Warming scepticism a death sentence?

The life of a global warming sceptic is a dangerous one, it seems. Well-known sceptic John Daly died suddenly of a heart attack earlier this year, and now one of his frequently-published colleagues (on the Daly website at least) Theodor Landscheidt has also shuffled off a few days ago (on 19 May) to meet the Great Global Climate Controller. Mind you, Landscheidt was 76 years old according to this bio page and had been suffering a “long illness” (which usually means cancer – why don’t they just say so?), so it probably wasn’t all that much of a surprise to his friends and family.

Landscheidt may well have been a scientific ratbag, but he was an interesting ratbag. Like Daly, he wasn’t formally qualified in any scientific discipline, but developed a prodigious practical knowledge in his chosen area of specialisation, which was long-range weather forecasting based on observation and analysis of the sunspot cycle and other solar phenomena.

Landscheidt reckoned that the El Nino/La Nina (ENSO) cycle could be predicted years in advance by plotting sunspot cycles and other phenomena, and had quite a bit of demonstrable success in that regard. More controversially, he reckoned that current global warming is a result of a “phase shift” (whatever that means) in the 36 year sunspot cycle, rather than flowing from increases in atmospheric CO2. His latest paper on the Daly website (posted 22 December 2003) gives a fairly detailed and readable summary of his theories.

The general outline of Landscheidt’s theory may be quite familiar to many older Australians, because it appears to be quite similar to the theories of well-known Australian long-range weather forecasters Inigo Jones and Lennox Walker. As one commentator remarked about Jones and Walker:

A weather forecaster popular with farmers in eastern Australia was Lennox Walker of Crohamhurst in southern Queensland. He reckoned to give 2-5 day forecasts each Friday night in a Sydney newspaper in the 1970’s, for instance, stating the occurrence of rain and the daily maximum temperature. His success appears never to have been demonstrated in any publicly available scientific report, but his supporters were undeterred. Nor were they worried by the secrecy of his methods, reputedly based on a belief in the cyclic influences of sunspots and the planets, e.g. Jupiter. The procedures, whatever they were, were handed down to Lennox by Inigo Jones. The latter was in charge at Crohamhurst until 1954, and a disciple of the famous Clement Wragge. Wragge was head of the Brisbane Meteorological Bureau until 1900 and pioneered hail suppression, although with little success

For those interested, here’s a link to an ABC radio interview a couple of years ago with Lennox Walker’s son (who still carries on his work, although he doesn’t seem to have inherited his dad’s talent for self-promotion).

Like Jones and Walker, Landscheidt was generally regarded by the mainstream scientific community as a crackpot, perhaps partly because of snobbery and credentialism, but also partly because he couldn’t postulate a clear or verifiable basis for the claimed link between sunspots and ENSO.

Actually, I went looking for material on Landscheidt earlier today, not knowing that he’d just died. The spur for my curiosity was a continuing bout of unseasonal rainfall in Darwin. The first month of this year’s dry season has been extraordinarily wet (it rained at my place for a good part of last night and much of the morning). Moreover, most wet seasons over the last 7 or 8 years have yielded well above the long-term average rainfall of about 1600mm. Although it’s obviously too early to be certain, it’s beginning to seem that there’s a marked trend towards wetter (though not hotter) weather in the Top End, at the same time as parts of South-eastern Australia seem to be getting drier and hotter. Could all this be an artefact of global warming, I ask myself? “B” has another explanation, but I won’t go there.

Long-time readers of Troppo Armadillo will know that I’ve always been a moderate global warming sceptic myself. Maybe I’d better go and get a full medical checkup. However, unlike ratbags like the late John Daly, I haven’t denied the reality of human-induced global warming, just questioned its likely magnitude. Interestingly, not long before his recent untimely death, Daly postulated a proposition that arguably allows us (or will soon allow us) to test not only the reality or otherwise of global warming, but to get a rough handle on its magnitude. I blogged about it here, as did John Quiggin here. In summary, Daly argued that the marked global warming of the last 7 or 8 years was caused by the confluence of a Solar Maximum with 2 large El Nino events in 1998 and 2002, and not by human-generated CO2. Daly went on to say that this could be expected to reverse itself over the period 2003-2006 as we moved towards a Solar Minimum and (likely) La Nina. JQ and I both agreed that this presented a real test of the reality of CO2-induced global warming.

