Global Land Sea Anomaly, Global Climate Change, etc.

Since my last post on government spending increase (it’s actually decreasing) was hijacked by those focused on denying the impact of human activity on global climate, I thought it useful to recap the global land sea anomaly [0]. It’s also useful to recall that on one side is Texas Governor Perry [1], and the other side the National Academy of Sciences [2]. I think that dichotomy speaks volumes.


Here’s the land sea anomaly through January 2012.


landseaanom_jan12.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 accessed 3 March 2012, and author’s calculations.

Just to remind folks of where the scientific profession stands. From
“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).


Update, 4pm: Reader CoRev insists I cherrypicked the data. Here is a 15 year window for the moving average.


landseaanom_jan12_1.gif

Figure 2: The Monthly Global (land and ocean combined into an anomaly) Index (degrees C). Red line is centered 15 year moving average. Source: NOAA NCDC accessed 3 March 2012, and author’s calculations.

Update, 5:45pm: Reader CoRev insists I am still cherry-picking at 15 year moving average, after expanding from 10 year. So here’s the 30 year centered moving average.


landseaanom_jan12_2.gif

Figure 3: The Monthly Global (land and ocean combined into an anomaly) Index (degrees C). Red line is centered 30 year moving average. Source: NOAA NCDC accessed 3 March 2012, and author’s calculations.

Word of warning — if CoRev wants a 130 year centered moving, the resulting line will be a point…


Update, noon 3/4: Reader Darren argues I should be happy with global warming if indeed it is happening (implying it isn’t), since it would mean warmer days in Madison, WI. Well, here’s some data on ice-cover on Lake Monona:


daysicecover_monona.gif

Days of ice cover on Lake Monona. Source: Climate Wisconsin.

Update, 1:45PM Pacific, 3/4: A refreshingly lucid and unhysterical take on the issue of anthropogenic climate change, and the economic response from William Nordhaus.

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123 thoughts on “Global Land Sea Anomaly, Global Climate Change, etc.

  1. CoRev

    Wow! The now tiresome strawman argument: “…the overwhelming consensus is on that anthropogenic climate change (ACC) is occurring.” Don’t remember seeing anyone denying that 1); the climate changes or 2) mankind has some influence on climate change; or 3) global average temperatures have been rising since the past glaciation; or the bulk of the research money goes to those who support those concepts which results in more published articles by more researchers.
    Moreover, you should be embarrassed by the cherry picked chart you developed. Uing a 10Yr running average adds what value Why not use this official chart: http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_February_2012.png
    or this official one: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/_nhshgl.gif
    You might notice the difference in your chart versus their charts in showing the past decade+ of data. Indeed if we look at the CRU and UAH data we get ~15 years of stable or falling temps.
    In the end nature will tell us the true meaning of ACC and man’s environmental impacts.

  2. c thomson

    Surely the issue is not whether climate change is taking place? With the world on the way to nine/ten billion people, many nasty things will happen, even if all the gomers in Texas believe otherwise.
    The issue is whether anything practical will be done about it on the humongous scale required globally. So far the answer is clearly no, regardless of the handwringing and sniveling of academics and other high minded observers.
    Possibly those concerned should cease the meaningless jabber and start buying inflatables for those living in low lying areas? Do something useful instead of talking?

  3. CoRev

    In the previous thread I referenced Fakegate and Peter Gleick: “So who is Gleick? Some anonymous cyberhacker with a grudge against climate skeptics? Not quite. Gleick is a prominent environmental activist, head of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security in Oakland, Calif. He’s also a former MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” recipient, and … chair of the American Geophysical Union’s Task Force on Scientific Ethics.
    Yes, ethics.”
    From this article: Climate madness
    Skulduggery undermines the case for global warming
    From here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-climate-20120225,0,3701177.story

  4. James

    Let me know when James Hamilton posts something about economics please.
    It may actually be in Minzie’s interest in staying a climatologist…he makes a much better climatologist than he does an economist.

  5. CoRev

    I am forever amazed at adults who are unable to do simple math, but more than able to endlessly emote over what they did not calculate.
    1) Warming shown in Menzie’s chart ~.8C.
    2) Percent of that warming from natural causes estimated at ~50% if we allow the remainder to be from GHGs, (it isn’t, and even the CO2 portion isn’t that high) we can apply the remaining warming to CO2
    3) Amount of that CO2 estimated to be from mankind ~4%
    4) US of A’ portion of the ACO2 estimated ~40%
    5) US of A’s goal to cut CO2 50%
    So if we, in the US, cut our CO2 emissions by 50% we can expect to lower the potential global average rise by .oo32C for the next century. And believers want you think that any change is worth the effort.

  6. Eric L

    Wow! The now tiresome strawman argument: “…the overwhelming consensus is on that anthropogenic climate change (ACC) is occurring.”
    That is not a strawman argument.
    global average temperatures have been rising since the past glaciation
    Rising temperatures following the last glaciation ended 10,000 years ago. In fact temperatures are cooler now than they were then, though that will likely change within the century.
    the bulk of the research money goes to those who support those concepts which results in more published articles by more researchers.
    See here. Beyond that, I just find the idea that scientists are politically motivated absurd given that results don’t shift with the political winds in this country and are consistent across countries. And what of the money available from oil companies and organizations like Heartland? (Though to be fair, they don’t really pay people to do original research so much as to promote their claims as widely as possible. Not much research comes out of their funding.)
    cherry picked chart
    What exactly are you claiming he cherry picked? Like “strawman,” “cherry picked” has a specific meaning and you can’t just use them to describe any argument you don’t like.
    Indeed if we look at the CRU and UAH data we get ~15 years of stable or falling temps.
    No we don’t. The trend in both cases is positive, see here. In general you need to be careful looking at graphs with lots of short-term variability, as we humans have a tendency to see patterns everywhere. What we haven’t seen is any statistically significant change in the trend, and warming over the past 30 years or longer fits quite well quantitatively with our understanding of how sensitive the climate is to greenhouse gases, solar activity, dust, and other factors.

  7. Bruce Hall

    Menzie,
    I’m afraid you are venturing into quicksand here. As I wrote in your last post, “This blog is excellent for discussions about the economy, but is out of its element when discussing climate science. Most skeptical scientists have not tried to refute that earth warmed slightly over the past century. They have argued that CO2… and especially the small amount of anthropogenically based CO2… is not the major player in this trend. Rather increase in CO2 is a relatively minor concomitant occurrence rather than a major causative factor.”
    The politics may seem to be settled, but the science is far from that.
    Climate models have simply been unable to either backcast or forecast changes in measure temperatures; i.e., they have been falsified. Geologically, the earth has had up to 16x the atmospheric levels of CO2 than at present with temperatures that were cooler.
    The one major impact, besides wasteful spending, that CO2 has is as plant food. It seems unlikely that we should fear that.
    I realize that you would not venture into this political quagmire except that so much of the political regulation quagmire is being built on the fraudulent and false premises of anthropogenic global warming.
    That is not to say we cannot have a national energy policy based on seeking the lowest pollution content energy, except that CO2 which is naturally occurring and beneficial has been lumped into the bucket of harmful pollution as a political expedient and because of bad science.
    It is obvious that there will be no agreement between believers and skeptics on this issue because most are only superficially educated and rely on op-eds rather than actual investigation.
    Here was the beginning of my personal investigation which led to subsequent work with Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr. of CIRES.
    http://www.whereisglobalwarming.blogspot.com/
    It is split into Data and Analysis as the first listing and Discussion and Opinion as the second section listing.
    Links cover posts from 2005 through 2010. More recent posts have not been listed, but can be found at my main blog … http://hallofrecord.blogspot.com/
    by clicking on the label “Climate Change” “Global Warming” and “Environment”.
    I have had several collaborations with Dr. Pielke as well as well known meteorologist-bloggers Anthony Watts and Joseph D’Aleo. The only ax this people or myself have to grind is that they, and I, are concerned that the so-called consensus is political in nature not scientific and that the simplification for public consumption and political maneuvering of a very complex field of study is both harmful and wasteful.
    If you wish to go further than the fields of climate science and meteorology, I can recommend the writings of several physicists who can explain why the so-call “greenhouse effect” is a misnomer and misleading. I can also recommend a Canadian geologist, Dr. Timothy Patterson, who specialty of the study of sea sedimentation has been significant in the reconstruction of climate change over geological timeframes.
    While my personal study and writing over seven years has not yet qualified me for a Ph.D from Penn State University, it has allowed me to be treated with respect and even referenced by the aforementioned.
    You can disregard my comments about economics as casual, but not my comments about climate change.

  8. bill

    There has never been a period when the climate was not changing.
    Extreme weather events are not more frequent; it is the news that is more frequent, and because of air travel and modernisation, distances are now no obstacle to TV crews.
    Pollution is killing people, reducing brain sizes, heart and lung function, etc, now in our cities. Why prattle about climate change instead of tackling an evident killer right now?
    It is perhaps a little cynical to say that the research grows in areas that are well funded, and flees areas that can cost tenureship via angry corporate donors.
    Who is brave enough to take on big corporates that push diesel particulates down our collective throats, when you can be better paid being harmless?

  9. CoRev

    EricL, the strawman argument is the statement t5ha ACC is happening. Who has said otherwise, such that it need be said at all?
    The cherry picking is in using the 15 year moving average, when the point was the past 15 years have stabilized or cooled. Can’t show the period in question when using his method. So he and you both used methods to show specific views of your preferred trend. Menzie’s chart was especially egregious since his chart was done to support his strawman question.
    Finally, your long term version short term argument is also questionable. If we fail to identify and then fail to study those change points. Studying why the changes happened is where most of the learning happens. Failure to identifying those points and claiming they are just human foibles is relyinjg on blind fait of: “in the trend, and warming over the past 30 years or longer fits quite well quantitatively with our understanding of how sensitive the climate is to greenhouse gases, solar activity, dust, and other factors.”
    That belief and understanding is represented by the GCMs and their predictions have diverging from reality.

  10. VangelV

    The warming alarmists have had their day. Even though more than $100 billion has been spent on climate change studies and related hardware over the past 25 years there is no single paper that uses empirical data to show that HUMAN EMISSIONS of CO2 have a material impact on temperature trends.
    This is not to say that humans don’t influence temperatures because between the urban heat island effect, land use changes, and soot emissions we have an impact that can easily be measured. But that impact has little to do with CO2, which is what the alarmist argument has been all about.
    And let us note that the ‘temperature’ data that is used in the reported instrumental record does not come from actual measurements. It comes from the ‘value added’ set that has been adjusted by the gate keepers at CRU and other places. If we look at the actual measurements we do not see a material change since the 1930s. While we have seen warming since 1975 that warming followed a cooling trend that had alarmists telling us that we were entering an ice age and calling for governments to ‘do something.’
    The problem with the debate is that the warmer side likes to pretend that the ‘debate’ is over without ever taking the time to have a real debate. The alarmists do not like to debate because whenever they have had debates the alarmists have done poorly. The reason is obvious. You can’t be taken seriously when you claim that you know that man is responsible because your models can’t figure out any other natural factors even as the models deliberately omit various natural factors that are supported by the empirical data.

