Open Thread and Interesting Article

There’s an interesting article from Popsci, well worth a read. It includes this quote from Katharine Hayhoe:

When I get an e-mail that mentions my child and a guillotine, I want to pull a blanket over my head.

Evidently the fake skeptic strategy of denying the science isn’t working, so they’re using other tactics.


141 responses to “Open Thread and Interesting Article

  1. Susan Anderson

    Yes, that is a comprehensive article with only the slightest of nods to the phony skeptics.

    sorry to fuss, but it’s “Hayhoe” with an e.

    Speaking of good stuff, for US TV viewers, Chris Hayes does “Up” on MSNBC 8-10 am weekends. He flatly states he will have no truck with denial, seriously refreshing, but climate change is only one of his topics.

    • Ugh. Good people don’t deserve the vitriol they get from the deniers. (I usually use the term “contrarian”, but they don’t deserve any slack given their behavior here)

      (also, for additional fuss, it is Katharine with two “a”s)

  2. This so upsetting. It make me wanna reach my trusty 2×4 and start pounding….

    [Response: I don’t think that will produce the end that you desire.]

  3. “…so they’re using other tactics.”

    Just as authoritarians through time the world over have always done. Authoritarians don’t have to be be in power to act like authoritarians.

  4. Susan: Yes, that is a comprehensive article with only the slightest of nods to the phony skeptics.

    The wrong are allowed to speak for themselves, to their own detriment given the way the author has unpacked the story. Very elegantly executed juxtaposition.

    I just can’t get over the Inhofe bit:

    “Just as in the rest of the country, belief in human-caused climate change in Oklahoma has been rising with the thermometer—according to Krosnick, a large majority of Inhofe’s constituents now believe that anthropogenic global warming is real. I ask Inhofe if he’s noticed any climate changes in his home state, such as last summer’s unprecedented heat and severe drought, withering crops, wild fires and dramatically expanded tornado season. “There’s not been any warming,” he snaps. “And there’s actually been a little bit of cooling.”

    Crazy old coot.

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Geez, if I didn’t know better I’d say that sounds like denial. But then that would make him a denier, wouldn’t it?

    • As Upton Sinclair pointed out, it’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

    • Don’t forget Inhofe missed out on a Heartland conference last year because he swam in an algal bloom out of which his his grand-daughter had the sense to stay, at Grand Lake, Oklahoma. Toxic blue-green algal blooms are linked to catastrophic, historic, unique droughts.
      There was a spate of brain eating amoebic deaths last year, too. I suspect Inhofe survived because the amoeba starved.

  5. Also, does Muller really think that he made a major contribution? I mean, the BEST analysis was nice, but… mostly it confirmed what everyone who paid any attention already knew…

    ““The skeptics raised valid points, and everybody should have been a skeptic two years ago,” Muller told me. “Now we have confidence that the temperature rises previously reported had been done without bias. Global warming is real.””

    • Muller really should get over himself, but I don’t see that ever happening. BEST has obviously provided no scientific benefit, but in the fake debate it has certainly brought confusion to the enemy. Even when they turned on Muller it was in a rather half-hearted and dispirited fashion.

      What still gets their blood up, of course, is screeching abuse at decent people.

    • As he was launching the BEST project, Muller made outrageous accusations against CRU and NASA GISS. But now that his own work confirms he was badly misled, will he apologize? Not a chance.

      Muller also fancies himself a paleoclimatology expert. And he’s out to lunch there as well.

  6. One thing I’ve been pondering is alternative explanations for greenhouse fingerprints. Occasionally I run into someone who claims that the GHG signatures (upper atmospheric cooling, night/day and winter/summer trends) are caused by increased humidity, which is ultimately caused by the sun. Of course, this is contradicted by observations of the solar activity, but I am curious if there are other problems with this hypothesis?

    One answer might be that model results don’t show the same fingerprints from solar forcing, even though they do show the effects of increased humidity (eg, ). But then again such people tend to dismiss model results. Any other ideas?

  7. I’m a skeptic about co2 because i just don’t get that .04% up from .035% could do it, i’d sooner believe in homeopathy, nevertheless the poles continue to melt, and the whole point of weather/climate is to shift energy poleward. Plus I don’t trust scientists generally, but if thats the best they can come up with i’ll keep quiet, but remain skeptical.
    Now if someone told me that most of the warming was caused by the huge increase in electromagnetic radiation we pump out from every radio/tv station, electric machinery, mobiles, wifi etc.etc.etc. and how that agitates and warms some air/water vapour in the atmosphere, or the sea’s surface, somehow i’d find that credible.
    just sayin

    • “I don’t trust scientists generally…”

      Well, you don’t have to trust them, do you? “Trust but verify,” and so you may.

      I’m guessing that the entire comment was sarcasm.

      • I’m guessing that the entire comment was sarcasm.

        Relatively poor execution of what was the kernel of a nice idea for a sarcastic post :)

        He’s got the mindset right, though, many Wattsians, for instance, would sooner believe that WiFi is responsible for recent warming than rising concentrations of CO2 …

    • Johnm33, Now, I’m sorry, but this is just fricking sad. Dude, how many watts does a radio station pump out? 50000, maybe? Hell, look at the entire output of energy humans consume. It’s a tiny fraction of what is blocked by CO2.

      As to your .04 vs .035, it is actually .04 vs. .028–a 42% increase. What this means is that the altitude from which CO2 can escape is higher–and colder–than before. That 42% increase means about ~10^14 more CO2 molecules each IR photon has to get past.

      Jeebus, do the friggin’ math.

    • johnm33, perhaps some perspective might help clarify your understanding of how CO2 can and does in fact “do it”.

      You see, less than 0.5% of earth’s atmosphere is responsible for 100% of the natural greenhouse effect that keeps earth from being a frozen over slush ball. The other 99.5% of the atmosphere—the nitrogen, oxygen, argon and a host of truly trace gases—acts only as a heat reservoir for the warming caused by that 0.5%.

      That means by volume CO2 comprises slightly less than 10% of the greenhouse gases in earth’s atmosphere—far more than that 0.04% figure would suggest, which is no doubt why someone told you to think of it in that way.

      But even that 10% figure doesn’t give a true measure of how much of the greenhouse effect CO2 accounts for. Because CO2 absorbs so effectively at the very peak of earth’s radiating spectrum, it actually accounts for around 20% of the greenhouse effect, with H2O doing most of the rest, with a little help from methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and a slew of man-made gases present in truly minute amounts.

      So, by adding a bit of perspective we’ve gone from 0.04% of the total atmosphere to 20% of the total greenhouse effect.
      Now, does that new perspective change your understanding of how increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will increase that 20%, and thus “do it”?

