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climate change

Feb 25, 2011

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Dr Andrew Glikson, earth and paleoclimate scientist at ANU, writes: The end of the IPCC?

Just last week, the war on climate science showed its grip on the U.S. House of Representatives as it voted to eliminate U.S. funding for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The Republican majority, on a mostly party-line vote of 244-179, went on record as essentially saying that it no longer wishes to have the IPCC prepare its comprehensive international climate science assessments.

Let me offer some examples of the ‘rationale’ in the background of this vote:

Representative Luetkemeyer (Missouri) said: “Scientists manipulated climate data, suppressed legitimate arguments in peer-reviewed journals, and researchers were asked to destroy emails, so that a small number of climate alarmists could continue to advance their environmental agenda.”

US Congress Representative John Shimkus (Illinois) said: “Today we have about 388 parts per million [of carbon dioxide] in the atmosphere… I think in the age of the dinosaurs, when we had most flora and fauna, we were probably at 4000 parts per million. There is a theological debate that this is a carbon-starved planet, not too much carbon.” He goes on: “The earth will end only when God declares its time to be over. Man will not destroy this earth. This earth will not be destroyed by a flood.

The Representative is correct in pointing to the wealth of fauna and flora in the age of the dinosaurs.

The only error he makes is in overlooking the fact that humans, as a part of nature, are the product of environment changes associated with cooling of the Earth since the mid-Pliocene about 3 million years ago, followed by the glacial-interglacial eras during which H. sapiens and civilization arose. The other error is that rapid shifts between climate states result in mass extinctions.

But then its not clear how many of the new House majority accept Darwinian evolution?

Representative Joe Barton (Texas), who is competing for the position of chairman of the Congress Energy and commerce Committee states: “Wind is God’s way of balancing heat. Wind is the way you shift heat from areas where it’s hotter to areas where it’s cooler. That’s what wind is. Wouldn’t it be ironic if in the interest of global warming we mandated massive switches to energy, which is a finite resource, which slows the winds down, which causes the temperature to go up? Now, I’m not saying that’s going to happen, Mr. Chairman, but that is definitely something on the massive scale. I mean, it does make some sense. You stop something, you can’t transfer that heat, and the heat goes up. It’s just something to think about.”

Never mind that in nature winds move air from cold high pressure to warm low pressure zones, such as in onshore sea breeze or the polar vortices.

E. Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, argued that because the “biblical worldview sees the world and ecosystems as the work of a wise God, humankind couldn’t possibly be affecting the climate.”

Some are happy with ongoing carbon emissions, since they apparently serve as “plant food”, in what some of them regard as a “carbon starved world”.

A new kind of science is being invented, free of data and unrelated to the basic laws of physics and chemistry.

Just in case those who reject the science may not be correct, at least Congress continues to support space research programs.  In search of habitable planets when Earth is no longer suitable for human life?

Defenders of the IPCC are in retreat. Representative Waxman (California) stated: “The US contributes only $2.3 million to the IPCC. Our $2.3 million contribution leverages a global science assessment with global outreach and global technical input – a process we could not carry out alone and one that could come to a halt without US support.”

In Noam Chomsky’s view: “All of this combines the latest election a couple of days ago…. You could almost interpret it [the Republicans victory in the Congress elections] as a kind of a death knell for the species.”

How consistent is Noam Chomsky’s prediction with climate science projections?

With rising global and in particular polar temperatures:

And the acceleration of extreme weather events (Figure 3), predicted by the IPCC, the rise in energy levels of the atmosphere-ocean system, evaporation and precipitation, are increasingly expressed by a series of extreme weather events – cyclones, floods, snow storms, heat waves.

The emission of >320 Gigaton carbon over the last two centuries leads to a shift in state of the climate (>2 Watt/m2; +0.8C mean temperature; ~2 ppm CO2/year) on a scale unknown from former interglacial periods and the last 3 million years of geological history.

How should Noam Chomsky’s claim the return of the Republicans constitutes “a kind of a death knell for the species” be interpreted?

Is Chomsky referring to the self-fulfilling prophecies of the “rupture” by fundamentalists? Is it the ideology of human mastery over nature, vested fossil fuel interests, well funded “conservative” think tanks, media cover-up, cowardly politicians, the basic reluctance of people to face global issues beyond human power, or all of these factors combined?

Hopefully the Representatives are correct and Chomsky is mistaken. As “internet science” tells, the world is not warming or, at least, not due to human factors, and climate research organizations (Hadley-Met, NASA-GISS, Colorado-NSIDC, Potsdam, CSIRO, BOM) and peer reviewed science are all in error?

Should this not be the case and the future lies in the hands of those who reject the scientific method, claiming authority to speak in God’s name, this would herald the end of the enlightenment, an era of intellectual, scientific and cultural life emerging from the 18th century where evidence and reason are the basis for legitimacy and authority.

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242 thoughts on “A medieval climate

  1. kdkd

    Yeah, the political corruption of the state of virginia’s attorney general was found to be inconsequential. You. Still. Loose.

    [ Judge Paul Peatross Jr. ruled that Cuccinelli and his staff failed to demonstrate that an investigation was warranted, ruling that The nature of the conduct is not stated so that any reasonable person could glean what Dr. Mann did to violate the statute… The Court…understands the controversy regarding Dr. Mann’s work on the issue of global warming. However, it is not clear what he did that was misleading, false or fraudulent in obtaining funds from the Commonwealth of Virginia. ]

  2. kdkd


    [ Pathetic and illogical ]

    So you’re claiming that Fawcett and Jones support your argument? Let’s repost the abstract here to check quickly:

    [ There is very little justification for asserting that global warming has gone away over the past ten years, not least because the linear trend in globally-averaged annual mean temperatures (the standard yardstick) over the period 1998-2007 remains upward. While 1998 was the world’s warmest year in the surface-based instrumental record up to that point in time, 2005 was equally warm and in some data sets surpassed 1998. A substantial contribution to the record warmth of 1998 came from the very strong El Niño of 1997/98 and, when the annual data are adjusted for this short-term effect (to take out El Niño’s warming influence), the warming trend is even more obvious. ]

    Mate, you’re a delusional idiot.

  3. Captain Planet

    I have concluded that danr’s posts owe at least 75 % of their content to mass generated condescending propoganda automatically assembled by denialist, CO2 polluter funded organisations.

    I have concluded that tones9 is actually a real human, in the pay of the heartland institute or a similar denialist organisation.

    Both have repeatedly demonstrated their inability to think or argue either nicely, sensibly, rationally or with an open mind.

    It is no coincidence that the denialist rhetoric, baseless assertions, personal attacks and flooding of blogs and websites with misinformation and lies, have reached a hysterical crescendo.

    Australia is RIGHT NOW thrashing out the details of a soon – to – be – implemented carbon tax. Australia is still the world’s highest per capita emitter of Greenhouse Gases. Australia has vast reserves of coal and also vast potential for renewable energy. We can get our energy any way we want – the only difference is that Big Carbon stands to lose out if we do the responsible thing and introduce a price on Carbon. We’re about to do exactly that.

    Time for the big polluter’s cash – bloated PR behemoth to descend on our little country and try desperately to convince us that AGW is a great big fake.

    Just how all those tens of thousands of professional scientists, and the hundreds of organisations that represent them, have managed to misconstrue the evidence and/or participate in this enormous “hoax” is quite beyond me. Maybe they’re just doing it for kicks?

    Or maybe they’re actually right. Hmmm, you decide.

  4. kdkd

    aah the old it hasn’t warmed since 1998 argument. Yawn yawn seen it all before. Don’t get your knickers in a twist darling, it’s a ludicrous argument which requires egregious abuse of statistical theory.

    So your first argument was put together by making up stuff to replace the bits of physical chemistry that you didn’t understand with stuff you’d made up. Now you want to replace the logic of statistics with something you’ve made up.

    Looks like a pattern.

  5. kdkd

    While we’re on plimer, you can examine the errors in his book starting with Tim Lambert’s post and its links. The climate delusional camp have a choice: defend the scientifically indefensible, or fess up and admit that their approach to date has had a tangential relationship to reality.

  6. danr

    It was colder back in 1860. But then , it was warmer still some hundreds of years before that. As an engineer you should know that large complex interacting systems can move for many reasons.
    What has #89 got to do with AGW?? As relevant as evolution. Just giving kdkd a bit of stick he has invited on himself.

    If you’ve done stats may be you could look at the serious correlations that show up between temperature and orbital phases of Earths passage around solar system? No such correlation is evident with CO2 as the variable is there. No effect measurable. No plausible mechanism demonstrated. Therefore AGW theory is not relevant.

    A bit of trivia. Was in New York’s Central park 3 years ago. 16,000 years ago, before the big melt, it was covered by 1,500 metres of ice. That’s about a mile deep ice field, still there about 14,000 years after the last Neanderthal perished. The Earth is a very complex system . Most of the ice from the last ice age is gone. Its melting caused ocean levels to rise 120 metres to their present levels and there were fluctuations of 2 metres as this big melt settled down. The peak, about 4,000 years ago was actually 2 m higher than today. Earth Moves. The only reason CO2 has been singled out to blame for all this is that is has an association with Trees and Fossil Fuels. Neanderthal man did not drive a car. Despite this the Earth warmed dramatically over an 8000 years period which ended about 4000 years ago. The warming has stopped.

  7. Frank D'Farmer

    Please see this link below to a short video by Piers Corbin (meteorologist and astrophysicist) who states the obvious question, “what has happened to all the weather stations?”

    Piers Corbyn Warm Weather Not Causing Cold

    Piesr Corbin has been accurrately predicting weather for years using solar and lunar forcing techniques that have a 80+ % accuracy. I have been using his forecasts and I strongly believe he knows his stuff.

  8. Frank D'Farmer

    I am a man on the land.
    I dont condone threats or acts of violence against anyone, but I have been threatened because I dont believe in man made climate change. So what is a man to do, stay quiet or defend themselves for having an opinion??? – what happened to freedom of speech and thought!!!! Climate change is NATURAL!!!!! Weather patterns constantly change!!!! Nothing in nature is Set in Concrete!!!!!
    This Green agenda (proposed Carbon Tax) will destroy this lucky country, for no gain in controlling climate change. What a load of CRAP!!!! Its all about control and the money!!!!!

    Professor Ian Plimer could not have said it better!
    If you’ve read his book you may agree that this is a good summary.
    Are you sitting down? Okay, here’s the bombshell.
    In just FOUR DAYS, the volcanic eruption in Iceland, since its’ first spewing of volcanic ash, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet – all of us.
    Of course you know about this evil carbon dioxide that we are trying to suppress – it’s that vital chemical compound that every plant requires to live and grow and to synthesize into oxygen for us humans and all animal life.
    I know, it’s very disheartening to realize that all of the carbon emission savings you have accomplished while suffering the inconvenience and expense of: driving Prius hybrids, buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up till midnight to finish your kid’s “The Green Revolution” science project, throwing out all of your non-green cleaning supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick in your toilet tank reservoir, selling your SUV and speedboat, holidays at home instead of abroad, nearly getting hit every day on your bicycle, replacing all of your 50 pence light bulbs with £10.00 light bulbs …well, all of those things you have done have all gone down the tubes in just four days.
    The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere in just FOUR DAYS by that volcano in Iceland, has totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon. And there are around 200 active volcanoes on the planet spewing out this crud any one time – EVERY DAY.
    I don’t really want to rain on your parade too much, but I should mention that when the volcano Mt Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it spewed out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in its entire time on earth. Yes folks, Mt Pinatubo was active for over one year – think about it.
    Of course I shouldn’t spoil this touchy-feely tree-hugging moment and mention the effect of solar and cosmic activity and the well recognized 800 year global heating and cooling cycles, which keep happening, despite our completely insignificant efforts to affect climate change.
    I do wish I had a silver lining to this volcanic ash cloud, but the fact of the matter is that the bush fire season across the western USA and Australia this year alone will negate your efforts to reduce carbon in our world for the next two to three years…and it happens every year.
    Just remember that your government just tried to impose a whopping carbon tax on you on the basis of the bogus “human-caused” climate change scenario.
    Hey, isn’t it interesting how they don’t mention “Global Warming” any more, but just “Climate Change” – you know why? It’s because the planet has COOLED by 0.7 degrees in the past century and these global warming bull artists got caught with their pants down.
    Just keep in mind that you might yet have an Emissions Trading Scheme – that whopping new tax – imposed on you, that will achieve absolutely nothing except make you poorer. It won’t stop any volcanoes from erupting, that’s for sure.
    But hey, relax, give the world a hug and have a nice day!

  9. gregb

    Danr, I actually had work to do. So forgive me for not engaging with you immediately. Good to see you acknowledge that you were taking “a shortcut” by not “refreshing” your knowledge on atomic absorption spectra. However, I suspect that you’re not being honest. I suspect that you have no thorough understanding of absorption spectra at all. You don’t understand what you’re talking about when you bang on about water vapour and overlapping spectra etc. You’ve been reading these “arguments” on denialist websites and now you’re trying to parrot them here to us. Some people may fall for this but you’re not convincing me. The area of physics that you’re trying to spin to suit your purposes is actually quite complex and difficult to understand. I certainly don’t understand much more than rudimentary basics. But if YOU had even the faintest clue you wouldn’t NEED a “refresher” about the atomic spectra of diatomic gases. You would KNOW that they don’t absorb infrared radiation. You would KNOW that “greenhouse gases” are molecules with more than 2 atoms. This is the elementary stuff. If you had taken the effort to understand what’s going on from a reputable source (I suggest Spencer Weart’s writing on this subject), then you would be better informed. And this is why I’m not interested in your carry on about water vapour and overlapping spectra. Your credibility is totally shot and you should stop before you embarrass yourself further. Tip: stop getting your information from WTFUWT or any other denialist websites.

    Danr, do you really think that if your understanding of how the greenhouse effect works were true that no-one else would have been able to demonstrate it? Do you really think that trained atmospheric physicists would not have realised this? Your writing here seems to indicate that you do think you’re brilliant for working it all out. Your arrogance is astounding.

    Your admission that you also deny evolution demonstrates that you are not interested in truth on any subject unless it aligns with what you already think on the matter. If you had any respect for science you would be able to answer this question. What data would YOU need to see to prove that global warming is real and caused by man? I would be interested to know the answer to that question from you.

  10. Frank Campbell

    @Danr: “It’s nearly over. Bankers are getting out of green investments in Europe and America. Like rats getting off a sinking ship. Money speaks louder than words and no one will risk money in green investments anymore. Look at Spain. Their alternative energy forray has bankrupted the country. The Global Warming con is exposed and all that has to happen now will be in slow motion. The politicians have to extract themselves very carefully from the big lie and will take tier time over it. The big problem for them is to disconnect all the Universities from the funding lifeline that AGW has given them. The science of AGW is faulty and in 5 years time any polly supporting it will be seen as a crackpot.”

    (i) No one knows if the science of AGW is faulty. That’s one reason we need funding for “opposition” scientists. The dominant paradigm has to be tested to destruction. A separate career structure is needed to break the Climategate clique monopoly. Should have been the first priority.
    (ii) AGW is actually a long chain of linked hypotheses. Many are speculative. Climate science is still in its infancy. If anyone says they have the answers, they’re talking through their cumulus.

    (iii) You say “money speaks louder than words” and thereby miss the point: the ghastly piratical crew of carpet-baggers only want the money: wind-spivs, solar salesmen, turbine manufacturers…but capitalism is prostitution in a suit: Big oil and coal and the local milkbar all turn into sluts if the price is right. The staggering subsidies to wind etc are entirely down to politics- the social democracies all made the same error. Now every opportunist from the Mafia to local councils are sucking at the public tit. This great rort is by no means over. You have to kill the cult first.

    (iv) Votes are to politicians as money is to capitalists. Even the Greens. Mark my words: Brown and his band of Protestant hypocrites will be swept away by new Greens if the cult souffles completely. When pollies start losing votes, Climate Armageddon will be magically postponed. Wrestling in the mud over this form of tax or that scheme concedes the argument to the cult. This is Abbott’s biggest risk: he’s fighting on Cult assumptions. These assumptions have to categorically rejected and an alternative proposed. That alternative is (a) high priority R and D of economic renewable/alternative technologies; (b) funding of anti or non-AGW science (c) any carbon abatement scheme which has multiple environmental benefits, a healthy cost/benefit analysis and which does not bugger the poor.

    It’s not nearly over. It’s hardly begun.

  11. kdkd


    No reference for that source = fail. It looks like a variant of the failed argument that the CO2 component of the greenhouse effect is weak.

    Please continue with your delusional incoherent gibbering though, it’s quite entertaining in a sick kind of a way.

  12. kdkd


    [ As it passes through the air it manages to lose energy to CO2 until all the energy in the CO2 spectrum is absorbed. At about 10metres above ground this process is all done. All the CO2 in the air above this 10 metre boundary layer is not involved and represents spare capacity to absorb any increase in energy available from increased solar activity. ]

    Wow, what an absurd made up set of assertions. It’s an excellent case study in how climate delusionists spout superficially plausible sounding [1] made up crap that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. What’s the mechanism that light is converted to IR radiation (i.e. heat)? It’s not the theory of chemical bonds is it? Well that’s in agreement with the scientific consensus. It’s a shame that the rest of your made up crap is just that.

    You appear to be describing is the theory[2] of greenhouse gasses with some kind of added theory that the light or the molecules are self-aware such that they know if they’re traveling from the bottom to the top of the atmosphere, rather than from the top to the bottom? And maybe that laws of diffusion, and stuff to do with the weather (like wind caused by pressure gradients) are also non operational? It’s difficult to tell. Do you have any credible[3] sceintific references?

    [1] Plausible sounding for people who weren’t paying attention in high school science lessons that is
    [2] Theory has some specific meanings in science that are distinct to its meaning in conversational usage. See
    this entry in Wikipedia’s list of common misconceptions
    [3] I’ll accept material from a text book from a reasonable academic or school text book publisher, or failing that something from the quality scientific literature.

  13. kdkd

    danr (are you an astroturf lobby bot?)

    Hal Lewis eh? Who’s resignation letter from the American Physical Society contained crackpot rubbish about global warming conspiracy for funding? Who’s now a part of the anti-science think tank The Global Warming Policy Foundation, a well funded organisation with a political agenda with secret donors? Yes, very credible. We must revise 200+years of scientific theories based on this.

    I’m also interested to see your assertion about the lack of scientific understanding of the action of CO2 in the atmosphere defended properly. The long-discredited “CO2 is a trace gas and is plant food” delusional argument will not be an acceptable answer, as it fails to account for the complex interactions within the system it operates in. You’d do well to start by reviewing Arrhenius’ initial findings and how they’ve become better understood over the past couple of hundred years, and show us how that leads to the opposite conclusion of the scientific consensus.

    Can’t do that? Try personal attacks or changing the subject instead.

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