  11. Ed Hanson

    For a well reasoned alternative view of the global warming debate, check out this presentation from Richard S. Lindzen
    Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
    Global Warming: How to approach the science.
    This presentation is in a language and at a level aimed at those like most of us, reasonable educated but without specific training in the physics of climate. That is, to those who the burden of political decisions are current and bare the economic burdens far into the future.
    Needless to say, the conclusions are quite different from Menzie’s.

  12. JW Mason

    Good on you, Menzie. The comments here are nuts. But it’s not a representative sample. The vas majority of us, throughout almost the whole political spectrum, recognize that limiting climate change is one of the great challenges of the 21st century, and we appreciate what you’re doing here.

  13. 2slugbaits

    CoRev Menzie did not use a 15 year average, he used a 10 year centered moving average. That’s how things are commonly done when you want to detrend data or identify long cycles. Many detrending techniques involve two-sided truncation; e.g., the H-P Filter, Kalman Filter, Henderson Moving Average, etc. You seem to be suggesting that it’s better to just plot data and stare at it. You might want to learn the difference between a plot of data points and a statistic.
    And talk about cherry-picking…what do you call it when you only want to talk about recent CRU data? As I’m sure you know, the CRU data is really the only data set that doesn’t show an increase over the last decade…and the folks at Hadley have explained the problems with their data.
    3) Amount of that CO2 estimated to be from mankind ~4%
    You might want to review your arithmetic. The amount of CO2 in the troposphere attributable to humans is not 4%. A good way to look at manmade CO2 concentrations is to compare today’s level of ~390ppm to what it was 250 years ago (~280ppm). And CO2 concentrations are increasing at an increasing rate. For example, it took 200 years to increase CO2 from 280ppm to 310ppm, but only 60 years to go from 310ppm to 390ppm. My arithmetic tells me that (390-280)/280 is a bit more than 4%. How about 40%?
    The issue is not global warming over the near term, it’s the effect on future generations. CO2 is a persistent GHG, so what we do today will still afflict people 100 years from now. Do you seriously think that CO2 levels of 1000ppm won’t have dire effects on future generations?
    Global warming is an important economic issue because it involves trading off welfare across generations. Reducing consumption today increases consumption possibilities for future generations. The latest RICE model (2011) estimates the social cost of carbon at $44/ton. Pretending that manmade GHG driven global warming is just a hoax only ensures that the cost increases. Worse, $44/ton is only a central tendency in a very skewed distribution. The right tail estimate is more than 4 times as high. We also have to worry that the RICE model could well underestimate the social cost of carbon because it assumes that future generations will be wealthier simply due to productivity growth. Given stagnant wage growth and income inequality it’s entirely possible that future generations will not be all that much better off than economic models like the RICE model assume.

  14. tj

    Menzie, I apologize for my post on climate change in the last thread. I thought you started the diversion, but after looking at the thread, I see you did not.

  15. 2slugbaits

    Bruce Hall When it comes to climate science I’m just an interested amateur with no credentials whatsoever; however, I have read enough physics of climate textbooks to understand that you cannot even begin to follow the science without trying to untangle systems of coupled differential equations. And like most DE’s, they resist analytical solutions. I’ve also read enough to know that you cannot understand how CO2 molecules “vibrate” without at least a little background in quantum physics. I could be wrong, but I’ve read enough of your posts to seriously doubt that you have the requisite background or training.

  16. Anonymous

    @CoRev – anything less than 17 years loses significance; so what you’re asking for are short insignificant results. Figures.
    Attribution studies have repeatedly sourced *over* 100% of global warming to GHGs. Yes, *over* 100%. Of course you’d have to read the actual scientific papers to know that and to understand why. In the meantime please feel free to share your views based in ignorance.

  17. Eric L

    CoRev, on your math…
    2) 50% is a little high… There was an increase in solar activity in the early 20th century, but nothing natural since then that would explain any warming.
    3) Here you really jump the shark… Over 100% of the rise in CO2 emissions is due to human activity. This is known for several reasons, but one is basic math — the amount of fossil fuels we burn every year is twice the increase in atmospheric CO2 observed every year, meaning nature is removing CO2 from the air, not adding it. Now I’ve seen this 4% number before, and the way people get it is by dividing human emissions by total natural emissions (mainly biological sources and outgassing from the oceans). But there’s a good reason that the amount emitted by biological sources is roughly equal to the amount taken in — because since plants form the root of the food chain the amount emitted is constrained by the amount taken in by plants. Likewise the ocean tends toward an equilibrium with the atmosphere over time, such that it absorbs about as much as it outgasses. If instead of total natural emissions you look at net emissions, it is plain that nature has nothing to do with this.
    “[...] ACC is happening. Who has said otherwise [...] ?”
    I’ve certainly run into plenty of laymen who dispute this, but no one of any repute. But I’m a little confused… in the next paragraph you try to claim that it isn’t warming anymore… why does that advance your argument if you’re not arguing that it isn’t happening?
    “The cherry picking is in using the 15 year moving average, when the point was the past 15 years have stabilized or cooled. Can’t show the period in question when using his method. So he and you both used methods to show specific views of your preferred trend.”
    My chart showed only 15 years, and it did not show cooling. What about my method is inappropriate? What would be an appropriate method to determine the trend if not linear regression?
    For an example of why you can’t just eyeball the chart and look at short time periods: From 1998 to 1999 the global average temperature dropped .4 degrees, just because we went from an El Nino phase to a La Nina. Meanwhile the 30 year trend is about .2 degrees per decade. So the year-to-year fluctuations are quite large compared to the trend over a decade. That’s why Menzie’s moving average is a good presentation of the data — it gets rid of the noise that is just weather and shows the actual changes in the climate. And his chart does show change points, real ones, and if a change point happened now eventually a chart like his would show it, without showing a constant stream of fake change points. Just because half of all years are cooler than the previous year and most years are not records doesn’t mean we’re in a change point.
    “GCMs and their predictions have diverging from reality.”
    I can’t be sure where you’ve gotten this idea, but everyone I’ve seen try to back up such a claim has done so by showing charts of less than 10 years of data compared to projections, and usually the projections are adjusted upward to match a warm start year.

  18. Darren

    Like I said, while James Hamilton is an economist first and foremost…
    …Menzie is a leftist first and an economist second.
    What is even funnier is that those who are supposedly worried about CO2 emissions are not at all worried about plastic and mercury pollution in the oceans (which indisputably ARE from human activity).
    It is all about conforming to the church of leftism, no matter how bitterly they cling to their CO2 and religion.

  19. Darren

    Actually, China’s emission of CO2 (as well as every other type of pollution) is now considerably above the US, and growing.
    So any concerns about CO2 have to begin with China.
    Too bad that leftists, in their zeal to tax the US, let the fact that they don’t actually care about CO2 emissions unless they are from the US, seep through embarassingly.

  20. Anonymous

    Bruce,
    “Climate models have simply been unable to either backcast or forecast changes in measure temperatures; i.e., they have been falsified. Geologically, the earth has had up to 16x the atmospheric levels of CO2 than at present with temperatures that were cooler.”
    If you pretend that climate models assume CO2 is the only factor influencing climate, then you can “falsify” them by showing CO2 alone can’t explain some things. But the times you are talking about happened hundreds of millions of years in the past when we know the sun was much dimmer. See this talk to see just how well known factors can explain the past climate. You cannot come close to quantitatively explaining the climate record as well as climatologists have by ignoring CO2 or assuming an insensitive climate, and indeed no climate denier has made any serious attempt to explain the paleoclimate record as a whole quantitatively. (That is to say, they either try to explain how their theory fits a single event and calculate the climate sensitivity from the temperature at two times, as you have done, or they give reasons for changes but don’t bother to show that the reasons they give would cause changes as large as those that are observed.) From where I sit it sure looks like there is a general lack of interest in actually advancing our understanding of the climate on the denial side.
    “I can recommend the writings of several physicists who can explain why the so-call “greenhouse effect” is a misnomer and misleading.”
    You can argue about what the best name for it is, but what matters is that it is real.

  21. Bruce Hall

    2slug:
    Rather than getting into a pissing contest about who has read or written what, I’ll only refer you to a primer about the so-called greenhouse effect written by physicist Lubos Motl, formerly of Harvard University:
    http://motls.blogspot.com/2007/06/realclimate-saturated-confusion.html
    Nothing is ever as simple as it first seems.
    My own perspective on the use of linear trend analysis is here:
    http://hallofrecord.blogspot.com/2009/11/non-linear-perspective-of-climate.html
    In the end, the argument is more about the willingness to spend trillions of dollars on a climate crapshoot with significant instances of improper data manipulation and outright fraud thrown into the mix. That is the economics issue.
    I can understand the fear of the future that drives many. Will the world become a desert covered by a blanket of CO2? Will CO2 cause vegetation to take over the world? Will ski resorts fail because of too little snow or will we run out of road salt because global warming is causing bigger snow storms?
    So many fears; so few answers. So, let’s just tax vapor.

  22. Eric L

    Ed,

    Lindzen is heavily funded by the oil industry, and has frequently cast doubt on the health of effects of smoking while he was on tobacco companies’ payroll. Also, he is one of the most credible scientist on the climate denial side that I am aware of; the sort that would not make the sort of claims VangeIV makes, so it occurs to me that responding to him would be a better way to spend my time than responding to less informed commenters. ;-)

    Let’s start with what Lindzen and I agree is the key issue:

    Sensitivity is a crucial issue. This refers to how much warming one expects from a given change in CO2 (usually a doubling). It cannot be determined by assuming that one knows the cause of change. If the cause is not what one assumes, it yields infinite sensitivity. This problem infects most attempts to infer climate sensitivity from paleoclimate data.

    I would only partially agree with this. You can’t for certain determine the sensitivity of the climate from one climate change where you believe you know the cause, as there may be something else going on at the same time that will cause you to be wrong in one direction or the other. But you can determine it from looking at lots of changes, because most instances will not have extra unknown factors and the unknown factors won’t all change your estimate in the same direction.

    As an example of this problem of bad assumptions leading to bad results in paleoclimate estimates of sensitivity, let’s turn to… Richard Lindzen:

    2.5 billion years ago, when the sun was 20% less bright (compared to the 2% change in the radiative budget associated with doubling CO2), evidence suggests that the oceans were unfrozen and the temperature was not very different from today’s. No greenhouse gas solution has worked, but a negative cloud feedback does.

    So the climate is so strongly self-stabilizing that a 20% dimmer sun would hardly change anything? Then how on Earth has anything changed the climate ever? Seriously, which is more plausible, that something else was warming the Earth 2.5 billion years ago, or that every climate change since then, despite lining up with causes we know about, was primarily due to causes we don’t know about? And that those causes just coincidentally were in the same direction and roughly proportional to the ones we do no about? (Coincidental, because if those other factors exist but it wasn’t coincidental that they strengthened every climate change, well that wouldn’t be very reassuring, would it?)

    For another reason to believe a dimmer sun did affect the climate, search for “snowball Earth”. Or watch Richard Alley for a broader paleoclimate overview.

