Are we headed for a new ice age?

By Phil Plait | June 17, 2011 6:02 am

Much ado was made over the recent news that the Sun’s magnetic activity may be cooling off over the next few years. Can this mean the Earth itself will literally cool off, slipping into an ice age? Some news sites are reporting it that way (of course, the execrable Daily Mail uses the headline "Earth facing a mini-Ice Age ‘within ten years’ due to rare drop in sunspot activity"; which isn’t even within a glancing blow of reality).

The answer — spoiler alert! — is almost certainly "no". I want to make sure that’s clear, because I will bet essentially any amount of money that some climate change denial sites will run with this story and claim that we don’t need to worry about global warming. That’s baloney, and what follows is why. The reasons take a minute to explain, but of course that’s where the cool stuff (haha!) is. So let’s take this one step at a time. And if you have the attention span of an E. coli bacterium, you can skip down to the conclusion section.

[Note: a lot of this is taken from my book "Death from the Skies!", where I interviewed approximately a bazillion people. One in particular was Caspar Ammann, who was very helpful in explaining the solar connection with the Little Ice Age to me.]


The Quiet Sun

The Sun has a magnetic cycle, its magnetic field waxing and waning in strength roughly every 11 years. The strength and complexity of the solar field governs a lot of the surface activity, including sunspots, solar flares, prominences, and coronal mass ejections.

Right now, in 2011, we’ve just left a period of an extended minimum, and the next max is due in late 2013 and early 2014. But scientists studying the Sun have seen three independent lines of reasoning indicating that the next rise to the solar peak, in 2022 or so, may be delayed or even not occur at all. I wrote about this in an earlier post, so you can get the details there. It’s the core of the "oncoming ice age" claim, so you should read it.

I’ll note right off the bat that not everyone agrees with these findings. Doug Biesecker, a solar physicist NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center [full disclosure: Doug is an acquaintance of mine; I interviewed him for an episode of "Bad Universe" about solar storms] , has written a document calling the findings into question. It’s not exactly a rebuttal; it’s more of a warning not to over-interpret the results. He also points out that a weak cycle may not have an effect on our climate; we simply don’t know for sure.

At this point you may be asking, so what? If the Sun has fewer sunspots and no flares, what difference does that make here on Earth? And how could it possibly trigger an ice age?


The Little Ice Age

In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, much of Europe experienced incredibly cold winters. People were ice skating on the Thames river (which was never before seen to have frozen, even in winter), glaciers in the Alps advanced, and the entire Dutch fleet of ships was frozen in its harbor. Oddly, summers were not much different, and much of the rest of the planet had normal winters (in North America winters were colder than normal, but not as bad as in Europe).

At the same time, the Sun was experiencing a 75-year long period later called The Maunder Minimum: few or no sunspots were to be found on the face of the Sun. That seems like a funny coincidence! And in fact, that’s the basis for this new claim that we might be entering an ice age: if no magnetic activity from the Sun once coincided with a cooling here on Earth, might it not do so again?

As we like to say in the skeptic’s business: correlation does not imply causation. In other words, beware of funny coincidences.


The Sun-Earth Connection

What we need to ask is, can the solar cycle cause an ice age? And even if it can, was the Little Ice Age sparked by the Maunder Minimum?

Given that essentially all the heat received by the Earth from space comes from the Sun, it seems like a no-brainer that the Sun affects our climate. But it’s not that simple. Overall, the Sun’s energy output is remarkably stable. Over hundreds of millions of years the Sun actually warms up due to complicated processes in its core, but over, say, 100,000 years the heat and light we get from it is pretty much rock-constant. The changes we see in our climate (historically and currently) are actually from other sources; changes in the shape of the Earth’s orbit, for example, or the chemistry in our atmosphere. It’s that last part that’s so concerning right now; carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and we’ve been nonchalantly pumping megatons of it into the air for a long time now. That’s the clear cause of the modern global warming despite what deniers claim.

Having said all that, the sunspot cycle may have a very small effect on climate. You might think that since the spots are cooler than the solar surface we’d see a drop in light from the Sun and a corresponding cooling of the Earth during solar max. However, it’s actually the opposite! Sunspots are surrounded by a rim called faculae, and in this region the temperatures are actually higher than the average solar surface. This more than compensates for the cooler area of the spot; sunspots are about 1% dimmer than the solar surface, but faculae are 1.1 to 1.5% brighter. On top of that, faculae emit more UV than the solar surface does, and that wavelength of light is preferentially absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere, increasing the efficiency of heating.

So, bizarrely, sunspots tend to warm the Earth. That jibes with the idea of a cooling trend during solar minimum; fewer spots means fewer faculae, so the Sun emits less Earth-warming radiation.

But when you look at the numbers, again, it’s not so simple. The effect from faculae is very small, not enough to significantly change the Earth’s temperature on their own.

Ah, but in the case of the Little Ice Age, there may have been more players in the game.


Jet versus the Volcano

As it happens, there were some big volcanic eruptions around the time of the Little Ice Age. Ice cores trap atmospheric gases, and samples from the 1690s (a period of particularly severe cooling in Europe) show significantly more atmospheric sulfur than usual. This is a volcanic gas, and is very good at reflecting incoming sunlight. Obviously, this can have a global cooling effect.

But there’s that word, "global". The Little Ice Age hit Europe the hardest. Sunspots and volcanoes wouldn’t hit one region that hard without doing something to the rest of the planet. That implies a third participant… and it turns out, there is.

The jet stream is a river of air that flows roughly west to east across the Earth. It varies a lot season to season and year to year, and it can affect regional weather quite strongly. A dip south can bring very cold arctic air to one place while a northward kink keeps another region temperate. When the jet stream is strong it flows well and that doesn’t happen, but when it’s weak it can meander, flopping north and south in various locations. The jet stream strength and direction depends on many factors, including, of all things, ozone.

The dependence is complicated, but the bottom line is the jet stream is weaker when there’s less ozone (it has to do with latitude-dependent temperature gradients across the upper atmosphere; those gradients are strong in winter and weak in summer). Ozone creation depends on UV from the Sun, which is weaker during a solar minimum. See where this is going? Weaker magnetic activity on the Sun means less ozone which means a weaker jet stream which means it meanders more, bringing cold air south in some places.

And where does that happen preferentially? Give yourself a gold star if you guess Europe.

So that may be the connection between the Sun’s Maunder Minimum and the Little Ice Age. Fewer sunspots meant fewer faculae, so less heat from the Sun. Not enough to kickstart an ice age, but it had some minimal effect. Volcanic eruptions added their cooling. Finally, a weak jet stream dropped supercold air farther south into Europe — thus the winters in Europe were extraordinarily bitter, but summers weren’t all that affected, and other regions of the world were spared the worst outcomes from all this.

Mind you — and this is fairly important — there’s evidence that the Little Ice Age began long before the Maunder Minimum. It may have actually been more like series of cold pulses that started centuries earlier. So any connection between the solar cycle and ice ages is pretty weak.


Chill, dude

So where does that leave us? At first, it seems that a solar activity minimum leads to cooling, but as I detailed painfully above, that connection isn’t straightforward. Volcanoes played a strong role, for example, and it’s not at all clear a minimum will lead to an ice age without them. You can’t make a one-to-one connection between a lack of sunspots and an oncoming ice age.

Moreover, it’s not clear the results from the studies indicate a weak cycle next time around. It’s possible, but not a sure thing. And a weak cycle, as Dr. Biesecker points out, doesn’t necessarily mean anything to our climate, volcanoes or not.

Also, keep in mind the Little Ice Age was not a global phenomenon, but a regional one. Even if a weak cycle occurs and it does affect us, the effects would be relatively contained. It would suck for those who got hit by it, but the Earth itself would weather through it. Haha.

And let’s not forget the elephant in the room: the amount of cooling we’d see from this even if it all came together would still be less than the global warming we’ve been experiencing since the 20th century. It might slow things down for a while, but the climate change we’re seeing now — and it’s real, folks — is more than enough to take on a little temporary cooling, especially local cooling.

So, to wrap things up in a nice little bow:

1) Claims of an imminent global ice age are at best exaggerated.

2) The link of global cooling to an extended solar magnetic minimum is tenuous, and almost certainly needs something else to force it to occur (like lots of volcanoes), and

3) We’re not even all that sure we’re headed for an extended minimum.

I know a lot of folks tend to panic, and a lot of so-called "news" outlets know that disasters sell ad space. So there you go. No need to panic yet over global cooling. And we’ve still got warming deniers to deal with.

Tip o’ the parka hood to Fark. Image credits: Flare: NASA/SDO; Snowball Earth: Neethis and Celestia; Faculae: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio; Sunspot number: NASA/MSFC; Mayon volcano: wikipedia.


Related posts:

- The Sun may be headed for a little quiet time
- Is global warming solar induced?
- New study clinches it: the Earth is warming up
-
NASA talks global warming

Comments (206)

  1. Nigel Depledge

    The BA said:

    . . . we’ve been nonchalantly pumping . . .

    I never pump any other way. ;-)

  2. Nigel Depledge

    On a more serious note:

    Thank-you, BA, for a considered and measured summary of the science.

    But I suspect the GW naysayers will still latch onto this.

  3. Diederick

    Almost certainly? So… there is a chance! Oh noes!

  4. Murff

    I live in North Dakota, we have a “mini” ice age every year!

    Thanks for the post BA, great read.

  5. archie

    I take it your a global warming fan, in that its getting warmer no matter what, so am i, however i am also open minded, as for the facts you have stated above, your research needs to be a bit more details added, in that, we are experiencing more volcanic eruptions, the north atlantic current has been getting weaker for many years and if the sun is weakening then combine theses three items together just blows what you have written above right of the water.

  6. Shatner's Basoon

    Are we all going to die?

  7. Emily

    In undergrad geology classes, I was taught that global warming may have been the reason the Little Ice Age never became a real ice age. Extrapolation of Milankovich cycles indicated that we were “due” for another ice age and that the Little Ice Age could have been the start of a major cooling event, but greenhouse gas emissions prevented it.

  8. James

    Why wouldn’t the Rockies and Andes be snowed over in that image of an icy earth?

  9. Gary

    Irradiance is not the only solar effect on earth climate. An hypothesis accumulating more supporting evidence states that cloudiness is linked to cosmic rays and that periods of low sunspot numbers indicate a reduced solar magnetic field that permits more rays to enter earth’s atmosphere and generate more cloudiness. In turn that increases albedo and lowers temperatures. We don’t understand the sun/earth interaction well enough to dismiss it as significant forcing on climate as you do here. As for a new ice age this century, well no, the earth’s orbital parameters that ultimately control the glacial/inter-glacial cycle are favorable for thousands of more years. However, a period of chilling is not off the table at all.

  10. kelley

    Good science info, and thanks. Weather in China affects Indiana, and weather on the sun is OUR weather too! Weather at the rotating core of the earth (yes, it rotates in the sun’s magnetic field because the earth rotates) affects weather only God knows wherever else! The universe seemed like an orderly, predictable cause-and-effect system until we learned more. Now we know it is in chaos caused by the quantum effect of particles and fields we know little of. This is probably the case with climate also!

    We are little better than the old ladies that read tea leaves, but creation reveals itself to the honest and the patient. Yes, we will ALL DIE, and yes, our curious and honest learners we leave behind will answer the old questions and think up new ones. Now it all comes down to a sort of faith and religion: Is there good or bad or order behind the chaos and do we have a say in it? I only hope the quantum fragments of what my neurons leave behind will still be plugged into the cosmic web for the next replay — hopefully with a better connection than I have now! k.clond

  11. johnnyb

    No mention of Sven’s Galactic Cosmic Ray Theory? Little Ice Age hit China, too and thats a documented fact. Who really knows what effect it had on North America as literate populations were isolated to the East Coast.

    How does ozone effect the jet stream? Common knowledge is that the various jet streams are caused where the various cells meet, and convection, gravity and the spin of the Earth cause jet streams.

    I don’t get the feeling you have a strong grasp on weather systems. FYI

  12. Thanks, that cleared a lot of things up for me! By the by, do you have any links to papers so I could give those a look over as well?

    Finally, and this has been bugging me, are there really that many records of sunspot activity from that far back?

  13. James H in Dallas

    It’s 100 degrees here in Dallas in June. Bring on the ice age. I need to move to a more temperate climate. Thought about Vancouver when I retire, but after watching the aftermath of the Cup finals I’m looking again!

  14. BaldApe

    My prediction is that the corporate interests behind AGW denialism will shout out their “predictions” that we are entering a cooling phase, and 15 to 20 years form now, when it doesn’t happen, it’ll be another one of those “See, in 2011 they were saying…” things.

  15. OmegaBaby

    So if I understood this post, then that means SOLAR MINIMUMS LEAD TO ERUPTING VOLCANOES! That’s SO much worse than just changing the climate! And it would explain the recent spat of volcanic eruptions around the world! I bet it explains the recent earthquakes too!

    Has someone notified the Daily Mail about this connection yet?!?

  16. gopher65

    Gary: If I’m remembering correctly, the “cloudiness is linked to cosmic rays” thing has been all but disproven over the past 2 years. But up until then it was considered a major possibility.

  17. OmegaBaby

    @9 BaldApe.

    Yep. Depressing thought huh? Kind of makes you wish you were on the other side of the debate, able to blissfully ignore any evidence that impinges on your comfortable worldview?

    I truly envy these people at times. Makes me want to go to church and get indoctrinated so that I don’t have to worry about problems like this, cause “God can sort it all out for me”. Then I can come back and make myself feel superior by making fun of you people by using illogical and insulting arguments. Stuff like “U R all dum cuz U use big words nobody understands…har har”.

    Man..that would be SWEET!

  18. SUV

    Please provide evidence that the atmospheric sulfur increase was significant enough to create a forcing of temperature that was recorded in the LIA.

    Otherwise this idea that it was volcano’s and not the long established Minimum is just speculative theory.

    Please also explain why you disregard the multiple lines of peer reviewed evidence proving the LIA was a near-global if not global phenomenon, with recent evidence from Asia and South America.

  19. NoAstronomer

    “…there’s evidence that the Little Ice Age began long before the Maunder Minimum. So any connection between the solar cycle and ice ages is pretty weak.”

    The first sentence is true, but there were also several minima before the Maunder Minimum. The Spörer Minimum lasted from about 1460 until 1550 (via Wikipedia). The Wolf Minimum occurred before that from 1280 to 1350. And those minima do correspond well with the start of the Little Ice Age.

    Before that a maximum apparently similar (but not as strong) to the one we’ve recently experienced coincides with a period of warmer temperatures known as the Medieval Warm Period. Evidence indicates that the MWP was global in effect.

    So the link is anything but ‘weak’. Is it direct – no. Is it explained – no. But it is there.

    Geologically speaking we *are* in an Ice Age and have been for millions of years. We’re just currently in an inter-glacial period. As Gary says we’re certainly not headed for the return of the glaciers at this time. We may well be in for a period of cooling. How much, or any, no one can say with certainty. Anyone who claims to know for sure is blowing smoke.

    Mike.

  20. Dys

    The science surrounding the Sun and its effect on the Earth is all quite fascinating. Does it bother you that rather than talking about the science you have to spend so much time and effort emphasising the unlikeliness of unlikely outcomes?

    I mean, the whole post is ‘Yes, the sun is likely to enter a low period, no it won’t cause an ice age, no it won’t, no it really won’t. It really really won’t’. Climate science is trying so hard and succeeding magnificently in deconstructing an incredibly complex system, which then gets reduced to tv sound bites and a ‘yes it is, no it isn’t, yes it is, no it isn’t’ argument which would be ridiculous to the average five year old.

  21. Nigel Depledge

    Gary (7) said:

    Irradiance is not the only solar effect on earth climate. . . However, a period of chilling is not off the table at all.

    The hypothesis you describe is at least plausible to some extent.

    However, my understanding is that if it were a significantly-sized effect, there would be a strong correlation between solar magnetic field strength and the global climate. Remember that the “mini-ice-age” that vaguely coincided with the Maunder minimum only occurred in Europe and (to a lesser extent) North America. It did not occur – AFAWCT – in the southern hemisphere at all.

    Therefore, any link, by whatever mechanism, between solar magnetic activity and the climate of the Earth is, at most, weak.

  22. Nigel Depledge

    @ Kelly (10) -

    Well, I know the meaning of the words you have used, but you have tossed them together in such a way as to render the sentences meaningless.

  23. To be clear, we are already currently in an ice age, the Quaternary period. It started 2.58 million years ago and continues to this day. It’s just that we are in the middle of an interglacial period (the Holocene). Over just the last 600,000 years there have been seven glacial periods and seven interglacials (counting the one we are in now).

    It’s always possible, of course, that the last glacial period (ending around 11,000 years ago) was the last one of this ice age and we are heading back to a warm period. Possible but unlikely. Unless of course we keep going down the global warming path. That’s not really a good thing, mind you… since usually the climate changes over many thousands of years, not a couple of hundred like we’re trying to do.

  24. Nigel Depledge

    Johnny B (11) said:

    I don’t get the feeling you have a strong grasp on weather systems. FYI

    Right back atcha.

  25. Nigel Depledge

    SUV (18) said:

    Please provide evidence that the atmospheric sulfur increase was significant enough to create a forcing of temperature that was recorded in the LIA.

    Er, dude, sulphate aerosols have been proven to cause cooling, but volcanoes have a more obvious effect than that. Ash. IIUC, the effects of large ash clouds on climate are well established. Ice core samples show elevated sulphur, indicating the extent of volcanic activity at that time.

    BTW, if you want to find out about the etsablished, mainstream science, why don’t you get yourself to a decent library and do some actual research, rather than just ask to have it handed to you on a platter?

    Otherwise this idea that it was volcano’s and not the long established Minimum is just speculative theory.

    Not speculative. Plausible. And, on consideration, far more plausible than the claim that the Maunder minimum was responsible for the LIA. (Remember, the LIA only affected the northern hemisphere, not the southern. Any influence on global climate will affect both hemispheres equally).

    Please also explain why you disregard the multiple lines of peer reviewed evidence proving the LIA was a near-global if not global phenomenon, with recent evidence from Asia and South America.

    Well, Asia is in the northern hemisphere, as are some parts of South America. Where is your reference to the evidence that the LIA occurred in South America? And remember, because you are the one challenging the mainstream science here, the burden of proof is yours.

  26. Nigel Depledge

    NoAstronomer (19) said:

    Before that a maximum apparently similar (but not as strong) to the one we’ve recently experienced coincides with a period of warmer temperatures known as the Medieval Warm Period. Evidence indicates that the MWP was global in effect.

    IIUC, it is far from established that the MWP was a real effect at all.

  27. Dave R

    @ Hugo Schmidt, #12:
    >By the by, do you have any links to papers so I could give those a look over as well?

    Feulner and Rahmstorf, 2010: On the effect of a new grand minimum of solar activity on the future climate on Earth, (PDF here)

    Lockwood et al, 2010: Are cold winters in Europe associated with low solar activity?

  28. Grand Lunar

    Given the recent volcanic activity, I have to wonder if those will have any influence on the weather patterns.

    If we do have another Mini Ice Age, I wonder what the ramifications may be.

    AGW deniers, IMO, would have a field day with that, I’m sure.

