A firehose of global warming news, both good and bad

By Phil Plait | November 29, 2010 6:30 am

earthonfireCripes. I turn my back for like a week, and all sorts of global warming denialist nonsense breaks out.

1) The interesting site lies.com has two excellent videos in what they call Profiles in Republican Courage: one is Bob Inglis (R-SC) giving a great speech about global warming and how his party is denying its existence, and another by Sherwood Boehlert (a former Congressman from New York) again chastising his party for their science denialism.

I’ll note Inglis lost the primary to Tea Party über-conservative Trey Gowdy, who doesn’t even think global warming is happening at all. Gowdy won the election and will be a Congressman. Just so’s you know.

2) At ClimateSight, a young blogger and aspiring climatologist named Kate has written an excellent summary of why ClimateGate is much ado about nothing. She apparently understands this a lot better than a lot of people in Congress. It’s a tour-de-force of how the denialists are twisting reality and making noise to suppress the truth. I’ll note I’ve been saying this since day one (and day two).

3) The good news? Climate scientists are fighting back.

4) The bad news? Representative Issa (R-CA) has promised to ignore industry malfeasance and instead use the new Republican majority subpoena power to investigate climate scientists. In other words, he’ll be aiming to keep the witch hunts around for a while. Chris Mooney at The Intersection has more on this potential abuse of Congressional power.

5) A report commissioned by my favorite guy in Congress right now, Joe Barton (R-TX) — the one who apologized to BP head Tony Hayward — and which is highly critical of climate science, turns out to have been largely plagiarized. A lot of media are quick to say that doesn’t negate its findings, but at least USA Today and Gawker point out that the plagiarized parts of the report were "injected with errors, bias, and changes of meaning". Nice.

6) Remember John Shimkus (R-IL), who said he knows climate change isn’t a problem because it says in the Bible that God promised he wouldn’t use natural disasters to wipe out man? Yeah, him. KTVI in St. Louis did a follow-up report on him, where he says the Bible doesn’t have anything to do with climate change at the same time he re-iterates his belief that a literal interpretation of the Bible precludes any danger from global warming. It’s an amazing interview where he twists reality into a Möbius strip. [Thanks to Paul Dossett for that link]

7) A new NASA report shows that across the planet, lakes are warming up. I imagine Trey Gowdy will want to defund NASA now.

8) I’ll end with something that warms my heart: a professor of thermal sciences named John Abraham eviscerated a radio talk-show host about global warming. This guy is made of awesome. He also created an incredible PowerPoint show where he calmly, reasonably, and utterly destroys the gargantuanly bogus claims of a climate change denier named Christopher Monckton. I watched the whole thing, and it’s a wonder to behold. If you have some spare time, you really should watch it. It’s a marvelous demonstration of how to counter the spin and lies of people who are loudly trying to say global warming doesn’t exist.

Comments (94)

  1. A couple of republicans who get it, I thought this was about global warming not the netherworld freezing over. I know there probably a lot of republicans who think this way but they get over shadowed by the big mouths and mama grizzlies. Too bad he lost his seat his party could use more like him.

  2. Jeff in Tucson

    I wondered briefly how idiots like Shimkus, Issa, and Barton get elected, and then I remembered–if there are two knuckle-heads to choose from on the ballot sheet…

  3. Davidlpf:

    I thought this was about global warming not the netherworld freezing over

    Well, the Universe is a closed system. Where do you think all the heat that’s warming up the Earth is coming from?

  4. Ted

    Monckton isn’t a radio talk show host, actually. And I’m less than impressed by their “rapid response team” which attacked Lomborg (who has never denied global warming) by disputing small points about sea level rise instead of the main point about human adaptation and technological innovation.

    Still, anything that attacks Monckton is pretty. The man is a disgrace to rational discussion of the climate. It’s shameful that he is trotted out by the Right Wing. I do wonder, however, how much of the climate bluster is bluster — on both sides. Bush, for example, denied climate change but also worked to curb global methane emissions and replace our fleet of rail engines. The Democrats supposedly accept AGW but also support corn ethanol.

    As for Climategate, most of it was garbage but there were some legitimate and serious concerns about the haphazard climate code and the homogenization of the data. You wouldn’t use that kind of code to model supernova, Phil, least of all guide multi-trillion dollar policy.

  5. Why are lakes warming up faster than the atmosphere? I’m just asking, because they are. If a hotter atmosphere from too much carbon dioxide was heating lakes up, I would suppose the lake temps would lag.

    Also, while every party has their dingbats (you know, hiding money in the freezer, claiming merely being elected will stop the oceans from rising) most of us on the right simply think that the stupid way to deal with change in the climate is to render your economy less able to mitigate the effects, without any possibility of actually stopping warming.

    All the ideas from the left do NOTHING, by their own admission, to halt warming. All they do is make sure we can’t afford to deal with it when it comes.

    Most of the noise about climate change isn’t science; it’s nihilism. I think America is pretty much done with that BS.

  6. Pete Jackson

    There are two main responses by governments to global warming:

    1) They don’t believe in it, so don’t do anything about it.

    2) They believe in it but still don’t do anything about it.

    So, just relax and watch it happen!

  7. Messier Tidy Upper

    @4. Ted Says:

    Monckton isn’t a radio talk show host, actually …

    Indeed. Nor is Monckton a scientist or Margaret Thatcher’s former science advisor – see :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duxG4lyeSlc&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    &

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfA1LpiYk2o&feature=BF&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33&index=15

    Perhaps the problem is that governments are coming from a very silly place? Like this one :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luVjkTEIoJc&feature=player_embedded#

    (Comic relief – enjoy. :-) )

    @2. Jeff in Tucson Says:

    ..if there are two knuckle-heads to choose from on the ballot sheet…

    You’re lucky that they’re just knuckleheads and not even worse? ;-)

  8. Daffy

    I live in Issa’s district. He gets elected because this is the most staunch Republican enclave you will EVER find. The vast majority of people around here simply accept whatever their Republican and Corporate overlords tell them without question. In fact, if you DO question things, they are genuinely astonished and sad for you that you don’t get it.

  9. @#4 I think Jake Judd is the talk show host he was referring too. I’ve never heard of either of them until today.

    I watched part of the presentation from both sides. Monckton speaks eloquently and puts on a good show so its easy for the layman to take his word as gospel. Abraham, from what I did see, did a good job to followup, write the authors, read the papers, etc. Also stating that Monckton didn’t cite references or where he got the data is a death blow to credibility if you ask me. ;)

  10. Daniel J. Andrews

    And I’m less than impressed by their “rapid response team” which attacked Lomborg (who has never denied global warming) by disputing small points about sea level rise instead of the main point about human adaptation and technological innovation.

    I understand your point, Ted, but I believe the scientists were responding to the more factual errors rather than what may or may not be possible. Lomborg trotted out the IPCC 20 inches of sea level rise at least 4 years ago, and has been corrected many times (that is, the 20 inches is from thermal expansion only and does not take into account melting ice sheets). The fact that he used it again in his film is evidence of his duplicity, which should be highlighted.

    Re: Barton and the Wegman report. Plagiarism is the least of the issues. It claimed to be an independent reanalysis of the statistics yet it just copied the M and M work, which had cherry-picked their results–of all the reiterations they just selected the ones that supported their preconceived thesis and left out the rest that didn’t. See deepclimate.org/2010/11/16/replication-and-due-diligence-wegman-style/ and all the links (many thanks to Deep and John Mashey for doing an incredible amount of work in following this up).

