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The Carbon Flame War
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Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Re: I'll stick with the majority on this one. on 03/18/2014 07:03:54 MDT Print View

The APS put out a formal statement in 2007 adding its voice to the alarmist hue and cry. That statement caused resignations of some of its top physicists (including 1973 Nobel Prize winner Ivar Giaever and Hal Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara).[1] The APS was forced by 2010 to add some humiliating clarifications but retained the original statement that the evidence for global warming was ‘incontrovertible’.[2]

By its statutes, the APS must review such policy statements each half-decade and that scheduled review is now under way, overseen by the APS President Malcolm Beasley.

The review, run by the society’s Panel on Public Affairs, includes four powerful shocks for the alarmist science establishment.[3]

First, a sub-committee has looked at the recent 5th Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and formulated scores of critical questions about the weak links in the IPCC’s methods and findings. In effect, it’s a non-cosy audit of the IPCC’s claims on which the global campaign against CO2 is based.

Second, the sub-committee, after ‘consulting broadly’, appointed a panel to workshop the questions and then provide input to the new official statement on climate. The appointed panel of six, amazingly, includes three eminent sceptic scientists: Richard Lindzen, John Christy, and Judith Curry. The other three members comprise long-time IPCC stalwart Ben Santer (who, in 1996, drafted, in suspicious circumstances, the original IPCC mantra about a “discernible” influence of manmade CO2 on climate), an IPCC lead author and modeler William Collins, and atmospheric physicist Isaac Held.

Third, the sub-committee is ensuring the entire process is publicly transparent — not just the drafts and documents, but the workshop discussions, which have been taped, transcribed and officially published, in a giant record running to 500+ pages.[4]

Fourth, the APS will publish its draft statement to its membership, inviting comments and feedback.

What the outcome will be, ie what the revised APS statement will say, we will eventually discover. It seems a good bet that the APS will break ranks with the world’s collection of peak science bodies, including the Australian Academy of Science, and tell the public, softly or boldly, that IPCC science is not all it’s cracked up to be.

The APS audit of the IPCC makes a contrast with the Australian Science Academy’s (AAS) equivalent efforts. In 2010 the AAS put out a booklet, mainly for schools, ”The Science of Climate Change, Questions and Answers”, drafted behind closed doors. The drafters and overseers totalled 16 people, and the original lone sceptic, Garth Paltridge, was forced out by the machinations of then-President Kurt Lambeck.[5] The Academy is currently revising the booklet, without any skeptic input at all. Of the 16 drafters and overseers, at least nine have been IPCC contributors and others have been petition-signing climate-policy lobbyists, hardly appropriate to do any arm’s length audit of the IPCC version of the science. Once again, the process is without any public transparency or consulting with the broad membership.

The American Physical Society’s audit questions are pretty trenchant.[6] Just to recite some of them points in the can of worms soon to be authoritatively exposed. Here’s a selection:

The temperature stasis

While the Global Mean Surface Temperature (GMST) rose strongly from 1980-98, it has shown no significant rise for the past 15 years…[The APS notes that neither the 4th nor 5th IPCC report modeling suggested any stasis would occur, and then asks] …

To what would you attribute the stasis?

If non-anthropogenic influences are strong enough to counteract the expected effects of increased CO2, why wouldn’t they be strong enough to sometimes enhance warming trends, and in so doing lead to an over-estimate of CO2 influence?

What are the implications of this stasis for confidence in the models and their projections?

What do you see as the likelihood of solar influences beyond TSI (total solar irradiance)? Is it coincidence that the statis has occurred during the weakest solar cycle (ie sunspot activity) in about a century?

Some have suggested that the ‘missing heat’ is going into the deep ocean…

Are deep ocean observations sufficient in coverage and precision to bear on this hypothesis quantitatively?

Why would the heat sequestration have ‘turned on’ at the turn of this century?

What could make it ‘turn off’ and when might that occur?

Is there any mechanism that would allow the added heat in the deep ocean to reappear in the atmosphere?

IPCC suggests that the stasis can be attributed in part to ‘internal variability’. Yet climate models imply that a 15-year stasis is very rare and models cannot reproduce the observed Global Mean Surface Temperature even with the observed radiative forcing.

What is the definition of ‘internal variability’? Is it poorly defined initial conditions in the models or an intrinsically chaotic nature of the climate system? If the latter, what features of the climate system ARE predictable?

How would the models underestimate of internal variability impact detection and attribution?

How long must the statis persist before there would be a firm declaration of a problem with the models? If that occurs, would the fix entail: A retuning of model parameters? A modification of ocean conditions? A re-examination of fundamental assumptions?

General Understanding


What do you consider to be the greatest advances in our understanding of the physical basis of climate change since AR4 in 2007?
What do you consider to be the most important gaps in current understanding?
How are the IPCC confidence levels determined?
What has caused the 5% increase in IPCC confidence from 2007 to 2013?

Climate Sensitivity

[This relates to the size of feedbacks to the agreed and mild CO2-induced warming. If feedbacks are powerful and positive, the alarmist case is strong. If feedbacks are weak or negative, there is no basis for any climate scare or for trillions of dollars to be spent on curbing CO2 emissions].

A factor-of-three uncertainty in the global surface temperature response to increasing atmospheric CO2 as expressed by equilibrium climate sensitivity, has persisted through the last three decades of research despite the significant intellectual effort that has been devoted to climate science.

What gives rise to the large uncertainties in this fundamental parameter of the climate system?

How is the IPCC’s expression of increasing confidence in the detection/attribution/projection of anthropogenic influences consistent with this persistent uncertainty?

Wouldn’t detection of an anthropogenic signal necessarily improve estimates of the response to anthropogenic perturbations?

Models and Projections

The APS notes that the IPCC draws on results and averages from large numbers of models, and comments, “In particular, it is not sufficient to demonstrate that some member of the ensemble [of models] gets it right at any given time. Rather, as in other fields of science, it is important to know how well the ‘best’ single model does at all times.”

Were inclusion/exclusion decisions made prior to examining the results? How do those choices impact the uncertainties?

Which metrics were used to assess the [claimed] improvements in simulations between AR4 and AR5 [2007 and 2013 reports]?

How well do the individual models do under those metrics? How good are the best models in individually reproducing the relevant climate observations to a precision commensurate with the anthropogenic perturbations?

Climate Sensitivities

The APS notes that the 5th IPCC report acknowledged model overestimates of climate sensitivity to C02 increases, both in transient and equilibrium modes:

“As the observational value of TCR [transient climate response] is simply estimated to be approximately 1.3degC, it appears that the models overestimate this crucial climate parameter by almost 50%.”

Please comment on the above assessment.

Box 12.2 of AR5 Working Group 1 states: ‘Unlike ECS [equilibrium climate sensitivity], the ranges of TCS [transient climate sensitivity] estimated from the observed warming and from AOGCMs [Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Model] agree well, increasing our confidence in the assessment of uncertainties in projections over the 21st century.’ Please comment on that statement in light of the discussion above.

The scale of anthropogenic perturbations

The APS notes that solar and thermal warming of the earth’s surface is about 503 watts per square metre, whereas the IPCC’s estimate of manmade CO2 forcing is only 1.3-3.3 watts per square metre, less than 0.5% of the total. Even if CO2 levels leapt from the present 400 parts per million to 550ppm, the CO2 warming would still be less than 4 watts per square metre, the APS says.

“The earth’s climate stems from a multi-component, driven, noisy, non-linear system that shows temporal variability from minutes to millennia. Instrumental observations of key physical climate variables have sufficient coverage and precision only over the past 150 years at best (and usually much less than that). Many different processes and phenomena will be relevant and each needs to be ‘gotten right’ with high precision if the response to anthropogenic perturbations is to be attributed correctly and quantified accurately. For example, a change in the earth’s average shortwave albedo [reflectivity] from 0.30 to 0.29 due to changing clouds, snow/ice, aerosols, or land character would induce a 3.4 W/m2 direct perturbation in the downward flux [warming], 50% larger than the present anthropogenic perturbation.

Moreover, there are expected feedbacks (water vapor-temperature, ice-albedo…) that would amplify the perturbative response by factors of several. How can one understand the IPCC’s expressed confidence in identifying and projecting the effects of such small anthropogenic perturbations in view of such difficult circumstances?”

Sea Ice

The APS notes that the models seem able to reproduce the Arctic declining ice trend, but not the Antarctic rising ice trend. Moreover, the APS has spotted that the IPCC had done its ice graphs using only 17 out of its 40 models, these 17 happening to produce reasonable fits with the data. The APS says,

“One may therefore conclude that the bulk of the CMIP5 [latest] models do not reproduce reasonable seasonal mean and magnitude of the ice cycle. Is that the case? And if so, what are the implications for the confidence with which the ensemble [the whole 40 models] can be used for other purposes?


The rate of rise during 1930-1950 was comparable to, if not larger than, the value in recent years. Please explain that circumstance in light of the presumed monotonic [steady] increase from anthropogenic effects.

The IPCC-projected rise of up to 1m by the end of this century would require an average rate of up to 12mm/yr for the rest of this century, some four times the current rate, and an order of magnitude larger than implied by the 20th century acceleration of 0.01mm/yr found in some studies. What drives the projected sea level rise? To what extent is it dependent upon a continued rise in Global Mean Surface Temperature?…

With uncertainty in ocean data being ten times larger than the total magnitude of the warming attributed to anthropogenic sources, and combined with the IPCC’s conclusion that it has less than 10% confidence that it can separate long-term trends from regular variability, why is it reasonable to conclude that increases in Global Mean Surface Temperature are attributable to radiative forcing rather than to ocean variability?

IPCC officials and their supporters, including President Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry, have disparaged sceptical questioners as ‘flat-earthers’. Has the American Physical Society shifted to a flat-earth position?







jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: I'll stick with the majority on this one. on 04/21/2014 18:30:25 MDT Print View

Since 1998 CO2 levels have continued to rise, yet global temperature has risen only a little, not as much as expected.

A number of volcanic eruptions have occurred since then, that injected Sulfur Dioxide into the atmosphere, reflecting sunlight, which cancels out most of the increase of temperature that would have occurred due to the CO2 increase.

It shows how little we know about climate.

If this is correct, and the next decades have more normal volcanic eruptions, then the global temperature will increase more than expected.

The sulfur dioxide washes out of the atmosphere after a few years. It takes centuries or thousands of years for the CO2 to disolve silicate rocks, be carried to the ocean, deposited on the ocean floor, removing it from the atmosphere.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Extreme one day precipitation events increase on 05/10/2014 21:07:35 MDT Print View

We don't want carbon flame war to end, do we?



In the last 20 years, there have been more heavy precipitation days than in the past

No, you can't prove that increased CO2 levels caused this, but higher CO2 is likely to cause more heavy precipitation days.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Extreme one day precipitation events increase on 06/30/2014 03:07:37 MDT Print View

Hi Jerry,
The Carbon Flame War is hotting up nicely out there. Let's see if we can fan the embers back to life here.

Here's some heavy, and unexpected precipitation for you:

2 metres of snow in 7 days at Perisher in the New South Wales Alps.
Above the winter mean already.

Antarctic sea ice amount is around a month ahead of the satellite age average and has reached a record 2mKm^2 anomaly.

.sh Sea Ice 6-14

How does a well mixed gas like co2 make it colder in the southern hemisphere and warmer in the north? The warmer bit of Antarctica is the peninsula, but this is only 10% of the landmass. The rest of it has been getting colder. Globally, the near surface air temperature hasn't got any warmer in a statistically significant way for 18 years. In the meantime airborne co2 has increased by 9%.

In another major embarrassment for institutional climate science, the Australian scientific establishment has admitted failure in trying to create a consensus 'position statement' on climate change.

The end is getting nearer for this failed co2 driven climate theory.

My Solar-Planetary hypothesis explains the data better. The model matches the last 1000 years of proxy data very well. Climate change is a solar system wide phenomenon. Here on Earth it is mainly driven by Sun and Moon affecting ocean heat content and the oceanic overturning. However, the long term lunar orbit is regulated by Jupiter, Venus and Saturn. And solar activity changes are modulated by those planets plus Earth, Mercury, Neptune and Uranus.

Read all about it

And when solar activity gets low, that's when the volcanos get more active. 18 of the last 20 big ones erupted when solar activity was below average. So yes, we can expect cooling, and just like the late C20th warming, it's due to solar system dynamics, not co2, just like I've been saying for the last 5 years.

Edited by tallbloke on 06/30/2014 09:55:22 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Extreme one day precipitation events increase on 07/13/2014 17:27:46 MDT Print View

Need to wait 50 or 100 years to really start seeing effect of CO2.

Changes to whatever right now are more affected by other things like volcanoes or orbital variations or whatever

David T
(DaveT) - F
smudgepot. on 07/14/2014 15:13:02 MDT Print View

Trudges slowly down into the basement.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Extreme one day precipitation events increase on 07/22/2014 08:57:32 MDT Print View

From "Doug's" website about sandstone arches

"Spend any amount of time reading climate arguments on the Internet, and you'll undoubtedly hear some version of the following argument: the Earth hasn't warmed in 17 years, and none of the climate models predicted that."

"They've found that, while volcanic eruptions seem to have contributed to the relatively slow rise in temperatures, a major player has been the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which has been stuck in a cool, La Niña state for most of the last decade. And, since climate models aren't expected to accurately forecast each El Niño, there would be no reason to expect that they would match the actual atmospheric record."

"In the long-term, the state of the climate is set by things like solar activity, orbital mechanics, and greenhouse gas levels, among other things. But on shorter time scales, things like volcanic activity and ocean cycles can have a profound effect on temperatures."

So - short term weather changes, like the last 17 years, are due to poorly understood effects like ENSO. Long term, like 50 or 100 years, we will find out the poorly understood effect of increased greenhouse gasses. Except, we'll all be dead so it will be our grandchildren that will be cursing us for being so selfish and ignoring this.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Re: Re: Re: Extreme one day precipitation events increase on 08/17/2014 09:39:17 MDT Print View

Hi Jerry,

So if the 'cool La Nina state' has largely been responsible for the non-warming over the last decade, how much of the 1975-2005 warming was the 'warm El Nino state' responsible for?

The IPCC claims that human emissions are responsible for the majority of the warming since 1950. That might be 51% of it. They also now claim that surface air temperature isn't the gold standard of measurement they once claimed it was, and tell us ocean heat content it where it's at. However, we have only a very short and limited measurement record of OHC. Sea surface temperature is a reasonable proxy for it though, and that only rose 0.3C or so over the last 60 years.

So if extra co2 is only responsible for just over half that, 0.16C, and due to the logarithmic relationship between co2 and temperature the next 90ppm of co2 only warms us by 0.08C, it would seem our grandkids don't have much to worry about apart from clearing up the rusted remains of the wind turbines and their massive concrete foundations.

And the National Debt.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Extreme one day precipitation events increase on 08/17/2014 10:50:25 MDT Print View

even if the increased CO2 effect is manageable

having wind turbines, improving automobile efficiency, reducing house energy use,... has a number of other advantages

fossil fuels are getting more expensive over time, there are other pollutions besides CO2, depending on unstable countries for fossil fuels has all sorts of consequences, developing wind turbines and such results in good jobs here,...

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Extreme one day precipitation events increase on 08/18/2014 08:15:24 MDT Print View

On the weather report they said 2014 was the warmest summer on record. 2009, 2005, 1985 were also in the top 5. They said it was more about warmer nights.

We will get more effects like that - more statistical than anything that makes a real difference, except maybe I'll be able to get Cantelopes to ripen now.

It'll be more like 50 years from now when we start seeing effects that have more of a financial effect.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Extreme one day precipitation events increase on 09/06/2014 06:22:36 MDT Print View

> It'll be more like 50 years from now when we start seeing effects that have more of a financial effect.

My money is on less than 5 years. Cliffs are very steep.
And the elephant in the room is fresh water and a growing population.


jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Extreme one day precipitation events increase on 09/06/2014 22:51:55 MDT Print View

I thought you were a skeptic : )

The Southwest U.S. seems to be in drought, which could be related to increased CO2, but that area has had droughts in the past

Increased CO2 may increase drought in some areas

Aren't there areas in Australia that are getting unusual drought?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Extreme one day precipitation events increase on 09/07/2014 18:22:13 MDT Print View

We had a 13 year drought, but that has been broken by heavy rains. However, the Weather Bureau guys say that the drought and flood situation is within normal bounds for Australia. You see, for the last 200+ years of record, Aus has always been subject to a huge range of weather conditions - fire and flood. Read 'I love a sunburnt country' by Dorothea Mackellar, (1885 - 1968). For us, it's normal.

> I thought you were a skeptic : )
Skeptical, yes, but with the world-wide science concensus now moving on to 99.99% acceptance (except for Tony Abbott and his mates in the coal industry), the issue now seems to be a bit ... old.

As I have said before, the elephant in the room is fresh water. California is in trouble - yes? But so are many other parts of the world.


jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Record number of nights > 60 F during summer on 09/22/2014 22:04:59 MDT Print View

It looks like 2014 will break record for number of nights during the summer that are 60F or above. This plot doesn't include the last couple days of summer. I think if this is included, then we'll break record. Otherwise, 2013 will be the record and 2014 will be 2nd highest.


You can't prove that this is due to increased CO2 level in atmosphere, but it makes sense. During the day, if CO2 is absorbing some IR, it will actually have a cooling effect, but during the night is when you'll see the most effect.

This has pretty good correlation with increased CO2 level - steadily higher in late 20th century...

Good thing is, I just ate a canteloupe from my garden. Ripe and tasty. Portland is not the Canteloupe capital of the country - used to be too cold, but thanks to global warming that has now changed.

Seattle is the same - record number of 60+ nights.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
League of Denial on 10/01/2014 09:23:04 MDT Print View

Anyone see "League of Denial" on PBS Frontline

They talked about how common head injuries are and how the NFL has a denial strategy. Produce fake scientific studies that cast doubt so they can continue making mega money as long as possible. Goodell todays says that he doesn't know and will let scientists figure it out.

