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Discussion > Does Climate Science Exist?

On an occasional Summer, sunny, Sunday afternoon, skeptics on Bishop Hill have have agreed with each other that the sum total of human knowledge about how and why our climate changes; is effectively not much above ZERO.
Yes new hypotheses flow thick and fast into the discussions that rage around the subject, however empirical evidence supporting any of those hypotheses is as rare as rocking horse shit.
The great crime and the real tragedy is that a certain section of humanity claims to KNOW enough about our climate influences and processes to predict with great certainty how our climate will behave in the future.
Just consider the arrogance of this attitude:

They believe that no scientist in the future will ever disprove their claims however much humanity learns or discovers.
They believe that other equally intelligent and equally well qualified scientists who disagree with them should be treated as a lower cast just because they have a different viewpoint.
They believe that their theories should be accepted even though a massive amount of empirical evidence proves them wrong.

It seems to me that no amount of reasoning, logic or evidence is going to have any effect on these people.

The best defence/attack is to show that humans do not know enough to have an opinion.

Jun 27, 2015 at 10:13 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Jun 27, 2015 at 4:58 PM | Big Oil

Don't exaggerate what the average academic earns. They obviously earn more than your average private sector job but not a fortune. It is a very cushy job where you don't have to produce any results whatsoever.

What is quite infuriating is that minimum wage workers have to pay tax to fund the cushy lifestyle

Jun 28, 2015 at 1:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

" It seems to me that no amount of reasoning, logic or evidence is going to
have any effect on these people."

As you are fully aware Dung it is called religion... or in this case people defending their well payed easy jobs.... Also there is no competition in academia as they only recruit people that will fit in. In the private sector there is generally an impetus to recruit people that will help the company survive, as profit is critical.

Jun 28, 2015 at 1:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

Don't exaggerate what the average academic earns.
Jun 28, 2015 at 1:09 AM Rob Burton

Please.


UK: "The average salary for full-time professors rose by 0.55 per cent to £76,214 in 2011-12 "

https://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/professorial-pay-rises-twice-as-fast-as-rest/2002818.article


USA
College Full professors Associate professors Assistant professors Student-fac. ratio
Pennsylvania State University (Master's level campuses) $113,400 $89,700 $75,200

http://chronicle.com/article/faculty-salaries-table-2012/131433

Jun 28, 2015 at 8:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterBig Oil

Hello Rob :)

I would use the word ideology rather than religion but I am splitting hairs. You are right but that was not the point I was trying to make ^.^
In the abstract I do not really care what various scientists think about climate change or even how much they know about climate related issues. In reality they are providing very powerful support for some dangerous ideologies being foisted on the world's politicians. One way or another we should be making sure that these ideologies are defeated and the $Trillions currently flushed down the climate change sewer need redirecting to serve humanity in better ways.

The arguments have changed a lot since climate change became an issue; in the early days empirical evidence was held in great respect as supported by Feynman. In those early days we had the story of the email stressing the desperate need to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period, that was because it was empirical evidence which contradicted the CAGW meme.
Mann managed to get rid of the Medieval period in his hockey stick papers despite flawed tree ring evidence and flawed statistics. Huge changes followed the hockey stick papers; the Kyoto Treaty was ratified by many countries and somehow empirical evidence got lost in the noise of scientific paper after scientific paper supporting CAGW.
For many years now the discussions have focused on the latest scientific papers and theories, all of the empirical evidence which proves CAGW is impossible is still in place but somehow nobody wants to talk about it.

The warmists have moved the discussion on to their preferred ground and we need to move it back to a place where all their arguments fall down. Discussing every new paper that comes out is interesting, intellectually stimulating and is good exercise for some of our aging brains but it is totally pointless in terms of rescuing us from the doom mongers.
New scientific papers about our climate will continue to be published for hundreds and thousands of years before we finally and fully understand how our climate works. Continuing to believe that just around the corner there will be a discovery that settles the arguments is frankly infantile and in any case is not required.
There is NO point endlessly discussing new science other than for entertainment.

The empirical evidence is rock solid and we need to say so as loudly as possible.

Sorry to all luke warmers but CO2 has no warming effect after about 220 ppm (Ice core records/AR reports)
In 750,000 years of ice core records warming never once followed a rise in CO2 levels.
In 4 billion years of geological records the planet never became dangerously warm despite experiencing massively high levels of atmospheric CO2.

