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Discussion > Where is the evidence

This website erases comments from the main page if they suggest that CO2 does not cause any warming. Would the Bishop care to declare what empirical evidence he has which proves that CO2 causes any warming?

Feb 12, 2015 at 4:43 PM | Registered CommenterDung

CO2 is a greenhous gas. This means it traps heat. More heat means warming. Its not very complicated The Bishop does not need crackpost comments so no dout deletes them

Feb 12, 2015 at 6:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterPolar Beer

If it isn't complicated, where are the measurements of all that 'trapped heat' in the atmosphere, firmly attributable to CO2? Why is it a sure thing that what happens in a lab happens in a chaotic atmosphere, and how would one measure that? Where is the paper that links CO2 proportion to actual atmospheric temps and what experimental tests were proffered therein?

Feb 12, 2015 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

And how do we explain away the evidence that CO2 is a lagging indicator, ie it follows temperature change; it doesn't precede it?
The "greenhouse effect" has been used for years as a simplification for the (welcome) benefit of non-scientists like me to get an approximation of how the atmosphere works but it was never intended to become a foundation of scientific understanding of climate and climate change.
Bernie Lewin's paper on Hubert Lamb and the internecine battles that have gone on in climate science (reflecting battles that have been fought just as bitterly in other branches of science) really is a "must read". Science, it would seem, is determined by those who shout the loudest, attract the attention of the right people, and corner the market in research grants, facts, evidence, or the truth being largely irrelevant.*
In this particular case enthusiastically aided and abetted by environmental activists for whom demonising CO2 furthers their agenda (and if this is to believed, also the Russians for whom preventing fracking and anything else that might provide us with some energy security furthers theirs.

*(I'm now beginning to understand the thinking behind that idea of "striking a balance between being honest and being effective"! 'Effective' presumably means effective at getting in the grant money.)

Feb 12, 2015 at 9:01 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Hello, Polar Beer; one point to raise with your brief, snappy comment: where is your evidence?

Please do not quote that lab experiment; I have seen that fail as often as succeed. TheBigYinJames presents a very good argument about how CO2 and other “greenhouse gasses” work in the discussion “Understanding the role of CO2” that I started a while back. Have a read; it is very interesting – BUT (there is always a “but”) – it is a lot more complicated than you might think… oh, and it really does little in the way of “trapping” heat.

p.s. if memory serves me right, Polar Beer can be found in Venezuela, and is quite good, too – far better than that Dutch one beginning with “H” that pervades the Netherland Antilles.

Dung: I suspect that you might be just a little touchy about the subject, or the doubters of CO2 express their opinions in troll-like ways. That said, I do not think I have ever seen such erasures; what evidence do you have to support your claim?

Feb 12, 2015 at 9:19 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

We've been over and over this. The greenhouse effect exists because it would overturn science if it didn't.
The question is how much of an effect it is in a complex atmosphere with other effects happening.

I would say - a little, but not as much as the alarmists claim, but I base this on empiricism, not just a
general disbelief without counter evidence.

The trouble with these posts is that Dung and Rhoda have a track record in an almost faith-like disbelief
in basic physics that was once charming but now runs the risk of dragging this site down into crackpottery.

Feb 13, 2015 at 9:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

rhoda - The trapped heat in the atmosphere is where the temperature has gone up since we stated burning fissle fuels

Mike Jackson - CO2 used to follow temperature (maybe) but that was before we took over from nature in loading the atmosphere. So now temperature follows the CO2 level due to us. It no longer leads it lags.

Radical Rodent. Very funny my misspelling. Correct now. The evidence is there for anyone (who wants to) to see. For example the Met Office say so and they know what they are talking about. But in anycase, The Bigyin James has nailed it. If CO2 did not trap heat then the physics books would need to be rewritten. A final evidence - only crackpots claim that CO2 does not cause warming. What more evidence could you want than that?

Feb 13, 2015 at 1:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterPolar Bare

My question was aimed only at the Bishop and the reason is that I had posts deleted because they suggested that CO2 did not cause any warming.
These days the Bish needs to be politically correct or his hopes of a career being invited on tv shows will go up in smoke (well thats the way it seems).
I did not intend to upset BigYin because I know he is sick of the discussion (wrongly in my opinion of course hehe).
This topic belongs to Rhoda, who never got a decent answer to her similar (but much better) question here on BH some time ago
Polar Bare you do not appear to know diddly squat about this subject so why not keep quiet :)
I sort of stole Rhoda's question and did an FOI request to the DECC asking for any empirical evidence they held or had seen which justified their beliefs and so far the result is the same as for Rhoda's original question here on BH.
the first response was to reference 10s of thousands of pages of IPCC reports and papers and so my question was badly formed. I then asked them to specifically reference just one piece of empirical evidence and so far they have gone quiet. I will pursue this obviously.
I also want to put in an FOI to the DECC asking what evidence they held proving that oil and gas prices would rise and thus make renewable energy competetive.In reality it was wishful thinking and a total gamble.
Somewhere between 2 and 4 years ago I posted on BH forecasting that the price of oil would drop to $50 per barrel (what a fortunate figure for me to have chosen hehe.)
Can somebody tell me if that comment is saved somewhere on the site?
I was watching the US shale situation and to me it was obvious that it had to happen.

