Gov. Perry on Anthropogenic Climate Change

From Reuters, three days ago:

“I still stand by that the science is not settled on man-made global warming,” Perry said while campaigning in the key early primary state of New Hampshire.

By the way of contrast, from the Preface to National Academy of Sciences, Advancing the Science of Climate Change (2010):

…there is a strong, credible body of evidence, based on multiple lines of research, documenting that climate is changing and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities. …

While much remains to be learned, the core phenomenon, scientific questions, and hypotheses have been examined thoroughly and have stood firm in the face of serious scientific debate and careful evaluation of alternative explanations.

Here is a graph of the global land-ocean temperature anomaly


globanom0.gif

Figure 1: The Monthly Global (land and ocean combined into an anomaly) Index (degrees C). Red line is centered 10 year moving average. Source: NOAA NCDC, and author’s calculations.

From the Summary to National Academy of Sciences, Advancing the Science of Climate Change (2010):

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE
Conclusion 1: Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for—and in many cases is already affecting—a broad range of human and natural systems.
This conclusion is based on a substantial array of scientific evidence, including recent work, and is consistent with the conclusions of recent assessments by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (e.g., USGCRP, 2009a), the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC, 2007a-d), and other assessments of the state of scientific knowledge on climate change. Both our assessment—the details of which can be found in Chapter 2 and Part II (Chapters 6-17) of this report—and these previous assessments place high or very high confidence in the following
findings:



  • Earth is warming. Detailed observations of surface temperature assembled and analyzed by several different research groups show that the planet’s average surface temperature was 1.4ºF (0.8ºC) warmer during the first decade of the 21st century than during the first decade of the 20th century, with the most pronounced warming over the past three decades. These data are corroborated by a variety of independent observations that indicate warming in other parts of the Earth system, including the cryosphere (snow- and icecovered
    regions), the lower atmosphere, and the oceans.
  • Most of the warming over the last several decades can be attributed to human activities that release carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas—for energy is the single largest human driver of climate change, but agriculture, forest clearing, and certain industrial activities also
    make significant contributions.
  • Natural climate variability leads to year-to-year and decade-to-decade fluctuations
    in temperature and other climate variables, as well as substantial regional
    differences, but cannot explain or offset the long-term warming trend.
  • Global warming is closely associated with a broad spectrum of other changes,
    such as increases in the frequency of intense rainfall, decreases in Northern
    Hemisphere snow cover and Arctice sea ice, warmer and more frequent hot
    days and nights, rising sea levels, and widespread ocean acidification.
  • Human-induced climate change and its impacts will continue for many
    decades, and in some cases for many centuries. Individually and collectively,
    these changes pose risks for a wide range of human and environmental
    systems, including freshwater resources, the coastal environment, ecosystems,
    agriculture, fisheries, human health, and national security, among others.
  • The ultimate magnitude of climate change and the severity of its impacts
    depend strongly on the actions that human societies take to respond to these
    risks.

It’s important to undestand that the assessment orginates from a specific government chartered organization, the National Academy of Sciences:

To meet the government’s urgent need for an independent adviser on scientific matters, President Lincoln signed a congressional charter forming the National Academy of Sciences in 1863 to “investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science.” As science began to play an ever-increasing role in national priorities and public life, the National Academy of Sciences eventually expanded to include the National Research Council in 1916, the National Academy of Engineering in 1964, and the Institute of Medicine in 1970.

This of course won’t carry any weight with those who are anti-expertise. Nor will the results from the paper “Expert credibility in climate change,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2010):

… we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate
researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i)
97-98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the
field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and
scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are
substantially below that of the convinced researchers.


Two key graphs (shown in this post highlight that fact that among published (in peer reviewed journals) climate scientist, the overwhelming consensus is on that anthropogenic climate change (ACC) is occurring.


qa_agw1.gif

qa_agw2.gif

Note that UE denotes unconvinced; CE denotes convinced (by the thesis of anthropogenic climate change).

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89 thoughts on “Gov. Perry on Anthropogenic Climate Change

  1. mclaren

    Alas, as that great philosopher Ronald Reagan once mused, “Facts are stupid things.”
    The people you’re up against are guys like this.

  2. Anonymous

    I’m not at all a fan of Perry, but, this is a joke, right? An econometric blog is not really using 125 years of questionable measurements to make conclusions about a 4.5 billion year old ball of mass?

  3. W.C. Varones

    Figure 1 You should start your chart at the last ice age. That would be really scary and make people buy into Al Gore’s carbon trading schemes.
    Fig. 3. I think you failed to control for the feedback loop of scientists who believe in AGW getting more funding and scientists skeptical of AGW being defunded and shut out of peer-reviewed journals. Not that science is political or anything when most of the funding comes from politicians.

  4. Menzie Chinn

    Anonymous: Apologies, I did not mean to imply that the NAS report was based on that data. The NAS study is based on an assessment of the literature.

    W.C. Varones: I will post-haste forward your allegations to Agent Mulder.

  5. The Peak Oil Poet

    let’s face it – as things turn more and more to poo more and more will look for scapegoats – and anyone wanting to spend money or curb production because of something that wont kill us all for at least 100 years – if fair game

    when all of what we are today
    is dim dim distant past
    a racial memory mostly myth
    known to the shaman caste

    i wonder what they’ll think of us
    when sitting by the fire
    and hearing of the things we did
    like gods but so much higher

    for our sons and daughters too

  6. ecurb

    When people use facts to further their political agendas, you can’t honestly expect the people who oppose them to accept those facts, can you?
    Years of watching the Brady Campaign have convinced me that people pushing a movement will never let “facts” get in the way of an emotionally appealing argument. As both “climate change will kill us all” and “environmentalism will destroy America” are such arguments, scientists are deluding themselves if they think their research can resolve the question.
    Science and religion have at least one thing in common: they are both corrupted by contact with politics and the state.

  7. Michael Hendrickson

    A healthy measure of skepticism is critical to the scientific enterprise, because all people are fallible and have biases. But no truth-seeking endeavor, scientific or otherwise, can survive the pervasive “I will not believe” sort of skepticism that I hear from the climate conspiracy theorists. They are always zeroing in selectively on the information that seems helpful to their cause, even as they brush off masses of published research papers that are not to their liking. Menzie tries to bring something substantive to the debate by referencing a 4-volume, 528 page report described as the “National Research Council’s most comprehensive study of climate change to date.” W.C. Varones references a blog post written by a journalist described at the start of the post as, “a writer, journalist and broadcaster who is right about everything.” After a while you start to realize that people self-identify as either truth-seekers or truth-avoiders.

  8. alephnaut

    One philosophical motivation to avoid overreacting to anthropogenic climate change is that Climate Science, not being a laboratory science, cannot attain the level of certainty about its predictions as can the laboratory sciences.

    Put another way, since we can’t run experiments that recreate the earth’s climate and observe it over long periods of time with the introduction of controlled variables then our theories about climate are necessarily more tentative than theories based on reproducible experiments.

    The scientific consensus even on issues that do avail themselves of laboratory treatment has often been wrong. And no one was asking us to pay $10 a gallon on the basis of those consenses. So it’s really not that hard to understand why most people aren’t all that moved by climate change.

    Also, where are the systematic evaluations of the benefits of climate change? Increased agricultural yield, new trade routes, etc…

  9. Patrick

    Varones: Oh my. Guess you didn’t get the memos: the UEA, EPA, NSF, Penn State ALL found no there there. It was all FUD.

  10. GK

    It is funny that Germany has moved away from reducing carbon emissions, given that they are shutting down nuclear plants.
    Any carbon-reduction plan has to have nuclear as a large piece of it. Otherwise, it is not serious.

  11. Thomas Dowting

    There would be less objection to the theory of man made global warming if it wasn’t attributed to our consumption of petroleum products. If scientists found a direct correlation between global warming and bovine methane production or too many butterflies flapping their wings in Outer Mongolia, the solution would be found and acted upon immediately. Instead, scientific fact is taking beating from Big Oil’s PR department. The oil companies are just doing the same as the tobacco industry, when they worked hard to suppress negative data about their product. The only question now is whether the oil can get used up before nature or environmental laws take their course.

  12. Moopheus

    What did you expect? When faced with drought in Texas, Gov. Perry’s response was to lead a rain dance. That is the level on which he relates to climate science.

