the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Disproving The Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) Problem

Posted by Jeff Id on May 21, 2009

Another interesting guest post by Dr. Weinstien.  The last one was picked up on several blogs and received a lot of internet attention.  There are some interesting links here as well.

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Disproving The Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) Problem

Leonard Weinstein, ScD

April 25, 2009

A theory has been proposed that human activity over about the last 150 years has caused a significant rise in Earth’s average temperature. The mechanism claimed is based on an increased greenhouse effect caused by anthropogenic increases in CO2 from burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, cement manufacture, and also from increases in CH4 from farm animals and other causes. The present versions of the theory also include a positive feedback effect due to the increased temperature causing an increase in water vapor, which amplifies the effect. The combined result are used to claim that unless the anthropogenic increases of CO2 are slowed down or even made to decrease, there will be a continuing rapid increase in global temperature, massive melting of ice caps, flooding, pestilence, etc.

In order to support a theory, specific predictions need to be made that are based on the claims of the theory, and the predictions then need to happen. While the occurrence of the predicted events is not proof positive of a theory, they increase the believability of the claims. However, if the predictions are not observed, this tends to indicate the theory is flawed or even wrong. Some predictions are absolute in nature. Einstein’s prediction of the bending of light by the Sun is such a case. It either would or would not bend, and this was considered a critical test of the validity of his theory of general relativity. It did bend the predicted amount, and supported his theory.

Many predictions however are less easily supported. For example weather forecasting often does a good job in the very short term but over increasing time does a poor job. This is due to the complexity of the numerous nonlinear components. This complexity has been described in chaos theory by what is called the butterfly effect. Any effect that depends on numerous factors, some of which are nonlinear in effect, is nearly impossible to use to make long-range predictions. However, for some reason, the present predictions of “Climate Change” are considered by the AGW supporters to be more reliable than even short-term weather forecasting. While some overall trends can be reasonably made based on looking at past historical trends, and some computational models can suggest some suggested trends due to specific forcing factors, nevertheless, the long term predicted result has not been shown to be valid. Like any respectable theory, specific predictions need to be made, and then shown to happen, before the AGW models can have any claim to reasonable validity.

The AGW computational models do make several specific predictions. Since the time scale for checking the result of the predictions is small, and since local weather can vary enough on the short time scale to confuse the longer time scale prediction, allowances for these shorter lasting events have to be made when examining predictions. Nevertheless, if the actual data results do not significantly support the theory, it must be reconsidered or even rejected as it stands.

The main predictions from the AGW models are:

  1. The average Earth’s temperature will increase at a rate of 0.20C to 0.60C per decade at least to 2100, and will continue to climb after that if the CO2 continues to be produced by human activity at current predicted rates.

  2. The increasing temperature will cause increased water evaporation, which is the cause for the positive feedback needed to reach the high temperatures.

  3. The temperature at lower latitudes (especially tropical regions) will increase more in the lower Troposphere at moderate altitudes than near the surface.

  4. The greatest near surface temperature increases will occur at the higher latitudes.

  5. The increasing temperature at higher latitudes will cause significant Antarctic and Greenland ice melt. These combined with ocean expansion due to warming will cause significant ocean rise and flooding.

  6. A temperature drop in the lower Stratosphere will accompany the temperature increase near the surface. The shape of the trend down in the Stratosphere should be close to a mirror reflection of the near surface trend up.

The present CO2 level is high and increasing (http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/). It should be fairly easy to show the consequences of AGW predictions if they are valid.

Figure 1. Global average temperature from 1850 through 2008. Annual series smoothed with a 21-point binomial filter by the Met Office. (http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/)

It should be noted that the largest part of the last 150 year increase in CO2, which is blamed on human activity, did not occur until after 1940, so the largest temperature rise effects should have occurred in that time. The proponents of AGW have generally used the time period from 1970 to 2000 as the base line for an indicator of the rapid warming. In that base line period, the average temperature rose about 0.50C, which averages to 0.160C per decade. The claim was then made that this would accelerate due to continuing increases in CO2 level. However if we look at the temperature change from 1940 through 2008, the net increase is only 0.30C. This is due to a drop from 1940 to 1970 and a slight drop from 2000 through 2008. Now the average rise for that period is only 0.040C per decade. If the time period from 1850 through 2008 is used as a base, the net increase is just under 0.70C and the average rise is also 0.040C per decade! It is clear that choosing a short selected period of rising temperature gives a misleading result. It is also true that the present trend is down and expected to continue downward for several more years before reversing again. This certainly makes claim 1 questionable.

The drop in temperature from 1940 to 1970 was claimed to have been caused by “global dimming” caused by aerosols made by human activity. This was stated as dominating the AGW effects at that time. This was supposed to have been overcome by activity initiated by the clean air act. In fact, the “global dimming” continued into the mid 1990’s and then only reduced slightly before increasing more (probably due to China and other countries increased activity). If the global dimming was not significantly reduced, why did the temperature increase from 1970 to just past 2000?

A consequence of global dimming is reduced pan-evaporation level. This also implies that ocean evaporation is decreased, since the main cause of ocean evaporation is Solar insolation, not air temperature. The decreased evaporation contradicts claim 2.

Claim 3 has been contradicted by a combination of satellite and air born sensor measurements. While the average lower Troposphere average temperature has risen along with near ground air temperature, and in some cases is slightly warmer, nevertheless the models predicted that the lower Troposphere would be significantly warmer than near ground at the lower latitudes, especially in the tropics. This has not occurred! The following is a statement from:

Synthesis and Assessment Product 1.1

Report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program

and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research

April 2006

While these data are consistent with the results from climate models at the global scale, discrepancies in the tropics remain to be resolved”.

Claim 4 implies that the higher latitudes should heat up more than lower latitudes. This is supposed to be especially important for melting of glaciers and permafrost. In fact, the higher latitudes have warmed, but at a rate close to the rest of the world. In fact, Antarctica has overall cooled in the last 50 years except for the small tail that sticks out. See:

http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/20061013/20061013_02.html

Greenland and the arctic region are presently no warmer than they were in the late 1930’s, and are presently cooling! See:

http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2006/11/17/cooling-the-debate-a-longer-record-of-greenland-air-temperature/

The overall effect of Antarctic and Greenland are now resulting in net gain (or at least near zero change) of ice, not loss. While some small areas have recently lost and are some are still losing some ice, this is mostly sea ice and thus do not contribute to sea level rise. Glaciers in other locations such as Alaska have lost a significant amount of ice in the last 150 years, but much of the loss is from glaciers that formed or increased during the little ice age, or from local variations, not global. Most of this little ice age ice is gone and some glaciers are actually starting to increase as the temperature is presently dropping. For more discussions on the sea level issue look at the following two sites:

http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=dnc49xz_19cm8x67fj&hl=en

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/5067351/Rise-of-sea-levels-is-the-greatest-lie-ever-told.html

This indicates that claim 5 is clearly wrong. While sea level will rise a small amount, and has so since the start of the Holocene period, the rise is now only 10 to 15 cm per century, and is not significantly related to the recent recovery from the little ice age, including the present period of warming.

The claims in 6 are particularly interesting. Figure 2 below shows the Global Brightness Temperature Anomaly (0C) in the lower Troposphere and lower Stratosphere made from space.

a) Channel TLT is the lower Troposphere from ground to about 5 km

b) Channel TLS is the lower Stratosphere from about 12 to 25 km

Figure 2. Global satellite data from RSS/MSU and AMSU data. Monthly time series of brightness temperature anomaly for channels TLT, and TLS. Data from: http://www.ssmi.com/msu/msu_data_description.html

The anomaly time series is dominated by ENSO events and slow troposphere warming for Channel TLT (Lower Troposphere). The three primary El Niños during the past 20 years are clearly evident as peaks in the time series occurring during 1982-83, 1987-88, and 1997-98, with the 1997-98 being the largest. It also appears there is an aditional one at 2007. Channel TLS (Lower Stratosphere) is dominated by stratospheric cooling, punctuated by dramatic warming events caused by the eruptions of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991). In these, and other volcanic eruption cases, the increased absorption and reflectivity of the dust and aerosols at high altitudes lowered the surface Solar insolation, but since they absorbed more energy, they increased the high altitude temperature. After the large spikes dropped back down, the new levels were lower and nearly flat between large volcanic eruptions. It is also likely that the reflection or absorption due to particulates also dropped, so the surface Solar insolation went back up. It appears that a secondary effect of the volcanic eruptions is present that is unknown in nature (but not CO2)! One possible explanation is a modest but long-term drop in Ozone. It is also clear that the linear fit to the data shown is meaningless. In fact the level drop events seem additive if they overlap soon enough for at least the two cases shown. That is, after El Chicon dropped the level, then Pinatubo occurred and dropped the level even more. Two months after Pinatubo, another strong volcano, Cerro Hudson, also erupted, possibly amplifying the effect. It appears that the recovery time from whatever causes the very slow changing level shift has a recovery time constant of at least several decades.

The computational models that show that the increasing CO2 and CH4 cause most of the present global warming all require that the temperature of the Stratosphere drops while the lower atmosphere and ground heat up. It appears from the above figures that the volcanic activity clearly caused the temperature to spike up in the Stratosphere, and that these spikes were immediately followed by a drop to a new nearly constant level in the temperature. It is clear from the Mauna Loa CO2 data (http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/) that the input of CO2 (or CH4) from the volcanoes, did not significantly increase the background level of this gas, and thus, this cannot be the cause of the drop in the Stratosphere temperature. The ramp up of atmospheric CO2 also cannot explain the step down then level changes in high altitude temperature. Since the surface temperature rise is supposed to be related to the Stratosphere temperature drop, and since a significant surface rise above the 1940 temperature level did not occur until the early 1980’s, it may be that the combination of the two (or more) volcanoes, along with Solar variability and variations in ocean currents (i.e., PDO) may explain the major causes of recent surface temperature rises to about 2002. In fact, the average Earth temperature stopped rising after 2002, and has been dropping for the last few years!

The final question that arises is what prediction has the AGW made that has been demonstrated, and that strongly supports the theory. It appears that there is NO real supporting evidence and much disagreeing evidence for the AGW theory as proposed. That is not to say there is no effect from Human activity. Clearly human pollution (not greenhouse gases) is a problem. There is also almost surely some contribution to the present temperature from the increase in CO2 and CH4, but it seems to be small and not a driver of future climate. Any reasonable scientific analysis must conclude the basic theory wrong!!

86 Responses to “Disproving The Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) Problem”

  1. Ryan O said

    Thanks for the post. For me, the single biggest signal that something is wrong is the mismatch between model predictions for stratosphere/troposphere/surface temperature trends – and it’s something that Santer’s response to Douglass sure didn’t answer.

  2. DeWitt Payne said

    This is exactly the sort of article that gives skeptics a bad name.

    Claim 1 is indeed suspect. As lucia has demonstrated, the hypothesis that the global average temperature will rise by 0.2 C/decade in the early 21st century can be rejected at the 95% confidence level.

    Claim 2 is a straw man. The actual claim is that specific humidity will increase with temperature. This does not require an increase in evaporation because there are three parts to atmospheric humidity, temperature (which controls the maximum water vapor pressure), evaporation and precipitation. Specific humidity can increase even if evaporation decreases if precipitation decreases more. I suspect that a case can indeed be made that specific humidity is not increasing at the model predicted rate, but this article doesn’t come close to making it.

    Rejection of claim 3 needs more data. Surface temperature measurements in the tropics are few and far between, with unknown QC. It’s not clear that the satellite temperature measurements have sufficient altitude resolution in the absence of simultaneous radiosonde measurements to reject the claim.

    Claim 4 has nothing to do with AGW. It is well known that when the global heat content increases for whatever reason, temperatures will increase faster at high latitudes than at low latitudes, fossil crocodiles and palm trees in Alaska prove that. So failure to see much of an increase at high latitudes is actually related to claim 1.

    Claim 5 cannot be rejected on the basis of anecdotes from one person. It also depends on what you mean by significant. The Topex/Poseidon and Jason data are, in fact, compelling and are supported by many local tide gauge measurements, not just Hong Kong. Sea level has been rising at about 3 mm/year over the last 15 years. At least half of that rise is due to loss of land based ice and a lot of that has come from the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps . Mass loss from these ice caps is supported by GRACE satellite measurements as well(Cazenave et al, 2009, eg).

    Claim 6 is correct. The temperature of the upper stratosphere has indeed been cooling ( http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2008JD010421.shtml ). The satellite lower stratosphere measurement is from too low an altitude to show this effect. The situation is complicated because lower ozone also cools the stratosphere so if chlorofluorocarbon ozone loss has abated somewhat, the increase in ozone (which increases UV absorption) could balance the increased IR radiative loss from higher CO2.

    The warmers will ignore the points above that are correct and gleefully point to the incorrect ones as invalidating the conclusion.

  3. Jeff Id said

    #2, I hope Dr. Weinstein stops by to address your points.

  4. DeWitt,

    I generally agree with your post.

    I took a look at humidity, and I didn’t see any evidence of the predicted increase in the reanalysis data sets, but that is hardly conclusive.

    On the issue of tide and satellite measurements of sea level rise, do you have a reference that reconciles them? The following quote is from Domingues et al. 2008 (Nature)

    “Note that the sea level estimated from satellite altimeter observations follows the in situ estimate closely up to 1999 and then bigins to diverge implying a higher rate of rise. It is unclear why the in situ and satellite estimates diverge, and careful comparison is urgently needed.”

  5. curious said

    Does anyone have a reference for the definitive “theory”?:

    “A theory has been proposed that human activity over about the last 150 years has caused a significant rise in Earth’s average temperature.”

    Are the IPCC the proposers/guardians of the theory? Is this the benchmark reference?:

    http://library.wur.nl/isric/index2.html?url=http://library.wur.nl/WebQuery/isric/13728

    Updated with AR4 Physical Science Basis?:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg1.htm

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-ts.pdf

    Sorry if this seems a stupid/basic question but its not clear to me exactly where the recognised standard theory can actually be found – assuming there is such a thing! If I’ve understood correctly the IPCC claims to be a “synthesis” position so IMO this is not something that can be evaluated or challenged in the same way as a single party authors work. A fault with part of it can simply mean that the “synthesis” recipe has been found wanting.

    What is the single source for the 6 claims presented and discussed in this post? I agree with DeWitt – this seems a bit of a scatter gun response to a smoke and mirrors target which plays to a gallery. Sorry if that sounds dismissive but compared to the work you (plural) have done on the Steig recon I don’t see how this really does, or could, progress anything without being much more specific and referenced.

    And DeWitt at 2 re: higher temps at higher latitudes – are you taking “higher” as north only or “polar”?

  6. Carl Wolk said

    Very interesting post. However, you state the TLT channel is dominated by specific ENSO events. I think that the conventional understanding of ENSO’s effect on temperature is completely misguided. Those ENSO events, especially the 1986/7 and 1997/8 El Ninos, had not just the visible immediate effects on temperature, but long-term effects. ENSO is radiative, and the TLT anomaly that you showed is created entirely by the immediate and the long-term, radiative effects of ENSO. I have just written a post on the topic, here:

    http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/ten-questions-for-alarmists-about-the-el-ninosouthern-oscillation/

    Also, you write that the tropical lower troposphere is expected to be warming at the fastest rate. From what I know, it is the mid- to upper- troposphere that is supposed to be warming the fastest.

  7. timetochooseagain said

    DeWitt Payne-Actually, your alternative situation is not really correct. The reason is that precipitation is equal to evaporation on a global scale. Both your explanation of how specific humidity could increase and Dr Weinstien seem to be incorrect. When Roger Pielke Sr pointed out the evaporation/precipitation issue, Issac Held responded that models actually have the water vapor just stay in the atmosphere longer:

    http://climatesci.org/2007/04/05/evaporation-is-equal-to-precipitation-on-the-global-scale-implications-to-the-conclusion-on-a-claimed-increase-of-atmospheric-water-vapor/

  8. Page48 said

    Addressing all the comments so far:

    Whatever the literal scientific merits of this paper, I think it is very important for the populous that people like Dr. Weinstein have tried to pull all the scientific issues of AGW into one paper. It informs the people of the complexity of the problem and, also, give the proponents of AGW an opportunity to address the issue in it’s totality.

    Scientific research and knowledge, in general, has become very fragmented in recent times. However, scientists working in isolated areas still attempt to generalize their findings into a coherent scientific “world scientific view,” regardless of whether or not they even have the general scientific knowledge to actually do so.

    To me, this is one of the central problems of climate science as it now stands – actually, it’s a problem in science, in general.

    So, I applaud Dr. Weinstein for his effort.

  9. Page48 said

    By the way – off topic and I hate to sound stupid, but…..how do I put a picture on here as others have done. I want my post to be identified by my singularly adorable dog – Sylvie.

  10. Page48 said

    The main reason I want to know how to put Sylvie’s picture on here is that Sylvie has a lot in common with climate scientists and I have written a little essay to that effect. Let me know

  11. Jeff Id said

    #9 Try this – http://en.gravatar.com/

    ==============

    I’ll be around for an hour or two and then I’m gone for the rest of the weekend. I’m going to burn wood (biofuel) and drink beer (biofood) in the woods. No contact with the blog world whatsoever. I have several new posts already lined up for next week. According to the IPCC we’re all going to be 0.000164 degrees C warmer before I return in 3 days.

    So take care, and don’t TCO the blog please.

    Have a great weekend. – Go Wings.

  12. Page48 said

    Thanks Jeff – have a great weekend. I don’t know what the “Wings” play, but I hope they win.

    Cheers!

  13. JAE said

    DeWitt has some good points, but there is still no empirical or even decent theoretical support for the “hypothesis” (I don’t think it deserves to be called a theory yet).

  14. lweinstein said

    I appreciate the comments on my little white paper. Many of the points made by DeWitte Payne and others are reasonable. The main effort of the paper was to try to include many of the claims made on the web and show that they never were supportable as an indication of the AGW position. Due in part to the small space for comments very limited arguments were made, and only a few specific issues were mentioned. I will try to address some of the responses briefly below:
    1) You agree that the higher level of increase claimed by modelers is not reasonable, so no response is needed by me.
    2) The positive feedback hypothesis requires that the absolute vapor content increase. Several authors claimed on the Web (the source of my review) that this would be achieved by increased evaporation, not that the atmosphere would hold more, so this was the issue I addressed. I agree that correct models would use the increased holding ability for vapor.
    3) The satellite data and other data I have seen seems to clearly show the “hot spot” in the upper Troposphere is missing, and this is a clear proof of the failure of the models. I won’t argue on it’s reliability, I only can quote what I read. By the way it is the upper Troposphere as Carl pointed out. My bad.
    4) It is true that higher latitudes warm faster, but they also cool faster. If you read:
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dnc49xz_63fzwhqchm&hl=en (Arctic & Greenland ice)
    you get the point I was actually trying to make: The poles are not getting hotter due to CO2.
    5) I have read several Web sites, and also read published papers on sea level. There is no clear agreement, but the most reasonable ones to me say the sea level has been rising about 1.5 mm/decade for hundreds of years, and has not sped up recently. In fact is seems to have reversed some very recently. The ice loss from Antarctic has in fact been increasing the last several decades except the little tail that sticks out (net land based ice gain). Greenland lost a bit of land based ice at the edges, but has slowed down, and sea based ice adds nothing to the sea level. The ocean temperature has been dropping the last several years, so no expansion.
    6) The main point I tried to make with 6 is the form of the lower Stratosphere data. The step up then step down after volcanic eruptions seems to be totally unrelated to AGW claims. I am surprised that no one else noticed this strange structure.

    In the end I looked for a prediction to support AGW and found none. I have other write-ups at:
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dnc49xz_0fb228shr&hl=en (Limitations on AGW)
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dnc49xz_38hr5487gz&hl=en (CO2 feedback refutation)
    These are not detailed analysis papers, but simple arguments using stuff off the Web and reference papers from those posts.

  15. lweinstein said

    Typo on the response to 5. The ice loss from Antarctic has stopped and in fact there is net gain in recent times when you consider the entire area.

  16. MikeN said

    Regarding the troposphere temperatures from satellite measurements. Haven’t these been shown to be flawed, and Prof. Christy accepted that they are flawed, or is Dr. Weinstein talking about something else?

  17. lweinstein said

    MikeN,

    Some of the data was found to be enough closer to models than previously thought to allow some claim of previous mistakes, but the critical “hot spot” region was still not able to be corrected enough to be considered found. In fact, the claim is still made that there is a problem with the lack of the measurements from all sources to agree with the models. This is treated as if that is not an issue, but it is the whole issue. I would like to see a reference of Prof. Christy’s agreement of the data with models. The latest I see is the lack of the “hot spot” as still an issue.

  18. MikeN said

    Dr Weinstein, I don’t know the science well enough to say if you are talking about the same thing.
    I am referring to an analysis done by Dr. Christy and I think Spencer, saying that the satellite measurements do not show atmospheric warming as predicted by models. Later they recanted this when shown errors in calculation.

  19. timetochooseagain said

    MikeN: The “recantation” has been overstated. What they “recanted” over time was the degree to which the satellites were out of step with the surface data. I would like to link you to UAH’s page going over the history of the corrections but it is down right now. Anyway, the issue here is different-whereas there previously was significantly less trend globally in the satellites than apparent at the surface, the difference globally is no longer significant. An important point, however, is that, especially in the tropics, the trend should be significantly ~greater~ in the troposphere than the surface instead of insignificantly less.

  20. Ryan O said

    I think Dr. Weinstein’s point is more closely related to the Douglass paper, not the UAH error from earlier.

  21. Layman Lurker said

    #16 & #18 MikeN

    Errors in UAH methods for diurnal drift correction were identified by Mears of RSS and subsequently adjusted.

    http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/finalreport/sap1-1-final-execsum.pdf

  22. Cederash said

    Даа… Достаточно спорно, поспорил бы с автором…

  23. Moranosmilf said

    Is Leonard Weinstein, ScD a doctor of dental surgery?

  24. rephelan said

    Instead of a snarky ad-hom, why not put your superior technical skills to work and do a little research.

    http://www.globalwarminghoax.com/comment.php?comment.news.111.6

    http://www.rightsidenews.com/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=4574

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/s_623248.html

    Leonard Weinstein received a B.Sc. in Physics in 1962 from Florida State University. He started work at NASA Langley Research Center in June 1962. While at Langley, Leonard obtained his Master and Doctor of Science degrees in Engineering from the George Washington University. He continued to work at NASA Langley until June 2007, ending as a Senior Research Scientist. Dr. Weinstein has had a career that is recognized for innovation. He has over 90 publications, including 11 patents. He has received numerous awards, commendations, and recognition’s for innovative experimental research, including an Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal, an IR-100 award, the 1999 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Engineer of the year, the James Crowder Award, and over 40 other awards and recognitions for innovative experimental research. Dr. Weinstein is presently a Senior Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace.

  25. Moranosmilf said

    so that’s a no?

  26. Bill Illis said

    On Humidity, I have charted the NCEP reanalysis humidity data.

    Specific Humidity – the word “Constant” comes to mind.

    Relative Humidity – declining at all levels.

    The NCEP data has been criticized since it is based on radiosonde data, which may not measure humidity very well and some radiosondes were not even designed to measure humidity but the results are inferred from the other readings.

    Other newer, more accurate databases show almost exactly the same trends however.

    The Hadley Centre just completed an exhaustive review of surface humidity data and found a small rise in Specific Humidity and a small decline in Relative Humidity for the surface (which is consistent with the NCEP data).

