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« Deal or no deal? | Main | House of cards? »
Friday
Oct242014

Here we go again

With the bit between his teeth this morning at about 6.40am BBC Radio 4 Today, Harrabin was busy anthropomorphising sea urchins as he interviewed a marine  biologist callled Kerry Lewis, about the "acidifying of the oceans" due to that pernicious CO2. She moderated  her position somewhat by saying the pH was "slightly down" but still inaccurately referred to the water as being more acidic.

"This little chap" -[a sea urchin], according to RH "is going to suffer" and he's going to require more energy to make a shell in future.

Perhaps this little chap could have a little solar panel or small wind turbine attached to him somewhere?  

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Reader Comments (59)

As the oceans are subjected to runaway warming now that the missing heat has found a sneaky path which circumvents the atmosphere and dumps millions of Hiroshima bombs-worth of heat straight into the seas, the little chaps should find more than enough energy available. Ain't Nature wonderful?

Oct 24, 2014 at 8:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Lohse

Is roger Harrison an objective journalist or propagandist? I think he appears to have far too many contact s in the alarmist camp and not enough in the more moderate sceptical camps. If he actually spoke to a wider range of people he might actually be better informed on all the issues. I wonder if he has actually read the hockey stick illusion for instance. Maybe someone should ask him?

Oct 24, 2014 at 8:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterAbc

Sorry but it is scientifically correct to say that lowering the pH is making the sea more acidic. This is true at any pH, whether it be 0 or 14. Lowering the pH is achieved by increasing the concentration of protons - thus increasing the acidity. I suspect the point you are trying to make is that the sea itself is still overall basic (i.e. has a pH more than 7 which is 'neutral'), but the fact remains that the statement is scientifically correct.

Oct 24, 2014 at 8:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterTubbs

He has written it up here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29746880

Oct 24, 2014 at 8:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

But tubbs, is ocean acidification worth worrying about? A marginal increase in acidity is hardly going to cause massive problems. And surely the oceans have been more acidic in the past? After all, the co2 concentration in the atmosphere was a lot higher than it is today back in the Jurassic era (I might be wrong on the era but I have seen higher levels of co2 recorded for past eras than today, but just can't remember when exactly).

Oct 24, 2014 at 8:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterAbc

Walport was talking up the alarmism on the BBC Today programme.

Oct 24, 2014 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Tubbs hmmm, I know what you're saying but how can you be 'more' acidic until you are actually acidic? That scientists might say such a thing is just sloppy english and I doubt there is a scientific rule about it being ok. Warmists use it to pretend the oceans are reaching the stage where our feet will melt if we paddle on the beach. I doubt the 'little chap' has been asked whether he minds his bit of sea being minutely less alkaline. Sea urchins seem to exist in a high range of environments (and pH) so I don't suppose he cares.

Oct 24, 2014 at 9:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Tubbs,

It would be more accurate to say the ocean has become less alkaline...however that statement has an alarmism factor of zero.

Mailman

Oct 24, 2014 at 9:04 AM | Unregistered Commentermailman

'This little chap' is an evil bloody thing that shoot spikes into children's feet. Poor cute, delicate Taylor Swift is terrified of the beasts.

http://dailycaller.com/2014/10/23/taylor-swift-is-scared-of-some-damn-sea-urchins-video/


Fick the lot of them, and Harrabin too.

Oct 24, 2014 at 9:04 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

ref - 25% - the source material says ~0.1 pH (which must be modelled) why BBC leave that out?!!


"The pH level of the oceans has decreased by approximately 0.1 pH units since pre-industrial times, which is equivalent to a 25% increase in acidity. The pH level of the oceans is projected to decrease even more by the end of the century as CO2 concentrations are expected to increase for the foreseeable future."

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/future.html#Acidification

0.1pH over over 150 yrs is fantasy, they have no credible way of knowing this, modelled not measured

Oct 24, 2014 at 9:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Using the same logic one could say, as the temperature rises from 1C to 2C on a cold morning, "omg the temperature just doubled, we're all gonna die".

It's just playing with psuedo-scientific numbers to impress the easily-impressed.

Tedious.

Oct 24, 2014 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Duffin

Sea urchins seem to exist in a high range of environments (and pH) so I don't suppose he cares.

Oct 24, 2014 at 9:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Indeed. The pH is generally lower (='more acidic' for alarmists) inside a cell than outside.The alarmists are picking one particular aspect of pH at one particular location and claiming that an incrementally lower pH will be detrimental to the whole organism. If I wanted to play the same foolish game I would claim that it would actually be beneficial.

Oct 24, 2014 at 9:27 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

On twitter, "Baghdad Leo" is claiming that ocean acidification is
"a topic climate sceptics noticeably try to avoid".

Oct 24, 2014 at 9:38 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

And on the topic of "acidity", "basicity", or "pH", no competent chemist would ever talk about "percent" changes in what is a logarithmic scale. To do so invites professional ridicule.

One who voluntarily uses the term in the MSM or a journal is either attempting to deceive the ignorant, or is a fool. Or, more likely, both.

Oct 24, 2014 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Sorry but it is scientifically correct to say that lowering the pH is making the sea more acidic.

While that is true, can I also say that when I take the boiling kettle off the stove the water is becoming more frozen?

Oct 24, 2014 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

the reference materil the BBClinked to for 25%, has an ocean acidity link..

in it we see the 'acidity' of oceans near Bermuda - vary by !! 25% EVERY year !!!.

which I would describe more calmly as a seasonal 0.1pH variation..
http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/oceans/acidity.html
linked from
http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/future.html#Acidification
linked from the BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29746880

the horror of a modelled 0.1pH approx over hundred of years since 'pre-industrial' times)

perhaps the BBC needs to put the 25% figure into context, state pH, and present the error range of that modelled ~0.1H since pre industrial times (at least 160 yrs?)

Oct 24, 2014 at 9:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Perhaps this paper should be taken on board:
http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/new-paper-debunks-acidification-scare.html

... clearly shows that pH increases [becomes more basic or alkaline] due to warmer temperatures, and vice-versa,

Oct 24, 2014 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

Walport is not a good advertisement for the quality of science teaching in UK.

Oct 24, 2014 at 10:13 AM | Registered Commenterdavidchappell

Acidic sounds dangerous, so "getting more acidic" though scientifically accurate, is alarming to those ignorant of reality.
"Getting less alkaline" isn't frightening at all, so what we should say, while being perfectly correct is "the ocean is getting less caustic". Now, that is surely a good thing!!
SimonJ.

Oct 24, 2014 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterSimonJ

If anything its becoming more neutral (ph7), as it has no acidity in it at all its not becoming more acidic, protons or not. Not scary enough though.

Oct 24, 2014 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpeckled Jim

50% of the comments on this page are skeptics wasting their time going off on tangents.
- The skeptic flaw of being pedantic about language means that we lose traction with the public.
The point @Barry made is much stronger : about their big claim being within the seasonal variation ..and that it is probably close to the margin of measuring error

I agree with @Tubbs : if I drop 1g of blue into a red paint pot ..it is still more blue than it started out.
- However the 25% figure the BBC give for a change in a logarithmic scale is a FALLACY worth mentioning to someone who understands maths, cos it shows what disrespect the alarmist side has for proper maths & science. ie. It's about dirty PR spin rather than about objective truth

Oct 24, 2014 at 11:27 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

It is very unlikely that a small decrease in pH from 8.1 to 8.0 will harm sea urchins. These organisms have all types of systems to keep their internal pH constant. E.g urchins have in their membranes transporters which actively pump H+ out of the cell, resulting in intracellular pH values which may vary between 7.2 and 7.6 (depending on the tehnique, species, and other conditions). One study reported that at pH 7.7. the growth rate of urchin larvae was 5% less than at 8.1. There was no difference in density, an indicator of the health of larvae.

Oct 24, 2014 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterChemical

I must have heard the phrase 'more acidic' at least half a dozen times during the piece, leading Mr or Ms Average Listener to conclude that the oceans are already the ideal accompaniment for fish and chips . At no time did anyone mention that sea water is actually alkaline.

Oct 24, 2014 at 11:30 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

And if AGW was expected to change ocean pH in the other direction, it would have been 'detected' by exactly the same homeopathic techniques, and they would be bleating about "increasing alkalinisation" and looking for slugs and fungus discomfited by it.

Climate changeology 101: any change in any variable in any direction by any amount can be construed as a pretext for more funding.

They don't give a stuff about the burdens they are placing on other people provided their own sinecures are safe.

Oct 24, 2014 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterJake Haye

Background: I'm a chemist, one who happens to be extremely sceptical that living things in the oceans are likely to be seriously affected by very small decreases in pH.

From the comments above, it may be worthwhile if I made a couple of points:

a) pH = -log[H+] (base 10 log; [H+] = concentration of hydrogen ions in aqueous solution). To be clear - all aqueous solutions contain hydrogen ions. It does make sense to describe a lowering of pH as making a solution more acidic, no matter the starting pH, as pH is entirely a function of hydrogen ion concentration.

b) Neutral is when [H+] = [OH-]. ([OH-] = concentration of hydroxide ions)

For pure water, neutral is pH 7.00 at 25 degrees Celsius. It's higher than 7.00 when water is colder and lower when water is warmer (6.14 at 100 degrees Celsius).

For more information in a relatively accessible format, see: http://www.chemguide.co.uk/physical/acidbaseeqia/kw.html

Oct 24, 2014 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Cook

Oct 24, 2014 at 9:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

How do we get the 0.1 / 25% correlation from as you say the totally guessed figures from the start of the industrial age??

Oct 24, 2014 at 9:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Would everybody be very happy to paddle in the extremely non acidic PH 13 say then?

Oct 24, 2014 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

harrabin = lefty establishment player

zero credentials, nice life, sabbaticals paid for in the us, then jetting to a conference that we have to shower less etc

credibility zero kelvin

Oct 24, 2014 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterptw

This has been on the stocks for some time now and was pushed strongly by former NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco, calling it "Global Warming's Evil Twin". She has a video on the NOAA website showing how a stick of chalk fizzes if you drop it into vinegar!

The claim previously has been one of 30% more acidic. For the background to it check out "Acid Seas – Back To Basic" http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/acid_seas.html

There is more on the current claims at No Tricks Zone: http://notrickszone.com/2014/10/16/expert-blasts-alfred-wegener-institute-ocean-acidification-claim-clear-falsification-of-scientific-facts/#comments

Oct 24, 2014 at 12:06 PM | Registered Commenterdennisa

Mankind is only returning carbon diioxide to the atmosphere. Burning fossil fuels can never raise atmospheric CO2 to the levels which existed while all life was evolving.

Oct 24, 2014 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon B

During algal blooms the pH of a reservoir changes by more than 0.1 pH over 24 hours, yet (aquatic) life goes on.

Am inclined to agree with stewgreen re pedantry. But to be pedantic, IIRC strictly speaking pH = -log10{H+} where {H+} is hydrogen ion activity...

Oct 24, 2014 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

The pH over much of the ocean varies, anyway, from a few decimal points to whacking it into definite acidity (pH<7), depending upon location. That these changes can occur on a daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal and/or annual basis truly makes a mockery of the scare over a few sea urchins. One only has to watch Lord Monckton’s talk with a senate hearing to see the utter stupidity being peddled: while Lord Monckton offered scientific facts, the committee members seemed to have trouble with his name, and the “scientists” on hand to argue against him merely waxed lyrical about the delicate beauty of sea butterflies, offering not one jot of scientific argument.

Oct 24, 2014 at 1:15 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

"Lord Monckton", "scientific" and "facts" - now there's some words that don't fit together. Really, that guy is not an asset to "skepticism".

Oct 24, 2014 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

For a while I've been trying to persuade other people to stand as candidates in next year's Westminster election. Today I finally decided that if I couldn't persuade anyone else to stand, then I should at least go through the embarrassment of offering myself as a prospective parliamentary candidate in the hope that I could find enough people to fund a modest campaign. So, here it is:

Launch of my election campaign for UK parliament 2015

[The person who I would love to stand is Andrew Montford]

Oct 24, 2014 at 3:15 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Raff, look it up on Youtube: Lord Monckton Senate hearing, and then form your opinion. Or do you not like having your preconceptions challenged? One of the biggest flaws in much of this argument is the preconceptions people have, and thus only able to see confirmation of their particular bias. What you need to do is clear your mind of previous assumptions, then base any further conceptions that you might gain on the evidence that is freely available. I, too, was a firm believer of the AGW lie, though was puzzled as to how such a small change of a very minor component of the atmosphere could create such havoc. When I asked about this, I was rounded upon by those on "warmist" sites, many being particularly savage, suggesting self-harm and suicide; on the more sceptical sites, the response was not so unpleasant, though no more informative. No-one one then, and no-one to date, has ever given me any evidence that there is truly any “greenhouse gas”, let alone CO2's malevolent nature. Thus, unless there is strong evidence to the contrary, I am convinced that the whole AGW/ACC meme is nothing but a pack of lies, brought about to cow us and spread the malign tendrils of government deeper into our private lives, as they seek to control what we do, eat, drink and think.

Mike, you make it tempting to move to be in your future constituency, but I feel obliged to stay where I am, and help UKIP oust the present incumbent.

Oct 24, 2014 at 3:49 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

MikeHaseler - I live in Leicestershire and so am not directly affected by your parliamentary aspirations. However I would dearly love to drop a small number of coins into your fighting fund as anyone who is willing to stand up to the stupidity we are presently witnessing deserves my support. I've looked on your site and cannot find any method of doing this - can you help?
John

Oct 24, 2014 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohnbuk

The BBC has a lot of form on this:

Nov 2013 Acid water threat to ocean life http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/24943824
May 2011 Acid test for local action http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13569482
Jan 2009 Acid oceans 'need urgent action' http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7860350.stm
Mar 2009 What is ocean acidification http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7933589.stm
Jun 2012 Shortages: Fish on the slide http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18353964
Jun 2014 Learning English - World in the news - Ocean acid may make fish deaf
Jan 2012 An acid test for policy http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16677867
Nov 2008 Marine life faces 'acid threat' http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7745714.stm
Nov 2013 Emissions of CO2 driving rapid oceans 'acid trip' http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24904143
Mar 2009 Worlds oceans face an 'acid test'http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7933737.stm
Aug 2004 Acid oceans spell doom for coral http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3605908.stm
Mar 2014 Ocean acid: The effect of CO2 on life on the seabed http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26755189
Aug 2014 UK's deep sea mountain life filmed http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/28583945
Mar 2009 In video: Ocean acidification http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7939691.stm
Nov 2008 Recipe for rescuing our reefs http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7709103.stm
Aug 2004 Probe into rising ocean acidity http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3571152.stm
There are loads more...

A quote from now gone BBC alarmist Richard Black about the correct term: "Whether you prefer the term "ocean acidification" or the less compelling but more accurate "ocean de-alkalisation", there's little doubt that the addition of carbon dioxide to the seas threatens to change them fundamentally over the course of the century."

Oct 24, 2014 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpeckled Jim

The correct term is not
"Ocean Acidification" but rather:
"Ocean Neutralisation".

The ionic imbalance is being reduced.

And such corrections, like the earlier perturbations, are readily survived via the process of evolution. Life will find a way.

Did these Greens learn nothing from Jurassic Park?

Oct 24, 2014 at 9:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterM Courtney

I've heard others saying that they were offended by the rough treatment they received at consensus sites but I have seen no one present any evidence of that. So I am sceptical (but you could prove me wrong by giving a link). The response you get to any question in life depends very largely on the way you ask the question and the way you respond to what you are told.

"how such a small change of a very minor component of the atmosphere could create such havoc"

So did no one tell you that 99% of the atmosphere is unaffected by IR? And that therefore the "very minor component" is actually a major component of what is left. Or did they tell you and you didn't understand or accept what you were given?

On watching Monckton, I've got better things to do. I've watched him talk before and he rolls out one lie or half truth after the other. I have no reason to expect him to behave differently in front of a Senate hearing. That you hold him in high regard says a lot about you. I know at least some sensible sceptics think he is highly unhelpful to their cause.

Oct 24, 2014 at 9:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Johnbuk, thanks very much for the offer of support and yes it would help to have a way to give donations. I've now added a donation button to scottishsceptic.co.uk

Oct 24, 2014 at 9:53 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

I've heard others saying that they were offended by the rough treatment they received at consensus sites but I have seen no one present any evidence of that. So I am sceptical (but you could prove me wrong by giving a link). The response you get to any question in life depends very largely on the way you ask the question and the way you respond to what you are told.

"how such a small change of a very minor component of the atmosphere could create such havoc"

So did no one tell you that 99% of the atmosphere is unaffected by IR? And that therefore the "very minor component" is actually a major component of what is left. Or did they tell you and you didn't understand or accept what you were given?

On watching Monckton, I've got better things to do. I've watched him talk before and he rolls out one lie or half truth after the other. I have no reason to expect him to behave differently in front of a Senate hearing. You surprise me in holding him in high regard. I think he is highly unhelpful to your cause.

Oct 24, 2014 at 10:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Raff

Are you going to be transmitting the same comment every hour..?

As for 'no evidence of rough treatment' at what you call 'consensus' sites (we have some consensus too, you know), that is because contrary comments at SkS, Real Climate, Climate Progress, etc. tend to be excised and their authors, if they are at all persistent, barred. That way is history re-written...

Oct 24, 2014 at 11:20 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Raff, I have the hide of a hippo (Reggie Perrin joke), and you will find it impossible to offend me, so I was not so much offended as saddened; saddened that there are so many who so fear that they might be wrong that they cannot take any questioning of it. It was a while ago, and I cannot remember many of the sites, nor the threads any of them were on. Most sites just block anyone who shows any dissent from the blogger's mantra; but, their gaff, their rules.

What about water and methane, two “greenhouse gasses” that are more effective than CO2, and exist in far greater quantities? There is the point that, though these gasses can be made to show “greenhouse effects” in the controlled conditions of a laboratory, what evidence is there that they are as effective in the chaos of the open atmosphere conditions?

Thank you for revealing how open-minded you are, by the way; please give us some examples of where and when Lord Monckton outrightly lied or told a half-truth. With the video in question, it was not so much the information, correct or otherwise, that was given, it was the treatment given and attitudes of both the senators and scientists towards Lord Monckton.

Oct 25, 2014 at 12:25 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Your GHE denial may win you respect from the odd few here but my guess is that most have got beyond that. It is so 20th century. You might also polish up your ideas of methane concentrations - CH4 does not "exist in far greater quantities" than CO2. Water vapour varies from much less than CO2 to much, much more, but its overall effect is only somewhat over twice that of CO2 despite there being much more of it on average.

If you can seriously listen to his lordship without noticing his lapses of truth and reason then you probably too far gone to return to reason, but others might look at his Rap Sheet

Oct 25, 2014 at 3:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

good catch, jamesp.

Oct 25, 2014 at 3:44 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

..."This little chap" -[a sea urchin], according to RH "is going to suffer" and he's going to require more energy to make a shell in future."...

I'd say it takes one to know one; but sea urchins have shells, unlike slimy creatures lurking under rocks and telling bold lies. Plus sea urchins are cool and have class.

Oct 25, 2014 at 5:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterATheoK

Oh, Lord! You are showing your own scientific credentials, here, Raff; since when has showing doubt about an unproven hypothesis been “denial”? Point me to any evidence that can be shown to correlate to any gas showing “greenhouse effect” in the atmosphere, and I might adjust my views. This is a point that does make me completely safe, as you have yet to provide any data to back up your many claims – the only site you can link to is one with a sub-title that begins: “When we see records being broken and unprecedented events such as this…” What records are being broken (apart from lowest number of tropical revolving storms, increasing crop yields, greening of the planet, etc – most of which people would tend to think is a Good Thing)? What are the “unprecedented events such as this”? It then degenerates into a long series of ad hom attacks on any who doubt the AGW mantra.

