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  • YouTube's Climate Denial Problem

    Eclectic at 12:32 PM on 10 April, 2020

    Since the SkS  scene is a bit quiet at the moment (a covid-19 effect?) , I take the liberty of doing some more waffling about the notorious WUWT  website.   So my apologies for this long post.

    WUWT  claims to be the world's "most viewed site" for global warming and climate change ~ and I have seen no evidence disproving WUWT 's possession of the crown for most popular Climate Denial echo-chamber website status.

    As mentioned above, WUWT  has a rapid churn of headlines to keep its fans interested & clicking-on frequently.   Proprietor Anthony Watts claims WUWT  receives no subsidy from the fossil fuel industries ~ I don't know if this was so in its early days, but it could well be so nowadays.   (There are of course many ways in which secret sponsors can covertly channel funds indirectly to WUWT  or associated entities . . . but that's not immediately relevant to the site's anti-science activities.)   Judging by the large range of of on-line advertising at the WUWT  site, it seems there is no shortage of dollar income ~ and it also suggests that the on-line advertising agencies have examined  & confirmed a high rate of traffic going to the website.

    Nigelj and OPOF ~ my earlier wording that many of the regular WUWT  commenters "are thick as two short planks" . . . was a colloquialism, and was not meaning that Denialists are of lower IQ than the general population.   AFAIK, there is no evidence that Denialists have an average IQ lower than logical thinkers have.   Yes, most of the WUWT  commenters are "pretty average" [another colloquialism!].   But as always ~ it is not whether you are intelligent but whether you actually use the intelligence you have.

    And there are indeed [a few] highly intelligent commenters at WUWT.   My favorite is Willis Eschenbach.  Very intelligent, and he has a sense of humor I like . . . but despite his analytical skills, he nevertheless has a "Dark Side" twist in his psyche ~ such that he always fails in the end to reach the destination of logical synthesis of the full context of the climate issue.   I reckon he has a combination of Motivated Reasoning and Doublethink.   Like so many (all?) Denialists, he somehow manages ultimately to suppress seeing the Bleeding Obvious.

    # There are certain neurological conditions [often, from stroke] where the brain fails to identify the human face, or other objects.   Climate Denialists achieve that status, sometimes wilfully perhaps . . . but eventually it becomes an automatic mental habit to "not see" what their emotions don't want to see.

    Nigelj , as I mentioned earlier, it surely must be that the WUWT  Moderators allow Nick Stokes as a token example of their "non-discrimination" policy.   But there is yet another example ~ Steven Mosher.   Mosher does not come from the strong scientific background of Stokes . . . but over the years he has gained his stripes as a scientist (in a de-facto manner).   IIRC, Mosher was at first rather climate-skeptical, and joined the original BEST project in a sort of literary capacity.   And when the BEST project eventually confirmed the mainstream climate science data, he accordingly "converted" to become a mainstreamer.

    As a convert from "skepticism" , Mosher is loathed and hated by the bulk of WUWT  commenters.   Mosher's style is usually not to go into details on how the OP or fellow commenters have messed up or been stupid . . . but he more often issues a one-liner to point out an error, or he merely says [in effect] : "Sigh. You've gotten it wrong again."   Unsurprisingly, this enrages many of the Denialists.

    Stokes is hated too, and is hated also because he is unfailingly correct , and the Denialists can find no chinks in his scientific armor ~ not that the Denialists at WUWT  would ever change their viewpoint merely because someone publicly proves them wrong !

    In the past, WUWT  had a system where registered commenters could vote a Like  or a Dislike  to any post in the Comments column.   Run-of-the -mill Deniaist comments sometimes garnered one or two or a handful of Likes.   But I always found it amusing to see how every comment by Stokes or Mosher was immediately garnering 20 - 50 Dislikes !   (In a way, it's pity this Like/Dislike barometer got scrubbed.)

    # Over my years of observation, there have not really been any other "anti-Denialists" to stay the course in the hostile environment at the WUWT  comments columns.   Some appear for a little while, then disappear ~ mostly by being censored I think (but doubtless, a few have become tired & disgusted).   Yet I also detect a few who (after banning) resurrect themselves under a new pseudonym.   However, in recent months WUWT  has introduced a new stricter regime of registration to make resurrection far more difficult.   ( It also raises your risk of being doxxed.)

    And no, I myself don't post at WUWT.   The denizens there are largely  rabid political ultra-extremists, quite uncharitable to humanity as a whole.   There are also some (apolitical or non-partisan) scientific crackpots.   But all are hard-core deniers of climate science, and they show zero inclination to become sane.

    #  If you examine the bulk of WUWT  posted articles, you see a strong undercurrent of petulant and childish propaganda slant.   Clearly WUWT  is essentially aiming at the Lowest Common Denominator of everyday Denialists.   (Some Denialist websites exist, which are slightly more high-brow  e.g. Judith Curry's and Roy Spencer's .)   But for rampant psychopathology, my "vote" goes to WUWT.

    My apologies once again for the long post.   I hope readers have found elements informative and/or entertaining.

  • YouTube's Climate Denial Problem

    One Planet Only Forever at 07:10 AM on 9 April, 2020

    I commented on the recent "A History of FLICC:..." post with what I think accurately describes Deniers (of any improved awareness or better understanding):

    • People who are less aware, with a related lack of understanding, who are unwilling to learn - including people who have a lack of interest in learning - especially people who sense that learning would require them to change their mind about something they have developed a liking for.

    Everyone else, including the most knowledgeable of experts, are:

    • People who are less aware, with a related lack of understanding, who are interested and willing to learn.

    Deniers are not Dumb or Incapable of learning. They lack an interest in learning, maybe because there is so much they learned that would have to be corrected that they are happier to carry on believing what they developed a liking for - no amount of effort to increase awareness or improve understanding will make much of a dent in those types of made-up minds.

    Tragically for the future of humanity there is a lot of developed Liking that needs to be corrected but resists being corrected because the corrections would be detrimental to many developed Impressions of Superiority Relative to Others. Massive denial resistance easily Drummed up by misleading marketing appeals to people willing to be easily impressed by it is to be expected.

    Sites like WUWT and Dr. Roy Spencer's are like Pied Pipers for people desiring to be misled, not wanting to learn how to be helpful, liking excuses for being harmful. As are all the misleading YouTube bits that this OP is concerned about.

  • How I try to break climate silence

    One Planet Only Forever at 02:40 AM on 12 March, 2020

    Regarding my comment @8,

    The following set of links are the specific ones I find are helpful, hard to dispute:


  • How I try to break climate silence

    One Planet Only Forever at 12:03 PM on 10 March, 2020

    A long comment with details added for anyone interested.

    My starting point, or foundation, is “Try to Help Others and Do No Harm”, with the awareness that Everybody’s actions combine to become the future. And being aware that compromising on understanding and its helpful application, or compromising on the required corrections, is understandably harmful.

    I think it is essential for people to learn to be as helpful as possible and as harmless as possible. That means personally expanding awareness and improving understanding and applying what is learned to help develop sustainable improvements, and helping others do that. And voting helpfully, and helping others vote more helpfully, is a key part of that individual action.

    Rather than provide examples of what I do I will share the basics of the approach I try to use to help others expand their awareness and improve their understanding and apply that learning to be less harmful and become more helpful. It is a work in progress, but this is its current form. (A recent example would be my comments on the “Silk Road article”).

    A bit of personal Background:

    I try to stick to the fundamentals of constantly improving awareness and understanding regarding any issue and applying what I learn to try to help others and avoid harm being done or reduce the risk of harm. I learned that was the foundation of being a Good Engineer. And it was reinforced by my MBA education which I pursued out of interest in expanded awareness and understanding to be helpful, not in order to get richer quicker.

    My MBA education in the 1980s, and my engineering career, taught me that misleading marketing can be temporarily effective but eventually fails, so Good Managers should not use it. My MBA education also taught me that there were very few case studies of Businesses that were Helpful Good Ethical participants in society. Seems that the pursuit of popularity and profit can compromise good understanding and helpful intentions.

    I live in Alberta, Canada. I often encounter people who don’t get climate science and the required corrections of developed human activity. Many appear to resist getting it because getting it would require them to give up beliefs and actions that they have developed a liking for.

    What I try to do when given an opportunity to discuss climate change:

    The following is an Idealized outline of my approach to a comment that initiates the opportunity to discuss human climate change impacts. I try to follow it to avoid getting sucked into a foundation-less argument. I also try to not ‘match the attitude’ of the person I interact with if they start to get angry. That can be difficult because mimicking is a good thing in an interaction when we are collaborating, but the Fight side of Fight or Flight seems to wire us to mimic the increased aggressive behaviour of the person we are engaged with.

    I Start by establishing that:

    • Everyone’s actions add up to become the future. This is key to inoculate against beliefs that Others should act first, especially that totally incorrect but very common demand that the Chinese and Indian populations are the climate change impact problem, rather than understanding that per-person impacts are the point. It also blocks someone from claiming the freedom to believe and do as they please because one person’s actions are no big deal.

    • Improved awareness and understanding applied to help develop sustainable improvements and reduce harm done is a Governing Objective. This ties to my primary interest in raising awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (all of the SDGs), and the key importance of limiting human climate change impacts.

    • I see little point in further discussion without this fundamental awareness and understanding being established.

    I then try to establish the following points of understanding, based on the source information I refer to (I am careful about referring to the IPCC or SkS. Many people seem to have developed an impulsive dislike of the IPCC and SkS, especially in Alberta):

    • In the 1800s there was the initial development of awareness and understanding that GHGs in the atmosphere increase the temperature at the surface of the planet, and particularly that increased CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels could become a significant influence: I initially refer to Wikipedia History of climate change science. If there are questions about Wikipedia’s validity, I refer to the SkS History of Climate Science. That is a well-presented alternative to Wikipedia that has matching content and adds reference to “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer R. Weart, and the Timeline webpage on the American Institute of Physics website.

    • Evidence of recent increase in levels of atmospheric CO2: NOAA Greenhouse Gas Website (also shows trends for CH4, N2O and SF6)

    • Evidence of recent increase of global average surface temperature: NASA/GISTemp data set (I refer to the SkS Trend Calculator if the person wonders about other temperature data sets, and I discussion the difference between surface temperature data and satellite data)

    • Evidence of recent reduction of Arctic, Antarctic and Greenland ice extents and mass: NSIDC, particularly the Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis page.

    • Rising sea levels due to warming of oceans as well as loss of ice, not just Antarctica and Greenland: NASA Sea Level Change.

    If I get agreement on those fundamentals, I bring up the Sustainable Development Goals and the understood need to achieve all of them through individual action, particularly getting individuals to vote for parties that will try to achieve the SDGs, all of them. And I point out that stopping climate change impacts of human activity is a major helpful action, because more significant human caused climate change makes it harder to achieve almost all of the SDGs.

    I then return to discussing the fundamental objective of learning to help develop sustainable improvements and learning to stop harmful actions, tied to knowing that Everybody’s actions add up to the future (negatives if they are harmful). And I try to make the point that there is no neutral position. There is no harmless bystander. Harm is harm. It is not balanced by doing good. A rare exception is trying to help an individual in a way that may harm them – the medical intervention dilemma. Aside from that type of rare Ethical dilemma all other considerations are pretty simple Do No Harm, and Try to Help Others.

    How I bring up climate change when given an opportunity to discuss any of the Sustainable Development Goals (there is so much covered by the SDGs that there are many opportunities for this type of discussion):

    I use an approach that is similar to the climate change one above:

    •  Start by pointing out that Everyone’s actions add up to become the future. And Improved awareness and understanding ….

    • Raise fundamental awareness and all of the SDGs, and the history of development of awareness and understanding that resulted in the SDGs: WWI – League of Nations (failure) WWII – UN, Universal Declaration of Human Rights (still a battle to have embraced and honoured by all Leadership) – everything since including Millennium Development Goals and SDGs.

    • Once agreement of importance of achieving all of the SDGs is established introduce the importance of stopping human climate change impacts because climate change makes achieving the SDGs so much harder.

    Regarding how people vote:

    I find it challenging to get people I encounter to consider changing their vote. Even if I can get a person to understand and agree that the threat of climate change impacts requires significant corrections of what has developed popularity and profitability, it can be very difficult to get them to change what party they vote for. Many people in Alberta are motivated by the wealth that they have developed a liking for obtaining from the export of fossil fuels combined with the comfort, convenience and enjoyment they can get from using fossil fuels.

    The majority of people in Alberta seem to have develop a liking for a certain type of political group based on uncritical identification, particularly just needing to see the Name Conservative or the political position being commented on as Right-wing (that type of party was Alberta’s leadership from 1931 through to 2015, and it returned to power in 2019). The recent time when a non-Conservative party won the leadership happened because there were two well-known Conservative Right-wing parties almost evenly splitting the Conservative/Right-wing votes (though the winning NDP did get a significant number of votes).
    And many of those Conservative supporters seem uninterested in investigating the helpfulness/harmfulness of the current set of actions and intentions of the political group they developed a liking for. Their natural inclination is to resist change. And that can be powerful enough to make them resist learning, resist fully correcting or expanding their awareness and understanding. Even getting them to be very concerned about climate change may not be enough to get them to change who they vote for. Some of them seem so ‘identity locked-in’ that they may dislike many of the current actions and plans of the party they developed a liking for, but they will still support it, accepting and making-up poor excuses for the harmful cheating actions and incorrect misleading claims made by Their Party because, well, it is Their Party and they want it to Win, they resist changing their mind (much like sports fans can excuse harmful cheating behaviours by Their Favourite Teams).

    I have tried to help them understand that the party they are supporting may have harmfully changed from what they developed a liking for. It may have moved to embrace the support of harmfully self-interested people and that change will damage the Brand they like to identify with. To be fair, many of them probably like their Party because of a harmful self-interest, but they are unlikely to openly admit it.

    Based on reading international political news I am quite sure that this also occurs with Right-wing parties and supporters in other nations. You may get them to understand climate science and the identified required corrections, but you are unlikely to get them to vote for a party that is not Conservative/Right-wing. And good luck getting them to succeed in pushing Their Correction Resistant Party to disappoint a significant portion of the Party’s dedicated motivated relied-on voter pool – all those who have a self-interest in personally benefiting as much as possible from the actions of the Party they support, especially the really rich supporters.

  • I had an intense conversation at work today.

    Eclectic at 12:55 PM on 15 January, 2020

    Doug_C @17 , the comment by TomJanson (as he rightly points out) was not simply referring to an isolated "bad year" of Australian wildfires in the end-1974 summer.   There were many & extensive fires in other years of the 20th Century ~ yet they don't support the denialist case he is desperate to make.

    But hilariously, TomJanson seems to have failed to take a careful look at a map of Australia.   Perhaps he is too busy himself "fighting fires"  on multiple SkS threads at once?    ;-)


    TomJanson @ 16 /18 , you seem to be basing your opinion on just reading a few headines  (WUWT?  Murdoch Press with its "183 arsonists" and suchlike flagrant disinformation?)

    Yes, the state of NSW is one of the "eastern states" of Australia, and the 1974 summer wildfires did include a section of the well-settled Hunter Valley near the coast.   But there were vast areas burnt to the west in NSW ~ which is typical inland terrain, being grasslands / arid lands / unpopulated regions (the "Outback").

    The frequency of burning of large areas of "Outback" . . . provides an apples & oranges comparison with the currently famous fires in the populous south-east of Australia.  And provides a "statistical camouflage"  for desperadoes like Dr Spencer, who really don't wish to properly examine the issues.   His is a fine exampe of Motivated Reasoning . . . as is all climate-science denialism.

    And I did not say "these fires are completely different".   But they are different enough, for it to be wise to learn a lesson from them.   For irregular/"noisy" events like major wildfires (in Australia), we have to look at exacerbating factors & underlying causations (of which there are many).

    Over the long term, one prominent new factor is Global Warming.

    How much can we blame AGW for the extent & ferocity of the fires?   At an educated guess, perhaps one-third of it can be blamed on climate change.

    #  The point is, with the ongoing warming over the next 30 years , it could well be that the AGW factor will grow to become two-thirds contributor to the extent & ferocity of wildfires in the "settled south-east of Australia".   (Other regions of the world will have their own problems.)

    But the modern wildfires of 2019 are becoming a wake-up call to the local population (and a warning to the rest of the world) . . . and as a consequence to that, the science-denialists are very desperate to propagandize against the obvious AGW connection.

  • I had an intense conversation at work today.

    Eclectic at 23:02 PM on 14 January, 2020

    TomJanson , like Barryn56 @ post #8 , has failed to understand the essential differences in 1974 and 2019.

    In the 1970's (and 60's and other years) there were frequent very extensive areas burnt ~ mostly grasslands / arid lands / unpopulated regions   An apples and oranges comparison with the fires of end-2019.

    Dr Spencer and other anti-science apologists try to drown the significant differences, with a flood of misleading statistics.   (They are desperately trying to prevent the "sleepers" waking to the new realities of AGW.)

    Better analysis is found with Nick Stokes at his moyhu.blogspot and his twitter comments.   (For those unaware of Stokes, he is one of the few sane scientists to be found in the comments columns of WUWT ~ he is almost universally reviled & loathed by the Wattupians, because he shows them up for what they are.)

  • Here Are 3 Climategate Myths That Have Not Aged Well

    One Planet Only Forever at 09:30 AM on 1 December, 2019

    blub @36,

    "Give me 10-100Million dollars and i will design a model which will show that cimate correlates with anything you want it to correlate..."

    I believe you could try but you would unlimately not be able to sustain any perceptions you create that do not actually match or reasonably explain the robust diversity of observations and information that is available.

    Dr. Roy Spencer has repeatedly tried to get 'his interpretation of satellite data to indicate temperatures in the atmosphere, not at the planet surface' to prove that global average surface warming is not happening the way the climate science has determined it most likely is happening at the surface. He has had to correct his interpretation many times when the results of his way of interpretting the data failed to make sense. But he persists in trying to make-up any possible claim that warming is not occurring, or is not significant, or is beneficial even those everyone with increased awareness and understanding of what is going on 'actually knows better'.

  • Here Are 3 Climategate Myths That Have Not Aged Well

    One Planet Only Forever at 07:22 AM on 20 November, 2019

    Questions regarding Dr. Roy Spencer include:

    • "Why is he still able to be perceived to be a pursuer and professor of expanded awareness and improved understanding?"
    • "How is he able to still have his work funded, given the history of misunderstanding he has presented, including the many misleading presentations of the results of his manipulations of satellite data?"