Feb 13, 2015 at 4:00 PM | Registered CommenterDung

"Mike Jackson - CO2 used to follow temperature (maybe) but that was before we took over from nature in loading the atmosphere. So now temperature follows the CO2 level due to us. It no longer leads it lags."

Feb 13, 2015 at 1:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterPolar Bare

But how does the earth know the difference between CO2 driven from the sea by higher temps from natural variation and CO2 from burning fossil fuels. In the past the CO2 has increased but the temps have dropped before the CO2 has dropped, this would suggest that any Greenhouse effect is minimal and fossil burnt CO2 will also have this minimal effect that can be overcome by natural variation.

I am of the view it happens in the lab but have yet to see any proof of it working in a Chaotic Climate System to increase temps, in fact other unknown reactions to increased CO2 could be greater in the opposite direction and result in lower temps.

Feb 13, 2015 at 4:01 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

Breath of Fresh Air

The lab experiment is flawed, their results were caused by the fact that various types of glass are opaque to certain frequencies of IR radiation. What happened was that the glass allowed incoming radiation but was opaque to the different frequency of outgoing radiation. The glass therefore heated up :)

Feb 13, 2015 at 4:07 PM | Registered CommenterDung

I think we're agreed on that one, though I'm much taken with the idea that we have "taken over" from nature and that anything we do can possibly affect the fundamental physics of CO2's relationship with temperature. Either the egg came first or the chicken did; you can't have it both ways.
I would very much like to hear more of the hypothesis that, while CO2 is a contributor to the greenhouse effect (TBYJ and I are not going to fall out on that one), its ability to add further to that effect, ie by aiding an increase in atmospheric temperature, becomes progressively less and that by the time its concentration reaches considerably below the level it is now that influence has all but stopped.
I've heard that posited and I don't see any reason in my limited knowledge of physics why it couldn't be so. Which makes me ask why more research hasn't been done on it and why everyone on the sceptical side of the debate shies away from the subject.
It is as difficult to get an explanation from sceptics as from warmists.

Feb 13, 2015 at 4:13 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Watching CO2 and temperature over short timescales is watching 'noise' not cause and effect. The planet responds to rising CO2 by storing more of it in the earth but those effects are not short term. Studies of plant stomata in periods of High CO2 levels shows that they had many more 'receptors' for absorbing CO2 than today's plants. However plants do not adapt/evolve over a few years and so that response by the planet can not yet be observed.

Feb 13, 2015 at 4:18 PM | Registered CommenterDung


That has been my view for a number of years and that is why I say "CO2 is not causing any warming" because I do not rule out the possibility that "it did cause warming" when CO2 levels were lower ^.^

Feb 13, 2015 at 4:23 PM | Registered CommenterDung

(Ha a new troll who thinks he's miles ahead of our arguments, but is actually miles behind ..I won't feed him).
But Yes if there comment rules, then they should be obvious that people don't invest time in writing stuff which gets deleted straight away
So if comments are to be deleted perhaps for good reason, then it's much better to be transparent about it and have a policy page.

(My standard point is lab experiments and real world experiments are different things
.. The real world isn't always as simple as we'd like it to be. Personally I resist the temptation to jump to conclusions; I can handle multiple scenarios in my mind as possibles, until one is actually proven)

Feb 13, 2015 at 4:45 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Polar Bare: CO2 always increases in the atmosphere after a rise in temperature because of the oceans degassing. That\s probably the simplest and most accepted mechanism in the whole debate.

CO2 increases in the atmosphere do indeed cause heat to be "reflected" back (it's not trapped, I don't believe that the second law of thermodynamics allows heat to be trapped. However degassing of the oceans isn't the only phenomenon associated with rising temperatures, another is the production of water vapour by the warming oceans, which, again slows down the escape of the heat, but also increases cloud cover, which accounts for around (from memory so could be wrong) 80 W/m^2 reflected back into space. Assuming a linear relatiionship between cloud cover and reflectiion an increase of 10% of cloud cover would result in 88W/m^2 being reflected back into space. The current radiation imbalance from Otto et al 2013 is 6w/m^2, so effectively an increase in cloud cover of 10% would result in a cooling world. (assuming a linear relationship between reflection an area of cloud cover). I think.

Feb 13, 2015 at 7:11 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo


In all the ice core records there is an understandable lag between temperature rise and CO2 rise (I mean the oceans are er um BIG!) anywhere from 200 years up to 2000 years.
I sound like a heretic I know but I do not think we should talk about theoretical stuff like clouds reflecting IR or the strength in w/sq metre, I just don't think we know enough. Observing geological records is pretty safe although again we are short on knowledge. There are lots of theories and people cherry pick their favourite theory and then work out the figures assuming that nobody else's theories are having any effect.
In my opinion the most ridiculous theory is the sensitivity theory. This is calculated without knowing ALL the factors involved in warming the climate (because we do not know them all) and is therefore guaranteed to be wrong. Sadly that is the favourite theory of the Bish :(
The indication of the depths to which Skeptics have now fallen is that I was advised on BH to go with this theory because it suggested that the warmists were wrong, Jeeez!

Feb 13, 2015 at 7:58 PM | Registered CommenterDung


I can not believe what you said in your earlier post: "The greenhouse effect exists because it would overturn science if it didn't." 'Refers BigYin to the Flat Earth Society'
You know about Richard Feynman and he would turn in his grave if he read that ^.^

Feb 13, 2015 at 8:04 PM | Registered CommenterDung

I know that the Bish normally does not get involved in forum discussions unless it is to remove posts which break the rules. However the Bish did exactly that by removing my posts and WUWT did the same thing. Can we clarify please whether or not it is now a rule that posters can not give their beliefs and proofs about unproven science?

Feb 13, 2015 at 8:09 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Many of us have had posts removed by the Bish for one reason or another. It smarts but it's a house perogative. Guests can suck it up or go elsewhere. I've been known to sulk for months after a particularly tasty comment has fallen foul of one site or another.

My question to you - why does it matter that you air your opinion that CO2 has no effect? Can you prove it? Can you think of an experiment to test it? Will it help our understanding of what's happening or will it just be another unknown? I've given up on worrying about the science. Personally I don't think we have enough years data to tell one way or the other. I'm happy to wait.

Tensions are high this year. We're all a bit bored of the issue and the warmists are going to go all out to push Paris along. This is absolutely their last chance to get global agreement... until next year when that will be the last chance evah... until... Seriously, it must be occuring to them that if sensitivity is low (or zero) and this year doesn't show warming has resumed then by the end of this year a lot of influential people will be getting cynical about the whole thing. Their best chace to reorder society to their idea of perfect will be lost.

I bet the Bish and Anthony Watts are heartily sick of it all. They both run busy sites that tread a fine line between freedom and control. Given the contentiousness of the issue, the angry gits (self included) on both sides are hard to wrangle. If those two guys decide that an issue is a step too far, then just accept it.

Feb 14, 2015 at 3:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Not certain about Bishop, despite coming here for many years, but Anthony Watts will delete anything with a hint of SkyDragon talk. Personally when I survey the history of Earth's temperature over millions of years (using whatever information is available) rather than decades then any connection between temperature and CO2 is invisible.

Anyone who says it has to be so and so because otherwise it overturns science has never studied or is ignoring the history of science. I only read the other day about someone else questioning The Big Bang Theory and someone else questioning low fat diets, the only thing you can't question CO2 being a greenhouse gas.

Feb 14, 2015 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyyS


It matters so much to me because of what is being done to the UK population and to our industry in the name of saving the planet. Billions of pounds of our taxes are going into fighting climate change and decarbonising our economy and the truth is that politicians and even scientists effectively know diddly squat about how our climate warms and cools.
I do not see a problem with asking the Bish to justify his belief in CO2 causing warming. The Bish has changed; once he searched after truth and examined the details behind the views of others but now he appears to have surrendered his integrity and jumped onto a politically correct bandwagon in order to gain acceptance (thats the way it looks).
I do not understand how people can become heartily sick of this question because it is the one question that drives everything else.
My evidence is the ONLY empirical evidence available; the geological records and they ALL say that CO2 does not cause warming but is itself caused by warming.
My evidence is all the other theories about warming which are ignored by the powers that be and Henrik Svensmark's work is chief among those imo.

Feb 14, 2015 at 2:00 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Does it matter if that waste is stopped because everyone is persuaded 'CO2 has no effect' or 'CO2 has a minor or even mildly benificial effect'? The goal is to stop the waste, right?

Has the Bish changed? Probably. Don't we all when we look at more information? We al pick and choose which bits we're okay with and which wars we want to fight. The Bish has his own plans and is entitled to them, even if it involved a volte-face. If it doesn't fit broadly with the opinions of others they'll wander way.

Feb 14, 2015 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Personally I would not lie to gain an advantage, I have always believed that the truth will win in the end. If you lie once you lose credibility forever and maybe your cause loses the same, what advantage did Mr Mann gain personally?
I believe our opponents know that CO2 is no problem but for them the end justifies the means and they passionately believe that man is a danger to the planet.

Feb 14, 2015 at 4:47 PM | Registered CommenterDung

But saying you KNOW CO2 has no effect isn't true if you can't prove it, just as warmists lie when they say they KNOW the effect of CO2 is big. It's just an opinion. You don't have to agree with the Bish on the effect of CO2, you just have to shut up about it.

Feb 14, 2015 at 9:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Look Dung the Alarmist makes a leap of faith by saying "I know CO2 is going to cause so much warming there will be a catastrophe, now give me a trillion dollars"
- To which I reply "saying 'I know' just isn't good enough if you are the one demanding the cash, then its up to you to prove your claim
- It is not upto me to make counter claim and go and work on my proof. "

- When you debate with true believers, they shout "Well, where is your proof that there are no UFOs ? that there is no life after death etc" They dont understand when one side is making an extraordinary claim and the other side is making no claim at all; it's not a 50/50 argument.

Feb 15, 2015 at 4:00 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen