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Discussion > Where is the evidence

Dung - the Great Delusion will eventually come to an end. In 10 years? In 30 years? In 2000 years? Beats me.


From having assumed that 'climate science' was as valid as other branches of science such as, say molecular biology, it very slowly (*very* slowly) dawned on me that the great majority of climate science is bollocks. (Averaging temperatures, 'homogenised' temperature data + lost metadata, spliced proxy and record data, treating the output of unvalidated computer models as if it were physical evidence, etc)

I don't know how the Great Delusion will eventually end but I'm pretty sure it won't be helped by my yelling "climate science is total bollocks " in the presence of people, such as the Bish, who are attempting to establish some sort of dialogue.

I'm with the other commenters. I think you should tread carefully especially in accusing the Bish of being economical with the truth. It's his site and, in general, surprisingly tolerant - see how long it took Zed to get banned. While not having a list of depracated topics, the Bish has made it very clear that comments raising questions of radiative physics are not wanted in threads dealing with other subjects. I think that CO2 having no effect falls in that category.

Feb 15, 2015 at 10:01 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

You people have been my heroes for many years as was the Bish but now you have taken a path that I just can not follow. I can not follow because I know it is wrong but even more because when it is shown to be wrong then all of you will be discredited as well and I would hate to see that.
Basic logic tells you that Climate sensitivity is currently impossible to measure if it exists at all and I am not the first to say that, Rhoda said it years ago and at the time so did you Martin. I think it started with Uncle Steve finding a paper from quite early in the last century that was more accurate at predicting 'climate sensitivity' than the best current theories (predicted no warming). I was gobsmacked by the number of BH regulars who leapt onto this paper and supported it before even finding out what it was based on. It was as if the important thing was that it predicted what we would have liked it to predict and so it must be wonderful. I argued against that at the time but was drowned out :)
I would not follow that line on principle but the danger for you guys is that someone discredits that whole idea because then you would go down with it.

Feb 15, 2015 at 2:50 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung - I'm sorry that the comments on the thread seem to be distressing to you. I think there are several things here.

1. You originally said 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?

2. You seemed to equate deleting such threads as some kind of dishonesty.

3. You seem to equate comments that the Bish has the right to decide what does not appear on his blog as being equivalent to accepting that climate sensitivity calculations are valid.

4. When the "CO2 causes warming" is eventually discredited, commenters here will lose credibility for having espoused the idea.

Have I got that right? If not, I am sorry. If so, here are my comments

- The Bish has every right to delete comments suggesting CO2 has no warming effect. He does not have to produce evidence that it does to do so.

- Deleting comments does not seem to me to have any connection to being dishonest any way.

- If commenters state that the Bish has every right to delete comments, that does not mean that they accept that climate sensitivity calculations are valid.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I agree you may have a point that some sceptics may have accepted some climate sensitivity calculations (eg Nic Lewis's) more because they like the low values calculated than because they think that the calculations are supported by empirical evidence.

I have pointed out the some climate sensitivity calculations seem to have been accepted by AGW climate sceptics.

But, so far as I can see, except for Nic Lewis getting the statistical calculations right (so far as I can tell) the rest of his work depends on the same general assumptions as other climate sensitivty calculations.

For what it's worth, climate sensitivity calculations fall into my default "climate science is bollocks until proved otherwise" category. I am not convinced* that

- CO2 concentrations had increased significantly prior to the start of systematic measurements (Mauna Loa ~1960?)
- Changed atmospheric concentrations are significantly due to human activity
- There is a single valued, deteministic relation between a change in atmospheric CO2 level and any resulting eventual change in global temperature.
- "Global temperature" is a concept that has any meaning and that it can actually be measured, especially with existing instrumentation..

That may suggest what I think of the idea that climate sensitivity can meaningfully be calculated.


Finally, commenters here, on a little known blog, mostly identified only by a pseudo, don't really have any credibility to lose so nobody is going to worry about that.


