the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Dr. Tim Ball

Posted by Jeff Id on November 23, 2009

Wow. Exactly what we’ve been saying. Dr, Tim ball discussing the significance of the emails. Thanks to Anthony Watts again who is always on these things. Don’t miss this one.

 

This story keeps growing. I don’t think the MSM has figured out just how big this is yet.


56 Responses to “Dr. Tim Ball”

  1. anon said

    ; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!
    ;
    yrloc=[1400,findgen(19)*5.+1904]
    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

  2. Amber said

    I don’t think the MSM has figured out just how big this is yet.

    That’s because it’s not as big as you like to think, Jeff. There are certainly some suggestive (even dubious) comments in that material but on their own they prove nothing. They confirm the suspicions of some people, including Dr Ball, but confirming suspicions isn’t proof. If Mann and co. have done anything wrong they will be found out but it won’t be by this illegal release of documents, it will be by a properly constituted investigation. Calm down.

    Having said that, I do appreciate the effort you’ve put into illuminating affairs, Jeff. The question in my mind is this: even if your worst suspicions are proven as fact, what difference does that really make in the greater scheme of things? It’s just paleoclimatology after all, which IMHO is a dodgy field to begin with. I don’t trust any of the modelling (whether of the past or the future) by anyone in any camp — we just don’t have enough knowledge of the climate system to make models that are sufficiently accurate in any meaningful sense. The only justifiable use IMHO for climate modelling is as a learning tool — make the model to test a theory, run the model and see if our level of understanding is sufficient to have created a workable model. Identify gaps in knowledge, plug the gaps, refine the model and do another lap.

    I think the obsession of various people with hockey sticks etc. distracts them from the real issues, of actually increasing our understanding of what is actually going on. We agree the Greenhouse Effect is real, we agree greenhouse gases are increasing, we agree total energy within the Earth’s planetary system is increasing (that is, from your writings I assume we all on this website agree on those three points). Some of that increased energy manifests itself as increased temperature, some of it manifests itself in other forms. I would like to see people in the world spending more time identifying that energy distribution. The first and most obvious question is how much of that energy is thermal and what temperature rises will result.

    Even if Mann’s “temperature reconstruction” were total fiction, greenhouse gases are increasing and temperature is increasing, so in that (somewhat narrow) sense, Mann is irrelevant.

  3. dearieme said

    “fudge factor”; I’ve been saying for ages that their work was the sort of thing you find in undergraduate lab reports, with obvious “fudging”. Those are the reports you “fail”, with the cheerful advice “practical exam for you this term, laddy!”

  4. Al S. said

    With respect to Amber’s comment above, by now I would NOT stipulate belief in any substantial “greenhouse” gas warming.
    I think we need to re-start from scratch.
    We are told that there doesn’t seem to be a good first-principles derivation of this effect; certainly, we can’t take the Team’s word for it.
    If there are any physicists who can be interested in looking into this, or in reviewing Gerhard and Tseuchner’s “Falsification….” article in International Journal of Physics B (Jan. ’09 online journal), now would be a good time.

  5. PaulM said

    Re the MSM, the BBC is now starting to report the story properly. On their influential ‘Today’ radio programme this morning they had a short discussion between Nigel Lawson (formerly influential politician and author of “An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming”) and a UEA prof called Robert Watson.
    Lawson made some good points but said he maintained an open mind and called for an independent inquiry.

    See
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8373000/8373594.stm
    though you probably can’t hear it outside UK.

    The story also got a brief mention on the 8:00 news bulletin.

    Amber, you are missing most of the points. It’s not all about Paleo and the hockey stick. It’s far wider than that. It’s about trying to get scientists who don’t support the team view ‘ousted’. It’s about trying to ensure that certain papers dont get cited by the IPCC. Its about preferring to delete data rather than having to release it under FOI, etc etc…
    It is just as big as Jeff says it is.

  6. curious said

    “That’s because it’s not as big as you like to think, Jeff.”

    I don’t think the MSM/Amber has figured out just how big this is yet.

  7. hpx83 said

    I would say the reason this is big is because if nothing else, it proves that we now know efficiently NOTHING about the earths climate, because we cannot possibly know which studies and which data that has been produced the last 30 years that are believable and which are not. Basically, there is now a need for an independent audit of EVERY climate science publication before it can be trusted. We are back to knowing simply that we know nothing for certain, and that it is probably a bad thing.

  8. P Gosselin said

    Well presented…
    http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2009/11/milli-vanilli-of-science-hacked-emails.html

    Hot stuff!
    This so obnvious now. Heads have to roll.

  9. stan said

    I don’t think Amber understands how credibility works. The IPCC has zero credibility now. Of course, given how it had already been exposed as a sham, it shouldn’t have taken a whistleblower like this to convince the public of how worthless it is.

