Why "ClimateGate" Is Something

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | December 2, 2009 1:46 pm

Once “ClimateGate” made the The Daily Show, it became abundantly clear to me that the CRU email hack has had a very negative impact on the credibility of climate science.

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While I agree with Chris and Phil that in reality, the science remains strong, public perception of global warming has suffered a major blow. Unfortunately, the mainstream media now has a hold on the story, and people will continue to jump to whatever uninformed conclusion best suits their agenda. But note, Stewart nails the real issue at the end:

“if you care about an issue, and want to make it your life’s work, don’t cut corners. It’s disheartening for people inclined towards the scientific method and it’s catnip to these guys who are going to end up celebrating tonight, drunk, roaming the Arctic Circle trying to scullf*ck polar bears. Which are quickly disappearing because of rising oceans. Caused now, apparently, by God’s tears.”

Comments (91)

  1. ehmoran

    It gets much worse than stolen emails!

    Amazingly, the data are in the faces of Man-Made Climate Change supporters and they still refuse to acknowledge the evidence. But, then again, someone once said that the bigger the lie, the more people will believe it.

    Now, Al Gore PUBLICLY states Mantle temperatures are MILLIONS of DEGREES. The man doesn’t have the morality, decency, and/or courage to publicly admit he was WRONG. SO WHY SHOULD these scientists admit they are wrong? They can’t, because if they do, the gig is up. “Make no mistake, this event is not revenge, it’s the reckoning”.

    These same scientists threatened my job with the US Geological Survey when trying to publish a study showing with higher confidence that global temperature changes were natural and caused solely by Earth’s physical processes. Additionally, these same scientists would not discuss or refute the science and facts presented. Instead, they took two days to personally insult and attack me and the following is what I perceived as personal intimidation and a threat to call my USGS supervisor for doing this study. When someone uses words like “Does your boss know what your doing” in the context of this event, they’re going after your JOB.
    QUOTE
    “264
    John Mashey says:
    30 June 2007 at 1:04 AM
    re: #261: Chuck: you can stop worrying. Tindall has been at USGS for while,……………………………………..
    Mr. Moran, if you’re still watching:
    I have read USGS 370.735.5 and I hope you (and James Tindall) have.
    Do managers SAF and LE HB know about this? Any constructive comments?”
    UNQUOTE
    From: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/200
    If my study and theory were not plausible and a potential explanation of global temperature variability, then why would RealClimate.org do what they did in their posts? Not very professional for PhDs. Additionally, there are many other areas on that website where conversations took place. On 25 November 2009 at 12:15 PM, I tried posting comments on RealClimate.org concerning this matter. That website refused the posts; another attempt to silence objective parties and since they were the ones that threatened my job…..

    I always knew that when man-made global climate change was shown as insignificant that people would lose faith, note the word “FAITH”, in science. But this event and exposure is by far worse for the science community; but “Truth is the daughter of Time (Francis Bacon)”.

    Nevertheless, the bigger question is when and where will next big lie and mass manipulation occur? With Job Creation, our Economy, or the Financial and Monetary Systems?

  2. peppanicky

    “the science remains strong”

    Whose science? What data?

    What about the truth? Does it remain strong or does that not fit in with your world view? This is sickening.

  3. bilbo

    peppanicky is clearly another Silly Little Denialist who is (willfully?) ignorant that much evidence for climate change exists independent from and outside of any scientists or data involved in the Swifthack.

    Won’t stop the Silly Little Denialists from screaming, though. Ignorance doesn’t know how to listen.

  4. bilbo

    Do managers SAF and LE HB know about this? Any constructive comments?

    If you view the italicized quote as a threat to your job, ehmoran, you’re one hypersensitive fool….

  5. Dear Sheril, good to hear that unlike some other people, you haven’t chosen the perspective of an ostrich although I must ask a rhetorical question.

    It’s not just the perception by the “other” public that has been disappointed by the content of the documents; it’s your ideals, too, isn’t it?

    I wish you have the freedom to say such obvious and important things and that those guys around you won’t harass you too much because of them.

    The comment #3 contains the silly word “denialists” at such a high frequency that it reminds me this video clip with the word “spam”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anwy2MPT5RE

  6. public perception of global warming has suffered a major blow

    That’s what I was trying to say since the beginning, something everyone should have admitted upfront. Not doing so has made the matter worse in my opinion. See my post. Sadly as usual, science is the ultimate casualty.

  7. peppanicky

    bilbo-

    Silly Little Denialist, Ignorance?

    Who said I was a denialist? The data was manipulated….can you read the programs or you just a hack on a blog that wants to preach your religion of alarmism?

    The data is in question now…if the science is in question then it is the scientists responsibility to change the “public perception”. It is not the public’s responsibility to allow shoddy “science”.

  8. ehmoran

    bilbo,

    Amazing that what goes around, comes around………

    As always, would be a different response if the tide suddenly change?

  9. Sorbet

    Bilbo, quit calling everyone Silly Little Denialist. It’s getting a little juvenile. There are several commenters here including myself who don’t deny climate change, who however don’t buy into all the details of the prediction (because of reliance on models) and who certainly see the public integrity of climate change eroding because of this incident. We can have an honest debate about this. You are unnecessarily antagonizing us with your labels and preventing respectful debate. Can I request you to stop doing this please? Save the label for those who deny climate change out and out, such as James “Denier Bunny” Inhofe.

