TVNZ climate science halfwits

A pristine blue sky ruined by carbon dioxide pollution

The Oxford Dictionary of Chemistry says of carbon dioxide (CO2) that it is “a colourless, odourless gas.” It’s non-toxic except in very high concentrations, it’s essential food for all terrestrial and marine plants and therefore makes all animal life possible, and its level in our blood regulates breathing. From it, plants create the oxygen that we and animals need to survive and its carbon component provides the basis of our anatomy and physiology.

CO2 is one of two miraculous molecules that give and sustain human life, setting all manner of boundaries within a whisker of death but beyond its reach. In other words, ensuring our survival through the miraculous provision of precisely what we need. Water is the other: [from it, plants create the oxygen that we and animals need to survive. UPDATE 22 NOV] We can count ourselves fortunate that atmospheric levels of CO2 over the last four hundred years or so only got down to about 275 parts per million by volume (ppmv), for when they reach 150 ppmv terrestrial plants shut down.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) don’t know this and instead would do anything to bring CO2 levels down, closer to the death of all plants. At the end of October the WMO released a report showing that CO2 levels “surged at ‘record-breaking speed’ to new highs in 2016”, reaching 403.3 parts per million in 2016, up from 400 ppm in 2015. The Secretary-General, Mr Petteri Taalas, emphasized that the new figures reveal “we are not moving in the right direction at all,” adding that “in fact we are actually moving in the wrong direction,” referring to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The BBC claimed the report stated “Over the past 70 years, the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is nearly 100 times larger than it was at the end of the last ice age.” At that time, there seemed to be a rise from about 17,000 years before present (YBP) to about 13,000 YBP of about 70 ppmv. For the recent rise to be 100 times that, it would need to reach 700 ppmv, which is ridiculous.

TVNZ goes even further, calling the presence in the atmosphere of CO2 ‘pollution’. Their heading was: “Air pollution is nearly 100 times worse than it was in the last ice age.”

Anti-science halfwits. Did they even read the WMO report?

37 Thoughts on “TVNZ climate science halfwits

  1. Ian Cooper on November 20, 2017 at 11:49 am said:

    You got the ‘wits’ bit right RT, but I would have changed the first four letters if this wasn’t a family show, so to speak!

  2. Richard Treadgold on November 20, 2017 at 11:57 am said:

    Heh, heh! Yes, if we didn’t uphold at least an occasional standard of courtesy, who else would?

  3. Mike Jowsey on November 21, 2017 at 8:09 am said:

    Ramping up the propaganda for the sake of Bonn bureaucrats.

  4. What is telling is that no one from the science community picks up the media on these obvious errors. If they did I might have a little more respect for them

  5. Richard Treadgold on November 21, 2017 at 10:25 am said:

    It’s going to be significant when they try to argue they said nothing wrong. The problem will be that they said nothing to correct the wrong.

  6. Maggy Wassilieff on November 21, 2017 at 2:58 pm said:

    If I can correct something in the above text….

    From it (CO2) , plants create the oxygen that we and animals need to survive

    Perhaps it’s a bit of esoteric research (but it should have got a Nobel), but the oxygen that plants respire during photosynthesis derives from the water molecule, not from carbon dioxide.

    This is the Hill reaction
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill_reaction
    http://sciencing.com/oxygen-gas-produced-during-photosynthesis-6365699.html

  7. Richard Treadgold on November 21, 2017 at 3:50 pm said:

    Maggy,

    You most certainly can correct it. It arose from something I read, or thought I read, in the last few days. But, as I always say, I’d rather be right that not, so thank you. I had forgotten this part of the photosynthesis process.

    Reading your links is a fresh enlightenment into the magic that underpins our lives. I look from this office at three enormous trees no more than 30 metres away, and hundreds more within 5 km or so across farmland. It’s instructive to consider that these reactions are occurring in their millions within each leaf of each tree.

