Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Rebutting errors in the Great Global Warming Swindle

Good articles in the latest New Scientist sort out fallacies in The Great Global Warming Swindle. See here and here.

The main errors:

1. Volcanoes do not as TGGWS suggest emit more CO2 than human activities combined. If they did, the curve showing the rise in atmospheric concentrations of CO2 would show irregular jumps, representing each volcanic eruption. Instead, it is smooth.

2. The latest IPCC report shows that the combined radiative forcing - i.e. warming impact - of all human activities, from greenhouse gas emissions to aeroplane contrails, is 10X that of natural factors, namely solar irradiance. See here.

3. The period of cooling 1940-1970, which TGGWS claimed was proof that the global warming hypothesis is flawed, has a simple explanation. It was caused by industrial sulphate emissions, combined with a cluster of volcanic eruptions, which also emit sulphates. The industrial sulphates have since been partially cleaned up thanks to clean air laws adopted in developed countries. This figure, published by Gerald Meehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research shows how climate models can reconstruct 20th century temperatures, including the mid-century cooling, by accounting for factors that contribute to both warming and cooling.

4. TGGWS, like other denialism, is pushing the theory that fluctuations in solar activity explain the rise and fall in temperatures over the past few centuries. The argument is that when cosmic rays hit the earth’s rising water vapors they cause clouds which shield the planet from solar radiation causing it to cool. The sun's magnetic field dampens the effect of cosmic rays reducing cloud cover and causing warming. Thus an active sun makes for a warmer planet. But this is just not borne out by evidence. The climate system is complex and many factors affect it, cosmic rays among them. But to claim they are a major influence is disingenuous. There is far greater evidence suggesting CO2 is the major cause of warming.

5. TGGWS claims that in the long-term history of climate, variations in atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have lagged variations in atmospheric temperature so human-produced greenhouse gases cannot cause warming. But while the history of major ice ages and interglacial periods is set by earth's orbital variations, known as Milankovitch cycles, not by greenhouse gases, these cycles trigger feedback effects - such as changes in atmospheric CO2 levels which amplify temperature changes.

6. There is no question that the more CO2 there is the warmer things become. We are now adding CO2 and other greenhouse gases at much higher rates than ever before so it is not surprising that temperatures have been rising over the past 40 years. From the comprehensive models that climate scientists have built up, only human-made greenhouse gases can explain this. Other factors, such as solar variations are insignificant in comparison.

7. This debate is not just about science. Implicit in the sceptics' message is the suggestion that scientists are lying about the role of CO2. The impression is of a conspiracy that climate scientists have launched because of their political motivations or their desire to attract research funding. This is unsupported by evidence.

8. The problem with debating the science of climate change is that it is hard for the public to assess all the arguments. Hence the IPCC periodically publish a scientific assessment thats draw together knowledge. That is not a political process. It is science.

On climate change, in general, NewScientist’s Fred Pearce’s updated Instant Expert feature provides a useful tutorial.

'Climate change is with us. A decade ago, it was conjecture. Now the future is unfolding before our eyes. Canada's Inuit see it in disappearing Arctic ice and permafrost. The shantytown dwellers of Latin America and Southern Asia see it in lethal storms and floods. Europeans see it in disappearing glaciers, forest fires and fatal heat waves.

Scientists see it in tree rings, ancient coral and bubbles trapped in ice cores. These reveal that the world has not been as warm as it is now for a millennium or more. The three warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998; 19 of the warmest 20 since 1980. And Earth has probably never warmed as fast as in the past 30 years - a period when natural influences on global temperatures, such as solar cycles and volcanoes should have cooled us down. Studies of the thermal inertia of the oceans suggest more warming is in the pipeline.

Climatologists reporting for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) say we are seeing global warming caused by human activities and there are growing fears of feedbacks that will accelerate this warming.

Global greenhouse

People are causing the change by burning nature's vast stores of coal, oil and natural gas. This releases billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year, although the changes may actually have started with the dawn of agriculture, say some scientists.

The physics of the "greenhouse effect" has been a matter of scientific fact for a century. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that traps the Sun's radiation within the troposphere, the lower atmosphere. It has accumulated along with other man-made greenhouse gases, such as methane and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

If current trends continue, we will raise atmospheric CO2 concentrations to double pre-industrial levels during this century. That will probably be enough to raise global temperatures by around 2°C to 5°C. Some warming is certain, but the degree will be determined by feedbacks involving melting ice, the oceans, water vapour, clouds and changes to vegetation.

Warming is bringing other unpredictable changes. Melting glaciers and precipitation are causing some rivers to overflow, while evaporation is emptying others. Diseases are spreading. Some crops grow faster while others see yields slashed by disease and drought. Strong hurricanes are becoming more frequent and destructive. Arctic sea ice is melting faster every year, and there are growing fears of a shutdown of the ocean currents that keep Europe warm for its latitude. Clashes over dwindling water resources may cause conflicts in many regions.