* when I say I'm not covinced of XXX, I am not saying that it's untrue. Just that I'm not convinced of it.

Feb 15, 2015 at 6:30 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin

The Bish of course has the right to delete any comments he does not approve of although I am not sure 'the right' is correct, maybe 'the power' would be more appropriate :)
Once upon a time the Bish would not just tolerate but encourage people who disagreed with him/us to post their views on BH. WE would engage them in a friendly way and disabuse them of their false arguments. Things have changed.
Bishop Hill is not (or was not) a little known blog; at some point in the last two years it was reckoned to be one of the most respected and influential of the Skeptic blogs. At that time The Bish started to get sensitive about the way people expressed their views on his blog; he did not wish to lose his new found respected status.
At one point (earlier) the name 'Realclimate' was a joke on BH because of the way they treated people who did not agree with them;the Bish seems to be headed down the same path for the sake of his respectability. My objection to my posts being deleted is based in this change by the BIsh.

Feb 15, 2015 at 8:05 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Looking at the 'official' ice core record (one of them): http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/images/temperature-change.jpg

It can clearly be seen that CO2 levels and temperature 'appear' to have more than a slight connection. But, there are some areas where the curves move in opposite directions. 390,000 years ago CO2 and temperature moved away from each other.

That indicates to me that CO2 is not the only fighter in this ring, but one of, possibly, many causes.

Does increased CO2 in the atmosphere increase surface temperatures? Mathematical theories indicate it should.

Will the above increase occur in isolation to all of the other variable quantities that change so frequently in the atmosphere?

I do not know, I side with water vapour and all of the mechanisms involved in changing H2O levels in the atmosphere.

Feb 15, 2015 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

Hello Richard :)

I am really an OK guy (shades of Aliens hehe). I think you are falling into a trap that Al Gore first set in his oscar winning film. The scale of that graph is such that it is impossible to see where the falls end and the increases begin. I estimate that the lines on the graph are about 2000 years thick ^.^
Coincidentally the gap between changes in temperature and changes in CO2 maxes out at about 2000 years and is sometimes as low as 200 years but always temperature changes first and then CO2. If you ask I will go look up my references but in reality nobody disputes those figures.
People on the internet who are interested in this argument spend huge amounts of time discussing the relative merits of one theory against another (and so do I sadly). However I would advise ignoring theories and sticking with facts and there are plenty of facts if you look for them.
I thought it was interesting that if you click on that graph it does not get any bigger hehe.
There have been times when the ice core records have shown periods where CO2 and Temperature were going in opposite directions but never a time when CO2 led Temperature.

Feb 15, 2015 at 9:33 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung,

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 ^.^

He wouldn't.

Feynman was a believer in the scientific method. Part of the scientific method is that a theory works if it explains the observations, and fits in with the body of other known working theories. If either of those things don't happen, then there is a problem. Now it could be that "the body of other known working theories" is flat wrong. This has happened a couple of times in the history of science, but the level of proof is astoundingly high - not only do you have to show an effect in observed data - you also have to show why other theories have got it wrong. This is not impossible, but I guarantee you that it takes an Einstein to do so, and not a lay doubter on a blog forum.

For CO2 to not interact radiatively with longwave radiation would be a fact so astounding that it would overturn physics. Now this doesn't mean that the effect is large, or that it is the only effect working on temperature, or that it is not in fact swamped by other effects in a real atmosphere. But to claim that CO2 has no effect at all would be such a revolutionary counter-theory in physics that you, Dung, would win the Nobel prize several times over if you could show its non-existence and show why all other theories that predict it have it wrong.

This is not the same thing as a contrarian on a blog stamping their feet and saying they don't believe it because they are too lazy or non-technical to follow the scientific argument.

Feynman would be on my side, I'm afraid.

Feb 16, 2015 at 9:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

ello BYJ :)

Oh Noooeeeees not you and me again hehe.

