Long shot kick de bucket (no warming since 1958)

by Gareth on July 14, 2008

homer.jpg At last, the NZ Climate “Science” Coalition publish their response to the Royal Society of New Zealand’s recent statement on climate change. As I predicted, they’ve made my day. Let’s consider the circumstances. We have the nation’s leading science organisation, and a panel of the nation’s leading climate scientists – including a few Nobel prizewinners – presenting the evidence for climate change. And then we have the Climate “Science” Coalition:

It beggars the imagination that an expert committee can launch a public statement about climate change that is so partial in its arguments and so out of date in its science.

Yeah, right. It “beggars the imagination” that a bunch that seriously believes it has a chance of influencing public policy can issue a statement so seriously factually incorrect and so deliberately misleading.

The NZ C”S”C’s statement is long on bombast and short on reality. Let’s look at our tame cranks’ conclusions:

In particular, the statement makes no mention of three critical facts:

(i) that the best available extended atmospheric temperature record (based on weather balloon radiosonde measurements) shows no warming since 1958;

Pardon? No warming since 1958? Now this is a remarkable assertion that I’ve never heard before – and for something this original to emerge from the NZ C”S”C is indeed a novelty. What on earth are they on about? Perhaps it’s this graph (hat tip: Sam Vilain)? Unfortunately it shows that stratospheric temperatures have cooled since 1958 (which we expect), and that over the last 50 years the lower troposphere (where we live) has been warming. Did one of the “independent climate scientist rationalists” make that basic an error? Certainly looks like it.

(ii) that all global temperature indices show cooling since at least 2002; and

It’s good to see the “cooling since 1998″ lie make an appearance – I’d expect nothing less. Unfortunately for our rationalists, if you look at the figures for the ten years up to 1998, and the ten years since, you find that the world’s warmed up. Climate is measured on decadal (preferably 30 year) timescales – unless you’re a climate rationalist, in which case it can be measured by the month.

(iii) that the quiet period between solar cycles 23 and 24 continues to extend, pointing to greater near-future cooling as it does so.

Ha! It’s the sun what done it. Another sceptic trope makes its appearance. I suppose it’s inevitable, because earlier they’ve announced:

The RSNZ statement commences with the bald, and wrong, statement that “The globe is warming, because of increasing greenhouse gas emissions”.

They want to rewrite physics. Good luck to them.

In the meantime, a word to the wise. If you want to influence public policy, it helps to at least pretend to be credible. With this latest release the New Zealand Climate “Science” Coalition reveals itself to be so divorced from reality that it descends to the level of comedy. And that would be funny, if the problem weren’t so serious.

[Update: within minutes of posting, I find that the blogger formerly known as Tamino has weighed in on the Dalton Minimum (a period of low sunspot numbers fro 1790 to 1830 that's often associated with "global cooling". Here's his conclusion: "Honestly, I haven’t yet seen any reliable evidence to indicate that solar output is headed for another Dalton-like minimum, just groundless speculation by those who desperately want to deny the influence of greenhouse gases on climate. But even if the sun does go through another Dalton-like minimum, based on past observations I don’t expect much impact on global temperature." ]

[Update 2: Jafapete offers his take...]

{ 140 comments… read them below or add one }

nathanial hornblower July 15, 2008 at 2:57 am

now come on Gareth – these guys are doing their best to defend their corner against an overwhelming conspiracy against them. From the Royal Society to NASA and now this idiot Garnaut in Australia.

We know from history that it doesn’t matter what these guys say, the scientific concensus will roll them.

it doesn’t matter that they’re not scientists – hey, who needs scientists? I’ve just gotten back from a visit to the ice wall (there were penguins on it we had to rescue) and I KNOW that the earth is flat…

bi -- IJI July 15, 2008 at 4:37 am

“(i) that the best available extended atmospheric temperature record (based on weather balloon radiosonde measurements) shows no warming since 1958;

“(ii) that all global temperature indices show cooling since at least 2002;”

Yeah, it’s always like that

It’s OK to include GISS and HadCRUT data when measuring global temperature changes over ridiculously short time periods.

But when it comes to measuring trends over longer periods such as — horrors! — 30 years, suddenly it’s necessary to throw out GISS, because GISS is a total fraud!

(HadCRUT may or may not be a fraud, depending on whether the particular cherry^H^H^H^H^H^Hselection of data shows warming or not. Wheee!)

This series of stereotyped moves certainly deserves a name. Any suggestions?

- – -

And, is Nathanial Hornblower the same person as Nathanial Pipeblower?

– bi, International Journal of Inactivism

gareth July 15, 2008 at 8:32 am

These flat-earthers sometimes have problems with their self-identity. Comes from clinging on to yesterday’s facts.

morgue July 15, 2008 at 8:44 am

My favourite bit is “the committee is unrepresentative: five members are from Wellington and two from Hamilton…”

Tushara July 15, 2008 at 8:56 am

Now come on… if you do go to the NZCSC website, the quote is a dead give away…

“climate is what we expect, weather is what we get”

Don’t expect anything on climate at their website, cause all you will get is the weather and we all know that the (passed away)weather man is always (half) wrong.

nathanial hornblower July 15, 2008 at 10:08 am

Nathanial pipeblower is my nephew.

Carol July 15, 2008 at 11:26 am

Ah, the CSC. Nonsense is what we expect, self-serving ill-informed politically-motivated nonsense is what we get.

John July 15, 2008 at 10:08 pm

What is it with you people? Do you believe that the RSNZ have shown irrefutable proof that human activity has caused significant warming?

If that’s the case then there’s a big old bridge in Sydney that I’d like to sell you.

Put your ideology away for a while and take a hard look at the claims made by the RSNZ. Where’s the evidence? Another question for you – cui bono?

I won’t waste any more time on this posting. I fear that it might be like trying to teach a sheep to sing.

gareth July 15, 2008 at 10:39 pm

Thanks for the laughs, John. I’m sure they were unintentional, but hey – a good laugh is always worth having.

Cui bono? Ask the NZ CSC’s sponsors at The Heartland Institute.

bi -- IJI July 15, 2008 at 11:21 pm

I thought the inactivists already declared cui bono to be a logical fallacy.

While we’re into Latin phrases: Climatati maximi sunt, muhahahaha.

 - – -

“Nathanial pipeblower is my nephew.”

O-kay…

– bi, International Journal of Inactivism

Steve Withers July 15, 2008 at 11:52 pm

I’m satisfied there is sufficient evidence to support the contention that climate change is happening and that human activity has played a major role in making that happen. The human-caused increase in atmospheric CO2 levels alone is enough. What we can debate is the consequences. As a Kiwi who is also a Canadian citizen, the idea that my kids’ kids may one day enjoy a beach bach on the shores of a semi-tropical Arctic Ocean has a certain appeal. It will be a welcome relief from the heat to the south. Get in early while the buying is cheap. Takes care to buy land 6 metres above current sea levels. That the greedy pigs will succeed in blocking any real change to the way we live now for their own short term gain is almost a given. Too many people are willfully ignorant….and happy to remain so on almost every topic other than what names Brangelina gave the twins.

Richard Treadgold July 15, 2008 at 11:57 pm

Gareth,

Do you truly approve the Royal Society’s members’ conflicts of interest as described in the Coalition’s press release? You approve that they breach the Society’s rules constraining bias?

If so, surely you distance yourself from the science?

Regarding the science, the graph you provide seems to start and finish at the same temperature — perhaps showing 0.1°C or 0.2°C of increase. Is that the warming you refer to? It doesn’t really seem to refute what the Coalition has said–that there’s been no warming (because that’s not much warming). What is the rationalists’ “basic error” you mention?

The “cooling since 1998 lie” is hard to understand, Gareth. The temperature spiked during 1998 with the enormous El Nino, but the year began and ended at the same temperature, so we can forget the spike. It wanders down then back up through 1999 and 2000, then steps up in 2001, from when it meanders again. If you update the graph to 2008 there’s a pronounced movement of about -0.4°C, depending on the dataset, over the last 16 months or so.

In your graph, from the end of 1998 to the end of the graph there’s a rise, but the latest data show that to the present day there’s a fall.

You say there’s warming in the ten years before 1998; but not in this graph. 1988 shows an enormous peak and a reduction to 1998.

On a personal level, you’re quite rude. You don’t seem to like the term “climate rationalist”, which seems odd.

That is, I guess you would agree that you are a rationalist yourself concerning the climate? You wouldn’t call yourself irrational about it, would you?

So why, when you accept it for yourself, do you mock others who choose that term?

But the science needs more attention, which you’re not giving it. There are serious scientific questions about, yes, the basic physics. You do yourself no favours by pretending the questions are not being asked. Worse, you do society no favours by pretending they should not be asked.

The NZCSC statement cites scientific observations that call the dangerous AGW theory into question. Your response avoids the point and resorts to personal attacks. Try to advance the discussion and stop treating the public as morons.

Cheers,
Richard Treadgold.
Convenor
Climate Conversation Group

bi -- IJI July 16, 2008 at 12:14 am

Richard Treadgold:

“You approve that they breach the Society’s rules constraining bias?”

It’s now “bias” to report results that aren’t totally inconclusive? That’s a new one…

Besides, the rest of your rant’s just the same old talking points that’ve been done to death, except you can’t even be bothered to mention this “least-squares regression” thing. Maybe it’s because it’s too pinko for you?

So, apparently your idea of “conversation” is to repeat the same stuff ad nauseam while throwing out accusations of “bias”. Way to go, Mr. Convenor.

– bi, International Journal of Inactivism

Ian L. McQueen July 16, 2008 at 10:20 am

Motto for the editor: What you can’t refute, mock.

IM

gareth July 16, 2008 at 10:42 am

Hi Richard,

Let’s set aside the fact that you litter your comment with a small haystack of straw man arguments and deal with your main points.

Conflict of interest

The NZ C”S”C asserts a conflict of interest. That does not mean one exists. The RS is NZ’s top scientific organisation, and when it considers climate change it’s hardly surprising that they go to a panel of NZ’s top working climate scientists. And yes, these guys get paid to do their work, by universities and research centres. What a surprise.

Cooling since 1958

The graph shows temps for the troposphere (lower atmosphere) and stratosphere (the layer above). The latter is the one that shows cooling. That’s expected, and observed – it’s a clear sign that the warming at the surface is caused by increased greenhouse gases. It seems that the NZ C”S”C may have confused the two measurements.

But perhaps the most egregious thing with the use of this dataset is that they announce it to be “the best available extended atmospheric temperature record”. That amounts to throwing away all the data you don’t like – that is, cherry-picking.

Cooling since 1998

I would suggest Richard that you go the temperature record of your choice (GISS or Hadley Centre – there are links in Notes & Sources), download the annual temperature info, stick the data in a spreadsheet and play with it. The average for the last ten years is higher than the average for the ten years to 1998. Then remember that climate is measured by decadal averages (usually 30 years), not individual years – or months. On that measure, warming has not stopped. I am also willing to bet that the ten years 2008-18 will be warmer than the last ten years. Care to accept a challenge? Say, $100?

As for my “mocking” the C”S”C, you might consider it a counterbalance to the tone they use. If you read their announcement you’ll find suggestions of bias, manipulation and conflicts of interest. But the points they raise are laughable. They have been rebutted repeatedly, here and elsewhere, but the C”S”C don’t (or won’t) notice. They just keep producing the same old nonsense, dressed up with whatever happens to the sceptic trope du jour.

There are serious scientific questions about, yes, the basic physics.

Really? Care to elucidate? Go ahead, make my day.

The NZCSC statement cites scientific observations that call the dangerous AGW theory into question. Your response avoids the point and resorts to personal attacks. Try to advance the discussion and stop treating the public as morons.

The NZ C”S”C do no such thing. They cherrypick a few points to support their argument, but ignore the vast weight of evidence called on by the RS. My response merely highlights their approach.

I would respectfully suggest that it is the C”S”C who are treating the public as morons by expecting them to swallow their fact-challenged tripe. It’s a pity that you seem happy to join them in that.

CobblyWorlds July 16, 2008 at 7:25 pm

Ian L McQueen,
Exactly what part of the NZ C(pseudo)SC propaganda do you consider worth refuting? It’s so full of basic errors that I balk at wasting the time fisking it. I assume none of the signatories are qualified in physical sciences?

Gareth,
In the “no warming since 1958″ rubbish They’re not referring to the Hadley plot you post. They’re referring specifically to sondes (which are terrible for gleaning long term trends from). I’ve had something similar thrown at me before: Sondes are appaling for gleaning long-term signals.

gareth July 16, 2008 at 7:56 pm

Well, that plot does include the HadAT sonde figures… but I’d like to see something better.

If we assume that they haven’t confused stratosphere with troposphere (not necessarily a safe assumption, as Anthony Watts demonstrated recently), then to make their claim they have to draw a line from one data point in 1958 to another in 2008, and claim that represents the whole data. That’s about as daft as the recent claim that the cool January this year “wiped out” all the warming of the preceding century.

HarryTheHat July 16, 2008 at 8:21 pm

If we may put aside all the snide remarks for the moment, I’m interested in getting some comments on the graph of the stratosphere which you link to above. This has long been a cornerstone from Swallowists of proof of GHG warming. I cannot see how. The graph (and the actual data) shows a cooling to 1973. However, then there followed a period of slight warming until 1993 (20 years). Immediately after Mount Pinatubo there was quite a dramatic fall. However, since then there has been no further temperature fall in the stratosphere (since 1994). In fact, a reasonable case could be made for a slight warming. Gareth, you say, “…it’s a clear sign that the warming at the surface is caused by increased greenhouse gases”. At best this is tenuous, at worst it’s inaccurate.

There’s worse. You then say, “But perhaps the most egregious thing with the use of this dataset is that they announce it to be ‘the best available extended atmospheric temperature record’. That amounts to throwing away all the data you don’t like – that is, cherry-picking.”

