the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Climategate Change

Posted by Jeff Id on February 12, 2010

This is a big improvement. How can you have a climate blog and not report on Phil Climategate Jones recent interview?  Like our good US president, the smackdown has changed his tone.  H/T again to Steve McIntyre, to whom much is owed.   Climate Audit.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm

A – Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?

And the response:

So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other.


55 Responses to “Climategate Change”

  1. dearieme said

    From WUWT, I find it at
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8511670.stm

  2. John Norris said

    re: So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other.

    Well that certainly sounds like a new observation, at least from the likes of Dr Jones. How can that not place doubt on the A in AGW?

  3. denise said

    It sounds a lot like Our President’s double talk. He adds just the right words here and there so that it can mean everything or nothing at all. The word “significantly” different can change the sentence. Just like changing from global warming to climate change. It others words maybe just enough to change the temperature a degree or two, right? These people can drive an ordinary person right out of their minds.

  4. Steve McIntyre said

    Bishop Hill was on this first.

  5. actually thoughtful said

    Well that certainly sounds like a new observation, at least from the likes of Dr Jones. How can that not place doubt on the A in AGW?

    If you could show a different reason for the pre-1950s warming you would not necessarily have to doubt AGW.

    I think understanding why we are warming now is the most critical piece. If it is as the AGW theory claims then it is reasonable to push for a reduction in CO2.

    If it is the same cause as the earlier periods – we can take a little more time weaning ourselves from carbon fuels.

    Also curious what happened in 1881 and 1941. [I am presuming temperatures dropped notably] Will THAT happen again?

    And why didn’t it happen in 1999?

  6. Peter of Sydney said

    What’s the point of asking Jones these questions? It’s like asking anyone who may or may not be guilty of a crime a list of analogous questions. It’s pointless. He might be telling the truth or he might not. Either charge him with fraud and let the courts decide, or let him go. IMHO there’s plenty of evidence to charge him.

  7. Phillip Bratby said

    The hockey stick is formally broken. Mann’s response will be interesting.

  8. xyzlatin said

    The first questions to ask when looking at the questions is why the BBC is allowed the interview and why those dates and timeframes? Given the bias of the BBC, one should be suspicious.
    Is the time frame cherry picked for some reason? Examine Questions A and D.

    A. Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?

    D – Do you agree that natural influences could have contributed significantly to the global warming observed from 1975-1998, and, if so, please could you specify each natural influence and express its radiative forcing over the period in Watts per square metre.
    his answer is…
    This area is slightly outside my area of expertise. When considering changes over this period we need to consider all possible factors (so human and natural influences as well as natural internal variability of the climate system). Natural influences (from volcanoes and the Sun) over this period could have contributed to the change over this period. Volcanic influences from the two large eruptions (El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991) would exert a negative influence. Solar influence was about flat over this period. Combining only these two natural influences, therefore, we might have expected some cooling over this period.

    So what Mr Jones says is that although the three timeframes have similar rising temperature rates, the third one has to be Anthropogenic because it should have cooled because of the volcanic eruptions and the lack of solar activity. He does not allow for any other reason.

    Was the timeframe 1860-1880, 1910-1940 selected to eliminate discussion of the large volcanic eruptions Krakatau of 1883, Mt Pelee 1902, and Santa Maria 1902, so that Prof Jones could use the 1975-1998 period to put forward his new thesis that the earth should have cooled but didn’t and therefore it must be manmade?

  9. JLKrueger said

    actually thoughtful said
    February 13, 2010 at 2:04 am

    If you could show a different reason for the pre-1950s warming you would not necessarily have to doubt AGW.

    I think understanding why we are warming now is the most critical piece. If it is as the AGW theory claims then it is reasonable to push for a reduction in CO2.

    If it is the same cause as the earlier periods – we can take a little more time weaning ourselves from carbon fuels.

    Also curious what happened in 1881 and 1941. [I am presuming temperatures dropped notably] Will THAT happen again?

    And why didn’t it happen in 1999?

    Say what? How do you propose to tease out the CO2 impact from the natural variation that has occurred in earlier times? Getting rid of earlier warmings like the MWP was crucial to their argument precisely because you can’t otherwise attribute the Modern Warm Period to CO2. There is no evidence that increased CO2 is a probelm.

    Why are you presuming anything on temps in 1881, 1941? We can argue about how good the data is, but there is data.

  10. Tonyb said

    Hi Jeff

    Interesting post regarding the temperature slope in various periods.

    You have been kind enough to carry 4 or 5 of my historic temperature articles now, and in virtually each one I have said I have become increasingly suspicious of the reasons for Giss starting their temperature records (illogically) in 1880 rather than a date before or after that. I suggested it would be because measuring from a trough -1880-has more of a statistical impact than measuring from the inconvenient peak immediately prior to or after the 1880 trough.

    Of course you can go on like that forever as Phil Jones could have measured from the peak immediately prior to 1850! Still, the question needs answering and this isn’t done in Hansens paper and I have never seen Jones address the matter.

    I appreciate 1880 was the date that many US recoerds came on stream but as we are always told that is a small part of the globe.

    Tonyb

    I have

  11. Aber said

    Concerning the climatic (temperature) shift in the early 1940s:

    ”Nature is still more powerful than man.
    I can fight man but I cannot fight nature
    when I lack the means to carry out such battle.
    We did not ask for ice, snow and cold
    A higher power sent it to us.”