  29. A point about the extent of the The Little Ice Age: it was not limited to Europe. There was a glacial advance that began during that period that is known around the world as the Cavell advance. The Cavell glacier is on Mt. Edith Cavell in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

  30. SUV

    @ 25 Nigel

    Er, dude, sulphate aerosols have been proven to cause cooling, but volcanoes have a more obvious effect than that. Ash. IIUC, the effects of large ash clouds on climate are well established. Ice core samples show elevated sulphur, indicating the extent of volcanic activity at that time.

    It would be easy to do a review that proves this claim. Yet strangely, no scientist has published anything displaying a LIA caused by volcanic activity. I think this should show you and our readers why this theory is garbage.

    In other words, we all know there wasn’t enough volcanic activity to be responsible for the LIA, because if there was, somebody would have already proved it by now.

    —-

    BTW, if you want to find out about the etsablished, mainstream science, why don’t you get yourself to a decent library and do some actual research, rather than just ask to have it handed to you on a platter?

    It is the responsibility of those who present the theory to present the evidence. A simple link would do just fine. The real question is why do you press me for evidence, but not those who make alarmist claims you agree with?

    —-

    Where is your reference to the evidence that the LIA occurred in South America? And remember, because you are the one challenging the mainstream science here, the burden of proof is yours.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age

    You will fine convenient links to peer reviewed papers, arranged by continent, showing how the LIA has been proven to be a world wide event.

  31. Erik

    @14 – except we have the Internet now, and we’ll be able to, in 15 to 20 years, look back and see exactly who it was that were saying those things. Maybe that’ll count for something, but I doubt it.

  32. Mike

    Good article, Phil. Thanks!

  33. Paul from VA

    @30 SVU

    Your statement about the little ice age is incorrect. The lede from the wikipedia article on the LIA contains the following quote:

    Thus current evidence does not support globally synchronous periods of anomalous cold or warmth over this time frame, and the conventional terms of “Little Ice Age” and “Medieval Warm Period” appear to have limited utility in describing trends in hemispheric or global mean temperature changes in past centuries…

    that explicitly states, based on the best available scientific evidence, that there is no evidence for global cooling or warming during the mid second millenium AD.

  34. Hm, I have to disagree on the logic on the sunspots you wrote above. You missed all of the other parts of the spectrum and it is possible that the higher magnetic activity can lead to a warmer earth (not by much) from the higher energy particles are are ejected with the complex magnetic fields that surround the sunspots. It’s not that the high energy particles come in an act like an EZ-bake oven, but more the interactions in the charge exchange interactions in the earth’s atmosphere. ALL OF THIS SAID, there still is the problem of strong evidence. We have no solid evidence that the Maunder Min caused the mini Ice Age.

    Will we get another “ice age”? As you described so well, not likely!

  35. jschild

    For those claiming volcanic activity had nothing to do with the LIA….

    Throughout the Little Ice Age, the world experienced heightened volcanic activity.[64] When a volcano erupts, its ash reaches high into the atmosphere and can spread to cover the whole Earth. This ash cloud blocks out some of the incoming solar radiation, leading to worldwide cooling that can last up to two years after an eruption. Also emitted by eruptions is sulfur in the form of SO2 gas. When this gas reaches the stratosphere, it turns into sulfuric acid particles, which reflect the sun’s rays, further reducing the amount of radiation reaching Earth’s surface. The 1815 eruption of Tambora in Indonesia blanketed the atmosphere with ash; the following year, 1816, came to be known as the Year Without a Summer, when frost and snow were reported in June and July in both New England and Northern Europe. Other volcanoes that erupted during the era and may have contributed to the cooling include Billy Mitchell (ca. 1580 ± 20 ), Mount Parker (1641), Long Island (Papua New Guinea) (ca. 1660), and Huaynaputina (1600).[17]

  36. Dave R

    SUV:
    >Yet strangely, no scientist has published anything displaying a LIA caused by volcanic activity.

    The link that you posted provides evidence that volcanic activity contributed to the LIA. Google scholar will give you links to peer-reviewed papers on the subject.

    >showing how the LIA has been proven to be a world wide event.

    Again, the link that you posted contradicts your claim. Here is what it says:

    Evidence from mountain glaciers does suggest increased glaciation in a number of widely spread regions outside Europe prior to the 20th century, including Alaska, New Zealand and Patagonia. However, the timing of maximum glacial advances in these regions differs considerably, suggesting that they may represent largely independent regional climate changes, not a globally-synchronous increased glaciation. Thus current evidence does not support globally synchronous periods of anomalous cold or warmth over this time frame, and the conventional terms of “Little Ice Age” and “Medieval Warm Period” appear to have limited utility in describing trends in hemispheric or global mean temperature changes in past centuries… [Viewed] hemispherically, the “Little Ice Age” can only be considered as a modest cooling of the Northern Hemisphere during this period of less than 1°C relative to late 20th century levels.[7]

  37. SUV

    Since many posters here have an inability to read more than the first few lines of a Wikipedia aticle, I’ll post it for your reference. Please note the many, many new peer reviewed papers which explicitly prove the LIA as a global or near-global event.

    I’m still waiting for my proof that the sulfur levels are significant during the LIA.

    —-

    From Wikipedia:

    Southern hemisphere

    Since the discovery of the Little Ice Age, there have been doubts about whether it was a global phenomenon or a cold spell restricted to the Northern Hemisphere. In recent years, several scientific works have pointed out the existence of cold spells and climate changes in areas of the Southern Hemisphere, and their correlation to the Little Ice Age.
    [edit] Africa

    In Southern Africa, sediment cores retrieved from Lake Malawi show colder conditions between 1570 and 1820, suggesting the Lake Malawi records “further support, and extend, the global expanse of the Little Ice Age.”[40]

    A novel 3,000 year temperature reconstruction method based on the rate of stalagmite growth in a cold cave in South Africa suggest a cold period from 1500-1800 “characterizing the South African Little Ice age.”[41]
    [edit] Antarctica

    Kreutz et al. (1997) compared results from studies of West Antarctic ice cores with the Greenland Ice Sheet Project Two (GISP2) and suggested a synchronous global Little Ice Age.[42] An ocean sediment core from the eastern Bransfield Basin in the Antarctic Peninsula shows centennial events that the authors link to the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period.[43] The authors note “other unexplained climatic events comparable in duration and amplitude to the LIA and MWP events also appear.”
    CO2 mixing ratios at Law Dome

    The Siple Dome (SD) has a climate event with an onset time that is coincident with that of the LIA in the North Atlantic based on a correlation with the GISP2 record. This event is the most dramatic climate event seen in the SD Holocene glaciochemical record.[44] The Siple Dome ice core also contained its highest rate of melt layers (up to 8%) between 1550 and 1700, most likely because of warm summers during the LIA.[45]

    Law Dome ice cores show lower levels of CO2 mixing ratios during 1550-1800 AD, leading investigators Etheridge and Steele to conjecture “probably as a result of colder global climate”.[46]

    Sediment cores in Bransfield Basin, Antarctic Peninsula, have neoglacial indicators by diatom and sea-ice taxa variations during the period of the LIA.[47]
    [edit] Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands

    There is limited evidence about conditions in Australia, though lake records in Victoria suggest that conditions, at least in the south of the state, were wet and/or unusually cool. In the north of the continent the limited evidence suggests fairly dry conditions, while coral cores from the Great Barrier Reef show similar rainfall today but with less variability. A study that analyzed isotopes in Great Barrier Reef corals suggested that increased water vapor transport from southern tropical oceans to the poles contributed to the LIA.[48]

    Sea level data for the Pacific Islands suggest that sea level in the region fell, possibly in two stages, between AD 1270-1475. This was associated with a 1.5°C fall in temperature (determined from oxygen-isotope analysis) and an observed increase in El Niño frequency.[49]

    Borehole reconstructions from Australia suggest that, over the last 500 years, the 17th century was the coldest in that continent, although the borehole temperature reconstruction method does not show good agreement between the northern and southern hemispheres.[50]

    On the west coast of the Southern Alps of New Zealand, the Franz Josef glacier advanced rapidly during the Little Ice Age, reaching its maximum extent in the early 18th century, in one of the few places where a glacier thrust into rain forest.[33] Based on dating of a yellow-green lichen of the Rhizocarpon subgenus, the Mueller Glacier, on the eastern flank of the Southern Alps within Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, is considered to have been at its maximum extent between 1725 and 1730.[51]
    [edit] South America

    Tree ring data from Patagonia show cold episodes between 1270 and 1380 and from 1520 to 1670; periods contemporary with LIA events in the Northern Hemisphere.[52][53] Eight sediment cores taken from Puyehue Lake have been interpreted as showing a humid period from 1470–1700, which the authors describe as a regional marker of LIA onset.[54] A 2009 paper details cooler and wetter conditions in southeastern South America between 1550 and 1800 AD, citing evidence obtained via several proxies and models.[55]

    Although it only provides anecdotal evidence, in 1675 the Spanish explorer Antonio de Vea entered San Rafael Lagoon through Río Témpanos (Spanish for Ice Floe River), without mentioning any ice floe, and stated that the San Rafael Glacier did not reach far into the lagoon. In 1766 another expedition noticed that the glacier did reach the lagoon and calved into large icebergs. Hans Steffen visited the area in 1898, noticing that the glacier penetrated far into the lagoon. Such historical records indicate a general cooling in the area between 1675 and 1898, and “The recognition of the LIA in northern Patagonia, through the use of documentary sources, provides important, independent evidence for the occurrence of this phenomenon in the region.”[56] As of 2001, the border of the glacier has significantly retreated compared to the borders of 1675.[56]

  38. zhirkhan

    AGHHH! Folks, stop citing wikipedia as a scientific reference! Any high school science teacher worth his or her salt would have your head on a platter if you used wiki as a source.

    Please take the extra 5 seconds to click on the links cited in the wiki article, then you will get the whole story, not just somebodies cliff notes versions.

    Keep in mind this is a blog, phil is not trying to write another dissertation here.

  39. Look, I freely admit that I’m not an expert on this subject, but how does this:

    Having said all that, the sunspot cycle may have a very small effect on climate.

    Synch with this:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/294/5549/twis.full#compilation-6-2-article-title-1

    Specifically this:

    eriodic episodes of surface-water cooling accompanied by increases in iceberg formation and transport have recurred in the North Atlantic throughout the last 100,000 years. Bond et al. (p. 2130; see the 16 November news story by Kerr) now show that virtually all of the centennial-scale expansions of cooler surface waters in the North Atlantic during the past 12,000 years were tied to decreases in the production of the cosmogenic nuclides 14C and 10Be.

    I’m not trying to be a troll or denier here, but I would like to know. I just go trawling through the literature, trying to get a decent picture on this.

  40. Dan

    “… I will bet essentially any amount of money that some climate change denial sites will run with this story and claim that we don’t need to worry about global warming.”

    Already happening: check the Register article linked to at the top of the article.

    The Register is good for tech news, but they have something of a global-warming-denialist hobby horse.

  41. Biesecker, who first discussed his doubts about the predictions on Dot Earth, is echoed by Dibyendu Nandi, an Indian solar physicist. Here’s the post and link: A Solar Scientist Rebuts a Cool Sunspot Prediction – http://nyti.ms/jYoG1q

  42. mike burkhart

    I thought we were in an ice age last winter when we had one snow storm after another but we now have a heat wave so I guess I was wrong.The graphic reminds me of readind about ”snowball Earth” the bigest ice age, millons of years ago when the whole surface of the Earth froze (it was because of the landmasses being all joined at the south pole in a supercontinet called Rodina)Phil what happend to ”Feed me seymore” I liked it on the old blog how about puting it on this one?

  43. b rosner

    The only facts I glean from these discussions are:
    1) The earth’s climate is warming.
    2) The earths climate has been both much warmer and much cooler than it is now.
    3) The earth’s climate is a complex system but we think atmospheric CO2 has a major influence.
    4) If we reduce human CO2 emissions climate warming will be reduced (delayed? reversed?)

    Once does not have to be a climate change denier to claim that perhaps the evidence for items 3 and 4 is not compelling.

  44. mpaul

    “The answer — spoiler alert! — is almost certainly “no”.”

    People who make intemperate statements like this are destroying the credibility of science. The reality is that there is a large degree of uncertainty regarding the effect of solar magnetic activity on climate. To suggest that we know, with “certainty”, the effects of solar variability on climate is farcical.

  45. Rick Pikul

    IIUC, it is far from established that the MWP was a real effect at all.

    Not only that, but even the highest temperature reconstructions only give temperatures we passed a quarter century ago.

  46. Rick Pikul

    Once does not have to be a climate change denier to claim that perhaps the evidence for items 3 and 4 is not compelling.

    Yes, one could be completely ignorant of over a century of scientific research but have chosen to have no opinion.

  47. Dave R

    b rosner, the evidence is compelling enough for virtually all the world’s climate scientists and all the world’s major scientific organisations. If you don’t accept it, you are indeed in denial.

    mpaul, the sun’s output has been measured accurately for decades. Its variation is very small compared to the increase in greenhouse gases that has caused the recent global warming. The small effect that the sun’s variation does have on global temperature is what is expected from the direct effect of the energy received. There is no room for any magical extra effect.

  48. Ahh, yes – Wikiality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikiality#Wikipedia_references) at its best (due to all of the Wiki links). The fact is that none of us are climate scientists or solar scientists and that the facts are suggestive but not (necessarily) causal in nature. It’s nice when things line up and it’s easy for people to draw conclusions from that synchronicity, but it is no way proof of a causal relationship.
    I think it’s great that there’s a very lively debate on the various components of this topic, but in the end, the systems are just too complicated for anyone to have figured it out yet. Everything that’s been posted is factual – it’s the conclusions we need to be careful about. So, to amend Phil’s conclusion – “maybe, but probably not”.

  49. mpaul

    DaveR: “The small effect that the sun’s variation does have on global temperature is what is expected from the direct effect of the energy received. There is no room for any magical extra effect.”

    DaveR that’s total nonsense. There are plenty of effects that are not accounted for. For example, the effect that solar magnetic variation has on cloudiness is not well understood.

  50. Regner Trampedach

    Shatner’s Basoon @ 6: Yes – aproximately 70 years after we were born (on average :-)
    Cheers, Regner

  51. Dave R

    mpaul:
    >There are plenty of effects that are not accounted for.

    There may well be insignificant effects that are not accounted for. By definition any significant effect will be visible in the temperature data. Your magical effect is not visible in the temperature data. See sks.to/cosmic

  52. Dave R

    I wrote:

    The small effect that the sun’s variation does have on global temperature is what is expected from the direct effect of the energy received. There is no room for any magical extra effect.

    mpaul responded:

    DaveR that’s total nonsense.

    So let’s see what the peer-reviewed literature has to say about it…

    Camp & Tung, 2008:

    We propose that the magnitude of the surface warming is
    consistent with direct solar radiative forcing if positive feedback processes such as ice
    albedo, water vapor/lapse rate and cloud feedbacks, similar to some of those studied for
    the greenhouse warming problem, are incorporated. It does not appear to be necessary
    to invoke some previously proposed exotic indirect mechanisms for an explanation of the
    observed solar signal.

    mpaul, you are the one talking total nonsense.

  53. ChadB

    Interesting but I’m definitely not in total agreement with your statements. I do agree that any cooling will not likely offset the warming we are seeing due to climate changes.

    However, your third point above “We’re not even all that sure we’re headed for an extended minimum” is perhaps spurious. I would look at the work from the McMath-Pierce telescope and papers written by Penn and Livingston (for example: Penn, M. J., and W. Livingston (2006), Temporal changes in sunspot umbral magnetic fi elds and temperatures, Astrophys. J., 649, L45–L48.) which show a dramatic change in the sunspot magnetic fields that are approaching the minimum field required to produce sunspots. Other papers, such as Penn and Livingston’s follow-up at http://www.probeinternational.org/Livingston-penn-2010.pdf, and scientists, including those from the NSO and the AFRL annoucements at the 2011 annual meeting of the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society.

    In point two, you refer to the need of volcanoes for the “little Ice Ages”. What about the Sporer minimum? Though slightly shorter than the Maunder, it also had severe cooling. How did volcanoes cause a drop of over 1 degree for over 70 years during the Maunder Minimum? Was it coincidence that the drop in sunspots occurred at the same time? Can you provide any references to back-up your statements?

    What do you say to the scientists who show a possible connection between the IMF and the Solar Wind to polar atmospheric affects (there is a distinct relationship to ozone, that has been shown) and even possible relationship to the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO)?

  54. Regner Trampedach

    SUV @ 37: The Maunder minimum occurred 1645-1715. The correlations between your references to cold climate and the Maunder minimum are not that strong. It is a bit like saying that something happened within two weeks of a full moon and therefore is caused by the full moon.
    Sun-Earth climate connection: The solar cycle is fairly obvious in the average global temperature record of the Earth – but it is small. That is, we know how big the solar cycle effect is on the Earth’s climate, even though we can’t quite model it yet. That effect is no big concern, since it is bound. What is not bound (it seems) is our appetite for spewing CO2 into our atmosphere – that is why anthropogenic CO2 is a big concern.
    The climate is so complex we can’t say diddly-squat about CO2′s effect on it – that is a stupid statement, since we know exactly how much heating a given amount of CO2 will provide, and we know very well how much CO2 we pump into our atmosphere. What is uncertain is all the feed-back mechanisms in our climate, between the atmosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere, biosphere and heliosphere, which makes it hard to predict the resulting change in temperature. But climate scientists are getting pretty good at it, and getting better all the time. The biggest uncertainty, however, is the stupidity of humanity (or at least the ones in power) and how our CO2 input to our atmosphere keeps increasing.

    Cheers, Regner

  55. mpaul

    DaveR: “There may well be insignificant effects that are not accounted for.”

    A 2% change is cloudiness would cause a 1.2W/m**2 in energy received. This is hardly an insignificant effect. Compare this to the IPCC’s claim that all of the CO2 produced by humans during the industrial revolution would cause a 1.4W/m**2 effect. See http://dahuang.dhxy.info/ClimateChange/j.1468-4004.2007.48118.x.pdf

    While I am not convinced that Svensmark is correct, there is enough that we don’t understand to prevent one from making bold claims of enlightenment with regard to the climate.

  56. Anchor

    Thanks for a very concise post, Phil. This pathetic new denialist chapter needs a good thrashing-down.

    “… and we’ve still got warming deniers to deal with.”

    Indeed we do.

    Suppose we temporarily entertain the re-hatched denier claim that a Maunder Minimum-like episode on the Sun leads to appreciable global cooling. And let’s presume that the Sun does in fact take a snooze for the next 70-odd years. Something along the lines of the following scenario then seems alarmingly plausible:

    1. AGW deniers exploit the Solar-Minimum/’Ice-Age’ fallacy to exert further political pressure to resist national and international efforts to reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas emmissions, or the corrollary, to preserve existing natural CO2 and methane sinks and reservoirs in the environment.

    2. The ‘worst-case’ scenario of an extended (decades-long) cessation of the solar cycle comes to pass with two possibilities:

    A) Insignificant net cooling effect on the climate.

    B) A ‘mini ice-age’ takes place.