  13. aaron

    23 murdered in Honduras for carbon credits.
    http://www.euractiv.com/climate-environment/carbon-credits-tarnished-human-rights-disgrace-news-508068
    “From: Ivar Giaever [ mailto:giaever@XXXX.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 3:42 PM
    To: kirby@aps.org
    Cc: Robert H. Austin; ‘William Happer’; ‘Larry Gould’; ‘S. Fred Singer’; Roger Cohen
    Subject: I resign from APS
    Dear Ms. Kirby
    Thank you for your letter inquiring about my membership. I did not renew it because I can not live with the statement below:
    Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.
    The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.
    If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.
    In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible? The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this ‘warming’ period.
    Best regards,
    Ivar Giaever
    Nobel Laureate 1973″

  14. Steven Kopits

    Well, certainly the AGW folks should be proud of themselves. US per capita oil consumption is down 15% since 2005. That’s going virtually cold turkey for an economy like ours.
    The Democrats should take credit. Really. What’s not to like?

  15. patrick

    I’m not worried about global warming, I’ll take warming over cooling any day. I’m more worried about are what the true believers want to do about it.

  16. Anonymous

    Science is political and WC Varones is unbiased science? Not really. Instead we can say that a lot of what is intended to pass as Economic Science is Religion instead.

  17. CoRev

    I see Menzie’s desperation is increasing. The issue is lost politically, and will eventually be lost scientifically, because it was politics that drove the catastrophism associated with AGW. As an example we have this: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/28/epa-rules-and-how-they-dont-follow-their-own/
    Does man impact climate? Of course we do!
    Do GHG’s slow (a truer scientific description) cooling? Of course they do!
    Is another 1.4F to 3.0F degree increase this century dangerous? Of course not! We just went through a similar increase in the past century.
    Will science mitigate the impacts of any increase as it did in the past century? Of course it will.
    The argument centers on a word “unprecedented”. The past centuries warming is not unprecedented, when we look at a longer ranging history than ~one century.
    The AGW argument is lost! The wheels on the AGW wagon began to wobble when Mann’s hockey stick was evaluated and found to be at best questionable, and worse …!
    The wheels came off the AGW wagon with Climategate.
    Thinking that spreading that whopping 1.4F degree increase over a century (an erratic .14F/decade) is dangerous is ludicrous. History over that very same past century shows otherwise.
    Menzie does not want to admit that much of the published science is similar to this: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/01/canadian-contretemps/ where only the costs and potential negative impacts re considered without including any benefits (potential and otherwise already known.)
    Consensus? We have Menzie’s belief that tribal science (climatology) proves something more than overall science. I’ll trump Menzie’s 908 AGW scientist with over 31,000 scientists who believe otherwise. See here: http://www.petitionproject.org/
    Menzie, the argument is lost, the desperation is palpable.

  18. wally

    The illogical part of Perry’s statement is not his claim, but his implication that nothing should be done until science is ‘settled’. Prudence and responsibility would say otherwise.

  19. Steven Kopits

    This Economist is Forecasting a Recession – And He’s Never Been Wrong
    October 4, 2011
    By David Zeiler, Associate Editor, Money Morning
    The U.S. economy is “tipping into a new recession” and there’s nothing President Barack Obama or the U.S. Federal Reserve can do to prevent it, according to Lakshman Achuthan, co-founder of the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI).
    Now, if you’re wondering why you should believe this prediction ahead of others then there’s something you should know: According to The Economist, Achuthan’s predictions on the direction of economy – either toward recession or recovery – have never been wrong.
    “We don’t make false alarms,” Achuthan said, noting that ECRI did not forecast a recession last year when other prognosticators were.
    A new recession could topple the stock markets into another deep funk like the one caused by the 2008-2009 downturn when the markets plummeted more than 50%.
    My forecast of the DOW suggests a trough of 8,500-9,600 about this time next year, assuming forecasts for a recession (including mine) hold up.

  20. tj

    For those who want a less biased view, I suggest Roger Pielke Sr.’s website. He has published dozens of peer reviewed articles on the topic of climate change. His blog always cites the literature when leveling a criticism at climate research. Here are his posts referencing climate forcings and feedbacks in climate dynamics. These results highlight the recent trend in the literature that finds standard climate model assumptions are wrong and that models are incomplete. As a result, they attribute too much of observed warming to man-made C02.
    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/category/climate-change-forcings-and-feedbacks/
    In the link below he discusses how the the climate science community has come to disregard the scientific method. (By the way, he supports the claim that man has a significant impact on climate.) Do you yourself a favor and educate yourself on both sides of the arguement. Don’t settle for ‘consensus’.
    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/06/04/short-circuiting-the-scientific-process-a-serious-problem-in-the-climate-science-community/

  21. Ricardo

    Steve Kopits,
    First I have to admit to you that I was wrong about the decline of oil. I never expected Bernanke to allow our economy to plunge into a deflationary recession. I expected him to keep pumping until he was either fired or the economy imploded.
    You are right about a 8,500-9,600 Dow if Bernanke doesn’t do a QEIII. I am still not convinced he will let it go that far but I missed this current call so who knows.
    But of course we all know that it will be due to manmade Global Warming – oh, that was yesterdays catch phrase – I meant Climate Change.

  22. Ricardo

    I am curious. When did the left determine that Rick Perry was an expert on climate change and must be refuted? Of course I guess the left has been relying on Republican experts for a long time. How often we hear justification for the left crony capitalism or immorality as “Well, the Republicans do it.” I’m sorry but I don’t have that high of an opinion of Republicans.

  23. jonathan

    The climate change discussion is a really a test for rationality.
    The usual way the issue is phrased is: do you believe in climate change or not, which means the answer is yes or no. The answer then reflects beliefs, particularly on the “no” side where actual religious belief becomes part of the issue.
    But this is not a yes or no issue. It’s a question of odds and thus of rational response to odds. While the no side points at a handful of extremists who want to shut down all industry, the no side is attempting to enact actual laws that prevent research into climate change. That isn’t rational by any light.
    In terms of response, the issue should be rational steps we can take to lower odds of a large scale crisis. The risk is that we reach a point where we’ve done something irreversible. It simply is rational to avoid that chance. The logic is similar to that involved in nuclear power: we don’t build them on earthquake faults or in the middle of cities. It’s the same logic we use when building pipelines or any industrial facility which can cause harm. That we turn our backs on rationality is the real problem.

  24. CoRev

    Wally says: :Perry…his implication that nothing should be done until science is ‘settled’. Prudence and responsibility would say otherwise.”
    I have tried to show how we have a long term historical record which shows Perry far more correct than you. Menzie and you have bought into the idea of “unprecedented” conditions, CO2 driving those conditions, and that they lead to potential catastrophic impacts.
    Nearly every catastrophic claim has been proven wrong. Arctic Ice to disappear by 2013, nope! More hurricanes? Nope! More intense hurricanes? Nope. Ocean Heat Content rising? Nope! Sea level rising faster? Nope!
    More recently the claims have conflated weather events with climate. But, even these, have been proven wrong, so what’s left? More and more frequent claims of correlation will not create the panic.
    Climate changes! That’s what makes it climate. Believing we are the driver with CO2/GHG creation is being disproved over and over, but if you are a believer, that evidence can not, will not, be accepted, as it changes the political narrative.
    It’s over folks!

  25. Steve

    As we prepare for another cold, harsh winter in the northern forest of Wisconsin, I would ask that Menzie join me when the ice is 42″ thick for some ice fishing and xcountry skiing. Then as night falls and the temps dip to say -30 degrees fahrenheit, we can have a nice cup of hot chocolate spiced with a bit of baileys and contemplate global warming in all of it wonderful heat!

  26. A.West

    Menzie is just jealous. Because while global warming advocates cannot outperform coin flipping at forecasting temperatures, they still outperform Keynesian models at forecasting anything.

  27. Steven Kopits

    Ricardo -
    I’m with Achuthan (above) on this. The die is cast; whatever’s going to happen is going to happen. I don’t believe the Fed can materially influence the outcome.
    In general, I believe too much emphasis is placed on the monetary phenomena at the expense events in the real economy. Money is the mirror of the economy, not the economy itself.
    Also, right now, it looks to be just a recession, not a deflationary recession (ie, it is a plain vanilla oil shock, not necessarily a financial crisis). Whether it becomes a financial crisis depends a great deal on how the cards play out in Greece.