Your post suggests a number of different areas of discussion so I will just mention some in passing but concentrate on the main argument.

What really is the best type of person to comment on the global warming argument?
I think you misquote Feynman; he said

"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.”

There is a longer version in which he also equates real world observation with experiment but I can't find it :)

I can not say that I like being l like being called "a contrarian on a blog stamping his feet" hehe shame on you Mr Yin
No less a person than Richard Lindzen described his thoughts on the effect of CO2 by drawing an analogy with blackout curtains and the light within the room in question. The first curtain put up prevented almost all the light from escaping, extra curtains blocked progressively less and less light until the point at which more curtains had no further effect. In the real world he meant that once there is a certain level of CO2 in the atmosphere; all the radiated heat is being dealt with and more CO2 will have no effect.That theory was also quoted in one of the IPCC reports as a fact.

If you look at the IPCC reports they show graphs of CO2 and temperature at the start and end of interglacial periods, warming starts (for reasons unknown or not totally understood) and then CO2 starts to rise. The clowns over at Realclimate say that CO2 then takes over (no explanation of how) and also accelerates the warming. What they do not explain is the fact that at a certain point warming stops even though CO2 continues to rise (for between 200 and 2000 years).
It seems to me that it is at the very least plausible to suggest that what we are seeing is the effect described by Lindzen.

Feb 16, 2015 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Sceptics (with a few notable exceptions) are not climate experts. They have no desire or drive to become climate experts. The faults we see are usually those of behaviour, groupthink and procedure. Our biggest gripes are not in the mistakes or deliberate changes it’s that when those issues are highlighted, nothing is done about them. It’s easier to prove to all concerned that the climate change bandwagon is built on mistakes, exaggerations and activism than deconstruct the entirety of climate science.

I can’t honestly tell you if AGW is zero, low, medium or Al Gore, but then neither can you. The moment we set ourselves up as mini scientists, the warmists can and do demand ‘prove it’. Instead of demonstrating we know a botched job when we see it, we’d prove we weren’t climate scientists. You demanding the Bish lays his evidence on the table is doing the warmist’s job for them!

Like something running out of control, the first job is to slow it down, not stop it dead. The climate bandwagon had the nineties and early noughties to gather speed, throwing yourself in front of it is just a demand to be mown down,

Feb 16, 2015 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Dung

I think you misquote Feynman

I didn't quote him at all, you did.

I can not say that I like being l like being called "a contrarian on a blog stamping his feet" hehe shame on you Mr Yin

OK, I'm sorry if this sounded harsh. But every time we have one of these threads, I go through your points and either show where you are mistaken, or where you have interpreted something somewhere else in an incorrect way. We go back and forth until all of your points are answered. At that point, you are supposed to be convinced, or you are supposed to concede that you do not understand it enough to rebut my points. What you (or Rhoda) is NOT supposed to do, is go quiet, wait three months, and then make the same points again in exactly the same way as if the conversation never happened. It was amusing at first, but it looks idiotic and insane now, and we all get tarred with the mad brush, so excuse my annoyance.

No less a person than Richard Lindzen described his thoughts on the effect of CO2 by drawing an analogy with blackout curtains and the light within the room in question. The first curtain put up prevented almost all the light from escaping, extra curtains blocked progressively less and less light until the point at which more curtains had no further effect. In the real world he meant that once there is a certain level of CO2 in the atmosphere; all the radiated heat is being dealt with and more CO2 will have no effect.That theory was also quoted in one of the IPCC reports as a fact.

None of which says that CO2 does not have an effect, only that it has a maximum effect, which even the most abject alarmist agrees with. This is why sensitivities are always given per doubling, because the effect diminishes as you go up in concentrations. Lindzen believes in the greenhouse effect here, he's actually expanding on its definition. Why are you quoting it to me as some sort of massive rebuttal of my point? You are arguing there is no effect, Lindzen is arguing the effect has limitations.

This is a world away from claiming that CO2 concentrations and temperature are unrelated, which is what you are doing.

Feb 16, 2015 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Dear Mr Big Yin

You are a bit slow on the uptake for one so knowledgeable :) I have deliberately never said that CO2 has never had an effect on temperature, I say that CO2 IS NOT having any effect on temperature. I am saying that the point at which CO2 ceases to have an effect has already passed and I pointed out at what point this happened by quoting the IPCC graphs relating to CO2 /temp during interglacials Which bit did you not understand BYJ?
Thank you for admitting that "a contrarian on a blog stamping his feet" was a bit harsh and replacing that with the far more moderate comment on my thoughts: "but it looks idiotic and insane now, and we all get tarred with the mad brush" Ho hum :).
If there is a point at which CO2 ceases to have any effect; do you know when it was or will be? If not how do you know I am wrong?

Feb 16, 2015 at 2:47 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung,

As an exponential decrease, there is no "point" at which it "stops". The link between CO2 and temperature is very complex, much more complex than the linear one the alarmists push. It's is also much more complex than your 'cut-off' theory, for which you offer no original research or analysis.

Lindzen believes in the greenhouse effect. He has stated many times that the CO2 doubling forcing should account for about 2 degrees of warming, all other things constant.

Feb 16, 2015 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

BYJ

You are now scraping the intellectual barrel in order to suggest that what I said was incorrect. Do you really believe that there is "no point at which it stops"? Why can't we integrate the bloody formula?
Of course there is a "limit" beyond which we can say there will be no further effect!
I am not stupid enough to be looking to explain the link between CO2 and temp (do you know what it is? Nobody else does).
I have previously stopped arguing with you because you hide behind your maths, I am not interested in maths I am interested in facts and you do not seem to be handling those very well sir.

Feb 16, 2015 at 3:24 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung, you can't hide behind maths, that's why we use them in physics - maths means a very specific thing, so it is well suited for describing physical phenomenon. We can't integrate the formulae relating CO2 and temperature because we don't know what the formula is, but it's likely to be highly autocorrelated and involve more factors than we can shake a stick at. Not sure why an inability to integrate it bolsters your position. If you are truly not interested in maths, then you are doomed to repeat the same mistakes when it comes to your version of climate "facts" - the reason you prefer them is because you can substitute "opinion" instead.

Feb 16, 2015 at 4:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

TBYJ, nobody thinks that integration can be done. It isn't that we don't know the formula (although it is true that we don't) but that there are so many interacting processes that the only way to do it would be with a computer model.

I've rejected the idea of climate sensitivity before here, but in terms of any applicability to prediction. CS in its various forms is only useful for comparing model results with each other and with observations. Not for prediction. It's a way to identify models which don't work. That's why what Nic Lewis does is valid and meaningful. But the CS concept is used and bandied about way beyond that, inappropriately IMO.


CO2? I only ask for experiments and observations to back up the climatologists claims. I don't dispute the radiative science, just the chain from that to global catastrophe, which chain I think breaks very near the first link.


How about that positive feedback? That's an early link in the chain, and it is indefensible in argument, to me.

Oh, the Bish may delete what he likes. Seems strange though that trolls and multiply-refuted climate scientists comment here and one can't even question the basis.

Feb 16, 2015 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Mr Yin

I will explain what I mean by hiding behind the maths.

I do not believe that maths is the mechanism responsible for new theories and ideas, it is mostly a go to system by which theories can be confirmed. The way you use maths however is to say that if someone can not follow or understand the maths then their input is discredited. I will use our friend Feynman to justify this.

"In general, we look for a new law by the following process: First we guess it; then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right; then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is — if it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong.”
― Richard P. Feynman

I prefer Feynman's logic to yours :)

Feb 16, 2015 at 6:48 PM | Registered CommenterDung

As a quick bit of research, I downloaded NASA’s Planetary Fact Sheet from http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/ and entered the planetary mean temperatures and distances from the Sun into a spreadsheet. I then produced a graph of the data.