    It has been possible to account for the cycle of ice ages simply with orbital variations (as was thought to be the case before global warming mania)

    This is false in two ways: for one, despite “global warming mania,” it is still recognized that orbital variations caused the ice ages; read the IPCC report. The second is, this by itself does not account for the shift. It’s not enough to say that the timing lines up, so the cause is established. Remember that crucial issue — sensitivity? The crucial question, then, is: should the causes we know about result in a climate shift as large as the one that happened? Lindzen has never attempted to answer this. If you believe his sensitivity numbers, the answer is no way; the ice ages should have been much milder than they were. Once again, watch the Richard Alley talk I linked to above, and know that not a single major climate change that has ever happened can be explained if the climate is self-stabilizing as Richard Lindzen suggests.

    Our present approach of dealing with climate as completely specified by a single number, globally averaged surface temperature anomaly, that is forced by another single number, atmospheric CO2 levels, for example, clearly limits real understanding.

    This is a great example of projection. Not only do climate scientists not assume that the climate is forced solely by CO2; Lindzen criticizes them for not doing so:

    If one assumes all warming over the past century is due to anthropogenic greenhouse forcing, then the derived sensitivity of the climate to a doubling of CO2 is less than 1C. The higher sensitivity of existing models is made consistent with observed warming by invoking unknown additional negative forcings from aerosols and solar variability as arbitrary adjustments.

    Aerosols are not an “unknown” negative forcing, we are well aware that pollution of that sort blocks sunlight. So apparently it’s supposed to be cheating to assume their predicted effect is real? And including them doesn’t just help to get the total warming right, it makes it possible to get the shape of the warming right with warming in both the early 20th century and the late 20th century and a stable period in the middle.

    The feedback factor is almost certainly not a true constant since cloud radiative properties depend on aerosols and cosmic rays among other things. If climate sensitivity is currently large, it is unlikely that over the 4.5 billion years of the Earth’s history that it would not have exceeded one, and then we would not be here discussing this.

    Has he ever heard of the anthropic principle? Yes, if we were Venutian, we wouldn’t be here to talk about it.

    Besides, the Earth did exhibit runaway feedback during the snowball Earth episodes, but even runaway feedback effects have bounds — when the Earth is entirely covered in ice, the ice stops growing, and when ice cover is confined to high latitudes, the feedback gets weaker to the point that it stops being a runaway effect.

    And now we change topics to… exploiting statistical illiteracy:

    Looking at the above, one can see no warming since 1997. As Phil Jones acknowledged, there has been no statistically significant warming in 15 years. [...] In the polarized public discourse, this leads each side to claim the other side is lying. However, Jones’ statement remains correct.

    Actually, Jones’ statement does not remain correct, but for some later start date it is true that there has been no statistically significant warming. And that will always be true. And there is no way Richard Lindzen has gotten to where he is today without understanding that, so I’m going to come out and say, just as he predicted, that he is lying. Okay, intentionally misleading, if you prefer. He said this with the intent of conning you, Ed, into believing he was presenting statistical evidence that warming has stopped, and he knows he is not doing that. Over short enough periods, the trend has always been statistically insignificant and always will be. Over longer periods it remains significant, and only statistically significant claims matter. What Lindzen needs to show here is that this alleged stop in warming is a statistically significant deviation from the trend of the previous 20 years — he hasn’t, and can’t, because it isn’t.

  23. Babinich

    Since my last post on government spending increase (it’s actually decreasing) was hijacked by those focused on denying the impact of human activity on global climate

    Who is denying that human activity influences the global climate?

    It’s also useful to recall that on one side is Texas Governor Perry [1], and the other side the National Academy of Sciences [2]. I think that dichotomy speaks volumes.

    Nice use of an ad hominem.

    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.

    Back to the infallibility of the peer review? I guess you have to protect those in your own inner circle so to speak. Let’s see… In the early ’70s there was the tying of SIDS to a heredity disorder, JAMA publishes a correction in early 2005 to their overestimation of deaths attributed to obesity. 2006 was hard on the insiders: the cloning debacle, NSAIDs reducing the risk of oral cancer, post-menopause energy expenditure, etc…

    The fallibility of the peer review process continues on today.

    http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/secondhandsmoke/2012/01/12/red-wine-fraud-charge-illuminates-peer-review-failures/

    Maybe the peer review process is not as tight as it should be due to a number of reasons?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/sep/05/publish-perish-peer-review-science

    I am amazed at the number of scientists and academics leaping to conclusions on climate change. The insiders are still sticking with the new phrase climate change and not global warming correct?

    True to the nature of scientific discovery there are a number of scientists challenging the current climate change position.

    Let the debate continue.

  24. Anonymous

    It is a sad state of affairs when bloggers and 2 percent of the science community can hold up worthwhile policy. Sad indeed.
    Bruce Hall: I think everyone is still waiting for your explanation on how, given the time an effort your claim to have put into this topic, you could be completely wrong on Professor Muller’s views.
    If we can’t rely on science, what are we left with?

  25. CoRev

    ERicL, re: the math issues, I see you have your own preferred numbers, so plug them in and tell us what is the total amount that temperatures can be impacted. We can quibble about ~50% or ~39.9 or even ~63.333333 of warming is natural. In the end we just get into comparing one paper against the other.
    The argument re: CO2 being the main GHG is false. The most prevalent GHG with a wider IR band is H2O. Without water vapor the Green House Effect (GHE) falls apart. Annual increases in CO2, naturally and man made, is ~2PPM, .0002%. So if we claim 100% of the warming is due to increased CO2, it isn’t, then we have to eliminate the other GHGs and any other man made causes. In the end we still end up with a small fraction of that ole warming.
    The argument re: charting and real versus fake change points gets truly ludicrous and hubris filed when we take a look at the planet’s history. Try this view: http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/PageMill_Images/image277.gif or this much shorter view http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/graph-2-600×422.jpg
    AS to your comment re: GCMs divergence and time frames. Since the latest IPCC Report, AR4, is the usual preferred source for most who debate using the authority argument, if the divergence is outside the error bars, then we can safely say that there MIGHT be a GCM problem. That is what Scafetta has shown: http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/scafetta_model_updated-fig-02_02_2012.png
    Furthermore, Menzie and EricL, studying the change points and determining the reasons for them is where the scientific gold lies. Changes where temperature diverges are meaningful to explain why the theory is being overwhelmed. Note: I do not say in which direction. This chart shows some historical perspective:

  26. 2slugbaits

    Bruce Hall We know that rice yields decline as night time temperatures increase. We know that yields for corn, cotton and soybeans decrease exponentially after temperatures reach a critical value. Those critical values are 84F for corn, 86 for soybeans, and 90 for cotton (“Estimating the Impact of Climate Change on Crop Yields: The Importance of Nonlinear Temperature Effects”, NBER #13799). We also know that even though crop yields have steadily increased since 1950, crop tolerance to temperature has not. Yield increases have happened because of other factors. We also know that there are no economic incentives to even want to develop more temperature resistant crops. For example, see:
    “Incorporating Climate Uncertainty into Estimates of Climate Change Impacts, with Applications to U.S. and African Agriculture,” NBER #17092.
    “Is Agricultural Production Becoming More or Less Sensitive to Extreme Heat? Evidence fom U.S. Corn and Soybean Yields,” NBER #16308
    “Inter-annual Weather Variation and Crop Yields,”
    http://www.nber.org/public_html/confer/2006/si2006/ee/schlenker.pdf
    So your comment about vegetation taking over the world is crazy. Increasing CO2 does increase plant growth up to a point, but quickly flattens out. Meanwhile, higher temperatures beyond certain thresholds reduces crop yields.
    If you’re an old retired Tea Party type, then global warming just means a little less snow, an earlier spring and maybe setting the air conditioner to “11” a few more days each year. But for most of the world and for future generations global warming means less food, more coastal flooding and more wars (that’s the Pentagon’s view).

  27. CoRev

    2slugs, provides his now threadbare argument of crop performance as affected by temperatures. He ignores the fact those crops are grown in all different climates by changing planting times and warming temperatures add area for that planting.
    There are so many other factors effecting food crop growth that temps may be the least important. BTW, many of those other factors can be influenced by man, but weather and sun, two of the most important, can not be controlled.

  28. Bruce Hall

    I think everyone is still waiting for your explanation on how, given the time an effort your claim to have put into this topic, you could be completely wrong on Professor Muller’s views.
    Anon: In 2007, I cited Dr. Muller’s website/pro-warming position twice:
    http://hallofrecord.blogspot.com/2007/02/global-warming-its-how-you-say-it.html
    http://hallofrecord.blogspot.com/2007/02/global-warming-clearer-perspective.html
    There was no doubt that he was aligned with the idea of rapidly increasing temperatures based on the data.
    In 2011, he explained why he rejected the data and conclusions:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8BQpciw8suk
    I’ve cited this three times now in these last two posts and the question still comes up about how can I misrepresent Dr. Muller’s position. Perhaps you can actually look at the links.
    Enough said. An elegant, wrong theory is still wrong.

  29. CoRev

    I see 2slugs is again bringing up his thread bare argument of study which measured optimum crop production/growth compared to temperature. Yup! Temperature matters, as does sun water and many other factors, most of which are not easily, if at all, controllable by man. Mankind adjusts planting times and locations to adjust for those climate impacts. What crop is produced in optimum conditions except for those in labs?
    2slugs then goes on to paraphrase that paragon of climate science, the pentagon.

  30. Bruce Hall

    With regard to comments about research funding for those scientists who disagree with the CO2-driven global warming theory, perhaps you should follow the money to see what the real incentive is to be either a believer or non-believer:
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/us_heartland_spending.jpg
    Indeed, follow the money and you’ll see who really benefits from what.
    VangeIV and I don’t often agree [as his comments on my website regarding politics show], but we do agree on where the economic incentive is regarding this issue.
    Oh, and if you want another government-based economic issue that incentivizes a wrong conclusion, look at the grants for dietary research pushing the new “Plate”….
    http://www.choosemyplate.gov/
    That’s the same “plate” of ingredients that filled the “pyramid” with the stuff that has fueled the type-II diabetes/heart disease crisis in the U.S. and Europe. The results of that government funding are almost as disastrous, economically, as the government-funded carbon-free energy policy will be that it is pursuing.
    It’s the old create a crisis and then have the bureaucrats come to the rescue. Well, at least we’ll have government-mandated poor health care to attempt to treat the government-pushed bad dietary advice.
    Margarine anyone?

  31. Patrick

    Speaking of incentive: the deniers are perfectly rational in a selfish sense. Why pay a heavy price to avert a catastrophe that will strike long after they are dead?