    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcruh/data/Willettetal2008.pdf

    And then there is a paper by Dessler which studied humidity changes at all levels of the troposphere from 2003 to 2008 (and produced results which are opposite to that predicted in the models for different atmospheric levels when temps are falling – not highlighted in the paper of course).

    http://geotest.tamu.edu/userfiles/216/Dessler2008b.pdf

  27. John Philips said

    I would be interested in why a Doctor of Science makes no reference at all to the peer-reviewed literature, other than filtered through the Frontier Foundation, whose mission is to promote conservative public policy and World Climate Report, a weblog edited by Pat Michaels, who has committed scientific fraud in the past, and sponsored by the Greening Earth Society, a Western Fuels Association project founded to spread the “good news” that global warming is benficial for the planet. Not to mention a journalist who claims that White Asbestos is chemically identical to talcum powder.

    These rejection of these ‘claims’ have been repeatedly found wanting in the literature. Specifically

    Claim 1. The 0.2C/decade figure is presumably the IPCC’s projection for the next few decades, so the discussion of the last century’s temperature history is irrelevant. In the literature we have Rahmstorf et al [2007]

    http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~stefan/Publications/Nature/rahmstorf_etal_science_2007.pdf

    which concluded Overall, these observational data underscore the concerns about global climate change. Previous projections, as summarized by IPCC, have not exaggerated but may in some respects even have underestimated the change, in particular for sea level.

    Or we could look at the actual projections of the IPCC baselined 1990 …

    http://www.grida.no/CLIMATE/IPCC_TAR/WG1/552.htm

    From 1990 to 2010, taking scenario A1F1 as arguably the closest to the actual forcings, the IPCC projected a rise of 0.32C, or a linear increase of 0.16C/decade.

    The actual linear rise in the HADCRUT surface dataset since 1990 is 0.167C/decade.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1990/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1990/mean:24

    Short term (< 10 years) flat or cooling trends are not inconsistent with a long term greenhouse gas forcing, which can be 'swamped' over such short periods. Such trends are not only consistent with the theory, unless natural variability magically disappears, they are inevitable. See this post by James Annan

    http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2008/05/consistently-wrong-chronicles.html

    Claim 1 is not rejected.

    Claim 2 is better expressed as an increase in atmospheric water vapour as temperatures rise, on average, leading to an enhanced greenhouse effect from water vapour; a positive feedback. This has been observed. To quote the Dessler paper linked by Bill Illis …

    We analyze here the response of tropospheric water vapor to these variations. Height-resolved measurements of specific humidity (q) and relative humidity (RH) are obtained from NASA’s satelliteborne Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS). Over most of the troposphere, q increased with increasing global-average surface temperature, although some regions showed the opposite response. RH increased in some regions and decreased in others, with the global average remaining nearly constant at most altitudes. The water-vapor feedback implied by these observations is strongly positive, with an average magnitude of lq = 2.04 W/m2/K, similar to that simulated by climate models. The magnitude is similar to that obtained if the atmosphere maintained constant RH everywhere.

    And from the conclusion The existence of a strong and positive water-vapor feedback means that projected business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions over the next century are virtually guaranteed to produce warming of several degrees Celsius. The only way that will not happen is if a strong, negative, and currently unknown feedback is discovered somewhere in our climate system.

    And the Hadley analysis linked by Bill actually says Between 1973 and 2003 surface specific humidity has increased significantly over the globe, tropics, and Northern Hemisphere.

    The eruption of Mt Pinatubo and the subsequent global cooling provided a useful check on the modelling of water vapour, if the theory is correct
    then the cooling should have been accompanied by a reduction in global humidity, and this was indeed observed…

    We use the global cooling and drying of the atmosphere that was observed after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo to test model predictions of the climate feedback from water vapor. Here, we first highlight the success of the model in reproducing the observed drying after the volcanic eruption. Then, by comparing model simulations with and without water vapor feedback, we demonstrate the importance of the atmospheric drying in amplifying the temperature change and show that, without the strong positive feedback from water vapor, the model is unable to reproduce the observed cooling.

    Soden et al 2002 http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/296/5568/727

    Claim 2 is not rejected.

    As DeWitt pointed out, the uncertainty in the data on claim 3 is too high for a explicit rejection. Or, to put it another way …

    Research published by this group indicates that there is no fundamental discrepancy between modeled and observed tropical temperature trends when one accounts for: 1) the (currently large) uncertainties in observations; 2) the statistical uncertainties in estimating trends from observations. These results refute a recent claim that model and observed tropical temperature trends “disagree to a statistically significant extent”. This claim was based on the
    application of a flawed statistical test and the use of older observational datasets.

    Santer et al 2008 http://www.realclimate.org/docs/santer_etal_IJoC_08_fact_sheet.pdf

    Claims 4 and 5 are not specifically about AGW – polar amplification would occur even if the warming were natural. However the justification for Claim 5 includes The overall effect of Antarctic and Greenland are now resulting in net gain (or at least near zero change) of ice, not loss.

    Again, this is at odds with the literature : Luthcke et al. [2007] found a decline in the range -145 to -175 GT/year in the Greenland ice using GRACE, Zwally et al. [2007] found a loss of -80 to -100 GT/yr using ICESat. See this NASA article

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Greenland/

    While Velicogna et al [2006] found Antarctica losing ice at 152 ± 80 cubic kilometers / year.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/311/5768/1754

    These losses are all significant. I would be interested to hear of the studies that inform Doctor Weinstein’s conclusion of a positive or flat trend.

    As DeWitt observed Randel, W. J., et al. (2009) finds significant Stratospheric cooling of 0.5-1.5 C / decade, supporting claim 6 and effectively ruling out a solar explanation for the recent warming.

  28. lweinstein said

    Reply to John Philips:
    I don’t have any idea who the Frontier Foundation and World Climate Report are. If they reprinted my blogs, which I sent to several frequently read sites (with no connection to any) that is their right. If the best you can do is start out with negative comments on my work, you are not worthy of reply, but out of my not being in the same negative mode as you, I will reply. The first point is the quote of 0.2C per decade. First you say don’t go back to the last century, then you say go back to 1990. If that is not cherry picking I misunderstand the term. Since 2000 through early 2009, there is no net temperature rise. Where is the 0.2C/decade increase (the CO2 is still increasing). You then say 10 year variations don’t matter. Why then should 30 year variations. In fact, even some of the modelers now say the drop may continue several more years. Second, you are correct that it is atmospheric water vapor, not surface evaporation that is important for positive feedback. However, look at http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Curious.htm (Skeptical AGW scientist)
    and go to the section on atmospheric water vapor. It has not increased while CO2 has increased, so no feedback! Claim three is clearly a negative for AGW. There is no hot spot (it should be upper Troposphere, not lower)! Claim 4 is valid in that the temperature in the Arctic peaked at a lower level than in the late 1930’s when there was no claim of significant AGW, and this falsifies the AGW claim. See
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dnc49xz_63fzwhqchm&hl=en (Arctic & Greenland ice)
    The claim 6 is one of the most interesting. Just looking at the channel TLS curve, it is obvious that the peaks up and steps down are related to the volcanoes and the straight line fit start to end is not related to anything on the ground.

  29. lweinstein said

    To John Phillips;
    Even most AGW proponents now admit the Antarctic now is cooling and ice increasing except the small tail sticking out. The net increase is significant. The new mantra is that the Ozone hole is doing it.

  30. Bill Illis said

    To John Philips,

    One should recognize by now that you cannot read the abstracts and conclusions of pro-AGW papers any more to understand what they are actually saying. Nasa GISS funded Dessler’s water vapour study.

    You have to look at the base data. The actual data contradicts the predictions of the climate models. When temperatures are falling (as they were in Dessler’s study), the models predict rising humidity at lower atmospheric levels and falling humidity at higher levels. Dessler found the exact opposite trend. Somebody chose to report the fact that since humidity changed at all, it was consistent with global warming theory. It was not.

    And the Hadley Centre water vapour study found a slight increase of 0.09 grams per Kilogram increase in surface specific humidity which should not be thought of as “significant”. How much warming does 0.09 grams of water vapour produce anyway?

    These trends are also similar to the NCEP data which showed a very small increase at the surface and very small decreases at higher levels. The weighted average over the troposphere is Zero over the 60 years. Global warming theory is based on water vapour increasing at the higher atmospheric levels, at the tropospause where they are actually decreasing slightly, not increasing.