Putting aside that oft-used phrase by Swallowists, it actually IS the best available extended atmospheric temperature record! That’s a fact!

gareth July 16, 2008 at 8:36 pm

At best this is tenuous, at worst it’s inaccurate.

At best, you don’t understand what you’re talking about.

CobblyWorlds July 17, 2008 at 4:39 am

Models reproduce the Hadley centre stratospheric observations: e.g. “Anthropogenic and Natural Influences in the Evolution of Lower Stratospheric Cooling.” Ramaswamy et al 2006 Science. Their figure 3 shows how the lower stratospheric cooling is mainly due to ozone (O3), but has a small ongoing linear cooling due to CO2. Without those anthropogenic factors the temperature trend would have been level, with warming jumps after the relevant eruptions.

That study uses MSU Channel 4, which is for the lower Stratosphere. MSU 4 profile here. The models used in that study reproduce the same temperature series as seen in that Hadley plot of stratospheric cooling.

The cooling above the lower stratosphere and into the mesosphere is mainly due to the enhanced greenhouse effect (substantially CO2 driven); more here. Compare that profile with the MSU4 profile in respect of the findings of Ramaswamy.

The mesospheric data is less certain than the MSU data as it’s derived from rocket-sondes. However it’s trend is much greater than that in the stratosphere and the magnitude of the trend is such that it greatly overwhelms the instrumental uncertainty. e.g. “Review of Mesospheric Temperature Trends” Beig et al 2003 Reviews of Geophysics. chosen words

…a majority of studies indicate negative trends in the lower and middle mesosphere with an amplitude of a few degrees (2–3 K) per decade.

So in short:
1) The cooling is anthropogenic in origin (O3 and GHGs).
2) The step like nature of the cooling is reproduced by and accounted for using climate models.

Steve Salmony July 17, 2008 at 6:09 am

Do you think the children will ask those in my not-so-great generation of elders, “When did you see the good scientific evidence of what everyone knew? Why did you not say anything, even though you did not know precisely what to do? How on Earth could you stand by, as if hysterically blind, willfully deaf and electively mute, and allow “…the greed…..of a thousand little kings…” who arrogantly see and proclaim themselves “masters of the universe” to precipitate the destruction of life as we know it and God’s Creation in the early years of Century XXI?”

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
established 2001

Carol July 17, 2008 at 10:02 am

Crikey, Steve, very Old Testament.
Actually I remember Bill Ballantine – the founder of Leigh Marine Reserve – saying something similar: what will we tell our grandchildren when they ask how we could have used up the last of the fossil fuels flying out of season strawberries to the other side of the world?

Sam Vilain July 17, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Ho ho ho … now time to lather, rinse, repeat for Vincent Gray’s “Fisking” of the Royal Society’s statement?

gareth July 17, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Ho ho ho, indeed. Vincent’s very upset:

This Climate Change Statement is veritably an orchestrated litany of lies, to borrow a phrase. As a longstanding member of the Royal Society of New Zealand I am unable to tolerate such a departure as this from the supposed objectives of fair or responsible comment on scientific matters, so I have resigned in protest.

I wonder if he’ll be missed?

gareth July 17, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Having read the whole thing, I’ll have to do a post. Gray’s statement is absolutely remarkable.

Carol July 17, 2008 at 8:54 pm

Yes, it is indeed, Gareth. The poor fellow is apopleptic. I look forward to your take on his statement.

Sonny Whitelaw July 17, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Re Vincent Gray’s statement. I’m particularly tickled by his response to: “The ocean has become more acidic because of uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.”

Gray: “Parts of the ocean emit carbon dioxide now and are thus more acidic than others. Organisms are already adapted to both extreme changes and any increase in carbon dioxide will only change the proportions. Evolution should easily handle any changes in ratio.”

Evolution…right on! I’ll buy the popcorn and we can all sit along the seaside in our waders and watch while evolution easily handles the mess.

Richard Treadgold July 18, 2008 at 1:28 am

Hi Gareth, thanks for your response.

>you litter your comment with a small haystack of straw man arguments…
Please enumerate them. I think you exaggerate.

>It seems that the NZ C”S”C may have confused the two measurements.
What makes you think so?

>But perhaps the most egregious thing with the use of this dataset is that they announce it to be “the best available extended atmospheric temperature record”.

You’re in error — they never mentioned that dataset/graph, you introduced it yourself in your post with the words “Perhaps it’s this graph?” You really should pay more attention.

>Care to accept a challenge? Say, $100?
No, thank you. I strive to be reasonable so I avoid gambling.

>As for my “mocking” the C”S”C, you might consider it a counterbalance to the tone they use. If you read their announcement you’ll find suggestions of bias, manipulation and conflicts of interest.
I re-read their statement with this in mind but I found it predominantly neutral, with occasional excursions into a middle range of emotive expression. I don’t count “suggestions of bias” as even slightly emotive. So I do not consider that the raucous (sorry, there’s no other word for it) mockery you employ counterbalances anything of theirs.

>There are serious scientific questions about, yes, the basic physics.
>Really? Care to elucidate? Go ahead, make my day.
More mockery, Gareth; it doesn’t help anybody engage with the topic, you know.

Discussions among scientists of various disciplines continue on at least the following, to my certain knowledge:
1. Whether the greenhouse effect warms or cools the atmosphere.
2. Whether carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas at all.
3. Whether water vapour feedback to warming (from any source) is a net warming or cooling. Roy Spencer’s work on the Aqua data has opened an unexpected line of enquiry here, indicating a considerable measure of cooling.
4. There is no published paper directly comparing measurements of the actual greenhouse effects (in the atmosphere, not a gas jar) of water vapour and carbon dioxide.
ALSO – not strictly under this heading, but related: I know of no published paper which describes the dangerous AGW theory. This is an important reason why it was possible for “global warming” to morph into “climate change”. Perhaps you have a citation?

>The NZCSC statement cites scientific observations that call the dangerous AGW theory into question.
>The NZ C”S”C do no such thing.
Sorry, “cites” is wrong; “refers to” is more like it. The dangerous AGW theory is called into question by the following:

“no demonstrated warming has occurred since 1958″; “cooling has been under way since at least 2002″ – When the temperature goes down, it is not warming; when it is level, it is not warming; when it goes up then down, it is not warming. The June 2008 temperature in the UAH dataset is within a whisker of the lowest temperature it recorded during 1979. Over the same periods, the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere were rising. Ipso facto, the dangerous AGW theory has some explaining to do.

“the completion of a doubling of carbon dioxide from the pre-industrial level will now cause just a few tenths of a degree of additional warming” – As more and more CO2 is released to the atmosphere, we’re told, more calamity will befall us. But the science says it’s like giving the window yet more layers of paint – it’ll have no effect at all.

“recent measurements show atmospheric water vapour to be decreasing, not increasing” – Quite the opposite of what the dangerous AGW theory instructs us will happen.

Despite huge spending, “no direct evidence of a global human effect” on climate has been found. If it had, you would have heard about it. There would be no conditional statements, no prevarication; IPCC would be telling us loudly and clearly.

“the oceans, like the atmosphere, are currently cooling” – Not expected by the dangerous AGW theory, as oceans should be warming with the air.

“They cherrypick a few points to support their argument, but ignore the vast weight of evidence called on by the RS.” – Rather than ignore what the RS calls upon, they confront and refute it. Everything the Royal Society says in their statement can be refuted. The annoying part is that, as the pre-eminent scientific body in the land, the RS’s public duty (clearly described in their constitution) is to acknowledge in a balanced way the existence of valid, science-based arguments and dissension, which duty they ignore. Blogs like this are valuable in witnessing to the existence of lively opposition and giving the lie to the “science is settled” myth.

>”I would respectfully suggest that it is the C”S”C who are treating the public as morons by expecting them to swallow their fact-challenged tripe.”
If you can refute what they say, refute away. I myself avoid tripe – no stomach for it.

>”It’s a pity that you seem happy to join them in that.”
Well, quite. I find them very good company.

Gareth, my questions remain. Their unanswered condition suggests your lack of either endeavour or substance.

There may be more to say about the Royal Society conflict of interest, there are serious issues around public statements; but I need to study their constitution more carefully.

Cheers,
Richard Treadgold.
Convenor
Climate Conversation Group

HarryTheHat July 18, 2008 at 4:57 am

Hey Gareth, another of your thought-provoking ripostes then?

By contrast, thanks Cobbly. I see that the mid-upper troposphere acts like a pivot point between a warming lower troposphere and a cooling stratosphere. However, my point is that it isn’t exactly happening like that. There has been no stratosphere cooling since 1994 – in fact a little warming. But the lower troposphere DID warm during the period 2001-2007. Also, if you look you’ll see that the step changes were after warming steps courtesy of El Chicon and Pinatubo. But as I say, if you invert the graph (the RSS one) you don’t get a mirror of the lower tropsophere, or anything really like it.

Cobbly, I don’t suppose you’ll be swayed by this today: “The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change and is now proclaiming that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming. The APS is also sponsoring public debate on the validity of global warming science. The leadership of the society had previously called the evidence for global warming “incontrovertible.”

HarryTheHat July 18, 2008 at 5:14 am

Richard. Can’t find the Abstract, but this appeared yesterday: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a788582859~db=all Cooling of Atmosphere Due to CO2 Emission.

On a different track: “NRC Canada’s FTP site which logs the daily 10.7 centimeter (2800 megahertz) radio flux from the sun just reported what appears to be a new record low in the observed data, 62.5 at 1700 UTC. The 10.7cm solar radio flux is an indicator of the sun’s activity.

CobblyWorlds July 18, 2008 at 7:16 am

A common sign of denialism is shown both by Richard Treadgold and HarryTheHat in the above posts:

It is perhaps best illustrated by analogy. An analogy not tainted by the sort of undeclared biasses that drive their need to deny reality.

Case A.
If you were on a steep beach and trying to establish whether the tide is coming in or going out what would you do?

1) Draw your conclusion from every single wave, leading to vacilation between “it’s coming in” and “it’s going out”.

2) Pay less attention to the overall behaviour of the waves, e.g. “20 minutes ago that boulder was being lapped by occasional waves, but now most waves lap against it”.

Case B.
Furthermore if a sizeable ship (a factor not related to the tide per-se) were passing would you?

1) Leap to conclusions based on the period thereafter when the wake hits the shore.

2) Have a break and enjoy the scenary until that extraneous influence has passed.

The denialists are currently falling foul of making decisions using option 1 in each of the instances above:

Case A.
In the climatological sense this is shown by considering the truism that in an ongoing process “now” is arbitary. The only thing that gives “now” persuasive power is that the future is unknown. To show this simply consider that in the UAH timeseries presented by Richard Treadgold there 3 drops as large as now, in 1982-3, 1989 and 1991-2, with many others not quite as large. Each of which has not interrupted the overall trend.

It is precisely to avoid falling into such a trap that real scientists use trends when looking for a small signal in great noise. Engineers like me filter the signal. The point is the same – to avoid getting lost in the detail and allow the signal of interest to be seen.

We would all quickly realise the stupidity of using every wave height to assert the tide’s direction.

Case B.
In a climatological sense this is shown by the difference between northern and southern hemispheres. The recent cooling is mainly in the southern hemisphere. Thus suggesting some other factor not directly connected to OLR blocking by the enhanced greenhouse effect (such as the oceans) is responsible.

Hence this cooling (vs the warming of CO2) is as the wake of a ship is to observations of the tide.

So we have a group of people who in another context would sit on a beach repeatedly saying “it’s going out” even as the waves wet their feet. (They just shut up once the warming restarts – so in this analogy they’d not alternate between going-out and coming-in.)

And the same people apparently believe that the only factor in the height of waves is the tide’s direction, and simply don’t seem to be able to grasp that other factors (like a ship’s wake) have a role on timescales shorter than the tidal cycle.

HarryTheHat July 18, 2008 at 9:46 am

Cobbly, enjoyed your analogy, but what we’re seeing (if Richard doesn’t mind me saying) is that something’s up. Your (plural) take on climate sensitivity seems to be incorrect. It’s not that we’re looking for something the experts may of missed. Take my musings on the stratosphere above. I’m not saying, lookee here, how come none of you experts picked up on this. I genuinely can’t see what a swallowist sees in the data. I feel the same about religion…I cannot see how someone can believe in something when the evidence for its existence isn’t tangible. As for the Sun, I’m certainly not saying that the Sun is/was the cause. I don’t know! So it’s not clutching at straws when I give a link showing that it’s just recorded a record low radio flux, it’s merely to add another slice to what may well happen in the next few months/years. The trouble is, you don’t know either. Your assurance is misplaced. How do you feel when the APS comes out with their press statement above? Do you just shrug it off and think they’re morons for not believing? As you have probably seen from my postings on the Science Forums and elsewhere, I’m a big fan of the temp of the lower tropo. Now, when I look at that graph and the data I cannot see a warming trend that causes any alarm. And even then, the very slight trend of 0.13 degrees per decade may well be mainly natural, and EVEN THEN, if it’s not then we won’t do anything about it anyway! For me, I believe something’s seriously wrong with the theory on climate change. Daly’s site graphs the data here http://www.john-daly.com/nh-sh.htm and I would ask you to study it and honestly say if you or I should be worried. Where’s the promised warming Cobbly? Where is the warming threatened by Hansen in his infamous scenarios? http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/hansenscenarios.png Now we discover cooling oceans, cooling in the Anatarctic, no link between warming and hurricanes (despite ALL that was said just three years ago!), the huge effect of the PDO, Mann’s data was flawed, the pathetic siting of recording stations that has been exposed, and so much more. I’m damn sure that the theory of CO2=warming is incorrect. I base that on observation of the only real metric that we can rely on, that of the recorded temp of the troposphere.

gareth July 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Richard,

I’m not going to treat your post to a line-by-line response, because it would end up as a boring “yes it is”, “no it isn’t” litany, but I do want to discuss one section…

Discussions among scientists of various disciplines continue on at least the following, to my certain knowledge:
1. Whether the greenhouse effect warms or cools the atmosphere.
2. Whether carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas at all.
3. Whether water vapour feedback to warming (from any source) is a net warming or cooling. Roy Spencer’s work on the Aqua data has opened an unexpected line of enquiry here, indicating a considerable measure of cooling.
4. There is no published paper directly comparing measurements of the actual greenhouse effects (in the atmosphere, not a gas jar) of water vapour and carbon dioxide.
ALSO – not strictly under this heading, but related: I know of no published paper which describes the dangerous AGW theory. This is an important reason why it was possible for “global warming” to morph into “climate change”. Perhaps you have a citation?