  32. jonathan

    Menzie, I’ve been reflecting on the nature of comments on this blog. This is a thank you note.
    This blog isn’t unique but is a terrific natural experiment of repeated commenters carrying on discussions on a narrow range of topics over and over. You don’t get 400 comments on a post. You don’t get many random comments from unknown people. It’s essentially a community of people repeatedly being exposed to a set of arguments and responding. That’s a cool bit of “research”.
    This blog demonstrates that facts can’t address belief structures. If you believe, you will find some way of countering any fact. The methods include distortion and, most interestingly, a sort of thumbing of one’s nose, meaning nothing but an assertion that x is true and you are wrong, so there. This assertion can be in the form of a repetition of some principle.
    We also see how the belief structure finds “facts” to use. These facts may be completely false but they fit the belief structure so they are taken as true and presented as such. Any source will do because the point isn’t what’s actually true but what fits the belief structure. Find one guy. Find one blog. Find an opinion. That’s the truth if it fits your belief structure. This guy is now THE expert you trust. We see in other cases that such experts are rejected if they recant or change. I would expect that would be case in this community. I also suspect the people who show repeated innumeracy are more relatively numerate in areas where their belief structures don’t force irrationality on them. (I’d love to test that on this population.)
    As an aside, it fascinates me how belief structures cause one to see huge gaps when the difference is small and small gaps when the difference is huge. Simple example: the European social model is considered a failure because it doesn’t grow as fast as the US but the difference in growth rates over time is small. The difference between the US (or Europe) and the USSR or Maoist China was very large but how can one make a case for a different social model based on a tenth of a point? In the other direction, a single quarter of GDP growth in Ireland is cited as proof that austerity policies work. Put aside the big tax increases in Ireland and all the other differences between what they’ve done or what’s being done in the UK and the US obsession with cutting taxes … all that counts to the belief structure is the bit of evidence it can use and the rest is discarded. The first makes a molehill into a mountain, the second makes a canyon into a tiny rivulet one can easily step over. Belief structures have real power.
    Natural experiments like this cause real problems for economic approaches that rely on rationality and optimization to build into aggregate models. This evidence supports the irrationality we see on the macro level.

  33. MarkOhio

    CoRev provides a potentially important link:
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/scafetta_model_updated-fig-02_02_2012.png
    This compares the forecasting performance of IPCC model and an alternative model developed by Scafetta (a climate change denier?). The graph seems to show that IPCC model is not consistent with the data, and the Scafetta model is more consistent with observed global temps since 2000.
    But you should read the following to get the full story:
    http://skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=1293
    Bottom line:
    1. Scafetta seems like a bullshitter, although his approach–comparing models to see what best fits the data–is correct.
    2. Recent observed global temperatures are not yet inconsistent with IPCC projections made for 2000 forward (observed temperature anomolies fall within the 95% confidence band for IPCC; CoRevs link is showing the 68% confidence band for the IPCC).
    3. And Scafetta’s ad-hoc curve fitting model is not a serious alternative to other climate models (e.g., IPCC). He uses linear and quadratic functions of time to fit the curve, without reference to any physical mechanisms to explain the trend, and then changes his model after-the-fact to better fit the data observed since 2000 (i.e., he is a bullshitter).

  34. Lee A. Arnold

    The very odd thing about the skeptics is that they haven’t noticed that the climate is a complex system and so it will NEVER be deterministically predictable, IN PRINCIPLE. The real question is what happens to complex systems in general, and then extrapolating from that to what we know about the climate. Complex systems oscillate around certain space states, then change quickly to others. One thing that appears to make the changes more frequent is forcing a variable in the system.
    Skeptics are doing the world a grave disservice by not learning more about the epistemological limitations in the methodology of science. They think they have a complaint about the limitations of out present knowledge, but they don’t know the half of it. If world temperature suddenly spikes for a couple of years and goes back to trend — a temperature spike high enough to hurt or destroy world agriculture before returning to normal — then it isn’t going to matter what caused it.

  35. Tenney Naumer

    Kuddos for attempting to inform your readers of the reality of global warming caused by ever increasing CO2 emissions, which have brought us to levels not seen for over 800,000 years. Somehow, some of your readers think that is not a problem. Oh well.
    And in the meantime the pH of the ocean is changing faster than anything ever seen in the paleo record due to its absorption of excess CO2, and I guess some of your readers will not think that is a problem, either. Oh well.

  36. c thomson

    Wonderful! Break out the tinfoil hats!
    Not a word about how to get the Chinese to stop burning coal or cows to stop farting in India. Then there is deforestation in – you pick it – and increased auto production in – anywhere.
    But if we talk loudly enough in Washington DC and pass a few rules for Vermont or Oregon it will all go away.

  37. tj

    Most (all?) of the global surface temeperature proxies are reverting to the mean while CO2 continues to increase. Thus, CO2 cannot be the dominant driver of climate change over 10-15 year periods.
    Here you can see a comparison of man-made vs natural climate forcings. Note that the natural model is more accurate.
    http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k247/dhm1353/Kaufman-1.png
    This brings us back to the real question: How sensitive is the climate to changes in CO2? It is still possible that the effect of CO2 is of sufficient magnitude to put upward pressure on the underlying trend of delta temperature.
    This is the point at which skeptics ask simple questions: Are we sure that the climate models include all the important climate drivers and that the climate drivers that are inlcuded are appropriately weighted? If not then too much of the variability in temperature is attributed to man-made carbon emissions.
    For example, the consensus is that the sun plays only a small role in climate variation. (Not seasonal variation, but long run variaiton in climate.) Recent research casts doubt on assuming away the sun’s influence. Solar factors are shown to explain a significant portion of the variation in climate that is currently attributed to man-made CO2.
    For example, Ljundquist 2010, Kaufman 2011, Cleroux 2012. Taken together, the results suggest a much larger role for the sun as a driver of climate and cast serious doubt on the wisdom of the IPCC’s assumption within their climate models that the sun has only a minor influence on climate.
    CAGW proponents would do well to understand the implications of these papers before falling back on the standard arguement that TSI is too small to have an impact on climate.
    The science is not settled, don’t be bullied by consensus. Read and think for yourself.

  38. 2slugbaits

    CoRev He ignores the fact those crops are grown in all different climates by changing planting times and warming temperatures add area for that planting.
    No, the papers do not ignore that fact. They specifically talk about the fact that farmers have to trade-off yield variability due to local weather (which is more variable) against lower yields due to climate change. The former tends to dominate the latter because of economic incentives, which means that economically efficient farmers cannot and do not adjust planting times or hybrid varieties. Farmers react to weather variability, not climate variability.
    There are so many other factors effecting food crop growth that temps may be the least important.
    Temperature becomes increasingly important after the climate reaches a critical threshold value. In any event, climate change still represents an economic cost and someone has to pay for it.
    2slugs then goes on to paraphrase that paragon of climate science, the pentagon.
    The Pentagon is observing a rule that you should take to heart as well, and that is to let trained specialists deal with technical scientific issues. The Pentagon is accepting a certain division of labor. The scientific consensus is that manmade global warming is a reality. The consensus among economists is that if the scientists are right, then economic tensions will be very powerful. And if the economists are right, then the Pentagon has to prepare for that eventuality. As I said before, I am just an interested amateur about climate science. The science and the math behind climate science is very intimidating. And I’m pretty sure that if feel climate science is over my head, then I find it very hard to see why I should take seriously those with no more than high school educations who cannot understand basic calculus nevermind systems of differential equations. Heterodox opinions are fine, but usually scientific orthodoxy gets it right. So in this case I’ll pay more attention to the overwhelming consensus of climate scientists and ignore the TV weatherman with the high school diploma.

  39. Menzie Chinn

    Babinich: You should really look up the definition of ad hominem. I didn’t make a personal attack on Governor Perry; I merely stated who associated themselves with the no-AGC view. In characterizing this as an ad hominem attack, you belie your defensiveness. Don’t be so touchy!

    Darren: I think one can be concerned about both global climate change and plastic and mercury. In fact, someday I’ll tell the story of the incoming Bush Administration’s views on how innocuous mercury was…

  40. 2slugbaits

    Eric L Over short enough periods, the trend has always been statistically insignificant and always will be. Over longer periods it remains significant, and only statistically significant claims matter.
    It’s even worse than that. What Lindzen and others have done is to absorb more and more right tail observations as we add higher temperatures. In other words, the standard errors keep moving out as we pick up more right tail observations. So it’s no big surprise that he can claim there is no statistically significant trend. This is a point that Marty Weitzman (Harvard) has made. If you use the conditional standard errors from some earlier period, then the trend is unambiguously significant.

  41. 2slugbaits

    Patrick Speaking of incentive: the deniers are perfectly rational in a selfish sense.
    This is actually a very interesting point and has some profound implications for freshwater macroeconomics. One of the assumptions in freshwater macro is that contemporary economic agents have an infinite horizon even if their own lives are finite. It’s the assumption of today’s economic agent taking account of the economic welfare of that agent’s children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. Back in the 1980s this used to be a big bone of contention. If it’s true that greedy geezer Tea Party types are indifferent to the welfare of future generations (and I think there’s a lot of new evidence to support this), then it’s a real problem for old school freshwater macroeconmoics.

  42. MarkOhio

    Re: tj link to Kaufman study.
    A link to the full study:
    http://www.pnas.org/content/108/29/11790.full
    Kaufman et al conclude that the warming hiatus since 1998 is still consistent with anthropogenic climate change. In their own words:
    The finding that the recent hiatus in warming is driven largely by natural factors does not contradict the hypothesis: “most of the observed increase in global average temperature since the mid 20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations (14).” As indicated in Fig. 1, anthropogenic activities that warm and cool the planet largely cancel after 1998, which allows natural variables to play a more significant role. The 1998-2008 hiatus is not the first period in the instrumental temperature record when the effects of anthropogenic changes in greenhouse gases and sulfur emissions on radiative forcing largely cancel. In-sample simulations indicate that temperature does not rise between the 1940’s and 1970’s because the cooling effects of sulfur emissions rise slightly faster than the warming effect of greenhouse gases. The post 1970 period of warming, which constitutes a significant portion of the increase in global surface temperature since the mid 20th century, is driven by efforts to reduce air pollution in general and acid deposition in particular, which cause sulfur emissions to decline while the concentration of greenhouse gases continues to rise (7).

  43. CoRev

    Menzie said: “CoRev: You should really look up the definition of ad hominem. I didn’t make a personal attack on Governor Perry; I merely stated who associated themselves with the no-AGC view. In characterizing this as an ad hominem attack, you belie your defensiveness. Don’t be so touchy!”
    My response, HUH!!!!! When/where did I so such?

  44. CoRev

    Menzie, BTW, since your goal appears to be to hide the past decade of the data, you are doing a mahhvellous job of it. 10, 15 and then a 30 year moving average takes away from both ends. Good job. ;-)

  45. Darren

    You would think that someone who just endured a December, January, and February in Wisconsin might want a degree or two of temperature increase. If 31 degrees can become 33 degrees mid-day, it might even melt some of the snow.
    Too bad such warming is nowhere to be seen.

  46. CoRev

    Menzie, why did you leave my name on your original comment. Now it appears to be both of us. Nope! Why so obstinate? ;-)

  47. Joseph

    Bruce Hall, have you listened to what Muller is saying currently, as a result of his Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project? As a skeptic, he went over all of the data by US and UK researchers to look for errors in their data and analysis. The study was funded by the Charles Koch Foundation.
    His results were surprising. This is what he says in an October, 2011 Wall Street Journal article titled “The Case Against Global-Warming Skepticism: There were good reasons for doubt, until now.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204422404576594872796327348.html
    In the Wall Street Journal Muller said: “When we began our study, we felt that skeptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn’t know what we’d find. Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means that those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that. They managed to avoid bias in their data selection, homogenization and other corrections. Global warming is real.
    He also said: “Our biggest surprise was that the new results agreed so closely with the warming values published previously by other teams in the US and the UK… This confirms that these studies were done carefully and that potential biases identified by climate change skeptics did not seriously affect their conclusions.”
    Why do you keep misrepresenting what Muller currently says about Global Warming based on his latest review of the research? Your old links show him as a skeptic. He has changed his mind since then based on his own analysis of the data.