Jun 28, 2015 at 1:13 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Martin A

Sorry. My wife is in hospital. Life is either frantically busy or horribly quiet .

"IR in the atmosphere starts as radiation from the surface."
Or can it also start as radiation from water vapour (or other greenouse gas) that has been warmed by non-radiation transport of heat? (Latent heat of condensation of water vapour lifted by convection, convection of warm air,...?)"

All of the above take place. However most of the energy coming in is in the visible spectrum and absorbed by sea or land surfaces. The energy leaves the surface by convection or IR radiation. Convection tends to be upwards. Some of the IR comes back down. If you look at the downwelling radiation spectrum it shows a low intensity smear due to water vapour and peaks at the emission wavelengths of the other greenhouse gases.

"To you (as I understand) "radiative forcing" = "downwelling IR absorbed at the surface". Have I understood right?"

It is a practical definition of the reduction in cooling that results. A physicist would probably winnce at its naivity.

"Given that there are other energy/heat transport mechanisms involved, is there any reason to think
"50% of the surface radiation becomes OLR and the other 50% becomes radiative forcing."
other than in an idealised model that neglects non radiative heat transfer? (Such as the simple model used to calculate a crude estimate of what the temperature of the Earth would be without the greenhouse effect, for example.)"

When you look at the OLR spectrum the absorption by greenhouse gases shows where the actual spectrum drops below the TOA black body spectrum. The area between the curves is an indication of the amount of energy retained by greenhouse gases at each wavelength. The spectrum of the downwelling radiation has the same energy distribution. This makes me think that other heat transfer processes do not significantly affect it.

" Does the paper's use of only clear sky measurements ensure the 50%, 50%? (Not so far as I can see - even with clear sky (which would mostly rule out heat transfer by evaporation/condensation of H2O) there will still be non-radiative heat transfer going on.)"

The big exception to my comment above is cloud. Cloud is relatively opaque to IR and reflects downward a lot more IR than greenhouse gas forcing. It also reflects any downwelling radiation generated above the cloud back upwards. Because of this, radiative forcing from greenhouse gases is impossible to measure under cloudy skies, being swamped by the reflected black body radiation.

"The only purely radiative transfer that is certain is the final radiation to space"

It is certainly easier to measure. ☺

You really need to discuss this with a physicist. The best discussion of this I ever saw was, ironically, a 3-part description at WUWT.

A thought experiment helped me when I started out.
I mentioned the USAF experiments.

Imagine a long tube with an IR transparent window at each end. The lining reflects IR.
Put a source of 15 micrometre at one end and detectors at both ends.

Start with a vacuum. All the radiation entering the tube is transmitted out the other end.

Add one CO2 molecule.When. it absorbs a photon it promptly reemits it in a random direction. There is a 50% chance that it will emerge from the far end, and a 50% chance that it will return whence it came.

Photons coming out the far end will be indistinguishable from the transmitted radiation. The photons returning to the start will be detected.

Add a second CO2 molecule. You will detect twice as many returning photons.

Add more.O2 molecules and there will be enough returning photons to produce a matched detectable decrease in the transmitted radiation at the far end. Most photons will still be transmitted unabsorbed.

Add enough CO2 molecules and every photon entering the tube will be absorbed and reemitted. At this point half the photons emerge from the far end and half come back out of the start window. This is saturation

Imagine this tube held vertically with the start at ground level and the far end at the top of the atmosphere. It behaves as Earth's atmosphere behaves, at an unsaturated CO2 concentration.

Jun 28, 2015 at 11:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Hunter, big oil

I thought that the climate conspiracy was your straw man, not mine.

Are you complaining about my comment because there is no conspiracy, or because it is smaller than I described?

Jun 28, 2015 at 11:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM --
Sorry to hear that. Best wishes to you and your wife, hope all turns out well.

Jun 29, 2015 at 3:25 AM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

EM,
I am not complaining about anything. I am pointing out that climate wack jobs like you depend on conspiracies that exist only in your minds, sort of like the climate crisis itself. The "A" in AGW stands for "Anthropomorphic".
You true believers must have devils.
Best wishes to your wife for a rapid and full recovery.