There is no serious debate about points one and two. If the radiative properties of gases, and CO2 in particular, are not warming the surface of the planet, then all modern physics needs to be rewritten. There may be a couple of crank papers, either not published or not published in peer-reviewed journals, that argue that sort of point, but it is really not in any sense a scientifically credible position.

Roy Spencer’s work on water vapour may be interesting, but that’s one paper, not a whole field. Negative water vapour feedbacks may exist, but they are unlikely to be large (or the world would have difficulty warming out of an ice age).

With respect to your last points, I would strongly suggest you read Spencer Weart’s The Discovery Of Global Warming (linked in the left sidebar). It provides a comprehensive overview of how we’ve discovered what we know today, and you will find answers t your questions there. Modern climate science doesn’t stand or fall on single papers, it’s a multi-disciplinary science, and a fascinating one at that.

Until you can bring yourself to accept basic science, I can’t see that we have much to discuss. You may have your reasons for questioning climate change, but they are not based in science.

Regards

Joanna July 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm

Harrythehat -
I will be charitable and assume you simply are not aware of this staement rather than trying to deliberately mislead people…
(I would particularily like to highlight the final paragraph)

from :http://www.aps.org/
APS Position Remains Unchanged

The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007:

“Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate.”

An article at odds with this statement recently appeared in an online newsletter of the APS Forum on Physics and Society, one of 39 units of APS. The header of this newsletter carries the statement that “Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum.” This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed.

Richard Treadgold July 18, 2008 at 6:39 pm

HarryTheHat

this appeared yesterday… Cooling of Atmosphere Due to CO2 Emission.

Thanks, interesting! There is a two-line abstract, which appears to indicate this is just a mathematical exercise, so it’s unclear what observations might be involved. Still, it shows the science is not all as clear-cut as Gareth and others would aver.

On a different track… radio flux from the sun just reported what appears to be a new record low…

Yes, I’ve kept only half an eye on the solar connection, but the next six to twelve months could be interesting. Hmmm, “could be…” — now I’m sounding like the IPCC!

a cornerstone from Swallowists of proof of GHG warming

I suspect I’m going to regret this, but I must ask, since it’s not evident from Google and not mentioned in Wikipedia: What do you mean by Swallowists?

something’s up…

Yes, HarryTheHat, well put, as is the rest of your post. I support what appears to be your quiet determination to find the truth and expose poor reasoning. Keep it up.

Cheers,
Richard Treadgold.
Convenor
Climate Conversation Group

Richard Treadgold July 18, 2008 at 8:34 pm

Gareth,

I’m not going to treat your post to a line-by-line response, because it would end up as a boring “yes it is”, “no it isn’t” litany,

Yes, all right, but isn’t that rather convenient for you? I mean, once again you haven’t answered my questions. You also haven’t apologised for the rather glaring error of criticisng the Coalition for commending a graph they didn’t even mention; you introduced it yourself. But especially I wanted answers about what you meant, or I wouldn’t have asked the questions.

but I do want to discuss one section…

This is called cherry-picking. There is only one question in this section but you still haven’t even answered that one. You are in error regarding points 1 and 2: Denying that debates exist which I personally am witnessing makes you appear vaguely ludicrous.

Remember how it went?

>There are serious scientific questions about, yes, the basic physics.
>Really? Care to elucidate? Go ahead, make my day.

You dared me to cite “serious scientific questions” being debated and I did. It’s logically impossible to refute that (you’re trying to prove a negative) and I’m surprised you attempt it.

You give minor acknowledgement for the Spencer work, thank you, though you don’t seem to realise that a single paper might indeed refute an accepted principle — it doesn’t have to be a “whole field”, whatever that is. Then you question my grasp of scientific principles and patronisingly tell me where I’ll “find answers” to my questions. But I was specifically asking what you meant, so you’re expected to explain yourself. How can anyone else do that? Hopeless.

But the science needs more attention, which you’re not giving it. … You do yourself no favours by pretending the questions are not being asked. Worse, you do society no favours by pretending they should not be asked.

You’ve stayed well away from this can of worms, I notice.

It’s clear you’re not interested in justifying the statements you make on this site, nor even in apologising when you make a mistake. My questions were intended to clarify what you said in your original post. You have not done that.

Your arguments lack substance and your endeavour lacks application. Your blog’s not worth the ether it’s mumbled in.

My visit here was unsatisfactory and, though you won’t miss me, I won’t give you another chance so this will most likely (90% probability) be my last attempt to discuss the issues here.

Everyone’s welcome to visit our climate conversation blog for an honest chat without rancour.

Cheers,
Richard Treadgold.
Convenor
Climate Conversation Group

AndrewH July 18, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Richard – in case you do drop back in, I’ll answer your question number 1.

The Greenhouse effect must, by definition, warm the earth. If it didn’t it would be called The Coolstore Effect or something like that.

If we didn’t have the greenhouse effect we would not be here on earth to discuss it.

gareth July 18, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Richard,

Just to clear up one thing. The graph I link to shows the dataset the NZ CSC are referring to. The lack of clarity about which bit they’re talking about is theirs.

It’s clear you’re not interested in justifying the statements you make on this site, nor even in apologising when you make a mistake.

I make every effort to justify/provide background to/reference the material I cover. Where I express a personal opinion I make that clear. In this case, I have made no mistake that I can see.

I’m not the one trying to argue that 150 years of physics must be mistaken.

Do please read Spencer Weart’s book. It is a superb reference. Then come back and argue about the science.

Regards

HarryTheHat July 19, 2008 at 12:21 am

Hello Richard. The term ‘swallowist’ has been given to the proponents of global warming. It simply means that they’ve accepted (‘swallowed’) the idea hook, line and sinker. I expect it’s a reaction to contrarians being called ‘denialists’ which has historic meanings that are unpleasant.

Joanna. Thank you for the correction on the APS.

tortoise July 19, 2008 at 6:27 am

re: HarryTheHat-
Really? “Thank you for the correction”? That’s all? After you accuse people of willful ignorance and point to mistaken information as evidence of your thesis? Wow.

Oh and by the way, your earlier post in which you begin “If we may put aside all the snide remarks for the moment,” and then invoke your pet term “swallowist” in the very next sentence–hilarious. This type of base irony is always good for a chuckle. Keep ‘em coming.

HarryTheHat July 19, 2008 at 7:46 am

tortoise. If you followed the climate change debate (which you evidently don’t) you’d know that this APS thing is all over the web. Some large blogs have been caught too – as I was, and I genuinely thank Joanna for the actuality. Although, it’s actually on-going, and this isn’t over yet.

And the “snide remarks” comment was meant for the earlier exchange, not for nomenclature in this thread. Duh! Would you care to comment on climate change, or are you just out to pick mistaken holes in other people’s comments? Also, I have never accused people of wilful ignorance and neither do I point to mistaken information as evidence for my “thesis”. I don’t really have a “thesis”. In fact, if you had read (again!) you would have seen that I can’t have a “thesis” about climate change, as a “thesis” is an unproved statement put forward as a premise in an argument. I don’t offer solutions to warming, or likely causes, as I don’t accept it’s happening. In fact, I counter conjecture on significant warming by pointing to actual data (UAH & RSS). Nope, re-reading your post I cannot see that you got anything right. Care to try again, or do you have a point of view on climate change?

tortoise July 19, 2008 at 8:11 am

HTH-Nice try. Well, not really. For instance:
“How do you feel when the APS comes out with their press statement above? Do you just shrug it off and think they’re morons for not believing?”
Here your unproven premise is that the APS have dealt some sort of blow to the (well established) scientific consensus. This is the ‘thesis,’ shall we say, that is implied by your suggestion that the APS statement must be “shrugged off” or explained away by deciding “they’re morons for not believing.” Of course this shrugging off or dismissal of APS would amount to willful ignorance, if your premise had any substance. Which it didn’t. Your belief that APS as a group rescinded their position on climate change was the mistaken information you were peddling, and which you were accusing people of willfully ignoring. Did that go over your head as well, or are you going to keep misreading me?

HarryTheHat July 19, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Now you’re playing with semantics. As I have already acknowledged, I made a mistake on the APS (as others across the world have done in the past two days), and that’s why I gratefully thanked Joanna. You are berating me for not making a large enough apology. Japan is very sorry for the war. I note that you don’t apologise for your mistaken belief on “snide remarks”, nor for your mistaken belief that I have a “thesis” on climate change, nor for saying that I accused someone of “wilful ignorance”. But then, I’m a bigger man than you because I can accept it when I make an error. I also note that you STILL don’t add anything constructive to this debate on climate change, but prefer to trot out more boring attacks on a poster. If you have something interesting to say on climate change then say it. Otherwise kindly shut up. I’m sure others here will also note that despite all I wrote on the issues around climate change, you chose to attack my mistake on the APS, and not any of the climate points I mentioned. Is this because you are bereft of any factual knowledge? Therefore, I shall not reply to any more of your posts unless you actually start debating the issues. Even then, I doubt they’ll have merit enough to warrant the effort involved. And by the way, there certainly isn’t a scientific consensus on climate change, that’s been shown many, many times.

HarryTheHat July 19, 2008 at 7:46 pm
Richard Treadgold July 20, 2008 at 1:03 am

AndrewH,

I’ll answer your question number 1 … The Greenhouse effect must, by definition, warm the earth. If it didn’t it would be called The Coolstore Effect or something like that.

That’s pretty cute, Andrew, thanks for the smile.

But this wasn’t my question — you should pay attention. This was the first of four examples (from my second post) of real scientists having a real debate over physics, in response to Gareth’s raucous taunt to “make his day”.

Actually (for what it’s worth — I’m not arguing this point), the sun, not the greenhouse effect, warms the earth. The so-called ‘greenhouse effect’ somehow (being debated) warms the atmosphere. But the point is it’s an argument about the basic physics, which is all I said was happening. Why am I bothering to say all this?

My first unanswered question is actually (from my first post):

Regarding the science, the graph you provide seems to start and finish at the same temperature — perhaps showing 0.1°C or 0.2°C of increase. Is that the warming you refer to? It doesn’t really seem to refute what the Coalition has said—that there’s been no warming (because that’s not much warming).

The second question would be:

What is the rationalists’ “basic error” you mention?

And the third (implied):

The “cooling since 1998 lie” is hard to understand

There are more ignored questions in my second post.

Gareth,

The graph I link to shows the dataset the NZ CSC are referring to.

You’re guessing. Just apologise.

Then come back and argue about the science.

Why should I argue about the science? Is that what you really want? But you still don’t answer the questions. I was interested in what you were saying, but your relentless, scornful contempt is a travesty of honest debate.

Cheers Bye.
Richard.

Sam Vilain July 20, 2008 at 4:18 am

Richard, I just read all this so answering your questions is actually somewhat interesting for me.

My first unanswered question is actually (from my first post):

That’s a temperature record for the upper Troposphere. As the heat is being trapped lower by the blanket of greenhouse gases, less is making it up to the higher levels. ie, lower temperatures in the upper level is expected.

The second question would be:

The answer to this one is related; it’s a “basic error” because it’s saying “the radiosonde record shows no warming/cooling”, when that is what even the simplest models predict.

And the third (implied):

There has been warming since 1998. The last 10 years have been hotter than the 10 years that came before it, on average. You can see this even on Anthony Watts’ temperature graph.

You’re guessing. Just apologise.

Not a guess really, they said they were referring to the radiosonde data, and that graph shows it.

There are more ignored questions in my second post.

See, the problem is that you’re making points which are well covered by the material that you’ve been referred to, for example this essay – it’s a bit of a read, but if you’re as passionate about understanding of this debate, no matter which position you choose to take, you’d serve yourself well to read that. It will make these discussions much more enjoyable.

I believe there is still debate to be had, but we may as well debate the debatable areas and not the ones which were hammered out decades ago.

HarryTheHat July 20, 2008 at 7:13 am

Hello Sam. Which is the “temperature record for the upper Troposphere”? Because the graphs linked to in Gareth’s post are for the (tropical) lower stratosphere and the lower troposphere. The temp is supposed to pivot around the mid to upper tropo. Hence we’re supposed to get a warming tropo and a cooling stratosphere. Though, as I have pointed out, we have had no stratosphere cooling since 1994 – even though the tropo did warm slightly during that period. The idea of the pivot is pivotal to the science of GHG warming. Sorry if I’m teaching you to suck eggs there, I’ve no idea of your qualifications :)

Tim July 20, 2008 at 6:51 pm

Richard,
Your relentless contempt for settled science is the real travesty here. A truly impartial person only has to look at the weight and the worth of the science (real science that is) to come to a reasonable standpoint.
I took a look at your blog and am stuggling to see the balance you claim to have. The vast weight of posts contained on it are so actively denialist in tone it beggars belief that you can credibly announce yourself as impartial.
Denying an apple is an apple when shown a picture of one, still makes it an apple, it does however make you an idiot.

Richard Treadgold July 20, 2008 at 10:03 pm

Hi Sam,

Thank you for your civilised reply. It was a pleasure to read.

That’s a temperature record for the upper Troposphere.

No, it isn’t. There are two graphs in the image referenced. The lower graph is labelled “Tropical lower tropospheric and surface anomalies wrt 1981–1990″. The graph begins and ends (for all practical purposes) at the same temperature.