    70 years ago it was Adolf Hitler’s deputy, Field Marshal Herman Goering, who said this in a speech on the 15 February 1940 to boost the morale of the German population, because Northern Europe had been suddenly served with the coldest winter for 100 years. Goering and his colleagues should have been prosecuted as the first ‘climate change criminals’. But in the 1940th meteorology understood too little about the impact of the ocean and seas on weather and climate, and what impact naval war may have on it. There is ample hindsight of a connection that not only the first three extreme WWII war winters, but also that the global cooling from 1940 to the mid 1970s could have been influenced by the naval war in Europe (1939-1945), and the intensive naval war in the Atlantic and Pacific (1942-1945). The complex matter is discussed at:
    http://www.climate-ocean.com , and http://www.warchangesclimate.com
    And here are a few details:
    Cold Denmark: http://seatraining.net/3b_942_DENM_JF_T.htm
    2Wars_2Shifts: http://seatraining.net/4b_938_TNorthAtlant.htm
    Sea Ice Baltic: http://seatraining.net/208a_BSea_ice_All.htm
    EuroAsia Jan40: http://seatraining.net/16a_Scherhag_Jan40.htm
    And North Germany with all-time low record 12 & 13 February 1940 (hier: Hamburg):
    http://seatraining.net/86a_HH_W1939_40.htm

  12. Dave McK said

    I think this is really important- it’s the crux of the warmist claims, the proof of AWG:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm

    Harrabin’s amazingly good question:
    “If you agree that there were similar periods of warming since 1850 to the current period, and that the MWP is under debate, what factors convince you that recent warming has been largely man-made?”
    Jones’ reply:
    “The fact that we can’t explain the warming from the 1950s by solar and volcanic forcing ”

    That is a confession that the most highly motivated, highest paid researchers have no clue despite their best efforts.
    question: where’s your proof of AWG?
    answer: I dunno.

    That’s the basis of the consensus of scientists that A = WG.
    That’s all there is…

    May we please have trials now?

  13. Anna said

    What are the explanations for the warming from 1860-1880 and 1910-1940?

    If the natural processes behind this warming are identified, and are shown not to be responsible for the 1975-1998 warming, I think that leaves us with the alternatives

    1) the causes of the warming are natural, but unidentified, or
    2) greenhouse gases may be the cause

    If, on the other hand, the earlier warmings aren’t logically explained, the the idea of GHGs causing this particular warming is rather odd.

    I do not know what the causes of the earlier warmings are supposed to be, or how certain the knowledge is, but I guess that there are people on this site who do. Please, enlighten me!

  14. Adam Gallon said

    This is an interesting list.
    http://www.cpi.cam.ac.uk/gore/the_training/participants.aspx

  15. […] Climategate Change This is a big improvement. How can you have a climate blog and not report on Phil Climategate Jones recent interview?  […] […]

  16. Dr. Robert said

    Xyzlatin, I’m actually satisfied with the cherry picked dates that the BBC used in the interview. Those are generally agreed upon periods of warming and cooling. I think it’s pretty significant that Jones admitted the rates of warming were basically all the same. When I did the calculations using HadCRUT3v data, I found that the 1860 – 1880 rate of warming was actually lower than that of 1910 – 1940 and 1975 – 1998. Basically, I found:

    (1860 – 1880) < (1910 – 1940) ~= (1975 – 1998)

    The cherry picked year I'm *not* happy about is that they asked about global cooling since 2002. In the ClimateGate emails Jones admits cooling since 1998, despite being "not statistically significant."

    I'm very surprised he admitted no statistically significant global warming since 1995. That's 15 years of missing global warming. The points he conceded are monumental. These are points that alarmists have been denying since day 1, and they are points that the government has put up websites to debunk (climate.gov, for example.)

    We've all been called flat-earthers, morons, denialists, etc, solely because we have refused to accept a non-testable hypothesis that is based on shoddy science and statistics. And now we have, basically, the queen bee come out and admit this. I believe this is rather fantastic.

    <– My coffee tastes remarkably pleasing this morning.

    DaveMcK, good catch!

  17. actually thoughtful said

    If you agree that there were similar periods of warming since 1850 to the current period, and that the MWP is under debate, what factors convince you that recent warming has been largely man-made?”
    Jones’ reply:
    “The fact that we can’t explain the warming from the 1950s by solar and volcanic forcing ”

    That is a confession that the most highly motivated, highest paid researchers have no clue despite their best efforts.
    question: where’s your proof of AWG?
    answer: I dunno.

    “highest paid researchers”?
    “I dunno?”

    I think you are factually incorrect on the first point and purposefully misreading the 2nd. He said “we can’t explain it by solar and volcanic activity” – as opposed to the earlier one, which he could.

    Your celebration appears premature.

  18. Dr. Robert said

    Actually Thoughtful,

    I disagree. Jones is stating that what convinces him that our warming is man made is his own ignorance. He is without knowledge of what is causing it, so he is attributing it to man made causes.

    The problem with that kind of rationalization is that as we learn more about the way the world works we gradually explain away CO2. For instance, as we learn more about water vapor, we learn that we give less forcing to CO2. And the more we learn about natural forcings, clouds, etc, the less forcing we give to CO2. Eventually (sooner, not later) CO2 will be credited with its appropriate role – a trace forcing.

  19. actually thoughtful said

    The problem with that kind of rationalization is that as we learn more about the way the world works we gradually explain away CO2. For instance, as we learn more about water vapor, we learn that we give less forcing to CO2. And the more we learn about natural forcings, clouds, etc, the less forcing we give to CO2. Eventually (sooner, not later) CO2 will be credited with its appropriate role – a trace forcing.

    I am not saying you are wrong. I am saying that Dr. Jones didn’t say anything like what you said. My reading so far suggests you are dramatically understating the actual role of excess CO2.