What is the result so far? Well, any objective observer could only conclude that there hasn’t been any noticeable cooling at all to date. Have a look at the data for Global Mean Temperature compiled by GISS and kept on the NASA website. They show that average temperatures for the first 4 months of 2004 remained well above the long-term (1951-1980) average of 14 °C, by amounts varying between 0.43 and 0.64 °C. If Daly had been correct (i.e. that CO2-induced warming was a myth), you would have expected average temperatures to have fallen back to well below the long-term average by now, instead of remaining well above it.

Moreover, I think I’m forced to concede that current average temperatures probably aren’t even consistent with my own moderate sceptic position. That is, my own non-expert reading of the data has always tended to lead me to a conclusion that global warming, although real, was much more moderate in extent than alarmist advocates were claiming: probably slightly less than 0.1 °C per decade rather than the 0.17 °C per decade estimated by mainstream global warming advocates. That figure remains broadly consistent with satellite-generated temperature records (except the recent outlier formulation by Vinnikov and Grody). However, the extent to which current surface temperatures (as compiled and averaged by GISS) exceed the long-term average leads me to a tentative conclusion that the extent of global warming is probably significantly higher than 0.1 °C per decade.

What does all that mean? Well, I don’t claim to be an expert, but commonsense precautionary logic rather suggests that warming of that magnitude demands serious (though not panicked) international policy action. I now think we should ratify and seriously implement the Kyoto Protocol without delay (even though it’s only a minimalist first step); and enact carbon taxes and an international carbon credits trading scheme designed to create price signals leading to quicker adoption of non-carbon-based energy sources.

Of course, a side-benefit of my graceful somersault on this issue is that if global warming scepticism really is a health hazard, I’ve just removed the risk for myself in one foul swoop! Indeed, it’s difficult to see how anyone could now rationally maintain a strongly sceptical position on global warming, except perhaps by pinning hopes on something like Theodor Landscheidt’s sunspot “phase shift” theory.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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meika
2022 years ago

the sun is very important to global climate, its seasons are very important, to ignore CO2 increases is like ignoring a radioactivity increase of 1 rad because background radiation is 3 rads, and 1 is less than 3 so its no big deal, forggetting in the comparison that while 1<3 unfortunately 3+1=4

most of the global warming neighsayers logic works like this

it could be geting cooler because of the sunspot cycle, but that does not mean the greenhouse effect is not true

cycles within cycles within circles within dances of stupidity and greed, and todays reasonable fashion is….

its very wet in Tasmania by the way, interferred with the grape picking, pruning next, I like pruning, I really enjoy it

meika
2022 years ago

my numbers have been lost!

…that while one is less than three, one plus three equals four, so an increase of one rad is a big deal…

a one-third increase

Mark Upcher
Mark Upcher
2022 years ago

Ken – I can understand you putting aside scepticism on global warming. Even Bjorn Lomborg accepts that man made global warming is occurring.

The question is what to do about it. I have yet to be convinced that Kyoto is a sensible response. A lot of the analysis I have seen shows the up-front costs of implementing Kyoto are very high and the impact on global warming minimal. In economists jargon a very low benefit-cost ratio. Many economists that accept global warming, do not accept Kyoto as a satisfactory response. See for example, Warwick MacKibbin in this weeks AFR(http://afr.com/premium/articles/2004/05/24/1085389331856.html – subscription required).

So just because you have accepted global warming doesn’t necessarily mean that you cannot continue to have a stoush with Professor Q.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Mark,

My memory tells me that McKibbin et al agree with most other recent economic assessments that the cost of implementing Kyoto is fairly modest (contrary to what Lomborg asserts). McKibbin simply argues that there are more effective strategies for grappling with the problem. He may or may not be right. Certainly Kyoto is only a miniscule start (as my post noted). However, if you accept that it’s a real and significant problem (I always accepted that it was real, but until now have regarded it as unproven whether and to what extent it’s significant), then we have to start somewhere.

Depending on emerging evidence and the rapidity of take-up of new technology, it may well prove necessary to impose much stronger measures than Kyoto further down the track. Most importantly, that would involve imposing Kyoto-type obligations on third world countries. The lack of effect on them is the main reason why Kyoto’s CO2-reducing effect is so small – first world emission reductions are largely cancelled out by increasing emissions from the third world. Third world countries argue that the first world has already had the advantage of the huge wealth generated by being able to produce goods for a century or more with complete disregard for their CO2-generating side-effects, and believe that the first world should demonstrate its bona fides and willingness to restrain its own excesses before asking poorer countries to do likewise. I’m personally not all that impressed by that argument, and I think the first world should be demanding third world compliance with similar CO2-reduction targets and penalties. But they can’t really do that until countries like Australia and the US sign on and at least beginmaking serious attempts to do the right thing.

