The Oregon Petition

The Oregon petition seems to be getting a small revival in the press and blogosphere lately, including in the comments here. I don’t have a guide article for that, though I suppose I should. So much has been written about it, I don’t know if I have anything original to say.


Some example critiques are from Scientific American:

Scientific American took a random sample of 30 of the 1,400 signatories claiming to hold a Ph.D. in a climate-related science. Of the 26 we were able to identify in various databases, 11 said they still agreed with the petition — one was an active climate researcher, two others had relevant expertise, and eight signed based on an informal evaluation. Six said they would not sign the petition today, three did not remember any such petition, one had died, and five did not answer repeated messages. Crudely extrapolating, the petition supporters include a core of about 200 climate researchers – a respectable number, though rather a small fraction of the climatological community.

and John Cook’s Skeptical Science:

That humans are causing global warming is the position of the Academies of Scien ce from 19 countries plus many scientific organisations that study climate science. More specifically, 97% of climate scientists actively publishing climate papers endorse the consensus position.

A newer article from Information is Beautiful takes the numbers at face value and gives a great visual representation of just how large (or not) the number 31000 is in this context.

But by far the most compelling tear down of that fraudulently conceived and promoted document is one of greenman3610’s latest Climate Crocks of the Week:

Really good stuff, no? (Did everybody catch the archival footage of Lord Monkton dancing near the end?)

Also check out Denial Depot’s “me too” post on the outright quackery of one of the petition’s illustrious signatories! Who knew “climatology science” was so wrong…

142 thoughts on “The Oregon Petition

  1. Skip:
    “Just to clarify: Were you/are you saying this graph substantiates your statement I cited–the one about the IPCC and the MWP?”

    Other than the fact that it has a contracted horizontal scale, compare the red one in wiki with the one that I gave you. We know that the blue one by Mann is a global reconstruction. The black one by Moberg is a global reconstruction. William Connelley, who is a warmer, tells us that it came from IPCC 1990, figure 7.1c. Just exactly what are you looking for, skip.

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  2. Mal Adapted:
    “I just took a look at Tilo Reber’s website. There’s now more than sufficient evidence to place him in the unskilled and unaware of it* category also.”

    If that is your idea of a technical analysis, then you definitely belong in your own shoe box.

    Of course the most unskilled and unaware of it people on the planet are the ones who read a piece of pop psychology and then consider themselves psychology experts, ready to go and categorize the world.

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  3. Tilo
    Would it help if I repeated my call (once again) for people like yourself to actually DO YOUR F*#@ING RESEARCH before posting here, and not rely on blog posts and news articles??

    Well, lets go and have a look at your post #92, where you link to this article in the Guardian:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jan/29/water-vapour-climate-change

    If you read the article, it claims that a paper published in “Science” on 29 January that:
    “…Scientists have underestimated the role that water vapour plays in determining global temperature changes, according to a new study that could fuel further attacks on the science of climate change….”
    It further claims:
    “…The new research, led by Susan Solomon, at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who co-chaired the 2007 IPCC report on the science of global warming, is published today (ie 29 January) in the journal Science, one of the most respected in the world….”

    Well, unlike you it seems, I actually read the ‘Science’ issue of 29 January, and guess what, THE NEWSPAPER ARTICLE IS A COMPLETE FABRICATION!!!!

    The article in ‘Science’ was not authored by Dr Susan Solomon, it was authored by Alan Robock, Martin Bunzl, 2en Kravitz, Georgiy L. Stenchikov, and is entitled “A Test for Geoengineering”. The paper relates to testing of aerosols in the stratosphere to combat climate change, and does actually reference several works by Susan Solomon, the most recent of which was published in Science in August last year and was entitled “Risks of Climate Engineering”. There is no article in the current issue of Science authored by Dr Solomon.

    In Dr Solomon’s paper in August, she states, inter alia:

    “…The 20th-century climate record shows the different effects of shortwave and longwave forcing on temperature and on precipitation. Global surface temperature responds in a quite straightforward way to changes in the energy budget, irrespective of whether shortwave or longwave radiation changes are involved. Thus, temperatures in the latter part of the 20th century were dominated by anthropogenic warming (interspersed with short-term cooling after volcanic eruptions) (14)…”

    So once again, go away, do your research, then come back when you have something interesting and relevant to say. Alternatively you could keep doing what you are doing, and making a complete fool of yourself for me and others to laugh at.

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  4. Tilo
    I must apologise. I looked at your post #95 and realised the error of my ways. All this time I had been looking at temperature increases over too long a period. You indicated we shouldn’t be looking over 30 years as we have been doing (and in some cases even more), but you selected a 12 year trend to point out how wrong we were. I was a little confused by this at first, because 2 years ago most denialists wanted to use a 10 year trend, then a year ago they wanted to use an 11 year trend, and now it is a 12 year trend. I guess 1998 is an important year from which to start any trend line, right?