  28. aaron

    Earth is warming. Detailed observations of surface temperature assembled and analyzed by several different research groups show that the planet’s average surface temperature was 1.4ºF (0.8ºC) warmer during the first decade of the 21st century than during the first decade of the 20th century, with the most pronounced warming over the past three decades. These data are corroborated by a variety of independent observations that indicate warming in other parts of the Earth system, including the cryosphere (snow- and icecovered regions), the lower atmosphere, and the oceans.
    Can really disagree with that.
    Most of the warming over the last several decades can be attributed to human activities that release carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas—for energy is the single largest human driver of climate change, but agriculture, forest clearing, and certain industrial activities also make significant contributions.
    i.e. We’re confident half of the .8C, or .4C, is caused by anthropogenic release of GHGs
    Natural climate variability leads to year-to-year and decade-to-decade fluctuations in temperature and other climate variables, as well as substantial regional differences, but cannot explain or offset the long-term warming trend.
    i.e. Change happens.
    Global warming is closely associated with a broad spectrum of other changes, such as increases in the frequency of intense rainfall, decreases in Northern Hemisphere snow cover and Arctice sea ice, warmer and more frequent hot days and nights, rising sea levels, and widespread ocean acidification.
    i.e. Climate affects stuff. Associated means no causal mechanism and the direction of the correlation is unknown (e.g. more frequent intense rainfalls are likely due mostly to decreased ocean clouds unrelated to GHG warming). All but three of these things are beneficial. Sea level rise is happening w/o global warming and will need to be dealt with regardless. Ocean Acidification is beyond the realm of plausibility, we cannot move pH outside of the range good for life, there are many buffers in the oceans, they are big, and life feeds off of CO2. We don’t know about intense rainfall
    Human-induced climate change and its impacts will continue for many decades, and in some cases for many centuries. Individually and collectively, these changes pose risks for a wide range of human and environmental systems, including freshwater resources, the coastal environment, ecosystems, agriculture, fisheries, human health, and national security, among others.
    i.e. Climate affects stuff.
    The ultimate magnitude of climate change and the severity of its impacts depend strongly on the actions that human societies take to respond to these risks.
    i.e. How things change depends on how we change things.

  29. Jan Perlwitz

    @W.C. Varones:

    This is unbiased scientific behavior?

    No, of course not. This it’s opinion manufacturing in the press by a pseudo skeptic and conspiracy theorist. Such a thing is far from unbiased scientific behavior.
    @CoRev:

    I see Menzie’s desperation is increasing. The issue is lost politically, and will eventually be lost scientifically,

    Who has issued the memo that this will be the case? The climate science community hasn’t received it, obviously, if one looks in the scientific literature.

    Is another 1.4F to 3.0F degree increase this century dangerous? Of course not! We just went through a similar increase in the past century.

    Where do you get this range from for the additional temperature increase this century? Please state the source for this projection. This is lower than the projected range of the temperature increase for even the best case scenario to be found in the IPCC-Report 2007. Or did you just make the numbers up yourself?

    The argument centers on a word “unprecedented”. The past centuries warming is not unprecedented, when we look at a longer ranging history than ~one century.

    Please specify about what argument you are talking here. This is not clear to me.

    The AGW argument is lost!

    As I said. Who has issued the memo? The community of climate scientist hasn’t received it. There must have been a glitch with the delivery.

    The wheels on the AGW wagon began to wobble when Mann’s hockey stick was evaluated and found to be at best questionable, and worse …!

    Is this a fact what you are claiming here? On what is your assertion based? Who has found Mann’s hockey stick “at best questionable, and worse”? A majority of other climate researchers? Or who? The pseudo skeptic blogosphere?

    Consensus? We have Menzie’s belief that tribal science (climatology) proves something more than overall science. I’ll trump Menzie’s 908 AGW scientist with over 31,000 scientists who believe otherwise. See here: http://www.petitionproject.org/

    Your argument is as fraudulent as this bogus petition to which you refer here. It is fraudulent because some arbitrary people are assigned an expert status in a scientific field just by labeling them “scientists”, although they aren’t actually scientists in the field, and many are not even scientists at all (just to have received some nature science degree in some point in life doesn’t make a person a “scientist”). Some don’t even have a science degree. And all these pseudo scientists who have signed this petition are supposed to trump the assessment of qualified scientists, i.e., the ones who actually work and publish in the field of climate science. This is what you want to sell here, isn’t it?

    Menzie, the argument is lost, the desperation is palpable.

    Why? What do the pseudo skeptics have? Some quote mined emails the meaning of which is freely interpreted? Some fraudulent petitions? Some obscure blogs where they make each other feel well? The Republicans in congress who decide just by vote that man-made global warming doesn’t exist? Not so much actual research, though.
    And to what can Menzie refer? Only to a body of scientific research of 30 years? Yes, he obviously has all reason to be desperate.
    @tj:

    For those who want a less biased view, I suggest Roger Pielke Sr.’s website.

    Less biased than whose view? Than the one of the National Academy of Science?

  30. Doc Merlin

    @Mclauren
    “An econometric blog is not really using 125 years of questionable measurements to make conclusions about a 4.5 billion year old ball of mass”
    Well it is an /econometric/ blog. What’s amusing is that we have good proxies for over a million years of temperature readings, yet these get ignored by the warmists as they don’t paint the picture they want.

  31. Jan Perlwitz

    @tj:
    Please could you specify, in which of his articles in his blog Pielke talks about how the climate science community as a whole has allegedly come to disregard the scientific method? The link you gave leads only to a whole collection of comments, not to the specific essay. I would like to evaluate what specific empirical evidence he provides for such a generalized accusation, if he really has made it and you don’t misrepresent what he said.

  32. Jan Perlwitz

    @tj:
    Sorry, I had copied the wrong link. Now I have it.
    Oh, I had expected a big essay with plenty of evidence, if such a bold statement is made like the one by you. Pielke doesn’t show anything there. He only is ranting and making a general accusation and tries to prove his general statement with naming two papers. He doesn’t even prove it for these two papers. He only defames the papers (and the authors).
    Well, I guess you think this is very scientific by Pielke and you believe it because he says it, since he is so “unbiased”.

  33. Michael

    The thing that the pro-AGW crowd never really addresses is the relationship between the projected warming, and the amount of reductions that their preferred set of policies would accomplish according to their own models.

    • According to the probability assessments of current models, the amount of warming that we will see is only moderate, about 3 degrees or so. Catastrophic amounts of warming are unlikely.
    • Assuming the scenarios that lead to catastrophic amounts of warming, the preferred policies of pro-AGW folks will merely delay the inevitable by a handful of years. No current policy proposal will prevent catastrophic warming.
  34. mike shupp

    This is Governor Perry’s way of assuring anti-environmentalists that he shares their views. He’s on their side in this big emotional issue and he hates their enemies just as they do.
    It has nothing to do with the reality, or even the subject of debate. Scientific explanations, records and other evidence, logical arguments, etc. will get you nowhere. He’s with THEM; he’s not with YOU. That’s all that matters.
    Bear that in mind when considering public policy.

  35. uber_snotling

    The vast majority of climate scientists do think the evidence is very strong that anthropogenic climate warming is occurring. The basic science has been understood since Arrhenius (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius). Radiative forcing caused by molecules that absorb in the infrared is a very well characterized phenomenon. Uncertainties in future climate are large because of unknown feedback loops among climate, clouds, glaciers, ice caps, ocean circulation, and other phenomenon. These effects are hard to predict because of potential nonlinear changes or hysteresis effects.
    That being said, just because an overwhelming majority of scientists believe something doesn’t mean it is true. Look at the recent results on neutrinos and the speed of light. If a new experiment or result challenges our most basic understanding of something, it will be examined intensely and once the body of evidence is available, it will be accepted or rejected.
    More interesting to me is the choice of scientific issues that people choose to question. The debates over quantum mechanical orbital theory, the mass of an atom, entropy, black holes, the expanding universe, evidence for water on Mars, and a dozen other theories and laws get a free pass. Evolution and anthropogenic climate change seem to draw an unwarranted amount of controversy.

  36. C Thomson

    Gosh, this is a fun one!
    Who cares about which gomer politician believes what? When it’s obvious that nothing will be done – whether the theory is true, false or sideways?
    Don’t we hit seven billion in headcount this month? Let’s worry about cow farts in India. Just as useful.

  37. spencer

    Keep up the good work Menzie.
    Do not allow these ignorant fools to wear you down.
    It is not that they are wrong.
    Anybody can and is wrong.In the stock market a professional investor can have a great record and still only be right 51% of the time.
    Rather, the real problem is that they and their
    “fellow travelers” are proud of their ignorance.
    I deliberately called them “fellow travelers” because I know what Lenin called “fellow travelers”. He called them useful fools and they are clearly fellow travelers for the monied interest who are only concerned with short run profits.

  38. Dan Dostal

    Wow, after reading your comments I’m making the rational decision to never read your comments again. So many are happy to blind themselves by deciding they know “the other side of the story”. This is science. It’s not a story. One scientist is fallible. Many scientists have what is in the human experience the closest source of truth we have.

  39. aaron

    Steven Kopits,
    I like to think of money as the dye for a CAT scan.
    Being a social science, its value is also affected by the rules we set to govern its movement.
    For all, the first line in my previous comment was supposed to be “Can’t really disagree with that.”

