Return of the Climate Clueless™: there’s none so blind…

by Gareth on April 17, 2011

Sir Peter Gluckman, scientific adviser to NZ prime minister John Key, recently published a discussion paper entitled Towards better use of evidence in policy formation (pdf). It’s an interesting read for anyone who has ever noted the sometimes large discrepancy between political dogma and policy outcomes. Sciblogger Peter Griffin went so far as to describe it as “possibly one of the most important [papers] he has released thus far”.

Over in the land of the Climate Clueless™ however, Richard “Climate Conversation” Treadgold has taken Gluckman’s paper as a cue to demand evidence of climate change. Treadgold appears to have forgotten that one of Sir Peter’s first acts following his appointment was to review the evidence and issue a statement on the subject, and is perhaps still smarting from Gluckman’s comments on climate denial last year. He therefore issues this stern challenge:

I would remind Sir Peter that evidence is required to establish the following key factors in the global warming debate — evidence that has not surfaced so far. We have been looking for evidence to show:

  1. The existence of a current unprecedented global warming trend.
  2. That the greenhouse effect is powerful enough to endanger the environment.
  3. A causal link between human activities and dangerously high global temperatures.
  4. That climate models have a high level of skill in predicting the climate.
  5. A causal link between atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and global temperatures.
  6. A causal link between global warming and the gentle rise in sea level.

Time to play some whack-a-mole…

Treadgold appears not to have been “looking” very hard, because there is plenty of evidence to address every one of his points.

We have been looking for evidence to show:

1. The existence of a current unprecedented global warming trend.

Warming_Indicators_480.jpg

All of these things confirm that the planet is currently warming (more at Skeptical Science). But is it unprecedented, I hear the pedants squeal? Well, no. But over the earth’s history, sudden rapid global warming is often associated with major extinction events — and you’d think that was something we might try to avoid.

2. That the greenhouse effect is powerful enough to endanger the environment.

The greenhouse effect is powerful enough to deliver the environment we live in, by retaining enough heat to lift surface temperature by about 33ºK. In other words, without greenhouse gases, the earth’s surface would average about -17ºC. Increasing that already large warming by adding more greenhouse gases can certainly “endanger the environment” as past warmings show (see above, and here).

3. A causal link between human activities and dangerously high global temperatures.

Human Fingerprints480

There’s no doubt that the current warming is being caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 levels, a direct result of human activity (burning fossil fuels, deforestation etc). As this Skeptical Science graphic shows, this view is supported by (at least) 10 lines of supporting evidence. But will the warming be “dangerously high”, the pedants pipe up? See the information on past warming events linked above, and then ponder on the Eemian, the last interglacial, when CO2 at 300ppm delivered sea levels 6 m higher than today and global temperatures 1ºC higher than present. Or what about the Pliocene, when CO2 levels equivalent to today delivered sea levels 25 m higher, and an Arctic as much as 13ºC warmer?

4. That climate models have a high level of skill in predicting the climate.

We don’t need climate models to understand where we may be heading, as the paleoclimate evidence demonstrates, but they are extremely useful tools for trying to work out what might happen. If we had two planets to play with, we could leave one with low CO2, and continue burning fossil fuels on this one to see what happens. Unfortunately that’s a luxury we don’t have. But do climate models have a high level of skill? They do pretty well by a wide variety of measures, but do you really want to risk waiting a decade or two to see how current models perform? Doesn’t strike me as wise, given 1. and 2. above…

5. A causal link between atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and global temperatures.

This is Treadgold’s blockhead moment. The “causal link” is basic physics, understood for 150 years (Fourier, Tyndall). More CO2 means more heat retained in the system, or the greenhouse effect he seems to admit exists wouldn’t. That’s about as clear a link as you can get.

6. A causal link between global warming and the gentle rise in sea level.

More basic physics that seems to have eluded Treadgold. If you warm up water, like most things it expands. Thermal expansion has been (until recently) the single biggest contributor to sea level rise and will continue to play a big part until the oceans reach thermal equilibrium — and that will take hundreds of years, even if we do manage to end our binge on fossil carbon.

Treadgold claims to be “looking for evidence”, but clearly hasn’t been looking hard — or perhaps at all. There is an obvious irony in his using a paper he hasn’t read to demand evidence he can’t be bothered to uncover or understand, but — and much worse — it’s a continuation of a long-term pattern of behaviour, as Hot Topic readers with long memories may recall.

When offered evidence, Treadgold adopts the Nelson defence. He can’t see it, so it doesn’t exist. But he’s been playing this game for so long that his demands and protestations cut no ice. Being blind to the evidence is not scepticism, it’s denial, and that’s an estate Treadgold has occupied for a very long time.

[Robert Palmer]

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

nigelj April 17, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Gluckman should just send him a copy of the IPCC report. If he objects, tell him to publish a better theory. Dont engage furthur.

y-not April 18, 2011 at 7:58 am

Peter Gluckman’s main reference [Pielke R Jr. The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics. Cambridge University Press, 2007.] has got to be a must read for any scientist. He spoke about it at length on Chris Laidlaw’s programme recently. The book has definitely altered my thinking.

Bob Bingham April 18, 2011 at 8:10 am

Talking about deniers. Now that Rodney Hyde is a new father I wonder if he will start to wonder what kind of World his child will inherit.

tom April 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Re the Nelson Defence I was wondering if Sagan’s – the absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence – will run appropriately for this guy..

CTG April 19, 2011 at 1:27 am

Gluckman is turning out to be extremely good value for money. There’s probably a lesson for National in there, if they were minded to listen. (I asked Wayne Mapp how he could square away the govt’s supposed commitment to science and technology with sacking 17 NIWA scientists, and got the usual empty platitudes in reply)

It is nice to see Gluckman using his extended network here – one of the people he consulted on this report is my hero, Bob May (ex-UK CSA). If you don’t know who Bob May is, I strongly advise you do some googling. A New South Welshman of the small, nuggety type, he is one of the most brilliant minds of our generation; one of very few physicists who made a successful transition into biology, and virtually single-handedly invented the field of mathematical epidemiology (my speciality). For me, Bob May encapsulates everything that science stands for; particularly the way he handled the divide between science and policy. Gluckman, I feel, deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Bob May, and is our best hope of countering the anti-science vomit of Treadgold and his ilk.

On a completely off-topic note, you can currently view a “DNA portait” of Gluckman at the marvellous Art of Science exhibition in Shed 11, Wellington. Fantastic exhibition, featuring excellent lunchtime seminars every Wednesday. (Okay, I admit it, my wife works for the RSNZ).

Keith Hunter April 21, 2011 at 9:45 pm

People should remember that it is a very long shot to expect Peter to be an expert on most topics of science, despite that fact that he can call on lots of expertise. This is not an issue. Most good scientists like him can interpret the information they receive. If he couldn’t do this he wouldn’t have the respect he has from mainstrem scientists. For my part, I am happy with what he has to say. Saying that, I mean I am also happy with the opportunities he gives me to have my say on important issues.

With regard to Treadgold and his ilk, I have to say that there is nothing they say that I can relate to, as an active scientist who works in the climate change arena and who speaks on behalf of many others down here at Otago in that arena. I have told Richard this. For better or worse, my view is that they (RT and co) do not speak for the genuinely skeptic community.

The time for their brand of skepticism is past, I am afraid.

Sincerely. Keith

John D April 22, 2011 at 6:50 pm

What is the genuinely sceptic community, Keith?
Can you provide an example of what you consider to be genuine scepticism?

My view is that the likes of “genuine sceptics” such as Simon Singh and Ben Goldacre like to attack the soft targets that are acceptable to their peers. e.g Homeopathy.and quack medicine. Neither of these two examples go anywhere near climate change without appeals to authority. Presumably they are not interested because it is not PC?

bill April 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm

This is exacerbated because climate science is difficult. We could discuss everything you needed to know about MMR and autism in an hour. Climate change will take two days of your life, for a relatively superficial understanding: if you’re interested, I’d recommend the IPCC website.

Goldacre here. He goes on to describe pretty-well everything you do as ‘zombie’ activity, John, if you’re interested.

I don’t see him wasting too much time on the dangers of smoking, DDT, CFCs and asbestos either, and that’s because we had a scientific debate in these matter John, and your side – and it is your side, as I’ve pointed out to you before there’s a whole toxic avalanche of bullshit waiting to cascade down on us all as unleashed by your ultra-revisionist fellow-travellers – lost.

Of course, your statement makes sense if we read ‘not PC’ as ‘not Pure Crap’.

(Love the pompous reference to ‘appeals to authority’ from the guy squealing below about criticism of the Pielkes, against whom we are all ‘intellectual pigmies’, apparently! )

John D April 27, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Climate change will take two days of your life, for a relatively superficial understanding: if you’re interested, I’d recommend the IPCC website.

Oh that is so beautiful Bill.
Ben Goldacre recommends the IPCC website and suggests that we can get a grasp of the state of current climate science in 2 days?

Why should we take Ben Goldacre’s word for it?. Is there any evidence whatsoever that Ben Goldacre has actually read and understood any climate science at all?

Do you really think that the average Joe can get a good grasp of “climate science” in 2 days, by reading ipcc.ch?

How many papers are referenced therein?
Did you check all the facts?
Did you issue FOI requests for data when none was provided in the papers referenced?
Did you check the Summary for Policymakers and understand how they came to their certainty figures for climate metrics?

Or do you just trust them because they are the IPCC?

If so, why?

Attendum:

I am very happy to affirm that I am not a giant expert on climate change: I know a bit, and I know that there’s not yet been a giant global conspiracy involving almost every scientist in the world (although I’d welcome examples).

writes Ben Goldacre..

such joy awaits me…..

bill April 28, 2011 at 3:23 pm

John, you criticising anyone on the basis of insufficient reading – let alone comprehension – is a position beyond parody.

But that’s not new, is it? Because your whole world-view is based on wilfull incomprehension and paranoiac nuttiness. You’re only one step up from a ‘birther’ (and many of your fellow-travellers have not even achieved that puny elevation!)

The short reason for Singh and Goldacre not being climate ‘skeptics’ is that they believe in science. Goldacre doesn’t trust big pharma or big-chemical – rightly – or other clearly ‘interested’ bodies such as homeopaths, purveyors of ‘miracle cures’, ‘detox therapists’ and the tobacco lobby.

But for you and your cronies to be right every national academy of science would have to be either blatantly stupid or dastardly co-conspirators. Ditto biologists identifying early migrations and altitude shifts in habitats, glaciologists, cryospheric scientists; the works!

This is utterly ridiculous.

So all you can do is keep bleating the same dreary mantras over and over and cling to some pathetic notion that anyone who outwits you is somehow cheating! The utter humiliation of your puny positions is not sufficient for you to repudiate them; you simply retreat and restate them a few days or weeks down the track.

In short – you cannot learn. You have achieved epistemic closure.

John D April 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Thanks for your characterisation of me Bill.
I don’t recall making any “nutty claims”, only scepticism of high climate sensitivity to CO2.

My request for a book reference is to get some feel for what you consider “acceptable”. It is not that I haven’t read books on the subject.

So would you put the following people in the same category of nuttiness as me?

Richard Lindzen
John Christy
Roy Spencer
Roger Piekle Snr
Phillip Stott
Fred Singer
Freeman Dyson
Henrik Svensmark

These, of course, are all “deniers” by your standards.

In terms of the “conspiracy”, I am more than happy to provide evidence on how the scientific process has been corrupted (in my view). It is hardly a conspiracy when the evidence is in plain view.

Mike Palin April 29, 2011 at 6:49 am

Nicely put, bill.

John D, how are you going with Wally’s book? I can send you a copy if you cannot find one.

John D April 29, 2011 at 11:37 am

Goldacre doesn’t trust big pharma or big-chemical – rightly – or other clearly ‘interested’ bodies such as homeopaths, purveyors of ‘miracle cures’, ‘detox therapists’ and the tobacco lobby.

But he is quite happy to trust the climate change industry, that has well-documented political and financial interests in promoting Global Warming alarm?

Would you like, perhaps, to look at the case of GLOBE, – “Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment.”

This organisation, that receives money from the UK government to lobby the government for climate change policies, has Lord Oxburgh on its board.
You know, the man who headed up one of the so-called “indpendent” climategate enquiries.

Turns out that Oxburgh is also on the board of Falck Renewables and D-1 Oils, alternative energy companies.

To me, that smells like a conflict of interest. But to the “sceptics” like Goldacre and Singh, there is strange silence on the matter.

bill April 29, 2011 at 2:31 pm

But he is quite happy to trust the climate change industry, that has well-documented political and financial interests in promoting Global Warming alarm?

Sorry, John this is just more of The Stupid shining through.

‘Climate change industry’ my arse! ‘Well-documented’ my arse. Your ridiculous, frenzied cohort can repeat these things ad infinitum, but it doesn’t make them true.

And all you are doing is proving my point, and Ben Goldacre’s and Mike Palin’s, and anyone else with a functioning intellect’s.

You cannot understand that it is precisely because AGW is supported by so many individuals and bodies in so many fields that makes it so credible. You simply ignore this point, made to you repeatedly in the plainest of English, and revert to repeating your childish and silly – and. let’s face it, f’ing boring – assertions, fingers in the ears, ‘I can’t heeear you!’ style.

You cannot understand this because you are an ideologue, incapable of grasping any politically unacceptable notion. Ironically, you cannot understand the concept embodied in the previous sentence for the same reason.

John D April 29, 2011 at 2:50 pm

‘Climate change industry’ my arse!

Are you in denial that a “climate change industry” exists Bill?

What I mean by this, irrespective of science, is that there is a large, well-funded industry that lobbies governments to “big up” and promote global warming alarm.

Examples:

The Grantham Institute
WWF
GLOBE
Greenpeace

Many of these organisations are funded partly by governments to lobby governments, so the whole thing turns into a positive feedback loop.

Many of these organisations, like WWF, have a massive financial interest in seeing carbon taxes implemented.

In your world, Bill, you seem to imagine a world of “honest scientists” beavering away, doing “honest research”, and working with an “independent” IPCC that evaluates their work based on merit. Whilst I don’t dispute that there are “honest scientists”, I do know that the whole edifice looks decidedly dodgy to me.

You don’t need to be a conspiracy theorist to believe this stuff, a solid grounding in financial audit would be a good start.

And if you think I am a lone crank, there is an entire blogosphere devoted to this, and it’s getting bigger.

Mike Palin April 29, 2011 at 6:49 pm

John D-
I’m off to the Highlanders-Blues match, but before I go I want to verify once again that I am willing to pay to bring you to Dunedin to help you rid yourself of your ignorance of climate change science. Put-up or shut-up.

Gareth April 29, 2011 at 9:06 pm

I’ll chip in $50 towards the “education of John D”. Whip round, chaps?

bill April 29, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Mark me down for $20 AUD!

Macro April 30, 2011 at 2:14 am

I’d love to contribute! But not if we have to fly him from London! I have a guilty conscience about visiting Perth, (even with the 100s of natives I’ve planted in the wetland over the past few years) though my granddaughter has very much appreciated the visit.

Mike Palin April 23, 2011 at 7:20 pm

JD-
Climate change is a scientific fact, homeopathy and quack medicine are not. That is why genuine skeptics don’t deal with climate change. Simple enough.

Your interpretation requires conspiracies amongst otherwise highly competitive and intelligent individuals. It doesn’t make any sense.

John D April 23, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Climate change is a scientific fact,

Yes, of course. The climate has always changed, and therefore is a scientific fact

What I am referring to, as you know, is Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change.

This is NOT a fact, and as you know Mike, neither you nor the government chief “scientist” can provide any evidence for this whatsoever other than from the output of flawed computer models

PS, Gareth, enjoy the pig and the Easter break. I love a good bit of cracklin’ lad

Thomas April 23, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Huh? John, you seem to be hiding in a big dark cave with no windows. Obviously you are simply in total denial of the big wide world outside of that cave and of the mountain of literature and observational hard evidence for AGW. You are at par with those who claim that there is not one iota of evidence for Evolution. You must be blind or deliberately telling porkies to yourself and to the rest of us.
How can you live with yourself with so much denial?

John D April 23, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Thomas, I am not in denial of AGW. I accept that any human-induced change to the planet will change the climate, including scratching my nose, watching TV, or browsing the internet.

What I am sceptical of, is the role of CO2, especially the nature of feedbacks

Most “sceptics” understand this differentiation. If you continue to deny that this is an issue you and your Green inmates will back yourselves further into a corner. Regretfully, I feel this will be bad for everyone, you and me included.

Richard C1 April 23, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Most peculiar. Exactly what about CO2 are you sceptical of? Is it the absorption of IR or something else?

John D April 23, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Richard C1 – the role of water vapour/clouds etc creating feedbacks, positive or otherwise, in the non-linear system known as the “climate”

These postulates are precisely that. There is NO EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE to support these theories,

None
Zip
Nada

Maybe even the government chief scientist, “Professor” Peter Gluckman, knows this?

Richard C1 April 24, 2011 at 10:03 am

Well, we appear to have hit a thread depth limit. But anyway, you didn’t answer the question, a question based on your own words, you just tried to change the goalposts.

What do you not understand about the role of CO2 in global warming?

CTG April 24, 2011 at 10:39 am

John, the fact that you only acknowledge one side of the uncertainty limits is ample evidence of why you are a denier, not a skeptic.

Thomas April 25, 2011 at 9:48 am

John you simply do either not read or not understand the depth and amount of the evidence.
And as others said: Uncertainty goes both ways!

robint April 24, 2011 at 5:10 am

John D, whatever script you are copying and pasting from appears to have “sceptical” confused with “ignorant”, as in:

“What I am sceptical of, is the role of CO2, especially the nature of feedbacks “

John D April 24, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Richard C1 –

What do you not understand about the role of CO2 in global warming?

There is the basic greenhouse theory of CO2, that states that a doubling of CO2 in the absence of feedbacks will cause 1.2 deg C of warming.

Now, there are scientists who disagree with this premise, but for the sake of argument, let us assume that it is correct.

Then there is the effect of this blackbody warming with feedbacks, mainly from cloud and water vapour.

The IPCC line is that this net feedback is positive.

Do you disagree with this?

Mike Palin April 24, 2011 at 5:57 pm

John D-
What a wonderful Easter day we have had in here in Dunedin. I wish you could have experienced it firsthand. It puts into perspective all that is good and all that is at stake.

We have had some areas of agreement, you and I. We both don’t have a lot of time for your typical “greenie”. Nonetheless, I find your repeated willful ignorance of the science concerning anthropogenic climate change (not “catastophic” to use your weasle-words) to be disingenuous in the extreme. If you are half as intelligent as your attempted word-play suggests, own-up to your true motivations. Have you read Knutti et al. (2008)? Do you understand the uncertainties positive and negative? Do you have the guts to be honest or are you happy to play the fool?

Here is my challenge: I will pay return airfare for you to come to Dunedin and confront me face-to-face about anthropogenic climate change. Put-up or shut-up.

John D April 25, 2011 at 9:16 am

Mike, I appreciate your kind offer of airfares. I’ll try to make a point of seeing you next time I am down south. Contrary to your perception, I have no desire to confront you, but merely to find some common ground.

Mike Palin April 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm

John D-

I am interested in finding common ground only in so far as you rid yourself of willful ignorance of the current scientific understanding of anthropogenic climate change. I stand by my offer. Put up or shut up.

John D April 25, 2011 at 2:47 pm

willful ignorance of the current scientific understanding of anthropogenic climate change

What evidence do you have that I am being willfully ignorant?
Just because I ask questions and don’t automatically agree with everything that a transnational inter-governmental organisation has to say on the subject?

Mike Palin April 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm

John D-
Come dude, don’t play stupid. Leave those nasty transnational inter-governmental whatsists out of it. What about the position statements of The Royal Society, the National Academy of Science and every other significant scientific organisation on the face of the planet? What about vitually all of the peer-reviewed scientific research on the subject? To ignore all that is the definition of willful ignorance.

The offer stands. I challenge you to a face to face learning experience. Put up or shut up.

Richard C1 April 25, 2011 at 12:23 am

“I am not in denial of AGW”
“There is the basic greenhouse theory of CO2, that states that a doubling of CO2 in the absence of feedbacks will cause 1.2 deg C of warming.”
“but for the sake of argument, let us assume that it is correct.”

Have I go this right? According to you, the planet is warming and humans are causing it via CO2 emissions?

John D April 25, 2011 at 8:41 am

Have I go this right? According to you, the planet is warming and humans are causing it via CO2 emissions?

Richard, stop playing these stupid games with me. Even Lindzen, Spencer and Monckton agree with this basic premise. You know exactly what I mean.

Richard C1 April 25, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Stupid games?

I’m a scientist. It is in my nature to establish the basic facts and go from there. You, however, tend to make vague statements and unsubstantiated claims. You said, “What I am sceptical of, is the role of CO2, especially the nature of feedbacks.”

I gave you a “yes” or “no” question, with which to establish a baseline of where you opinion diverges from the established science, and you still danced around the answer.

Monckton is a professional denier, he will disagree with anything.

You said, “the role of water vapour/clouds etc creating feedbacks,” and, “There is NO EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE.”

As the air warms it will support a higher level of water vapour, this has been observed.

Water vapour is a greenhouse gas, this has been observed.

Clouds depending on their height and type can be positive or negative, are you referring to the “iris” effect here?

John D April 25, 2011 at 9:00 pm

As the air warms it will support a higher level of water vapour, this has been observed.

Oh really,

What about this?

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2010/08/12/statement-on-using-existing-nasa-water-vapor-nvap-dataset-1988-%E2%80%93-2001-for-trends/

which Peilke Snr underlines as such:

Since this is such a fundamental climate metric to compare with the IPCC multi-decadal global model predictions (which project a continued increase in tropospheric water vapor), the achievement of an updated (through 2010) accurate analysis of the NVAP data should be of the highest climate science priority.

CTG April 26, 2011 at 6:43 am

Increased water vapour is very well established. See here.

CTG April 25, 2011 at 8:55 am

The “CO2 in the absence of feedbacks” shtick is a canard. It is specious to imagine an atmosphere in which only CO2 changes whilst everything else stays the same, because no such atmosphere exists on earth. But it’s a favourite ploy of denialists to assert that CO2 only causes 1°C of warming, because then they can just invent some negative feedbacks to cancel it out.

However, evidence is strong that net feedback from clouds is positive. Furthermore, it is very difficult to explain past changes in climate if CO2 sensitivity is low. The only study which claims to have found low sensitivity is fatally flawed.

Finally, the IPCC doesn’t have a “line” on anything, it merely presents a survey of the published scientific literature. The best estimate for earth system sensitivity to CO2 is 3°C per CO2 doubling, with a range of approx 2 to 4.5°C.

Macro April 25, 2011 at 9:32 pm

John
REALLY! Don’t treat the readers here on HT as idiots! That is NOT current research you quote! It is based on cherry picked (what else!) data from 20 years ago. I quote from your reference:

““By examining the 12 year record [1988-1999], a decrease of TPW at a rate of -0.29 mm / decade is observed. This relationship is significant at the 95 % but not at the 99 % level. A downward trend would be intriguing since there should be a positive slope if a global warming signal was present. However, by subdividing the data into two halves (1988-1993) and 1994-1999, trends with opposite signs are detected. Since the trend is not robust by subdividing the data, we conclude the global TPW has no significant trend from the NVAP dataset studied here.””

However much more extensive and reliable research can be found here:

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/vapor_warming.html

Which states:

“Water Vapor Confirmed as Major Player in Climate Change11.17.08

The distribution of atmospheric water vapor, a significant greenhouse gas, varies across the globe. During the summer and fall of 2005, this visualization shows that most vapor collects at tropical latitudes, particularly over south Asia, where monsoon thunderstorms swept the gas some 2 miles above the land.

Water vapor is known to be Earth’s most abundant greenhouse gas, but the extent of its contribution to global warming has been debated. Using recent NASA satellite data, researchers have estimated more precisely than ever the heat-trapping effect of water in the air, validating the role of the gas as a critical component of climate change.

Andrew Dessler and colleagues from Texas A&M University in College Station confirmed that the heat-amplifying effect of water vapor is potent enough to double the climate warming caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

With new observations, the scientists confirmed experimentally what existing climate models had anticipated theoretically. The research team used novel data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite to measure precisely the humidity throughout the lowest 10 miles of the atmosphere. That information was combined with global observations of shifts in temperature, allowing researchers to build a comprehensive picture of the interplay between water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other atmosphere-warming gases. The NASA-funded research was published recently in the American Geophysical Union’s Geophysical Research Letters.”

John D April 25, 2011 at 9:46 pm

So, if the water vapour was decreasing during the period of rapid warming, and then increases during the period when warming slowed down/stopped (depending on your statistical perversion of choice), how does that support your hypothesis?

Macro April 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Silly Games Time?
Sorry can’t be bothered with your game. Surely the data time frame of 1988 – 1999 should be sending sufficient alarm bells. But sadly not to you.

Richard C1 April 25, 2011 at 10:57 pm

John D
Oh really,
What about this?

1) You direct me to a blog not a paper. A blog by Pielke Snr of a people. And on that page he makes a comment then a demand. A demand that was already being addressed before he involved himself.

2) From the preprint, “we conclude the global TPW has no significant trend from the NVAP dataset studied here”.

From the custodians of the dataset, “There are several natural events and especially data and algorithmic time-dependent biases that cause us to conclude that the extant NVAP dataset is not currently suitable for detecting trends in total precipitable water (TPW) or layered water vapor on decadal scales.”

So somebody conducted an analysis on a dataset, that the owners of the dataset say is not suitable for that type of analysis. It is not the only dataset of TPW.

3) The global temperature is rising, there are several datasets showing this. You’ve tacitly agreed to this. The Clausius–Clapeyron relation is over 170 years old. Which do you think is wrong? The observed temperature change, a fundamental physics equation, or an analysis of an unsuitable database?

John D April 26, 2011 at 6:00 am

A blog by Pielke Snr of a people

Oh lardy-da. Pielke Snr of all people…

What exactly do you have against Pielke Snr, Richard,and what makes you qualified to make these statements?

After all, his son reckons that the IPCC may have underestimated some climate predictions. His son, by the way, that you also find “irrelevant”, or “inappropriate”. (Just looking through the HT archives here)

His son, that you preening, smug, self-satisfied egotistical pseudo-scientific intellectual pygmies, don’t think that we should listen to, yet the great man himself, Gluckman, quotes him 7 times in his paper.

Don’t you think you need to take Gluckman aside?

I say old chap, one doesn’t quote the Pielke’s around here, they ask too many difficult questions, What ho!

Richard C1 April 26, 2011 at 9:43 pm

What’s up John, was I too English? Of course that might be because I am English.
There really is no need for you to throw a hissy fit, and you are getting distracted. I never mentioned Jnr, you introduced Snr. And father and son are not the same man.

So CO2 is rising, water vapour along with it, and temperatures are going up as a result.
“What I am sceptical of, is the role of CO2″
Are we done yet?

robint April 28, 2011 at 4:18 am

You lost that one, John D…

Quick, CHANGE THE SUBJECT BEFORE ANYONE NOTICES.

RW April 28, 2011 at 7:36 am

Why does anyone bother engaging this abusive (“…you preening, smug, self-satisfied egotistical pseudo-scientific intellectual pygmies”) troll any more? His “concerns” have been met by many well-reasoned replies. He is simply trying to drown the site in his outpouring of toxic sludge.

Previous post:

Next post: