualify you to make such an assessment. Basically, it comes across as a cheap shot by someone who wants to deny the science.
    As Andy Pitman says, the assumption is based on the fact that carbon dioxide concentration is the only thing that has changed, so it is natural to point to carbon dioxide.This is about as wrong a statement as you can make about the science.First, as I explained, it is not an assumption. Secondly, it is not based on the premise that CO2 concentration is the only thing that's changed. That statement is obviously false (lots of things are changing, and being measured and considered). The scientists are also not that trivially, childishly stupid. The understanding of the influence of CO2 comes from a detailed study of molecular physics, logic, mathematical models, study of paleoclimate, laboratory experiments, real world observations, and complex computer models. To water this down to the idea that it's a trivial assumption, made merely because no one bothered to think of anything else, is patently absurd. would only take one paper to prove that I was wrong...
    Yes. On one thing. Climate science today is a complex tapestry of thousands of ideas, observations, inferences and theories. To disprove climate science and current theory, one cannot simply grab one thread and expect the entire tapestry to unravel. A single paper may disprove a single aspect of the science, and in fact that happens frequently. That's how science advances. But the implication that someone is going to find a magic bullet that in one sweeping motion dissolves that tapestry into nothing is rather simplistically foolish. Deniers like Lindzen and others attempt to do so frequently, and always utterly fail, because climate science is not one, simple, single thread.
    ...the absence, after 25 years of dedicated searching by a large number of internationally distributed groups including in Australia, of any evidence of the "Green House Signature"...
    This is patently false. Look at the cooling stratosphere, as well as the change in winter and evening temperatures, both indicators of warming from GHG forcing. There are other clues, but you have to take the time to learn the science, instead of listening to what really is complete and utter denial trash (like the "hotspot" argument, which is such a joke that it's laughable).
    ...such was their confidence in its existence...
    This sounds like a pitiful debate tactic. Were you there? Is this how they reacted? Have you read the papers themselves? Do you have any idea what you're talking about, or are you just throwing fun phrases around? Is the idea to learn science, or to take potshots in an effort to trivialize and diminish the science, without really saying anything of substance?
    Statements... do nothing to clarify the science
    Yes, they do, because they help to dispel ridiculous myths that, as you can see from your own repeated misconceptions, the unwary can easily fall for. At the same time, your repetition of many long debunked arguments, ones that you could easily have found the answers to on this site, before you posted, further highlights the need to repeatedly attack those falsehoods, because for everyone who understands the truth, there are dozens like you, who don't understand, heard it once, believe it without thinking, and then spread it around as if it were true.
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  22. 61, jnicol,
    As an aside, in my 35 years as a physicist...
    This statement is unsupported by your ignorance of the most rudimentary aspects of the science, as well as your seeming inability to research the obvious for yourself (which would save everyone a lot of trouble, since the answers that you need are very, very easily available to anyone with the background to which you lay claim).

    This could be a simple, emotional appeal to authority on your part. It's unclear from the context.

    In any event, this statement is evidence that you should have the tools to do a much, much, much better job of learning and understanding the material before speaking on it. This site, as well as others previously supplied to you, contain a wealth of information that would be of great benefit to you in your desire to actually understand the real science, rather then the dismally inadequate falsehoods upon which your current understanding is based.

    Please, make use of your 35 years of physics to actually learn the details and truth behind the science, and post questions rather than innuendo or repetition of ancient, thoroughly-debunked, false arguments.

    Please recognize that authoritatively repeating such falsehoods, even under the guise of asking for qualification and understanding, serves only to confuse and mislead more people. It's a useful thing for Exxon to do... for normal, everyday people, not so much. For them, it is directly contrary to their own self-interest.

    [If you had an actual, viable argument against the science that would be one thing, but repetition of the "hot spot" nonsense and other non-issues does not constitute fair and reasonable debate, it is instead just an act of terrorism, by wandering in and tossing doubt-grenades.]
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  23. jonnicol @66, I have commented about the tropospheric hotspot here.
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  24. Sphaerica @72, John Nicol claims to be a former Dean of Science at James Cook University. I have an independent reason to believe he was connected to that University.
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  25. 66, jonicol,
    Surely the most important aspect of this discussion is to discover the underlying behaviour of a green house gas and the influence of natural climate variation which has to be understood before one can quantify the effect of CO2.
    Yes. Absolutely. And this has been done. That you do not understand it does not warrant the implication that it is not understood.

    As has been stated previously, there is a wealth of information readily available for anyone who takes the time to look, especially if you already have the proper foundation in the hard sciences.