    It appears that the developed socioeconomic-political systems have become so corrupted by selfish pursuit of personal interest that Popularity and Profitability have been able to get significant control over "The direction of Thought". And that harmful selfishness is able to drive Thinking away from the pursuit of expanded awareness and understanding and the development of sustainable improvements for the benefit of the future of humanity.

  • Here Are 3 Climategate Myths That Have Not Aged Well

    nigelj at 06:09 AM on 20 November, 2019

    Roy Spencer is in charge of a group doing upper atmosphere temperature analysis. If his group were the only group doing this there would be a good case to discontinue his funding, given the misleading comments, sour grapes  comments, and straw men he comes out with in the quotes mentioned @comment 3. Anyway his comments are also completely unscientific.

  • Here Are 3 Climategate Myths That Have Not Aged Well

    One Planet Only Forever at 04:10 AM on 20 November, 2019

    The careful deliberate deceiver Dr. Roy Spencer continues to present more evidence of how deliberately deceptive he continues to be.

    His take on the 10th anniversary of Climate-gate opens with the following gem: "... the unfortunate truth is that fewer and fewer people actually care about the truth." He relates that to his set-up point that a believer of Truth would be a "...skeptic of the modern tendency to blame every bad weather event on humans".

    He follows that misrepresentation set-up with a doozy of Fictional Tale built on his carefully selected bits of Non-Fiction. His New Fable makes the initial Climate-gate Fiction appear almost Non-Fiction (less Fantasy) by comparison.

    It opens with the following Fantastically incorrect Fairy Tale claim.

    "You see, it does not really matter whether a few bad actors (even if they are leaders of the climate movement) conspired to hide data and methods, and strong-arm scientific journal editors into not publishing papers that might stand in the way of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) mission to pin climate change on humans, inflate its seriousness, and lay the groundwork for worldwide governmental efforts to reduce humanity’s access to affordable energy."

    And his fans and the lovers of WUWT will fervently passionately belief the Fairy Tales. That is an expected result of developing a powerful personal interest in benefiting from an understandably harmful and ultimately dead-end activity like fossil fuel use.

    Future generations cannot continue to benefit from burning fossil fuels, they are non-renewable. All the future generations get is the increased challenges and harmful results created by what the previous generations 'choose to continue to do'. That Non-Fiction cannot be acknowledged in the Fantasy-Fiction-Filled made-up minds of the likes of Spencer and Watts.

    The Sustainable Development Goals are like Garlic or Sunlight to the Vampire-like fantasy beliefs of the likes of Spencer and WUWT.

  • There's no empirical evidence

    MA Rodger at 02:18 AM on 27 August, 2019

    billev @385 & 386.

    As well as setting out some quite complex questions that could be interpreted in different ways and which could do with being clarified, it would be useful to specifically understand why you say "there appears to be no evidence"?

    It occurs to me that this sounds a bit like a passage in the chat Roy Spencer gave at the Heartland shindig at the end of last month. (His grand assertion was "And as we add CO2 the theory says we've reduced the ability of the earth to cool itself by about one percent. That's according to theory not measurements. None of our satellite measurements of any kind are good enough to measure that. It's a theoretical expectation." Of course, as is usually the case with statements from Roy Spencer, it is wrong.)

    And as the subject is quite a complex one, it might be better to kick-off discussing it with a clear understanding of what you are actually asking about. Thus, could you explain why you say "there appears to be no evidence"?

  • Residence Time and Prof Essenhigh

    MA Rodger at 03:15 AM on 26 August, 2019

    daveburton @35,

    It would be better if you could come up with some support for your advocacy of Spencer's silly model rather than presenting unsupported assertions that it is "correct". All we have otherwise is the 'big ocean' which you say must be thus effectively an infinitely large sink. You tell us "Mankind has increased CO2 level in the atmosphere by about 47%. We've increased carbon content in the oceans by only about 0.4%." (Note Roy doesn't reckon to your 47% figure.)

    If that was correct that the percentage ocean carbon increase has to match the atmospheric percentage increase (which it doen't), that will have massive implications for a whole lot of stuff. (1) The projections of CO2 levels in the RCP scenarios would be massively revised if Spencer's model were anything like reflective of reality. Now I know Spencer denies that CO2 has any sigificant warming impact on the climate but this CO2 model would give him a brilliant second string to his contrarian bow (and how he needs one, as the other ones have proved pretty useless). (2) The implications for ocean acidification are massive and for fresh water it doesn't bear thinking about. (3) The low CO2 levels of the ice ages will have to be entirely re-thought. If atmospheric CO2 levels drop by a third, there would be 13,000Gt(C) being pumped out the oceans and into .... where? Golly, that's a tricky one!!

    Yet (and I note that up-thread I wrongly called it a blog from last year 2018) in the four months since this model was posted (April 2019), I see no reference to it beyond that blog. It didn't even get a posting on the planet Wattsupia (which is a really bad sign!!!) Is Spencer too busy chatting to fellow contrarians at the Heartland Institute (where he seemed to have said nothing about his grand revalation)? So why the silence? My take is that Spencer's model is so embarassing that Spencer hopes it goes away. So, daveburton, you are not helping the reputation of poor old Roy with your insistence that his model is correct (when it patently isn't).

    By the way, that long fat tail may be a lot stumpier than Spencer's model implies. The idea that the oceans are sucking up carbon at a rate constant with the level of atmospheric CO2 above an equilibrium of 295ppm(v) doesn't seem to hold over the period 1958-2010. Rather than a constant level of uptake, the rate has dropped by a half from the start of this period (1959-78) to the end of this period (1991-2010). That isn't exactly constant over centuries as Spencer's model assumes.

    In truth, daveburton, your words do correctly assess Spencer's model when you say "If you start with a physically impossible assumption, you get a physically impossible result." That is exactly what Spencer's silly exercise in curve-fitting has done.

  • Residence Time and Prof Essenhigh

    Eclectic at 00:19 AM on 26 August, 2019

    Daveburton ,

    I appreciate your comedic comments about wires and feedbacks.  Although they belong in an earlier lesson than Homeostasis 101.

    Likewise, Dr Spencer's Simple Model provides farcical amusement, thanks to its disconnect with reality — why yes, its curve fits reality at least in part . . . just as the Aristotelian model of the planets is a moderately good fit to the observed motion of the planets across the night sky, at least in part!!   But unlike our Spencer, our Aristotle had a decent excuse for his blunders.

    Daveburton, when I mentioned sitting back and observing "another 40 years or so" , I was of course not alluding to the future experience of someone as unimportant as me (or possibly you).   Or perhaps you were just pulling my leg about "that", too.

    No . . . I was alluding to something far more important: namely the human race.   And here we get to the crunch, Daveburton, the really important point about Spencer's far-too-simple-to-be-scientifically-useful  model.

    #  What do you  think was the actual underlying reason for Dr Spencer to publicize his strange little "Simple Model".

    ( Not for comedy, I suspect.   Nor for the edification of genuine climate scientists.)

  • Residence Time and Prof Essenhigh

    daveburton at 21:52 PM on 25 August, 2019

    Eclectic wrote, "your heated-wire analogy is even wider of the mark..."

    It is just a simple example illustrating a general principle. It's how negative feedback systems work. If the removal rate increases with system output level, that's a negative feedback mechanism. A constant forcing input will then result in a plateau at "equilibrium," where the negative feedback has caught up with the constant input.

    That's true when the input forcing is energy added to your toaster via electricity, and the negative feedback mechanism is radiative & convective heat loss from a nichrome wire.

    It's also true when the input forcing is CO2 added to the atmosphere, and the negative feedback is CO2 removal from the atmosphere via dissolution in the oceans and terrestrial plant uptake.

    The principle is true regardless of whether the negative feedback is linear or nonlinear. For the nichrome wire example, there are actually three significant negative feedbacks, all with different transfer functions: radiative heat loss goes up in proportion to the 4th power of the temperature relative to 0K, convective heat loss goes up in approximate proportion to the temperature difference between the wire and ambient air, and the resistance of the wire also goes up with temperature. The fact that all three have different-shaped transfer functions doesn't affect the conclusion: because they are negative feedbacks, a constant input (forcing) must result in a plateuing output, gradually approaching equilibrium.

    Eclectic continued, "The design of the Simple Model fits at best tangentially with physical reality."

    It fits extremely well for the period for which we have accurate measurements:


    Eclectic continued, "nor do we have the luxury of time to sit back and observe another 40 years or so, as the Simple Model diverges from the (complex) real world."

    Well, I obviously don't, at my age.

    But mankind does have that luxury, and you should not expect Roy's Simple Model to diverge much from reality over the next 40 years. It is the "long, fat tail" (due to increased carbon levels in non-atmospheric reservoirs) which is not modeled by the Simple Model. Regardless of what happens with CO2 emission rates, CO2 removal over the next 40 years will be dominated by the removal mechanisms which the Simple Model models well.

    Eclectic continued, "the paleo evidence demonstrates the falsity of Spencer's too-simple Simple Model."

    All models are false, but some are useful. Roy's Simple Model is very useful. It is a very good fit to measured reality, and it will continue to be a good fit as long as the CO2 removal mechanisms which are currently most important continue to be most important. When CO2 levels drop below 300 ppmv, and the accumulation of anthropogenic carbon in non-atmospheric reservoirs becomes an important factor affecting atmospheric CO2 levels, then his Simple Model will diverge from reality.

    MA Roger wrote, "Yes, the oceans are big. Yes, the oceans contain contain sixty-times the carbon found in the pre-industrian atmosphere (which was in full equilibrium with the oceans). But what has that got to do with your "fact"?"

    Mankind has increased CO2 level in the atmosphere by about 47%. We've increased carbon content in the oceans by only about 0.4%.

    So, why does that matter? Because it is that accumulation of carbon in non-atmospheric reservoirs that is not modeled by Roy's Simple Model. In other words, his Simple Model assumes the other carbon reservoirs have infinite capacity.

    That's a pretty good simplifying assumption, as long as the anthropogenic increase in atmospheric CO2 dwarfs the anthropogenic increase in carbon in other reservoirs. It will diverge from approximating reality during the "long, fat tail," when the anthropogenic increment in atmospheric carbon dioxide no longer dwarfs the anthropogenic increase in carbon in other reservoirs.

    MA Roger wrote, "it is very odd that they would ever allow atmospheric levels to remain constant while the ocean absorbed a large constant flux of dissolving CO2."

    Atmospheric levels will remain constant when transfer of carbon to the oceans and other carbon reservoirs removes CO2 from tha air as quickly as anthropogenic emissions are adding it. (They're currently removing it only about half as fast as we're adding it.)

    MA Roger asked, "Have you actually examined the workings of Spencer's model?"

    Of course.

    MA Roger wrote, "If you set the future anthropogenic emissions to a fixed value... atmospheric CO2 levels tend to a constant value"

    Which is, of course, correct.

    MA Roger wrote, "while negative emissions, suck out 15Gt(C)/yr and by AD2191 the atmosphere is entirely denuded of CO2. daveburton, doesn't that strike you as "very odd"?"

    Not at all. If you start with a physically impossible assumption, you get a physically impossible result. The only thing I can think of which could possibly remove a net 15 GtC/year from the atmosphere when CO2 levels are below 300 ppmv, is some idiot genetically engineering a fast-growing, fast-propagating C4 tree.

    Please don't do that! The Earth doesn't need another K-T Extinction!

  • Residence Time and Prof Essenhigh

    MA Rodger at 20:49 PM on 24 August, 2019

    daveburton @32,

    Yes, the oceans are big. Yes, the oceans contain contain sixty-times the carbon found in the pre-industrian atmosphere (which was in full equilibrium with the oceans). But what has that got to do with your "fact"?

    The ocean carbon content is a complex mix of carbonate species that populate our salty seas. The actual amount of dissolved carbon dioxide in the whole global ocean  is a tiny portion of the total, perhaps 200Gt(C), less than a quarter of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is this alone that that the atmosphere directly balances with (this balance achieved only when it appears at the surface).

    Given the complex set of carbonate species within the oceans and the complex ocean currents, it is very odd that they would ever allow atmospheric levels to remain constant while the ocean absorbed a large constant flux of dissolving CO2. (When I say "very odd" I mean it is utter nonsense.) And were it not so, the accepted scientific works on the subject would be themselves very odd.

    Have you actually examined the workings of Spencer's model? (The spreadsheet of it is linked on this Spencer blogpage) If you set the future anthropogenic emissions to a fixed value (Spencer sets it to 10.109Gt(C)/yr) , atmospheric CO2 levels tend to a constant value:-

    CO2[atm-ppm] = 195 + 20 x Emissions[GtC]

    So drop emissions to zero and see the pre-industrial CO2 level restored in two centuries. while negative emissions, suck out 15Gt(C)/yr and by AD2191 the atmosphere is entirely denuded of CO2.

    daveburton, doesn't that strike you as "very odd"?

  • Residence Time and Prof Essenhigh

    Eclectic at 05:17 AM on 24 August, 2019

    Sorry, Daveburton, but your heated-wire analogy is even wider of the mark than Dr Spencer's much-too-simple Simple Model.

    The design of the Simple Model fits at best tangentially with physical reality.   And 40 years is a short period — nor do we have the luxury of time to sit back and observe another 40 years or so, as the Simple Model diverges from the (complex) real world.

    As MA Rodger points out : the paleo evidence demonstrates the falsity of Spencer's too-simple Simple Model.

  • Residence Time and Prof Essenhigh

    daveburton at 00:54 AM on 24 August, 2019

    Eclectic wrote, " ...the 500ppm figure that the model indicates cannot be exceeded under Dr Spencer's stated conditions of artificiality."

    Dr. Spencer's simple model does not say that 500 ppmv can never be exceeded under any circumstances. But if emissions are held steady at 10 Gt/year, atmospheric CO2 level will level-off at just shy of 500 ppmv.

    That should not surprise you. It is a natural result of the historically-verified fact that when CO2 levels go up, so do CO2 removal rates. That simple fact, alone, even without reference to a particular quantified model, ensures that a constant CO2 emission rate must result in a plateau in CO2 level.

    Do you have an electric stove or toaster? Even though you keep pumping electricity into the nichrome wires, the temperature levels off, and ceases to rise. That's simply because the rate of energy loss rises with the temperature. So the temperature plateaus as it approaches equilibrium: the level where incoming and outgoing energy flows are balanced.

    Since the rate of CO2 loss from the atmosphere rises with the CO2 level, the CO2 level must plateau, as it approaches the level at which the flows of CO2 into and out of the atmosphere are the same.

    MA Rodger wrote, "This is plainly nonsense. Where does all this extra carbon accumulate?"

    It's not nonsense, it's fact.

    The extra carbon migrates to other reservoirs, like the oceans (the biggest), soil, marine sediments, etc.  Those reservoirs dwarf the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and, importantly, dwarf the amount of carbon available in recoverable fossil fuels.

    MA Rodger wrote, "if humanity restricts itself to pumping 10Gt(C)/year ... continuing year-after-year for ever-&-ever-&-ever..."

    Fossil fuels are a finite resource. So we obviously will not (cannot!) continue to emit 10 GtC/yr from fossil fuels "for ever and ever."

    Have you never wondered why most people assume CO2 levels won't ever exceed 600-800 ppmv? It's because for CO2 levels to continue to rise at their current rate, CO2 emissions must continue to accelerate — and resource constraints ensure that that can't continue forever. So the rise in CO2 levels must  taper off.

    What's more, even if CO2 emissions accelerate fast enough to maintain the current growth rate in atmospheric CO2 level, that would mean CO2's climate forcing trend will fall below linear. Since the warming effect of CO2 is logarithmically diminishing, in order to maintain a linearly increasing temperature forcing from CO2, the growth rate of CO2 levels in the atmosphere must increase approximately exponentially.

    That is, in fact, what has happened, for the last forty years or so. CO2 emissions have increased so dramatically that CO2 levels have increased on an approximately exponential curve, so the temperature forcing from rising CO2 levels has increased at an approximately linear rate (actually slightly more than linear). You can see that in a graph of log(CO2). Notice how straight the graph is for the last forty years:
    CO2 atmospheric dry molar fraction (ppmv), 1800-2019 (preliminary), log scale

  • Residence Time and Prof Essenhigh

    MA Rodger at 19:03 PM on 23 August, 2019

    daveburton @27,

    The problem is as described by Eclectic @28&30. Roy Spencer is not renowned for errorless analysis. This 2018 blog of Spencer's you rely on is no more than an exercise in curve-fitting that leads to the ridiculous conclusion that if humanity restricts itself to pumping 10Gt(C)/year of CO2 into the atmosphere (as it did in 2018), continuing year-after-year for ever-&-ever-&-ever, the atmospheric CO2 level will stablise over 200 years at 500ppm(v) CO2.

    This is plainly nonsense. Where does all this extra carbon accumulate? And if paleoclimate studies show atmospheric CO2 levels in past eons at 2,000ppm for over a hundred million years, were did the carbon come from to maintain such levels? According to Spencer's model, simply to maintain it at 500ppm over such a period would require emissions upward of 1Zt(C). I'm pretty sure the planet doesn't contain that much carbon!!

    You are perhaps correct to suggest that many misinterpret the Airbourne Fraction which is simply a product of our rising emissions. It is not a subject much discussed beyond the Af concept itself. In terms of the draw-down mechanism, Af is a very poor concept to start from. So in Af terms in 2018, that 57% of 2018 CO2 emissions drawn-down out of the atmosphere is better seen as comprising something like a draw-down of 4% of the emissions 2014-18, 2.5% of the emissions 1999-2013, 0.6% of the emissions 1919-98, etc. These approximate numbers I obtain by scaling one of the 1000_cswv plots in Fig 1 of Archer et al (2009) 'Atmospheric Lifetime of Fossil Fuel Carbon Dioxide' which models a single 1,000Gt(C) impulse. The draw-down dynamics under the gradual release of AGW mean these numbers will not entirely match the AGW numbers, but they do well enough as a rough guide.

  • Residence Time and Prof Essenhigh

    Eclectic at 17:43 PM on 23 August, 2019

    Yes, thank you, Daveburton, I noticed the 295ppm figure — and also the 500ppm figure that the model indicates cannot be exceeded under Dr Spencer's stated conditions of artificiality.