    • Susan Anderson

      Johnm33: if you are honestly “skeptic” I suggest you ignore those who are sick and tired of people like you who advance arguments that have been asked an answered a lot. Several people have taken you at your word and provided some illustrations that might, should you be truly skeptical, not one of those who have made up their minds and know everything, unlike the real experts, which is not skeptical at all.

      I particularly enjoyed the ink comparison. Jim Eager and DSL350 have both honestly answered your quibble. I do think you could think of a wide variety of instances were traces of something are important, and this is one of them.

      If you really hate scientists, I’d suggest you sequester yourself from all the products of modern civilization, telephones, computers, electricity and the like, since they are all products of scientific thinking. Also modern medicine. The list goes on and on. Distrusting expertise on principle doesn’t really work.

    • “I’m a skeptic about co2 because i just don’t get that .04% up from .035% could do it”

      BPL: It’s not the volume fraction that matters, it’s the absolute amount. There are six kilograms of CO2 above every square meter of Earth’s surface. There used to be four.

      The 99% of the atmosphere made up by nitrogen, oxygen, and argon doesn’t absorb infrared radiation. CO2 does.

    • David Archer says in the final paragraphs of his excellent book The Long Thaw that the total energy accumulated by the emissions from burning a gallon of gasoline is 40 million times the useful energy we get from the gasoline. That’s a stunning indication of the efficacy of CO2 release.

      • Surely 40 million times sounds far too high. The CO2 from burning petrol that remains in the atmosphere traps energy equal to that released from the burnt fuel in about a year. (It’s about 18 months for coal & 8 months for gas.) So if the atmospheric lifetime of CO2 is something like 5,000 years, to get up to “40 million times” we’re looking for extra factors totalling 8,000 & I don’t see engine/mechanical efficiencies or extraction ‘costs’ adding up to more than 30, even with electricity generation as part of it. Or am I missing something?

      • I did a quick trawl of cyberspace looking to track down the discrepancy I got between Archer’s 40 million ratio & my attempts. Web comments appear to say his hypothetical gallon is used driving a car with no added carbon footprints for the petrol supply etc. Some folk have spotted a problem with the energy in a gallon of petrol which Archer apparently gives as 2,500 kcal while they calculate it as 31,000 kcal here (2nd review from top). (I calculate 35,666 kcal but then that’s Imperial gallons rather than probably US gallons).
        However Archer is talking “useful energy” and, because the energy in the gallon of petrol is not all delivered ‘usefully’ through the tyres onto the road, 2,500 kcal could well be argued as a legitimate figure for Archer’s “good energy”.
        Archer’s “bad energy” is given as 100 billion kilocalories in the quote here. This quantity doesn’t appear to have been challenged before but I get far smaller numbers. 0.16 billion kcal is my best estimate and being as generous as I can with 100% of the emitted CO2 staying in the atmosphere for 10,000 years and attributing 3 times more from feedbacks, I can still only make 2.4 billion kcal.
        Any thoughts or leads on where else to look?
        Or the actual quote from Dave Archer’s book?

    • Seems john was just another run of the mill ijit determined to make a drive-by show of his ignorance.

      • Or, miraculously, he learned something and is currently doing some re-thinking. I like the idea of hit and runs actually having gone away a little more thoughtful.

      • My experience tells me that people moving around a room, or even the next room affect radio reception, the weather [ which is really all about the distribution of water in the atmosphere in its various forms and at different altitudes] also affects it. Also they use the difference in absorption between water and ice to map ice cover in the arctic. I don’t know where i read that radio waves don’t propogate through sea water . Conversly they must be absorbed. What i’m saying is that it’s plausable ,to me, that this interaction between the em wave ‘soup’ could keep water vapour from condensing to rain, when it otherwise would, and could enhance the prospect of it’s evaporation from the oceans, none of your numbers and assertions address these possibilities adequately yet admit profound effects of co2 at the margins. Similar effects may be possible with em waves .
        I thought maybe i am as stupid as these guys think so I googled ‘radiowaves in seawater’ with interesting results.
        Be warned if you can convince me I may be asking how waves can propagate through a vacuum next or what is electricity
        Susan Anderson thanks sorted

        [Response: Experience tells me that energy can neither be created nor destroyed.]

      • John, And by what mechanism would radio waves accomplish all these miraculous actions? Do you really understand the interaction of matter with electromagnetic waves–or are you simply trying to explain what you don’t understand (climate change) in terms of what you don’t understand (matter/light interactions)?

        Did it occur to you that if radiowaves had odd interactions with water, then it might affect biology–since we are 80% water? Did it occur to you that scientists might have already looked at this, given its importance for radar? Have you looked at the magnitudes of energy involved? Have you looked at whether there are anomalous effects wrt humidity near large radio towers?

        And why do you reject the known physics of the greenhouse effect? We already know IR radiation interacts quite strongly with greenhouse gasses.

      • “Drive-by”? I think the manoeuvre that best describes this johnm33’s presence is “circling the block”. He’s certainly a persistent blighter.

        So, come on! Perhaps we should let him in on the secret about the actual “em wave soup that does keep water vapour from condensing to rain, when it otherwise would, and does enhance the prospect of it’s evaporation from the oceans.” Perhaps we should let him know that it is a transmission far stronger than the rather puny radio transmissions that he’s thinking about, and that scientists have known for some time that the atmosphere is regularly flooded with this “em wave soup”. In fact it happens so regularly that it’s sort of cyclic and has its very own scientific name – diurnal. Identifying the em transmission source apparently wasn’t so difficult (some distant region of the central solar system) and the scientists quickly confirmed it as the cause of “diurnal” global warming. However it took the scientists a while longer to collect enough data to confirm it was nothing to do with what’s causing the global warming we’ve experienced over the last few decades.
        There’s only one question that remains to be answered – Who’s gonna tell johnm33?

      • John, 1.6 w/m^2 continuously verses 0.00425 watt/sec/m^2.
        Which one do think will have the greater effect?
        Get a grip.

      • Susan Anderson

        I can’t help thinking of this rather odd use of an unexploited source of energy found via Grist to this discussion (/humor). Just think, we could all be generating power as we do this!

      • No, John, not in the margins, CO2 absorbs right at the peak of earth’s IR emission curve where it absorbs more efficiently than any other greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, including water vapour. No where does H2O take as large a bite:

        You are aware of the fact that light is electromagnetic radiation, aren’t you? That greenhouse gasses absorb it just as you attribute the absorption of radio waves by water molecules? But you won’t do the maths to quantify the magnitude of the two effects, instead you dismiss the numbers and go with your limited and naive experience.

        It’s quite clear why you don’t trust scientists generally: you feel threatened by them because they have the training and the intellectual tools to figure this out while you refuse to.

    • Horatio Algeranon

      “Skeptical Evidence”
      — by Horatio Algeranon

      WiFi causes global warming
      Gaiety causes AIDS
      The polar bears are melting ice
      We’ve evidence in spades.

    • dhogaza, not just wifi, i can pick up, 60 odd radio channels 30,odd of terrestrial tv, there are 7 mobile masts visble from my garden[40deg vector], with binoculars that would double at least, then theres the radar for the planes that pass over every two minutes or so from 6am til midnight, every electic motor, computer, mobile phone, etc. etc. all churning out em waves.
      JimEager that helps, spending time under blazing sun at close to 40c[shade] in north africa or spain to then wake before dawn to 4c after a cloudless night makes you wonder if anything is holding the heat in, whereas in the extreme humidity further south even cloudless nights can hover around 30c.
      Susan Anderson, How does ‘general mistrust’ mutate to hate? “If you really hate scientists, I’d suggest you sequester yourself from all the products of modern civilization, telephones, computers, electricity and the like, since they are all products of scientific thinking” should end ‘by engineers’.
      Jim Shewan thanks for that they’re the kind of ‘tools’ i can think with.

      • Johnm33 All the emissions you’re talking about come from an electrical generation energy budget that is fully described; no “new” energy outside of that budget is being added to the system via radio transmissions. As well, the total power dissipated by all the transmitters in the world is microscopic compared to the anthropogenic imbalance.

      • As well, for a large part of the RF spectrum emissions substantially escape the planet entirely, not that the amount of energy in question matters a jot in the grand scheme of things.

      • Oh, you weren’t being sarcastic, but were serious. My bad. Wow.

      • John, let’s do the maths, shall we? And please correct me if make a mistake.

        The current forcing of the measured 110 ppmv increase in CO2 is around 1.6 watts per square meter. That’s continuously, 24/7/365, for every square meter of earth’s surface.

        Now, we should add in another watt+ of forcing for the combined increase in methane, nitrous oxide, tropospheric ozone and miscellaneous man made trace greenhouse gases, but we also need to deduct about a watt+ to account for the increase in aerosol pollutants from combustion blocking some incoming sunlight and other counter factors, so let’s just call those a wash and calculate just the forcing from CO2 as very close to the remaining net forcing and multiply it by the area of earth’s surface: 1.6 w/m^2 x 5.1×10^14 m^2 = 8.16×10^14 watts over the total surface of earth.

        Now we need an estimate of global anthropogenic electromagnetic emissions to compare that to. Doesn’t seem to be an easy figure to come up with, so how about we look at global electric power generation instead, which is ~1.9×10^13 kwh per year as of 2009. That works out to 2.17×10^12 watts per second. It should already be obvious that your hypothesis is in serious trouble. Now distribute that over earth’s entire surface and we get 0.00425 watt seconds/m^2. Oh, oh.

        Even if we assume every watt of electrical power generates EM it is still minuscule compared to the 1.6 watts/m^2 generated by the CO2 we humans have pumped into the atmosphere.

      • Susan Anderson

        johnm33, because I had been reflecting on the observable increase in the exploitation of hate in our polity; I projected the word hate onto you, my apology for the error.

        However, despite the continuing misunderstandings between disciplines about technology, engineering, and science, honest scientific work and thought went into the development of most of our mod cons and need not be limited by tight boundaries. I get a little messed up here, as the definition of reductionism I grew up with is not what the word has come to mean in scientific circles, but it applies here. Neither our world nor our science has finite containable boundaries, and climate science is particularly constrained (or the reverse, if you follow my drift) by the need to take a broad variety of inputs into account. Their work is urgently needed because it crosses boundaries of time and real-world needs. Engineering like physics covers a lot of ground and it would be nice if the distrust and hostilities were suspended; I’d agree there’s evidence of it on both sides. Another discipline that seems to constrain knowledge according to belief systems is meteorology, but many meteorologists are willing to cross that boundary as well (Jeff Masters of Wunderground comes to mind as open-minded, while Joe Bastardi is willing to let his opinions close his mind).

        As far as I know, most modern electronics came into being because of a good deal of basic physics far removed from the later stages of design.

      • Phil Scadden

        John, does experience tell you that people are getting fatter? If so, then does it make it reasonable that sealevel rise is caused by the extra weight of people pushing the continent down?

        When you get an explanation pulled out of thin air, how do you determine whether it is reasonable? The scientific method is what we normally use for finding truth. Fortunately, we have trustworthy enough models for the earth’s crust to be able to dismiss the “more fat people” explanation with a simple calculation.

        The same can be said for “radio waves” are doing it. It fails the maths (not to mention conservation of energy). It doesnt make sense to persist in believing such a highly flawed explanation when an explanation that makes good physical sense exists.

        Perhaps time to think about what is a good process for you in evaluating different explanations.

  8. Depressing reading. And some of the comments, while they represent the same-old, same-old regarding volcanoes and the effects of the Sun, are even more depressingly absurd. Clearly ideology drives these arguments. I loved the one from the person who wrote:

    “As a geoscientist of 30+ years experience, I know what makes good science and what Mann and his co-conspirators have been foisting on the public for years is nothing of the sort. … While teaching in college, I helped expel students for less heinous ethics violations that Mann and his cabal have committed. It goes to show that money and politics is the driving force behind so called anthropomorphic climate change.”

    Yeah, ya gotta love that anthropomorphic climate change. Next thing you know, they’ll criticize it for having a feminist agenda.

  9. Interesting article ? Yeah, it scared the shit out of me… Sorry.not being good scientist, but… I am scared. The way genuine scientists are treated today is just scary.

  10. The inhofe story is a good one.

    During the cold winter before last, Inhofe and family built an igloo near the Capitol and put a sign on it reading: “Al Gore’s new home.”.

    Crazy and stupid old coot.

  11. Johnm3, keep in mind that CO2 is much more than .04% of the atmospheric gases that are able to absorb/emit within the thermal infrared range at which the sun-warmed Earth emits. It is the second most-abundant GHG, the gases that keep Earth from being a frozen rock. O2, N2, and Ar — 95-98% of the atmosphere — are transparent in that range.

  12. Doug, I hope so – but I’ve been reading denialist garbage all afternoon, and it looks the type. And there’s no ironic “key.” If so, John you need to provide just a hint to the reader.

  13. but I’ve been reading denialist garbage all afternoon

    And doing a good job in rebuttal, keep up the good work. Lord knows I don’t have the patience to wade in over there …

  14. Commenter at a popular blog:

    “…When the popular perception of these “Never let a crisis go to waste” leftist pseudoscientists is such that they find themselves at risk of physical assault whenever and wherever they show themselves in public, we can slack off….”