  10. a dood

    Dear MSM:

    Burying it in the blogs isn’t working, either. ^___^

  11. ehmoran

    The Political Landscape:

    Draw a circle. Define a slice of the pie from 10 to 70 degrees. Label this slice “Liberal” or “Democrat”. From 70 to 130, label this slice “Independent” or “Moderate”. From 130 to 355 degrees, label “Conservative” or “Republican”.

    Now, from 355 to 360, Label this slice Far Right Extremists” and/or “Fascists” and from 0 to 10 label as “Far Left Extremists” or “Socialists/Communists”.

    Note that the slices from 355 to 10 degrees meet. Individuals in these slices have the same agenda, “Tyranny, Total Control, and all Powerful”. Its just that individuals on the Right and Left sides of these slices have a slightly different objective to reach the same goal. COMPLETE and TOTAL DOMINANCE………

    Often, individuals and groups within the 355 to 10 degree slice must resort to personal insults and attacks to feel they’ve won the discussion after all logic and facts have been discussed………..

  12. Bondservant1958

    A 21st Century Psalm

    December 7th is coming fast
    We must act, before Copenhagen is passed
    If that Treaty is law I guarantee
    Another occurrence of infamy
    As they strip away democracy

    We wish to debate the natural state
    It was warm for awhile, but cold as of late
    The scientist tried to hide the decline
    Deny debate through deceit and design
    The science was settled and the data deleted
    All opposition was effectively defeated
    From checking the facts, and results repeated
    Who could prove the science was cheated
    Man Made Global Warming is a lie
    The CRU e-mails and codes do testify
    The purpose, a Carbon Debt to apply
    Kiss your money, technology and freedom goodbye

    The silence is deafening across the land
    As the revelations the public now understands
    The weathers a carrot meant to disguise
    A corrupt agenda before our eyes
    And now we see light shining in Truth
    Politicians, media, and search engines declare moot
    You can glimpse the extent of the hypocrisy
    In how they declare there is nothing to see
    So much for transparency

    Climategate Googlegate Copenhagengate
    Who gave you permission to decide our fate?
    Censoring discussion denying debate
    The Spirit of Truth you desecrate
    In all debate Truth intervenes
    Asks does the end justify the means?
    Demands that honesty remains supreme
    That commitments aren’t made on fraudulent schemes.

    It’s time for the passive acceptance to end
    It’s time to stand for freedom as free men
    It’s time to expose the lies and deceit
    It’s time to take it to the streets
    Do not commit sedition do not get jailed
    Non-Violent revolutions do not fail
    The voice of the Prophets, Gandhi and King
    Are calling for you to get marching

    Or just sit back and take the vaccine.

  13. bilbo

    Sorbet, peppanicky, and ehmoran:

    I’ll tell you the same thing I told Doug the Silly Little Denialist on the other Swifthack thread:

    there is a difference between climate skepticism and Silly Little Denialism, however. A climate skeptic is someone who, after thoroughly digesting all the available science on AGW in an objective manner, reaches the personal conclusion that there is not enough evidence to justify a role of humans in causing climate change.

    A Silly Little Denialist, however, is someone who jumps to hasty conclusions based off of political allegiances while illustrating that they not only don’t understand what scientific evidence exists for AGW but also have made no personal attempt to examine it. (see: people who think the only evidence for AGW are the papers involved in the Swifthack, people who will the finer points of said papers but readily admit they’ve never actually read or seen them, etc. etc. etc.)

    I disagree with both climate skeptics and Silly Little Denialists. There appear to be, however, many more Silly Little Denialists than skeptics commenting on this blog. You will know them by their admitted ignorance and undisguised attempts to deflect topics rather than debate them.

    Of course “Silly Little Denialist” is juvenile, Sorbet! Juvenile people making ignorant, juvenile arguments while admitting that they’ve failed to make an effort to understand what they’re arguing about deserve juvenile labels. And the vast majority of those speaking out about climate change here seem to be Silly Little Denialists – those who show an incredible ignorance of what we know and what we don’t know (and the scope of our knowledge) on climate change. Admittedly, Sorbet, you seem more of a genuine skeptic.

    If you don’t like “Silly Little Denialist,” there are a number of other good labels that characterize them very well. “Willfully-Ignorant, Politically-Motivated Hackjob” is another good one.

  14. Gaythia

    Health care was dealt a major blow by teabaggers! Obviously, perception can be manipulated.

    Our problem in science is that frequently, our answer involves saying: “well, it’s actually more complicated than that”. This is a hard message to get across to the public.

  15. Sorbet

    Sheril, bravo for differing from others about this and treating it as a serious public image disaster for climate change which it is.

  16. Sorbet

    Bilbo, I call myself a “climate change prediction skeptic”. I completely agree that global warming has happened and that humans have most probably been responsible for it. I also agree that bad things will probably happen if if we allow the concentration of greenhouse gases to precipitously rise. I am a lifelong Democrat and liberal who has given talks to high school students about how serious climate change is.

    Yet I am also a scientist and I have spent a lifetime doing computer simulation of various systems (although not the climate itself). I know most of the pitfalls of modeling and how modeling can miserably fail in predicting even simple physical and chemical systems because of various factors. Therefore for me, climate change prediction is a very risky business and there seems no good reason to me why we should be able to accurately predict the details of such a complex, chaotic system. Yet I find scientists making detailed policy prescriptions based on predictions. To me this is not good science and that is what I criticize, not climate change itself.

  17. Sean

    Science is replicable. Period. Peer review does not alchemically transform a “trust me” claim into science.

    When you say “the science is still strong” I challenge you to point to replicable analysis of temperature proxies or instrumental records to support your claim.

    To avoid any further dissembling, replicable means that all the raw data used in the study is specifically identified and each step between raw data and result is described in sufficient detail that another scientist witht he requisite training could completely replicate the analysis from raw data to an exactly matching final result.

  18. bilbo

    Then I’ll give you some credit, Sorbet. The ones I’m calling Silly Little Denialists are the ones who are proclaiming “SwiftHack proves that all of global warming is a hoax!!!!” They are also the ones who, when prodded, reveal they’ve never even attempted to look at a single published journal article on climate science. They are also the ones who reveal, again with a little prodding, that they instead get all their info on climate science second-hand through denialist blogs and/or have formed opinions on climate change strictly due to political allegiances.

    Those people are, most definitely, Silly Little Denialists. There’s simply no other word for it. I have no problem with dissent on climate change from the scientific consensus – as long as its well-informed dissent such as yours, not the half-assed, uninformed dissent of the Silly Little Denialists.

  19. John Q. Public

    Many have tried to mitigate the damage of the Climategate documents by implying it is much ado about nothing – i.e. “move along, folks, nothing to see here.”

    However, no one in the “Global Warming” group appears to have been asking this one critical question. If the climate science and data models show “unequivocally” that global warming is a truth, then WHY did the East Anglia CRU spend so much time:

    a) obstructing the UK Freedom of Information Act
    b) destroying and manipulating data
    c) subverting the peer review process
    d) persecuting dissenting scientists
    e) intimidating science journal editors
    f) instructing programmers to build models with foregone conclusions

    The only answer can be that their science was not solid enough on its own. Why else would you need to strong arm the process? To manufacture a concensus?

    Climate Science – not your father’s science.

    P.S. – M. Mann is now claiming a vendetta against him. Maybe it’s just a case of people are tired of being manipulated into supporting an unstable science theory.

  20. bilbo

    To avoid any further dissembling, replicable means that all the raw data used in the study is specifically identified and each step between raw data and result is described in sufficient detail that another scientist witht he requisite training could completely replicate the analysis from raw data to an exactly matching final result.

    Read a single published proxy paper then, Sean. If you are “another scientist with the requisite training” (a main point of your replication argument), you’d have no problem at all.

  21. ehmoran

    Just saw this comment on the Climate Modeling code, just an FYI:

    “I’ve been a computer programmer for 40 years. If these guys producing data are writing scripts and fortran code that can’t even figure out if they’ve read all the data in a file and even which of 2 identically named files is the right one, what level of confidence can one have in the output.

    It’s not just garbage in / garbage out, it’s who knows what in, garbage massaging of data, and clearly garbage out. And apparently the original programmer bailed and left a mess for some poor slob to finish up. Just look at the readme file or the code that ignores errors. Classic bozo programming.

    Anyone who has to spawn a system call to count the lines in a file (wc -l) and read back a file with the count just so they can set a limit in a loop counter is simply not a true programmer. I wouldn’t trust anything from such idiots.

    And to think, trillions are at stake on code that bad.

    Eric”

  22. bilbo

    If the climate science and data models show “unequivocally” that global warming is a truth, then WHY did the East Anglia CRU spend so much time:

    a) obstructing the UK Freedom of Information Act
    b) destroying and manipulating data
    c) subverting the peer review process
    d) persecuting dissenting scientists
    e) intimidating science journal editors
    f) instructing programmers to build models with foregone conclusions

    The only answer can be that their science was not solid enough on its own.

    No. There’s another answer, John Q. Denialist: that the emails of the CRU are being read out-of-context and used to make hasty assumptions that fit predetermined prejudices.

    I’m not saying you nor I is right or wrong. Some one that’s TRULY looking at the CRY hack objectively, however, wouldn’t claim that there is “only” one answer.

  23. TTT

    Here we see the downside of an entire generation relying on Jon Stewart for their news: there was no possible way for Stewart to have gotten the story right. The denialists (deliberately?) chose to attack the most arcane, obscure, overcomplicated elements of the science–correcting their lies will never take less than 4 solid minutes. That’s just not the kind of show Stewart has. He gives that treatment to CNBC, or to John McCain right after the convention. He doesn’t just do it for every little thing. So at least he made sure to emphasize that the problem is still real, but that in his opinion this is going to have perceptual fallout.

    I actually am not convinced that it will. For a person to truly grasp global warming, they have to have enough wit and attention span to see past the typical denialist lies, i.e. “sunspots,” “Greenland grapes,” “cooling in the ’70s,” ad nauseam. So you’re already dealing with people dedicated enough that they very well may already have access to the truth here. As long as teachers and the science press do their share of the work, it’s possible not much will change at all.

  24. bilbo

    And to think, trillions are at stake on code that bad.

    “Trillions are at stake” on a single code run from a single analysis from a single, decade-old article out of thousands on climate change? Really, ehmoran?

    That’s a Silly Little Denialist misrepresentation of reality if I’ve ever seen one.

  25. TTT

    WHY did East Anglia spend so much time:
    a) obstructing the UK Freedom of Information Act
    b) destroying and manipulating data
    c) subverting the peer review process
    d) persecuting dissenting scientists
    e) intimidating science journal editors
    f) instructing programmers to build models with foregone conclusions

    The anti-science Thought Police have arrived. There is no evidence whatsoever that any of those things actually HAPPENED. They were talked about, yes–but if people were really going to follow through on a mass email delete, don’t you think they would have also deleted the email that first suggested it? Nobody punched Pat Michaels in the face either, and one of the emails mentioned that.

