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# Armchair climatologists debunking climatology

Saw this on another forum....

https://micro6500blog.wordpress.com/2015/11/18/evidence-against-warming-from-carbon-dioxide/

It's amazing that you don't even need to know anything about science to completely turn the tables on science. Can anybody figure out what the author is trying do, based on the data presented?

«1

•  He seems to feel he has single handedly proved that there is no change in temperature due to CO2 it is all to do with the sun.
It would appear all of his graphs have the present time temp curve going down.
Amazing proof of this is that nights are colder than days.

• edited August 2016

Regarding the relentless attack on "CO2 science" - I think there's another tool to counter such armchair rhetorical knowitalls.

With some help from a few friends I put together a list of modern marvels that would be impossible without scientists having achieved a thorough understanding of atmospheric greenhouse physics.  It's somewhat rough, more like a first working draft, sitting there waiting for something.

I like to think it's a good list awaiting further refinement, but at least it's a start.  Anyone is welcome to copy - attribution is unimportant, besides deep down I think it would be cool if someone used the list as a starting point (it's full of potential) for making it their own impactful presentation.

Then there's the Air Force Studies.  Not just US, Australia, Russia, China and others - and they weren't collaborating.  Still all arrived at the same answers.  Untold exciting story waiting for the right person to turn into something real.

http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2016/06/co2-science-dependent-modern-marvels.html

CO2 Science dependent modern marvels. For your consideration.

In light of recent 'dialogues' I've had with Dave NC-20 Burton and others which reveal a profound self-inflicted ignorance and an even worse disinterest in giving climate science a fair shake, (that would be sans politically motivated fantasizing about grand conspiracy theories, slander towards accomplished experts and such paranoid thinking.) I'd like to share the reasons I, a non-expert, feel comfortable trusting the scientific community rather than passionate partisans of profits über alles.

This post is an interesting sort of one way collaborative effort.

You see, over the years I've communicated with a number of scientists and grads.  Asking straight forward questions and often receiving informative replies.  I try not to over do my welcome, after all these are very busy people with more important things to do.

But for this post I sent a grand shout out to a number of my correspondence pals and received more responses than I expected including some informative surprises for me.

I have taken great liberty slicing and dicing their responses. Rewriting some, leaving other quotes untouched and giving all of it some order.

I mention this because I want to be clear the following List of "CO2 science dependent" modern marvels is not my own cleverness and I want to send out a big Thank You! to my informed anonymous heroes!

...
_________________________________

Also see: February 21, 2016
Archive, Hanscom AFB Atmospheric Studies, Cambridge Research Lab
http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2016/02/archive-usaf-atmospheric-studies-afcrl.html
• edited August 2016
Oh not to forget.  When someone comes knocking with a contrarian claim you know it's been seen before.  Check out the number one* depository of relevant climate science information SkepticalScience.com
http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-temperature-correlation.htm

http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?f=taxonomy

* geared towards the informed layperson.
• Interesting stuff, CC. I'm thinking that it might be useful to add info or links to things like that in the new wiki, when I get some time.
• I have looked at the links above not sketicalscience but the other ones linked into wuwtw am a little bit disquieted.
• edited August 2016
Is that because of the content at WUWTW ?
Or are you mistaking it for WUWT ?

"What's Up With That Watts, et al."
is the inspired work of a long time spectator of the climate science dialogue, (debacle may be more appropriate), who was banned from commenting at WUWT and decided to fight back.

It's a tad confrontational at times, which turns off some good people.
It's not near as polished as it could be, which probably chases away many more.

But, it's creator is always looking for constructive "tough-love" feedback.
Even as he barges ahead in his naive style.

But then he is sort of a 'naive' - being a tradesman (culinary arts, carpentry) rather than a scholar, scientist, or professional writer type -
That's offset by the fact he learned about the science behind Global Warming around 1970/71 during high school science classes. (he's class of '73)
And he certainly has been a life long passionate student of our Earth, her systems and her life story, if at a novice level.

And like I said I know the author is always thirsty for serious feedback - the only way to learn and improve.

PS. I feel comfortable talking about said author, since it's me.

• Ribbit74 said:
Saw this on another forum....

https://micro6500blog.wordpress.com/2015/11/18/evidence-against-warming-from-carbon-dioxide/

It's amazing that you don't even need to know anything about science to completely turn the tables on science. Can anybody figure out what the author is trying do, based on the data presented?