  40. Jan Perlwitz

    @Doc Merlin:

    Well it is an /econometric/ blog. What’s amusing is that we have good proxies for over a million years of temperature readings, yet these get ignored by the warmists as they don’t paint the picture they want.

    Since you are so amused please tell me who the “warmist” are who have ignored proxy data of paleo temperatures, because it didn’t paint the wanted picture, leading them to wrong conclusions in what scientific studies? And what would have been the right conclusions instead, if they hadn’t ignored these proxy data? Please be specific, i.e., I would like to know to what scientific studies published where and when you specifically refer.

  41. tj

    Hi Jan, nice to hear from you again.
    Google Scholar RA Pielke -
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=%22RA+pielke%22&as_sdt=0%2C15&as_ylo=&as_vis=0
    Why are you trying so hard to minimize Pielke’s work? You would think your salary and budget depended on it.
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/authors/janperlwitz.html
    I notice your allegiance to James Hansen. I don’t think he ever explained why climate models are so wrong. Never mind, I forgot, the model is right, it’s reality that is wrong.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/21/another-giss-miss-tisdale-calls-out-hansen-and-sato-on-failed-predictions/

  42. tj

    uber,
    Here is another way to look at it -
    The science is not settled when it comes to quantum mechanical orbital theory, the mass of an atom, entropy, black holes, the expanding universe, evidence for water on Mars, and a dozen other theories and laws. However, the science on anthropogenic climate change is settled.
    Do any rational humans actually believe the science is settled on anthropogenic climate change ? Has there ever been a more rapid consensus reached on a complex system that does not lend itself to laboratory experiment?

  43. 2slugbaits

    tj Roger Pielke can sometimes be a useful gadfly. A lot of his musings end up prompting useful research, but seldom have those musings turned out to be right. But like I said, he’s a useful gadfly and not much else.
    CoRev repeats his clueless nonsense about the hockey stick debate…which is largely irrelevant. But for the record, after correcting for M&M’s error in their own principal components model it turns out that the hockey stick has been confirmed. Not that CoRev could actually follow the math. He also repeats his “point” about warming not being unprecedented. True, there have been times in geologic history when temperatures have been warmer and warming at a faster rate; but not in human history. It’s small comfort to future generations that it was once warmer in Earth’s history as they roast in a cooked planet. But more to the point, previous warming episodes were not exogenously driven…they appear to have been endogenous. In fact CO2 levels tended to lag temperatures by ~800 years. That’s not true today. Today CO2 and methane are driving temperatures. And it’s not a mystery why. The physics is well understood. Or at least it’s well understood if you’re not a TV weatherman with an internet connection.
    And I have to laugh at those presenting global warming as a good news story…as though it just means slightly milder springs. Just bump up the air conditioner a few degrees in July and all will be well. Excuse me, but just about every economic study I’ve seen has concluded that global warming of only a couple degrees centigrade will reduce incomes and welfare, especially in Africa.
    Is there a lot of uncertainty about global warming? Yes. We know from physics that CO2 and methane will warm the planet given enough time. The Earth’s response variables are very uncertain. So we know the eventual outcome; we just don’t know when. My response to that kind of uncertainty is to want to fund NOAA and account for the asymmetry of the risk. Other yahoos here want to party like it’s 1979 until someone can prove with 99.9999999% certainty exactly what will happen. Oh, and just to make sure no one can ever actually reduce uncertainty jerks like Perry want to defund NOAA.
    I’ve become convinced that old geezers don’t care about global warming. All they care about is feeding their gas guzzler motorhomes with cheap carbon fuels. The only way global warming affects them is when the rising oceans flood their long forgotten graves.

  44. Kevin O'Neill

    The arctic sea ice is disappearing. In 30 years we’ve seen volume decrease by 75%! Ice shelves that were thousands of years old are gone. Is that due to global cooling? Is that due to global temperature staying the same?
    You have to be brain-dead to not figure this one out. Republicans/conservatives(sic) apparently haven’t figured it out. Draw your own conclusions.

  45. CoRev

    Jan Perlwitz, thank you for the response. I wonder why you picked one comment (1.4F to 3.0F) out of a string? This is what I said:
    “Does man impact climate? Of course we do!
    Do GHG’s slow (a truer scientific description) cooling? Of course they do!
    Is another 1.4F (from Menzie’s NAS reference) to 3.0F degree (as you guessed, my own more reasonable, near median projection from the IPCC Report) increase this century dangerous? Of course not! We just went through a similar increase in the past century.
    Will science mitigate the impacts of any increase as it did in the past century? Of course it will
    Jan, I stopped doing paper-to-paper discussions several years ago, when I realized for nearly every point made a counter point was available in the peer reviewed literature.
    My comments were mostly concerned with the politics associated with the AGW science, but if I wasn’t clear, my disbelief is mostly with the catastrophic predictions associated with temps within the range of natural variability. Unprecedented.
    2slugs, I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist this thread.

  46. Jan Perlwitz

    @tj:

    Why are you trying so hard to minimize Pielke’s work?

    I do not recall to have said anything about Pielke’s work. To which one of my statements do you refer?
    I do recall that you made a general accusation against the climate science community as a whole, for which you referred to Pielke as your chief witness.

    You would think your salary and budget depended on it.

    Why would you think that? And what is the purpose of such a statement?

    I don’t think he ever explained why climate models are so wrong. Never mind, I forgot, the model is right, it’s reality that is wrong.

    I’m not able to give any answer to this question either, at least as long as you haven’t explained what “so wrong” is supposed to mean. Or what it means a model is “right” or “wrong” in comparison to reality. No model ever is able to perfectly reproduce reality. Thus, models are by definition always “wrong”. Models are mathematical tools and always idealizations of reality. The only model that is not “wrong” would be an exact copy of reality, i.e., reality itself. We can try to improve models so that they better approximate reality, but the models will never be “right”.

  47. Jan Perlwitz

    @CovRev:

    I wonder why you picked one comment (1.4F to 3.0F) out of a string?

    I picked the statement which I found to be the most questionable.

    Is another 1.4F (from Menzie’s NAS reference) to 3.0F degree (as you guessed, my own more reasonable, near median projection from the IPCC Report) increase this century dangerous? Of course not! We just went through a similar increase in the past century.

    There is no such statement by NAS among the ones quoted by Menzie that says anything about “another 1.4 F” temperature increase this century. So the lower range of the temperature increase you give here is not based on anything else than your imagination, apparently. And for the upper range you have cherry picked the median projection from the best case non-mitigation emission scenario B1 from the IPCC report. So what exactly was your statement supposed to say? Assuming that there wasn’t any dangerous temperature increase, that such an increase wouldn’t be dangerous?

    Jan, I stopped doing paper-to-paper discussions several years ago, when I realized for nearly every point made a counter point was available in the peer reviewed literature.

    You seem to have remembered this exactly at the point at which you apparently couldn’t back up your bold assertion about a specific scientific paper. This is convenient.

    My comments were mostly concerned with the politics associated with the AGW science,

    What I see is that you try to “refute” the findings of science with political-ideological arguments.

    my disbelief is mostly with the catastrophic predictions associated with temps within the range of natural variability.
    Unprecedented.

    To what temperature predictions do you refer here that are, according to you, in the range of natural variability? You can’t mean the 1.4 to 3 F from above, since this projected range of the temperature increase is solely your own invention, isn’t it?

  48. mulp

    Menzie, I think the best and most to the point handling of the evidence of AGW is in about 15 minutes of the 50 minute Earth:the owners manual presented on PBS this past spring, and online at
    http://earththeoperatorsmanual.com/
    This isn’t a comprehensive debate, but instead focuses on a few key points of evidence. For example, this text portion of the website covers the evidence that burning fossil fuels has increased the CO2 in the atmosphere based on the three isotopes of carbon.
    http://earththeoperatorsmanual.com/faq?page=3
    Basically the carbon in the air is tagged radioactively so we can tell which molecules were produced by cow farts and Al Gore breathing relative to burning coal and oil.
    The host of the program is a Republican who formerly worked for oil companies – after all, you can’t explore for oil without believing in the exact same science as the climate scientists who have constructed the evidence for AGW.
    Basically, if you agree with Rick Perry on climate change, they you are someone who must necessarily believe the way to find oil is drill baby drill, and are stuck in the US 50s and 60s when the oil industry found oil by drilling about 100,000 holes per year. The US has more abandoned oil and gas wells than the entire rest of the world because tax incentives promoted the only accepted way of finding oil: wildcat drilling randomly. Those geologists were crazy to claim oil was made from algae hundreds of millions of years ago – God made the earth 6000 years ago.
    For a powerful Texan, Perry is poor because he rejects the science needed to find oil in the modern era, the same science that establishes the fact of fossil fuel burning driving AGW.