  31. John Philips said

    I don’t have any idea who the Frontier Foundation and World Climate Report are

    Excuse me? Check out the addresses of your second and third hyperlinks, the first starts ff.org, the second http://www.worlclimatereport.org. The latter article is headed ‘World Climate Report'(!). The FF mission statement is here

    http://ff.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=55&Itemid=69 and the ExxonSecrets page on WCR is here …

    http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=85

    Evidence of Pat Michaels’ integrity is here …http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2005/Crichton_20050927.pdf

    Then there was Christopher Booker … http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2008/09/23/the-patron-saint-of-charlatans/

    Really, I provide references from the peer-reviewed literature and you give me Lucy Skywalker. Check out her forum for some comments I left on her ‘Primer’.

  32. Layman Lurker said

    An interesting essay by Dr. Willem de Lange:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=3477

  33. Layman Lurker said

    #31 JP

    “Excuse me? Check out the addresses of your second and third hyperlinks…”

    “Really, I provide references from the peer-reviewed literature and you give me Lucy Skywalker.”

    JP can’t you just point things out without the rightous indignation? I’m sure that through discussion you can find out how Dr. Weinstein came to his opinions.

  34. John Philips said

    The above post was written in early morning haste and I apologise if the tone was inappropriate. The substantive point remains however. Within a few minutes I could locate websites and blogs that ‘prove’ that blueberries cure cancer, that AIDS is not due to the HIV virus, that the Twin Towers were felled by a controlled explosion rather than the impact of two airliners. These blogs will have charts, graphs and equations and some will be written by PhDs. I need a filter in other words, and I choose the peer-reviewed academic literature as mine, as that is by and large where the scientific arguments are advanced and debated. Imperfect but better than nothing – after the initial surprise that the Dr Weinstein has apparently forgotten who it is he is citing, one is further surprised to find a scientist/researcher of this calibre citing a completely unreviewed [and error-strewn] website by an author writing under what has to be an assumed name. As an aside, I also wonder how he knows that ‘Lucy Skywalker’ is a climate scientist? I also await a citation that underpins the assertion that the ice masses of Antarctica and Greenland are growing or static, citing a self-published article with unsourced (and on the face of it, wrong) figures does not do it for me, I fear.

    Bill, you appear to be arguing that the conclusions and abstracts of some academic papers contradict the content of the papers themselves. This is an extraordinary claim and so requires extraordinary evidence. DO you have such evidence?

    The NCEP data is derived from a model-based reanalysis product and so is not really suitable for showing long term trends, also the radiosondes are notorious for instrumentation and calibration errors:- to quote Soden et al [2005]

    “Although an international network of weather balloons has carried water vapor sensors for more than half a century, changes in instrumentation and poor calibration make such sensors unsuitable for detecting trends in upper tropospheric water vapor (27). Similarly, global reanalysis products also suffer from spurious variability and trends related to changes in data quality and data coverage

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/310/5749/841?ck=nck

  35. lweinstein said

    For John Phillips,

    I have numerous peer reviewed papers on my areas of work. I am fully familiar with the process. However, the peer review process is broken on the subject of AGW (and is not well in many other areas also). For this reason, I just reviewed the literature and blogs and wrote several short white papers of my analysis for discussion on blog use only. This subject has become a political issue, and is so heavily biased that many good papers have been and are being rejected by many publications due to coming to an unacceptable conclusion according to their bias. Even then, many new papers are coming out that slowly are shifting the weight of the position against AGW. If you can’t accept facts stuck in your face because they have not been blessed by Gore, that is your loss.

  36. Jeff Id said

    #34 was in the spam bucket until after 35. Sorry about that, I don’t have much control over it.

  37. lweinstein said

    For John Phillips,

    You keep harping on the blogs that published my white papers. The write-ups have been published in many of the major blogs that are discussing AGW. I did not choose who could and couldn’t publish. I don’t care who did what, when, or who funded who. Anyone that attacks the messenger because they don’t like the message is clearly a limited person.

  38. John Philips said

    I assure you I have no idea or interest in where else this article has been published; the only sources I have critiqued are ones that you have cited. And I have nothing but respect for your scientific achievements, it just strikes me as even more surprising that someone with a distinguished record in the scientific arena has turned their back on the academic review process. As a trained scientist you must know that you cannot credibly cite data unless it is well-sourced. Equally I do not share but I do respect your opinion that the peer review process is ‘broken’, however I cannot accept that thie means we should turn instead to the likes of the World Climate Report, the Greenworld Trust or Christopher Booker.

    In your piece on polar ice you assert The summer melting can result in some Arctic open water. Open water can absorb much more of the Solar insolation than ice or snow, but even at the maximum summer level, absorbs only about 350 W/m2 near the pole. The water emissivity is slightly higher than ice, and radiates about 300 W/m2. These result in a maximum excess of absorption in open water of only about 50 W/m2 for a very short part of the peak of summer, and a large net cooling over the full year.

    Could you share with us the source of these numbers?

  39. lweinstein said

    John,

    The emissivity of snow and water are both near the black body level. I ran across the quoted numbers or number close to them on several source, so I assumed it was well known. It is the absorptivity that is less clear. I have seen snow values and water value from albedo information, with the angle being the most variable factor. I don’t have the info on hand, but a google on albedo and emissivity should find it. The sun angle as a function of time is straight out of handbooks. The Earth axis tilts 24 degrees, and thus depending on time of year, the poles get -24 to +24 degree variation. A year round angle average is where you get the net. At the poles, if there is ice, the ice cannot melt due to the Sunlight. Water underflow and air temperature are the only ways they can melt. Ice on land is only subject to air warming and Sun, and at high altitudes, can’t melt under any typical circumstances (obviously there are exceptions, especially if soot lands on ice)!

  40. lweinstein said

    John,

    I am writing a short piece on the peer review process. I do think a good process is necessary for the literature, but does not assure valid results. Only history does that. I will still use the process for new papers but the AGW debate is not about science. It has long passed into politics and hostile opposing camps. Unfortunately, money and political directions are moving, so rapid response is needed. I would prefer open discussion with open minds if possible. If you can make a reasonable point on the open debate, I will listen and if I can’t refute it I am still of an open mind to be convinced. I started out accepting AGW and to my sorrow, found a sick field of comments flying back and forth. So far the deniers have made much more reasonable arguments to my way of thinking, and the fact that they are not perfect is not a limitation. I conclude from the weight of evidence. This is not a background for scientific publication taking months or more to make a debate in. If no falsifiable claim can be made by the AGW proponents that clearly occurs, and several claims don’t occur, what conclusion can I come to but the claims are false.

  41. lweinstein said

    John,

    Look at:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo (snow & water Albedo for incoming Solar radiation)
    http://www.icess.ucsb.edu/modis/EMIS/html/em.html (Emissivity of snow, ice & water)
    The first gives the absorption of snow & water & vs angle. The second gives the emissivities of all. Also use P= emissivity X Sigma * T to the 4th for energy out. This leaves the Tcold to the 4th out, so is not exact (back radiation).

  42. lweinstein said

    John,

    I now see which links you were referring to that you object to. In both cases, references were given at the end, so I assumed the data and analysis were reasonable. Other sites also tended to show similar facts, so it is not even important if the exact details of those two sites are correct, only that the fact is that presently the poles are both cooling, and that they have been cooler in the near past than even the present. I don’t accept or reject peoples writeups based on my opinion of the people, only if their results agree with what is true. In a formal report, I would have checked closer, especially references, and may have used other sources.

  43. Dave Middleton said

    Dr. Weinstein,

    I have enjoyed reading a few of your “white papers” here and over at Watts Up With That?
    and I am looking forward to reading your paper on the flaws of the peer review process. Peer review is often viewed as a confirmation of methods and results; when in fact it merely means that a group of “peers” reviewed the paper in question and said it was worthy of publication. Many specialized areas of science consist of very small peer populations. These small peer groups often co-author papers and sometimes become so “tunnel-visioned” on their particular specialty that they have little interaction with other scientific communities. MBH98/MBH99 is a prime example. With a little bit of guidance from competent statisticians, Mann, Bradley & Hughes could have avoided many of the mistakes that led to the “Hockey Stick.” Although, I still can’t figure out why they assumed that the tree rings of the Bristlecone Pines were the result of warming. The author of the original study of those attributed the tree ring growth to CO2 fertilization and not to warming (Graybill, D.A. and Idso, S.B. 1993). LaMarche (1984) and Koutavas (2008) have also written “peer reviewed” papers on the effects CO2 fertilization on tree ring growth.

