When Gray turns to blue/Flung a dummy

gray.jpg In a dramatic announcement today, Vincent R Gray, the retired coal researcher and diligent proof-reader of IPPC Working Group Reports (he’s inordinately proud of the fact that he submitted over 1,800 comments to the fourth report) has resigned from the Royal Society of New Zealand because of its recent statement on climate change. Given that Gray has been criticising the IPCC view of climate science for 18 years and is a vocal member of the NZ C”S”C, this is perhaps no surprise, but the statement he has issued as a riposte to the Royal Society is a minor classic of its genre. Vincent doesn’t so much spit the dummy as hurl it into low earth orbit, and uses pretty forthright language as he does so.

[Hat tip: Sam Vilain in a recent comment]

Gray gives the RS statement a line-by-line, even phrase-by-phrase going over, and manages to reject just about everything anyone’s ever learned about the earth’s climate. Denial? That’s a mere watercourse in Africa as far as Gray is concerned.

He begins his dissection with by objecting to the first four words of the RS statement:

The globe is warming

This statement is a lie. The globe is currently cooling. According to the CSSP Report (Karl et al 2007), there are currently nine authorities currently involved in providing a dataset of monthly global temperature anomalies. They are

NOAA’s National Climate Data Center (NCDC, GHCN-COADS), NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (HadCRUT2v), NOAA radiosonde network (RATPAC), Hadley Centre Radiosonde Network (HadAT2), University of Alabama Lower Troposphere TLT MSU (UAH ,)Remote Sensing Systems Lower Troposphere TLT MSU (RSS), National Center for Environmental Protection Reanalysis (NCEP50), European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts Reanalysis (ERA40).

Eight of these authorities agree that the globe is currently cooling. Only GISS disagrees.

Right. It’s Gray that’s being economical with the truth. “These authorities”, that is NOAA, GISS, The Hadley Centre and so on, do not agree that the globe is currently cooling. A misguided individual might so interpret their data, but that is a reflection on the individual, not on the data or the organisations that produce them. None of these “authorities” have produced statements saying that the planet is currently cooling.

But of course I might be just nitpicking over Vincent’s choice of words. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he’s just a misguided individual. The next six words are dismissed thus:

..because of increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

No evidence is presented to justify this conclusion.

There’s goes our understanding of atmospheric physics. Next, the RS comments on greenhouse gas levels:

Measurements show that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are well above levels seen for many thousands of years.

This statement is a lie. 90,000 measurements published in peer-reviewed journals since 1850, some by Nobel Prize-winners, have been suppressed by the IPCC because they do not agree with this statement. (Beck 2007). Stability of carbon dioxide in ice cores thousands of years old is questionable. (Jaworowski 2007). Recent measurements of carbon dioxide are confined only to exceptional circumstances over the ocean, and do not include measurements over land. (Manning et al 1994).

My word, another lie from the Nobel prizewinners at the Royal Society! But wait, Gray is citing the paper by German schoolteacher EG Beck, and claiming that it has been suppressed by the IPCC. Unfortunately, Beck’s paper is notorious rubbish – but Gray hasn’t noticed – or, perish the thought, perhaps doesn’t want to notice?

And so it goes on. I haven’t the time, and don’t want to waste your bandwidth by continuing this fisking of an attempted crank fisk of the Royal Society’s statement, but it’s impossible to leave the exercise without noting Vincent’s increasingly desperate tone as the words of wisdom flow from his keyboard.

Here you display your prejudices. When the temperature goes up it is “very likely” due to human greenhouse emissions, It is only due to natural causes when it goes down

The end is nigh! Prepare to meet thy doom!!! Unsubstantiated nonsense.

The hockey stick?

A dishonest trick obtained by comparing unreliable and unrepresentative “proxy” measurements with weather station data influenced by urban heating.

Acidification of the oceans?

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.

Not a creationist then… On projections of future climate change:

More irresponsible ranting.

On projections for New Zealand:

They are getting 38 years of comfortable well-paid work before everybody tumbles to the scam in 2040.They have an excuse already ready for when it fails, and can be extended another 50 years.

Take that NIWA! On action to reduce emissions:

Here it comes. Punish the people for being too prosperous. […] Green Party propaganda. There is an election coming up.

And finally, the pay off.

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.

Vincent Gray is 86.

56 thoughts on “When Gray turns to blue/Flung a dummy”

  1. Further on Beck 2007, I was under the impression that that paper would come outside of the period that the IPCC were studying? i.e. I thought they synthesised everything to about 2005-06, then spent the rest of the time agreeing/disagreeing with each other and writing reports, thus not leaving much time for anything that comes out in 2007 onwards…

  2. Yup, read the links, just thought highlighting the fact that Grey thinks the IPCC suppressed a paper that wasn’t even out when they did their review compounded Grey’s…idiosyncratic activism, somewhat. And he should have known, considering he was a ‘reviewer’ and all.

    ‘Energy & Environment’, heh.

  3. Thanks Judy. Looks like standard issue crank stuff. Political argument dressed up as science. Haven’t got time this weekend to give it the once over (busy chairing a conference), but most of his arguments have been rebutted here many times….

