Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Examining John Nielsen-Gammon's Trap

When I first came across the Climate Change National Forum I didn't get further than reading John Nielsen-Gammon articles.  First there was the dog-chasing-tail review of a study by John Cook et al. that concluded "97% of (active) climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming."  The absurdity of the echo-chamber's hair splitting over that study astounds me and having JNG take us on a tour of that denialist's hall of mirrors was a disappointment.

Then I read "The Basics of Extreme Weather and Global Warming."   It was another disappointment, having nothing to do with the title's promise.  Instead it was a rhetorical musing about all the ways we can't absolutely positively without fail know when, where, and exactly how much climate change is making weather crazier.  As if that meant we could put the issue on a back burner for another couple decades until we could be absolutely positively certain of every detail.

Incidentally,  for an  example of a serious on-topic attempt to explain the basics of the "global warming" "extreme weather" connection go visit: 

Then after reading "The Weather Trap," which was another rhetorical exercise rather than any serious effort to explain our contemporary situation, I promised myself to do a detailed review of the last two essays (the first one is here) since they serve as such good vehicles to demonstrate examples of  'the anatomy of misdirection'.  

I'm no scholar and there's a bit of repetition, but than JNG was rather repetitive himself, still I have some observations I'd like to share, hoping someone better equipped might find something useful in here.  JNG's words are complete and unaltered except for a few highlights and appear in Courier font.

I've written it as an open review directed at Professor Nielsen-Gammon personally, and included many links to help support my claims.  I look forward to his response

The Weather Trap 
by John Nielsen-Gammon  |  January 12, 2014 

Monday, February 24, 2014

A look at the world of climate change denial

I came across an article at The Conversation that fits right into my little virtual dialogue.  It gives a good overview of the cord of disingenuous manipulation that runs through the economic/politically motivated attacks on climate science.  

Since, the following essay doesn't attempt to look at the root causes for the crazy-making they describe, I'll venture some thoughts.

The underhanded attacks on climate science's credibility started within the Reaganomics machine/mindset.  The people that inhabit that machine were/are addicted to a notion that too much is never enough (for example).  It embraces a notion of maximizing profits, minimizing liabilities.  It openly rejects responsibility for environmental stewardship,  abhors the notion of limits or regulation, and behaves as if resources are endless and tomorrow doesn't matter.  

Worse they possess outright contempt for the "environment" and can't seem to fathom the difference between the 60s planet of three billion people and today's world of over seven billion hungry souls and a warming global climate system.

Their disregard for the lessons of history and seeming contempt for the future can be seen in everything from their rejection of responsibility for externalities such as clean (read healthy) soil, water and air, to the way our nation's proudly built infrastructure has been allowed to degenerate.

It's like a nation invited a charismatic Hollywood pretty boy into the halls of power and the halls of power started to believe their own Hollywood fairytale of endless milk and honey and no responsibility (read taxes) maintaining infrastructure nor preparing for our children's future.

Yes, these are generalities - perhaps a starting point for further discussion.

With thanks to The Conversation and their generous sharing policy here is their full article - I have highlighted some paragraphs.


A journey into the weird and wacky world of climate change denial

By Stephan Lewandowsky, University of Bristol and Michael Ashley

Sunday, February 23, 2014

John O'Sullivan says! So what...

I was roaming the internet and some of the "skeptical" comments regarding this motion filed by Steyn's lawyer's got under my skin, but there are too many more important things to do than waste more time engaging in yet another internet alley fight.  That's why I decided to simply Repost this interesting little story looking into the background of one of the main characters in this charade, Big John O'.  

With thanks to Brendan DeMelle and Richard Littlemore and DeSmogBlog here is another puzzle-piece to the rest of this story:

Affidavits in Michael Mann Libel Suit Reveal Astonishing Facts About Tim Ball Associate John O'Sullivan (via Desmogblog)
Affidavits filed in the British Columbia Supreme Court libel litigation brought by climate scientist Michael Mann against climate science denier Timothy Ball reveal that Ball's collaborator and self-styled "legal advisor" has misrepresented his credentials…

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Can You Help The Climate Science Defense Fund ?