Jun 29, 2015 at 4:12 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Thank you, entlemen. They are diagnosing as we write and early signs look good. My apologies for during my problems on you, but I may become an irregular attender for a while.

Jun 29, 2015 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man


(...)Tens of thousands of conspirators get a cut of trillions of dollars. The millions of dollars each receives is salted away, while THEY live modest suburban lifestyles. (...)
Jun 27, 2015 at 11:02 AM Entropic man


Hunter, big oil
I thought that the climate conspiracy was your straw man, not mine.
Are you complaining about my comment because there is no conspiracy, or because it is smaller than I described?
Jun 28, 2015 at 11:08 PM Entropic man

EM -

"Are you complaining about my comment because there is no conspiracy, or because it is smaller than I described?" Loaded question. Such questions indicate that the questioner does not want the truth to be revealed.

In any case EM, you were the one who used the words "conspirators/conspiracy" in this thread. So it is not my "straw man".

The link was to Pointman mentioning criminal activity (identity theft, forgery, intimidation) associated with alarmist climate science. If you think he has got it wrong, or that it simply does not matter, you could have explained how he got it wrong or why it does not matter. We might be convinced, if you had a convincing argument.

But ridiculing it makes us think that you have no answer to the observation that there is a criminal side to alarmist climate science.

I was doing nothing more than pointing out that your attempt at ridicule "The millions of dollars each receives is salted away, while THEY live modest suburban lifestyles" was itself ridiculous.

"The millions of dollars each receives" was something you obviously made up so another of your "straw men"..

Professors of climate science are probably very significantly better off financially than they would have been had the CAGW panic never existed and had they had to make a living in other fields. The "suburban lifestyles" of professors on a £75k (+ consultancy earnings, external lecture fees, external examiner fees, BBC interview fees, etc) may be modest from some viewpoints, including yours for all I know, but not as viewed by the occupants of terraced houses and council flats part of whose taxes go to fund their pleasant existence.

Jun 29, 2015 at 10:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterBig Oil

It does not surprise me that EM does not comment on my last post because therein lies his demise ^.^
Good luck Mrs Entropic woman!

Jun 29, 2015 at 12:05 PM | Registered CommenterDung

EM Jun 28, 2015 at 11:00 PM

Thanks for that. I'll study it later. Don't feel an obligation to respond to our nonsense if you have better things to do, even if it's simply sitting in a deckchair waiting for news.

EM/Big Oil: "The millions of dollars each receives is salted away". There is actually some truth in that if you look at the retirement investments an American who has been on a salary of $100,000+ will have made if they have any sense.

Jun 29, 2015 at 1:25 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Dung

" CO2 has no warming effect after about 220 ppm (Ice core records/AR reports)"

You may be mistaken that warming due to CO2 plateaued at 220 ppm.

There is empirical evidence that CO2 induced warming continues.

1) If CO2 had completely saturated the OLR spectrum would be 50% of the black body radiation throughout the band between 13 micrometres and 17 micrometres. Instead it has only saturated at the 15 micrometre spot frequency.

2) Remember the paper I linked last week. It showed an increase of 0.2W/m2 over the 2000-2010 period in the CO2 band of the downwelling radiation. If CO2 forcing had stopped at 220ppm that would have stayed constant.

"In 750,000 years of ice core records warming never once followed a rise in CO2 levels."

That may not be the case. Most of the time you are correct. The main forcings are changes in insolation. The main modifier of its effect is the geography of the poles, sometimes allowing glacial periods. IfCO2 acts as a feedback, amplifying the temperature forcing.

"Never"is too strong. There have been occasions when change in CO2, usually volcanic, have driven temperature..

Offhand, weathering pulling CO2 way down triggered snowball earth conditions and accumulating volcanic CO2 forced their subsequent thawing. Shield volcanoes released aerosols and lots of CO2. They produced short term cooling due to the aerosols. When the aerosols settle you got long term warming from the CO2. The Permian and Cretaceous extinctions come to mind, along with the PETM.

Finally we have the last 100 years. At a time when we should be drifting cooler, our civilisation has increased CO2 concentration out of the normal ice age range and temperatures are ~1C warmer than expected. CO2 is doing the forcing and temperature is following CO2.