    Curiouser and curiouser, as Lewis Carroll would say.  As you know, he ("Carroll") was a mathematician — but even the delightful nonsenses his fertile mind created, had not extended into acronyms like GIGO.   He would have had fun with that sort of thing !

  • Residence Time and Prof Essenhigh

    daveburton at 15:09 PM on 23 August, 2019

    Thanks, Mr. Moderator!

    I'm sorry, I guess trying to post code in-line was just a bad idea. The tiny program is in this archive, as along with everything else needed to run it under Windows, and some other stuff:

    Eclectic, Dr. Spencer's simple model is doubtless a good approximation of reality as long as CO2 levels are well above 300 ppmv, which corresponds to atmospheric CO2 levels and removal rates that are known with good accuracy. For CO2 levels below 315 ppmv (dates older than 1958) the numbers get fuzzier.

    Did you notice the relatively high "natural equilibrium" level he found (295 ppmv)? That might reflect the anthropogenic additions to larger carbon reservoirs, like ocean and soil, and it might be evidence of the widely assumed "long, fat tail."

  • Residence Time and Prof Essenhigh

    Eclectic at 13:48 PM on 23 August, 2019

    Daveburton @27 ,

     someone of note once said: things should be made as simple as possible . . . but not too simple.

    Dr Spencer has made an interesting exercise in curve-fitting, somewhat resembling the multi-planet atmospheric pressure/temperature curve-fitting that "demonstrated" the non-existence of the GreenHouse Effect.  ( To his credit, Spencer has always been scathing about those who claim the non-existence of the GHE. )

    For the "simple model", Dr Spencer has also made some peculiar assumptions about the "natural equilibrium" ; about terrestrial biosphere CO2 draw-down ; and about the oceanic contribution ( CO2 solubility, buffering, and overturning currents timescales ).

    The Spencer "simple model" is so simple, that it is simply unphysical.

    I would like to think Dr Spencer would consider it a waste of your time for you to rest an important argument on such over-simplicity.

  • Residence Time and Prof Essenhigh

    daveburton at 10:31 AM on 23 August, 2019

    Trying again, with explicit line-breaks added...

    Mr. Moderator, I meant no offense, but I'm not aware of any comment policy that I violated, and I do not understand why you deleted so much of my comment.

    MA Rodger, here's where the "about fifty year" practical residence/adjustment time comes from. Well, actually, a number of scientists have independently calculated approximately the same figure, but this is how I did it.

    Start with the observation that the rate at which natural systems (oceans & terrestrial biosphere, mainly) remove CO2 from the air is governed chiefly by the CO2 level in the air.  When the CO2 level is higher, so is the removal rate. When the CO2 level is lower, so is the removal rate.

    Some people think the removal rate is governed by the emission rate, and that it's necessarily "about half" (leaving an "airborne fraction" which is also about half). They are mistaken. There is no physical mechanism by which any of the major contributors to the removal rate could be governed by the emission rate. It is the CO2 level, not the CO2 emission rate, which primarily governs the removal rate.

    For the oceans, the removal mechanism is dissolution into surface water per Henry's Law, and then then transport to the ocean depths by currents and calcifying coccolithophores, and complex chemistry which is beyond my ken.

    For the terrestrial biosphere it is "greening."

    AR5 estimates that the terrestrial biosphere removes about (2.5/9.2) = 27% [p. 6-3] or 29% [Fig 6.1] of anthropogenic CO2 emissions from the atmosphere, each year, and that the oceans remove another 26% [Fig 6.1]. (There are wide error bars on those numbers, but the ≈55% sum has narrower error bars than the two addends have.)

    Of course, other things also affect the CO2 removal rate, as is obvious, for example, from the detectable effect of very large volcanic erruptions on measured CO2 levels. But the most important factor governing the CO2 removal rate from the atmosphere is clearly the CO2 level in the atmosphere.

    Those numbers are known, with fair precision. For the last sixty years we have very good records of both atmospheric CO2 levels and production/use rates of fossil fuels & cement (from which can quantify the main sources of anthropogenic CO2 emissions).

    From those data we can calculate how much CO2 was removed from the atmosphere by natural sinks (oceans, biosphere, etc.), each year.

    Since we also know the atmospheric CO2 level each year, we can easily build a spreadsheet, and fit a curve, showing the approximate net rate of CO2 removal as a function of the CO2 level.

    Dr. Roy Spencer did that, and found it is very closely approximated by a very simple function, which you can read about here:

    Using Dr. Spencer's "simple model," I wrote a tiny Perl program to simulate the effect on atmospheric CO2 level of a sudden cutoff of CO2 emissions. Counting 280 ppmv as "pre-industrial," 63% of the anthropogenic CO2 is gone from the atmosphere in 54 years, and 2/3 is gone in 60 years:


    # estimate CO2 removal rate in ppmv/yr as a function of CO2 level in ppmv,
    # per Dr. Roy Spencer's "simple model"
    # ref:
    # of-the-atmospheric-co2-budget/
    sub removal_rate {
      local($co2level) = shift;
      local($removalrate) = 0;
      local($co2elevation) = $co2level - 295.1;
      local($ratio) = 47.73;
      if ($co2level <= 295.1) {
        $removalrate = 0;
      } else {
        $removalrate = $co2elevation * 0.0233;
      return $removalrate;

    $co2level = 410;
    $year = 2019;
    print "Simulated CO2 level decline, with level starting at
    $co2level ppmv in $year, and zero emissions:\n";
    while ($co2level > 300) {
      printf("$year %5.1f\n", $co2level);
      $year += 1;
      $removalrate = &removal_rate( $co2level );
      $co2level -= $removalrate;

    Here's the result of a simulation run, with CO2 starting at 410 ppmv in 2019, and zero emissions:

    2019 410.0
    2020 407.3
    2021 404.7
    2022 402.2
    2023 399.7
    2024 397.2
    2025 394.8
    2026 392.5
    2027 390.3
    2028 388.0
    2029 385.9
    2030 383.8
    2031 381.7
    2032 379.7
    2033 377.7
    2034 375.8
    2035 373.9
    2036 372.1
    2037 370.3
    2038 368.5
    2039 366.8
    2040 365.1
    2041 363.5
    2042 361.9
    2043 360.4
    2044 358.8
    2045 357.3
    2046 355.9
    2047 354.5
    2048 353.1
    2049 351.7
    2050 350.4
    2051 349.1
    2052 347.9
    2053 346.6
    2054 345.4
    2055 344.3
    2056 343.1
    2057 342.0
    2058 340.9
    2059 339.8
    2060 338.8
    2061 337.8
    2062 336.8
    2063 335.8
    2064 334.9
    2065 333.9
    2066 333.0
    2067 332.2
    2068 331.3
    2069 330.4
    2070 329.6
    2071 328.8
    2072 328.0
    2073 327.3 <== residence/adjustment time (e-folding time) = 54 years (using 280 ppmv as base)
    2074 326.5
    2075 325.8
    2076 325.1
    2077 324.4
    2078 323.7
    2079 323.0 <== two-thirds of the anthropogenic CO2 is gone in 60 years (using 280 ppmv as base)

    Of course we know that this simple model would not accurately model the "long, fat tail," with CO2 levels under 300 ppmv. But the point I made previously is that, for practical purposes, that doesn't matter, because we all know that CO2 levels that low are harmless.

  • 'No doubt left' about scientific consensus on global warming, say experts

    shoyemore at 16:49 PM on 1 August, 2019


    Crescenti's letter has had little or no impact in Europe. This was the first I heard of it.

    Part of the right and far-right retain climate change denial as part of their DNA, but the recent (relative) success of the Greens in European elections has forced them to dial back. I am not sure if they have the stomach to fight this battle again, which they apparently lost.

    The letter reads like a regurgitation of standard boiler-plate denial. I could have been written by Roy Spencer. The inclusion of the name of Fred Switz and the pre-refuted NIPCC Report is a dead giveaway.

    However, there is no reason to be complacent. We await the stance of the Johnson UK Government on climate change - his cabinet contains "skeptics", and he has been ambivalent in the past.

  • 'No doubt left' about scientific consensus on global warming, say experts

    knaugle at 00:17 AM on 30 July, 2019

    Wow!  I occasionally peruse Roy Spencer's blog, and he definitely is not on board with the consensus.  His latest post is still beating the "urban heat island" and "it's always cold somewhere else" drums.  I wonder if he and John Christy are all that remains of the "3%"?  It's no surprise the political think tanks like CEI are pushing to not even mention this topic.  As I recall it was one of their key talking points 20 years ago, that scientists are all over the map on AGW. 

  • Roy Spencer on Climate Sensitivity - Again

    climate_watcher at 17:58 PM on 4 June, 2019

    Another Roy Spencer blog post on this topic, posted in our group for climate change news.

  • The human fingerprint in the daily cycle

    MA Rodger at 18:55 PM on 30 May, 2019


    Your initial comment on this thread @142 made quite an issue of "the moon’s huge day to night temperature swings" which doesn't seem to have been addressed properly. You correctly point out that the massive size of the change in lunar day-to-night temperature is due to the month-long Lunar day. The graph below shows the equitorial lunar temperature and the temperature range remains high all the way from the equator almost to the poles - even at 75º of latitude it has only dropped from a 300K swing to 200K.

    Lunar equitorial temperatures

    The portion of this lunar graphic of interest when considering the equivalent effect for a 24 Earth-hour rotation would be the 0.8 Lunar-hours centred on the Lunar average temperature. That would suggest a day-to-night equatorial temperature range of something like 80ºC. A more accurate calculation (the graphic below provided by climate skeptic Roy Spencer) shows an equitorial range of about 70ºC, a lot lower than the actual range for a planet with a GHG atmosphere. For instance Singapore has (or more correctly 'had') an average daily maximim of 30.3ºC and daily minimum of 23.5ºC, thus a range of just 7.2ºC.

    No-GHG Earth diurnal temperature graph

  • 10 Indicators of a Human Fingerprint on Climate Change

    MA Rodger at 02:56 AM on 5 May, 2019

    Wilmer_T @100,

    The paper you refer to is Varotsos & Efstathiou (2019) 'Has global warming already arrived?', the latest serving from a pair of nonsense-writers. Concerning increased height of the tropopause (fingerprint #9), this is found occurring in climate models and within atmispheric measurements, as shown by Santer et al (2001) cited by the OP above and this finding continues to be observed (eg Xian & Homeyer 2018).

    Varotsos & Efstathiou ignore this serious work entirely and instead use UAH TP satellite data to assert there is no increase in tropopause height because there is no increasing trend in UAH TP.  The use of such data is mind-blowingly stupid, as worthless as using a twelve inch ruler to measure the width of a human hair. UAH TP does not measure tropopause temperature. It measures a wide range of temperatures from the surface up to 24 km. Thus it is measuring the cooling stratosphere as well as the warming troposphere, two strong signals which will overwhelm entirely any tropopause tempoerature trend. The figure below is sourced from Spencer at UAH.

    UAH altitude ranges

  • The temperature evolution after 2016 suggests hotter future

    Eclectic at 12:05 PM on 23 March, 2019

    ThinkingMan , it's always worthwhile to step back occasionally and look at the bigger context.

    Global surface temperature had been at a fairly flat plateau for (roughly) 5,000 years of the Holocene Maximum ~ which has been followed by (roughly) 5 or 6,000 years of gradual decline (related to the Milankovitch cycle of insolation).   Owing to the present relatively-low ellipticity of the Earth's orbit, the next glacial phase is due in 20-30,000 years ~ and may be skipped altogether since the oceans are being unusually warmed by AGW.

    The Little Ice Age, the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period etcetera are only tiny wiggles in comparison to the multi-millennial decline in temperature.

    Against this long-term decline, you can see the last (roughly) 100 years demonstrates a temperature rise which is shooting upwards like a rocket.   And is now surpassing the Holocene Maximum.   IMO it is beyond ridiculous for denialists to assert that our modern-day global warming is the result of a 60-year oscillation in oceanic currents.

    Yet that is what some of the (more intelligent) denialists assert.   No need to waste your time reading Professor Curry's blog ~ she is still suggesting that "up to" 60% of modern warming could be caused by confluence of oceanic current cycles.   Quite marvellous it is, how a giant dose of "Motivated Reasoning" can so completely distort the rational thinking of an educated intelligent person.

    You see rather similar bizarre thinking coming from Lindzen & Spencer & others.   (And much of the remainder of denialists are still loudly proclaiming that CO2 has zero or negligible Greenhouse effect.)

  • Next self-paced run of Denial101x starts on March 5

    Philippe Chantreau at 04:14 AM on 14 March, 2019

    I agree with Eclectic. Feynman is a frequent mention by deniers, although they fail to see how different he was than anyone in their "camp." Feynman was very wary of any kind of certainty or emotional attachment to ideas. He argued that any good scientist is his (her) own worst enemy, and that one should always scrutinize his results, be open to revision or accept that a lot of work was spent on identifying something that was wrong or a dead end. The way that Spencer/Christy handled themselves with the successive corrections required to their work, which were identified and applied by others falls far from these standards, and yet these 2 are among the few legitimate scientists speaking against the consensus; interestingly, their own scientific work that has been subjected to proper scruntiny does not even support their public satements.

    Skepticism is the part of Feynman they like, but it requires them to imply that adequate scrutiny and the corresponding scientific approach has not been maintained for literaly thousands of papers to reach the current state of climate science. They try to do that and quickly show that they're full of it. The other important aspect is that Feynman actually was a brilliant physicist, who contributed to the current state of that science. Not one of the very few legitimate scientists speaking against the consensus has a comparable dimension.

    Finally, for all his whining against labeling deniers with a pyschological disorder, Prometheus shows some rather shining exmaple of it. He mentions how Feynman denounced the pressures applied by some of the NASA upper management to the whole program, to produce results and launch flights even when risk existed that the real scientists and engineers had identified. This is a clear example of people in position of power, with a strong political component to their role, overriding the judgement of those who actually know what they're talking about. Prometheus would not comment on successive administrations imposing silence on researchers, attempting to suppress or bury results, upper management watering down reports, etc. The most grotesque of all may be the Carolina's legislature attempt to ban the words "sea level rise acceleration." All this happened repeatedly under the Bush administration and has reached unprecedented levels in the current one. It is a blatant example of politics interfering with science, exactly what Prometheus claimed to be wary of, but somehow, that's not where his concerns were. The high quality skeptics he wanted to defend seem to be in ever dwindling supply...

  • Freedom of Information (FOI) requests were ignored

    Bob Loblaw at 02:29 AM on 11 March, 2019

    To address the specific quote that Rogue provides in #17:

    The quote should be interpreted as an indication that the single "temperature" value provided by the UAH model calculations (based on satellete-measured atmospheric radiation emissions - AKA brightness) are dependent on atmospheric conditions over the layer from the surface to roughly 8km. The value is not equally-weighted for all heights within that range. Spencer's web site shows the weighting for the various model values they produce:


    UAH satelltie channel weights (altitude)

  • 97 hours of consensus: caricatures and quotes from 97 scientists

    Marathon at 06:30 AM on 21 February, 2019

    Magma, The three deniers are  John Christy, Richard Lindzen, and Roy Spencer.

  • Freedom of Information (FOI) requests were ignored

    scaddenp at 13:46 PM on 29 December, 2018

    UAH is preferred by pseudo-skeptics because it has the lowest rate of warming of the available temperature series and is published by long-time climate skeptics, Spencer and Christie. Note that in past, pseudo-skeptics had been very keen on RSS for the same reason. 

    I dont think anyone is going to really rush in an say UAH is wrong or inferior. Like RSS, it is a record for tropospheric temperature rather than surface temperature derived from satellite MSU readings. It also has a troubled history - see here for details. It would have more credibility if the algorithms used were properly published as RSS does. The latest version is the joker in pack compared to other temperature series and appears to be also diverging from radiosonde readings. (eg see here). Time will tell. 

  • Climate scientists are in it for the money

    Philippe Chantreau at 08:27 AM on 26 December, 2018

    AFT, these claims are popular among people sharing a certain ideology. They amount to slightly more than conspiracy theory but not much, and they do not hold up to scrutiny. Virtually nobody arguing that way ever spends the time and effort necessary to determine how much reality underlies these claims.

    1) A large amount of research comes from NASA, and it continues to point in the same direction. Another body of research is from the military, i.e. Navy and Air Force. It shows the same as the rest of the evidence, some of it was very early on. Repeated attempts at silencing scientists or suppressing their work have been reported during the Bush administration, it has reached rdiculous proportions under Trump, so the problem is actually the other way around: anti AGW (whatever that may mean) actors actively try to silence researchers and do not fund research because they know that it will show the opposite of what they want to see. The BEST project was a shining example, look it up. Exxon did fund research and it showed the same thing as the research from other sources (see appropriate thread); it is not very surprising that they stopped funding it now, is it? Why would these actors continue to fund research that they know will show exactly the opposite of what their financial interests demand? How much have they actually funded, then suppressed, because it did not serve their interests?

    2) The only way to get funding should be to propose quality research that advances knowledge. That is the case for the vast majority of it. Denial motivated research in virtually all the publicized cases ends up of such poor quality that it generates questions on the review process that allowed it through. Multiple cases have been shown to be the results of intentional, organized peer-review hijacking, or the publicity was owed to gross misrepresentation of results, or press releases advertised conclusions that were not supported by the paper. A while ago, it was the infamous Soon-Baliunas, Legates, and a few others are there for your examination. The stream has dried up somewhat lately. Prominent denial voices (Spencer) still can not come up with research that truly supports their publicly voiced opinions.

    3) Exactly why would that be? Reviewers are often anonymous, what interest do they have to allow poor quality papers? Scientists tend to try to undermine each other's work far more than people realize. There is seldom better satisfaction than proving a competitor wrong.

    These arguments are neve accompanied by specifics. They simply don't hold up. Those who want to be convinced by them simply assume that they are true because it make sense to them, flatters their already held beliefs, and they never bother digging or just exploring the logic of it, as for the first argument. The real problem is this: nobody has a real financial incentive in climate science being correct, including scientists themselves. The effort that societies will have to produce to deal with it, whether they try to mitigate, remediate, or any combination will be enormous. Ask any any climate scientist if they wish climate science was wrong and see what their answer are.