This latest round in the Dr. Mann case vs. CEI, Steyn, etc. reveals that the opposition to a rational review of the scientific evidence for manmade global warming remains as ruthless and disconnected from Earth's realities as ever.  Instead of learning they want to stifle and silence.  

the war chest that these corporate interests have amassed to further their campaign of dirty tricks and that awful repetition of slander and out'n out lies they depend on - scientists need lawyers on their side.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Response to Prof John Nielsen-Gammon - 2/17/2014

Professor John Nielsen-Gammon left a comment at my post titled "Dear Dr. Nielsen-Gammon, re. statistical certainty vs geophysical realities" he sent it before I finished my review of his "Extreme Weather" article and I didn't see it until after I posted it.

His note provides me with an excellent vehicle to define my issues with JNG's, and many others, approach.  It gives me a chance to point out some glaring omissions and to ask a couple questions.  I have not changed or deleted any of Professor Nielsen-Gammon's words, I have underlined key ideas.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

John N-G (February 16, 2014 at 12:30 PMsaid...
Cross-posted in comments at ClimateChangeNationalForum: 
JNG:  "It’s as though I’ve carried on quite a conversation with you without actually participating in it! 
I want you to realize the trap you are setting for yourself.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

J.Nielsen-Gammon's CCNF "Extreme Weather" essay examined

Recently I became familiar with a website and project called "Climate Change National Forum" which is intended to be a platform "by leading climate climate scientists to educate the American public about climate change."  

In phase one their intention is to "... serve as an objective source for journalists, policy experts, scientists, and interested citizens. The site will first be used by scientists to discuss the latest research on climate change and share and debate ideas on aspects of climate change relevant to policy making. These scientists will also fact check a continuous stream of outside articles and news clips ..."

I'll admit I haven't made it past a few essays written by John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas State Climatologists and Regents Professor.  On the one hand he is certainly no denialist regarding Manmade Global Warming, but on the other, if this essay is intended to help a lay-audience learn about the issue, then it's a perfect example of how to confuse rather than clarify.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Australia's Greg Hunt's War on Science

{edited 2/14/2014 evening}

The right-wing tactic of silencing all who disagree with their economic schemes and of willfully ignoring valid scientific information reaches new heights of contempt for society's welfare.  In Canada we have a government destroying important scientific data and research stations (see here and here).  

Now in Australia they want to legislate immunity from environmental protection laws.  They are demanding the right to completely disregard environmental concerns and laws.

It's like they still haven't figured out we are talking about our life-support system !  

Michael Safi has written an article reporting on the details of this latest insult to humanity.  Here are some key quotes, but I encourage you to visit The Guardian for the full story.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Dear Dr. Nielsen-Gammon, re. statistical certainty vs geophysical realities

Dr. Nielsen-Gammon,

I want to start by apologizing, I got carried away and didn't mean to imply that you are part of the climate science denial community - I know that you are not and that I was sloppy, it was an unfair untrue grouping.  However, I also want you to understand the issue I'm trying to define.  

The feeling I get is that your, and the scientific community in general, approach is that it's a dialogue with no sense of urgency, no interest in reaching resolution, the joy of the discovery and all that.  

Instead of gathering information in order to act, it seems like gathering information for the sake of gathering yet more information. 

Seems to me, one of the two strangest parts of our society's entire AGW public dialogue is how it has gotten mutated into this demand for ever greater levels of details - while ignoring the monster in the room we all know about.

What has changed about our basic understanding of Anthropogenic Global Warming over the past two decades?  

Has there been anything of significance - besides ever greater coverage and higher resolution and increasing certainty that we are taking our planet out of the bounds its experienced for millions of years?

To me it seems all you're doing is hand wringing: "man oh man, we gotta get the DPI cranked up another few hundred PDI before the picture comes in HD sharp."

Works great for Evolution - but this "subject" is the health of the biosphere and weather system that we depend on.  It's not just another interesting problem, it's a real future filled with hard consequences.

We are destroying the planet as we knew it not too long ago - you know, the biosphere that we depend on for everything.  What good is spending all our time and energy defining the crisis to exquisite certainty and forgetting to act to avert the crisis?

Sincerely, CC

I am including an article I wrote last autumn, it's another attempt to define this issue.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Colorado Floods - statistical certainty vs geophysical realities

Colorado experienced its most extreme weather event in memory between September 9th to the 15th. Golden, Boulder and Larimer counties received the worst of it with rain accumulations of sixteen/seventeen inches and more, some areas receiving nine inches on Thursday alone, resulting in massive flooding compounded by destructive run-off from mountainsides of burned-out forests that could no longer hold water.

Predictably folks are asking: Is this related to manmade Global Warming? It's an easy and tough question to answer.

Consider please, our climate system is a global heat distribution engine and our land, atmosphere, and the oceans have indisputably warmed, not only that, our atmosphere's moisture content has been measurably increasing. Given such geophysical realities, it is self-evident that all extreme weather events contain elements of this newly energized climate system.  And that much more of the same must be expected.

On the other hand,

Collin Maessen: The Genuine Sceptic View

I don't have anything left to say on the ScottishSkeptic Affair of last week - but I did read this article by Collin Maessen at RealSceptic.com where he has taken the time to do his own evaluation of the ScottishSkeptic's scientific claims.  I thought it was fascinating and contacted Collin asking him for permission to repost his article in full.  That was a couple days ago and it's about time I get it up here.  With thanks to Collin Maessen for his permission to REPOST his article:  

The Genuine Sceptic View

9th February 2014

I get the occasional email asking me to help out with something. This time it was an email from Mike Haseler who is the chairman of the Scottish Climate and Energy Forum.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Open letter to Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon

The last couple days I've been catching up on some of Dr. Nielsen-Gammon's articles and comments over at the Climate Change National Forum (more on them later) and I find myself struggling with the way he manages to frame all of his evidence and arguments.  And although it's pretty much the same spiel I've listen to and struggled with understanding for the past couple decades, this time I think I've finally stumbled onto something important. 
[I should be clear Nielsen-Gammon is not a denialist, he is a respected scientist familiar with climatology - but what grabbed my attention was how his arguments were framed and that led to this] 

Here's my open letter to John Nielsen-Gammon, 

Dear JNG,

Roy Spencer's argument depends on the lie

The following has been lifted from Sou's HotWhopper.com website.  She continues doing a great job of exposing Anthony and pals' many scientific shenanigans.  

She calls it "fudging" I call it yet another example of the acceptance, and rampant use, of the "strategic LIE" to win political battles.

Spencer's contribution has absolutely nothing to do with helping people learn about what we are doing to our climate system, instead he seems content with spreading deception and confusion.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Roy Spencer's latest deceit and deception


Sheesh! How's this for unadulterated chart fudging. Roy Spencer has put up a chart and proclaimed (archived here):
...the climate models that governments base policy decisions on have failed miserably.
I’ve updated our comparison of 90 climate models versus observations for global average surface temperatures through 2013, and we still see that >95% of the models have over-forecast the warming trend since 1979, whether we use their own surface temperature dataset (HadCRUT4), or our satellite dataset of lower tropospheric temperatures (UAH):

Let's look at how he's conned his denier fans.  Below I've plotted the CMIP5 composite mean against UAH and GISTemp using a 1981-2010 baseline, which is what UAH normally uses, and then I'll discuss what Roy Spencer has effectively done:

Data Sources: NASAUAH and KNMI Climate Explorer

What he's effectively done is shifted the CMIP5 charts up by around 0.3 degrees.  In case you find it hard to credit that even a contrarian scientist would stoop so low, here is Roy Spencer's chart, with my annotations:

Adapted from Source: Roy Spencer
Not only did Roy effectively shift up the CMIP5 data, Roy Spencer effectively shifted down the UAH data in comparison with HadCRUT4.  This is the chart of UAH and HadCRUT4 using the 1981-2010 30 year baseline - compare that to Roy Spencer's deceptive fudge:

Data sources: UAH and Met Office Hadley Centre

How did he fudge?  What Roy Spencer has done is he's used a five year average - 1979-1983 to plot his data instead of the normal 30 year baseline.  Why did he pick 1979 to 1983 as the baseline?  The answer can only be that he wanted to deceive his readers.  Here is a comparison of UAH and HadCRUT4 using his shonky five year baseline compared to his normal 30-year 1981-2010 baseline.

That's not all that he's done.  If you compare the five year baseline chart I plotted with Roy's chart - his chart shows UAH lower than HadCRUT4 in every year.  That's not what my chart above shows, even using his shonky 5-year baseline.  Roy said he's using "running five year means" - which only shows the elaborate lengths he felt he had to go to in order to deceive people.

Anyway, to further illustrate Roy's shonkiness, here is the longer term CMIP5 and CMIP3 means vs GISTemp using the normal 30 year baseline:

Data Sources: NASA and KNMI Climate Explorer

The divergence only becomes apparent from around 2005.  Going by Roy's past behaviour, I shouldn't be surprised at him fudging the data to this extent, but I am. …

For the entire article visit HotWhopper.com

Monday, February 10, 2014

Climate Change National Forum… case in point

I stumbled on this website slash project this morning.  

Climate Change National Forum (CCNF) is a national platform, founded and led by scientists, to educate the American public on the science of climate change and its policy implications.  

I want to share the comment I posted over there.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
John Nielsen-Gammon  writes:  "Here’s the question you asked: “How many climate experts agree that the global warming we are witnessing is a direct consequence of the burning of fossil fuels by humans?”“Direct consequence” is very strong phrasing. To me, it means that the global warming has to be entirely caused by the burning of fossil fuels by humans. The IPCC doesn’t even believe that! Their best guess for the anthropogenic contribution is 100% plus or minus about 40%."

When I think about the implication of what John Nielsen-Gammon has written, it seems to imply that we can use weaknesses in measuring capability to imagine it might not be happening, or that perhaps society produced greenhouse gases don't behave like "naturally" produced greenhouse gases.   Further implying perhaps even the radiative physics of greenhouse gases is up for debate. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

science "skeptics" #1 examining dishonesty

{edited 2/10/2014 mornging}
I'm constantly reminded that science sceptics say the darndest things.  But there's so much of it.  There's no keeping up.  However some remarks do deserve a closer look.  For instance...
G says:  Oh please do discuss the differences between the so-called “earth sciences” and the hard sciences. I’d love to know why you feel that the earth sciences should be held to a much lower standard in their data handling. Especially since you stated that expecting honesty, accuracy and transparency in the handling of data is somehow “dishonest”.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
To begin with, in a constructive dialogue, it's important to understand what each person is saying.  If one misunderstands the other, we should try clarifying what we mean and the other should try to listen to that clarification. 
For instance, G claims:  "since you stated that expecting honesty, accuracy and transparency in the handling of data is somehow “dishonest”."
Oh no!  I never said there was anything wrong with expecting "honesty, accuracy and transparency."  
It's the scientist's creed.
The thing you miss Mr G is that I believe ALL sides should respect that a creed.  
In this dialogue you folks have shown zero interest in those standards of behaving "honest, accurate or transparent" regarding the articles and tactics youz guyz use to mislead and suppress discussing the real issues.  Check out my recent "dialogue" with ScottishSceptic for an example of what I'm writing about.

As for "dishonest" you joker...
... it is dishonest to misrepresent what scientists have said or written - 
... it is dishonest to attack the individual conveyers of information in order to ignore the valid information and messages they are trying to convey.
... it is dishonest to ignore the fine print on scientific graphs/studies, because that's where the accuracy of said study is discussed in detail.  
... It is dishonest to expect perfect accuracy - particularly when said studies/papers already explained the reasons for achieving whatever accuracy level it achieved... 
... It is dishonest to ignore the fact that scientists include suggestions for refining future observations because they are dedicated to achieving the highest attainable accuracies.  {It's the human process of discovery, learning and mastery.  Nothing about it is perfect - so pretending it's supposed to be - is a supreme and most contemptible dishonesty.}
... It is dishonest to imply that Climatologists need to explain every little "natural variation" before we can trust them to understand the important situation.
... It is dishonest to claim that "natural variation" somehow nullifies humanity's injects of gigatons of CO2 into our thin atmosphere every month.
... It is dishonest to ignore that by increasing our planet's greenhouse gas insulation medium we will energize natural variability to levels never experienced by humanity.
... It is dishonest to be smug and unconcerned about situations such as the California drought, or the recent UK west coast catastrophe {or the many others these past few years} because somewhere in dim time, there were also extreme weather events.  
... It is dishonest not to learn the lessons from past climate fluctuations and the lesson that we have a global heat distribution engine that needs to be handled with care.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
G asks: "I’d love to know why you feel that the earth sciences should be held to a much lower standard in their data handling."
Think about this rhetorical sleight of hand.  

It's like this fella never worked in the real outside world.  It's one thing to do a lab experiment where everything can be controlled.  Or to build a bridge/building where all components are finite and well understood.  But when dealing with the actual geophysical planet out there, come on, give us a break.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fruits of ScottishSceptic's Threats

The ScottishSceptic felt so molested by me building a critique around his "Sceptic View (Rev. 0.5)" that he threatened me with legal action if I didn't take it down.  When that didn't work, he invoked an impartial arbiter.  

Well the arbiter has spoken and I'd like to share portions of what he had to say.  

Bloggers behaving badly 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Lord Christopher Monckton 2013 - The Republican poster boy

Lord Christopher Monckton is one of the proofs that the climate science "skeptical" community is dependent on a repetition of artfully crafted misrepresentations, misdirection and an acceptance of blatant lying.  

The infamous threatener of lawsuits, Lord Monckton's popularity continues despite the fact that he's been proven a liar on dozens of counts a hundred times over.  {There are three in particular that stand above the rest - John Abraham, Barry Bickmore and Collin Maessen.} 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

ScottishSceptic allow me to tell you about the tragedy of our time.

I received another email from the ScottishSceptic and since he's changed tact I'll use the opportunity to write a few words about the difference between the "skeptical of science" community's war-footing and the world of scientists with their commitment to constructive learning.

But first Scotty's email:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dear ScottishSceptic, why do you keep threatening me?

Dear ScottishSceptic,

I have decided to dedicate this post to focusing on and tracking your curious reaction to my critique of your summation of the "climate science skeptics" community.  

I thought you were professing to appreciate the scientific process?

Isn't part of the scientific process critiquing each others suppositions and claims with the hope of distilling useful information from the chaos of competing opinions?

This discussion doesn't require us to like each other, all we need to do is be civil and rational.  I have done an above-board examination of what you claim is a representative list of the greater "science skeptical" beliefs.  You have no complaint !

The Sceptic View (Rev. 0.5) by ScottishSceptic - examined by CC

{edited for grammatical errors and to add a couple more links.  Thursday am}

This post will be reviewing 
"The Sceptic View (Rev. 0.5)"

Which is a statement prepared by Mike Haseler with the help of {update - ScottishSceptic tells me that Anthony Watts and Bishop Hill were not directly involved in producing his list.  As for Morano, that was just a wild suspicion (can we examine SS's emails to be sure?).  In any event, I stand corrected at least til superseding information becomes available.  Sort of like how science works ;-) }.  

They say it "represents the most authoritative statement of the views of Climate "Sceptics"/"Skeptics" as of May 2012."

{update - It appears Mr. ScottishSceptic has taken umbrage at this review of his "copyrighted" list - he thinks it's sacred and shouldn't be questioned or exposed for the fraud that it is.
As Steven told Yoko, Sosumi ;- }

As such it should make an informative read.  But before ScottishSceptic gets to the list itself he does something strange.  Not sure if it's intended to prime his uncritical audience or be a red flag for rational skeptics.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

"Sceptics vs Academics" Repost - the ScottishSceptic

During my recent discussions in the blogosphere I became acquainted with one Mike Haseler who's created his own blog called the ScottishSceptic.  The man has made a respectable effort at trying to refine the "climate science skeptics" arguments into a few clear talking points.  

I appreciate what the ScottishSkeptic has done, because the beginning of any constructive dialogue is to clarify what each party understands/believes.  

Unfortunately, one of the hallmarks of the climate change debate {besides insisting on misrepresenting what climate scientists are actually reporting}.  Is to sock-puppet their arguments, so the target keeps moving and morphing, as though imagined doubt is enough to stop learning.

Thus I'm grateful that ScottishSceptic offers a handle to continue pressing my point that much of "skeptics" talking points have been resolved long ago and trying to keep them alive is nothing but cynical politically motivated dirty tricks.

In doing research on his "The Sceptic View (Rev. 0.5)" I came across this article at And Then There's Physics (formerly known as wottsupwiththatblog) and thought it would make a fitting introduction to the my next post.  

I thank andthentheresphysics for giving me permission to reprint his article in full - {I have added some paragraph breaks and some highlights.}

I have also expanded a closing paragraph that lists a few of ScottishSceptic's talking points, by linking to rational evaluations of said claims, and at the end I share some highlights of that information.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Judith Curry is currently promoting an analysis by someone called the Scottish Sceptic (Mike Haseler) in which he has attempted to differentiate between what he calls sceptics and non-sceptics (academics/warmists) (Sceptics vs Academics). I think the terminology is awful, but that’s just my opinion. He makes it very clear that those who broadly support the IPCC conclusions are non-sceptics and those who don’t are sceptics. I find this absurd. 

Does he really think that all climate scientists who accept the IPCC conclusions have lost any sense of scepticism? I’m actually surprised that Judith is happy with this kind of terminology. Does she really support the idea that it’s okay to refer to the thousands of professional climate scientists who broadly support the IPCC conclusions as warmists?

Anyway, the analysis that the Scottish Sceptic makes is essentially based on a set of gross generalizations that largely imply that sceptics are somehow this perfect group of open-minded individuals (who are typically trained in engineering) who see the world as it is, while non-sceptics (academics/warmists) are this flawed group of people who don’t really know what they’re doing, are biased by feelings of empathy, and are both corrupt and stupid. 

I don’t think this kind of thing really make a positive contribution to the debate in any way whatsoever and I’m not sure what Judith hoped to achieve by promoting it on her blog. There’s not even really any evidence for what he presents; it just appears to be his own observations/opinions.

I will say, though, that his observation that “sceptics” tend to have libertarian free-market views while “non-sceptics” (actual scientists) tend to be more left-leaning, is something I too have observed (although, it’s clearly not always true). 

What I find odd about this division is why someone’s political views should influence how they perceive the scientific evidence. Surely your political views should influence the policies you would support, given the evidence, rather than influence whether or not you accept the evidence in the first place? 

I will also note that it seems that one of the Scottish Sceptic’s reasons for scepticism is his objection to wind turbines killing raptors. I sympathize with this view but again am unsure as to why this should influence one’s view of the scientific evidence. 
Accepting the evidence doesn’t immediately imply that we need to build wind turbines that will then kill raptors. What we do, given the evidence, is a policy decision and will include judgements as to the significance of the impacts of various policy options.

So, here’s where I think Judith Curry could play a positive role. The Scottish Sceptic actually has a page where he presents a list of Global Warming Evidence. I’ve actually made a few comments on the Scottish Sceptic’s blog in the past and his responses indicate that he is reasonably pleasant individual, maybe someone one could actually have a serious discussion with. 

Quite a bit of the evidence he presents is quite easily debunked. He mentions adjustments to instrumental temperature records, the possibility that the 1920s saw a similar decline in Arctic sea ice to that we see today, that CO2 rises might not be anthropogenic (quoting Murry Salby), that the Cloud Radiative Effect is bigger than the IPCC indicates (confusing, I think, the net effect with the change since 1750), claiming that the Hockey Stick is a lie, claiming that ice core samples show that CO2 can’t be a driver, amongst a number of other things.

If the Scottish Sceptic really is a sceptic, and if Judith Curry really does understand climate science (as one might hope), surely together they could clarify which of the evidence on his list is credible and which isn’t. That doesn’t mean that he has to accept the mainstream views, but at least get rid of those things that are easily shown to be wrong. 

Given that Judith seems to be trusted by people like the Scottish Sceptic, he might take her views more seriously than he would the views of others, and presumably Judith would like those engaging in the debate to at least present credible evidence (she’s happy to correct anything I’ve said that she thinks is wrong – as many have already). Then again, maybe I’m just letting my empathy and optimism get the better of me.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

A review of the rational side of these talking points.

Adjustments to instrumental temperature records:

Effect of data homogenization on estimate of temperature trend: a case of Huairou station in Beijing Municipality

... having some fun with an article (Zhang et al., 2013) published spring last year in Theoretical and Applied Climatology (TAAC). According to The Hockey Schtick, the article corroborates that "leading meteorological institutions in the USA and around the world have so systematically tampered with instrumental temperature data that it cannot be safely said that there has been any significant net “global warming” in the 20th century."