Jun 30, 2015 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM

I am not interested in scientific theories, only facts.
Reference for me the Ice core records from the AR graphs that indicate CO2 rising before temperature rises?
At the start of the Holocene temp plateau CO2 levels are still rising (but still below below the 220 ppm that I mentioned.)

Jun 30, 2015 at 12:31 PM | Registered CommenterDung

The discussion about the last 100 years is ridiculous; it is not climate changing it is just noise.
The rise from ice age to temporary warm inter glacial is climate changing. The ups and downs during to inter glacial plateau are just noise and they signify nothing.

Jun 30, 2015 at 12:41 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung

During the warming period of the Holocene you would expect CO2 to lag temperature. At that time solar insolation is the forcing and CO2 is a feedback. Now human produced CO2 concentration is being forced and temperature is the feedback.

Giving you further references might be unwise. After the last reference you threatened to have me banned. I would prefer not to risk that.

Jun 30, 2015 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

I have no problem with you EM if/when you are genuinely involved in a discussion instead of spoiling the discussion.

You are not listening to me and not talking about facts. The geological records are unbiased facts and I am telling you that those facts show that CAGW is impossible, you continue to throw opinion and theory at me?

Jun 30, 2015 at 3:04 PM | Registered CommenterDung

The problem with EM's talk about CO2 today is that there is nothing in the record showing that CO2 has ever led temperature. Nor has increased CO2 led to anything like a so-called strong positive feedback. In other words, in the past when CO2 did go up after warming increased, temperatures did not curve up after the CO2 increase. Nor is there any evidence that increased CO2 in the past was associated with negative climate outcomes.

Jun 30, 2015 at 3:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Dung

I am trying to remain polite, but it is becoming difficult. You describe a past which is different from that accepted by most geologists and paeontologists. You demand facts, but reject scientific papers.

We have been around this tree before. I put up scientific evidence and you reject it. You put up "facts" which nobody outside the sceptic community accepts and which neither of us can verify. You also resort regularly to abuse, and even threats.

You are right. As a debate, this sucks.

Jun 30, 2015 at 9:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

" You are not listening to me and not talking about facts. The geological
records are unbiased facts and I am telling you that those facts show that
CAGW is impossible, "

As you say Dung the geology gives very unambiguous facts that go back 'billions' of years. Facts written in stone in fact...... fascinating science in all the data held in the rocks ready to be interpreted.

On the flip side you can make up any old nonsense theory about some old rocks and it is hard to prove it wrong. On a field trip to Lulworth Cove the lecturer stated you could tell the fault slip direction in some jurassic rocks ( I think) by them being smoother in the slip direction. I don't believe that though it might be true. It didn't help that he had just pointed out some graptolites that someone had just drawn on in pencil ;-)

Jul 1, 2015 at 2:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

EM
Hard to say whether the "Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010" paper makes sense or not from the abstract. I have requested a copy but I'm not optimistic of receiving one. (Another unique feature of climate science is that authors seem never to respond to requests for reprints in hard copy or electronic form, in contrast to other fields.)

On the face of it, it's hard to understand how downwelling IR measurements at ground level can provide a measure of the IR leaving for outer space, unless you make some very dubious assumptions.

I think there are several reasons why your interpretations of 'radiative forcing' don't make sense - or at least disagree with how IPCC define it. I may not have the chance to post this until next week but I will do so eventually.

Jul 1, 2015 at 7:31 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

EM

I am no way a fan of IPCC ARs and neither am I a fan of the idea that all scientific papers constitute evidence.I am trying to bring a little sense to the debate whereby long standing evidence that can not (yet) be disproved carry more weight than this week's special\offer paper. Mann and Schmidt tried to disprove the Warming before rising CO2 results and failed miserably.

Jul 1, 2015 at 4:10 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung

" Warming before rising CO2 results "

Show me.

Jul 1, 2015 at 6:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Martin A

The paper does not predict the shape of the OLR spectrum. Theory would suggest that the area within the curve of the CO2 absorption spike would increase fractionally.

By analogy, think of the way in which a thyristor harvests power from part of the waveform and the power is proportional to the area within the curve.of the waveform.

To compare the surface data with the OLR you would need satellite data.

Jul 1, 2015 at 10:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man