Lomborg’s argument is very different from that of McKibbin. Lomborg argues that we shouldn’t bother to do anything at all to combat greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, he says, it would be better to spend the money on other things that would benefit the third world e.g. clean water (see his article in today’s media). But Lomborg makes no attempt to lobby governments to do such things. His efforts are confined to arguing what they shouldn’t be made to do. He’d be marginally more convincing if he was campaigning in favour of the things he professes to believe are better ideas than Kyoto. In the circumstances, it looks very much like an empty rhetorical argument. Moreover, why shouldn’t we both implement Kyoto and pursue more direct measures to alleviate third world poverty and disadvantage as well? For example, freeing up world trade in agriculture. It’s not a matter of only being able to do one or the other. Arguably both are desirable and even essential.

James Hamilton
James Hamilton
2022 years ago

I picture a sodden blogger sheltering with his bike under a tree, his girlfriend nowhere to be see, perhaps lost having missed a turn off. A street sign reads Damascus Kebabs 2km.

Lomborg, if he wants to be taken seriously, is under no obligation other than to back up his assertions that Kyoto is a waste of money with an arguement as to why it is.

Mark Upcher
Mark Upcher
2022 years ago

Ken – I recall a very long blog you wrote last year that discussed some interesting charts from the IPCC Report on Emission Scenarios. I’ll quote some of it back to you:

“Despite the IPCC’s efforts at distorting reality, however, its emissions scenarios actually yield a quite surprising result, although you’d never know it from their propaganda emphasis. The most positive CO2 emissions outcomes are actually achieved through fostering strong economic growth,[………]
As you can see, the B1 scenario, which assumes high economic growth, but with “a high level of environmental and social consciousness combined with a globally coherent approach to a more sustainable development”, actually yields CO2 emissions by 2100 that are lower than those of today (and falling). And that is without any Kyoto-style proscriptive emissions reduction schemes. The conclusion I draw from all this is that the world should continue pursuing economic growth through globalised trade, which provides the best prospects for the developing world to achieve first world standards and thereby be able to afford CO2 emission reduction measures. We should reject greenie demands for draconian measures to curb growth, technology and industrial development. Those sorts of approaches will have negative results on CO2 emissions,[……] By contrast, both high economic growth storylines result in falling CO2 emissions after a mid-century peak.”

My problem with Kyoto is that even if the impact on growth is small, so is its impact on global warming. There is also a high level of uncertainty about costs and benefits. To have a bigger impact on global warming, a Kyoto Mark II would impose quite heavy costs on economic growth and as you have stated above falling CO2 emissions can occur in a high growth scenario without a Kyoto style prescription.

I also still think that Lomborg thinks Kyoto is a bad idea regardless of alternatives. Take these statements he has made:

“Estimates indicate that the total cost of global warming will be about $5 trillion (

Dano
Dano
2022 years ago

Ken, this is a fine post. I wish we all could approach problems in this way (yes, me too). Well done, sir.

D

Al Bundy
Al Bundy
2022 years ago

Very disappointing, Ken.

When I was at high school, I remember being taught from science books that warned about new ice ages and the ‘fact’ we’d be out of fossil fuels by 1983.

In 1989, I first heard of the Greenhouse effect and global warming in a Bulletin article. It was a minor point noted deep in the middle of a long article.

Now, with untold billions being poured into proving this hysteria, the ‘scientific’ data is conclusive. Anthropogenic global warming is going to destroy the planet. Skeptics are either right wing loons, or pathetic quislings of the oil industry. Sigh.

Today, everybody has come across most of the claims and counter-claims. And the GH skeptics are losing. The GH conspiracy is just so damn good. It soaks up hits like some monster out of a bad 1950s science fiction movie…it just seems to grow stronger. Early snows in Russia – it’s because of global warming. Vicious winters in the US, it’s actually because of some weather event brought on by global warming. Sigh.

Tuvalu is sinking, just ask their PM. Of course, it isn’t really, in fact the sea is receding around the island group.

The world needed John Daly. Some of his claims were pretty lame. But his ability to expose junk scientists was beyond question.