That post from micro6500 appears to be gibberish, in the sense that it is so bad it isn't even wrong. I can't find a hypothesis and results. It is a Gish Gallop so I did not look at it closely as 99% of the time Gish Gallops are a waste of time.

I smell a rat - someone with an agenda has just come up with a headline that states a conclusion, then throws together a bunch of bad charts at random to attempt to give the headline credibility - I have seen other posts from cranks that are formatted the same way.
• From time to time, I tangle with one person or other in a forum with a full house of deniers. Today, I am faced with this statement from a fellow who seems to think he is reasonable. I share this here for commiseration ...

We are currently in a mild interglacial  climatic period.  In fact  all of the major progress in civilization and technology has taken place in the last 10,000 years of so since the retreat of the glaciers.  There is no doubt we are in a warming period with some lapses (like the Little Ice Age of 1300 - 1750 c.e.).   The outstanding question is to what extent human activity has driven this trend.   The scientific quality of the currently accepted and promoted climate sensitivity models  is  questionable.   There is no doubt that the presence of CO2, methane and water vapor in the atmosphere has kept the average air temperature at 33 degrees  celsius above the black-body  equilibrium temperature. This is similar to the effect of a blanket your body heat under the covers on a chilly night.

Any body that receives radiation will emit radiation until thermal equlibrium is established (the Stephan-Bolotzman law).  The various gases mentioned to absorb some of the IR  reflection from the surface and slow down the rate of re-radiating the electro-magnetic energy received as incoming solar radiation.  The earth receives about 1400 watts (joules per second)  from the sun.  The geothermal heat from the interior of the earth has a negligible effect on the above surface air temperature.

It all comes down to our  understanding of the feedback (both positive and negative)  and the current models  are crude.  The problem is extremely difficult because of the complex processes of heat redistribution done by the atmosphere and the oceans and the effects of clouds.  Clouds an either block inbound radiation (producing a cooling effect,  similar to being in a shady spot during a bright hot day)  or they can re-radiate some of the outbound IR back down to the ground.  The full effect of clouds is not yet known.  People are working on it.

The idea that the climate of the earth depends solely   on  the atmospheric CO2  which is in the concentration (currently) of 390 ppm  is  far fetched.  Unfortunately the issue which should be a study in thermodynamics has become politicized.

• Once again you see another favorite tactics misrepresenting what serious scientists are saying.
Such as that garbage in the last paragraph.  No scientist has ever said anything close to "climate depends solely CO2".  Our planet's insulation does depend on CO2 along with other greenhouse gases.  More GHGs more insulation.  It really is that simple.

Well okay not quite that simple, we have aerosols that cool.  Then there's the stuff that unfolds over centuries and millennia such as the distance from the Sun and the Earth's inclination, even Earth's geography and position of continents.
_____________

Ask him to explain why it's too far fetched?

Ask him if he's interesting in understand why scientists make the claims they make?

Ask him why he believes his opinion is better than that of experts who's learned opinions are based on learning, full-time study and experience?
• wsscherk said:
From time to time, I tangle with one person or other in a forum with a full house of deniers. Today, I am faced with this statement from a fellow who seems to think he is reasonable. I share this here for commiseration ...

It all comes down to our  understanding of the feedback (both positive and negative)  and the current models  are crude.  The problem is extremely difficult because of the complex processes of heat redistribution done by the atmosphere and the oceans and the effects of clouds.  Clouds an either block inbound radiation (producing a cooling effect,  similar to being in a shady spot during a bright hot day)  or they can re-radiate some of the outbound IR back down to the ground.  The full effect of clouds is not yet known.  People are working on it.

The *models* are hardly crude. And the *redistribution* argument is disingenuous, energy (heat) can neither be created nor destroyed. If it is redistributed, something loses heat (cools) and something gains heat (warms). If the atmospheric temperatures are warming and the ocean temperatures are warming then there must be another source--it cannot be a redistribution alone. Period.
• wwscherk: As for cloud feedback Skeptical Science is a good source: What is the net feedback of clouds?

• wwscherk: As for climate models being crude, tell him to read Demystifying Climate Models by Andrew Getterman and Richard Rood. It is open access and can be downloaded for free so no excuses.
• they seem to treat climate science like some sort of "Da Vinci code" - something to be cracked

so they can blow the whole scam wide open

as they sit there in front of their computer, tin foil hat and anti-knowledge cloak securely fastened

I have two interlocutors. One has said that 'all the models he has seen' are failures. I asked him to fork up one or two of the models he has seen for discussion, and he came back with the statement that he didn't keep a catalogue of model failures and in any case, the old models are hard to find.  They, in his words, "don't tend to remain easily publicly accessible once they've seriously gone down in flames. They just kind of disappear"

I had tried to find a common ground of understanding by referring both to the chapter on "Simple models" in Weart's online book.  One returned a response that he isn't interested in opinion ... but is seeking reliable, repeatable experiment. In his words, "

The other interlocutor cites nothing either. I'd like to find one of the 'failed models' to discuss with both.  The best clue I have got is "The failing predictions can be found on the anti- AGW websites."

It feels like a loop: "What models do you mean?" ... "Look it up."  Argh

A chunk of response stymies me: I had asked: When you ask me 'where are the models' that predict most accurately or reliably and repeatedly, I think you might mean something like a Global Climate Model, but if not, can you offer more detail?:

I received this. I bold the part that I think I can find in the literature:

Yes, I mean something like a global climate model. I mean a set of predictions based on a hypothesis. I mean a proposal to be tested, such as, "If mankind produces X amount of substance Y, then temperatures will increase to Z over the specified period of time." I mean actual, real science. Testable explanations and accurate, repeatable predictions. I mean hypotheses, experimentation, observation, and, of course, the inclusion of falsifiability.

• CCHolley said:
wwscherk: As for climate models being crude, tell him to read Demystifying Climate Models by Andrew Getterman and Richard Rood. It is open access and can be downloaded for free so no excuses.
Many thanks.   Interlocutor "J"  had dismissed the history as presented in Weart's chapter on Simple Models -- as 'opinion.' And he doesn't want opinion. He wants "science" ...

What I found quite useful in preparing for this discussion is the taxology of skeptical arguments/claims at Skeptical Science.
• edited September 2016
wsscherk said:

... but is seeking reliable, repeatable experiment. In his words, "

.

I am afraid you get this all the time

they sort of want to release a tiny molecule of CO2 and then run outside to a thermometer a record the result

it is a combination of unreasonable expectations and a misunderstanding of how science works

I am sure he has also wittered on about how he wants "proof"

although there are plenty of simple experiments on youtube of CO2 increasing temperate maybe show him one of those

and ask him why this behaviour would be any different outside of the lab

ps you also get this with evolution deniers - unless you can show them a dolphin giving birth to one with legs that can walk on land - you simply haven't "proved" evolution

• edited September 2016

Ask how the CMIP3 model ensemble below is a failure? What does the failure of the models even mean? The models are meant to project the long term future, but cannot predict because of the unknown variables--variables that we cannot predict--such as unforced variability, aerosols (volcanic or manmade), or solar output.

• wsscherk - not that it'll change your interlocutors' minds, but you may want to check out the model-related videos we have in Denial101x in the lectures and expert interviews of week 4:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/denial101x-videos-and-references.html#week4

• edited September 2016
CCHolley said:

Ask how the CMIP3 model ensemble below is a failure? What does the failure of the models even mean? The models are meant to project the long term future, but cannot predict because of the unknown variables--variables that we cannot predict--such as unforced variability, aerosols (volcanic or manmade), or solar output.

That particular interlocutor has gone possum for the moment and is relatively unsophisticated. A graph might give him heart failure out of sheer incomprehending outrage.

Meanwhile, the other interlocutor is laying out something I have seen before, a boggy, sucking kind of argument with no firm thesis.  Any part of the swamp seems to be solid, but nothing really is, and there are no paths to evidence, analysis, or conclusive claim about the things he mentions, nor why then are laid out together.

In this particular case, the Second Interlocutor begins by plugging the new Pat Michaels book ... to hint I suppose that he too is a  "lukewarmer."   But in response to a quite stupid interjection from Interlocutor 3 ("it's the "global warming" in(festing) science.") he heads for the soft bed of assertion  ... "The world has been warming up a bit since the depths of the Little Ice Age."

I think everyone can imagine where that intro goes given my context (if not here's the link). In response I posted the brilliant cartoon timeline of average earth temperature over time.

Now to the fun part:

- to my attempt at cartoon good humour and a making evident as sense of proportion, the resulting response was ...

• Little Ice Age
• Greenland was great
• Roman Warm Period
• Northwest Passage
• Michael Mann bad hockey stick.
Does that strike anyone else as stringing beads -- without posting an actual argument?  Am I right in thinking this is just bogland?  It seems to me that I am supposed to assemble these items into a coherent whole without the writer's guidance.

