Into ignorance

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Vote to overturn an aspect of climate science marks a worrying trend in US Congress.

As Nature went to press, a committee of the US Congress was poised to pass legislation that would overturn a scientific finding on the dangers of global warming. The Republican-sponsored bill is intended to prevent the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse-gas emissions, which the agency declared a threat to public welfare in 2009. That assessment serves as the EPA's legal basis for regulation, so repealing the 'endangerment finding' would eliminate its authority over greenhouse gases.

That this finding is scientifically sound had no bearing on the decision to push the legislation, and Republicans on the House of Representatives' energy and commerce committee have made clear their disdain for climate science. At a subcommittee hearing on 14 March, anger and distrust were directed at scientists and respected scientific societies. Misinformation was presented as fact, truth was twisted and nobody showed any inclination to listen to scientists, let alone learn from them. It has been an embarrassing display, not just for the Republican Party but also for Congress and the US citizens it represents.

It is tempting to write all of this off as petty partisanship, a populist knee-jerk reaction to lost jobs and rising energy prices by a well-organized minority of Republican voters. After all, US polling data has consistently shown that, in general, the public accepts climate science. At a hearing last week, even Ed Whitfield (Republican, Kentucky), who chairs the subcommittee, seemed to distance himself from the rhetoric by focusing not on the science but on the economic effects of greenhouse-gas regulation. “One need not be a sceptic of global warming to be a sceptic of the EPA's regulatory agenda,” said Whitfield.

“The US Congress has entered the intellectual wilderness.”

Perhaps, but the legislation is fundamentally anti-science, just as the rhetoric that supports it is grounded in wilful ignorance. One lawmaker last week described scientists as “elitist” and “arrogant” creatures who hide behind “discredited” institutions. Another propagated the myth that in the 1970s the scientific community warned of an imminent ice age. Melting ice caps on Mars served to counter evidence of anthropogenic warming on Earth, and Antarctica was falsely said to be gaining ice. Several scientists were on hand — at the behest of Democrats on the subcommittee — to answer questions and clear things up, but many lawmakers weren't interested in answers, only in prejudice.

It is hard to escape the conclusion that the US Congress has entered the intellectual wilderness, a sad state of affairs in a country that has led the world in many scientific arenas for so long. Global warming is a thorny problem, and disagreement about how to deal with it is understandable. It is not always clear how to interpret data or address legitimate questions. Nor is the scientific process, or any given scientist, perfect. But to deny that there is reason to be concerned, given the decades of work by countless scientists, is irresponsible.

That this legislation is unlikely to become law doesn't make it any less dangerous. It is the attitude and ideas behind the bill that are troublesome, and they seem to be spreading. Fred Upton, the Michigan Republican who chairs the full energy and commerce committee, once endorsed climate science, but last month said — after being pinned down by a determined journalist — that he is not convinced that greenhouse-gas emissions contribute to global warming. It was yet another blow to the shrinking minority of moderate centrists in both parties.

One can only assume that Congress will find its way at some point, pressured by voters who expect more from their public servants. In the meantime, as long as it can fend off this and other attacks on the EPA, President Barack Obama's administration should push forward with its entirely reasonable regulatory programme for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions where it can, while looking for ways to work with Congress in other areas. Rising oil prices should increase interest in energy security, a co-benefit of the greenhouse-gas and fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles that were announced by the administration last year. The same advice applies to the rest of the world. Work with the United States where possible, but don't wait for a sudden change of tenor in Washington DC.

One of the scientists testifying before Whitfield's subcommittee was Christopher Field, director of the Carnegie Institution's global ecology department in Stanford, California. Field generously hoped that his testimony at last week's hearing took place “in the spirit of a genuine dialogue that is in the best interests of the country”. Maybe one day that hope will be justified.


  1. Report this comment #18920

    Eustace Mendis said:

    “The US Congress has entered the intellectual wilderness.” No kidding! The intellectual wilderness has been the preferred habitat of politicians all over the world for decades.

  2. Report this comment #18923

    Vic Chevillon said:

    A few years ago on CSPAN I watched part of the debate on an appropriation bill in the Senate and the question was posed "how much would it cost to change the Earth's climate"? Probably a lot.

    Laws need to be founded on reality, particularly scientifically founded reality if we are to succeed. In spite of the popular global warming science and scientists of our day, the hypothesis (or now theory) remains equivocal in the face of all the data. The measurable retreat of ice on Mars where there is no human activity is one example that says some of the variables are not being considered. I tend to agree with Whitefield

  3. Report this comment #18925

    Figurin Outlife said:

    I'm afraid I'm one of those ignorant people, but if you will indulge me, I can explain how I see things and it may be of benefit to those of you "in the know". Anthropogenic global warming (AGW) basically states that human-emitted gasses are trapping heat that would otherwise be emitted back into space. The implications are that the earth will become hotter and there will be disasterous implications, the most serious of which would be the reduction in total arable land and raising of sea levels, affecting coastal cities. So where do I have a problem?

    1) Throughout its history, the earth has been though major changes in atmospheric carbon content. It fluctuates because the earth is an ecosystem, because there is feedback. More carbon, more plant growth, more carbon sequestration. More heat, more clouds, more emission of photons back into space. AGW assumes that these feedback systems are overwhelmed because temp is rising. This may well be because of solar activity, which fluctuates on a large time scale.

    2) Warning signs should precede catastrophe. Simple things like the NY coastline shrinking. Telling me about some atoll in the pacific submerging doesn't cut it. This is supposed to be worldwide, remember?

    3) There is a very real reason we perceive people like you as arrogant. Every last editorial like this is nothing more than an appeal by authority. You tell us that everybody who is anybody believes AGW and the rest of us are ignorant fools. Rather than summarize/argue the most important parts yourself, you defer us to the technical literature, which is vast and often incomprehensible. Why don't editorials ever try to argue specific points? Why is it always a battle of the enlightened vs the ignorant? We are sick of this appeal by authority. Get out of your ivory tower and sling it out in the trenches with the rest of us by focusing on facts.

  4. Report this comment #18932

    G. Thomas Farmer said:

    Ignorance is rampant in our society, as evidenced by Figurin Outlife and Vic Chevillon's comments above and by the Republican majority in the House. The science of AGW is overwhelming with more and more evidence coming in every hour. The longer we wait to reduce emissions the more expensive it will be to endure the effects. I am not an elitist nor am I in an ivory tower. I'm just a citizen who reads Nature, Science, the NY Times, Washington Post, LA Times, National Geographic, etc. Those who think that burning coal is great and cheap should take a trip to London, England and see the soot on the city buildings. They should also think about the additional pollutants emitted by dirty industry poisoning our air and water. The World Health Organization estimates over 150,000 human beings will die this year due to AGW. If you don't believe it look at the statistics.
    Mars has nothing to do with AGW. Get real! There are no martians spewing CO2 into their atmosphere.
    There are many warning signs preceding the coming catastrophes; sea level rise, global warming, increases in severity of storms due to increased moisture in the atmosphere because of a warming atmosphere, melting sea ice, melting glaciers, more extensive fires, melting permafrost releasing methane, more CO2 and increasing in the atmosphere. How many more facts do you need?
    As a geologist, I know about the history of the planet. There has never been as rapid a rise in CO2 as we are now experiencing in the history of the planet. Levels have been higher in the past but that is irrelevant because it was not caused by mankind and the planet was warmer than it is now.
    The sun has been at solar minimum for some time now and even if it were at solar maximum would not explain the warming we've been seeing since the mid-1970s.
    I have rarely seen ignorance and arrogance like that expressed by Figurin Outlife. Perhaps you should do more figuring.

  5. Report this comment #18933

    Richard baldwin said:

    That politicians continue to ignore the scientific evidence to pander to particular interest groups or voter blocks is absurd.

    When you feel sick you want a doctor. Preferably the best that there is with a long history of practicing in the field most likely to be of relevance to you.

    When you have a legal problem you go and get the best lawyer you can afford, preferably one with previous experience in what you problems entails.

    When people want information on climate change for some reason they are far more willing to listen to the raving lunatic fringe with no other claim to expertise than 'I read some stuff on the internet' rather than a person who has made it their life's work to understand a complicated process. That this reaches the level where elected representatives take this point of view is worrying for all.

  6. Report this comment #18940

    Bob Fowkes said:

    The author is not saying that people who disagree with climate science are ignorant. Rather, he is saying people who refuse to consider the data, who reject a well-reasoned argument w/o offering their own, and who legislate from this posture, are dangerous.

    It's quite possible these folks deny the diagnosis because they don't like the prescription. If your oncologist suggests chemo you can decline, w/o denying the cancer.

  7. Report this comment #18942

    robert davies said:

    Figurin... In the spirit of constructive dialogue, thank you for courteously (with the exception of that last sentence) offering up your perspective for considertion. I'll first address some of your points specifically, then make a general comment or two, in keeping with your own numbering.

    1) Of course the climate science community is aware of the carbon cycle and past climate behavior. They are, in fact, the ones who discovered these cycles. And it is by studying such cycles that the community has gained considerable understanding of various tugs on the climate. And it is by studying past climate change we understand the recent warming is very different — faster, and with different "triggers." Mr. Vic, commenting after you, wonders about Mars. There are in fact over 160 objects in our solar system — planets and moons — all in various stages of changing climates. Climates do change, in response to myriad drivers. Is it his suggestion that just because Mars has a changing climate without people, that people cannot possibly change Earth's climate? Does a forest fire started by lightning preclude a forest fire started by careless campers? The notion that these things are "being ignored", as Vic suggests, is really quite ignorant.

    2) Warning signs. It's really extraordinary that you suggest no "warning signs" are evident. If you had done the least little bit of objective searching, you'd find lay-level descriptions of a multitude of evidence lines. Earth's cryosphere is responding, globally, as one would expect in a warming climate. So, too, Earth's biosphere. There are in fact over 28,000 independent lines of evidence to this effect. From direct temperature measurements — land, sea and space-based — to the cryosphere, to the biosphere, the hydrologic cycle, sea levels, etc.

    3) Finally, you complain that this editorial represents an "appeal by authority." I assume you mean and appeal to authority. And yes, it is. This is how it works — and must work — for complex topics. You will simply never be able to evaluate the evidence on its merits. Some of it, perhaps, but not all. For to do so requires significant training. Consequently, you need to take advantage of a very large, well-trained expert community. This is what it is for knowledge to count: it means we defer, reasonably, to the expert community. All of the world's National and Royal Academies of science — together, the creme-de-la-creme of scientists — have issued statements explicitly concurring that AGW is happening and a grave risk. Along with them, more than 70 bona fide scientific societies have issued similar statements. None have dissented. If you are to tell me — and more importantly, if a Congressman is to tell me — that they "don't buy it", I must respectfully, earnestly and incredulously ask "Based on what?" Seriously. This is the same enterprise that has given us the iPhone, lasers and Pixar. This didn't come from ivory towers, but serious, dedicated people whose cumulative knowledge is hard fought and hard won.

    That you believe a very large, well-trained and sincere community of scientists, working within a framework that has proven hugely successful (the modern enterprise of science) hasn't considered the possibility of natural forcings, such as the sun, is telling. Specifically, it tells me you have very little understanding of what goes into this research, and more broadly how science is done. I don't think it's because you're stupid — on the contrary, you've articulated yourself reasonably well. You simply never learned along the way what it is to do science.

    Further, that you have this "ivory tower" picture of science is also telling — as opposed to "the rest of us in the trenches." Contrary to your apparent belief, doing good science is all about being "in the trenches." It means painstaking care in training, and painstaking care in measurement and analysis. You've accused the editor of arrogance. I hope you'll understand that those of us working in this field find it enormously arrogant when ignorant people (ignorant in the purely clinical sense of "untrained") make aggressive and flippant statements such as "What about the Sun?" -- as though an enormously competent community of scientists had never thought of that. You've complained that specifics of science aren't addressed in the column. But if you took the barest amount of initiative, you'd find exhaustive resources on the web, put there by dedicated scientists and educators — that address these questions in detail and for the lay audience. I refer you to John Cook's and Gavin Schmidt's as just two of many such references.

    Figurin, I suggest to you that you're self-described ignorance is agnotological — culturally-induced. Snap out of it. It's clear you want to understand, so go forth and do so. Use the references I provided as a starting place.

  8. Report this comment #18952

    Ross Williams said:

    ‘Figurin’, unlike Robert Davies, I am not a scientist, but as he suggests, I have devoted extensive time to studying and reading about climate science to try to understand our peril. You can too.

    Like Robert Davies, I would like to comment in response to your request for dialogue.

    I would start with your introductory comments. You say, “The implications are that the earth will become hotter and there will be disastrous implications, the most serious of which would be the reduction in total arable land and raising of sea levels, affecting coastal cities.” The most serious is the creation of an uninhabitable planet. The most serious implications come from feedbacks that occur with reduction of the reflective capacity of our polar regions and the melting of permafrost that threatens to accelerate warming beyond the level that life as we know it can tolerate. That may not be in our lifetimes (although the irreversible aspect may). We also see the increasing rate of extinction of species, with the prospect that as climate zones move north and run out of opportunities to move upslope, that it will accelerate. A similar result is now underway with the growing acidification of our oceans as they warm, threatening destruction of the fisheries of the world. Climate change sounds innocent enough, if you focus on your desire to enjoy the beach, but if you would hope that your children would have a pleasant life, it is time to pay attention; the implications are far more serious than you state.

    Your #1 is just ignorant of the literature; the increasing levels of CO2 and temperatures can not be explained by solar cycles, or any other natural process yet identified. That doesn’t leave the opening that scientists just don’t know everything; they have very thoroughly documented and explained the mechanisms that are warming the planet and have demonstrated that with several layers of examination. Ice core analysis is very sophisticated and able to tell us the history of climate change over about the last million years; on the basis of that understanding and the understanding of chemical and physical reactions that we can see in the laboratory as well, scientists have developed climate models that have now for 30 years or more been predicting the actual changes that we see; and there are thousands of ocean and land based measurements, and satellite scanning capability that tells us that the predictions are born out. Unfortunately, what the latest data is showing is that the climate models are not sufficiently sensitive to changes in green house gases and the predictions have understated consistently the degree of change over the last two decades.

    Your #2 …. have you checked out the rising sea levels in Roanoke? There the rising sea level is threatening homes and people are getting FEMA grants to put homes on stilts that a decade ago were on solid and safe ground. The US Navy is concerned that their facilities are at risk, there and at other ports; they are putting plans together to deal with the need to redevelop those facilities over the next century. It is worldwide, and the Atlantic seaboard, southern Florida and the California levees all present risks with continuning sea level rises.

    As someone not “in authority”, I am sick of people like you disagreeing with the scientific consensus on global warming that threatens my descendents without having done the basic reading to understand a subject of such importance. The precautionary principle alone would suggest that if you are being told that there is a serious crisis ahead, you do what you can to understand it and avoid it, not run headlong to argue against it. In addition to being ignorant, that’s more than irresponsible!

    I know the technical detail is beyond me when it comes to peer-reviewed journal articles, but I find it very informative to read the abstracts and conclusions that are commonly included with technical articles. Doing so gives a good perspective of their research process and depth. There are also numerous books that you can read that are written for the non-scientist. Check out Amazon or your favorite book store.

  9. Report this comment #18967

    Alan Galitz said:

    An issue in discussions of global climate change that I find distressingly under emphasized is the fragile nature of our current local climate zones. The modern world is very dependent on what in reality has been a remarkably stable set of local climates for crop production, water and living space. Discussions do not emphasize that changes in local climate zones can, and have historically, had abrupt discontinuities based on small shifts; with disastrous results for human beings. In other words negative effects of global climate change most likely will not always be smooth, gradual changes, but have tipping points.

    Here are a few examples of past, current and future processes, well documented, that with small shifts in energy input, produce abrupt, large scale changes that affect human beings:

    Those of us in the western part of North and South America are familiar with El Nino and El Nina patterns that abruptly change weather over large areas, producing droughts in some areas and floods in others. These effects are from relatively small changes in ocean temperature in areas the pacific. Similar patterns exist in other parts of world. Global climate change will be like these abrupt changes, only much greater, everywhere.

    A similar pattern of ocean water temperature change in the area of the Gulf of Mexico altered the low level jet stream, leading to the 10 year drought of the "Dust Bowl" era of the Midwestern United States in the middle of the twentieth century, with disastrous results. That system may be forming again. Fortunately, better agricultural practices will likely mitigate the effect, assuming the scale is not greater than the earlier event.

    There is a large (putting it mildly) movement of water throughout the ocean called the Atlantic Conveyor which is part of the system that drives the Gulf Stream and keeps Western Europe and the island nations of the North Atlantic much warmer than would be expected from their latitudes. Increasing cold water running off from melt of the Polar ice caps could shut down or alter this system, with an abrupt change in the area local climate. We do not know how much change it would take to flip the conveyor off or change its course enough to dramatically affect temperature in the North Atlantic and Eastern Europe.

    In the deep ocean there are vast quantities of methane hydrated with water (methane hydrates). Methane is a green house gas with much greater potency than CO2. Small shifts in the deep water temperature dramatically affects the solubility of methane at these depths. This could lead to a positive feedback cycle with a critical rise releasing methane, leading to worsening rise etc. Some of these deposits have large areas consistent with out gassing events. You can see video of these deposits bubbling off methane upon being brought to the surface. In fact, some experiments have document a large out gassing potentially sinking a large ship as the foaming water is too light to displace enough of the vessel's weight for it to remain buoyant. This has been proposed as one mechanism for sudden disappearances of large vessels in the areas over methane hydrate deposits.

    These are just a few examples, and for every one we have found, likely there are many others we have not yet found. While none of these events may significantly affect the planet in our lives, the truth is that we do not know for sure what their true time scales may be. Small shifts in energy input can have large scale effects, and not necessarily as a long, slow change that will be easily adapted to. By ignoring global climate change now we are like a person playing with matches near a fuse without knowing how big the bomb is, or how fast the fuse goes. Do we wish to bet our descendants lives on it? I guess, certain members of congress do.