    And it’s not just the IPCC that is crap. Other than a very small handful of honest journals, all the major scientific publications have been exposed as frauds. All the supposed “climate scientists” who were aware of the mistreatment of McIntyre, Pielke, et al, yet failed to step up and defend science have had their credibility very badly tarnished. The team’s work had been shown to be crap many times. Any “scientist” who has continued to rely upon the team has been exposed as an idiot. The team was pushing garbage. Real scientists demanded accountability and transparency. Fake scientists pushed back against the scientific method. The fakes have now been exposed for putting their faith into frauds rather than quality science. Big mistake. Bye, bye credibility.

    The temperature data is crap. We’ve known that for a while and now the general public knows it, too. Without quality data, what’s left of climate science? AGW is back at square zero.

  10. Jeff Id said

    Amber,

    There is clear evidence of obstruction of the peer review process for AGW purposes. The people involved don’t just do paleo unfortunately. That should be enough by itself. Add in the FOIA, intentional manipulation of data and discussion of manipulation of the IPCC process and this is NOT nothing. As I said in the beginning I don’t know what people expect a conspiracy to look like but this is ‘exactly’ what I expect. Also, the fact that it’s done so openly despite their own comments about being careful in emails, indicates the problem is likely to be very extensive across the IPCC, editors and government.

    Remember how the EPA internally found for endangerment before the public review even had begun and a skeptical individual Alan Carlin was blocked from commenting and had threats of massive workload being assigned. Now we have papers blocked from publication due to odd reviews – more on this later. It’s a pattern Amber, you should consider it more carefully in my opinion.

  11. Dan Hughes said

    Boy, Andy Revkin stepped into it this morning, sank up to his neck, and is rapidly going under.

    Check the comments. It looks like many are finally catching up:

    http://community.nytimes.com/comments/dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/your-dot-on-science-and-cyber-terrorism/?sort=oldest&offset=2

  12. PaulM said

    Just had a look at todays UK papers. Of the 4 quality papers, the 2 ‘right’ ones (Times and Telegraph) cover the story
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6927598.ece
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/globalwarming/6634282/Lord-Lawson-calls-for-public-inquiry-into-UEA-global-warming-data-manipulation.html
    The two ‘left’ ones (Independent and Guardian) seem to be in denial, pretending it hasn’t happened and churning out the usual drivel about Copenhagen.

  13. Peter S said

    Amber doesn’t seem to want to get it.

    We have a group demanding a position of Authority.
    We appear to have evidence of Corruption.

    Add the two together and you get Tyranny.

    No ‘buts…’

  14. jallen said

    AMber said: Even if Mann’s “temperature reconstruction” were total fiction, greenhouse gases are increasing and temperature is increasing, so in that (somewhat narrow) sense, Mann is irrelevant.

    I appreciate your comments. However, Mann’s methods are relevant in that the extant issue is not warming or greenhouse gases, per se, but rather (1) Is warming temporary/cyclical, (2) If not, is it caused by human activity, (3) If so, can humans undertake effective action, (4) If so, what action and (4) If not, what next.

    A simple set of scientific questions for which the warming side has not provided cogent answers and research.

  15. timetochooseagain said

    2-It’s not just paleo. Comments in the emails that have been uncovered relate to MUCH more than that. It exposes the attitude these people have in general. Ben Santer actually says he will be “very tempted” to beat the crap out of Pat Michaels. That’s not dubious that premeditation of assault and battery.

  16. […] By timetochooseagain With regard to the ongoing CRU hack debacle (see post below) some people are saying: That’s because it’s not as big as you like to think, Jeff. There are certainly some suggestive […]

  17. harold said

    Thank you Dan for the link, I have just read Lucia’s comment on page 3…

    C’mon Timetochooseagain, small boys often talk like that.

  18. papertiger said

    Even if Mann’s “temperature reconstruction” were total fiction, greenhouse gases are increasing and temperature is increasing, so in that (somewhat narrow) sense, Mann is irrelevant.

    This follows the theme the unskeptics are taking today.

    They are going to say stuff like “mountain of evidence” and “ocean acidification” and “paleo reconstructions are irrelivant”.

    The proper responce by skeptics is ocean acidification is a myth, and the IPCC’s other paleo reconstrution (Briffa) was found out to be a fraud too.

  19. Marko said

    Amber said: “Even if Mann’s “temperature reconstruction” were total fiction, greenhouse gases are increasing and temperature is increasing, so in that (somewhat narrow) sense, Mann is irrelevant.”

    That sounds hauntingly similar to the Dan Rather defense of “fake but accurate.”

  20. Layman Lurker said

    #2 Amber

    Thanks for your comments. I would suggest you read John Pittman’s three part guest post (on this blog) on “Why Yamal Matters”.