    Re: Climatesight and Kate: She writes at a level well above her age (originally high school and now 1st yr university). She is a name to watch in the sciences. I highly recommend her site.

  11. Daffy

    ElZarcho, since you have said Phil is not qualified to comment on climate science, I am still waiting to hear what YOUR qualifications are. What is your science degree in? Do you have a science degree at all?

    You are now commenting on economics as well—do you have a degree in THAT? Come on now, you criticized Phil: back it up.

    Still waiting…

  12. Gary Ansorge

    5. ElZarcho

    “Why are lakes warming up faster than the atmosphere?”

    Oh, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because CO2 absorbs the low end of the spectrum and keeps that energy trapped close to the earths surface. The long wave portion of the solar spectrum is readily absorbed by water, which will raise its temperature. Energy trapped close to the surface then obviates its escape to the upper reaches of the atmosphere. Kinda like putting the lid on your pot of boiling water. Water gets hot but the air in your room lags that rise.

    ,,,just saying, dude,,,

    Gary 7

  13. I met Inglis at a UVa Law School reunion in the spring of ’09 (he & my wife are both class of ’84). Didn’t know who he was, I thought he might have been a spouse of the UVa grad, and chatted him up on astronomy (mostly expansion of the universe and such) for a couple minutes. Seemed to be a nice guy. Wish I’d known more about him at the time. The conversation would’ve been more interesting.

  14. global warming will cease to be an issue once science discovers a way to make a gajillion dollars sucking raw co2 from the atmosphere and directly converting it into bacon.

  15. Chris

    I saw the ppt from John Abraham a few months ago. It is a piece of beautiful work.

  16. jasonB

    And so this is what it really all comes down to…

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/copenhagen-climate-change-confe/8165769/Cancun-climate-change-summit-scientists-call-for-rationing-in-developed-world.html

    Why is it every Climate Change meeting has to be held in an exotic vacation destination? Didn’t any of these geniuses ever hear of telecommuting? Oh that’s right. Good for me, bad for thee.

    To any of you who agree with this approach I beseech you to right now turn off your computer and any other modern conveniences and do YOUR part. Don’t take the time to respond to this we don’t have the time! Buy more blankets for you and grandma right now and then park your car for good.

    That’s okay though, I’ll sleep well and toasty just from the warmth of the “important peoples” hearts that I know will not for one second be subject to the rationing that they advocate all of the rest of us.

  17. Ron1

    @5 ElZarcho.

    Oh, you’ve finally come back to play with the adults, or is it simply another drive by trolling.

    So, my questions (from the “Evolution is the Coin of the Realm” thread) still stand …

    ElZarcho,
    You spew a line of BS when you say Mann is a hack and you flirt with slander when you imply that he faked his data but, what exactly are your credentials? Other than belief, what proof have you that his data is wrong or that he is a fake? Further, do you even have a science background (Fox News does not count), or is Mann’s data a little beyond you?

    In your latest post you once again do little more than spew right-wing talking points and make broad statements of opinion or belief. Where is your peer reviewed data that supports your position (I’m assuming you know what that means)?

    Denial is NOT skepticism.

  18. Another interesting AGW-related article making the rounds is a New York Times article documenting how Norfolk, VA is dealing with a combination of rising sea levels and a sinking landmass. While the Norfolk issues are largely due to the latter (which perhaps could be termed anthropogenic local idiocy) rather than the former (AGW), it gives a preview for what kind of costs are involved in mitigating the eventual sea-level rise.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/26/science/earth/26norfolk.html

  19. noen

    ElZarcho.:
    “most of us on the right simply think that the stupid way to deal with change in the climate is to render your economy less able to mitigate the effects, without any possibility of actually stopping warming.”

    This is false in a couple of ways. One is that we don’t want to render our economy less able to mitigate global warming. We want to enable it to a) stop contributing to the problem b) re-vitalize the economy by encouraging innovation in green tech and c) begin efforts to bring down CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Secondly, we cannot stop global warming. The boulder is rolling downhill and there is nothing anyone can do to prevent what is going to happen from happening. What we can do is to stop making it worse. You know, so your children have a future, and to adapt intelligently to what is coming.

    Failure to do so will be ruthlessly punished by reality.

  20. amphiox

    All the ideas from the left do NOTHING, by their own admission, to halt warming.

    Citation please. There are lots of ideas from the left, and they ALL do something. And this shouldn’t be about left or right. This should be about those who want their grandchildren to have a healthy, habitable planet to live on, and those who apparently don’t.

  21. amphiox

    ..if there are two knuckle-heads to choose from on the ballot sheet…

    Then you choose the more competent hypocrite and watch him like a hawk. Don’t choose the supposedly honest knucklehead who’ll screw everything up in good faith.

  22. Doug Little

    To any of you who agree with this approach I beseech you to right now turn off your computer and any other modern conveniences and do YOUR part. Don’t take the time to respond to this we don’t have the time! Buy more blankets for you and grandma right now and then park your car for good.
    That’s okay though, I’ll sleep well and toasty just from the warmth of the “important peoples” hearts that I know will not for one second be subject to the rationing that they advocate all of the rest of us

    Typical conservative/libertarian response, How about we just keep doing what we are currently doing, and when a third of the world’s population comes banging on your warm and toasty door after food and shelter I’m sure you are going to be able to fight them off with the small arsenal of weapons you have undoubtedly collected. Unless of course you live on the coast in which case your warm and toasty door will be a little wet.

    How about you actually try and contribute to the well being of the society you live in rather than making it all about you all of the time. No one has ever said that everybody needs to stop driving or using energy all together, but we can all try and reduce our impact on the environment by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, however that may be.

  23. MaDeR

    How I love hipocritical retards. Thanks for my usual fix of Losing Faith in Humanity.

  24. MadScientist

    Germany seems to have dropped the ball after investing in promoting alternative energy sources almost 20 years ago. There are a number of Chinese scientists pushing various CO2 storage projects but as far as I know none are at the operational stage. There are at least 2 well-known commercial CO2 storage projects on the planet, dozens of little demonstrators, and dozens of planned projects which seem to be shot down every year. Personally I don’t see China selling us CO2 reduction technologies in the next 10 years, but they sure are gearing up to churn out those solar cells. I find it a bit disappointing that there are still so many CO2 storage ‘demonstrators’ rather than full commercial operations. There is already enough evidence in to show that CO2 geosequestration works – it’s time to get on with the job. CO2 storage can potentially provide huge cuts in CO2 but not enough, so other technologies need to be explored still.

    @JasonB#17: I’ve already put in my predictions for Cancun:
    1. No agreement is reached.
    2. The developing nations are blamed for being uncooperative. Except for China and India, the developing nations do not matter at all because they are not significant emitters of CO2. China and India are prepared to act once they see the developed nations get their act together.
    3. The representatives of the developed nations say “it was a disappointment but we were so close. We have much to look forward to at the next meeting.” And so the lobbyists win and nothing is done yet again.

  25. mike burkhart

    I have to say this if we are going to solve the problem of global warming then we are going to have to come up with a way to do it without asking any one to make any sacrafise . As long as you ask people to : pay more in heating bills, cause industry to shed jobs , and inconvence every one the global warming deniers will gain more and more power and folowers because they aren’t asking for anything you are and you are asking for to munch.So I think we addopt a new stragey : we come up with a way to solve the problem with out asking for any thing from anybody I know it a big problem but I feel science can come up with an answer that ask for nothing form anyone.

