the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Archive for September, 2011

The center of the internet got it right again.

Posted by Jeff Id on September 30, 2011

Alan Carlin covered here got a few points back.

From WUWT…….

Congratulations to Alan Carlin on vindication

While the GAO issues a report today saying that the US Historical Climatological Monitoring Network has real tangible problems (as I have been saying for years) the Inspector General just released a report this week saying that EPA rushed their CO2 endangerment finding, skipping annoying steps like doing proper review. The lone man holding up his hand at the EPA saying “wait a minute” was Alan Carlin, who was excoriated for doing so.

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments »

An American Primer on Taxes

Posted by Jeff Id on September 23, 2011

I’d like to write a few (hundred) words about taxes today.  This isn’t going to be some political rant, just an explanation for those who don’t own US businesses as to the difficulties that we currently face in creating jobs and an explanation of the new-age myth that companies and the wealthy are somehow undertaxed.  It is important that people understand these issues as too many of those I run into are buying into the current raise the taxes on the rich dogma.  No I am not an expert in taxes, but I’m not an expert in climate either and we can intelligently discuss that here all year long.  I do seem to be quite good at paying taxes though and I am lucky to have partners who are far more versed on these matters who keep me straight.

First, there are 3 main types of corporations in the US, LLC, S and C types (there are sub-variants as well for lawyers and medical I believe but this is beyond my knowledge), there are also non-profits, sole proprietorships and other nuances but the three primary taxable entities we need to worry about are listed here.  Of the three LLC and S never, ever, ever pay any taxes.   Not one penny.  This is because they are pass-through entities and any income they make is placed directly on the personal income statements of the owners.  C corps pay taxes according to a schedule like this and people like Warren Buffet who own giant C corps don’t report their corporate income or taxation on a personal return – thus, much of their tax rate is hidden.  Typically, the largest companies are C corps.  Each corporation type has its own advantages, we have an LLC and an S corp.  The S corp is a manufacturing company the LLC holds technology and does other contractual work.  Again, there are legal reasons for doing this but both of our current corporations are pass-through types.

So the second disclaimer of this article is that it doesn’t cover the most massive corporations like GE or Siemens who operate internationally and take advantage of the accounting shelters, political contribution quid pro quo that the ultra-powerful can take advantage of.   International tax law IS a key factor in what the US must change to improve the economy but the biggest companies are also the biggest donors and receivers from politicians.   We must fix these laws to survive as a country, again though, another blog should cover that for you.

Lets talk about families earning more than 250,000 per year or individuals earning more than 200,000.

The rich! ………… allegedly

Read the rest of this entry »

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CERES and ERA-Interim fluxes in Dessler 2010

Posted by Jeff Id on September 21, 2011

Layman Lurker called my attention to TroyCA’s latest post on the Spencer/Dessler cloud data.  It is very interesting so I asked permission to crosspost here which he has granted.  In the meantime Steve McIntyre continued the discussion here.

Guest post by Troyca:

CERES and ERA-Interim fluxes in Dessler 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — troyca @ 7:07 am

As I noted in a previous blog post, and as mentioned at Climate Audit, the positive cloud feedback results (and excluding large negative feedbacks) of Dessler 2010 (not to be confused with Dessler 2011, which was the topic of my latest post) largely depend on using ECMWF ERA-Interim reanalysis for the clear-sky fluxes rather than CERES.  The Cloud Radiative Forcing is determined by the difference between all-sky and clear-sky fluxes, and rather than using the CERES data for both clear-sky and all-sky, Dessler10 combines CERES all-sky with  ERA clear-sky.  The reason given for doing this is a suggested bias in the CERES clear-sky, with a reference to the Sohn And Bennartz 2008 paper.