    As a professional geoscientist (in the evil oil & gas industry), I have a great deal of empathy with you regarding the baseless attacks that a few AGW proponents have hurled at you and your posts on the these blogs. Any time that petroleum geologists and geophysicists join into the climate change debate, our motives are immediately attacked by the same sorts of people.

    Any freshman geology student would know that there was nothing anomalous about the temperature changes of the 20th century and that there is no clear evidence in the geological record of CO2-driven climate change. The geological record actually provides far more evidence of atmospheric CO2 levels reacting to temperature changes. Any competent and honest scientist should be able to easily see that almost every facet of the AGW hypothesis can be easily disproved or shown to be inferior to alternative hypotheses.

    Thank you again for your posts.

  44. Dave Middleton said

    John Philips said
    May 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm
    [...]

    While Velicogna et al [2006] found Antarctica losing ice at 152 ± 80 cubic kilometers / year.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/311/5768/1754

    These losses are all significant. I would be interested to hear of the studies that inform Doctor Weinstein’s conclusion of a positive or flat trend.

    [...]

    Well if you had actually read Velicogna et al [2006] (as opposed to just the abstract), you would have seen that they show that all of their interpreted ice loss was from the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet (the northernmost part of Antarctica) and the Eastern Antarctic Ice Sheet to be stable, if not gaining mass.

    If you understood how 152 ± 80 cubic kilometers related to the overall volume of the Antarctic ice mass, you would see that 152 ± 80 cubic kilometers of ice per year” sounds like a lot of ice loss…But the total Antarctic ice volume is estimated to be between 30 million to 60 million cubic kilometers. That’s a three-ten-thousandth to six-ten-thousandth of one percent of a difference.

    If you had ever processed gravity data or tried to interpret residual gravity anomalies, you might raise an eyebrow if someone told you that they could discern a 0.00006% annual change in a 30 million cubic kilometer mass of ice.

    If you had actually read the entire paper, you would know that Velicogna et al specifically reference other data that show the Antarctic ice mass to be growing.

    They found their analysis to be compelling primarily because their interpreted Antarctic ice mass loss matched up with the IPCC’s estimate of sea level rise due to melting ice over the same period of time. That’s a heck of a basis for relying on residual gravity analysis rather than direct measurements of the ice using RADAR altimetry that show the Antarctic ice sheet to be thickening.

  45. Dave Middleton said

    Correction: 0.00006% should be 0.0006% (six ten-thousandths of one percent.

  46. John Phillips said

    “This is the first study to indicate the total mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet is in significant decline,” said Isabella Velicogna of CU-Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, chief author of the new study that appears in the March 2 online issue of Science Express.

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-03/uoca-ais022806.php

    Dr Weinstein, albedo and emmissivity are both dimensioness ratios, you gave figures for the surface energy flux of sea water and ice, in W/m2. My question was directed at trying to discover the source of those numbers, 300 and 350 W/m2, respectively.

  47. Layman Lurker said

    #46 JP

    Dr. Weinstein derived the insolation at solar max to be 400W/m2. The 300 and 350 numbers would have been solar insolation times the albedo coefficients for ice and water.

  48. lweinstein said

    John Phillips,

    The sin24degrees times the Max normal Solar insolation gives a 400 W/m sq flux in. The albedo for ice is about 0.1, so only 40 W/msq is absorbed. Water has an absorption coef. that is angle dependent, but typically about 0.9 so would would absorb about 350 W/m sq. The emissivity of both ice and water is near 0.9 at the longer wavelength, so the ice emission is about 300 W/msq, and since water is slightly warmer, emission is up to about 350 W/msq. I hope that clears up the confusion.

  49. lweinstein said

    to John Phillips,

    All net fluxes are the product of dimensionless numbers (albedo, absorption coef., emissivity) times input flux or outgoing black body radiation flux. The emitted flux levels I gave above were 300 for ice and 350 for water. The previous values I gave at the other site were 280 and 300 respectively (all W/m-sq). The difference is due to choice of typical temperature of ice and water, and different choices were made here. Don’t give the difference any emphasis, as they do not change anything basic. Both sets are just close approximations.

  50. Dave Middleton said

    John Phillips said
    May 30, 2009 at 10:00 am
    “This is the first study to indicate the total mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet is in significant decline,” said Isabella Velicogna of CU-Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, chief author of the new study that appears in the March 2 online issue of Science Express.

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-03/uoca-ais022806.php

    If Dr. Velicogna thins that a 0.0003-0.0006% change in a 30-60 million cubic kilometer mass of ice is a “significant decline”, it doesn’t reflect very well on her knowledge of Antarctica. However, their gravity work was very interesting…You should read the paper some day.

  51. lweinstein said

    Antarctic sea ice can melt only due to warmer water flowing under the ice, or if the air temperature reaches more than about 10 degrees C above freezing (at typical high wind speeds). The sea ice air temperature does not get that high in the region except possibly on the sea ice around the peninsula sticking out. The ice on land can only melt if the air temperature gets more than about 10 degrees C above freezing (at typical high wind speeds). This only occurs on the peninsula and possibly a small region on the coast at very low altitude. The net result is that it is not possible to melt any of the Antarctic land ice except on the small regions stated. Essentially all of the ice lost recently by melting is sea ice and a bit of land ice on the peninsula (and there is a question if there is a net LAND LOSS). The question is whether the lost sea ice will allow inland glaciers to speed up due to not being held back as much, not will they melt. They may speed up a bit, but not melt until the entire region increases temperature much more than 10 degrees C over present temperatures. This will not happen. See my analysis (done for the Arctic, but valid for Antarctic except reflectivity of older snow is only 0.8 rather than 0.9): http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dnc49xz_63fzwhqchm&hl=en
    The speed up may even result in a small net loss over time but is very limited. Any claim that massive loss will occur is wrong.

  52. Wouldn’t it make more sense to invite an AGWer to write down the claims first rather than making them up and then bringing them down?

  53. lweinstein said

    to Maurizio Morabito,

    You are correct except that AGWers have made a few predictions, and they all either failed or at best were not proven either way. Now they refuse to make clearly falsifiable claims because they would be discredited. Rather they say “just you wait, the temperature will shoot up as soon as the natural variation gets out of the way”.

  54. lweinstein said

    It occurred to me that using world wide data averages, made at the same time periods may miss an important fact. Regional large temperature shifts up and down may not (and probably do not) all occur at the same time, so an integrated average may look small but consist of larger pieces not lined up at the same time. For example, I noticed that the Sargosso sea, Greenland, and Antarctic temperature variations all occurred about as fast and with about as large amplitude. However, the peaks and dips of the three regions did not exactly line up (especially for Antarctic compared to the other two). If my conjecture is correct, the claims that the poles heat (and cool) faster than the rest of the world may be false. It may only imply that a selected but limited size region is more correlated in change than the sum of regions over the entire Earth. I recently saw a blog (I can’t remember where) that stated that Europe and Northern US both had unusual large temperature swings for several years, but at slightly different times. This also tends to support the idea. If the swings at the poles lose their unique speed of change feature, this falsifies another common assumption.

  55. Dan Kuehnert said

    from me.

  56. Answers1 said

    Based on the give-and-take here, it verges on the criminal that anyone believes the science is settled enough to tax individuals and companies on CO2. “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

  57. Cameron Schlehuber said

    Forgive my very limited understanding of a very complex area of research. I think I understand that CO2 is the driver of the much stronger “greenhouse gas”, H2O. That H2O, depending on form and location in the atmosphere, can (put rather simplistically) have either a warming or cooling effect. And that it is CO2 in certain layers of the atmosphere that drives H2O to cause a positive feedback in global warming.Hopefully my understanding isn’t so far off that my question may be relevant. That is, as mentioned in Weinstein’s post of June 15, that if regional large temperature shifts do not occur at the same time, might there be large scale “mixing” of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere that would lead to negative feedback of CO2 effects on a scale of months or years?

