No evidence no reason for complacency

Chris de Freitas is a proper scientist with a wonderful sense of humour — just wait until you see his conclusion! His articles are easy to read and I always read them.


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This is an adopted article.

Chris de Freitas: Science proves alarmist global warming claims nothing but hot air

Several aspects of Jim Salinger’s op-ed “Climate hurtling towards a hothouse Earth” Herald 24/5/13 are quite misleading. It is true most climate scientists would agree that rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to fossil fuel use could affect global climate. The basic physics is there to support this view. But there is no evidence that the putative change would be large or damaging. Output from computer models is not evidence unless model performance has been validated. So far, it has not.

The so-called evidence of minor human-caused climatic change can also be attributed to causes or processes other than those related to the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

What is rarely mentioned by climate alarmists is the incontrovertible fact that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere has an ever-decreasing effect on global temperature. To illustrate this, compare covering a glass window with very thin paint. The first coat of paint cuts out some light, the second some more; but each subsequent coat has an ever decreasing effect on light shining through.

It is true, the warming effect of increasing carbon dioxide concentrations never reaches zero (saturation); but, for significant global warming to occur, increased concentrations must set in motion positive (or destabilising) feedback processes.

Such processes would cause temperatures to rise by some other mechanism. One such mechanism is increased evaporation caused by higher temperatures leading to rising water vapour concentration, which is by far the most important greenhouse gas. This would increase retention of energy from the Sun and lead to further warming, and so on.

To date, scientific evidence suggests that negative (stabilising) feedback processes prevail; possibly due to the cooling effect of increased cloudiness from water vapour increase. If true, this means it is unlikely higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will greatly influence global climate.

Negative feedback processes are played down by climate alarmists who assume climate is governed by positive feedback processes which they claim will lead to runaway global warming. Four billion years of global climate history shows that negative feedbacks prevail.

Climate warming does not confirm that carbon dioxide is causing it. The evidence would have to distinguish between human-caused warming and natural warming. This has not been done.

Climate is always warming or cooling. There are natural variability theories of warming. Much of the talk of “increasing evidence for global warming” is actually evidence of climate variability.

Whatever the cause of the current warm phase, its occurrence is not unprecedented. Global warming happened from 1850 to 1940, then cooling to 1979. During the Medieval Warm Period from 900 to 1200AD, the Vikings sailed in arctic waters that are now covered with sea ice, and farmed Greenland soil that is now too cold for agriculture.

From the results of research to date, it appears the influence of increasing carbon dioxide on global warming is almost indiscernible. Future warming could occur, but there is no evidence to suggest it will amount to much.

One could reasonably argue that lack of evidence, one way or the other, is no reason for complacency.

I will concede that.

Chris de Freitas is a teacher and researcher in the School of Environment at the University of Auckland.

via Chris de Freitas: Science proves alarmist global warming claims nothing but hot air – Opinion – NZ Herald News.

66 Thoughts on “No evidence no reason for complacency

  1. Robin Pittwood on May 27, 2013 at 1:35 pm said:

    Thanks for posting the article here Richard, and thanks Dr DeFreitas for writing the article. I respect the position that Dr DeFreitas has maintained over the years throughout this debate, even to the point of being targeted in the Climategate emails, by a person / group of people that I won’t name here, but many of these folk, especially one of them, will be know to readers of this blog.

    Dr Defritas refers to feedbacks. I came across some comments lately by Forest Mimms, an atmospheric researcher and IPCC reviewer. He noted that the predicted water vapour increase needed for the IPCC models for positive feedback, has not happened. It anything, there has been a recent decline in water vapour level. In other words, at a very fundamental level, the models predicting high levels of warming are wrong, and the misapplication of the water vapour feedback factor is the main reason.

    Regards
    Robin

  2. Andy on May 27, 2013 at 1:51 pm said:

    This should mix in well with Bill McKibben’s forthcoming tour to NZ.

  3. Thanks, Robin. Yes, his personal dignity is strong and I’ve never seen it disturbed. For some time he has spoken quietly of the complexity of the climate system and the lack of evidence of a dangerous influence from CO2. Few people seem to hear him. Sometimes I think that we’ll only get our fellow Kiwis to listen by shouting rudely at them; but they don’t want that and neither do I. Rather it’s comments like yours about real observations which turn Kiwis’ heads. They’re steady people and hard to turn. All right, maybe we might raise our voices from time to time!