    Meanwhile, thanks to political pressure exerted by deniers who consider their claims to be infallible, little or nothing of any significance is done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while everyone waits for the expected global cooling effect (a ‘mini ice age’) to kick in over that period.

    3. The Sun inevitably wakes back up and returns to its cyclic behavior, ostensibly returning the world to warmer conditions and thus ostensibly proving the denier-favored ‘solar variability-dominated control of global-climate’ …except that humans will have by then done very little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or perhaps even ACCELERATED such emissions out of an abundance of hubris based on fashionable but unsubstantiated certitude.

    So, then, even by the alleged ‘logic’ of deniers (which basically consists of insisting they are right without ever having to bother even looking at, let alone accepting, any evidence – or if they do, willfully misinterpreting it to fit their pre-established views, which is unscientific from the get-go), that the solar minimum will no doubt result in significant global cooling, it in no way removes the problem in the form of an observed increase in global temperatures especially over the last century, along with demonstrable consequences known to be consistent with such warming, like the increasingly rapid loss of glacial and polar ice.

    According to deniers, solar variability is exclusively responsible for global climate excursions, including the current temp increase over the last century and recent decades, if they ever even admit to it. So a decades-long solar minimum cooling event would therefore be followed by a return to warming, IF the increasing abundance of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has no effect at all on global temperatures.

    But if increasing abundances of these gases DO have a significant effect (which deniers of course are so quick to deny) and the solar miminum does NOT lead to significant cooling, then we’ll all be in for an amplification of the crisis because of the heightened possibility of inaction (or even accelerated abuse of the atmosphere) precipitated by denialist political activism, for the Sun will inevitably return to its active phase with a vengeance.

    All simply because they might just be dead wrong about their main claim that the heat-retention effect of CO2 and methane gas doesn’t exist.

    But it is in their eagerness to risk the diversity of global biosphere and habitat as we know it in order to demonstrate the validity of their right-thinking powers and claims which is nothing short of appalling. The whole attitude is wrong-headed, unscientific and disgusting.

    Prideful certitude and ignorance are not signal criteria for the presence of knowledge, but rather they mark the absence of rational thinking. They often regard their position as beyond any examination or argument, find validation in reinforcing their claims by taking refuge in numbers, and are as likely to take such traits as virtuous. The attitude is most commonly associated with mob insanity, and we all know mobs by nature never admit to being wrong.

    -

    On another admittedly selfish front, as a humble amateur astronomer, I have to say: I can’t help feeling that the Sun may take a nap for the rest of my life to be a decidely melancholy possibility.

    A dearth of sunspots and CMEs and pronounced low-latitude aurora activity?? Man, that’s hard.

  57. The Quantum Climatology Problem:
    How can human CO2 be so powerful as to cause unstoppable warming of the Earth’s atmosphere, yet still gets it’s “warming” abilities A$$ kicked from La Nina’s cooling effect and somehow still be powerful enough to moderate the cooling effects of the less active almighty sun?

  58. Zach

    Thank you. As a geologist I was aware of the things that you cited, and I’m happy to see a good fact check of the new iceage assertions.

    I’m getting tired of explaining these things to relatives sending me the NYT article about this because they all want to tell the geologist in the family about it. Now I have a great article to explain my reasoning for doubting the New York Times article on the subject complete with pretty figures.

  59. mpaul

    DaveR: “So let’s see what the peer-reviewed literature has to say about it…
    Camp & Tung, 2008″

    You are missing the point of C&T(2008) in a humorous way. They make my argument, not yours.

    “We propose that the magnitude of the surface warming is consistent with direct solar radiative forcing if positive feedback processes such as ice albedo, water vapor/lapse rate and cloud feedbacks, similar to some of those studied for the greenhouse warming problem, are incorporated.

    Exactly, its all about the feedbacks. Small cahnges in cloudiness make big differences in surface level aim temperature. The GCMs simply do not deal well with clouds.

    How about this from an earlier Camp and Tung paper:

    “By projecting surface temperature data (1959–2004) onto the spatial structure obtained objectively from the composite mean difference between solar max and solar min years, we obtain a global warming signal of almost 0.2°K attributable to the 11-year solar cycle. The statistical significance of such a globally coherent solar response at the surface is established for the first time.”

    The 11 year solar cycles have been shown to have a big effect on clouds. See http://www.atmos-chem-phys.org/10/10941/2010/acp-10-10941-2010.pdf

  60. Dave R

    mpaul
    >A 2% change is cloudiness would cause

    Do let us know when that happens.

    mememine69:
    >How can human CO2 be so powerful as to cause unstoppable warming of the Earth’s atmosphere

    Tell us who claimed that it causes “unstoppable warming” or apologize for lying.

    >gets it’s “warming” abilities A$$ kicked from La Nina’s cooling effect

    The cooling effect from La Nina is considerably larger then the year on year warming caused by the increase in greenhouse gases.

    However ENSO is a CYCLE. It does not cause a long term trend in temperature. It causes short term wiggles up and down.

    In contrast, the long term increase in greenhouse gases causes a long term upward trend in temperature, upon which the ENSO “wiggles” are superimposed. If you look at a graph of global temperature you will be able to see this.

    This is why in studying climate you need to look at a sufficiently long period of data to come to an accurate conclusion, and of course why deniers do just the opposite — cherry picking short periods during which the noise masks the long term trend.

  61. RwFlynn

    Just here to say this; your article was green-lit on Fark!

    http://www.fark.com/comments/6304083

  62. Reed S

    Nigel (21):

    Therefore, any link, by whatever mechanism, between solar magnetic activity and the climate of the Earth is, at most, weak.

    Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 10941-10948, 2010

    “Using a novel sampling approach based around observing periods of significant cloud changes, a statistically robust relationship is identified between short-term GCR flux changes and the most rapid mid-latitude (60°–30° N/S) cloud decreases operating over daily timescales; this signal is verified in surface level air temperature (SLAT) reanalysis data.”

  63. sam zolezzi

    There is one variable in the World’s climate that is controlled by Man and that is HAARP. It was a project to build a Directed Energy Weapon in Alaska using the excess Natural Gas coming from the Oil Fields. The idea was to direct a huge amount of radiated energy into the Ionosphere and then bounce the energy anywhere in the planet to destroy an enemy. It didn’t work but the scientists discovered that the upper atmosphere would bulge upward when heated by the directed energy and that bulge would provide a bounce point that could change the direction of the Jetstream. There are similar transmitting sites in Canada, England and Russia. The original weapon site was based on the theories of Nicola Tesla, the man who invented AC generation of Electrical Power. The acronym HAARP stands for High Altitude Auroral Research Project.

  64. johnnyb

    Warming stopped in 1998. FYI

  65. Carl

    If I ask the quesion “How much is the Earth going to heat up and what percentage of it is man made?” does it make me an evil, ignorant, non hip person?

    Carl

  66. ChadB

    @Reed S (63)

    Having read the paper (thanks for the link – I’ve filed the paper), the authors do not really explain how they analyzed the IMF data nor how they treated it. I’m not entirely sure how they have a difference of less than 1 nT in Bz and close to 1nT in By as they don’t explain their methods. They also mention the Carrington cycle which makes no sense as to an explanation. They do not look at where in the solar cycle the IMF is (VERY important) nor do they examine the sector boundary crossings of the Earth through the IMF. Now, given this is an atmospheric paper and not a space science paper I can forgive them to some extent but, as a space scientist, they really provide me with zero evidence about the IMF.

    All I have to say is “Correlation does not equal causation” in any circumstance!

  67. Planet Guy

    Ironic that in “bad astronomy” the author gives us very bad science about GW and presents it as undisputable fact. Real science please……

  68. rachel r

    This is obviously a complex and hotly debated topic.
    I haven’t grabbed any lit to back this up, but I just learned in geological oceanography that the LIA may have been connected to the MWP due to the large influx of fw from melting glaciers, affecting thermohaline circulation. The idea being of course that the fresh surface layer basically hamstrings the circulation, and ultimately leads to a cooling period. It was suggested that the same could happen as a result of the current warming trend.
    I doubt that it’s as simple as this, but could be another contributing factor.

  69. mpaul

    ChadB (65)

    Having only recently spent some time on the Discovery blog, I’ve discovered that there’s a word for people like you who question peer reviewed literature — its call being a “denier”. Welcome to the club.

  70. Ed Davies

    Minor nit:

    “In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, much of Europe experienced incredibly cold winters. People were ice skating on the Thames river (which was never before seen to have frozen, even in winter), ”

    Wikipedia (yes, I know, but it cites a printed source) says the earliest recorded freezing of the Thames at London was earlier than this, in 1408, and there were a number of years after that before the late 17th century.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frost_fair#Years_when_the_Thames_froze

    Note also that in this context people typically mean freezing of the Thames in London. It’s frozen up-river enough to allow skating on many other occasions, e.g., at Windsor in 1963.

  71. Dave R

    mpaul, deniers are people who deny mainstream science about which there is a consensus among qualified experts, not those of us who are sceptical of fringe theories that have been rejected by the experts.

  72. Dave R

    mpaul:
    >You are missing the point of C&T(2008) in a humorous way. They make my argument, not yours.

    No they do not. I quoted their words. They said the same as what I said.

    I said: “There is no room for any magical extra effect.”

    They said: “It does not appear to be necessary to invoke some previously proposed exotic indirect mechanisms for an explanation of the observed solar signal.”

  73. Dave R

    mpaul:
    >By projecting surface temperature data (1959–2004) onto the spatial structure obtained objectively from the composite mean difference between solar max and solar min years, we obtain a global warming signal of almost 0.2°K attributable to the 11-year solar cycle.

    Yes, they found that the difference between solar minimum and maximum is enough to cause a difference of 0.2K in global temperature. That’s precisely the BA’s point in this article, and Fuelner & Rahmstorf’s point in their 2010 paper. The difference caused by remaining at solar minimum is considerably smaller than even the amount of global warming we have already had.

  74. mpaul

    DaveR
    “No they do not. I quoted their words. They said the same as what I said.”

    No they said something quite different. They claim that changes in Surface Level Air Temperature (SLAT) can be accounted for by changes in the solar wind. You need to read their work more carefully.

    “I said: “There is no room for any magical extra effect.””

    C&T’s work supports the theory that the solar wind can modulate SLAT. This effect has been experimentally validated http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/10/10941/2010/acp-10-10941-2010.pdf

    This is not a “magical effect”. Its a natural mechanism supported by observational evidence. You are free to ignore this evidence if it doesn’t support your belief system — but please don’t mischaracterize the science as being “fringe” simply because you don’t like the results.

  75. Jarrod

    If an ice age is a point with extensive ice sheets at the northern and southern hemispheres, then are we not already in an ice age? Seeing as how they also contain periods of alternating warm and cool periods. Deep freeze though, would be fun.

  76. Dave R

    mpaul:
    >No they said something quite different.

    Here is what I said: “The small effect that the sun’s variation does have on global temperature is what is expected from the direct effect of the energy received. There is no room for any magical extra effect.”

    Here is what Camp & Tung said: “We propose that the magnitude of the surface warming is
    consistent with direct solar radiative forcing [...] It does not appear to be necessary to invoke some previously proposed exotic indirect mechanisms for an explanation of the observed solar signal.”

    Any unbiased reader can see that those two quotes say the same thing, even if you pretend to be too stupid to understand it.

  77. Dave R

    mpaul:
    >They claim that changes in Surface Level Air Temperature (SLAT) can be accounted for by changes in the solar wind.

    No they do not, you liar. They explicitly state otherwise, as quoted above.

  78. mike burkhart

    By the way I rember back in the 70s there was speculation about weather we were haveing another ice age,there were bad winters then (1978 was the worst school was closed for weeks that winter) this leed many scientists to speculate about it. So this has come up before.

  79. Messier Tidy Upper

    Apparently, there will be a big announcement on Tuesday on this “reduced solar cycle” issue :

    Astronomers will unveil a “major result” on Tuesday (June 14) regarding the sun’s 11-year sunspot cycle. The announcement will be made at a solar physics conference in New Mexico, according to an alert released today (June 10) by the American Astronomical Society. The discussion will begin at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT).

    Via :

    http://www.space.com/11936-sun-weather-sunspot-cycle-announcement-preview.html

    space-dot-com news.

    @ 80. mike burkhart : “By the way I rember back in the 70s there was speculation about weather we were haveing another ice age,”

    See :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XB3S0fnOr0M&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33

    If you haven’t already. Really, please do.

    Also see :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Sf_UIQYc20&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33

    from that series which I’d highly recommend dealing with the whole idea that Global Warming might be our Sun’s fault.

    In fact I’d strongly advise that all climate contrarians and folks wishing to understand the whole Human-Caused Global Overheating issue wwatch that full series which can be found here :

    http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/climate-denial-crock-of-the-week/#sense

    Before commenting and especially before posting once again old claims that have been long since repeatedly debunked.

  80. Dave R

    mike burkhart:
    >By the way I rember back in the 70s

    You don’t rember very well. See sks.to/1970s

  81. Messier Tidy Upper

    Good write-up and explanation BA.

    How ironic that here we (Humans) could have been given a potentially life-saving opportunity to minimise the problem of Human Caused Global Overheating – if we had accepted we had a problem and were already working together strongly to reduce that problem. The quiet sun wouldn’t be enough to stop global warming – thermal inertia & the carbon dioxide that has accumulated and feedbacks already kicking in mean we are already committed to some significant amount of it – but we could use this as some breathing space to work on mitigating and giving us extra time to slow our emissions and make the problem less severe.

    Instead, you can tell the climate contrarians will jump onthis as an excsue to do nothing and cast further unjustified doubnts and probably mean we take less action. :-(

    @71. mpaul :

    ChadB (65) Having only recently spent some time on the Discovery blog, I’ve discovered that there’s a word for people like you who question peer reviewed literature — its call being a “denier”. Welcome to the club.

    I for one prefer the term “Climate contraraian ‘ because you are going against the 98% or so of actual climate scientists (climatologists) who have spent their live studying this issue and come to the firm conclusions (over 150 years or so of doing the science) that yes the Anthropogenic Global Warming effect is real and needs to be addressed. To my eternal shame, I used to be among them not so many years ago. I’ve stubbornly argued the contrarian case in a number of places – including on this blog – and eventually had to accept the evidence.

    I do agree that name-calling is a bad tactic – a logical fallacy and a turn-off that drives peopel away and furtherpolarises the issue. I especially think that the word “denier’ – which I think should be reserved for the Deniers of the Holocaust’ and carries that atrocious association – is best avoided. If for no other reason than it becomes a distarctionand raises emotions when what I think works best (& this is speaking from experience) is the facts presented logically and reasonably. Good arguments -and increasing actual knowledge of the facts – are what slowly wore me down. Of course, my personal experience will vary for others and other methods may suit other people so asalways YMMV but this is my view FWIW.

  82. Messier Tidy Upper

    For those who may be curious and who hopefully might find this helpful :

    ****

    From this old thread :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/07/26/that-nasa-look/#comment-285539

    MTU – Re: AGW, next time a global warning thread rolls around, perhaps you could discuss what you found convincing? Or did you already do that in a comment to some post I missed recently (I’ve been intermittent here lately.) I hope this was a rational conclusion based on evidence, and not because the rest of us Global Warming Thugs beat you into it!

    Okay, now is the right time & I’ll keep my promise in comment #65 there :

    Well it wasn’t just *one* thing or discussion but rather a whole *lot* of them over time taking out argument after argument and it was a long cumulative process I’ll say that much now. I’ve discussed this before here – so long ago that I’ve forgotten exactly which thread – but I’ll do so again maybe on the next AGW thread the BA posts here.

    Well, I’ll start by saying no I wasn’t bullied into changing my view but very gradually convinced. My personal experience here is as follows :

    I’ve been interested in this issue for ages – growing up in the late 1980′s I initially felt concerned and alarmed by the Greenhouse Effect (Global Warming) issue.

    Some years later – after some of the over-hyped predictions from then hadn’t quite materialised – I encountered the geologist, skeptic and AGW denier Prof. Ian Plimer. I attended a few of Plimer’s lectures against the reality of AGW – some through an astronomy group. I spoke with him in person – and he came across very well as a good, sincere bloke who is genuinely committed to science with a valid if un-orthodox perspective. I read Plimer’s book ‘Heaven + Earth’ which I can assure you seems very scholarly and convincing and, yes, I became strongly convinced by Plimer’s case there that AGW is bunk.

    With the zeal of a convert, I then argued this case to others – incl. & esp. here on the BA blog. In doing so, I had to argue with a number of people who of course, disagreed vigorously and provided evidence against what is was saying. There were a number of passionate arguments with a number of posters over a long time. Very gradually, painfully, I found that what I was now convinced was true wasn’t so much.

    I was convinced that 1998 being the hottest year alone just about ruled out the notion of dangerous Global Warming – that we had, in fact, been cooling down over the past decade. I still think it is a major point against AGW and will be happier when we have a much hotter record year but I’ve had to accept that, yes, it is possible for 1998 or 2005 to have been record hottest years but the trend is still going upwards. Plus that the selection of 1998 as a starting point is misleading and doesn’t provide the full picture, that 1998 was an outlier and that a decade by decade comparison shows that the last period has indeed been unnaturally hot. Eventually, I had to accept that and acknowledge that the ’1998 = hottest year thus no AGW’ argument while initially highly convincingly is misleading and wrong.

    I’ve argued it was a natural process, a natural cycle and not caused by humans – that it’s our Sun or Milankovitch cycles or lack of volcanic eruptions etc .. NOT us. But when you look at the evidence you find that these have been taken into account by the climatologists. That they don’t add up to the full picture. The Sunspot cycle explains and follows our climate pattern to a large extent but then at a point in recent decades the relationship breaks down. The Sun should be causing the climate to cool but instead it warms. Why? The Milankovitch and other natural cycles say we should be cooling down – but the upwards trend is still there. Why?

    I still think there may be a natural component or two – that some factors may explain a small part of Global Warming. But it is now clear that these cannot explain all the warming. That some natural factors, (eg. the solar cycle) are out of synch with rising planetary temperatures and cannot be the cause of them. That, when everything is taken into account – & it has been by the climatologist’s involved – natural processes and cycles are insufficient to cause the warming we have experienced. So I’ve had to acknowledge, slowly and painfully, that yes, Humanity is behind at least a very large percentage of the Global Warming we’ve undergone.

    I’ve also had to acknowledge that the climatologist conspiracy theory doesn’t work. That all these individuals aren’t frauds or charlatans but genuine scientists who have trained and understood the science aren’t all just working a con to gain grants and drive a political agenda. That the climategate emails can be explained as being taken out of context and misinterpreted. It has been very hard to convince me that “things like “hide the decline”, “we can’t find the warming and it’s a travesty we can’t” & “don’t tell them England has a Freedom of Information request” don’t have the obvious negative readings they seem to have. That these don’t add up to a disproof of the science of AGW & a proof of conspiracy. I’ve had to face the reality eventually that the science is solid despite some nasty leaked emails. The words used by a few have been overblown, cherry-picked and taken to mean things that they just don’t.

