Response to Either way, 22’s Comment on Denialism Part 1

Either way, 22 blogs:

Honestly, I have no idea why The Pompous Git was in my RSS feed: must have written something of interest to me or been linked from a site I read. Two weeks ago a title that popped up from the category piqued my curiosity: I expected satire, but instead found what looks like a real, honest-to-god attempt to propagate climate change denial, in an unbearably pretentious style — but hey, judging by the blog’s title, it’s supposed to be the author’s signature — with a lot of conceited mockery forced in. Ironically, it only served to underline his confusion about the very basics of the theory he wanted to discredit, not to mention his problems grappling with secondary-school level physics.

The post is not unique as far as denialists’ posts go, but being more elaborate, makes for an excellent example of all their typical failures of “motivated reasoning”: ignoring 99% of available data to concentrate on a few select graphs and papers (which of course “prove” their point), a total failure to cross-check and/or verify anything (including definitions the author himself links to), a long succession of logical fallacies, and last but not least, classic symptoms of the Dunning-Kruger syndrome: He Knows Better, Because He Once Read a Climate Handbook. Tremble, mere climate scientists.

Before we get stuck into Either way, 22‘s/Anonymous Coward’s [delete whichever is inapplicable] comment, it’s worth pointing out the completely false claim here that The Git claimed to be a climate science expert (suffering “the classic symptoms of the Dunning-Kruger syndrome”). Rather, he pointed out that he took for granted a classic undergraduate text (Oke’s Boundary layer Climates) was a fair representation of climate science. He also pointed out that another popular undergraduate text, The Changing Earth: Exploring Geology and Evolution, by Munro and Wicander had nothing substantive on CAGW either. He also referred to the AGU publication The Oceans and Rapid Climate Change: Past, Present, and Future, Volume 126. He also mentioned the influence of Hubert Lamb and Gordon Manley who both wrote books and papers in The Git’s collection. This is manifestly not “He Knows Better, Because He Once Read a Climate Handbook”. The Git referred to The Received View, that is what is actually taught to undergraduates. It should be fairly obvious that The Git is not responsible for the existence of that Received View. Indeed, he is perplexed that acceptance of The Received View earns the pejorative label: climate denialist (as if anyone ever denied the existence of climate!) On with the farce:

OK, I’ll bite.

1) “Questioning any of the above means you are a Denialist. There’s a “scientific consensus” that all this is true and “the debate is over”.”

A classic straw man, if I ever saw one. You wouldn’t be able to refer me to any source that would define a “denialist” as someone who “questions any of the above”, or to the alleged scientific consensus that says that “all this is true”.

See: The Debate is Over

2) The consensus — you ignore all surveys other than Cook et al. 2013 (that paint the same picture), then you set up another straw man: “their fanboys then claim 97% support for Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming when there’s nothing whatsoever about catastrophe in the survey” — opinions of “fanboys” have nothing to do with the paper itself. Legates et al. criticism of Cook et al. is bogus, to put it mildly. And please, Willie Soon? The guy who pocketed a million from Big Oil with not a disclosure note until the FOIA query result was published? And… Monckton, for pity’s sake?! You seem genuinely desperate.

Let’s see, who are “Big Oil” (we hear this term with very great frequency from the CAGWers)? ExxonMobil, BP and Shell are “Big Oil” — they account for just 10% of world oil production and 5% of reserves. That’s really BIG until you stop to ask who “Little Oil” are and ask: how come if they are so little they account for 90% of world production and 95% of reserves? [See How the West was Lost by Dambisa Moyo, Allen Lane 2011 p 146]. Saudi Aramco, Petroleos de Venezuala, Gazprom and Rosneft (Russia), the China National Petroleum Corporation, Petronas (Malaysia) and Petrobras (Brazil) are “Little Oil”. Noticeably these are all Big Government enterprises rather than private industry. Think “state-owned enterprises” aka authoritarian political systems.

The point being made here, clearly and unashamedly is not that what Legates, Soon and Monckton actually say that is important, it’s who pays them. This is the logical fallacy of argumentum ad hominem where a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. In this instance, in order to avoid any substantive argument about the claim. Are these people in the pay of “Big Oil”? Who gives a fuck?

The Git could have played the same card, but chose not to. Check out the list of sponsors of the CRU here. Is that BP and Shell I see before me? How about Stanford? Is that ExxonMobil I see before me? Could it be that “Big Oil”, far from being opposed to CAGW are actually sponsoring the organisations pushing  it? It would appear so…

3) “CAGW has yet to come of age in the academic sense”

If you actually claim that on the basis of “the guys I talk to don’t have One Book to rule them all”, then they have much better than a book: they have a comprehensive survey, summary and analysis of all scientific activity related to the subject, updated every few years, referencing in detail every significant development and result. You can find it here. And yes, there arebookstoo, if you bother to look for them.

Ah yes, Gavin Schmidt. Given Gavin’s reluctance to answer questions of a scientific nature, it seems remarkable that you would recommend The Git read a book by him. Gavin’s technique is to claim that the question you put was incorrect and then replace it with a question that is completely irrelevant to the point of interest. Arguing semantics might be fun for some, but not particularly enlightening on questions of a scientific nature. The other book looks like it might be of interest. The Git has yet to see a copy in the second-hand bookshop he frequents. He is somewhat reluctant to pay $US71.46 for the Kindle edition given the previewable content.

4) “As you can see, it was considerably colder than present 150 years ago. Obviously, the climate has warmed considerably since.”

But the climate doesn’t warm just because it was colder before. If it’s getting warmer, a physical factor that caused the cooling must have disappeared, or a physical factor causing the warming must have appeared. The whole issue boils down to one simple question: can you point to any physical factor other than the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases as the cause of the warming observed in the last 40 years?

When The Git became interested in matters climatic, some 45 years ago, the then prevailing explanation for the Little Ice Age was the disappearance of sunspots. From that minimal level of activity, the sun’s activity increased over the twentieth century before entering its recent decline. Consider the following:

NASA Finds Sun-Climate Connection in Old Nile Records

Alexander Ruzmaikin and Joan Feynman of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., together with Dr. Yuk Yung of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., have analyzed Egyptian records of annual Nile water levels collected between 622 and 1470 A.D. at Rawdah Island in Cairo. These records were then compared to another well-documented human record from the same time period: observations of the number of auroras reported per decade in the Northern Hemisphere. Auroras are bright glows in the night sky that happen when mass is rapidly ejected from the sun’s corona, or following solar flares. They are an excellent means of tracking variations in the sun’s activity.

Feynman said that while ancient Nile and auroral records are generally “spotty,” that was not the case for the particular 850-year period they studied.

“Since the time of the pharaohs, the water levels of the Nile were accurately measured, since they were critically important for agriculture and the preservation of temples in Egypt,” she said. “These records are highly accurate and were obtained directly, making them a rare and unique resource for climatologists to peer back in time.”

A similarly accurate record exists for auroral activity during the same time period in northern Europe and the Far East. People there routinely and carefully observed and recorded auroral activity, because auroras were believed to portend future disasters, such as droughts and the deaths of kings.

“A great deal of modern scientific effort has gone into collecting these ancient auroral records, inter-comparing them and evaluating their accuracy,” Ruzmaikin said. “They have been successfully used by aurora experts around the world to study longer time scale variations.”

It’s widely accepted that rainfall in Africa correlates well with ENSO. That being so, then one should be able to assume that ENSO also correlates well with auroral activity if this paper is correct. So, the question arises, was it the sun, or was this climatic variation due to CO2? Is it possible that changes in CO2 drive the aurora? The Git doesn’t think so.

5) “Why will the condition that allowed humanity to begin civilisation be a catastrophe when it occurs in the future?”

a) Lamb’s original work — the basis of your graph — concerned an area of Central England, not the globe. Most probably, the Holocene Optimum was neither global (the tropics were cooler than today), nor even constant (the temperatures reached values higher than contemporary seasonally, in NH summer/SH winter). Averaged global temperatures are estimated to actually be lower than at the end of the 20th century.

The IPCC did not present that chart as concerning Central England only, nor did they IIRC credit Lamb. The Git will be dealing with “averaged global temperatures” at a later date. If the Holocene Optimum was confined the Central England, why does it show up elsewhere?

Please note well: The Git is not responsible for the term Holocene Optimum.

b) The rate of the change is crucial. We’re raising the concentrations of the greenhouse gases two orders of magnitude faster than it used to happen for natural reasons, and the corresponding temperature peak is steep. Mother Nature deals with such abrupt changes using a strategy called “massive extinction”.

In truth we have no idea what the “natural” rate of CO2 is. The ice core record is widely acknowledged to not contain fine detail due to migration of gas through the forming ice. The leaf stomata record also has its problems. The Git notes that the last time he crunched the numbers from Mauna Loa versus the predicted rate of increase in CO2 he came up with the following:


Not much sign of rapid acceleration there.

6) “Sure, there could potentially be more CO2 in the atmosphere than is beneficial, but that level (50,000 ppm) is way, way more than we currently have”

A non sequitur, of galactic proportions. The idea that we need to reach 50,000 ppm of CO2 to exit the “beneficial” range is preposterous. Even if you stick to the lower range of climate sensitivity estimates, for a “business as usual” scenario of emissions you get c. 800-1100 ppm in 2100, and an equilibrium temperature rise of c. 2.6 degrees comparing to 1900. 2.6 degrees of _global_ warming in just a few centuries will not be “beneficial” by any measure. The negative effects of ocean acidification alone will outweigh any gains that higher temperatures might bring in some areas.

Actually I was pointing out the level CO2 must reach in order to be toxic. A warming of ca. 2.6°C would appear to bring us to where we were during the Holocene Optimum and virtually the whole of the Eemian.

If you have any evidence that the oceans have “acidified” anywhere, please enlighten us. AFAICT the oceans average pH is 8.1 with a variation of 0.3 between locations and diurnally at many locations. In order to be “acidified”, the pH would have to be below 7.0 if the chemistry The Git learned as a a student in 1967 was correct. Bluntly, this is High School chemistry. Measuring the pH of solutions as complex as seawater is a non-trivial exercise according to Horne’s Marine Chemistry, Wiley 1969.

7) “There’s even considerable doubt that we could ever burn fossil fuel fast enough to double current levels!”

No, there’s not. “Business as usual” scenarios based on existing, known fossil fuel reserves and usage rates give a value ofminimum ~800 ppm in 2100 (p. 1096). For the last six decades carbon emissions have been accelerating. Moreover, climate sensitivity needs to be related to the pre-industrial levels of CO2, not current ones (we haven’t yet seen a thermodynamic balance in the climate system following the CO2 forcing).

There’s been no argument from The Git that CO2 emissions have been accelerating. There is however a marked propensity for those emissions to be taken up by the biosphere.

On the contribution of CO2 fertilization to the missing biospheric sink

A gridded biospheric carbon model is used to investigate the impact of the atmospheric CO2 increase on terrestrial carbon storage. The analysis shows that the calculated CO2 fertilization sink is dependent not just on the mathematical formulation of the “β factor” but also on the relative controls of net primary productivity (NPP), carbon residence times, and resource availability. The modeled evolution of the biosphere for the period 1850–1990 shows an increasing lag between NPP and the heterotrophic respiration. The time evolution of the modeled biospheric sink (i.e., difference between enhanced NPP and enhanced respiration) does not match that obtained by deconvolution of the ice core CO2 time series. Agreement between the two is reasonable for the first half of the period, but during the recent decades the deconvoluted CO2 increase is much too fast to be explained by the CO2 fertilization effect only. Therefore other mechanisms than CO2 fertilization should also contribute to the missing sink. Our results suggest that about two thirds to three fourths of the 1850–1990 integrated missing sink is due to the CO2 greening of the biosphere. The remainder may be due to the increased level of nitrogen deposition starting around 1950.

Actually, we haven’t seen any increase in temperature for over 17 years now from this accelerating “carbon emissions”. Perhaps these “carbon emissions” are graphite, diamonds, or even soot. For a supposed scientist, your use of acidic for pH above 7 and “carbon” rather than carbon dioxide seems indicative that perhaps you are a pretender.

8) “Greenhouse producers regularly increase the level of CO2 in their greenhouses to 1,000 ppm to increase productivity. It would appear that our current food crops are best adapted to an atmosphere containing ~1,000 ppm of CO2.”

Another non sequitur. Long-time tests in the open — you don’t plan to construct a greenhouse for the whole of global agriculture, do you? — show that given elevated levels of CO2, plants run into constraints with respect to other nutrients; also, some of them show a slowing in the rate of photosynthesis, some staple cropslose nutritional quality, and susceptibility to pests and diseasesmight rise significantly. CO2 is simply not the only factor in plant growth. This is like saying that humans are best adapted to eating burgers, because when restricted to this diet, they quickly grow much bigger around the waist.

One of the main effects of increased CO2 levels is a decrease in the size of leaf stomata since the plant doesn’t need them to be so large for the purpose of respiration. In turn, this leads to a decrease in expired H2O and consequent increase in efficiency of water usage. In Australian conditions, a doubling of CO2 level would lead to a decreased water need of 25%. Please explain why increasing water use efficiency will lead to greater pestilence, unbalanced plant nutrition and a slowing rate of photosynthesis. The Git isn’t buying it. And hamburgers have nothing whatsoever with the fact that the major crop-limiting factor is water availability.

9) “It is immediately obvious that for most of the last 600 million years CO2 levels were higher than today — at 5–7,000 ppm more than an order of magnitude higher for most of that time. Likewise, temperatures have mostly been around 10°C higher.”

So? If you were you planning yet another non sequitur here (“it used to be much warmer, so much warmer cannot be bad”) then you might not bother. The point is that the rate of change is dangerous, not change itself. If you read something about the PETM, for example, a rapid temperature change estimated at 6 degrees in 20 000 years is connected to a massive extinction event. And we’re looking at a few degrees’ rise in a century at the moment.

Er, a rapid temperature change of 3.3 °C (decadal average) in less than ~20 years 8.2 kya  and a larger and apparently also rapid temperature change should then, by your account, have led to easily detectable mass extinctions. The last mass extinction The Git is aware of occurred at the end of the Cretaceous 66 million years ago. How could he have missed two far more recent such events? Assuming that you’re not just telling porkies here.

10) “Another glaringly obvious conclusion to draw from the Scotese and Berner chart is that there is no correlation whatsoever between CO2 and temperature. During the last 15–17 years, the amount of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by ~40%. Here is the effect.”

First, the increase in the atmospheric CO2 concentration in the course of the last 17 years is ~10%, not 40%. Second, to deny the influence of CO2 concentrations on temperatures you’d have to invent some special kind of physics, in which CO2 molecules simply don’t absorb and re-emit heat radiation, which is to nullify over 150 years of science — from Fourier to Tyndall to Arrhenius to Callendar. Alternatively, it would really require suspending the conservation of energy, so that heat radiated back to the surface wouldn’t increase temperatures, but magically disappear instead. In either case, it would be a very ambitious anti-science undertaking.

The graph you’re presenting is a great example of data cherry-picking: the starting year is 1996 just because 1998 was a record-breaking El Nino year — hence the convenient peak at the start. The RSS series was chosen just because it systematically underrepresents the warming trend. A surface (lower troposphere) graph was chosen just because it’s most susceptible to noise introduced by the El Nino/La Nina oscillation, volcanic aerosols and the solar cycle. And only 17 years are shown just because a longer interval would actually show a rising trend. During this same time, upper and deep ocean kept accumulating heat, ice cover kept shrinking, springs kept coming earlier, record temperature highs kept outweighing record lows, species kept migrating up/north etc. etc. and every decade _averaged_ kept being hotter than the previous decade. But you, citing just one carefully prepared graph, do not even merely assert that “global warming has paused”, but that CO2 concentrations don’t influence temperatures, no less. This is not skeptical approach to data, this is evidence of enormous confirmation bias.

Here are two other graphs with a special dedication to you.

First, you are correct that The Git misspoke when he wrote “CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by ~40%” when he intended to write that “~40% of anthropogenic CO2 emissions occurred during the last two decades. Your claim that I deny that CO2 affects atmospheric temperature is a blatant lie. The Git referred to the well-attested atmospheric physics as calculated by MODTRAN5.

The Git chose the RSS data because he places far more trust in the satellite data than the surface temperature datasets that are either secret (CRU) or ever-changing (GISS). Worse, the spatial coverage of weather stations recording temperature is far from consistent with what one might expect from anyone with the vaguest notions about statistical sampling.

Quoting Rajendra Kumar Pachauri (chairperson of the IPCC since 2002):

Unlike in Britain, there has been little publicity in Australia given to recent acknowledgment by peak climate-science bodies in Britain and the US of what has been a 17-year pause in global warming. Britain’s Met Office has revised down its forecast for a global temperature rise, predicting no further increase to 2017, which would extend the pause to 21 years.

Source: (paywalled)

So, is The Git to believe Dr Pachauri and statements from the IPCC, or not? You will really have to make up your mind.

11) “You have to wonder about someone at NASA writing “In the last two decades, the rate of our world’s warming accelerated” in the light of the chart above of temperatures measured by NASA satellites!”

See above. Apparently, NASA knows the difference between signal and noise, and doesn’t cherry-pick their own data.

Sunce The Git was relying on a statement from the chair of the IPCC, presumably the IPCC were doing the cherry-picking.

12) “From the above, it seems that the warming following this Bond event was 3.3°C in ~130 years, or 2.5°C per century, four times the rate of change experienced in the 20th C.”

And there’s no proof that it was global, and comparable to a sustained rise of averaged global temperatures. The very definition of Bond events that you link to defines them as “North Atlantic climate fluctuations occurring every ≈1,470 ± 500 years throughout the Holocene”.


a) “While the CAGWers continually claim that Earth’s climate is modulated by the atmosphere”

Who, for example? Care to refer the reader to sources? Preferably, in peer-reviewed literature? This is yet another straw man. “CAGWers” claim that Earth’s climate is modulated by a number of forcings, one of which is the contemporary energy imbalance caused by a rise in the concentration of greenhouse gases. I don’t know of a single paper that would follow this with a conclusion that oceans do not play an important role in the climate system.

b) “the thermal capacity of the oceans is ~200 times greater.”

So? Again, what’s your point here? All measurements that we have indicate that the upper and deep ocean heat content is rising. Therefore, the oceans cannot be the driver in the recent warming, irrespective of their thermal capacity.

This is becoming tedious. Your use of the word “proof” in a scientific context indicates you know little or nothing of science. There is never, ever, under any circumstances proof of any scientific theory. Proof is the domain of mathematicians and logicians. What they prove are called theorems. Theories are explanations that, in Sir Karl Popper’s terms, are either corroborated or falsified.

The Git is “cherry-picking here. The data only start in 2005 because… that’s when the data starts; the Argo data that is. Of course it also shows that atmospheric CO2 cherry-picks which hemisphere it’s most potent in. Here we have Hansen’s ocean heat content increase compared with Argo-era data:

The “rapidly-increasing” rate of ocean heat content is… er… well rapidly less than it was before the Argo floats were deployed and the data adjusted, modified, tweaked, corrected, persuaded or whatever, in order to demonstrate that warming. That said, the Argo data is likely much better than the Hansen-era data.

Here’s what Kevin Trenberth said:

The elusive nature of the post-2004 upper ocean warming has exposed uncertainties in the ocean’s role in the Earth’s energy budget and transient climate sensitivity.

Which rather sums up the situation nicely methinks. Quite what is wrong with assessing climate change via ocean heat content is bemusing. As Roger Pielke Sr. has pointed out, the heat is either there or it’s not; there is no unrealised heat.

14) “CO2 has been rising for the last 8,000 years”

Actually, it has been rising for at least 22,000 years. By about 100 ppm during that time, which gives an average of 0.45 ppm for a century. Compare that to the to the rate of the anthropogenic concentration rise.

No comment.

15) “Quoting one of the staunchest CAGWers, Kevin Trenberth: “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.””

You apparently have failed, for 5 years, to research this old and mouldy “climategate” chestnut. If you had attempted “in all fairness” to actually check the context, you’d know that Trenberth had nothing to “explain away”, since his comment was simply related to the researchers’ (lack of) ability to track actual energy flows, beyond summary energy budget statements, and did not negate global warming in any way.

So, what’s the “missing context”?

16) “the “missing” heat is sequestered in the ocean, below 700 m. How it got there without any effect on the upper 700 m is somewhat of a mystery remaining to be explained.”

This is just plain factually wrong. All available measurements indicate a steady rising in the heat content of both upper and deep ocean (see Levitus et al. above). What sources can you quote to support the implied lack of such rise in the upper ocean?

See above. The Git recalls seeing a chart attributed to Levitus showing much less temperature rise before the data from “unco-operative” Argo floats had been removed. The fact remains that the Argo floats are, in The Git’s not-so-humble opinion a Very Good Thing and it’s a very great pity that they could not have been deployed many long years ago so that we would have had a decent data set. That said, a quarter of the global ocean has been sampled less than once a year per 10,000 square kilometre by the Argo floats. The claimed error of only a few thousandths of a degree in the global average is just a tad hard to believe.

17) “There is no theory The Git has come across demonstrating that methane causes CO2.”

Except that we know physical mechanism governing those cycles and don’t need to guess the causation. All three — CO2 levels, CH4 levels and temperature levels — are related, and the forcing/feedback loop works in BOTH directions.

Whatever that means…

18) “that carbon dioxide drives climate, is wrong; the reverse appears to be true”

See above. CO2 can be BOTH a forcing and a feedback. Higher temperatures cause CO2 release from the oceans, but that doesn’t in any way preclude the role of anthropogenic CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) as the forcing in the recent temperature rises.

Again, gobbledygook. Sorry Squiffy, don’t understand your banter at all today.


a) “The most important by far is water vapour and is estimated by some to be responsible for up to 98% of the greenhouse effect”

If I wanted to be cruel, I’d ask you for sources of that “98%” revelation.

Dick Lindzen.

b) “For reasons that will become clearer/murkier [delete whichever is inapplicable] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) do not consider water vapour to be a GHG. Instead, they refer to water vapour as a “feedback”.”

Not true. IPCC clearly recognizes the role of water vapour as a GHG:

Water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas, and carbon dioxide (CO2) is the second-most important one. Methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and several other gases present in the atmosphere in small amounts also contribute to the greenhouse effect.

And at the same time it correctly treats it as a feedback, not a forcing, in the document you linked. This is because, due to its physical propeties, water vapour CANNOT act as a forcing — it condenses within the range of temperatures and pressures encountered on Earth. Thus, any attempt to add more water vapour to the atmosphere (given constant averaged temperature and pressure) will only result in rain. You need to introduce a forcing in the system that will raise temperatures for water vapour concentrations to be able to follow as a feedback.

You seem to be confused about basic terminology of the theory that you attempt to criticise.

c) “Unlike ordinary water vapour, this anthropogenic water vapour does not appear to condense out as precipitation; it stays aloft and enhances the effect of the CO2.”

After a rise in temperatures, caused by the GHG forcing, the atmosphere’s relative humidity can be higher. In other words, a hotter atmosphere can “hold” more water vapour. This is secondary school physics (Clausius-Clapeyron relation, ideal gas law, etc).

20) “There is no evidence of this so-called Enhanced Greenhouse Effect in the paleoclimate record. Nor is there any convincing evidence of it in the Earth’s current atmosphere.”

Again, this is simply factually wrong. There are a number of methods used to estimate past humidity — e.g. detecting deuterium excess in ice core data, oxygen isotopes in speleothem records, pollen composition, paleo dendrology — and numerous papers describing past humidity on their basis that by and large confirm the water feedback in past climate cycles (dry cold periods alternate with warm humid ones). Actually, changes like the glacial cycles would be impossible to explain without taking into account all feedbacks, including the water vapour one.

The paper that you quote explicitly acknowledges that “radiosonde humidity measurements are notoriously unreliable and are usually dismissed out-of-hand as being unsuitable for detecting trends of water vapour in the upper troposphere”, and that it’s calculated trends (because it’s a reanalysis, not empirical observations report) are “inconsistent with satellite data”. Hereyou can find a review paper that compares a number of re-analyses and doesn’t exclude satellite data. Not surprisingly, it also doesn’t support the conclusions of the paper that you chose to pick.

My gosh you write ever so many words. If Hansen’s theory of CO2 being caused by warming and in turn causing warming, a process known as positive feedback, then the Earth’s climate would be very unstable. The paleoclimate record seems to indicate that Earth’s climate is dominated by negative feedbacks and varies little when in one of its several semi-table states. Precisely what one might expect in a chaotic system

21) “The effect of a doubling of current CO2 levels is readily estimated by using MODTRAN5″

No, it’s not. MODTRAN5 is an atmospheric radiation model, by definition providing only a fraction of the parameters necessary to assess climate sensitivity — it excludes the ocean component, the biosphere component, the cryosphere component (albedo itself has a tremendous effect as a temperature feedback), it doesn’t even include convection in its model of atmosphere. It’s a specialized tool, equivalent at most to just one component of General Circulation Models that are used, among others, for assessing climate sensitivity. There’s an ongoing project dedicated to inter-model comparison and collaboration (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project): here (p. 818) you can find a summary of results from 30 CMIP5 models, all of which include at least ocean, earth surface and sea-ice components beside an atmospheric component, with some also covering the biosphere, ice sheets, sediments and weathering, aerosols, atmosphere chemistry, and ocean biogeochemistry. The mean climate sensitivity of these 30 models is 3.2 +/- 1.3 deg. You don’t link to the MODTRAN5 results that you so enthusiastically subscribe to, but I very much doubt they stand any comparison to the results from any of the 30 different GCMs.

Richard Lindzen has a long history of being very much wrong in his predictions, so I’d take what he “manually calculated” with much more than a grain of salt. Here you can find a comparison of his predictions (reconstructed, since he’d been much more willing to propagate his “manual calculations” on press conferences than to publish actual papers) against those of James Hansen. You can see for yourself whose assessment of climate sensitivity gave better agreement with actual temperature record for the last 25 years.

Ah yes, Dr Hansen’s predictions. It would seem that GISSTemp and HadCRU datasets indicate temperatures almost identical to Hansen’s Scenario C aka maximum possible cuts to CO2 emissions. One might have expected the CAGWers to be glad that the terrifying temperature increases so confidently predicted by Dr Hansen have not taken place. But no, they are really pissed off because the predicted Thermageddon has not come to pass. Hey ho…

22) Nice trolling though.

“An Internet troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments and upsetting people by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion”. Since this is The Git’s blog and you Either way, 22/Anonymous Coward [delete whichever is inapplicable] are the commentard, then only you can be trolling.

The Git will be discussing a comparison between CMIP5 results and reality next time. And a little discussed topic: what on Earth an average temperature might mean.


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