  49. reason

    aaron
    “.e. Climate affects stuff. Associated means no causal mechanism and the direction of the correlation is unknown (e.g. more frequent intense rainfalls are likely due mostly to decreased ocean clouds unrelated to GHG warming). All but three of these things are beneficial. Sea level rise is happening w/o global warming and will need to be dealt with regardless. Ocean Acidification is beyond the realm of plausibility, we cannot move pH outside of the range good for life, there are many buffers in the oceans, they are big, and life feeds off of CO2. We don’t know about intense rainfall…”
    Aaron,
    I find it curious that up that point I agreed with what you wrote – then in one paragraph you made a long string of unsupported, incorrect statements. Amazing.

  50. reason

    I always find it amusing when global warming “skeptics”, cite higher temperatures in the long distant (pre-human) past as an indication of the non-catastrophic nature of climate change. Yes, but the point is we now have 7 billion people on the planet and a substantial proportion of them live either within a few meters of sea level or in fragile environments. The fact that global warming will benefit parts of Russia and Canada, doesn’t help the majority of people who live in tropical or subtropical zones. A global problem requires a global perspective.

  51. CoRev

    Jan, makes this unequivocal statement: “There is no such statement by NAS among the ones quoted by Menzie that says anything about “another 1.4 F” temperature increase this century.
    This is from the article above: “…the details of which can be found in Chapter 2 and Part II (Chapters 6-17) of this report—and these previous assessments place high or very high confidence in the following findings:
    Earth is warming. Detailed observations of surface temperature assembled and analyzed by several different research groups show that the planet’s average surface temperature was 1.4ºF (0.8ºC) warmer during the first decade of the 21st century than during the first decade of the 20th century,…”
    Do I need to point out the phrase citing the past century from above?
    It appears you prefer to argue points not actually made with some level of precision not possible. I explained where and why I took my numbers. Maybe you would care to provide your own estimates of temperature increases for the next century to counter my own conservative estimates in which I would place a “place high or very high confidence.” You appear to prefer the extremes?
    We can get into that point-by-point argument with conflicting peer reviewed sources. That will prove which of us is the better researcher, but nothing else. Unless we get into a marathon discussion which will eventuate in showing endurance also.
    You also questioned: “So what exactly was your statement supposed to say? Assuming that there wasn’t any dangerous temperature increase, that such an increase wouldn’t be dangerous?”
    Not assuming, but historically there has been no dangerous (nay catastrophic) temperature increase. You imply that another equivalent increase is dangerous/catastrophic?
    The bottom line is that “climate change” happens. Other things also change, and some might be correlated with climate changes, but most are changed due to other influences. Weather? Climate change catastrophes have not happened in the past century.

  52. Jan Perlwitz

    Oh, I just see it. Replace “range” with “boundary of the range” at two instances in the second paragraph of my comment at October 4, 2011 09:33 PM.

  53. EMichael

    Anyone who uses Watts as a reputable source for anything remotely related to scientific knowledge is a clueless buffoon.
    Pielke’s work at least makes an attempt at scientific honesty, but he has added no real substance to the argument that MMGW is not “settled”.
    I would suggest(with the knowledge the suggestion is wasted) reading http://www.realclimate.org/ to get a better grasp on the subject and Pielke and Watts.
    I would also point out to the people who are convinced that “their grant money is the reason they all agree” crowd the simple fact that any kind of legitimate scientific research that even remotely showed a hole in MMGW would be worth uncounted millions(and a Nobel Prize)for the author of that research.

  54. tj

    Jan,
    My general point is that the science is not settled.
    Here is a summary of a NASA paper on negative feedback between CO2 and vegetation. http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2010/12/nasa-warns-global-warming-models-wrong-dont-account-for-cooling-factors.html
    Clouds and solar variation are other unsettled issues. The CERN paper on clound formation and cosmic rays- http://press.web.cern.ch/press/pressreleases/Releases2011/PR15.11E.html
    which suspports Svensmark’s solar cycle work – http://www-ssc.igpp.ucla.edu/IASTP/43/
    Judith Curry has a nice blog post on ‘cloud wars’ -
    http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/21/cloud-wars/
    The list goes on and so does the research, yet all we hear is the ‘science is settled’ and we have reached ‘consensus’ on the cause of global warming.
    I find it the cult-like following on both sides of the arguement troubling. As I said above, read as much as you can on both sides of the arguement. I am not sure why I was attacked for making such a reasonable statement.

  55. CoRev

    Jan, I don’t think adding “boundary” makes any difference to your refutation, There is no such statement by NAS among the ones quoted by Menzie that says anything about “another 1.4 F” temperature increase this century. Obviously there is.
    Speaking of clueless buffoons, EMichael, is obviously unaware of the latest dust up regarding clouds and the GW models/modelers. A very thorough discussion can be found at Dr Spencer’s (the co-author of several related papers) site: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/09/the-rest-of-the-cherries-140-decades-of-climate-models-vs-observations/
    and
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/09/an-open-letter-of-encouragement-to-dr-dessler/
    and
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/09/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-my-initial-comments-on-the-new-dessler-2011-study/
    If you look past that last reference you will find an article referring to Perry & science.
    Or, you could have gone to that Watt’s site for a similar discussion.
    RC had this article: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/09/resignations-retractions-and-the-process-of-science/#more-8744 which if you read carefully says very little scientifically, but defames the authors of the S&B11 (Spencer) paper.
    EMichael, before you fall back onto the “legitimate scientific research” argument, only history can make that determination.

  56. Jan Perlwitz

    @CoRev:

    Jan, makes this unequivocal statement: “There is no such statement by NAS among the ones quoted by Menzie that says anything about “another 1.4 F” temperature increase this century.”
    This is from the article above: “…the details of which can be found in Chapter 2 and Part II (Chapters 6-17) of this report—and these previous assessments place high or very high confidence in the following findings:
    Earth is warming. Detailed observations of surface temperature assembled and analyzed by several different research groups show that the planet’s average surface temperature was 1.4ºF (0.8ºC) warmer during the first decade of the 21st century than during the first decade of the 20th century,…”
    Do I need to point out the phrase citing the past century from above?

    Do I need to quote where you referred to the NAS number of 1.4 F as basis for your private projection about the additional temperature increase in this century, although the NAS quote doesn’t say anywhere that this was the projected temperature increase?

    It appears you prefer to argue points not actually made with some level of precision not possible. I explained where and why I took my numbers.

    Well, you said where you arbitrarily picked the lower and upper boundary of your projected temperature increase for this century, although you didn’t provide any explanation why this is supposed to be the projected temperature increase. No explanation based on science, anyway. The only criterion for choosing this projected range seems to be that you like it best, since it fits your argument best.

    Maybe you would care to provide your own estimates of temperature increases for the next century to counter my own conservative estimates in which I would place a “place high or very high confidence.” You appear to prefer the extremes?

    Why would I want to make up my own estimates? Where are we here? This is not a lottery game or horse race where I make up and cherry pick some arbitrary numbers. This is about findings in science. There are temperature projections for this century based on scientific studies. More or less extreme ones. The range of the temperature projections depends on, among other factors, the emission scenarios for this century. They represent various possibilities that could become reality. I don’t pick one of them and say this one was my projection, just because I personally prefer it, maybe because it agrees with any political or ideological views I have. I don’t make the findings of science fit to support any political-ideological agenda. Unlike you apparently who seems to accept or reject findings of science depending on whether they agree with your preconceived views or not.

    We can get into that point-by-point argument with conflicting peer reviewed sources. That will prove which of us is the better researcher, but nothing else. Unless we get into a marathon discussion which will eventuate in showing endurance also.

    This is actually not what I wanted. I didn’t want to discuss specific aspects of the Mann et al., 1998 paper. Or ones from the paper by McIntyre and McKitrick, who tried to refute the findings by Mann et al.. Or any from the following papers. I just wanted to know on whose assessment your bold assertion about the Mann-paper was based. Apparently not on the assessment by the mainstream scientific community.
    The Mann et al. paper from back then is basically history. Only the pseudo skeptics crowd is hung up on this specific paper. There has been a bunch of follow up papers by the same and other authors with more and different proxy data, also with improved analysis techniques. Those follow up studies have confirmed the central findings of the Mann et al. 1998 paper. The more studies come to similar conclusions based on more comprehensive data and also varying analysis techniques the stronger the case that those findings are scientifically valid.