  • The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

    One Planet Only Forever at 01:35 AM on 24 November, 2018

    There appears to be confusion due to incorrect conflating of:

    • Scientific consensus of understanding (development of an emergent truth that is open to correction if substantive new evidence is contrary to the developing understanding).
    • An individual's helpfulness in efforts to improve awareness and understanding: in the field of understanding, among leaders in society, among the general population.

    Individuals are not 'part of the 97% or 3%'. The consensus measure is regarding how much of the 'literature that is a legitimate part of the effort to improve the understanding of an area/field of understanding' is aligned with a developing understanding. As the degree of alignment increases it can be understood that an emergent truth is being established (an understanding that is unlikely to be significantly altered by new investigation in that field of learning).

    An evaluation of all of an individual's actions is the basis for determining how helpful they are to the improvement of the understanding and to the increased 'correct' awareness and understanding among leaders and the general population.

    While the likes of Judith Curry, Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen may have their names on a specific piece of literature that is included in the 97% side of the climate science consensus evaluation regarding the understanding that human activity is significantly impacting the global climate, that does not make them 'a part of the 97% side'.

    Individual merit would be determined by their collective actions regarding the understanding. That evaluation would undeniably indicate that the likes of Judith Curry, Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen are very unhelpful (harmful) to the improvement of awareness and understanding the understanding that human activity is significantly (and negatively) impacting the global climate that future generations will suffer the consequences of and the challenge of trying to maintain perceptions of prosperity that are the result of a portion of humanity getting away with benefiting from the damaging unsustainable burning of fossil fuels (benefiting in ways that do not develop sustainable improvements for the future of humanity - like perceptions of reduction of poverty that cannot be sustained if the damaging impact creation of fossil fuels is significantly and rapidly curtailed like it has to be in order to minimize the damage done to the future generations of humanity).

  • The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

    michael sweet at 00:19 AM on 24 November, 2018

    Spencer's papers put him in the 3% that do not agree with the consensus. Regarding Spencer:

    "This statement is wrong because it misses the nuance in our study. The "skeptic" papers included those that rejected human-caused global warming and those that minimized the human influence. Since we made all of our data available to the public, you can see our ratings of Spencer's abstracts here. Five of his papers were captured in our literature search; we categorized four as 'no opinion' on the cause of global warming, and one as implicitly minimizing the human influence.

    Thus, contrary to his testimony, Spencer was not included in the 97 percent consensus. In fact his research was included in the fewer than 3 percent of papers that either rejected or minimized the human contribution to global warming." source my emphasis

    Spencer claims to be part of the 97% since no-one would listen to him is he admitted that he is not part of the consensus.   Spencer is not part of the consensus.

  • The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

    Eclectic at 14:30 PM on 23 November, 2018

    Philippe, you make a good point about the "disconnect" of Spencer, and his ilk, in respect of their public opinions and their actual scientific work.

    If Dr Spencer contributes to the scientific body of knowledge . . . yet he also sacrifices newborn babies to the god Aeolus [god of climate?] . . . then do we classify him as a mainstream [consensus] scientist, or classify him as an anti-scientist [=denialist] ?

    IMO, one needs to have both feet in the scientific camp, to qualify as a 97-percenter.

  • The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

    Philippe Chantreau at 13:15 PM on 23 November, 2018

    As I recall, there has been a longstanding disconnect between what Roy Spencer's reseach results show and the opinions he communicates to mass media. One can say that his own research does not really support his opinions. Perhaps that's why he figures as part of the consensus. The consensus is one of results more than opinions. AFAIK, Spencer's peer- reviewed papers do not show anything that deviates significantly from the all the rest of the science.

  • The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

    Art Vandelay at 13:12 PM on 23 November, 2018

    Eclectic @10, "it would be interesting to hear your reasons for wishing to see a more detailed analysis of climate scientist opinion."

    Just curiosity really, because (in my view) the 97% consensus isn't necessarily meaningful if it includes persons with all levels of concern, including almost no concern at all - as is the case with Lindzen & Spencer. 

    What would be nice to see is a breakdown on level of concern, so that it's immediately apparent what percentage of scientists are: very concerned, reasonably concerned, slightly concerned, etc.. 

    Understanding of course that such a breakdown would probably require some sort of formal survey to be undertaken.

    Also of interest would be similar analysis of the opinion of scientists from related disciplines, which could include some earth sciences, physics and mathematics. 

    Lastly, there does appear to be a correlation with age, with older persons tending to be less concerned about the impacts of climate change, and this appears to hold within the science community too. The implication of this should be an increasing level of consensus over time, even without considering other factors. This of course assumes that a person's level of concern is unlikely to fall with increasing age if it's been established during formative years. 

  • The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

    Eclectic at 11:45 AM on 23 November, 2018

    Art Vandelay @10 , it would be interesting to hear your reasons for wishing to see a more detailed analysis of climate scientist opinion.

    Yes, that is a rather separate matter from the perceptions (of the AGW issue) held by politicians and the man in the street.

    But we already know the high-90's consensus opinion of mainsteam scientists.  The Cook-et-al 97% figure is already more than a decade behind the times [the study published 2013 but based on cumulative figures from early 1990's onwards].  And we know from human nature, that however thoroughly conclusive the scientific evidence is, there will always be a small percentage of scientists & scientifically-literate people who will continue to "deny" the physical realities (for their own reasons of psychological perversity and/or political extremism).  So why analyse the last few percent of these?  They won't change.  Personally, I think Spencer, Curry, Lindzen & similar, do not qualify to be counted in the so-called 97% majority, because their position(s) are not scientifically logical.

    What matters is A/  the science itself, which is revealed in the scientific papers published (and you will have noted how "contrarian" papers are becoming rarer and rarer ~ getting close to zero% ~ and far more importantly, the contrarian papers are entirely lacking in valid counterpoints against the mainstream scientific assessment)

    . . . and B/  the education of and opinions held by politicians & the general voters.

  • The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

    Art Vandelay at 09:57 AM on 23 November, 2018

    One Planet Only Forever @ 9. I take your points but I'm not convinced that any of those forementioned scientists have too much impact on the public's perception of climate change.  Very few people I speak to have heard of Roy Spencer, even if they're aware of satellite based temperature measurements, so I would be suprised if his blog is widely read and influential to any significant extent. Most people's attitudes to climate change are derived from their media channels of choice, which to a large extent is determined by their political leanings. 

    But still, it's anomalous that Spencer is probably included in the 97% along with several other scientists with profiles in the faculties of climate research, which is why I would personally like to see a more detailed analysis of climate scientist opinion. 

  • The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

    One Planet Only Forever at 01:59 AM on 23 November, 2018

    Art Vandelay@8,

    A more important measure than 'grudging acceptance of climate science to a limited degree' is how helpful a person is to improving the more correct awareness and understanding of climate science in the general population and among leadership.

    By that measure Judith Curry, Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen are dismal damaging failures.

    As a case in point, I frequently visit Roy Spencer's site (just for the amusement, but in case he actually presents a meaningfully insightful point).

    Roy Spencer spends almost all of his time making up stories to refute the need for the burning of fossil fuels to be curtailed. The lack of validity of his story-telling is consistent. He also spends a significant amount of time creating creative ways to intrerpret satellite data in an attempt to refute that unacceptable warming and climate change is happening (he has been forced to partially correct his misinterpretations of the satellite data many times).

  • The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

    Art Vandelay at 17:27 PM on 22 November, 2018

    It should be noted too that Judith Curry, Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen et al, are all painted as skeptics or "deniers", but are in fact members of the 97% consensus.  

    Perhaps a more valuable statistic would be one that indicated a percentage of (climate) scientists who hold the view that it's a serious threat requiring urgent, universal remedial action.  

  • IPCC overestimate temperature rise

    MA Rodger at 00:07 AM on 6 November, 2018

    Samata @65,

    The Monckton YouTube video you link to appears to be the 'work' presented in Monckton et al (Unpublished) which remains unpublised because it is total nonsense. You ask for the mathematical errors. There may be many but the central problem Monckton has is his insistence that  climate sensitivity can be calculated on the back of a fag packet in the following manner:-

    If the black body temperature of a zero GHG Earth is 255K and there is, according to Monckton, enough forcing pre-industrial to add 8K to that temperature directly from those forcings (giving a temperature without feedback of 263K), then if the actual pre-industrial temperature with feedbacks is 287K, the feedback mechanisms have raised the temperature by 24K. Monckton then calculates the strength of these feedbacks as a portion of the full non-feedback temperature (287/263-1) = 0.09. [This, of course, is a big big error.] Thus ECS(Monckton)= 1.1K x 1.09 = 1.2K.

    (See Monckton's explanation of his basic method at Roy Spencer's, a climate denier who refutes Monckton's methods).

    The big big error is in attributing pro-rata feedback to all the black body warming. It is also an error to run with these back-of-fag-packet calculations all the way to zero LL-GHG (what Monckton calls NOGS) but not as dreadful a mistake as using them pro rata  all the way down to absolute zero.

    His back-of-fag-packet calculation should be saying that 8K LL GHG-forced warming results in 33K of warming at equilibrium, thus ECS = 1.1K x 33/8 = 4.5K, a value that is high but not entirely implausable.

    A more sensible analysis would not consider that ECS is a constant value over such large temperature ranges. And there will be feedback mechanisms operating without LL GHGs being present. But they will bear no resemblance to the feedback mechanisms facing a world at 288K.

  • The silver lining of fake news

    dkeierleber at 03:27 AM on 30 August, 2018

    I think this is being oversimplified. It’s a complex issue. It is enticing to dismiss those who mistrust science as being uneducated on the subject. But that leads us to the same dead end of thinking all we have to do is tell the real facts and people will come around to the right way of thinking. Research doesn’t support that view.

    As reported here in the past, regarding climate change, the more educated a conservative is the less likely they are to be persuaded by facts. Presentation of science facts drives deniers further into denial. So I don’t think the problem lies with denialist falsehoods. In my experience, climate change denialists are in love with the lamest over-simplifications. How often have you read the comment about how temperatures could have risen in the past if the cavemen had no SUVs to drive? Ever hear any denialist try to use Roy Spencer’s argument about natural variation tied to the Pacific multi-decadal oscillation?

    Things are even worse on the economic front. Workers who have been profoundly hurt by supply side fiction insist that the wealthy pay too much in taxes. Educated upper middle class conservatives think the top tax rate in America’s Golden Age (the 2 decades after WWII) was 20%. Trying to explain the idea of a progressive tax to young conservatives shows how our education system has changed over the years. We were too distracted by defending evolution in public education to notice that the curricula on basic economic theory took a wrong turn somewhere. Now it seems the age old divide between property rights and majority rule is becoming an economic war and the rich are winning. That doesn’t bode well for the sanctity of our democracy.

    Research has shown physical differences in brain patterns between conservatives and liberals. So part of the problem is that some of us tend to believe those in positions of authority while others tend to ask how they rose to that position.

  • State of the climate: 2018 set to be fourth warmest year despite cooler start

    One Planet Only Forever at 14:21 PM on 22 August, 2018

    Mal Adapted,

    The likes of Roy Spencer could learn a lot from Sean Carroll's book "The Big Picture" published in 2016. It is an extensive presentation of the developed improved awareness and understanding of what is going on, including how the human mind works.

    It was a NY Times Bestseller. However, it did have critics, mainly the angry group of evangelical purists that disliked the way that Carroll explains that our current understanding of what is going on in our Universe does not require an Intelligent Designer, and the way he effectively makes the case that it is unlikely that there is a God-being influencing what is going on.

    So the likes of Spencer would not likely learn anything from reading Sean Carroll's book.

    As you say, they have already decided not to be open to improved awareness and understanding. They deliberately limit their scientific methods and critical thinking to the defense of the limited worldview they have personally chosen to try to hold on to and defend.

    Sadly, scientific investigation and critical thinking can be very harmful when it is applied by people who are not open to a holistic worldview (not liking the understanding presented by Sean Carroll), and who are focused on narrow-minded selfish interests (not interested in more altruistically helping to develop a sustainable better future for humanity).

    More people need to develop improved awareness and understanding of what is really going on and strive to help develop a sustainable better future for all of humanity (all of the future generations), rather than seeking excuses for a sub-set of current day humanity getting away with an unsustainable activity that is undeniably harmful to future generations (and harmful to a significant portion of current day humanity).

  • State of the climate: 2018 set to be fourth warmest year despite cooler start

    Mal Adapted at 09:21 AM on 22 August, 2018


    According to wikipedia, Roy Spencer who compiles the UAH data is an agw climate change sceptic to some extent, and has strong religious fundamentalist views and has signed declarations that say our climate change is natural.

    Well, Spencer signed An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming, which states:

    We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.


    We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry. Recent warming was neither abnormally large nor abnormally rapid. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.


    Ellipses represent arguments from consequences, boiling down to "mitigation will harm poor people."

    IOW, evidence be damned: AGW can't be a threat because God wouldn't allow it.  By signing this document, Spencer has publicly announced his determination to fool himself, and IMHO has forfeited all scientific credibility thereby.

  • State of the climate: 2018 set to be fourth warmest year despite cooler start

    scaddenp at 12:20 PM on 21 August, 2018

    Well UAH, RSS and STAR use MSU to produce temperature records for lower troposphere (think averaging over lower 4km of atmosphere), whereas the surface records are well surface temperature records. Recent discussions of UAH versus RSS at Tamino.

    RSS publish their methods with new release, Spencer and Christy, not so much plus a record of mistakes. See here for some history.

    Their history and political leanings however is not a reason to reject UAH. Perhaps a better way is to compare temperatures from RSS and UAH against say radiosonde data (RATPAC). Difficult but doable. See here from David Piepgrass and draw your own conclusions.

  • State of the climate: 2018 set to be fourth warmest year despite cooler start

    nigelj at 08:10 AM on 21 August, 2018

    The biggest difference seems to be between the UAH satellite temperature data and everything else particlualry the RSS data.

    Its hard to see why there's such a difference between UAH and everything else. Why is Roy Spencer right and everyone else wrong? He would need a compelling reason, so what is it? Does anyone have technical knowledge on it? 

    According to wikipedia, Roy Spencer who compiles the UAH data is an agw climate change sceptic to some extent, and has strong religious fundamentalist views and has signed declarations that say our climate change is natural.

  • It hasn't warmed since 1998

    MA Rodger at 22:38 PM on 1 June, 2018

    guym @400,

    I have long  pondered the "hiatus" nonsense from contrarians. My take on it is perhaps more clinical than Eclectic @401, and a smidgen shorter.

    One of the difficulties we face addessing the "hiatus" is that contrarians define the "hiatus" to mean vastly different things, from silly nonsense from Rose of the Daily Rail (Temp(Jan1996)=Temp(Aug2012) => global warming stopped 16 years ago) to more allegedly-grown-up versions comparing modeled & measured temperatures. Which ever version is used, their take-away is "Global Warming has stopped" or "Models are badly wrong". And any attempt to sensibly address the issue like in the AR5 Box 9.2 or for instance Hansen et al discussing the 'Global Warming Standstill' in 2012 results in a contrarian 'we told you so!!' response which is then grafted onto nonsense by even the more respected of contrarians to beat the "Global Warming Has Stopped!!!" drum (eg ex-clomatologist Judith Curry).

    So you really do have to be careful when addressing the issue of the "hiatus" and that means more than using a title that calls it the "Hiatus in Global Mean Surface Warming of the Past 15 Years" as per AR5 Box9.2.

    I think the AR5 Box9.2 use of OLS analysis over the period 1998-2012 was poorly contrived. (For the record, the resulting SAT trend roughly doubles if you use 1999-2012, to +0.09ºC/decade, instead of  1975-1996.) What was poor was firstly comparison of 1998-2012 with 1951-2012. The start period should have been roughly 1975, the start of the recent strong AGW. Contrarians who exaggerate the significance of the "hiatus" would be surprised to hear that if you compare 1975-1996 with 1975-2012 you get almost identical trends. The reason for 1998-2012 being so different from the longer-term SAT trend is because the 1998-2012 SAT trend relies on one of those reality-busting steps as in the SKS Escalator. So a second criticism of AR5 Box9.2 is giving credance to the 1998-2012 reality-busting OLS analysis.

    SKS Escalator

    Simply-put, anybody who (a) supports a "hiatus" 16-years long or (b) uses the "flatness" in surface temperature record to create a 16-year long "hiatus" by for instance saying "I predict we will see continuation of the ‘standstill’ in global average temperature for the next decade" (and good old Judy Curry manages both a & b) show they have departed from truthful analysis of AGW.

    I myself feel the way to take command of the "hiatus" is by setting its true length. This analysis of HadCRUT data (usually 2 clicks to 'download your attachment') finds it was just 32 months long. And a message that must always be included in "hiatus" talk - thoroughout these years, AGW did not show any signs of faltering as the Ocean Heat Content data surely demonstrates.

  • Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    Nick Palmer at 09:33 AM on 26 April, 2018

    "So your key audience is not the guy you’re responding to, but fence-sitters who may be listening in. There are more silent doubters than vocal deniers; always remember that"

    I've always though this in my online denialism rebuttals. I tend not to bother much with the dumbest remarks, which tend to be just a couple of short sentences but I've come to find that the most dangerous, and trickiest to counter, tend to be those who are in the least denial of climate science - the lukewarmers, who believe that climate sensitivity is much less than the vast majority of climate scientists say. To them, the global temperatures won't reach the heights expected by the IPCC position and we may still stay in the Goldilocks zone, where we may still get more benefits from a low rise than disbenefits.

    It is my opinion, although I can't prove it, that many of the 'dumb' arguments one sees endlessly used by apparently intelligent educated people in public positions, such as Senators addressing Congress, are, to them, justified political deception. I suspect that their core beliefs are in the 'lukewarmer' views of Lindzen, Spencer etc yet they realise that if they tried to used those arguments to sway the minds of the public, it would backfire. Admitting that greenhouse gases warm the climate, that the planet is warming, that we are having an effect but that a small minority of scientists say it won't come to much, while the majority say it's very risky, is a very weak argument - the ordinary person is well able to make a personal risk assessment. That is why those movers and shakers, who are personally convinced by the lukewarmers, use the couple of hundred simplistic memes as listed and debunked on, to influence the voting public. Ever wonder why Senators and the institutes keep using these memes, that they know for sure have been debunked a thousand times? Remember, these people are really not stupid! it's because the memes work very well at shaking the confidence of the public in mainstream climate science. These short pieces of disinformation are very convincing to the general public, not that they definitvely 'prove' anything but they certainly succeed at creating doubt and uncertainty and those who want to avoid those political moves that mainstream climate science mandates benefit by using the memes to try to prevent those moves happening.

  • Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    Eclectic at 00:32 AM on 26 April, 2018

    Leslie @4 , your report of the communication from the "blatant denialist" is interesting yet not so very uncommon.

    Quite apart from his being [to quote his own phrasing] "arrogant and foolish" in his unscientific nonsense . . . he is also being arrogant and foolish enough to believe he himself knows the mind of God.  He seems unaware of the irony of his stated position.

    We see this overweening self-confidence likewise, in Dr Spencer and Dr Lindzen — though Lindzen's self-confidence derives from his ideas of Yahweh rather than Spencer's more modern Christian God.   The fundamentalist concept of a rapidly approaching End of Days, does make it a little strange that someone [such as Leslie's correspondent] would bother to spend time communicating with the [probably] inevitably-damned Leslie.  (And it doesn't sound like he is seriously attempting to "convert" Leslie.)   Also, why bother disputing with Leslie, when (allegedly) nothing much is going on (other than a few relatively minor hurricanes etc) and nothing much could go on, until the obvious-to-all and utterly calamitous events of the Final Days ?

    Maybe the guy is suffering from an anxiety that he might not be right after all?   Maybe he is worried that he will be left with egg on his face, when the world continues to go gradually pear-shaped (exactly as the real scientists are indicating) and he will finally have to say: "Why hast Thou forsaken me?"

    Yes, an interesting case there, Leslie.   Wash your hands of him.

  • Climate Science Denial Explained: Tactics of Denial

    michael sweet at 22:08 PM on 19 April, 2018

    Art Vandelay,

    I do not have a peer reviewed explaination for your question.

    I understand that if the sun was stronger it would deliver more energy during the day and heat it up.  Since it is hotter, more energy would radiate into space at night so the night time temperature would not increase as much as during the day.  (Night time temperatures would increase, just not as much).

    With more CO2, the temperature would increase because energy from the sun would radiate to space more slowly.  This would have a larger effect at night because night time cooling would be a lot slower.  Nigelj's reference appears to be slightly different from mine, his is more authorative.

    Spencer Weart's book The history of Global Warming source would have this information.

  • Climate Science Denial Explained

    DPiepgrass at 16:24 PM on 16 April, 2018

    Unfortunately greenhouses (or hot cars) aren't ideal examples of the greenhouse effect, because a greenhouse works in part by trapping air so that it can't rise (and be replaced by cooler air that used to be higher in the atmosphere). The glass of a greenhouses also, incidentally, traps infrared radiation the same way greenhouse gases do, but it's easy for a pseudo-skeptic to point to the lack of convection and say "that's how a greenhouse really works - so the planetary greenhouse effect is a hoax."

    If I catch someone denying the greenhouse effect, I just point out that most contrarian climate scientists (e.g. Roy Spencer, John Christy, Judith Curry) agree that the greenhouse effect exists. More learned pseudo-skeptics have all kinds of other arguments.

  • Ivar Giaever - Nobel Winning Physicist and Climate Pseudoscientist

    Tom Dayton at 09:29 AM on 17 March, 2018

    Atc, you asked "What I would like to see is how they went from CO2 and temperature correlation to catastrophic man-made global warming." Your assumption is incorrect--there was no "going" from CO2 and temperature correlation. Instead, the projection (not prediction) of increased global temperature as a consequence of anthropogenic increase in global atmospheric level of CO2 was made in the 1800s, many decades before it was even technically possible to measure global atmospheric level of CO2 in that moment in time, let alone historically, and even more decades before the correlation between CO2 level and temperature was observed with high enough certainty. Observation of the correlation eventually added evidence confirming that projection, when the reality of human-caused increase in CO2 came to pass, thereby fulfilling the condition of the projection's scenario.

    Please read the post "The History of Climate Science," and post any comments and questions about the history there, not here. I strongly suggest that after you read that post, before posting any questions or comments, that you read the free online version of the book by physicist and climate science historian Spencer Weart, "The Discovery of Global Warming."

  • Ivar Giaever - Nobel Winning Physicist and Climate Pseudoscientist

    Eclectic at 13:05 PM on 15 March, 2018

    ATC @94 , you might benefit from watching the video recording of Dr Giaever addressing a meeting composed of Nobel Laureates & bright young scientists, where he states that (from a cold start) he researched online to gather views & evidence on AGW . . . and he spent only half a day or so gathering information.  On the strength of that, he started lecturing the expert climate scientists on how they were all doing it wrong.  The video is quite painful to watch, as Giaever (in full lecturing pontification mode) tells the audience how to do science — while himself demonstrating the exact opposite of good scientific thinking.

    It must have been an absolutely cringeworthy experience, for the poor audience.   But possibly the audience was able to tolerate the debacle — by remembering how sometimes even the most distinguished savants can deteriorate into "going Emeritus". [ NB — the cartoon in post #66, by poster KR ].

    Somewhat younger scientists (such as Spencer and Lindzen) appear to have their rational abilities severely compromised by old-fashioned religious concepts (concepts which are condemned by modern religious figures such as the Pope).

    Some scientists, such as Dr Koonin, exhibit similar irrationality about AGW science — but their psychological motivation is less clear (to me).

    Nevertheless, Atc, with or without obvious causation of their intellectual dysfunction, there is an interesting tiny minority of practising "scientists" who are in full denial of the facts of climate change.   Whether influenced by monetary inducement (or the ego-boosting inducements of fame/celebrity in newsprint or the invitations to address Congressional/Senatorial committees) or for reasons of extremist religious attitudes, or from having a perverted contrariness of personality . . . or for a mixture of these reasons . . . we find such people existing !!

    Atc, I am slightly surprised that you have not observed such human frailties around you, in your life up till now.   The existence of such people, does in no way indicate that there must be some merit in what they say.  You can even find intelligent Flat-Earthers !!

    Atc, please educate yourself to at least a moderate level of climate science knowledge.   You will very soon see why the mainstream consensus position is held by (very close to) 100% of climate scientists.  And as you progress through life, I hope you will come to recognize that there will always be a minority of crazies who can never be convinced by truth and logic.

  • Ivar Giaever - Nobel Winning Physicist and Climate Pseudoscientist

    michael sweet at 10:10 AM on 15 March, 2018


    Most scientists follow the path you outline and agree with the consensus.  Trump is unable to find a scientific advisor becasue no-one will support his climate program.

    It is not a surprise that 1 or 2% of scientists have preconcieved notions that prevent them from accepting the consensus.  No-one would care what Happer thinks about most anything if he was not a denier.  The same for Curry, Vahrenvolt, Carter and Spencer.  They get their name in the newspaper regularly, get to write OP-Eds for the Wall Street Journal and get paid to testify to congress simply because they are deniers.  Many are tempted just by the fame not to mention the money.

  • Anti-vaccers, climate change deniers, and anti-GMO activists are all the same

    Eclectic at 12:49 PM on 21 January, 2018

    Alan @51  — Again, you are failing to achieve clarity [including validity] in the expression of your lines of argument.

    Your Paragraph 2  --  <"... even if there are thousands of well-established scientists agreeing on one theory, they could be proved wrong by only one person..."> (unquote) is a nonsense argument in the case of climate science.  Modern climate science is based in the "hard" sciences of physics & inorganic chemistry i.e. in well-integrated science involving cross-linking of large numbers of strands (strands of basic scientific theory meshed with experimental & empirical evidence).   Furthermore, regarding climate science, there is only about a score of "genuine" climate scientists who are [in modern parlance] Climate Deniers . . . and these 20 or so are unable to present any valid evidence or counter-hypothesis !    Worse, their ideas/statements seem mutually contradictory (as well as failing to possess plausibility !! ).

    Of the <"... at least a few hundred to thousands of high-level scientists who are accusing the CCT** ..."> (unquote), they are likewise possessing no valid case .   Instead, they lose their minds in a quagmire [ =swamp?  ;-)  ]  of empty rhetoric and/or extremist political posturing . . . but they possess no actual scientific reasoning to support their positions [positions plural] .    Sadly, some appear to be in their dotage, and some are possessed [ excuse pun  ;-)  ]  by extremist/fundamentalist religious beliefs which prevent them from acknowledging reality [ e.g. Spencer, Lindzen ] ,  and some seem not to know one end of a Lapse Rate from t'other.

    Evidence and logical reasoning, Alan — that is what the Deniers lack.


    Your Paragraph 3 --  Alan, you make an illogical argument when you try to equate the "hard sciences" to the "soft sciences" [e.g. sociology] or the distinctly-less-than-hard sciences such as medical science (and your case of the New England Journal of Medicine).   Apples and oranges, Alan.   Without taking away from the vast achievements of medical science during the past 200 years [anesthetics, surgery, vaccinations, drugs, etc] nevertheless the experiment-based advances of modern medicine are usually impeded by a vast complexity of confounding factors (as well as by the effect of human psychology).   These confounding complexities hamper the medical scientists in a way that does not exist in the vastly simpler area of physics/climate/meteorology.   Alan, your comparison/analogy is not valid, and so your argument is not valid.


    Your Paragraph 4 — Alan, nobody is mocking the most brilliant minds of the early centuries of science . . . but they lived in a very different scientific environment (from the cross-checking and weight of consistent evidence, found in the "hard sciences" of today).


    Your Paragraphs 5 & 6 ,  — Alan, it is all about the evidence.  The evidence supports the mainstream scientific consensus position (regarding climate).   There is no actual supporting evidence to be found for the (many and incoherent) positions of the deniers /science-deniers /denialists /call-them-what-you-will.   I myself would like to be able to dignify some of them with the term "contrarians" . . . but that cannot be, since to be a contrarian one must have something valid to base one's "counter-position" on.   And that is exactly what the deniers lack (as well as lacking logical commonsense risk management, and lacking decent compassion for billions of other human beings) .


    BTW, Alan, you also fail in your "local weather" argument . . . for instance while in the past two weeks or so, a small part [scientifically insignificant] of north-east North America has had a bitter cold snap — yet other parts of the world have been experiencing heat waves.   Even worse for your line of argument : the New England cold snap may well, to a considerable extent, be a result of Arctic warming (Arctic warming being a consequence of AGW).


    ** Alan, the "Climate Change Theory" term you use is an odd one — not generally used by scientists (likewise, even more odd, is your contraction "CCT" which would be meaningless to educated people).   Best to stick with standard English and standard/widely-used abbreviations, in climate discussions, Alan.  There is already more-than-enough appallingly-poor communication in the discussion of important topics, in today's world !

  • The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    Riduna at 13:47 PM on 16 January, 2018

    michael sweet

    This article from ANU scholars may be of interest. It refers to 22,000 mostly coastal sites suitable for development of pumped hydro. At present only 7 sites have been surveyed in detail and, so far, only 3 (Spencer Gulf, South Australia, Snowy 2, New South Wales and at Kidston, Queensland ) approved for and being developed.

  • 2017 was the hottest year on record without an El Niño, thanks to global warming

    nigelj at 06:24 AM on 3 January, 2018

    I agree with OPOF that Roy Spencer doesn't give any real commentary on his climate website on el nino. Theres also not much the general issues of what temperature trends all mean. He has several sceptical views on climate science, although I don't know if he fits the denier category, but he sure seems to get close. His wikipedia profile is interesting.

    RSS who also do temperature series for the troposphere, and give a much better discussion as below. However its important to realise the troposphere is not the surface, and the RSS people say its more important to look at nasa temerature trends which are at the surface. Roy Spencer makes no comment on such issues.

  • 2017 was the hottest year on record without an El Niño, thanks to global warming

    One Planet Only Forever at 04:54 AM on 3 January, 2018

    Dr. Roy Spencer's Blog Post "UAH Global Temperature Update for December, 2017:" further exposes that he is either:

    • a deliberate deciever/denier, well aware of the unacceptability of what he is doing
    • or someone who is not well aware or is lacking a good understanding of things

    He states that: "2017 ended up being the 3rd warmest year in the satellite record for the globally-averaged lower troposphere, at +0.38 deg. C above the 1981-2010 average, behind 1st place 2016 with +0.51 deg. C, and 2nd place 1998 at +0.48 deg. C."

    All of that is technically accurate. But he fails to make any mention of the influence of the ENSO cycle on the satellite data results; He fails to attempt to make people more aware and better understand what is going on.

    If "Technocognition" proposed in the Guardian article "Fake news is a threat to humanity, but scientists may have a solution" (re-posted on SkS) does get traction, would it flag Dr. Roy Spencer?

  • 2017 was the hottest year on record without an El Niño, thanks to global warming

    One Planet Only Forever at 04:18 AM on 3 January, 2018

    I suggest expanding/changing the term "Climate Denial/Denier". That abbreviation is open to easy criticism. The intent is better described by "Denial/Denier of the developed and constantly improving awareness and understanding of climate science". If that fuller explanation seems too cumbersome, it can be stated once in an article followed by a harder to criticise abbreviation that is used in the balance of the item like: "...- Denial/Denier of Climate Science", or "...- Climate Science Denial/Denier".

    Dr. Roy Spencer recently attempted to attack efforts to 'gain support for the awareness and understanding of climate science and the changes of human activity that it has exposed are required for humanity to develop a sustainable better future for all' by criticising some terms that have been used in that effort.

    Dr. Roy's December 31, 2017 blog post "First Annual List of Banished Climate Change Terms" includes the term Climate Denier with the following criticism: "Climate Denier - How does one deny climate? Climate has always changed and always will. Maybe the intent is, “denier of catastrophic human-caused climate change”; if that’s the case, then I’m guilty as charged."

    However, Dr. Roy exposes that he is either:

    • a deliberate deciever/denier, well aware of the unacceptability of what he is doing
    • or someone who is not well aware or is lacking a good understanding of things

    because, in addition to abusing the term 'catastrophic human caused climate change' (used rather than being on his list of terms to banish), he uses the nothingburger term "nothingburger" as part of his feable rant against 'efforts to increase awaress and better understanding climate science and the changes of human activity that it has exposed are required for humanity to develop a sustainable better future for all'.

  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #52

    nigelj at 14:36 PM on 1 January, 2018

    Zippi @62, Spencer is not simply an intelligent meterologist. He is a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and the U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA's Aqua satellite. According to wikipedia.

    He is also a creationist who believes humans are too insignificant in gods creation to cause climate change.  Again, you can read this on his wikipedia profile page.  

    "I also know where emissions come from," 

    Well you apparently don't. I can tell you where they don't come from: The oceans, humans,  and volcanoes and theres plenty of information on this in the "most used climate myths" part of this website.

  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #52

    Zippi62 at 14:21 PM on 1 January, 2018

    nigelj @8

    I know what Spencer says. He's an intelligent meteorologist.

    Those "big numbers" are important. That's why we don't have the "runaway effect". 

    I also know where emissions come from, but a disingenuous scientist like yourself can't add 44 grams of CO2 to Earth's atmosphere when the atmosphere originally maintained the 2 oxygen atoms that were added through combustion. Let's reduce the added "tonnage" to the atmosphere by 73% (0.7272727272727) and stick to the additional carbon atom that married a couple of oxygen atoms through combustion. OK?

  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #52

    nigelj at 12:47 PM on 1 January, 2018

    Zippi62 @7

    Oh big numbers!  Anyone can post superfluous or irrelevant big numbers and long words pulled out of a hat like the rabbit. 

    As Moderator says, CO2 emissions are coming from fossil fuels etc. It's one of those things proven beyond doubt now.

    Notice how none of the serious qualified sceptics like Spencer deny this, only the armchair eccentrics. Its embarassing watching people deny the obvious, and just shows their desperation and ignorance.

  • Nils-Axel Mörner is Wrong About Sea Level Rise

    michael sweet at 05:08 AM on 20 December, 2017


    You asked " what do you think Morner's motivation could be for rejecting consensus on this issue?" but the answer you suggest is exactly backwards.

    If Morner was to agree with the consensus he would be one of a million scientists and no-one would care about his opinion.  Since he is a "skeptic", he gets to write Wall Street Joural articles, is feted at Heartland Institute bashes, is paid to give speeches on AGW, is presented as an expert and does not have to learn any of the science. 

    Skeptic scietists like Spencer, Curry, Lidzen and Watts (they are scraping the bottom of the barrel when one of their "experts" never even graduated from college) would be completely ignored if they were mainstream because their contributions are so small compared to Hanson, Mann and many others.

    Morner owes his fame to being skeptical.

  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    nigelj at 11:29 AM on 14 December, 2017

    So from the EE news media article, the Heartland Institute has proposed a list of anyone and everyone including, lawyers and self-funded hobbyists, nuclear physicists, engineers, and maybe a couple of actual climate scientists. This is pretty sad, and must be deeply embarassing for Pruitt, as the longer it goes on the more obvious it is that precious few genuinely sceptical climate research scientists actually exist.

    It will also become apparent that their scepticism is more narrowly focussed than people realise and is mainly on detailed aspects of the issue. As I have said many times, sceptical scientists make denialist noise on blogs on the internet, but when they are put on the spot in full public view interviewed by media, they are suddenly not so sceptical. We have seen examples with Lindzen and Spencer. A lot of this sceptical thing is attention seeking and stirring.

  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    michael sweet at 09:25 AM on 14 December, 2017

    Acording to E&E news,  Pruitt is having trouble getting scientists to sign up for the Red team. Real scientists like Judith Curry and John Christy do not want to serve with a bunch of crackpots and the crackpots do not want to be left out.  Curry specifically said she did not want to work with a bunch of Heartland funded cranks (Heartland sent Pruitt a list of possible members of the Red team.  Curry and Spencer were on the list but said they have not been asked if they want to participate).  Even some conservative politicians say they want  a serious debate which excludes many "skeptics".

    In addition, since the skeptics do not agree with each other they cannot agree on what positions they want to support.  While it will give them a national stage they do not deserve, if scientist A says CO2 is increasing but no warming and scienitst B says it is warming but that is good and scientist 3 says CO2 is not increasing they will not come across as convincing.  Those whose views are not expounded on will be angered.

    I think that Pruitt may not be able to organize a red team.  He has made a lot of noise and has little to show for it.  Many of the members of the Heartland list can only be called cranks, certainly not scientists.