I was surprised to see that, despite the widely different atmospheric constituents of the inner and outer planets, the mean temperature gradient was more or less linear from Mercury to Pluto - with one exception - Venus. According to NASA, Venus has a mean temperature of 464C, whereas if it lay on the linear trend it would be only around 100C. Also interesting is, that unlike all other planets, neither Mercury nor Pluto has an atmosphere - yet both are a good fit on the linear trend line.

Only Venus and Mars have an atmosphere that is predominantly CO2, Venus’s being immensely dense. Mars is a good fit on the linear trend line. Venus is an outlier.

Another fact to note is that while the Earth has a mean temperature of 15C, the moon, which is more or less the same distance from the Sun, is a chilly –20C.

So the result of my research seems to be:

Q. Does having an atmosphere raise the mean temperature of a planet?
A. Yes and no.

Q. Is CO2 a greenhouse gas?
A. Yes and no.

Does that help?

Feb 16, 2015 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Dawkins

Jack, the Earth does not have a temperature of 15C by the same method of measurement as the moon's temp. The moon is measured properly, by radiation. The 15C for the earth is an arithmetical average, if you use the climate scientists method and produce a mean global temp from thermometer readings. This is not the same as the radiation method, nor will you get the right result by taking the incoming solar, correcting for albedo then taking one disk's worth of incoming and assuming mean radiation over the sphere's surface. That does not produce a meaningful figure. The measured moon figure cannot be matched by that method, although it is the basis of the magical 33K excess temp of the earth over what it 'ought to be'.

Feb 16, 2015 at 9:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Does that help?
Feb 16, 2015 at 9:06 PM Jack Dawkins

Yes and no.

Feb 17, 2015 at 8:56 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Dung

I do not believe that maths is the mechanism responsible for new theories and ideas, it is mostly a go to system by which theories can be confirmed. The way you use maths however is to say that if someone can not follow or understand the maths then their input is discredited

You are dead wrong, not even partially correct about what Mathematics is. Maths is not a 'go to system' - it is the PRIMARY means of describing a new theory. Maths is the language of quantities and relationships. For you to say what you said above is as meaningless as saying "I do not believe English is the mechanism responsible for new theories and data" - it's tritely true, but meaningless. Maths is the ONLY way we can express a new theory, especially in the statistical meta-sciences such as climate science.

And as for the quote from Feynman, he is confirming what I say, not what you say. The fact that you can't understand that he's simply stating what I stated in my very first reply to you should be surprising, but it's not. You have a long track record here of misunderstanding what you read, and almost wilfully seeing the opposite meaning from what was intended. Feynman is stating here that once you come up with a mathematical relationship, you test it against reality. Maths followed by experiment.

In science, you can't hide from maths or relegate it to some useful tool like a slide-rule - maths is the primary tool of science. Handwaving, because you cannot follow the maths, is not.

Feb 17, 2015 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Jack Dawkins

Q. Is CO2 a greenhouse gas?
A. Yes and no.

Explain how your research into planetary temperatures supports this assertion.

Feb 17, 2015 at 9:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Rhoda,

I simply took the NASA data at face value. Do you have a significantly different mean temperature for the Earth?

TBYJ,

I'm afraid you're mistaken – I do not undertake research into planetary temperatures. In response to what comes across as a rather short-tempered request by you for a further explanation of my blog comment, if I made an "assertion" it was that the NASA data seem to show that in the Solar System, in only one case does having an atmosphere appear to significantly raise a planet's mean temperature above the linear gradient. And of the two planets with predominantly CO2 atmospheres, only one appears to be significantly warmer than the linear gradient.

Feb 17, 2015 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Dawkins

Jack Dawkins,

Yes it was bad tempered, sorry.

