November 29th, 2009

Pay no attention to that Climategate behind the curtain

Because I’ve been away from civilization for nearly four days, I haven’t been able to follow the twistings and turnings of Climategate as closely as I otherwise would. But from my quick perusal of the subject today, it strikes me that (a) not too much has changed since I left, although it’s become more clear that the AGW researchers relied on data that was in utter chaos; and (b) the most interesting developments right now are non-developments—meaning that the AGW movement is attempting to ignore Climategate and go full speed ahead in implementing the manifold international policy changes they’ve been advocating for years, based on their findings.

Why not? This is their big chance, because if the data is really as shaky as it seems, time can only harm their cause. Now that President Obama is in the Oval Office, and Pelosi and Reid command huge majorities in their respective legislatures, the entire liberal agenda has its strongest (and perhaps only) chance of being enacted. Why bother with such troubling side issues as facts? And isn’t a bit of chicanery in a good cause such as AGW (or lying about the probable effects of health care reform, or how many jobs were created by the stimulus bill, or any number of inconvenient truths) perfectly okay for such well-meaning folks? Isn’t all fair in love and war and saving the planet?

With the press firmly in the liberal pocket, the usual checks and balances provided by the media barely exist right now. In that context, it’s surprising that the NY Times actually managed to publish this Climategate article two days ago. It’s a curious artifact, one that covers the topic at some length without going into much depth, and presents it mostly as a “he-said/he-said” disagreement between the AGW scientists and the AGW “skeptics” (love that word; it somehow takes away from the fact that many of the latter are scientists, too), with no small emphasis on the illegality of the hacking, and lots of disclaimers from the AGW scientists that anything important was involved.

According to the Times, the AGW scientists allege all is well and Climategate’s a mere tempest in a teapot, while the skeptics allege that it calls into question the entire edifice on which AGW is based. And it’s no surprise that it’s only towards the end of the article that we learn that even some AGW proponents are disturbed by Climategate—although it is a surprise that the Times sees fit to mention this at all.

As I wrote here, anyone interested in the objectivity of science ought to be shocked by the revelations of Climategate, which do not necessarily disprove AGW but call its findings into real question. The scandal should result in a demand for a reworking of the data and a re-examination of the entire field in the light of its disclosures, and the AGW advocates should be in the forefront of this move.

Dream on. Although (as the Times reports) there have been a few such responses, the far more common reaction is to deny, defend, and circle the AGW wagons. And, as this piece in today’s Washington Post indicates, it is possible to write a thousand-plus-word post-Climategate article on next week’s looming international climate change policy talks in Copenhagen without ever mentioning the scientific fracas roiling the underlying research and researchers.

Compare and contrast to this article in Britain’s more conservative paper, the Telegraph. The headline is “Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation—our hopelessly compromised scientific establishment cannot be allowed to get away with the Climategate whitewash, says Christopher Booker.”

I will quote from the Booker piece at some length, to give you an idea of what the Times is not saying (and note the use of the word “informed” in the first sentence that follows; I believe that Booker should have added the word “objective,” as well as adding the word “should” in front of the phrase “have sent”):

There are three threads in particular in the leaked documents which have sent a shock wave through informed observers across the world. Perhaps the most obvious, as lucidly put together by Willis Eschenbach (see McIntyre’s blog Climate Audit and Anthony Watt’s blog Watts Up With That), is the highly disturbing series of emails which show how Dr Jones and his colleagues have for years been discussing the devious tactics whereby they could avoid releasing their data to outsiders under freedom of information laws.

They have come up with every possible excuse for concealing the background data on which their findings and temperature records were based.

This in itself has become a major scandal, not least Dr Jones’s refusal to release the basic data from which the CRU derives its hugely influential temperature record, which culminated last summer in his startling claim that much of the data from all over the world had simply got “lost”. Most incriminating of all are the emails in which scientists are advised to delete large chunks of data, which, when this is done after receipt of a freedom of information request, is a criminal offence.

But the question which inevitably arises from this systematic refusal to release their data is – what is it that these scientists seem so anxious to hide? The second and most shocking revelation of the leaked documents is how they show the scientists trying to manipulate data through their tortuous computer programmes, always to point in only the one desired direction – to lower past temperatures and to “adjust” recent temperatures upwards, in order to convey the impression of an accelerated warming. This comes up so often (not least in the documents relating to computer data in the Harry Read Me file) that it becomes the most disturbing single element of the entire story.

Please read the whole thing. Booker is hardly objective, of course; he’s one of those nefarious AGW “skeptics.” But the points he makes need answering, and in the current political climate it seems more likely that the whitewash Booker fears will actually occur, and Climategate will become a mere footnote in the annals of global climate and energy policy, as AGW proponents march on to change the world in light of scientific findings they have manipulated and distorted.

37 Responses to “Pay no attention to that Climategate behind the curtain”

  1. James Says:

    Hi Neo,

    Not sure if you understand the overall structure of this, so I’ll try to explain.

    There are two sets of computer models. The first is complicated, and attempts to model the earth’s atmosphere based on the principles of thermodynamics and radiation absorption. It then uses the results to predict the future based on CO2 in the atmosphere.

    The second attempts to build temperature records for the last 1-2 thousand years using data found in nature.

    Climategate reflects the second computer model – and its data, but not the first. The first computer model is developed and run at other places with other scientists. But….. there is an important catch.

    The first set of models aren’t good enough to work by themselves. They have to be calibrated based on historical data. That is where the second and fraudulent data model comes in to play. Its output is used to calibrate the models which predict the future (the first type of model).

    If the historical climate record is not what the scientists say it is – and/or they massaged it to get the result they wanted, then the first type of computer model no longer predicts a warm future. It is no longer capable of predicting anything.

    James

  2. huxley Says:

    I’m fighting the good fight over at Real Climate http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack-context/.

    So far I’m batting two for five in accepted posts.

    Gavin Schmidt, the head RC blogger and a leading figure in the CRU Hack emails, is a pretty smooth operator. The science is either settled with zero doubt when it’s time to write up the IPCC report or “what scientists say that?” if it sounds too over the top for a real scientist.

    My approach is to keep hammering on the release of all the data and all the methodology behind AGW so that others may inspect and attempt to replicate.

    None of the AGW advocates at RC responds directly to that and I’m far from the only commenter voicing the idea.

    There is even an AGW advocate, Dr. Judith Curry, who is making the same request. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/27/an-open-letter-from-dr-judith-curry-on-climate-science/

  3. David Aitken Says:

    The CRU has admitted that they discarded the original data on which their research is based: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6936328.ece

  4. PatientObserver Says:

    Possibly trivial item: sometime in the last few months Judith Curry appeared on the PBS NOW program. In it she did an experiment where an ice-water mixture was heated while a thermometer output was shown. It stayed constant until the ice was melted, then the temperature shot through the roof.

    That was posted on the NOW website back then, but I can’t seem to find it now.

  5. virgil xenophon Says:

    As reported by Myron Ebell in PJ Media, Sunday’s “Daily Telegraph” reports that the Univ. of East Anglia ( a long-known red-brick leftist univ chock full of Marxists–neo and otherwise) will “full” release “all” data now. Caution! They mean only the “cleaned” or sanitized “scrubbed” data–NOT the original “lost” data. They also ARE NOT releasing the computer code used to compute the data. As numerous comments at PJ point out: without both one cannot IN ANY WAY know what sort of processing ANY data was given–lest alone the “lost” data. What we are witnessing from the Univ. of East Anglia up at Norwich is purely a defensive movement (as opposed to a “have seen the light” sort of thing) in the form of Erlichman’s famous “modified limited hang-out” in an attempt to calm the waters and appease the fence-sitters–hoping they can stall out the clock until the political and economic AGW-motivated strictures are in place.

  6. Ilíon Says:

    Booker is hardly objective, of course; he’s one of those nefarious AGW “skeptics.”

    But of course he is ‘objective.’ To be ‘objective’ is to look at the evidence, and all the evidence available, honestly. That a man has a bias does not rule out that he may be objective about it.

  7. rickl Says:

    Some articles I read last night:

    James Lewis: Climategate: It’s the Totalitarianism, Stupid

    The most important take home lesson is that global frauding was the clear and conscious work of a political machine aiming to steal your money, your liberties, and your country. It was a massive, worldwide attempt at a coup d’etat, and the victims were going to include all the free and prosperous peoples of the world. Hitler had his Reichstag fire. Today’s transnational left had its global warming fraud. The political goal was exactly the same: maximum power through maximum fear.

    Donald Sensing: Advocacy science: Climate science has no “product”

    Climate science may well be the only scientific study that has no utilitarian value. All other scientific disciplines enable some kind of improvement in the human condition. Physics enables space exploration and medical equipment such as MRIs, for example. Meteorology predicts weather which has all sorts of beneficial applications. Chemistry provides us with new materials and biology with health insights and improved crop productions. All of these things plus countless others.

    Yet climate science has no “product.” The outcomes of climate modeling cannot be used to do anything except what is being done with them – promote statist control of ever-expanding slices of national economies to conform to a transnationalist ideology.

    If climate science could be used to do anything else, it would already be happening. But have you ever heard of any report of climate science’s findings not in connection with expanding the power of the state or trans-state organs?

    Transterrestrial Musings: “There Was Proof Of Fraud All Along”

    The comments section of the Transterrestrial Musings post has an interesting discussion of peer review vs. open source. They also have some fun batting a troll around. Rand always has interesting trolls.

    The TM post also mentions the Eisenhower quote about government funding of science that I quoted here some time ago.

  8. strcpy Says:

    “Possibly trivial item: sometime in the last few months Judith Curry appeared on the PBS NOW program. In it she did an experiment where an ice-water mixture was heated while a thermometer output was shown. It stayed constant until the ice was melted, then the temperature shot through the roof.”

    No, that is *not* trivial. It is not trivial in that it was presented by someone who should know better that it is a bogus example. So, was she lying to get her point across or that incompetent?

    That type of thinking is, in some sense, what is going on here – pick the bits of data that help you, ignore the rest. Now, had she taken the thermometer out of a very closed portion of the whole system and measure *the whole damn thing* she would have found a HUGE increase in temperature, she just would have found that one localized part was absorbing a great deal of it.

    AGW is the opposite – the more we take into account the whole system the more we find stability to cooling. One has to ignore things or figure out how to “smooth” them out so they no longer affect the data.

    That is bad science, further it is not intended to be instructive but to be sensational which should raise red flags up to everyone.

    It is things like that that should have had them be dismissed as loons but didn’t and hasn’t.

  9. Baklava Says:

    Googlegate on this issue

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2009/11/googlegate.html

    As well as Bing-gate ?

  10. strcpy Says:

    I’ll make another point – one of the neat things you can do is take a flimsy plastic bottle, fill it with water, and use a propane blow torch on it. The water absorbs the energy and the bottle stays perfectly fine.

    If you make the mass of water large enough and the top open enough the energy the torch puts in pretty much goes out the top of the water bottle instead of into the plasti. You can sit and “pour” energy into the system with no real effect – other than a little bit of damage to the surface of the bottle – for ages. While the torch has a great deal of localized energy it isn’t that much if you get the volumes right.

    So, does this prove that we can put blow torches blowing into the earth and have no effect (after all, look at all that water? No more so than her example and to some extent for similar reasons (I narrowed the system I measuring to ignore the excess heat being radiated out of the water plus using a single torch is to my advantage).

    Turns out a bottle of water (either ice or not) and a source of heat isn’t climate.

  11. huxley Says:

    Now Gavin is insisting (http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=2019#comment-145596) that unless I audit some aspect of the AGW project that my point, that all the data and all the methodology behind AGW be released, is impossible and betrays my lack of understanding.

    This is basic intellectual bullying. I must say I’m getting to dislike these people.

  12. Mr. Frank Says:

    As an old educator I must say that the report that the original data that the models are based on has been lost sounds a bit like the dog ate my homework story.

  13. Fred2 Says:

    I’ve been in the software field a long time. I do remember computer centers that had actually lost significant parts of their data bases. This is bad, but not that rare.

    I also came across a few that actually lost the source code to the programs they were running. This means they were running programs that they could neither inspect nor modify. Once people were replaced, knowledge was lost forever.

    Most of this was several decades ago, when the field was younger. But this was the era when the climate data in question was being stored. I think normal incompetence explains a lot here.

    Once you’ve erased vital data, it’s awfully embarrassing, and there is an impulse to hide the fact.

  14. turfmann Says:

    With the exception of disinter, above, coming in and stinking up the room, I want to thank the commenters for their excellent work. Excellent arguments and very helpful links.

  15. Baklava Says:

    This may be another reason for Tea Party people to gather…

    I’m in.

  16. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    huxley,
    Welcome to the club. I was a faithful reader and commenter on Real Climate for two years. My problem was that I read other sites like Greenie Watch, Global Warming.org, Global Warming Clearinghouse, Climate Audit, and a few others. Little by little it dawned on me that there were many unanswered questions about the predictions that Real Climate, the IPCC, CRU, NCAR, GISS, and others were putting out. When I began making inquiries in my comments at Real Climate, the answer was usually something like, “You just don’t understand the science,” or “This has been settled for some time now.” Eventually they quit posting my comments because, “You aren’t contributing to the discussion.” Yes, Gavin is pretty smooth. He does his best to make skeptics feel like they are imbeciles or dense.

    At the time I realized there was something secretive and tribal about what they were doing so I just turned my efforts to trying to get what information out that I had gained from several years of studying the blogs, links, etc.

    The anonymous release, in October, of the bristlecone data that Climate Audit’s Steve McIntyre he had been trying to get for five years was the first chink in the armor. Now this dump of material, which I suspect was from someone on the inside at CRU, has really opened the door on this. They will not go down easy, as you have already seen at Real Climate. The MSM is no doubt formulating a strategy, even as this is written, to cover all this up as a “tempest in a teapot.”

    We in the blogosphere need to get this information out to our friends, our Congress Critters, local politicians, and to newspaper editors. It is on our shoulders to keep this alive and out in the light of day.

    If the AGW proponents can PROVE that CO2 is actually the threat they claim, I will accept it. They forward is open and free disclosure of all the data, all the models, and all peer review communications. Then let the skeptics try to replicate the results. Nothing short of that will do.

  17. Occam's Beard Says:

    In it she did an experiment where an ice-water mixture was heated while a thermometer output was shown. It stayed constant until the ice was melted, then the temperature shot through the roof.

    So we can thank her for a refresher course on phase changes and thermal buffering. Apparently no emails have been leaked that debunk high school chemistry.

    What’s her point? That the earth’s temperature will rise when all the ice melts? Turning that point around, since not all of the ice has melted, then how can the earth possibly be getting warmer? It’s intellectual three card monte.

  18. PatientObserver Says:

    Occam, IIRC the point was either to explain concept of “heating in the pipeline” that Hansen is known to repeat so often or to promote the concern over the melting of the artic ice or both.

    I complained on the website as did others. I did not stay in touch with the thread for long as they were very slow to update the comments.

  19. huxley Says:

    Fred2: God knows I’ve lost a fair amount of data since 1980 between disk crashes, obsolescence, and plain carelessness.

    But according to the Times article the CRU center intentionally discarded the raw data, only keeping the new, improved, “value-added” data.

    As is often the case, we are left having to choose between incompetence and something more sinister.

  20. Occam's Beard Says:

    Thanks, PatientObserver. Is it my reading too quickly or does that isothermal ice/water bath-global warming argument have a whiff of “I didn’t kill him, and I wasn’t there, and besides, it was self-defense, and he had it coming?”

  21. turfmann Says:

    Perhaps someone can enlighten me, or turn me to a source to answer my question.

    It has been told to me that the “loss” of CRU data is not relevant as that same data is available from NASA here:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

    and from NOAA here

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/ghcn-monthly/index.php

    Now, I have not read anywhere that the CRU data and the NASA/NOAA data are the same and that the loss of data is irrelevant.

    Is this just a red herring from some of my leftist friends?

  22. huxley Says:

    JJ: Thanks for the welcome to the club!

    I’m doing my best to fence Gavin in though with each step I’m aware that he’s likely to simply censor my posts.

    His latest tack is that I’m demanding the impossible — perfect 100% data/methodology sharing — therefore I’m a fundamentalist making a naive rhetorical trick.

    But I’m not I just for all the data/methodology necessary for replication, not perfection.

    If AGW researchers can’t supply that I question whether they themselves can replicate their own work.

  23. Mr. Frank Says:

    Richard Fernandez (Belmont Club) has an excellent discussion of this topic on his blog today.

  24. Oblio Says:

    huxley, you are fighting the good fight, but I have to question whether this is a battle you can win on Gavin’s home court. He can either censor you–as you note–or turn obscurantist.

    Most people will throw up their hands over the exchange and wonder, with Froma Harrop today at Rasmussen, “Whom am I supposed to believe? She falls back on credentialism and specialization the sciences. After all, you wouldn’t let a meteorologist attack fundamental concepts in geology, would you?

  25. Baklava Says:

    All we need to know is that Al Gore uses 20 times more energy with his home than the AVERAGE american.

    Also he uses a private plane to get to his conferences which is like driving a Hummer every day for a year each time he does it.

    His agenda is to become rich on the pollution credits on which he SELLS.

  26. Baklava Says:

    Do I want less pollution? Yes.

    Is CO2 pollution? No.

    CO2 is carbon dioxide which is a very small part of our atmosphere yet plants breathe and convert to Oxygen.

    ALL carbon based fuels emit CO2 when burned. Bio diesel, diesel, gasoline, natural gas, candles, wood, charcoal, coal, etc.

    Fuel is energy and everything requires energy – shipping, manufacturing, driving, computing, bathing, breathing, cooking, video conferencing, etc.

    Removing fuel is removing our way of life short of converting home energy usage to nuclear or hydro (dams).

    Solar and wind are no where near going from 1% of electricity to 2% in this decade.

    We have to be real. It’s ok to invest. It’s not ok to tax each and every family $700 for the home energy needs on a whim which nobody will give the DATA FOR US ALL TO EXAMINE !!!

  27. PatientObserver Says:

    Occam, the real squirming will be done by others some day. They white washed the hockey stick once, they will try again. People don’t give up their religion easily. Make no mistake this is a religion.

  28. huxley Says:

    I have to question whether this is a battle you can win on Gavin’s home court. He can either censor you–as you note–or turn obscurantist.

    Oblio: True enough. It’s an interesting exercise. Gavin’s avoidances are revealing in themselves. We’ll see how far I can get through the maze there.

    I still can’t get a straight answer on whether the full data and methodology can be shared or whether he would be willing to have it shared. He keeps shifting position and demands, while naturally sniping and patronizing.

    The exercise has helped me to refine my request. The latest version:

    “If the stakes are as dire as AGW advocates claim and that the solution requires citizens to turn over 10% or more of the income, it seems to me that we citizens have a right to second opinions based on the full data and methodology.”

  29. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    “If the stakes are as dire as AGW advocates claim and that the solution requires citizens to turn over 10% or more of the income, it seems to me that we citizens have a right to second opinions based on the full data and methodology.”

    Huxley, that’s a great question and the kind of question that Gavin will sidestep by saying you bring up a valid point……but you don’t understand the way climate science works (the way it works is they don’t want any “skeptics” {Scientists who aren’t on the Hockey Team} refuting their work) or some such evasion. If you get an honest answer then maybe I’m just a deluded DENIER! You may, however, grow weary of trying to get a straight answer.

    The person I most admire in all this is Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit. He has persisted for five years. He’s a retired guy like me, and undoubtedly has better things to do with his time. He seems like a bulldodg – got his teeth into this and won’t let go. Also, he’s a statistician who actually understands the methodology used in constructing charts like the Hockey Stick, which is the main tool Hansen has used to predict warming disaster.

  30. br549 Says:

    I forget where I read this, damnit. At any rate, there were roughly 65 scientists (from around the world) on the side of the UN and in agreeance that man made global warming was to do the planet in. Those who did not agree, (also from around the world) and rang in on the opposite side, numbered above 600. One of these days i will learn to bookmark what I find.
    The way things are going, I should download things and perhaps print and file hard copies

    The way the senate health bill is shaping up, though, it is not global warming that will rise to the surface. As I have felt and stated for about 5 years now, it will again become states’ rights. CWII may well be front page news.
    I have reached the point (been there a while actually) where i see a lot of manufactured crises in order to cause mass confusion, argument, etc. The idea is to pit the people against each other to keep us all preoccupied while the real stuff goes on behind the scenes. We wake up imprisoned. Once again, I know this isn’t news. And i truly believe the last thing it is, is a far fetched notion.

    In the 70′s we flipped from an inevitable, oncoming ice age to Soylent Green. I guess they think it works better, becaue man is helpless to stop an ice age. But man made global warming? Oh, snap! Why didn’t we think of that sooner?

  31. huxley Says:

    Huxley, that’s a great question and the kind of question that Gavin will sidestep by saying you bring up a valid point

    JJ: As it turns out, it’s the kind of question that Gavin simply edits out of my post. He’s done it twice now, here and here.

    I cannot get a straight answer out of Gavin about AGW advocates supplying their data and methodology (both, dammit) so that others may inspect and replicate.

    I’ll take the absence of an answer as the answer.

  32. Dennis Says:

    Having worked in R&D developing and fielding Management Information Systems for about 25 years before I retired I would suggest that this was sloppy development that led to sloppy science. If your software design is suspect then your output/science is equally suspect.
    Configuration Management is one of the important areas in software development. This should contain the “as is”/” be” and all supporting documentation, the system/subsystem specifications, the program specifications, programmer notes et al.
    ISSO 9000 was around a couple of decades ago and was prevalent in Europe and Britain. Our group was and ISSO 9000 certified design agency.
    I can see NO reason that any of this should have happened given any attention to the software developing cycle that scientists should have had in place. The implications are far too serious for this type of approach. Was a software engineer unavailable?
    It make one want to get angry reading a lot of the programming and the notes that were written. How in the HELL could any scientist worth their degree do such sloppy work all around ?

  33. John McLachlan Says:

    If the problem were as urgent and the science so settled as the AGW propponents claim, then they would long ago have released the raw, unfiltered data and demanded that skeptics explain the data with coherent theories, which they would be confident were flawed and easily falsified. I think that their reluctance to present raw data, even resorting to criminal acts, in order to resist FOIA requests, suggests that in their hearts, they ot their pay-masters know that the data does not support their well-publicised conclusions, or the dramatic political policies which their theory is being used to justify. Would anyone convict an accused defendant in court on the basis of such alleged proof? I would not. In a court, the standard of proof is “beyond reasonable doubt”, in science, there can never be proof of a theory, because at any time, a new fact may be discovered which requires that a theory be discarded or, at least, modified. Perhaps a proper public debate between AGW supporters and skeptics would allow people and their elected representatives to make up their minds about how urgent it is that we cause severe damage to our economies, which are already in dire straits, on the basis or lost information and cumbersome computer programs which have not yet suceeded in predicting tomorrow’s weather, let alone the climate in 50 years. The dog ate my homework.

  34. br549 Says:

    I’ve asked this simple question elsewhere.

    If the cumulative percentage of CO2 in the air causes planetary warming, and the moisture in the atmosphere and amount of btu input from the sun are of no consequence – then why is it when you cool your house with air conditioning in the summer, it removes water vapor from the air – and not CO2. Shouldn’t it leave the huimidity level the same when it removes heat, and just remove CO2 as it lowers the temperature? Shouldn’t that, in fact, be the reverse?

    And since the atmosphere of Mars is almost completely CO2, shouldn’t it already be hotter than hell, instead of an average mean of -65C?

  35. Vieux Charles Says:

    J.J. says~Yes, Gavin is pretty smooth. He does his best to make skeptics feel like they are imbeciles or dense.

    Gavin Schmidt’s livelyhood depends on it. When skeptics like Dr. Timothy Ball or Dr. William Gray accept a few thousand dollars for a research paper they are declared “bought and paid for by big oil”, however the entire economic future (i.e. research grants, promotions, tenure, appointments, etc.) of an entire cadre of AGW proponents depends completely on citizen’s allowing their inept and mischievious liberal politicians to buy into this hogwash.

  36. huxley Says:

    br549: Are you genuinely interested?

    It’s more complicated than you say. AGW science doesn’t say the sun and water vapor are of no consequence or that CO2 is the only greenhouse gas worth paying attention go.

    AGW says that CO2, while a very minor gas by percentage in the earth’s atmosphere and a greenhouse gas in its own right, causes large warming by (somehow) causing a positive feedback cycle that affects the clouds and water vapor to cause the larger positive temperature increase.

    Frankly I’m not clear on how that happens or what the AGW folks believe the mechanism is. Their main claim rests on the strong historical correlation of CO2 to temperature over the last several thousand years, especially in the 1975-1998 run-up. This is why the debate over the “Hockey Stick” is so important.

    Furthermore this is why the current lull in warming is so problematic for AGW advocates. They are modifiying their models so that SO2 and pollution offset the temperature increase of global warming. They also recognize that the low sunspot activity reduces the heat from the sun.

    If one accepts this theory, then at some point after the sun becomes more active and the CO2 outstrips SO2 and pollution, the earth will resume its previous warming.

  37. Oblio Says:

    Magical CO2! It performs whatever feat is required to keep the political agenda going.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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