  48. CoRev

    MarkOhio, I’ve read the Kaufman study, a couple of times now. Why are we obsessing over the past decade? Because it confirms some longer range cooling predictions for the next 2-3 decades.
    Looking at the temp charts we can see that it has happened in the past, and a couple more years of cooling will confirm that projection. If the projection proves to be true than we can get a better handle on CO2 sensitivity and which natural factors and their sensitivities for better over all predictions.
    Mark, BTW,using SkS is a kin to using DeSmogBlog or ThinkProgess as sources. Both are admittedly PR blogs; furthermore it takes too much work reading SkS articles to determine just how they are abusing the data/information.

  49. tj

    MarkOhio
    The main result is that sulfur emissions cancel CO2 and other greenshouse gas emissions !
    Increasing emissions and concentrations of carbon dioxide receive considerable attention, but our analyses identify an important change in another pathway for anthropogenic climate change—a rapid rise in anthropogenic sulfur emissions driven by large increases in coal consumption in Asia in general, and China in particular.
    The science is most definitely not settled !
    Accordingly, if governments reduce C02 emissions by more than sulfur emissions we risk creating a cooling climate. If we reduce sulfur by more than C02 we risk creating a warming climate. (Assuming you believe CO2 has a significant impact on climate that is not swamped by natural variability and negative feedbacks.)
    Can you now see how government’s focus on C02 is misguided at best? Do you really want to trust our policy makers with climate control? How many more important results are we missing? How many omitted variables are out there? Are we sure we have all the feedbacks identified? Some would argue we don’t even have the direction of feedbacks correct. But the science is settled.

  50. Menzie Chinn

    Darren: I have added a new graphic, to highlight that I know more about Madison, WI weather than you do. (I don’t presume to know more about the weather wherever you live.)

  51. MarkOhio

    CoRev:
    It took me about five minutes to figure out how your links were “abusing the data/information.” My reading of Skeptical Science this afternoon is at odds with your assessment (I read a lot of scientific research on my job, so I know the difference between bullshit and good science). The site provides a very good summary of the research, presented in a way that does not attack global warming skeptics (they don’t appear to have an axe to grind). If it takes you too much time to refute their summary of the research, maybe your beliefs cannot be supported by the evidence.

  52. Lyle

    It seems that also micro and firm economics by having a discount rate that is not near zero do discount the importance of the future. So it may be that economics speaks with a forked tongue here. In general its hard to worry to much about what will happen after one is long dead. (Say 60 years or so)
    Of course the other issue is that the current ideas of cap and trade are really cap and pay Goldman Sachs (government Sachs), as all the trading lets the wall street types make money after all Ken Lay wanted cap and trade so Enron could make money. If one wants anything my solution is a carbon tax dedicated to paying for health care.

  53. MarkOhio

    tj:
    Glad you read the study that you “cherry picked” earlier. Here is a good follow up read to help you see that the science is a lot more settled than you think:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models.htm
    (scroll through the list of skeptic arguments on the left gutter of the site to ease your mind on other issues)
    Do I trust policy makers with climate control? I don’t think anyone is advocating that the government control the climate, if that is the thrust of your question. But if CO2 causes externalities, it would be appropriate for the government to tax CO2 emissions to internalize the externalities. Here is a good research review on the appropriate size of that tax:
    http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/documents/Tol_impacts_JEP_2009.pdf
    My read of this article says that some proposals for a carbon tax are probably excessive. But the appropriate tax is almost certainly greater than zero.

  54. CoRev

    Menzie points out: “Word of warning — if CoRev wants a 130 year centered moving, the resulting line will be a point…” How about a 13 month moving average of the monthly data?
    As I said earlier the change points are interesting parts for study. What caused the change?
    Menzie, what’s funny is the stressing over less than a one degree change over the past century plus. Add to that heroic and costly demands to limit temp increases by the smallest of fractions. I’ll bet moving a few miles outside of Madison will get you into an area of temps within that .8C observed change. Are any of those areas environmentally frightening?

  55. Patrick

    2slugbaits: Not an economist myself … but other agents’ utility don’t typically figure into the utility function, do they? So it would be the agent’s future self and not the utility of kids, grand-kids, etc appearing in the maximization calculation.
    And, of course in the real world people die. They probably care a little about future generations but probably not so much that they are typically willing to give-up a whole lot of consumption over their lifetime for the benefit of those who will live long after they are dead.

  56. rl love

    Good conversation here. On a couple of occasions though, a blogger or two seem not to understand some rather simple facts while offering opinions on issues that are moreso complicated.
    This will proably be a ‘dah’ moment for most of the readers here, but… China has about 4 times as many people as what the US does, and, the Chinese produce much of what Americans, and the ROW, consumes; so… that the Chinese are polluting at about the same rate as Americans is not commensurable.
    The Chinese, in other words, are not causing pollution by driving their SUVs, while hauling junk to their storage units, after a recent trip to a shopping mall, while almost never venturing out of heated or air conditioned spaces.
    Ray

  57. MarkOhio

    More on Skeptical Science … from their “About Us” page:
    The goal of Skeptical Science is to explain what peer reviewed science has to say about global warming. When you peruse the many arguments of global warming skeptics, a pattern emerges. Skeptic arguments tend to focus on narrow pieces of the puzzle while neglecting the broader picture. For example, focus on Climategate emails neglects the full weight of scientific evidence for man-made global warming. Concentrating on a few growing glaciers ignores the world wide trend of accelerating glacier shrinkage. Claims of global cooling fail to realise the planet as a whole is still accumulating heat. This website presents the broader picture by explaining the peer reviewed scientific literature.
    Often, the reason for disbelieving in man-made global warming seem to be political rather than scientific. Eg – “it’s all a liberal plot to spread socialism and destroy capitalism”. As one person put it, “the cheerleaders for doing something about global warming seem to be largely the cheerleaders for many causes of which I disapprove”. However, what is causing global warming is a purely scientific question. Skeptical Science removes the politics from the debate by concentrating solely on the science.
    About the Author:
    Skeptical Science is maintained by John Cook, the Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland. He studied physics at the University of Queensland, Australia. After graduating, he majored in solar physics in his post-grad honours year. He is not a climate scientist. Consequently, the science presented on Skeptical Science is not his own but taken directly from the peer reviewed scientific literature. To those seeking to refute the science presented, one needs to address the peer reviewed papers where the science comes from (links to the full papers are provided whenever possible).
    There is no funding to maintain Skeptical Science other than Paypal donations – it’s run at personal expense. John Cook has no affiliations with any organisations or political groups. Skeptical Science is strictly a labour of love. The design was created by John’s talented web designer wife.

  58. tj

    markohio
    You pulled a quote out of the Kaufman article. I pointed out the logical conclusion that if climate models are correct, then sulfur emissions cool the atmospher while C02 warms it. How on earth can the government legislate the appropriate levels of either without risking climate calamity? !
    If you say I cherry picked the article then so be it. However, there are enough articles emerging from the fog that you cannot possibly think the science is settled. That’s my point.
    By the way, you must have missed my post in the the thread that got hijacked where in fairness, I cited the website you linked in your last post. For each of those arguements there is a rebuttal and back and forth we go.
    Here are the links from my post in the hijacked thread. I doubt you will read them, but maybe others will and realize the fallacy of “settled science”.
    This link raises doubt as to the accuracy of the climate models. Be your own judge:
    http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/guest/evans-david/skeptics-case.pdf
    If you think there is a possibility that the science is not settled after reading that piece, then take a look at this piece.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/02/why-cagw-theory-is-not-settled-science/
    Lastly, and to add balance, here is a piece from John Cook’s blog (John is a strong advocate for the man-made global warming arguement) Note that the flaw in the results of the cost-benefit analyses (Ecomonics!) they cite, is that all the results are based on the flawed (IMO) projections of the output from the models in the first link above. ( And apparently do not account for the cooling effect of sulfur emissions in Kaufman et.al. 2011 cited above!
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?n=507

  59. Eric L

    tj,
    Are we sure that the climate models include all the important climate drivers and that the climate drivers that are inlcuded are appropriately weighted? If not then too much of the variability in temperature is attributed to man-made carbon emissions.
    The first sentence is an important question. The second sentence, however, does not logically follow. Why would you assume that any factor we don’t know about must be warming the climate? It is equally possible that we are missing something that is naturally cooling the climate, and thus underestimating our contribution. The sun’s activity, for example, hasn’t correlated very well with CO2 (and has been flat or declining since the 80s), so if a result comes out saying that the sun has more influence than we thought, even if it pans out that will not mean everything else has that much less influence.
    And to answer the first question, there are at least two ways. You try to explain a lot of the climate history rather than a little, and if you can do that pretty well you probably aren’t missing a lot of unknown factors. See my post above on the Lindzen presentation. The other way is instead of trying to work backwards from climate observations, work forward from physical laws and experimentally measurable properties of the gases making up the atmosphere. If you get the same sensitivity both ways, and also if your progressively more complicated models are consistent with the simpler ones they replaced (and you can go way back with this — see Arrhenius, for example) then at some point you should begin to suspect that you’re right.
    The main result is that sulfur emissions cancel CO2 and other greenshouse gas emissions !
    This is a case in point on research showing other things affecting the climate should not give you reason to believe that CO2 has less of an effect — you’ll note above I criticize Richard Lindzen for ignoring the effect of sulfur emissions so he could get a result that suggests CO2 has much less effect than we think.
    As for whether they cancel eachother out, that was a matter of some debate in the 70s but most scientists then believed that CO2 would win out over the long run because it remains in the atmosphere longer. Of course, there are some who suggest we can make them cancel out by deliberately injecting large amounts of SO2 into the stratosphere. That seems a bad idea to me, because even if you do get the amount right to get the global average temperature right, you’ve still considerably changed the climate. The prudent thing to do is to alter the composition of the atmosphere less, not to alter it more and figure for all we know it could all balance out.
    Besides, both are harmful in ways that have nothing to do with the climate, see ocean acidification for example.