    Anyway, I took a leaf out of your book, and decided to shorten the period from my previous long term look at climate, to have it more focussed as you suggested. What the heck!! I decided to use a 1 year trend. That would really tell us what was happening, right?

    But when I did this, I realised that climate change was a LOT worse than anyone even suspected. When I drew a trend line from 2008 – 2009, I realised that the earth was warming at something like 14 degrees per century!!!! That truly is scary. Thanks for setting us all straight there.

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  5. Mandas #104, maybe the reference was to this study:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/science.1182488

    “Contributions of Stratospheric Water Vapor to Decadal Changes in the Rate of Global Warming”

    Susan Solomon,1 Karen Rosenlof,1 Robert Portmann,1 John Daniel,1 Sean Davis,1,2 Todd Sanford,1,2 Gian-Kasper Plattner3

    “Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here, we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000 to 2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% compared to estimates neglecting this change. These findings show that stratospheric water vapor represents an important driver of decadal global surface climate change.”

    Looks like more pieces of the puzzle (climate variability) are coming to light, which will of course be misrepresented by the deniers.

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  6. Tilo,

    Your illusion of superiority is transparent to everyone but you. Consider some ancient wisdom, as expressed by “psychology expert” Robert Burns in the 18th century:

    Oh wad some power the giftie gie us
    To see oursel’s as others see us!
    It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
    And foolish notion.

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  7. Hi Tilo:

    You wiki graph comes with no explanation.

    What is the red line–tree ring data?

    Just to clarify: Are you claiming the graph you linked in your article appears in the first AR?

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  8. Oh dear.
    “So once again, go away, do your research, then come back when you have something interesting and relevant to say. Alternatively you could keep doing what you are doing, and making a complete fool of yourself for me and others to laugh at.”
    I am so glad I do not say things like that in my comments. Do you think there will be an apology from “mandas”?
    All so easily avoided if people were only to be polite.

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  9. Skip:
    “Just to clarify: Are you claiming the graph you linked in your article appears in the first AR?”

    Okay, Skip, now you are boring me. I gave you this in my last post.

    Connelley, who is a warmer, tells us that it came from IPCC 1990, figure 7.1c.

    That is the end of the conversation about the chart.

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  10. “I guess 1998 is an important year from which to start any trend line, right?”

    Nice rant. If you had read the link I gave you and if you had understood it, then you would realize why it is a foolish rant. Or at a minimum, we wouldn’t have to start at base zero with all the misconceptions that have been spoon fed to you by the AGW propaganda machines like RC.

    http://reallyrealclimate.blogspot.com/2010/01/another-inconvient-truth-for-agw.html

    If you actually understand this link, then we will have a starting point for a conversation. You don’t have to agree with me, but you should at least be able to tell me that I’m wrong based upon your understanding of ground that I have already covered. And then you should be able to point out specifically where you think I am wrong. I’m not going to start at the same old propaganda line for everyone that I talk to. I’ve answered all of that nonsense, and there are simply too many of you for me to repeat it again and again.

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  11. Dappledwater:
    “Looks like more pieces of the puzzle (climate variability) are coming to light, which will of course be misrepresented by the deniers.”

    What is there to misrepresent. It’s one more case of natural variability that was unaccounted for by the climate models and one more case of natural variability that will lower the climate sensitivity numbers. This is happening a lot lately. The paper about reduced carbon feedback to temperature increase is only about a week older. It also indicated a lower climate sensitivity number.

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  12. Tilo

    Firstly, thank you for that link. I apologise, I did check ‘Science’ yesterday and there was no evidence of any paper by Susan Solomon (and there still isn’t by the way). But your link clarified it for me; I failed to check ‘Science Express’ (I should have), in which “…Science Express provides electronic publication of selected Science papers in advance of print. Some editorial changes may occur between the online version and the final printed version…” (hence my confusion – I apologise again).

    Anyway, thank you. I have now read the article – the whole thing, and not just the abstract. Have you read it?

    The first thing to say is that crakar will completely dismiss it, because it is largely based on modelling for its findings. Notwithstanding that (and crakar’s opinion is not really relevant anyway), it has some interesting things to say on what is occurring in the climate around the world – and for Dr Solomon’s work on geoengineering – and if its findings are confirmed (some of it’s analysis is based on very limited data), will help move the science forward. For your interest, so you don’t have to rely on news articles and blog posts, here are some of the findings of the paper:

    “…It is clear that carbon dioxide has been increasing for more than a century, while the water vapor changes are far shorter in duration, and both the magnitude and time scale of radiative forcing perturbations are important to the resulting surface climate response. The comparison of these radiative forcings nonetheless suggests that the decadal changes in stratospheric water vapor have the potential to affect recent climate…”