  58. boballab said

    @57

    From what I understand on it the way the theory works is thus. For AGW the rise in CO2 causes a rise in Temperature. This in turn causes more evaportaion thus you get more water vapor. The reason this is important is that CO2 by itself cannot raise the temperature more then around 1 to 1.2 degrees Celcius due to the Beer-Lambert law. Example for each doubling of CO2 put into the atmosphere you do not get a doubling in it’s increase in Temperature. What you do get is a logrithmic decrease over time, so that when you start talking how much difference in temperature increase for 340 PPm to 380 PPM is very small.

    Now here is where AGW goes into the realm known as SWAGS. AGW proponents claim that the water evaporated into the atmosphere becomes water vapor which is the major GHG and it is a “positive” feedback on CO2 and that is the assumption they use inside all the computer models. So far no known real world experiment has shown a clear positive feedback.

    Now here is the other side of the debate. That Water Vapor is also used to form clouds. (If I get this part backwards correct it)Now High level cloud cover traps radiated heat in while low level clouds reflect sunlight back out (Everyone on a hot day notices when a cloud floats over how much cooler it gets). If that Water Vapor forms lots of low level clouds that would do the opposite of what AGW claims it lowers the temperature and is classified as a “negative” feedback. So far I can think of two experiments that point to this being true. There is the 20 year survey done by Dr. Lindzen that showed radiated heat into space increase as sea surface temperatures increase. This was the complete opposite of what the Climate Models said would happen.

    Then there is the experiment that Dr. Spencer did with Satellite data and he came to the same conclusion that as temperatures go up, the cloud cover acts as a major negative feedback. Basically the Earth has a thermostat just like your house to keep it from getting too hot.

    Here is the link to Dr. Spencers work:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/research-articles/satellite-and-climate-model-evidence/

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/Spencer-and-Braswell-08.pdf

  59. BBoykin said

    For months, I have been trying to figure out what in the world
    is going on with the doomsday predictions by the proponents of
    AGW. Al Gore gets the Nobel Peach Prize and an Oscar for a very
    flawed movie. He also makes $200 million (and counting) on
    investments aimed towards carbon-credit trading. Something about this smells. That is not science. This is about money. Massive grants to the AGW proponents, political power, etcetera
    ad nauseum.

    Reasoned scientific presentations such as Dr. Weinstein’s “no-
    consensus paper” are dismissed with ad hominem attacks or petty
    nitpicking. When the AGW propoents allow an open forum of
    all viewpoints and when the media presents equitable reviews of
    all viewpoints, then we unwashed, ignorant hicks will decide
    whether there is indeed a human contribution to the destruction
    of the planet.

    The most interesting thing to me about this site is that it is
    the only one that I have found that has really good point-and-
    counterpoint discussion on the topic.

  60. Cameron Schlehuber said

    Thanks, Boballab, that does help my understanding. And BBoykin, I agree that this site has the kind of point-counter-point that is quite helpful.

    With a combination of positive feedback with more water vapor at high altitude and negative feedback from clouds at low altitude, it seems logical that with some large-scale, long-term mixing, one should see oscillation swings in temperature that return to a mean, where that mean is driven up or down by a much more constant input (that varies over decades and centuries) such as the sun.

    However, if there were little mixing of the atmosphere then AGW could be viewed as reasonable. I suppose measuring the rate and amount of mixing is one of the areas of contention.

  61. boballab said

    @60

    If you go to the first link to Dr. Spencers work it has a not very techincal explaination on how it works but I’ll try to summarize.

    In the Computer models low level clouds are seen as almost insignificant, however what Dr. Spencer found was that just a little change in cloud cover had a huge change in temperature.

    Basically what he found was the exact opposite to the AGW theory. To them the overall feedbacks in the atmoshpere are a very strong positive, and what he found is a strong negative with just a little change in clouds. What makes that important is what CERN is experimenting with right now. They actually built a model Atmosphere and are going to fire basically a earth based version of cosmic rays into it and see if clouds form. If clouds do form that gives a direct connection between solar activy and climate on earth and as shown by Dr. SPencer just a little change in clouds and this planet gets cold awfully quick.

    Here is the link to the CERN presentation, it is a little over and hour long but not that hard to follow as it’s not to techincal:

    http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1181073/

  62. RB said

    #58 was a useful summary for me. Here’s a question. I took the Loehle-McCulloch reconstruction which ended in 1935. Let’s assume the instrument temperatures are correct. I padded on the terms from 1936 onwards with a 29-year average from measurements correcting the anomaly by the difference between measured and proxy for 1935. What I see is that 1994 temperatures are close to the MWP peak but in about 2/3 the time. In other words, the rate of change is ~30% faster. Further, if I line up the bottom in ~200AD with the more recent one around ~1600, the most recent 50 years indeed shows a very sharp rise consistent with what IPCC says. Based on the rate of change of temperature, that is still not inconsistent with AGW, no? Frankly, I don’t expect any significant changes in surface temperature because of the multiple ways in which that was obtained, but what do the august body of commenters here think?

  63. Karen Wong said

    This is all predicated on a very short term look at temperatures. The following link goes back many thousands of years: http://www.foresight.org/nanodot/?p=3553

  64. Ken E said

    I find this site very enlightening and am happy to see a minimum of rancor between people arguing for or against AGW. It seems that all this debate strongly suggests that there needs to be more targeted research into the climate and how our actions affect it. I am still digesting Dr. Weinsteins short paper and looking at cited articles as well as John Phillips references. I tend to agree with John that the refereed literature is the best place to go for supporting your claims and I am very cautious to accept the claims of any blog or web site unless backed up by significant literature references. If the refereed journal waters are as poisoned as Dr. Weinstein claims then it will be VERY difficult to determine the scientific validity of either side of this discussion.

  65. Cameron Schlehuber said

    Ken, I believe sound logic and falsifiable theories are among the foundations of the scientific method to determine a theory’s validity. Sighting references from peer reviewed publications is a good practice when documenting one’s starting position, way points in the thinking being used, as well as contrary theories and their shortcomings. But such references are not going to determine the scientific validity of an idea if the theories are simply wrong (and especially if such theories are not falsifiable).

    Journals use peer review to improve the quality of the papers that get accepted for publication. Peer review should never be confused with validating the claims in a paper.

    Note that Weinstein calls AGW a “problem” … not a theory. And discusses that point in his presentation.

  66. Ken E said

    Cameron, due to the proliferation of “scientific facts” through the internet, blogs, etc I think that the peer review literature must be used as an anchor to start any accounting or discounting of any theory, such as AGW. Dr. Weinsteiins approach of determining if the current AGW theory is capable of making predictions is entirely valid in this context. At this point I assume he is citing at least a few peer reviewed articles to act as jumping off points for his paper. If any theory cannot predict the way a system operates then the theory does not model reality and is incorrect.

  67. Cameron Schlehuber said

    Ken, perhaps we should start a different thread on what peer review actually does. Note that peer review was put in place when publishing was a somewhat arduous and expensive endeavor and getting feedback was also long and difficult. That is no longer the case with the Internet. If you don’t think that peer review doesn’t happen on the Internet, well, we’ll just have to leave it that we disagree on what “must be used as an anchor to start any accounting or discounting of any theory.”

  68. Ken E said

    Peer review is when people in you area of study read you paper (submitted for publication) and determine if it (1) demonstrates you have a command of previous research in your area that you are building on with your current work, (2) demonstrates that you used scientifically accepted methods to acquire and analyze your data, and finally (3) that you conclusions are built on previous literature and are a logical extension of the scientific literature. I think it was Newton who said “If I have been able to see further than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants”, which to me says that the previous literature is used as a foundation to build upon with new research. On the internet, as far as I can see, there is no peer review. But I would be very interested if you could point me to any peer reviewed sources on the internet.