  4. What else might we post here to “help” with that?

  5. Andy on May 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm said:

    I have no idea. McKibben will come here and preach to the choir that we are all heading for the End of the World.
    His followers worship him.

    We can keep an eye on the media and make sure that they represent the facts as we know them correctly

    For example, ABC let him get away with the statement that “even one degree of warming would be catastrophic”

    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/05/tony-jones-lets-bill-mckibben-get-away-with-barking-nonsense-really-one-degree-is-utter-catastrophe/

  6. SimonP on May 27, 2013 at 2:23 pm said:

    Jim Salinger’s comparison with the Pliocene is misleading but Chris’s article didn’t even attempt to explain why. Instead he embarks on a Gish Gallop with several statements that are highly questionable, unfortunately there are no references. Maybe Chris should have a read of the paleoclimatology literature sometime.

  7. Mike Jowsey on May 27, 2013 at 2:27 pm said:

    Oh, please! Specifically which statements did Chris make that are “highly questionable”? Just doing a troll drive-by with no substance is unhelpful.

  8. Magoo on May 27, 2013 at 2:27 pm said:

    Which of de Freitas’ statements were questionable?

  9. Andy on May 27, 2013 at 2:28 pm said:

    Maybe Chris should have a read of the paleoclimatology literature sometime.

    maybe he has?

  10. Bob D on May 27, 2013 at 2:47 pm said:

    One should feel sorry for Jim Salinger. He has devoted his whole career to global warming, starting with his thesis in the late seventies that tortured the NZ 7SS from 0.3°C to 0.9°C/century, and ending with his being sacked from NIWA and becoming a political activist now.

    In between he and other NIWA notables conspired against Chris de Freitas and interfered with the peer review process wherever they could (see Climategate emails), all to maintain the fiction of AGW.

    As the truth slowly emerges over the next few years his reputation will live on in notoriety, so to speak. A sad outcome for a sad individual.

    One should feel sorry for Jim Salinger, but one doesn’t.

  11. Thomas on May 27, 2013 at 4:07 pm said:

    Salinger’s article – that De Freitas refers to – was spot on.

    Earth has in the past shown repeated episodes of having quick transitions to a stable climate that is 4 to 8 degrees C warmer than today, with sea levels significantly higher than today and ice free poles. Scientists have been surprised how fast these transitions have sometimes occurred.

    A good example of such research is provided by the analysis of sediments from lake El’gygytyn and you can watch Prof. Brigam-Grette present results here covering climate data from the Pliocene era. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxbOSB7zDgY

    These results make Salinger’s statement that: “The world then was quite a different place, with temperatures 2 to 3C above those of today and sea levels 20m higher” seem rather cautious indeed.

    What the Pliocene research data show is two things:

    1) Earth’s climate seems to be able to stabilize at a hot state – several degrees above today – for length of time before eventually retreating to a state of lower temperatures and oscillations of ice ages and interglacial periods.
    2) The transitions can be rapid. We do not know what caused previous transitions but it shows that the stability of our current climate can not be taken for granted and that it is unlikely that significant negative feebacks exist to keep us at temperatures of today in the face of the CO2 forcing we enact. In fact if anything we can learn from the Pliocene data that the current climate is rather more sensitive than less to forcing.

    Data from the past thirteen thousand years suggests that the speed of our current forcing will have an unprecedented impact.

    There will always be people who do not concede that humanity has reached the level of impact that is affecting virtually every corner of the planet including changing our climate.
    De Freitas is well known for his position of denial of the human influence on climate and his assertions (without any references) amount to just an opinion.

    Oh and as not to go out without a reference: Recommend this post on Roger Pielkes blog – among all places, I cant believe I refer to his blog, but perhaps it makes visitors on this site more sympathetic to follow the link:
    Water Vapor Feedbacks by Prof.Dressler and references he gives at the end of his post.

  12. Andy on May 27, 2013 at 4:17 pm said:

    We know that the Earth has two main temperature states as shown in this graph

  13. Chris de Freitas said that there’s no evidence of a large or dangerous influence from atmospheric carbon dioxide. A lack of evidence, by definition, cannot be produced. So Chris cannot cite any. If you disagree with him, you must present evidence, else why disagree? Those geological examples are inadequate. I asked Jim Salinger about those assertions and his responses reveal flaws in his article. I’ll post them soon.

  14. Richard C (NZ) on May 27, 2013 at 4:40 pm said:

    >”..with temperatures 2 to 3C above those of today and sea levels 20m higher”

    Do you see the disconnect between that time with the current situation Thomas?