  60. MarkOhio

    tj:
    Refuting your first link (jonovo):
    1. Evans is referring to projections from outdated climate models. Latest models more consistent with past few decades, and may be underestimating some outcomes of warming. See http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models.htm
    2. Why doesn’t Evans publish his analysis in a peer-reviewed journal?
    3. See http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998-intermediate.htm
    Refuting the second link (whatsupwiththat):
    1. This is a blog post. The peer-reviewed Kaufman study shows that the anthropogenic model still works when you incorporate the unforseen impact of increased sulfur emissions from Asia. Incorporating better data on sulfur emissions also explains stabilizing temperatures in the period 1940-1970, prior to regulation of sulfur in the West.
    2. Also see the link above on climate models. The models that incorporate both nature and human factors are the only models consistent with the past century’s temperature record. The most recent decade is also consistent with these models. So according to your expert (Dr. Brown from Duke) we should not conclude that these models are wrong. In his words “they work.”
    3. The consensus of climate experts and economists is we know enough to act (http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-intermediate.htm). The science will never be 100% certain, but we know enough to suggest that human-generated CO2 causes negative externalities and should probably be taxed to reduce those harms.
    On your third link (from skeptical science). I agree 100%, and demonstrates the consensus of economists on the need to act now.
    Your reasoning about sulfur emissions reveals your ignorance, and your sloppy reading of the Kaufman study. Sulfur emissions were linked to acid rain in the 80s, and Western industrial economies began regulating such emissions more heavily in the 90s, including an SO2 trading scheme similar to cap-and-trade proposals to regulate CO2. Currently, such emissions are not heavily regulated in Asia. As elevated sulfur emissions begin imposing heavier costs in Asia, it is reasonable to assume they will be regulated there as well. That will return the globe to the CO2 induced warming trend, and provide stronger impetus for regulating CO2 in the same way we have been regulating sulfur for the past 20 years.
    If you want a cost-benefit analysis that incorporates sulfur emissions, that analysis would also need to incorporate the costs of excessive sulfur emissions. Admittedly, those costs are partially offset by reduced global warming. But I bet that such an analysis would still show that positive taxes on both sulfur and carbon pass a cost benefit test. In other words, using SO2 pollution to offset the impact of CO2 pollution is not the optimal way to limit the harms of either pollutant. And doing nothing about CO2 is the worst possible policy (as shown by your link to Skeptical Science).

  61. Eric L

    CoRev,
    The argument re: CO2 being the main GHG is false. The most prevalent GHG with a wider IR band is H2O. Without water vapor the Green House Effect (GHE) falls apart. Annual increases in CO2, naturally and man made, is ~2PPM, .0002%. So if we claim 100% of the warming is due to increased CO2, it isn’t, then we have to eliminate the other GHGs and any other man made causes.
    The amount of water vapor in the air is determined by the amount that evaporates from the oceans. That is determined by temperature. The effect of water vapor is to magnify other causes of climate change; it does not make other GHGs irrelevant.
    Looking at the temp charts we can see that it has happened in the past, and a couple more years of cooling will confirm that projection.
    Exactly how many years of “cooling” have we had, and how do you figure? The Kauffman study certainly claims no such thing. We just finished the hottest decade on record, and because there’s no discernable trend within the decade you just say “looks like cooling to me.”? My idea of “cooling” would be a return to the temperatures we had in the 80s and early 90s. Absent the greenhouse effect, there is no reason it should be any warmer now than it was then.
    For an example of what I mean by fake change points, see this. Sure, that graph shows warming, but it also looks like it leveled off toward the end, doesn’t it? But if you look at graphs continuing to the present, it doesn’t look like there was a pause then.
    When looking at a paper like Kauffman, it’s important to keep two things in mind: 1) This paper in no gives us reason to reconsider how much effect CO2 has on the climate — they conclude it has just as strong an effect as everyone else has concluded. 2) So to determine the implications for climate change over the next 100 years, is it reasonable to extrapolate the cooling influences Kauffman has identified forward 100 years? Will each solar cycle be a little bit weaker, and, more importantly, will the atmosphere get dirtier and dirtier every year at the rate it has for the past decade? (And would that be an okay outcome?) If the answer is no, then this has no implications for what we should do about CO2 — it will keep steadily accumulating until we cut back on fossil fuel use.

  62. MarkOhio

    tj:
    Your link to ocean acidification research is not a comprehensive examination of the scientific evidence. Here is a broader view of the evidence:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/ocean-acidification-global-warming-intermediate.htm
    I think it is fair to say that the link between increasing CO2 and ocean acidity is not as well understood as other parts of climate change science, but you cannot say that your link “debunks” the claim that increasing CO2 may be causing serious damage to sea life that needs to form an exoskeleton.

  63. 2slugbaits

    A couple of years ago there was a rather lively debate about whether or not the US government should fund research into the risks of deliberately seeding the atmosphere with sulfur dioxide if global warming looks like it might be out of control. The question seemed to revolve around how bad things had to get before we should consider doing something like that. Some were pretty eager to seed the atmosphere with SO2 as a kind of prophylactic that might buy us another decade of dithering. Others didn’t even want to consider under any circumstances.
    CoRev How about a 13 month moving average of the monthly data?
    You make a statement like this and then you wonder why we don’t take your comments on time series analysis seriously? It’s no wonder you found the M&M work convincing.

  64. Mayson Lancaster

    I do wonder if any of the climate liars will bother to apologize when the climate proves them to have been liars?

  65. CoRev

    Greg L, my language wasn’t very precise regarding the water vapor. But I know I didn’t say: “…it does not make other GHGs irrelevant.” I do not know what you mean by: “The effect of water vapor is to magnify other causes of climate change;…” In its gaseous form it is a powerful GHG. It also makes up well over 95% of the GHGs in the atmosphere. In its solid forms it increases albedo, and in its liquid form it is both positive and negative influence.
    2slugs, I guess the 13 month moving average doesn’t please you, but it is commonly used: http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_February_2012.png

  66. tj

    mark
    Regarding skeptical science and modeling – look at the AR4 graph. Inspection suggests the models are centered/tuned to around 1980 +/- 15 years. Notice how the wide divergence as you move backward and forward in time. Essentially, it shows the average of a large number of incorrect models tuned to fit the 1970-2000 warming.
    Regarding sulphur. You miss the point again. We are still adding variables to the models, as we should. However, it also shows the science is nsot settled.
    Eric
    Why would you assume that any factor we don’t know about must be warming the climate?
    Obviously it can go either way, e.g. sulphur. Again, if climate models incorrectly attribute variation in temperature to man-made C02, then they are wrong.
    Evidence is emerging that the climate models underweight solar, and other forcings.
    From Abreu 2010 –
    A spectral analysis reveals well-defined periodicities
    around 2300 (Hallstatt), 980 (Eddy), 207 (de Vries), and 90 (Gleissberg). We see
    that “grand minima” tend to form clusters, for which no theoretical explanation
    is known.

    http://www.eawag.ch/forschung/surf/publikationen/2010/2010/2010_abreu.pdf
    Combine that result with Cleroux 2012 who finds a ~1000 year solar cycle associated with temperature change.
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2011PA002184.shtml
    There is steady progress being made that shows that climate is driven by solar activity and hence, current climate models underwieght solar activity. The results are demonstrating that past climate variation similar to todays variation is explained by solar variation, while C02 remains constant. Work remains to fully explain how the lagged effects of solar. Again, the point is that the more we learn about solar and other forcings, the more it becomes apparent the current climate models do not correctly weight CO2 vs other forcings.

  67. Joseph

    I do wonder if any of the climate liars will bother to apologize when the climate proves them to have been liars?
    Have you ever heard a tobacco company executive apologize? Interestingly, the Heartland Institute which funds and puts out propaganda for climate deniers (funded by ExxonMobile) also worked with Philip Morris to deny the health effects of tobacco smoke. They are the go-to guys for corporate denialism. Don’t expect any apologies soon.

  68. MarkOhio

    tj:
    Glad to see you are linking to actual scientific research. But your links are not relevant to the debate.
    Your first link does nothing to show that solar activity explains global temperature anomolies. It is a study that shows how past solar activity can be proxied by measuring certain elements in ice cores. Nothing in this study showing correlations with proxied temperatures, or that these proxies do a better job explaining temp changes than GHGs (proxied or measured).
    Your second link is a study about reconstructing the paleoclimate off Cape Hatterus. What the hell does that single location have to do with global climate science?
    Here is the relevant science, which shows: “In the last 35 years of global warming, the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. Sun and climate have been going in opposite directions. In the past century, the Sun can explain some of the increase in global temperatures, but a relatively small amount.”
    See http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming-advanced.htm

  69. GregL

    CovRev,
    I’ve given up trying to have a fact based conversation with you about ACC; you’re too vested in denial. You were responding to Eric L.

  70. tj

    markohio
    You have to be able to put 2 and 2 together. The first article demonstrates a number of periodicities in solar activity. The second article shows the link between one of those periodicity’s and temperature variation. In other words, if the science is settled then we should already know about the strength of these relationships, but we don’t so the science is not settled.
    As the line of research grows, additional reconstructions from various points around the globe reveal the global pattern. Isn’t this how much of the data for the hockey stick began?

  71. CoRev

    GregL OK. I pulled a Menzie. But Fact-based? If there is any point to be made the facts are in question. That’s SCIENCE!
    It takes only one high quality reproducible paper to falsify a theory. I don’t know if that paper is out there today, because it hard to filter the defensive reaction we are seeing from the pro-AGW community. Yes, that’s Gleick again. Those who rely on studies based on paper volumes, that’s you Menzie, are doing us all disservice. Science is never settled!
    At least since CG I & CG II more contrarian papers are being published. Now let’s allow the scientists confirm or correct them. That was not happening, or happening only to a minimum, since those papers were not allowed to be published.
    So GregL, as to the basic facts we would probably violently agree, but the interpretations of those facts we may debate. Moreover, the sensitivity issues are the core of the debate and that’s to where we nearly always go, even when it is not directly stated.

  72. uber_snotling

    There have been mentions in this thread that China’s output of GHGs is now greater than the US and therefore the problem must be address in other countries now.
    Unfortunately, this ignores the persistence of atmospheric GHGs which typically last for years to centuries. US cumulative emissions over the last 100 years are 3 times that of China. As such, we are still responsible for the largest fraction of total GHGs and are morally culpable for “cleaning it up” first.

  73. 2slugbaits

    CoRev 2slugs, I guess the 13 month moving average doesn’t please you, but it is commonly used:
    I didn’t say it wasn’t used, but when it’s used it’s to tease out cyclic behavior and not trend behavior. Look at the chart you linked to…UAH is clearly using it to identify medium term cyclic effects and not long term trends. No one in their right mind would use a 13 month centered moving average over a 130 year period in order to identify a trend. A 13 year centered moving average, yes, but not a 13 month average.

  74. CoRev

    2slugs, so why would I like to see the cyclical behavior after chastising Menzie over hiding the past decade+. Are we entering even another cooling cycle? Not from Menzie’s three charts, and even your 13 year offering, but the trend is clear from all of them. From our many prior discussions why would you think the trend was in question?

  75. binky the bear

    Upton Sinclair’s comment about how you can’t convince a guy of something he’s paid not to be convinced of is a good start for both the disappointments in economics and for the bonkers wildhaired frenzy of AGW denialists, who move like amoebas or tobacco lobbyists to shift their arguments around. In the meantime there are pipelines full of oil and natural gas a-burning and unit trains of coal moving from the Powder River and West Virginia and elsewhere, winding their way into the power plants for burning in the thousands of tons at a time. No way THAT could have any effect on anything.

  76. Stormy

    As a former writer on Angrybear, I watched with dismay CoRev’s knee-jerk denial that anthroprogenic global warming is a reality. He will ignore Arctic iceloss; he will ignore acidification of the oceans; he will ignore the growing threat of flash floods in the Himalayas; or the dramatic rise of atomospheric CO2….he will ignore simply everything. I could continue…but what is the use?
    There is no possibility that CoRev can be persuaded…none. We have before us the ultimate true believer. Or maybe he is just a shill for the oil companies. I would not be surprised.
    He will hijack any intelligent discussion on how economically to deal with global warming.

  77. Anonymous

    Bruce Hall suspects that Breitbart was murdered by Obama’s people. Let’s remember that as we read his posts.

  78. CoRev

    Stormy, my friend, why the anger? Where and when have I in this article: “CoRev’s knee-jerk denial that anthroprogenic global warming is a reality.”
    Where in this thread did this come from: “He will hijack any intelligent discussion on how economically to deal with global warming.” Remember, we are talking about a total increase of .8C in the past century.
    BTW, I provided the numbers to determine just how much a 50% reduction in US CO2 output would produce in lower temps in the next century. How much is that small fraction of reduction worth?
    If it is so important, move a few (and I mean just a few) miles further north. You’ll get more than the same effect.
    Stormy, as to my understanding, yes it is warming ~.8C/century. Yes, some of it is anthropogenic. Yes, some of it is from GHGs (including CO2). NO, the catastrophic predictions are not happening. No, the GCMs do not forecast well. They are woeful at handling clouds and other forms of H2O. They are diverging from reality. Just look at the AR4 predictions. No, we do not know the climate sensitivity to doubling CO2, and the many other forcings and feedbacks (some still to be defined.) Without H2O, the number one GHG, the GHE is severely diminished, so why are we trying to manage CO2. (That’s meant to be rhetorical.) Yes, we are in a very long range warming period, since the last glaciation. During that period we have had cyclical fluctuations up and down. The reason for those fluctuations are not well known other than they can not be solely related to CO2. CO2 has also had fluctuations which in the very long (millions of years) proxy studies have been opposite of warming. Yes, CO2 is correlated with post glaciation warming with an ~800 year lag time. Warm oceans out gas, cold oceans hold more CO2, so it’s no surprise, but many early AGW proponents made that a causation.
    There’s so much more, but as one “ultimate true believer” talking to another, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
    Hope you are feeling well.

  79. Eric L

    TJ,
    You’re putting 2 and 2 together and getting about 20. You realize that climate scientists know now and have long known that variations in solar activity affect the climate, right? Where do you get this idea that the papers you cite say we have the relationship between the sun and the climate wrong? All they claim is that we can detect solar fluctuations and their effects further in the past than we were able to study them before. Where are you imagining these implications about CO2? They’re presenting new data extending the solar record through a period of time when CO2 hardly fluctuated. Neither suggests any climate shifts previously attributed to CO2 were actually due to solar fluctuations. Neither suggest that the sun’s influence is stronger than we thought — they don’t even attempt to quantify how strong its influence is!
    Papers that are not about CO2… are not about CO2.
    As for your graph, here is the equivalent for solar:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1870/mean:60/normalise/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1870/mean:132/normalise
    Doesn’t look at all like temperature for the last 70 years. That’s because the sun, like CO2, is not the only thing that affects the climate. But solar fluctuates up and down within a fairly narrow range, while CO2 will keep going up for as long as we continue as we are.
    Generally when combining all the factors climatologists assume a Watt is a Watt, that if CO2 causes an extra W/m^2 (averaged over the surface of the Earth) of infrared radiation to the surface, it has about the same effect on average temperatures as an extra W/m^2 of sunlight absorbed by the surface (which could happen due to the sun getting brighter or the surface getting darker, say, due to shrinking glaciers). That basically works. See the red line and the black line on this chart:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Why-The-Hottest-Decade-Was-Not-Hotter-.html

  80. c thomson

    Magnificent! You couldn’t make it up! Congratulations to all concerned. Both sides interact perfectly in convincing the most hard core believer in progress that humans are toast.
    What a debate! Even without hot air charts, our certainty that all posting have room temperature IQs is complete.

  81. tj

    Eric
    I agree S02 has a cooling effect, but the question remains regarding the sensitivity of global temp anomalies to changes in man-made C02.
    Here is a paper that suggests all warming since the 1600 can be explained by solar factors. There are others that claim 1/3, 1/2, etc. Note that the periods where solar fails to explain recent changes in temperature are the same periods in which S02 has spiked. Thus, one can make the same claim about solar as skepitical science make about CO2 and the return of warming once Asia stops emitting so much S02. (Decades?)
    http://www.cdejager.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/2009-episodes-jastp-71-194.pdf
    Here is another reason for variation in cloud cover (and hence albedo and temperature) that has nothing to do wiht CO2, but might amplify the cooling effect of S02.
    Further, it appears that in addition to more clouds from more sulphur and hence an increase in albedo, there is also a link to a gamma effect.
    In experiments where ultraviolet light produces aerosols from trace amounts of ozone, sulphur dioxide, and water vapour, the number of additional small particles produced by ionization by gamma sources all grow up to diameters larger than 50 nm, appropriate for cloud condensation nuclei. This result contradicts both ion-free control experiments and also theoretical models that predict a decline in the response of larger particles due to an insufficiency of condensable gases (which leads to slower growth) and to larger losses by coagulation between the particles. This unpredicted experimental finding points to a process not included in current theoretical models, possibly an ion-induced formation of sulphuric acid in small clusters.

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1202.5156v1.pdf
    These papers have implications for the sensitivity of the climate to man-made C02 and the assumed feedbacks.
    Again, the point is that the science is not settled.

  82. CoRev

    Since the believers continue to think that the “science is settled”, and with that view there should be little to no questioning of the basic tenet, Green House Effect, we have this older study.
    In it they conclude: “Based on our findings, we argue that 1) the so-called atmospheric greenhouse effect cannot be proved by the statistical description of fortuitous weather events that took place in a climate period, 2) the description by AMS and W?MO has to be discarded because of physical reasons, 3) energy-flux budgets for the Earth-atmosphere system do not provide tangible evidence that the atmospheric greenhouse effect does exist. Because of this lack of tangible evidence it is time to acknowledge that the atmospheric greenhouse effect and especially its climatic impact are based on meritless conjectures.”
    The age of this older study is ~3 months. It can be found here: http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=9233
    Remember it is a settled science.
    Just for Stormy, this paper has not changed my views as stated previously above.

  83. Bruce Hall

    I left this thread because it was becoming worn, but when I looked at the comments today, I saw this by “Anonymous” [very brave on your part]:
    Bruce Hall suspects that Breitbart was murdered by Obama’s people. Let’s remember that as we read his posts.
    Posted by: Anonymous at March 5, 2012 06:40 PM

    Uh, no. You are referring to my post:
    http://hallofrecord.blogspot.com/2012/03/andrew-breitbart-died-of-natural-causes.html
    “Why the hurry to get an official determination of “natural causes” in Breitbart’s death and a prolonged investigation into Houston’s death? Did Whitney Houston have enemies that could have caused her death? Not likely. Did Andrew Breitbart have enemies that could have caused his death? Quite possibly. There is at least as much reason to substantiate the assumption of “natural causes” for Breitbart as to determine the cause of death for Whitney Houston.
    Perhaps the person with the most to gain from Breitbart’s death is a resident of the White House… given the threat of some poisonous videos of that resident’s college years. But Breitbart’s death will not prevent the videos from being released, so it is truly a stretch to think that foul play was involved. Regardless, a definitive autopsy and testing should rule out that possibility. Something a quick “natural causes” verdict will not. Otherwise, there will always be the thinnest film of doubt.”
    This post was in response to many from others who were speculating about Obama’s involvement and pointing out that if as much care were taken for an official autopsy ruling with Breitbart as with Houston, even the most remote conspiracy speculation would be removed.
    Nice cherry picking the words “Anonymous.”

  84. MarkOhio

    tj:
    The first paper you cite is very interesting and relevant (thanks for the link). Here is an unpublished commentary, pointing out some difficulties in the study you cite: reviewer could not reproduce the results reported in the paper (not sure why this was never published … seems like it should be).
    http://home.kpn.nl/g.j.komen/zon.pdf
    Here is another paper, that also looks at the solar magnetism issue, and concludes that it may be an important factor, as well as CO2. Turns out that the two series (solar magnetism and CO2) are coorelated, so not easy to accurately estimate relative contributions (collinearity).
    http://journalofcosmology.com/ClimateChange110.html

  85. tj

    An interesting article from NASA/GISS.
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2011/
    However, the most relevant comparison of the solar forcing is with Earth’s energy imbalance, 0.58±0.15 W/m2 (Hansen et al., 2011), because the combined effect of all forcings is less than that of greenhouse gases alone, and much of the greenhouse gas forcing has been “used up” in causing the warming of the past century. It is apparent that the solar forcing is not negligible in comparison with the net climate forcing.
    The underlined part of the passage highlights the oftern overlooked fact that eventually the atmosphere becomes saturated with CO2 so that increases in CO2 matter little with regard to additional temperature change.
    To be fair, the article suggests a return to warming as La Nina transtions to El Nino and solar activity increases. Note that there are those who predict a lower maximum for Solar Cycle 24 and relatively low solar activity for the next 30 years. http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC7a.htm
    We should hope there are no large volcanic eruptions during this period, (which are known to cause global cooling), or we may endure a few decades of record cold.

  86. T-Paine

    Please continue to send huge piles of green money to save the environment to Boulder Colorado…..I use my share to fly all over the planet on great vacations and pay for the gas in my SUVs. You NEED to send the money to me to save the world, because it is settled science.
    pura vida and solyndra hugs to all

  87. 2slugbaits

    CoRev I don’t know if you actually read the paper you linked to. I suspect not. You wasted my time. The paper was amateurish. Even the tone was non-professional. Checking the references you will find that many of the articles identified as having been published in a peer reviewed journal were in fact no more than “letters to the editor” that drew jeering replies from actual scientists rather than astroturf scientists funded by Sen. Jim Inhofe (OK-R). There was a lot of review and discussion of the points of difference, but very little actual argument or analysis. Just a lot of he-said-she-said stuff. And the bit about statistical inferences was embarrasing. Gee…did you know that the standard deviation is the square root of the variance and is something that is used to test for statistical significance??? I found that little note especially helpful. I was so glad they included that little explanation in what pretends to be a professional science journal.
    Your linking to this paper proves what I’ve been arguing for a long time. It doesn’t really matter that a lot of these astroturf organizations put out a bunch of rubbish because their real audience is to provide something with the veneer of serious academic research. It gives the hoi polloi a sense of “you’ve got your study and I’ve got mine, therefore my opinion is just as good as yours.” We see the same thing in economics, with Heritage Foundation putting out junk glossy brochures filled with economic nonsense. It doesn’t contribute to intellectual understanding, but it does provide GOP senators with talking points and a “study” to “prove” their point.

  88. tj

    Menzie A big DUH right back at ya. Why is the NH warming, while the SH is cooling? Wouldn’t the average be surrouned by more or less random temperature variation? Looks like a lot of patterns on that map to me. If you explain the pattern and it does not involve man-made CO2 that is “well mixed” throughout the atmosphere, then you have just debunked the entire man-made CO2 story. Settled science?