In that first post, and in my guest post at Lucia’s, I pointed out two things:

1) The largest amount of this difference seems to come from the shortwave fluxes, which are unaffected by this longwave water vapor bias, and

2) Even if the OLR dry-sky bias was present, it would not account for the differences we see here:

But I’m doubtful that the LW result should be discounted based on measurement bias anyhow. For one, the SB08 paper refers to bias in the absolute calculation of CRF, not necessarily to the change in CRF, and the effect is minimal there (around 10% of only the OLR). Second, the bias should affect it in the opposite direction – it would make the cloud feedback appear more positive, not negative. From the SB08 paper, they mention: “As expected, OLR fluxes determined from clear-sky WVP are always higher than those from the OLR with all-sky OLR (except for the cold oceanic regions) because of drier conditions over most of the analysis domain.” Obviously, clear-sky days don’t prevent as much OLR from leaving the planet as cloudy days, and SB08 estimates that about 10% of this effect is from water vapor instead of all of it being from clouds. So, warmer temperatures should increase water vapor, which will be more prevalent on the cloudy days vs. the clear sky days, which in turn will make it appear that clouds are responsible for trapping more OLR than they actually do. In other words, the bias includes some of the positive feedback due to water vapor – which is already counted elsewhere – in the estimation of cloud feedback.

Now, Nick raised a point over at CA, that perhaps all we’re getting with ERA-Interim clear-sky fluxes is the CERES fluxes, but with this dry-sky bias removed:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Blog Review

Posted by Jeff Id on September 21, 2011

From the Drum, a commentary on the expanding phenomena of blog review.

Peer review is dead, long live blog review

In January 2009, Nature splashed its front cover with the results of a new study titled ‘Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year’.

The article was accompanied by a glowing editorial from Nature and was widely reported on in the media.

A very short time after the paper was published, a number of factual errors were found in the paper, along with significant issues with the methodology used to obtain the surprising results. The errors and the methodological problems were reported and discussed by climate change blogs Watts Up With That, The Air Vent, Climate Audit and Real Climate.

Imagine if at this stage Nature’s editor in chief looked at the reported blog commentary and decided the journal had published a paper, which while it had gone through the normal peer review processes, based on some of the blog commentary, was basically fundamentally flawed and should not have been published.

click on the title above for the rest of the article.  This is also covered at WUWT.

Steig original.



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Steve McIntyre – to move a mountain

Posted by Jeff Id on September 19, 2011

An extensive documentary of a more extensive effort by an incredibly determined individual to get what should be innocuous information from a paid-to-do-whatever government.

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

Models Saved: Always a new corner to hide in

Posted by Jeff Id on September 19, 2011

Global Warming on Temporary Hold Thanks to Deep Oceans

Deep ocean temperatures are some of the least known.  Records are short and incomplete – sound familiar.  Trenberths missing heat has now been found, or maybe not.  Like money in the hands of politicians, green climate energy is slippery stuff.

If anyone has a link to the paper, I don’t have time to look but it may make for an interesting discussion.


Trenberth (still apologizing to his friends for his climategate quote) is quoted in the article:

Kevin Trenberth, a study author and NCAR scientist, said: “… this study suggests the missing energy has indeed been buried in the ocean, the heat has not disappeared and so it cannot be ignored. It must have consequences.”

I thought we were the ones who ‘misinterpreted’ him that the heat was missing.   It looks like in fact we stupid skeptics may have read the comment exactly correctly and the heat was missing, models were too high and now it’s back.   How long until deep ocean ‘forcing’ -not feedback- is changed in  models?   CO2 is still the badguy, skeptics are always wrong, and the mission continues.



Posted in Uncategorized | 39 Comments »

Joshua’s thread

Posted by Jeff Id on September 15, 2011

I often think back to how this blog started.   It’s stupid because it is just an electronic opinion space but if you start a wordpress blog and write an awesome post, you will get 8 views for your reward.  Views,  the food of journalists.   Write the magic words and the world will find you.

Nope, screw that, too much engineer in me.

I think Joshua has earned some respect here.   He’s highly critical of ‘skeptic’ views, yet has proven thoughtful enough to change his mind.  My number one most respected trait in others.   Now please don’t assume that this blog is about changing minds, most of us at the Air Vent  (on all sides) would rather let loose our opinions than spend time maximizing our result.  I don’t know if Joshua is 18 or 80 but my guess is 20.   I guess this because of his still flexible mind, good thought skill yet limited information.  Intelligent, opinionated yet not in full grasp of the gray areas of life.  This is not a slight nor is it proof of my own grasp, although  I/we the embattled do understand our role in the matter.

Some of you old farts and managers out there will get the logic.  Sorry for calling you around-the block folks out, but gray hair comes with both understanding and responsibility.

So Jeff –

You disagree with Giaever, and you agree with the APS: Global warming is, in fact “incontrovertible.”


Giaever, being the recently resigned scientist from the necessarily politically motivated  APS.  Of course it is confusing to Joshua how we can be the “denialists” as described by Real Climate could refuse to deny global warming.   To be fair, he is more sophisticated than that. Joshua is predisposed to assume our ‘belief’ and is looking for the keystone to yank – can’t really blame him.   Public schooling has assured that predisposition IMO. To make it worse, we the unwashed don’t agree with each other, the consensus does ‘agree’ , so how can we claim understanding? The short answer is that we don’t any more than he/they.

Our singular message IMHO is that when you see wide consensus style agreement, you are seeing wide external pressures and it isn’t up to us to chew that piece of tough meat for the younger crowd.

Joshua said

September 15, 2011 at 7:38 pm e

Actually, I used the Google:

Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.

The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.


So thus far you agree with the APS and disagree with Giaever. But then…..


If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth’s climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

So my guess is that you agree and disagree with both the APS and Giaever.


My reply is on the other thread but it doesn’t matter one lick.   What matters is the detail of the problems addressed.   So many threads get caught up in what is or isn’t AGW.   This thread should be about Joshua’s rational curiosity and nothing more.  He is far from alone.  One of my top five favorite posts was actually a regression by RomanM which I inelegantly beat into a global temp average.  The reason it is one ofmy favorites is two-fold, first it shows more warming (more trend) from the same data than climate science(always), the second is that Roman’s methods are statistically superior.   A confusing bit of data for a young believer to read from an alleged denialist (me/us).   The consensus should adopt the approach immediately.

As clear as CO2 warming.

What isn’t clear is that the 0.8C of warming we’ve seen is 100% man made.   No serious climate scientists claim 100% of the trend is AGW, to my knowledge.  On the nonintuitive yet diametrically opposite side, what is clear is that we humans can’t stop AGW no matter what we do.   There is only ONE single technology which can make any difference engineering wise, and that is nuclear.  This tech would have to be implemented in a fashion more aggressively than man has ever imagined.  Of course it will not be.  Thus, we have no choice.  Humanity will continue to produce ever more CO2, we will see the result, and we will discover its power.  Like so much in nature – which we are part of – we are powerless to stop it.

Hopefully our newly industrialized society is smart enough not to self-immolate along the path.

Posted in Uncategorized | 148 Comments »

Resigned Again

Posted by Jeff Id on September 14, 2011

Climate Depot reports another idiotic fool resigns from the APS over the fact that their board likes climate change money.  Well he won a Nobel prize for something real (not peace or economics) so perhaps he’s not such an idiot.

Exclusive: Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Who Endorsed Obama Dissents! Resigns from American Physical Society Over Group’s Promotion of Man-Made Global Warming

Visit Site for full Story  also at WUWT

Nobel Laureate Dr. Ivar Giaever: ‘The temperature (of the Earth) has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this ‘warming’ period.’


Dear Ms. Kirby

Thank you for your letter inquiring about my membership. I did not renew it because I can not live with the statement below:

Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.

The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.

If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible? The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this ‘warming’ period.

Best regards,

Ivar Giaever

Nobel Laureate 1973

PS. I included a copy to a few people in case they feel like using the information.

Ivar Giaever


Posted in Uncategorized | 66 Comments »

Corroboration – Again

Posted by Jeff Id on September 11, 2011

It looks like the “skeptics” (if that’s what you call them) were right again.  Steve McIntyre pointed out a paper in print at GRL that was similar in content to some of his an Ross McKitrick’s own work (MMH10)demonstrating again that climate models run generally higher than observations.   This is particularly true in the case of the tropical warming in the upper troposphere covered in this paper – On the warming in the tropical upper troposphere:Models versus observations (free). The paper was written by Qiang Fu, Syukuro Manabe, and Celeste M. Johanson (FMJ11).


[1] IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) AR4 (Fourth Assessment Report) GCMs (General Circulation Models) predict a tropical tropospheric warming that increases with height, reaches its maximum at ∼200 hPa, and decreases to zero near the tropical tropopause. This study examines the GCM‐predicted maximum warming in the tropical upper troposphere using satellite MSU (microwave sounding unit)‐derived deeplayer temperatures in the tropical upper‐ and lower‐middle troposphere for 1979–2010. While satellite MSU/AMSU observations generally support GCM results with tropical deep‐layer tropospheric warming faster than surface, it is evident that the AR4 GCMs exaggerate the increase in static stability between tropical middle and upper troposphere during the last three decades. Citation: Fu, Q., S. Manabe, and C. M. Johanson (2011), On the warming in the tropical upper troposphere:

My bold of course.  This is a key factor in the global warming debate as the missing hot spot is an indicator that feedback mechanisms are not properly quantified in climate models.  The results of FMJ11 are rather stunning to see in print these days as there was um ….  considerable review difficulty experienced in rebutting the Santer 08 paper claiming that models do match observations.  It is worth noting that Santer has a new paper out on the topic which I will discuss in another post here.

Now this is a slightly different claim than Santer and MMH10 which looked at simple trends of the atmosphere, but the result is perhaps more important in that climate science is now recognizing in print that key differences between observed vs modeled feedbacks DO exist and that modeled trends are overstated.  I have yet to see any of the best known climate scientists admit these unquestionable discrepancies. The methods of the paper seem reasonable enough and are not difficult to follow except that you do need to understand the data in question is the difference in the temperature trends between tropical upper‐ and lower‐middle troposphere (T24‐T2LT) as defined and discussed in the paper linked above.    How much upper vs lower troposphere warming is observed is a result of CO2 heat capture and feedback in real world and modeled climate systems.

Below is the key plot of modeled vs observed temperatures: Read the rest of this entry »

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Climate Rapid Response Team

Posted by Jeff Id on September 6, 2011

Desslers explanation for his paper has been added to YouTube.

Posted in Uncategorized | 42 Comments »

Life in tha fast lane

Posted by Jeff Id on September 6, 2011

The title with two meanings, I’ve got no time but apparently the rebuttal to Spencer’s paper was so important that it got through peer review in two weeks, acceptance to publication.

Thanks to HaroldW and WUWT, we have a copy here, I also received an advance copy of the pdf thanks to another alert reader.  I’ll try to read it later but unlike some reasonable speculation, this paper appears to have been created and published in 6 weeks since Spencer’s release with only two weeks to review.  Just finding reviewers in that time frame is pretty good.


I also assume people have been visiting Roy Spencer’s blog on occasion.   He’s put up a couple of strong worded posts which deserve some attention IMHO.



Posted in Uncategorized | 29 Comments »

Naughty Step

Posted by Jeff Id on September 5, 2011

At Judith Curry’s blog, Jonathan Jones put together a rather concise statement:

With a tiny handful of exceptions (Judy, Richard Betts, Hans von Storch, Eduardo Zorita, surely there must be a few more?) the whole of “mainstream” climate science seems to be going into collective meltdown. To ordinary scientists their behaviour just gets more bizarre with every day.

I have worked in all sorts of areas of science, some really quite controversial, and I have never seen this sort of childish throwing of toys out of prams in any other context. I can’t see any solution beyond some proper grown ups getting involved and telling Trenberth and Gleick and friends to sit on the naughty step until they learn how to play nicely.