  10. Report this comment #18973

    Noor van Andel said:

    As a heat transfer physicist I studied the literature referred to in the IPCC reports, and the literature that is not taken up by the IPCC reports because it is sceptical about the IPCC conclusion that increased greenhouse gases increase global temperature substantially, i.e. that a doubling of the CO2 concentration would rise global temperature by 2 to 5 ºC. I did my own calculations by using widely accepted measurements. I started not from the presumption that CO2 is a infrared absorbing gas and therefor must warm the climate, but from classical meteorology treating the main heat transfer mechanisms that conduct heat from surface to space, thereby regulating our temperature.
    It turns out that the tropical sea surface temperatures [SST], for example the Pacific SST between 20ºN and 20ºS, are an exact indication of global temperature for over a century now. The Pacific tropical SST is controlled by a "thermostat" consisting of the trade winds converging on the Intertropical Convergence zone [ITCZ] where thousends of tropical thunderstorms convect almost all the heat from the trade wind zone in the form of water vapor up to the tropopause at 15...17 km height. CO2 does no influence this deep convection. At this height the heat radiates away almost unhindered to space, not influenced by CO2 either, although it is the main IR active gas at this level. CO2 helps radiate the heat away rather than impeding it. Now it is important to measure the dependence of this deep convection on SST. Mass transfer of water vapor from the sea surface is proportional to the difference in partial pressure on the surface and just above it, increasing 6.2%/ºC SST, and proportional to wind speed, increasing 10%/ºC SST. The latent heat flow is about 120 W/m2, and thus the heat transfer is very dependent on SST: for 1 ºC rise in SST in the tropical pacific, 20 W/m2 has to be put in the sea surface. Compare that with the generally accepted value of the "forcing" of 4 W/m2 due to a doubling of the CO2 concentration, yielding a climate sensitivity of 1 ºC for 2 x CO2 without positive or negative feedbacks. The strong negative feedback from the deep convection over the ITCZ brings the climate sensitivity back to 4/20*1ºC or 0.2 ºC.
    So, yes, increase of CO2 warms the climate.
    But the effect of CO2 is minimal compared to other effects, such as the El Niño / La Niña oscillation, that explains all warming since 1976. The magnetic activity of the Sun, that explains the Medieval climate optimum ans the little ice age, as well as the large ice ages, as is well documented in the 10Be deposits that are the result of increased Galactic Cosmic Rays [GCR] that are less screened off by a magnetically inactive Sun.
    All this material is well measured and published, google CO2science. The physics of deep convection are well known since 1958, for my explanation google

  11. Report this comment #18979

    Colin Campbell said:

    The basic concept that many in this discussion fail to understand is that FACTS DON’T MATTER! We live in a country where as many as 50% of the adult population accepts creationism over evolution for pete’s sake. How could anyone possibly expect that presenting demonstrable and proven fact will change any minds? We are a people who believe what we wish to believe; who listen only to those who support our preconceptions, and eschew all opposing opinions. We hate complexity and will tend to believe simple, concrete “answers” to complex questions regardless of their basis in fact.
    Add this to the fact that those with their own, special interests to pursue tend to be masterful in framing and dominating the discussion and in successfully manipulating the ignorant and gullible for their own, short term gain. Then include our tendency to mistrust both government and science and to see conspiracy everywhere and you have, well, you have the present situation.
    It’s not going to change or at least it will not change until it is far too late to remediate the effects of climate change. We will most likely experience another mass extinction, not only of species but of our civilization. While our species will probably survive it will live in a very different world and, judging from the past, our will not have learned much from this experience.
    I am grateful that I am in my 70ies and have no grandchildren.

  12. Report this comment #18981

    Terry Mock said:

    How Do We Develop a Sustainable Civilization?

    It’s hardly news that after more than two decades of talk about the need for sustainable development, we humans continue to have a poor track record when it comes to achieving sustainable results. How can we implement change while up against the overwhelming current of business as usual? It will take a new perspective, new approaches and different means of leadership.

    The southern coast of Oregon is a rare place on earth, where beautiful wild & scenic rivers tumble down through steep canyons, and the tallest and largest carbon-sequestering forests in the world on their way to a rocky coastline with wide stretches of sandy beach, before pouring out into the mighty Pacific ocean. Along the rugged coast are picturesque working ports, made of hillside homes, small waterfront cafe’s, vibrant art communities, and more parks per mile than anywhere in the USA.

    The Port Orford Ocean Resource Team (POORT) has a mission to engage Port Orford fishers and other community members in developing and implementing a Port Orford Community Stewardship Area Plan that ensures the long-term sustainability of the Port Orford reef ecosystem and social system dependent on it. Located in the stewardship area headwaters along a 1000’ ridgetop overlooking old growth forest and the marine reserve, Ocean Mountain Ranch is a SLDI carbon-negative project that will provide for long-term yield of high-quality hardwood, softwood, and wildlife habitat while serving as a model organic forestry/grazing operation incorporating residential, agricultural, educational, recreational, and industrial activities to promote sustainable land development best practices on the southern Oregon coast by mixing nature, tradition, and economics for a sustainable future.

    Financing for ecosystem services is beginning to emerge from some compassionate climate capitalists who have been seeking out carbon offset projects that not only reduce carbon emissions but also have significant social, economic and/or environmental benefits in the communities where the projects are developed. These projects are often referred to as having co-benefits or some call them charismatic projects. Charismatic carbon projects are poised to experience significant growth because there is increasing demand from offset buyers because companies that buy charismatic offsets gain more brand value for buying them than if they had just bought garden variety offsets.

    The Fractal Frontier – Sustainable Development Trilogy

    This trilogy of articles examines the essence of sustainability and presents some new perspectives on achieving sustainable results. Part I – Designing a Big Wheel for Civilization explores our checkered history regarding sustainability and provides a foundation of understanding for the future. Part II – Like Life Itself, Sustainable Development is Fractal presents new scientific understandings of economics, nature and social psychology and their impacts on sustainable development. Part III – The Universal Principles of Sustainable Development begins the process of defining the requisite outcomes in order to achieve sustainable results on any project.

    In the Pass-It-Forward spirit, SLDI is gifting the information in the document, along with the SLDI Code™ sustainable development matrix, on behalf of the sustainable land development industry, to anyone interested in collaborating to achieve sustainable results. You are encouraged to cite, share, copy, distribute and transmit this information under the conditions that you attribute the work to The Fractal Frontier – Sustainable Development Trilogy and include this link to the document in its entirety –

    It is important to note that the information contained in the document is universal in its application and need not be confined to land development projects.

    Your participation and comments are welcome.

    Terry Mock, Co-Founder
    Sustainable Land Development Initiative

  13. Report this comment #18983

    Tom Jamison said:

    Noor van Andel,

    You seem to be referring to this study: First, the study found very little correlation between the Southern Oscillation and the long term temperature trend. The the authors committed serious error that rendered the study fatally flawed. They "compared derivative values of SOI and GTTA" by subtracting the 12 month running average from the same average 1 year later. That process removes the long term trend, yet somehow the authors overlook that fact. The subsequent correlation that they find actually indicates the exact opposite of what they claim. It shows clearly that the Southern Oscillation is not responsible for the long term global temperature trend.

    Another study that looks at the issue can be found here:
    and here:
    and here:

  14. Report this comment #18984

    Noor van Andel said:

    Tom Jamison,
    Please see the measurement results in:
    and follow the link.

  15. Report this comment #18990

    Tom Jamison said:

    Sorry, but "Galactic Cosmic Radiation" does not even begin to explain the observed data.

    Carbon Dioxide absorbs infrared heat radiation. This is in fact a basic physical property of CO2 that has been well known for 200 years. There is no known or even theoretical mechanism that can prevent CO2 from doing that. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased.due to the burning of fossil fuels. That is an established fact. Isotope analysis proves that beyond any reasonable doubt.

    Therefore, it is an established fact that the atmosphere is absorbing more infrared heat radiation. The Earth maintains thermal equilibrium by radiation heat out into space. The increased absorption by the atmosphere causes a net energy increase that upsets the thermal balance. Thus, the Earth gets warmer.

    Satellites in space have directly measured the drop in infrared heat radiation originating from the Earth's surface, at exactly the wavelengths that are absorbed by CO2. These are not the same wavelengths that are absorbed by "a low cloud cover" as claimed by the link you referenced.

    That link also fails to explain what mechanism prevents CO2 from absorbing infrared heat radiation. It is impossible to claim that something else is causing warming unless you can show why CO2 is not causing warming. We know how CO2 behaves.

    Sorry, but that study is not at all convincing.

  16. Report this comment #19015

    Bob Armstrong said:

    It's sad to see institutions I venerated in my youth show themselves to be simply political tools . Perhaps it has always been so .

    The US Democrats pledged themselves to be liars for the religion when they voted the science is "unequivocal" . That's nonscience .

    This Global Statist Stupidity has grossly retarded the "science" in the field . It appears you can get a PhD in climate science and not even know how to calculate the temperature of a radiantly heated colored ball .

    I simply point to the comments surrounding my own on

    Google Takes on Climate Change Skeptics
  17. Report this comment #19017

    robert davies said:

    Noor — Respectfully... What. In the world. Are you talking about? It never ceases to amaze me when I see comments like this from actual scientists. You've done your own calculation of climate sensitivity? Great!

    Publish it.

    Your results are not consistent with any I'm aware of in the modeling community. But you clearly believe you've found a better approach; that the approach of the world's modeling community is inadequate and flawed; and that yours is the correct answer. If your result can stand up to even the low bar of peer review, and if the broader community then finds your result convincing and useful, you'll turn climate change science on it's ear. And kudos for it — what we all want is the best understanding attainable. I for one would be ecstatic to learn that the climate sensitivity is far less than the overwhelming body of evidence currently suggests — as would many others.

    But let's be clear, the way science works is that results are published and therefore subject to the full weight of scrutiny of an accomplished, well-trained and sincere community. Until you subject your results to this scrutiny, it's just so much hot air... as it were. As it stands, you seem more dilettante than scientist.

    Finally, the confidence with which you level your assertion that GCRs account for past changes is utterly out of proportion to the evidence. It is certainly being investigated, though no mechanism has been identified (a tie to cloud formation has been postulated, but to date remains utterly unsupported) and the updated data from Svensmark et al. makes clear that any correlation is tenuous.

  18. Report this comment #19020

    Girma Orssengo said:

    In science, if recent observation is nearly identical to past observation, no new theory is required to explain the recent observation.

    This axiom applies to man-made global warming:
    Recent observation: Global warming of 0.48 deg C in a 30-year period from 1970 to 2000
Past observation: Global warming of 0.45 deg C in the a 30-year period from 1910 to 1940

    As the recent observation is nearly identical to the past one, man-made global warming is not supported by the observed data.
    Note that from 1940 to 2000, human carbon emission increased by 235 Billion metric tons (current annual human carbon emission is about 8 Billion metric tones).


    Recent observation: global warming plateau since 2000

    Man-made global is not supported by the data.

    Here are a short list of what indirectly supports:
    1) I think we have been too readily explaining the slow changes over past decade as a result of variability–that explanation is wearing thin. I would just suggest, as a backup to your prediction, that you also do some checking on the sulfate issue, just so you might have a quantified explanation in case the prediction is wrong. Otherwise, the Skeptics will be all over us–the world is really cooling, the models are no good, etc. And all this just as the US is about ready to get serious on the issue.
We all, and you all in particular, need to be prepared.

    2) Yeah, it wasn’t so much 1998 and all that that I was concerned about, used to dealing with that, but the possibility that we might be going through a longer – 10 year – period [IT IS 13 YEARS NOW!] of relatively stable temperatures beyond what you might expect from La Nina etc. Speculation, but if I see this as a possibility then others might also. Anyway, I’ll maybe cut the last few points off the filtered curve before I give the talk again as that’s trending down as a result of the end effects and the recent cold-ish years.

    3) The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK it has but it is only 7 years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.

    4) I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago. I do not believe that global mean annual temperatures have simply cooled progressively over thousands of years as Mike appears to and I contend that that there is strong evidence for major changes in climate over the Holocene (not Milankovich) that require explanation and that could represent part of the current or future background variability of our climate.

    5) Whether we have the 1000 year trend right is far less certain (& one reason why I hedge my bets on whether there were any periods in Medieval times that might have been “warm”, to the irritation of my co-authors!

    6) The verification period, the biggest “miss” was an apparently very warm year in the late 19th century that we did not get right at all. This makes criticisms of the “antis” difficult to respond to (they have not yet risen to this level of sophistication, but they are “on the scent”).

    7) I’ve chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of these). When you look at other blips, the land blips are 1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips — higher sensitivity plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from.

    8)... the fact is that in doing so the rules of IPCC have been softened to the point that in this way the IPCC is not any more an assessment of published science (which is its proclaimed goal) but production of results. The softened condition that the models themself have to be published does not even apply because the Japanese model for example is very different from the published one which gave results
not even close to the actual outlier version (in the old dataset the CCC model was the outlier). Essentially, I feel that at this point there are very little rules and almost anything goes.

    As a result, it is that is in the intellectual wilderness.

  19. Report this comment #19023

    robert davies said:

    Regarding Girma's comments above, Nature couldn't have created a better post to get at the heart of the problem if it tried.

    To the lay reader, these comments seem authoritative and science-based. As such they serve as a beacon to anyone with a preexisting bias toward rejecting the science of AGW. And as myriad research in the fields of psychology and sociology have demonstrated, we humans possess many barriers to internalizing evidence-based information — particularly when it challenges our identity, important relationships, or otherwise strongly held beliefs. (See, for example, work by Daniel Kahan.)

    But of course Girma's comments have little to do with science. To anyone at all familiar with the science of climate, they immediately appear either devoid of knowledge regarding the depth and breadth of the published research, or deliberately obtuse. And most telling of all — in line with my comment to Noor above — Girma's "analysis" is unpublished. A quick Google search on the name Girma Orssengo is instructive. It reveals Girma posts his thoughts on myriad denialist websites, whereupon they are devoured by those desperate to believe the actual science is wrong.

    Think about that.

    Every relevant scientific organization on the planet — from NAS to AGU to AMS to APS to ACS and on down the line — has issued evidence-based statements on the topic. And yet a large segment of our population, including an entire political party, choose the unpublished ramblings of dilettantes and eccentrics over the rigorously derived science of thousands.

    What this tells us, I believe, is that the challenge we face is not one of finding the better metaphor, of presenting the information in a more coherent fashion, of working harder at congeniality. What it tells us is that a large segment of our population simply will not reach an evidence-based conclusion on this issue. It tells us that the realities of the human psyche mean we must accept that these people are essentially lost on this issue.

    I don't claim to know the answer to this predicament, but I know it's not about better science, and I know it's not about better communication of that science. To the extent that a solution exists, I believe it lies along the path of engagement with the younger generation. I teach a breadth science course in climate change at a state university and find enthusiasm for real change all around me among these students. Their astonishment and outrage at policymakers is real and growing. Arming these students with the best science we have, they will go about changing who goes to state houses and to Washington. Herein lies our best hope in my current estimation...

  20. Report this comment #19037

    James Harvey said:

    I take issue with the editorial comment that "most people support climate science" - they don't, at least not in the US. They did for a while, but since researchers at UEA and their US counterparts demonstrated their unwillingness to share information freely and fairly, climate science has justifiably experienced a significant decline in credibility in the US. The situation is so bad that leading IPCC scientists in the US have significantly changed their tone and backpedalled.

    The science of AGW is basically sound. Here are the problems climate science faces in the credibly skeptical US:

    1. Future temp projections are given undue certainty.
    2. Implications of those temp projections are wildly exagerated
    3. Economic projections are little more than wild guesses, but are treated by the science community as fact, then used as a basis for advocacy.

    If AGW advocates wish to make progress in the US, they need to stop mixing fact and fiction regarding the outcomes of AGW. This mix of fiction with fact impinges the credibility of both climate science and science as a whole, and the responsibility for it rests squarely on the scientists involved.

    Nature's hearty and blind endorsement of any paper ascribing negative climatic events to AGW is part of this mixing of fact and fiction, and thus part of the degredation of science for political purposes. I hope Nature will step back and think more carefully about such advocacy in the future.

  21. Report this comment #19039

    robert davies said:


    I for one appreciate hearing your impressions. I believe you when you say this is what you think. Where you lose me is with the follow-up question of "Based on what?" A few thoughts on your comments:

    1. The latest Gallup poll, conducted this week, actually shows 51% of Americans worry "a great deal or a fair amount" about AGW. It's a result consistent with last year's poll, though considerably lower than three years ago. Still, last time I checked, 51% could credibly be called "most."

    2. Where are you seeing future temperature projections being given "undue certainty?" Certainly not from the modelers, who are diligent about reporting uncertainty. I refer you to IPCC AR4; any of a number of emerging texts on climate change; or the myriad primary literature. Not to mention reports intended for public consumption, issued by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, NASA, NOAA, Pew, and a host of education-based entities -- all of which include uncertainties in projections.

    3. Where are you seeing the implications of projections being "wildly exaggerated?" Papers I see generally present results as a continuum of risk. Again, I refer you to the sources I list above.

    4. My experience with economic projections is the opposite to yours. AGW skeptics refuse to ascribe any level of confidence to climate models — which have considerable basis for respect — while screaming economic meltdown if we try to move away from fossils. As evidence, I offer the websites of the Heartland Institute, AEI, George C. Marshall and just about anything reported on Fox. Can you give us an example of the "scientific community" treating economic projections as fact?

    5. You seem to have a firm grasp on "fact vs. fiction" regarding outcomes. Perhaps you could expand a bit on which projections are fact and which are fiction and your basis for ascribing such labels. Again, such projections — within the scientific community to be sure — are generally presented as a continuum of risk rather than utter certainty. (Of course, from a risk management perspective, more uncertainty suggests more prudence, not less. But that's another can of tuna for another time.) Further, why is it that the contrarian crowd is able to mix fiction, distortion and outright lies and gain credibility? (The answer in my opinion, is that people are not making evidence-based decisions, largely as a result of extreme politicization of the topic.) I'm genuinely curious to hear some examples of scientists mixing fact with fiction on this topic, as you have unequivocally alleged.

    6. As for Nature publishing of papers suggesting negative impacts due to AGW, are we to understand that you categorically reject the potential for negative impact? If so, I suggest you have a look at IPCC AR4, Working Group II. While there, you'll note studies indicating the potential for a number of beneficial impacts — at least in the near-term. (Though it is true these same studies generally indicate an unfortunately turn to the negative side as we move past mid-century.)

    I have to say, you've made quite a meal of making claims in your comment for which you offer no actual support. Ironic, wouldn't you say?

  22. Report this comment #19048

    Anumakonda Jagadeesh said:

    I hope ultimately the legislation on dangers of global warming will be passed in US as everybody is affected by Global Warming and Climate Change.

    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

  23. Report this comment #19075

    Peter Keith Anderson said:

    To Anumakonda Jagadeesh (who said: I hope ultimately the legislation on dangers of global warming will be passed in US as everybody is affected by Global Warming and Climate Change.)

    The simple fact is that global (climate change) 'warming' doesn't|cannot have any real (or significant) aspect made by (anthropogenic) CO2! The few are seen avoiding still mention|use of the word ANTHROPOGENIC but would nominate legislation|regulation of a supposed (anthropogenic) problem.
    These few, without showing such problem does exist, then are presenting only the failure of 'the science' and hypothesis of 'AGW'. The OPINION of 'scientists' isn't a production of Science in any form and 'AGW' has only ever 'existed' by (scientific) opinion (hence the persistent efforts appealing to 'authority' and supposed consensus). CO2 is plant food, not some agent of 'warming doom'.
    Yours, Peter K. Anderson a.k.a. Hartlod(TM)

  24. Report this comment #19121

    Noor van Andel said:

    robert davies said:

    Noor ? You've done your own calculation of climate sensitivity? Great! Publish it.

