Do Arguments Have to Be Symmetric?

I am looking at some back and forth in this Flowing Data post.

Apparently an Australian Legislator named Stephen Fielding posted this chart and asked, “Is it the case that CO2 increased by 5% since 1998 whilst global temperature cooled over the same period (see Fig. 1)?  If so, why did the temperature not increase; and how can human emissions be to blame for dangerous levels of warming?”

the_global_temperature_chart-545x409

Certainly this could sustain some interesting debate.  Climate is complex, so their might be countervailing effects to CO2, but it also should be noted that none of the models really predicted this flatness in temperatures, so it certainly could be described as “unexpected” at least among the alarmist community.

Instead, the answer that came back from Stephen Few was this (as reported by Flowing Data, I cannot find this on Few’s site):

This is a case of someone who listens only to what he wants to hear (the arguments of a few fringe organizations with agendas) and either ignores or is incapable of understanding the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence. He selected a tiny piece of data (a short period of time, with only one of many measures of temperature), misinterpreted it, and ignored the vast collection of data that contradicts his position. This fellow is either incredibly stupid or a very bad man.

Every alarmist from Al Gore to James Hansen has used this same chart in their every presentation – showing global temperatures since 1950  (or really since 1980) going up in lockstep with Co2.  This is the alarmists #1 chart.  All Fielding has done is shown data after 1998, something alarmists tend to be reluctant to do.  Sure it’s a short time period, but nothing in any alarmist prediction or IPCC report hinted that there was any possibility that for even so short a time as 15 years warming might cease  (at least not in the last IPCC report, which I have read nearly every page of).  So, by using the alarmists’ own chart and questioning a temperature trend that went unpredicted, Fielding is “either incredibly stupid or a very bad man.”  Again, the alarmist modus operandi – it is much better to smear the person in ad hominem attacks than deal with his argument.

Shouldn’t there be symmetry here?  If it is OK for every alarmist on the planet to show 1980-1995 temperature growing in lockstep with CO2 as “proof” of a relationship, isn’t it equally OK to show 1995-2010 temperature not growing in lockstep with CO2 to question the relationship?  Why is one ok but the other incredibly stupid and/or mean-spirited?   I mean graphs like this were frequent five years ago, though they have dried up recently:

zfacts-co2-temp

For extra credit, figure out how they got most of the early 2000’s to be warmer than 1998 in this chart, since I can find no major temperature metric that matches this.  I suspect some endpoint smoothing games here.

I won’t get into arguing the “overwhelming weight of scientific evidence” statement, as I find arguments over counting scientific heads or papers to be  useless in the extreme.  But I will say that as a boy when I learned about the scientific method, there was a key step where one’s understanding of a natural phenomenon is converted into predicted behaviors, and then those predictions are tested against reality.  All Fielding is doing is testing the predictions, and finding them to be missing the mark.  Sure, one can argue that the testing period has not been long enough, so we will keep testing, but what Fielding is trying to do here, however imperfectly, is perfectly compatible with the scientific method.

I must say I am a bit confused about those “many other measures of temperature.”  Is Mr. Few suggesting that the chart would have different results in Fahrenheit?  OK, I am kidding of course.  What I am sure he means is that there are groups other than the Hadley Center that produce temperature records for the globe  (though in Mr. Fielding’s defense the Hadley Center is a perfectly acceptable source and the preferred source of much of the IPCC report).  To my knowledge, there are four major metrics (Hadley, GISS, UAH, RSS).  Of these four, at least three (I am not sure about the GISS) would show the same results.  I think the “overwhelming weight” of temperature metrics makes the same point as Mr. Fielding’s chart.

In the rest of his language, Few is pretty sloppy for someone who wants to criticize someone for sloppiness.  He says that Fielding “misinterpreted” the temperature data.  How?  Seems straight forward to me.  He also says that there is a “vast collection of data that contradicts his position.”  What position is that?  If his position is merely that Co2 has increased for 15 years and temperatures have not, well, there really is NOT a vast collection of data that contradicts that.  There may be a lot of people who have published reasons whythis set of facts does not invalidate AGW, but the facts are still the same.

By the way, I get exhausted by the accusation that skeptics are somehow simplistic and can’t understand complex systems.    I feel like my understanding is pretty nuanced. By the way, its interesting how the sides have somewhat reversed here.  When temperature was going up steadily, it was alarmists saying that things were simple and skeptics saying that climate was complex and you couldn’t necessarily make the 1:1 correlation between CO2 and temperature increases.  Now that temperature has flat lined for a while, it is alarmists screaming that skeptics are underestimating the complexity.  I tend to agree — climate is indeed really really complex, though I think if one accepts this complexity it is hard to square with the whole “settled science” thing.  Really, we have settled the science in less than 20 years on perhaps the most complex system we have ever tried to understand?

The same Flowing Data post references this post from Graham Dawson.  Most of Dawson’s “answers” to Fieldings questions are similar to Few’s, but I wanted to touch on one or two other things.

First, I like how he calls findings from the recent climate synthesis report the “government answer” as if this makes it somehow beyond dispute.  But I digress.

The surface air temperature is just one component in the climate system (ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere). There has been no material trend in surface air temperature during the last 10 years when taken in isolation, but 13 of the 14 warmest years on record have occurred since 1995. Also global heat content of  the ocean (which constitutes 85% of the total warming) has continued to rise strongly in this period, and ongoing warming of the climate system as a whole is supported by a very wide range of observations, as reported in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

This is the kind of blithe answer that is full of inaccuracies everyone needs to be careful about.  The first sentence is true, and the second is probably close to the mark, though with a bit more uncertainty than he implies.  He is also correct that global heat content of the ocean is a huge part of warming or the lack thereof, but his next statement is not entirely correct.  Ocean heat content as measured by the new ARGO system since 2003 has been flat to down.  Longer term measures are up, but most of the warming comes at the point the old metrics were spliced to the ARGO data, a real red flag to any serious data analyst.  The cryospehere is important as well, but most metrics show little change in total sea ice area, with losses in the NH offset by gains in the SH.

While the Earth’s temperature has been warmer in the geological past than it is today, the magnitude and rate of change is unusual in a geological context. Also the current warming is unusual as past changes have been triggered by natural forcings whereas there are no known natural climate forcings, such as changes in solar irradiance, that can explain the current observed warming of the climate system. It can only be explained by the increase in greenhouse gases due to human activities.

No one on Earth has any idea if the first sentence is true — this is pure supposition on the author’s part, stated as a fact.  We are talking about temperature changes today over a fifty year (or shorter) period, and we have absolutely no way to look at changes in the “geological past” on this fine of a timescale.  I am reminded of the old ice core chart that was supposedly the smoking gun between CO2 and temperature, only to find later as we improved the time resolution that temperature increases came before Co2 increases.

I won’t make too much of my usual argument on the sun, except to say that the Sun has been substantially more active during the warming period of 1950-2000 than it has been in other times.  What I want to point out, though, is the core foundation of the alarmist argument, one that I have pointed out before.  It boils down to:  Past warming must be due to man because we can’t think of what else it could be.   This is amazing hubris, representing a total unwillingness to admit what we do and don’t understand.  Its almost like the ancient Greeks, attributing what they didn’t understand in the cosmos to the hijinx of various gods.

It is not the case that all GCM computer models projected a steady increase in temperature for the period 1990-2008.  Air temperatures are affected by natural variability.  Global Climate Models show this variability in the long term but are not able to predict exactly when such variations will happen. GCMs can and do simulate decade-long periods of no warming, or even slight cooling, embedded in longer-term warming trends.

But none showed zero warming, or anything even close.

  • Anonymous

    I am amazed how people can be delusional enough to believe in the “majority of scientists agree = fact” idea… the academic system is full of positive feedback loops: you have to publish in such a way that you don’t upset the wrong people too much. For the less politicised fields this doesn’t do -too much- damage, but for something like global warming or political science or economics (and many of the social sciences) this becomes a major force in the system. It also amazes me how the generally trained-to-be-rational researchers can suddenly spew one massive fallacy after another when discussing topics they feel passionate about. Passion and science don’t mix well, especially passion of the high personal/political interest variety.

    What’s worse than the academia is the laymen worshippers of the establishment. They are so obedient to their imagined authorities that even suggesting that research publication has flaws (by someone who has first hand experience in such) leads to inevitable accusations of ‘anti-science’ and ‘creationism’ (I am a bit skeptical of massive hypes like global warming, and mention that there’s a LOT of politics involved in getting your research published, ergo I am a creationist. Of course!) Even though if I suggest research politics elsewhere (eg. polisci, pharma), they would instantly exclaim how bloody obvious that is. Of course, pharmaceutical research is utterly screwed by back-door funding by the evil Big Pharma corporations, but global warming is sacred ground! No under-handed dealings there whatsoever! =D

    And what’s EVEN worse, is the public opposition to holding neutrality on anything. On the very bottom you have the fundies who exclaim “But you -must- believe in -something- upon finding out your atheism. But we the learned ultra-left intellectual elite know better, of course. Oh, but you -must- support one side or the other! And it better be the right side! Neutrality is even worse – you’re too lazy and apathetic to do your duty as a citizen to make a [blind] commitment, and are therefore like those who allowed the Holocaust to happen and [invoke even more Godwin here]

    So how is one to be a functioning rational member of a society that values hasty bandwagon-hopping above long and careful consideration? Even MORE reason to be skeptical of anything that the majority accepts as fact! Again, there’s a powerful positive feedback system there – when a view is accepted by enough individuals, and skepticism thereof becomes nearly a criminal offense! (or social suicide)

    Anyway, enough of my rant. I appreciate the blog you got here – a skeptical-yet-rational slant on the whole kerfuffle is in rather short supply!

    One of the few times I’m posting under anonymity, since I still want to keep my academic career a viable option…

    Cheers!

  • Nick

    Except that you should be plotting log (C02) against temperature.

    Plotting against CO2, or time is blatently wrong

  • Look, there are lots of bogus skeptical arguments floating around on the internet, that I don’t happen to find very convincing. Unfortunately I also come across many promoters of AGW who flip the (bad) arguments around and use them in support of alarmism without realising how close their argument’s form takes to those used by certain ‘skeptics’, and think they are doing ‘good science’ …

  • Jeroen

    Can anyone explain the extra increase of Co2 during 1998. Wat event made that happend? Because if you just look at it from the point of view from a person that has never heard of any global warming by man made. You would suggest that Co2 rises first even in a small scale of a year.

  • hunter

    What an outpouring of retardedness. Let’s pick through this, shall we?

    First and most importantly, you reproduce this graph and apparently accept the claim that “global temperature cooled” over this period. This means a) that you don’t understand what climate is, and b) that you can’t read a graph properly. A little bit of investigation shows that the data is from HadCRUT. A trend fitted to the data reveals warming over this period of about +0.1°C/decade.

    Next, you say “none of the models really predicted this flatness in temperatures”. And yet there is no “flatness in temperature”. Your faith apparently overwhelms your ability to see what’s in front of your eyes.

    “All Fielding has done is shown data after 1998, something alarmists tend to be reluctant to do” – fuckwits tend to be reluctant to understand that the ten year period following 1998 was substantially warmer than the ten year period preceding 1998.

    “Sure it’s a short time period, but nothing in any alarmist prediction or IPCC report hinted that there was any possibility that for even so short a time as 15 years warming might cease” – and indeed, warming has not ceased.

    “(at least not in the last IPCC report, which I have read nearly every page of)” – I don’t believe that you have. If you did, you clearly didn’t understand a word of it.

    “If it is OK for every alarmist on the planet to show 1980-1995 temperature growing in lockstep with CO2 as “proof” of a relationship, isn’t it equally OK to show 1995-2010 temperature not growing in lockstep with CO2 to question the relationship?” – temperature doesn’t grow, it rises; it has never, ever grown in ‘lockstep’ with CO2; no-one ever showed a 1980-1995 graph and claimed it was ‘proof’ of a relationship. That’s three displays of exceptional intellectual backwardness in just one sentence.

    “what Fielding is trying to do here, however imperfectly, is perfectly compatible with the scientific method” – misrepresenting data is not, in fact, compatible with the scientific method.

    “To my knowledge, there are four major metrics (Hadley, GISS, UAH, RSS). Of these four, at least three (I am not sure about the GISS) would show the same results. I think the “overwhelming weight” of temperature metrics makes the same point as Mr. Fielding’s chart.” – obviously you didn’t check the data before making this statement. Why not? Did you not know how? In fact, they all tell the same story of 0.1-0.2°C of warming over the period in question.

    “He says that Fielding “misinterpreted” the temperature data. How? Seems straight forward to me.” – as we’ve seen, your faith overwhelms your ability to see what is in front of your eyes, so it’s no surprise that you don’t see the misrepresentation.

    “If his position is merely that Co2 has increased for 15 years and temperatures have not, well, there really is NOT a vast collection of data that contradicts that.” – all four major temperature datasets contradict that. What else do you need?

    “By the way, I get exhausted by the accusation that skeptics are somehow simplistic and can’t understand complex systems. I feel like my understanding is pretty nuanced” – it’s well established in psychology that people who are very bad at something actually lack the metacognitive ability to understand just how bad they are, and consequently often give vastly over-inflated estimates of their own competence.

    “I am reminded of the old ice core chart that was supposedly the smoking gun between CO2 and temperature, only to find later as we improved the time resolution that temperature increases came before Co2 increases.” – you clearly haven’t got the remotest understanding of the history of the science. Perhaps if you’d heard of John Tyndall you’d be less inclined to make an embarrassment of yourself in public in this way.

    “What I want to point out, though, is the core foundation of the alarmist argument, one that I have pointed out before. It boils down to: Past warming must be due to man because we can’t think of what else it could be” – now you say a lot of really pathetic things, but this may be the most desperately witless of them all. If you don’t see the logic in observing that humans have increased the concentrations of greenhouse gases, that temperatures have risen, and connecting the two, then I pity you. It seems you don’t believe that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Again, I pity you. It’s one thing to be woefully ignorant – a lot of people are woefully ignorant. It’s quite another to set up an entire website devoted to advertising how woefully ignorant you are.

    “But none showed zero warming, or anything even close.” – return to point one.

  • Keith

    Scientist/Jennifer/Hunter/whatever you’re calling yourself these days – “it’s well established in psychology that people who are very bad at something actually lack the metacognitive ability to understand just how bad they are, and consequently often give vastly over-inflated estimates of their own competence.”

    The self parody here is rich beyond words. Thank you for the laughs.

  • You wrote:

    For extra credit, figure out how they got most of the early 2000’s to be warmer than 1998 in this chart, since I can find no major temperature metric that matches this. I suspect some endpoint smoothing games here.

    I suspect making stuff up. When the data goes bad for global warming, we see first cherry picking the data, then games with statistics such as endpoint smoothing, then, as with ocean warming, just making stuff up, then they announce that they are moving on.

  • brazil84

    I have used this sort of jiu jitsu on numerous occasions with warmists. When they point to a record high temperature somewhere, I ask them something like “What if next year that location has a record low temperature? Is that evidence against your position?”

    Typically they get very silent at that point.

  • Stevo

    Keith – no great surprise to see you completely ignoring the substance of the argument. I suppose you didn’t understand it.

    brazil84 – and just how often has there been a record low the following year? Looks like you didn’t even consider the implications of your fatuous argument.

  • “brazil84 – and just how often has there been a record low the following year?”

    I have no idea. So what?

    “Looks like you didn’t even consider the implications of your fatuous argument.”

    Exactly what argument do you think I am making?

  • hunter – the skeptical one

    When the historians do the autopsy of the AGW social movement, they will find a lot of interesting rationalizations and cynical behaviors behind the promoters of AGW.
    I like that, unless there is a huge editing of history, that it will be easy to get examples of how pushing bad ideas leads to more bad ideas.
    To think that educated people are unable to see that each and every prediction of by AGW opinion leaders has been shown to be wrong is astounding.
    To think AGW believers willingly accept the arguments that data quality does not matter irt AGW, yet still find AGW claims based on those data credible, is no less equally astounding.
    That cooling, ice increases, lack of storms, and miniscule changes in temperatures do not convince people that no crisis is near nor will be one coming is a great credit to the sales ability of the AGW promotion industry.
    That government leaders are allowed to waste their efforts and vast amounts of our money on the demands of the AGW community demonstrates the fallibility of our elected leaders and tolerance for wasteful activities by those who put them in power.

  • Unfortunately, I suspect that the whole fiasco will be whitewashed. If you look carefully at the “consensus” statements floating around and IPCC reports, you will see there are lots of strategicially placed weasel words.

  • Billywheeze

    Hunter you wrote- “f*** wit?” dear me, what a pedantic boor you are, and a foul mouthed one at that too, people who resort to abuse have lost the high ground.
    When a hypothesis is aired in the scientific community one awaits people to disprove or prove the idea, that’s the glory of science. You cannot just say “this is what we think” and then close the argument down, that is not scientific, then pillory people who try to disagree, that’s bigotry.
    Man, come join us – recant! and join the deniers, the hotter you become under the collar, the louder the protestations prove, you lost the argument dear thing. Be a darling and pipe down.
    Are you Monbiot? no…..abuse should be beneath him.

    Your quite supreme arrogance takes the breath away, man is by nature an arrogant creature, a little humility is good sometimes, what is wrong with saying “we just don’t know, experimentation is ongoing”.
    Torquemada would have found work for you Hunter, think on.

  • I remember when we used to call that guy “scientologist.” Good times.

  • Jim

    hunter:”obviously you didn’t check the data before making this statement. Why not? Did you not know how? In fact, they all tell the same story of 0.1-0.2°C of warming over the period in question.”
    “misrepresenting data is not, in fact, compatible with the scientific method.”

    The fact is, climate or not, UAH has been trending down since about 2002. Currently, using woodfortrees data, UAH is lower than GISS by about 0.48.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1980/offset:-.13/plot/gistemp/from:1980/offset:-.24/plot/uah/from:1980/offset:-.09

    If you are all twisted about misrepresenting (probably through incompetence) data, you should be talking to NASA and the Hadley Center, shouldn’t you?

  • hunter

    Jim, Jim, Jim. You’re a fuckwit. You haven’t got the mathematical knowledge to understand what you’re talking about. If the “trend” is not statistically significant, then there is no trend. None of the datasets show a statistically significant trend since 2002. But clearly you haven’t got a clue what the term even means. How about you learn some basics before going public with your ignorance?

  • hunter- the sane one

    Since there is no statistically significant trend over the last 100 years, then can we just call this whole thing off, and get the crazy hunter/jessica/scientologist back on his/her/its meds?
    And, by the way, cancel the stupid government policy ideas of our AGW friends, and possibly start getting some of the ~$60 billion or so they have scarfed down these past few years?
    crazy hunter- no one says “I am a loser” quite as clearly and uniquely as you do.
    You are the poster child of AGW fanatic twit.
    Please keep up the good work.

  • Stevo

    “there is no statistically significant trend over the last 100 years”

    There is. You seem to think the facts are what you want them to be.

  • hunter – the skeptical one

    Steveo,
    I was quoting my copy-cat friend, ‘hunter’ to just tweak her/him/it.
    Facts are what will, no matter how bad the policies are, ultimately drive the outcome.

  • DG

    For the extra credit, just read Rahmstorf 2007, use their methods and change the smoothing each year to create the tail on the end to fit your flavor; a typical parlor trick used by AGW “scientists” to fool the weak minded.

    hunter (the hysterical one),
    Why are near surface station measurements diverging from satellite? Shouldn’t the LT be warming at a faster rate than 2M from the surface? The divergence is increasing with each passing year.

  • mikep

    I am puzzled by the argument that temperature has not fallen because we can fit a rising trend to to the data. Using the same logic I can show there is no recession because GDP is on an undoubted upward trend over the last ten years….

  • hunter

    mikep – your puzzlement arises from ignorance. Take a course in statistics.

  • An Inquirer

    mikep:
    A common technique in climate discussion is to fit an OLS linear line in a graph with global temperature (anomalies) on the vertical axis and time on the horizontal axis. Temperatures could be plummeting in the last few years, but if the temperatures showed sustained increases over much of the preceding years, then the OLS technique will give a positive slope as it minimizes the sum of distances from actual to the fitted line.
    Every four to six months, I repeat my admonition for newcomers that OLS is a questionable approach to a phenomenon that is characterized by oscillations and perturbations. Consider the Russian / German conflict at the beginning of 1944; according to OLS, the German Army was winning, but you would have been in deep trouble not to recognize the turning point.
    BTW, is quite universally accepted that we have warmed up in the last 200 years, so OLS seems reasonable to use in that context. There has oscillations in this time period (the most significant one is at least 60 years in length), but the overall trend is up. It is safe to say that there is dispute on why the warming starting 200+ years ago, whether humans are adding to an underlying trend, and (if so) how humans are adding to that trend (land use vs. CO2 vs. other), and whether natural variability will swamp the human contribution.

  • mikep

    My puzzlement does not arise from ignorance. The point is that there is simply no contradiction between actual temperatures falling and the fact that an OLS fitted trend when a series is regressed on time has a positive slope. Both statements can be true and the positive slope of the trend line does not mean – how could it – that recent temperatures cannot fall. The data is the data is the data.

    More importantly if only time is used as an explanatory variable the slope term picks up all the variation over time in the underlying explanatory variables. This will often mean that the residuals from the OLS equation are not normally distributed. Any modern econometrician would immedialtey suspect mispecification, and, as Ross McKitrick notes in a paper linked to below “But the
    non-normality of the residuals often points to an error in the specification of the trend equation. A time
    series model that makes use of information about the physical process being modeled, and which yields
    independent and/or homoskedastic residuals without applying special statistical corrections, would be
    considered a better procedure for detecting any trends in the data.”

    When he does so he finds “we discuss alternate strategies and
    then show how they affect empirical estimates of the magnitude and significance of the trend coefficient in
    surface and tropospheric anomaly data. It turns out that the better the fit of the trend model, and the closer
    we get to Gaussian residuals, the smaller is the estimated trend and the less significant is the coefficient.”

    Perhaps Hunter should take a course in econometrics.

    http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/surface.pdf

  • Danny

    Hunter’s a classic low class level undergrad. Poor understanding, combined with a bad vocabulary and too much opinion.

    Perhaps hunter should read up on the meaning of the word plagiarism.
    http://www.apa.org/journals/features/psp7761121.pdf

    Hunter’s understanding of global climate change is just as poor as her understanding of the Dunning-Kruger effect. In other words, it is so poor that arguments must be reduced to parroting someone else’s words.

  • My dear Hunter,
    Perhaps in your crusading zeal to utter obscene comments at fellow writers in a private forum sponsored by a private individual, you neglected to notice that the graph in question is one used/presented/created BY your typical AGW-ecotheist speakers who are trying desperately to ram an unneeded and unproductive and useless 1.6 trillon dollar tax on your fellow citizens.

    Any errors or omissions in the graph are being created BY your fellow AGW ecotheists, NOT by the blog owner.

    Now, as to the rest of your points – and, “Yes, I do have several classes and a couple of degrees from all sorts of math, stats, physics, measuring, accountability, reliability, etc.” Plus a few dozen more in thermodynamics, quantum physics, nuclear physics, radiation, materials, heat transfer, fluid flow, mechanicas, dynamics, electronics and wave theory, etc. However, I am a responsible individual, not a self-annointed “climate PhD-who-happens-to-fake-his-data-and-hide-his-research-and-methods. As a morally responsible individual, I don’t succumb to the peer-pressure and funding issues that Mann, Hansen, Jones, Gore, and other AGW heroes feel is their right.

    HAD CRU, Mann, Hansen, Jones are still hiding their data. None have released their methods, and even their simplest temperature records manipulate the raw data, hide the methods, and repeatedly recalculate early data to create long range increases: Their “corrections” reduce temps early (before 1970) and inflate later readings = An artificial rise. Yet they fight releasing their raw data.

    Temperatures in the mid 30’s and early 40’s were as warm as the late 1990’s. But those early real world measurements – as in this graph – are lowered from +.45- +5 degrees C to +.2 degrees. Why? They won’t say.

    Sure – given that type of manipulation, you can create (from nothing) a +.5 deree rise over a century: Temp’s have been going up since the mid-1750’s. Today’s rise continues that trend – nothing man-made needed. On top of the long-term 800 year cycle of 2.0 degrees range, there is a short-term 70 year cycle of about .2 – .3 degree range.

    We saw that oscillating growth from 1900 through 1935, decreasing from 1940 through 1975, increasing from 1975 through 1998. And yes, I chose to “growth” deliberately used! – today. We see the decrease today from , and temps will continue to decline up through 2025 or 2030. (Only extremists who can’t draw curved plots can miss it.)

    We are now at the top of the oscillating ramp: why are you suprised that temp’s from 2000 through 2009 are high? Of course they are high! You can stand 5 feet one of a mountain, move ten feet to theother side, and STILL be higher than the people in the valley below. (You will be going still be going downhill even though you are higher than you were walking up the mountain.)

    By definition, an oscillating sine wave will be going up and down – pick your period, your point on the curve, and you can get all sorts of “linear” slopes. And any line you pick will be wrong. But the trend NOW – today, after your supposed global warming of 1/2 of one degree, is DOWN. The long-term trend is oscillating up and down = NOT STEADY.

    The very long term? Another Ice Age. We are overdue by a few thousand years.

    CO2 vs temperature rise? Early this century, CO2 was steady, temp’s rose. Middle of this centruy? CO2 rose, temps fell. Last 25 years of this century? CO2 rose, temps rose. Now? The last twelve years? CO2 rose, temp’s were steady and are slowly falling. How a period do you need to find a relationship?

    Hansen’s 1988 theory is simplistic and incomplete. It cannot explain ANY of the past 2000 years of climate changes. (Well, it almost explains part of one 25 year part of one century of those 2000 years.) It cannot explain why the Dark Ages began, why the MWP exists, why the LIA decreased temp’s later on, nor why the ice cores show temperatures increased 800 – 1000 years before CO2 increased hundreds of housands of years before that. There are no problems in the data – only in the excuses and attempts to prove that the data doesn’t exist.

    Your quote ” no-one ever showed a 1980-1995 graph and claimed it was ‘proof’ of a relationship” is utterly false: Mann’s contrived and debunked “hockey stick” curve shows exactly that! And that graph was used 5 times in one IPCC report, plus hundreds of times afterwards, inclusing millions of presentations of Gore’s propaganda piece. The above graph, and hundreds of similar equally incorrect are used in thousands of propaganda pieces since 1988 – and similar 1:1 (or a few times as log 1: 1) graphs are the entire basis of Mann, Jones, and Hansen’s own papers.

  • From the darling hunter:
    “If the “trend” is not statistically significant, then there is no trend. None of the datasets show a statistically significant trend since 2002.”

    I have an idea: If there “is no trend since 2002”, then obviously there can be no need and no requirement to jam a 1.6 trillion tax increase down our throats by September. Or October. Or November.

    So can we wait until there IS a trend since 2002, and determine what magnitude that trend IS, and what direction that trend will be BEFORE we make a 1.6 trillion dollar mistake?

    Give me a physical, data-sourced real reason for the rush.

  • ted rado

    Causes of climate variation are so complex that climate will probably never be well understood. The problem underlying the current debate is that the cost of assuming that AGW is correct and doing what the alarmists want to do will destroy the modern world economically. The result would be mass starvation, wars, health problems, etc. If the cost of following Gore et al was a few hundred billion dollars, a lot of us would go along, as was done under Jimmy Carter with his alternative energy schemes, such as oil shale utilization. I do not understand how anyone can argue in favor of spening upwards of 35 trillion dollars without being virtually certain that the science is correct. Even then, a better approach might be to learn to live with higher tenperatures rather than fight the climate.

    Fortunately, the Indians and Chinese will save us from our own folly. They are refusing to destroy their economies on Al Gore’s altar. Good for them!

    In the meantime, let’s hope reason is restored before we do something really stupid.

  • Adam Soereg

    “It can only be explained by the increase in greenhouse gases due to human activities.” OR “Past warming must be due to man because we can’t think of what else it could be.”

    A classic case of argumentum ad ignorantiam.