    You also questioned: “So what exactly was your statement supposed to say? Assuming that there wasn’t any dangerous temperature increase, that such an increase wouldn’t be dangerous?”
    Not assuming, but historically there has been no dangerous (nay catastrophic) temperature increase. You imply that another equivalent increase is dangerous/catastrophic?

    No, I imply that you are arguing against claims that haven’t been made, at least not by most climate scientists, i.e., claims which are apparently a product of your own imagination. It’s called a straw man argument.

    The bottom line is that “climate change” happens. Other things also change, and some might be correlated with climate changes, but most are changed due to other influences. Weather? Climate change catastrophes have not happened in the past century.

    And this is supposed to support what argument? To conclude from this that any dangerous or even catastrophic climate change by anthropogenic causes was not likely in the future either would be a fallacious conclusion.

  57. Hitchhiker

    Have any of you natural phenomenon deniers ever once considered the fact that statements describing the science as settled and allowing no dissension is about the most unscientific attitude possible? Can someone be called a scientist who actively squashes all dissent and refuses to debate opponents? Anthropogenic global warming is nothing more than a religion and what we are witnessing today is the burning at the stake of a heretic by a high priest.
    One expects certain religious proponents to ignore all evidence that does not fit their narrative. Unfortunately, one can also now expect scientists to do the same thing.

  58. kharris

    OK, let’s just examine CoRev’s argument. Menzie’s “desparation is palpable”, and “increasing”. CoRev has decided that Menzie’s emotional state is the issue, and claims to know what that state is. In fact, CoRev claims to be able to touch Menzie’s emotional state (the world CoRev used was “palpable”). Now, these seem odd claims to me, since what Menzie did was did was to quote a presidential candidate making an assertion about the state of a scientific debate, and then showing that qualified scientists overwhelmingly disagree.
    Not only that, but CoRev serves up the standard denialist claim that climate science is bought and paid for by politics, and also that it has lost politically. I’m not sure how a lost political cause ends up being what it is because of political backing, but CoRev is not the only want to offer this faux-triumphalist claim. CoRev’s claim to know that a scientific consensus will be overturned is founded on nothing more than this wildly self-contradictory tale. But it’s Menzie who’s desparate. And palpable.
    Does CoRev’s series of “of course” claims make any sense? Of course they don’t. We turn the oven up 50 degrees below the temperature needed to bake a cake, and it doesn’t bake. By CoRev’s way of thinking, turning it up further would “of course” fail to back the cake. Perhaps water doesn’t boil at the CoRev residence – heating it to 200F doesn’t make it boil, so “of course” heating it to 212F wouldn’t either.
    Sorry, CoRev, but you’ve employed the “say anything to cast doubt” approach to discussing climate change for so long that your tricks are pretty well known.
    arron,
    Sorry, but you, too, will need to do better than that. It’s either the “something’s needs to be done” or the “this is something” element that you have misconstrued. The same construction fits any good proposal, as well as any bad one, to remedy a problem. For your “fallacy” to be a an actual fallacy, it must be the case either that nothing is wrong, or that the solution proposed is the wrong one. You not-so-cleverly imply that one or the other of those must be true, but offer nothing in support of that vague implication. As long as we are on the topic of rhetorical short-comings, what you have done is known as “begging the question”.

  59. kharris

    As long as we are on the subject of using rhetorical trickery rather than fact and logic to make an argument (that is to say, as long as I’m pointing out that behavior from CoRev and aaron), there is an interesting historical instance of similar behavior. What CoRev has done here is to imply that his view of a scientific issue will inevitably win, despite the fact that qualified scientists overwhelmingly disagree. Yes, such things can happen, but CoRev’s claim is that it will happen.
    During the 2nd Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, Lenin and Martov held nearly even support among delegates, with delegates switching back and forth depending on the issue. On the issue of party membership, Lenin’s view won by a very slim margin. He then declared his faction the majority and encouraged his followers to call themselves the majority, despite the fact that on other issues, he lost and Martov had the majority of votes.
    In Russian, the word for “majority” is “bolshevik”. CoRev apparently understands thatsaying that something is true helps to make it so – in the public mind. Happily, that isn’t the way science works.

  60. Ricardo

    Steve Kopits,
    I agree with you and Achuthan and a few others that under current circumstances the collapse is inevitable, but I think I am more hopeful. I remember what Ludwig Erhart and Jacques Rueff did in Germany and France after WWII and the fact that the recovery was almost instantaneous. The same could happen in our situation.
    In my comments I did not intend to imply that the FED could correct the decline with monetary expansion, but they can cover and prolong through monetary expansion. Monetary expansion actually simply redistributes wealth from successful production into wasteful production but it does give the illusion of improvement because the wasteful producers get a second chance to destroy wealth. Ultimately the FED will run out of white-wash and the collapse will come.
    I believe we are close to agreement.

  61. Tom Harvey

    Seems like a great day to celebrate “consensus” in the scientific process.
    STOCKHOLM (AP) — Israeli scientist Dan Shechtman was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday for a discovery that faced skepticism and mockery, even prompting his expulsion from his research team, before it won widespread acceptance as a fundamental breakthrough.

  62. aaron

    reason, ill try to get you some cites later this week. I have a chronic pain problem and need to stay off the computer a bit.

  63. CoRev

    Bear, it got to be counter productive after climate gate and many others provided the libraries for research. I actually started after tiring of consistently looking up the same or similar materials.
    Jan, no point in continuing. You seem to be repeating the same point, while ignoring my explanation. you seem to think that an independent opinion, estimating a possible 21st century scenario that falls within the historical records, is not valid. OK, your personal opinion is noted.
    Evidently you prefer other numbers than the NAS and my conservative estimate. Since there are many, many estimates of 21st century temp increase, you pick one that satisfies your own need.
    KH, sigh!!!!! Same ole meaningless personal attack drivel.

  64. Jan Perlwitz

    @CoRev:

    Jan, I don’t think adding “boundary” makes any difference to your refutation, There is no such statement by NAS among the ones quoted by Menzie that says anything about “another 1.4 F” temperature increase this century.
    Obviously there is.

    “Obviously”? Being the clueless buffon I wonder whether you even understand what the statements from the NAS report say, which were quoted by Menzie. The 1.4 F are the temperature increase over the past century. Nothing in the quoted statements by NAS says that this is also the expected additional increase in this century or what the magnitude of the projected further temperature increase is.

  65. Jan Perlwitz

    @CoRev:

    Jan, no point in continuing.

    I guess I will have the last word then.

    You seem to be repeating the same point, while ignoring my explanation.

    I just have checked your previous comments again, and I still can’t find any explanation that I’m allegedly ignoring.

    you seem to think that an independent opinion, estimating a possible 21st century scenario that falls within the historical records, is not valid. OK, your personal opinion is noted.

    I think there is a big difference between opinion and science. Science isn’t a collection of opinions. Your estimate being an opinion means that you haven’t derived it using a scientific approach. The estimates in the IPCC report are based on scientific studies, not on opinions. This doesn’t mean they are necessarily the last word, but if they are being revised than based on new scientific evidence, but not just because someone changes his/her opinion.
    Opinion and science are not on equal footing. Here you have my answer regarding the validity of your opinion based estimate in comparison to the IPCC estimates.

  66. 2slugbaits

    Jan Perlwitz If you haven’t figured it out by now, CoRev is math impaired. He’s sincere in his beliefs, but in way over his head. He has developed his own simple linear formula that he believes describes the Earth’s response to C02. He claims to understand climate science, but yet based on other discussions with him on different topics (e.g., DDT & the Volterra Principle), it’s quite clear that he has no understanding of coupled differential equations. I’m hardly an expert on climate science, but all of the serious works on the physics of climate change that I’m familiar with involve systems of differential equations…or at least phase diagrams at a minimum. He’s also confident that he can do time series analysis although based on a discussion he had with Menzie, CoRev doesn’t seem to think it’s important to test for nonstationarity in a time series. He always points to the M&M papers (MM03, MM05a and MM05b) as somehow a definitive knockdown of the Mann “hockey stick,” but yet I’ve seen no evidence that he even remotely understands calibrating and weighting in a principal components model. But hey, he’s got the support of a TV weatherman with a high school diploma!!!
    It’s interesting that the same folks who are in denial about the dangers of global warming are the same folks who buy the Discovery Institute’s fairytale of Adam & Eve riding on the backs of dinosaurs (or the “respectable” equivalent called “intelligent design”). They’re also the same folks who found Rep. Tim Ryan’s “Roadmap” to be a convincing fiscal plan. And the same folks who do not understand any of the econometric VAR and error correction models that Menzie likes to talk about here.
    CoRev may be right about one thing though; and that’s the political reality. American voters are shockingly stupid and ignorant, and politicians know this. That’s good political news for (especially southern) Republicans.