And did you catch John Anderson in yesterday’s papers ‘warning’ the CSIRO not to politicise the science in the national water study program. He wasn’t talking about NSW vs QLD cotton farmers, or South Australians drinking the chemical soup that reaches Mannum. He was talking about the trendy envirocatastrophy that is used to sell science.

Researchers do not win grant money by promising to show that everything is tickety-boo with the climate/water/air pollution etc. They get money with big scary stories that leave their breathless sponsors sleepless at night. That’s why the press sensationalises, people. Like greenhouse BS keeps climatologists off the bread line, outrageous headlines keep lazy hacks from having to do anything productive.

Worse. There is a nasty smell of proselytizing that wafts from their ominous prognostications. Beware of Gaia worshippers…they really are quite creepy.

It’s so sad to see a rational mind lost to the siren songs of the environmental doomsayers.

Oh well, the temperature’s dropped to zero again here tonight in Canberra. Unfortunately, this graph indicates I won’t be selling off my old gas heater any time soon.

bargarz
2022 years ago

Researchers do not win grant money by promising to show that everything is tickety-boo with the climate/water/air pollution etc. They get money with big scary stories that leave their breathless sponsors sleepless at night.
To paraphrase some famous scientist type, perhaps they need to do both.

Dano
Dano
2022 years ago

Researchers do not win grant money by promising to show that everything is tickety-boo with the climate/water/air pollution etc. They get money with big scary stories that leave their breathless sponsors sleepless at night. Like greenhouse BS keeps climatologists off the bread line…

Wow. Sounds like biomedical research. Quick, everyone! Stop taking medicine!!!

All science is badbadbad! Back to the caves.

D

Tim Lambert
2022 years ago

Al Bundy writes: “When I was at high school, I remember being taught from science books that warned about new ice ages”.
Funny how you can remember something that never happened. There aren’t any such science text books.

Ken Miles
2022 years ago

Nice post Ken.

mark
2022 years ago

“junk science”, Al?

Ever since Steve Milloy was exposed, those people using the term have been deeply suspect: either, like Milloy, being paid to pervert the cause of science, or, like you, dupes of same.

Al Bundy
Al Bundy
2022 years ago

Well, Tim, I guess I’m a liar or deluded. Either that or the high school text (printed in the 70s) that I (admittedly vaguely) recall said something along the lines of: Some scientists believe that a new ice age is just around the corner, arable land will recede – etc etc. The reason I brought it up was because I was quite the pessimist when I was young, and remember being worried that we’d be hit with the double whammy of no fossil fuels and colder winters by the turn of the century.

Proof? Nope, you’ve got me there.

Guess your website proves one thing…I don’t need root mean square databases and a publicly funded computer model to determine which direction your political compass is pointing. I love your little quote about the ‘right wing attack on science’. Funny, I look at the GH thing as being ‘a left wing attack on science’.

Dano, good science is all about skepticism. Don’t go replacing theories unless the new one can offer better explanations for observable phenomena.

Medicines are developed using rigorous trials to test for effectiveness and safety. New surgical techniques show the well thought out application of cutting edge technology in engineering and materials. Climate astrology just peddles worst case models based on all manner of rubbery parameters to create a product that the media loves.

Sad to say, Mark, that I’m not familiar with Mr Milloy. I could Google him, and maybe I will. I take it he’s one of your anti-heroes? Some sort of corporate shill? Well, I suppose every good story needs a villain.

Here’s my nightmare scenario for you Greenhouse Pundits of DOOOOOM. Greenhouse will become passe. Like AIDS, it will lose its front page gloss, and gradually return to the obscurity from whence it came. With the publicity gone, the funding will dry up, and the global glut of Gaia botherers will be reduced to competing on a level playing field with the scientists who don’t like the fudging that’s gone into this theory.

Sadly, the Kyoto Madness will probably be passed. I’m betting that in thirty years time it will be viewed in the same high regard in which modern Chinese hold The Great Leap Forward

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Al,

Your assertion that global warming is based solely on computer models is a standard line peddled by extreme greenhouse sceptics. It’s an outright lie. The surface temperature record has been showing substantial warming for almost 30 years now. That is ACTUAL temperatures, not the figment of some leftie’s imagination.

Straight-line extrapolation of this current measured warming suggests global temperature rises of around 2 degrees C by the end of this century. Although that probably wouldn’t be catastrophic for most people (it might even be beneficial for many), it’s well and truly large enough to merit serious concern and real (but not panicked) policy reactions fro governments.