I would still like to know if that was the warming Gareth referred to. I would still point out that it does not refute the Coalition’s statement that there has been no warming.

The answer to this one is related; it’s a “basic error” because it’s saying “the radiosonde record shows no warming/cooling”, when that is what even the simplest models predict.

I don’t understand this statement. The Coalition did not say the radiosonde record shows no warming/cooling; they said it shows no warming. And do you really mean to say that the simplest models predict no warming or cooling?

There has been warming since 1998. The last 10 years have been hotter than the 10 years that came before it, on average. You can see this even on Anthony Watts’ temperature graph.

There has been warming, yes, but also cooling; the net effect to date is cooling — about 0.3°C less than at the end of 1998, as I eyeball it on Anthony’s graph. It’s easy to see. To declare a net cooling since the end of 1998 is to tell the truth. There is also a net cooling of about 0.2°C from mid 1988 to 2008. That’s 20 years without warming.

Gareth

Do please read Spencer Weart’s book. It is a superb reference.

I’d seen this before, but at your suggestion went back to it. I read the section “The Modern Temperature Trend”. He flags his lack of objectivity in the first paragraph and thus alerts me to warmist propaganda when he says: “When the [temperature] rise continued into the 21st century with unprecedented scope, scientists recognized that it signaled a profound change in the climate system.”

In the 21st century there has been no warming apart from 2001, which was not unprecedented. There have been no other observations to confirm any profound climate change.

Weart completes the section by blatantly reproducing Mann’s thoroughly discredited ‘hockey stick’ graph.

I don’t find this source superb so far, though I will read some other parts, to avoid judging from a small sample.

Cheers,
Richard Treadgold.
Convenor
Climate Conversation Group

Richard Treadgold July 20, 2008 at 10:58 pm

Tim,

A truly impartial person only has to look at the weight and the worth of the science (real science that is) to come to a reasonable standpoint.

This sounds reasonable on the surface, but it’s suspiciously similar to science by authority (such as pronouncements by IPCC, NIWA or the Royal Society). “Weight” and “worth” have nothing to do with science; only the truth, or reasonable argument, has any authority and it doesn’t matter who says it.

I took a look at your blog and am stuggling to see the balance you claim to have. The vast weight of posts contained on it are so actively denialist in tone it beggars belief that you can credibly announce yourself as impartial.

So you did some research, good on you. Though I strive for balance I have never claimed to possess it. Tim, you have clearly hardened yourself to the true significance of the insulting term ‘denialist’. You should be aware that it mostly damages the speaker, as it prevents the possibility of a reasonable relationship with your listener. So in saying it, you sentence yourself to the condition you name in others. You become the denier—denying reason, denying an honest dialogue, denying your ears to others. The other damage is to reason and to science (but not to the listener—bad luck).

Of course I try to be impartial, without claiming impartiality, but I do question the dangerous AGW theory, so what of it? Many others do, too. Again, so what? Examine my questions and comments and refute them if you can.

No danger is evident, much less is it shown to be caused by man.

Cheers,
Richard Treadgold.
Convenor
Climate Conversation Group

Tim July 20, 2008 at 11:27 pm

Richard,

“This sounds reasonable on the surface, but it’s suspiciously similar to science by authority (such as pronouncements by IPCC, NIWA or the Royal Society). “Weight” and “worth” have nothing to do with science; only the truth, or reasonable argument, has any authority and it doesn’t matter who says it.”

You’re point sounds noble enough, but can’t stand up to scrutiny. Although this blog, and others like it are set up to examine and debate the science, the answers I look for are those on which to base reasonable policy on. To do that, you DO have to give weight and worth to sources, and as such you look for the general picture that large compilations of peer reviewed and analysed work give you, and go from there. Sources like the IPCC do give the best view of reasonably settled science, due to the scale and scope.
To ignore it, to champion sources, often not put forward by credible scientists that challenge aspects of this view, and use this as a basis to challenge the entire existence of a problem, isn’t reasonable argument. Back to the apple.

Edit: I should say that I’m not a scientist, nor do I feel qualified to debate the science as my degree (Political Science) hardly allows me to do so credibly. I do however feel qualified to draw up policy based on the conclusions that the science gives us.

Richard Treadgold July 21, 2008 at 12:11 am

Tim,

The truth can always stand scrutiny.

You make some good points; you are only slightly astray, perhaps because you are driven to find “policy”, i.e. “what do I do about it?” Is that correct?

You’re right, we will naturally look for sources valued by others; it gives us a starting point, at least. It’s a practical approach.

But you can still; no, you must, even then, ask: “what is the truth?” Don’t be blinded by the majesty of the messenger; examine the message for yourself. I did, and found it wanting. You may not see it for a while, but when a defect surfaces, investigate.

Because when somebody notices a problem (the temperature isn’t rising; CO2 cools the atmosphere, or whatever) it is unsafe to rely on the weight/worth/majesty of the authority. For your own sake, you must rely on the truth. Do your best to find it.

To ignore it, to champion sources, often not put forward by credible scientists that challenge aspects of this view, and use this as a basis to challenge the entire existence of a problem, isn’t reasonable argument.

It’s not a matter of ignoring respected sources, but of examining them, and not all of what IPCC says is refuted. (I’m not championing sources, but data.) If it’s the truth, it will challenge anything! And the truth is always reasonable.

Take the graph referred to by Gareth. Note it shows cooling since 1988 to the present. That is my authority. That shows no warming. Let the dangerous AGW theory answer: where is the danger?

It’s a simple piece of data, a simple observation. The temperature is not rising, so the theory should explain to me why not, or at least where, exactly, the problem lies. When the theory says that as CO2 concentration rises, so does temperature, it must explain any and all periods of non-correlation between them (and they are legion).

There is a discrepancy between sources: Weart asserts temperature is rising since 2001 with unprecedented scope; Gareth shows (through the graph he cites) there has been no warming since 1988. I believe the data.

Cheers.

Tim July 21, 2008 at 3:20 am

Richard,

It is correct that I tend to look at finding responses to problems, rather than at the problem itself, but to do that it is very important to find the best credible information to formulate that policy on.

You mention truth several times, but how can anybody, truly predict what will occur, that can only come in the fullness of time, and by the time we get there, according to the best science at the moment it’s too late.
It’s a policy makers job to seek out the best credible information, and make informed policy decision on it. If we took the politics completely out of it, settled science indicates we act.

You go on to mention the graph Gareth cited. To me it looks a lot like increased warming over the last 20-30 years in the lower troposphere.

In effect the debate over whether man is warming the planet is over, the debate now is surely what we do now.

Regards

frank July 21, 2008 at 8:04 am

Richard,

When you say
“Take the graph referred to by Gareth. Note it shows cooling since 1988 to the present.”

I’d be interested to know what analytical tools you are using to determine that there has been a cooling since 1988. How did you look at the data to get to your conclusion.

Regards,
Frank

CobblyWorlds July 21, 2008 at 9:34 am

I second Frank’s request to Richard.

Using my engineer’s rule of thumb trick of “visually integrating” (summing) the areas above and below the 0degC anomaly line, the area above 0 is clearly on an increasing trend as time proceeeds. Even dicounting the 1998 El Nino.

Furthermore Richard,

You state:

When the theory says that as CO2 concentration rises, so does temperature, it must explain any and all periods of non-correlation between them (and they are legion).

This is wrong at an elementary level.

One would not turn to the law of gravity to explain instances such as flight, upward movement of air by covection, or picking up bits of tissue paper using an electro-statically charged comb. Just as gravity is not the only force affecting matter, CO2 is not the only factor affecting global average temperature. In the short term (sub decadal) there is much greater variance than one would expect from the ~2ppm per year CO2 increase (2ppm against a level of ~380ppm).

gareth July 21, 2008 at 10:34 am

Richard says:

I read the section “The Modern Temperature Trend”. He flags his lack of objectivity in the first paragraph and thus alerts me to warmist propaganda when he says: “When the [temperature] rise continued into the 21st century with unprecedented scope, scientists recognized that it signaled a profound change in the climate system.”
In the 21st century there has been no warming apart from 2001, which was not unprecedented.

Pardon? Globally, 1998 and 2005 were so close as to be indistinguishable (GISS gives 2005 as warmest, Hadley doesn’t). I go back to what I said before: the most recent decade was warmer than the preceding decade, and climate is not measured by the month or year. That’s not a matter for dispute: you can work it out for yourself. You can deny it if you want, but then we’re back to apples, as Tim might say.

There have been no other observations to confirm any profound climate change.

Pardon? So there’s been no decline in Arctic sea ice extent, summer and winter. No ice mass loss in Greenland or Antarctica, or from the glaciers in the mountain ranges of the world. No widening of the tropics, no stratospheric cooling, no shifts in seasons, no phenological responses to those shifts.

Once again, you dismiss the weight of the evidence with a mere handwave.

Weart completes the section by blatantly reproducing Mann’s thoroughly discredited ‘hockey stick’ graph.

Thoroughly discredited? Only in the strange echo chamber that passes for crank discussion of climate science. Whatever the strengths or weaknesses of Mann’s original paper 10 years ago, every study since has supported the general conclusion: that global temperatures are currently warmer than any time in the last few thousand years. Tellingly, it’s the rate of change (the blade of the stick) that’s most worrying, not the shape of the wiggles in the handle.

Richard, you are showing every sign of being a standard issue climate crank – only willing to accept the evidence if it fits your preconceptions. That’s not the way the world works.

Your loss.

Sam Vilain July 21, 2008 at 4:45 pm

Richard,

You’re right about my use of the term “upper troposphere”, a far more specific term than I should have used. Nonetheless, its results are consistent with the climate models, which predict either “no net warming”, or “net cooling” (the way I wrote that was quite ambiguous too), in the upper layers of the atmosphere.

There has been warming, yes, but also cooling; the net effect to date is cooling — about 0.3°C less than at the end of 1998, as I eyeball it on Anthony’s graph. It’s easy to see. To declare a net cooling since the end of 1998 is to tell the truth. There is also a net cooling of about 0.2°C from mid 1988 to 2008. That’s 20 years without warming.

You’re still looking at the peaks and troughs and trying to observe a trend from those. This is wrong for two reasons.

One is that the only valid way to observe trends over time is to take rolling averages – 5-10 years at least – but also to not compare points on that line, but to compare ranges of years. Taking a single peak as a reference point is always wrong. This is why I pointed out that compared to 1988-1998, 1998-2008 was warmer. Also, given that Watts’ chart is a rolling average, it is missing error bars for the end of the graph – the recent times cannot have 5 year rolling averages computed until those figures are available. The line should perhaps “splay” from 2003 on.

The second reason is that there are always multiple forcing effects on the climate at any time; it could be that much like the 1940-1970 decrease in temperatures while the US was ramping up its industrialism is largely due to aerosol emissions. China, India, etc are currently in the business of repeating this, so you can’t infer that the theory is incorrect just because of a very short downward trend. It may just be that these increases in external forcings were not present in the input data to the models.

I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t find the Weart book to be high quality. Like you, I was deeply suspicious of the AGW hypothesis. However I found while reading that essay, one by one as I read the background, and dug into a few of the papers the skeptic arguments that I knew just came pinging apart. I’m still skeptical, but after seeing the depth of the field I realised I was being less of a Skeptic and more of a Cynic. The good news for me was in the meantime I’d learned a lot about Global Warming, and can certainly empathise with those who do doubt it. This is why I prefer not to use terms like “crank” etc.

But you have to ask yourself – are you willing to be convinced by the arguments that you’re participating in to change your position? Or are you arguing the position because you think it is under-represented in the mainstream thought?

Richard Treadgold July 21, 2008 at 9:13 pm

Tim,

You mention truth several times, but how can anybody, truly predict what will occur, that can only come in the fullness of time, and by the time we get there, according to the best science at the moment it’s too late.

“Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” – Niels Bohr. No, we do the best we can and adjust as required. The passage of time also helps us determine truth.

You go on to mention the graph Gareth cited. To me it looks a lot like increased warming over the last 20-30 years in the lower troposphere.

I was referring to the UAH graph from Anthony Watts. My analysis was confined to observing the start and end points of the temperature (1988–2008 and 1998–2008). I am being criticised for this in other posts; I’ll address those shortly. Still, it is true to say that the temperature today is about the same as it was in 1979. So it is also true that predictions of catastrophic increases over the past thirty years have not been fulfilled. Though I’m still not making predictions.

In effect the debate over whether man is warming the planet is over, the debate now is surely what we do now.

I agree somewhat; it’s obvious we’re warming the planet to some degree. Clearly, it’s a small degree, since nobody has isolated a human signal, but we are having effects, and not only on temperature, but also on precipitation, humidity and evaporation—it’s evident locally, so it must be present globally. If only we could identify it…

Good to talk to you, Tim. You’ll be welcome at my blog any time.

Richard Treadgold July 21, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Frank,

I’d be interested to know what analytical tools you are using to determine that there has been a cooling since 1988. How did you look at the data to get to your conclusion.

I just looked at it: 1988 is months 108–120; at month 108 the anomaly is approximately 0.35°C; at the present day the anomaly is approximately -0.12°C. Lots of changes have happened in between, for lots of reasons, but that is a fact. Ipso facto, a cooling.

Cheers.

Richard Treadgold July 21, 2008 at 9:58 pm

Hi CobblyWorlds,

Please see my reply to Frank.

This is wrong at an elementary level.

I don’t think it’s too wrong. Perhaps I should have said it is the responsibility of proponents of the theory to account for non-correlations (or any other adverse observations) while proving the theory, rather than the responsibility of opponents to disprove the theory. I guess I also mean that more effort should be made by the proponents in accounting for the non-correlations than has so far been evident. They often seem happy to claim temperature rises as supporting the theory while content to assign drops to natural variation, without regard to correlations with CO2, yet that is the cornerstone of the theory.