    >”Water Vapor Feedbacks”

    Those are exactly? In the real, observed world, I mean.

  15. Richard C (NZ) on May 27, 2013 at 4:50 pm said:

    >”…but perhaps it makes visitors on this site more sympathetic”

    And FYI guys, turns out Thomas is a closet AGW sceptic:-

    http://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2013/05/gwpf-rs-talk-climate-change/#comment-202969

    Outed himself May 26, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    [Note my subsequent update correction to the comment linked above]

  16. Bob D on May 27, 2013 at 4:50 pm said:

    “We do not know what caused previous transitions…”

    And yet Salinger implies that it was caused by CO2, with dire consequences.

    Yet we actually know from the Vostok ice cores that CO2 follows temperature, and temperature seems to be able to drop quickly despite high levels of CO2.

    Putting it all together:
    We don’t know what caused previous temperature rises, but we know it wasn’t CO2, since CO2 rose later, or temperature dived while CO2 remained high (see late Ordovician).
    We know that almost all our phyla appeared during a relatively short period in the early Cambrian, when CO2 was up at 4000ppmv, and temperatures averaged 22°C, so the assertion that either high temperature or high CO2 (or both) is damaging to life on Earth is clearly wrong.
    Therefore drawing conclusions from the Pliocene that high CO2 implies high temperatures which implies catastrophe is also clearly wrong.

  17. Andy on May 27, 2013 at 4:50 pm said:

    Links to Marcott hockey sticks do not count as evidence to support your case

  18. Bob D on May 27, 2013 at 5:14 pm said:

    Andy:

    “Links to Marcott hockey sticks do not count as evidence to support your case.”

    Wow, he did, too! I hadn’t noticed that.

    C’mon Thomas, you can do better than that, surely.

  19. SimonP on May 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm said:

    Do I really have to list them?
    1. But there is no evidence that the putative change would be large or damaging.
    There are dozens if not hundreds of papers that suggest otherwise.
    2. The so-called evidence of minor human-caused climatic change can also be attributed to causes or processes other than those related to the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
    No, if anything climate should be cooling.
    3. Four billion years of global climate history shows that negative feedbacks prevail.
    If that were true, climate would be far less variable than history shows. Snowball Earth, Carboniferous Era (when the sun was cooler than today) anyone?
    4. The evidence would have to distinguish between human-caused warming and natural warming.
    Why? Nevertheless there have been some good attempts have been made, e.g. Foster & Rahmstorf (2011).
    5. During the Medieval Warm Period from 900 to 1200AD, the Vikings sailed in arctic waters that are now covered with sea ice, and farmed Greenland soil that is now too cold for agriculture.
    Highly suspect claim. Viking farms were on the coast. Even if proved true, it may solely be evidence of a localised climate aberration. Read Jared Diamond’s Collapse for a good discussion, it certainly wasn’t sustainable farming.

  20. SimonP on May 27, 2013 at 5:41 pm said:

    Positive feedback and lags:
    Temperature increase –> release of CO2 to atmosphere –> further temperature increases.
    Volcanic activity, geological change or an asteriod event can lead to sharp decrease in temperature even at high CO2.
    Life adapts to changes in climate but mass extinctions are possible. We are in a sharp extinction phase at the moment, it is called the Anthropocene.

  21. Bob D on May 27, 2013 at 6:20 pm said:

    So the only thing that has stopped runaway global warming in the past (think 4000ppmv) was pure luck?

    Any evidence for these interesting assertions, that volcanoes, geological changes or asteroid events just happened along at exactly the right times for millions of years to prevent the temperature exceeding 22°C?

    Or could it possibly be more likely that feedbacks are negative, and don’t allow the temperature to exceed this value?

  22. SimonP on May 27, 2013 at 6:34 pm said:

    You may be right, negative feedbacks and limits on CO2 heat absorption may prevent temperature increasing above a mean of 22°C.That is a colossal temperature change from today, normally such a transition would take millenia.

  23. Richard C (NZ) on May 27, 2013 at 6:57 pm said:

    >”Nevertheless there have been some good attempts have been made, e.g. Foster & Rahmstorf (2011).”

    2010 trajectory now at odds with latest observations up to April 2013. Shredded by Tung. Consigned to the scrap heap of scientific history as just another failed data torture exercise that gets the actual physical processes wrong.

  24. Do I really have to list them?

    Are you serious? You must list them, because we cannot otherwise know what you’re thinking. If you don’t list them we must guess, which would annoy us and you wouldn’t like it much either.