    Response from the blog owner:

    curryja | May 24, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    Well Tucci78 is regarded as high entertainment by many of the regulars here. Not so much accepting his sentiments, as being entertained by his presentation of them.

    Oh well. Looks like it’s gosh-jolly fun stuff in some circles.

    • They just never know when to stop their flapping gums because they’re deranged and out of touch with reality. Check the link for Bastardi likening geophysicists to serial rapists of children.

      • Susan Anderson

        Wow, I missed that one. It really is the beam in the eye vs. the mote in the other’s. It is distressing that people are so tone-deaf to the violence they are stoking, distressing and truly dangerous.

      • Hmmm, “Sky Dragon Slayer” is the immediate thing that comes to mind with that Bastardi slur.

  15. I was curious so I did some crude calculations. The amount of energy used by humans is only around 0.01% of the amount of solar energy reaching the earth’s surface. OTOH, increasing CO2 concentration from 350ppm to 400ppm is a >14% change.

    Given that the first 300ppm of atmospheric CO2 is associated with about +30K surface temperature, it should be clear which is the more likely cause of observed warming.

    • Gavin's Pussycat

      Given that the first 300ppm of atmospheric CO2 is associated with about +30K surface temperature, it should be clear which is the more likely cause of observed warming.

      Yep, but it’s not linear. All that your ‘given’ proves, is that the argument ‘CO2 is just a trace gas’ is silly. And the more generic point in favour of science over intuition.

      • Indeed those two points are all that was intended.

        If I had wished to say temperature varies linearly with CO2 concentration, then I would have said we should expect a +10K change from the pre-industrial average. I am not *quite* that foolish, although responding on a blog indicates that I may well be close.

      • Ah, well, we can all be fools together, then. Of course, some are bigger fools than others–as comments above amply demonstrate.

  16. Johnm3, another way of looking at c02 concentrations is to do a simple experiment (it can be a thought experiment). Imagine a cubic meter of clear water, one million mils. (a large cubic fish tank) Replace 280mils of water with 280mils of ink. Thats the preindustrial concentration of co2, 280ppm.
    Now replace another 120mils. Its obvious that adding ink will affect the transparency to visible light.
    The weight of co2 per square mtr has risen from 3.8kgs to around 6.
    I have never heard any objections to ozone stopping UV rays.
    At sea level pressure the ozone would be a layer 8th of an inch thick.
    Co2 at sea level pressure would be more than 3mtrs thick.
    I’m not a scientist and I’m hoping my memory serves me correct with regard to some of these numbers.

  17. David Schnare heads the Environmental Law Center at the ATI, which since its inception in 2009 has sued the employers and former employers of a number of climate scientists, including Mann and James Hansen, the outspoken head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The ATI wants the researchers’ correspondence and research records. “We are not a venal organization,” Schnare says. “Our law center seeks to defend good science and proper governmental behavior and to expose the converse. Citizens have the right to know how government money is spent. Scientists who feel they shouldn’t have to respond to these requests shouldn’t be working in a government institution, because this is the price of entering.”

    How’s that for a chilling effect?

    • ATI is quite a story in its own right, well worth reading.

      How amazing that an organization w/the back story of ATI should wave the Dutch finger on ethics.

      • I agree. I knew something about their history just from trying to follow their campaign against UVa. I’ve just never seen their scumbag intent voiced so clearly from their own mouth. The whole thing could accurately be rephrased, “Anybody thinking of getting into climate research had better get used to our legal harassment!”

  18. The popsci article appears to be gone?

  19. The Climate Ferret

    Jim Shewan says
    Co2 at sea level pressure would be more than 3mtrs thick.
    I don’t think that’s right.

    Let’s check

    1 cm2 of surface has 1kg of air above it.
    If you froze the air that’s about 1000cm3 , not allowing properly for specific gravity. Which means the liquid nitrogen and oxygen alone adds up to 1000cm = 10m.

    0.039% CO2 is 390e-6 so depth of CO2 is 3.9mm. It could get to 5mm if you take density into account.

    Please check my math to make sure I have not made an ass of myself.

    Of course this is totally opaque to thermal infrared. An exercise for the student. How many monolayers of CO2 are there in a 5mm thickness?

    Since CO2 is a strong absorber it’s integrated absorption coefficient is comparable to it’s geometrical cross-section. So what is the penetration depth of thermal IR at ground level assuming a CO2 molecule throws a shadow comparable to its size?

    And for bonus points why does using the geometrical cross-section of CO2 make for an unrealistically short penetration depth for thermal IR radiation passing through the atmosphere?

    You won’t find many WUWT fans who bang on about having some degree of technical competence asking or answering those kinds of questions.

    • Commonly for these things you reckon the thickness at one atm and 298 K, not the condensed phase

    • Combining that figure w/BPL’s point (above) is helpful:

      BPL: It’s not the volume fraction that matters, it’s the absolute amount. There are six kilograms of CO2 above every square meter of Earth’s surface. There used to be four.

  20. Oh hell,

    pV=nRT or V=nRT/p

    R= 0.082 liter atm/mol K, p=1 atm, T=298K, n = 1000 g / (44g/mol) = 0.0089 moles

    so V= 0.217 L = 217 cm^3, put this into a volume whose base is 1 cm^2 and it is 217 cm high or 2.17 m.

    Now to the crazy, absorption coefficients refer to the interaction of molecules with electromagnetic radiation. It has nothing to do with geometrical cross-sections.

    A useful working number for a strong IR absorption cross-section is ~ 1E-18 to 1E-19 cm^2 (that is on line center, the CO2 spectrum is composed of a number of lines, each associated with specific quantum numbers). For CO2 about 90% of the light would be absorbed on line center over a path of 2.5 m at the surface. Whatever

  21. rabiddoomsayer

    Cannot get to popsci article. Problem is: I am getting redirected to local site (I suspect).

  22. David B. Benson

    I’m looking for some assistance of a statistical sort.

    Think of the data as a time series from left to right with increasing time. The interest lies in the most extreme values obtained at each “time point”. Therein is the rub as I’d like to fit a curve just at or above the most extreme of the extreme events. The curve has to be simple enough to use for extrapolation.

    It isn’t obvious whether the curve should be (1) a polynomial, (2) an exponential or (3) a subexponential (supra polynomial). AICc suggests the ordering (1)(3)(2) but the seperation isn’t impressive. AICc has been obtained by assuming gaussin distribution of the residuals (which isn’t so).

    To fit ‘high up’ I weight underfited data points as 100 times worse than overfitted ones. The actual curves gnerally do what I want in providing a conservative (in the engineering sense) fit to the data.

    I need some better method than what I’ve just described but don’t know enough about treating extreme values (and most everything else in statistics) to be able to effectively search for useful references, ones which might provide guidance on how to obtain better seperation of the three hypothetical curves.