  • There once was a polar bear – science vs the blogosphere

    Matthew L at 02:18 AM on 2 December, 2017

    She has done meta-analysis on research data on polar bear numbers which is compelling, if not peer reviewed. As a medic I am well aware of the problems with peer review and the lack of replicated results, so I do not dismiss any paper just because it is not peer reviewed.

    There is nothing to suggest that global numbers of polar bears have  declined in the last 40 years and plenty to suggest that they have grown. It may be difficult to disentangle growth due to a reduction in hunting with decline due to a reduction in habitat.  However, to date, the former effect has evidently been stronger than the latter, despite a steady decline in Arctic sea ice. You are disingenous in your statement that polar bears are listed as endangered. This was done to protect them from dangerous men with dangerous guns, not gradual sea ice decline.

    From what I can gather, most of the time when an unbiased assesment is done on Arctic fauna the results tend to be less alarming than the initial press would suggest. For instance the recent Fish and Wildlife Service assesment of walrus populations as not endangered following "analysis of the best available scientific information".

    I do not know of Crockford's attitude on climate change, but as she is a highly qualified and published scientist who has worked extensively in the Arctic I very much doubt it is "anti-science" - any more than Judith Curry, Pielke Junior and Roy Spencer are "anti-science" or "deniers" (absolutely hate the use of that word).  They are all highly qualified scientists in relevant fields of study who understand global warming and greenhouse gases but have come to a different view of the scientific evidence than taken on this blog - largely through empircal study and analysis rather than reliance on the wildly variable reuslts from General Circulation Models.

    I am broadly on your side, fascinated by the science, but absolutely  despair of the politics on both sides.  The rampant and totally ludicrous millenial cult level alarmism (Manhatten under water by  2010, no Arctic ice by 2012, 5 million climate refugees by 2015 etc) in the press followed by ridiculous self justification and cognitive dissonance when the world does not end ("its worse than we thought!") just demolishes credibility .  As for the "sky dragon slayers", I absolutely despair...

    Blogs really are not the problem.  The problem is that the uncertainties in the science are so huge (ECS between 1.5C and 4C per CO2 doubling according to IPCC) that it is quite possible to take a reasonable view at both ends of the spectrum. It would be better for sites such as this to climb down from the moral high ground and start looking at the effect that crying "wolf!" so often has on scientific credibility when the wolf does not appear. 

  • Climate and energy are becoming focal points in state political races

    Bob Loblaw at 03:04 AM on 23 October, 2017


    Spencer Weart's book is available electroncially for free at the link I provided. I think the on-line version is more up-to-date than any paper version you can buy. The on-line version certainly has lots of information to digest.

  • Climate and energy are becoming focal points in state political races

    michael sweet at 03:03 AM on 23 October, 2017


    Spencer Weart's book is a free web copy at the link that Bob Loblow provided at 158.  No need to waste $100.

  • Climate and energy are becoming focal points in state political races

    Bob Loblaw at 02:28 AM on 23 October, 2017

    Final comment for the moment:

    I commend you in that you have shown a willingness to obtain and read a variety of sources of information on the subjects that have been raised in discussion here.

    I think that you give credibility to some sources that I consider to be highly unreliable.

    If you have not been pointed to it before, I suggest that you take the time to read Spencer Weart's  The Discovery of Global Warming. It is written by an historian - someone with expertise in the history of science.

  • Global climate impacts of a potential volcanic eruption of Mount Agung

    nigelj at 12:07 PM on 11 October, 2017


    Regarding SO2.

    Basically there are tables of the IR absorption coefficients of various greenhouse gases ranking them in strength easily googled. None of these tables even mention SO2 so it must be a very weak greenhouse gas. All google searches just say SO2 has no direct greenhouse gas effects. All three atom gases have some greenhouse properties but they do actually vary a lot. 

    As eclectic points out theres just not enough SO2 to be significant anyway. Its all academic.

    Now regarding cooling aerosol effects SO2 converts to SO3 and thus to H2SO4 which has acid rain and cooling properties as below

    Regarding the effects of a given specific quantity of CO2 on temperatures. Im not a climate scientist, just an interested observer, but I gather people like Arrhenius and later E O Hulbert and others calculated this working backwards from atmospheric concentrations and knowledge of the different IR coefficients of various gases and atmospheric temperatures, and that the results are very accurate something like 99%, and are accepted science. They have never been over turned in the science literature. Thats good enough for me.

    Tests have been done on jars of CO2 in the laboratory under light etc and clearly demonstrated different concentrations of CO2 causing different temperatures. But Im not sure this would be as definitive as the above mentioned derivations by Hulbert etc because you cant duplicate the full complexity of the atmosphere of the planet in a jar.

    Basically none of the climate sceptics like Spencer and Pielke etc dispute any of the findings on what a specific quantity of CO2 does. Its settled science. Only cranks go over all this. There is debate on feedbacks of course but even this area of knowledge is constantly improving.

  • The Mail's censure shows which media outlets are biased on climate change

    Eclectic at 15:46 PM on 1 October, 2017

    NorrisM @45 , (A) you do not need to await a moderation opinion, before choosing to discuss things on a fitter thread.

    (B) You are making the Denialist error of looking at various models and  failing to look at the physical reality.    Ice is melting, sea levels are rising ever faster, etcetera . . . the global warming is occurring very obviously — so it doesn't need to be "falsified" !

    MA Rodger @40 , @38 , @36 : thank you for that further background on Judith Curry.  It is in complete accordance with what I have seen in studying her blog.  ( I haven't bothered with any detailed study of Lindzen Christy & Spencer — since a large slice of their illogical thinking derives from their fundamentalist religious fixed ideas.  But Curry is interesting because she is something stranger & more peculiar ! )

    Currie makes a nauseating display of persistent intellectual dishonesty — because she flies in the face of clear logical thinking & well-proven scientific fact.   Made doubly nauseating by her attempts at a tone of self-righteous martyrdom.

    Her blog's support for Salby's nonsense is far from the only denialist craziness that she chooses to espouse slightly indirectly.   She has a tendency to put other denialists' scientifically-wacky stuff in her blog (in effect, they are "guest authors") and she keeps a few inches back from 100% endorsing this stuff, in that she delicately says she is including it for the readers' "interest" ).   ~ Again, an example of her intellectual dishonesty.

    She is indulging in plain denialism of the most unscientific sort — and the extremist politicians (senatorial and congressional) & the extremist press enjoy lapping it up. 

  • The Mail's censure shows which media outlets are biased on climate change

    MA Rodger at 21:36 PM on 30 September, 2017

    nigelJ @39,
    Note that within her spreading of doubt and denial about AGW, Curry is even happy to trash the temperature record. (This is perhaps odd as the temperature record is about the only thing she has to base her grand theory of there being a humongous natural climate wobble which has amplified the recent AGW over 1970-98 to create the present climate 'hysteria' with Wyatt's Unified Wave Theory being Judy's candidate for such an oscillation back in 2015.)

    Her stance in the temperature record is basically that 'there has been warming, but...' with the 'but' being followed by the buckets of doubt and denial. In many ways her comments about the temperature-record exemplifies her highly unscientific method. She will raises issues but almost always fails to set out clearly what she concludes from such issues. If she did, she would be slammed for promulgating serious denial with sky-high Monckton-ratings.

    Consider her testemony about the temperature record in front of this 2015 Senate Committee:-
    ♠ Her citing of the hockeystick graph as showing "overall warming may have occurred for the past 300–400 years. Humans contributed little if anything to this early global warming," rather misrepresents the hockeystick. She is strongly suggesting that the possible 0.2ºC warming over a recent 300-year period (1600-1900) somehow brings into serious doubt the IPCC's attribution of the 1.2ºC warming since 1900.
    ♠ Her evidence on the relevance of the 'hiatus' never concludes. Rather it rambles on about "The growing discrepancy between climate model predictions and the observations", the raging debates over the recent Karl et al (2015), the 'hiatus' "clearly revealed" by satellite data (helpfully plotted by denialist Roy Spencer so the graph shows the now-superceded RSSv3.3 and the then-yet-to-be-released UAHv6.0 and with the RSS data re-based and curiously shorn of some of its maxs&mins and for good measure the graph stops short of the latest 2015 warmth), scientific disagreement over discrepancies between TLT & SAT records (and note where she stands on that with her oral testimony "we need to look at the satellite data. I mean, this is the best data that we have and is global"), convoluted statistical probability of 2015 becoming warmest-year-on-record, discrepancies amongst temperature data sets, a five years requirement to be sure the 'hiatus' has actually ended. It rambles on but the relevance of the 'hiatus', the message  she is meant to be delivering, is never set out.
    ♠ Beyond her written testimony, Curry also expounds on SAT record adjustments, spreading yet more doubt:-

    "... And the adjustments, as you can see, are rather huge, OK?
    So should we—so, to me, the error bars should really be much bigger if they are making such a large adjustment. So we really don’t know too much about what is going on in terms of, you know, it is a great deal of uncertainty. Yes, I do believe that we have overall been warming, but we have been warming for 200, maybe even 400 years, OK? And that is not caused by humans."

    After the digression onto the pet "warming for even 400 years,OK" Curry returns to adjustments but specifically ocean adjustments stating "I mean, the land datasets are sort of starting to agree, but there is a great deal of controversy and uncertainty right now in the treatment of the ocean temperatures." Poor Judy has failed to note that Chariman Cruz was asking for comment on USCHN data adjustments and her comment relevant to that data solely comprises "the land datasets are sort of starting to agree" and thus that the adjustments Cruz is complaining about are perfectly appropriate. Yet that is certainly not the take-away message she provides.

    Curry gets away with talking this rubbish, even in written reports presented to a Senate Committe. She really should be taken to task for it.

  • The Mail's censure shows which media outlets are biased on climate change

    Eclectic at 13:32 PM on 28 September, 2017

    Nigelj @33 and prior ,

    The Mail is a fine example of "corporate insanity" ( I almost said "institutional insanity" — but that might be misconstrued! ).    Insane in the Latinic sense of being unsound of mind or body.

    Of course, corporate insanity derives from individual insanity (at the leadership level).    The English language lacks the terminology to label the type of insanity demonstrable in climate-denialists / anti-vaxxers / Flat-Earthers etc.     "Legal insanity" is defined over a narrow range, which only partly overlaps with the "medical insanity" (which is primarily a psychosis-based diagnosis/definition).   Yet every day around us, we notice examples of degrees of insanity : exhibiting as poor decision-making and a partial denial of reality — and all at a much higher intensity than in the average mature sane person.    But the insanity of climate-science-denialism is the prime type being of interest here at SkS.

    Which leads us back to J. Curry and her motivations.  I am sure, Nigelj, that she is moved by many considerations (but lacking what Mr OPOF calls the rational consideration of distant motives).

    In my post #24 above, I sieved out 5 examples of Curry's "position".   I started with wikipedia and desmogblog, and jumped back and forth between Curry's own blog and those sources (plus a few others).   Desmogblog had a number of its links broken (or not easily available) so I didn't verify everything on them — nor did I think it warranted the waste of time to pursue them. ( Though I am half-puzzled by Tom13's violent contention that the quote: "And that's not human" has any real difference from the quote: "And that is not caused by humans".   I will have to give a shrug about that one ! )

    Fortunately I had a considerable amount of prior experience of Curry's blog, so I was able to quickly judge/assess the concordance of the selected quotes with Curry's historical position (or rather more accurately : her range of self-contradictory positions plural ).

    For my sins, I had (from some years ago) chosen to examine parts of Curry's blog extending up to now [but skipping sections randomly, of course].   Two motives for that examination ~ (A) I knew that Curry was one of the trio [Curry, Christy, Spencer] of "contrarians" who were academically active & knowledgeably up-to-date climatologists, and well above the likes of those denialist minds in their twilight years [Lindzen, Singer and suchlike].   And despite reading the mainstream's damning indictment of the trio, I hoped I might find some scientifically logically valid points that Curry had put forward.   But I found none whatsoever.

    ~ (B) I was interested to learn something of her psychology (or perhaps psycho-pathology is the better term).   Why would a nominally-rational person take up a denialist stance?   Putting aside all questions of corruption & financial inducement, there remains the "strange peculiarity of the human mind".    As I had mentioned to Rbrooks502 (on another thread) , there is the actually remarkably widespread condition of Encapsulated Paranoia, where the individual is sane in most areas but psychotic [psychotic = out of touch with reality] in one particular area — the textbook case being the man with paranoid jealousy re his wife/girlfriend.

    However, other types of encapsulated insanity exist, and the scientific-minded readers here will be well aware of the Conspiracy Theorism and other insanities underlying AGW denialism.  Including the pathological resistance to accepting the plain logical evidence produced by the totality of climate scientists.   (A resistance which is multi-factorial, of course.)

    But I am drifting off-topic — yet excusing myself by pointing to the whole basic purpose of SkS being the combination of general information/education plus the countering of (some of) the climate "madness".    Nigelj , please forgive my overly-long post here, but I thought that you, as a wide reader, would find some points of interest in it.   Finishing in a humorous vein — doubtless you are aware of Douglas Adams' classic Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, where some [alien] inspector has given a one-line descriptor/assessment of Planet Earth . . . comprising just two words: "Mostly harmless".   I imagine that if the Inspector were to return to this solar system to assess the human race . . . he would use a 3-word descriptor: "Brilliant but mad".

  • These are the best arguments from the 3% of climate scientist 'skeptics.' Really.

    Inti at 03:20 AM on 28 September, 2017

    How does Roy Spencer reconcile raising his first point (trace gas) in the White paper with his blog article "Skeptical Arguments that Don’t Hold Water" from 2014?

    Spencer is pleading with fellow deniers not to embarrass themselves with these claims. The first 7 of his of 10 examples are various attempts to deny that CO2 causes warming:

    1. There is no greenhouse effect.
    2. The greenhouse effect violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
    3. CO2 can’t cause warming because co2 emits IR as fast as it absorbs.
    4. CO2 cools, not warms, the atmosphere.
    5. Adding co2 to the atmosphere has no effect because the CO2 absorption bands are already 100% opaque.
    6. Lower atmospheric warmth is due to the lapse rate/adiabatic compression.
    7. Warming causes co2 to rise, not the other way around

    Yet surely by posing the old "trace gas" nonsense he is making exactly the claim that "there is no greenhouse effect"?

    Am I missing something, or is Spencer?

  • Climate denial is like The Matrix; more Republicans are choosing the red pill

    nigelj at 06:04 AM on 22 July, 2017

    Supak @6, the research you quote appears to be claiming adiabatic air pressure, analogous to compression, causes recent global warming. 

    They are wrong. Heres a good explanation from Dr Roy Spencer (of all people). I only have a very general sort of knowledge and memory of gas laws, but can get what they are saying.

  • Surrendering to fear brought us climate change denial and President Trump

    nigelj at 06:43 AM on 20 July, 2017

    Thoughts @38, with respect, you are entirely missing the point. Certainly some scientists deny climate science, including a very small number of climate scientists, and some other scientists.

    But there's evidence that at least some of these people have various ulterior motives, rather than just purely scientific objections and this could extend to various fears, beliefs and vested interests that colour their conclusions on the science. I would suggest you will find the vast majority have these motives.

    For example some sceptical climate scientists have been funded by fossil fuel lobbies like Willie Soon. Now are you seriously going to claim this doesn't alter their mindset? Of course it could, because these lobbies will expect a certain result.

    Roy Spencer is a sceptical scientist, and has strong religious convitions that "man couldn't fundamnentally destabilise" the planet. He also has strong libertarian political leanings so would definitely be suspicious of carbon taxes etc. Its perfectly reasonable to conclude these things colour his conclusions about the science to some extent.

    Richard Lindzen is a sceptic, and has expressed something very similar that the planet is self correcting.  He also has or had interests in the coal industry.

    Other sceptical scientists I have come across have strong fiscally conservative views, or libertarian leanings,and may be worried about government involvement or taxes. Its reasonable to think this could be a cause of their scepticism of the science.

    I think you will find many sceptical scientists, probably most are influenced by a range of ideological issues, personal interests, and fears.

  • James Powell is wrong about the 99.99% AGW consensus

    DPiepgrass at 09:34 AM on 13 July, 2017

    I am curious who the four authors of 69,406 are that rejected AGW in peer-reviewed literature. Anyone know? I only know of 4 prominent contrarian climatologists – John Christy, Roy Spencer, Judith Curry, and Willie Soon – but only the first two are still publishing in the scientific literature AFAIK, and most likely Roy Spencer and John Christy would not attempt to publish something that explicitly rejects AGW.

  • Why the Republican Party's climate policy obstruction is indefensible

    michael sweet at 02:15 AM on 13 July, 2017

    Climate scientists need to be careful about refusing to participate.  If the Red team is Lindzen and Monkford the Blue team is Spencer and Curry it might lead to a refutation of the IPCC report.

  • Models are unreliable

    Tom Dayton at 11:40 AM on 27 June, 2017

    NorrisM, initially I'm going to assume you are who you claim to be, though the content of your post makes me suspicious--very suspicious--that you are one of SkepticalScience's fake-skeptic, trolling, chronic sock-puppeteers, and one in particular.

    Your statement

    The APS panel consisted of six (6) arm’s length physicists (with no axe to grind) chaired by Steve Koonin who were asking hard questions of both sides. What actually struck me as very astounding was how honest Koonin was about his previous lack of understanding as to how uncertain climate science is owing to the uncertainties underlying the climate models.

    is incorrect. Steve Koonin is a notorious fake skeptic, who has both the background and the subsequent, repeatedly delivered, information to know that most of what he says and writes is factually and drastically incorrect. Christy has and continues to make claims that are factually incorrect, and is motivated primarily by political and religious beliefs. Christy's partner in crime is Roy Spencer, who is a member of the Cornwall Alliance that claims human-caused global warming is impossible because God promised Noah there would not be any more floods. Really. LIndzen's pet theory about the "iris" mechanism that self-regulates the Earth's temperature conclusively and repeatedly has been proven wrong (obviously, since Earth's temperature has varied drastically--Snowball Earth, ice ages,...) but that has had no effect on his opinion, and he very much resents and takes personally the criticisms. Curry once was an adequately productive climate scientist, but for reasons I won't speculate on here, has become quite the opposite.

  • Satellites show no warming in the troposphere

    Eclectic at 22:35 PM on 26 June, 2017

    Qwertie @66 , his "peaking near ground level" description is simply false.