Just as gravity is not the only force affecting matter, CO2 is not the only factor affecting global average temperature. In the short term (sub decadal) there is much greater variance than one would expect from the ~2ppm per year CO2 increase (2ppm against a level of ~380ppm).

Yes, indeed. It makes a lot of people wonder if such a little CO2 could possibly be causing much effect. It would resolve much uncertainty to clearly distinguish the human signal from the natural noise. When it is done, you can be sure we will hear no end of it. But then, if it turns out to be true, who would not want to know?

Cheers.

gareth July 21, 2008 at 11:24 pm

It would resolve much uncertainty to clearly distinguish the human signal from the natural noise.

Ah yes, Richard, ignoring the IPCC is so convenient, isn’t it?

The human signal is quite clear. Fig SPM-4 from the WG1 Summary For Policymakers [PDF] says it very neatly.

To turn up here and assert this counterfactual stuff beggars belief.

CobblyWorlds July 21, 2008 at 11:45 pm

Richard Treadgold,

Yes, indeed. It makes a lot of people wonder if such a little CO2 could possibly be causing much effect.

Gravity is an awfully tiny force, indeed it’s by far the weakest of the four fundamental forces (10^34 times weaker than the electromagnetic force).

But I’m not about to neglect the danger it poses by taking the quick way out of the office (through the window and down 5 floors). ;)

They [proponents of AGW theory] often seem happy to claim temperature rises as supporting the theory while content to assign drops to natural variation… …without regard to correlations with CO2, yet that is the cornerstone of the theory.

Well if you come across any claiming something like 1998 was part of the trend of GW, then I (along with anyone with the vaguest education in this matter) would strongly disagree with them.

Have you read Ramaswamy’s paper regarding the lower stratospheric cooling? (my post above – July 17th, 2008 4:39 am) That’s just one of many studies using the only attainable means of attribution of observed changes (i.e. models). There have been many such papers trying to get a picture of just how much of the observed changes are due to humans and how much due to other factors – the common conclusion: All or virtually all of the post 1970s warming trend is due to human activity. On a paleo-climatic scale there is ongoing work, which keeps supporting the idea of CO2 as a major factor in global average temperature e.g. the Ordovician and the Appalachians.

Actually the correlation of temperature and CO2 on multi-millenial scales and the recent ongoing temperature rise is not the cornerstone of the theory.

The cornerstone is the physics which is clear – CO2 traps infra-red radiation at the wavelengths at which the earth loses energy. As a planet is in a near vacuum it can only lose energy to balance solar input by radiation. The closure of the IR spectral window due to increasing CO2 has been observed (Griggs & Harries 2007).

Given that there were temperature drops in the Hadley lower tropospheric dataset (UAH & RSS) in 1982-3, 1989 and 1991-2, why do you think the current temperature drop will not be followed by a reassertion of the previous trend, as happened in those 3 instances?

CobblyWorlds July 21, 2008 at 11:48 pm

Gareth

To turn up here and assert this counterfactual stuff beggars belief.

Oh how I wish it did….

Richard Treadgold July 21, 2008 at 11:53 pm

Gareth,

Globally, 1998 and 2005 were so close as to be indistinguishable (GISS gives 2005 as warmest, Hadley doesn’t). I go back to what I said before: the most recent decade was warmer than the preceding decade, and climate is not measured by the month or year.

I don’t use the GISS dataset, I was looking at the UAH graph you mentioned. It seems 2005 was indeed distinguishable—about 0.4°C below 1998.
Yes, the average is higher, but I said there was no warming; since the temperature ended lower than the start, there was cooling.

There was warming of about +0.2°C in 2001, and close inspection reveals tiny rises in 2000, 03 and 05. That was not unprecedented warming. In fact, those net amounts were dwarfed by interim rises and falls, as you can see.

This was followed, of course, by the plunge, beginning in January 2007, of just over 0.7°C. This also is not unprecedented. I suggest it makes it necessary to question the dangerous AGW theory to ascertain the danger. Because in thirty years no danger has yet presented itself.

the most recent decade was warmer than the preceding decade, and climate is not measured by the month or year.

Yes, the average was warmer, and yes, one must measure climate with a long stick; but I said there was no warming in the 21st century apart from 2001. I agree there was minor warming also in 2000, 03 and 05, but not, as Weart asserts, unprecedented. You must agree.

So there’s been no decline in Arctic sea ice extent, summer and winter. No ice mass loss in Greenland or Antarctica, or from the glaciers in the mountain ranges of the world. No widening of the tropics, no stratospheric cooling, no shifts in seasons, no phenological responses to those shifts.

Yes, there has, though some were temporary and many are still exaggerated, like minor ice loss from the edges of Antarctica and Greenland while the great interiors gather ice and cool. But the important thing for our discussion is this: none of these changes are beyond natural bounds, it’s not unprecedented. There is no cause to go around saying the sky is falling.

Once again, you dismiss the weight of the evidence with a mere handwave.

Ah, now Gareth, that’s unfair. I’ve invested countless hours of study, thought and discussion in these matters, not to mention days composing these sentences, so don’t say I dismiss the ‘weight’ of the evidence with a mere handwave. I actually dismiss it with a mere thought.

For after thinking about the evidence and weighing it up, it’s worthless as proof of the dangerous AGW theory.

Thoroughly discredited? Only in the strange echo chamber that passes for crank discussion of climate science. Whatever the strengths or weaknesses of Mann’s original paper 10 years ago, every study since has supported the general conclusion: that global temperatures are currently warmer than any time in the last few thousand years. Tellingly, it’s the rate of change (the blade of the stick) that’s most worrying, not the shape of the wiggles in the handle.

Yes, discredited. Here are two comments that come to hand:

“[The findings] hit me like a bombshell… Suddenly the hockey stick, the poster-child of the global warming community, turns out to be an artifact of poor mathematics.” – Physicist Richard Muller of Berkeley.

“The behavior of Michael Mann is a disgrace to the profession… The scientific basis for the Kyoto protocol is grossly inadequate.” – Dr. Hendrik Tennekes, retired director of the Royal Meteorological Institute of the Netherlands.

Amongst not only ‘cranks’ but also sensible people.

Mann reported on the last thousand years, not a few thousand; and for most of the last thousand, we’ve been going into and emerging from a little ice age—have you heard of it?

The rate of change is worrying? Whose dataset shall we use? How can it be worrying if, as we see above, the net change in the 21st century has been negative?

Richard, you are showing every sign of being a standard issue climate crank – only willing to accept the evidence if it fits your preconceptions.

That’s not true. Turn the considerable resources you devote to insults (I’ve offered you none) to spreading knowledge of science. Read my questions, pretend I’m worthy of respect and answer them again. More to the point, pretend the public are worthy of respect and reexamine the matters I (and therefore they) raise.

I am no crank, unless I turn the public engine of debate.

Cheers.

HarryTheHat July 22, 2008 at 3:14 am

Cobbly. You say, “All or virtually all of the post 1970s warming trend is due to human activity”. That’s not true, is it. Even cows have contributed “significantly”. Alan Calverd would argue with you ’till they come home’ on that point. :)

HarryTheHat July 22, 2008 at 3:17 am

Richard. Brilliant points – put clearly and succinctly without rancour. But I’m afraid Gareth won’t be able to respond in kind.

tortoise July 22, 2008 at 6:55 am

Hi. I hope everyone had a nice weekend. HtH: please feel entirely free not to respond to me any more. That would be just fine. I shall respond to you, though…you correctly note three things for which I do not apologize. I do not apologize for the first (re:snide remarks) or third (re:accusation of willful ignorance) because 1) I still do think it’s ironic that you said ‘let’s drop the snide remarks’ and then proceeded to use an insulting term for the other side, and 2) as I showed in my previous post, your comments did in fact amount to an accusation that people were being willfully ignorant. And I think it’s funny that you were wrong about the position of the APS, which you were accusing them of turning a blind eye towards. I do not apologize for the second item on your list (re:thesis) because I never said you had a thesis on climate change (although I will now: your thesis–or “unproved statement put forward as a premise” as you translate it–is that anthropogenic warming is not happening. Right?). Your thesis, or unproven premise, which I was attacking at the time, was that the APS had reversed course on anthropogenic warming in such a way that “swallowists” should feel their position to be weakened. So far, I’m still seeing myself as firmly correct on every count.

You have asked a couple of times for me to “put up or shut up,” as it were, by offering substantive positions on issues of climate science. OK, here’s my position: I believe the vast majority of scientists who study climate and related fields. I guess that makes me a “swallowist.” As for point-by-point analysis and rebuttals of claims that warming isn’t happening, or that it is but it’s not anthropogenic, or that it is happening, and largely anthropogenic, but it isn’t a big deal, that has been done ad nauseam by people more eloquent than I am. If, for example, you can read Weart’s book recommended above and still hold the (yeah, I’m saying it) thesis that there’s no anthropogenic warming, then nothing I say is going to convince you. I was just lurking here, minding my own business, and was awestruck by your ability stay on the same Quixotic line when the foundation you’re arguing on at a given time is removed from under your feet. I was moved to comment on your detachment from reality.

And I still am, G-d help me. Because you concluded your response with the ridiculous statement that “there certainly isn’t a scientific consensus on climate change.” If “consensus” meant the same thing as “unanimity” you would have a point. But the word “consensus” is defined using terms like “majority of opinion” and “general agreement.” And the majority–in fact the vast majority–of the scientific community is in agreement. The “swallowists” are on the side of a very strong scientific consensus. And so I think it is poetic the article in question from the APS Physics and Society newsletter now bears this preface:

“The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review. Its conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community. The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article’s conclusions.”

I now ask you the same question you asked others: “How do you feel when the APS comes out with their press statement above?”

And one more question: do you deny that “the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community” constitutes “consensus?”

HarryTheHat July 22, 2008 at 7:14 am

tortoise. I note that you STILL don’t want to debate the issues contained within this thread. I’m sure others will have noted that also.

As for the APS. That debate is on-going and we haven’t seen the last of the comments between Monckton and the editor of the APS yet – far from it! Monckton has been treated very shabbily. Read it and you’ll see why.

At the time Al Gore made his comment on “consensus”…
53% of scientists actively involved in global climate research did not believe global warming had occurred…
30% weren’t sure…
and only 17% believed global warming had begun
Even a Greenpeace poll showed 47% of climatologists didn’t think a runaway greenhouse effect was imminent…
only 36% thought it possible…
and a mere 13% thought it probable.

And today?
http://www.petitionproject.org/
and even on the IPCC?
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,309919,00.html

Read it and weep, tortoise. But when you’ve dried your eyes WOULD YOU CARE TO COMMENT ON THE SCIENCE???

tortoise July 22, 2008 at 8:15 am

ooh! Imbedded links! Neat! I wonder if I can figure out how to do that…bear with me…

Top Science Organization: Global Warming Is ‘Threat to Society’

The Whole Truth

Scientific Consensus on Global Warming

There are no tortoise tears today, Harry. You see, there are a lot more than 30,000 people on this side of the fence, and a lot more than 9,000 Ph.D.s (including the tortoise himself).

My comment on the science, once again for the apparently impaired: I agree with the scientists.

No need to bring Al into this. A lot has happened since his movie helped bring more public attention to the issue. Every major national scientific body, whatever the nation, has acknowledged the reality that you struggle feebly to deny.

My comment on the science? Multiple lines of evidence converge to indicate a climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 on the order of +3 degrees Celsius. There is a range associated with that figure, but it looks like it’s pretty close. If it’s way off, it’s more likely to be a much higher number than a much lower. My sources are legion, but a good start is the link above labeled “The Whole Truth.”

tortoise July 22, 2008 at 8:35 am

Oh, and here’s some context on that Milloy survey.

Short version: it’s full of crap.

Remember the APS statement, Harry. “The overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community” is what you’re fighting against, here.

tortoise July 22, 2008 at 8:45 am

And another thing…
that petition you’re pushing appears to be Fred Seitz’ baby. For those who don’t instantly recognize that name, he was the main scientific adviser to the R.J. Reynolds medical research program while they were telling everyone there was no proof that smoking caused any health problems, despite the fact that they were sitting on proof that it definitely does. He used the same tactics then as he is now, and I believe for the same reason: a fanatical aversion to regulation of industry. Which is fine, up to a point–if that’s your political ideology, make your case for it. But trying to manufacture doubt about the reality of global warming is just as immoral if not more so than trying to manufacture doubt about the fact that smoking kills people. If you think your political agenda requires keeping the truth away from the citizenry, I think there is a strong chance that you are being evil.

gareth July 22, 2008 at 11:33 am

Richard said:

Yes, the average was warmer, and yes, one must measure climate with a long stick; but I said there was no warming in the 21st century apart from 2001. I agree there was minor warming also in 2000, 03 and 05, but not, as Weart asserts, unprecedented. You must agree.

You can’t both measure climate with a long stick and then agonise about the monthly ups and downs. The plain fact is that the early years of the 21st century are warmer than the last years of the 20th. And the temperature has reached levels that are unprecedented in at least the last few thousand years, possibly the entire Holocene.

There is some irony that your preferred yardstick, the UAH satellite temp series, is derived from the satellite signal using the radiation physics that you think is being so actively debated elsewhere…

But the important thing for our discussion is this: none of these changes are beyond natural bounds, it’s not unprecedented. There is no cause to go around saying the sky is falling.

You confidently assert this, but where’s the data to support your contention? There’s plenty of evidence to suggest, for example, that the Arctic ice changes are unprecedented in the last 8,000 years.

You may think Mann’s work discredited, but what you think is irrelevant. It formed the basis for more studies, all of which support his basic conclusion. The guys doing the work carry on doing the work.

As for rate of change, you really should read more. As I’ve pointed out many times (it’s in my book, for instance), the planet warms by about 5C as it moves from ice age to interglacial. That takes about 5,000 years. Rate of change: 1C per 1,000 years. Current rate of change: between 1.5 and 2C per century. At least an order of magnitude faster. Go talk to some ecologists. Find out why they’re worried.

I find it interesting that you approach Weart in the way that you do. As soon as you read something that doesn’t fit with your world view, you dismiss it.

Being open-minded means being open to all the facts, not just the ones that suit your argument.

Richard Treadgold July 22, 2008 at 2:15 pm

HarryTheHat,

Kind of you.

But I’m afraid Gareth won’t be able to respond in kind.

Gareth is frustrated — perhaps even angry, but let’s hope that he is capable of anything.

Cheers.

gareth July 22, 2008 at 2:29 pm

But Richard, you don’t stoop to rudeness…

Frustration? Anger? No, you make me laugh. It appears I can rely upon you – and Harry – to produce the crank argument of the day, whatever it may be.

Cheers!

tortoise July 22, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Gah, I tried not to post again yet but just couldn’t do it.

It bugs me that you threw in that “runaway” hedge, HtH. I realize that you were just passing information from elsewhere, but you do see the problem with that, right? You see how that’s a straw man? Runaway greenhouse effect = Venus. Indeed, very few people expect something like that to happen on Earth. That emphatically does not mean that those same people think that greenhouse warming in the near future won’t be a problem.

Also, let us know where you got those stats in the section starting “at the time Al Gore made his comment…” I’m curious to see how those little tidbits were gathered and compiled.

And finally, on the whole “scientific consensus” point, I’ve found that Wikipedia has a good round-up on position statements by scientific organizations vis-a-vis global warming. Here’s my favorite part:

“Statements by dissenting organizations:

With the July 2007 release of the revised statement by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, no remaining scientific body of national or international standing is known to reject the basic findings of human influence on recent climate.[46]”

My comment on the science? I remain on the side of the scientists, Harry.

Tushara July 22, 2008 at 10:10 pm

“and even on the IPCC?
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,309919,00.html

Wtf… a ‘survey’ sent out by Steven Milloy… I am sure you can trust it.. hahaha

HarryTheHat July 22, 2008 at 11:35 pm

Gareth. ‘Crank argument of the day’:
I find your time-frame interesting. So, 1.5 to 2 degrees per century? Just to be clear, you’re measuring that as of now, yes?

gareth July 23, 2008 at 12:29 am

Well, Harry, the current rate of warming is around 0.16C per decade (GISStemp 1977-2007), so if that continues for the next 70 years at the same rate, we’ll see 1.6C in 100 years.

And before you say “but there’s been no warming since 1998″ (or whenever), remember we’re talking climate, not weather. Even if you take the 0.7C increase observed over the last century, that still far exceeds the rate of warming out of an ice age.

HarryTheHat July 23, 2008 at 7:17 am

Gareth. Of course, not surprising that you you GISS, is it? Extrapolated data recordings and all that jazz. You could have used HadCRUT to be fairer perhaps. But since you didn’t, why should I? So I choose UAH lower troposphere. Now of course, the tropo is just above your heado. It’s a much better metric of climate change as it’s not influenced by bad siting of recording stations, UIHE, or massaging of figures. Also the weather gets really mixed up in the tropo, thus producing surely the best data for atmospheric climate change. Lookee here http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/UAHMSUglobe.html and what do we find? Well we find that the temperature now is exactly where it was when the global warming scare was supposed to have begun. Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice. Where is the warming? So to recap: 30 years of no net increase, multiplied by 3.33 means…wait for it… = 0 degree increase in 100 years. Now that’s spooky, because it means that it’s even less than a natural rise after a glacial period ending!

HarryTheHat July 23, 2008 at 7:29 am

Gareth. Is there a million square kilometres more ice extent in the Arctic than there was this time last year…yet? Just wondering.

gareth July 23, 2008 at 9:41 am

Harry, you do realise that drawing a straight line between the start and end points of a data series tells you nothing? Even your JunkScience reference provides a decadal trend for the UAH data. It’s 0.13C for the global average. That’s the lowest trend of all the temp data sets, but it gives us 1.3C over 100 years, still an order of magnitude faster than warming out of an ice age.

And my eyeball of the CT anomaly plot for the Arctic suggests it’s between 0.5 and 0.75Mkm2. The fat lady hasn’t sung yet, Harry.

HarryTheHat July 23, 2008 at 7:26 pm

Gareth. Temp is measurable only if you have reference points to start and finish – obviously. The tropo temp has only been going for 30 years, and it’s therefore perfectly reasonable to see what has happened over that period. Any less and you’d be complaining “it’s weather”. Over thirty years there has been no net increase in temperature – FACT.

Might I suggest you get them eyeballs fixed – and read your favourite site, NSIDC: “Arctic sea ice extent on July 16…was 1.05 million square kilometers above the value for July 16, 2007″

The fat lady is taking the microphone and clearing her throat. And now I see she’s gesturing to you. Oh dear! Oh no, she just means get your wallet out as you owe $40 in your bet with Malcolm on Arctic ice. I bet you that you won’t be so frivolous with your money in future.

frank July 23, 2008 at 8:22 pm

“Temp is measurable only if you have reference points to start and finish – obviously.”
What’s this supposed to mean?

“Over thirty years there has been no net increase in temperature – FACT.”
So what would you have said about the change in temperature in 1998?
You cannot describe changes in the climate by comparing values from single years. It does not matter that they are 30 years apart.

gareth July 23, 2008 at 8:26 pm

I just knew that Harry would provide further proof of his numerical illiteracy.

But he never fails to amuse.

HarryTheHat July 24, 2008 at 7:04 am

Frank. Temp is always either going up or down. So one has to measure it with certain start and finish points. You can have an average, and measure it against that, but then you have a baseline which is somewhat arbitrary. If you choose a certain period you’re left with the obvious question ‘why that period’? This is what’s wrong with the issue of climate change. What are we measuring against? We know the Earth has been warmer in the recent past. So to answer your question, not only would I have said the temp was rising in 1998 – I did say that. I was a pro-warmer back then. However, the last few years made me think that something was up with the theory. We should not be getting cooling periods that can overcome the forcing from man’s emissions of CO2. So it’s wrong – simple as that. In thirty years of measuring the temp in the tropo (surely far and away the very best place to measure changing temps) there has been NO net increase. You can twist it anyway you like, by saying that the satellites must be wrong, or we’re not managing the data properly, but a fact is a fact, and whether you or any swallowist here likes it or not, there it is. Gareth chooses GISS data (for obvious reasons) and includes early 20th century warming – which is most certainly natural in origin. Sensitive as the climate may be according to some here, it certainly cannot be as sensitive as that, as our emissions of CO2 were low back then. The link I gave gives a decadel trend of 0.13 degrees C. However, even that will fall now as the Earth goes into a cooling phase. Already, in 30 years, there’s been no net increase. In 10 years time we’ll all be talking about a 40 year fall – from point A in 1978 to point B in 2018.

Carol July 24, 2008 at 9:12 am

Haarry, I think the important thing is not to choose end points that suit your argument.

“We should not be getting cooling periods that can overcome the forcing from man’s emissions of CO2. So it’s wrong – simple as that.”

Interesting theory; may I suggest you get some evidence together and get it published? You might even make it into the next IPCC report.

gareth July 24, 2008 at 10:10 am

Actually Harry, I took the the trend for the most recent 30 years. But I shouldn’t rise to the bait you’re trolling through the waters here…

Here’s something from a post at RealClimate on trolling:
Internet “trolls” are people who post comments or inquiries, sometimes but not always deliberately annoying or inflammatory in nature, and sometimes repetitions of questions that have long ago been answered, for the sole purpose of “luring” other participants into responding. In some cases their motivation seems to be simply to attract attention to themselves; in other cases they appear to be deliberately and maliciously seeking to waste other people’s time, or upset them, just for the “fun” of it. In a few cases, they may have a somewhat more complicated purpose, such as seeking to create the impression among new visitors to a forum that questions that have actually been long since laid to rest are still the subject of legitimate dispute.

Describes Harry perfectly.

Let’s not rise to the bait, folks.

HarryTheHat July 24, 2008 at 7:44 pm

Carol. To be frank, it’s ridiculous to say that I chose a end point to suit my argument, when I quite clearly pointed out that in 1998 the temp was rising. Now it isn’t. The net increase over that time period is zero. Carol, if we can have natural forcings that can adequately overcome CO2 forcing then we all have nothing to worry about, or should bother with. This is the point of many sceptics; if nature can overcome what we can do then why on earth bury billions of dollars into the matter? No one thought (me included) that by 2008 we’d see no warming for a decade, and temps dropping away. How can this be so when CO2 emissions are inexorably rising? The CO2 theory is quite clearly incorrect. We may be having an effect, but that effect may be very small, or Earth has checks and balances that we don’t understand. Here http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/people/gilbert.p.compo/CompoSardeshmukh2007a.pdf you’ll see a paper out this week that states that it is the oceans that have caused the land warming. It states a combination of natural and man-made forcings as the cause of the warming of the oceans (although I don’t think that CO2 is actually able to do that). Again, interesting, but what does it mean? It means that nature has a big hand.

Gareth. PLEASE…try and come up with an original insult, rather than boring mutterings of “troll”. Puh..leeze! What’s next, cherry-picker? Behave. And by the way, I took your ‘trend’ from your own posting… “Even if you take the 0.7C increase observed over the last century”. So while you commented on GISS from 1977, you also included the temp rise from the whole of the last century – the first part of which was/is unarguably natural. But then I’m just a cherry-picking troll! How’s that Arctic melting coming on?

Tushara July 24, 2008 at 8:40 pm

HarryTheHat, please try and come up with an original argument, other than what trolls come up with, then try get it published in a peer review journal.

HarryTheHat July 25, 2008 at 12:03 am

Tushara, what do you mean, like your ‘original’ comments? Ha, ha.

HarryTheHat July 25, 2008 at 12:27 am

Hey Gareth. Thought you’d enjoy this. It’s with apologies to Sitening on the types of blogger:

Please Read My Blog And Validate My Existence Blogger:
You check your Google Analytics‘ stats everyday, waiting for someone, anyone to read your blog. But alas, it’s been 5 years of ten posts per day, and not even Google’s index acknowledges your existence. You make out that you’re holier than thou and bemoan the way of the world. When someone challenges your theories you immediately resort to telling them to read a book that you have read, or worse, written. Any other theory than your own is total rubbish and not worthy of comment. When a poster calls your beloved theory into question (and you’ve already told him/her to go read a book that you link to) then abuse is your very next tool. Finally, you call the poster a ‘troll’ and call for others to boycott his/her comments.

I think it describes you prefectly!

PS How’s the Arctic melting going?

CobblyWorlds July 25, 2008 at 8:14 am

Compo and Sardesmukh’s “Oceanic Influences on Recent Continental Warming”.

An interesting paper that has been taken out of context by the usual know-nothing pub-bores.

It’s useful to look at as an exercise in why one should take the public statements of scientific organisations as they stand, and the dangers of unqualified and biassed individuals trying to draw their own conclusions. The proper place for scientific debate is in primary peer reviewed research and amongst relevantly qualified researchers.

Firstly it’s a wholly modelled study. So anyone who usually dismisses the models needs to be asked how they justify using a model study.

One key issue is that the increase of CO2 has implications on the global energy imbalance, the IR impact of CO2 is not typically important locally. That this paper finds other factors affecting continental warming is no surprise. The point about increasing GHGs is that they change the balance of incoming and outgoing energy to/from the Earth. Because of their heat storage capacity the oceans should warm reflecting this imbalance.

You can use basic equations to get a picture of the actual expected temperature rise due to the current increase in CO2.

F = alpha ln(C/C0) alpha = 5.35

5.35 * ln(380/275) = 1.73 Watts.

The basic sensitivity to CO2 warming is about 0.25degC/watt sq metre.

Which gives a warming of about 0.4deg C for the CO2 increase so far at equilbrium, and we’re some way off that. Thus even on this simple back-of-envelope calculation it’s clear CO2 isn’t the direct cause for anywhere near all all of the 0.8degC(GISS) temperature rise from pre-industrial times. That’s not news, it’s been long known that other elements of the climate amplify such forcings.

That said I’d be interested for them to try the same using diurnal range or night trends, where the small role for CO2 that they find would (I suspect) be larger.

Compo and Sardesmukh do however rely upon something driving ocean warming. They rightly suggest not all of that is anthropogenic, natural variability if nothing else plays a role on short timescales (they compare by sutracting decade scale periods). However as other papers have shown, there is a substantial anthropogenic element in the ocean warming.

It’s perhaps more helpful to consider that paper in line with another using similar techniques submitted around the same time. “Atmospheric Circulation Trends, 1950-2000: The Relative Roles of Sea Surface Temperature Forcing and Direct Atmospheric Radiative Forcing” Deser & Philips 2008. After all that ocean heat must be distributed.

Take this line from that paper: “The distinctive patterns of atmospheric circulation response due to SST forcing and direct atmospheric[ATM] radiative forcing contribute about equally to the global pattern of circulation trends in the SST+ATM simulation…”

They note the impacts of the Southern Annular Mode (around Antarctica and affecting NZ/Aus.), also the North Atlantic Oscillation. Here in the UK much of our warming in winter is because of a reduction of winter “blocking” events, not the direct IR impact of GHGs. That circulation change is due to AO/NAO changes. But crucially this change in UK winters (yes the winters before the 1970s were generally colder) is reproduced in models with the observed changes in greenhouse gasses.

You’d have to do something like quadruple CO2* for it to become a primary player – and I for one think that would be a very stupid thing to do. *(effective – mustn’t forget CH4!)

Back to lurking, if anyone has real questions or genuinely wants links (no paywalls!) to the actual papers – just ask me.

Tushara July 25, 2008 at 11:27 am

You know what, human induced climate change is not the problem, but it’s just a symptom of the problem.

Now Harry the hat is like the clown that sat at the back of the class, who thinks he’s funny and keeps going on “my dad says the planet is flat and it is”

It is really sad, but Harry you still haven’t proven a thing and are just a clown.

HarryTheHat July 25, 2008 at 7:58 pm

Tushara, I’m happy being a clown rather than to be someone who is quite evidently up their own bottom. If you want to shut your eyes to the FACT that there has been no net warming in the tropo for 30 years, and that it doesn’t matter, then you are fully entitled to do so. However, I would suggest that it is such line of thought that ranks you alongside the people in life who actually scare me – people who cannot rationalise and have logical thought. And your comment that I haven’t “proved anything” is bizarre. I’m not out to ‘prove’ anything. This is a forum to discuss climate change – none of us are climate scientists. Even Cobbly, as knowledgable as he is, would be reduced to a gibbering wreck in the presence of Christy or Spencer.

HarryTheHat July 25, 2008 at 8:10 pm

While I’m here… As Cobbly and Gareth have gone all quiet on so-called Arctic melting (for obvious reasons) I thought I’d update some of you (since both named above would be telling you if it was going their way):

Current Arctic ice extent is not just above 2007, it’s also above 2006 and 2005 as well! Not bad for thin ice that would melt quickly, is it? Pah!

Tushara July 26, 2008 at 11:09 am

No net warming in the tropo? The so called flaw in AGW eh?

This skeptical argument is based on errors in the satellite measurements and the slowly of orbiting satellites. So, sorry Hat, you are wrong here again, corrected for this shows that there has been warming in the troposphere.

You should really stop repeating the same old tired skeptic lies. As you have said, you are no climate scientist. May be it’s time you should give up, you’re not debating, you’re just repeating lies.

You also seem to get easily scared as well. If you stopped and looked at yourself and the lack of any logic you process, you will find that you would shit you pants in fear.

HarryTheHat July 26, 2008 at 7:46 pm

Tushara. Ah, you’ve just showed the depth of your ignorance! So you think that the lack of heat in the tropo argument has been settled? Oh dear, who have you been listening to? Now, Tushara, it cannot have escaped your notice that I have obviously been commenting on climate change for some years, and read-up (every day) on what’s happening (or maybe it would escape your notice!). Whilst I am far, far from an expert, do you really think I would come on here and say about the tropo if the science had been settled? Jesus! All you’ve done is to confirm exactly what I thought; that you are one of those swallowists who believe in AGW and have subsequently puts blinkers on. Now I’m not going to help you out too much because then you’ll be lazy (continue to be) and not educate yourself. Okay then, as a hint, here is a graph of the tropo over the tropics http://www.climateaudit.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/tropic53.gif What can you see? Now I’ll give you some hints for you to google: “200hPa” “douglaspaper” When you look at the bottom of this data, what do you see? http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadat/hadat2/hadat2_monthly_tropical.txt Also, try googling “T3 Tax” and ask yourself why it is a good idea. Grow up, and read up, Tushara. Quite clearly, you don’t know anything about the subject.

gareth July 26, 2008 at 11:57 pm

Harry, if you want to be gratuitously rude, go somewhere else.

Tushara July 27, 2008 at 5:38 pm

Hat, you pull out the old temp in the tropics argument… well that is clearly different to ‘no net warming in the tropo for 30 years’, as you say, a so called fact.

The discrepancy in regards to the tropics has not been proven. Sorry, it’s not a fact, and now you are changing your story… sorry, you have only proven that you are clutching at straws, nothing else.

Tushara July 27, 2008 at 5:44 pm

Btw hat, I may not have continued studying climate science past a Masters level, but I didn’t get my education from a junk science web site, but from real climate scientist. Stop deluding yourself, first thing you should learn about science is that you should try learn science from the experts, not from people who claim that smoking wont kill you.

There is a big difference from Google and peer reviewed science.

HarryTheHat July 27, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Gareth. “gratuitously rude”??? I’ve been abused by you, Cobbly and Tushara. I don’t mind, as long as those that give it, can take it. I have to admire your nerve Gareth. Evidently it’s okay for people on here to actually be abusive to me, as long as I don’t reply in kind, is that correct?

Tushara. I don’t know why you think that your points of reference are any better than mine. I do not get my education from a junk science web site either. I get all my data from UAH, RSS, and HadCRUt. For the Arctic data I go to NSIDC. Various blogs graph data. The blog may be ‘junk’ to you, but the data is still valid. Pity that you cannot see the difference. The two links I gave you above come from Climate Audit, and the Met Office. There is indeed a big difference from Google and peer reviewed science. One’s a search engine and the other is a method of ensuring some level of accuracy. Well done for spotting that!

Now back to the tropo. I said that there has been no net warming in the tropo in 30 years. Now, that’s a FACT. You evidently don’t like it, so you ignore it. It’s a human thing. But the FACT remains. The fingerprint of CO2 induced warming should show up the tropo over the tropics. It does not. It’s childish saying “The discrepancy in regards to the tropics has not been proven”, and it does your thought processes no favours. The reason I gave the tropics was to be indicative of the point. Not only has the ‘fingerprint’ of CO2 not shown itself, there has been no net warming in the troposphere for 30 years. FACT.

CobblyWorlds July 28, 2008 at 7:55 am

If it is being claimed that this graph:
http://www.climateaudit.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/tropic53.gif
shows no warming in the tropical troposphere, then that is being asserted by someone who cannot read graphs.

(Hint – look at the areas between the graph and the 0 axis, at the start of the graph they’re largely below 0, by the end largely above.)

PS Realclimate on the basic flaws in Douglass et al, and also on the latest corrections to sonde data.

“The new analysis adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that these discrepancies are most likely the result of inaccuracies in the observed temperature record rather than fundamental model errors.”

Peter Thorne.

Tushara July 28, 2008 at 9:30 am

No, you gave the tropics as an example, because there are some discrepancies in this area.
A fact, really, can you provide anything to back your so called fact please.

Can you please they me why you are right (someone who is not a climate scientist and learn their science from the web) and why these real scientists are not?

http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/finalreport/sap1-1-final-execsum.pdf

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2007/12/31/msu/

Do you get pleasure in being so deluded? It must be great living in your world, but a sad sight for the rest of us.

Tushara July 28, 2008 at 11:59 am

Can you explain ‘no warming’ Hat if

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/311/5769/1914

or:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1114867v1?rbfvrToken=57bfe68dd33136ee413f21221631abf93113a577

You should really give this game up Hat, you had lost even before you started. These are real science articles and not a sad website.

HarryTheHat July 28, 2008 at 11:54 pm

Poor misguided Tushara. I’ll state it yet again for you as plainly as I possible can: There has been no net warming in the lower troposphere
http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/UAHMSUglobe.html
The graph that started out around an anomaly of -0.15 is back to around -0.15 (if you don’t like the website, then go to the actual data that is clearly shown). And for those who cannot read properly, let me yet again state the word “net” – and simply (yet again!) giving a link to realclimate doesn’t mean any controversy is solved! Ha, ha – that made me laugh. I’ve read that page a number of times, and Gavin’s attempts to parry are amusing.

Temperature is always going up, or going down. So one has to measure it with certain start and finish points. You can have an average, and measure it against that, but then you have a baseline which is somewhat arbitrary. If you choose a certain period you’re left with the obvious question ‘why that period’? Tropo temps have only been recorded since 1978. To the end of 2006 the temp was most certainly up. However, there has been an amazing drop since then, so over that 30-year period, THERE HAS BEEN NO NET INCREASE IN TEMPERATURE.

Plain enough?

At considerable expense to my lunch hour I have even dug up the data for you: http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2

Read it and weep. Oh, and John Christy is a real scientist.

HarryTheHat July 28, 2008 at 11:57 pm

…and it looks like Anchorage in Alaska is about to have its coldest summer EVER!

Hey Gareth and Cobbly, how’s that Arctic melting going? Are we going to be ice-free?

HarryTheHat July 29, 2008 at 1:01 am

Tushara. My brother says I should explain it to you this way, and then you may understand. He thinks you don’t understand what ‘net’ means. Okay then, imagine I gave you money to put in your wallet, and that I’ve been giving you it on a regular basis. Sometimes you’ve given me back a little of what I have given you. However, after 30 years we decide to look at the money you’ve made out of me by looking in the wallet – and we find it is zero as of right now (this year), or maybe just a dollar or so. What would have proven that I’ve given you substantial money would have been that a section of your wallet wouldn’t have allowed money back out, only in (200 hPa). Do you ‘get it’ now?

So, there’s no way that we would be at a position as of right now of no net warming if the tropo had of heated over the tropics – and that we would finally have had the “fingerprint” of CO2-induced warming that has long been promised. But we haven’t had it – go check for yourself at HadleyCrut, the figures are all there.

The FACT remains, there has been no net warming in the lower troposphere in 30 years. You exhibit your confusion by linking to the Tamino page. I’m not arguing that thr tropo doesn’t match the surface! It does fairly well, and Christy acknowledges this. What I’m saying is that there has been no net warming, and to show that, no ‘fingerprint’ either – that would mean that the tropo is doing what it’s supposed to according to the models.

HarryTheHat July 29, 2008 at 1:22 am

…ran out of time to add to the above. Let’s forget all the bitter stuff and concentrate on the point I made, which you incorrectly challenged on July 26th at 11.09:

What was the temperature of the lower troposphere in 1978/79?

Answer that alone, and I’ll respond, okay?

Tushara July 29, 2008 at 9:23 am

Let me explain to you.. you keep changing your story… it’s really funny how you jump from one thing to another. And you are still wrong, it seems you don’t understand a best fit line, my friend just thinks your are stupid and I should leave you alone to yourself.

Tushara July 29, 2008 at 9:30 am

And btw Hat, I gave you several links (scientific) for you to read, so maybe you could learn something, but alas, seems not. I give up, you are a Muppet and that’s that.

Tushara July 29, 2008 at 9:49 am

Okay, last time I will discuss this with you Hat, imagine it’s winter, today’s temperature is 16 Ëš C, six months later, it’s summer and the temperature has warmed up, then one summer’s day, the temperature is 16 Ëš C, this does not mean that there has been no net warming, the temperature has increased over these months. You seem you think that going from point A to point B gives you sufficient answers to what is going on, sorry, this is basic science, you have to take as many points as possible to get a clearly answer. A BEST FIT!!!!!

You should really take a basic analytical chemistry course you understand this, then you may get a clue.

Andrew H July 29, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Harry

Thanks for the link to the junkscience graph – I normally don’t bother to go there because, basically, it is what it says it is.

But, that is a good graph and I’m surprised you link to it.

Casting my (engineering trained) eye over it I see:
a) an upward trend in the peaks
b) an upward trend in the troughs
c) an upward trend in the entire record

which, curiously, pretty much matches the gradient on the Mauna Loa CO2, and okay, I know that is an artifact of the scaling but it tells an interesting story doesn’t it.

Tushara
Keep up the good work. But (note to self included) – Don’t feed the troll! (no need anyway he has gorged on cherries!)

Tushara July 29, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Thanks Andrew, you are right… there is no point feeding the trolls… it wont change the fundamental problem, that of unsustainable behavior patterns

HarryTheHat July 29, 2008 at 10:33 pm

Andrew. Oh dear, another one who cannot understand the difference bewteen an opinion on a blog, and data represented direct from a trusted source (UAH). Oh well, I’ll leave you to yourself on that one. Maybe you’ll figure out the difference, maybe you won’t.

I don’t have any problems with the data at all, and (yet again!) if you had bothered to read earlier replies to Carol, you’d would have seen that I ‘admitted’ in the previous rises, and of course (yet again!) if you’d had bothered to read my replies you would have seen that I point to the trend of 0.13 degrees per decade! But then you wouldn’t have seen that with your ‘engineering trained’ eye would you Andrew? Please tell me you don’t work on Aircraft! With engineers like you, who needs terrorists? What I was pointing out was NET. It really is quite clear. And full points for getting “troll” and “cherries” in the same post! I see you got that time machine working then.

HarryTheHat July 29, 2008 at 10:42 pm

Tushara. A muppet now! Keep ‘em coming, all you’re showing is your lack of ability to reasonable argument, a resort to abuse, eh?

Okay, as much as I usually enjoy a jolly good discussion, I’ll be happy to clear this one, as you evidently cannot understand english. Right, first of all, you quite obviously misinterpreted my July 25, 7.58 post. I very clearly used the word “net” not just in reply to you, but if you look above you’ll see I used it in three replies to Gareth, Frank, and Carol. You re-used the word in your reply, but then immediately started writing of “The so called flaw in AGW eh?”. The confusion was yours alone. Since you brought that up then I countered with the lack of the “fingerprint” of CO2-induced warming. You then had the temerity to accuse me of changing my story! You then produced a number of links which were not representative of the point I am making, that there has been no net warming in the lower troposphere in 30 years. If the modelled warming above the tropics had taken place, then I couldn’t possibly be stating that there is no net warming (over the entire tropo data). So it’s not me who changed the story, but you – because you mistakenly confused no net warming with no correlation. Everyone here can read back and see that Tushara. I haven’t spoken of ‘best-fit lines’, you did! And you have a friend, Tushara??? Oh come on! This is not a matter of ‘science settled on difference between surface and tropo’ – which it isn’t, by the way. But, if you want to talk about that, we can…

The Douglas paper says, “Model results and observed temperature trends are in disagreement in most of the tropical troposphere, being separated by more than twice the uncertainty of the model mean. In layers near 5 km, the modelled trend is 100 to 300% higher than observed, and, above 8 km, modelled and observed trends have opposite signs”. The required ‘hotspot’ in the mid tropo is simply completely absent. Also, the ‘settled science’ on surface and tropo that you allude to is no such thing, as it concerns only global averages. The tropic discrepancy remains unresolved, I can assure you. Realclimate have challenged the Douglas paper, of course, on error bars, and all they managed to do was to show that if you make the error bars wide enough then even a total lack of any heating within the troposphere is STILL consistent with the global warming theory! Pathetic.