  20. Mark T said

    actually thoughtful said

    I think you are factually incorrect on the first point

    I am not saying you are wrong.

    Do you actually read what you write before you write it?

    My reading so far suggests you are dramatically understating the actual role of excess CO2.

    Based on what?

    Mark

  21. Peter B said

    Jones’s reasoning is a classical example of the logical fallacy of argument from ignorance:

    “The fact that we can’t explain the warming from the 1950s by solar and volcanic forcing.”

    Wonderful.

    Not that it’s a surprise – it’s consistent with their approach to the “divergence problem”.

    These people are not scientists – and if “climate scientists” generally agree with that kind of logic, then the whole of climate science is nothing but a very lame joke.

  22. Mark T said

    C’mon, Actually Thoughtful, I thought you were biased towards logic?

    I agree, Peter B.

    Mark

  23. […] Here’s some commentary from The Air Vent’s coverage: […]

  24. JLKrueger said

    #19 actually thoughtful said
    February 13, 2010 at 2:56 pm
    “…understating the actual role of excess CO2.”

    (my emphasis added)

    Of course we’re all wondering what the heck excess CO2 is in the first place. P’raps you could ‘splain that one? Excess relative to what?

  25. curious said

    It’s a shame that the questions didn’t include “What is the difference between correlation and causation?”

  26. actually thoughtful said

    Of course we’re all wondering what the heck excess CO2 is in the first place. P’raps you could ’splain that one? Excess relative to what?

    This is kind of a first principles thing. Do you agree that man is releasing carbon that was previously locked in the earth (ie burning oil, coal and gas) – thus releasing CO2 in large quantities?

    Do you agree that natural processes do not extend to reducing the CO2 produced from natural process to compensate (natural processes may absorb more CO2 than they would in the absence of man-made CO2)?

    If you agree to those two statements the excess is the difference between natural world without man’s carbon burning vs natural world with man’s carbon burning.

    If there were excess compared to a natural cycles we might expect to see CO2 in the atmosphere rise (I think I recall it went from ~280PPM to ~375PPM) and me might expect to see increased acidification in the oceans:

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v2/n4/abs/ngeo460.html

    I think the acidification evidence is relatively new and perhaps not as well established as the atmospheric CO2.

    As far as I know skeptics are not wondering about the fact of excess CO2. Whether it has an effect on temperature seems to be the typical skeptic question.

  27. JLKrueger said

    actually thoughtful said
    February 14, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Do you agree that man is releasing carbon that was previously locked in the earth (ie burning oil, coal and gas) – thus releasing CO2 in large quantities?

    Large as compared to what? The back of my pickup? Or the vastly larger (many orders of magnitude) ocean and atmosphere?

    Do you agree that natural processes do not extend to reducing the CO2 produced from natural process to compensate (natural processes may absorb more CO2 than they would in the absence of man-made CO2)?

    Nope! I’d have to see empirical evidence for that. (Not an over-parameterised computer model.)

    If you agree to those two statements the excess is the difference between natural world without man’s carbon burning vs natural world with man’s carbon burning.

    Umm, but what about the other periods in earth’s history where CO2 was higher than it is now? Poof! Your argument falls flat.

    If there were excess compared to a natural cycles we might expect to see CO2 in the atmosphere rise (I think I recall it went from ~280PPM to ~375PPM) and me might expect to see increased acidification in the oceans:

    Gee, think maybe you better figure out what the “right” level of CO2 should be before jumping there? The current atmospheric CO2 estimate is .0389% of the atmosphere (389ppm and I’m generously rounding up). There is empirical evidence that it’s been at least as high as .4400% of the atmosphere before humans even existed (Ordovician Period). Oh, and there was a big Ice Age then. Shucks, didn’t seem to warm stuff up much.

    So we’ve had a big scary .0124% increase in atmospheric CO2 over which the temperture increase has been well within natural variance.

    I think the acidification evidence is relatively new and perhaps not as well established as the atmospheric CO2.

    Let’s see, between 1751 and 1994 surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from approximately 8.179 to 8.104 (a change of −0.075). At that rate it will take about 3,500 years for the oceans to become even slightly acidic.
    See:

    Orr, James C.; et al. (2005). “Anthropogenic ocean acidification over the twenty-first century and its impact on calcifying organisms”. Nature 437 (7059): 681–686. doi:10.1038/nature04095

    and

    Key, R.M.; Kozyr, A.; Sabine, C.L.; Lee, K.; Wanninkhof, R.; Bullister, J.; Feely, R.A.; Millero, F.; Mordy, C. and Peng, T.-H. (2004). “A global ocean carbon climatology: Results from GLODAP”. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 18: GB4031.

    Lastly you say:

    As far as I know skeptics are not wondering about the fact of excess CO2. Whether it has an effect on temperature seems to be the typical skeptic question.

    No, don’t think that’s right. Don’t think we skeptics think in terms of “excess” CO2. We aren’t wondering that there’s been an increase, but that’s different from calling it an “excess”. And at 2ppm per year ish, we’ll probably be hit by a BIG asteroid long before we reach the 4400ppm of the Ordovician Period.

    So you see, the issue is that the Warmistas have yet to demonstrate a problem for which we need to panic with scary stories about drowning polar bears, hurricanes, floods, cats mating with dogs, etc.

    Oh and the asteriod that I mentioned? That isn’t a “maybe” like all this warmist alarmism with lots of “coulds” and “ifs” thrown in. Getting hit by an asteriod is a probablity of 1 (that’s 100%), the question is how big and when. Came close last October. Luckily it was a wee one. Oh, and we didn’t see it coming either!

    http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news165.html#report

    Nor did we catch the one that passed between our geosynchronous satellites and earth at a distance of 14,000km.

    http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news166.html

    What did the NASA guy played by Billy Bob Thornton say to the President in the movie “Armageddon”? Something about a “Big Ass Sky” and a little budget? The Near Earth Object budget is a tiny fraction of what has been spent on the AGW fraud.

  28. John Norris said

    It appears to me that the pre climate gate Dr Jones priority was selling AGW through gaming the IPCC reports; by hiding the decline and keeping the peer reviewed literature unsullied with skeptical view points. Of course that is my interpretation from reading his words in his e-mails. Now that he is under professional and perhaps legal scrutiny it appears his priority is keeping his job, or at least staying out of jail. The best tool he has to game that is to get on the record quickly to show that he is a fair and balanced professional. Again, that is my interpretation from his words; going on the record with the BBC interview with observations that are far more skeptic friendly then the pre climate gate Dr Jones ever did.

  29. actually thoughtful said

    If you agree to those two statements the excess is the difference between natural world without man’s carbon burning vs natural world with man’s carbon burning.
    ______________
    Umm, but what about the other periods in earth’s history where CO2 was higher than it is now? Poof! Your argument falls flat.

    Actually, not so much. I must admit I don’t share the fascination with things in the distant past that we can’t really measure that well. I am much more interested in what is happening now, with decent instrumentation. There is no argument that CO2 has never by higher than it is now. There is an argument that CO2 is rising faster than ever, and that CO2 in the atmosphere raises temperatures.

    Your idea that my argument has a “poof” problem is wrong. That CO2 is going up is based on facts. That the CO2 is coming from human activity is based on 1) common sense (and I grant you don’t share my common sense – your choice) and 2) studies that show the carbon in the atmosphere has the isotope signature of the old carbon and 3) studies that show that O2 in the atmosphere has decreased by the right amount if the carbon we were burning were creating the CO2 growth.

    So this is a relatively strong support of the AGW position and you haven’t posted anything that touches the facts and logic that support it (there may be effective counter arguments – I have yet to see them).

    Now moving backwards in time to your pre-human higher CO2. A strong point made by AGW is that during human history CO2 has not been as high as it is now. No one is saying anything about the earth’s ability to survive. The argument is that the planet as a place for happy humans is in jeopardy. Other species did very well at 4400PPM (assuming your numbers are good). Not humans.

    So taking a steady state of CO2 at ~280PPM and doubling it doesn’t seem wise. (If, of course, the CO2 to temperature connection that AGW theory puts forward holds together).

    My reading of the data says it is at least possible, and even probable, that it does, in fact hang together. We are basically gambling that the earth’s natural systems will find a way to bring CO2 down “naturally” or find some currently not understood mechanism to keep the temperatures at “human happy” levels.

    Be interesting to see if Vegas bookies are taking any bets on this.

  30. […] from mother earth, JoNova on Phill Jones, Boulton Associate Archives, The Air Vent, Pajama media, Al Gore call your […]

  31. JLKrueger said

    actually thoughtful said
    February 14, 2010 at 2:59 pm #29

    Actually, not so much. I must admit I don’t share the fascination with things in the distant past that we can’t really measure that well. I am much more interested in what is happening now, with decent instrumentation.

    Say what? Perhaps you ought to talk to your AGW high priests who use paleoclimatology to push the AGW story (Mann, Briffa, Santer, to name a few). It’s essential to the entire AGW narrative! You can’t make the “unprecedented” claim unless you thoroughly understand past climate. Take away “unprecedented and you have no argument. Unbelievable! Methinks you need a different monicker.

    There is no argument that CO2 has never by higher than it is now.

    Never? Or only the 150 years that we’ve been able to measure directly? There is no question that CO2 has been higher in the past. Not even your AGW high priests dispute that.

    There is an argument that CO2 is rising faster than ever, and that CO2 in the atmosphere raises temperatures.

    Two parts.
    First, faster that what “ever”? Flat not true. Faster implies rate of increase.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch6s6-4.html

    Look at the graph. About 125,000 years ago, atmospheric CO2 shot up from about 180ppm to almost 350ppm without humans burning fossil fuels. The slope is virtually identical to the current measured slope. As you go back in time to about 625,000 years ago you see this happens in cycles. That fact is not in dispute by the AGW high priests. This information is in their own document that they use to tell us the world is falling apart.

    See also:
    Petit, J.R., et al., 1999: Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 years from the Vostok ice core, Antarctica. Nature, 399, 429–436.

    Indermühle, A., et al., 2000: Atmospheric CO2 concentration from 60 to 20 kyr BP from the Taylor Dome ice core, Antarctica. Geophys. Res. Lett., 27(5), 735–738.

    EPICA community members, 2004: Eight glacial cycles from an Antarctic ice core. Nature, 429(6992), 623–628.

    Siegenthaler, U., et al., 2005a: Stable carbon cycle-climate relationship during the late Pleistocene. Science, 310(5752), 1313–1317.

    Siegenthaler, U., et al., 2005b: Supporting evidence from the EPICA Dronning Maud Land ice core for atmospheric CO2 changes during the past millennium. Tellus, 57B(1), 51–57.

    Second, CO2 raises temperatures at a logarithmic rate. Most of CO2’s impact is in the first 20ppm and after that, additional warming levels out. This of course, is in the absence of all other potential influences of which, as oft stated by the IPCC, “we have poor understanding.”

    Your idea that my argument has a “poof” problem is wrong. That CO2 is going up is based on facts. That the CO2 is coming from human activity is based on 1) common sense (and I grant you don’t share my common sense – your choice) and 2) studies that show the carbon in the atmosphere has the isotope signature of the old carbon and 3) studies that show that O2 in the atmosphere has decreased by the right amount if the carbon we were burning were creating the CO2 growth.