    The satellite data (usually quoted by Spencer as the so-called The Lower Troposphere) averages out over much of the height of the troposphere — and with a small amount of stratosphere added to the mixture as well !! [a bias which they attempt to remove]

    It could be taken as equivalent to the temperature on top of a very tall mountain.  But is he seriously suggesting that way-up-high mountain-peak temperatures are in any way a reasonable representation of the world's ground-level & sea-level temperature?  He is pulling your leg (or his own).

    Perhaps his next comment will be that we should only look at the warming trend measured at Mt Everest Base Camp ;-) 

  • Claiming that Listerine alleviates cold symptoms is false: To repeat or not to repeat the myth during debunking?

    nigelj at 07:53 AM on 24 June, 2017

    OPOF @7, what you say makes total sense if you are talking to a friend, or responding on a  website. No need to restate the myth, so you just respond on whats really happening with temperatures (and this can also be a valid response to numerous myths)

    I think the issue being described above is more relating to the media. It's hard for the media to respond to the latest myth doing the rounds in society, without actually stating what it is, and the logical place is to put the myth as the top of discussion. Avoiding being specific about the myth or burying it in the text is confusing for me.

    However I agree about satellite data. A couple of additional things occur to me. If you are just a typical person and not a science expert and look at the UAH satellite data on Roy Spencers website, or over at RSS, the graph looks kind of flat compared to the surface data. This is partly because the vertical scale is simply a bit different I think. When you see the satellite data together with surface data on the same graph, there is much less difference. Of course the satellite data doesnt show as much warming since about 2005, but when seen together with the surface data even that difference is not as huge as it seems.

    And the satellite data doesn't measure temperature directly. It extracts temperatures by measuring changes in the molecules that make up the atmosphere, and this is not as reliable as simple surface thermometer readings.

    As you undoubtably know satellites also do not actually measure surface temperatures where we live, only the middle of the troposphere. But how many other people realise this? 

  • The day after withdrawing from Paris, Trump declared a flooding disaster in Missouri

    nigelj at 12:17 PM on 7 June, 2017

    Eclectic @6, I don't understand why you would defend Ivar Gaiever. He is smart enough and highly qualified enough to know his claims were flippant and shallow. 

    Does he have a pre-existing emotional bias?  I have a suggestion: He is currently a science advisor to the Heartland Institute. This suggests to me he sympathises with their entire dubious libertarian and ultra conservative, small government world view, as I cannot believe anyone would work for them, if they didn't share that basic world view. He does not appear the sort who would struggle to find work, given his credentials! Of course he is free to state what his world view is, if he thinks I'm being unfair.

    I agree Lindzen is influenced by old testament beliefs. I wonder if Roy Spencer is as well, given things he has written.

    So we have two things associated with climate denial, religious fundamentalism and free market economic fundamentalism. Now theres an interesting coincidence!

  • Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect

    Tom Curtis at 10:18 AM on 6 June, 2017

    MVW @216:

    1)  The runaway greenhouse effect is premised on two essential facts.  First, increasing water vapour in the atmosphere, as with any GHG, decreases the total amount of Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) for a given Global Mean Surface Temperature (GMST).  Second, if OLR is less than the Net Incoming Solar Radiation (NISR), surface temperatures will increase.  The way the runaway greenhouse effect works is that, for a given atmospheric pressure, and GMST, as surface temperature increases the amount of evaporated H2O increases at a sufficient rate that the OLR stays constant.  Because it stays constant, the gap between OLR and NISR cannot be closed while this situation occurs, and the temperatures must keep on increasing.

    Eventually, of course, if this situation arises, the oceans will boil dry.  At that point, the gap between OLR and will still exist, but can begin to close.  That is, the system is not in a state of equilibrium at that point, but can finally achieve it over the course of time.  (Technically it does not achieve equilibrium, but quasi equilibrium, ie, equilibrium approximated over a short time period of at least a year, given that solar insolation is not constant throughout the year.)

    2)  Energy transfers within the atmosphere are not restricted to just radiation.  Therefore a model of atmospheric temperature that relies solely on radiative energy transfers will not accurately estimate surface temperatures.  This was first shown by Manabe and Strickler (1964), from whom this figure comes:


    As you can see, using a simple, one dimensional model they showed that if radiative transfers within the atmosphere were the sole source of energy transfers, that would result in a much warmer surface temperature (approx 30oC warmer).  For Earth, energy transfers by convection and latent heat need to be accounted for in addition to those by radiation.  On Venus, because of the absence of water vapour, only energy transfers by convection and radiation need to be accounted for.  In a full Global Circulation Model, lateral energy tranfers also need to be accounted for.

    The temperature profile of Venus atmosphere has been modeled.  As one example, here is a one dimensional model equivalent to that from Manabe and Strickler from Tomasko et al (1980):

    For what it is worth, here is a 2017 paper on a full Venus GCM (pay wall for full paper), and a 2017 update on another full Venus GCM.

  • Study: inspiring action on climate change is more complex than you might think

    Eclectic at 10:40 AM on 21 May, 2017

    Factotum @3 , you may be right, about the role played by religious fundamentalism in fostering a science-denying attitude about the changes occurring in this planet.  See Roy Spencer's strong leaning toward minimizing (in his mind) the amount of global warming going on.  And the relatively high level of Christian fundamentalism in the USA has some correlation with the higher than world-average denialism among Americans.   It would be a difficult matter to study statistically.   For comparison, it would be interesting to see the relative amount of denialism among Christian fundamentalists in Mexico, South America, and perhaps Africa.

    I suspect that a greater motivation, at least in the USA, is the anger felt by change-rejecting conservatives — combined with right-wing rejection of governmental regulations, plus ordinary selfishness & lack of compassion for others (especially foreigners).

    It is not just Christian fundamentalist theology having a hand.   Take for example the (non-Christian) Richard Lindzen who also expresses a belief that this world is a Divine creation, formed as a mechanism which is self-correcting : and which cannot slide into a condition which is unfit for mankind.   Presumably this reflects his Old Testament upbringing.  [ I am unaware of the degree of denialism in Israel. ]

    However, there may also be many people whose thinking is influenced by some amount of "non-religious spiritualism" or subconscious worshipping of an idealized Mother Nature.

    Of course, all these factors could be: Horses harnessed together and pulling in the same direction.

  • More errors identified in contrarian climate scientists' temperature estimates

    Bob Loblaw at 08:05 AM on 12 May, 2017

    Using satellite-measured microwave radiation to try to determine atmospheric temperatures is affected by what is called "the inversion problem". I can't quickly find a definitive discussion of it, but a quick search produced this paper that mentions it in the abstract:

    The inversion problem can be summarized as this:

    • radiation transfer theory is quite capable of taken a known set of atmospheric conditions (temperature, pressure, chemistry, etc.) and giving quite accurate estimates of the resulting radiative fluxes.
    • Going the other way - taking radiation measurements and trying to use a model to determine atmospheric conditions (in this case, temperature) - is much more difficult. The problem is usually "ill-conditioned" - there are a lot of unknowns, and the model can be made to fit the measurements fairly well with a wide variety of closely-related input parameters that may or may not be known accurately.
    • For example, if my model says A+B=C, and I know A and B, it is easy to estimate C. On the other hand, if I measure C and don't know much about A and B, then it's really hard to say I know B with certainty. If B is what I am interested in, and I can find an independent way to know or estimate what A is, then I can learn about B by measuring C, but my estimate of B is highly dependent on how well I do with A.

      All the "corrections" to Spencer and Christy's results over time can be described as modified attempts to constrain the results based on improved understanding of either the models or the approximations needed to overcome the inversion problem. Spencer and Christy's track record - of having others find problems that need fixing - does not do them a lot of credit. Follow the link to the Grauniad's story to see the graph of Spencer and Christy's sequence of corrections to their work.

  • New publication: Does it matter if the consensus on anthropogenic global warming is 97% or 99.99%?

    knaugle at 00:38 AM on 5 May, 2017

    Most of the time when I look into this, at a purely amateur level, I find that there are maybe 80 really active, publishing climate scientists.  From this list, I can count less than a handfull of scientists whom I know are critical of AGW.  Roy Spencer, John Christy, and Judith Curry come to mind.  Interestingly Curry has retired and so is no longer on my list.  As is the case with Richard Lindzen and William Gray, and for that matter Christopher Moncton and Fred Singer (who aren't really climate scientists) it seems the most ardent "deniers" are getting really old and I'm not seeing their replacements.  The eternal problem of being a contrarian is always that while you might be right, it is really hard to convince anyone.

  • Yes, we can do 'sound' climate science even though it's projecting the future

    JWRebel at 05:00 AM on 20 April, 2017

    @ubrew12: Good points. The third point is also a giant misapprehension even if you grant the premise. I happen to agree with what Spencer says about the the Earth, but this does not give us a free pass — his conclusion is a total non sequitor. You cannot cross the street without looking and say nothing happens without God's will, so there's no danger. Not looking is part of what is happening; nothing anybody believes about the Earth or Mother Nature can suspend cause and effect. Balance is always restored. What we do and don't do matters a great deal. The Israelites are told to plant trees, to allow the land rest (fallow), etc., if they want to keep the land as their inheritance. Nowhere does it state that it doesn't matter what you do. Quite the opposite. There is no religion that states that you endanger your life and soul if you kill a fellow human being, but pouring infinite amounts of CO² into the atmosphere has no consequences, the indulgences have already been provided in advance at no cost.

  • Yes, we can do 'sound' climate science even though it's projecting the future

    ubrew12 at 01:46 AM on 20 April, 2017

    Lamar Smith: "Anyone stating what the climate will be... at the end of the century is not credible"  Then Chairman Smith is not credible, since the argument for doing nothing about fossil emissions is based on a prediction that climate in 2100 will be unaffected by it.  This 'pushback' argument is not made often enough: the 'do nothing' alternative is still a course of action based on a prediction (that despite doing nothing, everything will be OK).  On what is that prediction based?  History?  Intuition?  Madam Costanza's crystal ball?  No rational course of action, or inaction, is made without an estimate of its future impact.  Since all courses of action, or inaction, require such future predictions, why are only the predictions of the climate scientists being questioned?

    Deniers, when questioned on this, will often appeal to history: 'climate has always changed naturally over the course of Earth's history'.  This is a non sequitor: if Smith shot his neighbors dog, his defense can't rest on the observation that most dogs throughout history died naturally.  Besides: name something that hasn't changed naturally over the course of Earth's history.  

    Rarely, deniers will reveal something closer to the heart of their objection, as when Dr. Roy Spencer said "Earth and its ecosystems — created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence — are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory."  So, that's a prediction of future climate based on 'Everything is going to be OK, because God told me so'.  Personally, I prefer Madam Costanza's crystal ball.

  • Just who are these 300 'scientists' telling Trump to burn the climate?

    Nick Palmer at 00:31 AM on 2 March, 2017

    I thought I'd see how many of the usual suspects were in it. Interestingly, I didn't find Christy or Peiser in there...

    ABDUSSAMATOV, Habibullo Ismailovich
    ANDERSON, Charles R
    BALL, Tim
    BARTLETT, David
    BASTARDI, Joseph
    BELL, Larry S
    BRIGGS William M.
    D'ALEO, Joseph S.
    DYSON, Freeman
    EASTERBROOK, Donald J.
    EVANS, David M. W.
    HAPPER, William
    HUMLUM, Ole
    IDSO, Craig
    LEGATES, David R.
    LINDZEN, Richard
    MANUEL, Oliver K.
    MISKOLCZI, Ferenc Mark
    MOCKTON, Christopher
    MOORE, Patrick
    MORNER, Nils-Axel
    MOTL, Lubos
    SCHMITT, Harrison H.
    SINGER, Fred S.
    SOON, Willie
    SPENCER, Roy W.
    WHITEHEAD, David

  • Correcting Warren Meyer on Forbes

    Tom Curtis at 12:13 PM on 21 February, 2017

    "One more error is, he claims Al Gore states that, "...we will see a tipping point where temperatures will run away, [Gore] is positing that feedbacks will be nearly infinite (a phenomenon we can hear with loud feedback screeches from a microphone)." Nope. Sorry. That is Mr. Meyer's misunderstanding and is nothing that Al Gore has ever stated."

    I did a bit of research and managed to find the source for Al Gore's claims about "tipping-points".  It turns out to be a conflation of a comment Gore made to CBS news in 2006, and a review of An Inconvenient Truth, by James Hansen.

    CBS reported on January 26th, 2006 that:

    "And politicians and corporations have been ignoring the issue for decades, to the point that unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return, Gore said.

    He sees the situation as "a true planetary emergency.""

    You will notice that while the sentiment is Gore's, the initial sentence contains no quotations, and hence no indication that the term "point of no return" was Gore's.

    Meanwhile, in his review of "An Inconvenient Truth", Hansen expressed similar views when he wrote:

    "Any responsible assessment of environmental impact must conclude that further global warming exceeding two degrees Fahrenheit will be dangerous. Yet because of the global warming already bound to take place as a result of the continuing long-term effects of greenhouse gases and the energy systems now in use, the two-degree Fahrenheit limit will be exceeded unless a change in direction can begin during the current decade. Unless this fact is widely communicated, and decision-makers are responsive, it will soon be impossible to avoid climate change with far-ranging undesirable consequences. We have reached a critical tipping point."

    In January, 2016, Anthony Watts published an article by Jaclyn Schiff, which quoted the NBC article, before saying:

    "Well, the 10 years are about up, by now, warming should have reached “planetary emergency levels” Let’s look at the data:


    As you can see, little has changed since 2006. Note the spike in 1998, in the 18 years since the great El Niño of 97/98, that hasn’t been matched, and the current one we are in isn’t stronger, and looks to be on the way to decaying. So much for the “monster” El Niño."

    In the space covered by the ellipsis, Schiff published a graph of the UAH TLT temperature through to Nov 2015.  Why November, given that the Dec 2016 data was published by Roy Spencer on January 5th, 2016.  Perhaps it had something to do with the December values being higher than those of October, hence giving the lie to the claim that the temperatures "looks to be on the way to decaying".  Regardless, hindsight shows her claims to be utterly baseless:

    Indeed, so also did foresight for anybody aware of the relative delays of surface and mid troposphere temperature responses to ENSO fluctuations.

    More important than any shenanigans with out of date temperature data is the complete misunderstanding of what Gore is reputed to have said.

    Going back to the original NBC metaphore, a point of no return is that point in a flight, or expedition, were turning around will not leave you with sufficient fuel (or supplies) to return to base.  It could also be used of a scenario where you are driving rapidly towards the lip of the Grand Canyon, in which case the point of no return is that point at which no amount of braking, or rapidity of turning will prevent you from going over the lip.  In neither case is there any sudden change in your conditions.  The point of no return on a flight is not a point of sudden turbulence; and the point of no return as you follow Thelma and Louis to a premature death is as smooth as any other point you had traversed on the trip thus far.

    Applying this to Gore's thought, clearly he was saying (whether using that phrase or not) that if radical action was not taken by (approximately) 2016, then we would have reached a point where no economically achievable measures could prevent CO2 concentrations rising sufficiently to cause temperatures to pass the threshold beyond which their impacts are considered dangerous.  No sudden jump in temperature is predicted, and nor is it predicted that the temperature increase by 2016 will itself have passed a dangerous threshold.

    In any event, Schiff's misunderstanding was then picked up by the deniasphere, with Hansen's term frequently substituted.  From there, it was apparently further misinterpreted by Warren Myer.

    Ignoring the gross misrepresentations without which deniers have no argument, the question is whether or not we have in fact passed Gore's 'point of no return', or Hansen's "tipping point".  The answer is that we do not know.  We may have, and if we have not we certainly will do so soon.  My feeling is that we have for a 1.5oC increase above the preindustrial, but not quite yet for a 2oC threshold.  Unfortunately, whether we have or have not passed it, the actions of Trump in the US, and Turnbull in Australia seem geared to ensure we pass it very soon, if we have not already.



  • 2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts greenhouse theory

    Tom Curtis at 22:27 PM on 19 February, 2017

    MA Rodger @1489, the energy balance diagram only shows energy movement between realms - ie, from the surface to the atmosphere, or from the atmosphere to the surface.  It does not show energy transfer within the atmosphere itself.  For that reason, the figure is not a good guide for estimated what Global Mean Surface Temperature (GMST) would be like in the absence of convection.

    A better guide is Fig 4 from Manabe and Strickler (1964):

    As you can see, from their model, an absence of latent heat transfer (ie, dry-adiabatic lapse rate) would lift GMST by about 10oC, while the complete absence of convection would lift it by about 45oC relative to current conditions.  As the greenhouse effect on Earth raises GMST by over 33oC, the presence of convection cools the Earth by over 50%  of the temperature increase that would occur from a greenhouse effect without convection.  

    Eliminating latent heat transfer within the atmosphere by the condensation of water would eliminate just under 25% of the greenhouse effect coupled with convection.  That is an esoteric figure, however, given that 75% of the greenhouse effect is from water vapour and clouds.  Consequently the combined effect (greenhouse and lapse rate) of water vapour in the atmosphere is to warm the Earth; although at a lower GMST it might be to cool it given the reduced greenhouse effect but near constant cloud albedo effect. 

  • Volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans

    Tom Curtis at 13:02 PM on 13 February, 2017

    Tony Spencer @278, the estimates of geological CO2 emissions are certainly in ferment at the moment.  One factor is that we know that over the long term, CO2 concentrations are essentially stable.  Specifically, the CO2 concentration either at glacial maximums, or interglacial peaks have not varied by more than a few ppmv relative to other glacial maximums or interglacials respectively, for 800,000 years.  It follows that natural emissions are essentially in balance with natural uptake of CO2.  As it stands, however, where estimates of CO2 uptake used to exceed estimates of emissions by about 50%, they are not dwarfed by them.  That means there is a problem with one set of figures, or the other, or both.  My suspicion is that currently the vulcanoligists are over counting, but assume the estimate of natural uptake is too low.  It would remain the case that total geological contribution to atmospheric CO2 increase is essentially zero.

  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3

    One Planet Only Forever at 09:08 AM on 23 January, 2017

    The Graphic of the Week appears to be a "Cherry-picked" way of analysing and presenting the data. It seems to have been done in order to claim the warming has just about reached 1.5 C. That is unnecessarily Alarmist.

    I struggle to see a scientific reason for evaluating the temperatures the way they have been evaluated.