    Suggestions will certainly be appreciated.

    • Hi David,
      Ooh, that is a nasty problem. Let me see if I understand. You have a data series with multiple samples per time point and you are trying to determing a bounding trend for the extrema. Correct?

      A couple of questions:

      1)Do you have the same # of data points for each time step? If not, that will really complicate things. The Maximum diverges with sample size unless the possible values are bounded. If this is the case, you might do better fitting for a bound at a particular confidence level.

      2)Have you looked at what the moments of the data (e.g. means and sigmas) are doing vs. time?

      3)How many time steps do you have?

      • David B. Benson

        1) Not the same number of data points per time step. The maxima are bounded but way, way, way above the actual data.

        What means “fitting for a bound at a particular confidence level”? [I never took any courses in statistics, just accumulated some when I needed it.]

        2) First two moments grow over time although the skewness actually decreases. I interpret this that the samples become more normal as the mean increases.

        3) 18 time steps. Should be plenty for estimating the parameter vallues of these 2 and 3 parameter curves.

        Thank you for your interest.

      • David,
        Part of the difficulty you face is that for the samples that are larger, you are sampling out further in the distribution–whatever distribution the elements follow at a particular time step. Thus, your sample maxima would not necessarily follow the same distribution even if each one came from the same population regardless of time step.

        Unless you have 20 or 30 samples per time step, you probably don’t have much feeling for the skew of the distribution(s). For those with significant skew, are they skewed right or left?

        When I talk about fitting a bound for a particular confidence level, what I mean is taking the one-sided tolerance limits for, say the 99% value (on the cumulative distribution) with 90% confidence )the so-called 99/90 bound. If you know the mean and standard deviation and assume the distribution is normal, there are tables of one-sided tolerance limits (so-called KTL). Alternatively, you can estimate them using monte carlo for an arbitrar distribution.

        The problem here is that the KTLs also depend on the sample size. One way around this would be to do everything assuming your smallest sample size–then for those time steps where you have a larger number of samples, you can determine how things change for all the combinatorics of the sample–e.g. by bootstrapping or jackknifing. You then get a range of curves and can pick the bounding one.

        Another thing you could do is use Monte Carlo, generating samples of a given size for different distributions. A lognormal is probably going to give you a pretty good bound unless you have reason to think your distribution is thick tailed.

        Sounds like fun. Good luck.

      • David B. Benson

        snarkrates & Ray Ladbury — Thank you, maybe I’m finding the hang of it.

        What I’ll try next are finding curves for the mean and standard deviation of the samples over the ‘time steps’. Then assuming normality (which doesn’t appear to bad) I can ask about how extreme the extreme values are.

        Fancier stuff can come later, but I thank you for the suggestions. These will give me some search terms to find references I can follow.

  23. Susan Anderson

    For those having trouble with access, perhaps this might help (Tenney Naumer’s site has a full copy):

    • Thank you Susan and dbostrum for the links for us Antipodeans that the internet forgot….and thanks to Popsci for the very clear message that ideology and ignorance threaten to return us to a very warm Dark Age.

  24. Roy Mustard

    I don’t know why you’re all arguing with someone who thinks that electromagnetic radiation is a more reasonable culprit for the recent warming than the addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

    Just sayin’.

  25. As noted at DeSmogBlog, Monckton propulsion system is sputtering, almost out of reactants; ballistic trajectory is imminent.

    ‘Christopher Monckton Described as “Loose Cannon” “17th Century Pamphleteer” By UKIP’

    Darn it.

  26. Nic Lewis has a post on the sensitivity estimate, specifically the diffusion in to the ocean. I tend to agree that diffusion into the ocean is strongly limited by the water cycle. If it did not turn into a mud slinging contest, it would be an interesting discussion.

  27. As noted at DeSmogBlog, Monckton propulsion system is sputtering, almost out of reactants; ballistic trajectory is imminent…..

    Fortunately for the “Lord”, no amount of crazy is too much for WUWT:

    • No amount of crazy? You have no idea!

      I wish that the independent minded people who are willing to stand away from the major parties could remember that because we are so few, we should stand together.

      And UKIP is, for all its faults, the biggest of the freedom loving, democracy loving, independent minded parties. And I don’t like this splitting off, which is very prone to happen in those smaller parties precisely because you have to be independent minded to start with. And this makes everyone willing to fight and go their own way.

      But the British Freedom Party won’t really come to very much, I don’t think, and I would very much like them to come back and join us and we stand together…

      Now, that’s a loose cannon… no wonder UKIP are backtracking at Mach 2! He’s still just fine for Watts, though, I note.

  28. Latest tempest over at the ‘skeptics’ is over Forest et al (2006). Nic Lewis is showing signs of having taken lessons from McIntye in how to be maximally annoying.

    • Michael, the issue with Forest 2006, as far as the true discussion should be, is what is the limit for diffusion in the deep oceans. There is a latent heat cycle at the heart of the problem with a cold reservoir limited to -1.9 to 0C by the temperature of fusion for salt and fresh ice and an upper limit that has to match or there would be no liquid water. That upper limit appears to be in the neighborhood of 32C with a specific volume of approximately 0.857, the inverse of density. If the upper temperature is limited then the rate of diffusion is limited. It is kind of the heart of the problem. You appear to have absolutely no concept of the issue, which is basic thermodynamics, not etiquette.

      • What’s the role of diffusion? Important?

        Use Google Scholar, query “deep ocean bottom warming.” Where does diffusion come into play?

      • Where does it come into play? It is part of the energy balance. Geothermal energy is considered small but not necessarily constant, surface diffusion to the depths is uncertain at best and the thermohaline circulation is not well understood. Having a better handle on any one will help better understand the others. The large 1945ish SST blip could still use a better explanation, if it is real, then it could have an impact on the thermal inertia, with the ARGO data leveling, which is inconsistent with most predictions, that is a growing possibility. Inquiring minds would like to know.

      • I think you may be using the term “diffusion” differently than do researchers investigating ocean heat transport.

        I took a look (wasted a few seconds of my) life at Nic Lewis’ letter, which itself seems to be the first handful of mud being slung. Not surprising that folks should take exception to it as Lewis’ approach seems to hinge on Forest having cooked his data, hardly novel or parsimonious.

      • dbostrum – it’s very important. James Hansen discusses the issue extensively in his recent paper about Earth’s Energy Imbalance. I just learn things superficially. One day on Climate, Etc. WebHubTel mentioned a need for a diffusion model for the oceans. I remembered reading an old Hansen paper that discussed something that sounded exactly like the thing WebHubTel wanted , so I posted a link to it. He and Dallas have been going back and forth on it.

        Hansen thinks there is no missing heat (Gavin as much said the same things a long time ago on RC.) Trenberth seems to still think more missing heat will be found lurking in the deep ocean.

      • “temperature of fusion for salt and fresh ice”

        I have to admit I have no idea what this is.

        I apologise for not being as terribly clever as you are.

      • Yep, Web posted on the lower limit of the climate system based on the latent heat of fusion, which is perfectly valid. I just pointed out there would also be a limit due to the latent heat of evaporation is water is to be conserved. After putting together a latent model, the range of temperatures for the freezing of salt ice, currently at ~1.9C and fresh at 0C provides a variable range for the lower limit temperature and atmospheric pressure would limit the temperature of evaporation required to conserve water.

        To figure out the ranges you need both a moisture model and a radiant model, the two will converge on reality. What I have so far is that the assumption of 50% RH held constant is valid only if you allow for mass transfer from the moisture model to the radiant model envelope. In other words, ice volume changes or moisture escapes to the stratosphere.

      • Pardon me for being dense but just to clarify your employment of the term diffusion, is Capt. Dallas referring to diffusion in connection w/ phase changes? Seems so but just want to make sure.

        Point is, Hansen etc. are referring to mixing when they speak of diffusion, not phase change. But Capt. Dallas seems to be talking about something having to do w/salt and ice undergoing phase changes.

      • dbostrom, Two ways to approach the situation. Forest 2006 determines a sensitivity range base on data up to 1995. The issue raised with the Forest 2006 is that the diffusion calculation used in the model for that paper over estimated the rate of diffusion resulting in a larger range of sensitivities.

        I approach the issue from what the equilibrium rate should be then you can determine how a change would impact sensitivity. For my simple I use a moist air, the sink temperature of the freezing point of salt water, i.e. salt ice and fresh water i.e. fresh ice. Model model results in an average range of Sea surface temperature of 21.1 C +/- a touch. Meaning basically that recovery from the cool conditions of the mid-1970s was completed around 1995.

        The upper limit of tropical SST would be approximately 32C. Above that temperature, the density of the atmosphere and the limits on humidity would require energy be release, ala, 1998 El Nino, stratospheric water vapor increase, reduction in tropical ozone concentration, all sorts of neat chemistry. Which I think makes for an interesting puzzle.

      • I approach the issue from what the equilibrium rate should be then you can determine how a change would impact sensitivity.

        That’s a short sentence w/ a pretty huge compression ratio. At least I think now I understand were the phase change part of your thinking comes in.

        If the upper temperature is limited then the rate of diffusion is limited.

        But again let me point out that when researchers talk about diffusion of heat into the ocean they’re by and large speaking of mechanical mixing at various scales, not diffusion by conduction, which seems to be your approach.

        As well though I don’t follow your thinking all the way through yet it seems that a limiting mechanism such as you describe would both extend and increase the transient sensitivity of the atmosphere.

        But perhaps I’m misunderstanding.

      • dbstrom, I still have to fine tune the model to the specifics of salt water at 35g/kg, but basically, the specific enthalpy of salt water is 334Joules/gram at 4C which balances the energy of an object, 334Wm-2 at 4C. The thermal properties of water adjusted for impurities provides the dominate control point. To do a complete energy balance you have to start at the ocean surface and work down and up, the thermal mass and enthalpy of the oceans provide the limits and the longer time constants needed to maintain oceans and atmosphere. The latent heats of fusion and vaporization provide the stored energy to dampen transients. Radiant provides a more rapid response to balance atmospheric delays.

        That is the core of the model.

        That should give me a time constant to work with. So far, it is pretty interesting and fairly predictive.

  29. I’m late to the party on this one–limited connectivty where I currently am–but I’d like to say how glad I am to see this article. I’d made many of the same points in my article “Green Fascism…”, familiar to some here, and have about 500 page views with that piece.

    PopSci, on the other hand, surely reaches several orders of magnitude more than that. And, as a bonus, can interview Dr. Mann, as well as Inhofe, Bast, and Milloy. A telling article indeed, eminently worthy of linking as widely as possible.

    That last bit, with Inhofe, is positively surreal. I’d have had trouble believing it if I hadn’t been observing deniers in and out of their native habitat for several years now.

  30. jasonpettitt

    Peter ‘climate crocks’ Sinclair – a man Anthony Watts describes as ‘hateful’ – has one of those newfangled kickstarter things going to send him on holiday to a glacier or some such. He’s funded already, but you can’t take too much holiday money. Apparently he actually fancies getting a pair of boots for the trip too. The nerve.

    • Alex the Seal

      I’m pretty sure you could squeeze a few more emotive terms in that post if you tried hard enough.

      • Okay, I’ll try.

        Climate Crocks is one of the most accessible, engaging and illuminating series on climate science and the surrounding public debate today. Peter is a long standing champion of science outreach – and the prospect of crowd funding Climate Crocks on the front lines, documenting the endeavours of scientists as they gather data in the wild, is a genuinely exciting initiative. He’s going to need warm socks and spare batteries – give him some pennies already.

    • Susan Anderson

      Huh … some people are rather fond of promoting hate. I guess the best defense is a good offense, but it would help if it were a might more truthful. Those who wish to be deceived will be, but the earth don’t care.

      Snarkism is just that – a loyalty to deception doesn’t hurt either.

    • If Peter is able to get some additional video equipment, and some interviews, and extend his network of contacts… all of that sounds good to me. Peter has repeatedly demonstrated that he can communicate climate change issues in an entertaining and on-target way.

      For me, supporting his effort was a no-brainer. And the more money he collects, the more denier crocks get blasted. Anthony Watts is just the one of the denier road-kills on Peter’s highway onslaught exposing lies and deception about the reality of climate change.

      AW is so scared of greenman3610, than he runs off any mention of his work on his site. He even reneged on the Monckton-potholer54 debate on WUWT, once greenman3610 got involved. Anthony Watts clearly is frightened about facing these guys head on. Check this video out:

  31. Horatio Algeranon

    “Science on the Ropes”

    — by Horatio Algeranon

    On truth and reason
    It’s open season
    With scientists in the scopes
    The fossil fools
    And money tools
    Have got them on the ropes

    • David B. Benson

      Good. I’ll say you are ready to take over for Calvin Trillin, Deadline Poet.

      • Horatio Algeranon

        Horatio sees himself as more of a Deadhead poet.

        What a long, Möbius trip it’s been.

      • Susan Anderson

        Algeranon, I always identified with St. Stephen with the rose – “wherever she goes the people all complain”!

      • Horatio Algeranon


        If the people all complain, you must be doing something right.