  26. Klem

    Too bad, I still will never buy your magazine again after all of the support you gave one side and so little to the other over the years. Besides, magazines like yours have a high carbon footprint so your magazine is doomed anyway. Way to shoot yourselves in the foot.

  27. The analogy to creationism is useful here. The climatologists are reacting in the same way as biologists are reacting to creationist attempts to pollute peer review with their garbage.

    Jon Stewart is right though that you can’t cut corners, and Jones and possibly one or two others did.

    Worth mentioning though that the original 1980s data is still available, it’s just that CRU didn’t retain its own copies.

  28. ehmoran

    biblo,

    Yeh, I know. Why get all upset about some faulty computer coding that trillions of dollars are riding on .

    Oh crap, that’s the same type of coding that investors and bankers took as gospel, used, and believed in, or that old nasty word, FAITH.

    Now that didn’t cause any harm?

  29. Freely Speaking

    Sounds like TTT is in denial.

  30. Will

    The science does not remain strong. In fact, as has already been fully admitted by even the UN, global warming is not happening. These emails show that. Oh no, the data is not there.

    It is not there.

    The only “strength” to the “science” is there are a lot of people behind it who have the appearance of being respectable scientists. And government leaders have followed suit. People have done this largely in a lemming like fashion.

    How easy is it for society’s self-imposed “elites” to look down their noses at the common people and their opinions… never being critical of their own self.

    This, like 9/11 conspiracy stories, is going to blow up in everybody’s faces. Like Communism.

    Maybe through climategate, maybe later, but that is inevitable.

  31. Peter Taylor

    How can you buy the theory of man-made climate change when the science that established that theory is shoddy? Are you kidding me?

    The whole man-made warming theory rested squarely on the data and conclusions of those people (in the CRU) who have now been shown to be hacks. Other scientists rubber-stamped the CRU’s conclusions – and that rubber-stamping was added up as “agreement” and “consensus.” Ha!!

    If the science behind the theory is in doubt, then the theory itself is in doubt.

    The proponents of man-made climate change are arguing for blind belief. The real scientists are the people who refuse to be bamboozled.

  32. Sean

    Hi Bilbo,

    I will accept your challenge. I am neither a scientist nor a statistician, but I work with some PhD statisticians who could help me determine whether sufficient information is disclosed to reproduce the actual results exactly.

    If I can confirm that the results (tempertature ond error estimation) are not replicable for a particular study, would you agree that that study should be put to the side (at least until the data and code/method that makes it replicable is released)?

    Thanks,

    Sean

  33. Sean

    By the way, speaking of error estimation, please ignore my terrible typing.

    Sean

  34. bilbo

    Yeh, I know. Why get all upset about some faulty computer coding that trillions of dollars are riding on.

    Oh crap, that’s the same type of coding that investors and bankers took as gospel, used, and believed in, or that old nasty word, FAITH.

    Oh crap, Mann’s model is based on Bayesian statistics while the financial model you’re referring to is based on maximum entropy. Aw dammit, those aren’t the same “coding” at all!!

    Of course, a Silly Little Denialist wouldn’t know that (because ignorance is bliss in Silly Little Denialist World), so I’ll give you a pass on this one.

    Try again.

  35. bilbo

    Sean:

    “Another scientist with the requisite training” means another expert in the specific statistical modeling approaches used by Mann et al., as well as being an expert in the code used (programming) and being an expert in the context of the model (climate science).

    So no, grabbing somebody off the street that simply has a Ph.D. and saying “HEY! Do this!!!!” is not what science means when it says “replicable.”

  36. bilbo

    How can you buy the theory of man-made climate change when the science that established that theory is shoddy?

    And thus Peter Taylor, the Silly Little Denialist, displayed for the world his ignorance of the very science he’s trying to debunk, namely the following moronic misconception:

    all the climate science that has ever been done has been done at the CRU

    Try again, Peter Taylor, you silly Little Denialist, you. At least argue without lying.

  37. bilbo

    Worth mentioning though that the original 1980s data is still available, it’s just that CRU didn’t retain its own copies.

    And thus Brian Schmidt debunked one of the loudest claims of the Silly Little Denialists.

    I’m seeing a trend here: the Silly Little Denialists continually make claims about the Swifthack that turn out to simply not be true.

    You know, lies.

  38. I have just been sent a copy of James Hansen’s “Storms Of My Grandchildren” by the publisher which I am planning to review.

  39. ehmoran

    biblo,

    oh, forgive me, a little more exact THEN.

    “Yeh, I know. Why get all upset about some faulty MODEL that trillions of dollars are riding on .

    Oh crap, FAITHFUL MODELS (that’s previously weren’t realized as FAULTY) were believed to be gospel by investors and bankers.

    Now that didn’t cause any harm?

    And AGAIN:::::

    Amazingly, the data (EMAILS) are in the faces of Man-Made Climate Change supporters and they still refuse to acknowledge the evidence. But, then again, someone once said that the bigger the lie, the more people will believe it.

  40. bilbo

    ehmoran:

    Yes, in fact I would like you to be more exact when you’re talking about apples and oranges and calling them both apples. In Reality World, that would be called lying.

    Oh, and it would be nice to see you admit that climate science doesn’t base all of its conclusions on models (’cause it doesn’t – not close). But I get it: sensationalism and hyperbole reign in Silly Little Denialist World (see: your all-caps screed), so we can’t expect you to hold hard and fast to reality.

  41. ehmoran

    biblo,

    And another statement to remember: “Figures don’t lie, liars FIGURE”.