    Dear Mr Davies,
    I published two articles in ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
    VOLUME 21 No. 4 2010.
    I would greatly appreciate your comment on the physical content of these articles. You are right, my scientific position is very different from that of the authors quoted by the IPCC. Indeed CO2 is an infrared absorbing [warming <5 km height] and emitting [cooling >10 km height] gas. Its warming influence is fed back to a small effect by the hydrological cycle, i.e. the strong increase of the latent heat flux over the tropical seas with sea surface temperature. All climate models have shown to be quite wrong in this effect.

  25. Report this comment #19127

    robert davies said:


    By "publish," I meant subject your analysis to scientific peer review in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. E&E does not fit the bill.

    For those unfamiliar, Energy and Environment is (i) a social science journal; (ii) not carried on the ISI listing of peer-reviewed journals; and (iii) edited by an emeritus reader in geography. E&E has gained something of a reputation as a place to publish substandard climate change articles. Writing in the Journal of Higher Education (3 Sep 2003), Richard Monastersky reports:

    "The journal?s editor, Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, a reader in geography at the University of Hull, in England, says she sometimes publishes scientific papers challenging the view that global warming is a problem, because that position is often stifled in other outlets. ?I?m following my political agenda ? a bit, anyway,? she says. ?But isn?t that the right of the editor??


    Noor, this is not a scientific journal. If you want to partiicipate in the bona fide enterprise of science, you need to participate — not pretend to participate and then stand up and tell everyone that the world's National and Royal Academies (among others) are spouting rubbish.

  26. Report this comment #19128

    Jaime Gonzalez said:

    Just some comments on the "feedback" argument:

    1. Figurine argues (with no supporting facts), that a greater ammount of heat trapped in the atmosphere will produce more water vapour, and this vapour will produce more clouds, and as a result more solar energy will be reflected back into space.

    Sorry, but that is just not happening. Around 2004, NASA's satelites established a quite precise measurement of Earth's reflectivity, known as albedo. The results were published in the May 6, 2005, issue of the journal Science, in an article by Bruce Wielicky and other authors (Science Vol. 308 no. 5723 p. 825,
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1106484). In fact, Earth's albedo is increasing, not decreasing.

    2. It is just not correct to say that Earth will respond in the same way as it has in the past. Sorry, again: the natural conditions that prevailed for millions of years are quickly being changed by human activities. Deforestation is increasing, tropical forests are being cut down... in sum, humanity is major force in the planet, and this was not the case one thousand years ago.

    Even publications that were quite enthusiastic about environmental skepticism, such as the London-based The Economist (see «The "skeptical environmentalist"», in, 6 Sep. 2001), are not so assertive anymore on this topic. I'm putting it lightly, of course, because specialists simply demolished the arguments put forward by skepticists such as Bjorn Lomborg. Check, for instance, Pimm and Harvey's response to Lomborg, in Nature 414, 149, 8 Nov. 2001.

    Lomborg's arguments simply didn't last long. Of course, it would have been very nice if "Things are getting better", which was the title of the first chapter of Lomborg's book; but it's just not happening.

    3. Yes, the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (one of the prime sources for IPCC's reports) did not share all the data it should have. This has been clearly established by several (five is my last count) highly authoritative committees that have looked into the purported scientific wrong-doing by the aforementioned research unit. (By the way, in contrast to the scandal that was raised, no scientific misconduct was found by any of these committees.)

    It is very important, however, to consider that the CRU did not have the means to convey the enormous ammount of data that was being required. I'll just quote Phil Jones, the head of the CRU: "In July 2009, we received 60 Freedom of Information requests in a few days?each request was for five countries' worth of data. We probably should've responded to these requests in a different way" (Science, 19 February 2010: Vol. 327 no. 5968 p. 934, DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5968.934). Yes, and and the CRU has been working very hard to remedy this deficiency. But please be fair: consider the ammount of work and resources needed.

  27. Report this comment #19129

    Jaime Gonzalez said:

    Correction: should have said "Earth's albedo is decreasing, not increasing."

  28. Report this comment #19133

    Peter Keith Anderson said:

    Seeing mentioned East Anglia's Climate Research Unit realise its seen to have acted in a most scandalous ill-manner! No scientific misconduct was found by any of these committees mentioned as none seem to have been empowered to actually find such!
    The verdict was instead made by the Public, Politicians and those still attempting actual Science in regard of research of the Climate Effect. Effort to find fraud was not on those committee's agenda, do realise this. The concept of Albedo is also seen too often misused or misunderstood.
    Photons don't 'reflect' or just 'bounce off' this Planet, even Ice is penetrated. Cloud overall seems more related to Ocean Surface Temperatures and such are showing more regard to variation in internal turbulence and Solar behavior than CO2.
    The flaws in the AGW hypothesis are many, the flaws in effort to seem 'scientific' in enacting it via model that hypothesis are numerous, but interacting with Photons (which are not heat) does not warm CO2 ... it sheds too much Energy as secondary photons.
    CO2 cannot actually warm anything directly or indirectly ... H2O is the 'warmest' molecule in this Atmosphere, it warming (by contact) molecular Nitrogen and Oxygen which cannot otherwise interact with that Energy present as Photons.
    It?s the persistent effort to nominate Photons as 'heat' that is bringing the AGWer down. Those secondary photons produced by CO2 simply cannot warm anything else more than such cooled to warm (by contact) CO2 to begin with! The effort of the AGW Politicknic is to rhetorically produce 'energy' from 'somewhere' and nominate it to be (trapped) 'heat'.
    Yours, Peter K. Anderson a.k.a. Hartlod(TM)

  29. Report this comment #19136

    robert davies said:

    Regarding Peter's comments above...

    Once again the point of the article is underscored. If it were just a few cranks who held to Peter's approach it would be one thing. But a substantial number of people -- including policymakers, sorry to say — have this exact attitude: This stuff is easy; It's the Sun; Earth goes through cycles; CO2 can't possibly warm the atmosphere; etc. My five-minute analysis reveals points these stupid scientists are too corrupt or incompetent to have realized; etc.

    The ignorance and arrogance are staggering. One is left speechless.

    And once again it becomes clear that the source of the U.S. Congress' actions is not a failure to accurately communicate climate change science, but deep-seeded biases and barriers that are wholely psychological.

  30. Report this comment #19151

    Peter Keith Anderson said:

    It is very simple to outline how a near superstitious attitude toward CO2 has been 'scientificised' Robert Davies, and the effort to attempt to bully those sceptical of AGW also too commonly attempted ...and too quickly now ...when points are being avoided. Do regard "Is Climate Change Caused By Climate Change?" ( ...please smile as do I at the comments and realise effort to invent jargon is all 'climate science' has achieved so far.
    See "Are you - or have you every been - a sceptic?" ( Our Australian Prime Minister is now heard attempting to label protestations ( against a 'carbon (dioxide) tax' as by 'extremists'! That whilst there's no possibility that CO2 can produce HERE (within this Nitrogen Atmosphere) any substantial warming, and no such 'CO2 warming' is observed.
    Even the Media seems scared of 'truth'. Why? "Ten problems with those warming predictions" ( Some still hold near religious views of CO2 and supposed 'warming' Robert, but the molecule that CO2 is cannot do as those 'believers' persist in fearing. Their paranoia makes them agitated when they must confront their paranoia.
    Still CO2 remains being food for plants and not an agent of 'warming doom' whilst Energy presenting as Photons remains not being 'heat'. The flaws are in the AGW hypothesis and its current implementation, these flaws are so obvious that only an initial, conscious effort to mistake can explain such effort... e.g. 'vibrational' state changes aren't 'kinetic' reactions.
    Yours, Peter K. Anderson a.k.a. Hartlod(TM)

  31. Report this comment #19217

    Figurin Outlife said:

    Well, I genuinely appreciate the feedback and apologize that my emotions piqued in the final paragraph, but I'm afraid a little of that appeal TO authority not only resounded in later responses (e.g., as Robert Davies insisted that it is the way it ?must work?) but the condescending tone I mentioned was too common resounded in some responses (e.g., G Thomas Farmer), so I trust you can see my feelings about that are not without merit. Nonetheless, I respect passion borne from the impulse to prevent harm and create a better world (e.g. Ross Williams) much more than the desire to be right (e.g., Farmer & Davies).

    There is too much to respond to individually, so I will try to synthesize and summarize, starting with a concession: I didn?t mean to imply that climate scientists were not aware of the things I brought up. I know they are. I was simply trying to focus on some facts for discussion.

    A lot of facts were thrown out to support climate change (e.g., ?28000 independent lines of evidence?) ? I didn?t deny there was change ? I am trying to focus on two things that I feel are the most pertinent to the debate.

    1) FEEDBACK. Jaime Gonzalez cited a Science paper about decreasing albedo, yet apparently didn?t read or didn?t care to mention another paper in the same issue whereby Charlson et al (p 806-7) talks about the extreme uncertainty in the estimates. He also says we can?t assume the Earth will respond the same way because now it has humans. I don?t see that as a logical conclusion ? quite to the contrary.

    2) DIRECT OBSERVATION: Ross Williams asks about Roanoke sinking. Seriously? Roanoke, Virginia is approximately 200 miles inland! Google it if you don?t believe me. I do live on the east coast of Texas, which has one of the longest shorelines in the country and I can say there has been none of that here for the past few decades. This is a global phenomenon, remember. I am saying that I have no way to counter, one by one, your ?28000 independent lines of evidence? and you know it. You are trying to win the argument by exhaustion, not by facts. Why can?t I look out my window and see these rising sea levels? (yes, I?ll use time measurements ? I don?t mean immediately).

    Finally, Robert, you?re a passionate guy and I respect that, but your argument could best be described as victory by verbosity. I understand the need to rely on experts, believe me, but I also believe that AGW is not a foregone conclusion because you?ve compiled 28000 facts. There was a book called ?88 reasons the rapture will occur in 1988?. The author used the same logic to argue the end of the world ? he found a bunch of facts, 88 in fact. He could have found 28000 if he had tried, but the only fact that matters is the world is still here.