  8. Barry Brill on November 22, 2017 at 5:17 pm said:

    The WMO itself has announced that the volume of global emissions of human-caused CO2 have been stable throughout the past three years. Less than 1% increase 2014-16.
    http://www.carbonbrief.org/what-global-co2-emissions-2016-mean-climate-change

    This data came as a great surprise to climate modellers who have consistently assumed that the rapid rises of the 1990-2010 period would only accelerate throughout the next 50 years. That is the trajectory used in 3 of the 4 Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) used by the IPCC for all its forecasts of future world temperatures.

    At COP23, WRI reported that 49 countries have passed their peak GHG emissions and are now declining. By 2020, it is forecast that ALL developed countries will have peaked.
    http://www.wri.org/blog/2017/11/turning-point-which-countries-ghg-emissions-have-peaked-which-will-future

    So, why is the WMO exercised by the reading that the atmospheric concentration of CO2 increased by 3.3 ppm during 2016? This increase clearly didn’t come from human-caused emissions.

    I suspect the record increase was out-gassed from the ocean, As a result of the giant El Nino, 2015-16 were record warm years and the sea gives up CO2 (or absorbs a little less) when average SST rises. If so, this was a part of the 97% of atmospheric CO2 that is natural and the WMO must have known it was not part of the 3% stock attributed to humans.

  9. Richard Treadgold on November 23, 2017 at 10:48 am said:

    Yes, and although this information has been available for nearly a year, who has seen or heard about it from our ever-unreliable media hounds? It must be unimportant, even as we contemplate the soaring costs of reducing infinitesimally the global temperature.

  10. Dennis Horne on November 25, 2017 at 9:23 pm said:

    Emissions are not decreasing.

    Even if they were, the atmospheric level would still be rising, as more GHGs are added .

    During human civilisation, CO2 has been 300ppm. The rate of increase in emissions and temperature has been high.

    The last time CO2 was 400ppm the sea level was >5m higher.

    Most gaseous oxygen came from phytoplankton; a process limited by the availability of iron.

  11. Richard Treadgold on November 26, 2017 at 10:46 am said:

    Dennis, we agree that some of the rise in CO2 is caused by human emissions, so you get no points for going on ad nauseam about the rise itself — most of it is caused by warming a few hundred years ago. If sea level was so much higher before, why is it dawdling along this time? If your reference to oxygen means we don’t rely solely on the O2 from photosynthesis, then that is true, but it’s yet another reason not to go hell-for-leather destroying atmospheric CO2.

    What you appear to overlook, though it’s more likely you deliberately turn away from it, is the total lack of evidence that the little portion of our emissions that is left after nature makes use of it causes dangerous warming. And if it’s not dangerous, we don’t need to worry about it.

    We keep asking and asking: show us the evidence, Dennis. I don’t imagine you’ll find any. The IPCC hasn’t managed in five voluminous studies of the climate change literature, and you’re hardly capable of it.

    But thanks for your interest.

  12. Maggy Wassilieff on November 26, 2017 at 3:52 pm said:

    2290 tonnes of CO2/day being burped out by Mt Ruapehu at the moment.
    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/environment/344697/high-gas-readings-at-mt-ruapehu