As natural ecosystems - such as coral reefs - are disrupted, biodiversity is reduced. Most species cannot migrate fast enough to keep up, though others are already evolving in response to warming.

Thermal expansion of the oceans, combined with melting ice on land, is also raising sea levels. In this century, human activity could trigger an irreversible melting of the Greenland ice sheet and Antarctic glaciers. This would condemn the world to a rise in sea level of six metres - enough to flood land occupied by billions of people.

The global warming would be more pronounced if it were not for sulphur particles and other pollutants that shade us, and because forests and oceans absorb around half of the CO2 we produce. But the accumulation rate of atmospheric CO2 has increased since 2001, suggesting that nature's ability to absorb the gas could now be stretched to the limit. Recent research suggests that natural CO2 "sinks", like peat bogs and forests, are actually starting to release CO2.

Deeper cuts

At the Earth Summit in 1992, the world agreed to prevent "dangerous" climate change. The first step was the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which finally came into force during 2005. It will bring modest emission reductions from industrialised countries. But many observers say deeper cuts are needed and developing nations, which have large and growing populations, will one day have to join in.

Some, including the US Bush administration, say the scientific uncertainty over the pace of climate change is grounds for delaying action. The US and Australia have reneged on Kyoto. During 2005 these countries, and others, suggested "clean fuel" technologies as an alternative to emissions cuts.

In any case, according to the IPCC, the world needs to quickly improve the efficiency of its energy usage and develop renewable non-carbon fuels like: wind, solar, tidal, wave and perhaps nuclear power. It also means developing new methods of converting this clean energy into motive power, like hydrogen fuel cells for cars. Trading in Kyoto carbon permits may help.

Other less conventional solutions include ideas to stave off warming by "mega-engineering" the planet with giant mirrors to deflect the Sun's rays, seeding the oceans with iron to generate algal blooms, or burying greenhouse gases below the sea.

The bottom line is that we will need to cut CO2 emissions by 70% to 80% simply to stabilise atmospheric CO2 concentrations - and thus temperatures. The quicker we do that, the less unbearably hot our future world will be'.


Life in the Northwest said...

First things first:

If you are correct in your assertion that we have to cut CO2 emissions by 70% to stabilise the planets climate, then it’s too damn late.

We have obviously passed the tipping point, and it would be a 100 yrs before the current changes had peaked and showed decline.

China, India and Brazil will carry on producing more emissions and that's not going to change so we will not cut Human CO2 by anything like 70%, and in fact all we are likely to do is slow the rate of rise in CO2 down.

Slash and Burn farmers in Borneo produce more C02 annually than the whole of the UK, and forest fires produce between 15 - 30% of all Human CO2 emissions. For perspective the UK produces approx 2% of all human CO2 outputs.

Secondly, I have read your web page, and I am not convinced with the rebuttals, and I still think that the Solar Variance theory has as many legs as the Human CO2 theory.

Let’s not forget these are only theories NOT accepted fact.

My reasons for not being convinced are many, but I will give you a few.

1) Temperatures have been much higher in the past, when human CO2 could not have been a factor; this indicates that Human CO2 can't be the main climate driver. If CO2 is the driver than where is the mechanism that suddenly produced more or less in the past.

2) H2O (Water Vapour) is the largest atmosphere warmer, but the Human CO2 theory seems to down play this.

The major natural greenhouse gases are:

Water vapor H2O, which causes about 36-70% of the greenhouse effect on Earth (not including clouds);

Carbondioxide CO2, which causes 9-26%;

Methane, which causes 4-9%, and

Ozone,which causes 3-7%.

No one is yet able to state for certain which gas causes what percentage of the greenhouse effect, because the influences of the various gases are not additive. It's also not clear whether these gases are the causes of, or functions of Global Warming.

Two of these other main greenhouse gases are methane and nitrous oxide. Both gases have a much smaller presence in the atmosphere than CO2 but are much stronger greenhouse gases; methane has over 20 times the effect of C02, while nitrous oxide is nearly 300 times stronger. These are also rising in volumes.

3) Chaucer recorded vineyards in the North of England ... there aren't any there now, and therefore it was warmer in the Middle Ages than now. Again this was before industrialisation, so no Human CO2 involved.

4) No one has proved that CO2 levels are not a function of Global Warming rather than the cause of it rising. I accept that the jury is still out on that.

Finally, the use of the word "disingenuous" is a double edged sword, you state that to say "Cosmic Rays" have a major role is "disingenuous", however if you don't disprove it then its disingenuous to say its use is disingenuous.

Anyway I enjoyed the post. Well written and a good subject.

hc said...

I agree that CO2 cutbacks inm the developing world are urgent and that warming will continue even if decisive action is taken now. Temperatures will continue to rise as will sea levels. Hence adaptation policies are needed as well as mitigation policies.