  21. Tonyb said

    I think those delegates assembled for the Copenhagen climate circus in a few weeks time would be best employed in auditing all major temperature datasets.

    Copenhagen is where Hans Christian Andersen first published ‘The Emperors new clothes’ in 1837. It seems to me that 170 years later there are an awful lot of climate scientists who also appear to be rather naked.

    Tonyb

  22. Bad Andrew said

    “Copenhagen is where Hans Christian Andersen first published ‘The Emperors new clothes’ in 1837.”

    Delicious, Tonyb.

    Andrew

  23. charlie98 said

    2 words for Amber – Lord Monckton

    By the way, temperatures aren’t increasing even if CO2 emissions are.

  24. hpx83 said

    sf2note.txt

    Now I send data of 35 samples covered earlier
    millenium. These are all samples concerning this period and they
    are checked (there are about 130 more samples from 0 to 1800 AD
    not checked at this time). I hope your desire to see low growth
    about 350 BC will be more or less satisfied.

    …desire to see low growth about 350 BC? Anyone that can help me think of a context where this isn’t wrong?

  25. crosspatch said

    The active management of the peer review process is that thing that needs to change. Academia is operating on an 18th century system and needs to be dragged into the 20th century (we can worry about the 21st later).

    When one can influence who gets considered for publication, who the reviewers are, and who has power to reject papers prior to their having been sent to reviewers then you have a situation for corruption of the entire process. “Who the heck are you? Why don’t you publish in peer-reviewed literature?” while at the same time taking active measures to prevent publication or controlling who the “peers” are in order to ensure an outcome makes a mockery of everything they themselves have published.

    There needs to be a reformation of the academic publishing process. The way it is currently being done is apparently corrupt.

  26. Sonicfrog said

    Hey Jeff:

    I just completed a post on the weakness of the last RC defence of Jones / Mann et al. Here’s the link.

  27. theduke said

    It’s unfortunate that Amber hi-jacked this thread early on with her comment, which is characterized mostly by shallow and wishful thinking. Dr. Ball’s interview is important. It shows a man who has suspected and suggested these things have been going on for 30 years and now feels vindicated, although he states that he takes no great pleasure in seeing just how bad the situation had become.

    I highly recommend it. Thanks to Jeff for running it.

  28. amac78 said

    Gavin Schmidt posted the following as Comment #89 at RealClimate.org, Comments on the CRU hack: Context, 23 novembre 2009 @ 4:00 PM.

    There seems to be some doubt about the timeline of events that led to the emails hack. For clarification and to save me going through this again, this is a summary of my knowledge of the topic. At around 6.20am (EST) Nov 17th, somebody hacked into the RC server from an IP address associated with a computer somewhere in Turkey, disabled access from the legitimate users, and uploaded a file FOIA.zip to our server. They then created a draft post that would have been posted announcing the data to the world that was identical in content of the comment posted on The Air Vent later that day. They were intercepted before this could be posted on the blog. This archive appears to be identical to the one posted on the Russian server except for the name change. Curiously, and unnoticed by anyone else so far, the first comment posted on this subject was not at the Air Vent, but actually at ClimateAudit (comment 49 on a thread related to stripbark trees, dated Nov 17 5.24am (Central Time I think)). The username of the commenter was linked to the FOIA.zip file at realclimate.org. Four downloads occurred from that link while the file was still there (it no longer is).

    The use of a turkish computer would seem to imply that this upload and hack was not solely a whistleblower act, but one that involved more sophisticated knowledge. If SM or JeffID want to share the IPs associated with the comments on their sites, I’ll be happy to post the IP address that was used to compromise RC.

  29. RomanM said

    #11 Dan Hughes

    I especially liked Andy’s probably unintentional insight on the CRUton mindset in his NYT item at

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/21/science/earth/21climate.html?_r=1&hp

    Some of the correspondence portrays the scientists as feeling under siege by the skeptics’ camp and worried that any stray comment or data glitch could be turned against them.

    Can you spell “paranoid”?

  30. Ryan O said

    Meh, I for one fall closer to Amber’s position than some others. The emails don’t make any statement on AGW theory. They show that some key scientists are not objective, but not that AGW theory is some manufactured myth. I certainly feel that the credibility of some scientists will be (and should be) damaged by these emails, but I don’t think that this in any way disproves that humans are contributing to the warming of the planet.
    .
    In my mind, the issue has been and still remains one of attribution/magnitude and ability to forecast:
    .
    1. How much of the observed warming is due to human influence? How much is due to as-yet-unquantified errors (such as land use and UHI)? How much is due to natural variability over which humans have no control?
    .
    and,
    .
    2. Even if we were able to answer all questions from (1), how well would we be able to use that information to generate accurate forecasts of future climate, especially if earth’s climate behaves in a chaotic fashion?
    .
    My frustration with many in the catastrophic AGW camp is that they seem to think that #1 is resolved, and, more importantly, that the “knowledge” from #1 necessarily translates into an ability to perform #2. In and of itself, it does not.
    .
    The CRU crap doesn’t expose AGW as a “fraud”. It exposes the behavior of a small group of scientists who are arrogant enough to believe they have the right to be the gatekeepers of all things climate. Remember that most of the criticisms in McIntyre and McKitrick’s papers are related to confidence intervals and thresholds for statistical significance. The criticisms do not say that their results are conclusively wrong . . . the criticisms say that the data and methods are so poor that no good conclusion is possible. Also remember that the criticisms deal with paleo stuff, not the physics behind the greenhouse effect. The latter is fairly well established in a qualitative sense. Quantitative – well, that’s what the whole debate boils down to in my mind.
    .
    In other words, while the behavior of many of these scientists is reprehensible, that does not dictate that their conclusions are wrong.

  31. Atheo said

    Another angle on the AGW agenda:

    StratCom commander: New nukes needed
    By Erik Holmes – Air Force Times
    November 20, 2009

    http://alethonews.blogspot.com/2009/11/stratcom-commander-new-nukes-needed.html

  32. Joe NS said

    Re #4: “If there are any physicists who can be interested in looking into this, or in reviewing Gerhard and Tseuchner’s ‘Falsification….’ article in International Journal of Physics B (Jan. ‘09 online journal), now would be a good time.”

    For what it’s worth, I’m a physicist who’s read Gerhard and Tseuchner’s article. While I wouldn’t – and couldn’t – attempt a “review” here, I can venture one man’s opinion.

    One of the more persuasive argument’s presented by G&T from the viewpoint of a physicist was their demonstration that the Greenhouse Gas model for global warming appears to be in flagrant violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, about as fundamental a bit of physical theory as may be found. The GG model, when stripped to its basics, is arguing that a cold body (the CO2 at approximately 12 km up, to where its natural buoyancy carries it) is heating a warm body (the surface of the earth). The temperature at 12 km is approx. -40 C. The average surface temperature is approx 15 C. The 2d law says that that is flat impossible without some natural heat pump, i.e., it’s a refrigerator(!), taking heat from a cold object and transferring it to a warm one There is no such heat pump in evidence.

    The ONLY, anemic refutation of G7T’s argument that I have seen consists in the unremarkable assertion that the energy budget of the planet is in balance. Very small whoop. That is only to say that the GG model does not violate the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, that energy in equals energy out, that energy is conserved. But G&T do not claim that GG models violate the 1st law but the 2d. Here is the difference. There are infinitely many physical situations that can be described in which conservation of energy (1st Law) is respected but that nonetheless are NEVER observed in nature. It was this curious fact that led Clausius and Kelvin in the 19th century to argue for a 2d Law of Thermodynamics. But to make the law quantitatively testable, Clausius was compelled to devise a NEW thermodynamic state function: entropy. No physical process is possible that decreases entropy and does nothing else. In a refrigerator, entropy DOES decrease but only if you look at the refrigerator in isolation. If the fridge plus environment is accounted for, entropy always increases. In GG models, cold CO2 is getting colder and the earth’s surface is getting warmer. At the planetary scale, that amounts to a massive decrease in entropy because it is obviously a much more highly ordered state thermodynamically than the reverse, in which the two temperatures converge. A plain old fridge has a pump being driven by electricity (usually), so that the temperature in the freezer may drop as the temperature of the surroundings rises. There is nothing remotely like that even proposed in GG models.

    That the 2d Law, unlike every other physical law known, is stated negatively, namely, it decrees what CANNOT happen, is of great significance. Sir Arthur Eddington, the great riticsh cosmologist put the matter this way. Imagine, he says to an aspiring physicist of contrarian inclinations, that your new theory of electrodynamics asserts that Maxwell’s theory is flat wrong. In that case, Eddington continues, I am obliged to look at what you’ve proposed with an open mind. Even a genius like James Maxwell made mistakes. BUT, if your new notion violates the 2d Law of Thermodynamics, I do not even have to look at what you’ve written. You are talking about a perpetuum mobile of the second kind. Such a thing has never been observed in two millennia of scientific observation. It may be dismissed as impossible without qualms.

    The other item of interest I took away from G&T is the mendacity of the term “greenhouse gas.” The earth’s atmosphere is absolutely nothing like a greenhouse. In fact, even a real greenhouse isn’t like the greenhouse proposed in GG modeling, where, it is claimed, atmospheric CO2 “back radiates” heat (IR) energy to the surface of the earth. This is the so-called “radiative forcing” phenomenon that is the basis of the model. It is a purely electromagnetic phenomenon. All objects above absolute zero will radiate energy in the EM spectrum. CO2 is opaque to IR, so the argument goes. Outgoing IR radiation from the earth is absorbed by the CO2 and then emitted (radiated) back (not reflected, which is impossible) to the earth.

    Yet, as G&T point out, it’ been known since 1909 that no such effect is at work in a greenhouse. A physicist named Miller (I believe) built a greenhouse from potassium iodide (KI), which is as clear as glass but is TRANSPARENT to IR, namely, does not absorb and hence does not emit. If a greenhouse operated the way GG models clearly imply that they do then the temperature in a KI greenhouse should be noticeably lower than in a glass one. Miller detected absolutely no difference at all. The KI greenhouse heated up as much and as rapidly as a glass greenhouse. That’s because the mechanism posited in GG models is insignificant. In other words the glass of a greenhouse is not absorbing and reradiating energy. The temperature rises in a greenhouse because of plain old convection, namely convective currents CEASE because there is a solid physical barrier that blocks the rise of hot air and the descent of cool air. Radiation has a vanishingly small role in the heating of the greenhouse.

    Is it really necessary to point out that there is NO solid barrier 12 km up? The earth’s atmosphere is a vast convective cauldron. So, no. I don’t agree that there is a greenhouse effect. The word was chosen because we have all been in greenhouses and wouldn’t much care to live in one. It was in the interests of plain deception that originnally led the Warmists to employ it. In fact the more honest among them no longer use the term seriously while still taking satisfaction in its SQ (scarification quotient), which is considerable, when others use it, for example, the MSM.

    There are about a dozen other problems from a physicists point of view.
    for instance, CO2 will only radiate electromagnetically at very high temperatures and pressures (approx. 800 C), as it does in an internal combustion engine, where it contributes significantly to engine heating, and the all but impossible task of computer modeling the Navier-Stokes equation, THE last word in fluid flow, a nonlinear second and third-order differential equation which is notoriously intractable to solve in systems as simple as water gurgling down a drain; but these clowns imagine they can model the 350-quadrillion tons of the earth’s atmosphere! Why do you imagine that aeronautical engineers use wind tunnels and model airplanes to model fluid flow when they have had Navier-Stokes at their disposal for 150 years? The damn thing is all but insoluble for systems as simple as air passing over a wing.

    I imagine that much of this, being relatively elementary, is already familiar to posters here, so I ask your indulgence if I may have bored some of you.

  33. charlie98 said

    Ryan O, with a comment like this “In other words, while the behavior of many of these scientists is reprehensible, that does not dictate that their conclusions are wrong.” are you really Dan Rather?

  34. Mania said

    Scientific Doomsday Mania
    by
    Amitakh Stanford
    22nd November 2009

    There is a doomsday message that is swiftly gaining global acceptance. The new wave is clothed in acceptable clichés and has won over the support of many of the respected scientific communities.

    Unlike most other doomsday messages, this one is supposedly based upon scientific evidence. The scientific “doomsdayers” wear masks and pretend that they are predicting calamities based on hard evidence. This lulls the unsuspecting public into absolute belief and acceptance of the doomsdayers’ ravings.

    If the same message were given in a spiritual setting, the adherents would probably be encouraged to turn to God in preparation for the final days. Generally, scientists have sneered at and mocked spiritual predictions regarding the end times, and the same scientists have convinced the general public to do likewise. Further, governments of the world use their police powers to suppress, restrict, or even eliminate these spiritual-based groups. Scientists have now one-upped the spiritual believers by supporting their dire predictions of calamity with supposed scientific evidence. Using their scientific clout, they have now convinced most of the world leaders to meet in Copenhagen. The stated agenda of the gathering is to halt global warming with a unified and urgent approach.

    People may remember that there have been similar gatherings to solve the global economic crisis. In those meetings, every leader attending was told to boost their economies by stimulus spending. By and large, the world leaders have dutifully followed those dictates. One might ask: Is the global recession over due to this unified approach – or is it deepening? Many thinking economists have finally realized the latter to be the case.

    http://www.flyingbuffaloes7.net/keluar6.html

  35. Mania said

    Scientific Doomsday Mania
    by
    Amitakh Stanford
    22nd November 2009

    There is a doomsday message that is swiftly gaining global acceptance. The new wave is clothed in acceptable clichés and has won over the support of many of the respected scientific communities.

    Unlike most other doomsday messages, this one is supposedly based upon scientific evidence. The scientific “doomsdayers” wear masks and pretend that they are predicting calamities based on hard evidence. This lulls the unsuspecting public into absolute belief and acceptance of the doomsdayers’ ravings.