  32. Report this comment #19263

    Wojciech Setlak said:

    Figurin, perhaps Ross had a different Roanoke in mind? You know, there's an island by that name in North Carolina. By the way, your eagerness to jump to the first interpretation, no matter how implausible, that fits your agenda is quite telling.

  33. Report this comment #19268

    Norman Page said:
    It is the editors of Nature who have usually ignored the core science and the data in order to propagandise the dangers of anthropogenic CO2 Be­cause of the thermal inertia of the oceans and the lack of any Urban Heat Island effect the best indicator of recent trends is the Hadley ? CRU Sea Surface Temperatur­e data. ( Check the SST GL data on their website) The 5 year moving average shows the warming trend peaked in 2003 and a simple regression analysis shows a global cooling trend since then . The data shows warming from 1900- 1940 ,cooling from 1940 ? about 1975 and warming from 1975 ? 2003. CO2 levels rose steadily during this entire period. There has been no net warming since 1998 ? 12 years with CO2 up 6% and no net warming. Anthropoge­nic CO2 obviously must have some effect but our knowledge of the natural drivers is still so poor that we cannot accurately estimate what the anthropoge­nic CO2 contributi­on is. Since 2003 CO2 has risen further and yet the global temperatur­e trend is negative. This is obviously a short term on which to base prediction­s but in the context of declining solar activity ? to the extent of a possible Dalton or Maunder minimum and the negative phase of the Pacific Decadal and Arctic Osciallati­ons a global 20 ? 30 year cooling spell is more likely than a warming trend. The entire IPCC -Al Gore AGW paradigm is about to collapse in the face of the real world temperatur­e data. And what does the IPCC itself actually say?The IPCC science section AR4 WG1 section 8.6.4 deals with the reliability of the climate models .This IPCC science section on models itself concludes: ?Moreover it is not yet clear which tests are critical for constraining the future projections,consequently a set of model metrics that might be used to narrow the range of plausible climate change feedbacks and climate sensitivity has yet to be developed?

    What could be clearer. The IPCC itself says that we don?t even know what metrics to put into the models to test their reliability.- i.e. we don?t know what future temperatures will be and we can?t yet calculate the climate sensitivity to anthropogenic CO2.This also begs a further question of what mere assumptions went into the ?plausible? models to be tested anyway. Nevertheless this statement was ignored by the editors who produced the Summary for Policymakers Here predictions of disaster were illegitimately given ?with high confidence.? in complete contradiction to several sections of the WG1 science section where uncertainties and error bars were discussed.
    The Republicans ,whatever their motivations may be , happen to be on the right side as far as the science and data are concerned.

  34. Report this comment #19272

    robert davies said:


    Yours is certainly not the interpretation of the data of those who work in the field. Given the authority with which you make your assertions, I'd like to encourage you to submit your analysis for publication in the scientific literature ...

  35. Report this comment #19284

    Norman Page said:

    Robert Davies
    There is hardly any interpretation at all in what I wrote- I simply point out what the most relevant temperature and CO2 data actually is -look at the SST GL numbers yourself and draw your own conclusions. Its not very complicated. ( )
    Scroll down to SST GL check what I said and run a simple regression on the reported annual numbers from 2003 – 2010. The CO2 numbers are also easily available on line.
    The other quotes are directly from the IPCC AR4 report itself which is also on line – so everything is already published. The CAGW supporters simply choose to ignore the SST temperature data and the statements quoted from the Science (WG1) section of IPCC AR4 because they dont fit their preconceived notions.This AGW paradigm was never well founded ,but ,in the last dozen years the entire basis for the Climate and Temperature trends and predictions of dangerous warming in the IPCC AR4 Summary for Policy Makers has been destroyed as the temperature and CO2 trends diverged.
    The IPCC Summary is inconsistent with the AR4 WG1 Science section. You should note that the Summary was published before the WG1 report and the editors of the Summary , incredibly ,asked the authors of the Science report to make their reports conform to the Summary rather than the other way around. When this was not done the Science section was simply ignored..
    Most of the predicted disasters are based on climate models.Even the Modelers themselves say that they do not make predictions . The models produce projections or scenarios which are no more accurate than the assumptions,algorithms and data , often of poor quality,which were put into them. In reality they are no more than expensive drafting tools to produce power point slides to illustrate the ideas and prejudices of their creators.

  36. Report this comment #19285

    Peter Keith Anderson said:

    I'd consider, Robert Davies, in seeing you say:
    "Norman, Yours is certainly not the interpretation of the data of those who work in the field. Given the authority with which you make your assertions, I'd like to encourage you to submit your analysis for publication in the scientific literature ..."
    ...that you will find instructive the article "The gargantuan lie of climate change science"

    "In all of human history, what was believed and promoted by the majority of service intellectuals (high priests) in each civilization was only created and maintained to support the hierarchy and the place of the high priests within the hierarchy. To believe that the present is any different regarding any issue managed by our ?experts?, whether in medicine, psychology, cosmology, economics, law and governance, population health or ecology, is pure distilled idiocy. ..."

    Indeed warming has occurred Robert, but in no manner does a (supposed) anthropogenic (CO2) effect need be hypothesised, no 'anthropogenic signal' is been shown still (its very hard to find, it seems). Climate is an effect and the 'CO2 hypothesis' has bent too much known Science to be itself considered valid.
    CO2 is, otherwise, demonstrated observably within this Environment to be food for plants. Too much 'statistical significance' is seen made for effort fitting of linear trends to cyclic effect. Observation of 'models' is no substitute for Observational Science. CO2 physically cannot warm as the AGWer fears.
    Yours, Peter K. Anderson a.k.a. Hartlod(TM)

  37. Report this comment #19296

    Chris Golledge said:

    Here, let's have a look at the actual SST record over the duration of the record.
    What kind of willful ignorance can fail to see an upward trend?
    And, who told you this record was being ignored?

    Re: "CO2 physically cannot warm as the AGWer fears."
    I'm wondering who told you that. A few points: You should probably already be aware that the CO2 already in the atmosphere is largely why the planet is not currently a slushball, and it does not take much digging to find papers showing both a theoretical and observed basis for believing that more CO2 leads to more warming. The effect of CO2 has long been established to be logarithmic; that is, there is no upper bound.

    Layman's explanation:

    Please, you are entitled to your own interpretation of the facts, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

  38. Report this comment #19300

    Peter Keith Anderson said:

    Interesting that some still try to blame CO2 for warming whilst obviously there is cooling to OBSERVE!
    "John McLean: Statement: COOL YEAR PREDICTED: Updated with LATEST GRAPH"
    "Our ENSO – temperature paper of 2009 and the aftermath"
    "ARGO-Era NODC Ocean Heat Content Data (0-700 Meters) Through December 2010"

    What type of ignorance then, Chris Golledge, is being substituted for Science in so much present 'climate science' when measurement observably presenting cooling is 'processed' into 'warming'?
    "the CO2 already in the atmosphere is largely why the planet is not currently a slushball"
    Nonsense, total CO2 can only add that 1.5degreeC that even the IPCC notes, the advanced effect is been obviously concocted by various efforts overlooking of warming made by (Atmospheric) H2O... that "theoretical and observed basis for believing that more CO2 leads to more warming" thus is OBSERVABLY only a BELIEF and not a presentation of Science.
    The "effect of CO2 has long been established to be logarithmic; that is, there is no upper bound" is pure drivel, the "effect" was presented as logarithmic when observation showed a lack of actual 'CO2 warming'! Notice also that 'absorption' is not HEATING whilst CO2 releases Energy as secondary photons too rapidly to even keep itself 'warm'.
    The site 'Skeptical Science' is a repeat of a 'How to talk to a Climate Skeptic' dialogue with slides, its presention used generally by AGWers with no point to make. There is only 1.5degrees of FACT to 'CO2 warming' Chris Golledge, the 'advanced effect' is been frauded whilst increase in Atmospheric CO2 becomes a COOLING PROCESS within the Atmopshere.
    As you attempt dialogue previously countered I'd draw attention to comment|link within
    It should be wondered why Anthropogenic 'CO2 warming' is still even considered relevant, the Hypothesis failed, the (political) promotion of it is failed whilst CO2 observably fuels greater plant growth while remaining within the Atmosphere not for ~100 years but ~5years! The amount naturally presented into the Atmosphere is also becoming realised as much greater that even the IPCC notes yet doesn't impact upon atmospheric levels in like terms.

    (Realise that in media presented volcanic events within 2010 several times that CO2 amount considered added by human's activity SINCE 1900 became added, to what effect? Yet another cooler Winter, another is a series of such both North and South of the Equator. 'CO2 warming' is nothing to fear, its not all that relevant|significant within the needed effects warming of this Nitrogen Atmosphere. The Materials involved are central to my opinions Chris, your presentation of 'opinions' do not alter those Material's 'facts'.)
    Yours, Peter K. Anderson a.k.a. Hartlod(TM)

  39. Report this comment #19311

    Figurin Outlife said:

    Wojciech: Implausible? Try a simple experiment. Go to Google Maps and just type in Roanoke. Ross mentioned FEMA, which is a US agency. How many other Roanokes do you see? It is the obvious, most straightforward interpretation of his text. He didn't say "Roanoke Island" and a search on that plus ocean rise, climate change, etc yields nothing. I notice that you just stopped to take a shot at me and not actually do the legwork to show any link between this island you think is the one he must have meant and climate change. So I'm sorry, but that's what's really telling – the logical conclusions from your post are either 1) you're lazy, or 2) you're the one with an agenda (which doesn't preclude anyone else having one)

  40. Report this comment #19312

    Figurin Outlife said:

    I'd like to interject a call for simplicity in this AGW debate. There is talk of tree rings, ice cores, this and that. Let's just focus on a simple observational hypothesis that can, in principle, be falsified. If AGW is true, we should see a statistically significant difference in X over the next 10 years. In this case the "A" is the most important - anthropomorphic. I'm tired of appeals to "28000 facts", "70 organizations", "all the significant experts agree". Can we just skip the appeals to authority and parade of godfathers to the cause and get down to observational science, specifically that which is accessible to the masses? Please resist the temptation to ridicule me on this, no matter how dedicated you are, because this will be the best way to convince the public. This is what I've been trying to point out, but to no avail yet. I'm not "on the other side". In reality, we are all on the same side. I'm just a believer that we can all make observations on this phenomenon, which is supposed to be everywhere and see things for ourselves. This is in contrast to those who insist I should just sit down, shutup and let them think for me.

  41. Report this comment #19313

    Chris Golledge said:

    Hi Peter,

    What is your hypothesis? That H2O content will remain static while the temperature changes? That is a curious position to hold since it is readily observable that H2O precipitates when air gets cooler and evaporates less when the air is cooler as well. In order for your statement about the maximum effect for CO2 changes to be true, you would have to hold all other factors constant. In nature, the other factors do not remain constant.

    The geologic record is against you.

    "The initiation of a snowball glaciation is linked
    to a variety of unusual perturbations of the carbon
    cycle operating over different timescales."

    from the conclusion of

    "On the initiation of a snowball Earth"*SchragEtAl2002GGG.pdf

    Watts. I read Watts report about the citing of US surface stations. What I noticed is that he never compares the record of his well-sited stations with the record of the stations that he lists as poorly cited. A curious thing is that if you do the comparison, you find that the stations he lists as well sited show more of a warming trend than the ones he lists as poorly sited. Somehow he twists this around to imply that the warming trend is a result of poorly sited stations. So, if that is one of the best authorities you can come up with...

  42. Report this comment #19314

    Chris Golledge said:

    Regarding "If AGW is true, we should see a statistically significant difference in X over the next 10 years."

    I'm guessing you don't know much about statistics and noisy data. The data is too noisy for there to be much significance in any 10-year period. For instance, this is what the monthly GISS data look like:

    I don't know that you can get significance at the traditional 95% level in any 10-year interval. On the other hand, it should be pretty clear that there is an upward trend.

  43. Report this comment #19315

    Wojciech Setlak said:

    Figurin, when you are trying to be objective, and you read that someone mentions Roanoke and sea level in one sentence, do you seriously conclude that the person writing this must be an uneducated oaf, since Roanoke lies 200 miles from the coast? Or do you conclude that perhaps ther may be some other Roanoke and type it into Wikipedia instead?
    And then, maybe, I don't know, type "Roanoke Island FEMA grants" into Google to get this on the first page:
    And please spare me the (inevitable I suppose) discussion whether the increased flooding of this island is due to global warming or not, I suppose it's yet impossible to tell with any certainty. What I pointed out is your attitude.

  44. Report this comment #19324

    Norman Page said:

    Chris Golledge – Please don't set up a strawman to knock down and then accuse me of wilful ignorance.First – I believe it is always better to refer to the original source rather than go to some secondary site. My description of what the Hadley Cru SST GL numerical data shows is accurate. I never said there was never a warming trend only that there is not one now. I'm not sure what the graph you refer to actually is . What is mean 121? However the woodfortrees graph shows exactly what I said about warming- cooling – warming from about 1900 to 2003.The reason it doesn't show the cooling since 2003 is that it truncates the data at about 2003 or 4 as you must have observed – don't be sneaky.
    The AGW supporters are the ones who ignore the lack of warming since 1998 with CO2 up 6% and also the cooling trend since 2003. ( Which you yourself refuse to acknowledge) You also confuse statistical analysis with scientific knowledge and understanding.All analyses of time series are cherry picked one way or another ( especially e.g the hockey stick) I agree that 8 years is a statistically speaking short time to establish a trend but in the context of the PDO – the decline in the solar magnetic field strength , increase in cosmic ray count , several cold winters in a row etc it is scientifically meaningful.

  45. Report this comment #19325

    robert davies said:

    Reading the course of the dialogues above, where talking points long ago addressed and defeated in the literature are regurgitated endlessly, the nature of what the problem is — or rather, what it isn't — is clarified. Once again, it isn't a problem of scientific communication.

    We see continually recycled notions of:

      • Cosmic rays. (Again Norman, not supported by the literature — even the researchers who first raised the possibility.)
      • Cold winters. (Cold winters where, Norman? 2010 was the warmest year in the instrumental record, the 2009-10 winter and 2010-11 winters among the warmest. Don't confuse continental US with global. sigh.)
      • Massive scientific conspiracy. (Norman, your belief in a coordinated conspiracy among the world's scientists tells me you've never spent time with scientists; we can't even agree on where to go for lunch, much less a conspiracy of the magnitude you propopse.)

    ... and dozens of others. The people who continually recycle these notions and steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the myriad evidence to the contrary, do so not because the science is not coherently presented, but for various ideological and psychological reasons present to some degree within us all. As someone once said: "A man's willingness to admit he's bought a forgery is proportional to the price he's paid for it." The science of belief is indeed fascinating. And it finds that what we humans choose to "believe" is not nearly as tied to evidence as we'd like to think.

    I can only reiterate that our failure to deal with climate change will continue until our policymakers are replaced. Reading Norman, Figurin and Peter above, can anyone deny the nature of the problem? Any and all of their talking points can be found in the letters and speeches of (mostly Republican) policymakers the nation over — local, state and federal.

  46. Report this comment #19327

    Peter Keith Anderson said:

    As it seems the AGWer remains fixed within their limited dialogues, and the article here is written expressing alarm at the Public|Political attitude toward what is been a 'vanity science' producing support for an 'alarmist' political agenda perhaps considering situation reported within "Climate Commission shirks debate"...
    ...might be of here be relevant...
    "The scientific background to the Geelong meeting is this. Within the bounds of error, average global temperature hasn?t increased since 1995 (15 years) and temperature has actually been falling slightly since 2001 (10 years). Meanwhile, over the last ten years atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have increased by 5%. The conclusion is obvious. More carbon dioxide is not causing dangerous warming. Indeed, and despite it being an undoubted greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide emissions are not currently producing any measurable (as opposed to theoretical) warming at all. There thus being no established scientific problem, about half of what the Climate Commissioners had to say in Geelong (about carbon dioxide taxes and related industry, employment and social issues) can be put aside ? for it concerned non-solutions to a non-problem in aid of which has been proposed a non-justifiable new tax."

    As for the gathering storm of public opinion demanding of auditing and scrutiny of what some still call 'climate science' perhaps the writer of this report of a public meeting can also be noted...
    "In essence, Australia?s new Climate Commissioners are simply peddling long discredited arguments about global warming that have been made for 15 years by the IPCC, all of which are carefully crafted to demonize human carbon dioxide emissions. ... Alarmingly, during all the questions and answers at Geelong, the Commissioners showed no sign of familiarity with the corpus of literature that is critical of the IPCC and of the conclusions of its scientists. And nor do they have amongst their ranks a credentialled independent scientist who could encourage them to focus on empirical evidence rather than computer model outputs, and to distinguish at all times between real natural and speculative human-caused climate-related environmental change. ... The public wants to hear straight answers to straight questions about global warming science, rather than being on the receiving end in a game of climate frisbee-science. Isn?t the former what science communications is all about, and what the Climate Commission was set up for in the first place?"

    Its quite simple to see why effort to seem 'scientific' whilst blaming CO2 ...become a politically convenient molecule whilst maintaining its primary role of plant food failing even with more concerted effort to politically present a more concerned set of lobbyist 'scientists'! The planet is not behaving as they've prophesised after consulting their neo-oracles, the 'computer models'.

    Chris Golledge, 'snow ball' earth wasn't relevant to this discussion (about CO2)! The supposed 'advanced effect' is been frauded and obviously so. Effort to realise why 'CO2 warming' wasn't following 'theoretical' consideration (at the time) leapt at 'logarithmic' to save a political effort far more than actually gain an understanding of Climate Effect within this Nitrogen Atmosphere.
    Not bothering with your 'link' ...the 'snowball earth' situation was broken (after ~20 millions of years) by the 'single land mass' breaking up (plate tectonic related). This was related to initiation of an extended period of intense volcanism that was adding particulates to the atmosphere for that extended period.
    Such whilst the ocean inundated the growing fractures (as tectonic plates moved, after being locked together for that ~20 millions of years) thus increasing the intervening 'surface' (presenting also of WATER). Still is CO2 not carbon and your effort to seem 'scientific' becomes less relevant. The only curious thing is your persistence in protecting now only efforts to increase taxation become devoid (as they have) of any regard of this Environment!
    Yours, Peter K. Anderson a.k.a. Hartlod(TM)

  47. Report this comment #19338

    Norman Page said:

    Robert Davies Why don't you comment on the actual Hadley SST Data I quoted? Don't you believe it?I certainly didn't invent it. You continue to create straw men – where on earth in my posts do I say that I believe in a coordinated conspiracy of the worlds scientists?
    The motivations ,financing, and political beliefs of the people on both sides of the debate are irrelevant to the scientific discussion.Just deal with the data – its quality and its interpretation.