    “…the relationship between SSTs in the warm pool region and stratospheric water vapor changes character (from negative to positive short-term correlations) from 1980–2009, suggesting that other processes may also be important, or that the correlation may be a transient feature linked to the specific pattern of SSTs at a given time rather than to the average warming of SSTs around the globe. It is therefore not clear whether the stratospheric water vapor changes represent a feedback to global average climate change or a source of decadal variability…”

    “…The drop in stratospheric water vapor observed after 2001 has been correlated (25) to sea surface temperature (SST) increases in the vicinity of the tropical “warm pool” (see Fig. 1C) which are related to the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO)…”

    “…This work highlights the importance of stratospheric
    water vapor for decadal rates of warming based directly upon
    observations, illuminating the need for further observations
    and a closer examination of the representation of stratospheric water vapor changes in climate models aimed at interpreting decadal changes and for future projections…”

    You can interpret this anyway you like (and I am sure you will), but I interpret it as saying that decadal influences such as ENSO influence the amount of stratospheric water vapour, and some of the radiative forcing influences of this are poorly understood, but their work provides both an explanation for you ’12 years of no cooling’, and assist with better modelling for the future. It does nothing to undermine the science of climate change – on the contrary it reinforces it – but suggests that the magnitude of future temperature increases may be at the lower range of predictions. It actually leads very nicely into my second point, – your comments in post #113. And it is interesting, because a lot of Dr Solomon’s work nicely answers many of the points you raised in your link. That’s another reason why you should do your research. Its a bit of a problem when you try to use something to support your case, only to discover that (if you had actually read it) it undermines it.

    Also, if you want to keep referring to an arbitrary point such as 1998 as a starting point for calculations, could you do it for everything? Unfortunately, I guess that would mean no more claims that Arctic sea ice is recovering, because it is FAR below the levels of 1998 (about 20% in fact). That’s unfortunate for the denialist cause, because the current projections from NOAA are only around 8.9% reduction per decade.

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  13. Tilo:

    You are correct and I was confused. I was mixing up my reports.

    I don’t take anything at Wicki for granted, but according to the entry Marco sent me the source of that original reconstruction is unknown. But Marco, didn’t you say its from central England? Are we even talking about the same thing? Sorry guys I’m not an expert (if that weren’t obvious enough) on either the science or the history or the debate.

    So one more question Tilo: Is it your contention that the original reconstruction from AR1 is *better*–that is, more scientific or more accurate, than the ones later used–and thus its elimination in later ARs shows

    As they quickly figured out, the [IPCC} had presented a chart that was counterproductive to their objectives.?

    Because if so, itjust shows complete paranoia and narrative construction. It has been lodged in your head, Tilo, that the IPCC “wamers” are an agenda-driven cult of “alarmists”, so eliminating the chart shows deception.

    But what about the *simple* explanation–that they had *better* reconstructions available for later reports? Even those later reconstructions do show the MWP. So whats the BFD?

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  14. This is from commenter Pekka Kostamo at RC and looks like it is worth considering on this subject.

    “There is a reference to balloon borne radiosonde data. I consider these data to be quite unreliable in the stratosphere. The sensors have slow time constants (minutes) at tropopause temperatures. An sensor improvement in this respect would show up as lower humidity just above the tropopause (where the humidity abruptly drops to the typical stratospheric 2 %RH value).

    Besides, the sensors are subject to partial or total icing whenever the probe traverses a liquid water cloud during its ascent. Liquid water in clouds does occur naturally down to about -38 degC. Some of the data becomes obviously wrong and is rejected, other readings are just unreliable. Improvements is this respect have also been made over the years, resulting in lower humidity readings in the stratosphere. I believe some new (improved) instrument types were introduced extensively into the network over the past 10 years. Removing old biases is not always a good thing.

    I do not trust radiosonde sensor calibrations, either, at the extremely cold and low humidity conditions. It is not a trivial operational matter.

    Like in almost all routine weather observations, the requirement driving the performance development has not been global climate science needs.

    Satellite measurements could be more reliable.

    As to humidity transport through the tropopause, there are several possible ways. I interviewed a number of meteorologists back in the 1970’s, trying to understand what would be reasonable in observation data provided by some new sensors.

    Insertion of humidity into stratosphere by strong convection events was stated as certain but rare by a tropical forecaster. A more speculative comment from another source was about possible horizontal (tunneling) transport via channels formed by double tropopauses, rather common at 30’s latitudes. Yet another idea was insertion i.e. in Greenland, where the tropopause effectively hits the ground at times in winter season. (How about high mountain ranges?) There are also infrequent (3 – 5 times per year) tropopause folding events associated with strong fronts, bringing stratospheric air down and thus resulting in extremely low humidity layers close to the ground. (Evidence is radioactive dust found in those layers, normally circulating near the tropopause). This is observed in sounding profiles just about everywhere. The folding events might disturb the tropopause locally and cause transport of humidity into the stratosphere.

    My conclusions were that the stratospheric humidity is not constant enough to serve as a reference point in measurements. The extremely low (1 – 10 %RH) readings close to the ground are real. Good enough for my purposes, then.

    In my opinion, there is an issue about the variability of water vapor. In the long term relative humidity probably remains constant even when warming occurs, so water vapour is a positive temperature feedback. Short term change is another matter and a likely factor in the unforced variability.”

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  15. skip:
    “But what about the *simple* explanation–that they had *better* reconstructions available for later reports?”

    As I said in the link I gave you, you can’t stampede the population of the earth if what you are telling them about has happened before with no ill effect. And the IPCC clearly wants action. Mostly it wants a money tap for the UN.

    Yes, I would certainly expect better reconstructions to come along with time. Unfortunately, the hockey team were not producing them. They were producing agenda driven reconstructions. Let me give you a quote from a Briffa email:

    Briffa:
    “I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple. We don’t have a lot of proxies that come right up to date and those that do (at least a significant number of tree proxies ) some unexpected changes in response that do not match the recent warming. I do not think it wise that this issue be ignored in the chapter. For the record, I do believe that the proxy data do show unusually warm conditions in recent decades. I am not sure that this unusual warming is so clear in the summer responsive data. I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago. I do not believe that global mean annual temperatures have simply cooled progressively over thousands of years as Mike appears to and I contend that that there is strong evidence for major changes in climate over the Holocene (not Milankovich) that require explanation and that could represent part of the current or future background variability of our climate.”

    So here we have a card carrying member of the hockey team telling us in his private correspondence that the MWP was as warm as today. But in public he is churning out hockey sticks that contradict what he believes in private.

    And he says that there is pressure to “present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’”

    Where do you think that pressure is coming from. Does this sound to you like a climate scientist that is persuing a disinterested path to the truth?

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  16. “What is there to misrepresent. It’s one more case of natural variability that was unaccounted for by the climate models and one more case of natural variability that will lower the climate sensitivity numbers.” Tilo Reber.

    That’s exactly what I meant, it didn’t take you very long did it?.

    From the study abstract (again):

    “Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here, we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000 to 2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% compared to estimates neglecting this change. These findings show that stratospheric water vapor represents an important driver of decadal global surface climate change.”

    30 years of a positive feedback, followed by 10 years of negative feedback. How do you deduce a negative feedback only, from that?.

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  17. Tilo

    You keep referring me to your article (as per post #113) discussing the ’12 year no warming trend’, but I am not sure what you are hoping to achieve. I have read it several times, and understand what you are saying, and I agree on several points while disagreeing on others.

    I believe you are perfectly correct when you say things like:

    “…A person would have to be a complete fool to believe that the current global 12 year flat trend has no cause other than that thing are just kind of drifting around……Climate does not vary without a reason…. Natural variability are things like ENSO, PDO, AMO, volcanoes, solar, etc. Natural variability is not some unknown element of unidentified noise. Especially, it is not a 12 year global element of unidentified noise…”

    I would suggest that no truer words were spoken, and if only most people (especially those in the denialist community) accepted that, we would all be far better off.

    Perhaps some of the work of Dr Susan Solomon provides data to explain the relatively flat trend of recent years, but I don’t think the link at post #119 adds anything to the debate. It is essentially just a restating of much of the paper without any further information.

    What I don’t agree with you on is .”..The latest inconvenient truth that needs to be disappeared is the 12 year trend of no warming in the planet’s surface temperature….”. I neither see it as an inconvenient truth or that it needs to be disappeared, and I don’t agree with your criticism of Easterly and Wehner. I believe your criticism of them completely misses the point of their paper, which was simply a statistical analysis to show that short term variations can and would be imposed on any long term trends – and I don’t think anyone other than the most ardent of extremists on any side of the debate would argue with that. I think they were trying to make the point to some that, just because you see a steady increase in CO2, you will not see a corresponding steady increase in temperature. There are other factors involved (once again, who would argue?).

    You say of Easterly and Wehner “…Our authors seem to not understand the meaning of “natural variability”…”. I think you are being harsh here, because they do not make any attempt in their paper to describe any of these processes, so its not that they don’t understand ‘natural variability’, (they may or may not, I don’t know) its just that it is outside the scope of the paper.

    So, where are we at? It would appear that there is a period of little or no temperature increases. No surprises there – I would suggest that not one rational scientist would believe that would not occur. However, what happens next is the most important issue. Solomon’s work MAY provide an explanation for the current observations, but it is limited in scope and would need to be confirmed. More importantly, IF her suggestions are true, it may well be that we will shortly be due in for other decades like the 90s which demonstrate steeper rates of increase.

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  18. Dappledwater:
    “20 years of a positive feedback, followed by 10 years of negative feedback. How do you deduce a negative feedback only, from that?.”

    We don’t know if those 20 years are any kind of feedback. We don’t know what the moisture level in the stratosphere was before that time. In fact, saying that it is a positive feedback to CO2 is just plain irrational. CO2 has continued to rise sharply since 2000, and this effect obviously went against it. This tells us that the effect may be a negative feedback to warming, or it could simply be cyclic, like other elements of the climate system. It’s highly unlikely that it was ever a positive feedback, since it would have to switch feedback modes while the thing that it is a feedback for (CO2) continued up without switching.

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  19. mandas:
    “I think you are being harsh here, because they do not make any attempt in their paper to describe any of these processes, so its not that they don’t understand ‘natural variability’, (they may or may not, I don’t know) its just that it is outside the scope of the paper.”

    Okay, well at least your are trying to understand the link. I’ll accept that. The way in which Easterling and Wehner use the term “natural variability” goes outside of the way in which we usually use it. For example ENSO, clouds, PDO, volcanoes, solar, etc. would be natural variability. When they start talking about natural variability in regard to models, it’s as thought they are using it to mean random noise.

    So let’s get back to E&Ws main point:

    “Claims that global warming is not occurring that are derived from a cooling observed over such short time periods ignore this natural variability and are misleading.”

    You should have noticed that I said this:

    “Oddly enough, I agree completely with this statement.”

    and:

    “But if there were a strong AGW signal, then it is entirely possible for a natural element of variation to overcome it for some time period. But here is the million dollar question – what is the element of natural variation that has overcome the signal for the last 12 years?”

    E&W justified their claim of flat trends produced by natural variability by giving us two examples of it happening before. Their implication being that this flat trend is no different. I showed why that wa not true. For one, their flat trends were not all that flat, and they were not as long. But putting that aside, the most important part was that their flat trends could be explained in terms of natural variability. I showed that one of their flat trends was due to ENSO and the other was a volcano artifact. But when it comes to the current flat trend, no one has been able to explain what elements of natural variation were responsible. So the claim about natural variation was just so much handwaving. To be continue.

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  20. Then, for the sake of you people that are impressed by authority, I threw in the Trenberth quote that makes the same point:

    “why is the temperature not continuing to go up? The stock answer is that natural variability plays a key role [1] and there was a major La Niña event early in 2008 that led to the month of January having the lowest anomaly in global temperature since 2000. While this is true, it is an incomplete explanation. In particular, what are the physical processes? From an energy standpoint, there should be an explanation that accounts for where the radiative forcing has gone.”

    I also asked Gavin Schmidt what the natural elements of variability were that were causing the current flat trend. No answer.

    Then I said this. And it was predictive with regards to the Solomon paper:

    “Looking at the evidence, one must arrive at one of two conclusions. Either the AGW signal is not nearly as strong as is claimed by the IPCC; or there are strong elements of natural variation that are unidentified and undefined. If the former is the case, the AGW alarms need to be turned off. If the later is the case, then we cannot assume the continuation of the AGW trend at any particular time because we don’t know what the cycle time for that natural element of variation is.”

    To be continue.

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  21. Tilo, I guess I’m still not clear how you think the elimination of that graph proves there were nefarious “objectives” motivating it.

    I mean, stop and think for a moment, and put yourself in my shoes and think about what I see here. Here’s a non-specialist–however brilliant and fervent–who shows me a cruddy IPCC graph which was apparently not even accurate in the first place and argues that its elimination shows sinister “objectives”, when in fact its elimination from the first AR was more likely consistent with the simple “objective” of giving accurate reconstructions of global temperature.

    He then quotes Briffa admitting by email no more than what I would expect any scientist to say–privately or otherwise: that the science and data are imperfect and this is in tension with the normal “pressure” to make the presentation simple for the average policy maker. (I mean, I face that dilemma in my own research. There is certain information about my data that is tedious to explain and has no bearing on my conclusions but which my readers arguably have a right to know.)

    Furthermore, his email shows that he was *honest* and wanted the IPCC to be equally open. Amazingly, you elsewhere cite Mann’s testimony before the Senate in which he *publicly* acknowledges the possibility of the MWP by saying that modern temps are “probably” highest in the past millenium. You’re seeing coverup where the simply isn’t one. It just seems like you’ve constructed a fairly narrow and distorted worldview for yourself, and you’re seeing things that just aren’t there.

    Your quote of Trenberth is similar. The absence of a physical explanation for where the energy goes strikes me as reminiscent of intelligent design theorists’ arguments against macro-evolution: We don’t know how Mechanism X evolved, so macro-evolution is not true. In the same sense, citing Trenberth, who does not dispute the fundamental science of AGw, as arguing that we cannot explain the fate of the radiative forcing, and that therefore this disproves significant AGW caused by CO2, just strikes me as a terrible argument from ignorance.

    To wit, having followed the dispute over the meaning of the average heat of 2001-2010, the extent to which CO2 is a primary driver, etc I must say I am fundamentally baffled at your key contention–that lack of linear warming disproves the thesis that CO2 is a primary driver of temperature change in the *long term*.

    I mean, Jesus, Tilo. Of course over the relatively short run that is true. The temperature rose by 30 degrees in Reno today. The primary driver was not CO2 but a recurring phenomenon we call “sunrise”. I expect average temperatures will increase by about 90 degrees by the time we get into August, and the primary driver won’t be CO2 but another recurring phenomenon called “summer”. Why cannot the effects of ENSO, atmospheric water vapor, and *things we still do not completely understand* be regarded as mid-range variations on the same basic idea: In the long run temperatures increase because of energy trapped by CO2, (which is, we are 90 percent sure, according to the IPCC, the primary diver) with natural variation occurring on shorter time scales because of the still-incompletely-understood complexities of weather systems?

    It just seems like your pouncing on any discrepancy as proof that the conclusions of a century of physics and a numerically overwhelming consensus among climate specialists is driven by nothing but “hysteria”, “alarmism”, and “agenda”.

    I also see a disputant full of venomous interpretations of the IPCC that might have been lifted from a JFK conspiracy theory book (“the hockey team”, “agenda-driven reconstructions”, “a money tap for the UN”, “will accept any junk”). It looks a lot to me like the paranoid militancy of the type of folks who think the moon landings were faked, except it comes in an atypically articulate and well-informed presentation. You’re almost like a Super-Crakar.

    All that said, I wish you luck in your endeavors; I would, in the end, rather *not* believe in AGW. But in deciding my position on these matters I am afraid that, yes, I will make an “appeal to authority”. You’ve not given me much that compels me to do otherwise.

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  22. …lack of linear warming disproves the thesis that CO2 is a primary driver of temperature change in the *long term*.

    Perhaps he’s a believer in the Polite Theory of Climate Forcings and Feedbacks, in which each forcing or feedback takes its turn. If it were truly CO2’s turn at affecting the climate, all else would stand aside and make sure it wasn’t doing anything. Hey ENSO and solar cycles! Knock it off! It’s CO2’s turn now! You’re confusing the idiots!

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  23. mandas:

    So now we get back to the Soloman paper. Remember that I said the critical thing about the 12 year flat temperature trend was that it had no physical explanation. In other words, there was no element of natural variation that we understood that could account for it. And that meant that either the climate sensitivity number was too high or that there were strong elements of natural variability that we were unable to account for.

    Well, clearly, Solomon presented us with a strong element of natural variability that we had not accounted for. And this is another element that is not in the models. Again, the less that the models account for, the more likely they are to be wrong. But going one further, Solomon tells us that from 1980 to 2000 that 30% of the warming could be accounted for by this phenomena. That gives us another 30% of the total that does not need to be accounted for by AGW. Since the 1980 to 2000 period is part of the crucial period of observation for the effects of AGW, this is another indiction that climate sensitivity numbers will need to be dropped. Even if it is a cyclic effect within the cliamte system, the numbers will need to be dropped. Since we only have one transition point for this we cannot tell if it is cyclic, however, or if there is a negative feedback to the warming here. Either is possible. I don’t think that it can be a positive feedback to CO2, because the CO2 rise never changed direction. In fact, even methane, which can produce more water vapor in the stratosphere, has continued to rise. And yet the water vapor in the stratosphere declined.

    So Solomon’s paper covered my statement, in the link, from both sides, first we don’t understand very large chunks of the climate system; second, the climate sensitivity number will have to be lowered as a result of this study. The earlier paper about a decline to positive CO2 feedback concentrations as a result of warming will do the same thing.

    Now Solomon’s paper does help to explain 25% of the missing temperature rise that the AGW community expects due to climate sensitivity. But 75% is still missing and unexplained. This means, stay tuned. The science is far from settled. Also, remember that we don’t know if the Solomon observed effect will simply go away in a couple of years and give us back that 25% of expected warming, or if it will go on for a few decades, or if it will become even stronger and give us even less water vapor in the stratoshpere.

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  24. pough:
    “If it were truly CO2’s turn at affecting the climate, all else would stand aside and make sure it wasn’t doing anything.”

    So tell me what the other effects are that are not standing aside and are instead overriding the effect of CO2. No handwaving. Give me the specific effects.

    Of course your remark is a dumb remark considering that I have linked the post where I said this many times:

    “But if there were a strong AGW signal, then it is entirely possible for a natural element of variation to overcome it for some time period. But here is the million dollar question – what is the element of natural variation that has overcome the signal for the last 12 years?”

    And I even cut it out and pasted it into #127. But then warmers can never divert from the company line because that would require them to think for themselves. “Hey, RC, how do I answer these guys. Natural variation? Okay, got it!”

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  25. Ugh! Can any ‘believers’ or ‘deniers’ disagree that big corporations and the world banks are the only winners here? They want to tax your breathing! We exhale the poison! Plants live on the poison! Companies can buy carbon credits to pollute all they want, while the little guy gets taxed. Get your heads outta the sand and remember the phrase, ‘Qui Bono’. I don’t believe a thing about this global warming. Everyone here debates the science, well you can do that till you’re fingers a nubs. The real issue should be debated, Who is going to make billions off this scam? And why should we pay for something that is shoved down our throats?

    Peace
    J.

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  26. Tilo

    I think there is a lot of sense in many of the things you are saying about climate observations. There are some aspects of the climate that we don’t fully understand – but I don’t think any rational person would disagree with that. Alternatively – and this is my main gripe with the denialist community – there are many things about it that we do understand, especially that atmospheric CO2 is an important driver of temperature, and that increasing atmospheric CO2 (and other trace gases) will lead to an increase in temperature (in the absence of other factors, to be discussed below).

    Having said that, of course there will be other factors involved. Some of these are short term and/or cyclical (such as the 11 year solar cycle, ENSO or volcanic eruptions), while others are longer term (such as orbital pertubations, changes to solar irradiance). However, factors like these are unrelated to changes in anthropogenic CO2, and while they must be considered in any calculations of future climate trends, they are separate inputs to the equation, not modifications of CO2 forcing.

    It is these feedbacks which are the complications, and which is where I tend to partially agree with you re Solomon’s paper. There are two possibilities here. The first is that Solomon has observed a cyclical phenomenon which has suppressed temperature increases in the short term, but which will eventually be reversed and the main forcing mechanism (ie CO2) will once again become dominant. Of course, it may also mean that there could be an acceleration in warming as has also been suggested as a possibility by Solomon. In either case though, the phenomenon could be a purely cyclical modification of the long term trend, and is not an important factor when we speak of century long changes in climate, rather than annual or decadal changes.

    The alternative is that the observed variances in stratospheric H2O act as a negative feedback of CO2 forcing ie that any increases in CO2/temperature will lead to a correlating change in stratospheric H2O, and this will suppress the effects of CO2 on temperature. I tend to discount this as a possibility. There is insufficient evidence to suggest this – there certainly isn’t enough in Solomon’s paper to support such a hypothesis. The data from pre 1990 is inadequate for fine grain analysis, and in any case the post 1990 data does not show any correlation with CO2 or temperature (ie it appears to be cyclical and more closely correlated with ENSO than a linear increase in CO2).

    My view, and it is generally supported by Solomon, is that this IS a cyclical phenomenon, and it helps to explain the current (and perhaps other) relatively flat warming trend. This means that, far from assisting the denialist cause, Solomon’s work is another nail in it’s coffin. It shows that climate change is real, that it is anthropogenic, and it helps us to better understand the climate system.

    You are correct – more work should be done to better understand some of these factors. Climate is complicataed, and no model can perfectly replicate it. As more information comes to hand, we can use that to update our knowledge so we can make better predictions of the future. That’s how science works. Of course, you appear to know this only too well, its a pity that others don’t.

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  27. Yes Skip i read your post 39, would you like me to summarise it?…OK.

    You made a bold statement about temps pre and post industrial i then refute your statement with a few facts and then you no longer wish to discuss the matter.

    You then go on about “mistakes”, you first state that we all make mistakes and this is true. As an example you then compare the mistakes i have made with the raunchy romance novelist (formerly known as the rail road engineer).

    But the point you have not covered here is that it is not the mistake made which is important but the consequences or ramifications of the mistake.

    First of all in regards to the romance writer, he did not just simply apologies for allowing speculation into AR4. In response to the Indian Gov. statements that he was completely wrong about “2035” the novelist accused the Indian Gov. of practising voodoo science among other things and he eventually begrudgingly apologised.

    Of course his apology came but a day after he and fellow bullshitter Hasnain had secured millions of dollars in research funding for TERI. Research funding which was based on the “2035” and other IPCC speculation.

    Skip i do not recall my mistakes allowing me to have access to millions of dollars, have your mistakes ever been so profitable?

    Not to mention that it would appear that AR4 has quite a few mistakes in it with many more to come i am sure. The latest mistake was taken from a story in a mountineering magazine WTF?

    So when we finally add up all the mistakes i wonder how much influence these mistakes will have had on Gov. policy to fight AGW? How much could we have spared and used on more meaningful topics? I am sure we will never know the true cost.

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  28. “We don’t know if those 20 years are any kind of feedback.” – Tilo Reber

    Correct, nor the 10 years after that.

    “We don’t know what the moisture level in the stratosphere was before that time.” – Tilo

    Yup.

    “In fact, saying that it is a positive feedback to CO2 is just plain irrational. CO2 has continued to rise sharply since 2000, and this effect obviously went against it.” – Tilo

    The 1990’s saw a similar rate of CO2 increases yet the net effect, according to this study, was a warming influence up to 2000.

    “This tells us that the effect may be a negative feedback to warming, or it could simply be cyclic, like other elements of the climate system. It’s highly unlikely that it was ever a positive feedback, since it would have to switch feedback modes while the thing that it is a feedback for (CO2) continued up without switching.” – Tilo.

    What it tells us is that the race horses aren’t even out of the starting gate and yet you’re wandering up to the bookie to collect your winnings. Whoa there buddy!.

    You have earmarked the period after 2000 as the beginning of some negative feedback, based on wishful thinking perhaps?. The preceding 20 years you conveniently ignore. The positive/negative feedback comment was merely illustrating the illogicality of your claim.

    And if you look here:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/role-of-stratospheric-water-vapor-in-global-warming.html

    Figure 3. (from the Solomon study) indicates that the net effect of stratospheric water vapor, throughout the period in question, is that of a positive feedback.

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  29. Crakar:

    To clarify: What was my “bold statement”, and how was your response a “refutation”?

    Does your last post mean you are no longer claiming that the IPCC was using the projection of melted Himalayan glaciers by 2035 as proof of global warming? It was a blunder on your part, Crakar, but if you’re admitting it we can move on and talk about pre/post industrial CO2 and temps.

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  30. carakar

    “…Of course his apology came but a day after he and fellow bullshitter Hasnain had secured millions of dollars in research funding for TERI. Research funding which was based on the “2035” and other IPCC speculation…”

    You really don’t believe in doing your research do you? Even the Pulitzer Award winning idiot James Delingpole only claimed the grant was $500,000, not millions as you claim. Unfortunately for both of you, the money was not given to TERI, but to ‘Global Center’, which is an Icelandic-based research organisation. Here is a link discussing the grant from the Carnegie Corporation:

    http://carnegie.org/grants/grants-database/

    And if you want to know a little more about TERI, you might have a read of this interesting press release:

    http://www.teriin.org/index.php?option=com_pressrelease&task=details&sid=172

    So, see how easy research is? And fun too; you learn so much. You should try it some time.

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  31. Skip,

    How can i make this any more clearer, the IPCC headed by the romance novelist and ably assisted by Hasnain claimed the glaciers will melt by 2035. This claim was mere speculation on the part of an NGO.

    We have seen this type of behaviour from the IPCC in other areas. The lifting of Wiki graphs, cut and pasting a Berne students fictional story and last but not least an anecdotal story lifted from a mountineering magazine.

    So what started out as “oh this is just one tiny mistake” is showing us that the IPCC’s claim glacial melt being caused by AGW is completely fictional. It could be because there is no evidence to support this claim or it could be that there was very little research on the subject at all. Either way the IPCC has been caught with its hand in the till. Well i should the novelist and Hasnain have been as they both profited handsomely through research funding based on these so called mistakes.

    So ask yourself Skip would you not think to check the validity of a story from a student? or the validity of a mountineering magazine?

    Now i understand your need to defend the IPCC as you would your faith so there is no need to debate this anymore. But you do have all the facts to determine your own conclusions, what you do with these facts is up to you.

    This is your bold statement Skip

    “The evidence for AGW is our current climate compared to the pre-industrial age and the well-understood physical properties of CO2.”

    I refuted what you said in post 50

    Mandas, here we go again with the “ah-ha” moments, the one million of our tax money given to TERI with love from KRUDD was a mere illusion?

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  32. How can i make this any more clearer, the IPCC headed by the romance novelist and ably assisted by Hasnain claimed the glaciers will melt by 2035.

    You’re dodging as usual.

    Crakar, this again is the beauty of a written debate. When you contradict yourself, its availble for all to see. This is what you *really* said before:

    The IPCC claims to be THE authority, the central plank of its so called evidence is based on model outputs, model outputs that are formed in part on assumptions . . . .

    So in support of its assumptions it has gathered up as much circumstantial evidence that it can find, examples of which are “Himalayan[sic] glaciers to melt by 2035” etc etc.

    Your understanding of the issue was so shallow you thought the IPCC was using “models” of the Himalyas to prove global warming. Its all there on the record, Crakar; you can’t run away from this. No one disputes it was a mistake to use a poor source to warn of the potential hazards; but you totally blundered by assuming they were using a poor source to establish the scientific basis of AGW. You were just plain, utterly wrong. When will you simply admit it?

    Your post 50 refuted nothing but any notion that you can see the futility of the “linearity” argument. You are referring to temperature variations that everyone is aware of, for which numerous theoretical mechansisms have been forwarded to account for, and which are neither mystery nor confound to climate scientists. These temperature variations within the longer term effects of global warming are no more profound than pointing out that the temperature rise from 6 to 11 am is not caused by CO2 nor is that between January and August. Other things affect temps, Crakar. Everyone understands that. This is what I mean by straw men.

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