Sceptics have suggested a number of reasons for the increase in measured temperatures, most notably the so-called “urban heat island” effect. However, current averaged temperature records adjust for urban heat island effect, and just about all scientists who’ve examined it seem to accept that the adjustment is appropriate and adequate. I don’t have the expertise to judge, so I’m prepared to accept their assessment.

Sceptics have also sometimes suggested that the fall of communism in Russia somehow caused temperature records there to be distorted in an upwards direction. Tim Lambert dealt fairly conclusively with that claim on his blog recently. It simply doesn’t stack up against actual records.

The one sceptic argument that I believed until recently might have some possible validity as an explanation for the measured warming of the last 30 years, was the suggestion that mainstream global warming scientists were under-estimating the proportionate contribution of solar activity to the current warming. That’s where Landscheidt and people like Sallie Baliunas come in, because it’s what they claim. However, although assuming a higher proportionate influence for variations in solar activity (as compared with greenhouse gases, volcanic activity, ENSO and airborne “aerosol” particles) can achieve quite a tight fit with the actual temperature record over the last couple of centuries, those assumptions just don’t fit the observed warming of the last 30 years at all well. Warming is considerably greater than those assumptions indicate it should be.

For me, as the main post explained, the clincher is the fact that the current global mean temperature remains well above the long-term average despite the absence of any major solar activity or El Nino effect. In those circumstances, I can’t see any real alternative than to conclude (at least tentatively) that the current warming is caused by human-generated CO2 to a very significant extent.

The precise extent remains uncertain, but the most objective assessment of all the evidence that I’m capable of making leads me to conclude that the risk of human-generated warming that may well have very uncomfortable consequences for large numbers of people is simply too great to ignore while waiting for even more certain evidence.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Another factor is that we’re going to need to make adjustments and move towards renewable non-fossil fuels eventually anyway. Even with advances in recovery technologies, oil reserves will certainly begin to run out by the end of the century (although coal will last much longer). No doubt market forces would eventually ensure that that adjustment is made as oil prices rise over time comparative to other fuel sources, but I don’t see any harm in governments creating “price signals” to encourage earlier conversion to renewable/sustainable energy sources, especially given that all economic analyses of the effects of Kyoto indicate minimal negative effects on world growth and prosperity.

So the “Great Leap Forward” analogy just doesn’t hold, because the effects of Kyoto will be modest and essentially beneficial in any event (unlike the Great Leap Forward), even leaving aside the effects on global warming. I certainly don’t think more drastic measures than Kyoto should be implemented until the evidence of the extent of warming is even clearer than at present. However, the picture should certainly be clear within a decade, and in the meantime Kyoto is a sensible, moderate precautionary measure.

As long as I assessed that likely warming was in the vicinity of 1 degree C or less over the next century (as I did until recently), it made sense to adopt the fairly relaxed position that there was no real need for any precautionary measures until things became clearer. The depletion of oil reserves and halt of population growth before the end of the century (both of which will occur by then on current best evaluations) is likely to mean that human contributions to atmospheric CO2 will tail off in any any event over time, without the need for drastic interventionary policies at all. However, temperature rises in the vicinity of 2 degrees C over the century create quite a different scenario. Even though the problem CAN be expected to moderate gradually after that, a rise of that magnitude (from already quite warm temperatures) will have quite serious adverse consequences for significant parts of the world’s population. That results quite logically in a conclusion that sensible, controlled policy action to mitigate those effects should be implemented early. We can certainly argue reasonably about exactly what sorts of measures should be taken (e.g. McKibbin), but we can’t any longer sensibly argue that nothing at all needs to be done.

Al Bundy
Al Bundy
2022 years ago

To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have…. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest.”

Dr Stephen Schneider (Oct 1989)

Ken,

Thank you for taking the time to prepare such an in depth response to my posts.

But I would like to clarify my position on a number of points. You say:

Tim Lambert
2022 years ago

Gee, Al, it’s actually possible to tell which side is telling the truth in this debate. Let’s look at your quote from “Bizarre Science”:

Al Bundy
Al Bundy
2022 years ago

Sigh,

Tim, here we go again. Just like in my other example.

I quote a claim from Bizarre Science

You contradict it with a counter claim that says those figures don’t gel with those from some study.

I respond by saying,

“Hold your horses, buddy. Let’s look at the veracity of some these ppm figures coming out of the climate scientists.

And, once again, the argument turns into little more than a tit for tat, my-sources-are-better-than-your-sources-and-the-people-you-quote-are-all-dickheads sort of thing.

