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Happer in the WSJ

Will Happer has an article in the Wall Street Journal reviewing global warming science. Bob Ward says it's unscientific. I must say it seems unobjectionable or even irrefutable to me.

What is happening to global temperatures in reality? The answer is: almost nothing for more than 10 years. Monthly values of the global temperature anomaly of the lower atmosphere, complied at the University of Alabama from NASA satellite data, can be found at the website The latest (February 2012) monthly global temperature anomaly for the lower atmosphere was minus 0.12 degrees Celsius, slightly less than the average since the satellite record of temperatures began in 1979.

The lack of any statistically significant warming for over a decade has made it more difficult for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its supporters to demonize the atmospheric gas CO2 which is released when fossil fuels are burned. The burning of fossil fuels has been one reason for an increase of CO2 levels in the atmosphere to around 395 ppm (or parts per million), up from preindustrial levels of about 280 ppm.

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Reader Comments (19)

"Bob Ward says it's unscientific"

Yes, Bob.

Mar 27, 2012 at 8:43 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

"Bob Ward says it's unscientific"

Thats kind of a +1 in the real world.

Mar 27, 2012 at 9:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

Bob's scientific expertise matches Jones and Mann's political one. It's a marriage made in...

Mar 27, 2012 at 9:11 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Bob .... who?

Mar 27, 2012 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

Bob Ward is indeed a reliable commentator on the climate discussions. You can rely on him to be wrong about everything :-(

Mar 27, 2012 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Why knock a man when he's down.

Give him a hand up first.....

Mar 27, 2012 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Hmmm, who do you believe, William Happer or Bob Ward on what is or isn't scientific? That's a really tough one...

Mar 27, 2012 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterBuck

Yes, one of the world's top physicists versus a failed scientist. Tricky.

Mar 27, 2012 at 10:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

+1 ? what does that mean? sounds like an agreement index.

Mar 27, 2012 at 11:46 AM | Registered Commenterjferguson

Happer's mistake, of course, was to use Roy Spencer's website to get his information.
In Ward's eyes that is automatically unscientific.
Pavlov would have loved these guys!
Unfortunately having your future decided by a pack of slavering dogs does not usually lead to a positive outcome.

Mar 27, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

For me, the trouble with satellite measurements is that I don't know enough about the physics of them to be suitably sceptical. Whereas much of the rest of the "Climate Science" hoopla I happen to be well equipped to judge. And in my judgement it stinks.

Mar 27, 2012 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

Anybody else notice that CO2 has been stuck at 395 ppm for a few years now?

Mar 27, 2012 at 5:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

'I must say it seems unobjectionable or even irrefutable to me.'

Spot on. Surely, Ward means that it is un-postmodern-scientific. In other words, Ward cannot explicate his claim without going all Postmodern on us.

Mar 27, 2012 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

Will Happer resigned from a senior management position at the US DoE in 1993, refusing to lie for Gore.

As an IR specialist he knows very well that the claim of 100% direct thermalisation of absorbed IR is not true for kinetic reasons so much of the absorption will be indirect.

Mar 27, 2012 at 8:16 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Anyone else noticed that the ratio of the current 395 ppm in CO2 to the estimated pre-industrial level of 280 ppm is almost exactly the square root of 2?

So, given the logarithmic relationship of CO2 concentration to radiative forcing, we are half way to the impact of a doubling of pre-industrial CO2 concentrations. But there has not been anything like the increase of 1.5C in mean global surface temperatures that is implied by the IPCC's claimed most likely 3 degrees C climate sensitivity figure - more like half as much. And the usual explanations of strongly negative non CO2 forcings, in particular aerosol forcing, and massive heat flux into the ocean, look inconsistent with the data.

Indeed, if one takes aerosol forcing in line with the best estimate in the Forest et al (2006) study and other forcings per GISS, total net non-CO2 forcing was not far short of equal to CO2 forcing in 2010, implying that we should have seen a global temperature rise of over 2 C already, allowing for heat absorbed by the ocean.

Mar 27, 2012 at 8:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterNic Lewis


Matt Ridley made this point in his Heresy lecture.

Mar 27, 2012 at 8:50 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Excellent article by Dr. Will Happer. Thanks!

Mar 27, 2012 at 11:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndres Valencia

Roger Longstaff, that is a very intriguing observation.
Is it possible to provide a reference for that statistic? (My non-academic searches keep driving me to Wikepedia or other alarmist sites which show a continuing trajectory.)

Mar 28, 2012 at 1:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Daddis

George Daddis,

I was mistaken, and should have checked - the data are here:

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

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