  26. Bobito

    @26 Nuclear Power and carbon capture. Until those “off the shelf” solutions are implemented many will find the global warming arguments dubiously political.

  27. BargeArse

    “Denier” is such an emotive, strong word. It taints those who are legitimately sceptical of some of the climate science (and we do need those). When Phil uses it, he becomes less attractive, if that were possible. It is a ‘being a dick’ word.

    If you want to stop AGW, then you have to have less people on the planet. No politician is going to say that, are they? No wonder people are going to be hostile when governments suggest a carbon tax as way of possibly ameliorating AGW – we all know that wont make an iota of difference.

  28. Tony

    Figure out how the oil companies can get money from it and you’ll have alternative, clean fuels in less than five years.

  29. Joseph G

    Monckton is a real piece of work, and the climate science denial bit is just the tip of the crazy iceberg. Exhibit A is right here. The guy is either a pathological liar, or he’s utterly deluded and living in a fantasy world where he’s a member of the House of Lords. Seriously. He even designed his own little seal that looks like that of the HoL.

  30. MadScientist

    @ElZarcho: One possibility is that lakes are shallower or they’re being replenished with warmer water. I didn’t look to see how the lake temperature was measured, so I’m just guessing. For example, was surface temperature measured (the only temperature measurement possible from satellite) or was the measurement at some small depth below the surface (by buoys)?

    @Tony #29: Oil companies are the biggest investors in alternative energy and by a long shot. Perhaps they can invest more – but I doubt someone will come up with a miracle scheme in 5 years.

  31. badnicolez

    I would love to see the posters here state what, specifically, they personally are doing to reduce their carbon footprint before posting their (frequently hypocritical, I suspect) opinions regarding AGW and potential solutions. No fibbing, now.

    I live in a much smaller house than I can afford and bought a previously owned home.

    I don’t use heat in the winter and haven’t for the past four years (it really is warm enough in Phoenix to get by without it). I bundle up and open the blinds in winter to let the sun heat my house. I keep the thermostat at 82 in the summer and the blinds closed. I use my gas oven only in the winter and open the door to help heat the house when I am done cooking. I use my outdoor electric grill in the summer.

    I never leave lights on when I leave a room and power down my computer when I’m not using it for a significant period of time.

    I don’t print anything I don’t absolutely need on paper. I use both sides when I do print. I pay my bills and get paperless statements online. I e-file my taxes. I view and post my photos online to avoid printing them for myself, family and friends.

    I drive a fuel-efficient car and try to get gas in the morning during the summer heat. I keep my tires at the correct pressure. My cars are nine and seven years old and I don’t plan to buy another vehicle for at least five years. When I do it will be used and as energy-efficient as I can afford. I don’t drive unless it is a necessity, and I plan my errands to drive as little as possible.

    I don’t engage in shopping as entertainment and recycle very little because I avoid the willful consumerism of my countrymen. I don’t put my recycle bin out until it is full and I know what items my municipality will and will not accept. I wear clothes and shoes until they are in dire need of replacing. I have my luggage repaired instead of replacing it.

    I use real plates/bowls/drinkware and utensils instead of paper and plastic. I use washcloths and kitchen towels instead of paper towels and natural cleaners instead of chemicals. I don’t spray my house for insects. I purchase in bulk whenever possible and avoid anything individually packaged.

    I reuse, reuse, reuse, especially plastic and glass containers. I try to buy glass whenever possible, so I can reuse it indefinitely. I try to find a new use for old/outdated/worn items. Since I read a lot, I purchase books at a used book store.

    I don’t buy bottled water. I filter my own water at home and cycle through the filter life twice, not once.

    I take showers with my spouse and we share flushes whenever possible. I don’t leave water running (ever) and have native xeriscape instead of grass because growing grass in the desert is an asinine waste of resources.

    I don’t eat out much, don’t eat much meat, don’t actually eat much at all because I’m experimenting with calorie restriction for longevity. I make stock with vegetable trimmings and compost the remains. I organically grow much of my own produce and eat locally whenever possible. Living below my means allows me to afford this. I eat nutritiously and exercise so I can avoid being on medication that pollutes the environment. I avoid antibiotics like the plague (pun intended).

    I avoid purchasing products made in China if at all possible. I own one TV. I take care of my furniture. I commute with my spouse. I avoid buying electronics and don’t upgrade my mobile phone until it breaks. I dispose of toxic items properly and recycle them whenever possible. I donate to charities and use freecycle and craigslist to acquire and dispose of goods. I use rechargeable batteries.

    Not bad for a conservative, right?

    What burns my butt is many of my liberal friends do none of the above, yet sneer at me for not supporting legislation that would (ironically) force them to live a lifestyle more like mine.

  32. Joseph G

    @ Tony, Madscientist: This may just be the conspiracy theorist in me, but I think that most oil companies already have profitable non-fossil energy schemes all drawn up and ready to be rolled out. They just have so much infrastructure and investment in oil that they’re going to keep right on in that vein until it ceases to be profitable (especially more profitable then renewable energy, which it certainly still is).

  33. Ron1

    @26 Mike Burkhart says

    “I have to say this if we are going to solve the problem of global warming then we are going to have to come up with a way to do it without asking any one to make any sacrafice.”

    And that is the problem – the sacrifices have already started for many. For example, some low-lying nations are already starting on the path to oblivion as a result of sea level rise. Communities along the Arctic Ocean are starting to sink into the ground as the permafrost under them melts. Worldwide , people are finding their cost of living skyrocketing as scarcity issues cause fuel costs to escalate. However, the sacrifice is not equal and why should some sacrifice more than others. For example, I wonder if the Koch brothers are making any sacrifice?

    As for science coming to the rescue, I wouldn’t hold my breath because, in the end, science as a tool is only as good as the intentions of those with the money and political power to apply it and you are talking about a problem that is global in nature and largely local in specific affect — local politics rule over global concerns!

    As well, the systems involved are extremely complex and the feedback mechanisms are largely unknown – what might benefit one country could seriously damage another. What if, in self interest, one nation impliments a solution that causes harm to another. …

    By itself, science as a solution is only one prong of a multi-pronged approach (ie. intra and inter-national co-operation on issues of climate change definition, CO2 stabilization, population control and future mitigation issues for starters). A focus on science is doomed to failure.

  34. Doug Little

    badnicolez,

    Good on ya mate. I try and do as much as I can as well, I’d like to add that I grow my own vegetables when I can. You seem like a sensible fellow, except for the starving for longevity bit, have you ever read catch 22?

    Anyway what particular legislation are you talking about?

  35. Joseph G

    I’m conflicted on number 8. The John Abramson thing is heartening, but it’s linked on TDK, and I think Kos is bit of a twatwaffle, so, meh :P

  36. Manacker

    Is there a human impact on climate? Most likely, at least locally and regionally. Urban heat islands are one example, but there are certainly others.

    Is CO2 a greenhouse gas (GHG)? That’s what scientists have concluded.

    Do GHGs absorb and re-radiate outgoing LW energy, thereby contributing to warming of the atmosphere? That is what the GH theory postulates, and it is most likely that this is correct.