    Your cooperation is requested in doing your best to educate yourself, either by reading the many sources of serious information available, or by asking meaningful questions here (on the appropriate threads), through which people who do understand the science can help you (and others) to learn, but please, do so without adding backhanded implications that the science is wrong. If you have serious reason to believe this is the case then you shouldn't be asking questions, and should instead be offering a substantive argument to make your case.

    Claiming ignorance, while simultaneously professing doubt and dropping half-arguments, is unhelpful.

    But asking questions -- for the sake of learning -- is good. Please go ahead and do so.
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  26. 74, Tom,

    I actually don't doubt that he has the education and experience. What I doubt is that he's taking the time to properly use his own personal education and skills to learn climate science. I think he can, but the rather low level of his posts to date demonstrate that he has not done so.

    He just needs help getting his focus on actually learning, rather than trying to jump immediately to finding the flaws in climate science without taking the time to actually build the foundation that would be needed to do so (or, in actuality, to understand how few flaws there are, what they are, what the implications are, and what is pretty solidly understood in the field).
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  27. Les @68,

    Thanks for following up and exposing yet more distortion from the 'skeptics'. Why am I not surprised....?
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  28. KR - Thanks for your apology which is acknowledged and accepted. The Australian Climate Science Coalition, though, is not in any way connected to the AEF or to the IPA. It was introduced at an AEF Conference in Canberra, simply because of the timing of its formation which coincided with an Annual Conference of AEF and there members of AEF who are also in our ACSC, but I am not aware of who they are. I am not a member of AEF nor of IPA. The ACSC is funded privately by a benefactor from New Zealand and as far as I am aware, the ACSC has NO funding connection directly or indirectly with any other body. For this reason we run a very tight budget with a website which picks up material from voluntary individuals.
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  29. KL - thanks for pointing that out! Hugely entertaining. I can't wait for Gilbert's next post. Grab a textbook and follow it through.
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  30. With all due respect Sphaerica, and with an understanding of your frustration having to deal with repeat obfuscators, I do not think using words like 'grenades" and terrorism" are productive or advised.
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  31. jonicol - "The Australian Climate Science Coalition, though, is not in any way connected to the AEF or to the IPA."

    OK, I'm going to have to call "bull exudation" on that, John.

    Australian Environment Foundation
    PO Box 274
    Max Rheese on 03 5762 6883

    Australian Climate Science Coalition
    PO Box 274
    Deakin West ACT 2600
    Max Rheese
    Executive Director
    Phone: 03 5762 6883

    You share a PO box and phone number with the AEF? Both organizations have Max Rheese as the Executive Director and primary contact? And you claim they are not connected??? Pull the other one, John, it's got bells on...

    You represent an advocacy group directly tied to the AEF, which was created and funded by the IPA.

    Moderators - I hate to say it, but this post is either flatly deceptive, or the product of someone who doesn't know the very organization he calls home.
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  32. Moderators - Apologies for the heavy HTML 'shouting' in my previous post. I'm just a bit ticked/appalled at such a transparent falsehood, especially when it can be so easily checked.
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  33. KR Yes, we do indeed share secretarial services in Max Rheese with the AEF, and he is a very good secretary. He continues to refer all correspondence to me which I deal with, without any reference to Max unless it involves material for posting on our website which is maintanined by a paid, totally independent, as far as I am aware, web master. I am sorry if you feel I had deceived you and yes I should have mentioned that connection but believed it to be of no consequence. I am not asking for any of your affiliations as it is of no concern to me. I accept that you have a very different approach to the science of global warming, your being dependent on broad spectrum of evidence and models, whereas I am trying to focus my attention on only one, I guess very narrow, aspect , that of the characterisitics and behaviour of carbon dioxide in the air. I don't mind if you say I am wrong, I expect that. What I would also like to know is why I am wrong.

    I had come here comparatively recently to try to make some contact with people whose views would be different from mine and to discuss the science of global warming in an atmosphere of recognition of each others case. An old fashioned way I admit. I had also seen at the top of this box a reference to "Political, off-topic or ad...." which I hadn't before interpreted as meaning one could not present scientific ideas which differed from the mainstream. For that I am sorry, particularly to Sphaerica who seems to be very upset by my careless comments, and KR at 81 also.
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  34. Both websites list Max Rheese as Executive director rather than secretary. Strange.

    However, I am happy to discuss science.
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  35. jonicol - Given your knowledge of the connections, common PO box, phone number, and shared staff (Executive Director <> secretary, incidentally) with the AEF, your statement "The Australian Climate Science Coalition, though, is not in any way connected to the AEF or to the IPA." is, in fact, wholly untrue.

    Your denial of this connection is, quite frankly, a falsehood.