  13. RT, It might pay for you to reread the IPCC AR5 Summary for Policymakers, SPM.1 Human Interference with the Climate System:
    1) Unique and threatened systems: Some unique and threatened systems, including ecosystems and cultures, are already at risk from climate change (high confidence). The number of such systems at risk of severe consequences is higher with additional warming of around 1°C. Many species and systems with limited adaptive capacity are subject to very high risks with additional warming of 2°C, particularly Arctic-sea-ice and coral-reef systems.
    2) Extreme weather events: Climate-change-related risks from extreme events, such as heat waves, extreme precipitation, and coastal flooding, are already moderate (high confidence) and high with 1°C additional warming (medium confidence). Risks associated with some types of extreme events (e.g., extreme heat) increase further at higher temperatures (high confidence).
    3) Distribution of impacts: Risks are unevenly distributed and are generally greater for disadvantaged people and communities in countries at all levels of development. Risks are already moderate because of regionally differentiated climate-change impacts on crop production in particular (medium to high confidence). Based on projected decreases in regional crop yields and water availability, risks of unevenly distributed impacts are high for additional warming above 2°C (medium confidence).
    4) Global aggregate impacts: Risks of global aggregate impacts are moderate for additional warming between 1–2°C, reflecting impacts to both Earth’s biodiversity and the overall global economy (medium confidence). Extensive biodiversity loss with associated loss of ecosystem goods and services results in high risks around 3°C additional warming (high confidence).Aggregate economic damages accelerate with increasing temperature (limited evidence, high agreement), but few quantitative estimates have been
    completed for additional warming around 3°C or above.
    5) Large-scale singular events: With increasing warming, some physical systems or ecosystems may be at risk of abrupt and irreversible changes. Risks associated with such tipping points become moderate between 0–1°C additional warming, due to early warning signs that both warm-water coral reef and Arctic ecosystems are already experiencing irreversible regime shifts (medium confidence). Risks increase disproportionately as temperature increases between 1–2°C additional warming and become high
    above 3°C, due to the potential for a large and irreversible sea level rise from ice sheet loss. For sustained warming greater than some threshold, 35 near-complete loss of the Greenland ice sheet would occur over a millennium or more,contributing up to 7 m of global mean sea level rise.

  14. Richard Treadgold on November 26, 2017 at 10:10 pm said:

    Let me repeat, Simon: I’m asking for “evidence that the little portion of our emissions that is left after nature makes use of it causes dangerous warming.”

    What you present is not evidence that we cause warming, but a description of some claimed future effects of warming.

  15. Richard Treadgold on November 26, 2017 at 10:31 pm said:

    Maggie, that’s the first reliable measurement I’ve seen of CO2 flux from an active volcano. To gain some context, I looked up the national greenhouse gas inventory for the latest annual figure (2015), which was 80.2 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. These latest burps, over 365 days, amount to about 836 million tonnes, or about 0.00001 of our total annual emissions.

    CORRECTION: Ruapehu is burping 836,000 tonnes per year, about 0.01 of our recent annual emissions. Decimal point madness.

  16. Maggy Wassilieff on November 27, 2017 at 8:36 am said:

    @RT…
    The latest burps amount to 836 thousand tonnes (not million tonnes)

    Inhaled all at once, I am sure that volume of CO2 is lethal
    but it seems a bit of stretch of the truth for the latest headliner in the NZ Herald that Ruapehu is emitting high levels of poisonous gas
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11948091

  17. Richard Treadgold on November 27, 2017 at 9:00 am said:

    So sorry, you’re quite right! Mea culpa. Yes, it’s tremendously misleading to label it poisonous.

  18. Then read Section B of the Guide: https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf

    Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed
    changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have
    warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the
    concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased (see Figures SPM.1, SPM.2, SPM.3 and
    SPM.4)

    Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any
    preceding decade since 1850 (see Figure SPM.1). In the Northern Hemisphere, 1983–2012
    was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years (medium confidence).

    Ocean warming dominates the increase in energy stored in the climate system, accounting
    for more than 90% of the energy accumulated between 1971 and 2010 (high confidence).
    It is virtually certain that the upper ocean (0−700 m) warmed from 1971 to 2010 (see Figure
    SPM.3), and it likely warmed between the 1870s and 1971.

    The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have
    increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. Carbon dioxide
    concentrations have increased by 40% since pre-industrial times, primarily from fossil fuel
    emissions and secondarily from net land use change emissions. The ocean has absorbed
    about 30% of the emitted anthropogenic carbon dioxide, causing ocean acidification (see
    Figure SPM.4).

  19. Richard Treadgold on November 27, 2017 at 10:25 am said:

    Thanks, Simon, but what you cite doesn’t mention ‘human’, much less ‘human influence’. What leads you, yourself, to think that these passages prove a human cause of the warming and that it’s dangerous?

  20. From above: Carbon dioxide concentrations have increased by 40% since pre-industrial times, primarily from fossil fuel emissions and secondarily from net land use change emissions.
    Are you implying that humans are not responsible for fossil fuel emissions and land use change?

  21. Richard Treadgold on November 27, 2017 at 2:14 pm said:

    Simon,

    No, I’m not. But I am asking what leads you to conclude that this or any passage proves a human cause of dangerous warming?

  22. If you really have read the IPCC AR5 documents then you would know that:
    1. Temperatures are rising at about 1ºC/century.
    2. The primary cause is the additional greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
    3. These additional greenhouse gases are due to fossil fuel emissions and land use change which are caused by humans.
    4. The risks are multiple (see above) and will play out over several time horizons.
    Which of the above statements do you deny?

  23. What dangerous warming? It hasn’t warmed in approximately 20 yrs except for the 2015/16 El Nino.

    Are El Nino dangerous warming events and if so, how is a recurring natural weather event anthropogenic in nature?

    Simon’s quote from the IPCC AR5 SPM states ‘since the 1950s’, yet since 1950 there has only been warming from approximately 1980-1997 – 17 yrs out of 67 (25%), and that was 20 yrs ago. Some try to include the 2015/16 El Nino as evidence of anthropogenic global warming, but then my 2nd question above would need to be answered to justify that.

  24. Richard Treadgold on November 27, 2017 at 9:52 pm said:

    Simon,

    I deny none of those assertions, though none of them constitutes evidence of dangerous warming caused by humans. I demand evidence. If you produce evidence, which after examination I accept, I’ll change sides. EVIDENCE WORKS. Brief comments:

    1. One Celsius degree per century is unalarming.
    2. The IPCC makes the guess that we’re responsible for about 50% of the warming since 1950 which appears to account for about 0.3°C, iirc.
    3. Some of the rise in CO2 comes from our emissions and land use change, but a substantial portion comes from natural causes, most likely temperature increases from a few hundred years ago. Nobody — NOBODY! — has declared they know how much warming each portion of CO2 causes, but that’s what I’m asking for. I’d say it’s not too much to ask, considering I’m being TOLD to give up emitting CO2, which means turning off my machines.

    Remember not long ago when the alarmists were saying the evidence is now overwhelming? Well, produce it. Just do it from memory.

  25. O FFS.
    1. is incorrect (see above)
    2. It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in GHG concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period (Figure SPM.3).
    3. is incorrect. You are confusing flux with net change.
    Please stop lying, it does you no credit.

  26. Mike Jowsey on November 28, 2017 at 6:41 pm said:

    Oh Simon, you had to play the “please stop lying” card. That does neither you nor your argument any credit. Ad hominem seldom works in a logical argument. Debating 101. Really, “lying”? You may be apologetic unless you offer evidence of RT lying. Take a breath, step back, exhale CO2 slowly and gather your wits. And apologise.

  27. Simon,

    Do you mean the graphs from Figure SPM.6? SMP.3 doesn’t have anything to do with surface temperature.

  28. Richard Treadgold on November 28, 2017 at 9:12 pm said:

    Thanks, Mike!

    Simon,

    “O FFS.” Any more profanity like that and you’ll be speaking to the headmaster!

    1. One Celsius degree per century rise is not unalarming? But it is. See above what? How can I understand that? PLEASE, PLEASE be precise with your reference!!!!!

    2. OK, Figure SPM.3 consists of “multiple observed indicators of a changing global climate”. But all four graphs show evidence merely of warming. There’s no evidence of dangerous warming caused by human activity. See, I’m asking about the mechanism whereby our activity (ok, I’ll admit the ‘activity’ is probably emitting CO2) causes atmospheric warming. What you’ve offered has nothing to say about the mechanism, see?

    3. You claim the AR5 says: “These additional greenhouse gases are due to fossil fuel emissions and land use changes which are caused by humans.” But, again, that claim contributes nothing to knowledge of how warming allegedly occurs. When I answered that “a substantial portion [of the rise in atmospheric CO2] comes from natural causes, most likely temperature increases from a few hundred years ago” you said it “is incorrect. You are confusing flux with net change.” I don’t understand this, please explain what you mean. If you already, after only three exchanges, find my failure to fall for your arguments so frustrating that you resort to profanity, then give thought to our situation. We have asked for evidence for more than a decade without result. In the case of some notable scientists, far more than a decade and the loss of their job. We must remain polite, for otherwise you will stop replying even with useless information; we must tolerate your increasingly ad hominem expostulations (“O FFS”, etc.), and we endure the constant cry of “denier” aimed, it seems, with impunity, for nobody seems to care. Still, it’s a reasonable question, so I ask it again: what evidence can you bring for dangerous warming caused by human activity?