There are quite a few good climate scientists out there, but with few exceptions, they are not of the mainstream variety.  Trenberth is one who from climategate knows what message must be projected to the unwashed masses despite reasoned (yet capitulative) conversation behind the scenes.  There is plenty of evidence for this in the climategate emails but the naughty step is the key for his sort.  Unfortunately, the IPCC money is the parent, and we all know MOM makes the rules and decides who sits on the naughty step.   I wonder how long it will take Spencer to make a rebuttal to the paper we expect tomorrow, rebutting their work.   I’m told the paper had literally two weeks of review time.  Hell, most papers don’t even find reviewers in that timeframe.

Our world is not sane anymore.  Poeple are still rationalizing this stupidity, but we are the race which developed nihilistic philosophy — so you get what you deserve.

h/t Barry Woods and Bishop Hill.

Posted in Uncategorized | 24 Comments »

Can we now agree that the climate peer review process is biased?

Posted by Jeff Id on September 3, 2011

Think anyone feels the heat?

UPDATE #3: At the end of the Guardian article, it says Andy Dessler has a paper coming out in GRL next week, supposedly refuting our recent paper. This has GOT to be a record turnaround for writing a paper and getting it peer reviewed. And, as usual, we NEVER get to see papers that criticize our work before they get published.

Spencer’s announcement that his paper was published July 25, 2011.   GRL rebuttal will be published next week Sept 10 2011, senior editor preemptively resigns.  What is that, about 6 weeks from publication to accepted rebuttal.    Talk about fast tracking.

I wonder if anyone from AR5 felt the heat from Spencers results.  How about a show of hands, which editor would like to publish Dr. Spencer’s inevitable reply?



Posted in Uncategorized | 71 Comments »

Redefining Peer Review — Editor Resigns

Posted by Jeff Id on September 2, 2011

UPDATE:  Roger Pielke Sr.  has his own take on the issue here.   An excerpt from his take is quite similar to my own.  A single paper referenced with no specifics regarding the critique, my red bold below.

My Comment:  Wagner is not an expert on the subject of the Spencer and Braswell paper, so he must have relied on input from individuals who were critical of their paper. He cites one reference (in addition to weblogs)

Trenberth, K.E., Fasullo, J.T., O’Dell, C., Wong, T. Relationships between tropical sea surface temperature and top-of-atmosphere radiation. Geophys. Res. Lett. 2010, 37, L03702

but presents no specific scientific information as to how that paper refutes Spencer and Braswell. Moreover, if there is a fundamental flaw in their work, than publishing a Comment in Remote Sensing would have resolved the issue. That is how science is supposed to work. As it is, Wagner has further politicized climate science.


Jeff Id

Wolfgang Wagner, editor of Roy Spencers climate non-sensitivity paper has resigned. The editorial explaining his decision is hereWUWT has a discussion here, Bart Verheggen discusses it here, and Roy Spencer has his take.   I’m not concerned about others yet but this is more than a small resignation considering that there isn’t any published evidence refuting the paper to my knowledge, there isn’t even a good blog post refuting it, yet its conclusions which were approved only this year, are SO poisonous that the editor needed to resign. AR5 couldn’t have any influence on this could it?

I would urge readers to review the resignation letter as we should discuss this for a while and it holds several important keys to what is going on.

So why, after a more careful study of the pro and contra arguments, have I changed my initial view? The problem is that comparable studies published by other authors have already been refuted in open discussions and to some extend also in the literature (cf. [7]), a fact which was ignored by Spencer and Braswell in their paper and, unfortunately, not picked up by the reviewers. In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents. This latter point was missed in the review process, explaining why I perceive this paper to be fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly accepted by the journal.

The argument is that the new paper didn’t address the critiques of reference #7 which happens to be:

7. Trenberth, K.E., Fasullo, J.T., O’Dell, C., Wong, T. Relationships between tropical sea surface temperature and top-of-atmosphere radiation. Geophys. Res. Lett. 2010, 37, L03702.

Now Wagner doesn’t say which particular critiques are the critical ones, but since it is a Trenberth article there are a few other clues as to what these unaddressed problems are.  First there is this post by Trenberth at Real Climate, where political science often trumps reason.  Considering that ugly post, we know how the consensus operates after climategate and shouldn’t forget the infamous Dr. Phil Jones email —

Read the rest of this entry »

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