    The AEF is a lobbying front group for the IPA, and the Australian Climate Science Coalition (ACSC) appears to be a website and science group created for the purpose of presenting the views of the IPA/AEF to the world in a less visibly connected fashion - the purpose being to raise doubt about climate change and slow government actions thereof. The inclusion of Plimer, Carter, Evans, Archibald, and Kininmonth in the Scientific Advisory Panel only reinforce this - they are all well noted for promoting skeptical fallacies such as discussed on this website.

    The ACSC is an advocacy group, as I stated before - while I will not outright dismiss the data and opinions presented by such advocacy groups, I will take them with the appropriate grain of salt, much as I took anything presented by the "Tobacco Institute" or take those representing "Clean Coal".

    In regards to the science of CO2 physics, IR interactions, etc., I am (and I believe others are) more than willing to discuss those with you on a material and factual basis. At the very least such a discussion will be educational for all readers. To remain topical, I might suggest the CO2 effect is weak, CO2 emissions do not correlate with CO2 concentration, CO2 only causes 35% of global warming threads, or others as appropriate (see the Search link at the top of the page).
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  36. 80, Albatross,

    You may be right, in that my choice of analogy probably evoked the wrong image. I'll need to look for other, better words, though, because I've noticed a certain behavior of late. New visitors pop in, drop a rapid fire series of little comments containing known falsehoods (my "grenades"), and either quickly leave, or make no effort to defend them but simply repeat them, or move on to a new not-barrage of [substitute-other-word-for-grenades-here].

    The way it is happening is bothersome, and the only thing that I can see that can be done is to quickly "defuse" these not-grenades by as quickly as possible by picking them out one by one and rebutting them. The thing is, so many of them aren't even remotely valid points (and are often so non-specific) that rebuttal is more tedious than anything else.

    Still, a random visitor that picks up on such a comment may walk away with the wrong impression (especially if they are the sort of person to read such a comment, and then uncritically stop there and decide that the entire post has been effectively rebuked).

    So, yes... apologies for the wrong choice of words and imagery.

    No apologies for identifying the behavior and calling it something... I just have to find something better to call it the next time that it happens.
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  37. Sphaerica @86,

    No worries. Thanks for the clarification, the apology was big of you.

    I do not know what the best way is to deal with these seemingly deliberate attempts to misinform, confuse and incite, the efforts to do so seem to be ramping up of late as SkS starts to become more widely recognized; SkS is also clearly perceived as a threat by people loyal to Christy and Lindzen and Spencer. They obviously do not like the harsh light of day being shone on their antics.

    Removing the "rot" (i.e., posts fitting your description) quickly would help, but I understand that doing so is not easy. So instead we have to rebut the falsehoods, and that is tedious, not to mention much more time consuming to set the record straight than it is for the aggressor to spread disinformation, and they know that.

    Oh well...we do our best. All the best mate.
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  38. Jonicol, say hi to Tom Harris (the head of your sister astro turf "skeptic"/disinformation group in Canada (ICSC)) from us. How about "Friends" of Science, any connection between ACSC and them? The ICSC links to your group, FoS, and ClimateDepot, and NewZealand CSC, ICECAP and SPPI-- quite the social network dedicated to misinforming.

    But I digress. This thread is about Christy's crocks. You claiming/asserting above that @52 that <"I could find none which goes deeply enough into the science to show "WHY" they are wrong. " is a rather odd strawman argument to make. First, you could start by actually reading the main post and following the links therein. If that does not suffice, then you can use the search function here at SkS to find articles dedicated to refuting Christy (and Lindzen and Spencer). Third, there is plenty of science and information, both here and in the scientific literature refuting Christy (and Lindzen and Spencer). Finally, while your post @52 is lengthy on pontification and rhetoric, but very short on substance and on science.
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  39. Thanks for the helpful comments Albatross. Being new to blog discussion and I viewed a discussion on Christy's climate science as being exchanges on scientific issues. I now realise that the heading of the post indicates the topic for discussion - in this case the errors made by Christy, Spencer and Lindzen.
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  40. jonicol - In regards to the CO2 specifics you raised in your post @52, I would suggest reading (and querying/commenting upon) the There's no tropospheric hot spot thread.
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  41. Thanks KR. That is a good clear article and explains the absorption processes logically. I will be following other material on matters alluded to there including David Archer's paper. I have also read your other suggestions you gave me in 52 KR which were also interesting and helpful. Cheers.
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  42. KR You may already have seen this article at

    with some RSS charts showing the cooling you are talking about.
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  43. You may have already seen all of Christy's talking points, but just in case you missed this one, here is a link to a presentation he made to a group that generally opposes government regulation, the American Chemical Society ("Chemistry for Life")

    You can download his .ppt at
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    [DB] Hot-linked URL's.