    [No evidence of dangerous anthro influence.] 1. There are dozens if not hundreds of papers that suggest otherwise.

    The problem I have with even hundreds of suggestions is that not one of them is evidence of any kind.

    [So-called man-made influence might be caused elsewhere.] 2. No, if anything climate should be cooling.

    The global climate hasn’t warmed for about 20 years, and it started cooling about ten years ago.

    3. [Negative feedbacks prevail.] If that were true, climate would be far less variable than history shows. Snowball Earth, Carboniferous Era (when the sun was cooler than today) anyone?

    It doesn’t negate strong variability at all. Negative feedbacks would make it colder. The Carboniferous cooled halfway through to temperatures cooler than today which would point more in the direction of negative than positive feedbacks, in my opinion.

    4. [We must show the man-made contribution.] Why?

    Why? Why? Oh, not so important, this one. Another minor point. It’s just that if we are being asked to spend gazillions of our hard-won tax dollars on fighting the warming, we sort of want to be sure that we are actually, you know, causing it. Because we think, otherwise, it would be a better idea not to “compensate” poor countries for our climate crimes and instead to simply adapt to higher temperatures and rising seas as and when they might occur — it’s a lot cheaper. Sorry. El thicko!

    5. [Arctic navigation, Greenland farming.] Highly suspect claim. Viking farms were on the coast. Even if proved true, it may solely be evidence of a localised climate aberration… it certainly wasn’t sustainable farming.

    You say suspect, but to call it disputed is just as accurate. Fair enough. Of course the farms were on the coast — the ice cap hadn’t melted! Not sustainable, eh? Yes, it only lasted for some 350 years, then the warm era came to an end. On that basis, we haven’t shown New Zealand is “sustainable” yet — we’ve got about 150 years to go. Do you think we’re “sustainable”? The greatest dairying nation on earth? Huh? The Viking farms were real, artefacts have been dug out of the frozen ground and the MWP is reflected in numerous countries in both hemispheres. But this really is a minor point. So what, either way? We don’t believe your computer models, which are the only indication (or in your universe “evidence”) of future dangerous warming.

    Finally, I would point out that, though Salinger trumpeted the high temperatures during the Pliocene, life survived them. Though he implies those temperatures resulted from a level of CO2 similar to today’s, they weren’t dangerous then, and it’s not causing dangerous temperatures now, and even if we get those Pliocene conditions, we’ll make it.

    Like you SimonP, Salinger is full of misleading alarm and empty of evidence. Hothouse earth? What a hoot.

    The world is not ending.

  25. Andy on May 27, 2013 at 7:35 pm said:

    Forcing due to CO2 is logarithmic to increase in CO2.

    Current estimates of climate sensitivity to this forcing (Otto et al) suggest a modal value of ECS at 2.0 degrees, and TCS of 1.3 degrees C

    Nick Lewis’s interpretation of the same data gives a lower ECS but the same TCS
    (Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity and Transient Climate Sensitivity)

    These figures are slightly above the theoretical black body sensitivity of 1.2 degrees C, implying a slight net positive feedback

    I think the term “positive feedback” is misleading, as it implies a runaway effect. Perhaps “amplification” would be a better term.

    My point is that you can take the latest studies from mainstream climate science, conclude some warming and some positive feedback, and end up with two degrees of warming or less over a fairly long period, by which time you would imagine we would have moved off fossil fuels

    The question of course is whether two degrees is “dangerous”

  26. We are in a sharp extinction phase at the moment, it is called the Anthropocene.

    Only some call it that; I deprecate it because it’s clearly derogatory of my own species and, by extension, of myself.

    Most of what I’ve read about modern extinctions says they are just hot air. It’s very hard to prove that animals or plants cannot be found, simply because we can’t look in every place and we’ve only had 50 to 100 years or even less to look. I’d be most interested in some references, please. There must be a large number of them, considering they’ve named the whole period after them!

  27. Andy on May 27, 2013 at 8:14 pm said:

    To date, the term has not been adopted as part of the official nomenclature of the geological field of study.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropocene

  28. Huub Bakker on May 27, 2013 at 8:51 pm said:

    On the contrary, there are transitions in the Vostok records that occurred over decades. This is one of the features of a chaotic system such as Earth’s climate: the system oscillates between two or more, relatively stable, states. These are the ‘strange attractors’ mentioned in chaos theory. Furthermore, the switch between such states generally occurs very quickly: a fact that many of our bodies’ control mechanisms display.