  67. CoRev

    jan, Jan, Jan, I know the NAS was a historical look. This is my comment: “Is another 1.4F to 3.0F degree increase this century dangerous? Of course not! We just went through a similar increase in the past century.
    If you do not like the numbers, use your own, or IPCC’s, GISS’s, Hadley’s, NOAA’s or even AR4 “projections”. I really don’t care how many angels can dance on that pin. I’m comfortable that my numbers are conservative. That’s why I asked if you prefer the extremes?
    What is your point?

  68. Figbettle

    You are entirely correct Menzie. You might be interested in The Inquisition of Climate Science, by James Powell. I don’t believe that it would shake some of the true believers that you have aroused. Jonathan is right- the question about any scientific opinion is: how good is the evidence? It’s a matter of degree, whereas the evidence for religious faith is usually a yes or no situation. The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is extremely good, as detailed in the Powell book.
    I’ve always been impressed by the great Svante Arrhenius, mentioned here by Uber Snotling. Arrhenius submitted a Ph.D. thesis to the University of Uppsala in Sweden in 1884 filled with revolutionary ideas. That was the theory of electrolytes. Arrhenius noted that pure water didn’t conduct electricity nor did purified salt crystals. However, salt dissolved in water was a strong conductor. His Ph.D. thesis was rejected by his supervisors, who finally agreed to give him 3rd class honors, an award that would qualify him only to teach high school science. Arrhenius sent his thesis to great scientists outside of Sweden and was soon recognized as a true pathfinder. In 1896, he mused about the effect of burning wood and coat and made some rough calculations to estimate the effect of a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide on temperature. His estimate was close to that obtained with modern computers. he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1903. He recognized 115 years ago that atmospheric carbon dioxide had powerful effects on atmospheric temperature and he wasn’t the first to suspect this relationship, he was the first to try to quantify it.
    Stick to your guns Menzie

  69. 2slugbaits

    CoRev No serious person just looks at the mean point estimates when the central issue is tail risk. Duh! And the issue isn’t just natural variability; it’s extreme uncertainty about the parameter estimates themselves. It’s the difference between variability and Knightian uncertainty. All of the evidence suggests that the error distribution is not normal, but has a fat tail. With a normal distribution the odds of a 5 or 6 deviation event happening are virtually zero. But that’s not the case with fat tailed distributions. It’s not all that remarkable to observe 20 or 30 deviation events in a fat tailed world. Assuming no significant methane release due to small warming, a warming of only a couple degrees over the next century would probably be manageable. But there are plausible estimates at the 5% tail of a 7 degree warming, and that most definitely is not manageable. That’s a global war waiting to happen, which is why my employer (the US Army) frets and stews about global warming as a long term national security threat.
    Do you really think Gov. Rick Perry is smart enough to understand any of this?

  70. kharris

    CoRev,
    My response to you had to do with your argument. If you think my saying your argument is invalid is a personal attack, then it’s no wonder you don’t understand how science works.
    For those who haven’t been exposed to CoRev’s methods, here’s how it goes. He claims that someone else is suffering from some emotional or ethical weakness as a way of dismissing their views. The views he attempts to dismiss are generally based on evidence, which is a problem for CoRev, but does explain his tendency to stoop to, well, personal attacks. And, surprise, surprise, when I offer a close look at his argument (I learned “close reading” back in my undergrad lit classes), CoRev ducks the substance of what I have to say, and goes right back to dismissal, based on presumed emotional or ethical problems. (He uses them interchangably.)
    We can only guess at CoRev’s motives – and I’ll be happy to, if anyone is interested. Seems fair, under the circumstance. We do not, however, have to guess at his methods. They are on display for all to see.

  71. EMichael

    “Speaking of clueless buffoons, EMichael, is obviously unaware of the latest dust up regarding clouds and the GW models/modelers. A very thorough discussion can be found at Dr Spencer’s (the co-author of several related papers) site”
    CoRev
    Umm, buddy?
    Are you aware that Dr. Spencer has been forced to admit that his research you speak of is totally wrong? (not the first time for this oil company shill, who previously was a tobacco company shill)
    http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/roy-spencers-great-blunder-part-1/
    Last week, chronically wrong Roy Spencer, darling of denialists, had his butt handed to him (again) when the editor of the journal where his latest brick of a paper was published resigned.
    It’s important to note, Roy Spencer is MOST famous for being wrong – wrong in the the very areas that should be his area of greatest strength and expertise. Some readers may remember that the blaring headlines about “Science Proves Global warming wrong” have been fixtures of the denialist media for decades – and Roy Spencer has been one of the scientists perennially cited as finally “disproving alarmist global warming science”.
    http://climatecrocks.com/2011/09/07/bad-week-for-roy-wrong-way-spencer/
    You need to read more, and from actual scientists who have not existed on the payments from oil companies and tobacco companies, not to mention a creationist.

  72. EMichael

    CoRev check your sources. Spencer and his codefendant(crimes against science) have never been right about climate change.
    “In fact, as Dessler emailed me, Spencer’s “paper is not really intended for other scientists, since they do not take him seriously anymore (he’s been wrong too many times).” Here are his full comments:
    To understand this paper, you have to understand the difference, between a “forcing” and a “feedback.” Forcings are imposed changes to, the climate, while feedbacks are processes that respond to changes in, the climate and amplify or ameliorate them. So the addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by humans is a forcing—it is simply an imposition on the climate. Water vapor, on the other hand, is a feedback because the amount of water vapor is set by the surface temperature of the planet. As the planet warms, you get more water vapor in the atmosphere, and since water vapor is itself a greenhouse gas, this leads to additional warming.
    The canonical way to think about clouds is that they are a feedback—as the climate warms, clouds will change in response and either amplify, (positive cloud feedback) or ameliorate (negative cloud feedback) the initial change.
    What this new paper is arguing is that clouds are forcing the climate, rather than the more traditional way of thinking of them as a feedback. This is not, in fact, a new argument. Spencer’s 2010 JGR, paper as well as the new Lindzen and Choi 2011 paper both make this argument.
    Overall, the argument made in all of these papers to support the conjecture that clouds are forcing the climate (rather than a feedback) is extremely weak. What they do is show some data, then they show a very simple model with some free parameters that they tweak until they fit the data. They then conclude that their model is right. However, if the underlying model is wrong, then the agreement between the model and data proves nothing.
    I am working on a paper that will show that, if you look carefully at the magnitudes of the individual terms of their model, the model is obviously wrong. In fact, if Spencer were right, then clouds would be a major cause of El Niño cycles—which we know is not correct. Talk to any ENSO expert and tell them that clouds cause ENSO and they’ll laugh, at you.
    Finally, the best way to put Roy’s paper into context it is to recognize how Roy views his job: “I would wager that my job has helped save our economy from the economic ravages of out-of-control environmental extremism. I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.” (he wrote that on his blog).
    Thus, his paper is not really intended for other scientists, since they do not take him seriously anymore (he’s been wrong too many times). Rather, he’s writing his papers for Fox News, the editorial board of the Wall St. Journal, Congressional staffers, and the blogs. These are his audience and the people for whom this research is actually useful — in stopping policies to reduce GHG emissions — which is what Roy wants.
    NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt said of the paper’s findings:
    “If you want to do a story then write one pointing to the ridiculousness of people jumping onto every random press release as if well-established science gets dismissed on a dime,” Schmidt said. “Climate sensitivity is not constrained by the last two decades of imperfect satellite data, but rather the paleoclimate record.”
    Spencer agreed that his work could not disprove the existence of manmade global warming. But he dismissed research on the ancient climate, calling it a “gray science.”
    That would be funny if it weren’t tragic. So the vast paleoclimate literature is “gray science.” What disclaimer would one stick in front of Spencer’s “science” in the area of remote sensing? How about “anti-”? As RealClimate explained:
    We now know, of course, that the satellite data set confirms that the climate is warming , and indeed at very nearly the same rate as indicated by the surface temperature records. Now, there’s nothing wrong with making mistakes when pursuing an innovative observational method, but Spencer and Christy sat by for most of a decade allowing — indeed encouraging — the use of their data set as an icon for global warming skeptics. They committed serial errors in the data analysis, but insisted they were right and models and thermometers were wrong. They did little or nothing to root out possible sources of errors, and left it to others to clean up the mess, as has now been done.
    So after that history, we’re supposed to savor all Roy’s new cookery?
    That’s an awful lot to swallow.”
    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/07/29/282584/climate-scienists-debunk-latest-bunk-by-denier-roy-spencer/

  73. CoRev

    Ahhh, EMichael, what a fascinating example of how science actually should (and this example does) work in papers used on a specific scientific trail. Spencer Brasswell08 was “commented” upon with Murphy Forster10 which was used to modify the next SB paper. Spencer concludes in his blog response to the MF10 paper: “Despite the shortcomings, MF10 do provide some valuable insight, and some of what they present is indeed useful for advancing our understanding of what causes variations in the radiative energy budget of the Earth”.
    From which we saw the SB11 paper and then Dressler11 (almost paper), it’s still being revised and not yet published.
    Amazing, Dressler and Spencer may have some loose collaboration on the Dressler final. and that’s how science is supposed to work.
    It is not the “black and white/right or wrong” version you claimed with this: “Are you aware that Dr. Spencer has been forced to admit that his research you speak of is totally wrong?” Totally? Really?
    Remember the bulk of this article is about how settled is the science.

