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Discussion > "Climate communication" - what do you think?

Nice trolling there, BBD. You're the expert at this.

Richard,
I know that journalists come to you. But you do know what happens after that in the communication game right? (A game they shouldn't be in, in the first place). They turn around and say "Science says..." and wash their hands off responsibility, and then suddenly they are saying things they wanted to say, but in your name.

Jul 2, 2012 at 9:22 PM | Registered Commentershub

BBD

I am a highly intelligent man who has learned a great deal about climate and energy. I reserve the right to politely ask anybody any question I like and when the Bish says I need to stop then I will stop.
You are a troll with a dictionary.

Jul 2, 2012 at 11:37 PM | Registered CommenterDung

I am just looking at this amazingly ignorant and arrogant rant by scientist Andy Lacis on Climate Etc.

What is he communicating? Nothing, except declaring open season on a colleague Garth Paltridge.

Climate science will never climb up to any standard of respectability with behaviour like this.

The poor tone of his argument magnifies its flaws.

Jul 3, 2012 at 2:51 AM | Registered Commentershub

Lacis' defense of 'big science' is the lowest point.

What has big science produced? I would be bold enough to say, that it has produced only failures. True, big science converts the kernels of ideas into packaged products that would have otherwise died on the pages lab notebooks, into massive revenue streams for academics, but, each and every true scientific advance has come from the lowly toiling of individuals, whether it be within the confines of so-created big science labs or on the outside of it.

Lacis' true delusion lies in imagining that the supposedly complex climate models created in the big science setting, to be an achievement in and of itself. It is quite evident to any outside observer, that they are not. Every best thing is only as good as what it can create, predict, or produce.

In fact, Lacis' words describing his climate model fetishism is a frightening yet fascinating display of the madness that climate modellers must have descended into. He fancies himself superior to Paltridge because he has a supercomputer whereas Paltridge does not! Amazing!

Jul 3, 2012 at 3:08 AM | Registered Commentershub

Shub

Even though we have now had access to computers for many years there are still many who view them as magical or as a means of getting messages from God.
In reality even a super computer is just a glorified adding machine with the ability to draw really pretty pictures and do adding up really fast ^.^

Jul 3, 2012 at 11:03 AM | Registered CommenterDung

Jul 2, 2012 at 8:10 PM | Dung

"so the climate is going to continue to be subject to an ongoing forcing" (RB)

I do not agree with that and you have no empirical evidence to support that statement.

Hi Dung,

Sorry for the slow response - I was away all weekend.

Actually, I do have empirical evidence to support my statement! Observations both on the ground (see here and here) and by satellite (here) show that the increase in CO2 concentration (and other greenhouse gases) have altered the Earth's longwave radiation budget as expected from the standard "enhanced greenhouse effect" concept (i.e.: a positive radiative forcing).

What about the Berthold Klein/Nahle experiment?

I'm afraid I agree with Martin A above that there are major flaws in that document. For a start, as Martin says, we would not expect the black surface (the source of heating to the balloons) to be warmed further by a balloon of CO2 being above it. Also, if the authors agree that the balloons will absorb infra-red radiation but not increase their internal energy, where is the energy from the absorbed IR going? It must be conserved, so has to go somewhere!

So, sorry, but I don't find the Berthold Klein document the slightest bit convincing!

Cheers

Richard

Jul 4, 2012 at 4:47 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

One based on model comparisons, two paywalled. One of them says in the abstract that they observed 2 watts/sqm per decade increase. Seems high to me. Is that the verdict of you all?

Jul 4, 2012 at 7:37 PM | Registered Commenterrhoda

Dung

You are not in a position to speak to RB like that. It's not just rude, it's risible. Who do you think you are? What are your professional qualifications in earth system sciences?

The same goes for a number of others here. Personally, I'm damned if I know why he puts up with it.
Jul 2, 2012 at 9:02 PM BBD

BBD - Your desire to protect RB from rudeness (and risibility) is admirable.

However, he does seem to be able to stick up for himself. Several times he has firmly and directly requested people to address him with normal politeness when they have overstepped the mark.

And I would imagine that he does not require people to have a qualification in earth system sciences before they can disagree with him.

Jul 4, 2012 at 9:03 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Richard

With the greatest respect (for I am a mere mortal) I am disappointed that you consider a model to be empirical evidence, this relates to your first source.
I am not able to pay for all the papers I would like to read and so can not comment on sources 2 and 3.

You appear to have misunderstood the Berthold Klein experiment and in addition you appear to discount it because of its source?

An experiment that is often displayed by 'The Warmista' (light hearted jest) is the glass tube containing CO2. The warming that takes place is due to the fact that the glass does not allow all wavelengths of IR to pass, some are reflected, some are absorbed and some pass through. The IR passing into the tube is absorbed by the CO2 and then reemitted at different wavelengths, some of these are absorbed by the glass and heating takes place.
The heating is entirely due to the glass, not to the CO2.

In the BK experiment, the heating comes from the sun, not the black surface. The Mylar allows all wavelengths to pass through so that there is no heating at the surface of the balloon. Thermometers measured temperature inside the ballons, at the surface of the balloons, in the air between the balloons, on the floor beneath the balloons (the black surface) and on the floor in direct sunlight. Some of the balloons were 100% filled with powerful GHGs.
Throughout the experiment the temperature inside the balloons remained the same as the surrounding air and the temperature of the ground beneath the balloons remained the same as the temperature of the ground in direct sunlight.
If this experiment can be replicated, would you not accept that the GHG theory is bunk?

Jul 4, 2012 at 9:06 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Yes, sorry about the paywalls, that is extremely frustrating.

I'd be more than happy to send you pdfs if you email me, or I can send via Bishop Hill

Cheers

Richard

Jul 5, 2012 at 12:18 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

Paywalls on the scientific literature are a scandal that needs to be dealt with.

It's clearly a nice little earner for the publishers and, if it's paid for by their employer, why should someone worry. But paywalls hide information, obtained and published at public expense, from the interested public.

I even come across papers of my own, published many years ago, and for which I am certain I never signed anything transferring my copyright to a different owner, which are now out there on the internet and inaccessible to me.

Jul 5, 2012 at 9:20 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

The first of Richard's links is in fact just an extended conference abstract, and therefore not peer reviewed.
Rhoda has spotted that much of it uses models.

Regarding the second one, note the last sentence of the abstract
"The rising trend results from increases in air temperature, atmospheric water vapor, and CO2 concentration". The atmosphere is on average a bit warmer than it was in the 1970s, so you'd expect it to radiate more! I have not read it properly but fig 6 shows a correlation of r=0.99 between air temp and downwelling radiation.

And here's a rather important snippet:
"The dominant emitters of longwave radiation in the atmosphere are water vapor, and to a lesser extent, carbon dioxide. The water vapor effect is parameterized in this study, while the CO2 effect on Ld is not."
So the paper does NOT show that increase in CO2 has done anything.

Jul 5, 2012 at 1:27 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Hi Paul

I included the extended abstract because it was not paywalled. It references peer-reviewed literature.

However, I completely agree with Martin A that paywalling scientific papers is very bad for public understanding of science.

I have emailed the two paywalled papers to the Bish - maybe he can pass them on to rhoda, dung and anyone else who is interested?

Cheers

Richard

Jul 5, 2012 at 2:07 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

"I have emailed the two paywalled papers to the Bish - maybe he can pass them on to rhoda, dung and anyone else who is interested?"

This seems a rather long way round and puts extra work on Andrew who already gets tons of email to deal with. I suggest that if Rhoda or Martin or anyone want a copy of a paper, they just email a friendly academic sceptic.
But first, check if you can find it on the web:
* Go to Google scholar
* type in "Harries increases" and the paper comes top of the list
* click on "all 14 versions"
* In many cases, including this one, there will be a publicly available pdf.

Jul 5, 2012 at 2:40 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Richard

LW radiation was detected by satellite sensors and the wavelengths of the radiation identified the gases.
This shows that gases absorb IR radiation and then re radiate at different and known wavelengths. Where is the evidence that this causes surface warming?
In the Berthold Klein experiment which you seem determined to ignore or misunderstand, nobody is denying that gases absorb and re radiate IR radiation but there is no increased warming. Where is your proof?

Jul 5, 2012 at 10:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Paul Matthews

thank you for the tip and I was able to read the paper ^.^

Jul 5, 2012 at 10:35 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Jul 5, 2012 at 2:40 PM Paul Matthews
"I suggest that if Rhoda or Martin or anyone want a copy of a paper, they just email a friendly academic sceptic."

Two reasons against this.

- I don't want to use up my goodwill by pestering people to download and email me things - there are maybe 100 papers I'd like to put my hands on in various fields.

- I imagine it would be contrary to their employer's contract with the journals for them to do so. Whilst it's unlikely they'd find themselves in hot water, I'd prefer not to ask people to do things that are not 100.00% kosher.

Jul 6, 2012 at 8:19 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Got the papers via the Bish. Thanks to Richard and our host. There will be a short delay while I try to get my head round them, but they do represent the kind of work I wanted to see, actual measurements. Accept no substitute.

Jul 6, 2012 at 9:09 AM | Registered Commenterrhoda

“I sense you’ve got him in a trap here … can’t wait to see it sprung.”

This, from Justin Gillis, a reporter for the New York Times.

This newspaper doesn't seem to care much about whom it hires.

Jul 8, 2012 at 6:19 AM | Registered Commentershub

My reactions to the papers are over on the best evidence thread. No smoking gun, but some epicyclic ice crystals suspected.

Jul 8, 2012 at 6:58 PM | Registered Commenterrhoda

Jul 5, 2012 at 10:23 PM | Dung

Hi Dung,

Radiation transfers heat. Hence radiation emitted in all directions, including downwards, will transfer heat in all directions, including downwards.

The experiment with the balloons is not a good analogy to the effects of changing the composition of the entire atmosphere, as there are other influences on the balloons which will not come into play at the scale of the whole planet, eg; heat being carried away from the balloons in the air.

There are uncertainties over the strength and impact of future warming, but the existence of the greenhouse effect itself is not in question. As Jeff Condon at the Air Vent puts it rather succinctly:

The point is that any skeptical argument having any credibility at all, needs to start from this point. Yes CO2 causes some warming. After this, the world is your oyster

Cheers

Richard

Jul 9, 2012 at 11:19 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

Richard

Considering that the science is in no way settled, trying to set rules for how I may argue my case is not helpful. CO2 has a logarithmic effect according to AR3 and so at some point it will be quite acceptable to say "There is no greenhouse effect (at its current ppm level)"
Prof Emeritus Hoyt C. Hottel of MIT, an expert in radiant heat transfer, calculated that CO2 had no effect above 200 ppm. This fact is used in the manufacture of furnaces and they work. According to Prof Hottel therefore I can say "There is no greenhouse effect at the moment".

Radiation transfers heat. Hence radiation emitted in all directions, including downwards, will transfer heat in all directions, including downwards.

According to Profs Hottel, Nahle, Leckner, Modest, Pitts and Sissom; CO2 is a grey body which does not absorb all the radiation it receives and does not reemmit all the radiation it does absorb. However taking your statement as it stands; CO2 prevents the Sun's radiation from reaching the Earth's surface, only about 50% is radiated downwards and the rest upwards. Once the CO2 is saturated it no longer absorbs or emmits radiation and has no effect.

1) Do you accept that the effect of CO2 is logarithmic?
2) Do you therefore accept that at some level CO2 ceases to have any effect?
3) Do you have any figure you would like to offer other than the 200ppm given by Prof Hottel?

The 200 ppm figure is suppported by empirical evidence:

According to ice core records and graphs shown in AR3 and AR4, once CO2 levels hit 200 ppm in all of the last 6 interglacial periods; CO2 levels continued to rise (up to 280 ppm) after the high temperature point and there was no further warming. On some occasions CO2 rose for 2000 years with no further warming.

Jul 9, 2012 at 2:15 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung

The 200 ppm figure is suppported by empirical evidence:

According to ice core records and graphs shown in AR3 and AR4, once CO2 levels hit 200 ppm in all of the last 6 interglacial periods; CO2 levels continued to rise (up to 280 ppm) after the high temperature point and there was no further warming. On some occasions CO2 rose for 2000 years with no further warming.

Eh? Can you link directly to the html version of WG1 where this is shown? I didn't find it in the section dealing with this in the paleoclimate chapter, but perhaps I missed it.

The high resolution Vostock CO2 and temperature reconstruction does not support this claim.

Jul 9, 2012 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

@Richard Betts "The point is that any skeptical argument having any credibility at all, needs to start from this point. Yes CO2 causes some warming. After this, the world is your oyster".

Of course, but could there be some (perhaps over-)compensating resultant cooling? Cloud feedback perhaps? Who is so sure he knows the answer to this question beyond any doubt?

Jul 9, 2012 at 6:04 PM | Unregistered Commentersimon abingdon

BBD (could that stand for BitBucket Dopleganger?)

The graphs are in AR3 and AR4, the CO2 records are given by http://www.co2science.org/articles/V6/N26/EDIT.php.
Basically all sides of the argument (with the possible exception of yourself) agree that interglacial warming is not started by CO2 since CO2 lags temperature. The lag shown in this paper combined with the AR4 graphs tell you that once the initial warming is over, CO2 does not add further warming.
The best explanation as to why and how interglacial warming takes place comes from Svensmark IMHO.
When the Sun plus attendant bodies are traversing one of the galactic spiral arms, the Earth experiences greater impacts of cosmic rays (cooling through seeding of low cloud). Having already been cooled by low cloud the changes in orbit of the Earth around the Sun are enough to tip us into ice age.

Jul 9, 2012 at 8:29 PM | Registered CommenterDung