  48. Report this comment #19343

    Chris Golledge said:

    No one is responding to your "trend" since 2003 because, as you said yourself, it is too short of an interval to have any statistical significance. It seems to me that maintaining a position based on some short interval you have picked while ignoring the larger number of short intervals which counter your position is entirely willful.

    "Mean 121" was a typo on my part. It should be "mean 132", which would be the Hadley SST monthly data smoothed over any potential 11-year solar cycle influence. Yes, it is the same data; feel free to check it and let us know if it is not.

    Regarding, "Still is CO2 not carbon". What are you trying to say? That there is no carbon in carbon dioxide or that carbon dioxide is not part of the carbon cycle? Nevermind.

  49. Report this comment #19344

    Peter Keith Anderson said:

    That there is been a coordinated effort that is conspiratorial within presentation of 'climate science', Norman Page, is considered fact by many now. That CO2 is observably unrelated to warming seen as another fact now also. Then is the effort to nominate CO2 as 'carbon' central to the 'lie' that CO2 as pollution is Chris Golledge whilst the abilities of CO2 and (molecular) Carbon are indeed dissimilar.
    You'd ignore physical fact Chris Golledge whilst showing reliance on rhetorical gymnastics'd play (dishonest) politics and make effort to nominate such as '(climate) science'. I'll reiterate how the lead article of this discussion ponders how that 'climate science' you'd support has lost both the Public's and Political support ... how "The public wants to hear straight answers to straight questions about global warming science, rather than being on the receiving end in a game of climate frisbee-science."
    The AGWer seems to consider them self an 'environmentalist' ..."Are environmentalists an obstacle to clean energy production?"
    ...whilst to preserve the Environment others must take action against 'the environmentalists'. Put away your frisbee Chris, CO2 is NOT Carbon, CO2 is plant food.
    Yours, Peter K. Anderson a.k.a. Hartlod(TM)

  50. Report this comment #19349

    Tyler Fey said:

    I know this is not a theology course, but consider Pascal's conjecture:

    If you are uncertain of the presence of God you have a few different options. First, you can live life as if God does not exist. Risky, in the off chance that there is a God. Second, you can live life like God does exist. Now, on the off chance that there is a God, you at least have covered your tracks. If there is no God, you have lived as if there is, so you get the life that comes along with faith, fulfillment and peace of mind. It is a win-win.

    Why not apply this to global warming? Say we doubt that it exists. If we continue to live our lives as if it does not exist, we are playing the ultimate bet. What if it does? Why not act as if it does, prepare for a future that will be warmer whether we believe in it or not. That way, if global warming is real we are not hung out to dry wishing we had not taken the opportunity to act when we could on a little bit of faith.

  51. Report this comment #19351

    Peter Keith Anderson said:

    Correct Tyler Fey, this is not a theology course and no further consideration of 'Pascal's conjecture' is really needed! A local example that Politicians, no matter where, have noted:
    "ALP deserters 'spooked' by carbon tax"
    "In western and southern Sydney, mining areas and long-established industrial towns, factory workers, two-car families and low-income households swung more heavily against Labor than the NSW average. Echoing their federal leader Tony Abbott, incoming Coalition MPs in NSW argue that traditional Labor voters were spooked by the prospect of job losses, higher petrol prices and rising household power bills from a carbon tax. ... The federal Opposition Leader (Mr Abbott) told a special sitting of parliament yesterday that Labor's "toxic carbon tax" would add $500 to household power bills."

    Then there's "Budget constraints knock UK green policies off track"
    where-in the 'green lobby' is seen again mentioning (dishonestly) such as...
    "With clean energy programmes being axed rather than strengthened, you have to ask what it will take before ministers finally reign in their mandarins and seize the potential for clean energy and the bounty of jobs and investment that would come with it."
    ...for nowhere have 'clean energy programmes' actually produced any nett gain in 'jobs' or investment, the 'great carbon tax' is aimed squarely at paying for the egotism of 'the green' Politicknic...
    "Aussie sceptics destroy EU carbon commissioner"
    "Australia's Carbon Warning for Obama"
    "Carbon not the same thing as CO2"
    ...whilst the egotistical 'green Politicknic' becomes agitated at its mantra being questioned. There is been warming Tyler, it can have naught to do with (Anthropogenic) CO2, this molecule not being 'carbon' but rather a vital atmospheric component required for Photosynthesis (India reports record wheat crop, Australia notes of better than expected even with flooding whilst China is expected to report a 'record' wheat crop also). No 'faith' is required Tyler, CO2 is real and cannot be the 'warming demon' some would prophesize it to be.
    Yours, Peter K. Anderson a.k.a. Hartlod(TM)

  52. Report this comment #19376

    Mark Chopping said:

    Nature websites should be BLOG-FREE ZONES. Science is a way of filtering out garbage — by peer review and community acceptance of published results — but by providing space for any old Tom , Dick, or Girma to post on a Nature webpage, you are allowing non-reviewed viewpoints to prevail. Remember that in the court of public opinion they do not have to win arguments — just to engender uncertainty. While I greatly appreciate the efforts of Robert Davies here, he should not have to make these efforts. There's a time and a place to blog — and Nature should NOT being providing that time and space, imho.

  53. Report this comment #19377

    Figurin Outlife said:

    Wojciech: ROFL. Did you even read the link you sent me? "it's yet impossible to tell with any certainty whether the increased flooding of this island is due to global warming or not"? The article is about hurricanes!

    I'm sorry, Wojciech, but you so very nicely proved my point. What I assumed about Ross is that he ran a quick Google search to see if something popped up that, on the surface, appeared germane and didn't bother to actually read the page. Like you.

  54. Report this comment #19378

    Figurin Outlife said:

    Tyler: Excellent question. Let me answer with a counter-question: What if a man claims God will destroy the earth unless we make him the richest man on the planet? Well, as a fraction of global wealth, we wouldn't have to give him much – 0.1% would be plenty. Can we afford to take the chance that he's right? Wouldn't it just be safer if we all pitched in our 0.1%?

    The answer is in the cost to benefit ratio. If the cost is near zero (e.g., belief) but the benefit is infinite (e.g., eternal paradise), then of course by Pascal's Wager belief is the clear best option. The potential benefit of mitigating the implications of AGW is huge, but so are the costs.

  55. Report this comment #19381

    Wojciech Setlak said:

    Figurin: Look at the fourth paragraph of the FEMA article: "People who lived in houses that flooded with every major storm began to live with dresser drawers piled on top of the dressers." (emphasis mine)
    I'm not going to suggest that you are ignorant of the fact that during major storms, coastal areas are often flooded. Much worse, I think you were well aware of the context in which I used this term and that you are trying to mislead the readers. You seem to have quite a low opinion of their mental capabilities...

  56. Report this comment #19469

    Figurin Outlife said:

    Wojciech: I'm confused – Ross and I were talking about AGW leading to rising sea levels in Roanoke, which is where you jumped in to interject your first point that maybe he meant another Roanoke and I should cut him some slack even though there is no other Roanoke with rising sea levels. You gave a link to make your point, which I presumed was on rising sea levels causing floods, but instead was on hurricanes causing floods. You are now saying that I misunderstood your context? It sounds like you're trying to shift the argument from the one that actually took place (and is still there to read) to one that is easy to win – that storms can cause floods on islands.

    And I have high respect for the intellect of the posters here. What I am realizing is that emotions are getting the best of people here, including myself, which is turning productive debate into banal back-and-forths. Mark is right about the value of peer-review in keeping things even-keeled.

  57. Report this comment #19511

    Wojciech Setlak said:

    Figurin: I remind (others, not you) that the reason I interjected was your reaction to Ross' statement about Roanoke and sea level, namely: "Roanoke, Virginia is approximately 200 miles inland!" May the rest of our exchange serve as an exhibit N to the article.
    That's all I have to say on the subject.

  58. Report this comment #19520

    Martin Hill said:

    The above exchange does seem sadly typical of the debate around what to do with the climate data we have, and unfortunately peer review doesn't seem to improve it. Nothing wrong with some vigorous debate, but it does seem to rabbit-hole fast.

    The original editorial wasn't much better. Calling legislation ' fundamentally anti-science' when it is an outcome of complex political pros and cons shows no understanding of knowledge, uncertainties, option evaluations, or the uses knowledge needs to be put to.

    The tone suggests grand know-all 'scientists' being unfairly distrusted by nasty right wing politicians; it suggests that a particularly limited meaning of 'science' trumps anything else. Frankly that lack of humility – the incredulity that some scientists might sometimes be wrong, even though we all know we can be – contributes to why some people distrust 'scientists' in the first place.

  59. Report this comment #19550

    Peter Keith Anderson said:

    Again the lead article ponders how the 'climate frenzy' has lost both Political and Public relevance, the word LIE is now appearing more often against regard of more components of the 'climate change' Politicknic's effort. Notice the concern in regard to economic issues within comments to:
    "PM's carbon tax to cost households $16.60 a week, Treasury figures show"
    It needs be realised by the 'climate change' Politicknic that CO2 is NOT Carbon, it is not Carbon that photosynthesis uses but rather CO2! Particulate Carbon, i.e. soot, is an atmospheric pollutant ...but CO2 is not. Indeed the 'climate change' Politicknic is entitled to an opinion (as are all others also) but the 'climate change' Politicknic needs realise its opinion cannot alter Water into being Wine or then make CO2 into being Carbon ...see "The IPCC Insider?s Club"
    It is remarkably clear why|how Political and Public attitude is changing to the far-fetched claims that the 'climate change' Politicknic does still, and has, espoused. There's very little good, or even 'certain', Science beneath that loud chorus and obviously little observation of this Environment's actualities. CO2 isn't Carbon, CO2 is plant food.
    Yours, Peter K. Anderson a.k.a. Hartlod(TM)

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