    I still wish there was an enquiry or two more – and more visible independent from the bodies involved with more clearly neutral judges. I still think some of the content of the emails is disturbing and that the CRU scientists are far from above reproach. For instance, I think the “change the meaning of peer review” attempt – which I now get was NOT actually successful – was a deplorable and disgraceful thing to say that reflects very badly on the individuals involved. That the threat to delete emails and the loss of raw data is very worrying. I am a huge believer in science needing to be open to scrutiny and that information should be made public and available for everyone to see. But I now accept that this doesn’t invalidate the whole science itself. That the rising temperatures, the melting glaciers, the biological indicators all point conclusively to undeniable evidence that our planet is indeed warming.

    I’ve also, perhaps most painfully had to accept that Ian Plimer’s book is NOT an entirely valid and comprehensive and conclusive disproof of AGW. A couple of posters here have pointed me to a number of reviews that show instead that it is badly flawed and not what it seems. Plimer isn’t telling the whole story at best. He comes across as very sincere and armed with compelling evidence all well sourced and cited but a lot of things in the book are wrong or misinterpreted. A lot of the studies he cites don’t mean what he claims they mean & the arguments made in his book don’t actually stand up to further scrutiny – as I’ve noted in the paragraphs above.

    There’s more I could say & I might see if I can find some of the more powerful comments here and reference them for you. I’ll also note again Peter Sinclair’s “Climate Denial Crock of the Week” videos which I found among the final straws that broke the camel of my former “AGW = bunk” belief. I’ll just say again, it wasn’t any one thing that finally convinced me but a cumulative process of many things and eventually being forced to concede argument after argument that was no longer tenable.

    I’ll also note that name-calling and being rude to me never worked. Providing the evidence and arguing calmly, logically and politely eventually did.

    Finally, I know this blog has changed a lot of people’s minds on various things and even changed people’s lives sometimes quite dramatically. All for the better. Mine is one of one of those – and I will say thanks for that to the BA and to some of the commenters here. :-)

    ****

    Obviously, this is a repost that some folks will have seen before so I hope this is okay but for those who haven’t and might find it interesting thought I’d share this again – the BA permitting.

    PS. Is my new understanding of Global Warming altered by this latest “quiet solar cycle” development? In a word – no. Why not? Read again what the BA has written in the opening post here. That’s why. Or remember the basic physics of Co2 and how as Richard Alley has noted : “There’s really no getting away from that.”

  83. Messier Tidy Upper

    @65. johnnyb : Warming stopped in 1998. FYI

    NO it did not. :roll:

    Observational evidence from proper sources – NASA & NOAA among them records that 2010 ties with 2005 as the hottest year ever.

    See :

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2010-warmest-year.html

    &

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y15UGhhRd6M&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33

    &

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998.htm

    Among many other places.

    1998 was an extreme El Nino year a very hot one – but it was NOT the hottest and as the second of those links note :

    “globally, the hottest 12-month period ever recorded was from June 2009 to May 2010.”

    You are, as the saying goes entitled to your own opinion- but NOT to your own facts! The facts are as recorded by the observational evidence cited – & if you want to challenge the observational evidence and replace it with an alternative then you’ll need to produce a *lot* more than just your bare assertion.

  84. Messier Tidy Upper

    @66. Carl :

    If I ask the quesion “How much is the Earth going to heat up and what percentage of it is man made?” does it make me an evil, ignorant, non hip person?

    Of course not.

    But OTOH, stating that the Earth *isn’t* heating up – or isn’t going to – and arguing that contrary to known physics and the scientifically established fact human carbon dioxide emissions havent ha dawarming affect, well ignorant is the word.

    Look at the science, look at what the climatologists who have dedicated their lives to studying this (&, research it for yourself and yes, reach your own conclusons based on the actual solid evidence.

  85. Messier Tidy Upper

    @77. Jarrod :

    If an ice age is a point with extensive ice sheets at the northern and southern hemispheres, then are we not already in an ice age? Seeing as how they also contain periods of alternating warm and cool periods.

    Yup. Correct – and we are or were living in an on-going ice age which have Glacial and Interglacial periods inside them and we’re obviously in one of those warmer interglacial spells.

    However, Anthropogenic Global Warming is changing that situation – if the temperatures rise as predicted then we will no longer be in an ordnary ice age interglacial but instead quickly arriving in a state our planet has NOT experienced for millions of years. If temperatures rise by three or four degrees as is likely based on current “business as usual” projections then Earth will lose both its icecaps and all its major ice sheets – first at the North and eventually also at the South Pole. Sea level will dramatically rise, deserts will spread and things will get seriously, *seriously*, messed up.

    Deep freeze though, would be fun.

    That bit not so much! ;-)

    The “Snowball Earth” epoch of geological history – that was about the toughest and most hostile time for life in our planetary history. Well, ok, outside of the Hadean when Earth had just formed and was still molten and battered by impacts. ;-)

    ****

    CORRECTION : Take II [Out of editing time - D'oh, apologies. :-( ]

    @66. Carl :

    If I ask the quesion “How much is the Earth going to heat up and what percentage of it is man made?” does it make me an evil, ignorant, non hip person?

    Of course not.

    But OTOH, stating that the Earth *isn’t* heating up – or isn’t going to – and arguing that contrary to known physics and the scientifically established fact human carbon dioxide emissions haven’t had a warming affect, well, ignorant would be the right word. Poorly informed or misinformed would be other accurate words.

    Climate contrarians aren’t necesarily bad or evil people – but they are wrong when it comes to scientific reality.

    Look at the science, look at what the climatologists who have dedicated their lives to studying this (& been threatened with everything from public floggings to death by their attackers for their pains), research it for yourself and, yes, reach your own conclusions based on the actual solid evidence.

    There’s plenty of good evidence, good websites and books and other sources of knowledge and understanding out there. Unfortunately, there are also those pushing Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt* and lots of sites pushing disinformation and outright falsehoods too. But look at and consider things for yourself – think about what is being said, who is saying it and, most importantly, who is providing genuine supporting evidence that isn’t cherry picked, taken out of context or burning strawmen.

    PS. @69. Planet Guy – those above two paragraphs apply equally to you as well. Look at the sources that I and others have linked. Visit the NASA pages on this, NOAA, Realclimate and the other major scientific sites. Look at the IPCC reports. I’m not saying you have to agree with them in whole or part but pleaes,really, at least seriously look at and consider the immense mass of climatological papers and real evidence. Do that then get back to us, okay?

    —————————

    * That is, I stress unfounded and unjustified doubt based on disinformation rather than legitimate doubt which is ,well, legitimate. There are legitimate issues here such as how do we best solve the AGW problem – but there isn’t any longer really any legitimate doubt that yes we *do* have a problem because of AGW.

  86. Jess Tauber

    A big hello to Anthropogenic Volcanic Activity Increase Level. I leave it to all of the rest of you to argue to no AVAIL.

  87. Natalie

    Unbelievable.. You assert that the observations regarding sunspot activity, do not equate to a forthcoming mini ice age. Your evidence is that the last mini ice age, only affected Western Europe, so was caused by other factors…

    I can see a a factor which could lead you to this superficial position, there was no concentration of people in places other than western Europe who were writing all this stuff down and keeping it for posterity, particularly in the Americas, Africa and the Southern Hemisphere… So everywhere else then!

    The truth is, that climate changes constantly, weather is the climate that we can see from our window, and observations are what people make of what they see and record.

    You have made an assertion that human contribution to the quantity of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the main driver for “climate change”, and then immediately written that the little ice age was caused by volcanic activity and the influence of the jet stream. Nobody knew about the jet stream until the 20th century, and then it was only the Japanese that had any concept of what it really was, but you use this as evidence in your argument against the global nature (or not) of the mini ice age, and volcanic activity happens sporadically throughout history, but without people recording what is happening you cannot make these assertions about manmade carbon dioxide v volcanoes. (Actually… not manmade, I might go with man “released”, but I am a “denier”! :-) … )

    And you claim to be a sceptic…

    You look and smell like a typical warmist to me sir!

  88. Biffstallion

    LOL, sorry to you human-caused-global-warming nuts out there. Al Gore is really selling that carbon exchange idea out there, considering he is part owner in it. “Create a need and fill it.”, That is from Business 101.

    Anyway, the earth is 4.2 billion years old. Room temperature wasn’t always 70 degrees… lol

  89. Stephen Williams

    Your words – “As we like to say in the skeptic’s business: correlation does not imply causation. In other words, beware of funny coincidences.”

    Yet you call those who question AGW ‘Deniers’ when the entire science of AGW is based on correlation and dodgy computer models, please Phil be more questioning. I love the SGU however you and them sing from the same song book and one day it will come back to haunt you.

    Thanks for a great site.

    Stephen Williams

  90. bad Jim

    It’s mildly interesting that nearly no climate change deniers deal with ocean acidification even though it’s already devastating marine populations. Ignorance is inherently self-limiting.

  91. Messier Tidy Upper

    More of interest on this issue can be found here :

    http://climatecrocks.com/2011/06/16/graph-of-the-day-what-if-the-sun-goes-into-another-maunder-minimum/

    & also here :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMA9D-ZWwrg&feature=player_embedded#at=46

    while this :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/02/28/gore-vital/

    is one way of looking at the whole argumentum ad Al Gore-um fallacy.

    Please note that the idea of Global Warming and Human-Caused Global Overheating long predates Al Gore’s limited and admittedly politically distracting contributions.

    Incidentally, as far as I’m aware, that op-ed is about the last time that Al Gore has spoken up publicly on the AGW / Human Caused Global Overheating issue.

  92. Messier Tidy Upper

    Plus see :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2010/12/06/is-al-gore-responsible-for-destroying-the-planet/

    for another article of possible interest when it comes to the Gore vs Global Warming question.

    This link from another great Youtube series on the AGW issue :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2B34sO7HPM&feature=related

    pits Al Gore against Durkin’s “swindle” movie and this one :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdALFnlwV_o&playnext=1&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33

    from wa-aay back in 1956 is further evidence that concerns over Global Warming are NOT something that started with Gore, annoyingly prominent as he may be.

  93. Fred

    I have been telling you off and on that you are dead wrong on the solar minima for several years now, I still think you are. How many real solar scientists have to tell you that you are wrong before you admit it?

  94. Fred

    Also, for you true believers, please go read this on sunspots from the National Solar Observatory: http://www.probeinternational.org/Livingston-penn-2010.pdf

    Also, look at the facts around sea level rise – 3.1 millimeter a year, barely the thickness of the fabric in you clothing: http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

    Also see the unbiased temp records here: http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/AMSRE_SST_2002_thru_June_6_2011.gif

    And here: http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_May_20111.gif

    Time will tell which group is correct, but I think the real science is turning strongly against the global warmers – soon they will be the skeptics.

  95. TheBlackCat

    @ Natalie: I take it you have never heard ot temperature proxies? Hint: there are other ways to determine the temperature in an area in the past besides human records. In fact these methods are considerably more reliable than the human records until recently.

  96. LAG

    Hey, since you’ve got it figured out, what’s the forecast for the 24th of June, 2044?

    Oh, right, weather’s not climate, unless you want it to be. “Almost certainly ‘no’” and “essentially any amount of money” are just ways to say “could happen” and “a dollar” while looking like you know what you’re talking about.

    If you are certain you know the answer, then give it. Be a man–don’t weasel.

  97. Fred

    For bad Jim.

    Ocean acidification: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/10/ocean-acidification-chicken-of-the-sea-little-strikes-again/

    Please couple with the real data on sea level rise above.

  98. Fred

    Interesting how posts that agree with the biased position of the “Bad Astronomer” get posted while those that disagree wait in moderation, dying a slow death.

  99. Fred (101): I find it far more interesting how you immediately leapt to the conclusion of a conspiracy theory instead of seeking out facts by emailing me. As it happens, I have an automatic spam filter; it holds comments in moderation if for example they have links, or one person posts too frequently.

  100. realist

    Surely it’s all the propaganda from the IPCC and tax-hungry governments that is the actual “baloney”.

    The climate changes. Always has. Always will. And don’t forget all those _uninhabited_ planets where the climate also changes.

  101. TheBlackCat

    @ Fred: I notice that no where in that article do they actually address the direct, experimental evidence regarding how these organisms react to chaning ocean CO2 levels. Of course they couldn’t, because it shows clearly the threat it poses.

    They also dishonestly present it as a new idea, when it has been a serious concern along (it just hasn’t caught the popular press’s attention until recently).

  102. Erika

    Another example of how wonderful you can explain something that could be otherwise very complicated. Wonderful, informative read!

  103. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ Yay! The Black Cats here. Was wondering where you were! :-)

    @ 102. Phil Plait : Too frequently? Gulp! I thought more comments was a *good* thing , right?

    @ 90. Biffstallion : Al Gore is *irrelevant.* Simple as that.

    All the worst things Gore’s opponents accuse him of could be 100% true (NOT saying they *are* but they *could* be) & it really wouldn’t matter.

    Al Gore is a failed Presidential candidate NOT a climatologist. You can view him as a hypocritical egotistical politican who jumped on a bandwagon when he saw one or as someone who genuinely believes in AGW and tried to do the right thing by raising awareness using his high profile – either way, it doesn’t change a thing.

    The observational scientific evidence remains the same.

    If you want to disprove AGW that’s what you need to focus on – and provide evidence against. Oh & I mean real, new, strong evidence not long debunked cherry-picked and strawman claims that have since been refuted regularly and repeatedly. Check the links I’ve provided earlier please before (preferably NOT) posting any of those.

  104. TheBlackCat

    @ realist: Don’t forget essentially the entire climatology community. And pretty much every major scientific organization in the world. And pretty much every scientific journal. They all have to be involved in this “propaganda” as well.

    Yep, all those scientists who have zero financial incentive in this are all part of a propoganda machine (remember, it isn’t just climatologists who support AGW), while all those oil companies and their employees who have a major financial incentives to have people reject AGW are pure and totally unbiased.

  105. James brown

    Global warming is a scam by governments made to tax and enslave the people. It’s easy to see the truth in this many people see the truth but deny it as the want to help the socialist force there ideas on people… The truth is all over open your eyes. You have been programed by your government starting in grade school!

  106. Messier Tidy Upper

    @84. Messier Tidy Upper :

    BTW. see also :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/08/03/new-study-clinches-it-the-earth-is-warming-up/comment-page-4/#comment-288074

    for more incl. links. Oh & scroll down too. Plus scroll up to the very top and read from there for that matter as well.

    Plus watch :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InPbrTpSHFo&feature=relmfu

    &

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGVgrRAyQmw&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33

    for more of interest here.

  107. johnnyb

    @85

    According to the satellite data set, which is also the most accurate, 1998 was the warmest year. The 11 year trend is negative. Even Hanson, et al. admits that no statistically signifigant warming has occured since 1998. Given the proven corruption at hadcru, and manipulation of the data set by Hanson, Climategate etc. Why take their data set over the superior satellite data? Facts are kinda funny when one is trying to quantify chaos, no?

  108. TheBlackCat

    According to the satellite data set, which is also the most accurate, 1998 was the warmest year.

    According to an overall analysis covering all available data, by several different organizations, 2005 and 2010 are the warmest. If course it is a total coincidence you just happened to pick a dataset where the 1998 temperature is relatively larger.

    Further, the 2000′s decade was warmer the warmest on record, with the 199o’s being second, and the 1980′s being third. And every year since 2001 has been warmer than any year prior to 1998.

    Even Hanson, et al. admits that no statistically signifigant warming has occured since 1998.

    Actually what they admit was that the warming did not exceed the 95% confidence interval over 10 years. It did exceed the 90% confidence interval in that period, and it did exceed the 95% confidence interval if extended to 11 years. Of course the fact that, due to the 11-year sunspot cycle looking at a 10-year trends is meaningless doesn’t seem to deter denialists from misreprenting this as evidence against AGW.

    Given the proven corruption at hadcru, and manipulation of the data set by Hanson, Climategate etc. Why take their data set over the superior satellite data?

    Wait a second, you cite them as support for your conclusion that AGW isn’t happening, and then you argue we shouldn’t listen to them? Why did you cite them if you don’t believe anything the say? Or are the only telling the truth when they say something that can be blatantly misrpresented to imply global warming has stopped?

    You also talk as though their data is the only data showing warming. The figures I cited above are from NASA, for instance.

    Facts are kinda funny when one is trying to quantify chaos, no?

    Quantifying chaos isn’t at all funny. In fact chaotic behavior, by definition, is quantifiable, which anyone who knows anything about chaos theory would know.

  109. Fred

    Thanks Phil, good to know.

  110. Messier Tidy Upper

    @110. johnnyb :

    Given the proven corruption at hadcru, and manipulation of the data set by Hanson, Climategate etc.

    Uh . no. There hasn’t been any “proven corruption” see :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz8Ve6KE-Us&feature=related

    &

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WvasALL-hw&feature=related

    &

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nnVQ2fROOg

    among many others.

  111. Messier Tidy Upper

    Oh & johnnyb, please take a look at:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Phil-Jones-says-no-global-warming-since-1995.htm

    &

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PWDFzWt-Ag&feature=related

    &

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp-iB6jwjUc

    Regarding the Phil Jones “admission of no warming since 1995″ canard.

    Basically, nup. Taken wa-aay out of context. The world is warming. That’s what the data is telling us, cherry-picking aside. We ignore that at our peril.

    You know what? I wish you were right on this – I wish the science wasn’t telling us what it is – but it is & we have to smell the coffee and face up to it. The longer we deny reality and delay action, the worse things will (almost certainly) get.

  112. When supposed “Global Warming” data doesn’t go your way, make it up:

    Changing Tides: Research Center Under Fire for ‘Adjusted’ Sea-Level Data

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/06/17/research-center-under-fire-for-adjusted-sea-level-data/#ixzz1PY2ThpmL

    Is climate change raising sea levels, as Al Gore has argued — or are climate scientists doctoring the data?

    The University of Colorado’s Sea Level Research Group decided in May to add 0.3 millimeters — or about the thickness of a fingernail — every year to its actual measurements of sea levels, sparking criticism from experts who called it an attempt to exaggerate the effects of global warming.

    “Gatekeepers of our sea level data are manufacturing a fictitious sea level rise that is not occurring,” said James M. Taylor, a lawyer who focuses on environmental issues for the Heartland Institute.

    LOL

  113. realist

    zero financial interest? What about all that funding that suddenly disappears if the “scientists” don’t toe the line and no longer blame CO2?

  114. realist

    Whether the world is warming or not is one matter. But picking CO2 out of a hat and ignoring _everything_ else is the real problem. The alarmists are NOT interested in finding the _actual_ causes / reasons for changing climate.

  115. TheBlackCat

    @ Biffstallion: So let me see if I ge this straight. The Colorado group, quite publicly and quite explicitly, states that they are interested in finding out the total volume of water in the oceans. So they include a correction to make sure the number is as best as possible for the question they are trying to answer.

    Some commentators, who are more concerned with the level compared to land, are upset that the Colorado group is looking at something else. They are upset that the Colorado group is looking at something other than what the commentators want them to look at. So they accuse the Colorado group of fudging their data because the Colorado group is clearly and explicitly trying to get a different measurement than what the Colorado group is trying to get.

    Seriously, if they are that freaked out by it, the commentators can either remove the 0.3 mm correction or use one of the other groups that are measuring sea level rise. Of course they can’t do the latter because all the other groups are estimating larger sea level rises than the Colorado group.