      • Horatio Algeranon

        The Möbius Trip
        — by Horatio Algeranon

        While scientists build,
        From data distilled,
        An edifice worthy
        Of a craftsman’s guild,

        The “skeptics” skip
        Down the Möbius Strip
        And go nowhere,
        On an endless trip.

        The Bottle of Klein
        Suits the latter just fine
        To model nature
        And hold their whine.

        And here’s a picture of the Möbius trippers.

  32. Humans are by and large feeling creatures that think, and not thinking creatures that feel. As the conditions worsen, and people’s fears grow, the attacks on climate researchers will get worse. IMHO, it takes a unusually rational mind to admit there is a serious problem, and settle in to how to best deal with it. My fear is that that level of rationality will be in too limited supply.

    I imagine that at some point, when the effects become bad enough, there will be people who blame the very scientists who tried to prevent the problem for causing the problem. It would be a mistake to underestimate the insanity that can prevail when people feel threatened.

    • rabiddoomsayer

      Sadly I think you have hit the nail on the head. There will be cries of “why didn’t you tell us.”

    • uknowispeaksense

      Chris G, that was well said. I was having a discussion on my blog with another about what will happen when push comes to shove. My take is that humans are inherently lazy and when confronted with having to make really tough decisions will tend to go for the easy option which is to do nothing, I hadn’t really given much thought to that other side of human nature, the selfish wilful ignorance that could switch from denial to acceptance with blame shifting. They already feel the need to shoot the messenger. Stupid pride and embarrassment at their own stupidity could fuel that even more.

    • Susan Anderson

      And the insanity of blame seeking and violence as solution gets even fiercer when people are defending their children. Good summary of the human condition, thanks but depressing.

  33. VeryTallGuy

    How’s about this from the CEO of Exxon:

    In a speech at US think tank the Council on Foreign Relations, Tillerson admitted that increasing CO2 emissions would have “a warming impact,” but played down the scale of risks it may pose. Instead, he lambasted a society that is “illiterate” when it comes to science, maths and engineering, alongside a “lazy” press and pressure groups that “manufacture fear.”

    “We have spent our entire existence adapting,” he said. “So we will adapt to this. Changes to weather patterns that move crop production areas around – we’ll adapt to that. It’s an engineering problem, and it has engineering solutions. And so I don’t [accept] the fear factor that people want to throw out there to say ‘we just have to stop this’.”

    Yes, you read that right, all the science that points to mitigation being more effective than adaptation is being misinterpreted by an illiterate public.

    Nothing to do with it threatening Exxon profits, of course.

    • Let’s not forget what adaptation really looks like, particularly the early stages: Colorado wildfire: Waldo Canyon Fire officials confirm “hundreds” of homes destroyed

      Adaptation is going to be iterative and dissipative, clumsy. That’s how we deal with things like this. Take the residents of Colorado Springs as metaphor; ten minutes or half an hour to gather everything of their lives they wanted to save because events outpaced their cognition.

      • verytallguy

        It wasn’t so much the being flat wrong that left me gobsmacked – I’d expect an Exxon CEO to be wrong on climate change. It’s the astonishing chutzpah in going on to lambast *others* for their scientific illiteracy.

        Makes my head spin.

      • Yes, and especially as his firm has paid large sums of money specifically for the purpose of confusing the public and stuffing newspaper articles with such as Magical Lindzen.

      • Susan Anderson

        “events outpaced their cognition” – brilliant!

      • Tillerson is an engineer, what did you expect, that he would admit that others know more than him?

      • verytallguy

        What’s it with you scientologists (or whatever you call yourselves) and engineers? Some sort of inferiority complex?

        Three things you need to know about engineers
        1) They’re the only people who can save us from climate change
        2) Engineers are smarter than scientists (look up the etymology)
        3) I’m an engineer, and not biased, obviously

      • VTG, I think engineers get a bad rap with a lot of science types simply because so many of the more virulent climate science deniers are engineers, precisely when one would expect engineers to have the intellectual tools to understand the science. Unfortunately and unfairly, the arrogance of a vocal few tarnishes the entire profession in some eyes.

      • Daniel J. Andrews

        Exactly. Yes, we’ll adapt. But the stages leading up to adaptation aren’t pretty. The Anasazi adapted by dying and fleeing to other locations when their region went into drought, for example. There was increased competition for limited resources like food and water. There are many other examples in history of a culture that “adapted” to climatic changes (I think one of Brian Fagan’s books deals with some of these).

        Before adaptation comes a lot of misery, war, famine and death…that usually provides enough of an impetus to get people to finally adapt.

    • Horatio Algeranon

      “God help us; we’re in the hands of engineers” — Dr. Ian Malcolm, in the movie “Jurassic Park”

      Horatio would change that slightly: “Engineers help us; We’re in the hands of God physicists”

  34. I’ll be looking forward to Tillerson telling us how, exactly, we’ll “engineer” growing food crops in the Great American Desert, on the Canadian shield, and in the muskeg where boreal forests once grew. Hubris knows no bounds.

    • The hotly anticipated orbiting torus of monoclonal nutrient vats, aka “Pie In the Sky 2.0?”

  35. Hi folks,
    I have one semantic question and I’d really like to hear your opinion about it. It goes something like this. The AGW has been presented by many as a theory. However, I do think about this (according to what I’ve read) that perhaps more correct statement is:
    The AGW is a prediction of climatological theory (perhaps set of theories or science), which are exploring the response of Earth climate to various factors. And this prediction is very sound (because of “our” knowledge – our is in quotes because mine isn’t, but this does not imply that scientists do know it).
    The emphasis is on the fact of understanding roles of different factors – not just CO2, the soundness of it. As I’ve noticed, there are sometimes just saying about the AGW theory or even Al Gore’s theory just in order to discredit science.
    Note: it is extremely difficult to me to make a good statement here as I am non native English speaker, so any corrections or better suggestions are extremely welcome, and different opinions about communicating to public too.

    • Patrice,
      I believe this is exactly the case. The theory is the theory of Earth’s climate, and anthropogenic warming is a prediction based on our understanding of the importance of well mixed, long-lived greenhouse gasses in that theory. The basic theory was sufficiently well worked out that Arrhenius could make this prediction back in 1896.

      You are correct.

    • Susan Anderson

      Every institution in the world has made an effort to state the facts in a clear and convincing way. If you will avoid the second-hand locations and the press digests, and go to the source, your top scientific organizations probably have something straightforward in your own language. Here, you could use NASA, AAAS, APS, or any other top scientific organization. In addition, most top newspapers and weather sites have a section on climate change due to global warming from greenhouse gases that explains the phenomenon in simple terms.

      It is important to recognize that there are multiple lines of evidence and they have been clarified over time with care and intelligence. The opposition is very good at PR, and has a lot of money, but unless you let them guide your learning process you should be able to figure it out.