The best science available suggests it is the increase in CO2 eemissions that is the primary determinant of warming. This scientific fact like all science is open to challenge nbut that is what various climate change models incorporating a variety of determinants of climate show.

We should act now on the basis cof the best scientific information available.

Anonymous said...

Responding to Life in the Northwest...

Your pessimism about the prospects for cutting emissions by enough, soon enough, may well be justified, but I don't think it's a valid argument for doing nothing. Do you? Really? If (as I expect) human-induced climate change turns out to have serious effects, then even partial reductions ofthose effects will be desriable.

Now, onto the climate science...

Your statement that "these are only theories NOT accepted fact" is empty rhetoric. We do the best can with the knowledge we have, as always. Just because we don't know everything doesn't mean we don't know anything.

The various solar variance theories may well have something to them, but no-one has come close to arguing convincingly that they explain a significant fraction of the recent warming. (And actually I don't think any of their scientific proponents has suggested that they explain *all* of the recent warming.) In 20 years we will probably have a better knowledge of how solar-induced variations fit into the climate picture. It may be that there are mechanisms that allow solar variations to have stronger effects on climate than the raw solar radiation variations allow. (Galactic cosmic rays and clouds? UV acting on the stratsophere.) It may not.

Re: "Temperatures have been much higher in the past, when human CO2 could not have been a factor; this indicates that Human CO2 can't be the main climate driver." No it means it can't be the *only* climate driver. But since no one ever suggested it was, your point is, well, pointless.

Re: "H2O (Water Vapour) is the largest atmosphere warmer, but the Human CO2 theory seems to down play this." Modern climate theory does not play down water vapour. Water vapour is an essential amplifying mechanism for all other climate drivers (not just CO2, but solar variations and volcanism).

RE: "It's also not clear whether these [greenhouse] gases are the causes of, or functions of Global Warming." It depends on the time scale. The glacial cycles seem to have been driven by variations in ice cover, temperature and CO2, amplifying the effect of variations in the earth's orbit on solar radiation. But the rise in CO2 over the last couple of centuries is well known to have been caused by anthropogenic emissions. On this time scale, CO2 is primarily a driver, not a drivee.

Re: "Chaucer recorded vineyards in the North of England ... there aren't any there now, and therefore it was warmer in the Middle Ages than now." Do you really find that argument as convincing as you claim? Don't you think there may be one or 2 other differences between the Mediaeval England and modern England? Demand for wine? Why does this climate proxy in one location trump all the other climate proxies?

Mark Hadfield

Iain Hall said...

Harry a simple question have you actualkly watched the program in question? because so far I have failed to find one AGW true believer who actually has.
I have seen some of it on You Tube and a friend is sending me a copy on DVD.And it seems to me that basic premise of the documentry has as Life in the northwest says "Got Legs" so If you haven't seen it how can you be so dismissive? on the second hand opinions of true believers who have a vested interest in the current orthodoxy? Hmm My email is at my blog and if you want a copy contact me and I'll see about stoking up the burner...

hc said...

Iain, I did see the film the night after it was first telecast and linked to it in an earlier post. I don't know if that link is still alive.

My main impression was that while well-produced it was totally one-sided. There was no evidence presented at all from climate change models suggesting CO2 was linked to warming. Moreover the feeling was that supporters of global warming were conspirators seeking to get more research funds while the press who reported such accounts were trying to create alarm to sell newspapers. It is not credible to argue these things without one shred of evidence - just by assigning possible motives. Moreover I do not think scientists or the press can be led in this way.

NewScientist to its credit deals with the specific responses to the film and provides criticisms.

I strongly endorse the comments of Mark Hadfield above. Global warming theory isn't immutable law. We will learn about things. This is the way all science develops. To say you are not 100% sure about anything doesn't say much at all. But the overwhelming evidence so far suggests tthat warming is linked to CO2 emissions. Solar activity doesn't explain much and can't explain why temperatures continued to rise after 1970.

chrisl said...

Harry, Do you believe that economic models work? Can they predict interest rates,growth,All ordinaries Index? Five years out ,10 years out, 93 years out?
We are lead to believe that climate models can make predictions, yet the climate system is much more complex and we don't know all of the forcings.By all means continue the research but it is a bit early for conclusions. More of a slow motion "crisis"

chrisl said...

I see that Al Gore is proposing a carbon tax to replace payroll taxes. This Idea I like.I have never uderstood why emplyment is taxed.

hc said...

I agree Chis there is a lot to recomment this. See my earlier post on Stiglitz and carbon taxes.

Tax bad things (pollution, congestion) not good things like work effort and savings.

whyisitso said...

Most participants in the global warming debate (far from over as the ascendants assert) have seen this famous Newsweek article.