Anyone seen Brett Favre? He is retired, took lots of hits, now suffering symptoms, sad...

Rice knocking his now wife unconscious? I haven't heard people talk much about how one of the symptoms of head injuries is anger which could have exacerbated this...

But people are coming around. Acknowledging the problem. $billion dollar lawsuit but part of it is NFL acknowledges no liability. We are near the end of the denial strategy period.

The Tobacco denial strategy period is long gone. No one claims there's any doubt Tobacco is dangerous.

Global warming? We are getting towards the end of the denial strategy period. Still lots of people claim there's doubt that increased CO2 levels affect the climate but they're gradually conceding defeat.

Pretty soon Rog will be the only one left : )

I still enjoy watching football some but I feel guilty. Baseball is so boring...

Sean Staplin
(mtnrat) - MLife

Locale: Southern Cdn Rockies
Re League of Denial on 10/19/2014 17:19:15 MDT Print View

Global warming? We are getting towards the end of the denial strategy period. Still lots of people claim there's doubt that increased CO2 levels affect the climate but they're gradually conceding defeat.

Pretty soon Rog will be the only one left : )

Actually many scientists are now admitting that CO2 may in fact not be a main driver in climate change, but is only a minor player. They are beginning to ask for money to look into other causes that may explain what really drives the weather, because CO2 is looking less and less like the culprit. :)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re League of Denial on 10/19/2014 18:09:55 MDT Print View

> other causes that may explain what really drives the weather, because CO2 is looking
> less and less like the culprit.

Looking into other causes is always good. That's called honest research. It does not take much to imagine that there could be multiple causes for climate change. Let's look at them all carefully.

But for you to claim here that CO2 is not driving climate change requires that you provide published and referreed references to back that claim up. A bald unsupported claim means nothing at all.

My 2c.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re League of Denial on 10/19/2014 19:05:58 MDT Print View

Couple hundred years ago there was a cooling period called "the little ice age". There is no agreement on what caused this, obviously not man made CO2 in the atmosphere.

Since they do not know what caused that cooling period, maybe a natural affect could be causing any climate change today. They do not know very much about naturally caused climate change.

Another thing is different climate scientists predict different amounts of effect from increased CO2 levels. For example, the CO2 increase is half as much as expected from the amount of fossil fuels burned. But they figured that was because the ocean has absorbed half the CO2, but that has different problems. Some people predict heat will cause methane to be released from the artic and the ocean which is a much more potent greenhouse gas which could make warming much worse.

So, yeah, we should be doing lots of research on all sorts of things.

Sean Staplin
(mtnrat) - MLife

Locale: Southern Cdn Rockies
Re: Re: Re League of Denial on 10/19/2014 19:11:02 MDT Print View

The thing that I am having a hard time finding is proof that CO2 does drive climate. Especially as promoted by the IPCC. So far there is nothing conclusive. The IPCC mandate is to find out how CO2 is causing global warming, with very little if any effort to looking at other possibilities.
The major issue with much of the current research is that when it is boiled down to the base, it is also little more than claims. :)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re League of Denial on 10/19/2014 19:21:27 MDT Print View

> the CO2 increase is half as much as expected from the amount of fossil fuels burned.
> But they figured that was because the ocean has absorbed half the CO2,

Current research suggests that the Southern Oceans may have absorbed double the amount of energy that was previously estimated. It may be going very deep below the surface.

Verification needed of course. Working out the consequences - that too has yet to be done. We have no idea!

The new elephant in the corner is the discovery of HUGE amounts of frozen methane clathrates around the edges on many continents. Two problems are created by this.

The first is what happens if the oceans warm by a degree or two and release a fraction of that methane? Methane is a far more powerful green house gas than CO2. The consequences could be abrupt and savage. Like suddenly injecting 5 or 10 years worth of CO2 equivalence into the atmosphere over a period of a few months.

The second problem is how to keep most of that methane buried. Oh sure, almost free fuel for decades if you mine it, BUT - that still puts lots more CO2 into the atmosphere, PLUS the risk of triggering massive releases of methane from dirty mining methods is really huge. It could make Deepwater Horizons look pathetically trivial.

But you can be sure there will be huge economic and political pressures to use mine this stuff and to hell with the consequences. 'Oh come on, get rid of all that stifling red tape and those greenies...' 'The public needs cheaper energy ...'

Cheers (or otherwise)

Edited by rcaffin on 10/19/2014 19:22:55 MDT.