    If the same message were given in a spiritual setting, the adherents would probably be encouraged to turn to God in preparation for the final days. Generally, scientists have sneered at and mocked spiritual predictions regarding the end times, and the same scientists have convinced the general public to do likewise. Further, governments of the world use their police powers to suppress, restrict, or even eliminate these spiritual-based groups. Scientists have now one-upped the spiritual believers by supporting their dire predictions of calamity with supposed scientific evidence. Using their scientific clout, they have now convinced most of the world leaders to meet in Copenhagen. The stated agenda of the gathering is to halt global warming with a unified and urgent approach.

    People may remember that there have been similar gatherings to solve the global economic crisis. In those meetings, every leader attending was told to boost their economies by stimulus spending. By and large, the world leaders have dutifully followed those dictates. One might ask: Is the global recession over due to this unified approach – or is it deepening? Many thinking economists have finally realized the latter to be the case.

  36. Ryan O said

    #33 Hahahaha.

    No, unfortunately.

    I just think people need to separate the conduct of a certain group of climate scientists from the veracity of the [qualitative] AGW theory.

    I do not believe that we know the magnitude of the human contribution or that we know exactly how much the earth has warmed (since the important quantity is energy, not temperature), and I certainly don’t believe that even if we knew those things that we could accurately forecast climate 100 years hence.

    But I do think that (Gerhard and Tseuchner notwithstanding) mankind is contributing to the warming of the planet.

    By the way, my background is physics, and I find some of Gerhard and Tseuchner’s arguments to be entirely lacking – though I only read the preprint version and haven’t looked at the accepted version. I should do that before I comment further. The 2nd law of thermo is a very dangerous thing. 😉

  37. mojo said

    Ok, here we go again.

    Yes, the climate is warming. It’s been doing that for about 20,000 years, since the start of the current interglacial.

    Nobody seriously doubts that. Well documented.

    What we doubt is MAN-CAUSED increase. Humans produce about 2% of the annual CO2 released on the planet. Our problem is with the argument “yes, but it’s the CONTROLLING two percent!”

    Secondly, we have problems with people who claim the ability to accurately model a global-scale closely-coupled chaotic system. That’s not even THEORETICALLY possible.

    But yes, other than that we’re completely irrational.😉

  38. william said

    Ryan O
    The reason the fraud regarding the Hockey Stick and the MWP matters is that warming that exceeded the 21st Century in the middle ages without huge increases in CO2 illustrates that our current climatic experience is not unique, has happened in the past, is likely cyclical and not man made driven based on CO2 and will not spin out of control due to positive feedbacks. Beyond that, these same scientists have also done their best to down play the warm period in the early part of the 20th century to accentuate the “increase” in recent temps and demonstrate that the temps recently are all in the “top ten” warmest years on record. I frankly don’t believe that claim given UHI and all the “mannipulation” of the temp records.
    My recommendation is that no new funding be provided for Climate modeling until an independent group of programmers can create a modern version of their code in a 21st century programming language that is publicly acessible along with all of the raw data. We should have a few billion dollars available to do that if we no longer have to fund these concensists chewing up Supercomputer time modeling an and of the world hoax.
    Shiny
    William

  39. Amber said

    #4,7,9 Al, Hpx83, Stan, don’t overcompensate. Greenhouse theory does not rely on paleoclimatology and remains valid if paleoclimatology is discredited. The trend in global temperature is upward and the last decade does not change the overall upward trend. Look at the stockmarket — is an uptrend monotonic increasing? No.

    #5,6 Paul, Curious, no I’m not missing the points. You and I disagree on what the points are. My point is that the scientific facts are unaffected by what any group of people do or say. If Mann and co. have done anything wrong, let them be investigated properly (not by a kangaroo court). Even if the worst charges against them are proven, the science remains unchanged and it is up to scientists to determine the facts.

    #10 Jeff, as above, let the people be investigated properly. A bunch of documents of illegal and unknown provenance are not evidence. (By all means, let a proper investigation include these documents and establish their veracity or lack thereof.) There is a very big difference between pausible (or likely) and factual. I would hate to play defendant to your judge.

    #13 Peter, you use the word “appear” and that is why I’m the one who gets it and you don’t. I stick to the facts. I’m very mindful of possibilities and probabilities but I don’t state them as fact.

    #14 Jallen, I said in #2, “We agree the Greenhouse Effect is real, we agree greenhouse gases are increasing, we agree total energy within the Earth’s planetary system is increasing”. There is plenty of science, completely unrelated to Mann and co.

    #20 LL, thank you yes I had read them already.

    #23 Charlie, your premise that temperature is necessarily dependent upon CO2 (or greenhouses gases) alone is incorrect.

    #27 Duke, “shallow and wishful thinking” is your opinion but you are incorrect. I fit the theory to the facts, unlike some people on this website and others who have a theory (which may be correct) and fit facts to their theory.

    #30, Ryan, good to see at least one person can see clearly. These documents suggest all sorts of things but they do not change nature.

  40. Jeff Id said

    Amber,

    A nice pile of replies. You underestimate the regular posters grasp of the issues. I’ve been looking at these issues for hours a day for over a year, you step in and tell me, let it be investigated properly.

    To be frank (because that’s my mood) you are over your head here. Listen before you write, there are brilliant people lurking around who teach us things every day.

  41. Jeff Id said

    #40, It may seem a cocky reply but it’s meant to explain that we deal with numbers, magnitudes, stats and issues – where planting trees in the yard and imagine what it would do, are nice thoughts but numerically make as much sense as blowing hard out your front door to stop the wind.

    Please realize we’ve been doing this for a long time and read, the discussions from these people will teach us all things.

  42. Layman Lurker said

    #39

    “Greenhouse theory does not rely on paleoclimatology and remains valid if paleoclimatology is discredited.”

    I don’t think many commenters here are going to take issue with the direct effects of CO2 as a greenhouse gas. But I also think that most would also agree that CO2 without significant net positive feedback does not constitute a threat.

    Paleoclimate determines the historical long term climate which modellers backcast to. Climate models cannot make robust inferences of climate sensitivity based on the insturmental record alone. References to this can actually be seen in the emails (I hope John Pittman is compiling an update for his posts with quoted email excerpts in support of “Why Yamal Matters”). If the confidence in paleoclimate reconstructions are overstated, then confidence in GCM’s (and the inferences about climate sensitivity) are also overstated.

  43. Amber said

    #40/41 Jeff, when you convict people on the basis of illegally obtained documents, which may have been tampered with, and which were almost certainly selected deliberately, then bloody oath I don’t trust your judgement!

    Which is not to say that your efforts are not appreciated, because if these people have done anything wrong then your efforts and the efforts of others in exposing them are to be commended, and I have said something similar on this website before. Innocent until proven guilty.

    I’ve been in this game (much) longer than you — I simply haven’t paid much attention to paleoclimatology per se because I prefer fields where hard data is easier to obtain.

  44. Amber said

    #42 LL, there is science supporting positive feedback. See, for example,
    Friedlingstein et al (2006), Climate–Carbon Cycle Feedback Analysis: Results from the C4MIP Model Intercomparison, Journal of Climate, 19, 3337-3353.

    Can everyone please please!🙂 drop their obsession with paleoclimatology, there is plenty of science to support enhanced greenhouse warming without resorting to hockey sticks.

  45. Jeff Id said

    #44, No we will not ignore the corruption in the field of paleo. Nor will we ignore the mess that the advocates have made of the ground temperature data. If you’ve been at this so long, it’s amazing that planting trees in the front yard is something you’re willing to write. Perhaps you don’t do numbers though.

  46. Layman Lurker said

    #44 Amber

    The paper you cited is about carbon cycle feedback and does not speak to the hypothesized water vapour, albedo, etc feedbacks which underpin the most serious climate response scenarios. It is drawing attention to a possible carbon feedback which presumeably would enhance the anthropogenic carbon forcing leading to more amplification and “worse than we thought” scenarios. The climate response to CO2 is a given.

    Furthermore, the notion that this is a carbon cycle connected to anthropogenic GHG’s are not independant of the GCM’s. Specifically, C4MIP used IPSL_CM4_LOOP which “couples the latest version of the IPSL ocean-atmosphere GCM (Marti et al., 2005) used for the IPCC-AR4 simulations” with land and ocean carbon cycle models.

    Therefore, we come full circle back to the confidence in the climate sensitivity inferences of the GCM’s. Confidence which depends on confident paleo reconstructions.

  47. Amber said

    #45 Jeff, Jeff, settle down, mate, you’ll do yourself an injury with paroxysms like that one. You misread me so badly I’m not even going to try to explain it to you; I’ll leave it to you to re-read my various postings and figure out what I was saying in #44. But I’ll give you a hint to get you started: read at face value the words I have written, without the layer of interpretation that you have more than once shown that you like to place upon them. No hard feelings from me.

    #46 LL, ha ha, well, good luck with that (the confident paleo reconstructions)🙂 . I’m sure that one day we’ll have a recon we can believe in but being the sceptical type I doubt it will be any time soon. But one day, someone will identify one or more proxies that are reasonably reliable, I live in hope.

  48. curious said

    Amber – any thoughts on useful avenues of investigation for these yet to be discovered “reasonably reliable proxies”?

  49. Amber said

    PS LL, not “presumably”, that’s exactly what they’re suggesting, with the usual caveat about how nice it would be if some other people joined in and had their say on the matter.

    If you’re suggesting the cooling due to albedo will dominate the warming due to greenhouse, please cite a paper, thanks.

  50. Amber said

    Curious, no, sorry. I’ve said elsewhere on this site that paleoclimatolgy is not a field I have a lot of faith in and so I don’t pay any attention to it. Before the current ruckus, that is🙂 . I’ve given it a few minutes’ thought and still can’t dream up anything. You’re asking the wrong person, sorry.

  51. Amber said

    Actually, what about ice cores? They’re not bad are they? The limitation being you only find them near the poles?

  52. Amber said

    Not that helps with future lines of investigation, which was your question. Just thinking aloud now, as you can tell.

  53. Tonyb said

    Amber

    Ryan said he fell closer to your position that AGW is not disproved. FWIW I think the science is corrupted, but that is different to climategate disproving CGW per se.(sorry for all the acronyms!)

    Ryan said;

    “How much of the observed warming is due to human influence? How much is due to as-yet-unquantified errors (such as land use and UHI)? How much is due to natural variability over which humans have no control?”

    Land use and UHI -amongst other factors- have substantial impact on the local micro climate as recorded by urban stations. Siting, equipment change and other factors have effect in these and other more rural locations. Natural variability affects every location.

    Believing in the reliability of the means by which measurements from hugely varying numbers of micro climates are then transformed into a reliable global temperature accurate to 0.7C back to 1850/80 is a much greater leap of faith.

    This is where the revelations will start to impact, in as much if station data has been ‘adjusted’ to fit into some overall template that matches a broader agenda, then that will have a considerable impact on the perceived reliability of that information.

    Inexorable AND unprecedented temperature rise is a major pillar of AGW. If you take away the link between rising temperatures and increased CO2 you are left with very litle -one uses the other as a crutch for support.

    IMHO the global databases are highly unreliable measurements and indeed are poor represtations even of their own micro climate because of the way raw data is ‘interpreted’.

    Amongst the numerous faults of the big two historical global measurements is their obscuring the climate cycles that existed before they were compiled AND that taking a measurement from the trough of a cold era is all very well if you tell everyone.

    If put into context few people would be surprised that temperatures have warmed from the end of the last troughs of the LIA would they?

    Amber, do YOU believe the Giss and Hadley/CRU temperature datasets to be objective, acurate, and reliable representations of global temperatures for the last 150 years?

    Tonyb

  54. Ryan O said

    #44, #50 Correct me if I am wrong, but you seem to feel that paleoclimatology is not important. I would argue that paleoclimatology is extremely important, for 2 reasons.

    Just to get the non-scientific one out of the way . . . Western governments are by-and-large representative democracies. Public support is necessary for things like . . . oh, cap-and-trade . . . and other grand plans for dealing with CO2 to become reality. Paleoclimatology has, up to this point, been extremely influential.

    Now for the real reason. You will find with most skeptics that the AGW debate boils down to the uncertainties of magnitude and attribution. The climate is a complex and dynamic system. We can’t explicitly calculate forcings and feedbacks – instead, we must paramaterize them. We don’t even know many of them within reasonable uncertainties. The uncertainties on aerosol forcings, for example, are as large as the assumed forcing from CO2. If, in the recent past, the global temperature was comparable to today’s temperature without today’s concentration of CO2, then that indicates a problem with the assumed values for the forcings and feedbacks because those values do not allow reaching today’s temperature without CO2.

    If the temperature can reach today’s temperature without human forcing, then you cannot claim that the body of work attributing the current rise in temperature to human forcing is in any way a proof (or even indicative of a causal relationship) because that body of work cannot explain how temperatures got to where they were in the past.

    The number and magnitudes of the uncertainties in climatology are huge. Some of the uncertainties are larger than the effect we are looking for – especially when it comes to feedbacks. There is presently not enough information to nail down these numbers much more than what we already have. Paleoclimatology, then, is of crucial importance – assuming that what it produces is worthwhile.

    You cannot dismiss paleoclimatology without incurring a significant difficulty in attributing the present rise in temperature to human activity.

  55. Ryan O said

    I forgot a third point about the importance of paleoclimatology.

    Let us assume that humans are heating up the planet. Now we should ask ourselves, so what? What bad things happen if we heat up the planet? Are they all bad? Are they all good? Some mixture of the two?

    Paleoclimatology (assuming again it produces something worthwhile) can help provide that context and give us some idea of how bad it could get.

    Of course, by now, I’m sure you’ve figured out our opinions on how worthwhile the things are that paleoclimatology has produced lately. 😉

  56. Amber said

    Hi guys, I’m back! Sorry, I had intended to reply a few days ago but you know what happens to plans, eh?

    I don’t know if anyone’s going to even see this given the number of new posts by Jeff in the meantime so if you’re still watching, yell out and I’ll reply to your posts above.

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