      I am not a scientists, but it is clear as day to me.

      In addition, the relationship between climate change and change in overall weather trends is now becoming quite clear to anyone with a broad observational horizon. One has to close in one’s backyard view rather tightly and fiercely not to notice.

      So far, scientists stand convicted of understating the case until things go really bad and the persecution escalated.

      Try reading the feature article here as well. You might have to use one of the alternatives provided above, one by me.

    • David B. Benson

      Patrice — The previous responders have done well. I’ll just add that the basics are found in Ray Pierrehumbert’s “Principles of Planetary Climate”
      about which you may care to read some reviews.

      • Thank you all for responses. The book is ordered, and I have found one pdf (it looks like a draft version) which I am reading just now. David, thank you very much for this recommendation, it is really good book, yet I’ll probably need to spend a lot of time reading it (and I hope it will arrive before this year vacations, so I’ll have some good read at that time). And yes, the most striking about this book was that I was somehow unaware how much we do know about general planetary climates (not just Earth climate).

  36. Patrice, you have indeed identified a semantic problem, one exploited by those seeking to undermine public perception of climate science, and indeed science in general.

    You see, for a large segment of the public the word “theory” is practically synonymous with “wild assed guess” and is often used in conjunction with the words “crackpot” and “conspiracy”.

    In science, on the other hand, a “theory” is the goal, the end product of the endeavor, the gold standard. A theory is a cohesive model of physical reality supported by an overwhelming body of evidence and observations, able to make verifiable predictions, and accepted by the overwhelming majority of scientists practicing in the relevant field, as in the theory of gravity or germ theory, for example.

    Science deniers use the word “theory” as a backhanded slap, when in reality it is actually a complement to that which they don’t understand and can not accept.

  37. Patrice.
    I’ve been coping with climate deniers for far too long to believe in namby-pamby agrumentation. So I say:-

    AGW is not a theory. It is a fact*. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, mankind is responsible for atmospheric CO2 concentrations increasing to levels not seen for millions of years and thus mankind is causing warming and will continue to cause warming. The theory is about predicting how much warming our CO2 will cause.
    To predict if AGW will be insignificant or bad or very bad/ or catastrophic, it is less about understanding the roles of different factors. It is more quantifying them. There are some factors with big uncertainties (clouds, aerosols, eventual CO2 emissions, slow feedbacks) but, even though the climate is very complex, the theory (or perhaps call this the science because there is only one working theory) and importantly the evidence rules out insignificant AGW.

    *CO2 is actually only the largest of a number of anthropogenic forcings. There are negative forcings as well as positive ones. Why the net effect cannot be negative is another matter. Suffice to say, no scientific theory presently exists that explains (or even attempts to properly explain) the recent global warming without anthropogenic forcings playing a dominant role in that warming.

  38. Tamino…you had a post on questions about permafrost over at ClimateSight…I posted this comment there but didn’t know if you’d seen it:


    Do you know of any sources for data on permafrost? I’d like to post about it, but it would greatly help to have some actual data.

    Let me know if these might be what you’re looking for? If needed I can send you a copy of the Stratos report.

    Dave Williams

    on June 22, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Reply Tokodave

    Natural Resources Canada has some recent work on it.

    Try these:

    Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN), 2008. From Impacts to Adaption: Canada in a Changing Climate 2007. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

    Government of Canada.Stratos. 2009. Climate Change Impacts on Mining Operations and Infrastructure: A scoping study for the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation. Ottawa: Reinecke, S., Hedley, C., Douglas, A., & van Aanhout, M.

    Stratos Inc. 2011. Climate Change and Acid Rock Drainage – Risks for the Canadian Mining Sector. Unpublished report prepared for MEND, Natural Resources Canada.

  39. On the same topic. Skeptical science is doing an initiative to send a letter of support to Phil Jones:

  40. Thomas Moore

    Tamino – this post is made for you:
    Any chance of a more thorough analysis?

    [Response: Yes.]

  41. I just saw this comment on youtube:

    If we had a Bene Gesserit breeding program and paired Dr Oreskes with the leading Climatologist, the almighty Dr Rajendra Pachurai, their male offspring would be the Kwisatz Haderach of Climatology.

    • Susan Anderson

      When you can’t win on the merits, insult, insult, insult! Works every time … but that’s a peak in mental derangery.

      I prefer tennis: Federer just beat Djokovic in semis at Wimbledon … if you wanted to know …

  42. Hayhoe (and Dessler) targeted by a renewed assault from ATI’s extremist litigators:

    American Tradition Institute seeks the release of emails with journalists to find details that could be used to discredit science

    Here’s a suggestion: every time ATI struts out another depraved attack on scientific progress, give them a little pause for thought by <a href=";contributing to the Climate Science Defense Fund and making a public note of it.

    Put a price on vandalism.

    My price was $250.

    • Doug, I’m not au fait with USA privacy laws, but it would seem to me that such fishing expeditions create two classes of citizens: one where public servants have no right to privacy nor to act for the greater good, and one where non-public servants do have the right to privacy and also the right to do what they bloody well want to, irrespective of where it is in the public good ot not.

      Wouldn’t such a situation be counter to the Constitution?

      It’s a shame that circumstances don’t allow the same level of scrutiny the other way. I’m sure that there are much more fully-fleshed skeletons in the closets of these think-tanks, lobby-groups, and industry board rooms, and which would more validly deserve to see the forensic scrutiny of due process…

      If there’s any lesson in this it’s that anyone who is remotely vulnerable to FoI should conduct their personal emailing using non-institutional addresses. This would go a long way to putting their private lives back on the same footing as have those privateers who demand personal information through FoI.

      • BernardJ, I don’t think there’s anything in the US Constitution that would protect these scientists. Under the terms of employment, e-mails are considered property of the employer, and if the employer is a public institution, they are subject to FOIA requests. Your analysis of the situation and the way around it are pretty accurate. These activities are even more insidious and damaging than the Unabomber billboard campaign. Maybe a similar pushback (look at the funding) should be considered.

        A problem is that here in the US, rational people are fighting on so many fronts – climate science, women’s health, local school issues, health care, voting rights, public education, banks and income inequality. Denial doesn’t have to do any heavy lifting since it can recycle debunked arguments. The 1% are voting with their money, and the truth be damned.

  43. For a change, here’s an example of what anti-vaccinationists can do with statistics:
    It involves an exponential growth curve derived from two data points, one of which is an estimate.

  44. Since this is an open thread: Richard Muller has an editorial in today’s NYT. In assigning most of the current warming to people, he writes, “By far the best match [to temperature] was to the record of atmospheric carbon dioxide, measured from atmospheric samples and air trapped in polar ice.”

    This sounds vaguely like Barton Paul Levenson’s curve fitting.