    However, I also consider it far more meaningful to present a graph of a running 10 year average (a new point for each new month, not even having to wait for a calendar year to end) than showing straight lines of the average over each Decade. The use of the 10 year bar leads to arguments that we need to wait for the next 10 years of data to be collected before anything can be concluded.

    I also think that a running 12 month average is also a more meaningful presentation of what is going on than waiting until the December numbers are in to declare how much warmer a 12 month period has been.

    I would think that a clearer and more comprehensive presentation would be the running 12-month average through the past 137 years of data. It would highlight what needs to be highlighted about how warm the planet is becoming even though the maximum value would not have been as close to 1.5 C. And lines for the running 10-year average and 30-year average should also be shown to highlight the trend of the temperatures.

    And the same should be done for the satellite data. The 9 year length of the 30 year average in the satellite data would be good for people to see, because though it is short it is undeniably climbing. And it would raise the valid question of why the likes of Dr. Roy Spencer prefer to show a 13 month average on the satellite data.

  • Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Tom Dayton at 05:58 AM on 18 January, 2017

    Renaissance Man, you claimed: "As to CO2 being "forcing," infrared radiation is absorbed by water vapor and by carbon dioxide in virtually identical spectra, which I shall not bother to reproduce here."

    You were incorrect on two counts:

    1. CO2 increase indeed is a forcing, but water vapor increases are a feedback to warming, not a forcing, as Michael Sweet pointed out to you. Read the post "Explaining how the water vapor greenhouse effect works"--first its Basic tabbed pane, then its Intermediate tabbed pane. If you want to argue/discuss/query further on that topic, do so in the comment thread on that post, not this one.

    2. CO2 and H2O absorption do not entirely overlap. From physicist and historian Spencer Weart's "Discovery of Global Warming":

    The early experiments that sent radiation through gases in a tube, measuring bands of the spectrum at sea-level pressure and temperature, had been misleading. The bands seen at sea level were actually made up of overlapping spectral lines, which in the primitive early instruments had been smeared out into broad bands. Improved physics theory and precise laboratory measurements in the 1940s and after encouraged a new way of looking at the absorption. Scientists were especially struck to find that at low pressure and temperature, each band resolved into a cluster of sharply defined lines, like a picket fence, with gaps between the lines where radiation would get through.(24) As Hulburt and Callendar had claimed, the most important CO2 absorption lines did not lie exactly on top of water vapor lines. Instead of two overlapping bands, there were two sets of narrow lines with spaces for radiation to slip through.

    You should read more from that source, after that passage.

  • Models are unreliable

    sailingfree at 02:15 AM on 10 December, 2016

    Spencer now shows Cornbelt data, and "42 CMIP5 models.

    He implies that the CMIP5 projections are for the cornbelt.

    Is this true?

    (In my local newspaper I clash with Joe D'Aleo's misiformation, can use help.)

  • Trump and the GOP may be trying to kneecap climate research

    MA Rodger at 02:18 AM on 8 December, 2016

    Moderator @ 29,

    There are of course two UAH TLT records as well as RSS TLT.

    The v6.0beta5 (which is not yet released so shouldn't be in use) has an annual cycle with an average well below freezing so the annual averages will also be below freezing. I calculate Dec15 to Nov16 at -8.67ºC. (Note, the value presented by the commenter is only a couple of fat fingers away from this value.)

    RSS TLT would have similar anomaly values. UAH TLTv5.6 has a lower average altitude (about 2km lower) so should have an average above freezing but the +8.77ºC could be a bit high. I've never seen its absolute values quoted for UAHv5.6.

  • Trump and the GOP may be trying to kneecap climate research

    Tom Curtis at 10:55 AM on 5 December, 2016

    John Warner @17, your style of writing verges on inchorence, making it difficult to determine your argument, when you even have one.  A major contribution to that effect is your tendency to take up distinct arguments within the same paragraph; but to also scatter the discussion of any given argument across multiple, not necessarilly consecutive paragraphs.  You appear, however, to be raising three major arguments, and a minor one:

    1. That I did not cite my sources of data (the minor point);

    2. That the TLT satellite temperature record, and the UAH version of that record in particular is, is the only temperature record that should be used for climate analysis;

    3. That in any event, discussion should focus on energy levels, rather than on temperature per se; and

    4. That any correlation between CO2 forcing and temperature is a consequence of outgassing of the ocean induced by the rise in global temperature.

    If I have missed, or mistated an argument, please specify the argument clearly by explicitly stating the claim then in sequential paragraphs, with a separate paragraph for each line of evidence in favour of the claim, state the evidence for each claim; before then stating the next claim and so on.  Your thoughts are not so brilliant that we should be required to wade through "word salad" to try and garner them.

    Taking the identified points consecutively on the list above:

    1)  You claim, "Since you did not cite the sources I have to gather my own facts."  In fact, I did better than cite sources, I provided active links to the data (except for Mauna Loa which I thought sufficiently well known to not require such a link).  Consequently, you did not need to "gather your own facts" because I did not provide you with the appropriate citations.  Further, you did not "gather your own data".  The data you use was gathered by (mostly) NOAA and NASA and processed by Spencer and Christy.  You merely cherry picked the data most suitable to your narrative, ignoring approximately 80% (by time) of available temperature data to do so.

    2)  Your preferred temperature data is not temperature data specically.  Rather it is the microwave signal from Earth as detected by a series of different units from a series of different platforms.  These platforms in turn have had decaying orbits and orbits not in tune with the day night cycle such that different locations are observed at different local times on consecutive orbits.  On top of this, the quality of the instruments themselves are known to decay in space, and the altitude weighting profile of the observed signal changes with the altitude of the surface, and depending on wether the signal processed is over land or sea.  On top of that, each data point represents an average of signals across a wide swathe so that all TLT data is "homogenized" automatically, despite the major objection to the instrument record mounted by AGW deniers being that homogenization.

    Because of these difficulties, the processing of the microwave signal data required to generate a temperature record is far more extensive than that required for the instrumental records.  The difficulty of the process has resulted in a number of major corrections over time, partly listed below:

    These corrections have continued, and Spencer and Christy are in the process of introducing a major new correction at the moment.  Curiously at the same time as they are introducing a correction that will reduce the trend, the rival RSS product (which produces a different record from essentially the same data) is introducing a correction that increases the trend.  Also at the same time, Spencer and Christy are ignoring a peer reviewed correction to their own product which would also increase the trend.  It should be noted that (unlike the case with the instrumental record), the corrections are large relative to the "observed" trend.  Worse, there are at least four independent analysis of the microwave data to determine a TLT temperature, all of which come up with different trends, with the differences being large relative to the observed trend.

    In contrast, with the instrumental record, using partially overlaping data sets, 5 major institutional records using different techniques all come up with essentially the same result.  One of those, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project (BEST) was headed by people noted for their criticism of climate scientists, and funded by leading climate denier funders, the Koch brothers.  It would rightly have been regarded as the denier's temperture record until the deniers repudiated the result (having earlier affirmed that the method was appropriate and adequate).  Further, at least 4 independent private citizens have processed the data and also come up with essentially the same result.

    The upshot is that we know fairly well what the instrument record tells us about GMST, whereas we do not know what the satellite temperature record tells us because we do not yet know the correct means of processing it.  Therefore, if anything we should prefer the instrumental record.  We certainly should not truncate 80% of the data because we refuse to use any record other just one satellite record.

    [PS] Further details of satellite versus thermometers discussed here and a good place for any further discussion, before this goes too much further offtopic.

    3)  You write:

    "Adding ocean and land absorption of heat diminishes the role of carbon dioxide when your consider air, land and oceah heat versus only air heat. You logically increase the role of natural heating forces."

    However, when you get around to discussing it, you do not discuss the energy involved, but restrict the discussion to temperature trends (degrees K per year).  You give rough energy conversion factors but no data.

    Instead, I the 0-700 Meter Ocean Heat Content data from the KNMI Climate Explorer, and regressed it against the CO2 forcing as determined from Mauna Loa.  The result is a correlation of 0.917, and R-squared of 0.841, and a regression of 13.55 (+/- 0.445) x 10^22 Joules /(W/m^2).  The 0-700 OHC data represents sufficient of the Earth's total surface heat content anomaly to be considered representative over the long term.  That regressing the OHC against CO2 forcing provides as much support as does regressing surface temperatures means that your objection (for which you provide no relevant data) is merely a smoke screen.

    4)  Finally, with regard to cause and effect, it is a matter of simple physics that increasing CO2 concentration will increase surface temperature, and that increasing temperature will increase CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.  The question is, what is the relative magnitude of each effect.  If we look at the record over the recent glacials, we see (according to this graph) a change of 100 ppmv for a 10 C temperature increase:

    That represents 10 ppmv/C meaning the 120 ppmv increase in CO2 since the preindustrial era, if caused by the temperature increase, must have required a 12 C increase in GMST to match it.  That is somewhat exagerated.  GMST are widely thought to have represented just 50% of the Vostok variation, which would reduce the required temperature increase to 6 C, but again that is way to much.  Using your formula, dC=1.70+1.94*T, a 120 ppmv change in CO2 concentration requires a 61.85 C change in temperature to drive it.  Taken seriously, if you actually think that is the relationship between CO2 concentration and temperature, you must think the Earth to be ice free and uninhabitable, with a GMST of 76 C.

    Your formula is, of course, in error, having been taken from too small a data set.  But a variety of estimates show that the rise in temperature can have contributed no more than 10% to the increase in CO2 concentration.  That is consistent with the ten lines of evidence that show conclusively that the recent increase in CO2 concentration was driven by anthropogenic emissions.  Disagreeing on this point is intellectually as unsuportable, given the evidence, as geocentrism.

    From the fact that the vast majority of the increase in CO2 over the 20th century was anthropogenic in origin, it follows that the strong correlation between CO2 forcing and temperature, and the statistically significant regression demonstrate a major impact of CO2 on GMST.

  • Trump and the GOP may be trying to kneecap climate research

    john warner at 14:31 PM on 2 December, 2016

    The scientific explanation of carbon dioxide radiative forcing is easy to understand. With the analytic application of this understanding I can prove that the exaggerated claims of the global warming advocates fail the scrutiny of reason by the weight of their own silliness. The best way to access the IP addresses I am providing is to copy the address and paste it into the Browser IP address row and press enter. Then print the document for future reference. (snip) To return to the Moraleconomist Web Blog click x on the file folder you are viewing.

    This is the IP address for the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. [mod. - This is not an IP, it's a url.]

    In 1979 NASA began using satellites to measure the earth’s average annual global air temperature. [mod. - Not exactly...]  For the purpose of evaluating the validity of the global warming hypothesis [mod. - Needs a citation.] I prefer to use this period of the earth's air temperature record. The growth rate of carbon dioxide from 1979 to 2015 is 1.7892ppm per year. [mod. - Needs citation.]

    This is the IP address [mod. - URL] for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Third Assessment Report, Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis, Table of Contents.

    Click on chapter 6 and scroll down to table 6.2. From the first equation C/Co, Co is 400.83 in 2015. Extrapolating the current growth rate [mod. - You can't do a straight linear projection.] to 2115 yields C equal to 579.75, (400.83+178.92= 579.75). (579.75/400.83=1.4463738) The natural log of this growth rate is 0.3690595. Multiplying the natural log times 5.35 yields 1.97wpsm. This is the most likely scientific prediction for a 100 year increase in carbon dioxide radiative forcing [mod. - No it's not. Pleaser refer to the Representative Concentration Pathways data for accurate figures.]. Before you thoughtlessly dismiss this go back to the TAR and go to table 6.1 and notice that between 1750 and 1998, 248 years, radiative forcing by carbon dioxide only increased 1.46wpsm. You can verify this with a scientific calculator by calculating the ratio of 365/278, taking the natural log and multiplying by 5.35. You can also calculate the 265 year increase in carbon dioxide radiative forcing, 1.96wpsm, by evaluating the ratio 400.83/278.

    This is the IP address [mod. - URL] for NASA’s 2010 Earth Energy Budget based on the 10 year Climate and Earth Radiation System experiment.

    The first thing to note is that there is no greenhouse gas radiative forcing quantity [mod. - Yes there is. Right there on the first page of your URL link.]. It is 17.9wpsm. This is a 33.4wpsm decrease from NASA’s 1998 Solar Energy Budget estimate of 51.3wpam. [mod. - citation needed.] The water vapor component was reduced 75%. [mod. - citation needed.] The well mixed greenhouse gases component was reduced 25%.[mod. - citation needed.] Therefore the most likely prediction is reduced to 1.48wpsm.

    Notice also that the surface air temperature radiates 358.2wpsm. Google the Free Stefan-Boltzmann Law Calculator. Enter 1 for e and A. Enter 358.2 for P and x for T. Click calculate. T equals 281.93 degrees Kelvin. Adding 1.48wpsm to 358.2wpsm equals 359.68wpsm. Now enter 359.68 for P and x for T. T equals 282.22 degrees Kelvin. The difference, (282.22-281.93=0.29), is 0.29 degrees Kelvin per century. That is also 0.0029 degrees Kelvin per year.

    This is the IP address [mod. - URL.] for Dr. Roy Spencer's Web Site. Click on Latest Global Temp. Anomalies.

    This is the gold standard of temperature records [mod. - No, it's not.] for analytically evaluating the validity of the global warming hypothesis [mod. - Go chat with Roy, he'll tell you that you're wrong in your hypothesis here]. Notice the range of variability of the monthly data, 1.35 degrees Kelvin. Even more important for our purpose notice the 13 month running average temperature. Between July 2011 and April 2016 [mod. - why 13 months and not 12?.] this temperature went up 0.5 degrees Kelvin. Multiplying 4.75 years times 0.0029 degrees Kelvin per year yields 0.014 degrees Kelvin. The temperature went up 35 times more than the 4.75 years of carbon dioxide growth can explain [mod. - No one claims that CO2 and temperature are expected to operate in lockstep.]. Also notice every time the temperature goes down none of that variations is explained by carbon dioxide because [mod. - because, because, because....] annual average levels of carbon dioxide never go down [mod. - Technically wrong, but again, no one expects that CO2 and temperature will operate in lockstep.]. To credit carbon dioxide with average annual global air temperature changes is silly on its face compared to the other natural forces controlling earth’s air temperature. [mod. - Please quantify these other radiative forcings in relation to GHG forcing.]

    From the IPCC Third Assessment Report [mod. - URL.] on Climate Change 2001 1st footnote from page 5 Summary for Policy Makers 1...

    "Climate change in IPCC usage refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. This usage differs from that in the Framework Convention on Climate Change, where climate change refers to a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and that is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

    The TAR could not prove that human activity [mod. - "proof" is a mathematical term and can't be applied to theories] caused global warming and they could not use the more ambiguous phrase, “climate change,” because of the definition adopted by the Framework Convention in 1992 [mod. - You've profoundly misinterpreted the passage you pasted above.]. In order to be semantically correct they had to redefine their definition of “climate change” to include naturally caused variability. Since the IPCC, the world’s leading scientific global warming authority[mod. - Weird claim.], secretly [mod. - Please read the terms of commenting on SkS again.] changed the definition in 2001 the global warming advocates believe they are not lying when they use, “climate change,” to refer to naturally caused climate change but the general public hears the lie that the changes are being caused by human activity. [mod. - Statements like these generally get commenters banned at SkS. You're on thin ice.]

    The IP address [mod. - URL.] for the earth’s annual absolute temperature cycle [mod. - Really?.] is:

    Scroll down until you see the colored years. Select near surface temperatures channel 4, degrees Kelvin, and year 2006. Notice that for January the temperature is 258 degrees Kelvin and for July the temperature is 261 degrees Kelvin. When the earth is closest to the sun the earth air is 3 degrees Kelvin colder.

    The IP address [mod. - URL.] for Earth Orbit — Wikipedia is:

    Notice in the second paragraph under the heading Events in orbit the following sentence. “The changing Earth-Sun distance results in an increase of about 6.9% (footnote 8) in total solar energy reaching the Earth at perihelion relative to aphelion.” Next scroll down to the table labeled Orbital Characteristics. The earth’s aphelion is 94.51 million miles from the sun and the perihelion is 91.40 million miles from the sun. The ratio is 1.034. Because of the inverse square rule the solar radiation power per area at the perihelion is 1.069 times higher than at the aphelion. 1.034 squared equals 1.069. (0.069*340.4wpsm=23.5wpsm) The difference in solar radiative forcing between July and January is +23.5wpsm and the earth’s air is 3 degrees Kelvin colder.

    The earth’s air mitigates a 23.5 watts per square meter annual solar radiative forcing cycle [mod. - citation needed.] but according to the global warming advocates theory, it can’t mitigate a 1.48 watts per square meter [mod. - citation needed.] increase in radiative forcing from a 100 year increase in carbon dioxide [mod. - citation needed.]. On January, fifth, the solar radiation on the earth is 353.75 watts per square meter. On July, fifth, the solar radiation is 330.25wpsm. When the sun’s radiation power per area is 23.5wpsm greater the earth’s air temperature is 3 degrees Kelvin colder. The global warming activists don’t care enough about science to realize that there are very powerful natural physical mechanisms that mitigate earth’s air temperature during its elliptical path around the sun [mod. - called the greenhouse effect.]. The annual increase in radiative forcing due to carbon dioxide growth is 1,588 times smaller [mod. - citation needed.] than the amplitude of the annual solar radiation power cycle, (23.5/0.0148=1,588) [mod. - citation needed.] Yet the global warming theory public policy advocates do not feel the necessity to explain why these same powerful natural physical mechanisms can’t also mitigate such a small determinant of the earth’s air temperature. These physical forces of nature are called: cloud albedo, radiating to space as a function of air temperature raised to the fourth power, reduction in conduction as the temperature difference between earth’s surface and surface air gets smaller and ocean sequestration of heat.

    Another global warming lie we can expose here is that their public policy advocates say it takes 40 to 100 years for the earth’s air temperature to adjust to a change in radiative forcing due to carbon dioxide growth. But how long does it take to adjust to daily changes in solar radiative forcing. Notice that from NASA.s annual temperature cycle graph that as the earth begins to move away from the sun on January, Fifth, the earth’s air temperature begins to increase within two weeks. This means the earth’s air temperature regulating mechanisms are already increasing radiative forcing faster than the sun's radiative forcing is decreasing.

    This is an invitation to a, Frank Knight type, free discussion of reasonable men to discover whatever truth emerges that we can agree upon.

    [mod. - (sigh).]

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