    Do humans emit CO2, particularly in the industrialized world? No doubt.

    Are atmospheris CO2 levels increasing, at least since continuous measurements have been installed at Mauna Loa in 1958? Yes. That is what the record shows.

    So it is very likely that AGW is one of causes of the observed warming of our planet’s atmosphere (leaving out any caveats about upward distortion of the temperature record). Since the satellite record (since 1979) also shows warming in the troposphere (at least until 2000), admittedly at a slightly lower rate than the surface record, it is reasonable to assume that some warming has occurred, and that some of this may have been caused by human CO2.

    AGW per se, is not being questioned by most scientists, however.

    It is the premise that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, has been a primary cause of 20th century warming of our planet, and that AGW represents a serious potential threat to humanity and the planet. Let’s call this the “dangerous AGW” hypothesis.

    The “dangerous AGW” hypothesis has been falsified by empirical data based on actual physical observations as observed and reported by scientists (rather than “unscientific cranks or mystics”).

    These are (notably):

    1. The physical observations of Spencer et al. on cloud feedbacks, based on CERES satellite data, which have demonstrated that the net overall feedback from clouds with surface warming is strongly negative, rather than strongly positive, as was assumed by all the model simulations cited by IPCC.

    Prior to the study by Spencer et al. IPCC had estimated in its AR4 report that the net positive feedback from clouds with warming would result in an increase of the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity by 1.3C, i.e. from 1.9C to 3.2C (on average).

    The physically observed strongly negative feedback from clouds provides actual empirical data to falsify the IPCC model assumptions of strongly positive feedback from clouds.

    Based on this new empirical evidence, the resulting 2xCO2 climate sensitivity is now likely to be between 0.6C and 1C. This means that AGW is not a serious potential threat to our society or our planet, thereby falsifying the “dangerous AGW” hypothesis

    2. Lindzen and Choi have also made estimates based on ERBE satellite observations of Earth’s energy budget. These observations also show a net negative overall feedback with surface warming. The L+C calculations result in an even lower estimate of the 2xCO2 CS (as low as 0.4C), but the calculation methodology has been challenged. Spencer has reviewed L+C and has concluded that the estimated 2xCO2 CS is too low, and that 0.6C would be a better value based on the observed data.
    (See attached chart for comparison).
    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4148/4996556497_748599aa5e_b.jpg

    3. The surface temperature record tells us that the atmosphere has cooled slightly after 2000. The satellite record tells us the same for the atmosphere at the troposphere. At the same time, the upper ocean has also shown a cooling trend since ARGO measurements replaced the older, less reliable, expendable XBT measurement devices in 2003. In other words, our planet has cooled. In one of the “Climategate” emails, Kevin Trenberth has referred to this lack of warming as a “travesty”. In a later interview, Trenberth stated that the missing energy may be going out “into space”, with “clouds” actung as “a natural thermostat”. (This could well be a hidden reference to the Spencer et al. study, although this was not mentioned in the interview).

    But we have had record CO2 levels, which have grown at a rapid rate over this same period, based on the Mauna Loa readings.

    In other words, we have seen our planet cooling despite increasing CO2 levels.

    The Met Office has attributed this cooling to “natural variability” (i.e. natural forcing factors) which have overwhelmed the warming impact of the rapid increase of atmospheric CO2, although IPCC had concluded in AR4 that natural forcing of our climate was insignificant and that most of the past warming was, thus, a result of AGW. This model-based premise has been falsified by the actual empirical evidence.

    This is more than just a “travesty” for supporters of the “dangerous AGW” premise, it is a direct falsification of the hypothesis that CO2 is the principal driver of our planet’s climate.

  37. Joseph G

    Personally, I’ve methodically stretched my mouth with an inflatable ball gag I wear while I sleep. I can now fit over a gallon of tap water in my mouth, which I warm to body temperature, then bathe in. I scrupulously avoid using toxic bathroom cleaners, and as a result, I can now grow large, nutritious organic mushrooms in my shower.
    At the grocery store, when the bagger asks if I’d like paper or plastic, I punch her in the face, then stuff my groceries into my distended cheeks in the manner of a squirrel, and saunter out of the building.
    My car runs on the oil rendered from the fat of the children of oil company executives – I raise them in my basement and feed them shower mushrooms until they grow plump. Their tears are collected on plastic tarps and used to keep the mushrooms damp. It’s a very efficient system.

  38. Joseph G

    I’m so very sorry badnicolez, I just couldn’t resist ;) Seriously, good on you.

  39. Paul

    @6 Pete Jackson

    3) Claim to believe in it and are seen to be taking action by implementing a long term plan. A plan that kicks in after they have left office.

  40. Ron1

    @ 32. badnicolez Says:
    I would love to see the posters here state what, specifically, they personally are doing to reduce their carbon footprint before posting their (frequently hypocritical, I suspect) opinions regarding AGW and potential solutions.
    …………………………………………..

    Ok, fair enough, although I think you are probably missing the point that the contribution of any one individual is a drop in the bucket compared to adverse impacts caused by industry (ie. Fort McMurray tar sands).

    For starters, I live in central Alberta, Canada where heating my home is not an option. However, my primary source of heat is an efficient infloor hot water system augmented by a back-up natural gas furnace. The furnace is only used when the outside temperature drops below -20C or so. Regardless, to my wife’s (a wonderful person) chagrin, we keep our smart thermostat set at 19.5C. during the periods we are home and 15C at night while sleeping.

    We drive a 2005 Toyota Corolla and a 1997 Tercel by choice — we can afford and would like a couple of Nissan Pathfinders but we’ve deliberately chosen to live greener.

    We eat meat, although much less than we used to – we’re aging and it’s healthier to eat less, although we have no intention of stopping.

    We recycle religiously and we are careful in what we purchase so as to minimize packaging and when purchasing electronics (yes we do) we are very careful about energy consumption (therefore the recent purchase of a Sony 55 inch LED tv at 186watts max vs a Panasonic 54 G25 Plasma at 500-600 watts max – a very, very good tv). We’re not energy puritans but we try and if you want to be picky, it’s less energy intensive to download and watch a movie in our home theatre than going out to a movie, which we sometimes do.

    We’re in the process of taking advantage of Enmax Energy’s program to install solar panels on our south facing roof – it will not financially benefit us but it will reduce our carbon footprint. Eventually, I’d like to add a lot more panels.

    I walk when I can, rather than drive and I also have torn out my grass and use largely local, drought tolerant plants in our landscape, etc, etc.

    Yes, this progressive attempts to walk the walk. More importantly, I support progressive politicians that work for the people not conservatives that work for industry.

  41. Chief

    I’m sorry that our friends south of the border have such idiots in office who don’t want to think about what steps can be done to lessen the effects of increased co2 in the air. All it takes is for each individual to do a small thing differently. For instance, I have recently installed a GeoThermal Furnace system and in doing so removed the existing baseboard heaters in the house. Now I can use less electricity and not have to have worry about other sources of heat, ie coal, gas or propane that I would have otherwise had trucked in.

  42. Tony

    @Joseph, I agree with you. They have the technology, they just need a reason to use it. I also think Nuclear power is a viable option, but some people will fight that.

  43. Lawrence

    @joseph g – I award you one internet sir! I near fell out of my chair.

    Nuclear power is a good option, but we really have to figure out what to do with the waste – I still am a big fan of either breeder reactors or figuring out a safe way to shoot it into the sun.

