A Reminder

As we know, alarmists have adopted the term "climate change" over "global warming," in large part since the climate is always changing for all manner of reasons, one can always find, well, climate change.   This allows alarmists in the media to point to any bit of weather in the tails for the normal distribution and blame these events on man-made climate change.

But here is a reminder for those who may be uncomfortable with their own grasp of climate science (don’t feel bad, the media goes out of its way not to explain things very well).  There is no mechanism that has been proven, or even credibly identified, for increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere to "change the climate" or cause extreme weather without first causing warming.  In other words, the only possible causality is CO2 –> warming –> changing weather patterns.  If we don’t see the warming, we don’t see the changing weather patterns. 

I feel the need to say this, because alarmists (including Gore) have adopted the tactic of saying that climate change is accelerating, or that they see the signs of accelerating climate change everywhere.  But for the last 10 years, we have not seen any warming.  Uah

So if climate change is in fact somehow "accelerating," then it cannot possibly be due to CO2.  I believe that they are trying to create the impression that somehow CO2 is directly causing extreme weather, which it does not, under any mechanism anyone has ever suggested.   

  • If they are talking climate change, then any change in slope is an acceleration, be it positive or negative. Nice to have it both ways. Gore still says that CO2 is the major driver and as it increaes, temperature increases in lock-step. As you point out, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

    Alarmists will still maintain that one year doesn’t make a trend. They are right. But any decline in temperature, while CO2 levels continue to rise, delinks CO2 from the equation. For the CO2 driven warming theory to hold true, it would seem to me that any cessation fo increase must be accompanied by a concommitant decrease in CO2.

  • Luis Dias

    This is a cherry picked graphic. You can’t do smooth curves like these and expect that the end is somehow precise, because the only way that it could be so would be if we knew what the next year’s temperature would be.

    Rephrasing, the smooth curve is an algorithm that isn’t precise in both ends. This has been discussed elsewhere, I think in anthony watts web page.

    Discarding 1998 and 2008 (which can be as out of the trend as 1998 was), I only see a relentless growth in temperature numbers. I’ll wait and see.

  • Here’s a good example. In Gore’s talk on Thursday he said:

    And by the way, our weather sure is getting strange, isn’t it? There seem to be more tornadoes than in living memory, longer droughts, bigger downpours and record floods. Unprecedented fires are burning in California and elsewhere in the American West. Higher temperatures lead to drier vegetation that makes kindling for mega-fires of the kind that have been raging in Canada, Greece, Russia, China, South America, Australia and Africa. Scientists in the Department of Geophysics and Planetary Science at Tel Aviv University tell us that for every one degree increase in temperature, lightning strikes will go up another 10 percent. And it is lightning, after all, that is principally responsible for igniting the conflagration in California today.

    http://www.wecansolveit.org/content/pages/304/ How can any self-respective climate scientist associate herself with Gore when he makes such unscientific claims? The weather is getting strange?

  • Alan D. McIntire

    Luis Dias is correct that moving averages are apt to give spurrious correlations. David Stockwell addresses this on his blog,

    http://landshape.org/enm/spurious-regression-random-walk/

    I believe there have also been related guest posts on “ClimateAudit”.
    The temperatures haven’t “grown relentlessly” since 2001. In fact, there has been a slight, though not statistically significantly diffrenet from zero, decline since then.

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2

  • An Inquirer

    Luis Dias
    Cherry Picking is a phenomenon that can run rampant in both camps, but let us keep in mind that this posting is the entire data set of satellite temperatures. This data set does not have the questionable / suspicious / non-reproducible features characterized by the two main data set of surface & sea temperatures. (See what GISS does to New York City temperatures, and such treatment is typical of its bizarre manipulation of temperatures.) The UAH data set is largely consistent with the RSS satellite data set, and if fact, the UAH personnel helped RSS raise its temperature trend when RSS had a slight problems in its algorithm.
    I suspect that your objection is centered more on the smoothing graphic than on the data set. Yes, HadCrut had did not have any problem this type of graphic until the trend was downward!
    The complete set of satellite data does not show “relentless growth in temperature numbers,” but rather trends that are consistent with the oscillations in the PDO.

  • “Discarding 1998 and 2008 (which can be as out of the trend as 1998 was), I only see a relentless growth in temperature numbers.”
    ————————————————
    Yeah, when facts are inconvenient, discard the facts.
    BTW, calling a growth of 0,2°C over 30 years, with a plateau over the past 5 years, “relentless” is at best sensationnalist, at worse dishonnest.

  • dreamin

    Anyway, I think Luis Dias is missing the point. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that (1) the CAGW is hypothesis is 100% correct; and (2) the recent flattening/downturn in temperatures is a temporary aberration and that warming will resume its relentless march soon enough.

    In that case, one would still expect a respite from the “strange weather” that the alarmists are pointing out. Given that the Goracle and company are still pointing out “strange weather,” it follows that either

    (1) “strange weather” is caused by something other than increased levels of CO2;

    (2) Increased levels of CO2 cause “strange weather” by some means other than warming; or

    (3) Warming has indeed continued, but it is hidden, perhaps in the oceans.

    There is no evidence at all for (3), which is basically an alarmist epicycle.

    Nobody is seriously proposing (2), which leaves (1) — the obvious inference. Indeed, “strange weather” has been taking place for hundreds of years, thousands of years, and probably millions of years.

    For example, the Great Southern Tornado Outbreak of the 19th Century.

    The bottom line? “strange weather” is really not all that strange.

  • Stevo

    I think the graph was originally part of a joke by Anthony Watts, in which he gave the graph with both the linear trend that all the warmenists show, together with the 5th-order polynomial fit shown above, and without further comment, invited debate on the two.

    The point of the joke, of course, was that while the smoothing applied by the 5th-order polynomial is of questionable validity, it is an equally justifiable choice to the smoothing of the 1st-order polynomial implicit in drawing the straight-line fit. The joke is that the warmenists can’t present solid arguments against the 5th-order curve without at the same time demolishing the credibility of their own far worse linear fit! Well, I thought it was funny, anyway.

    Using any sort of smoothing for trend detection relies on knowing the statistical properties of both the functional form of the trend, and of the noise. In the case of the weather, we don’t really know either, although what we do know indicates that the least-squares linear fit (optimised for iid Gaussian noise on a straight line function) is not justified and likely to be wildly inaccurate. The straight line might happen to go up (and the quintic might go down), but frankly it doesn’t mean anything with regard to where it might go next.

    The biggest problem is the lack of statistical independence, which gives a kind of data that is particularly tricky to do trend analysis on. The fact that you can get radically different ‘trends’ depending on what interval you pick is a classic symptom of this. You tend to get out whatever assumptions you put in. Certainly, it is true to say that the smoothed graph demonstrates there is no evidence in this temperature record that climate change is still rising, let alone accelerating, which was the point claimed. It doesn’t show that (in the long run) it’s not, either – I agree, we’ll just have to wait and see.

  • Likewise Luis, if I ignore all the peak years in both directions, I see a straight, flat line, no change. Without 1998, which alarmists cherished until the next decade didn’t follow suit, and 2008, which alarmists say isn’t really happening, the chart would show roughly 0.2 or 0.3 degrees warming, from start to finish. but then we would have to remove 2007 becuase it would cause imprecision in the end of the curve. That done, we’d then remove 2006, 2005, 2005, etc. Or is it only a problem when the curve turns down?

    A cherry-picked graphic? Aren’t they all? On both sides?

    Daniel, I too have a hard time understanding how any serious scientist can align him/herself with Gore. The man is becoming a parody of himself.

    Gore rants about things that can’t even be shown to be happening in the real world, just in a computer model. More tornadoes? Sure there are, Doppler Radar allows the weather guys to count every circular wind event down to a dust-devil. Large, strong tornadoes are not more prevelent now than in the past. Longer droughts than in living memory? Let’s see, my father and my mother-in-law both survived the very long drought in the Dirty-Thirties, and they are both of sound mind. Record floods? That implies a very short period of time, we haven’t had the capability of recording every flood event on the planet for very long. A massive flood occurred in Manitoba in the 90’s, just like floods have. Gore uses stats in a very biased way, twisting and contorting facts to confess crimes that were not committed. His whole basis seems to be “Wasn’t like this when I was a kid.”

    The weather isn’t getting strange, its always strange.

  • Yeti

    There is no unusual fire activity definitely no mega fires here in Canada.
    http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/dmo/aeb/images/aeb-rpts-2007-%20E06005_1-e.gif
    Al is just making all that stuff up.
    I read everywhere that “the evidence is incontrovertible” but what evidence do they have I can’t find it other then CO2 causes a small amount of warming in a laboratory setup.

  • dreamin

    “I read everywhere that ‘the evidence is incontrovertible’ but what evidence do they have I can’t find it other then CO2 causes a small amount of warming in a laboratory setup.”

    As far as I can tell, the main evidence for AGW is that it is possible to construct a simulation which assumes great climatic sensitivity to CO2 and then tune that simulation to fit past temperatures.

  • littleblackduck

    jnicklin: I too was going to point out the Great Dust Bowl in the 30s (which my mother well remembers).

    My big fear now is that what these same alarmists will do is start to claim that pollution in China (and maybe India) is behind the current cooling, just how they claim that ‘aerosols’ were responsible for the cooling in the 70s. Just wait. Right now they seemed to be obsessed with ocean acidification and coral bleaching though here’s a good rebuttal: http://www.seafriends.org.nz/issues/global/acid.htm#conclusion, but it won’t be long.

  • helpme

    OK. What’s going on here? Who maintains this web site? No name is given. Why is the biography not a biography? The “biography” is really a statement of purpose! No credentials are specified and that’s why I ask. If people don’t know who you are, how can they attack you, personally 😉 ? Really, what I mean is that “I” should provide a name. What method was used to come up with the “Accelerated Warming?” _curve_. I accept the data although it seems to show cooling starting in 2006 or so rather than the year 2001 which many people site. The curve drops off dramatically…really it seems too soon to make the assumption that GW has stopped. Last, referring to GW believers as alarmists causes you to lose credibility. “Alarmist” is not as neutral as “skeptic”. If you wish to be taken seriously, it’s best not to attack people you disagree with. Just address their science…if that doesn’t do the trick, then _you_ don’t have a case. Just trying to help.

  • Helpme,

    If you cast your eyes slightly down to the book cover image you’ll discover that the skeptic is Warren Meyer. A quick google will reveal lots about the chap and his other activities and interests….

  • Helpme,

    Alarmist refers to one who raises an alarm which is what people like Al Gore and Jim Hansen do on a regular basis. I’m not sure what other label would address their activities. I am open to suggestion, so long as whatever is suggested does not sugar-coat their activities.

  • Mike

    I actually think Luis hit the nail on the head. “I’ll wait and see.”

    I think that’s what many skeptics are saying. The lack of understanding of climate, the degree of sensitivity to CO2, etc, etc., etc. can NOT possibly justify spending untold billions on economically unjustifiable alternatives, greatly reducing plant food, artificially elevating barriers on the freedom of movement and forcing hardships on future generations, (much more on the poor than the wealthy), when there is so much uncertainty it is nigh impossible to draw a conclusion. 30 years is a drop in the bucket afterall.
    Regards,

  • helpme

    OK. I have name. Still not much of a biography, unless I want to spend more time than necessary sorting through Google hits on Warren Meyer. Some engineering degree, small business owner, coyoteblog. I’m no sure what, if any qualifications he has wrt GW research. The Climate Skeptic “Biography” should be a biography or it should be removed. Meyer’s name should be more prominently shown. Whatever you may say about Al Gore, he is at least willing to stick his neck out and take responsibility for what he says.

    The term “alarmist” actually refers or should refer to those who take either extreme position regarding anthropogenic GHG emissions. Both extremes take an “alarmist” position. The alarm that is raised by skeptics is that the elite Democrats or the liberal elite are trying to destroy this country. This is not an ideological or political debate, it is or should be a scientific debate.

    What I see in the above graph, trying to ignore the extremes, is a upward trend in temperatures all the way from 1978 to 2008. I believe it’s reasonable, if not actually correct (since they are not measurement errors) to ignore the extremes. You might ignore the 1998 peak since that was due to an unusually strong El Nino, but if you remove that, then you would have to remove the last 6 months or year of the data due to a strong La Nina (that helped Arctic Ice recover somewhat this past winter). I still wonder how the curve that is drawn was developed. Can anybody help on this? I think you might be better off doing a simple linear trend (straight line) fit since, if you are trying to determine climate change, you are looking at long term, time-averaged weather.

  • Mesa Econoguy

    Whatever you may say about Al Gore, he is at least willing to stick his neck out and take responsibility for what he says.
    Posted by: helpme

    Excuse me?

    AlGore, to this day, refuses to debate anyone and everyone, because he is overmatched.

    Start here.

    Gore is a documented liar with zero scientific training attempting to control (destroy) economies based on fake science.

    And you’re worried about a blog? Good lord…

  • dreamin

    “I’m no sure what, if any qualifications he has wrt GW research”

    The classic warmist ploy: Ignore the merits of the debate and focus on credentials, qualifications, and motivations.

  • Stevo

    helpme,

    “The term “alarmist” actually refers or should refer to those who take either extreme position regarding anthropogenic GHG emissions.”

    The term ‘alarmist’ refers to those who try to claim that climate change is something to be alarmed about. It’s not necessarily an insult, depending on your beliefs.

    It is also possible to believe in anthropogenic greenhouse warming, and yet not consider it anything to be worried about (at least, compared with all our other worries). Somebody like Bjorn Lomborg would be an example.

    I suspect the article here was actually being careful to use the term when referring to the media polemicists who claim extreme weather events are ‘evidence’ or that climate change is accelerating, because they don’t represent all AGW believers. If Warren had said ‘AGW believers’ were saying this sort of thing, he could be rightfully criticised for accusing all the more restrained and responsible scientists of doing so when they don’t.

    It’s a clever sort of bait-and-switch. If you criticise outrageous media scare tactics, you get told “oh, that’s just the media, the proper scientists don’t say that”. They pump out hours of outrageously inaccurate and over-simplified propaganda, but as soon as you step up to complain about it, they quickly replace it all with the maze of incomprehensibly abstruse physics, obscure scientific papers and reports and intergovernmental committees and lots of weasel words.

    They can show Al Gore’s inaccurate and misleading movie in school science lessons – Al has NO qualifications or expertise in physics or climatology – but any sceptic has to be backed with qualifications and peer-reviewed publications and be able to take on and beat the scientists at their own game. Usually in less than three minutes, with a hostile moderator/interviewer, and to an audience who know virtually no science as a result of the appallingly degraded education they’ve just received.

    It’s all very clever, but unfortunately for them it’s been getting very obvious and rather strained too, just lately, and the general public are starting to get suspicious. I am going to enjoy saying “I told you so” – repeatedly – as it all falls apart over the next few years, but I do worry about what it is all going to do to the reputation of science generally.

  • dreamin

    “I am going to enjoy saying ‘I told you so’ – repeatedly”

    Me too, but I already know what the response will be.

    Remember the “weasel words” you referred to?

    We’ll be told that the IPCC; the NAS; etc., weren’t actually predicting anything at all!

  • helpme

    Mesa Econoguy,

    Gore speaks openly. His name is prominent. Yes, I know. He wants attention, he has an agenda, or whatever way you want to dismiss him… But you can’t have it both ways, his name and his face are out there. Where is and who is Warren Meyer? Gore is not a scientist. He admits that. He is trying to get the message out. He’s doing a good job of it.

    I see nothing in any of the posts here that suggests that you have a degree in physics or any science. People are unable to answer my questions about the “Accelerated Warning” graph. They can’t even address my concerns. Meyer has a degree in engineering ( I don’t know that to be true, but I’ll accept it for now), and an engineer is a long shot from a scientist. See, personal attacks go both ways. And they add nothing to the debate.

    I actually came here to debate and learn the thinking of global warming “skeptics”. The term skeptic is misused here. People here don’t “doubt or” are not “inclined to question” global warming. They simply don’t believe. GW is completely dismissed.

    Alarmism and personal attack(s), right here in this thread:

    “…I do worry about what it is all going to do to the reputation of science generally.”

    “Gore is a documented liar with zero scientific training attempting to control (destroy) economies based on fake science.”

    Can you tell me who has documented lies by Al Gore? I may have stumbled on a group as closed-minded as the Stormfront.org clowns, who disabled my account because I didn’t buy into their racism and hatred. I don’t buy into the ideas I’ve read about here. I need to dig further, but I’ve seen no science here. So, instead of simply attacked Al Gore, look at the science. ALL SCIENCE, as I’m trying to do. If you can’t disprove the science of GW, anything else you do, the personal attacks, the smug comments at this site directed only at people who believe as you do, use of junk pseudo-science, all mean nothing and do _not_ help your cause. Science will win out on this issue. There are true scientists who don’t believe in global warming due to anthropogenic GHG emissions. I don’t think they are right, but I sure hope they are right.

  • dreamin

    Helpme, that’s a nice touch – eschewing personal attacks while simultaneously engaging in them. At the same time, pretending to be seeking knowledge is a bit old and tired. All told, I give you 6.0 on the troll-o-meter.

    |—–X—-|

  • Mike

    helpme:

    I agree with you (as I believe most on here would) that this debate SHOULD be about the science and not politics. However, the “liberal elites,” “environmentalists,” “greens,” etc often turn it into just that…politics. If you doubt that, I refer you to the latest from the APS (American Physical Society):

    Hypocrisy by APS

    Scroll down from the top a little ways and follow the links there. If that doesn’t smack of politics and “alarm-ism,” I don’t know what else does.

    I have yet to meet or speak with a skeptic that was not willing to entertain a debate regarding AGW. In fact, that is what this blog is about. Warren has never, to my knowledge, deleted ANY posts taking an opposing viewpoint to his own. The people that post here are very knowledgeable about climate and science in general. Several hold advanced degrees in not only physics, but climatology, economics, engineering, and host of other fields of study. They are extremely well informed and well-read. In fact, Warren would probably say that most of the readers of this blog know far more about climate science than he. “Why is that” you say? Because they have to be. They have to have all their “i’s” dotted and “t’s” crossed to be able to defend their positions against those who liken them to being the same as those who believe the Holocaust didn’t happen, or that the Earth is flat.

    Interesting, is it not, that you state “it’s best not to attack people you disagree with” when the alarmists are doing just that?

  • Stevo

    helpme,

    I suggest you go back through the archives if you want to see the science, although generally speaking there are other sceptic sites that actually do most of the science – this blog just reports on interesting bits and pieces of it.

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at when asking who the blog owner is. It looks at first glance like you’re seeking some sort of argument from authority – qualifications or whatnot. But given that you apparently accept Al Gore and his right to spread his message when he’s qualified in divinity and politics, I’m not sure what sort of qualification you’re looking for. If it helps, I’m qualified to PhD level in mathematics and theoretical physics, and am a working scientist – albeit not in climatology. And speaking as such, I advise you to pay no attention to such matters. A basic principle of the scientific method is that you never judge an argument on the basis of the person making it.

    I assume the help you were requesting was about how the accelerated warming curve is generated. Well, it’s the linear least-squares best fit 5th-order polynomial to the UAH MSU global mean lower-troposphere temperature anomaly dataset. Do you want to know how the satellites measured the data, or how the lower troposphere is defined, or how a temperature anomaly is calculated, or where you can download the data, or how to fit a 5th-order curve to it? And what do you expect the information to tell you?

    To be able to say whether we “simply don’t believe” in global warming, you have to define your terms more carefully. Yes we do believe the world has warmed, and we do believe that anthropogenic CO2 makes a contribution to that. What we don’t believe is that the observed warming has been shown to be due to CO2, or that the ultimate effect of CO2 is likely to be disastrous, or even necessarily significant. We have reasons for those beliefs, but it will take some time to explain them.

    Some of the “Lies by Al Gore” were documented as part of a court case in the UK, brought by a parent horrified at such political indoctrination being shown in school science lessons. See here for a list. http://newparty.co.uk/articles/inaccuracies-gore.html There are several other longer lists floating about such as this one. http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/monckton/goreerrors.html

    I assume you’re not a scientist yourself. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. But if you want to be able to give your opinion in favour of anthropogenic global warming without knowing the scientific details (and as far as I’m concerned you’re wlcome to do so), then you have to accept that other non-scientists should be able to do the same for the other side. Yes, ultimately it will be the scientists who decide, but everyone else is welcome to join the debate and express their opinion, no matter how ill-informed. It’s the only way to learn.

  • Helpme,

    I find it a little disingenuos for one person to demand that another state his/her name while at the same time hiding behind a pseudonym.

    Generally, I don’t care much whether people use their real names or a pseudonym, its the content of the arguement that makes the difference. But others here who, for reasons of their own, use a variety of names don’t raise such questions. Warren does use his real name, he has put himeslf “out there.” Blog owners, in my humble opinion, add credibility by doing so.

  • helpme

    Mike, there you go. USing the terms “liberal elites,” “environmentalists,” “greens” causes you to lose credibility. I didn’t follow your link “Hypocrisy by APS”. I know that one Chapter/Section has _reopened debate_ and the first paper presented is by Lord Monckton of Brenchley. Hypocrisy is what you and right-wing blowhards are guilty of. Perhaps the APS should not have reopened debate, because it opens them up to such mindless criticism. How can it possibly be hypocrisy to reopen debate? You would stifle debate?

    jnicklin, we agree about something. I’ve not been making the claims, as Meyer has. He’s apparently represented himself as a scientist, but not presented his credentials. I’ll be glad to give my name, present my credentials when I start making the absurd claims that Meyer is making. I confess that I’ve not read his “book”. Does he have _any_ peer reviewed papers or research? I didn’t think so. As for me, I have a B.S. in Math/Physics (joint major), one course each in Atmospheric Physics and Climatology. I don’t claim that these things make me an expert in field of climate change.

    steve0, where are your credentials? I said that I accept the data, so I really don’t see why you’re wetting your pants over that. I suppose that focusing on something I don’t question is your fall-back position. Frankly, the data in the graph does not show a slow-down or reversal of GW. Neither does the curve; I’ll have to dig to find out if the curve is part of the UAH’s data; oops, the curve is apparently not part of the UAH data, which makes it a misrepresentation of their data. I wonder why a “linear least-squares best fit 5th-order polynomial” is used, but I suppose it doesn’t matter since a 5-th order polynomial would likely track short-term weather events. If you want to assume that the curve shown is an accurate for to the data, you do so risking your own credibility. Neither the data nor the curve really shows any GC since it is way too short term. It’s true that GW believers often get overly excited about short-term events, but you’re exactly that with the “cooling” shown in the graph. You’re excited over a short term event. Further, how does saying you believe in GW while presenting a graph showing recent GC help your cause. It appears to be an attempt to “have it both ways”. Further still, the graph shows climate warming from 1983 to a roughly year ago, although the text says differently. Some may not read recent data in the graph as GC and they shouldn’t, but many people will and _they_ shouldn’t. Facing facts, the UAH data shows a _weather_ event at the far left end. The short-term cooling is likely due to to a La Nina together with a solar activity(sunspot) minima. As you know there any several forcing mechanisms on weather and on climate. We’ll have to see where we end up in a few years. Though GW alarmists will deny any GW is occurring, or they will deny CO2 is responsible as a first fallback position, or they will deny it’s a problem as the next fallback position or they say it’s too expensive to try to fix… .

    Regarding Al Gore, his book and movie were quite accurate. You know steveo, how you say or write things says a lot about you. You see, a judge ruled that Al Gore’s book contained some errors. A judge! And you can keep your links to politically-oriented blogs as they are _always_ biased. A relentless disinformation campaign by conservative clowns. They know enough to lie and cloud the issue, but they don’t believe in science and don’t understand it. There are reputable scientists who are GW skeptics, not alarmists as the many (all?)people here are. You should cite links to their work and opinions. From http://www.skepticalscience.com/al-gore-inconvenient-truth-errors.htm:

    “What Al got wrong
    Mount Kilimanjaro
    Indeed deforestation seems to be causing Mount Kilimanjaro’s shrinking glacier so Gore got this wrong. In his defence, the study by Philip Mote came out after Gore’s film was made. But Mote puts it in perspective: “The fact that the loss of ice on Mount Kilimanjaro cannot be used as proof of global warming does not mean that the Earth is not warming. There is ample and conclusive evidence that Earth’s average temperature has increased in the past 100 years, and the decline of mid- and high-latitude glaciers is a major piece of evidence.”

    Dr Thompson’s thermometer
    Al Gore refers to a graph of temperature, attributing it to Dr Thompson . The graph is actually a combination of Mann’s hockey stick (Mann 1998) and CRU’s surface measurements (Jones 1999). However, the essential point that temperatures are greater now than during the Medieval Warm Period is correct and confirmed by multiple proxy reconstructions. ”

    WHO’S THE LIAR, EH? GOTCHA!

  • OK guys, I think the troll has been fed enough. Let’s put him on a diet.

  • Mike

    helpme,

    I find it fascinating that you engage in the attacks that you accuse others of. “Right-wing blowhard.” Wow. I haven’t heard that one before.

    As far as Al Gore is concerned, he opened his “documentary” with a special effects shot from the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” and tried to pass it off as part of the Antarctic Ice Sheet collapsing into the sea. Yes, he’s certainly an honest fellow isn’t he?

    As far as links, funny how many blogs that support man-made GW are themselves politically biased the other way. However, if you had followed mine, you would find out that the APS decided to basically slap Lord Monckton in the face by inviting this paper and then inserting this statement in red-lettering at the top, and I quote:

    “The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review. Its conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community. The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article’s conclusions.”

    This is a statement which Lord Monckton himself finds offensive, if you check for yourself:

    Lord Monckton’s Response

    You accuse us here of being liars, sir. No doubt something which both sides are guilty of during the course of this debate. However, skeptics for years have been TRYING to debate the science of AGW, yet inevitably it always turns back into politics.

    It’s pretty obvious to me that your intentions from the beginning have become clear, sir. You do not seek debate. You do not seek anything other than to accuse others of the same things you yourself are guilty of.

  • Stevo

    helpme,

    Do you want to debate this seriously? Earlier on you were talking about everyone considering the science impartially, but now you’re writing like someone just out for a fight.

    I can answer your questions on the UAH data if you like, but you’re making some assumptions about what it was supposed to show that weren’t in fact being claimed, and there’s not much point in me expending the effort if you’re not seriously interested – if you’re only arguing for the sake of disagreement.

    “You see, a judge ruled that Al Gore’s book contained some errors. A judge!” You asked who had documented the errors, and I told you. I wasn’t endorsing the content, or relying on it for an argument. And of course the judge wasn’t ruling on scientific questions, he relied on the IPCC reports and the mainstream pro-AGW science for that. If you knew much about climatology, you’d have been able to spot the errors for yourself.

    “And you can keep your links to politically-oriented blogs as they are _always_ biased.” Quite so. And do you think that those sites and figures promoting the AGW alarm are any less political, or any less biased? Do you perhaps think Al Gore isn’t ‘politically-oriented’?

    And your assumptions are rather distorted by the American political scene – there are left-wingers who are sceptical and plenty of right-wingers who are not. People who think scepticism is due entirely to political bias (or oil money) are generally arguing against it solely for politically partisan reasons, not science. If that’s you (and you’re use of that revealing phrase “conservative clowns” suggests it is) then there’s no point in discussing the science, because your beliefs won’t be dependent on it. You have every right to you’re political views, but you’re no fooling anybody when you express them masquerading as science.

    So, do you want to actually discuss some science or not? And do you have any intention of listening to the answers?

  • An Inquirer

    Helpme,
    I am joining this discussion late, and no doubt there is much to be said in favor of not joining this debate. At times, you seem to be interested in an exchange of scientific understanding, but overall your tone and your attacks seem to match or even exceed the worst of those who debate you on this blog.
    I thought that your question(s) about the data set was answered, but perhaps I am missing something. The issues of using “least-squares best fit 5th-order polynomial” have been extensively discussed in more than one blog. Strange how using such a procedure (graphically accentuating recent cooling) brings about strong language from you, but did you have any problem when HadCrut historically used a similar technique (and thereby accentuating graphically a warming trend)? (I think that is fair to say that HadCrut is dominated by pro-AGW thought.)
    For myself, I do not use the phrase “Gore lied” but I can understand why many reviewers of the record do use that phrase. I do feel that AIT is so full of errors that it is deceitful – and I acknowledge that there is typically little difference between a lie and deceit. You point out that “the study by Philip Mote came out after Gore’s film was made.” Nevertheless, it was well known among glaciologists before Gore’s film (independent of Mote) that Kilimanjaro’s issues were not related to AGW. In fact, “Mote and Georg Kaser, a glaciologist at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, [noted] that the decline in Kilimanjaro’s ice has been going on for more than a century and that most of it occurred before 1953.”
    Also I am deeply puzzled by your declaration that “the essential point that temperatures are greater now than during the Medieval Warm Period is correct and confirmed by multiple proxy reconstructions.” I have read more than a hundred studies that touch on the MWP from proxies in every continent and many seas, and your declaration is simply at odds with those studies. In fact, that statement seems to be coming from Mann or his few adherents via questionable tree ring proxies. In fact, if you want to review how to behave in a most unscientific manner, consider how Mann conducted himself through attempts to verify and replicate his study.
    There are many other issues with AIT, but you give the impression that you are not interested in reading up on them. Nevertheless, I do ask about people’s understanding of the situation on glaciers, sea ice, atolls, hurricanes, etc. after seeing the film, and it does appear that the film deceives them. Moreover, deception seems to continue in Gore’s TED slide show. I understand that he shows a house collapsing into the ocean while describing deterioration on Arctic shorelines due to shrinking ice. (The house collapsing was in Newfoundland, not the Arctic, and it slid into the sea because of landscaping problems with a pond behind it.) I do not have a link to that, but I believe my memory is correct.
    I hear quite an emphasis on your part on appealing to experts. I have served as an expert witness in contest case hearings, so I understand their role. Yet I would caution all to look to the science and not just to those who get labeled an expert. In the Duke Lacrosse case, it was a lawyer without biology training who figured out how “we” were being deceived by the DNA expert(s). It was a metallurgist who uncovered the errors in the peer-reviewed hockey stick analysis of Mann’s. Incidentally, the NAS essentially said that Mann’s study was bogus – yes, they used nicer words, but that was the essence of conclusion even though the hockey stick was accepted as gospel for years. So don’t be intimidated by experts – in climatology many of the issues can be understood by the masses.

  • helpme

    I actually did _not_ accuse anyone “here of being liars”. I was responding to someone (mesaeconoguy) who wrote that “Gore is a documented liar” I then asked who’s lying! It’s one thing to question Al Gore’s statements. It’s another to impugn his his integrity. I pointed out that his book and movie were quite accurate, so I asked who the liar was. I’d suggest that, whoever it is, it is not Al Gore since I believe Al Gore if providing an honest assessment of GW. If you want a debate on GW, let’s have one. If you just want to argue, we can do that, although I don’t see how that will change anyone’s mind. In reality, the discussion here focused on personal attacks well before I got here and will continue well after I’m gone. This is so because you guys don’t get out.

    Moreover, you’ve failed to address most of the serious questions I’ve asked or address my points from your pov. So you attack me personally. I’m not at all afraid to get in someone’s face. But wouldn’t we all like to look at the data, discuss the GW issue. Maybe not.

    —————————————————–
    Lord Monckton’s Response

    You accuse us here of being liars, sir. No doubt something which both sides are guilty of during the course of this debate. However, skeptics for years have been TRYING to debate the science of AGW, yet inevitably it always turns back into politics.

    It’s pretty obvious to me that your intentions from the beginning have become clear, sir. You do not seek debate. You do not seek anything other than to accuse others of the same things you yourself are guilty of.
    ——————————————————————————–
    Now Stevo, get a hold of yourself. The replaying of “If you knew much about climatology” or “if you knew anything about science” is a laughably transparent way of accusing me of not knowing anything about science. It seems to be a way of avoiding the issues. I took me 30 seconds to find a possible in the above curve/graph. If you’re not trying to strongly imply a cooling trend, why show it with the above curve? That’s a point you can talk about. I’ve provided some of my credentials. What are yours? BTW, here or in any scientific debate you _do_ need people who are “only arguing for the sake of disagreement.” Instead, you hang out here and exchange comments with people you agree with, tossing out the snide remarks about other people. What I believe about Al Gore is that he is politically oriented. I also believe that he’s not running for any political office and that he truly believes in AGW. As it now stands, I now believe he is correct. I can change my mind in the face of new information. Can you do so? If can address or have addressed many some of your comments in my last post. For example, I note that there are reputable scientists who do _not_ believe in AGW. I believe there are some who do not believe in GW either.

    So. We agree! Let’s talk science, but I need to dig into Warren Meyer’s book more. I’m sure I’ll have questions and I look forward to your answers. I still don’t know exactly who Warren Meyer is. His book does not have to convince me that AGW is not a fact or not a problem. The science needs to be sound and the curve is apparently not part of the UAH data…that should be pointed out.

  • Stevo

    The comment regarding “If you knew much about climatology” was simply based on the observation that a lot of the film is contrary to even mainstream pro-AGW IPCC-quoted science, let alone what sceptical scientists might claim.

    “If you’re not trying to strongly imply a cooling trend, why show it with the above curve?”

    The concept of a “trend” is based on a particular statistical model, in which there is a smooth underlying function to which is added high frequency random noise. As far as I am concerned, this hypothesis is unproven. There are many physical processes for which this model is not valid, and climate exhibits many of their characteristics. (I’ll be happy to provide mathematical details if you’re interested.) So I wouldn’t pretend to be claiming anything about a “trend”.

    (Incidentally, this same conceptual model is used to claim a clear distinction between short term “weather” and long term “climate”, but nobody I’ve seen has shown how to calculate the dividing line. It is always simply asserted, as if it were obvious. My question in response to that would be, are the 60-year cycles of the PDO “weather” or “climate”?)

    The smoothed curve is simply an aid to interpretation, and offers one possible way of considering it. Other people will cheerfully slap on a straight-line trend, with no more justification, and use that to claim there is a continuing long-term rise. (I think it is safe to say that everybody here is well-aware of that interpretation.) The point of presenting the smoothed curve is to make clear that conclusions about trends are an externally imposed interpretation, not something inherent to the data. You can interpret it either way, meaning that the data is insufficient to draw a conclusion, one way or the other, about the “trend”.

    But the primary reason for presenting the data is to remind the reader that over the last decade the temperature itself has stayed roughly level, and within the last year or two it has gone down. (And yes, this is due to La Nina, but did you insist they remove all the El Nino’s from the rising graph before? And the PDO, AMO, and all the others?) While this implies little or nothing about any longer term behaviour, it does say something about the weather effects in the short term. Any physical effects of CO2 occur only via the actual current temperature, the long-term influences cannot (by any mechanism we know of) bypass this to cause extreme weather without it. So if the pro-AGW camp wants to claim that the warming is only on a temporary pause, they also should predict that the extreme weather phenomena ought to temporarily pause too. If people are still reporting weather extremes “caused by global warming” and seeing signs of “accelerating climate change” even when the actual temperature has recently (but possibly temporarily) gone down you have to question their honesty or their understanding.

    The point is not to say that the trend is downwards, it is to say that the alarmists cannot possibly have evidence to back their claim that it is accelerating upwards. It might be, but there is no way to tell that from the recent behaviour, which if it suggests anything suggests the reverse.

    Does that make things any clearer?

    “here or in any scientific debate you _do_ need people who are “only arguing for the sake of disagreement.””
    We need people arguing for the sake of coming to a better understanding of the truth, whatever that might be. I’ve said before on here that we need, and ought to welcome, people prepared to put the case for AGW. Everybody has unconscious biases, and adversarial debate forces us to consider our own positions more carefully. What we don’t need are people who argue only to win, or to contradict whatever form of political heresy we put forward, irrespective of the argument’s merits. We get a lot of that.

    Parts of your latest comment suggests a more positive approach, which I’d welcome.

  • helpme

    “(Incidentally, this same conceptual model is used to claim a clear distinction between short term “weather” and long term “climate”, but nobody I’ve seen has shown how to calculate the dividing line. It is always simply asserted, as if it were obvious.”

    Basically you chose a 5-th order polynomial because it showed what you wanted it to show. Correct? A linear “curve” almost certainly would have been better as it smoothes out the very short term peaks and valleys. It’s safe to say that a few months or a year is not a climate trend. So don’t pretend to know anything about trends. < -If you continue to persist in personal attacks, I will as well. Perhaps you should focus on the math involved, should keep you busy for a while. Let's stick to science here, shall we? There are plenty of other blogs where you might attack people who don't see things your way. I believe 60 years is enough to infer a climate trend, but one should be careful about extrapolating beyond that 60 year period too far and proof of AGW does not necessarily follow. It does not follow, even in the presence of considerable evidence that anthropogenic GHG emissions are making a significant impact. Does _this_ make things any clearer????

    Parts of your latest post suggests a more positive approach as well. But you need to keep working on your social skills. I came here and found and ate the vicious personal attacks on Al Gore, “liberal elites,” “environmentalists,” “greens”, et. Excuse me for thinking that is how things are done here. I was, after all, just trying to fit in. Don’t expect me to agree with you in face of so much evidence to the contrary. When you say “What we don’t need are people who argue only to win, or to contradict whatever form of political heresy we put forward, irrespective of the argument’s merits.”, what you mean is “What we don’t need are people who argue with us, or to contradict us, regardless of what we write, irrespective of theargument’s merits.” I don’t think _you_ want anyone here who disagrees with you at all. Others here may feel somewhat differently.

    I’m off to read more of Meyer’s book. I’m not so sure others here have read it. If they had, they would have been able to write about or point me to, Meyer’s credentials, which are stated in the book’s forward.

    The following quote should be kept in mind by all of us:

    “Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one.” (Voltaire)

  • Mesa Econoguy

    Gore’s “misleading” representation (willful, with intent to deceive, i.e. lying) is documented here. A British court found eleven inaccuracies in Gore’s movie, which was being used to “educate” (indoctrinate) British schoolchildren.

    Clearly, you are not aware of this, helpme.

    Steveo, please continue with your excellent explanation. Helpme clearly can use some…

  • helpme

    ————————————————————————–
    Gore’s “misleading” representation (willful, with intent to deceive, i.e. lying) is documented here. A British court found eleven inaccuracies in Gore’s movie, which was being used to “educate” (indoctrinate) British schoolchildren.

    Clearly, you are not aware of this, helpme.

    Steveo, please continue with your excellent explanation. Helpme clearly can use some…
    Posted by: Mesa Econoguy | July 21, 2008 at 05:36 PM
    —————————————————————————-
    My response to Mesa Econoguy:

    1) A High Court judge (Mr. Justice Burton) found 11 inaccuracies. That doesn’t mean there were _any_. There is no reason to believe that the Judge knew what he was talking about. Do you really want scientific issues to be decided in a court? Use of the “lie” and “indoctrinate” reveal a strong bias on your part.

    2) You are reading more into the decision that there actually is. Judge Burton ruled:

    “In his final verdict, the judge said the film could be shown as long as updated guidelines were followed.

    These say teachers should point out controversial or disputed sections.”

    The text in quotes is from a BBC web site. It appears that the judge was merely recognizing that there were “controversial or disputed sections”. It’s telling that “The government has sent the film to all secondary schools in England, and the administrations in Wales and Scotland have done the same.” The governments have decided to show the film in secondary schools and the judge declined to intervene to prevent the showing of the movie. Preventing the showing of the movie was the purpose of the court case. Insuring accuracy was not.

    3) There is no proof of willful intent to deceive on the part of Al Gore. He appears to be completely honest, leaving aside the issue of whether the book and the movie are completely accurate.

    I’m clearly more aware _than you_ about the ruling. I checked it out months ago when a friend who is a AGW alarmist like you told me, incorrectly BTW, that the UK was refusing to show the film in their schools. I try to verify what people tell me, whether I agree or not. Do you? It seems that my friend and you are trying to willfully deceive me. And how’s that working out for you? I refuse to call you a liar.
    ————————————————————————————
    From steveo’s previous post:

    “The smoothed curve is simply an aid to interpretation, and offers one possible way of considering it. Other people will cheerfully slap on a straight-line trend, with no more justification, and use that to claim there is a continuing long-term rise. (I think it is safe to say that everybody here is well-aware of that interpretation.) The point of presenting the smoothed curve is to make clear that conclusions about trends are an externally imposed interpretation, not something inherent to the data. You can interpret it either way, meaning that the data is insufficient to draw a conclusion, one way or the other, about the “trend”.”
    ——————————————————————————–
    My response to steveo: This is not a justification for the use of a 5-th order polynomial. The justification for a straight line (trend) is that it does _not_ track short term anomalies in the data. Of course we don’t know yet (from the UAH data) whether any possible downturn in the (most recent) data is short-term or not. The 5-th order polynomial curve assumes that the downturn _is_ permanent. But steveo implicitly admits that there is no real justification for the 5-th order curve other than “The smoothed curve is simply an aid to interpretation, and offers one possible way of considering it.” I’d say that, nowhere in the text accompanying the curve, does it say that the curve shown “is one way of interpreting the data”. Moreover, the curve is not part of the UAH data. It’s an add-on. It’s misleading. Perhaps Mr. Meyer would correct these things. Now to look further at the curve, the left side of the curve would be interpreted as cooling even though the very first portion of the _data_ suggests lower temperatures than much of the rest of the data in the following months and years. Hmmmm!

    Perhaps we’ve picked over that particular graph as much as we need to. So I’ll give whoever the final word on it _for now_.
    ————————————————————————-

  • Stevo

    helpme,

    I haven’t been making any personal attacks. Not unless you consider disagreement to be an attack. And by the way – I personally haven’t been bothered by anything you’ve said. I just think that if you just debated the science without complaining all the time about the way the debate is being conducted, you’d get on a lot better.

    “Basically you chose a 5-th order polynomial because it showed what you wanted it to show. Correct?”

    First – I didn’t pick anything. I’m not the author of this blog, or the creator of that graph.
    Second – I’d normally assume data is being presented because it is seen as relevant. Why would someone deliberately present data that didn’t illustrate the point they were trying to make?
    Third – as I’ve already explained at length, I don’t consider the conclusion you’re drawing about what the curve shows to be valid.
    Fourth – I assume what you’re getting at is the idea that the smoothing curve is an unusual choice that was specially constructed in order to give the misleading impression of a downward trend. It wasn’t. Smoothing is a standard method in science, and is frequently used in presentations of climate data – such as virtually all of those used by the IPCC. Virtually any smoothing algorithm apart from the linear fit would have given the same result – the 5th-order polynomial is not special in this regard. Polynomial least-squares is a standard method.

    “A linear “curve” almost certainly would have been better as it smoothes out the very short term peaks and valleys. It’s safe to say that a few months or a year is not a climate trend.”

    No it isn’t safe to say that.
    You’re making the assumption that I alluded to above, that the “short term peaks and valleys” are noise, and that what remains after you remove them is a signal.
    How do you know?!

    I’ll give you a simplified artificial example that illustrates what I mean for you to play with. Define a discrete function f(t) such that f(0) = 0 and f(T+1) = 0.99*f(t) + r(t), where r(t) is a Normally distributed random variable for each t. This is an example of a type of stochastic process called AR(1). If you plot a graph of it, you will see that in the short term it gives what look like rising and falling trends. However, the mean of the distribution is identically zero at every point in time – there is no trend!

    This is a fairly simple example (by the standards of time series analysis), and if you continue it for long enough you can see the absence of any trend, but there are others that continue to show structure on very long timescales. (Such as ARFIMA models, which have been used to model the characteristics of climate variables. Look ’em up.) And at every scale it is the exact same mechanism causing the behaviour – there is no distinction between short-term noise and long-term trend. It is either all noise, or all signal, depending on what you’re looking for.

    The existence of such a counterexample demonstrates that it not safe to assume that smoothing out short-term peaks and valleys is an improvement. For the assumptions behind your linear trend to be valid, it would have to be the case that if you extend the line indefinitely far into past or future that the relationship would continue. If it doesn’t, (and I think it’s obvious that it doesn’t) then the particular line that results is necessarily an artefact of the interval you picked.

    You say “I believe 60 years is enough to infer a climate trend” but on what basis or evidence do you do so? The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is a pattern of pressure systems in the northern Pacific Ocean, and flips sign roughly every thirty years. Over a period of centuries it averages out to zero – so why aren’t these mere peaks and valleys, to be smoothed away?

    “It does not follow, even in the presence of considerable evidence that anthropogenic GHG emissions are making a significant impact.”

    Excellent! Present the considerable evidence, please.

    “I don’t think _you_ want anyone here who disagrees with you at all.”

    On the contrary. But disagreement is not enough, you have to be able to argue your case as to why you disagree, and if you’re right you can expect me to acknowledge it, and if you’re wrong I would expect you to do the same. So far, you’ve asked for an explanation of how the smoothing curve is constructed and what it is intended to show, which I’ve explained (or tried to), and now you’ve claimed that a linear trend is better because it removes peaks and valleys, which is a fair enough thing to say because it’s an assumption that is often made, but I’ve (hopefully) explained to you why the assumption isn’t safe. You can either tell me what’s wrong with my maths, or you can provide evidence, arguments, or calculations to show that this possibility isn’t applicable to the weather, or you can use a statistical test to show that there still has to be an added underlying trend even with ARMA/ARFIMA-type behaviour, or some other scientific or mathematical argument, or you could acknowledge the point and move on to something else.

    Going on about being offended on behalf of Al Gore isn’t productive. We don’t care. He’s a man who has effectively called for the poor to be left in poverty while living in a house that burns more electricity then ten average American households, and is chauffeured around in a fleet of SUVs and jet aircraft. Do you really think he’d do that if he truly believed in what he says?

    If you want to argue science – please do so. If you want to argue politics – expect further rudeness about the Green movement. I’d much rather argue science.

  • An Inquirer

    Oh — the last word! 🙂 Sorry, no doubt I am going to stumble on top of somebody else’s last word about the graph. However, a thought occurred to me last night as I pondered why all the emotion about a “5-th order polynomial.” Sometimes a fitted polynomial curve tells you more pertinent information than a straight line. For example, as 1943 drew to a close, a straight line on German armed advances in the Soviet Union would say that Germans held the advantage. But a polynomial fit would reveal that the German Army was in deep trouble, and that pursuing peace would be a prudent step.

    Of course, temperatures do not respond to time, there are other drivers that matter — that would be a scientific discussion, and I would be happy to part of such a discussion even if others disagreed with me!

  • Stevo

    An Inquirer,

    The higher the order, the closer the fit and the smaller the residual is, but the more high frequencies (sharp wiggles) you let through. Whether that’s good or not depends on whether the signal or the error is predominantly high or low frequency.

    If you have independent reasons for thinking the signal has only low frequencies below a certain point (smooth and slow changes), you can design your smoothing to cut off noise above that point and improve the data. It often happens that you can, which is why you often see it done in scientific presentations. But you have to have such independent reasons, you can’t derive it from the data or just assume it. Otherwise, any success you happen to have is just a lucky escape.

    And if you cut it off too low, you can introduce as much or more error as setting it too high, because the smoothing starts to throw signal away too.

    The German Army example happens to be an example of that – the important effects were shorter term than a first-order (straight line) smoother would let through. But I wouldn’t like to rely on doing that in general. Without an independent reason for thinking the system observed behaves in a certain way, fifth-order is no more justifiable than first-order.

    It’s not really all that complicated, but it isn’t taught until fairly late on in statistics and a lot of people aren’t even aware that it’s an issue.

  • Mesa Econoguy

    Helpme, you are very confused.

    I’m clearly more aware _than you_ about the ruling. I checked it out months ago when a friend who is a AGW alarmist like you told me, incorrectly BTW, that the UK was refusing to show the film in their schools.
    Posted by: helpme

    I am not an AGW alarmist; I am an AGW skeptic, hence the name of this blog: Climate Skeptic. I am also highly skeptical of any statement made by any politician, as are most others on this blog. Al Gore is a politician.

    Helpme, given your inherent confusion with this relatively simple terminology, and your apparent infatuation with ignorant politicians with no scientific training, it is highly unlikely that you understand the fairly complex science and arguments surrounding the AGW issue, particularly the catastrophic stance proffered by Al Gore (who has no scientific training).

    Al Gore’s movie was a political movie, meant to persuade others of a political movement/cause. It does so by shading scientific evidence, and intentionally omitting other contrary evidence, all within the cloak of supposed objective scientific inquiry. Then, when challenged, Gore refuses to debate anyone.

    This is not scientific. I, and most others, call it lying (the British court called it misleading, perhaps the next logical case would be fraudulent misrepresentation?). What do you call it? And why do you believe this person?

    When politicians start talking about science, there is a problem. Likewise, as Warren astutely observes:

    “I think it is a pretty good sign that a particular branch of science has a problem when it is focused more on “social change” than on getting the science right…”

    I have far more scientific training than Al Gore. You likely do too, helpme. Many people do.

    Warren Meyer is indeed an engineer, with obvious math & science background. Not that it matters, but my own expertise is economics and financial markets (which is half of the global warming issue/argument), with strong science background (including peer-reviewed research). Many other commenters on this blog are real-life scientists, and their perspective is usually insightful. So there are many different perspectives present here, and most all are relevant and contribute to our understanding of the questions being raised by Gore and others, and bring new material to the discussion (even though Gore refuses to talk with anyone, because he is unqualified to speak on this subject).

    Please go study the terminology and understand who is on what side of the argument, and peruse the comments section for a bit before commenting. SteveO is a particularly good resource, as he has outstanding command of the science. His posts are always clear, elegantly cogent, logical, and insightful, and have greatly aided my own understanding of this issue, and the numerous flaws of the AGW alarmist argument.

  • helpme

    I agree with the comments Posted by: Stevo | July 22, 2008 at 02:44 PM. I have several books on Probability & Statistics and Numerical Analysis. Three discuss the least squares polynomial curve fits up to 2nd order. The reader is left on his own to determine which order polynomial to use, presumably based on other scientific information known or inferred about any particular data set. There is no reason to believe that the German Army or any Army, whose fortunes can turn permanently in a single day, compares to climate. Yep. Climate can be changed by a single short-term event, such as the collision with a large asteroid. Other than large volcanic eruptions which can cause a cooling of the earth for a few years, I know of no such events that have happened recently, say the last 30 years. Doesn’t matter, other than than huge asteroids, these types of events seem to be ignored in most climate change scenarios.

    Mesa Econoguy: It appears we’ll have to disagree on Al Gore’s book and movie. Whether we agree to disagree or not is another question. You really need to read (with an open mind), the article at the following link:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/7037671.stm

    I’ll provide some text from the article. Read it very carefully.

    “BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin said the ruling would be “embarrassing for Mr Gore” but would not affect the government, which said it was happy that the judge did not dismiss the film’s mainstream argument.”

    The judge “did not dismiss the film’s mainstream argument.” Those 9 “errors” were ruled to be controversial and subject to dispute. There many scientists out there who believe that Gore’s points in the book and the movie, including the 9 errors, are at least scientifically acceptable. You still haven’t proved intent-to-deceive by Al Gore. If you are going to call Al Gore a liar, then you are going to have to call the multitude of GW and AGW alarmist blogs who deny any GW or any AGW? “Liars”, as well. And what does this make you? I’ve seen you accuse me of various and sundry mental states…confusion in you last post for example. I’d say you are the one who is confused. You are not a skeptic; you _are a denyer/liar, and an alarmist. Furthermore, you are a GW/AGW bed-wetter, in a panic rather than _trying_ to see through the fog of controversy. This makes you a liar, because you fail to allow for the other side of the argument. You’re an economist for Christ’s sake! Gore knows more than you about the science of GW and AGW. He probably knows more than me about GW and AGW. And what about this Monckton character, a (non-elected, but rather a hereditary peer) member of the House of Lords? I’ve checked his credentials and he has none! Yep. The gloves are off. I’ve tried to be Mr. Nice guy. No more with you. You don’t really know your ass from your elbow, do you? You’re just following smarter people who happen to (say they) believe as you already did. And you based your position on complete ignorance. BET YOUR NOT CONFUSED ANYMORE! Did you need a reading list to follow the debate? If you have more to say to me, I’ll provide an email address. But here, I’ll discuss things only with those who have the confidence and the competence to make their points. You have neither.

  • An Inquirer

    Mesa Econoguy: Okay, I believe that you “know” more about GW and AGW than Al Gore. Certainly, from everything that I have read and watched, you have a better handle on the issues. Whether Gore actually knows better and is purposely deceiving others or whether he is deluding himself with visions of a grand mission or whether something else is going on — that question will probably yield little fruit. Perhaps we can leave “intent” to courtroom discussions. By focusing on Gore, you probably steer the discussion away from science. As you point out, there is much that can be shared about the science. But when Gore is mentioned, “helpme” goes off on an emotional discourse and leaves science behind.

    Helpme: At times you seem to be on the verge of discussing Science, but it seems that you focus on personal issues and never get around to science. Good for you that when someone misinformed you, you were able to go to sources and get correct information. I am not very much interested in discussing Gore or his intention. If you would like to discuss the points on which I feel that AIT and other Gore presentations create deceiving impressions, we can have that discussion. However, I would much rather exchange scientific explanations and descriptions about what is happening in the climate.

    Steveo: Yes, I follow your discussion and agree with it. Perhaps to kick off the discourse, my “independent reason for thinking the system observed behaves in a certain way” is that climate reacts to certain stimuli that may be cyclical (like the PDO) or that may emerge and then diminish through time (such as Mount Pinatubo). To some extent, I am bothered by the variable on the graph that prompted this discussion. First, the graph suggests that global climate can be captured in a single variable of a temperature anomaly. Second, climate change is not driven by time, by rather by exogenous variables. Nevetheless, the vast majority of AGW discussion and controversy focus on this temperature anomaly, and the exogenous variables do vary wtih time, so let us stick with the graph. It can be pointed out that a polynomial fit to temperature trends can be made via use of something constantly increasing (such as CO2 / GHG) and a shifting variable such as aerosols. I have studied articles on aerosol levels and their use in GCM. It is not hard to see why some experts say that aerosol levels in GCM are arbitrary and serve almost as dummy variables to get a good fit and leave the future driver in climate to CO2. Much more could be said, but this post is long enough.

  • pogo

    “Helpme”: ” You really need to read (with an open mind), the article at the following link:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/7037671.stm

    I’ll provide some text from the article. Read it very carefully.

    “BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin said the ruling would be “embarrassing for Mr Gore” but would not affect the government, which said it was happy that the judge did not dismiss the film’s mainstream argument.”

    Firstly you should treat anything that the BBC says about AGW with a degree of suspicion as it has totally nailed its colours to the mast of “Climate Change”, and secondly Roger Harrabin, despite being somewhat hubristically titled “Environment Analyst” is, in fact, a graduate in English and has no scientific qualifications – a criticism that, as far as I can ascertain, can be levelled at all of the BBC’s “environmental team” (and the vast majority of those in the mainstream media).

    I think, to be fair, that if you posit that the “mainstream argument” of Gore’s film is “the planet is warming”, the judge didn’t dismiss it, he merely dismissed virtually all the “scientific” claims made in the film either on the basis of they were factually incorrect or of massively overblown proportion.

    “Helpme”: You’re an economist for Christ’s sake!

    I know several economists who are exceptionally gifted mathmeticians…

    Gore knows more than you about the science of GW and AGW.

    Frankly, I doubt that. He’s certainly never shown any competence as a scientist or mathmetician and shies away from any form of debate with anyone who might be.

    He probably knows more than me about GW and AGW.

    Much as I don’t wish to get drawn into an ad hominem slanging-match, reading some of the things you’ve written I’d guess that my cat could give you a good run for your money too.

    And what about this Monckton character, a (non-elected, but rather a hereditary peer) member of the House of Lords? I’ve checked his credentials and he has none!

    Just the same as Mr Gore. The difference being that Monckton appears to be a very competent mathmetician – as virtually all the criticism of his papers has been ad hominem rather than ad rem.

    As for your use of “robust” language… You’re not “Scientist” in another guise by any chance?

  • An Inquirer

    Pogo:
    Certainly, your last question is a legitimate one. But I think that the answer is “no.” When “GW” reincarnated himself as “Scientist,” his writing style did not change, and his methods of attacks were consistent. “helpme” has a different writing style — although it would take little effort to disguise writing style and attack modes. I teach science at the University level, and I often can tell when a student is passing in a paper that is not his / her own work. (I would emphasize the word “often” as opposed to “always” and passing in someone’s else work is more obvious than disguising your own work.)

  • pogo

    “Inquirer”… But surely, plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery..? 🙂

  • Stevo

    An Inquirer,

    Agreed, regarding the choice of global mean surface temperature anomaly is the primary metric. Like Pielke, I think ocean heat content would be a better choice. The primary difficulty is that we don’t have much good data from before the last thirty years or so, and temperature is a variable that has been measured for a long time.

    You’re right that climate isn’t driven by time. Perhaps this was prompted by my f(t) notation. All this means is that the value is different at different times. What drives it was expressed in the equation f(t+1) = 0.99*f(t) + r(t) which is saying that at every time it is a function of its previous value and a random ‘shock’.

    For a physical model of what this sort of model might mean, consider the Antarctic ice cap. Ice can obvious accumulate from year to year. Precipitation adds to it, and wind, glacial flow, tide-induced mechanical cracking and melting takes it away. The total of the precipitation and losses is a variable that you could take as a first approximation as being random and independent from year to year – sometimes it’s plus and sometimes it’s minus. But the amount of ice has a different behaviour, in which it can systematically drift up or down, with the temporary runs of consecutive positive or negatives. And if the mean of the distribution of the random shocks is non-zero, you will get a persistent and systematic drift.

    So suppose instead of independent random values, the precipitation is also a process with memory of the past. It depends on weather systems that last for months, on ocean heat which is a similarly accumulative system, on ocean circulations that move on a timescale of thousands of years. So the ice level becomes an accumulation of accumulations, and a very complicated some of randomness indeed.

    These sorts of processes can themselves give rise to quasi-periodic oscillations, or they can have separate periodic oscillations imposed upon them. Just because the characteristics of climate can be reproduced without any underlying deterministic trend doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Obviously the day/night cycle and the seasons keep things stirred up, but ocean circulation, the Earth’s orbit and rotational inclination, the sun, and other things are a potential source of longer periodicities.

    And you can get step changes and discontinuities too – which again may be externally imposed or internally generated. Just as an interesting sidenote, if you apply a step change to a damped oscillator (a particular sort of physical system in which there is a tendency to return to an equilibrium position) then you often get what is known as the Gibbs phenomenon – often called “ringing” because it is like the ringing of a bell after being struck. When perturbed, the value overshoots, and then overshoots coming back, eventually settling down to a new value. Take a look at some of the many graphs of the Gibbs phenomenon, and then take a look at the graph of temperatures above around the 1998 El Nino peak. Does anything look familiar?

    Coincidentally, the Atlantic Meridional Oscillation flipped sign at about this time. (A little before it, actually.) This does not prove anything, of course – correlation does not imply causation – except to say that there are many different ways to look at that graph, and no easy way to pick one over another. The temperature record on its own is insufficient to prove anything, and is certainly not evidence, which is why they have relied so heavily on models. But that’s another story entirely.

  • helpme

    pogo:

    I’ve never posted as “scientist” or “GW”. I have no idea who they are. I’ve never posted here under any other ID than helpme, if that helps you. Furthermore, I do not intend to post under any other ID than helpme. Granted, that would be a good tactic since I’m being subjected to the equivalent of a gang-bang. Your “science” doesn’t hold up to any sort of scrutiny, so I understand that you have to resort to these games. You must gather together, defend yourselves, attack any intruder who enters your alternate reality. How sad!

    I understand that it’s a bias, but you do need to be much more careful about who you support. It’s all too obvious that you will support anyone, and I do mean anyone, who supports your GW and AGW alarmist positions while you will try to discredit anyone who supports or defends GW and/or AGW. I’d say that this gives me the high ground in the debate since I believe that, if you claim you don’t believe Al Gore because he has no scientific background, then you must apply the same standard to Monckton and others who are similarly deficient. And vice-versa. Of course, few are actually taking the high road on this issue. What’s most puzzling about the attacks on Al Gore is that he has not represented himself as a scientist as Monckton has tried to do. Rather, Gore has simply tried to compile information on GW and AGW for the average person. If you really wanted to debate scientists, you would head on over to http://www.skepticalscience.com/ and debate scientists there. You’d lose the debate, but you get what you _claim_ you want.

    It seems hypocritical to call ClimateSkeptics skeptics, since a skeptic “is a person inclined to question or doubt”. I’ve not seen anyone here who is merely “inclined to doubt” GW or AGW…you are GW and AGW non-believers or alarmists, pretending to be mere skeptics who are _open_ to all GW and AGW science. Rather you are all closed-minded. I should have known this before I arrived at this blog, but I hoped for better. Again, I have the high ground: I’ve said I’m open to your GW and AGW reasoning, but not one of you has said you are open to my reasoning or the reasoning of GW and AGW believers.

    And you think _I’m_ confused?!?!?! And you suggest that _I’m_ not a scientist?!?!? A scientist must be open to reason, to different viewpoints, and to new information. I see no one here who fits that description.

    So pogo, you can keep your head where the sun doesn’t shine if you wish. And let’s exchange insults rather than discuss GW and AGW, if that is what you want. And clearly, that’s all GW and AGW alarmists/non-believers want to do.

    “Ad hominem rather than ad rem” criticism? I thought that was what you were doing. You’re good for a laugh, pogo! Quite your day job and try standup comedy.

  • pogo

    “Helpme”: And you suggest that _I’m_ not a scientist?!?!?

    You might well be… But you present as an abusive inadequate with massive reading comprehension problems, so further “discussion” would be a fruitless exercise.

    Good day to you Sir.

  • Mesa Econoguy

    Helpme, thank you for the link, and no, you do not have any handle whatsoever on the material.

    “BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin said the ruling would be “embarrassing for Mr Gore” but would not affect the government, which said it was happy that the judge did not dismiss the film’s mainstream argument.”

    Irrelevant. Dismissing the film was not the goal of the hearing, as it was not shown on public airwaves (it was distributed to schoolchildren). Incidentally, the BBC apparently is not to be believed in its reportage of AGW issues, as reflected in this very recent Ofcom (Britain’s FCC/public airwaves regulator) ruling about public airing of The Great Global Warming Swindle in Britain, and complaints brought against it by numerous (AGW supporter) scientists. The film was cleared, though that’s not how the BBC incorrectly reported it.

    What may happen here is tit-for-tat: you came after our broadcast, so we’re coming after yours (if you try to air it on BBC 2 or ITV or something). If that happens, that may give rise to a hearing where these points may be argued in court, in which case Mr. Gore’s presentation and claims would likely be dismissed as errant.

    You are still enormously confused.

    Inquirer,

    Whether Gore actually knows better and is purposely deceiving others or whether he is deluding himself with visions of a grand mission or whether something else is going on — that question will probably yield little fruit. Perhaps we can leave “intent” to courtroom discussions.

    Thank you. Unfortunately, we may be headed that way. Yours is the scientific response, and I leave to you to hash out the nuts-and-bolts of the actual science; there is, however, another aspect to this issue.

    Economic damages incurred by firms/private parties may indeed be litigated in future, depending on how far this goes and how much contrary scientific evidence piles up.

    Gore has taken positions in alt-energy companies, a stake in management of an alt-energy fund, and consults with numerous lobbying groups who push for more restrictions on economic activity and entities, based on flimsy or false science. His investment firm stands to gain significantly from advancement of these restrictions, and Gore himself does gain notoriety and quantifiable influence.

    Gore is a liar, is talking from a position from which he stands to gain significantly, and is possibly in violation of multiple SEC regulations, such as selling unregistered securities without a license.

    Naïve people like helpme enable this fraud to continue.

  • helpme

    The American Physical Society Newsletter(Physics & Society) for July 2008 contains Monckton’s article “Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered”. Monckton’s article, in fact the Newsletter itself, is not peer-reviewed. The APS has not changed their position on causes of climate change. The July 2008 Newsletter contains a (re-)statement of the APS position on GW and AGW _with_ Monckton’s article. This restatement reads:

    “The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review, since that is not normal procedure for American Physical Society newsletters. The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007: “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate.”

    So the debate is open. The APS has not changed their position. They are not hypocrites, they are debating the issue. I’ll read Monckton’s article.

    You can continue to make Al Gore your GW/AGW pinata. Of course, he’s the wrong target. You should target the science behind GW/AGW, something I’ve not seen anyone here do. Maybe I’m in the wrong thread.

    MesaEconoguy, More personal attacks. Can’t you do any better? Come on. Attack the science, not Al Gore or me. Bet you can’t do it! LOL, at your expense!