The study

Let's have a look what the study really tells us. The nice thing is, the paper is an open access paper and the English is mostly okay (more than 95%, medium confidence), so everyone can read it

The study investigates the influence of the urban heat island (UHI) effect on one measurement station, using two rural stations as reference. To study the influence of this gradual inhomogeneity (UHI), they need to remove the effect of the break inhomogeneities, which according to the station history are due to relocations. ...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

1920s saw a similar decline in Arctic sea ice to that we see today

Arctic misrepresentations
Filed under: Arctic and Antarctic Climate Science — gavin @ 8 July 2013

In the comments yesterday, Ken (Drinkwater, scientists at the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen - ) responded directly to this to make the context far more plain (slighty edited): The article by Christopher Booker … is a misrepresentation of my views. He does not state where he obtained his information but it might have been from [this press release] in which I was discussing the increase in the abundance of Atlantic cod in the Barents Sea and its relationship to sea temperatures from studies we had conducted, or in Drinkwater et al., (2011, Progress in Oceanography 90, 47-61). In both articles, my comments focussed upon the Barents Sea and not the Arctic Basin. 

Our studies did indicate that much of the heat entering the Barents Sea in recent years was advected in by the inflow of warm Atlantic Waters and although direct warming through air-sea heat exchanges no doubt occurred, it appeared not be the dominate process at the time of our studies. This increase in heat led to the melting of the sea ice. 

I did NOT dismiss “the idea that the ice is melting because of any rise in global temperatures” as Mr. Booker claims. One of the reasons that more heat is being transported into the Barents Sea is because of the general rise in temperatures within the Atlantic waters. 

Increased melting of sea ice did occur in the 1920s and 1930s in the Barents Sea (Ifft, Monthly Weather Review, November, 1922, p. 589) and over the Arctic Basin (Ahlmann, 1949, Rapports et Proces-Verbaux des Revions du Conseil International pour l’Exploration de la Mer 125, 9-16 ) but it was much less so than in recent years. 
I did NOT state that ice melted more in the 1920s and 1930s than in recent years as Mr. Booker claims. Mr. Booker has a duty as a journalist to ensure [that] his facts [are] correct. ...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

CO2 rises might not be anthropogenic (quoting Murry Salby):

Watt about Murry Salby?

A)   In paleo records, temperature does indeed lead CO2 rises, nothing there that challenges anthropogenic global warming (AGW) today. The main point is that the CO2 then amplifies the temperature rise and produces much larger temperature changes than could be explained by whatever was driving the initial rise (Milankovitch, for example). What about the second part of the statement above? ...

B)   Well, the basic idea is that when plants grow, they preferentially use carbon-12, rather than carbon-13. Hence, the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-13 is higher in plants than in the atmosphere. What Murry Salby is claiming is that since the carbon-13 fraction in the atmosphere has been dropping while CO2 concentration have been rising proves that it must be due to plants and is not due to our use of fossil fuels. In a sense he’s correct. It is due to plants. It’s due to plants that existed millions of years ago and have since turned into fossil fuels. It isn’t due to plants today. ...

C)   Indeed, he’s correct. As the surface temperature fluctuates, this drives fluctuations in the CO2. You can look it up and see for yourself. What Murry is claiming is that the amount that is added when the fluctuation rises exceeds the amount lost when the fluctuation drops and hence explains the rise. Indeed, in some sense, once again true. Why is this? Well it’s because, on top of these fluctuations, there’s an addition of CO2 to the atmosphere through our use of fossil fuels. What we have is fluctuations due to annual temperature variations plus a longer-term trend due to our use of fossil fuels. Just because one can associate temperatures variations with rises in CO2 doesn’t mean that all CO2 variations must be due to temperature variations. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Cloud Radiative Effect is bigger than the IPCC indicates:

What is the net feedback from clouds?
What the science says

For climate scientists who are skeptical that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions will cause a dangerous amount of warming, such as Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer, their skepticism hinges mainly on this cloud cover uncertainty.  They tend to believe that as the planet warms, low-level cloud cover will increase, thus increasing planetary albedo (overall reflectiveness of the Earth), offsetting the increased greenhouse effect and preventing a dangerous level of global warming from occurring.
Regional Cloud Feedback Studies ...