  44. Doug Little

    I also think Nuclear power is viable option

    With vast improvements in reactor technology I think Nuclear is a very good stop gap measure before we have a viable completely green energy source. I’ve never really understood the stigma attached to nuclear power, it is not only one of the cleanest traditional energy sources, stressing new tech here, but is also comparative to green sources in terms of CO2 emissions over the life of the energy source see here

  45. Paul in Sweden

    As a wide eyed kid in the 1970s I was led to believe that solar and wind power would be our future. Sadly, I look at wide eyed kids today who believe that solar & wind power is our present electricity solution. Nuclear & hydroelectric energy is expensive. Currently nuclear & hydro power are the only “semi-green” baseline power options. There are a lot of negatives to consider, especially with regards to nuclear power in developing countries.

    Reality is not forgiving.

  46. Brian D

    Manacker, ever bother to check your claims?

    For instance, you claim that the instrumental record shows cooling since 2000.

    In addition to 10 years being too short to extract any useful climate data (there’s a reason we use 30-year intervals), your conclusion is wrong.

    The lowest of the instrumental records is HadCRUT, since it doesn’t include the arctic (which is warming more than the rest of the globe). HadCRUT, over the last 10 years with complete data (1999-2009), has a statistically significant *warming* trend, of 0.07C/yr. You can check for yourself, since the data are freely available.

    This isn’t climate, since it’s too short to properly extract a climate signal, but it is contrary to your one factual claim, and kind of subverts your thesis that we’re cooling despite CO2.

    This is also incredibly naiive, since no one claims CO2 is the only driver – just the biggest control knob. The obvious example from recent history was the mid-century cooling despite CO2 increases, due to a stronger cooling signal from aerosols.

    Furthermore, you cite Lindzen and Choi. Even Spencer, as you note, points out that they’re flawed, and they still haven’t replied to Trenberth’s peer-reviewed takedown of their claim.

    (Oh, and speaking of Trenberth, the “travesty” quote was *not* referring to what you claim, but was instead summarizing elements from this paper, which merely emphasizes existing uncertainties in measurement. In no way does it suggest cloud feedback is negative, nor that our measurements were showing cooling instead of warming or vice versa. Way to misrepresent things, which is all “Climategate” ever was.)

    I could go on, but I can be more productive elsewhere. Come back once you’ve checked your claims.

  47. Undeniable

    Meanwhile, back in reality (or at least the UK), we’re having the coldest November temperatures since records began.

    PS: Phil, please stop using the term ‘denier’.

  48. Brian D

    Shorter Undeniable, #48:

    I’m full, therefore there’s no global hunger.

    Psst! Weather is not climate, and the UK is not the globe. Making claims like that as if it disproved climate change is as stupid as claiming the sun is moving in the sky, therefore the Earth is at the center of the universe.

  49. noen

    Manacker Said:
    “The surface temperature record tells us that the atmosphere has cooled slightly after 2000.”

    Sadly, No!
    So how did that global cooling bet work out?

    Two and a half years ago, a paper was published in Nature purporting to be a real prediction of how global temperatures would develop, based on a method for initialising the ocean state using temperature observations (Keenlyside et al, 2008) (K08). In the subsequent period, this paper has been highly cited, very often in a misleading way by contrarians (for instance, Lindzen misrepresents it on a regular basis). But what of the paper’s actual claims, how are they holding up?

    [...]

    However, with the publication of the October 2010 temperatures from HadCRUT, the first prediction period has now ended, and so the predictions can be assessed. Looking first at the global mean temperatures… … we can see clearly that while K08 projected 0.06ºC cooling, the temperature record from HadCRUT (which was the basis of the bet) shows 0.07ºC warming.

    “2. Lindzen and Choi have also made estimates”

    Lindzen is a hack.

    “In a normal field, these results would pretty much wrap things up, but global warming/climate change has developed so much momentum that it has a life of its own – quite removed from science. One can reasonably expect that opportunism of the weak will lead to efforts to alter the data (though the results presented here have survived several alterations of the data already). Perhaps most important, these results will of necessity ‘offend the sensibilities of the of the educated classes and the entire East and West Coasts,’ and who would want to do that.”

  50. Zaphobia
  51. Joseph G

    @#44 Lawrence: I accept your generous internet, kind sir. These threads get so serious, sometimes ya just have to act like a nut for a few minutes :)

    @Undeniable: You must keep in mind that ocean currents are a big driver of local weather. Where I am, for instance, we have the California current right off the coast, which brings very cold water down south from Canada/Alaska. Meanwhile, the east coast of the US has the gulf stream bringing very warm water north. That’s why Washington DC tends to be hot and muggy while San Francisco tends to be cold and foggy, even though they’re at the same latitude.
    Ocean currents are driven by heat, so increases in the strength of ocean currents can have far-reaching effects.
    It’s been speculated that as the ocean as a whole absorbs more heat, stronger warm currents in the western pacific will move more warm water north, causing increased arctic melting and lead to cooler temperatures and lower salinity in the waters off the west coast of the US. And indeed, that’s exactly what we’re seeing now.
    Just this year, the east coast of the US has recorded record high temperatures this summer, while the west coast (at least a few tens of miles from the sea) barely even HAD a summer.
    Granted, this is an anecdote, and you know what they say about data not being the plural of anecdote, but what I’m saying is that “global warming” doesn’t mean “equal and consistent warming spread evenly across the entire globe”.

  52. It’s sad to see people – even the scientifically-minded – harping on for so long about the wrong questions:
    1. It’s not whether there’s global warming, it’s whether it’s globally destructive (or rather beneficial).
    2. It’s not whether CO2 was the trigger, it’s whether reducing CO2 emissions NOW would actually be the most effective thing to do (I highly doubt it).
    3. It’s not whether there’s climate change (d’oh), it’s what we can do to make our civilisation more resistant to ALL kinds of climate change (if history is any indication, there’s an ice age around the corner, n’est-ce pas?) with broad-spectrum measures worth the expense.

  53. badnicolez – I am a liberal, and I do everything on your list and more, so please try not to generalize. Insinuating that no liberals engage in any or all of the activities you mention is patently ridiculous. Many of us liberals are just weary of Scientific Denialism. While reading Phil’s post, for instance, I couldn’t help thinking about Galileo and the Inquisition. You’d think we’d be more civilized than the waar-grblers in 1633… but apparently not.

  54. Doug Little

    Nuclear & hydroelectric energy is expensive

    Back of the envelope calculation

    While the startup cost of nuclear is expensive ~ $7000/KWe, over the life of the plant it works out to be cheaper than coal, produces less radioactive waste than coal and produces far less CO2 than coal. So if for instance we invested the 800Billion in bailout money that we gave to the banks and the 3Trillion we will spend eventually on the Iraq war (this gives us ~550,000MWe new capacity to play with) we could replace both the coal fired plants and the combined cycle natural gas plants (333115MWe/Yr & 216269MWe/Yr, 2006).

    Nuclear is about 66 gCO2/KWh and coal is ~1000 gCO2/KWh (depending on scrubbed vs not scrubbed) with gas being 442 gCO2/KWh,

    With total production of 505 BillionKWh for gas and 1995 BillionKWh for coal (2006) in the US alone this would save ~ 230 Billion kg of CO2 for gas and ~1900 Billion kg of CO2 for coal a year.

  55. noen

    donjoe said:
    “1. It’s not whether there’s global warming, it’s whether it’s globally destructive (or rather beneficial).”

    There will be winners and losers. Iceland may become a tropical island while here in the continental US we find we are no longer able to grow wheat. Invest in camels now!

    “2. It’s not whether CO2 was the trigger, it’s whether reducing CO2 emissions NOW would actually be the most effective thing to do (I highly doubt it).”

    Well, you’re wrong. When you are pushing a boulder downhill towards the village the first step towards solving the problem would be to stop pushing.

    “3. It’s not whether there’s climate change (d’oh), it’s what we can do to make our civilisation more resistant to ALL kinds of climate change (if history is any indication, there’s an ice age around the corner, n’est-ce pas?) with broad-spectrum measures worth the expense.”

    Since you admit that global warming is real the logical first step is to stop contributing to it. Then to adapt to the inevitable changes and finally to try to draw down the CO2 in the atmosphere through biochar. There is a genuine risk to our civilization with some IPCC scenarios in which we end up with about 2 billion human survivors (NOT you or your children but YES for the children of those who’s boots you lick.) all clustered around the now tropical Arctic seas.

    Dick Cheney thanks all the deniers for ensuring the survival of his progeny while eliminating the competition, namely YOU.

  56. At TAM Oz last weekend notable Australian and skeptic Dick Smith said that in his circle of billionaire friends they are all to a man, and they are all men, global warming deniers. Where do Republicans and, in Australia, the Liberal Party get there money? The billionaires. How do political parties formulate policy? They follow the money.

    @Paul in Sweden
    Depending on the country a combination of solar and wind may be the future. I saw Dr Karl Kruszelnicki expound a convincing argument for a cost effective solution to Australia’s future energy demands based almost entirely on off the shelf wind and solar technology.
    What we lack in Australia is the political will to proceed with such a plan. Australia is entirely beholding to the coal industry. I think we’re the biggest coal producer in the world. If China is holding a climate change gun to the head of the world we in Oz and handing them the bullets. We’re spending millions on “clean coal” research in Oz when we would be better off looking to the long term with wind, solar and even nuclear.

  57. Gary Ansorge

    ,,,and then of course, there’s power sats. Granted, w/o an efficient means to access low earth orbit and available raw materials IN orbit(from a captured asteroid or lunar materials) it’s not YET cost effective but anyone who looks at the available solar radiation in space should be slavering at the bit to begin development.

    Solar energy in space is four times more intense than on earth at high noon, there are no clouds to interfere with collection and no night time (except for those short times when the power sat passes thru earths penumbra).

    I’m a BIG fan of power sats. As a solution to our energy needs for the next several billion years I don’t see how it can be beat.

    Gary 7

  58. Surferosad

    No, lets not use the term denier. Lets use the word idiot instead. Or liar. Conspiracy theorist, maybe?

    I know, I know, don’t be a jerk…

  59. Grimbold

    John Abraham is made of win.

  60. @Gary
    Power sats or death rays?

    @Surferosad
    As a couple of speakers at TAM said over the weekend, and with apologies to Phil Plait, sometimes you just have to be a dick.

  61. Doug Little

    I’m a BIG fan of power sats. As a solution to our energy needs for the next several billion years I don’t see how it can be beat.

    Fusion or even antimatter annihilation for the distant future I think can beat it. The only thing that can save our earth in billions of years is to create an energy source that is comparable to the sun. That’s provided we can change the orbit of the earth quickly enough to keep the energy flux more or less constant when the sun goes red giant and then switch over to the new energy source once the sun is done. I wonder if we will get to the point where we could actually restart the sun again by dumping enough hydrogen on it for fusion to begin. Of course finding that much hydrogen and transporting it back to the solar system could prove problematic.

    Indecently have they figured out a viable solution to power transmission from a satellite yet?

    Why is blockquote broken?

  62. MadScientist

    @JosephG#33: I doubt the oil companies have something ready, but you’re right about rolling things out as they become economically viable. During the oil crisis in the early 1970s people laughed at the idea of using “oil sands” because of the high production costs. Oil costs so much these days that processing the oil sands is now profitable, just as it’s profitable to attempt to drill wells like Deepwater Horizon 1.

    @Manaker #37: Can you cite some published reviewed literature on that? It sounds like a load of hooey to me. As far as I’m aware no one has made a sensible case for clouds intervening to dampen increasing temperature – in fact the “no one understands clouds” is a favorite of the denialists. I think clouds should be studied more, but there are no indications that they will reduce warming.

  63. Messier Tidy Upper

    @62. Doug Little :

    Fusion or even antimatter annihilation for the distant future I think can beat it.

    Agreed. Helium-3 is a possiblity and hydrogen fusion, maybe also Deuterium and Thorium as energy sources?

    Of course finding that much hydrogen and transporting it back to the solar system could prove problematic.

    One word : Jupiter!

    Change its orbit send it spiralling into our Sun and there’s your source of H for a while. Mind you even Jupiter won’t resupply the Sun forever. If we’re dropping it onto a white dwarf we might also want to be careful lest we end up with a nova.

    Why is blockquote broken?

    It seems to be working for me. I take it you’re trying [blockquote] & [/blockquote] with the square bracklets replaced by the lesser than / greater than symbols?

    @59. Surferosad Says:

    No, lets not use the term denier. Lets use the word idiot instead. Or liar. Conspiracy theorist, maybe? I know, I know, don’t be a jerk…

    I prefer using the term ‘contrarian’ myself.

    @61. shane Says:

    As a couple of speakers at TAM said over the weekend, and with apologies to Phil Plait, sometimes you just have to be a dick.

    Occassionally maybe when its really needed. But only occassionally.

    Be one too often tho’ and you’ll just get written off as one.

    Before resorting to “being a dick” make sure you try discussing or arguing your case in a polite, reasonable, logical manner. Name-calling often backfires as a tactic and makes you look worse. Flaming people leads to flame wars and as Socrates apparently said :

    “All things in moderation – incl. moderation!” ;-)

  64. noen

    “Indecently have they figured out a viable solution to power transmission from a satellite yet?”

    Microwaves. They’ll go right through clouds too. This was all talked about back in the early 70′s during that energy crisis. You just beam microwave radiation to say… a desert and set up collectors over a wide area. No harm to the local fauna. It should be pretty efficient too.

  65. Messier Tidy Upper

    Latest news from Cancun climate talkfest :

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/nov/29/climate-change-scientists-4c-temperature

    From there :

    “There is now little to no chance of maintaining the rise in global surface temperature at below 2C, despite repeated high-level statements to the contrary,” said Kevin Anderson, from the University of Manchester, who with colleague Alice Bows contributed research to a special collection of Royal Society journal papers published tomorrow. “Moreover, the impacts associated with 2C have been revised upwards so that 2C now represents the threshold [of] extremely dangerous climate change.”

    Cheery news – not. :-(

    I have to say I am very pessimistic on this issue. I doubt serious – sufficently serious – action will be taken in time to do much before the natural feedbacks and time lag effect click in. It’s human nature not to act until something terrible happens to create sufficent motivation – especially when acting is costly and painful and requires change with negative consequences.

    Problem here is by the time sufficent disasters have occurred to really convince the contrarian side, it will very likely be far too late – if it isn’t already.