    If we look at the ‘relatively stable states’, their stability indicates that there are net-negative feedbacks maintaining them.

  29. Thanks, Andy. I note the poor evidence of extinctions of creatures or plants larger than microscopic. The author of the wikipedia article claims a 40% reduction in oceanic “algal biomass” but doesn’t say how many species were extinguished. Quite important to verify that, when the topic is anthropogenic extinctions. If you cannot verify whether they went extinct and, if they did, why they did, you lose the right to rename the age.

  30. Magoo on May 27, 2013 at 9:02 pm said:

    Thomas, if you want to prove positive feedback from water vapour you need to show the tropospheric hot spot. Without it there’s no evidence of positive feedback from water vapour and no evidence of AGW beyond 1.2C per doubling of total atmospheric CO2.

  31. Andy on May 27, 2013 at 9:08 pm said:

    Well this looks fairly major.

    Doug Keenan finally gets an answer from the UK Met Office who concede that there is no statistically significant warming since 1850 that can’t be attributed to natural variability.

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2013/5/27/met-office-admits-claims-of-significant-temperature-rise-unt.html

  32. Bob D on May 27, 2013 at 9:31 pm said:

    SimonP:
    My question was:

    Any evidence for these interesting assertions?

    Your answer was:

    “You may be right, negative feedbacks and limits on CO2 heat absorption may prevent temperature increasing above a mean of 22°C.”

    I’ll take that as a “No” to my question then.

  33. Simon on May 27, 2013 at 9:39 pm said:

    I never said that the earth was ending. Life will survive. We are a sub-tropical ape so will probably do quite well in a warmer world.
    All I said that de Freitas has written a rubbish article. It was supposed to be a critique of Jim Salinger’s op-ed, but was nothing of the sort.

  34. I never said that the earth was ending.

    You have to pick up the one thing you didn’t say. You obviously didn’t notice that I didn’t ascribe that statement to you. But Salinger and other warmists have said it. They’re wrong — glad you and I agree on something.

    Now, what about all those ridiculous talking points you posited that I just shredded? Starting with “must I list them” and ending with what you characterise as an “unsustainable” 350-year occupation of the Greenland coastline. Come on.

    But if you’ve nothing further to say I’ll graciously accept the win. Thank you.

  35. Andy on May 27, 2013 at 10:13 pm said:

    Unless I am reading this incorrectly, statements like 20th Century warming are now rendered meaningless, by the admission of the Met Office.

    This will be lost on most of the population at large.

  36. Thomas on May 27, 2013 at 10:23 pm said:

    For readers curious about the multitude of climate myths that are peddled at this site and again in this discussion, most are fairly well discussed at this collection here.

    As far as CO2 leading temperature in past deglaciations goes, this is a very old hat and again discussion an be found here.

    As far as Marcotts work goes, a good discussion can be found here

    And the host Richard Treadgold said, as a response to the statement made “We are in a sharp extinction phase at the moment, it is called the Anthropocene.”: “Only some call it that; I deprecate it because it’s clearly derogatory of my own species and, by extension, of myself.

    The only person who is derogating your own persona and by proxy the intellect of our species dear Richard is yourself. You have been at it for a long time. But I guess you are too far into Danning Kruger territory to even notice.

  37. Andy on May 27, 2013 at 10:28 pm said:

    Are you now a proxy for Skeptical Science Thomas?

  38. Thomas on May 27, 2013 at 10:36 pm said:

    No Andy, but their excellent work and long list of rebuttals of denier mythology saves a lot of time and are an excellent entry-point into the discussion including references to lead further. Don’t you think so?

  39. Thomas on May 27, 2013 at 10:49 pm said:

    Go and explain that to the North Pole Andy (That 20th century warming is meaningless)….. oh, and bring a row boat, since walking there will be tricky and impossible soon.

  40. Go and explain that to the North Pole Andy (That 20th century warming is meaningless)…..

    In 2007, when the mid-summer melt reached a nadir not seen in 30 years, global temperatures had not risen appreciably for about 9 years. There was no global warming so you cannot blame it for that melt, the same as you cannot blame anthropogenes themselves for the non-existent warming. Or any other kinds of jeans. The cause of the unusual melt, as NOAA explained at the time, was weather patterns and winds.

    oh, and bring a row boat, since walking there will be tricky and impossible soon.