Anyway, my last attempt to address and assess the swampy claims ... is here ... any further insight and fun suggestions are welcome.  That this same interlocutor has today cited SkepticalScience in an attempt to 'splain the Little Ice Age and Northwest Passage makes me go 'hmmmmm.'  This might be an opening. The rest of the forum is overwhelmingly hostile to "Warmism." Because the SkS articles he cites do not support a hostile reading, maybe there is a chance of altering an obdurate insistence on "It's all bulloney" ...

PS -- oh, and didn't I know that we aren't about to turn into Venus?  Sigh. When I was asking  what were the causes of the Little Ice Age and Roman Warm Period.

• Venus
• Mars
• Grapes in England
• Not Mars, Not Venus

Sorry that this is a bit long and unfocused.

• I find pointing out Hansen et al from 1981works to make them admit models are right when you link to news sources confirming  his predictions. Or at lest it shuts them up til next time they start the nonsense .
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/213/4511/957
Abstract

The global temperature rose by 0.2°C between the middle 1960's and 1980, yielding a warming of 0.4°C in the past century. This temperature increase is consistent with the calculated greenhouse effect due to measured increases of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Variations of volcanic aerosols and possibly solar luminosity appear to be primary causes of observed fluctuations about the mean trend of increasing temperature. It is shown that the anthropogenic carbon dioxide warming should emerge from the noise level of natural climate variability by the end of the century, and there is a high probability of warming in the 1980's. Potential effects on climate in the 21st century include the creation of drought-prone regions in North America and central Asia as part of a shifting of climatic zones, erosion of the West Antarctic ice sheet with a consequent worldwide rise in sea level, and opening of the fabled Northwest Passage.

• You're doing well, wsscherk  (I didn't read all the comments. The only other one I read was the meandering comment that attributed the Little Ice Age to the sun, when it was much more likely to have been volcanic eruptions.)

In general, the first thing that occurs to me when people say that nature will take anything, is that what they are talking about is the planet will continue to exist, not "Nature" as such. (There've been five major extinctions after all, and we're now heading for the sixth.)

In our case, we are most concerned with what we humans can tolerate. The more thoughtful people are also concerned with what other life forms can tolerate. Some because they know we rely on other life forms, some because they are altruistic.

The article below might explain why, as that one person wrote, Mars is not like Venus. For one thing, it's more like our moon when it comes to diurnal temperature because the atmosphere is so thin. For another, it's quite a bit further from the sun than is Venus.

https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast09feb_1/
• Sou said:
Nature" as such. (There've been five major extinctions after all, and we're now heading for the sixth.)

In our case, we are most concerned with what we humans can tolerate. The more thoughtful people are also concerned with what other life forms can tolerate. Some because they know we rely on other life forms, some because they are altruistic.

yes, I have long thought that the "Save the Planet" meme was misplaced

as you say we should be concentrating on humanity (and our co-inhabitants)

the Planet will survive whatever we can throw at it

• This comic sums up the reality for Gaia.

• It's an oldie but a goodie.

• wsscherk said:
That particular interlocutor has gone possum for the moment...

What, you mean they didn't stick around to defend their positions?

Funny that, I've noticed that happening too.  ALL the time.

I think it has something to do with a fear of having their self-certitude cracked.

That's the difference between, them and the proverbial us.

We like to learn and discover.

We like to think about the world and try to figure out things and develop our own understanding and opinions.  But, we're always willing to put our understanding up to examination, precisely because we appreciate that we have much to learn and aren't infallible about what we have learned in the past.  We appreciate that getting caught in mistakes, though not enjoyable, are valuable learning tools that leave us better informed every time.

• Griff said:
This comic sums up the reality for Gaia.

I wasn't going to do this but talk about Gaia get's me to thinking about Evolution and how we got here.  How fantastical that journey that created our biosphere was, how we carry within us bits from all the eons that went into evolving us incredible, but fatally myopic, human beings.  That's my biggest favoritest soapbox of all, so I can't resist tossing this out there.
Who says understanding Earth’s Evolution is irrelevant?

I often hear people, not just the religious with their paper thin understanding, but educated rational people who superficially accept the notion of evolution, but who have never spent anytime really absorbing what Earth's pageant of evolution has been all about, dismissing the need to learn anything about it.

Its all led to a general apathy that I can't for the life of me comprehend.  Especially considering what an amazingly beautiful, complex, mysterious and absolutely relevant story it is.
This general apathy terrifies me, and compels me to share some of the building blocks that have shaped my own developing basic understanding.  I have a head-start since I've been fascinated by this Creation I was born into since my earliest days.  The wonder of it, and the things I've learned makes me want to share some of my experience and perspectives during what time remains for my own, oh so splendid, journey on this wonderful planet.

Tragically, people who never pondered the reality, (that all we have today is the direct product of four and a half billion years of evolution, unfolding one magnificent day after another), lack the foundation to understand what we are doing to our planet and life support system these days.  It explains why we have so many profoundly ignorant, self-deluded and disconnected politicians and 'masters of the universe' these days.

When I toss out a concept such as, our "Global Heat and Moisture Distribution Engine," it's blank faces all around.  Why?   I'm fearing listeners have no fundamental conception for the intricate interconnections between our evolving Earth, oceans and land masses.  Without that awareness, of course they'll never get it.

After all, our atmosphere is the direct product of a fantastic evolutionary process that married geology and biology and took billions of years to unfold.  Without understanding how it got here, there's no way one can comprehend what we have,... and what we are doing to "it",... that is, the only life, and economy, support system we have.

http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/p/understanding-earth.html

•  precisely because we appreciate that we have much to learn and aren't infallible about what we have learned in the past.  We appreciate that getting caught in mistakes, though not enjoyable, are valuable learning tools that leave us better informed every time.

yes, precisely

when I first came to the climate science debate - I think I initially bought into a few of the "myths"

from memory they were "Global Cooling in the 70's" and the other one about "they" have simply changed the name for "Global Warming" to the catch all "Climate Change"

in both cases when I actually looked passed the media hype I realised, quite quickly, I was wrong

the problem is that it is so easy to accuse Climate Science - and hence the Scientist of "making it up as they go along"

my post - which I will simply repeat below, was in response to the realisation that the physics of Sea Level may see localised lowering sea level as a result of melting ice sheets not a rise

----

I think this sea level issue – i.e. that the melting of the Greenland Ice sheet may cause a lowering of “localised” sea level goes to the heart of some peoples “distrust/sceptism” of climate science

it plays well into the “they are making things up as they go along” meme which morphs into all sorts of Popper falsification nonsense.

if you don’t understand how gravity affects sea level (which I confess I did not until I watched that wonderful minute physics video) then it is easy to assume that too

“sea level goes up – due to melting ice sheets” “sea level goes down – due to melting ice sheets”

“gee – it is heads they win tails you loose with these guys, they are making it up as they go along blah blah blah”

when the reality is they simply won’t admit they don’t understand the science well enough to form a judgement and fail to understand that some science is actually counter intuitive

----

and the minute physics video I reference in the Open Mind post

• edited September 2016
tadaaa said: the realisation that the physics of Sea Level may see localised lowering sea level as a result of melting ice sheets not a rise
You reminded me of the first time I heard about gravity's impact on local sea levels.  One of those epiphany moments, first it really knocks you for a loop, then once it soaks in and clicks, it's followed by: 'now why didn't I think of that".  Six years old, still a great lecture.
In Search of Lost Time: Ancient Eclipses, Roman Fish Tanks and the Enigma of Global Sea Level Rise
Dr. Jerry X. Mitrovica | Uploaded on Aug 17, 2010

What do ancient eclipse records kept by Babylonian, Chinese, Arabic and Greek
scholars, and fish tanks, built by wealthy Romans during100BC-100AD, contribute to our understanding of modern climate change? Dr. Jerry X. Mitrovica will describe the important role these archaeological treasures have played in the understanding of sea-level rise and how they help scientists both "fingerprint" sources of recent sea level changes and make more accurate projections of future sea levels.
• The thing about the melting of the Greenland ice cap (for example) causing a local drop in sea level would be true, if only Greenland was melting. In practice, since Antarctica and various other places are also melting, the resulting sea level changes aren't going to be that simple. Whether or not you end up with a localised drop in a particular place will depend on how much water is simultaneously being released on the other side of the world.
• Yes, I meant to mention that talk by Jerry Mitrovica - it was very good

CC - agreed

i think the wider point is that Climate Science is both extremely accessible and extremely relevant/important

this inevitably means you get the armchair “experts” continually second guessing the science with varying levels of in-expertise -- also bringing a whole host of preconceived ideas and biases that tragically (and comically) they simply won’t let go of