  69. Cameron Schlehuber said

    I think we can agree that there are a number of reasons why peer review can be good. (My first peer reviewed paper on which I was 2nd author appeared in 1969. And I have had opportunities to both publish and peer review other papers.) You can find a number of papers on Internet peer review as well as Internet based journals that engage peer review. Try a search on the Internet for “internet peer review”. The point I’m making is that even blogs that accept pro and con comments can (note that I do not say do!) demonstrate more open “peer review” than traditional journals. Sometimes peer review has been used to block publications of rivals and their theories.

    Note that Newton’s famous quote has double meanings. It was in a letter to a very short rival, Robert Hooke.

  70. Ken E said

    Yes, I forgot about the Newton/Hooke feud! I will check out internet peer review sites. Thanks

  71. Ken E said

    Can anyone point me to a publication or publications where the 6 main predictions of AGW are stated as in the beginning of this article?

  72. 2BRKnot2B said

    The average layman hasn’t the time to educate himself on every aspect of Global Climate Change theory. All we do know is that no appreciable rise in temperatures are occurring in localities as long term trends. Certainly there was a period of warming in some parts of the U.S. for about a decade, or decade and a half. However, since then, the trend has reversed, and prior to that (1965-1980), predictions that we were entering a mini-ice age were floated.

    The average person is too busy trying to pay the taxes, put food on the table, etc. When Cap & Trade (Tax & Traitor) was proposed, it was then I knew this was a clever hoax devised to ramp up taxes on producer nations, and switch wealth, undeserved as it may be, to 3rd world countries. No nation (and no representative of a nation, unless working to destroy that nation) in their right mind would do something cross purposes to their own way of life, or so detrimental to their livelihood(s), especially if the benefit to them was minimal, nil, or negative in affect. Tax & Traitor seems to be just that, and as such, the motives behind the science, the motives behind the whole Global Climate Change phenomenon, will be questioned by the masses, especially in countries whose way of life, and high standard of living, have made them the envy of the rest of the world’s member nations. Any thought that these nations would transfer wealth, without benefit to themselves, to any other nation, regardless of circumstances, is simply a foolish ideal of believers in communism, and Utopian One World Governance. No such thing (communist dominated OWG) has ever been, or can ever be. There is just too much inconsistency, and a slavery ingrained in communism that people who believe in freedom will deny to those wishing to push it on them.

    Use of climatological data, and predictions of future weather related phenomena, which have not been occurring as predicted over the last decade, or more, only prove that weather isn’t as easily predictable as some would presume. There are simply too many variables, too many butterflies, if you will.

    Finally, the minute scientists who believe in GCC, GW, etc. theories start throwing themselves off buildings, or offering themselves, and their families up for sacrifice to the rest of the world as a show of true belief in their theories, then I may start to think that they may be nearing the point where they may believe in what they are trying to convey. In other words, a snowballs chance in hell.

  73. emmjayne said

    I have just finished reading (or scanning) the whole discussion and I am picturing Al Gore trying to read this
    (and I am roaring laughing) but I agree with the fact that this is one of the few places where there has been a discussion of the points. I want to express my appreciation to all of you. I belong to the skeptic side and have since the whole subject came up. Thank you all.

  74. Environmental issue is always been a good topic. It portrays the negative aspects of human activity. Global warming is one of the result of it. I do think that if everyone of us has an exact knowlegde on how to conserve and recycle things we can fight against it.

  75. In life, nothing is constant. Things change, it is but normal. People just have to adjust. People just have to find ways and find solutions. We just have to be positive about the issue. Thanks for this post.

  76. Sid Melian said

    Hi there, I noticed your site via Msn while trying to find Weather Balloons and your post caught my ınterest .

  77. JD said

    Hi,

    What I would like a big article and explanation on is on 3 things. First, I am mainly skeptical for realistic reasons – specifically that Government has NEVER broadly supported the environment and IT APPEARS and I would like this confirmed, that they are ONLY doing so now because it is a chance to tax people and businesses. Second, I don’t know why we are shifting away from handling the environment, to handling the climate. Why not handle pollution to our air, water and soil as a priority, plus handle deforestation and damaged ecosystems (plants AND animals). Wouldn’t that do something for the climate, and our health? Oh, and by the way, make it illegal to monopolize seed and therefore food. Third, solutions for these problems should be simple. Those that created the polution should pay to clean it up. The government can even go to court against the big companies and force them to pay fines, etc. for this. And for the future, any toxic dumping is in their own factory sewage and recycling plants or they pay someone to do it. Zero waste. Lastly, there are a lot of solutions that don’t put the burden on people who DIDN’T cause the problem in the majority. How about legislating to reduce car size for example. How about fuel efficient cars? I saw a TV program in about 1985 that had Cal Tech grads make an engine for a Fiat that ran 120 mpg in the lab and 80 in the highways. And that was 25 years ago!!

  78. jack said

    JD – The government is the biggest polluter in this and most other countries (USSR may be the worst example). They are the only ones who do not have to submit to all the laws and regulations they force on the rest of us. Their support of the environment is mostly political blandishments and bandaids to appease the masses. There are many people in the government that believe in a cleaner environment and try to help, but they are fighting the system’s momentum.

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  81. glkatel6 said

    Everyman człowiek ma własne problemy w ciągu jego życia, nie ma nikogo na tym ziemio, iż jest zgoła wyluzowany, człowiek ma jakiemuś lub pozostały szkopuł, jaki trzeba pokonać. Pewnym z najważniejszych placków natomiast przeważnie istnieje kryzys walutowy. Trwa multum przystępnych zaawansowanie w leczeniu takich ambarasów, jakkolwiek co jeśli masz tyciutkiego sumy długu i nie trzeba stać na solidne sumy debetu? Jeśli naprawdę kredyt na oświadczenie, owo możesz skorzystać spośród wierzytelności w celu figury o prymitywnych dochodach, możesz skorzystać z nieniniejszej usługi, iżby pomóc w swoich treściwych wydatków wyraźny. To być może stanowić nieciasnego wydatki, takie podczas gdy niebeznadziejne sumptów domowych, takich kiedy regulacji mleka, kwitu sklep spożywczy, konserwacji bicykla względnie samochodu, bądź podczas gdy trzeba zapłacić rachunek wewnątrz swadę elektryczną, tudzież nie masz wystarczająco co niemiara pieniędzy, tak aby zrewanżować się nią, możesz użyczyć gwoli człecze korzyści o miernych dochodach. Bieżąca posługa prawdopodobnie pomóc skasować każde wcześniejsze kwity oraz wydać osobisty stres.

    Wierzytelności dla jednostek o marnych dochodach są linie kredytowe, ludzie, jacy są w kółko przewidziane pracownika określoną spółkę spośród proporcjonalnych dochodów. Figura być może dostarczyć się aż do kredytodawcy sumkę w przedziale od chwili minimum 80 natomiast maksimum 1500. Służbie te są podręcznego gwoli wszelkiego, każdy kredyt bez zdolności kredytowej zaś everyman przypuszczalnie ubiegać się o te finanse. Nie jest rękojmia elastycznego okresu spłaty aż do spłaty wielkości pożyczki, jaka istnieje między 1 oraz 30 dni, w związki od chwili liczby pożyczki. Możesz uzyskać z renesansem skierowany w dniu opłacać wynagrodzenia, trwanie spłaty istnieje zwrócony trafnie spośród Twojej wypłaty.

    Rata wyskokowa jest wielgachna, skoro są to długi krótkoterminowe, ale są wartością. Pożyczka nierzeczona dla osób o nieknajackich dochodach są swobodnie otwartego w Internecie. Dosyć tego na odwrót kredyty gotówkowe bez bik sieć i wykopać podręcznych kredytodawców, aby trwać Państwu najlepszą obsługę i egzystować dogodnych wypłatach. Eksploatator przypadkiem wykorzystywać z tych udogodnień internetowych, wypełniając blankiet zgłoszeniowy, jaki musi egzystować wypełniony w czystej treści. Wolumen wierzytelności chwycenie spieniężona wręcz w przeciągu 24 godzin na koncie bankowym.

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