Oct 25, 2014 at 9:15 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

I think you have half a point there Raff. It is clearly theoretically possible that a change in the concentration of a minor component of the atmosphere could have dramatic effects, and an instinctive suspicion that this is unlikely is merely that, a suspicion. The real question is whether there is any clear evidence that the rise in global temperatures between 1975 and 2000 had a different cause from the almost identical rise in temperatures between 1910 and 1940. The "97% consensus" seems to require that the earlier rise can be explained only by natural variation, but the later one only by greenhouse gases. This fails the smell test to me, and is a hypothesis that is at best unproven, and therefore not a basis for massive global economic damage based on a misunderstood precautionary principle, and at worst simply wrong.
There are many subsidiary areas such as sea level rise, global sea ice, windstorm frequency and severity, and ocean pH where mainstream commentators such as the BBC and hedge-fund driven activists such as the Grantham Institute or Think Progress routinely overstate the evidence that CO2 is damaging the environment, often going far beyond the IPCC's assessments.
If you go back through the comments, a tedious task I admit, you will find that a number of regulars here have documented their having been moderated or banned from everything from RealClimate to Commentisfree (not!) in spite of the civil tone of their contributions, because they don't fit the preferred story, whereas all manner of abuse is tolerated and in some cases encouraged if it comes from those with whom the moderators agree.
As long as you remain polite and on topic, I am sure you will be welcome here. There have only been a handful of bannings in the 5 years I have been following the Bishop, and those were for persistent abuse over long periods of time and repeated attempts to derail topics.

Oct 25, 2014 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

I thought warming seas out gassed carbon dioxide?

If not then do the atmospheric models deduct, from our total emissions, the amount dissolved in the oceans?

Oct 25, 2014 at 10:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Schofield

@Raff mate if you want to go off topic and talk about GHE or Monckton etc. it's easy to open a new discussion thread & then post a quick note inviting people there so it doesn't interrupt the flow of the topic described at the top of this post.
(By the way best way to truth is to save energy by tackling the argument rather than the man)
but before that I'll tidy up a couple of ends here
- I guess by GHE you mean greenhouse effect
what did @Radical Rodent mean to say about the atmosphere ? he was wrong to say "water and methane, two “greenhouse gasses” that are more effective than CO2, and exist in far greater quantities?"
Employing empathy it seems to me that in a rush he mangled 3 concepts
1. quantity : water is in far greater quantities than CO2, but there is far greater CO2 than methane
2. per molecule effect : It something like CO2 is said to have effect something like 6 times that of water
whereas methane was said to have 21x & now said to have 30x
3. absolute effect : My understanding there is absolutely masses more water vapor, and a much bigger effect , but that it is considered to be not very variable when totalled up over the year ..whereas the total amount of CO2 has gone up by 20% in the last 50 years ..so that's where a lot of people expect the change in effect to come from.
- Is it really the case that for water " its overall effect is only somewhat over twice that of CO2" like you say ?
let's open a new discussion or check if there is already another relevant one

Oct 25, 2014 at 1:44 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

David S, yes there are many puzzles about the temperature history (early 20th C etc) and about current temperatures. Many people study the subject and there are numerous explanations for any aspect. And the degree of certainty we can have about much of what we believe to be true in the past is clearly nowhere near 100%. When I look at the amount of work that goes into constructing global average temperature estimates (HadCRUT, GISS etc) from thousands of sensors - and the estimates still vary somewhat - I have to conclude that estimates of historical temperatures from relatively few measurement are likely not all that accurate. That is why they have error margins. But we have what we have. And we know for sure the characteristics if CO2, Methane, etc, even though some fertile minds can be persuaded to the contrary.

I've seen claims of banning from consensus sites, but strangely nobody can point to what they said that got them banned. You say they are banned in spite of a civil tone, but acceptance requires more than civility. My guess, having seen some sceptic attack tactics, is that there is normally a good reason for a banning. It is quite possible to destroy a discussion while remaining perfectly civil. But if just expressing sceptic views really are such a recipe for banning, then I challenge people to prove it, for example on a site like ATTP. If you get banned, I'll believe you (and tell you where you went wrong).

Radical, you had to scroll down to get to it, but to save you the trouble here is a direct link to Monckton's Rap Sheet

You might be right of course. It is imaginable that we can take a quantity of CO2 in a jar and do tests on it and that the gas responds in a particular way, absorbing IR, emitting IR all in very specific bands. And that when we let it go, it says "yippie" and behaves in a quite different way, knowing in its little molecular brain that it is no longer captive, it is free to behave as it likes, as it has always wanted. That might be a theory that has a ring of truth to it for people like you, but normal people have been doing this sort of test on gasses of all kinds for a century or more and have used the result to make all sorts of discoveries. They are unlikely to be wrong.

Oct 25, 2014 at 2:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

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