    As my references above indicate, you still have a problem with your argument. Kindly produce some actual references to you assertions. While you’re at it, thumb through the AR4 again see if you can figure out where the “missing atmospheric CO2” went that the IPCC admits they can’t find. It amounts to about 50% of what they think is going into the sinks. They’re having trouble getting the models to match observation. Perhaps you can help.

    So this is a relatively strong support of the AGW position and you haven’t posted anything that touches the facts and logic that support it (there may be effective counter arguments – I have yet to see them).

    Not really. All I’ve seen from you are assertions totally unsupported by any evidence.

    <blockquote. Now moving backwards in time to your pre-human higher CO2. A strong point made by AGW is that during human history CO2 has not been as high as it is now.
    So what? It has also not been empirically demonstrated to cause harm.

    No one is saying anything about the earth’s ability to survive. The argument is that the planet as a place for happy humans is in jeopardy. Other species did very well at 4400PPM (assuming your numbers are good). Not humans.

    You will of course provide some actual evidence that demonstrates that 4400ppm might be harmful to humans. Right? Hint: Check the submarine studies at NAS.

    So taking a steady state of CO2 at ~280PPM and doubling it doesn’t seem wise. (If, of course, the CO2 to temperature connection that AGW theory puts forward holds together).

    You’ve yet to demonstrate any harm with anything other than assertion.

    My reading of the data says it is at least possible, and even probable, that it does, in fact hang together. We are basically gambling that the earth’s natural systems will find a way to bring CO2 down “naturally” or find some currently not understood mechanism to keep the temperatures at “human happy” levels.

    You’ve yet to demonstrate that you’ve actually read any “data”. All you’ve done is make assertions based upon what looks like a superficial reading of alarmist talking-point literature. You’ve not even demonstrated that you’ve read the abstracts of the studies, let alone the studies.

    To date there is zero evidence of any catastrophic warming due to CO2. To date the actual atmospheric CO2 increase is below the expected value based upon approximations of human activity. Where’s the big chunk of “missing” CO2? To date no one has demonstrated causality. In otherwords, no one has proved that current warming is caused by increased CO2.

    Afterall, Dr. Phil Jones just admitted that the current warming is not statistically significantly different from previous warmings in the modern era inspite of the CO2 rise and he dunno why!

    http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/08/presentation.htm

  32. kdk33 said

    “Do you agree that man is releasing carbon that was previously locked in the earth (ie burning oil, coal and gas) – thus releasing CO2 in large quantities?”

    So, where was it before it was locked in the earth. Just curious.

  33. Jeff Id said

    Actually thoughtful,

    “There is an argument that CO2 is rising faster than ever, and that CO2 in the atmosphere raises temperatures.”

    The method for measuring the rate of historic CO2 rise cannot resolve a higher slope than today. If the CO2 is taken from ice cores, diffusion spreads the peaks over hundreds of years before the snow finally looses porosity. After that, there still is a bit of discussion as to what happens to the CO2 but I’m not an expert. However, by even a short examination of vostok data (easy to find) you can see that a 100 year spike 10000 years ago would be completely flattened off by this natural filtering process. It doesn’t say you’re wrong that CO2 isn’t rising fast but I haven’t seen anything which shows today’s CO2 level or rise rate are unprecedented. I wonder if anyone out there can prove me wrong on this?

    Suffice it to say, that in my mind, the rate (and even magnitude) of historic CO2 rise is very much in question.

  34. actually thoughtful said

    Say what? Perhaps you ought to talk to your AGW high priests who use paleoclimatology to push the AGW story (Mann, Briffa, Santer, to name a few). It’s essential to the entire AGW narrative! You can’t make the “unprecedented” claim unless you thoroughly understand past climate. Take away “unprecedented and you have no argument. Unbelievable! Methinks you need a different monicker.

    ?? Tell you what – address MY points or go find your whipping boys and debate them directly. The case is: higher CO2 warms the planet. We have higher CO2. Is the planet warming? Yes. So now the search is for any other cause that could explain it that is not CO2/other gasses. So far – not so much.

    In fact the current warming is occurring during a solar minimum and a La Nina pattern. Historical evidence of CO2 and temperature changes this quickly would weaken the argument. Historical evidence that this was the warmest it has been in the human evidence would strengthen the case. The opposite, unless you also show the same time frame, does not weaken the argument in a significant way.

    There is no argument that CO2 has never by higher than it is now.
    ____________
    Never? Or only the 150 years that we’ve been able to measure directly? There is no question that CO2 has been higher in the past. Not even your AGW high priests dispute that.
    Please read and understand my posts before you do a big pull quote refutation. You are saying what I said as if you disagreed with me.

    Second, CO2 raises temperatures at a logarithmic rate. Most of CO2’s impact is in the first 20ppm and after that, additional warming levels out. This of course, is in the absence of all other potential influences of which, as oft stated by the IPCC, “we have poor understanding.”

    Interesting idea. Do you have a source?

    Look at the graph. About 125,000 years ago, atmospheric CO2 shot up from about 180ppm to almost 350ppm without humans burning fossil fuels. The slope is virtually identical to the current measured slope. As you go back in time to about 625,000 years ago you see this happens in cycles.

    Look if the CO2 rise took 20 thousand years like your graph shows I would have no problem sleeping at night. The issue is that is has happened in less than 100. Please read and understand the graphs you present before posting it as “proof” of your point (when, in fact, it proves mine AGAIN).

    Read the 2797 pages of the IPCC that don’t have errors for a better understanding of the possible impacts – why I say preserve the planet for happy humans.

    Taking a step back from the back-and-forth – you seem much more interested in arguing than in responding to the facts and logic I provide. I am good for one or two more rounds like this. (Totally different if you come up with interesting ideas or support for your claims). I really am not interested in “debating” with someone at your (apparent) level of understanding. You have either transcended the known science and are incapable of communicating your process for doing that – or your beliefs are so far out of accepted science (even amongst skeptics AND deniers) that we don’t have a basis for discussion. Look at the two points I pulled out in the 2nd and 4th pullquote. These are simple examples of the problem I have “debating” with you.

  35. actually thoughtful said

    Suffice it to say, that in my mind, the rate (and even magnitude) of historic CO2 rise is very much in question.

    Thanks Jeff – I follow your logic. It may take a while for that to filter through all of my logical paths. I think it still leaves the obvious problem of the how many million tons per day of CO2 we are injecting and our ability to measure that it is there. In other words the basic cause and effect of increased CO2 and temperature.

    [slight OT but very relevant to the big picture – have you ever read the Web of Belief by Quine? Speaks volumes to how hard it is to introduce new information that challenges accepted beliefs at the individual level (written way before the internet)].

  36. Jeff Id said

    #35, I have not read it but it sounds like something I would enjoy.

    BTW, I’m considering a thread on the CO2 point. There is a lot of information the general public doesn’t know on the topic. Unfortunately, like everything else in climate science, there are plenty of confounding factors. It’s not as simple as dumping more CO2 will tip everything because as you know there are CO2 removal processes in action. Most of the published literature is in one direction but considerate people cannot take that material at face value. It’s one of the easiest areas to do hand waiving in climate science. What if there were huge rock subsea rock fields absorbing CO2 themselves in abiotic processes. A recent paper showed that the sinks are still keeping up with the sources such that if we continue at our current rate CO2 wouldn’t be able to rise (beyond about a 30 yr lag). Basically the paper showed that in current conditions CO2 isn’t building up just as heat isn’t building up but rather CO2 and Heat are flowing in and out and the flow of CO2 is being altered.

    It’s not a minor paper if it’s conclusions are right, and the math supporting the conclusions was very simple. Assume for a moment that we had an enormous natural CO2 sink in the geology of the earth. Some rock or other was taking up the CO2 in a chemical reaction – something like that. This is just a wild-assed assumption. The rate of the reaction is determined by the presence of the CO2 molecules. Of course eventually the CO2 will saturate the sink but say the sink is bigger than we thought. What would happen to atmospheric CO2 levels with increased economic output over 100 years or 1000 years.

    The actual CO2 level would rise quickly at the beginning of production and our hypothetical sink would begin working faster. As industrial CO2 output increased, CO2 would rise in proportion to the output. If our output exceeded the sink capability, the CO2 present in the atmosphere would build up beyond the production rate at least in ratio.

    That is not what is happening! In fact the CO2 production to buildup has maintained the same ratio. With about 40% of it staying in the atmosphere from early days to today. Not more, not less. It’s really an interesting issue but it is an indicator that the sinks are far larger than some estimate, and the unspoken bit is that the CO2 life in atmosphere is far shorter than estimated. Something is removing the CO2 from the carbon cycle.

    Here is the post when the paper came out. I screwed up the post horribly but as usual corrected myself.

    https://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/11/11/5678/

    It’s really a stunning change in how we should think about the CO2 cycle in general.

  37. Mark T said

    actually thoughtful said
    February 15, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    ?? Tell you what – address MY points or go find your whipping boys and debate them directly.

    Pretty hypocritical given that you pick and choose to answer only those you think you can easily address, and avoid those that clearly demonstrate the problems with your arguments (then go on to whine about being “attacked” or whatever).

    It may take a while for that to filter through all of my logical paths.

    Just curious, but have you ever actually studied logic? Do you understand the very basic premises of a sound argument?

    Mark

  38. Mark T said

    actually thoughtful said
    February 14, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    The argument is that the planet as a place for happy humans is in jeopardy.

    No it is not. The argument has nothing to do with how well humans can survive in a CO2 rich environment, it is about the rest of the ecosystem and how humans are destroying it, i.e., “Gaia,” mother earth itself.

    Other species did very well at 4400PPM (assuming your numbers are good). Not humans.

    OSHA’s regulation is that we should avoid concentrations in excess of 5000 ppm. The wiki article clearly spells out what is and is not advisable, and it is based on sudden exposures, i.e., not over the 2000 years it will take to get the earth to 4400 ppm (assuming there are even enough fossil fuels to get there).

    These are some of the sillier statements you have made. Do some basic research before debating something you clearly have no knowledge of.

    Mark

  39. Mark T said

    actually thoughtful said
    February 15, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Taking a step back from the back-and-forth – you seem much more interested in arguing than in responding to the facts and logic I provide. I am good for one or two more rounds like this. (Totally different if you come up with interesting ideas or support for your claims).

    Wow, such arrogance. What facts and what logic, may I ask, again? JLKrueger has posted many references and sources for his arguments, and in your “back and forth” the most you have provided is a single reference to a Nature article and the entirety of the AR4.

    I really am not interested in “debating” with someone at your (apparent) level of understanding.

    You mean, someone that seems to understand better than you?

    You have either transcended the known science and are incapable of communicating your process for doing that

    What was that you were saying about being attacked earlier? Hint: this is a personal attack, committed by you.

    Look at the two points I pulled out in the 2nd and 4th pullquote. These are simple examples of the problem I have “debating” with you.

    Exactly what are you referencing here?

    Mark

  40. Mark T said

    Jeff Id said
    February 15, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    It’s really a stunning change in how we should think about the CO2 cycle in general.

    There’s so much we don’t know about so many things and yet we arrogantly trumble along as if we do. It’s appalling that the science has gotten so corrupt in this arena.

    Mark

  41. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Jeff Id (Feb 15 13:08),

    Something is removing CO2 from the atmosphere, not from the carbon cycle, unless you are proposing that it’s lost to space or transmuted to another element. The question is where in the carbon cycle it’s going, or the missing sink. For it to be this fast, the sink pretty much has to be biological, so biomass somewhere is increasing. There’s lots of speculation about this but nothing definitive yet. Over millions of years, the geologic part of the carbon cycle dominates, but it’s too slow to have much effect on the atmosphere on human time scales. Let me point out again that the lifetime of an individual carbon atom in the atmosphere and the decay time for atmospheric concentration are two different things.

  42. Jeff Id said

    #41,

    “Something is removing CO2 from the atmosphere, not from the carbon cycle,”

    DeWitt,

    I agree that you may be right on this point. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that rain water sintering through rock is removing a hell of a lot of CO2 somewhere on earth. It would explain where it’s going but it’s just wild speculation but where is the possibility ruled out? Currently the sink is bigger than people thought. We’ve attacked the rainforest and biomass pretty aggressively, yet from the large increase in absorption rate we can tell something is removing a lot more CO2 than it used to.

    I think this makes some sense too. The planet almost has to have a big abiotic removal mechanism to hold the atmospheric levels to such a low point for as many years as it has. Even if my guess is wrong, the absorption rate increasing simultaneously with the output rate is a pretty dramatic finding. If biomass even partially recirculated in 30 years, we would have seen an uptick.

  43. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Jeff Id (Feb 15 16:00),

    The problem is that the rate of weathering, which is indeed abiotic, has a first order concentration dependence (silicate plus CO2 to carbonate plus silica). I don’t have the math skills to do the differential equations any more (if I ever did), but I’m pretty sure that you need more than a first order dependence to do what’s happening for a sink only. Or, in addition to a sink, you need a source with an inverse concentration dependence. Raymo and Ruddiman speculated that there might be such a source when they proposed that increased weathering from the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau was the cause of the drop in CO2 over the course of the Cenozoic. Otherwise, the CO2 level should have dropped to even lower than the 180 ppm observed during the recent glacial periods and we probably wouldn’t be here to discuss it.

  44. Jeff Id said

    #43, I would not suspect weathering to be a primary sink (too slow) but it’s not like I haven’t been wrong before. However, if there was a mechanism by which water passed thorough various porous rocks to react and remove CO2 across the entire landmass of the globe, would we be able to detect it? What if it was only in specific areas?

    It makes me wonder the CO2 content of water entering and exiting the ground water. Links like this leave me wondering if it isn’t a common thing in nature at depths or locations we haven’t explored. After all, even if 20 IPCC scientists ran across a massive sink of CO2 and even if they reported it, it’s not like it would go mainstream in today’s climate of climate.

    http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/proceedings/03/carbon-seq/PDFs/178.pdf

  45. RB said

    Posted on old thread:
    Apparently there are unresolved differences between La Quere 2009 and Knorr 2009.

    There are several differences in methodology between Knorr 2009 and Le Quere 2009. Knorr’s result does not include the filtering for ENSO and volcanic activity employed by Le Quéré. However, when Knorr does include this filtering in his analysis, he finds a trend of 1.2 ± 0.9% per decade. This is smaller than Le Quere’s result but is statistically significant.
    Knorr also finds the 150 year trend while Le Quéré looks at the last 50 years. This may be significant. If the airborne fraction is increasing, it is possibly a recent phenomenon due to natural carbon sinks losing their absorption ability after becoming saturated. Several studies have found recent drops in the uptake of CO2 by oceans (Le Quere 2007, Schuster 2007, Park 2008). However, with such a noisy signal, this is one question that will require more data before being more fully resolved.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-levels-airborne-fraction-increasing.htm

  46. actually thoughtful said

    Jeff – thanks for the link. Very interesting stuff. Work got intense – I will review your link later this week. At the risk of sounding silly – isn’t the ocean the logical fast acting sink?

  47. Jeff Id said

    #46, Absolutely. I’ve got no answers to this one, only questions.

  48. Steve McIntyre said

    Jeff, at the ERice conference last summer, a Chinese geologist said that CO2 uptake in karsts was much greater than previously thought. If you recall the first Biosphere project, it ended because they ran out of oxygen even though CO2 levels didn’t run away. The CO2 going into the concrete pad was much greater than anticipated. There’s lots that doesn’t seem to be known.

  49. Jeff Id said

    #48, It’s one of the most interesting aspects of this adventure but also one of the least explorable from my own history. With your background in geology the Knorr paper might be something worth a discussion at CA. I really need to start one here.

    I had to look it up a second time:

    Karst topography is a landscape shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock, usually carbonate rock such as limestone or dolomite.[1]

    ————-
    Just why isn’t this considered an important sink in climatology?

  50. Tony Hansen said

    Meanwhile over at RC.
    ‘….Nothing jones said is out of line with what any of us have said on the topic. -gavin]

  51. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Jeff Id (Feb 16 02:35),

    Just why isn’t this considered an important sink in climatology?

    Because maybe it isn’t a sink? I’m handwaving here, but consider the possibility that CO2 in rainwater reacting with limestone/dolomite on the ground is just moving Ca/Mg carbonates from one place to another with no net change in CO2. Think stalactites and stalagmites. Those are carbonate rocks created by the dissolution of carbonate rock from somewhere else and then precipitated again with the release of the original CO2. The rest of the bicarbonate in solution will end up in the ocean where sea life does the same thing.

