Fact and fable AGW myth table

April 14, 2007 at 2:34 pm | Posted in Climate change, IPCC, NERC, Royal Society | 5 Comments
John’s comment column
My response column
So refreshing to know the American public can still distinguish between fact and fable. Fact: The IPCC SPM by WGI released in Paris on February 2, 2007 stated:

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global mean sea level.

  Here are a few images (also referred to in my previous post and) taken directly from the IPCC SPM dated 2Feb07 that illustrate the facts:

SPM WGI AR4 Changes in Greenhouse Gases from ice-Core and Modern DataFIGURE SPM-1. Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide over the last 10,000 years (large panels) and since 1750 (inset panels). Measurements are shown from ice cores (symbols with different colours for different studies) and atmospheric samples (red lines). The corresponding radiative forcings are shown on the right hand axes of the large panels. {Figure 6.4}

SPM WGI AR4 Radiative Forcing ComponentsFIGURE SPM-2. Global-average radiative forcing (RF) estimates and ranges in 2005 for anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and other important agents and mechanisms, together with the typical geographical extent (spatial scale) of the forcing and the assessed level of scientific understanding (LOSU). The net anthropogenic radiative forcing and its range are also shown. These require summing asymmetric uncertainty estimates from the component terms, and cannot be obtained by simple addition. Additional forcing factors not included here are considered to have a very low LOSU. Volcanic aerosols contribute an additional natural forcing but are not included in this figure due to their episodic nature. Range for linear contrails does not include other possible effects of aviation on cloudiness. {2.9, Figure 2.20}

SPM WGI AR4 Changes in Temperature, Sea Level and Northern Hemisphere Snow CoverFIGURE SPM-3. Observed changes in (a) global average surface temperature; (b) global average sea level rise from tide gauge (blue) and satellite (red) data and (c) Northern Hemisphere snow cover for March-April. All changes are relative to corresponding averages for the period 1961-1990. Smoothed curves represent decadal averaged values while circles show yearly values. The shaded areas are the
uncertainty intervals estimated from a comprehensive analysis of known uncertainties (a and b) and from the time series (c). {FAQ 3.1, Figure 1, Figure 4.2 and Figure 5.13}

SPM WGI AR4 Global and Continental Temperature ChangeFIGURE SPM-4. Comparison of observed continental- and global-scale changes in surface temperature with results simulated by climate models using natural and anthropogenic forcings. Decadal averages of observations are shown for the period 1906–2005 (black line) plotted against the centre of the decade and relative to the corresponding average for 1901–1950. Lines are dashed where spatial coverage is less than 50%. Blue shaded bands show the 5–95% range for 19 simulations from 5 climate models using only the natural forcings due to solar activity and volcanoes. Red shaded bands show the 5–95% range for 58 simulations from 14 climate models using both natural and anthropogenic forcings. {FAQ 9.2, Figure 1}

  Fable: peddled by some misguided followers and misguiding influencers:

Global warming is a myth.

Rasmussenreport.com; their survey of 3/26/07, to wit, 24% of those surveyed believe the Gorical knows of what he speaks, 31% said he does not know of what he speaks, 33% are not sure or don’t care.(In another query, 47% said he was not an expert on GW). That’s a relief! For me, the percentage of believers in anything is immaterial, except when a population’s lack of informed judgement affects the poor and powerless in a significant and negative way. I believe that the privileged, who are in a position to “get educated” and make a difference, should adopt responsible responses to climate change on behalf of those who are not able to choose or improve their own lots in life.
We have always nurtured a deep distrust of authority (starting with Pitt & George III). Europeans, conversely, trust authority. Interesting cultural distinctions. I think any authority needs to operate with honesty, integrity, and a desire for truth in order to earn and retain trust. Healthy scepticism is necessary and beneficial to society, and scientists are naturally sceptical folk.
We have spent a bit of time reviewing a number of websites of the ‘skeptical persuasion’. Quite a breath, and breadth, of fresh air. Good for you! It is important to assess key facts and appreciate the sources of different viewpoints.
We have totaled 28 climatologists who have written peer reviewed papers, etc. questioning the methodology, science, funding, politics and behind the scenes general misbehavior of those of an ‘open mind’ persuasion. 28? By contrast, the IPCC has:

  • 2500+ scientific expert reviewers
  • 800+ contributing authors
  • 450+ lead authors from 130+ countries
  • who have worked for 6 years
  • to produce 4 volumes
  • which will be combined into a single IPCC Assessment Report “Climate Change 2007″ later this year.

This comprehensive effort to assess the current state of scientific understanding of climate change and its impacts is the fourth such undertaking by the IPCC since its inception. The resulting complete documentation, AR4, is due to be published in November 2007.

The recent 2007 SPMs—released by WGI in February in Paris and by WGII in April in Brussels—are the first and second Summaries for Policymakers by Working Groups I and II, respectively. The third SPM by WGIII is due in May.

  P.S. As you can see, my approach is different from yours, John: I have looked for scientific sources on climate change that appear to value and demonstrate integrity and also work collaboratively within the scientific community to perform research, to define and refine models, and to establish the most reliable data upon which to base decisions. The evidence is such that actions must continue to be taken to mitigate and adapt to climate change.The sources I reference are acknowledged and respected by many of their colleagues in their scientific fields of expertise.
Solar scientists, meteorologists, quite a large number of climatologists, geologists, paleoclimatologists, all are in deep and thorough disagreement with the ‘facts’ of AGW. Fact: The IPCC SPM by WGI released in Paris on February 2, 2007 was agreed by

  • 2500+ scientific expert reviewers
  • 800+ contributing authors
  • 450+ lead authors from 130+ countries

and states:

Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.

Icecap.us, climatesci.colorado.edu, sepp.com,CCNET.uk, geocraft.com, hallofrecord.blogspot.com, junkscience.com, CO2science.org are just a few of the sites available for the open minded. An open mind allows opinions and ideas in, so information may be assessed. It is good to find out how different sites are presenting information, if only to discover:

Certainly junkscience is a policy/political vendetta site.  
The others are quite hardcore science, with biblios, footnotes, peer reviews… No.The ‘others’ you list often contain technical attempts to blind those with less technical backgrounds with flawed or irrelevant data or arguments that have been proven inaccurate or misleading time and time again by many professionals in the scientific community.Bibliographical references, footnotes, and even peer-review are not a guarantee of reliability of information.
We suggest that the emperor needs a new tailor, because he has been taken to the cleaners. ?!? 😎
Lomborg’s suggestions remain paramount in our mind: spend 1/4 of the Kyoto funds and provide clean water and sanitation for every man woman and child on the planet. Yours is an honorable intention to provide hydration and sanitation worldwide.Unfortunately, this will be increasingly difficult to achieve without mitigating (and adapting to the effects of) global warming as climate changes will increasingly affect more of the poorest people.I did not know there were Kyoto funds.The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an amendment to the international treaty on climate change, assigning mandatory emission limitations for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to the signatory nations.
Get over the AGW myth. Fact: The IPCC SPM by WGI released in Paris on February 2, 2007 stated:

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global mean sea level.

Fact: The IPCC SPM by WGI released in Paris on February 2, 2007 stated:

Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.

  Myth:

Global warming is a myth.

“18000 scientists say GW is a myth” is a myth! postcard

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  1. Outstanding post. It’s especially useful to respond to “delusionist” claims in a rational, factual manner. Keep up the good work!

  2. Bravo!

    Well done. Most of us have long since lost the patience to reply to this kind of provocative nonsense as calmly and patiently as you did. I guess it requires new blood coming once in a while to take matters seriously and address this sort of thing point by point.

    It is uncommon that people with such opinions have anything whatsoever of substance to add to the conversation, unfortunately.

    The Walrus and the Carpenter
    Were walking close at hand;
    They wept like anything to see
    Such quantities of sand:
    “If this were only cleared away,”
    They said, “it would be grand!”

    “If seven maids with seven mops
    Swept it for half a year.
    Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
    “That they could get it clear?”
    “I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
    And shed a bitter tear.

  3. Thank you for a thorough review of the IPCC data stream. In errata, we should have stated, ‘using 1/4 of the costs associated with global compliance with Kyoto’, rather than ‘Kyoto funds’.
    As to the ‘delusionist’ and ‘provocative nonsense’ comments, we are acting upon the apparent illusion of scientific inquiry. No truth is so well know as to be accepted without qualification.
    Demarcation typically involves constant efforts to falsify a model, thus proving it upon more solid round, or disproving it upon weak soil. When it ceases, ‘there monsters lie’.
    A shame that inquiry must be cast as lack of religious fervor. Regarding the IPCC, we have very serious reservations of objectivity from the IPCC when one of the lead reviewers is Michael Oppenheimer, of Environmental Defense fame and funding. If the energy industry must be denied comment, then so also must such political organisms. Better that each has its say and so footnoted. Dr Steven Schneider, Dr. Michael Mann, Al Gore and Maurice Strong each have stated for the record that overstatement and falsification of the facts is necessary to achieve the moral high ground and political success. How short a step from ‘the privileged, who are in a position to get educated…’ to the positions of these prevaricators, who are at the heart of the IPCC?
    How about some basic facts: temperature change has always preceded CO2 change – from the Vostok records. Correlation is nor causation. CO2 absorption rates are a log function, not a geometric one. Quantitative modeling is at best a guessing game, in any field of knowledge (engineering is not physics, it is an application of science). The Maunder minimum and the medieval warm period (whence these lovely cathedral photos). Fred Singer’s 1,500 year cycles. Drs. Pielke and Lindzen. Solar irradiance and cosmic ray effects upon earth climate. Data mining of pre-20th century temperature data files and of the decline in USSR weather reporting after 1989 .The very act of questioning assumptions, always. Freeman Dyson’s climate modeling comments. The utterly simplistic idea that a change in one aspect of the global system, CO2, must have such far reaching and universally evil consequences. Avoidance of any discussion of possible positive effects of CO2 increases. The 800 year time differential between CO2 increases and potential effects. Previously recorded CO2 levels of up to 2,500 ppm with no deleterious effects upon the global flora/fauna populations. These are but a few of the valid reasons for doubting the absolute truth of AGW.
    Couple these with the rancor on display to those of us who doubt, as displayed above.
    We doubt because the facts encourage us to do so and because the emotions of the believers force us to do so.
    Integrity suggests humanity may be better served. Julian Simon trumps the Erlichs. Human ingenuity prevails over human guilt.
    We continue these dialogs with you, after abandoning many others because you are one of the few who discourse from integrity. You see differently than us and that is fine. It makes for a lively discussion. But please offer something other than IPCC as a data source. We also have read each of the releases from the IPCC over the years. It strikes us as odd that the policymakers and politicians have final say over the science. What is the difference between this and the API (American Petroleum Institute) in bed with the current US administration?
    ‘A plague on both your houses.’
    Some honest housecleaning may be in order, too. Schneider, Gore, Mann & Strong do not belong under your tent. This is not an ad hominem attack, it is a question of moral code, of awareness of ‘the Beast, slouching towards Jerusalem.’
    As always, it has been a pleasure.

  4. Add to those not worthy to share your tent, the IPPR. Recall the scientific method: observe, hypothesis, sustain/reject, re-evaluate.
    Tommino’s and Tobis’ abject moralism should be an example to all of the abyss: ‘beyond these gates monsters lie…

  5. P.S. Skepticism is essential to science; consensus is foreign.


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