Finally, you and other Warmists cannot carry on believing that everything that supports your theory is correct, and that anything that doesn’t is in error. Never let the truth get in the way of a good theory, eh? The required ‘hotspot’ that would occur in the tropic tropo isn’t there. Also, over 30 years there is no net warming in the lower troposphere. Also, between 07 and 08 we saw a year-long drop in global temperatures which is the largest ever recorded movement in temperature – up or down. Also, despite a growth in the emissions of CO2 and the fact that oceans are not absorbing them as they did before, global temperature has remained flat for over a decade. Also, the supposed association between warming and hurricanes has been proved to be false. Also, the oceans have cooled slightly. Also, sea levels have recently dipped. These are all facts and they ALL counter the idea of CO2-induced global warming theory. Deal with them.

The facts, Tushara, are that we are releasing a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere; an experiment of which we don’t know what the end result will be. Ocean acidification could be a worry. However, all the scare stories and pathetic alarmist over-reactions based on poor models have been proved wrong. We’re currently in a period of global cooling. It could be short, but it could be long, but either way, no model predicted it. Greens here in the UK moaned about lead in the air. When that improved fantastically they moved onto nitrous oxide. As more people bought diesels they moved onto carbon monoxide in the cities. Now they see the rise of electric cars, so they’ve moved onto congestion. When people have been priced off the road they’ll complain that there’s too many of us for public transport. Witness the childish screamings on this year’s Arctic ice extent. These ‘next-cause-please’ people are typical of ‘the boat is sinking’ rants of the new green brigade. The Left have taken the subject over and brought shame upon the eco movement. When it’s proved to be false they will move on to something else, just the same as unnamed (though they know who they are) contributors here who will go on to the next thing they see to worry about – just as soon as September comes and the Arctic doesn’t melt. Mind-numbingly crass. These people are knowledgable, no doubt, but lack the ability to see their theory isn’t true, but grind on regardless – just like the religious, which is exactly what they are.

If you want to reply with yet another abusive term, then fine, but I’ve laid out the facts, not just my take on them, and there is nothing more for me to say on this particular issue. My apologies for the Cobblyesque length of this rant.

tortoise July 30, 2008 at 3:22 am

I figured out HtH’s problem, I think. All this going on and on about NET temperature differences, and start points, and end points. HtH does not seem to understand the difference between weather and climate, or noise and signal.

In 1998, Harry was a “swallowist.” Today, Harry mocks the “swallowists” with great contempt–how could we be so stupid as to not understand the FACTS that he lays out for us? How’s that arctic sea ice going, eh? EH?!?

Well, Harry, the amplitude of the noise in temperature is as big as the anthropogenic warming signal to date. Get it? I’ll wait while you think about that for a bit…
…got it now? No? Well, what that means, is that any given year can easily be as much warmer or colder than the average of the reference period as the absolute value of the recent warming. But, if you compare temperatures across long enough periods, you’ll see the trend–the baseline around which this short-term noise is happening. And that trend is very clearly rising. 1998 was a huge anomaly above the baseline one would expect from looking at the trend. 2008 looks like it will come in below the baseline one would expect from the trend. That’s WEATHER. Subtracting an endpoint from a start point tells you nothing useful about CLIMATE.

The same thing goes for the arctic ice. 2007 was a RIDICULOUS anomaly in terms of ice extent. In terms of regression to the mean, it would be silly to expect 2008 to be as extreme. I know, some people predicted 2008 would be even more extreme than 2007, but I think that prediction is as ill-advised as it would have been to think that 1999 was going to be hotter than 1998. Arctic sea ice extent in 2008 will probably not reach the (totally amazing) minimum extent that it did in 2007. But look at the trend over the past couple of decades…any question what direction the arctic sea ice is headed now? Think climate, not weather. Once again, subtracting an endpoint from a start point tells you nothing useful. The trend is down, and it now looks as though the Arctic could be seeing ice-free summers by mid-century.

Put another way, Harry, let me ask you this: the next time we have a year that is warmer than 1998, and/or an Arctic sea ice extent lower than September 2007, will you become a “swallowist” again? Because by your logic above, as soon as there is net warming or net ice area loss again, subtracting an endpoint from a start point, your argument flips polarity. If you really think the net difference between two given points is significant, you could EVEN NOW be arguing either that there is warming or cooling, depending on which start date you choose. That’s what your bizarre emphasis on net differences between discrete points leads to. If you do the sensible thing and look at the trend, with enough data for statistical significance, the warming is obvious (as most people seem to have already noticed).

The amplitude of the noise, i.e. of temperature differences due to weather phenomena, oscillations like ENSO, etc., is as big as the anthropogenic warming signal to date. If you look at a sufficient amount of data to resolve climate, the signal is clear. If your time series is too short, the noise swamps it. Harry doesn’t seem to get this, or does and desperately wants to keep other people from getting it.

tortoise July 30, 2008 at 3:58 am

And of course, HtH keeps telling people that there’s no stratospheric cooling, that critical fingerprint of greenhouse warming. And of course he’s lying:

Satellite observations confirm that the stratosphere has cooled since 1979

Stratospheric and mesospheric cooling trend estimates from u.s. rocketsondes at low latitude stations

HarryTheHat July 30, 2008 at 7:02 am

Tortoise. Thank you for your reply, blinkers on again then Tortoise? I was arguing about noise in signals back on the BBC boards many years back. I’ve no enthusiasm to rise to your attempt at being condescending, pathetic as it is.

Arctic? Aimed at Gareth and Cobbly – for obvious reasons, though not obvious to you, apparently. Oh, and the Arctic sea ice extent has been poorly recorded in the past, by the way.

I’ve explained at length about the fact of the NET measurement. If you cannot be bothered to read it then I can’t be bothered to explain it again to someone like you.

Oh, and Tortoise, you’re a LIAR. I have never said there is “no stratospheric cooling”. What I said, is that there has been no stratospheric cooling since 1994. Actually, there’s been a slight warming. That’s a FACT, Tortoise. I know you have trouble apologising, but give it a go, go on. Bet you don’t. The data is graphed here http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/Stratosphere1278-1204.gif Surely even you can see it. Maybe not. The atmosphere works on a pivot point around the mid to upper tropo. So as the tropo warms, the strato cools. That’s how the theory of warming works – but you wouldn’t know that. In the past five or six years there has been a warming in the tropo, but no cooling in the strato in that same period. Why not?

Tell you what Tortoise, as your ignorance is so immense, I thoroughly recommend that you go away and stop being silly. Best to read-up on basic climate science then come back here with some points you’d like to discuss. Now that’s condescending, but throughly deserved!

PS
You’re not supposed to be talking to me, because I’m a troll. I’m also a muppet and a clown. Gareth and AndrewH have asked people not to respond. There’s blog democracy in action.

HarryTheHat July 30, 2008 at 7:13 am
Tushara July 30, 2008 at 9:08 am

One last time… Harrythemuppet, you clearly don’t know how to read a graph or interrupt data, this is a basic skill need to understand science. There is no point continuing with you till you learn these skills. I am not the only one here pointing this out to you. You should listen to everyone else here. I tell you what; here is what you should do.

Take all the data from

http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2

Plot it into an excel spreadsheet. Then create a graph, notice how the trend is UPWARDS!!! Then plot a best fit line, and then take note, the gradient of this line is positive. If you cannot get this simple thing, then you live you you’re sad deluded world.

HarryTheHat July 30, 2008 at 9:22 am

Oh, I’m disappointed, that’s not a new abusive term, you’ve already used it.

Again, again, again…I’ve pointed out the trend of 0.13 degrees per decade many times now, but that’s not what I was talking about in my reply – I was talking about a NET temperature over thirty years in my reply to Gareth on July 23rd, 2008 7:17 am. You continue in your inability to recognise the difference. I could, and have, talked about trends – both in the tropo and the strato MANY TIMES! But on this occasion I was talking about a ‘net’ temperature – and I even explained why. You (amusingly now) confused yourself and thought I was talking about a lack of correlation between surface and tropo. As I said, everyone here can read back and see it. I think it best for you to stop digging when you’re so far down your hole. Seriously Tushara, you’re just making yourself look stupid now.

Tushara July 30, 2008 at 9:31 am

“a NET temperature over thirty years”… which has been positive… it is you Muppet that is stupid.

Sorry to the rest of you guys, that will be the last time I will reply, of course he does not get it.

Let me explain…

“I’m not arguing that the tropo doesn’t match the surface”

Well, if the net surface temp has increased over the last thirty years, a trend upwards, then from your statement above, the net temp of the tropo has also increased. As the net surface temp HAS increased, then so has the net tropo temp.

You clearly don’t know how to understand data, but you do know how to pick cherries, harrythemuppet.

HarryTheHat July 30, 2008 at 9:37 am
HarryTheHat July 30, 2008 at 9:43 am

Tushara. Dig, dig, dig. Now, I would advise that you should never play chess. I was fair to you, but now you’ve gone and made yourself look completely stupid in front of all your friends. Want to see why…

ready…

http://images.dailytech.com/nimage/7390_large_hadcrut.jpg

Now go back at look at the graph on the lower tropo for midway 1988. Ah, never mind Tushara, try coming up with a point of argument that makes sense. So far on here, you’ve confused yourself, made errors in reading, and now completely proved my point for me! Thanks.

Tushara July 30, 2008 at 9:52 am

Do you even understand what the word ‘over’ means Muppet?

(sorry guys that was the very last time)

HarryTheHat July 30, 2008 at 9:56 am

The basis of your argument is over, yes, there never was one! I know how you must be smarting! How much does it hurt? Thanks again for proving my point for me – most unexpected, but welcome. Checkmate.

Tushara July 30, 2008 at 10:08 am

How deluded are you, the graph you linked to, anyone (apart from yourself) can see you don’t understand what a best fit line would look like, you cannot even read graphs… The trend is upwards, a net increase in the tropo. Stop providing data which you cannot understand.

Checkmate, sorry, you don’t even know how to play the game, you lost, but still if you think you won, pat pat, well done, keep trying Muppet, a high school science class maybe a start.

HarryTheHat July 30, 2008 at 10:21 am

Tushara. Seriously…stop doing this to yourself. Tell you what, take time out and read back through all the posts. You’ll learn something. I know, I’ve been wrong on forums before, but you learn. I’ve been doing this for years. You’ll learn too…to accept that you’ve confused yourself and written stuff that makes you look silly. You’ll get over it. Btw, I’ve actually not been beaten at chess since I was 15 – and I’m 49 now. Strategy, cunning, knowledge, and upsetting your opponent if you can.

mikesmith July 30, 2008 at 11:26 am

Well Hat, you should stick with chess, it is obvious that you don’t understand climate science.

tortoise July 30, 2008 at 2:02 pm

A lot of harry’s confusion seems to stem from a common source. He continues to say things to the effect of “here’s point A, here’s point B, point B is lower so there’s been a net decline, or point B is higher so there’s been a net increase.” He honestly doesn’t seem to understand why that type of analysis is meaningless in this case, which would be understandable had it not been repeatedly explained to him. There’s no understanding of trends, noise, or statistical significance. No understanding of proper data analysis at all. Just a bunch of confused arm-waving and then a declaration of VICTORY!!

So, a question to everyone here except Harry–has there been a statistically significant warming trend in the stratosphere since 1994? Has there been a statistically significant cooling trend in the stratosphere since 1978? Do your answers to these questions shed any light on what Harry is trying to claim?

Does the fact that Harry trusts david evans but distrusts every scientific body of national or international standing shed any light on what Harry wants you to believe?

mikesmith July 30, 2008 at 2:44 pm

What’s is Harry taking about gloabl cooling? I can cherry pick data too, in the last ice age, global temperture was around -8C, today it is around 15C. This is clearly global warming. One point to another.

CobblyWorlds July 31, 2008 at 6:47 am

Harry the Hat states:

I’ve actually not been beaten at chess since I was 15 – and I’m 49 now. Strategy, cunning, knowledge, and upsetting your opponent if you can.

Do Not Feed The Troll.

HarryTheHat July 31, 2008 at 6:48 am

Tortoise. As I said, I HAVE talked about trends, but in this particular instance I was talking to Gareth about a period of time of thirty years from one point to another – which is a perfectly valid position to take. Your inability to understand this very simple point is amazing. I’ve been discussing trends and future temperature scenarios for many years, but in this one instance I was talking about a NET temperature over thirty years. Yes, there have been periods of rising temperatures, and some periods of lower temperatures, and yes the trend is currently running at 0.13 degrees C per decade – a point I have already stated. BUT I WAS TALKING ABOUT THE NET DIFFERENCE OVER 30 YEARS! Are you lacking something?

HarryTheHat July 31, 2008 at 6:49 am

Ah Cobbly, a troll it is then! How childishly pathetic. Grow up man, for goodness sake.

HarryTheHat July 31, 2008 at 6:51 am

Tortoise, why has no one answered your question on a statistically significant warming trend in the stratosphere since 1994?

mikesmith July 31, 2008 at 8:41 am

Can harry the troll be banned, he clearly is just here for trolling. Surely, no one can be that stupid. He is clearly lacking something.

CobblyWorlds July 31, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Tortoise,
You are not wrong. But I’m not engaging because The Troll is getting even worse.

Troll,

I’ve actually not been beaten at chess since I was 15 – and I’m 49 now. Strategy, cunning, knowledge, and upsetting your opponent if you can.

Silly little schoolboy.

Gareth,
There’s an HTML problem that’s is turning the whole page into a link after the last link in post: “tortoise on July 30th, 2008 2:02 pm”

HarryTheHat July 31, 2008 at 9:46 pm

Swallowist: I believe everything Gavin Schmidt says because he is God – and I will link to realclimate at every opportunity.

HarryTheHat July 31, 2008 at 10:49 pm

Gareth, as well as the immediate html problem down here in this section, it’s also affecting the “The book is available…” link under the book graphic – top right of this page.

gareth August 1, 2008 at 10:45 pm

Page should be fixed now. Tortoise munged a link. Let me know if it isn’t…

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