But what strikes me forcibly from re-reading it is the similarity of the language used to describe the coming disaster therein forecast.

The "we are all doomed" soothsayers haven't changed much down the centuries, have they?

chrisl said...

It is an absolutely fascinating topic whyisitso.I read somewhere that our brains are hard-wired to worry about the weather, from back in the days when a dry or wet spell really mattered.So to shout that the CLIMATE IS CHANGING, well automatically you have everybody's attention.Then you say that computers prove it. Well everybody knows that computers work, don't they.
I once had a formerly hirsute professor tell me if I didn't trust climate models ,then I shouldn't get on a plane because they are run by computers. I didn't have the heart to tell him that they sometimes fell out of the sky.

Anonymous said...

There weren't any fallacies in the program.

Thats just bullshit. Put it in your own words Harry and then you'll see the nonsense of it.

You're getting lazy.


Anonymous said...

Right now I've read your points over the fold and I'm afraid you are clearly in denial and they are virtually all in error.

"6. There is no question that the more CO2 there is the warmer things become. "

But this is the first thing you have to be quits with. There is simply no evidence for this whatsoever.

Where did you get the evidence from.

You don't understand the science.

And you are in denial.

Evidence Harry!


hc said...

GMB, I am lazy so I often do take quiote a bit from others. The main arguments propounded in the Great Global Warming Swindle were rebutted by NewScientist and in the websites such as RealClimate that they cite.

The evidence of a link between CO2 and warming is very strong. The other arguments incliuding those propounded in TGGWS don't explain things.

Don't turn this thing into an ideological crusade GMB. Look at what has happened to temperatures overr the last century and try to explain it. The volcanos and solar activity explanations do not work.

Anonymous said...

"The evidence of a link between CO2 and warming is very strong."

Not only is the evidence not strong Harry. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE.

Now I thought that there was but there isn't any. I still just assume it must have some effect BUT THATS SPECULATION ON MY PART. This is not science. This is speculation.

Don't say that there is evidence when there isn't.

Do you have any?

No of course not. No-one has. They might think they have localised evidence as I thought I had. But we never had global evidence so we had to assume powerful negative feedbacks wiping out the local effect.

But in fact we don't have even any localised evidence and I was mistaken.

Now will YOU come up with some evidence Harry?

Because you'd be the first. I'm trying to shake down James Annan for some evidence. But I know already that he won't come up with any since HE doesn't have any since there isn't any.

Don't pass on these lies until you find some evidence.

There were no substantial mistakes in the documentary. Nothing which materially affected the argument. They didn't trace the irradiance/temperature data past 1980 since that would have opened a can of worms.

But imagine in your minds eye the way the two graphs move together. This happens no matter who traces them.

CO2 doesn't move in sympathy with temperature that way. If it did I'd agree with you.

Anonymous said...

Don't you be projecting your leftist ideology onto me Harry.

I cannot turn it into an ideological crusade. Thats already been done by the energy-deprivation-crusaders. That is to say YOU GUYS HARRY.

I'm happy with however the evidence pans out.


Lets see it or lets see an undertaking that you won't pass on these lies ever again until you have some evidence.

Anonymous said...

"GMB, I am lazy so I often do take quote a bit from others. The main arguments propounded in the Great Global Warming Swindle were rebutted by NewScientist and in the websites such as RealClimate that they cite. "

No thats NOT true. NewScientist and realclimate didn't rebut ANYTHING.

Everything in the documentary stands and its a total refutation of the energy-deprivation-crusaders case.

I really don't believe you've seen the documentary. Or else you may have seen it long enough ago to be stooged by these guys on the basis that this stuff is no longer fresh in your memory.

Because nothing in the documentary has been rebutted.

But the fact that nothing in the documentary has been rebutted ought not detract from the fact that the energy-deprivation-crusaders have NO POSITIVE EVIDENCE of their own.

And if the energy-depriving-ideologues were successful in rebutting anything at all that wouldn't constitute positive evidence of their own.

So we wouldn't want to get hung up on any of that. Instead we'd want to find some POSITIVE EVIDENCE.

Billions of dollars has been spent looking for this evidence and the return has been zip.

Which is clearly a refutation of this particular hoax in and of itself.

hc said...

GMB, I saw the documentary the night after it came out in fall.

So let me clarify what it is you are after. You want evidence of a statistical link between carbon emissions and temperature.

Temperatures have risen systematically for the last century. Everyone agrees with that - even the denialists.

CO2 concentrations have risen strongly suggest.

So you are denying that CO2 increases are linked to warming. But climate scientists around the world - almost all of thyem - assert that in complex models of climate determination they are linked and that the causality runs primarily (but not solely) from CO2 to warming.

Let me know which bit of the story you deny or want more evidence on.

Anonymous said...

Lets see some evidence Harry.

Its you thats in denial and not me. I'm saying that there is no evidence. Which means if its having an effect it must be so slow or so weak that we cannot see it.

Thats what I assume is happening BUT THATS SPECULATION ON MY PART.

We don't really want speculation. What we want instead is evidence.

Its you thats in denial and not me.

And if that wasn't the case you'd come up with some evidence.

So lets see the evidence.

The issue isn't one of BELIEF. Thats an wholly unscientific concern.

The issue is one of EVIDENCE.

So lets see some.

Anonymous said...

Obvioulsy I'm not after evidence for a correlation. So you were way out of line putting that one in my mouth.

What I'm after is evidence for a CAUSATION.

There was no need to clarify that. You knew what evidence we needed. And it wasn't for a correlation but for an actual causation.

With the CO2 causing warming and not the other way around.

hc said...

Evidence for causality with changes in CO2 causing warming is provided here.

This tests 'Granger Causality' - roughly that past values determine current values. I think there are contrary results - hardly surprising since as the NewScientist response above affirms that at times warming has led CO2 emissions - then feedbacks step in and CO2 again drives warming.

Anonymous said...

Thats not evidence Harry thats an hypothesis.

What they are claiming is that the Southern hemisphere temperature changes anticipate the Northern hemisphere temperature changes.

Thats not evidence for CO2 warming things at all.

We already know that SO2 cools things. There is plenty of evidence for that.

Take CO2 out of the picture and you could have just as weak an hypothesis. No stronger and no weaker.

So the South anticipates the North.......... GLOBAL WARMING?

A totally invalid inference.

Particularly since industrial CO2 release has grown very smoothly and SO2 release grew smoothly (volcanic eruptions aside) fell smoothly and is now growing smoothly again.

No evidence to be found there fella.

And take this statement of yours:

"NewScientist response above affirms that at times warming has led CO2 emissions - then feedbacks step in and CO2 again drives warming."

The first part of your statement is true.

The second part is a realclimate mantra.

Possible... possible but the effect must be negligible or slow or else realclimate would be able to provide evidence.

Which they cannot do.

hc said...

Still unclear what evidence it is you want. I thought this addressed your concerns.

Anonymous said...

I see that this thread is still dragging on, though I suspect it's only being watched by GMB, Harry and myself (and only rather infrequently at that).

Anyway, I was thinking of trying to come up with some EVIDENCE for GMB, but haven't quite got around to it yet. In the meantime, I would like to ask about the following:

"We already know that SO2 cools things. There is plenty of evidence for that."

What sort of evidence are you talking about here? I am thinking that the sort of evidence you would find convincing for a cause & effect relationship between one variable and another is a lagged correlation between time series of the variables, with the causer leading the causee. Is that so? Is that the *only* sort of evidence you will accept?

Mark Hadfield

Anonymous said...

Well of course that would be helpful.

Look the key is just to not suddenly lose all your brainpower when you approach that topic.

You know what evidence is do you not?

Go out and find some.

Everytime we have a Mount Pinatabo-type eruption and dust and all sorts of other crapola (including SO2) is injected into the stratosphere we get a downturn in temperature not explained by a downturn in solar activity.

Both in theory and in practise we see that SO2 can cool, at least if its injected into the stratosphere.

Now there was this theory that CO2 could warm if it was put into the troposphere.

But an hypothesis is not enough on its own.

You need the evidence.

And you don't have any.

Anonymous said...

"Everytime we have a Mount Pinatabo-type eruption and dust and all sorts of other crapola (including SO2) is injected into the stratosphere we get a downturn in temperature not explained by a downturn in solar activity."

OK, but I'd just like to point that there's a fair bit of theory in your evidence. You've noted that the temperature dips for a few years after each volcanic eruption and you've decided this is not mere coincidence. This is reasonable, because there have been quite a few volcanic eruptions, they're all well-defined events and the response appears to be consistent. Furthermore, you've attributed the effect to SO2, not to all the "dust and other crapola" because you know quite a lot about the radiative properties of sulfate aerosols and you know their lifetime in the stratosphere (a few years) matches the duration of the volcanic perturbation.

My point (and it's just laying groundwork, not a challenge to anything you've said) is that theory-free evidence does not exist.

Enough for now.

By the way, I've just realise I can use my Gmail account to log in here, so I won't have to be "Anonymous"

Anonymous said...

Well of course there is THEORY. You need the theory. But after you've sorted out the theory then you need the data that shows your theory is panning out.

The energy-deprivation-crusade never had that evidence. However there is a bit of an anomaly in the 80's and 90's where the temperature is held to have overshot the solar irradiance.

As to evidence. I'm not after much here. Just some normal evidence.

Actually enough extra CO2 would turn this world into a magnificently lush planet. But its unlikely to appreciably mask the next little-ice-age.

Here is an example of evidence for the last bit of theory. And this is the level of evidence I would expect from you. Doesn't need to be all the rigourous.

Just a little bit of evidence would be helpful for starters.

Anonymous said...

You want evidence? Here goes. This is the once-over-lightly version.

Theory suggests CO2, like other greenhouse gases, should affect the Earth's surface temperature via changes in the radiation balance.

Further, models suggest that many of the different climate forcing factors (greenhouse gases, reflective aerosols, solar radiation incident at the top of the atmosphere, surface albedo changes due to ice) can be compared in terms of their "radiative forcing". The idea is that two different forcing factors with the same radiative forcing will give a similar equilibrium change in surface temperature. The radiative forcing concept is explained at length in the IPCC TAR. It's an approximation at best and there might be climate forcings that can't be reduced to this common denominator.

The climate sensitivity defined in terms of this radiative forcing can be estimated in quite a few different ways, some model-based and some not. They all converge on (in CO2 terms) 3 Celsius per doubling of CO2.

Coupled ocean-atmosphere models driven by the various climate forcings are successful in that they:

* Simulate the current climate reasonably well.

* Also simulate the climate in the Last Glacial Maximum.

* Simulate the changes in global-mean temperature over the last 100 years or so, including the rise in temperature in the early part of the 20th century, the smaller fall in the middle part, and the rise since.

The successful simulations of the 20th century can't be achieved without anthropogenic forcing.

The models successfully simulate the *pattern* of change in the last few decades (cooling in stratosphere, warming at surface and in troposphere). This is a signature of increasing greenhouse gases.

So it's theory and models validated by evidence.

But I've read your blog now, I know you're aware of all this and I know you are very disparaging about it, so fire away.

hc said...

GMB, The evidence is well set out in numerous books. Mark's points are basically correct - you cannot explain why happened after 1970 without allowing for anthropogenic forcing.

A very good coverage is:A.E. Dessler & E.A. Parson, The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change.

GMB it would be useful if you could say clearly what evidence I could conceivably gather that would refute the global warming hypothesis - i.e. the hypothesis that warming is caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

Anonymous said...

"Theory suggests CO2, like other greenhouse gases, should affect the Earth's surface temperature via changes in the radiation balance."

Right. So far so good. But its not "theory suggests"... Its more like... "In the nineteenth century someone came up with A THEORY that extra CO2 in the atmosphere ought to warm things somewhat"

Something like that. Not "THEORY" but "A THEORY".

I like inductive inference. I think inductive inference is the very hallmark of science. Its cost effective. You need to do it all the time. But when you do it you must never imagine that your inductive inferences are revealed truth.

The next step is to go and find the evidence. Now the first guy who thought that CO2 might warm things thought that a doubling might increase the planets temperature by about 6 degrees Centrigrade.

What we want to know is did this sort of thing pan out? Or did it pan out but not quite as strong as we thought it might?

When we find out that it didn't what should we do?:

1. Use the unexpected information to spur us to find out WHY it didn't. Thus enhancing our understanding of nature?

2. Pretend that it did pan out after all.

It didn't pan out. But we'll PRETEND it did. And we'll just bullshit about it. And use the original hypothesis to hang a massive Gramscian international hoax on, because we are superpissed that Reagan destroyed our fabled Soviet Union.

You see it was a fine and understandeable theory.

But it didn't pan out. And pretending it did has stopped the science in its tracks. Since what we really want to know is WHY the theory didn't pan out.

Retrospectively it begins to look like a pretty stupid theory actually. But for me to say that is totally unfair.

Because after all I thought it was a pretty good theory and so I expected that it was working just fine and that we should all pop the champagne corks because it meant we need never worry about another little ice age or indeed a big one.

And even early on in my blog you can see that predjudice that it must be working buggering my thinking.

Its not working. And the fact that it might be warming more-then-it-otherwise-would somewhere 5 kilometres up by some tiny amount that makes a large difference over 20 000 years (I'm just making that all up) DOESN'T CHANGE THE FACT that the original theory didn't pan out and there's but no use in pretending otherwise.

And why would we expect what amounts to a bit of armchair philosophising to pan out in the first place?

Thats all it was.

A bit of armchair philosophising, finding some effect in the lab and extrapolating that finding, using all sorts of simplifications, to the highly complex global atmospheric-oceanic heat-distribution-and-retention system.

I make more armchair calls then anyone. But I know that some factoid that I didn't consider will likely present itself and undoe everything I've thought about.

But there is no need to be overcome with waves of humiliation and shame when that happens. The inductive thought isn't wasted. Because if you've thought about all the angles down to the ground like Tom Reagan in Millers Crossing, then when you find the unexpected results... you have a bit of a headstart as to whats really going on.

The key is not to pretend the hypothesis panned out when it didn't.

So thanks to leftism and socialist-science we have an whole industry.... of anti-inductivists that paradoxically have latched onto a little piece of one-step-induction.