    And seriously, the “expert” they got to rebut them is a lawyer working for an exxon-funded think tank? Are they even trying to be convincing anymore?

    Scientist: so to measure the driving distance from New York to Albuquerque, you need to include the distance along interstate…

    Fox: Hey! You are fudging your data! You don’t need to worry about roads when flying in an airplane.

    Scientist: You are correct, but we are analyzing the driving distance, and I clearly stated that at the begin of the talk.

    Fox: But isn’t this a lecture on distances? Clearly distances should be flying distances.

    Scientist: That depends on whether you are interested in traveling by land or by air. In our case, we are more interested in traveling by land. There are several other groups looking at air travel, I would be happy to put you in touch with them.

    Fox: You are a liar, you said this was about distances, but then you include useless data about interstates!

    Scientist: Uh, the title of the talk clearly stated that this talk was going to be about driving dist…

    Fox: Distances should be flying distances, that is what “distance” means. You are trying to hide the truth from us in order to beef up airline fees. I’ve uncovered your conspiracy.

    Scientist: But you didn’t uncover anything, the reason you know is that I just told you. This technique has been discussed extensively, and I have been completely upfront about what I am doing, how I am doing it, and why I am doing it.

  116. TheBlackCat

    @ realist:

    zero financial interest? What about all that funding that suddenly disappears if the “scientists” don’t toe the line and no longer blame CO2?

    First, you missed the part where I pointed out that it isn’t just climatologists, scientists in fields unrelated to AGW also accept it.

    Second, you don’t understand how science funding works. The absolute worst thing a scientist can do is say “the science is settled”. There is no money available for settled science.

    So when climatologist are saying that global warming is happening and we should focus our attention on mitigation strategies, they are saying that their funding should be slashed and the money diverted to other fields like engineering.

    Further, funding is based on how new your ideas are. The person who overturned AGW would be guaranteed tons of publications in top-tier journals which would guarantee funding, tons of paid TV, radio, and lecture appearances, and almost certainly a Nobel prize.

    Add to that the fact that their funding is largely determined by a government that does not want to deal with the problem, that they are going to face expensive and invasive inquiries both from the government and private individuals, and that they will likely face significant personal threats from the lunatic fringe, toeing the line is absolutely the worst thing they can do.

    So rather than operating in their own financial best interests, they are working in their own financial worst interests.

    But picking CO2 out of a hat and ignoring _everything_ else is the real problem.

    I see, it all makes sense now. You haven’t bothered to look at any of the analyses actually done by climatologists. You just pick your facts out of thing air, or accept without question lies spread by other denialists.

    If you had bothered to take even the slightest glance at what climatologist have actually said, you would know they take into account numerous factors besides CO2, including other greenhouse gasses, the sun, cloud cover, ocean sinks, sources, and currents, air currents, energy exchange between different levels of the atmosphere, albedo changes, volcanos, and aerosols to name a few.

  117. Don

    If we concentrate on implementing clean fuels to clean up the air and protect human health in the cities, then that will already go a long way towards reducing CO2 emissions. So even if people aren’t convinced of global warming, they might understand that we don’t want to continue to injure and kill people from air pollution. Petroleum also poisons water and soil.
    What I don’t want to see is a racket of carbon trading set up so that certain people get rich and the common person gets buried in red tape. If we want clean energy, we should build clean energy production facilities, not set up a scam.

  118. realist

    This is what the IPCC says on it’s OWN website: http://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization_history.shtml

    to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change,

    and also

    their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change,

    Note the words “human-induced” and “man-made”. That is the problem. They are NOT even looking for actual causes / reasons / explanations.

  119. Anon

    Funny how they talk about Global Warming as if its also a scientifically proven fact, when the very ‘science’ its based on is from some trumped up researchers from Norwhich..talk about bad astronomy.

  120. TheBlackCat

    @ realist: Once again, thank you for showing that you haven’t bothered to even glance at the actual content of the IPCC report. If you had, you would know that they address non-human factors and their contribution to the current warming trend.

  121. TheBlackCat

    @ Anon: Yes, them…and pretty much every other climatologist from throughout the world. You do realize there is more than one climatology research group on this planet, right?

  122. Mark Schaffer

    I would like to thank TheBlackCat for responding patiently to all the nonsense posted by Anon and realist (now there’s a misnomer!) and not letting such ignorance win by virtue of no response. I would also suggest for all those truly interested in understanding this complex subject that they go to http://www.realclimate.org and click on the “start here” link at the top. Then spend a few months reading before even posting here.

  123. Peter Grynch

    Glaciation has prevailed for 90% of the last several million years. Extreme cold. Biting cold. Cold too intense for bikinis and swimming trunks. No matter what scary scenarios global-warming enthusiasts dream up, they pale in comparison with the conditions another ice age would deliver. Look to our past climate. Fifteen thousand years ago, an ice sheet a kilometer and a half thick covered all of North America north of a line stretching from somewhere around Seattle to Cleveland and New York City.

    Instead of reducing CO2, we should, perhaps, be increasing it. We should pay the smokestack industries hard dollars for every kilogram of soot they pump into the atmosphere. Instead of urging Chinese to stop using coal and turn instead to nuclear-generated electricity, we should beg them to continue using coal. Rather than bringing us to the edge of global-warming catastrophe, anthropogenic climate change may have spared us descent into what would be the most serious and far-reaching challenge facing humankind in the 21st century – dealing with a rapidly deteriorating climate that wants to plunge us into an ice age.

  124. Undeniable

    The term “climate scientist” really irritates me. It’s like using the term “space scientist”. Are there any “space scientists”? I think not. There are scientists studying exoplanets and scientists studying sunspot activity and scientists studying the big bang but there are no scientists just studying “space” in general. It’s the same with “climate scientists” – we keep being told that there are thousands of such scientists but I suspect the truth is that there are scientists studying glaciers, scientists studying cloud formation or scientists studying aerosols – NO just plain “climate scientists”, i.e. experts in a very vague and broad field. The only people who qualify, I suspect, are people like James Hansen, whose ridiculous predictions could be bettered by any average member of the public.

    A thought experiment:

    If you could travel back 100 years in a time machine and tell people about the (supposed) 0.6 degree (+/- 0.4 degree!) rise in average global temperature, what do you think their predictions of the effect of such an increase might be? I think the answers might be: “not much”, “probably not even noticable” or “we’ve got more important things to worry about”. Or maybe just “f**k off”.

    My point? They would be far more accurate than the claims of “climate scientists”.

    PS: Mr Messier Tidy Upper, please don’t point me to any pathetic YouTube videos.

    PPS: Contributions from “big oil money” welcome.

  125. Emily (7), your undergrad geology classes taught you nonsense. Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions during the Little Ice Age were negligible.

    BA/Phil Plait & Nigel (21), you say that the Little Ice Age was a regional phenomena, rather than a global one, but that is incorrect. SUV is right: there is considerable evidence that it was very much a global phenomena, and NoAstronomer is right that the MWP was likewise a global phenomena.

    Paul (33) et al, please listen to zhirkhan (38). I caution you that Wikipedia is about the most unreliable source of information imaginable, when it comes to climate (or any other controversial issue). For uncontroversial topics, it is often excellent, but for controversial ones, like AGW, it tends to become a mere propaganda outlet for one faction, with other viewpoints and contrary evidence ruthlessly squelched.

    Gary (9), Johnnyb (11), I think you’re right: the connection between ozone and the jet stream is speculative, at best. As Natalie (89) pointed out, we have absolutely no evidence regarding the jet stream prior to the 20th century, as nobody even knew it existed back then. Particle emissions from the sun vary much more than total solar irradiance, and are a more likely cause for climate shifts than ozone.

    Tim Ball has written an illuminating article about the IPCC’s contortions to hide evidence of solar influence on climate, here: http://drtimball.com/2011/the-ipcc-climate-change-and-solar-sophistry/

    Dave R (47, 51, etc.), please tone down the snarkiness. mpaul (49) & Reed S (63) are plainly correct, there’s nothing “magical” about the possible effects on Earth’s climate of cosmic rays / solar wind / solar magnetic variation, etc.. As mpaul (76) says, “please don’t mischaracterize the science as being ‘fringe’ simply because you don’t like the results.”

    Messier Tidy Upper, your reliance on greenman3610′s youtube videos is misplaced. He is often hopelessly confused. However, I appreciate your civility, e.g. by avoidance of the “denier” inflammatory smear language used by most CAGW alarmists. Also, you are correct that global warming fears predated Al Gore — but so did ice age fears. See: http://www.burtonsys.com/climate/Media_Historical_Quotes.html

    mike burkhart (80), you are exactly correct, and I remember the 1970s ice age scare, too. Perhaps Dave R (82) is too young to recall it. He presumably didn’t learn about it in school, either, because it is an inconvenient fact never mentioned in today’s K-12 history & science books. But in the 1970s the dominant scientific belief (I hate the word “consensus!”) was that we were entering a new ice age (or an end to the current interglacial), and that anthropogenic particulate emissions were the culprit. Those dire warnings figured prominently in the big environmentalist push to curb air pollution. Here are some articles: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914,00.html and http://www.burtonsys.com/newsweek_old.htm

    bad Jim (92), somebody has been lying to you. Before you make blanket assertions like “nearly no climate change deniers deal with ocean acidification,” I suggest that you actually read something from the people you’re trashing. Take a gander at WUWT, for instance; start with the link Fred gave you. If you do, then you might learn some truth. For example: there is no such thing as ocean acidification. The oceans are alkaline, and they always have been. Increasing the amount of dissolved CO2 can only make them slightly less alkaline, it cannot possibly make them acidic (hint: pH is a logarithmic scale!). What’s more, there’s no believable evidence that even the maximum plausible reduction in alkalinity would have any significant effect on marine populations, and it certainly has had none yet.

    Fred (97), thanks for the links, but coastal sea levels are NOT rising at 3.1 mm/year. Biffstallion (116) is right that the rate of sea level rise is exaggerated. Sea levels are rising at a majority of tide stations, but the average rate is less than half the claimed 3.1 mm/year, and (more importantly) the rate of rise is NOT accelerating. Even the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (2001) noted the “observational finding of no acceleration in sea level rise during the 20th century” (http://pages.citebite.com/i4h4m7k3aqep) See also http://www.burtonsys.com/GMSL and http://www.jcronline.org/doi/pdf/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-10-00157.1

    TheBlackCat (98), the temperature proxies that you trust are actually far less reliable than actual temperature measurements. In fact, that’s the cause of the infamous “hide the decline” quote: Michael Mann’s tree-ring temperature proxies had been falsified by being contradicted by actual temperature records, so he needed to hide the decline in the proxy-calculated temperatures to hide their inconsistency with real data. See http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/understanding_climategates_hid.html and http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/25/climategate-hide-the-decline-codified/

    TheBlackCat (107 & 120), what about the meteorologists? Big oil isn’t paying them. They’re particularly well equipped to distinguish between climate and mere weather, and unlike most climatologists they have no “skin in the game” — their livelihoods do not depend on climate alarmism, unlike the climatologists to which realist alluded (117). So what do you make of the fact that polls show that most professional meteorologists distrust the IPCC, and think fears of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming are nonsense.

    johnnyb (110), you are correct that global average temperatures have plateaued over the last 10-15 years. It is still quite warm, but it’s not getting warmer. Regardless of whose data and adjustments you believe, we’ve still not seen a year with temperatures warmer than 1998, to a statistically significant extent.

    Mark Schaffer (126), if you want want the IPCC “party line” then just read their three Assessment Reports. But to learn “the rest of the story” about climate, there are far, far better sites than the RC blog. Here are some links for you:

    http://rps3.com/Files/AGW/EngrCritique.AGW-Science.v4.pdf
    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=fb6d4083-802a-23ad-46e8-c5c098e22aa1&Region_id=&Issue_id=0f038c02-802a-23ad-4fec-b8bc71f1a6f8
    http://www.wattsupwiththat.com/
    http://www.surfacestations.org/
    http://www.climateaudit.org/
    http://www.icecap.us/
    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/
    http://www.scienceandpublicpolicy.org/
    http://www.co2science.org/
    http://www.climateresearchnews.com/
    http://www.climaterealists.com/
    http://www.heliogenic.net/
    http://www.climatedepot.com/
    http://www.climatechangefraud.com/
    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/
    http://mclean.ch/climate/global_warming.htm
    http://environment.ncpa.org/
    http://thesequal.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=climate

  126. typo correction: s/their three/their third and fourth/

  127. Chris

    Undeniable (comment 128), by “space scientist” you don’t mean “astronomer” or “astrophysicist” do you? Because those terms *are* used all the time to broadly describe researchers who study objects/phenomena in space. ;)

  128. Natalie

    @TheBlackCat

    OK, I guess that you are talking about ice core samples and what not, well if so… There is any amount of evidence to show that the warmists have made 2 + 2= 5 here, so they are just as likely to be wrong regarding conclusions about the weather too.

  129. TheBlackCat

    @ Peter Grynch: That would be great…if there was evidence we would be going into a period of significantly increased glaciation anytime soon. There isn’t, of course. On the contrary, glaciers are on retreat pretty much everywhere in the world.

    The fact of the matter is that our civilization developed around a very specific set of climactic conditions that have been fairly steady for the last 10,000 years. All evidence indicates that the warming we are seeing will drastically alter that situation, something our civilization has not seen and is not prepared to deal with.

  130. TheBlackCat

    @ Undeniable: Are there any just plain “life scientists” who study an entire organism? Would you fault someone who calls themself a biologist? What about someone who calls himself a chemist? What about a physicist? What about an astronomer? All of those fields have specializations. Yet you fault climatology, which is far better integrated than any of those.

    I am a sensory neuroscientist, a subset of a subset of biology, and I barely even talk to people working in other senses, not to mention other areas of the body. Compared to biology the different branches of climatology are extremely well-integrated, yet I somehow doubt you would fault someone for calling themself a biologist.

    As for your thought experiment, I think their reaction would be “The 0.6 degrees change you saw is nothing, we have had to deal with the effects of a change almost 10 times that, and it hasn’t been pretty.” Or did you somehow get the idea that the 0.6 degrees is what they will see, rather than what has already happened.

  131. TheBlackCat

    @ Natalie: Of course, if you say it then it must be true. No need to actually cite your evidence, you have just demolished an entire field of science by fiat. Great work! ;)

  132. Thanks, Dave. I hadn’t seen your links the last time, and I’ll need some time to get through them. Thanks for the info!

  133. kdk33

    Man, that black cat…

    Your #120 is just silly. The various taxing schemes to reduce carbon usage are premised on folk responding to economic incentive. The government funding feedback loop works the same way – and on scientists from a variety of fields (eg biologists studying the “potential effects of climate change on their creatures/plants of choice”). The alphabet organizations the represent scientists are, these days, largely lobbying groups whose behavior also responds to incentives.

    Government funded research concludes: we need more government to fund more research. Imagine that.

    Now, none of this says AGW isn’t real or how big a problem it might be. It does say, if you want credibility, you shouldn’t say silly stuff. Scientists are people too and just as susceptible to human foibles as the rest.

  134. [I don't understand this... my big comment is missing, but the little correction to it shows up?!? What's going on?? Trying again...]

    Emily (7), your undergrad geology classes taught you nonsense. Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions during the Little Ice Age were negligible.

    BA/Phil Plait & Nigel (21), you say that the Little Ice Age was a regional phenomena, rather than a global one, but that is incorrect. SUV is right: there is considerable evidence that it was very much a global phenomena, and NoAstronomer is right that the MWP was likewise a global phenomena.

    Paul (33) et al, please listen to zhirkhan (38). I caution you that Wikipedia is about the most unreliable source of information imaginable, when it comes to climate (or any other controversial issue). For uncontroversial topics, it is often excellent, but for controversial ones, like AGW, it tends to become a mere propaganda outlet for one faction, with other viewpoints and contrary evidence ruthlessly squelched.

    Gary (9), Johnnyb (11), I think you’re right: the connection between ozone and the jet stream is speculative, at best. As Natalie (89) pointed out, we have absolutely no evidence regarding the jet stream prior to the 20th century, as nobody even knew it existed back then. Particle emissions from the sun vary much more than total solar irradiance, and are a more likely cause for climate shifts than ozone.

    Tim Ball has written an illuminating article about the IPCC’s contortions to hide evidence of solar influence on climate, here: http://drtimball.com/2011/the-ipcc-climate-change-and-solar-sophistry/

    Dave R (47, 51, etc.), please tone down the snarkiness. mpaul (49) & Reed S (63) are plainly correct, there’s nothing “magical” about the possible effects on Earth’s climate of cosmic rays / solar wind / solar magnetic variation, etc.. As mpaul (76) says, “please don’t mischaracterize the science as being ‘fringe’ simply because you don’t like the results.”

    Messier Tidy Upper, your reliance on greenman3610′s youtube videos is misplaced. He is often hopelessly confused. However, I appreciate your civility, e.g. by avoidance of the “denier” inflammatory smear language used by most CAGW alarmists. Also, you are correct that global warming fears predated Al Gore — but so did ice age fears. See: http://www.burtonsys.com/climate/Media_Historical_Quotes.html

    mike burkhart (80), you are exactly correct, and I remember the 1970s ice age scare, too. Perhaps Dave R (82) is too young to recall it. He presumably didn’t learn about it in school, either, because it is an inconvenient fact never mentioned in today’s K-12 history & science books. But in the 1970s the dominant scientific belief (I hate the word “consensus!”) was that we were entering a new ice age (or an end to the current interglacial), and that anthropogenic particulate emissions were the culprit. Those dire warnings figured prominently in the big environmentalist push to curb air pollution. Here are some articles: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914,00.html and http://www.burtonsys.com/newsweek_old.htm

    bad Jim (92), somebody has been lying to you. Before you make blanket assertions like “nearly no climate change deniers deal with ocean acidification,” I suggest that you actually read something from the people you’re trashing. Take a gander at WUWT, for instance; start with the link Fred gave you. If you do, then you might learn some truth. For example: there is no such thing as ocean acidification. The oceans are alkaline, and they always have been. Increasing the amount of dissolved CO2 can only make them slightly less alkaline, it cannot possibly make them acidic (hint: pH is a logarithmic scale!). What’s more, there’s no believable evidence that even the maximum plausible reduction in alkalinity would have any significant effect on marine populations, and it certainly has had none yet.

    Fred (97), thanks for the links, but coastal sea levels are NOT rising at 3.1 mm/year. Biffstallion (116) is right that the rate of sea level rise is exaggerated. Sea levels are rising at a majority of tide stations, but the average rate is less than half the claimed 3.1 mm/year, and (more importantly) the rate of rise is NOT accelerating. Even the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (2001) noted the “observational finding of no acceleration in sea level rise during the 20th century” (http://pages.citebite.com/i4h4m7k3aqep) See also http://www.burtonsys.com/GMSL and http://www.jcronline.org/doi/pdf/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-10-00157.1

    TheBlackCat (98), the temperature proxies that you trust are actually far less reliable than actual temperature measurements. In fact, that’s the cause of the infamous “hide the decline” quote: Michael Mann’s tree-ring temperature proxies had been falsified by being contradicted by actual temperature records, so he needed to hide the decline in the proxy-calculated temperatures to hide their inconsistency with real data. See http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/understanding_climategates_hid.html and http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/25/climategate-hide-the-decline-codified/

    TheBlackCat (107 & 120), what about the meteorologists? Big oil isn’t paying them. They’re particularly well equipped to distinguish between climate and mere weather, and unlike most climatologists they have no “skin in the game” — their livelihoods do not depend on climate alarmism, unlike the climatologists to which realist alluded (117). So what do you make of the fact that polls show that most professional meteorologists distrust the IPCC, and think fears of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming are nonsense.

    johnnyb (110), you are correct that global average temperatures have plateaued over the last 10-15 years. It is still quite warm, but it’s not getting warmer. Regardless of whose data and adjustments you believe, we’ve still not seen a year with temperatures warmer than 1998, to a statistically significant extent.