    Funny! Tricky AND impossible? Wow! Tried it lately? You’d freeze to death, even today, in the spring. Thomas, you’re getting desperate and resorting to talking about everything except our rebuttals. How about it? Like to try rebutting? And answering our questions?

  41. Thomas,

    As far as CO2 leading temperature in past deglaciations goes, this is a very old hat

    I haven’t looked at your reference yet, but in the meantime, you must explain how the little bit of atmospheric warming caused the oceans to heat and release more CO2. So far, nobody anywhere is aware of any possible method by which waving warm air over cold water will measurably heat the water. The concept is actually, not to put too fine a point on it, complete nonsense. Our latest post, written by Richard Cumming, might help you understand.

  42. Andy on May 28, 2013 at 7:20 am said:

    There is a simplified version of Doug Keenan’s post here,

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2013/5/27/met-insignificance.html

    Basically, the Met Office concede that there is no global warming signal in 20th century data. A random walk is a better fit.

  43. Simon on May 28, 2013 at 8:01 am said:

    Such short-term thinking. Inuit have survived on Greenland far longer than the Norse did. History has shown on multiple occasions that cow-based economies do not cope well with even a little bit of climate change.

    [You’re so funny! But references, please. You have to wonder why our “cow-based” economies are now saving the Inuit with modern technology — obviously we survived better than they did and we’ve worked harder at science so we know more than they do. – RT]

  44. Thomas on May 28, 2013 at 9:34 am said:

    Richard, no, its you who is deeply confused and so are the other Richards in here including Cumming. (Perhaps Cumming is Richard C (NZ)?, that would explain a lot….) See my post under the nonsense he entertains us with.

  45. Thomas on May 28, 2013 at 9:40 am said:

    Richard:

    Here is the global temperature anomaly map and latitude graph for the time from 2000 to 2012.

    Some meditation on your end over that image might assist.

  46. Andy on May 28, 2013 at 9:43 am said:

    Obviously the Vikings would have been better off if they had the foresight to see that the MWP was going to end. Maybe if they had employed some sustainability consultants who could advise them how to transition to a low carbon economy they would have lasted longer?

    Erik the Sustainability Konsultant lives on in our dreams

    [Clever, heh, heh! – RT]

  47. Andy on May 28, 2013 at 9:59 am said:

    The issue of whether it is warming or not is not relevant to the point I was making about Doug Keenan’s interactions with the Met Office

    The issue is that the statistical model they (and also the IPCC) use is not correct to deduce that there is a global warming signal (either anthropogenic or natural) from the data

    I posted this before

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2013/5/27/met-insignificance.html

    which explains the details

    A better statistical model is one that assigns a random chance of temperatures fluctuating

  48. SimonP on May 28, 2013 at 10:19 am said:

    Keenan is arguing that there is no trend in the data by using a method that removes trends from data. Fail.
    http://quantpalaeo.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/red-herrings-cats-and-pigeons-at-wuwt/

  49. Magoo on May 28, 2013 at 10:25 am said:

    Thomas – did skepticalscience find the tropospheric hot spot? No.

    Did they suggest any empirical evidence of positive feedback from atmospheric water vapour? No.

    What empirical evidence do you (and they) have of AGW without evidence of positive feedback from atmospheric water vapour? None, except for 1.2C (maximum) due directly to CO2.

    Have a look at what the empirical evidence says about the models that incorporate positive feedback from water vapour:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/CMIP5-global-LT-vs-UAH-and-RSS.png

  50. Bob D on May 28, 2013 at 10:49 am said:

    I’m with Simon on this one, I don’t think it’s what Doug thinks it is. I may be wrong, but I generally trust Lucia:
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/the-d-word-alternative-definitions/#comment-113961

  51. Andy on May 28, 2013 at 11:09 am said:

    Keenan is not arguing from a physical point of view. He is treating it as a time series and comes to the conclusion that the random walk is a better fit than the auto-regressive model employed by the Met Office

    This doesn’t imply that the temperature trend is necessarily a random walk. It implies that the auto-regressive model isn’t very good.

    I could use a similar argument with a casino gambling strategy. If the strategy loses more money than a random selection, then it isn’t a very good strategy. In fact, it is worse than useless

    The point made at BH and elsewhere is that it doesn’t rule out a better statistical model. The one they have right now is worse than useless.

  52. The best part of your response for me, Simon, is where you ask why we need to identify the human component of any global warming. Listen carefully. You’re already directly paying higher fuel and electricity bills, with an ETS component a part of almost every other invoice, and if the climate alarmists have their way all of this will soon rocket skywards while at the same time they increasingly deprive us of handy modern tools like large personal vehicles, elective air travel, coal and cheap electric bulbs.

    The New Zealand climate sceptics, Simon, are the only ones asking why this is happening when there’s no evidence for it. We get a bit miffed when we’re ignored, because we have good questions which deserve answers. Then you ask the most baffling question I’ve ever heard: why show the human contribution? What planet is your mind on?

  53. I’m not a bit confused, but you’re not listening to me. Have another read, old son. I’m answering your claim (supported by the well-known post at SkS) purporting to explain the astonishing several-hundred-year lag between atmospheric temperature and CO2. You see, that explanation claims that the oceans warm from the extra warming of the atmosphere. I’m just asking you to explain how that happens. Valid question. To illustrate:

    SkS says (first paragraph): “… the warming is not initiated by CO2 but by changes in the Earth’s orbit. The warming causes the oceans to release CO2.”

    The release of CO2 would occur only if the water had warmed, it’s not enough for just the air to warm. So, how does the warmth get from the air to the water?

    Oh, I forgot — I’m glad you’ve worked out that Richard C is Richard Cumming, well done, you’re quite correct.

  54. Andy on May 28, 2013 at 12:11 pm said:

    At least I am trying, I signed up for the Greens one day conference on climate change; I can’t make it but I got this nice email from them

    Hi Andy,
    Thank you for registering for the upcoming conference “Meeting the challenge: A Strategy for a New Zealand Climate Policy” on June 7.
    I am currently compiling the guest list, and note that the name provided by you is ‘evil denier’.
    I need to give the guest list to parliamentary security to enable admissions on the day, but for that I will need your first and last names.
    Are you able to let me know so that you are able to get into parliament on the day?

    Many thanks,

  55. I’m not sure what you’re telling me with this graph, Thomas. A time series would be more useful to show warming. This just adds everything up over 12 years! How did the temperature progress? What’s the rate of slowing or acceleration? This shows that Arctic anomalies are above those at other latitudes. It doesn’t show that Arctic warming is exceptional.

    But GISS are generally unpersuasive concerning Arctic temperatures. They use the same polar weather stations as the other teams but extrapolate the data to areas up to 1200km distant as though they think thermometers act at a distance. It seems rather devil-may-care to me, but it’s tolerated so who am I to question it?

    Why does NASA refuse to use the satellites it puts into orbit, I wonder? I compared the GISS graph with these two from the satellites:

    UAH: http://www.climate4you.com/images/MSU%20UAH%20ArcticAndAntarctic%20MonthlyTempSince1979%20With37monthRunningAverage.gif

    RSS: http://www.climate4you.com/images/MSU%20RSS%20ArcticAndAntarctic%20MonthlyTempSince1979%20With37monthRunningAverage.gif

    And here’s the Arctic monthly surface air temperatures north of 70N since June 2000 from HadCRUT4:

    http://www.climate4you.com/images/70-90N%20MonthlyAnomaly%20Since2000.gif

    They show good agreement among themselves, but not with GISS.

  56. SimonP on May 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm said:

    ARIMA(3,1,0) is not a random walk. It is a third-order autoregressive model where the warming trend has been removed by differencing and comparing the residuals. It is no surprise that he gets a better relationship than a AR(1) model, there are more terms to play with (just like RichardC and his multi-order polynomials). Keenan’s argument is ridiculous. His assertion would only hold true if he was using a ARIMA(n,0,0) model.

  57. Bob D on May 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm said:

    Andy:
    Yes, I see, that makes sense then.

  58. Bob D on May 28, 2013 at 4:25 pm said:

    Simon:

    “ARIMA(3,1,0) is not a random walk.”

    This is contradicted twice by Lucia (my emphasis):

    “I have argued that it is impossible for the global temperature data to follow a random walk that would be an ARIMA model with d=1. More strictly, ARIMA models with 0.5≤d must be excluded from consideration on the physical grounds.”

    And:

    “The important thing about d=1 is that this part represents a component that is a random walk, yes.”

    I’m happy to defer to Lucia on this, so until she says otherwise I’ll believe that ARIMA(3,1,0) is in fact a random walk.

    Now, as to whether Doug is suggesting that d=1 is physical, and that it means something, well, we’ll have to wait for his explanation first.

  59. SimonP on May 28, 2013 at 5:59 pm said:

    A random walk is ARIMA(0,1,0). I can’t see how a random walk can have autoregressive terms.