  89. c thomson

    Majestically imbecile! Like a food fight in the middle school cafeteria.
    Note the recent M&A deals involving coal and then decide what is happening.

  90. CoRev

    c thomson, your comment is entirely too cryptic and unsupported. If you wish to make a point at least provide the link for your data if not the conclusion. What is happening? Why does it matter? M&As matter only for coal but not the other energy resources or even other industries?
    Menzie said: “The global average was posited to rise, with variation across the globe, with increased volatility.” with the same kind of unsupported conclusion as c thomson. Who, what, and where, and what does increased volatility mean? Frequency, rates of change, or some other effect?
    BTW, Dr Craig Loehle has an interesting counter to most of the US AGW hysteria here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/08/climate-change-impacts-in-the-usa-is-already-not-happening/
    Enjoy it!

  91. BA

    “Why is the NH warming, while the SH is cooling? Wouldn’t the average be surrouned by more or less random temperature variation?”
    No, climate models and data both show climate change with a lot of geographic variation. The NH is not a mirror image of the SH — it has more land area, for one thing, where warming has been more pronounced. And the Arctic differs from the Antarctic in many fundamental, climate-relevant respects.
    Political pseudo-science sources like WUWT or GWPF give a distorted view of the science; that is their purpose. Even when they are pointing toward real research, it will have been cherry-picked and spun to fit the political story.

  92. tj

    BA
    who says –
    The NH is not a mirror image of the SH — it has more land area, for one thing, where warming has been more pronounced
    Did you even look at the map and the article? Don’t let the facts get in the way of ‘consensus’!
    The map only shows land stations ! If I may be so bold as to quote Menzie DUH!
    Why are land stations warming in Europe and Asia while land stations in South America, South Africa and Australia are cooling?
    You also say–
    The NH is not a mirror image of the SH — it has more land area, for one thing

    So let me get this straight. More of the NH is land than the SH, and land in the NH is warming while land in the SH is cooling, and warming has been “more pronounced over land”, but the globe is 70% water. However, we attribute this “pattern” to man-made CO2, which is claimed to be “well mixed” in the atmosphere.
    (The “pseudo-science” jab raises a red flag. That’s what people say when the facts get in their way.)
    ummm…..the science is settled?

  93. BA

    tj: “Did you even look at the map and the article?”
    Yes, and I also checked what the scientists who work with those data are saying, instead of relying on the political blog you favor. Northern, southern and tropical temp trends as summarized by NASA, for instance:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/
    “So let me get this straight.”
    You can’t get it straight by trusting pseudo-science sources. They will tell you what to believe, but will not explain why the great majority of active scientists in the field believe otherwise.
    I recommend reading the IPCC reports, even if you’ve made up your mind they must be wrong, to learn a little more about what scientists actually are saying. For example, chapter 3 of the AR4 WG1 report would answer some of your questions.

  94. CoRev

    BA said: “You can’t get it straight by trusting pseudo-science sources…. I recommend reading the IPCC reports… For example, chapter 3 of the AR4 WG1″ Really? 30%+ was gray/non-peer reviewed material from advocacy grops. Worse the EPA ruling was largely based upon this document’s materials.
    Sorry, BA, appealing to compromised authority is no argument.

  95. BA

    I read scientists writing in their areas of expertise, CoRev. You cite bloggers who spin science in ways that agree with your politics.
    Care to comment on that blue and red map I was unimpressed with? Can you work out (as tj could not) what it actually shows?
    “Really? 30%+ was gray/non-peer reviewed material from advocacy grops.”
    30% in the AR4 WG1 report? What’s your source for that, CoRev?

  96. 2slugbaits

    CoRev Regarding your quack paper. Figures 7 and 8 are clear distortions. We all know about eliptical orbits and the precession of the Perihelion, but the way they display it is patently dishonest and exagerated. It misleads the naive reader into thinking their case is stronger than it actually is. Figure 14 is also dishonest. Notice that they insist upon a 30 year period in order to define climate change, and then they pick 1960-1990. And then they plot CO2 and temperature (CO2 in levels and temps in anomalies!) and triumphantly claim that the time series evidence does not support global warming. This paper wasn’t written 20 years ago, so why would they pick 1960-1990. Why not show two 30 year periods (1950-2010)? Then they whine about various definitions of the greenhouse effect. Surely they know that those definitions were only meant to provide people with an intuitive sense. Would you rather the AMS and WMO offer a technically accurate definition complete with all the gory math supporting the quantum physics that describes the vibratory states of the CO2 molecule? Look, everyone knows that the “greenhouse effect” in terms of climatology is only an analogy and should not be taken literally. But the authors of the paper seem to think that they’ve scored great points by showing that a physical greenhouse warms plants in a way that is different from trapped CO2.
    There’s also a serious plagerism issue here. Read this line in their paper:
    “…to characterize the climate of locations, regions or even climate zones by mean values and higher statistical moments like variance (or its positive square root, called the standard deviation), skewness and kurtosis.”
    and then compare it with this from a standard textbook on the subject (The Physics of Climate):
    “This definition of climate includes the more narrow traditional concept of climate based on the mean physical state of the climate system. The climate can then be defined as a set of averagd quantities completed with higher moment statistics (such as variances, covariances, correlations, etc.) that characterize the structure and behavior of the atmosphere…”
    Coincidence or borderline plagerism? You decide.
    And since they mentioned kurtosis, and since you asked Menzie about increased volatility, it’s been awhile but a long time ago I seem to recall reading something that Menzie wrote about the relationship between leptokurtic (high kurtosis) distributions and conditionally heteroskedastic errors (i.e., volatility clustering).
    I could go on, but this is long enough and quite frankly the paper you linked to is a joke. It reminds me of what Paul Krugman once said about Newt Gingrich….a stupid person’s idea of a smart person. This paper is a non-academic’s idea of what solid academic research looks like

  97. MarkOhio

    CoRev/tj:
    You both seem to be impaired in your ability to process evidence and assess the truth of claims.
    To wit:
    CoRev’s link to noconsensus.org: I won’t quibble with the assessment of peer-reviewed references in the IPCC AR4. But this evidence does not support the claim that the IPCC AR4 is biased or does not accurately reflect the state of the science. It may show that the IPCC chairman does not place as much weight on peer-reviewed evidence as he claims. So what? Plenty of other assessments of the science come to the same conclusions as the IPCC AR4: global warming is real, it is mostly caused by human activity, highly likely that global temp will increase by at least 2C by end of century, this temp increase will likely result in significant costs, taxing carbon emissions would be an effective way of accurately reflecting the social cost of carbon use.
    tj’s link to nature.com: this is a story that the IPCC report was wrong about Himilayan glaciers, the IPCC chairman has ties to companies that may benefit from reduced carbon emissions, and the IPCC review process could be improved. Again, even if true, this evidence does not support the claim that the IPCC report does not accurately reflect the science of climate change (Himilayan glacier error notwithstanding). But more to the point, you don’t need the IPCC report to assess the science; plenty of other published reviews of the science are available, and they all say the same thing: global warming is real, it is mostly caused by human activity, highly likely that global temp will increase by at least 2C by end of century, this temp increase will likely result in significant costs, taxing carbon emissions would be an effective way of accurately reflecting the social cost of carbon use.

  98. BA

    CoRev, speaking of bias, you’ve cited as your source a blog by a non-scientist, who headlines her (false) thesis “There Is No ‘Scientific Consensus’ on Global Warming.” And who generated these numbers through a “citizen audit” by volunteers to help support the already-stated conclusion.
    But even through this intentionally biased process, the report and chapter I cited (AR4, WG1 ch3) is asserted to be 96% peer reviewed.
    Where does Ms. Laframboise claim that all the “not peer reviewed” citations come from “advocacy groups?” Or was that an embellishment you added?

  99. CoRev

    BA & MarkOhio, defending the AR4? AR4 may have been the worse of the lot as far as IPCC reports go. I dunno because I don’t think they have been compared one to the other. Regardless, AR4 was filled with errors and Grey materials. The Himalayan glaciers being just one of the most egregious. I don’t remember the count anymore, but it was rising quickly.
    Mark, didn’t accurately represent the state of the science since it refused to include several non-supportive reports. Perhaps CG I & II are ignored by you, but for the average person it was incontrovertible evidence of bad action from the major AR4 authors. They have lost credence and so has their science.
    AR4 is now over 4 years old, and the science has changed somewhat, but nature has changed even more so. The temperature divergence is getting obvious and appears to be conforming with earlier trends. That fact alone adds doubt to the ability of the GCMs and consequently the projections from them.

  100. Sean

    Wow! Simply, wow. I really don’t know what Menzie posted that was so controversial. To me, I just see a lot of interesting data which suggest anomalous activity with respect to our climate. Not sure it warranted a thousand comments, but I respect your post nevertheless, Menzie. I grew tired at just observing how many posts CoRev had (and therefore gave up at about the noon on March 4 mark), so my only advice would be, “CoRev, please go outside. It will probably lead you to a life of not just arguing in the blogosphere. Enjoy this warming climate we’re having!” Case in point….
    Posted by: CoRev at March 3, 2012 12:16 PM
    Posted by: CoRev at March 3, 2012 12:39 PM
    Posted by: CoRev at March 3, 2012 01:43 PM
    Posted by: CoRev at March 3, 2012 05:35 PM
    Posted by: CoRev at March 3, 2012 06:11 PM
    Posted by: CoRev at March 4, 2012 05:19 AM
    Posted by: CoRev at March 4, 2012 07:02 AM
    Posted by: CoRev at March 4, 2012 07:46 AM
    Posted by: CoRev at March 4, 2012 11:16 AM
    Posted by: CoRev at March 4, 2012 11:21 AM
    Posted by: CoRev at March 4, 2012 11:42 AM
    Posted by: CoRev at March 4, 2012 12:35 PM

  101. BA

    CoRev believes all of the talking points, as a substitute for knowing any of the science. But for others who might be curious about why most scientists think that human activities are changing climate for the worse, the IPCC AR4 WG1 (Physical Science) report remains a good place to start. It’s right here:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/contents.html
    Contrary to what CoRev declares, the report is still widely respected and cited by working scientists. And that embarassing Himalayan glaciers 2035/2350 typo occurs nowhere in the thousand-page WG1 report. It’s in one paragraph written by a non-glaciologist for the WG2 report, which is also about a thousand pages long.

  102. tj

    I notice 2 tactics that are common in the climate debate: (1) personal attacks (against corev aboove) (2) steer the debate away from the issue. (e.g. BA – “human activities are changing climate for the worse.”)
    The issue is the degree of sensitivity of global temperature change to changes in the concentration of man-made CO2 in the atmosphere. This is the point on which the “science is settled” debate rests. This is the point on which the EPA has declared CO2 (aka plant food) a pollutant and slapped the threat of fines and other penalties on companies who produce “too much” CO2.

  103. Lilith

    Thanks for braving the predictable poisonous comments, and for keeping the subject on the radar screen. My brother is a research physicist and from what he says, the scientific community’s opinion is just what you say it is. Of course the Neo-cons are in denial here too, going so far as to complain that the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (consistently rated as one of the world’s best non-English-speaking universities) has been taken over by the Greens… It is quite amazing what cerebral contortions people can get up to.

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