    Mark Schaffer (126), if you want want the IPCC “party line” then just read their 3rd & 4th Assessment Reports. But to learn “the rest of the story” about climate, there are far, far better sites than the RC blog. Here are some links for you:

    http://rps3.com/Files/AGW/EngrCritique.AGW-Science.v4.pdf
    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=fb6d4083-802a-23ad-46e8-c5c098e22aa1&Region_id=&Issue_id=0f038c02-802a-23ad-4fec-b8bc71f1a6f8
    http://www.wattsupwiththat.com/
    http://www.surfacestations.org/
    http://www.climateaudit.org/
    http://www.icecap.us/
    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/
    http://www.scienceandpublicpolicy.org/
    http://www.co2science.org/
    http://www.climateresearchnews.com/
    http://www.climaterealists.com/
    http://www.heliogenic.net/
    http://www.climatedepot.com/
    http://www.climatechangefraud.com/
    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/
    http://mclean.ch/climate/global_warming.htm
    http://environment.ncpa.org/
    http://thesequal.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=climate

  135. Why are you sticking it to ” global warming” denials? You appear not to understand what the “global warning” people are saying. They do belive in gobal warming, just not man made global warming.

  136. Fred

    Why doesn’t the atmospheric warming mirror the global warming seen in HADCRUT and the rest? I am genuinely curious.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_May_20111.gif

  137. TheBlackCat

    @ Sam I Am: Tell that to johnnyb, who said that global warming stopped after 1998. In fact a lot of denialists say that the warming stopped after 1998.

    @ kdk33: Nice strawman. Care to actually address my argument? Or are you seriosuly suggesting that the entire climatology community is getting kickpacks from Big Solar Power or that the world’s development biologists and molecular biologists are getting money under the table from ecologists?

    @ Fred: The models aren’t designed to model short-term fluctuations in temperature, they look at longer-term trends. That is what we are interested in.

    For example, for the last decade or so we experienced a deeper and longer solar minimum than normal. The models can’t predict such short-term chances in solar behavior.

    However, over the long term, which is what we are interested in for predicting what we will see decades in the future, those sorts of short-term fluctuations are irrelevant, and so they are not explicitly modeled, and in fact both model results and atmospheric recordings are generally averaged over a decade or two in order to eliminate those fluctuations.

  138. johnnyb

    @Blackcat

    you’re right that civilization has flourished only with in this last interglacial, but this interglacial is coming to an end, soon. It might be in the next decade or it might be 500 years from now. The paleolithic records prove these ice ages occured when co2 was 100 times what they are now, so the hope that AGW will offset the coming ice age is ill founded.

    While the mechanism is not well understood, the solar cycle is strongly correlated with global cooling. The Milankovitch cycle has peaked and we are currently headed towards orbital conditions which have caused glacial periods in the past. Usually, interglacials only last 11-12,000 years, and our time is up.

    If factors due to the solar cycle increase the Earth’s albedo, this could be the event that triggers a younger Dryas like event, or a 100,000 year glacial norm. A glacial period will be far more destructive than a little global warming could ever be. In fact, increasing co2 will likely be nothing but a benefit.

  139. willyK

    My father was an atmospheric physicist, and one of the discoverers of the source of acid rain, and it drove him crazy when self-styled “scientists” thought that their broad conclusions based on threadbare understandings of even basic physical science were more relevant than the lifelong work of a PhD. And that was before the age of Wikipedia!

  140. johnnyb

    black cat, I have never said that the climate hasn’t warmed in the last 100 years, ut there has been no statistically significant warminf since 1998, and the satellite record shows 1998 as the warmest year. Satellite records are most accurate, because UHI doesn’t have to be accounted for, and they measure the greatest area. No speculative algorythms have to be extrapolated by politically biased sources, Hansen et. al. Even Hansen can’t extrapolate statistically significant warming.

    Yes, in the last century the earth has warmed about .75° C. During the Maunder Minimum the Earth cooled about 4°. Even if human caused CO2 contributed to the recent warming, if the observational rule holds true then its contribution will be dwarfed by a new Maunder like event.

    Given that the warming of the last century coincided with the modern maximum, anthropomorphic CO2′s contribution is most likely greatly over exagerated. Additionally, the function of CO2 is logarythmic so the next 100 ppm we add to thet atmosphere can’t possibly be as potent as the previous ppm. To achieve the same warming from a doubling of 280ppm to 560ppm, mankind will have to add an additional 560ppm, not an additional 280.

    During the carboniferous, life thrived. CO2 was 2-4% of the atmosphere, thats 20-40,000ppm! The biggest threat of global warming is idiots who worry

  141. [I don't understand this... my big comment is missing, but the little correction to it showed up! I've tried 3 times, no joy. This time I'll try splitting it in half. Here's the first half... ]

    Emily (7), your undergrad geology classes taught you nonsense. Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions during the Little Ice Age were negligible.

    BA/Phil Plait & Nigel (21), you say that the Little Ice Age was a regional phenomena, rather than a global one, but that is incorrect. SUV is right: there is considerable evidence that it was very much a global phenomena, and NoAstronomer is right that the MWP was likewise a global phenomena.

    Paul (33) et al, please listen to zhirkhan (38). I caution you that Wikipedia is about the most unreliable source of information imaginable, when it comes to climate (or any other controversial issue). For uncontroversial topics, it is often excellent, but for controversial ones, like AGW, it tends to become a mere propaganda outlet for one faction, with other viewpoints and contrary evidence ruthlessly squelched.

    Gary (9), Johnnyb (11), I think you’re right: the connection between ozone and the jet stream is speculative, at best. As Natalie (89) pointed out, we have absolutely no evidence regarding the jet stream prior to the 20th century, as nobody even knew it existed back then. Particle emissions from the sun vary much more than total solar irradiance, and are a more likely cause for climate shifts than ozone.

    Tim Ball has written an illuminating article about the IPCC’s contortions to hide evidence of solar influence on climate, here: http://drtimball.com/2011/the-ipcc-climate-change-and-solar-sophistry/

    Dave R (47, 51, etc.), please tone down the snarkiness. mpaul (49) & Reed S (63) are plainly correct, there’s nothing “magical” about the possible effects on Earth’s climate of cosmic rays / solar wind / solar magnetic variation, etc.. As mpaul (76) says, “please don’t mischaracterize the science as being ‘fringe’ simply because you don’t like the results.”

    Messier Tidy Upper, your reliance on greenman3610′s youtube videos is misplaced. He is often hopelessly confused. However, I appreciate your civility, e.g. by avoidance of the “denier” inflammatory smear language used by most CAGW alarmists. Also, you are correct that global warming fears predated Al Gore — but so did ice age fears. See: http://www.burtonsys.com/climate/Media_Historical_Quotes.html

    …[snip]

  142. [...and here's the 2nd half...]

    mike burkhart (80), you are exactly correct, and I remember the 1970s ice age scare, too. Perhaps Dave R (82) is too young to recall it. He presumably didn’t learn about it in school, either, because it is an inconvenient fact never mentioned in today’s K-12 history & science books. But in the 1970s the dominant scientific belief (I hate the word “consensus!”) was that we were entering a new ice age (or an end to the current interglacial), and that anthropogenic particulate emissions were the culprit. Those dire warnings figured prominently in the big environmentalist push to curb air pollution. Here are some articles: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914,00.html and http://www.burtonsys.com/newsweek_old.htm

    bad Jim (92), somebody has been lying to you. Before you make blanket assertions like “nearly no climate change deniers deal with ocean acidification,” I suggest that you actually read something from the people you’re trashing. Take a gander at WUWT, for instance; start with the link Fred gave you. If you do, then you might learn some truth. For example: there is no such thing as ocean acidification. The oceans are alkaline, and they always have been. Increasing the amount of dissolved CO2 can only make them slightly less alkaline, it cannot possibly make them acidic (hint: pH is a logarithmic scale!). What’s more, there’s no believable evidence that even the maximum plausible reduction in alkalinity would have any significant effect on marine populations, and it certainly has had none yet.

    Fred (97), thanks for the links, but coastal sea levels are NOT rising at 3.1 mm/year. Biffstallion (116) is right that the rate of sea level rise is exaggerated. Sea levels are rising at a majority of tide stations, but the average rate is less than half the claimed 3.1 mm/year, and (more importantly) the rate of rise is NOT accelerating. Even the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (2001) noted the “observational finding of no acceleration in sea level rise during the 20th century” (http://pages.citebite.com/i4h4m7k3aqep) See also http://www.burtonsys.com/GMSL and http://www.jcronline.org/doi/pdf/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-10-00157.1

    TheBlackCat (98), the temperature proxies that you trust are actually far less reliable than actual temperature measurements. In fact, that’s the cause of the infamous “hide the decline” quote: Michael Mann’s tree-ring temperature proxies had been falsified by being contradicted by actual temperature records, so he needed to hide the decline in the proxy-calculated temperatures to hide their inconsistency with real data. See http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/understanding_climategates_hid.html and http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/25/climategate-hide-the-decline-codified/

    TheBlackCat (107 & 120), what about the meteorologists? Big oil isn’t paying them. They’re particularly well equipped to distinguish between climate and mere weather, and unlike most climatologists they have no “skin in the game” — their livelihoods do not depend on climate alarmism, unlike the climatologists to which realist alluded (117). So what do you make of the fact that polls show that most professional meteorologists distrust the IPCC, and think fears of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming are nonsense.

    johnnyb (110), you are correct that global average temperatures have plateaued over the last 10-15 years. It is still quite warm, but it’s not getting warmer. Regardless of whose data and adjustments you believe, we’ve still not seen a year with temperatures warmer than 1998, to a statistically significant extent.

    Mark Schaffer (126), if you want want the IPCC “party line” then just read their 3rd & 4th Assessment Reports. But to learn “the rest of the story” about climate, there are far, far better sites than the RC blog. Here are some links for you:

    http://rps3.com/Files/AGW/EngrCritique.AGW-Science.v4.pdf
    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=fb6d4083-802a-23ad-46e8-c5c098e22aa1&Region_id=&Issue_id=0f038c02-802a-23ad-4fec-b8bc71f1a6f8
    http://www.wattsupwiththat.com/
    http://www.surfacestations.org/
    http://www.climateaudit.org/
    http://www.icecap.us/
    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/
    http://www.scienceandpublicpolicy.org/
    http://www.co2science.org/
    http://www.climateresearchnews.com/
    http://www.climaterealists.com/
    http://www.heliogenic.net/
    http://www.climatedepot.com/
    http://www.climatechangefraud.com/
    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/
    http://mclean.ch/climate/global_warming.htm
    http://environment.ncpa.org/
    http://thesequal.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=climate

  143. [...well, the 1st half posted okay, but not the 2nd half. So here's the 1st half of the 2nd half...]

    mike burkhart (80), you are exactly correct, and I remember the 1970s ice age scare, too. Perhaps Dave R (82) is too young to recall it. He presumably didn’t learn about it in school, either, because it is an inconvenient fact never mentioned in today’s K-12 history & science books. But in the 1970s the dominant scientific belief (I hate the word “consensus!”) was that we were entering a new ice age (or an end to the current interglacial), and that anthropogenic particulate emissions were the culprit. Those dire warnings figured prominently in the big environmentalist push to curb air pollution. Here are some articles: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914,00.html and http://www.burtonsys.com/newsweek_old.htm

    bad Jim (92), somebody has been lying to you. Before you make blanket assertions like “nearly no climate change deniers deal with ocean acidification,” I suggest that you actually read something from the people you’re trashing. Take a gander at WUWT, for instance; start with the link Fred gave you. If you do, then you might learn some truth. For example: there is no such thing as ocean acidification. The oceans are alkaline, and they always have been. Increasing the amount of dissolved CO2 can only make them slightly less alkaline, it cannot possibly make them acidic (hint: pH is a logarithmic scale!). What’s more, there’s no believable evidence that even the maximum plausible reduction in alkalinity would have any significant effect on marine populations, and it certainly has had none yet.

    Fred (97), thanks for the links, but coastal sea levels are NOT rising at 3.1 mm/year. Biffstallion (116) is right that the rate of sea level rise is exaggerated. Sea levels are rising at a majority of tide stations, but the average rate is less than half the claimed 3.1 mm/year, and (more importantly) the rate of rise is NOT accelerating. Even the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (2001) noted the “observational finding of no acceleration in sea level rise during the 20th century” (http://pages.citebite.com/i4h4m7k3aqep) See also http://www.burtonsys.com/GMSL and http://www.jcronline.org/doi/pdf/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-10-00157.1

    TheBlackCat (98), the temperature proxies that you trust are actually far less reliable than actual temperature measurements. In fact, that’s the cause of the infamous “hide the decline” quote: Michael Mann’s tree-ring temperature proxies had been falsified by being contradicted by actual temperature records, so he needed to hide the decline in the proxy-calculated temperatures to hide their inconsistency with real data. See http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/understanding_climategates_hid.html and http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/25/climategate-hide-the-decline-codified/

    TheBlackCat (107 & 120), what about the meteorologists? Big oil isn’t paying them. They’re particularly well equipped to distinguish between climate and mere weather, and unlike most climatologists they have no “skin in the game” — their livelihoods do not depend on climate alarmism, unlike the climatologists to which realist alluded (117). So what do you make of the fact that polls show that most professional meteorologists distrust the IPCC, and think fears of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming are nonsense.

    johnnyb (110), you are correct that global average temperatures have plateaued over the last 10-15 years. It is still quite warm, but it’s not getting warmer. Regardless of whose data and adjustments you believe, we’ve still not seen a year with temperatures warmer than 1998, to a statistically significant extent.

  144. [...and here's the 1st half of the 2nd half of the 2nd half... sheesh!]

    Mark Schaffer (126), if you want want the IPCC “party line” then just read their 3rd & 4th Assessment Reports. But to learn “the rest of the story” about climate, there are far, far better sites than the RC blog. Here are some links for you:

    http://rps3.com/Files/AGW/EngrCritique.AGW-Science.v4.pdf
    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=fb6d4083-802a-23ad-46e8-c5c098e22aa1&Region_id=&Issue_id=0f038c02-802a-23ad-4fec-b8bc71f1a6f8
    http://www.wattsupwiththat.com/
    http://www.surfacestations.org/
    http://www.climateaudit.org/
    http://www.icecap.us/

    …[snip]

  145. …well, I guess that’ll do. The version I tried repeatedly to post had another dozen links at the end. For some reason, it just wouldn’t show up. No error messages or anything, it just didn’t show up on the site.

  146. tresmal

    But in the 1970s the dominant scientific belief (I hate the word “consensus!”) was that we were entering a new ice age….

    No it wasn’t. Yes I know Newsweek ran it as a cover story, that just says more about how badly science is covered than it does about what scientists actually believed at the time. But even then papers about Global Warming outnumbered papers about cooling.

    Increasing the amount of dissolved CO2 can only make them slightly less alkaline, it cannot possibly make them acidic …

    If it was -30° yesterday and it’s -10° today, it hasn’t gotten any warmer right?

    (hint: pH is a logarithmic scale!)

    Yes, which means that changes are actually bigger than they look.

    What’s more, there’s no believable evidence that even the maximum plausible reduction in alkalinity would have any significant effect on marine populations, and it certainly has had none yet.

    Believable to whom? At any rate there is some evidence whether you believe it or not.
    https://darchive.mblwhoilibrary.org/handle/1912/370
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/318/5857/1737.short
    http://eprints.ifm-geomar.de/7878/1/965_Raven_2005_OceanAcidificationDueToIncreasing_Monogr_pubid13120.pdf
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v1/n2/full/ngeo100.html

    TheBlackCat (98), the temperature proxies that you trust are actually far less reliable than actual temperature measurements.

    Obviously. Less reliable doesn’t necessarily mean unreliable.

    In fact, that’s the cause of the infamous “hide the decline” quote: Michael Mann’s tree-ring temperature proxies had been falsified by being contradicted by actual temperature records, so he needed to hide the decline in the proxy-calculated temperatures to hide their inconsistency with real data.

    No. A subset of the tree ring data, which itself is a subset of the proxy data broke down in its previously strong correlation with temp. data around 1960. This has been long openly discussed by scientists (google “divergence problem” sometime). The “hide the decline” data splice was discussed in the paper for which it was used so there was no intent to deceive. Lastly, since then many more proxies have been added and more labs have taken their own look and the result is the case for the “hockey stick” has only grown stronger. So throw out Mann’s 1998s version if you don’t like it. It has been superseded by more recent and more data supported versions.

  147. Excillent Article…explains a lot.While chekcking I found out the following site about volcanic activity..worth checking out…

    http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/find_regions.cfm

    How many active volcanoes known?
    Erupting now: perhaps 20
    Each year: 50-70
    Each decade: about 160
    Historical eruptions: about 550
    Known Holocene eruptions (last 10,000 years): about 1300
    Known (and possible) Holocene eruptions: about 1500
    -Source:http://www.volcano.si.edu

  148. Messier Tidy Upper

    Australian scientists have been fighting back against misinformation – from today’s news :

    Top Australian scientists have united in a new campaign to defend their credibility amid fresh death threats aimed at key climate change scientists. In an unprecedented move in Canberra today, more than 200 scientists will converge on Parliament House to call on politicians to help stop misinformation in the climate debate.
    Their concern is that the hysteria has now escalated and is spilling over into attacks on their work and threats to their personal safety. … [SNIP] … “[I had] an email threatening my life. No scientist should ever have to have their life threatened simply for doing the work they need to do.”

    Source : http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/20/3248032.htm

    No scientist should ever have their life threatened simply for doing the work they need to do. On *that* point surely if no other we can all agree, right?

    This link :

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/03/3234342.htm

    is interesting too in showing that despite the lobbying and some would argue undue prominence given to climate contrarians in the Aussie media only 6 % of Aussies are “true climate deniers” as they put it. (Personally I’d argue for and prefer the term ‘contrarian’ given the other distracting and very insulting associations the d-word has , but I’m probably fighting a losing battle on that point.)

    Finally see :

    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3247216.htm

    For an interesting interview or two on Lateline regarding the climate change implications.

  149. Messier Tidy Upper

    @128. Undeniable : The term “climate scientist” really irritates me. It’s like using the term “space scientist”.

    Well, “climate scientist” is a straighforward descriptive term although I suppose ‘climatologist’ is perhaps technically better and more more accurate.

    As (#130.) Chris has pointed out these people generally get termed ‘astronomers’, ‘astrophysicists’ – even I may add ‘astronauts’, ‘spaceship designeers’ . and ‘mission control staff.’ ;-)

    Again the “space scientist” umbrella term is a simple broadly descriptive one that makes immediate plain english sense. Not sure why this peeves you so much.

    @

  150. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 126. Mark Schaffer : “I would like to thank TheBlackCat for responding patiently to all the nonsense..

    I’ll second that. Thankyou BlackCat. :-)

    @128. Undeniable : [Continued.]

    It’s the same with “climate scientists” – we keep being told that there are thousands of such scientists but I suspect the truth is that there are scientists studying glaciers, scientists studying cloud formation or scientists studying aerosols – NO just plain “climate scientists”, i.e. experts in a very vague and broad field.

    Yes, there are indeed :

    - Glaciologists specialising in that aspect of our climate and observing the glaciers and ice sheets melting,

    - Biologists witnessing species going extinct and ecosystems changing and sometimes vanishing,

    - Palaeoclimatologists studying ice cores /coral /varves (fossil lake sediment) /pollen / stalagmites and stalagtites and many other things to work out how past climates have varied,

    - Computer modellers coming up with ever better & more sophisticated models of what may take place in the future.

    - Plus more.

    Then too these individual scientists are also combining forces and working together; collaborating with others, reading and revieiwing papers, studying and listening to each other when it comes to putting together the big picture. There is a community of scientists and these are not people who necesarrily or usually work in isolation or fail to look beyond their particular sub-niche.

    (Well, perhaps few do maybe but the majority of them will look at and work with others – and those working alone and narrowly focused will still share their knowledge and have their papers published and accessible to the rest.)

    If a given scientists research touches upon and is involved in improving our understanding of our climate how is it invalid to say they are therefore a “climate scientist”?

    If there are thouands or for that matter even just hundreds of these experts all saying the evidence says we have a problem and should do something about it to make things better for our collective futures, is ignoring them really smart? :-(

    The only people who qualify, I suspect, are people like James Hansen, whose ridiculous predictions could be bettered by any average member of the public.

    Could they really? Examples please. Which of Hansen’s predictions have been ridiculous precisely?

    A thought experiment: If you could travel back 100 years in a time machine and tell people about the (supposed) 0.6 degree (+/- 0.4 degree!) rise in average global temperature, what do you think their predictions of the effect of such an increase might be? I think the answers might be: “not much”, “probably not even noticable” or “we’ve got more important things to worry about”. Or maybe just “f**k off”.

    I’d be fascinated by time travellers & want to learn more , I suspect the people then would be too – that or have you burned at the stake for witchcraft depending on exact circumstances! ;-)

    PS: Mr Messier Tidy Upper, please don’t point me to any pathetic YouTube videos.

    Why do you call such videos pathetic and what facts presented in them are inaccurate? I’ve presented a range of links for further info. in the hope it’s interesting and /or useful. I’ve looked at the evidence, seriously, from both sides. Have you?

    What information would you like? Other websites – I’d suggest you try Realclimate and skeptical science? Books? Scientific papers? Interviews and direct personal contact with the scientists involved?

    These can be arranged if you make the effort. Look at the evidence. Look at both sides. Think about things. Don’t like youtube? Fine – look elsewhere. There are plenty of good (& yes, many bad also! ;-) ) resources available for you and everyone else to conduct their own studies and d their own reading and thinking.

  151. Messier Tidy Upper

    @131. Natalie :

    OK, I guess that you are talking about ice core samples and what not, well if so… There is any amount of evidence to show that the warmists have made 2 + 2= 5 here, so they are just as likely to be wrong regarding conclusions about the weather too.

    Really? Specific examples please – *which* evidence is this? Do you have any studies you can point to or links you can provide? What sources are you basing this claim on may I ask?

    Surely you are NOT referring to the multiply debunked “climategate” non-scandal or the equally long demolished Phil Jones “warming stopped in 1995″ canard or the irrelevant flaws pointed out on Al Gore’s movie are you?

    Just saying you have evidence for “idea X” (whatever that may be) is one thing.

    Providing it is quite another – and a *way more* more impressive and convincing.

    Depending, of course, on the quality of that evidence presented.

  152. Natalie

    @TheBlackCat Says:

    Nail!… meet Head…

    That is my point, warmists do not have any real evidence for their theories, yet they are attempting to force the population to bend further under the authoritarian fist, which the politicians love (of course).

    I have noted that there is no statistic produced, which can not be interpreted in more ways than the one that any particular body is espousing. This is most apparent in the alchemical business of “climate change”… note that I believe it is a business, and it is a business with huge costs and no product. No product, because the whole “trick” is based on computer models and an interpretation of weather patterns extracted from some highly selective evidence.

    The difference between the camps is that the one set of statistics is interpreted differently: The warmists conclude that that we need to shut the shop, whilst the realists are aware that the climate/weather is constantly changing and that humanity is clever enough to adapt to any changes…

    The evidence of history would suggest that the realists have it about right.

  153. Messier Tidy Upper

    @142. Dave Burton :

    Messier Tidy Upper, your reliance on greenman3610′s youtube videos is misplaced. He is often hopelessly confused.

    Please, can you provide us with some examples and evidence for where Greenman3610 is “confused” or in error?

    However, I appreciate your civility, e.g. by avoidance of the “denier” inflammatory smear language used by most CAGW alarmists.

    No worries. I do always try to be polite and reasonable. Being a flawed human being I may not always suceed but I certainly try to be so.

    Plus, I’ve experienced that myself – see my comment #84 here. I know it feels to be attacked as a “denier” and how it made me much *less* likely to listen and much more likely to respond in anger.

    Also, you are correct that global warming fears predated Al Gore — but so did ice age fears.

    That’s true but the scientific research since then – and ongoing – has indicated that we don’t need to worry about an ice age happening anytime soon, whereas the scientific evidence has strengthened the case that we *do* have serious reasons for concern when it comes to Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    @141. johnnyb :

    During the carboniferous, life thrived. CO2 was 2-4% of the atmosphere, thats 20-40,000ppm!

    … And our Sun was considerably cooler and less luminous providing less heat. Look up the “Faint Sun” paradox.

    *****

    Our Sun’s brightness is gradually increasing by about 10 % every billion years.
    – McNab, David & Younger, James, ‘The Planets’, BBC Worldwide,1999. & “The Planets” final episode – ‘Destiny” , BBC TV, screened circa 1995-2005. (?)

    The biggest threat of global warming is idiots who worry

  154. Wzrd1

    Natalie, you are absolutely correct. The average temperature on this planet hasn’t changed since the Lord Jesus proclaimed it good 2000 years ago, the scientists ALL OVER THE DAMNED WORLD LIE.
    Every planet in the solar system is increasing in temperature, but PLANETS LIE, THEY ARE OF THE DEVIL!
    Truth is lies. Big Corporation knows all and loves all.
    THE AVERAGE HAS INCREASED.
    That much energy HAS to go somewhere and do something, except on your planet, the planet Stupidia.

  155. James

    The truth, which you won’t find in the text of this article, is that the author has absolutely no way of knowing what he says is true. He can’t tell you what caused the Sun to cause the first Little Ice Age, and he can’t tell you with any certainty that it isn’t happening again.

    Any science author who assures you somehting won’t happen, when statistically it very well could, should not be read. This is my last time here.

  156. Messier Tidy Upper

    @141. johnnyb : See

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faint_young_Sun_paradox

    &

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carboniferous

    The Carboniferous was a geological aeon of time from 360 to 300 million years ago approximately. During that time the continents were in different locations, our Sun was younger and thus fainter (main-sequence “dwarf” stars brighten and get more luminous as they evolve over time) our atmospheric composition was different with more Oxygen as well as much more C02 in the air and our planet generally was a very different one compared to today’s world. It was also a time of notable extinctions and climate change as well.

    Plus see :

    http://sustainableloudoun.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/climate-overview/

    You’ll have to scroll down a little way on that last one but there’s a good section there on the Faint Young Sun Paradox there observing :

    The red curve in Figure 1 illustrates the “faint young Sun” paradox, [from Koch, 2008]. Our sun is a G2 star on the main sequence; it was only 70% as luminous then as now. … [SNIP] … Yet since about 4 billion years ago the Earth has always had a temperature compatible with liquid surface water and life. Earth’s surface temperature is thought to have varied between about 10 and 25 degrees C throughout its history, except for the Hadean Eon as shown by the grey band in Figure 1. … during the Proterozoic and Phanerozoic Eons, carbon dioxide alone would have had to keep the Earth warm and balance the increasing solar radiation. This feedback process is described by [Berner, 2004]. It is called the carbonate-silicate cycle or the long term carbon cycle. Briefly, when the Earth warms, water evaporates off the oceans increasing rainfall. The water vapor combines with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere creating carbonic acid. These acids rain onto silicate rocks increasing the rate of weathering and carbonate sediment formation, effectively leaching the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. As a result the Earth cools. A cooler Earth results in less evaporation and less rainfall and subsequently less weathering and burial. This negative feedback cycle operates over millions of years.

    Note the words “millions of years” there? Now, we’re burning fossil fuels laid down over those millions of years in mere decades. Pumping a lot more gas out and literally changing the atmosphere of our planet. This ain’t a good idea – and is bound to have significant consequences.

    Today’s sun is much hotter than it was so why aren’t we boiling now? The source linked last here explains :

    .. despite solar radiation which was increasing by about 5% over the phanerozoic, or about 12 W/m2, reduced levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide maintained the Earth’s temperate climate.

    So we change that reduced level of CO2 and we’re headed for a trouble and instability and a different, much hotter & more hostile planetary climate.

    The biggest threat of global warming is idiots who worry

    _________ … deny it even exists and try to stop us taking prompt action to mitigate it before some pretty powerful feedbacks kick in and make reducing further Global overheating exceedingly difficult to put it mildly.

    (Eg. methane release from melting permafrost, reduced carbon sinks as the forests die due to desertifcation, albedo changes caused by reflective ice being replaced by dark absorbing ocean, etc.)

  157. Messier, et al, do you ever wish we could have serious discussions about this without the antics of paranoid hysterics such as Wzrd1? And, Natalie, if you have evidence that it is all unfounded, write it up, get it published, make a name for yourself.

    I’d like to point out something about the “Global Cooling” fiasco back in the seventies (I think); I know it hadn’t that much scientific backing, but it is a very good demonstration about how disconnected the media-political class can become from scientific facts.

  158. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ Hugo Schmidt :

    Messier, et al, do you ever wish we could have serious discussions about this without the antics of paranoid hysterics such as Wzrd1?

    Yes, sometiomes. It can get annoying and frustrating. But then I remind myself of the value of free speech and how everyone has the right to express their views and then have their views assessed and rejected or accepted as the case may be.

    Perhaps something good will come of it, discussion isn’t a bad thing. Be a boring world if everybody agreed – but it could be a much nicer, better one if more people were more reasonable and polite about their disagreements though! ;-)

    @155. Wzrd1 :

    Every planet in the solar system is increasing in temperature, but PLANETS LIE

    Er … No, the other planets in our solar system are NOT all getting warmer.

    Planet’s don’t lie – they just are as they are. From the state they’re in and how its changing or not we can deduce various things about them.

    If people – specifically geologists landed on Mars and studied the record of the martian icecaps using ice cores taken there it may provide an interesting comparison with Erath’s icecaps – it may be further evidence for what our Sun has or hasn’t done. Complicated of course by the diferent planetary histories and orbits and uniquely martian climate factors.

    From comparing Mars and Earth and Venus we can work out how difefrent these worlds are and why. To an ever improving degree. That’s an area of science I really love.

    Yeah, I got that your post was intended as satire but that well, not-so-loved by me anyhow.

  159. Messier Tidy Upper

    @155. Wzrd1 :

    See :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSXgiml5UwM

    My favourite out of the whole series.

    @141. johnnyb :

    See :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE6at2IEUOU&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33

    For why a high C02 prehistorical world may not be what we want to accidentally recreate for ourselves.

    Oh & also :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjhTrCgVb5U

    Where the ancient climate and snowball Earth vs high Co2 factor then gets discussed during a debunking of Monckton’s contrarian claims..

  160. Natalie

    Wzrd1…

    “That much energy HAS to go somewhere and do something, except on your planet, the planet Stupidia.”

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha aaaarhhh…

    And where did all that energy come from?

    You obviously don’t know, so I will tell you…

    The Sun….

    The corporates, even though I do not agree with much of what they do (or say), have merely converted that energy from one form into another and then sold us the trinkets that this process produces (I bet you drive a Prius, or sit on an empty bus :-) ).

    Your statement, is typical of the sort of arrogance that regularly spouts from authoritarians the world over.

    If the human race is headed for extinction, there is nothing you or I will be able to do about it…

    We are just two individuals, who can’t agree, but I reckon that we (human beans) are adaptable enough to face situations as they arise, and you think that planning, through weighing statistics and measuring and theorising and being facetious, and attempting to fix the situation by inflicting your current idealist “ism” on the rest of us will protect our way of life… Indeed it is the authoritarians that you are so enamoured by, that formed coalitions with the corporates in the first place… Whilst I think it will compromise our way of life… (Or rather, ways of lives).

    Bearing that in mind, how do you think that we are going to persuade 190 nations, 7 or 8 billion peeps, to come to an agreement about theories and manage this?

    Taking the warmist argument to its logical conclusion, results in an authoritarian world government killing 6 1/2 billion people (it might be war, it might be famine or disease), whilst carefully ensuring that they are not amongst them… What kind of success is that?

    Now who’s living on planet Crassius, or Stupidia, or whatever you want to call it?

  161. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ Natalie :

    Taking the warmist argument to its logical conclusion, results in an authoritarian world government killing 6 1/2 billion people, whilst carefully ensuring that they are not amongst them… What kind of success is that?

    No. Your conclusion there does NOT logically follow from the case put by the scientific consensus on the reality of Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    The “Warmist” or Climatological Consensus argument is simply that Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is real and is having problematic effects on our planet which will get worse unless action is taken.

    There isn’t any scientific consensus on precisely what to do about it at all.

    Let alone that an authoritarian tyrannical world government conducting genocide is needed.

    Who is arguing for that option please tell? Nobody I know or have read.

    The scientists are telling us what the situation is regarding AGW and what will most likely
    or plausibly happen with varying degrees of probablities based on particular assumptions. f for instance we assume a doubling of carbon dioxid eoccurs and if we take no action thatcan predict that a world withan average of three degrees hotter will mostprobably have vast deserts, drowned coastlines and far fewer people will be able to survive in such a world.

    What we do with that knowledge and information is NOT a scientific question but a political and social one.

    There are alternative choices we can take incl. developing new renewable technologies and using much more nuclear power. There are diferent economic schemes, Obama’s cap’n'trade, or Rudd’s* ETS or the Gillard’s* carbon tax among them. I’m personally not sure these will work myself – but each is a separate question.

    There is “terraforming” our own planet Terra (Earth!) by adding iron to oceans, putting giant sunshades in space and suchlike, there is trying to offset the greenhouse warming with nuclera winter, there is doing nothing butwaitand see and trying toadapt as things get worse.

    Some of those options are pretty terrible, some may just be our slvation, some have good and bad prospects
    ——–

    * Australian examples because they’re where I’m from. Ex-Aussie Prime Minister Kevin Rudd poposed an Emissions Trading Scheme which was controversially rejected and then abandoned. New PM Gillard now wants a carbon tax imposed.

  162. Messier Tidy Upper

    [EXPANDING on #161 above.]

    Some of those options are pretty terrible, some may just be our salvation, some have good and bad prospects of delivering greater or fewer emissions and causing more or less other problems. That’s up to us – well our politicians and generals, world leaders and green and non-green lobbyists, Business tycoons and ordinary citizens like me & I’d presume you as well.

    Yeah, we probably won’t have much impact, our voices will be just a drop in the ocean, – but we can at least do a few small things even if that’s just understanding the problem and helping others understand better in turn and voting accordingly.

    Because of the thermal inertia – the long slow warming of the ocean that is taking place already – and the cumulative nature of the AGW problem, we cannot totally avert Global Warming. We will see some (more) affects – it’s just a question of how bad these are and when they happen.

    But if we make some decisions we might be able to slow warming down and make it less severe than it would otherwise be – or the reverse of that – hasten it and make it worse.

    Bearing that in mind, how do you think that we are going to persuade 190 nations, 7 or 8 billion peeps, to come to an agreement about theories and manage this?

    With extreme difficulty clearly.

    The Copenhagen summit failure, the pitiful fading away of the Kyoto acords etc .. provide piles of evidence that international agreements can’t be relied on to work. A top-down approach where the United Nations dictate something for everyone that all nations agree to and follow is a very long way off and the UN, generally, is, in a word, useless.

    So then surely a global dictatorship that steps in and orders the genocide of all but a favoured few as a solution is even more unlikely! ;-)

    How much resistence will be likely against that particular option? Which politician, environmentalist or world leader is advocating that – names please!

    Russia, China, the USA, Great Britain, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea, & other nations have nuclear weapons. A global dictator is going to have a very hard time prising those out of the hands of national leaders – and will have to fear a nuclear response to imposing genocide on the likes of say France, England and America. Just try taking guns away from the majority of people inthe United States! He (I presume our hypotetical dictator and Global Emperor wannabe will be a ‘he’) can try .. but I ‘d give him zero chance of success there! ;-)

    Looked at realistically I don’t think your fear of “… an authoritarian world government killing 6 1/2 billion” is remotely likely. Cannot see that happening in the Real World.

    I’m not worried by it and won’t be until there’s some far better evidence saying that I have good reason to be concerned about that.

    I think that nations will probably respond individually driven by capitalism, self-interest and self-preservation. Businesses and individual people will do the same. As things get clearly worse alot of things will be tried withsome working, some failing and we’ll gradualy adopt the mosteffectve methods, tehbets new technologies, the most effective economic incentives, perhaps have to thro winsome last minute desperate moves like ,,well, who knows!

    Will it work? Probably only partially but the more we do *intelligently*, the sooner we act *intelligently* – rather than sticking our heads in the sand pretending its just not happening when it is – then the better it’ll be for us and for the future generations that we’ll be leaving this planet to.

  163. Messier Tidy Upper

    CORRECTION for clarity :

    As things get clearly worse climate~wise, a lot of things will be tried with some working and some failing. We’ll gradually adopt the most effective methods, the best new technologies, the most effective economic incentives, perhaps have to throw in some last minute desperate moves like, well, who knows!

    Suggested reading :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forty_Signs_of_Rain

    by ‘Mars’ trilogy author Kim Stanley Robinson and even more so its two sequels ‘Fifty Degrees Below’ (2005), and ‘Sixty Days and Counting’ (2007) for some interesting ideas. This ‘Science in the Capital trilogy takes a while to get going but does have some good ideas in it. One of which being creating artificial seas in desert depressions to moderate local temperatures and create somewhere good for the excess water to go. I do like the idea of Australia getting an inland sea. ;-)

    See :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Degrees:_Our_Future_on_a_Hotter_Planet

    For an excellent book that I’ve just finished reading which looks at many of the scientific predictions of how our world may change with each extra degree of warming.

    Plus I’d recommend reading :

    http://www.carbondetox.org/html/more.html

    which is currently on my own reading list and is, judging from what I’ve skimmed through so far, pretty good & probably NOT quite what folks might expect it to be. :-)

  164. Natalie

    @Messier Tidy Upper…

    You understand, without being abusive… Wunderbar!

