Buy

Books
Click images for more details

Support

 

Twitter
Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« The decline and fall of the university | Main | Oz Met Office hacked »
Thursday
Dec032015

Quote of the day, epic noodle edition

Ridley and Peiser claim that research is increasingly showing climate sensitivity to be low. This is entirely the opposite of what has been happening. The most likely range of values of climate sensitivity (the amount of increase in surface temperature that eventually occurs as a result of the doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere) was established over a century ago. Recently revealed documents show that Exxon Mobil Corporation itself studied climate science as early as the late 70’s, and its findings were in clear agreement with the National Academy of Science 1979 report, which estimated a climate sensitivity of 3°C, plus or minus 1.5° C. Tables in Exxon’s 1982 Climate Change “Primer” for executives show predictions for 2015 markedly similar to contemporary estimates by NASA, and NOAA.

Greg Laden explains that a stream of evidence for low climate sensitivity cannot exist, because in the 1970s people agreed that climate sensitivity was high.

I gather that our friend ATTP found this a powerful and persuasive argument.

 

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (59)

The most likely range of values of climate sensitivity (the amount of increase in surface temperature that eventually occurs as a result of the doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere) was established over a century ago.
Oh dear, oh dear. I don't suppose they realise that hard science has moved on in the last hundred or so years. Presumably quantum mechanics means nothing to somebody who is a biological anthropologist and archaeologist.

Dec 3, 2015 at 8:52 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

What's this new meme "Ridley is not a scientist"?

He has an Oxford DPhil awarded for his research in zoology.

Dec 3, 2015 at 8:58 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin A,
The name for the meme being deployed against Dr. Ridley is called "lying".
The climate kooks are grasping at straws even as they control the public square, the governments, the academy- everything but reality, facts and integrity.

Dec 3, 2015 at 9:02 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

@Martin A 0858. Dr. Ridley is clearly not the right kind of scientist, eny fuul nose dat.

Dec 3, 2015 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Lohse

So if Ridley is not a scientist how can Exxon be a respected scientist? They can't have it both ways, but if it fits their aim they accept it....

Dec 3, 2015 at 9:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterGaudenz M

Laden's response is entirely in keeping with alarmist orthodoxy: NEVER acknowledge any doubt in the theory or any point made by sceptics, and ALWAYS claim certainty for every element of AGW theory.

It doesn't actually matter what he says or thinks: satellite observations have killed AGW theory stone dead, both now and for the cumulative 'future warming is locked in' claim. That he refuses to admit that obvious truth doesn't make the fact any less true.

Dec 3, 2015 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterCheshireRed

'The most likely range of values of climate sensitivity (the amount of increase in surface temperature that eventually occurs as a result of the doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere) was established over a century ago.'

When the data was sooooo much more accurate and reliable. Pesky satellite data getting in the way of real dogma....

I mean commmme on who needs actual data when there is a perfectly usable theory at hand that fits nicely into so many agenda's.

ATTP's theoretical University world has to be correct otherwise there would be no point to the work that he does and that can't be possible.... can it!

Dec 3, 2015 at 9:17 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

There is hot competition for the award of epic noodle of the day. As reported at WUWT, a press release from Michigan State University on research by sociologist Aaron McCright says:
"Climate-change foes, on the other hand, are successfully changing people’s minds ..."
and then lower down,
"It’s extremely difficult to change people’s minds on climate change, in part because they are entrenched in their views."

Dec 3, 2015 at 9:18 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

In other news, agnostics are wrong because bible.

Dec 3, 2015 at 9:31 AM | Registered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

EXXON determines the climate in more ways than one.

Dec 3, 2015 at 9:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterAila

... and don’t forget the bible was established over 2 millennia ago so it must be right.

Dec 3, 2015 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

There seems to be a lot of support for the author, including a link to a rebuttal of Matt Ridley's claims. When are we going to see a re-rebuttal?

Dec 3, 2015 at 10:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan

EXXON's customers (me, you, everybody!) determines the climate in more ways than one.

Dec 3, 2015 at 9:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterAila

Fixed it for ya.

Dec 3, 2015 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterWijnand

...I gather that our friend ATTP found this a powerful and persuasive argument....

ATTP is an activist. He has sold his soul to a religion, and is actively pushing advocacy for it. I do not think he sees things in terms of arguments for and against - he would certainly never admit that there was ANY argument against belief in extreme man-made climate change.

It would be close to the truth to say that ATTP is pushing this line of propaganda...

Dec 3, 2015 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

I'm inclined to believe you get a degree in the USA nowadays just by spelling your name right on the cheque.

Dec 3, 2015 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

3c, plus or minus 1.5C

Well the 20-odd studies that have been done so far all say around 1.5C (more or less). So he's half right. No pun intended.

Dec 3, 2015 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterClimateOtter

Can someone define Climate Sensitivity for me ? Does Climate Sensitivity assume all the temperature change is due to change in the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. If so it is rubbish as quite clearly many other factors come into play.

Dec 3, 2015 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea

How can you take anyone seriously who chooses to label themself as a "climate science activist".

https://plus.google.com/+GregLaden/about

Dec 3, 2015 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndre

Philip Bratby
I was trying to think how much pre-1900 science has reached 2015 unscathed. Maxwell's Equations came to mind but not much else. Newton's laws are a special case and only work in limited conditions but can still be used. I guess things like the Inverse Square Law were know in the 19th Century but as observation based laws they would stand the test of time. Climate Sensitivity hasn't reached the stage of an observation based law as a value cannot be agreed and measured.

Dec 3, 2015 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Ridley was clear that the newer estimates were still clinging to the bottom of the IPCC range. So Laden apparently doesn't seem to know what either 'estimate' or 'range' mean.

The no feedback number is 1.1K So any number above that is still within the basic science derived from Tyndalls work. Lower sensitivity just means there is not much (if any) net positive feedback; as Lindzen has long been suggesting (and even proving). Since net positive feedback was always a pessimistic assumption with no evidence (beyond the discredited scattergraphs of Dessler that reverse their trend when you include more data) so all that is happening is that alarmists are still trying to drive policy by ignoring empirical data in favour of discredited models.

The fact that this forced policy based on bogus science demonstrably does more harm than good seems to bother them not at all.

Dec 3, 2015 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

SandyS

Theory of evolution by natural selection?

Dec 3, 2015 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

As I explain in my Global warming for dummies the climate clearly has strong negative feedbacks during the interglacials that prevent further warming. This means that the climate sensitivity will be less than 1C (using IPCC 1998 Hitran data) or <0.6C (if using more up to date Hitran data)

Dec 3, 2015 at 11:21 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

JamesG: "I'm inclined to believe you get a degree in the USA nowadays just by spelling your name right on the cheque."

Don't they call it a "Check"?

Dec 3, 2015 at 11:24 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Simon Hopkinson: "In other news, agnostics are wrong because bible."

Then you should read the bible!! According to Matthew - the tax collector - the Son of man will return (i.e. the second coming will occur) before "some who are standing here will not taste death". As you will notice, this did not occur. So it is very much the same as Viner's "Children won't know what snow is".

(NIV Matthew 10:23) When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

(NIV Matthew 16:27-28) For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. [28] I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

So, the sceptics were proved right - and the lesson to learn is that simply being proved right doesn't stop sceptics being burnt at the stake 1400 years later!

Dec 3, 2015 at 11:34 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Interview (2004) with Matt Ridley

"(my wife) has more degrees than a thermometer."

Dec 3, 2015 at 12:18 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Perhaps if Greg Laden could explain the pause, and maintain his views on climate sensitivity, he would be hailed a genius. As it is, he is just rehashing theories that are not standing the test of time. Planet earth seems to have a 'low' opinion of climate sensitivity too.

Dec 3, 2015 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Slightly off topic, whatever happened to the concept of saturation which, I understood was also part of the early CO2-related science and which the IPCC, in the 1990s, suggested limited CO2 induced warming to about 1C? The remaining warming was supposed to be added by H2O greenhouse effects.

Dec 3, 2015 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve

... how can Exxon be a respected scientist?

It is obvious really. Exxon scientists were about 30 years ahead of the mainstream climate scientists with their research.

Bill McKibben told us that; so it must be true.

http://www.thenation.com/article/exxon-knew-everything-there-was-to-know-about-climate-change-by-the-mid-1980s-and-denied-it/

Dec 3, 2015 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

IIRC Laden is an anthropologist, so not a real scientist at all. Certainly unqualified to pontificate on climatology which depends on math, geology, cosmology, physics, chemistry, forestry, biology, IT and a number of other real sciences.

IAC can there possibly be anyone who still cares what he has to say?

Dec 3, 2015 at 2:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris moffatt

There is a 44-year-old report by Rasool and Schneider for the Goddard Institute for Space Studies entitled ‘Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate’. The authors discuss climate sensitivity although they do not call it that. Here is an extract from the report: “From our calculation, a doubling of CO2 produces a tropospheric temperature change of 0.8⁰ K. However, if more CO2 is added to the atmosphere the RATE [my caps] of temperature increase is proportionally less and less, and the increase eventually levels off. Even for an increase in CO2 by a factor of 10, the temperature increase does not exceed 2.5⁰ K. Therefore the runaway greenhouse effect does not occur because the 15 µ-m CO2 band, which is the main band of absorption, ‘saturates’, and the addition of more CO2 does not increase the infrared opacity of the atmosphere.” They go on to say that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere would need to increase by a factor of 1000 before there was a risk of runaway warming.

The report may be found at http://vademecum.brandenberger.eu/pdf/klima/rasool_schneider_1971.pdf

The saturation argument seems to make sense to me. Anybody care to comment?

Dec 3, 2015 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post

AM,


I gather that our friend ATTP found this a powerful and persuasive argument.

Not only did Greg Laden not say what you claimed he said (I guess "integrity" is only for others?) but I've no idea why you seem to think I found it a powerful and persuasive argument. As you've phrased it it is clearly a very silly argument, but then - in fairness - I'm not convinced you could tell the difference between a silly argument and one that wasn't.

Dec 3, 2015 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Laden is clearly a pause denier like ATTP. Whither the consensus when it comes to pause denial. Or are they just pause skeptics?

Dec 3, 2015 at 4:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Greg says:

In 20 US states, contractors will put solar panels on your roof for free – and in San Antonio Texas, the utility will pay you for the privilege of putting those panels on, and lowering your utility bill. (See this and this)

It’s a business model that will spread, sooner than coal barons like Matt Ridley would like you to believe.


I went to one of the links that explained:
To qualify your roof must face south to southwest with nothing blocking the sun.

Hmmm... it seems that 'business model' is rather restricted to a limited number of properties. Limits to Growth (ho,ho!)?

Dec 3, 2015 at 4:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Smith

Not only did Greg Laden not say what you claimed he said (I guess "integrity" is only for others?)

Sorry to tell you AndThenThere'sPsychosis, but that's exactly what Greg said. I went and read Greg's post and apart from some waffle about how wonderful 'renewables' are, the comment about the 1970s was Greg's main and final point.

Greg also talked about

The relentless and accelerating observed rise of the seas

This is a flat out lie. Sea level rise is not accelerating. If you look at this sea level rise graph you'll see that the the seas have been rising STEADILY for at least the last 20 years at a completely unremarkable 3mm/year.

(hope the html works!)

Dec 3, 2015 at 4:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Smith

James,


Laden is clearly a pause denier like ATTP. Whither the consensus when it comes to pause denial. Or are they just pause skeptics?

Ahh, I see that "denier" is okay now. Good to see that, given how much waffle there's been here about people closing down the debate and not allowing others to express themselves freely..... oh, hold on?

David,


Sorry to tell you AndThenThere'sPsychosis, but that's exactly what Greg said. I went and read Greg's post and apart from some waffle about how wonderful 'renewables' are, the comment about the 1970s was Greg's main and final point.

Try reading it again, with your eyes open this time. Although, I suspect that - along with "integrity" - interpretation is also in the eye of the beholder here.


This is a flat out lie.

No, it's not. The rate of sea level rise over the last couple of decades is around 3.2mm/yr. The average for the 20th century is around 1.5mm/yr. That's an acceleration, unless you're somehow defining it differently to how it's normally defined.

Dec 3, 2015 at 4:57 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Ross Lea said:

Can someone define Climate Sensitivity for me ? Does Climate Sensitivity assume all the temperature change is due to change in the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. If so it is rubbish as quite clearly many other factors come into play.

Climate sensitivity is a strand of political correctness.

Victims of climate change must be listened to and believed, not questioned. Carbonsplaining is not allowed and consumer privilege is to be resisted. Safe spaces such as the one presently in Paris must be set up to allow victims of climate change and their representatives to make progress without being upset by so called facts.

Dec 3, 2015 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Ross Lea,
Ignore Gareth, he clearly doesn't know what he's talking about. Technically, climate sensitivity is a model metric that indicates how much we would expect to warm if we doubled CO2 only. There's a transient version (TCR) which indicates how much we expect to warm at the time when CO2 has double, and there's an equilibrium version (ECS) which indicates how much we expect to warm once the entire system has returned to approximate thermal equilibrium. In reality, of course, things are more complicated and so this is not intended to some representation of exactly how much we'll warm if we double CO2. Various other factors could indeed influence it, one of them being that climate sensitivity is typically defined in terms of fast feedbacks only, and ignores that slower feedbacks could also influence how much we might warm.

Dec 3, 2015 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Greg Laden wrote:

"Ridley and Peiser claim that research is increasingly showing climate sensitivity to be low. This is entirely the opposite of what has been happening. The most likely range of values of climate sensitivity (the amount of increase in surface temperature that eventually occurs as a result of the doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere) was established over a century ago. Recently revealed documents show that Exxon Mobil Corporation itself studied climate science as early as the late 70’s, and its findings were in clear agreement with the National Academy of Science 1979 report, which estimated a climate sensitivity of 3°C, plus or minus 1.5° C. Tables in Exxon’s 1982 Climate Change “Primer” for executives show predictions for 2015 markedly similar to contemporary estimates by NASA, and NOAA. "

I put this through an online summarising tool and it produced this:

" Recently revealed documents show that Exxon Mobil Corporation itself studied climate science as early as the late 70’s, and its findings were in clear agreement with the National Academy of Science 1979 report, which estimated a climate sensitivity of 3°C, plus or minus 1.5° C.
The most likely range of values of climate sensitivity (the amount of increase in surface temperature that eventually occurs as a result of the doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere) was established over a century ago.
Tables in Exxon’s 1982 Climate Change “Primer” for executives show predictions for 2015 markedly similar to contemporary estimates by NASA, and NOAA."

It seems that the Bishop got it right and, as usual, ATTP misunderstood what he was reading.

Dec 3, 2015 at 5:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Dec 3, 2015 at 11:20 AM | JamesG

Lower sensitivity just means there is not much (if any) net positive feedback; as Lindzen has long been suggesting (and even proving). Since net positive feedback was always a pessimistic assumption with no evidence (beyond the discredited scattergraphs of Dessler that reverse their trend when you include more data) so all that is happening is that alarmists are still trying to drive policy by ignoring empirical data in favour of discredited models.

Has anyone characterised this 'positive feedback' that occurs with rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere? It must be very complex if it doesn't lead to runaway warming. How does it change as temperature rises?

Dec 3, 2015 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

diogenes, misunderstanding is part of the art of climatology. Computer adjusted climate science enables you to prove that anything looks plausible.

Dec 3, 2015 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"The most likely range of values of climate sensitivity was established over a century ago."
Bit like all those temp readings that keep getting "adjusted".

Dec 3, 2015 at 6:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterPW73

Billy Liar, positive feedback is what Greg Laden's article was designed to generate. Much like climate sensitivity, Laden seems a bit over ambitious.

Climate scientist sensitivity remains high.

Dec 3, 2015 at 6:40 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

ATTP so climate sensitivity is a model metric (I assume computer model) enough said.

Dec 3, 2015 at 8:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea

Diogenes,
Wow, I thought you could at least get it. What is being discussed is


Ridley and Peiser claim that research is increasingly showing climate sensitivity to be low.

Not, as AM is suggesting

that a stream of evidence for low climate sensitivity cannot exist

and that doesn't even take into account the claim that I somehow found it a powerful and persuasive argument. Integrity<sup>TM<sup>.

Ross Lea,
That your response would be something like that is no great surprise, but at least I tried.

Dec 3, 2015 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

A climate sensitivity of 0.5 degrees Celcius per doubling of atmospheric CO2 would require four doublings to raise global temperatures by 2 degrees Celcius, i.e. 3000 ppm using 250 ppm as the pre-industrial starting point. We'd have to burn everything on Earth remotely flammable to have any chance of achieving 3000 ppm.
That is why low climate sensitivity is useless to climate alarmists.

Alarmists assume positive feedback from CO2 warming because of higher atmospheric water vapour content at higher temperatures, however more water vapour also means more reflective clouds, therefore a negative feedback, and likely low climate sensitivity.

Dec 3, 2015 at 11:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterrotationalfinestructure

Oops, I meant 4,000 ppm, not 3,000 ppm.

Dec 4, 2015 at 12:08 AM | Unregistered Commenterrotationalfinestructure


David Smith states:

This is a flat out lie. Sea level rise is not accelerating. If you look at this sea level rise graph you'll see that the the seas have been rising STEADILY for at least the last 20 years at a completely unremarkable 3mm/year.
_ _ _
ATTP replied:

“This is a flat out lie.”

No, it's not.The rate of sea level rise over the last couple of decades is around 3.2mm/yr. The average for the 20th century is around 1.5mm/yr. That's an acceleration, unless you're somehow defining it differently to how it's normally defined.

Dec 3, 2015 at 4:57 PM

I was quite startled to read of ATTPs claim that the 20th C rate of sea level rise was only 1.5mm/yr.

I can’t recall ever hearing such a thing!

Therefore, to check, I simply googled “sea level rise 1.5mm” - gaining a mere 103 hits.

I wonder if ATTP isn’t confused? Perhaps about facts or different (but related) claims?

Namely, one such hit in Science from 2007, which states a familiar fact: “...the present rate of sea-level rise of 3.0 millimeters per year....” Which is the fact I’ve always known and cited.

Where does “1.5mm” come in? As the eustatic component in sea level rise - which is unsurprising, given that the paper’s title is "Recent Sea-Level Contributions of the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets" (http://www.eeo.ed.ac.uk/geography/ShepherdEtAl.pdf).

If not a factual error or confusion by ATTP, then there’s the common alarmist claim that recent sea levels rise has accelerated, typically, it is said, doubling over the past decade or two.

Thus, even if the numbers mentioned by ATTP are incorrect, their ratios are - as well as the alarm!

But wait? And then there’s GRASP!

To quickly summarize the problem-solution, recent decades have resulted in new satellite methods of measuring sea levels. But the absence of a standard benchmark does not permit deciding between the new methods and older ones. Veridicality is in question without, to borrow from astronomy, a proper “standard candle.”

Thus, NASAs JPL has proposed to answer the problem by launching a geo-stationary space-based platform to calibrate these tools and reduce error of measurement. (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/30/finally-jpl-intends-to-get-a-grasp-on-accurate-sea-level-and-ice-measurements/)

That said, one wonders why ATTP cares to bet all his marbles on something so patently uncertain, as if we are supposed to find his “factoid” compelling?

Dec 4, 2015 at 9:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterOrson

Try looking at slide 8. The rate from 1901 - 1990 was a mean of 1.5mm/yr. The rate from 1993-2010 was a mean of 3.2mm/yr. There's also a new paper (Hay et al.) that you can read about here that suggests that the mean rate from 1901-1990 was lower than 1.5mm/yr (1.2mm/yr I think). So, yes, the literature suggests that sea level is rising faster now than the 20th century average, which would appear to suggest that it has accelerated.

Dec 4, 2015 at 10:03 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

A short period of warmth has a different rate of sea level rise compared to a longer period of warming and cooling. Who could have imagined? (without even talking about different measurement methods and adjustments).

That's the beauty of lying to the statistically ignorant. They will be forced to buy anything you sell.

Dec 4, 2015 at 10:50 AM | Registered Commentershub

Shub,
Duh, of course! Are you trying to sound utterly clueless, or does it just come naturally?

Dec 4, 2015 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>