  60. SimonP on May 28, 2013 at 6:37 pm said:

    I guess you could argue that the d=1 term in ARIMA(p,d,q) is a random walk generator but in Doug Keenan’s case he is using it as a means to remove the warming trend. The physical process justifying the choice of such a model leaves me baffled too.

  61. Andy on May 29, 2013 at 11:07 am said:

    There’s some interesting correspondence between Doug McNeall (UKMO statistician) and Doug Keenan here

    http://dougmcneall.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/some-more-correspondence-with-doug-keenan/

    The issues are really around what is the best statistical model for the temperature series and also use of the terms “statistical significance” vs “significance”

  62. Andy on May 29, 2013 at 12:15 pm said:

    Thanks to Thomas for this one.

    “Should we be paying for climate denial?”

    http://craccum.ausa.auckland.ac.nz/?p=107#

    University of Auckland Student rag bitching about the lack of warmist propaganda in their classes delivered by Chris de Freitas

  63. Magoo on May 29, 2013 at 1:04 pm said:

    When the data and the empirical evidence doesn’t stack up the alarmists have no choice but to resort to ad hominem attacks – it’s all they have left.

    The biggest thing I came away with from my uni studies after completing 4 degrees was the ability to think for myself. The last degree I did was in education, and one of the things they taught us was the theory of these different levels of thinking called the solo taxonomy:

    http://www.johnbiggs.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/solo_taxonomy.jpg

    The first level is learning a single bit of information. The 2nd level is learning several bits of information, but not understanding them in the bigger picture. The 3rd is understanding how the several bits of information relate to each other, and the 4th is to use the information and their links to come to an informed theory or hypothesis.

    It would seem that the author of the craccum magazine article on de Freitas is stuck in the lowest two forms of thinking and isn’t smart enough to think for himself – an unthinking and ignorant propaganda mouthpiece. He accepts what he’s been told by the alarmists because he doesn’t have the ability to think beyond that. De Freitas tried to get him to think for himself at the 3rd level and almost succeeded -‘The last lecture of the series for me was the most concerning. I left almost convinced by De Freitas’ argument that climate change was a natural cycle.’, but ultimately the guy was too stupid (in the first year of his uni study anyway).

  64. D Cotton on May 29, 2013 at 1:25 pm said:

    The Uranus Dilemma

    Consideration of the planet Uranus very clearly indicates that radiative models (and any type of “Energy Budget” similar to those produced by the IPCC) can never be used to explain observed temperatures on Uranus. We can deduce that there must be some other physical process which transfers some of the energy absorbed in the upper levels of the Uranus atmosphere from the meagre 3W/m^2 of Solar radiation down into its depths, and that same mechanism must “work” on all planets with significant atmospheres.

    Uranus is an unusual planet in that there is no evidence of any internal heat generation. Yet, as we read in this Wikipedia article, the temperature at the base of its (theoretical) troposphere is about 320K – quite a hot day on Earth. But it gets hotter still as we go further down in an atmosphere that is nearly 20,000Km in depth. Somewhere down there it is thought that there is indeed a solid core with about half the mass of Earth. The surface of that mini Earth is literally thousands of degrees. And of course there’s no Solar radiation reaching anywhere near that depth.

    So how does the necessary energy get down there, or even as far as the 320K base of the troposphere? An explanation of this requires an understanding of the spontaneous process described in the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which is stated here as …

    “The second law of thermodynamics: An isolated system, if not already in its state of thermodynamic equilibrium, spontaneously evolves towards it. Thermodynamic equilibrium has the greatest entropy amongst the states accessible to the system”

    Think about it, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions – and explain what actually happens, not only on Uranus, Venus, Jupiter etc, but also on Earth.

  65. Andy on May 29, 2013 at 1:59 pm said:

    What is stupid is denying that the climate has natural cycles and that the phrase “teaching climate denial” has any meaning whatsoever.

    I don’t think Chris de Freitas has ever suggested that Co2 is not a Greenhouse gas or that it may cause some warming. The amount of warming is unknown and subject to a wide range of uncertainty. This is scientific fact, not “denial”.

  66. Magoo on May 29, 2013 at 2:21 pm said:

    Exactly. The student is not willing to consider any other facts because he can’t get past the basic idea that man is responsible for the warming via CO2 – which is what he’s been taught by the media previously. He doesn’t try to put 1 & 1 together because he doesn’t know how to add.

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