    Statistics is just another way to make excuses for Failures and incompetence……..

  42. ehmoran

    biblo

    Not when a supposed CLIMATE MODEL excludes WATER VAPOR, the most significant factor in CLIMATE!

  43. Sorbet

    Ehmoran, sorry, but you are either ignorant or you prevaricate. Climate models always include water vapor (you would think that climate scientists would have that much common sense). For starters you can read the following:

    http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/02/climate-scientists-hide-water-vapor.php

    And climate science does not base all its conclusions on models. Not at all in fact. There is a lot of careful experimental data from several diverse sources (tree rings, ice cores, ocean sediments, satellites, balloons etc.) that has gone into validating climate change. The problem really is in prediction, where modeling plays a much bigger role.

  44. ehmoran

    Sorbet,

    Well, from my discussion with Climate Scientists is that modeling atmospheric water vapor is too hard.

    Since you discuss experimental data, could you point out the publication discussing the laboratory control experimental that shows CO2 influences ambient temperatures…..

    Because no one else can.

  45. ehmoran

    From your article:

    “This has the interesting consequence that if one could somehow instantly remove all CO2 from the atmosphere, the temperature would begin to drop, causing precipitation to remove H2O from the air causing even further drops, in a feedback effect that would not end until no liquid water was left, only ice sheets and frozen oceans.”

    WHAT, “…..causing precipitation to remove H2O….”? H2O is the precipitation, unless we now have liquid CO2 precipitation.

    You’re a Scientist, someone once asked me “What happens to ambient temperatures when it rains”?

    And if the “prediction phase” of these models is the problem, then what’s the argument here?

  46. In fact, as has already been fully admitted by even the UN, global warming is not happening.

    Will, here’s the most recent statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (Dec 1, 2009).

    “Science demands that we act. So does economic common sense,” he declared. “Some say tackling climate change is too expensive, especially at a time of global economic and financial upheaval. They are wrong. We will pay an unacceptable price if we do not act now.”

    It must be fun to live on the side that requires no evidence to make a statement of fact. But you’re really pushing the envelope on that one.

  47. WHAT, “…..causing precipitation to remove H2O….”? H2O is the precipitation

    Ehmoran, precipitation is not water any more than boiling is water.

    Precipitation is the process that separates water from the atmosphere.

    BTW, Ehmoran …. A Moron? You’re not Bilbo pretending to be a Silly Denialist are you?

  48. ehmoran

    Then what is the precipitation?

    And

    “What happens to ambient temperatures when it rains”?

  49. Sorbet

    H2O is a positive feedback. Relative humidity around the glove stays around 60%. It’s temperature which drives water vapor, not the other way around. In James Hansen’s latest book, here is what he says on pg. 43:

    “Every week I get an angry email from somebody seemingly shaking his or her fist saying, “What nonsense to say CO2 is important! Water vapor is a much stronger greenhouse gas”. Well, yes, that is so, but the amount of water vapor in the air is determined by temperature. Vapor is continuously provided by evaporation from water bodies, and it is wrung out of the air at times and places where weather fluctuations cause the humidity to reach 100 percent”

  50. ehmoran

    “It’s temperature which drives water vapor, not the other way around.”

    I never said anything about this, was not the question and I never said anything to the contrary. But a positive precipitation feedback from that discussion makes it sound like the formation of rain continues until all atmospheric water vapor is completely removed from the atmosphere.

    “Vapor is continuously provided by evaporation from water bodies.” Not just water bodies, vegetation is one of the largest contributors.

    Back to the original questions: Then what is the precipitation? And, “what happens to ambient temperatures when it rains”?

  51. Realth

    We can discuss all we want-and should do-and all scientists should do. The problem with climategate is that the peer review process for the IPCC reports was totally corrupted so there were no discussions like this. Only the views of the “hide the decline” guys were allowed. What this discussion here shows is that if the climate is varying it is very complicated, and definately not settled as to why. The whole review process needs to be reviewed including what has been allowed in and kept out. Discussions like this are the life blood of true science..not the “even if I have to change the peer review process” guys.

  52. Sorbet

    -But a positive precipitation feedback from that discussion makes it sound like the formation of rain continues until all atmospheric water vapor is completely removed from the atmosphere.

    Yes, that would indeed be the case if vapor were never provided by water bodies. In reality of course it is.

    -Back to the original questions: Then what is the precipitation? And, “what happens to ambient temperatures when it rains”?

    Could you clarify this point further? The precipitation is rain. And I also don’t understand your second question. Ambient temperatures slightly decrease when it rains.

    The main point is that water vapor has a far shorter residence time in the atmosphere compared to CO2 and methane (the average residence time of a CO2 molecule is 11 years) and therefore it does not amount to much since it is removed by precipitation.

  53. ehmoran

    “And I also don’t understand your second question. Ambient temperatures slightly decrease when it rains.”

    You’re obviously on a guessing game. So after you answer the question right please include the physical process of (hint) “Phase Change”.

    I just wanted to know the level of conversation we’re engage in.

  54. bad Jim

    The climate change skeptics seem not to be aware of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  55. bilbo

    from my discussion with Climate Scientists is that modeling atmospheric water vapor is too hard.

    ..and thus ehmoran revealed, despite all his rantings about models, he’s never actually read a paper that used a model….because most climate models account for water vapor.

  56. ehmoran

    Never said there was no such thing as climate change. That’s what climate means.

    And again we’ve come full circle:

    The Political Landscape:

    Draw a circle. Define a slice of the pie from 10 to 70 degrees. Label this slice “Liberal” or “Democrat”. From 70 to 130, label this slice “Independent” or “Moderate”. From 130 to 355 degrees, label “Conservative” or “Republican”.

    Now, from 355 to 360, Label this slice Far Right Extremists” and/or “Fascists” and from 0 to 10 label as “Far Left Extremists” or “Socialists/Communists”.

    Note that the slices from 355 to 10 degrees meet. Individuals in these slices have the same agenda, “Tyranny, Total Control, and all Powerful”. Its just that individuals on the Right and Left sides of these slices have a slightly different objective to reach the same goal. COMPLETE and TOTAL DOMINANCE………

    Often, individuals and groups within the 355 to 10 degree slice must resort to personal insults and attacks to feel they’ve won the discussion after all logic and facts have been discussed………..

    And again :

    Well, from my discussion with Climate Scientists is that modeling atmospheric water vapor is too hard.

    Since you discuss experimental data, could you point out the publication discussing the laboratory control experimental that shows CO2 influences ambient temperatures…..

    Because no one else can.

  57. bilbo

    ehmoran, I like the tactic you’ve used in your last few posts, even though it’s a common Silly Little Denialist trick.

    It’s the old “HAHA!!!! I just brought up something I remembered from 6th grade physical science class! If only the climate scientists could account for that!

    …when, of course, everyone else knows that climate scientists already do.

    You’re like a textbook of Silly Little Denialist talking points, eh.

  58. ehmoran

    And again:

    I just wanted to know the level of conversation we’re engage in.

  59. Never said there was no such thing as climate change. That’s what climate means.

    Climate means climate change? So climate change means climate change change? Which means climate change change change…..

    Did it ever occur to you that your paper was rejected because your language is incomprehensible?

  60. ehmoran

    “from my discussion with Climate Scientists is that modeling atmospheric water vapor is too hard.

    ..and thus ehmoran revealed, despite all his rantings about models, he’s never actually read a paper that used a model….because most climate models account for water vapor.”

    Actually, I have. That’s why I asked Climate Scientists why they don’t include water vapor. Because its too complicated…………

  61. ehmoran

    Hey Jinchi,

    Maybe I have a lot more professional pubs than anyone on this site at this time?

    But are we here to discuss the facts and science or resort to personal attacks………

    I mean we have Climate Control? which obviously suggests controlling something that naturally changes……

  62. Nathaniel

    Take a look at the code. They intentionally created an array used to fudge the numbers. It starts at 0, actually goes negative for a period, then rises to 2.6 degrees. The original programmer actually labeled this array “fudge factor” and if you go through the readme you can find the surprise expressed by the guy who was supposed to maintain this. Here is the fudge factor array taken verbatim from the code:

    valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,- 0.1,0.3,0.8,...1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,$
    2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor

  63. ehmoran

    Looks like these “Scientists” were using a polynomial or exponential fit to create GOSPEL predictive numbers without even saying there could be serious problems with the predictive capability.

    Hmmmm, same thing that happened with the Financial Modeling.

    But no harm created with those models?

  64. Maybe I have a lot more professional pubs than anyone on this site at this time?

    Maybe you do, but you started the thread by complaining that your study was thwarted by climatologists. You simply have a tendency to write in sentence fragments, as evidenced by the one I referenced above, as well as in your most recent post (“I mean we have Climate Control? which obviously suggests controlling something that naturally changes……”). I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.

    Which brings us to this:

    That’s why I asked Climate Scientists why they don’t include water vapor. Because its too complicated

    And yet, anyone can clearly see that climate scientists do include water vapor simply by searching “water vapor in climate models” which will send you straight to studies published in Science, Nature, and GRL and in abstracts presented at professional conferences.

    So maybe they just aren’t doing it in a way you find convincing. Which is a completely different argument.

  65. ehmoran

    From what I just heard.

    The EMAILS actually were leaked by an insider! But the Debate of AGW Science is closed…..

    RIGHT

  66. ehmoran

    “So maybe they just aren’t doing it in a way you find convincing. Which is a completely different argument.”

    Jinchi,

    Almost EXACTLY………..

  67. Almost EXACTLY………..

    Great.

    Now that we’ve established that much, it’s up to you to make your argument that they model water vapor incorrectly, rather than up to the rest of us to suspend all disbelief and conclude that climatologists don’t model water vapor.

  68. ehmoran

    Water vapor is the most significant and influential component of Climate. That needs to be the major focus, not CO2, they include water vapor as an insignificant factor.

    When I model groundwater, K is the most significant factor. This is what I model for groundwater. I’m modeling the distribution of K.

    In solute (chemical) transport models, you’re modeling the flow of a chemical in water, you’re most concerned with and the most significant factor is the flow of water, not so much the chemical.

    But Climate models, if they use water vapor, treat it as a constant. So, they’re not really modeling water vapor, right……..

  69. bilbo

    Looks like these “Scientists” were using a polynomial or exponential fit to create GOSPEL predictive numbers without even saying there could be serious problems with the predictive capability.

    What did Mann et al. say about their model when it was first published? Oh, that’s right – the direct opposite of what you just claimed.

    “Implicit in our approach are at least three fundamental assumptions…We note that hemispheric mean values from our model reconstruction are not associated with globally or hemispherically uniform trends.”

    In other words, they admitted that their model has assumptions and doesn’t always match observed trends. At least make accusations you can back up, ehmoran.

    Lying idiot. I’ve yet to figure out why you need to make false accusations if your argument on AGW is so air-tight…

  70. ehmoran

    Jinchi,

    You stated: “that your study was thwarted by climatologists”.

    No that’s not what I SAID!

  71. ehmoran

    bilbo,

    “Looks like these “Scientists” were using a polynomial or exponential fit to create GOSPEL predictive numbers without even saying there could be serious problems with the predictive capability.”

    Well, I assumed they were using a poor modeling approach. But with all the code that you couldn’t look at til now, my assumptions were correct. I never said anything about this til I just saw the code.

    And, exactly what false accusations have I made?

  72. ehmoran

    bilbo,

    What’s really amazing? If I remember back to my RealClimate discussion, they condemned me for using a polynomial. Well, looks like what they condemned me for doing they were all along do the same thing. Somewhere in their Curve Fitting discussion.

    WOW!

    At least I didn’t use it to extrapolate data………..

  73. ehmoran

    This is what I said in the Article. And I did not say my study fully explained global temperature variability. But that’s not what AGWs are saying about CO2.

    “Simple polynomial-regression techniques show that globally-averaged secular variations predict and explain 79-percent of the variability in global average-annual temperatures 7-years in the future; thus suggesting another or additional process contributing to climate change. “

  74. Chris the Concern Troll.

    Why don’t you do some actually reporting on this, rather than just clutching your pearls over those who are not doing accurate reporting.

    Pathetic.

  75. Sorbet

    It’s me who wants to know the level because I doubt it’s very relevant. The last analysis was basically neglected. What part of “precipitation” do you not understand?

  76. bilbo

    ehmoran, I hate to say this, but it sounds like you’re just pretty bitter that you tried to write a paper that, based on your comments here, is outside of your field of speciality to begin with, and it got rejected.

    Get over it. Apparently you haven’t been doing science for very long if that kind of thing gets your panties in a wad.

  77. Sorbet

    -But Climate models, if they use water vapor, treat it as a constant. So, they’re not really modeling water vapor, right……

    I thought we went over this. They treat vapor as a constant because to a first approximation it is, since evaporation and precipitation balance it out. In any case, now you have gone from declaring that vapor is not included at all to declaring that it is included but is a constant. Are you trying to throw various things at the wall hoping that one of them will stick?

  78. John

    Bearing in mind they have found polar bear bones dating from PRIOR to the last ice age, I will stick my neck out and say that I think they may be alright without ice as they were ok without it a long time ago.

    I bet the sailors who navigated the Northwest passage ice free in the 1920′s thought “Wow this damn global warming”.

    And I bet the Vikings thought “this damn impending ice little age” when they had to leave the rapidly freezing Greenland after 400 years of warmth and comfort during the mEdieval warm period.

    Global waming? Does not exist – its climate change that has happened since the big bang.

    Man made? Jury is still out for those of us without a financial, political or ideoloical interest.

  79. ER Johnson

    The scientific process, if followed in the pursuit of truth, is an essential hallmark of civilization.

    But what we have in the AGW debacle — is simply a corruption of the scientific process through the injection of politics. That injection has infected those inside the process, whether they are aware of it or not — the stakes are just way too high.

    Scientists are human. (Golfers are human – witness Tiger Woods). Scholarly analysis is difficult enough without having the external forces of billions of dollars, world economies in balance, media hype-mongering to deal with.

    We will not know the truth about AGW (whatever it is) until true open, honest, non-political debate and process comes back to the forefront. And the fact that the MSM is only reporting one-side of the climategate revelations just serves to politicize the process that much more and the further entrench and polarize what, frankly, should not be a two-sided issue. It should be only about finding the truth, not supporting a pre-conceived notion.

  80. Stitch

    Way to elevate the debate, ya’ll. “You’re a dumb-dumb head” and “I know you are, but what am I?” are pretty poor ways to conduct a dialog (and yes, I’m paraphrasing).

    Climategate or Swifthack or whatever you want to call it is kind of a big deal. Not because it undermines the science in scientists’ eyes — it doesn’t. It does kind of undermine the science in the lay person’s eyes, though, and I kind of can’t blame them for being concerned. It’s not like the general public has any familiarity with the process of getting a paper ready for publication. Why should they? We guard the process with a Gollum-like jealousy and dismiss public inquiry by saying, “It’s peer reviewed/ There’s no debate/ Statistically blahdiblah that can be confusing to the lay person.”

    Perhaps if we had a bit more transparency in our system and were a bit more honest with ourselves and the public about the dynamic nature of the scientific process, then we wouldn’t have to dig ourselves out of these public relations disasters.

    And please, a bit less of the elementary school playground dynamic please?

  81. Stewart hit the nail on the head. It’s probably very difficult for the science community to embrace transparency given all the competition between scientists, but it needs to be done.

    When I heard about Climategate, the first words out of my mouth were, “Ah F*ck!”

    Among the eyes of many, this nimrodery(?) in Climategate sets science back years if not decades.

  82. ER Johnson

    The irony of this scandal is that we’d be probably years ahead in understanding these enormously complex climatic processes if a tribal mentality of the AGW proponents had not set it. If the process was fully open and inclusive, this debacle would likely not be in front of us and we’d be a helluva lot closer to the truth.

    Instead, it appears that the “circle the wagons” mentality has completely blown up in their faces.

  83. Sean

    Wow. Lot’s of comments so very hard to wade through.

    Bilbo, do you believe that the CRU and/or GISS temperature records are replicable?