  4. To look at another reference on that list, there is the paper Jaworowski (2007), which is absolutely ripped to shreds here. I haven’t had the chance to go through that rebuttal in detail, but it did seem enough for that author to give it a “golden horseshoe” award, and I was amazed after seeing the miniaturized view of the document that each of the highlighted points is indeed rebutted in detail.

    The earlier paper of his has some very interesting diagrams of the innards of the ice caps, and dramatically arrives at the same conclusion as the 2007 one. If you look at Figure 1 you’ll see that like Beck he’s also got a big problem accepting that the wet chemical measurements of the 19th and early 20th century were all over the show. It’s a nice picture of how unreliable they were actually. Through Wikipedia I found a rebuttal.

  5. Presumably Gray feels that the other national scientific academies are in cahoots with RSNZ.

    They were in league with Nasa on the Moon landing hoax, you know.

  6. Mr McShane – nice to see a C“S”C member post here. How is the amphibious SUV business going?

    Asking for people to display their qualifications on a blog is a cheap shot. This is an unvetted forum where we can discuss the details. I can challenge your point of view and you can challenge mine.

    That list you present seems to be mostly news articles. Where are the peer reviewed papers? After all, these people are qualified to produce them. Even published statements from the horse’s mouths rather than news articles would be good.

    But let’s humour you, and randomly sample this list and investigate.

    Actually I’ll start at the top.

    “The Kyoto theorists have put the cart before the horse,” says renowned Russian geographer Andrei Kapitsa. “It is global warming that triggers higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, not the other way round.”

    Kapitsa does seem to be well respected, particularly in relation to the Vostok cores. “renowned” according to SciAm.

    I remember this argument. When I first bought it, it was reading the CSC web page, perhaps it was even one of your essays Owen. It also re-appears in The Great Global Warming Swindle. Chris Merchant, a GeoSciences lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, makes the point that it is fundamentally a dual dichotomy.

    ie, the question “Do COâ‚‚ increases precede temperature increases or do temperature increases precede COâ‚‚ increases?”, has that tricky little “or”, and you can take the argument down merely by demonstrating the existance of a third option, such as the consensus position that COâ‚‚ and temperatures change interdependently.

    Here’s the next article I investigated:

    Oceans Cooling! Scientists puzzled by “mystery of global warming’s missing heat”- Marc 19, 2008

    I briefly looked into this one, and the study is only about 5 years old so far – nowhere near long enough to draw any meaningful results yet. The scientists themselves were not even sure of their results.

    Another one:

    Why have the oceans been cooling for 5 years?

    The link is to a blog post, which is reporting on another blog post.

    Now that’s a quality link. Quality entertainment, that is.

    I’ll do one more

    Report: Nature may soon cool climate debate as ‘fairly cold period’ set to begin – June 18, 2008

    This article is filled with all sorts of discredited theories. First it starts with the argument that “an ice age is coming” (yeah right, in how long? 5,000 years? 10,000?), before going on to talk about historic warm periods (which of course only show up in the proxy records if you allow a very … “lax” definition of what constitutes a warm period. eg Soon et al (2003) used 50 years of warmth anywhere in a 500-year window). There’s a nice pretty artist’s depiction of “Cosmic ray magnetic fields” … that old theory, yet to have any quantitative paper discussing how it could tangibly be affecting the climate, I believe … and an assertion that the Russian Pulkovo Observatory predicts global cooling by 2012. Oh, and then at the end there’s a history of climate change – starting of course in 1988 and not acknowledging the length of history to the establishment of the argument stretching back over a century. A claim that COâ‚‚ levels were meaningfully measured before Keeling started doing it with Infrared absorption, restating the “but COâ‚‚ follows warming” argument, etc.

    About the only interesting assertion about the Russian Pulkovo Observatory’s conclusion, which is obviously false, because Observatories are inanimate objects which can’t think, let alone reach conclusions. (Seriously though, I had a bit of a look but couldn’t verify it)

    Mr McShane, where are the papers to back your position?

  7. Owen,

    I think Sam nails it. Where’s the peer-reviewed science to support Vincent’s position? Are you endorsing his statement, or is your position different? More to the point, do you think Beck’s paper is reasonable?

    There’s a good political argument to be had on climate change issues, but it’s about how we deal with it, not on the state of the underlying science.

    To pretend otherwise is to marginalise your position to the point of irrelevance.

    [Time for a truffle dinner…]

  8. My point was the scientific or journalistic debate is not enhanced by dismissing a large cotery of people as “cranks”.

    My question was “Are you all really sure these people are ALL lunatics, denialists, or cranks?”
    YOu may disagree with them. There may well be contradictory papers out there by people who I would not call cranks just because they debate the issue. I did not ask whether they were all quoting single peer reviewed papers.

    Again, are you confident that all these people are cranks? Or is it remotely possible that there are genuine areas of debate which deserve to be debated before anyone imposes massive costs on anyone?

    I did not suggest the group enter into a debate on the science. I simple asked the group to look at the names and positions and ask whether they can all be dismissed as cranks?

  9. Owen:

    Again, are you confident that all these people are cranks? Or is it remotely possible that there are genuine areas of debate which deserve to be debated before anyone imposes massive costs on anyone?

    Personally, I am very happy to ignore the meanderings of US op-ed writers, the “science” of Evans and Monckton, and the sponsored opinions of Michaels, Singer et al. Are there any people in that list I would listen to and take seriously? Possibly, but life’s frankly too short to wade through the dross to find them.

    But now we get to the rub. Let me parse your position here, Owen – and do please correct me if I’m wrong. You object to the massive costs and excessive regulation that goes hand in hand, you believe, with action on climate change. In order not to do these things, you therefore have to assume that the problem is either non-existent, or too small to be worth doing anything about. You find that there are people out there who are prepared to make that argument, and so you make common cause with them.

    I believe you are wrong for a number of reasons. The first is that there is a large amount of evidence to suggest that effective action on climate change need not impose massive costs on the global or national economy – though I’m happy to accept that there’s a very good debate to be had in this area.

    The second is that if you do a risk assessment, you find that the cost of action is much smaller than the cost of inaction. There is a debate to be had on the extent of likely damage from climate change, and considerable uncertainty in the projections, but uncertainty is not a good reason for inaction. You can’t simply assume that the risks are all on the low side. Low probability but high impact risks are regularly dealt with by people – and governments – and there is enough evidence that high impacts from climate change are a real risk to make them worth taking into account. Again, there’s a good debate to be had about these points, and this sort of stuff is at the heart of sensible policy making in the face of the climate change challenge.

    So far, I haven’t had to make any judgement on the company you keep in the NZ C”S”C, or offer any criticism of the people on Morano’s list. That’s because this is not a debate about science, or a scientific debate. It’s a debate about politics and policy making. Unfortunately, by denying the existence of the problem, you effectively deny yourself a role in the debate.

    I think that’s a pity, because you have a perspective on policy that is potentially interesting and deserves to be heard. But no one is going to take you seriously when you line up with cranks.

  10. Owen McShane’s argument (do you really think ALL these people are cranks?) leaves one to work out one’s own implications, but let’s take that out into the open, shall we? What if some of the people on the list aren’t cranks?

    Well…then those people stand every chance of doing sound, well-reasoned work that will be examined, weighed, and accounted for by the scientific community and especially by the IPCC. And to the extent that they have already done sound, well reasoned work, it is already being considered in summative statements about the state of the science, like the reports of the IPCC. And the weight of the evidence from all sources has tipped strongly in the direction of indicating ongoing warming from anthropogenic causes, especially CO2 emissions.

    Some of the people on that list may be serious, knowledgeable in relevant fields, well-intentioned, and they may honestly disagree with the summation of the science produced by the IPCC. And each one’s opinion is worth the same as any other serious, knowledgeable in relevant fields, well-intentioned person. The vast majority of people who fit that description seem to be in agreement about human-caused global warming and the problematic disruptions of local climates that will likely result, and in fact has already begun.

    So Owen, if it seems important to you that there might be some serious people with interesting points on that list, will you acknowledge that there are also many serious people with interesting points saying that we are causing a problematic shift in our planet’s climate? Do you think that, in assessing risks and setting policies, we should weigh the opinions of those relatively few non-cranks who dissent from the consensus understanding more heavily than the opinions of the much more numerous non-cranks who form the consensus understanding?

    Someone above invoked the idea of risk management theory, which I think is of vital importance here. If you get medical opinions from 5 doctors, good doctors all with good reputations and track records, and four of them tell you that you have a serious condition requiring immediate treatment, and one of them tells you you’re fine, what do you do?

  11. Tortoise: what do you do? Why of course you follow the opinion of the four, and get them to use a leech to bleed you and restore the balance of your humours. :-)

  12. Stephen: on the IPCC’s cutoff date they do have a specific date.

    No, they don’t leave time for anything from 2007 onward – that would be for the next assessment. New science since the cutoff date, however, does influence thinking – hence the IPCC removing the upper limit on sea level rise due to the amount of new research on that subject since the cutoff point for papers.

    Owen: you ask “does anyone in this blog have qualifications to match any of them”

    I ask: do you?

    seems the Minority reps these days have turned into a veritable IPCC themselves.

    The first on the list is David Evans: a good recent summary of his qualifications here

  13. Cindy,
    No I do not – except in my own special field.
    But the point is I do not call whole rafts of people cranks simply because I disagree with their findings.
    I do not believe the IPCC team are cranks and do not believe those scientists who challenge the IPCC summaries are cranks.
    But then I seldom, if ever, descend to name calling.
    I am the old school which takes the view that if you descend to name calling and personal abuse you have lost the argument.
    I suppose that just shows I am too old to be relevant.

  14. Owen,

    Consider the claim:
    “There has been no significant warming since 1998”

    The temperature anomaly for 1998 was indeed very large.

    If you look at the data (e.g Hadley) we see that the temperature anomaly in 1997 was 0.56 and in 1998 it was +0.93. The years after 1998 were lower than 0.93 (lowest 0.61, highest 0.89) until in 2007 it was 1.02.

    That is there was a spike in 1998 and by 2007 it was 1.02 deg C above the average for 1960-1990.

    It is thus wrong to say no warming since 1998 since 2007 was warmer than 1998.

    While strictly true to say no warming since 1998 (if we ignore 2007) it is misleading to claim or phrase statements to imply that this therefore shows climate change is not caused by CO2.

    In what way does this practice fail to meet the definition of crank (noun 2) from the OED?

    crank (n 2)

    5. colloq. (orig. U.S.). A person with a mental twist; one who is apt to take up eccentric notions or impracticable projects; esp. one who is enthusiastically possessed by a particular crotchet or hobby; an eccentric, a monomaniac. [This is prob. a back-formation from CRANKY, sense 4.] Also attrib. and Comb.

  15. I chose to use the term “crank” because it is not – in my opinion – as pejorative a term as “denialist” or any of the other terms being used. A crank to me is an amusingly misguided person – along the lines of Doug’s definition above. And I find people link Vincent amusing more than anything else. You certainly can’t take him seriously…

  16. ‘Before labelling everyone who does not toe the IPCC line
    “Cranks” I suggest you ponder this list at the URL below.
    Are you all really sure these people are ALL lunatics, denialists, or cranks?


    Does anyone in this group have qualifications to match any of them?’

    Instead of just pondering the list, Owen, you should make an effort and go through it and see how much scientific information you can actually extract.

    E.g.”RUSSIAN SCIENTISTS CHALLENGE CLIMATE CHANGE CONSENSUS”. The guy (a Geographer) goes on about how CO2 increase lacks Temperature and claims that “The hypothesis of anthropogenic greenhouse gases was born out of computer modelling of climate changes”
    Whilst the former is correct, he fails to explain that this does not contradict the theory of AGW, because CO2 can be a feedback and a forcing (nothing new here), the later is plain wrong. The rest of the article is the usual “it’s all a imperialist-capitalist agenda” crap.

    Or this one
    “New scientific paper shows CO2’s effect on temperature was overstated 500-2000% – Published in Physics and Society journal of the American Physical Society – July 2008”
    If you look into it, you will find that this is not a scientific paper, but a non-peer reviewed article that was published not in the APS journal, but their Newsletter. Other people have already pointed out it’s errors, if your can be bothered to search for it.

    “Oceans Cooling! Scientists puzzled by “mystery of global warming’s missing heat”- March 19, 2008”
    Read the actual article and you see how big a stake this puts through the heart of AGW.

    ““No ‘greenhouse’ gas other than water has ever influenced the global climate perceptibly” By Chemical Scientist Dr. Brian G. Valentine, professor at University of Maryland”
    That’s a link to a blog comment.

    Really. All Morano seems to do is trawl through the web to find anything that either “debunks” AGW (and most of the time it is just the same old drivel) or can anyhow be twisted into a headline that sounds as if more proof against AGW was found. Pure crankery if you ask me – or maybe politics?
    Some of the people behind those headlines are indeed not “cranks”, but if you look through you will find that the do not actually challenge the fundamentals of the IPCC’s outcome.

  17. Frank. I make no apologies for reproducing the following from another thread…

    Warmists cannot carry on believing that everything that supports their theory is correct, and that anything that doesn’t is in error. The required ‘hotspot’ that would occur in the tropic tropo isn’t there. Also, over 30 years (start to now) 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. As a contrarian I have to accept that some things are happening. Here in the UK we have a good temp record called the CET. It shows a very short period of about the last seven years or so of raised land temps. I have to accept it because it’s there. Yes, I could be a sceptic and moan about UIHE, but I wouldn’t. But it appears that Warmists will simply not have any truck with any data or matter of fact that doesn’t support their beloved theory of AGW. Watching from the sidelines, it is like witnessing a meeting of religious zealots.

    There are some wacky and cringing things said by climate sceptics that even make me smile. But equally, I laugh when error bars are applied so wide that ‘anything’ can be said to be consistent with warming.

    But then I’m just a trolling, cherry-picking, muppeting clown (all the names I’ve been called on here in just two weeks).

  18. cherry picking, trolling, whatever. It’s interesting that Marc Morano does the cherry picking here – all to “prove” his theory that AGW isn’t happening.

    But that’s not how it happens at the IPCC.. Take, for example, the gw/hurricane thing. The science really isn’t clear here – more studies are needed. So the IPCC says that – there are signs that GW MAY cause hurricanes to a) become more frequent or b) intensify.

    This is in contrast to the sceptics, who jump on anything to “prove” their theory that cyclones are not affected by GW …

  19. Crank/Denialist? Either.

    But these people are not sceptics because they do not approach things sceptically.

    It amuses me that the denialists are now engaged in a last-ditch effort to try to establish the pretence that they are enmgaged in a real debate. The problem with dealing with their campaign of disinformation is that it often helps with that impression. I cannot suggest a solution for that problem. However back in the real world the real arena for debate is the scientific literature and that holds no succour for those in denial.

    As this blog seems to have a particularly unpleasant attack of trolling right now, how about some beautiful (and apt) images?

    This is an enormous image (saved as jpeg 6.27Mb), but I say images(plural) because there’s so much, too much for one screen alone.

    It’s along the “Atlantic Edge” of the ice cap (Greenland, Svalbard to Siberia). There’s a lot of pattern in both cloud and peripheral ice (can be hard telling what’s what in some places). NASA Aqua satelite images at 250x250metres per pixcel,
    click here.

    I recomend starting at Svalbard (a bit down from top-middle) and going down. Middle 2/3 down you’ll find patterns like milk in black coffee.

    Then again maybe it’s just me… 😉

    Note that the projection is as if it’s on a vertical cylinder – there’s distortion along the left and right sides (I notice it even on white ice because it makes me nauseus). The ice edge is in the middle area anyway.

  20. HtH: you make a lot of screwy claims.

    Let’s start at the beginning of your list: “The required ‘hotspot’ that would occur in the tropic tropo isn’t there.”

    Robust tropospheric warming revealed by iteratively homogenized radiosonde

    Comparison of Radiosonde and GCM Vertical Temperature Trend Profiles: Effects of Dataset Choice and Data Homogenization

    “Towards elimination of the warm bias in historic radiosonde temperature records — some new results from a comprehensive intercomparison of upper air data”

    Summary: there was a warm bias in some of the old data, and when corrected, there is plenty of observed troposperic warming in the tropics, which aligns with model predictions. It’s worth noting that tropospheric warming in the tropics and elsewhere is predicted with warming from any source, so what HtH is claiming here is that there is no global warming at all, not that there is no global warming from greenhouse gasses. As the studies show, he is incorrect.

    Next: “over 30 years (start to now) there is no net warming in the lower troposphere”

    HtH likes to use these “net” calculations as though they mean something. In the context of climate, they do not. The range of temperature differences due to short-term oscillations like ENSO and weather effects make it such that you can show “net” warming OR “net” cooling any time you are not sitting on a record high or record low. The meaningful analysis is to calculate the TREND in that last 30 years, which shows definite warming.

    “between 07 and 08…record drop in temperature…”

    This is weather, plain and simple. HtH demonstrates again his lack of understanding of the difference between weather and climate. 2008 being an unusually cool year due to a prominant La Nina phase of the ENSO, it is very likely that sometime soon there will be a big ol’ positive shift in temperatures. Will HtH be telling us all about his renewed belief in global warming at that point?

    “despite…global temperature has remained flat for over a decade.”

    We’ve seen how HtH calculates climate change–temperature at start point minus temperature at end point–and everyone who understands the signal-to-noise ratio in climate science knows why this is a profoundly misleading way to go about things. Of course, the choice of the past decade maximizes this problem, going from 1998’s strong El Nino to 2008’s strong La Nina. If one takes the more sensible approach of averaging over longer periods, it becomes clear that the last decade was indeed warmer on average than the decade before it.

    “the supposed association between warming and hurricanes has been proved to be false”

    Really? Cite your source, please, Harry. I don’t believe you for a second, especially when you start talking in absolutes like “has been proved” about this area where there genuinely IS a lot of ongoing debate and a low level of understanding.

    “the oceans have cooled slightly. Also, sea levels have recently dipped.”

    What are your sources for those tidbits? Because that’s not what I’ve read: New research suggests that ocean temperature and associated sea level increases between 1961 and 2003 were 50 percent larger than estimated in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. Also regarding that sea level information, I’ve read that “The global sea level currently rises by 3.5 millimetres per year”, and and according to NASA, sea level has risen almost everywhere since 1993.

    Finally: “These are all facts and they ALL counter the idea of CO2-induced global warming theory.”

    As we’ve seen, they’re not facts, as can easily be shown through a couple of minute’s poking around on Google Scholar and looking at NASA and US EPA websites. HtH is trying to deceive people, you see. Another attempt at deception, by misdirection in this case, is that HtH says his “facts” counter “CO2 induced global warming theory.” None of these phenomena are specific to CO2 induced warming. Tropospheric warming, ocean warming, and sea level rise are all results of global warming from any source. And they’re all happening, all observed, as can be seen for example in the links I’ve provided. HtH’s claims here are an attempt to deny that any warming has been happening at all. The claim I’ve seen him make that, if it were true, really would be evidence against CO2-induced warming is that the projected stratospheric cooling isn’t happening. But of course he’s wrong about that, too:

    “Stratospheric Temperature Change:: Weather balloons and satellites have also taken temperature readings in the stratosphere – the layer 9-14 miles above the Earth’s surface. This level of the atmosphere has cooled. The cooling is consistent with observed stratospheric ozone depletion since ozone is a greenhouse gas and has a warming effect when present. It’s also likely that increased greenhouse gas concentrations in the troposphere are contributing to cooling in the stratosphere as predicted by radiative theory (Karl et al., 2006).”

  21. The pdf by David Evans which Harry links to contains (surprise!!) a major falsehood in each paragraph of its introduction.