  74. EMichael

    Yes, Spencer’s paper is totally wrong. But, like real scientists, people like Dressler are going to give him the opportunity to defend his paper(your “collabration”).
    Kind of silly for anyone defending this paid cretin. As Dressler says, Spencer’s whole paper, if true, mandates that clouds are the main cause of El Nino cycles, which is a well known untruth.
    Do you really want to base your thoughts on a scientist that says:
    “I would wager that my job has helped save our economy from the economic ravages of out-of-control environmental extremism. I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.”
    Wherein lies searching for the truth? For the answer?

  75. CoRev

    E Michael asks: “Do you really want to base your thoughts on a scientist that says:
    “I would wager that my job has helped save our economy from the economic ravages of out-of-control environmental extremism. I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.””
    Actually, I prefer a scientist that considers the social ramifications of policies, versus the blind adherence to a still evolving theory.
    Your black and white/right and wrong views are typical, but simultaneously become the problem. As real science is seldom conforming.
    Most papers require some changes as knowledge surrounding the theory is expanded. That seldom makes the paper totally wrong. Claiming it does shows a level of intolerance or ignorance seldom matched in reality.
    You also claim: “…people like Dressler are going to give him the opportunity to defend his paper(your “collabration”).” Where the actuality is they are collaborating on the Dressler paper, not Spencer’s. And that is science at its best!

  76. Jan Perlwitz

    @CoRev:
    Where did you get the idea from that Dessler and Spencer have been collaborating on Dessler’s paper? Spencer has been collaborating on the refutation of his own previous paper? I very much doubt that.
    Dessler’s paper has been out for a few days:
    doi: 10.1029/2011GL049236
    http://geotest.tamu.edu/userfiles/216/Dessler2011.pdf
    Figure 2 is interesting, which shows that Spencer used the observational data set in the analysis that produced the largest discrepancy to the models, and he chose to present those models that agreed least with the observations. Why?
    The agreement with the observational data is better for some models than for others. Some of the models lie well within the uncertainty range of the observational data. According to Dessler, these are the models which produce a more realistic ENSO. Since the agreement or disagreement of the models with the observational data doesn’t seem to depend on the climate sensitivity of the models, but on the ability to reproduce ENSO or other factors, how are the results from the lagged regression analysis shown in the graphic supposed to support the hypothesis that the climate sensitivity of the models was too high like Spencer claims? It doesn’t really.

  77. CoRev

    Jan asks: “Where did you get the idea from that Dessler and Spencer have been collaborating on Dessler’s paper?”
    Here is my source: “UPDATE: I have been contacted by Andy Dessler, who is now examining my calculations, and we are working to resolve a remaining difference there. Also, apparently his paper has not been officially published, and so he says he will change the galley proofs as a result of my blog post; here is his message:
    “I’m happy to change the introductory paragraph of my paper when I get the galley proofs to better represent your views. My apologies for any misunderstanding. Also, I’ll be changing the sentence “over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming” to make it clear that I’m talking about cloud feedbacks doing the action here, not cloud forcing.””
    The link: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/09/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-my-initial-comments-on-the-new-dessler-2011-study/
    Jan, Dr Spencer does an analysis of Dessler’s pre-release paper. Here are samples, some of which cover your concerns: “3. THE UGLY
    (MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF THESE OBJECTIONS WILL BE ADDRESSED IN DESSLER’S UPDATE OF HIS PAPER BEFORE PUBLICATION)
    The new paper contains a few statements which the reviewers should not have allowed to be published because they either completely misrepresent our position, or accuse us of cherry picking (which is easy to disprove).
    Misrepresentation of Our Position
    Quoting Dessler’s paper, from the Introduction:
    “Introduction
    The usual way to think about clouds in the climate system is that they are a feedback… …In recent papers, Lindzen and Choi [2011] and Spencer and Braswell [2011] have argued that reality is reversed: clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature. If this claim is correct, then significant revisions to climate science may be required.”
    But we have never claimed anything like “clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature”! We claim causation works in BOTH directions, not just one direction (feedback) as he claims. Dr. Dessler knows this very well, and I would like to know:
    1) what he was trying to accomplish by such a blatant misrepresentation of our position, and
    2) how did all of the peer reviewers of the paper, who (if they are competent) should be familiar with our work, allow such a statement to stand?
    Cherry picking of the Climate Models We Used for Comparison
    This claim has been floating around the blogosphere ever since our paper was published. To quote Dessler:
    “SB11 analyzed 14 models, but they plotted only six models and the particular observational data set that provided maximum support for their hypothesis. “
    How is picking the 3 most sensitive models AND the 3 least sensitive models going to “provide maximum support for (our) hypothesis”? If I had picked ONLY the 3 most sensitive, or ONLY the 3 least sensitive, that might be cherry picking…depending upon what was being demonstrated.
    And where is the evidence those 6 models produce the best support for our hypothesis? I would have had to run hundreds of combinations of the 14 models to accomplish that. Is that what Dr. Dessler is accusing us of?
    Instead, the point of using the 3 most sensitive and 3 least sensitive models was to emphasize that not only are the most sensitive climate models inconsistent with the observations, so are the least sensitive models.”
    I hope you can admit that Dessler’s early release was a horrid hatchet job and personal attack, and not qualified to be called science.
    Why all the anger? I thought science is not supposed to be personal in its formal forms.

  78. ezra abrams

    when scientist talk about quark mixing angles, or resonance bonds in benzene, no one cares.
    As soon as they talk about something people care about – climate change, evolution, cancer medicine, nuclear power, we get blog posts filled, filled with 1,000s of words about what someone said about what someone said……
    In the case of nuclear power and evolution the arguments are fairly straightforward, so it is possible to keep the crazies under control {see design, intellignet, or Bachmann, vaccines}: one can point to drug resistant bacteria, or dog breeding, and establish that evolution is at least possible; similarly, one can do some simple calculation on the amt of energy in AZ in the daytime and in ND with wind, and show that nuclear power is silly (I admit, got some load storage and transmission problems there, nothing NASA can’t handle)
    But climate change is harder; the signals are low (if statistaclly robust) – I mean, ain’t no peach trees growing here in Boston.
    Further, the computer models and data sets are hideously complex – defending something that relies on PCA (principle component analysis) is a hopeless task; the crazies will always find a semi articulate guy to say the PCA is wrong, and ordianry people won’t know what to think.
    There has to be a better way to do this; dam**ed if I know what it is

  79. Bret Milner

    The burning of fossil fuels causes about 2 milion pre-mature deaths annually worldwide and about 50,000 a year in the United States. For this reason the nations of the world need to phase out the buring of fossil fuels and rapidly integrate non-polluting sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, wave, etc.

  80. EMichael

    “And where is the evidence those 6 models produce the best support for our hypothesis? I would have had to run hundreds of combinations of the 14 models to accomplish that. Is that what Dr. Dessler is accusing us of?
    Instead, the point of using the 3 most sensitive and 3 least sensitive models was to emphasize that not only are the most sensitive climate models inconsistent with the observations, so are the least sensitive models.” Spencer
    Um, Doc?
    “Spencer looked at 14 models and threw out those that don’t meet his “models suck” pre-determined conclusion.
    What Dressler does is show that the models that more realistically generate ENSO-like events, which (probably not coincidently) also generate mid-range sensitivity numbers, actually do a pretty good job of matching Spencers observational data.
    If you don’t see the difference, you’re simply refusing to open your eyes.”
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/09/resignations-retractions-and-the-process-of-science/comment-page-2/#comments

  81. mulp

    No amount of evidence can dissuade those committed to pillage and plunder economy.
    Capitalism requires too much sacrifice and the returns are too small. Better to simply burn up the natural capital produced over the past billion years and then leave the economic problems of surviving the climate and resources of a few hundred million years ago to future generations.

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