Other studies analyzing satellite data from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP), the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), and the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES)  such as Chang and Coakley (2007) and Eitzen et al. (2008) have indicated that cloud optical depth of low marine clouds might be expected to decrease with increasing temperature. This suggests a positive shortwave cloud–climate feedback for marine stratocumulus decks.

In another recent paper, Clement et al. (2009) analyzed several decades of ship-based observations of cloud cover along with more recent satellite observations, with a focus on the northeastern Pacific.  They found that there is a negative correlation between cloud cover and sea surface temperature apparent on a long time scale—again suggesting a positive cloud-climate feedback in this region.

Global Cloud Feedback Studies ...

Studies Comparing Observed Atmospheric Changes to Climate Models ...

In short, while more research of the cloud-climate feedback is needed, the evidence is building against those who argue for a strongly negative cloud feedback.  It\'s also important to remember that clouds are just one feedback among many, and there is a large amount of evidence that the net feedback is significantly positive, and climate sensitivity is not low.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Claiming that the Hockey Stick is a lie:

Ross McKitrick - The McKi 'trick'

Rebuttal to Ross McKitrick, an economics professor sowing the seeds of doubt regarding human caused climate change and global warming? Much like John Coleman, McKitrick uses red herrings and appeals to your 'the living the good life' theme in order to say the climate scientists are wrong and that they can't really prove anything. Like others, he uses facts out of context to support his unsubstantiated opinions. ...

Ross McKitrick continues to use out of context assertions and opinion to delay the imposition of effective, or meaningful legislation that would reduce the risk of human caused global warming: Including a tax he is proposing that attempts to address the preventability of higher costs by saying we should try to prevent the problem after it occurs. While this logic is completely absurd, it is effectively what he is proposing. 

Bizarre, but true.
The known reality of global warming combined with associated costs due to infrastructure immobility and expected resource scarcity issues, render McKitrick's opinion not only irrelevant, but immoral. He seems completely ignorant of the economic reality that is now in process.

The irony is that he thinks he understands economics. Unfortunately McKitrick seems to have missed an important point of economics:

When one is discussing economic sustainability one must consider current and future costs simultaneously. This is apparently not a consideration of Ross McKitrick as he myopically ignores relevant understanding to favor his biased views.

It is not about how to exploit resources to the point of depletion or demise, but rather the thrifty and efficient use of material resources in a sustainable manner. In fact the definition of economy includes the balance of systems and methods. 

Allowing exploitation of a resource to our own detriment and cost is not economics, but rather the opposite: the destruction of economic capacity.
~ ~ ~ 

also see:
What evidence is there for the hockey stick?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Ice core samples show that CO2 can’t be a driver:

CO2 Lags Temperature in the Ice-Core Record. Doesn’t that prove the IPCC wrong?

The presenter points out the well-known fact that in the ice-core record of the last million years CO2 increases lag temperature increases. And this appears to be the complete rebuttal of “CO2 causes temperature to increase”.

The IPCC has a whole chapter on the CO2 cycle in its TAR (Third Assessment Report) of 2001.

A short extract from chapter 3, page 203:

...Whatever the mechanisms involved, lags of up to 2,000 to 4,000 years in the drawdown of CO2 at the start of glacial periods suggests that the low CO2 concentrations during glacial periods amplify the climate change but do not initiate glaciations (Lorius and Oeschger, 1994; Fischer et al., 1999). Once established, the low CO2 concentration is likely to have enhanced global cooling (Hewitt and Mitchell, 1997)...

So the creator of this “documentary” hasn’t even bothered to check the IPCC report. They agree with him. And even more amazing, they put it in print!
If you are surprised by either of these points:
  • CO2 lags temperature changes in the last million years of temperature history
  • The IPCC doesn’t think this fact affects the theory of AGW (anthropogenic global warming)
Then read on a little further. I keep it simple.

The Oceans Store CO2 ...

“All Other Things being Equal” ...

Doesn’t the fact that CO2 lags temperature in the ice core record prove it doesn’t cause temperature changes? ...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Amongst a number of other things:

Global Warming & Climate Change Myths

Here is a summary of global warming and climate change myths, sorted by recent popularity vs what science says. Click the response for a more detailed response. You can also view them sorted by taxonomy, by popularity, in a print-friendly version, with short URLs or with fixed numbers you can use for permanent references.