A one-step piece of armchair thinking.... That was good at the time... But it didn't pan out.

Arthur Robinson said that Socialism never works. But sometimes it can take awhile to fail.

And I think we see this with things like public education and the financing of science through thievery.

It worked damn fine for awhile but then the rot starts and it just keeps on going.

"The idea is that two different forcing factors with the same radiative forcing will give a similar equilibrium change in surface temperature."

This is a false contention. And obviously so when you think about it. So right there the models are clearly wrong.

Go to any outdoor pool complex in a country town.

They have a swimming pool and a diving pool.

Wait for three sunny days followed by two rainy days.

Then check the temperatures of the pools first thing on the third morning.

Only the diving pool will have retained any prior warmth.

That was an assumption that they made.....that they could promiscuouly add and subtract various forcings.

But that assumption didn't pan out either. And why would it?

It matters where it is you place the element in the kettle. It matters and if it doesn't its very strange that I've seen countless models of kettles and not one of them placed the element near the top.

Throw SO2 into the stratosphere. It is stopping a subset of the entire spectrum from punching energy deep into the ocean water.

So the difference in energy is felt where the difference can be retained for many months afterward.

But put extra CO2 into the troposphere and any extra joules generated are likely to be entirely ephemeral.

If they don't last the winter they cannot be said to contribute to cumulative warming except by some other vector.

We saw in my example that the warming from three sunny days didn't really last the third overcast day except in the diving pool.

The size of solar cycles varies and if the extra heat doesn't get retained after a cold 11 or 12 year cycle it cannot be a problem for us because it cannot outlast a single weak solar cycle.

So we have two hypotheses here that didn't pan out.

"The climate sensitivity defined in terms of this radiative forcing can be estimated in quite a few different ways, some model-based and some not. They all converge on (in CO2 terms) 3 Celsius per doubling of CO2."

Thats coming from Annan and its total bullshit. Thats his second-to-last study.

I'm sure his statistical methods are impeccable. And its such a waste that a talented statistician has no grasp of natural philosophy and in this environment is not likely to be able to do the good work he is capable of.

He selects the cooling from volcanoes.... and then he cherry-picks some time in the distant past when we were in an ice age and the CO2 is low (silly bugger uses a snapshot rather then a narrative of what came before...... actually he's probably a closet anti-alarmist but I'm pissed with him for not owning up and doing the right thing and ruining his career).

... There is no authentic evidence in that second-to-last study of Annans because he equated notional CO2 forcing with actual effects from volcanic eruptions. But what we were looking for was the actual effect of the CO2.


We know that SO2 and volcanic debris can cool if its punched straight into the stratosphere. We already know that. We have untold evidence of that.

We wanted to know only about the effect of CO2.

The evidence we get from Annan is that the evidence goes all the other way. Since he went back in time to find a time when the temperature gelled with his estimate of CO2... That is to say when there was the right amount of CO2 and the right temperature to gibe with his 2.9 degrees estimate.

If he is capable of going back that far in time. And if there was indeed evidence that CO2 warmed any damn thing in substantial a way as what SO2 and volcanic debris most demonstratably cools things then Annan would have found and presented that.

But since he was unable to its evidence for the contrary point of view.

He never found a time when the CO2 came in and warmed anything. Or where the CO2 dissapeared and that cooled anything.

And no the models don't backtest.

If you find one that does do let me know.

Anonymous said...

"GMB, The evidence is well set out in numerous books. Mark's points are basically correct - you cannot explain why happened after 1970 without allowing for anthropogenic forcing."

Well lets see it then!!!!

There is no evidence. You haven't read the books and verified them. I can in fact explain what happened from 1976 to 2000 without CO2 entering into it.

And why on earth would you expect.... if CO2 had some effect... that the effect would be limited to those years??????????????????

In fact you said it already. The campaign to reduce SO2 on account of hysteria about acid rain.

That would in-and-of-itself explain the slight warming anomaly in the last two decades of the twentieth century.

Plus I know Dessler and he's a complete idiot. And I expect the other guy is therefore tainted.

Anonymous said...

"GMB it would be useful if you could say clearly what evidence I could conceivably gather that would refute the global warming hypothesis - i.e. the hypothesis that warming is caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions."

First things first.

Find some evidence that an increase in CO2 causes any substantial amount of warming.

And not just a tiny bit either. We don't starve our fellow man of access-to-energy on the basis of a tiny bit of CO2-induced-warming right in the middle of a brutal and pulverising ice age.

Anonymous said...

The crucial difference between a swimming pool and the atmosphere? Convection.

How exactly the the CO2 theory "not pan out"?

You're right that it's impossible to see the effect of CO2 in isolation. Nature doesn't do CO2-only experiments for us because (unlike volcanoes and solar variations) CO2 levels are controlled by processes internal to the atmosphere/hydrosphere/biosphere system. Even the current fossil-fuel burning experiment is confounded by the aerosols generated by fossil-fuel burning, amongst other things.