  52. Mark T said

    You’re a coward, Actually Thoughtful.

    Mark

    [reply: please don’t resort to name calling.]

  53. Mark T said

    Sorry, Jeff, but my comment was after Actually Thoughtless chose to insult JLKrueger’s intelligence/knowledge (with false accusations no less) while at the same time, in other threads, whining about “being attacked.” He also whines about nobody answering his direct questions, which is not true, and others cherry picking which statements to respond to, which is not true, yet he is guilty of the very same. He is being a coward and a hypocrite plain and simple.

    Answer my questions, Actually Thoughtless, and I’ll withdraw the claim.

    Mark

  54. actually thoughtful said

    crosspatch said
    November 12, 2009 at 4:17 am
    the faucet is still running faster than the drain.

    The way I read it is that when you open the faucet more, the drain opens wider. The more CO2 you add to the system, the more efficient the system becomes in removing it.

    This was roughly my takeaway from your post (with the complications that the 1) the “drain” may damage your food chain (cripple ocean output) or enhance your food chain (happier plants…) 2) until we really understand the drain we don’t know if the drain will slow (or even speed up)).

    Thank you for looking at this issue. I think it is really the most important one out there. I had already come across the ~40% figure (which really comes out in the wash – CO2ppm has been rising, but not at the rate that we are pumping it into the atmosphere – I don’t think there is a hue and cry about UCI (urban carbon island) or any other major concern about the validity of the CO2 measurements.

    Also last week a few articles surfaced about the earth’s ability to respond to the temperature “forcing” of CO2 – somewhat good news, but along the same lines – it isn’t 100% but it is some % greatly above 0% (moving us towards a hotter world). And also a reduction in the likely feedback effects (again positive, but not zero). So I think the early straight line projects were overstated, but probably honest to the state of our knowledge. These issues seem to be the tough 20% where there is a small chance a get out of global warming free card will be found. Possible but unlikely.

    To my mind the 80% argument is just this:
    CO2 is increasing due to man’s activities
    Increased CO2 yields higher temperatures due to its greenhouse properties.

    Proof of increasing CO2 is measurable increases in CO2PPM, increased acidification of the oceans. Attribution to man is by carbon isotopes and back-of-the-envelope calculations (which the above thread actually supports).

    Proof of the CO2 to temperature connection would be found in temperature increases over a long period of time, reduction in sea ice levels, rising oceans, more extreme weather.

    That appears to be happening. In fact it seems to be happening while the main natural variation we are aware of (solar activity and La Nina) would suggest cooling, all else being equal (ie in the absence of man-made CO2).

    So I personally am interested in arguments and data that break that (admittedly oversimplified) logic chain.

  55. Mark T said

    actually thoughtful said
    February 17, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Proof of increasing CO2 is measurable increases in CO2PPM,

    A legitimate claim, though the measurement is taken entirely in one location, on top of a volcano.

    increased acidification of the oceans.

    Alright, you lost it here. There is no acidification of the oceans. They are, at best, becoming less basic, not “more acidic.” Not until the pH actually drops below 7 does the term acidification mean anything.

    Attribution to man is by carbon isotopes and back-of-the-envelope calculations (which the above thread actually supports).

    Maybe, but that has been disputed as well.

    Proof of the CO2 to temperature connection would be found in temperature increases over a long period of time, reduction in sea ice levels, rising oceans, more extreme weather.

    Nice try.

    First, there are reasons to believe that CO2 and temperature may be connected, but the simple fact that both are rising (well, CO2 is) is certainly not proof. If you had said “evidence,” you may be right, but certainly not “proof.” Cum hoc ergo propter hoc, btw, another fallacy of yours. Furthermore, if you are as logical as you say, you should understand that rarely in science can proof of anything be achieved – proof is a concept that really only exists in mathematics and logic.

    Second, rising sea levels are evidence of lots of things and increased temperatures is only one of those things. Either way, this has no bearing on whether CO2 and temperature are connected. Similarly, reduction in sea ice levels is evidence of “warm enough for ice to melt,” not a CO2 and temperature connection (that and global sea ice levels have been holding pretty steady for quite a while). More extreme weather is… well, not anything that is even documented, and something that is barely measureable. Really, define “more extreme.” Is there some benchmark? Have you or anyone else calculated the variance of various weather events that are measurable, such as rainfall, hurricanes (oops, this one has been done, not increasing), tornadoes (not here, either), snowfall?

    To assert that these “examples,” which may or may not be a result rising temperatures in the first place, are “proof” of a CO2 connection to temperature is disingenuous at best, and at least the result of faulty reasoning. In other words, your conclusions do not follow from your premisses, no matter how solid the premisses are. These examples are, as best I can tell, a syllogistic fallacy known as an illicit process of the major. Even if we give you that there is a connection, and note that rising temperatures should cause these things to happen, to use the fact that they are happening as proof of rising temperatures (or a CO2-temperature connection) is the fallacy of affirmation of the consequent.

    In fact it seems to be happening while the main natural variation we are aware of (solar activity and La Nina) would suggest cooling, all else being equal (ie in the absence of man-made CO2).

    Uh, it certainly hasn’t been warming for quite some time.

    So I personally am interested in arguments and data that break that (admittedly oversimplified) logic chain.

    Again, I ask, what logic? I have yet again pointed out the flaws in your so-called logical conclusions, or at the very least, how your arguments as well as the reasoning you apply to your statements are fallacious.

    Mark

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