    To be honest I think the Contrarians have won or are winning – not the scientific debate in which they’ve been trounced – but thepublic opinion, political debate where they’ve at the very least delayed any major action by many years and probably decades.

    BTW. Monckton’s wikipedia page is here :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Monckton,_3rd_Viscount_Monckton_of_Brenchley

    For the record, I don’t have a car or drivers liscence, keep a mobile phone on reserve only for emergency use, print on both sides of the paper, try to re-use and recycle as much as possible and when the season & circumstances permit grow some vegetables at home – although last summer they were quickly killed off by the record early November heatwave. So I try – being low-income helps / hurts too.

  66. Eric

    Still waiting for Phil to write a blog on Judith Curry…or have the alarmists already eaten her for breakfast and spit her out? (Just like they do with everyone who turns ever so slightly against them. You don’t think the public hasn’t noticed this?)

    The greatest denial I see going on is from alarmists who can’t see they are losing the PR war…and the issue of the Tea Party politics is just red herring. Alarmists have a tendancy to attack the easiest targets vehemently (people who deny everything) while ignoring those who do not deny climate change but more rationally question the uncertainty of the impact of climate change and the degree to which it must be or even can be mitigated (especially without corrupt politicians mucking up the whole thing).

    I’ve never heard Phil say if he’s for or against Cap and Trade…though I think I have heard him mumble about keeping his nose out of the political solutions. That’s kind of quaint. Does that mean he really doesn’t care about a tax on everything (which hurts poor people most) or policies that will harm developing nations? Is he more interested in a political victory for his side than ensuring the solution itself is based on sound science? And is he comfortable with the overshadowing influence of climate change over what may be more urgent global issues? (Like AIDS, malaria, clean water and basic sanitation; which would have tremendous human-health and environmental benefits.)

  67. Messier Tidy Upper

    @48. Undeniable Says:

    Meanwhile, back in reality (or at least the UK), we’re having the coldest November temperatures since records began.

    Take a look at this clip on that :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDTUuckNHgc&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    Really, please do.

    @67. Eric Says:

    Still waiting for Phil to write a blog on Judith Curry…

    Write a blog on Judith Curry? What if she doesn’t want those words tattoed on her? ;-)

    ..or have the alarmists already eaten her for breakfast and spit her out?

    Would that spitting out be because the Curry dish is too hot? ;-)

    Are you saying “Alarmists” are cannibals? No, I don’t think so.

    The greatest denial I see going on is from alarmists who can’t see they are losing the PR war…

    Really? Didn’t Ijust say I thought those supporting the climatologists consensus on Human Caused Global Over-Heating are winning the science debate but losing the PR / political front?

    Citations please.

  68. Messier Tidy Upper

    @53. donjoe Says:

    1. It’s not whether there’s global warming, it’s whether it’s globally destructive (or rather beneficial).

    See :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE6at2IEUOU&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    and

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g093lhtpEFo&feature=related

    for some entertaining videoclips looking at those “beneficial” contentions of yours.

  69. Messier Tidy Upper

    @56. noen :

    Dick Cheney thanks all the deniers for ensuring the survival of his progeny while eliminating the competition, namely YOU.

    Don’t be ridiculous!

    Dick Cheney would NEVER thank anybody! ;-)

    BTW. Progeny – Dick Cheney? I thought his daughter was a lesbian so progeny might not be overly likely. Still, I wonder how his related grand-children might one day feel about him?

    @48. Undeniable :

    Meanwhile, back in reality (or at least the UK), we’re having the coldest November temperatures since records began.

    One other thing to consider here – I wonder if anyone’s checked the state of the Gulfstream lately? I gather that one scenario is that Human Caused Global Over-Heating (HCGOH) may lead to the Gulfstream failing as it did in the Younger Dryas geological era and thus paradoxically causing a regional ice age.

    I am currently reading an SF novel ‘Fifty Degrees Below’ (2005), by Kim Stanley Robinson (author of the Mars trilogy) dealing with this scenario.

  70. Jeffersonian

    All the ideas from the left do NOTHING, by their own admission, to halt warming.

    America is not the entire world, dude. Travel sometime.

  71. LittleJim

    @12. Daffy “ElZarcho, since you have said Phil is not qualified”

    …I didn’t see that one?

  72. Jeff

    welcome to reality, people. Now you are seeing how this world really works and have always worked: they power brokers of history, today the oil boys, will do whatever, and I mean whatever, to protect their interests. Smearing climate science/scientists is a small, small blip on their grand play.

  73. CB

    God said He wouldn’t flood the earth again.

    He didn’t say anything about preventing us from doing it ourselves. :P

  74. Joseph G

    @#67 Eric: I don’t think it’s at all dishonest or inconsistent of Phil to focus on global warming deniers, rather then those who question what solutions (if any, and in what amount) ought to be implemented. The former is a matter of science versus anti-science, while the latter is a matter of economics, political science, and national philosophy.
    Phil is, first and foremost, a scientist, and a promoter of sound science and public awareness of the scientific method; that’s what’s being threatened by people like Issa, Barton and Shimkus. I think Phil is doing well by sticking to his specialties and not running too far afield into subjects he’s not aquainted with, hence his silence on issues such as “Cap and Trade”.
    Contrary to your supposition, he’s promoting sound science instead of involving himself in “us vs them” partisan political brainmush.

  75. Joseph G

    @Messier Tidy: Kim Stanley Robinson has a new book out? Schweet! Ok, it’s five years old, but I’m so oblivious I haven’t heard of it yet :P

    Also, lawlz at Cheny’s grandchildren/great-grandchildren. I’m guessing they’ll change their names to avoid getting hassled at hydroponics school.

    @#74 CB: Heh, good point. In fact, my Christian friends tell me that their faith teaches that God specifically gave humans free will (hence the ability to do evil/stupid things). I don’t recall any instance in the Bible where God intervened in any way at all without telling everyone what was going to happen first, and even then it was to get people out of situations that he’d caused in the first place (ie the plagues and Red Sea and Mana and all that in Exodus), not them :P
    They say that God looks after fools and drunks, I think our drunk driving fatality statistics and Darwin Awards numbers prove even this saying wrong.

  76. Matt B.

    Please tell me “AGW” doesn’t stand for “Anthropogenic Global Warming”. “Anthropogenic” means “man-making“, not “man-made“. Hydrogen makes water, mutagens make mutations. Therefore, anthropogens make people. It’s simple language, really.

  77. JJ (the other one)

    Manacker #37 wrote: “at the same time, the upper ocean has also shown a cooling trend since ARGO measurements replaced the older, less reliable, expendable XBT measurement devices in 2003.”

    ..which is why we there’s a recent (2010) paper in Nature titled “Robust warming of the global upper ocean”, right? I’d link it but then my post will end up in the spam filter. You can Google it.

    It’s true that ARGO data initially (like in 2006) looked like the oceans were cooling. It was due to a calibration error.

    To then tie an out-of-context Climategate quote to it is *extremely* telling of your intellectual honesty on this subject.