And which report will the press and the climate prophets seize upon? No prizes for guessing which.

Ken, can you provide a link that shows “current averaged temperature records adjust[ed] for urban heat island effect”? I’d be interested in seeing what ‘adjustments’ were made.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Al,

See IPCC Third Assessment Report 2001 Chapter 2 – Observed Climate Variability and Change , especially 2.2.2.1 Land-surface air temperature. From memory, there’s much more detailed stuff about urban heat island adjustments elsewhere in the report. Have a look for yourself.

Tim Lambert
2022 years ago

Dear Al, so your position is that Bizarre Science can say anything at all, without offering any supporting evidence for it, and you have no way of figuring out whether or not it is true or false? What do you do when you get email from Nigerian scammers?

Al Bundy
Al Bundy
2022 years ago

Thanks, Ken. I’m wading through it.

Tim, I let others deal with the scammers. And, no, I think any attempt to portray Bizarre Science or Still Waiting for Greenhouse as devoid of supporting information is plain disingenuous. I grant you the statement I included above re atmospheric CO2% was unsupported. But, the vast majority of the posts there link to analyses in one form or another.

Al Bundy
Al Bundy
2022 years ago

Thanks, Ken. I’m wading through it.

Tim, I let others deal with the scammers. And, no, I think any attempt to portray Bizarre Science or Still Waiting for Greenhouse as devoid of supporting information is plain disingenuous. I grant you the statement I included above re atmospheric CO2% was unsupported. But, the vast majority of the posts there link to analyses in one form or another.

Tim Lambert
2022 years ago

Dear Al, I did not say that all the claims that Daly and Bizarre Science made are unsupported. I said that you can actually determine that they are wrong. It’s not my fault that one you picked was unsupported. Is it really your position that it is impossible for you to determine that the claim you posted is false? Here’s another clue.

Louis
Louis
2022 years ago

Tim,

Quoting you if I may,

Gee, Al, it’s actually possible to tell which side is telling the truth in this debate. Let’s look at your quote from “Bizarre Science”:

Al Bundy
Al Bundy
2022 years ago

Tim, my initial thought when examining the first graph on the page you directed me to was that Mauna Loa, an active volcano, would seem an odd place for establishing atmospheric CO2 records. Reading this, one might envision a slight contamination problem in the sampling data:

Chemical analysis of gas samples taken from volcanic vents at the summit and rift zones of Kilauea and Mauna Loa has helped to improve our models of how these volcanoes release volatiles. Carbon/sulfur concentration ratios indicate that summit gases are richer in carbon dioxide (CO2) than are rift gases, because CO2 is less soluble in basaltic magma than the other gases, so that it is given off during shallow storage beneath the summit.

Anyway, Tim, I’m not arguing with you over the issue over the increase in CO2 concentration (although I might point out that the Bizarre Science site was talking about volume, and not concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. I presume there is a linear relationship between the two, so your point remains valid.) You are most certainly correct if you unquestioningly accept the concentration data provided by the IPCC. If, however, you again examine the graph in this link, you’ll notice that concentrations of around 550ppm were being recorded early in the 19th century.

Then again, reading through the links Ken provided does little to ease my mind about the way the IPCC presents its data. Take for example the Working Group’s Summary for Policymakers. One assumes that this is the page that politicians are supposed to read when considering their position on Kyoto. What’s one of the first things you’re treated to? Why, it’s the infamous hockey stick graph.

And when it came to the issue of how the IPCC treats ‘heat islands’, what strikes me is the pains they go to ameliorate concerns about the impact these stations might have on the results. Why not eliminate these stations from the sampling altogether? Apparently it’s too difficult to define a station as urban or otherwise. Funny, but others seem to manage it, and, by pure coincidence, the trends indicated display a far more moderate warming trend than that identified by the IPCC, even after they make allowances in recognition of the changes in diurnal temperatures.

For my mind, they could have simply taken a leaf out of another organisation’s book, and said:

You can take my urban temperature stations out of my sampling data when you pry them from my dead, cold fingers.

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

Ken, what’s with this bestiality shit that’s taken over this site?

Louis
Louis
2022 years ago

Dave,

please argue with science, not by throwing rotten tomatoes.

Louis
Louis
2022 years ago

Ken Parish,

I respect your right to change your opinion on the theory of global warming, but when you write above “ratbags like John Daly”, I realise your decisions are not your own.

But then what socialist ever thought…..

Tim Lambert
2022 years ago

Dear Al, notice how Louis failed to provide any support for his claim that only 5% of the C02 is man-made. This is another clue. Even if the graph you linked to is accurate (and since it was published in LaRouche’s crackpot magazine, there are grave doubts on that count), it just shows that measurements of C02 in the 19th century were inaccurate. I certainly hope you don’t think that in the 19th century it really fluctuated between 280 and 550 from year to year.

As for your claims about heat islands… I have downloaded the GHCN and the rural stations are identified. If you look at Hansen’s paper you will find that the warming trend is calculated from the rural stations. Why did you claim otherwise?

Louis
Louis
2022 years ago

Tim,

well, what data do you have which contradict 19th Century measurements?

Louis
Louis
2022 years ago

Tim,

then, as I cannot, as you state, what precisely is the man-made contribution to atmospheric CO2?

Louis
Louis
2022 years ago

And then Tim, what graph? I just checked your url, and well, abatoirs deal with it better than I

Tim Lambert
2022 years ago

Louis, you claimed that 5% of the C02 in the atmosphere “is attributable to man-made causes”. Any time you feel like offering support for your claim, feel free to pitch in. Ice core measurements seem to give a better idea of the 19th century Co2 levels than measurements made in the 19th century.

Louis
Louis
2022 years ago

Aw Shit,

I plumb forgot this website (http://www.clearlight.com/~mhieb/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html).

I plumb forgot water vapour – ….

Louis
Louis
2022 years ago

Aw Shit,

I plumb forgot this website (http://www.clearlight.com/~mhieb/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html).

I plumb forgot water vapour – ….

Louis
Louis
2022 years ago

Tim,

answer the question please, not divert to ice core data which you know are problematical.

Louis
Louis
2022 years ago

Tim,

what the, in your estimtation, is the contribution to atmospheric CO2 which humans have made in the last, say, 50 years?

mark
2022 years ago

Louis, Dave is referring to a bunch of spam comments that:
a) appear in other posts, and
b) quite possibly appeared in this one, but were soon deleted by Ken or Scott

He is not talking about either your arguments or Al’s clever-referencing-of-fraudulent-“experts”.

Hope this helps,

Louis
Louis
2022 years ago

Mark,

Spam comments? Novel phenomenon I suspect.

Tim Lambert
2022 years ago

Louis, you claimed that 5% of the C02 in the atmosphere “is attributable to man-made causes”. Any time you feel like offering support for your claim, feel free to pitch in.

Louis
Louis
2022 years ago

Tim,

CO2 derived from Ice is a proxy measurement which varies enormously from place to place.

It suffers from

1. It is NOT a measurement of the atmosphere
2. Dating Ice is problematical
3. Jawarowski quoted a previous scientific paper, and since those figures for CO2 were “averages”, the actual ones by definition must be considerably higher.
4.Like the IPCC Tim, you make wild assertions from fraudulent data – which makes you, I suspect, though I might be mistaken, one of those fraudulent experts Dave mentioned.
5. Produce published factual data contradicting me please.

Louis
Louis
2022 years ago

Tim,

It is about 0.28%, if water vapor is taken into account– about 5.53%, if not.

I erred – I overstated it if water vapour were present, understated it slilghtly if it were.

Reference as to above

Tim, now produce evidence to contradict this please.

Al Bundy
Al Bundy
2022 years ago

Tim,

I think our opinions converge on the subject of Lyndon LaRouche, but you’re leaving me to do a lot of guess work here. Am I to take it that the graph in question was first published in the spring 1997 issue of “21st Century Science and Technology”? And, if this is the case, that the father of modern Greenhouse science, G.S. Callendar, did not actually use that paper in his research?

Thank you for dismissing the data in the graph as inaccurate, because it helps to illustrate the willingness with which those of the faith will dismiss contrary data. I thought that trait was supposed to be limited to luddites with their heads stuck in the sand like me.

Also, I’m a bit slower than some of the other kids, so please excuse me when I admit to the fact you’ve managed to confuse me. Who is Hansen, and what has he/she got to do with the link I sent you? That link contained the following:

However, we have found that much of this warming occurred over the most recent three decades, and during this period, urban growth appears to have contaminated the records. In contrast to data from urban areas, we find that the 19 non-urban sites in South Africa have not warmed significantly during this recent period.

Does that, or does that not, support the contention I made? That is: when report authors are willing to delineate urban from non-urban temperature stations, the temperature trend is far less significant?

Oh, and that’s an interesting site you pointed out, Louis. What is your position on water vapour, Tim?