    “The Copenhagen summit” was a failure, and a good thing too, because as a success, it was the first real step to a world government with teeth, the UN, IMF, WWF are merely precursors…

    The answer to “So then surely a global dictatorship that steps in and orders the genocide of all but a favoured few as a solution…” unfortunately is the most likely result of world government, for they know not what they do…

    All is chaos, and long may she reign…

    Remember, the survival of the human race is not something that we humans control… Instead we should enjoy and be merry!

    In the days (well some of them) before we were more than a glint in a bowl of primordial soup, the levels of carbon dioxide concentration were substantially higher than they are today, and yet we owe our existence to this period?

    As some people might say… Go figure!

  165. ND

    “In the days (well some of them) before we were more than a glint in a bowl of primordial soup, the levels of carbon dioxide concentration were substantially higher than they are today, and yet we owe our existence to this period?”

    And your point is what exactly? Climate change is about the impact on human lives and civilizations. Life on earth will go on no matter what.

    You’re starting to smell like a troll. You were asked to back up your statements with evidence and you haven’t.

  166. Mark Schaffer

    Dave Burton posted links to discredited sites as if the authors, with very few exceptions, were credible. The only thing this does is call into question Dave’s ability to discern between sites with actual research versus those with propaganda. Scratch that, by referring to such sites there IS no question that Dave Burton flunks basic research.

  167. Sorry about all the duplication, folks. I guess I should have just been more patient.

  168. Messier Tidy Upper (159) asked, “Please, can you provide us with some examples and evidence for where Greenman3610 is ‘confused’ or in error?”

    Sure thing. Here’s a good example, from June 6, 2011, entitled “CO2 is not Pumping up Plants…”
    http://climatecrocks.com/2011/06/06/sorry-co2-is-not-pumping-up-plants-climate-change-pinching-food-supplies/
    and it’s (year earlier) companion YouTube video entitled “The CO2 is Plant Food Crock”:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g093lhtpEFo

    It is riddled with severe errors.

    Error #1:

    The article headline is contradicted even by the article, itself. The headline says, “CO2 is not pumping up plants.” But the article says, “they hoped the [additional CO2] might bump [soybean] yields as much as 30 percent… But… the bump was only half as large.”

    Half of 30% is still 15%, a quite significant “bump.” In other words, the study confirmed what greenhouse operators already know: more CO2 is good for crops. The only quibble is over just how MUCH good it does.

    Greenman3610′s headline is flat-out false.

    Increased CO2 levels do, indeed, boost crop yields, plant growth, and drought-resistance, often quite dramatically; see:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2qVNK6zFgE

    Error #2:

    Most of the YouTube video is devoted to scary footage of floods and droughts and famines, supposedly due to increasing extreme weather events, which are supposedly due to global warming, which is supposedly due to anthropogenic CO2.

    It is very tenuous linkage. There is extreme weather somewhere, almost all the time. But, so far, there’s been no general increase in extreme weather events associated with increasing CO2 levels.

    Every year has its headline-producing floods, droughts & famines, but the increased incidence of “extreme weather events” predicted by alarmists like Al Gore has yet to happen, despite global average temperatures having plateaued at the highest level since at least the 1930s, and perhaps since the Medieval Warm Period.

    What’s more, the belief that a warmer climate causes famines and human hardship is contradicted by history. Historically, mankind has flourished in warmer periods, and famine and decline have marked colder periods.

    Error #3:

    …comes at 8:53, the breathless climax of greenman3610′s YouTube video, introduced by ocean waves washing up on the beach. It is this dire warning:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g093lhtpEFo#t=8m53s

    “The most critical plant life on earth… phytoplankton… has plunged almost 40% as the world has warmed, a finding researchers call staggering and disturbing — this while climate deniers successfully target low-information voters with sixth-grade reasoning. Climate scientists document a fundamental threat to life as we know it, on the only planetary home we will ever have.”

    Actually, the claim of a 40% or 50% decline in phytoplankton is complete hogwash. Ocean phytoplankton have not declined at all. The paper (by Boyce et al, in Nature) which claimed a massive phytoplankton decline was “junk science.” It has been thoroughly debunked, even in Nature.

    Now, to be fair, most of the debunking happened after greenman3610 posted his YouTube video. Yet, greenman3610 was apparently either unaware or unpersuaded by the evidence, or just didn’t care. He posted his article three weeks AFTER Nature published three devastating responses to the junk-science Boyce paper.

    What’s more, if greenman3610 had bothered to read WUWT, he’d have seen that Willis Eschenbach had ALREADY explained, way back in July, 2010, why the Boyce findings were almost certainly nonsense. That was 2-1/2 weeks BEFORE greenman3610 posted his YouTube video, and ten months before greenman3610′s June 6, 2011 article.

    What’s more, any careful scientist should have suspected that Boyce’s claim was erroneous even before Eschenbach’s dissection of it, because if phytoplankton had really declined by anything like 40% the consequences would be very, very obvious.

    Fortunately, it hasn’t. From Nature (eating crow):

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v472/n7342/full/nature09950.html
    “Is there a decline in marine phytoplankton?”
    Nature 472, E6–E7 (14 April 2011) doi:10.1038/nature09950
    Received 31 August 2010
    ARISING FROM D. G. Boyce, M. R. Lewis & B. Worm Nature 466, 591–596 (2010);
    “Phytoplankton account for approximately 50% of global primary production, form the trophic base of nearly all marine ecosystems, are fundamental in trophic energy transfer and have key roles in climate regulation, carbon sequestration and oxygen production. Boyce et al.1 compiled a chlorophyll index by combining in situ chlorophyll and Secchi disk depth measurements that spanned a more than 100-year time period and showed a decrease in marine phytoplankton biomass of approximately 1% of the global median per year over the past century. Eight decades of data on phytoplankton biomass collected in the North Atlantic by the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) survey2, however, show an increase in an index of chlorophyll (Phytoplankton Colour Index) in both the Northeast and Northwest Atlantic basins3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (Fig. 1), and other long-term time series, including the Hawaii Ocean Time-series (HOT)8, the Bermuda Atlantic Time Series (BATS)8 and the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI)9 also indicate increased phytoplankton biomass over the last 20–50 years. These findings, which were not discussed by Boyce et al.1, are not in accordance with their conclusions and illustrate the importance of using consistent observations when estimating long-term trends.”

    Translation: there has been NO DECLINE in phytoplankton.

    For much, much more about this see: http://tinyurl.com/3em4mer

    It ironic that GreenMan’s wolf-crying over phytoplankton is combined in the very same sentence with a particularly crass set of insults aimed at the folks who, it turns out, were right when he was wrong. He called them:

    “climate deniers” — an allusion to Holocaust deniers, the ultimate bigoted anti-intellectuals
    “low-information voters” — i.e., stupid
    with “sixth-grade reasoning” — i.e., stupid

    Now, I ask you, how is THAT kind of behavior conducive to constructive scientific dialogue? Is THAT someone you should rely on for climate education?

  169. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ Dave Burton : That’s okay, none of us are perefcet and some folks are much less or more patient than others.

    But, as I asked before (#159) I would really like you to answer my earlier request with some specifics :

    Please, can you provide us with some examples and evidence for where Greenman3610 is “confused” or in error?

    @170. Natalie :

    @Messier Tidy Upper… You understand, without being abusive… Wunderbar!
    “The Copenhagen summit” was a failure, and a good thing too, because as a success, it was the first real step to a world government with teeth, the UN, IMF, WWF are merely precursors…

    The UN record suggest to me that we don’t need to worry about them taking over as they are hamstrung in a number of ways sucha s the veto power held by China, the US, Russia etc .. and lackl of money and organisation. Frankly, I just don’t think they are cohenerent and competent enough to becoem a world govt.

    I see the UN as a glorified, fairly corrupt and overly estimated dictators debating club and I think we’d probably get by better without it.

    That said, international law does exist and some problems do require global action somehow.

    Not sure how and what we replace the UN with to do that. Co-operation among the great powers? There are soem tough issues in the world with no clear or easy answers. NATO and the US “Pax Americania” could be the best thing – possibly – but the USA carries NATO – and the US is in a huge amount of economic trouble. So-o0, yeah. Not sure.

    Remember, the survival of the human race is not something that we humans control…

    Yes and no. We can’t necessarily yet control it but we do have some pretty big influences and there are things we can do now that say the Dinosaurs could not do.

    If a comet or asteroid came our way we could send rockets up to it -us eour minds and our technology to , just possibly stop it. Or to send it into theEarth or use nuclear or otherWMDs on oursleve sand make ourselves ecxtinct.

    We can’t stop extinction from a GRB but we can avoid having a nuclear war and we can take actions that mitigate our effects ontheclimate. Isn’t it better to try and save ourselves and try and do something than do nothing but wait for the end?

    That “something” needn’t involve the UN or big govt either btw.

  170. Messier Tidy Upper

    D’oh! Where does the (editing) time go! :-o

    none of us are perefcet

    ____________.. and I guess that accidentally but aptly illustrates that point! ;-)

    Sorry about the typos and non-italicising of quotes there. Mea culpa. :-(

  171. JMurphy

    I must say that it’s touching the way some people seem to put so much faith in the UAH temperature figures but I don’t think it shows too much true scepticism.
    Firstly, because there have been so many problems with their figures in the past, and it took others to point out and solve those problems. How can the figures be so trustworthy now ?
    Secondly, and related, if you still believe they are more trustworthy than other figures, how can you check their figures ? Is the code they use to interpret their figures publicly available ?
    Can someone who trusts their figures please provide some answers.

  172. Jim

    I’ll be moving to Venus when the next ice age hits. And I’ll be bringing a lot of maryjane with me.

  173. Messier Tidy Upper

    @174. Dave Burton : Fair enough, thanks. :-)

    I’ll look at & consider those – I’ve only just seen your reply there which wasn’t visible earlier when I wrote #175 – the moderation delay effect at work. :-(

    I will just note that the WUWT site is a much criticised, very biased climate contrarian site. I agree that name-calling is a bad tactic and that “Deniers” is a perjorative best avoided. Greenman does indeed do some of that – but I also think he does present a lot of real facts and (mostly) good science presented in a usually entertaining way. The interviews with real scientists and people affected for instance.

    Perhaps the climatologists get a few specific details wrong – such as the phytoplankton decine not happening as predicted – but I still think the overwhelming mass of evidence supports the scientific consenus on AGW.

    @178. Jim : “I’ll be moving to Venus when the next ice age hits.”

    YIKES! Talk about out of the frying pan into the fire! ;-)

  174. eric

    you people are all INSANE!. Stop trying to predict the future of our climate, neither will occur except for the natural cycles the earth experiences. Present measurements do not predict the future, sorry!

  175. Mark Schaffer

    Erick doesn’t know the science of climate systems but is sure it is all natural. Enough said.

  176. Ekroz

    BA, you mentioned that the reduction of ozone caused the jet stream to be weaker, which led to it bringing cold air south from the north pole. But wouldn’t that also happen during the summers, making them colder than average? Or would the temperature gradients you mentioned be smooth enough for the jet stream to not have an impact during summer?

  177. paul

    You are an idiot.

  178. paul

    everything points to an ice age

  179. telson

    The Ice Age is not a very old concept. It was not thought of in the 1700s, just like the theory of evolution was not widely known then either. This theory only gained ground in the 1840s when two researchers, Charpentier and Agassiz, tried to explain the forms of the Alps by the theory and later expanded it to apply to the whole of Northern Europe. It is surprising that this theory came to light almost at the same time as Darwin’s idea of the origin of species. Both of these theories gained simultaneous attention in the society of that time.

    It has been thought that there have been several Ice Ages on the Earth. It has even been said that tropical and hot areas like the Sahara, Africa, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Australia, India, Madagascar, and South America (as presented in the books Jääkausi (Ice Age) / Björn Kurten and Muuttuva maa / Pentti Eskola, for example) were covered with a large continental glacier tens of millions of years ago. The latest Ice Age is assumed to have started “just” about 500,000 years ago and ended 10,000 years ago. The ice sheets are believed to have covered at their widest 55 million square meters, and the thickness of the ice was at most over 3 kilometers (about 1.8 miles).
    What should we think about the Ice Age? Have we any reason to believe in it? Maybe the signs that have been interpreted as signs of an Ice Age were caused by something else? We will now study the mystery of the Ice Age.

    http://www.jariiivanainen.net/Has_there_ever_been_the_ice_age.html

  180. Ken

    Summary of article: Denial of theory due to opinion. It is the opinion of author that less sunspots will NOT cause a mini ice age. It is the opinion of author that global warming is due to man’s activities despite various studies citing otherwise (2007 to 2010 earth average temperature actually cooled! Sunspots did too!) It is the opinion of author that less sunspots will NOT cause increase of cosmic rays, which lead to greater cloud formation according to theory. By theory of double negative (denial of premises are false and author’s opinions are false), this makes the theory that a mini ice age true. I just find it coincidental that the beginning of the Mayan calender (approx 3500 BC) happens to coincide with the thaw (Biblical flood) from a previous ice age (approx 6500 BC). One last comment: Ice ages affect the Northern Hemisphere not the entire world as a comment falsely stated. Last ice age also happened to be approximately 10000 years ago making us very close to the start of a new ice age) This makes it more likely, not less likely, to start a new ice age soon.

  181. good article. But I say we will know in about 10 years. If in 2020 the crazed global warming nuts are hyping the coming ice age (like they were in the 1970′s) then we know that global warming is and was a scam all along. I have to admit that global warming almost hooked me until i started to READ and when you start saying I have to give my assets away to someone in a POOR country to prevent global warming. WELL, that’s where u lost me. Re-allocating wealth does nothing to fix global warming. You really need to look hard at everyone who is screaming global warming and their histories. Most are eco nuts, defeated Marxists, and other people who believe they know how better to live your life than you do. Do they really want to save the planet? Or do they just want to rule it?

  182. WayneJ

    Well, let me add my $0.02 worth. (1) We know via a literature search, that the news media were the major hypsters in the global cooling scenario in the 70s, not the scientists (2) Methane hydrate has been vouched as
    a major player in the Ice Age Recovery (IAR). Yet, the money chasers want to suck it out and burn it as fuel.
    Yes, there is a lot of it. But it is there for a reason. Leave it alone! (3) I ask this question, Isn’t an Ice Age preceded by some Arctic warming, increased volcanoes (~ 3 mil undersea/w 7000 active), major increase in winter precipitation, and … a pole reversal? So, when your compasses point South. You know what to do!

  183. Fred

    “Also, keep in mind the Little Ice Age was not a global phenomenon, but a regional one.”

    Incorrect. GLOBAL mean temperature decreased significantly according to virtually all evidence, which makes it a global phenomenon. As with most cooling and warming periods they are felt in certain regions more than others; an example being that Antarctica is presently cooling while the global mean temperature is rising; what determines whether or not it was “a global phenomenon” is the global mean temperature.

  184. It´s so amazing to see so many comments on Earths climate and everything .

    I can asure you one thing and that is NO ONE can predict the weather ,earths health , nor on how the sun and our polution is affecting everything/one .

    A bunch of Jay sayers and a bunch of Nay sayers , look up the word Climate shift or Earths future and you get about one million on each maybe more and some pretty damn lame excuses on each side of it . If anyone actually had the answer we didn´t have to have these bloggs ,forums etc…

    One can not predict the future nor can we change it with todays so called leaders

    we the ordinary folks just have to suck up everything the goverments say like damn spunge! ” A little less conversation A little more action please !”

  185. WilcoWayne

    I just left a global temp site by NASA. It showed a linear trend of about 0.44-0.45 degrees C.warming for the last two centuries. Another site quoted the global temp for the last 131 or so years as 0.5 deg C. Pretty much the same. On top of the linear trend were the oscillatory swings of the warming and cooling periods, i.e. about 0.72 deg C peak to peak. So, when graphed (up to about 2010), it is obvious that there is no visible effect of rising CO2. Another item that I read is that scientists were surprised to see that Arctic waters, without the ice cover, actually cooled down instead of warming up. This was attributed to the insulating effect of the ice cover. It seems too that snow over ice covered Arctic waters limit the amount of ice formation. Over land, more snow builds up more ice. I am not passing judgement on any of this. Just passing it along. I am glad to see some corrections in this blog of some outright misinformation, i.e. LIA was Northern Hemisphere only. If what I have presented appears to be likewise, I welcome any comments that will give me a better picture. Just in any race, not everyone reaches the finish line at the same time.

  186. paul

    Carbon dioxided effect on the atmosphere is miniscule and therefore has little effect on climate. It is a trace gas and is to diluted to have any effect. If you’re in bed on a cold night you wouldn’t have just a thin sheet to keep you warm, you would have a thick duvet. Global warming scientist are trying to say that this thin sheet is going to make you hotter. The global warming of recent is caused by the sun which has passed through a grand maxinima recently. The amount of ultraviolet radiation has decreased in recent years. This may effect jet streams and are responsible for the cold winter weather in recent years.

  187. bane

    Ice age storie is true. And You will know it.

  188. LC

    “As we like to say in the skeptic’s business: correlation does not imply causation. In other words, beware of funny coincidences. ”

    Good point. Unfortunately, this applies to both sides of the climate change argument.

  189. GAIA

    A raise in temperature means an increase in the water cycle and therefore more rain. Couple that with a raise in CO2 (plant food) and you have an increase in the food supply. The USA can now raise 100 bushels of wheat on three acres instead of five for example.

    A fall in temperature means cooler and drier. Marginal farm land such as Russia and Canada and China will no longer be able to produce grain crops. Meanwhile the biofuel idiocy has burned up the world surplus in grain.In 2008 the USDA declared “The cupboard is bare” Over the last three years the stocks-to-use ratio has dropped 3% from a peak in 2009 of 16.9% to 13.9% in 2011-12.

    The earth has been warmer during the Holocene. We know that 6,000 years ago (mid-Holocene) it was as much as 2-3C warmer. 6000 yrs ago is also when agriculture and civilization started according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It is during the Bond events (look it up) that civilizations collapsed into famine and revolt.

    It is cold not warm that is the thing to be feared. Demonizing an essential plant food is a method of control and nothing more. No wonder CAGW type climate research is funded by Shell oil, British Petroleum and Standard Oil (Rockefeller foundations) Take your head out of the sand and see WHO is trying to scare you.

  190. gene

    The problem I have with all of Phil’s articles are that he spends an inordinate amount of time going off on tangents and resorting to verbal attacks. Climate science is very imprecise. There are a lot of unknowns. To say that you understand climate is the equivalent of saying you understand the meaning of life. I heard a fellow scientist friend of mine who sadly stated that the academic world has devolved into a world where young scientists are encouraged to be part of a “society” where the truth is secondary to the social network of the scientific society. As long as you can write a paper that properly kisses the right &% in the form of sourcing, use the proper scientific grammer, and can amaze the natives with convoluted partial derivative equations, you will be welcomed into the society with open arms. At one time, a normal person could pick up a scientific paper and read it. Einstein’s theory of Relativity is a good example of a well written document. Now it is a closed society where only people who understand the code words can read them. There will come a day (thanks to the internet) where these guys are going to be forced out of a job because no one is listening anymore.

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