  78. Manacker @ 37: You are right about many factors influencing climate here on Earth, and a number of those being at times warming factors – but anthropogenic CO2 is the only exponentially increasing one. Exponentially increase means run-away. Of course it will stop at some point, but all the CO2 forecasts so far have been put to shame, by us clever humans putting out even more CO2 than expected.
    FYI: There is no doubt about CO2 being a greenhouse gas – it is very simple physics based on the spectrum of the CO2 molecule. The uncertainties in translating this into a temperature rise, come from the complicated feed-back mechanisms in the Earth’s climate-ocean-biosphere system. But the Earth is still warming – exponentially – that is the worry.
    – Regner

  79. CB

    @ Matt B.:

    The -genic suffix can mean either “producing”, as in carcinogenic, or “produced by”, as in biogenic. Or, in this case, anthropogenic, which means “produced by people”.

    Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/-genic

    So relax, Anthropogenic Global Warming is correct usage.

  80. Steve Metzler

    Please tell me “AGW” doesn’t stand for “Anthropogenic Global Warming”. “Anthropogenic” means “man-making“, not “man-made“.

    First definition at dictionary.com:

    –adjective
    caused or produced by humans: anthropogenic air pollution.

    Probably not in your made-of-dead-trees dictionary because it’s a word that has just recently entered the English lexicon? Obviously the denialist bottom feeders have very little left to pick on if that’s the best they can do.

  81. Joseph G

    @#80: Space whales? That would explain Japan’s new harpoon-equipped space probe. For capturing “comets”. :P

  82. Messier Tidy Upper

    @76. Joseph G Says:

    @Messier Tidy: Kim Stanley Robinson has a new book out? Schweet! Ok, it’s five years old, but I’m so oblivious I haven’t heard of it yet.

    Well a whole new series actually :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Stanley_Robinson#Science_in_the_Capital_series

    I’ve read the first “Science in the Capital” book & am currently about halfway through the second. To be honest, I don’t think its his best work – very slow paced. Then again topping the Mars trilogy is something that will be very hard for him (or anyone else) to do.

  83. Brian137

    Eric,
    Regarding your post #67, I think Phil’s website aims to correct misinformation about and misinterpretations of science and extends to social and political topics only in so far as those topics involve such misinformation or misinterpretations. Most of Phil’s debunking of certain contemporary ideas (moon landing was a hoax, antivax, cell-phone-causes-cancer, ID, etc.) do not arouse the politicos, but, unfortunately, several scientific matters, such as AGW, have been politicized.

    Maybe the idea that many of us are much more interested in scientific accuracy than in politics seems strange to you, yet that is the case. I have very little interest in politics and very little personal stake in whatever the human race does or does not do about the environment. I am not comfortable giving advice unless I am confident that I understand its ramifications, so I make no specific suggestions about what society should do in regard to mitigating climate change.

  84. Undeniable

    @49 Brian D Says:

    I’m full, therefore there’s no global hunger.

    Psst! Weather is not climate, and the UK is not the globe. Making claims like that as if it disproved climate change is as stupid as claiming the sun is moving in the sky, therefore the Earth is at the center of the universe.

    Psst! Actually, I didn’t make any claims I just stated a fact. With regards to the ‘weather is not climate’ idea: climate is weather fed through a 30-year low pass filter, so whether (pun intended) it is qualitatively different to weather is open to question. Perhaps you could suggest a method by which the climate could affect one other than via the medium of weather?

  85. Brian D

    @Undeniable :

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-cold-weather.htm

    Weather throws the punches, climate trains the boxer. Even loaded dice roll low occasionally. This shouldn’t be that hard to grasp.

    And until you stop denying rudimentary science, we’ll keep using ‘denier’.

  86. Angus Martin

    @76. Joseph G:

    Actually Kim Stanley Robinson just came out with a new book last year, “Galileo’s Dream”. Haven’t read it yet, sadly.

  87. Joseph G
  88. Undeniable

    @87 Brian D:

    Weather throws the punches, climate trains the boxer. Even loaded dice roll low occasionally. This shouldn’t be that hard to grasp.

    And until you stop denying rudimentary science, we’ll keep using ‘denier’.

    1. How is stating that the weather is currently very cold ‘denying rudimentary science’?

    2. The term ‘denier’ is factually incorrect and offensive.

  89. Undeniable

    @68 Messier Tidy Upper

    Take a look at this clip on that :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDTUuckNHgc&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    Really, please do.

    I have already watched this video but couldn’t remember exactly why it didn’t impress me, so I watched it again and now I remember: Almost the whole video is total junk. Really, have you actually watched it yourself? His (or is it the weathermen’s?) main argument seems to be that if it’s cold somewhere, then it must be because it’s warm somewhere else… I’m not making this up, you really should watch it if you want a good laugh. Also, the arguments about warmer lakes leading to increased snowfall don’t apply to the current situation in Europe. And the (projected) ‘statistics’ about record cold and hot days are also just nonsense. And the graphs don’t agree with what’s been said. And… Time for bed I think.

  90. Brian D

    @90 Undeniable.

    1) You smugly stated that the UK winter has been very cold, with the implication that this made global warming a non-issue. This confuses weather and climate (a mistake you continue to make despite having it pointed out to you, ergo you are denying it), as well as confuses your backyard with the entire planet (which is just embarrassing). For further evidence of denialism, see below.

    2) “Denier” means one who denies. In this context it refers to one who denies the established scientific reality of climate change. It is not incorrect to apply it. And if it is offensive, tough – it is substantiated, and therefore justified. If you believe being offended is enough of a reason to stifle offensive information, I would suggest you have other issues to deal with as well as scientific illiteracy.

    -
    @91 Undeniable

    No, his main argument is that “it’s cold somewhere” does NOT mean “it’s cold everywhere”. This is logically distinct from “it’s cold somewhere” -> “it’s warm somewhere else”. It’s just demonstrated through counterexample. (By the way, that’s a chart of temperature anomaly. I trust you know what that means.)

    As for your subsequent claims about there being an error in the increased mean temperature -> increased evaporation -> increased snowfall chain of reasoning, I await your citation with bated breath. (Note: Again, “it’s not happening right now in one part of the globe” is a weather claim, not a climate claim. Climate is about *trends*, which – you may note – is what that entire chain of logic is based on.)

    Finally, those statistics, being from the last 50 years, are not projected, but recorded. There was a model used – but it was to predict “what will happen if what we observe keeps on going?”. That doesn’t negate the observed trend. I await your correction, again, with bated breath.

    -

    Also, I figure I should link this:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=471

    In light of the earlier drive-by denialism by Manacker (#37) on cloud feedbacks, this link is a well-written summary of recent research on cloud feedbacks. The conclusion?

    In short, while much more research of the cloud-climate feedback is needed, the evidence is stacking up against those who argue that climate sensitivity is low due to a strongly negative cloud feedback.

    (For the passerby, “climate sensitivity” refers to, essentially, how much the temperature will change in response to a given poke, such as increased CO2. Manacker’s claims amount to asserting a low climate sensitivity, while multiple lines of evidence contradict this.)

  91. “Well, you’re wrong. When you are pushing a boulder downhill towards the village the first step towards solving the problem would be to stop pushing.”
    Your childish oversimplification of the matter only serves as a testament to your lack of respect for scientific rigor and it hurts your side’s image (even more).

    “Since you admit that global warming is real the logical first step is to stop contributing to it.”
    No, it’s not. The logical first step is to establish whether it’s actually harmful in the overall. And if it is, the next step would be to choose the most effective humanly feasible project to reverse this process, and that isn’t necessarily cutting CO2 emissions (what with CO2 being a rather minor GHG).

    @69
    Please stop covering yourself in ridicule by giving irrelevant answers to my very specific questions.

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