    1. “The signature of an increased greenhouse effect is a hotspot about 10 km up in the atmosphere over the tropics.”

    WRONG!! The enhanced tropospheric warming in the tropics is expected with any source of global warming. “The basis of the issue is that models produce an enhanced warming in the tropical troposphere when there is warming at the surface. This is true enough. Whether the warming is from greenhouse gases, El Nino’s, or solar forcing, trends aloft are enhanced. For instance, the GISS model equilibrium runs with 2xCO2 or a 2% increase in solar forcing both show a maximum around 20N to 20S around 300mb (10 km)”

    2. “We have been measuring the atmosphere for decades using radiosondes—weather balloons with thermometers that radio back the temperature as the balloon ascends through the atmosphere. They show no hotspot whatsoever.”

    WRONG!! See the links, the first three I believe, in my post above. The radiosonde data did at first show less warming than expected, but that was largely because of problems with the data with the older instruments. This data has been corrected, and the warming is observed in accordance with what the models lead us to expect.

    3. “So an increased greenhouse effect is not the cause of the recent global warming. So we now know for sure that carbon emissions are not a significant cause of the global

    DOUBLE WRONG!!! The opposite is true. The pattern of current observations cannot be explained without a large component of forcing from anthropogenic sources, mainly CO2. If you want to actually understand why we know this, here’s a good place to start.

    Proceeding from false premises and using obsolete data, Evans unsurprisingly comes up with conclusions that are at odds with what we are told by the American Physical Society (among many others) is “the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community.”

  22. Tortoise, with all due respect to you, linking to realclimate in this Cobblyesque way doesn’t answer the points, as you must surely know. Ask Pielke. Also, read your Point 1 again. Are you saying there is no hotspot in the tropo? Do you see? Point 2: That’s true for global averages yes, but the tropical tropo issue is unresolved. Point 3: Well, partly true, it would appear. But isn’t that the whole point we’re all talking on this and every other climate blog? His point is that as the hotspot isn’t there, then it cannot be CO2.

    Why don’t you bet him on future global temps?

    PS. Calling someone a crackpot doesn’t do anything for your points.

  23. Tim Lambert had a go at shooting Evans down, but his efforts don’t look good either. You can look at it as CO2-induced warming having either a fingerprint of the ‘hotspot’ or of stratospheric cooling – whichever you prefer really. As I pointed out earlier, the hotspot isn’t there, and there’s been no strato cooling since 1994. It doesn’t prove CO2 is a dead duck, but it’s been shot full of lead and is currently laid flat out on the river bank. If the cooling continues then it will be joining all the other great eco-ducks in the sky. You’ll see.

  24. Hi harry. As to my point 1 in discussing the Evans piece, no I am certainly not saying there is no hot spot in the troposphere. I’m simply pointing out Evans’ lie. Perhaps it would have been clearer if I had quoted his first sentence along with his second, thus:”Each possible cause of global warming has a different pattern of where in the planet the warming occurs first and the most. The signature of an increased greenhouse effectis a hotspot about 10 km up in the atmosphere over the tropics.” This is not true. Enhanced warming in the tropical troposphere is expected with any source of warming, so his claim that this is a “signature” of greenhouse warming is a lie.

    Point 2: your claim that the tropical tropo issue is “unresolved.” Well…that’s about the closest thing to a true statement I’ve read from you in trying to contradict me, so let’s look at it a little more closely. From the Sherwood et al. (2008) paper I linked above (the first link in the comment where I accused you of making screwy claims):

    “Our 1979-2005 trends for 850-300 hPa in the Tropics are 0.15±0.07 C decade−1. This is within uncertainty of the roughly 0.17[plus or minus] 0.22
    expected on the basis of surface trends of 0.12 – 0.14 C decade−1 (CCSP 2006; Santer et al. 2005), and the agreement would improve
    if one were to remove the deep tropical stations whose behavior is inconsistent with the rest of the network.”

    So you could, I suppose, say it’s “unresolved,” but it is quickly resolving in the direction of the observations being completely consistent with expectations.

    Point 3, you say “partly true,” and I’m not quite sure what part you’re agreeing with. Clearly it isn’t my main point, which is that observations to date cannot be explained without anthropogenic forcing from greenhouse gasses. You keep saying “the hot spot isn’t there,” but A) that’s not exactly true–observations are still a little lower than expected, but within the margin of error of the predictions, and B) even if there weren’t a “hot spot” per se, there definitely is warming–so all it would really mean is that we aren’t modeling the tropical troposphere properly yet. It would not be an indictment of CO2 specifically, as Evans misleadingly claims.

    Why don’t I bet him? I had never really considered it. I suppose it would depend on the terms. If the bet was set up as suggested here I might do it, though.

    And finally, re: calling someone a crackpot. Yes, you’re right. Doing so doesn’t do anything for my points. I think the points stand for themselves, though…I mean, almost every sentence in his introduction is demonstrably false…what else do you call that? How about this–David Evans’ writing on climate, as well as his representation of his credentials displays a strange pattern of errors.

    PS: ah, your next post continues the conversation. I’ll respond to that here, too. As we’ve been over repeatedly now, the tropical tropo thing is NOT a “fingerprint” of CO2 induced warming, so you CAN’T look at it either way. The tropical tropo thing looks as though it’s not going to be a problem for the models at all, but EVEN IF IT WERE it would just mean we aren’t modeling the tropical troposphere adequately yet–there’s plentyplentyplenty of evidence of the warming that’s been taking place, and a deviation from expectations of measurements in one layer of the atmosphere in a certain latitude band DOESN’T MAKE THAT GO AWAY. Okay? Sheesh. Go tell the glaciers that they must stop receding because warming in the tropical troposphere is a fraction of a degree less than what we thought it should be. As for the stratosphere thing, are you claiming that there is a *statistically significant trend* of warming in the stratosphere since 1994? Because that would be news to me. It still wouldn’t make everything else go away, like for instance the well-known radiative properties of CO2, but it would be a puzzler. If this is in fact what you’re saying, please let me know where you got the info. If not, and if you’re just eyeballing some numbers without statistical analysis and/or you’re doing the ‘reading at time A minus reading at time B’ thing you’ve been doing on other threads, please-please-please read this, think about it, and get back to us. If you think the points made in that post don’t apply to what you’re saying, please explain to me why you think that. I very strongly encourage you (HtH) and anyone else following this thread to read as much as possible on Tamino’s site, starting with the articles I’ve linked to in this response.

  25. Stratospheric **cooling** has been observed through 2005, per Randel, Shine, and Thompson, speakers at the 14th conference on the middle atmosphere (***emphasis mine***)

    “An ongoing project under the WCRP SPARC program involves an updated analysis of stratospheric temperature trends. This talk will present a summary of temperature variability and **trends in the stratosphere through 2005**, including results from radiosondes, satellites and lidar data sets. After excluding radiosonde stations with apparent spurious cooling biases, ***temperature changes in the lower stratosphere are in good agreement between satellite and radiosonde data, showing cooling of ~0.5 K over much of the globe for 1979-2005***. Substantially larger trends are observed in polar regions, especially during spring. Trends in the middle and upper stratosphere have been derived from updated Stratospheric Sounding Unit (SSU) data, showing unexpectedly weak trends in the middle stratosphere (30 km), and large cooling near the stratopause (~1.5 K/decade near 50 km). However, the effects of CO2 changes on the SSU observations may substantially influence the derived trends.”

  26. I’m looking for evidence of the claim that the stratosphere has not continued to cool since 1994, and all I keep finding is stuff saying that the stratospheric cooling has continued to be observed through the latest observations included in the papers, usually mid-2000s. Here’s another example:

    “Cooling trend in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere over China

    Anmin Duan

    State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modelling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG), Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, China


    A strong cooling trend (−0.62°C per decade) in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) over China is detected based on the records of 109 radiosonde stations during the period from 1980 to 2004. In contrast, the underlying mid and lower troposphere (MLT) exhibits a relatively weak warming trend (0.17°C per decade) with the largest magnitude at the surface. Accompanying these changes in air temperature, large-scale circulation associated with the monsoon activity in East Asia declines remarkably in both winter and summer. Meanwhile, decreasing trend of the total ozone amount has also been found in the same period. Numerical simulations using two global coupled climate models further suggest that the ozone depletion and enhanced anthropogenic greenhouse effect play an important role in the cooling of UTLS and warming of MLT.

    Received 13 February 2007; accepted 17 July 2007; published 9 August 2007.”

  27. My prediction for the GISS temperature anomaly for all of 2008 is .43. It currently stands at .34. Any other predictions? Any climate model predictions of the GISS temperature series for 2008?

  28. Tortoise. Okay then, let’s thrash this stratosphere thing out here, rather than the Kick de bucket thread – where I’m getting tired of repeating my point!

    Right, now I have been in the same room as Warmists who say that the troposphere should heat up and give a hotspot. These people also say that the stratosphere should cool. Both these things are expected. Let’s leave the hotspot and concentrate on the strato then. First of all, I never said ANYTHING about a significant warming trend at all. Where did you get that??? I said there has been no cooling in the stratosphere since 1994, maybe a little warming. Now I am being very genuine. If I have missed data and graphs of that data showing that’s wrong, then great – let’s see them. This is not something I’ve picked up from any sceptic sites, it’s merely my own little observation. I cannot see any cooling in the strato since 1994 (the junkscience graph says 1993, I think). If you look at the well-known graph you’ll see step changes after eruptions, but let’s even forget those. Where’s the cooling since 1994? Graph please – and I’ll never mention it again. How’s that?

  29. Malcolm,

    Climate models do not project/predict individual year’s temperature. I personally don’t attempt it because one year is weather. The warming trend is only apparent on decadal and above timescales.


    Search this blog for “mesosphere”, I’m sure I have cited a paper on the mesospheric cooling. The lower stratospheric cooling is due to O3 and to a lesser degree the enhanced greenhouse effect. The mid stratosphere to mesosphere cooling is clearly due to the enhanced greenhouse effect.

  30. Tortoise. We’ve now had pretty much 15 years of no stratospheric cooling. It’s a cornerstone of anthropogenic global warming, yet it’s not there, just like the ‘hot-spot’. Even the cooling you can see is due to ozone depletion. It cements my belief that CO2 has not caused significant warming, and will not in future. We’ve now had 15 years of no stratospheric cooling, 11 years of no surface warming, no tropospheric hot-spot, tropospheric temps back to what they were in 1978(!), no accelerated sea level rise (a slight fall), and no continued ocean warming. We can all argue about these points all day, but they’ll remain nonetheless.

  31. Cobblyworlds – now, I’m not trying to be clever, but I just happened to find one today that did exactly that, having made a prediction when published for 2005. It’s very tempting to try to update their model (and coefficients) with recent data and compare it with my prediction, but I don’t think I have the time to work out all the details of their method. I also saw some interesting decadal trend analysis, although the most striking feature was how much it varied between HadCRUT and GISS data series.

    I did like the paper I read today – it decomposes effects into short term and decadal trends, and included variables for volcanic action, ENSO, and various other things. Not all the method was made clear, and my impression was that the use of regression was less advanced that can be seen in econometric analysis. (Where it is still fraught, by the way). Still, I thought it was a good paper, and provided some evidence of AGW; albeit tentatively, as is usual for science.

    Anyway, I have decided I need to read some of the recent climate literature and develop a more informed view. If anyone is interested, I’m happy to discuss my conclusions in a few weeks.

  32. Hello Malcolm. A new paper from NOAA is going to be interesting when it hits the fan in about 6 weeks at GRL (I’ve had to post the link immediately below, as for some reason it won’t work).
    “Since our results are at variance with what is commonly accepted by he
    scientific community…”!!!

    It’s the Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder hitching a ride on the Aqua satellite that measures CO2. The water vapour stuff is interesting.

    In two months time, after the paper is published, it looks like there may be quite a stir caused by this. We’ll see.

  33. Over on the ‘kick de bucket’ thread, Tortoise said:
    “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?”

    I’m disappointed (as must he be) that no one here has (ahem) tried to answer the questions posed by Tortoise. So I’ll put the point of the matter once more.

    As it is well-known that a cornerstone of CO2-induced global warming is a cooling stratosphere, I state that the stratosphere simply isn’t cooling due to enhanced greenhouse effects.

    If we look at the graph we see a very slight cooling from 1978 to 1981 (far too short a period to tell). Then we have a large step change after an eruption to 1984. Then we have a flat period from 1984 to another eruption. From there, is a large drop to 1993. However, since 1993 there is clearly no cooling in the stratosphere, in fact, a slight warming. It’s accepted that even the cooling we do see is the result of ozone depletion after volcanic eruptions (although we get immediate warming).

    So, there has been no stratospheric cooling in 15 years. I therefore state that yet another cornerstone of CO2-induced warming has not happened, and thus shows it to be false.


    As some people may not like the source of the graph (even though the data is identical!!!) then I also have the RSS graph


    The net decrease over that time period is about 1 degree C. However, the flattening periods, step changes, and lack of cooling since 1993 are quite evident.

  34. Something really odd going on at NSIDC. I don’t want to suggest that tampering is going on, but the graph had an actual upturn on it on Aug 1 (I have been checking it every day). I note today that the graph has been dramatically altered to show a sharp downturn. You can even observe the line break as the smoothness has gone. The text says that the extent over last year is only around 90,000 sq km. At the Cryosphere site however, the upturn is still shown, and by eye, the extent is almost a million sq km more than last year. What’s going on?

    yes, something’s up with NSIDC. Data at IJIS shows indeed 1 million sq km

  35. …Just found the data and the actual figure is 780,000 sq km more ice extent than last year – as of Aug 2. I wonder if NSIDC will give an explanation for both changing the graph, and posting incorrect info.

  36. Gareth. Thanks for that, but IJIS is for extent. So why does NSIDC show only 89,000 sq km, and IJIS 780,000 sq km? I don’t understand. Looking at each of their data, they don’t match. It must be me, as I don’t see that this is being picked up anywhere on the web. NSIDC shows 7,710,000 for July 31, while IJIS shows 7,203,594.

  37. IJIS uses a third, different, algorithm to calculate extent. The NSIDC measure is of blocks of water with at least 15% sea ice. If the ice is widely scattered, the extent will be greater than if wind, for example, blows the floes together – bunching them up.

  38. Hi thanks for the info on Gray.
    I’ve been researching some of his stuff myself and contacted one centre he quotes that states the Earth is cooling.
    They said “Gray is noting more than a well read layman, our opinion is that the Earth is warming, but of course it depends on the time frame”
    If Gray chooses the last 2 months, you may well see a cooling trend, but the last decade clearly shows warming.
    I’ve appeared on Leighton SMith’s show a few times to argue with him, but as soon as it gets too difficult for him, he of course fades me out !
    Back to Gray – one quote was that he was a self-appointed IPPC reviewer – can you shed any light on this ???
    By the way I will be emailing Gray myself with my findings.

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