Gary
2022 years ago

Aaron and Louis have couple of outstanding visiting critics. The standard of the debate is civile and both Aaron and Louis are not so stubborn to refuse to say they are wrong. Tim.L’s jihad against anyone sceptical of the man made part of climate change is unprofessional. How does he treat his students if they don’t agree 100% with him. And if one was wherein a cross that’s probably going to cost points. I understand bugger all of the science so I can only go with people that aren’t as plagued with hysterics. The politics surrounding Kyoto are dubious so count me out supporting that but count me in when it comes to expecting power plants and the like having the least environmental impact as possible. But I’m probably a heretic in Tim.L’s eye, Kyoto has replaced the bible for people like him with the results equally unprovable.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Gary,

I agree that the discussion of this issue has so far been remarkably civil and polite. I’m learning a lot. However, it might not remain civil for much longer if you keep throwing in ad hominem comments like “Tim.L’s jihad”, “unprofessional” and “hysterics”. Let’s keep playing the ball rather than the man. I’m sure Tim will be dropping in to TA soo, and I’m looking forward to reading his responses to some cogent points I think Louis has made. It’s pretty rare in my experience for (reasonably) knowledgeable global warming sceptics and advocates to enter into reasoned debate with each other, and it’s a phenomenon I would like to see continue. But it’s only likely to occur if both sides behave with mutual respect and restraint.

BTW Louis. I’m not a “socialist”, and no-one who reads this blog regularly would label me as such. If anything I’m probably very slightly to the right of centre on most economic issues, and moderately libertarian on social ones. Presumably you leapt to that conclusion from the fact that I labelled John Daly a “ratbag”. I concede that it’s probably an unfair label. “Zealot” would be more reasonable, and it’s a label that equally applies to quite a few global warming proponents. It’s a label that can reasonably be applied to anyone who exhibits a “tunnel-vision” approach to any issue, evidenced by an unwillingness to examine both sides of the argument in a reasonably open-minded way.

Louis
Louis
2022 years ago

Ken,

Thank you for your comments.

I tend not to label people but I would not regard John Daly as having had tunnel vision – he might have been focussed on one issue – and made errors, which we all do, but from my own private communication with him, I would not discribe him as a zealot. He was aware of the pitfals and problems – but he made many enemies in what seems to be a rather emotional debate.

As for your reaction that I might have thought you as a socilist, no that thought did not occur to me, as right wingers are as prone to ad hominems as well, but any one who need to descend to ad hominems has lost the argument. It is playing the man, not the ball. Most found it extremely hard, if not impossible, to counter Daly’s arguments from fact.

Now as I see it, my figures of ~ 5% of CO2 being due to anthropogneic causes needs to be contradicted, which means that Prof. Singer has to be contradicted since that is where I got the numbers from.

As for Ice Core data – Jawarowski’s paper needs to be read, and it has been linked on Warwick Hughes Site, and Bizarre Science. I might add that ice core data are proxy data, and not accurate measurements of atmospheric composition. Hence until proven otherwise with direct measurement, the data Al quoted that I posted, stand.

Al Bundy
Al Bundy
2022 years ago

Louis,

Can you please post a link for Warwick’s site.

Thanks

Tim Lambert
2022 years ago

Louis, thanks for finally providing a cite for your claim. Looking at your cite I find that it actually agrees with the IPCC numbers for pre-industrial C02, giving a number of 280 ppm. However, it then claims that the increase since then is mostly “natural additions”. Specifically, 69 ppm “natural additions” and 12 ppm man-made additions. That’s where your 5% figure appears to come from.

Your source claims that the figures come from this paper. Trouble is, you can check the paper for yourself and discover that while the figures for pre-industrial and current C02 come from the paper, the figures for man-made additions do not, and would appear to have been made up.

See Al, it is possible to find out who is telling the truth.

Also from the paper:

6The value given by IPCC 2001, page 185, is 280

Gary
2022 years ago

Ken

“ad hominem” are up to the interpretation of the receiver. You missed Marks clever swipe. Louis has his critics one of which I Emailed early last month to him thank for his participation. Tim.L is unprofessional in my view, it mite be incorrect but crying “ad hominem” is not a defence. Tim.L peppers his dialog with ad hominem why does he get a pass.
Louis description of you as “socialist” is as misguided as your perception of Aaron. On almost all other things he in line with you and probably to the left on some (classical liberal). So you have been committing to same error as Louis.