Anonymous said...

Nature doesn't do ANY one-thing-only experiments. So thats hardly any excuse to foist a gigantic Gramscian hoax on top of.

We know that SO2 in the stratosphere can work. It can cool. We know that the temperature bounces up and down with the suns activity.

We know that CO2's effect is slight. Since as you say... it can be hidden behind the aerosols. Which means the aerosols are likely a far stronger effect at lower troposphere air pressures. It means this in the same way that I cannot hide behind my own finger. Or not successfully anyway.

And if you say that it can be confounded by aerosols that means clearly its only a slight thing.

And if its only a slight thing it must be a GOOD thing on a planet that in this 10 million year block is hardwired with a one-way catastrophic-cooling bias.

So thats the science of it and anyone who tells you otherwise is full of shit.

Rick Stark said...

One can not claim to be in agreement that global warming is a problem and simultaneously oppose the use of nuclear power as a tool to limit it. Wind, solar and other alternate fuels can contribute to the reduction in CO2 emmissions, but nuclear power is the only one that can do this while meeting the demand for electricity. The US generates approximately 51% of the countries electricity by burning coal. Nuclear power to this extent could significantly reduce power plant CO2 emmissions

Anonymous said...

Right Rick.

But why would we want to reduce CO2 emissions in the first place.

You've noticed this contradiction. That they say they want to reduce CO2 emissions (FOR NO REASON AT ALL) yet they tend to also be against the clean, safe and cheap energy source that is nuclear electricity.

Well you see there is no contradiction. Since the global warmers are ENERGY-DEPRIVATION-CRUSADERS.

Be careful not to get bogged down with these guys and make it sound like there's any excuse whatsoever to reduce CO2 emissions.

These people have to GET OUT OF THE WAY OF NUCLEAR ENERGY and they also have to get out of the way of carbon emissions (an unambiguous good thing) as well.

Or else they have to contemplate working for a living. That is to say working as taxpayers and not taxeaters.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for my silence folks, I've been away for a week tramping (bushwalking) in NZ's Abel Tasman National Park. Glorious.

So because the warming effects of increased CO2 can be cancelled out for a couple of decades by the cooling effects of increased aerosols (in a period of very rapid industrial expansion) you say CO2's effect is "only slight"? If you care to put some numbers on that, then there might be a point worth responding to.

Anonymous said...

Its pretty clear now that you are being a stupid dishonest retard ON PURPOSE.

Do you have any evidence for CO2-induced warming?

No you don't. Now we've established that. So obviously we deduce that the warming effect is slight not because we have the numbers but because WE DON'T HAVE THE NUMBERS.

Not only do you and I not have the numbers but none of the advocates have the numbers because none of them can find any warming at all.

In fact the only years where warming seemed to overshoot solar irradiance is the years 1976-2000. But CO2 is no good explanation for this.

The reduction in SO2 is a possible explanation and there are likely others. Including problems with the data.

But at this point its getting pretty clear that you are now willing to argue from a position of bad faith.

Because you yourself know you have absolutely no evidence for any of this CO2-warming at all.

George J Doe said...

Oh, dear Harry -
your para 4 shows it just a bit too obvious: You are a true believer of the HC3M2 - the Holy Church of Man-Made Climate Change ! And Al Gore is the true Prophet of that Holy Church (shame, that he drives a big car and lives in such a waste-of-energy-mansion...) !

So, for you and your co-believers, TGGWS is all "denialism, just not borne out by evidence, disingenuous...". "There is far greater evidence suggesting CO2 is the major cause of warming."
Nice try. Go on, guess again...

To you and your other true believers of the IPCC polit bureau:
TGGWS falsifies the HC3M2-show stage in every single aspect. Due to Karl Popper, the only valid scientific method is falsification. You, Harry as well as the IPCC believers, are struggling with verification of the Prophets message ("An inconveniet ..." error!). Verification is not science, hence it is never valid, least "true".
Climate change is obvious, no one can deny this. But it is nonsense to spend our energies in argueing about the reason behind the warming. We do not need culprits, but better solutions for all mankind. **
I suggest: Minimize pollution of air, soil and water, minimize the use of toxic substances in industrial processing, minimize bad governance in less developed countries (the main driving factor for non-development in this world) - and do so by applying democratic rules. That is quite enough to achieve in the next 2 live-times. The side effect of all this would be... a reduction in all kind of gas output - hence, just the effect that you are struggling for.

** IPCC is a body of the UNO. The UNO is not a scientific institution, but a political organisation. Even worse, the UNO does not represent mankind, but the governments of this planets, hence pure politics. And from most of these governmental represantatives, no one would by a used car. Even Saint Al Gore is not a scientiest, but a (rather unsuccessful) politics.

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