    It’s vexatious that you continually evade my simple question. Is your attention span so short you cannot remember my question? This certainly paints you in a poor light. Simon, evidence is most persuasive. Produce some.

  29. Mike Jowsey on November 29, 2017 at 6:06 pm said:

    We have asked for evidence for more than a decade without result.

    what evidence can you bring for dangerous warming caused by human activity?

    The nub and the rub, Simon.

  30. Richard Treadgold on November 30, 2017 at 9:00 am said:

    We fought the half-wits and the half-wits won. Sounds like a rollicking western in there somewhere. We have to remind ourselves that there’s no evidence behind this, no matter how enmeshed it appears to become in the warp and weft of society’s fabric, and the truth will one day prevail.

  31. The issue around coastal hazards is that they base their assumptions on RCP8.5. That is, that catastrophic climate change is a likely outcome, based on implausible economic inputs

    My suggestion to coastal residents is that they write to the council and request a large reduction in their rates, since their property values should take a fairly big hit

  32. Here’s an interesting new study showing only 0.364 C total warming since 1978:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/29/study-no-acceleration-in-global-warming-climate-sensitivity-to-co2-too-high/

  33. If you want a bit of a laugh (or cry, your choice) check out Lew’s latest creation:

    “Internet Blogs, Polar Bears, and Climate-Change Denial by Proxy”

    https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/bix133/4644513

    I find it amazing and somewhat depressing that Oxford University Press can publish this utter garbage

  34. Thanks for the link Andy. Denier blogs are by definition those that deny the scientific evidence, so the conclusion is self-evident.

  35. Simon,

    Let me reveal a little secret about your statement below:

    ‘The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period (Figure SPM.3).’

    The Figure SPM.3 is below and shows no comparison between estimates and temperature, but figure SPM.6 does so I assume you mean that instead:

    Fig. SPM.3:
    https://www.ipcc.ch/report/graphics/images/Assessment%20Reports/AR5%20-%20WG1/SPM/FigSPM-03.jpg

    Fig. SPM.6:
    https://www.ipcc.ch/report/graphics/images/Assessment%20Reports/AR5%20-%20WG1/SPM/FigSPM-06.jpg

    The problem with the SPM.6 graphs is the data doesn’t end in 2010 but approximately 2000, 2 years after the IPCC says the ‘hiatus’ started. The most up to date comparison of estimates to empirical data in the AR5 us from the Technical Summary & is below, and uses 4 datasets instead of one (including the one in SPM.6):

    https://www.ipcc.ch/report/graphics/images/Assessment%20Reports/AR5%20-%20WG1/Technical%20Summary/FigTS-14.jpg

    The Summary for Policy Makers truncates the temperature/data comparison at 2000 to avoid the obvious truth, which is why the SPM is a pile of unsubstantiated garbage that ‘denies’ the empirical evidence in the rest of Working Group I. Only the desperate & naive quote the SPM. Either you accept the empirical evidence Simon, or you can continue to ‘deny’ it which makes YOU the ‘denier’, not those of us who accept the empirical evidence. Ranting & calling people names doesn’t change the empirical data, it just means you’re having a childish tantrum.

  36. Denier blogs are by definition those that deny the scientific evidence

    Evidence of what?

    I deny the evidence that catastrophic sea level rise of up to one metre is going to occur over the next 100 years. I deny this evidence because it doesn’t exist.

    How can I deny something that doesn’t exist? The assumptions behind these claims are ludicrous, yet local councils are implementing policies based on these assumptions.

    Incidentally, I thought Lewandowski had been put out to grass after his “conspiracy ideation” paper. The techniques behind this paper were very poor, even by academic standards of today

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