  84. Cayman

    No surprise hear, really, The man-made global warming movement has only fraud and deception to keep it going. They rely heavily on the power of half truths and technicality. For example, if one empties a glass of water into the ocean, haven’t you just raised sea level a bit? Well, technically, yes, but by such a miniscule amount that it is completely insignificant. Do you see how the global warming crisis is perpetrated? Objective scientists must by definition agree that human impact on climate from CO2 emissions is not zero, but many or most feel it is very, very small. Yet when the news media and polsters reduce the question to a true/false context, — wollah!– the answer is the majority of scientists say that humans are warming the planet. If news were a democracy, then things would have been settled long ago but the snotty little kid in the front row asking, “How much?” To set the record staight, about 20,000 scientists have signed onto the Oregon Petition Project to go on record that global warming is not manmade. The news media have all but ignored them.

  85. ehmoran

    Specific scientists have placed themselves in the position of Gods. Having used their influence granted through more than $40-million from the tax payers, they have abused the trust afforded to them placing a dark cloud over the scientific community as a whole. Surely, science will recover from this event as time heals all wounds.

    ‘Truth is the daughter of time’ was forgotten by this specific Scientific Fiefdom, but acknowledgment of other traditional philosophies which built science to the current respect also have been ignored, such as “Science has no place in politics, religion, entertainment, fame and wealth”. Often, however, such important socially advancing fields as science need set backs and thus force both current and potential abusers to fall back to traditional thinking. This is the nature in the evolution of human thought and growth.

    The hubris of denial by these abusers of social trust, along with their followers, of the devastating magnitude of their deceptive and deviant activity, while trying to maintain their stature in civilization, is incomprehensible. This denial will continue dragging the entire scientific community into the pit. Unfortunately, a self awakened reality of their misdeeds likely will not appear until admission followed by humility becomes obvious to society. Forgiveness is the divinity of our civilization but forgetting never can be allowed.

  86. ER Johnson

    Name calling is the last resort in a failed argument.

  87. bilbo

    Bilbo, do you believe that the CRU and/or GISS temperature records are replicable?

    That’s a reeeaaaaaaallllllly vague statement that needs some clarifying before it can be answered, Sean. What do you mean by “replicable?” Do you mean “replicable” as in:

    1.) another climate scientist with the correct background knowledge/training could repeat the analysis?

    or 2.) we should be able to create a fake Earth, let it run for 6 billion years, and then go crank out some tree ring data and ice cores?

    And if you don’t understand what I’m talking about, you likely don’t have business asking.

  88. Specific scientists have placed themselves in the position of Gods.

    Can you see why we have trouble taking you seriously?

  89. ER Johnson

    Jinchi –

    who is “we”? you refer to “we” in your posts, instead of “I”. Are you a “group” / “pack” or an “individual” making the posts? Just curious.

    And very nice website / blog you have. Not exactly Science that you cover though — seems to just be all about bashing the Right. I am sure, certain, that is a mere coincidence though — and that your politics would never, couldn’t possibly modulate your interpretation of the science. Good on you!

  90. ehmoran

    All Right, let’s get to the nitty-gritty here:

    I still want to see the laboratory experiment publication showing CO2 levels influence ambient temperatures. This question has always been avoided.

    Also, scientists measured CO2 levels from Mt. Redoudt at 10,000 tons/day during the last eruption. How in the heck are you going to stop that?

    When the relation between CO2 and temperatures were recently restudied, the data came from Hawaii about 2 miles from the active flowing volcano. Hmmm, Volcanoes produce large quantities of CO2. Hmmmm, lava is extremely hot. No bias there……..

    Specific heat capacity water – 4.187 kJ/kgK
    Specific heat capacity water vapor – 1.996 kJ/kgK
    Specific heat capacity carbon dioxide at 300 (80 degrees F) kelvin – 0.846 kJ/kgK

    Atmospheric concentration
    Water vapor – 4% in upper atmosphere to 40% near the surface
    CO2 – 0.036%

    CO2 has been shown NOT to redirect energy back to the Earth’s Surface.

    So, what’s up with these numbers

  91. ER Johnson

    Some identified problems with the models:

    http://bit.ly/3Ud0ts

    The question remains — given these issues, how accurate are they — really — in “crystal balling” future climate?

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About Sheril Kirshenbaum

Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist with the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy where she works on projects to enhance public understanding of energy issues as they relate to food, oceans, and culture. She is involved in conservation initiatives across levels of government, working to improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity's fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as his top recommended read. Sheril contributes to popular publications including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Discover Magazine, and The Nation, frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from climate change to genetically modified foods. Her writing is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010. In 2006 Sheril served as a legislative Knauss science fellow on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy. She also has experience working on pop radio and her work has been published in Science, Fisheries Bulletin, Oecologia, and Issues in Science and Technology. In 2007, she helped to found Science Debate; an initiative encouraging candidates to debate science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail. Previously, Sheril was a research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and has served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She has contributed reports to The Nature Conservancy and provided assistance on international protected area projects. Sheril serves as a science advisor to NPR's Science Friday and its nonprofit partner, Science Friday Initiative. She also serves on the program committee for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums and has been a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. Sheril is a graduate of Tufts University and holds two masters of science degrees in marine biology and marine policy from the University of Maine. She co-hosts The Intersection on Discover blogs with Chris Mooney and has contributed to DeSmogBlog, Talking Science, Wired Science and Seed. She was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. Sheril lives in Austin, Texas with her husband David Lowry. Interested in booking Sheril Kirshenbaum to speak at your next event? Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau 866.376.6591 info@hachettespeakersbureau.com For more information, visit her website or email Sheril at srkirshenbaum@yahoo.com.

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