  44. How can you argue with the fact that if you use the IPCC's "forcing" formulae (Delta)F = (alpha)ln(C/C0) - and using 380 ppm CO2 5.35*ln(380/280) = 1.633792 Watts per meter squared (W/m2) and thus you arrive at absurd amounts of energy increasing in Earth's climate system which should result in temperature changes of the order of 5 K in the atmosphere.

    Multiply 1.633792 X surface area of earth X no. seconds in a year and you arrive at ~ 2.6 x 10 exp.22 Joules.

    You can't argue with the physics involved but you can wonder about the "forcing" equation.
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  45. Should read "should result in temperature changes of the order of 5 K in the atmosphere" IN THIS ONE YEAR !
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    [DB] Please refrain from all-caps usage.

  46. Surprise surprise, Christy is saying bucking the trend on 2014 as the warmest year:

    Satellite Data: 2014 'Not Even Close' to Warmest Year

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  47. dvaytw @96, interesting link.

    It tells me that NewsMax (which I had never heard of before) is an unabashed propoganda site.  Quoting Monckton, and using his propaganda terms ("the great pause") as though they were a common term among scientists (as opposed to never having been used by scientists, SFAIK) makes that clear.  It also manages to suggest that a measurement of the average across the lower tropopheric temperatures (sort of) refutes the results of surface measurements - as though humans actually live floating two or three kilometers in the air rather than with their feet firmly on the ground.

    Roy Spencer's blog post is better, both because it avoids the propaganda excesses of the NewsMax piece, and because it is clear that they are talking about the Satellite record only (although they do not bother to clariffy what that means).  It remains disappointing, however, for it fails to mention the ovious fact that lower tropospheric temperatures are far more strongly influenced by ENSO than are surface temperatures.  Therefore it is not surprising that while the ENSO neutral 2014 topped the El Nino influenced 1998 and 2010 in the surface record, it did not do so in the sattelite record.  Disappointingly it trys to suggest an El Nino influence on the 2014 temperatures due to ENSO features durring December, entirely failing to mention the 6 month lag between ENSO events and their peak temperature influence.

    Finally, Christy and Spencer make a big point about the close values of 2014 with 2005 (4th warmest) and 2013 (5th warmest).  The clearly mention that there is only a 0.01 C difference between 2005 and 2014, and a 0.02 C difference between 2013 and 2014.  The odd thing is that on their own figures, the later is actually a 0.03 C difference.  Worse, the actual annual mean for 2014 using their monthly figures is 0.275, which should have been rounded up, not down as they do.  The actual differences, rounded to three significant figures are 0.013 C for 2005, and 0.039 C for 2013.  Via a non-standard rounding and a simple reporting error, they have virtually halved the reported difference between 2013 and 2014.  I suspect that as a result, 2014 is statistically warmer than 2013.  Unfortunately I do not know their stated measurement error.

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] NewsMax is the Fox News of wire service jounalism. 

  48. Christy also cherry-picks the period 2002-2014 for his trend analysis. Any start date 1999-2006 yields a higher central figure. They only deceipt Christy managed to resist is rounding the trend (0.047ºC/decade) down and more correctly rounds it properly up to a "rate of 0.05 degrees Celsius per decade."

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  49. Thanks for understanding my mangled sentence there, guys.  Glad to have the jump on the talking point for a change.

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  50. Jonicol

    The science behind greenhouse gasses was settled science in the 1800’s.

    It would appear that you cannot find anything which goes deeply enough into the science to show "WHY" they are wrong is because they have not presented any actual real science to support their claims.

    They are wrong because over 100 years of science has consistently shown ,with the same reliability that gravity also shows, over and over that greenhouse gases trap heat: Hence the name “greenhouse.”

    One of them claims that they “are finding that the climate is insensitive to greenhouse gases” but this alleged “they” is a very small group of scientists who while continually make the claim, have produced no actual science for anyone to debunk. They need to prove that 100 years of science consistently showing ,with the same reliability that gravity also shows, over and over that greenhouse gases trap heat, is now magically wrong.

    You question is akin to asking people to prove that gravity is responsible for keeping us from naturally floating away into space.

    A very large volcanic eruption can screw the weather up for years, one could even argue that it can affect the climate in the short term. We currently spew out around, or at least, 100, of all the world’s volcanoes combined, a year of CO2.

    While the climate may not be sensitive to one of my methane greenhouse gas farts, science has proven that it is affected by all that CO2 that has been pumped into the atmosphere.

    Your first hint that they have no science is that their statement puts no limits on the greenhouse gases that “they found that the climate is insensitive to.” If one were to replace the atmosphere with nothing but methane, a greenhouse gas, and oxygen (and possibly some other gasses): It would insensitive the climate into high orbit right around the time of the first lightning strike after said greenhouse gas was introduced in sufficient quantities.

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