I suppose what I was getting at was your research might show that a greenhouse effect might not be large enough to make a difference, but you instead stated it as "Is CO2 a greenhouse gas?" which it absolutely is! - this is a fact independently from a measurement if it makes a difference to temperature. Do you see what I mean? It was the sloppy assertion I had a problem with.

Feb 17, 2015 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

BYJ

You have thrown a fair bit of abuse in my direction and also ignored a lot of the points I have made, rather than answer points you have come up with extra abuse and more topics.

Please answer the following specific points:

How much maths was involved in:

Observing an apple fall from a tree?
Noticing that sunspot numbers seemed to coincide with temperature changes? (I accept that the difficult concept of addition was probably of use here)
The invention/discovery of the wheel?
The discovery/creation of Bronze?
The discovery/invention of vulcanised rubber?

It is the imagination of man which drives science forward not maths, maths is a useful tool.

You said:
"Feynman is stating here that once you come up with a mathematical relationship, you test it against reality"

Feynman does not mention mathematical relationships; he talks about
"guessing a new law" only then does he talk about "then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right".
Even that description does not cover my comments above about noticing an apple fall from a tree, that was the key moment and only later did maths get involved.

This is anecdotal evidence from a man who knew Newton:

"After dinner, the weather being warm, we went into the garden & drank thea under the shade of some apple tree; only he & myself," Stukeley wrote in the meticulously handwritten manuscript released by the Royal Society.

"Amid other discourse, he told me, he was just in the same situation, as when formerly the notion of gravitation came into his mind. Why sh[oul]d that apple always descend perpendicularly to the ground, thought he to himself; occasion'd by the fall of an apple, as he sat in contemplative mood.

"Why sh[oul]d it not go sideways, or upwards? But constantly to the Earth's centre? Assuredly the reason is, that the Earth draws it. There must be a drawing power in matter. And the sum of the drawing power in the matter of the Earth must be in the Earth's centre, not in any side of the Earth.

"Therefore does this apple fall perpendicularly or towards the centre? If matter thus draws matter; it must be proportion of its quantity. Therefore the apple draws the Earth, as well as the Earth draws the apple."

This is the most detailed account of the apple anecdote. It shows the working of Newton's mind and is the key point, not the maths he used to finally come up with hius equations :)

Feb 17, 2015 at 12:17 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung,

Observing an apple fall from a tree?

Millions of people had observed apples falling from trees before Newton, and none of them did science by doing so. Science is not only observation, as your previous Feynman quotations show. What Newton did which was scientific was he took his observation and applied algebra to it, and formulated a theory of gravitation. What the millions of other people who saw an apple fall before that was - nothing.

Noticing that sunspot numbers seemed to coincide with temperature changes? (I accept that the difficult concept of addition was probably of use here)

Correlation is one of the most powerful MATHEMATICAL tools we have. Basically "noticing that numbers seemed to coincide" is Maths. You shot yourself in the foot with this one.


The invention/discovery of the wheel?
The discovery/creation of Bronze?
The discovery/invention of vulcanised rubber?

These are all technological breakthroughs, not scientific discoveries. The people who invented the wheel did so heuristically, they did not understand or try to understand the physics of why a wheel worked better than another shape. They just tried things until one worked better than another. Likewise, bronze age man did not know what bronze was or what the temperature was required to make it, or why this is so. They did so by trial and error. Same with vulcanised rubber. None of these people were explaining why these things work, and so were not doing science. They were doing technology trial-and-error, not trying to describe the physical relationships of the parts, which is what science is.

The problem here Dung is that you wish to demote mathematics, because you are uncomfortable with it, not because of its efficacy. The true legacy of establishment science throwing away trust is that people are going to believe that scientific truth is just like political truth - something which is merely a matter of opinion. When we throw away the exactness of science and replace it with some sort of argument from experience, we are descending into a terrible dark ages that I for one am very scared of.

The irony is that you are arguing for a position (science as an opinion of someone) that is exactly what popular climate alarmists argue for. Well done.

Feb 17, 2015 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames